Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an intractable tumor of the peritoneal and pleural cavities primarily linked to exposure to asbestos. Recently, we described an interplay between mitochondrial-derived oxidants and expression of FOXM1, a redox-responsive transcription factor that has emerged as a promising therapeutic target in solid malignancies. Here we have investigated the effects of nitroxides targeted to mitochondria via triphenylphosphonium (TPP) moieties on mitochondrial oxidant production, expression of FOXM1 and peroxiredoxin 3 (PRX3), and cell viability in MM cells in culture. Both Mito-carboxy-proxyl (MCP) and Mito-TEMPOL (MT) caused dose-dependent increases in mitochondrial oxidant production that was accompanied by inhibition of expression of FOXM1 and PRX3 and loss of cell viability. At equivalent concentrations TPP, CP, and TEMPOL had no effect on these endpoints. Live cell ratiometric imaging with a redox-responsive green fluorescent protein targeted to mitochondria (mito-roGFP) showed that MCP and MT, but not CP, TEMPOL, or TPP, rapidly induced mitochondrial fragmentation and swelling, morphological transitions that were associated with diminished ATP levels and increased production of mitochondrial oxidants. Mdivi-1, an inhibitor of mitochondrial fission, did not rescue mitochondria from fragmentation by MCP. Immunofluorescence microscopy experiments indicate a fraction of FOXM1 coexists in the cytoplasm with mitochondrial PRX3. Our results indicate that MCP and MT inhibit FOXM1 expression and MM tumor cell viability via perturbations in redox homeostasis caused by marked disruption of mitochondrial architecture, and suggest that both compounds, either alone or in combination with thiostrepton or other agents, may provide credible therapeutic options for the management of MM.
Tobacco smoking is associated with many diseases. Addiction is of the most notorious tobacco-related syndrome and is majorly attributed to nicotine. In this study, we employed C. elegans as a biological model to systemically investigate the effect of chronic nicotine exposure on microRNA (miRNA) expression profile and their regulated biochemical pathways. Nicotine treatment (20μM and 20mM) was limited to the post-embryonic stage from L1–L4 (~31 hours) period after which worms were collected for genome-wide miRNA profiling. Our results show that nicotine significantly altered the expression patterns of 40 miRNAs. The effect was proportional to the nicotine dose and was expected to have an additive, more robust response. Based on pathway enrichment analyses coupled with nicotine-induced miRNA patterns, we inferred that miRNAs as a system mediates “regulatory hormesis”, manifested in biphasic behavioral and physiological phenotypes. We proposed a model where nicotine addiction is mediated by miRNAs’ regulation of fos-1 and is maintained by epigenetic factors. Thus, our study offers new insights for a better understanding of the sensitivity of early developmental stages to nicotine.
nicotine; miRNA; C. elegans; dose-dependent; redundancy; addiction; regulatory hormesis; biphasic response; post-embryonic exposure
Bovine lactoferricin (LfcinB) is a multi-functional peptide derived from proteolytic cleavage of bovine lactoferrin. LfcinB was found to antagonize the biological effects mediated by angiogenic growth factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) in endothelial cells. However, the effect of LfcinB on human articular cartilage remained unknown. Here, our findings demonstrate that LfcinB restored the proteoglycan loss promoted by catabolic factors (interleukin-1 β) IL-1β and FGF-2 in vitro and ex vivo. Mechanistically, LfcinB attenuated the effects of IL-1β and FGF-2 on the expression of cartilage-degrading enzymes (MMP-1, MMP-3, and MMP-13), destructive cytokines (IL-1β and IL-6), and inflammatory mediators (iNOS and TLR2). LfcinB induced protective cytokine expression (IL-4 and IL-10), and downregulated aggrecanase basal expression. LfcinB specifically activated ERK MAPK and Akt signaling pathways, which may account for its anti-inflammatory activity. We also revealed that LfcinB exerted similar protective effects on human synovial fibroblasts challenged by IL-1β, with minimal cytotoxicity. Collectively, our results suggest that LfcinB possesses potent anti-catabolic and anti-inflammatory bioactivities in human articular tissues, and may be utilized for the prevention and/or treatment of OA in the future.
Lactoferricin; Cartilage; Synovium; Osteoarthritis
Most of the DNA in eukaryotes is packaged in tandemly arrayed nucleosomes that, together with numerous DNA- and nucleosome-associated enzymes and regulatory factors, make up chromatin. Chromatin modifying and remodeling agents help regulate access to selected DNA segments in chromatin, thereby facilitating transcription and DNA replication and repair. Studies of nucleotide excision repair (NER), single strand break repair (SSBR), and the homology-directed (HDR) and non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) double strand break repair pathways have led to an ‘access-repair-restore’ paradigm, in which chromatin in the vicinity of damaged DNA is disrupted, thereby enabling efficient repair and the subsequent repackaging of DNA into nucleosomes. When damage is extensive, these repair processes are accompanied by cell cycle checkpoint activation, which provides cells with sufficient time to either complete the repair or initiate apoptosis. It is not clear, however, if base excision repair (BER) of the ~20,000 or more oxidative DNA damages that occur daily in each nucleated human cell can be viewed through this same lens. Until recently, we did not know if BER requires or is accompanied by nucleosome disruption, and it is not yet clear that anything short of overwhelming oxidative damage (resulting in the shunting of DNA substrates into other repair pathways) results in checkpoint activation. This review highlights studies of how oxidatively damaged DNA in nucleosomes is discovered and repaired, and offers a working model of events associated with BER in chromatin that we hope will have heuristic value.
Bone abnormalities are frequent co-morbidities of type 1 diabetes [T1D] and are principally mediated by osteoblasts and osteoclasts which in turn are regulated by immunologic mediators. While decreased skeletal health in T1D involves alterations in osteoblast maturation and function, the affect of altered immune function on osteoclasts in T1D-associated bone and joint pathologies is less understood. Here T1D-associated osteoclast-specific differentiation and function in the presence and absence of inflammatory mediators was characterized utilizing bone marrow-derived osteoclasts [BM-OCs] isolated from non-obese diabetic [NOD] mice, a model for spontaneous autoimmune diabetes with pathology similar to individuals with T1D. Differentiation and osteoclast-mediated bone resorption were evaluated along with cathepsin K, MMP-9, and immune soluble mediator expression. The affect of LPS, a pro-inflammatory cytokine cocktail, and NOD-derived conditioned supernatants on BM-OC function was also determined. Although NOD BM-OCs cultures contained smaller osteoclasts, they resorbed more bone concomitant with increased cathepsin K, MMP-9 and pro-osteoclastogenic mediator expression. NOD BM-OCs also displayed an inhibition of LPS-induced deactivation that was not a result of soluble mediators produced by NOD BM-OCs, although a pro-inflammatory milieu did enhance NOD BM-OCs bone resorption. Together these data indicate that osteoclasts from a T1D mouse model hyper-respond to RANK-L resulting in excessive bone degradation via enhanced cathepsin K and MMP-9 secretion concomitant with an increased expression of pro-osteoclastic soluble mediators. Our data also suggest that inhibition of LPS-induced deactivation in NOD-derived BM-OC cultures is most likely due to NOD osteoclast responsiveness rather than LPS-induced expression of soluble mediators.
Osteoclasts; Type 1 Diabetes; Bone Resorption; Inflammatory Mediators; LPS
We have previously shown that retinoic acid (RA) has protective effects on high glucose (HG)-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis. To further elucidate the molecular mechanisms of RA effects, we determined the interaction between nuclear factor (NF)-κB and RA signaling. HG induced a sustained phosphorylation of IKK/IκBα and transcriptional activation of NF-κB in cardiomyocytes. Activated NF-κB signaling has an important role in HG-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis and gene expression of interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1). All-trans RA (ATRA) and LGD1069, through activation of RAR/RXR-mediated signaling, inhibited the HG-mediated effects in cardiomyocytes. The inhibitory effect of RA on NF-κB activation was mediated through inhibition of IKK/IκBα phosphorylation. ATRA and LGD1069 treatment promoted protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) activity, which was significantly suppressed by HG stimulation. The RA effects on IKK and IκBα were blocked by okadaic acid or silencing the expression of PP2Ac-subunit, indicating that the inhibitory effect of RA on NF-κB is regulated through activation of PP2A and subsequent dephosphorylation of IKK/IκBα. Moreover, ATRA and LGD1069 reversed the decreased PP2A activity and inhibited the activation of IKK/IκBα and gene expression of MCP-1, IL-6 and TNF-α in the hearts of Zucker diabetic fatty rats. In summary, our findings suggest that the suppressed activation of PP2A contributed to sustained activation of NF-κB in HG-stimulated cardiomyocytes; and that the protective effect of RA on hyperglycemia-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis and inflammatory responses is partially regulated through activation of PP2A and suppression of NF-κB-mediated signaling and downstream targets.
High Glucose; Retinoic Acid; Cardiomyocytes; Apoptosis; NF-κB signaling
Repeated bacterial and viral infections are known to contribute to worsening lung function in several respiratory diseases, including asthma, cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Previous studies have reported alveolar wall cell apoptosis and parenchymal damage in adult pulmonary VEGF gene ablated mice. We hypothesized that VEGF expressed by type II cells is also necessary to provide an effective host defense against bacteria in part by maintaining surfactant homeostasis. Therefore, Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PAO1) levels were evaluated in mice following lung-targeted VEGF gene inactivation, and alterations in VEGF-dependent type II cell function were evaluated by measuring surfactant homeostasis in mouse lungs and isolated type II cells. In VEGF-deficient lungs increased PAO1 levels and pro-inflammatory cytokines, TNFα and IL-6, were detected 24 hours after bacterial instillation compared to control lungs. In vivo lung-targeted VEGF gene deletion (57% decrease in total pulmonary VEGF) did not alter alveolar surfactant or tissue disaturated phosphatidylcholine (DSPC) levels. However, sphingomyelin content, choline phosphate cytidylyltransferase (CCT) mRNA and SP-D expression were decreased. In isolated type II cells an 80% reduction of VEGF protein resulted in decreases in total phospholipids (PL), DSPC, DSPC synthesis, surfactant associated proteins (SP)-B and -D, and the lipid transporters, ABCA1 and Rab3D. TPA-induced DSPC secretion and apoptosis were elevated in VEGF-deficient type II cells. These results suggest a potential protective role for type II cell-expressed VEGF against bacterial initiated infection.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Surfactant; TNFα; ABCA1; apoptosis
Human pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMC) were isolated from elastic pulmonary arteries dissected from lungs of individuals with and without pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Reflecting increased smooth muscle constriction in cells from PAH subject, Ca2+ influx in response to endothelin-1 (ET-1) increased in all the PAH PASMC populations relative to the normal donor control cells. The ETA receptor mRNA levels remained unchanged, whereas the ETB receptor mRNA levels decreased in both heritable and idiopathic PAH derived PASMC. All the PASMC populations expressed considerably higher ETA compared to ETB receptor number. Both ETA and ETB receptor numbers were reduced in bone morphogenetic protein receptor type II (BMPR2) mutation PAH. ETB receptors showed a particular reduction in number. Phospho-antibody array analysis of normal and BMPR2 deletion PASMC illustrated ERK and Akt activation to be the most prominent and to be taking place principally through ETB receptors in normal PASMC, but primarily through ETA receptors in PASMC from BMPR2 PAH subjects. Additionally in the PAH cells the total relative ET-1 signal response was markedly reduced. Western analysis from the BMPR2 PASMC duplicated the array results whereas PASMC from iPAH subjects showed variability with most samples continuing to signal through ETB. In sum, these results indicate that generally both receptors are reduced in PAH particularly ETB, and that ETB signaling through protein kinases becomes markedly reduced in BMPR2 PASMC while it continues in IPAH. Importantly the data suggest that caution must be taken when applying ET-1 receptor antagonist therapy to PAH patients.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension; Endothelin receptors; Bone morphogenic protein receptor 2 (BMPR2); Pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMC); Phospho-protein array
Progenitor cells for the endothelial lineage have been widely investigated for more than a decade, but continue to be controversial since no unique identifying marker has yet been identified. This review will begin with a discussion of the basic tenets originally proposed for proof that a cell displays properties of an endothelial progenitor cell. We then provide an overview of the methods for putative endothelial progenitor cell derivation, expansion, and enumeration. This discussion includes consideration of cells that are present in the circulation as well as cells resident in the vascular endothelial intima. Finally, we provide some suggested changes in nomenclature that would greatly clarify and demystify the cellular elements involved in vascular repair.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the deadliest forms of human liver cancer and does not respond well to conventional therapies. Novel effective treatments are urgently in need. G-protein-coupled kinase 2 (GRK2) is unique serine/threonine kinase that involves in many signaling pathways and regulates various essential cellular processes. Altered levels of GRK2 have been linked with several human diseases including cancer. In this study, we investigated a novel approach for HCC treatment by inducing overexpression of GRK2 in human HCC cells. We found that overexpression of GRK2 through recombinant adenovirus transduction inhibits the growth of human HCC cells. BrdU incorporation assay showed that the growth inhibition caused by elevated GRK2 level was due to reduced cell proliferation but not apoptosis. To examine the anti-proliferative function of increased GRK2 level, we performed cell cycle analysis using propidium iodide staining. We found that the proliferation suppression was associated with G2/M phase cell cycle arrest by the wild-type GRK2 but not its kinase-dead K220R mutant. Furthermore, increased levels of wild-type GRK2 induced upregulation of phosphor-Ser15 p53 and cyclin B1 in a dose-dependent manner. Our data indicate that the anti-proliferative function of elevated GRK2 is associated with delayed cell cycle progression and is GRK2 kinase activity-dependent. Enforced expression of GRK2 in human HCC by molecular delivery may offer a potential therapeutic approach for the treatment of human liver cancer.
Hepatocytes are epithelial cells whose apical poles constitute the bile canaliculi. The establishment and maintenance of canalicular poles is a finely regulated process that dictates the efficiency of primary bile secretion. Protein kinase A (PKA) modulates this process at different levels. AKAP350 is an A-kinase anchoring protein that scaffolds protein complexes involved in modulating the dynamic structures of the Golgi apparatus and microtubule cytoskeleton, facilitating microtubule nucleation at this organelle. In this study, we evaluated whether AKAP350 is involved in the development of bile canaliculi-like structures in hepatocyte derived HepG2 cells. We found that AKAP350 recruits PKA to the centrosomes and Golgi apparatus in HepG2 cells. De-localization of AKAP350 from these organelles led to reduced apical cell polarization. A decrease in AKAP350 expression inhibited the formation of canalicular structures and impaired F-actin organization at canalicular poles. Furthermore, loss of AKAP350 expression led to diminished polarized expression of the p-glycoprotein (MDR1/ABCB1) at the apical “canalicular” membrane. AKAP350 knock down effects on canalicular structures formation and actin organization could be mimicked by inhibition of Golgi microtubule nucleation by depletion of CLIP associated proteins (CLASPs). Our data reveal that AKAP350 participates in mechanisms which determine the development of canalicular structures as well as accurate canalicular expression of distinct proteins and actin organization, and provide evidence on the involvement of Golgi microtubule nucleation in hepatocyte apical polarization.
AKAP350; PKA; bile canaliculus; actin cytoskeleton; CLASP
Multifunctional cytokine transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β1) plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of acute lung inflammation by controlling endothelial monolayer permeability. TGF-β1 regulates endothelial cell (EC) functions via two distinct receptors, activin receptor-like kinase 1 (ALK1) and activin receptor-like kinase 5 (ALK5). The precise roles of ALK1 and ALK5 in the regulation of TGF-β1-induced lung endothelium dysfunction remain mostly unknown. We now report that adenoviral infection with constitutively active ALK5 (caALK5), but not caALK1, induces EC retraction and that this receptor predominantly controls EC permeability. We demonstrate that ubiquitinated ALK5 and phosphorylated heat shock protein 27 (phospho-Hsp27) specifically accumulate in the cytoskeleton fraction, which parallels with microtubule collapse, cortical actin disassembly and increased EC permeability. We have found that ALK1 and ALK5 interact with heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90). Moreover, the Hsp90 inhibitor radicicol (RA) prevents accumulation of ubiquitinated caALK5 and phospho-Hsp27 in the cytoskeletal fraction and restore the decreased EC permeability induced by caALK5. We hypothesize that specific translocation of ubiquitinated ALK5 receptor into the cytoskeleton compartment due to its lack of degradation is the mechanism that causes the divergence of caALK1 and caALK5 signaling.
endothelial permeability; type 1 TGF-β1 receptors; Hsp27; cytoskeleton; ubiquitin; radicicol
In areolar “loose” connective tissue, fibroblasts remodel their cytoskeleton within minutes in response to static stretch resulting in increased cell body cross-sectional area that relaxes the tissue to a lower state of resting tension. It remains unknown whether the loosely arranged collagen matrix, characteristic of areolar connective tissue, is required for this cytoskeletal response to occur. The purpose of this study was to evaluate cytoskeletal remodeling of fibroblasts in and dissociated from areolar and dense connective tissue in response to 2 hours of static stretch in both native tissue and collagen gels of varying crosslinking. Rheometric testing indicated that the areolar connective tissue had a lower dynamic modulus and was more viscous than the dense connective tissue. In response to stretch, cells within the more compliant areolar connective tissue adopted a large “sheet-like” morphology that was in contrast to the smaller dendritic morphology in the dense connective tissue. By adjusting the in vitro collagen crosslinking, and the resulting dynamic modulus, it was demonstrated that cells dissociated from dense connective tissue are capable of responding when seeded into a compliant matrix, while cells dissociated from areolar connective tissue can lose their ability to respond when their matrix becomes stiffer. This set of experiments indicated stretch-induced fibroblast expansion was dependent on the distinct matrix material properties of areolar connective tissues as opposed to the cells’ tissue of origin. These results also suggest that disease and pathological processes with increased crosslinks, such as diabetes and fibrosis, could impair fibroblast responsiveness in connective tissues.
Fibroblasts; cytoskeleton; dense connective tissue; areolar connective tissue; mechanotransduction
Pur-alpha is an essential protein for postnatal brain development which localizes specifically to dendrites where it plays a role in the translation of neuronal RNA. Mice lacking Pur-alpha display decreased neuronogenesis and impaired neuronal differentiation. Here we examined two Rho GTPases, Rac1 and RhoA, which play opposing roles in neurite outgrowth and are critical for dendritic maturation during mouse brain development in the presence and absence of Pur-alpha. Pur-alpha is developmentally regulated in the mouse brain with expression beginning shortly after birth and rapidly increasing to peak during the third week of postnatal development. RhoA levels analyzed by Western blotting rapidly fluctuated in the wild-type mouse brain, however, in the absence of Pur-alpha, a decrease in RhoA levels shortly after birth and a delay in the cycling of RhoA regulation was observed leading to reduced basal levels of RhoA after day 10 postnatal. Immunohistochemistry of brain tissues displayed reduced RhoA levels in the cortex and cerebellum and loss of perinuclear cytoplasmic labeling of RhoA within the cortex in the knockout mouse brain. While Rac1 levels remained relatively stable at all time points during development and were similar in both wild-type and Pur-alpha knockout mice, changes in subcellular localization of Rac1 were seen in the absence of Pur-alpha. These findings suggest that Pur-alpha can regulate RhoA at multiple levels including basal protein levels, subcellular compartmentalization, as well as turnover of active RhoA in order to promote dendritic maturation.
Rho GTPase; Puralpha; Pur alpha; mouse; brain; development
Human antigen R (HuR) is a post-transcriptional regulator of gene expression that plays a key role in stabilizing mRNAs during cellular stress, leading to enhanced survival. HuR expression is tightly regulated through multiple transcription and post-transcriptional controls. Although HuR is known to stabilize a subset of mRNAs involved in cell survival, its role in the survival pathway of PI3-kinase/Akt signaling is unclear. Here, we show that in renal proximal tubule cells, HuR performs a central role in cell survival by amplifying Akt signaling in a positive feedback loop. Key to this feedback loop is HuR-mediated stabilization of mRNA encoding Grb10, an adaptor protein whose expression is critical for Akt activation. Stimulation of Akt by interaction with Grb10 then activates NF-κB, which further enhances HuR mRNA and protein expression. This feedback loop is active in unstressed cells, but its effects are increased during stress. Therefore, this study demonstrates a central role for HuR in Akt signaling and reveals a mechanism by which modest changes in HuR levels below or above normal may be amplified, potentially resulting in cell death or cellular transformation.
HuR; Akt; Grb10; Apoptosis; Cell stress
Researchers and clinicians have been challenged with the development of therapies for the treatment of cancer patients whose tumors metastasized to the brain. Among the most lethal weapons known today, current management of brain metastases involves multiple therapeutic modalities that provide little, if any, for improving the quality of life and overall survival. Recently the role of cancer stem cells (CSCs) in the development of cancer has been studied extensively, and thus its role in the prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment is now being investigated even in the realm of brain metastasis. Recognizing the molecular make-up of CSCs as well as understanding the role of these cells in resistance to treatment modalities is expected to benefit cancer patients. Additionally, past decade has witnessed an increase in awareness and understanding of the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in various cancer types, and the deregulation miRNAs are critically important for the regulation of genes during the development and progression of human malignancies. The role miRNAs in brain metastasis is being investigated, and has also shown tremendous promise for future research. In this review, we discuss the problem and lethality of brain metastases and the current state of management, and further provide insight into novel avenues that are worth considering including the biological complexities of CSCs and miRNAs for designing novel therapies.
Brain metastasis; Cancer stem cells; miRNAs
Human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells proliferate rapidly and divide symmetrically producing equivalent progeny cells. In contrast, lineage committed cells acquire an extended symmetrical cell cycle. Self-renewal of tissue-specific stem cells is sustained by asymmetric cell division where one progeny cell remains a progenitor while the partner progeny cell exits the cell cycle and differentiates. There are three principal contexts for considering the operation and regulation of the pluripotent cell cycle: temporal, regulatory andstructural. The primary temporal context that the pluripotent self-renewal cell cycle of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) is a short G1 period without reducing periods of time allocated to S phase, G2, and mitosis. The rules that govern proliferation in hESCs remain to be comprehensively established. However, several lines of evidence suggest a key role for the naïve transcriptome of hESCs, which is competent to stringently regulate the ESC cell cycle. This supports the requirements of pluripotent cells to self propagate while suppressing expression of genes that confer lineage commitment and/or tissue specificity. However, for the first time, we consider unique dimensions to the architectural organization and assembly of regulatory machinery for gene expression in nuclear microenviornments that define parameters of pluripotency. From both fundamental biological and clinical perspectives, understanding control of the abbreviated embryonic stem cell cycle can provide options to coordinate control of proliferation versus differentiation. Wound healing, tissue engineering, and cell-based therapy to mitigate developmental aberrations illustrate applications that benefit from knowledge of the biology of the pluripotent cell cycle.
Embryonic stem cells; Pluripotency; Cell Cycle
Although recent evidence indicates that several chemokines and defensins, well-known as inflammatory mediators, are expressed in the male and female reproductive tracts, the location and functional significance of chemokine networks in sperm physiology and sperm reproductive tract interactions are poorly understood. To address this deficiency in our knowledge, we examined the expression and function in sperm of CCR6, a receptor common to several chemoattractant peptides, and screened several reproductive tract fluids for the presence of specific ligands. CCR6 protein is present in mouse and human sperm and mainly localized in the sperm tail with other minor patterns in sperm from mice (neck and acrosomal region) and men (neck and midpiece regions). As expected from the protein immunoblotting and immunofluorescence results, mouse Ccr6 mRNA is expressed in the testis. Furthermore, the Defb29 mRNA encoding the CCR6 ligand, β-defensin DEFB29, is expressed at high levels in the epididymis. As determined by protein chip analysis, several chemokines (including some that act through CCR6, such as CCL20/MIP-3α (formerly Macrophage Inflammatory Protein 3α) and protein hormones were present in human follicular fluid, endometrial secretions, and seminal plasma. In functional chemotaxis assays, capacitated human sperm exhibited a directional movement towards CCL20, and displayed modifications in motility parameters. Our data indicate that chemokine ligand/receptor interactions in the male and female genital tracts promote sperm motility and chemotaxis under non-inflammatory conditions. Therefore, some of the physiological reactions mediated by CCR6 ligands in male reproduction extend beyond a pro-inflammatory response and might find application in clinical reproduction and/or contraception.
Chemokines; β-defensin; sperm motility; chemotaxis; capacitation
Lymphoid Enhancer Binding Factor (Lef) 1 is a transcriptional effector of the Wnt/Lrp5/β-catenin signaling cascade, which regulates osteoblast differentiation, bone density and skeletal strength. In this study, we describe the expression and function of an alternative Lef1 isoform in osseous cells. Lef1ΔN is a naturally occurring isoform driven by a promoter (p2) within the intron between exons 3 and 4 of Lef1. Lef1ΔN is induced during late osteoblast differentiation. This is converse to the expression pattern of the full-length Lef1 protein, which as we previously showed, decreases during differentiation. Agonists of osteoblast maturation differentially affected Lef1ΔN expression. BMP2 stimulated Lef1ΔN expression, whereas Wnt3a blocked basal and BMP2-induced expression of Lef1ΔN transcripts during osteoblast differentiation. We determined that the Lef1ΔN p2 promoter is active in osteoblasts and Runx2 regulates its activity. Stable overexpression of Lef1ΔN in differentiating osteoblasts induced the expression of osteoblast differentiation genes, osteocalcin and type 1 collagen. Taken together, our results suggest Lef1ΔN is a crucial regulator of terminal differentiation in osseous cells.
Lef1ΔN; BMP2; Wnt3a; osteocalcin; Cbfa1
We have previously shown that SUM-149 human breast cancer cells require an AREG/EGFR autocrine loop for cell proliferation. We also demonstrated that AREG can increase EGFR stability and promote EGFR localization to the plasma membrane. In the present studies we successfully knocked-down AREG expression in SUM-149 cells by lenti-viral infection of AREG shRNA. In the absence of AREG expression, SUM-149 cell growth was slowed, but not completely inhibited. Furthermore, cells infected with AREG shRNA constructs showed an increase in EGFR protein expression by western blot. Immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy showed that following AREG knock-down, EGFR continued to localize to the cell surface. Soft agar assays demonstrated that AREG knock-down cells retain anchorage-independent growth capacity. Additionally mammosphere forming assays and Adefluor staining analysis showed that knock-down of AREG expression did not affect the expression of stem cell phenotypes. However, following AREG knock-down, SUM-149 cells demonstrated a dramatic decrease in their ability to invade a Matrigel matrix. Consistent with this observation, microarray analysis comparing cells infected with a non-silencing vector to the AREG knock-down cells, identified genes associated with the invasive phenotype such as RHOB and DKK1, and networks associated with cell motility such as integrin-linked kinase signaling, and focal adhesion kinase signaling. AREG was also found to modulate WNT and Notch signaling in these cells. Thus, AREG functions in regulating the invasive phenotype, and we propose that this regulation may be through altered signaling that occurs when AREG activates plasma membrane localized EGFR.
We used vertical growth phase (VGP) human VMM5 melanoma cells to ask whether the tumor microenvironment could induce matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) in vivo, and whether this induction correlated with metastasis. We isolated two clones from parental VMM5 cells: a low MMP-1 producing clone (C4) and high producing clone (C9). When these clones were injected orthotopically (intradermally) into nude mice, both were equally tumorigenic and produced equivalent and abundant amounts of MMP-1. However, the tumors from the C4 clones displayed different growth kinetics and distinct profiles of gene expression from the C9 population. The C4 tumors, which had low MMP-1 levels in vitro, appeared to rely on growth factors and cytokines in the microenvironment to increase MMP-1 expression in vivo, while MMP-1 levels remained constant in the C9 tumors. C9 cells, but not C4 cells, grew as spheres in culture and expressed higher levels of JARID 1B, a marker associated with melanoma initiating cells. We conclude that VMM5 melanoma cells exhibit striking intra-tumor heterogeneity, and that the tumorigenicity of these clones is driven by different molecular pathways. Our data suggest that there are multiple mechanisms for melanoma progression within a tumor, which may require different therapeutic strategies.
Secretion by neutrophils contributes to acute inflammation following injury or infection. Vimentin has been shown to be important for secretion by neutrophils but little is known about its dynamics during secretion, which is regulated by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5). In this study, we sought to examine the vimentin dynamics and its potential regulation by Cdk5 during neutrophil secretion. We show that vimentin is a Cdk5 substrate that is specifically phosphorylated at Ser56. In response to neutrophil stimulation with GTP, vimentin Ser56 was phosphorylated and colocalized with Cdk5 in the cytoplasmic compartment. Vimentin pSer56 and Cdk5 colocalization was consistent with coimmunoprecipitation from stimulated cells. Vimentin Ser56 phosphorylation occurred immediately after stimulation, and a remarkable increase in phosphorylation was noted later in the secretory process. Decreased GTP-induced vimentin Ser56 phosphorylation and secretion resulted from inhibition of Cdk5 activity by roscovitine or olomoucine or by depletion of Cdk5 by siRNA, suggesting that GTP-induced Cdk5-mediated vimentinSer56 phosphorylation may be related to GTP-inducedCdk5-mediated secretion by neutrophils. Indeed, inhibition of vimentin Ser56 phosphorylation led to a corresponding inhibition of GTP-induced secretion, indicating a link between these two events. While fMLP also induced vimentin Ser56 phosphorylation, such phosphorylation was unaffected by roscovitine, which nonetheless, inhibited secretion, suggesting that Cdk5 regulates fMLP-induced secretion via a mechanism independent of Cdk5-mediated vimentin Ser56 phosphorylation. These findings demonstrate the distinct involvement of Cdk5 in GTP- and fMLP-induced secretion by neutrophils, and support the notion that specific targeting of Cdk5 may serve to inhibit the neutrophil secretory process.
PMID: 21465480 CAMSID: cams3771
Fibrillin microfibrils are extracellular matrix structures with essential functions in the development and the organization of tissues including blood vessels, bone, limbs and the eye. Fibrillin-1 and fibrillin-2 form the core of fibrillin microfibrils, to which multiple proteins associate to form a highly organized structure. Defining the components of this structure and their interactions is crucial to understand the pathobiology of microfibrillopathies associated with mutations in fibrillins and in microfibril-associated molecules. In this study, we have analyzed both in vitro and in vivo the role of fibrillin microfibrils in the matrix deposition of latent TGF-β binding protein 1 (LTBP-1), -3 and -4; the three LTBPs that form a complex with TGF-β. In Fbn1-/- ascending aortas and lungs, LTBP-3 and LTBP-4 are not incorporated into a matrix lacking fibrillin-1 microfibrils, whereas LTBP-1 is still deposited. In addition, in cultures of Fbn1-/- smooth muscle cells or lung fibroblasts, LTBP-3 and LTBP-4 are not incorporated into a matrix lacking fibrillin-1 microfibrils, whereas LTBP-1 is still deposited. Fibrillin-2 is not involved in the deposition of LTBP-1 in Fbn1-/- extracellular matrix as cells deficient for both fibrillin-1 and fibrillin-2 still incorporate LTBP-1 in their matrix. However, blocking the formation of the fibronectin network in Fbn1-/- cells abrogates the deposition of LTBP-1. Together, these data indicate that LTBP-3 and LTBP-4 association with the matrix depends on fibrillin-1 microfibrils, whereas LTBP-1 association depends on a fibronectin network.
TGF-β; LTBP; fibrillin; fibronectin; Marfan syndrome; extracellular matrix
The mechanisms of hematogenous leukocyte trafficking at the human blood-nerve barrier (BNB) are largely unknown. Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). We developed a cytokine-activated human in vitro BNB model using primary endoneurial endothelial cells. Endothelial treatment with 10 U/mL tissue necrosis factor-α and 20 U/mL interferon-γ resulted in de novo expression of proinflammatory chemokines CCL2, CXCL9, CXCL11 and CCL20, with increased expression of CXCL2-3, CXCL8 and CXCL10 relative to basal levels. Cytokine treatment induced/ enhanced ICAM-1, E- and P-selectin, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and the alternatively spliced pro-adhesive fibronectin variant, fibronectin connecting segment-1 expression in a time-dependent manner, without alterations in junctional adhesion molecule-A expression. Lymphocytes and monocytes from untreated GBS patients express ICAM-1 counterligands, αM- and αL-integrin, with differential regulation of αM-integrin expression compared to healthy controls. Under flow conditions that mimic capillary hemodynamics in vivo, there was a >3-fold increase in total GBS patient and healthy control mononuclear leukocyte adhesion/ migration at the BNB following cytokine treatment relative to the untreated state. Function neutralizing monoclonal antibodies against human αM-integrin (CD11b) and ICAM-1 reduced untreated GBS patient mononuclear leukocyte trafficking at the BNB by 59% and 64.2% respectively. Monoclonal antibodies against αL-integrin (CD11a) and human intravenous immunoglobulin reduced total leukocyte adhesion/migration by 22.8% and 17.6% respectively. This study demonstrates differential regulation of αM-integrin on circulating mononuclear cells in GBS, as well as an important role for αM-integrin-ICAM-1 interactions in pathogenic GBS patient leukocyte trafficking at the human BNB in vitro.
Adhesion molecules; Blood-nerve barrier; Cytokines; Guillain-Barré syndrome; Integrins; Leukocytes
Par-4 is a pro-apoptotic, tumor suppressor protein that induces apoptosis selectively in cancer cells. Endoplasmic reticulum-stress and higher levels of protein kinase A in tumor cells confer the coveted feature of cancer selective response to extracellular and intracellular Par-4, respectively. Recent studies have shown that systemic Par-4 confers resistance to tumor growth in mice, and that tumor-resistance is transferable by bone marrow transplantation. Moreover, recombinant Par-4 inhibits the growth of tumors in mice. As systemic Par-4 induces apoptosis via cell surface GRP78, strategies that promote GRP78 trafficking to the cell surface are expected sensitize cancer cells to circulating levels of Par-4. This review illustrates the domains and mechanisms by which Par-4 orchestrates the apoptotic process in both cell culture models and in physiological settings.
Par-4; GRP78; Apoptosis