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Cellular senescence is thought to contribute to age-associated deterioration of tissue physiology. The senescence effector p16(Ink4a) is expressed in pancreatic beta cells during aging and limits their proliferative potential; however, its effects on beta cell function are poorly characterized. We found that beta cell-specific activation of p16(Ink4a) in transgenic mice enhances glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). In mice with diabetes, this leads to improved glucose homeostasis, providing an unexpected functional benefit. Expression of p16(Ink4a) in beta cells induces hallmarks of senescence--including cell enlargement, and greater glucose uptake and mitochondrial activity--which promote increased insulin secretion. GSIS increases during the normal aging of mice and is driven by elevated p16(Ink4a) activity. We found that islets from human adults contain p16(Ink4a)-expressing senescent beta cells and that senescence induced by p16(Ink4a) in a human beta cell line increases insulin secretion in a manner dependent, in part, on the activity of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) and the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ proteins. Our findings reveal a novel role for p16(Ink4a) and cellular senescence in promoting insulin secretion by beta cells and in regulating normal functional tissue maturation with age.
The tumor suppressor p53 is a major regulator of genes important for cell cycle arrest, senescence, apoptosis, and innate immunity, and has recently been implicated in retinal aging. In this study we sought to identify the genetic networks that regulate p53 function in the retina using quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis. First we examined age-associated changes in the activation and expression levels of p53; known p53 target proteins and markers of innate immune system activation in primary retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells that were harvested from young and aged human donors. We observed increased expression of p53, activated caspase-1, CDKN1A, CDKN2A (p16INK4a), TLR4, and IFNα in aged primary RPE cell lines. We used the Hamilton Eye Institute (HEI) retinal dataset ( www.genenetwork.org ) to identify genomic loci that modulate expression of genes in the p53 pathway in recombinant inbred BXD mouse strains using a QTL systems biology-based approach. We identified a significant trans-QTL on chromosome 1 (region 172-177 Mb) that regulates the expression of Cdkn1a. Many of the genes in this QTL locus are involved in innate immune responses, including Fc receptors, interferon-inducible family genes, and formin 2. Importantly, we found an age-related increase in FCGR3A and FMN2 and a decrease in IFI16 levels in RPE cultures. There is a complex multigenic innate immunity locus that controls expression of genes in the p53 pathway in the RPE, which may play an important role in modulating age-related changes in the retina.
Loss of parietal cells initiates the development of spasmolytic polypeptide-expressing metaplasia (SPEM), a precancerous lesion in stomach. CD44 variant (CD44v) that enhances the ability to defend against reactive oxygen species (ROS) in epithelial cells is expressed de novo in SPEM of K19-Wnt1/C2mE mice, a transgenic model of gastric tumorigenesis, and is required for the efficient development of SPEM and gastric tumor in these animals. The role of ROS and its downstream signaling in CD44-dependent gastric tumorigenesis has remained unknown, however. With the use of the K19-Wnt1/C2mE mouse, we now show that parietal cells in the inflamed stomach are highly sensitive to oxidative stress and manifest activation of p38(MAPK) signaling by ROS. Oral treatment with the antioxidant ascorbic acid or genetic ablation of the Ink4a/Arf locus, a major downstream target of ROS-p38(MAPK) signaling, inhibited parietal cell loss and the subsequent gastric tumorigenesis. Our results indicate that signaling activated by oxidative stress in parietal cells plays a key role in CD44-dependent gastric tumorigenesis. .
©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.
PURPOSE - There have been conflicting data in studies on the prognostic role of high risk human papillomavirus in penile squamous cell carcinoma. Using P16(ink4a) over expression as a surrogate marker for high risk human papillomavirus, we evaluated high risk human papillomavirus status with respect to various clinical features, including recurrence and overall survival, among others.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - P16(ink4a) over expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry for 119 consecutive patients with penile squamous cell carcinoma. Several variables were recorded including age, stage, histological grade, lymph node status, lymphovascular invasion, metastasis and recurrence. Median followup was 30 months.
RESULTS - P16(ink4a) over expression was detected in 49.5% (59 of 119) of samples. There was no significant difference between P16(ink4a) negative and P16(ink4a) positive tumors in terms of stage (p = 0.518), histological grade (p = 0.225), lymphovascular invasion (p = 0.388), overall survival (p = 0.156) or lymph node metastasis (p = 0.748). P16(ink4a) negative tumors were more likely to recur overall (p = 0.04), especially if patients had positive lymph nodes at diagnosis (p = 0.002).
CONCLUSIONS - These data suggest that P16(ink4a)/high risk human papillomavirus status is associated with recurrence, especially in patients with positive lymph nodes at diagnosis. Thus, patients with P16(ink4a) negative penile cancer, particularly those with lymph node metastases, may warrant closer observation after surgery.
Copyright © 2015 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
SLUG represses E-cadherin to promote epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in various cancers. Mechanisms that regulate SLUG/E-cadherin pathway remain poorly understood, especially during tumorigenesis in vivo. Here we report that p19(Arf) (p14(ARF) in human) stabilizes Slug to inhibit E-cadherin in prostate cancer mouse models. Inactivation of p19(Arf) reduces Slug levels, resulting in increased E-cadherin expression and delaying the onset and progression of prostate cancer in Pten/Trp53 double null mice. Mechanistically, p14(ARF) stabilizes SLUG through increased sumoylation at lysine residue 192. Importantly, levels of SLUG and p14(ARF) are positively correlated in human prostate cancer specimens. These data demonstrated that ARF modulates the SLUG/E-cadherin signaling axis for augmenting prostate tumorigenesis in vivo, revealing a novel paradigm where the oncogenic functions of SLUG require ARF to target E-cadherin in prostate cancer. Collectively, our findings further support that ARF has dual tumor suppressive/oncogenic roles in cancers in a context-dependent manner.
Copyright © 2014 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Despite intensive treatment with chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery, over 70% of patients with metastatic Ewing's Sarcoma Family of Tumors (EFT) will die of their disease. We hypothesize that properly characterized laboratory models reflecting the drug resistance of clinical tumors will facilitate the application of new therapeutic agents to EFT. To determine resistance patterns, we studied newly established EFT cell lines derived from different points in therapy: two established at diagnosis (CHLA-9, CHLA-32), two after chemotherapy and progressive disease (CHLA-10, CHLA-25), and two at relapse after myeloablative therapy and autologous bone marrow transplantation (post-ABMT) (CHLA-258, COG-E-352). The new lines were compared to widely studied EFT lines TC-71, TC-32, SK-N-MC, and A-673. These lines were extensively characterized with regard to identity (short tandem repeat (STR) analysis), p53, p16/14 status, and EWS/ETS breakpoint and target gene expression profile. The DIMSCAN cytotoxicity assay was used to assess in vitro drug sensitivity to standard chemotherapy agents. No association was found between drug resistance and the expression of EWS/ETS regulated genes in the EFT cell lines. No consistent association was observed between drug sensitivity and p53 functionality or between drug sensitivity and p16/14 functionality across the cell lines. Exposure to chemotherapy prior to cell line initiation correlated with drug resistance of EFT cell lines in 5/8 tested agents at clinically achievable concentrations (CAC) or the lower tested concentration (LTC): (cyclophosphamide (as 4-HC) and doxorubicin at CAC, etoposide, irinotecan (as SN-38) and melphalan at LTC; P<0.1 for one agent, and P<0.05 for four agents. This panel of well-characterized drug-sensitive and drug-resistant cell lines will facilitate in vitro preclinical testing of new agents for EFT.
We show that BRAF(V600E) initiates an alternative pathway to colorectal cancer (CRC), which progresses through a hyperplasia/adenoma/carcinoma sequence. This pathway underlies significant subsets of CRCs with distinctive pathomorphologic/genetic/epidemiologic/clinical characteristics. Genetic and functional analyses in mice revealed a series of stage-specific molecular alterations driving different phases of tumor evolution and uncovered mechanisms underlying this stage specificity. We further demonstrate dose-dependent effects of oncogenic signaling, with physiologic Braf(V600E) expression being sufficient for hyperplasia induction, but later stage intensified Mapk-signaling driving both tumor progression and activation of intrinsic tumor suppression. Such phenomena explain, for example, the inability of p53 to restrain tumor initiation as well as its importance in invasiveness control, and the late stage specificity of its somatic mutation. Finally, systematic drug screening revealed sensitivity of this CRC subtype to targeted therapeutics, including Mek or combinatorial PI3K/Braf inhibition.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Using a phenome-wide association study (PheWAS) approach, we comprehensively tested genetic variants for association with phenotypes available for 70,061 study participants in the Population Architecture using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE) network. Our aim was to better characterize the genetic architecture of complex traits and identify novel pleiotropic relationships. This PheWAS drew on five population-based studies representing four major racial/ethnic groups (European Americans (EA), African Americans (AA), Hispanics/Mexican-Americans, and Asian/Pacific Islanders) in PAGE, each site with measurements for multiple traits, associated laboratory measures, and intermediate biomarkers. A total of 83 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were genotyped across two or more PAGE study sites. Comprehensive tests of association, stratified by race/ethnicity, were performed, encompassing 4,706 phenotypes mapped to 105 phenotype-classes, and association results were compared across study sites. A total of 111 PheWAS results had significant associations for two or more PAGE study sites with consistent direction of effect with a significance threshold of p<0.01 for the same racial/ethnic group, SNP, and phenotype-class. Among results identified for SNPs previously associated with phenotypes such as lipid traits, type 2 diabetes, and body mass index, 52 replicated previously published genotype-phenotype associations, 26 represented phenotypes closely related to previously known genotype-phenotype associations, and 33 represented potentially novel genotype-phenotype associations with pleiotropic effects. The majority of the potentially novel results were for single PheWAS phenotype-classes, for example, for CDKN2A/B rs1333049 (previously associated with type 2 diabetes in EA) a PheWAS association was identified for hemoglobin levels in AA. Of note, however, GALNT2 rs2144300 (previously associated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in EA) had multiple potentially novel PheWAS associations, with hypertension related phenotypes in AA and with serum calcium levels and coronary artery disease phenotypes in EA. PheWAS identifies associations for hypothesis generation and exploration of the genetic architecture of complex traits.
The validity of the identification and classification of human cancer using antibodies to detect biomarker proteins depends upon antibody specificity. Antibodies that bind to the tumour-suppressor protein p16INK4a are widely used for cancer diagnosis and research. In this study we examined the specificity of four commercially available anti-p16INK4a antibodies in four immunological applications. The antibodies H-156 and JC8 detected the same 16 kDa protein in western blot and immunoprecipitation tests, whereas the antibody F-12 did not detect any protein in western blot analysis or capture a protein that could be recognised by the H-156 antibody. In immunocytochemistry tests, the antibodies JC8 and H-156 detected a predominately cytoplasmic localised antigen, whose signal was depleted in p16INK4a siRNA experiments. F-12, in contrast, detected a predominately nuclear located antigen and there was no noticeable reduction in this signal after siRNA knockdown. Furthermore in immunohistochemistry tests, F-12 generated a different pattern of staining compared to the JC8 and E6H4 antibodies. These results demonstrate that three out of four commercially available p16INK4a antibodies are specific to, and indicate a mainly cytoplasmic localisation for, the p16INK4a protein. The F-12 antibody, which has been widely used in previous studies, gave different results to the other antibodies and did not demonstrate specificity to human p16INK4a. This work emphasizes the importance of the validation of commercial antibodies, aside to the previously reported use, for the full verification of immunoreaction specificity.