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Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) is a highly aggressive malignancy that is characterized by resistance to chemotherapy and a poor clinical outcome. The overexpression of the receptor tyrosine kinase AXL is frequently associated with unfavorable prognosis in EAC. Although it is well documented that AXL mediates cancer cell invasion as a downstream effector of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, the precise molecular mechanism underlying this process is not completely understood. Herein, we demonstrate for the first time that AXL mediates cell invasion through the regulation of lysosomes peripheral distribution and cathepsin B secretion in EAC cell lines. Furthermore, we show that AXL-dependent peripheral distribution of lysosomes and cell invasion are mediated by extracellular acidification, which is potentiated by AXL-induced secretion of lactate through AKT-NF-κB-dependent MCT-1 regulation. Our novel mechanistic findings support future clinical studies to evaluate the therapeutic potential of the AXL inhibitor R428 (BGB324) in highly invasive EAC.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) is a common complication of open globe injury and the most common cause of failed retinal detachment surgery. The response by retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells liberated into the vitreous includes proliferation and migration; most importantly, epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) of RPE plays a central role in the development and progress of PVR. For the first time, we show that knockdown of BIRC5, a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein family, using either lentiviral vector based CRISPR/Cas9 nickase gene editing or inhibition of survivin using the small-molecule inhibitor YM155, results in the suppression of EMT in RPE cells. Knockdown of survivin or inhibition of survivin significantly reduced TGFβ-induced cell proliferation and migration. We further demonstrated that knockdown or inhibition of survivin attenuated the TGFβ signaling by showing reduced phospho-SMAD2 in BIRC5 knockdown or YM155-treated cells compared to controls. Inhibition of the TGFβ pathway using TGFβ receptor inhibitor also suppressed survivin expression in RPE cells. Our studies demonstrate that survivin contributes to EMT by cross-talking with the TGFβ pathway in RPE cells. Targeting survivin using small-molecule inhibitors may provide a novel approach to treat PVR disease.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndoMT) is a cellular process often initiated by the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) family of ligands. Although required for normal heart valve development, deregulated EndoMT is linked to a wide range of pathological conditions. Here, we demonstrate that endothelial fatty acid oxidation (FAO) is a critical in vitro and in vivo regulator of EndoMT. We further show that this FAO-dependent metabolic regulation of EndoMT occurs through alterations in intracellular acetyl-CoA levels. Disruption of FAO via conditional deletion of endothelial carnitine palmitoyltransferase II (Cpt2) augments the magnitude of embryonic EndoMT, resulting in thickening of cardiac valves. Consistent with the known pathological effects of EndoMT, adult Cpt2 mice demonstrate increased permeability in multiple vascular beds. Taken together, these results demonstrate that endothelial FAO is required to maintain endothelial cell fate and that therapeutic manipulation of endothelial metabolism could provide the basis for treating a growing number of EndoMT-linked pathological conditions.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Pulmonary fibrosis is a late manifestation of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Sepsis is a major cause of ARDS, and its pathogenesis includes endotoxin-induced vascular injury. Recently, endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) was shown to play an important role in pulmonary fibrosis. On the other hand, dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP)-4 was reported to improve vascular dysfunction in an experimental sepsis model, although whether DPP-4 affects EndMT and fibrosis initiation during lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced lung injury is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-EndMT effects of the DPP-4 inhibitor vildagliptin in pulmonary fibrosis after systemic endotoxemic injury.
METHODS - A septic lung injury model was established by intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in eight-week-old male mice (5 mg/kg for five consecutive days). The mice were then treated with vehicle or vildagliptin (intraperitoneally, 10 mg/kg, once daily for 14 consecutive days from 1 day before the first administration of LPS.). Flow cytometry, immunohistochemical staining, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis was used to assess cell dynamics and EndMT function in lung samples from the mice.
RESULTS - Lung tissue samples from treated mice revealed obvious inflammatory reactions and typical interstitial fibrosis 2 days and 28 days after LPS challenge. Quantitative flow cytometric analysis showed that the number of pulmonary vascular endothelial cells (PVECs) expressing alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) or S100 calcium-binding protein A4 (S100A4) increased 28 days after LPS challenge. Similar increases in expression were also confirmed by qPCR of mRNA from isolated PVECs. EndMT cells had higher proliferative activity and migration activity than mesenchymal cells. All of these changes were alleviated by intraperitoneal injection of vildagliptin. Interestingly, vildagliptin and linagliptin significantly attenuated EndMT in the absence of immune cells or GLP-1.
CONCLUSIONS - Inhibiting DPP-4 signaling by vildagliptin could ameliorate pulmonary fibrosis by downregulating EndMT in systemic LPS-induced lung injury.
Endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) is a process in which endothelial cells lose polarity and cell-to cell contacts, and undergo a dramatic remodeling of the cytoskeleton. It has been implicated in initiation and progression of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). However, the characteristics of cells which have undergone EndMT cells in vivo have not been reported and so remain unclear. To study this, sugen5416 and hypoxia (SuHx)-induced PAH was established in Cdh5-Cre/Gt(ROSA)26Sor/J double transgenic mice, in which GFP was stably expressed in pan-endothelial cells. After 3 wk of SuHx, flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry demonstrated CD144-negative and GFP-positive cells (complete EndMT cells) possessed higher proliferative and migratory activity compared with other mesenchymal cells. While CD144-positive and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA)-positive cells (partial EndMT cells) continued to express endothelial progenitor cell markers, complete EndMT cells were Sca-1-rich mesenchymal cells with high proliferative and migratory ability. When transferred in fibronectin-coated chamber slides containing smooth muscle media, α-SMA robustly expressed in these cells compared with cEndMT cells that were grown in maintenance media. Demonstrating additional paracrine effects, conditioned medium from isolated complete EndMT cells induced enhanced mesenchymal proliferation and migration and increased angiogenesis compared with conditioned medium from resident mesenchymal cells. Overall, these findings show that EndMT cells could contribute to the pathogenesis of PAH both directly, by transformation into smooth muscle-like cells with higher proliferative and migratory potency, and indirectly, through paracrine effects on vascular intimal and medial proliferation.
The hyperactivated Wnt/β-catenin signaling acts as a switch to induce epithelial to mesenchymal transition and promote colorectal cancer. However, due to its essential role in gut homeostasis, therapeutic targeting of this pathway has proven challenging. Additionally, IL-6/Stat-3 signaling, activated by microbial translocation through the dysregulated mucosal barrier in colon adenomas, facilitates the adenoma to adenocarcinomas transition. However, inter-dependence between these signaling pathways and key mucosal barrier components in regulating colon tumorigenesis and cancer progression remains unclear. In current study, we have discovered, using a comprehensive investigative regimen, a novel and tissue-specific role of claudin-3, a tight junction integral protein, in inhibiting colon cancer progression by serving as the common rheostat of Stat-3 and Wnt-signaling activation. Loss of claudin-3 also predicted poor patient survival. These findings however contrasted an upregulated claudin-3 expression in other cancer types and implicated role of the epigenetic regulation. Claudin-3-/- mice revealed dedifferentiated and leaky colonic epithelium, and developed invasive adenocarcinoma when subjected to colon cancer. Wnt-signaling hyperactivation, albeit in GSK-3β independent manner, differentiated colon cancer in claudin-3-/- mice versus WT-mice. Claudin-3 loss also upregulated the gp130/IL6/Stat3 signaling in colonic epithelium potentially assisted by infiltrating immune components. Genetic and pharmacological studies confirmed that claudin-3 loss induces Wnt/β-catenin activation, which is further exacerbated by Stat-3-activation and help promote colon cancer. Overall, these novel findings identify claudin-3 as a therapeutic target for inhibiting overactivation of Wnt-signaling to prevent CRC malignancy.
Ewing sarcomas are rare mesenchymal-derived bone and soft tissue tumors in children. Afflicted children with distant metastases have poor survival despite aggressive therapeutics. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in epithelial carcinomas is associated with loss of E-cadherin and resistance to apoptosis. ML327 is a novel small molecule that we have previously shown to reverse epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition features in both epithelial and neural crest-derived cancers. Herein, we sought to evaluate the effects of ML327 on mesenchymal-derived Ewing sarcoma cells, hypothesizing that ML327 initiates growth arrest and sensitizes to TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand. ML327 induced protein expression changes, increased E-cadherin and decreased vimentin, consistent with partial induction of mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition in multiple Ewing Sarcoma cell lines (SK-N-MC, TC71, and ES-5838). Induction of epithelial features was associated with apoptosis, as demonstrated by PARP and Caspase 3 cleavage by immunoblotting. Cell cycle analysis validated these findings by marked induction of the subG cell population. In vitro combination treatment with TRAIL demonstrated additive induction of apoptotic markers. Taken together, these findings establish a rationale for further in vivo trials of ML327 in cells of mesenchymal origin both alone and in combination with TRAIL.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW - This review aims to summarize recent findings regarding the plasticity and fate switching among somatic and progenitor cells residing in the vascular wall of blood vessels in health and disease.
RECENT FINDINGS - Cell lineage tracing methods have identified multiple origins of stem cells, macrophages, and matrix-producing cells that become mobilized after acute or chronic injury of cardiovascular tissues. These studies also revealed that in the disease environment, resident somatic cells become plastic, thereby changing their stereotypical identities to adopt proinflammatory and profibrotic phenotypes. Currently, the functional significance of this heterogeneity among reparative cells is unknown. Furthermore, mechanisms that control cellular plasticity and fate decisions in the disease environment are poorly understood. Cardiovascular diseases are responsible for the majority of deaths worldwide. From a therapeutic perspective, these novel discoveries may identify new targets to improve the repair and regeneration of the cardiovascular system.
AIMS - Colorectal carcinoma (CRC) with micropapillary (MP) features has only been described recently and is still being characterized.
METHODS AND RESULTS - We reviewed the clinicopathological and molecular features of 42 CRC with MP features. Twenty-nine cases were also evaluated for immunohistochemical evidence of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). The extent of MP features within our cohort ranged from 5% (13 cases) to 100% (one case). Twenty-seven cases featured prominent cribriforming with dirty necrosis in the non-MP component; nine displayed mucinous features. Twenty-four of 29 cases (83%) demonstrated evidence of EMT. Thirty-six cases (86%) showed advanced T-category (pT3 or pT4), 31 (74%) had lymph node metastases and 23 (55%) had distant metastases. Median overall follow-up was 36 months. Seventeen patients (40%) died of disease, with median survival of 23 months. Mutations were seen in 17 of 31 tested cases (55%), including 11 KRAS mutations and four BRAF V600E mutations. Microsatellite instability testing was performed on 21 cases; all were microsatellite-stable. Compared to a cohort of 972 conventional CRC, MP CRC was more likely to present as stage IV disease (P < 0.001), but patients with MP CRC showed no significant differences in overall survival after adjusting for stage.
CONCLUSIONS - Micropapillary features in CRC portend a high likelihood of advanced local disease and distant metastases. MP CRC is often associated with a cribriform pattern elsewhere in the tumour and cystic nodal metastases with prominent necrosis. They also show frequent mutations in KRAS and BRAF. Immunohistochemical evidence of EMT is common in MP CRC.
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Polarity is a universal feature of cells during division and often at other stages of the cell cycle or after post-mitotic differentiation. A conserved machinery, present in all animals, initiates and maintains polarity. Multi-cellular animals organize themselves with respect to the axes of symmetry of the organism through the process of planar cell polarity, but many tissues also express a cell-intrinsic form of polarity, for instance to segregate the apical and basolateral membranes of epithelial cells. Although the genes and proteins involved in apical-basal polarity have been known for many years, the regulation of their expression remains ill-defined. Maintenance of the correct expression levels is essential for normal cell lineage allocation, tissue morphogenesis and cell survival. Here we summarize what is known about the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of polarity protein expression, and discuss areas that remain to be understood.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.