Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and p16 [a surrogate marker of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection] expression are strong prognostic factors in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
We examined expression levels of total and nuclear EGFR as well as p16 status based on evidence that nuclear EGFR may have a role in DNA damage repair.
A HPV-negative (SQ20B) and a HPV-positive (UMSCC47) HNSCC cell line were examined for EGFR and γH2AX expression. A tissue microarray (TMA) containing 123 cores obtained from 101 HNSCC tumors was analyzed for EGFR expression by automated quantitative analysis and p16 expression by immunohistochemical staining (IHC) and these results were correlated with available clinical data.
SQ20B had higher EGFR expression than UMSCC47. Nuclear localization of EGFR upon activation with transforming growth factor-alpha was observed in SQ20B, but not in UMSCC47. SQ20B also had increased γH2AX foci compared to UMSCC47 suggesting that SQ20B has more DNA damage compared to UMSCC47. Total and nuclear EGFR was reliably obtained from 80 of 101 patients. p16 levels were determined in 87 of 101 patients. p16 levels were strongly associated with the oropharyngeal subsite and poorly differentiated histology. Expression of total and nuclear EGFR was higher in p16-negative tumors compared to p16-positive tumors (Wilcoxon Rank Test, p=0.038 and p=0.014, respectively).
Further studies are required to determine a mechanistic link between these two prognostic factors, and the significance of EGFR localization to nucleus has in DNA damage repair upon pathway activation.
HNSCC; nuclear EGFR; p16
Chronic inflammation-promoted metastasis has been considered as a major challenge in cancer therapy. Pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα can induce cancer invasion and metastasis associated with epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT). However, the underlying mechanisms are not entirely clear. In this study, we showed that TNFα induces EMT in human HCT116 cells and thereby promotes colorectal cancer (CRC) invasion and metastasis. TNFα-induced EMT was characterized by acquiring mesenchymal spindle-like morphology and increasing the expression of N-cadherin and fibronectin with a concomitant decrease of E-cadherin and Zona occludin-1(ZO-1). TNFα treatment also increased the expression of transcription factor Snail, but not Slug, ZEB1 and Twist. Overexpression of Snail induced a switch from E-cadherin to N-cadherin expression in HCT116 cells, which is a characteristic of EMT. Conversely, knockdown of Snail significantly attenuated TNFα-induced EMT in HCT116 cells, suggesting that Snail plays a crucial role in TNFα-induced EMT. Interestingly, exposure to TNFα rapidly increased Snail protein expression and Snail nuclear localization but not mRNA level upregulation. Finally, we demonstrated that TNFα elevated Snail stability by activating AKT pathway and subsequently repressing GSK-3β activity and decreasing the association of Snail with GSK-3β. Knockdown of GSK-3β further verified our finding. Taken together, these results revealed that AKT/GSK-3β-mediated stabilization of Snail is required for TNFα-induced EMT in CRC cells. Our study provides a better understanding of inflammation-induced CRC metastasis.
To validate a panel of methylation-based salivary rinse biomarkers (P16, CCNA1, DCC, TIMP3, MGMT, DAPK, and MINT31) previously shown to be independently associated with poor overall survival and local recurrence in a larger, separate cohort of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
One hundred ninety-seven patients were included. All pre-treatment saliva DNA samples were evaluated for the methylation status of the gene promoters by quantitative methylation-specific PCR. The main outcome measures were overall survival, local recurrence-free survival and disease-free survival.
In univariate analyses, the detection of hypermethylation of CCNA1, MGMT, and MINT31 was significantly associated with poor overall survival; the detection of hypermethylation of TIMP3 was significantly associated with local recurrence-free survival; and the detection of hypermethylation of MINT31 was significantly associated with poor disease-free survival. In multivariate analyses, detection of hypermethylation at any single marker was not predictive of overall survival in patients with HNSCC; detection of hypermethylation of TIMP3 in salivary rinse had an independent, significant association with local recurrence-free survival (Hazard Ratio, 2.51, 95% CI, 1.10 to 5.68); and none of the studied markers was significantly associated with disease-free survival.
The detection of promoter hypermethylation of the seven genes in salivary rinse as an independent prognostic indicator of overall survival in patients with HNSCC was not validated. Detection of promoter hypermethylation of TIMP3 in pretreatment salivary rinse is independently associated with local recurrence-free survival in patients with HNSCC and may be a valuable salivary rinse biomarker for HNSCC recurrence.
asymmetric catalysis; Brønsted acid; homopropargylic alcohol; propargylation
We sought to characterize the regenerated cells, if any, when photoreceptor ablation was mostly limited to a particular cone subtype. This allowed us to uniquely assess whether the remaining cells influence specification of regenerating photoreceptors. The ability to replace lost photoreceptors via stem cell therapy holds promise for treating many retinal degenerative diseases. Zebrafish are potent for modelling this because they have robust regenerative capacity emanating from endogenous stem cells, and abundant cone photoreceptors including multiple spectral subtypes similar to human fovea. We ablated the homolog of the human S-cones, the ultraviolet-sensitive (UV) cones, and tested the hypothesis that the photoreceptors regenerating in their place take on identities matching those expected from normal cone mosaic development. We created transgenic fish wherein UV cones can be ablated by addition of a prodrug. Thus photoreceptors developed normally and only the UV cones expressed nitroreductase; the latter converts the prodrug metronidazole to a cell-autonomous neurotoxin. A significant increase in proliferation of progenitor cell populations (p<0.01) was observed when cell ablation was primarily limited to UV cones. In control fish, we found that BrdU primarily incorporated into rod photoreceptors, as expected. However the majority of regenerating photoreceptors became cones when retinal cell ablation was predominantly restricted to UV cones: a 2-fold increase in the relative abundance of cones (p = 0.008) was mirrored by a 35% decrease in rods. By primarily ablating only a single photoreceptor type, we show that the subsequent regeneration is biased towards restoring the cognate photoreceptor type. We discuss the hypothesis that, after cone death, the microenvironment formed by the remaining retinal cells may be influential in determining the identity of regenerating photoreceptors, though other interpretations are plausible. Our novel animal model provides control of ablation that will assist in identifying mechanisms required to replace cone photoreceptors clinically to restore daytime vision.
The goal of the studies presented here was to determine the tolerability, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles of CMAB007, a biosimilar of omalizumab (Xolair; a humanized anti-immunoglobulin E monoclonal antibody), in healthy, male Chinese subjects. Thirty-six healthy Chinese men participated in two open-label, dose-escalation studies: 27 in a single-dose study (150, 300 or 600 mg) and 9 in a multiple-dose study (150 or 300 mg every 4 weeks for 20 weeks). The safety profiles of both studies were generally unremarkable. No drug-related adverse event was observed. CMAB007 exhibited a linear PK profile over the dose range of 150-600 mg. In the single-dose study, maximum concentration (Cmax) was reached within 6–8 d, and Cmax and area under concentration-time curve (AUC) increased linearly with the dose. In the multiple-dose study, steady-state appeared to have been achieved after the third dose. Css-max and AUCτ also showed dose-linearity. A dose-dependent suppression of free IgE was observed during treatment, as a median percentage change from baseline, 91.9–98.8%, in the three single-dose groups. No anti-CMAB007 antibodies were detected after dosing in any subject. Subcutaneous administration of CMAB007 was well-tolerated and seemed to be effective in reducing free IgE in healthy Chinese volunteers, which provides important information for further clinical studies.
pharmacokinetics; pharmacodynamics; safety; IgE; humanized antibody
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important post-transcriptional regulators. Altered expression of miRNAs has recently demonstrated association with human ulcerative colitis (UC). In this study, we attempted to elucidate the roles of miR-126 in the pathogenesis of UC.
Expression of miR-126, miR-21, miR-375 and the potential targets NF-κB inhibitor alpha (IκBα, IKBA or NFKBIA), Polo-like kinase 2 (PLK2) and v-Crk sarcoma virus CT10 oncogene homolog (CRK) were assessed in 52 colonic biopsies from patients with active UC, inactive UC, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and from healthy subjects by quantitative RT-PCR and immunofluorescence analyses. Regulation of gene expression by miR-126 was assessed using luciferase reporter construct assays and specific miRNA mimic transfection.
We found that the expression of miR-126 and miR-21 were significantly increased in active UC group compared to the inactive UC, IBS and healthy control groups (P<0.05). In contrast, the expression of IKBA mRNA and protein was remarkably decreased in the active UC group compared with the other three groups (P<0.05). The expression of miR-126 and IKBA mRNA were inversely correlated in active UC patients (P<0.05). However the expression of miR-375, PLK2 and CRK showed no difference between each group. Furthermore, we demonstrate that endogenous miR-126 and exogenous miR-126 mimic can inhibit IκBα expression. Finally, mutating the miR-126 binding site of the IKBA 3′-UTR reporter construct restored reporter gene expression.
miR-126 may play roles in UC inflammatory activity by down-regulating the expression of IKBA, an important inhibitor of NF-κB signaling pathway.
Genetic and biochemical mechanisms linking onset or progression of Alzheimer Disease and prion diseases have been lacking and/or controversial, and their etiologies are often considered independent. Here we document a novel, conserved and specific genetic interaction between the proteins that underlie these diseases, amyloid-β precursor protein and prion protein, APP and PRP, respectively. Knockdown of APP and/or PRNP homologs in the zebrafish (appa, appb, prp1, and prp2) produces a dose-dependent phenotype characterized by systemic morphological defects, reduced cell adhesion and CNS cell death. This genetic interaction is surprisingly exclusive in that prp1 genetically interacts with zebrafish appa, but not with appb, and the zebrafish paralog prp2 fails to interact with appa. Intriguingly, appa & appb are largely redundant in early zebrafish development yet their abilities to rescue CNS cell death are differentially contingent on prp1 abundance. Delivery of human APP or mouse Prnp mRNAs rescue the phenotypes observed in app-prp-depleted zebrafish, highlighting the conserved nature of this interaction. Immunoprecipitation revealed that human APP and PrPC proteins can have a physical interaction. Our study reports a unique in vivo interdependence between APP and PRP loss-of-function, detailing a biochemical interaction that considerably expands the hypothesized roles of PRP in Alzheimer Disease.
Aging has been associated with mitochondrial DNA damage. P66Shc is an age-related adaptor protein that has a substantial impact on mitochondrial metabolism through regulation of the cellular response to oxidative stress. Our study aimed to establish a D-galactose (D-gal)-induced inner ear aging mouse model and to investigate the potential role of p66Shc and its serine 36-phosphorylated form in the inner ear during aging by using this model. Real-time PCR was performed to detect the mtDNA 3873-bp deletion and the level of p66Shc mRNA in the cochlear lateral wall. Western blot analysis was performed to analyze the total and mitochondrial protein levels of p66Shc and the level of Ser36-P-p66Shc in the cochlear lateral wall. Immunofluoresence was performed to detect the location of the Ser36-P-p66Shc expression in the cochlear lateral wall. The results showed that the accumulation of the mtDNA 3873-bp deletion, total and mitochondrial protein levels of p66Shc and level of Ser36-P-p66Shc were significantly increased in the cochlear lateral wall of the D-gal-treated group when compared to the control group and that Ser36-P-p66Shc was mainly localized in the cytoplasm of the cells in the stria vascularis. During aging, the oxidative stress-related increase of p66Shc and Ser36-P-p66Shc might be associated with the accumulation of the mtDNA 3873-bp deletion in the inner ear.
Cyanobacteria can form massive toxic blooms in fresh and brackish bodies of water and are frequently responsible for the poisoning of animals and pose a health risk for humans. Anabaena is a genus of filamentous diazotrophic cyanobacteria commonly implicated as a toxin producer in blooms in aquatic ecosystems throughout the world. The biology of bloom-forming cyanobacteria is poorly understood at the genome level.
Here, we report the complete sequence and comprehensive annotation of the bloom-forming Anabaena sp. strain 90 genome. It comprises two circular chromosomes and three plasmids with a total size of 5.3 Mb, encoding a total of 4,738 genes. The genome is replete with mobile genetic elements. Detailed manual annotation demonstrated that almost 5% of the gene repertoire consists of pseudogenes. A further 5% of the genome is dedicated to the synthesis of small peptides that are the products of both ribosomal and nonribosomal biosynthetic pathways. Inactivation of the hassallidin (an antifungal cyclic peptide) biosynthetic gene cluster through a deletion event and a natural mutation of the buoyancy-permitting gvpG gas vesicle gene were documented. The genome contains a large number of genes encoding restriction-modification systems. Two novel excision elements were found in the nifH gene that is required for nitrogen fixation.
Genome analysis demonstrated that this strain invests heavily in the production of bioactive compounds and restriction-modification systems. This well-annotated genome provides a platform for future studies on the ecology and biology of these important bloom-forming cyanobacteria.
Cyanobacteria; Anabaena; Mobile genetic elements; Insertion sequences; Biosynthetic gene clusters; Restriction-modification system; nifH excision element
Obesity increases the risk of many diseases. However, there has been little literature about the epidemiology of obesity classified by body mass index (BMI) or waist (abdominal obesity) among urban Chinese adults. This study is to fill the gap by assessing the prevalence of obesity and associated risk factors among urban Chinese adults.
A representative sample of 25,196 urban adults aged 18 to 74 years in Northeast China was selected and measurements of height, weight and waist circumference (WC) were taken from 2009–2010. Definitions of overweight and obesity by the World Health Organization (WHO) were used.
The overall prevalence rates of general obesity and overweight classified by BMI were 15.0% (15.7% for men and 14.3% for women, p<0.01) and 19.2% (20.8% for men and 17.7% for women, p<0.01), respectively, and the overall prevalence rate of abdominal obesity was 37.6% (31.1% for men and women 43.9% for women, p<0.01). Multivariable logistic regression showed that the elderly and those who had a history of parental obesity, alcohol drinking, or former cigarette smoking were at high risk of obesity classified by BMI or WC, whereas those with a higher level of education, higher family income, or a healthy and balanced diet were at low risk of obesity. Analysis stratified by gender showed that men with a higher level education level, a white-collar job, a cadre job, or higher family income were the high risk group, and women with a higher level of education or higher family income were the low risk group.
Obesity and overweight have become epidemic in urban populations in China; associations of risk factors with obesity differ between men and women.
General obesity; Abdominal obesity; Risk factors; Gender difference; Chinese urban adults
We present a case of a 55-year-old female who suffered from a mass in the right upper abdomen, which had been present for over six months. Pre-operative blood examinations, including tumor markers, were normal. Initially, the admitting diagnosis was a giant celiac cyst, due to its liquid cystic appearance and large size (approximately 30.0×18.0 cm), visible in the hepatic region under ultrasound. Following the discovery of a cystic duct during surgery, the diagnosis was corrected to be a giant gallbladder. As no obstructive matter was observed, the giant gallbladder was considered to be congenital.
Gold nanoparticles modified with the nuclear localization signal from simian virus 40 large T antigen (GNP-PEG/SV40) accumulate on the cytoplasmic side of the nuclear membrane in HeLa cells. Accumulation of GNP-PEG/SV40 around the nucleus blocks nucleocytoplasmic transport and prevents RNA export and nuclear shuttling of signaling proteins. This long-term blockage of nucleocytoplasmic transport results in cell death. This cell death is not caused by apoptosis or necrosis because caspases 3 and 9 are not activated, and the expression of annexin V/propidium iodide is not enhanced in HeLa cells after treatment. Using transmission electron microscopy, autophagosomes and autolysosomes were seen to appear after 72 hours of treatment with GNP-PEG/SV40. Increasing levels of enhanced green fluorescent protein-microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (EGFP-LC3)-positive punctate and LC3-II confirmed GNP-PEG/SV40-induced autophagy. In SiHa cells, treatment did not induce accumulation of GNP-PEG/SV40 around the nucleus and autophagy. Treating cells with wheat germ agglutinin, a nuclear pore complex inhibitor, induced autophagy in both HeLa and SiHa cells. GNP-PEG/SV40-induced autophagy plays a role in cell death, not survival, and virus-mediated small hairpin RNA silencing of Beclin-1 attenuates cell death. Taken together, the results indicate that long-term blockade of nucleocytoplasmic transport results in autophagic cell death.
gold nanoparticles; nucleocytoplasmic transport blockage; autophagy; wheat germ agglutinin
The binding of integrase (IN) to lens epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDGF)/p75 in large part determines the efficiency and specificity of HIV-1 integration. However, a significant residual preference for integration into active genes persists in Psip1 (the gene that encodes for LEDGF/p75) knockout (KO) cells. One other cellular protein, HRP2, harbors both the PWWP and IN-binding domains that are important for LEDGF/p75 co-factor function. To assess the role of HRP2 in HIV-1 integration, cells generated from Hdgfrp2 (the gene that encodes for HRP2) and Psip1/Hdgfrp2 KO mice were infected alongside matched control cells. HRP2 depleted cells supported normal infection, while disruption of Hdgfrp2 in Psip1 KO cells yielded additional defects in the efficiency and specificity of integration. These deficits were largely restored by ectopic expression of either LEDGF/p75 or HRP2. The double-KO cells nevertheless supported residual integration into genes, indicating that IN and/or other host factors contribute to integration specificity in the absence of LEDGF/p75 and HRP2. Psip1 KO significantly increased the potency of an allosteric inhibitor that binds the LEDGF/p75 binding site on IN, a result that was not significantly altered by Hdgfrp2 disruption. These findings help to rule out the host factor-IN interactions as the primary antiviral targets of LEDGF/p75-binding site IN inhibitors.
Obesity-related diabetes mellitus leads to increased myocardial uptake and oxidation of fatty acids, resulting in a form of cardiac dysfunction referred to as lipotoxic cardiomyopathy. We have shown previously that Astragalus polysaccharides (APS) administration was sufficient to improve the systemic metabolic disorder and cardiac dysfunction in diabetic models.
To investigate the precise role of APS therapy in the pathogenesis of myocardial lipotoxity in diabetes, db/db diabetic mice and myosin heavy chain (MHC)- peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) α mice were characterized and administrated with or without APS with C57 wide- type mice as normal control. APS treatment strikingly improved the myocyte triacylglyceride accumulation and cardiac dysfunction in both db/db mice and MHC-PPARα mice, with the normalization of energy metabolic derangements in both db/db diabetic hearts and MHC-PPARα hearts. Consistently, the activation of PPARα target genes involved in myocardial fatty acid uptake and oxidation in both db/db diabetic hearts and MHC-PPARα hearts was reciprocally repressed by APS administration, while PPARα-mediated suppression of genes involved in glucose utilization of both diabetic hearts and MHC-PPARα hearts was reversed by treatment with APS.
We conclude that APS therapy could prevent the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy through a mechanism mainly dependent on the cardiac PPARα-mediated regulatory pathways.
Although promoter hypermethylation has been an accepted means of tumor suppressor gene inactivation, activation of otherwise normally repressed proto-oncogenes by promoter demethylation has been infrequently documented.
In this study we performed an integrative, whole-genome analysis for discovery of epigenetically activated proto-oncogenes in head and neck cancer tumors. We used the 47K GeneChip U133 Plus 2.0 Affymetrix expression microarray platform to obtain re-expression data from 5-aza treated normal cell line and expression data from primary head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) tumor tissues and normal mucosa tissues. We then investigated candidate genes by screening promoter regions for CpG islands and bisulfite sequencing followed by QUMSP and RT PCR for the best candidate genes. Finally, functional studies were performed on the top candidate gene.
From the top 178 screened candidates 96 had CpG islands in their promoter region. Seven candidate genes showed promoter region methylation in normal mucosa samples and promoter demethylation in a small cohort of primary HNSCC tissues. We then studied the demethylation of the top 3 candidate genes in an expanded cohort of 76 HNSCC tissue samples and 17 normal mucosa samples. We identified MAGEB2 as having significant promoter demethylation in primary head and neck squamous cell carcinoma tissues. We then found significantly higher expression of MAGEB2 in tumors in a separate cohort of 73 primary HNSCC tissues and 31 normal tissues. Finally, we found that MAGEB2 has growth promoting effects on minimally transformed oral keratinocyte cell lines but not a definite effect on HNSCC cell lines.
In conclusion, we identified MAGEB2 as activated by promoter demethylation in HNSCCand demonstrates growth promoting effects in a minimally transformed oral keratinocyte cell line. More studies are needed to evaluate MAGBE2's exact role in HNSCC.
Age-related tongue weakness may contribute to swallowing deficits in the elderly. One contributing factor may be an alteration in muscle fiber type properties with aging. However, it is not clear how muscle fiber types within the aged tongue may vary from those found in young adults, or how fiber types may vary across the anteroposterior axis of the extrinsic tongue muscles. We examined myosin heavy chain (MHC) composition of anterior, medial, and posterior sections of the genioglossus muscle (GG) in 10 old male Fischer 344/Brown Norway rats and compared findings to previously reported data from young adult male rats. Significant differences (p< .01) between young adult and old rats were found in the distribution of MHC isoforms along the anteroposterior axis of the muscle. In the anterior, medial, and posterior regions, there was a significantly smaller proportion of type IIb MHC in the old rat GG muscles, while the proportion of type IIx MHC was significantly greater. In the medial region, the proportion of type I MHC was found to be significantly greater in the old rats. Thus, we found a shift to more slowly contracting muscle fibers in the aged rat tongue.
Tongue; Dysphagia; Myosin heavy chain; Aging; Deglutition; Deglutition Disorders
Colorectal cancer remains one of the most common types of cancer and leading causes of cancer death worldwide. Although we have made steady progress in chemotherapy and targeted therapy, evidence suggests that the majority of patients undergoing drug therapy experience severe, debilitating, and even lethal adverse drug events which considerably outweigh the benefits. The identification of suitable biomarkers will allow clinicians to deliver the most appropriate drugs to specific patients and spare them ineffective and expensive treatments. Prognostic and predictive biomarkers have been the subjects of many published papers, but few have been widely incorporated into clinical practice. Here, we want to review recent biomarker data related to colorectal cancer, which may have been ready for clinical use.
Colorectal cancer; Biomarker; Predictive value; Prognostic value; Chemotherapy; Targeted therapy
The main obstacles for cationic polyplexes in gene delivery are in vivo instability and low solid-tumor accumulation. Safe vectors with high transfection efficiency and in vivo tumor accumulation are therefore highly desirable. In this study, the amphiphilic block copolymer poly(n-butyl methacrylate)-b-poly(N-acryloylmorpholine) was synthesized by reversible addition–fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) radical polymerization. The corresponding well-defined vesicles with narrow size distribution were tailored by finely regulating the packing parameter (β) of copolymer (1/2 < β < 1). Compared with traditional “gold-standard” polycation (polyethylenimine, 25 kDa), plasmid DNA condensing efficiency, DNase I degradation protection, and cellular uptake were improved by the supramolecular nano vesicles. In addition, the plasmid DNA transferring efficiency in 10% fetal bovine serum medium was enlarged five times to that of polyethylenimine in renal tubular epithelial and human hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines. This improved in vitro transfection was mainly attributed to the densely packed bilayer. This stealth polyplex showed high serum stability via entropic repulsion, which further protected the polyplex from being destroyed during sterilization. As indicated by the IVIS® Lumina II Imaging System (Caliper Life Sciences, Hopkinton, MA) 24 hours post-intravenous administration, intra-tumor accumulation of the stealth polyplex was clearly promoted. This study successfully circumvented the traditional dilemma of efficient gene transfection at a high nitrogen-from-polyethylenimine to phosphate-from-DNA ratio that is accompanied with site cytotoxicity and low stability. As such, these simply tailored noncytotoxic nano vesicles show significant potential for use in practical gene therapy.
block copolymer; nano vesicle; gene transfection; serum stability; intra-tumor accumulation
The Kir inward rectifying potassium channels have a broad tissue distribution and are implicated in a variety of functional roles. At least seven classes (Kir1 – Kir7) of structurally related inward rectifier potassium channels are known, and there are no selective small molecule tools to study their function. In an effort to develop selective Kir2.1 inhibitors, we performed a high-throughput screen (HTS) of more than 300,000 small molecules within the MLPCN for modulators of Kir2.1 function. Here we report one potent Kir2.1 inhibitor, ML133, which inhibits Kir2.1 with IC50 of 1.8 μM at pH 7.4 and 290 nM at pH 8.5, but exhibits little selectivity against other members of Kir2.x family channels. However, ML133 has no effect on Kir1.1 (IC50 > 300 μM), and displays weak activity for Kir4.1 (76 μM) and Kir7.1 (33 μM), making ML133 the most selective small molecule inhibitor of the Kir family reported to date. Due to the high homology within the Kir family, the channels share a common design of a pore region flanked by two transmembrane domains, identification of site(s) critical for isoform specificity would be an important basis for future development of more specific and potent Kir inhibitors. Using chimeric channels between Kir2.1 and Kir1.1 and site-directed mutagenesis, we have identified D172 and I176 within M2 segment of Kir2.1 as molecular determinants critical for the potency of ML133 mediated inhibition. Double mutation of the corresponding residues of Kir1.1 to those of Kir2.1 (N171D and C175I) transplants ML133 inhibition to Kir1.1. Together, the combination of a potent, Kir2 family selective inhibitor and identification of molecular determinants for the specificity provides both a tool and a model system to enable further mechanistic studies of modulation of Kir2 inward rectifier potassium channels.
Kir2.1; inward rectifying potassium channel; ion channel; mutagenesis; structure-activity-relationship; medicinal chemistry; ion works; patch clamp; high throughput screening; MLPCN
Considerable evidence has accumulated in recent years suggesting that G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) associate in the plasma membrane to form homo- and/or heteromers. Nevertheless, the stoichiometry, fraction and lifetime of such receptor complexes in living cells remain topics of intense debate. Motivated by experimental data suggesting differing stabilities for homomers of the cognate human β1- and β2-adrenergic receptors, we have carried out approximately 160 microseconds of biased molecular dynamics simulations to calculate the dimerization free energy of crystal structure-based models of these receptors, interacting at two interfaces that have often been implicated in GPCR association under physiological conditions. Specifically, results are presented for simulations of coarse-grained (MARTINI-based) and atomistic representations of each receptor, in homodimeric configurations with either transmembrane helices TM1/H8 or TM4/3 at the interface, in an explicit lipid bilayer. Our results support a definite contribution to the relative stability of GPCR dimers from both interface sequence and configuration. We conclude that β1- and β2-adrenergic receptor homodimers with TM1/H8 at the interface are more stable than those involving TM4/3, and that this might be reconciled with experimental studies by considering a model of oligomerization in which more stable TM1 homodimers diffuse through the membrane, transiently interacting with other protomers at interfaces involving other TM helices.
G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) are the largest family of membrane proteins targeted by drugs in clinical practice. Despite being at the forefront of biomedical research for many years, there is still considerable uncertainty about how GPCRs function at a molecular level. Although substantial evidence exists in support of their association in cell membranes, it is unclear how general and/or long-lasting this phenomenon is and whether it plays a significant role in GPCR function. This observation highlights the importance of understanding the rules that govern receptor-receptor interactions in living cells. Here, we report the results of computer simulations from which we estimated the relative stability of dimers formed by different, yet highly homologous, prototypic GPCRs. Our results suggest overall transiency in receptor-receptor interactions at the simulated different dimerization interfaces, but a variable strength of association depending on the specific residue composition or shape of the interface. The methodology we propose is expected to provide a level of molecular detail that is unattainable using current experimental techniques. Our ultimate goal is to generate unique hypotheses of receptor-receptor inter-helical interactions that can be tested experimentally to help elucidate the role of receptor association in GPCR function.
Colorectal cancer (CRC), which frequently metastasizes to the liver, is one of the three leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Growing evidence suggests that a subset of cells exists among cancer stem cells. This distinct subpopulation is thought to contribute to liver metastasis; however, it has not been fully explored in CRC yet.
Flow cytometry analysis was performed to detect distinct subsets with CD133 and CXCR4 markers in human primary and metastatic CRC tissues. The 'stemness' and metastatic capacities of different subpopulations derived from the colon cancer cell line HCT116 were compared in vitro and in vivo. The roles of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and stromal-cell derived factor-1 (SDF-1) in the metastatic process were also investigated. A survival curve was used to explore the correlation between the content of CD133+CXCR4+ cancer cells and patient survival.
In human specimens, the content of CD133+CXCR4+ cells was higher in liver metastases than in primary colorectal tumors. Clonogenic and tumorigenic cells were restricted to CD133+ cells in the HCT116 cell line, with CXCR4 expression having no impact on the 'stemness' properties. We found that CD133+CXCR4+ cancer cells had a high metastatic capacity in vitro and in vivo. Compared with CD133+CXCR4- cells, CD133+CXCR4+ cancer cells experienced EMT, which contributed partly to their metastatic phenotype. We then determined that SDF-1/CXCL12 treatment could further induce EMT in CD133+CXCR4+ cancer cells and enhance their invasive behavior, while this could not be observed in CD133+CXCR4- cancer cells. Blocking SDF-1/CXCR4 interaction with a CXCR4 antagonist, AMD3100 (1,10-[1,4-phenylenebis(methylene)]bis-1,4,8,11 -tetraazacyclotetradecane octahydrochloride), inhibited metastatic tumor growth in a mouse hepatic metastasis model. Finally, a high percentage of CD133+CXCR4+ cells in human primary CRC was associated with a reduced two-year survival rate.
Strategies targeting the SDF-1/CXCR4 interaction may have important clinical applications in the suppression of colon cancer metastasis. Further investigations on how high expression of CXCR4 and EMT occur in this identified cancer stem cell subset are warranted to provide insights into our understanding of tumor biology.
colorectal cancer; cancer stem cell; CXCR4; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; liver metastasis
A three-dimensional (3D) fin-shaped field-effect transistor structure based on III-V metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) fabrication has been demonstrated using a submicron GaAs fin as the high-mobility channel. The fin-shaped channel has a thickness-to-width ratio (TFin/WFin) equal to 1. The nano-stacked high-k Al2O3 dielectric was adopted as a gate insulator in forming a metal-oxide-semiconductor structure to suppress gate leakage. The 3D III-V MOSFET exhibits outstanding gate controllability and shows a high Ion/Ioff ratio > 105 and a low subthreshold swing of 80 mV/decade. Compared to a conventional Schottky gate metal–semiconductor field-effect transistor or planar III-V MOSFETs, the III-V MOSFET in this work exhibits a significant performance improvement and is promising for future development of high-performance n-channel devices based on III-V materials.
GaAs; High-k; MOSFET; Three-dimensional device; FinFET
A series of 3-substituted aminocyclopentanes has been identified as highly potent and selective NR2B receptor antagonists. Incorporation of a 1,2,4-oxadiazole linker and substitution of the pendant phenyl ring led to the discovery of orally bioavailable analogues that showed efficient NR2B receptor occupancy in rats. Unlike nonselective NMDA antagonists, the NR2B-selective antagonist 22 showed no adverse affects on motor coordination in the rotarod assay at high dose. Compound 22 was efficacious following oral administration in a spinal nerve ligation model of neuropathic pain and in an acute model of Parkinson’s disease in a dose dependent manner.
NR2B antagonist; NMDA; neuropathic pain; Parkinson’s disease