Emerging targets: molecular mechanisms of cell contact-mediated growth control.
Contact inhibition of cell proliferation evokes a unique cellular program of growth arrest compared with stress, age, or other physical constraints. The last decade of research on genes activated by cell-cell contact has uncovered features of transmembrane signaling, cytoskeletal reorganization, and transcriptional control that initiate and maintain a quiescent phenotype. This review will focus on mechanisms controlling contact inhibition of cell proliferation, highlighting specific gene expression responses that are activated by cell-cell contact. Although a temporal framework for imposition of these mechanisms has not yet been well described, contact inhibition of cell proliferation clearly requires their coordinated function. Novel targets for intervention in proliferative disorders are emerging from these studies. (+info
Cell cycle dysregulation in oral cancer.
The dysregulation of the molecular events governing cell cycle control is emerging as a central theme of oral carcinogenesis. Regulatory pathways responding to extracellular signaling or intracellular stress and DNA damage converge on the cell cycle apparatus. Abrogation of mitogenic and anti-mitogenic response regulatory proteins, such as the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein (pRB), cyclin D1, cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 6, and CDK inhibitors (p21(WAF1/CIP1), p27(KIP1), and p16(INK4a)), occur frequently in human oral cancers. Cellular responses to metabolic stress or genomic damage through p53 and related pathways that block cell cycle progression are also altered during oral carcinogenesis. In addition, new pathways and cell cycle regulatory proteins, such as p12(DOC-1), are being discovered. The multistep process of oral carcinogenesis likely involves functional alteration of cell cycle regulatory members combined with escape from cellular senescence and apoptotic signaling pathways. Detailing the molecular alterations and understanding the functional consequences of the dysregulation of the cell cycle apparatus in the malignant oral keratinocyte will uncover novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. (+info
Small-molecule modulators of Hedgehog signaling: identification and characterization of Smoothened agonists and antagonists.
BACKGROUND: The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway is vital to animal development as it mediates the differentiation of multiple cell types during embryogenesis. In adults, Hh signaling can be activated to facilitate tissue maintenance and repair. Moreover, stimulation of the Hh pathway has shown therapeutic efficacy in models of neuropathy. The underlying mechanisms of Hh signal transduction remain obscure, however: little is known about the communication between the pathway suppressor Patched (Ptc), a multipass transmembrane protein that directly binds Hh, and the pathway activator Smoothened (Smo), a protein that is related to G-protein-coupled receptors and is capable of constitutive activation in the absence of Ptc. RESULTS: We have identified and characterized a synthetic non-peptidyl small molecule, Hh-Ag, that acts as an agonist of the Hh pathway. This Hh agonist promotes cell-type-specific proliferation and concentration-dependent differentiation in vitro, while in utero it rescues aspects of the Hh-signaling defect in Sonic hedgehog-null, but not Smo-null, mouse embryos. Biochemical studies with Hh-Ag, the Hh-signaling antagonist cyclopamine, and a novel Hh-signaling inhibitor Cur61414, reveal that the action of all these compounds is independent of Hh-protein ligand and of the Hh receptor Ptc, as each binds directly to Smo. CONCLUSIONS: Smo can have its activity modulated directly by synthetic small molecules. These studies raise the possibility that Hh signaling may be regulated by endogenous small molecules in vivo and provide potent compounds with which to test the therapeutic value of activating the Hh-signaling pathway in the treatment of traumatic and chronic degenerative conditions. (+info
Gleevec (STI-571) inhibits lung cancer cell growth (A549) and potentiates the cisplatin effect in vitro.
BACKGROUND: Gleevec (aka STI571, Imatinib) is a recently FDA approved anti-tumor drug for chronic myelogenous leukemia. Gleevec binds specifically to BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase and inhibit the tyrosine kinase activity. It cross-reacts with another two important membrane tyrosine kinase receptors, c-kit and PDGF receptors. We sought to investigate if Gleevec has a potential role in treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. RESULTS: We have shown that Gleevec alone can inhibit the A549 lung cancer cell growth in dose-dependent manner, and the optimal concentration of Gleevec inhibition of A549 cell growth is at the range of 2-3 microM (IC50). We have also shown that A549 cells are resistant to cisplatin treatment (IC50 64 microM). Addition of Gleevec to the A549 cells treated with cisplatin resulted in a synergistic cell killing effect, suggesting that Gleevec can potentiate the effect of cisplatin on A549 cells. We also showed that the A549 lung cancer cells expresses the platelet derived growth factor receptor alpha, and the inhibitory effects of Gleevec on A549 cells is likely mediated through inhibition of PDGFR alpha phosphorylation. We further tested 33 lung cancer patients' tumor specimens to see the frequency of PDGFR-alpha expression by tissue micro-arrays and immunohistochemistry. We found that 16 of the 18 squamous carcinomas (89%), 11 of the 11 adenocarcinomas (100%), and 4 of the 4 small cell lung cancers (100%) expressed PDGFR-alpha. CONCLUSION: These results suggest a potential role of Gleevec as adjuvant therapeutic agent for treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. (+info
Hepatocarcinogenic potential of the glucocorticoid antagonist RU486 in B6C3F1 mice: effect on apoptosis, expression of oncogenes and the tumor suppressor gene p53.
BACKGROUND: Glucocorticoids inhibit hepatocellular proliferation and modulate the expression of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes via mechanisms involving the glucocorticoid receptor. Glucocorticoids also produce a receptor-mediated inhibitory effect on both basal and hormone-stimulated expression of a newly discovered family of molecules important for shutting off cytokine action. We therefore hypothesized that inhibiting glucocorticoid receptors may disturb hepatocellular growth and apoptosis. Consequently, we investigated the effect of RU486, a potent antagonist of the glucocorticoid receptor, on basal levels of hepatocellular proliferation and apoptosis in male B6C3F1 mice. Furthermore, we evaluated the effect of this compound on cellular genes involved in the regulation of these important processes. RESULTS: Data show that treatment of male B6F3C1 mice with RU486 (2 mg/kg/d, ip) for 7 days dramatically inhibited liver cell proliferation by about 45% and programmed hepatocellular death by approximately 66%. RU 486 also significantly increased hepatic expression of the oncogenes mdm2 and JunB, while reducing that of the tumor suppressor gene p53. CONCLUSION: Exposure to RU486 may ultimately enhance the susceptibility of the liver to cancer risk by diminishing its ability to purge itself of pre-cancerous cells via apoptosis. This effect may be mediated through increases in the hepatic expression of the oncogene mdm2, coupled with decreases in that of the tumor suppressor gene p53. The decrease in hepatocellular proliferation caused by RU 486 may be related to effects other than its anti-glucocorticoid activity. (+info
Recombinant human interleukin-10 inhibits proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells stimulated by advanced glycation end products and neointima hyperplasia after carotid injury in the rat.
The purposes of this study was to determine the effects of recombinant human interleukin-10 (rhIL-10) on proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) stimulated by advanced glycation end products (AGE) and neointima hyperplasia after rat carotid arterial injury. Rat aortic VSMCs were cultured and treated with rhIL-10 or AGE respectively, and then co-treated with rhIL-10 and AGE. Proliferation of VSMCs was quantified by colormetric assay. Cell cycle analysis was performed by flow cytomertry. Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with recombinant human IL-10 (rhIL-10) for 3 d after carotid arteries injury. The ratio of neointima to media area at the site of arterial injury was measured 28 d after balloon injury. The p44/42 MAPK activity was evaluated by the immunoblotting technique using anti-p44/42 phospho-MAPK antibody. Compared to control, AGE stimulated VSMCs proliferation. rhIL-10 alone had no effect on VSMCs growth. With AGE stimulation, rhIL-10, at dose as low as 10 ng/ml, inhibited VSMCs growth (P<0.05). The cell number in G(0)/G(1) phase of AGE and rhIL-10 co-treatment group was higher than that of AGE treatment alone (P<0.01) by flow cytometry analysis. Compared with the control group of neointima hyperplasia in rats, the ratio of neointima to media area of recombinant human IL-10 group was reduced by 45% (P<0.01). The p44/42 MAPK activity was significantly enhanced by AGE. The AGE effects were opposed by rhIL-10. The anti-inflammatory cytokine rhIL-10 inhibits AGE-induced VSMCs proliferation. Recombinant human IL-10 also inhibited neointima hyperplasia after carotid artery injury in rats. The results suggest the possibility that recombinant human IL-10, as a potential therapeutic approach, prevents neointimal hyperplasia. (+info
The effects of inhibiting P18(INK4C) expression on the invasion of gastric adenocarcinoma cell line.
Using cDNA microarray with double dots of 4096 human genes, P18(INK4C), a member of CKI, was found down-regulated in a gastric adenocarcinoma metastatic cell line (RF-48), compared with the corresponding primary cancer cell line (RF-1), which implied that P18(INK4C) might be involved in cell invasion and metastatic progression of human gastric adenocarcinoma. Antisense RNA expression plasmid was applied to inhibit P18(INK4C) expression to study the effect of decreased P18(INK4C) expression on cell migration, invasion and proliferation ability and cell cycle of RF-1. Results showed that inhibition of P18(INK4C) expression could obviously enhance cell invasion ability of RF-1, but had little effect on its cell cycle and cell migration and proliferation ability. These results implied that P18(INK4C) might play a pivotal role in regulating cell invasion, rather than regulating cell cycle and proliferation in the progression of human gastric adenocarcinoma as expected before. (+info
Comparative proteomic analysis of proliferating and functionally differentiated mammary epithelial cells.
Proliferation and differentiation of mammary epithelial cells are governed by hormonal stimuli, cell-cell, and cell-matrix interactions. Terminal differentiation of mammary epithelial cells depends upon the action of the lactogenic hormones, insulin, glucocorticoids, and prolactin that enable them to synthesize and secrete milk proteins. These differentiated cells are polarized and carry out vectorial transport of milk constituents across the apical plasma membrane. To gain additional insights into the mechanisms governing differentiation of mammary epithelial cells, we identified proteins whose expression distinguishes proliferating from differentiated mammary epithelial cells. For this purpose we made use of the HC11 mammary epithelial line, which is capable of differentiation in response to lactogenic hormones. Using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry, we found about 60 proteins whose expression levels changed in between these two differentiation states. Bioinformatic analysis revealed differential expression of cytoskeletal components, molecular chaperones and regulators of protein folding and stability, calcium-binding proteins, and components of RNA-processing pathways. The actin cytoskeleton is asymmetrically distributed in differentiated epithelial cells, and the identification of proteins involved in mRNA binding and localization suggests that asymmetry might in part be achieved by controlling cellular localization of mRNAs. The proteins identified provide insights into the differentiation of mammary epithelial cells and the regulation of this process. (+info