Krüppel-like factor 9 (KLF9) is known to be a tumor suppressor gene in colorectal tumors and glioblastoma; however, the functional status and significance of KLF9 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is unclear. We report here that KLF9 is downregulated in HCC tissues. Restoration of KLF9 significantly inhibited growth and caused apoptosis in SK-Hep1 and HepG2 cells. We found that KLF9 positively regulated p53 levels by directly binding to GC boxes within the proximal region of the p53 promoter. Moreover, in the presence of cycloheximide, KLF9 significantly increased p53 stability in HCC cells. Remarkably, ectopic expression of KLF9 was sufficient to delay the onset of tumors and to promote regression of the established tumors in vivo, suggesting that KLF9 plays a critical role in HCC development and that pharmacological or genetic activation of KLF9 may have potential in the treatment of HCC.
The growth arrest and DNA damage 45 (GADD45) family genes regulate DNA repair, cell cycle, cell survival, apoptosis, senescence, and DNA demethylation in the cells under various stress stimuli, such as oxidative stress, UV radiation, and oncogenic stress. Recent studies have provided important insights regarding how different oncogenic stresses activate GADD45 signaling pathway and lead to disparate influences on tumor initiation. In this review, we discuss the deregulation and cellular function of GADD45 proteins in the context of cancer development. We also highlight recent advances in exploring the tumor suppressive function of GADD45 proteins-triggered cellular senescence.
Strategies for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) activation or survivin inhibition have potential for cancer therapy. However, whether the combination of these two approaches can be developed as a rational regimen with enhanced efficiency in the inhibition of tumor cells remains to be determined. In this study, the combinatory effect of PPAR-? agonist and survivin inhibition on bladder cancer cells was investigated. T24 and 5637 cells were treated with 15d-PGJ(2) to determine whether 15d-PGJ(2) had an inhibitory effect. Cell viability and proliferation were analyzed and efficiency of survivin siRNAs was assessed using western blot analysis. The results showed that, in the human bladder cancer cell lines T24 and 5637, the natural PPAR-? ligand 15d-PGJ(2) significantly decreased cell proliferation and loci formation. The increase in the proportion of apoptotic cells was observed in the cells 48 h after 15d-PGJ(2) treatment. Furthermore, 15d-PGJ(2) substantially inhibited the levels of stemness-related genes in these cells. The ability of sphere formation was markedly suppressed in the cells treated with 15d-PGJ(2). More importantly, the downregulation of survivin with siRNAs significantly enhanced the 15d-PGJ(2)-mediated induction of cell apoptosis and inhibition of sphere formation. Accordingly, we also found that survivin inhibition significantly enhanced 15d-PGJ(2)-induced production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in bladder cancer cells. Taken together, these findings suggest that the combination of 15d-PGJ(2) and survivin inhibition play a potentially role in the therapeutical manipulation of bladder cancer.
Kruppel-like factors (KLFs) are involved in various biological processes; emerging studies have indicated that KLF9 plays a critical role in regulating tumorigenesis. The role of KLF9 in prostate cancer (PCa), however, has not yet been investigated.
Myeloid cells have a critical role in maintaining intestinal homeostasis and regulating the development of inflammatory bowel disease and colitis-associated cancer (CAC). However, the signaling pathways that control the function of colonic myeloid cells in these pathological processes are still poorly defined. In this study, we demonstrate that transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?) signaling in colonic myeloid cells is significantly involved in the development of CAC. Myeloid TGF-? receptor II (Tgfbr2)-deficient mice showed reduced susceptibility to chemically induced colitis-associated tumorigenesis, as evidenced by decreases in number and size of tumors. Myeloid Tgfbr2 deficiency markedly decreased the production of interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-?, two proinflammatory cytokines that are essential for colonic tumorigenesis; in addition, a marked increase in the proportions of Foxp3+CD4+ regulatory T cells was observed in the colonic lamina propria in the initial stage of CAC. Loss of myeloid Tgfbr2 was associated with a decrease in the presence of F4/80 positive macrophages and a downregulation of phosphorylated STAT3, proliferative cell nuclear antigen and cyclin D1 expression in colonic adenoma tissues. TGF-? enhanced macrophage recruitment, at least in part, through modulating the expression of the chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 2 (CCR2) ligands in tumor environment and the CCR2 signaling in macrophages. Collectively, these results suggest that myeloid TGF-? signaling modulates intestinal inflammation and significantly promotes tumorigenesis in the development of colitis-associated colon cancer.
Transforming growth factor activated kinase 1 (TAK1) provides prosurvival signals in various types of cells, and emerging evidence indicates that targeting TAK1 is a promising means to eliminate certain types of cancer cells. Here, we show that TAK1 is required for efficient tumorigenicity of AKT-transformed cells. TAK1 inhibition accelerates cell apoptosis of AKT-transformed cells in anchorage-independent cell growth accompanying by the downregulation of Mcl-1 and Bcl-2 expression. On the contrary, the tumorigenicity of c-Myc-transformed cells is not significantly affected by TAK1 inhibition. Moreover, AKT-transformed cells with c-Myc overexpression tolerate TAK1 inhibition in anchorage-independent growth and tumorigenicity in vivo. Together, our results provide evidence that TAK1-dependency in the tumorigenicity of AKT-transformed cells can be alleviated by c-Myc overexpression. These findings suggest that dual-targeting TAK1 and c-Myc might be a rational therapeutic strategy for treatment of certain types of cancer.
Growth arrest and DNA damage 45G (GADD45G), a stress sensor with multiple implications in various biological processes, is down-regulated in a broad spectrum of cancers. However, little is known about the biological effects of GADD45G on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells and the related mechanisms. In the present study, we found that GADD45G was commonly down-regulated in oncogene-transformed mouse liver cells and in human and mouse HCC. Ectopic expression of GADD45G robustly elicited senescence in HCC cells and suppressed tumor growth in vivo. Furthermore, GADD45G-induced senescence occurred in HCC cells independently of p53, p16(INK4a) (p16), and retinoblastoma (Rb). Instead, the prompt inhibition of Janus kinase 2 (Jak2), tyrosine kinase 2 (Tyk2), and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3) activation was observed in cells undergoing senescence. Impairment of Jak-Stat3 activation caused by GADD45G expression was associated with activation of SH2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase-2 (Shp2). Expression of constitutively activated Stat3 or human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), as well as knockdown of Shp2f, efficiently counteracted GADD45G-induced senescence. More important, in clinical HCC specimens, we found that GADD45G expression was inversely correlated with phosphorylated Stat3 expression in tumor cells and disease progression. Conclusion: GADD45G functions as a negative regulator of the Jak-Stat3 pathway and inhibits HCC by inducing cellular senescence. The decrease or absence of GADD45G expression may be a key event for tumor cells or premalignant liver cells to bypass cellular senescence. (Hepatology 2014;58:178-189).
Emerging evidence suggests that tumor-initiating cells (TICs) are the most malignant cell subpopulation in tumors because of their resistance to chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Targeting TICs may be a key innovation for cancer treatment. In this study, we found that PPAR? agonists inhibited the cancer stem cell-like phenotype and attenuated tumor growth of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) initiated by NOX2 upregulation were partially responsible for the inhibitory effects mediated by PPAR? agonists. However, PPAR? agonist-mediated ROS production significantly activated AKT, which in turn promoted TIC survival by limiting ROS generation. Inhibition of AKT, by either pharmacological inhibitors or AKT siRNA, significantly enhanced PPAR? agonist-mediated inhibition of cell proliferation and stem cell-like properties in HCC cells. Importantly, in nude mice inoculated with HCC Huh7 cells, we demonstrated a synergistic inhibitory effect of the PPAR? agonist rosiglitazone and the AKT inhibitor triciribine on tumor growth. In conclusion, we observed a negative feedback loop between oxidative stress and AKT hyperactivation in PPAR? agonist-mediated suppressive effects on HCCs. Combinatory application of an AKT inhibitor and a PPAR? agonist may provide a new strategy for inhibition of stem cell-like properties in HCCs and treatment of liver cancer.
The mammalian target of the rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, which drives cell proliferation, is frequently hyperactivated in a variety of malignancies. Therefore, the inhibition of the mTOR pathway has been considered as an appropriate approach for cancer therapy. In this study, we examined the roles of mTOR in the maintenance and differentiation of cancer stem-like cells (CSCs), the conversion of conventional cancer cells to CSCs and continuous tumor growth in vivo. In H-Ras-transformed mouse liver tumor cells, we found that pharmacological inhibition of mTOR with rapamycin greatly increased not only the CD133+ populations both in vitro and in vivo but also the expression of stem cell-like genes. Enhancing mTOR activity by over-expressing Rheb significantly decreased CD133 expression, whereas knockdown of the mTOR yielded an opposite effect. In addition, mTOR inhibition severely blocked the differentiation of CD133+ to CD133- liver tumor cells. Strikingly, single-cell culture experiments revealed that CD133- liver tumor cells were capable of converting to CD133+ cells and the inhibition of mTOR signaling substantially promoted this conversion. In serial implantation of tumor xenografts in nude BALB/c mice, the residual tumor cells that were exposed to rapamycin in vivo displayed higher CD133 expression and had increased secondary tumorigenicity compared with the control group. Moreover, rapamycin treatment also enhanced the level of stem cell-associated genes and CD133 expression in certain human liver tumor cell lines, such as Huh7, PLC/PRC/7 and Hep3B. The mTOR pathway is significantly involved in the generation and the differentiation of tumorigenic liver CSCs. These results may be valuable for the design of more rational strategies to control clinical malignant HCC using mTOR inhibitors.
Oocyte production in most mammalian species is believed to cease before birth. However, this idea has been challenged with the finding that postnatal mouse ovaries possess mitotically active germ cells. A recent study showed that female germline stem cells (FGSCs) from adult mice were isolated, cultured long term and produced oocytes and progeny after transplantation into infertile mice. Here, we demonstrate the successful generation of transgenic or gene knock-down mice using FGSCs. The FGSCs from ovaries of 5-day-old and adult mice were isolated and either infected with recombinant viruses carrying green fluorescent protein, Oocyte-G1 or the mouse dynein axonemal intermediate chain 2 gene, or transfected with the Oocyte-G1 specific shRNA expression vector (pRS shOocyte-G1 vector), and then transplanted into infertile mice. Transplanted cells in the ovaries underwent oogenesis and produced heterozygous offspring after mating with wild-type male mice. The offspring were genetically characterized and the biological functions of the transferred or knock-down genes were investigated. Efficiency of gene-transfer or gene knock-down was 29%-37% and it took 2 months to produce transgenic offspring. Gene manipulation of FGSCs is a rapid and efficient method of animal transgenesis and may serve as a powerful tool for biomedical science and biotechnology.
The idea that females of most mammalian species have lost the capacity for oocyte production at birth has been challenged recently by the finding that juvenile and adult mouse ovaries possess mitotically active germ cells. However, the existence of female germline stem cells (FGSCs) in postnatal mammalian ovaries still remains a controversial issue among reproductive biologists and stem cell researchers. We have now established a neonatal mouse FGSC line, with normal karyotype and high telomerase activity, by immunomagnetic isolation and culture for more than 15 months. FGSCs from adult mice were isolated and cultured for more than 6 months. These FGSCs were infected with GFP virus and transplanted into ovaries of infertile mice. Transplanted cells underwent oogenesis and the mice produced offspring that had the GFP transgene. These findings contribute to basic research into oogenesis and stem cell self-renewal and open up new possibilities for use of FGSCs in biotechnology and medicine.
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