SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Biomolecules & therapeutics

0

Melanoma cells have been shown to respond to BRAF inhibitors; however, intrinsic and acquired resistance limits their clinical application. In this study, we performed RNA-Seq analysis with BRAF inhibitor-sensitive (A375P) and -resistant (A375P/Mdr with acquired resistance and SK-MEL-2 with intrinsic resistance) melanoma cell lines, to reveal the genes and pathways potentially involved in intrinsic and acquired resistance to BRAF inhibitors. A total of 546 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), including 239 up-regulated and 307 down-regulated genes, were identified in both intrinsic and acquired resistant cells. Gene ontology (GO) analysis revealed that the top 10 biological processes associated with these genes included angiogenesis, immune response, cell adhesion, antigen processing and presentation, extracellular matrix organization, osteoblast differentiation, collagen catabolic process, viral entry into host cell, cell migration, and positive regulation of protein kinase B signaling. In addition, using the PANTHER GO classification system, we showed that the highest enriched GOs targeted by the 546 DEGs were responses to cellular processes (ontology: biological process), binding (ontology: molecular function), and cell subcellular localization (ontology: cellular component). Ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA) network analysis showed a network that was common to two BRAF inhibitor-resistant cells. Taken together, the present study may provide a useful platform to further reveal biological processes associated with BRAF inhibitor resistance, and present areas for therapeutic tool development to overcome BRAF inhibitor resistance.

0

Cis-3-O-p-hydroxycinnamoyl ursolic acid (HCUA), a triterpenoid compound, was purified from Elaeagnus oldhamii Maxim. This traditional medicinal plant has been used for treating rheumatoid arthritis and lung disorders as well as for its anti-inflammation and anticancer activities. This study aimed to investigate the anti-proliferative and apoptotic-inducing activities of HCUA in oral cancer cells. HCUA exhibited anti-proliferative activity in oral cancer cell lines (Ca9-22 and SAS cells), but not in normal oral fibroblasts. The inhibitory concentration of HCUA that resulted in 50% viability was 24.0 μM and 17.8 μM for Ca9-22 and SAS cells, respectively. Moreover, HCUA increased the number of cells in the sub-G1 arrest phase and apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner in both oral cancer cell lines, but not in normal oral fibroblasts. Importantly, HCUA induced p53-mediated transcriptional regulation of pro-apoptotic proteins (Bax, Bak, Bim, Noxa, and PUMA), which are associated with mitochondrial apoptosis in oral cancer cells via the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. HCUA triggered the production of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) that was ascertained to be involved in HCUA-induced apoptosis by the ROS inhibitors YCG063 and N-acetyl-L-cysteine. As a result, HCUA had potential antitumor activity to oral cancer cells through eliciting ROS-dependent and p53-mediated mitochondrial apoptosis. Overall, HCUA could be applicable for the development of anticancer agents against human oral cancer.

0

Depression is a major mood disorder. Abnormal expression of glial glutamate transporter-1 (GLT-1) is associated with depression. Schisantherin B (STB) is one bioactive of lignans isolated from Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill which has been commonly used as a traditional herbal medicine for thousands of years. This paper was designed to investigate the effects of STB on depressive mice induced by forced swimming test (FST). Additionally, we also assessed the impairment of FST on cognitive function in mice with different ages. FST and open field test (OFT) were used for assessing depressive symptoms, and Y-maze was used for evaluating cognition processes. Our study showed that STB acting as an antidepressant, which increased GLT-1 levels by promoting PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway. Although the damage is reversible, short-term learning and memory impairment caused by FST test is more serious in the aged mice, and STB also exerts cognition improvement ability in the meanwhile. Our findings suggested that STB might be a promising therapeutic agent of depression by regulating the GLT-1 restoration as well as activating PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway.

0

Ceramide metabolism is known to be an essential etiology for various diseases, such as atopic dermatitis and Gaucher disease. Glucosylceramide synthase (GCS) is a key enzyme for the synthesis of glucosylceramide (GlcCer), which is a main ceramide metabolism pathway in mammalian cells. In this article, we developed a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method to determine GCS activity using synthetic non-natural sphingolipid C8-ceramide as a substrate. The reaction products, C8-GlcCer for GCS, could be separated on a C18 column by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Quantification was conducted using the multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode to monitor the precursor-to-product ion transitions of m/z 588.6 → 264.4 for C8-GlcCer at positive ionization mode. The calibration curve was established over the range of 0.625-160 ng/mL, and the correlation coefficient was larger than 0.999. This method was successfully applied to detect GCS in the human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line (HepG2 cells) and mouse peripheral blood mononuclear cells. We also evaluated the inhibition degree of a known GCS inhibitor 1-phenyl-2-decanoylamino-3-morpholino-1-propanol (PDMP) on GCS enzymatic activity and proved that this method could be successfully applied to GCS inhibitor screening of preventive and therapeutic drugs for ceramide metabolism diseases, such as atopic dermatitis and Gaucher disease.

0

Transglutaminase 2 (TGase 2) plays a key role in p53 regulation, depleting p53 tumor suppressor through autophagy in renal cell carcinoma. We found that microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-light chain 3 (LC3), a hallmark of autophagy, were tightly associated with the level of TGase 2 in cancer cells. TGase 2 overexpression increased LC3 levels, and TGase 2 knockdown decreased LC3 levels in cancer cells. Transcript abundance of LC3 was inversely correlated with level of wild type p53. TGase 2 knockdown using siRNA, or TGase 2 inhibition using GK921 significantly reduced autophagy through reduction of LC3 transcription, which was followed by restoration of p53 levels in cancer cells. TGase 2 overexpression promoted the autophagy process by LC3 induction, which was correlated with p53 depletion in cancer cells. Rapamycin-resistant cancer cells also showed higher expression of LC3 compared to the rapamycin-sensitive cancer cells, which was tightly correlated with TGase 2 levels. TGase 2 knockdown or TGase 2 inhibition sensitized rapamycin-resistant cancer cells to drug treatment. In summary, TGase 2 induces drug resistance by potentiating autophagy through LC3 induction via p53 regulation in cancer.

0

Intestinal barrier dysfunction always accompanies cirrhosis in patients with advanced liver disease and is an important contributor facilitating bacterial translocation (BT), which has been involved in the pathogenesis of cirrhosis and its complications. Several studies have demonstrated the protective effect of Vitamin D on intestinal barrier function. However, severe cholestasis leads to vitamin D depletion. This study was designed to test whether vitamin D therapy improves intestinal dysfunction in cirrhosis. Rats were subcutaneously injected with 50% sterile CCl4 (a mixture of pure CCl4 and olive oil, 0.3 mL/100 g) twice a week for 6 weeks. Next, 1,25(OH)2D3 (0.5 ug/100 g) and the vehicle were administered simultaneously with CCl4 to compare the extent of intestinal histologic damage, tight junction protein expression, intestinal barrier function, BT, intestinal proliferation, apoptosis, and enterocyte turnover. Intestinal heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression and oxidative stress were also assessed. We found that vitamin D could maintain intestinal epithelial proliferation and turnover, inhibit intestinal epithelial apoptosis, alleviate structural damage, and prevent BT and intestinal barrier dysfunction. These were achieved partly through restoration of HO-1 and inhibition of oxidative stress. Taken together, our results suggest that vitamin D ameliorated intestinal epithelial turnover and improved the integrity and function of intestinal barrier in CCl4-induced liver cirrhotic rats. HO-1 signaling activation was involved in these above beneficial effects.

0

Epigenetic silencing is considered to be a major mechanism for loss of activity in tumor suppressors. Reversal of epigenetic silencing by using inhibitors of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) or histone deacetylases (HDACs) such as 5-Aza-CdR and FK228 has shown to enhance cytotoxic activities of several anticancer agents. This study aims to assess the combinatorial effects of gene-silencing reversal agents (5-Aza-CdR and FK228) and oxaliplatin in gastric cancer cells, i.e., Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-negative SNU-638 and EBV-positive SNU-719 cells. The doublet combinatorial treatment of 5-Aza-CdR and FK228 exhibited synergistic effects in both cell lines, and this was further corroborated by Zta expression induction in SNU-719 cells. Three drug combinations as 5-Aza-CdR/FK228 followed by oxaliplatin, however, resulted in antagonistic effects in both cell lines. Simultaneous treatment with FK228 and oxaliplatin induced synergistic and additive effects in SNU-638 and SNU-719 cells, respectively. Three drug combinations as 5-Aza-CdR prior to FK228/oxaliplatin, however, again resulted in antagonistic effects in both cell lines. This work demonstrated that efficacy of doublet synergistic combination using DNMT or HDACs inhibitors can be compromised by adding the third drug in pre- or post-treatment approach in gastric cancer cells. This implies that the development of clinical trial protocols for triplet combinations using gene-silencing reversal agents should be carefully evaluated in light of their potential antagonistic effects.

0

Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) peptide is a widely distributed neurotransmitter expressed in the central nervous systems. Previously, several reports demonstrated that nucleus accumbal-injected CART peptide positively modulated behavioral sensitization induced by psychostimulants and regulated the mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic pathway. It is confirmed that CART peptide exerted inhibitory effect on psychostimulant-enhanced dopamine receptors signaling, Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase signaling and crucial transcription factors expression. Besides modulation of dopamine receptors-related pathways, CART peptide also exhibited elaborated interactions with other neurotransmitter receptors, such as glutamate receptors and γ‑aminobutyric acid receptors, which further account for attribution of CART peptide to inhibition of psychostimulant-potentiated locomotor activity. Recently, CART peptide has been shown to have anxiolytic functions on the aversive mood and uncontrolled drug-seeking behaviors following drug withdrawal. Moreover, microinjection of CART peptide has been shown to have an antidepressant effect, which suggests its potential utility in the mood regulation and avoidance of depression-like behaviors. In this review, we discuss CART pathways in neural circuits and their interactions with neurotransmitters associated with psychostimulant-induced depression.

0

Most angiogenesis assays are performed using endothelial cells. However, blood vessels are composed of two cell types: endothelial cells and pericytes. Thus, co-culture of two vascular cells should be employed to evaluate angiogenic properties. Here, we developed an in vitro 3-dimensional angiogenesis assay system using spheroids formed by two human vascular precursors: endothelial colony forming cells (ECFCs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). ECFCs, MSCs, or ECFCs+MSCs were cultured to form spheroids. Sprout formation from each spheroid was observed for 24 h by real-time cell recorder. Sprout number and length were higher in ECFC+MSC spheroids than ECFC-only spheroids. No sprouts were observed in MSC-only spheroids. Sprout formation by ECFC spheroids was increased by treatment with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) or combination of VEGF and fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2). Interestingly, there was no further increase in sprout formation by ECFC+MSC spheroids in response to VEGF or VEGF+FGF-2, suggesting that MSCs stimulate sprout formation by ECFCs. Immuno-fluorescent labeling technique revealed that MSCs surrounded ECFC-mediated sprout structures. We tested vatalanib, VEGF inhibitor, using ECFC and ECFC+MSC spheroids. Vatalanib significantly inhibited sprout formation in both spheroids. Of note, the IC50 of vatalanib in ECFC+MSC spheroids at 24 h was 4.0 ± 0.40 µM, which are more correlated with the data of previous animal studies when compared with ECFC spheroids (0.2 ± 0.03 µM). These results suggest that ECFC+MSC spheroids generate physiologically relevant sprout structures composed of two types of vascular cells, and will be an effective pre-clinical in vitro assay model to evaluate pro- or anti-angiogenic property.

0

Cluster of differentiation 44 (CD44), a cell surface receptor for hyaluronic acid (HA), is involved in aggressive cancer phenotypes. Herein, we investigated the role of the CD44 standard isoform (CD44s) in hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) regulation using MCF7 overexpressing CD44s (pCD44s-MCF7). When pCD44s-MCF7 was incubated under hypoxia, levels of HIF-1α, vascular endothelial growth factor, and the HIF-1α response element-derived luciferase activity were significantly increased compared to those in the control MCF7. Incubation of pCD44s-MCF7 cells with HA further increased HIF-1α accumulation, and the silencing of CD44s attenuated HIF-1α elevation, which verifies the role of CD44s in HIF-1α regulation. In addition, the levels of phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) was higher in hypoxic pCD44s-MCF7 cells, and HIF-1α accumulation was diminished by the pharmacological inhibitors of ERK. CD44s-mediated HIF-1α augmentation resulted in two functional outcomes. First, pCD44s-MCF7 cells showed facilitated cell motility under hypoxia via the upregulation of proteins associated with epithelialmesenchymal transition, such as SNAIL1 and ZEB1. Second, pCD44s-MCF7 cells exhibited higher levels of glycolytic proteins, such as glucose transporter-1, and produced higher levels of lactate under hypoxa. As a consequence of the enhanced glycolytic adaptation to hypoxia, pCD44s-MCF7 cells exhibited a higher rate of cell survival under hypoxia than that of the control MCF7, and glucose deprivation abolished these differential responses of the two cell lines. Taken together, these results suggest that CD44s activates hypoxia-inducible HIF-1α signaling via ERK pathway, and the CD44s-ERK-HIF-1α pathway is involved in facilitated cancer cell viability and motility under hypoxic conditions.