[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cells mount a transcriptional anti-oxidative stress (AOS) response program to scavenge reactive oxygen species (ROS) that arise from chemical, physical, and metabolic challenges. This protective program has been shown to reduce carcinogenesis triggered by chemical and physical insults. However, it is also hijacked by established cancers to thrive and proliferate within the hostile tumor microenvironment and to gain resistance against chemo- and radiotherapies. Therefore, targeting the AOS response proteins that are exploited by cancer cells is an attractive therapeutic strategy. In order to identify the AOS genes that are suspected to support cancer progression and resistance, we analyzed the expression patterns of 285 genes annotated for being involved in oxidative stress in 994 tumors and 353 normal tissues. Thereby we identified a signature of 116 genes that are highly overexpressed in multiple carcinomas while being only minimally expressed in normal tissues. To establish which of these genes are more likely to functionally drive cancer resistance and progression, we further identified those whose overexpression correlates with negative patient outcome in breast and lung carcinoma. Gene-set enrichment, GO, network, and pathway analyses revealed that members of the thioredoxin and glutathione pathways are prominent components of this oncogenic signature and that activation of these pathways is common feature of many cancer entities. Interestingly, a large fraction of these AOS genes are downstream targets of the transcription factors NRF2, NF-kappaB and FOXM1, and relay on NADPH for their enzymatic activities highlighting promising drug targets. We discuss these findings and propose therapeutic strategies that may be applied to overcome cancer resistance.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Total and N-terminal isoform selective p73 knockout mice show a variety of central nervous system defects. Here we show that TAp73 is a transcriptional activator of p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75(NTR)) and that p75(NTR) mRNA and protein levels are strongly reduced in the central and peripheral nervous systems of p73 knockout mice. In parallel, primary cortical neurons from p73 knockout mice showed a reduction in neurite outgrowth and in nerve growth factor-mediated neuronal differentiation, together with reduced miniature excitatory postsynaptic current frequencies and behavioral defects. p73 null mice also have impairments in the peripheral nervous system with reduced thermal sensitivity, axon number, and myelin thickness. At least some of these morphological and functional impairments in p73 null cells can be rescued by p75(NTR) re-expression. Together, these data demonstrate that loss of p75(NTR) contributes to the neurological phenotype of p73 knockout mice.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2013; · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activation of serine biosynthesis supports growth and proliferation of cancer cells. Human cancers often exhibit overexpression of phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH), the metabolic enzyme that catalyses the reaction that diverts serine biosynthesis from glycolytic pathway. By refueling serine biosynthetic pathways, cancer cells sustain their metabolic requirements, promoting macromolecule synthesis, anaplerotic flux and ATP. Serine biosynthesis intersects glutaminolysis and together with this pathway provides substrates for production of antioxidant GSH. In human lung adenocarcinomas we identified a correlation between serine biosynthetic pathway and p73 expression. Metabolic profiling of human cancer cell line revealed that TAp73 activates serine biosynthesis, resulting in increased intracellular levels of serine and glycine, associated to accumulation of glutamate, TCA anaplerotic intermediates and GSH. However, at molecular level p73 does not directly regulate serine metabolic enzymes, but transcriptionally controls a key enzyme of glutaminolysis, glutaminase-2 (GLS-2). p73, through GLS-2, favors conversion of glutamine in glutamate, which in turn drives serine biosynthetic pathway. Serine and glutamate can be then employed for GSH synthesis thus, the p73-dependent metabolic switch enables potential response against oxidative stress. In knockdown experiment indeed TAp73 depletion completely abrogates cancer cell proliferation capacity in serine/glycine-deprivation, supporting the role of p73 to help cancer cells under metabolic stress. These findings implicate p73 in regulation of cancer metabolism and suggest that TAp73 influences glutamine and serine metabolism, affecting GSH synthesis and determining cancer pathogenesis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Classically activated macrophages (M1) secrete pro-inflammatory cytokine and are predominant in obese adipose tissue. M2 macrophages, prevalent in lean adipose tissue, are induced by IL-13 and IL-4, mainly secreted by Th2 lymphocytes, and produce the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. ITCH is a ubiquitously expressed E3 ubiquitin ligase involved in T cells differentiation and in a wide range of inflammatory pathways. ITCH down regulation in lymphocytes causes aberrant Th2 differentiation. To investigate the role of Th2 /M2 polarization in obesity-related inflammation and insulin resistance, we compared WT and Itch(-/-) mice in a context of diet-induced obesity (HFD). When subjected to HFD Itch(-/-) mice did not show increase in body weight and insulin resistance; calorimetric analysis suggested an accelerated metabolism. The molecular analysis of metabolically active tissue, revealed increased levels of M2 markers and genes involved in fatty acid oxidation. Histological examination of livers from Itch(-/-) mice suggest that ITCH deficiency protects mice from obesity related- NAFLD. We also found negative correlation between ITCH and M2 marker expression in human adipose tissues. Taken together, our data indicate that itch deficiency protects from the metabolic disorder caused by obesity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The amino acid Glutamine is converted into Glutamate by a deamidation reaction catalyzed by the enzyme Glutaminase (GLS). Two isoforms of this enzyme have been described, and the GLS2 isoform is regulated by the tumor suppressor gene p53. Here, we show that the p53 family member TAp73 also drives the expression of GLS2. Specifically, we demonstrate that TAp73 regulates GLS2 during retinoic acid-induced terminal neuronal differentiation of neuroblastoma cells, and overexpression or inhibition of GLS2 modulates neuronal differentiation and intracellular levels of ATP. Moreover, inhibition of GLS activity, by removing Glutamine from the growth medium, impairs in vitro differentiation of cortical neurons. Finally, expression of GLS2 increases during mouse cerebellar development. Although, p73 is dispensable for the in vivo expression of GLS2, TAp73 loss affects GABA and Glutamate levels in cortical neurons. Together, these findings suggest a role for GLS2 acting, at least in part, downstream of p73 in neuronal differentiation and highlight a possible role of p73 in regulating neurotransmitter synthesis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The p53 protein is frequently mutated in a very large proportion of human tumors, where it seems to acquire gain-of-function activity that facilitates tumor onset and progression. A possible mechanism is the ability of mutant p53 proteins to physically interact with other proteins, including members of the same family, namely p63 and p73, inactivating their function. Assuming that this interaction might occurs at the level of the monomer, to investigate the molecular basis for this interaction, here, we sample the structural flexibility of the wild-type p53 monomeric protein. The results show a strong stability up to 850 ns in the DNA binding domain, with major flexibility in the N-terminal transactivations domains (TAD1 and TAD2) as well as in the C-terminal region (tetramerization domain). Several stable hydrogen bonds have been detected between N-terminal or C-terminal and DNA binding domain, and also between N-terminal and C-terminal. Essential dynamics analysis highlights strongly correlated movements involving TAD1 and the proline-rich region in the N-terminal domain, the tetramerization region in the C-terminal domain; Lys120 in the DNA binding region. The herein presented model is a starting point for further investigation of the whole protein tetramer as well as of its mutants.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The autoimmune process in rheumatoid arthritis depends on activation of immune cells, which utilize intracellular kinases to respond to external stimuli such as cytokines, immune complexes, and antigens. CD4+ T cells comprise a large proportion of the inflammatory cells that invade the synovial tissue and may therefore be a cell type of pathogenic importance. Both methotrexate and infliximab are effective in the treatment of inflammatory arthritis; however, the biological effects triggered by these treatments and the biochemical mechanisms underlining the cell response are still not fully understood. Thus, in this study the global metabolic changes associated with methotrexate or infliximab treatment of isolated human CD4+ T cells were examined using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry or liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. In total 148 metabolites involved in selective pathways were found to be significantly altered. Overall, the changes observed are likely to reflect the effort of CD4+ cells to increase the production of cellular reducing power to offset the cellular stress exerted by treatment. Importantly, analysis of the global metabolic changes associated with MTX or infliximab treatment of isolated human CD4+ T cells suggested that the toxicity associated with these agents is minimal when used at clinically relevant concentrations.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transactivation-proficient (TA) p73 is a transcription factor belonging to the p53 family, which regulates a variety of biological processes, including neurogenesis, differentiation, apoptosis and DNA damage checkpoint response. In the present study we adopted multiple Omics approaches, based upon the simultaneous application of metabolomics, lipidomics, and proteomics, in order to dissect the intracellular pathways activated by p73. As cellular model we utilized a clone of the human osteosarcoma SAOS-2 cell line that allows the expression of TAp73α in an inducible manner. We found that TAp73α promoted mitochondrial activity (accumulation of metabolic intermediates and up-regulation of proteins related to the Krebs cycle), boosted glutathione homeostasis, increased arginine-citrulline-NO metabolism, altered purine synthesis and promoted pentose phosphate pathway towards NADPH accumulation for reducing and biosynthetic purposes. Indeed, lipid metabolism was driven towards the accumulation and oxidation of long-chain fatty acids with pro-apoptotic potential. In parallel, the expression of TAp73α was accompanied by the dephosphorylation of key proteins of the mitotic spindle assembly checkpoint. In conclusion, the obtained results confirm existing evidence from transcriptomics analyses and suggest a role for TAp73α in the regulation of cellular metabolism, cell survival and cell growth.
Journal of Proteome Research 08/2013; · 5.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: p73, a member of the p53 tumor suppressor family, is involved in neurogenesis, sensory pathways, immunity, inflammation, and tumorigenesis. How p73 is able to participate in such a broad spectrum of different biological processes is still largely unknown. Here, we report a novel role of p73 in regulating lipid metabolism by direct transactivation of the promoter of autophagy-related protein 5 (ATG5), a gene whose product is required for autophagosome formation. Following nutrient deprivation, the livers of p73-deficient mice demonstrate a massive accumulation of lipid droplets, together with a low level of autophagy, suggesting that triglyceride hydrolysis into fatty acids is blocked owing to deficient autophagy (macrolipophagy). Compared with wild-type mice, mice functionally deficient in all the p73 isoforms exhibit decreased ATG5 expression and lower levels of autophagy in multiple organs. We further show that the TAp73α is the critical p73 isoform responsible for inducing ATG5 expression in a p53-independent manner and demonstrate that ATG5 gene transfer can correct autophagy and macrolipophagy defects in p73-deficient hepatocytes. These data strongly suggest that the p73-ATG5 axis represents a novel, key pathway for regulating lipid metabolism through autophagy. The identification of p73 as a major regulator of autophagy suggests that it may have an important role in preventing or delaying disease and aging by maintaining a homeostatic control.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 2 August 2013; doi:10.1038/cdd.2013.104.
Cell death and differentiation 08/2013; · 8.24 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumor progression to metastasis is a complex, sequential process that requires proliferation, resistance to apoptosis, motility and invasion to colonize at distant sites. The acquisition of these features implies a phenotypic plasticity by tumor cells that must adapt to different conditions by modulating several signaling pathways (1) during the journey to the final site of metastasis. Several transcription factors and microRNA play a role in tumor progression, but less is known about the control of their expression during this process. Here, we demonstrate by ectopic expression and gene silencing that the proto-oncogene c-Myb activates the expression of the 5 members of miR200 family (miR200b, miR200a, miR429, miR200c and miR141) that are involved in the control of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and metastasis in many types of cancers. Transcriptional activation of miR200 by c-Myb occurs through binding to myb binding sites located in the promoter regions of miR200 genes on human chromosomes 1 and 12. Furthermore, when c-Myb and the transcriptional repressor ZEB1 are co-expressed, as at the onset EMT, the repression by ZEB1 prevails over the activation by c-Myb, and the expression of miR200 is inhibited. We also demonstrate that during EMT induced by TGF-β, the promoters of miR200 genes are methylated, and their transcription is repressed regardless of the presence of repressors such as ZEB1 and activators such as c-Myb. Finally, we find a correlation between the expression of c-Myb and that of four out of 5 miR200 in a data set of 207 breast cancer patients.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase is a master regulator of protein synthesis that couples nutrient sensing to cell growth, and deregulation of this pathway is associated with tumorigenesis. p53, and its less investigated family member p73, have been shown to interact closely with mTOR pathways through the transcriptional regulation of different target genes. To investigate the metabolic changes that occur upon inhibition of the mTOR pathway and the role of p73 in this response primary mouse embryonic fibroblast from control and TAp73 (-/-) were treated with the macrocyclic lactone rapamycin. Extensive gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) analysis were used to obtain a rapamycin-dependent global metabolome profile from control or TAp73 (-/-) cells. In total 289 metabolites involved in selective pathways were identified; 39 biochemical metabolites were found to be significantly altered, many of which are known to be associated with the cellular stress response.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumorigenesis results from dysregulation of oncogenes and tumor suppressors that influence cellular proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and/or senescence. Many gene products involved in these processes are substrates of the E3 ubiquitin ligase Mule/Huwe1/Arf-BP1 (Mule), but whether Mule acts as an oncogene or tumor suppressor in vivo remains controversial. We generated K14Cre;Mule(flox/flox(y)) (Mule kKO) mice and subjected them to DMBA/PMA-induced skin carcinogenesis, which depends on oncogenic Ras signaling. Mule deficiency resulted in increased penetrance, number, and severity of skin tumors, which could be reversed by concomitant genetic knockout of c-Myc but not by knockout of p53 or p19Arf. Notably, in the absence of Mule, c-Myc/Miz1 transcriptional complexes accumulated, and levels of p21CDKN1A (p21) and p15INK4B (p15) were down-regulated. In vitro, Mule-deficient primary keratinocytes exhibited increased proliferation that could be reversed by Miz1 knockdown. Transfer of Mule-deficient transformed cells to nude mice resulted in enhanced tumor growth that again could be abrogated by Miz1 knockdown. Our data demonstrate in vivo that Mule suppresses Ras-mediated tumorigenesis by preventing an accumulation of c-Myc/Miz1 complexes that mediates p21 and p15 down-regulation.
Genes & development 05/2013; 27(10):1101-1114. · 12.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ectodermal dysplasias are a group of inherited autosomal dominant syndromes associated with heterozygous mutations in the Tumor Protein p63 (TRP63) gene. Here we show that, in addition to their epidermal pathology, a proportion of these patients have distinct levels of deafness. Accordingly, p63 null mouse embryos show marked cochlea abnormalities, and the transactivating isoform of p63 (TAp63) protein is normally found in the organ of Corti. TAp63 transactivates hairy and enhancer of split 5 (Hes5) and atonal homolog 1 (Atoh1), components of the Notch pathway, known to be involved in cochlear neuroepithelial development. Strikingly, p63 null mice show morphological defects of the organ of Corti, with supernumerary hair cells, as also reported for Hes5 null mice. This phenotype is related to loss of a differentiation property of TAp63 and not to loss of its proapoptotic function, because cochleas in mice lacking the critical Bcl-2 homology domain (BH-3) inducers of p53- and p63-mediated apoptosis-Puma, Noxa, or both-are normal. Collectively, these data demonstrate that TAp63, acting via the Notch pathway, is crucial for the development of the organ of Corti, providing a molecular explanation for the sensorineural deafness in ectodermal dysplasia patients with TRP63 mutations.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2013; · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The transcription factor p63 is critical for many biological processes, including development and maintenance of epidermal tissues and tumorigenesis. Here, we report that the p63 TA isoforms regulate cell metabolism through the induction of the mitochondrial glutaminase 2 (GLS2) gene both in primary cells and tumor cell lines. By ChIP analysis and luciferase assay, we confirmed that TAp63 binds directly to the p53/p63 consensus DNA binding sequence within the GLS2 promoter region. Given the critical role of p63 in epidermal differentiation, we have investigated the regulation of GLS2 expression during this process. GLS2 and TAp63 expression increases during the in vitro differentiation of primary human keratinocytes, and depletion of GLS2 inhibits skin differentiation both at molecular and cellular levels. We found that GLS2 and TAp63 expression are concomitantly induced in cancer cells exposed to oxidative stresses. siRNA-mediated depletion of GLS2 sensitizes cells to ROS-induced apoptosis, suggesting that the TAp63/GLS2 axis can be functionally important as a cellular antioxidant pathway in the absence of p53. Accordingly, we found that GLS2 is upregulated in colon adenocarcinoma. Altogether, our findings demonstrate that GLS2 is a bona fide TAp63 target gene, and that the TAp63-dependent regulation of GLS2 is important for both physiological and pathological processes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The proteins p73 and p63 are members of the p53 protein family and are involved in important developmental processes. Their high sequence identity with the tumor suppressor p53 has suggested that they act as tumor suppressors as well. While p63 has a crucial role in the maintenance of epithelial stem cells and in the quality control of oocytes without a clear role as a tumor suppressor, p73's tumor suppressor activity is well documented. In a recent study we have shown that the transcriptional activity of TAp63α, the isoform responsible for the quality control in oocytes, is regulated by its oligomeric state. The protein forms an inactive, dimeric and compact conformation in resting oocytes, while the detection of DNA damage leads to the formation of an active, tetrameric and open conformation. p73 shows a high sequence identity to p63, including those domains that are crucial in stabilizing its inactive state, thus suggesting that p73's activity might be regulated by its oligomeric state as well. Here, we have investigated the oligomeric state of TAp73α by size exclusion chromatography and detailed domain interaction mapping, and show that in contrast to p63, TAp73α is a constitutive open tetramer. However, its transactivation potential depends on the cellular background and the promoter context. These results imply that the regulation of p73's transcriptional activity might be more closely related to p53 than to p63.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 29 March 2013; doi:10.1038/cdd.2013.23.
Cell death and differentiation 03/2013; · 8.24 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The WWOX tumor suppressor is a WW domain-containing protein. Its function in the cell has been shown to be mediated, in part, by interacting with its partners through its first WW (WW1) domain. Here, we demonstrated that WWOX via WW1 domain interacts with p53 homolog, ΔNp63α. This protein-protein interaction stabilizes ΔNp63α, through antagonizing function of the E3 ubiquitin ligase ITCH, inhibits nuclear translocation of ΔNp63α into the nucleus and suppresses ΔNp63α transactivation function. Additionally, we found that this functional crosstalk reverses cancer cells resistance to cisplatin, mediated by ΔNp63α, and consequently renders these cells more sensitive to undergo apoptosis. These findings suggest a functional crosstalk between WWOX and ΔNp63α in tumorigenesis.
Cell Death & Disease 01/2013; 4:e480. · 6.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During embryonic development, hair follicles (HFs) develop from an epidermal-mesenchymal cross talk between the ectoderm progenitor layer and the underlying dermis. Epidermal stem cell activation represents a crucial point both for HF morphogenesis and for hair regeneration. miR-24 is an anti-proliferative microRNA (miRNA), which is induced during differentiation of several cellular systems including the epidermis. Here, we show that miR-24 is expressed in the HF and has a role in hair morphogenesis. We generated transgenic mice ectopically expressing miR-24 under the K5 promoter. The K5::miR-24 animals display a marked defect in HF morphogenesis, with thinning of hair coat and altered HF structure. Expression of miR-24 alters the normal process of hair keratinocyte differentiation, leading to altered expression of differentiation markers. MiR-24 directly represses the hair keratinocyte stemness regulator Tcf-3. These results support the notion that microRNAs, and among them miR-24, have an important role in postnatal epidermal homeostasis.
Cell Death & Disease 01/2013; 4:e922. · 6.04 Impact Factor