[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transgenic mice expressing human non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug activated gene 1 (NAG-1) have less adipose tissue, improved insulin sensitivity, lower insulin levels and are resistant to dietary induced obesity. The hNAG-1 expressing mice are more metabolically active with a higher energy expenditure. This study investigates female reproduction in the hNAG-1 transgenic mice and finds the female mice are fertile but have reduced pup survival after birth. Examination of the mammary glands in these mice suggests that hNAG-1 expressing mice have altered mammary epithelial development during pregnancy, including reduced occupancy of the fat pad and increased apoptosis via TUNEL positive cells on lactation day 2. Pups nursing from hNAG-1 expressing dams have reduced milk spots compared to pups nursing from WT dams. When CD-1 pups were cross-fostered with hNAG-1 or WT dams; reduced milk volume was observed in pups nursing from hNAG-1 dams compared to pups nursing from WT dams in a lactation challenge study. Milk was isolated from WT and hNAG-1 dams, and the milk was found to have secreted NAG-1 protein (approximately 25 ng/mL) from hNAG-1 dams. The WT dams had no detectable hNAG-1 in the milk. A decrease in non-esterified free fatty acids in the milk of hNAG-1 dams was observed. Altered milk composition suggests that the pups were receiving inadequate nutrients during perinatal development. To examine this hypothesis serum was isolated from pups and clinical chemistry points were measured. Male and female pups nursing from hNAG-1 dams had reduced serum triglyceride concentrations. Microarray analysis revealed that genes involved in lipid metabolism are differentially expressed in hNAG-1 mammary glands. Furthermore, the expression of Cidea/CIDEA that has been shown to regulate milk lipid secretion in the mammary gland was reduced in hNAG-1 mammary glands. This study suggests that expression of hNAG-1 in mice leads to impaired lactation and reduces pup survival due to altered milk quality and quantity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Protein dynamics, modifications and trafficking are all processes that can modulate protein activity. Accumulating evidence strongly suggests that many proteins have distinctive roles dependent on cellular location. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-activated gene-1 (NAG-1) is a transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) superfamily protein that has a role in cancer, obesity and inflammation. NAG-1 is synthesized and cleaved into a mature peptide, which is ultimately secreted into the extracellular matrix (ECM). In this study, we have found that full-length NAG-1 is expressed in not only the cytoplasm and ECM, but also in the nucleus. NAG-1 is dynamically moved to the nucleus, exported into cytoplasm and further transported into the ECM. We have also found that nuclear NAG-1 contributes to inhibition of the Smad pathway by interrupting the Smad complex. Overall, our study indicates that NAG-1 is localized in the nucleus and provides new evidence that NAG-1 controls transcriptional regulation in the Smad pathway.Oncogene advance online publication, 20 April 2015; doi:10.1038/onc.2015.95.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-activated gene (NAG-1) or GDF15 is a divergent member of the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) superfamily and mice expressing hNAG-1/hGDF15 have been shown to be resistant to HFD-induced obesity and inflammation. This study investigated if hNAG-1 increases lifespan in mice and its potential mechanisms. Here we report that female hNAG-1 mice had significantly increased both mean and median life spans in two transgenic lines, with a larger difference in life spans in mice on a HFD than on low fat diet. hNAG-1 mice displayed significantly reduced body and adipose tissue weight, lowered serum IGF-1, insulin and glucose levels, improved insulin sensitivity, and increased oxygen utilization, oxidative metabolism and energy expenditure. Gene expression analysis revealed significant differences in conserved gene pathways that are important regulators of longevity, including IGF-1, p70S6K, and PI3K/Akt signaling cascades. Phosphorylation of major components of IGF-1/mTOR signaling pathway was significantly lower in hNAG-1mice. Collectively, hNAG-1 is an important regulator of mammalian longevity and may act as a survival factor. Our study suggests that hNAG-1 has potential therapeutic uses in obesity-related diseases where life span is frequently shorter.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The NLRP3 inflammasome plays an important regulatory role in obesity-induced insulin resistance. NSAID activated gene-1 (NAG-1) is a divergent member of the TGF-β superfamily. NAG-1 Tg mice are resistant to dietary- and genetic-induced obesity and have improved insulin sensitivity. Our objective was to examine whether NLRP3 inflammasome activity is associated with this observed phenotype in NAG-1 Tg mice.
Key components of the NLRP3 inflammasome were examined in NAG-1 Tg mice on both regular and high fat diet (HFD) conditions.
The expression of caspase-1 and ASC, key components of the NLRP3 inflammasome, is significantly reduced at mRNA and protein levels in white adipose tissue (WAT) of NAG-1 Tg mice. HFD increases the expression of caspase-1 and ASC in WT mice, but their expression is reduced in NAG-1 Tg mice. Furthermore, there is reduced IL-18, IL-1β, and TNF-α expression in the WAT of NAG-1 Tg mice. NAG-1 Tg mice have significantly lower serum leptin and insulin levels and reduced expression of macrophage infiltration markers (F4/80, CD11b, and CD11c) in WAT.
Our study suggests the lower NLRP3 inflammasome activity may play a role in the resistance of NAG-1 Tg mice to diet-induced obesity and improved insulin sensitivity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While obesity represents one of several risk factors for colorectal cancer in humans, the mechanistic underpinnings of this association remain unresolved. Environmental stimuli, including diet, can alter the epigenetic landscape of DNA cis-regulatory elements affecting gene expression and phenotype. Here, we explored the impact of diet and obesity on gene expression and the enhancer landscape in murine colonic epithelium. Obesity led to the accumulation of histone modifications associated with active enhancers at genomic loci downstream of signaling pathways integral to the initiation and progression of colon cancer. Meanwhile, colon-specific enhancers lost the same histone mark, poising cells for loss of differentiation. These alterations reflect a transcriptional program with many features shared with the program driving colon cancer progression. The interrogation of enhancer alterations by diet in colonic epithelium provides insights into the biology underlying high-fat diet and obesity as risk factors for colon cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective
Obesity is a major health problem associated with high morbidity and mortality. NSAID activated gene, (NAG-1) is a TGF-β superfamily member reported to alter adipose tissue levels in mice. We investigated whether hNAG-1 acts as a regulator of adiposity and energy metabolism.
hNAG-1 mice, ubiquitously expressing hNAG-1, were placed on a control or high fat diet (HFD) for 12 weeks. hNAG-1 expressing B16/F10 melanoma cells were used in a xenograft model to deliver hNAG-1 to obese C57BL/6 mice.
As compared to wild-type littermates, transgenic hNAG-1 mice have less white fat and brown fat despite equivalent food intake, improved glucose tolerance, lower insulin levels and are resistant to dietary- and genetic-induced obesity. hNAG-1 mice are more metabolically active with higher energy expenditure. Obese C57BL/6 mice treated with hNAG-1 expressing xenografts show decreases in adipose tissue and serum insulin levels. hNAG-1 mice and obese mice treated with hNAG-1 expressing xenografts show increased thermogenic gene expression (UCP1, PGC1α, ECH1, Cox8b, Dio2, Cyc1, PGC1β, PPARα, Elvol3) in brown adipose tissue (BAT) and increased expression of lipolytic genes (Adrb3, ATGL, HSL) in both white adipose tissue (WAT) and BAT, consistent with higher energy metabolism
hNAG-1 modulates metabolic activity by increasing the expression of key thermogenic and lipolytic genes in BAT and WAT. hNAG-1 appears to be a novel therapeutic target in preventing and treating obesity and insulin resistance.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · International journal of obesity (2005)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used extensively for analgesic and antipyretic treatments. In addition, NSAIDs reduce the risk and mortality to several cancers. Their mechanisms in anti-tumorigenesis are not fully understood, but both cyclooxygenase (COX)-dependent and -independent pathways play a role. We and others have been interested in elucidating molecular targets of NSAID-induced apoptosis. In this review, we summarize updated literature regarding cellular and molecular targets modulated by NSAIDs. Among those NSAIDs, sulindac sulfide and tolfenamic acid are emphasized in this review because these two drugs have been well investigated for their anti-tumorigenic activity in many different types of cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: NAG-1/GDF15 is a TGF- β superfamily member with poorly characterized biological activity proposed to inhibit inflammatory cytokine production. Transgenic mice expressing human NAG-1/GDF15 (NAG-1 (Tg/Lox) ) are leaner with lower body weight and are resistant to chemically or genetically induced intestinal tumors. Because of the link between obesity, inflammation, and cancer, we examined whether these mice exhibit a reduced response to inflammatory stimuli. The NAG-1 (Tg/Lox) mice had a reduced inflammatory response to LPS based on the serum levels of cytokines KC, IL-6, MCP-1, and TNF α . In contrast to literature reports and our in vivo results, NAG-1 did not inhibit LPS-induced cytokine expression in vitro in RAW264.7 cells, mouse peritoneal macrophages, or mouse liver Kupffer cells, suggesting that NAG-1/GDF15 does not directly inhibit LPS-induced inflammatory cytokine production. However, NAG-1 (Tg/Lox) mice have less white adipose tissue, the major source of inflammatory adipokines including leptin. Basal and LPS-treated serum leptin and mRNA levels in the adipose tissue of NAG-1 (Tg/Lox) mice were lower than those in WT mice. We propose that the reduced white adipose tissue and reduced leptin expression may be responsible, in part, for the reduced inflammatory response to LPS and the decrease in intestinal tumors observed in NAG-1 (Tg/Lox) mice.
Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Mediators of Inflammation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The expression of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-activated gene-1 (NAG-1) is regulated by the p53 and Egr-1 tumor suppressor pathways. Many anti-cancer drugs and chemicals induce NAG-1 expression, but the mechanisms are not fully understood. Transgenic mice expressing human NAG-1 are resistant to intestinal and prostate cancer, suggesting that NAG-1 is a tumor suppressor. Proteasome inhibitors exhibit anti-glioblastoma activities in preclinical studies. Here, we show that the proteasome inhibitors MG132 and bortezomib induced NAG-1 expression and secretion in glioblastoma cells. MG132 increased NAG-1 expression through transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms. At the transcriptional level, the induction of NAG-1 required the -133 to +41 bp region of the promoter. At post-transcriptional levels, MG132 stabilized NAG-1 mRNA by increasing the half-life from 1.5 h to > 8 h. Because of the dramatic increase in mRNA stability, this is likely the major contributor to MG132-mediated NAG-1 induction. Further probing into the mechanism revealed that MG132 increased phosphorylation of the p38 MAPK pathway. Consequently, inhibiting p38 phosphorylation blocked activation of the NAG-1 promoter and decreased mRNA stability, indicating that p38 MAPK activation mediates both MG132-dependent promoter activation and mRNA stabilization of NAG-1. We propose that the induction of NAG-1 by p38 MAPK is a potential contributor to the anti-glioblastoma activity of proteasome inhibitors.
No preview · Article · Dec 2012 · Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) activated gene-1, NAG-1, is a divergent member of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) superfamily that plays a complex but poorly understood role in several human diseases including cancer. NAG-1 expression is substantially increased during cancer development and progression especially in gastrointestinal, prostate, pancreatic, colorectal, breast, melanoma, and glioblastoma brain tumors. Aberrant increases in the serum levels of secreted NAG-1 correlate with poor prognosis and patient survival rates in some cancers. In contrast, the expression of NAG-1 is up-regulated by several tumor suppressor pathways including p53, GSK-3β, and EGR-1. NAG-1 expression is also induced by many drugs and dietary compounds which are documented to prevent the development and progression of cancer in mouse models. Studies with transgenic mice expressing human NAG-1 demonstrated that the expression of NAG-1 inhibits the development of intestinal tumors and prostate tumors in animal models. Laboratory and clinical evidence suggest that NAG-1, like other TGF-β family members, may have different or pleiotropic functions in the early and late stages of carcinogenesis. Upon understanding the molecular mechanism and function of NAG-1 during carcinogenesis, NAG-1 may serve as a potential biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of cancer and a therapeutic target for the inhibition and treatment of cancer development and progression.
No preview · Article · Dec 2012 · Biochemical pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug-activated gene (NAG-1), a divergent member of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily, has been implicated in many cellular processes, including inflammation, early bone formation, apoptosis, and tumorigenesis. Recent clinical studies suggests that a C to G single nucleotide polymorphism at position 6 (histidine to aspartic acid substitution, or H6D) of the NAG-1 protein is associated with lower human prostate cancer incidence. The objective of the current study is to investigate the activity of NAG-1 H6D variant in prostate cancer tumorigenesis in vivo.
Human prostate cancer DU145 cells expressing the H6D NAG-1 or wild-type (WT) NAG-1 were injected subcutaneously into nude mice and tumor growth was monitored. Serum and tumor samples were collected for subsequent analysis.
The H6D variant was more potent than the WT NAG-1 and inhibited tumor growth significantly compared to control mice. Mice with tumors expressing the WT NAG-1 have greater reduced both body weight and abdominal fat than mice with H6D variant tumors suggesting different activities of the WT NAG-1 and the H6D NAG-1. A significant reduction in adiponectin, leptin, and IGF-1 serum levels was observed in the tumor-bearing mice with a more profound reduction observed with expression of H6D variant. Cyclin D1 expression was suppressed in the tumors with a dramatic reduction observed in the tumor expressing the H6D variant.
Our data suggest that the H6D variant of NAG-1 inhibits prostate tumorigenesis by suppressing IGF-1 and cyclin D1 expression but likely additional mechanisms are operative.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-activated gene, NAG-1, a transforming growth factor-β member, is involved in tumor progression and development. The association between NAG-1 expression and development and progression of glioma has not been well defined. Glioblastoma cell lines have lower basal expression of NAG-1 than other gliomas and normal astrocytes. Most primary human gliomas have very low levels of NAG-1 expression. NAG-1 basal expression appeared to inversely correlate with tumor grade in glioma. Aberrant promoter hypermethylation is a common mechanism for silencing of tumor suppressor genes in cancer cells. In glioblastoma cell lines, NAG-1 expression was increased by the demethylating agent, 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. To investigate whether the NAG-1 gene was silenced by hypermethylation in glioblastoma, we examined DNA methylation status using genomic bisulfite sequencing. The NAG-1 promoter was densely methylated in several glioblastoma cell lines as well as in primary oligodendroglioma tumor samples, which have low basal expression of NAG-1. DNA methylation at two specific sites (-53 and +55 CpG sites) in the NAG-1 promoter was strongly associated with low NAG-1 expression. The methylation of the NAG-1 promoter at the -53 site blocks Egr-1 binding and thereby suppresses Nag-1 induction. Treatment of cells with low basal NAG-1 expression with NAG-1 inducer also did not increase NAG-1. Incubation with a demethylation chemical increased Nag-1 basal expression and subsequent incubation with a NAG-1 inducer increased NAG-1 expression. We concluded from these data that methylation of specific promoter sequences causes transcriptional silencing of the NAG-1 locus in glioma and may ultimately contribute to tumor progression.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · International Journal of Cancer
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammation is an important contributor to the development and progression of human cancers. Inflammatory lipid metabolites, prostaglandins, formed from arachidonic acid by prostaglandin H synthases commonly called cyclooxygenases (COXs) bind to specific receptors that activate signaling pathways driving the development and progression of tumors. Inhibitors of prostaglandin formation, COX inhibitors, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are well documented as agents that inhibit tumor growth and with long-term use prevent tumor development. NSAIDs also alter gene expression independent of COX inhibition and these changes in gene expression also appear to contribute to the anti-tumorigenic activity of these drugs. Many NSAIDs, as illustrated by sulindac sulfide, alter gene expressions by altering the expression or phosphorylation status of the transcription factors specificity protein 1 and early growth response-1 with the balance between these two events resulting in increases or decreases in specific target genes. In this review, we have summarized and discussed the various genes altered by this mechanism after NSAID treatment and how these changes in expression relate to the anti-tumorigenic activity. A major focus of the review is on NSAID-activated gene (NAG-1) or growth differentiation factor 15. This unique member of the TGF-β superfamily is highly induced by NSAIDs and numerous drugs and chemicals with anti-tumorigenic activities. Investigations with a transgenic mouse expressing the human NAG-1 suggest it acts to suppress tumor development in several mouse models of cancer. The biochemistry and biology of NAG-1 were discussed as potential contributor to cancer prevention by COX inhibitors.
No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · CANCER AND METASTASIS REVIEW