The chemokine receptor CXCR4 and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) play an important role in breast cancer malignancy and metastasis. However, it remains unknown whether STAT3 can be activated by CXCR4 in human breast cancer. The expression levels of CXCR4, STAT3 and p-STAT3 in 208 breast cancer tissues and 26 tumor-adjacent tissues were examined by immunohistochemistry. Flow cytometry, western blot analysis and immunoprecipitation were used to study activation of STAT3 by CXCL12-CXCR4 signaling in human breast cancer cell lines. The expression levels of CXCR4, STAT3 and p-STAT3 were higher in the breast cancer samples than these levels in the tumor-adjacent samples. The combined expression of CXCR4 and p-STAT3 was correlated with TNM stage, tumor size, lymph node metastasis and histological grade of breast cancer. In the breast cancer cells, CXCL12 treatment increased the expression of p-STAT3. The CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100 and the Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) antagonist AG490 inhibited the CXCL12-induced increase in the phosphorylation of STAT3. Furthermore, CXCL12 promoted direct binding of JAK2 to CXCR4. Our findings suggest that activation of the JAK2/STAT3 pathway via CXCL12-CXCR4 signaling plays an important role in breast cancer malignancy and metastasis. Targeting the CXCL12-CXCR4/JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway may be a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of breast cancer.
Epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) have been used to treat colorectal cancer (CRC). However, resistance to EGFR-TKIs presents a great challenge for the treatment of CRC, and the mechanisms of resistance are poorly understood. The adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) protein has been known to contribute to the carcinogenesis of CRC. However, its role in the sensitivity of CRC cells to gefitinib has not been investigated. Human CRC HCT-116 (wild-type APC) and HT-29 (mutant APC) cells were used to investigate the effect of APC on the sensitivity of CRC cells to gefitinib. The MTT assay was used to measure cell viability after exposure to gefitinib. Cell apoptosis, migration and invasion were determined by flow cytometry, wound healing assay and transwell assay, respectively. Knockdown and overexpression of APC were performed, and activation of the EGFR and its downstream pathway was determined. Gefinitib inhibited viability, promoted apoptosis, and reduced the migration of HCT-116 and HT-29 cells. HT-29 cells exhibited increased sensitivity to gefinitib when compared to HCT-116 cells. Knockdown of APC expression increased the sensitivity of HCT-16 cells to gefitinib, accompanied by downregulation of pEGFR, p-AKT and pERK1/2. In contrast, overexpression of APC decreased the sensitivity of HT-29 cells to gefitinib, accompanied by upregulation of pEGFR, p-AKT and pERK1/2. APC plays an important role in the sensitivity of CRC cells to gefitinib. APC may represent a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of CRC.
Bone morphogenetic proteins and activin membrane-bound inhibitor (BAMBI) and drosophila mothers against decapentaplegic protein 7 (Smad7) are known to negatively regulate the transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?) signaling and play an important role in the progression of many malignant tumors. However, it remains unclear whether expression of BAMBI alone or in combination with Smad7 is associated with the progression of gastric cancer. In the present study, we investigated the expression of BAMBI and Smad7 in 276 cancer tissues and 263 tumor-adjacent tissues from gastric cancer patients, using tissue-microarray-based immunohistochemistry. The expression of BAMBI and Smad7 was significantly higher in cancer tissues than in tumor-adjacent tissues. The expression of BAMBI was significantly correlated with increased depth of invasion (P = 0.010), lymphatic invasion (P < 0.001), lymph node metastasis (P = 0.001), TNM stage (P = 0.008), and decreased differentiation (P = 0.046). The expression of BAMBI was associated with a significantly shorter overall survival (OS) (P = 0.006) and disease-free survival (DFS) (P = 0.011). The combined expression of BAMBI and Smad7 was associated with more invasion and metastasis as well as less survival time in gastric cancer patients. The univariate analysis showed that the expression of BAMBI alone or in combination with Smad7 was significantly associated with the OS and DFS. These findings suggest that BAMBI and Smad7 may cooperatively inhibit the TGF-? signaling, and thus promote the progression of gastric cancer.
Anoctamin1 (Ano1, or TMEM16A) is a Ca2+-activated chloride channel that is gated by both voltage and Ca2+. We have previously identified that the first intracellular loop that contains a high density of acidic residues mediates voltage- and calcium-dependent gating of Ano1. Mutation of the four consecutive glutamates (444EEEE447) inhibits the voltage-dependent activation of Ano1, whereas deletion of these residues decreases apparent Ca2+ sensitivity. In the present study, we further found that deletion of 444EEEEEAVKD452 produced a more than 40-fold decrease in the apparent Ca2+ sensitivity with altered activation kinetics. We then systematically mutated each acidic residue into alanine, and analyzed the voltage- and calcium dependent activation of each mutation. Activation kinetics of wild type Ano1 consisted of a fast component (?fast) that represented voltage-dependent mode, and a slow component (?slow) that reflected the Ca2+-dependent modal gating. E444A, E445A, E446A, E447A, E448A, and E457A mutations showed a decrease in the ?fast, significantly inhibited voltage-dependent activation of Ano1 in the absence of Ca2+, and greatly shifted the G-V curve to the right, suggesting that these glutamates are involved in voltage-gating of Ano1. Furthermore, D452A, E464A, E470A, and E475A mutations that did not alter voltage-dependent activation of the channel, significantly decreased Ca2+ dependence of G-V curve, exhibited an increase in the ?slow, and produced a 2-3 fold decrease in the apparent Ca2+ sensitivity, suggesting that these acidic residues are involved in Ca2+-dependent gating of the channel. Our data show that acidic residues in the first intracellular loop are the important structural determinant that couples the voltage and calcium dependent gating of Ano1.
Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) channels (CaCCs) are exceptionally well adapted to subserve diverse physiological roles, from epithelial fluid transport to sensory transduction, because their gating is cooperatively controlled by the interplay between ionotropic and metabotropic signals. A molecular understanding of the dual regulation of CaCCs by voltage and Ca(2+) has recently become possible with the discovery that Ano1 (TMEM16a) is an essential subunit of CaCCs. Ano1 can be gated by Ca(2+) or by voltage in the absence of Ca(2+), but Ca(2+)- and voltage-dependent gating are very closely coupled. Here we identify a region in the first intracellular loop that is crucial for both Ca(2+) and voltage sensing. Deleting (448)EAVK in the first intracellular loop dramatically decreases apparent Ca(2+) affinity. In contrast, mutating the adjacent amino acids (444)EEEE abolishes intrinsic voltage dependence without altering the apparent Ca(2+)affinity. Voltage-dependent gating of Ano1 measured in the presence of intracellular Ca(2+) was facilitated by anions with high permeability or by an increase in [Cl(-)](e). Our data show that the transition between closed and open states is governed by Ca(2+) in a voltage-dependent manner and suggest that anions allosterically modulate Ca(2+)-binding affinity. This mechanism provides a unified explanation of CaCC channel gating by voltage and ligand that has long been enigmatic.
Best vitelliform macular dystrophy (BVMD, also called Bests disease) is a dominantly inherited, juvenile-onset form of macular degeneration, which is characterized by abnormal accumulation of yellow pigment in the outer retina and a depressed electro-oculogram light peak (LP). Over 100 disease-causing mutations in human bestrophin-1 (hBest1) are closely linked to BVMD and several other retinopathies. However, the physiological role of hBest1 and the mechanisms of retinal pathology remain obscure partly because hBest1 has been described as a protein with multiple functions including a Ca2+-activated Cl- channel, a Ca2+ channel regulator, a volume-regulated Cl- channel, and a HCO3- channel. This review focuses on how dysfunction of hBest1 is related to the accumulation of yellow pigment and a decreased LP. The dysfunction of hBest1 as a HCO3- channel or a volume-regulated Cl- channel may be associated with defective regulation of the subretinal fluid or phagocytosis of photoreceptor outer segments by retinal pigment epithelium cells, which may lead to fluid and pigment accumulation.
Best vitelliform macular dystrophy is an inherited autosomal dominant, juvenile onset form of macular degeneration caused by mutations in a chloride ion channel, human bestrophin-1 (hBest1). Mutations in Best1 have also been linked to several other forms of retinopathy. In addition to mutations, hBest1 dysfunction might come about by disruption of other processes that regulate Best1 function. Here we show that hBest1 chloride channel activity is regulated by ceramide and phosphorylation. We have identified a protein kinase C (PKC) phosphorylation site (serine 358) in hBest1 that is important for sustained channel function. Channel activity is maintained by PKC activators, protein phosphatase inhibitors, or pseudo-phosphorylation by substitution of glutamic acid for serine 358. When ceramide levels are elevated by exogenous addition of ceramide to the bath, by addition of bacterial sphingomyelinase, or by hypertonic stress, S358 is rapidly dephosphorylated. The dephosphorylation is mediated by protein phosphatase 2A. Hypertonic stress-induced dephosphorylation is blocked by a dihydroceramide, an inactive form of ceramide, and manumycin, an inhibitor of neutral sphingomyelinase. Our results support a model in which ceramide accumulation during early stages of retinopathy inhibits hBest1 function, leading to abnormal fluid transport across the retina, and enhanced inflammation.
The newly discovered Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) channel (CaCC), Anoctamin 1 (Ano1 or TMEM16A), has been implicated in vital physiological functions including epithelial fluid secretion, gut motility, and smooth muscle tone. Overexpression of Ano1 in HEK cells or Xenopus oocytes is sufficient to generate Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) currents, but the details of channel composition and the regulatory factors that control channel biology are incompletely understood. We used a highly sensitive quantitative SILAC proteomics approach to obtain insights into stoichiometric protein networks associated with the Ano1 channel. These studies provide a comprehensive footprint of putative Ano1 regulatory networks. We find that Ano1 associates with the signaling/scaffolding proteins ezrin, radixin, moesin, and RhoA, which link the plasma membrane to the cytoskeleton with very high stoichiometry. Ano1, ezrin, and moesin/radixin colocalize apically in salivary gland epithelial cells, and overexpression of moesin and Ano1 in HEK cells alters the subcellular localization of both proteins. Moreover, interfering RNA for moesin modifies Ano1 current without affecting its surface expression level. Another network associated with Ano1 includes the SNARE and SM proteins VAMP3, syntaxins 2 and -4, and syntaxin-binding proteins munc18b and munc18c, which are integral to translocation of vesicles to the plasma membrane. A number of other regulatory proteins, including GTPases, Ca(2+)-binding proteins, kinases, and lipid-interacting proteins are enriched in the Ano1 complex. These data provide stoichiometrically prioritized information about mechanisms regulating Ano1 function and trafficking to polarized domains of the plasma membrane.
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