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(1/1510) Role for caspase-mediated cleavage of Rad51 in induction of apoptosis by DNA damage.

We report here that the Rad51 recombinase is cleaved in mammalian cells during the induction of apoptosis by ionizing radiation (IR) exposure. The results demonstrate that IR induces Rad51 cleavage by a caspase-dependent mechanism. Further support for involvement of caspases is provided by the finding that IR-induced proteolysis of Rad51 is inhibited by Ac-DEVD-CHO. In vitro studies show that Rad51 is cleaved by caspase 3 at a DVLD/N site. Stable expression of a Rad51 mutant in which the aspartic acid residues were mutated to alanines (AVLA/N) confirmed that the DVLD/N site is responsible for the cleavage of Rad51 in IR-induced apoptosis. The functional significance of Rad51 proteolysis is supported by the finding that, unlike intact Rad51, the N- and C-terminal cleavage products fail to exhibit recombinase activity. In cells, overexpression of the Rad51(D-A) mutant had no effect on activation of caspase 3 but did abrogate in part the apoptotic response to IR exposure. We conclude that proteolytic inactivation of Rad51 by a caspase-mediated mechanism contributes to the cell death response induced by DNA damage.  (+info)

(2/1510) Monoclonal antibody to HER-2/neureceptor modulates repair of radiation-induced DNA damage and enhances radiosensitivity of human breast cancer cells overexpressing this oncogene.

The management of human breast cancer frequently includes radiation therapy as an important intervention, and improvement in the clinical efficacy of radiation is desirable. Overexpression of the HER-2 growth factor receptor occurs in 25-30% of human breast cancers and correlates with poor clinical outcome, including earlier local relapse following conservative surgery accompanied by radiation therapy. In breast cancer cells with overexpression of HER-2 receptor, recombinant humanized monoclonal antibodies (rhuMAbs) to HER-2 receptors (rhuMAb HER-2) decrease cell proliferation in vitro and reduce tumor formation in nude mice. Therapy with rhuMAb HER-2 enhances tumor sensitivity to radiation at doses of 1-5 Gy, exceeding remission rates obtained with radiation alone. This benefit is specific to cells with HER-2 overexpression and does not occur in cells without overexpression. Treatment of cells with radiation (2-4 Gy) alone provokes a marked increase in unscheduled DNA synthesis, a measure of DNA repair, but HER-2-overexpressing cells treated with a combination of rhuMAb HER-2 and radiation demonstrate a decrease of unscheduled DNA synthesis to 25-44% of controls. Using an alternate test of DNA repair, i.e., radiation-damaged or undamaged reporter DNA, we introduced a cytomegalovirus-driven beta3-galactosidase into HER-2-overexpressing breast cancer cells that had been treated with rhuMAb HER-2 or control. At 24 h posttransfection, the extent of repair assayed by measuring reporter DNA expression was high after exposure to radiation alone but significantly lower in cells treated with combined radiation and rhuMAb HER-2 therapy. To further characterize effects of rhuMAb HER-2 and the combination of antibody and radiation on cell growth, analyses of cell cycle phase distribution were performed. Antibody reduces the fraction of HER-2-overexpressing breast cancer cells in S phase at 24 and 48 h. Radiation treatment is also known to promote cell cycle arrest, predominantly at G1, with low S-phase fraction at 24 and 48 h. In the presence of rhuMAb HER-2, radiation elicits a similar reduction in S phase at 24 h, but a significant reversal of this arrest appears to begin 48 h postradiation exposure. The level of S-phase fraction at 48 h is significantly greater than that found at 24 h with the combined antibody-radiation therapy, suggesting that early escape from cell cycle arrest in the presence of antireceptor antibody may not allow sufficient time for completion of DNA repair in HER-2-overexpressing cells. Because it is well known that failure of adequate p21WAF1 induction after DNA damage is associated with failure of cell cycle arrest, we also assessed the activity of this critical mediator of the cellular response to DNA damage. The results show induction of p21WAF1 transcripts and protein product at 6, 12, and 24 h after radiation treatment; however, increased levels of p21WAF1 transcript and protein are not sustained in HER-2-overexpressing cells exposed to radiation in the presence of rhuMAb HER-2. Although transcript and protein levels increase at 6-12 h, they are both diminished by 24 h. Levels of p21WAF1 transcript and protein at 24 h are significantly lower than in cells treated by radiation without antibody. A reduction in the basal level of p21WAF1 transcript also occurred after 12-24 h exposure to antibody alone. The effect of HER-2 antibody may be related to tyrosine phosphorylation of p21WAF1 protein. Tyrosine phosphorylation of p21WAF1 is increased after treatment with radiation alone, but phosphorylation is blocked by combined treatment with antireceptor antibody and radiation. This dysregulation of p21WAF1 in HER-2-overexpressing breast cells after treatment with rhuMAb HER-2 and radiation appears to be independent of p53 expression levels but does correlate with reduced levels of mdm2 protein. (ABSTRACT TRUNCATED)  (+info)

(3/1510) Differences in epitope accessibility of p53 monoclonal antibodies suggest at least three conformations or states of protein binding of p53 protein in human tumor cell lines.

The p53 tumor suppressor gene is deleted or mutated in over 50% of human tumors. Mutations frequently extend the half-life of the p53 protein; and a high level of nuclear p53 expression, detected by immunohistochemistry, has been used to predict the p53 status of tumors. We compared the sensitivity and reactivity of five frequently used, commercially available monoclonal antibodies (1801, DO1, DO7, BP53.12 and 421) in immunoblot and immunofluorescence assays, and found that results differed among the antibodies. Comparison of immunoblot analysis of denatured nuclear and cytoplasmic p53 protein were consistent with antibodies DO1, DO7 and BP53.12, each of which generated a strong specific signal in both cell fractions. However, in situ analysis demonstrated that although all antibodies recognized nuclear p53, only BP53.12 and 421 recognized p53 protein in the cytoplasm. In addition, 1801 produced a signal in p53-negative tumor cell lines. Differences in situ among the antibodies were probably due to the accessibility of their respective epitopes and suggested that nuclear and cytoplasmic p53 either have different three-dimensional conformations or are bound to different proteins. A third p53 protein conformation was also suggested by the observation that only two of the five antibodies (BP53.12 and DO7) detected induced levels of p53 in situ following exposure to ionizing radiation. In summary, except for the fact that DO7 does not recognize cytoplasmic p53 in situ, we found it to be the most specific, versatile, and reliable antibody. We conclude that the p53 antibody of choice depends upon the specific goal of a study and the method used to detect this protein.  (+info)

(4/1510) The mismatch repair protein, hMLH1, mediates 5-substituted halogenated thymidine analogue cytotoxicity, DNA incorporation, and radiosensitization in human colon cancer cells.

Deficiency in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) is found in some hereditary (hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer) and sporadic colon cancers as well as other common solid cancers. MMR deficiency has recently been shown to impart cellular resistance to multiple chemical agents, many of which are commonly used in cancer chemotherapy. It is therefore of interest to find an approach that selectively targets cells that have lost the ability to perform MMR. In this study, we examine the response of MMR-proficient (hMLH1+) and MMR-deficient (hMLH1-) colon carcinoma cell lines to the halogenated thymidine (dThd) analogues iododeoxyuridine (IdUrd) and bromodeoxyuridine (BrdUrd) before and after irradiation. These dThd analogues are used clinically as experimental sensitizing agents in radioresistant human cancers, and there is a direct correlation between the levels of dThd analogue DNA incorporation and tumor radiosensitization. In contrast to the well-characterized, marked increase in cytotoxicity (> 1 log cell kill) found with 6-thioguanine exposures in HCT116/3-6 (hMLH1+) cells compared to HCT116 (hMLH1-) cells, we found only modest cytotoxicity (10-20% cell kill) in both cell lines when treated with IdUrd or BrdUrd for 1 population doubling. Upon further analysis, the levels of halogenated dThd analogues in DNA were significantly lower (two to three times lower) in HCT116/3-6 cells than in HCT116 cells, and similar results were found in Mlh1+/+ spontaneously immortalized murine embryonic fibroblasts and fibroblasts from Mlh1 knockout mice. As a result of the higher levels of the dThd analogue in DNA, there was an increase in radiation sensitivity in HCT116 cells but not in HCT116/3-6 cells after pretreatment with IdUrd or BrdUrd when compared to treatment with radiation alone. Additionally, we found no differences in the cellular metabolic pathways for dThd analogue DNA incorporation because the enzyme activities of dThd kinase and thymidylate synthase, as well as the levels of triphosphate pools, were similar in HCT116 and HCT116/3-6 cells. These data suggest that the hMLH1 protein may participate in the recognition and subsequent removal of halogenated dThd analogues from DNA. Consequently, whereas MMR-deficient cells and tumor xenografts have shown intrinsic resistance to a large number of chemotherapeutic agents, the 5-halogenated dThd analogues appear to selectively target such cells for potential enhanced radiation sensitivity.  (+info)

(5/1510) Topoisomerase I is essential in Cryptococcus neoformans: role In pathobiology and as an antifungal target.

Topisomerase I is the target of several toxins and chemotherapy agents, and the enzyme is essential for viability in some organisms, including mice and drosophila. We have cloned the TOP1 gene encoding topoisomerase I from the opportunistic fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. The C. neoformans topoisomerase I contains a fungal insert also found in topoisomerase I from Candida albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae that is not present in the mammalian enzyme. We were unable to disrupt the topoisomerase I gene in this haploid organism by homologous recombination in over 8000 transformants analyzed. When a second functional copy of the TOP1 gene was introduced into the genome, the topoisomerase I gene could be readily disrupted by homologous recombination (at 7% efficiency). Thus, topoisomerase I is essential in C. neoformans. This new molecular strategy with C. neoformans may also be useful in identifying essential genes in other pathogenic fungi. To address the physiological and pathobiological functions of the enzyme, the TOP1 gene was fused to the GAL7 gene promoter. The resulting GAL7::TOP1 fusion gene was modestly regulated by carbon source in a serotype A strain of C. neoformans. Modest overexpression of topoisomerase I conferred sensitivity to heat shock, gamma-rays, and camptothecin. In contrast, alterations in topoisomerase I levels had no effect on the toxicity of a novel class of antifungal agents, the dicationic aromatic compounds (DACs), indicating that topoisomerase I is not the target of DACs. In an animal model of cryptococcal meningitis, topoisomerase I regulation was not critically important to established infection, but may impact on the initial stress response to infection. In summary, our studies reveal that topoisomerase I is essential in the human pathogen C. neoformans and represents a novel target for antifungal agents.  (+info)

(6/1510) Occupational cancer in Germany.

As in probably mostly all other European countries, the incidence of occupational cancer in Germany increased steadily after World War II. In 1994 about 1,600 cases of occupational cancer were compensated--more than ever before. More than half of these cases were lung cancer, most caused either by asbestos (n=545) or by ionizing radiation ((italic)n(/italic)=306). Other frequent target organs of asbestos were the pleura and the peritoneum with 495 cases of mesotheliomas. Asbestos was the single most important risk factor for occupational cancer, causing more than 1000 deaths per year. All other malignant diseases, such as bladder cancer, leukemia, angiosarcoma of the liver, adenocarcinoma of the nose or nasal sinuses, and skin cancer, were comparatively rare. Although primary exposure to ionizing radiation in uranium ore mining occurred in the 1950s and attributable lung cancers seem to be on the decline, this is not true for asbestos, where the peak incidence in lung cancer and mesothelioma has not been reached yet.  (+info)

(7/1510) Molecular mechanisms of ionizing radiation-induced apoptosis.

Ionizing radiation activates not only signalling pathways in the nucleus as a result of DNA damage, but also signalling pathways initiated at the level of the plasma membrane. Proteins involved in DNA damage recognition include poly(ADP ribose) polymerase (PARP), DNA-dependent protein kinase, p53 and ataxia- telangiectasia mutated (ATM). Many of these proteins are inactivated by caspases during the execution phase of apoptosis. Signalling pathways outside the nucleus involve tyrosine kinases such as stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK)/c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), protein kinase C, ceramide and reactive oxygen species. Recent evidence shows that tumour cells resistant to ionizing radiation-induced apoptosis have defective ceramide signalling. How these signalling pathways converge to activate the caspases is presently unknown, although in some cell types a role for calpain has been suggested.  (+info)

(8/1510) Cross-resistance to ionizing radiation in a murine leukemic cell line resistant to cis-dichlorodiammineplatinum(II): role of Ku autoantigen.

cis-Dichlorodiammineplatinum(II) (CDDP; cisplatin) is commonly used in combination with ionizing radiation (IR) in the treatment of various malignancies. In vitro, many observations suggest that acquisition of CDDP resistance in cell lines confers cross-resistance to IR, but the molecular mechanisms involved have not been well documented yet. We report here the selection and characterization of a murine CDDP-resistant L1210 cell line (L1210/3R) that exhibits cross-resistance to IR because of an increased capacity to repair double-strand breaks compared with parental cells (L1210/P). In resistant cells, electrophoretic mobility shift assays revealed an increased DNA-end binding activity that could be ascribed, by supershifting the retardation complexes with antibodies, to the autoantigen Ku. The heterodimeric Ku protein, composed of 86-kDa (Ku80) and 70-kDa (Ku70) subunits, is the DNA-targeting component of DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), which plays a critical role in mammalian DNA double-strand breaks repair. The increased Ku-binding activity in resistant cells was associated with an overexpression affecting specifically the Ku80 subunit. These data strongly suggest that the increase in Ku activity is responsible for the phenotype of cross-resistance to IR. In addition, these observations, along with previous results from DNA-PK- mutant cells, provide evidence in favor of a role of Ku/DNA-PK in resistance to CDDP. These results suggest that Ku activity may be an important molecular target in cancer therapy at the crossroad between cellular responses to CDDP and IR.  (+info)