PERIOD1 (PER1) is a clock gene. We examined the effect of knockdown of PER1 on apoptosis in pancreatic cancer (MIA PaCa-2 and PANC-1) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells. Transfection of siRNA against PER1 into these cells increased the cleaved forms of caspases and poly-ADP-ribose-polymerase and induced apoptosis in all three cell lines. In the two pancreatic cancer cell lines, PER1 knockdown resulted in upregulation of Bax and downregulation of Bcl-2. Expression of p53 was not altered in the two pancreatic cancer cell lines containing mutated p53, but was upregulated in the HepG2 cells containing wild-type p53. Cell proliferation of MIA PaCa-2 and HepG2 was inhibited by PER1 knockdown. We also examined, by immunohistochemical staining, the expression of PER1 in pancreatic cancer tissue and found that PER1 was strongly expressed in pancreatic cancer cells. These results indicate that PER1 acts as an anti-apoptotic factor in pancreatic cancer cells.
PKB (protein kinase B), also known as Akt, is a key component of insulin signalling. Defects in PKB activation lead to insulin resistance and metabolic disorders, whereas PKB overactivation has been linked to tumour growth. Small-molecule PKB inhibitors have thus been developed for cancer treatment, but also represent useful tools to probe the roles of PKB in insulin action. In the present study, we examined the acute effects of two allosteric PKB inhibitors, MK-2206 and Akti 1/2 (Akti) on PKB signalling in incubated rat soleus muscles. We also assessed the effects of the compounds on insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, glycogen and protein synthesis. MK-2206 dose-dependently inhibited insulin-stimulated PKB phosphorylation, PKBβ activity and phosphorylation of PKB downstream targets (including glycogen synthase kinase-3α/β, proline-rich Akt substrate of 40 kDa and Akt substrate of 160 kDa). Insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, glycogen synthesis and glycogen synthase activity were also decreased by MK-2206 in a dose-dependent manner. Incubation with high doses of MK-2206 (10 μM) inhibited insulin-induced p70 ribosomal protein S6 kinase and 4E-BP1 (eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-binding protein-1) phosphorylation associated with increased eEF2 (eukaryotic elongation factor 2) phosphorylation. In contrast, Akti only modestly inhibited insulin-induced PKB and mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) signalling, with little or no effect on glucose uptake and protein synthesis. MK-2206, rather than Akti, would thus be the tool of choice for studying the role of PKB in insulin action in skeletal muscle. The results point to a key role for PKB in mediating insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, glycogen synthesis and protein synthesis in skeletal muscle.
Immune-mediated nephritis contributes to disease in systemic lupus erythematosus, Goodpasture syndrome (caused by antibodies specific for glomerular basement membrane [anti-GBM antibodies]), and spontaneous lupus nephritis. Inbred mouse strains differ in susceptibility to anti-GBM antibody-induced and spontaneous lupus nephritis. This study sought to clarify the genetic and molecular factors that maybe responsible for enhanced immune-mediated renal disease in these models. When the kidneys of 3 mouse strains sensitive to anti-GBM antibody-induced nephritis were compared with those of 2 control strains using microarray analysis, one-fifth of the underexpressed genes belonged to the kallikrein gene family,which encodes serine esterases. Mouse strains that upregulated renal and urinary kallikreins exhibited less evidence of disease. Antagonizing the kallikrein pathway augmented disease, while agonists dampened the severity of anti-GBM antibody-induced nephritis. In addition, nephritis-sensitive mouse strains had kallikrein haplotypes that were distinct from those of control strains, including several regulatory polymorphisms,some of which were associated with functional consequences. Indeed, increased susceptibility to anti-GBM antibody-induced nephritis and spontaneous lupus nephritis was achieved by breeding mice with a genetic interval harboring the kallikrein genes onto a disease-resistant background. Finally, both human SLE and spontaneous lupus nephritis were found to be associated with kallikrein genes, particularly KLK1 and the KLK3 promoter, when DNA SNPs from independent cohorts of SLE patients and controls were compared. Collectively, these studies suggest that kallikreins are protective disease-associated genes in anti-GBM antibody-induced nephritis and lupus.
We identified a series of immunodominant and subdominant epitopes from alpha fetoprotein (AFP), restricted by HLA-A*0201, which are recognized by the human T cell repertoire. The four immunodominant epitopes have been tested for immunogenicity in vivo, in HLA-A*0201+AFP+ advanced stage hepatocellular cancer (HCC) patients, and have activated and expanded AFP-specific IFN-gamma-producing T cells in these patients, despite high serum levels of this self Ag. Here, we have examined the frequency, function, and avidity of the T cells specific for subdominant epitopes from AFP. We find that T cells specific for several of these epitopes are of similar or higher avidity than those specific for immunodominant epitopes. We then tested the peripheral blood of subjects ex vivo with different levels of serum AFP for the hierarchy of response to epitopes from this Ag and find that HCC patients have detectable frequencies of circulating IFN-gamma-producing AFP-specific CD8+ T cells to both immunodominant and subdominant epitopes. We find the immunodominant and subdominant peptide-specific T cells to be differentially expanded with different modes of Ag presentation. Whereas spontaneous and AFP protein-stimulated responses show evidence for immunodominance, AdVhAFP-transduced dendritic cell-stimulated responses were broader and not skewed. Importantly, these data identify subdominant epitopes from AFP that can activate high-avidity T cells, and that can be detected and expanded in HCC subjects. These subdominant epitope-specific T cells can also recognize tumor cells and may be important therapeutically.
Genome-wide RNA interference screens have greatly facilitated the identification of essential host factors (EHFs) for viral infections, whose knockdown effects significantly influence virus replication but not host cell viability. However, little has been done to link EHFs with another important host factor type, i.e., virus targeting proteins (VTPs) that viruses directly interact with for intracellular survival, hampering the integrative understanding of virus-host interactions. Using EHFs and VTPs for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and influenza A virus (IAV) infections, we found in general that despite limited overlap, EHFs and VTPs are both among the most differentially dysregulated genes in host transcriptional response to HIV and IAV infections, and notably they show consistency in regulation orientation. In the human protein-protein interaction network, both EHFs and VTPs hold topologically important positions at the global center, and importantly their direct interactions are statistically significant. We also identified BRCA1 and TP53 (or SMAD3 and PIK3R1) being the most extensive VTP-interacting EHFs (or EHF-interacting VTPs) for HIV-1 and IAV, which hold great potential in deciphering specific infection features and discovery of host directed antivirals. Further, most EHFs are the upstream regulators of VTPs when mapped in the same signaling pathways, some of which present intensive cross links. Collectively, these results provide insights into functional associations of the identified host gene factors for viral infections and highlight the regulatory significance of EHFs, and the necessity of their selective exploitation in confrontation to viral infections.
DACH1 (Dachshund homolog 1) is a key component of the retinal determination gene network and regulates gene expression either indirectly as a co-integrator or through direct DNA binding. The current studies were conducted to understand, at a higher level of resolution, the mechanisms governing DACH1-mediated transcriptional repression via DNA sequence-specific binding. DACH1 repressed gene transcription driven by the DACH1-responsive element (DRE). Recent genome-wide ChIP-Seq analysis demonstrated DACH1 binding sites co-localized with Forkhead protein (FOX) binding sites. Herein, DACH1 repressed, whereas FOX proteins enhanced, both DRE and FOXA-responsive element-driven gene expression. Reduced DACH1 expression using a shRNA approach enhanced FOX protein activity. As DACH1 antagonized FOX target gene expression and attenuated FOX signaling, we sought to identify limiting co-integrator proteins governing DACH1 signaling. Proteomic analysis identified transcription elongation regulator 1 (TCERG1) as the transcriptional co-regulator of DACH1 activity. The FF2 domain of TCERG1 was required for DACH1 binding, and the deletion of FF2 abolished DACH1 trans-repression function. The carboxyl terminus of DACH1 was necessary and sufficient for TCERG1 binding. Thus, DACH1 represses gene transcription through direct DNA binding to the promoter region of target genes by recruiting the transcriptional co-regulator, TCERG1.
Natural-killer (NK)-cell dysfunction and IFN-gamma deficiencies have been associated with increased incidence of both malignancy and infection. The immunologic basis of NK-cell defects in cancer-bearing hosts has not been extensively studied. Here, we demonstrate that multiple lineages of tumors, including thymoma, breast cancer, colon cancer, and melanoma cell lines, interrupt functional maturation during NK-cell development in the bone marrow. The immature NK cells in the periphery of tumor-bearing mice had impaired IFN-gamma production but seemingly normal cytotoxicity. T cells are not involved in this NK maturation arrest, because T-cell depletion did not restore NK-cell development. Moreover, the extent of tumor-cell infiltration into the bone marrow does not correlate with defective NK maturation. Interestingly, the defect was associated with a significant reduction in the IL-15Ralpha+ cells in the non-T, non-NK compartment of bone marrow cells and restored by overexpression of IL-15. Our data demonstrate that tumor growth can impede functional maturation of NK cells, most likely by interrupting the requisite IL-15 signaling pathway.
The distal portion of rotavirus (RV) VP4 spike protein (VP8*) is implicated in binding to cellular receptors, thereby facilitating viral attachment and entry. While VP8* of some animal RVs engage sialic acid, human RVs often attach to and enter cells in a sialic acid-independent manner. A recent study demonstrated that the major human RVs (P, P, and P) recognize human histo-blood group antigens (HBGAs). In this study, we performed a phylogenetic analysis of RVs and showed further variations of RV interaction with HBGAs. On the basis of the VP8* sequences, RVs are grouped into five P genogroups (P[I] to P[V]), of which P[I], P[IV], and P[V] mainly infect animals, P[II] infects humans, and P[III] infects both animals and humans. The sialic acid-dependent RVs (P, P, P, and P) form a subcluster within P[I], while all three major P genotypes of human RVs (P, P, and P) are clustered in P[II]. We then characterized three human RVs (P, P, and P) in P[III] and observed a new pattern of binding to the type A antigen which is distinct from that of the P[II] RVs. The binding was demonstrated by hemagglutination and saliva binding assay using recombinant VP8* and native RVs. Homology modeling and mutagenesis study showed that the locations of the carbohydrate binding interfaces are shared with the sialic acid-dependent RVs, although different amino acids are involved. The P[III] VP8* proteins also bind the A antigens of the porcine and bovine mucins, suggesting the A antigen as a possible factor for cross-species transmission of RVs. Our study suggests that HBGAs play an important role in RV infection and evolution.
To better understand the olfactory mechanisms in the two lepidopteran pest model species, the Helicoverpa armigera and H. assulta, we conducted transcriptome analysis of the adult antennae using Illumina sequencing technology and compared the chemosensory genes between these two related species. Combined with the chemosensory genes we had identified previously in H. armigera by 454 sequencing, we identified 133 putative chemosensory unigenes in H. armigera including 60 odorant receptors (ORs), 19 ionotropic receptors (IRs), 34 odorant binding proteins (OBPs), 18 chemosensory proteins (CSPs), and 2 sensory neuron membrane proteins (SNMPs). Consistent with these results, 131 putative chemosensory genes including 64 ORs, 19 IRs, 29 OBPs, 17 CSPs, and 2 SNMPs were identified through male and female antennal transcriptome analysis in H. assulta. Reverse Transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) was conducted in H. assulta to examine the accuracy of the assembly and annotation of the transcriptome and the expression profile of these unigenes in different tissues. Most of the ORs, IRs and OBPs were enriched in adult antennae, while almost all the CSPs were expressed in antennae as well as legs. We compared the differences of the chemosensory genes between these two species in detail. Our work will surely provide valuable information for further functional studies of pheromones and host volatile recognition genes in these two related species.
Currently, stroke laboratory examinations are usually performed in the centralized hospital laboratory, but often planned thrombolysis is given before all results are available, to minimize delay. In this study, we examined the feasibility of gaining valuable time by transferring the complete stroke laboratory workup required by stroke guidelines to a point-of-care laboratory system, that is, placed at a stroke treatment room contiguous to the computed tomography, where the patients are admitted and where they obtain neurological, laboratory, and imaging examinations and treatment by the same dedicated team. Our results showed that reconfiguration of the entire stroke laboratory analysis to a point-of-care system was feasible for 200 consecutively admitted patients. This strategy reduced the door-to-therapy-decision times from 84 ± 26 to 40 ± 24 min (p < 0.001). Results of most laboratory tests (except activated partial thromboplastin time and international normalized ratio) revealed close agreement with results from a standard centralized hospital laboratory. These findings may offer a new solution for the integration of laboratory workup into routine hyperacute stroke management.