RING finger protein 43 (RNF43), an E3-type ubiquitin ligase, is frequently up-regulated in human colorectal cancer. It has been shown that expression of RNF43 is regulated by the Wnt-signaling pathway. However the regulatory region(s) for its transcriptional activation has not been clarified. In this study, we have shown for the first time that RNF43 is a direct target of TCF4/?-catenin complex, and that its expression is regulated by a regulatory region containing two Wnt-responsive elements (WREs) in intron2. A reporter gene assay revealed that nucleotide substitutions in the WREs decreased the reporter activity in colon cancer cells, suggesting that both WREs are involved in the transcriptional activation. Knockdown of ?-catenin by siRNA suppressed the reporter activity. In addition, ChIP assay showed that both elements associate with TCF4/?-catenin complex in colon cancer cells. These data indicate that expression of RNF43 is regulated by the canonical Wnt/?-catenin pathway through binding of the WREs with TCF4/?-catenin complex. These findings should be useful for the understanding of the regulatory mechanism of RNF43 and may contribute to the clarification of signaling pathways regulated by RNF43.
Ctf18-replication factor C complex including Dscc1 (DNA replication and sister chromatid cohesion 1) is implicated in sister chromatid cohesion, DNA replication, and genome stability in S. cerevisiae and C. elegans. We previously performed gene expression profiling in primary colorectal cancer cells in order to identify novel molecular targets for the treatment of colorectal cancer. A feature of the cancer-associated transcriptional signature revealed from this effort is the elevated expression of the proto-oncogene DSCC1. Here, we have interrogated the molecular basis for deviant expression of human DSCC1 in colorectal cancer and its ability to promote survival of cancer cells. Quantitative PCR and immunohistochemical analyses corroborated that the expression level of DSCC1 is elevated in 60-70% of colorectal tumors compared to their matched noncancerous colonic mucosa. An in silico evaluation of the presumptive DSCC1 promoter region for consensus DNA transcriptional regulatory elements revealed a potential role for the E2F family of DNA-binding proteins in controlling DSCC1 expression. RNAi-mediated reduction of E2F1 reduced expression of DSCC1 in colorectal cancer cells. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments demonstrated that DSCC1 is involved in the viability of cancer cells in response to genotoxic stimuli. We reveal that E2F-dependent expression of DSCC1 confers anti-apoptotic properties in colorectal cancer cells, and that its suppression may be a useful option for the treatment of colorectal cancer.
The derivation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from individuals of genetic disorders offers new opportunities for basic research into these diseases and the development of therapeutic compounds. Severe congenital neutropenia (SCN) is a serious disorder characterized by severe neutropenia at birth. SCN is associated with heterozygous mutations in the neutrophil elastase [elastase, neutrophil-expressed (ELANE)] gene, but the mechanisms that disrupt neutrophil development have not yet been clarified because of the current lack of an appropriate disease model. Here, we generated iPS cells from an individual with SCN (SCN-iPS cells). Granulopoiesis from SCN-iPS cells revealed neutrophil maturation arrest and little sensitivity to granulocyte-colony stimulating factor, reflecting a disease status of SCN. Molecular analysis of the granulopoiesis from the SCN-iPS cells vs. control iPS cells showed reduced expression of genes related to the wingless-type mmtv integration site family, member 3a (Wnt3a)/?-catenin pathway [e.g., lymphoid enhancer-binding factor 1], whereas Wnt3a administration induced elevation lymphoid enhancer-binding factor 1-expression and the maturation of SCN-iPS cell-derived neutrophils. These results indicate that SCN-iPS cells provide a useful disease model for SCN, and the activation of the Wnt3a/?-catenin pathway may offer a novel therapy for SCN with ELANE mutation.
Diabetes mellitus is characterized by high blood glucose levels. Pancreatic ß cell death contributes to type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Akita mice, which harbor a human permanent neonatal diabetes-linked mutation (Cys96Tyr) in the insulin gene, are well established as an animal model of diabetes caused by pancreatic ß cell exhaustion. Mutant Insulin 2 protein (Ins2(C96Y)) induces endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and pancreatic ß cell death in Akita mice, although the molecular mechanism of Ins(C96Y)-induced cell death remains unclear.
Modifications of histone tails are involved in the regulation of a wide range of biological processes including cell cycle, cell survival, cell division, and cell differentiation. Among the modifications, histone methylation plays a critical role in cardiac and skeletal muscle differentiation. In our earlier studies, we found that SMYD3 has methyltransferase activity to histone H3 lysine 4, and that its up-regulation is involved in the tumorigenesis of human colon, liver, and breast. To clarify the role of Smyd3 in development, we have studied its expression patterns in zebrafish embryos and the effect of its suppression on development using Smyd3-specific antisense morpholino-oligonucleotides. We here show that transcripts of smyd3 were expressed in zebrafish embryos at all developmental stages examined and that knockdown of smyd3 in embryos resulted in pericardial edema and defects in the trunk structure. In addition, these phenotypes were associated with abnormal expression of three heart-chamber markers including cmlc2, amhc and vmhc, and abnormal expression of myogenic regulatory factors including myod and myog. These data suggest that Smyd3 plays an important role in the development of heart and skeletal muscle.
MRGBP (MORF4-related gene-binding protein; also known as chromosome 20 open reading frame 20) encodes a subunit of the transformation/transcription domain-associated protein (TRRAP)/tat-interacting protein 60 (TIP60)-containing histone acetyltransferase complex. We previously showed that MRGBP was upregulated in the majority of colorectal tumors, and the enhanced expression was associated with cell proliferation. In this study, we investigated its role in colorectal carcinogenesis and searched for genes regulated by MRGBP. Immunohistochemical staining of 22 adenomas and 47 carcinomas in the colon and rectum showed that high levels of MRGBP expression were observed more frequently in carcinomas (45%) than adenomas (5%), linking its role to malignant properties of colorectal tumors. No clinicopathological factors were associated with the levels MRGBP expression in colorectal cancer. Copy number analysis revealed that gene amplification is involved in the elevated expression. A genome-wide expression analysis identified a total of 41 genes upregulated by MRGBP. These genes were implicated in biological processes, including DNA replication, minichromosome maintenance, and cell division. Theses results suggest that MRGBP contributes to colorectal carcinogenesis through rendering advantages in cell proliferation and/or division of cancer cells. Our findings might be helpful for the identification of a specific biomarker for colorectal cancer and the development of diagnostic and/or therapeutic approaches.
There is little evidence that dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) has beneficial effects on physical and psychological functions in older women. We investigated the effect of DHEA supplementation on cognitive function and ADL in older women with cognitive impairment.
The Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) has investigated the JOA Back Pain Evaluation Questionnaire (JOABPEQ) to evaluate several aspects of low back pain in patients. The score includes five categories (25 items) selected from the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire and Short Form 36, and a visual analogue scale. Japanese physicians have recently used these scores to evaluate back pain; however, the efficacy has not been fully explored in large-scale studies. In the current study, we used the JOABPEQ to evaluate lumbar spinal disease in 555 patients (with lumbar disc herniation, lumbar spinal stenosis, and lumbar disc degeneration/spondylosis) in multiple spine centers and compared the results based on age, sex, and type of disease.
We report a 90-year-old man who was given a diagnosis of pleural effusion lymphoma (PEL) based on the detailed immunochemical and DNA analyses of the pleural effusion. He was bed-ridden and on enteral nutrition due to severe Alzheimers disease, and also had diabetes mellitus. He was transferred to our hospital with fever and massive pleural effusion. A cytological examination of the pleural effusion revealed class 5 atypical lymphocytes with a high nucleus/cytoplasm ratio. The origin of the atypical cells could not be determined by flow cytometry of the pleural effusion, which only suggested the existence of inflammatory changes. Considering his general physical status, further investigations were not performed. The respiratory failure progressed, and he died on the 45(th) hospital day. At autopsy, no atypical cells were identified in his organs other than in the right thoracic space. We conducted immunochemical staining after making a cell block from the effusion sample. Most of the atypical cells were CD30 positive, with human herpes virus-8 (HHV-8)-associated protein. A PCR analysis of the immunoglobulin heavy chain gene detected monoclonal rearrangement, thus indicating the atypical cells to be involved in the B-cell lineage. These findings led to a final diagnosis of PEL. PEL is a rare type of lymphoma confined to the body cavities without any prominent tumor mass, and its pathogenesis is related to HHV-8 infection. PEL develops mostly in immunocompromised patients, such as those with AIDS. However, it may also occur in elderly patients as well. We should therefore also consider the possibility of PEL in elderly patients presenting with pleural effusion of unknown origin.
The effectiveness and safety of yokukansan (TJ-54), a traditional Japanese medicine (kampo) for the treatment of the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), were evaluated in 106 patients diagnosed as having Alzheimers disease (AD) (including mixed-type dementia) or dementia with Lewy bodies. Patients were randomly assigned to group A (TJ-54 treatment in period I and no treatment in period II; each period lasting 4 wk) or group B (no treatment in period I and TJ-54 treatment in period II). BPSD and cognitive functions were evaluated using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), respectively. Activities of daily living (ADL) were evaluated using Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) in outpatients and the Barthel Index in in-patients. For the safety evaluation, adverse events were investigated. Significant improvements in mean total NPI score associated with TJ-54 treatment were observed in both periods (Wilcoxon test, p=0.040 in period I and p=0.048 in period II). The mean NPI scores significantly improved during TJ-54 treatment in groups A and B (p=0.002 and p=0.007, respectively) but not during periods of no treatment. Among the NPI subscales, significant improvements were observed in delusions, hallucinations, agitation/aggression, depression, anxiety, and irritability/lability. The effects of TJ-54 persisted for 1 month without any psychological withdrawal symptoms in group A. TJ-54 did not show any effect on either cognitive function or ADL. No serious adverse reactions were observed. The present study suggests that TJ-54 is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for patients with BPSD.
Lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer) is an inherited disease caused by germ-line mutation in mismatch repair genes such as MLH1, MSH2, and MSH6. The mutations include missense and nonsense mutations, small insertions and deletions, and gross genetic alterations including large deletions and duplications. In addition to these genetic changes, mutations in introns are also involved in the pathogenesis. However, it is sometimes difficult to interpret correctly the pathogenicity of variants in exons as well as introns. To evaluate the effect of splice-site mutations in two Lynch syndrome patients, we carried out a functional splicing assay using minigenes. Consequently, this assay showed that the mutation of c.1731+5G>A in MLH1 led to exon15 skipping, and that the mutation of c.211+1G>C in MSH2 created an activated cryptic splice-site 17-nucleotides upstream in exon1. These aberrant splicing patterns were not observed when wild type sequence was used for the assay. We also obtained concordant results by RT-PCR experiments with transcripts from the patients. Furthermore, additional functional splicing assays using two different intronic mutations described in earlier studies revealed splicing alterations that were in complete agreement with the reports. Therefore, functional splicing assay is helpful for evaluating the effects of genetic variants on splicing.
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