The retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptors α and γ (RORα and RORγ), are key regulators of helper T (Th)17 cell differentiation, which is involved in the innate immune system and autoimmune disorders. However, it remains unclear whether environmental chemicals, including pesticides, have agonistic and/or antagonistic activity against RORα/γ. In this study, we investigated the RORα/γ activity of several azole-type fungicides, and the effects of these fungicides on the gene expression of interleukin (IL)-17, which mediates the function of Th17 cells. In the ROR-reporter gene assays, five azole-type fungicides (imibenconazole, triflumizole, hexaconazole, tetraconazole and imazalil) suppressed RORα- and/or RORγ-mediated transcriptional activity as did benzenesulphonamide T0901317, a ROR inverse agonist and a liver X receptor (LXR) agonist. In particular, imibenconazole, triflumizole and hexaconazole showed RORγ inverse agonistic activity at concentrations of 10−6 M. However, unlike T0901317, these fungicides failed to show any LXRα/β agonistic activity. Next, five azole-type fungicides, showing ROR inverse agonist activity, were tested on IL-17 mRNA expression in mouse T lymphoma EL4 cells treated with phorbol myristate acetate and ionomycin. The quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed that these fungicides suppressed the expression of IL-17 mRNA without effecting RORα and RORγ mRNA levels. In addition, the inhibitory effect of imibenconazole as well as that of T0901317 was absorbed in RORα/γ-knocked down EL4 cells. Taken together, these results suggest that some azole-type fungicides inhibit IL-17 production via RORα/γ. This also provides the first evidence that environmental chemicals can act as modulators of IL-17 expression in immune cells.
fungicide; interleukin 17; mouse; reporter gene assay; retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor
Arsenic is a well-documented human carcinogen associated with skin carcinogenesis. Our previous work reveals that arsenite exposure is able to induce cell transformation in mouse epidermal cell JB6 Cl41 through the activation of ERK, rather than JNK pathway. Our current studies further evaluate downstream pathway in low dose arsenite-induced cell transformation in JB6 Cl41 cells. Our results showed that treatment of cells with low dose arsenite induced activation of c-Jun/AP-1 pathway, and ectopic expression of dominant negative mutant of c-Jun (TAM67) blocked arsenite-induced transformation. Furthermore, our data indicated that cyclin D1 was an important downstream molecule involved in c-Jun/AP-1-mediated cell transformation upon low dose arsenite exposure, because inhibition of cyclin D1 expression by its specific siRNA in the JB6 Cl41 cells resulted in impairment of anchorage-independent growth of cells induced by low dose arsenite. Collectively, our results demonstrate that c-Jun/AP-1-mediated cyclin D1 expression is at least one of the key events implicated in cell transformation upon low dose arsenite exposure.
c-Jun; AP-1; Cyclin D1; Arsenite; Transformation
Cadmium has been widely used in industry and is known to be carcinogenic to humans. Although it is widely accepted that chronic exposure to cadmium increases the incidence of cancer, the mechanisms underlying cadmium-induced carcinogenesis are unclear. The main aim of this study was to investigate the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cadmium-induced carcinogenesis and the signal transduction pathways involved. Chronic exposure of human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells to cadmium induced cell transformation, as evidenced by anchorage-independent growth in soft agar and clonogenic assays. Chronic cadmium treatment also increased the potential of these cells to invade and migrate. Injection of cadmium-stimulated cells into nude mice resulted in the formation of tumors. In contrast, the cadmium-mediated increases in colony formation, cell invasion and migration were prevented by transfection with catalase, superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1), or SOD2. In particular, chronic cadmium exposure led to activation of signaling cascades involving PI3K, AKT, GSK-3β, and β-catenin and transfection with each of the above antioxidant enzymes markedly inhibited cadmium-mediated activation of these signaling proteins. Inhibitors specific for AKT or β-catenin almost completely suppressed the cadmium-mediated increase in total and active β-catenin proteins and colony formation. Moreover, there was a marked induction of AKT, GSK-3β, β-catenin, and carcinogenic markers in tumor tissues formed in mice after injection with cadmium-stimulated cells. Collectively, our findings suggest a direct involvement of ROS in cadmium-induced carcinogenesis and implicate a role of AKT/GSK-3β/β-catenin signaling in this process.
cadmium; carcinogenesis; ROS; GSK-3β; β-catenin
Epidemiological studies of arsenic-exposed populations have provided evidence that arsenic exposure in humans is associated with immunosuppression. Previously, we have reported that arsenite-induced toxicity is associated with the induction of autophagy in human lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCL). Autophagy is a cellular process that functions in the degradation of damaged cellular components, including protein aggregates formed by misfolded or damaged proteins. Accumulation of misfolded or damaged proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lumen causes ER stress and activates the unfolded protein response (UPR). In an effort to investigate the mechanism of autophagy induction by arsenite in the LCL model, we examined the potential contribution of ER stress and activation of the UPR. LCL exposed to sodium arsenite for 8-days induced expression of UPR-activated genes, including CHOP and GRP78, at the RNA and the protein level. Evidence for activation of the three arms of the UPR was observed. The arsenite-induced activation of the UPR was associated with an accumulation of protein aggregates containing p62 and LC3, proteins with established roles in the sequestration and autophagic clearance of protein aggregates. Taken together, these data provide evidence that arsenite-induced autophagy is associated with the generation of ER stress, activation of the UPR, and formation of protein aggregates that may be targeted to the lysosome for degradation.
ER stress; Arsenite; Autophagy; Proteotoxicity; Lymphoblastoid cell lines
A new class of nitric oxide (NO•)-releasing nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NONO-NSAIDs) were developed in recent years and have shown promising potential as NSAID substitutes due to their gentle nature on cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems. Since nitric oxide plays a role in regulation of cell adhesion, we assessed the potential use of NONO-NSAIDs as anti-metastasis drugs. In this regard, we compared the effects of NONO-aspirin and a novel NONO-naproxen, to those exerted by their respective parent NSAIDs on avidities of human melanoma M624 cells. Both NONO-NSAIDs, but not the corresponding parent NSAIDs, reduced M624 adhesion on vascular cellular adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) by 20-30% and fibronectin by 25-44% under fluid flow conditions and static conditions, respectively. Only NONO-naproxen reduced (~56%) the activity of β1 integrin, which binds to α4 integrin to form very late antigen-4 (VLA-4), the ligand of VCAM-1. These results indicate that the diazeniumdiolate (NO•)-donor moiety is critical for reducing the adhesion between VLA-4 and its ligands, while the NSAID moiety can impact the regulation mechanism of melanoma cell adhesion.
NONO-NASAIDs; melanoma; cell adhesion; integrin
Although many drugs and environmental chemicals are teratogenic, the mechanisms by which most toxicants disrupt embryonic development are not well understood. MicroRNAs, single-stranded RNA molecules of ~22 nt that regulate protein expression by inhibiting mRNA translation and promoting mRNA sequestration or degradation, are important regulators of a variety of cellular processes including embryonic development and cellular differentiation. Recent studies have demonstrated that exposure to xenobiotics can alter microRNA expression and contribute to the mechanisms by which environmental chemicals disrupt embryonic development. In this study we tested the hypothesis that developmental exposure to 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), a well-known teratogen, alters microRNA expression during zebrafish development. We exposed zebrafish embryos to DMSO (0.1%) or TCDD (5 nM) for 1 hr at 30 hours post fertilization (hpf) and measured microRNA expression using several methods at 36 and 60 hpf. TCDD caused strong induction of CYP1A at 36 hpf (62-fold) and 60 hpf (135-fold) as determined by real-time RT-PCR, verifying the effectiveness of the exposure. MicroRNA expression profiles were determined using microarrays (Agilent and Exiqon), next-generation sequencing (SOLiD), and real-time RT-PCR. The two microarray platforms yielded results that were similar but not identical; both showed significant changes in expression of miR-451, 23a, 23b, 24 and 27e at 60 hpf. Multiple analyses were performed on the SOLiD sequences yielding a total of 16 microRNAs as potentially differentially expressed by TCDD in zebrafish embryos. However, miR-27e was the only microRNA to be identified as differentially expressed by all three methods (both microarrays, SOLiD sequencing, and real-time RT-PCR). These results suggest that TCDD exposure causes modest changes in expression of microRNAs, including some (miR-451, 23a, 23b, 24 and 27e) that are critical for hematopoiesis and cardiovascular development.
dioxin; microRNA; zebrafish; development
Oxidative stress and mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) are important mechanisms in acetaminophen (APAP) toxicity. The MPT inhibitor trifluoperazine (TFP) reduced MPT, oxidative stress, and toxicity in freshly isolated hepatocytes treated with APAP. Since hypoxia inducible factor-one alpha (HIF-1α is induced very early in APAP toxicity, a role for oxidative stress in the induction has been postulated. In the present study, the effect of TFP on toxicity and HIF-1α induction in B6C3F1 male mice treated with APAP was examined. Mice received TFP (10 mg/kg, oral gavage) prior to APAP (200 mg/kg IP) and at 7 and 36 h after APAP. Measures of metabolism (hepatic glutathione and APAP protein adducts) were comparable in the two groups of mice. Toxicity was decreased in the APAP/TFP mice at 2, 4, and 8 h, compared to the APAP mice. At 24 and 48 h, there were no significant differences in toxicity between the two groups. TFP lowered HIF-1α induction but also reduced the expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen, a marker of hepatocyte regeneration. TFP can also inhibit phospholipase A2, and cytosolic and secretory PLA2 activity levels were reduced in the APAP/TFP mice compared to the APAP mice. TFP also lowered prostaglandin E2 expression, a known mechanism of cytoprotection. In summary, the MPT inhibitor TFP delayed the onset of toxicity and lowered HIF-1α induction in APAP treated mice. TFP also reduced PGE2 expression and hepatocyte regeneration, likely through a mechanism involving PLA2.
Acetaminophen; Mitochondrial Permeability Transition; Phospholipase A2; Mitochondria; Toxicity
Fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF21) is a potential metabolic regulator with multiple beneficial effects on metabolic diseases. FGF21 is mainly expressed in the liver, but is also found in other tissues including the intestine, which expresses β-klotho abundantly. The intestine is a unique organ that operates in a physiologically hypoxic environment, and is responsible for the fat absorption processes including triglyceride breakdown, re-synthesis and absorption into the portal circulation. In the present study, we investigated the effects of hypoxia and the chemical hypoxia inducer, cobalt chloride (CoCl2), on FGF21 expression in Caco-2 cells and the consequence of fat accumulation. Physical hypoxia (1% oxygen) and CoCl2 treatment decreased both FGF21 mRNA and secreted protein levels. Gene silence and inhibition of hypoxia-inducible factor-α (HIFα) did not affect the reduction of FGF21 mRNA and protein levels by hypoxia. However, CoCl2 administration caused a significant increase in oxidative stress. The addition of n-acetylcysteine (NAC) suppressed CoCl2-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation and completely negated CoCl2-induced FGF21 loss. mRNA stability analysis demonstrated that the CoCl2 administration caused a remarkable reduction in FGF21 mRNA stability. Furthermore, CoCl2 increased intracellular triglyceride (TG) accumulation, along with a reduction in mRNA levels of lipid lipase, hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) and adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL), and an increase of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c (SREBP1c) and stearoyl-coenzyme A (SCD1). Addition of both NAC and recombinant FGF21 significantly attenuated the CoCl2-induced TG accumulation. In conclusion, the decrease of FGF21 in Caco-2 cells by chemical hypoxia is independent of HIFα, but dependent on an oxidative stress-mediated mechanism. The regulation of FGF21 by hypoxia may contribute to intestinal lipid metabolism and absorption.
Fibroblast growth factor-21; Hypoxia; Cobalt chloride; Hypoxia-inducible factor; Caco-2
Cytochrome P450 (CYP) 4Z1, a novel CYP4 family member, is over-expressed in human mammary carcinoma and associated with high-grade tumors and poor prognosis. However, the precise role of CYP4Z1 in tumor progression is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that CYP4Z1 overexpression promotes tumor angiogenesis and growth in breast cancer. Stable expression of CYP4Z1 in T47D and BT-474 human breast cancer cells significantly increased mRNA expression and production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A, and decreased mRNA levels and secretion of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2), without affecting cell proliferation and anchorage-independent cell growth in vitro. Notably, the conditioned medium from CYP4Z1-expressing cells enhanced proliferation, migration and tube formation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells, and promoted angiogenesis in the zebrafish embryo and chorioallantoic membrane of the chick embryo. In addition, there were lower levels of myristic acid and lauric acid, and higher contents of 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE) in CYP4Z1-expressing T47D cells compared with vector control. CYP4Z1 overexpression significantly increased tumor weight and microvessel density by 2.6-fold and 1.9-fold in human tumor xenograft models, respectively. Moreover, CYP4Z1 transfection increased the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and PI3K/Akt, while PI3K or ERK inhibitors and siRNA silencing reversed CYP4Z1-mediated changes in VEGF-A and TIMP-2 expression. Conversely, HET0016, an inhibitor of the CYP4 family, potently inhibited the tumor-induced angiogenesis with associated changes in the intracellular levels of myristic acid, lauric acid and 20-HETE. Collectively, these data suggest that increased CYP4Z1 expression promotes tumor angiogenesis and growth in breast cancer partly via PI3K/Akt and ERK1/2 activation.
Cytochrome P450; Angiogenesis; VEGF-A; TIMP-2; Breast cancer
Arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (AS3MT) is the key enzyme in the pathway for methylation of arsenicals. A common polymorphism in the AS3MT gene that replaces a threonyl residue in position 287 with a methionyl residue (AS3MT/M287T) occurs at a frequency of about 10% among populations worldwide. Here, we compared catalytic properties of recombinant human wild-type (wt) AS3MT and AS3MT/M287T in reaction mixtures containing S-adenosylmethionine, arsenite (iAsIII) or methylarsonous acid (MAsIII) as substrates and endogenous or synthetic reductants, including glutathione (GSH), a thioredoxin reductase (TR)/thioredoxin (Trx)/NADPH reducing system, or tris (2-carboxyethyl) phosphine hydrochloride (TCEP). With either TR/Trx/NADPH or TCEP, wtAS3MT or AS3MT/M287T catalyzed conversion of iAsIII to MAsIII, methylarsonic acid (MAsV), dimethylarsinous acid (DMAsIII), and dimethylarsinic acid (DMAsV); MAsIII was converted to DMAsIII and DMAsV. Although neither enzyme required GSH to support methylation of iAsIII or MAsIII, addition of 1 mM GSH decreased Km and increased Vmax estimates for either substrate in reaction mixtures containing TR/Trx/NADPH. Without GSH, Vmax and Km values were significantly lower for AS3MT/M287T than for wtAS3MT. In the presence of 1 mM GSH, significantly more DMAsIII was produced from iAsIII in reactions catalyzed by the M287T variant than in wtAS3MT-catalyzed reactions. Thus, 1 mM GSH modulates AS3MT activity, increasing both methylation rates and yield of DMAsIII. AS3MT genotype exemplified by differences in regulation of wtAS3MT and AS3MT/M287T-catalyzed reactions by GSH may contribute to differences in the phenotype for arsenic methylation and, ultimately, to differences in the disease susceptibility in individuals chronically exposed to inorganic arsenic.
Arsenic methylation; AS3MT polymorphism; thioredoxin reductase; glutathione
2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is a potent ovarian toxicant. Previously, we demonstrated that in vitro TCDD (1 nM) exposure decreases production/secretion of the sex steroid hormones progesterone (P4), androstenedione (A4), testosterone (T), and 17β-estradiol (E2) in mouse antral follicles. The purpose of this study was to determine the mechanism by which TCDD inhibits steroidogenesis. Specifically, we examined the effects of TCDD on the steroidogenic enzymes, atresia, and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) protein. TCDD exposure for 48 h increased levels of A4, without changing HSD3B1 protein, HSD17B1 protein, estrone (E1), T or E2 levels. Further, TCDD did not alter atresia ratings compared to vehicle at 48 h. TCDD, however, did down regulate the AHR protein at 48 h. TCDD exposure for 96 h decreased transcript levels for Cyp11a1, Cyp17a1, Hsd17b1, and Cyp19a1, but increased Hsd3b1 transcript. TCDD exposure particularly lowered both Hsd17b1 transcript and HSD17B1 protein. However, TCDD exposure did not affect levels of E1 in the media nor atresia ratings at 96 h. TCDD, however, decreased levels of the proapoptotic factor Bax. Collectively, these data suggest that TCDD exposure causes a major block in the steroidogenic enzyme conversion of A4 to T and E1 to E2 and that it regulates apoptotic pathways, favoring survival over death in antral follicles. Finally, the down-regulation of the AHR protein in TCDD exposed follicles persisted at 96 h, indicating that the activation and proteasomal degradation of this receptor likely plays a central role in the impaired steroidogenic capacity and altered apoptotic pathway of exposed antral follicles.
TCDD; Antral follicle; Atresia; Aryl hydrocarbon receptor; HSD17B; Bax
Increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of developing prostate cancer. Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM) are phytochemicals derived from cruciferous vegetables that have shown promise in inhibiting prostate cancer in experimental models. Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition is an emerging target for cancer prevention and therapy. We sought to examine the effects of I3C and DIM on HDACs in human prostate cancer cell lines: androgen insensitive PC-3cells and androgen sensitive LNCaP cells. I3C modestly inhibited HDAC activity in LNCaP cells by 25% but no inhibition of HDAC activity was detected in PC-3 cells. In contrast, DIM significantly inhibited HDAC activity in both cell lines by as much as 66%. Decreases in HDAC activity correlated with increased expression of p21, a known target of HDAC inhibitors. DIM treatment caused a significant decrease in the expression of HDAC2 protein in both cancer cell lines but no significant change in the protein levels of HDAC1, HDAC3, HDAC4, HDAC6 or HDAC8 were detected. Taken together, these results show that inhibition of HDAC activity by DIM may contribute to the phytochemicals anti-proliferative effects in the prostate. The ability of DIM to target aberrant epigenetic patterns, in addition to its effects on detoxification of carcinogens, may make it an effective chemopreventive agent by targeting multiple stages of prostate carcinogenesis.
3,3′-diindolylmethane; histone deacetylase; indole-3-carbinol; prostate cancer; chemoprevention; epigenetics
The ubiquitinproteasome system is involved in various cellular processes, including transcription, apoptosis, and cell cycle. In vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies suggest the potential use of proteasome inhibitors as anticancer drugs. Cadmium (Cd) is a widespread environmental pollutant that has been classified as a human carcinogen. Recent study in our laboratory suggested that the clinically used anti-alcoholism drug disulfiram (DSF) could form a complex with tumor cellular copper, resulting in inhibition of the proteasomal chymotrypsin-like activity and induction of cancer cell apoptosis. In the current study, we report, for the first time, that DSF is able to convert the carcinogen Cd to a proteasome-inhibitor and cancer cell apoptosis inducer. Although the DSF–Cd complex inhibited the chymotrypsin-like activity of a purified 20S proteasome with an IC50 value of 32 μmol/L, this complex was much more potent in inhibiting the chymotrypsin-like activity of prostate cancer cellular 26S proteasome. Inhibition of cellular proteasome activity by the DSF–Cd complex resulted in the accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins and the natural proteasome substrate p27, which was followed by activation of calpain and induction of apoptosis. Importantly, human breast cancer MCF10DCIS cells were much more sensitive to the DSF–Cd treatment than immortalized but non-tumorigenic human breast MCF-10A cells, demonstrating that the DSF–Cd complex could selectively induce proteasome inhibition and apoptosis in human tumor cells. Our work suggests the potential use of DSF for treatment of cells with accumulated levels of carcinogen Cd.
Cadmium; Disulfiram; Proteasome inhibitor; Calpain; Apoptosis
Zinc and copper are trace elements essential for proper folding, stabilization and catalytic activity of many metalloenzymes in living organisms. However, disturbed zinc and copper homeostasis is reported in many types of cancer. We have previously demonstrated that copper complexes induced proteasome inhibition and apoptosis in cultured human cancer cells. In the current study we hypothesized that zinc complexes could also inhibit the proteasomal chymotrypsin-like activity responsible for subsequent apoptosis induction. We first showed that zinc(II) chloride was able to inhibit the chymotrypsin-like activity of a purified 20S proteasome with an IC50 value of 13.8 μM, which was less potent than copper(II) chloride (IC50 5.3 μM). We then compared the potencies of a pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PyDT)-zinc(II) complex and a PyDT-copper(II) complex to inhibit cellular proteasomal activity, suppress proliferation and induce apoptosis in various human breast and prostate cancer cell lines. Consistently, zinc complex was less potent than copper complex in inhibiting the proteasome and inducing apoptosis. Additionally, zinc and copper complexes appear to use somewhat different mechanisms to kill tumor cells. Zinc complexes were able to activate calpain-, but not caspase-3-dependent pathway, while copper complexes were able to induce activation of both proteases. Furthermore, the potencies of these PyDT-metal complexes depend on the nature of metals and also on the ratio of PyDT to the metal ion within the complex, which probably affects their stability and availability for interacting with and inhibiting the proteasome in tumor cells.
Zinc; Copper; Proteasome inhibitor; Apoptosis; Calpain; Pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate
Clinical hypothyroidism affects various metabolic processes including drug metabolism. CYP2B and CYP3A are important cytochrome P450 drug metabolizing enzymes that are regulated by the xenobiotic receptors constitutive androstane receptor (CAR, NR1I3) and pregnane X receptor (PXR, NR1I2). We evaluated the regulation of the hepatic expression of CYPs by CAR and PXR in the hypothyroid state induced by a low-iodine diet containing 0.15% propylthiouracil. Expression of Cyp3a11 was suppressed in hypothyroid C57BL/6 wild type (WT) mice and a further decrement was observed in hypothyroid CAR-/- mice, but not in hypothyroid PXR-/- mice. In contrast, expression of Cyp2b10 was induced in both WT and PXR-/- hypothyroid mice, and this induction was abolished in CAR-/- mice and in and CAR-/- PXR-/- double knockouts. CAR mRNA expression was increased by hypothyroidism, while PXR expression remained unchanged. Carbamazepine (CBZ) is a commonly used antiepileptic that is metabolized by CYP3A isoforms. After CBZ treatment of normal chow fed mice, serum CBZ levels were highest in CAR-/- mice and lowest in WT and PXR-/- mice. Hypothyroid WT or PXR-/- mice survived chronic CBZ treatment, but all hypothyroid CAR-/- and CAR-/- PXR-/- mice died, with CAR-/-PXR-/- mice surviving longer than CAR-/- mice (12.3 ±3.3 days vs. 6.3 ±2.1 days, p=0.04). All these findings suggest that hypothyroid status affects xenobiotic metabolism, with opposing responses of CAR and PXR and their CYP targets that can cancel each other out, decreasing serious metabolic derangement in response to a xenobiotic challenge.
thyroid hormone; cytochrome P450; xenobiotic receptor
Black cohosh rhizome (Actaea racemosa) is used as a remedy for pain and gynecological ailments; modern preparations are commonly sold as ethanolic extracts available as dietary supplements. Black cohosh was nominated to the National Toxicology Program (NTP) for toxicity testing due to its widespread use and lack of safety data. Several commercially available black cohosh extracts (BCE) were characterized by the NTP, and one with chemical composition closest to formulations available to consumers was used for all studies. Female B6C3F1/N mice and Wistar Han rats were given 0, 15 (rats only), 62.5 (mice only), 125, 250, 500, or 1000 mg/kg/day BCE by gavage for 90 days starting at weaning. BCE induced dose-dependent hematological changes consistent with a non-regenerative macrocytic anemia and increased frequencies of peripheral micronucleated red blood cells (RBC) in both species. Effects were more severe in mice, which had decreased RBC counts in all treatment groups and increased micronucleated RBC at doses above 125 mg/kg. Dose-dependent thymus and liver toxicity was observed in rats but not mice. No biologically significant effects were observed in other organs. Puberty was delayed 2.9 days at the highest treatment dose in rats; a similar magnitude delay in mice occurred in the 125 and 250 mg/kg groups but not at the higher doses. An additional uterotrophic assay conducted in mice exposed for 3 days to 0.001, 0.01, 0.1, 1, 10, 100 and 500 mg/kg found no estrogenic or anti-estrogenic activity. These are the first studies to observe adverse effects of BCE in rodents.
black cohosh; Actaea racemosa; non-regenerative macrocytic anemia; micronucleus; genetic toxicity
Sulfur mustard [bis(2-chloroethyl)sulfide, SM] is a well-known DNA-damaging agent that has been used in chemical warfare since World War I, and is a weapon that could potentially be used in a terrorist attack on a civilian population. Dermal exposure to high concentrations of SM produces severe, long-lasting burns. Topical exposure to high concentrations of 2-(chloroethyl) ethyl sulfide (CEES), a monofunctional analog of SM, also produces severe skin lesions in mice. Utilizing a genetically engineered mouse strain, Big Blue, that allows measurement of mutation frequencies in mouse tissues, we now show that topical treatment with much lower concentrations of CEES induces significant dose- and time-dependent increases in mutation frequency in mouse skin; the mutagenic exposures produce minimal toxicity as determined by standard histopathology and immunohistochemical analysis for cytokeratin 6 and the DNA-damage induced phosphorylation of histone H2AX (γ-H2AX). We attempted to develop a therapeutic that would inhibit the CEES-induced increase in mutation frequency in the skin. We observe that multi-dose, topical treatment with 2,6-dithiopurine (DTP), a known chemical scavenger of CEES, beginning 1 hour post-exposure to CEES, completely abolishes the CEES-induced increase in mutation frequency. These findings suggest the possibility that DTP, previously shown to be non-toxic in mice, may be useful as a therapeutic agent in accidental or malicious human exposures to SM.
sulfur mustard; electrophile; carcinogen
Chlorine is a highly toxic respiratory irritant that when inhaled causes epithelial cell injury, alveolar-capillary barrier disruption, airway hyperreactivity, inflammation, and pulmonary edema. Chlorine is considered a chemical threat agent, and its release through accidental or intentional means has the potential to result in mass casualties from acute lung injury. The type 4 phosphodiesterase inhibitor rolipram was investigated as a rescue treatment for chlorine-induced lung injury. Rolipram inhibits degradation of the intracellular signaling molecule cyclic AMP. Potential beneficial effects of increased cyclic AMP levels include inhibition of pulmonary edema, inflammation, and airway hyperreactivity. Mice were exposed to chlorine (whole body exposure, 228–270 ppm for 1 h) and were treated with rolipram by intraperitoneal, intranasal, or intramuscular (either aqueous or nanoemulsion formulation) delivery starting 1 h after exposure. Rolipram administered intraperitoneally or intranasally inhibited chlorine-induced pulmonary edema. Minor or no effects were observed on lavage fluid IgM (indicative of plasma protein leakage), KC (Cxcl1, neutrophil chemoattractant), and neutrophils. All routes of administration inhibited chlorine-induced airway hyperreactivity assessed 1 day after exposure. The results of the study suggest that rolipram may be an effective rescue treatment for chlorine-induced lung injury and that both systemic and targeted administration to the respiratory tract were effective routes of delivery.
Acute lung injury; pulmonary edema; airway hyperreactivity
MCC-555 is a novel PPARα/γ dual ligand of the thiazolidinedione class and was recently developed as an anti-diabetic drug with unique properties. MCC-555 also has anti-proliferative activity through growth inhibition and apoptosis induction in several cancer cell types. Our group has shown that MCC-555 targets several proteins in colorectal tumorigenesis including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-activated gene (NAG-1) which plays an important role in chemoprevention responsible for chemopreventive compounds. NAG-1 is a member of the TGF-β superfamily and is involved in tumor progression and development; however, NAG-1’s roles in pancreatic cancer have not been studied. In this report, we found that MCC-555 alters not only NAG-1 expression, but also p21 and cyclin D1 expression. NAG-1 and p21 expression was not blocked by PPARγ-specific antagonist GW9662, suggesting that MCC-555-induced NAG-1 and p21 expression is independent of PPARγ activation. However, decreasing cyclin D1 by MCC-555 seems to be affected by PPARγ activation. Further, we found that the GC box located in the NAG-1 promoter play an important role in NAG-1 transactivation by MCC-555. Subsequently, we screened several transcription factors that may bind to the GC box region in the NAG-1 promoter and found that KLF4 potentially binds to this region. Expression of KLF4 precedes NAG-1 and p21 expression in the presence of MCC-555, whereas blocking KLF4 expression using specific KLF4 siRNA showed that both NAG-1 and p21 expression by MCC-555 was blocked. In conclusion, MCC-555’s actions on anti-proliferation involve both PPARγ-dependent and -independent pathways, thereby enhancing anti-tumorigenesis in pancreatic cancer cells.
MCC-555; KLF4; p21; NAG-1; cyclin D1; and PPAR
Ozone is a pulmonary irritant known to cause oxidative stress, inflammation and tissue injury. Evidence suggests that macrophages play a role in the pathogenic response; however, their contribution depends on the mediators they encounter in the lung which dictate their function. In these studies we analyzed the effects of ozone-induced oxidative stress on the phenotype of alveolar macrophages (AM). Exposure of rats to ozone (2 ppm, 3 h) resulted in increased expression of 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), as well as heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in AM. Whereas 8-OHdG was maximum at 24 h, expression of HO-1 was biphasic increasing after 3 h and 48–72 h. Cleaved caspase-9 and beclin-1, markers of apoptosis and autophagy, were also induced in AM 24 h post-ozone. This was associated with increased bronchoalveolar lavage protein and cells, as well as matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9, demonstrating alveolar epithelial injury. Ozone intoxication resulted in biphasic activation of the transcription factor, NFκB. This correlated with expression of monocyte chemotactic protein -1, inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase -2, markers of proinflammatory macrophages. Increases in arginase-1, Ym1 and galectin-3 positive anti-inflammatory/wound repair macrophages were also observed in the lung after ozone inhalation, beginning at 24 h (arginase-1, Ym1), and persisting for 72 h (galectin-3). This was associated with increased expression of pro-surfactant protein-C, a marker of Type II cell proliferation and activation, important steps in wound repair. These data suggest that both proinflammatory/cytotoxic and anti-inflammatory/wound repair macrophages are activated early in the response to ozone-induced oxidative stress and tissue injury.
Ozone; oxidative stress; macrophage phenotype; heme oxygenase-1; autophagy; galectin-3
Suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) inhibiting cancer cell growth has been associated with its down-regulation of cyclin D1 protein expression at transcription level or translation level. Here, we have demonstrated that SAHA inhibited EGF-induced Cl41 cell transformation via the decrease of cyclin D1 mRNA stability and induction of G0/G1 growth arrest. We found that SAHA treatment resulted in the dramatic inhibition of EGF-induced cell transformation, cyclin D1 protein expression and induction of G0/G1 growth arrest. Further studies showed that SAHA downregulation of cyclin D1 was only observed with endogenous cyclin D1, but not with reconstitutionally expressed cyclin D1 in the same cells, excluding the possibility of SAHA regulating cyclin D1 at level of protein degradation. Moreover, SAHA inhibited EGF-induced cyclin d1 mRNA level, whereas it did not show any inhibitory effect on cyclin D1 promoter-driven luciferase reporter activity under the same experimental conditions, suggesting that SAHA may decrease cyclin D1 mRNA stability. This notion was supported by the results that treatment of cells with SAHA decreased the half-life of cyclin D1 mRNA from 6.95 h to 2.57 h. Consistent with downregulation of cyclin D1 mRNA stability, SAHA treatment also attenuated HuR expression, which has been well-characterized as a positive regulator of cyclin D1 mRNA stability. Thus, our study identifies a novel mechanism responsible for SAHA inhibiting cell transformation via decreasing cyclin D1 mRNA stability and induction of G0/G1 growth arrest in Cl41 cells.
SAHA; cyclin D1 mRNA stability; Cell transformation
Studies in recent years have revealed that excess mitochondrial superoxide production is an important etiological factor in neurodegenerative diseases, resulting from oxidative modifications of cellular lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. Hence, it is important to understand the mechanism by which mitochondrial oxidative stress causes neuronal death. In this study, the immortalized mouse hippocampal neuronal cells (HT22) in culture were used as a model and they were exposed to menadione (also known as vitamin K3) to increase intracellular superoxide production. We found that menadione causes preferential accumulation of superoxide in the mitochondria of these cells, along with the rapid development of mitochondrial dysfunction and cellular ATP depletion. Neuronal death induced by menadione is independent of the activation of the MAPK signaling pathways and caspases. The lack of caspase activation is due to the rapid depletion of cellular ATP. It was observed that two ATP-independent mitochondrial nucleases, namely, AIF and Endo G, are released following menadione exposure. Silencing of their expression using specific siRNAs results in transient suppression (for ~12 h) of mitochondrial superoxide-induced neuronal death. While suppression of the mitochondrial superoxide dismutase expression markedly sensitizes neuronal cells to mitochondrial superoxide-induced cytotoxicity, its over-expression confers strong protection. Collectively, these findings showed that many of the observed features associated with mitochondrial superoxide-induced cell death, including caspase independency, rapid depletion of ATP level, mitochondrial release of AIF and Endo G, and mitochondrial swelling, are distinctly different from those of apoptosis; instead they resemble some of the known features of necroptosis.
ATP-independent neuronal death; Caspase-independent neuronal death; Necrosis; Mitochondrial damage-induced cell death; Superoxide dismutase; Reactive oxygen species; Apoptosis-inducing factor; Endonuclease G
Arsenic is an environmental toxicant and carcinogen. Exposure to arsenic is associated with development of liver fibrosis and portal hypertension through ill defined mechanisms. We evaluated hepatic fibrogenesis after long term arsenic exposure in a murine model. BALB/c mice were exposed to arsenic by daily gavages of 6 μg/ gm body weight for 1 year and were evaluated for markers of hepatic oxidative stress and fibrosis, as well as pro-inflammatory, pro-apoptotic and pro-fibrogenic factors at 9 and 12 months. Hepatic NADPH oxidase activity progressively increased in arsenic exposure with concomitant development of hepatic oxidative stress. Hepatic steatosis with occasional collection of mononuclear inflammatory cells and mild portal fibrosis were the predominant liver lesion observed after 9 months of arsenic exposure, while at 12 months, the changes included mild hepatic steatosis, inflammation, necrosis and significant fibrosis in periportal areas. The pathologic changes in the liver were associated with markers of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) activation, matrix reorganization and fibrosis including α-smooth muscle actin, transforming growth factor-β1, PDGF-Rβ, pro-inflammatory cytokines and enhanced expression of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 and pro (α) collagen type I. Moreover, pro-apoptotic protein Bax was dominantly expressed and Bcl-2 was down-regulated along with increased number of TUNEL positive hepatocytes in liver of arsenic exposed mice. Furthermore, HSCs activation due to increased hepatic oxidative stress observed after in vivo arsenic exposure was recapitulated in co-culture model of isolated HSCs and hepatocytes exposed to arsenic. These findings have implications not only for the understanding of the pathology of arsenic related liver fibrosis but also for the design of preventive strategies in chronic arsenicosis.
Arsenic; Oxidative stress; Reactive oxygen species; Apoptosis; Liver
Nano-sized titanium dioxide (TiO2) is among the top five widely used nanomaterials for various applications. In this study, we determine the phototoxicity of TiO2 nanoparticles (nano-TiO2) with different molecular sizes and crystal forms (anatase and rutile) in human skin keratinocytes under UVA irradiation. Our results show that all nano-TiO2 particles caused phototoxicity, as determined by the MTS assay and by cell membrane damage measured by the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assay, both of which were UVA dose- and nano-TiO2 dose- dependent. The smaller the particle size of nano-TiO2 the higher the cell damage. The rutile form of nano-TiO2 showed less phototoxicity than anatase nano-TiO2. The level of photocytotoxicity and cell membrane damage is mainly dependent on the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Using polyunsaturated lipids in plasma membranes and human serum albumin as model targets, and employing electron spin resonance (ESR) oximetry and immuno-spin trapping as unique probing methods, we demonstrated that UVA irradiation of nano-TiO2 can induce significant cell damage, mediated by lipid and protein peroxidation. These overall results suggest that nano-TiO2 is phototoxic to human skin keratinocytes, and that this phototoxicity is mediated by ROS generated during UVA irradiation.
TiO2 nanoparticles; Phototoxicity; Reactive oxygen species (ROS); Lipid peroxidation; Human HaCaT keratinocytes; ESR; Oximetry; Immuno-spin trapping
Grape seed proanthocyanidins (GSPs) have been shown to have anti-skin carcinogenic effects in in vitro and in vivo models. However, the precise epigenetic molecular mechanisms remain unexplored. This study was designed to investigate whether GSPs reactivate silenced tumor suppressor genes following epigenetic modifications in skin cancer cells. For this purpose, A431 and SCC13 human squamous cell carcinoma cell lines were used as in vitro models. The effects of GSPs on DNA methylation, histone modifications and tumor suppressor gene expressions were studied in these cell lines using enzyme activity assays, western blotting, dot-blot analysis and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). We found that treatment of A431 and SCC13 cells with GSPs decreased the levels of: (i) global DNA methylation, (ii) 5-methylcytosine, (iii) DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) activity and (iv) messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels of DNMT1, DNMT3a and DNMT3b in these cells. Similar effects were noted when these cancer cells were treated identically with 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine, an inhibitor of DNA methylation. GSPs decreased histone deacetylase activity, increased levels of acetylated lysine 9 and 14 on histone H3 (H3-Lys 9 and 14) and acetylated lysine 5, 12 and 16 on histone H4, and reduced the levels of methylated H3-Lys 9. Further, GSPs treatment resulted in re-expression of the mRNA and proteins of silenced tumor suppressor genes, RASSF1A, p16INK4a and Cip1/p21. Together, this study provides new insight into the epigenetic mechanisms of GSPs and may have significant implications for epigenetic therapy in the treatment/prevention of skin cancers in humans.
Grape seed proanthocyanidins; DNA methylation; skin cancer cells; histone acetylation; tumor suppressor genes and proteins