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... In response to the reduction of Ca 2+ influx through plasma membrane voltage-activated Ca 2+ channels (L) produced Several evidences support that the abnormal intracellular signaling mediated by Ca 2+ and cAMP could be involved in tumor growth and dissemination . As previously mentioned, the abnormal gene expression and activity of the different proteins involved intracellular Ca 2+ homeostasis contribute to tumor growth . ...
... In addition, the increase of [cAMP] c inhibits the angiogenesis and tumor growth . Thus, we have proposed that the combined use of monoclonal antibodies with drugs that modulate the Ca 2+ /cAMP signaling interaction to reduce tumor growth could be potential strategy in the antitumor immunotherapy due to increment of antitumor efficacy and reduction of adverse effects . Figure 1 shows how the Ca 2+ /cAMP signaling interaction could be pharmacologically modulated by the combined use of the Ca 2+ channel blockers (CCB) and drugs that promote the increase of [cAMP] c (cAMP-enhancer compounds). ...
... Several evidences suggest that the cytosolic Ca 2+ overload due to abnormal gene expression and activity of the different types of Ca 2+ channels importantly contribute to tumor growth and dissemination due to cytosolic Ca 2+ overload in tumor cells . Evidences suggest that Ca 2+ channels TRP and Orai participate in the intracellular Ca 2+ signaling involved the physiological angiogenesis processes . Thus, the Ca 2+ channels have become important molecular targets in tumor cells and the drugs that interfere with the Ca 2+ channels could be useful in the treatment of different types of tumor [18,40,41]. ...
Cancer is a major public health problem and the second leading cause of mortality around the world. Antitumor immunotherapy using monoclonal antibodies is considered selective and efficient in the treatment of different types of tumors, but its cost and toxic effects limit its application. Many tumor microenvironments, including lymphoma and carcinoma, are enriched in immune suppressive cells that contribute to immune exhaustion by means expression of inhibitory ligands, suppressive cytokines, and tumor-promoting factors. Antitumor therapies targeted to reduce the induction, recruitment, or suppressive activities of the immune cells have been investigated. New antitumor strategies using drugs targeted to intracellular signaling involved in cell proliferation and survival, angiogenesis, and metastasis have become promising in recent years. Thus, our discovery of the role of functional interaction between intracellular signaling pathways mediated by calcium ions (Ca 2+) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) (Ca 2+ /cAMP signaling interaction) in these cellular responses, opened a great avenue for the development of new antitumor therapeutic strategies. Here, we discuss how the combined use of monoclonal antibodies with drugs that modulate the Ca 2+ /cAMP signaling interaction to reduce tumor growth could be a potential strategy in the antitumor immunotherapy due to the increment of antitumor efficacy and reduction of adverse effects.
The intracellular calcium ions (Ca²⁺) act as second messenger to regulate gene transcription, cell proliferation, migration and death. Accumulating evidences have demonstrated that intracellular Ca²⁺ homeostasis is altered in cancer cells and the alteration is involved in tumor initiation, angiogenesis, progression and metastasis. Targeting derailed Ca²⁺ signaling for cancer therapy has become an emerging research area. This review summarizes some important Ca²⁺ channels, transporters and Ca²⁺-ATPases, which have been reported to be altered in human cancer patients. It discusses the current research effort toward evaluation of the blockers, inhibitors or regulators for Ca²⁺ channels/transporters or Ca²⁺-ATPase pumps as anti-cancer drugs. This review is also aimed to stimulate interest in, and support for research into the understanding of cellular mechanisms underlying the regulation of Ca²⁺ signaling in different cancer cells, and to search for novel therapies to cure these malignancies by targeting Ca²⁺ channels or transporters.
Our discovery of the involvement of the interaction between intracellular signalling pathways mediated by Ca2+ and cAMP (Ca2+/cAMP signaling interaction) in the neurotransmission and neuroprotection has produced important advances in the understanding of the pathophysiology and pharmacology of neurological and psychiatric disorders, such as Alzheimer´s and Parkinson's diseases. Interestingly, this discovery initiated decades ago when numerous clinical studies have reported that L-type Ca channel blockers (CCBs) used in antihypertensive pharmacotherapy decreased arterial pressure, but produced typical symptoms of sympathetic hyperactivity such as tachycardia and increment of catecholamine plasma levels. Despite these adverse effects of CCBs have been initially attributed to adjust reflex of arterial pressure, during almost four decades this enigmatic phenomenon named "calcium paradox" remained unclear. In 2013, we discovered that these "calcium paradox" results of transmitter release from sympathetic neurons and adrenal chromaffin cells stimulated by CCBs due to its modulatory action on the Ca2+/cAMP signaling interaction. In addition, we discovered that this modulatory action attenuates neuronal death triggered by cytosolic Ca2+ overload. These findings open a large avenue for the development of new pharmacological strategies more effective for
the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders resulting of neurotransmitter release deficit, and neuronal death.
Our discovery of the " calcium paradox " phenomenon due to interaction between Ca 2+ /cAMP intracellular signalling pathways involved in catecholaminergic transmission may provide new insights for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, such as Parkinson's disease. This disease is mainly resulting by reduction of dopamine release in striatal dopaminergic neurons. In addition, since 1975 several clinical studies have reported that administration of L-type Ca 2+ Channel Blockers (CCBs) in hypertensives produces reduction in vascular resistance and arterial pressure, associated with an increase in plasma noradrenaline levels and tachycardia characterized by sympathetic hyperactivity. Despite these adverse effects of CCBs have been initially attributed to adjust reflex of arterial pressure, during almost four decades these enigmatic phenomena remained unclear. In 2013, we discovered that this paradoxical sympathetic hyperactivity produced by CCBs is due to interaction of the Ca 2+ /cAMP intracellular signalling pathways. Also, clinical studies have been reporting neuroprotective effects of CCBs in neurodegenerative disorders, including for Parkinson's disease. The molecular mechanisms involved in these pleiotropic effects remain under debate. Then, the pharmacological manipulation of the Ca 2+ /cAMP interaction could be a more efficient therapeutic strategy for increasing neuroprotection and dopamine neurotransmitter release in Parkinson's disease.
Voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) are well documented to play roles in cell proliferation, migration, and apoptosis; however, whether VGCCs regulate the onset and progression of cancer is still under investigation. The VGCC family consists of five members, which are L-type, N-type, T-type, R-type and P/Q type. To date, no holistic approach has been used to screen VGCC family genes in different types of cancer. We analyzed the transcript expression of VGCCs in clinical cancer tissue samples by accessing ONCOMINE (www.oncomine.org), a web-based microarray database, to perform a systematic analysis. Every member of the VGCCs was examined across 21 different types of cancer by comparing mRNA expression in cancer to that in normal tissue. A previous study showed that altered expression of mRNA in cancer tissue may play an oncogenic role and promote tumor development; therefore, in the present findings, we focus only on the overexpression of VGCCs in different types of cancer. This bioinformatics analysis revealed that different subtypes of VGCCs (CACNA1C, CACNA1D, CACNA1B, CACNA1G, and CACNA1I) are implicated in the development and progression of diverse types of cancer and show dramatic up-regulation in breast cancer. CACNA1F only showed high expression in testis cancer, whereas CACNA1A, CACNA1C, and CACNA1D were highly expressed in most types of cancer. The current analysis revealed that specific VGCCs likely play essential roles in specific types of cancer. Collectively, we identified several VGCC targets and classified them according to different cancer subtypes for prospective studies on the underlying carcinogenic mechanisms. The present findings suggest that VGCCs are possible targets for prospective investigation in cancer treatment.
The oncogenic activation of the rearranged during transfection (RET) proto-oncogene has a main role in the pathogenesis of medullary thyroid cancer (MTC). Several lines of evidence suggest that RET function could be influenced by cyclic AMP (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) activity. We evaluated the in vitro anti-tumor activity of 8-chloroadenosine-3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (8-Cl-cAMP) and PKA type I-selective cAMP analogs [equimolar combination of the 8-piperidinoadenosine-3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (8-PIP-cAMP) and 8-hexylaminoadenosine-3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (8-HA-cAMP) in MTC cell lines (TT and MZ-CRC-1)]. 8-Cl-cAMP and the PKA I-selective cAMP analogs showed a potent anti-proliferative effect in both cell lines. In detail, 8-Cl-cAMP blocked significantly the transition of TT cell population from G2/M to G0/G1 phase and from G0/G1 to S phase and of MZ-CRC-1 cells from G0/G1 to S phase. Moreover, 8-Cl-cAMP induced apoptosis in both cell lines, as demonstrated by FACS analysis for annexin V-FITC/propidium iodide, the activation of caspase-3 and PARP cleavage. On the other hand, the only effect induced by PKA I-selective cAMP analogs was a delay in G0/G1-S and S-G2/M progression in TT and MZ-CRC-1 cells, respectively. In conclusion, these data demonstrate that cAMP analogs, particularly 8-Cl-cAMP, significantly suppress in vitro MTC proliferation and provide rationale for a potential clinical use of cAMP analogs in the treatment of advanced MTC.
SKF 96365 is well-known for its suppressing effect on human glioblastoma growth by inhibiting pre-activated TRPC channels and Ca(2+) influx. The effect of SKF 96363 in glioblastoma cells, however, may be multifaceted and this possibility has been largely ignored.
The effects of SKF 96365 on cell cycle and cell viability of cultured human glioblastoma cells were characterized. Western blot, Ca(2+) imaging, and patch-clamp recordings were used to delineate cell death mechanism. siRNA gene knockdown provided additional evidence.
SKF 96365 repressed glioblastoma cell growth via increasing intracellular Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+) ]i ) irrespective of whether TRPC channels were blocked or not. The effect of SKF 96365 primarily resulted from enhanced reverse operation of the Na(+) /Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX) with an EC50 of 9.79 μM. SKF 96365 arrested the glioblastoma cells in the S and G2 phases and activated p38-MAPK and JNK, which were all prevented by the Ca(2+) chelator BAPTA-AM or EGTA. The NCX expression in glioblastoma cells is significantly higher than in normal human astrocytes. Knockdown of the NCX1 isoforms diminished the effect of SKF 96365 on glioblastoma cells.
At the same concentration that blocks TRPC channels, SKF 96365 enhances the reverse mode of the NCX that causes [Ca(2+) ]i accumulation and cytotoxicity. This finding suggests an alternative pharmacological mechanism of SKF 96365. It also indicates that modulation of the NCX is an efficacious way to disrupt Ca(2+) homeostasis and supress human glioblastoma cells.
Background: Calcium (Ca 2+) signaling within the nucleus is known to play a crucial role in cell proliferation. The aim of this study was to investigate whether nuclear Ca 2+ buffering could improve the antitumor effect of X-rays therapy on Human Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HSCC). Methods: For these purpose, we developed an experimental protocol that simulated clinical radiotherapy and prevented bystander effects of irradiation. HSCC, A431 cell line, was submitted to 10Gy cumulative X-rays therapy alone (XR Cd10Gy) or in association with the strategy that selectively buffer nuclear Ca 2+ (Ca 2+n) signaling. Results: Upon Ca 2+n buffering, A431 cell proliferation rate decreased significantly as compared to control. Cell cycle analysis showed that association of Ca 2+n buffering with XR Cd 10Gy increased the percentage of A431 cells at G 2/M and did not increase nuclear/mitochondrial DNA damages. Nonetheless, Ca 2+n buffering prevented the increase of the radioresistance-related biomarker ADAM-17 expression and EGFR activation induced by irradiation. Furthermore, the association therapy almost completely abolished cell survival fraction even using approximately half of the X-rays cumulative dose. Conclusions: Nuclear Ca 2+ buffering sensitizes human squamous cell carcinoma to X-rays irradiation treatment.
Cyclic AMP (cAMP) inhibits the proliferation of several tumor cells. We previously reported an antiproliferative effect of PKA I-selective cAMP analogs (8-PIP-cAMP and 8-HA-cAMP) on two human cancer cell lines of different origin. 8-Cl-cAMP, another cAMP analog with known antiproliferative properties, has been investigated as a potential anticancer drug. Here, we compared the antiproliferative effect of 8-Cl-cAMP and the PKA I-selective cAMP analogs in three human cancer cell lines (ARO, NPA and WRO). 8-Cl-cAMP and the PKA I-selective cAMP analogs had similarly potent antiproliferative effects on the BRAF-positive ARO and NPA cells, but not on the BRAF-negative WRO cells, in which only 8-Cl-cAMP consistently inhibited cell growth. While treatment with the PKA I-selective cAMP analogs was associated with growth arrest, 8-Cl-cAMP induced apoptosis. To further investigate the actions of 8-Cl-cAMP and the PKA I-selective cAMP analogs, we analyzed their effects on signaling pathways involved in cell proliferation and apoptosis. Interestingly, the PKA I-selective cAMP analogs, but not 8-Cl-cAMP, inhibited ERK phosphorylation, whereas 8-Cl-cAMP alone induced a progressive phosphorylation of the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), via activation of AMPK by its metabolite 8-Cl-adenosine. Importantly, the pro-apoptotic effect of 8-Cl-cAMP could be largely prevented by pharmacological inhibition of the p38 MAPK. Altogether, these data suggest that 8-Cl-cAMP and the PKA I-selective cAMP analogs, though of comparable antiproliferative potency, act through different mechanisms. PKA I-selective cAMP analogs induce growth arrest in cells carrying the BRAF oncogene, whereas 8-Cl-cAMP induce apoptosis, apparently through activation of the p38 MAPK pathway.
For many cancers, there has been a shift from management with traditional, nonspecific cytotoxic chemotherapies to treatment with molecule-specific targeted therapies that are used either alone or in combination with traditional chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Accumulating data suggest that multi-targeted agents may produce greater benefits than those observed with single-targeted therapies, may have acceptable tolerability profiles, and may be active against a broader range of tumour types. Thus, regulation of cyclic nucleotide signalling is properly regarded as a composite of multiple component pathways involved in diverse aspects of tumour cell function. The impairment of cAMP and/or cGMP generation by overexpression of PDE isoforms that has been described in various cancer pathologies, and the effects of PDE inhibitors in tumour models in vitro and in vivo, may offer promising insight into future cancer treatments because of the numerous advantages of PDE inhibitors.
In this review, we focus on the expression and regulation of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs) in tumour progression and provide evidence that PDE inhibitors may be effective agents for treating cancer; the review covers literature from the past several years.
PDEs have been studied in a variety of tumours; data have suggested that the levels of PDE activity are elevated and, therefore, the ratio of cGMP to cAMP is affected. In addition, PDE inhibitors may be potential targets for tumour cell growth inhibition and induction of apoptosis. This review explores the prospects of targeting PDEs with therapeutic agents for cancer, as well as the shortcomings of this approach such as dose-limiting side effects, toxicity/efficacy ratio and selectivity towards tumour tissue. In addition, it includes opinions and suggestion for developing PDE inhibition for cancer treatment from initial concept to potential therapeutic application and final relevance in clinical use.
Impaired cAMP and/or cGMP generation upon overexpression of PDE isoforms has been described in various cancer pathologies. Inhibition of selective PDE isoforms, which raises the levels of intracellular cAMP and/or cGMP, induces apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in a broad spectrum of tumour cells and regulates the tumour microenvironment. Therefore, the development and clinical application of inhibitors specific for individual PDE isoenzymes may selectively restore normal intracellular signalling, providing antitumour therapy with reduced adverse effects.
The calcium-sensing receptor (CaR) is responsive to changes in the extracellular Ca(2+) (Ca(2+)(o)) concentration. It is a member of the largest family of cell surface receptors, the G protein-coupled receptors, and it has been shown to be involved in Ca(2+)(o) homeostasis. Apart from its primary role in Ca(2+)(o) homeostasis, the CaR may be involved in phenomena that allow for the development of many types of benign or malignant tumors, from parathyroid adenomas to breast, prostate, and colon cancers. For example, whereas the CaR is expressed in both normal and malignant breast tissue, increased CaR levels have been reported in highly metastatic primary breast cancer cells and breast cancer cell lines, possibly contributing to their malignancy and associated alterations in their biological properties. In these settings the CaR exhibits oncogenic properties. Enhanced CaR expression and altered proliferation of prostate cancer cells in response to increased Ca(2+)(o) have also been described. In contrast, colon and parathyroid cancers often present with reduced or absent CaR expression, and activation of this receptor decreases cell proliferation, suggesting a role for the CaR as a tumor suppressor gene. Thus, the CaR may play an important role in the development of many types of neoplasia. Herein, we review the role of the CaR in various benign and malignant tumors in further detail, describing its contribution to parathyroid tumors, breast, prostate, and colon cancers, and we evaluate how pharmacological manipulations of this receptor may be of interest for the treatment of certain cancers in the future.
Calcium is a second messenger in virtually all cells and tissues. Calcium signals in the nucleus have effects on gene transcription and cell growth that are distinct from those of cytosolic calcium signals; however, it is unknown how nuclear calcium signals are regulated. Here we identify a reticular network of nuclear calcium stores that is continuous with the endoplasmic reticulum and the nuclear envelope. This network expresses inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP3) receptors, and the nuclear component of InsP3-mediated calcium signals begins in its locality. Stimulation of these receptors with a little InsP3 results in small calcium signals that are initiated in this region of the nucleus. Localized release of calcium in the nucleus causes nuclear protein kinase C (PKC) to translocate to the region of the nuclear envelope, whereas release of calcium in the cytosol induces translocation of cytosolic PKC to the plasma membrane. Our findings show that the nucleus contains a nucleoplasmic reticulum with the capacity to regulate calcium signals in localized subnuclear regions. The presence of such machinery provides a potential mechanism by which calcium can simultaneously regulate many independent processes in the nucleus.
Ca2+ is a highly versatile intracellular signal that operates over a wide temporal range to regulate many different cellular processes. An extensive Ca2+-signalling toolkit is used to assemble signalling systems with very different spatial and temporal dynamics. Rapid highly localized Ca2+ spikes regulate fast responses, whereas slower responses are controlled by repetitive global Ca2+ transients or intracellular Ca2+ waves. Ca2+ has a direct role in controlling the expression patterns of its signalling systems that are constantly being remodelled in both health and disease.
Ca(2+) signals regulate cell proliferation, but the spatial and temporal specificity of these signals is unknown. Here we use selective buffers of nucleoplasmic or cytoplasmic Ca(2+) to determine that cell proliferation depends upon Ca(2+) signals within the nucleus rather than in the cytoplasm. Nuclear Ca(2+) signals stimulate cell growth rather than inhibit apoptosis and specifically permit cells to advance through early prophase. Selective buffering of nuclear but not cytoplasmic Ca(2+) signals also impairs growth of tumors in vivo. These findings reveal a major physiological and potential pathophysiological role for nucleoplasmic Ca(2+) signals and suggest that this information can be used to design novel therapeutic strategies to regulate conditions of abnormal cell growth.
Because prostate cancer is, in its early stages, an androgen-dependent pathology, treatments aiming at decreasing testosterone
plasma concentration have been developed for many years now. However, a significant proportion of patients suffer a relapse
after a few years of hormone therapy. The androgen-independent stage of prostate cancer has been shown to be associated with
the development of neuroendocrine differentiation. We previously demonstrated that neuroendocrine prostate cancer cells derived
from LNCaP cells overexpress CaV3.2 T-type voltage-dependent calcium channels. We demonstrate here using prostatic acid phosphatase
as a marker of prostate secretion and FM1-43 fluorescence imaging of membrane trafficking that neuroendocrine differentiation
is associated with an increase in calcium-dependent secretion which critically relies on CaV3.2 T-type calcium channel activity.
In addition, we show that these channels are expressed by neuroendocrine cells in prostate cancer tissues obtained from patients
after surgery. We propose that CaV3.2 T-type calcium channel up-regulation may account for the alteration of secretion during
prostate cancer development and that these channels, by promoting the secretion of potential mitogenic factors, could participate
in the progression of the disease toward an androgen-independent stage.
Proglucagon-derived peptides, especially glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and its long-acting mimetics, have exhibited neuroprotective effects in animal models of stroke. Several of these peptides are in clinical trials for stroke. Oxyntomodulin (OXM) is a proglucagon-derived peptide that co-activates the GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) and the glucagon receptor (GCGR). The neuroprotective action of OXM, however, has not been thoroughly investigated. In this study, the neuroprotective effect of OXM was first examined in human neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y) cells and rat primary cortical neurons. GLP-1R and GCGR antagonists, and inhibitors of various signaling pathways were used in cell culture to characterize the mechanisms of action of OXM. To evaluate translation in vivo, OXM-mediated neuroprotection was assessed in a 60-min, transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) rat model of stroke. We found that OXM dose- and time-dependently increased cell viability and protected cells from glutamate toxicity and oxidative stress. These neuroprotective actions of OXM were mainly mediated through the GLP-1R. OXM induced intracellular cAMP production and activated cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB). Furthermore, inhibition of the PKA and MAPK pathways, but not inhibition of the PI3K pathway, significantly attenuated the OXM neuroprotective actions. Intracerebroventricular administration of OXM significantly reduced cerebral infarct size and improved locomotor activities in MCAo stroke rats. Therefore, we conclude that OXM is neuroprotective against ischemic brain injury. The mechanisms of action involve induction of intracellular cAMP, activation of PKA and MAPK pathways and phosphorylation of CREB.
T-type calcium channels are involved in a multitude of cellular processes, both physiological and pathological, including cancer. T-type channels are also often aberrantly expressed in different human cancers and participate in the regulation of cell cycle progression, proliferation, migration, and survival. Here, we review the recent literature and discuss the controversies, supporting the role of T-type Ca(2+) channels in cancer cells and the proposed use of channels blockers as anticancer agents. A growing number of reports show that pharmacological inhibition or RNAi-mediated downregulation of T-type channels leads to inhibition of cancer cell proliferation and increased cancer cell death. In addition to a single agent activity, experimental results demonstrate that T-type channel blockers enhance the anticancer effects of conventional radio- and chemotherapy. At present, the detailed biological mechanism(s) underlying the anticancer activity of these channel blockers is not fully understood. Recent findings and ideas summarized here identify T-type Ca(2+) channels as a molecular target for anticancer therapy and offer new directions for the design of novel therapeutic strategies employing channels blockers. Physiological relevance: T-type calcium channels are often aberrantly expressed or deregulated in cancer cells, supporting their proliferation, survival, and resistance to treatment; therefore, T-type Ca(2+) channels could be attractive molecular targets for anticancer therapy.
Effects of thapsigargin, an inhibitor of Ca2+-ATPase in surface of endoplasmic reticulum, on apoptotic cell death were studied in human hepatoma cells of BEL-7404 cell line by using both flow cytometry and electron microscopy. Propidium iodide staining and flow cytometry revealed that in the serum-free condition, thapsigargin increased the rate of apoptosis of BEL- 7404 ceils in a dose-dependent manner. Prolongation of the period of serum-free condition enhanced the apoptosis induced by thapsigaxgin treatment. Morphological observation with electron microscope further demonstrated that chromatin condensation and fragmentation, apoptotic bodies existed in TG-treated cells, supporting that thapsigargin is a potent activator of apoptosis in the cells.
Cyclic AMP (cAMP) promotes growth arrest and/or apoptosis of various types of lymphoma, in particular chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). These responses have spurred the interest in developing agents that increase cAMP to treat such malignancies and to identify mechanisms of the responses.
The murine T-lymphoma cell line S49, has provided an important, pioneering model to define mechanisms of cAMP-mediated lymphoid cell death. Studies with S49 cells demonstrated that cAMP, acting via protein kinase A (PKA), is pro-apoptotic through a mitochondria-dependent pathway and identified cAMP/PKA-regulated targets involved in apoptosis. Akin to such findings, cAMP promotes apoptosis via PKA of cells from patients with CLL. Analysis of mediators of cAMP accumulation and cAMP-promoted apoptosis in CLL cells has revealed approaches to increase cAMP and engage its pro-apoptotic action.
This 'pathway approach' targeted to cAMP has identified GPCR agonists/antagonists, AC activators (e.g., AC7), PDE inhibitors (e.g., PDE7B) and/or activators or inhibitors of downstream mediators (PKA and Epac, respectively), which might be utilized therapeutically in CLL. Therapy directed at such targets may prove to be clinically useful and may also provide a proof-of-principle of the utility of targeting cAMP signaling in other types of cancer.
T-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels have unique electrophysiological properties, suitable for generating Ca2+ oscillations and waves and thus controlling the proliferation of various tumor cells. In the present study, we investigated the role of Cav3.1, a candidate tumor suppressor gene, in neoplastic processes, and compared the differences between Cav3.1 with Cav3.2 channels. While the overexpression of a full-length Cav3.1 clone suppressed cell proliferation, the knockdown of the Cav3.1 gene by siRNA, or treatment with ProTx-I, a relatively selective inhibitor for Cav3.1, promoted the cell proliferation of MCF-7 cells (a human breast adenocarcinoma cell line). Although Cav3.1 and Cav3.2 channels possess comparable biophysical properties and are often co-expressed in various tissues, gene knockdown or the overexpression of Cav3.2 channels exhibited no effect on cell proliferation. Using immunocytochemical co-staining, the Cav3.1 channels were specifically visualized in the plasma membranes of apoptotic cells, identified by Annexin V and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end-labeling (TUNEL) assays and nuclear condensation. On the contrary, Cav3.2 channels were expressed at the membrane of large portions of cells, with no likely relation to Cav3.1 expression or apoptosis. An apoptosis assay revealed that the overexpression of the Cav3.1 clone caused an increase in the number of apoptotic cells. Furthermore, Cav3.1 knockdown blocked cyclophosphamide-induced apoptosis. These results suggest that Cav3.1 channels may contribute to the repression of tumor proliferation and the promotion of apoptosis mediated via Cav3.1-specific Ca2+ influx.
Primary cancer of the liver, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), is an extremely deadly cancer, with very poor 5 year survivals, following diagnosis. The poor outcomes are believed to be due, in part, to the late times in which the cancers are usually first detected. Improved methods for early detection have thus become a top priority in the management of liver cancer. This Chapter reviews current methods of detection as well as leading new methods. Possible explanations as to why there are so many markers that are being discovered, but so few that make it to validation are discussed.
Nucleoplasmic Ca(2+) regulates cell growth in the liver, but the proteins through which this occurs are unknown.
We used Rapid Subtraction Hybridization (RaSH) to subtract genes in SKHep1 liver cells expressing the Ca(2+) buffer protein parvalbumin (PV) targeted to the nucleus, from genes in cells expressing a mutated form of nuclear-targeted PV which has one of two Ca(2+)-binding sites inactivated. The subtraction permitted the selection of genes whose expression was affected by a small alteration in nuclear Ca(2+) concentration.
The asparaginyl endopeptidase legumain (LGMN) was identified in this screening. When Ca(2+) was buffered in the nucleus of SKHep1 cells, LGMN mRNA was decreased by 97%, in part by a transcriptional mechanism, and decreased expression at the protein level was observed by immunoblot and immunofluorescence. Treatment with hepatocyte growth factor increased LGMN expression. Knockdown of LGMN by siRNA decreased proliferation of SKHep1 cells by ∼50% as measured both by BrdU uptake and mitotic index, although an inhibitor of LGMN activity did not affect BrdU incorporation. A significant reduction in the fraction of cells in G2/M phase was seen as well. This was associated with increases in the expression of cyclins A and E. Furthermore, LGMN expression was increased in hepatocellular carcinoma cells relative to normal hepatocytes in the same specimens.
These findings suggest a new role for LGMN and provide evidence that nuclear Ca(2+) signals regulate cell proliferation in part through the modulation of LGMN expression. Increased expression of LGMN may be involved in liver carcinogenesis.
Calcium, the great signaler, is at the heart of proliferation, differentiation, and cancer. It figures prominently in the five signals that activate proliferatively quiescent normal cells and then trigger chromosome replication and mitosis. Calcium regulates intercellular communication through gap junctions and triggers the terminal differentiation programs of cells such as colon cells and keratinocytes. Calcium is also the killer in the programmed suicide mechanism (apoptosis) of differentiated senescent cells or functionally superfluous cells that is needed to maintain tissue homeostasis. The cancer cells emerging from the multistep carcinogenic process with inactivated or deleted tumor-suppressor genes and/or activated oncogenes are much less dependent than normal cells on external growth factors because they make and secrete their own factors. They also need much less external calcium to proliferate, and they no longer obey calcium signals to differentiate and ultimately die.
Verapamil (3 X 10(-6)-3 X 10(-5) M) enhanced the twitch contractions of the epididymal and prostatic portions of vas deferens stimulated at 0.1 Hz. This verapamil effect was essentially similar to those of diltiazem, D-600 and Bay K 8644. However, when stimulation at 2 Hz was used verapamil (3 X 10(-5) M) attenuated the contractions of the epididymal portion by half but still augmented those of the prostatic portion. Verapamil enhanced the reserpine- and prazosin-resistant component of the stimulation-induced contractions of both portions of the vas deferens. Yohimbine augmented the twitch response but attenuated the verapamil-augmented response. Verapamil did not augment norepinephrine- or tyramine-induced contractions whereas it augmented ATP-induced contractions of the prostatic portion but not of the epididymal portion. Verapamil increased the stimulation-evoked 3H-efflux from the vas deferens labelled with [3H]norepinephrine. It is suggested that verapamil augments non-adrenergic responses of both portions of the vas deferens by acting as a Ca agonist on the prejunctional site to increase the release of co-transmitter, or by acting on the postjunctional site to enhance the action of the substance released. Its effect in augmenting norepinephrine release is concluded not to contribute to the potentiating action.
Human DNA methyltransferase, the enzyme thought to be responsible for the somatic inheritance of patterns of DNA methylation, is an effective substrate for phosphorylation by protein kinase C. This provides a plausible mechanistic link between the action of tumor promoting phorbol esters, which stimulate protein kinase C, and abnormal patterns of DNA methylation often observed in transformed cells.
We wish to thank Terry Schoop of Biomed Arts Associates, San Francisco, for preparation of the figures, Cori Bargmann and Zena Werb for insightful comments on the manuscript, and Normita Santore for editorial assistance. In addition, we are indebted to Joe Harford and Richard Klausner, who allowed us to adapt and expand their depiction of the cell signaling network, and we appreciate suggestions on signaling pathways from Randy Watnick, Brian Elenbas, Bill Lundberg, Dave Morgan, and Henry Bourne. R. A. W. is a Ludwig Foundation and American Cancer Society Professor of Biology. His work has been supported by the Department of the Army and the National Institutes of Health. D. H. acknowledges the support and encouragement of the National Cancer Institute. Editorial policy has rendered the citations illustrative but not comprehensive.
Previous reports indicate that the mRNA for the cardiac isoform of the voltage-gated L-type calcium channel (alpha(1C)) is elevated in colon cancer. The aim of these experiments was to verify that the mRNA for alpha(1C) was significantly increased in tumors of two separate populations of patients when compared to normal adjacent mucosa. The second aim was to measure the distribution of alpha(1C) using immunocytochemistry in normal human colon and in colon cancer and to determine what might regulate the channel expression. Biopsies were taken from patients with various stages of colon cancer and nearby normal mucosa were used as control. RNA was prepared and mRNA level measured by semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. The mRNA of the calcium channel was compared with other markers including beta-actin. The mRNA for alpha(1C) was increased significantly in colon cancers compared to nearby adjacent mucosa. Using confocal microscopy alpha(1C) was localized mainly at the apical membrane in the surface epithelium of normal human colon with less distribution on the lateral and basal membranes. The channel was localized on the lateral and basal membranes in crypt cells. Calcium channel localization appeared to be nearer nuclei in colon cancer samples, in part because of the smaller size of the cells. Likewise, cultured Caco-2 and T84 cells showed a membrane distribution. Western blotting indicated that alpha(1C) protein was increased in nonconfluent cultures of colonic carcinoma cells compared to confluent cells and immunocytochemistry confirms that there is more calcium channel protein in cells that are nonconfluent. We conclude that the increase in mRNA of alpha(1) subunit of the cardiac isoform of the L-type calcium channel may be a useful marker of colon cancer compared to other markers because the increase is large and this increase can be documented on small samples using a simple semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. We found that alpha(1C) protein is increased when colonic cells are nonconfluent or dividing which may account for the increase in cancer.
The rules that govern the activation and autophosphorylation of the multifunctional Ca2+-calmodulin kinase II (CaMKII) by Ca2+ and calmodulin (CaM) are thought to underlie its ability to decode Ca2+ oscillations and to control multiple cellular functions. We propose a simple biophysical model for the activation of CaMKII by Ca2+ and calmodulin. The model describes the transition of the subunits of the kinase between their different possible states (inactive, bound to Ca2+-CaM, phosphorylated at Thr(286), trapped and autonomous). All transitions are described by classical kinetic equations except for the autophosphorylation step, which is modeled in an empirical manner. The model quantitatively reproduces the experimentally demonstrated frequency sensitivity of CaMKII [Science 279 (1998) 227]. We further use the model to investigate the role of several characterized features of the kinase--as well as some that are not easily attainable by experiments--in its frequency-dependent responses. In cellular microdomains, CaMKII is expected to sense very brief Ca2+ spikes; our simulations under such conditions reveal that the enzyme response is tuned to optimal frequencies. This prediction is then confirmed by experimental data. This novel and simple model should help in understanding the rules that govern CaMKII regulation, as well as those involved in decoding intracellular Ca2+ signals.
In humans, three isoforms of the T-type (Ca(v)3.1) calcium-channel alpha(1) subunit have been reported as a result of alternate splicing of exons 25 and 26 in the III-IV linker region (Ca(v)3.1a, Ca(v)3.1b or Ca(v)3.1bc). In the present study, we report that human glioma express Ca(v)3.1 channels in situ, that splicing of these exons is uniquely regulated and that there is expression of a glioma-specific novel T-type variant (Ca(v)3.1ac). Seven human glioma samples were collected at surgery, RNA was extracted, and cDNA was produced for RT-PCR analysis. In addition, three glioma cell lines (U87, U563, and U251N), primary cultures of human fetal astrocytes, as well as adult and fetal human brain cDNA were used. Previously described Ca(v)3.1 splice variants were present in glioma samples, cultured cells and whole brain. Consistent with the literature, our results reveal that in the normal adult brain, Ca(v)3.1a transcripts predominate, while Ca(v)3.1b is mostly fetal-specific. RT-PCR results on glioma and glioma cell lines showed that Ca(v)3.1 expression in tumor cells resemble fetal brain expression pattern as Ca(v)3.1bc is predominantly expressed. In addition, we identified a novel splice variant, Ca(v)3.1ac, expressed in three glioma biopsies and one glioma cell line, but not in normal brain or fetal astrocytes. Transient expression of this variant demonstrates that Ca(v)3.1ac displays similar current-voltage and steady-state inactivation properties compared with Ca(v)3.1b, but a slower recovery from inactivation. Taken together, our data suggest glioma-specific Ca(v)3.1 gene regulation, which could possibly contribute to tumor pathogenesis.
Most human cancers are initiated by chronic injuries that repeatedly kill cells and must, therefore, repeatedly raise cell calcium within nearby survivors. They may also raise calcium in distant cells via calcium waves. Here it is argued that these calcium increases initiate oncogenesis by breaking gap junctions and thus disorganizing tissues and by activating proto-oncogenes. It is also argued that these calcium increases become self-perpetuating in part through the development of an ability of cells to divide in reduced extracellular calcium, i.e., habituation to reduced extracellular calcium. I propose to test these calcium-based theories by using aequorinated mice.
Our understanding of the mechanisms whereby growth factors stimulate cell proliferation through the Ras pathway stems largely from studies of the canonical pathway involving recruitment of Ras activators and inhibitors to the vicinity of receptor tyrosine kinases via phosphotyrosine-binding adaptor proteins. Ca(2+) has seldom joined the party, despite the identification of phospholipase Cgamma and Ca(2+) entry as receptor tyrosine kinase-dependent signals. Mechanisms by which Ca(2+) can directly influence Ras activity have remained relatively elusive. Similarly, the mechanisms whereby Ca(2+) modulates the cell cycle have been equally murky, and yet there are some interesting parallels in the role of Ras and Ca(2+) in cell cycle re-entry. This review focuses on a number of novel mechanisms that link Ca(2+) with the regulation of Ras activity and signaling output. Their collective discovery adds to the complexities of Ras regulation and raises further questions about the role of Ca(2+) signals in Ras-dependent cell proliferation.
Calcium ions are ubiquitous and versatile signaling molecules, capable of decoding a variety of extracellular stimuli (hormones, neurotransmitters, growth factors, etc.) into markedly different intracellular actions, ranging from contraction to secretion, from proliferation to cell death. The key to this pleiotropic role is the complex spatiotemporal organization of the [Ca(2+)] rise evoked by extracellular agonists, which allows selected effectors to be recruited and specific actions to be initiated. In this review, we discuss the structural and functional bases that generate the subcellular heterogeneity in cellular Ca(2+) levels at rest and under stimulation. This complex choreography requires the concerted action of many different players; the central role is, of course, that of the calcium ion, with the main supporting characters being all the entities responsible for moving Ca(2+) between different compartments, while the cellular architecture provides a determining framework within which all the players have their exits and their entrances. In particular, we concentrate on the molecular mechanisms that lead to the generation of cytoplasmic Ca(2+) microdomains, focusing on their different subcellular location, mechanism of generation, and functional role.
All cancers arise due to the accumulation of mutations in critical target genes that, when altered, give rise to selective advantage in the cell and its progeny that harbor them. Knowledge of these mutations is key in understanding the biology of cancer initiation and progression, as well as the development of more targeted therapeutic strategies. We have undertaken a systematic screen of all annotated protein kinases in the human genome for mutations in a series of cancers including breast, non-small-cell lung, and testicular cancer. Our results show a wide diversity in mutation prevalence within and between tumor types. We have identified a mutator phenotype in human breast previously undescribed. The results presented from sequencing the same 1.3 million base pairs through several tumor types suggest that most of the observed mutations are likely to be passenger events rather than causally implicated in oncogenesis. However, this work does provide evidence for the likely existence of multiple, infrequently mutated kinases.
Voltage-gated calcium channels play a central role in regulating the electrical and biochemical properties of neurons and muscle cells. One of the ways in which calcium channels regulate long-lasting neuronal properties is by activating signaling pathways that control gene expression, but the mechanisms that link calcium channels to the nucleus are not well understood. We report that a C-terminal fragment of Ca(V)1.2, an L-type voltage-gated calcium channel (LTC), translocates to the nucleus and regulates transcription. We show that this calcium channel associated transcription regulator (CCAT) binds to a nuclear protein, associates with an endogenous promoter, and regulates the expression of a wide variety of endogenous genes important for neuronal signaling and excitability. The nuclear localization of CCAT is regulated both developmentally and by changes in intracellular calcium. These findings provide evidence that voltage-gated calcium channels can directly activate transcription and suggest a mechanism linking voltage-gated channels to the function and differentiation of excitable cells.
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