The energy generated by an extremely low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF) is too weak to directly induce genotoxicity. However, it is reported that an extremely low frequency magnetic field (ELF-MF) is related to DNA strand breakage and apoptosis. The testes that conduct spermatogenesis through a dynamic cellular process involving meiosis and mitosis seem vulnerable to external stress such as heat, MF exposure, and chemical or physical agents. Nevertheless the results regarding adverse effects of ELF-EMF on human or animal reproductive functions are inconclusive. According to the guideline of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP; 2010) for limiting exposure to time-varying MF (1?Hz to 100?kHz), overall conclusion of epidemiologic studies has not consistently shown an association between human adverse reproductive outcomes and maternal or paternal exposure to low frequency fields. In animal studies there is no compelling evidence of causal relationship between prenatal development and ELF-MF exposure. However there is increasing evidence that EL-EMF exposure is involved with germ cell apoptosis in testes. Biophysical mechanism by which ELF-MF induces germ cell apoptosis has not been established. This review proposes the possible mechanism of germ cell apoptosis in testes induced by ELF-MF.
Malignant transformation by oncogenes requires additional genetic/epigenetic changes to overcome enhanced susceptibility to apoptosis. In the present study, we report that Bif-1 (Sh3glb1), a gene encoding a membrane curvature–driving endophilin protein, is a haploinsufficient tumor suppressor that plays a key role in the prevention of chromosomal instability and suppresses the acquisition of apoptosis resistance during Myc-driven lymphomagenesis. Although a large portion of Bif-1–deficient mice harboring an E?-Myc transgene displayed embryonic lethality, allelic loss of Bif-1 dramatically accelerated the onset of Myc-induced lymphoma. At the premalignant stage, hemizygous deletion of Bif-1 resulted in an increase in mitochondrial mass, accumulation of DNA damage, and up-regulation of the antiapoptotic protein Mcl-1. Consistently, allelic loss of Bif-1 suppressed the activation of caspase-3 in Myc-induced lymphoma cells. Moreover, we found that Bif-1 is indispensable for the autophagy-dependent clearance of damaged mitochondria (mitophagy), because loss of Bif-1 resulted in the accumulation of endoplasmic reticulum–associated immature autophagosomes and suppressed the maturation of autophagosomes. The results of the present study indicate that Bif-1 haploinsufficiency attenuates mitophagy and results in the promotion of chromosomal instability, which enables tumor cells to efficiently bypass the oncogenic/metabolic pressures for apoptosis. .
Autophagy is a highly orchestrated intracellular bulk degradation process that is activated by various environmental stresses. The serine/threonine kinase ULK1, like its yeast homologue Atg1, is a key initiator of autophagy that is negatively regulated by the mTOR kinase. However, the molecular mechanism that controls the inhibitory effect of mTOR on ULK1-mediated autophagy is not fully understood. Here we identified AMPK, a central energy sensor, as a new ULK1-binding partner. We found that AMPK binds to the PS domain of ULK1 and this interaction is required for ULK1-mediated autophagy. Interestingly, activation of AMPK by AICAR induces 14-3-3 binding to the AMPK-ULK1-mTORC1 complex, which coincides with raptor Ser792 phosphorylation and mTOR inactivation. Consistently, AICAR induces autophagy in TSC2-deficient cells expressing wild-type raptor but not the mutant raptor that lacks the AMPK phosphorylation sites (Ser722 and Ser792). Taken together, these results suggest that AMPK association with ULK1 plays an important role in autophagy induction, at least in part, by phosphorylation of raptor to lift the inhibitory effect of mTOR on the ULK1 autophagic complex.
Pro-apoptotic protein 24p3, a member of lipocalin family, is induced upon interleukin-3 (IL-3) deprivation and plays a pivotal role in induction of apoptosis in hematopoietic cells. However, the molecular mechanism by which IL-3 regulates 24p3 expression remains largely unknown. Here, we show that 24p3 is a direct target of Foxo3a and that phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt mediates IL-3-repressed 24p3 through regulation of Foxo3a. Inhibition of the PI3K/Akt (but not MAPK) pathway induced 24p3 expression and programmed cell death in FL5.12 cells. Furthermore, constitutively active Akt largely attenuated 24p3 expression and apoptosis in response to IL-3 withdrawal. Foxo3a directly bound to the 24p3 promoter and induced promoter activity. Akt abrogated wild-type Foxo3a-induced (but not Akt-non-phosphorylatable Foxo3a3A-induced) 24p3 expression and promoter activity. Therefore, these data indicate for the first time that 24p3 is a Foxo3a target gene and that PI3K/Akt (but not MAPK) mediates IL-3-regulated 24p3 expression in hematopoietic cells.
PHF20 is a multidomain protein and subunit of a lysine acetyltransferase complex that acetylates histone H4 and p53 but whose function is unclear. Using biochemical, biophysical and cellular approaches, we determined that PHF20 is a direct regulator of p53. A Tudor domain in PHF20 recognized p53 dimethylated at Lys370 or Lys382 and a homodimeric form of this Tudor domain could associate with the two dimethylated sites on p53 with enhanced affinity, indicating a multivalent interaction. Association with PHF20 promotes stabilization and activation of p53 by diminishing Mdm2-mediated p53 ubiquitylation and degradation. PHF20 contributes to upregulation of p53 in response to DNA damage, and ectopic expression of PHF20 in different cell lines leads to phenotypic changes that are hallmarks of p53 activation. Overall our work establishes that PHF20 functions as an effector of p53 methylation that stabilizes and activates p53.
Indirubin is the major active anti-tumor component of a traditional Chinese herbal medicine used for treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). While previous studies indicate that indirubin is a promising therapeutic agent for CML, the molecular mechanism of action of indirubin is not fully understood. We report here that indirubin derivatives (IRDs) potently inhibit Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 5 (Stat5) protein in CML cells. Compound E804, which is the most potent in this series of IRDs, blocked Stat5 signaling in human K562 CML cells, imatinib-resistant human KCL-22 CML cells expressing the T315I mutant Bcr-Abl (KCL-22M), and CD34-positive primary CML cells from patients. Autophosphorylation of Src family kinases (SFKs) was strongly inhibited in K562 and KCL-22M cells at 5 ?M E804, and in primary CML cells at 10 ?M E804, although higher concentrations partially inhibited autophosphorylation of Bcr-Abl. Previous studies indicate that SFKs cooperate with Bcr-Abl to activate downstream Stat5 signaling. Activation of Stat5 was strongly blocked by E804 in CML cells. E804 down-regulated expression of Stat5 target proteins Bcl-x(L) and Mcl-1, associated with induction of apoptosis. In sum, our findings identify IRDs as potent inhibitors of the SFK/Stat5 signaling pathway downstream of Bcr-Abl, leading to apoptosis of K562, KCL-22M and primary CML cells. IRDs represent a promising structural class for development of new therapeutics for wild type or T315I mutant Bcr-Abl-positive CML patients.
Autophagy and apoptosis are two evolutionarily conserved processes that regulate cell fate in response to cytotoxic stress. However, the functional relationship between these two processes remains far from clear. Here, we demonstrate an autophagy-dependent mechanism of caspase-8 activation and initiation of the apoptotic cascade in response to SKI-I, a pan-sphingosine kinase inhibitor, and bortezomib, a proteasome inhibitor. Autophagy is induced concomitantly with caspase-8 activation, which is responsible for initiation of the caspase cascade and the mitochondrial amplification loop that is required for full execution of apoptosis. Inhibition of autophagosome formation by depletion of Atg5 or Atg3 results in a marked suppression of caspase-8 activation and apoptosis. Although caspase-8 self-association depends on p62/SQSTM1, its self-processing requires the autophagosomal membrane. Caspase-8 forms a complex with Atg5 and colocalizes with LC3 and p62. Moreover, FADD, an adaptor protein for caspase-8 activation, associates with Atg5 on Atg16L- and LC3-positive autophagosomal membranes and loss of FADD suppresses cell death. Taken together, these results indicate that the autophagosomal membrane serves as a platform for an intracellular death-inducing signaling complex (iDISC) that recruits self-associated caspase-8 to initiate the caspase-8/-3 cascade.
Akt regulates a diverse array of cellular functions, including cell survival, proliferation, differentiation, and metabolism. Although a number of molecules have been identified as upstream regulators and downstream targets of Akt, the mechanisms by which Akt regulates these cellular processes remain elusive. Here, we demonstrate that a novel transcription factor, PHF20/TZP (referring to Tudor and zinc finger domain containing protein), binds to Akt and induces p53 expression at the transcription level. Knockdown of PHF20 significantly reduces p53. PHF20 inhibits cell growth, DNA synthesis, and cell survival. Akt phosphorylates PHF20 at Ser(291) in vitro and in vivo, which results in its translocation from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and attenuation of PHF20 function. These data indicate that PHF20 is a substrate of Akt and plays a role in Akt cell survival/growth signaling.
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