[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are known to have the capacity to differentiate into various cell types, including neurons. To examine our hypothesis that miRNA was involved in neuronal differentiation of hMSCs, CoCl2, a hypoxia-mimicking agent was used to induce neuronal differentiation, which was assessed by determining the expression of neuronal markers such as nestin and Tuj1. Treatment of hMSCs with CoCl2 led to increased expression of miR-124a, a neuron-specific miRNA. HIF-1α silencing and JNK inhibition abolished CoCl2-induced miR-124a expression, suggesting that JNK and HIF-1α signals were required for the miR-124a expression induced by CoCl2 in hMSCs. Overexpression of miR-124a or CoCl2 treatment suppressed the expression of anti-neural proteins such as SCP1 and SOX9. Silencing of both SCP1 and SOX9 induced neuronal differentiation of hMSCs, indicating that suppression of miR-124a targets is important for CoCl2-induced neuronal differentiation of hMSCs. Knockdown of HIF-1α or inhibition of JNK restored the expression of SCP1 and SOX9 in CoCl2-treated cells. Inhibition of miR-124a blocked CoCl2-induced suppression of SCP1 and SOX9 and abolished CoCl2-induced neuronal differentiation of hMSCs. Taken together, we demonstrate that miR-124a is critically regulates CoCl2-induced neuronal differentiation of hMSCs by suppressing the expression of SCP1 and SOX9.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 01/2014; · 2.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metastatic relapse of primary lung cancer leads to therapeutic resistance and unfavorable clinical prognosis; therefore, identification of key molecules associated with metastatic conversion has significant clinical implications. We previously identified a link between early brain metastasis of lung adenocarcinoma (ADC) and amplification of the alpha-smooth muscle actin (ACTA2) gene. The aim of present study was to investigate the prognostic and functional significance of ACTA2expression in cancer cells for the metastatic potential of lung ADCs.
ACTA2 expression was analyzed in tumor cells from 263 patients with primary lung ADCs by immunohistochemistry, and was correlated with clinicopathological parameters. The expression of ACTA2 in human lung ADC cells was modulated with shRNAs and siRNAs specifically targeting ACTA2.
The patients with lung ADCs with high ACTA2 expression in tumor cells showed significantly enhanced distant metastasis and unfavorable prognosis. ACTA2 downregulation remarkably impaired in vitro migration, invasion, clonogenicity, and transendothelial penetration of lung ADC cells without affecting proliferation. Consistent with the in vitro results, depletion of ACTA2 in human lung ADC PC14PE6 cells significantly reduced their metastatic potential without altering their tumorigenic potential. Expression of c-MET and FAK in lung ADC cells was also reduced by ACTA2-targeting siRNAs and shRNAs, and was accompanied by a loss of mesenchymal characteristics.
These findings indicate that ACTA2 regulates c-MET and FAK expression in lung ADC cells, which positively and selectively influence metastatic potential. Therefore, ACTA2 could be a promising prognostic biomarker and/or therapeutic target for metastatic lung ADC.
Clinical Cancer Research 08/2013; · 7.84 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primary lung tumors, breast tumors, and melanoma metastasize mainly in the brain where therapy is limited to surgery and radiation. To investigate the molecular basis of brain metastases, we isolated brain-trophic metastatic MDA-MB-435-LvBr2 (LvBr2) cells via left ventricle (LV) injection of MDA-MB-435 cells into immunodeficiency (NOD/SCID) mice. Whereas parent MDA-MB-435 cells displayed an elongated morphology, LvBr2 cells were round and displayed an aggregated distribution. LvBr2 cells expressed lower β-catenin levels and higher heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein C1/C2 (hnRNPC) levels than parental cells. Since microRNAs are known to play an important role in cancer progression including metastasis, we screened microRNAs expressed specifically in brain metastases. MicroRNA-146a was almost undetectable in LvBr2 cells and highly expressed in the parental cells. Overexpression of miR-146a increased β-catenin expression and suppressed the migratory and invasive activity of LvBr2 cells. The miR-146a-elicited decrease in hnRNPC in turn lowered the expression of MMP-1, uPA, and uPAR and inhibited the migratory and invasive activity of LvBr2 cells. Taken together, our findings indicate that miR-146a is virtually absent from brain metastases and can suppress their metastatic potential including their migratory and invasive activities associated with upregulation of β-catenin and downregulation of hnRNPC.
Molecules and Cells 09/2012; 34(3):329-34. · 2.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of brain tumors. miR-21 is one of the most highly overexpressed miRNAs in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), and its level of expression correlates with the tumor grade. Programmed cell death 4 (PDCD4) is a well-known miR-21 target and is frequently downregulated in glioblastomas in accordance with increased miR-21 expression. Downregulation of miR-21 or overexpression of PDCD4 can inhibit metastasis. Here, we investigate the role of heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein C1/C2 (hnRNPC) in the metastatic potential of the glioblastoma cell line T98G. hnRNPC bound directly to primary miR-21 (pri-miR-21) and promoted miR-21 expression in T98G cells. Silencing of hnRNPC lowered miR-21 levels, in turn increasing the expression of PDCD4, suppressing Akt and p70S6K activation, and inhibiting migratory and invasive activities. Silencing of hnRNPC reduced cell proliferation and enhanced etoposide-induced apoptosis. In support of a role for hnRNPC in the invasiveness of GBM, highly aggressive U87MG cells showed higher hnRNPC expression levels and hnRNPC abundance in tissue arrays and also showed elevated levels as a function of brain tumor grade. Taken together, our data indicate that hnRNPC controls the aggressiveness of GBM cells through the regulation of PDCD4, underscoring the potential usefulness of hnRNPC as a prognostic and therapeutic marker of GBM.
Molecular and cellular biology 08/2012; 32(20):4237-44. · 6.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Currently, clinically available options for treating glioblastoma (GBM) are quite limited, and there is a clear need to develop novel treatment strategies that can more effectively manage tumors. Here, we present a combination treatment of temozolomide (TMZ), a blood-brain barrier penetrating DNA alkylating agent, and ZD6474 (vandetanib), a VEGFR2 and EGFR dual-targeting anti-angiogenic agent, as a novel treatment strategy for GBM. In a U-87MG orthotopic xenograft model, the combination treatment provided a marked 94% tumor volume reduction. This reduction was greater than that achieved by monotherapy of either agent, and was correlated with a statistically significant reduction in microvessel density (CD31+ cells) and proliferation (PCNA+ cells). These results confirm the necessity to target angiogenesis in addition to utilizing cytotoxic approaches, and provide the rationale for application of TMZ + ZD6474 combination therapy for treating GBM patients in the clinical setting.
Molecular Medicine Reports 04/2012; 6(1):88-92. · 1.17 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cellular abundance of topoisomerase IIα (TOP2A) critically maintains DNA topology after replication and determines the efficacy of TOP2 inhibitors in chemotherapy. Here, we report that the RNA-binding protein HuR, commonly overexpressed in cancers, binds to the TOP2A 3'-untranslated region (3'UTR) and increases TOP2A translation. Reducing HuR levels triggered the recruitment of TOP2A transcripts to RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) components and to cytoplasmic processing bodies. Using a novel MS2-tagged RNA precipitation method, we identified microRNA miR-548c-3p as a mediator of these effects and further uncovered that the interaction of miR-548c-3p with the TOP2A 3'UTR repressed TOP2A translation by antagonizing the action of HuR. Lowering TOP2A by silencing HuR or by overexpressing miR-548c-3p selectively decreased DNA damage after treatment with the chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin. In sum, HuR enhances TOP2A translation by competing with miR-548c-3p; their combined actions control TOP2A expression levels and determine the effectiveness of doxorubicin.
Molecular and cellular biology 07/2011; 31(18):3790-801. · 6.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adipose tissue development is tightly regulated by altering gene expression. MicroRNAs are strong posttranscriptional regulators of mammalian differentiation. We hypothesized that microRNAs might influence human adipogenesis by targeting specific adipogenic factors. We identified microRNAs that showed varying abundance during the differentiation of human preadipocytes into adipocytes. Among them, miR-130 strongly affected adipocyte differentiation, as overexpressing miR-130 impaired adipogenesis and reducing miR-130 enhanced adipogenesis. A key effector of miR-130 actions was the protein peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), a major regulator of adipogenesis. Interestingly, miR-130 potently repressed PPARγ expression by targeting both the PPARγ mRNA coding and 3' untranslated regions. Adipose tissue from obese women contained significantly lower miR-130 and higher PPARγ mRNA levels than that from nonobese women. Our findings reveal that miR-130 reduces adipogenesis by repressing PPARγ biosynthesis and suggest that perturbations in this regulation is linked to human obesity.
Molecular and cellular biology 02/2011; 31(4):626-38. · 6.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ionizing radiation (IR) triggers adaptive changes in gene expression. Here, we show that survival after IR strongly depends on the checkpoint kinase Chk2 acting upon its substrate HuR, an RNA-binding protein that stabilizes and/or modulates the translation of target mRNAs. Microarray analysis showed that in human HCT116 colorectal carcinoma cells (WT), IR-activated Chk2 triggered the dissociation of virtually all of HuR-bound mRNAs, since IR did not dissociate HuR target mRNAs in Chk2-null (CHK2-/-) HCT116 cells. Accordingly, several HuR-interacting mRNAs encoding apoptosis- and proliferation-related proteins (TJP1, Mdm2, TP53BP2, Bax, K-Ras) dissociated from HuR in WT cells, but remained bound and showed altered post-transcriptional regulation in CHK2-/- cells. Use of HuR mutants that were not phosphorylatable by Chk2 (HuR(3A)) and HuR mutants mimicking constitutive phosphorylation by Chk2 (HuR(3D)) revealed that dissociation of HuR target transcripts enhanced cell survival. We propose that the release of HuR-bound mRNAs via an IR-Chk2-HuR regulatory axis improves cell outcome following IR.
The EMBO Journal 02/2011; 30(6):1040-53. · 9.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amyloid precursor protein (APP) regulates neuronal synapse function, and its cleavage product Abeta is linked to Alzheimer's disease. Here, we present evidence that the RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) C and fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) associate with the same APP mRNA coding region element, and they influence APP translation competitively and in opposite directions. Silencing hnRNP C increased FMRP binding to APP mRNA and repressed APP translation, whereas silencing FMRP enhanced hnRNP C binding and promoted translation. Repression of APP translation was linked to colocalization of FMRP and tagged APP RNA within processing bodies; this colocalization was abrogated by hnRNP C overexpression or FMRP silencing. Our findings indicate that FMRP represses translation by recruiting APP mRNA to processing bodies, whereas hnRNP C promotes APP translation by displacing FMRP, thereby relieving the translational block.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As many DNA-damaging conditions repress transcription, posttranscriptional processes critically influence gene expression during the genotoxic stress response. The RNA-binding protein HuR robustly influences gene expression following DNA damage. HuR function is controlled in two principal ways: (1) by mobilizing HuR from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, where it modulates the stability and translation of target mRNAs and (2) by altering its association with target mRNAs. Here, we review evidence that two main effectors of ataxia-telangiectasia-mutated/ATM- and Rad3-related (ATM/ATR), the checkpoint kinases Chk1 and Chk2, jointly influence HuR function. Chk1 affects HuR localization by phosphorylating (hence inactivating) Cdk1, a kinase that phosphorylates HuR and thereby blocks HuR's cytoplasmic export. Chk2 modulates HuR binding to target mRNAs by phosphorylating HuR's RNA-recognition motifs (RRM1 and RRM2). We discuss how HuR phosphorylation by kinases including Chk1/Cdk1 and Chk2 impacts upon gene expression patterns, cell proliferation, and survival following genotoxic injury.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and microRNAs (miRNAs) are potent post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Here, we show that the RBP HuR reduced c-Myc expression by associating with the c-Myc 3' untranslated region (UTR) next to a miRNA let-7-binding site. Lowering HuR or let-7 levels relieved the translational repression of c-Myc. Unexpectedly, HuR and let-7 repressed c-Myc through an interdependent mechanism, as let-7 required HuR to reduce c-Myc expression and HuR required let-7 to inhibit c-Myc expression. Our findings suggest a regulatory paradigm wherein HuR inhibits c-Myc expression by recruiting let-7-loaded RISC (RNA miRNA-induced silencing complex) to the c-Myc 3'UTR.
Genes & development 08/2009; 23(15):1743-8. · 12.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The RNA-binding protein HuR regulates the stability and translation of numerous mRNAs encoding stress-response and proliferative proteins. Although its post-transcriptional influence has been linked primarily to its cytoplasmic translocation, here we report that moderate heat shock (HS) potently reduces HuR levels, thereby altering the expression of HuR target mRNAs. HS did not change HuR mRNA levels or de novo translation, but instead reduced HuR protein stability. Supporting the involvement of the ubiquitin-proteasome system in this process were results showing that (1) HuR was ubiquitinated in vitro and in intact cells, (2) proteasome inhibition increased HuR abundance after HS, and (3) the HuR kinase checkpoint kinase 2 protected against the loss of HuR by HS. Within a central, HS-labile approximately 110-amino-acid region, K182 was found to be essential for HuR ubiquitination and proteolysis as mutant HuR(K182R) was left virtually unubiquitinated and was refractory to HS-triggered degradation. Our findings reveal that HS transiently lowers HuR by proteolysis linked to K182 ubiquitination and that HuR reduction enhances cell survival following HS.
The EMBO Journal 04/2009; 28(9):1271-82. · 9.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HuR is predominantly nuclear but following exposure to stress and mitogens, it can translocate to the cytoplasm where it stabilizes target mRNAs and/or modulates their translation. Several phosphorylation sites in a central 'hinge" region of HuR have been reported to affect its nucleocytoplasmic shuttle: phosphorylation by PKC at serine (S)221 and by Cdk1 at S202. Here, we investigated if there are additional putative phosphorylation sites within the HuR hinge region capable of influencing its cytoplasmic abundance. We systematically mutated all seven serine residues within the shuttling hinge domain to the nonphosphorylatable residue alanine (A), S197A, S202A, S221A, S229A, S232A, S241A and S242A. Using HeLa cells as the study system, we found that the HuR(S242A) mutant was more abundant in the cytoplasm in both untreated cells and in cells treated with short-wavelength ultraviolet light or with an inhibitor of Cdk1. Conversely, mutation of S242 to aspartic acid (D), rendered the phosphomimetic HuR(S242D) nuclear under all treatment conditions. S242 mutations did not influence HuR stability, but HuR(S242A) showed increased association with target cyclin A2 and cyclin B1 mRNAs. Accordingly, expression of HuR(S242A) led to increased cyclin mRNA stability and heightened cell proliferation rates. Our findings suggest that HuR phosphorylation at S242 hinders its cytoplasmic localization, its function as a posttranscriptional regulator, and its proliferative influence.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HuR is a ubiquitous RNA-binding protein (RBP) that associates with many mRNAs encoding proliferative proteins. Although predominantly nuclear, HuR translocation to the cytoplasm is linked to its ability to stabilize target mRNAs and modulate their translation. We recently reported that HuR phosphorylation by Cdk1 at S202 (within the HuR hinge region that is necessary for nucleocytoplasmic shuttle) increases HuR association with 14-3-3 and contributes to its nuclear retention. In the next issue of Cell Cycle we report that residue S242 also regulates HuR's cytoplasmic localization, influences cyclin expression, and modulates cell proliferation. Together with evidence of other post-translational HuR modifications, we propose that HuR phosphorylation ensures the timely mobilization of HuR across the nuclear envelope. In this manner, HuR helps to schedule gene expression programs in a cell cycle-dependent manner.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A predominantly nuclear RNA-binding protein, HuR translocates to the cytoplasm in response to stress and proliferative signals, where it stabilizes or modulates the translation of target mRNAs. Here, we present evidence that HuR phosphorylation at S202 by the G2-phase kinase Cdk1 influences its subcellular distribution. HuR was specifically phosphorylated in synchronous G2-phase cultures; its cytoplasmic levels increased by Cdk1-inhibitory interventions and declined in response to Cdk1-activating interventions. In keeping with the prominently cytoplasmic location of the nonphosphorylatable point mutant HuR(S202A), phospho-HuR(S202) was shown to be predominantly nuclear using a novel anti-phospho-HuR(S202) antibody. The enhanced cytoplasmic presence of unphosphorylated HuR was linked to its decreased association with 14-3-3 and to its heightened binding to target mRNAs. Our findings suggest that Cdk1 phosphorylates HuR during G2, thereby helping to retain it in the nucleus in association with 14-3-3 and hindering its post-transcriptional function and anti-apoptotic influence.
Genes & Development 08/2008; 22(13):1804-15. · 12.44 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase phosphatase 1 (MKP-1) plays a major role in dephosphorylating and thereby inactivating the MAP kinases extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and p38. Here, we examine the posttranscriptional events underlying the robust MKP-1 induction by oxidants in HeLa cells. H(2)O(2) treatment potently stabilized the MKP-1 mRNA and increased the association of MKP-1 mRNA with the translation machinery. Four RNA-binding proteins (RNA-BPs) that influence mRNA turnover and/or translation (HuR, NF90, TIAR, and TIA-1) were found to bind to biotinylated transcripts spanning the MKP-1 AU-rich 3' untranslated region. By using ribonucleoprotein immunoprecipitation analysis, we showed that H(2)O(2) treatment increased the association of MKP-1 mRNA with HuR and NF90 and decreased its association with the translational repressors TIAR and TIA-1. HuR or NF90 silencing significantly diminished the H(2)O(2)-stimulated MKP-1 mRNA stability; HuR silencing also markedly decreased MKP-1 translation. In turn, lowering MKP-1 expression in HuR-silenced cultures resulted in substantially elevated phosphorylation of JNK and p38 after H(2)O(2) treatment. Collectively, MKP-1 upregulation by oxidative stress is potently influenced by increased mRNA stability and translation, mediated at least in part by the RNA-BPs HuR and NF90.
Molecular and cellular biology 08/2008; 28(14):4562-75. · 6.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To respond adequately to oxidative stress, mammalian cells elicit rapid and tightly controlled changes in gene expression patterns. Besides alterations in the subsets of transcribed genes, two posttranscriptional processes prominently influence the oxidant-triggered gene expression programs: mRNA turnover and translation. Here, we review recent progress in our knowledge of the turnover and translation regulatory (TTR) mRNA-binding proteins (RBPs) that influence gene expression in response to oxidative damage. Specifically, we identify oxidant damage-regulated mRNAs that are targets of TTR-RBPs, we review the oxidant-triggered signaling pathways that govern TTR-RBP function, and we examine emerging evidence that TTR-RBP activity is altered with senescence and aging. Given the potent influence of TTR-RBPs upon oxidant-regulated gene expression profiles, we propose that the senescence-associated changes in TTR-RBPs directly contribute to the impaired responses to oxidant damage that characterize cellular senescence and advancing age.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this issue of Molecular Cell, Vlasova et al. (2008) identify the GU-rich element (GRE) as a novel, widespread, degradation-promoting sequence through which the RNA-binding protein CUGBP1 elicits mRNA decay.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The levels of hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha (HIF-1alpha) are tightly controlled. Here, we investigated the posttranscriptional regulation of HIF-1alpha expression in human cervical carcinoma HeLa cells responding to the hypoxia mimetic CoCl(2). Undetectable in untreated cells, HIF-1alpha levels increased dramatically in CoCl(2)-treated cells, while HIF-1alpha mRNA levels were unchanged. HIF-1alpha translation was potently elevated by CoCl(2) treatment, as determined by de novo translation analysis and by monitoring the polysomal association of HIF-1alpha mRNA. An internal ribosome entry site in the HIF-1alpha 5' untranslated region (UTR) was found to enhance translation constitutively, but it did not further induce translation in response to CoCl(2) treatment. Instead, we postulated that RNA-binding proteins HuR and PTB, previously shown to bind HIF-1alpha mRNA, participated in its translational upregulation after CoCl(2) treatment. Indeed, both RNA-binding proteins were found to bind HIF-1alpha mRNA in a CoCl(2)-inducible manner as assessed by immunoprecipitation of endogenous ribonucleoprotein complexes. Using a chimeric reporter, polypyrimidine tract-binding protein (PTB) was found to bind the HIF-1alpha 3'UTR, while HuR associated principally with the 5'UTR. Lowering PTB expression or HuR expression using RNA interference reduced HIF-1alpha translation and expression levels but not HIF-1alpha mRNA abundance. Conversely, HIF-1alpha expression and translation in response to CoCl(2) were markedly elevated after HuR overexpression. We propose that HuR and PTB jointly upregulate HIF-1alpha translation in response to CoCl(2).
Molecular and cellular biology 02/2008; 28(1):93-107. · 6.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Expression of the tumor suppressor p16(INK4a) increases during aging and replicative senescence.
Here, we report that the microRNA miR-24 suppresses p16 expression in human diploid fibroblasts and cervical carcinoma cells. Increased p16 expression with replicative senescence was associated with decreased levels of miR-24, a microRNA that was predicted to associate with the p16 mRNA coding and 3'-untranslated regions. Ectopic miR-24 overexpression reduced p16 protein but not p16 mRNA levels. Conversely, introduction of antisense (AS)-miR-24 blocked miR-24 expression and markedly enhanced p16 protein levels, p16 translation, and the production of EGFP-p16 reporter bearing the miR-24 target recognition sites.
Together, our results suggest that miR-24 represses the initiation and elongation phases of p16 translation.
PLoS ONE 02/2008; 3(3):e1864. · 3.73 Impact Factor