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1.  Phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase, mTOR, and Glycogen synthase kinase-3β mediated regulation of p21 in human urothelial carcinoma cells 
BMC Urology  2011;11:19.
The PTEN/Phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase (PI3-kinase) growth factor signaling pathway plays a critical role in epithelial tumor development in a multitude of tissue types. Deletion of the Pten tumor suppressor gene in murine urothelial cells in vivo results in upregulation of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21. We have previously shown in mice that p21 expression blocks an increase in urothelial cell proliferation due to Pten deletion. In this study, we utilized human urothelial carcinoma cells UMUC-3 and UMUC-14 to identify the signaling pathways downstream of PI3-kinase that regulate p21.
Cells were treated with a combination of PI3-kinase stimulating growth factors and kinase inhibitors, or transfected with exogenous genes in order to identify the signaling events that are necessary for p21 induction. Mice with conditional deletion of Pten in bladder urothelium were also examined for evidence of PI3-kinase pathway signaling events that affect p21 expression.
When cells were treated with PI3-kinase activating growth factors EGF or PDGF, we found that p21 levels increased, in a manner similar to that observed in mice. We used the inhibitors LY294002, Akti-1/2, and rapamycin, to show that p21 induction is dependent upon PI3-kinase and AKT activity, and partially dependent on mTOR. We treated the cells with proteasome inhibitor MG-132 and found that p21 may be degraded in the proteasome to regulate protein levels. Importantly, our findings show that GSK-3β plays a role in diminishing p21 levels in cells. Treatment of cells with the GSK-3β inhibitor SB-216763 increased p21 levels, while exogenous expression of GSK-3β caused a decrease in p21, indicating that GSK-3β actively reduces p21 levels. We found that a combined treatment of LY294002 and SB-216763 improved the cytotoxic effect against UMUC-3 and UMUC-14 carcinoma cells over LY294002 alone, suggesting potential therapeutic uses for GSK-3β inhibitors. Immunohistochemical staining in bladders from wild-type and Pten-deleted mice indicated that GSK-3β inhibitory phosphorylation increases when Pten is deleted.
PI3-kinase and AKT cause an upregulation of p21 by suppressing GSK-3β activity and activating mTOR in both cultured human urothelial carcinoma cells and mouse urothelial cells in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3173386  PMID: 21864408
2.  Deletion of Epstein-Barr Virus Regulatory Sequences Upstream of the EBNA Gene Promoter Wp1 Is Unfavorable for B-Cell Immortalization 
Journal of Virology  2002;76(22):11763-11769.
Transcription of the six Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) EBNA genes is coordinately regulated, being driven by either the Cp promoter, which is encoded within the unique region just upstream of the EBV major internal repeat (IR-1), or by the Wp promoter, which is encoded within the IR-1 repeat and thus present in multiple copies. Previous analyses of Cp- and Wp-initiated transcription have identified a shared cis-regulatory element mapping to the region extending from −169 to −369 bp upstream of the Wp transcription initiation site (M. T. Puglielli, N. Desai, and S. H. Speck, J. Virol. 71:120-128, 1997). To assess the impact of this regulatory region on Cp and Wp activity in the context of the viral genome, we attempted to delete this regulatory region upstream of the first copy of Wp (Wp1). While 10 recombinant viruses were obtained in which this deletion was incorporated in the interior of the IR-1 repeat, only a single lymphoblastoid cell line (LCL) immortalized by a recombinant EBV harboring the deletion upstream of Wp1 was recovered. In contrast, using a control targeting vector in which the Wp regulatory sequences were intact but which contained a sequence tag within the W0 exon, we demonstrated that of the five recombinant viruses analyzed in which the crossover event had occurred upstream of the Wp sequence tag, four had incorporated the tagged sequences into Wp1 of the virus. Taken together, these results indicate that deletion of the regulatory sequences from −369 to −169 bp upstream of Wp1 is unfavorable for EBV-driven B-cell immortalization but is tolerated within the interior of the IR-1 repeat. Analysis of promoter usage in the clone 9-60 LCL, in which the W enhancer sequences were deleted upstream of Wp1, revealed the following: (i) the level of Cp-initiated transcription was significantly diminished compared to that of wild-type LCLs; (ii) the decreased Cp-initiated transcription was not efficiently compensated by transcription initiation from Wp1; and (iii) transcription initiation from downstream Wp promoters was detectable. This is the first report of an LCL in which transcription initiation from a Wp downstream of Wp1 has been documented.
PMCID: PMC136791  PMID: 12388739

Results 1-2 (2)