Members of the CIP/KIP family of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors regulate proliferation and cell cycle exit of mammalian cells. In the adult brain, the CIP/KIP protein p27(kip1) has been related to the regulation of intermediate progenitor cells located in neurogenic niches. Here, we uncover a novel function of p27(kip1) in the adult hippocampus as a dual regulator of stem cell quiescence and of cell-cycle exit of immature neurons. In vivo, p27(kip1) is detected in radial stem cells expressing SOX2 and in newborn neurons of the dentate gyrus. In vitro, the Cdkn1b gene encoding p27(kip1) is transcriptionally upregulated by quiescence signals such as BMP4. The nuclear accumulation of p27(kip1) protein in adult hippocampal stem cells encompasses the BMP4-induced quiescent state and its overexpression is able to block proliferation. p27(kip1) is also expressed in immature neurons upon differentiation of adult hippocampal stem cell cultures. Loss of p27(kip1) leads to an increase in proliferation and neurogenesis in the adult dentate gyrus, which results from both a decrease in the percentage of radial stem cells that are quiescent and a delay in cell cycle exit of immature neurons. Analysis of animals carrying a disruption in the cyclin-CDK interaction domain of p27(kip1) indicates that the CDK inhibitory function of the protein is necessary to control the activity of radial stem cells. Thus, we report that p27(kip1) acts as a central player of the molecular program that keeps adult hippocampal stem cells out of the cell cycle. Stem Cells 2014.
The dsRNA-dependent kinase PKR is an interferon-inducible protein with ability to phosphorylate the ? subunit of the eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF)-2 complex, resulting in a shut-off of general translation, induction of apoptosis, and inhibition of virus replication. Here we analyzed the modification of PKR by the small ubiquitin-like modifiers SUMO1 and SUMO2 and evaluated the consequences of PKR SUMOylation. Our results indicate that PKR is modified by both SUMO1 and SUMO2, in vitro and in vivo. We identified lysine residues Lys-60, Lys-150, and Lys-440 as SUMOylation sites in PKR. We show that SUMO is required for efficient PKR-dsRNA binding, PKR dimerization, and eIF2? phosphorylation. Furthermore, we demonstrate that SUMO potentiates the inhibition of protein synthesis induced by PKR in response to dsRNA, whereas a PKR SUMOylation mutant is impaired in its ability to inhibit protein synthesis and shows reduced capability to control vesicular stomatitis virus replication and to induce apoptosis in response to vesicular stomatitis virus infection. In summary, our data demonstrate the important role of SUMO in processes mediated by the activation of PKR.
Relative quiescence and self renewal are defining features of adult stem cells, but their potential coordination remains unclear. Subependymal neural stem cells (NSCs) lacking cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor (CKI) 1a (p21) exhibit rapid expansion that is followed by their permanent loss later in life. Here we demonstrate that transcription of the gene encoding bone morphogenetic protein 2 (Bmp2) in NSCs is under the direct negative control of p21 through actions that are independent of CDK. Loss of p21 in NSCs results in increased levels of secreted BMP2, which induce premature terminal differentiation of multipotent NSCs into mature non-neurogenic astrocytes in an autocrine and/or paracrine manner. We also show that the cell-nonautonomous p21-null phenotype is modulated by the Noggin-rich environment of the subependymal niche. The dual function that we describe here provides a physiological example of combined cell-autonomous and cell-nonautonomous functions of p21 with implications in self renewal, linking the relative quiescence of adult stem cells to their longevity and potentiality.
There is growing evidence that many host proteins involved in innate and intrinsic immunity are regulated by SUMOylation, and that SUMO contributes to the regulatory process that governs the initiation of the type I interferon (IFN) response. The tumor suppressor p53 is a modulator of the IFN response that plays a role in virus-induced apoptosis and in IFN-induced senescence. Here we demonstrate that IFN treatment increases the levels of SUMOylated p53 and induces cellular senescence through a process that is partially dependent upon SUMOylation of p53. Similarly, we show that vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) infection induces p53 SUMOylation, and that this modification favors the control of VSV replication. Thus, our study provides evidence that IFN signaling induces p53 SUMOylation, which results in the activation of a cellular senescence program and contributes to the antiviral functions of interferon.
Ghrelin, a stomach-derived peptide, stimulates feeding behavior and adiposity. For its orexigenic action, ghrelin triggers a central SIRT1/p53/AMPK pathway. The tumor suppressor p53 also plays an important role in white adipose tissue (WAT), where it is up-regulated in the adipocytes of obese mice. It is not known, however, whether p53 has any role in mediating the peripheral action of ghrelin. In the present study, chronic peripheral ghrelin treatment resulted in increased body weight and fat-mass gain in wild-type mice. Correspondingly, mRNA levels of several adipogenic and fat-storage-promoting enzymes were up-regulated in WAT, whereas hepatic triglyceride content and lipogenic enzymes were also increased in wild-type mice following ghrelin treatment. In contrast, mice lacking p53 failed to respond to ghrelin treatment, with their body weight, fat mass, and adipocyte and hepatic metabolism remaining unchanged. Thus, our results show that p53 is necessary for the actions of ghrelin on WAT and liver, leading to changes in expression levels of lipogenic and adipogenic genes, and modifying body weight.
Adipose tissue is essential in the regulation of body weight. The key process in fat catabolism and the provision of energy substrate during times of nutrient deprivation or enhanced energy demand is the hydrolysis of triglycerides and the release of fatty acids and glycerol. Nur77 is a member of the NR4A subfamily of nuclear receptors that plays an important metabolic role, modulating hepatic glucose metabolism and lipolysis in muscle. However, its endogenous role on white adipose tissue, as well as the gender dependency of these mechanisms, remains largely unknown. Male and female wild type and Nur77 deficient mice were fed with a high fat diet (45% calories from fat) for 4 months. Mice were analyzed in vivo with the indirect calorimetry system, and tissues were analyzed by real-time PCR and Western blot analysis. Female, but not male Nur77 deficient mice, gained more weight and fat mass when compared to wild type mice fed with high fat diet, which can be explained by decreased energy expenditure. The lack of Nur77 also led to a decreased pHSL/HSL ratio in white adipose tissue and increased expression of CIDEA in brown adipose tissue of female Nur77 deficient mice. Overall, these findings suggest that Nur77 is an important physiological modulator of lipid metabolism in adipose tissue and that there are gender differences in the sensitivity to deletion of the Nur77 signaling. The decreased energy expenditure and the actions of Nur77 on liver, muscle, brown and white adipose tissue contribute to the increased susceptibility to diet-induced obesity in females lacking Nur77.
Ghrelin is a stomach-derived peptide that increases food intake through the activation of hypothalamic AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). However, the molecular mechanisms initiated by the activation of the ghrelin receptor, which in turn lead to AMPK activation, remain unclear. Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) is a deacetylase activated in response to calorie restriction that acts through the tumor suppressor gene p53. We tested the hypothesis that the central SIRT1/p53 pathway might be mediating the orexigenic action of ghrelin.
The retinoblastoma protein Rb is a tumor suppressor involved in cell cycle control, differentiation, and inhibition of oncogenic transformation. Besides these roles, additional functions in the control of immune response have been suggested. In the present study we investigated the consequences of loss of Rb in viral infection. Here we show that virus replication is increased by the absence of Rb, and that Rb is required for the activation of the NF-kB pathway in response to virus infection. These results reveal a novel role for tumor suppressor Rb in viral infection surveillance and further extend the concept of a link between tumor suppressors and antiviral activity.
The development and evaluation of PEGylated chitosan (CS) nanocapsules (NCs) conjugated to a monoclonal antibody anti-TMEFF-2 (CS-PEG-anti-TMEFF-2 mAb NCs) for targeted delivery of docetaxel (DCX) is presented. CS-PEG-Biotin NCs, displaying biotin tags at their surface, were obtained and efficiently functionalized with an anti-TMEFF-2 mAb through a convenient avidin-biotin approach. Cell cycle analysis after treatment with different DCX-loaded CS-PEG NC formulations indicated that the encapsulated drug remained fully active, showing a similar functional behavior to free DCX. In vivo efficacy studies using a non-small cell lung carcinoma xenograft revealed that CS-PEG-anti-TMEFF-2 NCs resulted as effective as free DCX (Taxotere®). Interestingly, differences on the pharmacodynamic behavior among the different DCX formulations were observed. Thus, while free DCX exhibited a fast and short effect on tumor volume reduction, CS-PEG-anti-TMEFF-2 mAb NCs showed a delayed and prolonged action, with no significant side effects of treatments.
In the adult brain, continual neurogenesis of olfactory neurons is sustained by the existence of neural stem cells (NSCs) in the subependymal niche. Elimination of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1A (p21) leads to premature exhaustion of the subependymal NSC pool, suggesting a relationship between cell cycle control and long-term self-renewal, but the molecular mechanisms underlying NSC maintenance by p21 remain unexplored. Here we identify a function of p21 in the direct regulation of the expression of pluripotency factor Sox2, a key regulator of the specification and maintenance of neural progenitors. We observe that p21 directly binds a Sox2 enhancer and negatively regulates Sox2 expression in NSCs. Augmented levels of Sox2 in p21 null cells induce replicative stress and a DNA damage response that leads to cell growth arrest mediated by increased levels of p19(Arf) and p53. Our results show a regulation of NSC expansion driven by a p21/Sox2/p53 axis.
The mechanisms responsible for the transcriptional silencing of pluripotency genes in differentiated cells are poorly understood. We have observed that cells lacking the tumor suppressor p27 can be reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in the absence of ectopic Sox2. Interestingly, cells and tissues from p27 null mice, including brain, lung, and retina, present an elevated basal expression of Sox2, suggesting that p27 contributes to the repression of Sox2. Furthermore, p27 null iPSCs fail to fully repress Sox2 upon differentiation. Mechanistically, we have found that upon differentiation p27 associates to the SRR2 enhancer of the Sox2 gene together with a p130-E2F4-SIN3A repressive complex. Finally, Sox2 haploinsufficiency genetically rescues some of the phenotypes characteristic of p27 null mice, including gigantism, pituitary hyperplasia, pituitary tumors, and retinal defects. Collectively, these results demonstrate an unprecedented connection between p27 and Sox2 relevant for reprogramming and cancer and for understanding human pathologies associated with p27 germline mutations.
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