[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activation of the IκB kinase (IKK) is central to NF-κB signaling. However, the precise activation mechanism by which catalytic IKK subunits gain the ability to induce NF-κB transcriptional activity is not well understood. Here we report a 4 Å x-ray crystal structure of human IKK2 (hIKK2) in its catalytically active conformation. The hIKK2 domain architecture closely resembles that of Xenopus IKK2 (xIKK2). However, whereas inactivated xIKK2 displays a closed dimeric structure, hIKK2 dimers adopt open conformations that permit higher order oligomerization within the crystal. Reversible oligomerization of hIKK2 dimers is observed in solution. Mutagenesis confirms that two of the surfaces that mediate oligomerization within the crystal are also critical for the process of hIKK2 activation in cells. We propose that IKK2 dimers transiently associate with one another through these interaction surfaces to promote trans auto-phosphorylation as part of their mechanism of activation. This structure-based model supports recently published structural data that implicate strand exchange as part of a mechanism for IKK2 activation via trans auto-phosphorylation. Moreover, oligomerization through the interfaces identified in this study and subsequent trans auto-phosphorylation account for the rapid amplification of IKK2 phosphorylation observed even in the absence of any upstream kinase.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most malignant brain tumor and highly resistant to intensive combination therapies. GBM is one of the most vascularized tumors and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) produced by tumor cells is a major factor regulating angiogenesis. Successful results of preclinical studies of anti-angiogenic therapies using xenograft mouse models of human GBM cell lines encouraged clinical studies of anti-angiogenic drugs, such as bevacizumab (Avastin), an anti-VEGF antibody. However, these clinical studies have shown that most patients become resistant to anti-VEGF therapy after an initial response. Recent studies have revealed some resistance mechanisms against anti-VEGF therapies involved in several types of cancer. In this review, we address mechanisms of angiogenesis, including unique features in GBMs, and resistance to anti-VEGF therapies frequently observed in GBM. Enhanced invasiveness is one such resistance mechanism and recent works report the contribution of activated MET signaling induced by inhibition of VEGF signaling. On the other hand, tumor cell-originated neovascularization including tumor-derived endothelial cell-induced angiogenesis and vasculogenic mimicry has been suggested to be involved in the resistance to anti-VEGF therapy. Therefore, these mechanisms should be targeted in addition to anti-angiogenic therapies to achieve better results for patients with GBM.
Journal of Molecular Medicine 03/2013; · 4.77 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High-grade gliomas (HGGs) are incurable brain tumors that are characterized by the presence of glioma-initiating cells (GICs). GICs are essential to tumor aggressiveness and retain the capacity for self-renewal and multilineage differentiation as long as they reside in the perivascular niche. ID proteins are master regulators of stemness and anchorage to the extracellular niche microenvironment, suggesting that they may play a role in maintaining GICs. Here, we modeled the probable therapeutic impact of ID inactivation in HGG by selective ablation of Id in tumor cells and after tumor initiation in a new mouse model of human mesenchymal HGG. Deletion of 3 Id genes induced rapid release of GICs from the perivascular niche, followed by tumor regression. GIC displacement was mediated by derepression of Rap1gap and subsequent inhibition of RAP1, a master regulator of cell adhesion. We identified a signature module of 5 genes in the ID pathway, including RAP1GAP, which segregated 2 subgroups of glioma patients with markedly different clinical outcomes. The model-informed survival analysis together with genetic and functional studies establish that ID activity is required for the maintenance of mesenchymal HGG and suggest that pharmacological inactivation of ID proteins could serve as a therapeutic strategy.
The Journal of clinical investigation 12/2012; · 15.39 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Centrioles organize the centrosome, and accurate control of their number is critical for the maintenance of genomic integrity. Centriole duplication occurs once per cell cycle and is controlled by Polo-like kinase 4 (Plk4). We showed previously that Plk4 phosphorylates itself to promote its degradation by the proteasome. Here we demonstrate that this autoregulated instability controls the abundance of endogenous Plk4. Preventing Plk4 autoregulation causes centrosome amplification, stabilization of p53, and loss of cell proliferation; moreover, suppression of p53 allows growth of cells carrying amplified centrosomes. Plk4 autoregulation thus guards against genome instability by limiting centrosome duplication to once per cell cycle.
Genes & development 12/2012; 26(24):2684-9. · 12.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and aggressive malignant primary brain tumor in humans. Here we show that
gliomas can originate from differentiated cells in the central nervous system (CNS), including cortical neurons. Transduction
by oncogenic lentiviral vectors of neural stem cells (NSCs), astrocytes, or even mature neurons in the brains of mice can
give rise to malignant gliomas. All the tumors, irrespective of the site of lentiviral vector injection (the initiating population),
shared common features of high expression of stem or progenitor markers and low expression of differentiation markers. Microarray
analysis revealed that tumors of astrocytic and neuronal origin match the mesenchymal GBM subtype. We propose that most differentiated
cells in the CNS upon defined genetic alterations undergo dedifferentiation to generate a NSC or progenitor state to initiate
and maintain the tumor progression, as well as to give rise to the heterogeneous populations observed in malignant gliomas.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic sleep deprivation perturbs the circadian clock and increases susceptibility to diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and cancer. Increased inflammation is one of the common underlying mechanisms of these diseases, thus raising a hypothesis that circadian-oscillator components may regulate immune response. Here we show that absence of the core clock component protein cryptochrome (CRY) leads to constitutive elevation of proinflammatory cytokines in a cell-autonomous manner. We observed a constitutive NF-κB and protein kinase A (PKA) signaling activation in Cry1(-/-);Cry2(-/-) cells. We further demonstrate that increased phosphorylation of p65 at S276 residue in Cry1(-/-);Cry2(-/-) cells is due to increased PKA signaling activity, likely induced by a significantly high basal level of cAMP, which we detected in these cells. In addition, we report that CRY1 binds to adenylyl cyclase and limits cAMP production. Based on these data, we propose that absence of CRY protein(s) might release its (their) inhibition on cAMP production, resulting in elevated cAMP and increased PKA activation, subsequently leading to NF-κB activation through phosphorylation of p65 at S276. These results offer a mechanistic framework for understanding the link between circadian rhythm disruption and increased susceptibility to chronic inflammatory diseases.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2012; 109(31):12662-7. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Centrioles organize the centrosome, and accurate control of their number is critical for the maintenance of genomic integrity. Centrioles duplicate once per cell cycle, and duplication is coordinated by Polo-like kinase 4 (Plk4). We previously demonstrated that Plk4 accumulation is autoregulated by its own kinase activity. However, loss of heterozygosity of Plk4 in mouse embryonic fibroblasts has been proposed to cause cytokinesis failure as a primary event, leading to centrosome amplification and gross chromosomal abnormalities. Using targeted gene disruption, we show that human epithelial cells with one inactivated Plk4 allele undergo neither cytokinesis failure nor increase in centrosome amplification. Plk4 is shown to localize exclusively at the centrosome, with none in the spindle midbody. Substantial depletion of Plk4 by small interfering RNA leads to loss of centrioles and subsequent spindle defects that lead to a modest increase in the rate of cytokinesis failure. Therefore, Plk4 is a centriole-localized kinase that does not directly regulate cytokinesis.
Molecular biology of the cell 03/2012; 23(10):1838-45. · 5.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The inhibitor of nuclear factor-κB (IκB) kinase (IKK) complex is the master regulator of the NF-κB signaling pathway. The activation of the IKK complex is a tightly regulated, highly stimulus-specific, and target-specific event that is essential for the plethora of functions attributed to NF-κB. More recently, NF-κB-independent roles of IKK members have brought increased complexity to its biological function. This review highlights some of the major advances in the studies of the process of IKK activation and the biological roles of IKK family members, with a focus on NF-κB-independent functions. Understanding these complex processes is essential for targeting IKK for therapeutics.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lung cancer is one of the leading cancer malignancies, with a five-year survival rate of only ~15%. We have developed a lentiviral-vector-mediated mouse model, which enables generation of non-small-cell lung cancer from less than 100 alveolar epithelial cells, and investigated the role of IKK2 and NF-κB in lung-cancer development. IKK2 depletion in tumour cells significantly attenuated tumour proliferation and significantly prolonged mouse survival. We identified Timp1, one of the NF-κB target genes, as a key mediator for tumour growth. Activation of the Erk signalling pathway and cell proliferation requires Timp-1 and its receptor CD63. Knockdown of either Ikbkb or Timp1 by short hairpin RNAs reduced tumour growth in both xenograft and lentiviral models. Our results thus suggest the possible application of IKK2 and Timp-1 inhibitors in treating lung cancer.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antiangiogenic therapy can produce transient tumor regression in glioblastoma (GBM), but no prolongation in patient survival has been achieved. We have constructed a nanosystem targeted to tumor vasculature that incorporates three elements: (i) a tumor-homing peptide that specifically delivers its payload to the mitochondria of tumor endothelial cells and tumor cells, (ii) conjugation of this homing peptide with a proapoptotic peptide that acts on mitochondria, and (iii) multivalent presentation on iron oxide nanoparticles, which enhances the proapoptotic activity. The iron oxide component of the nanoparticles enabled imaging of GBM tumors in mice. Systemic treatment of GBM-bearing mice with the nanoparticles eradicated most tumors in one GBM mouse model and significantly delayed tumor development in another. Coinjecting the nanoparticles with a tumor-penetrating peptide further enhanced the therapeutic effect. Both models used have proven completely resistant to other therapies, suggesting clinical potential of our nanosystem.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2011; 108(42):17450-5. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lifeguard (LFG) is an inhibitor of Fas-mediated cell death and is highly expressed in the cerebellum. We investigated the biological role of LFG in the cerebellum in vivo, using mice with reduced LFG expression generated by shRNA lentiviral transgenesis (shLFG mice) as well as LFG null mice. We found that LFG plays a role in cerebellar development by affecting cerebellar size, internal granular layer (IGL) thickness, and Purkinje cell (PC) development. All these features are more severe in early developmental stages and show substantial recovery overtime, providing a remarkable example of cerebellar plasticity. In adult mice, LFG plays a role in PC maintenance shown by reduced cellular density and abnormal morphology with increased active caspase 8 and caspase 3 immunostaining in shLFG and knockout (KO) PCs. We studied the mechanism of action of LFG as an inhibitor of the Fas pathway and provided evidence of the neuroprotective role of LFG in cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs) and PCs in an organotypic cerebellar culture system. Biochemical analysis of the Fas pathway revealed that LFG inhibits Fas-mediated cell death by interfering with caspase 8 activation. This result is supported by the increased number of active caspase 8-positive PCs in adult mice lacking LFG. These data demonstrate that LFG is required for proper development and survival of granular and Purkinje cells and suggest LFG may play a role in cerebellar disorders.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2011; 108(41):17189-94. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glucocorticoids can inhibit inflammation by abrogating the activity of NF-κB, a family of transcription factors that regulates the production of proinflammatory cytokines. To understand the molecular mechanism of repression of NF-κB activity by glucocorticoids, we performed a high-throughput siRNA oligo screen to identify novel genes involved in this process. Here, we report that loss of p53, a tumor suppressor protein, impaired repression of NF-κB target gene transcription by glucocorticoids. Additionally, loss of p53 also impaired transcription of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) target genes, whereas upstream NF-κB and glucocorticoid receptor signaling cascades remained intact. We further demonstrate that p53 loss severely impaired glucocorticoid rescue of death in a mouse model of LPS shock. Our findings unveil a new role for p53 in the repression of NF-κB by glucocorticoids and suggest important implications for treatment of the proinflammatory microenvironments found in tumors with aberrant p53 activity.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2011; 108(41):17117-22. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in the tumour suppressor gene BRCA1 lead to breast and/or ovarian cancer. Here we show that loss of Brca1 in mice results in transcriptional de-repression of the tandemly repeated satellite DNA. Brca1 deficiency is accompanied by a reduction of condensed DNA regions in the genome and loss of ubiquitylation of histone H2A at satellite repeats. BRCA1 binds to satellite DNA regions and ubiquitylates H2A in vivo. Ectopic expression of H2A fused to ubiquitin reverses the effects of BRCA1 loss, indicating that BRCA1 maintains heterochromatin structure via ubiquitylation of histone H2A. Satellite DNA de-repression was also observed in mouse and human BRCA1-deficient breast cancers. Ectopic expression of satellite DNA can phenocopy BRCA1 loss in centrosome amplification, cell-cycle checkpoint defects, DNA damage and genomic instability. We propose that the role of BRCA1 in maintaining global heterochromatin integrity accounts for many of its tumour suppressor functions.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: By mimicking embryonic development of the hematopoietic system, we have developed an optimized in vitro differentiation protocol for the generation of precursors of hematopoietic lineages and primitive hematopoietic cells from human embryonic stem cells (ESC) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Factors such as cytokines, extra cellular matrix components, and small molecules as well as the temporal association and concentration of these factors were tested on seven different human ESC and iPSC lines. We report the differentiation of up to 84% human CD45+ cells (average 41% ± 16%, from seven pluripotent lines) from the differentiation culture, including significant numbers of primitive CD45+/CD34+ and CD45+/CD34+/CD38- hematopoietic progenitors. Moreover, the numbers of hematopoietic progenitor cells generated, as measured by colony forming unit assays, were comparable to numbers obtained from fresh umbilical cord blood mononuclear cell isolates on a per CD45+ cell basis. Our approach demonstrates highly efficient generation of multipotent hematopoietic progenitors with among the highest efficiencies reported to date (CD45+/CD34+) using a single standardized differentiation protocol on several human ESC and iPSC lines. Our data add to the cumulating evidence for the existence of an in vitro derived precursor to the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) with limited engrafting ability in transplanted mice but with multipotent hematopoietic potential. Because this protocol efficiently expands the preblood precursors and hematopoietic progenitors, it is ideal for testing novel factors for the generation and expansion of definitive HSCs with long-term repopulating ability.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human carcinomas can metabolically incorporate and present the dietary non-human sialic acid Neu5Gc, which differs from the human sialic acid N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) by 1 oxygen atom. Tumor-associated Neu5Gc can interact with low levels of circulating anti-Neu5Gc antibodies, thereby facilitating tumor progression via chronic inflammation in a human-like Neu5Gc-deficient mouse model. Here we show that human anti-Neu5Gc antibodies can be affinity-purified in substantial amounts from clinically approved intravenous IgG (IVIG) and used at higher concentrations to suppress growth of the same Neu5Gc-expressing tumors. Hypothesizing that this polyclonal spectrum of human anti-Neu5Gc antibodies also includes potential cancer biomarkers, we then characterize them in cancer and noncancer patients' sera, using a novel sialoglycan microarray presenting multiple Neu5Gc-glycans and control Neu5Ac-glycans. Antibodies against Neu5Gcα2-6GalNAcα1-O-Ser/Thr (GcSTn) were found to be more prominent in patients with carcinomas than with other diseases. This unusual epitope arises from dietary Neu5Gc incorporation into the carcinoma marker Sialyl-Tn, and is the first example of such a novel mechanism for biomarker generation. Finally, human serum or purified antibodies rich in anti-GcSTn-reactivity kill GcSTn-expressing human tumors via complement-dependent cytotoxicity or antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity. Such xeno-autoantibodies and xeno-autoantigens have potential for novel diagnostics, prognostics, and therapeutics in human carcinomas.
Cancer Research 05/2011; 71(9):3352-63. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Organotypic cultures of neuronal tissue were first introduced by Hogue in 1947 (1,2) and have constituted a major breakthrough in the field of neuroscience. Since then, the technique was developed further and currently there are many different ways to prepare organotypic cultures. The method presented here was adapted from the one described by Stoppini et al. for the preparation of the slices and from Gogolla et al. for the staining procedure (3,4). A unique feature of this technique is that it allows you to study different parts of the brain such as hippocampus or cerebellum in their original structure, providing a big advantage over dissociated cultures in which all the cellular organization and neuronal networks are disrupted. In the case of the cerebellum it is even more advantageous because it allows the study of Purkinje cells, extremely difficult to obtain as dissociated primary culture. This method can be used to study certain developmental features of the cerebellum in vitro, as well as for electrophysiological and pharmacological experiments in both wild type and mutant mice. The method described here was designed to study the effect of apoptotic stimuli such as Fas ligand in the developing cerebellum, using TUNEL staining to measure apoptotic cell death. If TUNEL staining is combined with cell type specific markers, such as Calbindin for Purkinje cells, it is possible to evaluate cell death in a cell population specific manner. The Calbindin staining also serves the purpose of evaluating the quality of the cerebellar cultures.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD), an incurable, progressive neurodegenerative disorder, is the most common form of dementia. Therapeutic options have been elusive due to the inability to deliver proteins across the blood-brain barrier (BBB). In order to improve the therapeutic potential for AD, we utilized a promising new approach for delivery of proteins across the BBB. We generated a lentivirus vector expressing the amyloid β-degrading enzyme, neprilysin, fused to the ApoB transport domain and delivered this by intra-peritoneal injection to amyloid protein precursor (APP) transgenic model of AD. Treated mice had reduced levels of Aβ, reduced plaques and increased synaptic density in the CNS. Furthermore, mice treated with the neprilysin targeting the CNS had a reversal of memory deficits. Thus, the addition of the ApoB transport domain to the secreted neprilysin generated a non-invasive therapeutic approach that may be a potential treatment in patients with AD.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(1):e16575. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human embryonic stem (hES) cells show an atypical cell-cycle regulation characterized by a high proliferation rate and a short G1 phase. In fact, a shortened G1 phase might protect ES cells from external signals inducing differentiation, as shown for certain stem cells. It has been suggested that self-renewal and pluripotency are intimately linked to cell-cycle regulation in ES cells, although little is known about the overall importance of the cell-cycle machinery in maintaining ES cell identity. An appealing model to address whether the acquisition of stem cell properties is linked to cell-cycle regulation emerged with the ability to generate induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells by expression of defined transcription factors. Here, we show that the characteristic cell-cycle signature of hES cells is acquired as an early event in cell reprogramming. We demonstrate that induction of cell proliferation increases reprogramming efficiency, whereas cell-cycle arrest inhibits successful reprogramming. Furthermore, we show that cell-cycle arrest is sufficient to drive hES cells toward irreversible differentiation. Our results establish a link that intertwines the mechanisms of cell-cycle control with the mechanisms underlying the acquisition and maintenance of ES cell identity.
Current biology: CB 01/2011; 21(1):45-52. · 10.99 Impact Factor