The Cancer/Testis (CT) antigen family of genes are transcriptionally repressed in most human tissues but are atypically re-expressed in many malignant tumour types. Their restricted expression profile makes CT antigens ideal targets for cancer immunotherapy. As little is known about whether CT antigens may be regulated by post-translational processing, we investigated the mechanisms governing degradation of NY-ESO-1 and MAGE-C1 in selected cancer cell lines. Inhibitors of proteasome-mediated degradation induced the partitioning of NY-ESO-1 and MAGE-C1 into a detergent insoluble fraction. Moreover, this treatment also resulted in increased localisation of NY-ESO-1 and MAGE-C1 at the centrosome. Despite their interaction, relocation of either NY-ESO-1 or MAGE-C1 to the centrosome could occur independently of each other. Using a series of truncated fragments, the regions corresponding to NY-ESO-191-150 and MAGE-C1900-1116 were established as important for controlling both stability and localisation of these CT antigens. Our findings demonstrate that the steady state levels of NY-ESO-1 and MAGE-C1 are regulated by proteasomal degradation and that both behave as aggregation-prone proteins upon accumulation. With proteasome inhibitors being increasingly used as front-line treatment in cancer, these data raise issues about CT antigen processing for antigenic presentation and therefore immunogenicity in cancer patients.
We reported recently that apoptosis-stimulating protein of p53 (ASPP) 2, an activator of p53, co-operates with oncogenic RAS to enhance the transcription and apoptotic function of p53. However, the detailed mechanism remains unknown. Here we show that ASPP2 is a novel substrate of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). Phosphorylation of ASPP2 by MAPK is required for RAS-induced increased binding to p53 and increased transactivation of pro-apoptotic genes. In contrast, an ASPP2 phosphorylation mutant exhibits reduced p53 binding and fails to enhance transactivation and apoptosis. Thus phosphorylation of ASPP2 by RAS/MAPK pathway provides a novel link between RAS and p53 in regulating apoptosis.
Defects in insulin secretion and reduction in β-cell mass are associated with type 2 diabetes in humans, and understanding the basis for these dysfunctions may reveal strategies for diabetes therapy. In this study, we show that pancreas-specific knockout of growth factor receptor–binding protein 10 (Grb10), which is highly expressed in pancreas and islets, leads to elevated insulin/IGF-1 signaling in islets, enhanced β-cell mass and insulin content, and increased insulin secretion in mice. Pancreas-specific disruption of Grb10 expression also improved glucose tolerance in mice fed with a high-fat diet and protected mice from streptozotocin-induced β-cell apoptosis and body weight loss. Our study has identified Grb10 as an important regulator of β-cell proliferation and demonstrated that reducing the expression level of Grb10 could provide a novel means to increase β-cell mass and reduce β-cell apoptosis. This is critical for effective therapeutic treatment of both type 1 and 2 diabetes.
The Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 regulatory subunit-associated protein 1-like (CDKAL1) gene rs7756992 A/G polymorphism has been suggested to be associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), but the individual studies results are still controversial. To explore the association of CDKAL1 gene rs7756992 A/G polymorphism with T2DM, a meta-analysis involving 62,567 subjects from 21 separate studies was conducted. In the whole population, a significant association was found between CDKAL1 gene rs7756992 A/G polymorphism and T2DM under allelic (OR: 1.180, 95% CI: 1.130–1.230, P = 1.60 × 10−14), recessive (OR: 1.510, 95% CI: 1.380–1.660, P = 8.41 × 10−18), dominant (OR: 1.175, 95% CI: 1.109–1.246, P = 6.30 × 10−8), homozygous (OR: 1.400, 95% CI: 1.282–1.530, P = 8.02 × 10−14), and heterozygous genetic models (OR: 1.101, 95% CI: 1.040–1.166, P = 0.001). CDKAL1 gene rs7756992 A/G polymorphism was significantly associated with T2DM. The person with G allele of CDKAL1 gene rs7756992 A/G polymorphism might be predisposed to T2DM.
The p53 tumour suppressor is activated in response to a wide variety of genotoxic stresses, frequently via post-translational modification. Using a knock in mouse model with a Ser312 to Ala mutation, we show here that phosphorylation of p53 on Ser312 helps to prevent tumour induction by the alkylating agent MNU, which predominantly caused T cell lymphomas. This is consistent with our previous observation that p53312A/A mice are more susceptible to X-ray induced tumourigenesis. Phosphorylation on Ser312 aids p53's interaction with E2F1, and enhances p53-mediated apoptosis. Loss of E2F1 alone does not affect tumour susceptibility to MNU, but its absence partially rescues tumour formation in p53312A/A mice, thus reflecting the oncogenic properties of E2F1. Our data confirms the participation of Ser312 phosphorylation in tumour suppression by p53.
AIM: To investigate the effects of phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) deficiency on the cytotoxicity of chemotherapeutic agents toward colorectal cancer cells.
METHODS: PTEN-deficient colorectal cancer (CRC) cells were generated by human somatic cell gene targeting using the adeno-associated virus system. The cytotoxic effects of compounds including curcumin, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), dihydroartemisinin (DHA), irinotecan (CPT-11) and oxaliplatin (OXA) on cancer cells were determined using the MTT assay. Enhanced cytotoxicity of curcumin in PTEN-deficient CRC cells was observed, and this was confirmed using clonogenic assays. Apoptosis and cell cycle progression were analyzed by flow cytometry. Levels of apoptosis and cell cycle-related proteins were examined by Western blotting.
RESULTS: We developed an isogenic set of CRC cell lines that differed only in their PTEN status. Using this set of cell lines, we found that disruption of the PTEN gene had no effect on the sensitivity of CRC cells to 5-FU, CPT-11, DHA, or OXA, whereas PTEN disruption increased the sensitivity of CRC cells to curcumin. Loss of PTEN did not alter the curcumin-induced apoptosis in CRC cells. However, PTEN deficiency led to an altered pattern of curcumin-mediated cell cycle arrest. In HCT116 PTEN+/+ cells, curcumin caused a G2/M phase arrest, whereas it caused a G0/G1 phase arrest in HCT116 PTEN-/- cells. Levels of cell cycle-related proteins were consistent with these respective patterns of cell cycle arrest.
CONCLUSION: Curcumin shows enhanced cytotoxicity toward PTEN-deficient cancer cells, suggesting that it might be a potential chemotherapeutic agent for cancers harboring PTEN mutations.
Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10; Curcumin; Chemotherapeutic agents; Cell cycle; AKT signaling
There is large literature describing in vitro experiments on heat shock protein (hsp)B1 but understanding of its function in vivo is limited to studies in mice overexpressing human hspB1 protein. Experiments in cells have shown that hspB1 has chaperone activity, a cytoprotective role, regulates inflammatory gene expression, and drives cell proliferation. To investigate the function of the protein in vivo we generated hspB1-deficient mice. HspB1-deficient fibroblasts display increased expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-6, compared to wild-type cells, but reduced proliferation. HspB1-deficient fibroblasts exhibit reduced entry into S phase and increased expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p27kip1 and p21waf1. The expression of hspB1 protein and mRNA is also controlled by the cell cycle. To investigate the physiological function of hspB1 in regulating inflammation and cell proliferation we used an excisional cutaneous wound healing model. There was a significant impairment in the rate of healing of wounds in hspB1-deficient mice, characterised by reduced re-epithelialisation and collagen deposition but also increased inflammation. HspB1 deficiency augments neutrophil infiltration in wounds, driven by increased chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 1 expression. This appears to be a general mechanism as similar results were obtained in the air-pouch and peritonitis models of acute inflammation.
A patient with stent embedding after placement of an esophageal stent for an esophagobronchial fistula was treated with an ST-E plastic tube inserted into the esophagus to the upper end of the stent using gastroscopy. The gastroscope was guided into the esophagus through the ST-E tube, and an alligator forceps was inserted into the esophagus through the ST-E tube alongside the gastroscope. Under gastroscopy, the stent wire was grasped with the forceps and pulled into the ST-E tube. When resistance was met during withdrawal, the gastroscope was guided further to the esophageal section where the stent was embedded. Biopsy forceps were guided through a biopsy hole in the gastroscope to the embedded stent to remove silicone membranes and connection threads linking the Z-shaped wire mesh. While the lower section of the Z-shaped stent was fixed by the biopsy forceps, the alligator forceps were used to pull the upper section of the metal wire until the Z-shaped metal loops elongated. The wire mesh of the stent was then removed in stages through the ST-E tube. Care was taken to avoid bleeding and perforation. Under the assistance of an ST-E plastic tube, an embedded esophageal metal stent was successfully removed with no bleeding or perforation. The patient experienced an uneventful recovery after surgery. Plastic tube-assisted gastroscopic removal of embedded metal stents can be minimally invasive, safe, and effective.
Esophagus; Stents; Gastroscope; Complication
In this study we analyze the travel patterns of 500,000 individuals in Cote d'Ivoire using mobile phone call data records. By measuring the uncertainties of movements using entropy, considering both the frequencies and temporal correlations of individual trajectories, we find that the theoretical maximum predictability is as high as 88%. To verify whether such a theoretical limit can be approached, we implement a series of Markov chain (MC) based models to predict the actual locations visited by each user. Results show that MC models can produce a prediction accuracy of 87% for stationary trajectories and 95% for non-stationary trajectories. Our findings indicate that human mobility is highly dependent on historical behaviors, and that the maximum predictability is not only a fundamental theoretical limit for potential predictive power, but also an approachable target for actual prediction accuracy.
Increased disease resistance through improved immune capacity would be beneficial for the welfare and productivity of farm animals. To identify genomic regions responsible for immune capacity traits in swine, a genome-wide association study was conducted. In total, 675 pigs were included. At 21 days of age, all piglets were vaccinated with modified live classical swine fever vaccine. Blood samples were sampled when the piglets were 20 and 35 days of age, respectively. Four traits, including Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and Interleukin 10 (IL-10) levels, the ratio of IFN-γ to IL-10 and Immunoglobulin G (IgG) blocking percentage to CSFV in serum were measured. All the samples were genotyped for 62,163 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) using the Illumina porcineSNP60k BeadChip. After quality control, 46,079 SNPs were selected for association tests based on a single-locus regression model. To tackle the issue of multiple testing, 10,000 permutations were performed to determine the chromosome-wise and genome-wise significance level. In total, 32 SNPs with chromosome-wise significance level (including 4 SNPs with genome-wise significance level) were identified. These SNPs account for 3.23% to 13.81% of the total phenotypic variance individually. For the four traits, the numbers of significant SNPs range from 5 to 15, which jointly account for 37.52%, 82.94%, 26.74% and 24.16% of the total phenotypic variance of IFN-γ, IL-10, IFN-γ/IL-10, and IgG, respectively. Several significant SNPs are located within the QTL regions reported in previous studies. Furthermore, several significant SNPs fall into the regions which harbour a number of known immunity-related genes. Results herein lay a preliminary foundation for further identifying the causal mutations affecting swine immune capacity in follow-up studies.
New approaches that allow precise spatiotemporal control of gene expression in model organisms at the single cell level are necessary to better dissect the role of specific genes and cell populations in development, disease and therapy. Here, we describe a new optochemogenetic switch (OCG switch) to control CreER/loxP-mediated recombination via photoactivatable (“caged”) tamoxifen analogues in individual cells in cell culture, organoid culture and in vivo in adult mice. This approach opens opportunities to more fully exploit existing CreER transgenic mouse strains to achieve more precise temporal- and location-specific regulation of genetic events and gene expression.
Notch signaling, which is driven by the Notch1 receptor, plays an essential role in the pathogenesis and stroma-mediated drug resistance of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). However, little is known about the roles of Notch ligands in the survival or drug resistance of T-ALL cells. In the present study, isolated mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from human umbilical cord (hUC) samples, termed hUC-MSCs, were used as stromal cells for the Jurkat T-ALL cell line. The role of the Notch ligand, Jagged1, was assessed in the survival of Jurkat T-ALL cells using this co-culture system. hUC-MSCs and Jurkat cells were observed to express Jagged1. Furthermore, co-culture with hUC-MSCs led to a significant upregulation of Jagged1 and a more significant overexpression of its receptor, Notch1, in the Jurkat cells, indicating that the receptor and ligand pair may play a role in the reciprocal or autonomous activation of the Notch pathway. In addition, a higher level of CD28 expression was observed in the Jurkat cells that were co-cultured with hUC-MSCs. Blocking Jagged1 expression using neutralizing antibodies restored drug-induced apoptosis in the Jurkat cells that were co-cultured with hUC-MSCs, and also increased the drug sensitivity of the Jurkat cells that were cultured alone. By contrast, direct incubation with exogenously recombinant Jagged1 produced the same protective effects in Jurkat cells as those induced by hUC-MSCs. These results indicate a significant role for Jagged1 in hUC-MSC-induced survival and the self-maintenance of the Jurkat T-ALL cell line, making it a potential target for the treatment of human T-ALL.
Jagged1; T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia; apoptosis; mesenchymal stem cells
Bacteriophage VP4 is a lytic phage of the Vibrio cholerae serogroup O1, and it is used in phage subtyping of V. cholerae biotype El Tor. Studies of phage infection mechanisms will promote the understanding of the basis of phage subtyping as well as the genetic differences between sensitive and resistant strains. In this study, we investigated the receptor that phage VP4 uses to bind to El Tor strains of V. cholerae and found that it infects strains through adsorbing the O antigen of V. cholerae O1. In some natural isolates that are resistant to VP4 infection, mutations were identified in the wb* cluster (O-antigen gene cluster), which is responsible for the biosynthesis of O antigen. Mutations in the manB, wbeE, and wbeU genes caused failure of adsorption of VP4 to these strains, whereas the observed amino acid residue mutations within wbeW and manC have no effect on VP4 infection. Additionally, although mutations in two resistant strains were found only in manB and wbeW, complementing both genes did not restore sensitivity to VP4 infection, suggesting that other resistance mechanisms may exist. Therefore, the mechanism of VP4 infection may provide a basis for subtyping the phage. Elaborate mutations of the O antigen may imbue V. cholerae strains with resistance to phage infection.
We examined 103 cases over the last five years and discussed diagnosis and treatment of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)-negative small hepatic lesions.
Background: Small hepatic lesions (less than 2 cm in diameter) usually have no typical imaging characteristics and therefore are difficult to diagnose, especially when AFP tests provide a negative result.
A total of 103 patients with AFP-negative small hepatic lesions from January 2003 to December 2008 were retrospectively reviewed. Differential diagnosis was performed by digital subtraction angiography (DSA), dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI), contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS), or positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) based on the multiplicity of lesions. Ninety-four patients with suspected cancers underwent partial hepatectomy. Clinical data were collected from hospital records and follow-up questionnaires.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) diagnostic sensitivity of DSA, DCE-MRI, CEUS and PET-CT was 88.2%, 93.9%, 88.9% and 88.9%, respectively. The surgery-related complication rate was 6.4%. Prognosis was good, with 1- and 3-year survival rates of 98.8% and 76.1%, respectively.
DSA, DCE-MRI, CEUS and PET-CT are valuable for diagnosis of small hepatic lesions. Partial hepatectomy is a preferred surgical procedure. Surgery for small liver cancers usually has little risk and good prognosis, therefore it can be actively applied in suspected HCC cases.
Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)-negative small hepatic lesions; contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS); dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI); hepatectomy
Leukocyte cell–derived chemotaxin 2 enhances phagocytosis and bacterial killing of macrophages to improve the outcome of bacterial-induced sepsis.
Leukocyte cell–derived chemotaxin 2 (LECT2) is a multifunctional cytokine and reduced plasma levels were found in patients with sepsis. However, precise functions and mechanisms of LECT2 remain unclear. The aim of the present study was to determine the role of LECT2 in modulating immune responses using mouse sepsis models. We found that LECT2 treatment improved outcome in mice with bacterial sepsis. Macrophages (MΦ), but not polymorphonuclear neutrophils, mediated the beneficial effect of LECT2 on bacterial sepsis. LECT2 treatment could alter gene expression and enhance phagocytosis and bacterial killing of MΦ in vitro. CD209a was identified to specifically interact with LECT2 and mediate LECT2-induced MΦ activation. CD209a-expressing MΦ was further confirmed to mediate the effect of LECT2 on sepsis in vivo. Our data demonstrate that LECT2 improves protective immunity in bacterial sepsis, possibly as a result of enhanced MΦ functions via the CD209a receptor. The modulation of MΦ functions by LECT2 may serve as a novel potential treatment for sepsis.
The central melanocortin system has been implicated in emotional stress-induced anxiety, anorexia and activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. However, the underlying neural substrates have not been identified. The medial amygdala (MeA) is highly sensitive to emotional stress and expresses high levels of the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R). This study investigated the effects of activation and blockade of MC4R in the MeA on anxiety-like behaviour, food intake and corticosterone secretion. We demonstrate that MC4R-expressing neurons in the MeA were activated by acute restraint stress, as indicated by induction of c-fos mRNA expression. Infusion of a selective MC4R agonist into the MeA elicited anxiogenic-like effects in the elevated plus-maze test and decreased food intake. In contrast, local MeA infusion of SHU 9119, a MC4R antagonist, blocked restraint stress-induced anxiogenic and anorectic effects. Moreover, plasma corticosterone levels were increased by intra-MeA infusion of the MC4R agonist under non-stressed conditions and restraint stress-induced elevation of plasma corticosterone levels was attenuated by pretreatment with SHU 9119 in the MeA. Thus, stimulating MC4R in the MeA induces stress-like anxiogenic and anorectic effects as well as activation of the HPA axis, whereas antagonizing MC4R in this region blocks such effects induced by restraint stress. Together, our results implicate MC4R signalling in the MeA in behavioural and endocrine responses to stress.
Anorexia; anxiety; corticosterone; medial amygdala; melanocortin-4 receptor; restraint stress
Pharmacological and genetic studies have suggested that melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) signaling in the paraventricular nucleus of hypothalamus (PVN) regulates appetite and energy balance. However, the specific role of MC4R signaling in PVN neurons in these processes remains to be further elucidated in normally developed animals. In the present study, we employed RNA interference to determine whether MC4R knockdown in the PVN modulates food intake and body weight in adult rats. Adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors encoding short hairpin RNAs targeting MC4R (AAV-shRNA-MC4R) were generated to induce MC4R knockdown in the PVN. By in situ hybridization, we detected a high-level expression of Dicer, a key enzyme required for shRNA-mediated gene silencing, along the entire rostrocaudal extent of the PVN. Bilateral injection of AAV-shRNA-MC4R vectors into the PVN of the adult rat resulted in significant and specific reduction of MC4R mRNA expression. Animals with MC4R knockdown exhibited an increase in food intake and excessive body weight gain when exposed to a high-fat diet. Our results provide evidence that AAV-mediated silencing of MC4R on PVN neurons promotes hyperphagia and obesity in response to the dietary challenge in the adult animal.
Neurons producing melanocortin receptor agonist, α-MSH derived from proopiomelanocortin, and antagonist, agouti-related protein, are known to be sensitive to metabolic stress such as food deprivation and glucoprivation. However, how these neurons respond to emotional/psychological stress remained to be elucidated. We report here that acute emotional stressors, i.e. restraint and forced swim, evoked mRNA expression of c-fos, a neuronal activation marker, in a high percentage of proopiomelanocortin neurons (up to 53% for restraint stress and 62% for forced swim), with marked variations along the rostro-caudal axis of the arcuate nucleus. In contrast, only a small population of agouti-related protein neurons in this brain region was activated. These neuronal activation patterns were correlated with behavioral reactions. Both stressors suppressed feeding and induced anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus-maze test, as reflected by a reduction in the percentage of entries and time spent in the open arms. Central pretreatment with SHU9119, a melanocortin receptor antagonist, dose dependently attenuated the anorectic and anxiogenic effects elicited by acute restraint or forced swim. These results indicate that the melancortinergic pathway can be rapidly recruited by acute emotional stress, and that activation of melanocortin signaling is involved in mediating stress-induced anorexia and anxiety.
AIM: To investigate the cytotoxic mechanism of caribbean maitotoxin (MTX-C) in mammalian cells.
METHODS: We used whole-cell patch-clamp techniques and fluorescence calcium imaging to determine the cellular toxic mechanisms of MTX-C in insulin secreting HIT-T15 cells, which is a system where the effects of MTX have been observed. HIT-T15 cells stably express L-type calcium current, making it a suitable model for this study. Using the fluorescence calcium indicator Indo-1 AM, we found that there is a profound increase in HIT-T15 intracellular free calcium 3 min after application of 200 nmol/L MTX-C.
RESULTS: About 3 min after perfusion of MTX-C, a gradual increase in free calcium concentration was observed. This elevation was sustained throughout the entire recording period. Application of MTX-C did not elicit the L-type calcium current, but large cationic currents appeared after applying MTX-C to the extracellular solution. The current-voltage relationship of the cation current is approximately linear within the voltage range from -60 to 50 mV, but flattened at voltages at -80 and -100 mV. These results indicate that MTX-C induces a non-voltage activated, inward current under normal physiological conditions, which by itself or through a secondary mechanism results in a large amount of cationic influx. The biophysical mechanism of MTX-C is different to its isoform, pacific maitotoxin (MTX-P), when the extracellular calcium is removed.
CONCLUSION: We conclude that MTX-C causes the opening of non-selective, non-voltage-activated ion channels, which elevates level of intracellular calcium concentration and leads to cellular toxicities.
Maitotoxin; Calcium fluorescence; High voltage gated Ca2+ channels; Whole cell patch clamp; Insulin secreting cells
Species differences in neurochemical expression and activity in the brain may play an important role in species-specific patterns of social behavior. In the present study, we used immunoreactive (ir) labeling to compare the regional density of cells containing oxytocin (OT), vasopressin (AVP), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), or estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) staining in the brains of social Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) and solitary Chinese striped hamsters (Cricetulus barabensis). Multiple region- and neurochemical-specific species differences were found. In the anterior hypothalamus (AH), Mongolian gerbils had higher densities of AVP-ir and ERα-ir cells than Chinese striped hamsters. In the lateral hypothalamus (LH), Mongolian gerbils also had higher densities of AVP-ir and TH-ir cells, but a lower density of OT-ir cells, than Chinese striped hamsters. Furthermore, in the anterior nucleus of the medial preoptic area (MPOAa), Mongolian gerbils had higher densities of OT-ir and AVP-ir cells than Chinese striped hamsters, and an opposite pattern was found in the posterior nucleus of the MPOA (MPOAp). Some sex differences were also observed. Females of both species had higher densities of TH-ir cells in the MPOAa and of OT-ir cells in the intermediate nucleus of the MPOA (MPOAi) than males. Given the role of these neurochemicals in social behaviors, our data provide additional evidence to support the notion that species-specific patterns of neurochemical expression in the brain may be involved in species differences in social behaviors associated with different life strategies.
Activation of brain melanocortin-4 receptors (MC4-R) by α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) or inhibition by agouti-related protein (AgRP) regulates food intake and energy expenditure and can modulate neuroendocrine responses to changes in energy balance. To examine the effects of AgRP inhibition on energy balance, a small molecule, non-peptide compound, TTP2515, developed by TransTech Pharma, Inc., was studied in vitro and in rodent models in vivo. TTP2515 prevented AgRP from antagonizing α-MSH-induced increases in cAMP in HEK 293 cells overexpressing the human MC4-R. When administered to rats by oral gavage TTP2515 blocked icv AgRP-induced increases in food intake, weight gain and adiposity and suppression of T4 levels. In both diet-induced obese (DIO) and leptin-deficient mice, TTP2515 decreased food intake, weight gain, adiposity and respiratory quotient. TTP2515 potently suppressed food intake and weight gain in lean mice immediately after initiation of a high fat diet (HFD) but had no effect on these parameters in lean chow-fed mice. However, when tested in AgRP KO mice, TTP2515 also suppressed food intake and weight gain during HFD feeding. In several studies TTP2515 increased T4 but not T3 levels, however this was also observed in AgRP KO mice. TTP2515 also attenuated refeeding and weight gain after fasting, an effect not evident in AgRP KO mice when administered at moderate doses. This study shows that TTP2515 exerts many effects consistent with AgRP inhibition however experiments in AgRP KO mice indicate some off-target effects of this drug. TTP2515 was particularly effective during fasting and in mice with leptin deficiency, conditions in which AgRP is elevated, as well as during acute and chronic HFD feeding. Thus the usefulness of this drug in treating obesity deserves further exploration, to define the AgRP dependent and independent mechanisms by which TTP2515 exerts its effects on energy balance.
Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) is the rate-limiting enzyme for triacylglycerol (TAG) hydrolysis in adipocytes. The precise mechanisms whereby ATGL is regulated remain uncertain. Here we demonstrate that a protein encoded by G0/G1 switch gene 2 (G0S2) is a selective regulator of ATGL. G0S2 is highly expressed in adipose tissue and differentiated adipocytes. When overexpressed in HeLa cells, G0S2 localizes to lipid droplets and prevents their degradation mediated by ATGL. Moreover, G0S2 specifically interacts with ATGL, requiring the hydrophobic domain of G0S2 and the patatin-like domain of ATGL. More importantly, interaction with G0S2 inhibits the TAG hydrolase activity of ATGL. Furthermore, knockdown of endogenous G0S2 accelerates basal and stimulated lipolysis in adipocytes, while overexpression of G0S2 diminishes the rate of lipolysis in both adipocytes and adipose tissue explants. Thus, G0S2 functions to attenuate ATGL action both in vitro and in vivo, underlying a novel mechanism for the regulation of TAG hydrolysis.
Thalidomide is experimentally used to treat various human cancers; however, clinical responses to thalidomide are sporadic. Here we demonstrate that CUL4A plays an oncogenic role in prostate cancer development and prostate cancer cells with higher level of CUL4A are particularly sensitive to thalidomide treatment. We show that CUL4A is frequently overexpressed in human primary prostate cancer and cell lines. Notably, subjects with tumors that highly expressed CUL4A had poor overall survival. CUL4A downregulation inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in vitro and in vivo, whereas CUL4A overexpression transformed human normal prostate epithelial cells and promoted invasion, which was attenuated by the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) inhibitor. We further show that the sensitivity to thalidomide is positively correlated with CUL4A expression in a panel of prostate cell lines. Ectopic CUL4A expression greatly enhanced sensitivity to thalidomide, while its downregulation conferred resistance to this drug. Mechanistically, thalidomide decreased CUL4A in a time- and dose-dependent manner, consequently leading to inaction of ERK pathway. Finally, we show that cereblon level is correlated with CUL4A expression and downregulated in thalidomide-resistant prostate cancer cell. Our results offer the first evidence that CUL4A is a potential therapeutic target for prostate cancer and may serve as a biomarker for assessing prognosis of human prostate cancer and response to thalidomide treatment.
CUL4A; Thalidomide; Prostate cancer; Translational research; Cereblon
Previous studies have demonstrated that leptin and its receptors (LepRb) in the central nervous system play an important role in regulating depression- and anxiety-related behaviors. However, the physiological functions of LepRb in specific brain regions for mediating different emotional behaviors remain to be defined. In this study, we examined the behavioral effects of LepRb ablation in the adult hippocampus using a series of behavioral paradigms for assessing depression- and anxiety-related behaviors. Targeted deletion of LepRb was achieved using the Cre/loxP site-specific recombination system through bilateral stereotaxic delivery of an adeno-associated virus expressing Cre-recombinase (AAV-Cre) into the dentate gyrus of adult mice homozygous for a floxed leptin receptor allele. AAV-Cre-mediated deletion of the floxed region of LepRb was detected 2 weeks after injection. In accordance with this, leptin-stimulated phophorylation of Akt was attenuated in the hippocampus of AAV-Cre injected mice. Mice injected with AAV-Cre displayed normal locomotor activity and anxiety-like behavior, as determined in the elevated plus maze, light dark box and open field tests, but showed increased depression-like behaviors in the tail suspension, sucrose preference and learned helplessness tests. Taken together, this data suggests that deletion of LepRb in the adult hippocampus is sufficient to induce depression-like behaviors. Our results support the view that leptin signaling in the hippocampus may be essential for maintaining positive mood states and active coping to stress.
leptin receptor LepRb; hippocampus; depression; learned helplessness; anhedonia
Eighteen polyketides (1–18) including six citrinin derivatives, two phenol derivatives, one cyclopentenone, two naphthol derivatives, and seven tetralone derivatives were isolated from the culture broth of a marine-derived fungal strain Xylariaceae sp. SCSGAF0086. Five of these compounds (1, 2, 8, 9, and 10) were new, and their structures were determined by spectroscopic methods. Compounds 4, 6, 7, and 17 showed enzyme-inhibitory activities towards several tested enzymes, and 6 and 7 showed strong antifouling activity against Bugula neritina larvae settlement. This is the first time that the antifouling and enzyme-inhibitory activities of these compounds has been reported.
Xylariaceae sp.; polyketide; enzyme-inhibitory activity; antifouling activity