Requirement of a novel gene, Xin, in cardiac morphogenesis. (1/4678)

A novel gene, Xin, from chick (cXin) and mouse (mXin) embryonic hearts, may be required for cardiac morphogenesis and looping. Both cloned cDNAs have a single open reading frame, encoding proteins with 2,562 and 1,677 amino acids for cXin and mXin, respectively. The derived amino acid sequences share 46% similarity. The overall domain structures of the predicted cXin and mXin proteins, including proline-rich regions, 16 amino acid repeats, DNA-binding domains, SH3-binding motifs and nuclear localization signals, are highly conserved. Northern blot analyses detect a single message of 8.9 and 5.8 kilo base (kb) from both cardiac and skeletal muscle of chick and mouse, respectively. In situ hybridization reveals that the cXin gene is specifically expressed in cardiac progenitor cells of chick embryos as early as stage 8, prior to heart tube formation. cXin continues to be expressed in the myocardium of developing hearts. By stage 15, cXin expression is also detected in the myotomes of developing somites. Immunofluorescence microscopy reveals that the mXin protein is colocalized with N-cadherin and connexin-43 in the intercalated discs of adult mouse hearts. Incubation of stage 6 chick embryos with cXin antisense oligonucleotides results in abnormal cardiac morphogenesis and an alteration of cardiac looping. The myocardium of the affected hearts becomes thickened and tends to form multiple invaginations into the heart cavity. This abnormal cellular process may account in part for the abnormal looping. cXin expression can be induced by bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) in explants of anterior medial mesoendoderm from stage 6 chick embryos, a tissue that is normally non-cardiogenic. This induction occurs following the BMP-mediated induction of two cardiac-restricted transcription factors, Nkx2.5 and MEF2C. Furthermore, either MEF2C or Nkx2.5 can transactivate a luciferase reporter driven by the mXin promoter in mouse fibroblasts. These results suggest that Xin may participate in a BMP-Nkx2.5-MEF2C pathway to control cardiac morphogenesis and looping.  (+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. (2/4678)

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)

The Jun kinase 2 isoform is preferentially required for epidermal growth factor-induced transformation of human A549 lung carcinoma cells. (3/4678)

We have previously found that epidermal growth factor (EGF) mediates growth through the Jun N-terminal kinase/stress-activated kinase (JNK/SAPK) pathway in A549 human lung carcinoma cells. As observed here, EGF treatment also greatly enhances the tumorigenicity of A549 cells, suggesting an important role for JNK in cancer cell growth (F. Bost, R. McKay, N. Dean, and D. Mercola, J. Biol. Chem. 272:33422-33429, 1997). Several isoforms families of JNK, JNK1, JNK2, and JNK3, have been isolated; they arise from alternative splicing of three different genes and have distinct substrate binding properties. Here we have used specific phosphorothioate oligonucleotides targeted against the two major isoforms, JNK1 and JNK2, to discriminate their roles in EGF-induced transformation. Multiple antisense sequences have been screened, and two high-affinity and specific candidates have been identified. Antisense JNK1 eliminated steady-state mRNA and JNK1 protein expression with a 50% effective concentration (EC50) of <0.1 microM but did not alter JNK2 mRNA or protein levels. Conversely, antisense JNK2 specifically eliminated JNK2 steady-state mRNA and protein expression with an EC50 of 0.1 microM. Antisense JNK1 and antisense JNK2 inhibited by 40 and 70%, respectively, EGF-induced total JNK activity, whereas sense and scrambled-sequence control oligonucleotides had no effect. The elimination of mRNA, protein, and JNK activities lasted 48 and 72 h following a single Lipofectin treatment with antisense JNK1 and JNK2, respectively, indicating sufficient duration for examining the impact of specific elimination on the phenotype. Direct proliferation assays demonstrated that antisense JNK2 inhibited EGF-induced doubling of growth as well as the combination of active antisense oligonucleotides did. EGF treatment also induced colony formation in soft agar. This effect was completely inhibited by antisense JNK2 and combined-antisense treatment but not altered by antisense JNK1 alone. These results show that EGF doubles the proliferation (growth in soft agar as well as tumorigenicity in athymic mice) of A549 lung carcinoma cells and that the JNK2 isoform but not JNK1 is utilized for mediating the effects of EGF. This study represents the first demonstration of a cellular phenotype regulated by a JNK isoform family, JNK2.  (+info)

Upstream region of rat serum albumin gene promoter contributes to promoter activity: presence of functional binding site for hepatocyte nuclear factor-3. (4/4678)

Transcription of the serum albumin gene occurs almost exclusively in the liver and is controlled in part by a strong liver-specific promoter. The upstream region of the serum albumin gene promoter is highly conserved among species and is footprinted in vitro by a number of nuclear proteins. However, the role of the upstream promoter region in regulating transcription and the identity of the transcription factors that bind to this region have not been established. In the present study, deletion analysis of the rat serum albumin promoter in transiently transfected HepG2 cells demonstrated that elimination of the region between -207 and -153 bp caused a two-fold decrease in promoter activity (P<0.05). Additional analysis of the -207 to -124 bp promoter interval led to the identification of two potential binding sites for hepatocyte nuclear factor-3 (HNF-3) located at -168 to -157 bp (site X) and -145 to -134 bp (site Y). Electrophoretic mobility-shift assays performed with the HNF-3 X and Y sites demonstrated that both sites are capable of binding HNF-3alpha and HNF-3beta. Placement of a single copy of the HNF-3 X site upstream from a minimal promoter increased promoter activity by about four-fold in HepG2 cells, and the reporter construct containing this site could be transactivated if co-transfected with an HNF-3 expression construct. Furthermore, inactivation of the HNF-3 X site by site-directed mutagenesis within the context of the -261 bp albumin promoter construct resulted in a 40% decrease in transcription (P<0.05). These results indicate that the positive effect of the -207 to -153 bp promoter interval is attributable to the presence of the HNF-3 X site within this interval. Additional results obtained with transfected HepG2 cells suggest that the HNF-3 Y site plays a lesser role in activation of transcription than the X site.  (+info)

Hyperoxia induces the neuronal differentiated phenotype of PC12 cells via a sustained activity of mitogen-activated protein kinase induced by Bcl-2. (5/4678)

We previously reported that rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cells express the neuronal differentiated phenotype under hyperoxia through the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In the present study, we found that in this phenotype, Bcl-2, an apoptosis inhibitor, affects mitogen-activated protein (MAP)-kinase activity, which is known as a key enzyme of the signal-transduction cascade for differentiation. When PC12 cells were cultured under hyperoxia, a rapid increase in MAP-kinase activity, including that of both p42 and p44, was observed. Although the activity level then decreased quickly, activity higher than the control level was observed for 48 h. PD98059, an inhibitor of MAP kinase, suppressed the hyperoxia-induced neurite extensions, suggesting the involvement of MAP-kinase activity in the mechanism of differentiation induced by ROS. An elevation of Bcl-2 expression was observed after culturing PC12 cells for 24 h under hyperoxia. This Bcl-2 elevation was not affected by treatment with PD98059, suggesting that it did not directly induce neurite extension under hyperoxia. However, the blockade of the Bcl-2 elevation by an antisense oligonucleotide inhibited the sustained MAP-kinase activity and neurite extensions under hyperoxia. Further, in PC12 cells highly expressing Bcl-2, the sustained MAP-kinase activity and neurite extensions under hyperoxia were enhanced. These results suggested that MAP kinase is activated through the production of ROS, and the subsequent elevation of Bcl-2 expression sustains the MAP-kinase activity, resulting in the induction of the neuronal-differentiation phenotype of PC12 cells under hyperoxia.  (+info)

Simultaneous antisense inhibition of two starch-synthase isoforms in potato tubers leads to accumulation of grossly modified amylopectin. (6/4678)

A chimaeric antisense construct was used to reduce the activities of the two major starch-synthase isoforms in potato tubers simultaneously. A range of reductions in total starch-synthase activities were found in the resulting transgenic plants, up to a maximum of 90% inhibition. The reduction in starch-synthase activity had a profound effect on the starch granules, which became extremely distorted in appearance compared with the control lines. Analysis of the starch indicated that the amounts produced in the tubers, and the amylose content of the starch, were not affected by the reduction in activity. In order to understand why the starch granules were distorted, amylopectin was isolated and the constituent chain lengths analysed. This indicated that the amylopectin was very different to that of the control. It contained more chains of fewer than 15 glucose units in length, and fewer of between 15 and 80 glucose units. In addition, the amylopectin contained more very long chains. Amylopectin from plants repressed in just one of the activities of the two starch-synthase isoforms, which we have reported upon previously, were also analysed. Using a technique different to that used previously we show that both isoforms also affect the amylopectin, but in a way that is different to when both isoforms are repressed together.  (+info)

Regulation of cardiac L-type Ca2+ channel by coexpression of G(alpha s) in Xenopus oocytes. (7/4678)

Activation of G(alpha s) via beta-adrenergic receptors enhances the activity of cardiac voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels of the L-type, mainly via protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent phosphorylation. Contribution of a PKA-independent effect of G(alpha s) has been proposed but remains controversial. We demonstrate that, in Xenopus oocytes, antisense knockdown of endogenous G(alpha s) reduced, whereas coexpression of G(alpha s) enhanced, currents via expressed cardiac L-type channels, independently of the presence of the auxiliary subunits alpha2/delta or beta2A. Coexpression of G(alpha s) did not increase the amount of alpha1C protein in whole oocytes or in the plasma membrane (measured immunochemically). Activation of coexpressed beta2 adrenergic receptors did not cause a detectable enhancement of channel activity; rather, a small cAMP-dependent decrease was observed. We conclude that coexpression of G(alpha s), but not its acute activation via beta-adrenergic receptors, enhances the activity of the cardiac L-type Ca2+ channel via a PKA-independent effect on the alpha1C subunit.  (+info)

Oligonucleotide-europium complex conjugate designed to cleave the 5' cap structure of the ICAM-1 transcript potentiates antisense activity in cells. (8/4678)

The 5' cap structure of mRNA is a N7 methylated guanosine residue that is linked by a 5'-5' triphosphate linkage to the 5'-terminus of cellular and viral RNAs synthesized by RNA polymerase II. This unique structure facilitates several processes of mRNA metabolism, including splicing, nucleocytoplasmic transport,initiation of translation, and degradation. Previous research has demonstrated that the lanthanide macrocycle complex, Eu(THED)3+, effectively cleaves the 5' cap structure of mRNA in solution by nucleophilic attack of the triphosphate linkage via the metal-activated hydroxyethyl group of the THED ligand. This report shows that attachment of a Eu(THED)3+analog to the 3'-terminus of an antisense oligonucleotide, which targets the 5'-terminus of the intercellular adhesion molecule 1 mRNA, potentiates the inhibitory activity of the antisense oligonucleotide in cytokine-treatedendothelial cells.  (+info)