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Telomerase is a multi-subunit enzyme that reverse transcribes telomere repeats onto the ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes and is therefore critical for genome stability. S. cerevisiae telomerase activity is cell-cycle regulated; telomeres are not elongated during G1 phase. Previous work has shown that Est1 protein levels are low during G1 phase, preventing telomerase complex assembly. However, the pathway targeting Est1p for degradation remained uncharacterized. Here, we show that Est1p stability through the cell cycle mirrors that of Clb2p, a known target of the Anaphase Promoting Complex (APC). Indeed, Est1p is stabilized by mutations in both essential and non-essential components of the APC. Mutations of putative Destruction boxes (D-boxes), regions shown to be important for recognition of known APC substrates, stabilize Est1p, suggesting that Est1p is likely to be targeted for degradation directly by the APC. However, we do not detect degradation or ubiquitination of recombinant Est1p by the APC in vitro, suggesting either that the recombinant protein lacks necessary post-translational modification and/or conformation, or that the APC affects Est1p degradation by an indirect mechanism. Together, these studies shed light on the regulation of yeast telomerase assembly and demonstrate a new connection between telomere maintenance and cell cycle regulation pathways.
PURPOSE - We have previously identified solute-linked carrier family A1 member 5 (SLC1A5) as an overexpressed protein in a shotgun proteomic analysis of stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) when compared with matched controls. We hypothesized that overexpression of SLC1A5 occurs to meet the metabolic demand for lung cancer cell growth and survival.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - To test our hypothesis, we first analyzed the protein expression of SLC1A5 in archival lung cancer tissues by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting (N = 98) and in cell lines (N = 36). To examine SLC1A5 involvement in amino acid transportation, we conducted kinetic analysis of l-glutamine (Gln) uptake in lung cancer cell lines in the presence and absence of a pharmacologic inhibitor of SLC1A5, gamma-l-Glutamyl-p-Nitroanilide (GPNA). Finally, we examined the effect of Gln deprivation and uptake inhibition on cell growth, cell-cycle progression, and growth signaling pathways of five lung cancer cell lines.
RESULTS - Our results show that (i) SLC1A5 protein is expressed in 95% of squamous cell carcinomas (SCC), 74% of adenocarcinomas (ADC), and 50% of neuroendocrine tumors; (ii) SLC1A5 is located at the cytoplasmic membrane and is significantly associated with SCC histology and male gender; (iii) 68% of Gln is transported in a Na(+)-dependent manner, 50% of which is attributed to SLC1A5 activity; and (iv) pharmacologic and genetic targeting of SLC1A5 decreased cell growth and viability in lung cancer cells, an effect mediated in part by mTOR signaling.
CONCLUSIONS - These results suggest that SLC1A5 plays a key role in Gln transport controlling lung cancer cells' metabolism, growth, and survival.
A microtubule (MT) subpopulation that emanates from Golgi membrane has been recently shown to comprise a significant part of MT network in interphase cells. In this study, we address whether Golgi membrane, which is being extensively remodeled throughout the cell cycle, retains its ability to nucleate MTs at diverse cell cycle stages. Live cell imaging and immunofluorescence microscopy reveals that Golgi-derived MTs form at multiple stages of the cell cycle, including G(1), G(2), and distinct phases of mitosis. However, the capacity of Golgi to nucleate MTs in mitosis is strongly down-regulated as compared with interphase, indicating that this property is cell cycle regulated. We demonstrate that Golgi-derived MTs are indispensable for efficient Golgi assembly in telophase, and speculate that these noncentrosomal MTs may hold specific functions at other cell cycle stages.
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Neuroblastoma, the most common extra-cranial solid tumor in infants and children, is characterized by a high rate of spontaneous remissions in infancy. Retinoic acid (RA) has been known to induce neuroblastoma differentiation; however, the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways that are responsible for RA-mediated neuroblastoma cell differentiation remain unclear. Here, we sought to determine the cell signaling processes involved in RA-induced cellular differentiation. Upon RA administration, human neuroblastoma cell lines, SK-N-SH and BE(2)-C, demonstrated neurite extensions, which is an indicator of neuronal cell differentiation. Moreover, cell cycle arrest occurred in G1/G0 phase. The protein levels of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, p21 and p27(Kip), which inhibit cell proliferation by blocking cell cycle progression at G1/S phase, increased after RA treatment. Interestingly, RA promoted cell survival during the differentiation process, hence suggesting a potential mechanism for neuroblastoma resistance to RA therapy. Importantly, we found that the PI3K/AKT pathway is required for RA-induced neuroblastoma cell differentiation. Our results elucidated the molecular mechanism of RA-induced neuroblastoma cellular differentiation, which may be important for developing novel therapeutic strategy against poorly differentiated neuroblastoma.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Cholesterol metabolism is tightly regulated at the cellular level and is essential for cellular growth. microRNAs (miRNAs), a class of noncoding RNAs, have emerged as critical regulators of gene expression, acting predominantly at posttranscriptional level. Recent work from our group and others has shown that hsa-miR-33a and hsa-miR-33b, miRNAs located within intronic sequences of the Srebp genes, regulate cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism in concert with their host genes. Here, we show that hsa-miR-33 family members modulate the expression of genes involved in cell cycle regulation and cell proliferation. MiR-33 inhibits the expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase 6 (CDK6) and cyclin D1 (CCND1), thereby reducing cell proliferation and cell cycle progression. Overexpression of miR-33 induces a significant G 1 cell cycle arrest in Huh7 and A549 cell lines. Most importantly, inhibition of miR-33 expression using 2'fluoro/methoxyethyl-modified (2'F/MOE-modified) phosphorothioate backbone antisense oligonucleotides improves liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy (PH) in mice, suggesting an important role for miR-33 in regulating hepatocyte proliferation during liver regeneration. Altogether, these results suggest that Srebp/miR-33 locus may cooperate to regulate cell proliferation, cell cycle progression and may also be relevant to human liver regeneration.
BACKGROUND - BRCA2 gene expression is tightly regulated during the cell cycle in human breast cells. The expression of BRCA2 gene is silenced at the G0/G1 phase of cell growth and is de-silenced at the S/G2 phase. While studying the activity of BRCA2 gene promoter in breast cancer cells, we discovered that this promoter has bi-directional activity and the product of the reverse activity (a ZAR1-like protein, we named ZAR2) silences the forward promoter at the G0/G1 phase of the cell. Standard techniques like cell synchronization by serum starvation, flow cytometry, N-terminal or C-terminal FLAG epitope-tagged protein expression, immunofluorescence confocal microscopy, dual luciferase assay for promoter evaluation, and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay were employed during this study.
RESULTS - Human BRCA2 gene promoter is active in both the forward and the reverse orientations. This promoter is 8-20 fold more active in the reverse orientation than in the forward orientation when the cells are in the non-dividing stage (G0/G1). When the cells are in the dividing state (S/G2), the forward activity of the promoter is 5-8 folds higher than the reverse activity. The reverse activity transcribes the ZAR2 mRNA with 966 nt coding sequence which codes for a 321 amino acid protein. ZAR2 has two C4 type zinc fingers at the carboxyl terminus. In the G0/G1 growth phase ZAR2 is predominantly located inside the nucleus of the breast cells, binds to the BRCA2 promoter and inhibits the expression of BRCA2. In the dividing cells, ZAR2 is trapped in the cytoplasm.
CONCLUSIONS - BRCA2 gene promoter has bi-directional activity, expressing BRCA2 and a novel C4-type zinc finger containing transcription factor ZAR2. Subcellular location of ZAR2 and its expression from the reverse promoter of the BRCA2 gene are stringently regulated in a cell cycle dependent manner. ZAR2 binds to BRCA2/ZAR2 bi-directional promoter in vivo and is responsible, at least in part, for the silencing of BRCA2 gene expression in the G0/G1 phase in human breast cells.
Hypoxia is a common microenvironment in solid tumors and is correlated with tumor progression by regulating cancer cell survival. Recent studies suggest that activation of double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase-like endoplasmic reticulum-related kinase (PERK) and phosphorylation of alpha subunit of eIF2 (eIF2alpha) confer cell adaptation to hypoxic stress. However, eIF2alpha is still phosphorylated at a lowered level in PERK knockout cells under hypoxic conditions. The mechanism for eIF2alpha kinase(s) (eIF2AK)-increased cell survival is not clear. In this report, we provide evidence that another eIF2AK, the amino acid starvation-dependent general control of amino acid biosynthesis kinase (GCN2), is also involved in hypoxia-induced eIF2alpha phosphorylation. We demonstrate that both GCN2 and PERK mediate the cell adaptation to hypoxic stress. High levels of eIF2alpha phosphorylation lead to G(1) arrest and protect cells from hypoxia-induced apoptosis. Reduced phosphorylation of eIF2alpha by knocking out either PERK or GCN2 suppresses hypoxia-induced G(1) arrest and promotes apoptosis in accompany with activation of p53 signal cascade. However, totally abolishing phosphorylation of eIF2alpha inhibits G(1) arrest without promoting apoptosis. On the basis of our results, we propose that the levels of eIF2alpha phosphorylation serve as a "switch" in regulation of G(1) arrest or apoptosis under hypoxic conditions.
p90 ribosomal S6 kinase (RSK1) is an effector of both Ras/MEK/MAPK and PI3K/PDK1 pathways. We present evidence that RSK1 drives p27 phosphorylation at T198 to increase RhoA-p27 binding and cell motility. RSK1 activation and p27pT198 both increase in early G(1). As for many kinase-substrate pairs, cellular RSK1 coprecipitates with p27. siRNA to RSK1 and RSK1 inhibition both rapidly reduce cellular p27pT198. RSK1 overexpression increases p27pT198, p27-cyclin D1-Cdk4 complexes, and p27 stability. Moreover, RSK1 transfectants show mislocalization of p27 to cytoplasm, increased motility, and reduced RhoA-GTP, phospho-cofilin, and actin stress fibers, all of which were reversed by shRNA to p27. Phosphorylation by RSK1 increased p27pT198 binding to RhoA in vitro, whereas p27T157A/T198A bound poorly to RhoA compared with WTp27 in cells. Coprecipitation of cellular p27-RhoA was increased in cells with constitutive PI3K activation and increased in early G(1). Thus T198 phosphorylation not only stabilizes p27 and mislocalizes p27 to the cytoplasm but also promotes RhoA-p27 interaction and RhoA pathway inhibition. These data link p27 phosphorylation at T198 and cell motility. As for other PI3K effectors, RSK1 phosphorylates p27 at T198. Because RSK1 is also activated by MAPK, the increased cell motility and metastatic potential of cancer cells with PI3K and/or MAPK pathway activation may result in part from RSK1 activation, leading to accumulation of p27T198 in the cytoplasm, p27:RhoA binding, inhibition of RhoA/Rock pathway activation, and loss of actomyosin stability.
In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, cell cycle initiation is prompted during G(1) phase by Cln3/cyclin-dependent protein kinase-mediated transcriptional activation of G(1)-specific genes. A recent screening performed to reveal novel interactors of SCB-binding factor (SBF) and MCB-binding factor (MBF) identified, in addition to the SBF-specific repressor Whi5 and the MBF-specific corepressor Nrm1, a pair of homologous proteins, Msa1 and Msa2 (encoded by YOR066w and YKR077w), as interactors of SBF and MBF, respectively. MSA1 is expressed periodically during the cell cycle with peak mRNA levels occurring at the late M/early G(1) phase and peak protein levels occurring in early G(1). Msa1 associates with SBF- and MBF-regulated target promoters consistent with a role in G(1)-specific transcriptional regulation. Msa1 affects cell cycle initiation by advancing the timing of transcription of G(1)-specific genes. Msa1 binds to SBF- and MBF-regulated promoters and binding is maximal during the G(1) phase. Binding depends upon the cognate transcription factor. Msa1 overexpression advances the timing of SBF-dependent transcription and budding, whereas depletion delays both indicators of cell cycle initiation. Similar effects on MBF-regulated transcription are observed. Based upon these results, we conclude that Msa1 acts to advance the timing of G(1)-specific transcription and cell cycle initiation.
The external environment influences stem cells, but this process is poorly understood. Our previous work showed that germline stem cells (GSCs) respond to diet via neural insulin-like peptides (DILPs) that act directly on the germ line to upregulate stem cell division and cyst growth under a protein-rich diet in Drosophila. Here, we report that DILPs specifically control the G2 phase of the GSC cell cycle via phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K) and dFOXO, and that a separate diet mediator regulates the G1 phase. Furthermore, GSC tumors, which escape the normal stem cell regulatory microenvironment, or niche, still respond to diet via both mechanisms, indicating that niche signals are not required for GSCs to sense or respond to diet. Our results document the effects of diet and insulin-like signals on the cell cycle of stem cells within an intact organism and demonstrate that the response to diet requires multiple signals. Moreover, the retained ability of GSC tumors to respond to diet parallels the long known connections between diet, insulin signaling, and cancer risk in humans.