(1/14225) Transformation mediated by RhoA requires activity of ROCK kinases.

BACKGROUND: The Ras-related GTPase RhoA controls signalling processes required for cytoskeletal reorganisation, transcriptional regulation, and transformation. The ability of RhoA mutants to transform cells correlates not with transcription but with their ability to bind ROCK-I, an effector kinase involved in cytoskeletal reorganisation. We used a recently developed specific ROCK inhibitor, Y-27632, and ROCK truncation mutants to investigate the role of ROCK kinases in transcriptional activation and transformation. RESULTS: In NIH3T3 cells, Y-27632 did not prevent the activation of serum response factor, transcription of c-fos or cell cycle re-entry following serum stimulation. Repeated treatment of NIH3T3 cells with Y-27632, however, substantially disrupted their actin fibre network but did not affect their growth rate. Y-27632 blocked focus formation by RhoA and its guanine-nucleotide exchange factors Dbl and mNET1. It did not affect the growth rate of cells transformed by Dbl and mNET1, but restored normal growth control at confluence and prevented their growth in soft agar. Y-27632 also significantly inhibited focus formation by Ras, but had no effect on the establishment or maintenance of transformation by Src. Furthermore, it significantly inhibited anchorage-independent growth of two out of four colorectal tumour cell lines. Consistent with these data, a truncated ROCK derivative exhibited weak ability to cooperate with activated Raf in focus formation assays. CONCLUSIONS: ROCK signalling is required for both the establishment and maintenance of transformation by constitutive activation of RhoA, and contributes to the Ras-transformed phenotype. These observations provide a potential explanation for the requirement for Rho in Ras-mediated transformation. Moreover, the inhibition of ROCK kinases may be of therapeutic use.  (+info)

(2/14225) Deletion analysis of the Drosophila Inscuteable protein reveals domains for cortical localization and asymmetric localization.

The Drosophila Inscuteable protein acts as a key regulator of asymmetric cell division during the development of the nervous system [1] [2]. In neuroblasts, Inscuteable localizes into an apical cortical crescent during late interphase and most of mitosis. During mitosis, Inscuteable is required for the correct apical-basal orientation of the mitotic spindle and for the asymmetric segregation of the proteins Numb [3] [4] [5], Prospero [5] [6] [7] and Miranda [8] [9] into the basal daughter cell. When Inscuteable is ectopically expressed in epidermal cells, which normally orient their mitotic spindle parallel to the embryo surface, these cells reorient their mitotic spindle and divide perpendicularly to the surface [1]. Like the Inscuteable protein, the inscuteable RNA is asymmetrically localized [10]. We show here that inscuteable RNA localization is not required for Inscuteable protein localization. We found that a central 364 amino acid domain - the Inscuteable asymmetry domain - was necessary and sufficient for Inscuteable localization and function. Within this domain, a separate 100 amino acid region was required for asymmetric localization along the cortex, whereas a 158 amino acid region directed localization to the cell cortex. The same 158 amino acid fragment could localize asymmetrically when coexpressed with the full-length protein, however, and could bind to Inscuteable in vitro, suggesting that this domain may be involved in the self-association of Inscuteable in vivo.  (+info)

(3/14225) Superimposed histologic and genetic mapping of chromosome 9 in progression of human urinary bladder neoplasia: implications for a genetic model of multistep urothelial carcinogenesis and early detection of urinary bladder cancer.

The evolution of alterations on chromosome 9, including the putative tumor suppressor genes mapped to the 9p21-22 region (the MTS genes), was studied in relation to the progression of human urinary bladder neoplasia by using whole organ superimposed histologic and genetic mapping in cystectomy specimens and was verified in urinary bladder tumors of various pathogenetic subsets with longterm follow-up. The applicability of chromosome 9 allelic losses as non-invasive markers of urothelial neoplasia was tested on voided urine and/or bladder washings of patients with urinary bladder cancer. Although sequential multiple hits in the MTS locus were documented in the development of intraurothelial precursor lesions, the MTS genes do not seem to represent a major target for p21-23 deletions in bladder cancer. Two additional tumor suppressor genes involved in bladder neoplasia located distally and proximally to the MTS locus within p22-23 and p11-13 regions respectively were identified. Several distinct putative tumor suppressor gene loci within the q12-13, q21-22, and q34 regions were identified on the q arm. In particular, the pericentromeric q12-13 area may contain the critical tumor suppressor gene or genes for the development of early urothelial neoplasia. Allelic losses of chromosome 9 were associated with expansion of the abnormal urothelial clone which frequently involved large areas of urinary bladder mucosa. These losses could be found in a high proportion of urothelial tumors and in voided urine or bladder washing samples of nearly all patients with urinary bladder carcinoma.  (+info)

(4/14225) Level of retinoblastoma protein expression correlates with p16 (MTS-1/INK4A/CDKN2) status in bladder cancer.

Recent studies have shown that patients whose bladder cancer exhibit overexpression of RB protein as measured by immunohistochemical analysis do equally poorly as those with loss of RB function. We hypothesized that loss of p16 protein function could be related to RB overexpression, since p16 can induce transcriptional downregulation of RB and its loss may lead to aberrant RB regulation. Conversely, loss of RB function has been associated with high p16 protein expression in several other tumor types. In the present study RB negative bladder tumors also exhibited strong nuclear p16 staining while each tumor with strong, homogeneous RB nuclear staining were p16 negative, supporting our hypothesis. To expand on these immunohistochemical studies additional cases were selected in which the status of the p16 encoding gene had been determined at the molecular level. Absent p16 and high RB protein expression was found in the tumors having loss of heterozygosity within 9p21 and a structural change (mutation or deletion) of the remaining p16 encoding gene allele, confirming the staining results. These results strongly support the hypothesis that the RB nuclear overexpression recently associated with poor prognosis in bladder cancer is also associated with loss of p16 function and implies that loss of p16 function could be equally deleterious as RB loss in bladder and likely other cancers.  (+info)

(5/14225) Expression of the naturally occurring truncated trkB neurotrophin receptor induces outgrowth of filopodia and processes in neuroblastoma cells.

We have investigated the effects of the truncated trkB receptor isoform T1 (trkB.T1) by transient transfection into mouse N2a neuroblastoma cells. We observed that expression of trkB.T1 leads to a striking change in cell morphology characterized by outgrowth of filopodia and processes. A similar morphological response was also observed in SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells and NIH3T3 fibroblasts transfected with trkB.T1. N2a cells lack endogenous expression of trkB isoforms, but express barely detectable amounts of its ligands, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-4 (NT-4). The morphological change was ligand-independent, since addition of exogenous BDNF or NT-4 or blockade of endogenous trkB ligands did not influence this response. Filopodia and process outgrowth was significantly suppressed when full-length trkB.TK+ was cotransfected together with trkB.T1 and this inhibitory effect was blocked by tyrosine kinase inhibitor K252a. Transfection of trkB.T1 deletion mutants showed that the morphological response is dependent on the extracellular, but not the intracellular domain of the receptor. Our results suggest a novel ligand-independent role for truncated trkB in the regulation of cellular morphology.  (+info)

(6/14225) Over-representation of a germline RET sequence variant in patients with sporadic medullary thyroid carcinoma and somatic RET codon 918 mutation.

The aetiology of sporadic medullary thyroid carcinoma is unknown. About 50% harbour a somatic mutation at codon 918 of RET (M918T). To investigate whether other RET sequence variants may be associated with or predispose to the development of sporadic medullary thyroid carcinoma, we analysed genomic DNA from the germline and corresponding tumour from 50 patients to identify RET sequence variants. In one patient, tumour DNA showed a novel somatic 12 bp in-frame deletion in exon 15. More interestingly, we found that the rare polymorphism at codon 836 (c.2439C > T; S836S) occurred at a significantly higher frequency than that in control individuals without sporadic medullary thyroid carcinoma (Fisher's exact test, P = 0.03). Further, among the nine evaluable cases with germline c.2439C/T, eight also had the somatic M918T mutation in MTC DNA which was more frequent than in patients with the more common c.2439C/C (89% vs 40%, respectively; Fisher's exact test, P = 0.01). These findings suggest that the rare sequence variant at codon 836 may somehow play a role in the genesis of sporadic medullary thyroid carcinoma.  (+info)

(7/14225) Loss-of-function mutations in the rice homeobox gene OSH15 affect the architecture of internodes resulting in dwarf plants.

The rice homeobox gene OSH15 (Oryza sativa homeobox) is a member of the knotted1-type homeobox gene family. We report here on the identification and characterization of a loss-of-function mutation in OSH15 from a library of retrotransposon-tagged lines of rice. Based on the phenotype and map position, we have identified three independent deletion alleles of the locus among conventional morphological mutants. All of these recessive mutations, which are considered to be null alleles, exhibit defects in internode elongation. Introduction of a 14 kbp genomic DNA fragment that includes all exons, introns and 5'- and 3'- flanking sequences of OSH15 complemented the defects in internode elongation, confirming that they were caused by the loss-of-function of OSH15. Internodes of the mutants had abnormal-shaped epidermal and hypodermal cells and showed an unusual arrangement of small vascular bundles. These mutations demonstrate a role for OSH15 in the development of rice internodes. This is the first evidence that the knotted1-type homeobox genes have roles other than shoot apical meristem formation and/or maintenance in plant development.  (+info)

(8/14225) Tight binding of the 5' exon to domain I of a group II self-splicing intron requires completion of the intron active site.

Group II self-splicing requires the 5' exon to form base pairs with two stretches of intronic sequence (EBS1 and EBS2) which also bind the DNA target during retrotransposition of the intron. We have used dimethyl sulfate modification of bases to obtain footprints of the 5' exon on intron Pl.LSU/2 from the mitochondrion of the alga Pylaiella littoralis, as well as on truncated intron derivatives. Aside from the EBS sites, which are part of the same subdomain (ID) of ribozyme secondary structure, three distant adenines become either less or more sensitive to modification in the presence of the exon. Unexpectedly, one of these adenines in subdomain IC1 is footprinted only in the presence of the distal helix of domain V, which is involved in catalysis. While the loss of that footprint is accompanied by a 100-fold decrease in the affinity for the exon, both protection from modification and efficient binding can be restored by a separate domain V transcript, whose binding results in its own, concise footprint on domains I and III. Possible biological implications of the need for the group II active site to be complete in order to observe high-affinity binding of the 5' exon to domain I are discussed.  (+info)