Jennifer D Black

University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, United States

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Publications (25)101.69 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Cellular accumulation of cyclin D1, a key regulator of cell proliferation and tumor-igenesis, is subject to tight control. Our previous studies have identified PKCα as a negative regulator of cyclin D1 in the intestinal epithelium. However, treatment of non-transformed IEC-18 ileal crypt cells with PKC agonists has a biphasic effect on cyclin D1 expression. Initial PKCα-mediated downregulation is followed by recovery and subsequent accumulation of the cyclin to levels markedly higher than those seen in untreated cells. Using protein overexpression strategies, siRNA and pharmacological inhibitors, we now demonstrate that the recovery and hyperinduction of cyclin D1 reflect the combined effects of (a) loss of negative signals from PKCα due to agonist-induced PKCα downregulation, and (b) positive effects of PKCϵ. PKCϵ-mediated upregulation of cyclin D1 requires sustained ERK stimulation and transcriptional activation of the proximal cyclin D1 (CCDN1) promoter, without apparent involvement of changes in protein stability or translation. PKCϵ also upregulates cyclin D1 expression in colon cancer cells, through mechanisms that parallel those in IEC-18 cells. While induction of cyclin D1 by PKCϵ is dependent on non-canonical NF-κB activation, the NF-κB site in the proximal promoter is not required. Instead, cyclin D1 promoter activity is regulated by a novel interaction between NF-κB and factors that associate with the cyclic AMP response element (CRE) adjacent to the NF-κB site. The differential effects of PKCα and PKCϵ on cyclin D1 accumulation likely contribute to the opposing tumor suppressive and tumor promoting activities of these PKC family members in the intestinal epithelium.
    The Journal of biological chemistry. 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Although alterations in stimulus-induced degradation of PKC have been implicated in disease, mechanistic understanding of this process remains limited. Evidence supports the existence of both proteasomal and lysosomal mechanisms of PKC processing. An established pathway involves rate-limiting priming site dephosphorylation of the activated enzyme and proteasomal clearance of the dephosphorylated protein. However, here we show that agonists promote downregulation of endogenous PKCα with minimal accumulation of a non-phosphorylated species in multiple cell types. Furthermore, proteasome and lysosome inhibitors predominantly protect fully phosphorylated PKCα, pointing to this form as a substrate for degradation. Failure to detect substantive dephosphorylation of activated PKCα was not due to rephosphorylation since inhibition of Hsp70/Hsc70, which is required for re-priming, had only a minor effect on agonist-induced accumulation of non-phosphorylated protein. Thus, PKC degradation can occur in the absence of dephosphorylation. Further analysis revealed novel functions for Hsp70/Hsc70 and Hsp90 in control of agonist-induced PKCα processing. These chaperones help to maintain phosphorylation of activated PKCα, but have opposing effects on degradation of the phosphorylated protein: Hsp90 is protective, whereas Hsp70/Hsc70 activity is required for proteasomal processing of this species. Notably, downregulation of non-phosphorylated PKCα shows little Hsp70/Hsc70 dependence, arguing that phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated species are differentially targeted for proteasomal degradation. Finally, lysosomal processing of activated PKCα is not regulated by phosphorylation or Hsps. Collectively, these data demonstrate that phosphorylated PKCα is a direct target for agonist-induced proteasomal degradation via an Hsp-regulated mechanism, and highlight the existence of a novel pathway of PKC desensitization in cells.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2013; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein kinase C (PKC) isozymes undergo downregulation upon sustained stimulation. Previous studies have pointed to the existence of both proteasome-dependent and -independent pathways of PKCα processing. Here we demonstrate that these downregulation pathways are engaged in different subcellular compartments: proteasomal degradation occurs mainly at the plasma membrane, while non-proteasomal processing occurs in the perinuclear region. Using cholesterol depletion, pharmacological inhibitors, RNA interference, and dominant-negative mutants, we define the mechanisms involved in perinuclear accumulation of PKCα, and identify the non-proteasomal mechanism mediating its degradation. We show that intracellular accumulation of PKCα involves at least two clathrin-independent, cholesterol/lipid raft-mediated pathways that do not require ubiquitination of the protein: one is dynamin-dependent and likely involves caveolae, while the other is dynamin- and small GTPase-independent. Internalized PKCα traffics through endosomes and is delivered to the lysosome for degradation. Supportive evidence includes (a) detection of the enzyme in EEA1-positive early endosomes, Rab7-positive late endosomes/multivesicular bodies, and LAMP-1-positive lysosomes, and (b) inhibition of its downregulation by lysosome disrupting agents and leupeptin. Only limited dephosphorylation of PKCα occurs during trafficking, with fully mature enzyme being the main target for lysosomal degradation. These studies define a novel and widespread mechanism of desensitization of PKCα signaling, which involves endocytic trafficking and lysosome-mediated degradation of the mature, fully phosphorylated protein.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2013; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: AKT is a critical effector kinase downstream of the PI3K pathway that regulates a plethora of cellular processes including cell growth, death, differentiation and migration. Mechanisms underlying activated phospho-AKT (pAKT) translocation to its action sites remain unclear. Here we show that NEDD4-1 is a novel E3 ligase that specifically regulates ubiquitin-dependent trafficking of pAKT in IGF-1 signaling. NEDD4-1 physically interacts with AKT and promotes HECT domain-dependent ubiquitination of exogenous and endogenous AKT. NEDD4-1 catalyzes K63-type polyubiquitin chain formation on AKT in vitro. Plasma membrane binding is the key step for AKT ubiquitination by NEDD4-1 in vivo. Ubiquitinated pAKT translocates to perinuclear regions, where it is either released into the cytoplasm, imported into the nucleus or coupled with proteasomal degradation. IGF-1 signaling specifically stimulates NEDD4-1-mediated ubiquitination of pAKT, without altering total AKT ubiquitination. A cancer-derived plasma membrane-philic mutant AKT(E17K) is more effectively ubiquitinated by NEDD4-1 and more efficiently trafficked into the nucleus compared with wild type AKT. This study reveals a novel mechanism by which a specific E3 ligase is required for ubiquitin-dependent control of pAKT dynamics in a ligand-specific manner.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2012; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Alternatively spliced variants of several oncogenes and tumor suppressors have been shown to be important for their tumorigenicity. In the present study we have tested whether serine-arginine protein kinase 1 (SRPK1), a major regulator of splicing factors, is involved in ovarian cancer progression and plays a role in chemo-sensitivity. By Western blot analyses, SRPK1 protein was found to be overexpressed in 4 out of 6 ovarian cancer cell lines as compared with an immortalized ovarian surface epithelial cell line; and in 55% of ovarian tumor samples as compared with non-neoplastic ovarian tissue samples. Reduction of SRPK1 expression using small interfering RNA (siRNA) encoding small hairpin RNA in ovarian cancer cells led to (i) reduced cell proliferation rate, slower cell cycle progression and compromised anchorage-independent growth and migration ability in vitro, (ii) decreased level of phosphorylation of multiple serine-arginine proteins, and P44/42MAPK and AKT proteins, and (iii) enhanced sensitivity to cisplatin. Together, these results suggest that elevated SRPK1 expression may play a role in ovarian tumorigenesis and SRPK1 may be a potential target for ovarian cancer therapy.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(12):e51030. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    Adrian R Black, Jennifer D Black
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    ABSTRACT: A link between T cell proliferation and the protein kinase C (PKC) family of serine/threonine kinases has been recognized for about 30 years. However, despite the wealth of information on PKC-mediated control of, T cell activation, understanding of the effects of PKCs on the cell cycle machinery in this cell type remains limited. Studies in other systems have revealed important cell cycle-specific effects of PKC signaling that can either positively or negatively impact proliferation. The outcome of PKC activation is highly context-dependent, with the precise cell cycle target(s) and overall effects determined by the specific isozyme involved, the timing of PKC activation, the cell type, and the signaling environment. Although PKCs can regulate all stages of the cell cycle, they appear to predominantly affect G0/G1 and G2. PKCs can modulate multiple cell cycle regulatory molecules, including cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases (cdks), cdk inhibitors and cdc25 phosphatases; however, evidence points to Cip/Kip cdk inhibitors and D-type cyclins as key mediators of PKC-regulated cell cycle-specific effects. Several PKC isozymes can target Cip/Kip proteins to control G0/G1 → S and/or G2 → M transit, while effects on D-type cyclins regulate entry into and progression through G1. Analysis of PKC signaling in T cells has largely focused on its roles in T cell activation; thus, observed cell cycle effects are mainly positive. A prominent role is emerging for PKCθ, with non-redundant functions of other isozymes also described. Additional evidence points to PKCδ as a negative regulator of the cell cycle in these cells. As in other cell types, context-dependent effects of individual isozymes have been noted in T cells, and Cip/Kip cdk inhibitors and D-type cyclins appear to be major PKC targets. Future studies are anticipated to take advantage of the similarities between these various systems to enhance understanding of PKC-mediated cell cycle regulation in T cells.
    Frontiers in Immunology 01/2012; 3:423.
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have demonstrated that curcumin induces mitochondria-mediated apoptosis. However, understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying curcumin-induced cell death remains limited. In this study, we demonstrate that curcumin treatment of cancer cells caused dose- and time-dependent caspase-3 activation, which is required for apoptosis as confirmed using the pan caspase inhibitor, z-VAD. Knockdown experiments and knockout cells excluded a role of caspase-8 in curcumin-induced caspase-3 activation. In contrast, Apaf-1 deficiency or silencing inhibited the activity of caspase-3, pointing to a requisite role of Apaf-1 in curcumin-induced apoptotic cell death. Curcumin treatment led to Apaf-1 upregulation both at the protein and mRNA levels. Cytochrome c release from mitochondria to the cytosol in curcumin-treated cells was associated with upregulation of proapoptotic proteins such as Bax, Bak, Bid, and Bim. Crosslinking experiments demonstrated Bax oligomerization during curcumin-induced apoptosis, suggesting that induced expression of Bax, Bid, and Bim causes Bax-channel formation on the mitochondrial membrane. The release of cytochrome c was unaltered in p53-deficient cells, whereas absence of p21 blocked cytochrome c release, caspase activation, and apoptosis. Importantly, p21-deficiency resulted in reduced expression of Apaf-1 during curcumin treatment, indicating a requirement of p21 in Apaf-1 dependent caspase activation and apoptosis. Together, our findings demonstrate that Apaf-1, Bax, and p21 as novel potential targets for curcumin or curcumin-based anticancer agents.
    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 12/2011; 10(23):4128-37. · 5.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Increasing evidence supports a role for PKCα in growth arrest and tumor suppression in the intestinal epithelium. In contrast, the Id1 transcriptional repressor has pro-proliferative and tumorigenic properties in this tissue. Here, we identify Id1 as a novel target of PKCα signaling. Using a highly specific antibody and a combined morphological/biochemical approach, we establish that Id1 is a nuclear protein restricted to proliferating intestinal crypt cells. A relationship between PKCα and Id1 was supported by the demonstration that (a) down-regulation of Id1 at the crypt/villus junction coincides with PKCα activation, and (b) loss of PKCα in intestinal tumors is associated with increased levels of nuclear Id1. Manipulation of PKCα activity in IEC-18 nontransformed intestinal crypt cells determined that PKCα suppresses Id1 mRNA and protein via an Erk-dependent mechanism. PKCα, but not PKCδ, also inhibited Id1 expression in colon cancer cells. Id1 was found to regulate cyclin D1 levels in IEC-18 and colon cancer cells, pointing to a role for Id1 suppression in the antiproliferative/tumor suppressive activities of PKCα. Notably, Id1 expression was elevated in the intestinal epithelium of PKCα-knock-out mice, confirming that PKCα regulates Id1 in vivo. A wider role for PKCα in control of inhibitor of DNA binding factors is supported by its ability to down-regulate Id2 and Id3 in IEC-18 cells, although their suppression is more modest than that of Id1. This study provides the first demonstrated link between a specific PKC isozyme and inhibitor of DNA binding factors, and it points to a role for a PKCα → Erk ⊣ Id1 → cyclin D1 signaling axis in the maintenance of intestinal homeostasis.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2011; 286(20):18104-17. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Jennifer D. Black
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    ABSTRACT: Members of the PKC family have been widely implicated in control of cell proliferation. Consistent with this role, PKC signaling can negatively or positively modulate the cell cycle at multiple stages, including cell cycle entry and exit, progression through G1 and S phases, and transit through the G1 and G2 checkpoints. The cell cycle-specific effects of PKCs are dependent on the timing and duration of PKC activation, the specific PKC isozyme(s) involved, and the cellular context. Various cell cycle regulatory molecules, including cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks), and Cdk inhibitors, have been implicated in PKC-induced cell cycle effects, with p21Waf1/Cip1 and cyclin D1 emerging as key targets of PKC control. p21Waf1/Cip1 can be targeted by distinct PKC isozymes at different stages of the cell cycle to control both the G1→S and G2→M transitions, while cyclin D1 expression is modulated by transcriptional or translational mechanisms to regulate progression through G1 phase. PKC signaling can also phosphorylate lamin B to promote nuclear lamina disassembly and G2→M progression. Although understanding of the specific functions of individual PKC isozymes in regulation of the cell cycle remains a major challenge for the future, accumulated evidence indicates that PKCα and δ can either inhibit or promote G1→S and G2→M progression in a highly context-dependent manner, while PKCβII and ε are predominantly cell cycle stimulatory, and PKCη is generally inhibitory. Elucidation of the complex mechanisms underlying PKC isozyme-mediated control of the cell cycle is critical for the development of novel anticancer therapies targeting individual PKCs or their downstream effectors. KeywordsPKC-Cell cycle-G1 progression-G1 and G2/M arrest-Cell cycle exit-G2/M progression-Senescence-S phase-Cyclin D1-p21Waf1/Cip1-PKCalpha-PKCd-PKCbII-PKC¼-PKCq-PKCz and i
    12/2009: pages 155-188;
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    ABSTRACT: Alterations in PKC isozyme expression and aberrant induction of cyclin D1 are early events in intestinal tumorigenesis. Previous studies have identified cyclin D1 as a major target in the antiproliferative effects of PKCalpha in non-transformed intestinal cells; however, a link between PKC signaling and cyclin D1 in colon cancer remained to be established. The current study further characterized PKC isozyme expression in intestinal neoplasms and explored the consequences of restoring PKCalpha or PKCdelta in a panel of colon carcinoma cell lines. Consistent with patterns of PKC expression in primary tumors, PKCalpha and delta levels were generally reduced in colon carcinoma cell lines, PKCbetaII was elevated and PKCepsilon showed variable expression, thus establishing the suitability of these models for analysis of PKC signaling. While colon cancer cells were insensitive to the effects of PKC agonists on cyclin D1 levels, restoration of PKCalpha downregulated cyclin D1 by two independent mechanisms. PKCalpha expression consistently (a) reduced steady-state levels of cyclin D1 by a novel transcriptional mechanism not previously seen in non-transformed cells, and (b) re-established the ability of PKC agonists to activate the translational repressor 4E-BP1 and inhibit cyclin D1 translation. In contrast, PKCdelta had modest and variable effects on cyclin D1 steady-state levels and failed to restore responsiveness to PKC agonists. Notably, PKCalpha expression blocked anchorage-independent growth in colon cancer cells via a mechanism partially dependent on cyclin D1 deficiency, while PKCdelta had only minor effects. Loss of PKCalpha and effects of its re-expression were independent of the status of the APC/beta-catenin signaling pathway or known genetic alterations, indicating that they are a general characteristic of colon tumors. Thus, PKCalpha is a potent negative regulator of cyclin D1 expression and anchorage-independent cell growth in colon tumor cells, findings that offer important perspectives on the frequent loss of this isozyme during intestinal carcinogenesis.
    Experimental Cell Research 03/2009; 315(8):1415-28. · 3.56 Impact Factor
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    Xiang Ling, Qiuying Cheng, Jennifer D Black, Fengzhi Li
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    ABSTRACT: It has been previously shown that both survivin and the survivin splice variant survivin-2B are localized in mitochondria. Whereas the mechanism involved in blockade of mitochondria-mediated apoptosis by survivin has been extensively studied, the role of survivin-2B in regulation of apoptosis has not been well defined. In the present study, we report that in addition to mitochondria, survivin-2B is also localized in the microtubule organization center (MTOC) and, in contrast to other survivin isoforms (i.e. survivin and survivin-DeltaEx3), behaves as a proapoptotic molecule. We show that forced expression of survivin-2B blocks tubulin polymerization, ablates mitotic cells, and induces mitochondria-dependent apoptosis. The mitochondria-mediated apoptosis induced by survivin-2B was indicated by Smac release from mitochondria, activation of caspases 9 and 3, and loss of mitochondrial potential, while caspase-8 remained inactive. Further analysis of the mechanism for the mitochondria-associated events of apoptosis induced by forced expression of survivin-2B revealed down-regulation of the pro-survival factor Bcl-2 and up-regulation of the pro-apoptotic factor Bax in mitochondria, while the apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) remains unchanged. Our studies further showed that taxol (paclitaxel) treatment of cancer cells not only up-regulates survivin but also down-regulates survivin-2B and that forced expression of survivin-2B sensitizes cells to taxol-induced cell growth inhibition and cell death, while silencing of endogenous survivin-2B transcripts by survivin-2B-specific siRNA made cells resistant to taxol treatment. These findings advance our current knowledge about survivin-2B and may help to develop novel approaches for cancer treatment.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2007; 282(37):27204-14. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We reported previously that protein kinase Calpha (PKCalpha), a negative regulator of cell growth in the intestinal epithelium, inhibits cyclin D1 translation by inducing hypophosphorylation/activation of the translational repressor 4E-BP1. The current study explores the molecular mechanisms underlying PKC/PKCalpha-induced activation of 4E-BP1 in IEC-18 nontransformed rat ileal crypt cells. PKC signaling is shown to promote dephosphorylation of Thr(45) and Ser(64) on 4E-BP1, residues directly involved in its association with eIF4E. Consistent with the known role of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mTOR pathway in regulation of 4E-BP1, PKC signaling transiently inhibited PI3K activity and Akt phosphorylation in IEC-18 cells. However, PKC/PKCalpha-induced activation of 4E-BP1 was not prevented by constitutively active mutants of PI3K or Akt, indicating that blockade of PI3K/Akt signaling is not the primary effector of 4E-BP1 activation. This idea is supported by the fact that PKC activation did not alter S6 kinase activity in these cells. Further analysis indicated that PKC-mediated 4E-BP1 hypophosphorylation is dependent on the activity of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). PKC signaling induced an approximately 2-fold increase in PP2A activity, and phosphatase inhibition blocked the effects of PKC agonists on 4E-BP1 phosphorylation and cyclin D1 expression. H(2)O(2) and ceramide, two naturally occurring PKCalpha agonists that promote growth arrest in intestinal cells, activate 4E-BP1 in PKC/PKCalpha-dependent manner, supporting the physiological significance of the findings. Together, our studies indicate that activation of PP2A is an important mechanism underlying PKC/PKCalpha-induced inhibition of cap-dependent translation and growth suppression in intestinal epithelial cells.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2007; 282(19):14213-25. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In preclinical models, calcitriol and the tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib are synergistic and modulate extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk) and Akt pathways. Therefore, we conducted a phase I study of calcitriol and gefitinib to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of this combination. Calcitriol was given i.v. over 1 h on weeks 1, 3, and weekly thereafter. Gefitinib was given at a fixed oral daily dose of 250 mg starting at week 2 (day 8). Escalation occurred in cohorts of three patients until the MTD was defined. Pharmacokinetic studies were done for calcitriol and gefitinib. Serial skin biopsies were done to investigate epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway pharmacodynamic interactions. Thirty-two patients were treated. Dose-limiting hypercalcemia was noted in two of four patients receiving 96 mug/wk of calcitriol. One of seven patients developed dose-limiting hypercalcemia at the MTD 74 mug/wk calcitriol dose level. The relationship between calcitriol dose and peak serum calcitriol (C(max)) and systemic exposure (AUC) was linear. Mean (+/-SD) serum calcitriol C(max) at the MTD was 6.68 +/- 1.42 ng/mL. Gefitinib treatment inhibited EGFR, Akt, and Erk phosphorylation in the skin. Calcitriol did not have consistent effects on skin EGFR or its downstream elements. The combination of gefitinib and calcitriol did not modulate tumor EGFR pathway in patients with serial tumor biopsies. High doses of weekly i.v. calcitriol can be administered safely in combination with gefitinib. Calcitriol concentrations achieved at the MTD 74 mug calcitriol exceed in vivo concentrations associated with antitumor activity in preclinical models.
    Clinical Cancer Research 03/2007; 13(4):1216-23. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Overexpression of signaling proteins including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), Akt, mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) occurs in cholangiocarcinoma cell lines. However, the prognostic value of these markers is unknown. No prior study correlated the expression of these signaling proteins with clinical outcome. Further, co-expression of these proteins has not been reported. Co-expression may reflect cross-talk between signaling pathways. The aim of this clinicopathological study was to investigate the overexpression and co-expression of EGFR and related signaling proteins in cholangiocarcinoma and explore their relationship to clinical outcome. Twenty-four consecutive cases of cholangiocarcinoma treated from 1996 to 2002 at Roswell Park Cancer Institute were included. Immunohistochemical staining of paraffin-embedded tissue sections was performed using antibodies against Akt, p-Akt, MAPK, p-MAPK, COX-2, EGFR and p-EGFR. Two pathologists independently scored the protein expression. Cyclooxygenase-2, Akt, and p-MAPK were commonly expressed in biliary cancers (100%, 96% and 87% of malignant cells, respectively). EGFR (60%) and p-EGFR (22%) overexpression was also detected. There was a significant association between EGFR and p-EGFR (P = 0.027) and between Akt and p-Akt (P = 0.017) expression in tumor tissue. A noteworthy association was shown between MAPK and p-Akt (P = 0.054). Multivariate analysis using the Cox proportional hazard model identified the use of chemotherapy (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.039, P = 0.0002), radiation (HR = 0.176, P = 0.0441) and Akt expression (HR = 0.139, P = 0.006) as the best predictors of overall prognosis. Epidermal growth factor receptor signaling intermediates are commonly expressed in cholangiocarcinoma. Expression of Akt and use of systemic chemotherapy or radiation may correlate with improved survival.
    Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 12/2006; 21(11):1744-51. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Long-term survival of surgically resectable pancreatic cancer patients is uncommon. The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and the phosphoinositol-3-kinase pathways are often activated in pancreatic cancer, and an understanding of their role in resected cases may help refine adjuvant therapy. We investigated the expression of EGFR, Erk, Akt, and their phosphoforms (p-) in pancreatectomy specimens and correlated these with survival. Thirty-nine consecutive surgically resected pancreatic adenocarcinoma cases were included. Immunohistochemical staining of paraffin-embedded blocks was performed by using monoclonal antibodies against EGFR, Erk, p-Erk, Akt, and p-Akt. A standard immunoperoxidase technique was used to detect the avidin-biotin peroxidase complex. Immunostaining was visually scored with the histoscore method by two surgical pathologists. Patient characteristics were as follows: 17 men and 22 women; median age, 66 years; and American Joint Committee on Cancer stage I, 5 patients; stage II, 4 patients; stage III, 27 patients; and stage IV, 3 patients. The tumor was World Health Organization grade 1 in 4, grade 2 in 17, and grade 3 in 18 cases. Adjuvant therapies were chemotherapy (n = 6), radiotherapy (n = 1), and chemoradiotherapy (n = 17). Immunohistochemistry revealed positive expression of EGFR in 30.8%, Erk in 92.3%, p-Erk in 45.9%, Akt in 71.8%, and p-Akt in 20.5% of cases. On univariate analyses, tumor grade (P = .0098), p-Akt (P = .0003), and p-Erk (P = .0052) expression correlated with survival. On multivariate analyses, age (P = .0002; hazard ratio [HR], 1.8), grade (P = .00318; HR, 3.0), Akt (P = .0433; HR, .4), p-Akt (P = .0002; HR, .2), and p-Erk (P = .0003; HR, 3.5) expression correlated significantly with survival. p-Erk and p-Akt expression may have prognostic and therapeutic implications in pancreatic cancer.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 08/2006; 13(7):933-9. · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: TACC1 is the founding member of the evolutionarily conserved transforming acidic coiled coil genes. These genes play a role in normal development and tumorigenesis through interactions with multiple complexes involved in transcription, translation, and centrosomal dynamics. Despite its importance, detailed examination of the expression of TACC1 and splice variants has not previously been performed. In this study, the spatiotemporal distribution of the Tacc1 protein was examined immunohistochemically in cross-sections of mouse embryonic tissues. We also report the distribution of currently known/predicted TACC1 splice variants in adult humans. These results indicate that Tacc1 is regulated in a dynamic manner during embryogenesis. In adult humans, ubiquitous expression of at least one TACC1 splice variant is noted, although specific combinations of variants are evident in individual differentiated tissues. An important observation is that in the in vivo three-dimensional tissue architecture of the growing organism, both the human and mouse TACC1 protein can be localized to different subcellular compartments in a cell- and tissue-specific manner. This indicates that exploration of TACC1 function must take into account the temporal expression of specific splice variants that may perform different cell-type and tissue-specific functions. Furthermore, this analysis will provide the groundwork from which future Tacc1 knockout strategies can be designed and properly interpreted.
    Developmental Dynamics 07/2006; 235(6):1638-47. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cyclin D1 is a key regulator of cell proliferation, acting as a mitogen sensor and linking extracellular signaling to the cell cycle machinery. Strict control of cyclin D1 levels is critical for maintenance of tissue homeostasis. We have reported previously that protein kinase C alpha (PKCalpha), a negative regulator of cell growth in the intestinal epithelium, promotes rapid down-regulation of cyclin D1 (Frey, M. R., Clark, J. A., Leontieva, O., Uronis, J. M., Black, A. R., and Black, J. D. (2000) J. Cell Biol. 151, 763-778). The current study explores the mechanisms underlying PKCalpha-induced loss of cyclin D1 protein in non-transformed intestinal epithelial cells. Our findings exclude several mechanisms previously implicated in down-regulation of cyclin D1 during cell cycle exit/differentiation, including alterations in cyclin D1 mRNA expression and protein turnover. Instead, we identify PKCalpha as a novel repressor of cyclin D1 translation, acting at the level of cap-dependent initiation. Inhibition of cyclin D1 translation initiation is mediated by PKCalpha-induced hypophosphorylation/activation of the translational suppressor 4E-BP1, association of 4E-BP1 with the mRNA cap-binding protein eIF4E, and sequestration of cyclin D1 mRNA in 4E-BP1-associated complexes. Together, these post-transcriptional effects ensure rapid disappearance of the potent mitogenic molecule cyclin D1 during PKCalpha-induced cell cycle withdrawal in the intestinal epithelium.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2006; 281(21):14596-603. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dysregulation of the human Transforming Acidic Coiled Coil (TACC) genes is thought to be important in the development and progression of multiple myeloma, breast and gastric cancer. Recent, large-scale genomic analysis and Serial Analysis of Gene Expression data suggest that TACC1 and TACC3 may also be involved in the etiology of ovarian tumors from both familial and sporadic cases. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the occurrence of alterations of these TACCs in ovarian cancer. Detection and scoring of TACC1 and TACC3 expression was performed by immunohistochemical analysis of the T-BO-1 tissue/tumor microarray slide from the Cooperative Human Tissue Network, Tissue Array Research Program (TARP) of the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA. Tumors were categorized as either positive (greater than 10% of cells staining) or negative. Statistical analysis was performed using Fisher's exact test and p < 0.05 (single comparisons), and p < 0.02 (multiple comparisons) were considered to be significant. Transgenomics WAVE high performance liquid chromatography (dHPLC) was used to pre-screen the TACC3 gene in constitutional DNA from ovarian cancer patients and their unaffected relatives from 76 families from the Gilda Radner Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry. All variant patterns were then sequenced. This study demonstrated absence of at least one or both TACC proteins in 78.5% (51/65) of ovarian tumors tested, with TACC3 loss observed in 67.7% of tumors. The distribution pattern of expression of the two TACC proteins was different, with TACC3 loss being more common in serous papillary carcinoma compared with clear cell carcinomas, while TACC1 staining was less frequent in endometroid than in serous papillary tumor cores. In addition, we identified two constitutional mutations in the TACC3 gene in patients with ovarian cancer from the Gilda Radner Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry. These patients had previously tested negative for mutations in known ovarian cancer predisposing genes. When combined, our data suggest that aberrations of TACC genes, and TACC3 in particular, underlie a significant proportion of ovarian cancers. Thus, TACC3 could be a hitherto unknown endogenous factor that contributes to ovarian tumorigenesis.
    BMC Women's Health 06/2005; 5:8. · 1.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously reported that protein kinase C (PKC) signaling can trigger hallmark events of cell cycle withdrawal in intestinal epithelial cells, including downregulation of cyclin D1, induction of p21(Waf1/Cip1), and activation of the growth suppressor function of pocket proteins. In the current study, we compared the cell cycle- and PKC-specific effects of the vanilloid resiniferatoxin (RTX), its parent diterpene resiniferonol 9,13,14-ortho-phenylacetate (ROPA), and the PKC agonist PMA in the IEC-18 non-transformed intestinal crypt cell line. ROPA and PMA were found to produce strikingly similar alterations in cell cycle progression and PKC activity in IEC-18 cells, although PMA was approximately 1000-fold more potent in producing these effects. Both agents induced a transient PKC-dependent blockade in G1---> S progression associated with transient downregulation of cyclin D1 and induction of p21(Waf1/Cip1). In contrast, RTX produced a prolonged PKC-independent cell cycle arrest in G(0)/G(1) phase which was maintained for longer than 24h. This arrest was vanilloid receptor-independent and associated with prolonged downregulation of cyclin D1 mRNA and protein, with little effect on levels of p21(Waf1/Cip1). Combined exposure to RTX and ROPA produced a sustained and complete cell cycle blockade in IEC-18 cells, associated with depletion of cyclin D1 and sustained enhancement of p21(Waf1/Cip1) levels. PMA, ROPA, RTX and the RTX/ROPA combination were capable of activating ERK1/2 signaling in IEC-18 cells, albeit with different kinetics. In contrast, only PMA and ROPA activated JNK1/2 and p38 in this system. Notably, some preparations of commercially obtained RTX produced effects indistinguishable from those of the RTX/ROPA combination, suggesting that certain batches of the compound may contain significant amounts of ROPA (or another PKC agonist activity). Together, these data demonstrate that structurally related compounds can produce similar cell cycle-specific effects but through distinct mechanisms. In addition, they add to a growing body of evidence that vanilloids can have antiproliferative effects in a variety of cell types.
    Biochemical Pharmacology 06/2004; 67(10):1873-86. · 4.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have reported previously that protein kinase C (PKC) signaling can mediate a program of cell cycle withdrawal in IEC-18 nontransformed intestinal crypt cells, involving rapid disappearance of cyclin D1, increased expression of Cip/Kip cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, and activation of the growth suppressor function of pocket proteins. In the current study, we present evidence to support a requisite role for PKC alpha in mediating these effects. Furthermore, analysis of the signaling events linking PKC/PKC alpha activation to changes in the cell cycle regulatory machinery implicate the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK cascade. PKC/PKC alpha activity promoted GTP loading of Ras, activation of Raf-1, and phosphorylation/activation of ERK. ERK activation was found to be required for critical downstream effects of PKC/PKC alpha activation, including cyclin D1 down-regulation, p21(Waf1/Cip1) induction, and cell cycle arrest. PKC-induced ERK activation was strong and sustained relative to that produced by proliferative signals, and the growth inhibitory effects of PKC agonists were dominant over proliferative events when these opposing stimuli were administered simultaneously. PKC signaling promoted cytoplasmic and nuclear accumulation of ERK activity, whereas growth factor-induced phospho-ERK was localized only in the cytoplasm. Comparison of the effects of PKC agonists that differ in their ability to sustain PKC alpha activation and growth arrest in IEC-18 cells, together with the use of selective kinase inhibitors, indicated that the length of PKC-mediated cell cycle exit is dictated by the magnitude/duration of input signal (i.e. PKC alpha activity) and of activation of the ERK cascade. The extent/duration of phospho-ERK nuclear localization may also be important determinants of the duration of PKC agonist-induced growth arrest in this system. Taken together, the data point to PKC alpha and the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK cascade as key regulators of cell cycle withdrawal in intestinal epithelial cells.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2004; 279(10):9233-47. · 4.65 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

482 Citations
101.69 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013
    • University of Nebraska Medical Center
      Omaha, Nebraska, United States
  • 2012
    • University of Nebraska at Omaha
      • Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases
      Omaha, NE, United States
    • Gynecologic Oncology Group
      Buffalo, New York, United States
  • 2009–2011
    • Roswell Park Cancer Institute
      • Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
      Buffalo, NY, United States