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Malignant tumors reprogram cellular metabolism to support cancer cell proliferation and survival. Although most cancers depend on a high rate of aerobic glycolysis, many cancer cells also display addiction to glutamine. Glutamine transporters and glutaminase activity are critical for glutamine metabolism in tumor cells. We found that the receptor tyrosine kinase EphA2 activated the TEAD family transcriptional coactivators YAP and TAZ (YAP/TAZ), likely in a ligand-independent manner, to promote glutamine metabolism in cells and mouse models of HER2-positive breast cancer. Overexpression of EphA2 induced the nuclear accumulation of YAP and TAZ and increased the expression of YAP/TAZ target genes. Inhibition of the GTPase Rho or the kinase ROCK abolished EphA2-dependent YAP/TAZ nuclear localization. Silencing or substantially reduced the amount of intracellular glutamate through decreased expression of and , respectively, genes that encode proteins that promote glutamine uptake and metabolism. The regulatory DNA elements of both and contain TEAD binding sites and were bound by TEAD4 in an EphA2-dependent manner. In patient breast cancer tissues, expression positively correlated with that of and , as well as that of and Although high expression of predicted enhanced metastatic potential and poor patient survival, it also rendered HER2-positive breast cancer cells more sensitive to glutaminase inhibition. The findings define a previously unknown mechanism of EphA2-mediated glutaminolysis through YAP/TAZ activation in HER2-positive breast cancer and identify potential therapeutic targets in patients.
Copyright © 2017 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.
BACKGROUND - Systemic inflammation and muscle wasting are highly prevalent and coexist in patients on maintenance hemodialysis (MHD). We aimed to determine the effects of systemic inflammation on skeletal muscle protein metabolism in MHD patients.
METHODS - Whole body and skeletal muscle protein turnover were assessed by stable isotope kinetic studies. We incorporated expressions of E1, E214K, E3αI, E3αII, MuRF-1, and atrogin-1 in skeletal muscle tissue from integrin β1 gene KO CKD mice models.
RESULTS - Among 129 patients with mean (± SD) age 47 ± 12 years, 74% were African American, 73% were male, and 22% had diabetes mellitus. Median high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) concentration was 13 (interquartile range 0.8, 33) mg/l. There were statistically significant associations between hs-CRP and forearm skeletal muscle protein synthesis, degradation, and net forearm skeletal muscle protein balance (P < 0.001 for all). The associations remained statistically significant after adjustment for clinical and demographic confounders, as well as in sensitivity analysis, excluding patients with diabetes mellitus. In attempting to identify potential mechanisms involved in this correlation, we show increased expressions of E1, E214K, E3αI, E3αII, MuRF-1, and atrogin-1 in skeletal muscle tissue obtained from an animal model of chronic kidney disease.
CONCLUSION - These data suggest that systemic inflammation is a strong and independent determinant of skeletal muscle protein homeostasis in MHD patients, providing rationale for further studies using anticytokine therapies in patients with underlying systemic inflammation.
FUNDING - This study was in part supported by NIH grants R01 DK45604 and 1K24 DK62849, the Clinical Translational Science Award UL1-TR000445 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, the Veterans Administration Merit Award I01 CX000414, the SatelliteHealth Normon Coplon Extramural Grant Program, and the FDA grant 000943.
OBJECTIVE - Blood vessel epicardial substance (BVES) is a tight junction-associated protein that regulates epithelial-mesenchymal states and is underexpressed in epithelial malignancy. However, the functional impact of BVES loss on tumourigenesis is unknown. Here we define the in vivo role of BVES in colitis-associated cancer (CAC), its cellular function and its relevance to patients with IBD.
DESIGN - We determined promoter methylation status using an Infinium HumanMethylation450 array screen of patients with UC with and without CAC. We also measured mRNA levels in a tissue microarray consisting of normal colons and CAC samples. and wild-type mice (controls) were administered azoxymethane (AOM) and dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) to induce tumour formation. Last, we used a yeast two-hybrid screen to identify BVES interactors and performed mechanistic studies in multiple cell lines to define how BVES reduces c-Myc levels.
RESULTS - mRNA was reduced in tumours from patients with CAC via promoter hypermethylation. Importantly, promoter hypermethylation was concurrently present in distant non-malignant-appearing mucosa. As seen in human patients, was underexpressed in experimental inflammatory carcinogenesis, and mice had increased tumour multiplicity and degree of dysplasia after AOM/DSS administration. Molecular analysis of tumours revealed Wnt activation and increased c-Myc levels. Mechanistically, we identified a new signalling pathway whereby BVES interacts with PR61α, a protein phosphatase 2A regulatory subunit, to mediate c-Myc destruction.
CONCLUSION - Loss of BVES promotes inflammatory tumourigenesis through dysregulation of Wnt signalling and the oncogene c-Myc. promoter methylation status may serve as a CAC biomarker.
Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.
Preclinical changes that precede the onset of symptoms and eventual diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are a target for potential preventive interventions. A large body of evidence suggests that inflammation is closely associated with AD pathogenesis and may be a promising target pathway for such interventions. However, little is known about the association between systemic inflammation and preclinical AD pathophysiology. We first examined whether the acute-phase protein, alpha-2 macroglobulin (A2M), a major component of the innate immune system, was associated with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) markers of neuronal injury in preclinical AD and risk of incident AD in the predictors of cognitive decline among normal individuals (BIOCARD) cohort. We find that A2M concentration in blood is significantly associated with CSF concentrations of the neuronal injury markers, tau and phosphorylated tau, and that higher baseline serum A2M concentration is associated with an almost threefold greater risk of progression to clinical symptoms of AD in men. These findings were replicated in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging (ADNI) study. Then, utilizing a systems level approach combining large multi-tissue gene expression datasets with mass spectrometry-based proteomic analyses of brain tissue, we identified an A2M gene network that includes regulator of calcineurin (RCAN1), an inhibitor of calcineurin, a well-characterized tau phosphatase. A2M gene and protein expression in the brain were significantly associated with gene and protein expression levels of calcineurin. Collectively these novel findings suggest that A2M is associated with preclinical AD, reflects early neuronal injury in the disease course and may be responsive to tau phosphorylation in the brain through the RCAN1-calcineurin pathway.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES - Protein energy wasting and systemic inflammation are prevalent in maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) patients. Omega-3 (ω-3) fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and have been shown to improve protein homeostasis. We hypothesized that administration of high-dose (2.9 g/d) ω-3 would be associated with decreased muscle protein breakdown in MHD patients with systemic inflammation.
DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS & MEASUREMENTS - This is a substudy from a randomized, placebo-controlled study (NCT00655525). Patients were recruited between September 2008 and June 2011. Primary inclusion criteria included signs of chronic inflammation (average C-reactive protein of ≥5 mg/L over three consecutive measurements), lack of active infectious or inflammatory disease, no hospitalization within 1 month prior to the study, and not receiving steroids (>5 mg/d) and/or immunosuppressive agents. The primary outcomes were forearm muscle and whole body protein breakdown and synthesis before and after the intervention. The patients received ω-3 (n=11) versus placebo (n=9) for 12 weeks. Analysis of covariance was used to compare outcome variables at 12 weeks. Models were adjusted for a propensity score that was derived from age, sex, race, baseline high sensitivity C-reactive protein, diabetes mellitus, and fat mass because the groups were not balanced for several characteristics.
RESULTS - Compared with placebo, ω-3 supplementation was significantly associated with decreased muscle protein breakdown at 12 weeks (-31, [interquartile range, -98--13] versus 26 [interquartile range, 13-87] µg/100 ml per min; P=0.01), which remained significant after multivariate adjustment (-46, [95% confidence interval, -102 to -1] µg/100 ml per min). ω-3 Supplementation resulted in decreased forearm muscle protein synthesis while the rate in the placebo group increased; however, there is no longer a statistically significant difference in skeletal muscle protein synthesis or in net protein balance after multivariate adjustment. There was no statistically significant effect of ω-3 supplementation on whole body protein synthesis or breakdown.
CONCLUSIONS - High-dose ω-3 supplementation over 12 weeks in MHD patients with systemic inflammation was associated with attenuation of forearm muscle protein breakdown but did not influence skeletal muscle protein synthesis, skeletal muscle net protein balance or any component of the whole-body protein balance. These results should be interpreted cautiously given the imbalance in the two groups and the short duration of the intervention.
Copyright © 2016 by the American Society of Nephrology.
The broad implementation of precision medicine in cancer is impeded by the lack of a complete inventory of the genes involved in tumorigenesis. We performed in vivo screening of ∼1,000 genes that are associated with signaling for positive roles in breast cancer, using lentiviral expression vectors in primary MMTV-ErbB2 mammary tissue. Gain of function of five genes, including RET, GTF2IRD1, ADORA1, LARS2, and DPP8, significantly promoted mammary tumor growth. We further studied one tumor-promoting gene, the transcription factor GTF2IRD1. The mis-regulation of genes downstream of GTF2IRD1, including TβR2 and BMPR1b, also individually promoted mammary cancer development, and silencing of TβR2 suppressed GTF2IRD1-driven tumor promotion. In addition, GTF2IRD1 is highly expressed in human breast tumors, correlating with high tumor grades and poor prognosis. Our in vivo approach is readily expandable to whole-genome annotation of tumor-promoting genes.
Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Upon Notch pathway activation, the receptor is cleaved to release the Notch intracellular domain (NICD), which translocates to the nucleus to activate gene transcription. Using Xenopus egg extracts, we have identified a Notch1-specific destruction signal (N1-Box). We show that mutations in the N1-Box inhibit NICD1 degradation and that the N1-Box is transferable for the promotion of degradation of heterologous proteins in Xenopus egg extracts and in cultured human cells. Mutation of the N1-Box enhances Notch1 activity in cultured human cells and zebrafish embryos. Human cancer mutations within the N1-Box enhance Notch1 signaling in transgenic zebrafish, highlighting the physiological relevance of this destruction signal. We find that binding of the Notch nuclear factor, CSL, to the N1-Box blocks NICD1 turnover. Our studies reveal a mechanism by which degradation of NICD1 is regulated by the N1-Box to minimize stochastic flux and to establish a threshold for Notch1 pathway activation.
Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
MALDI imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) has been applied to whole animal tissue sections of Pacific White Shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei, in an effort to identify and spatially localize proteins in specific organ systems. Frozen shrimp were sectioned along the ventral-dorsal axis and methods were optimized for matrix application. In addition, tissue microextraction and homogenization was conducted followed by top-down LC-MS/MS analysis of intact proteins and searches of shrimp EST databases to identify imaged proteins. IMS images revealed organ system specific protein signals that highlighted the hepatopancreas, heart, nervous system, musculature, and cuticle. Top-down proteomics identification of abdominal muscle proteins revealed the sequence of the most abundant muscle protein that has no sequence homology to known proteins. Additional identifications of abdominal muscle proteins included titin, troponin-I, ubiquitin, as well as intact and multiple truncated forms of flightin; a protein known to function in high frequency contraction of insect wing muscles. The combined use of imaging mass spectrometry and top-down proteomics allowed for identification of novel proteins from the sparsely populated shrimp protein databases.
© 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Blood vessel epicardial substance (BVES/Popdc1) is a junctional-associated transmembrane protein that is underexpressed in a number of malignancies and regulates epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. We previously identified a role for BVES in regulation of the Wnt pathway, a modulator of intestinal stem cell programs, but its role in small intestinal (SI) biology remains unexplored. We hypothesized that BVES influences intestinal stem cell programs and is critical to SI homeostasis after radiation injury. At baseline, Bves(-/-) mice demonstrated increased crypt height, as well as elevated proliferation and expression of the stem cell marker Lgr5 compared to wild-type (WT) mice. Intercross with Lgr5-EGFP reporter mice confirmed expansion of the stem cell compartment in Bves(-/-) mice. To examine stem cell function after BVES deletion, we used ex vivo 3D-enteroid cultures. Bves(-/-) enteroids demonstrated increased stemness compared to WT, when examining parameters such as plating efficiency, stem spheroid formation, and retention of peripheral cystic structures. Furthermore, we observed increased proliferation, expression of crypt-base columnar "CBC" and "+4" stem cell markers, amplified Wnt signaling, and responsiveness to Wnt activation in the Bves(-/-) enteroids. Bves expression was downregulated after radiation in WT mice. Moreover, after radiation, Bves(-/-) mice demonstrated significantly greater SI crypt viability, proliferation, and amplified Wnt signaling in comparison to WT mice. Bves(-/-) mice also demonstrated elevations in Lgr5 and Ascl2 expression, and putative damage-responsive stem cell populations marked by Bmi1 and TERT. Therefore, BVES is a key regulator of intestinal stem cell programs and mucosal homeostasis. Stem Cells 2016;34:1626-1636.
© 2016 AlphaMed Press.
Serotonergic anorexigens are the primary pharmacologic risk factor associated with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), and the resulting PAH is clinically indistinguishable from the heritable form of disease, associated with BMPR2 mutations. Both BMPR2 mutation and agonists to the serotonin receptor HTR2B have been shown to cause activation of SRC tyrosine kinase; conversely, antagonists to HTR2B inhibit SRC trafficking and downstream function. To test the hypothesis that a HTR2B antagonist can prevent BMRP2 mutation induced PAH by restricting aberrant SRC trafficking and downstream activity, we exposed BMPR2 mutant mice, which spontaneously develop PAH, to a HTR2B antagonist, SB204741, to block the SRC activation caused by BMPR2 mutation. SB204741 prevented the development of PAH in BMPR2 mutant mice, reduced recruitment of inflammatory cells to their lungs, and reduced muscularization of their blood vessels. By atomic force microscopy, we determined that BMPR2 mutant mice normally had a doubling of vessel stiffness, which was substantially normalized by HTR2B inhibition. SB204741 reduced SRC phosphorylation and downstream activity in BMPR2 mutant mice. Gene expression arrays indicate that the primary changes were in cytoskeletal and muscle contractility genes. These results were confirmed by gel contraction assays showing that HTR2B inhibition nearly normalizes the 400% increase in gel contraction normally seen in BMPR2 mutant smooth muscle cells. Heritable PAH results from increased SRC activation, cellular contraction, and vascular resistance, but antagonism of HTR2B prevents SRC phosphorylation, downstream activity, and PAH in BMPR2 mutant mice.