The effect of polycomb chromobox (Cbx) proteins in cancer is context-dependent. The Chromobox homolog 8 (CBX8) was originally characterized as a transcriptional repressor, which inhibits cell proliferation in Ink4a-Arf-dependent and -independent manner. However, the role of CBX8 in colorectal cancer remains unknown. Here, we found that high CBX8 expression was associated with a low rate of distant metastasis and good prognosis in CRC patients, even though CBX8 was up-regulated in CRC cell lines and clinical samples. Knockdown of CBX8 inhibited CRC proliferation in vitro and in vivo, mostly by increasing p53 and its downstream effectors. However, knockdown of CBX8 enhanced CRC migration, invasion and metastasis in vitro and in vivo, in part through direct up-regulation of integrin ?4 (ITGB4) that in turn decreased RhoA activity. Collectively, the knockdown of CBX8 inhibited CRC proliferation, while promoting its metastasis, thus exerting paradoxical effects in CRC progression.
Osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignant bone tumor in childhood and adolescence and has a propensity for local invasion and early lung metastasis. However, the current therapies often result in chemoresistance, and a therapeutic target is not available in the clinic for osteosarcoma. Here, we report that BRD7 forms a complex with the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) and is degraded by APC/C(cdh1) and APC/C(cdc20) during the cell cycle. Moreover, BRD7 is a tumor suppressor in osteosarcoma, and the BRD7 mutant resistant to degradation by APC/C is more efficient than the wild-type protein at suppressing proliferation, colony formation, and tumor growth of osteosarcoma in vitro and in vivo. The combination of proTAME, an inhibitor of APC/C, with chemotherapeutic drugs efficiently targets osteosarcoma in vitro. Furthermore, there is a strong inverse correlation of protein levels between BRD7 and Cdh1 or Cdc20, and lower BRD7 expression is an indicator for poor prognosis in patients with osteosarcoma. Collectively, our results indicate that targeting the APC/C-BRD7 pathway may be a novel strategy for treating osteosarcoma.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important components of soil microbial communities, and play important role in plant growth. However, the effects of AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) on host plant under various heavy metal levels are not clear. Here we conducted a meta-analysis to compare symbiotic relationship between AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) and host plant functional groups (herbs vs. trees, and non-legumes vs. legumes) at three heavy metal levels. In the meta-analysis, we calculate the effect size (ln(RR)) by taking the natural logarithm of the response ratio of inoculated to non-inoculated shoot biomass from each study. We found that the effect size of Glomeraceae increased, but the effect size of non-Glomeraceae decreased under high level of heavy metal compared to low level. According to the effect size, both Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae promoted host plant growth, but had different effects under various heavy metal levels. Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than non-Glomeraceae did under heavy metal condition, while non-Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than Glomeraceae did under no heavy metal. AMF phylogenetic groups also differed in promoting plant functional groups under various heavy metal levels. Interacting with Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under high heavy metal level, while trees and legumes grew better than herbs and non-legumes did under medium heavy metal level. Interacting with non-Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under no heavy metal. We suggested that the combination of legume with Glomeraceae could be a useful way in the remediation of heavy metal polluted environment.
Secondary metabolites released by invasive plants can increase their competitive ability by affecting native plants, herbivores, and pathogens at the invaded land. Whether these secondary metabolites affect the invasive plant itself, directly or indirectly through microorganisms, however, has not been well documented. Here we tested whether activated carbon (AC), a well-known absorbent for secondary metabolites, affect arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbioses and competitive ability in an invasive plant. We conducted three experiments (experiments 1-3) with the invasive forb Solidago canadensis and the native Kummerowia striata. Experiment 1 determined whether AC altered soil properties, levels of the main secondary metabolites in the soil, plant growth, and AMF communities associated with S. canadensis and K. striata. Experiment 2 determined whether AC affected colonization of S. canadensis by five AMF, which were added to sterilized soil. Experiment 3 determined the competitive ability of S. canadensis in the presence and absence of AMF and AC. In experiment 1, AC greatly decreased the concentrations of the main secondary metabolites in soil, and the changes in concentrations were closely related with the changes of AMF in S. canadensis roots. In experiment 2, AC inhibited the AMF Glomus versiforme and G. geosporum but promoted G. mosseae and G. diaphanum in the soil and also in S. canadensis roots. In experiment 3, AC reduced S. canadensis competitive ability in the presence but not in the absence of AMF. Our results provided indirect evidence that the secondary metabolites (which can be absorbed by AC) of the invasive plant S. canadensis may promote S. canadensis competitiveness by enhancing its own AMF symbionts.
Chromobox homolog 4 (CBX4) is a member of the chromobox family of Polycomb group proteins involved in the chromatin remodeling and transcriptional regulation. However, its clinical relevance in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has not yet been explored.
This paper applies a structural equation model (SEM) to analyze the formation of awareness and perception of water scarcity, based on a cross-sectional dataset of 446 farmers in the Guanzhong Plain, Shaanxi Province, China. We find that age, percentage of time spent on farming and social network are the main determinants of awareness. Water price and drought experience are the most important explanatory variables of perception. In addition, awareness and perception strongly interact. The results obtained in this paper are relevant for policymaking, since environmental behavior, which includes efficient use of natural resources, tends to improve if supported by internalization of social norms, which in its turn, is promoted by awareness and perception. From the analysis it follows that spreading information via social networks, rather than via the media, is an important vehicle to enhance awareness and perception and thus to improve irrigation water use efficiency. Special attention should be paid to part-time farmers who are limited in directly perceiving water scarcity. Finally, more use should be made of the price mechanism to strengthen perception and awareness.
Mutations of BRCA1-associated protein 1 (BAP1), a nuclear-localized deubiquitinating enzyme, had been documented in multiple human cancers. However, its role and clinical relevance in colorectal cancer is unknown. The purpose of this study was to reveal the prognostic significance of BAP1 in colorectal cancer. We performed quantitative PCR and Western blotting analyses to examine BAP1 expression in 8 cases of CRC tissues and matched adjacent non-cancerous tissues. And immunohistochemistry was used to evaluate BAP1 expression in archived 252 paraffin-embedded CRC specimens. We found that the mRNA and protein levels of BAP1 were down-regulated in 6 out of 8 cases of CRC tissues compared with their adjacent non-cancerous tissues. The BAP1 expression was closely correlated with age (p = 0.037), clinical stage (p = 0.001), T classification (p < 0.001), N classification (p < 0.001), and pathologic differentiation (p = 0.008) and histological type (p = 0.047) in CRC. The CRC patients with lower BAP1 expression survived shorter than those with higher BAP1 expression. Importantly, multivariate analysis demonstrated that BAP1 expression was an independent prognostic factor for CRC (p = 0.037). Collectively, we provide the first evidence that reduced BAP1 expression is associated with poor prognosis of CRC and BAP1 may serve as a novel prognostic biomarker for CRC.
With the notorious reputation of the vicious invasion, the bladder cancer is the most common malignant tumor of the urinary system. Inhibiting invasion through microtubule dynamics interruption has emerged as an important treatment of bladder cancer. Here we investigated the role of the cyclic adenosine monophosphate/protein kinase A (cAMP/PKA) pathway in human bladder cancer cells invasion.
For centuries, traditional agricultural systems have contributed to food and livelihood security throughout the world. Recognizing the ecological legacy in the traditional agricultural systems may help us develop novel sustainable agriculture. We examine how rice-fish coculture (RF), which has been designated a "globally important agricultural heritage system," has been maintained for over 1,200 y in south China. A field survey demonstrated that although rice yield and rice-yield stability are similar in RF and rice monoculture (RM), RF requires 68% less pesticide and 24% less chemical fertilizer than RM. A field experiment confirmed this result. We documented that a mutually beneficial relationship between rice and fish develops in RF: Fish reduce rice pests and rice favors fish by moderating the water environment. This positive relationship between rice and fish reduces the need for pesticides in RF. Our results also indicate a complementary use of nitrogen (N) between rice and fish in RF, resulting in low N fertilizer application and low N release into the environment. These findings provide unique insights into how positive interactions and complementary use of resource between species generate emergent ecosystem properties and how modern agricultural systems might be improved by exploiting synergies between species.
A field experiment was conducted to assess the effect of crop and planting pattern on levels of cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), and copper (Cu) in crops grown in soil contaminated by electronic waste. The crops were maize (Zea mays L. var. Shentian-1), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L. var. Zhongshu-4), cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. Jingfeng-1), and pakchoi (Brassica chinensis (L.) Makino. var. Youdonger-Hangzhou). The planting patterns were crop monoculture, crop co-planted with a legume, and crop co-planted with another crop. Metal concentrations in the edible parts of the crops varied with types of metals and crops. Pb concentration was higher in leafy vegetables (cabbage and pakchoi) than in maize or tomato, Cd concentration was higher in tomato and pakchoi than in maize or cabbage, and Cu concentration was higher in maize and pakchoi than in tomato or cabbage. Metal concentrations in the edible part were also influenced by planting pattern. Relative to monoculture, co-planting and especially co-planting with Japanese clover tended to decrease Pb accumulation and increase Cd accumulation. According to the maximum permissible concentration (MPC) standard of the National Standard Agency in China, only maize (under all planting patterns) could be safely consumed. Because co-planting tended to increase Cd accumulation even in maize, however, the results suggest that maize monoculture is the optimal crop and planting pattern for this kind of contaminated soil.
A mesocosm experiment was conducted to investigate whether plant coexistence affects cadmium (Cd) uptake by plant in contaminated soil. Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L. var. K326) and Japanese clover (Kummerowia striata (Thunb.) Schindl.) were used. Cadmium was applied as 3CdSO4 x 8H2O in solution at three levels (0, 1, and 3 mg/kg soil) to simulate an unpolluted soil and soils that were slightly and moderately polluted with Cd. Tobacco (crop), Japanese clover (non-crop), and their combination were grown under each Cd treatment. Compared to monoculture and under all Cd treatments, co-planting with Japanese clover did not affect tobacco biomass but significantly increased Cd concentration in all tobacco tissues and enhanced Cd accumulation in tobacco shoots and roots. Compared to monoculture, co-planting reduced soil pH and increased Cd bioavailability. For tobacco, co-planting with Japanese clover increased the Cd bioconcentration factor (BCF) in Cd contaminated soil. Japanese clover also accumulated substantial quantities of Cd in shoots and roots. Thus, total Cd uptake by the plants was much greater with co-planting than with monoculture. The results suggested that phytoextraction can be effectively increased through tobacco co-planting with Japanese clover in mildly Cd-contaminated soil.
Plant biomass-density relationships during self-thinning are determined mainly by allometry. Both allometry and biomass-density relationship have been shown to vary with abiotic conditions, but the effects of biotic interactions have not been investigated. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can promote plant growth and affect plant form. Here experiments were carried out to test whether AMF affect plant allometry and the self-thinning trajectory.
Because arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) species differ in stimulating the growth of particular host plant species, AMF species may vary in their effects on plant intra-specific competition and the self-thinning process. We tested this hypothesis using a microcosm experiment with Medicago sativa L. as a model plant population and four AMF species. Our results showed that the AMF species Glomus diaphanum stimulated host plant growth more than the other three AMF species did when the plants were grown individually. Glomus diaphanum also induced the highest rate of mortality in the self-thinning plant populations. We also found a positive correlation between mortality and growth response to colonization. Our results demonstrate that AMF species can affect plant mortality and the self-thinning process by affecting plant growth differently.
The biomass-density relationship (whereby the biomass of individual plants decreases as plant density increases) has generally been explained by competition for resources. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are able to affect plant interactions by mediating resource utilization, but whether this AMF-mediated interaction will change the biomass-density relationship is unclear. We conducted an experiment to test the hypothesis that AMF will shift the biomass-density relationship by affecting intraspecific competition. Four population densities (10, 100, 1,000, or 10,000 seedlings per square meter) of Medicago sativa L. were planted in field plots. Water application (1,435 or 327.7 mm/year) simulated precipitation in wet areas (sufficient water) and arid areas (insufficient water). The fungicide benomyl was applied to suppress AMF in some plots ("low-AMF" treatment) and not in others ("high-AMF" treatment). The effect of the AMF treatment on the biomass-density relationship depended on water conditions. High AMF enhanced the decrease of individual biomass with increasing density (the biomass-density line had a steeper slope) when water was sufficient but not when water was insufficient. AMF treatment did not affect plant survival rate or population size but did affect absolute competition intensity (ACI). When water was sufficient, ACI was significantly higher in the high-AMF treatment than in the low-AMF treatment, but ACI was unaffected by AMF treatment when water was insufficient. Our results suggest that AMF status did not impact survival rate and population size but did shift the biomass-density relationship via effects on intraspecific competition. This effect of AMF on the biomass-density relationship depended on the availability of water.
Negative or positive feedback between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and host plants can contribute to plant species interactions, but how this feedback affects plant invasion or resistance to invasion is not well known. Here we tested how alterations in AMF community induced by an invasive plant species generate feedback to the invasive plant itself and affect subsequent interactions between the invasive species and its native neighbors. We first examined the effects of the invasive forb Solidago canadensis L. on AMF communities comprising five different AMF species. We then examined the effects of the altered AMF community on mutualisms formed with the native legume forb species Kummerowia striata (Thunb.) Schindl. and on the interaction between the invasive and native plants. The host preferences of the five AMF were also assessed to test whether the AMF form preferred mutualistic relations with the invasive and/or the native species. We found that S. canadensis altered AMF spore composition by increasing one AMF species (Glomus geosporum) while reducing Glomus mosseae, which is the dominant species in the field. The host preference test showed that S. canadensis had promoted the abundance of AMF species (G. geosporum) that most promoted its own growth. As a consequence, the altered AMF community enhanced the competitiveness of invasive S. canadensis at the expense of K. striata. Our results demonstrate that the invasive S. canadensis alters soil AMF community composition because of fungal-host preference. This change in the composition of the AMF community generates positive feedback to the invasive S. canadensis itself and decreases AM associations with native K. striata, thereby making the native K. striata less dominant.
Experiments were conducted to determine whether allelochemicals released by the important medicinal plant Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi help to explain why S. baicalensis performs poorly when continuously cropped. Based on high performance liquid chromatography, the concentration of baicalin (the major compound released by S. baicalensis roots) in the soil where S. baicalensi had been grown for 3 years was 0.97 microg x g(-1). Both the crude extracts from S. baicalensis roots and purified baicalin at 0.97 microg x g(-1) increased the mortality of S. baicalensis seedlings in an autotoxicity test. This concentration stimulated the growth of two soilborne pathogens (Pythium ultimum and Rhizoctonia solani) on agar, and their growth and pathogenic activity in sand. Seedling mortality and damping-off caused by both pathogens were greater in sand where S. canadensis had previously grown than in sand where it had not previously grown. Mortality and damping-off of S. baicalensis seedlings also were significantly higher in soil collected from an S. baicalensis field than in soil collected from a Nicotiana tabacum L. field. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that allelochemicals released by S. baicalensis negatively affect S. baicalensis directly by inducing autotoxicity and indirectly by increasing pathogen activity in the soil.
Aberrant differentiation is a characteristic feature of neoplastic transformation, while hypoxia in solid tumors is believed to be linked to aggressive behavior and poor prognosis. However, the possible relationship between hypoxia and differentiation in malignancies remains poorly defined. Here we show that rat C6 and primary human malignant glioma cells can be induced to differentiate into astrocytes by the well-known adenylate cyclase activator forskolin. However, hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha expression stimulated by the hypoxia mimetics cobalt chloride or deferoxamine blocks this differentiation and this effectiveness is reversible upon withdrawal of the hypoxia mimetics. Importantly, knockdown of hypoxia inducible factor-1alpha by RNA interference restores the differentiation capabilities of the cells, even in the presence of cobalt chloride, whereas stabilization of hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha through retarded ubiquitination by von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor gene silence abrogates the induced differentiation. Moreover, targeting of HIF-1 using chetomin, a disrupter of HIF-1 binding to its transcriptional co-activator CREB-binding protein (CBP)/p300, abolishes the differentiation-inhibitory effect of hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha. Administration of chetomin in combination with forskolin significantly suppresses malignant glioma growth in an in vivo xenograft model. Analysis of 95 human glioma tissues revealed an increase of hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha protein expression with progressing tumor grade. Taken together, these findings suggest a key signal transduction pathway involving hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha that contributes to a differentiation defect in malignant gliomas and sheds new light on the differentiation therapy of solid tumors by targeting hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha.
The tumor suppressor p53 is essential for several cellular processes that are involved in the response to diverse genotoxic stress, including cell cycle arrest, DNA repair, apoptosis and senescence. Studies of the regulation of p53 have mostly focused on its stability and transactivation; however, new regulatory molecules for p53 have also been frequently identified. Here, we report that human ssDNA binding protein SSB1 (hSSB1), a novel DNA damage-associated protein, can interact with p53 and protect p53 from ubiquitin-mediated degradation. Furthermore, hSSB1 also associates with the acetyltransferase p300 and is required for efficient transcriptional activation of the p53 target gene p21 by affecting the acetylation of p53 at lysine382. Functionally, the hSSB1 knockdown-induced abrogation of the G2/M checkpoint is partially dependent on p53 or p300. Collectively, our results indicate that hSSB1 may regulate DNA damage checkpoints by positively modulating p53 and its downstream target p21.
Legumes are widely used in many cropping systems because they share their nitrogen fixation products and phosphorus mobilization activities with their neighbors. In the current study, however, we showed that co-cultivation with legumes increased cadmium (Cd) contamination in the adjacent crops. Both field and mesocosm experiments indicated that legumes increased Cd levels in edible parts and shoots of four neighboring crops and five maize varieties tested, regardless of the Cd levels in the soil. This enhanced Cd accumulation in crops was attributed to root interactions that alter the rhizosphere environment. Co-cultivation with legumes reduced soil pH, which somewhat increased the exchangeable forms of Cd. Our results have demonstrated the inevitable increases in Cd levels of crops as a direct result of co-cultivation with legumes even under situations when these levels are below the permissible threshold. With this new revelation, we need to consider carefully the current cropping systems involving legumes and perhaps to re-design the current and future cropping systems in view of avoiding food contamination by Cd.
A recently identified protein, FAN1 (FANCD2-associated nuclease 1, previously known as KIAA1018), is a novel nuclease associated with monoubiquitinated FANCD2 that is required for cellular resistance against DNA interstrand crosslinking (ICL) agents. The mechanisms of FAN1 regulation have not yet been explored. Here, we provide evidence that FAN1 is degraded during mitotic exit, suggesting that FAN1 may be a mitotic substrate of the anaphase-promoting cyclosome complex (APC/C). Indeed, Cdh1, but not Cdc20, was capable of regulating the protein level of FAN1 through the KEN box and the D-box. Moreover, the up- and down-regulation of FAN1 affected the progression to mitotic exit. Collectively, these data suggest that FAN1 may be a new mitotic substrate of APC/CCdh1 that plays a key role during mitotic exit.
The microRNA miR-138 is dysregulated in several human cancers, but the underlying mechanism remains largely unknown. Here, we report that miR-138 is commonly underexpressed in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) specimens and NPC cell lines. The ectopic expression of miR-138 dramatically suppressed cell proliferation and colony formation in vitro and inhibited tumorigenesis in vivo. Moreover, we identified the cyclin D1 (CCND1) gene as a novel direct target of miR-138. In consistent with the knocked-down expression of CCND1, overexpression of miR-138 inhibited cell growth and cell cycle progression in NPC cells. Furthermore, CCND1 was widely upregulated in NPC tumors, and its mRNA levels were inversely correlated with miR-138 expression. Taken together, our findings suggest that miR-138 might be a tumor suppressor in NPC, which is exerted partially by inhibiting CCND1 expression. The identification of functional miR-138 in NPC and its direct link to CCND1 might provide good candidates for developing diagnostic markers and therapeutic applications for NPC.
Whether plant coexistence can reduce the impacts of lead (Pb) on crops in agroecosystems has not been well understood. We conducted a factorial experiment to investigate the effects of weeds coexisting with maize (Zea mays L.) on Pb accumulation in maize and soil microbes at two Pb levels (ambient and 300 mg/kg). Elevated Pb tended to increase the Pb concentration in maize and decreased soil microbial activity (indicated by the average well color development, AWCD), functional group diversity, as well as arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) colonization and vesicle number of maize. Compared to the monoculture, weeds coexisting with maize reduced the Pb concentrations in the root, leaf, sheath and stem of maize at both seedling and mature stages. In maize-weed mixtures, soil microbial activity and functional group diversity tended to increase for both Pb treatments relative to the monoculture. Furthermore, principal component analysis revealed that the soil microbial community structure changed with the introduction of weeds. The highest Pb accumulation in weeds occurred for the elevated Pb treatment in a three species mixture. The results suggest that multiple plant species coexistence could reduce lead accumulation in crop plants and alleviate the negative impacts on soil microbes in polluted land, thereby highlighting the significance of plant diversity in agroecosystems.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can form obligate symbioses with the vast majority of land plants, and AMF distribution patterns have received increasing attention from researchers. At the local scale, the distribution of AMF is well documented. Studies at large scales, however, are limited because intensive sampling is difficult. Here, we used ITS rDNA sequence metadata obtained from public databases to study the distribution of AMF at continental and global scales. We also used these sequence metadata to investigate whether host plant is the main factor that affects the distribution of AMF at large scales.
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