The pancreatic islet is mainly composed of beta-, alpha- and delta-cells with small numbers of pancreatic polypeptide (PP) and epsilon cells. It is known that there is a region in the head of the pancreas that is rich in PP-cells. In the present study, we examined the distribution of PP-cells, and assessed the influence of the PP-cell rich region to quantify the total islet mass. Pancreatic tissues were collected from donors with no history of diabetes or pancreatic diseases (n = 12). A stereological approach with a computer-assisted large-scale analysis of whole pancreatic sections was applied to quantify the entire distribution of endocrine cells within a given section. The initial whole pancreas analysis showed that a PP-cell rich region was largely restricted to the uncinate process with a clear boundary. The distinct distribution of PP-cells includes irregularly shaped clusters composed solely of PP-cells. Furthermore, in the PP-cell rich region, beta- and alpha-cell mass is significantly reduced compared to surrounding PP-cell poor regions. The results suggest that the analysis of the head region should distinguish the PP-cell rich region, which is best examined separately. This study presents an important implication for the regional selection and interpretation of the results.
Phase cancellation in ultrasound due to large receiver size has been proposed as a contributing factor to the inaccuracy of estimating broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA), which is used to characterize bone quality. Transducers with aperture size ranging from 2 to 5 mm have been used in previous attempts to study the effect of phase cancellation. However, these receivers themselves are susceptible to phase cancellation because aperture size is close to one center wavelength (about 3 mm at 500 KHz in water). This study uses an ultra small receiver (aperture size: 0.2mm) in conjunction with a newly developed 2-D synthetic array system to investigate the effects of phase cancellation and receiver aperture size on BUA estimations of bone tissue. In vitro ultrasound measurements were conducted on 54 trabecular bone samples (harvested from sheep femurs) in a confocal configuration with a focused transmitter and synthesized focused receivers of different aperture sizes. Phase sensitive (PS) and phase insensitive (PI) detections were performed. The results show that phase cancellation does have a significant effect on BUA. The normalized BUA (nBUA) with PS is 8.1% higher than PI nBUA while PI BUA is well correlated with PS BUA. Receiver aperture size also influences the BUA reading for both PI and PS detection and smaller receiver aperture tends to result in higher BUA readings. The results also indicate that the receiver aperture size used in the confocal configuration with PI detection should at least equal the aperture of the transmitter to capture most of the energy redistributed by the interference and diffraction from the trabecular bone.
Phase cancellation; Broadband ultrasound attenuation; Synthetic array; Trabecular bone; Bone quality assessment; Osteoporosis; Osteopenia
Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecologic malignancy in adult women. The origin of epithelial ovarian tumors is both morphologically and biologically heterogeneous, and different subtypes of ovarian tumors have different clinical outcomes. In spite of the heterogeneous nature of ovarian carcinoma, the current biomarkers and treatments for this disease are not subtype-specific. To discover the molecular basis of the ovarian tumor subtypes, we analyzed extracellular glycoproteins of seven common subtypes and normal ovary tissues using quantitative glycoproteomic analysis. Glycoproteins for different ovarian tumor subtypes were identified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and quantitated by spectral counting and then verified by iTRAQ labeling and Western blotting. Glycoproteins uniquely expressed in different subtypes of ovarian tumors or commonly expressed in most subtypes were identified. Using Western blots, we verified that mesothelin was overexpressed in serous carcinoma and transitional-cell carcinoma, CEA5 and CEA6 were overexpressed only in mucinous carcinoma, while versican and periostin were overexpressed in most subtypes of ovarian tumors. This study represents the first proteomic characterization of different ovarian tumor subtypes. The identified glycoproteins for histological subtypes of ovarian tumors will facilitate the understanding of the molecular basis, diagnosis of ovarian tumor subtypes, and predictions for treatment responses to therapeutic agents.
ovarian tumor; histological subtypes; quantitative glycoproteomics; mass spectrometry; Western blot
Traditional radiography is limited in its ability to give reliable information on the number and morphology of root canals. The application of cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) provides a non-invasive three-dimensional confirmatory diagnosis as a complement to conventional radiography. The aim of this study was to evaluate the root and canal morphology of mandibular premolars in a western Chinese population using CBCT scanning.
The sample included 149 CBCT images comprising 178 mandibular first premolars and 178 second premolars. The tooth position, number of roots and canals, and canal configuration according to Vertucci’s classification were recorded.
The results showed that 98% of mandibular first premolars had one root and 2% had two roots; 87.1% had one canal, 11.2% had two canals and 0.6% had three canals. The prevalence of C-shaped canals was 1.1%. All mandibular second premolars had one root; 97.2% had one canal and 2.2% had two canals. The prevalence of C-shaped canals was 0.6%.
The prevalence of multiple canals in mandibular first premolars was mainly of Type V, and mandibular second premolars had a low rate of canal variation in this western Chinese population. Root canal bifurcation occurred at the middle or apical third in most bicanal mandibular premolars. CBCT scanning can be used in the management of mandibular premolars with complex canal morphology.
Cone-beam computed tomography; Mandibular premolar; Morphology; Root canal configuration
This letter presents an experimental study that shows that a 3rd physical dimension may be used to further increase information packing density in magnetic storage devices. We demonstrate the feasibility of at least quadrupling the magnetic states of magnetic-based data storage devices by recording and reading information from nanopillars with three magnetically-decoupled layers. Magneto-optical Kerr effect microscopy and magnetic force microscopy analysis show that both continuous (thin film) and patterned triple-stack magnetic media can generate eight magnetically-stable states. This is in comparison to only two states in conventional magnetic recording. Our work further reveals that ferromagnetic interaction between magnetic layers can be reduced by combining Co/Pt and Co/Pd multilayers media. Finally, we are showing for the first time an MFM image of multilevel-3D bit patterned media with 8 discrete signal levels.
Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a model organism to study the mechanisms and pathways of human disorders. Many dysfunctions in neurological, development and neuromuscular systems are due to glycosylation deficiencies, but the glycoproteins involved in zebrafish embryonic development have not been established. In this study, a mass spectrometry-based glycoproteomic characterization of zebrafish embryos was performed to identify the N-linked glycoproteins and N-linked glycosylation sites. To increase the number of glycopeptides, proteins from zebrafish were digested with two different proteases, chymotrypsin and trypsin, into peptides of different length. The N-glycosylated peptides of zebrafish were then captured by the solid phase extraction of N-linked glycopeptides (SPEG) method and the peptides were identified with an LTQ OrbiTrap Velos mass spectrometer. From 265 unique glycopeptides, including 269 consensus NXT/S glycosites, we identified 169 different N-glycosylated proteins. The identified glycoproteins were highly abundant in proteins belonging to the transporter, cell adhesion, and ion channel/ion binding categories which are important to embryonic, organ, and central nervous system development. This proteomics data will expand our knowledge about glycoproteins in zebrafish and may be used to elucidate the role glycosylation plays in cellular processes and disease. The glycoprotein data are available through the GlycoFish database (http://betenbaugh.jhu.edu/GlycoFish) introduced in this paper.
N-linked glycoproteins; glycosylation; glycomics; glycoproteomics; proteomics; zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos; Solid Phase Extraction of N-linked glycopeptides (SPEG); Mass spectrometry (MS); GlycoFish
Living cells respond to changing environments by regulating their genes and activities. In unicellular organisms such as yeasts, the cell division cycle is coupled to the nutrient availability. However, it is unclear how tight this coupling is and how the intrinsic time scales of the different cell cycle processes respond to varying nutrient conditions. Here we study the cell cycle behavior of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae in response to periodically modulated nutrient availability, using a microfluidic platform which allows for longtime cultivation, programmed medium switching, and automated time-lapse image acquisition. We observe that the division cycle of the yeast cells can follow a periodically modulated medium so that the whole population can be driven into synchrony. When the period of the nutrient modulation is optimized, as many as 80% of the cells in a population are continuously synchronized. The degree of synchronization as a function of the nutrient modulation period can be qualitatively captured by a stochastic phenomenological model. Our work may shed light on the coupling between the cell growth and cell division as well as provide a nontoxic and non-invasive method to continuously synchronize the cell cycle.
The Beclin 1 gene is a haplo-insufficient tumor suppressor and plays an
essential role in autophagy. However, the molecular mechanism by which Beclin 1
functions remains largely unknown. Here we report the crystal structure of the
evolutionarily conserved domain (ECD) of Beclin 1 at 1.6 Å
resolution. Beclin 1 ECD exhibits a previously unreported fold, with three
structural repeats arranged symmetrically around a central axis. Beclin 1 ECD
defines a novel class of membrane-binding domain, with a strong preference for
lipid membrane enriched with cardiolipin. The tip of a surface loop in Beclin 1
ECD, comprising three aromatic amino acids, acts as a hydrophobic finger to
associate with lipid membrane, consequently resulting in the deformation of
membrane and liposomes. Mutation of these aromatic residues rendered Beclin 1
unable to stably associate with lipid membrane in vitro and unable to
fully rescue autophagy in Beclin 1-knockdown cells in vivo. These
observations form an important framework for deciphering the biological
functions of Beclin 1.
Beclin 1; autophagy; crystal structure; membrane binding; membrane deformation; omegasome
Aberrant protein glycosylation has been shown to be associated with disease progression and can be potentially useful as a biomarker if disease-specific glycosylation can be identified. However, high-throughput quantitative analysis of protein glycosylation derived from clinical specimens presents technical challenges due to the typically high complexity of biological samples. In this study, a mass spectrometry-based analytical method was developed to measure different glycosylated forms of glycoproteins from complex biological samples by coupling glycopeptide extraction strategy for specific glycosylation with selected reaction monitoring (SRM). Using this method, we monitored glycosylated and sialylated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in prostate cancer and non-cancer tissues. Results of this study demonstrated that the relative abundance of glycosylated PSA isoforms were not correlated with total PSA protein levels measured in the same prostate cancer tissue samples by clinical immunoassay. Furthermore, the sialylated PSA was differentially distributed in cancer and non-cancer tissues. These data suggest that differently glycosylated isoforms of glycoproteins can be quantitatively analyzed and may provide unique information for clinically relevant studies.
Kinase insert domain receptor (KDR) inhibitors have been proved to be very effective anticancer agents. Molecular docking, 3D-QSAR methods, CoMFA and CoMSIA were performed on pyrrolo[3,2-d]pyrimidine derivatives as non-ATP competitive KDR inhibitors (type II). The bioactive conformation was explored by docking one potent compound 20 into the active site of KDR in its DFG-out inactive conformation. The constructed CoMFA and CoMSIA models produced statistically significant results with the cross-validated correlation coefficients q2 of 0.542 and 0.552, non-cross-validated correlation coefficients r2 of 0.912 and 0.955, and predicted correction coefficients r2pred of 0.913 and 0.897, respectively. These results ensure the CoMFA and CoMSIA models as a tool to guide the design of a series of new potent KDR inhibitors.
CoMFA; CoMSIA; KDR inhibitor; pyrrolo[3,2-d]pyrimidine derivatives; Surflex-Dock
The microRNA miR-451 is downregulated in gliomas, this has been suggested by several different research groups and is consistent with our data. Our previous study also confirmed that miR-451 has a repressive role in glioma by inhibiting cell growth, proliferation and by inducing cell apoptosis. In the present study, we identified a target gene of miR-451 in human glioma and investigated the mechanism for the glioma suppressive effect of miR-451 functions. Expression of miR-451 in gliomas was identified by quantitative real-time PCR and fluorescence in situ hybridization. Human glioma cell lines (U251, U87, LN229 and A172) were transfected with miR-451 mimics to restore miR-451 expression. The tumor suppressive effects of miR-451 were further verified by subcutaneous assays in nude mice, in addition to our previous in vitro data. A candidate target gene was tested by Western blotting and luciferase reporter assays. Some PI3K/AKT pathway factors were tested by Western blotting. We found that miR-451 expression was downregulated in glioma samples and was inversely correlated with WHO grades of gliomas. In vivo assays confirmed that miR-451 had tumor suppressive traits. CAB39-3′UTR luciferase reporter assay confirmed CAB39 as a direct target gene of miR-451. Significant alterations in the expression of PI3K/AKT pathway factors were observed by Western blot assays. We conclude that miR-451 represses glioma in vitro and in vivo, likely through targeting CAB39 directly and inhibiting the PI3K/AKT pathway indirectly.
glioma; microRNA-451; target gene; calcium binding protein 39
Trax/Translin heteromers, also known as C3PO, have been proposed to activate RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) by facilitating endonucleolytic cleavage of the siRNA passenger strand. We report on the crystal structure of hexameric Drosophila C3PO formed by truncated Translin and Trax, along with electron microscopic and mass spectrometric studies on octameric C3PO formed by full-length Translin and Trax. Our studies establish that Trax adopts the Translin fold, possesses catalytic centers essential for C3PO’s endoribonuclease activity and interacts extensively with Translin to form an octameric assembly. The catalytic pockets of Trax subunits are located within the interior chamber of the octameric scaffold. Truncated C3PO, like full-length, exhibits endoribonuclease activity leaving 3′ hydroxyl-cleaved ends. We have measured the catalytic activity of C3PO and shown it to cleave near stoichiometric amounts of substrate per second.
Due to their easy accessibility, proteins outside of the plasma membrane represent an ideal but untapped resource for potential drug targets or disease biomarkers. They constitute the major biochemical class of current therapeutic targets and clinical biomarkers. Recent advances in proteomic technologies have fueled interest in analysis of extracellular proteins such as membrane proteins, cell surface proteins, and secreted proteins. However, unlike the gene expression analyses from a variety of tissues and cells using genomic technologies, quantitative proteomic analysis of proteins from various biological sources is challenging due to the high complexity of different proteomes, and the lack of robust and consistent methods for analyses of different tissue sources, especially for specific enrichment of extracellular proteins. Since most extracellular proteins are modified by oligosaccharides, the population of glycoproteins therefore represents the majority of extracellular proteomes. Here, we quantitatively analyzed glycoproteins and determined the expression patterns of extracellular proteins from 12 mouse tissues using solid-phase extraction of N-linked glycopeptides and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. We identified peptides enclosing 1231 possible N-linked glycosites from 826 unique proteins. We further determined the expression pattern of formerly N-linked glycopeptides and identified extracellular glycoproteins specifically expressed in each tissue. Furthermore, the tissue specificities of the overexpressed glycoproteins in a mouse skin tumor model were determined by comparing to the quantitative protein expression from the different tissues. These skin tumor-specific extracellular proteins might serve as potential candidates for cell surface drug targets or disease-specific protein markers.
Extracellular proteins; glycosylation; solid-phase extraction of glycopeptides; tissue specificity; different tissues; skin tumor; proteomics; and mass spectrometry
Caspase activation, the executing event of apoptosis, is under deliberate regulation. IAP proteins inhibit caspase activity whereas Smac/Diablo antagonizes IAP. XIAP, a ubiquitous IAP, can inhibit both caspase-9, the initiator caspase of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway, and the downstream effector caspases, caspase-3 and caspase-7. Smac neutralizes XIAP inhibition of caspase-9 by competing for binding of the BIR3 domain of XIAP with caspase-9, whereas how Smac liberates effector caspases from XIAP inhibition is not clear. It is generally believed that binding of Smac with IAP generates a steric hindrance that prevents XIAP from inhibiting effector caspases, and therefore small molecule mimics of Smac are not able to reverse inhibition of the effector caspases. Surprisingly, we show here that binding of a dimeric Smac N-terminal peptide with the BIR2 domain of XIAP effectively antagonizes inhibition of caspase-3 by XIAP. Further, we defined the dynamic and cooperative interaction of Smac with XIAP: binding of Smac with the BIR3 domain anchors the subsequent binding of Smac with the BIR2 domain, which in turn attenuates the caspase-3-inhibitory function of XIAP. We also show that XIAP homotrimerizes via its C-terminal Ring domain, making its inhibitory activity towards caspase-3 more susceptible to Smac.
Obesity is characterized by accumulation of excess body fat, while lipodystrophy is characterized by loss or absence of body fat. Despite their opposite phenotypes, these two conditions both cause ectopic lipid storage in non-adipose tissues, leading to lipotoxicity, which has health-threatening consequences. The exact mechanisms underlying ectopic lipid storage remain elusive. Here we report the analysis of a Drosophila model of the most severe form of human lipodystrophy, Berardinelli-Seip Congenital Lipodystrophy 2, which is caused by mutations in the BSCL2/Seipin gene. In addition to reduced lipid storage in the fat body, dSeipin mutant flies accumulate ectopic lipid droplets in the salivary gland, a non-adipose tissue. This phenotype was suppressed by expressing dSeipin specifically within the salivary gland. dSeipin mutants display synergistic genetic interactions with lipogenic genes in the formation of ectopic lipid droplets. Our data suggest that dSeipin may participate in phosphatidic acid metabolism and subsequently down-regulate lipogenesis to prevent ectopic lipid droplet formation. In summary, we have demonstrated a tissue-autonomous role of dSeipin in ectopic lipid storage in lipodystrophy.
Obesity and lipodystrophy are medical conditions characterized by excess body fat or too little body fat, respectively. Interestingly, a common feature of both conditions is ectopic accumulation of lipids (fat) in cells where fat is not normally stored. This can cause tissue damage with health-threatening consequences. We are trying to understand how these two very different diseases lead to lipid storage in non-fat tissues. In this study, we used fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) with a mutation in the dSeipin gene as a lipodystrophy model to explore the mechanism of ectopic lipid storage. In dSeipin mutant flies, we found numerous lipid droplets in the salivary gland, a non-fat storage tissue, and reduced lipid storage in the fat body, an adipose tissue. Furthermore, we proved that dSeipin functions within salivary gland cells to prevent the formation of ectopic lipid droplets. We also found that dSeipin genetically interacts with other fat synthesis and metabolism genes in the formation of ectopic lipid droplets. The fruit fly dSeipin mutant provides an excellent model system for dissecting the mechanisms that regulate the storage of excess lipids.
While reversible histone modifications are linked to an ever-expanding range of biological functions1–5, the demethylases for histone H4 lysine 20 and their potential regulatory roles remain unknown. Here, we report that the PHD and Jumonji C (JmjC) domain-containing protein, PHF8, while utilizing multiple substrates, including H3K9me1/2 and H3K27me2, also functions as an H4K20me1 demethylase. PHF8 is recruited to promoters by its PHD domain based on interaction with H3K4me2/3 and controls G1/S transition in conjunction with E2F1, HCF-1 and Set1A, at least in part, by removing the repressive H4K20me1 mark from a subset of E2F1-regulated gene promoters. Phosphorylation-dependent PHF8 dismissal from chromatin in prophase is apparently required for the accumulation of H4K20me1 during early mitosis, which might represent a component of the Condensin II loading process. Accordingly, the HEAT repeat clusters in two non-SMC Condensin II subunits, N-CAPD3 and N-CAPG2, are capable of recognizing H4K20me1, and ChIP-seq. analysis demonstrate a significant overlap of Condensin II and H4K20me1 sites in mitotic HeLa cells. Thus, the identification and characterization of the first H4K20me1 demethylase, PHF8, has revealed an intimate link between this enzyme and two distinct events in cell cycle progression.
AIM: To determine the expression of toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) in pancreatic tumor and the effects of cytosine phosphate-guanosine oligodeoxynucleotides 2216 (CPG ODN2216) on biological behavior of pancreatic carcinoma cell line PANC-1 and explore their clinical significance.
METHODS: The immunohistochemistry and Western blot were used to determine the expression of TLR9 protein in pancreatic cancer tissues, and immunofluorescence staining was performed to detect the TLR9 protein expression in pancreatic carcinoma cell line PANC-1. To assess the effects of CPG ODN2216 on the invasive property of Panc-1 cells, in vitro cell adhesion, wound-healing scrape, and invasion and cell colony formation were evaluated.
RESULTS: TLR9 was highly expressed in pancreatic cancer tissues and PANC-1 cells. The percentage of positive cells expressing TLR9 protein in human pancreatic tissues, paracancerous tissues and normal tissues were 73.3%, 33.3% and 20.0%, respectively, and the protein expression level of TLR9 was gradually descending (P < 0.05). In vitro tests in wound-healing scrape, cell adhesion, colony formation and matrigel invasion showed that the adhesion and motility of PANC-1 cells in CPG ODN 2216 treatment group were significantly lower than in the control group (P < 0.05). The cell growth assay showed that the proliferative ability of PANC-1 cells in treatment group was significantly decreased and CPG ODN2216 had an inhibitive effect in the growth of Panc-1 cells in a dose and time-dependent manner (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: The gene of TLR9 is correlated with the invasive and metastatic potential of human pancreatic carcinoma, and CPG ODN2216 induces the inhibition of migration and invasion of Panc-1 cells.
Cytosine phosphate-guanosine oligodeoxynucleotides 2216; Pancreatic cancer; Toll-like receptor 9; Biological behavior
AIM: To establish the end-to-end anastomosis (EEA) model of guinea pig bile duct and evaluate the healing process of bile duct.
METHODS: Thirty-two male guinea pigs were randomly divided into control group, 2-, 3-, and 6-mo groups after establishment of EEA model. Histological, immunohistochemical and serologic tests as well as measurement of bile contents were performed. The bile duct diameter and the diameter ratio (DR) were measured to assess the formation of relative stricture.
RESULTS: Acute and chronic inflammatory reactions occurred throughout the healing process of bile duct. Serology test and bile content measurement showed no formation of persistent stricture in 6-mo group. The DR revealed a transient formation of relative stricture in 2-mo group in comparation to control group (2.94 ± 0.17 vs 1.89 ± 0.27, P = 0.004). However, this relative stricture was released in 6-mo group (2.14 ± 0.18, P = 0.440).
CONCLUSION: A simple and reliable EEA model of guinea pig bile duct can be established with a good reproducibility and a satisfactory survival rate.
Animal model; Guinea pig; Anastomosis; Common bile duct; Wound healing
Paclitaxel has been widely used as an anti-mitotic agent in chemotherapy for a variety of cancers and adds substantial efficacy as the first-line chemotherapeutic regimen for ovarian cancers. However, the frequent occurrence of paclitaxel resistance limits its function in long-term management. Despite abundant clinical and cellular demonstration of paclitaxel resistant tumors, the molecular mechanisms leading to paclitaxel resistance are poorly understood. Using genomic approaches, we have previously identified an association between a BTB/POZ gene, Nac1, and paclitaxel resistance in ovarian cancer. The experiments presented here have applied multiple quantitative proteomic methods to identify protein changes associated with paclitaxel resistance and Nac1 function. The SKOV-3 ovarian serous carcinoma cell line, which has inducible expression of dominant negative Nac1, was used to determine the paclitaxel treatment associated changes in the presence and absence of functional Nac1. Quantitative proteomic analyses were performed using iTRAQ labeling and mass spectrometry. Two label-free quantitative proteomic methods: LC-MS and spectral count were used to increase confidence of proteomic quantification. A total of 1371 proteins were quantified by at least one of the quantitative proteomic methods. Candidate proteins related to paclitaxel and NAC1 function were identified in this study. Go analysis of the protein changes identified upon paclitaxel resistance revealed that cell component enrichment related to mitochondria. Moreover, tubulin and mitochondrial proteins were the major cellular components with changes associated with paclitaxel treatment. This suggests that mitochondria may play a role in paclitaxel resistance.
ovarian cancer; paclitaxel; Taxol; mass spectrometry; proteomics
Plasma has been the focus of testing different proteomic technologies for the identification of biomarkers due to its ready accessibility. However, it is not clear if direct proteomic analysis of plasma can be used to discover new marker proteins from tumor that are associated with tumor progression. Here, we reported that such proteins can be detected in plasma in a chemical induced skin cancer mouse model. We analyzed glycoproteins from both benign papillomas and malignant carcinomas from mice using our recently developed platform, solid-phase extraction of glycopeptides (SPEG) and mass spectrometry, and identified 463 unique N-linked glycosites from 318 unique glycoproteins. These include most known extracellular proteins that have been reported to play roles in skin cancer development such as thrombospondin, cathepsins, epidermal growth factor receptor, cell adhesion molecules, cadherins, integrins, tuberin, fibulin, TGFβ receptor, etc. We further investigated whether these tumor proteins could be detected in plasma from tumor bearing mice using isotope labeling and 2D-LC-MALDI-MS/MS. Two tumor glycoproteins, Tenascin-C and Arylsulfatase B, were identified and quantified successfully in plasma from tumor bearing mice. This result indicates that analysis of tumor associated proteins in tumors and plasma by method using glycopeptide capture, isotopic labeling, and mass spectrometry can be used as a discovery tool to identify candidate tumor proteins that may be detected in plasma.
Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues have been used to discover disease-associated protein changes using mass spectrometry. Protein post-translational modifications such as glycosylation are known to associate with disease development. In this study, we investigated whether FFPE tissues preserve such modifications and therefore can be used as specimen of choice to identify the disease-associated modifications. We isolated the glycopeptides from the tryptic digest of frozen and FFPE lung tissues using solid-phase extraction of glycopeptides and analyzed them using mass spectrometry. The glycopeptides identified from FFPE lung tissue were compared to the ones from frozen lung tissue regarding their relative abundance, unique glycosylation sites, and subcellular locations. The results from our study confirmed that glycosylation in FFPE tissues are preserved and FFPE tissues can be used for discovery of new disease associated changes in protein modifications. Furthermore, we demonstrated the feasibility of applying the strategy of glycopeptide isolation from tryptic peptides of FFPE tissue to other tissues such as liver and heart.
N-glycosylation; FFPE tissue; protein post-translational modifications; quantitative analysis
Protein glycosylation is a common post-translational modification and has been increasingly recognized as one of the most prominent biochemical alterations associated with malignant transformation and tumorigenesis. N-linked glycosylation is prevalent in proteins on the extracellular membrane, and many clinical biomarkers and therapeutic targets are glycoproteins. Here, we describe a protocol for solid-phase extraction of N-linked glycopeptides (SPEG) and subsequent identification of N-linked glycosylation sites (N-glycosites) by tandem mass spectrometry. The method oxidizes the carbohydrates in glycopeptides into aldehydes, which can be immobilized on a solid support. The N-linked glycopeptides are then optionally labeled with a stable isotope using deuterium-labeled succinic anhydride and the peptide moieties are released by peptide-N-glycosidase. In a single analysis, the method identifies hundreds of N-linked glycoproteins, the site(s) of N-linked glycosylation, and the relative quantity of the identified glycopeptides.
γ-Secretase is an aspartyl protease that cleaves multiple substrates including the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and the Notch proteins. Abnormal proteolysis of APP is involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and overactive Notch signaling plays an oncogenic role in a variety of cancers. γ-Secretase has emerged as a promising target for drug development in the treatment of AD and cancer. Assays with increased capacity for high-throughput screening would allow for quicker screening of chemical libraries and facilitate inhibitor development. We have developed a homogeneous time-resolved fluorescence (HTRF)-based assay that makes use of a novel biotinylated recombinant APP substrate and solubilized membrane preparation as the source of the γ-secretase enzyme. The assay was miniaturized to a 1536-well format and validated in a pilot screen against a library of ∼3,000 compounds. The overall assay performance was robust due to a calculated Z′ factor of 0.74 and its demonstrated ability to identify known γ-secretase inhibitors such as pepstatin A. This validated assay can readily be used for primary screening against large chemical libraries searching for novel inhibitors of γ-secretase activity that may represent potential therapeutics for AD and a variety of neoplasms.
AIM: To investigate the expression of toll-like receptor (TLR) 4, nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) p65 and hypoxia-inducible transcription factor 1α (HIF-1α) in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and their clinical significance.
METHODS: The mRNA of TLR4 and HIF-1α were investigated by real-time polymerase chain reaction in 30 cases of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and its adjacent tissues, and expression of TLR4, NF-κB p65 and HIF-1α protein were detected by immunohistochemistry in 65 cases of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma tissues and 38 cases of corresponding adjacent tissues. The relationship between TLR4 or HIF-1α and pathologic features, as well as the association between TLR4 and HIF-1α, were also analyzed. Kaplan-Meier method was used to assess the impact of expression of TLR4 and HIF-1α on survival of patients with pancreatic cancer.
RESULTS: The relative quantification of TLR4 and HIF-1α mRNA in tumor tissues was 0.81 ± 0.10 and 0.87 ± 0.11, respectively, significantly higher than that in adjacent tissues (0.81 ± 0.10 vs 0.70 ± 0.16, P = 0.002; 0.87 ± 0.11 vs 0.68 ± 0.13, P = 0.000). The protein expression of TLR4, NF-κB p65 and HIF-1α in tumor tissues was 69.20%, 66.15% and 70.80%, respectively, being significantly higher than that in adjacent normal tissues (69.20% vs 39.50%, P = 0.003; 66.15% vs 31.58%, P = 0.001; 70.80% vs 36.80%, P = 0.001). There was no significant correlation between TLR4 or HIF-1α expression and the age, gender, tumor location, the degree of tumor differentiation in the patients (P > 0.05). However, there was significant correlation between the expression of TLR4 or HIF-1α and tumor size, lymph node metastasis, venous invasion and clinical staging (P < 0.05). The expression of TLR4 and HIF-1α had a significant impact on survival of patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
CONCLUSION: TLR4, NF-κB p65 and HIF-1α are overexpressed in pancreatic adenocarcinoma, TLR4 may be partly involved in up-regulating HIF-1α, and both synergestically promote development of pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; Toll-like receptor 4; Nuclear factor-κB p65; Hypoxia-inducible factor 1
Our previous reports demonstrated that NAC1, a BTB/POZ domain-containing nuclear protein, upregulates in recurrent ovarian serous carcinoma and participates in developing drug resistance in cancer cells. The current study applies quantitative proteomics to identify the proteins controlled by NAC1 by comparing the proteomes of SKOV3 cells with and without expression of a dominant negative NAC1 construct, N130. From the proteins that are downregulated by N130 (upregulated by NAC1), we chose to further characterize fatty acid synthase (FASN). Similar to change in protein level, the FASN transcript level in SKOV3 cells was significantly reduced by N130 induction or by NAC1 knockdown. Immunohistochemistry showed that NAC1 and FASN immunointensities in ovarian serous carcinoma tissues had a highly significant correlation (P < .0001). Moreover, we found that recurrent serous carcinomas exhibited higher FASN immunointensities than their matched primary tumors (P < .001). Multivariate analysis showed that an FASN staining score of >1 in serous carcinomas was associated with a worse overall survival time (P < .01). Finally, C93, a new FASN inhibitor, induced massive apoptosis in carboplatin/paclitaxel resistant ovarian cancer cells. In conclusion, we show that NAC1 is essential for FASN expression in ovarian serous carcinomas and the expression of FASN significantly correlates with tumor recurrence and disease aggressiveness. The dependence of drug resistant tumor cells on FASN suggests a potential application of FASN-based therapeutics for recurrent ovarian cancer patients.