Although many studies have been done to uncover the mechanisms by which down-regulation of Notch-1 exerts its anti-tumor activity against a variety of human malignancies, the precise molecular mechanisms remain unclear. In the present study, we investigated the cellular consequence of Notch-1 down-regulation and also assessed the molecular consequence of Notch-1-mediated alterations of its downstream targets on cell viability and apoptosis in prostate cancer (PCa) cells. We found that the down-regulation of Notch-1 led to the inhibition of cell growth and induction of apoptosis, which was mechanistically linked with down-regulation of Akt and FoxM1, suggesting for the first time that Akt and FoxM1 are downstream targets of Notch-1 signaling. Moreover, we found that a “natural agent” (genistein) originally discovered from soybean could cause significant reduction in cell viability and induced apoptosis of PCa cells, which was consistent with down-regulation of Notch-1, Akt, and FoxM1. These results suggest that down-regulation of Notch-1 by novel agents could become a newer approach for the prevention of tumor progression and/or treatment, which is likely to be mediated via inactivation of Akt and FoxM1 signaling pathways in PCa.
NOTCH-1; PROSTATE CANCER; CELL GROWTH; APOPTOSIS; Akt; FoxM1
Vitamin A (VA) and its active form, retinoic acid (RA), are regulators of skeletal development and chondrogenesis. MafB, a transcription factor, has been identified as an important mediator in monocyte and osteoclast differentiation. However, the presence and function of MafB in chondrocytes is not clear. In this study, MafB gene expression was regulated by both the VA status of the mother (VA-marginal, adequate, and supplemented diets) and by direct oral supplementation of the neonates with VARA (VA mixed with 10% RA). Expression was highest in neonates of VA-supplemented versus VA-marginal dams (P<0.05), and in VARA-treated versus placebo-treated neonates across all diet groups (P<0.05). To examine cellular changes, primary chondrocytes derived from neonatal rat ribs were cultured in the presence of RA for up to 48 h. MafB mRNA exhibited a time- and dose-dependent increase in response to RA, while the induction of MafB mRNA was attenuated by BMS-493, a pan-RAR inverse agonist, implicating RAR signaling in the regulation of MafB. The genetic knockdown of MafB in chondrocytes using siRNA (MafBSI chondrocytes) abrogated the RA-induced increase in MafB expression. MafBSI chondrocytes expressed higher levels of aggrecan mRNA. Additionally, the increased matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)3 and MMP13 gene expression due to RA was attenuated in MafBSI chondrocytes, while total extracellular matrix staining was increased. These results support a role for MafB as a regulator of chondrocyte gene expression and matrix formation via control of aggrecan, MMP3 and MMP13 expression, and indicate an important role for RA in the regulation of MafB.
CHONDROCYTES; RETINOIC ACID; MafB; AGGRECAN; MATRIX METALLOPROTEINASE
Overactivation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/c-Jun signaling is a central mechanism of hepatocyte injury and death including that from oxidative stress. However, the functions of JNK and c-Jun are still unclear, and this pathway also inhibits hepatocyte death. Previous studies of menadione-induced oxidant stress demonstrated that toxicity resulted from sustained JNK/c-Jun activation as death was blocked by the c-Jun dominant negative TAM67. To further delineate the function of JNK/c-Jun signaling in hepatocyte injury from oxidant stress, the effects of direct JNK inhibition on menadione-induced death were examined. In contrast to the inhibitory effect of TAM67, pharmacological JNK inhibition by SP600125 sensitized the rat hepatocyte cell line RALA255-10G to death from menadione. SP600125 similarly sensitized mouse primary hepatocytes to menadione toxicity. Death from SP600125/menadione was c-Jun dependent as it was blocked by TAM67, but independent of c-Jun phosphorylation. Death occurred by apoptosis and necrosis and activation of the mitochondrial death pathway. Short hairpin RNA knockdowns of total JNK or JNK2 sensitized to death from menadione, whereas a jnk1 knockdown was protective. Jnk2 null mouse primary hepatocytes were also sensitized to menadione death. JNK inhibition magnified decreases in cellular ATP content and β-oxidation induced by menadione. This effect mediated cell death as chemical inhibition of β-oxidation also sensitized cells to death from menadione, and supplementation with the β-oxidation substrate oleate blocked death. Components of the JNK/c-Jun signaling pathway have opposing functions in hepatocyte oxidant stress with JNK2 mediating resistance to cell death and c-Jun promoting death.
APOPTOSIS; ATP; FATTY ACID OXIDATION; MENADIONE; NECROSIS
Orthopedic and dental implants manifest increased failure rates when inserted into low density bone. We determined whether chemical pretreatments of a titanium alloy implant material stimulated new bone formation to increase osseointegration in vivo in trabecular bone using a rat model. Titanium alloy rods were untreated or pretreated with heat (600°C) or radiofrequency plasma glow discharge (RFGD). The rods were then coated with the extracellular matrix protein fibronectin (1 nM) or left uncoated and surgically implanted into the rat femoral medullary cavity. Animals were euthanized 3 or 6 weeks later, and femurs were removed for analysis. The number of trabeculae in contact with the implant surface, surface contact between trabeculae and the implant, and the length and area of bone attached to the implant were measured by histomorphometry. Implant shear strength was measured by a pull-out test. Both pretreatments and fibronectin enhanced the number of trabeculae bonding with the implant and trabeculae-to-implant surface contact, with greater effects of fibronectin observed with pretreated compared to untreated implants. RFGD pretreatment modestly increased implant shear strength, which was highly correlated (r2 = 0.87 – 0.99) with measures of trabecular bonding for untreated and RFGD-pretreated implants. In contrast, heat pretreatment increased shear strength 3 to 5-fold for both uncoated and fibronectin-coated implants at 3 and 6 weeks, suggesting a more rapid increase in implant-femur bonding compared to the other groups. In summary, our findings suggest that the heat and RFGD pretreatments can promote the osseointegration of a titanium alloy implant material.
Dental implant; fibronectin; osteoblast; cell differentiation; bone mineralization; osseointegration
Nonsyndromic orofacial clefts are common birth defects whose etiology is influenced by complex genetic and environmental factors and gene–environment interactions. Although these risk factors are not yet fully elucidated, it is known that alterations in transforming growth factor-beta (TGFβ) signaling can cause craniofacial abnormalities, including cleft palate, in mammals. To elucidate the downstream targets of TGFβ signaling in palatogenesis, we analyzed the gene expression profiles of Tgfbr2fl/fl;Wnt1-Cre mouse embryos with cleft palate and other craniofacial deformities resulting from the targeted inactivation of the Tgfbr2 gene in their cranial neural crest (CNC) cells. Relative to controls, palatal tissues obtained from Tgfbr2fl/fl;Wnt1-Cre mouse embryos at embryonic day 14.5 (E14.5) of gestation have a robust gene expression signature reflective of known defects in CNC-derived mesenchymal cell proliferation. Groups of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were involved in diverse cellular processes and components associated with orofacial clefting, including the extracellular matrix, cholesterol metabolism, ciliogenesis, and multiple signaling pathways. A subset of the DEGs are known or suspected to be associated with an increased risk of orofacial clefting in humans and/or genetically engineered mice. Based on bioinformatics analyses, we highlight the functional relationships among differentially expressed transcriptional regulators of palatogenesis as well as transcriptional factors not previously associated with this process. We suggest that gene expression profiling studies of mice with TGFβ signaling defects provide a valuable approach for identifying candidate mechanisms by which this pathway controls cell fate during palatogenesis and its role in the etiology of human craniofacial abnormalities.
TGFβ SIGNALING; CLEFT PALATE; MICROARRAY; GENE EXPRESSION PROFILING
We have previously reported on a gold(III) complex, namely [AuBr2(DMDT)] (N,N-dimethyldithiocarbamate) showing potent in vitro and in vivo growth inhibitory activities toward human cancer cells and identifying the cellular proteasome as one of the major targets. However, the importance of the oxidation state of the gold center and the involved mechanism of action has yet to be established. Here we show that both gold(III)- and gold(I)-dithiocarbamato species, namely [AuBr2(ESDT)] (AUL12) and [Au(ESDT)]2 (AUL15), could inhibit the chymotrypsin-like activity of purified 20S proteasome and 26S proteasome in human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells, resulting in accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins and proteasome target proteins, and induction of cell death, but at significantly different levels. Gold(I) and gold(III) compounds-mediated proteasome inhibition and cell death induction were completely reversed by the addition of a reducing agent, dithiothreitol or N-acetyl-l-cysteine, suggesting the involvement of redox processes. Furthermore, treatment of MDA-MB-231 cells with gold(III) compound (AUL12), but not the gold(I) analogue (AUL15), resulted in the production of significant level of reactive oxygen species. Our study provides strong evidence that the cellular proteasome is an imporant target of both gold(I) and gold(III) dithiocarbamates, but distinct cellular mechanisms of action are responsible for their different overall effect.
Apoptosis; gold compounds; proteasome inhibitor; redox; reactive oxygen species
To investigate reversal effects of pantoprazole (PPZ) on multidrug resistance (MDR) in human gastric adenocarcinoma cells in vivo and in vitro. Human gastric adenocarcinoma cell SGC7901 was cultured in RPMI-1640 medium supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum and antibiotics in a humidified 5% CO2 atmosphere at 37°C. Adriamycin (ADR)-resistant cells were cultured with addition of 0.8 μg/ml of ADR maintaining MDR phenotype. ADR was used to calculate ADR releasing index; CCK-8 Assay was performed to evaluate the cytotoxicity of anti-tumor drugs; BCECF-AM pH-sensitive fluorescent probe was used to measure intracellular pH (pHi) value of cells, whereas pH value of medium was considered as extracellular pH (pHe) value; Western blotting and immunofluorescent staining analyses were employed to determine protein expressions and intracellular distributions of vacuolar H+-ATPases (V-ATPases), mTOR, HIF-1α, P-glycoprotein (P-gp), and multidrug resistant protein 1 (MRP1); SGC7901 and SGC7901/ADR cells were inoculated in athymic nude mice. Thereafter, effects of ADR with or without PPZ pretreatment were compared by determining the tumor size and weight, apoptotic cells in tumor tissues were detected by TUNEL assay. At concentrations greater than 20 μg/ml, PPZ pretreatment reduced ADR releasing index and significantly enhanced intracellular ADR concentration of SGC7901 (P <0.01). Similarly, PPZ pretreatment significantly decreased ADR releasing index of SGC7901/ADR dose-dependently (P <0.01). PPZ pretreatment also decreased cell viabilities of SGG7901 and SGC7901/ADR dose-dependently. After 24-h PPZ pretreatment, administration of chemotherapeutic agents demonstrated maximal cytotoxic effects on SGC7901 and SGC7901/ADR cells (P < 0.05). The resistance index in PPZ pretreatment group was significantly lower than that in non-PPZ pretreatment group (3.71 vs. 14.80). PPZ at concentration >10 μg/ml significantly decreased pHi in SGC7901 and SGC7901/ADR cells and diminished or reversed transmembrane pH gradient (P < 0.05). PPZ pretreatment also significantly inhibited protein expressions of V-ATPases, mTOR, HIF-1α, P-gp, and MRP1, and alter intracellular expressions in parent and ADR-resistant cells (P < 0.05). In vivo experiments further confirmed that PPZ pretreatment could enhance anti-tumor effects of ADR on xenografted tumor of nude mice and also improve the apoptotic index in xenografted tumor tissues. PPZ pretreatment enhances the cytotoxic effects of anti-tumor drugs on SGC7901 and reverse MDR of SGC7901/ADR by downregulating the V-ATPases/mTOR/HIF-1α/P-gp and MRP1 signaling pathway.
MULTIDRUG RESISTANCE; TRANSMEMBRANE pH GRADIENT; ATP-BINDING CASSETTE TRANSPORTER SUPERFAMILY; VACUOLAR H+-ATPases; PANTOPRAZOLE SODIUM
Estrogen-deficient osteoporosis may be an inflammatory disorder and we therefore asked if IL-17 participates in its pathogenesis. Deletion of the principal IL-17 receptor (IL-17RA) protects mice from ovariectomy (OVX)-induced bone loss. Further supporting a central role of IL-17 in its pathogenesis, OVX-induced osteoporosis is prevented by a blocking antibody targeting the cytokine. IL-17 promotes osteoclastogenesis by stimulating RANK ligand (RANKL) expression by osteoblastic cells, mediated by the IL-17RA SEFIR/TILL domain. Estrogen deprivation, however does not enhance IL-17RA mRNA expression by osteoblasts or in bone, but augments that of Act1, an IL17RA-interacting protein and signaling mediator. Similar to IL-17RA−/− mice, those lacking Act1 are protected from OVX-induced bone loss. Also mirroring IL-17RA-deficiency, absence of Act1 in osteoblasts, but not osteoclasts, impairs osteoclastogenesis via dampened RANKL expression. Transduction of WT Act1 into Act1−/− osteoblasts substantially rescues their osteoclastogenic capacity. The same construct, however, lacking its E3 ligase U-box or its SEFIR domain, which interacts with its counterpart in IL-17RA, fails to do so. Estrogen deprivation, therefore, promotes RANKL expression and bone resorption in association with upregualtion of the IL-17 effector, Act1, supporting the concept that post-menopausal osteoporosis is a disorder of innate immunity.
Interleukin 17; Cytokines; Osteoporosis; Osteoclast/osteoblast biology
The human β-globin genes are regulated by a locus control region (LCR) and are expressed at extremely high levels in erythroid cells. How transcriptional fidelity of highly expressed genes is regulated and maintained during the cell cycle is not completely understood. Here, we analyzed the association of transcription factor USF, the co-activator CBP, topoisomerase I (Topo I), basal transcription factor TFIIB, and RNA polymerase II (Pol II) with the β-globin gene locus at specific cell-cycle stages. The data demonstrate that while association of Pol II with globin locus associated chromatin decreased in mitotically arrested cells, it remained bound at lower levels at the γ-globin gene promoter. During early S-phase, association of CBP, USF and Pol II with the globin gene locus decreased. The reassociation of CBP and USF2 with the LCR preceded reassociation of Pol II, suggesting that these proteins together mediate recruitment of Pol II to the β-globin gene locus during S-phase. Finally, we analyzed the association of Topo I with the globin gene locus during late S-phase. In general, Topo I association correlated with the binding of Pol II. Inhibition of Topo I activity reduced Pol II binding at the LCR and intergenic regions but not at the γ-globin gene promoter. The data demonstrate dynamic associations of transcription factors with the globin gene locus during the cell cycle and support previous results showing that specific components of transcription complexes remain associated with highly transcribed genes during mitosis.
globin gene locus; cell-cycle; transcription factor; mitosis; RNA polymerase II
3,3′-Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a known anti-tumor agent against breast and other cancers; however, its exact mechanism of action remains unclear. The urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and its receptor (uPAR) system are involved in the degradation of basement membrane and extracellular matrix, leading to tumor cell invasion and metastasis. Since uPA-uPAR system is highly activated in aggressive breast cancer, we hypothesized that the biological activity of B-DIM could be mediated via inactivation of uPA-uPAR system. We found that B-DIM treatment as well as silencing of uPA-uPAR led to the inhibition of cell growth and motility of MDA-MB-231 cells, which was in part due to inhibition of VEGF and MMP-9. Moreover, silencing of uPA-uPAR led to decreased sensitivity of these cells to B-DIM indicating an important role of uPA-uPAR in B-DIM-mediated inhibition of cell growth and migration. We also found similar effects of B-DIM on MCF-7, cells expressing low levels of uPA-uPAR, which was due to direct down-regulation of MMP-9 and VEGF, independent of uPA-uPAR system. Interestingly, over-expression of uPA-uPAR in MCF-7 cells attenuated the inhibitory effects of B-DIM. Our results, therefore, suggest that B-DIM down-regulates uPA-uPAR in aggressive breast cancers but in the absence of uPA-uPAR, B-DIM can directly inhibit VEGF and MMP-9 leading to the inhibition of cell growth and migration of breast cancer cells.
3; 3′-DIINDOLYLMETHANE; BREAST CANCER; uPA; uPAR; MDA-MB-231; MCF-7; MIGRATION; VEGF; MMP-9
In the last 5 years a role for β-catenin in the skeleton has been cemented. Beginning with mutations in the Lrp5 receptor that control β-catenin canonical downstream signals, and progressing to transgenic models with bone-specific alteration of β-catenin, research has shown that β-catenin is required for normal bone development. A cell critical to bone in which β-catenin activity determines function is the marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell (MSC), where sustained β-catenin prevents its distribution into adipogenic lineage. β-catenin actions are less well understood in mature osteoblasts: while β-catenin contributes to control of osteoclastic bone resorption via alteration of the osteoprotegerin/RANKL ratio, a specific regulatory role during osteoblast bone synthesis has not yet been determined. The proven ability of mechanical factors to prevent β-catenin degradation and induce nuclear translocation through Lrp-independent mechanisms suggests processes by which exercise might modulate bone mass via control of lineage allocation, in particular, by preventing precursor distribution into the adipocyte pool. Effects resulting from mechanical activation of β-catenin in mature osteoblasts and osteocytes likely modulate bone resorption, but whether β-catenin is involved in osteoblast synthetic function remains to be proven for both mechanical and soluble mediators. As β-catenin appears to support the downstream effects of multiple osteogenic factors, studies clarifying when and where β-catenin effects occur will be relevant for translational approaches aimed at preventing bone loss and terminal adipogenic conversion.
MECHANICAL; ADIPOCYTE; OSTEOBLAST; STRAIN; GSK3β
The biomechanical behavior of connective tissue in response to stretching is generally attributed to the molecular composition and organization of its extracellular matrix. It also is becoming apparent that fibroblasts play an active role in regulating connective tissue tension. In response to static stretching of the tissue, fibroblasts expand within minutes by actively remodeling their cytoskeleton. This dynamic change in fibroblast shape contributes to the drop in tissue tension that occurs during viscoelastic relaxation. We propose that this response of fibroblasts plays a role in regulating extracellular fluid flow into the tissue, and protects against swelling when the matrix is stretched. This article reviews the evidence supporting possible mechanisms underlying this response including autocrine purinergic signaling. We also discuss fibroblast regulation of connective tissue tension with respect to lymphatic flow, immune function and cancer.
Connective tissue; fibroblast; mechanical; ATP; cytoskeleton; interstitial fluid; osmotic swelling
ATP-sensitive potassium [K(ATP)] channels sense intracellular ATP/ADP levels, being essential components of a glucose-sensing apparatus in various cells that couples glucose metabolism, intracellular ATP/ADP levels and membrane potential. These channels are present in human chondrocytes, but their subunit composition and functions are unknown. This study aimed at elucidating the subunit composition of K(ATP) channels expressed in human chondrocytes and determining whether they play a role in regulating the abundance of major glucose transporters, GLUT-1 and GLUT-3, and glucose transport capacity. The results obtained show that human chondrocytes express the pore forming subunits, Kir6.1 and Kir6.2, at the mRNA and protein levels and the regulatory sulfonylurea receptor (SUR) subunits, SUR2A and SUR2B, but not SUR1. The expression of these subunits was no affected by culture under hyperglycemia-like conditions. Functional impairment of the channel activity, using a SUR blocker (glibenclamide 10 or 20 nM), reduced the protein levels of GLUT-1 and GLUT-3 by approximately 30% in normal chondrocytes, while in cells from cartilage with increasing osteoarthritic (OA) grade no changes were observed. Glucose transport capacity, however, was not affected in normal or OA chondrocytes. These results show that K(ATP) channel activity regulates the abundance of GLUT-1 and GLUT-3, although other mechanisms are involved in regulating the overall glucose transport capacity of human chondrocytes. Therefore, K(ATP) channels are potential components of a broad glucose sensing apparatus that modulates glucose transporters and allows human chondrocytes to adjust to varying extracellular glucose concentrations. This function of K(ATP) channels seems to be impaired in OA chondrocytes. J. Cell. Biochem. 114: 1879–1889, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
ARTICULAR CARTILAGE; OSTEOARTHRITIS; K(ATP) CHANNEL; GLUCOSE TRANSPORTER; HUMAN CHONDROCYTE; HYPERGLYCEMIA
Tumor viruses can induce cell transformation by overcoming cellular defense mechanisms and promoting the ungoverned proliferation of infected cells. To this end, functionally related viral oncogenes have evolved in disparate viruses to override key proliferative and survival intracellular pathways, thus assuring efficient viral replication and contributing to tumor formation. Indeed, the study of viral oncogenes has been a powerful tool for disclosing fundamental insights into these basic cellular processes.
In this regard, the Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus (KSHV or HHV8), the etiological agent of Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS), is an exemplary model of an oncogenic virus that includes within its genome several homologues of cellular genes implicated in the regulation of cell proliferation and apoptosis. However, emerging evidence now points to a single KSHV gene, ORF74, encoding for the viral G protein-coupled receptor (vGPCR), as essential for KS development. Expressed in only a fraction of cells within KS lesions, this viral receptor induces tumorigenesis through both autocrine and paracrine mechanisms. Indeed, work from several labs has demonstrated that vGPCR can promote cell proliferation, enhance cell survival, modulate cell migration, stimulate angiogenesis, and recruit inflammatory cells, both in expressing cells, as well as in neighboring (bystander) cells. Examination of this powerful viral oncogene may expose novel targets for the treatment of patients with KS and could ultimately provide a unique perspective into how GPCRs, and specifically chemokine receptors, contribute to angiogenesis and tumorigenesis.
endothelial cell; Kaposi’s sarcoma; rapamycin; sirolimus; mTOR; Akt; PI3 kinase; NFκB; Rac1; Kaposi’s sarcoma associated herpesvirus; KSHV; Human herpesvirus-8; HHV-8; G protein-coupled receptor; vGPCR; paracrine neoplasia
X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein, XIAP, inhibits the initiation and execution phases of the apoptotic pathway. XIAP is the most potent member of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) family of the endogenous caspase inhibitors. Therefore, targeting XIAP may be a promising strategy for the treatment of apoptosis-resistant malignancies. In this study we systematically studied the relationships of chemical structures of several novel ligands to their zinc-binding ability, molecular target XIAP, and tumor cell death-inducing activity. We show that treatment of PC-3 prostate cancer and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells with these membrane-permeable zinc-chelators with different zinc affinities results in varying degrees of XIAP depletion. Following decreased level of XIAP expression, we also show apoptosis-related caspase activation and cellular morphological changes upon treatment with strong zinc-chelators N4Py and BnTPEN. Addition of zinc has a full protective effect on the cells treated with these chelators, while iron addition has only partial protection that, however, can be further increased to a comparable level of protection as zinc by inhibition of ROS generation, indicating that cell death effects mediated by iron- but not zinc-complexes involve redox cycling. These findings suggest that strong zinc-chelating agents may be useful in the treatment of apoptosis-resistant human cancers.
Osteoblast differentiation is a multi-step process where mesenchymal cells differentiate into osteoblast lineage cells including osteocytes. Osterix (Osx) is an osteoblast-specific transcription factor which activates a repertoire of genes during differentiation of preosteoblasts into mature osteoblasts and osteocytes. The essential role of Osx in the genetic program of bone formation and in bone homeostasis is well established. Osx mutant embryos do not form bone and fail to express osteoblast-specific marker genes. Inactivation of Osx in mice after birth causes multiple skeletal phenotypes including lack of new bone formation, absence of resorption of mineralized cartilage, and defects in osteocyte maturation and function. Since Osx is a major effector in skeletal formation, studies on Osx gained momentum over the last five-seven years and implicated its important function in tooth formation as well as in healing of bone fractures. This review outlines mouse genetic studies that establish the essential role of Osx in bone and tooth formation as well as in healing of bone fractures. We also discuss the recent advances in regulation of Osx expression which is under control of a transcriptional network, signaling pathways, and epigenetic regulation. Finally we summarize important findings on the positive and negative regulation of Osx’s transcriptional activity through protein-protein interactions in expression of its target genes during osteoblast differentiation. In particular, the identification of the histone demethylase NO66 as an Osx-interacting protein which negatively regulates Osx activity opens further avenues in studying epigenetic control of Osx target genes during differentiation and maturation of osteoblasts.
Osterix; Osx; NO66; gene expression; osteoblasts; osteocytes
The role of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) in breast cancer has been studied extensively, and its protein expression is prognostic and a primary determinant of endocrine sensitivity. However, much less is known about the role of ERβ and its relevance remains unclear due to the publication of conflicting reports. Here, we provide evidence that much of this controversy may be explained by variability in antibody sensitivity and specificity and describe the development, characterization, and potential applications of a novel monoclonal antibody targeting full-length human ERβ and its splice variant forms. Specifically, we demonstrate that a number of commercially available ERβ antibodies are insensitive for ERβ and exhibit significant cross-reaction with ERα. However, our newly developed MC10 ERβ antibody is shown to be highly specific and sensitive for detection of full-length ERβ and its variant forms. Strong and variable staining patterns for endogenous levels of ERβ protein were detected in normal human tissues and breast tumors using the MC10 antibody. Importantly, ERβ was shown to be expressed in a limited cohort of both ERα positive and ERα negative breast tumors. Taken together, these data demonstrate that the use of poorly validated ERβ antibodies is likely to explain much of the controversy in the field with regard to the biological relevance of ERβ in breast cancer. The use of the MC10 antibody, in combination with highly specific antibodies targeting only full-length ERα, is likely to provide additional discriminatory features in breast cancers that may be useful in predicting response to therapy.
ESTROGEN RECEPTOR; ESTROGEN RECEPTOR BETA; BREAST CANCER; ANTIBODY
Nuclease sensitive element binding protein 1 (NSEP1) is a member of the EFIA/NSEP1/YB-1 family of DNA-binding proteins whose members share a cold shock domain; it has also been termed DNA-binding protein B and Y box binding protein-1 because of its recognition of transcriptional regulatory elements. In addition, NSEP1 functions in the translational regulation of renin, ferritin, and interleukin 2 transcripts, and our laboratory has reported that it plays a role in the biosynthesis of selenium-containing proteins. To test the functional importance of NSEP1 in murine embryonic development, we have utilized a clone of ES cells in which the NSEP1 gene had been disrupted by integration of a plasmid gene-trapping vector into the seventh exon. Injection of these cells into C57BL/6 blastocysts resulted in 11 high percentage chimeric mice; crosses to wild type C57BL/6 mice generated 82 F1 agouti mice, indicating germ line transmission of the ES cell clone, but genotyping showed no evidence of the disrupted allele in any of these agouti offspring even though spermatozoa from four of five tested mice contained the targeted allele. Embryos harvested after timed matings of chimeric male mice demonstrated only the wildtype allele in 27 embryos tested at E7.5, E12.5, and E18.5. These results suggest that gene targeting of NSEP1 induces a lethal phenotype in early embryos, due to either haploinsufficiency of NSEP1 or formation of a dominant negative form of the protein. In either case, these data indicate the functional importance of the NSEP1 gene in murine early embryonic development.
nuclease sensitive element binding protein 1; gene disruption; embryonic; lethality; Y-box binding protein 1; DNA-binding protein B; RNA-binding proteins; selenium
Previous studies related impaired myocardial microcirculation in diabetes to oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction. Thus, this study was aimed to determine the effect of up-regulating pAMPK-pAKT signaling on coronary microvascular reactivity in the isolated heart of diabetic mice. We measured coronary resistance in wild-type and streptozotocin (STZ)-treated mice, during perfusion pressure changes. Glucose, insulin, and adiponectin levels in plasma and superoxide formation, NOx levels and heme oxygenase (HO) activity in myocardial tissue were determined. In addition, the expression of HO-1, 3-nitrotyrosine, pLKB1, pAMPK, pAKT, and peNOS proteins in control and diabetic hearts were measured. Coronary response to changes in perfusion pressure diverged from control in a time-dependent manner following STZ administration. The responses observed at 28 weeks of diabetes (the maximum time examined) were mimicked by L-NAME administration to control animals and were associated with a decrease in serum adiponectin and myocardial pLKB1, pAMPK, pAKT, and pGSK-3 expression. Cobalt protoporphyrin treatment to induce HO-1 expression reversed the microvascular reactivity seen in diabetes towards that of controls. Up-regulation of HO-1 was associated with an increase in adiponectin, pLKB1, pAKT, pAMPK, pGSK-3, and peNOS levels and a decrease in myocardial superoxide and 3-nitrotyrosine levels. In the present study we describe the time course of microvascular functional changes during the development of diabetes and the existence of a unique relationship between the levels of serum adiponectin, pLKB1, pAKT, and pAMPK activation in diabetic hearts. The restoration of microvascular function suggests a new therapeutic approach to even advanced cardiac microvascular derangement in diabetes.
Coronary Microcirculation; Diabetic Cardiomyopathy; Heme-Oxygenase-1; Endothelial Dysfunction; Adiponectin
c-Src and Lyn are the only Src family kinases (SFKs) with established activity in osteoclasts (OCs). c-Src promotes function via cytoskeletal organization of the mature resorptive cell while Lyn is a negative regulator of osteoclastogenesis. We establish that Fyn, another SFK, also impacts the OC, but in a manner distinctly different than c-Src and Lyn. Fyn deficiency principally alters cells throughout the osteoclastogenic process, resulting in diminished numbers of resorptive polykaryons. Arrested OC formation in the face of insufficient Fyn reflects reduced proliferation of precursors, in response to M-CSF and retarded RANK ligand (RANKL)-induced differentiation, attended by suppressed activation of the osteoclastogenic signaling molecules, c-Jun and NF-κB. The anti-apoptotic properties of RANKL are also compromised in cells deleted of Fyn, an event mediated by increased Bim expression and failed activation of Akt. The defective osteoclastogenesis of Fyn-/- OCs dampens bone resorption, in vitro. Finally, while Fyn deficiency does not regulate basal osteoclastogenesis, in vivo, it reduces that stimulated by RANKL by approximately 2/3. Thus, Fyn is a pro-resorptive SFK, which exerts its effects by prompting proliferation and differentiation while attenuating apoptosis of OC lineage cells.
Osteoclasts; Fyn; Src family kinase (SFK); M-CSF; RANK ligand
The actin severing protein cofilin is essential for directed cell migration and chemotaxis, in many cell types and is also important for tumor cell invasion during metastasis. Through its severing activity, cofilin increases the number of free barbed ends to initiate actin polymerization for actin-based protrusion in two distinct subcellular compartments in invasive tumor cells: lamellipodia and invadopodia. Cofilin severing activity is tightly regulated and multiple mechanisms are utilized to regulate cofilin activity. In this prospect, we have grouped the primary on/off regulation into two broad categories, both of which are important for inhibiting cofilin from binding to F-actin or G-actin: (1) Blocking cofilin activity by the binding of cofilin to either PI(4,5)P2 at lamellipodia, or cortactin at invadopodia. (2) Blocking cofilin's ability to bind to actin via serine phosphorylation. Although the literature suggests that these cofilin regulatory mechanisms may be cell-type dependent, we propose the existence of a common cofilin activity cycle in which both operate. In this common cycle, the mechanism used to initiate cofilin activity is determined by the starting point in the cycle in a given subcellular compartment.
Arp2/3 COMPLEX; ACTIN POLYMERIZATION; CHEMOTAXIS; CORTACTIN; PIP2
Multidimensional proteins such as glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) exhibit distinct activities unrelated to their originally identified functions. Apart from glycolysis, GAPDH participates in iron metabolism, membrane trafficking, histone biosynthesis, the maintenance of DNA integrity and receptor mediated cell signaling. Further, multifunctional proteins exhibit distinct changes in their subcellular localization reflecting their new activities. As such, GAPDH is not only a cytosolic protein but is localized in the membrane, the nucleus, polysomes, the ER and the Golgi. In addition, although the initial subcellular localizations of multifunctional proteins may be of significance, dynamic changes in intracellular distribution may occur as a consequence of those new activities. As such, regulatory mechanisms may exist through which cells control multifunctional protein expression as a function of their subcellular localization. The temporal sequence through which subcellular translocation and the acquisition of new GAPDH functions is considered as well as post-translational modification as a basis for its intracellular transport.
multifunctional proteins; subcellular translocation; glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; post-translational modification; post-transcriptional regulation; membrane transport
Existing literature demonstrates that fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) exerts opposing, contradictory biological effects on cartilage homeostasis in different species. In human articular cartilage, FGF-2 plays a catabolic and anti-anabolic role in cartilage homeostasis, driving homeostasis toward degeneration and osteoarthritis (OA). In murine joints, however, FGF-2 has been identified as an anabolic mediator as ablation of the FGF-2 gene demonstrated increased susceptibility to OA. There have been no previous studies specifically addressing species-specific differences in FGF-2-mediated biological effects. In this study, we provide a mechanistic understanding by which FGF-2 exerts contradictory biological effects in human versus murine tissues. Using human articular cartilage (ex vivo) and a medial meniscal destabilization (DMM) animal model (in vivo), species-specific expression patterns of FGFR receptors (FGFRs) are elucidated between human and murine articular cartilage. In the murine OA model followed by intra-articular injection of FGF-2, we further correlate FGFR profiles to changes in behavioral pain perception, proteoglycan content in articular cartilage, and production of inflammatory (CD11b) and angiogenic (VEGF) mediators in synovium lining cells. Our results suggest that the fundamental differences in cellular responses between human and murine tissues may be secondary to distinctive expression patterns of FGFRs that eventually determine biological outcomes in the presence of FGF-2. The complex interplay of FGFRs and the downstream signaling cascades induced by FGF-2 in human cartilage should add caution to the use of this particular growth factor for biological therapy in the future.
The number of possible small organic molecules of different structure is virtually limitless. One of the main goals of chemical biologists is to identify, from this “chemical space”, entities that affect biological processes or systems in a specific manner. This can lead to a better understanding of the regulation and components of various biological machineries, as well as provide insights into efficacious therapeutic targets and drug candidates. However, the challenges confronting chemical biologists are multiple. How do we efficiently identify compounds that possess desirable activities without unwanted off-target effects? Once a candidate compound has been found, how do we determine its mode of action? In this Prospects piece, we call attention to recent studies using embryonic and larval zebrafish to illustrate the breadth and depth of questions in chemical biology that may be addressed using this model, and hope that they can serve as catalysts for future investigational ideas.
Estrogen receptors (ERs) play vital roles in the function and remodeling of bone. Their cellular mechanisms can broadly be categorized into those involving direct DNA binding (classical) or indirect DNA binding (non-classical). The generation of non-classical ER knock-in (ERα−/NERKI) mice provides a unique opportunity to define these pathways in bone. We previously demonstrated that ERα−/NERKI mice exhibit an osteoporotic phenotype; however, the mechanism(s) for this remain unresolved. Gene expression analyses of cortical bone from ERα−/NERKI mice revealed suppression of lymphoid enhancer factor-1 (Lef1), a classic Wnt-responsive transcription factor that associates with β-catenin. Since Wnt signaling is generally considered bone anabolic, this observation leads to the hypothesis that NERKI-induced suppression of Wnt signaling may contribute to the low bone mass phenotype. We generated ERα−/NERKI mice crossed with the Wnt-responsive TOPGAL transgenic mouse model and observed significantly less β-galactosidase activity in ERα−/NERKI mice, confirming suppression of Wnt activity in vivo. Adenoviral expression of the NERKI receptor using an in vitro cell system resulted in the induction of several secreted antagonists of Wnt signaling. Furthermore, expression of NERKI abrogated Wnt10b-dependent Wnt activation using a lentiviral-mediated reporter assay. Finally, expression of NERKI destabilized β-catenin cellular protein levels and disrupted ER/β-catenin interactions. Collectively, these data suggest the osteoporotic phenotype of ERα−/NERKI mice may involve the suppression of Lef1-mediated Wnt signaling through both the stimulation of secreted Wnt inhibitors and/or disruption of normal β-catenin function.
Estrogen Receptor; NERKI; Wnt; β-catenin; Bone