True tendon regeneration in human patients remains a vision of musculoskeletal therapies. In comparison to other mesenchymal lineages the biology of tenogenic differentiation is barely understood. Specifically, easy and efficient protocols are lacking that might enable tendon cell and tissue differentiation based on adult (stem) cell sources. In the murine mesenchymal progenitor cell line C3H10T½, overexpression of the growth factor bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) and a constitutively active transcription factor, Smad8 L+MH2, mediates tendon cell differentiation in vitro and the formation of tendon-like tissue in vivo. We hypothesized that during this differentiation secreted factors involved in extracellular matrix formation exert a major impact on tendon development. Gene expression analyses revealed four genes encoding secreted factors that are notably upregulated: periostin, C-type lectin domain family 3 (member b), RNase A4, and follistatin-like 1. These factors have not previously been implicated in tendon biology. Among these, periostin showed a specific expression in tenocytes of adult mouse Achilles tendon and in chondrocytes within the nonmineralized fibrocartilage zone of the enthesis with the calcaneus. Overexpression of periostin alone or in combination with constitutively active BMP receptor type in human mesenchymal stem cells and subsequent implantation into ectopic sites in mice demonstrated a reproducible moderate tenogenic capacity that has not been described before. Therefore, periostin may belong to the factors contributing to the development of tenogenic tissue.
The prognostic relevance of chromosome 17 gain in neuroblastoma is still discussed. This investigation specifies the frequency, type, size, and transcriptional relevance in a large patient cohort. Primary tumor material of 202 patients was analyzed using high-resolution oligonucleotide array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) and correlated with clinical and survival data. A subset (n = 145) was correlated for differentially expressed genes (DEG) by microarray analysis. Chromosome 17 aCGH analysis showed numerical gain in 94/202 patients (47%), partial gain in 93/202 patients (46%), and no gain in 15/202 patients (7%). The frequency of partial gain was higher in stage 4 neuroblastoma (stage 1 15%; stage 2 12%; stage 3 16%; stage 4S 7%; and stage 4 50%). Overall survival (OS) was superior in patients with numerical gain compared with patients with partial gain or no gain (5-y-OS: 0.95 ± 0.02 vs. 0.63 ± 0.05 vs. 0.60 ± 0.13; P < 0.001). Gene expression analysis demonstrated 95/130 DEGs between tumors with numerical or partial chromosome/no gain. Only one DEG (CCKBR) was detected comparing tumors with partial gain and those with no gain. In patients with partial gain, the distribution of breakpoints did not correlate with stage and 11q status, but with MYCN amplification and 1p status. The "best" breakpoints in cases with partial 17q gain were at 42.5 Mb for event-free and 26.6 Mb for OS. Numerical gain of chromosome 17 is associated with a better prognosis than partial and no gain. The group of tumors with partial gain was similar to the group without gain with respect to stage distribution, outcome, and gene expression profile.
The structure of the SigB-dependent general stress regulon of Bacillus subtilis has previously been characterized by proteomics approaches as well as DNA array-based expression studies. However, comparing the SigB targets published in three previous major transcriptional profiling studies it is obvious that although each of them identified well above 100 target genes, only 67 were identified in all three studies. These substantial differences can likely be attributed to the different strains, growth conditions, microarray platforms and experimental setups used in the studies. In order to gain a better understanding of the structure of this important regulon, a targeted DNA microarray analysis covering most of the known SigB-inducing conditions was performed, and the changes in expression kinetics of 252 potential members of the SigB regulon and appropriate control genes were recorded. Transcriptional data for the B. subtilis wild-type strain 168 and its isogenic sigB mutant BSM29 were analysed using random forest, a machine learning algorithm, by incorporating the knowledge from previous studies. This analysis revealed a strictly SigB-dependent expression pattern for 166 genes following ethanol, butanol, osmotic and oxidative stress, low-temperature growth and heat shock, as well as limitation of oxygen or glucose. Kinetic analysis of the data for the wild-type strain identified 30 additional members of the SigB regulon, which were also subject to control by additional transcriptional regulators, thus displaying atypical SigB-independent induction patterns in the mutant strain under some of the conditions tested. For 19 of these 30 SigB regulon members, published reports support control by secondary regulators along with SigB. Thus, this microarray-based study assigns a total of 196 genes to the SigB-dependent general stress regulon of B. subtilis.
We studied leukemic stem cells (LSCs) in a Smad4(-/-) mouse model of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) induced either by the HOXA9 gene or by the fusion oncogene NUP98-HOXA9. Although Hoxa9-Smad4 complexes accumulate in the cytoplasm of normal hematopoietic stem cells and progenitor cells (HSPCs) transduced with these oncogenes, there is no cytoplasmic stabilization of HOXA9 in Smad4(-/-) HSPCs, and as a consequence increased levels of Hoxa9 is observed in the nucleus leading to increased immortalization in vitro. Loss of Smad4 accelerates the development of leukemia in vivo because of an increase in transformation of HSPCs. Therefore, the cytoplasmic binding of Hoxa9 by Smad4 is a mechanism to protect Hoxa9-induced transformation of normal HSPCs. Because Smad4 is a potent tumor suppressor involved in growth control, we developed a strategy to modify the subcellular distribution of Smad4. We successfully disrupted the interaction between Hoxa9 and Smad4 to activate the TGF-? pathway and apoptosis, leading to a loss of LSCs. Together, these findings reveal a major role for Smad4 in the negative regulation of leukemia initiation and maintenance induced by HOXA9/NUP98-HOXA9 and provide strong evidence that antagonizing Smad4 stabilization by these oncoproteins might be a promising novel therapeutic approach in leukemia.
In contrast to ependymal cells located above the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the adult lateral ventricle wall (LVW), adult spinal cord (SC) ependymal cells possess certain neural stem cell characteristics. The molecular basis of this difference is unknown. In this study, antibodies against multiple cell surface markers were applied to isolate pure populations of SC and LVW ependymal cells, which allowed a direct comparison of their in vitro behavior and in vivo gene expression profile. Isolated CD133(+)/CD24(+)/CD45(-)/CD34(-) ependymal cells from the SC displayed in vitro self-renewal and differentiation capacity, whereas those from the LVW did not. SC ependymal cells showed a higher expression of several genes involved in cell division, cell cycle regulation, and chromosome stability, which is consistent with a long-term self-renewal capacity, and shared certain transcripts with neural stem cells of the embryonic forebrain. They also expressed several retinoic acid (RA)-regulated genes and responded to RA exposure. LVW ependymal cells showed higher transcript levels of many genes regulated by transforming growth factor-? family members. Among them were Dlx2, Id2, Hey1, which together with Foxg1 could explain their potential to turn into neuroblasts under certain environmental conditions.
Although brain tumors are classified and treated based upon their histology, the molecular factors involved in the development of various tumor types remain unknown. In this study, we show that the type and order of genetic events directs the development of gliomas, central nervous system primitive neuroectodermal tumors, and atypical teratoid/rhabdoid-like tumors from postnatal mouse neural stem/progenitor cells (NSC/NPC). We found that the overexpression of specific genes led to the development of these three different brain tumors from NSC/NPCs, and manipulation of the order of genetic events was able to convert one established tumor type into another. In addition, loss of the nuclear chromatin-remodeling factor SMARCB1 in rhabdoid tumors led to increased phosphorylation of eIF2?, a central cytoplasmic unfolded protein response (UPR) component, suggesting a role for the UPR in these tumors. Consistent with this, application of the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib led to an increase in apoptosis of human cells with reduced SMARCB1 levels. Taken together, our findings indicate that the order of genetic events determines the phenotypes of brain tumors derived from a common precursor cell pool, and suggest that the UPR may represent a therapeutic target in atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors.
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