[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mit mutations that disrupt function of the mitochondrial electron transport chain can, inexplicably, prolong Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan. In this study we use a metabolomics approach to identify an ensemble of mitochondrial-derived α-ketoacids and α-hydroxyacids that are produced by long-lived Mit mutants but not by other long-lived mutants or by short-lived mitochondrial mutants. We show that accumulation of these compounds is dependent on concerted inhibition of three α-ketoacid dehydrogenases that share dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase (DLD) as a common subunit, a protein previously linked in humans with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. When the expression of DLD in wild-type animals was reduced using RNA interference we observed an unprecedented effect on lifespan – as RNAi dosage was increased lifespan was significantly shortened, but, at higher doses, it was significantly lengthened, suggesting that DLD plays a unique role in modulating length of life. Our findings provide novel insight into the origin of the Mit phenotype.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a model organism best known for its powerful genetics. There is an increasing need in the worm community to couple genetics with biochemistry. Isolation of functionally active proteins or nucleic acids without the use of strong oxidizing denaturants or of subcellular compartments from C. elegans has, however, been challenging because of the worms' thick surrounding cuticle. The Balch homogenizer is a tool that has found much use in mammalian cell culture biology. The interchangeable single ball-bearing design of this instrument permits rapid permeabilization, or homogenization, of cells. Here we demonstrate the utility of the Balch homogenizer for studies with C. elegans. We describe procedures for the efficient breakage and homogenization of every larval stage, including dauers, and show that the Balch homogenizer can be used to extract functionally active proteins. Enzymatic assays for catalase and dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase show that sample preparation using the Balch homogenizer equals or outperforms conventional methods employing boiling, sonication, or Dounce homogenization. We also describe phenol-free techniques for isolation of genomic DNA and RNA. Finally, we used the tool to isolate coupled mitochondria and polysomes. The reusable Balch homogenizer represents a quick and convenient solution for undertaking biochemical studies on C. elegans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men in Western society. Epidemiological studies suggest that a reduced risk of cancer is associated with the consumption of a phytochemical-rich diet that includes fruits and vegetables. Strategies to delay clinically significant prostate cancer will have a tremendous impact in reducing the overall incidence of prostate cancer as well as improving quality of life for elderly men. Furthermore, the long latency involved in the development of clinically significant prostate cancer provides a plethora of opportunities for its management, especially using prevention approaches. Previous studies from our laboratory show that Nexrutine (bark extract from Phellodendron amurense) prevents prostate tumor development when given prior to the development of high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia in the transgenic adenocarcinoma of mouse prostate (TRAMP) model. In this study, we investigated the effect on the progression of established tumors in the TRAMP model by administering Nexrutine to 28-week-old TRAMP mice. Efficacy of Nexrutine was determined by histopathological evaluation of the prostate. Our data indicate that Nexrutine inhibited progression of prostate tumors that was correlated with tissue levels of transcription factors nuclear factor kappa B, cyclic-AMP response element-binding protein and phosphorylated CREB. Moreover, Nexrutine intervention resulted in a significant increase in the bone mineral density of the left femur diaphysis (p=0.009) and prevented the development of metastatic lesions. Nexrutine treatment also significantly (p=0.005) inhibited invasion of androgen-independent prostate cancer cells.
Anticancer research 03/2010; 30(3):857-65. · 1.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Development of prostate cancer prevention strategies is an important priority to overcome high incidence, morbidity, and mortality. Recently, we showed that Nexrutine, an herbal extract, inhibits prostate cancer cell proliferation through modulation of Akt and cAMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB)-mediated signaling pathways. However, it is unknown if Nexrutine can be developed as a dietary supplement for the prevention of prostate cancer. In this study, we used the transgenic adenocarcinoma of mouse prostate (TRAMP) model to examine the ability of Nexrutine to protect TRAMP mice from developing prostate cancer.
Eight-week-old TRAMP mice were fed with pelleted diet containing 300 and 600 mg/kg Nexrutine for 20 weeks. Efficacy of Nexrutine was evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging at 18 and 28 weeks of progression and histologic analysis of prostate tumor or tissue at the termination of the experiment. Tumor tissue was analyzed for modulation of various signaling molecules.
We show that Nexrutine significantly suppressed palpable tumors and progression of cancer in the TRAMP model. Expression of total and phosphorylated Akt, CREB, and cyclin D1 was significantly reduced in prostate tissue from Nexrutine intervention group compared with tumors from control animals. Nexrutine also inhibited cyclin D1 transcriptional activity in androgen-independent PC-3 cells. Overexpression of kinase dead Akt mutant or phosphorylation-defective CREB inhibited cyclin D1 transcriptional activity.
The current study shows that Nexrutine-mediated targeting of Akt/CREB-induced activation of cyclin D1 prevents the progression of prostate cancer. Expression of CREB and phosphorylated CREB increased in human prostate tumors compared with normal tissue, suggesting their potential use as prognostic markers.
Clinical Cancer Research 06/2007; 13(9):2784-94. · 7.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evidence from epidemiological studies suggests that plant-based diets can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. However, very little information is available concerning the use of botanicals in preventing prostate cancer. As a first step toward developing botanicals as prostate cancer preventives, we examined the effect of Nexrutine on human prostate cancer cells. Nexrutine is a herbal extract developed from Phellodendron amurense. Phellodendron extracts have been used traditionally in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years as an antidiarrheal, astringent, and anti-inflammatory agent. The present study investigated its potential antitumor effect on human prostate cancer cells. Our results suggest that it inhibits tumor cell proliferation through apoptosis induction and inhibition of cell survival signaling. The results of the present study indicate that Nexrutine treatment 1) inhibits the proliferation of both androgen-responsive and androgen-independent human prostate cancer cells through induction of apoptosis; 2) reduces levels of pAkt, phosphorylated cAMP response-binding protein (pCREB) and CREB DNA-binding activity; and 3) induces apoptosis in prostate cancer cells stably overexpressing Bcl-2. Further, Akt kinase activity was reduced in cells treated with Nexrutine, and ectopic expression of myristoylated Akt protected from Nexrutine induced inhibition of proliferation, implicating a role for Akt signaling.
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.) 07/2006; 8(6):523-33. · 5.48 Impact Factor