Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) are maintained in a tightly regulated bone microenvironment constituted by a rich milieu of cells. Bone cells such as osteoblasts are associated with niche maintenance as regulators of the endosteal microenvironment. Bone remodeling also plays a role in HSC mobilization although it is poorly defined. The effects of zoledronic acid (ZA), a potent bisphosphonate that inhibits bone resorption, were investigated on bone marrow cell populations focusing on HSCs, and the endosteal and vascular niches in bone. ZA treatment significantly increased bone volume and HSCs in both young and adult mice (4 week and 4 month old, respectively). ZA increased vessel numbers with no overall change in vascular volume in bones of young and had no effect on vasculature in adult mice. Since both young and adult mice had increased HSCs and bone mass with differing vasculature responses, this suggests that ZA indirectly supports HSCs via the osteoblastic niche and not the vascular niche. Additionally, gene expression in Lin- cells demonstrated increased expression of self-renewal-related genes Bmi1 and Ink4a suggesting a role of ZA in the modulation of cell commitment and differentiation toward a long-term self-renewing cell. Genes that support the osteoblastic niche, BMP2 and BMP6 were also augmented in ZA treated mice. In conclusion, ZA-induced HSC expansion occurs independent of the vascular niche via indirect modulation of the osteoblastic niche.
HEMATOPOIETIC STEM CELLS; NICHE; BONE VASCULATURE; BLOOD VESSELS; BISPHOSPHONATE; ZOLEDRONIC ACID
Human DNA replication depends on the activation of thousands of origins distributed within the genome. The actual distribution of origins is not known, nor whether this distribution is unique to a cell type, or if it changes with the proliferative state of the cell. In this study we have employed a real time PCR-based nascent strand DNA abundance assay, to determine the location of origins along a 78 kb region on Ch2q34. Preliminary studies using nascent DNA strands isolated from either HeLa and normal skin fibroblast cells showed that in both cell lines peaks of high origin activity mapped in similar locations. However, the overall origin profile in HeLa cells corresponded to broad origin activation zones, whereas in fibroblasts a more punctuated profile of origin activation was observed. To investigate the relevance of this differential origin profile, we compared the origin distribution profiles in breast cancer cell lines MDA-MB-231, BT-474, and MCF-7, to their normal counterpart MCF-10A. In addition, the CRL7250 cell line was also used as a normal control. Our results validated our earlier observation and showed that the origin profile in normal cell lines exhibited a punctuated pattern, in contrast to broader zone profiles observed in the cancer cell lines. A quantitative analysis of origin peaks revealed that the number of activated origins in cancer cells is statistically larger than that obtained in normal cells, suggesting that the flexibility of origin usage is significantly increased in cancer cells compared to their normal counterparts.
DNA REPLICATION ORIGINS; NASCENT DNA; REAL TIME PCR; HUMAN CELL LINES; RPE GENE
Factor Xa (FXa) elicits intracellular signaling responses through the activation of protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) and possibly also through PAR1 in endothelial cells. In this study, we investigated FXa signaling in endothelial cells when the protease was either in free form or assembled into the prothrombinase complex. Furthermore, we prepared several wild-type and mutant PAR1 and PAR2 cleavage-reporter constructs in which their exodomains were fused to cDNA encoding for a soluble alkaline phosphatase. In the mutants, P2 residues were exchanged between PAR1 and PAR2 cleavage-reporter constructs and the hirudin-like binding site (HLBS) of PAR1 was inserted into the homologous site of PAR2. In non-transfected cells, FXa elicited a protective response which could be blocked by a specific anti-PAR2 but not by an anti-PAR1 antibody. A similar protective activity was observed for FXa in the prothrombinase complex. Further studies revealed that neither the Gla- nor EGF1-domain of FXa is required for its signaling activity, however, the N-terminus Arg-86 and Lys-87 of the EGF2-domain were essential. In the cleavage-reporter transfected cells, FXa cleaved the PAR2 construct effectively, however, replacing its P2-Gly with P2-Pro of PAR1 impaired its cleavage by FXa but improved it by thrombin. A PAR2 construct containing both P2-Pro and HLBS of PAR1 was poorly cleaved by FXa, but effectively by thrombin. A PAR1 construct containing P2 and P3 residues of PAR2 was poorly cleaved by thrombin but effectively by FXa. These results provide new insight into mechanisms through which coagulation proteases specifically interact with their target PAR receptors.
PAR1; PAR2; Thrombin; FXa; Specificity
MT1-MMP (membrane type 1-matrix metalloproteinase) plays important roles in cell growth and tumor invasion via mediating cleavage of MMP2/gelatinase A and a variety of substrates including type I collagen. BST-2 (bone marrow stromal cell antigen 2) is a membrane tetherin whose expression dramatically reduces the release of a broad range of enveloped viruses including HIV from infected cells. In this study, we provided evidence that both transient and IFN-α induced BST-2 could decrease the activity of MMP2 via binding to cellular MT1-MMP on its C- terminus and inhibiting its proteolytic activity; and finally block cell growth and migration. Zymography gel and Western-blot experiments demonstrated that BST-2 decreased MMP2 activity, but no effect on the expression of MMP2 and MT1-MMP genes. Confocal and immunoprecipitation data showed that BST-2 co-localized and interacted with MT1-MMP. This interaction inhibited the proteolytic enzyme activity of MT1-MMP, and blocked the activation of proMMP2. Experimental results of C-terminus deletion mutant of MT1-MMP showed that activity of MMP2 was no change and also no interaction existed between the mutant and BST-2 after co-transfection with the mutant and BST-2. It meant that C-terminus of MT1-MMP played a key role in the interaction with BST-2. In addition, cell growth in 3-D type I collagen gel lattice and cell migration were all inhibited by BST-2. Taken together, BST-2, as a membrane protein and a tetherin of enveloped viruses, was a novel inhibitor of MT1-MMP and could be considerable as an inhibitor of cancer cell growth and migration on clinic.
MT1-MMP; BST-2; MMP2; Type I collagen
The mechanisms of nonclassical export of signal peptide-less proteins remain insufficiently understood. Here we demonstrate that stress-induced unconventional export of FGF1, a potent and ubiquitously expressed mitogenic and proangiogenic protein, is associated with and dependent on the formation of membrane blebs and localized cell surface exposure of phosphatidylserine. In addition, we found that the differentiation of promonocytic cells results in massive FGF1 release, which also correlates with membrane blebbing and exposure of phosphatidylserine. These findings indicate that the externalization of acidic phospholipids could be used as a pharmacological target to regulate the availability of FGF1 in the organism.
FGF1; nonclassical secretion; phosphatidylserine exposure; blebbing; PLSCR1
Mutations and/or deletions of Pkd1 in mouse models resulted in attenuation of osteoblast function and defective bone formation; however, the function of PKD1 in human osteoblast and bone remains uncertain. In the current study, we used lentivirus-mediated shRNA technology to stably knock down PKD1 in the human osteoblastic MG-63 cell line and to investigate the role of PKD1 on human osteoblast function and molecular mechanisms. We found that a 53% reduction of PKD1 by PKD1 shRNA in stable, transfected MG-63 cells resulted in increased cell proliferation and impaired osteoblastic differentiation as reflected by increased BrdU incorporation, decreased alkaline phosphatase activity, and calcium deposition and by decreased expression of RUNX2 and OSTERIX compared to control shRNA MG-63 cells. In addition, knockdown of PKD1 mRNA caused enhanced adipogenesis in stable PKD1 shRNA MG-63 cells as evidenced by elevated lipid accumulation and increased expression of adipocyte-related markers such as PPARγ and aP2. The stable PKD1 shRNA MG-63 cells exhibited lower basal intracellular calcium, which led to attenuated cytosolic calcium signaling in response to fluid flow shear stress, as well as increased intracellular cAMP messages in response to forskolin (10 μM) stimulation. Moreover, increased cell proliferation, inhibited osteoblastic differentiation, and osteogenic and adipogenic gene markers were significantly reversed in stable PKD1 shRNA MG-63 cells when treated with H89 (1 μM), an inhibitor of PKA. These findings suggest that downregulation of PKD1 in human MG-63 cells resulted in defective osteoblast function via intracellular calcium-cAMP/PKA signaling pathway.
PKD1; shRNA knockdown; osteogenic differentiation; cAMP/PKA pathway; MG-63
Rad9 plays a crucial role in maintaining genomic stability by regulating cell cycle checkpoints, DNA repair, telomere stability and apoptosis. Rad9 controls these processes mainly as part of the heterotrimeric 9-1-1 (Rad9-Hus1-Rad1) complex. However, in recent years it has been demonstrated that Rad9 can also act independently of the 9-1-1 complex as a transcriptional factor, participate in immunoglobulin class switch recombination and show 3’–5’ exonuclease activity. Aberrant Rad9 expression has been associated with prostate, breast, lung, skin, thyroid and gastric cancers. High expression of Rad9 is causally related to, at least, human prostate cancer growth. On the other hand, deletion of Mrad9, the mouse homolog, is responsible for increased skin cancer incidence. These results reveal that Rad9 can act as an oncogene or tumor suppressor. Which of the many functions of Rad9 are causally related to initiation and progression of tumorigenesis and the mechanistic details by which Rad9 induces or suppresses tumorigenesis are presently not known, but are crucial for the development of targeted therapeutic interventions.
Rad9; oncogene; tumor suppressor; cell cycle checkpoint; DNA repair
The L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (L-VGCCs) in avian retinal cone photoreceptors are under circadian control, in which the protein expression of the α1 subunits and the current density are greater at night than during the day. Both Ras-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and Ras-phosphatidylionositol 3 kinase-protein kinase B (PI3K-AKT) signaling pathways are part of the circadian output that regulate the L-VGCC rhythm, while cAMP-dependent signaling is further upstream of Ras to regulate the circadian outputs in photoreceptors. However, there are missing links between cAMP-dependent signaling and Ras in the circadian output regulation of L-VGCCs. In this study, we report that calcineurin, a Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent serine (ser)/threonine (thr) phosphatase, participates in the circadian output pathway to regulate L-VGCCs through modulating both Ras-MAPK and Ras-PI3K-AKT signaling. The activity of calcineurin, but not its protein expression, was under circadian regulation. Application of a calcineurin inhibitor, FK-506 or cyclosporine A, reduced the L-VGCC current density at night with a corresponding decrease in L-VGCCα1D protein expression, but the circadian rhythm of L-VGCCα1D mRNA levels were not affected. Inhibition of calcineurin further reduced the phosphorylation of ERK and AKT (at thr 308) and inhibited the activation of Ras, but inhibitors of MAPK or PI3K signaling did not affect the circadian rhythm of calcineurin activity. However, inhibition of adenylate cyclase significantly dampened the circadian rhythm of calcineurin activity. These results suggest that calcineurin is upstream of MAPK and PI3K-AKT but downstream of cAMP in the circadian regulation of L-VGCCs.
circadian rhythm; calcineurin; signaling; calcium channel
Protein kinase CK2 participates in a wide range of cellular events, including the regulation of cellular morphology and migration, and may be an important mediator of angiogenesis. We previously showed that in the retina, CK2 immunolocalizes mostly to vascular endothelium and astrocytes in association with the cytoskeleton. Additionally, CK2 inhibitors significantly reduced retinal neovascularization and stem cell recruitment in the mouse model of oxygen-induced proliferative retinopathy. We have also shown that CK2 and F-actin co-localized in actin stress fibers in microvascular endothelial cells, and that highly specific CK2 inhibitors caused cell rounding in astrocytes and microvascular endothelial cells, which was alleviated by serum that promotes spreading by Rho/Rho-kinase (RhoK) activation of myosin II. Therefore, we examined a possible role of CK2 in the regulation of actin–myosin II-based contractility. Treatment with CK2 inhibitors correlated with disassembly of actomyosin stress fibers and cell shape changes, including cytoplasmic retraction and process formation that were similar to those occurring during astrocyte stellation. Low doses of specific inhibitors of kinases (RhoK and MLCK) that phosphorylate myosin light chain (MLC) enhanced the effect of suboptimal CK2 inhibition on cell shape. Such striking stellation-like alteration was accompanied by decreased level of phospho-MLC, thus implying a CK2 role in regulation of actomyosin cytoskeleton. Our results suggest an important role of CK2 in the control of cell contractility and motility, which may account for suppressing effect of CK2 inhibition on retinal neovascularization. Together, our data implicate protein kinase CK2 for the first time in stellation-like morphological transformation.
PROTEIN KINASE CK2; TBB, TBCA; ACTIN STRESS FIBERS; MYOSIN LIGHT CHAIN; CELL SHAPE; CYTOSKELETON
Take a look at a textbook illustration of a cell and you will immediately be able to locate the nucleus, which is often drawn as a spherical or ovoid shaped structure. But not all cells have such nuclei. In fact, some disease states are diagnosed by the presence of nuclei that have an abnormal shape or size. What defines nuclear shape and nuclear size, and how does nuclear geometry affect nuclear function? While the answer to the latter question remains largely unknown, significant progress has been made towards understanding the former. In this review, we provide an overview of the factors and forces that affect nuclear shape and size, discuss the relationship between ER structure and nuclear morphology, and speculate on the possible connection between nuclear size and its shape. We also note the many interesting questions that remain to be explored.
nuclear shape; endoplasmic reticulum; mitosis; nuclear envelope; laminopathies
Interleukin-4 (IL-4) is an important immune regulatory protein that possesses potent anti-osteoclastogenic properties, and does so via the transcription factor STAT6. Previous studies have shown that IL-4 selectively blocks RANKL-induced activation of NF-κB and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway molecules, suggesting that the cytokine arrests osteoclastogenesis by blockade of these signaling cascades. However, the fact that the inhibitory effect on these pathways requires prolonged IL-4 pretreatment, and that the cytokine fails to exert an anti-osteoclastogenic effect after short-term pre-exposure of RANKL to osteoclast precursors, suggests that an additional, more immediate mechanism may also be involved. In this study, we found that simultaneous exposure of IL-4 did not alter RANKL-dependent activation of NF-κB or MAPKs, whereas the cytokine did block RANKL-induced nuclear factor activated T cells c1 (NFATc1), a master osteoclastogenic transcription factor. This inhibitory effect of IL-4 required STAT6, consistent with its functional role in osteoclastogenesis. In addition, the cytokine also partially impaired RANKL-stimulated bone resorption. Furthermore, IL-4 suppressed expression of RANKL-induced osteoclast specific genes in a STAT6-dependent manner, but failed to do so when osteoclast precursors were pre-exposed to RANKL. Thus, we provide the first evidence that IL-4 inhibits osteoclast formation by inhibiting RANKL induction of NFATc1 via STAT6 as an early event, in addition to its suppression of other signaling pathways. The inhibitory effect is ultimately regulated at the gene expression transcriptional level.
RANKL; IL-4; STAT6; NFATc1; BONE MARROW MACROPHAGE; OSTEOCLAST
Skeletal muscle is formed during development by the progressive specification, proliferation, migration, and fusion of myoblasts to form terminally differentiated, contractile, highly patterned myofibers. Skeletal muscle is repaired or replaced postnatally by a similar process, involving a resident myogenic stem cell population referred to as satellite cells. In both cases, the activity of the myogenic precursor cells in question is regulated by local signals from the environment, frequently involving other, non-muscle cell types. However, while the majority of studies on muscle development were done in the context of the whole embryo, much of the current work on muscle satellite cells has been done in vitro, or on satellite cell-derived cell lines. While significant practical reasons for these approaches exist, it is almost certain that important influences from the context of the injured and regenerating muscle are lost, while potential tissue culture artifacts are introduced. This review will briefly address extracellular influences on satellite cells in vivo and in vitro that would be expected to impinge on their activity.
MUSCLE REGENERATION; SATELLITE CELLS; STEM CELLS
Gene expression is regulated by DNA as well as histone modifications but the crosstalk and mechanistic link between these epigenetic signals are still poorly understood. Here we investigate the multi-domain protein Uhrf2 that is similar to Uhrf1, an essential cofactor of maintenance DNA methylation. Binding assays demonstrate a cooperative interplay of Uhrf2 domains that induces preference for hemimethylated DNA, the substrate of maintenance methylation, and enhances binding to H3K9me3 heterochromatin marks. FRAP analyses revealed that localization and binding dynamics of Uhrf2 in vivo require an intact tandem Tudor domain and depend on H3K9 trimethylation but not on DNA methylation. Besides the cooperative DNA and histone binding that is characteristic for Uhrf2, we also found an opposite expression pattern of uhrf1 and uhrf2 during differentiation. While uhrf1 is mainly expressed in pluripotent stem cells, uhrf2 is upregulated during differentiation and highly expressed in differentiated mouse tissues. Ectopic expression of Uhrf2 in uhrf1−/− embryonic stem cells did not restore DNA methylation at major satellites indicating functional differences. We propose that the cooperative interplay of Uhrf2 domains may contribute to a tighter epigenetic control of gene expression in differentiated cells.
Uhrf1; Uhrf2; DNA methylation; Histone modifications; Epigenetics
Cancer chemopreventive response to D,L-sulforaphane (SFN), a synthetic racemic analogue of broccoli constituent L-sulforaphane, is partly attributable to apoptosis induction, but the mechanism of cell death is not fully understood. The present study demonstrates a critical role for adapter protein p66Shc in SFN -induced apoptosis. Immortalized mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF) derived from p66shc knockout mice were significantly more resistant to SFN-induced apoptosis, collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production compared with MEF obtained from the wild-type mice. Notably, a spontaneously immortalized and non-tumorigenic human mammary epithelial cell line (MCF-10A) was resistant to SFN-induced ROS production and apoptosis. Stable overexpression of manganese superoxide dismutase in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells conferred near complete protection against SFN-induced apoptosis and mitochondrial membrane potential collapse. SFN treatment resulted in increased S36 phosphorylation and mitochondrial translocation of p66shc in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells, and SFN-induced apoptosis was significantly attenuated by RNA interference of p66shcin both cells. SFN-treated MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells also exhibited a marked decrease in protein level of peptidyl prolyl isomerase (Pin1), which is implicated in mitochondrial translocation of p66shc. However, stable overexpression of Pin1 failed to alter proapoptotic response to SFN at least in MCF-7 cells. Finally, SFN-induced S36 phosphorylation of p66Shc was mediated by protein kinase Cβ (PKCβ), and pharmacological inhibition of PKCβ significantly inhibited apoptotic cell death resulting from SFN exposure. In conclusion, the present study provides new insight into the mechanism of SFN-induced apoptosis involving PKCβ-mediated S36 phosphorylation of p66shc.
Sulforaphane; p66Shc; Apoptosis; Chemoprevention
The bone morphogenetic protein/Signaling mothers against decapentaplegic (BMP/Smad) and the WNT signaling pathways regulate the commitment of mesenchymal cells to the osteoblastic lineage. Nemo like kinase (Nlk) is an evolutionary conserved kinase that suppresses Smad transactivation and WNT canonical signaling. However, it is not clear whether these effects of Nlk have any consequence on the differentiation of mammalian cells. To study the function of Nlk during the commitment of ST-2 bone marrow stromal cells to the osteoblastic fate, Nlk was downregulated by RNA interference (RNAi), following transfection of a specific small interfering (si)RNA. Nlk downregulation increased alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin expression and sensitized ST-2 cells to the effects of BMP2 and WNT3 on alkaline phosphatase mRNA expression and activity. Accordingly, Nlk downregulation enhanced the effect of BMP2 on the transactivation of the BMP/Smad reporter construct 12xSBE-Oc-pGL3, and on the levels of phosphorylated Smad1/5/8, whereas it did not affect the transactivation of the transforming growth factor-β/Smad reporter pSBE-Luc. Nlk downregulation sensitized ST-2 cells to the effects of WNT3 on the transactivation of the WNT/T-cell factor (Tcf) reporter construct 16xTCF-Luc, whereas it did not affect cytosolic β-catenin levels,. To understand the function of Nlk in cells committed to the osteoblastic lineage, Nlk was suppressed by RNAi in primary calvarial osteoblasts. Downregulation of Nlk increased alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin transcripts and sensitized osteoblasts to the effects of BMP2 on alkaline phosphatase activity and Smad1/5/8 transactivation and phosphorylation. In conclusion, Nlk suppresses osteoblastogenesis by opposing BMP/Smad and WNT canonical signaling.
Nlk; ST-2; Osteoblasts; Wnt; BMP; Smad
Latent transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) binding proteins (LTBPs) are large extracellular glycoproteins structurally similar to fibrillins. They perform intricate and important roles in the extracellular matrix (ECM) and perturbations of their function manifest as a wide range of diseases. LTBPs are major regulators of TGF-β bioavailability and action. In addition, LTBPs interact with other ECM proteins- from cytokines to large multi-factorial aggregates like microfibrils and elastic fibers, affecting their genesis, structure, and performance. In the present paper, we review recent advancements in the field and relate the complex roles of LTBP in development and homeostasis.
Developing novel combined-modality therapeutic approaches based on understanding of the involvement of redox biology in apoptosis of malignant cells is a promising approach for improving clinical responses in B-cell lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Therapeutic modalities that generate reactive oxygen species (i.e., radiation, photodynamic therapy, and specific chemotherapeutic drugs) have been shown to be selectively cytotoxic to malignant B-cells. In this review, we will discuss agents that induce apoptosis in B-cell tumors by oxidative stress. Subsequently, a novel biochemical rationale (based on fundamental differences in cancer vs. normal cell oxidative metabolism) for combining oxidative stressors with radiotherapy and chemotherapy, that may lead to designing of more effective treatment strategies for B-cell malignancies, will be discussed. Besides providing potential curative benefit, such novel therapies could also selectively target and inhibit the emergence of drug-resistance in tumor cells, which is a major determinant of treatment failure in many B-cell malignancies.
OXIDATIVE STRESS; RADIOTHERAPY; CHEMOTHERAPY DRUGS; B-CELL LYMPHOMA; MULTIPLE MYELOMA
SIRT3 is one of the seven mammalian sirtuin homologs of the yeast SIR2 gene. SIRT3 possesses NAD+-dependent protein deacetylase activity. Recent studies indicate that the murine SIRT3 gene expresses different transcript variants, resulting in three possible SIRT3 protein isoforms with various lengths at the N-terminus: M1 (aa 1–334), M2 (aa 15–334), and M3 (aa 78–334). The transcript variants 1 and 3 can only produce M3 protein, while M1 and M2 proteins are translationally initiated from different in-frame ATG sites in transcript 2. Here we report that three transcript variants of the mouse SIRT3 gene are broadly expressed in various mouse tissues. By expressing these SIRT3 isoforms in HEK293 cells through transient transfection, we confirmed recent reports that two longer murine SIRT3 proteins (M1 and M2) are targeted to mitochondria with higher efficiency than the shorter M3 isoform. Additionally, the M1 and M2 proteins are processed into a mature form. Using Edman degradation we identify Ile38 (majority) or Val42 as the N-terminal amino acid of the mature M1 isoform, and Met78 or Val79 as the N-terminal amino acid of the M3 isoform. Interestingly, we found that even upon mutation of the M2 ATG site in the M1 cDNA, a processed mature protein could still be produced. In terms of deacetylase activity, we found that although only the mature protein derived from M1 or M2 proteins were active against acetylated peptide substrates, all three forms had equal deacetylase activity towards a full-length native protein substrate, acetyl CoA synthetase 2.
SIRT3; TRANSCRIPT VARIANTS; DEACETYLASE
The discovery of the ability to induce somatic cells to a pluripotent state through the overexpression of specific transcription factors has the potential to transform the ways in which pharmaceutical agents and cellular transplantation therapies are developed. Proper utilization of the technology to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) requires that researchers select the appropriate reprogramming method for generating iPSCs so that the resulting iPSCs can be transitioned towards clinical applications effectively. This article reviews all of the currently available reprogramming techniques with a focus on critiquing them on the basis of their utility in translational medicine.
INDUCED PLURIPOTENT STEM CELLS; REPROGRAMMING METHODS; TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE
It is known that Ras mutations, together with loss of PKC, are apoptotic in various types of mammalian cells. The mechanism of how aberrant Ras transmits this apoptotic signaling remains unclear. Using three V12-Ha-ras loop mutants that preferentially bind to and activate one of Ras effectors, we tested the role of Ras downstream pathways in the induction of apoptosis in rat lung epithelia, human lung or prostate cancer cells. After PKC inhibition, the activation of PI3K/Akt renders the susceptibility of cells to apoptosis. We also demonstrate that the amount of ROS is moderately increased in the cells ectopically expressing V12C40 and dramatically elevated by suppression of PKC, which leads to apoptosis through the activation of UPR. Thus, our study suggests that after PKC abrogation, PI3K functions downstream of Ras to perturb the state of cellular redox and signals to ER stress-regulated apoptotic machinery.
apoptosis; Ras; PI3K/Akt; JNK; ROS; ER; UPR
The role of erythropoietin (Epo) and Epo/Epo receptor (EpoR) signaling pathways for production of red blood cells are well established. However, little is known about Epo/EpoR signaling in non-hematopoietic cells. Recently, we demonstrated that Epo activates JAK/STAT signaling in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), leading to the production of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) and bone formation and that Epo also directly activate mesenchymal cells to form osteoblasts in vitro. In this study, we investigated the effects of mTOR signaling on Epo-mediated osteoblastogenesis and osteoclastogenesis. We found that mTOR inhibition by rapamycin blocks Epo-dependent and -independent osteoblastic phenotypes in human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSCs) and ST2 cells, respectively. Furthermore, we found that rapamycin inhibits Epo-dependent and -independent osteoclastogenesis in mouse bone marrow mononuclear cells and Raw264.7 cells. Finally, we demonstrated that Epo increases NFATc1 expression and decreases cathepsin K expression in an mTOR-independent manner, resulting in an increase of osteoclast numbers and a decrease in resorption activity. Taken together, these results strongly indicate that mTOR signaling plays an important role in Epo-mediated bone homeostasis.
osteoblasts; HSCs; osteoclasts; erythropoietin; mTOR; rapamycin
The runt-related protein-2 (RUNX2) is a DNA-binding transcription factor that regulates bone formation, tumor cell metastasis, endothelial cell (EC) proliferation, and angiogenesis. RUNX2 DNA binding is glucose and cell cycle regulated. We propose that glucose may activate RUNX2 through changes in post-translational phosphorylation that are cell cycle-specific and will regulate EC function. Glucose increased cell cycle progression in EC through both G2/M and G1 phases with entry into S-phase occurring only in subconfluent cells. In the absence of nutrients and growth factors (starvation), subconfluent EC were delayed in G1 when RUNX2 expression was reduced. RUNX2 phosphorylation, activation of DNA binding, and pRb phosphorylation were stimulated by glucose and were necessary to promote cell cycle progression. Glucose increased RUNX2 localization at focal subnuclear sites, which co-incided with RUNX2 occupancy of the cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) inhibitor p21Cip1 promoter, a gene normally repressed by RUNX2. Mutation of the RUNX2 cdk phosphorylation site in the C-terminal domain (S451A.RUNX2) reduced RUNX2 phosphorylation and DNA binding. Expression of this cdk site mutant in EC inhibited glucose-stimulated differentiation (in vitro tube formation), monolayer wound healing, and proliferation. These results define a novel relationship between glucose-activated RUNX2 phosphorylation, cell cycle progression, and EC differentiation. These data suggest that inhibition of RUNX2 expression or DNA binding may be a useful strategy to inhibit EC proliferation in tumor angiogenesis.
Transcription; phosphorylation; glucose; cell cycle; endothelial cell
Microfibril-associated glycoprotein-1 (MAGP1)¶, together with the fibrillins, are constitutive components of vertebrate microfibrils. Mice deficient in MAGP1 (MAGP1Δ) develop progressive osteopenia and reduced whole-bone strength, and have elevated numbers of osteoclasts lining the bone surface. Our previous studies suggested that the increased osteoclast population was associated with elevated levels of RANKL, a positive regulator of osteoclast differentiation. To explore the relationship between RANKL expression and osteoclast differentiation in MAGP1 deficiency, oophorectomy (OVX) was used to stimulate RANKL expression in both WT and MAGP1Δ animals. Bone loss following OVX was monitored using whole body DEXA and in vivo μCT. While WT mice exhibited significant bone loss following OVX, percent bone loss was reduced in MAGP1Δ mice. Further, serum RANKL levels rose significantly in OVX WT mice whereas there was only a modest increase in RANKL following OVX in the mutant mice due to already high baseline levels. Elevated RANKL expression was normalized when cultured MAGP1Δ osteoblasts were treated with a neutralizing antibody targeting free TGFβ. These studies provide support for increased RANKL expression associated with MAGP1 deficiency and provide a link to altered TGF-β signaling as a possible causative signaling pathway regulating RANKL expression in MAGP1Δ osteoblasts.
MAGP1; microfibril; bone; oophorectomy; RANKL
The cyclic-AMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) regulates processes such as cell proliferation and migration following activation of growth factor receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), yet the signaling mechanisms that link PKA with growth factor receptors remain largely undefined. Here we report that RTKs can directly modulate the function of the catalytic subunit of PKA (PKA-C) through post-translational modification. In vitro kinase assays revealed that both the epidermal growth factor and platelet derived growth factor receptors (EGFR and PDGFR, respectively) tyrosine phosphorylate PKA-C. Mass spectrometry identified tyrosine 330 (Y330) as a receptor-mediated phosphorylation site and mutation of Y330 to phenylalanine (Y330F) all but abolished the RTK-mediated phosphorylation of PKA-C in vitro. Y330 resides within a conserved region at the C-terminal tail of PKA-C that allosterically regulates enzymatic activity. Therefore, the effect of phosphorylation at Y330 on the activity of PKA-C was investigated. The Km for a peptide substrate was markedly decreased when PKA-C subunits were tyrosine phosphorylated by the receptors as compared to un-phosphorylated controls. Importantly, tyrosine-phosphorylated PKA-C subunits were detected in cells stimulated with EGF, PDGF and FGF2 and in fibroblasts undergoing PDGF-mediated chemotaxis. These results demonstrate a direct, functional interaction between RTKs and PKA-C and identify tyrosine phosphorylation as a novel mechansim for regulating PKA activity.
Protein kinase A; Platelet derived growth factor receptor; Epidermal growth factor receptor; Peptide growth factors
The cucurbitacins are tetracyclic triterpenes found in plants of the family Cucurbitaceae. Cucurbitacins have been shown to have anticancer and anti-inflamatory activities. We investigated the anticancer activity of cucurbitacin B extracted from Thai medicinal plant Trichosanthes cucumerina Linn. Cell viability was assessed by MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay. Results indicated that cucurbitacin B from T. cucumerina Linn. has a cytotoxic effect on breast cancer cell lines SKBR-3 and MCF-7 with an IC50 of 4.60 and 88.75 μg/ml, respectively. Growth inhibition was attributed to G2/M phase arrest and apoptosis. Cyclin D1, c-Myc and β-catenin expression levels were reduced. Western blot analysis showed increased PARP cleavage and decreased Wnt-associated signaling molecules β-catenin, galectin-3, cyclin D1 and c-Myc, and corresponding changes in phosphorylated GSK-3β levels. Cucurbitacin B treatment inhibited translocation to the nucleus of β-catenin and galectin-3. The depletion of β-catenin and galectin-3 in the nucleus was confirmed by cellular protein fractionation. T-cell factor (TCF)/lymphoid enhancer factor (LEF)-dependent transcriptional activity was disrupted in cucurbitacin B treated cells as tested by a TCF reporter assay. The relative luciferase activity was reduced when we treated cells with cucurbitacin B compound for 24 hours. Our data suggest that cucurbitacin B may in part induce apoptosis and exert growth inhibitory effect via interruption the Wnt signaling.
cucurbitacin B; Wnt signaling; Trichosanthes cucumerina Linn; apoptosis; breast cancer