Stromal cells mediate retinoid-dependent functions essential for renal development.
The essential role of vitamin A and its metabolites, retinoids, in kidney development has been demonstrated in vitamin A deficiency and gene targeting studies. Retinoids signal via nuclear transcription factors belonging to the retinoic acid receptor (RAR) and retinoid X receptor (RXR) families. Inactivation of RARaplpha and RARbeta2 receptors together, but not singly, resulted in renal malformations, suggesting that within a given renal cell type, their concerted function is required for renal morphogenesis. At birth, RARalpha beta2(-) mutants displayed small kidneys, containing few ureteric bud branches, reduced numbers of nephrons and lacking the nephrogenic zone where new nephrons are continuously added. These observations have prompted us to investigate the role of RARalpha and RARbeta2 in renal development in detail. We have found that within the embryonic kidney, RARalpha and RARbeta2 are colocalized in stromal cells, but not in other renal cell types, suggesting that stromal cells mediate retinoid-dependent functions essential for renal development. Analysis of RARalpha beta2(-) mutant kidneys at embryonic stages revealed that nephrons were formed and revealed no changes in the intensity or distribution of molecular markers specific for different metanephric mesenchymal cell types. In contrast the development of the collecting duct system was greatly impaired in RARalpha beta2(-) mutant kidneys. Fewer ureteric bud branches were present, and ureteric bud ends were positioned abnormally, at a distance from the renal capsule. Analysis of genes important for ureteric bud morphogenesis revealed that the proto-oncogene c-ret was downregulated. Our results suggest that RARalpha and RARbeta2 are required for generating stromal cell signals that maintain c-ret expression in the embryonic kidney. Since c-ret signaling is required for ureteric bud morphogenesis, loss of c-ret expression is a likely cause of impaired ureteric bud branching in RARalpha beta2(-) mutants. (+info)
Growth inhibition of breast cancer cells by Grb2 downregulation is correlated with inactivation of mitogen-activated protein kinase in EGFR, but not in ErbB2, cells.
Increased breast cancer growth has been associated with increased expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and ErbB2 receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). Upon activation, RTKs may transmit their oncogenic signals by binding to the growth factor receptor bound protein-2 (Grb2), which in turn binds to SOS and activates the Ras/Raf/MEK/mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway. Grb2 is important for the transformation of fibroblasts by EGFR and ErbB2; however, whether Grb2 is also important for the proliferation of breast cancer cells expressing these RTKs is unclear. We have used liposomes to deliver nuclease-resistant antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (oligos) specific for the GRB2 mRNA to breast cancer cells. Grb2 protein downregulation could inhibit breast cancer cell growth; the degree of growth inhibition was dependent upon the activation and/or endogenous levels of the RTKs. Grb2 inhibition led to MAP kinase inactivation in EGFR, but not in ErbB2, breast cancer cells, suggesting that different pathways might be used by EGFR and ErbB2 to regulate breast cancer growth. (+info)
A cytomegalovirus glycoprotein re-routes MHC class I complexes to lysosomes for degradation.
Mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV) early gene expression interferes with the major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC class I) pathway of antigen presentation. Here we identify a 48 kDa type I transmembrane glycoprotein encoded by the MCMV early gene m06, which tightly binds to properly folded beta2-microglobulin (beta2m)-associated MHC class I molecules in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). This association is mediated by the lumenal/transmembrane part of the protein. gp48-MHC class I complexes are transported out of the ER, pass the Golgi, but instead of being expressed on the cell surface, they are redirected to the endocytic route and rapidly degraded in a Lamp-1(+) compartment. As a result, m06-expressing cells are impaired in presenting antigenic peptides to CD8(+) T cells. The cytoplasmic tail of gp48 contains two di-leucine motifs. Mutation of the membrane-proximal di-leucine motif of gp48 restored surface expression of MHC class I, while mutation of the distal one had no effect. The results establish a novel viral mechanism for downregulation of MHC class I molecules by directly binding surface-destined MHC complexes and exploiting the cellular di-leucine sorting machinery for lysosomal degradation. (+info)
Epstein-barr virus regulates c-MYC, apoptosis, and tumorigenicity in Burkitt lymphoma.
Loss of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genome from Akata Burkitt lymphoma (BL) cells is coincident with a loss of malignant phenotype, despite the fact that Akata and other EBV-positive BL cells express a restricted set of EBV gene products (type I latency) that are not known to overtly affect cell growth. Here we demonstrate that reestablishment of type I latency in EBV-negative Akata cells restores tumorigenicity and that tumorigenic potential correlates with an increased resistance to apoptosis under growth-limiting conditions. The antiapoptotic effect of EBV was associated with a higher level of Bcl-2 expression and an EBV-dependent decrease in steady-state levels of c-MYC protein. Although the EBV EBNA-1 protein is expressed in all EBV-associated tumors and is reported to have oncogenic potential, enforced expression of EBNA-1 alone in EBV-negative Akata cells failed to restore tumorigenicity or EBV-dependent down-regulation of c-MYC. These data provide direct evidence that EBV contributes to the tumorigenic potential of Burkitt lymphoma and suggest a novel model whereby a restricted latency program of EBV promotes B-cell survival, and thus virus persistence within an immune host, by selectively targeting the expression of c-MYC. (+info)
Control of growth and differentiation by Drosophila RasGAP, a homolog of p120 Ras-GTPase-activating protein.
Mammalian Ras GTPase-activating protein (GAP), p120 Ras-GAP, has been implicated as both a downregulator and effector of Ras proteins, but its precise role in Ras-mediated signal transduction pathways is unclear. To begin a genetic analysis of the role of p120 Ras-GAP we identified a homolog from the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster through its ability to complement the sterility of a Schizosaccharomyces pombe (fission yeast) gap1 mutant strain. Like its mammalian homolog, Drosophila RasGAP stimulated the intrinsic GTPase activity of normal mammalian H-Ras but not that of the oncogenic Val12 mutant. RasGAP was tyrosine phosphorylated in embryos and its Src homology 2 (SH2) domains could bind in vitro to a small number of tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins expressed at various developmental stages. Ectopic expression of RasGAP in the wing imaginal disc reduced the size of the adult wing by up to 45% and suppressed ectopic wing vein formation caused by expression of activated forms of Breathless and Heartless, two Drosophila receptor tyrosine kinases of the fibroblast growth factor receptor family. The in vivo effects of RasGAP overexpression required intact SH2 domains, indicating that intracellular localization of RasGAP through SH2-phosphotyrosine interactions is important for its activity. These results show that RasGAP can function as an inhibitor of signaling pathways mediated by Ras and receptor tyrosine kinases in vivo. Genetic interactions, however, suggested a Ras-independent role for RasGAP in the regulation of growth. The system described here should enable genetic screens to be performed to identify regulators and effectors of p120 Ras-GAP. (+info)
Down-regulation of RpS21, a putative translation initiation factor interacting with P40, produces viable minute imagos and larval lethality with overgrown hematopoietic organs and imaginal discs.
Down-regulation of the Drosophila ribosomal protein S21 gene (rpS21) causes a dominant weak Minute phenotype and recessively produces massive hyperplasia of the hematopoietic organs and moderate overgrowth of the imaginal discs during larval development. Here, we show that the S21 protein (RpS21) is bound to native 40S ribosomal subunits in a salt-labile association and is absent from polysomes, indicating that it acts as a translation initiation factor rather than as a core ribosomal protein. RpS21 can interact strongly with P40, a ribosomal peripheral protein encoded by the stubarista (sta) gene. Genetic studies reveal that P40 underexpression drastically enhances imaginal disc overgrowth in rpS21-deficient larvae, whereas viable combinations between rpS21 and sta affect the morphology of bristles, antennae, and aristae. These data demonstrate a strong interaction between components of the translation machinery and showed that their underexpression impairs the control of cell proliferation in both hematopoietic organs and imaginal discs. (+info)
Transformation of intestinal epithelial cells by chronic TGF-beta1 treatment results in downregulation of the type II TGF-beta receptor and induction of cyclooxygenase-2.
The precise role of TGF-beta in colorectal carcinogenesis is not clear. The purpose of this study was to determine the phenotypic alterations caused by chronic exposure to TGF-beta in non-transformed intestinal epithelial (RIE-1) cells. Growth of RIE-1 cells was inhibited by >75% following TGF-beta1 treatment for 7 days, after which the cells resumed a normal growth despite the presence of TGF-beta1. These 'TGF-beta-resistant' cells (RIE-Tr) were continuously exposed to TGF-beta for >50 days. Unlike the parental RIE cells, RIE-Tr cells lost contact inhibition, formed foci in culture, grew in soft agarose. RIE-Tr cells demonstrated TGF-beta-dependent invasive potential in an in vitro assay and were resistant to Matrigel and Na-butyrate-induced apoptosis. The RIE-Tr cells were also tumorigenic in nude mice. The transformed phenotype of RIE-Tr cells was associated with a 95% decrease in the level of the type II TGF-beta receptor (TbetaRII) protein, a 40-fold increase in cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) protein, and 5.9-fold increase in the production of prostacyclin. Most RIE-Tr subclones that expressed low levels of TbetaRII and high levels of COX-2 were tumorigenic. Those subclones that express abundant TbetaRII and low levels of COX-2 were not tumorigenic in nude mice. A selective COX-2 inhibitor inhibited RIE-Tr cell growth in culture and tumor growth in nude mice. The reduced expression of TbetaRII, increased expression of COX-2, and the ability to form colonies in Matrigel were all reversible upon withdrawal of exogenous TGF-beta1 for the RIE-Tr cells. (+info)
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)