Stimulation of thymidine uptake and cell proliferation in mouse embryo fibroblasts by conditioned medium from mammary cells in culture.
Undialyzed conditioned medium from several cell culture sources did not stimulate thymidine incorporation or cell overgrowth in quiescent, density-inhibited mouse embryo fibroblast cells. However, dialyzed conditioned medium (DCM) from clonal mouse mammary cell lines MCG-V14, MCG-T14, MCG-T10; HeLa cells; primary mouse adenocarcinoma cells; and BALB/c normal mouse mammary epithelial cells promoted growth in quiescent fibroblasts. The amount of growth-promoting activity produced per cell varied from 24% (HeLa) to 213% (MCG-V14) of the activity produced by primary tumor cells. The production of growth-promoting activity was not unique to tumor-derived cells or cells of high tumorigenicity. The amount of growth-promoting activity produced per cell in the active cultures was not correlated with any of the following: tumorigenicity, growth rat, cell density achieved at saturation, cell type, or species of cell origin. It is concluded that transformed and non-transformed cells of diverse origin, cell type, and tumorigenicity can produce growth factors in culture. The growth-promoting potential of the active media from primary tumor cultures accumulated with time of contact with cells and was too great to be accounted for entirely by the removal of low-molecular-weight inhibitors by dialysis. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that conditioned medium from the active cultures contained a dialyzable, growth-promoting activity. Different cell lines exhibited differential sensitivity to tumor cell DCM and fetal bovine serum. Furthermore, quiescent fibroblasts were stimulated by primary tumor cell DCM in the presence of saturating concentrations of fetal bovine serum. These observations support the notion that the active growth-promoting principle in primary tumor cell DCM may not be a serum factor(s). (+info)
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)
Concomitant activation of pathways downstream of Grb2 and PI 3-kinase is required for MET-mediated metastasis.
The Met tyrosine kinase - the HGF receptor - induces cell transformation and metastasis when constitutively activated. Met signaling is mediated by phosphorylation of two carboxy-terminal tyrosines which act as docking sites for a number of SH2-containing molecules. These include Grb2 and p85 which couple the receptor, respectively, with Ras and PI 3-kinase. We previously showed that a Met mutant designed to obtain preferential coupling with Grb2 (Met2xGrb2) is permissive for motility, increases transformation, but - surprisingly - is impaired in causing invasion and metastasis. In this work we used Met mutants optimized for binding either p85 alone (Met2xPI3K) or p85 and Grb2 (MetPI3K/Grb2) to evaluate the relative importance of Ras and PI 3-kinase as downstream effectors of Met. Met2xPI3K was competent in eliciting motility, but not transformation, invasion, or metastasis. Conversely, MetP13K/Grb2 induced motility, transformation, invasion and metastasis as efficiently as wild type Met. Furthermore, the expression of constitutively active PI 3-kinase in cells transformed by the Met2xGrb2 mutant, fully rescued their ability to invade and metastasize. These data point to a central role for PI 3-kinase in Met-mediated invasiveness, and indicate that simultaneous activation of Ras and PI 3-kinase is required to unleash the Met metastatic potential. (+info)
Telomerase reverse transcriptase gene is a direct target of c-Myc but is not functionally equivalent in cellular transformation.
The telomerase reverse transcriptase component (TERT) is not expressed in most primary somatic human cells and tissues, but is upregulated in the majority of immortalized cell lines and tumors. Here, we identify the c-Myc transcription factor as a direct mediator of telomerase activation in primary human fibroblasts through its ability to specifically induce TERT gene expression. Through the use of a hormone inducible form of c-Myc (c-Myc-ER), we demonstrate that Myc-induced activation of the hTERT promoter requires an evolutionarily conserved E-box and that c-Myc-ER-induced accumulation of hTERT mRNA takes place in the absence of de novo protein synthesis. These findings demonstrate that the TERT gene is a direct transcriptional target of c-Myc. Since telomerase activation frequently correlates with immortalization and telomerase functions to stabilize telomers in cycling cells, we tested whether Myc-induced activation of TERT gene expression represents an important mechanism through which c-Myc acts to immortalize cells. Employing the rat embryo fibroblast cooperation assay, we show that TERT is unable to substitute for c-Myc in the transformation of primary rodent fibroblasts, suggesting that the transforming activities of Myc extend beyond its ability to activate TERT gene expression and hence telomerase activity. (+info)
PKCdelta acts as a growth and tumor suppressor in rat colonic epithelial cells.
We have analysed the expression of three calcium-independent isoforms of protein kinase C (PKC), PKCdelta, PKCepsilon and PKCzeta, in an in vitro model of colon carcinogenesis consisting of the nontumorigenic rat colonic epithelial cell line D/WT, and a derivative src-transformed line D/src. While PKCzeta and PKCepsilon showed similar protein levels, PKCdelta was markedly decreased in D/src cells when compared to the D/WT line. To assess whether down-regulation of PKCdelta was causally involved in the neoplastic phenotype in D/src cells, we prepared a kinase-defective mutant of PKCdelta. Stable transfection of this sequence caused morphological and growth changes characteristic of partial transformation in D/WT cells. Moreover, to test whether PKCdelta was involved in growth control and transformation in this model, we overexpressed PKCdelta in D/src cells. Transfected cells underwent marked growth and morphological modifications toward the D/WT phenotype. In a late stage in culture, transfected cells ceased to proliferate, rounded up and degenerated into multinucleated, giant-like cells. We conclude that PKCdelta can reverse the transformed phenotype and act as a suppressor of cell growth in D/src cells. Moreover, our data show that downregulation of this isoenzyme of PKC may cooperate in the neoplastic transformation induced by the src oncogene in D/WT cells. (+info)
Phenotypic analysis of human glioma cells expressing the MMAC1 tumor suppressor phosphatase.
MMAC1, also known as PTEN or TEP-1, was recently identified as a gene commonly mutated in a variety of human neoplasias. Sequence analysis revealed that MMAC1 harbored sequences similar to those found in several protein phosphatases. Subsequent studies demonstrated that MMAC1 possessed in vitro enzymatic activity similar to that exhibited by dual specificity phosphatases. To characterize the potential cellular functions of MMAC1, we expressed wild-type and several mutant variants of MMAC1 in the human glioma cell line, U373, that lacks endogenous expression. While expression of wild-type MMAC1 in these cells significantly reduced their growth rate and saturation density, expression of enzymatically inactive MMAC1 significantly enhanced growth in soft agar. Our observations indicate that while wild-type MMAC1 exhibits activities compatible with its proposed role as a tumor suppressor, cellular expression of MMAC1 containing mutations in the catalytic domain may yield protein products that enhance transformation characteristics. (+info)
Activation of telomerase and its association with G1-phase of the cell cycle during UVB-induced skin tumorigenesis in SKH-1 hairless mouse.
Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein enzyme that adds hexanucleotide repeats TTAGGG to the ends of chromosomes. Telomerase activation is known to play a crucial role in cell-immortalization and carcinogenesis. Telomerase is shown to have a correlation with cell cycle progression, which is controlled by the regulation of cyclins, cyclin dependent kinases (cdks) and cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors (cdkis). Abnormal expression of these regulatory molecules may cause alterations in cell cycle with uncontrolled cell growth, a universal feature of neoplasia. Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in humans and the solar UV radiation is its major cause. Here, we investigated modulation in telomerase activity and protein expression of cell cycle regulatory molecules during the development of UVB-induced tumors in SKH-1 hairless mice. The mice were exposed to 180 mjoules/cm2 UVB radiation, thrice weekly for 24 weeks. The animals were sacrificed at 4 week intervals and the studies were performed in epidermis. Telomerase activity was barely detectable in the epidermis of non-irradiated mouse. UVB exposure resulted in a progressive increase in telomerase activity starting from the 4th week of exposure. The increased telomerase activity either persisted or further increased with the increased exposure. In papillomas and carcinomas the enzyme activity was comparable and was 45-fold higher than in the epidermis of control mice. Western blot analysis showed an upregulation in the protein expression of cyclin D1 and cyclin E and their regulatory subunits cdk4 and cdk2 during the course of UVB exposure and in papillomas and carcinomas. The protein expression of cdk6 and ckis viz. p16/Ink4A, p21/Waf1 and p27/Kip1 did not show any significant change in UVB exposed skin, but significant upregulation was observed both in papillomas and carcinomas. The results suggest that telomerase activation may be involved in UVB-induced tumorigenesis in mouse skin and that increased telomerase activity may be associated with G1 phase of the cell cycle. (+info)
Gene expression profiles in HTLV-I-immortalized T cells: deregulated expression of genes involved in apoptosis regulation.
Human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I) is the etiologic agent of adult T-cell leukemia, an acute and often fatal T-cell malignancy. A key step in HTLV-I-induced leukemigenesis is induction of abnormal T-cell growth and survival. Unlike antigen-stimulated T cells, which cease proliferation after a finite number of cell division, HTLV-I-infected T cells proliferate indefinitely (immortalized), thus facilitating occurrence of secondary genetic changes leading to malignant transformation. To explore the molecular basis of HTLV-I-induced abnormal T-cell survival, we compared the gene expression profiles of normal and HTLV-I-immortalized T cells using 'gene array'. These studies revealed a strikingly altered expression pattern of a large number of genes along with HTLV-I-mediated T-cell immortalization. Interestingly, many of these deregulated genes are involved in the control of programmed cell death or apoptosis. These findings indicate that disruption of the cellular apoptosis-regulatory network may play a role in the HTLV-I-mediated oncogenesis. (+info)