The angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) catalyzes the extracellular formation of angiotensin II, and degradation of bradykinin, thus regulating blood pressure and renal handling of electrolytes. We have previously shown that exogenously added ACE elicited transcriptional regulation independent of its enzymatic activity. Because transcriptional regulation generates from protein-DNA interactions within the cell nucleus we have investigated the initial cellular response to exogenous ACE and the putative internalization of the enzyme in smooth muscle cells (SMC) and endothelial cells (EC). The following phenomena were observed when ACE was added to cells in culture: 1) it bound to SMC and EC with high affinity (Kd = 361.5 ± 60.5 pm) and with a low binding occupancy (Bmax = 335.0 ± 14.0 molecules/cell); 2) it triggered cellular signaling resulting in late activation of focal adhesion kinase and SHP2; 3) it modulated platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β signaling; 4) it was endocytosed by SMC and EC; and 5) it transited through the early endosome, partially occupied the late endosome and the lysosome, and was localized to the nuclei. The incorporation of ACE or a fragment of it into the nuclei reached saturation at 120 min, and was preceded by a lag time of 40 min. Internalized ACE was partially cleaved into small fragments. These results revealed that extracellular ACE modulated cell signaling properties...
Human solid tumors contain rare cancer side population (SP) cells, which expel the fluorescent dye Hoechst 33342 (H33342) and display cancer stem cell characteristics. Transcriptional profiling of cancer SP cells isolated by H33342 fluorescence analysis is a newly emerging approach to discover cancer stem cell markers and aberrant differentiation pathways. Using Affymetrix expression microarrays and quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, we investigated differential gene expression between SP and non-SP (NSP) cells isolated from human mammary carcinoma cell lines. A total of 136 genes were up-regulated in breast cancer SP relative to NSP cells, one of which was the fetal stem cell factor and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway target SOX17. Strikingly, we discovered that SOX17 was down-regulated by H33342 in a dose-dependent manner. In SP cells, which expel H33342, down-regulation of SOX17 was less pronounced than in NSP cells, which retain H33342. As a result of this, SOX17 displayed a 10–20-fold overexpression in cancer SP relative to NSP cells. Similar results were obtained for further stemness-related genes, namely EPC1 and SPRY1. These findings establish a previously unidentified gene-regulatory impact of H33342 as a novel mechanism responsible for differential gene expression in cancer SP cells. This has significant implications for the future interpretation of cancer SP cells.
Nontransformed cells can force tumor cells to assume a normal morphology and phenotype by the process of contact normalization. Transformed cells must escape this process to become invasive and malignant. However, mechanisms underlying contact normalization have not been elucidated. Here, we have identified genes that are affected by contact normalization of Src-transformed cells. Tumor cells must migrate to become invasive and malignant. Src must phosphorylate the adaptor protein Cas (Crk-associated substrate) to promote tumor cell motility. We report here that Src utilizes Cas to induce podoplanin (Pdpn) expression to promote tumor cell migration. Pdpn is a membrane-bound extracellular glycoprotein that associates with endogenous ligands to promote tumor cell migration leading to cancer invasion and metastasis. In fact, Pdpn expression accounted for a major part of the increased migration seen in Src-transformed cells. Moreover, nontransformed cells suppressed Pdpn expression in adjacent Src-transformed cells. Of >39,000 genes, Pdpn was one of only 23 genes found to be induced by transforming Src activity and suppressed by contact normalization of Src-transformed cells. In addition, we found 16 genes suppressed by Src and induced by contact normalization. These genes encode growth factor receptors...
Actin-binding proteins filamin A (FLNA) and B (FLNB) are expressed in endothelial cells and play an essential role during vascular development. In order to investigate their role in adult endothelial cell function, we initially confirmed their expression pattern in different adult mouse tissues and cultured cell lines and found that FLNB expression is concentrated mainly in endothelial cells, whereas FLNA is more ubiquitously expressed. Functionally, small interfering RNA knockdown of endogenous FLNB in human umbilical vein endothelial cells inhibited vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced in vitro angiogenesis by decreasing endothelial cell migration capacity, whereas FLNA ablation did not alter these parameters. Moreover, FLNB-depleted cells increased their substrate adhesion with more focal adhesions. The molecular mechanism underlying this effect implicates modulation of small GTP-binding protein Rac-1 localization and activity, with altered activation of its downstream effectors p21 protein Cdc42/Rac-activated kinase (PAK)-4/5/6 and its activating guanine nucleotide exchange factor Vav-2. Moreover, our results suggest the existence of a signaling complex, including FLNB, Rac-1, and Vav-2, under basal conditions that would further interact with VEGFR2 and integrin αvβ5 after VEGF stimulation. In conclusion...
Recent reports have shown that T cell receptor (TCR)-dependent ATP release from T cells is involved in production of interleukin-2 (IL-2) through activation of P2 receptors. Stimulation of TCR induces ATP release from T cells through gap junction hemichannels and maxianion channels, at least in part. However, the mechanisms of ATP release from activated T cells are not fully understood. Here, we studied the mechanisms of ATP release during TCR-dependent T cell activation by investigating the effects of various inhibitors on TCR-dependent ATP release from murine T cells. We found that not only anion channel and gap junction hemichannel inhibitors, but also exocytosis inhibitors suppressed the ATP release. These results suggest that ATP release from murine T cells is regulated by various mechanisms, including exocytosis. An inhibitor of exocytosis, bafilomycin A, significantly blocked TCR signaling, such as Ca2+ elevation and IL-2 production. Furthermore, bafilomycin A, ectonucleotidase, and P2Y6 receptor antagonist significantly inhibited production of pro-inflammatory cytokines from external antigen-restimulated splenocytes, indicating that vesicular exocytosis-mediated purinergic signaling has a significant role in TCR-dependent cytokine production. We also detected vesicular ATP in murine T cells and human T lymphoma Jurkat cells...
The Epstein-Barr virus basic leucine zipper transcriptional activator ZEBRA was shown recently to cross the outer membrane of live cells and to accumulate in the nucleus of lymphocytes. We investigated the potential application of the Epstein-Barr virus trans-activator ZEBRA as a transporter protein to facilitate transduction of cargo proteins. Analysis of different truncated forms of ZEBRA revealed that the minimal domain (MD) required for internalization spans residues 170–220. MD efficiently transported reporter proteins such as enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) and β-galactosidase in several normal and tumor cell lines. Functionality of internalized cargo proteins was confirmed by β-galactosidase activity in transduced cells, and no MD-associated cell toxicity was detected. Translocation of MD through the cell membrane required binding to cell surface-associated heparan sulfate proteoglycans as shown by strong inhibition of protein uptake in the presence of heparin. We found that internalization was blocked at 4 °C, whereas no ATP was required as shown by an only 25% decreased uptake efficiency in energy-depleted cells. Common endocytotic inhibitors such as nystatin, chlorpromazine, and wortmannin had no significant impact on MD-EGFP uptake. Only methyl-β-cyclodextrin inhibited MD-EGFP uptake by 40%...
Angiogenesis contributes to various pathological conditions. Due to the resistance against existing antiangiogenic therapy, an urgent need exists to understand the molecular basis of vessel growth and to identify new targets for antiangiogenic therapy. Here we show that cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5), an important modulator of neuronal processes, regulates endothelial cell migration and angiogenesis, suggesting Cdk5 as a novel target for antiangiogenic therapy. Inhibition or knockdown of Cdk5 reduces endothelial cell motility and blocks angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. We elucidate a specific signaling of Cdk5 in the endothelium; in contrast to neuronal cells, the motile defects upon inhibition of Cdk5 are not caused by an impaired function of focal adhesions or microtubules but by the reduced formation of lamellipodia. Inhibition or down-regulation of Cdk5 decreases the activity of the small GTPase Rac1 and results in a disorganized actin cytoskeleton. Constitutive active Rac1 compensates for the inhibiting effects of Cdk5 knockdown on migration, suggesting that Cdk5 exerts its effects in endothelial cell migration via Rac1. Our work elucidates Cdk5 as a pivotal new regulator of endothelial cell migration and angiogenesis. It suggests Cdk5 as a novel...
Maspin is a member of the serine protease inhibitor (serpin) superfamily that lacks protease inhibitory ability, although displaying tumor metastasis-suppressing activity resulting from its influence on cell migration, invasion, proliferation, apoptosis, and adhesion. The molecular mechanisms of these actions of maspin are as yet undefined. Here, we sought to identify critical functional motifs by the expression of maspin with point mutations at sites potentially involved in protein-protein interactions: the G α-helix (G-helix), an internal salt bridge or the P1 position of the reactive center loop. Our findings indicate that only mutations in the G-helix attenuated inhibition of cell migration by maspin and that this structural element is also involved in the effect of maspin on cell adhesion. The action of maspin on cell migration could be mimicked by a 15-mer G-helix peptide, indicating that the G-helix is both essential and sufficient for this effect. In addition, we provide evidence that the effects of the G-helix of maspin are dependent on β1 integrins. These data reveal that the major extracellular functions associated with the tumor suppressive action of maspin likely involve interactions in which the G-helix plays a key role.
Solid tumor development is frequently accompanied by energy-deficient conditions such as glucose deprivation and hypoxia. Follistatin (FST), a secretory protein originally identified from ovarian follicular fluid, has been suggested to be involved in tumor development. However, whether it plays a role in cancer cell survival under energy-deprived conditions remains elusive. In this study, we demonstrated that glucose deprivation markedly enhanced the expression and nucleolar localization of FST in HeLa cells. The nucleolar localization of FST relied on its nuclear localization signal (NLS) comprising the residues 64–87. Localization of FST to the nucleolus attenuated rRNA synthesis, a key process for cellular energy homeostasis and cell survival. Overexpression of FST delayed glucose deprivation-induced apoptosis, whereas down-regulation of FST exerted the opposite effect. These functions depended on the presence of an intact NLS because the NLS-deleted mutant of FST lost the rRNA inhibition effect and the cell protective effect. Altogether, we identified a novel nucleolar function of FST, which is of importance in the modulation of cancer cell survival in response to glucose deprivation.
The antifungal activity of the plant defensin NaD1 involves specific interaction with the fungal cell wall, followed by permeabilization of the plasma membrane and entry of NaD1 into the cytoplasm. Prior to this study, the role of membrane permeabilization in the activity of NaD1, as well as the relevance of cell wall binding, had not been investigated. To address this, the permeabilization of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum hyphae by NaD1 was investigated and compared with that by other antimicrobial peptides, including the cecropin-melittin hybrid peptide CP-29, the bovine peptide BMAP-28, and the human peptide LL-37, which are believed to act largely through membrane disruption. NaD1 appeared to permeabilize cells via a novel mechanism that required the presence of the fungal cell wall. NaD1 and Bac2A, a linear variant of the bovine peptide bactenecin, were able to enter the cytoplasm of treated hyphae, indicating that cell death is accelerated by interaction with intracellular targets.
The ectopic expression of transcription factors can reprogram differentiated tissue cells into induced pluripotent stem cells. However, this is a slow and inefficient process, depending on the simultaneous delivery of multiple genes encoding essential reprogramming factors and on their sustained expression in target cells. Moreover, once cell reprogramming is accomplished, these exogenous reprogramming factors should be replaced with their endogenous counterparts for establishing autoregulated pluripotency. Complete and designed removal of the exogenous genes from the reprogrammed cells would be an ideal option for satisfying this latter requisite as well as for minimizing the risk of malignant cell transformation. However, no single gene delivery/expression system has ever been equipped with these contradictory characteristics. Here we report the development of a novel replication-defective and persistent Sendai virus (SeVdp) vector based on a noncytopathic variant virus, which fulfills all of these requirements for cell reprogramming. The SeVdp vector could accommodate up to four exogenous genes, deliver them efficiently into various mammalian cells (including primary tissue cells and human hematopoietic stem cells) and express them stably in the cytoplasm at a prefixed balance. Furthermore...
Di Cairano, Eliana S.; Davalli, Alberto M.; Perego, Lucia; Sala, Silvia; Sacchi, V. Franca; La Rosa, Stefano; Finzi, Giovanna; Placidi, Claudia; Capella, Carlo; Conti, Paola; Centonze, Victoria E.; Casiraghi, Francesca; Bertuzzi, Federico; Folli, Franco;
Fonte: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyPublicador: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system (CNS) and may induce cytotoxicity through persistent activation of glutamate receptors and oxidative stress. Its extracellular concentration is maintained at physiological concentrations by high affinity glutamate transporters of the solute carrier 1 family (SLC1). Glutamate is also present in islet of Langerhans where it is secreted by the α-cells and acts as a signaling molecule to modulate hormone secretion. Whether glutamate plays a role in islet cell viability is presently unknown. We demonstrate that chronic exposure to glutamate exerts a cytotoxic effect in clonal β-cell lines and human islet β-cells but not in α-cells. In human islets, glutamate-induced β-cell cytotoxicity was associated with increased oxidative stress and led to apoptosis and autophagy. We also provide evidence that the key regulator of extracellular islet glutamate concentration is the glial glutamate transporter 1 (GLT1). GLT1 localizes to the plasma membrane of β-cells, modulates hormone secretion, and prevents glutamate-induced cytotoxicity as shown by the fact that its down-regulation induced β-cell death, whereas GLT1 up-regulation promoted β-cell survival. In conclusion...
Angiogenesis is required for bone development, growth, and repair. It is influenced by the local bone environment that involves cross-talks between endothelial cells and adjacent bone cells. However, data regarding factors that directly contribute to angiogenesis by bone cells remain poorly understood. Here, we report that EGFL6, a member of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) repeat superfamily proteins, induces angiogenesis by a paracrine mechanism in which EGFL6 is expressed in osteoblastic-like cells but promotes migration and angiogenesis of endothelial cells. Co-immunoprecipitation assays revealed that EGFL6 is secreted in culture medium as a homodimer protein. Using scratch wound healing and transwell assays, we found that conditioned medium containing EGFL6 potentiates SVEC (a simian virus 40-transformed mouse microvascular endothelial cell line) endothelial cell migration. In addition, EGFL6 promotes the endothelial cell tube-like structure formation in Matrigel assays and angiogenesis in a chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane. Furthermore, we show that EGFL6 recombinant protein induces phosphorylation of ERK in SVEC endothelial cells. Inhibition of ERK impaired EGFL6-induced ERK activation and endothelial cell migration. Together...
24(S)-Hydroxycholesterol (24S-OHC) produced by cholesterol 24-hydroxylase expressed mainly in neurons plays an important physiological role in the brain. Conversely, it has been reported that 24S-OHC possesses potent cytotoxicity. The molecular mechanisms of 24S-OHC-induced cell death have not yet been fully elucidated. In this study, using human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells and primary cortical neuronal cells derived from rat embryo, we characterized the form of cell death induced by 24S-OHC. SH-SY5Y cells treated with 24S-OHC exhibited neither fragmentation of the nucleus nor caspase activation, which are the typical characteristics of apoptosis. 24S-OHC-treated cells showed necrosis-like morphological changes but did not induce ATP depletion, one of the features of necrosis. When cells were treated with necrostatin-1, an inhibitor of receptor-interacting serine/threonine kinase 1 (RIPK1) required for necroptosis, 24S-OHC-induced cell death was significantly suppressed. The knockdown of RIPK1 by transfection of small interfering RNA of RIPK1 effectively attenuated 24S-OHC-induced cell death. It was found that neither SH-SY5Y cells nor primary cortical neuronal cells expressed caspase-8, which was regulated for RIPK1-dependent apoptosis. Collectively...
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is inherently resistant to the majority of clinical anticancer drugs. To obtain drugs that can circumvent or evade such inherent drug resistance of HCC, we investigated the effect of the marinely derived steroid methyl spongoate (MESP) on HCC cells. MESP displayed potent cell killing against a panel of six HCC cell lines, independent of their expression of drug transporters. MESP did not change the function of the drug transporters, and its cell killing was not impaired in multidrug-resistant cancer cells overexpressing the transporters. The cell killing of MESP was irrelevant to estrogen or androgen signaling and was not associated with cell cycle progression, inhibition of microtubules, and topoisomerases. In contrast, MESP potently induced apoptosis via activation of a proapoptotic caspase cascade and relief of the suppression of antiapoptotic signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling. MESP inhibited the phosphorylation of STAT3, a critical survival signaling factor that reduced the expression of the antiapoptotic protein x-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein but enhanced the expression of the proapoptotic protein Bax, thus promoting caspase-dependent apoptosis. These data reveal that MESP may well serve as an important candidate drug lead for HCC therapy.
Historically, much of biology was studied by physicists and mathematicians. With the advent of modern molecular biology, a wave of researchers became trained in a new scientific discipline filled with the language of genes, mutants, and the central dogma. These new molecular approaches have provided volumes of information on biomolecules and molecular pathways from the cellular to the organismal level. The challenge now is to determine how this seemingly endless list of components works together to promote the healthy function of complex living systems. This effort requires an interdisciplinary approach by investigators from both the biological and the physical sciences.
The BCL6 oncogenic transcriptional repressor is required for development of
germinal center centroblasts, which undergo simultaneous genetic recombination
and massive clonal expansion. Although BCL6 is required for survival of
centroblasts, its expression in earlier B-cells is toxic. Understanding these
opposing effects could provide critical insight into normal B-cell biology and
lymphomagenesis. We examined the transcriptional and biological effects of
BCL6 in various primary cells. BCL6 repression of ATR was previously
shown to play a critical role in the centroblast phenotype. Likewise, we found
that BCL6 could impose an ATR-dependent phenotype of attenuated DNA damage
sensing and repair in primary fibroblasts and B-cells. BCL6 induced true
genomic instability because DNA repair was delayed and was qualitatively
impaired, which could be critical for BCL6-induced lymphomagenesis. Although
BCL6 can directly repress TP53 in centroblasts, BCL6 induced
TP53 expression in primary fibroblasts and B-cells, and these cells
underwent p53-dependent growth arrest and senescence in the presence of
physiological levels of BCL6. This differential ability to trigger a
functional p53 response explains at least in part the different biological
response to BCL6 expression in centroblasts versus other cells. The
data suggest that targeted re-activation of TP53 could be of
therapeutic value in centroblast-derived lymphomas.
College-level biology courses contain many complex processes that are often taught and learned as detailed narratives. These processes can be better understood by perceiving them as dynamic systems that are governed by common fundamental principles. Conservation of matter is such a principle, and thus tracing matter is an essential step in learning to reason about biological processes. We present here multiple-choice questions that measure students' ability and inclination to trace matter through photosynthesis and cellular respiration. Data associated with each question come from students in a large undergraduate biology course that was undergoing a shift in instructional strategy toward making fundamental principles (such as tracing matter) a central theme. We also present findings from interviews with students in the course. Our data indicate that 1) many students are not using tracing matter as a tool to reason about biological processes, 2) students have particular difficulties tracing matter between systems and have a persistent tendency to interconvert matter and energy, and 3) instructional changes seem to be effective in promoting application of the tracing matter principle. Using these items as diagnostic tools allows instructors to be proactive in addressing students' misconceptions and ineffective reasoning.
Thymic epithelial cells (TECs) are required for the development and differentiation of T cells and are sufficient for the positive and negative selection of developing T cells. Although TECs play a critical role in T cell biology, simple, efficient and readily scalable methods for the transfection of TEC lines and primary TECs have not been described. We tested the efficiency of Nucleofection for the transfection of 4 different mouse thymic epithelial cell lines that had been derived from cortical or medullary epithelium. We also tested primary mouse thymic epithelial cells isolated from fetal and postnatal stages. We found that Nucleofection was highly efficient for the transfection of thymic epithelial cells, with transfection efficiencies of 30-70% for the cell lines and 15-35% for primary TECs with low amounts of cell death. Efficient transfection by Nucleofection can be performed with established cortical and medullary thymic epithelial cell lines as well as primary TECs isolated from E15.5 day fetal thymus or postnatal day 3 or 30 thymus tissue. The high efficiency of Nucleofection for TEC transfection will enable the use of TEC lines in high throughput transfection studies and simplifies the transfection of primary TECs for in vitro or in vivo analysis.