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1.  Silencing of KIF14 interferes with cell cycle progression and cytokinesis by blocking the p27Kip1 ubiquitination pathway in hepatocellular carcinoma 
Although it has been suggested that kinesin family member 14 (KIF14) has oncogenic potential in various cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the molecular mechanism of this potential remains unknown. We aimed to elucidate the role of KIF14 in hepatocarcinogenesis by knocking down KIF14 in HCC cells that overexpressed KIF14. After KIF14 knockdown, changes in tumor cell growth, cell cycle and cytokinesis were examined. We also examined cell cycle regulatory molecules and upstream Skp1/Cul1/F-box (SCF) complex molecules. Knockdown of KIF14 resulted in suppression of cell proliferation and failure of cytokinesis, whereas KIF14 overexpression increased cell proliferation. In KIF14-silenced cells, the levels of cyclins E1, D1 and B1 were profoundly decreased compared with control cells. Of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, the p27Kip1 protein level specifically increased after KIF14 knockdown. The increase in p27Kip1 was not due to elevation of its mRNA level, but was due to inhibition of the proteasome-dependent degradation pathway. To explore the pathway upstream of this event, we measured the levels of SCF complex molecules, including Skp1, Skp2, Cul1, Roc1 and Cks1. The levels of Skp2 and its cofactor Cks1 decreased in the KIF14 knockdown cells where p27Kip1 accumulated. Overexpression of Skp2 in the KIF14 knockdown cells attenuated the failure of cytokinesis. On the basis of these results, we postulate that KIF14 knockdown downregulates the expression of Skp2 and Cks1, which target p27Kip1 for degradation by the 26S proteasome, leading to accumulation of p27Kip1. The downregulation of Skp2 and Cks1 also resulted in cytokinesis failure, which may inhibit tumor growth. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report that has identified the molecular target and oncogenic effect of KIF14 in HCC.
PMCID: PMC4044675  PMID: 24854087
cell cycle; cytokinesis; hepatocellular carcinoma; KIF14; p27kip1; ubiquitination
2.  In vivo action of IL-27: reciprocal regulation of Th17 and Treg cells in collagen-induced arthritis 
Interleukin (IL)-27 is a novel cytokine of the IL-6/IL-12 family that has been reported to be involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and has a pivotal role as both a pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine. We investigated the in vivo effects of IL-27 on arthritis severity in a murine collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model and its mechanism of action regarding control of regulatory T (Tregs) and IL-17-producing T helper 17 (Th17) cells. IL-27-Fc-treated CIA mice showed a lower severity of arthritis. IL-17 expression in the spleens was significantly decreased in IL-27-Fc-treated CIA mice compared with that in the CIA model. The Th17 population was decreased in the spleens of IL-27-Fc-treated CIA mice, whereas the CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ Treg population increased. In vitro studies revealed that IL-27 inhibited IL-17 production in murine CD4+ T cells, and the effect was associated with retinoic acid-related orphan receptor γT and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 inhibition. In contrast, fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled forkhead box P3 (Foxp3) and IL-10 were profoundly augmented by IL-27 treatment. Regarding the suppressive capacity of Treg cells, the proportions of CTLA-4+ (cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4), PD-1+ (programmed cell death protein 1) and GITR+ (glucocorticoid-induced tumor necrosis factor receptor) Tregs increased in the spleens of IL-27-Fc-treated CIA mice. Furthermore, in vitro differentiated Treg cells with IL-27 exerted a more suppressive capacity on T-cell proliferation. We found that IL-27 acts as a reciprocal regulator of the Th17 and Treg populations in CD4+ cells isolated from healthy human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), as well as from humans with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) PBMCs. Our study suggests that IL-27 has the potential to ameliorate overwhelming inflammation in patients with RA through a reciprocal regulation of Th17 and Treg cells.
PMCID: PMC3809362  PMID: 24091748
collagen-induced arthritis; interleukin-27; interleukin-17-producing T cells; regulatory T cells; rheumatoid arthritis
3.  IL-17-deficient allogeneic bone marrow transplantation prevents the induction of collagen-induced arthritis in DBA/1J mice 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2012;44(11):694-705.
IL-17-producing CD4+ T cells (Th17) play important functions in autoimmune diseases and allograft rejection of solid organs. We examined the effects of IL 17 and its mechanism of action on arthritis in a murine collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model using bone marrow transplantation (BMT) system. DBA/1J mice were administered a lethal radiation dose and then rescued with bone marrow derived from either wild-type (WT) or IL-17-/- mice on C57BL/6 background mice. CIA was induced after the bone marrow transplant, and disease progression was characterized. DBA/1J mice with CIA that received IL-17-/- donor bone marrow showed potently inhibited development and severity of clinical arthritis as compared with CIA mice that received WT bone marrow. Reduced secretion of the pro-inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-1β, and IL-6, and collagen-specific T cell responses were observed in mice that received IL-17-/- bone marrow. IL-17 blockade also inhibited effector T cell proliferation by reciprocally regulating the Treg/Th17 ratio. IL-17 blockade prevented joint destruction in mice with CIA. These findings suggest that CIA with BMT is a viable method of immunological manipulation and that IL-17 deficiency suppresses severe joint destruction and inflammation in CIA mice. There may be clinical benefits in blocking IL-17 and BMT in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
PMCID: PMC3509186  PMID: 23114425
arthritis, experimental; bone marrow transplantation; interleukin-17; Th17 cells; T-lymphocytes, regulatory; transplantation, homologous
4.  Obesity aggravates the joint inflammation in a collagen-induced arthritis model through deviation to Th17 differentiation 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2012;44(7):424-431.
White fat cells secrete adipokines that induce inflammation and obesity has been reported to be characterized by high serum levels of inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and TNF-α. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a prototype of inflammatory arthritis, but the relationship between RA and obesity is controversial. We made an obese inflammatory arthritis model: obese collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). C57BL/6 mice were fed a 60-kcal high fat diet (HFD) from the age of 4 weeks and they were immunized twice with type II collagen (CII). After immunization, the obese CIA mice showed higher arthritis index scores and histology scores and a more increased incidence of developing arthritis than did the lean CIA mice. After treatment with CII, mixed lymphocyte reaction also showed CII-specific response more intensely in the obese CIA mice than lean CIA. The anti-CII IgG and anti-CII IgG2a levels in the sera of the obese CIA mice were higher than those of the lean CIA mice. The number of Th17 cells was higher and the IL-17 mRNA expression of the splenocytes in the obese CIA mice was higher than that of the lean CIA mice. Obese CIA mice also showed high IL-17 expression on synovium in immunohistochemistry. Although obesity may not play a pathogenic role in initiating arthritis, it could play an important role in amplifying the inflammation of arthritis through the Th1/Th17 response. The obese CIA murine model will be an important tool when we investigate the effect of several therapeutic target molecules to treat RA.
PMCID: PMC3406287  PMID: 22513335
arthritis, experimental; inflammation; mice; obesity; Th17 cells
5.  Grape seed proanthocyanidin extract ameliorates monosodium iodoacetate-induced osteoarthritis 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2011;43(10):561-570.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is an age-related joint disease that is characterized by degeneration of articular cartilage and chronic pain. Oxidative stress is considered one of the pathophysiological factors in the progression of OA. We investigated the effects of grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE), which is an antioxidant, on monosodium iodoacetate (MIA)-induced arthritis of the knee joint of rat, which is an animal model of human OA. GSPE (100 mg/kg or 300 mg/kg) or saline was given orally three times per week for 4 weeks after the MIA injection. Pain was measured using the paw withdrawal latency (PWL), the paw withdrawal threshold (PWT) and the hind limb weight bearing ability. Joint damage was assessed using histological and microscopic analysis and microcomputerized tomography. Matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP13) and nitrotyrosine were detected using immunohistochemistry. Administration of GSPE to the MIA-treated rats significantly increased the PWL and PWT and this resulted in recovery of hind paw weight distribution (P < 0.05). GSPE reduced the loss of chondrocytes and proteoglycan, the production of MMP13, nitrotyrosine and IL-1β and the formation of osteophytes, and it reduced the number of subchondral bone fractures in the MIA-treated rats. These results indicate that GSPE is antinociceptive and it is protective against joint damage in the MIA-treated rat model of OA. GSPE could open up novel avenues for the treatment of OA.
PMCID: PMC3222817  PMID: 21795829
antioxidants; grape seed proanthocyanidins; inflammation; interleukin-1β; osteoarthritis
6.  Myeloid differentiation primary response protein 88 blockade upregulates indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase expression in rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2011;43(8):446-454.
Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) is a key negative regulator of immune responses and has been implicated in tumor tolerance, autoimmune disease and asthma. IDO was detected in the joint synovial tissue in the inflammatory microenvironment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but IDO expression in joint synovial tissue is not sufficient to overcome the inflamed synovial environment. This study aimed to unravel the mechanisms involving the failure to activate tolerogenic IDO in the inflamed joint. We demonstrate that both poly (I:C) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induce expression of IDO in synovial fibroblasts. However, inflammatory cytokines such as IL-17, TNF-α, IL-12, IL-23 and IL-16 did not induce IDO expression. Poly (I:C) appeared to induce higher IDO expression than did LPS. Surprisingly, toll-like receptor (TLR)4-mediated IDO expression was upregulated after depletion of myeloid differentiation primary response protein 88 (MyD88) in synovial fibroblasts using small interfering RNA (siRNA). IDO, TLR3 and TLR4 were highly expressed in synovial tissue of RA patients compared with that of osteoarthritis patients. In addition, RA patients with severe disease activity had higher levels of expression of IDO, TLR3 and TLR4 in the synovium than patients with mild disease activity. These data suggest that upregulation of IDO expression in synovial fibroblasts involves TLR3 and TLR4 activation by microbial constituents. We showed that the mechanisms responsible for IDO regulation primarily involve MyD88 signaling in synovial fibroblasts, as demonstrated by siRNA-mediated knockdown of MyD88.
PMCID: PMC3174378  PMID: 21654189
indoleamine-pyrrole 2,3,-dioxygenase; myeloid differentiation factor 88; rheumatoid arthritis; TICAM1 protein, human; toll-like receptors
7.  Regulation of B cell activating factor (BAFF) receptor expression by NF-κB signaling in rheumatoid arthritis B cells 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2011;43(6):350-357.
B cells play an important role in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). High levels of B cell activating factor (BAFF) are detected in autoimmune diseases. BAFF and BAFF receptor (BAFF-R) are expressed in B and T cells of RA synovium. The study was undertaken to identify the NF-κB signal pathway involved in the induction of BAFF-R in human B cells. Immunohistochemical staining of NF-κB p65, NF-κB p50, BAFF, and BAFF-R was performed on sections of synovium from severe and mild RA and osteoarthritis (OA) patients. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated from control and RA patients and B cells were isolated from controls. BAFF-R was analyzed by flow cytometry, realtime PCR and confocal staining after treatment with NF-κB inhibitors. NF-κB p65, NF-κB p50, BAFF, and BAFF-R were highly expressed in severe RA synovium relative to mild RA synovium or OA synovium. BAFF-R expression was reduced by NF-κB inhibitors in PBMCs and B cells from normal controls. We also showed reduction in expression of BAFF-R via inhibition of the NF-κB pathway in PBMCs of RA patients. BAFF/BAFF-R signaling is an important mechanism of pathogenesis in RA and that BAFF-R reduction by NF-κB blocking therapy is another choice for controlling B cells in autoimmune diseases such as RA.
PMCID: PMC3128913  PMID: 21515993
B-cell activation factor receptor; B-cell activating factor; B-lymphocytes; NF-κB; rheumatoid arthritis
8.  Phosphatidylinositol phosphates directly bind to neurofilament light chain (NF-L) for the regulation of NF-L self assembly 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2011;43(3):153-160.
Phosphatidylinositol phosphates (PtdInsPs) are ubiquitous membrane phospholipids that play diverse roles in cell growth and differentiation. To clarify the regulation mechanism acting on neurofilament light chain (NF-L) self assembly, we examined the effects of various PtdInsPs on this process. We found that PtdInsPs, including PI(4,5)P2, directly bind to the positively charged Arg54 of murine NF-L, and this binding promotes NF-L self assembly in vitro. Mutant NF-L (R53A/R54A) proteins lacking binding affinity to PtdInsPs did not have the same effect, but the mutant NF-L proteins showed greater self assembly than the wild-type in the absence of any PtdInsP. These results collectively suggest that Arg54 plays a pivotal role in NF-L self assembly by binding with PtdInsPs.
PMCID: PMC3068298  PMID: 21339697
neurofilament protein L; phosphatidylinositol phosphates; phospholipase Cγ
9.  Induction of unfolded protein response during neuronal induction of rat bone marrow stromal cells and mouse embryonic stem cells 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2009;41(6):440-452.
When we treated rat bone marrow stromal cells (rBMSCs) with neuronal differentiation induction media, typical unfolded protein response (UPR) was observed. BIP/GRP78 protein expression was time-dependently increased, and three branches of UPR were all activated. ATF6 increased the transcription of XBP1 which was successfully spliced by IRE1. PERK was phosphorylated and it was followed by eIF2α phosphorylation. Transcription of two downstream targets of eIF2α, ATF4 and CHOP/GADD153, were transiently up-regulated with the peak level at 24 h. Immunocytochemical study showed clear coexpression of BIP and ATF4 with NeuN and Map2, respectively. UPR was also observed during the neuronal differentiation of mouse embryonic stem (mES) cells. Finally, chemical endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress inducers, thapsigargin, tunicamycin, and brefeldin A, dose-dependently increased both mRNA and protein expressions of NF-L, and, its expression was specific to BIP-positive rBMSCs. Our results showing the induction of UPR during neuronal differentiations of rBMSCs and mES cells as well as NF-L expression by ER stress inducers strongly suggest the potential role of UPR in neuronal differentiation.
PMCID: PMC2705864  PMID: 19322020
bone marrow; cell differentiation; embryonic stem cells; endoplasmic reticulum; neuron; stem cells; stress, physiological; stromal cells
10.  CD36 signaling inhibits the translation of heat shock protein 70 induced by oxidized low density lipoprotein through activation of peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor γ 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2008;40(6):658-668.
Oxidized LDL (OxLDL), a causal factor in atherosclerosis, induces the expression of heat shock proteins (Hsp) in a variety of cells. In this study, we investigated the role of CD36, an OxLDL receptor, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) in OxLDL-induced Hsp70 expression. Overexpression of dominant-negative forms of CD36 or knockdown of CD36 by siRNA transfection increased OxLDL-induced Hsp70 protein expression in human monocytic U937 cells, suggesting that CD36 signaling inhibits Hsp70 expression. Similar results were obtained by the inhibition of PPARγ activity or knockdown of PPARγ expression. In contrast, overexpression of CD36, which is induced by treatment of MCF-7 cells with troglitazone, decreased Hsp70 protein expression induced by OxLDL. Interestingly, activation of PPARγ through a synthetic ligand, ciglitazone or troglitazone, decreased the expression levels of Hsp70 protein in OxLDL-treated U937 cells. However, major changes in Hsp70 mRNA levels were not observed. Cycloheximide studies demonstrate that troglitazone attenuates Hsp70 translation but not Hsp70 protein stability. PPARγ siRNA transfection reversed the inhibitory effects of troglitazone on Hsp70 translation. These results suggest that CD36 signaling may inhibit stress-induced gene expression by suppressing translation via activation of PPARγ in monocytes. These findings reveal a new molecular basis for the anti-inflammatory effects of PPARγ.
PMCID: PMC2679336  PMID: 19116451
antigens, CD36; HSP70 heat-shock proteins; oxidized low density lipoprotein; PPARγ; protein biosynthesis
11.  Implication of leucyl-tRNA synthetase 1 (LARS1) over-expression in growth and migration of lung cancer cells detected by siRNA targeted knock-down analysis 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2008;40(2):229-236.
Molecular mechanism of lung carcinogenesis and its aggressive nature is still largely elusive. To uncover the biomarkers related with tumorigenesis and behavior of lung cancer, we screened novel differentially expressed genes (DEG) in A549 lung cancer cell line by comparison with CCD-25Lu, normal pulmonary epithelial cell line, using annealing control primer(ACP)-based GeneFishing system. Of the DEGs, over-expression of leucyl-tRNA synthetase 1 (LARS1) was prominent and this up-regulation was confirmed by immunoblotting and real-time quantitative RT-PCR analysis. In addition to A549 cell line, primary lung cancer tissues also expressed higher level of LARS1 mRNA than their normal counter tissues. To explore the oncogenic potential of LARS1 over-expression in lung cancer, we knocked-down LARS1 by treating siRNA and observed the tumor behavior. LARS1 knock-down cells showed reduced ability to migrate through transwell membrane and to form colonies in both soft agar and culture plate. Taken together, these findings suggest that LARS1 may play roles in migration and growth of lung cancer cells, which suggest its potential implication in lung tumorigenesis.
PMCID: PMC2679304  PMID: 18446061
amino acyl-tRNA synthetases; cell movement; cell proliferation; leucine-tRNA ligase; lung neoplasms; oncogenes; RNA, small interfering
12.  IL-17 induces the production of IL-16 in rheumatoid arthritis 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2008;40(2):237-245.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the expression of IL-16 in the rheumatoid synovium and the role of inflammatory cytokines and Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands in IL-16 production by fibroblastlike synoviocytes (FLS) of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Immunohistochemical staining was performed with a monoclonal antibody to IL-16 in synovial tissues from patients with RA and likewise in patients with osteoarthritis (OA). FLS were isolated from RA synovial tissues and stimulated with IL-15, IL-1β, IFN-γ, and IL-17. The IL-16 mRNA level was assessed by semiquantitative RT-PCR and real time (RT) PCR and a comparison was made between IL-16 mRNA levels produced by RA-FLS and OA-FLS. Production of IL-16 was identified by a western blot assay, and IL-16 production after stimulation by specific ligands of TLR2 and TLR4 was assessed by RT-PCR. While immunohistochemical staining demonstrated strong expression of IL-16 mRNA in synovial tissues from patients with RA, similar findings were not present in the OA group. Moreover, mRNA expression of IL-16 by RA-FLS increased after treatment with IL-17 but not with IL-15, IL-1β, and IFN-γ. Specifically, IL-17 increased IL-16 mRNA level by RA-FLS and peripheral blood mononuclear cells in a dose-dependent manner. However, IL-17 did not stimulate IL-16 production in OA-FLS. Peptidoglycan, a selective TLR2 ligand, also increased production of IL-16 by RA-FLS dosedependently, whereas LPS, a selective TLR4 ligand, had no such stimulatory effect. The results from our data demonstrate that IL-17 and TLR2 ligands stimulate the production of IL-16 by RA-FLS.
PMCID: PMC2679298  PMID: 18446062
interleukin-16; interleukin-17; rheumatoid arthritis; synovial membrane; Toll-like receptors

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