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    ABSTRACT: DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) plays a key role in the repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) that are probably the most deleterious form of DNA damage. Inhibition of DNA-PK has been considered as an attractive approach to decrease resistance to therapeutically induced DNA DSBs. Ionizing radiation (IR) and doxorubicin, which induce DSBs, are used in the treatment of breast cancer. We determined the cellular concentration of DNA-PK and other DSB-activated kinases: ATM and ATR and the effect of DNA-PK inhibition by NU7441 on DNA repair, cell cycle, and survival after IR or doxorubicin treatment in three human breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7, MDA-MB-231, and T47D) representing different breast cancer subtypes. T47D cells had the highest expression of DNA-PKcs, ATM, and ATR and the most rapid rate of DNA DSB repair. IR caused a 10- to 16-fold increase in DNA-PK activity and two to threefold induction of ATM in all 3 cell lines. NU7441 inhibited IR-induced DNA-PK activity in all cell lines with IC50s in the range 0.17-0.25 μM. NU7441 retarded the repair of DSB and significantly increased the sensitivity of all cell lines to IR (4- to 12-fold) and doxorubicin (3- to 13-fold). The greatest sensitiziation by NU7441 was observed in MDA-MB-231 cells. NU7441 affected the cell cycle distribution in all studied cell lines; increasing accumulation of cells in G2/M phase after DNA damage. Our data indicate that DNA-PK might be an effective target for chemo- and radio-potentiation in breast cancer and suggest that further development of DNA-PK inhibitors for clinical use is warranted.
    Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 11/2013;
  • Acta Neuropathologica 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The androgen receptor (AR), a member of the nuclear receptor family, is a transcription factor involved in prostate cell growth, homeostasis and transformation. AR is a key protein in growth and development of both normal and malignant prostate making it a common therapeutic target in prostate cancer (PCa). AR is regulated by an interplay of multiple post-translational modifications including ubiquitination. We and others have shown that the AR is ubiquitinated by a number of E3 ubiquitin ligases, including MDM2, CHIP and NEDD4 which can result in its proteosomal degradation or enhanced transcriptional activity. As ubiquitination of AR causes a change in AR activity or stability and impacts both survival and growth of PCa cells, deubiquitination of these sites has an equally important role. Hence deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) could offer novel therapeutic targets. We performed an siRNA screen to identify DUBs that regulate AR, in that screen ubiquitin specific protease 12 (Usp12) was identified as a novel positive regulator of AR. Usp12 is a poorly characterised protein with few known functions and requires the interaction with two cofactors, Uaf-1 and WDR20, for its enzymatic activity. In this report we demonstrate that Usp12, in complex with Uaf-1 and WDR20, deubiquitinates the AR to enhance receptor stability and transcriptional activity. Our data shows that Usp12 acts in a pro-proliferative manner by stabilising AR and enhancing its cellular function.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract There is considerable interest in the use of multi-potent stem cells in kidney tissue regeneration. We studied if spermatogonial stem cells have the ability to undergo kidney differentiation. Spermatogonial stem cell differentiation was induced using in vitro and ex vivo co-culture techniques. Conditioned media from human kidney fibroblasts induced the expression of epithelial and endothelial lineages in spermatogonial stem cells, consistent with nephrogenesis. Furthermore, we showed that these cells up-regulated renal tubular-specific markers alkaline phosphatase, mineralocorticoid receptor, renal epithelial sodium channel and sodium-glucose transporter-2 (p < 0.05). GFP-labeled spermatogonial stem cells were engrafted into metanephric kidney organ cultures harvested from E12.5 mouse embryos. After 5 days of organ culture, focal anti-GFP staining was detectable in all inoculated kidneys demonstrating integration of spermatogonial stem cells into the developing kidney (p < 0.01). Histological assessment showed early nephron-like architecture. In summary, we show that spermatogonial stem cells have the potential to generate renal tissue and lay the foundations for further investigations into a novel therapeutic approach for renal insufficiency.
    Renal Failure 09/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSETo evaluate the effect on outcome of intensifying therapy for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and an intrachromosomal amplification of chromosome 21 (iAMP21). PATIENTS AND METHODS We report two cohorts of patients treated on Medical Research Council ALL97 or United Kingdom (UK) ALL2003. iAMP21 was identified retrospectively in ALL97 and was not used to guide therapy. However, in UKALL2003, iAMP21 was determined prospectively, and patients were allocated to the most intensive treatment arm (regimen C), which included augmented Berlin-Frankfurt-Munster consolidation, escalating Capizzi maintenance, double delayed intensification, and an option for first remission transplantation. The presence of iAMP21 was determined by fluorescence in situ hybridization using probes specific for the RUNX1 gene.ResultsiAMP21 was identified in 2% of patients with B-cell precursor ALL treated on UKALL2003 and ALL97. The event-free survival, relapse, and overall survival rates at 5 years for iAMP21 patients treated on ALL97 and UKALL2003 were 29% and 78%, 70% and 16%, and 67% and 89%, respectively (all P < .01). Patients treated on ALL97 had an increased risk of relapse compared with patients treated on UKALL2003 (hazard ratio, 7.2; 95% CI, 2.91 to 17.87; P < .001). CONCLUSIONiAMP21 patients with ALL benefitted from receiving more intensive therapy in UKALL2003. In UKALL2011, they will continue to be treated as cytogenetic high risk, receive intensive chemotherapy (regimen C), and will only be recommended for transplantation if they do not achieve a complete remission by the end of induction therapy. This study illustrates how the discovery and characterization of disease-specific genetic aberrations can be used to tailor therapy more precisely.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 08/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Structural studies of members of the CDK (cyclin-dependent protein kinase) family have made a significant contribution to our understanding of the regulation of protein kinases. The structure of monomeric unphosphorylated CDK2 was the first of an inactive protein kinase to be determined and, since then, structures of other members of the CDK family, alone, in complex with regulatory proteins and in differing phosphorylation states, have enhanced our understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating protein kinase activity. Recently, our knowledge of the structural biology of the CDK family has been extended by determination of structures for members of the transcriptional CDK and CDK-like kinase branches of the extended family. We include these recent structures in the present review and consider them in the light of current models for CDK activation and regulation.
    Biochemical Society Transactions 08/2013; 41(4):1008-16.
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Evidence increasingly supports that prostate cancer is initiated by the malignant transformation of stem cells (SCs). Furthermore, many SC-signalling pathways are shown to be shared in prostate cancer. Therefore, we planned transcriptome characterisation of adult prostate SCs as a strategy to consider new targets for cancer treatment.Methods:Intuitive pathway analysis was used for putative target discovery in 12 matched selections of human prostate SCs, transiently amplifying cells and terminally differentiated cells. These were pooled into three groups according to the stage of differentiation for mRNA microarray analysis. Targets identified were validated using uncultured primary tissue (n=12), functional models of prostate cancer and a tissue microarray consisting of benign (n=42) and malignant prostate (n=223).Results:A deficiency in class 1 UDP glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) enzymes (UGT1A) was identified in prostate SCs, which are involved in androgen catabolism. Class 1 UGT enzyme expression was also downregulated in cancer SCs and during progression to metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Reduction of UGT1A expression in vitro was seen to improve cell survival and increase androgen receptor (AR) activity, as shown by upregulation of prostate-specific antigen expression.Interpretation:Inactivation of intracellular androgen catabolism represents a novel mechanism to maintain AR activity during CRPC.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 23 July 2013; doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.399 www.bjcancer.com.
    British Journal of Cancer 07/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Retinoic acid (RA) has paradoxical effects on cancer cells: promoting cell death, differentiation and cell cycle arrest, or cell survival and proliferation. Arachidonic acid (AA) release occurs in response to RA treatment and, therefore, AA and its downstream metabolites may be involved in cell survival signalling. To test this, we inhibited phospholipase A2-mediated AA release, cyclooxygenases and lipoxygenases with small-molecule inhibitors to determine if this would sensitise cells to cell death after RA treatment. The data suggest that, in response to RA, phospholipase A2-mediated release of AA and subsequent metabolism by lipoxygenases is important for cell survival. Evidence from gene expression reporter assays and PPARδ knockdown suggests that lipoxygenase metabolites activate PPARδ. The involvement of PPARδ in cell survival is supported by results of experiments with the PPARδ inhibitor GSK0660 and siRNA-mediated knockdown. Quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR studies demonstrated that inhibition of 5-lipoxygenase after RA treatment resulted in a strong up-regulation of mRNA for PPARδ2, a putative inhibitory PPARδ isoform. Over-expression of PPARδ2 using a tetracycline-inducible system in neuroblastoma cells reduced proliferation and induced cell death. These data provide evidence linking lipoxygenases and PPARδ in a cell survival-signalling mechanism and suggest new drug-development targets for malignant and hyper-proliferative diseases.
    PLoS ONE 07/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Chromosome gain is frequent in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and is counted alongside structural abnormalities when determining karyotype complexity. However, there are few studies investigating the cytogenetic profile and outcome of patients with a hyperdiploid karyotype (49-65 chromosomes, HK). We identified 221 (14%) patients with HK out of 1563 patients with three or more chromosomal abnormalities. HK was not associated with sex, white cell count and secondary disease status but was more prevalent among children (22% v 13%). The pattern of chromosomal gain and loss was non-random and chromosomes 8, 13 and 21 were the most frequently gained. Three distinct subgroups (numerical, structural and adverse) were identified with differential outcome: 5 year cumulative incidence of relapse of 52%, 68 and 76%, respectively (P=0.008). Patients in the adverse subgroup had poorer survival compared with patients with only numerical abnormalities (adjusted hazard ratio 2.01 (95% CI 1.43-2.83), P=0.0002). This outcome heterogeneity was similar among children and adults. In conclusion, AML patients with a HK should not automatically be assigned to the adverse cytogenetic risk group on the basis of complexity. Instead they should be assessed for the presence of specific chromosomal abnormalities which are known to harbour an adverse effect.Leukemia accepted article preview online, 1 July 2013; doi:10.1038/leu.2013.198.
    Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 07/2013;
  • European Urology 06/2013;
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