A rapid synthetic protocol for the formation of high-performance Ge nanowire-based Li-ion battery anodes is reported. The nanowires are formed in high density by the solvent-free liquid deposition of a Ge precursor directly onto a heated stainless steel substrate under inert conditions. The novel growth system exploits the in situ formation of discrete Cu3Ge catalyst seeds from 1 nm thermally evaporated Cu layers. As the nanowires were grown from a suitable current collector, the electrodes could be used directly without binders in lithium-ion half cells. Electrochemical testing showed remarkable capacity retention with 866 mAh/g achieved after 1900 charge/discharge cycles and a Coulombic efficiency of 99.7%. The nanowire-based anodes also showed high-rate stability with discharge capacities of 800 mAh/g when cycled at a rate of 10C.
The mammalian odorant receptors (ORs) form a chemical-detecting interface between the atmosphere and the nervous system. This large gene family is composed of hundreds of membrane proteins predicted to form as many unique small molecule binding niches within their G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) framework, but very little is known about the molecular recognition strategies they use to bind and discriminate between small molecule odorants. Using rationally designed synthetic analogs of a typical aliphatic aldehyde, we report evidence that among the ORs showing specificity for the aldehyde functional group, a significant percentage detect the aldehyde through its ability to react with water to form a 1,1-geminal (gem)-diol. Evidence is presented indicating that the rat OR-I7, an often-studied and modeled OR known to require the aldehyde function of octanal for activation, is likely one of the gem-diol activated receptors. A homology model based on an activated GPCR X-ray structure provides a structural hypothesis for activation of OR-I7 by the gem-diol of octanal.
The 3' end of mammalian mRNAs is not formed by abrupt termination of transcription by RNA polymerase II (RNPII). Instead, RNPII synthesizes precursor mRNA beyond the end of mature RNAs, and an active process of endonuclease activity is required at a specific site. Cleavage of the precursor RNA normally occurs 10-30 nt downstream from the consensus polyA site (AAUAAA) after the CA dinucleotides. Proteins from the cleavage complex, a multifactorial protein complex of approximately 800 kDa, accomplish this specific nuclease activity. Specific RNA sequences upstream and downstream of the polyA site control the recruitment of the cleavage complex. Immediately after cleavage, pre-mRNAs are polyadenylated by the polyA polymerase (PAP) to produce mature stable RNA messages. Processing of the 3' end of an RNA transcript may be studied using cellular nuclear extracts with specific radiolabeled RNA substrates. In sum, a long 32P-labeled uncleaved precursor RNA is incubated with nuclear extracts in vitro, and cleavage is assessed by gel electrophoresis and autoradiography. When proper cleavage occurs, a shorter 5' cleaved product is detected and quantified. Here, we describe the cleavage assay in detail using, as an example, the 3' end processing of HIV-1 mRNAs.
Here we report an investigation of systematic control of crystal phase in the ternary nanocrystal system, dicopper tin triselenide. Optimizing the synthetic parameters allows modulation between nucleation and growth in either the hexagonal or cubic phase. In addition to size controlled single crystals, the particles can be tuned to occur as 1D linear heterostructures or 3D tetrapods with growth in one phase and termination in the alternate.
Chemically synthesized DNA can carry small RNA sequence information but converting that information into small RNA is generally thought to require large double-stranded promoters in the context of plasmids, viruses and genes. We previously found evidence that circularized oligodeoxynucleotides (coligos) containing certain sequences and secondary structures can template the synthesis of small RNA by RNA polymerase III in vitro and in human cells. By using immunoprecipitated RNA polymerase III we now report corroborating evidence that this enzyme is the sole polymerase responsible for coligo transcription. The immobilized polymerase enabled experiments showing that coligo transcripts can be formed through transcription termination without subsequent 3' end trimming. To better define the determinants of productive transcription, a structure-activity relationship study was performed using over 20 new coligos. The results show that unpaired nucleotides in the coligo stem facilitate circumtranscription, but also that internal loops and bulges should be kept small to avoid secondary transcription initiation sites. A polymerase termination sequence embedded in the double-stranded region of a hairpin-encoding coligo stem can antagonize transcription. Using lessons learned from new and old coligos, we demonstrate how to convert poorly transcribed coligos into productive templates. Our findings support the possibility that coligos may prove useful as chemically synthesized vectors for the ectopic expression of small RNA in human cells.
A single session of left prefrontal rTMS has been shown to have analgesic effects, and to reduce post-operative morphine use. We sought to test these findings in a larger sample, and try and see if multiple sessions had additive analgesic benefit.
Here we report the formation of high-performance and high-capacity lithium-ion battery anodes from high-density germanium nanowire arrays grown directly from the current collector. The anodes retain capacities of ? 900 mAh/g after 1100 cycles with excellent rate performance characteristics, even at very high discharge rates of 20-100C. We show by an ex situ high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and high-resolution scanning electron microscopy study that this performance can be attributed to the complete restructuring of the nanowires that occurs within the first 100 cycles to form a continuous porous network that is mechanically robust. Once formed, this restructured anode retains a remarkably stable capacity with a drop of only 0.01% per cycle thereafter. As this approach encompasses a low energy processing method where all the material is electrochemically active and binder free, the extended cycle life and rate performance characteristics demonstrated makes these anodes highly attractive for the most demanding lithium-ion applications such as long-range battery electric vehicles.
Group IV Nanowires have strong potential for several biomedical applications. However, to date their use remains limited because many are synthesised using heavy metal seeds and functionalised using organic ligands to make the materials water dispersible. This can result in unpredicted toxic side effects for mammalian cells cultured on the wires. Here, we describe an approach to make seedless and ligand free Germanium nanowires water dispersible using glutamic acid, a natural occurring amino acid that alleviates the environmental and health hazards associated with traditional functionalisation materials. We analysed the treated material extensively using Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), High resolution-TEM, and scanning electron microscope (SEM). Using a series of state of the art biochemical and morphological assays, together with a series of complimentary and synergistic cellular and molecular approaches, we show that the water dispersible germanium nanowires are non-toxic and are biocompatible. We monitored the behaviour of the cells growing on the treated germanium nanowires using a real time impedance based platform (xCELLigence) which revealed that the treated germanium nanowires promote cell adhesion and cell proliferation which we believe is as a result of the presence of an etched surface giving rise to a collagen like structure and an oxide layer. Furthermore this study is the first to evaluate the associated effect of Germanium nanowires on mammalian cells. Our studies highlight the potential use of water dispersible Germanium Nanowires in biological platforms that encourage anchorage-dependent cell growth.
Covalent inhibition is a reemerging paradigm in kinase drug design, but the roles of inhibitor binding affinity and chemical reactivity in overall potency are not well-understood. To characterize the underlying molecular processes at a microscopic level and determine the appropriate kinetic constants, specialized experimental design and advanced numerical integration of differential equations are developed. Previously uncharacterized investigational covalent drugs reported here are shown to be extremely effective epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors (kinact/Ki in the range 10(5)-10(7) M(-1)s(-1)), despite their low specific reactivity (kinact ? 2.1 × 10(-3) s(-1)), which is compensated for by high binding affinities (Ki < 1 nM). For inhibitors relying on reactivity to achieve potency, noncovalent enzyme-inhibitor complex partitioning between inhibitor dissociation and bond formation is central. Interestingly, reversible binding affinity of EGFR covalent inhibitors is highly correlated with antitumor cell potency. Furthermore, cellular potency for a subset of covalent inhibitors can be accounted for solely through reversible interactions. One reversible interaction is between EGFR-Cys797 nucleophile and the inhibitors reactive group, which may also contribute to drug resistance. Because covalent inhibitors target a cysteine residue, the effects of its oxidation on enzyme catalysis and inhibitor pharmacology are characterized. Oxidation of the EGFR cysteine nucleophile does not alter catalysis but has widely varied effects on inhibitor potency depending on the EGFR context (e.g., oncogenic mutations), type of oxidation (sulfinylation or glutathiolation), and inhibitor architecture. These methods, parameters, and insights provide a rational framework for assessing and designing effective covalent inhibitors.
Macroautophagy (hereafter referred to as autophagy) is a process in which organelles termed autophagosomes deliver cytoplasmic constituents to lysosomes for degradation. Autophagy has a major role in cellular homeostasis and has been implicated in various forms of human disease. The role of autophagy in cancer seems to be complex, with reports indicating both pro-tumorigenic and tumour-suppressive roles. Here we show, in a humanized genetically-modified mouse model of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), that autophagys role in tumour development is intrinsically connected to the status of the tumour suppressor p53. Mice with pancreases containing an activated oncogenic allele of Kras (also called Ki-Ras)--the most common mutational event in PDAC--develop a small number of pre-cancerous lesions that stochastically develop into PDAC over time. However, mice also lacking the essential autophagy genes Atg5 or Atg7 accumulate low-grade, pre-malignant pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia lesions, but progression to high-grade pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasias and PDAC is blocked. In marked contrast, in mice containing oncogenic Kras and lacking p53, loss of autophagy no longer blocks tumour progression, but actually accelerates tumour onset, with metabolic analysis revealing enhanced glucose uptake and enrichment of anabolic pathways, which can fuel tumour growth. These findings provide considerable insight into the role of autophagy in cancer and have important implications for autophagy inhibition in cancer therapy. In this regard, we also show that treatment of mice with the autophagy inhibitor hydroxychloroquine, which is currently being used in several clinical trials, significantly accelerates tumour formation in mice containing oncogenic Kras but lacking p53.
Autophagy is a process that takes place in all mammalian cells and ensures homoeostasis and quality control. The term autophagy [self (auto)-eating (phagy)] was first introduced in 1963 by Christian de Duve, who discovered the involvement of lysosomes in the autophagy process. Since then, substantial progress has been made in understanding the molecular mechanism and signalling regulation of autophagy and several reviews have been published that comprehensively summarize these findings. The role of autophagy in cancer has received a lot of attention in the last few years and autophagy modulators are now being tested in several clinical trials. In the present chapter we aim to give a brief overview of recent findings regarding the mechanism and key regulators of autophagy and discuss the important physiological role of mammalian autophagy in health and disease. Particular focus is given to the role of autophagy in cancer prevention, development and in response to anticancer therapy. In this regard, we also give an updated list and discuss current clinical trials that aim to modulate autophagy, alone or in combination with radio-, chemo- or targeted therapy, for enhanced anticancer intervention.
Homogenously alloyed CdSe(x)S(1-x) nanorods with controlled aspect ratios are synthesised by a hot-injection colloidal route. The optical absorption and photoluminescence emission are compositionally tunable with chalcogen ratios. The synthetic protocol is sufficiently robust to allow good control of rod aspect ratios, with low polydispersities, suited for their rational assembly into superstructures.
The 3 end formation of mammalian pre-mRNA contributes to gene expression regulation by setting the downstream boundary of the 3 untranslated region, which in many genes carries regulatory sequences. A large number of protein cleavage factors participate in this pre-mRNA processing step, but chemical tools to manipulate this process are lacking. Guided by a hypothesis that a PPM1 family phosphatase negatively regulates the 3 cleavage reaction, we have found a variety of new small molecule activators of the in vitro reconstituted pre-mRNA 3 cleavage reaction. New activators include a cyclic peptide PPM1D inhibitor, a dipeptide with modifications common to histone tails, abscisic acid and an improved l-arginine ?-naphthylamide analog. The minimal concentration required for in vitro cleavage has been improved from 200?M to the 200nM-100?M range. These compounds provide unexpected leads in the search for small molecule tools able to affect pre-mRNA 3 end formation.
In response to nutrient shortage or organelle damage, cells undergo macroautophagy. Starvation of glucose, an essential nutrient, is thought to promote autophagy in mammalian cells. We thus aimed to determine the role of autophagy in cell death induced by glucose deprivation. Glucose withdrawal induces cell death that can occur by apoptosis (in Bax, Bak-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts or HeLa cells) or by necrosis (in Rh4 rhabdomyosarcoma cells). Inhibition of autophagy by chemical or genetic means by using 3-methyladenine, chloroquine, a dominant negative form of ATG4B or silencing Beclin-1, Atg7, or p62 indicated that macroautophagy does not protect cells undergoing necrosis or apoptosis upon glucose deprivation. Moreover, glucose deprivation did not induce autophagic flux in any of the four cell lines analyzed, even though mTOR was inhibited. Indeed, glucose deprivation inhibited basal autophagic flux. In contrast, the glycolytic inhibitor 2-deoxyglucose induced prosurvival autophagy. Further analyses indicated that in the absence of glucose, autophagic flux induced by other stimuli is inhibited. These data suggest that the role of autophagy in response to nutrient starvation should be reconsidered.
The hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/c-Met signaling axis is deregulated in many cancers and plays important roles in tumor invasive growth and metastasis. An exclusively selective c-Met inhibitor (S)-6-(1-(6-(1-methyl-1H-pyrazol-4-yl)-[1,2,4]triazolo[4,3-b]pyridazin-3-yl)ethyl)quinoline (8) was discovered from a highly selective high-throughput screening hit via structure-based drug design and medicinal chemistry lead optimization. Compound 8 had many attractive properties meriting preclinical evaluation. Broad off-target screens identified 8 as a pan-phosphodiesterase (PDE) family inhibitor, which was implicated in a sustained increase in heart rate, increased cardiac output, and decreased contractility indices, as well as myocardial degeneration in in vivo safety evaluations in rats. Compound 8 was terminated as a preclinical candidate because of a narrow therapeutic window in cardio-related safety. The learning from multiparameter lead optimization and strategies to avoid the toxicity attrition at the late stage of drug discovery are discussed.
Tin oxide (SnO2) is considered a very promising material as a high capacity Li-ion battery anode. Its adoption depends on a solid understanding of factors that affect electrochemical behavior and performance such as size and composition. We demonstrate here, that defined dispersions and structures can improve our understanding of Li-ion battery anode material architecture on alloying and co-intercalation processes of Lithium with Sn from SnO2 on Si. Two different types of well-defined hierarchical Sn@SnO2 core-shell nanoparticle (NP) dispersions were prepared by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) on silicon, composed of either amorphous or polycrystalline SnO2 shells. In2O3 and Sn doped In2O3 (ITO) NP dispersions are also demonstrated from MBE NP growth. Lithium alloying with the reduced form of the NPs and co-insertion into the silicon substrate showed reversible charge storage. Through correlation of electrochemical and structural characteristics of the anodes, we detail the link between the composition, areal and volumetric densities, and the effect of electrochemical alloying of Lithium with Sn@SnO2 and related NPs on their structure and, importantly, their dispersion on the electrode. The dispersion also dictates the degree of co-insertion into the Si current collector, which can act as a buffer. The compositional and structural engineering of SnO2 and related materials using highly defined MBE growth as model system allows a detailed examination of the influence of material dispersion or nanoarchitecture on the electrochemical performance of active electrodes and materials.
The formation of Cu2SnSe3 tetrapod nanocrystals is reported using a hot injection colloidal synthesis. The ternary copper chalcogenide nanocrystals nucleate with a cubic core with four short wurzite arms.
The growth of Si/Ge axial heterostructure nanowires in high yield using a versatile wet chemical approach is reported. Heterostructure growth is achieved using the vapor zone of a high boiling point solvent as a reaction medium with an evaporated tin layer as the catalyst. The low solubility of Si and Ge within the Sn catalyst allows the formation of extremely abrupt heterojunctions of the order of just 1-2 atomic planes between the Si and Ge nanowire segments. The compositional abruptness was confirmed using aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy and atomic level electron energy loss spectroscopy. Additional analysis focused on the role of crystallographic defects in determining interfacial abruptness and the preferential incorporation of metal catalyst atoms near twin defects in the nanowires.
In every moment of a cells existence one key question is always asked, "To be or not to be"? Cells constantly weigh up signals from their environment against their own integrity and metabolic status and decide whether to live or die. Such cell death decisions are central to the progression and treatment of cancer. The term autophagy describes three processes that deliver cytoplasmic macromolecules and organelles to lysosomes for degradation, the difference between each form being the method of delivery. The most extensively studied form is macroautophagy (hereafter referred to as autophagy) where cytosolic components are engulfed by double membraned autophagosomes. Autophagosomes fuse with lysosomes to form structures called autolysosomes, within which organelles, proteins and other macromolecules are degraded by catabolic enzymes in the acidic lysosome environment. Autophagy, which normally occurs at low levels in unstressed cells, is widely regarded as having a positive effect on cell health as potentially harmful protein aggregates and damaged organelles can be recycled. During periods of nutrient shortage autophagy is enhanced to provide, albeit temporarily, an internal energy source. Autophagy is also enhanced by other stresses encountered by tumour cells and this may protect the cell or aid its demise. In this review we examine the effect of autophagy on cell death decisions in tumour cells.
BACKGROUND: Laparoscopic liver resection is growing in popularity, but the long-term outcome of patients undergoing laparoscopic liver resection for malignancy has not been established. This paper is a meta-analysis and compares the long-term survival of patients undergoing laparoscopic (LHep) versus open (OHep) liver resection for the treatment of malignant liver tumours. METHODS: A PubMed database search identified comparative human studies analysing LHep versus OHep for malignant tumours. Clinical and survival parameters were extracted. The search was last conducted on 18 March 2012. RESULTS: In total, 1002 patients in 15 studies were included (446 LHep and 556 OHep). A meta-analysis of overall survival showed no difference [1-year: odds ratio (OR) 0.71, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.42 to 1.20, P = 0.202; 3-years: OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.56 to 1.03, P = 0.076; 5-years: OR 0.8, 95% CI 0.59 to 1.10, P = 0.173]. Subset analyses of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and colorectal metastases (CRM) were performed. There was no difference in the 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival for HCC or in the 1-year survival for CRM, however, a survival advantage was found for CRM at 3?years (LHep 80% versus OHep 67.4%, P = 0.036). CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopic surgery should be considered an acceptable alternative for the treatment of malignant liver tumours.
Tumor cells undergo changes in metabolism to meet their energetic and anabolic needs. It is conceivable that mechanisms exist to sense these changes and link them to pathways that eradicate cells primed for cancer development. We report that the tumor suppressor p53 activates a cell death priming mechanism that senses extracellular adenosine. Adenosine, the backbone of ATP, accumulates under conditions of cellular stress or altered metabolism. We show that its receptor, A2B, is upregulated by p53. A2B expression has little effect on cell viability, but ligand engagement activates a caspase- and Puma-dependent apoptotic response involving downregulation of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 proteins. Stimulation of A2B also significantly enhances cell death mediated by p53 and upon accumulation of endogenous adenosine following chemotherapeutic drug treatment and exposure to hypoxia. Since extracellular adenosine also accumulates within many solid tumors, this distinct p53 function links programmed cell death to both a cancer- and therapy-associated metabolic change.
Senescence induction contributes to cancer therapy responses and is crucial for p53-mediated tumor suppression. However, whether p53 inactivation actively suppresses senescence induction has been unclear. Here, we show that E2F1 overexpression, due to p53 or p21 inactivation, promotes expression of human oncoprotein CIP2A, which in turn, by inhibiting PP2A activity, increases stabilizing serine 364 phosphorylation of E2F1. Several lines of evidence show that increased activity of E2F1-CIP2A feedback renders breast cancer cells resistant to senescence induction. Importantly, mammary tumorigenesis is impaired in a CIP2A-deficient mouse model, and CIP2A-deficient tumors display markers of senescence induction. Moreover, high CIP2A expression predicts for poor prognosis in a subgroup of patients with breast cancer treated with senescence-inducing chemotherapy. Together, these results implicate the E2F1-CIP2A feedback loop as a key determinant of breast cancer cell sensitivity to senescence induction. This feedback loop also constitutes a promising prosenescence target for therapy of cancers with an inactivated p53-p21 pathway.
Fat infiltration within muscle is one of a number of features of vitamin D deficiency, which leads to a decline in muscle functionality. The origin of this fat is unclear, but one possibility is that it forms from myogenic precursor cells present in the muscle, which transdifferentiate into mature adipocytes. The current study examined the effect of the active form of vitamin D?, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D? (1,25(OH)?D?), on the capacity of the C2C12 muscle cell line to differentiate towards the myogenic and adipogenic lineages. Cells were cultured in myogenic or adipogenic differentiation media containing increasing concentrations (0, 10?¹³, 10?¹¹, 10??, 10?? or 10?? ?M) of 1,25(OH)?D? for up to 6 days and markers of muscle and fat development measured. Mature myofibres were formed in both adipogenic and myogenic media, but fat droplets were only observed in adipogenic media. Relative to controls, low physiological concentrations (10?¹³ and 10?¹¹ ?M) of 1,25(OH)?D3 increased fat droplet accumulation, whereas high physiological (10?? ?M) and supraphysiological concentrations (?10?? ?M) inhibited fat accumulation. This increased accumulation of fat with low physiological concentrations (10?¹³ and 10?¹¹ ?M) was associated with a sequential up-regulation of PPAR?2 (PPARG) and FABP4 mRNA, indicating formation of adipocytes, whereas higher concentrations (?10?? ?M) reduced all these effects, and the highest concentration (10?? ?M) appeared to have toxic effects. This is the first study to demonstrate dose-dependent effects of 1,25(OH)?D? on the transdifferentiation of muscle cells into adipose cells. Low physiological concentrations (possibly mimicking a deficient state) induced adipogenesis, whereas higher (physiological and supraphysiological) concentrations attenuated this effect.
(Macro)autophagy is a membrane-trafficking process that serves to sequester cellular constituents in organelles termed autophagosomes, which target their degradation in the lysosome. Autophagy operates at basal levels in all cells where it serves as a homeostatic mechanism to maintain cellular integrity. The levels and cargoes of autophagy can, however, change in response to a variety of stimuli, and perturbations in autophagy are known to be involved in the aetiology of various human diseases. Autophagy must therefore be tightly controlled. We report here that the Drosophila cyclin-dependent kinase PITSLRE is a modulator of autophagy. Loss of the human PITSLRE orthologue, CDK11, initially appears to induce autophagy, but at later time points CDK11 is critically required for autophagic flux and cargo digestion. Since PITSLRE/CDK11 regulates autophagy in both Drosophila and human cells, this kinase represents a novel phylogenetically conserved component of the autophagy machinery.
The potential of gene therapy to treat cancer is hampered by the lack of safe and efficacious gene delivery systems able to selectively deliver therapeutic genes to tumors by intravenous administration. With the long-term aim of developing an efficacious cancer-targeted gene medicine, we demonstrated that transferrin-bearing polypropylenimine dendrimer complexed to a plasmid DNA encoding p73 led to an enhanced anti-proliferative activity in vitro, by up to 120-fold in A431 compared to the unmodified dendriplex. In vivo, the intravenous administration of this p73-encoding dendriplex resulted in a rapid and sustained inhibition of tumor growth over one month, with complete tumor suppression for 10% of A431 and B16-F10 tumors and long-term survival of the animals. The treatment was well tolerated by the animals, with no apparent signs of toxicity. These results suggest that the p73-encoding tumor-targeted polypropylenimine dendrimer should be further explored as a therapeutic strategy for cancer therapy.
Molecular mechanisms of electrophoretic deposition (EPD) of poly(3-decylthiophene) (P3DT) molecules onto vertically aligned cadmium selenide arrays have been studied using large-scale, nonequilibrium molecular dynamics (MD), in the absence and presence of static external electric fields. The field application and larger polymer charges accelerated EPD. Placement of multiple polymers at the same lateral displacement from the surface reduced average deposition times due to "crowding", giving monolayer coverage. These findings were used to develop and validate Brownian dynamics simulations of multilayer polymer EPD in scaled-up systems with larger inter-rod spacings, presenting a generalized picture in qualitative agreement with random sequential adsorption.
A facile spin cast route was developed to convert perpendicularly aligned nanorod assemblies of cadmium chalcogenides into their silver and copper analogues. The assemblies are rapidly cation exchanged without affecting either the individual rod dimensions or collective superlattice order extending over several multilayers.
The tumor suppressor p53 is extensively regulated by post-translational modification, including modification by the small ubiquitin-related modifier SUMO. We show here that MDM2, previously shown to promote ubiquitin, Nedd8 and SUMO-1 modification of p53, can also enhance conjugation of endogenous SUMO-2/3 to p53. Sumoylation activity requires p53-MDM2 binding but does not depend on an intact RING finger. Both ARF and L11 can promote SUMO-2/3 conjugation of p53. However, unlike the previously described SUMO-1 conjugation of p53 by an MDM2-ARF complex, this activity does not depend on the ability of MDM2 to relocalize to the nucleolus. Interestingly, the SUMO consensus is not conserved in mouse p53, which is therefore not modified by SUMO-2/3. Finally, we show that conjugation of SUMO-2/3 to p53 correlates with a reduction of both activation and repression of a subset of p53-target genes.
Because of the critical roles of aberrant signaling in cancer, both c-MET and ALK receptor tyrosine kinases are attractive oncology targets for therapeutic intervention. The cocrystal structure of 3 (PHA-665752), bound to c-MET kinase domain, revealed a novel ATP site environment, which served as the target to guide parallel, multiattribute drug design. A novel 2-amino-5-aryl-3-benzyloxypyridine series was created to more effectively make the key interactions achieved with 3. In the novel series, the 2-aminopyridine core allowed a 3-benzyloxy group to reach into the same pocket as the 2,6-dichlorophenyl group of 3 via a more direct vector and thus with a better ligand efficiency (LE). Further optimization of the lead series generated the clinical candidate crizotinib (PF-02341066), which demonstrated potent in vitro and in vivo c-MET kinase and ALK inhibition, effective tumor growth inhibition, and good pharmaceutical properties.
Childhood obesity is a major public health problem. Experts recommend that prevention and control strategies include population-based policies. Arkansas Act 1220 of 2003 is one such initiative and provides examples of the tensions between individual rights and public policy. We discuss concerns raised during the implementation of Act 1220 related to the 2 primary areas in which they emerged: body mass index measurement and reporting to parents and issues related to vending machine access. We present data from the evaluation of Act 1220 that have been used to address concerns and other research findings and conclude with a short discussion of the tension between personal rights and public policy. States considering similar policy approaches should address these concerns during policy development, involve multiple stakeholder groups, establish the legal basis for public policies, and develop consensus on key elements.
Colloidal carbon spheres were synthesized by the carbonization of squalane, a nonvolatile hydrocarbon solvent, in supercritical carbon dioxide. Precise pressure modulation of the fluid medium led to size controlled growth of carbon spheres ranging from 300 to 1500 nm in diameter. This unique synthetic approach of carbonizing a hydrocarbon suspension in supercritical fluid is found to suppress any particle aggregation, resulting in excellent sphere monodispersity. Core-shell hybrid structures of C-Ge were subsequently formed by inducing the growth of 10-40 nm sized germanium nanocrystals from the spheres in a hierarchical bottom-up approach. Extensive characterization of the spheres and nanocrystals was conducted using transmission and scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Raman, and thermogravametric analysis. Assemblies of nanocrystal modified carbon colloids impart outstanding superhydrophobic properties due to the combined nano- and microstructuring of the particle arrays.
Existing inferential methods of testing for a deficit or dissociation in the single case are extended to allow researchers to control for the effects of covariates. The new (bayesian) methods provide a significance test, point and interval estimates of the effect size for the difference between the case and controls, and point and interval estimates of the abnormality of a cases score, or standardized score difference. The methods have a wide range of potential applications, e.g., they can provide a means of increasing the statistical power to detect deficits or dissociations, or can be used to test whether differences between a case and controls survive partialling out the effects of potential confounding variables. The methods are implemented in a series of computer programs for PCs (these can be downloaded from www.abdn.ac.uk/?psy086/dept/Single_Case_Covariates.htm). Illustrative examples of the methods are provided.
High yields of single-crystalline Ge nanowires (NWs) were synthesised in the vapour phase of a high boiling point organic solvent without the need for metal catalyst particles. High density, perpendicular arrays of Ge NWs were subsequently grown from ITO coated substrates. The approach represents a convenient route toward orientated arrays of catalyst-free Ge NWs.
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved, catabolic process that involves the entrapment of cytoplasmic components within characteristic vesicles for their delivery to and degradation within lysosomes. Autophagy is regulated via a group of genes called AuTophaGy-related genes and is executed at basal levels in virtually all cells as a homeostatic mechanism for maintaining cellular integrity. The levels and cargos of autophagy can be modulated in response to a variety of intra- and extracellular cues to bring about specific and selective events. Autophagy is a multifaceted process and alterations in autophagic signalling pathways are frequently found in cancer and many other diseases. During tumour development and in cancer therapy, autophagy has paradoxically been reported to have roles in promoting both cell survival and cell death. In addition, autophagy has been reported to control other processes relevant to the aetiology of malignant disease, including oxidative stress, inflammation and both innate and acquired immunity. It is the aim of this review to describe the molecular basis and the signalling events that control autophagy in mammalian cells and to summarize the cellular functions that contribute to tumourigenesis when autophagy is perturbed.
A multi component assembly consisting of the redox protein cytochrome c (cyt c) immobilised onto vertically aligned gold tipped semiconductor nanorods is described. Cyt c was successfully immobilised using a thiol linker. A faradaic response demonstrated that the protein is electroactive in this ultra high density array.
Single-stranded (ss) circular oligodeoxynucleotides were previously found to undergo rolling circle transcription (RCT) by phage and bacterial RNA polymerases (RNAPs) into tandemly repetitive RNA multimers. Here, we redesign them to encode minimal primary miRNA mimics, with the long term aim of intracellular transcription followed by RNA processing and maturation via endogenous pathways. We describe an improved method for circularizing ss synthetic DNA for RCT by using a recently described thermostable RNA ligase, which does not require a splint oligonucleotide to juxtapose the ligating ends. In vitro transcription of four templates demonstrates that the secondary structure inherent in miRNA-encoding vectors does not impair their RCT by RNAPs previously shown to carry out RCT. A typical primary-miRNA rolling circle transcript was accurately processed by a human Drosha immunoprecipitate, indicating that if human RNAPs prove to be capable of RCT, the resulting transcripts should enter the endogenous miRNA processing pathway in human cells. Circular oligonucleotides are therefore candidate vectors for small RNA delivery in human cells, which express RNAPs related to those tested here.
The central arbiter of cell fate in response to DNA damage is p53, which regulates the expression of genes involved in cell cycle arrest, survival and apoptosis. Although many responses initiated by DNA damage have been characterized, the role of actin cytoskeleton regulators is largely unknown. We now show that RhoC and LIM kinase 2 (LIMK2) are direct p53 target genes induced by genotoxic agents. Although RhoC and LIMK2 have well-established roles in actin cytoskeleton regulation, our results indicate that activation of LIMK2 also has a pro-survival function following DNA damage. LIMK inhibition by siRNA-mediated knockdown or selective pharmacological blockade sensitized cells to radio- or chemotherapy, such that treatments that were sub-lethal when administered singly resulted in cell death when combined with LIMK inhibition. Our findings suggest that combining LIMK inhibitors with genotoxic therapies could be more efficacious than single-agent administration, and highlight a novel connection between actin cytoskeleton regulators and DNA damage-induced cell survival mechanisms.
This review provides a summary of the European Association for Cancer Research Cancer Researcher Award lecture which was presented at the EACR21 meeting in Oslo, Norway, in July 2010. The review focuses on the importance of programmed cell death regulation in tumour development and cancer therapy. Eradication of damaged cells is a principal mechanism of protection against cancer and involves key tumour suppressor proteins such as p53. Cell death-associated tumour suppressors, including p53, are often inactivated during the genesis of cancer and this poses problems for many forms of therapy which require these death proteins for a therapeutic response. The identification therefore of other factors and pathways that regulate cell viability is of prime importance for the development of rationalised new strategies to invoke tumour cell death. Historically, studies of programmed cell death in cancer have focused on the evolutionarily conserved process of apoptosis. More recently, however, attention has also turned to another process termed autophagy which has profound effects on cell viability. Principally, autophagy serves to traffic damaged proteins and organelles to the lysosome for degradation. It functions therefore as a homeostatic mechanism that impinges on both protein and genome integrity. Summarized here are our findings linking p53 to autophagy and how this led to the identification of the human Damage-Regulated Autophagy Modulator (DRAM) family. Further discussion relates to our subsequent studies, together with those of others, that have yielded insights into the selective targeting of autophagy for the treatment of malignant disease.
Maternal undernutrition during sensitive periods of pregnancy results in offspring predisposed towards the development of a number of diseases of adulthood, including hypertension and diabetes. In order to determine the nature of any gross alterations in fetal growth during early organogenesis, we supplied timed-mated pregnant mice with diets containing 6% protein (6%P), 9% protein (9%P) or 18% protein (18%P; control) from day 0 of pregnancy. At embryonic days 11 (E11), 12 (E12) and 13 (E13), females were killed and fetuses removed. Gross morphological analysis revealed that fetal limb growth was impaired between E11 and E12 in 6%P animals, but this recovered by E13. Likewise, fetal liver growth and lung branching morphogenesis were seen to exhibit an initial growth impairment at E12 followed by a rapid recovery by E13. Coincident with the observed changes in fetal growth, we noted an elevation in maternal hepatic triglyceride content, expression of the ketogenic 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase 2 (Hmgcs2) and circulating plasma ?-hydroxybutyrate (BOHB). In addition, fetal liver Hmgcs2 expression was switched on by E13 in both 6%P- and 9%P-exposed animals. Exogenous BOHB did not influence branching morphogenesis in fetal lung explant cultures; however, we cannot rule out the possibility that this may occur in vivo. In conclusion, we find that disturbance of fetal growth by maternal dietary protein restriction is associated and therefore potentially indicated by changes in maternal and fetal ketone body metabolism.
Coulomb repulsion due to the surface charge on semi-conductor nanorods works against the dipole-dipole attraction that tends to direct the nanorods to self-assemble; the nature of this self-assembly for CdSe nanorods can be thus altered by pyridine washing, which charges the rods surface--thereby allowing the Coulomb repulsion to tailor the alignment.
A multi rate kinetic model to explain the spontaneous oriented attachment of CdS nanorods in the presence of an amine is presented. The model demonstrates the reasons that elongation is restricted to a maximum of quadruple, the starting rod length for rods of a certain aspect ratio (8 × 30 nm) with no elongation occurring for rods of a shorter aspect ratio. The rate constants for all possible attachment events are determined showing that elongation by attachment occurs sequentially by single rod addition alone. Both the reaction rate and the activation energy for subsequent attachment are found to increase as the rod lengthens. The increase in reaction rate correlates with increased dipole moment of longer rods which orients the rods end to end to maximize collision events. The two components of this reaction are alignment and fusion, with the former restricting attachment of low aspect ratio rods and the latter restricting attachment to higher aspect ratio rods. The model therefore predicts an aspect ratio "window" in which oriented attachment of nanorods is energetically possible.
The discrimination of n-alkyl-saturated aldehydes during the early stage of odorant recognition by the rat I7 olfactory receptor (OR-I7) is investigated. The concentrations of odorants necessary for 50% activation (or inhibition) of the OR-I7 are measured by calcium imaging recordings of dissociated rat olfactory sensory neurons, expressing the recombinant OR-I7 from an adenoviral vector. These are correlated with the corresponding binding free energies computed for a homology structural model of the OR-I7 built from the crystal structure of bovine visual rhodopsin at 2.2 A resolution.
The analysis of DNA tumor viruses has provided landmark insights into the molecular pathogenesis of cancer. A paradigm for this field has been the study of the adenoviral E1a protein, which has led to the identification of proteins such as p300, p400, and members of the retinoblastoma family. Through binding Rb family members, E1a causes deregulation of E2F proteins--an event common to most human cancers and a central pathway in which oncogenes, including E1a, sensitize cells to chemotherapy-induced programmed cell death. We report here, however, that E1a not only causes deregulation of E2F, but importantly that it also causes the posttranscriptional upregulation of E2F1 protein levels. This effect is distinct from the deregulation of E2F1, however, as mutants of E2F1 impaired in pRb binding are induced by E1a and E2F1 induction can also be observed in Rb-null cells. Analysis of E1a mutants selectively deficient in cellular protein binding revealed that induction of E2F1 is instead intrinsically linked to p400. Mutants unable to bind p400, despite being able to deregulate E2F1, do not increase E2F1 protein levels and they do not sensitize cells to apoptotic death. These mutants can, however, be complemented by either the knockdown of p400, resulting in the restoration of the ability to induce E2F1, or by the overexpression of E2F1, with both events reenabling sensitization to chemotherapy-induced death. Due to the frequent deregulation of E2F1 in human cancer, these studies reveal potentially important insights into E2F1-mediated chemotherapeutic responses that may aid the development of novel targeted therapies for malignant disease.
The intricate regulation of cell survival and cell death is critical for the existence of both normal and transformed cells. Two factors central to these processes are p53 and NFkappaB, with both factors having ascribed roles in both promoting and repressing cell death. Not surprisingly, a number of studies have previously reported interplay between p53 and NFkappaB. The mechanistic basis behind these observations, however, is currently incomplete. We report here further insights into this interplay using a system where blockade of NFkappaB inhibits cell death from p53, but at the same time sensitizes cells to death by TNFalpha. We found in agreement with a recent report showing that NFkappaB is required for the efficient activation of the BH3-only protein Noxa by the p53 family member p73, that p53s ability to induce Noxa is also impeded by inhibition of NFkappaB. In contrast to the regulation by p73, however, blockade of NFkappaB downstream of p53 decreases Noxa protein levels without effects on Noxa mRNA. Our further analysis of the effects of NFkappaB inhibition on p53 target gene expression revealed that while most target genes analysed where unaffected by blockade of NFkappaB, the p53-mediated induction of the pro-apoptotic gene p53AIP1 was significantly dependent on NFkappaB. These studies therefore add further insight into the complex relationship of p53 and NFkappaB. In addition, since both Noxa and p53AIP1 have been shown to be important components of p53-mediated cell death responses, these findings may also indicate critical points where NFkappaB plays a pro-apoptotic role downstream of p53.
Recently, autophagy has been demonstrated to modulate tumourigenesis and the response to cancer therapy by regulating numerous cellular functions including maintenance of cell viability under metabolic stress, mitochondrial homeostasis, regulation of reactive oxygen species accumulation, maintenance of genomic integrity, protein quality control, establishment of oncogene-induced senescence and regulation of tissue inflammation and tumour immunogenicity. Autophagy determines these different phenotypes of the tumour cell via diverse effector mechanisms, either involving buffering of metabolism or sequestration of specific proteins and organelles from the cytosol. We argue that the key to understanding the net effect of autophagy in controlling tumourigenesis will be to functionally dissect these different effector mechanisms. This will be enabled by the identification of how these are regulated by intracellular signalling pathways. Further investigation of these pathways will reveal how individual autophagy outcomes might be selectively targeted for therapeutic gain.
Autophagy is a catabolic membrane-trafficking process that leads to sequestration and degradation of intracellular material within lysosomes. It is executed at basal levels in every cell and promotes cellular homeostasis by regulating organelle and protein turnover. In response to various forms of cellular stress, however, the levels and cargoes of autophagy can be modulated. In nutrient-deprived states, for example, autophagy can be activated to degrade cargoes for cell-autonomous energy production to promote cell survival. In other contexts, in contrast, autophagy has been shown to contribute to cell death. Given these dual effects in regulating cell viability, it is no surprise that autophagy has implications in both the genesis and treatment of malignant disease. In this review, we provide a comprehensive appraisal of the way in which oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes regulate autophagy. In addition, we address the current evidence from human cancer and animal models that has aided our understanding of the role of autophagy in tumour progression. Finally, the potential for targeting autophagy therapeutically is discussed in light of the functions of autophagy at different stages of tumour progression and in normal tissues.
Several recent reports have demonstrated that autophagy is induced in response to hypoxia in cultured cells. However, the mechanism and consequence of hypoxia-induced autophagy remains unclear as there is no consensus between these studies. In our recent report we show that, in human cancer cells, hypoxia cooperates with growth factor signaling to facilitate a HIF1alpha-driven transcriptional response that promotes autophagy. Here we summarize these findings and set them in context of the findings of other groups, concluding that there are likely multiple routes to different forms of autophagy that serve different purposes downstream of hypoxia, depending upon the degree of stress and cellular context.
This paper presents a facile method for decreasing the size of water dispersible Ni nanoparticles from 30 to 3 nm by the incorporation of a passivating surfactant combination of pluronic triblock copolymer and oleic acid into a wet chemical reduction synthesis. A detailed study revealed that the size of the Ni nanoparticles is not only critically governed by the concentration of the triblock copolymers but also dependent on the hydrophobic nature of the micelle core formed. The synthesized Ni nanoparticles were thoroughly characterized by means of transmission electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and temperature and field dependent magnetic measurements, along with a comprehensive Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis, in order to predict a possible mechanism of formation.
Although metabolic alterations have been observed in cancer for almost a century, only recently have the mechanisms underlying these changes been identified and the importance of metabolic transformation realized. p53 has been shown to respond to metabolic changes and to influence metabolic pathways through several mechanisms. The contributions of these activities to tumour suppression are complex and potentially rather surprising: some reflect the function of basal p53 levels that do not require overt activation and others might even promote, rather than inhibit, tumour progression.
The rising epidemic of childhood and adolescent obesity is placing a heretofore unprecedented physical and fiscal burden on individuals and communities. Federal and state government officials who seek to determine the scope of the problem are using a spectrum of tools that include reporting, screening, and surveillance initiatives. The extent of authority to use these public health tools is yet to be determined, especially in the area of data use, privacy, and liability as government officials balance the need to improve public health with individual freedom and autonomy.
Ewing sarcoma and osteosarcoma are two aggressive cancers that affect bones and soft tissues in children and adolescents. Despite multimodal therapy, patients with metastatic sarcoma have a poor prognosis, emphasizing a need for more effective treatment. We have shown previously that 2-methoxyestradiol (2-ME), an antitumoral compound, induces apoptosis in Ewing sarcoma cells through c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) activation. In the present study, we provide evidence that 2-ME elicits macroautophagy, a process that participates in apoptotic responses, in a JNK-dependent manner, in Ewing sarcoma and osteosarcoma cells. We also found that the enhanced activation of JNK by 2-ME is partially regulated by p53, highlighting the relationship of JNK and autophagy to p53 signaling pathway. Furthermore, we showed that 2-ME up-regulates damage-regulated autophagy modulator (DRAM), a p53 target gene, in Ewing sarcoma cells through a mechanism that involves JNK activation. The silencing of DRAM expression reduced both apoptosis and autophagy triggered by 2-ME in Ewing sarcoma and osteosarcoma cells. Our results therefore identify JNK as a novel mediator of DRAM regulation. These findings suggest that 2-ME or other anticancer therapies that increase DRAM expression or function could be used to effectively treat sarcoma patients.
Spontaneous elongation from nanorod to nanowire in the presence of an amine is reported for nanocrystals of cadmium sulfide and silver sulfide (cation exchanged from CdS). Elongation occurs instantaneously where the final aspect ratio is a controllable multiple of the original nanorod length. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis reveals the influential factors on the attachment process are the concentration of amine, duration and temperature of the reaction. The elongated nanorods are further characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), photoluminescence (PL), ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV-vis) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). A mechanism of oriented attachment is evidenced by the doubling in length of asymmetrically gold tipped CdS nanorods with the corresponding absence of elongation in symmetrically tipped nanorods.
Autophagy is a membrane-trafficking process that serves to deliver cytoplasmic proteins and organelles to the lysosome for degradation. The process is genetically defined and many of the factors involved are conserved from yeast to man. Recently, a number of new autophagy regulators have been defined, including the Damage-Regulated Autophagy Modulator (DRAM), which is a lysosomal protein that links autophagy and the tumor suppressor, p53. We describe here analysis of DRAM-related proteins which reveals evolutionary conservation and divergence of DRAMs role in autophagy. We report that humans have 5 other proteins that show significant homology to DRAM. The closest of these, which we have termed DRAM2, displays 45% identity and 67% conservation when compared to DRAM. Interestingly, although similar to DRAM in terms of homology, DRAM2 is different from DRAM as it not induced by p53 or p73. DRAM2 is also a lysosomal protein, but again unlike DRAM its overexpression does not modulate autophagy. In contrast to humans, the Drosophila genome only encodes one DRAM-like protein, which is approximately equal in similarity to human DRAM and DRAM2. This questions, therefore, whether DRAM function is conserved from fly to man or whether DRAMs capacity to regulate autophagy has evolved in higher eukaryotes. Expression of DmDRAM, however, clearly revealed an ability to modulate autophagy. This points, therefore, to a conserved role of DRAM in this process and that additional human proteins have more recently evolved which, while potentially sharing some similarities with DRAM, may not be as intrinsically connected to autophagy regulation.
Dietary conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) have been reported to have a number of isomer-dependent effects on lipid metabolism including reduction in adipose tissue deposition, changes in plasma lipoprotein concentrations and hepatic lipid accumulation. The aim of this study was to compare the effect of individual CLA isomers against lipogenic and high Western fat background diets. Golden Syrian hamsters were fed a high-carbohydrate rodent chow or chow supplemented with 17.25 % fat formulated to represent the type and amount of fatty acids found in a typical Western diet (including 0.2 % cholesterol). Diets were further supplemented with 0.25 % (w/w) rapeseed oil, cis9, trans11 (c9,t11)-CLA or trans10, cis12 (t10,c12)-CLA. Neither isomer had a significant impact on plasma lipid or lipoprotein concentrations. The t10,c12-CLA isomer significantly reduced perirenal adipose tissue depot mass. While adipose tissue acetyl CoA carboxylase and fatty acid synthase mRNA concentrations (as measured by quantitative PCR) were unaffected by CLA, lipoprotein lipase mRNA was specifically reduced by t10,c12-CLA, on both background diets (P < 0.001). This was associated with a specific reduction of sterol regulatory element binding protein 1c expression in perirenal adipose tissue (P = 0.018). The isomers appear to have divergent effects on liver TAG content with c9,t11-CLA producing lower concentrations than t10,c12-CLA. We conclude that t10,c12-CLA modestly reduces adipose tissue deposition in the Golden Syrian hamster independently of background diet and this may possibly result from reduced uptake of lipoprotein fatty acids, as a consequence of reduced lipoprotein lipase gene expression.
Silicon nanocrystals were synthesized at high temperatures and high pressures by the thermolysis of diphenylsilane using a combination of supercritical carbon dioxide and phosphonic acid surfactants. Size and shape evolution from pseudo-spherical silicon nanocrystals to well-faceted tetrahedral-shaped silicon crystals with edge lengths in the range of 30-400 nm were observed with sequentially decreasing surfactant chain lengths. The silicon nanocrystals were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX), x-ray diffraction (XRD), photoluminescence (PL), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Raman scattering spectroscopy.
The catalytic domains of protein kinases are commonly treated as independent modular units with distinct biological functions. Here, the interactions between the catalytic and juxtamembrane domains of VEGFR2 are studied. Highly purified preparations of the receptor tyrosine kinase VEGFR2 catalytic domain without (VEGFR2-CD) and with (VEGFR2-CD/JM) the juxtamembrane (JM) domain were characterized by kinetic, biophysical, and structural methods. Although the catalytic parameters for both constructs were similar, the autophosphorylation rate of VEGFR2-CD/JM was substantially faster than VEGFR2-CD. The first event in the autophosphorylation reaction was phosphorylation of JM residue Y801 followed by phosphorylation of activation loop residues in the CD. The rates of activation loop autophosphorylation for the two constructs were determined to be similar. The autophosphorylation rate of Y801 was invariant on enzyme concentration, which is consistent with an intramolecular reaction. In addition, the first biochemical characterization of the advanced clinical compound axitinib is reported. Axitinib was found to have 40-fold enhanced biochemical potency toward VEGFR2-CD/JM (K(i) = 28 pM) compared to VEGFR2-CD, which correlates better with cellular potency. Calorimetric studies, including a novel ITC compound displacement method, confirmed the potency and provided insight into the thermodynamic origin of the potency differences. A structural model for the VEGFR2-CD/JM is proposed based on the experimental findings reported here and on the JM position in c-Kit, FLT3, and CSF1/cFMS. The described studies identify potential functions of the VEGFR2 JM domain with implications to both receptor biology and inhibitor design.
The selective regulation of macroautophagy remains poorly defined. Here we report that PDGFR signaling is an essential selective promoter of hypoxia-induced macroautophagy. Hypoxia-induced macroautophagy in tumor cells is also HIF1alpha-dependent, with HIF1alpha integrating signals from PDGFRs and oxygen tension. Inhibition of PDGFR signaling reduces HIF1alpha half-life, despite buffering of steady-state protein levels by a compensatory increase in HIF1alpha mRNA. This markedly changes HIF1alpha protein pool dynamics, and consequently reduces the HIF1alpha transcriptome. As autocrine growth factor signaling is a hallmark of many cancers, cell-autonomous enhancement of HIF1alpha-mediated macroautophagy may represent a mechanism for augmenting tumor cell survival under hypoxic conditions.
The c-Met receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) is a key regulator in cancer, in part, through oncogenic mutations. Eight clinically relevant mutants were characterized by biochemical, biophysical, and cellular methods. The c-Met catalytic domain was highly active in the unphosphorylated state (k(cat) = 1.0 s(-1)) and achieved 160-fold enhanced catalytic efficiency (k(cat)/K(m)) upon activation to 425000 s(-1) M(-1). c-Met mutants had 2-10-fold higher basal enzymatic activity (k(cat)) but achieved maximal activities similar to those of wild-type c-Met, except for Y1235D, which underwent a reduction in maximal activity. Small enhancements of basal activity were shown to have profound effects on the acquisition of full enzymatic activity achieved through accelerating rates of autophosphorylation. Biophysical analysis of c-Met mutants revealed minimal melting temperature differences indicating that the mutations did not alter protein stability. A model of RTK activation is proposed to describe how a RTK response may be matched to a biological context through enzymatic properties. Two c-Met clinical candidates from aminopyridine and triazolopyrazine chemical series (PF-02341066 and PF-04217903) were studied. Biochemically, each series produced molecules that are highly selective against a large panel of kinases, with PF-04217903 (>1000-fold selective relative to 208 kinases) being more selective than PF-02341066. Although these prototype inhibitors have similar potencies against wild-type c-Met (K(i) = 6-7 nM), significant differences in potency were observed for clinically relevant mutations evaluated in both biochemical and cellular contexts. In particular, PF-02341066 was 180-fold more active against the Y1230C mutant c-Met than PF-04217903. These highly optimized inhibitors indicate that for kinases susceptible to active site mutations, inhibitor design may need to balance overall kinase selectivity with the ability to inhibit multiple mutant forms of the kinase (penetrance).
Intraglomerular renin-angiotensin system enzyme activities have been examined previously using glomerular lysates and immune-based assays. However, preparation of glomerular extracts compromises the integrity of their anatomic architecture. In addition, antibody-based assays focus on angiotensin (Ang) II detection, ignoring the generation of other Ang I-derived metabolites, some of which may cross-react with Ang II. Therefore, our aim was to examine the metabolism of Ang I in freshly isolated intact glomeruli using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight mass spectrometry as an analytic method. Glomeruli from male Sprague-Dawley rats were isolated by sieving and incubated in Krebs buffer in the presence of 1 micromol/L of Ang I for 15 to 90 minutes, with or without various peptidase inhibitors. Peptide sequences were confirmed by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight tandem mass spectrometry or linear-trap-quadrupole mass spectrometry. Peaks were quantified using customized valine-(13)C(.15)N-labeled peptides as standards. The most prominent peaks resulting from Ang I cleavage were 899 and 1181 m/z, corresponding with Ang (1-7) and Ang (2-10), respectively. Smaller peaks for Ang II, Ang (1-9), and Ang (3-10) also were detected. The disappearance of Ang I was significantly reduced during inhibition of aminopeptidase A or neprilysin. In contrast, captopril did not alter Ang I degradation. Furthermore, during simultaneous inhibition of aminopeptidase A and neprilysin, the disappearance of Ang I was markedly attenuated compared with all of the other conditions. These results suggest that there is prominent intraglomerular conversion of Ang I to Ang (2-10) and Ang (1-7), mediated by aminopeptidase A and neprilysin, respectively. Formation of these alternative Ang peptides may be critical to counterbalance the local actions of Ang II. Enhancement of these enzymatic activities may constitute potential therapeutic targets for Ang II-mediated glomerular diseases.
Novel inhibitors are needed to counteract the rapid emergence of drug-resistant HIV variants. HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) has both DNA polymerase and RNase H (RNH) enzymatic activities, but approved drugs that inhibit RT target the polymerase. Inhibitors that act against new targets, such as RNH, should be effective against all of the current drug-resistant variants. Here, we present 2.80 A and 2.04 A resolution crystal structures of an RNH inhibitor, beta-thujaplicinol, bound at the RNH active site of both HIV-1 RT and an isolated RNH domain. beta-thujaplicinol chelates two divalent metal ions at the RNH active site. We provide biochemical evidence that beta-thujaplicinol is a slow-binding RNH inhibitor with noncompetitive kinetics and suggest that it forms a tropylium ion that interacts favorably with RT and the RNA:DNA substrate.
Better characterization of the molecular mechanisms underlying glomerular cell proliferation may improve our understanding of the pathogenesis of glomerulonephritis and yield disease-specific markers. We used two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE) and mass spectrometry (MS) to generate expression profiles of glomerular proteins in the course of anti-Thy-1 nephritis. Glomeruli were isolated from Wistar rats by sieving, and proteins were separated by 2DE. In preliminary studies using normal rats, we identified known glomerular proteins from microfilaments [tropomyosin (Tm)] and intermediate filaments (vimentin and lamin A), proteins involved in assembly (alpha-actinin-4, F-actin capping protein) and membrane cytoskeletal linking (ezrin), as well as several enzymes (protein disulfide isomerase, ATP synthase, and aldehyde dehydrogenase). Comparison of glomerular protein abundance between normal rats and rats in the early phase of anti-Thy-1 nephritis yielded 28 differentially expressed protein spots. MS analysis identified 16 differentially expressed proteins including Tm. Altered Tm abundance in the course of anti-Thy-1 nephritis was confirmed, and specific isoforms were characterized by Western blotting. We demonstrated a complex change in Tm isoform abundance in the course of anti-Thy-1 nephritis. The early mesangiolytic phase of the disease was characterized by decreased abundance of low-molecular-weight isoforms Tm5a/5b and increased abundance of high-molecular-weight isoforms Tm6, Tm1, Tm2, and Tm3. The late proliferative phase of the disease was associated with increased abundance of isoforms Tm5a/5b, Tm6, and Tm1 and decreased abundance of Tm3. Isoforms Tm4 and Tm5 remained unchanged in the course of this model of experimental glomerulonephritis. Characterization of Tm isoform abundance in the course of clinical glomerulonephritis may identify disease-specific markers.
Arkansas was among the first states to pass comprehensive legislation to combat childhood obesity, with Arkansas Act 1220 of 2003. Two distinct but complementary evaluations of the process, impact, and outcomes of Act 1220 are being conducted: first, surveillance of the weight status of Arkansas children and adolescents, using the statewide data amassed from the required measurements of students body mass indexes (BMIs); and second, an independent evaluation of the process, impact, and outcomes associated with Act 1220. Various stakeholder groups initially expressed concerns about the Act, specifically concerns related to negative social and emotional consequences for students and an excessive demand on health care. Evaluation data, however, suggest that few adverse effects have occurred either in these areas of concern or in other concerns which have emerged over time. Schools are changing environments and implementing policies and programs to promote healthy behaviors and BMI levels have not increased since the implementation of Act 1220 in 2004. The Arkansas experience to date may serve to inform the efforts of other states to adopt policies to address the epidemic of childhood obesity.
3 Cleavage and polyadenylation are obligatory steps in the biogenesis of most mammalian pre-mRNAs. In vitro reconstitution of the 3 cleavage reaction from human cleavage factors requires high concentrations of creatine phosphate (CP), though how CP activates cleavage is not known. Previously, we proposed that CP might work by competitively inhibiting a cleavage-suppressing serine/threonine (S/T) phosphatase. Here we show that fluoride/EDTA, a general S/T phosphatase inhibitor, activates in vitro cleavage in place of CP. Subsequent testing of inhibitors specific for different S/T phosphatases showed that inhibitors of the PPM family of S/T phosphatases, which includes PP2C, but not the PPP family, which includes PP1, PP2A, and PP2B, activated 3 cleavage in vitro. In particular, NCI 83633, an inhibitor of PP2C, activated extensive 3 cleavage at a concentration 50-fold below that required by fluoride or CP. The testing of structural analogs led to the identification of a more potent compound that activated 3 cleavage at 200 microM. While testing CP analogs to understand the origin of its cleavage activation effect, we found phosphocholine to be a more effective activator than CP. The minimal structural determinants of 3 cleavage activation by phosphocholine were identified. Our results describe a much improved small molecule activator of in vitro pre-mRNA cleavage, identify the molecular determinants of cleavage activation by phosphoamines such as phosphocholine, and suggest that a PPM family phosphatase is involved in the negative regulation of mammalian pre-mRNA 3 cleavage.
Although the transcription factor NF-kappaB is most clearly linked to the inhibition of extrinsic apoptotic signals such as TNFalpha by upregulating known anti-apoptotic genes, NF-kappaB has also been proposed to be required for p53-induced apoptosis in transformed cells. However, the involvement of NF-kappaB in this process is poorly understood. Here we investigate this mechanism and show that in transformed MEFs lacking NF-kappaB (p65-null cells) genotoxin-induced cytochrome c release is compromised. To further address how NF-kappaB contributes to apoptosis, gene profiling by microarray analysis of MEFs was performed, revealing that NF-kappaB is required for expression of Noxa, a pro-apoptotic BH3-only protein that is induced by genotoxins and that triggers cytochrome c release. Moreover, we find that in the absence of NF-kappaB, genotoxin treatment cannot induce Noxa mRNA expression. Noxa expression had been shown to be regulated directly by genes of the p53 family, like p73 and p63, following genotoxin treatment. Here we show that p73 is activated after genotoxin treatment only in the presence of NF-kappaB and that p73 induces Noxa gene expression through the p53 element in the promoter. Together our data provides an explanation for how loss of NF-kappaB abrogates genotoxin-induced apoptosis.
Synthetic RNA formulations and viral vectors are the two main approaches for delivering small therapeutic RNA to human cells. Here we report findings supporting an alternative strategy in which an endogenous human RNA polymerase (RNAP) is harnessed to make RNA hairpin-containing small RNA from synthetic single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides. We report that circularizing a DNA template strand encoding a pre-microRNA hairpin mimic can trigger its circumtranscription by human RNAP III in vitro and in human cells. Sequence and secondary structure preferences that appear to promote productive transcription are described. The circular topology of the template is required for productive transcription, at least in part, to stabilize the template against exonucleases. In contrast to bacteriophage and Escherichia coli RNAPs, human RNAPs do not carry out rolling circle transcription on circularized templates. While transfected DNA circles distribute between the nucleus and cytosol, their transcripts are found mainly in the cytosol. Circularized oligonucleotides are synthetic, free of the hazards of viral vectors and maintain small RNA information in a stable form that RNAP III can access in a cellular context with, in some cases, near promoter-like precision and biologically relevant efficiency.
The oncogenicity of the L858R mutant form of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in non-small-cell lung cancer is thought to be due to the constitutive activation of its kinase domain. The selectivity of the marketed drugs gefitinib and erlotinib for L858R mutant is attributed to their specific recognition of the active kinase and to weaker ATP binding by L858R EGFR. We present crystal structures showing that neither L858R nor the drug-resistant L858R+T790M EGFR kinase domain is in the constitutively active conformation. Additional co-crystal structures show that gefitinib and dacomitinib, an irreversible anilinoquinazoline derivative currently in clinical development, may not be conformation specific for the active state of the enzyme. Structural data further reveal the potential mode of recognition of one of the autophosphorylation sites in the C-terminal tail, Tyr-1016, by the kinase domain. Biochemical and biophysical evidence suggest that the oncogenic mutations impact the conformational dynamics of the enzyme.
Here we describe the formation of vertically aligned nanorod assemblies over several multilayers using CdS and CdSe nanorods by electrophoretic deposition. The presence of both charge and dipole on the rods allows both field driven deposition and orientational order to form close packed arrays where each rod is vertically aligned. Comparing assembly formation in electrophoresis to spontaneous assembly in solution gives important insights into nanorod organization by these different mechanisms. We show the influence of ligand environment on net charge (zeta potential) and its influence on assembly formation in CdSe nanorods that have long chain alkyl ligands (low charge) or pyridine ligands (high charge). The experimental observations show that highly charged rods deposit too quickly to allow close-packing to occur with perpendicular alignment only occurring with a lower net charge. This is supported by simulation predicting a lower energy configuration with a preference for perpendicular alignment as the charge state decreases. The resolute order that is retained over device scale areas and over several multilayers combined with inherent scalability of electrophoretic deposition makes this approach highly attractive for large scale nanorod integration in electronic, photonic, or photovoltaic devices.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.