[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proprotein convertases are a family of kexin-like serine proteases that process proteins at single and multiple basic residues. Among the predicted and identified PC substrates, an increasing number of proteins having functions in cancer progression indicate that PCs may be potential targets for antineoplastic drugs. In support of this notion, we identified PACE4 as a vital PC involved in prostate cancer proliferation and progression, contrasting with the other co-expressed PCs. The aim of the present study was to test the importance of PCs in ovarian cancer cell proliferation and tumor progression. Based on tissue-expression profiles, furin, PACE4, PC5/6 and PC7 all displayed increased expression in primary tumor, ascites cells and metastases. These PCs were also expressed in variable levels in three model ovarian cell lines tested, namely SKOV3, CAOV3 and OVCAR3 cells. Since SKOV3 cells closely represented the PC expression profile of ovarian cancer cells, we chose them to test the effects of PC silencing using stable gene-silencing shRNA strategy to generate knockdown SKOV3 cells for each expressed PC. In vitro and in vivo assays confirmed the role of PACE4 in the sustainment of SKOV3 cell proliferation, which was not observed with the other three PCs. We also tested PACE4 peptide inhibitors on all three cell lines and observed consequent reduced cell proliferation which was correlated with PACE4 expression. Overall, these data support a role of PACE4 in promoting cell proliferation in ovarian cancer and provides further evidence for PACE4 as a potential therapeutic target.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The proprotein convertase 1/3 (PC1/3) is an important post-translational processing enzyme for the activation of precursor proteins within the regulated secretory pathway. Well characterized for its role in the neural and endocrine systems, we recently reported an unconventional role of PC1/3 as a modulator of the Toll-like receptor innate immune response. There are only a few reports that have studied PC1/3 expression in macrophages, and more investigation is needed to better characterize its function. These studies would greatly benefit from model cell lines. Our study aims to identify and characterize PC1/3 in a relevant model macrophage cell line and to determine the links between PC1/3 and innate immune cellular responses. We describe the rat alveolar cell line, NR8383, as expressing PC1/3 and the most common Toll-like receptors. In NR8383 cells, PC1/3 is localized at the Trans-Golgi network and traffics to lysosome related vesicles upon lipopolysaccharide stimulation. Moreover, we report the co-localization of PC1/3 and Toll-like receptor 4 upon lipopolysaccharide stimulation. Down regulation of PC1/3 by shRNA produce a similar phenotype in NR8383 to what we previously reported in isolated peritoneal macrophages. PC1/3 shRNA induced changes in the cellular organization and expression of the specific trafficking regulator RAB GTPase. As a consequence, NR8383 down-regulated for PC1/3, present an abnormal cytokine secretion profile. We conclude that the NR8383 cell line represents a good model to study PC1/3 in macrophages and we present PC1/3 as an important regulator of vesicle trafficking and secretion in macrophages.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(4):e61557. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The proprotein convertase 1/3 is expressed in the regulated secretory pathway of neural and endocrine cells. Its major function is in the post-translational processing and activation of precursor proteins. The PC1/3 knock-out (KO) mouse model has allowed us to elucidate its physiological functions in studies focused primarily on neuroendocrine tissues. However, PC1/3 is also expressed in cells of the immune system, mainly in macrophages. The present study explores the effects of innate immune challenge in the PC1/3 KO mouse. PC1/3 KO mice have an enlarged spleen with marked disorganization of the marginal zone and red pulp. Immunohistochemical studies using various markers demonstrate a depletion of dendritic cells in PC1/3 KO spleens. When challenged with lipopolysaccharide, PC1/3 KO mice are more susceptible to septic shock than wild-type controls or other PC KO mice, such as PC2 and PC7 null mice. Plasma levels of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-1β, and TNF-α) were very significantly elevated in PC1/3 KO mice, consistent with a hypercytokinemia, i.e. indicative of a major systemic uncontrolled inflammatory response or cytokine storm. Peritoneal macrophages isolated from PC1/3 KO mice also demonstrate elevated cytokine secretion when treated with LPS. Electron micrographs show morphological features indicating a prolonged activation of these cells following LPS stimulation. We also present evidence that the proinflammatory T(h)1 pathway is dominant in the PC1/3 KO mouse model. We conclude that aside from its important role in neuroendocrine functions PC1/3 also has an important role in the regulation of the innate immune system, most likely through the regulation of cytokine secretion in macrophages.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2012; 287(18):14703-17. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuropeptides are produced from larger precursors by limited proteolysis, first by endopeptidases and then by carboxypeptidases. Major endopeptidases required for these cleavages include prohormone convertase (PC) 1/3 and PC2. In this study, quantitative peptidomics analysis was used to characterize the specific role PC1/3 plays in this process. Peptides isolated from hypothalamus, amygdala, and striatum of PC1/3 null mice were compared with those from heterozygous and wild-type mice. Extracts were labeled with stable isotopic tags and fractionated by HPLC, after which relative peptide levels were determined using tandem mass spectrometry. In total, 92 peptides were found, of which 35 were known neuropeptides or related peptides derived from 15 distinct secretory pathway proteins: 7B2, chromogranin A and B, cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript, procholecystokinin, proenkephalin, promelanin concentrating hormone, proneurotensin, propituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide, proSAAS, prosomatosatin, provasoactive intestinal peptide, provasopressin, secretogranin III, and VGF. Among the peptides derived from these proteins, approximately 1/3 were decreased in the PC1/3 null mice relative to wild-type mice, approximately 1/3 showed no change, and approximately 1/3 increased in PC1/3 null. Cleavage sites were analyzed in peptides that showed no change or that decreased in PC1/3 mice, and these results were compared with peptides that showed no change or decreased in previous peptidomic studies with PC2 null mice. Analysis of these sites showed that while PC1/3 and PC2 have overlapping substrate preferences, there are particular cleavage site residues that distinguish peptides preferred by each PC.
Journal of Neurochemistry 07/2010; 114(1):215-25. · 3.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To reassess the comparative efficacy of vancomycin versus metronidazole in the treatment of Clostridium difficile-associated disease (CDAD) after the emergence in 2003 of the hypervirulent NAP1/027 strain.
A retrospective cohort study was conducted in a tertiary-care Canadian hospital among 1,616 patients treated initially with metronidazole (N=1,360), vancomycin (N=219), or both (N=37), between 1991 and 2006, and followed for 60 days after diagnosis. Primary outcome was severe/complicated CDAD (SC-CDAD) defined as any of: (a) death within 30 days, (b) septic shock, (c) megacolon, (d) perforation, or (e) emergency colectomy. Adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated, stratifying into pre-epidemic (1991-2002) and epidemic (2003-2006) periods. Secondary outcome was recurrence within 60 days.
Risk factors for SC-CDAD were the same in both periods: age>or=65 yr, male sex, immunosuppression, hospital acquisition, tube feeding, short duration of diarrhea, fever, elevated leukocytosis, or creatinine. Adjusting for confounders and using metronidazole therapy as baseline, vancomycin therapy was associated with a lower probability of developing SC-CDAD in 1991-2002 (AOR 0.21, 95% CI 0.05-0.99, P=0.048) but not during 2003-2006 (AOR 0.90, 95% CI 0.53-1.55, P=0.71). For both metronidazole and vancomycin, risk of recurrence increased in 2003-2004 but decreased in 2005-2006.
Loss of superiority of vancomycin over metronidazole coincided with the emergence of NAP1/027. Toxin hyperproduction by NAP1/027 might be such that the disease follows its natural course. Novel therapeutic approaches are needed. The higher risk of recurrence in 2003-2004 probably reflected reinfections rather than relapses.
The American Journal of Gastroenterology 01/2008; 102(12):2781-8. · 7.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During an epidemic of Clostridium difficile-associated disease (CDAD) caused by a strain that is a hyper-producer of toxins A and B, the frequency of a first recurrence after metronidazole treatment of the initial episode doubled in 2003-2004, compared with 1991-2002.
To examine whether administration of metronidazole as treatment for a first recurrence of CDAD remained appropriate, we reviewed data for patients with CDAD diagnosed in a hospital in Quebec, Canada, during 1991-2005, who experienced a first recurrence. The frequency of a second recurrence within 60 days after the first one was measured using Kaplan-Meier analysis. Cox regression was used for multivariate analysis.
A total of 463 patients had a first recurrence of CDAD, of whom 154 (33.3%) experienced a second recurrence. Independent predictors of a second recurrence were age and duration of hospitalization after the first recurrence; this latter finding suggested that many such episodes were reinfections rather than relapses. Neither choice of treatment drug (metronidazole or vancomycin) nor use of the same drug for treatment of first recurrence, as had been used during the initial episode, was associated with increased risk of a second recurrence. However, 51 patients (11.0%) developed at least 1 complication (i.e., shock, need for colectomy, megacolon, perforation, or death within 30 days) during the first recurrence. Older age, a high leukocyte count, and renal failure at first recurrence were strongly associated with a complicated CDAD.
Metronidazole is not inferior to vancomycin for treatment of patients with a first recurrence of CDAD, but the risk of complications with any treatment of CDAD may be higher than has previously been documented.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human urotensin II (hU-II) is a potent vasoactive peptide which modulates some of the functions of the cardiovascular and other systems. The in vivo mechanism of action by which hU-II may influence blood pressure in developmental and pathological conditions, is poorly understood. Herein, the blood pressure effects of hU-II (0.1-10 nmol/kg) injected intravenously (i.v.) were studied on ketamine/xylazine anesthetized male WKY and SHR rats aged 4 and 8 weeks. hU-II elicited dose-dependent decreases in mean arterial pressure in both strains of animals. The hypotensive responses to hU-II were, however, significantly higher in SHR rats, independently of age. Four-week-old SHR rats (which are normotensive) were, however, less responsive than their hypertensive 8-week-old counterparts. A series of pharmacological inhibitors were used to identify putative endogenous (endothelial) factors that might account for the hU-II-mediated hypotension in 8-week-old SHR. These include the non-selective nitric oxide synthase inhibitor L-NAME (5 micromol/kg), the non-selective cyclooxygenase inhibitor meclofenamate (16 micromol/kg), the voltage-sensitive and ATP-sensitive K+-channel inhibitors, 4-aminopyridine (5 micromol/kg) and glybenclamide (10 micromol/kg), the cytochrome P450 CYP2C9 inhibitor sulfaphenazole (15 micromol/kg), the cytoskeletal fixation agent phalloidin (15 micromol/kg), the endothelin ETB receptor antagonist BQ-788(35 micromol/kg), the bradykinin B2 receptor antagonist HOE 140 (0.5 micromol/kg), the angiotensin AT2 antagonist PD 123319(10 micromol/kg) and the UT receptor antagonist urantide (10 micromol/kg). These agents were administered i.v. either at 2.5, 10 or 40 min prior hU-II injection (10 nmol/kg). Among these inhibitors, sulfaphenazole and phalloidin were able to reduce hU-II-induced hypotension. This suggests that the vasodepressor effect of hU-II is mediated by UT receptors and relies in part on the release of epoxide related products; increased microvascular permeability may also contribute to the blood pressure lowering effect of hU-II. Since urantide blocks the constrictor effects of hU-II on isolated aorta, but is inactive against the hypotensive action of hU-II in vivo, the results presented in this paper provide, for the first time, evidence for the existence of two different functional sites for hU-II.