Silibinin, an effective anti-cancer and chemopreventive agent, has been shown to exert multiple effects on cancer cells, including inhibition of both cell proliferation and migration. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for these effects are not fully understood. We observed that silibinin significantly induced the expression of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug-activated gene-1 (NAG-1) in both p53 wild-type and p53-null cancer cell lines, suggesting that silibinin-induced NAG-1 up-regulation is p53-independent manner. Silibinin up-regulates early growth response-1 (EGR-1) expression. The ectopic expression of EGR-1 significantly increased NAG-1 promoter activity and NAG-1 protein expression in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, down-regulation of EGR-1 expression using siRNA markedly reduced silibinin-mediated NAG-1 expression, suggesting that the expression of EGR-1 is critical for silibinin-induced NAG-1 expression. We also observed that reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generated by silibinin; however, ROS did not affect silibinin-induced NAG-1 expression and apoptosis. In addition, we demonstrated that the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP kinase) signal transduction pathway is involved in silibinin-induced NAG-1 expression. Inhibitors of p38 MAP kinase (SB203580) attenuated silibinin-induced NAG-1 expression. Furthermore, we found that siRNA-mediated knockdown of NAG-1 attenuated silibinin-induced apoptosis. Collectively, the results of this study demonstrate for the first time that up-regulation of NAG-1 contributes to silibinin-induced apoptosis in cancer cells.
New colchicine analogs have been synthesized with the aim of developing stronger potential anticancer activities. Among the analogs, CT20126 has been previously reported to show immunosuppressive activities. Here, we report that CT20126 also shows potential anticancer effects via an unusual mechanism: the modulation of microtubule integrity and cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase before apoptosis. When we treated COS-7 cells with CT20126 (5??M), the normal thread-like microtubules were disrupted into tubulin dimers within 10?min and thereafter repolymerized into short, thick filaments. In contrast, cells treated with the same concentration of colchicine exhibited microtubule depolymerization after 20?min and never underwent repolymerization. Furthermore, optical density (OD) analysis (350?nm) with purified tubulin showed that CT20126 had a higher repolymerizing activity than that of Taxol, a potent microtubule-polymerizing agent. These results suggest that the effects of CT20126 on microtubule integrity differ from those of colchicine: the analog first destabilizes microtubules and then stabilizes the disrupted tubulins into short, thick polymers. Furthermore, CT20126 induced a greater level of apoptotic activity in Jurkat T cells than colchicine (assessed by G2/M arrest, caspase-3 activation and cell sorting). At 20?nM, CT20126 induced 47% apoptosis among Jurkat T cells, whereas colchicine induced only 33% apoptosis. Our results suggest that the colchicine analog CT20126 can potently induce apoptosis by disrupting microtubule integrity in a manner that differs from that of colchicine or Taxol.
Phosphatidylinositol phosphates (PtdInsPs) are ubiquitous membrane phospholipids that play diverse roles in cell growth and differentiation. To clarify the regulation mechanism acting on neurofilament light chain (NF-L) self assembly, we examined the effects of various PtdInsPs on this process. We found that PtdInsPs, including PI(4,5)P((2)), directly bind to the positively charged Arg(54) of murine NF-L, and this binding promotes NF-L self assembly in vitro. Mutant NF-L (R53A/R54A) proteins lacking binding affinity to PtdInsPs did not have the same effect, but the mutant NF-L proteins showed greater self assembly than the wild-type in the absence of any PtdInsP. These results collectively suggest that Arg(54) plays a pivotal role in NF-L self assembly by binding with PtdInsPs.
Clostridium difficile toxin A is known to cause actin disaggregation through the enzymatic inactivation of intracellular Rho proteins. Based on the rapid and severe cell rounding of toxin A-exposed cells, we speculated that toxin A may be involved in post-translational modification of tubulin, leading to microtubule instability. In the current study, we observed that toxin A strongly reduced ?-tubulin acetylation in human colonocytes and mouse intestine. Fractionation analysis demonstrated that toxin A-induced ?-tubulin deacetylation yielded monomeric tubulin, indicating the presence of microtubule depolymerization. Inhibition of the glucosyltransferase activity against Rho proteins of toxin A by UDP-2,3-dialdehyde significantly abrogated toxin A-induced ?-tubulin deacetylation. In colonocytes treated with trichostatin A (TSA), an inhibitor of the HDAC6 tubulin deacetylase, toxin A-induced ?-tubulin deacetylation and loss of tight junction were completely blocked. Administration of TSA also attenuated proinflammatory cytokine production, mucosal damage, and epithelial cell apoptosis in mouse intestine exposed to toxin A. These results suggest that toxin A causes microtubule depolymerization by activation of HDAC6-mediated tubulin deacetylation. Indeed, blockage of HDAC6 by TSA markedly attenuates ?-tubulin deacetylation, proinflammatory cytokine production, and mucosal damage in a toxin A-induced mouse enteritis model. Tubulin deacetylation is an important component of the intestinal inflammatory cascade following toxin A-mediated Rho inactivation in vitro and in vivo.
Growth factor stimulation induces Y783 phosphorylation of phosphoinositide-specific PLC-gamma1, and the subsequent activation of this enzyme in a cellular signaling cascade. Previously, we showed that a double point mutation, Y509A/F510A, of PLC-gamma1, abolished interactions with translational elongation factor 1-alpha. Here, we report that the Y509A/F510A mutant PLC-gamma1 displayed extremely high levels of Y783 phosphorylation and enhanced catalytic activity, compared to wild-type PLC-gamma1, upon treatment of COS7 cells with EGF. In quiescent COS7 cells, the Y509A/F510A mutant PLC-gamma1 exhibited a constitutive hydrolytic activity, whereas the wild-type counterpart displayed a basal level of activity. Upon treatment of COS7 cells with EGF, the Y783F mutation in Y509A/F510A PLC-gamma1 (Y509A/F510A/Y783F triple mutant) cells also led to an enhanced catalytic activity, whereas Y783F mutation alone displayed a basal level of activity. Our results collectively suggest that the Y509A/F510A mutant is more susceptible to receptor tyrosine kinase-induced Y783 phosphorylation than is wild-type PLC-gamma1, but no longer requires Y783 phosphorylation step for the Y509A/F510A mutant PLC-gamma1 activation in vivo.
Kahweol, the coffee-specific diterpene, has been reported for its tumor cell growth inhibitory activity and anti-carcinogenic activity. The mechanism by which kahweol initiates apoptosis remains poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated the effect of kahweol on the apoptotic pathway in U937 human promonocytic cells. We show that kahweol induces apoptosis in association with the activation of caspase 3 and cytochrome c release from the mitochondria to the cytosol, as well as down-regulation of anti-apoptotic proteins (Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, Mcl-1 and XIAP). Kahweol altered the phosphorylation state of members of the MAPKs and Akt. Ectopic expression of Bcl-2 or constitutive active Akt (myr-Akt) in U937 cells attenuates kahweol-induced apoptosis. In addition, we have also shown that JNK and Akt signal pathway plays a crucial role in kahweol-induced apoptosis in U937 cells. Taken together, our results show the activity of kahweol to modulate multiple components in apoptotic response of human leukemia cells and raise the possibility a novel therapeutic strategy in hematological malignancies.
Previously, we demonstrated that the erythropoietin receptor (EpoR) is present on fibroblasts, where it regulates focal contact. Here, we assessed whether this action of EpoR is involved in the reduced cell adhesion observed in colonocytes exposed to Clostridium difficile toxin A. EpoR was present and functionally active in cells of the human colonic epithelial cell line HT29 and epithelial cells of human colon tissues. Toxin A significantly decreased activating phosphorylations of EpoR and its downstream signaling molecules JAK-2 (Janus kinase 2) and STAT5 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 5). In vitro kinase assays confirmed that toxin A inhibited JAK 2 kinase activity. Pharmacological inhibition of JAK2 (with AG490) abrogated activating phosphorylations of EpoR and also decreased focal contacts in association with inactivation of paxillin, an essential focal adhesion molecule. In addition, AG490 treatment significantly decreased expression of occludin (a tight junction molecule) and tight junction levels. Taken together, these data suggest that inhibition of JAK2 by toxin A in colonocytes causes inactivation of EpoR, thereby enhancing the inhibition of focal contact formation and loss of tight junctions known to be associated with the enzymatic activity of toxin A.
We recently demonstrated that the insect peptide CopA3 (LLCIALRKK), a disulfide-linked dimeric peptide, exerts antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities in a mouse colitis model. Here, we examined whether CopA3 inhibited activation of macrophages by LPS. Exposure of an unseparated mouse peritoneal cell population or isolated peritoneal macrophages to LPS markedly increased secretion of IL-6 and TNF-?; these effects were significantly inhibited by CopA3 treatment. The inhibitory effect of CopA3 was also evident in murine macrophage cell line, RAW 264.7. Western blotting revealed that LPS-induced activation of STAT1 and STAT5 in macrophages was significantly inhibited by CopA3. Inhibition of JAK (STAT1/STAT5 kinase) with AG490 markedly reduced the production of IL-6 and TNF-? in macrophages. Collectively, these observations suggest that CopA3 inhibits macrophage activation by inhibiting activating phosphorylations of the transcription factors, STAT1 and STAT5, and blocking subsequent production of IL-6 and TNF-? and indicate that CopA3 may be useful as an immune-modulating agent.
Clostridium difficile toxin A glucosylates Rho family proteins, resulting in actin filament disaggregation and cell rounding in cultured colonocytes. Given that the cellular toxicity of toxin A is dependent on its receptor binding and subsequent entry into the cell, we herein sought to identify additional colonocyte proteins that might bind to toxin A following its internalization. Our results revealed that toxin A interacted with ERK1 and ERK2 in two human colonocyte cell lines (NCM460 and HT29). A GST-pulldown assay also showed that toxin A can directly bind to ERK1 and ERK2. In NCM460 cells exposed to PMA (an ERK1/2 activator), the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 did not affect the interaction between toxin A and ERK1/2. However, an in vitro kinase assay showed that the direct binding of toxin A to ERK1 or ERK2 inhibited their kinase activities. These results suggest a new molecular mechanism for the cellular toxicity seen in cells exposed to toxin A.
Our previous study demonstrated that CopA3, a disulfide dimer of the coprisin peptide analogue (LLCIALRKK), has antibacterial activity. In this study, we assessed whether CopA3 caused cellular toxicity in various mammalian cell lines. CopA3 selectively caused a marked decrease in cell viability in Jurkat T, U937, and AML-2 cells (human leukemia cells), but was not cytotoxic to Caki or Hela cells. Fragmentation of DNA, a marker of apoptosis, was also confirmed in the leukemia cell lines, but not in the other cells. CopA3-induced apoptosis in leukemia cells was mediated by apoptosis inducing factor (AIF), indicating induction of a caspase-independent signaling pathway.
Phospholipase C-?l (PLC-?l) expression is associated with cellular transformation. Notably, PLC-gamma is up-regulated in colorectal cancer tissue and breast carcinoma. Because exotoxins released by Clostridium botulinum have been shown to induce apoptosis and promote growth arrest in various cancer cell lines, we examined here the potential of Clostridium difficile toxin A to selectively induce apoptosis in cells transformed by PLC-?l overexpression. We found that PLC-?l-transformed cells, but not vectortransformed (control) cells, were highly sensitive to C. difficile toxin A-induced apoptosis and mitotic inhibition. Moreover, expression of the proapoptotic Bcl2 family member, Bim, and activation of caspase-3 were significantly up-regulated by toxin A in PLC-?l-transformed cells. Toxin A-induced cell rounding and paxillin dephosphorylation were also significantly higher in PLC-?l-transformed cells than in control cells. These findings suggest that C. difficile toxin A may have potential as an anticancer agent against colorectal cancers and breast carcinomas in which PLC-?l is highly up-regulated.
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