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#28845524   2017/08/28 Save this To Up

Fractalkine/CX3CR1 induces apoptosis resistance and proliferation through the activation of the AKT/NF-κB cascade in pancreatic cancer cells.

Fractalkine (FKN, CX3CL1) is highly expressed in a majority of malignant solid tumours. Fractalkine is the only known ligand for CX3CR1. In this study, we performed an analysis to determine the effects of fractalkine/CX3CR1 on modulating apoptosis and explored the related mechanisms. The expression of fractalkine/CX3CR1 was detected by immunohistochemistry and western blotting. The levels of AKT/p-AKT, BCL-xl, and BCL-2 were detected by western blotting. Then, the effects of exogenous and endogenous fractalkine on the regulation of tumour apoptosis and proliferation were investigated. The mechanism of fractalkine/CX3CR1 on modulating apoptosis in cancer cells through the activation of AKT/NF-κB/p65 signals was evaluated. The effect of fractalkine on regulating cell cycle distribution was also tested. Fractalkine, AKT/p-AKT, and apoptotic regulatory proteins BCL-xl and BCL-2 were highly expressed in human pancreatic cancer tissues. In vitro, fractalkine/CX3CR1 promoted proliferation and mediated resistance to apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells. The antiapoptotic effect of fractalkine was induced by the activation of AKT/NF-κB/p65 signalling in pancreatic cancer cells. The NF-κB/p65 contributes to promote the expressions of BCL-xl and BCL-2 and reduce caspase activity, thereby inhibiting apoptotic processes. Treatment with fractalkine resulted in the enrichment of pancreatic cancer cells in S phase with a concomitant decrease in the number of cells in G1 phase. The present study demonstrated the function of fractalkine in the activation of the AKT/NF-κB/p65 signalling cascade and mediation of apoptosis resistance in pancreatic cancer cells. Fractalkine/CX3CR1 could serve as a diagnostic marker and as a potential target for chemotherapy in early stage pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is characterized by local recurrence, neural invasion, or distant metastasis. The present study demonstrated the overexpression of fractalkine/CX3CR1 in pancreatic cancer tissues, indicating its important role in the tumourigenesis of pancreatic cancer, and suggested that the overexpression of fractalkine/CX3CR1 could serve as a diagnostic marker for pancreatic cancer. Moreover, we reveal the mechanism that fractalkine functions on the activation of the AKT/NF-κB/p65 signalling cascade and regulation of the antiapoptosis process in pancreatic cancer cells. Fractalkine/CX3CR1 could serve as an effective therapeutic target of chemotherapeutic and biologic agents in early stage pancreatic cancer.

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#28807790   2017/08/15 Save this To Up

The functional domains for Bax∆2 aggregate-mediated caspase 8-dependent cell death.

Bax∆2 is a functional pro-apoptotic Bax isoform having alterations in its N-terminus, but sharing the rest of its sequence with Baxα. Bax∆2 is unable to target mitochondria due to the loss of helix α1. Instead, it forms cytosolic aggregates and activates caspase 8. However, the functional domain(s) responsible for BaxΔ2 behavior have remained elusive. Here we show that disruption of helix α1 makes Baxα mimic the behavior of Bax∆2. However, the other alterations in the Bax∆2 N-terminus have no significant impact on aggregation or cell death. We found that the hallmark BH3 domain is necessary but not sufficient for aggregation-mediated cell death. We also noted that the core region shared by Baxα and Bax∆2 is required for the formation of large aggregates, which is essential for BaxΔ2 cytotoxicity. However, aggregation by itself is unable to trigger cell death without the C-terminus. Interestingly, the C-terminal helical conformation, not its primary sequence, appears to be critical for caspase 8 recruitment and activation. As Bax∆2 shares core and C-terminal sequences with most Bax isoforms, our results not only reveal a structural basis for Bax∆2-induced cell death, but also imply an intrinsic potential for aggregate-mediated caspase 8-dependent cell death in other Bax family members.

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#28706437   2017/07/14 Save this To Up

Comparison of two neurotrophic serpins reveals a small fragment with cell survival activity.

Protease nexin-1 (PN-1), a serpin encoded by the SERPINE2 gene, has serine protease inhibitory activity and neurotrophic properties in the brain. PN-1 inhibits retinal angiogenesis; however, PN-1's neurotrophic capacities in the retina have not yet been evaluated. Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) is a serpin that exhibits neurotrophic and antiangiogenic activities but lacks protease inhibitory properties. The aim of this study is to compare PN-1 and PEDF.

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#28536268   2017/05/24 Save this To Up

Endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced degradation of DNAJB12 stimulates BOK accumulation and primes cancer cells for apoptosis.

DNAJB12 (JB12) is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated Hsp40 family protein that recruits Hsp70 to the ER surface to coordinate the function of ER-associated and cytosolic chaperone systems in protein quality control. Hsp70 is stress-inducible, but paradoxically, we report here that JB12 was degraded by the proteasome during severe ER stress. Destabilized JB12 was degraded by ER-associated degradation complexes that contained HERP, Sel1L, and gp78. JB12 was the only ER-associated chaperone that was destabilized by reductive stress. JB12 knockdown by siRNA led to the induction of caspase processing but not the unfolded protein response. ER stress-induced apoptosis is regulated by the highly labile and ER-associated BCL-2 family member BOK, which is controlled at the level of protein stability by ER-associated degradation components. We found that JB12 was required in human hepatoma cell line 7 (Huh-7) liver cancer cells to maintain BOK at low levels, and BOK was detected in complexes with JB12 and gp78. Depletion of JB12 during reductive stress or by shRNA from Huh-7 cells was associated with accumulation of BOK and activation of Caspase 3, 7, and 9. The absence of JB12 sensitized Huh-7 to death caused by proteotoxic agents and the proapoptotic chemotherapeutic LCL-161. In summary, JB12 is a stress-sensitive Hsp40 whose degradation during severe ER stress provides a mechanism to promote BOK accumulation and induction of apoptosis.

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#28348718   2017/03/28 Save this To Up

Intramyocardial Injection of Recombinant Adeno-Associated Viral Vector Coexpressing PR39/Adrenomedullin Enhances Angiogenesis and Reduces Apoptosis in a Rat Myocardial Infarction Model.

Cotransfer of angiogenic and antiapoptotic genes could be the basis of new gene therapy strategies for myocardial infarction. In this study, rAAV-PR39-ADM, coexpressing antimicrobial peptide (PR39) and adrenomedullin (ADM), was designed with the mediation of recombinant adeno-associated virus. In vitro, CRL-1730 cells were divided into four groups, namely, the sham group, the AAV-null group, the NS (normal saline) group, and the PR39-ADM group. Immunocytochemistry analysis, CCK-8 assays, Matrigel assays, and apoptotic analysis were performed; in vivo, myocardial infarction model was established through ligation of the left coronary artery on rats, and treatment groups corresponded to those used in vitro. Myocardial injury, cardiac performance, and the extent of myocardial apoptosis were assessed. Results suggested that rAAV-PR39-ADM administration after myocardial infarction improved cell viability and cardiac function, attenuated apoptosis and myocardial injury, and promoted angiogenesis. Subsequently, levels of 6×His, HIF-1α, VEGF, p-Akt, Akt, ADM, Bcl-2, and Bax were measured by western blot. rAAV-PR39-ADM increased p-Akt, HIF-1α, and VEGF levels and induced higher Bcl-2 expression and lower Bax expression. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that rAAV-PR39-ADM mitigates myocardial injury by promoting angiogenesis and reducing apoptosis. This study suggests a potential novel gene therapy-based method that could be used clinically for myocardial infarction.

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#28322731   2017/03/21 Save this To Up

The substitution of Proline 168 favors Bax oligomerization and stimulates its interaction with LUVs and mitochondria.

Bax is a major player in the apoptotic process, being at the core of the mitochondria permeabilization events. In spite of the major recent advances in the knowledge of Bax organization within the membrane, the precise behavior of the C-terminal helix α9 remains elusive, since it was absent from the resolved structure of active Bax. The Proline 168 (P168) residue, located in the short loop between α8 and α9, has been the target of site-directed mutagenesis experiments, with conflicting results. We have produced and purified a recombinant mutant Bax-P168A, and we have compared its behavior with that of wild-type Bax in a series of tests on Large Unilamellar Vesicles (LUVs) and isolated mitochondria. We conclude that Bax-P168A had a greater ability to oligomerize and bind to membranes. Bax-P168A was not more efficient than wild-type Bax to permeabilize liposomes to small molecules but was more prone to release cytochrome c from mitochondria.

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#28218424   2017/02/20 Save this To Up

p16(INK4A) enhances the transcriptional and the apoptotic functions of p53 through DNA-dependent interaction.

p16(INK4A) and p53 are two important tumor suppressor proteins that play essential roles during cell proliferation and aging through regulating the expression of several genes. Here, we report that p16(INK4A) and p53 co-regulate a plethora of transcripts. Furthermore, both proteins colocalize in the nucleus of human primary skin fibroblasts and breast luminal cells, and form a heteromer whose level increases in response to genotoxic stress as well as aging of human fibroblasts and various mouse organs. CDK4 is also present in this heteromeric complex, which is formed only in the presence of DNA both in vitro using pure recombinant proteins and in vivo. We have also shown that p16(INK4A) enhances the binding efficiency of p53 to its cognate sequence presents in the CDKN1A promoter in vitro, and both proteins are present at the promoters of CDKN1A and BAX in vivo. Importantly, the fourth ankyrin repeat of p16(INK4A) and the C-terminal domain of p53 were necessary for the physical association between these two proteins. The physiologic importance of this association was revealed by the inability of cancer-associated p16(INK4A) mutants to interact with p53 and to transactivate the expression of its major targets CDKN1A and BAX in the p16-defective U2OS cells expressing either wild-type or mutated p16(INK4A) . Furthermore, the association between p16(INK4A) and p53 was capital for their nuclear colocalization, the X-ray-dependent induction of p21 and Bax proteins as well as the induction of apoptosis in various types of cells. Together, these results show DNA-dependent physical interaction between p16(INK4A) and p53.

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#28182770   2017/02/09 Save this To Up

Biochemical and biophysical investigations of the interaction between human glucokinase and pro-apoptotic BAD.

The glycolytic enzyme glucokinase (GCK) and the pro-apoptotic protein BAD reportedly reside within a five-membered complex that localizes to the mitochondria of mammalian hepatocytes and pancreatic β-cells. Photochemical crosslinking studies using a synthetic analog of BAD's BH3 domain and in vitro transcription/translation experiments support a direct interaction between BAD and GCK. To investigate the biochemical and biophysical consequences of the BAD:GCK interaction, we developed a method for the production of recombinant human BAD. Consistent with published reports, recombinant BAD displays high affinity for Bcl-xL (KD = 7 nM), and phosphorylation of BAD at S118, within the BH3 domain, abolishes this interaction. Unexpectedly, we do not detect association of recombinant, full-length BAD with recombinant human pancreatic GCK over a range of protein concentrations using various biochemical methods including size-exclusion chromatography, chemical cross-linking, analytical ultracentrifugation, and isothermal titration calorimetry. Furthermore, fluorescence polarization assays and isothermal titration calorimetry detect no direct interaction between GCK and BAD BH3 peptides. Kinetic characterization of GCK in the presence of high concentrations of recombinant BAD show modest (<15%) increases in GCK activity, observable only at glucose concentrations well below the K0.5 value. GCK activity is unaffected by BAD BH3 peptides. These results raise questions as to the mechanism of action of stapled peptide analogs modeled after the BAD BH3 domain, which reportedly enhance the Vmax value of GCK and stimulate insulin release in BAD-deficient islets. Based on our results, we postulate that the BAD:GCK interaction, and any resultant regulatory effect(s) upon GCK activity, requires the participation of additional members of the mitochondrial complex.

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#28091910   2017/01/16 Save this To Up

Inhibition of Apoptosis Stages of Human Blood Lymphocytes after Exposure to Carbon Monoxide in the Presence of Recombinant Interleukin-2.

We studied the effect of carbon monoxide (60-, 75-, and 90-min exposure) on the expression of antiapoptotic proteins (survivin and Bcl-2) in human blood lymphocytes in the presence of recombinant IL-2 in an apoptosis-inducing dose (0.1 ng/ml). Incubation of cells in atmosphere with carbon monoxide in the presence of recombinant IL-2 was accompanied by accumulation of Bcl-2 protein with simultaneous decrease of survivin content. It was concluded that carbon monoxide plays a role in the dysregulation of apoptosis of human blood lymphocytes Bcl-2 (i.e. CO inhibits the proapoptotic effect of recombinant IL-2).

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#28074428   2017/01/11 Save this To Up

Tat-DJ-1 enhances cell survival by inhibition of oxidative stress, NF-κB and MAPK activation in HepG2 cells.

To identify the protective effect of DJ-1 protein against oxidative stress-induced HepG2 cell death, we used cell-permeable wild type (WT) and a mutant (C106A Tat-DJ-1) protein.

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