In the arginylation branch of the N-end rule pathway, unacetylated N-terminal destabilizing residues function as essential determinants of protein degradation signals (N-degron). Here, we show that a neurostimulant, para-chloroamphetamine (PCA), specifically inhibits the Arg/N-end rule pathway, delaying the degradation of its artificial and physiological substrates, including regulators of G protein signaling 4 (RGS4), in vitro and in cultured cells. In silico computational analysis indicated that PCA strongly interacts with both UBR box and ClpS box, which bind to type 1 and type 2 N-degrons, respectively. Moreover, intraperitoneal injection of PCA significantly stabilized endogenous RGS4 proteins in the whole mouse brain and, particularly, in the frontal cortex and hippocampus. Consistent with the role of RGS4 in G protein signaling, treatment with PCA impaired the activations of GPCR downstream effectors in N2A cells, phenocopying ATE1-null mutants. In addition, levels of pathological C-terminal fragments of TDP43 bearing N-degrons (Arg208-TDP25) were significantly elevated in the presence of PCA. Thus, our study identifies PCA as a potential tool to understand and modulate various pathological processes regulated by the Arg/N-end rule pathway, including neurodegenerative processes in FTLD-U and ALS.
Ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation on skin can induce production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which cause expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and collagen degradation. Thus, chronic exposure of skin to UVB irradiation leads to histological changes consistent with aging, such as wrinkling, abnormal pigmentation, and loss of elasticity. We investigated the protective effect of the standardized green tea seed extract (GSE) on UVB-induced skin photoaging in hairless mice.
Skin photoaging was induced by UVB irradiation on the back of Skh-1 hairless mice three times per week and UVB irradiation was performed for 10 weeks. Mice were divided into six groups; normal control, UVB irradiated control group, positive control (UVB + dietary supplement of vitamin C 100 mg/kg), GSE 10 mg/kg (UVB + dietary supplement of GSE 10 mg/kg), GSE 100 mg/kg (UVB + dietary supplement of GSE 100 mg/kg), and GSE 200 mg/kg (UVB + dietary supplement of GSE 200 mg/kg).
The dietary supplement GSE attenuated UVB irradiation-induced wrinkle formation and the decrease in density of dermal collagen fiber. In addition, results of the antioxidant analysis showed that GSE induced a significant increase in antioxidant enzyme activity compared with the UVB irradiation control group. Dietary supplementation with GSE 200 mg/kg resulted in a significant decrease in expression of MMP-1, MMP-3, and MMP-9 and an increase in expression of TIMP and type-1 collagen.
Findings of this study suggest that dietary supplement GSE could be useful in attenuation of UVB irradiation-induced skin photoaging and wrinkle formation due to regulation of antioxidant defense systems and MMPs expression.
Green tea seed; photoaging; MMPs; antioxidant; UVB irradiation
Recently, graphene oxide (GO), one of the carbon nanomaterials, has received much attention due to its unique physical and chemical properties and high potential in many research areas, including applications as a biosensor and drug delivery vehicle. Various GO-based biosensors have been developed, largely based on its surface adsorption properties for detecting biomolecules, such as nucleotides and peptides, and real-time monitoring of enzymatic reactions. In this review, we discuss recent advances in GO-based biosensors focusing on a novel assay platform for helicase activity, which was also employed in high-throughput screening to discover selective helicase inhibitors.
biosensor; drug screening; graphene oxide; helicase; hepatitis C
To maintain the patient's quality of life, surgeons strive to preserve the sphincter during rectal cancer surgery. This study evaluated the oncologic safety of a sphincter-saving resection with a distal resection margin (DRM) <1 cm without radiotherapy in T3, mid- or low-rectal cancer.
This retrospective study enrolled 327 patients who underwent a sphincter-saving resection for proven T3 rectal cancer located <10 cm from the anal verge and without radiotherapy between January 1995 and December 2011. The oncologic outcomes included the 5-year cancer-specific survival, the local recurrence, and the systemic recurrence rates.
In groups A (DRM ≤1 cm) and B (DRM >1 cm), the 5-year cancer-specific survival rates were 81.57% and 80.03% (P = 0.8543), the 5-year local recurrence rates were 6.69% and 9.52% (P = 0.3981), and the 5-year systemic recurrence rates were 19.46% and 23.11% (P = 0.5750), respectively.
This study showed that the close DRM itself should not be a contraindication for a sphincter-saving resection for T3 mid- or low-rectal cancer without radiotherapy. However, a prospective randomized controlled trial including the effect of adjuvant therapy will be needed.
Rectal neoplasms; Distal resection margin; Recurrence
The serum level of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a clinical prognostic factor in the follow-up evaluation of patients with colon cancer. We aimed to evaluate the prognostic significance of the rate of decrease of the perioperative serum CEA level in patients with colon cancer after a curative resection.
A total of 605 patients who underwent a curative resection for colon cancer between January 2000 and December 2007 were enrolled retrospectively. The rate of decrease was calculated using the following equation: ([preoperative CEA - postoperative CEA]/[preoperative CEA] ×100).
In the group with a preoperative serum CEA level of >5 ng/mL, the normalized group with a postoperative serum CEA level of ≤5 ng/mL showed a better overall survival (OS) rate and disease-free survival (DFS) rate than those of the non-normalized group (P ≤ 0.0001). The "cutoff values" of the rate of decrease in the perioperative serum CEA that determined the OS and the DFS were 48.9% and 50.8%, respectively. In the multivariate analysis of preoperative serum CEA levels >5 ng/mL, the prognostic factors for the OS and the DFS were the cutoff value (P < 0.0001) and the pN stage (P < 0.0001).
A rate of decrease of more than 50% in the perioperative serum CEA level, as well as the normalization of the postoperative serum CEA level, may be useful factors for determining a prognosis for colon cancer patients with high preoperative CEA levels.
Colon neoplasms; Carcinoembryonic antigen; Prognostic factor
Although Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) is the most common pathogen in nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) pulmonary diseases, endobronchial lesions caused by MAC infections are very rare even in an immunocompromised host. Herein, we describe the case of a 59-year-old, HIV-negative and non-immunocompromised woman who developed multifocal pulmonary infiltrations with endobronchial lesion caused by M. avium. Bronchoscopic examination revealed white- and yellow-colored irregular mucosal lesions in the bronchus of the left lingular division. M. avium was identified using sputum culture and bronchial washing fluid culture. Following the recommendations of the American Thoracic Society and Infectious Diseases Society of America (ATS/IDSA), the patient was begun on treatment with antimycobacterial drugs. After treatment, pneumonic infiltration decreased.
Mycobacterium avium; Immunocompetent host; Nontuberculosis mycobacteria
Epstein-Barr virus infections; T-cell lymphoproliferative disorder; Adult
This study evaluates the effectiveness of immunochemotherapy and radiation therapy in the treatment of patients with primary bone lymphoma (PBL).
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 33 patients with PBL who were treated at 6 medical centers in Korea from 1992 to 2010. Clinicopathological features and treatment outcomes were analyzed.
The median age of the patients participating in our study was 40 years. The most common sites of involvement were the pelvis (12.36%) and femur (11.33%). CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone) or CHOP-like regimens were administered to 20 patients (61%), and R-CHOP (rituximab plus CHOP) was administered to the remaining 13 patients (39%). The overall response rate was 89% (complete response, 76%; partial response, 12%). The overall survival (OS) of patients with solitary bone lesions was longer than that of patients with multiple bone lesions (median OS: not reached vs. 166 months, respectively; P=0.089). Addition of rituximab to CHOP did not significantly affect either OS or progression-free survival (P=0.53 and P=0.23, respectively). Combining radiation therapy with chemotherapy also did not improve the OS or progression-free survival of patients with solitary bone lesions.
Conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy remains an effective treatment option for patients with PBL. Additional benefits of supplementing chemotherapy with either rituximab or radiation therapy were not observed in this study. Further investigation is needed to characterize the role of immunochemotherapy in treating patients with PBL.
Bone lymphoma; Radiotherapy; Rituximab
The aim of this study was to compare the clinical outcome of open flap debridement (OFD) with a biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP) graft to that of OFD without BCP graft for the treatment of intrabony periodontal defects (IBDs).
The study included 25 subjects that had at least one intrabony defect of 2- or 3-wall morphology and an intrabony component≥4 mm as detected radiographically. Subjects were randomly assigned to treatment with (BCP group, n=14) or without BCP (OFD group, n=11). Clinical parameters were recorded at baseline and 6 months after surgery and included the plaque index, gingival index, probing depth (PD), clinical attachment level (CAL), and gingival recession (REC). A stringent plaque control regimen was enforced for all of the patients during the 6-month observation period.
In all of the treatment groups, significant PD reductions and CAL gains occurred during the study period (P<0.01). At 6 months, patients in the BCP group exhibited a mean PD reduction of 3.7±1.2 mm and a mean CAL gain of 3.0±1.1 mm compared to the baseline. Corresponding values for the patients treated with OFD were 2.5±0.8 mm and 1.4±1.0 mm, respectively. Compared to OFD group, the additional CAL gain was significantly greater in the patients in BCP group (P=0.028). The additional PD reduction was significant for the BCP group (P=0.048). The REC showed a significant increase in both groups, and the amount of recession was significantly smaller in the BCP group than OFD group (P=0.023). In radiographic evaluation, the height of the bone fill in the BCP group was significantly greater than OFD group.
The clinical benefits of BCP found in this study indicate that BCP may be an appropriate alternative to conventional graft materials.
Alveolar bone loss; Bone transplantation; Calcium phosphates; Chronic periodontitis; Hydroxyapatites
The anterolateral thigh (ALT) perforator flap has become a popular option for treating soft tissue defects of lower extremity reconstruction and can be combined with a segment of the vastus lateralis muscle. We present a comparison of the use of the ALT fasciocutaneous (ALT-FC) and myocutaneous flaps.
We retrospectively reviewed patients in whom free-tissue transfer was performed between 2005 and 2011 for the reconstruction of lower extremity soft-tissue defects. Twenty-four patients were divided into two groups: reconstruction using an ALT-FC flap (12 cases) and reconstruction using a vastus lateralis myocutaneous (VL-MC) flap (12 cases). Postoperative complications, functional results, cosmetic results, and donor-site morbidities were studied.
Complete flap survival was 100% in both groups. A flap complication was noted in one case (marginal dehiscence) of the ALT-FC group, and no complications were noted in the VL-MC group. In both groups, one case of partial skin graft loss occurred at the donor site, and debulking surgeries were needed for two cases. There were no significant differences in the mean scores for either functional or cosmetic outcomes in either group.
The VL-MC flap is able to fill occasional dead space and has comparable survival rates to ALT-FC with minimal donor-site morbidity. Additionally, the VL-MC flap is easily elevated without myocutaneous perforator injury.
Free tissue flaps; Lower extremity; Quadriceps muscle
The N-end rule pathway is a proteolytic system in which its recognition components (N-recognins) recognize destabilizing N-terminal residues of short-lived proteins as an essential element of specific degrons, called N-degrons. The RING E3 ligases UBR2 and UBR1 are major N-recognins that share size (200 kDa), conserved domains and substrate specificities to N-degrons. Despite the known function of the N-end rule pathway in degradation of cytosolic proteins, the major phenotype of UBR2-deficient male mice is infertility caused by arrest of spermatocytes at meiotic prophase I. UBR2-deficient spermatocytes are impaired in transcriptional silencing of sex chromosome-linked genes and ubiquitylation of histone H2A. In this study we show that the recruitment of UBR2 to meiotic chromosomes spatiotemporally correlates to the induction of chromatin-associated ubiquitylation, which is significantly impaired in UBR2-deficient spermatocytes. UBR2 functions as a scaffold E3 that promotes HR6B/UbcH2-dependent ubiquitylation of H2A and H2B but not H3 and H4, through a mechanism distinct from typical polyubiquitylation. The E3 activity of UBR2 in histone ubiquitylation is allosterically activated by dipeptides bearing destabilizing N-terminal residues. Insufficient monoubiquitylation and polyubiquitylation on UBR2-deficient meiotic chromosomes correlate to defects in double strand break (DSB) repair and other meiotic processes, resulting in pachytene arrest at stage IV and apoptosis. Some of these functions of UBR2 are observed in somatic cells, in which UBR2 is a chromatin-binding protein involved in chromatin-associated ubiquitylation upon DNA damage. UBR2-deficient somatic cells show an array of chromosomal abnormalities, including hyperproliferation, chromosome instability, and hypersensitivity to DNA damage-inducing reagents. UBR2-deficient mice enriched in C57 background die upon birth with defects in lung expansion and neural development. Thus, UBR2, known as the recognition component of a major cellular proteolytic system, is associated with chromatin and controls chromatin dynamics and gene expression in both germ cells and somatic cells.
The S. cerevisiae proteasome comprises a 19-subunit regulatory particle (RP) and 28-subunit core particle (CP). To be degraded, substrates must cross the CP-RP interface, a site of complex conformational changes and regulatory events. This interface includes two aligned heteromeric rings: the six ATPase (Rpt) subunits of the RP and the seven α subunits of the CP. Rpt C-termini bind intersubunit cavities of the α ring, thus directing CP gating and proteasome assembly. We used crosslinking to map the Rpt C-termini to the α subunit pockets. This reveals an unexpected asymmetry: one side of the ring shows 1:1 contacts of Rpt2–α4, Rpt6–α3, and Rpt3–α2, whereas, on the opposite side, the Rpt1, Rpt4, and Rpt5 tails each crosslink to multiple α pockets. Rpt-CP crosslinks are all sensitive to nucleotide, implying that ATP hydrolysis drives dynamic alterations at the CP-RP interface.
proteasome; ubiquitin; AAA protein; crosslinking
It has been rereported that axons which display 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) immunoreactivity are abundant in the pancreas and the majority of serotonergic axons terminate within intrapancreatic ganglia, islet and acini. This histological result strongly suggests that intrapancreatic serotonergic nerves could affect to the pancreatic endocrine and exocrine secretion. Thus, this study was aimed to investigate whether intrapancreatic serotonergic nerves could affect pancreatic exocrine secretion and an action mechanism of the intrapancreatic serotonergic nerves. The rats were anesthetized with a single injection of urethane. The median line and the abdominal aorta was carefully dissected and cannulated with PE-50 tubing just above the celiac artery, and then tightly ligated just below the superior mesenteric artery. The pancreatic duct was also cannulated with Tygon microbore tubing. With the addition of serotonin, pancreatic volume flow and amylase output were significantly inhibited electrical field stimulation (EFS). On the other hand, pancreatic volume flow and amylase output were significantly elevated in EFS with the addition of spiperone. EFS application, however, pancreatic volume flow and amylase output had no significant change in cholecystokinin (CCK) alone when serotonin was applied under a 5.6 mM glucose background. Pancreatic volume flow and amylase output under 18 mM glucose background were significantly elevated in CCK plus serotonin than in CCK alone. These data suggest that intrapancreatic serotonergic nerves play an inhibitory role in pancreatic exocrine secretion and an important role in the insulin action or release.
Intrapancreatic nerve; Electrical stimulation; 5-hydroxytryptamine; Cholecystokinin; Insulin
Background & Aims
The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a PAS domain transcription factor previously known as the “dioxin receptor” or “xenobiotic receptor.” The goal of this study is to determine the endobiotic role of AhR in hepatic steatosis.
Wild type, constitutively activated AhR (CA-AhR) transgenic, AhR null (AhR-/-), and fatty acid translocase CD36/FAT null (CD36-/-) mice were used to investigate the role of AhR in steatosis and the involvement of CD36 in the steatotic effect of AhR. The promoters of the mouse and human CD36 genes were cloned and their regulation by AhR was analyzed.
Activation of AhR induced spontaneous hepatic steatosis characterized by the accumulation of triglycerides. The steatotic effect of AhR is likely due to the combined upregulation of CD36 and fatty acid transport proteins (FATPs), suppression of fatty acid oxidation, inhibition of hepatic export of triglycerides, increase in peripheral fat mobilization, and increased hepatic oxidative stress. Promoter analysis established CD36 as a novel transcriptional target of AhR. Activation of AhR in liver cells induced CD36 gene expression and enhanced fatty acid uptake. The steatotic effect of an AhR agonist was inhibited in CD36-/- mice.
Our study reveals a novel link between AhR-induced steatosis and the expression of CD36. Industrial or military exposures to dioxin and related compounds have been linked to increased prevalence of fatty liver in humans. Results from this study may help to establish AhR and its target CD36 as novel therapeutic and preventive targets for fatty liver disease.
aryl hydrocarbon receptor; fatty acid metabolism; steatosis; gene regulation
Proteasomes, the primary mediators of ubiquitin-protein conjugate degradation, are regulated through complex and poorly understood mechanisms. Here we show that Usp14, a proteasome-associated deubiquitinating enzyme, can inhibit the degradation of ubiquitin-protein conjugates, in vivo and in vitro. A catalytically inactive variant of Usp14 has reduced inhibitory activity, suggesting that inhibition is mediated by trimming of the ubiquitin chain on the substrate. A high-throughput screen identified a selective small-molecule inhibitor of the deubiquitinating activity of human Usp14. Treatment of cultured cells with this compound enhanced degradation of several proteasome substrates that have been implicated in neurodegenerative disease. Usp14 inhibition accelerated the degradation of oxidized proteins and enhanced resistance to oxidative stress. Enhancement of proteasome activity through inhibition of Usp14 may offer a strategy to reduce the levels of aberrant proteins in cells under proteotoxic stress.
Hepatic fibrogenesis, a complex process that involves a marked accumulation of extracellular matrix components, activation of cells capable of producing matrix materials, cytokine release, and tissue remodeling, is regulated by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs). The MMP-TIMP balance can regulate liver fibrogenesis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression patterns of MMPs and TIMPs during thioacetamide (TAA)-induced liver fibrogenesis. Chronic liver injury was induced with TAA (200 mg/kg i.p.) for 4 or 7 weeks in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Hepatic injury and fibrosis were assessed by hematoxylin-eosin (H&E) staining, and collagen deposition was confirmed by Sirius Red staining. The level of hepatic injury was quantified by serological analysis. The transcriptional and translational levels of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), MMPs, and TIMPs in the liver were measured by Western blotting, RT-PCR, and immunohistochemistry. MMP, TIMP, and α-SMA were observed along fibrotic septa and portal spaces around the lobules. TAA treatment increased transcription of both MMPs and TIMPs, but only TIMPs showed increased translation. The dominant expression of TIMPs may regulate the function of MMPs to maintain liver fibrosis induced by TAA.
Liver Cirrhosis; Thioacetamide; Matrix Metalloproteinases; Tissue Inhibitors of Metalloproteinases
A subset of proteins targeted by the N-end rule pathway bear degradation signals called N-degrons, whose determinants include destabilizing N-terminal residues. Our previous work identified mouse UBR1 and UBR2 as E3 ubiquitin ligases that recognize N-degrons. Such E3s are called N-recognins. We report here that while double-mutant UBR1−/− UBR2−/− mice die as early embryos, the rescued UBR1−/− UBR2−/− fibroblasts still retain the N-end rule pathway, albeit of lower activity than that of wild-type fibroblasts. An affinity assay for proteins that bind to destabilizing N-terminal residues has identified, in addition to UBR1 and UBR2, a huge (570 kDa) mouse protein, termed UBR4, and also the 300-kDa UBR5, a previously characterized mammalian E3 known as EDD/hHYD. UBR1, UBR2, UBR4, and UBR5 shared a ∼70-amino-acid zinc finger-like domain termed the UBR box. The mammalian genome encodes at least seven UBR box-containing proteins, which we propose to call UBR1 to UBR7. UBR1−/− UBR2−/− fibroblasts that have been made deficient in UBR4 as well (through RNA interference) were significantly impaired in the degradation of N-end rule substrates such as the Sindbis virus RNA polymerase nsP4 (bearing N-terminal Tyr) and the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 integrase (bearing N-terminal Phe). Our results establish the UBR box family as a unique class of E3 proteins that recognize N-degrons or structurally related determinants for ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis and perhaps other processes as well.
Diverse stimuli initiate the activation of apoptotic signaling pathways that often causes nuclear DNA fragmentation. Here, we report a new antiapoptotic protein, a caspase-activated DNase (CAD) inhibitor that interacts with ASK1 (CIIA). CIIA, by binding to apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1), inhibits oligomerization-induced ASK1 activation. CIIA also associates with CAD and inhibits the nuclease activity of CAD without affecting caspase-3–mediated ICAD cleavage. Overexpressed CIIA reduces H2O2- and tumor necrosis factor-α–induced apoptosis. CIIA antisense oligonucleotides, which abolish expression of endogenous CIIA in murine L929 cells, block the inhibitory effect of CIIA on ASK1 activation, deoxyribonucleic acid fragmentation, and apoptosis. These findings suggest that CIIA is an endogenous antagonist of both ASK1- and CAD-mediated signaling.
apoptosis; apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1; caspase-activated DNase; stress-activated protein kinase; c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase