(1/4102) All-trans-retinoic acid inhibits Jun N-terminal kinase by increasing dual-specificity phosphatase activity.

Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) are serine-threonine kinases that play a critical role in the regulation of cell growth and differentiation. We previously observed that JNK activity is suppressed by all-trans-retinoic acid (t-RA), a ligand for retinoic acid nuclear receptors (RARs), in normal human bronchial epithelial cells, which are growth inhibited by t-RA. In this study, we investigated the mechanism by which t-RA inhibits JNK and the possibility that this signaling event is blocked in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. Virtually all NSCLC cell lines are resistant to the growth-inhibitory effects of t-RA, and a subset of them have a transcriptional defect specific to retinoid nuclear receptors. We found that in NSCLC cells expressing functional retinoid receptors, serum-induced JNK phosphorylation and activity were inhibited by t-RA in a bimodal pattern, transiently within 30 min and in a sustained fashion beginning at 12 h. Retinoid receptor transcriptional activation was required for the late, but not the early, suppression of JNK activity. t-RA inhibited serum-induced JNK activity by blocking mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase kinase 4-induced signaling events. This effect of t-RA was phosphatase dependent and involved an increase in the expression of the dual-specificity MAP kinase phosphatase 1 (MKP-1). t-RA did not activate MKP-1 expression or inhibit JNK activity in a NSCLC cell line with retinoid receptors that are refractory to ligand-induced transcriptional activation. These findings provide the first evidence that t-RA suppresses JNK activity by inhibiting JNK phosphorylation. Retinoid receptor transcriptional activation was necessary for the sustained inhibition of JNK activity by t-RA, and this signaling event was disrupted in NSCLC cells with retinoid receptors that are refractory to ligand-induced transcriptional activation.  (+info)

(2/4102) Deletion of multiple immediate-early genes from herpes simplex virus reduces cytotoxicity and permits long-term gene expression in neurons.

Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) has many attractive features that suggest its utility for gene transfer to neurons. However, viral cytotoxicity and transient transgene expression limit practical applications even in the absence of viral replication. Mutant viruses deleted for the immediate early (IE) gene, ICP4, an essential transcriptional transactivator, are toxic to many cell types in culture in which only the remaining IE genes are expressed. In order to test directly the toxicity of other IE gene products in neurons and develop a mutant background capable of longterm transgene expression, we generated mutants deleted for multiple IE genes in various combinations and tested their relative cytotoxicity in 9L rat gliosarcoma cells, Vero monkey kidney cells, and primary rat cortical and dorsal root neurons in culture. Viral mutants deleted simultaneously for the IE genes encoding ICP4, ICP22 and ICP27 showed substantially reduced cytotoxicity compared with viruses deleted for ICP4 alone or ICP4 in combination with either ICP22, ICP27 or ICP47. Infection of neurons in culture with these triple IE deletion mutants substantially enhanced cell survival and permitted transgene expression for over 21 days. Such mutants may prove useful for efficient gene transfer and extended transgene expression in neurons in vitro and in vivo.  (+info)

(3/4102) Thyroid hormone effects on Krox-24 transcription in the post-natal mouse brain are developmentally regulated but are not correlated with mitosis.

Krox-24 (NGFI-A, Egr-1) is an immediate-early gene encoding a zinc finger transcription factor. As Krox-24 is expressed in brain areas showing post-natal neurogenesis during a thyroid hormone (T3)-sensitive period, we followed T3 effects on Krox-24 expression in newborn mice. We analysed whether regulation was associated with changes in mitotic activity in the subventricular zone and the cerebellum. In vivo T3-dependent Krox-24 transcription was studied by polyethylenimine-based gene transfer. T3 increased transcription from the Krox-24 promoter in both areas studied at post-natal day 2, but was without effect at day 6. An intact thyroid hormone response element (TRE) in the Krox-24 promoter was necessary for these inductions. These stage-dependent effects were also seen in endogenous Krox-24 mRNA levels: activation at day 2 and no effect at day 6. Moreover, similar results were obtained by examining beta-galactosidase expression in heterozygous mice in which one allele of the Krox-24 gene was disrupted with an inframe Lac-Z insertion. However, bromodeoxyuridine incorporation showed mitosis to continue through to day 6. We conclude first, that T3 activates Krox-24 transcription during early post-natal mitosis but that this effect is extinguished as development proceeds and second, loss of T3-dependent Krox-24 expression is not correlated with loss of mitotic activity.  (+info)

(4/4102) Expression and differential regulation of connective tissue growth factor in pancreatic cancer cells.

CTGF is an immediate early growth responsive gene that has been shown to be a downstream mediator of TGFbeta actions in fibroblasts and vascular endothelial cells. In the present study hCTGF was isolated as immediate early target gene of EGF/TGFalpha in human pancreatic cancer cells by suppression hybridization. CTGF transcripts were found in 13/15 pancreatic cancer cell lines incubated with 10% serum. In 3/7 pancreatic cancer cell lines EGF/TGFalpha induced a significant rise of CTGF transcript levels peaking 1-2 h after the start of treatment. TGFbeta increased CTGF transcript levels in 2/7 pancreatic cancer cell lines after 4 h of treatment and this elevation was sustained after 24 h. Only treatment with TGFbeta was accompanied by a parallel induction of collagen type I transcription. 15/19 human pancreatic cancer tissues were shown to overexpress high levels of CTGF transcripts. CTGF transcript levels in pancreatic cancer tissues and nude mouse xenograft tumors showed a good correlation to the degree of fibrosis. In situ hybridization and the nude mouse experiments revealed that in pancreatic cancer tissues, fibroblasts are the predominant site of CTGF transcription, whereas the tumor cells appear to contribute to a lesser extent. We conclude that CTGF may be of paramount importance for the development of the characteristic desmoplastic reaction in pancreatic cancer tissues.  (+info)

(5/4102) A novel human SRB/MED-containing cofactor complex, SMCC, involved in transcription regulation.

A novel human complex that can either repress activator-dependent transcription mediated by PC4, or, at limiting TFIIH, act synergistically with PC4 to enhance activator-dependent transcription has been purified. This complex contains homologs of a subset of yeast mediator/holoenzyme components (including SRB7, SRB10, SRB11, MED6, and RGR1), homologs of other yeast transcriptional regulatory factors (SOH1 and NUT2), and, significantly, some components (TRAP220, TRAP170/hRGR1, and TRAP100) of a human thyroid hormone receptor-associated coactivator complex. The complex shows direct activator interactions but, unlike yeast mediator, can act independently of the RNA polymerase II CTD. These findings demonstrate both positive and negative functional capabilities for the human complex, emphasize novel (CTD-independent) regulatory mechanisms, and link the complex to other human coactivator complexes.  (+info)

(6/4102) Suppression subtractive hybridization identifies high glucose levels as a stimulus for expression of connective tissue growth factor and other genes in human mesangial cells.

Accumulation of mesangial matrix is a pivotal event in the pathophysiology of diabetic nephropathy. The molecular triggers for matrix production are still being defined. Here, suppression subtractive hybridization identified 15 genes differentially induced when primary human mesangial cells are exposed to high glucose (30 mM versus 5 mM) in vitro. These genes included (a) known regulators of mesangial cell activation in diabetic nephropathy (fibronectin, caldesmon, thrombospondin, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1), (b) novel genes, and (c) known genes whose induction by high glucose has not been reported. Prominent among the latter were genes encoding cytoskeleton-associated proteins and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), a modulator of fibroblast matrix production. In parallel experiments, elevated CTGF mRNA levels were demonstrated in glomeruli of rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetic nephropathy. Mannitol provoked less mesangial cell CTGF expression in vitro than high glucose, excluding hyperosmolality as the key stimulus. The addition of recombinant CTGF to cultured mesangial cells enhanced expression of extracellular matrix proteins. High glucose stimulated expression of transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-beta1), and addition of TGF-beta1 to mesangial cells triggered CTGF expression. CTGF expression induced by high glucose was partially suppressed by anti-TGF-beta1 antibody and by the protein kinase C inhibitor GF 109203X. Together, these data suggest that 1) high glucose stimulates mesangial CTGF expression by TGFbeta1-dependent and protein kinase C dependent pathways, and 2) CTGF may be a mediator of TGFbeta1-driven matrix production within a diabetic milieu.  (+info)

(7/4102) Phenotypic and functional characterization of CD8(+) T cell clones specific for a mouse cytomegalovirus epitope.

A series of CD8(+) T cell clones, specific for the IE1 epitope YPHFMPTNL, of the immediate-early protein 1 of the murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) were generated in order to determine their protective activity against this infection and correlate their phenotypic markers with antiviral activity. We found that the adoptive transfer of three of these anti-MCMV CD8(+) T cell clones into irradiated naive mice resulted in protection against challenge, while another CD8(+) T cell clone, of the same specificity, failed to confer protection. The clones that conferred protection against lethal challenge reduced greatly viral replication in the lung and other organs of the mice. Using one of the protective anti-MCMV CD8(+) T cell clones we found that in order to be fully protective the cells had to be transferred to recipient mice no later than 1 day after MCMV challenge. The adoptive transfer of these CD8(+) T cell clones also protected CD4(+) T-cell-depleted mice. Phenotypic characterization of the anti-MCMV clones revealed that the nonprotective clone expressed very low levels of CD8 molecules and produced only small amounts of TNF-alpha upon antigenic stimulation. Most importantly, our current study demonstrates that this MHC class I-restricted IE1 epitope of MCMV is efficiently presented to CD8(+) T cell clones in vivo and further strengthens the possibility of the potential use of CD8(+) T cell clones as immunotherapeutic tools against cytomegalovirus-induced disease.  (+info)

(8/4102) Nerve growth factor induces zif268 gene expression via MAPK-dependent and -independent pathways in PC12D cells.

In this study we examined the contribution of MAPK1 and 2 [also known as extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK)-1 and 2] to the induction of zif268 mRNA in PC12D cells by using two methods to block the activation of these kinases. In one set of experiments, we inhibited the activation of MAPK by pretreating cells with PD098059, a specific inhibitor of MEK (MAPKK), the immediate upstream activator of MAPK. In the second set of experiments, we blocked the activation of MAPK by overexpressing N17Ras, a dominant-negative form of Ha-Ras. These two approaches yielded similar results and showed that inhibition of MAPK blocks less than half of the induction of zif268 mRNA by NGF. Much of the residual induction of zif268 mRNA is blocked by low concentrations of wortmannin, an inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase. Since PI 3-kinase was previously shown to function upstream in epidermal growth factor (EGF)-mediated activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and JNK is known to phosphorylate and activate transcription factors that regulate the expression of zif268, we investigated the role of JNK in the induction of zif268 mRNA by NGF. Stimulation of PC12D cells with NGF weakly activates JNK, but this activation is enhanced rather than inhibited by pretreatment with wortmannin, suggesting that JNK does not function downstream of PI 3-kinase in the induction of zif268 mRNA. A role for JNK in the induction of the zif268 gene is indicated, however, by the fact that cotransfection of expression vectors encoding JIP-1 or the JNK binding domain of JIP-1, which act as dominant-negative inhibitors of JNK, partially blocks the NGF-mediated induction of a luciferase reporter gene linked to the zif268 promoter. Together, these results suggest that MAPK, PI-3 kinase and JNK each play a role in the induction of zif268 gene expression by NGF in PC12D cells.  (+info)