Cells engage sophisticated programs of DNA damage response (DDR) and repair to guard against genetic mutations. While there is significant knowledge concerning DDR in interphase cells, much less is known about these processes in mitosis. Direct interaction between MDC1, a master DDR organizer, and a marker of DNA damage, histone γH2AX, is required to trigger robust repair. Here we show that the DNA damage-induced interaction between MDC1 and γH2AX is attenuated in mitosis. Furthermore, inhibition in the activity of the core mitotic regulator CDK1, either by pharmacological inhibition or siRNA attenuation, enhances MDC1-γH2AX colocalization in mitosis. Our findings offer key new insights into how DDR is controlled during mitosis.
Mitosis; CDK1; MDC1; γH2AX; DDR; DSB
Recent advancement in understanding the role of both the genetics and molecular pathways in the formation and progression of colorectal cancer allowed the identification of factors that may be targeted for drug discovery. For the past decade various approaches have been developed to target specific steps or components of these pathways in order to prevent the development or progression of colorectal cancer. The innovation and optimization of high-throughput screening methods as well as the recent emphasis from the National Institutes of Health on translational sciences have enabled rapid progress in drug discovery in many fields, including colorectal cancer. Here we present a summary of the recent efforts of targeted high-throughput drug discovery towards pathways affected in colorectal cancer.
High-throughput screen; Colorectal cancer; Molecular pathways; Chemical probes
Liver transplantation is the only definitive treatment for end-stage cirrhosis and fulminant liver failure, but the lack of available donor livers is a major obstacle to liver transplantation. Recently, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from the reprogramming of somatic fibroblasts, have been shown to resemble embryonic stem (ES) cells in that they have pluripotent properties and the potential to differentiate into all cell lineages in vitro, including hepatocytes. Thus, iPSCs could serve as a favorable cell source for a wide range of applications, including drug toxicity testing, cell transplantation, and patient-specific disease modeling. Here, we describe an efficient and rapid three-step protocol that is able to rapidly generate hepatocyte-like cells from human iPSCs. This occurs because the endodermal induction step allows for more efficient and definitive endoderm cell formation. We show that hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), which synergizes with activin A and Wnt3a, elevates the expression of the endodermal marker Foxa2 (forkhead box a2) by 39.3% compared to when HGF is absent (14.2%) during the endodermal induction step. In addition, iPSC-derived hepatocytes had a similar gene expression profile to mature hepatocytes. Importantly, the hepatocyte-like cells exhibited cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) enzyme activity, secreted urea, uptake of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and possessed the ability to store glycogen. Moreover, the hepatocyte-like cells rescued lethal fulminant hepatic failure in a nonobese diabetic severe combined immunodeficient mouse model. Conclusion: We have established a rapid and efficient differentiation protocol that is able to generate functional hepatocyte-like cells from human iPSCs. This may offer an alternative option for treatment of liver diseases.
Utilizing data obtained during a multicenter investigation, this paper illustrates how the use of covariates and careful modeling techniques can be useful in assessing whether a negative outcome from a small multicenter clinical trial could be due to imbalance in baseline characteristics. The Chemoprevention for Barrett’s Esophagus Trial (CBET) was a phase IIb, multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of celecoxib in patients with Barrett’s esophagus. The primary outcomes for the original study were the proportion of biopsy samples exhibiting dysplasia in the celecoxib and placebo groups. The secondary and tertiary outcomes included histologic change and measurements of biologically relevant markers, including COX-1 and –2 mRNA, prostanoid levels, and methylation of tumor suppressor genes p16, APC, and E-cadherin. The original study reported no significant differences in primary, secondary or tertiary outcomes. In this paper, we focus on the results of one of the secondary measures, quantitative endoscopy (QE).
The study utilizes data from 56 patients in the CBET for whom baseline (BL) QE and one-year follow-up QE (F04) studies were performed. Of these, 29 were treated with celecoxib (200 mg twice daily for a minimum of 48 weeks) and 27 received the placebo. These patients are segmented as to the presence or absence of circumferential, tongues or islands of Barrett’s.
The response of interest is total affected area at one year (Total F04); affected area at baseline (Total BL) is used as a covariate.
Controlling for complexity and clinic, there is a significant treatment effect. In addition, there is significant evidence that the area of Barrett’s involvement decreased for patients in the treatment group.
That there was a decrease for the celecoxib over the placebo group adds to the body of evidence that relates COX-2 specific inhibitors and cancer incidence.
Barrett’s esophagus; Covariate modeling; Chemoprevention; Quantitative endoscopy
Germline mutation of the tumor suppressor gene, adenomatous polyposis coli (APC), is responsible for familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) with nearly 100% risk for colon cancer at an early age. Although FAP is involved in only 1% of all colon cancer cases, over 80% of sporadic cancers harbor somatic mutations of APC. We show here that bromo-onoscapine (EM011), a rationally-designed synthetic derivative of a natural non-toxic tubulin-binding alkaloid-noscapine, that reduces the dynamics of microtubules, causes a reversible G2/M arrest in wild type mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), but an aberrant exit from a brief mitotic block, followed by apoptosis in MEFs after APC deletion with siRNA. Furthermore, both β-catenin levels and activity fell to half the original levels with a concomitant reduction of cell proliferation-inducing cyclin D1, c-Myc, and induction of cytostatic protein p21 prior to caspase-3 activation. Additionally, we show a statistically significant reduction in the number of newly emerging intestinal polyps (to 35% compared with untreated mice) as well as the mean size of polyps (to 42% compared with untreated mice) in EM011-treated ApcMin/+ mice as compared to their sham-treated control littermates. The remaining polyps in the EM011 treated group of ApcMin/+ mice showed evidence of elevated apoptosis as revealed by immunohistochemistry. We failed to detect any evidence of histopathological and hematological toxicities following EM011 treatment. Taken together, our data are persuasive that a clinical trial of EM011 is possible for the prevention/amelioration of polyposis in FAP patients.
Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (AFP); Colon Cancer; bromo noscapine; EM011; Noscapine; β-catenin
To investigate reversal effects of pantoprazole (PPZ) on multidrug resistance (MDR) in human gastric adenocarcinoma cells in vivo and in vitro. Human gastric adenocarcinoma cell SGC7901 was cultured in RPMI-1640 medium supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum and antibiotics in a humidified 5% CO2 atmosphere at 37°C. Adriamycin (ADR)-resistant cells were cultured with addition of 0.8 μg/ml of ADR maintaining MDR phenotype. ADR was used to calculate ADR releasing index; CCK-8 Assay was performed to evaluate the cytotoxicity of anti-tumor drugs; BCECF-AM pH-sensitive fluorescent probe was used to measure intracellular pH (pHi) value of cells, whereas pH value of medium was considered as extracellular pH (pHe) value; Western blotting and immunofluorescent staining analyses were employed to determine protein expressions and intracellular distributions of vacuolar H+-ATPases (V-ATPases), mTOR, HIF-1α, P-glycoprotein (P-gp), and multidrug resistant protein 1 (MRP1); SGC7901 and SGC7901/ADR cells were inoculated in athymic nude mice. Thereafter, effects of ADR with or without PPZ pretreatment were compared by determining the tumor size and weight, apoptotic cells in tumor tissues were detected by TUNEL assay. At concentrations greater than 20 μg/ml, PPZ pretreatment reduced ADR releasing index and significantly enhanced intracellular ADR concentration of SGC7901 (P <0.01). Similarly, PPZ pretreatment significantly decreased ADR releasing index of SGC7901/ADR dose-dependently (P <0.01). PPZ pretreatment also decreased cell viabilities of SGG7901 and SGC7901/ADR dose-dependently. After 24-h PPZ pretreatment, administration of chemotherapeutic agents demonstrated maximal cytotoxic effects on SGC7901 and SGC7901/ADR cells (P < 0.05). The resistance index in PPZ pretreatment group was significantly lower than that in non-PPZ pretreatment group (3.71 vs. 14.80). PPZ at concentration >10 μg/ml significantly decreased pHi in SGC7901 and SGC7901/ADR cells and diminished or reversed transmembrane pH gradient (P < 0.05). PPZ pretreatment also significantly inhibited protein expressions of V-ATPases, mTOR, HIF-1α, P-gp, and MRP1, and alter intracellular expressions in parent and ADR-resistant cells (P < 0.05). In vivo experiments further confirmed that PPZ pretreatment could enhance anti-tumor effects of ADR on xenografted tumor of nude mice and also improve the apoptotic index in xenografted tumor tissues. PPZ pretreatment enhances the cytotoxic effects of anti-tumor drugs on SGC7901 and reverse MDR of SGC7901/ADR by downregulating the V-ATPases/mTOR/HIF-1α/P-gp and MRP1 signaling pathway.
MULTIDRUG RESISTANCE; TRANSMEMBRANE pH GRADIENT; ATP-BINDING CASSETTE TRANSPORTER SUPERFAMILY; VACUOLAR H+-ATPases; PANTOPRAZOLE SODIUM
We have previously discovered the naturally occurring antitussive alkaloid noscapine as a tubulin-binding agent that attenuates microtubule dynamics and arrests mammalian cells at mitosis via activation of the c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase pathway. It is well established that the p53 protein plays a crucial role in the control of tumor cell response to chemotherapeutic agents and DNA-damaging agents; however, the relationship between p53-driven genes and drug sensitivity remains controversial. In this study, we compared chemosensitivity, cell cycle distribution, and apoptosis on noscapine treatment in four cell lines derived from the colorectal carcinoma HCT116 cells: p53+/+ (p53-wt), p53−/− (p53-null), p21−/− (p21-null), and BAX−/− (BAX-null). Using these isogenic variants, we investigated the roles of p53, BAX, and p21 in the cellular response to treatment with noscapine. Our results show that noscapine treatment increases the expression of p53 over time in cells with wild-type p53 status. This increase in p53 is associated with an increased apoptotic BAX/Bcl-2 ratio consistent with increased sensitivity of these cells to apoptotic stimuli. Conversely, loss of p53 and p21 alleles had a counter effect on both BAX and Bcl-2 expression and the p53-null and p21-null cells were significantly resistant to the antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of noscapine. All but the p53-null cells displayed p53 protein accumulation in a time-dependent manner on noscapine treatment. Interestingly, despite increased levels of p53, p21-null cells were resistant to apoptosis, suggesting a proapoptotic role of p21 and implying that p53 is a necessary but not sufficient condition for noscapine-mediated apoptosis.
Barrett’s esophagus is a premalignant condition that is a risk factor for the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma, a disease whose incidence is rapidly increasing. Because aspirin and other nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, such as celecoxib, may decrease the risk of developing esophageal cancer, we investigated the effect of long-term administration of celecoxib in patients with Barrett’s esophagus with dysplasia.
Chemoprevention for Barrett’s Esophagus Trial (CBET) is a phase IIb multicenter randomized placebo-controlled trial of celecoxib in patients with Barrett’s esophagus and low- or high-grade dysplasia. Patients were randomly assigned to treatment with 200 mg of celecoxib or placebo, both administered orally twice daily, and then stratified by grade of dysplasia. The primary outcome was the change from baseline to 48 weeks of treatment in the proportion of biopsy samples with dysplasia between the celecoxib and placebo arms. Secondary and tertiary outcomes included evaluation of changes in histology and expression levels of relevant biomarkers. All statistical tests were two-sided.
From April 1, 2000, through June 30, 2003, 222 patients were registered into CBET, and 100 of them with low- or high-grade Barrett’s dysplasia were randomly assigned to treatment (49 to celecoxib and 51 to placebo). After 48 weeks of treatment, no difference was observed in the median change in the proportion of biopsy samples with dysplasia or cancer between treatment groups in either the low-grade (median change with celecoxib = − 0.09, interquartile range [IQR] = − 0.32 to 0.14 and with placebo = − 0.07, IQR = − 0.26 to 0.12; P = .64) or high-grade (median change with celecoxib = 0.12, IQR = − 0.31 to 0.55, and with placebo = 0.02, IQR = − 0.24 to 0.28; P = .88) stratum. No statistically significant differences in total surface area of the Barrett’s esophagus; in prostaglandin levels; in cyclooxygenase-1/2 mRNA levels; or in methylation of tumor suppressor genes p16, adenomatous polyposis coli, and E-cadherin were found with celecoxib compared with placebo.
Administration of 200 mg of celecoxib twice daily for 48 weeks of treatment does not appear to prevent progression of Barrett’s dysplasia to cancer.
Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) is a member of the KLF family of transcription factors and regulates proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and somatic cell reprogramming. Evidence also suggests that KLF4 is a tumor suppressor in certain cancers including colorectal cancer. We previously showed that KLF4 inhibits cell cycle progression following DNA damage and that mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) null for Klf4 are genetically unstable, as evidenced by increased rates of cell proliferation, and the presence of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs), centrosome amplification, chromosome aberrations and aneuploidy.
To determine whether re-expression of Klf4 corrects the observed genetic instability in MEFs null for Klf4 (Klf4−/−), we transfected Klf4−/−MEFs with Klf4-expressing plasmids and compared the results to wild type (Klf4+/+) and untransfected or mock-transfected Klf4−/−MEFs.
We show that overexpression of Klf4 in Klf4−/−MEFs reduced cell proliferation rates and the proportion of cells with DSBs, abnormal centrosome numbers, aneuploidy and micronuclei. In addition, Klf4-transfected Klf4−/−MEFs exhibited a more robust DNA damage repair response as demonstrated by the greater rate in disappearance of γ-H2AX and 53BP1 foci following γ-irradiation.
Taken together these findings provide evidence that KLF4 plays a crucial role in the maintenance of genetic stability by modulating the DNA damage response and repair processes.
KLF4; Genetic instability; DNA damage responses; Aneuploidy; Centrosome amplification; Mouse embryonic fibroblasts
The zinc finger transcription factor, Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4), is expressed in the post-mitotic, differentiated epithelial cells lining the intestinal tract and exhibits a tumor suppressive effect on intestinal tumorigenesis. Here we report a role for KLF4 in maintaining homeostasis of intestinal epithelial cells. Mice with conditional ablation of the Klf4 gene from the intestinal epithelium were viable. However, both the rates of proliferation and migration of epithelial cells were increased in the small intestine of mutant mice. In addition, the brush-border alkaline phosphatase was reduced as was expression of ephrine-B1 in the small intestine, resulting in mispositioning of Paneth cells. In the colon of mutant mice, there was a reduction of the differentiation marker, carbonic anhydrase-1, and failure of differentiation of goblet cells. Mechanistically, deletion of Klf4 from the intestine resulted in a general activation of genes in the Wnt pathway and a global reduction in expression of genes encoding regulators of differentiation. Taken together, these data provide new insights into the function of KLF4 in regulating postnatal proliferation, migration, differentiation, and positioning of intestinal epithelial cells and demonstrate an essential role for KLF4 in maintaining normal intestinal epithelial homeostasis in vivo.
KLF4; Wnt; Proliferation; Differentiation; Migration; Paneth Cells; Goblet Cells
The zinc finger transcription factor Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) regulates numerous physiologic processes including proliferation, differentiation, and development. Studies also showed that KLF4 is involved in tumorigenesis and somatic cell reprogramming. Here we aimed to assess whether KLF4 is a prognostic indicator for colon cancer.
Levels of KLF4 were measured by immunohistochemical analysis of a tissue microarray containing 367 independent colon cancer sections. Univariate data analysis was performed in addition to construction of multivariate models with several clinicopathologic factors to evaluate KLF4 as an independent predictor of survival and cancer recurrence (disease-free survival).
Colon cancer tissues had significantly overall lower KLF4 levels compared to non-cancer tissues (P < 0.0001). Using logistic regression, a trend was noted for decreased odds of KLF4 expression in higher stages of tumors. In both univariate and multivariate analyses, KLF4 was a significant predictor of survival and recurrence.
KLF4 expression is significantly down-regulated in colon cancer and loss of KLF4 is an independent predictor of survival and recurrence.
These findings suggest that KLF4 may serve as a prognostic biomarker for colon cancer.
KLF4; Colon Cancer; Tissue microarray; Survival; Recurrence
The Krüppel-like factor (KLF) family of transcription factors regulates diverse biological processes that include proliferation, differentiation, growth, development, survival, and responses to external stress. Seventeen mammalian KLFs have been identified, and numerous studies have been published that describe their basic biology and contribution to human diseases. KLF proteins have received much attention because of their involvement in the development and homeostasis of numerous organ systems. KLFs are critical regulators of physiological systems that include the cardiovascular, digestive, respiratory, hematological, and immune systems and are involved in disorders such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory conditions. Furthermore, KLFs play an important role in reprogramming somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and maintaining the pluripotent state of embryonic stem cells. As research on KLF proteins progresses, additional KLF functions and associations with disease are likely to be discovered. Here, we review the current knowledge of KLF proteins and describe common attributes of their biochemical and physiological functions and their pathophysiological roles.
Krüppel-Like Factor; Proliferation; Differentiation; Inflammation; Cardiovascular Diseases; Tumorigenesis; Fat Metabolism; Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell
Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) is a zinc-finger transcription factor with diverse regulatory functions in proliferation, differentiation, and development. KLF4 also plays a role in inflammation, tumorigenesis, and reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. To gain insight into the mechanisms by which KLF4 regulates these processes, we conducted DNA microarray analyses to identify differentially expressed genes in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) wild type and null for Klf4.
Expression profiles of fibroblasts isolated from mouse embryos wild type or null for the Klf4 alleles were examined by DNA microarrays. Differentially expressed genes were subjected to the Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery (DAVID). The microarray data were also interrogated with the Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) and Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) for pathway identification. Results obtained from the microarray analysis were confirmed by Western blotting for select genes with biological relevance to determine the correlation between mRNA and protein levels.
One hundred and sixty three up-regulated and 88 down-regulated genes were identified that demonstrated a fold-change of at least 1.5 and a P-value < 0.05 in Klf4-null MEFs compared to wild type MEFs. Many of the up-regulated genes in Klf4-null MEFs encode proto-oncogenes, growth factors, extracellular matrix, and cell cycle activators. In contrast, genes encoding tumor suppressors and those involved in JAK-STAT signaling pathways are down-regulated in Klf4-null MEFs. IPA and GSEA also identified various pathways that are regulated by KLF4. Lastly, Western blotting of select target genes confirmed the changes revealed by microarray data.
These data are not only consistent with previous functional studies of KLF4’s role in tumor suppression and somatic cell reprogramming, but also revealed novel target genes that mediate KLF4’s functions.
KLF4; microarray; MEF; DAVID; GSEA; IPA; SAM; FDR
Background: Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) is a zinc-finger transcription factor with diverse regulatory functions in proliferation, differentiation, and development. KLF4 also plays a role in inflammation, tumorigenesis, and reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. To gain insight into the mechanisms by which KLF4 regulates these processes, we conducted DNA microarray analyses to identify differentially expressed genes in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) wild type and null for Klf4. Methods: Expression profiles of fibroblasts isolated from mouse embryos wild type or null for the Klf4 alleles were examined by DNA microarrays. Differentially expressed genes were subjected to the Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery (DAVID). The microarray data were also interrogated with the Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) and Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) for pathway identification. Results obtained from the microarray analysis were confirmed by Western blotting for select genes with biological relevance to determine the correlation between mRNA and protein levels. Results: One hundred and sixty three up-regulated and 88 down-regulated genes were identified that demonstrated a fold-change of at least 1.5 and a P-value < 0.05 in Klf4-null MEFs compared to wild type MEFs. Many of the up-regulated genes in Klf4-null MEFs encode proto-oncogenes, growth factors, extracellular matrix, and cell cycle activators. In contrast, genes encoding tumor suppressors and those involved in JAK-STAT signaling pathways are down-regulated in Klf4-null MEFs. IPA and GSEA also identified various pathways that are regulated by KLF4. Lastly, Western blotting of select target genes confirmed the changes revealed by microarray data. Conclusions: These data are not only consistent with previous functional studies of KLF4's role in tumor suppression and somatic cell reprogramming, but also revealed novel target genes that mediate KLF4's functions.
KLF4; microarray; MEF; DAVID; GSEA; IPA; SAM; FDR
The p53 tumor suppressor inhibits the proliferation of cells which undergo prolonged activation of the mitotic checkpoint. However, the function of this antiproliferative response is not well defined. Here we report that p53 suppresses structural chromosome instability following mitotic arrest in human cells. In both HCT116 colon cancer cells and normal human fibroblasts, DNA breaks occurred during mitotic arrest in a p53-independent manner, but p53 was required to suppress the proliferation and structural chromosome instability of the resulting polyploid cells. In contrast, cells made polyploid without mitotic arrest exhibited neither significant structural chromosome instability nor p53-dependent cell cycle arrest. We also observed that p53 suppressed both the frequency and structural chromosome instability of spontaneous polyploids in HCT116 cells. Furthermore, time-lapse videomicroscopy revealed that polyploidization of p53−/− HCT116 cells is frequently accompanied by mitotic arrest. These data suggest that a function of the p53-dependent postmitotic response is the prevention of structural chromosome instability following prolonged activation of the mitotic checkpoint. Accordingly, our study suggests a novel mechanism of tumor suppression for p53, as well as a potential role for p53 in the outcome of antimitotic chemotherapy.
p53; cell cycle arrest; chromosomal instability; DNA damage; mitotic checkpoint; polypoidization
Inactivation of the tumor suppressor adenomatous polyposis coli, with the resultant activation of β-catenin, is the initiating event in the development of a majority of colorectal cancers. Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5), a proproliferative transcription factor, is highly expressed in the proliferating intestinal crypt epithelial cells. To determine whether KLF5 contributes to intestinal adenoma formation, we examined tumor burdens in ApcMin/+ mice and ApcMin/+/Klf5+/− mice. Compared with ApcMin/+ mice, ApcMin/+/Klf5+/− mice had a 96% reduction in the number of intestinal adenomas. Reduced tumorigenicity in the ApcMin/+/Klf5+/− mice correlated with reduced levels and nuclear localization of β-catenin as well as reduced expression of two β-catenin targets, cyclin D1 and c-Myc. In vitro studies revealed a physical interaction between KLF5 and β-catenin that enhanced the nuclear localization and transcriptional activity of β-catenin. Thus, KLF5 is necessary for the tumor-initiating activity of β-catenin during intestinal adenoma formation in ApcMin/+ mice, and reduced expression of KLF5 offsets the tumor-initiating activity of the ApcMin mutation by reducing the nuclear localization and activity of β-catenin.
Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer mortality and morbidity worldwide. Previous studies indicate that the zinc finger-containing transcription factor Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5) positively regulates proliferation of intestinal epithelial cells and colorectal cancer cells. Importantly, inhibition of KLF5 expression in intestinal epithelial cells and colorectal cancer cells by pharmacologic or genetic means reduces their rate of proliferation. To identify additional and novel small molecules that inhibit KLF5 expression and thus colorectal cancer proliferation, we developed a reporter assay using colorectal cancer cell line (DLD-1) that stably expressed a luciferase reporter gene directed by 1,959 bp of the human KLF5 promoter upstream of the ATG start codon and performed a cell-based high-throughput screen with the Library of Pharmacologically Active Compounds that contains 1,280 biologically active compounds. The screen identified 8 potential inhibitors and 6 potential activators of the KLF5 promoter. Three potential inhibitors, wortmannin, AG17, and AG879, were further evaluated by secondary analyses. All three significantly reduced both KLF5 promoter-luciferase activity and protein level in DLD-1 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner when compared with controls. They also significantly reduced the rate of proliferation of DLD-1 and two other colorectal cancer cell lines, HCT116 and HT29. Our results show the principle of using high-throughput screening to identify small-molecule compounds that modulate KLF5 activity and consequently inhibit colorectal cancer proliferation.
Mitotic abnormalities are a common feature of human cancer cells, and recent studies have provided evidence that such abnormalities may play a causative, rather than merely incidental role, in tumorigenesis. One such abnormality is prolonged activation of the mitotic checkpoint, which can be provoked by a number of the gene changes which drive tumor formation. At the same time, antimitotic chemotherapeutics exert their clinical efficacy through the large-scale induction of prolonged mitotic checkpoint activation, indicating that mitotic arrest is influential in both the formation and treatment of human cancer. However, how this influence occurs is not well-understood. In this perspective, we will discuss the current evidence in support of the potential mechanisms by which prolonged activation of the mitotic checkpoint affects both tumorigenesis and antimitotic chemotherapy.
Aneuploidy; Antimitotic chemotherapy; Apoptosis; Cell cycle arrest; Centrosomes; Chromosomal instability; Checkpoint; DNA damage; Mitosis; Polypoidy; Tumorigenesis
The zinc finger-containing transcription factor, Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4), inhibits cell proliferation. An in vivo tumor suppressive role for KLF4 is demonstrated by the recent finding that Klf4 haploinsufficiency in ApcMin/+ mice promotes intestinal tumorigenesis. Studies also show that KLF4 is required for the terminal differentiation of goblet cells in the mouse intestine. The Notch signaling pathway suppresses goblet cell formation and is up-regulated in intestinal tumors. Here we investigated the relationship between Notch signaling and KLF4 expression in intestinal epithelial cells. The rate of proliferation of HT29 human colon cancer cells was reduced when treated with the γ-secretase inhibitor dibenzazepine (DBZ) to inhibit Notch or siRNA directed against Notch. KLF4 levels were increased in DBZ- or Notch siRNA-treated cells. Conversely, over-expression of Notch in HT29 cells reduced KLF4 levels, suppressed KLF4 promoter activity and increased proliferation rate. Treatment of ApcMin/+ mice with DBZ resulted in a 50% reduction in the number of intestinal adenomas compared to the vehicle-treated group (p < 0.001). Both the normal-appearing intestinal mucosa and adenomas obtained from DBZ-treated ApcMin/+ mice had increased goblet cell numbers and Klf4 staining accompanied by reduced cyclin D1 and Ki67 staining when compared to those from vehicle-treated mice. Results of these studies indicate that Notch signaling suppresses KLF4 expression in intestinal tumors and colorectal cancer cells. Inhibition of Notch signaling increases KLF4 expression and goblet cell differentiation, and reduces proliferation and tumor formation. KLF4 is therefore a potential mediator for the anti-tumor effect of Notch inhibitors such as DBZ.
KLF4; goblet cells; γ-secretase inhibitor; ApcMin/+ mouse; adenomas
The Chemoprevention for Barrett’s Esophagus Trial (CBET) was a phase IIb, multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of celecoxib in patients with Barrett’s esophagus. The overall outcome of the study was that there were no significant differences in primary, secondary, or tertiary outcomes. The purpose of the current study is to focus on results related to the method of measuring lesion size called quantitative endoscopy (QE). The design includes a review of a total number of studies and then restricts analyses to the four clinics that enrolled more than four patients each for whom a baseline and 1-year QE study was performed, comparing intra- and inter-patient and clinic differences in Barrett’s esophagus. Measurements include the number of total QEs and adverse events, changes in areas from baseline to 1 year and other intervals, classification of Barrett’s lesion type with respect to patients, clinics, and treatment. A total of 309 QE studies were completed with no adverse events. Differences in surface area measurements over time for a particular patient are smaller than the differences for randomly selected patients. The complexity mix (as defined by the mix of circumferential, tongues, and islands) of the Barrett’s lesions varied with different clinics. In conclusion, QE is an efficient, safe, and accurate way to measure the area of Barrett’s lesions variation between different clinical sites may be attributable to a subtle type of selection bias at the individual clinics rather than to regional differences.
Barrett’s esophagus; chemoprevention; quantitative endoscopy; selection bias
The potential for clinical application of pluripotent embryonic stem cells is immense but hampered by moral and ethical complications. Recent advances in the reprogramming of somatic cells by defined factors to a state that resemble embryonic stem cells have created tremendous excitement in the field. Four factors, Sox2, Oct4, Klf4 and c-Myc, when exogenously introduced into somatic cells, can lead to the formation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells that have the capacity for self-renewal and differentiation into tissues of all three germ layers. In this review, we focus on the role of Krüppel-like factors (KLFs) in regulating somatic cell reprogramming. KLFs are zinc finger-containing transcription factors with diverse biological functions. We first provide an overview of the KLF family of regulatory proteins, paying special attention to the established biological and biochemical functions of KLF4 and KLF5. We then review the role of KLFs in somatic cell reprogramming and delineate the putative mechanism by which KLFs participates the establishment and self-renewal of iPS cells. Further research is likely to provide additional insight into the mechanisms of somatic cell reprogramming and refinement of the technique with which to generate clinically relevant iPS cells.
KLF; iPS cells; ES cells; Reprogramming; Somatic cells
Background & Aims
Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5) is a transcription factor that is highly expressed in proliferating crypt cells of the intestinal epithelium. KLF5 has a pro-proliferative effect in vitro and is induced by mitogenic and stress stimuli. To determine whether KLF5 is involved in mediating proliferative responses to intestinal stressors in vivo, we examined its function in a mouse model of transmissible murine colonic hyperplasia (TMCH), which is triggered by colonization of the mouse colon by the bacterial pathogen, Citrobacter rodentium.
Heterozygous Klf5 knockout (Klf5+/−) mice were generated from embryonic stem cells carrying an insertional disruption of the Klf5 gene. Klf5+/− mice or wild-type (WT) littermates were infected with C. rodentium by oral gavage. At various time points post-infection (p.i.), mice were sacrificed and distal colons harvested. Colonic crypt heights were determined morphometrically from sections stained with hematoxylin and eosin. Frozen tissues were stained by immunofluorescence using antibodies against Klf5 and the proliferation marker, Ki67, to determine Klf5 expression and numbers of proliferating cells per crypt.
Infection of WT mice with C. rodentium resulted in a 2-fold increase in colonic crypt heights at 14 days p.i. and was accompanied by a 1.7-fold increase in Klf5 expression. Infection of Klf5+/− mice showed an attenuated induction of Klf5 expression, and hyperproliferative responses to C. rodentium were reduced in the Klf5+/− animals as compared to WT littermates.
Our study demonstrates that Klf5 is a key mediator of crypt cell proliferation in the colon in response to pathogenic bacterial infection.
The mitotic checkpoint is a mechanism that arrests the progression to anaphase until all chromosomes have achieved proper attachment to mitotic spindles. In cancer cells, satisfaction of this checkpoint is frequently delayed or prevented by various defects, some of which have been causally implicated in tumorigenesis. At the same time, deliberate induction of mitotic arrest has proved clinically useful, as antimitotic drugs that interfere with proper chromosome-spindle interactions are effective anticancer agents. However, how mitotic arrest contributes to tumorigenesis or antimitotic drug toxicity is not well defined. Here, we report that mitotic chromosomes can acquire DNA breaks during both pharmacologic and genetic induction of mitotic arrest in human cancer cells. These breaks activate a DNA damage response, occur independently of cell death, and subsequently manifest as karyotype alterations. Such breaks can also occur spontaneously, particularly in cancer cells containing mitotic spindle abnormalities. Moreover, we observed evidence of some breakage in primary human cells. Our findings thus describe a novel source of DNA damage in human cells. They also suggest that mitotic arrest may promote tumorigenesis and antimitotic toxicity by provoking DNA damage.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality from cancers in the United States. Recent studies have revealed the paradigm in which sequential genetic changes (mutations) result in the progression from normal colonic tissues to frank carcinoma. In particular, the study of hereditary colorectal cancer and polyposis syndromes such as familial adenomatous polyposis and hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer has contributed enormously to the understanding of the pathogenesis of CRC. Here we describe some of the common genetic pathways in CRC and the mechanisms of action for some of the key genes involved in the formation of CRC. The understanding of the genetic pathways and functions in CRC may lead to the development of novel therapeutic approaches for treating this deadly disease.