Expression of E-cadherin is used to monitor the epithelial phenotype, and its loss is suggestive of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). EMT triggers tumor metastasis. Exit from EMT is marked by increased E-cadherin expression and is considered necessary for tumor growth at sites of metastasis; however, the mechanisms associated with exit from EMT are poorly understood. Herein are analyzed 185 prostate cancer metastases, with significantly higher E-cadherin expression in bone than in lymph node and soft tissue metastases. To determine the molecular mechanisms of regulation of E-cadherin expression, three stable isogenic cell lines from DU145 were derived that differ in structure, migration, and colony formation on soft agar and Matrigel. When injected into mouse tibia, the epithelial subline grows most aggressively, whereas the mesenchymal subline does not grow. In cultured cells, ZEB1 and Src family kinases decrease E-cadherin expression. In contrast, in tibial xenografts, E-cadherin RNA levels increase eight- to 10-fold despite persistent ZEB1 expression, and in all ZEB1-positive metastases (10 of 120), ZEB1 and E-cadherin proteins were co-expressed. These data suggest that transcriptional regulation of E-cadherin differs in cultured cells versus xenografts, which more faithfully reflect E-cadherin regulation in cancers in human beings. Furthermore, the aggressive nature of xenografts positive for E-cadherin and the frequency of metastases positive for E-cadherin suggest that high E-cadherin expression in metastatic prostate cancer is associated with aggressive tumor growth.
PEA-15 is a death effector domain-containing phosphoprotein that binds ERK and restricts it to the cytoplasm. PEA-15 also binds to FADD and thereby blocks apoptosis induced by death receptors. Abnormal expression of PEA-15 is associated with type II diabetes and some cancers; however, its physiological function remains unclear. To determine the function of PEA-15 in vivo, we used C57BL/6 mice in which the PEA-15 coding region was deleted. We thereby found that PEA-15 regulates T-cell proliferation. PEA-15-null mice did not have altered thymic or splenic lymphocyte cellularity or differentiation. However, PEA-15 deficient T cells had increased CD3/CD28-induced nuclear translocation of ERK and increased activation of IL-2 transcription and secretion in comparison to control wild-type littermates. Indeed, activation of the T-cell receptor in wild-type mice caused PEA-15 release of ERK. In contrast, overexpression of PEA-15 in Jurkat T cells blocked nuclear translocation of ERK and IL-2 transcription. Finally, PEA-15-null T cells showed increased IL-2 dependent proliferation on stimulation. No differences in T cell susceptibility to apoptosis were found. Thus, PEA-15 is a novel player in T-cell homeostasis. As such this work may have far reaching implications in understanding how the immune response is controlled.
False codling moth, Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick) is a serious pest of economic importance to the South African fruit industry. As part of sustainable efforts to control this pest, biological control options that involve the application of baculovirus-based biopesticides such as Cryptogran and Cryptex (both formulated with a South African isolate of Cryptophlebia leucotreta granulovirus, CrleGV-SA) are popularly used by farmers. In order to safeguard the integrity of these biopesticides as well as protect against any future development of resistance in the host, we conducted a study to bioprospect for additional CrleGV isolates as alternatives to existing ones. Using overcrowding as an induction method for latent infection, we recovered five new CrleGV isolates (CrleGV-SA Ado, CrleGV-SA Mbl, CrleGV-SA Cit, CrleGV-SA MixC and CrleGV-SA Nels). Single restriction endonuclease (REN) analysis of viral genomic DNA extracted from purified occlusion bodies showed that isolates differed in their DNA profiles. Partial sequencing of granulin and egt genes from the different isolates and multiple alignments of nucleotide sequences revealed the presence of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), some of which resulted in amino acid substitutions in the protein sequence. Based on these findings as well as comparisons with other documented CrleGV isolates, we propose two phylogenetic groups for CrleGV-SA isolates recovered in this study.
Abnormal ERK signaling is implicated in many human diseases including cancer. This signaling cascade is a good target for the therapy of certain malignancies because of its important role in regulating cell proliferation and survival. The small phosphoprotein PEA-15 is a potent regulator of the ERK signaling cascade, and, by acting on this pathway, has been described to have both tumor-suppressor and tumor-promoter functions. However, the exact mechanism by which PEA-15 drives the outcome one way or the other remains unclear. We propose that the cellular environment is crucial in determining PEA-15 protein function by affecting the proteins phosphorylation state. We hypothesize that only unphosphorylated PEA-15 can act as a tumor-suppressor and that phosphorylation alters the interaction with binding partners to promote tumor development. In order to use PEA-15 as a prognostic marker or therapeutic target it is therefore important to evaluate its phosphorylation status.
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