Expression and differential regulation of connective tissue growth factor in pancreatic cancer cells. (1/7961)

CTGF is an immediate early growth responsive gene that has been shown to be a downstream mediator of TGFbeta actions in fibroblasts and vascular endothelial cells. In the present study hCTGF was isolated as immediate early target gene of EGF/TGFalpha in human pancreatic cancer cells by suppression hybridization. CTGF transcripts were found in 13/15 pancreatic cancer cell lines incubated with 10% serum. In 3/7 pancreatic cancer cell lines EGF/TGFalpha induced a significant rise of CTGF transcript levels peaking 1-2 h after the start of treatment. TGFbeta increased CTGF transcript levels in 2/7 pancreatic cancer cell lines after 4 h of treatment and this elevation was sustained after 24 h. Only treatment with TGFbeta was accompanied by a parallel induction of collagen type I transcription. 15/19 human pancreatic cancer tissues were shown to overexpress high levels of CTGF transcripts. CTGF transcript levels in pancreatic cancer tissues and nude mouse xenograft tumors showed a good correlation to the degree of fibrosis. In situ hybridization and the nude mouse experiments revealed that in pancreatic cancer tissues, fibroblasts are the predominant site of CTGF transcription, whereas the tumor cells appear to contribute to a lesser extent. We conclude that CTGF may be of paramount importance for the development of the characteristic desmoplastic reaction in pancreatic cancer tissues.  (+info)

Molecular cloning and characterization of a novel angiopoietin family protein, angiopoietin-3. (2/7961)

Using homology-based PCR, we have isolated cDNA encoding a novel member (491 amino acids) of the angiopoietin (Ang) family from human adult heart cDNA and have designated it angiopoietin-3 (Ang3). The NH2-terminal and COOH-terminal portions of Ang-3 contain the characteristic coiled-coil domain and fibrinogen-like domain that are conserved in other known Angs. Ang3 has a highly hydrophobic region at the N-terminus (approximately 21 amino acids) that is typical of a signal sequence for protein secretion. Ang3 mRNA is most abundant in adrenal gland, placenta, thyroid gland, heart and small intestine in human adult tissues. Additionally, Ang3 is a secretory protein, but is not a mitogen in endothelial cells.  (+info)

Suppression subtractive hybridization identifies high glucose levels as a stimulus for expression of connective tissue growth factor and other genes in human mesangial cells. (3/7961)

Accumulation of mesangial matrix is a pivotal event in the pathophysiology of diabetic nephropathy. The molecular triggers for matrix production are still being defined. Here, suppression subtractive hybridization identified 15 genes differentially induced when primary human mesangial cells are exposed to high glucose (30 mM versus 5 mM) in vitro. These genes included (a) known regulators of mesangial cell activation in diabetic nephropathy (fibronectin, caldesmon, thrombospondin, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1), (b) novel genes, and (c) known genes whose induction by high glucose has not been reported. Prominent among the latter were genes encoding cytoskeleton-associated proteins and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), a modulator of fibroblast matrix production. In parallel experiments, elevated CTGF mRNA levels were demonstrated in glomeruli of rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetic nephropathy. Mannitol provoked less mesangial cell CTGF expression in vitro than high glucose, excluding hyperosmolality as the key stimulus. The addition of recombinant CTGF to cultured mesangial cells enhanced expression of extracellular matrix proteins. High glucose stimulated expression of transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-beta1), and addition of TGF-beta1 to mesangial cells triggered CTGF expression. CTGF expression induced by high glucose was partially suppressed by anti-TGF-beta1 antibody and by the protein kinase C inhibitor GF 109203X. Together, these data suggest that 1) high glucose stimulates mesangial CTGF expression by TGFbeta1-dependent and protein kinase C dependent pathways, and 2) CTGF may be a mediator of TGFbeta1-driven matrix production within a diabetic milieu.  (+info)

Isolation of novel GRO genes and a phylogenetic analysis of the CXC chemokine subfamily in mammals. (4/7961)

Approximately 15 different alpha, or CXC, chemokines have thus far been isolated from 11 species of mammals. Among the best studied chemokines are the 12 human proteins that are encoded by 11 paralogous genes. In order to better understand the evolution and function of this group of genes, we isolated and characterized six novel GRO and GRO-related cDNA sequences from the cow (Bos taurus), the sheep (Ovis aries), the rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), and the guinea pig (Cavia porcellus). The amino acid sequence of the diverged guinea pig GRO or KC gene is only 50%-60% similar to presumed orthologs from other species, while the sheep and cow GRO proteins are 90%-99% similar to each other. The presence of multiple GRO genes in the cow, the rabbit, and the sheep is consistent with what has been observed for humans. Phylogenetic analyses of amino acid sequences from 44 proteins indicate that genes orthologous to many of the 11 known from humans exist in other species. One such gene, interleukin 8, or IL8, has been isolated from nine species, including the rodent guinea pig; however, this gene is absent in the rat and the mouse, indicating a unique gene loss event in the rat/mouse (muroid rodent) lineage. The KC (or MIP2) gene of rodents appears to be orthologous to the GRO gene found in other taxonomic orders. Combined evidence from different sources suggests that IP10 and MIG share sister taxon relationships on the evolutionary tree, while the remaining paralogous genes represent independent lineages, with limited evidence for kinship between them. This observation indicates that these genes originated nearly contemporaneously via a series of gene duplication events. Relative-rate tests for synonymous and nonsynonymous nucleotide substitutions in the KC and IL8 genes did not detect rate heterogeneity; however, there are several notable features regarding the IL8 genes. For example, the IL8 proteins from two Old World monkeys are as similar to one another as they are to the IL8 protein from humans, and all observed nucleotide differences between the IL8 genes of the two monkeys cause amino acid changes; in other words, there are no synonymous differences between them.  (+info)

Heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor/diphtheria toxin receptor expression by acute myeloid leukemia cells. (5/7961)

Heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor (HB-EGF) is an EGF family member expressed by numerous cell types that binds to EGF receptor 1 (HER-1) or 4 (HER-4) inducing mitogenic and/or chemotactic activities. Membrane-bound HB-EGF retains growth activity and adhesion capabilities and the unique property of being the receptor for diphtheria toxin (DT). The interest in studying HB-EGF in acute leukemia stems from these mitogenic, chemotactic, and receptor functions. We analyzed the expression of HB-EGF in L428, Raji, Jurkat, Karpas 299, L540, 2C8, HL-60, U937, THP-1, ML-3, and K562 cell lines and in primary blasts from 12 acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cases, by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Northern blot and by the evaluation of sensitivity to DT. The release of functional HB-EGF was assessed by evaluation of its proliferative effects on the HB-EGF-sensitive Balb/c 3T3 cell line. HB-EGF was expressed by all myeloid and T, but not B (L428, Raji), lymphoid cell lines tested, as well as by the majority (8 of 12) of ex vivo AML blasts. Cell lines (except for the K562 cell line) and AML blasts expressing HB-EGF mRNA underwent apoptotic death following exposure to DT, thus demonstrating the presence of the HB-EGF molecule on their membrane. Leukemic cells also released a fully functional HB-EGF molecule that was mitogenic for the Balb/c 3T3 cell line. Factors relevant to the biology of leukemic growth, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), 1alpha,25-(OH)2D3, and especially all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), upregulated HB-EGF mRNA in HL-60 or ML-3 cells. Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) induced HB-EGF mRNA and acquisition of sensitivity to DT in one previously HB-EGF-negative leukemia case. Moreover, the U937 and Karpas 299 cell lines expressed HER-4 mRNA. This work shows that HB-EGF is a growth factor produced by primary leukemic cells and regulated by ATRA, 1alpha, 25-(OH)2D3, and GM-CSF.  (+info)

Molecular cloning of mouse and bovine chondromodulin-II cDNAs and the growth-promoting actions of bovine recombinant protein. (6/7961)

We previously determined the complete primary sequence of a heparin-binding growth-promoting factor, chondromodulin-II (ChM-II), which stimulated the growth of chondrocytes and osteoblasts in culture. Bovine ChM-II was a 16-kDa basic protein with 133 amino acid residues and exhibited a significant sequence similarity to the repeats of the chicken mim-1 gene product. Here we report the nucleotide sequences of bovine and mouse ChM-II cDNAs. The cDNAs each contained an open-reading frame corresponding to the ChM-II precursor with 151 amino acid residues. The N-terminus of the precursor included a secretory signal sequence of 18 amino acids prior to the mature ChM-II sequence. Unlike MIM-1, there was no repeat structure in the precursor protein, indicating that ChM-II was encoded as a gene product distinct from MIM-1. We then expressed recombinant bovine ChM-II protein which was purified to homogeneity. The recombinant protein stimulated the growth of rabbit growth plate chondrocytes, mouse MC3T3-E1 cells and rat UMR-106 osteoblastic cells in vitro.  (+info)

Angiopoietins 3 and 4: diverging gene counterparts in mice and humans. (7/7961)

The angiopoietins have recently joined the members of the vascular endothelial growth factor family as the only known growth factors largely specific for vascular endothelium. The angiopoietins include a naturally occurring agonist, angiopoietin-1, as well as a naturally occurring antagonist, angiopoietin-2, both of which act by means of the Tie2 receptor. We now report our attempts to use homology-based cloning approaches to identify new members of the angiopoietin family. These efforts have led to the identification of two new angiopoietins, angiopoietin-3 in mouse and angiopoietin-4 in human; we have also identified several more distantly related sequences that do not seem to be true angiopoietins, in that they do not bind to the Tie receptors. Although angiopoietin-3 and angiopoietin-4 are strikingly more structurally diverged from each other than are the mouse and human versions of angiopoietin-1 and angiopoietin-2, they appear to represent the mouse and human counterparts of the same gene locus, as revealed in our chromosomal localization studies of all of the angiopoietins in mouse and human. The structural divergence of angiopoietin-3 and angiopoietin-4 appears to underlie diverging functions of these counterparts. Angiopoietin-3 and angiopoietin-4 have very different distributions in their respective species, and angiopoietin-3 appears to act as an antagonist, whereas angiopoietin-4 appears to function as an agonist.  (+info)

The head inducer Cerberus is a multifunctional antagonist of Nodal, BMP and Wnt signals. (8/7961)

Embryological and genetic evidence indicates that the vertebrate head is induced by a different set of signals from those that organize trunk-tail development. The gene cerberus encodes a secreted protein that is expressed in anterior endoderm and has the unique property of inducing ectopic heads in the absence of trunk structures. Here we show that the cerberus protein functions as a multivalent growth-factor antagonist in the extracellular space: it binds to Nodal, BMP and Wnt proteins via independent sites. The expression of cerberus during gastrulation is activated by earlier nodal-related signals in endoderm and by Spemann-organizer factors that repress signalling by BMP and Wnt. In order for the head territory to form, we propose that signals involved in trunk development, such as those involving BMP, Wnt and Nodal proteins, must be inhibited in rostral regions.  (+info)