CD133 (promini-1) is a member of the transmembrane glycoprotein family, was initially described as a specific marker to select human hematopoietic progenitor cells. Then, it was recognised as important marker to identify and isolate the specific cell subpopulation termed “cancer stem cells”. Many studies showed that CD133+ cells have stemness properties such as self-renewal, differentiation ability, high proliferation and they are able also to form tumours in xenografts. Moreover it has been demonstrated that CD133+ cells more resistant to radiation and standard chemotherapy than CD133- cells. Although this, others investigations demonstrated that also CD133- cells can show the same characteristics of those positive for CD133+. Hence, some inconsistencies among published data on CD133 function can be ascribed to different causes questioning the main role as specific marker of cancer stem cells. In fact, many authors indicate that CD133 is expressed both in differentiated and undifferentiated cells, and CD133- cancer cells can also initiate tumours. Indeed, it is still a matter of debate whether CD133+ cells truly represent the ultimate tumourigenic population. However, the belief that CD133 may act as a universal marker of CSCs has been met with a high degree of controversy in the research community. In this review there is an attempt to highlight: i) the role and function of CD133, with an overview on the current stage of knowledge about this molecule, ii) the difficulty often encountered in its identification iii) the utility of CD133 expression as a prognostic marker.
Prominin-1 (CD133); cancer stem cells; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; glycosylation; epigenetic regulation; circulating tumor cells
Ossification of Ligamentum Flavum (OLF) is associated with serious neurologic symptoms including thoracic myelopathy and spinal stenosis. The pathogenesis of thoracic OLF is mainly due to the localized mechanical stress on the ligament induced enchondral ossification. However, despite numerous epidemiological and basic science studies, the mechanism of this process remains unclear. Studies have suggested that inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-6, TNF-α, seem to play a crucial role in OLF. In this review, we summarise the mechanistic information on the roles of inflammation cytokines in OLF and discuss about several therapeutic methods for OLF. Further studies on the role of cytokines in OLF should provide important insights into the designation of therapeutic strategies in preventing human spinal stenosis caused by OLF.
Ossification of ligamentum flavum (OLF); cytokine; pathology
Cell-to-cell communication is the basis of coordinated cellular activity and thus fundamental for the functioning of biological systems. In a recently published research article by Chaban et al. (Am. J. Transl. Res., 5(1), 69-79), the authors report on interesting new experimental findings supporting a neuro-hormonal independent, non-diffusible cell-to-cell signaling. Our paper aims to (i) discuss some critical notions used by the authors to describe their findings, and (ii) briefly review related experimental work performed so far but not discussed in the original work of Chaban et al. In our opinion, the research on principles of non-chemical and non-contact cell-to-cell communication has the potential to offer new fundamental insights into biological processes. With this paper, we want to encourage future research on this topic by discussing critical issues and giving an overview of the current state of research.
Cell-to-cell communication; physical signaling
Extremely premature neonates requiring oxygen therapy develop an accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), impaired alveolarization and dysmorphic pulmonary vasculature. Regulators of ROS (i.e. antioxidants), alveolarization (i.e. matrix metalloproteinases - MMPs) and microvascular maturation (i.e. vascular endothelial growth factor - VEGF) are altered in bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). We tested the hypothesis that early treatment with MnTBAP, a superoxide dismutase mimetic and superoxide anion and peroxynitrite scavenger, alters lung biomarkers of angiogenesis and alveolarization during hyperoxia with intermittent hypoxia (IH) in neonatal rats. Neonatal rats were exposed to 50% O2 with brief IH episodes (12% O2) from P0 to P14, or to room air (RA). On P0, P1 & P2, the pups received a daily IP injection of 1, 5, or 10 mg/kg MnTBAP, or saline. At P14, the pups were either euthanized, or allowed to recover in RA until P21. RA littermates were similarly treated. Lung VEGF, sVEGFR-1, MMP-2, MMP-9 and TIMP-1 were determined. Low-dose MnTBAP (1 mg/kg) prevented the increase in lung VEGF induced by intermittent hypoxia noted in the control group. This dose was also effective for decreasing MMP-9 and MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio suggesting an anti-inflammatory effect for MnTBAP. IH decreased MMP-2 with no ameliorating effect by MnTBAP. Our data demonstrate that brief, repeated intermittent hypoxia during hyperoxia can alter biomarkers responsible for normal microvascular and alveolar development. In addition to prevention of hypoxic events, the use of antioxidants needs to be explored as a possible therapeutic intervention in neonates at risk for the development of oxidative lung injury.
Antioxidants; hyperoxia; intermittent hypoxia; matrix metalloproteinases; tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase
We investigated the subcellular distribution of NEP protein and activity in brains of human individuals with no cognitive impairment (NCI), mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD dementia, as well as double transgenic mice and human neuronal cell line treated with Aβ and 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE). Total cortical neuronal-related NEP was significantly increased in MCI compared to NCI brains. NeuN was decreased in both MCI and AD, consistent with neuronal loss occurring in MCI and AD. Negative relationship between NEP protein and NeuN in MCI brains, and positive correlation between NEP and pan-cadherin in NCI and MCI brains, suggesting the increased NEP expression in NCI and MCI might be due to membrane associated NEP in non-neuronal cells. In subcellular extracts, NEP protein decreased in cytoplasmic fractions in MCI and AD, but increased in membrane fractions, with a significant increase in the membrane/cytoplasmic ratio of NEP protein in AD brains. By contrast, NEP activity was decreased in AD. Similar results were observed in AD-mimic transgenic mice. Studies of SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma showed an up-regulation of NEP protein in the cytoplasmic compartment induced by HNE and Aβ; however, NEP activity decreased in cytoplasmic fractions. Activity of NEP in membrane fractions increased at 48 hours and then significantly decreased after treatment with HNE and Aβ. The cytoplasmic/membrane ratio of NEP protein increased at 24 hours and then decreased in both HNE and Aβ treated cells. Both HNE and Aβ up-regulate NEP expression, but NEP enzyme activity did not show the same increase, possibly indicating immature cytoplasmic NEP is less active than membrane associated NEP. These observations indicate that modulation of NEP protein levels and its subcellular location influence the net proteolytic activity and this complex association might participate in deficiency of Aβ degradation that is associated with amyloid deposition in AD.
Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid-β; Aβ degrading enzymes; neprilysin; subcellular compartments; Aβ clearance
Despite rapid progress in anticancer drug development and improvement in clinical outcomes, the survival rate for many types of cancer is still unacceptably low. Therefore, it is crucial to discover novel anticancer drugs to both prevent and treat the disease. In recent years, the advent of combinatorial chemistry allows the design and parallel synthesis of millions of small compounds that have drug-like properties. In vitro high throughput screening of such compound libraries has allowed the identification of many new drug candidates that may be further evaluated for their efficacy and mechanism of action. The overall objective of this study was to identify small molecule compounds as candidates for anti-cancer drug development. We first used cell proliferation and cytotoxicity assays to identify compounds exhibiting anti-cancer activity in vitro in a leukemia cell line (K562). Six top compounds selected from the initial screening of a library of 2,560 compounds were further evaluated in multiple cancer cell lines to rank the drug candidates. The top candidate was further investigated to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying its anticancer activity. Our studies suggest that this piperazine derivative effectively (GI50 = 0.06-0.16 μM) inhibits cancer cell proliferation and induces caspase-dependent apoptosis via inhibiting multiple cancer signaling pathways including the PI3K/AKT, the Src family kinases and the BCR-ABL pathways.
Drug discovery; high throughput screening; apoptosis; piperazine; cancer; leukemia
Accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides (predominantly Aβ40, 42) and their aggregation into plaques in the brain are thought to be the one of the major causes of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Originally discovered in our Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line stably expressing human wild-type amyloid precursor protein (APP) (CHO/APPwt) cultures devoid of Aβ production, we found that Mycoplasma selectively degrades soluble Aβ in a time and dose (colony forming unit) dependent manner. Moreover, we fully characterized the Mycoplasma species as Mycoplasma hyorhinis (M. hyorhinis) by genetic and colony morphological analyses by light microscopy. Most interestingly, we attenuated the pathogenicity of M. hyorhinis by γ irradiation (3.5 Gy), and found that its ability to degrade Aβ was retained. On the other hand, heated and sonicated M. hyorhinis failed to retain this ability to degrade Aβ, suggesting that this degradation requires viable cells and likely a biologically active signaling pathway. In addition, we found that M. hyorhinis can degrade Aβ produced in AD model mice (PSAPP mice) ex vivo. Finally, we found that irradiated (non-pathogenic) M. hyorhinis also can degrade Aβ produced in PSAPP mice in vivo. These studies suggest that irradiated (non-pathogenic) M. hyorhinis can be a novel and alternative biological strategy for AD treatment.
Mycoplasma; Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid-β peptide; amyloid precursor protein
Background: The specific mechanisms behind weight loss and comorbidity improvements in obese patients after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGBP) are still poorly understood. The aim of this study was to establish and evaluate the feasibility of a long-term survival RYGBP model in super obese Göttingen minipigs in order to improve the translational potential relative to current animal models. Methods: Eleven Göttingen minipigs with diet-induced obesity underwent laparoscopic RYGBP and were followed up to 9 months after surgery. Intra- and post-operative complications, body weight (BW), food intake and necropsy data were recorded. Results: Five minipigs survived without complications to the end of the study. Four minipigs developed surgical related complications and were euthanized while two minipigs died due to central venous catheter related complications. BW and food intake is reported for the six minipigs surviving longer than 4.5 months post-surgery. Weight loss and reduced food intake was seen in all minipigs. After 2-3 months of weight loss, weight regain was evident in all but two minipigs which seemed to continue losing weight. Necropsy revealed some variation in the length of the alimentary, biliary and common limb between minipigs. Conclusion: The use of obese Göttingen minipigs as a translational RYGBP model is feasible and has potential for the study of RYGBP-related changes in gut function, type-2 diabetes and appetite regulation. Still, the surgical procedure is technically highly demanding in obese Göttingen minipigs and the peri-operative animal care and follow up requires close monitoring.
Gastric bypass; obesity; diabetes; weight loss; animal model; pig
Cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response is a critical component of the immune response to tumors, therefore optimal induction of CTL responses to tumor antigens is highly desired for developing efficient cancer immunotherapy. IL-27 is a member of the IL-12 family of cytokines that is comprised of an IL-12 p40-related protein subunit, EBV-induced gene 3 (EBI3), and a p35-related subunit, p28. IL-27 functions through IL-27R and has been shown to have potent anti-tumor activity via activation of a variety of immune components, including anti-tumor CD8+ T cell responses. However, the exact mechanisms of how IL-27 enhances anti-tumor CD8+ T cell responses are not fully understood. In this paper we mainly discuss the evidences that suggest novel mechanisms by which IL-27 enhances anti-tumor CTL responses, including IL-27 inhibition of activation-induced cell death; the phenotypes of IL-27-stimulated CTLs; IL-27-induced CTL IL-10/IL-21 production and IL-27-mediated suppression of regulatory T cell responses. These evidences suggest that IL-27 may have a great potential to be utilized in boosting anti-tumor CTL responses in human cancer patients.
IL-27; anti-tumor cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTLs); cancer; p28; p35; p53; IL-21
Purpose: The EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) demonstrate efficacy in NSCLC patients whose tumors harbor activating EGFR mutations. However, patients who initially respond to EGFR TKI treatment invariably develop resistance to the drugs. Known mechanisms account for approximately 70% of native and acquired EGFR TKI resistance. In the current study we investigated a novel mechanism of NSCLC resistance to erlotinib. Experimental Design: The mechanisms of acquired erlotinib resistance were evaluated by microarray analysis in thirteen NSCLC cell lines and in vivo in mice. Correlations between plasma neutrophil gelatinase associated lipocalin (NGAL) levels, erlotinib response and the EGFR mutational status were assessed in advanced stage NSCLC patients treated with erlotinib. Results: In 5 of 13 NSCLC cell lines NGAL was significantly upregulated. NGAL knockdown in erlotinib-resistant cells increased erlotinib sensitivity in vitro and in vivo. NGAL overexpression in erlotinib-sensitive cells augmented apoptosis resistance. This was mediated by NGAL-dependent modulation of the pro-apoptotic protein Bim levels. Evaluation of the plasma NGAL levels in NSCLC patients that received erlotinib revealed that patients with lower baseline NGAL demonstrated a better erlotinib response. Compared to patients with wild type EGFR, patients with activating EGFR mutations had lower plasma NGAL at baseline and weeks 4 and 8. Conclusions: Our studies uncover a novel mechanism of NGAL-mediated modulation of Bim levels in NSCLC that might contribute to TKI resistance in lung cancer patients. These findings provide the rationale for the further investigations of the utility of NGAL as a potential therapeutic target or diagnostic biomarker.
Lung cancer; effectors of apoptosis; survival factors; EGFR; erlotinib resistance
Cigarette smoking (CS) is the primary cause of preventable morbidity and mortality. Abundant clinical evidence suggests that CS is more harmful to women; however, the mechanisms responsible for these differences are not yet known. CS alters endothelial function, the redox state, inflammation, and global DNA methylation, which is associated with one-carbon metabolism and the transsulfuration pathway. However, it is not known whether the previously identified alterations are sex-gender related. Healthy adult men and oral contraceptive-free women with regular menstrual cycles were enrolled; women were examined during the follicular phase. Men had higher plasma levels of uric acid, total bilirubin, homocysteine, glutamylcysteine, total glutathione, cysteinylglycine; had more monocytes and released more TNF-alpha from human monocytes derived macrophages (hMDMs), but they had fewer platelets and lower levels of DNA methylation, and their hMDMs released less TNF-alpha after LPS stimulation. MDA, taurine, cysteine, arginine, ADMA, and SDMA were not different. CS decreased global DNA methylation more in women and increased the platelet, monocyte, and lymphocyte counts and the homocysteine, arginine, and ADMA levels only in women, whereas increased the neutrophil and eosinophil counts only in men. Additionally, CS reduced the sex-gender differences in total bilirubin, basal and LPS-induced TNF-alpha release, total glutathione, and glutamylcysteine, leaving unchanged cysteinylglycine, taurine, SDMA, MDA, and cysteine. These data suggest that cardiovascular risk factors seem to come earlier in young healthy female smokers than in young healthy male smokers, supporting the greater alarmism regarding the effects of CS in women and providing a basis for understanding the sex-gender differences. These results also suggest that cessation programs targeting women are needed.
Cigarette smoking; sex-gender differences; ADMA; transsulfuration pathway; global DNA methylation
This study examined the homing capacity of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived endothelial cells (iPSC-ECs) and their response to chemotactic gradients of stromal derived factor-1α (SDF). We have previously shown that EC derived from murine pluripotent stem cells can home to the ischemic hindlimb of the mouse. In the current study, we were interested to understand if ECs derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells are capable of homing. The homing capacity of iPSC-ECs was assessed after systemic delivery into immunodeficient mice with unilateral hindlimb ischemia. Furthermore, the iPSC-ECs were evaluated for their expression of CXCR4 and their ability to respond to SDF chemotactic gradients in vitro. Upon systemic delivery, the iPSC-ECs transiently localized to the lungs but did not home to the ischemic limb over the course of 14 days. To understand the mechanism of the lack of homing, the expression levels of the homing receptor, CXCR4, was examined at the transcriptional and protein levels. Furthermore, their ability to migrate in response to chemokines was assessed using microfluidic and scratch assays. Unlike ECs derived from syngeneic mouse pluripotent stem cells, human iPSC-ECs do not home to the ischemic mouse hindlimb. This lack of functional homing may represent an impairment of interspecies cellular communication or a difference in the differentiation state of the human iPSC-ECs. These results may have important implications in therapeutic delivery of iPSC-ECs.
Induced pluripotent stem cells; endothelial cells; CXCR4; SDF-1; homing; hindlimb ischemia
Although cervical cardiac transplantation is a well recognized useful model in diverse experimental settings, its widespread use, however, has been significantly hampered by the technical challenges relevant to small vessel anastomosis. We herein introduced a simplified two-stitch sleeve technique into arterial anastomosis during the course of cervical cardiac transplantation in mice. Cervical transplantation of allogenic and syngeneic cardiac grafts was conducted to assess the feasibility of this two-stitch sleeve technique in arterial anastomosis. Venous anastomosis was completed by the one-suture end-to-end microsuture technique, while arterial anastomosis was conducted by invaginating the recipient right common carotid artery into the graft left common carotid artery along with two guiding stitches. The two-stitch sleeve technique significantly simplified the procedures for arterial anastomosis as compared with that of the traditional microsuture technique (5.5 ± 1.8 min vs. 15.7 ± 3.0 min). However, the survival time for allografts (8.0 ± 0.2 day vs. 8.0 ± 0.4 day) and the long-term patency for syngeneic grafts (> 120 days) were the same as the grafts implanted by the traditional microsuture technique. This simplified sleeve technique is easy to learn, particularly for beginners without microsuture experience, and therefore, it has the great potential for widespread use in transplant immunology.
Anastomosis; heart transplantation; microsuture; two-stitch sleeve technique
We recently proposed a role for the 2-pore-domain K+ (K2P) channel TREK-1 in the regulation of cytokine release from alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) by demonstrating decreased IL-6 secretion from TREK-1 deficient cells, but the effects of altered TREK-1 expression on other inflammatory mediators remain poorly understood. We now examined the role of TREK-1 in TNF-α-induced MCP-1 release from human A549 cells. We hypothesized that TREK-1 regulates TNF-α-induced MCP-1 secretion via c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK)- and protein kinase-C (PKC)-dependent pathways. In contrast to IL-6 secretion, we found that TREK-1 deficiency resulted in increased MCP-1 production and secretion, although baseline MCP-1 gene expression was unchanged in TREK-1 deficient cells. In contrast to TREK-1 deficient AECs, overexpression of MCP-1 had no effect on MCP-1 secretion. Phosphorylation of JNK1/2/3 was increased in TREK-1 deficient cells upon TNF-α stimulation, but pharmacological inhibition of JNK1/2/3 decreased MCP-1 release from both control and TREK-1 deficient cells. Similarly, pharmacological inhibition of PKC decreased MCP-1 secretion from control and TREK-1 deficient cells, suggesting that alterations in JNK and PKC signaling pathways were unlikely the cause for the increased MCP-1 secretion from TREK-1 deficient cells. Furthermore, MCP-1 secretion from control and TREK-1 deficient cells was independent of extracellular Ca2+ but sensitive to inhibition of intracellular Ca2+ reuptake mechanisms. In summary, we report for the first time that TREK-1 deficiency in human AECs resulted in increased MCP-1 production and secretion, and this effect appeared unrelated to alterations in JNK-, PKC- or Ca2+-mediated signaling pathways in TREK-1 deficient cells.
TREK-1; MCP-1; TNF-α; chemokine; epithelium; acute lung injury
Childhood malnutrition is a problem in developing countries, and pathological changes in digestive organs such as the intestine and liver are poorly understood. An animal model to study the progression of severe acute malnutrition could elucidate pathological changes in the intestine and liver. We sought to characterize growth and clinical changes during malnutrition related to structural and functional indices in the intestine and liver. Newly weaned piglets were given ad libitum access to a maize flour diet (MAIZE, n=9) or a nutritionally optimized reference diet (REFERENCE, n=12) for 7 weeks. Growth, hematology and clinical biochemistry where recorded weekly. After 7 weeks, the MAIZE pigs had lower body weights than the REF pigs (8.3 kg vs. 32.4 kg, P < 0.001), indicating severe stunting and moderate to severe wasting. This was paralleled by lower values for hematocrit, hemoglobin and mean cell volume in MAIZE vs. REFERENCE (P < 0.01), indicating anemia. Although the observed temporal changes in MAIZE were associated with atrophy of the small intestinal mucosa (P < 0.001), digestive enzyme activity was only marginally reduced. Serum alanine aminotransferase, bilirubin and albumin were increased in the MAIZE pigs (P < 0.001), and the liver had a vacuolated appearance and tendency toward increased triglyceride content (P=0.054). We conclude that liver and intestinal indices are compromised during malnutrition and are associated with temporal changes in growth and hematological and biochemical endpoints. The pig model is relevant for malnourished infants and can act as a valuable tool for understanding the pathophysiology of malnutrition.
Malnutrition; pig; gut; liver; animal model
Background: The aberrant activation of oncogenic signaling such as Ras/MAPK signaling is a frequent event in human cancers. In addition to genetic changes, epigenetic silencing of inhibitors in Ras/MAPK signaling contributes to the activation of Ras/MAPK signaling. Recently, ANXA6 has been shown to interact with Ras-GAP1 and inhibit Ras activation in human breast cancer. However, whether and how it is involved in human cancers remain unknown. Methods: Real-time PCR was used to determine ANXA6 expression in gastric cancer cells and primary gastric carcinomas. Next, we explored the methylation of ANXA6 promoter in cell lines and tumor tissues with methylation-specific PCR and bisulfite genomic sequencing. We also investigated the function of ANXA6 in gastric cancer cells with colony formation assay and western blotting analysis. Results: ANXA6 was down-regulated in gastric cancer cells and primary gastric carcinomas. Ectopic ANXA6 expression inhibited the growth of gastric cancer cells and the activity of Ras/MAPK signaling. Its expression was restored after pharmaceutical demethylation. ANXA6 promoter was methylated in gastric cancer cell lines (6/6) and primary gastric carcinoma tissues (29/156). Interestingly, the knockdown of oncoprotein Yin Yang 1 (YY1) also restored ANXA6 expression and promoted the demethylation of ANXA6 promoter. However, ANXA6 methylation was not associated with clinical parameters such as differentiation, and TNM staging. Neither Kaplan-Meier Curve nor Cox regression analysis revealed a significant role of ANXA methylation to predict the survival of gastric cancer patients. Conclusions: We firstly reported that ANXA6 is epigenetically silenced through promoter methylation in human cancers and YY1 is important to initiate or maintain ANXA6 promoter methylation in gastric cancer cells. ANXA6 functions as a tumor suppressor in gastric cancer cells through the inhibition of Ras/MAPK signaling. ANXA6 methylation is not a prognostic factor for gastric cancer patients.
ANXA6; methylation; gastric cancer; Ras signaling
Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is characterized by recognition of beta cell proteins as self-antigens, called autoantigens (AAgs), by patients’ own CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and/or the products of self-reactive B cells, called autoantibodies. These AAgs are divided into two categories on the basis of beta-cell-specificity. The list of the targets associated with beta cell-specific AAgs is continuously growing. Many T1DM-associated AAgs are well characterized and have important clinical applications for disease prediction, diagnosis, and antigen-specific tolerance immunotherapy. Identification of T1DM-associated AAgs provides insight into the pathogenesis of T1DM and to understanding the clinical aspects of the disease. Since many excellent reviews have covered the previously identified T1DM-associated AAgs exhaustedly, here we only focus on several recently discovered T1DM-AAgs (PDX1, ZnT8, CHGA, and IAAP).
Type 1 diabetes; autoantigen; autoantibodies; Pdx1; ZnT8; IAPP; CHGA; immunotherapy; immune tolerance
Antiangiogenesis is a promising antitumor strategy that inhibits tumor vascular formation to suppress tumor growth. Specifically, targeting VEGF has shown therapeutic benefits in many cancer types, leading to its approval as the first antiangiogenic drug by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. It is known, however, that patients will experience unfavorable side effects as the VEGF and/or VEGF receptor signaling pathway is also required for homeostasis in normal tissues. Moreover, due to the cytostatic nature of antiangiogenic, cancer cells that are not killed by these drugs later develop an even more malignant phenotype, resulting in tumor invasion and metastasis. Although there have been many attempts to reduce drug resistance and increase therapeutic efficacy by combining antiangiogenic drugs with chemotherapy, the cumulative toxicity of antiangiogenic combinations limits their feasibility as treatments, as chronic angiogenesis inhibition typically reduces the antitumor effect of the co-administered chemotherapeutics. To overcome these problems, it is critical to explore new strategies that limit tumor resistance and side effects and also increase the exposure of chemotherapy drugs at the tumor site. Here, we review current understanding of antiangiogenic drugs and introduce a new combination strategy that links direct antiangiogenic protein and enzyme prodrug system with dual-targeting antiangiogenic and antiproliferative therapeutic effect in tumor microenvironment. This strategy has the potential to overcome these clinical hindrances and may serve as a paradigm for the next generation of antiangiogenic drugs.
Antiangiogenesis; bevacizumab; chemotherapy; 5-fluorouracil; endothelial cell-targeting
Progenitor cells have the capability to home myocardium in response to ischemia. Cell adhesion markers, in particular integrins, play an important role in the trafficking of stem cells to myocardium. In addition, damaged myocardium secretes several chemokines and growth factors that recruit these precursor cells to the heart. Nitric oxide synthase and hormones can also contribute to the trafficking of progenitor cells to myocardium. The recruitment of stem cells to ischemic myocardium is a complex interchange between cell adhesion markers, chemokines, and growth factors and a better understanding of these processes may lead to more efficient use of stem cells for therapeutic benefit.
Stem cells; ischemic myocardium; myocardial regeneration; growth factors; myocardial infarction
SIRT1, a longevity regulator and NAD+-dependent deacetylase, plays a critical role in promoting metabolic fitness associated with calorie restriction and healthy ageing. Using a tissue-specific transgenic approach, the present study demonstrates that over-expression of human SIRT1 selectively in adipose tissue of mice prevents ageing-induced deterioration of insulin sensitivity and ectopic lipid distribution, reduces whole body fat mass and enhances locomotor activity. During ageing, the water-soluble vitamin biotin is progressively accumulated in adipose tissue. Over-expression of SIRT1 alleviates ageing-associated biotin accumulation and reduces the amount of biotinylated proteins, including acetyl CoA carboxylase, a major reservoir of biotin in adipose tissues. Chronic biotin supplementation increases adipose biotin contents and abolishes adipose SIRT1-mediated beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity, lipid metabolism and locomotor activity. Biochemical, spectrometric and chromatographic analysis revealed that biotin and its metabolites act as competitive inhibitors of SIRT1-mediated deacetylation. In summary, these results demonstrate that adipose SIRT1 is a key player in maintaining systemic energy homeostasis and insulin sensitivity; enhancing its activity solely in adipose tissue can prevent ageing-associated metabolic disorders.
SIRT1; NAD+-dependent deacetylase; adipose tissue; biotin; longevity regulator
As a versatile regulatory mechanism, sumoylation has been found to be essential for ordered diverse cellular processes. However, the exact impact of sumoylation on endothelial function largely remained elusive. Here we investigated the role of small ubiquitin-like modifier 1 (SUMO1) mediated sumoylation in the regulation of endothelial function by examining its effect on angiogenesis and homeostatic responses. Adenoviral-mediated SUMO1 expression in porcine aortic endothelial cells (PAECs) dose-dependently promoted proliferation, migration and tube formation. In line with these results in PAECs, Matrigel plug assays in SUMO1 transgenic mice demonstrated a significant higher capacity for vascular neogenesis as compared with that of control littermates. Moreover, SUMO1 expression protected PAECs from serum starvation or H2O2-induced apoptosis. Mechanistic studies demonstrated that SUMO1 sumoylation modulates ERK1/2 activation and MMP13 expression as well as Jak2/STAT5 signaling to promote angiogenesis. SUMO1 sumoylation also suppressed NFκB and c-JUN transcriptional activity to provide protection for PAECs against oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. Given that sumoylation is a reversible process, dynamic regulation of the sumoylation function could be a novel strategy to modulate endothelial function in disease states.
Sumoylation; endothelial cells; angiogenesis; SUMO1
Sodium/glucose co-transporter 1 (SGLT1), which actively and energy-dependently uptakes glucose, plays critical roles in the development of various diseases including diabetes mellitus and cancer, and has been viewed as a promising therapeutic target for these diseases. Protein-protein interaction with EGFR has been shown to regulate the expression and activity of SGLT1. Exogenous expression of SGLT1 is one of the essential approaches to characterize its functions; however, exogenously expressed SGLT1 is not firmly detectable by Western blot at its calculated molecular weight, which creates a hurdle for further understanding the molecular events by which SGLT1 is regulated. In this study, we demonstrated that exogenous SGLT1 functions in glucose-uptake normally but is consistently detected near the interface between stacking gel and running gel rather than at the calculated molecular weight in Western blot analysis, suggesting that the overexpressed SGLT1 forms SDS-resistant aggregates, which cannot be denatured and effectively separated on SDS-PAGE. Co-expression of EGFR enhances both the glucose-uptake activity and protein level of the SGLT1. However, fusion with Flag or HA tag at its carboxy- but not its amino-terminus abolished the glucose-uptake activity of exogenous SGLT1 without affecting its protein level. Furthermore, the solubility of SGLT1 aggregates was not affected by other detergents but was partially improved by inhibition of o-link glycosylation. These findings suggested exogenous overexpression of SGLT1 can function normally but may not be consistently detectable at its formula weight due to its gel-shift behavior by forming the SDS-resistant aggregates.
Sodium/glucose cotranspoter 1; epidermal growth factor receptor; protein aggregation; glucose uptake; o-link glycosylation
Identifying mechanisms to enhance neuroprotection holds tremendous promise in developing new treatments for neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. We sought to determine the potential role for microRNAs (miRNAs) in neuroprotection following neuronal death. A neuronal culture system of rat cerebellar granule cells was used to examine miRNA expression changes following glutamate-induced excitotoxicity and neuroprotective treatments. Combination treatment with the mood stabilizers lithium and valproic acid provided near-complete protection from glutamate excitotoxicity. Numerous miRNAs were detected by microarrays to be regulated by the combined lithium and valproic acid treatment, and the following candidates were confirmed using real-time PCR: miR-34a, miR-147b, miR-182, miR-222, miR-495, and miR-690. We then verified the apoptotic actions of miR-34a mimic in a human neuroblastoma cell line (SH-SY5Y) under basal conditions and following endoplasmic reticulum stress. To gain insight into the function of these mood stabilizer-regulated miRNAs, we performed two separate analyses: a candidate approach using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis that was restricted to only our PCR-verified miRNAs, and a global approach using DIANA-mirPath that included all significantly regulated miRNAs. It was observed that the pathways associated with mood stabilizer-regulated miRNAs in our study (global approach) are strongly associated with pathways implicated in neuropsychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia. We also observed an overlap in the mood stabilizer-regulated miRNAs identified from our study along with dysregulated miRNAs in both neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. We anticipate that these associations and overlaps implicate critical pathways and miRNAs in disease mechanisms for novel therapeutic treatments that may hold potential for many neurological diseases.
microRNA; neuroprotection; glutamate excitotoxicity; lithium; valproic acid; mood stabilizers
Abstract: Having previously shown that levels of the citrullinated vimentin peptide VICM are raised in liver fibrosis in rats, we aimed to investigate whether inhibition of citrullination as measured by VICM levels could affect fibrogenesis. Methods: Fibrogenesis was evaluated by quantitative histology and circulating levels of collagen type III in a carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) rat model of liver fibrosis for 6 weeks (n=40+10 untreated controls). The first treatment group (n=20) was treated exclusively with CCl4 for the duration of the study.The second treatment group (n=20) was additionally treated, for the same period, with N-a-benzoyl-N5-(2 Chloro-1-iminoethyl)-L-Ornithine amide, a known PAD inhibitor. Results: All 40 CCl4 treated animals showed a statistically significant increase in total collagen (p<0.0001) and C3M levels (p<0.001) compared with controls assessed by quantitative histology. Animals additionally treated with the PAD inhibitor showed a statistically significant increase when compared with controls for both total collagen (p<0.001) and C3M levels (p<0.0001) but no statistically difference when compared with animals treated only with CCl4. The mean systemic level of VICM in control animals was 115 ng/ml at 6 weeks. In CCl4-treated animals, mean systemic VICM levels increased 324% at week 6 (p<0.001). The mean level of the marker in CCl4-treated rats was not statistically significant from that in controls (P>0.05). In PAD-treated animals VICM levels were 51% (P<0.05) lower than in non-PAD CCl4-treated animals. Conclusion: The PAD inhibitor did not reduce fibrogenesis in this preclinical model. However circulating VICM marker levels were decreased in the presence of the PAD inhibitor.
Biomarker; citrulline; PAD inhibitor; VICM; vimentin; liver fibrosis; CCl4
The discovery of chromosomal translocations in prostate cancer has greatly enhanced our understanding of prostate cancer biology. Genomic rearrangements involving the ETS family of transcription factors are estimated to be present in 50-70% of prostate cancer cases. These rearrangements fuse the ETS factors with promoters of genes that are androgen regulated. Thus, the expression of ETS factors, such as ERG, ETV1, ETV4 and ETV5, is mediated by androgen. In-vitro and in-vivo studies suggest that overexpression of ETS proteins increase cell proliferation and confer an invasive phenotype to prostate cancer cells. Epidemiological studies demonstrate that ETS-fusion positive patients exhibit tumors corresponding to a more advanced disease. The ability of ETS factors to serve as markers for screening and diagnosing prostate cancer patients is being investigated, and the results have been largely positive to date. Additionally, ETS factors present an excellent opportunity as therapeutic targets and several strategies have been devised to directly target ETS proteins or their binding partners and downstream effectors.
Prostate cancer; chromosomal translocation; transcription factor; ETS; TMPRSS2-ERG; ETV1