To clarify the influence of hypertension and blood pressure (BP) control on thromboembolism and major hemorrhage in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, a post hoc analysis of the J‐RHYTHM Registry was performed.
Methods and Results
A consecutive series of outpatients with atrial fibrillation was enrolled from 158 institutions. Of 7937 patients, 7406 with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (70.8% men, 69.8±10.0 years) were followed for 2 years or until an event occurred. Hypertension was defined as a systolic BP ≥140 mm Hg, a diastolic BP ≥90 mm Hg, a history of hypertension, and/or antihypertensive drug use. Hypertension was an independent risk factor for major hemorrhage (hazard ratio 1.52, 95% CI 1.05–2.21, P=0.027) but not for thromboembolism (hazard ratio 1.05, 95% CI 0.73–1.52, P=0.787). When patients were divided into quartiles according to their systolic BP at the time closest to the event or at the end of follow‐up (Q1, <114; Q2, 114–125; Q3, 126–135; and Q4, ≥136 mm Hg), odds ratios for both events were significantly higher in Q4 than in Q1 (thromboembolism, odds ratio 2.88, 95% CI 1.75–4.74, P<0.001; major hemorrhage, odds ratio 1.61, 95% CI 1.02–2.53, P=0.041) after adjustment for components of CHA
2‐VASc score, warfarin use, and antiplatelet use. A systolic BP of ≥136 mm Hg was an independent risk factor for thromboembolism and major hemorrhage.
BP control appears to be more important than a history of hypertension and baseline BP values at preventing thromboembolism and major hemorrhage in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation.
Clinical Trial Registration
URL: http://www.umin.ac.jp/ctr. Unique identifier: UMIN000001569.
anticoagulation; atrial fibrillation; blood pressure; hypertension; thromboembolism; Atrial Fibrillation; Hypertension; High Blood Pressure; Ischemic Stroke; Intracranial Hemorrhage
ADP-ribosylation results from transfer of the ADP-ribose moiety of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) to an acceptor with ADP-ribose-acceptor content determined by the activities of ADP-ribosyltransferases, which modify the acceptor, and ADP-ribose-acceptor hydrolase (ARH), which cleave the ADP-ribose-acceptor bond. ARH1 was discovered as an ADP-ribose(arginine)protein hydrolase. Previously, we showed that ARH1-knockout and ARH1 heterozygous mice spontaneously developed tumors. Further, ARH1-knockout and ARH1 heterozygous mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) produced tumors when injected into nude mice. In tumors arising in ARH1 heterozygous mice and MEFs, we found both loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of the ARH1 gene and ARH1 gene mutations. In the present report, we found that these mutant ARH1 genes encode proteins with reduced ARH1 enzymatic activity. Moreover, MEFs transformed with ARH1 mutant genes exhibiting different levels of ARH1 activity showed altered rates of proliferation, anchorage-independent colony growth in soft agar, and tumorigenesis in nude mice. MEFs transformed with the wild-type (WT) gene, but expressing low levels of hydrolase activity were also tumorigenic. However, transformation with the WT gene was less likely to yield tumors than transformation with a mutant gene exhibiting similar hydrolase activity. Thus, control of protein-ADP-ribosylation by ARH1 is critical for tumorigenesis. In the human cancer database, LOH and mutations of the ARH1 gene were observed. Further, ARH1 gene mutations were located in exons 3 and 4, comparable to exons 2 and 3 of the murine ARH1 gene, which comprise the catalytic site. Thus, human ARH1 gene mutations similar to their murine counterparts may be involved in human cancers.
Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is a major inducer of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) in different cell types. TGF-β-mediated EMT is thought to contribute to tumour cell spread and metastasis. Sialyl Lewis antigens synthesised by fucosyltransferase (FUT) 3 and FUT6 are highly expressed in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) and are utilised as tumour markers for cancer detection and evaluation of treatment efficacy. However, the role of FUT3 and FUT6 in augmenting the malignant potential of CRC induced by TGF-β is unclear.
Colorectal cancer cell lines were transfected with siRNAs for FUT3/6 and were examined by cell proliferation, invasion and migration assays. The expression and phosphorylation status of TGF-β downstream molecules were analysed by western blot. Fucosylation of TGF-β receptor (TβR) was examined by lectin blot analysis.
Inhibition of FUT3/6 expression by siRNAs suppressed the fucosylation of type I TβR and phosphorylation of the downstream molecules, thereby inhibiting the invasion and migration of CRC cells by EMT.
Fucosyltransferase 3/6 has an essential role in cancer cell adhesion to endothelial cells by upregulation of sialyl Lewis antigens and also by enhancement of cancer cell migration through TGF-β-mediated EMT.
colorectal cancer; fucosyltransferase; TGF-β; EMT
Relapsed or refractory Burkitt's lymphoma often has a poor prognosis in spite of intensive chemotherapy that induces apoptotic and/or necrotic death of lymphoma cells. Rapamycin (Rap) brings about autophagy, and could be another treatment. Further, anti-CD19-targeted liposomal delivery may enable Rap to kill lymphoma cells specifically. Rap was encapsulated by anionic liposome and conjugated with anti-CD19 antibody (CD19-GL-Rap) or anti-CD2 antibody (CD2-GL-Rap) as a control. A fluorescent probe Cy5.5 was also liposomized in the same way (CD19 or CD2-GL-Cy5.5) to examine the efficacy of anti-CD19-targeted liposomal delivery into CD19-positive Burkitt's lymphoma cell line, SKW6.4. CD19-GL-Cy5.5 was more effectively uptaken into SKW6.4 cells than CD2-GL-Cy5.5 in vitro. When the cells were inoculated subcutaneously into nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency mice, intravenously administered CD19-GL-Cy5.5 made the subcutaneous tumor fluorescent, while CD2-GL-Cy5.5 did not. Further, CD19-GL-Rap had a greater cytocidal effect on not only SKW6.4 cells but also Burkitt's lymphoma cells derived from patients than CD2-GL-Rap in vitro. The specific toxicity of CD19-GL-Rap was cancelled by neutralizing anti-CD19 antibody. The survival period of mice treated with intravenous CD19-GL-Rap was significantly longer than that of mice treated with CD2-GL-Rap after intraperitoneal inoculation of SKW6.4 cells. Anti-CD19-targeted liposomal Rap could be a promising lymphoma cell-specific treatment inducing autophagic cell death.
CD19; liposome; rapamycin; Burkitt's lymphoma
Aberrant reactivation of hedgehog (Hh) signaling has been described in a wide variety of human cancers including cancer stem cells. However, involvement of the Hh-signaling system in the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment during the development of myeloid neoplasms is unknown. In this study, we assessed the expression of Hh-related genes in primary human CD34+ cells, CD34+ blastic cells and BM stromal cells. Both Indian Hh (Ihh) and its signal transducer, smoothened (SMO), were expressed in CD34+ acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)-derived cells. However, Ihh expression was relatively low in BM stromal cells. Remarkably, expression of the intrinsic Hh-signaling inhibitor, human Hh-interacting protein (HHIP) in AML/MDS-derived stromal cells was markedly lower than in healthy donor-derived stromal cells. Moreover, HHIP expression levels in BM stromal cells highly correlated with their supporting activity for SMO+ leukemic cells. Knockdown of HHIP gene in stromal cells increased their supporting activity although control cells marginally supported SMO+ leukemic cell proliferation. The demethylating agent, 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine rescued HHIP expression via demethylation of HHIP gene and reduced the leukemic cell-supporting activity of AML/MDS-derived stromal cells. This indicates that suppression of stromal HHIP could be associated with the proliferation of AML/MDS cells.
acute myeloid leukemia (AML); myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS); human hedgehog-interacting protein (HHIP); stromal cells
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major cause of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The precise mechanism of hepatocarcinogenesis in humans by HCV is currently unclear. It was recently shown, however, that transgenic mice with the HCV core gene often develop HCC, suggesting tumorigenic activity of the HCV core protein. Further, the HCV core protein expressed in HepG2 cells transfected with the core gene was shown to stimulate proliferation of transfectants through activation of nuclear factor‐κB (NF‐κB). The downstream target molecule(s) of NF‐κB activated by the HCV core protein to evoke cell proliferation is not yet identified. Transforming growth factor (TGF) α, which is often overexpressed in various tumour tissues such as HCC, has been shown to stimulate hepatocyte proliferation through activation of the mitogen‐activated protein kinase or extracellular signal‐related protein kinase (MAPK/ERK) cascade.
To explore the possibility that TGFα might be a target molecule for NF‐κB activated by the HCV core, and that TGFα participates in the growth promotion of the core transfectants in an autocrine manner, activating the MAPK/ERK pathway.
A HCV core expression vector was transfected into human hepatoma Huh‐7, HepG2 and Hep3B cells. NF‐κB activity was examined by an electrophoretic mobility shift assay. TGFα transcription was assessed by a luciferase reporter assay. TGFα protein was determined by immunoblot and ELISA. MAPK/ERK activity was examined by an in vitro kinase assay. Cell proliferation was assessed by a water‐soluble tetrazolium salt‐1 assay.
In the HCV core transfectants, NF‐κB bound to the κB site in the TGFα proximal promoter region, resulting in an increase in TGFα transcription. Immunoblot as well as ELISA showed increased TGFα expression in the HCV core transfectants. SN50, a specific inhibitory peptide for NF‐κB, cancelled HCV core‐induced TGFα expression. HCV core protein increased cell proliferation as well as ERK activity of the HCV core transfectants as compared with the mock transfectants. The growth‐promoting activity and activation of ERK by the HCV core protein were negated by treatment with anti‐TGFα antibodies.
These results suggest that the HCV core protein promotes proliferation of human hepatoma cells by activation of the MAPK/ERK pathway through up regulation of TGFα transcription via activation of NF‐κB. Our finding provides a new insight into the mechanism of hepatocarcinogenesis by HCV infection.
Activation of RAS signalling induced by K-ras/BRAF mutations is a hallmark of colorectal tumours. In addition, Ras association domain families 1 and 2 (RASSF1 and RASSF2), the negative regulators of K-ras, are often inactivated by methylation of the promoter region in those tumours. However, reports showing differences in the occurrence of these alterations on the basis of tumour characteristics have been scarce. We analysed K-ras/BRAF mutations and the methylation status of RASSF1 and RASSF2 promoter regions in 120 colorectal adenomas with respect to their clinicopathological features. K-ras/BRAF mutations and RASSF2 methylation were observed in 49 (41%) and 30 (25%) of the samples, respectively, while RASSF1 methylation was observed in only 3 (2.5%). Adenomas with RASSF2 methylation often carried K-ras/BRAF mutations simultaneously (22 out of 30, P<0.01). Multivariate analysis revealed that the concomitance of these alterations was frequently observed in serrated adenomas (odds ratio (OR) 11.11; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.96–63.00), but rarely in adenomas located in the sigmoid or descending colon (OR 0.13; 95% CI 0.03–0.58). A comparison between adenomas and cancers showed a significantly higher prevalence of these alterations in cancers than in adenomas in the proximal colon (58 vs 27%, P=0.02). Frequency and the time point of the occurrence of Ras signalling disorders differ according to colorectal neoplasia's characteristics, particularly the location.
RASSF2; methylation; K-ras/BRAF mutations; Ras signalling pathway; colorectal adenoma; colorectal cancer
The aim of this dose escalation study was to determine the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD), dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) and preliminary efficacy of docetaxel, S-1 and cisplatin combination chemotherapy in patients with unresectable metastatic gastric cancer. Seventeen patients received oral S-1 (40 mg m−2 bid) on days 1–14, intravenous cisplatin (60 mg m−2) and docetaxel (60, 70 or 80 mg m−2 depending on DLT) on day 8 every 3 weeks. The MTD of this combination was presumed to be docetaxel 70 mg m−2. At this dose level, 40% of the patients (two of five) developed grade 4 neutropenia and 20% (one of five) exhibited grade 3 nausea during the first course. Therefore, the recommended dose of docetaxel was defined as 60 mg m−2. The DLT was neutropenia. The response rate (RR) was 88.2% (15 of 17), consisting of one complete response and 14 partial responses. There were two stable diseases but no progressive disease. Of these 15 responders, four (23.5%) with high VEGF expression showed rapid tumour regression and achieved downstaging, leading to subsequent curative gastrectomy. Three of these have been disease free for about 3 years, suggesting a complete cure. In conclusion, this regimen was tolerable and showed a quite high RR, with an appreciable downstaging rate in metastatic gastric cancer.
gastric cancer; S-1; docetaxel; cisplatin; downstaging; VEGF
The present, study was conducted to determine the level of malondialdehyde (MDA) as an index of free radial induced lipid peroxidation and antioxidant vitamins-vitamins A, vitamin C and vitamin E in 75 confirmed cases of urolithiasis. Significantly high level of MDA (p<0.001) with significantly low levels of vitamin E (p<0.001) and vitamin A (p<0.001) with no significant decrease in vitamin C (p>0.05) were observed in the plasma of urolithiasis cases as compared to normal controls. In conclusion, it appears that a role of lipid peroxidation and oxidative function exists in the pathogenesis of urolithiasis. But, the exact mechanism how this occurs remains to be elucidated.
Lipid peroxidation; Malondialdehyde (MDA); Antioxidant Vitamins; Urolithiasis
Background: In recent years, there has been an increasing number of cases of early gastric cancer (T1, NX) with intramucosal invasion, which are untreatable by surgical or endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) because of their high risk. Currently, no adequate treatment is available for such patients.
Aim: The main objective of this study was to evaluate whether argon plasma coagulation (APC) is an effective and safe modality for treating early gastric cancer untreatable by surgical resection or EMR.
Methods: The study group comprised 20 men and seven women diagnosed with gastric cancer with intramucosal invasion who were considered poor candidates for surgical resection or EMR due to risk factors such as severe cardiac failure or thrombocytopenia. Irradiation conditions for APC treatment were determined using swine gastric mucosa. We used an argon gas flow of 2 l/min at a power setting of 60 W and a maximum irradiation time of 15 s/cm2. The follow up period of the 27 patients ranged from 18 to 49 months (median 30 months).
Results: All lesions were irradiated easily, including areas anatomically difficult for EMR such as the gastric cardia or the posterior wall of the upper gastric body. In 26 of 27 patients (96%) there was no evidence of recurrence during the follow up period (median 30 months). One patient showed recurrence six months after the treatment but was successfully retreated. No serious complications were found in any of the 27 patients but three patients (11%) experienced a feeling of abdominal fullness.
Interpretation: APC is a safe and effective modality for treatment of early gastric cancer with intramucosal invasion untreatable by surgical resection or EMR. However, further observations are necessary to determine the long term prognosis of patients undergoing this treatment.
argon plasma coagulation; gastric cancer
Background and aims: Iron is stored in hepatocytes in the form of ferritin and haemosiderin. There is a marked increase in iron rich haemosiderin in iron overloaded livers, and ferric iron in amounts exceeding the ferritin and haemosiderin binding capacity may promote free radical generation, causing cellular damage. The aim of this study was to characterise hepatic haemosiderin using four antibodies specific for either native or denatured H/L-ferritin subunits.
Methods: Ferritin and haemosiderin were prepared from the livers of three patients with post-transfusional iron overload. The assembled ferritin molecules were analysed by non-denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE)-immunoblotting. Ferritin subunits in the haemosiderin fraction were assessed by denaturing sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS)-PAGE-immunoblotting. Distribution of native and denatured ferritin subunits in hepatocytes was examined by immunogold electron microscopy.
Results: Non-denaturing PAGE-immunoblot analyses showed that the assembled liver ferritins were recognised by the antibodies for native ferritins and not by those for the denatured subunits. Both SDS-PAGE-immunoblot and immunogold electron microscopic analyses disclosed that haemosiderin of iron overloaded liver reacted predominantly to the monoclonal antibody for the denatured H-ferritin subunit, to a lesser degree to that for denatured L-ferritin, and very weakly, if any, with antibodies for native H-ferritin or L-ferritin.
Conclusions: These results suggest that in iron overloaded liver, haemosiderin consists predominantly of denatured H-ferritin subunits.
iron overload; haemosiderin; ferritin; immunoelectron microscopy
BACKGROUND AND AIMS—Recent studies suggest that tropomyosin (TM) may act as a putative autoantigen in ulcerative colitis (UC). Recently, we identified, by computer homology analysis, a specific peptide (HIAEDADRK) in human TM that can bind to HLA-DPw9. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of autoantibodies against this peptide in UC.
METHODS—Antibodies were measured by ELISA with a synthetic peptide in 20 healthy volunteers, 48 patients with UC, 26 with Crohn's disease (CD), eight with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), and six with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). The functional significance of antibodies was investigated by antibody dependent cell mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) against DPw9 transfected L cells using a standard 51Cr release assay.
RESULTS—Optical density values (mean (SD)) of sera from patients with UC (1.40 (0.52)) and PSC (1.65 (0.12)) were significantly higher than those from healthy volunteers (0.32 (0.28)) (p<0.05), CD (0.50 (0.34)) (p<0.05) and PBC (0.14 (0.09)) (p<0.05). Values in UC decreased with clinical improvement. The ADCC activity of UC sera correlated well with antibody titre against this synthetic peptide.
CONCLUSIONS—Anti-TM antibody was detected in UC sera by a specific peptide based ELISA with high reproducibility. This peptide may be an antigenic epitope of TM involved in the immunopathogenesis of UC and, perhaps, PSC.
Keywords: tropomyosin; antibody dependent cell mediated cytotoxicity; HLA-DPw9; ulcerative colitis
Enterobacter cloacae IFO3320 is attracted to Pi when cells are starved for Pi. Two Tn1737KH-induced mutants, which were constitutive for alkaline phosphatase, failed to exhibit Pi taxis even under conditions of Pi limitation. Both of the mutant strains exhibited normal chemotactic responses to peptone, suggesting that they are specifically defective in Pi taxis. Cloning and sequence analysis showed that the TN1737KH insertions were located in either the pstA or pstB genes which encode the channel-forming proteins of the Pi-specific transport (Pst) system in E. cloacae. These results suggest that the E. cloacae Pst system is required for Pi chemoreception.
Specialized transducing particles of phage lambda are formed by illegitimate recombination during prophage induction. We examined the effects of an Esherichia coli int, xis, himA, himD, or fis mutation on illegitimate recombination during formation of lambda Spi- phage, a class of lambda bio transducing phage. This type of phage is distinguishable from the docL and docR particles, which contain one cohesive end and are formed by cutting of the cos site, by plaque formation of lambda bio on Escherichia coli P2 lysogens. The yields of lambda Spi- phage in the int, xis, int-xis deletion, and b2 deletion mutants were about 50- to 200-fold higher than that of the wild-type prophage when bacteria were irradiated with UV light. This result indicates that Int and Xis functions, and the att site, are not required for illegitimate recombination. The yield of lambda Spi- phage in the himA, himD, or fis mutant carrying lambda delta int-xis prophage was 2.6-, 3.3-, or 17-fold lower, respectively, than that in the wild-type bacteria under UV irradiation. Analysis of the nucleotide sequences of the junctions of the transducing phages indicates that recombination at the hotspots, as well as at non-hotspots, takes place between short homologous sequences. Because the growth of infecting phages was not suppressed by the himA, himD, or fis mutation, we conclude that Fis is required, but IHF is only partially required, for short-homology-dependent illegitimate recombination during the formation of lambda bio transducing phage.
Several clinical studies have suggested that excess hepatic iron accumulation is a progressive factor in some liver diseases including chronic viral hepatitis and hemochromatosis. However, it is not known whether iron-induced hepatotoxicity may be directly involved in hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. The Long-Evans Cinnamon (LEC) rat, which accumulates excess copper in the liver as in patients with Wilson's disease, is of a mutant strain displaying spontaneous hemolysis, hepatitis, and liver cancer. We found previously that LEC rats harbored an additional abnormality: accumulation of as much iron as copper in the liver. In the present study, we compared the occurrence of hepatitis and liver cancer in LEC rats fed an iron-deficient diet (ID) with those in rats fed a regular diet (RD). The RD group showed rapid increments of hepatic iron concentrations as the result of hemolysis, characteristics of fulminant hepatitis showing apoptosis, and a 53% mortality rate. However, no rats in the ID group died of fulminant hepatitis. Hepatic iron, especially "free" iron concentration and the extent of hepatic fibrosis in the ID group were far less than those of the RD group. At week 65, all rats in the RD group developed liver cancer, whereas none did in the ID group. These results suggest that the accumulation of iron, possibly by virtue of synergistic radical formation with copper, plays an essential role in the development of fulminant hepatitis, hepatic fibrosis, and subsequent hepatocarcinogenesis in LEC rats.
Hdf1 is the yeast homologue of the mammalian 70 kDa subunit of Ku-protein, which has DNA end-binding activity and is involved in DNA double-strand break repair and V(D)J recombination. To examine whether Hdf1 is involved in illegitimate recombination, we have measured the rate of deletion mutation caused by illegitimate recombination on a plasmid in an hdf1 disruptant. The hdf1 mutation reduced the rate of deletion formation by 20-fold, while it did not affect mitotic and meiotic homologous recombinations between two heteroalleles or homologous recombination between direct repeats. Hence Hdf1 participates in illegitimate recombination, but not in homologous recombination, in contrast to Rad52, Rad50, Mre11 and Xrs2, which are involved in both homologous and illegitimate recombination. The illegitimate recombination in the hdf1 disruptant took place between recombination sites that shared short regions of homology (1-4 bp), as was observed in the wild-type. Based on the DNA end-binding activity of Hdf1, we discuss models in which Hdf1 plays an important role in the late step of illegitimate recombination.
Escherichia coli quinolone-resistant strains with mutations of the parC gene, which codes for a subunit of topoisomerase IV, were isolated from a quinolone-resistant gyrA mutant of DNA gyrase. Quinolone-resistant parC mutants were also identified among the quinolone-resistant clinical strains. The parC mutants became susceptible to quinolones by introduction of a parC+ plasmid. Introduction of the multicopy plasmids carrying the quinolone-resistant parC mutant gene resulted in an increase in MICs of quinolones for the parC+ and quinolone-resistant gyrA strain. Nucleotide sequences of the quinolone-resistant parC mutant genes were determined, and missense mutations at position Gly-78, Ser-80, or Glu-84, corresponding to those in the quinolone-resistance-determining region of DNA gyrase, were identified. These results indicate that topoisomerase IV is a target of quinolones in E. coli and suggest that the susceptibility of E. coli cells to quinolones is determined by sensitivity of the targets, DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV.
A Pseudomonas aeruginosa mutant, defective in taxis toward L-serine but responsive to peptone, was selected by the swarm plate method after N-methyl-N'-nitrosoguanidine mutagenesis. The mutant, designated PCT1, was fully motile but failed to show chemotactic responses to glycine, L-serine, L-threonine, and L-valine. PCT1 also showed weaker responses to some other commonly occurring L-amino acids than did the wild-type strain PAO1. A chemotactic transducer gene, denoted pctA (Pseudomonas chemotactic transducer A), was cloned by phenotypic complementation of PCT1. Nucleotide sequence analysis showed that the pctA gene encodes a putative polypeptide of 629 amino acids with a calculated mass of 68,042. A hydropathy plot of the predicted polypeptide suggested that PctA may be an integral membrane protein with two potential membrane-spanning regions. The C-terminal domain of PctA showed high homology with the enteric methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins (MCPs). The most significant amino acid sequence similarity was found in the region of MCPs referred to as the highly conserved domain. The pctA gene was inactivated by insertion of a kanamycin resistance gene cassette into the wild-type gene, resulting in the same observed deficiency in taxis toward L-amino acids as PCT1. In vivo methyl labeling experiments with L-[methyl-3H]methionine showed that this knockout mutant lacked an MCP with a molecular weight of approximately 68,000.
It has been shown that some types of tumour cells produce activated transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-beta 1). However, the mechanism for the activation of TGF-beta 1 derived from tumour cells has not been fully elucidated. The present study was undertaken to characterise an activator of latent TGF-beta 1 secreted from a human gastric cancer cell line, KATO-III. Western blot analyses using antibodies for TGF-beta 1, latency associated peptide (LAP) and latent TGF-beta 1-binding protein (LTBP) revealed that, in the cell lysate of KATO-III, TGF-beta 1 protein was expressed as a small latent complex of TGF-beta 1 and LAP. This was also confirmed by a gel chromatographic analysis of the cell lysate obtained from KATO-III. A 2.5 kb transcript of TGF-beta 1 mRNA was detected in KATO-III cells by Northern blot analysis. A gel chromatographic analysis of the conditioned medium from KATO-III cells revealed, in addition to the active form of TGF-beta 1, a factor which activated latent TGF-beta 1 from NRK-49F cells at fractions near a molecular size of 65,000. This factor was inactivated by heat (100 degrees C), acidification, trypsin and serine protease inhibitors. TGF-beta 1 activity in KATO-III cell lysate was not detected in the untreated state, but potent TGF-beta 1 activity was detected after acid treatment. These results suggest that KATO-III releases not only a latent TGF-beta 1 complex but also a type of serine protease, different from plasmin, plasminogen activator, cathepsin D, endoglycosidase F or sialidase, which activates the latent TGF-beta 1 complex as effectively as acid treatment.
The E2A-HLF fusion gene, formed by the t(17;19)(q22;p13) translocation in childhood acute pro-B-cell leukemia, encodes a hybrid protein that contains the paired trans-activation domains of E2A (E12/E47) linked to the basic region/leucine zipper DNA-binding and dimerization domain of hepatic leukemia factor (HLF). To assess the transforming potential of this novel gene, we introduced it into NIH 3T3 murine fibroblasts by using an expression vector that also contained the neomycin resistance gene. Cells selected for resistance to the neomycin analog G418 formed aberrant colonies in monolayer cultures, marked by increased cell density and altered morphology. Transfected cells also grew readily in soft agar, producing colonies whose sizes correlated with E2A-HLF expression levels. Subclones expanded from colonies with high levels of the protein reproducibly formed tumors in nude mice and grew to higher plateau-phase cell densities in reduced-serum conditions than did parental NIH 3T3 cells. By contrast, NIH 3T3 cells expressing mutant E2A-HLF proteins that lacked either of the bipartite E2A trans-activation domains or the HLF leucine zipper domain failed to show oncogenic properties, including anchorage-independent cell growth. Thus, both of the E2A trans-activation motifs and the HLF leucine zipper dimerization domain are essential for the transforming potential of the chimeric E2A-HLF protein, suggesting a model in which aberrant regulation of the expression pattern of downstream target genes contributes to leukemogenesis.
Cyclin D-dependent kinases act as mitogen-responsive, rate-limiting controllers of G1 phase progression in mammalian cells. Two novel members of the mouse INK4 gene family, p19 and p18, that specifically inhibit the kinase activities of CDK4 and CDK6, but do not affect those of cyclin E-CDK2, cyclin A-CDK2, or cyclin B-CDC2, were isolated. Like the previously described human INK4 polypeptides, p16INK4a/MTS1 and p15INK4b/MTS2, mouse p19 and p18 are primarily composed of tandemly repeated ankyrin motifs, each ca. 32 amino acids in length, p19 and p18 bind directly to CDK4 and CDK6, whether untethered or in complexes with D cyclins, and can inhibit the activity of cyclin D-bound cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). Although neither protein interacts with D cyclins or displaces them from preassembled cyclin D-CDK complexes in vitro, both form complexes with CDKs at the expense of cyclins in vivo, suggesting that they may also interfere with cyclin-CDK assembly. In proliferating macrophages, p19 mRNA and protein are periodically expressed with a nadir in G1 phase and maximal synthesis during S phase, consistent with the possibility that INK4 proteins limit the activities of CDKs once cells exit G1 phase. However, introduction of a vector encoding p19 into mouse NIH 3T3 cells leads to constitutive p19 synthesis, inhibits cyclin D1-CDK4 activity in vivo, and induces G1 phase arrest.
Detachment of cell-cell adhesion is indispensable for the first step of invasion and metastasis of cancer. This mechanism is frequently associated with the impairment of either E-cadherin expression or function. However, mechanisms of such abnormalities have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we demonstrated that the function of E-cadherin was completely abolished in the human gastric cancer cell line HSC-39, despite the high expression of E-cadherin, because of mutations in one of the E-cadherin-associated cytoplasmic proteins, beta-catenin. Although immunofluorescence staining of HSC-39 cells by using an anti-E-cadherin antibody (HECD-1) revealed the strong and uniform expression of E-cadherin on the cell surface, cell compaction and cell aggregation were not observed in this cell. Western blotting (immunoblotting) using HECD-1 exhibited a 120-kDa band which is equivalent to normal E-cadherin. Northern (RNA) blotting demonstrated a 4.7-kb band, the same as mature E-cadherin mRNA. Immunoprecipitation of metabolically labeled proteins with HECD-1 revealed three bands corresponding to E-cadherin, alpha-catenin, and gamma-catenin and a 79-kDa band which was apparently smaller than that of normal beta-catenin, indicating truncated beta-catenin. The 79-kDa band was immunologically identified as beta-catenin by using immunoblotting with anti-beta-catenin antibodies. Examination of beta-catenin mRNA by the reverse transcriptase-PCR method revealed a transcript which was shorter than that of normal beta-catenin. The sequencing of PCR product for beta-catenin confirmed deletion in 321 bases from nucleotides +82 to +402. Southern blotting of beta-catenin DNA disclosed mutation at the genomic level. Expression vectors of Beta-catenin were introduced into HSC-39 cells by transfection. In the obtained transfectants, E-cadherin-dependent cell-cell adhesiveness was recovered, as revealed by cell compaction, cell aggregation, and immunoflourescence staining. From these results, it was concluded that in HSC-39 cells, impaired cell-cell adhesion is due to mutations in beta-catenin which results in the dysfunction of E-cadherin.
Two chemotaxis-defective mutants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, designated PC1 and PC2, were selected by the swarm plate method after N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine mutagenesis. These mutants were fully motile but incapable of swarming, suggesting that they had a defect in the intracellular signalling pathway. Computer-assisted capillary assays confirmed that they failed to show behavioral responses to chemical stimuli, including peptone, methyl thiocyanate, and phosphate. Two chemotaxis genes were cloned by phenotypic complementation of PC1 and PC2. From nucleotide sequence analysis, one gene was found to encode a putative polypeptide that was homologous to the enteric CheZ protein, while the other gene was cheY, which had been previously reported (M. N. Starnbach and S. Lory, Mol. Microbiol. 6:459-469, 1992). Deletion and complementation analysis showed that PC1 was a cheY mutant, whereas PC2 had a double mutation in the cheY and cheZ genes. A chromosomal cheZ mutant, constructed by inserting a kanamycin resistance gene cassette into the wild-type gene, changed its swimming direction much more frequently than did wild-type strain PAO1. In contrast, cheY mutants were found to rarely reverse their swimming directions.