Key Molecules (key + molecule)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Medical Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Changes in expression and activity levels of ecto-5,-nucleotidase/CD73 along the mouse female estrous cycle

E. Aliagas
Abstract Aim:, Extracellular ATP and its hydrolysis product adenosine modulate various reproductive functions such as those requiring contraction, hormone synthesis and maintenance of fluid composition. Moreover, adenosine is a key molecule for sperm capacitation. Extracellular nucleotide and nucleoside levels are affected by cell surface ectonucleotidases, amongst which the ectonucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase (E-NTPDase) family is the most abundant and effective to hydrolyse ATP and ADP to AMP. In the female reproductive tract three members of this family have been recently identified: NTPDase1, NTPDase2 and NTPDase3 (Histochem. Cell Biol.131, 2009, 615). The purpose of the present study was to characterize in this system the expression profile of ecto-5,-nucleotidase (CD73), the enzyme generating adenosine from AMP. Methods:, Immunological techniques and in situ enzymatic assays were used to characterize the ecto-5,-nucleotidase expression in the mouse female reproductive tract along the four stages of the estrous cycle, that were determined by vaginal smear examination. Results:, Ecto-5,-nucleotidase was abundantly detected in the corpora lutea of the ovaries, as well as in several epithelia, such as that of oviducts, uterus and endometrial glands. Marked changes in endometrial ecto-5,-nucleotidase expression and activity along the estrous cycle are described, these being maximum at estrus phase, coinciding with optimal female sexual receptivity. Conclusion:, The adenosine generated thereby, besides other functions, might contribute to sperm capacitation, thus significantly influencing fertility. [source]

GENETIC STUDY: FULL ARTICLE: Incorporating age at onset of smoking into genetic models for nicotine dependence: evidence for interaction with multiple genes

Richard A. Grucza
ABSTRACT Nicotine dependence is moderately heritable, but identified genetic associations explain only modest portions of this heritability. We analyzed 3369 SNPs from 349 candidate genes and investigated whether incorporation of SNP-by-environment interaction into association analyses might bolster gene discovery efforts and prediction of nicotine dependence. Specifically, we incorporated the interaction between allele count and age at onset of regular smoking (AOS) into association analyses of nicotine dependence. Subjects were from the Collaborative Genetic Study of Nicotine Dependence and included 797 cases ascertained for Fagerström nicotine dependence and 811 non-nicotine-dependent smokers as controls, all of European descent. Compared with main effect models, SNP × AOS interaction models resulted in higher numbers of nominally significant tests, increased predictive utility at individual SNPs and higher predictive utility in a multi-locus model. Some SNPs previously documented in main effect analyses exhibited improved fits in the joint analysis, including rs16969968 from CHRNA5 and rs2314379 from MAP3K4. CHRNA5 exhibited larger effects in later-onset smokers, in contrast with a previous report that suggested the opposite interaction (Weiss et al. 2008). However, a number of SNPs that did not emerge in main effect analyses were among the strongest findings in the interaction analyses. These include SNPs located in GRIN2B (P = 1.5 × 10,5), which encodes a subunit of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor channel, a key molecule in mediating age-dependent synaptic plasticity. Incorporation of logically chosen interaction parameters, such as AOS, into genetic models of substance use disorders may increase the degree of explained phenotypic variation and constitutes a promising avenue for gene discovery. [source]

Filopodial protrusions induced by glycoprotein M6a exhibit high motility and aids synapse formation

Marcela A. Brocco
Abstract M6a is a neuronal membrane glycoprotein whose expression diminishes during chronic stress. M6a overexpression in rat primary hippocampal neurons induces the formation of filopodial protrusions that could be spine precursors. As the filopodium and spine motility has been associated with synaptogenesis, we analysed the motility of M6a-induced protrusions by time-lapse imaging. Our data demonstrate that the motile protrusions formed by the neurons overexpressing M6a were more abundant and moved faster than those formed in control cells. When different putative M6a phosphorylation sites were mutated, the neurons transfected with a mutant lacking intracellular phosphorylation sites bore filopodia, but these protrusions did not move as fast as those formed by cells overexpressing wild-type M6a. This suggests a role for M6a phosphorylation state in filopodium motility. Furthermore, we show that M6a-induced protrusions could be stabilized upon contact with presynaptic region. The motility of filopodia contacting or not neurites overexpressing synaptophysin was analysed. We show that the protrusions that apparently contacted synaptophysin-labeled cells exhibited less motility. The behavior of filopodia from M6a-overexpressing cells and control cells was alike. Thus, M6a-induced protrusions may be spine precursors that move to reach presynaptic membrane. We suggest that M6a is a key molecule for spine formation during development. [source]

Impairment of conditioned freezing to tone, but not to context, in Fyn-transgenic mice: relationship to NMDA receptor subunit 2B function

N. Kojima
Abstract We previously demonstrated that transgenic mice overexpressing Fyn tyrosine kinase exhibit higher seizure susceptibility and enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of several proteins, including the N -methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor subunit 2B (NR2B). In the present study, we analysed behavioural phenotypes, especially conditioned fear responses, of Fyn-transgenic (TG) mice to better understand the role of Fyn in learned emotional behaviour. Tone-dependent conditioned freezing was significantly attenuated in Fyn-TG mice, whereas context-dependent freezing was unaffected. Neither massed nor spaced conditioning ameliorated the attenuation of tone-dependent freezing. However, the selective NR2B antagonist ifenprodil, when administered before conditioning, restored tone-dependent freezing in Fyn-TG mice at a dose that did not affect freezing in wild-type (WT) mice. These results suggest that impairment of tone-dependent conditioned freezing in Fyn-TG mice is caused by disruption of the NR2B-containing NMDA receptor function. Tyrosine phosphorylation of brain proteins, including NR2B, was enhanced in Fyn-TG mice compared with that in WT mice. We also found that ifenprodil significantly suppressed the enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation. Thus, our data support the notion that NMDA receptor activity is tightly correlated with protein tyrosine phosphorylation, and Fyn might be one key molecule that controls tone-dependent conditioned freezing through the regulation of NMDA receptor function. [source]

Thirty-kilodalton Tat-interacting protein suppresses tumor metastasis by inhibition of osteopontin transcription in human hepatocellular carcinoma,

HEPATOLOGY, Issue 1 2008
Jian Zhao
It has been previously demonstrated that the 30-kDa Tat-interacting protein (TIP30) plays an important role in the suppression of hepatocarcinogenesis by acting as a tumor suppressor. Here we report that TIP30 suppresses metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) through inhibiting the transcription of osteopontin (OPN), a key molecule in the development of tumor metastasis. The expression of TIP30 messenger RNA was reverse to that of OPN messenger RNA in HCC cell lines. Ectopic expression of TIP30 greatly suppressed OPN expression, inhibited invasion of HCC cells through extracellular matrix (ECM) and adhesion with fibronectin in vitro, whereas down-regulation of TIP30 by RNA-mediated interference enhanced OPN expression and promoted metastatic abilities of HCC cells in vitro. Moreover, overexpression of TIP30 significantly inhibited the growth and lung metastases of HCC cells in nude mice. In contrast, down-regulation of TIP30 greatly promoted tumor cell growth and metastases in vivo. TIP30 repressed OPN transcription through interaction with Ets-1 and suppressed the transcriptional activity of Ets-1 and synergistic actions of Ets-1 and alkaline phosphatase-1. Thus, TIP30 may act as an Ets-1 modulator and inhibit tumor metastasis through abrogating Ets-1,dependent transcription. Moreover, expression of TIP30 was inversely associated with OPN expression in HCC tissue samples as detected by immunohistochemistry assay. Conclusion: Our results reveal a novel pathway by which OPN and possibly other Ets-1 target genes involved in tumor metastasis are regulated by TIP30 and elucidate a mechanism for metastasis promoted by TIP30 deficiency. (HEPATOLOGY 2008.) [source]

Osteoclast Differentiation by RANKL Requires NF-,B-Mediated Downregulation of Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 6 (Cdk6),

Toru Ogasawara
Abstract This study investigated the involvement of cell cycle factors in RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation. Among the G1 cell cycle factors, Cdk6 was found to be a key molecule in determining the differentiation rate of osteoclasts as a downstream effector of the NF-,B signaling. Introduction: A temporal arrest in the G1 phase of the cell cycle is a prerequisite for cell differentiation, making it possible that cell cycle factors regulate not only the proliferation but also the differentiation of cells. This study investigated cell cycle factors that critically influence differentiation of the murine monocytic RAW264.7 cells to osteoclasts induced by RANKL. Materials and Methods: Growth-arrested RAW cells were stimulated with serum in the presence or absence of soluble RANKL (100 ng/ml). Expressions of the G1 cell cycle factors cyclin D1, D2, D3, E, cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) 2, 4, 6, and Cdk inhibitors (p18 and p27) were determined by Western blot analysis. Involvement of NF-,B and c- jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathways was examined by overexpressing dominant negative mutants of the I,B kinase 2 (IKKDN) gene and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 7 (MKK7DN) gene, respectively, using the adenovirus vectors. To determine the direct effect of Cdk6 on osteoclast differentiation, stable clones of RAW cells transfected with Cdk6 cDNA were established. Osteoclast differentiation was determined by TRACP staining, and cell cycle regulation was determined by BrdU uptake and flow cytometric analysis. Results and Conclusion: Among the cell cycle factors examined, the Cdk6 level was downregulated by RANKL synchronously with the appearance of multinucleated osteoclasts. Inhibition of the NF-,B pathway by IKKDN overexpression, but not that of the JNK pathway by MKK7DN overexpression, caused the decreases in both Cdk6 downregulation and osteoclastogenesis by RANKL. RAW cells overexpressing Cdk6 resist RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis; however, cell cycle regulation was not affected by the levels of Cdk6 overexpression, suggesting that the inhibitory effect of Cdk6 on osteoclast differentiation was not exerted through cell cycle regulation. These results indicate that Cdk6 is a critical regulator of RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation and that its NF-,B-mediated downregulation is essential for efficient osteoclast differentiation. [source]

Prostaglandin E2 Induces Expression of Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor,,B Ligand/Osteoprotegrin Ligand on Pre-B Cells: Implications for Accelerated Osteoclastogenesis in Estrogen Deficiency

Masahiro Kanematsu
Abstract Estrogen deficiency causes bone loss as a result of accelerated osteoclastic bone resorption. It also has been reported that estrogen deficiency is associated with an increase in the number of pre-B cells in mouse bone marrow. The present study was undertaken to clarify the role of altered B lymphopoiesis and of the receptor activator of nuclear factor-,B ligand (RANKL), a key molecule in osteoclastogenesis, in the bone loss associated with estrogen deficiency. In the presence of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), the activity to form tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive osteoclast-like cells was significantly greater in bone marrow cells derived from ovariectomized (OVX) mice than in those from sham-operated mice. Northern blot analysis revealed that PGE2 increased the amount of RANKL messenger RNA (mRNA) in bone marrow cells, not only adherent stromal cells but nonadherent hematopoietic cells; among the latter, RANKL mRNA was more abundant in OVX mice than in sham-operated mice and was localized predominantly in B220+ cells. Flow cytometry revealed that most B220+ cells in bone marrow were RANKL positive and that the percentage of RANKL-positive, B220low cells was higher in bone marrow from OVX mice than in that from sham-operated mice. The increase in the expression of RANKL and the percentage of these cells in OVX mice was abolished by the administration of indomethacin in vivo. PGE2 also markedly increased both the level of RANKL mRNA and cell surface expression of RANKL protein in the mouse pre-B cell line 70Z/3. Finally, osteoclastogenic response to PGE2 was reduced markedly by prior depletion of B220+ cells, and it was restored by adding back B220+ cells. Taken together with stimulated cyclo-oxygenase (COX)-2 activity by tumor necrosis factor , (TNF-,) and interleukin-1 (IL-1) in estrogen deficiency, these results suggest that an increase in the number of B220+ cells in bone marrow may play an important role in accelerated bone resorption in estrogen deficiency because B220+ cells exhibit RANKL on the cell surface in the presence of PGE2, thereby leading to accelerated osteoclastogenesis. [source]

Potent anti-amyloidogenic and fibril-destabilizing effects of polyphenols in vitro: implications for the prevention and therapeutics of Alzheimer's disease

Kenjiro Ono
Abstract Cerebral deposition of amyloid ,-peptide (A,) in the brain is an invariant feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD). A consistent protective effect of wine consumption on AD has been documented by epidemiological studies. In the present study, we used fluorescence spectroscopy with thioflavin T and electron microscopy to examine the effects of wine-related polyphenols (myricetin, morin, quercetin, kaempferol (+)-catechin and (,)-epicatechin) on the formation, extension, and destabilization of ,-amyloid fibrils (fA,) at pH 7.5 at 37°C in vitro. All examined polyphenols dose-dependently inhibited formation of fA, from fresh A,(1,40) and A,(1,42), as well as their extension. Moreover, these polyphenols dose-dependently destabilized preformed fA,s. The overall activity of the molecules examined was in the order of: myricetin = morin = quercetin > kaempferol > (+)-catechin = (,)-epicatechin. The effective concentrations (EC50) of myricetin, morin and quercetin for the formation, extension and destabilization of fA,s were in the order of 0.1,1 µm. In cell culture experiments, myricetin-treated fA, were suggested to be less toxic than intact fA,, as demonstrated by 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Although the mechanisms by which these polyphenols inhibit fA, formation from A,, and destabilize pre-formed fA,in vitro are still unclear, polyphenols could be a key molecule for the development of preventives and therapeutics for AD. [source]

,-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate attenuates glutamate-induced caspase-3 cleavage via regulation of glycogen synthase kinase 3,

Takaaki Nishimoto
Abstract Preconditioning of sublethal ischemia exhibits neuroprotection against subsequent ischemia-induced neuronal death. It has been indicated that glutamate, an excitatory amino acid, is involved in the pathogenesis of ischemia-induced neuronal death or neurodegeneration. To elucidate whether prestimulation of glutamate receptor could counter ischemia-induced neuronal death or neurodegeneration, we examined the effect of ,-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate (AMPA), an ionotropic subtype of glutamate receptor, on excess glutamate-induced excitotoxicity using primary cortical neuronal cultures. We found that AMPA exerted a neuroprotective effect in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. A blocker of phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K), LY294002 (10 ,M), significantly attenuated AMPA-induced protection. In addition, Ser473 of Akt/PKB, a downstream target of PI3K, was phosphorylated by AMPA administration (10 ,M). Glycogen synthase kinase 3, (GSK3,), which has been reported to be inactivated by Akt, was phosphorylated at Ser9 by AMPA. Ser9-phosphorylated GSK3, or inactivated form would be a key molecule for neuroprotection, insofar as lithium chloride (100 ,M) and SB216763 (10 ,M), inhibitors of GSK3,, also induced phosphorylation of GSK3, at Ser9 and exerted neuroprotection, respectively. Glutamate (100 ,M) increased cleaved caspase-3, an apoptosis-related cysteine protease, and caspase-3 inhibitor (Ac-DEVD-CHO; 1 ,M) blocked glutamate-induced excitotoxicity in our culture. AMPA (10 ,M, 24 hr) and SB216763 (10 ,M) prominently decreased glutamate-induced caspase-3 cleavage. These findings suggest that AMPA activates PI3K-Akt and subsequently inhibits GSK3, and that inactivated GSK3, attenuates glutamate-induced caspase-3 cleavage and neurotoxicity. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Folding in solution of the C-catalytic protein fragment of angiotensin-converting enzyme

Sotirios-Spyridon M. Vamvakas
Abstract Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) is a key molecule of the renin,angiotensin,aldosterone system which is responsible for the control of blood pressure. For over 30 years it has become the target for fighting off hypertension. Many inhibitors of the enzyme have been synthesized and used widely in medicine despite the lack of ACE structure. The last 5 years the crystal structure of ACE separate domains has been revealed, but in order to understand how the enzyme works it is necessary to study its structure in solution. We present here the cloning, overexpression in Escherichia coli, purification and structural study of the Ala959 to Ser1066 region (ACE_C) that corresponds to the C-catalytic domain of human somatic angiotensin-I-converting enzyme. ACE_C was purified under denatured conditions and the yield was 6 mg/l of culture. Circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy indicated that 1,1,1-trifluoroethanol (TFE) is necessary for the correct folding of the protein fragment. The described procedure can be used for the production of an isotopically labelled ACE959,1066 protein fragment in order to study its structure in solution by NMR spectroscopy. Copyright © 2009 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Analytical methodologies for quantification of ferulic acid and its oligomers

Hélène Barberousse
Abstract Ferulic acid (4-hydroxy-3-methoxycinnamic acid) is the most widespread hydroxycinnamic acid in the plant world, where it is a key molecule in cell wall architecture. Owing to its high antioxidant properties, ferulic acid shows large potential applications in food industry as well as in the health and cosmetic markets. There is thus a high interest in extracting this high-value compound from waste materials of the agricultural industry, which requires the selection of an appropriate quantification method. This paper therefore gives an overview of analytical methodologies developed over past decades for quantification of ferulic acid and its oligomers. Copyright © 2008 Society of Chemical Industry [source]

Multiple transporters associated with malaria parasite responses to chloroquine and quinine

Jianbing Mu
Summary Mutations and/or overexpression of various transporters are known to confer drug resistance in a variety of organisms. In the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, a homologue of P-glycoprotein, PfMDR1, has been implicated in responses to chloroquine (CQ), quinine (QN) and other drugs, and a putative transporter, PfCRT, was recently demonstrated to be the key molecule in CQ resistance. However, other unknown molecules are probably involved, as different parasite clones carrying the same pfcrt and pfmdr1 alleles show a wide range of quantitative responses to CQ and QN. Such molecules may contribute to increasing incidences of QN treatment failure, the molecular basis of which is not understood. To identify additional genes involved in parasite CQ and QN responses, we assayed the in vitro susceptibilities of 97 culture-adapted cloned isolates to CQ and QN and searched for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in DNA encoding 49 putative transporters (total 113 kb) and in 39 housekeeping genes that acted as negative controls. SNPs in 11 of the putative transporter genes, including pfcrt and pfmdr1, showed significant associations with decreased sensitivity to CQ and/or QN in P. falciparum. Significant linkage disequilibria within and between these genes were also detected, suggesting interactions among the transporter genes. This study provides specific leads for better understanding of complex drug resistances in malaria parasites. [source]

Differential expression of LAMPs and ubiquitin in human thymus

APMIS, Issue 4 2009
Lysosome-associated membrane proteins 1 and 2 (LAMP-1 and LAMP-2) are implicated in a variety of normal and pathological processes. LAMP-2 is proposed to participate in chaperone-mediated autophagy. Autophagy regulates T-lymphocyte homeostasis by promoting both survival and proliferation. The biological importance of this process in the thymic gland and especially the involvement of LAMPs are far from being elucidated. The aim of the study was to examine the parallel expression of LAMPs and ubiquitin, a key molecule in autophagy, in normal human thymic glands and thymomas. The immunohistochemical expression of both markers was compared with that of cyclin D1 , an important regulator of cell cycle progression. Novel evidence for differential expression of LAMPs and ubiquitin is presented. Most Hassal's corpuscules in thymoma were negative for LAMPs, but positive in normal thymus. Both lymphocytes and epithelial cells in pathological thymus showed higher intensity for LAMP-2 compared with LAMP-1. In thymoma, ubiquitin was more intensively positive in these cell types compared with the normal thymus, suggesting activated autophagy in the course of this pathological state. A deregulation in cyclin D1 expression in thymoma is also reported. The functional importance of these molecules in autoghagy accompanying normal and pathological processes in the thymic gland is reviewed. [source]

Association of RANTES promoter polymorphism with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

Tsung-Chieh Yao
Objective We recently reported that RANTES was a key molecule in the pathogenesis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) in a longitudinal cohort. This study was undertaken to investigate genetic associations between the RANTES ,28 C/G and ,403 G/A polymorphisms and JRA in a well-documented cohort of patients who were followed up prospectively. Methods Patients with JRA (n = 107) and healthy children (n = 139) were genotyped through use of a polymerase chain reaction,based assay. Association of the RANTES promoter polymorphisms with results of laboratory tests, clinical variables, outcome after clinical remission, and response to intraarticular triamcinolone injection was evaluated in patients who were followed up for >1 year. Results JRA patients had a significantly higher frequency of the RANTES ,28 G/G genotype, as compared with ethnically matched healthy controls. The RANTES ,28 C/G polymorphism was associated with the duration of clinical remission, with patients carrying the RANTES ,28G allele experiencing only 49% of the duration of remission experienced by patients who were RANTES ,28 C/C homozygous. The RANTES ,28 C/G polymorphism was associated with the duration of clinical response to intraarticular triamcinolone injection, with patients carrying the RANTES ,28G allele showing shorter duration of clinical response. No significant association between the RANTES ,403 G/A polymorphism and JRA was found in this Chinese population. Conclusion Our findings indicate that the RANTES ,28 C/G polymorphism represents a genetic risk factor for JRA. It is noteworthy that this RANTES promoter polymorphism was also associated with an early relapse of disease after clinical remission and a shorter duration of clinical response to intraarticular administration of corticosteroids. [source]

Key Factors in Alzheimer's Disease: ,-amyloid Precursor Protein Processing, Metabolism and Intraneuronal Transport

Thomas A. Bayer
During the last years it has become evident that the ,-amyloid (A,) component of senile plaques may be the key molecule in the pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The source and place of the neurotoxic action of A,, however, is still a matter of controversy. The precursor of the ,-amyloid peptide is the predominantly neuronal ,-amyloid precursor protein. We, and others, hypothesize that intraneuronal misregulation of APP leads to an accumulation of A, peptides in intracellular compartments. This accumulation impairs APP trafficking, which starts a cascade of pathological changes and causes the pyramidal neurons to degenerate. Enhanced A, secretion as a function of stressed neurons and remnants of degenerated neurons provide seeds for extracellular A, aggregates, which induce secondary degenerative events involving neighboring cells such as neurons, astroglia and macrophages/microglia. [source]

Promoter-wide analysis of Smad4 binding sites in human epithelial cells

CANCER SCIENCE, Issue 11 2009
Daizo Koinuma
Smad4, the common partner Smad, is a key molecule in transforming growth factor-, (TGF-,) family signaling. Loss of Smad4 expression is found in several types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer and colon cancer, and is related to carcinogenesis. Here we identified Smad4 binding sites in the promoter regions of over 25 500 known genes by chromatin immunoprecipitation on a microarray (ChIP-chip) in HaCaT human keratinocytes. We identified 925 significant Smad4 binding sites. Approximately half of the identified sites overlapped the binding regions of Smad2 and Smad3 (Smad2/3, receptor-regulated Smads in TGF-, signaling), while the rest of the regions appeared dominantly occupied by Smad4 even when a different identification threshold for Smad2/3 binding regions was used. Distribution analysis showed that Smad4 was found in the regions relatively distant from the transcription start sites, while Smad2/3 binding regions were more often present near the transcription start sites. Motif analysis also revealed that activator protein 1 (AP-1) sites were especially enriched in the sites common to Smad2/3 and Smad4 binding regions. In contrast, GC-rich motifs were enriched in Smad4-dominant binding regions. We further determined putative target genes of Smad4 whose expression was regulated by TGF-,. Our findings revealed some general characteristics of Smad4 binding regions, and provide resources for examining the role of Smad4 in epithelial cells and cancer pathogenesis. (Cancer Sci 2009) [source]

Chemokine receptors in cancer metastasis and cancer cell-derived chemokines in host immune response

CANCER SCIENCE, Issue 11 2007
Keiichi Koizumi
The chemotactic cytokines called chemokines are a superfamily of small secreted cytokines that were initially characterized through their ability to prompt the migration of leukocytes. Attention has been focused on the chemokine receptors expressed on cancer cells because cancer cell migration and metastasis show similarities to leukocyte trafficking. CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) was first investigated as a chemokine receptor that is associated with lung metastasis of breast cancers. Recently, CXCR4 was reported to be a key molecule in the formation of peritoneal carcinomatosis in gastric cancer. In the present review, we highlight current knowledge about the role of CXCR4 in cancer metastases. In contrast to chemokine receptors expressed on cancer cells, little is known about the roles of cancer cell-derived chemokines. Cancer tissue consists of both cancer cells and various stromal cells, and leukocytes that infiltrate into cancer are of particular importance in cancer progression. Although colorectal cancer invasion is regulated by the chemokine CCL9-induced infiltration of immature myeloid cells into cancer, high-level expression of cancer cell-derived chemokine CXCL16 increases infiltrating CD8+ and CD4+ T cells into cancer tissues, and correlates with a good prognosis. We discuss the conflicting biological effects of cancer cell-derived chemokines on cancer progression, using CCL9 and CXCL16 as examples. (Cancer Sci 2007; 98: 1652,1658) [source]

Regional heterogeneity in the developing palate: morphological and molecular evidence for normal and abnormal palatogenesis

Junko Okano
ABSTRACT Development of the mammalian secondary palate involves the growth, elevation, medial elongation and midline fusion of palatal shelves. Recent morphological and molecular studies on palatogenesis suggest that the developing palate is not a homogeneous organ but each part may behave differently during organogenesis. Especially, some key molecules involved in palate development have been shown to exhibit heterogeneous patterns of expression in the palatal tissue. Therefore it seems necessary to recognize the regional heterogeneity of the developing palate along the dorsoventral and anteroposterior axes when analyzing the mechanisms of normal and abnormal morphogenesis. Based on recent studies, we discuss the issue of the regional heterogeneity in the fetal palate and propose a principle that divides the fetal palate into several regions from the morphological and molecular standpoint. [source]

Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in normal physiological processes

J. Pourova
Abstract Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species have generally been considered as being highly reactive and cytotoxic molecules. Besides their noxious effects, ROS participate in physiological processes in a carefully regulated manner. By way of example, microbicidal ROS are produced in professional phagocytes, ROS function as short-lived messengers having a role in signal transduction and, among other processes, participate in the synthesis of the iodothyronine hormones, reproduction, apoptosis and necrosis. Because of their ability to mediate a crosstalk between key molecules, their role might be dual (at least in some cases). The levels of ROS increase from a certain age, being associated with various diseases typical of senescence. The aim of this review is to summarize the recent findings on the physiological role of ROS. Other issues addressed are an increase in ROS levels during ageing, and the possibility of the physiological nature of this process. [source]

miR133a regulates cardiomyocyte hypertrophy in diabetes

Biao Feng
Abstract Background Diabetic cardiomyopathy, characterized by cardiac hypertrophy and contractile dysfunction, eventually leads to heart failure. We have previously shown that alterations of a number of key molecules are involved in producing cardiomyocyte hypertrophy in diabetes. The aim of the present study was to determine whether microRNAs (miRNA) play a role in mediating altered gene expression and structural/functional deficits in the heart in diabetes. Methods STZ-induced diabetic mice were haemodynamically investigated after 2 months of diabetes to establish the development of cardiomyopathy. The tissues were then examined for gene expression and microRNA analysis. We further investigated neonatal rat cardiomyocytes to identify the mechanisms of glucose-induced hypertrophy and the potential role of miR133a. Results Diabetic mice showed myocardial contractile dysfunction and augmented mRNA expression of atrial and brain natriuretic peptides (ANP, BNP), MEF2A and MEF2C, SGK1 and IGF1R compared to age- and sex-matched controls. Cardiac tissues from these mice showed alteration of multiple miRNAs by array analysis including miR133a, which was confirmed by RT-PCR. In vitro exposure of cardiomyocytes to high levels of glucose produced hypertrophic changes and reduced expression of miRNA133a. Finally, transfection of miR133a mimics prevented altered gene expression and hypertrophic changes. Conclusion Data from these studies demonstrate a novel glucose-induced mechanism regulating gene expression and cardiomyocyte hypertrophy in diabetes which is mediated through miR133a. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Study of four genes belonging to the folate pathway: transcobalamin 2 is involved in the onset of non-syndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate,,

HUMAN MUTATION, Issue 3 2006
Marcella Martinelli
Abstract Cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CL/P) is the most common inborn craniofacial anomaly. Affected individuals require extensive medical and psychosocial support. Although CL/P has a complex and poorly understood etiology, increasing evidence of folate pathway involvement has been collected. So far, only the MTHFR gene has been extensively investigated as a risk factor for CL/P, while little has been done to test genetic variations in the folate biosynthetic pathways that may influence the infant's susceptibility to these birth defects. To date, this paper presents the first attempt to verify the involvement of four genes belonging to the folate pathway in nonsyndromic cleft onset. We used a case-parent triad design to test for linkage disequilibrium in the case of seven SNPs mapping on four different genes: transcobalamin 1 and 2 (TCN1 and TCN2), methionine synthase (MTR), and MTR reductase (MTRR). Our finding suggests that TCN2 is involved in causing CL/P. Indeed, significant overtransmission of the C allele was observed at the polymorphism c.776C>G (p.Pro259Arg) to the affected offspring (P=0.01). Results obtained with additional TCN2 polymorphisms suggest that c.776C>G may be functionally related to CL/P. However, because conflicting data exist with regard to the effect of the polymorphism in transcobalamin 2 function or in perturbing plasma levels of key molecules in the folate pathway, further investigation is warranted to confirm our data. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Regulation of Wnt/,-catenin pathway by cPLA2, and PPAR,

Chang Han
Abstract Cytosolic phospholipase A2, (cPLA2,) is a rate-limiting key enzyme that releases arachidonic acid (AA) from membrane phospholipid for the production of biologically active lipid mediators including prostaglandins, leukotrienes and platelet-activating factor. cPLA2, is translocated to nuclear envelope in response to intracellular calcium increase and the enzyme is also present inside the cell nucleus; however, the biological function of cPLA2, in the nucleus remains unknown. Here we show a novel role of cPLA2, for activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-, (PPAR,) and ,-catenin in the nuclei. Overexpression of cPLA2, in human cholangiocarcinoma cells induced the binding of PPAR, to ,-catenin and increased their association with the TCF/LEF response element. These effects are inhibited by the cPLA2, siRNA and inhibitors as well as by siRNA knockdown of PPAR,. Overexpression of PPAR, or treatment with the selective PPAR, ligand, GW501516, also increased ,-catenin binding to TCF/LEF response element and increased its reporter activity. Addition of AA and GW501516 to nuclear extracts induced a comparable degree of ,-catenin binding to TCF/LEF response element. Furthermore, cPLA2, protein is present in the PPAR, and ,-catenin binding complex. Thus the close proximity between cPLA2, and PPAR, provides a unique advantage for their efficient functional coupling in the nucleus, where AA produced by cPLA2, becomes immediately available for PPAR, binding and subsequent ,-catenin activation. These results depict a novel interaction linking cPLA2,, PPAR, and Wnt/,-catenin signaling pathways and provide insight for further understanding the roles of these key molecules in human cells and diseases. J. Cell. Biochem. 105: 534,545, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Protein trafficking mechanisms associated with neurite outgrowth and polarized sorting in neurons

Bor Luen Tang
Neuronal differentiation in vitro and in vivo involves coordinated changes in the cellular cytoskeleton and protein trafficking processes. I review here recent progress in our understanding of the membrane trafficking aspects of neurite outgrowth of neurons in culture and selective microtubule-based polarized sorting in fully polarized neurons, focusing on the involvement of some key molecules. Early neurite outgrowth appears to involve the protein trafficking machineries that are responsible for constitutive trans -Golgi network (TGN) to plasma membrane exocytosis, utilizing transport carrier generation mechanisms, SNARE proteins, Rab proteins and tethering mechanisms that are also found in non-neuronal cells. This vectorial TGN-plasma membrane traffic is directed towards several neurites, but can be switch to concentrate on the growth of a single axon. In a mature neuron, polarized targeting to the specific axonal and dendritic domains appears to involve selective microtubule-based mechanisms, utilizing motor proteins capable of distinguishing microtubule tracks to different destinations. The apparent gaps in our knowledge of these related protein transport processes will be highlighted. [source]

Correlation of visinin-like-protein-1 expression with clinicopathological features in squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus

Carla Wickborn
Abstract EF-hand Ca2+ -sensor proteins are key molecules for transducing Ca2+ signals into physiological answers and changes in cytosolic Ca2+ concentration control a variety of cellular responses, including proliferation, migration, and differentiation, which are relevant for tumor progression. The Ca2+ -sensor visinin-like protein-1 (VILIP-1) has recently attracted major interest due to its putative tumor suppressor function. Whereas VILIP-1 is expressed in normal skin, it is downregulated in skin tumors in a murine tumor model. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of the Ca2+ -sensor VILIP-1 in squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus and to correlate expression levels with clinicopathological features of the tumor. We examined VILIP-1 expression in 54 specimens of esophageal squamous cell carcinomas and 24 normal esophagus tissues, with immunohistochemical staining and immunofluorescence co-staining techniques. VILIP-1 expression was completely lost or significantly reduced in esophageal tumor tissue compared with normal squamous epithelium. Correlation with clinicopathological features indicated that there was significantly less VILIP-1 expression in lymph node positive (N,=,1) versus lymph node negative (N,=,0) tumors (P,=,0.002). Although there was no significant difference between highly (G1), moderately (G2) and poorly differentiated (G3) tumors (P,=,0.177), VILIP-1 expression in tumors is significantly correlated with the depth of tumor invasion (P,=,0.028 between T1, T2, T3, and T4). In contrast, co-staining with the proliferation marker Ki-67 indicated no significant correlation with proliferation rates in tumors (Ki-67 index of the tumor). In summary, the expression of the Ca2+ -sensor VILIP-1 was found to be lost during development of squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus. The protein expression level significantly correlates with invasive features, such as depth of tumor invasion and local lymph node metastasis, but not with proliferation rate of tumor cells. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Composition of perineuronal nets in the adult rat cerebellum and the cellular origin of their components

Daniela Carulli
Abstract The decrease in plasticity that occurs in the central nervous system during postnatal development is accompanied by the appearance of perineuronal nets (PNNs) around the cell body and dendrites of many classes of neuron. These structures are composed of extracellular matrix molecules, such as chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs), hyaluronan (HA), tenascin-R, and link proteins. To elucidate the role played by neurons and glial cells in constructing PNNs, we studied the expression of PNN components in the adult rat cerebellum by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. In the deep cerebellar nuclei, only large excitatory neurons were surrounded by nets, which contained the CSPGs aggrecan, neurocan, brevican, versican, and phosphacan, along with tenascin-R and HA. Whereas both net-bearing neurons and glial cells were the sources of CSPGs and tenascin-R, only the neurons expressed the mRNA for HA synthases (HASs), cartilage link protein, and link protein Bral2. In the cerebellar cortex, Golgi neurons possessed PNNs and also synthesized HASs, cartilage link protein, and Bral2 mRNAs. To see whether HA might link PNNs to the neuronal cell surface by binding to a receptor, we investigated the expression of the HA receptors CD44, RHAMM, and LYVE-1. No immunolabelling for HA receptors on the membrane of net-bearing neurons was found. We therefore propose that HASs, which can retain HA on the cell surface, may act as a link between PNNs and neurons. Thus, HAS and link proteins might be key molecules for PNN formation and stability. J. Comp. Neurol. 494:559,577, 2006. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Role of Increased Penile Expression of Transforming Growth Factor-,1 and Activation of the Smad Signaling Pathway in Erectile Dysfunction in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats

Lu Wei Zhang MD
ABSTRACT Introduction., It has been suggested that transforming growth factor-,1 (TGF-,1) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of diabetes-induced erectile dysfunction. Aim., To investigate the expression and activity of Smad transcriptional factors, the key molecules for the initiation of TGF-,-mediated fibrosis, in the penis of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. Methods., Fifty-two 8-week-old Sprague,Dawley rats were used and divided into control and diabetic groups. Diabetes was induced by an intravenous injection of STZ. Main Outcome Measures., Eight weeks later, erectile function was measured by electrical stimulation of the cavernous nerve (N = 12 per group). The penis was harvested and stained with Masson trichrome or antibody to TGF-,1, phospho-Smad2 (P-Smad2), smooth muscle ,-actin, and factor VIII (N = 12 per group). Penis specimens from a separate group of animals were used for TGF-,1 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), P-Smad2/Smad2, phospho-Smad3 (P-Smad3)/Smad3, fibronectin, collagen I, and collagen IV western blot, or hydroxyproline determination. Results., Erectile function was significantly reduced in diabetic rats compared with that in controls. The expression of TGF-,1, P-Smad2, and P-Smad3 protein evaluated by ELISA or western blot was higher in diabetic rats than in controls. Compared with that in control rats, P-Smad2 expression was higher mainly in smooth muscle cells and fibroblasts of diabetic rats, whereas no significant differences were noted in endothelial cells or in the dorsal nerve bundle. Cavernous smooth muscle and endothelial cell contents were lower in diabetic rats than in controls. Cavernous fibronectin, collagen IV, and hydroxyproline content was significantly higher in diabetic rats than in controls. Conclusion., Upregulation of TGF-,1 and activation of the Smad signaling pathway in the penis of diabetic rats might play important roles in diabetes-induced structural changes and deterioration of erectile function. Zhang LW, Piao S, Choi MJ, Shin H-Y, Jin H-R, Kim WJ, Song SU, Han J-Y, Park SH, Mamura M, Kim S-J, Ryu J-K, and Suh J-K. Role of increased penile expression of transforming growth factor-,1 and activation of the Smad signaling pathway in erectile dysfunction in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. J Sex Med 2008;5:2318,2329. [source]

Searching for Links between Endotoxin Exposure and Pregnancy Loss: CD14 Polymorphism in Idiopathic Recurrent Miscarriage

Jari Karhukorpi
Problem: Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (endotoxin) is a well-known inducer of abortions in mice. In addition it has been proposed that gut-derived LPS of gram-negative bacteria may play a role in triggering idiopathic recurrent miscarriage (IRM) in humans. CD14 is one of the key molecules that mediates the effects of LPS. Promoter region polymorphism (,159C/T) in the CD14 gene is functionally important by regulating CD14 levels. High-producing CD14 genotype (TT) associates with deleterious effects of gut-derived LPS in hepatic cirrhosis in humans. It is not known whether women with IRM are genetically more prone to suffer from toxic effects of LPS. Method of study: By using polymerase chain reaction we analyzed the CD14 promoter region polymorphism in 38 women with IRM and in 127 normal controls of Finnish origin. Results: There were no significant differences in the CD14(,159C/T) allele or the genotype frequencies between the IRM women and the controls. However, there was a trend associating the presence of the T allele with increased odds of miscarriage. Conclusions: Although we were not able to find a statistically significant association between CD14 genotypes and IRM in our relatively small study population, a further study with a larger sample size is warranted to explore the role of high-producing CD14 genotypes in IRM. Also studies highlighting environmental LPS triggers and other intrinsic mediators of LPS signalling are needed to solve the enigmatic role of LPS in IRM in humans. [source]

Interspecies comparison of prostate cancer gene-expression profiles reveals genes associated with aggressive tumors

THE PROSTATE, Issue 10 2009
Itai Kela
Abstract Prostate cancer (PC) is a heterogeneous disease whose aggressive phenotype is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in men. The identification of key molecules and pathways that play a pivotal role in PC progression towards an aggressive form is crucial. A major effort towards this end has been taken by global analyses of gene expression profiles. However, the large body of data did not provide a definitive idea about the genes which are associated with the aggressive growth of PC. In order to identify such genes, we performed an interspecies comparison between several human data sets and high quality microarray data that we generated from the transgenic adenocarcinoma of mouse prostate (TRAMP) strain. The TRAMP PC mimics the histological and pathological appearance as well as the aggressive phenotype of human PC (huPC). Analysis of the microarray data, derived from microdissected TRAMP specimens removed at different stages of the disease yielded genetic signatures delineating the TRAMP PC development and progression. Comparison of the TRAMP data with a set of genes representing the core expression signature of huPC yielded a limited set genes. Some of these genes are known predictors of poor prognosis in huPC. Interestingly, the modulation of genes responsible for the invasive phenotype of huPC occurs in TRAMP already during the transition to prostate intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) and onwards to localized tumors. We therefore suggest that critical oncogenic events leading to an aggressive phenotype of huPC can be studied in the PIN stage of TRAMP. Prostate 69:1034,1044, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Mammalian target of rapamycin signaling is crucial for joint destruction in experimental arthritis and is activated in osteoclasts from patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Daniel Cejka
Objective Activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway is important for immune cell activation and bone metabolism. To date, the contribution of mTOR signaling to joint inflammation and structural bone and cartilage damage is unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of inhibiting mTOR as a treatment of inflammatory arthritis. Methods Human tumor necrosis factor,transgenic mice in which inflammatory arthritis was developing were treated with 2 different mTOR inhibitors, sirolimus or everolimus. The effects of treatment on clinical disease activity, inflammation, and localized joint and cartilage destruction were studied. In addition, the effects of mTOR inhibition on osteoclast survival and expression of key molecules of osteoclast function were analyzed in vitro. Moreover, synovial tissue from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was assessed for activation of the mTOR pathway. Results Inhibition of mTOR by sirolimus or everolimus reduced synovial osteoclast formation and protected against local bone erosions and cartilage loss. Clinical signs of arthritis improved after mTOR inhibition, and histologic evaluation showed a decrease in synovitis. In vitro, mTOR inhibition down-regulated the expression of digestive enzymes and led to osteoclast apoptosis. Moreover, mTOR signaling was shown to be active in the synovial membrane of patients with RA, particularly in synovial osteoclasts. Conclusion Signaling through mTOR is an important link between synovitis and structural damage in inflammatory arthritis. Current pharmacologic inhibitors of mTOR could be effective in protecting joints against structural damage. [source]

Interleukin-27 inhibits human osteoclastogenesis by abrogating RANKL-mediated induction of nuclear factor of activated T cells c1 and suppressing proximal RANK signaling

George D. Kalliolias
Objective Interleukin-27 (IL-27) has stimulatory and regulatory immune functions and is expressed in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovium. This study was undertaken to investigate the effects of IL-27 on human osteoclastogenesis, to determine whether IL-27 can stimulate or attenuate the osteoclast-mediated bone resorption that is a hallmark of RA. Methods Osteoclasts were generated from blood-derived human CD14+ cells. The effects of IL-27 on osteoclast formation were evaluated by counting the number of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase,positive multinucleated cells and measuring the expression of osteoclast-related genes. The induction of nuclear factor of activated T cells c1 (NFATc1) and the activation of signaling pathways downstream of RANK were measured by immunoblotting. The expression of key molecules implicated in osteoclastogenesis (NFATc1, RANK, costimulatory receptors, and immunoreceptor tyrosine,based activation motif,harboring adaptor proteins) was measured by real-time reverse transcription,polymerase chain reaction. Murine osteoclast precursors obtained from mouse bone marrow and synovial fluid macrophages derived from RA patients were also tested for their responsiveness to IL-27. Results IL-27 inhibited human osteoclastogenesis, suppressed the induction of NFATc1, down-regulated the expression of RANK and triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM-2), and inhibited RANKL-mediated activation of ERK, p38, and NF-,B in osteoclast precursors. Synovial fluid macrophages from RA patients were refractory to the effects of IL-27. In contrast to the findings in humans, IL-27 only moderately suppressed murine osteoclastogenesis, and this was likely attributable to low expression of the IL-27 receptor subunit WSX-1 on murine osteoclast precursors. Conclusion IL-27 inhibits human osteoclastogenesis by a direct mechanism that suppresses the responses of osteoclast precursors to RANKL. These findings suggest that, in addition to its well-known antiinflammatory effects, IL-27 plays a homeostatic role in restraining bone erosion. This homeostatic function is compromised under conditions of chronic inflammation such as in RA synovitis. [source]