Transcription factor Sp1 was, for many years, viewed as a basal transcription factor and relegated to the regulation of so-called housekeeping genes. Sp1's role in recruiting the general transcription machinery in the absence of a TATA box increased its importance in gene regulation, particularly in light of recent estimates that the majority of mammalian genes lack a TATA box. In this review, we briefly address the history of Sp1, the founding member of the Sp family of transcription factors. We review the evidence suggesting Sp1 is highly regulated by post-translational modifications that both positively and negatively affect Sp1's activity on a wide array of genes. Sp1 is overexpressed in many cancers and is associated with poor prognosis. Targeting Sp1 in cancer treatment has been suggested; however, our review of the literature on Sp1-dependent regulation of genes that contribute to the "hallmarks of cancer", described by Hanahan and Weinberg, illustrates the extreme complexity of Sp1 functions. Sp1 both activates and suppresses the expression of a number of essential oncogenes and tumor suppressors, as well as genes involved in essential cellular functions, including proliferation, differentiation, DNA damage response, apoptosis, senescence, and angiogenesis. Sp1 is also implicated in inflammation and genomic instability, as well as epigenetic silencing. Based on the seemingly opposing effects of Sp1, a more complete understanding of the function of Sp1 in cancer is needed to validate its potential as a therapeutic target. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Purpose: Proangiogenic protein vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) contributes significantly to retinal lesions and neovascularization in diabetic retinopathy (DR). In pre-clinical DR, hyperglycemia can upregulate VEGF-A in retinal cells. The VEGF-A promoter is responsive to the transcription factor specificity protein 1 (Sp1). The O-GlcNAc modification is driven by glucose concentration and has a profound effect on Sp1 activity. This study investigated the effects of hyperglycemia on Sp1-mediated expression of VEGF-A in the retinal endothelium and pigment epithelium. Methods: Hyperglycemia-exposed ARPE-19 (human retinal pigment epithelial cells) and TR-iBRB (rat retinal microendothelial cells) were assayed for levels of VEGF-A by qRT-PCR, Western blot, and ELISA. Small molecule inhibitors of O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) or O-GlcNAcase (OGA) were used to manipulate O-GlcNAc levels. VEGF-A protein and transcript were measured in cells depleted of OGT or Sp1 by shRNA. The proximal VEGF-A promoter was analyzed for glucose sensitivity by luciferase assay. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) was used to assess Sp1 occupancy on the VEGF-A promoter. Results: Hyperglycemia increased VEGF-A promoter activity and upregulated VEGF-A transcript and protein. Elevation of O-GlcNAc by OGA inhibitors was sufficient to increase VEGF-A. OGT inhibition abrogated glucose-driven VEGF-A. Cellular depletion of OGT or Sp1 by shRNA significantly abrogated glucose-induced changes in VEGF-A. ChIP analysis showed that hyperglycemia significantly increased binding of Sp1 to the VEGF-A promoter. Conclusions: Hyperglycemia-driven VEGF-A production is mediated by elevated O-GlcNAc modification of the Sp1 transcription factor. This mechanism may be significant in the pathogenesis of pre-clinical diabetic retinopathy through VEGF-A upregulation.
The cell cycle is intimately associated with the ability of cells to sense and respond to and repair DNA damage. Understanding how cell cycle progression, particularly DNA replication and cell division, are regulated and how DNA damage can affect these processes has been the subject of intense research. Recent evidence suggests that the repair of DNA damage is regulated by the cell cycle, and that cell cycle factors are closely associated with repair factors and participate in cellular decisions regarding how to respond to and repair damage. Precise regulation of cell cycle progression in the presence of DNA damage is essential to maintain genomic stability and avoid the accumulation of chromosomal aberrations that can promote tumor formation. In this review, we discuss the current understanding of how mammalian cells induce cell cycle checkpoints in response to DNA double-strand breaks. In addition, we discuss how cell cycle factors modulate DNA repair pathways to facilitate proper repair of DNA lesions.
Herpes keratitis (HK) is the leading cause of cornea-derived and infection-associated blindness in the developed world. Despite the availability of effective antivirals, some patients develop refractory disease, drug-resistant infection, and topical toxicity. A nonpharmaceutical treatment modality may offer a unique advantage in the management of such cases. This study investigated the antiviral effect of nonthermal dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma, a partially ionized gas that can be applied to organic substances to produce various biological effects.
Thermal plasmas and lasers have been widely used in medicine to cut, ablate and cauterize tissues through heating; in contrast, non-thermal plasma produces no heat, so its effects can be selective. In order to exploit the potential for clinical applications, including wound healing, sterilization, blood coagulation, and cancer treatment, a mechanistic understanding of the interaction of non-thermal plasma with living tissues is required. Using mammalian cells in culture, it is shown here that non-thermal plasma created by dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) has dose-dependent effects that range from increasing cell proliferation to inducing apoptosis. It is also shown that these effects are primarily due to formation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). We have utilized ?-H2AX to detect DNA damage induced by non-thermal plasma and found that it is initiated by production of active neutral species that most likely induce formation of organic peroxides in cell medium. Phosphorylation of H2AX following non-thermal plasma treatment is ATR dependent and ATM independent, suggesting that plasma treatment may lead to replication arrest or formation of single-stranded DNA breaks; however, plasma does not lead to formation of bulky adducts/thymine dimers.
Non-thermal atmospheric pressure dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma may provide a novel approach to treat malignancies via induction of apoptosis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential of DBD plasma to induce apoptosis in melanoma cells. Melanoma cells were exposed to plasma at doses that did not induce necrosis, and cell viability and apoptotic activity were evaluated by Trypan blue exclusion test, Annexin-V/PI staining, caspase-3 cleavage, and TUNEL® analysis. Trypan blue staining revealed that non-thermal plasma treatment significantly decreased the viability of cells in a dose-dependent manner 3 and 24 h after plasma treatment. Annexin-V/PI staining revealed a significant increase in apoptosis in plasma-treated cells at 24, 48, and 72 h post-treatment (p < 0.001). Caspase-3 cleavage was observed 48 h post-plasma treatment at a dose of 15 J/cm(2). TUNEL® analysis of plasma-treated cells demonstrated an increase in apoptosis at 48 and 72 h post-treatment (p < 0.001) at a dose of 15 J/cm(2). Pre-treatment with N-acetyl-L: -cysteine (NAC), an intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger, significantly decreased apoptosis in plasma-treated cells at 5 and 15 J/cm(2). Plasma treatment induces apoptosis in melanoma cells through a pathway that appears to be dependent on production of intracellular ROS. DBD plasma production of intracellular ROS leads to dose-dependent DNA damage in melanoma cells, detected by ?-H2AX, which was completely abrogated by pre-treating cells with ROS scavenger, NAC. Plasma-induced DNA damage in turn may lead to the observed plasma-induced apoptosis. Since plasma is non-thermal, it may be used to selectively treat malignancies.
We report on a new analytical approach to intracellular chemical sensing that utilizes a surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS)-enabled nanopipette. The probe is comprised of a glass capillary with a 100-500 nm tip coated with gold nanoparticles. The fixed geometry of the gold nanoparticles allows us to overcome the limitations of the traditional approach for intracellular SERS using metal colloids. We demonstrate that the SERS-enabled nanopipettes can be used for in situ analysis of living cell function in real time. In addition, SERS functionality of these probes allows tracking of their localization in a cell. The developed probes can also be applied for highly sensitive chemical analysis of nanoliter volumes of chemicals in a variety of environmental and analytical applications.
Herpes keratitis is one of the most severe pathologies associated with the herpes simplex virus-type 1 (HSV-1). Herpes keratitis is currently the leading cause of both cornea-derived and infection-associated blindness in the developed world. Typical presentation of herpes keratitis includes infection of the corneal epithelium and sometimes the deeper corneal stroma and endothelium, leading to such permanent corneal pathologies as scarring, thinning, and opacity. Corneal HSV-1 infection is traditionally studied in two types of experimental models. The in vitro model, in which cultured monolayers of corneal epithelial cells are infected in a Petri dish, offers simplicity, high level of replicability, fast experiments, and relatively low costs. On the other hand, the in vivo model, in which animals such as rabbits or mice are inoculated directly in the cornea, offers a highly sophisticated physiological system, but has higher costs, longer experiments, necessary animal care, and a greater degree of variability. In this video article, we provide a detailed demonstration of a new ex vivo model of corneal epithelial HSV-1 infection, which combines the strengths of both the in vitro and the in vivo models. The ex vivo model utilizes intact corneas organotypically maintained in culture and infected with HSV-1. The use of the ex vivo model allows for highly physiologically-based conclusions, yet it is rather inexpensive and requires time commitment comparable to that of the in vitro model.
Sp1 is a ubiquitously expressed transcription factor that is phosphorylated by ataxia telangiectasia mutated kinase (ATM) in response to ionizing radiation and H(2)O(2). Here, we show by indirect immunofluorescence that Sp1 phosphorylated on serine 101 (pSp1) localizes to ionizing radiation-induced foci with phosphorylated histone variant ?H2Ax and members of the MRN (Mre11, Rad50, and Nbs1) complex. More precise analysis of occupancy of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) shows that Sp1, like Nbs1, resides within 200 bp of DSBs. Using laser microirradiation of cells, we demonstrate that pSp1 is present at DNA DSBs by 7.5 min after induction of damage and remains at the break site for at least 8 h. Depletion of Sp1 inhibits repair of site-specific DNA breaks, and the N-terminal 182-amino-acid peptide, which contains targets of ATM kinase but lacks the zinc finger DNA binding domain, is phosphorylated, localizes to DSBs, and rescues the repair defect resulting from Sp1 depletion. Together, these data demonstrate that Sp1 is rapidly recruited to the region immediately adjacent to sites of DNA DSBs and is required for DSB repair, through a mechanism independent of its sequence-directed transcriptional effects.
Purpose:Herpes keratitis (HK) remains the leading cause of cornea-derived blindness in the developed world, despite the availability of effective antiviral drugs. Treatment toxicity and the emergence of drug resistance highlight the need for additional therapeutic approaches. This study examines ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM), an apical kinase in the host DNA damage response, as a potential new target for the treatment of HK. Methods:Small molecule inhibitor of ATM (KU-55933) was used to treat herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection in three experimental models: 1) in vitro - cultured human corneal epithelial cells, hTCEpi, 2) ex vivo - organotypically explanted human and rabbit corneas, and 3) in vivo - corneal infection in young C57BL/6J mice. Infection productivity was assayed by plaque assay, real time PCR, Western blot, and disease scoring. Results:Robust ATM activation was detected in HSV-1-infected human corneal epithelial cells. Inhibition of ATM greatly suppressed viral replication in cultured cells and in explanted human and rabbit corneas, and reduced the severity of stromal keratitis in mice. The antiviral effect of KU-55933 in combination with acyclovir was additive, and KU-55933 suppressed replication of a drug-resistant HSV-1 strain. KU-55933 caused minimal toxicity, as monitored by clonogenic survival assay and fluorescein staining. Conclusions:This study identifies ATM as a potential target for the treatment of HK. ATM inhibition by KU-55933 reduces epithelial infection and stromal disease severity without producing appreciable toxicity. These findings warrant further investigations into the DNA damage response as an area for therapeutic intervention in herpetic ocular diseases.
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