?133p53?, a p53 isoform that can inhibit full-length p53, is downregulated at replicative senescence in a manner independent of mRNA regulation and proteasome-mediated degradation. Here we demonstrate that, unlike full-length p53, ?133p53? is degraded by autophagy during replicative senescence. Pharmacological inhibition of autophagy restores ?133p53? expression levels in replicatively senescent fibroblasts, without affecting full-length p53. The siRNA-mediated knockdown of pro-autophagic proteins (ATG5, ATG7 and Beclin-1) also restores ?133p53? expression. The chaperone-associated E3 ubiquitin ligase STUB1, which is known to regulate autophagy, interacts with ?133p53? and is downregulated at replicative senescence. The siRNA knockdown of STUB1 in proliferating, early-passage fibroblasts induces the autophagic degradation of ?133p53? and thereby induces senescence. Upon replicative senescence or STUB1 knockdown, ?133p53? is recruited to autophagosomes, consistent with its autophagic degradation. This study reveals that STUB1 is an endogenous regulator of ?133p53? degradation and senescence, and identifies a p53 isoform-specific protein turnover mechanism that orchestrates p53-mediated senescence.
As key negative regulator of the p53 tumour suppressor, Mdm2 is an attractive therapeutic target. Small molecules such as Nutlin have been developed to antagonise Mdm2, resulting in p53-dependent death of tumour cells. We have recently described a mutation in Mdm2 (M62A), which precludes binding of Nutlin, but not p53. This Nutlin-resistant variant is not, however, refractory to binding and inhibition by stapled peptide antagonists targeting the same region of Mdm2. A detailed understanding of how stapled peptides are recalcitrant to Mdm2 mutations conferring Nutlin-resistance will aid in the further development of potent Mdm2 antagonists. Here, we report the 2.00 Å crystal structure of a stapled peptide antagonist bound to Nutlin resistant Mdm2. The stapled peptide relies on an extended network of interactions along the hydrophobic binding cleft of Mdm2 for high affinity binding. Additionally, as seen in other stapled peptide structures, the hydrocarbon staple itself contributes to binding through favourable interactions with Mdm2. The structure highlights the intrinsic plasticity present in both Mdm2 and the hydrocarbon staple moiety, and can be used to guide future iterations of both small molecules and stapled peptides for improved antagonists of Mdm2.
Patients with anemia are frequently encountered in the emergency department (ED); emergency physicians (EPs) often play an important role in the evaluation and management of anemia. Although many patients have findings consistent with anemia on routine laboratory tests, only a small percentage will require acute intervention. An understanding of the broader types of anemia and how to manage such patients is important in the practice of an EP, as the presence of anemia will impact treatment plans for a variety of other disorders. This article reviews the evaluation and management of adult patients presenting to the ED with anemia.
Degradation of p53 is a cornerstone in the control of its functions as a tumor suppressor. This process is attributed to ubiquitin-dependent modification of p53. In addition to polyubiquitination, we found that p53 is targeted for degradation through ISGylation. Isg15, a ubiquitin-like protein, covalently modifies p53 at 2 sites in the N and C terminus, and ISGylated p53 can be degraded by the 20S proteasome. ISGylation primarily targets a misfolded, dominant-negative p53, and Isg15 deletion in normal cells results in suppression of p53 activity and functions. We propose that Isg15-dependent degradation of p53 represents an alternative mechanism of controlling p53 protein levels, and, thus, it is an attractive pathway for drug discovery.
Stapling peptides for inhibiting the p53/MDM2 interaction is a promising strategy for developing anti-cancer therapeutic leads. We evaluate double-click stapled peptides formed from p53-based diazidopeptides with different staple positions and azido amino acid side-chain lengths, determining the impact of these variations on MDM2 binding and cellular activity. We also demonstrate a K24R mutation, necessary for cellular activity in hydrocarbon-stapled p53 peptides, is not required for analogous 'double-click' peptides.
Protein S is a cofactor for tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI), accelerating the inhibition of activated factor X (FXa). TFPI Kunitz domain 3 residue Glu226 is essential for enhancement of TFPI by protein S. To investigate the complementary functional interaction site on protein S, we screened 44 protein S point, composite or domain swap variants spanning the whole protein S molecule for their TFPI cofactor function using a thrombin generation assay. Of these variants, two protein S/growth arrest-specific 6 chimeras, with either the whole sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG)-like domain (Val243-Ser635; chimera III) or the SHBG laminin G-type 1 subunit (Ser283-Val459; chimera I), respectively, substituted by the corresponding domain in growth arrest-specific 6, were unable to enhance TFPI. The importance of the protein S SHBG-like domain (and its laminin G-type 1 subunit) for binding and enhancement of TFPI was confirmed in FXa inhibition assays and using surface plasmon resonance. In addition, protein S bound to C4b binding protein showed greatly reduced enhancement of TFPI-mediated inhibition of FXa compared with free protein S. We show that binding of TFPI to the protein S SHBG-like domain enables TFPI to interact optimally with FXa on a phospholipid membrane.
Although p53 is found mutated in almost 50% of all cancers, p53 mutations in leukaemia are relatively rare. Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) cells employ other strategies to inactivate their wild type p53 (WTp53), like the overexpression of the p53 negative regulators Mdm2 and Mdm4. As such, AMLs are excellent candidates for therapeutics involving the reactivation of their WTp53 to restrict and destroy cancer cells, and the Mdm2 antagonist nutlin-3 is one such promising agent. Using AML cell lines with WTp53, we identified stable and high levels of p53 in the OCI/AML-2 cell lines. We demonstrate that this nutlin-3 sensitive cell line overexpressed Mdm4 to sequester, stabilise and inhibit p53 in the cytoplasm. We also show that elevated Mdm4 competed with Mdm2-p53 interaction and therefore extended p53 half-life while preventing p53 transcriptional activity. Our results provide biochemical evidence on the dynamics of the p53-Mdm2-Mdm4 interactions in affecting p53 levels and activity, and unlike previously reported findings derived from genetically manipulated systems, AML cells with naturally high levels of Mdm4 remain sensitive to nutlin treatment. Key Points: Endogenously high levels of Mdm4 inhibit and sequester p53 in AML. High levels of Mdm4 do not block function of Mdm2 inhibitors in AML.
Bone morphogenetic protein and activin membrane-bound inhibitor (BAMBI) is a transmembrane protein related to the transforming growth factor-? superfamily, and is highly expressed in platelets and endothelial cells. We previously demonstrated its positive role in thrombus formation using a zebrafish thrombosis model. In the present study, we used Bambi-deficient mice and radiation chimeras to evaluate the function of this receptor in the regulation of both hemostasis and thrombosis. We show that Bambi(-/-) and Bambi(+/-) mice exhibit mildly prolonged bleeding times compared with Bambi(+/+) littermates. In addition, using 2 in vivo thrombosis models in mesenterium or cremaster muscle arterioles, we demonstrate that Bambi-deficient mice form unstable thrombi compared with Bambi(+/+) mice. No defects in thrombin generation in Bambi(-/-) mouse plasma could be detected ex vivo. Moreover, the absence of BAMBI had no effect on platelet counts, platelet activation, aggregation, or platelet procoagulant function. Similar to Bambi(-/-) mice, Bambi(-/-) transplanted with Bambi(+/+) bone marrow formed unstable thrombi in the laser-induced thrombosis model that receded more rapidly than thrombi that formed in Bambi(+/+) mice receiving Bambi(-/-) bone marrow transplants. Taken together, these results provide strong evidence for an important role of endothelium rather than platelet BAMBI as a positive regulator of both thrombus formation and stability.
Polyphenol oxidase (PPO), often encoded by a multi-gene family, causes oxidative browning, a significant problem in many food products. Low-browning potatoes were produced previously through suppression of PPO gene expression, but the contribution of individual PPO gene isoform to the oxidative browning process was unknown. Here we investigated the contributions of different PPO genes to total PPO protein activity, and the correlations between PPO protein level, PPO activity and tuber tissue browning potential by suppression of all previously characterized potato PPO genes, both individually and in combination using artificial microRNAs (amiRNAs) technology.
Chromosome breakage is a major threat to genome integrity. The most accurate way to repair DNA double strand breaks (DSB) is homologous recombination (HR) with an intact copy of the broken locus. Mobility of the broken DNA has been seen to increase during the search for a donor copy. Observing chromosome dynamics during the earlier steps of HR, mainly the resection from DSB ends that generates recombinogenic single strands, requires a visualization system that does not interfere with the process, and is small relative to the few kilobases of DNA that undergo processing. Current visualization tools, based on binding of fluorescent repressor proteins to arrays of specific binding sites, have the major drawback that highly-repeated DNA and lengthy stretches of strongly bound protein can obstruct chromatin function. We have developed a new, non-intrusive method which uses protein oligomerization rather than operator multiplicity to form visible foci. By applying it to HO cleavage of the MAT locus on Saccharomyces cerevisiae chromosome III, we provide the first real-time analysis of resection in single living cells. Monitoring the dynamics of a chromatin locus next to a DSB revealed transient confinement of the damaged chromatin region during the very early steps of resection, consistent with the need to keep DNA ends in contact. Resection in a yku70 mutant began ? 10 min earlier than in wild type, defining this as the period of commitment to homology-dependent repair. Beyond the insights into the dynamics and mechanism of resection, our new DNA-labelling and -targeting method will be widely applicable to fine-scale analysis of genome organization, dynamics and function in normal and pathological contexts.
The tumour suppressor p53 is the most frequently mutated gene in human cancer, with more than half of all human tumours carrying mutations in this particular gene. Intense efforts to develop drugs that could activate or restore the p53 pathway have now reached clinical trials. The first clinical results with inhibitors of MDM2, a negative regulator of p53, have shown efficacy but hint at on-target toxicities. Here, we describe the current state of the development of p53 pathway modulators and new pathway targets that have emerged. The challenge of targeting protein-protein interactions and a fragile mutant transcription factor has stimulated many exciting new approaches to drug discovery.
Rheological shear forces in the blood trigger von Willebrand factor (VWF) unfolding which exposes the Y1605-M1606 scissile bond within the VWF A2 domain for cleavage by ADAMTS13. The VWF A2 domain contains 2 structural features that provide it with stability: a vicinal disulphide bond and a Ca(2+)-binding site (CBS). We investigated how these 2 structural features interplay to determine stability and regulate the exposure of the scissile bond in full-length VWF. We have used differential scanning fluorimetry together with site-directed mutagenesis of residues involved in both the vicinal disulphide bond and the CBS to demonstrate that both of these sites contribute to stability against thermal unfolding of the isolated VWF A2 domain. Moreover, we show that the combination of site mutations can result in increased susceptibility of FL-VWF to proteolysis by ADAMTS13, even in the absence of an agent (such as urea) required to induce unfolding. These studies demonstrate that VWF A2 domain stability provided by its 2 structural elements (vicinal disulphide bond and CBS) is a key protective determinant against FL-VWF cleavage by ADAMTS13. They suggest a 2-step mechanism for VWF A2 domain unfolding.
Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) are attractive but challenging targets for drug discovery. To overcome numerous limitations of the currently available cell-based PPI assays, we have recently established a fully reversible microscopy-assisted fluorescent two-hybrid (F2H) assay. The F2H assay offers a fast and straightforward readout: an interaction-dependent co-localization of two distinguishable fluorescent signals at a defined spot in the nucleus of mammalian cells. We developed two reversible F2H assays for the interactions between the tumor suppressor p53 and its negative regulators, Mdm2 and Mdm4. We then performed a pilot F2H screen with a subset of compounds, including small molecules (such as Nutlin-3) and stapled peptides. We identified five cell-penetrating compounds as potent p53-Mdm2 inhibitors. However, none exhibited intracellular activity on p53-Mdm4. Live cell data generated by the F2H assays enable the characterization of stapled peptides based on their ability to penetrate cells and disrupt p53-Mdm2 interaction as well as p53-Mdm4 interaction. Here, we show that the F2H assays enable side-by-side analysis of substances' dual Mdm2-Mdm4 activity. In addition, they are suitable for testing various types of compounds (e.g., small molecules and peptidic inhibitors) and concurrently provide initial data on cellular toxicity. Furthermore, F2H assays readily allow real-time visualization of PPI dynamics in living cells.
Blends of natural and synthetic polymers have received considerable attention as biomaterials due to the potential to optimize both mechanical and bioactive properties. Electrospinning of biocompatible polymers is an efficient method producing biomimetic topographies suited to various applications. In the ultimate application, electrospun scaffolds must also incorporate drug/protein delivery for effective cell growth and tissue repair. This study explored the suitability of a ternary Polymethylmethacrylate-Polycaprolactone-gelatin blend in the preparation of electrospun scaffolds for biomedical applications. Tuning the blend composition allows control over scaffold mechanical properties and degradation rate. Significant improvements were observed in the mechanical properties of the blend compared with the individual components. In order to study drug delivery potential, triblends were impregnated with the model compound Rhodamine-B using sub/supercritical CO? infusion under benign conditions. Results show significantly distinct release profiles of the impregnated dye from the triblends. Specific factors such as porosity, degradation rate, stress relaxation, dye-polymer interactions, play key roles in impregnation and release. Each polymer component of the triblends shows distinct behavior during impregnation and release process. This affects the aforementioned factors and the release profiles of the dye. Careful control over blend composition and infusion conditions creates the flexibility needed to produce biocompatible electrospun scaffolds for a variety of biomedical applications.
The number of newly formed neurons declines rapidly during aging, and this decrease in neurogenesis is associated with decreased function of neural stem/progenitor cells (NPCs). Here, we determined that a WIP1-dependent pathway regulates NPC differentiation and contributes to the age-associated decline of neurogenesis. Specifically, we found that WIP1 is expressed in NPCs of the mouse subventricular zone (SVZ) and aged animals with genetically enhanced WIP1 expression exhibited higher NPC numbers and neuronal differentiation compared with aged WT animals. Additionally, augmenting WIP1 expression in aged animals markedly improved neuron formation and rescued a functional defect in fine odor discrimination in aged mice. We identified the WNT signaling pathway inhibitor DKK3 as a key downstream target of WIP1 and found that expression of DKK3 in the SVZ is restricted to NPCs. Using murine reporter strains, we determined that DKK3 inhibits neuroblast formation by suppressing WNT signaling and Dkk3 deletion or pharmacological activation of the WNT pathway improved neuron formation and olfactory function in aged mice. We propose that WIP1 controls DKK3-dependent inhibition of neuronal differentiation during aging and suggest that regulating WIP1 levels could prevent certain aspects of functional decline of the aging brain.
The Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD) Standardized Letter of Recommendation (SLOR) has become the primary tool used by emergency medicine (EM) faculty to evaluate residency candidates. A survey was created to describe the training, beliefs, and usage patterns of SLOR writers.
Hydrolysis of ATP by partition ATPases, although considered a key step in the segregation mechanism that assures stable inheritance of plasmids, is intrinsically very weak. The cognate centromere-binding protein (CBP), together with DNA, stimulates the ATPase to hydrolyse ATP and to undertake the relocation that incites plasmid movement, apparently confirming the need for hydrolysis in partition. However, ATP-binding alone changes ATPase conformation and properties, making it difficult to rigorously distinguish the substrate and cofactor roles of ATP in vivo. We had shown that mutation of arginines R36 and R42 in the F plasmid CBP, SopB, reduces stimulation of SopA-catalyzed ATP hydrolysis without changing SopA-SopB affinity, suggesting the role of hydrolysis could be analyzed using SopA with normal conformational responses to ATP. Here, we report that strongly reducing SopB-mediated stimulation of ATP hydrolysis results in only slight destabilization of mini-F, although the instability, as well as an increase in mini-F clustering, is proportional to the ATPase deficit. Unexpectedly, the reduced stimulation also increased the frequency of SopA relocation over the nucleoid. The increase was due to drastic shortening of the period spent by SopA at nucleoid ends; average speed of migration per se was unchanged. Reduced ATP hydrolysis was also associated with pronounced deviations in positioning of mini-F, though time-averaged positions changed only modestly. Thus, by specifically targeting SopB-stimulated ATP hydrolysis our study reveals that even at levels of ATPase which reduce the efficiency of splitting clusters and the constancy of plasmid positioning, SopB still activates SopA mobility and plasmid positioning, and sustains near wild type levels of plasmid stability.
The stereoselective affinity of small-molecule binding to proteins is typically broadly explained in terms of the thermodynamics of the final bound complex. Using Brownian dynamics simulations, we show that the preferential binding of the MDM2 protein to the geometrical isomers of Nutlin-3, an effective anticancer lead that works by inhibiting the interaction between the proteins p53 and MDM2, can be explained by kinetic arguments related to the formation of the MDM2:Nutlin-3 encounter complex. This is a diffusively bound state that forms prior to the final bound complex. We find that the MDM2 protein stereoselectivity for the Nutlin-3a enantiomer stems largely from the destabilization of the encounter complex of its mirror image enantiomer Nutlin-3b, by the K70 residue that is located away from the binding site. On the other hand, the trans-Nutlin-3a diastereoisomer exhibits a shorter residence time in the vicinity of MDM2 compared with Nutlin-3a due to destabilization of its encounter complex by the collective interaction of pairs of charged residues on either side of the binding site: Glu25 and Lys51 on one side, and Lys94 and Arg97 on the other side. This destabilization is largely due to the electrostatic potential of the trans-Nutlin-3a isomer being largely positive over extended continuous regions around its structure, which are otherwise well-identified into positive and negative regions in the case of the Nutlin-3a isomer. Such rich insight into the binding processes underlying biological selectivity complements the static view derived from the traditional thermodynamic analysis of the final bound complex. This approach, based on an explicit consideration of the dynamics of molecular association, suggests new avenues for kinetics-based anticancer drug development and discovery.
DNA manipulation routinely requires competent bacteria that can be made using one of numerous methods. To determine the best methods, we compared four commonly used chemical methods (DMSO, MgCl2-CaCl2, CaCl2 and Hanahans methods) on frequently used Escherichia coli (E. coli) strains: DH5?, XL-1 Blue, SCS110, JM109, TOP10 and BL21-(DE3)-PLysS. Hanahans method was found to be most effective for DH5?, XL-1 Blue and JM109 strains (P<0.05), whilst the CaCl2 method was best for SCS110, TOP10 and BL21 strains (P<0.05). The use of SOB (super optimal broth) over LB [Luria-Bertani (broth)] growth media was found to enhance the competency of XL-1 Blue (P<0.05), dampened JM109s competency (P<0.05), and had no effect on the other strains (P>0.05). We found no significant differences between using 45 or 90 s heat shock across all the six strains (P>0.05). Through further optimization by means of concentrating the aliquots, we were able to get further increases in transformation efficiencies. Based on the optimized parameters and methods, these common laboratory E. coli strains attained high levels of TrE (transformation efficiency), thus facilitating the production of highly efficient and cost-effective competent bacteria.
eIF4E is frequently over-expressed in different cancers and causes increased translation of oncogenic proteins via deregulated cap-dependent translation. Inhibitors of the eIF4E:eIF4G interactions represent an approach that would normalize cap-dependent translation. Stapled peptides represent an emerging class of therapeutics that can target protein: protein interactions. We present here molecular dynamics simulations for a set of rationally designed stapled peptides in solution and in complex with eIF4E, supported with biophysical and crystallographic data. Clustering of the simulated structures revealed the favoured conformational states of the stapled peptides in their bound or free forms in solution. Identifying these populations has allowed us to design peptides with improved affinities by introducing mutations into the peptide sequence to alter their conformational distributions. These studies emphasise the effects that engineered mutations have on the conformations of free and bound peptides, and illustrate that both states must be considered in efforts to attain high affinity binding.
c-Met is a tyrosine receptor kinase which is activated by its ligand, the hepatocyte growth factor. Activation of c-Met leads to a wide spectrum of biological activities such as motility, angiogenesis, morphogenesis, cell survival and cell regeneration. c-Met is abnormally activated in many tumour types. Aberrant c-Met activation was found to induce tumour development, tumour cell migration and invasion, and the worst and final step in cancer progression, metastasis. In addition, c-Met activation in cells was also shown to confer resistance to apoptosis induced by UV damage or chemotherapeutic drugs. This study describes the development of monoclonal antibodies against c-Met as therapeutic molecules in cancer treatment/diagnostics. A panel of c-Met monoclonal antibodies was developed and characterised by epitope mapping, Western blotting, immunoprecipitation, agonist/antagonist effect in cell scatter assays and for their ability to recognise native c-Met by flow cytometry. We refer to these antibodies as Specifically Engaging Extracellular c-Met (seeMet). seeMet 2 and 13 bound strongly to native c-Met in flow cytometry and reduced SNU-5 cell growth. Interestingly, seeMet 2 binding was strongly reduced at 4oC when compared to 37oC. Detail mapping of the seeMet 2 epitope indicated a cryptic binding site hidden within the c-Met ?-chain.
The purpose of this study was to examine the behavioral effects of four doses of psychostimulant medication, combining extended-release methylphenidate (MPH) in the morning with immediate-release MPH in the afternoon.
The human p53 protein isoforms are expressed in several cell lines and modulate p53 tumor suppressor -activity, mainly through modulation of gene expression (1-4). Thus, identifying the pattern of p53 isoforms expression in cell lines is a key step for future studies of the p53 network (5). At the moment, the detection of p53 protein isoforms is based on the use of a panel of antibodies allowing their identification by comparing their molecular weights and their detection pattern by different antibodies (6). Here, classical protocols supplemented with technical know-how are described to detect p53 protein isoforms at protein level by Western blotting and immunoprecipitation. Furthermore, a simple method to study the impact of p53 protein isoforms on p53 transcriptional activity through luciferase reporter gene assays is provided.
The TP53 gene expresses at least nine different mRNA variants (p53 isoform mRNAs), including the one encoding the canonical p53 tumor suppressor protein. We have developed scientific tools to specifically detect and quantify p53 isoform expression at mRNA level by nested RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) and quantitative real-time RT-PCR (RT-qPCR using the TaqMan(®) chemistry). Here, we describe these two methods, while highlighting essential points with regard to the analysis of p53 isoform mRNA expression.
Cellular senescence contributes to aging and decline in tissue function. p53 isoform switching regulates replicative senescence in cultured fibroblasts and is associated with tumor progression. Here, we found that the endogenous p53 isoforms ?133p53 and p53? are physiological regulators of proliferation and senescence in human T lymphocytes in vivo. Peripheral blood CD8+ T lymphocytes collected from healthy donors displayed an age-dependent accumulation of senescent cells (CD28-CD57+) with decreased ?133p53 and increased p53? expression. Human lung tumor-associated CD8+ T lymphocytes also harbored senescent cells. Cultured CD8+ blood T lymphocytes underwent replicative senescence that was associated with loss of CD28 and ?133p53 protein. In poorly proliferative, ?133p53-low CD8+CD28- cells, reconstituted expression of either ?133p53 or CD28 upregulated endogenous expression of each other, which restored cell proliferation, extended replicative lifespan and rescued senescence phenotypes. Conversely, ?133p53 knockdown or p53? overexpression in CD8+CD28+ cells inhibited cell proliferation and induced senescence. This study establishes a role for ?133p53 and p53? in regulation of cellular proliferation and senescence in vivo. Furthermore, ?133p53-induced restoration of cellular replicative potential may lead to a new therapeutic paradigm for treating immunosenescence disorders, including those associated with aging, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and HIV infection.
Numerous peptide ligands including protease recognition sequences, peptides mediating protein-protein interactions, peptide epitopes of antibodies and mimotopes are available which bind molecules of interest. However, there is currently no facile method for the incorporation of these peptides into homogenous detection systems. We present a generalizable method for the incorporation of such peptides into a novel fusion protein framework comprising an enzyme and its inhibitor. The incorporated peptide functions as an allosteric hinge, linking enzyme to its inhibitor. Upon interaction with its cognate analyte, the peptide mediates dissociation of the inhibitor from the enzyme, and facilitates one-step signal generation. Likewise, cleavage of the peptide by a specific protease also causes enzyme-inhibitor dissociation, leading to signal generation. Using the ?-lactamase Tem1 and its inhibitor protein as a model scaffold, we show both specific and sensitive (between low nanomolar and mid-picomolar) colorimetric detection of proteases and antibodies within minutes in a homogenous one-step reaction visible to the naked eye. The same scaffold affords in vivo detection of antibody binding and protease function by linking activity to a selectable phenotype in E. coli.
p53 protein turnover through the ubiquitination pathway is a vital mechanism in the regulation of its transcriptional activity; however, little is known about p53 turnover through proteasome-independent pathway(s). The digestive organ expansion factor (Def) protein is essential for the development of digestive organs. In zebrafish, loss of function of def selectively upregulates the expression of p53 response genes, which raises a question as to what is the relationship between Def and p53. We report here that Def is a nucleolar protein and that loss of function of def leads to the upregulation of p53 protein, which surprisingly accumulates in the nucleoli. Our extensive studies have demonstrated that Def can mediate the degradation of p53 protein and that this process is independent of the proteasome pathway, but dependent on the activity of Calpain3, a cysteine protease. Our findings define a novel nucleolar pathway that regulates the turnover function of p53, which will advance our understanding of p53s role in organogenesis and tumorigenesis.
The Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD) introduced the standardized letter of recommendation (SLOR) in 1997, and it has become a critical tool for assessing candidates for emergency medicine (EM) training. It has not itself been evaluated since the initial studies associated with its introduction. This study characterizes current SLOR use to evaluate whether it serves its intended purpose of being standardized, concise, and discriminating.
The interaction of p53 with its regulators MDM2 and MDMX plays a major role in regulating the cell cycle. Inhibition of this interaction has become an important therapeutic strategy in oncology. Although MDM2 and MDMX share a very high degree of sequence/structural similarity, the small-molecule inhibitor nutlin appears to be an efficient inhibitor only of the p53-MDM2 interaction. Here, we investigate the mechanism of interaction of nutlin with these two proteins and contrast it with that of p53 using Brownian dynamics simulations. In contrast to earlier attempts to examine the bound states of the partners, here we locate initial reaction events in these interactions by identifying the regions of space around MDM2/MDMX, where p53/nutlin experience associative encounters with prolonged residence times relative to that in bulk solution. We find that the initial interaction of p53 with MDM2 is long-lived relative to nutlin, but, unlike nutlin, it takes place at the N- and C termini of the MDM2 protein, away from the binding site, suggestive of an allosteric mechanism of action. In contrast, nutlin initially interacts with MDM2 directly at the clefts of the binding site. The interaction of nutlin with MDMX, however, is very short-lived compared with MDM2 and does not show such direct initial interactions with the binding site. Comparison of the topology of the electrostatic potentials of MDM2 and MDMX and the locations of the initial encounters with p53/nutlin in tandem with structure-based sequence alignment revealed that the origin of the diminished activity of nutlin toward MDMX relative to MDM2 may stem partly from the differing topologies of the electrostatic potentials of the two proteins. Glu25 and Lys51 residues underpin these topological differences and appear to collectively play a key role in channelling nutlin directly toward the binding site on the MDM2 surface and are absent in MDMX. The results, therefore, provide new insight into the mechanism of p53/nutlin interactions with MDM2 and MDMX and could potentially have a broader impact on anticancer drug optimization strategies.
The transcription factor p53 regulates cellular integrity in response to stress. p53 is mutated in more than half of cancerous cells, with a majority of the mutations localized to the DNA binding domain (DBD). In order to map the structural and dynamical features of the DBD, we carried out multiple copy molecular dynamics simulations (totaling 0.8 ?s). Simulations show the loop 1 to be the most dynamic element among the DNA-contacting loops (loops 1-3). Loop 1 occupies two major conformational states: extended and recessed; the former but not the latter displays correlations in atomic fluctuations with those of loop 2 (~24 Å apart). Since loop 1 binds to the major groove whereas loop 2 binds to the minor groove of DNA, our results begin to provide some insight into the possible mechanism underpinning the cooperative nature of DBD binding to DNA. We propose (1) a novel mechanism underlying the dynamics of loop 1 and the possible tread-milling of p53 on DNA and (2) possible mutations on loop 1 residues to restore the transcriptional activity of an oncogenic mutation at a distant site.
Pharmacological modulation of p53 activity is an attractive therapeutic strategy in cancers with wild-type p53. Presently in clinical trials, the small molecule Nutlin-3A competitively binds to HDM2, a key negative regulator of p53 and blocks its activity. We have described resistance mutations in HDM2 that selectively reduce affinity for Nutlin but not p53. In the present communication, we show that stapled peptides targeting the same region of HDM2 as Nutlin are refractory to these mutations, and display reduced discrimination between the wild-type and mutant HDM2s with regards to functional abrogation of interaction with p53. The larger interaction footprint afforded by stapled peptides suggests that this class of ligands may prove comparatively more resilient to acquired resistance in a clinical setting.
HDM2 binds to the p53 tumour suppressor and targets it for proteosomal degradation. Presently in clinical trials, the small molecule Nutlin-3A competitively binds to HDM2 and abrogates its repressive function. Using a novel in vitro selection methodology, we simulated the emergence of resistance by evolving HDM2 mutants capable of binding p53 in the presence of Nutlin concentrations that inhibit the wild-type HDM2-p53 interaction. The in vitro phenotypes were recapitulated in ex vivo assays measuring both p53 transactivation function and the direct p53-HDM2 interaction in the presence of Nutlin. Mutations conferring drug resistance were not confined to the N-terminal p53/Nutlin-binding domain, and were additionally seen in the acidic, zinc finger and RING domains. Mechanistic insights gleaned from this broad spectrum of mutations will aid in future drug design and further our understanding of the complex p53-HDM2 interaction.
Mutations in the TP53 gene commonly result in the expression of a full-length protein that drives cancer cell invasion and metastasis. Herein, we have deciphered the global landscape of transcriptional regulation by mutant p53 through the application of a panel of isogenic H1299 derivatives with inducible expression of several common cancer-associated p53 mutants. We found that the ability of mutant p53 to alter the transcriptional profile of cancer cells is remarkably conserved across different p53 mutants. The mutant p53 transcriptional landscape was nested within a small subset of wild-type p53 responsive genes, suggesting that the oncogenic properties of mutant p53 are conferred by retaining its ability to regulate a defined set of p53 target genes. These mutant p53 target genes were shown to converge upon a p63 signalling axis. Both mutant p53 and wild-type p63 were co-recruited to the promoters of these target genes, thus providing a molecular basis for their selective regulation by mutant p53. We demonstrate that mutant p53 manipulates the gene expression pattern of cancer cells to facilitate invasion through the release of a pro-invasive secretome into the tumor microenvironment. Collectively, this study provides mechanistic insight into the complex nature of transcriptional regulation by mutant p53 and implicates a role for tumor-derived p53 mutations in the manipulation of the cancer cell secretome.
Analysis of the genome of the elephant shark (Callorhinchus milii), a member of the cartilaginous fishes (Class Chondrichthyes), reveals that it encodes all three members of the p53 gene family, p53, p63 and p73, each with clear homology to the equivalent gene in bony vertebrates (Class Osteichthyes). Thus, the gene duplication events that lead to the presence of three family members in the vertebrates dates to before the Silurian era. It also encodes Mdm2 and Mdm4 genes but does not encode the p19(Arf) gene. Detailed comparison of the amino acid sequences of these proteins in the vertebrates reveals that they are evolving at highly distinctive rates, and this variation occurs not only between the three family members but extends to distinct domains in each protein.
VWF and ADAMTS13 are major determinants of platelet adhesion after vessel injury. In the present study, we aimed to determine whether VWF or ADAMTS13 plasma antigen levels influence the risks of ischemic stroke (IS) or myocardial infarction (MI) in young women and how these risks are affected by oral contraceptive (OC) use. VWF and ADAMTS13 plasma antigen levels were measured in a frequency-matched case-control study of 1018 young (18-49 years) women including 175 IS patients and 205 MI patients. Increasing levels of VWF and decreasing levels of ADAMTS13 were associated with the risk of IS and MI in a dose-dependent manner. Having both high VWF and low ADAMTS13 resulted in an odds ratio (OR) of 6.9 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 2.0-23.0) for IS and 11.3 (95% CI, 3.6-35.2) for MI. Use of OCs increased the risk of IS and MI associated with high VWF (OR = 12; 95% CI, 5.5-26.2 and OR = 7.5, 95% CI, 3.6-15.7, respectively) and the risk of IS associated with low ADAMTS13 (OR = 5.8, 95% CI, 2.7-12.4). We conclude that high VWF and low ADAMTS13 plasma levels both increase the risk of IS and MI. The risks associated with high VWF or low ADAMTS13 levels are further increased by the use of OCs.
A common step in human cancer is the inactivation of the p53 tumor suppressor pathway. This occurs either by mutations in the coding region of the p53 gene itself, or equally commonly, by inactivation of pathways that are required for p53 to exert its cellular function. Dramatic new results from animal models and the widespread availability of p53 activating small molecules are yielding important new insights into the therapeutic and toxic effects of p53 and how these can be exploited for improving therapy of cancer and other diseases.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common bacterial infections treated in the outpatient setting and range in severity from minimally symptomatic cystitis to severe septic shock in a wide array of patients. Diagnosis of uncomplicated cystitis can be inferred from history and physical, and confirmed by urinalysis. Appropriate antimicrobial therapy should rapidly improve symptoms in all UTIs. Treatment can be further tailored according to severity of illness, analysis of individualized risk factors, and antimicrobial resistance patterns. This article discusses treatment options in light of bacterial resistance in the twenty-first century.
von Willebrand factor (VWF) is a large adhesive glycoprotein with established functions in hemostasis. It serves as a carrier for factor VIII and acts as a vascular damage sensor by attracting platelets to sites of vessel injury. VWF size is important for this latter function, with larger multimers being more hemostatically active. Functional imbalance in multimer size can variously cause microvascular thrombosis or bleeding. The regulation of VWF multimeric size and platelet-tethering function is carried out by ADAMTS13, a plasma metalloprotease that is constitutively active. Unusually, protease activity of ADAMTS13 is controlled not by natural inhibitors but by conformational changes in its substrate, which are induced when VWF is subject to elevated rheologic shear forces. This transforms VWF from a globular to an elongated protein. This conformational transformation unfolds the VWF A2 domain and reveals cryptic exosites as well as the scissile bond. To enable VWF proteolysis, ADAMTS13 makes multiple interactions that bring the protease to the substrate and position it to engage with the cleavage site as this becomes exposed by shear. This article reviews recent literature on the interaction between these 2 multidomain proteins and provides a summary model to explain proteolytic regulation of VWF by ADAMTS13.
The platelet-tethering function of von Willebrand factor (VWF) is proteolytically regulated by ADAMTS13 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with a thrombospondin type 1 motif, member 13), which cleaves the Tyr1605-Met1606 (P1-P1) bond in the VWF A2 domain. To date, most of the functional interactions between ADAMTS13 and VWF that have been characterized involve VWF residues that are C terminal to the scissile bond. We now demonstrate that the substrate P3 position in VWF, Leu1603, is a critical determinant of VWF proteolysis. When VWF Leu1603 was substituted with Ser, Ala, Asn, or Lys in a short VWF substrate, VWF115, proteolysis was either greatly reduced or ablated (up to 400-fold reduction in k(cat)/K(m)). As Leu1603 must interact with residues proximate to the Zn(2+) ion coordinated in the active center of ADAMTS13, we sought the corresponding S3 interacting residues. Substitution of 10 candidate residues in the metalloprotease domain of ADAMTS13 identified two spatially separated clusters centered on Leu198 or Val195 (acting with Leu232 and Leu274, or with Leu151, respectively), as possible subsites interacting with VWF. These experimental findings using the short VWF115 substrate were replicated using full-length VWF. It is hypothesized that VWF Leu1603 interacts with ADAMTS13 Leu198/Leu232/Leu274 and that Val195/Leu151 may form part of a S1 subsite. The recognition of VWF Leu1603 by ADAMTS13, in conjunction with previously reported remote exosites C terminal of the cleavage site, suggests a mechanism whereby the VWF P1-P1 scissile bond is brought into position over the active site for cleavage. Together with recently characterized remote exosite interactions, these findings provide a general framework for understanding the ADAMTS family substrate interactions.
Foster youth are at risk of poor adult outcomes. Research on the role of mentoring relationships for this population suggests the value of strategies that increase their access to adult sources of support, both while in foster care and as they reach adulthood. We conducted semi-structured, individual qualitative interviews with 23 former foster youth ages 18-25 regarding their relationships with supportive non-parental adults. We sought to identify factors that influence the formation, quality, and duration of these relationships and to develop testable hypotheses for intervention strategies. Findings suggest several themes related to relationship formation with non-parental adults, including barriers (e.g., youths fears of being hurt) and facilitators (e.g., patience from the adult). Distinct themes were also identified relating to the ongoing development and longevity of these relationships. Youth also described multiple types of support and positive contributions to their development. Proposed intervention strategies include systematic incorporation of important non-parental adults into transition planning, enhanced training and matching procedures within formal mentoring programs, assistance for youth to strengthen their interpersonal awareness and skills, and the targeting of specific periods of need when linking youth to sources of adult support. Recommended research includes the development, pilot-testing, and evaluation of proposed strategies.
Nucleophosmin (NPM), an important regulator in p53 signaling pathway, is one of the most frequently mutated genes in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In our previous study, we found that hexamethylene bisacetamide inducible protein 1 (HEXIM1) interacted with both wild-type NPM and cytoplasmic-misallocated NPMc(+) mutant, leading to an increase in RNA polymerase II transcription. Here, we examine the protein expression in wild-type NPM (AML2) and NPMc(+) mutant (AML3) AML cell lines. Significant lower levels of NPM, HEXIM1 and p53 proteins are detected in AML3 cells, and such differential protein expression is not regulated at transcriptional or post-translational stages. Effects of several anticancer compounds on cell viability of AML2 and AML3 cells are investigated. Compared to AML3 cells, AML2 cells are more sensitive to the treatment of the DNA-damaging compounds (doxorubicin and etoposide) and a specific p53-inducing compound (nutlin-3). However, no significant difference in cytotoxicity was observed when AML2 and AML3 cells were treated with cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, flavopiridol and CYC202. Our results provide a novel insight into the functional impact of the NPMc(+) mutation on protein expression and the potential approaches for selective therapy of AML.
The segregation of plasmid F of Escherichia coli is highly reliable. The Sop partition locus, responsible for this stable maintenance, is composed of two genes, sopA and sopB and a centromere, sopC, consisting of 12 direct repeats of 43?bp. Each repeat carries a 16-bp inverted repeat motif to which SopB binds to form a nucleoprotein assembly called the partition complex. A database search for sequences closely related to sopC revealed unexpected features that appeared highly conserved. We have investigated the requirements for specific SopB-sopC interactions using a surface plasmon resonance imaging technique. We show that (i) only 10 repeats interact specifically with SopB, (ii) no base outside the 16-bp sopC sites is involved in binding specificity, whereas five bases present in each arm are required for interactions, and (iii) the A-C central bases contribute to binding efficiency by conforming to a need for a purine-pyrimidine dinucleotide. We have refined the SopB-sopC binding pattern by electro-mobility shift assay and found that all 16?bp are necessary for optimal SopB binding. These data and the model we propose, define the basis of the high binding specificity of F partition complex assembly, without which, dispersal of SopB over DNA would result in defective segregation.
Protein S has an important anticoagulant function by acting as a cofactor for activated protein C (APC). We recently reported that the EGF1 domain residue Asp95 is critical for APC cofactor function. In the present study, we examined whether additional interaction sites within the Gla domain of protein S might contribute to its APC cofactor function. We examined 4 residues, composing the previously reported "Face1" (N33S/P35T/E36A/Y39V) variant, as single point substitutions. Of these protein S variants, protein S E36A was found to be almost completely inactive using calibrated automated thrombography. In factor Va inactivation assays, protein S E36A had 89% reduced cofactor activity compared with wild-type protein S and was almost completely inactive in factor VIIIa inactivation; phospholipid binding was, however, normal. Glu36 lies outside the ?-loop that mediates Ca(2+)-dependent phospholipid binding. Using mass spectrometry, it was nevertheless confirmed that Glu36 is ?-carboxylated. Our finding that Gla36 is important for APC cofactor function, but not for phospholipid binding, defines a novel function (other than Ca(2+) coordination/phospholipid binding) for a Gla residue in vitamin K-dependent proteins. It also suggests that residues within the Gla and EGF1 domains of protein S act cooperatively for its APC cofactor function.
Embryonic stem (ES) cells are invaluable for their therapeutic potential as well as for the study of early development. Their clinical use demands an understanding of ES cell differentiation, particularly with respect to cell proliferation and the maintenance of genomic integrity, processes for which the transcription factor p53 is essential. However, although the function of p53 as a tumor suppressor has been extensively studied, its role in ES cell biology has not been clearly elucidated. To study p53 activity and regulation in differentiating ES cells, we used knock-in constructs to create a novel reporter system that provides a direct readout of p53 transcriptional activity. We thereby determine that the p53 pathway is active in ES cells, but that p53 activity and the p53-dependent stress response decrease upon differentiation. Although p53 protein levels and activity are usually primarily controlled by the ubiquitin ligase MDM2, we identify the MDM2 homolog MDM4 as the key modulator of p53 activity in differentiating ES cells. Our results provide a better understanding of ES cell regulation and could help to optimize ES cell differentiation protocols for their use in regenerative medicine.
Normal function of the p53 network is lost in most cancers, often through p53 mutation. The clinical impact of p53 mutations in breast cancer remains uncertain, especially where p53 isoforms may modify the effects of these p53 mutations.
Phosphorylation of S17 in the N-terminal "lid" of MDM2 (residues 1-24) is proposed to regulate the binding of p53. The lid is composed of an intrinsically disordered peptide motif that is not resolved in the crystal structure of the MDM2 N-terminal domain. Molecular dynamics simulations of MDM2 provide novel insight into how the lid undergoes complex dynamics depending on its phosphorylation state that have not been revealed by NMR analyses. The difference in charges between the phosphate and the phosphomimetic Asp and the change in shape from tetrahedral to planar are manifested in differences in strengths and durations of interactions that appear to modulate access of the binding site to ligands and peptides differentially. These findings unveil the complexities that underlie protein-protein interactions and reconcile some differences between the biochemical and NMR data suggesting that lid mutation or deletion can change the specific activity of MDM2 and provide concepts for future approaches to evaluate the effects of S17 modification on p53 binding.
Atomistic simulations of a set of stapled peptides derived from the transactivation domain of p53 (designed by Verdine & colleagues, JACS 2007 129:2456) and complexed to MDM2 reveal that the good binders are uniquely characterized by higher helicity and by extensive interactions between the hydrocarbon staples and the MDM2 surface; in contrast the poor binders have reduced helicity and their staples are mostly solvent exposed. Our studies also find that the best binders can also potentially inhibit MDMX with similar affinities, suggesting that such stapled peptides can be evolved for dual inhibition with therapeutic potential.
Mutations in the TP53 gene are a feature of 50% of all reported cancer cases. In the other 50% of cases, the TP53 gene itself is not mutated but the p53 pathway is often partially inactivated. Cancer therapies that target specific mutant genes are proving to be highly active and trials assessing agents that exploit the p53 system are ongoing. Many trials are aimed at stratifying patients on the basis of TP53 status. In another approach, TP53 is delivered as a gene therapy; this is the only currently approved p53-based treatment. The p53 protein is overexpressed in many cancers and p53-based vaccines are undergoing trials. Processed cell-surface p53 is being exploited as a target for protein-drug conjugates, and small-molecule drugs that inhibit the activity of MDM2, the E3 ligase that regulates p53 levels, have been developed by several companies. The first MDM2 inhibitors are being trialed in both hematologic and solid malignancies. Finally, the first agent found to restore the active function of mutant TP53 has just entered the clinic. Here we discuss the basis of these trials and the future of p53-based therapy.
Approximately 27 million people are living with a tumour in which the tumour suppressing activity of p53 has been inactivated. In half of these tumours, p53 itself is not mutated but the pathway is partially abrogated. Mechanisms include the overexpression of negative regulators of p53, such as MDM2 and MDM4, and deletion or epigenetic inactivation of the positive regulators of p53 such as ARF. In the other half of tumours, in which p53 is inactivated, p53 is mutated and ?95% of these mutations lie in the core DNA-binding domain, which reflects the key role of p53 as a transcriptional activator. Reactivation of the tumour suppressive properties of p53 is a key therapeutic goal, and the use of peptides in p53 research has led directly to the development of two alternative small molecule approaches: stabilization of mutant p53 to rescue its DNA-binding activity and inhibition of MDM2 or MDM4.
p53-Based cyclotherapy is proving to be a promising approach to palliate undesired effects of chemotherapy in patients with tumours carrying p53 mutations. For example, pre-treatment of cell cultures with Nutlin-3, a highly-selective inhibitor of the p53-mdm2 interaction, has been successfully used as a cytostatic agent to protect normal cells, but not p53-defective cells, from subsequent treatment with mitotic poisons or S-phase specific drugs. Here we sought to evaluate whether low doses of Actinomycin D (LDActD), a clinically-approved drug and potent p53 activator, could substitute Nutlin-3 in p53-based cyclotherapy. We found that pre-treatment with LDActD before adding the aurora kinase inhibitor VX-680 protects normal fibroblasts from polyploidy and nuclear morphology abnormalities induced by VX-680. However, and although to a lower extent than normal fibroblasts, tumour cell lines bearing p53 mutations were also protected by LDActD (but not Nutlin-3) from VX-680-induced polyploidy. We also report that a difference between the response of p53 wild-type cells and p53-defective cells to the LDActD/VX-680 sequential combination is that only the former fail to enter S-phase and therefore accumulate in G1/G0. We propose that drugs that incorporate into DNA during S-phase may perform better as second drugs than mitotic poisons in cyclotherapy approaches using LDActD as a cytostatic agent.
Mutations in the TP53 (p53) gene are present in a large fraction of human tumours, which frequently express mutant p53 proteins at high but heterogeneous levels. The clinical significance of this protein accumulation remains clouded. Mouse models bearing knock-in mutations of p53 have established that the mutant p53 proteins can drive tumour formation, invasion and metastasis through dominant negative inhibition of wild-type p53 as well as through gain of function or neomorphic activities that can inhibit or activate the function of other proteins. These models have also shown that mutation alone does not confer stability, so the variable staining of mutant proteins seen in human cancers reflects tumour-specific activation of p53-stabilizing pathways. Blocking the accumulation and activity of mutant p53 proteins may thus provide novel cancer therapeutic and diagnostic targets, but their induction by chemotherapy may paradoxically limit the effectiveness of these treatments.
The p53 tumor suppressor plays a critical role in cancer biology, functioning as a transcription factor capable of directing cell fate. It interacts with specific DNA response elements (REs) to regulate the activity of target genes. We describe here a novel, non-radioactive assay to measure p53-DNA binding which involves the sequential use of in vitro transcription/ translation (IVT), immunoprecipitation and real-time PCR. The method reliably enables the detection of sequence-specific DNA binding of full-length p53 at low concentrations of physiologically relevant REs (<5 nM). Furthermore, we demonstrate multiplexing of 4 different REs in a single binding reaction. The use of IVT precludes the requirement for purified protein, enabling rapid characterization of the binding properties of p53 variants. Uniquely, it also offers the opportunity to add compounds during translation that might modulate and activate p53. When compared to prevailing protein-DNA binding assays, this method exhibits comparable or higher sensitivity, in addition to an expansive dynamic range afforded by the use of real-time PCR. A further extrapolation of its utility is demonstrated when the addition of a peptide known to activate p53 increased its binding to a consensus RE, consistent with published data.
Amplification of single-stranded DNA circles has wide utility for a variety of applications. The two-primer ramified rolling circle amplification (RAM) reaction provides exponential DNA amplification under isothermal conditions, creating a regular laddered series of double-stranded DNA products. However, the molecular mechanism of the RAM reaction remains unexplained.
ADAMTS13 modulates von Willebrand factor (VWF) platelet-tethering function by proteolysis of the Tyr1605-Met1606 bond in the VWF A2 domain. To examine the role of the metalloprotease domain of ADAMTS13 in scissile bond specificity, we identified 3 variable regions (VR1, -2, and -3) in the ADAMTS family metalloprotease domain that flank the active site, which might be important for specificity. Eight composite sequence swaps (to residues in ADAMTS1 or ADAMTS2) and 18 single-point mutants were generated in these VRs and expressed. Swapping VR1 (E184-R193) of ADAMTS13 with that of ADAMTS1 or ADAMTS2 abolished/severely impaired ADAMTS13 function. Kinetic analysis of VR1 point mutants using VWF115 as a short substrate revealed reduced proteolytic function (k(cat)/K(m) reduced by 2- to 10-fold) as a result of D187A, R190A, and R193A substitutions. Analysis of VR2 (F216-V220) revealed a minor importance of this region. Mutants of VR3 (G236-A261) proteolysed wild-type VWF115 normally. However, using either short or full-length VWF substrates containing the P1 M1606A mutation, we identified residues within VR3 (D252-P256) that influence P1 amino acid specificity, we hypothesize, by shaping the S1 pocket. It is concluded that 2 subsites, D187-R193 and D252-P256, in the metalloprotease domain play an important role in cleavage efficiency and site specificity.
Target validation using protein aptamers enables the characterization of a specific function of a target protein in an environment that resembles native conditions as closely as possible. A major obstacle to the use of this technology has been the generation of bioactive aptamers, which is dependent on the choice of scaffold. Constraining binding peptides within a particular scaffold does not necessarily result in binding aptamers, as suboptimal presentation of peptides can occur. It is therefore understandable that different peptides might require different scaffolds for optimal presentation. In this article, we describe a novel scaffold protein that bypasses the conventional requirement for scaffolds to have known rigid structures and yet successfully presents several peptides that need to adopt a wide range of conformations for binding to their target protein. Using an unstructured protein, 4EBP1, as scaffold, we successfully construct binding aptamers to three different target proteins: Mdm2, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, and cyclin A. The Mdm2-binding aptamer constructed using 4EBP1 as scaffold demonstrates better stability and bioactivity compared to that constructed using thioredoxin as scaffold. This new scaffold protein, which makes it relatively easy to create bioactive aptamers based on known interaction sequences, will greatly facilitate the aptamer approach to target validation.
Isoforms of p53 have been described in both zebrafish and human systems based on sensitive analysis of RNA using PCR-based methods. Despite consistent evidence of the existence of these isoforms at the RNA level it has been difficult to detect the endogenous proteins in a physiological setting. In the zebrafish we have previously shown that the mRNA encoding the ?113p53 is abundantly induced in whole embryos following induction of the p53 response by radiation, CDK inhibitors and chemotherapeutic drugs. Using a set of monoclonal antibodies raised against different domains of ZFp53 we now show for the first time clear evidence for the controlled expression of a truncated form of the ZFp53 protein, ?113p53. The protein is present at very low levels but is induced by transcriptionally active full-length ZFp53 following the exposure of zebrafish embryos to the CDK inhibitor roscovitine. Induction of the protein is completely ZFp53 dependent and morpholinos that specifically block the expression of endogenous D113p53 protein selectively enhance the expression of some but not all ZFp53 responsive genes. We map the p53 response elements in the ?113p53 promoter using functional assays and identify an region at 1593-1612 in intron 4 of ZFp53, as being crucial in the full-length promoter. Thus the endogenous D113p53 protein, which oligomerises with the full-length ZFp53 protein, can act as a selective dominant negative inhibitor of the ZFp53 response, creating a distinct feedback response that varies the nature of the p53 response over time after exposure to an inducing signal.
Through cell-based screening of our kinase-directed compound collection, we discovered that a subset of N-phenyl-4-(thiazol-5-yl)pyrimidin-2-amines were potent cytotoxic agents against cancer cell lines, suppressed mitotic histone H3 phosphorylation, and caused aberrant mitotic phenotypes. It was subsequently established that these compounds were in fact potent inhibitors of aurora A and B kinases. It was shown that potency and selectivity of aurora kinase inhibition correlated with the presence of a substituent at the aniline para-position in these compounds. The anticancer effects of lead compound 4-methyl-5-(2-(4-morpholinophenylamino)pyrimidin-4-yl)thiazol-2-amine (18; K(i) values of 8.0 and 9.2 nM for aurora A and B, respectively) were shown to emanate from cell death following mitotic failure and increased polyploidy as a consequence of cellular inhibition of aurora A and B kinases. Preliminary in vivo assessment showed that compound 18 was orally bioavailable and possessed anticancer activity. Compound 18 (CYC116) is currently undergoing phase I clinical evaluation in cancer patients.
Inactivation of p53 functions is an almost universal feature of human cancer cells. This has spurred a tremendous effort to develop p53 based cancer therapies. Gene therapy using wild-type p53, delivered by adenovirus vectors, is now in widespread use in China. Other biologic approaches include the development of oncolytic viruses designed to replicate and kill only p53 defective cells and also the development of siRNA and antisense RNAs that activate p53 by inhibiting the function of the negative regulators Mdm2, MdmX, and HPV E6. The altered processing of p53 that occurs in tumor cells can elicit T-cell and B-cell responses to p53 that could be effective in eliminating cancer cells and p53 based vaccines are now in clinical trial. A number of small molecules that directly or indirectly activate the p53 response have also reached the clinic, of which the most advanced are the p53 mdm2 interaction inhibitors. Increased understanding of the p53 response is also allowing the development of powerful drug combinations that may increase the selectivity and safety of chemotherapy, by selective protection of normal cells and tissues.
Thirty years of research on the p53 family of genes has generated almost fifty thousand publications. The first of these papers detected the p53 protein associated with a viral oncogene product in transformed cells and tumors and focused the field on cancer biology. Subsequent manuscripts have shown a wide variety of functions for the p53 family of genes and their proteins. These proteins are involved in reproduction, genomic repair, fidelity and recombination, the regulation of metabolic processes, longevity, surveillance of the stability of development, the production of stem cells and changes in epigenetic marks, the development of the nervous system (p73), the immune system (p73) and skin (p63), as well as the better known roles for the family in tumor suppression. The p53 family of genes has been found in the modern day ancestors of organisms with over one billion years of evolutionary history where they play a role in germ-line fidelity over that time span. As the body plan of the vertebrates emerged with the regeneration of tissues by stem cells over a lifetime, the p53 gene and its protein were adapted to be a tumor suppressor of somatic stem and progenitor cells complementing its past functions in the germ line. Because the p53 family of genes has played a role in germ-line fidelity and preservation of the species, even in times of stress, these genes have been under constant selection pressure to change and adapt to new situations. This has given rise to this diversity of functions all working to preserve homeostatic processes that permit growth and reproduction in a world that is constantly challenging the fidelity of information transfer at each generation. The p53 family of gene products has influenced the rates of evolutionary change, just as evolutionary changes have altered the p53 family and its functions.
With the increasing demand for new materials, analytical techniques which are able to rapidly characterize a large number of samples are becoming indispensable. Thin film technology has the potential to improve the amount of information contained on as-deposited samples by creating compositionally graded libraries. Conventionally, raster scan methods are used to interrogate such libraries but, in this paper, a different approach is presented to provide a method of high-throughput data collection and analysis using an X-ray diffraction (XRD) probe. An extended X-ray beam was used to illuminate the libraries, and a large area detector was used to collect the data. A new algorithm "Bandit" has been employed to analyze the collected data and extract the crystallographic information. The results of the technique have been compared with the raster scans showing that the algorithm provides reliable data at a significantly increased data acquisition speed.
We examined the role that N-linked glycans play in the synthesis and expression of von Willebrand Factor (VWF). Blocking the addition of N-linked glycans (NLGs) or inhibiting initial glycan processing prevented secretion of VWF. To determine whether specific glycosylation sites were important, the 16 VWF N-linked glycosylation sites were mutated followed by expression in HEK293T cells. Four NLG mutants affected VWF expression: N99Q (D1 domain), N857Q (D domain), N2400Q (B1 domain), and N2790Q (CK domain) either abolished or reduced secretion of VWF and this was confirmed by metabolic labeling. Multimer analysis of mutant N2790Q cell lysate revealed an increase in VWF monomers, which was also observed when the isolated CK domain was expressed with N2790 mutated. Immunofluorescence microscopy showed that mutants N99Q, N857Q, and N2790Q were primarily retained within the ER, producing only few pseudo Weibel-Palade bodies over longer time periods compared with wtVWF. All the variants also showed an increase in free thiol reactivity. This was greatest with N857Q and D4-C2 NLG mutants, which had approximately 6-fold and 3- to 4-fold more free thiol reactivity than wtVWF. These data provide further evidence of the critical role that individual N-linked glycans play in determining VWF synthesis and expression.
The International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) was launched to coordinate large-scale cancer genome studies in tumours from 50 different cancer types and/or subtypes that are of clinical and societal importance across the globe. Systematic studies of more than 25,000 cancer genomes at the genomic, epigenomic and transcriptomic levels will reveal the repertoire of oncogenic mutations, uncover traces of the mutagenic influences, define clinically relevant subtypes for prognosis and therapeutic management, and enable the development of new cancer therapies.
The von Willebrand factor (VWF) A2 crystal structure has revealed the presence of a rare vicinal disulfide bond between C1669 and C1670, predicted to influence domain unfolding required for proteolysis by ADAMTS13. We prepared VWF A2 domain fragments with (A2-VicCC, residues 1473-1670) and without the vicinal disulfide bond (A2-DeltaCC, residues 1473-1668). Compared with A2-DeltaCC, A2-VicCC exhibited impaired proteolysis and also reduced binding to ADAMTS13. Circular dichroism studies revealed that A2-VicCC was more resistant to thermal unfolding than A2-DeltaCC. Mutagenesis of C1669/C1670 in full-length VWF resulted in markedly increased susceptibility to cleavage by ADAMTS13, confirming the important role of the paired vicinal cysteines in VWF A2 domain stabilization.
Protein S has an established role in the protein C anticoagulant pathway, where it enhances the factor Va (FVa) and factor VIIIa (FVIIIa) inactivating property of activated protein C (APC). Despite its physiological role and clinical importance, the molecular basis of its action is not fully understood. To clarify the mechanism of the protein S interaction with APC, we have constructed and expressed a library of composite or point variants of human protein S, with residue substitutions introduced into the Gla, thrombin-sensitive region (TSR), epidermal growth factor 1 (EGF1), and EGF2 domains. Cofactor activity for APC was evaluated by calibrated automated thrombography (CAT) using protein S-deficient plasma. Of 27 variants tested initially, only one, protein S D95A (within the EGF1 domain), was largely devoid of functional APC cofactor activity. Protein S D95A was, however, gamma-carboxylated and bound phospholipids with an apparent dissociation constant (Kd(app)) similar to that of wild-type (WT) protein S. In a purified assay using FVa R506Q/R679Q, purified protein S D95A was shown to have greatly reduced ability to enhance APC-induced cleavage of FVa Arg306. It is concluded that residue Asp95 within EGF1 is critical for APC cofactor function of protein S and could define a principal functional interaction site for APC.
Half of human tumours have mutated p53 while in the other half, defective signalling pathways block its function. One such defect is the overexpression of the MDM2 and MDMX proteins. This has led to an intense effort to develop inhibitors of p53-MDM2/MDMX interactions. Nutlin is the first such compound described to block p53-MDM2 interactions. Molecular dynamics simulations have been used to explore the differences in binding of p53 and nutlin to MDM2/MDMX. Simulations reveal that p53 has a higher affinity for MDM2 than MDMX, driven by stronger electrostatic interactions. p53 is displaced from MDM2 by nutlin because it is more flexible, thus paying a larger entropic penalty upon sequestration by MDM2. The inherent plasticity of MDM2 is higher than that of MDMX, enabling it to bind both p53 and nutlin. The less flexible MDMX interacts with the more mobile p53 because the peptide can adapt conformationally to dock into MDMX, albeit with a reduced affinity; nutlin, however is rigid and hence can only interact with MDMX with low affinity. Evolutionarily, the higher affinity of MDM2 for p53 may enable MDM2 to bind p53 for longer periods as it shuttles it out of the nucleus; in contrast, MDMX only needs to mask the p53 TA domain. This study enables us to hypothesize gain of function mutations or those that have decreased affinity for nutlin. These conclusions provide insight into future drug design for dual inhibitors of MDM2 and MDMX, both of which are oncoproteins found overexpressed in many cancers.
The main difficulty in the development of ATP antagonist kinase inhibitors is target specificity, since the ATP-binding motif is present in many proteins. We introduce a strategy that has allowed us to identify compounds from a kinase inhibitor library that block the cyclin-dependent kinases responsible for regulating transcription, i.e., CDK7 and especially CDK9. The screening cascade employs cellular phenotypic assays based on mitotic index and nuclear p53 protein accumulation. This permitted us to classify compounds into transcriptional, cell cycle, and mitotic inhibitor groups. We describe the characterization of the transcriptional inhibitor class in terms of kinase inhibition profile, cellular mode of action, and selectivity for transformed cells. A structural selectivity rationale was used to optimize potency and biopharmaceutical properties and led to the development of a transcriptional inhibitor, 3,4-dimethyl-5-[2-(4-piperazin-1-yl-phenylamino)-pyrimidin-4-yl]-3H-thiazol-2-one, with anticancer activity in animal models.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.