Liver stem cells are thought to preside in bile ducts and the canals of Hering. They extend into the liver parenchyma at a time when normal liver cell proliferation is suppressed and liver regeneration is stimulated. In the present study 69 liver biopsies and surgically excised liver tumors were studied for the presence of liver stem cells. It was found that human cirrhotic livers and hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) frequently exhibited isolated single scattered hepatocyte stem cells within the liver parenchyma rather than in the portal tract, bile duct or the canal of Hering. These cells expressed liver stem cell markers. HCCs also contained isolated tumor cell which expressed the same stem cell markers. The markers used were GST-P, OV-6, CK-19, Oct-3/4 and FAT10. They were identified by immunofluorescent antibody staining. HGF, EGF, CK19, AIR, H19, Nanog, Oct-3/4 and FAT10 were identified by RNA-FISH. H19 is a non-coding RNA, which is expressed in most HCCs. Results: Immunohistochemistry and RNA-FISH performed on human livers identified isolated stem cells in liver parenchyma as follows: Stem cells identified by immunohistochemical markers (OV-6 and GST-P) and RNA-FISH markers (HGF, EGF, CK19 and H19) were found scattered in the liver parenchyma of cirrhotic livers and within hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs). Precirrhotic ASH or NASH all stained negative for these stem cells. In HCCs, 13 out of 15 had stem cells located within the tumor (78%). In cirrhotic livers, 12 out of 28 (37%) had liver parenchymal stem cells present. In one case of stage 3 precirrhosis, stem cells were also found. Double staining for the markers showed colocalization of the markers in stem cells. Stem cells were found in 33% of HBV, 47% of HCV, 25% of alcoholic steatohepatitis (ASH) and 17% of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The frequency of stem cells found in the different disease categories correlates with the frequency of HCC occurring in these different diseases.
Epidermal growth factor (EGF); Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF); Glutathione S-transferase placental (GST-P); O. volvulus 6 (OV-6); AIR (antisense Igf2r)
Hallmark features of type 2 diabetes mellitus include glucosuria and polyuria. Further, renal aquaporin 2 is pivotal to regulation of fluid excretion and urine osmolality. Accordingly, we tested the hypothesis that the db/db mouse displays increased glucosuria and fluid excretion but reduced urine osmolality in association with decreased renal aquaporin 2 level. In addition, we examined the effect of chromium picolinate (Cr(pic)3) which is purported to improve glycemic control. The db/db mice excreted more urine in association with marked glucose excretion but lower urine osmolality than db/m control group. Light microscopic examination of renal tissue revealed proliferation of tubular structures in db/db compared to the db/m mice, a feature validated with Ki67 immunostaining. Further, these tubules showed generally similar immunostaining intensity and pattern for aquaporin 2 indicating that proliferated tubules are of distal origin. On the other hand, renal aquaporin 2 protein level was significantly higher in the db/db than db/m group. Treatment of db/db mice with Cr(pic)3 reduced plasma glucose and hemoglobin A1c (~ 15–17%, p<0.05) and Ki67 positive cells but other parameters were similar to their untreated counterparts. Collectively, these findings suggest that proliferation of renal distal tubules and increased aquaporin 2 level likely represent an adaptive mechanism to regulate fluid excretion to prevent dehydration in the setting of marked glucosuria in the db/db mouse, features not affected by Cr(pic)3 treatment. These observations are of relevance to increasing interest in developing therapeutic agents that facilitate renal glucose elimination.
Diabetes; kidney; Glucosuria; Aquaporin 2; Ki67; Urine osmolality; Chromium picolinate
In recent years, methyl one-carbon metabolism has received a great deal of attention because the disruption of methyl balance in a variety of genetically modified mice is associated with the development of various forms of liver injury, namely fatty liverdisease and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In addition, patients with liver disease often have an abnormal expression of key genes involved in methionine metabolism as well as elevated serum levels of methionine and homocysteine (Hcy). S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) has rapidly moved from being a methyl donor to a key metabolite that regulates hepatocyte proliferation, necrosis and differentiation. Biosynthesis of SAMe occurs in all mammalian cells as the first step in methionine catabolism in a reaction catalyzed by methionine adenosyltransferase (MAT). Decreased hepatic SAMe biosynthesis is a consequence of numerous forms of chronic liver injury. In an animal model of chronic liver SAMe deficiency, the liver is predisposed to further injury and develops spontaneous steatohepatitis and HCC. SAMe treatment in experimental animal models of liver injury shows that its hepatoprotective properties. Meta-analyses also showed that it is effective in the treatment of patients with cholestatic liver diseases. We studied the survival of liver cells treated with SAMe and betaine using Hepa 1–6 and E47/C34 cell lines. We showed that exogenous SAMe decreased the number of Hepa 1–6 and E47/C34 cells, and increased the number of dead cells in vitro. Betaine had no significant effect on the number of surviving cells and the number of dead cells. The combination of both methyl donors significantly increased the survival of liver cells and reduced necrosis, compare to SAMe alone. This study showed the inhibition of the proliferatino and increased necrosis in response to SAMe on liver cancer cell lines Hepa 1–6 and C34.
Liver; Methyl donors; SAMe; Betaine; cells death; necrosis
Foreign body-type multinucleated giant cells (FBGC), formed by macrophage fusion, are a prominent cell type on implanted biomaterials, although the roles they play at these and other sites of chronic inflammation are not understood. Why lymphocytes are present in this scenario and the effects of fusing macrophages/FBGC on subsequent lymphocyte responses are also unclear. To address the physiological significance of FBGC in this regard, we employed our in vitro system of interleukin (IL)-4-induced human monocyte-derived macrophage fusion/FBGC formation. Initially, we pursued the identities of lymphocyte co-stimulatory molecules on fusing macrophages/FBGC. In addition, we further compared the FBGC phenotype to that currently associated with osteoclasts and dendritic cells using recognized markers. Immunoblotting of cell lysates and immunochemistry of macrophages/FBGC in situ, revealed that IL-4-induced macrophages/FBGC strongly express HLA-DR, CD98, B7-2 (CD86), and B7-H1 (PD-L1), but not B7-1 (CD80) or B7-H2 (B7RP-1). Furthermore, molecules currently recognized to be expressed on osteoclasts (calcitonin receptor, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase, RANK) or dendritic cells (CD1a, CD40, CD83, CD95/fas) are undetectable. In contrast, fusing macrophages/FBGC strongly express the macrophage markers αX integrin (CD11c), CD68, and dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule-3-grabbing non-integrin (DC-SIGN), whereas CD14 is completely down-modulated with IL-4-induced macrophage fusion. These novel data demonstrate that IL-4-induction of macrophage multinucleation/FBGC formation features the acquisition of a CD14-negative phenotypic profile which is distinguishable from that of dendritic cells and osteoclasts, yet potentially exhibits multiple capacities for lymphocyte interactions with resultant lymphocyte down-modulation.
Biocompatibility; chronic inflammation; lymphocyte; macrophage; multinucleated giant cell
Severed tendons can undergo regenerative healing, intrinsic tendon repair. Fibrillogenesis of chick tendon involves “collagen fibril segments” (CFS), which are the building blocks of collagen fibers that make up tendon fascicles. The CFS are 10.5 micron in length, composed of tropocollagen monomers arranged in parallel arrays. Rather than incorporating single tropocollagen molecules into growing collagen fibers, incorporating large CFS units is the mechanism for generating collagen fibers. Is intrinsic tendon repair through the reestablishment of tendon embryogenesis? Gentamicin treated 10-day-old chick embryo tendons released CFS were fluorescently tagged with Rhodamine (Rh). Organ cultured severed 14-day-old embryo tendon explants received Rh tagged CFS. At day 4 auto fluorescent tagged CFS were identified at the severed tendon ends by fluorescent microscopy. Accumulation of fluorescent tagged CFS was exclusively localized to the severed ends of tendon explants. Parallels between collagen fiber growth during embryonic fibrillogenesis and tendon repair reveal CFS incorporation is responsible for collagen fibers growth. CFS incorporation into frayed collagen fibers from severed tendons is the proposed mechanism for intrinsic tendon repair, which is an example of regenerative repair.
Collagen fibril segments; intrinsic tendon repair; organ culture; tendon healing
Antibody-mediated intracellular delivery of therapeutic agents has been considered for treatment of a variety of diseases. These approaches involve targeting cell-surface receptor proteins expressed by tumors or viral proteins expressed on infected cells. We examined the intracellular trafficking of a viral cell-surface-expressed protein, rabies G, with or without binding a specific antibody, ARG1. We found that antibody binding shifts the native intracellular trafficking pathway of rabies G in an Fc-independent manner. Kinetic studies indicate that the ARG1/rabies G complex progressively co-localized with clathrin, early endosomes, late endosomes, and lysosomes after addition to cells. This pathway was different from that taken by rabies G without addition of antibody, which localized with recycling endosomes. Findings were recapitulated using a cellular receptor with a well-defined endogenous recycling pathway. We conclude that antibody binding to cell-surface proteins induces redirection of intracellular trafficking of unbound or ligand bound receptors to a specific degradation pathway. These findings have broad implications for future developments of antibody-based therapeutics.
Endosomes; degradation; antibody; trafficking; internalization
Innate immunity factors such as conversion of the 26S proteasome to form the immunoproteasome and the Toll-like receptor signaling pathways are activated in chronic hepatitis induced by the carcinogenic drug DDC. Over time, preneoplastic hepatocyte phenotypes appear in the liver parenchyma. These changed hepatocytes expand in number because they have a growth advantage over normal hepatocytes when responding to chronic liver injury. The changed hepatocytes can be identified using immunofluorescent antibodies to preneoplastic cells e.g. FAT10/UbD, A2 macroglobulin, glutathione transpeptidase, alpha fetoprotein, glycipan 3, FAS, and gamma glutamyl transpeptidase. The formation of the preneoplastic cells occurs concomitant with activation of the Toll-like receptor signaling pathways and the transformation of the 26S proteasome to form the immunoproteasome. This transformation is in response to interferon stimulating response element on the promoter of the FAT10/UbD gene. NFκB, Erk, p38 and Jnk are also up regulated. Specific inhibitors block these responses in vitro in a mouse tumor cell line exposed to interferon gamma. Mallory-Denk bodies form in these preneoplastic cells, because of the depletion of the 26S proteasome due to formation of the immunoproteasome. Thus, MDB forming cells are also markers of the preneoplastic hepatocytes. The UbD positive preneoplastic cells regress when the liver injury induced chronic hepatitis subsides. When the drug DDC is refed to mice and chronic hepatitis is activated, the preneoplastic cell population expands and Mallory-Denk bodies rapidly reform. This response is remembered by the preneoplastic cells for at least four months indicating that an epigenetic cellular memory has formed in the preneoplastic cells. This proliferative response is prevented by feeding methyl donors such as S-adenosylmethionine or betaine. Drug feeding reduces the methylation of H3 K4, 9, and 27 and this response is prevented by feeding the methyl donors. After 8 to 15 months of drug withdrawal in mice the preneoplastic liver cells persist as single or small clusters of cells in the liver lobules. Multiple liver tumors form, some of which are hepatocellular carcinomas. The tumors immunostain positively for the same preneoplastic markers that the preneoplastic cells. Similar cells are identified in human cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma indicating the relevance of the drug model described here to the preneoplastic changes associated with human chronic hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Mallory-Denk bodies; ubiquitin D; 26S proteasome; immunoproteasome; Toll-like receptors
While the salivary gland has been recognized as an important effector site of the common mucosal immune system, a useful model for studying anti-viral salivary gland immune responses in vivo and for exploring the role of the salivary gland within the common mucosal system has been lacking. Murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) is a beta-herpesvirus that displays a strong tropism for the salivary gland and produces significant morbidity in susceptible mice when introduced by intraperitoneal (i.p.) inoculation. This study tested the hypothesis that MCMV morbidity and pathology could be reduced by injecting the virus directly the submandibular salivary gland (intraglandular (i.g.)), using either in vivo derived MCMV or the less virulent, tissue culture-derived MCMV (tcMCMV). Peak salivary gland viral titers were completely unaffected by infection route (i.p vs. i.g.) after inoculation with either MCMV or tcMCMV. However, i.g. tcMCMV inoculation reduced viremia in all systemic tissues tested compared to i.p. inoculation. Further, systemic organ pathology observed in the liver and spleen after i.p. inoculation with either MCMV or tcMCMV was completely eliminated by i.g. inoculation with tcMCMV. Cellular infiltrates in the salivary glands, after i.p. or i.g. inoculation were composed of both B and T cells, indicating the potential for a local immune response to occur in the salivary gland. These results demonstrate that a focused MCMV infection of the salivary gland without systemic organ pathology is possible using i.g. delivery of tcMCMV.
rodent; viral; MCMV; mucosa; spleen and lymph nodes; salivary gland; antibodies; mucosal immunity
Leukemia/lymphoma related factor/POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic factor (LRF/Pokemon) is a member of the POK family of proteins that promotes oncogenesis in several forms of cancer. Recently, we found higher LRF expression in human breast and prostate carcinomas compared to the corresponding normal tissues. The aim of this study was to examine the regulation of LRF expression in human prostate cells. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) and its receptors mediate several tumorigenic cascades that regulate cell differentiation, proliferation, migration and survival of prostate cancer cells. There was significantly higher level of LRF expression in the nucleus of LNCaP and PC-3 cells than RWPE-1 cells. A significant increase in LRF expression was observed with increasing doses of EGF in more aggressive and androgen-sensitive prostate cancer cells suggesting that EGF signaling pathway is critical in upregulating the expression of LRF/Pokemon to promote oncogenesis.
prostate cancer; Pokemon; EGF; LRF; ZBTB7
Blood alcohol levels (BAL) cycle up and down over a 7–8 day period when ethanol is fed continuously for one month in the intragastric tube feeding rat model (ITFRM) of alcoholic liver disease. The cycling phenomenon is due to an alternating increase and decrease in the metabolic rate. Recently, we found that S-adenosyl-methionine (SAMe) fed with alcohol prevented the BAL cycle.
Using the ITFRM we fed rats betaine (2 g/kg/day) with ethanol for 1 month and recorded the daily 24 h urine ethanol level (UAL) to measure the BAL cycle. UAL is equivalent to BAL because of the constant ethanol infusion. Liver histology, steatosis and BAL were measured terminally after 1 month of treatment. Microarray analysis was done on the mRNA extracted from the liver to determine the effects of betaine and alcohol on changes in gene expression.
Betaine fed with ethanol completely prevented the BAL cycle similar to SAMe. Betaine also significantly reduced the BAL compared to ethanol fed rats without betaine. This was also observed when SAMe was fed with ethanol. The mechanism involved in both cases is that SAMe is required for the conversion of epinephrine from norepinephrine by phenylethanolamine methyltransferase (PNMT). Epinephrine is 5 to 10 fold more potent than norepinephrine in increasing the metabolic rate. The increase in the metabolic rate generates NAD, permitting ADH to increase the oxidation of alcohol. NAD is the rate limiting factor in oxidation of alcohol by alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). This explains how SAMe and betaine prevented the cycle. Microarray analysis showed that betaine feeding prevented the up regulation of a large number of genes including TLR2/4, Il-1b, Jax3, Sirt3, Fas, Ifngr1, Tgfgr2, Tnfrsf21, Lbp and Stat 3 which could explain how betaine prevented fatty liver.
Betaine feeding lowers the BAL and prevents the BAL cycle by increasing the metabolic rate. This increases the rate of ethanol elimination by generating NAD.
S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe); Betaine; Blood Alcohol Cycle (BAL); Microarray Analysis; NAD
The proteasome interacts with a large number of proteins which regulate specific cellular functions. The focus of this study is to examine the proteasome interaction with Delta aminolevulinate dehydratase (ALAD). ALAD is involved in the heme biosynthesis pathway and was co-isolated, with the 20S proteasome using several chromatographic purification steps. The MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry analysis identified this proteasome co-isolated protein as ALAD. When the proteasome was isolated using density-gradient centrifugation, ALAD was also found in the 26S proteasome fractions. It co-isolated with the 20S more than with the 26S proteasome. Furthermore, immunoprecipitated ALAD stained positive with antibodies to proteasome subunits. These results indicate that ALAD might interact with the proteasome. It is possible that ALAD is involved in modulating proteasome activity. When purified proteasomes were incubated with ALAD it was found that ALAD changes proteasome activity in a dose dependent manner. This indicates that ALAD may play a significant role in regulating proteasome activity. The data supports the hypothesis that ALAD, an important enzyme for heme synthesis, is also important as a proteasome interacting protein.
Proteasome- interacting-proteins; PIPs; ALAD
Voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels play an important role in the regulation of growth factor-induced cell proliferation. We have previously shown that cell cycle activation is induced in oligodendrocytes (OLGs) by complement C5b-9, but the role of Kv channels in these cells had not been investigated. Differentiated OLGs were found to express Kv1.4 channels, but little Kv1.3. Exposure of OLGs to C5b-9 modulated Kv1.3 functional channels and increased protein expression, whereas C5b6 had no effect. Pretreatment with the recombinant scorpion toxin rOsK-1, a specific Kv1.3 inhibitor, blocked the expression of Kv1.3 induced by C5b-9. rOsK-1 inhibited Akt phosphorylation and activation by C5b-9 but had no effect on ERK1 activation. These data strongly suggest a role for Kv1.3 in controlling the Akt activation induced by C5b-9. Since Akt plays a major role in C5b-9-induced cell cycle activation, we also investigated the effect of inhibiting Kv1.3 channels on DNA synthesis. rOsK-1 significantly inhibited the DNA synthesis induced by C5b-9 in OLG, indicating that Kv1.3 plays an important role in the C5b-9-induced cell cycle. In addition, C5b-9-mediated myelin basic protein and proteolipid protein mRNA decay was completely abrogated by inhibition of Kv1.3 expression. In the brains of multiple sclerosis patients, C5b-9 co-localized with NG2+ OLG progenitor cells that expressed Kv1.3 channels. Taken together, these data suggest that Kv1.3 channels play an important role in controlling C5b-9-induced cell cycle activation and OLG dedifferentiation, both in vitro and in vivo.
Voltage-gated potassium channels; Oligodendrocyte; Complement activation; C5b-9; Multiple sclerosis
As with other herpesviruses, human cytomegalovirus (hCMV) has the ability to establish lifelong persistence and latent infection following primary exposure, salivary glands (SMGs) being the primary site of both. In the immunocompromised patient, hCMV is a common cause of opportunistic infections, and subsequent morbidity and mortality. Elucidating the molecular pathogenesis of CMV-induced disease is critical to the development of more effective and safer drug therapies. In the present study, we used a novel mouse postnatal SMG organ culture model of mCMV-induced dysplasia to investigate a candidate signaling network suggested by our prior studies (COX-2/AREG/EGFR/ERK). The objective was to employ small molecule inhibitors to target several key steps in the autocrine loop, and in this way ameliorate pathology. Our results indicate that upregulation of ERK phosphorylation is necessary for initial mCMV-induced pathogenesis, and that ErbB receptor family phosphorylation and downstream signaling are highly relevant targets for drug discovery.
cytomegalovirus; CMV-induced pathology; COX-2; Amphiregulin; EGF receptor; ERK
Glioblastoma multiforme (grade IV astrocytoma) is a highly malignant brain tumor with poor treatment options and an average lifespan of 15 months after diagnosis. Previous work has demonstrated that BST2 (bone marrow stromal cell antigen 2; also known as PDCA-1, CD137 and HM1.24) is expressed by multiple myeloma, endometrial cancer and primary lung cancer cells. BST2 is expressed on the plasma membrane, which makes it an ideal target for immunotherapy. Accordingly, several groups have shown BST2 mAb to be effective for targeting tumor cells. In this report, we hypothesized that BST2 is expressed in human and mouse brain tumors and plays a critical role in brain tumor progression. We show that BST2 mRNA expression is increased in mouse brain IC-injected with GL261 cells, when compared to mouse brain IC-injected with saline at 3 weeks post-operative (p < 0.05). To test the relevance of BST2, we utilized the intracranially (IC)-injected GL261 cell-based malignant brain tumor mouse model. We show that BST2 mRNA expression is increased in mouse brain IC-injected GL261 cells, when compared to mouse brain IC-injected saline at 3 weeks post-operative (p < 0.05). Furthermore, BST2 immunofluorescence predominantly localized to mouse brain tumor cells. Finally, mice IC-injected with GL261 cells transduced with shRNA for BST2 ± pre-incubation with BST2 mAb show no difference in overall lifespan when compared to mice IC-injected with GL261 cells transduced with a scrambled shRNA ± pre-incubation with BST2 mAb. Collectively, these data show that while BST2 expression increases during brain tumor progression in both human and mouse brain tumors, it has no apparent consequences to overall lifespan in an orthotopic mouse brain tumor model.
BST2; glioma; glioblastoma; immunotherapy; gene therapy
Open wound contraction necessitates cells and connective tissue interactions, that produce tension. Investigating fibroblasts responses to tension utilizes collagen coated polyacrylamide gels with differences in stiffness. Human foreskin fibroblasts were plated on native type I collagen-coated polyacrylamide gels coverslips with different rigidities, which was controlled by bis-acrylamide concentrations. Changes in alpha smooth muscle actin (αSMA), α2β1 integrin (CD49B) and αvβ3 integrin (CD-51) were documented by Immuno-histology and Western blot analysis. Cells plated on rigid gels were longer, expressed αvβ3 integrin and αSMA within cytoplasmic stress fibers. In contrast, cells on flexible gels were shorter, expressed α2β1 integrin and had fine cytoskeletal microfilaments without αSMA. Increased tension changed the actin makeup of the cytoskeleton and the integrin expressed on the cell’s surface. These in vitro findings are in agreement with the tension buildup as an open wound closes by wound contraction. It supports the notion cells under minimal tension in early granulation tissue express α2β1 integrin, required for organizing fine collagen fibrils into thick collagen fibers. Thicker fibers create a rigid matrix, generating more tension. With increased tension cytoskeletal stress fibers develop that contain αSMA and αvβ3 integrin replaces α2β1 integrin, consistent with cell switching from collagen to non-collagen proteins interactions.
Myofibroblast; Tension; Polyacylamide gel; Collagen; Integrin; α Smooth Muscle Actin
The growth and differentiation of cells is regulated by cytokines by binding to cell-surface receptors and activating intracellular signal transduction cascade. Suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)-3 is a negative regulator of cytokines. In this study we examined the expression of SOCS3 in porcine coronary artery smooth muscle cells (PCASMCs) in vitro and in proliferating smooth muscle cells of neointimal lesions after coronary artery intervention in a swine model.
Methods and Results
PCASMCs were cultured and stimulated with TNF-α and/or IGF-1 individually or in combination. Protein expression of SOCS-3 was examined using Western blot. For in vivo studies, six female Yucatan miniswine were fed with special high cholesterol diet for 8 months. At 4 months of high cholesterol diet, animals underwent coronary balloon angioplasty. At the end of 8 months animals were euthanized, coronary arteries were isolated and morphological and histological studies were performed. Western blot data revealed significantly high SOCS-3 expression in PCASMCs in the presence of either TNF-α or IGF-1 (5–6 fold) alone. However, in the presence of both TNF-α and IGF-1 the SOCS-3 expression was significantly decreased (4–5 fold). Results from morphological studies including, H&E and Masson’s trichrome stain showed typical lesions with significant neointimal proliferation. Histological evaluation showed expression of smooth muscle α-actin and significantly increased proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in neointimal lesion. Interestingly, there was significantly decreased expression of SOCS3 in smooth muscle cells of neointima as compared to control.
These data suggest that SOCS3 expression is decreased in proliferating smooth muscle cells of neointimal lesions. This leads to uncontrolled growth of vascular smooth muscle cells in injured arteries leading to restenosis. Therefore, local delivery of SOCS3 gene at the site of injury after coronary artery intervention could regulate the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells and help in preventing the neointimal hyperplasia and restenosis.
Angioplasty; Coronary Intervention; Inflammation; Intimal Hyperplasia; Restenosis; Suppressor of cytokine signaling-3
Recently it has been shown that the expression of the immunoproteasome increased in proportion to the degree of chronic inflammation in both the liver cell cytoplasm and nuclei in liver biopsies from patients who had chronic active hepatitis or cirrhosis. In the present study, biopsies from patients with steatohepatitis, with or without Mallory-Denk body (MDB) formation, were studied by immunofluorescent staining. Normal liver showed colocalization of FAT10, LMP2, LMP7, and MECL-1 at the mitochondria. Only LMP2 and LMP7 were found in the cell nuclei. Liver biopsies from patients with steatohepatitis and MDB formation, and a case of hepatocellular carcinoma forming MDBs in the tumor cells, showed colocalization of FAT10 and ubiquitin with LMP2, LMP7 and MECL-1 within the MDB. This indicates involvement of the immunoproteasome in MDB formation in steatohepatitis cases and in a case of HCC forming MDBs. Prior studies have shown that the immunoproteasome was involved in drug-induced MDB formation using the same immunofluorescent colocalization approach as was used on these human liver biopsies. The increase in the immunoproteasome subunit proteins was made at the expense of the 26S proteasome. This indicates that the shift from the 26S to the immunoproteasome had occurred in the MDB positive hepatocytes.
Mallory-Denk bodies (MDB); Immunoproteasome; FAT10; LMP2; LMP7; MECL-1; mitochondria
Cytokines released by the immune cells at the site of plaque milieu induce smooth muscle cell apoptosis to promote plaque instability. But, neuropeptide Y (NPY), a pleotropic factor, may modulate the effects of cytokines in atherosclerotic plaques of patients with carotid stenosis. Our aim was to investigate the relative expression of NPY-Y1, NPY-Y2 and NPY-Y5 receptors on carotid plaque vascular smooth muscle cells (pVSMCs) of symptomatic (S) and asymptomatic (AS) patients and examine the effect of inflammatory cytokines on the expression of NPY receptors, that may attenuate plaque rupture.
Methods and Results
In healthy carotid artery, there was significantly increased immunopositivity and increased mRNA transcripts of NPY-Y1 and NPY-Y5 receptors in thin sections and isolated VSMCs, respectively, compared to S and AS plaques. However, the NPY-Y2 expression was higher in S and AS pVSMCs than controls. Stimulation of the cells with TNF-α, IL-12 or IFN-γ (50 ng/ml) decreased mRNA transcripts of NPY-Y1 and NPY-Y5 and increased NPY-Y2 mRNAs in VSMCs of healthy carotid artery. The effect of the cytokines on mRNA transcripts of NPY-Y5 and NPY-Y2 in pVSMCs of S and AS patients was similar to healthy VSMCs, but with variable effect on NPY-Y1.
Increased expression of NPY-Y2 receptors in symptomatic pVSMCs than in healthy and asymptomatic subjects suggests a potential role of NPY-Y2 in plaque instability. This is further supported by the pronounced effect of atheroma-associated cytokines to increase NPY-Y2 mRNA transcripts in pVSMCs of patients with carotid stenosis.
Atheromatous cytokines; Atherosclerosis; Carotid plaque; Carotid stenosis; Neuropeptide Y; Smooth muscle cells
Toll-like receptors (TLR) play a role in mediating the proinflammatory response, fibrogenesis and carcinogenesis in chronic liver diseases such as alcoholic liver disease, non-alcoholic liver disease, hepatitis C and hepatocellular carcinoma. This is true in experimental models of these diseases. For this reason, we investigated the TLR proinflammatory response in the chronic intragastric tube feeding rat model of alcohol liver disease. The methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine was also fed to prevent the gene expression changes induced by ethanol. Ethanol feeding tended to increase the up regulation of the gene expression of TLR2 and TLR4. SAMe feeding prevented this. TLR4 and MyD88 protein levels were significantly increased by ethanol and this was prevented by SAMe. This is the first report where ethanol feeding induced TLR2 and SAMe prevented the induction by ethanol. CD34, FOS, interferon responsive factor 1 (IRF-1), Jun, TLR 1,2,3,4,6 and 7 and Traf-6 were found to be up regulated as seen by microarray analysis where rats were sacrified at high blood alcohol levels compared to pair fed controls. Il-6, IL-10 and IFNγ were also up regulated by high blood levels of ethanol. The gene expression of CD14, MyD88 and TNFR1SF1 were not up regulated by ethanol but were down regulated by SAMe. The gene expression of IL-1R1 and IRF1 tended to be up regulated by ethanol and this was prevented by feeding SAMe. The results suggest that SAMe, fed chronically prevents activation of TLR pathways caused by ethanol. In this way the proinflammatory response, fibrogenesis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma formation due to alcohol liver disease could be prevented by SAMe.
Toll-like receptor (TLR); S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe); alcoholic liver disease (ASH)
Angiocidin, a tumor-associated peptide, has been previously shown to inhibit tumor progression by blocking angiogenesis. We now show that angiocidin has a direct inhibitory effect on tumor cell proliferation. MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells were inhibited from proliferating in the presence of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and angiocidin. Angiocidin transfected breast cancer cells also displayed growth inhibition in vitro and failed to develop significant tumors in mice as compared to vector controls. The anti-proliferative effect of angiocidin was reversed by treating the cells with the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor 4557W, a potent tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Consistent with these results, we found that treatment of breast cancer cells with angiocidin induced a 2.3 fold increase in EGFR tyrosine 845 phosphorylation while no change in phosphorylation was observed in the remaining 16 phosphorylation sites of EGFR and those of its family members as measured by a human EGFR phosphorylation array. Treatment of breast cancer cells with angiocidin also resulted in the activation of nuclear factor κB (Nf-κB) and the de novo up-regulation of many down-stream genes transcribed by Nf-κB, including cytokines, inflammatory mediators and the cell cycle inhibitor p21waf1. Therefore, angiocidin is a peptide that not only inhibits tumor angiogenesis but directly induces inhibition of tumor growth progression through the activation of EGFR and down-stream genes transcribed by Nf-κB.
Angiocidin; breast cancer; proliferation; Nf-κB pathway; cytokines; EGFR
Approximately 2 % of the human genome is reported to be occupied by genes. Various forms of repetitive elements (REs), both characterized and uncharacterized, are presumed to make up the vast majority of the rest of the genomes of human and other species. In conjunction with a comprehensive annotation of genes, information regarding components of genome biology, such as gene polymorphisms, non-coding RNAs, and certain REs, are found in human genome databases. However, the genome-wide profile of unique RE arrangements formed by different groups of REs has not been fully characterized yet. In this study, the entire human genome was subjected to an unbiased RE survey to establish a whole-genome profile of REs and their arrangements. Due to the limitation in query size within the bl2seq alignment program (National Center for Biotechnology Information [NCBI]) utilized for the RE survey, the entire NCBI reference human genome was fragmented into 6,206 units of 0.5 M nucleotides. A number of RE arrangements with varying complexities and patterns were identified throughout the genome. Each chromosome had unique profiles of RE arrangements and density, and high levels of RE density were measured near the centromere regions. Subsequently, 175 complex RE arrangements, which were selected throughout the genome, were subjected to a comparison analysis using five different human genome sequences. Interestingly, three of the five human genome databases shared the exactly same arrangement patterns and sequences for all 175 RE arrangement regions (a total of 12,765,625 nucleotides). The findings from this study demonstrate that a substantial fraction of REs in the human genome are clustered into various forms of ordered structures. Further investigations are needed to examine whether some of these ordered RE arrangements contribute to the human pathobiology as a functional genome unit.
repetitive element; arrangement; density; human genome
Estrogen is the leading etiologic factor for endometrial cancer. Estrogen-induced proliferation of endometrial epithelial cells normally requires paracrine growth factors produced by stromal cells. Epidemiologic evidence indicates that dietary soy prevents endometrial cancer, and implicates the phytoestrogen genistein in this effect. However, results from previous studies are conflicting regarding the effects of genistein on hormone responsive cancers.
The effects of estrogen and genistein on proliferation of Ishikawa (IK) endometrial adenocarcinoma cells were examined in co-cultures of IK cells with endometrial stromal cells, recapitulating the heterotypic cell-to-cell interactions observed in vivo. The roles of estrogen receptor (ER)α and ERβ were evaluated using ERα and ERβ specific agonists. ER activation and cell proliferation in the IK epithelial cells were determined by alkaline phosphatase assay and Coulter counter enumeration, respectively.
Both estrogen and genistein increased estrogen receptor-induced gene activity in IK cells over a range of concentrations. Estrogen alone but not genistein increased IK proliferation in co-cultures. When primed by estrogen treatment increasing concentrations of genistein produced a biphasic effect on IK proliferation: nM concentrations inhibited estrogen-induced proliferation while µM concentrations increased proliferation. Studies with an ERβ-specific agonist produced similar results. Genistein did not influence the effects of estrogen on IK proliferation in monoculture.
Our study indicates that nutritionally relevant concentrations (nM) of genistein inhibit the proliferative effects of estrogen on endometrial adenocarcinoma cells presumably through activation of stromal cell ERβ. We believe that sub-micromolar concentrations of genistein may represent a novel adjuvant for endometrial cancer treatment and prevention.
Genistein; Endometrium; Co-culture; Ishikawa; Stromal cell; Estrogen receptor
There is a need for a nontoxic antioxidant agent to be identified which will prevent alcoholic liver disease (ALD) in alcoholic patients. We tested 4 candidate agents: quercetin, EGCG, catechin and betaine, all of which occur naturally in food. HepG2 cells over expressing CYP2E1 were subjected to arachidonic acid, iron and 100 mM ethanol with or without the antioxidant agent. All the agents prevented oxidative stress and MDA/4HNE formation induced by ethanol, except for EGCG. Catechin prevented CYP2E1 induction by ethanol. All the agents tended to down regulate the ethanol-induced increased expression of glutathionine peroxidase 4 (GPX4). All the agents, except catechin, tended to reduce the expression of SOD2 induced by ethanol. Heat shock protein 70 was up regulated by ethanol alone and betaine tended to prevent this. All 4 agents down regulated the expression of Gadd45b in the presence of ethanol, which could explain the mechanism of DNA demethylation associated with the up regulation of the gene expression observed in experimental ALD. In conclusion, the in vitro model of oxidative stress induced by ethanol provided evidence that all 4 agents tested prevented some aspect of liver cell injury caused by ethanol.
Catechin; EGCG; Quercetin; Betaine; Oxidative Stress
Zinc finger protein 267 (ZNF267) belongs to the family of Kruppel-like transcription factors, which regulates diverse biological processes that include development, proliferation, and differentiation. We have previously demonstrated that ZNF267 mRNA is up-regulated in liver cirrhosis, which is the main risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Here, we analyzed the expression of ZNF267 in human HCC cells and tissue specimens and found a significant up-regulation compared to primary human hepatocytes and corresponding non-tumorous liver tissue. Over-expression of the transcription factor Ets-1 further enhanced ZNF267 expression, and reporter gene assays revealed that mutation of the Ets-1 binding site to the ZNF267 promotor markedly inhibited ZNF267 promotor activity. Hypoxic conditions induced Ets-1 in HCC cells via HIF1alpha activation, and hypoxia induced ZNF267 expression while HIF1alpha inhibition significantly reduced both hypoxia-induced as well as basal ZNF267 expression in HCC cells. It is known that hypoxic conditions in tumorous tissues induce the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and ROS have been identified as important factor in the regulation of Ets-1 expression in tumor cells. Here, we found that ROS induction induced and ROS scavenging reduced ZNF267 expression in HCC cells, respectively. Loss and gain of function analysis applying siRNA directed against ZNF267 or transient transfection revealed that ZNF267 promotes proliferation and migration of HCC cells in vitro. These findings indicate Ets-1 and HIF1alpha as critical regulators of basal and hypoxia- or ROS-induced ZNF267 expression in HCC, and further suggest that the pro-tumorigenic effect of these factors is at least in part mediated via increased ZNF267 expression in HCC. Since ZNF267 is already elevated in cirrhosis, ZNF267 appears as promising target for both prevention as well as treatment of HCC in patients with chronic liver disease.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; ZNF267; Kruppel-like factor