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[en] The T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain (TIM) family is associated with autoimmune diseases, but its expression level in the immune cells of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients is not known. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the expression of TIM-3 mRNA is associated with pathogenesis of SLE. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis (qRT-PCR) was used to determine TIM-1, TIM-3, and TIM-4 mRNA expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 132 patients with SLE and 62 healthy controls. The PBMC surface protein expression of TIMs in PBMCs from 20 SLE patients and 15 healthy controls was assayed by flow cytometry. Only TIM-3 mRNA expression decreased significantly in SLE patients compared with healthy controls (P<0.001). No significant differences in TIM family protein expression were observed in leukocytes from SLE patients and healthy controls (P>0.05). SLE patients with lupus nephritis (LN) had a significantly lower expression of TIM-3 mRNA than those without LN (P=0.001). There was no significant difference in the expression of TIM-3 mRNA within different classes of LN (P>0.05). Correlation of TIM-3 mRNA expression with serum IgA was highly significant (r=0.425, P=0.004), but was weakly correlated with total serum protein (r_s=0.283, P=0.049) and serum albumin (r_s=0.297, P=0.047). TIM-3 mRNA expression was weakly correlated with the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI; r_s=-0.272, P=0.032). Our results suggest that below-normal expression of TIM-3 mRNA in PBMC may be involved in the pathogenesis of SLE
[en] The Bcl-2 family contains a panel of proteins which are conserved regulators of apoptosis in mammalian cells, like the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2. According to its significant role in altering susceptibility to apoptosis, the deciphering of the mechanism of Bcl-2 expression modulation may be crucial for identifying therapeutics strategies for cancer. Treatment with naphthalimide-based DNA intercalators, including M2-A and R16, generally leads to a decrease in Bcl-2 intracellular amounts. Whereas the interest for these chemotherapeutics is accompanied by advances in the fundamental understanding of their anticancer properties, the molecular mechanism underlying changes in Bcl-2 expression remains poorly understood. We report here that p53 contributes to Bcl-2 down-regulation induced by B1, a novel naphthalimide-based DNA intercalating agent. Indeed, the decrease in Bcl-2 protein levels observed during B1-induced apoptosis was correlated to the decrease in mRNA levels, as a result of the inhibition of Bcl-2 transcription and promoter activity. In this context, we evaluated p53 contribution in the Bcl-2 transcriptional down-regulation. We found a significant increase of p53 binding to P2 promoter TATA box in MCF7 cells by chromatin immunoprecipitation. These data suggest that B1-induced caspase-independent apoptosis in MCF-7 cells is associated with the activation of p53 and the down-regulation of Bcl-2. Our study strengthens the links between p53 and Bcl-2 at a transcriptional level, upon naphthalimide-based DNA intercalator treatment. - Research highlights: → B1 induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells, following a transcriptional decrease in Bcl-2. → B1 treatment triggered p53 activation and leads to a p53-dependent down-regulation of Bcl-2. → B1 induced significant increase of p53 binding to Bcl-2 P2 promoter TATA box.
[en] Highlights: • Long-term APAP treatment led to collagen deposition. • Long-term APAP treatment led to HSCs activation. • Long-term APAP treatment led to the phosphorylation of Smad2/3 and ERK1/2. • APAP toxic metabolite led to the activation of hepatic stellate LX2 cells. • Egr-1 deletion mice were more sensitive to APAP-induced liver fibrosis. - Abstract: Acetaminophen (APAP)-induced acute liver injury has already been well studied. However, whether long-term administration of APAP will cause liver fibrosis is still not very clear. This study aims to investigate the liver fibrosis in mice induced by long-term APAP treatment and the involvement of early growth response 1 (Egr-1). C57BL/6 mice were orally given with APAP (200, 300 mg/kg) for 2, 6 or 10 weeks, respectively. Liver hydroxyproline content, collagen deposition and inflammatory cells infiltration were increased in mice treated with APAP (200, 300 mg/kg) for 6 or 10 weeks. Liver mRNA expression of collagen (COL)1a1, Col3a1, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and serum contents of COL1, COL3, TGF-β were all increased in APAP-treated mice. Liver expression of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and phosphorylated ERK1/2 and Smad2/3 were all increased in APAP-treated mice. Furthermore, increased liver mRNA expression of Egr-1 and its subsequent nuclear translocation were found in APAP-treated mice. Egr-1 knock-out mice were further applied. APAP-induced liver fibrosis was found to be more serious in Egr-1 knock-out mice. N-acetyl-p-benzoquinoneimine (NAPQI), the APAP hepatotoxic metabolite, increased cellular mRNA expression of α-SMA, Col1a1, Col3a1, TGF-β, induced ERK1/2 and Smad2/3 phosphorylation and Egr-1 nuclear translocation in hepatic stellate LX2 cells. In conclusion, long-term administration of APAP induced liver fibrosis in mice, and Egr-1 was critically involved in this process. This study points out a warning and reference for patients with long-term APAP ingestion in clinic.
[en] A genetic switch may be realized by a certain operator sector on the DNA strand from which either genetic code, to the left or to the right of this operator sector, can be transcribed and the corresponding information processed. This switch is controlled by messenger molecules, i.e., they determine to which side the switch is flipped. Recently, it has been realized that noise plays an elementary role in genetic switching, and the effect of number fluctuations of the messenger molecules have been explored. Here we argue that the assumption of well stirredness taken in the previous models may not be sufficient to characterize the influence of noise: spatial fluctuations play a non-negligible part in cellular genetic switching processes
[en] Recent advances in high-throughput sequencing technology have identified the transcription of a much larger portion of the genome than previously anticipated. Especially in the context of cancer it has become clear that aberrant transcription of both protein-coding and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are frequent events. The current dogma of RNA function describes mRNA to be responsible for the synthesis of proteins, whereas non-coding RNA can have regulatory or epigenetic functions. However, this distinction between protein coding and regulatory ability of transcripts may not be that strict. Here, we review the increasing body of evidence for the existence of multifunctional RNAs that have both protein-coding and trans-regulatory roles. Moreover, we demonstrate that coding transcripts bind to components of the Polycomb Repressor Complex 2 (PRC2) with similar affinities as non-coding transcripts, revealing potential epigenetic regulation by mRNAs. We hypothesize that studies on the regulatory ability of disease-associated mRNAs will form an important new field of research
[en] Hsp90α's vital role in tumour survival and progression, together with its highly inducible expression profile in gliomas and its absence in normal tissue and cell lines validates it as a therapeutic target for glioma. Hsp90α was downregulated using the post-transcriptional RNAi strategy (sihsp90α) and a post-translational inhibitor, the benzoquinone antibiotic 17-AAG. Glioblastoma U87-MG and normal human astrocyte SVGp12 were treated with sihsp90α, 17-AAG and concurrent sihsp90α/17-AAG (combined treatment). Both Hsp90α gene silencing and the protein inhibitor approaches resulted in a dramatic reduction in cell viability. Results showed that sihsp90α, 17-AAG and a combination of sihsp90α/17-AAG, reduced cell viability by 27%, 75% and 88% (p < 0.001), respectively, after 72 h. hsp90α mRNA copy numbers were downregulated by 65%, 90% and 99% after 72 h treatment with sihsp90α, 17-AAG and sihsp90α/17-AAG, respectively. The relationship between Hsp90α protein expression and its client Akt kinase activity levels were monitored following treatment with sihsp90α, 17-AAG and sihsp90α/17-AAG. Akt kinase activity was downregulated as a direct consequence of Hsp90α inhibition. Both Hsp90α and Akt kinase levels were significantly downregulated after 72 h. Although, 17-AAG when used as a single agent reduces the Hsp90α protein and the Akt kinase levels, the efficacy demonstrated by combinatorial treatment was found to be far more effective. Combination treatment reduced the Hsp90α protein and Akt kinase levels to 4.3% and 43%, respectively, after 72 h. hsp90α mRNA expression detected in SVGp12 was negligible compared to U87-MG, also, the combination treatment did not compromise the normal cell viability. Taking into account the role of Hsp90α in tumour progression and the involvement of Akt kinase in cell signalling and the anti-apoptotic pathways in tumours, this double targets treatment infers a novel therapeutic strategy
[en] Significance of Urocortin (Ucn or UcnI), Ucn2, Ucn3 and their receptors, Corticotropin Releasing Factor Receptor 1 and 2 (CRFR1 and CRFR2), and the binding protein, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone-Binding Protein (CRHBP) in oncology is growing rapidly. The objective of our study was to assess the expression of the CRHBP mRNA and protein in renal cancer. Tumoral tissues of 78 patients with clear cell renal cell cancer and their corresponding normal tissues were analyzed using quantitative mRNA expression analysis for detection of mRNA expression level. Protein expression and tissue localization of CRHBP protein in renal specimens was evaluated using western blotting, immunohistochemistry and double immunofluorescence, respectively. We found an approx. 33 fold decrease of average CRHBP mRNA level in tumoral tissues compared to paired normal tissues (p<0.001). Diminished CRHBP mRNA expression was positively correlated with advanced, metastasized and higher stage of disease (p<0.001, p=0.026, p=0.028 respectively). CRHBP protein was detected in glomeruli and proximal tubules of normal kidney while none or weak immunopositivity was found in cc-RCC (p<0.001). The expression analysis of CRHBP shows that cc-RCC is characterized by a significant loss of CRHBP mRNA expression that furthermore is associated with a more aggressive state of tumors. Depletion of CRHBP proteins also indicate that the protein as part of the UCN system may be involved in renal carcinogenesis
[en] We aimed to investigate miRNAs and related mRNAs through a network-based approach in order to learn the crucial role that they play in the biological processes of esophageal cancer. Esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma (ESCC) and adenocarcinoma (EAC)-related miRNA and gene expression data were downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus database, and differentially expressed miRNAs and genes were selected. Target genes of differentially expressed miRNAs were predicted and their regulatory networks were constructed. Differentially expressed miRNA analysis selected four miRNAs associated with EAC and ESCC, among which hsa-miR-21 and hsa-miR-202 were shared by both diseases. hsa-miR-202 was reported for the first time to be associated with esophageal cancer in the present study. Differentially expressed miRNA target genes were mainly involved in cancer-related and signal-transduction pathways. Functional categories of these target genes were related to transcriptional regulation. The results may indicate potential target miRNAs and genes for future investigations of esophageal cancer
[en] Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer in women globally, and despite treatment, distant metastasis and nodal recurrence will still develop in approximately 30% of patients. The ability to predict which patients are likely to experience distant relapse would allow clinicians to better tailor treatment. Previous studies have investigated the role of chromosomal instability (CIN) in cancer, which can promote tumour initiation and growth; a hallmark of human malignancies. In this study, we sought to examine the published CIN70 gene signature in a cohort of cervical cancer patients treated at the Princess Margaret (PM) Cancer Centre and an independent cohort of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) cervical cancer patients, to determine if this CIN signature associated with patient outcome. Cervical cancer samples were collected from 79 patients, treated between 2000–2007 at the PM, prior to undergoing curative chemo-radiation. Total RNA was extracted from each patient sample and analyzed using the GeneChip Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 array (Affymetrix). High CIN70 scores were significantly related to increased chromosomal alterations in TCGA cervical cancer patients, including a higher percentage of genome altered and a higher number of copy number alterations. In addition, this same CIN70 signature was shown to be predictive of para-aortic nodal relapse in the PM Cancer Centre cohort. These findings demonstrate that chromosomal instability plays an important role in cervical cancer, and is significantly associated with patient outcome. For the first time, this CIN70 gene signature provided prognostic value for patients with cervical cancer