Podocyte damage is commonly accompanied by destabilization of the podocalyxin (PC)/ezrin complex. Serum-and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase 3 (SGK3) plays a role in the maintenance of podocyte function, but the details of this role are poorly understood. Herein we demonstrated that SGK3 and its downstream target protein neural precursor cell expressed developmentally downregulated protein 4 subtype 2 (Nedd4-2) triggered PC and ezrin interaction. In adriamycin (ADR)-induced nephritic mice, and after puromycin aminonucleoside (PAN)-induced podocyte damage in vitro, PC and ezrin protein expression levels decreased significantly, while Nedd4-2 activity increased. Moreover, PAN treatment increased PC and ezrin ubiquitination and decreased PC/ezrin interaction in cultured mouse podocytes. The downregulation of SGK3 activity in mouse podocytes resulted in decreased PC and ezrin protein expression and increased the ubiquitin-proteasome degradation of PC and ezrin. Furthermore, upregulation of SGK3 activity mostly reversed the PAN-induced decrease in PC and ezrin protein expression. Overexpression of Nedd4-2 led to decreased ezrin protein expression via the upregulation of ezrin ubiquitination. In contrast, Nedd4-2 knockdown resulted in increased ezrin protein expression but decreased ezrin ubiquitination. In PC-transfected human embryonic kidney (HEK293T) cells, SGK3 activity downregulation and Nedd4-2 overexpression resulted in decreased PC/ezrin interaction. These results suggested that SGK3 triggers the ubiquitin-proteasome degradation of PC and ezrin, while the SGK3/Nedd4-2 signaling pathway regulates ezrin, but not PC, ubiquitination. Thus SGK3 helps to regulate podocyte function by maintaining the stability of the PC/ezrin complex.
Cisplatin is a widely used chemotherapeutic drug with notorious toxicity in the kidneys, which involves mitochondrial dysfunction and damage in renal tubular cells. Mitophagy is a form of selective autophagy that removes damaged or dysfunctional mitochondria to maintain cellular homeostasis. In this study, we have used mouse and cell models to examine the role and regulation of mitophagy in cisplatin nephrotoxicity. Cisplatin treatment was associated with the activation of autophagy and mitophagy. Rapamycin, a pharmacological inhibitor of mTOR, stimulated autophagy and mitophagy, and alleviated the development of cisplatin nephrotoxicity. PINK1 and Parkin were increased in kidney tissues during cisplatin treatment of mice. In PINK1 or Parkin gene knockout mouse models, both basal and cisplatin-induced mitophagy in kidneys were defective. Compared with wild-type littermates, PINK1 and Parkin knockout mice showed more severe renal functional loss, tissue damage, and apoptosis during cisplatin treatment. The results suggest that PINK1/Parkin-mediated mitophagy is activated in cisplatin nephrotoxicity and has a protective role against kidney injury.
SRC family kinase was documented to have vital roles in adjusting cancer cell malignant behaviors. To date, the role of c-Src, a member of SRC family kinase, in resistance to paclitaxel in human ovarian cancer cells under hypoxia has not been investigated. In the present study, we discovered that hypoxic environment suppressed paclitaxel-induced G2/M phase arrest and blockade of c-Src improved ovarian cancer cells' sensitivity to paclitaxel. FV-429, a derivative of natural flavonoid wogonin, could suppress gene expression and activation of c-Src, followed by deteriorated Stat3 nuclear translocation and its binding to HIF-1 alpha, resulting in paclitaxel resistance reversal through G2/M arrest potentiation. Our study demonstrated that c-Src contributed to hypoxic microenvironment-rendered paclitaxel resistance in human epithelial ovarian cancer cells by G2/M phase arrest deterioration, and through c-Src suppression, FV-429 was capable of reversing the resistance by blocking c-Src/Stat3/HIF-1 alpha pathway.
Epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) is known to be highly expressed in a variety of epithelial carcinomas, and it is involved in cell adhesion and proliferation. However, its expression profile and biological function in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) remains unclear. In this study, higher expression of EpCAM was found in NPC samples compared with non-cancer nasopharyngeal mucosa by qRT-PCR. Additionally, immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis of NPC specimens from 64 cases showed that high EpCAM expression was associated with metastasis and shorter survival. Multivariate survival analysis identified high EpCAM expression as an independent prognostic factor. Ectopic EpCAM expression in NPC cells promoted epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), induced a cancer stem cell (CSC)-like phenotype, and enhanced metastasis in vitro and in vivo without an effect on cell proliferation. Notably, EpCAM overexpression reduced PTEN expression and increased the level of AKT, mTOR, p70S6K and 4EBP1 phosphorylation. Correspondingly, an AKT inhibitor and rapamycin blocked the effect of EpCAM on NPC cell invasion and stem-like phenotypes, and siRNA targeting PTEN rescued the oncogenic activities in EpCAM knockdown NPC cells. Our data demonstrate that EpCAM regulates EMT, stemness and metastasis of NPC cells via the PTEN/AKT/mTOR pathway.
Associations between microRNAs (miRNAs) and human diseases have been identified by increasing studies and discovering new ones is an ongoing process in medical laboratories. To improve experiment productivity, researchers computationally infer potential associations from biological data, selecting the most promising candidates for experimental verification. Predicting potential miRNA-disease association has become a research area of growing importance. This paper presents a model of Extreme Gradient Boosting Machine for MiRNA-Disease Association (EGBMMDA) prediction by integrating the miRNA functional similarity, the disease semantic similarity, and known miRNA-disease associations. The statistical measures, graph theoretical measures, and matrix factorization results for each miRNA-disease pair were calculated and used to form an informative feature vector. The vector for known associated pairs obtained from the HMDD v2.0 database was used to train a regression tree under the gradient boosting framework. EGBMMDA was the first decision tree learning-based model used for predicting miRNA-disease associations. Respectively, AUCs of 0.9123 and 0.8221 in global and local leave-one-out cross-validation proved the model's reliable performance. Moreover, the 0.9048 +/- 0.0012 AUC in fivefold cross-validation confirmed its stability. We carried out three different types of case studies of predicting potential miRNAs related to Colon Neoplasms, Lymphoma, Prostate Neoplasms, Breast Neoplasms, and Esophageal Neoplasms. The results indicated that, respectively, 98%, 90%, 98%, 100%, and 98% of the top 50 predictions for the five diseases were confirmed by experiments. Therefore, EGBMMDA appears to be a useful computational resource for miRNA-disease association prediction.
Adult neurogenesis in hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) is a complex, but precisely controlled process. Dysregulation of this event contributes to multiple neurological disorders, including major depression. Thus, it is of considerable interest to investigate how adult hippocampal neurogenesis is regulated. Here, we present evidence for neogenin, a multifunctional transmembrane receptor, to regulate adult mouse hippocampal neurogenesis. Loss of neogenin in adult neural stem cells (NSCs) or neural progenitor cells (NPCs) impaired NSCs/NPCs proliferation and neurogenesis, whereas increased their astrocytic differentiation. Mechanistic studies revealed a role for neogenin to positively regulate Gli1, a crucial downstream transcriptional factor of sonic hedgehog, and expression of Gli1 into neogenin depleted NSCs/NPCs restores their proliferation. Further morphological and functional studies showed additional abnormities, including reduced dendritic branches and spines, and impaired glutamatergic neuro-transmission, in neogenin-depleted new-born DG neurons; and mice with depletion of neogenin in NSCs/NPCs exhibited depressive-like behavior. These results thus demonstrate unrecognized functions of neogenin in adult hippocampal NSCs/NPCs-promoting NSCs/NPCs proliferation and neurogenesis and preventing astrogliogenesis and depressive-like behavior, and suggest neogenin regulation of Gli1 signaling as a possible underlying mechanism.
Infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and the resulting gastric inflammation is regarded as the strongest risk factor for gastric carcinogenesis and progression. NF-kappa B plays an important role in linking H. pylori-mediated inflammation to cancer. However, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. In this study, we find that H. pylori infection induces miR-223-3p expression in H. pylori CagA-dependent manner. NF-kappa B stimulates miR-223-3p expression via directly binding to the promoter of miR-223-3p and is required for H. pylori CagA-mediated upregulation of miR-223-3p. miR-223-3p promotes the proliferation and migration of gastric cancer cells by directly targeting ARID1A and decreasing its expression. Furthermore, miR-223-3p/ARID1A axis is involved in CagA-induced cell proliferation and migration. In the clinical setting, the level of miR-223-3p is upregulated, while ARID1A is downregulated significantly in human gastric cancer tissues compared with the corresponding noncancerous tissues. The expression level of miR-223-3p is significantly higher in H. pylori-positive gastric cancer tissues than that in H. pylori-negative tissues. Moreover, a negative correlation between miR-223-3p and ARID1A expression is found in the gastric cancer tissues. Taken together, our findings suggested NF-kappa B/miR-223-3p/ARID1A axis may link the process of H. pylori-induced chronic inflammation to gastric cancer, thereby providing a new insight into the mechanism underlying H. pylori-associated gastric diseases.
MicroRNAs play an essential role in stroke pathology. Here, we investigated the role of a newly identified microRNA, miR-3473b, in stroke pathology. The expression of miR-3473b was upregulated in the cortex and striatum in mice following transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Intracerebroventricular injection of the miR-3473b antagomir prior to MCAO remarkably attenuated ischemia-induced expression of miR-3473b and pro-inflammatory factors in the ischemic brain and decreased infarct volumes in mice following MCAO. Using in vitro approaches, we showed that the miR-3473b antagomir reduced the mRNA and protein levels of pro-inflammatory factors (iNOS, COX-2, TNF-alpha, and IL-6) in BV2 microglial cells subjected to LPS stimulation. The miR-3473b antagomir also decreased the expression of pro-inflammatory factors in BV2 cells activated with conditioned medium collected from oxygenglucose deprivation (OGD)-treated neurons. Suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3), a physiological regulator of innate and adaptive immunity, was predicted to be a potential target of miR-3473b. We verified that the miR-3473b mimic decreased SOCS3 expression in BV2 cells. Meanwhile, the miR-3473b antagomir significantly increased both SOCS3 mRNA and protein levels in the BV2 cells treated with LPS as well as in the ischemic brain. By using the dual luciferase assay, we further showed that the 3'-untranslational region of SOCS3 was directly targeted by miR-3473b. In conclusion, induction of miR-3473b, which is likely targeted to SOCS3, contributes to stroke pathogenesis by enhancing post-stroke neuroinflammation injury.
Osteosarcoma is the most common high-grade human primary malignant bone sarcoma with lower survival in the past decades. Oridonin, a bioactive diterpenoid isolated from Rabdosiarubescens, has been proved to possess potent anti-cancer effects. However, its potential mechanism still remains not fully clear nowadays. In this study, we investigated the anticancer effect of oridonin on human osteosarcoma and illuminated the underlying mechanisms. In vitro, oridonin inhibited the cell viability of various osteosarcoma cells. We demonstrated that oridonin induced mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis by increasing Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), triggering reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and activating caspase-3 and caspase-9 cleavage in MG-63 and HOS cells. Moreover, we found that oridonin triggered ROS by inhibiting NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) pathway and induced mitochondrial apoptosis via inhibiting nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappa B) activation by activating Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor. (PPAR-gamma)in MG-63 and HOS cells. We further confirmed the results by PPAR-gamma inhibitor GW9662, PPAR-gamma siRNA as well as overexpression of PPAR-gamma and Nrf2 in vitro. Furthermore, our in vivo study showed that oridonin inhibited tumor growth with high safety via inducing apoptosis through activating PPAR-gamma and inhibiting Nrf2 activation in xenograft model inoculated HOS tumor. Taken together, oridonin exerted a dramatic proapoptotic effect by activating PPAR-gamma and inhibiting Nrf2 pathway in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, oridonin may be a promising and effective agent for human osteosarcoma in the future clinical applications.
Chemo-resistance and metastasis of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) contributed the most of treatment failure in the clinic. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been proved to be involved in many biological processes and diseases. In this study, we aimed to determine the role of miR-770 in the regulation of chemo-resistance and metastasis of TNBC. Clinically, miR-770 was highly expressed in chemo-sensitive tissues and predicted a better prognosis of TNBC. Functionally, ectopic expression of miR-770 suppressed the doxorubicin-resistance of TNBC cell lines via regulation of apoptosis and tumor microenvironment, which was mediated by exosomes. Moreover, miR-770 overexpression inhibited the migration and invasion. Rescue of STMN1 could partly reverse the effect of miR-770 in TNBC behaviors. Furthermore, we also demonstrated that overexpression of miR-770 inhibited DOX resistance and metastasis in vivo. Taken together, our results proved that miR-770 could suppress the doxorubicin-resistance and metastasis of TNBC cells, which broaden our insights into the underlying mechanisms in chemo-resistance and metastasis, and provided a new prognostic marker for TNBC cells.
Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy-related disease that may cause maternal, neonatal and fetal morbidity and mortality and exists in 3-5% of pregnancies worldwide. The discovery of dysregulated microRNAs and their roles in placental development has provided a new avenue for elucidating the mechanism involved in this pregnancy-specific disorder. Here, the roles of human miR-181a-5p, a microRNA that is increased in both the plasma and placenta of severe pre-eclamptic patients, in invasion and migration of trophoblasts were investigated. Ectopic-expression of miR-181a-5p impaired the invasion and migration of HTR-8/SVneo cells, whereas miR-181a-5p inhibition had the opposite effects. IGF2BP2, which harbors a highly conserved miR-181a-5p-binding site within its 3'-UTR, was identified to be directly inhibited by miR-181a-5p. Moreover, siRNAs targeting IGF2BP2 imitated the effects of overexpressed miR-181a-5p on HTR-8/SVneo cell invasion and migration, whereas restoring IGF2BP2 expression by overexpressing a plasmid encoding IGF2BP2 partially reversed the studied inhibitory functions of miR-181a-5p. Thus, we demonstrated here that miR-181a-5p suppresses the invasion and migration of cytotrophoblasts, and its inhibitory effects were at least partially mediated by the suppression of IGF2BP2 expression, thus shedding new light on the roles of miR-181a-5p in the pathogenesis of severe pre-eclampsia.
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is one of the deadliest cancers, and it requires novel treatment approaches and effective drugs. In the present study, we found that treatment with plumbagin, a natural compound, reduced proliferation and survival of the KYSE150 and KYSE450 ESCC cell lines in a dose-dependent manner in vitro. The drug also effectively inhibited the viability of primary ESCC cells from fresh biopsy specimens. Furthermore, plumbagin-induced mitotic arrest and massive apoptosis in ESCC cells. Notably, the drug significantly suppressed the colony formation capacity of ESCC cells in vitro and the growth of KYSE150 xenograft tumors in vivo. At the molecular level, we found that exposure to plumbagin decreased both polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) and phosphorylated protein kinase B (p-AKT) expression in both ESCC cell lines. Enforced PLK1 expression in ESCC cells not only markedly rescued cells from plumbagin-induced apoptosis and proliferation inhibition but also restored the impaired AKT activity. Furthermore, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), a transcription factor of PLK1, was also inactivated in plumbagin-treated ESCC cells; however, the overexpression of a constitutively activated STAT3 mutant, STAT3C, reinstated the plumbagin-elicited blockade of PLK1-AKT signaling in ESCC cells. Taken together, these findings indicate that plumbagin inhibits proliferation and potentiates apoptosis in human ESCC cells in vitro and in vivo. Plumbagin may exert these antitumor effects by abrogating STAT3-PLK1-AKT signaling, which suggests that plumbagin may be a novel, promising anticancer agent for the treatment of ESCC.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been reported to localize in colorectal carcinomas, and participate in the formation of the tumor microenvironment. They have recently been isolated from colorectal cancer tissues, and are implicated in the growth, invasion, and metastasis of cancer cells. However, the roles and detailed mechanisms associated with human colorectal cancer-derived MSCs (CC-MSCs) have not been fully addressed. In this study, we found that CC-MSCs increased the migration and invasion of colorectal cancer cells and promoted the tumorigenesis of colorectal cancer through epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in vitro. We also found that CC-MSCs enhanced the growth and metastasis of colorectal cancer in vivo. Mechanistically, we determined that interleukin-6 (IL-6) was the most highly expressed cytokine in the CC-MSC conditioned medium, and promoted the progression of colorectal cancer cells through IL-6/JAK2/STAT3 signaling, which activated PI3K/AKT signaling. We used anti-IL-6 antibody to target IL-6. Collectively, these results reveal that the IL-6 secreted by CC-MSCs enhances the progression of colorectal cancer cells through IL-6/JAK2/STAT3 signaling, and could provide a novel therapeutic or preventive target.
Hepatocyte transplantation holds great promise as an alternative to orthotopic organ transplantation in the treatment of liver diseases. However, obtaining clinically meaningful levels of liver repopulation has not been achieved because the mechanisms regulating hepatocyte proliferation in recipient livers have not yet been well characterized. In the mouse model of Hereditary Tyrosinemia Type I, the fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase-deficient (Fah(-/-)) mouse, we found gradually increasing expression level of insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) in the hepatocytes of host livers. Similarly, high levels of IGF2 were found in the livers of patients with deficient FAH activity. Recombinant IGF2 directly promotes proliferation of primary hepatocytes in vitro. Inhibition on IGF2 expression through the interruption of PI3K/Akt and MAPK pathways significantly reduced the level of liver repopulation in Fah(-/-) mice. Interestingly, treatment with IGF2 before hepatocyte transplantation generally improved the amount of liver repopulation seen in various mice models of liver injury. Altogether, these findings underscore the underlying mechanisms of therapeutic liver repopulation in Fah(-/-) mice, and indicate that IGF2 is a potential hepatocyte mitogen for liver cell transplantation therapies.