Brain metastasis of breast cancer profoundly affects the cognitive and sensory functions as well as morbidity of patients, and the 1 year survival rate among these patients remains less than 20%. However, the pathological mechanism of brain metastasis is as yet poorly understood. In this report, we found that metastatic breast tumour cells in the brain highly expressed IL-1β which then ‘activated’ surrounding astrocytes. This activation significantly augmented the expression of JAG1 in the astrocytes, and the direct interaction of the reactivated astrocytes and cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) significantly stimulated Notch signalling in CSCs. We also found that the activated Notch signalling in CSCs up-regulated HES5 followed by promoting self-renewal of CSCs. Furthermore, we have shown that the blood-brain barrier permeable Notch inhibitor, Compound E, can significantly suppress the brain metastasis in vivo. These results represent a novel paradigm for the understanding of how metastatic breast CSCs re-establish their niche for their self-renewal in a totally different microenvironment, which opens a new avenue to identify a novel and specific target for the brain metastatic disease.
cancer stem-like cell; IL-1β; metastasis; notch; reactive astrocytes
Selectively facilitating apoptosis of activated T cells is essential for the clearance of pathogenic injurious cells and subsequent efficient resolution of inflammation. However, few chemicals have been reported to trigger apoptosis of activated T cells for the treatment of hepatitis without affecting quiescent T cells. In the present study, we found that asiatic acid, a natural triterpenoid, selectively triggered apoptosis of concanavalin A (Con A)-activated T cells in a mitochondria-dependent manner indicated by the disruption of the mitochondrial transmembrane potential, release of cytochrome c from mitochondria to cytosol, caspases activation, and cleavage of PARP. In addition, asiatic acid also induced the cleavage of caspase 8 and Bid and augmented Fas expression in Con A-activated T cells. However, following activation of T cells from MRLlpr/lpr mice with mutation of Fas demonstrated a similar susceptibility to asiatic acid-induced apoptosis compared with normal T cells, suggesting that Fas-mediated death-receptor apoptotic pathway does not mainly contribute to asiatic acid-induced cell death. Furthermore, asiatic acid significantly alleviated Con A-induced T cell-dependent fulminant hepatitis in mice, as assessed by reduced serum transaminases, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and pathologic parameters. Consistent with the in vitro results, asiatic acid also induced apoptosis of activated CD4+ T cells in vivo. Taken together, our results demonstrated that the ability of asiatic acid to induce apoptosis of activated T cells and its potential use in the treatment of T-cell-mediated inflammatory diseases.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) exert their anti-cancer effects through cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Here we report that Sulindac, an NSAID, induces apoptosis by binding to retinoid X receptor-α (RXRα). We identified an N-terminally-truncated RXRα (tRXRα) in several cancer cell lines and primary tumors, which interacted with the p85α subunit of phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase (PI3K). Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) promoted tRXRα interaction with the p85α, activating PI3K/AKT signaling. When combined with TNFα, Sulindac inhibited TNFα-induced tRXRα/p85α interaction, leading to activation of the death receptor-mediated apoptotic pathway. We designed and synthesized a Sulindac analog K-80003, which has increased affinity to RXRα but lacks COX inhibitory activity. K-80003 displayed enhanced efficacy in inhibiting tRXRα-dependent AKT activation and tRXRα tumor growth in animals.
While reversible histone modifications are linked to an ever-expanding range of biological functions1–5, the demethylases for histone H4 lysine 20 and their potential regulatory roles remain unknown. Here, we report that the PHD and Jumonji C (JmjC) domain-containing protein, PHF8, while utilizing multiple substrates, including H3K9me1/2 and H3K27me2, also functions as an H4K20me1 demethylase. PHF8 is recruited to promoters by its PHD domain based on interaction with H3K4me2/3 and controls G1/S transition in conjunction with E2F1, HCF-1 and Set1A, at least in part, by removing the repressive H4K20me1 mark from a subset of E2F1-regulated gene promoters. Phosphorylation-dependent PHF8 dismissal from chromatin in prophase is apparently required for the accumulation of H4K20me1 during early mitosis, which might represent a component of the Condensin II loading process. Accordingly, the HEAT repeat clusters in two non-SMC Condensin II subunits, N-CAPD3 and N-CAPG2, are capable of recognizing H4K20me1, and ChIP-seq. analysis demonstrate a significant overlap of Condensin II and H4K20me1 sites in mitotic HeLa cells. Thus, the identification and characterization of the first H4K20me1 demethylase, PHF8, has revealed an intimate link between this enzyme and two distinct events in cell cycle progression.
Most of our knowledge about chronic musculoskeletal pain is based on cutaneous pain models. To test the hypothesis that animals develop chronic muscular hyperalgesia following intramuscular acidic saline injections, primary hyperalgesia within the gastrocnemius muscle was analyzed and compared to secondary cutaneous hyperalgesia in the hind paw that develops following intramuscular acid saline injection. Two acidic saline (pH 4.0) injections were administrated into the gastrocnemius of female CF-1 mice. The results indicate that mice developed a robust hypersensitivity bilaterally in primary (gastrocnemius muscle) and secondary (cutaneous hind paw) sites that lasted up to 2 weeks. In addition, primary hyperalgesia correlated well with levels of Fos expression. Fos expression patterns in the spinal cord were different for primary and secondary site stimulation. Hind paw palpation stimulated ipsilateral Fos expression in the superficial spinal laminae at L4/L5 levels, and bilaterally in deep laminae at L2-L5 spinal levels. In contrast, gastrocnemius compression stimulated widespread Fos expression in all regions of the ipsilateral dorsal horn within L2-L6 spinal segments. These findings indicate that acidic saline injection induces primary hyperalgesia in muscle and that the patterns of Fos expression in response to primary versus secondary stimulation are strikingly different.
Fos; spinal cord; muscle pain; acidic saline; mice; cutaneous pain
Community acquired (CA) methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) increasingly causes disease worldwide. USA300 has emerged as the predominant clone causing superficial and invasive infections in children and adults in the USA. Epidemiological studies suggest that USA300 is more virulent than other CA-MRSA. The genetic determinants that render virulence and dominance to USA300 remain unclear.
We sequenced the genomes of two pediatric USA300 isolates: one CA-MRSA and one CA-methicillin susceptible (MSSA), isolated at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. DNA sequencing was performed by Sanger dideoxy whole genome shotgun (WGS) and 454 Life Sciences pyrosequencing strategies. The sequence of the USA300 MRSA strain was rigorously annotated. In USA300-MRSA 2658 chromosomal open reading frames were predicted and 3.1 and 27 kilobase (kb) plasmids were identified. USA300-MSSA contained a 20 kb plasmid with some homology to the 27 kb plasmid found in USA300-MRSA. Two regions found in US300-MRSA were absent in USA300-MSSA. One of these carried the arginine deiminase operon that appears to have been acquired from S. epidermidis. The USA300 sequence was aligned with other sequenced S. aureus genomes and regions unique to USA300 MRSA were identified.
USA300-MRSA is highly similar to other MRSA strains based on whole genome alignments and gene content, indicating that the differences in pathogenesis are due to subtle changes rather than to large-scale acquisition of virulence factor genes. The USA300 Houston isolate differs from another sequenced USA300 strain isolate, derived from a patient in San Francisco, in plasmid content and a number of sequence polymorphisms. Such differences will provide new insights into the evolution of pathogens.
Bacillus spores are notoriously resistant to unfavorable conditions such as UV radiation, γ-radiation, H2O2, desiccation, chemical disinfection, or starvation. Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032 survives standard decontamination procedures of the Jet Propulsion Lab spacecraft assembly facility, and both spores and vegetative cells of this strain exhibit elevated resistance to UV radiation and H2O2 compared to other Bacillus species.
The genome of B. pumilus SAFR-032 was sequenced and annotated. Lists of genes relevant to DNA repair and the oxidative stress response were generated and compared to B. subtilis and B. licheniformis. Differences in conservation of genes, gene order, and protein sequences are highlighted because they potentially explain the extreme resistance phenotype of B. pumilus. The B. pumilus genome includes genes not found in B. subtilis or B. licheniformis and conserved genes with sequence divergence, but paradoxically lacks several genes that function in UV or H2O2 resistance in other Bacillus species.
This study identifies several candidate genes for further research into UV and H2O2 resistance. These findings will help explain the resistance of B. pumilus and are applicable to understanding sterilization survival strategies of microbes.
FK506 is a potent immunosuppressant that has a wide range of clinical applications. Its 23-member macrocyclic scaffold, mainly with a polyketide origin, features two methoxy groups at C-13 and C-15 and one allyl side chain at C-21, due to the region-specific incorporation of two unusual extender units derived from methoxymalonyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) and allylmalonyl-coenzyme A (CoA), respectively. Whether their intracellular formations can be a bottleneck for FK506 production remains elusive. In this study, we report the improvement of FK506 yield in the producing strain Streptomyces tsukubaensis by the duplication of two sets of pathway-specific genes individually encoding the biosyntheses of these two extender units, thereby providing a promising approach to generate high-FK506-producing strains via genetic manipulation. Taking advantage of the fact that S. tsukubaensis is amenable to two actinophage (ΦC31 and VWB) integrase-mediated recombination systems, we genetically enhanced the biosyntheses of methoxymalonyl-ACP and allylmalonyl-CoA, as indicated by transcriptional analysis. Together with the optimization of glucose supplementation, the maximal FK506 titer eventually increased by approximately 150% in comparison with that of the original strain. The strategy of engineering the biosynthesis of unusual extender units described here may be applicable to improving the production of other polyketide or nonribosomal peptide natural products that contain pathway-specific building blocks.
The molecular mechanisms that operate within the organ microenvironment to support metastatic progression remain unclear. Here we report that upregulation of the hyaluronan synthase HAS2 occurs in highly metastatic breast stem-like cancer cells (CSCs) defined by CD44+/CD24−/ESA+ phenotype, where it plays a critical role in the generation of a pro-metastatic microenvironment in breast cancer. HAS2 was critical for interaction of CSCs with tumor associated macrophages (TAMs), leading to enhanced secretion of PDGF-BB from TAMs which then activated stromal cells and enhanced CSC self-renewal. Loss of HAS2 in CSCs or treatment with 4-methylumbelliferone (4-MU), an inhibitor of hyaluronan synthases which blocks hyaluronan production, drastically reduced the incidence and growth of metastatic lesions in vitro or in vivo, respectively. Taken together, our findings demonstrate a critical role for HAS2 in the development of a pro-metastatic microenvironment and suggest that HAS2 inhibitors can act as anti-metastatic agents that disrupt a paracrine growth factor loop within this microenvironment.
tumor associated macrophages; microenvironment; HAS2
Substance abuse typically begins in adolescence; therefore, the impact of alcohol during this critical time in brain development is of particular importance. Epidemiological data indicate that excessive alcohol consumption is prevalent among adolescents and may have lasting neurobehavioral consequences. Loss of cholinergic input to the forebrain has been demonstrated following fetal alcohol exposure and in adults with Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. In the present study, immunohistochemistry for choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) was determined to assess forebrain cholinergic neurons (Ch1–4), and behavioral changes following periadolescent alcohol exposure. Wistar rats were exposed to intermittent ethanol vapor (14 hrs on/10 hrs off/day) for 35 days from PD 22-PD 57 (average blood alcohol concentration (BAC): 163 mg%). Rats were withdrawn from vapor and assessed for locomotor activity, startle response, conflict behavior in the open field, and immobility in the forced swim test, as adults. Rats were then sacrificed at day 71/72 and perfused for histochemical analyses. Ethanol vapor exposed rats displayed: increased locomotor activity 8 hrs after the termination of vapor delivery for that 24 hr period at day 10 and day 20 of alcohol vapor exposure, significant reductions in the amplitude of their responses to prepulse stimuli during the startle paradigm at 24 hrs withdrawal, and at two weeks following withdrawal, less anxiety-like and/or more “disinhibitory” behavior in the open field conflict, and more immobility in the forced swim test. Quantitative analyses of ChAT immunoreactivity revealed a significant reduction in cell counts in the Ch1–2 and Ch3–4 regions of the basal forebrain in ethanol vapor exposed rats. This reduction in cell counts was significantly correlated with less anxiety-like and/or more “disinhibitory” behavior in the open field conflict test. These studies demonstrate that behavioral measures of arousal, affective state, disinhibitory behavior and ChAT+IR, are all significantly impacted by periadolescent ethanol exposure and withdrawal in Wistar rats.
Adolescent; alcohol exposure; ChAT; forced swim test; open field conflict; startle
Thiopeptides are a growing class of sulfur-rich, highly modified heterocyclic peptides that are mainly active against Gram-positive bacteria including various drug-resistant pathogens. Recent studies also reveal that many thiopeptides inhibit the proliferation of human cancer cells, further expanding their application potentials for clinical use. Thiopeptide biosynthesis shares a common paradigm, featuring a ribosomally synthesized precursor peptide and conserved posttranslational modifications, to afford a characteristic core system, but differs in tailoring to furnish individual members. Identification of new thiopeptide gene clusters, by taking advantage of increasing information of DNA sequences from bacteria, may facilitate new thiopeptide discovery and enrichment of the unique biosynthetic elements to produce novel drug leads by applying the principle of combinatorial biosynthesis. In this study, we have developed a web-based tool ThioFinder to rapidly identify thiopeptide biosynthetic gene cluster from DNA sequence using a profile Hidden Markov Model approach. Fifty-four new putative thiopeptide biosynthetic gene clusters were found in the sequenced bacterial genomes of previously unknown producing microorganisms. ThioFinder is fully supported by an open-access database ThioBase, which contains the sufficient information of the 99 known thiopeptides regarding the chemical structure, biological activity, producing organism, and biosynthetic gene (cluster) along with the associated genome if available. The ThioFinder website offers researchers a unique resource and great flexibility for sequence analysis of thiopeptide biosynthetic gene clusters. ThioFinder is freely available at http://db-mml.sjtu.edu.cn/ThioFinder/.
Human duodenal cytochrome b (Dcytb) is a transmembrane hemoprotein found in the duodenal brush border membrane and in erythrocytes. Dcytb has been linked to uptake of dietary iron and to ascorbate recycling in erythrocytes. Detailed biophysical and biochemical characterization of Dcytb has been limited by difficulties in expressing sufficient amounts of functional recombinant protein in yeast and insect cell systems. We have developed an E. coli Rosetta-gami B(DE3) cell system for production of recombinant His-tagged human Dcytb with a yield of ~26 mg of purified, ascorbate-reducible cytochrome per liter of culture. The recombinant protein is readily solubilized with n-dodecyl-β-D-maltoside and purified to electrophoretic homogeneity by one-step chromatography on cobalt affinity resin. The purified recombinant Dcytb has a heme to protein ratio very close to the theoretical value of two and retains functional reactivity with ascorbate, as assessed by spectroscopic and kinetic measurements. Ascorbate showed a marked kinetic selectivity for the high-potential heme center over the low-potential heme center in purified Dcytb. This new E. coli expression system for Dcytb offers ~7-fold improvement in yield and other substantial advantages over existing expression systems for reliable production of functional Dcytb at levels suitable for biochemical, biophysical and structural characterization.
Duodenal cytochrome b; ascorbate-dependent cytochrome b561; transmembrane hemoprotein; Escherichia coli Rosetta-gami B(DE3) expression system
Over the past few years, nitric oxide (NO) has emerged as an important regulator in many physiological events, especially in response to abiotic and biotic stress. However, the roles of NO were mostly derived from pharmacological studies or the mutants impaired NO synthesis unspecifically. In our recent study, we highlighted a novel strategy by expressing the rat neuronal NO synthase (nNOS) in Arabidopsis to explore the in vivo role of NO. Our results suggested that plants were able to perform well in the constitutive presence of nNOS, and provided a new class of plant experimental system with specific in vivo NO release. Furthermore, our findings also confirmed that the in vivo NO is essential for most of environmental abiotic stresses and disease resistance against pathogen infection. Proper level of NO may be necessary and beneficial, not only in plant response to the environmental abiotic stress, but also to biotic stress.
abiotic and biotic stress; disease resistance; drought; in vivo; nitric oxide; nitric oxide synthase; salinity
Medical imaging currently plays a crucial role throughout the entire clinical applications from medical scientific research to diagnostics and treatment planning. However, medical imaging procedures are often computationally demanding due to the large three-dimensional (3D) medical datasets to process in practical clinical applications. With the rapidly enhancing performances of graphics processors, improved programming support, and excellent price-to-performance ratio, the graphics processing unit (GPU) has emerged as a competitive parallel computing platform for computationally expensive and demanding tasks in a wide range of medical image applications. The major purpose of this survey is to provide a comprehensive reference source for the starters or researchers involved in GPU-based medical image processing. Within this survey, the continuous advancement of GPU computing is reviewed and the existing traditional applications in three areas of medical image processing, namely, segmentation, registration and visualization, are surveyed. The potential advantages and associated challenges of current GPU-based medical imaging are also discussed to inspire future applications in medicine.
Graphics processing unit (GPU); image segmentation; image registration; image visualization; high-performance computing
In the centrosymmetric title compound, [CdNi2(C17H16N2O2)2(HCOO)2(H2O)2]·2H2O, The NiII cation is chelated by a 2,2′-[propane-1,3-diylbis(nitrilomethanylylidene)]diphenolate (salpn) anion, and further coordinated by a formate anion and a water molecule in a distorted NiN2O4 octahedral geometry. The CdII cation, located on an inversion center, is coordinated by four deprotonated hydroxy groups from two salpn anions and two carboxylate O atoms from formate anions in a distorted octahedral geometry. Both formate and salpn anions bridge the Cd and Ni cations, forming a trinuclear complex. Within the salpn anion, the benzene rings are twisted to each other at a dihedral angle of 61.46 (18)°. Intermolecular O—H⋯O hydrogen bonding is present in the crystal structure. The lattice water molecule is disorder over two positions with an occupancy ratio of 0.75:0.25.
Resveratrol is a natural polyphenolic compound and has been shown to exhibit cardio-protective as well as anti-neoplastic effects on various types of cancers. However, the exact mechanism of its anti-tumor effect is not clearly defined. Resveratrol has been shown to have strong hypolipidemic effect on normal adipocytes and as hyper-lipogenesis is a hallmark of cancer cell physiology, we examined the effect of resveratrol on lipid synthesis in cancer stem-like cells (CD24−/CD44+/ESA+) that were isolated from both ER+ and ER− breast cancer cell lines. We found that resveratrol significantly reduced the cell viability and mammosphere formation followed by inducing apoptosis in cancer stem-like cells. This inhibitory effect of resveratrol is accompanied by a significant reduction in lipid synthesis which is caused by the down-regulation of the fatty acid synthase (FAS) gene followed by up-regulation of pro-apoptotic genes, DAPK2 and BNIP3. The activation of apoptotic pathway in the cancer stem-like cells was suppressed by TOFA and by Fumonisin B1, suggesting that resveratrol-induced apoptosis is indeed through the modulation of FAS-mediated cell survival signaling. Importantly, resveratrol was able to significantly suppress the growth of cancer stem-like cells in an animal model of xenograft without showing apparental toxicity. Taken together, our results indicate that resveratrol is capable of inducing apoptosis in the cancer stem-like cells through suppression of lipogenesis by modulating FAS expression, which highlights a novel mechanism of anti-tumor effect of resveratrol.
Fatty acid synthase; Lipogenesis; Breast cancer; Stem-like cells; Apoptosis
Enterococci are among the leading causes of hospital-acquired infections in the United States and Europe, with Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium being the two most common species isolated from enterococcal infections. In the last decade, the proportion of enterococcal infections caused by E. faecium has steadily increased compared to other Enterococcus species. Although the underlying mechanism for the gradual replacement of E. faecalis by E. faecium in the hospital environment is not yet understood, many studies using genotyping and phylogenetic analysis have shown the emergence of a globally dispersed polyclonal subcluster of E. faecium strains in clinical environments. Systematic study of the molecular epidemiology and pathogenesis of E. faecium has been hindered by the lack of closed, complete E. faecium genomes that can be used as references.
In this study, we report the complete genome sequence of the E. faecium strain TX16, also known as DO, which belongs to multilocus sequence type (ST) 18, and was the first E. faecium strain ever sequenced. Whole genome comparison of the TX16 genome with 21 E. faecium draft genomes confirmed that most clinical, outbreak, and hospital-associated (HA) strains (including STs 16, 17, 18, and 78), in addition to strains of non-hospital origin, group in the same clade (referred to as the HA clade) and are evolutionally considerably more closely related to each other by phylogenetic and gene content similarity analyses than to isolates in the community-associated (CA) clade with approximately a 3–4% average nucleotide sequence difference between the two clades at the core genome level. Our study also revealed that many genomic loci in the TX16 genome are unique to the HA clade. 380 ORFs in TX16 are HA-clade specific and antibiotic resistance genes are enriched in HA-clade strains. Mobile elements such as IS16 and transposons were also found almost exclusively in HA strains, as previously reported.
Our findings along with other studies show that HA clonal lineages harbor specific genetic elements as well as sequence differences in the core genome which may confer selection advantages over the more heterogeneous CA E. faecium isolates. Which of these differences are important for the success of specific E. faecium lineages in the hospital environment remain(s) to be determined.
BMP7 released by bone marrow stromal cells induces reversible senescence of prostate cancer stem-like cells, and BMPR2 expression inversely correlates with bone metastasis and recurrence in prostate cancer patients.
Metastatic disease is the major cause of cancer deaths, and recurrent tumors at distant organs are a critical issue. However, how metastatic tumor cells become dormant and how and why tumors recur in target organs are not well understood. In this study, we demonstrate that BMP7 (bone morphogenetic protein 7) secreted from bone stromal cells induces senescence in prostate cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) by activating p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and increasing expression of the cell cycle inhibitor, p21, and the metastasis suppressor gene, NDRG1 (N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1). This effect of BMP7 depended on BMPR2 (BMP receptor 2), and BMPR2 expression inversely correlated with recurrence and bone metastasis in prostate cancer patients. Importantly, this BMP7-induced senescence in CSCs was reversible upon withdrawal of BMP7. Furthermore, treatment of mice with BMP7 significantly suppressed the growth of CSCs in bone, whereas the withdrawal of BMP7 restarted growth of these cells. These results suggest that the BMP7–BMPR2–p38–NDRG1 axis plays a critical role in dormancy and recurrence of prostate CSCs in bone and suggest a potential therapeutic utility of BMP7 for recurrent metastatic disease.
Although eukaryotic nuclei contain distinct architectural structures associated with noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), their potential relationship to regulated transcriptional programs remains poorly understood. Here, we report that methylation/demethylation of Polycomb 2 protein (Pc2) controls relocation of growth control genes between Polycomb bodies (PcGs) and interchromatin granules (ICGs) in response to growth signals. This movement is the consequence of binding of methylated and unmethylated Pc2 to the ncRNAs, TUG1 and MALAT1/NEAT2, located in PcGs and ICGs, respectively. These ncRNAs mediate assembly of multiple co-repressors/co-activators, and can alter the histone marks read by Pc2 in vitro. Additionally, binding of NEAT2 to unmethylated Pc2 promotes E2F1 SUMOylation, leading to activation of the growth control gene program. These observations delineate a molecular pathway linking the actions of subnuclear structure-specific ncRNAs and non-histone protein methylation to relocation of transcription units in the three-dimensional space of the nucleus, thus achieving coordinated gene expression programs.
Noncoding RNA; Nuclear Architecture; Subnuclear Structures; Suv39h1; Pc2; Methylation; KDM4C; Polycomb Body; Interchromatin Granules; E2F1; SUMOylation; Ubiquitination
Large-scale production of erythromycin A (Er-A) relies on the organism Saccharopolyspora erythraea, in which lack of a typical attB site largely impedes the application of phage ΦC31 integrase-mediated recombination into site-specific engineering. We herein report construction of an artificial attB site in an industrial S. erythraea strain, HL3168 E3, in an effort to break the bottleneck previously encountered during genetic manipulation mainly from homologous or unpredictable nonspecific integration. Replacement of a cryptic gene, nrps1-1, with a cassette containing eight attB DNA sequences did not affect the high Er-producing ability, setting the stage for precisely engineering the industrial Er-producing strain for foreign DNA introduction with a reliable conjugation frequency. Transfer of either exogenous or endogenous genes of importance to Er-A biosynthesis, including the S-adenosylmethionine synthetase gene for positive regulation, vhb for increasing the oxygen supply, and two tailoring genes, eryK and eryG, for optimizing the biotransformation at the late stage, was achieved by taking advantage of this facility, allowing systematic improvement of Er-A production as well as elimination of the by-products Er-B and Er-C in fermentation. The strategy developed here can generally be applicable to other strains that lack the attB site.
Several residues in the third extramembrane segment (EM3) of adrenal cytochrome b561 have been proposed to be involved in this cytochrome’s interaction with ascorbate, but there has been no systematic evaluation of residues in the segment. We used alanine-scanning mutagenesis to assess the functional and structural roles of the EM3 residues and several adjacent residues (residues 70–85) in the bovine cytochrome. Each alanine mutant was expressed in a bacterial system, detergent solubilized, and affinity purified. The recombinant proteins contained ~two hemes/monomer and, except for R74A, retained basic functionality (≥ 94% reduced by 20 mM ascorbate). Equilibrium spectrophotometric titrations with ascorbate were used to analyze the alpha band lineshape and amplitude during reduction of the high- and low-potential heme centers (bH and bL, respectively), and the midpoint ascorbate concentrations for the bH and bL transitions (CH and CL, respectively). Y73A and K85A markedly narrowed the bH alpha band peak; other mutants had lesser or no effects on bH or bL spectra. Relative changes in CH for the mutants were larger than changes in CL, with increases of 1.5- to 2.9-fold in CH for L70A, L71A, Y73A, R74A, N78A and K85A. The amounts of functional bH and bL centers in additional Arg74 mutants, assessed by ascorbate titration and EPR spectroscopy, declined in concert in the order: wildtype > R74K > R74Q > R74T, R74Y > R74E. The results of this first comprehensive experimental test of the proposed roles of EM3 residues have identified residues with direct or indirect impact on ascorbate interactions, on the environment of the bH heme center, and on formation of the native bH/bL unit. Surprisingly, no individual EM3 residue was by itself indispensable for the interaction with ascorbate, and the role of the segment appears to be more subtle than previously thought. The present results also support our topological model of the adrenal cytochrome, which positions bH near the cytoplasmic side of the membrane.
Notch signaling is often and aberrantly activated by hypoxia during tumor progression; however, the exact pathological role of hypoxia-induced Notch signaling in tumor metastasis is as yet poorly understood. In this study, we aimed to define the mechanism of Notch ligand activation by hypoxia in both primary tumor and bone stromal cells in the metastatic niche and to clarify their roles in tumor progression. We have analyzed the expression profiles of various Notch liagnds in 779 breast cancer patients in GEO database and found that the expression of Jagged2 among all five ligands is most significantly correlated with the overall- and metastasis-free survival of breast cancer patients. The results of our immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis for Jagged2 in 61 clinical samples also revealed that both Jagged2 and Notch signaling were strongly up-regulated at the hypoxic invasive front. Activation of Jagged2 by hypoxia in tumor cells induced EMT and also promoted cell survival in vitro. Notably, a γ-secretase inhibitor significantly blocked Notch-mediated invasion and survival under hypoxia by promoting expression of E-cadherin and inhibiting Akt phosphorylation. Importantly, Jagged2 was also found to be up-regulated in bone marrow stroma under hypoxia and promoted the growth of cancer stem-like cells by activating their Notch signaling. Therefore, hypoxia-induced Jagged2 activation in both tumor invasive front and normal bone stroma plays a critical role in tumor progression and metastasis, and Jagged2 is considered to be a valuable prognostic marker and may serve as a novel therapeutic target for metastatic breast cancer.
Jagged2; Notch; breast cancer; hypoxia; cancer stem-like cells
Wnt signalling has pivotal roles in tumour progression and metastasis; however, the exact molecular mechanism of Wnt signalling in the metastatic process is as yet poorly defined. Here we demonstrate that the tumour metastasis suppressor gene, NDRG1, interacts with the Wnt receptor, LRP6, followed by blocking of the Wnt signalling, and therefore, orchestrates a cellular network that impairs the metastatic progression of tumour cells. Importantly, restoring NDRG1 expression by a small molecule compound significantly suppressed the capability of otherwise highly metastatic tumour cells to thrive in circulation and distant organs in animal models. In addition, our analysis of clinical cohorts data indicate that Wnt+/NDRG−/LRP+ signature has a strong predictable value for recurrence-free survival of cancer patients. Collectively, we have identified NDRG1 as a novel negative master regulator of Wnt signalling during the metastatic progression, which opens an opportunity to define a potential therapeutic target for metastatic disease.
breast cancer; metastasis; metastasis suppressor gene; NDRG1; prostate cancer
Mammalian genomes are populated with thousands of transcriptional enhancers that orchestrate cell type-specific gene expression programs1-4, but how those enhancers are exploited to institute alternative, signal-dependent transcriptional responses remains poorly understood. Here we present evidence that cell lineage-specific factors, such as FoxA1, can simultaneously facilitate and restrict key regulated transcription factors, exemplified by the androgen receptor (AR), to act on structurally- and functionally-distinct classes of enhancers. Consequently, FoxA1 down-regulation, an unfavorable prognostic sign in certain advanced prostate tumors, triggers dramatic reprogramming of the hormonal response by causing a massive switch in AR binding to a distinct cohort of pre-established enhancers. These enhancers are functional, as evidenced by the production of enhancer-templated non-coding RNA (eRNA5) based on global nuclear-on (GRO-seq) analysis6, with a unique class apparently requiring no nucleosome remodeling to induce specific enhancer-promoter looping and gene activation. GRO-seq data also suggest that liganded AR induces both transcription initiation and elongation. Together, these findings reveal a large repository of active enhancers that can be dynamically tuned to elicit alternative gene expression programs, which may underlie many sequential gene expression events in development, cell differentiation and disease progression.