Matrine inhibits production and actions of fibrogenic cytokines released by mouse peritoneal macrophages. (1/5011)

AIM: To study the effects of matrine (Mat) on production and actions of fibrogenic cytokines from mouse peritoneal macrophages. METHODS: Mouse peritoneal macrophages were primed with calcimycin 1 micromol/L for 8 h then elicited by lipopolysaccharides (LPS) 100 microg/L for 6 h to induce fibrogenic cytokines. Proliferative and collagen stimulating activity in the macrophage culture supernatants was determined by crystal violet staining assay and [3H]-proline incorporation assay using rat hepatic stellate HSC-T6 cell or mouse fibroblast NIH3T3 cell. Transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) activity was measured by [3H]-thymidine incorporation assay using Mv-1-Lu mink lung epithelial cell. RESULTS: Mat (0.5-2 mmol/L) was shown to significantly inhibit LPS-induced collagen stimulating activities and TGFbeta production (P < 0.01) whereas did not inhibit proliferative activities induced by macrophages. Macrophage conditioned medium (MCM)-driven proliferation and collagen synthesis of HSC-T6 cells as well as NIH3T3 cells were attenuated by Mat (0.5-2 mmol/L) in a concentration-dependent manner. CONCLUSION: Antifibrotic effects of Mat on hepatic stellate cells may be related to reduction of fibrogenic cytokine production and blockade of their actions.  (+info)

In vivo destabilization of dynamic microtubules by HDAC6-mediated deacetylation. (2/5011)

Trichostatin A (TSA) inhibits all histone deacetylases (HDACs) of both class I and II, whereas trapoxin (TPX) cannot inhibit HDAC6, a cytoplasmic member of class II HDACs. We took advantage of this differential sensitivity of HDAC6 to TSA and TPX to identify its substrates. Using this approach, alpha-tubulin was identified as an HDAC6 substrate. HDAC6 deacetylated alpha-tubulin both in vivo and in vitro. Our investigations suggest that HDAC6 controls the stability of a dynamic pool of microtubules. Indeed, we found that highly acetylated microtubules observed after TSA treatment exhibited delayed drug-induced depolymerization and that HDAC6 overexpression prompted their induced depolymerization. Depolymerized tubulin was rapidly deacetylated in vivo, whereas tubulin acetylation occurred only after polymerization. We therefore suggest that acetylation and deacetylation are coupled to the microtubule turnover and that HDAC6 plays a key regulatory role in the stability of the dynamic microtubules.  (+info)

The formin-homology-domain-containing protein FHOD1 enhances cell migration. (3/5011)

Formin-homology-domain-containing proteins interact with Rho-family GTPases and regulate actin cytoskeleton organization and gene transcription. FHOD1 is a member of this family, interacts with Rac1 and induces transcription from the serum response element. In this study, we examined the effects of FHOD1 expression on cytoskeletal organization and function in mammalian cells. FHOD1 proteins were stably expressed in WM35 melanoma cells and NIH-3T3 fibroblasts. Cells expressing full-length FHOD1 demonstrated an elongated phenotype compared with vector-transfected cells and cells expressing a truncated FHOD1 (1-421) that lacks the conserved FH1 and FH2 domains. Full-length FHOD1 co-localized with filamentous actin at cell peripheries. Cells transiently expressing a C-terminal FHOD1 truncation mutant (DeltaC, residues 1-1010), which lacks an autoinhibitory protein-protein interaction domain, displayed prominent stress fibers. FHOD1 (1-421) did not induce stress fibers but localized to membrane ruffles in a manner similar to the full-length protein, indicating that the FH1 and FH2 domains are required for stress fiber appearance. FHOD1 DeltaC (1-1010)-dependent stress fibers were sensitive to dominant-negative RacN17 and the RhoA and ROCK inhibitors, C3 transferase and Y-27632. Stable overexpression of full-length FHOD1 enhanced the migration of WM35 and NIH-3T3 cells to type-I collagen and fibronectin, respectively. Cells expressing FHOD1 (1-421) migrated similar to control cells. Integrin expression and activation were not affected by FHOD1 expression. Moreover, FHOD1 overexpression did not alter integrin usage during adhesion or migration. These data demonstrate that FHOD1 interacts with and regulates the structure of the cytoskeleton and stimulates cell migration in an integrin-independent manner.  (+info)

Dynamic association of RNA-editing enzymes with the nucleolus. (4/5011)

ADAR1 and ADAR2 are editing enzymes that deaminate adenosine to inosine in long double stranded RNA duplexes and specific pre-mRNA transcripts. Here, we show that full-length and N-terminally truncated forms of ADAR1 are simultaneously expressed in HeLa and COS7 cells owing to the usage of alternative starting methionines. Because the N-terminus of ADAR1 contains a nuclear export signal, the full-length protein localizes predominantly in the cytoplasm, whereas the N-terminally truncated forms are exclusively nuclear and accumulate in the nucleolus. ADAR2, which lacks a region homologous to the N-terminal domain of ADAR1, localizes exclusively to the nucleus and similarly accumulates in the nucleolus. Within the nucleolus, ADAR1 and ADAR2 co-localize in a novel compartment. Photobleaching experiments demonstrate that, in live cells, ADAR1 and ADAR2 are in constant flux in and out of the nucleolus. When cells express the editing-competent glutamate receptor GluR-B RNA, endogenous ADAR1 and ADAR2 de-localize from the nucleolus and accumulate at sites where the substrate transcripts accumulate. This suggests that ADAR1 and ADAR2 are constantly moving through the nucleolus and might be recruited onto specific editing substrates present elsewhere in the cell.  (+info)

Regulation of tight junctions during the epithelium-mesenchyme transition: direct repression of the gene expression of claudins/occludin by Snail. (5/5011)

Snail is a transcription repressor that plays a central role in the epithelium-mesenchyme transition (EMT), by which epithelial cells lose their polarity. Claudins and occludin are integral membrane proteins localized at tight junctions, which are responsible for establishing and maintaining epithelial cell polarity. We examined the relationship between Snail and the promoter activity of claudins and occludin. When Snail was overexpressed in cultured mouse epithelial cells, EMT was induced with concomitant repression of the expression of claudins and occludin not only at the protein but also at the mRNA level. We then isolated the promoters of genes encoding claudins and occludin, in which multiple E-boxes were identified. Transfection experiments with various promoter constructs as well as electrophoretic mobility assays revealed that Snail binds directly to the E-boxes of the promoters of claudin/occludin genes, resulting in complete repression of their promoter activity. Because the gene encoding E-cadherin was also reported to be repressed by Snail, we concluded that EMT was associated with the simultaneous repression of the genes encoding E-cadherin and claudins/occludin (i.e. the expression of adherens and tight junction adhesion molecules, respectively).  (+info)

Antitumor effects of ZD6474, a small molecule vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, with additional activity against epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase. (6/5011)

PURPOSE: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a major mitogen for endothelial cells and enhances vascular permeability. Enhanced VEGF secretion is found in human cancers and correlates with increased tumor neovascularization. ZD6474 is a p.o. bioavailable, VEGF flk-1/KDR receptor (VEGFR-2) tyrosine kinase inhibitor with antitumor activity in many human cancer xenografts and is currently in Phase I clinical development. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We tested the effects of ZD6474 on EGFR phosphorylation in cell expressing functional epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and the antiproliferative and the proapoptotic activity of ZD6474 alone or in combination taxanes in human cancer cell lines with functional EGFR but lacking VEGFR-2. The antitumor activity of this drug was also tested in nude mice bearing established GEO colon cancer xenografts. RESULTS: ZD6474 causes a dose-dependent inhibition of EGFR phosphorylation in mouse NIH-EGFR fibroblasts and human MCF-10A ras breast cancer cells, two cell lines that overexpress the human EGFR. ZD6474 treatment resulted in a dose-dependent inhibition of soft agar growth in seven human cell lines (breast, colon, gastric, and ovarian) with functional EGFR but lacking VEGFR-2. A dose-dependent supra-additive effect in growth inhibition and in apoptosis in vitro was observed by the combined treatment with ZD6474 and paclitaxel or docetaxel. ZD6474 treatment of nude mice bearing palpable GEO colon cancer xenografts (which are sensitive to inhibition of EGFR signaling) induced dose-dependent tumor growth inhibition. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed a significant dose-dependent reduction of neoangiogenesis. The antitumor activity of ZD6474 in GEO tumor xenografts was also found to be enhanced when combined with paclitaxel. Tumor regression was observed in all mice after treatment with ZD6474 plus paclitaxel, and it was accompanied by a significant potentiation in inhibition of angiogenesis. Six of 20 mice had no histological evidence of tumors after treatment with ZD6474 plus paclitaxel. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that in addition to inhibiting endothelial cell proliferation by blocking VEGF-induced signaling, ZD6474 may also be able to inhibit cancer cell growth by blocking EGFR autocrine signaling. These results provide also a rationale for the clinical evaluation of ZD6474 combined with taxanes in cancer patients.  (+info)

Specific inhibition of the Akt1 pleckstrin homology domain by D-3-deoxy-phosphatidyl-myo-inositol analogues. (7/5011)

Activation of Akt (protein kinase B), a Ser/Thr protein kinase that promotes cell survival, has been linked to tumorigenesis. Akt is activated by phosphorylation after binding of its pleckstrin homology (PH) domain to plasma membrane phosphatidyl-myo-inositol-3-phosphates, formed by phosphoinositide-3-kinase. We report a novel strategy to inhibit Akt activation based on the use of D-3-deoxy-phosphatidyl-myo-inositols (DPIs) that cannot be phosphorylated on the 3-position of the myo-inositol ring. We have studied the DPIs, DPI 1-[(R)-2,3-bis(hexadecanoyloxy)propyl hydrogen phosphate], its ether lipid derivative DPI 1-[(R)-2-methoxy-3-octadecyloxypropyl hydrogen phosphate] (DPIEL), and its carbonate derivative DPI 1-[(R)-2-methoxy-3-octadecyloxypropyl carbonate]. We demonstrate in platelet-derived growth factor-stimulated mouse NIH3T3 cells that the DPIs bind to the PH domain of Akt, trapping it in the cytoplasm and thus preventing Akt activation. DPIEL did not inhibit myristylated-Akt, a constitutively active membrane-bound Akt expressed in NIH3T3 cells, and cell growth was not inhibited, unlike in wild-type NIH3T3 cells. Molecular modeling and docking studies show that DPIEL binds with much higher affinity to Akt's PH domain as compared with DPI and DPI 1-[(R)-2-methoxy-3-octadecyloxypropyl carbonate]. This study shows that the DPIs are a novel class of growth inhibitory agents with a novel mechanism of action through binding to the PH domain of Akt and inhibition of Akt activation.  (+info)

Bfk: a novel weakly proapoptotic member of the Bcl-2 protein family with a BH3 and a BH2 region. (8/5011)

Proteins of the Bcl-2 family are critical regulators of apoptosis. Proapoptotic members, like Bax, contain three of the four Bcl-2 homology regions (BH1-3), while BH3-only proteins, like Bim, possess only the short BH3 motif. Database searches revealed Bfk, an unusual novel member of the Bcl-2 family that contains a BH2 and BH3 region but not BH1 or BH4. Bfk is thus most closely related to Bcl-G(L). It lacks a C-terminal membrane anchor and is cytosolic. Enforced expression of Bfk weakly promoted apoptosis and antagonized Bcl-2's prosurvival function. Like Bcl-G(L), Bfk did not bind to any Bcl-2 family members, even though its BH3 motif can mediate association with prosurvival proteins. Low amounts of Bfk were found in stomach, ovary, bone marrow and spleen, but its level in the mammary gland rose markedly during pregnancy, suggesting that Bfk may play a role in mammary development.  (+info)