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    ABSTRACT: Bmi-1 is a member of the Polycomb Repressor Complex1 that mediates gene silencing by regulating chromatin structure and is indispensable for self-renewal of both normal and cancer stem cells. Despite three decades of research that have elucidated the transcriptional regulation, post-translational modifications and functions of Bmi-1 in regulating the DNA damage response, cellular bioenergetics, and pathologies, the entire potential of a protein with such varied function remains to be realized. This review attempts to synthesize the current knowledge on Bmi-1 with an emphasis on its role in both normal physiology and cancer. Additionally, since cancer stem cells are emerging as a new paradigm for therapy resistance, the role of Bmi-1 in this perspective is also highlighted. The wide spectrum of malignancies that implicate Bmi-1 as a signature for stemness and oncogenesis also make it a suitable candidate for therapy. Nonetheless new approaches are vitally needed to further characterize physiological roles of Bmi-1 with the long-term goal of using Bmi-1 as a prognostic marker and a therapeutic target.
    05/2015; 65(3). DOI:10.1016/j.gendis.2015.04.001
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    05/2015; 1(5). DOI:10.1016/j.hrcr.2015.04.008
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    ABSTRACT: Preventing pathologic tissue inflammation is key to treating obesity-induced insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Previously, we synthesized a series of methylhonokiol analogs and reported that compounds with a carbamate structure had inhibitory function against cyclooxygenase-2 in a cell-free enzyme assay. However, whether these compounds could inhibit the expression of inflammatory genes in macrophages has not been investigated. Here, we found that a new 4-O-methylhonokiol analog, 3',5-diallyl-4'-methoxy-[1,1'-biphenyl]-2-yl morpholine-4-carboxylate (GS12021) inhibited LPS- or TNFα-stimulated inflammation in macrophages and adipocytes, respectively. LPS-induced phosphorylation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB)/p65 was significantly decreased, whereas NF-κB luciferase activities were slightly inhibited, by GS12021 treatment in RAW 264.7 cells. Either mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphorylation or AP-1 luciferase activity was not altered by GS12021. GS12021 increased the phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) α and the expression of sirtuin (SIRT) 1. Inhibition of mRNA expression of inflammatory genes by GS12021 was abolished in AMPKα1-knockdown cells, but not in SIRT1 knockout cells, demonstrating that GS12021 exerts anti-inflammatory effects through AMPKα activation. The transwell migration assay results showed that GS12021 treatment of macrophages prevented the cell migration promoted by incubation with conditioned medium obtained from adipocytes. GS12021 suppression of p65 phosphorylation and macrophage chemotaxis were preserved in AMPKα1-knockdown cells, indicating AMPK is not required for these functions of GS12021. Identification of this novel methylhonokiol analog could enable studies of the structure-activity relationship of this class of compounds and further evaluation of its in vivo potential for the treatment of insulin-resistant states and other chronic inflammatory diseases.
    PLoS ONE 02/2015; 10(2):e0117120. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0117120


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