An open question remains in cancer stem cell (CSC) biology whether CSCs are by definition at the top of the differentiation hierarchy of the tumor. Wilms' tumor (WT), composed of blastema and differentiated renal elements resembling the nephrogenic zone of the developing kidney, is a valuable model for studying this question because early kidney differentiation is well characterized. WT neural cell adhesion molecule 1-positive (NCAM1(+)) aldehyde dehydrogenase 1-positive (ALDH1(+)) CSCs have been recently isolated and shown to harbor early renal progenitor traits. Herein, by generating pure blastema WT xenografts, composed solely of cells expressing the renal developmental markers SIX2 and NCAM1, we surprisingly show that sorted ALDH1(+) WT CSCs do not correspond to earliest renal stem cells. Rather, gene expression and proteomic comparative analyses disclose a cell type skewed more toward epithelial differentiation than the bulk of the blastema. Thus, WT CSCs are likely to dedifferentiate to propagate WT blastema.
The various roles of microRNAs (miRNAs) in controlling the phenotype of cancer cells are the focus of contemporary research efforts. We have recently shown that miR-17 directly targets the ADAR1 gene and thereby enhances melanoma cell aggressiveness. miR-17 and miR-20a belong to the miR-17/92 complex, and their mature forms are identical except for two non-seed nucleotides. Nevertheless, here we show that these two miRNAs carry markedly different effects on melanoma cells. A strong positive correlation was observed between the expression of miR-17 and miR-20a among various melanoma cultures. Luciferase assays showed that miR-17 but not miR-20a directly targets the 3' untranslated region of the ADAR1 gene. Ectopic expression of these miRNAs in melanoma cells differentially alters the expression of five exemplar TargetScan-predicted target genes: ADAR1, ITGB8, TGFBR2, MMP2 and VEGF-A. Whole-genome expression microarrays confirm a markedly differential effect on the transcriptome. Functionally, over-expression of miR-20a but not of miR-17 in melanoma cells inhibits net proliferation in vitro. The differential functional effect was observed following ectopic expression of the mature miRNA or of the pre-miRNA sequences. This suggests that the two non-seed nucleotides dictate target sequence recognition and overall functional relevance. These miRNAs are clearly not redundant in melanoma cell biology.
Oocyte quality is a well-established determinant of embryonic fate. However, the molecular participants and biological markers that affect and may predict adequate embryonic development are largely elusive. Our aim was to identify the components of the oocyte molecular machinery that part take in the production of a healthy embryo. For this purpose, we used an animal model, generated by us previously, the oocytes of which do not express Cx43 (Cx43(del/del)). In these mice, oogenesis appears normal, fertilisation does occur, early embryonic development is successful but implantation fails. We used magnetic resonance imaging analysis combined with histological examination to characterise the embryonic developmental incompetence. Reciprocal embryo transfer confirmed that the blastocyst evolved from the Cx43(del/del) oocyte is responsible for the implantation disorder. In order to unveil the genes, the impaired expression of which brings about the development of defective embryos, we carried out a genomic screening of both the oocytes and the resulting blastocysts. This microarray analysis revealed a low expression of Egr1, Rpl21 and Eif4a1 in Cx43(del/del) oocytes and downregulation of Rpl15 and Eif4g2 in the resulting blastocysts. We propose that global deficiencies in genes related to the expression of ribosomal proteins and translation initiation factors in apparently normal oocytes bring about accumulation of defects, which significantly compromise their developmental capacity. The blastocysts resulting from such oocytes, which grow within a confined space until implantation, may be unable to generate enough biological mass to allow their expansion. This information could be implicated to diagnosis and treatment of infertility, particularly to IVF.
Polyploidy has been recognized for many years as an important hallmark of cancer cells. Polyploid cells can arise through cell fusion, endoreplication and abortive cell cycle. The inner nuclear membrane protein LAP2? plays key roles in nuclear envelope breakdown and reassembly during mitosis, initiation of replication and transcriptional repression. Here we studied the function of LAP2? in the maintenance of cell ploidy state, a role which has not yet been assigned to this protein.
RNA molecules transmit the information encoded in the genome and generally reflect its content. Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing by ADAR proteins converts a genomically encoded adenosine into inosine. It is known that most RNA editing in human takes place in the primate-specific Alu sequences, but the extent of this phenomenon and its effect on transcriptome diversity is not yet clear. Here, we analyzed large-scale RNA-seq data and detected over 1.6 million editing sites. As detection sensitivity increases with sequencing coverage, we performed ultra-deep sequencing of selected Alu sequences and showed that the scope of editing is much larger than anticipated. We found that virtually all adenosines within Alu repeats that form double-stranded RNA undergo A-to-I editing, although most sites exhibit editing at only low levels (<1%). Moreover, using high coverage sequencing, we observed editing of transcripts resulting from residual anti-sense expression, doubling the number of edited sites in the human genome. Based on bioinformatic analyses and deep targeted sequencing, we estimate that there are over 100 million human Alu RNA editing sites, located in the majority of human genes. These findings set the stage for exploring how this primate-specific massive diversification of the transcriptome is utilized.
Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing is a post-transcriptional, site-specific modification process that is catalyzed by Adenosine Deaminase Acting on RNA (ADAR) gene family members. Since ADARs act on double-stranded RNA, most A-to-I editing occurs within repetitive elements, particularly Alu elements, as the result of the inherent property of these sequences to fold and form double strands. ADAR1-mediated A-to-I RNA editing was recently implicated in the regulation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Spontaneous and neuronal differentiation of hESC was shown to result in a decrease in A-to-I editing levels. Knockdown of ADAR1 in hESCs results in an elevation of the expression of differentiation-related genes. In addition, we found that hESCs over-expressing ADAR1 could not be generated. The current study shows that the editing levels of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) change throughout reprogramming, from a source cell level to a level similar to that of hESCs. Up- or down-regulation of the ADAR1 level in human foreskin fibroblast (HFF) cells before induction of reprogramming results in varied reprogramming efficiencies. Furthermore, HFF-iPSC early clones derived from source cells in which the ADAR1 level was down-regulated lose their iPSC properties shortly after iPSC colony formation and instead exhibit characteristics of cancer cells. Taken together, our results imply a role for ADAR1 in the regulation of pluripotency induction as well as in the maintenance of early iPSC properties.
The ETS transcription factor ERG plays a central role in definitive hematopoiesis, and its overexpression in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is associated with a stem cell signature and poor prognosis. Yet how ERG causes leukemia is unclear. Here we show that pan-hematopoietic ERG expression induces an early progenitor myeloid leukemia in transgenic mice. Integrated genome-scale analysis of gene expression and ERG binding profiles revealed that ERG activates a transcriptional program similar to human AML stem/progenitor cells and to human AML with high ERG expression. This transcriptional program was associated with activation of RAS that was required for leukemia cells growth in vitro and in vivo. We further show that ERG induces expression of the Pim1 kinase oncogene through a novel hematopoietic enhancer validated in transgenic mice and human CD34(+) normal and leukemic cells. Pim1 inhibition disrupts growth and induces apoptosis of ERG-expressing leukemic cells. The importance of the ERG/PIM1 axis is further underscored by the poorer prognosis of AML highly expressing ERG and PIM1. Thus, integrative genomic analysis demonstrates that ERG causes myeloid progenitor leukemia characterized by an induction of leukemia stem cell transcriptional programs. Pim1 and the RAS pathway are potential therapeutic targets of these high-risk leukemias.
The human genome encodes thousands of unique long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), and these transcripts are emerging as critical regulators of gene expression and cell fate. However, the transcriptional regulation of their expression is not fully understood. The pivotal transcription factor E2F1 which can induce both proliferation and cell death, is a critical downstream target of the tumor suppressor, RB. The retinoblastoma pathway is often inactivated in human tumors resulting in deregulated E2F activity.
Flexible maturation rates underlie part of the diversity of leaf shape, and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) leaves are compound due to prolonged organogenic activity of the leaf margin. The CINCINNATA-teosinte branched1, cycloidea, PCF (CIN-TCP) transcription factor lanceolate (LA) restricts this organogenic activity and promotes maturation. Here, we show that tomato APETALA1/fruitfull (AP1/FUL) MADS box genes are involved in tomato leaf development and are repressed by LA. AP1/FUL expression is correlated negatively with LA activity and positively with the organogenic activity of the leaf margin. LA binds to the promoters of the AP1/FUL genes MBP20 and TM4. Overexpression of MBP20 suppressed the simple-leaf phenotype resulting from upregulation of LA activity or from downregulation of class I knotted like homeobox (KNOXI) activity. Overexpression of a dominant-negative form of MBP20 led to leaf simplification and partly suppressed the increased leaf complexity of plants with reduced LA activity or increased KNOXI activity. Tomato plants overexpressing miR319, a negative regulator of several CIN-TCP genes including LA, flower with fewer leaves via an SFT-dependent pathway, suggesting that miR319-sensitive CIN-TCPs delay flowering in tomato. These results identify a role for AP1/FUL genes in vegetative development and show that leaf and plant maturation are regulated via partially independent mechanisms.
Biopsy specimens from 23 early stage and 19 tumor-stage mycosis fungoides (MF) patients were evaluated for miR-155 expression by real-time qualitative PCR and compared with 15 biopsy specimens from patients with T-cell-rich inflammatory skin diseases. Significant upregulation of miR-155 was found in MF tumors compared with both early-stage MF lesions and controls. There was no difference in miR-155 expression between early-stage and inflammatory dermatoses. Using laser capture microdissection, it was found that miR-155 was significantly higher in the lymphoma cells in tumor stage compared with the intraepidermal lymphocytes in early stage. In contrast, there was no difference in miR-155 expression between the intraepidermal lymphocytes and the dermal lymphocytes in early-stage MF. These findings suggest that although miR-155 expression cannot serve to discriminate early-stage MF from inflammatory dermatoses; however, it is involved in the switch from the indolent early stage into the aggressive tumor stage of the disease.
Some solid tumors have reduced posttranscriptional RNA editing by adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR) enzymes, but the functional significance of this alteration has been unclear. Here, we found the primary RNA-editing enzyme ADAR1 is frequently reduced in metastatic melanomas. In situ analysis of melanoma samples using progression tissue microarrays indicated a substantial downregulation of ADAR1 during the metastatic transition. Further, ADAR1 knockdown altered cell morphology, promoted in vitro proliferation, and markedly enhanced the tumorigenicity in vivo. A comparative whole genome expression microarray analysis revealed that ADAR1 controls the expression of more than 100 microRNAs (miRNAs) that regulate many genes associated with the observed phenotypes. Importantly, we discovered that ADAR1 fundamentally regulates miRNA processing in an RNA binding–dependent, yet RNA editing–independent manner by regulating Dicer expression at the translational level via let-7. In addition, ADAR1 formed a complex with DGCR8 that was mutually exclusive with the DGCR8-Drosha complex that processes pri-miRNAs in the nucleus. We found that cancer cells silence ADAR1 by overexpressing miR-17 and miR-432, which both directly target the ADAR1 transcript. We further demonstrated that the genes encoding miR-17 and miR-432 are frequently amplified in melanoma and that aberrant hypomethylation of the imprinted DLK1-DIO3 region in chromosome 14 can also drive miR-432 overexpression.
Alternative mRNA splicing is a major mechanism for gene regulation and transcriptome diversity. Despite the extent of the phenomenon, the regulation and specificity of the splicing machinery are only partially understood. Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing of pre-mRNA by ADAR enzymes has been linked to splicing regulation in several cases. Here we used bioinformatics approaches, RNA-seq and exon-specific microarray of ADAR knockdown cells to globally examine how ADAR and its A-to-I RNA editing activity influence alternative mRNA splicing. Although A-to-I RNA editing only rarely targets canonical splicing acceptor, donor, and branch sites, it was found to affect splicing regulatory elements (SREs) within exons. Cassette exons were found to be significantly enriched with A-to-I RNA editing sites compared with constitutive exons. RNA-seq and exon-specific microarray revealed that ADAR knockdown in hepatocarcinoma and myelogenous leukemia cell lines leads to global changes in gene expression, with hundreds of genes changing their splicing patterns in both cell lines. This global change in splicing pattern cannot be explained by putative editing sites alone. Genes showing significant changes in their splicing pattern are frequently involved in RNA processing and splicing activity. Analysis of recently published RNA-seq data from glioblastoma cell lines showed similar results. Our global analysis reveals that ADAR plays a major role in splicing regulation. Although direct editing of the splicing motifs does occur, we suggest it is not likely to be the primary mechanism for ADAR-mediated regulation of alternative splicing. Rather, this regulation is achieved by modulating trans-acting factors involved in the splicing machinery.
Approximately 5% of all breast cancers can be attributed to an inherited mutation in one of two cancer susceptibility genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2. We searched for genes that have the potential to distinguish healthy BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers from noncarriers based on differences in expression profiling. Using expression microarrays, we compared gene expression of irradiated lymphocytes from BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers versus control noncarriers. We identified 137 probe sets in BRCA1 carriers and 1,345 in BRCA2 carriers with differential gene expression. Gene Ontology analysis revealed that most of these genes relate to regulation pathways of DNA repair processes, cell-cycle regulation, and apoptosis. Real-time PCR was conducted on the 36 genes, which were most prominently differentially expressed in the microarray assay; 21 genes were shown to be significantly differentially expressed in BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 mutation carriers as compared with controls (P < 0.05). On the basis of a validation study with 40 mutation carriers and 17 noncarriers, a multiplex model that included six or more coincidental genes of 18 selected genes was constructed to predict the risk of carrying a mutation. The results using this model showed sensitivity 95% and specificity 88%. In summary, our study provides insight into the biologic effect of heterozygous mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in response to ionizing irradiation-induced DNA damage. We also suggest a set of 18 genes that can serve as a prediction and screening tool for BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutational carriers by using easily obtained lymphocytes.
Signal-induced transcript isoform variation (TIV) includes alternative promoter usage as well as alternative splicing and alternative polyadenylation of mRNA. To assess the phenotypic relevance of signal-induced TIV, we employed exon arrays and breast epithelial cells, which migrate in response to the epidermal growth factor (EGF). We show that EGF rapidly - within one hour - induces widespread TIV in a significant fraction of the transcriptome. Importantly, TIV characterizes many genes that display no differential expression upon stimulus. In addition, similar EGF-dependent changes are shared by a panel of mammary cell lines. A functional screen, which utilized isoform-specific siRNA oligonucleotides, indicated that several isoforms play essential, non-redundant roles in EGF-induced mammary cell migration. Taken together, our findings highlight the importance of TIV in the rapid evolvement of a phenotypic response to extracellular signals.
Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1), the major transcription factor specifically activated during hypoxia, regulates genes involved in critical aspects of cancer biology, including angiogenesis, cell proliferation, glycolysis and invasion. The HIF-1a subunit is stabilized by low oxygen, genetic alteration and cobaltous ions, and its over-expression correlates with drug resistance and increased cancer mortality in various cancer types, therefore representing an important anticancer target. Zinc supplementation has been shown to counteract the hypoxic phenotype in cancer cells, in vitro and in vivo, hence, understanding the molecular pathways modulated by zinc under hypoxia may provide the basis for reprogramming signalling pathways for anticancer therapy. Here we performed genome-wide analyses of colon cancer cells treated with combinations of cobalt, zinc and anticancer drug and evaluated the effect of zinc on gene expression patterns. Using Principal Component Analysis we found that zinc markedly reverted the cobalt-induced changes of gene expression, with reactivation of the drug-induced transcription of pro-apoptotic genes. We conclude that the hypoxia pathway is a potential therapeutic target addressed by zinc that also influences tumor cell response to anticancer drug.
The signaling pathways that commit cells to migration are incompletely understood. We employed human mammary cells and two stimuli: epidermal growth factor (EGF), which induced cellular migration, and serum factors, which stimulated cell growth. In addition to strong activation of ERK by EGF, and AKT by serum, early transcription remarkably differed: while EGF induced early growth response-1 (EGR1), and this was required for migration, serum induced c-Fos and FosB to enhance proliferation. We demonstrate that induction of EGR1 involves ERK-mediated down-regulation of microRNA-191 and phosphorylation of the ETS2 repressor factor (ERF) repressor, which subsequently leaves the nucleus. Unexpectedly, knockdown of ERF inhibited migration, which implies migratory roles for exported ERF molecules. On the other hand, chromatin immunoprecipitation identified a subset of direct EGR1 targets, including EGR1 autostimulation and SERPINB2, whose transcription is essential for EGF-induced cell migration. In summary, EGR1 and the EGF-ERK-ERF axis emerge from our study as major drivers of growth factor-induced mammary cell migration.
Cell-based approaches utilizing autologous human renal cells require their isolation, expansion in vitro, and reintroduction back into the host for renal tissue regeneration. Nevertheless, human kidney epithelial cells (hKEpCs) lose their phenotype, dedifferentiate, and assume the appearance of fibroblasts after relatively few passages in culture. We hypothesized that growth conditions may influence hKEpC phenotype and function. hKEpCs retrieved from human nephrectomy tissue samples showed the ability to reproducibly form kidney spheres when grown in suspension culture developed in nonadherent conditions. Genetic labeling and time-lapse microscopy indicated, at least in part, the aggregation of hKEpCs into 3D spheroids rather than formation of pure clonally expanded spheres. Characterization of hKEpC spheroids by real-time polymerase chain reaction and FACS analysis showed upregulation of some renal developmental and "stemness" markers compared with monolayer and mostly an EpCAM(+)CD24(+)CD133(+)CD44(+) spheroid cell phenotype. Oligonucleotide microarrays, which were used to identify global transcriptional changes accompanying spheroid formation, showed predominantly upregulation of cell matrix/cell contact molecules and cellular biogenesis processes and downregulation of cell cycle, growth, and locomotion. Accordingly, hKEpC spheroids slowly proliferated as indicated by low Ki-67 staining, but when grafted in low cell numbers onto the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) of the chick embryo, they exclusively reconstituted various renal tubular epithelia. Moreover, efficient generation of kidney spheroids was observed after long-term monolayer culture resulting in reestablishment of tubulogenic capacity upon CAM grafting. Thus, generation of a tubular organoid in hKEpC spheroids may provide a functional benefit for kidney-derived cells in vivo.
The synthesis and characterization of water-soluble dispersions of Ag nanoparticles by the reduction of AgNO(3) using tryptophan under alkaline synthesis conditions are reported. The Ag nanoparticle formation was very slow at low concentration and rapid at extremes. For surface modification and redox reactions, manipulating the interparticles interaction controlled the size of Ag nanoparticles aggregates. Our results suggest that the replacement of the BH(4)(-) ions adsorbed on the nanoparticle surface by tryptophan destabilizes the particles and further caused aggregation. A mechanism is proposed for the formation of silver nanoparticles by tryptophan. The experimental results are supported by theoretical calculations. The Ag nanoparticles were characterized by UV-vis absorption, dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy techniques.
The molecular mechanisms of vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (VSCC) remain obscure. To this end, we investigated systematically for the first time the expression profile of VSCC using the microarray technology, in a total of 11 snap-frozen samples, from five VSCC patients covering early and advanced stages of VSCC undergoing radical surgery and from six matched healthy controls. All experiments were performed using Affymetrix Human Genome U133A 2.0 oligonucleotide arrays, covering 22,277 probe sets. Genes were filtered and analyzed using analysis of variance, t test, fold-change calculations, and unsupervised hierarchical cluster analysis. Further processing included functional analysis and overrepresentation calculations based on Gene Ontology, Database for Annotation, Visualization, and Integrated Discovery, and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. The molecular phenotypes of VSCC patients exhibited significant and discrete transcriptional differences from the healthy controls, whereas principal component analysis documented that this separation is mediated by a consistent set of gene expression differences. We detected 1077 genes (306 upregulated and 771 downregulated) that were differentially expressed between VSCC patients and healthy controls by at least twofold (P < .01), whereas a novel subset of patients was revealed displaying a distinct pattern of 125 upregulated genes involved in multiple cellular processes. Functional analysis of the 1077 genes documented their involvement in more than 50 signaling pathways, such as PTEN, oncostatin M, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling, affecting extracellular matrix remodeling and invasion. Comparison of our data set with those of the single VIN study revealed that the two entities share a limited number of genes and display unique features.
Richard Lower, in 1669, first described the tubercle that now bears his name, calling it the intervenous tubercle located between the fossa ovalis and the superior vena cava. The aim of the study was to confirm the existence of the tubercle as described initially by Lower, adding details of its location, dimensions, and prevalence. We examined 100 formalin-fixed human hearts. In no heart did we find any discrete tubercle or elevation of the right atrial wall superior to the superior limbus (rim) of the fossa ovalis. In addition, we could find no morphometric differences in the thickness of the area superior to the superior limbus of the fossa. Dissections revealed that very little of the extensive musculature can be removed without opening the right atrial wall and arriving outside the heart. This is the essential criterion in distinguishing folds from "true" septal structures. When viewed in this light, it is only the flap valve of the fossa ovalis, and its immediate muscular infero-anterior rim, the so-called lower limbus, that can be removed so as to create communications between the cavities of the atrial chambers, and not exiting at the same time from the cavities of the heart. This is because the larger part of the muscular borders of the fossa ovalis is no more than an infolding of the atrial walls, which incorporates extracardiac adipose tissue within the fold. Although this process of folding unequivocally produces an intracardiac buttress, namely, the limbuses (rims) of the fossa, the buttress, being an infolding, does not constitute, according to our definition, a true septum. On this basis, we suggest that it is the superior limbus of the fossa ovalis, or the superior interatrial fold, that previously has been considered to represent the intervenous tubercle of Lower.
Transcriptional responses to extracellular stimuli involve tuning the rates of transcript production and degradation. Here, we show that the time-dependent profiles of these rates can be inferred from simultaneous measurements of precursor mRNA (pre-mRNA) and mature mRNA profiles. Transcriptome-wide measurements demonstrate that genes with similar mRNA profiles often exhibit marked differences in the amplitude and onset of their production rate. The latter is characterized by a large dynamic range, with a group of genes exhibiting an unexpectedly strong transient production overshoot, thereby accelerating their induction and, when combined with time-dependent degradation, shaping transient responses with precise timing and amplitude.
Activated p53 is necessary for tumor suppression. Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase-2 (HIPK2) is a positive regulator of functional p53. HIPK2 modulates wild-type p53 activity toward proapoptotic transcription and tumor suppression by the phosphorylation of serine 46. Knock-down of HIPK2 interferes with tumor suppression and sensitivity to chemotherapy. Combined administration of adriamycin and zinc restores activity of misfolded p53 and enables the induction of its proapoptotic and tumor suppressor functions in vitro and in vivo. We therefore looked for a cancer model where HIPK2 expression is low. MMTV-neu transgenic mice overexpressing HER2/neu, develop mammary tumors at puberty with a long latency, showing very low expression of HIPK2. Here we show that whereas these tumors are resistant to adriamycin treatment, a combination of adriamycin and zinc suppresses tumor growth in vivo in these mice, an effect evidenced by the histological features of the mammary tumors. The combined treatment of adriamycin and zinc also restores wild-type p53 conformation and induces proapoptotic transcription activity. These findings may open up new possibilities for the treatment of human cancers via the combination of zinc with chemotherapeutic agents, for a selected group of patients expressing low levels of HIPK2, with an intact p53. In addition, HIPK2 may serve as a new biomarker for tumor aggressiveness.
We have reported previously that growth on alcohol vapors confers hemolytic properties on certain yeast species and strains [microbial alcohol-conferred hemolysis (MACH)]. In a recent study, we analyzed the genetic basis of MACH in Saccharomyces cerevisiae using the EUROSCARF mutant collection. The data suggested that intact mitochondrial and respiratory chain functions are critical for the observed alcohol-mediated hemolysis. We proposed that the uncontrolled cellular uptake of alcohol results in yeast hyper-respiration, leading to elaboration of hemolytic molecules such as hydrogen peroxide and lytic lipids. In the current study, we have further analyzed the molecular mechanisms involved in the MACH phenomenon in S. cerevisiae, using DNA microarrays. The patterns of regulation were confirmed by quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR. The results presented here lend further support to this hypothesis, based on upregulation of the genes responsible for coping with vast amounts of hydrogen peroxide produced as a byproduct of excessive oxidation of alcohol. These results, taken together, show that alcohol-mediated hemolysis in yeast appears to be related to the overproduction of hemolytic byproducts, particularly hydrogen peroxide, which accumulates during long-term exposure of S. cerevisiae to both ethanol and n-butanol.
Normal cells require continuous exposure to growth factors in order to cross a restriction point and commit to cell-cycle progression. This can be replaced by two short, appropriately spaced pulses of growth factors, where the first pulse primes a process, which is completed by the second pulse, and enables restriction point crossing. Through integration of comprehensive proteomic and transcriptomic analyses of each pulse, we identified three processes that regulate restriction point crossing: (1) The first pulse induces essential metabolic enzymes and activates p53-dependent restraining processes. (2) The second pulse eliminates, via the PI3K/AKT pathway, the suppressive action of p53, as well as (3) sets an ERK-EGR1 threshold mechanism, which digitizes graded external signals into an all-or-none decision obligatory for S phase entry. Together, our findings uncover two gating mechanisms, which ensure that cells ignore fortuitous growth factors and undergo proliferation only in response to consistent mitogenic signals.
The complexes formed on the reaction of various metal ions viz., Cu(II) and Cu(I) with phenol derivatives viz. catechol, chlorogenic acid (CGA), hydroquinone and n-propyl gallate (nPG) were established by UV-visible spectroscopy. The metal/ligand complexing ratio and complexation constants have been determined. Further, we showed that nanoparticles of Cu can be prepared from metal-phenol complexes in the presence of a protein (gelatin) by ?-irradiation showing that the reduction is metal ion centered. Formation of Ag nanoparticles was also observed on photo-irradiation with xenon lamp in the presence of dihydroxy benzene. The Ag and Cu nanoparticles were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and UV-visible absorption spectroscopy. TEM technique showed the presence of Cu and Ag nanoparticles with average size of 20 and 30 nm, respectively.
Prostate cancer is the most common non-dermatologic malignancy in men in the Western world. Recently, a frequent chromosomal aberration fusing androgen regulated TMPRSS2 promoter and the ERG gene (TMPRSS2/ERG) was discovered in prostate cancer. Several studies demonstrated cooperation between TMPRSS2/ERG and other defective pathways in cancer progression. However, the unveiling of more specific pathways in which TMPRSS2/ERG takes part, requires further investigation. Using immortalized prostate epithelial cells we were able to show that TMPRSS2/ERG over-expressing cells undergo an Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition (EMT), manifested by acquisition of mesenchymal morphology and markers as well as migration and invasion capabilities. These findings were corroborated in vivo, where the control cells gave rise to discrete nodules while the TMPRSS2/ERG-expressing cells formed malignant tumors, which expressed EMT markers. To further investigate the general transcription scheme induced by TMPRSS2/ERG, cells were subjected to a microarray analysis that revealed a distinct EMT expression program, including up-regulation of the EMT facilitators, ZEB1 and ZEB2, and down-regulation of the epithelial marker CDH1(E-Cadherin). A chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed direct binding of TMPRSS2/ERG to the promoter of ZEB1 but not ZEB2. However, TMPRSS2/ERG was able to bind the promoters of the ZEB2 modulators, IL1R2 and SPINT1. This set of experiments further illuminates the mechanism by which the TMPRSS2/ERG fusion affects prostate cancer progression and might assist in targeting TMPRSS2/ERG and its downstream targets in future drug design efforts.
Apoptosis is a controlled cell-death process mediated inter alia by proteins of the Bcl-2 family. Some proteins previously shown to promote the apoptotic process were found to have nonapoptotic functions as well. Microglia, the resident immune cells of the central nervous system, respond to brain derangements by becoming activated to contend with the brain damage. Activated microglia can also undergo activation-induced cell death. Previous studies have addressed the role of core apoptotic proteins in the death process, but whether these proteins also play a role or not in the activation process is not been reported. Here we explore the effect of the BH3-only protein Bid on the immunological features of microglia and macrophages. Our results showed that Bid regulates both the phagocytotic activities and the inflammatory profiles of these cells. Deficiency of Bid attenuated the phagocytotic activity of primary microglia and peritoneal macrophages. It also changed the expression profile of distinct inflammation-related genes in lipopolysaccharide-activated microglia and peritoneal macrophages in vitro and in an in vivo sepsis-like paradigm. Notably, similar changes followed downregulation of Bid in the N9 microglial cell line. Cell death could not be detected in any of the systems examined. Our findings demonstrate that Bid can regulate the immunological profiles of activated microglial and macrophages, via a novel nonapoptotic activity. In view of the critical role of these cells in various pathologies, including acute and chronic brain insults, our findings suggest that impairments in Bid expression may contribute to these pathologies also via a nonapoptotic activity.
Human and chimpanzee genomes are almost identical, yet humans express higher brain capabilities. Deciphering the basis for this superiority is a long sought-after challenge. Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing is a widespread modification of the transcriptome. The editing level in humans is significantly higher compared with nonprimates, due to exceptional editing within the primate-specific Alu sequences, but the global editing level of nonhuman primates has not been studied so far. Here we report the sequencing of transcribed Alu sequences in humans, chimpanzees, and rhesus monkeys. We found that, on average, the editing level in the transcripts analyzed is higher in human brain compared with nonhuman primates, even where the genomic Alu structure is unmodified. Correlated editing is observed for pairs and triplets of specific adenosines along the Alu sequences. Moreover, new editable species-specific Alu insertions, subsequent to the human-chimpanzee split, are significantly enriched in genes related to neuronal functions and neurological diseases. The enhanced editing level in the human brain and the association with neuronal functions both hint at the possible contribution of A-to-I editing to the development of higher brain function. We show here that combinatorial editing is the most significant contributor to the transcriptome repertoire and suggest that Alu editing adapted by natural selection may therefore serve as an alternate information mechanism based on the binary A/I code.
Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) are easily isolated from the bone marrow by adherence to plastic surfaces. These cells show self-renewal capacity and multipotency. A unique feature of hMSC is their capacity to survive without serum. Under this condition hMSC neither proliferate nor differentiate but maintain their biological properties unaffected. Therefore, this should be a perfect platform to study the biological effects of defined molecules on these human stem cells. We show that hMSC treated for five days with retinoic acid (RA) in the absence of serum undergo several transcriptional changes causing an inhibition of ERK related pathways. We found that RA induces the loss of hMSC properties such as differentiation potential to either osteoblasts or adipocytes. We also found that RA inhibits cell cycle progression in the presence of proliferating signals such as epidermal growth factor (EGF) combined with basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). In the same manner, RA showed to cause a reduction in cell adhesion and cell migration. In contrast to these results, the addition of EGF+bFGF to serum free cultures was enough to upregulate ERK activity and induce hMSC proliferation and cell migration. Furthermore, the addition of these factors to differentiation specific media instead of serum was enough to induce either osteogenesis or adipogenesis. Altogether, our results show that hMSCs ability to survive without serum enables the identification of signaling factors and pathways that are involved in their stem cell biological characteristics without possible serum interferences.
Adenosine to Inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing is a site-specific modification of RNA transcripts, catalyzed by members of the ADAR (Adenosine Deaminase Acting on RNA) protein family. RNA editing occurs in human RNA in thousands of different sites. Some of the sites are located in protein-coding regions but the majority is found in non-coding regions, such as 3UTRs, 5UTRs and introns - mainly in Alu elements. While editing is found in all tissues, the highest levels of editing are found in the brain. It was shown that editing levels within protein-coding regions are increased during embryogenesis and after birth and that RNA editing is crucial for organism viability as well as for normal development. In this study we characterized the A-to-I RNA editing phenomenon during neuronal and spontaneous differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). We identified high editing levels of Alu repetitive elements in hESCs and demonstrated a global decrease in editing levels of non-coding Alu sites when hESCs are differentiating, particularly into the neural lineage. Using RNA interference, we showed that the elevated editing levels of Alu elements in undifferentiated hESCs are highly dependent on ADAR1. DNA microarray analysis showed that ADAR1 knockdown has a global effect on gene expression in hESCs and leads to a significant increase in RNA expression levels of genes involved in differentiation and development processes, including neurogenesis. Taken together, we speculate that A-to-I editing of Alu sequences plays a role in the regulation of hESC early differentiation decisions.
Non-cell-autonomous proteins are incorporated into cells that form tight contacts or are invaded by bacteria, but identifying the full repertoire of transferred proteins has been a challenge. Here we introduce a quantitative proteomics approach to sort out non-cell-autonomous proteins synthesized by other cells or intracellular pathogens. Our approach combines stable-isotope labeling of amino acids in cell culture (SILAC), high-purity cell sorting and bioinformatics analysis to identify the repertoire of relevant non-cell-autonomous proteins. This trans-SILAC method allowed us to discover many proteins transferred from human B to natural killer cells and to measure biosynthesis rates of Salmonella enterica proteins in infected human cells. Trans-SILAC should be a useful method to examine protein exchange between different cells of multicellular organisms or pathogen and host.
Emerging data suggest that regulatory T cell (Treg) dysfunction and consequent breakdown of immunological self-tolerance in autoimmunity can be mediated by factors that are not Treg-intrinsic (e.g., cytokines). Indeed, recent studies show that in rheumatoid arthritis the proinflammatory cytokine TNF reduces the suppressive function of Tregs, whereas in vivo TNF blockade restores this function and accordingly self-tolerance. However, until now a coherent mechanism by which TNF regulates the Treg has not been described. In this paper, we show that TNF induces preferential and significant activation of the canonical NF-kappaB pathway in human Tregs as compared with CD25(-) conventional T cells. Furthermore, TNF induced primarily in CD45RA(-) Tregs a transcription program highly enriched for typical NF-kappaB target genes, such as the cytokines lymphotoxin-alpha and TNF, the TNFR superfamily members FAS, 4-1BB, and OX-40, various antiapoptotic genes, and other important immune-response genes. FACS analysis revealed that TNF also induced upregulation of cell surface expression of 4-1BB and OX40 specifically in CD45RA(-)FOXP3(+) Tregs. In contrast, TNF had only a minimal effect on the Tregs core transcriptional signature or on the intracellular levels of the FOXP3 protein in Tregs. Importantly, TNF treatment modulated the capacity of Tregs to suppress the proliferation and IFN-gamma secretion by conventional T cells, an effect that was fully reversed by cotreatment with anti-TNFR2 mAbs. Our findings thus provide new mechanistic insight into the role of TNF and TNFR2 in the pathogenesis of autoimmunity.
Very little is known about the mechanisms that contribute to organ size differences between species. In the present study, we used a mouse model of embryonic pig tissue implantation to define the role of host Factor VIII in controlling the final size attained by the implant. We show here that pig embryonic spleen, pancreas, and liver all grow to an increased size in mice that are deficient in the Factor VIII clotting cascade. Similar results were obtained using the transplantation model after treatment with the low molecular weight heparin derivative Clexane which markedly enhanced transplant size. Likewise, enhanced size was found upon treatment with the direct thrombin inhibitor Dabigatran, suggesting that organ size regulation might be mediated by thrombin, downstream of Factor VIII. Considering that thrombin was shown to mediate various functions unrelated to blood clotting, either directly by cleavage of protease-activated receptors (PARs) or indirectly by cleaving osteopontin (OPN) on stroma cells, the role of PAR1 and PAR4 antagonists as well as treatment with cleaved form of OPN (tcOPN) were tested. While the former was not found to have an impact on overgrowth of embryonic pig spleen implants, marked reduction of size was noted upon treatment with the (tcOPN). Collectively, our surprising set of observations suggests that factors of the coagulation cascade have a novel role in organ size control.
The identification of functional cis-acting DNA regulatory elements is a crucial step towards understanding gene regulation. Ab initio motif detection algorithms have been extensively used in search of regulatory elements. Yet, their success in providing experimentally validated regulatory elements in vertebrates has been limited.
A wide variety of biochemical, physiological, and molecular processes are known to have daily rhythms driven by an endogenous circadian clock. While extensive research has greatly improved our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that constitute the circadian clock, the links between this clock and dependent processes have remained elusive. To address this gap in our knowledge, we have used RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and DNA microarrays to systematically identify clock-controlled genes in the zebrafish pineal gland. In addition to a comprehensive view of the expression pattern of known clock components within this master clock tissue, this approach has revealed novel potential elements of the circadian timing system. We have implicated one rhythmically expressed gene, camk1gb, in connecting the clock with downstream physiology of the pineal gland. Remarkably, knockdown of camk1gb disrupts locomotor activity in the whole larva, even though it is predominantly expressed within the pineal gland. Therefore, it appears that camk1gb plays a role in linking the pineal master clock with the periphery.
The ability to sequence nucleic acids at an unprecedented pace and decreased costs using massive parallel sequencing (MPS) strongly affects biomedical research. Here we applied MPS for the detection of rare, clinically relevant mutations in a chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) patient. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors revolutionized CML therapy but in some patients the disease progresses due to resistance-conferring mutations. MPS was applied herein to monitor such mutations in BCR-ABL1 transcripts at different time points. The large volume of sequencing data increases sensitivity compared to direct sequencing and allows detection of marginally represented and previously uncharacterized mutations. We detected changes in the frequency of mutated clones including the emergence and disappearance of the resistance-associated ABL1 T315I mutation. We also observed correlation in appearance of adjacent mutations, and exploited this observation to demonstrate the existence of mutated clones at the time of diagnosis. A tool is provided for detection of low frequency single nucleotide variants/mutations from deep coverage MPS data, applicable to clinical translation of advanced sequencing technologies.
The search for developmental mechanisms driving vertebrate organogenesis has paved the way toward a deeper understanding of birth defects. During embryogenesis, parts of the heart and craniofacial muscles arise from pharyngeal mesoderm (PM) progenitors. Here, we reveal a hierarchical regulatory network of a set of transcription factors expressed in the PM that initiates heart and craniofacial organogenesis. Genetic perturbation of this network in mice resulted in heart and craniofacial muscle defects, revealing robust cross-regulation between its members. We identified Lhx2 as a previously undescribed player during cardiac and pharyngeal muscle development. Lhx2 and Tcf21 genetically interact with Tbx1, the major determinant in the etiology of DiGeorge/velo-cardio-facial/22q11.2 deletion syndrome. Furthermore, knockout of these genes in the mouse recapitulates specific cardiac features of this syndrome. We suggest that PM-derived cardiogenesis and myogenesis are network properties rather than properties specific to individual PM members. These findings shed new light on the developmental underpinnings of congenital defects.
The treatment of tinea capitis using radiotherapy was introduced at the beginning of the twentieth century. In Israel, between 1949 and 1960, approximately 17,000 children underwent radiotherapy treatments for tinea capitis (actual numbers are probably higher due to irradiation in countries of origin as a prerequisite for immigration). Skin cancer presents a major problem for patients who underwent irradiation for the treatment of tinea capitis [aggressive biological behavior, multiple basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), up to 40 lesions in a single patient, with no predisposing condition such as Gorlins or Bazexs syndromes]. There are ample data in the literature concerning the molecular changes in ultraviolet (UV) radiation-induced BCCs. However, similar data regarding ionizing radiation-induced BCCs are scarce. One work found higher rates of p53 and PTCH (both are tumor suppressor genes whose alterations are associated with BCC formation and frequency, but not biological behavior) abnormalities in post ionizing radiation BCCs. The absence of documented differences in gene expression that would account for a different biological behavior of radiotherapy-related BCCs, coupled with the aggressive and recurrent nature of these lesions, has propelled us to examine these differences by comparing gene expression in BCCs of the scalps of patients who were previously irradiated for tinea capitis in their childhood and of the scalps of patients who were not.
Sequences that conform to the 5 splice site (5SS) consensus are highly abundant in mammalian introns. Most of these sequences are preceded by at least one in-frame stop codon; thus, their use for splicing would result in pre-maturely terminated aberrant mRNAs. In normally grown cells, such intronic 5SSs appear not to be selected for splicing. However, under heat shock conditions aberrant splicing involving such latent 5SSs occurred in a number of specific gene transcripts. Using a splicing-sensitive microarray, we show here that stress-induced (e.g. heat shock) activation of latent splicing is widespread across the human transcriptome, thus highlighting the possibility that latent splicing may underlie certain diseases. Consistent with this notion, our analyses of data from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) revealed widespread activation of latent splicing in cells grown under hypoxia and in certain cancers such as breast cancer and gliomas. These changes were found in thousands of transcripts representing a wide variety of functional groups; among them are genes involved in cell proliferation and differentiation. The GEO analysis also revealed a set of gene transcripts in oligodendroglioma, in which the level of activation of latent splicing increased with the severity of the disease.
Polyamines are small organic polycations that are absolutely required for cell growth and proliferation; yet the basis for this requirement is mostly unknown. Here, we combined a genome-wide expression profiling with biochemical analysis to reveal the molecular basis for inhibited proliferation of polyamine-depleted cells. Transcriptional responses accompanying growth arrest establishment in polyamine-depleted cells or growth resumption following polyamine replenishment were monitored and compared. Changes in the expression of genes related to various fundamental cellular processes were established. Analysis of mirror-symmetric expression patterns around the G(1)-arrest point identified a set of genes representing a stress-response signature. Indeed, complementary biochemical analysis demonstrated activation of the PKR-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase arm of the unfolded protein response and of the stress-induced p38 MAPK. These changes were accompanied by induction of key growth-inhibitory factors such as p21 and Gadd45a and reduced expression of various cyclins, most profoundly cyclin D1, setting the basis for the halted proliferation. However, although the induced stress response could arrest growth, polyamine depletion also inhibited proliferation of PKR-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase and p38?-deficient cells and of cells harboring a nonphosphorylatable mutant eIF2? (S51A), suggesting that additional yet unidentified mechanisms might inhibit proliferation of polyamine-depleted cells. Despite lengthy persistence of the stress and activation of apoptotic signaling, polyamine-depleted cells remained viable, apparently due to induced expression of protective genes and development of autophagy.
Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) study of tryptophan was carried out in silver hydrosol. The surface adsorption properties of tryptophan were investigated due to its biological importance. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid needed for the normal growth in infants and for nitrogen balance in adults. DFT calculations using B3LYP functional with LANL2DZ basis set was carried out to support the experimental Raman and SERS data. The strong enhancement of 1343 cm(-1) band, assigned to the CO(2) sym. stretching vibration in the SERS spectrum along with a red shift of 63 cm(-1), manifests that chemical mechanism contributes to the SERS activity. Moreover, the observed features in the SERS spectrum as well as theoretical calculations infer that tryptophan is chemisorbed to the silver surface directly through the oxygen and nitrogen atoms of the carboxylate and amino groups with an edge-on orientation with the indole ring lying nearly perpendicular to the silver surface. The SERS enhancement factors for various Raman vibrations of tryptophan were found to be of the order of 10(5)-10(6).
An extensive repertoire of modifications is known to underlie the versatile coding, structural and catalytic functions of RNA, but it remains largely uncharted territory. Although biochemical studies indicate that N(6)-methyladenosine (m(6)A) is the most prevalent internal modification in messenger RNA, an in-depth study of its distribution and functions has been impeded by a lack of robust analytical methods. Here we present the human and mouse m(6)A modification landscape in a transcriptome-wide manner, using a novel approach, m(6)A-seq, based on antibody-mediated capture and massively parallel sequencing. We identify over 12,000 m(6)A sites characterized by a typical consensus in the transcripts of more than 7,000 human genes. Sites preferentially appear in two distinct landmarks--around stop codons and within long internal exons--and are highly conserved between human and mouse. Although most sites are well preserved across normal and cancerous tissues and in response to various stimuli, a subset of stimulus-dependent, dynamically modulated sites is identified. Silencing the m(6)A methyltransferase significantly affects gene expression and alternative splicing patterns, resulting in modulation of the p53 (also known as TP53) signalling pathway and apoptosis. Our findings therefore suggest that RNA decoration by m(6)A has a fundamental role in regulation of gene expression.
Vimentin, a mesenchymal marker, is frequently overexpressed in epithelial carcinomas undergoing epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), a condition correlated with invasiveness and poor prognosis. Therefore, vimentin is a potential molecular target for anticancer therapy. Emerging studies in experimental models underscore the functions of homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) as potential oncosuppressor by acting as transcriptional corepressor or catalytic activator of molecules involved in apoptosis and response to antitumor drugs. However, an involvement of HIPK2 in limiting tumor invasion remains to be elucidated. This study, by starting with a microarray analysis, demonstrates that HIPK2 downregulates vimentin expression in invasive, vimentin-positive, MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells and in the non-invasive MCF7 breast cancer cells subjected to chemical hypoxia, a drive for mesenchymal shift and tumor invasion. At functional level, vimentin downregulation by HIPK2 correlates with inhibition of breast tumor cell invasion. Together, these data show that vimentin is a novel target for HIPK2 repressor function and that HIPK2-mediated vimentin downregulation can contribute to inhibition of breast cancer cells invasion that might be applied in clinical therapy.
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