(1/4087) Differential roles for cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p21 and p16 in the mechanisms of senescence and differentiation in human fibroblasts.

The irreversible G1 arrest in senescent human diploid fibroblasts is probably caused by inactivation of the G1 cyclin-cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) complexes responsible for phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein (pRb). We show that the Cdk inhibitor p21(Sdi1,Cip1,Waf1), which accumulates progressively in aging cells, binds to and inactivates all cyclin E-Cdk2 complexes in senescent cells, whereas in young cells only p21-free Cdk2 complexes are active. Furthermore, the senescent-cell-cycle arrest occurs prior to the accumulation of the Cdk4-Cdk6 inhibitor p16(Ink4a), suggesting that p21 may be sufficient for this event. Accordingly, cyclin D1-associated phosphorylation of pRb at Ser-780 is lacking even in newly senescent fibroblasts that have a low amount of p16. Instead, the cyclin D1-Cdk4 and cyclin D1-Cdk6 complexes in these cells are associated with an increased amount of p21, suggesting that p21 may be responsible for inactivation of both cyclin E- and cyclin D1-associated kinase activity at the early stage of senescence. Moreover, even in the late stage of senescence when p16 is high, cyclin D1-Cdk4 complexes are persistent, albeit reduced by +info)

(2/4087) Postnatal growth failure, short life span, and early onset of cellular senescence and subsequent immortalization in mice lacking the xeroderma pigmentosum group G gene.

The xeroderma pigmentosum group G (XP-G) gene (XPG) encodes a structure-specific DNA endonuclease that functions in nucleotide excision repair (NER). XP-G patients show various symptoms, ranging from mild cutaneous abnormalities to severe dermatological impairments. In some cases, patients exhibit growth failure and life-shortening and neurological dysfunctions, which are characteristics of Cockayne syndrome (CS). The known XPG protein function as the 3' nuclease in NER, however, cannot explain the development of CS in certain XP-G patients. To gain an insight into the functions of the XPG protein, we have generated and examined mice lacking xpg (the mouse counterpart of the human XPG gene) alleles. The xpg-deficient mice exhibited postnatal growth failure and underwent premature death. Since XPA-deficient mice, which are totally defective in NER, do not show such symptoms, our data indicate that XPG performs an additional function(s) besides its role in NER. Our in vitro studies showed that primary embryonic fibroblasts isolated from the xpg-deficient mice underwent premature senescence and exhibited the early onset of immortalization and accumulation of p53.  (+info)

(3/4087) Analysis of genomic integrity and p53-dependent G1 checkpoint in telomerase-induced extended-life-span human fibroblasts.

Life span determination in normal human cells may be regulated by nucleoprotein structures called telomeres, the physical ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomeres have been shown to be essential for chromosome stability and function and to shorten with each cell division in normal human cells in culture and with age in vivo. Reversal of telomere shortening by the forced expression of telomerase in normal cells has been shown to elongate telomeres and extend the replicative life span (H. Vaziri and S. Benchimol, Curr. Biol. 8:279-282, 1998; A. G. Bodnar et al., Science 279:349-352, 1998). Extension of the life span as a consequence of the functional inactivation of p53 is frequently associated with loss of genomic stability. Analysis of telomerase-induced extended-life-span fibroblast (TIELF) cells by G banding and spectral karyotyping indicated that forced extension of the life span by telomerase led to the transient formation of aberrant structures, which were subsequently resolved in higher passages. However, the p53-dependent G1 checkpoint was intact as assessed by functional activation of p53 protein in response to ionizing radiation and subsequent p53-mediated induction of p21(Waf1/Cip1/Sdi1). TIELF cells were not tumorigenic and had a normal DNA strand break rejoining activity and normal radiosensitivity in response to ionizing radiation.  (+info)

(4/4087) Downregulation of metallothionein-IIA expression occurs at immortalization.

Metallothioneins (MTs) may modulate a variety of cellular processes by regulating the activity of zinc-binding proteins. These proteins have been implicated in cell growth regulation, and their expression is abnormal in some tumors. In particular, MT-IIA is expressed 27-fold less in human colorectal tumors and tumor cell lines compared with normal tissue (Zhang et al., 1997). Here we demonstrate that MT-IIA downregulation occurs when human cells become immortal, a key event in tumorigenesis. After immortalization MT-IIA expression remains inducible but the basal activity of the MT-IIA promoter is decreased. MT-IIA downregulation at immortalization is one of the most common immortalization-related changes identified to date, suggesting that MT-IIA has a role in this process.  (+info)

(5/4087) A telomere-independent senescence mechanism is the sole barrier to Syrian hamster cell immortalization.

Reactivation of telomerase and stabilization of telomeres occur simultaneously during human cell immortalization in vitro and the vast majority of human cancers possess high levels of telomerase activity. Telomerase repression in human somatic cells may therefore have evolved as a powerful resistance mechanism against immortalization, clonal evolution and malignant progression. The comparative ease with which rodent cells immortalize in vitro suggests that they have less stringent controls over replicative senescence than human cells. Here, we report that Syrian hamster dermal fibroblasts possess substantial levels of telomerase activity throughout their culture life-span, even after growth arrest in senescence. In our studies, telomerase was also detected in uncultured newborn hamster skin, in several adult tissues, and in cultured fibroblasts induced to enter the post-mitotic state irreversibly by serum withdrawal. Transfection of near-senescent dermal fibroblasts with a selectable plasmid vector expressing the SV40 T-antigen gene resulted in high-frequency single-step immortalization without the crisis typically observed during the immortalization of human cells. Collectively, these data provide an explanation for the increased susceptibility of rodent cells to immortalization (and malignant transformation) compared with their human equivalents, and provide evidence for a novel, growth factor-sensitive, mammalian senescence mechanism unrelated to telomere maintenance.  (+info)

(6/4087) Re-expression of endogenous p16ink4a in oral squamous cell carcinoma lines by 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment induces a senescence-like state.

We have previously reported that a set of oral squamous cell carcinoma lines express specifically elevated cdk6 activity. One of the cell lines, SCC4, contains a cdk6 amplification and expresses functional p16ink4a, the other cell lines express undetectable levels of p16ink4a, despite a lack of coding-region mutations. Two of the cell lines, SCC15 and SCC40 have a hypermethylated p16ink4A promoter and a third cell line, SCC9, has a mutation in the p16ink4a promoter. Using the demethylation agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, we showed that the p16ink4a protein was re-expressed after a 5-day treatment with this chemical. One cell line, SCC15 expressed high levels of p16ink4a. In this line, cdk6 activity was decreased after 5-aza-2'deoxycytidine treatment, and the hypophosphorylated, growth suppressive form of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein pRB was detected. Expression of p16ink4a persisted, even after the drug was removed and the cells expressed senescence-associated beta-galactosidase activity. Ectopic expression of p16ink4a with a recombinant retrovirus in this cell line also induced a similar senescence-like phenotype. Hence, it was possible to restore a functional pRB pathway in an oral squamous cell carcinoma line by inducing re-expression of endogenous p16ink4a in response to treatment with a demethylating agent.  (+info)

(7/4087) The synaptophysin-synaptobrevin complex: a hallmark of synaptic vesicle maturation.

Exocytosis of synaptic vesicles requires the formation of a fusion complex consisting of the synaptic vesicle protein synaptobrevin (vesicle-associated membrane protein, or VAMP) and the plasma membrane proteins syntaxin and soluble synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa (or SNAP 25). In search of mechanisms that regulate the assembly of the fusion complex, it was found that synaptobrevin also binds to the vesicle protein synaptophysin and that synaptophysin-bound synaptobrevin cannot enter the fusion complex. Using a combination of immunoprecipitation, cross-linking, and in vitro interaction experiments, we report here that the synaptophysin-synaptobrevin complex is upregulated during neuronal development. In embryonic rat brain, the complex is not detectable, although synaptophysin and synaptobrevin are expressed and are localized to the same nerve terminals and to the same pool of vesicles. In contrast, the ability of synaptobrevin to participate in the fusion complex is detectable as early as embryonic day 14. The binding of synaptoporin, a closely related homolog of synaptophysin, to synaptobrevin changes in a similar manner during development. Recombinant synaptobrevin binds to synaptophysin derived from adult brain extracts but not to that derived from embryonic brain extracts. Furthermore, the soluble cytosol fraction of adult, but not of embryonic, synaptosomes contains a protein that induces synaptophysin-synaptobrevin complex formation in embryonic vesicle fractions. We conclude that complex formation is regulated during development and is mediated by a posttranslational modification of synaptophysin. Furthermore, we propose that the synaptophysin-synaptobrevin complex is not essential for exocytosis but rather provides a reserve pool of synaptobrevin for exocytosis that can be readily recruited during periods of high synaptic activity.  (+info)

(8/4087) Intracytoplasmic sperm injection after follicle stimulation with highly purified human follicle-stimulating hormone compared with human menopausal gonadotropin.

PURPOSE: Our purpose was to compare oocyte nuclear maturation and embryo quality after pituitary down-regulation and ovarian stimulation with highly purified follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) or human menopausal gonadotropin (HMG). METHODS: Fifty-five patients 37 years of age or younger who were undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF)-intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) were evaluated retrospectively. In all cases, male factor was the only indication for treatment, with no female-related factors identified. Following pituitary down-regulation, patients were stimulated with hMG (n = 20) or highly purified FSH (n = 35). Main outcome measures included ovarian response to stimulation, oocyte maturity, and ICSI fertilization results. Secondary outcome measures included pregnancy rates and outcome. RESULTS: The ovarian response to stimulation was similar for the two groups, as were the percentage of metaphase II oocytes, fertilization and cleavage rates, and number and quality of transferred and cryopreserved embryos. Cycle outcome was comparable. CONCLUSIONS: In normogonadotropic subjects, monocomponent therapy with highly purified FSH is as effective as hMG in stimulating ovarian follicular development, synchronization of oocyte maturation, and IVF-ICSI outcome. Our findings support the conclusion that the luteinizing hormone component in the stimulation protocol is unnecessary.  (+info)