The armadillo repeat protein ARVCF is a component of adherens junctions. Similar to related proteins, such as p120-catenin and ?-catenin, with known signaling functions, localization studies indicate a cytoplasmic and a nuclear pool of ARVCF. We find that ARVCF interacts with different proteins involved in mRNA-processing: the splicing factor SRSF1 (SF2/ASF), the RNA helicase p68 (DDX5), and the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein hnRNP H2. All three proteins bind to ARVCF in an RNA-independent manner. Furthermore, ARVCF occurs in large RNA-containing complexes that contain both spliced and unspliced mRNAs of housekeeping genes. By domain analysis, we show that interactions occur via the ARVCF C terminus. Overexpression of ARVCF, p68, SRSF1, and hnRNP H2 induces a significant increase in splicing activity of a reporter mRNA. Upon depletion of ARVCF followed by RNA sequence analysis, several alternatively spliced transcripts are significantly changed. Therefore, we conclude that nuclear ARVCF influences splicing of pre-mRNAs. We hypothesize that ARVCF is involved in alternative splicing, generating proteomic diversity, and its deregulation may contribute to diseased states, such as cancer and neurological disorders.
Promiscuity of pattern recognition receptors, such as receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE), allows for a complex regulatory network controlling inflammation. Scavenging of RAGE ligands by soluble RAGE treatment is effective in reducing delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH), even in RAGE(-/-) mice by 50% (p < 0.001). This has led to the hypothesis that molecules scavenged by soluble RAGE bind to receptors other than RAGE. This study identifies CD166/ALCAM (ALCAM) as a close structural and functional homolog of RAGE, and it shows that binding of S100B to CD166/ALCAM induces dose- and time-dependent expression of members of the NF-?B family in wild type (WT) and RAGE(-/-) mouse endothelial cells. Blocking CD166/ALCAM expression using small interfering RNA completely inhibited S100B-induced NF-?B activation in RAGE(-/-), but not in WT cells. The in vivo significance of these observations was demonstrated by attenuation of DTH in WT and RAGE(-/-) animals pretreated with CD166/ALCAM small interfering RNA by 50% and 40%, respectively (p < 0.001). Experiments in ALCAM(-/-) animals displayed an only slight reduction of 16% in DTH, explained by compensatory reciprocal upregulation of RAGE in animals devoid of CD166/ALCAM, and vice versa. Consistently, ALCAM(-/-) mice, but not WT mice treated with RAGE small interfering RNA show a 35% reduction in DTH, and ALCAM(-/-) RAGE(-/-) double-knockout mice show a 27% reduction in DTH reaction. Thus, S100B is a proinflammatory cytokine bridging RAGE and CD166/ALCAM downstream effector mechanisms, both being compensatory upregulated after genetic deletion of its counterpart.
Cancer cells showing low apoptotic effects following oxidative stress-induced DNA damage are mainly affected by growth arrest. Thus, recent studies focus on improving anti-cancer therapies by increasing apoptosis sensitivity. We aimed at identifying a universal molecule as potential target to enhance oxidative stress-based anti-cancer therapy through a switch from cell cycle arrest to apoptosis. A cDNA microarray was performed with hydrogen peroxide-treated oesophageal squamous epithelial cancer cells TE7. This cell line showed checkpoint activation via p21(WAF1) , but low apoptotic response following DNA damage. The potential target molecule was chosen depended on the following demands: it should regulate DNA damage response, cell cycle and apoptosis. As the transcription factor ATF2 is implicated in all these processes, we focused on this protein. We investigated checkpoint activation via ATF2. Indeed, ATF2 knockdown revealed ATF2-triggered p21(WAF1) protein expression, suggesting p21(WAF1) transactivation through ATF2. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), we identified a hitherto unknown ATF2-binding sequence in the p21(WAF1) promoter. p-ATF2 was found to interact with p-c-Jun, creating the AP-1 complex. Moreover, ATF2 knockdown led to c-Jun downregulation. This suggests ATF2-driven induction of c-Jun expression, thereby enhancing ATF2 transcriptional activity via c-Jun-ATF2 heterodimerization. Notably, downregulation of ATF2 caused a switch from cell cycle arrest to reinforced apoptosis, presumably via p21(WAF1) downregulation, confirming the importance of ATF2 in the establishment of cell cycle arrest. 1-Chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene also led to ATF2-dependent G2/M arrest, suggesting that this is a general feature induced by oxidative stress. As ATF2 knockdown also increased apoptosis, we propose ATF2 as a target for combined oxidative stress-based anti-cancer therapies.
Alternative splicing is central for cellular processes and substantially increases transcriptome and proteome diversity. Aberrant splicing events often have pathological consequences and are associated with various diseases and cancer types. The emergence of next-generation RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) provides an exciting new technology to analyse alternative splicing on a large scale. However, algorithms that enable the analysis of alternative splicing from short-read sequencing are not fully established yet and there are still no standard solutions available for a variety of data analysis tasks.
APOBEC3 (A3) proteins restrict viral replication by cytidine deamination of viral DNA genomes and impairing reverse transcription and integration. To escape this restriction, lentiviruses have evolved the viral infectivity factor (Vif), which binds A3 proteins and targets them for proteolytic degradation. In contrast, foamy viruses (FVs) encode Bet proteins that allow replication in the presence of A3, apparently by A3 binding and/or sequestration, thus preventing A3 packaging into virions and subsequent restriction. Due to a long-lasting FV-host coevolution, Bet proteins mainly counteract restriction by A3s from their cognate or highly related host species.
Mapping of proteins involved in normal eye functions is a prerequisite to identify pathological changes during eye disease processes. We therefore analysed the proteome of human vitreous by applying in-depth proteomic screening technologies. For ethical reasons human vitreous samples were obtained by vitrectomy from "surrogate normal patients" with epiretinal gliosis that is considered to constitute only negligible pathological vitreoretinal changes. We applied different protein prefractionation strategies including liquid phase isoelectric focussing, 1D SDS gel electrophoresis and a combination of both and compared the number of identified proteins obtained by the respective method. Liquid phase isoelectric focussing followed by SDS gel electrophoresis increased the number of identified proteins by a factor of five compared to the analysis of crude unseparated human vitreous. Depending on the prefractionation method proteins were subjected to trypsin digestion either in-gel or in solution and the resulting peptides were analysed on a UPLC system coupled online to an LTQ Orbitrap XL mass spectrometer. The obtained mass spectra were searched against the SwissProt database using the Mascot search engine. Bioinformatics tools were used to annotate known biological functions to the detected proteins. Following this strategy we examined the vitreous proteomes of three individuals and identified 1111 unique proteins. Besides structural, transport and binding proteins, we detected 261 proteins with known enzymatic activity, 51 proteases, 35 protease inhibitors, 35 members of complement and coagulation cascades, 15 peptide hormones, 5 growth factors, 11 cytokines, 47 receptors, 30 proteins of visual perception, 91 proteins involved in apoptosis regulation and 265 proteins with signalling activity. This highly complex mixture strikingly differs from the human plasma proteome. Thus human vitreous fluid seems to be a unique body fluid. 262 unique proteins were detected which are present in all three patient samples indicating that these might represent the constitutive protein pattern of human vitreous. The presented catalogue of human vitreous proteins will enhance our understanding of physiological processes in the eye and provides the groundwork for future studies on pathological vitreous proteome changes.
The highly organized DNA architecture inside of the nuclei of cells is accepted in the scientific world. In the human genome about 3 billion nucleotides are organized as chromatin in the cell nucleus. In general, they are involved in gene regulation and transcription by histone modification. Small chromosomes are localized in a central nuclear position whereas the large chromosomes are peripherally positioned. In our experiments we inserted fusion proteins consisting of a component of the nuclear lamina (lamin B1) and also histone H2A, both combined with the light inducible fluorescence protein KillerRed (KRED). After activation, KRED generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) producing toxic effects and may cause cell death. We analyzed the spatial damage distribution in the chromatin after illumination of the cells with visible light. The extent of DNA damage was strongly dependent on its localization inside of nuclei. The ROS activity allowed to gain information about the location of genes and their functions via sequencing and data base analysis of the double strand breaks of the isolated DNA. A connection between the damaged gene sequences and some diseases was found.
Some single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are known to modify the risk of developing certain diseases or the reaction to drugs. Due to next generation sequencing methods the number of known human SNPs has grown. Not all SNPs lead to a modified protein, which may be the origin of a disease. Therefore, the recognition of functional SNPs is needed. Because most SNP annotation tools look for SNPs which lead to an amino acid exchange or a premature stop, we designed a new tool called AASsites which searches for SNPs which modify splicing.
Insertion of transposed elements within mammalian genes is thought to be an important contributor to mammalian evolution and speciation. Insertion of transposed elements into introns can lead to their activation as alternatively spliced cassette exons, an event called exonization. Elucidation of the evolutionary constraints that have shaped fixation of transposed elements within human and mouse protein coding genes and subsequent exonization is important for understanding of how the exonization process has affected transcriptome and proteome complexities. Here we show that exonization of transposed elements is biased towards the beginning of the coding sequence in both human and mouse genes. Analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) revealed that exonization of transposed elements can be population-specific, implying that exonizations may enhance divergence and lead to speciation. SNP density analysis revealed differences between Alu and other transposed elements. Finally, we identified cases of primate-specific Alu elements that depend on RNA editing for their exonization. These results shed light on TE fixation and the exonization process within human and mouse genes.
Tardigrades are small, multicellular invertebrates which are able to survive times of unfavourable environmental conditions using their well-known capability to undergo cryptobiosis at any stage of their life cycle. Milnesium tardigradum has become a powerful model system for the analysis of cryptobiosis. While some genetic information is already available for Milnesium tardigradum the proteome is still to be discovered.
An increasing amount of expressed sequence tag (EST) and genomic data, predominantly for the cnidarians Acropora, Hydra and Nematostella, reveals that cnidarians have a high genomic complexity, despite being one of the morphologically simplest multicellular animals. Considering the diversity of cnidarians, we performed an EST project on the hydroid Hydractinia echinata, to contribute towards a broader coverage of this phylum. After random sequencing of almost 9000 clones, EST characterization revealed a broad diversity in gene content. Corroborating observations in other cnidarians, Hydractinia sequences exhibited a higher sequence similarity to vertebrates than to ecdysozoan invertebrates. A significant number of sequences were hitherto undescribed in metazoans, suggesting that these may be either cnidarian innovations or ancient genes lost in the bilaterian genomes analysed so far. However, we cannot rule out some degree of contamination from commensal bacteria. The identification of unique Hydractinia sequences emphasizes that the acquired genomic information generated so far is not large enough to be representative of the highly diverse cnidarian phylum. Finally, a database was created to store all the acquired information (http://www.mchips.org/hydractinia_echinata.html).
Standard cancer cell lines do not model the intratumoural heterogeneity situation sufficiently. Clonal selection leads to a homogeneous population of cells by genetic drift. Heterogeneity of tumour cells, however, is particularly critical for therapeutically relevant studies, since it is a prerequisite for acquiring drug resistance and reoccurrence of tumours. Here, we report the isolation of a highly tumourigenic primary pancreatic cancer cell line, called JoPaca-1 and its detailed characterization at multiple levels. Implantation of as few as 100 JoPaca-1 cells into immunodeficient mice gave rise to tumours that were histologically very similar to the primary tumour. The high heterogeneity of JoPaca-1 was reflected by diverse cell morphology and a substantial number of chromosomal aberrations. Comparative whole-genome sequencing of JoPaca-1 and BxPC-3 revealed mutations in genes frequently altered in pancreatic cancer. Exceptionally high expression of cancer stem cell markers and a high clonogenic potential in vitro and in vivo was observed. All of these attributes make this cell line an extremely valuable model to study the biology of and pharmaceutical effects on pancreatic cancer.
MicroRNAs are small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression and have important roles in various types of cancer. Previously, miR-137 was reported to act as a tumor suppressor in different cancers, including malignant melanoma. In this study, we show that low miR-137 expression is correlated with poor survival in stage IV melanoma patients. We identified and validated two genes (c-Met and YB1) as direct targets of miR-137 and confirmed two previously known targets, namely enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF). Functional studies showed that miR-137 suppressed melanoma cell invasion through the downregulation of multiple target genes. The decreased invasion caused by miR-137 overexpression could be phenocopied by small interfering RNA knockdown of EZH2, c-Met, or Y box-binding protein 1 (YB1). Furthermore, miR-137 inhibited melanoma cell migration and proliferation. Finally, miR-137 induced apoptosis in melanoma cell lines and decreased BCL2 levels. In summary, our study confirms that miR-137 acts as a tumor suppressor in malignant melanoma and reveals that miR-137 regulates multiple targets including c-Met, YB1, EZH2, and MITF.
Tardigrades have fascinated researchers for more than 300 years because of their extraordinary capability to undergo cryptobiosis and survive extreme environmental conditions. However, the survival mechanisms of tardigrades are still poorly understood mainly due to the absence of detailed knowledge about the proteome and genome of these organisms. Our study was intended to provide a basis for the functional characterization of expressed proteins in different states of tardigrades. High-throughput, high-accuracy proteomics in combination with a newly developed tardigrade specific protein database resulted in the identification of more than 3000 proteins in three different states: early embryonic state and adult animals in active and anhydrobiotic state. This comprehensive proteome resource includes protein families such as chaperones, antioxidants, ribosomal proteins, cytoskeletal proteins, transporters, protein channels, nutrient reservoirs, and developmental proteins. A comparative analysis of protein families in the different states was performed by calculating the exponentially modified protein abundance index which classifies proteins in major and minor components. This is the first step to analyzing the proteins involved in early embryonic development, and furthermore proteins which might play an important role in the transition into the anhydrobiotic state.
Use of false cell lines remains a major problem in biological research. Short tandem repeat (STR) profiling represents the gold standard technique for cell line authentication. However, mismatch repair (MMR)-deficient cell lines are characterized by microsatellite instability, which could force allelic drifts in combination with a selective outgrowth of otherwise persisting side lines, and, thus, are likely to be misclassified by STR profiling. On the basis of the high-throughput Luminex platform, we developed a 24-plex single nucleotide polymorphism profiling assay, called multiplex cell authentication (MCA), for determining authentication of human cell lines. MCA was evaluated by analyzing a collection of 436 human cell lines from the German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures, previously characterized by eight-loci STR profiling. Both assays showed a very high degree of concordance and similar average matching probabilities (~1 × 10(-8) for STR profiling and ~1 × 10(-9) for MCA). MCA enabled the detection of less than 3% of contaminating human cells. By analyzing MMR-deficient cell lines, evidence was obtained for a higher robustness of the MCA compared to STR profiling. In conclusion, MCA could complement routine cell line authentication and replace the standard authentication STR technique in case of MSI cell lines.
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