[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retinoblastoma (RB) is the most common malignant intraocular childhood tumor. Forty years after their first description, in the present study, we re-characterized seven established retinoblastoma cell lines with regard to their RB1 mutation status, morphology, growth pattern, endogenous apoptosis levels, colony formation efficiency in soft agar and invasiveness and dissemination capacity in chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assays. All RB cell lines predominantly resemble small epithelioid cells with little cytoplasm and large nucleus, which mainly grow in cell clusters, but sometimes form chain-like structures with incident loops or three-dimensional aggregates. We observed different growth rates for the different retinoblastoma cells investigated. RBL-30, RBL-13 and RBL 383 cells grew very slowly, whereas Y-79 cells grew fastest under our culture conditions. Apoptosis rates likewise differed with highest cell death levels in RB 383 and RB 355 and lowest in WERI-Rb1 and RBL-15. Contradicting former reports, six of the seven RB cell lines analyzed were able to form colonies in soft agarose after single cell seeding within 3 weeks of incubation. Upon inoculation of four out of seven RB cell lines on the dorsal CAM, GFP-positive cells were detectable in the ventral CAM and two RB cell lines caused tumor development, indicating their intravasation and dissemination potential. All RB cell lines exhibited the potential to extravasate from the capillary system after intravenous CAM injection. Our study provides valuable new details for future therapy-related retinoblastoma basic research in vitro.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The members of the TCF/LEF family of DNA-binding proteins are components of diverse gene regulatory networks. As nuclear effectors of Wnt/β-catenin signaling they act as assembly platforms for multimeric transcription complexes that either repress or activate gene expression. Previously, it was shown that several aspects of TCF/LEF protein function are regulated by post-translational modification. The association of TCF/LEF family members with acetyltransferases and deacetylases prompted us to investigate whether vertebrate TCF/LEF proteins are subject to acetylation. Through co-expression with p300 and CBP and subsequent analyses using mass spectrometry and immunodetection with anti-acetyl-lysine antibodies we show that TCF4 can be acetylated at lysine K150 by CBP. K150 acetylation is restricted to TCF4E splice variants and requires the simultaneous presence of β-catenin and the unique TCF4E C-terminus. To examine the functional consequences of K150 acetylation we substituted K150 with amino acids representing the non-acetylated and acetylated states. Reporter gene assays based on Wnt/β-catenin-responsive promoter regions did not indicate a general role of K150 acetylation in transactivation by TCF4E. However, in the presence of CBP, non-acetylatable TCF4E with a K150R substitution was more susceptible to inhibition by the HBP-1 repressor protein compared to wild-type TCF4E. Acetylation of K150 using a bacterial expression system or amino acid substitutions at K150 alter the electrophoretic properties of TCF4E::DNA complexes. This result suggests that K150 acetylation leads to a conformational change that may also represent the mechanism whereby acetylated TCF4E acquires resistance against HBP1. In summary, TCF4 not only recruits acetyltransferases but is also a substrate for these enzymes. The fact that acetylation affects only a subset of TCF4 splice variants and is mediated preferentially by CBP suggests that the conditional acetylation of TCF4E is a novel regulatory mechanism that diversifies the transcriptional output of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in response to changing intracellular signaling milieus.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(4):e61867. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trefoil factor family (TFFs) peptides facilitate epithelial restitution, but also effect cell proliferation and apoptosis of normal and various cancer cell lines. In a recent study by our group, TFF2 expression was demonstrated in the murine retina, where it exhibits pro-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects. In the present study, we investigated the expression and function of TFF peptides in eight human retinoblastoma cell lines. TFF1 was the only TFF peptide expressed at detectable levels in immunoblots of retinoblastoma cells. TFF1 expression levels were highly variable in different retinoblastoma cell lines and negatively correlated with cell growth curves. Recombinant human TFF1 had a negative effect on cell viability and caused a reduction in cell proliferation. Retinoblastoma cell lines with high TFF1 expression levels exhibited a selective down-regulation of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 6, whereas CDK4 and CDK2 seem to be unaffected by TFF1 expression. In immunocytochemical studies, we observed a nuclear co-localization of TFF1 and CDK2 in Cajal bodies (CBs). In high TFF1 expressing human retinoblastoma cell lines CBs were smaller and higher in number compared to retinoblastoma lines with low TFF1 expression, indicating differences in cell cycle status between the different retinoblastoma cell lines. Our data further support the notion for a potential tumor suppressor function of TFF1. The nuclear localization of TFF1 in CBs-considered to play a role in cell cycle progression, potentially acting as a platform for CDK-cyclin function-offers a new impetus in the ongoing search for potential TFF1 interacting proteins.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alternative splicing can produce multiple protein products with variable domain composition from a single gene. The mouse Tcf7l2 gene is subject to alternative splicing. It encodes TCF4, a member of the T-cell factor (TCF) family of DNA-binding proteins and a nuclear interaction partner of beta-catenin which performs essential functions in Wnt growth factor signalling. Multiple TCF4 isoforms, potentially exhibiting cell-type-specific distribution and differing in gene regulatory properties, could strongly influence tissue-specific Wnt responses. Therefore, we have examined mouse Tcf7l2 splice variants in neonatal tissues, embryonic stem cells and neural progenitors. By polymerase chain reaction amplification, cloning and sequencing, we identify a large number of alternatively spliced transcripts and report a highly flexible combinatorial repertoire of alternative exons. Many, but not all of the variants exhibit a broad tissue distribution. Moreover, two functionally equivalent versions of the C-clamp, thought to represent an auxiliary DNA-binding domain, were identified. Depending upon promoter context and precise domain composition, TCF4 isoforms exhibit strikingly different transactivation potentials at natural Wnt/beta-catenin target promoters. However, differences in C-clamp-mediated DNA binding can only partially explain functional differences among TCF4 variants. Still, the cell-type-specific complement of TCF4 isoforms is likely to be a major determinant for the context-dependent transcriptional output of Wnt/beta-catenin signalling.
Nucleic Acids Research 04/2010; 38(6):1964-81. · 8.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) - expressed in the developing retina - are known to be involved in the regulation of cell proliferation and apoptosis in several tumor entities. The objective of this study was to determine the role of the BMP4 pathway in retinoblastoma cells, which are absent in a functional retinoblastoma (RB1) gene. BMP receptors were detected in all retinoblastoma cell lines investigated. A correct transmission of BMP signaling via the Smad1/5/8 pathway could be demonstrated in WERI-Rb1 retinoblastoma cells and application of recombinant human BMP4 resulted in an increase in apoptosis, which to a large extend is caspase independent. Cell proliferation was not affected by BMP4 signaling, although the pRb-related proteins p107 and p130, contributing to the regulation of the same genes, are still expressed. WERI-Rb1 cells exhibit elevated endogenous levels of p21(CIP1) and p53, but we did not detect any increase in p53, p21(CIP1)or p27(KIP1) expression levels. Id proteins became, however, strongly up-regulated upon exogenous BMP4 treatment. Thus, RB1 loss in WERI-Rb1 cells is obviously not compensated for by pRb-independent (e.g. p53-dependent) cell cycle control mechanisms, preventing an anti-proliferative response to BMP4, which normally induces cell cycle arrest.
International journal of biological sciences 01/2010; 6(7):700-15. · 3.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In solanaceous plants such as tomato and tobacco, the sucrose transporter SUT1 is crucial for phloem loading. Using GUS as a reporter, the promoter and other regulatory cis elements required for the tomato LeSUT1 expression were analyzed by heterologous expression of translational chimeric constructs in tobacco. Although LeSUT1 is highly expressed at the RNA level, GUS expression under the control of a 1.8 kb LeSUT1 promoter resulted in few plants expressing GUS. In GUS-positive transformants, expression levels were low and limited to leaf phloem. Increasing or decreasing the length of LeSUT1 promoter did not lead to a significant increase in positive transformants or higher expression levels. Translational fusion of GUS to the LeSUT1 C-terminus in a construct containing all exons and introns and the 3'-UTR led to a higher number of positive transformants and many plants with high GUS activity. LeSUT1 expression was detected in ab- and adaxial phloem companion cells, trichomes and guard cells. The role of individual introns in LeSUT1 expression was further analyzed by placing each LeSUT1 intron into the 5'-UTR within the 2.3 kb LeSUT1 promoter construct. Results showed remarkable functions for the three introns for SUT1 expression in trichomes, guard cells and phloem cells. Intron 3 is responsible for expression in trichomes, whereas intron 2 is necessary for expression in companion cells and guard cells. The combination of all introns is required for the full expression pattern in phloem, guard cells and trichomes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plant phloem consists of an interdependent cell pair, the sieve element/companion cell complex. Sucrose transporters are localized to enucleate sieve elements (SE), despite being transcribed in companion cells (CC). Due to the high turnover of SUT1, sucrose transporter mRNA or protein must traffic from CC to SE via the plasmodesmata. Localization of SUT mRNA at plasmodesmatal orifices connecting CC and SE suggests RNA transport, potentially mediated by RNA binding proteins. In many organisms, polar RNA transport is mediated through RNA binding proteins interacting with the 3'-UTR and controlling localized protein synthesis. To study mechanisms for trafficking of SUT1, GFP-fusions with and without 3'-UTR were expressed in transgenic plants.
In contrast to plants expressing GFP from the strong SUC2 promoter, in RolC-controlled expression GFP is retained in companion cells. The 3'-UTR of SUT1 affected intracellular distribution of GFP but was insufficient for trafficking of SUT1, GFP or their fusions to SEs. Fusion of GFP to SUT1 did however lead to accumulation of SUT1-GFP in the CC, indicating that trafficking was blocked while translational inhibition of SUT1 mRNA was released in CCs.
A fusion with GFP prevents targeting of the sucrose transporter SUT1 to the SE while leading to accumulation in the CC. The 3'-UTR of SUT1 is insufficient for mobilization of either the fusion or GFP alone. It is conceivable that SUT1-GFP protein transport through PD to SE was blocked due to the presence of GFP, resulting in retention in CC particles. Alternatively, SUT1 mRNA transport through the PD could have been blocked due to insertion of GFP between the SUT1 coding sequence and 3'-UTR.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: AtSUT2 was found to be a low-affinity sucrose transporter (K(M)=11.7 mM at pH 4). Chimeric proteins between AtSUT2 and the high-affinity StSUT1 were constructed in which the extended N-terminus and central loop of AtSUT2 were exchanged with those domains of StSUT1 and vice versa. Chimeras containing the N-terminus of AtSUT2 showed significantly lower affinity for sucrose compared to chimeras containing the N-terminus of StSUT1. The results indicate a significant function of the N-terminus but not the central cytoplasmic loop in determining substrate affinity. Expression of AtSUT2 in major veins of source leaves and in flowers is compatible with a role as a second low-affinity sucrose transporter or as a sucrose sensor.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new subfamily of sucrose transporters from Arabidopsis (AtSUT4), tomato (LeSUT4), and potato (StSUT4) was isolated, demonstrating only 47% similarity to the previously characterized SUT1. SUT4 from two plant species conferred sucrose uptake activity when expressed in yeast. The K(m) for sucrose uptake by AtSUT4 of 11.6 +/- 0.6 mM was approximately 10-fold greater than for all other plant sucrose transporters characterized to date. An ortholog from potato had similar kinetic properties. Thus, SUT4 corresponds to the low-affinity/high-capacity saturable component of sucrose uptake found in leaves. In contrast to SUT1, SUT4 is expressed predominantly in minor veins in source leaves, where high-capacity sucrose transport is needed for phloem loading. In potato and tomato, SUT4 was immunolocalized specifically to enucleate sieve elements, indicating that like SUT1, macromolecular trafficking is required to transport the mRNA or the protein from companion cells through plasmodesmata into the sieve elements.
The Plant Cell 09/2000; 12(8):1345-55. · 9.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In leaves, sucrose uptake kinetics involve high- and low-affinity components. A family of low- and high-affinity sucrose transporters (SUT) was identified. SUT1 serves as a high-affinity transporter essential for phloem loading and long-distance transport in solanaceous species. SUT4 is a low-affinity transporter with an expression pattern overlapping that of SUT1. Both SUT1 and SUT4 localize to enucleate sieve elements of tomato. New sucrose transporter-like proteins, named SUT2, from tomato and Arabidopsis contain extended cytoplasmic domains, thus structurally resembling the yeast sugar sensors SNF3 and RGT2. Features common to these sensors are low codon bias, environment of the start codon, low expression, and lack of detectable transport activity. In contrast to LeSUT1, which is induced during the sink-to-source transition of leaves, SUT2 is more highly expressed in sink than in source leaves and is inducible by sucrose. LeSUT2 protein colocalizes with the low- and high-affinity sucrose transporters in sieve elements of tomato petioles, indicating that multiple SUT mRNAs or proteins travel from companion cells to enucleate sieve elements. The SUT2 gene maps on chromosome V of potato and is linked to a major quantitative trait locus for tuber starch content and yield. Thus, the putative sugar sensor identified colocalizes with two other sucrose transporters, differs from them in kinetic properties, and potentially regulates the relative activity of low- and high-affinity sucrose transport into sieve elements.
The Plant Cell 08/2000; 12(7):1153-64. · 9.25 Impact Factor