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Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a pediatric disorder of dysregulated growth and differentiation caused by loss of function mutations in either the TSC1 or TSC2 genes, which regulate mTOR kinase activity. To study aberrations of early development in TSC, we generated induced pluripotent stem cells using dermal fibroblasts obtained from patients with TSC. During validation, we found that stem cells generated from TSC patients had a very high rate of integration of the reprogramming plasmid containing a shRNA against TP53. We also found that loss of one allele of TSC2 in human fibroblasts is sufficient to increase p53 levels and impair stem cell reprogramming. Increased p53 was also observed in TSC2 heterozygous and homozygous mutant human stem cells, suggesting that the interactions between TSC2 and p53 are consistent across cell types and gene dosage. These results support important contributions of TSC2 heterozygous and homozygous mutant cells to the pathogenesis of TSC and the important role of p53 during reprogramming.
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BACKGROUND - Gastric cancer (GC) is a deadly malignancy worldwide. In the past, it has been shown that cellular signaling pathway alterations play a crucial role in the development of GC. In particular, deregulation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway seems to affect multiple GC functions including growth, proliferation, metabolism, motility and angiogenesis. Targeting alterations in this pathway by microRNAs (miRNAs) represents a potential therapeutic strategy, especially in inhibitor-resistant tumors. The objective of this study was to evaluate the expression of 3 pre-selected miRNAs, miR-101-2, miR-125b-2 and miR-451a, in a series of primary GC tissues and matched non-GC tissues and in several GC-derived cell lines, and to subsequently evaluate the functional role of these miRNAs.
METHODS - Twenty-five primary GC samples, 25 matched non-GC samples and 3 GC-derived cell lines, i.e., AGS, MKN28 and MKN45, were included in this study. miRNA and target gene expression levels were assessed by quantitative RT-PCR and western blotting, respectively. Subsequently, cell viability, clone formation, cell death, migration and invasion assays were performed on AGS cells.
RESULTS - miR-101-2, miR-125b-2 and miR-451a were found to be down-regulated in the primary GC tissues and the GC-derived cell lines tested. MiRNA mimic transfections significantly reduced cell viability and colony formation, increased cell death and reduced cell migration and invasion in AGS cells. We also found that exogenous expression of miR-101-2, miR-125b-2 and miR-451a decreased the expression of their putative targets MTOR, PIK3CB and TSC1, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS - Our expression analyses and in vitro functional assays suggest that miR-101-2, miR-125b-2 and miR-451a act as potential tumor suppressors in primary GCs as well as in GC-derived AGS cells.
Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a genetic disease characterized by multiorgan benign tumors as well as neurological manifestations. Epilepsy and autism are two of the more prevalent neurological complications and are usually severe. TSC is caused by mutations in either the TSC1 (encodes hamartin) or the TSC2 (encodes tuberin) genes with TSC2 mutations being associated with worse outcomes. Tuberin contains a highly conserved GTPase-activating protein (GAP) domain that indirectly inhibits mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). mTORC1 dysregulation is currently thought to cause much of the pathogenesis in TSC but mTORC1-independent mechanisms may also contribute. We generated a novel conditional allele of Tsc2 by flanking exons 36 and 37 with loxP sites. Mice homozygous for this knock-in Tsc2 allele are viable and fertile with normal appearing growth and development. Exposure to Cre recombinase then creates an in-frame deletion involving critical residues of the GAP domain. Homozygous conditional mutant mice generated using Emx1(Cre) have increased cortical mTORC1 signaling, severe developmental brain anomalies, seizures, and die within 3 weeks. We found that the normal levels of the mutant Tsc2 mRNA, though GAP-deficient tuberin protein, appear unstable and rapidly degraded. This novel animal model will allow further study of tuberin function including the requirement of the GAP domain for protein stability.
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a multiorgan hamartomatous disease caused by loss of function mutations of either the TSC1 or TSC2 genes. Neurological symptoms of TSC predominate in younger patients, but renal pathologies are a serious aspect of the disease in older children and adults. To study TSC pathogenesis in the kidney, we inactivated the mouse Tsc1 gene in the distal convoluted tubules (DCT). At young ages, Tsc1 conditional knockout (CKO) mice have enlarged kidneys and mild cystogenesis with increased mammalian target of rapamycin complex (mTORC)1 but decreased mTORC2 signaling. Treatment with the mTORC1 inhibitor rapamycin reduces kidney size and cystogenesis. Rapamycin withdrawal led to massive cystogenesis involving both distal as well as proximal tubules. To assess the contribution of decreased mTORC2 signaling in kidney pathogenesis, we also generated Rictor CKO mice. These animals did not have any detectable kidney pathology. Finally, we examined primary cilia in the DCT. Cilia were longer in Tsc1 CKO mice, and rapamycin treatment returned cilia length to normal. Rictor CKO mice had normal cilia in the DCT. Overall, our findings suggest that loss of the Tsc1 gene in the DCT is sufficient for renal cystogenesis. This cytogenesis appears to be mTORC1 but not mTORC2 dependent. Intriguingly, the mechanism may be cell autonomous as well as non-cell autonomous and possibly involves the length and function of primary cilia.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are increasingly implicated in regulating cancer initiation and progression. In this study, two miRNAs, miR-25 and -32, are identified as p53-repressed miRNAs by p53-dependent negative regulation of their transcriptional regulators, E2F1 and MYC. However, miR-25 and -32 result in p53 accumulation by directly targeting Mdm2 and TSC1, which are negative regulators of p53 and the mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) pathway, respectively, leading to inhibition of cellular proliferation through cell cycle arrest. Thus, there is a recurrent autoregulatory circuit involving expression of p53, E2F1, and MYC to regulate the expression of miR-25 and -32, which are miRNAs that, in turn, control p53 accumulation. Significantly, overexpression of transfected miR-25 and -32 in glioblastoma multiforme cells inhibited growth of the glioblastoma multiforme cells in mouse brain in vivo. The results define miR-25 and -32 as positive regulators of p53, underscoring their role in tumorigenesis in glioblastoma.
Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a genetic disease with severe neurologic and psychiatric manifestations including epilepsy, developmental delay, and autism. Despite much progress in defining abnormal signaling pathways including the contribution of increased mTORC1 signaling, specific abnormalities that underlie the severe neurologic features in TSC remain poorly understood. We hypothesized that epilepsy and autism in TSC result from abnormalities of γ-aminobutyric acidergic (GABAergic) interneurons. To test this hypothesis, we generated conditional knockout mice with selective deletion of the Tsc1 gene in GABAergic interneuron progenitor cells. These interneuron-specific Tsc1 conditional knockout (CKO) mice have impaired growth and decreased survival. Cortical and hippocampal GABAergic interneurons of CKO mice are enlarged and show increased mTORC1 signaling. Total numbers of GABAergic cells are reduced in the cortex with differential reduction of specific GABAergic subtypes. Ectopic clusters of cells with increased mTORC1 signaling are also seen suggesting impaired interneuron migration. The functional consequences of these cellular changes are evident in the decreased seizure threshold on exposure to the proconvulsant flurothyl. These findings support an important role for the Tsc1 gene during GABAergic interneuron development, function, and possibly migration.
Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) is a multiorgan genetic disease that prominently features brain malformations (tubers) with many patients suffering from epilepsy and autism. These malformations typically exhibit neuronal as well as glial cell abnormalities and likely underlie much of the neurological morbidity seen in TSC. Tuber pathogenesis remains poorly understood though upregulation of the mTORC1 signaling pathway in TSC has been consistently demonstrated. Here we address abnormal brain development in TSC by inactivating the mouse Tsc1 gene in embryonic neural progenitor cells. This strategy permits evaluation of the role of the Tsc1 gene in both neuronal as well as glial cell lineages. Tsc1(Emx1-Cre) conditional knockout (CKO) animals die by 25 days of life. Their brains have increased size and contain prominent large cells within the cerebral cortex that have greatly increased mTORC1 signaling and decreased mTORC2 signaling. Severe defects of cortical lamination, enlarged dysmorphic astrocytes and decreased myelination were also found. Tsc1(Emx1-Cre) CKO mice were then treated with rapamycin to see if the premature death and brain abnormalities can be rescued. Postnatal rapamycin treatment completely prevented premature death and largely reversed the glia pathology but not abnormal neuronal lamination. These findings support a model that loss of function of the TSC genes in embryonic neural progenitor cells causes cortical malformations in patients with TSC. The dramatic effect of rapamycin suggests that even with extensive multi-lineage abnormalities, a postnatal therapeutic window may exist for patients with TSC.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
We describe a transgenic mouse line, Pax8-rtTA, which, under control of the mouse Pax8 promoter, directs high levels of expression of the reverse tetracycline-dependent transactivator (rtTA) to all proximal and distal tubules and the entire collecting duct system of both embryonic and adult kidneys. Using crosses of Pax8-rtTA mice with tetracycline-responsive c-MYC mice, we established a new, inducible model of polycystic kidney disease that can mimic adult onset and that shows progression to renal malignant disease. When targeting the expression of transforming growth factor beta-1 to the kidney, we avoided early lethality by discontinuous treatment and successfully established an inducible model of renal fibrosis. Finally, a conditional knockout of the gene encoding tuberous sclerosis complex-1 was achieved, which resulted in the early outgrowth of giant polycystic kidneys reminiscent of autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease. These experiments establish Pax8-rtTA mice as a powerful tool for modeling renal diseases in transgenic mice.
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) assembles a signaling network essential for the regulation of cell growth, which has emerged as a major target of anticancer therapies. The tuberous sclerosis complex 1 and 2 (TSC1/2) proteins and their target, the small GTPase Rheb, constitute a key regulatory pathway upstream of mTOR. Phospholipase D (PLD) and its product phosphatidic acid are also upstream regulators of the mitogenic mTOR signaling. However, how the TSC/Rheb and PLD pathways interact or integrate in the rapamycin-sensitive signaling network has not been examined before. Here, we find that PLD1, but not PLD2, is required for Rheb activation of the mTOR pathway, as demonstrated by the effects of RNAi. The overexpression of Rheb activates PLD1 in cells in the absence of mitogenic stimulation, and the knockdown of Rheb impairs serum stimulation of PLD activation. Furthermore, the overexpression of TSC2 suppresses PLD1 activation, whereas the knockdown or deletion of TSC2 leads to elevated basal activity of PLD. Consistent with a TSC-Rheb-PLD signaling cascade, AMPK and PI3K, both established regulators of TSC2, appear to lie upstream of PLD as revealed by the effects of pharmacological inhibitors, and serum activation of PLD is also dependent on amino acid sufficiency. Finally, Rheb binds and activates PLD1 in vitro in a GTP-dependent manner, strongly suggesting that PLD1 is a bona fide effector for Rheb. Hence, our findings reveal an unexpected interaction between two cascades in the mTOR signaling pathways and open up additional possibilities for targeting this important growth-regulating network for the development of anticancer drugs.