The publication data currently available has been vetted by Vanderbilt faculty, staff, administrators and trainees. The data itself is retrieved directly from NCBI's PubMed and is automatically updated on a weekly basis to ensure accuracy and completeness.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
Cell proliferation is driven by cyclical activation of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), which produce distinct biochemical cell cycle phases. Mitosis (M phase) is orchestrated by CDK-1, complexed with mitotic cyclins. During M phase, chromosomes are segregated by a bipolar array of microtubules called the mitotic spindle. The essential bipolarity of the mitotic spindle is established by the kinesin-5 Eg5, but factors influencing the maintenance of spindle bipolarity are not fully understood. Here, we describe an unexpected link between inhibiting CDK-1 before mitosis and bipolar spindle maintenance. Spindles in human RPE-1 cells normally collapse to monopolar structures when Eg5 is inhibited at metaphase. However, we found that inhibition of CDK-1 in the G2 phase of the cell cycle improved the ability of RPE-1 cells to maintain spindle bipolarity without Eg5 activity in the mitosis immediately after release from CDK-1 inhibition. This improved bipolarity maintenance correlated with an increase in the stability of kinetochore-microtubules, the subset of microtubules that link chromosomes to the spindle. The improvement in bipolarity maintenance after CDK-1 inhibition in G2 required both the kinesin-12 Kif15 and increased stability of kinetochore-microtubules. Consistent with increased kinetochore-microtubule stability, we find that inhibition of CDK-1 in G2 impairs mitotic fidelity by increasing the incidence of lagging chromosomes in anaphase. These results suggest that inhibition of CDK-1 in G2 causes unpredicted effects in mitosis, even after CDK-1 inhibition is relieved.
Metaplastic epithelial cells of Barrett's esophagus transformed by the combination of p53-knockdown and oncogenic Ras expression are known to activate signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). When phosphorylated at tyrosine 705 (Tyr705), STAT3 functions as a nuclear transcription factor that can contribute to oncogenesis. STAT3 phosphorylated at serine 727 (Ser727) localizes in mitochondria, but little is known about mitochondrial STAT3's contribution to carcinogenesis in Barrett's esophagus, which is the focus of this study. We introduced a constitutively active variant of human STAT3 (STAT3CA) into the following: 1) non-neoplastic Barrett's (BAR-T) cells; 2) BAR-T cells with p53 knockdown; and 3) BAR-T cells that express oncogenic H-Ras(G12V). STAT3CA transformed only the H-Ras(G12V)-expressing BAR-T cells (evidenced by loss of contact inhibition, formation of colonies in soft agar, and generation of tumors in immunodeficient mice), and did so in a p53-independent fashion. The transformed cells had elevated levels of both mitochondrial (Ser727) and nuclear (Tyr705) phospho-STAT3. Introduction of a STAT3CA construct with a mutated tyrosine phosphorylation site into H-Ras(G12V)-expressing Barrett's cells resulted in high levels of mitochondrial phospho-STAT3 (Ser727) with little or no nuclear phospho-STAT3 (Tyr705), and the cells still formed tumors in immunodeficient mice. Thus tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT3 is not required for tumor formation in Ras-expressing Barrett's cells. We conclude that mitochondrial STAT3 (Ser727) can contribute to oncogenesis in Barrett's cells that express oncogenic Ras. These findings suggest that agents targeting STAT3 might be useful for chemoprevention in patients with Barrett's esophagus.
Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.
As an important class of non-coding regulatory RNAs, microRNAs (miRNAs) play a key role in a range of biological processes. These molecules serve as post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression and their regulatory activity has been implicated in disease pathophysiology and pharmacological traits. We sought to investigate the impact of miRNAs on cellular proliferation to gain insight into the molecular basis of complex traits that depend on cellular growth, including, most prominently, cancer. We examined the relationship between miRNA expression and intrinsic cellular growth (iGrowth) in the HapMap lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from individuals of different ethnic backgrounds. We found a substantial enrichment for miRNAs (53 miRNAs, FDR < 0.05) correlated with cellular proliferation in pooled CEU (Caucasian of northern and western European descent) and YRI (individuals from Ibadan, Nigeria) samples. Specifically, 119 miRNAs (59 %) were significantly correlated with iGrowth in YRI; of these miRNAs, 18 were correlated with iGrowth in CEU. To gain further insight into the effect of miRNAs on cellular proliferation in cancer, we showed that over-expression of miR-22, one of the top iGrowth-associated miRNAs, leads to growth inhibition in an ovarian cancer cell line (SKOV3). Furthermore, over-expression of miR-22 down-regulates the expression of its target genes (MXI1 and SLC25A37) in this ovarian cancer cell line, highlighting an miRNA-mediated regulatory network potentially important for cellular proliferation. Importantly, our study identified miRNAs that can be used as molecular targets in cancer therapy.
Adenosine levels increase in ischemic hearts and contribute to the modulation of that pathological environment. We previously showed that A2B adenosine receptors on mouse cardiac Sca1(+)CD31(-) mesenchymal stromal cells upregulate secretion of paracrine factors that may contribute to the improvement in cardiac recovery seen when these cells are transplanted in infarcted hearts. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that A2B receptor signaling regulates the transition of Sca1(+)CD31(-) cells, which occurs after myocardial injury, into a myofibroblast phenotype that promotes myocardial repair and remodeling. In vitro, TGFβ1 induced the expression of the myofibroblast marker α-smooth muscle actin (αSMA) and increased collagen I generation in Sca1(+)CD31(-) cells. Stimulation of A2B receptors attenuated TGFβ1-induced collagen I secretion but had no effect on αSMA expression. In vivo, myocardial infarction resulted in a rapid increase in the numbers of αSMA-positive cardiac stromal cells by day 5 followed by a gradual decline. Genetic deletion of A2B receptors had no effect on the initial accumulation of αSMA-expressing stromal cells but hastened their subsequent decline; the numbers of αSMA-positive cells including Sca1(+)CD31(-) cells remained significantly higher in wild type compared with A2B knockout hearts. Thus, our study revealed a significant contribution of cardiac Sca1(+)CD31(-) cells to the accumulation of αSMA-expressing cells after infarction and implicated A2B receptor signaling in regulation of myocardial repair and remodeling by delaying deactivation of these cells. It is plausible that this phenomenon may contribute to the beneficial effects of transplantation of these cells to the injured heart.
The tumor suppressor and microtubule-associated protein Ras association domain family 1A (RASSF1A) has a major effect on many cellular processes, such as cell cycle progression and apoptosis. RASSF1A expression is frequently silenced in cancer and is associated with increased metastasis. Therefore we tested the hypothesis that RASSF1A regulates microtubule organization and dynamics in interphase cells, as well as its effect on Golgi integrity and cell polarity. Our results show that RASSF1A uses a unique microtubule-binding pattern to promote site-specific microtubule rescues, and loss of RASSF1A leads to decreased microtubule stability. Furthermore, RASSF1A-associated stable microtubule segments are necessary to prevent Golgi fragmentation and dispersal in cancer cells and maintain a polarized cell front. These results indicate that RASSF1A is a key regulator in the fine tuning of microtubule dynamics in interphase cells and proper Golgi organization and cell polarity.
Accumulating evidence suggests that selective M4 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) activators may offer a novel strategy for the treatment of psychosis. However, previous efforts to develop selective M4 activators were unsuccessful because of the lack of M4 mAChR subtype specificity and off-target muscarinic adverse effects. We recently developed VU0152100, a highly selective M4 positive allosteric modulator (PAM) that exerts central effects after systemic administration. We now report that VU0152100 dose-dependently reverses amphetamine-induced hyperlocomotion in rats and wild-type mice, but not in M4 KO mice. VU0152100 also blocks amphetamine-induced disruption of the acquisition of contextual fear conditioning and prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex. These effects were observed at doses that do not produce catalepsy or peripheral adverse effects associated with non-selective mAChR agonists. To further understand the effects of selective potentiation of M4 on region-specific brain activation, VU0152100 alone and in combination with amphetamine were evaluated using pharmacologic magnetic resonance imaging (phMRI). Key neural substrates of M4-mediated modulation of the amphetamine response included the nucleus accumbens (NAS), caudate-putamen (CP), hippocampus, and medial thalamus. Functional connectivity analysis of phMRI data, specifically assessing correlations in activation between regions, revealed several brain networks involved in the M4 modulation of amphetamine-induced brain activation, including the NAS and retrosplenial cortex with motor cortex, hippocampus, and medial thalamus. Using in vivo microdialysis, we found that VU0152100 reversed amphetamine-induced increases in extracellular dopamine levels in NAS and CP. The present data are consistent with an antipsychotic drug-like profile of activity for VU0152100. Taken together, these data support the development of selective M4 PAMs as a new approach to the treatment of psychosis and cognitive impairments associated with psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia.
BACKGROUND - Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is an inborn error of cholesterol biosynthesis characterized by diminished cholesterol and increased 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) levels. 7-Dehydrocholesterol is highly reactive, giving rise to biologically active oxysterols.
METHODS - 7-DHC-derived oxysterols were measured in fibroblasts from SLOS patients and an in vivo SLOS rodent model using high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Expression of lipid biosynthesis genes was ascertained by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and Western blot. The effects of an antioxidant mixture of vitamin A, coenzyme Q10, vitamin C, and vitamin E were evaluated for their potential to reduce formation of 7-DHC oxysterols in fibroblast from SLOS patients. Finally, the effect of maternal feeding of vitamin E enriched diet was ascertained in the brain and liver of newborn SLOS mice.
RESULTS - In cultured human SLOS fibroblasts, the antioxidant mixture led to decreased levels of the 7-DHC-derived oxysterol, 3β,5α-dihydroxycholest-7-en-6-one. Furthermore, gene expression changes in SLOS human fibroblasts were normalized with antioxidant treatment. The active ingredient appeared to be vitamin E, as even at low concentrations, it significantly decreased 3β,5α-dihydroxycholest-7-en-6-one levels. In addition, analyzing a mouse SLOS model revealed that feeding a vitamin E enriched diet to pregnant female mice led to a decrease in oxysterol formation in brain and liver tissues of the newborn Dhcr7-knockout pups.
CONCLUSIONS - Considering the adverse effects of 7-DHC-derived oxysterols in neuronal and glial cultures and the positive effects of antioxidants in patient cell cultures and the transgenic mouse model, we believe that preventing formation of 7-DHC oxysterols is critical for countering the detrimental effects of DHCR7 mutations.
Copyright © 2014 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - Genetic epilepsies and many other human genetic diseases display phenotypic heterogeneity, often for unknown reasons. Disease severity associated with nonsense mutations is dependent partially on mutation gene location and resulting efficiency of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) to eliminate potentially toxic proteins. Nonsense mutations in the last exon do not activate NMD, thus producing truncated proteins. We compared the protein metabolism and the impact on channel biogenesis, function, and cellular homeostasis of truncated γ2 subunits produced by GABRG2 nonsense mutations associated with epilepsy of different severities and by a nonsense mutation in the last exon unassociated with epilepsy.
METHODS - γ-Aminobutyric acid type A receptor subunits were coexpressed in non-neuronal cells and neurons. NMD was studied using minigenes that support NMD. Protein degradation rates were determined using (35) S radiolabeling pulse chase. Channel function was determined by whole cell recordings, and subunits trafficking and cellular toxicity were determined using flow cytometry, immunoblotting, and immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS - Although all GABRG2 nonsense mutations resulted in loss of γ2 subunit surface expression, the truncated subunits had different degradation rates and stabilities, suppression of wild-type subunit biogenesis and function, amounts of conjugation with polyubiquitin, and endoplasmic reticulum stress levels.
INTERPRETATION - We compared molecular phenotypes of GABRG2 nonsense mutations. The findings suggest that despite the common loss of mutant allele function, each mutation produced different intracellular levels of trafficking-deficient subunits. The concentration-dependent suppression of wild-type channel function and cellular disturbance resulting from differences in mutant subunit metabolism may contribute to associated epilepsy severities and by implication to phenotypic heterogeneity in many inherited human diseases.
© 2013 American Neurological Association.
The isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) enzymes were initially identified as essential components of the Krebs cycle. IDH mutations were thought to be incompatible with cell survival. However, 90% of glioblastomas were recently shown to be associated with somatic mutations in these enzymes, indicating a possible role for IDH in promoting cellular survival in hypoxic environments. Our proteomic analysis of rats given 10 minutes of middle cerebral artery occlusion to induce transient ischemia demonstrates a significant decrease in IDH expression. We have recapitulated this decrease in an in vitro model using primary cortical neurons exposed to acute oxygen and glucose deprivation. Given the role of IDHs in energy metabolism and antioxidant production, we hypothesize that the IDHs may serve as first-line, rapid-response enzymes that regulate survival in environments of energetic or oxidative stress. In order to identify the specific events that regulate IDH enzymes, HT-22 neural cells were subjected to either a selective energetic challenge or a pure oxidative stress. In response to the non-lethal energetic challenge induced by substituting galactose for glucose, we observed increased IDH1, 2, and 3 expression and cessation of cellular proliferation. No change in expression of any IDH isoform was observed when neural cells were subjected to subtoxic oxidative stress via glutathione depletion. Taken together, these data imply that IDH expression rapidly responds to changes in energetic status, but not to oxidative stress. These data also suggest that IDH enzymes respond not only to allosteric modulation, but can also change patterns of expression in response to moderate stress in an effort to maximize ATP production and survival.
Lipid rafts are cholesterol-enriched subdomains in the plasma membrane that have been reported to act as a platform to facilitate neuronal signaling; however, they are suspected to have a very short lifetime, up to only a few seconds, which calls into question their roles in biological signaling. To better understand their diffusion dynamics and membrane compartmentalization, we labeled lipid raft constituent ganglioside GM1 with single quantum dots through the connection of cholera toxin B subunit, a protein that binds specifically to GM1. Diffusion measurements revealed that single quantum dot-labeled GM1 ganglioside complexes undergo slow, confined lateral diffusion with a diffusion coefficient of ∼7.87 × 10(-2) μm(2)/s and a confinement domain about 200 nm in size. Further analysis of their trajectories showed lateral confinement persisting on the order of tens of seconds, comparable to the time scales of the majority of cellular signaling and biological reactions. Hence, our results provide further evidence in support of the putative function of lipid rafts as signaling platforms.