Membrane-associated serine protease matriptase has been implicated in human diseases, and might be a drug target. In the present study, a novel class of matriptase inhibitors targeting zymogen activation is developed by a combination of the screening of compound library using a cell-based matriptase activation assay and a computer-aided search of commercially available analogs of a selected compound. Four structurally related compounds are identified that can inhibit matriptase activation with IC50 at low μM in both intact-cell and cell-free systems, suggesting that these inhibitors target the matriptase autoactivation machinery rather than the intracellular signaling pathways. These activation inhibitors can also inhibit prostasin activation, a downstream event that occurs in lockstep with matriptase activation. In contrast, the matriptase catalytic inhibitor CVS-3983 at a concentration 300-fold higher than its Ki fails to inhibit activation of either protease. Our results suggest that inhibiting matriptase activation is an efficient way to control matriptase function.
Prostasin is expressed at the apical surface of normal epithelial cells and suppresses in vitro invasion of cancer cells. Prostasin re-expression in the PC-3 prostate carcinoma cells down-regulated the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) protein expression and EGF-induced phosphorylation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinases (Erk1/2). We report here that prostasin and its activating enzyme matriptase are capable of inducing proteolytic cleavages in the EGFR extracellular domain (ECD) when co-expressed in the FT-293 cells, generating two amino-terminally truncated fragments EGFR135 and EGFR110, at 135 and 110 kDa. Prostasin’s role in EGFR cleavage is dependent on the serine active site but not the GPI-anchor. The modifications of EGFR were confirmed to be on the primary structure by deglycosylation. EGFR135 and EGFR110 are not responsive to EGF stimulation, indicating loss of the ligand-binding domains. EGFR110 is constitutively phosphorylated and in its presence Erk1/2 phosphorylation is increased in the absence of EGF. The protease-induced EGFR cleavages are not dependent on EGFR phosphorylation. The EGFR ECD proteolytic modification by matriptase-prostasin is also observed in the BEAS-2B normal lung epithelial cells, the BPH-1 benign prostate hyperplasia and the MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines; and represents a novel mechanism for epithelial cells to modulate EGF-EGFR signaling.
ErbB Receptor Tyrosine Kinases; GPI-anchor; Transmembrane Glycoprotein; Extracellular Signal-regulated Kinases; MT-SP1; PRSS8
We recently reported that HIV-1 infection can be inhibited by innate antimicrobial components of human seminal plasma (SP). Conversely, naturally occurring peptidic fragments from the SP-derived prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) have been reported to form amyloid fibrils called “SEVI” and enhance HIV-1 infection in vitro. In order to understand the biological consequence of this proviral effect, we extended these studies in the presence of human SP. PAP-derived peptides were agitated to form SEVI and incubated in the presence or absence of SP. While PAP-derived peptides and SEVI alone were proviral, the presence of 1% SP ablated their proviral activity in several different anti-HIV-1 assays. The anti-HIV-1 activity of SP was concentration dependent and was reduced following filtration. Supraphysiological concentrations of PAP peptides and SEVI incubated with diluted SP were degraded within hours, with SP exhibiting proteolytic activity at dilutions as high as 1∶200. Sub-physiological concentrations of two prominent proteases of SP, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and matriptase, could degrade physiological and supraphysiological concentrations of PAP peptides and SEVI. While human SP is a complex biological fluid, containing both antiviral and proviral factors, our results suggest that PAP peptides and SEVI may be subject to naturally occurring proteolytic components capable of reducing their proviral activity.
The glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored epithelial extracellular membrane serine protease prostasin (PRSS8) is expressed abundantly in normal epithelia and essential for terminal epithelial differentiation, but down-regulated in human prostate, breast, and gastric cancers and invasive cancer cell lines. Prostasin is involved in the extracellular proteolytic modulation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and is an invasion suppressor. The aim of this study was to evaluate prostasin expression states in the transitional cell carcinomas (TCC) of the human bladder and in human TCC cell lines.
Normal human bladder tissues and TCC on a bladder cancer tissue microarray (TMA) were evaluated for prostasin expression by means of immunohistochemistry. A panel of 16 urothelial and TCC cell lines were evaluated for prostasin and E-cadherin expression by western blot and quantitative PCR, and for prostasin gene promoter region CpG methylation by methylation-specific PCR (MSP).
Prostasin is expressed in the normal human urothelium and in a normal human urothelial cell line, but is significantly down-regulated in high-grade TCC and lost in 9 (of 15) TCC cell lines. Loss of prostasin expression in the TCC cell lines correlated with loss of or reduced E-cadherin expression, loss of epithelial morphology, and promoter DNA hypermethylation. Prostasin expression could be reactivated by demethylation or inhibition of histone deacetylase. Re-expression of prostasin or a serine protease-inactive variant resulted in transcriptional up-regulation of E-cadherin.
Loss of prostasin expression in bladder transitional cell carcinomas is associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and may have functional implications in tumor invasion and resistance to chemotherapy.
Expression of prostasin in the PC-3 human prostate carcinoma cells inhibited in vitro invasion, but the molecular mechanisms are unknown. Wild-type human prostasin or a serine active-site mutant prostasin was expressed in the PC-3 cells. Molecular changes were measured at the mRNA and the protein levels. Cell signaling changes were evaluated by measuring phosphorylation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinases (Erk1/2) following epidermal growth factor (EGF) treatment of the cells. Protein expression of the EGF receptor (EGFR) was differentially down-regulated by the wild-type and the active-site mutant prostasin. The mRNA expression of EGFR and the transcription repressor SLUG was reduced in cells expressing wild-type prostasin but not the active-site mutant. Phosphorylation of Erk1/2 in response to EGF was greatly reduced by the wild-type prostasin but not by the active-site mutant. The mRNA expression of the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA), the uPA receptor (uPAR), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) was decreased by the wild-type and the active-site mutant prostasin. The mRNA or protein expression of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), matriptase, and E-cadherin was greatly increased by the active-site mutant prostasin. In conclusion, prostasin expression elicits both protease-dependent and independent molecular changes in the PC-3 cells.
Serine Protease; Matriptase; Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor; Prostate Cancer
Prostasin is a serine protease present in mammalian urine that increases the activity of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) when the two are coexpressed in Xenopus oocytes. To determine if aldosterone, one of the principal regulators of urinary Na reabsorption by the distal nephron, affects prostasin expression, we examined prostasin mRNA and protein in a cultured mouse cortical collecting duct cell line (M-1), whole rats, and patients with primary aldosteronism. Aldosterone treatment of M-1 cells substantially increased prostasin expression and stimulated 22Na uptake. Urinary excretion of prostasin in rats that were infused with aldosterone likwise increased by ∼4-fold when compared with the vehicle-infused rats. Finally, urinary excretion of prostasin in patients with primary aldosteronism was substantially increased when compared with normal patients. Adrenalectomy reduced urinary prostasin excretion to control levels, whereas urinary prostasin levels were not altered in patients undergoing surgery for other reasons. In patients with primary aldosteronism, reduction in the urinary excretion of prostasin correlated with the increase in the urinary Na/K ratio. These findings, together with our previous report that prostasin activates the amiloride-sensitive Na currents through ENaC, demonstrate that prostasin regulates Na balance in vivo by virtue of its heightened expression in the presence of aldosterone.
Popeye domain containing1 (Popdc1), also named Bves, is an evolutionary conserved membrane protein. Despite its high expression level in the heart little is known about its membrane localization and cardiac functions. The study examined the hypothesis that Popdc1 might be associated with the caveolae and play a role in myocardial ischemia tolerance. To address these issues, we analyzed hearts and cardiomyocytes of wild type and Popdc1-null mice. Immunoconfocal microscopy revealed co-localization of Popdc1 with caveolin3 in the sarcolemma, intercalated discs and T-tubules and with costameric vinculin. Popdc1 was co-immunoprecipitated with caveolin3 from cardiomyocytes and from transfected COS7 cells and was co-sedimented with caveolin3 in equilibrium density gradients. Caveolae disruption by methyl-β-cyclodextrin or by ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) abolished the cellular co-localization of Popdc1 with caveolin3 and modified their density co-sedimentation. The caveolin3-rich fractions of Popdc1-null hearts redistributed to fractions of lower buoyant density. Electron microscopy showed a statistically significant 70% reduction in caveolae number and a 12% increase in the average diameter of the remaining caveolae in the mutant hearts. In accordance with these changes, Popdc1-null cardiomyocytes displayed impaired [Ca+2]i transients, increased vulnerability to oxidative stress and no pharmacologic preconditioning. In addition, induction of I/R injury to Langendorff-perfused hearts indicated a significantly lower functional recovery in the mutant compared with wild type hearts while their infarct size was larger. No improvement in functional recovery was observed in Popdc1-null hearts following ischemic preconditioning. The results indicate that Popdc1 is a caveolae-associated protein important for the preservation of caveolae structural and functional integrity and for heart protection.
The molecular mechanisms underlying prostate carcinogenesis are poorly understood. Prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP), a prostatic epithelial secretion marker, has been linked to prostate cancer since the 1930's. However, the contribution of PAP to the disease remains controversial. We have previously cloned and described two isoforms of this protein, a secretory (sPAP) and a transmembrane type-I (TMPAP). The goal in this work was to understand the physiological function of TMPAP in the prostate. We conducted histological, ultra-structural and genome-wide analyses of the prostate of our PAP-deficient mouse model (PAP−/−) with C57BL/6J background. The PAP−/− mouse prostate showed the development of slow-growing non-metastatic prostate adenocarcinoma. In order to find out the mechanism behind, we identified PAP-interacting proteins byyeast two-hybrid assays and a clear result was obtained for the interaction of PAP with snapin, a SNARE-associated protein which binds Snap25 facilitating the vesicular membrane fusion process. We confirmed this interaction by co-localization studies in TMPAP-transfected LNCaP cells (TMPAP/LNCaP cells) and in vivo FRET analyses in transient transfected LNCaP cells. The differential gene expression analyses revealed the dysregulation of the same genes known to be related to synaptic vesicular traffic. Both TMPAP and snapin were detected in isolated exosomes. Our results suggest that TMPAP is involved in endo-/exocytosis and disturbed vesicular traffic is a hallmark of prostate adenocarcinoma.
Obstructive nephropathy is the most common presentation of urothelial carcinoma. The role of the urine in the obstructed kidney namely “hydronephrotic urine” in urothelial carcinoma has not been extensively explored. This study aims to evaluate whether hydronephrotic urine in the obstructed kidney could promote urothelial carcinoma. The hydronephrotic urine was collected from the obstructed kidneys of Sprague-Dawley rats induced by different periods of unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO). By the inhibition of LY294002 and PD184352, we confirm that hydronephrotic urine promotes urothelial carcinoma cell (T24) and immortalized normal urothelial cells (E6) proliferation, migration and invasion in a dose-dependent manner through the activation of the mTORC2-AKT and ERK signaling pathways. Hydronephrotic urine also increases the expression of cyclin-D2, cyclin-B and CDK2. It also decreases the expression of p27 and p21 in both urothelial carcinoma cells and normal urothelial cells. By the protein array study, we demonstrate that many growth factors which promote tumor cell survival and metastasis are over-expressed in a time-dependent manner in the hydronephrotic urine, including beta-FGF, IFN-γ, PDGF-BB, PIGF, TGF-β, VEGF-A, VEGF-D and EGF. These results suggest that hydronephrotic urine promotes normal and malignant urothelial cells proliferation, migration and invasion, through the activation of the mTORC2-AKT and ERK signaling pathways. Further investigation using live animal models of tumor growth may be needed to clarify aspects of these statements.
In order to improve the outcome of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), a biomarker that can predict the efficacy of chemotherapy is needed. The aim of this study was to assess the role of EGFR mutations and ERCC1 in predicting the efficacy of platinum-based chemotherapy and the outcome of patients with NSCLC.
We conducted a retrospective study to analyze the relationships between EGFR mutations or ERCC1 expression and progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with NSCLC who received platinum-based chemotherapy. EGFR mutation status was determined using the peptide nucleic acid-locked nucleic acid polymerase chain reaction clamp method, and immunohistochemistry was used to examine the expression of ERCC1 in tumor samples obtained from the patients.
Among the NSCLC patients who received platinum-based chemotherapy, the median PFS was significantly better in those who had never smoked and those with exon 19 deletion, and the median overall survival (OS) was significantly better in those who had never smoked, those with exon 19 deletion, and women. Cox regression analysis revealed that exon 19 deletion and having never smoked were significantly associated with both PFS and OS. Subset analysis revealed a significant correlation between ERCC1 expression and EGFR mutation, and ERCC1-negative patients with exon 19 deletion had a longer PFS than the other patients; ERCC1-positive patients without exon 19 deletion had a shorter PFS than the other patients.
Our results indicate that among NSCLC patients receiving platinum-based chemotherapy, those with exon 19 deletion have a longer PFS and OS. Our findings suggest that platinum-based chemotherapy is more effective against ERCC1-negative and exon 19-positive NSCLC.
The members of the epidermal growth factor (EGF)/ErbB family are prime targets for cancer therapy. However, the therapeutic efficiency of the existing anti-ErbB agents is limited. Thus, identifying new molecules that inactivate the ErbB receptors through novel strategies is an important goal on cancer research. In this study we have developed a shorter form of human EGF (EGFt) with a truncated C-terminal as a novel EGFR inhibitor. EGFt was designed based on the superimposition of the three-dimensional structures of EGF and the Potato Carboxypeptidase Inhibitor (PCI), an EGFR blocker previously described by our group. The peptide was produced in E. coli with a high yield of the correctly folded peptide. EGFt showed specificity and high affinity for EGFR but induced poor EGFR homodimerization and phosphorylation. Interestingly, EGFt promoted EGFR internalization and translocation to the cell nucleus although it did not stimulate the cell growth. In addition, EGFt competed with EGFR native ligands, inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells. These data indicate that EGFt may be a potential EGFR blocker for cancer therapy. In addition, the lack of EGFR-mediated growth-stimulatory activity makes EGFt an excellent delivery agent to target toxins to tumours over-expressing EGFR.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression by targeted repression of transcription and translation. In this study we show that miRNA-23b (miR-23b) acts as a tumor suppressor in bladder cancer. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis showed that miR-23b is significantly down-regulated in bladder cancer cell lines and tumor tissues compared to non-malignant cells and normal tissue samples. We also demonstrate that miR-23b expression has a potential to be diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in bladder cancer. High miR-23b expression is positively correlated with higher overall survival of bladder cancer patients as revealed by Kaplan-Meier analysis. ROC analysis showed that miR-23b expression can distinguish between normal and bladder cancer tissues. Further we elucidated the biological significance of miR-23b in bladder cancer. Over-expression of miR-23b in bladder cancer cells inhibited cell proliferation and impaired colony formation. Fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis revealed that re-expression of miR-23b in bladder cancer cells induced G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis while inhibiting cell migration and invasion. Luciferase reporter assays demonstrated that Zeb1, a crucial regulator of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), is a direct target of miR-23b in bladder cancer. These results show that loss of miR-23b confers a proliferative advantage and promotes bladder cancer cell migration and invasion. Furthermore, re-expression of miR-23b may be a beneficial therapeutic strategy for the treatment of human bladder cancer.
Cigarette smoking is the single most important epidemiological risk factor for bladder cancer but it is not known whether exposure of urothelial cells to the systemic soluble contents of cigarette smoke is directly causative to bladder cancer and the associated epigenetic changes such as tumor suppressor gene hypermethylation. We undertook this study to investigate if long-term treatment of human urothelial cells with cigarette smoke extract (CSE) results in tumor suppressor gene hypermethylation, a phenotype that was previously associated with long-term constant CSE treatment of airway epithelial cells. We chronically treated an immortalized human urothelial cell line UROtsa with CSE using a cyclic daily regimen but the cells were cultured in CSE-free medium between daily treatments. Bisulfite sequencing and real-time PCR array-based methylation profiling were employed to evaluate methylation changes at tumor suppressor gene loci in the chronically CSE-treated cells versus the passage-matched untreated control cells. The RUNX3 tumor suppressor gene promoter was hypomethylated with a significant increase in proportion of the completely unmethylated haplotype after the long-term CSE treatment; whereas RUNX3 promoter hypermethylation was previously reported for bladder cancers of smokers. Hypomethylation induced by the long-term CSE treatment was also observed for the IGF2-H19 locus. The methylation status at the PRSS8/prostasin and 16 additional loci however, was unaffected by the chronic CSE treatment. Transient CSE treatment over 1 daily regimen resulted in transcriptional down-regulation of RUNX3 and H19, but only the H19 transcription was down-regulated in the chronically CSE-treated urothelial cells. Transcription of a key enzyme in one-carbon metabolism, dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) was greatly reduced by the long-term CSE treatment, potentially serving as a mechanism for the hypomethylation phenotype via a reduced supply of methyl donor. In conclusion, chronic cyclic CSE treatment of urothelial cells induced hypomethylation rather than hypermethylation at specific loci.
Glioblastoma is one of the common types of primary brain tumors with a median survival of 12–15 months. The receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) pathway is known to be deregulated in 88% of the patients with glioblastoma. 45% of GBM patients show amplifications and activating mutations in EGFR gene leading to the upregulation of the pathway. In the present study, we demonstrate that a brain specific miRNA, miR-219-5p, repressed EGFR by directly binding to its 3′-UTR. The expression of miR-219-5p was downregulated in glioblastoma and the overexpression of miR-219-5p in glioma cell lines inhibited the proliferation, anchorage independent growth and migration. In addition, miR-219-5p inhibited MAPK and PI3K pathways in glioma cell lines in concordance with its ability to target EGFR. The inhibitory effect of miR-219-5p on MAPK and PI3K pathways and glioma cell migration could be rescued by the overexpression of wild type EGFR and vIII mutant of EGFR (both lacking 3′-UTR and thus being insensitive to miR-219-5p) suggesting that the inhibitory effects of miR-219-5p were indeed because of its ability to target EGFR. We also found significant negative correlation between miR-219-5p levels and total as well as phosphorylated forms of EGFR in glioblastoma patient samples. This indicated that the downregulation of miR-219-5p in glioblastoma patients contribute to the increased activity of the RTK pathway by the upregulation of EGFR. Thus, we have identified and characterized miR-219-5p as the RTK regulating novel tumor suppressor miRNA in glioblastoma.
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which is up-regulated in lung cancer, involves the activation of mitogenic signals and triggers multiple signaling cascades. To dissect these EGFR cascades, we used 14 different phospho-EGFR antibodies to quantify protein phosphorylation using an in situ proximity ligation assay (in situ PLA). Phosphorylation at EGFR-Thr654 and -Ser1046 was EGF-dependent in the wild-type (WT) receptor but EGF-independent in a cell line carrying the EGFR-L858R mutation. Using a ProtoAarray™ containing ∼5000 recombinant proteins on the protein chip, we found that AURKA interacted with the EGFR-L861Q mutant. Moreover, overexpression of EGFR could form a complex with AURKA, and the inhibitors of AURKA and EGFR decreased EGFR-Thr654 and -Ser1046 phosphorylation. Immunohistochemical staining of stage I lung adenocarcinoma tissues demonstrated a positive correlation between AURKA expression and phosphorylation of EGFR at Thr654 and Ser1046 in EGFR-mutant specimens, but not in EGFR-WT specimens. The interplay between EGFR and AURKA provides an explanation for the difference in EGF dependency between EGFR-WT and EGFR-mutant cells and may provide a new therapeutic strategy for lung cancer patients carrying EGFR mutations.
Given the previously documented importance of lipid concentration and composition in the successful cryopreservation of gorgonian corals, these parameters were assessed in oocytes of five species of scleractinian coral; Platygyra daedalea, Echinopora gemmacea, Echinophyllia aspera, Oxypora lacera and Astreopora expansa. Wax esters, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylcholine, and fatty acids were all measured at detectable levels, and the latter were produced at significantly elevated quantities in E. gemmacea, E. aspera, and O. lacera. On the other hand, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylcholine, and wax ester were found at significantly higher concentrations in A. expansa oocytes. Triacylglycerol was not present in any species. Interestingly, the total lipid content of oocytes from all five scleractinians was significantly lower than that of oocytes of two gorgonian species, Junceella juncea and Junceella fragilis. As higher total lipid concentrations may be correlated with greater degrees of cellular membrane fluidity at lower temperatures, it stands to reason that gorgonian coral oocytes may be more likely to survive the cryopreservation process than oocytes of scleractinian corals.
Berberine, an isoquinoline alkaloid, is an active component of Ranunculaceae and Papaveraceae plant families. Berberine has been found to suppress growth of several tumor cell lines in vitro through the cell-type-dependent mechanism. Expression and activation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is increased in colonic precancerous lesions and tumours, thus EGFR is considered a tumour promoter. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects and mechanisms of berberine on regulation of EGFR activity and proliferation in colonic tumor cell lines and in vivo. We reported that berberine significantly inhibited basal level and EGF-stimulated EGFR activation and proliferation in the immorto Min mouse colonic epithelial (IMCE) cells carrying the APCmin mutation and human colonic carcinoma cell line, HT-29 cells. Berberine acted to inhibit proliferation through inducing G1/S and G2/M cell cycle arrest, which correlated with regulation of the checkpoint protein expression. In this study, we also showed that berberine stimulated ubiquitin ligase Cbl activation and Cbl's interaction with EGFR, and EGFR ubiquitinylation and down-regulation in these two cell lines in the presence or absence of EGF treatment. Knock-down Cbl expression blocked the effects of berberine on down-regulation of EGFR and inhibition of proliferation. Furthermore, berberine suppressed tumor growth in the HT-29 cell xenograft model. Cell proliferation and EGFR expression level was decreased by berberine treatment in this xenograft model and in colon epithelial cells of APCmin/+ mice. Taken together, these data indicate that berberine enhances Cbl activity, resulting in down-regulation of EGFR expression and inhibition of proliferation in colon tumor cells.
Primary aldosteronism (PA) is the most common endocrine form of secondary hypertension, and one of the most common subtypes of sporadic PA is aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA). Recently, two somatic mutations of the KCNJ5 gene were implicated in APA, and two germline mutations were associated with familial hyperaldosteronism III.
This case-control study was designed to investigate the relationship between genetic variations in the KCNJ5 gene and sporadic PA patients in Xinjiang, China.
Five common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the KCNJ5 gene (rs6590357, rs4937391, rs3740835, rs2604204, and rs11221497) were detected in patients with sporadic PA (n = 235) and essential hypertension (EH; n = 913) by the TaqMan polymerase chain reaction method.
The EH group and the PA group showed significant differences in the distributions of genotypes and alleles of rs4937391 and rs2604204 in total and male subjects (P<0.05), as well as rs3740835 in male subjects (P<0.05). However, only the association between the rs2604204 genotype and male sporadic PA remained significant after Bonferroni’s correction (P<0.01). Furthermore, logistic regression analysis demonstrated that the CC genotype of rs2604204 was a risk factor for male patients with sporadic PA, after adjusting for age and body mass index (odds ratio = 2.228, 95% CI: 1.300–3.819, P = 0.004).
The genetic variant rs2604204 of KCNJ5 is associated with sporadic PA in Chinese males, suggesting that KCNJ5 may be involved in the pathogenesis of sporadic PA in these particular patients.
Extension of shelf life and preservation of products are both very important for the food industry. However, just as with other processes, speed and higher manufacturing performance are also beneficial. Although microwave heating is utilized in a number of industrial processes, there are many unanswered questions about its effects on foods. Here we analyze whether the effects of microwave heating with continuous flow are equivalent to those of traditional heat transfer methods. In our study, the effects of heating of liquid foods by conventional and continuous flow microwave heating were studied. Among other properties, we compared the stability of the liquid foods between the two heat treatments. Our goal was to determine whether the continuous flow microwave heating and the conventional heating methods have the same effects on the liquid foods, and, therefore, whether microwave heat treatment can effectively replace conventional heat treatments. We have compared the colour, separation phenomena of the samples treated by different methods. For milk, we also monitored the total viable cell count, for orange juice, vitamin C contents in addition to the taste of the product by sensory analysis. The majority of the results indicate that the circulating coil microwave method used here is equivalent to the conventional heating method based on thermal conduction and convection. However, some results in the analysis of the milk samples show clear differences between heat transfer methods. According to our results, the colour parameters (lightness, red-green and blue-yellow values) of the microwave treated samples differed not only from the untreated control, but also from the traditional heat treated samples. The differences are visually undetectable, however, they become evident through analytical measurement with spectrophotometer. This finding suggests that besides thermal effects, microwave-based food treatment can alter product properties in other ways as well.
The transcription factors Elk1 and serum response factor (SRF) are central regulators of cell cycle and phenotype in various cell types. Elk1 is activated by phosphorylation (serine-383), while activation of SRF requires its co-factor, myocardin. Activation of Elk1 and SRF results in binding to specific DNA sequences in promoter regions, and may be induced by adrenergic receptor activation in different organs.
To examine the effects of adrenergic stimulation on Elk1 and SRF in the human prostate and the ability of the highly selective α1A-adrenoceptor antagonist, silodosin, on transcription factor activation.
Prostate tissue was obtained from patients undergoing radical prostatectomy. Expression of Elk1, SRF, and myocardin was estimated by Western blot and immunohistochemistry. Colocalizations were studied by double immunofluorescence staining. Noradrenaline- (NA-) and phenylephrine- (PE-) induced phosphorylation of Elk1 was assessed by Western blot analysis using a phospho-specific antibody. NA-induced activation of Elk1 and SRF was investigated by electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA).
Immunoreactivity for Elk1, SRF, and myocardin was observed in stromal cells of tissues from each patient. In fluorescence stainings, SRF colocalized with myocardin and α-smooth muscle actin (αSMA). Stimulation of prostate tissues with PE (10 µM) or NA (30 µM) increased the phosphorylation of Elk1 at serine-383. NA-induced Elk1 activation was confirmed by EMSA, where a NA-induced binding of Elk1 to the DNA sequence TTTGCAAAATGCAGGAATTGTTTTCACAGT was observed. Similarly, NA caused SRF binding to the SRF-specific DNA sequence CCATATTAGGCCATATTAGG. Application of silodosin (3 µM) to prostate tissues reduced the activity of Elk1 and SRF in NA-stimulated tissues.
Silodosin blocks the activation of the two transcription factors, Elk1 and SRF, which is induced by noradrenaline in the human prostate. A role of α1-adrenoceptors beyond smooth muscle contraction may be considered, which includes a function in transcriptional regulation.
Recombinant human brain natriuretic peptide (rhBNP) is an important peptide-based therapeutic drug indicated for the treatment of acute heart failure. Accurate determination of the potency of therapeutic rhBNP is crucial for the safety and efficacy of the drug. The current bioassay involves use of rabbit aortic strips, with experiments being complicated and time-consuming and markedly variable in results. Animal-less methods with better precision and accuracy should be explored. We have therefore developed an alternative cell-based assay, which relies on the ability of BNP to induce cGMP production in HEK293 cells expressing BNP receptor guanylyl cyclase-A.
An alternative assay based on the measurement of BNP-induced cGMP production was developed. Specifically, the bioassay employs cells engineered to express BNP receptor guanylyl cyclase-A (GCA). Upon rhBNP stimulation, the levels of the second messager cGMP in these cells drastically increased and subsequently secreted into culture supernatants. The quantity of cGMP, which corresponds to the rhBNP activity, was determined using a competitive ELISA developed by us. Compared with the traditional assay, the novel cell-based assay demonstrated better reproducibility and precision.
The optimized cell-based assay is much simpler, more rapid and precise compared with the traditional assay using animal tissues. To our knowledge, this is the first report on a novel and viable alternative assay for rhBNP potency analysis.
Clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is, in most cases, caused by loss of function of the tumor suppressor gene von Hippel–Lindau, resulting in constitutive activation of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α and expression of hypoxia-induced genes in normoxic conditions. Clear-cell RCC cells are characterized histologically by accumulation of cholesterol, mainly in its ester form. The origin of the increased cholesterol remains unclear, but it is likely explained by an HIF-1α-driven imbalance between cholesterol uptake and excretion. Here, we showed that expression of the very low-density lipoprotein receptor (VLDL-R) was significantly increased in clear-cell RCC human biopsies compared with normal kidney tissue. Partial knockdown of HIF-1α in clear-cell RCC cells significantly reduced the VLDL-R expression, and knockdown of either HIF-1α or VLDL-R reduced the increased lipid accumulation observed in these cells. We also showed increased uptake of fluorescently labeled lipoproteins in clear-cell RCC cells, which was significantly reduced by knockdown of HIF-1α or VLDL-R. Taken together, our results support the concept that the pathological increase of HIF-1α in clear-cell RCC cells upregulates VLDL-R, which mediates increased uptake and accumulation of lipids. These results explain the morphological characteristics of clear-cell RCC, and open up novel possibilities for detection and treatment of clear-cell RCC.
Co-expression of erythropoietin (Epo) and erythropoietin receptor (EpoR) has been found in various non-hematopoietic cancers including hereditary and sporadic renal cell carcinomas (RCC), but the Epo/EpoR autocrine and paracrine mechanisms in tumor progression have not yet been identified. In this study, we used RNA interference method to down-regulate EpoR to investigate the function of Epo/EpoR pathway in human RCC cells. Epo and EpoR co-expressed in primary renal cancer cells and 6 human RCC cell lines. EpoR signaling was constitutionally phosphorylated in primary renal cancer cells, 786-0 and Caki-1 cells, and recombinant human Epo (rhEpo) stimulation had no significant effects on further phosphorylation of EpoR pathway, proliferation, and invasiveness of the cells. Down-regulation of EpoR expression in 786-0 cells by lentivirus-introduced siRNA resulted in inhibition of growth and invasiveness in vitro and in vivo, and promotion of cell apoptosis. In addition, rhEpo stimulation slightly antagonized the anti-tumor effect of Sunitinib on 786-0 cells. Sunitinib could induce more apoptotic cells in 786-0 cells with knockdown EpoR expression. Our results suggested that Epo/EpoR pathway was involved in cell growth, invasion, survival, and sensitivity to the multi-kinases inhibitor Sunitinib in RCC cells.
Mammary gland development and breast cancer growth require multiple factors both of endocrine and paracrine origin. We analyzed the roles of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) and Hepatocyte Growth Factor Receptor (Met) in mammary epithelial cells and mammary tumor cells derived from a mutated-ErbB2 transgenic mice. By using highly specific tyrosine kinase inhibitors we found that MCF-10A and NMuMG mammary epithelial cell lines are totally dependent on EGFR activation for their growth and survival. Proliferation and 3D-morphogenesis assays showed that HGF had no role in maintaining mammary cell viability, but was the only cytokine able to rescue EGFR-inhibited mammary cells. Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I (IGF-I), basic-Fibroblast Growth Factor (b-FGF) and Neuregulin, which are well known mammary morphogenic factors, did not rescue proliferation or morphogenesis in these cell lines, following EGFR inhibition. Similarly, ErbB2-driven tumor cells are EGFR-dependent and also display HGF-mediated rescue. Western-blot analysis of the signaling pathways involved in rescue after EGFR inhibition indicated that concomitant ERK1/2 and AKT activation was exclusively driven by Met, but not by IGF-I or b-FGF. These results describe a unique role for EGFR and Met in mammary epithelial cells by showing that similar pathways can be used by tumorigenic cells to sustain growth and resist to EGFR-directed anti-tumorigenic drugs.
Maternal cigarette smoking has adverse effects on pregnancy outcomes. The granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is an essential cytokine for a normal pregnancy. We investigated the impact of cigarette smoke extract (CSE) on GM-CSF expression in human cytotrophoblast cells and suggested a cellular mechanism underlying the CSE-induced GM-CSF expression. An immortalized normal human trophoblast cell line (B6Tert-1) was treated with CSE. The viability and proliferation of the CSE-treated B6Tert-1 cells were evaluated, and the expression of GM-CSF in these cells was quantified at the mRNA and the protein levels by means of reverse-transcription and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR); and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively. Human trophoblast cells treated with CSE had an increased expression of GM-CSF at both the mRNA and the protein levels. The CSE-induced GM-CSF expression was synergistically enhanced by the addition of the proteasome inhibitor MG-132, but inhibited by AG-1478, an inhibitor of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) kinase. Furthermore, CSE treatment increased the phosphorylation of the extracellular-signal regulated kinases (ERK1/2) in the trophoblast cells. The expression of other growth factors such as heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor (HB-EGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was also evaluated. Our data suggested that cigarette smoking and proteasome inhibition synergistically up-regulate GM-CSF cytokine expression by activating the EGFR signaling pathway.