Anti-apoptotic role of telomerase in pheochromocytoma cells. (1/1456)

Telomerase is a protein-RNA enzyme complex that adds a six-base DNA sequence (TTAGGG) to the ends of chromosomes and thereby prevents their shortening. Reduced telomerase activity is associated with cell differentiation and accelerated cellular senescence, whereas increased telomerase activity is associated with cell transformation and immortalization. Because many types of cancer have been associated with reduced apoptosis, whereas cell differentiation and senescence have been associated with increased apoptosis, we tested the hypothesis that telomerase activity is mechanistically involved in the regulation of apoptosis. Levels of telomerase activity in cultured pheochromocytoma cells decreased prior to cell death in cells undergoing apoptosis. Treatment of cells with the oligodeoxynucleotide TTAGGG or with 3,3'-diethyloxadicarbocyanine, agents that inhibit telomerase activity in a concentration-dependent manner, significantly enhanced mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis induced by staurosporine, Fe2+ (an oxidative insult), and amyloid beta-peptide (a cytotoxic peptide linked to neuronal apoptosis in Alzheimer's disease). Overexpression of Bcl-2 and the caspase inhibitor zVAD-fmk protected cells against apoptosis in the presence of telomerase inhibitors, suggesting a site of action of telomerase prior to caspase activation and mitochondrial dysfunction. Telomerase activity decreased in cells during the process of nerve growth factor-induced differentiation, and such differentiated cells exhibited increased sensitivity to apoptosis. Our data establish a role for telomerase in suppressing apoptotic signaling cascades and suggest a mechanism whereby telomerase may suppress cellular senescence and promote tumor formation.  (+info)

Library of sequence-specific radioimmunoassays for human chromogranin A. (2/1456)

BACKGROUND: Human chromogranin A (CgA) is an acidic protein widely expressed in neuroendocrine tissue and tumors. The extensive tissue- and tumor-specific cleavages of CgA at basic cleavage sites produce multiple peptides. METHODS: We have developed a library of RIAs specific for different epitopes, including the NH2 and COOH termini and three sequences adjacent to dibasic sites in the remaining part of CgA. RESULTS: The antisera raised against CgA(210-222) and CgA(340-348) required a free NH2 terminus for binding. All antisera displayed high titers, high indexes of heterogeneity ( approximately 1.0), and high binding affinities (Keff0 approximately 0.1 x 10(12) to 1.0 x 10(12) L/mol), implying that the RIAs were monospecific and sensitive. The concentration of CgA in different tissues varied with the assay used. Hence, in a carcinoid tumor the concentration varied from 0.5 to 34.0 nmol/g tissue depending on the specificity of the CgA assay. The lowest concentration in all tumors was measured with the assay specific for the NH2 terminus of CgA. This is consistent with the relatively low concentrations measured in plasma from carcinoid tumor patients by the N-terminal assay, whereas the assays using antisera raised against CgA(210-222) and CgA(340-348) measured increased concentrations. CONCLUSION: Only some CgA assays appear useful for diagnosis of neuroendocrine tumors, but the entire library is valuable for studies of the expression and processing of human CgA.  (+info)

Protein interactions with the glucose transporter binding protein GLUT1CBP that provide a link between GLUT1 and the cytoskeleton. (3/1456)

Subcellular targeting and the activity of facilitative glucose transporters are likely to be regulated by interactions with cellular proteins. This report describes the identification and characterization of a protein, GLUT1 C-terminal binding protein (GLUT1CBP), that binds via a PDZ domain to the C terminus of GLUT1. The interaction requires the C-terminal four amino acids of GLUT1 and is isoform specific because GLUT1CBP does not interact with the C terminus of GLUT3 or GLUT4. Most rat tissues examined contain both GLUT1CBP and GLUT1 mRNA, whereas only small intestine lacked detectable GLUT1CBP protein. GLUT1CBP is also expressed in primary cultures of neurons and astrocytes, as well as in Chinese hamster ovary, 3T3-L1, Madin-Darby canine kidney, Caco-2, and pheochromocytoma-12 cell lines. GLUT1CBP is able to bind to native GLUT1 extracted from cell membranes, self-associate, or interact with the cytoskeletal proteins myosin VI, alpha-actinin-1, and the kinesin superfamily protein KIF-1B. The presence of a PDZ domain places GLUT1CBP among a growing family of structural and regulatory proteins, many of which are localized to areas of membrane specialization. This and its ability to interact with GLUT1 and cytoskeletal proteins implicate GLUT1CBP in cellular mechanisms for targeting GLUT1 to specific subcellular sites either by tethering the transporter to cytoskeletal motor proteins or by anchoring the transporter to the actin cytoskeleton.  (+info)

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A with the identical somatic mutation in medullary thyroid carcinoma and pheochromocytoma without germline mutation at the corresponding site in the RET proto-oncogene. (4/1456)

A germline mutation either in exon 10 or 11 of the RET proto-oncogene is found in the majority of patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A (MEN 2A). A 41-year-old female patient was referred for further evaluation of incidentally discovered right adrenal tumor. She had bilateral adrenal pheochromocytomas and medullary thyroid carcinomas detected by endocrinological and radiological examination, and diagnosed as MEN 2A. Molecular genetic testing of the RET exons 10 and 11 exhibited the identical somatic missense mutation at codon 634 in both tumors but did not confirm germline mutations in the corresponding sites. Possible mechanisms for tumorigenesis in this patient are discussed.  (+info)

Metastasis-association of the rat ortholog of the human epithelial glycoprotein antigen EGP314. (5/1456)

Screening for surface molecules expressed by metastasizing rat tumors had revealed evidence for metastasis-association of a molecule also expressed on epithelial cells. The similarity to the expression profile of the panepithelial glycoprotein EGP314 prompted us to isolate and sequence the gene and to explore functional features of the molecule in transfected tumor lines. The molecule D5.7A, named according to the antibody, D5.7, used for selection, indeed, is the ortholog of EGP314 with 92% and 80% identity to the murine and the human molecules. Like EGP314, D5.7A has a particular cleavage site, a small cleavage product being resolved under reducing conditions from the membrane anchored part of the molecule. Transfection of a low metastasizing fibrosarcoma, pheochromoblastoma and adenocarcinoma revealed that expression of D5.7A facilitates tumor progression. Depending on the origin of the tumor, D5.7A transfectants either metastasized via the lymphatic system (pheochromoblastoma, adenocarcinoma) or hematogeneously (fibrosarcoma). Particularly after proteolytic cleavage, D5.7A facilitated cell - cell adhesion and provided a proliferative signal upon crosslinking. Thus, the rat ortholog of EGP314 is involved in metastasis formation. Importantly, its functional activities apparently rely on proteolytic cleavage. These findings provide a first evidence on how a panepithelial marker can be involved in tumor progression.  (+info)

Mercury intoxication presenting with hypertension and tachycardia. (6/1456)

An 11 year old girl presented with hypertension and tachycardia. Excess urinary catecholamine excretion suggested phaeochromocytoma but imaging studies failed to demonstrate a tumour. Other symptoms included insomnia and weight loss, and she was found to have a raised concentration of mercury in blood and urine. Mercury intoxication should be considered in the differential diagnosis of hypertension with tachycardia even in patients presenting without the skin lesions typical of mercury intoxication and without a history of exposure.  (+info)

Influences of long-term administration of 24R, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, a vitamin D3 derivative, in rats. (7/1456)

In order to examine the influences by long-term feeding of 24R, 25 dihydroxyvitamin D3[24R, 25(OH)2D3], an active form of vitamin D, Wistar rats (14-week-old, male, 20 rats/group) were fed a powder diet containing 0 or 5 ppm 24R, 25(OH)2D3 for 57 weeks. Final body weights and total food consumption were comparable between the groups. Urinary calcium levels were significantly (p < 0.05 or 0.01) increased by the administration of 24R, 25(OH)2D3 at weeks 3, 22 and 56, although the levels of serum calcium did not differ between the groups at the termination of week 57. In the 24R, 25(OH)2D3 group, weights of the adrenals and femurs were significantly (p < 0.01) increased. Histopathologically, this was found due to thickening of cortical bone in the femurs, and medullary hyperplasia and pheochromocytoma of the adrenals. Immunohistochemically, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)-labeling indices for intact adrenal medulla, medullary hyperplasia and pheochromocytoma in the 24R, 25(OH)2D3 group were respectively 1.82 +/- 1.21, 5.88 +/- 4.13 and 16, all higher than that for the adrenal medulla in the control group (0.87 +/- 0.67). These results indicate that 24R, 25(OH)2D3 at a dose with which serum calcium is not chronically increased causes thickening of the cortex of the femur, and development of adrenal proliferative lesions, suggesting that rats may be too sensitive for results to be relevant to human risk assessment.  (+info)

Malignant pheochromocytoma with multiple hepatic metastases treated by chemotherapy and transcatheter arterial embolization. (8/1456)

A 62-year-old Japanese male developed multiple hepatic metastases two years after resection of pheochromocytoma of the right adrenal gland. Transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) was performed for the purpose of the treatment of hepatic metastases resistant to 27 cycles of combined chemotherapy consisting of cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and dacarbazine. After TAE, the hepatic metastatic lesions decreased in size and hypertension passed its crisis. The present case suggests the utility of TAE for multiple hepatic metastases under careful blood pressure monitoring.  (+info)