Sajal K Ghosh

Boston University, Boston, MA, United States

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Publications (9)35.45 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although dispensable for normal pancreatic function, STAT3 signaling is frequently activated in pancreatic cancers. Consistent downregulation of expression of microRNA let-7 is also characteristic of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) biopsy specimens. We demonstrate in this study that re-expression of let-7 in poorly-differentiated PDAC cell lines reduced phosphorylation/activation of STAT3 and its downstream signaling events and reduced the growth and migration of PDAC cells. Let-7 re-expression did not repress expression of STAT3 protein or its activator cytokine interleukin 6 (IL-6). However, let-7 re-expression enhanced cytoplasmic expression of suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3), which blocks STAT3 activation by JAK2. Our study thus identified a mechanism by which STAT3 signaling can be inhibited in pancreatic cancer cells by modifying let-7 expression.
    Cancer letters 01/2014; · 5.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Estrogen receptors (ERs) and androgen receptors (ARs) are important targets for cancer therapy; however, the efficacy of receptor antagonists is limited, and alternative strategies are needed. Steroid receptor RNA Activator (SRA) is a long, noncoding RNA coactivator (although some protein-encoding 5′ splice variants have also been reported) that requires pseudouridylation by Pus1p to stimulate steroid receptor signaling. A uridine at position 206 (U206), which is located in small hairpin structure STR5 in the conserved SRA core sequence, is a critical target for pseudouridylation. We assessed if synthetic STR5 could serve as a novel competitive inhibitor of ERα and AR signaling by disrupting the Pus1p–SRA–steroid receptor axis. STR5 specifically inhibited Pus1p-dependent pseudouridylation of SRA with higher efficiency than STR5 mutant U206A. We show that SRA binds to the N-terminal domain (NTD) of ERα and AR with high affinity despite the absence of a recognizable RNA binding motif (RBM). Finally, we show that STR5 specifically inhibits ERα- and AR-dependent transactivation of target genes in steroid-sensitive cancer cells, consistent with disruption of the targeted Pus1p–SRA pathway. Together, our results show that the NTD of ERα and AR contains a novel RBM that directly binds SRA, and that STR5 can serve as a novel class of RNA inhibitor of ERα and AR signaling by interfering with Pus1p-mediated SRA pseudouridylation. Targeting this unexplored receptor signaling pathway may pave the way for the development of new types of cancer therapeutics.
    Biochemistry 10/2012; 51(41):8163–8172. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the causal agent in the etiology of Burkitt's lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma and is also associated with multiple human malignancies, including Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and posttransplantation lymphoproliferative disease, as well as sporadic cancers of other tissues. A causal relationship of EBV to these latter malignancies remains controversial, although the episomic EBV genome in most of these cancers is clonal, suggesting infection very early in the development of the tumor and a possible role for EBV in the genesis of these diseases. Furthermore, the prognosis of these tumors is invariably poor when EBV is present, compared to their EBV-negative counterparts. The physical presence of EBV in these tumors represents a potential "tumor-specific" target for therapeutic approaches. While treatment options for other types of herpesvirus infections have evolved and improved over the last two decades, however, therapies directed at EBV have lagged. A major constraint to pharmacological intervention is the shift from lytic infection to a latent pattern of gene expression, which persists in those tumors associated with the virus. In this paper we provide a brief account of new virus-targeted therapeutic approaches against EBV-associated malignancies.
    Advances in Virology 01/2012; 2012:509296.
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    ABSTRACT: Induction of EBV lytic-phase gene expression, combined with exposure to an antiherpes viral drug, represents a promising targeted therapeutic approach to EBV-associated lymphomas. Short-chain fatty acids or certain chemotherapeutics have been used to induce EBV lytic-phase gene expression in cultured cells and mouse models, but these studies generally have not translated into clinical application. The recent success of a clinical trial with the pan-histone deacetylase (pan-HDAC) inhibitor arginine butyrate and the antiherpes viral drug ganciclovir in the treatment of EBV lymphomas prompted us to investigate the potential of several HDAC inhibitors, including some new, highly potent compounds, to sensitize EBV(+) human lymphoma cells to antiviral agents in vitro. Our study included short-chain fatty acids (sodium butyrate and valproic acid); hydroxamic acids (oxamflatin, Scriptaid, suberoyl anilide hydroxamic acid, panobinostat [LBH589], and belinostat [PXD101]); the benzamide MS275; the cyclic tetrapeptide apicidin; and the recently discovered HDAC inhibitor largazole. With the exception of suberoyl anilide hydroxamic acid and PXD101, all of the other HDAC inhibitors effectively sensitized EBV(+) lymphoma cells to ganciclovir. LBH589, MS275, and largazole were effective at nanomolar concentrations and were 10(4) to 10(5) times more potent than butyrate. The effectiveness and potency of these HDAC inhibitors make them potentially applicable as sensitizers to antivirals for the treatment of EBV-associated lymphomas.
    Blood 12/2011; 119(4):1008-17. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The U3-LTR region of leukemia viruses transactivates cancer-related signaling pathways through the production of a non-coding RNA transcript although the role of this transcript in virus infection remains unknown. In this study we demonstrate for the first time that an long terminal repeat (LTR)-specific small non-coding RNA is produced from a feline leukemia virus (FeLV)-infected feline cell line. RNA cloning identified this as a 104 base transcript that originates from the U3-LTR region. We also demonstrate that in in vitro assays this LTR-RNA transcript activates NF kappaB signaling. Taken together, our findings suggest a possible role for this LTR transcript in FeLV pathogenesis.
    FEBS letters 04/2009; 583(8):1386-90. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It was previously shown that mouse Pus1p (mPus1p), a pseudouridine synthase (PUS) known to modify certain transfer RNAs (tRNAs), can also bind with nuclear receptors (NRs) and function as a coactivator through pseudouridylation and likely activation of an RNA coactivator called steroid receptor RNA activator (SRA). Use of cell extract devoid of human Pus1p activity derived from patients with mitochondrial myopathy and sideroblastic anemia, however, still showed SRA-modifying activity suggesting that other PUS(s) can also target this coactivator. Here, we show that related mPus3p, which has a different tRNA specificity than mPus1p, also serves as a NR coactivator. However, in contrast to mPus1p, it does not stimulate sex steroid receptor activity, which is likely due to lack of binding to this class of NRs. As expected from their tRNA activities, in vitro pseudouridylation assays show that mPus3p and mPus1p modify different positions in SRA, although some may be commonly targeted. Interestingly, the order in which these enzymes modify SRA determines the total number of pseudouridines. mPus3p and SRA are mainly cytoplasmic; however, mPus3p and SRA are also localized in distinct nuclear subcompartments. Finally, we identified an in vivo modified position in SRA, U206, which is likely a common target for both mPus1p and mPus3p. When U206 is mutated to A, SRA becomes hyperpseudouridylated in vitro, and it acquires dominant-negative activity in vivo. Thus, Pus1p- and Pus3p-dependent pseudouridylation of SRA is a highly complex posttranscriptional mechanism that controls a coactivator-corepressor switch in SRA with major consequences for NR signaling.
    Molecular Endocrinology 04/2007; 21(3):686-99. · 4.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Antiviral drugs alone have been unsuccessful in the treatment of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated malignancies because the virus maintains a latent state of replication in these tumors. In recent years, novel therapeutic approaches are being investigated wherein lytic replication of the virus is induced prior to the use of cytotoxic antiviral drugs. The choice of suitable agents to induce lytic replication has been a critical step in this novel approach. We have previously demonstrated that butyrate derivatives induce a lytic pattern of EBV gene expression in patient-derived EBV-positive lymphoblastoid cell lines and, together with nucleoside analogue ganciclovir, effectively reduce or eliminate tumor growth in humans. Butyrate has drawbacks as a therapeutic agent, however, as constant intravenous infusion is required to achieve detectable plasma levels of this drug. In this study, we investigated whether discontinuous exposure to butyrate is capable of initiating lytic phase gene expression and thymidine kinase induction, and sensitizing EBV-positive lymphoma cells to ganciclovir-mediated cell growth arrest and apoptosis. We demonstrate that multiple daily 6-h exposures of the EBV-positive Burkitt's lymphoma cell line P3HR1 to butyrate induced sustained expression of the EBV lytic phase protein BMRF. Viral thymidine kinase was also induced by intermittent exposure, although to a lower level than with continuous exposure treatment. However, discontinuous exposure to butyrate in combination with ganciclovir induced a similar level of tumor cell growth inhibition as did continuous treatment, as measured by serial enumeration of viable cells, MTT cell proliferation assays and measurement of cellular DNA content. We further demonstrated that those cells which survived initial exposure to butyrate plus ganciclovir remained susceptible to further cycles of combination treatment. These findings suggests that continuous infusion of butyrate may not be necessary for maintaining viral thymidine kinase gene expression and sensitization to antiviral agents in EBV-associated tumors, and that therapeutic regimens which employ more convenient, discontinuous exposure to butyrate may also be effective clinically.
    Blood Cells Molecules and Diseases 01/2007; 38(1):57-65. · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The long terminal repeat (LTR) region of leukemia viruses plays a critical role in tissue tropism and pathogenic potential of the viruses. We have previously reported that U3-LTR from Moloney murine and feline leukemia viruses (Mo-MuLV and FeLV) upregulates specific cellular genes in trans in an integration-independent way. The U3-LTR region necessary for this action does not encode a protein but instead makes a specific RNA transcript. Because several cellular genes transactivated by the U3-LTR can also be activated by NFkappaB, and because the antiapoptotic and growth promoting activities of NFkappaB have been implicated in leukemogenesis, we investigated whether FeLV U3-LTR can activate NFkappaB signaling. Here, we demonstrate that FeLV U3-LTR indeed upregulates the NFkappaB signaling pathway via activation of Ras-Raf-IkappaB kinase (IKK) and degradation of IkappaB. LTR-mediated transcriptional activation of genes did not require new protein synthesis suggesting an active role of the LTR transcript in the process. Using Toll-like receptor (TLR) deficient HEK293 cells and PKR(-/-) mouse embryo fibroblasts, we further demonstrate that although dsRNA-activated protein kinase R (PKR) is not necessary, TLR3 is required for the activation of NFkappaB by the LTR. Our study thus demonstrates involvement of a TLR3-dependent but PKR-independent dsRNA-mediated signaling pathway for NFkappaB activation and thus provides a new mechanistic explanation of LTR-mediated cellular gene transactivation.
    Virology 03/2006; 345(2):390-403. · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The U3 region of the LTR of oncogenic Moloney murine leukemia virus (Mo-MuLV) and feline leukemia viruses (FeLV) have been previously reported to activate expression of specific cellular genes in trans, such as MHC class I, collagenase IV, and MCP-1, in an integration-independent manner. It has been suggested that transactivation of these specific cellular genes by leukemia virus U3-LTR may contribute to the multistage process of leukemogenesis. The U3-LTR region, necessary for gene transactivational activity, also contains multiple transcription factor-binding sites that are essential for normal virus replication. To dissect the promoter activity and the gene transactivational activity of the U3-LTR, we conducted mutational analysis of the U3-LTR region of FeLV-A molecular clone 61E. We identified minimal nucleotide substitution mutants on the U3 LTR that did not disturb transcription factor-binding sites but abrogated its ability to transactivate the collagenase gene promoter. To determine if these mutations actually have altered any uncharacterized important transcription factor-binding site, we introduced these U3-LTR mutations into the full-length infectious molecular clone 61E. We demonstrate that the mutant virus was replication competent but could not transactivate cellular gene expression. These results thus suggest that the gene transactivational activity is a distinct property of the LTR and possibly not related to its promoter activity. The cellular gene transactivational activity-deficient mutant FeLV generated in this study may also serve as a valuable reagent for testing the biological significance of LTR-mediated cellular gene activation in the tumorigenesis caused by leukemia viruses.
    Virology 06/2003; 309(2):294-305. · 3.37 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

83 Citations
35.45 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2003–2012
    • Boston University
      • Department of Medicine
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 2007
    • University of Massachusetts Boston
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States