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[en] Highlights: • A luciferase based biosensor for measuring caspase-9 activity has been constructed using circular permutation strategy. • The designed biosensor detects the caspase-9 activity in a cell-free coupled assay system. • The designed biosensor can be implemented as a cell-based biosensor to detect cellular caspase-9 activity and apoptosis. Biosensors and whole cell biosensors consisting of biological molecules and living cells can sense a special stimulus on a living system and convert it to a measurable signal. A major group of them are the bioluminescent sensors derived from luciferases. This type of biosensors has a broad application in molecular biology and imaging systems. In this project, a luciferase-based biosensor for detecting and measuring caspase-9 activity is designed and constructed using the circular permutation strategy. The spectroscopic method results reveal changes in the biosensor structure. Additionally, its activity is examined in a cell-free coupled assay system. Afterward, the biosensor is utilized for measuring the cellular caspase-9 activity upon apoptosis induction in a cancer cell line. In following the gene of biosensor is sub-cloned into a eukaryotic vector and transfected to HEK293T cell line and then its activity is measured upon apoptosis induction in the presence and absence of a caspase-9 inhibitor. The obtained results show that the designed biosensor detects the caspase-9 activity in the cell-free and cell-based systems.
[en] The ability to escape apoptosis or programmed cell death is a hallmark of human cancers, for example pancreatic cancer. This can promote tumorigenesis, since too little cell death by apoptosis disturbs tissue homeostasis. Additionally, defective apoptosis signaling is the underlying cause of failure to respond to current treatment approaches, since therapy-mediated antitumor activity requires the intactness of apoptosis signaling pathways in cancer cells. Thus, the elucidation of defects in the regulation of apoptosis in pancreatic carcinoma can result in the identification of novel targets for therapeutic interference and for exploitation for cancer drug discovery
[en] Highlights: • HG did not induce endothelial cell injury directly, but increased cell viability after 72 h. • HG triggered upregulation of survivin expression as well as key components of autophagy pathway. • Survivin regulated HG-induced vascular endothelial cell dysfunction mediated by autophagy pathway. Diabetic vascular complications are often defined by vascular endothelial lesions. However, as a plastic cell type, whether endothelial cells could transit from quiescence to hyper-active status and hamper vascular stability upon hyperglycemia stimulation and whether this process is involved in diabetic vascular complications remain obscure. Survivin has been identified as an anti-apoptotic protein in tumor or epithelial cells by either promoting proliferation or inhibiting apoptosis. Therefore, this study aims at investigating the effects of hyperglycemia on endothelial cell status and the potential involvement of survivin. We found that high glucose (25 mM) did not cause endothelial injuries, instead, it evidently promotes endothelial proliferation and tube formation capacity indicating endothelial cell dysfunction upon hyperglycemia characterized by its preference to hyper-active status. Concomitantly, an upregulation of survivin was detected accompanied by the key component elevations of autophagy pathway including LC3, Beclin1, and p62. YM155, a specific inhibitor of survivin, could abrogate hyperglycemia-induced endothelial hyper-activation. Application of the autophagy inhibitor (3MA) and agonist (rapamycin) supported that survivin could be as a downstream effect or of autophagy. Thus, our results suggested that survivin/autophagy axis a potential therapeutic target in treatment of diabetic vascular complications.
[en] In diabetic retinopathy, prolonged high-level blood glucose induced significant impairments among various retinal tissues, including retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. In an in vitro model of human RPE cells, we evaluated whether 7,8-Dihydroxyflavone (DHF) may effectively prevent high glucose-induced diabetic apoptosis among human RPE cells.
[en] Highlights: • RNF146 is increased and correlated with poor prognosis in colorectal cancer. • RNF146 exerts oncogenic role in colorectal cancer. • RNF146 activates the Wnt/β-catenin signaling via ubiquitination of Axin1. The E3 ubiquitin ligase ring finger protein 146 (RNF146) has been implicated in tumor development. However, the role and clinical significance of RNF146 in colorectal cancer (CRC) remain unknown. In this study, we reported for the first time that RNF146 was upregulated in CRC tissues as well as in cell lines. Further, RNF146 expression was independent prognostic factor for poor outcome of CRC patients. RNF146 knockdown in cell lines inhibited cell growth, promoted cell apoptosis in vitro and suppressed colorectal tumor growth in vivo. Mechanistic investigations revealed that RNF146 exerted oncogenic role through ubiquitination of Axin1 to activate β-catenin signaling. In addition, RNF146 expression was positively correlated with β-catenin expression in CRC tissues. Collectively, our data suggest that RNF146 might function as a oncogene in human CRC, and represent a promising prognostic factor and a valuable therapeutic target for CRC.
[en] Recently, several members of a vertebrate protein family containing a six trans-membrane (6TM) domain and involved in apoptosis and cancer (e.g. STEAP, STAMP1, TSAP6), have been identified in Golgi and cytoplasmic membranes. The exact function of these proteins remains unknown. We related this 6TM domain to distant protein families using intermediate sequences and methods of iterative profile sequence similarity search. Here we show for the first time that this 6TM domain is homolog to the 6TM heme binding domain of both the NADPH oxidase (Nox) family and the YedZ family of bacterial oxidoreductases. This finding gives novel insights about the existence of a previously undetected electron transfer system involved in apoptosis and cancer, and suggests further steps in the experimental characterization of these evolutionarily related families
[en] Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death. Gemcitabine is widely used as a chemotherapeutic agent for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, but the prognosis is still poor. Berberine, an isoquinoline alkaloid extracted from a variety of natural herbs, possesses a variety of pharmacological properties including anticancer effects. In this study, we investigated the anticancer effects of berberine and compared its use with that of gemcitabine in the pancreatic cancer cell lines PANC-1 and MIA-PaCa2. Berberine inhibited cell growth in a dose-dependent manner by inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. After berberine treatment, the G1 phase of PANC-1 cells increased by 10% compared to control cells, and the G1 phase of MIA-PaCa2 cells was increased by 2%. Whereas gemcitabine exerts antiproliferation effects through S-phase arrest, our results showed that berberine inhibited proliferation by inducing G1-phase arrest. Berberine-induced apoptosis of PANC-1 and MIA-PaCa2 cells increased by 7 and 2% compared to control cells, respectively. Notably, berberine had a greater apoptotic effect in PANC-1 cells than gemcitabine. Upon treatment of PANC-1 and MIA-PaCa2 with berberine at a half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC_5_0), apoptosis was induced by a mechanism that involved the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) rather than caspase 3/7 activation. Our findings showed that berberine had anti-cancer effects and may be an effective drug for pancreatic cancer chemotherapy
[en] Highlights: • Liver-X-receptors are nuclear receptors comprising two popular subtypes: LXRα & -β. • LXRα loss inhibited LXR-mediated cardiomyocyte protection from high-glucose stress. • Nuclear receptor corepressor signals marred LXR-mediated cardiomyocyte protection. • LXRα, not -β, protects cardiomyocytes against high-glucose oxidative stress. Liver-X-receptors (LXRs) are ligand-activated transcription factors belonging to the nuclear receptor superfamily. The two popular homologous receptor subtypes, LXRα and LXRβ, exhibit differential expression patterns, thereby probably playing different roles in different contexts. This study aimed to evaluate the different roles of the two LXR subtypes and the mechanisms underlying their protection of cardiomyocytes against high-glucose stress. Silencing of LXRα, but not LXRβ impaired normal LXR-mediated cardioprotective effects against high glucose-induced oxidative stress, apoptosis, and inflammation. Mechanistically, silencing of small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO)1 or SUMO2/3 did not affect LXR-mediated cardioprotective effects; however, these were impaired in response to nuclear receptor corepressor (NCoR) silencing. Together, these findings indicate that LXRα, but not LXRβ, protects against high glucose-induced cardiomyocyte injury, probably via the NCoR-dependent transrepression of downstream target genes.