Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) undergo phenotypic changes in response to vascular injury such as angioplasty. Protein kinase G (PKG) has an important role in the process of VSMC phenotype switching. In this study, we examined whether rosiglitazone, a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ agonist, could modulate VSMC phenotype through the PKG pathway to reduce neointimal hyperplasia after angioplasty. In vitro experiments showed that rosiglitazone inhibited the phenotype change of VSMCs from a contractile to a synthetic form. The platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-induced reduction of PKG level was reversed by rosiglitazone treatment, resulting in increased PKG activity. This increased activity of PKG resulted in phosphorylation of vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein at serine 239, leading to inhibited proliferation of VSMCs. Interestingly, rosiglitazone did not change the level of nitric oxide (NO) or cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), which are upstream of PKG, suggesting that rosiglitazone influences PKG itself. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays for the PKG promoter showed that the activation of PKG by rosiglitazone was mediated by the increased binding of Sp1 on the promoter region of PKG. In vivo experiments showed that rosiglitazone significantly inhibited neointimal formation after balloon injury. Immunohistochemistry staining for calponin and thrombospondin showed that this effect of rosiglitazone was mediated by modulating VSMC phenotype. Our findings demonstrate that rosiglitazone is a potent modulator of VSMC phenotype, which is regulated by PKG. This activation of PKG by rosiglitazone results in reduced neointimal hyperplasia after angioplasty. These results provide important mechanistic insight into the cardiovascular-protective effect of PPARγ.
cGMP-dependent protein kinase; Rosiglitazone; Smooth muscle cells
Cytokines activate several inflammatory signals that mediate β-cell destruction. We recently determined that SPA0355 is a strong anti-inflammatory compound, thus reporting its efficacy in protecting β cells from various insults. The effects of SPA0355 on β-cell survival were studied in RINm5F cells and primary islets. The protective effects of this compound on the development of type 1 diabetes were evaluated in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice. SPA0355 completely prevented cytokine-induced nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression and cytotoxicity in RINm5F cells and isolated islets. The molecular mechanism of SPA0355 inhibition of iNOS expression involves the inhibition of nuclear factor κB and Janus kinase signal transducer and activator of transcription pathways. The protective effects of SPA0355 against cytokine toxicity were further demonstrated by normal insulin secretion and absence of apoptosis of cytokine-treated islets. In experiments with NOD mice, the occurrence of diabetes was efficiently reduced when the mice were treated with SPA0355. Therefore, SPA0355 might be a valuable treatment option that delays the destruction of pancreatic β cells in type 1 diabetes.
β-cell; cytokine; NF-κB; SPA0355; STAT; type 1 diabetes
Gastric cancer overexpressing the human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2) protein has a poor outcome, although a combination of chemotherapy and the anti-HER2 antibody trastuzumab has been approved for the treatment of advanced gastric cancer. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in gastric cancer is correlated with recurrence and poor prognosis; however, the anti-VEGF antibody bevacizumab has shown limited efficacy against gastric cancer in clinical trials. In this study, we evaluated the antitumor effects of trastuzumab; VEGF-Trap binding to VEGF-A, VEGF-B and placental growth factor (PlGF); and a combination of trastuzumab and VEGF-Trap in a gastric cancer xenograft model. Although trastuzumab and VEGF-Trap each moderately inhibited tumor growth, the combination of these agents exerted greater inhibition compared with either agent alone. Immunohistochemical analyses indicated that the reduction in tumor growth was associated with decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis of tumor cells and decreased tumor vascular density. The combined treatment resulted in fewer proliferating tumor cells, more apoptotic cells and reduced tumor vascular density compared with treatment with trastuzumab or VEGF-Trap alone, indicating that trastuzumab and VEGF-Trap had additive inhibitory effects on the tumor growth and angiogenesis of the gastric cancer xenografts. These data suggest that trastuzumab in combination with VEGF-Trap may represent an effective approach to treating HER2-overexpressing gastric cancer.
combination treatment; gastric cancer; HER2; trastuzumab; VEGF-Trap
Lapatinib, a dual inhibitor of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) tyrosine kinases, has shown promising results as a growth inhibitor of HER2-positive cancer cells in vitro. However, similar to other EGFR-targeting drugs, acquired resistance to lapatinib by HER2-positive cancer cells remains a major clinical challenge. To elucidate resistance mechanisms to EGFR/HER2-targeting agents, we performed a systematic quantitative comparison of the phosphoproteome of lapatinib-resistant (LR) human gastric cancer cells (SNU216-LR) versus parental cells (SNU216) using a titanium dioxide (TiO2) phosphopeptide enrichment method and analysis with a Q-Exactive hybrid quadrupole-Orbitrap mass spectrometer. Biological network analysis of differentially expressed phosphoproteins revealed apparent constitutive activation of the MET-axis phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/α-serine/threonine-protein kinase (AKT) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathways in SNU216-LR. Inhibition of the PI3K/AKT and MAPK/ERK signaling pathways in SNU216-LR also leads to cell cycle arrest, confirming the biological network analysis. Lapatinib sensitivity was restored when cells were treated with several molecular targeting agents in combination with lapatinib. Thus, by integrating phosphoproteomic data, protein networks and effects of signaling pathway modulation on cell proliferation, we found that SNU216-LR maintains constitutive activation of the PI3K/AKT and MAPK/ERK pathways in a MET-dependent manner. These findings suggest that pathway activation is a key compensatory intracellular phospho-signaling event that may govern gastric cancer cell resistance to drug treatment.
drug resistance; HER2-positive gastric cancer; lapatinib; phosphoproteins; Q-Exactive; therapeutic targets
As the theory of stem cell plasticity was first proposed, we have explored an alternative hypothesis for this phenomenon: namely that adult bone marrow (BM) and umbilical cord blood (UCB) contain more developmentally primitive cells than hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). In support of this notion, using multiparameter sorting we were able to isolate small Sca1+Lin−CD45− cells and CD133+Lin−CD45− cells from murine BM and human UCB, respectively, which were further enriched for the detection of various early developmental markers such as the SSEA antigen on the surface and the Oct4 and Nanog transcription factors in the nucleus. Similar populations of cells have been found in various organs by our team and others, including the heart, brain and gonads. Owing to their primitive cellular features, such as the high nuclear/cytoplasm ratio and the presence of euchromatin, they are called very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs). In the appropriate in vivo models, VSELs differentiate into long-term repopulating HSCs, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), lung epithelial cells, cardiomyocytes and gametes. In this review, we discuss the most recent data from our laboratory and other groups regarding the optimal isolation procedures and describe the updated molecular characteristics of VSELs.
VSEL; Igf2-H19 locus; Oct4; Sall4
The field of tissue engineering has made steady progress in translating various tissue applications. Although the classical tissue engineering strategy, which involves the use of culture-expanded cells and scaffolds to produce a tissue construct for implantation, has been validated, this approach involves extensive cell expansion steps, requiring a lot of time and laborious effort before implantation. To bypass this ex vivo process, a new approach has been introduced. In situ tissue regeneration utilizes the body's own regenerating capacity by mobilizing host endogenous stem cells or tissue-specific progenitor cells to the site of injury. This approach relies on development of a target-specific biomaterial scaffolding system that can effectively control the host microenvironment and mobilize host stem/progenitor cells to target tissues. An appropriate microenvironment provided by implanted scaffolds would facilitate recruitment of host cells that can be guided to regenerating structural and functional tissues.
bioactive molecules; biomaterials; in situ tissue regeneration; protein delivery system; stem cells; tissue engineering
Salivary function in mammals may be defective for various reasons, such as aging, Sjogren's syndrome or radiation therapy in head and neck cancer patients. Recently, tissue-specific stem cell therapy has attracted public attention as a next-generation therapeutic reagent. In the present study, we isolated tissue-specific stem cells from the human submandibular salivary gland (hSGSCs). To efficiently isolate and amplify hSGSCs in large amounts, we developed a culture system (lasting 4–5 weeks) without any selection. After five passages, we obtained adherent cells that expressed mesenchymal stem cell surface antigen markers, such as CD44, CD49f, CD90 and CD105, but not the hematopoietic stem cell markers, CD34 and CD45, and that were able to undergo adipogenic, osteogenic and chondrogenic differentiation. In addition, hSGSCs were differentiated into amylase-expressing cells by using a two-step differentiation method. Transplantation of hSGSCs to radiation-damaged rat salivary glands rescued hyposalivation and body weight loss, restored acinar and duct cell structure, and decreased the amount of apoptotic cells. These data suggest that the isolated hSGSCs, which may have characteristics of mesenchymal-like stem cells, could be used as a cell therapy agent for the damaged salivary gland.
amylase; hyposalivation; radiation-induced damage; salivary gland; stem cells
Human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) derived from somatic cells of patients have opened possibilities for in vitro modeling of the physiology of neural (and other) cells in psychiatric disease states. Issues in early stages of technology development include (1) establishing a library of cells from adequately phenotyped patients, (2) streamlining laborious, costly hiPSC derivation and characterization, (3) assessing whether mutations or other alterations introduced by reprogramming confound interpretation, (4) developing efficient differentiation strategies to relevant cell types, (5) identifying discernible cellular phenotypes meaningful for cyclic, stress induced or relapsing–remitting diseases, (6) converting phenotypes to screening assays suitable for genome-wide mechanistic studies or large collection compound testing and (7) controlling for variability in relation to disease specificity amidst low sample numbers. Coordination of material for reprogramming from patients well-characterized clinically, genetically and with neuroimaging are beginning, and initial studies have begun to identify cellular phenotypes. Finally, several psychiatric drugs have been found to alter reprogramming efficiency in vitro, suggesting further complexity in applying hiPSCs to psychiatric diseases or that some drugs influence neural differentiation moreso than generally recognized. Despite these challenges, studies utilizing hiPSCs may eventually serve to fill essential niches in the translational pipeline for the discovery of new therapeutics.
drug screening; induced pluripotent stem cells; neuronal culture; psychopharmacology; psychosis; schizophrenia
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of age-related dementia. The neuropathological hallmarks of AD include extracellular deposition of amyloid-β peptides and neurofibrillary tangles that lead to intracellular hyperphosphorylated tau in the brain. Soluble amyloid-β oligomers are the primary pathogenic factor leading to cognitive impairment in AD. Neural stem cells (NSCs) are able to self-renew and give rise to multiple neural cell lineages in both developing and adult central nervous systems. To explore the relationship between AD-related pathology and the behaviors of NSCs that enable neuroregeneration, a number of studies have used animal and in vitro models to investigate the role of amyloid-β on NSCs derived from various brain regions at different developmental stages. However, the Aβ effects on NSCs remain poorly understood because of conflicting results. To investigate the effects of amyloid-β oligomers on human NSCs, we established amyloid precursor protein Swedish mutant-expressing cells and identified cell-derived amyloid-β oligomers in the culture media. Human NSCs were isolated from an aborted fetal telencephalon at 13 weeks of gestation and expanded in culture as neurospheres. Human NSCs exposure to cell-derived amyloid-β oligomers decreased dividing potential resulting from senescence through telomere attrition, impaired neurogenesis and promoted gliogenesis, and attenuated mobility. These amyloid-β oligomers modulated the proliferation, differentiation and migration patterns of human NSCs via a glycogen synthase kinase-3β-mediated signaling pathway. These findings contribute to the development of human NSC-based therapy for AD by elucidating the effects of Aβ oligomers on human NSCs.
amyloid-β oligomers; differentiation; glycogen synthase kinase-3β; human neural stem cells; migration; proliferation
What is the most effective treatment for the early stages of osteonecrosis of the femoral head? We assessed multiple drilling and stem cell implantation to treat the early stages of osteonecrosis of the femoral head. We report the clinical and radiological results of stem cell implantation and core decompression. In total, 128 patients (190 hips) who had undergone surgery were divided into two groups based on which treatment they had received: (1) multiple drilling and stem cell implantation or (2) core decompression, curettage and a bone graft. The clinical and radiographic results of the two groups were compared. At 5-year follow-up, in the stem cell implantation group, 64.3% (27/42) of the patients with Stage IIa disease, 56.7% (21/37) of the patients with Stage IIb disease and 42.9% (21/49) of the patients with Stage III disease had undergone no additional surgery. In the conventional core decompression group, 64.3% (9/14) of the patients with Stage IIa disease, 55.6% (5/9) of the patients with Stage IIb disease and 37.5% (3/8) of the patients with Stage III disease had undergone no additional surgery. Success rates were higher in patients with Ficat Stage I or II lesions than in those with Stage III lesions. There were no statistically significant differences between the groups in terms of success rate or in the clinical and radiographic results of the two methods. Essentially the same results were found with stem cell implantation as with the conventional method of core decompression.
core decompression; osteonecrosis; stem cell implantation
Non healing chronic wounds are difficult to treat in patients with diabetes and can result in severe medical problems for these patients and for society. Negative-pressure wound therapy (NPWT) has been adopted to treat intractable chronic wounds and has been reported to be effective. However, the mechanisms underlying the effects of this treatment have not been elucidated. To assess the vasculogenic effect of NPWT, we evaluated the systemic mobilization of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) during NPWT. Twenty-two of 29 consecutive patients who presented at the clinic of Seoul National Universty Hospital between December 2009 and November 2010 who underwent NPWT for diabetic foot infections or skin ulcers were included in this study. Peripheral blood samples were taken before NPWT (pre-NPWT) and 7–14 days after the initiation of NPWT (during-NPWT). Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis showed that the number of cells in EPC-enriched fractions increased after NPWT, and the numbers of EPC colony forming units (CFUs) significantly increased during NPWT. We believe that NPWT is useful for treating patients with diabetic foot infections and skin ulcers, especially when these conditions are accompanied by peripheral arterial insufficiency. The systemic mobilization of EPCs during NPWT may be a mechanism for healing intractable wounds in diabetic patients with foot infections or skin defects via the formation of increased granulation tissue with numerous small blood vessels.
diabetic foot; endothelial progenitor cell; negative-pressure wound therapy
The transplantation of neural precursor cells (NPCs) is known to be a promising approach to ameliorating behavioral deficits after stroke in a rodent model of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo). Previous studies have shown that transplanted NPCs migrate toward the infarct region, survive and differentiate into mature neurons to some extent. However, the spatiotemporal dynamics of NPC migration following transplantation into stroke animals have yet to be elucidated. In this study, we investigated the fates of human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived NPCs (ENStem-A) for 8 weeks following transplantation into the side contralateral to the infarct region using 7.0T animal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). T2- and T2*-weighted MRI analyses indicated that the migrating cells were clearly detectable at the infarct boundary zone by 1 week, and the intensity of the MRI signals robustly increased within 4 weeks after transplantation. Afterwards, the signals were slightly increased or unchanged. At 8 weeks, we performed Prussian blue staining and immunohistochemical staining using human-specific markers, and found that high percentages of transplanted cells migrated to the infarct boundary. Most of these cells were CXCR4-positive. We also observed that the migrating cells expressed markers for various stages of neural differentiation, including Nestin, Tuj1, NeuN, TH, DARPP-32 and SV38, indicating that the transplanted cells may partially contribute to the reconstruction of the damaged neural tissues after stroke. Interestingly, we found that the extent of gliosis (glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive cells) and apoptosis (TUNEL-positive cells) were significantly decreased in the cell-transplanted group, suggesting that hESC-NPCs have a positive role in reducing glia scar formation and cell death after stroke. No tumors formed in our study. We also performed various behavioral tests, including rotarod, stepping and modified neurological severity score tests, and found that the transplanted animals exhibited significant improvements in sensorimotor functions during the 8 weeks after transplantation. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that hESC-NPCs have the capacity to migrate to the infarct region, form neural tissues efficiently and contribute to behavioral recovery in a rodent model of ischemic stroke.
behavioral recovery; human embryonic stem cell-derived neural precursor cells (hESC-NPCs, ENStem-A); magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); migration; stroke
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are partially defined by their ability to differentiate into tissues including bone, cartilage and adipose in vitro, but it is their trophic, paracrine and immunomodulatory functions that may have the greatest therapeutic impact in vivo. Unlike pharmaceutical treatments that deliver a single agent at a specific dose, MSCs are site regulated and secrete bioactive factors and signals at variable concentrations in response to local microenvironmental cues. Significant progress has been made in understanding the biochemical and metabolic mechanisms and feedback associated with MSC response. The anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory capacity of MSC may be paramount in the restoration of localized or systemic conditions for normal healing and tissue regeneration. Allogeneic MSC treatments, categorized as a drug by regulatory agencies, have been widely pursued, but new studies demonstrate the efficacy of autologous MSC therapies, even for individuals affected by a disease state. Safety and regulatory concerns surrounding allogeneic cell preparations make autologous and minimally manipulated cell therapies an attractive option for many regenerative, anti-inflammatory and autoimmune applications.
anti-apoptotic; anti-inflammatory; antimicrobial; mesenchymal stem cell; pericyte; trophic
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) comprise a rare population of cells that can regenerate and maintain lifelong blood cell production. This functionality is achieved through their ability to undergo many divisions without activating a poised, but latent, capacity for differentiation into multiple blood cell types. Throughout life, HSCs undergo sequential changes in several key properties. These affect mechanisms that regulate the self-renewal, turnover and differentiation of HSCs as well as the properties of the committed progenitors and terminally differentiated cells derived from them. Recent findings point to the Lin28b-let-7 pathway as a master regulator of many of these changes with important implications for the clinical use of HSCs for marrow rescue and gene therapy, as well as furthering our understanding of the different pathogenesis of childhood and adult-onset leukemia.
hematopoietic stem cells; HMGA2; Lin28-let7 pathway; ontogeny; self-renewal
Prion diseases, including ovine scrapie, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), human kuru and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD), originate from a conformational change of the normal cellular prion protein (PrPC) into abnormal protease-resistant prion protein (PrPSc). There is concern regarding these prion diseases because of the possibility of their zoonotic infections across species. Mutations and polymorphisms of prion sequences may influence prion-disease susceptibility through the modified expression and conformation of proteins. Rapid determination of susceptibility based on prion-sequence polymorphism information without complex structural and molecular biological analyses may be possible. Information regarding the effects of mutations and polymorphisms on prion-disease susceptibility was collected based on previous studies to classify the susceptibilities of sequences, whereas the BLOSUM62 scoring matrix and the position-specific scoring matrix were utilised to determine the distance of target sequences. The k-nearest neighbour analysis was validated with cross-validation methods. The results indicated that the number of polymorphisms did not influence prion-disease susceptibility, and three and four k-objects showed the best accuracy in identifying the susceptible group. Although sequences with negative polymorphisms showed relatively high accuracy for determination, polymorphisms may still not be an appropriate factor for estimating variation in susceptibility. Discriminant analysis of prion sequences with scoring matrices was attempted as a possible means of determining susceptibility to prion diseases. Further research is required to improve the utility of this method.
discriminant analysis; polymorphism; prion; substitution score matrix; susceptibility
Behçet's disease (BD) is a chronic systemic inflammatory disorder characterized by four major manifestations: recurrent uveitis, oral and genital ulcers and skin lesions. To identify some pathogenic variants associated with severe Behçet's uveitis, we used targeted and massively parallel sequencing methods to explore the genetic diversity of target regions. A solution-based target enrichment kit was designed to capture whole-exonic regions of 132 candidate genes. Using a multiplexing strategy, 32 samples from patients with a severe type of Behçet's uveitis were sequenced with a Genome Analyzer IIx. We compared the frequency of each variant with that of 59 normal Korean controls, and selected five rare and eight common single-nucleotide variants as the candidates for a replication study. The selected variants were genotyped in 61 cases and 320 controls and, as a result, two rare and seven common variants showed significant associations with severe Behçet's uveitis (P<0.05). Some of these, including rs199955684 in KIR3DL3, rs1801133 in MTHFR, rs1051790 in MICA and rs1051456 in KIR2DL4, were predicted to be damaging by either the PolyPhen-2 or SIFT prediction program. Variants on FCGR3A (rs396991) and ICAM1 (rs5498) have been previously reported as susceptibility loci of this disease, and those on IFNAR1, MTFHR and MICA also replicated the previous reports at the gene level. The KIR3DL3 and KIR2DL4 genes are novel susceptibility genes that have not been reported in association with BD. In conclusion, this study showed that target enrichment and next-generation sequencing technologies can provide valuable information on the genetic predisposition for Behçet's uveitis.
Behçet's disease; next-generation sequencing; uveitis
Bortezomib is a proteasome inhibitor used for the treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM). However, intrinsic and acquired resistance to bortezomib has already been observed in MM patients. In a previous report, we demonstrated that changes in the expression of mitochondrial genes lead to changes in mitochondrial activity and bortezomib susceptibility or resistance, and their combined effects contribute to the differential sensitivity or resistance of MM cells to bortezomib. Here we report that the combination treatment of bortezomib and 2-methoxyestradiol (2ME), a natural estrogen metabolite, induces mitochondria-mediated apoptotic cell death of bortezomib-resistant MM KMS20 cells via mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) overproduction. Bortezomib plus 2ME treatment induces a higher level of cell death compared with treatment with bortezomib alone and increases mitochondrial ROS and Ca2+ levels in KMS20 cells. Pretreatment with the antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine scavenges mitochondrial ROS and decreases cell death after treatment with bortezomib plus 2ME in KMS20 cells. Moreover, we observed that treatment with bortezomib plus 2ME maintains the activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 4/7 (MKK4/7). Collectively, combination treatment with bortezomib and 2ME induces cell death via JNK-MKK4/7 activation by overproduction of mitochondrial ROS. Therefore, combination therapy with specific mitochondrial-targeting drugs may prove useful to the development of novel strategies for the treatment of bortezomib-resistant MM patients.
bortezomib; combination therapy; multiple myeloma; 2-methoxyestradiol; resistance; superoxide dismutase 2
Cancer cell metabolism is characterized by an enhanced uptake and utilization of glucose, a phenomenon known as the Warburg effect. The persistent activation of aerobic glycolysis in cancer cells can be linked to activation of oncogenes or loss of tumor suppressors, thereby fundamentally advancing cancer progression. In this respect, inhibition of glycolytic capacity may contribute to an anticancer effect on malignant cells. Understanding the mechanisms of aerobic glycolysis may present a new basis for cancer treatment. Accordingly, interrupting lactate fermentation and/or other cancer-promoting metabolic sites may provide a promising strategy to halt tumor development. In this review, we will discuss dysregulated and reprogrammed cancer metabolism followed by clinical relevance of the metabolic enzymes, such as hexokinase, phosphofructokinase, pyruvate kinase M2, lactate dehydrogenase, pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase and glutaminase. The proper intervention of these metabolic sites may provide a therapeutic advantage that can help overcome resistance to chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
aerobic glycolysis; cancer; metabolism; Warburg effect
Interleukin (IL)-27 is a novel cytokine of the IL-6/IL-12 family that has been reported to be involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and has a pivotal role as both a pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine. We investigated the in vivo effects of IL-27 on arthritis severity in a murine collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model and its mechanism of action regarding control of regulatory T (Tregs) and IL-17-producing T helper 17 (Th17) cells. IL-27-Fc-treated CIA mice showed a lower severity of arthritis. IL-17 expression in the spleens was significantly decreased in IL-27-Fc-treated CIA mice compared with that in the CIA model. The Th17 population was decreased in the spleens of IL-27-Fc-treated CIA mice, whereas the CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ Treg population increased. In vitro studies revealed that IL-27 inhibited IL-17 production in murine CD4+ T cells, and the effect was associated with retinoic acid-related orphan receptor γT and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 inhibition. In contrast, fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled forkhead box P3 (Foxp3) and IL-10 were profoundly augmented by IL-27 treatment. Regarding the suppressive capacity of Treg cells, the proportions of CTLA-4+ (cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4), PD-1+ (programmed cell death protein 1) and GITR+ (glucocorticoid-induced tumor necrosis factor receptor) Tregs increased in the spleens of IL-27-Fc-treated CIA mice. Furthermore, in vitro differentiated Treg cells with IL-27 exerted a more suppressive capacity on T-cell proliferation. We found that IL-27 acts as a reciprocal regulator of the Th17 and Treg populations in CD4+ cells isolated from healthy human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), as well as from humans with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) PBMCs. Our study suggests that IL-27 has the potential to ameliorate overwhelming inflammation in patients with RA through a reciprocal regulation of Th17 and Treg cells.
collagen-induced arthritis; interleukin-27; interleukin-17-producing T cells; regulatory T cells; rheumatoid arthritis
Here, we report that B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) is a novel target molecule of aspirin in breast cancer cells. Aspirin influenced the formation of a complex by Bcl-2 and FKBP38 and induced the nuclear translocation of Bcl-2 and its phosphorylation. These events inhibited cancer cell proliferation and subsequently enhanced MCF-7 breast cancer cell apoptosis. Bcl-2 knockdown using small interfering RNA (siRNA) delayed apoptotic cell death, which correlated with increased proliferation following aspirin exposure. In contrast, Bcl-2 overexpression enhanced the onset of aspirin-induced apoptosis, which was also associated with a significant increase in Bcl-2 phosphorylation in the nucleus. Therefore, this study may provide novel insight into the molecular mechanism of aspirin, particularly its anticancer effects in Bcl-2- and estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer cells.
apoptosis; aspirin; Bcl-2; breast cancer; FKBP38; MCF-7
MicroRNA (miRNA) levels in serum have recently emerged as potential novel biomarkers for various diseases. miRNAs are routinely measured by standard quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR); however, the high sensitivity of qPCR demands appropriate normalization to correct for nonbiological variation. Presently, RNU6B (U6) is used for data normalization of circulating miRNAs in many studies. However, it was suggested that serum levels of U6 themselves might differ between individuals. Therefore, no consensus has been reached on the best normalization strategy in ‘circulating miRNA'. We analyzed U6 levels as well as levels of spiked-in SV40-RNA in sera of 44 healthy volunteers, 203 intensive care unit patients and 64 patients with liver fibrosis. Levels of U6 demonstrated a high variability in sera of healthy donors, patients with critical illness and liver fibrosis. This high variability could also be confirmed in sera of mice after the cecal ligation and puncture procedure. Most importantly, levels of circulating U6 were significantly upregulated in sera of patients with critical illness and sepsis compared with controls and correlated with established markers of inflammation. In patients with liver fibrosis, U6 levels were significantly downregulated. In contrast, levels of spiked-in SV40 displayed a significantly higher stability both in human cohorts (healthy, critical illness, liver fibrosis) and in mice. Thus, we conclude that U6 levels in the serum are dysregulated in a disease-specific manner. Therefore, U6 should not be used for data normalization of circulating miRNAs in inflammatory diseases and previous studies using this approach should be interpreted with caution. Further studies are warranted to identify specific regulatory processes of U6 levels in sepsis and liver fibrosis.
miRNA; normalization; serum; spiked-in miRNA; U6
miRNAs are important post-transcriptional regulators. The aberrant expression of miRNAs is strongly associated with the initiation and progression of pathophysiologic processes in a wide range of human diseases. Scleroderma (systemic sclerosis; SSc) is a highly heterogeneous autoimmune disease that includes the progressive fibrotic replacement of normal tissue architecture in multiple organs. Our previous studies have suggested that SSc skin tissues display a different miRNA expression signature than that found in normal controls. miRNAs with pro- or antifibrotic properties are found to be dysregulated in SSc skin fibrosis. Serum miRNA levels are associated with SSc activity and severity. miRNAs have the potential to be therapeutic targets and serve as biomarkers for SSc diagnosis and assessment of disease state and severity. This review summarizes the SSc miRNA expression signature and the roles of dysregulation of miRNAs in SSc tissues and serum and examines the future therapeutic potential of targeting miRNAs in the management of SSc patients.
biomarkers; fibrosis; microRNA; scleroderma
This study is aimed at gaining insights into the brain site-specific proteomic senescence signature while comparing physiologically aged brains with aging-related dementia brains (for example, Alzheimer's disease (AD)). Our study of proteomic differences within the hippocampus (Hp), parietal cortex (pCx) and cerebellum (Cb) could provide conceptual insights into the molecular mechanisms involved in aging-related neurodegeneration. Using an isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based two-dimensional liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (2D-LC-MS/MS) brain site-specific proteomic strategy, we identified 950 proteins in the Hp, pCx and Cb of AD brains. Of these proteins, 31 were significantly altered. Most of the differentially regulated proteins are involved in molecular transport, nervous system development, synaptic plasticity and apoptosis. Particularly, proteins such as Gelsolin (GSN), Tenascin-R (TNR) and AHNAK could potentially act as novel biomarkers of aging-related neurodegeneration. Importantly, our Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA)-based network analysis further revealed ubiquitin C (UBC) as a pivotal protein to interact with diverse AD-associated pathophysiological molecular factors and suggests the reduced ubiquitin proteasome degradation system (UPS) as one of the causative factors of AD.
aging; Alzheimer's disease; proteasome; proteomics; ubiquitin
In this study, we examined the therapeutic effects of an immune-stimulating peptide, WKYMVm, in ulcerative colitis. The administration of WKYMVm to dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-treated mice reversed decreases in body weight, bleeding score and stool score in addition to reversing DSS-induced mucosa destruction and shortened colon. The WKYMVm-induced therapeutic effect against ulcerative colitis was strongly inhibited by a formyl peptide receptor (FPR) 2 antagonist, WRWWWW, indicating the crucial role of FPR2 in this effect. Mechanistically, WKYMVm effectively decreases intestinal permeability by stimulating colon epithelial cell proliferation. WKYMVm also strongly decreases interleukin-23 and transforming growth factor-β production in the colon of DSS-treated mice. We suggest that the potent immune-modulating peptide WKYMVm and its receptor FPR2 may be useful in the development of efficient therapeutic agents against chronic intestinal inflammatory diseases.
therapeutics; ulcerative colitis; WKYMVm