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.
Heavy-ion mutagenesis is recognised as a powerful technology to generate new mutants, especially in higher plants. Heavy-ion beams show high linear energy transfer (LET) and thus more effectively induce DNA double-strand breaks than other mutagenic techniques. Previously, we determined the most effective heavy-ion LET (LETmax: 30.0 keV μm(-1)) for Arabidopsis mutagenesis by analysing the effect of LET on mutation induction. However, the molecular structure of mutated DNA induced by heavy ions with LETmax remains unclear. Knowledge of the structure of mutated DNA will contribute to the effective exploitation of heavy-ion beam mutagenesis.
Dry Arabidopsis thaliana seeds were irradiated with carbon (C) ions with LETmax at a dose of 400 Gy and with LET of 22.5 keV μm(-1) at doses of 250 Gy or 450 Gy. The effects on mutation frequency and alteration of DNA structure were compared. To characterise the structure of mutated DNA, we screened the well-characterised mutants elongated hypocotyls (hy) and glabrous (gl) and identified mutated DNA among the resulting mutants by high-resolution melting curve, PCR and sequencing analyses. The mutation frequency induced by C ions with LETmax was two-fold higher than that with 22.5 keV μm(-1) and similar to the mutation frequency previously induced by ethyl methane sulfonate. We identified the structure of 22 mutated DNAs. Over 80% of the mutations caused by C ions with both LETs were base substitutions or deletions/insertions of less than 100 bp. The other mutations involved large rearrangements.
The C ions with LETmax showed high mutation efficiency and predominantly induced base substitutions or small deletions/insertions, most of which were null mutations. These small alterations can be determined by single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) detection systems. Therefore, C ions with LETmax might be useful as a highly efficient reverse genetic system in conjunction with SNP detection systems, and will be beneficial for forward genetics and plant breeding.
A wide range of RNA species interacting with microRNAs (miRNAs) form a complex gene regulation network and play vital roles in diverse biological processes. In this study, we performed a genome-wide identification of endogenous target mimics (eTMs) for miRNAs and phased-siRNA-producing loci (PHAS) in soybean with a focus on those involved in lipid metabolism. The results showed that a large number of eTMs and PHAS genes could be found in soybean. Additionally, we found that lipid metabolism related genes were potentially regulated by 28 miRNAs, and nine of them were potentially further regulated by a number of eTMs with expression evidence. Thirty-three miRNAs were found to trigger production of phasiRNAs from 49 PHAS genes, which were able to target lipid metabolism related genes. Degradome data supported miRNA- and/or phasiRNA-mediated cleavage of genes involved in lipid metabolism. Most eTMs for miRNAs involved in lipid metabolism and phasiRNAs targeting lipid metabolism related genes showed a tissue-specific expression pattern. Our bioinformatical evidences suggested that lipid metabolism in soybean is potentially regulated by a complex non-coding network, including miRNAs, eTMs, and phasiRNAs, and the results extended our knowledge on functions of non-coding RNAs.
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.
Herein we aimed to understand how nanoscale clustering of RGD ligands alters the mechano-regulation of their integrin receptors. We combined molecular tension fluorescence microscopy with block copolymer micelle nanolithography to fabricate substrates with arrays of precisely spaced probes that can generate a 10-fold fluorescence response to pN-forces. We found that the mechanism of sensing ligand spacing is force-mediated. This strategy is broadly applicable to investigating receptor clustering and its role in mechanotransduction pathways.
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.