Extracellular vesicles are spherical bilayered proteolipids, harboring various bioactive molecules. Due to the complexity of the vesicular nomenclatures and components, online searches for extracellular vesicle-related publications and vesicular components are currently challenging.
High fasting plasma proneurotensin concentration was associated with the development of breast cancer in the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study (MDCS). Here, we aimed at replicating the initial finding in an independent second cohort.
Anhydromannose (anMan)-containing heparan sulfate (HS) derived from the proteoglycan glypican-1 is generated in endosomes by an endogenously or ascorbate-induced S-nitrosothiolcatalyzed reaction. Processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and APP-like protein 2 (APLP2) by ?- and ?-secretases into amyloid ?(A) and A?-like peptides also takes place in these compartments. Moreover, anMan-containing HS suppresses the formation of toxic A? assemblies in vitro. We showed by using deconvolution immunofluorescence microscopy with an anMan-specific monoclonal antibody as well as (35)S labeling experiments that expression of APP/APLP2 is required for ascorbate-induced transport of HS from endosomes to the nucleus. Nuclear translocation was observed in wild-type mouse embryonic fibroblasts (WT MEFs), Tg2576 MEFs, and N2a neuroblastoma cells but not in APP(-/-) and APLP2(-/-) MEFs. Transfection of APP(-/-) cells with a vector encoding APP restored nuclear import of anMan-containing HS. In WT MEFs and N2a neuroblastoma cells exposed to ?- or ?-secretase inhibitors, nuclear translocation was greatly impeded, suggesting involvement of APP/APLP2 degradation products. In Tg2576 MEFs, the ?-inhibitor blocked transport, but the ?-inhibitor did not. During chase in ascorbate- free medium, anMan-containing HS disappeared from the nuclei of WT MEFs. Confocal immunofluorescence microscopy showed that they appeared in acidic, LC3-positive vesicles in keeping with an autophagosomal location. There was increased accumulation of anMan-containing HS in nuclei and cytosolic vesicles upon treatment with chloroquine, indicating that HS was degraded in lysosomes. Manipulations of APP expression and processing may have deleterious effects upon HS function in the nucleus.
Studies aimed at the identification of biomarkers and treatment targets of cancer have focused on mRNAs, miRNAs, and proteins expressed by malignant cells, while glycoproteins mainly produced by stromal cells remain relatively unexplored. Glycans lack a given template for their biosynthesis that involves the concerted action of several, sometimes >15 different enzymes. This fact complicates the analysis at the genomic level of the role of glycoproteins in clinical oncology. The glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) stand out as highly polyanionic components at the surface of malignant and stromal tumor cells as well as their surrounding matrix. Published data thus describe a multifaceted regulatory role of GAGs and GAG-conjugated proteins, proteoglycans, in e.g. tumor associated angiogenesis, coagulation, invasion, and metastasis. Relatively small, randomized clinical trials suggest that heparin, an over-sulfated variant of the GAG heparan sulfate, may have direct, anti-tumor effects. Several ongoing trials aim at establishing whether heparin and its derivatives should be added to standard treatment of cancer patients or not, based on progression free- and overall survival end-point data. Given the potential bleeding complications with this treatment, other strategies to block GAG function should provide interesting alternatives. In the emerging era of personalized medicine, one can foresee the development of predictive biomarkers to select patients that may benefit from GAG-targeted treatments, aiming at individualized prevention of thromboembolic complications as well as inhibition of tumor development and progression. Here, the role of GAGs as targets and vehicles of cancer treatment is discussed with special emphasis on angiogenesis and coagulation associated mechanisms.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs), e.g. exosomes and microvesicles, emerge as new signaling organelles in the exchange of information between cells at the paracrine and systemic level. It is clear that these virus like particles carry complex biological information that can elicit a pleiotropic response in recipient cells with potential relevance in physiology as well as in cancer and other pathological conditions. Numerous studies convincingly show that the molecular composition of EVs closely reflects their cell or tissue of origin. Thus, the signaling status of donor cells, more specifically their endosomal compartments, may largely determine the biological output in recipient cells, a process that we then may conceptualize as vesicle mediated phene transfer. Whereas more conventional modes of cell-cell communication mostly depend on extracellular ligand concentration and cell-surface receptor availability, the magnitude of the EV signaling response relies on the capture and uptake by target cells, allowing release of the EV content. Numerous reports point at the intriguing possibility that, among thousands of mRNAs, miRNAs, and proteins, single EV constituents effectuate the biological response, e.g. stimulation of angiogenesis and cancer cell metastasis, in recipient cells; however, we find it conceivable that strategies targeted at general mechanisms of EV function should provide more rational avenues for therapeutic intervention directed at the EV system. Such strategies include manipulation of EV formation in the endolysosomal system, EV stability in the extracellular milieu, and EV entry into target cells. Here, we provide important insights into potential mechanisms of EV transport in mammalian cells and how these may be targeted.
Extracellular vesicle (EV)-mediated intercellular transfer of signaling proteins and nucleic acids has recently been implicated in the development of cancer and other pathological conditions; however, the mechanism of EV uptake and how this may be targeted remain as important questions. Here, we provide evidence that heparan sulfate (HS) proteoglycans (PGs; HSPGs) function as internalizing receptors of cancer cell-derived EVs with exosome-like characteristics. Internalized exosomes colocalized with cell-surface HSPGs of the syndecan and glypican type, and exosome uptake was specifically inhibited by free HS chains, whereas closely related chondroitin sulfate had no effect. By using several cell mutants, we provide genetic evidence of a receptor function of HSPG in exosome uptake, which was dependent on intact HS, specifically on the 2-O and N-sulfation groups. Further, enzymatic depletion of cell-surface HSPG or pharmacological inhibition of endogenous PG biosynthesis by xyloside significantly attenuated exosome uptake. We provide biochemical evidence that HSPGs are sorted to and associate with exosomes; however, exosome-associated HSPGs appear to have no direct role in exosome internalization. On a functional level, exosome-induced ERK1/2 signaling activation was attenuated in PG-deficient mutant cells as well as in WT cells treated with xyloside. Importantly, exosome-mediated stimulation of cancer cell migration was significantly reduced in PG-deficient mutant cells, or by treatment of WT cells with heparin or xyloside. We conclude that cancer cell-derived exosomes use HSPGs for their internalization and functional activity, which significantly extends the emerging role of HSPGs as key receptors of macromolecular cargo.
How various macromolecules are exchanged between cells and how they gain entry into recipient cells are fundamental questions in cell biology with important implications e.g. non-viral drug delivery, infectious disease, metabolic disorders, and cancer. The role of heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) as a cell-surface receptor of diverse macromolecular cargo has recently been manifested. Exosomes, cell penetrating peptides, polycation-nucleic acid complexes, viruses, lipoproteins, growth factors and morphogens among other ligands enter cells through HSPG-mediated endocytosis. Key questions that partially have been unraveled over recent years include the respective roles of HSPG core protein and HS chain structure specificity for macromolecular cargo endocytosis, the down-stream intracellular signaling events involved in HSPG-dependent membrane invagination and vesicle formation, and the biological significance of the HSPG transport pathway. Here, we discuss the intriguing role of HSPGs as a major entry pathway of macromolecules in mammalian cells with emphasis on recent in vitro and in vivo data that provide compelling evidence of HSPG as an autonomous endocytosis receptor.
The role of exosomes in cancer can be inferred from the observation that they transfer tumor cell derived genetic material and signaling proteins, resulting in e.g. increased tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. However, the membrane transport mechanisms and the signaling events involved in the uptake of these virus-like particles remain ill-defined. We now report that internalization of exosomes derived from glioblastoma (GBM) cells involves nonclassical, lipid raft-dependent endocytosis. Importantly, we show that the lipid raft-associated protein caveolin-1 (CAV1), in analogy with its previously described role in virus uptake, negatively regulates the uptake of exosomes. We find that exosomes induce the phosphorylation of several downstream targets known to associate with lipid rafts as signaling and sorting platforms, such as extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1/2 (ERK1/2) and heat shock protein 27 (HSP27). Interestingly, exosome uptake appears dependent on unperturbed ERK1/2-HSP27 signaling, and ERK1/2 phosphorylation is under negative influence by CAV1 during internalization of exosomes. These findings significantly advance our general understanding of exosome-mediated uptake and offer potential strategies for how this pathway may be targeted through modulation of CAV1 expression and ERK1/2 signaling.
Hypoxia, or low oxygen tension, is a major regulator of tumor development and aggressiveness. However, how cancer cells adapt to hypoxia and communicate with their surrounding microenvironment during tumor development remain important questions. Here, we show that secreted vesicles with exosome characteristics mediate hypoxia-dependent intercellular signaling of the highly malignant brain tumor glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). In vitro hypoxia experiments with glioma cells and studies with patient materials reveal the enrichment in exosomes of hypoxia-regulated mRNAs and proteins (e.g., matrix metalloproteinases, IL-8, PDGFs, caveolin 1, and lysyl oxidase), several of which were associated with poor glioma patient prognosis. We show that exosomes derived from GBM cells grown at hypoxic compared with normoxic conditions are potent inducers of angiogenesis ex vivo and in vitro through phenotypic modulation of endothelial cells. Interestingly, endothelial cells were programmed by GBM cell-derived hypoxic exosomes to secrete several potent growth factors and cytokines and to stimulate pericyte PI3K/AKT signaling activation and migration. Moreover, exosomes derived from hypoxic compared with normoxic conditions showed increased autocrine, promigratory activation of GBM cells. These findings were correlated with significantly enhanced induction by hypoxic compared with normoxic exosomes of tumor vascularization, pericyte vessel coverage, GBM cell proliferation, as well as decreased tumor hypoxia in a mouse xenograft model. We conclude that the proteome and mRNA profiles of exosome vesicles closely reflect the oxygenation status of donor glioma cells and patient tumors, and that the exosomal pathway constitutes a potentially targetable driver of hypoxia-dependent intercellular signaling during tumor development.
G protein-coupled estrogen receptor 1 (GPER1), previously named GPR30, is a membrane receptor reported to mediate nongenomic estrogen responses. We investigated if GPER1 expression correlates with any clinicopathologic variables and distant disease-free survival (DDFS) in patients with breast cancer, if any prognostic impact of the receptor is dependent on estrogen receptor-? (ER-?) status, and if the receptor impacts apoptotic signaling in ER-positive breast cancer cells.
Over the last few decades, extensive studies by several groups have introduced the concept of cell-derived secreted extracellular membrane vesicles as carriers of complex molecular information. Owing to their pleiotropic biological effects and involvement in a wide variety of biological processes, extracellular membrane vesicles have been implicated in physiological as well as pathological events, including tumour development and metastasis. In the present review, we discuss the role of secreted membrane vesicles in intercellular communication with a focus on tumour biology. Of particular interest is the potential role of extracellular vesicles as orchestrators of common features of the malignant tumour microenvironment, e.g. coagulation activation and angiogenesis.
Cells are constantly subjected to various types of endogenous and exogenous stressful stimuli, which can cause serious and even permanent damage. The ability of a cell to sense and adapt to environmental alterations is thus vital to maintain tissue homeostasis during development and adult life. Here, we review some of the major phenotypic characteristics of the hostile tumour microenvironment and the emerging roles of extracellular vesicles in these events.
Highly malignant tumors, such as glioblastomas, are characterized by hypoxia, endothelial cell (EC) hyperplasia, and hypercoagulation. However, how these phenomena of the tumor microenvironment may be linked at the molecular level during tumor development remains ill-defined. Here, we provide evidence that hypoxia up-regulates protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR-2), i.e., a G-protein-coupled receptor of coagulation-dependent signaling, in ECs. Hypoxic induction of PAR-2 was found to elicit an angiogenic EC phenotype and to specifically up-regulate heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor (HB-EGF). Inhibition of HB-EGF by antibody neutralization or heparin treatment efficiently counteracted PAR-2-mediated activation of hypoxic ECs. We show that PAR-2-dependent HB-EGF induction was associated with increased phosphorylation of ERK1/2, and inhibition of ERK1/2 phosphorylation attenuated PAR-2-dependent HB-EGF induction as well as EC activation. Tissue factor (TF), i.e., the major initiator of coagulation-dependent PAR signaling, was substantially induced by hypoxia in several types of cancer cells, including glioblastoma; however, TF was undetectable in ECs even at prolonged hypoxia, which precludes cell-autonomous PAR-2 activation through TF. Interestingly, hypoxic cancer cells were shown to release substantial amounts of TF that was mainly associated with secreted microvesicles with exosome-like characteristics. Vesicles derived from glioblastoma cells were found to trigger TF/VIIa-dependent activation of hypoxic ECs in a paracrine manner. We provide evidence of a hypoxia-induced signaling axis that links coagulation activation in cancer cells to PAR-2-mediated activation of ECs. The identified pathway may constitute an interesting target for the development of additional strategies to treat aggressive brain tumors.
Experimental studies have established that the sulfated glycosaminoglycans heparan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate act as co-receptors of cytokines and growth factors that drive the malignant cell phenotype and the remodelling of the surrounding tumor stroma. However, the clinical relevance of these studies remains ill-defined. The present study investigates the significance of chondroitin sulfate expression in malignant cells and the stroma, respectively, of tumors from two independent cohorts of breast cancer patients (cohort I: 144 patients, 130 evaluable samples; cohort II: 498 patients, 469 evaluable samples; ER-positive patients ~86% in both cohorts). Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards modelling were used to assess the relationship between chondroitin sulfate and recurrence-free and overall survival. High chondroitin sulfate expression in malignant cells was shown to predict shorter recurrence-free survival (P=0.007, cohort I; P=0.024, cohort II) and overall survival (cohort I: P=0.044; cohort II: P<0.001) in both cohorts. In multivariate analysis, high chondroitin sulfate in malignant cells was shown to be an independent, predictive factor of poor overall survival (cohort I: hazard ratio 2.28: 95% confidence interval 1.08-4.81, P=0.031; cohort II: hazard ratio 1.71: 95% confidence interval 1.23-2.38, P=0.001). However, chondroitin sulfate in the stroma showed no correlation with known markers of tumor aggressiveness or with clinical outcome in either cohort. Our data suggest that high chondroitin sulfate expression in malignant cells is associated with an adverse outcome in patients with primary breast cancer, supporting the idea of a functional and potentially targetable role of chondroitin sulfate in tumor disease.
Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) are widely used to deliver macromolecular cargoes to intracellular sites of action. Many CPPs have been demonstrated to rely on cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) for efficient cellular entry and delivery. In this chapter, we describe methods for the study of PG involvement in CPP uptake. We provide descriptions of how to determine whether uptake of a CPP of interest is dependent on PGs. We also provide detailed protocols for the purification of PGs by anion-exchange chromatography as well as the characterization of the HSPG core protein composition of a cell line of interest. Finally, we present methods for modulating the expression level of specific HSPG core proteins as a means to determine the core protein specificity in the uptake of a particular CPP.
The polyamines are polycationic compounds essential for cellular proliferation and transformation. In addition to a well-defined biosynthesis pathway, polyamines are internalized into cells by as yet incompletely defined mechanisms. Numerous reports have shown that efficient polyamine uptake depends on the presence of polyanionic, cell surface-associated heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs). In this chapter, we provide protocols for studying HSPG-mediated uptake of polyamines in various cell lines, and provide instructions for the use of two different genetic models of HSPG deficiency. We describe the enzymatic reduction of cell surface HSPG through Heparinase III lyase treatment as well as the use of phage display-derived single chain variable fragment (scFv) anti-HS antibodies to block HSPGs at the cell surface. Finally, we provide a protocol for the quantitative verification of loss or reduction of cell surface HSPGs and a detailed description of polyamine uptake measurement.
An increased understanding of cellular uptake mechanisms of macromolecules remains an important challenge in cell biology with implications for viral infection and macromolecular drug delivery. Here, we report a strategy based on antibody-conjugated magnetic nanoparticles for the isolation of endocytic vesicles induced by heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), key cell-surface receptors of macromolecular delivery. We provide evidence for a role of the glucose-regulated protein (GRP)75/PBP74/mtHSP70/mortalin (hereafter termed "GRP75") in HSPG-mediated endocytosis of macromolecules. GRP75 was found to be a functional constituent of intracellular vesicles of a nonclathrin-, noncaveolin-dependent pathway that was sensitive to membrane cholesterol depletion and that showed colocalization with the membrane raft marker cholera toxin subunit B. We further demonstrate a functional role of the RhoA GTPase family member CDC42 in this transport pathway; however, the small GTPase dynamin appeared not to be involved. Interestingly, we provide evidence of a functional role of GRP75 using RNAi-mediated down-regulation of GRP75 and GRP75-blocking antibodies, both of which inhibited macromolecular endocytosis. We conclude that GRP75, a chaperone protein classically found in the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria, is a functional constituent of noncaveolar, membrane raft-associated endocytic vesicles. Our data provide proof of principle of a strategy that should be generally applicable in the molecular characterization of selected endocytic pathways involved in macromolecular uptake by mammalian cells.
The polyamines are essential for cancer cell proliferation during tumorigenesis. Targeted inhibition of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), i.e. a key enzyme of polyamine biosynthesis, by alpha-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) has shown anti-neoplastic activity in various experimental models. This activity has mainly been attributed to the anti-proliferative effect of DFMO in cancer cells. Here, we provide evidence that unperturbed ODC activity is a requirement for proper microvessel sprouting ex vivo as well as the migration of primary human endothelial cells. DFMO-mediated ODC inhibition was reversed by extracellular polyamine supplementation, showing that anti-angiogenic effects of DFMO were specifically related to polyamine levels. ODC inhibition was associated with an abnormal morphology of the actin cytoskeleton during cell spreading and migration. Moreover, our data suggest that de-regulated actin cytoskeleton dynamics in DFMO treated endothelial cells may be related to constitutive activation of the small GTPase CDC42, i.e. a well-known regulator of cell motility and actin cytoskeleton remodeling. These insights into the potential role of polyamines in angiogenesis should stimulate further studies testing the combined anti-tumor effect of polyamine inhibition and established anti-angiogenic therapies in vivo.
Angiogenesis is a hallmark of expanding tissue e.g. during embryogenesis and wound healing in physiology as well as in diseases such as cancer and atherosclerosis. Key steps of the angiogenic process involve growth factor-mediated stimulation of endothelial cell sprouting and tube formation. Heparan sulphate proteoglycans (HSPGs) have been implicated as important co-receptors of several pro-angiogenic proteins. The importance of HSPGs in physiology was underscored by the finding that knockout of the gene encoding HS polymerase, EXT-1, resulted in early embryonic lethality. Here, we describe the establishment of HS-deficient endothelial cells from sprouting aortas as well as from the lungs of EXT-1(flox/flox) mice. Recombination of the loxP-flanked EXT-1 locus by Cre-expressing adenovirus was demonstrated at the mRNA level. Moreover, depletion of HS polysaccharides was verified by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy methodology using phage display-derived anti-HS antibodies. In summary, we provide a genetic model to unravel the functional role of HSPGs specifically in primary endothelial cells during early steps of angiogenesis. Our studies are applicable to most loxP-based transgenic mouse strains, and may thus be of general importance in the angiogenesis field.
The mechanisms behind target vs. host cell recognition of the human antimicrobial peptide LL-37 remain ill-defined. Here, we have investigated the membrane disruption capacity of LL-37 using large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) composed of varying mixtures of POPC, POPG and cholesterol to mimic target and host membranes respectively. We show that LL-37 is unable to induce leakage of entrapped calcein from zwitterionic POPC LUVs, whereas leakage from LUVs partially composed of POPG is fast and efficient. In accordance with typical antimicrobial peptide behavior, cholesterol diminished LL-37 induced leakage. By using linear dichroism and flow oriented LUVs, we found that LL-37 orients with the axis of its induced ?-helix parallel to the membrane surface in POPC:POPG (7:3) LUVs. In the same system, we also observed a time-dependent increase of the parallel ?-helix LD signal on timescales corresponding to the leakage kinetics. The increased LD may be connected to a peptide translocation step, giving rise to mass balance across the membrane. This could end the leakage process before it is complete, similar to what we have observed. Confocal microscopy studies of eukaryotic cells show that LL-37 is able to mediate the cell delivery of non-covalently linked fluorescent oligonucleotides, in agreement with earlier studies on delivery of plasmid DNA (Sandgren et al., J. Biol. Chem. 279 (2004) 17951). These observations highlight the potential dual functions of LL-37 as an antimicrobial agent against bacterial target cells and a cell-penetrating peptide that can deliver nucleic acids into the host cells.
Cellular uptake of several viruses and polybasic macromolecules requires the expression of cell-surface heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) through as yet ill defined mechanisms. We unexpectedly found that among several cell-surface-binding single chain variable fragment (scFv) anti-HS antibody (alphaHS) clones, only one, AO4B08, efficiently translocated macromolecular cargo to intracellular vesicles through induction of HSPG endocytosis. Interestingly, AO4B08-induced PG internalization was strictly dependent on HS 2-O-sulfation and appeared independent of intact N-sulfation. AO4B08 and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-Tat, i.e. a well known cell-penetrating peptide, were shown to compete for the internalizing PG population. To obtain a more detailed characterization of this pathway, we have developed a procedure for the isolation of endocytic vesicles by conjugating AO4B08 with superparamagnetic nanoparticles. [(35)S]sulfate-labeled HSPG was found to accumulate in isolated, AO4B08-containing vesicles, providing the first biochemical evidence for intact HSPG co-internalization with its ligand. Further analysis revealed the existence of both syndecan, i.e. a transmembrane HSPG, and glycosyl-phosphatidyl-inositol-anchored glypican in purified vesicles. Importantly, internalized syndecan and glypican were found to co-localize in AO4B08-containing vesicles. Our data establish HSPGs as true internalizing receptors of macromolecular cargo and indicate that the sorting of cell-surface HSPG to endocytic vesicles is determined by a specific HS epitope that can be carried by both syndecan and glypican core protein.
Macromolecular drugs hold great promise as novel therapeutics of several major disorders, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, their use is limited by lack of efficient, safe, and specific delivery strategies. Successful development of such strategies requires interdisciplinary collaborations involving researchers with expertise on e.g., polymer chemistry, cell biology, nano technology, systems biology, advanced imaging methods, and clinical medicine. This poses obvious challenges to the scientific community, but also provides opportunities for the unexpected at the interface between different disciplines. This review summarizes recent studies of macromolecular delivery that should be of interest to researchers involved in macromolecular drug synthesis as well as in vitro and in vivo drug delivery studies.
Hypoxia-dependent angiogenesis is an inherent feature of solid tumors, and a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of hypoxic cell-death should provide additional targets for cancer therapy. Here, we show a novel role of the polyamines in endothelial cell (EC) survival during hypoxia. Polyamine depletion by specific inhibition of ornithine decarboxylase was shown to protect ECs from hypoxia-induced apoptosis. Inhibition of the polyamines resulted in a significant induction of PI3K/AKT and its down-stream target MCL-1, i.e. an anti-apoptotic member of the BCL-2 family. Specific inhibitors of PI3K reversed the decrease of hypoxia-induced apoptosis as well as the induction of MCL-1 in polyamine-deprived cells. Moreover, siRNA-mediated down-regulation of MCL-1 was found to counter-act the protective effect of polyamine inhibition. We conclude that the polyamines regulate hypoxia-induced apoptosis in ECs through PI3K/AKT and MCL-1 dependent pathways. Our results may have important implications for the modulation of hypoxia-driven neovascularization.
Macromolecular drugs hold great promise as novel therapeutics of several major disorders, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, their use is limited by lack of efficient, safe, and specific delivery strategies. Successful development of such strategies requires interdisciplinary collaborations involving researchers with expertise on, e.g., polymer chemistry, cell biology, nanotechnology, systems biology, advanced imaging methods, and clinical medicine. This not only poses obvious challenges to the scientific community but also provides opportunities for the unexpected at the interface between different disciplines. This introductory chapter summarizes and gives references to studies on macromolecular delivery that should be of interest to a broad scientific audience involved in macromolecular drug synthesis as well as in vitro and in vivo drug delivery studies.
Cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) are currently used to deliver various macromolecular cargos to intracellular sites of action both in vitro and in vivo on an experimental basis. During the last few years, even more evidence has accumulated indicating that the main route of entry for most CPPs is through endocytosis rather than direct membrane penetration, as initially proposed. The specific endocytosis pathway utilized by CPPs is, however, still ill-defined and potentially varies depending on what CPPs, cargos, and cell lines are being studied. In this chapter, we provide detailed protocols for an initial characterization of the uptake mechanism involved in CPP-mediated delivery of DNA. Methods to both quantitatively and qualitatively study the uptake using fluorescence-assisted cell sorting (FACS) and confocal microscopy, respectively, are provided. Furthermore, methods to study the intracellular fate of the internalized cargo by co-localization studies between internalized DNA and established endosomal markers, e.g., transferrin, dextran as well as caveolin-1, are described. Finally, we provide a protocol to determine the dependence on dynamin, i.e., a central mediator of vesicle fission at the cell membrane, for DNA-peptide complex uptake using a dominant-negative construct of dynamin-2.
Tumor development requires angiogenesis and anti-angiogenic therapies have been introduced in the treatment of cancer. In this context, heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) emerge as interesting targets, owing to their function as co-receptors of major, pro-angiogenic factors. Accordingly, previous studies have suggested anti-tumor effects of heparin, i.e. over-sulfated HS, and various heparin mimetics; however, a significant drawback is their unspecific mechanism of action and potentially serious side-effects related to their anticoagulant properties. Here, we have explored the use of human ScFv anti-HS antibodies (?HS) as a more rational approach to target HSPG function in endothelial cells (ECs). ?HS were initially selected for their recognition of HS epitopes localized preferentially to the vasculature of patient glioblastoma tumors, i.e. highly angiogenic brain tumors. Unexpectedly, we found that these ?HS exhibited potent pro-angiogenic effects in primary human ECs. ?HS were shown to stimulate EC differentiation, which was associated with increased EC tube formation and proliferation. Moreover, ?HS supported EC survival under hypoxia and starvation, i.e. conditions typical of the tumor microenvironment. Importantly, ?HS-mediated proliferation was efficiently counter-acted by heparin and was absent in HSPG-deficient mutant cells, confirming HS-specific effects. On a mechanistic level, binding of ?HS to HSPGs of ECs as well as glioblastoma cells was found to trigger p38 MAPK-dependent signaling resulting in increased proliferation. We conclude that several ?HS that recognize HS epitopes abundant in the tumor vasculature may elicit a pro-angiogenic response, which has implications for the development of antibody-based targeting of HSPGs in cancer.
Biobanks are a major resource to access and measure biological constituents that can be used to monitor the status of health and disease, both in unique individual samples and within populations. Most "omic" activities rely on access to these collections of stored samples to provide the basis for establishing the ranges and frequencies of expression. Furthermore, information about the relative abundance and form of protein constituents found in stored samples provides an important historical index for comparative studies of inherited, epidemic, and developing disease. Standardizations of sample quality, form, and analysis are an important unmet need and requirement for gaining the full benefit from collected samples. Coupled to this standard is the provision of annotation describing clinical status and metadata of measurements of clinical phenotype that characterizes the sample. Today we have not yet achieved consensus on how to collect, manage, and build biobank archives in order to reach goals where these efforts are translated into value for the patient. Several initiatives (OBBR, ISBER, BBMRI) that disseminate best practice examples for biobanking are expected to play an important role in ensuring the need to preserve the sample integrity of biosamples stored for periods that reach one or several decades. These developments will be of great value and importance to programs such as the Chromosome Human Protein Project (C-HPP) that will associate protein expression in healthy and disease states with genetic foci along of each of the human chromosomes.
Extracellular matrix, either produced by cancer cells or by cancer-associated fibroblasts, influences angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis. Chondroitin/dermatan sulfate (CS/DS) proteoglycans, which occur both in the matrix and at the cell surface, play important roles in these processes. The unique feature that distinguishes DS from CS is the presence of iduronic acid (IdoA) in DS. Here, we report that CS/DS is increased five-fold in human biopsies of esophagus squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), an aggressive tumor with poor prognosis, as compared with normal tissue. The main IdoA-producing enzyme, DS epimerase 1 (DS-epi1), together with the 6-O- and 4-O-sulfotransferases, were highly upregulated in ESCC biopsies. Importantly, CS/DS structure in patient tumors was significantly altered compared with normal tissue, as determined by sensitive mass spectrometry. To further understand the roles of IdoA in tumor development, DS-epi1 expression, and consequently IdoA content, was downregulated in ESCC cells. IdoA-deficient cells exhibited decreased migration and invasion capabilities in vitro, which was associated with reduced cellular binding of hepatocyte growth factor, inhibition of pERK-1/2 signaling, and deregulated actin cytoskeleton dynamics and focal adhesion formation. Our findings show that IdoA in DS influences tumorigenesis by affecting cancer cell behavior. Therefore, downregulation of IdoA by DS-epi1 inhibitors may represent a new anticancer therapy.
Tumor development requires angiogenesis, and antiangiogenesis has been introduced in the treatment of cancer patients; however, how the cardiovascular phenotype correlates with cancer risk remains ill-defined. Here, we hypothesized that vasoactive peptides previously implicated in angiogenesis regulation predict long-term cancer risk.
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