Dysregulation of free acid metabolism is a major contributor to the development of insulin resistance and diabetes. Mitochondrial trifunctional enzyme subunit (MTP alpha) has a critical role in fatty acid beta-oxidation. However, the association between MTP alpha and insulin resistance is not definitively known. Here, we aimed to determine how MTP alpha affects insulin resistance. We tested how MTP alpha affected glucose uptake in insulin-resistant 3T3-L1 adipocytes and white adipose tissue (WAT) of db/db diabetic mice. We also measured how acetylation and ubiquitylation modifications regulated MTP alpha activation and stability, using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reactions, immunoblotting, and immunoprecipitation. We found that MTP alpha overexpression promoted glucose uptake via Glut4 translocation to the plasma membrane in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Moreover, MTP alpha upregulation decreased glycemia in db/db mice. Deacetylation increased MTP alpha protein stability and its ability to reduce insulin resistance. The activation of SIRT1, a major deacetylase, prevented MTP alpha degradation by decreasing its acetylation in adipocytes. Our study demonstrates a new role for MTP alpha in reducing insulin resistance. Acetylation and ubiquitylation modifications of MTP alpha were crucial to regulating its function in glucose metabolism.
Enhanced SNHG1 (small nucleolar RNA host gene 1) expression has been found to play a critical role in the initiation and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with its detailed mechanism largely unknown. In this study, we show that SNHG1 promotes the HCC progression through epigenetically silencing CDKN1A and CDKN2B in the nucleus, and competing with CDK4 mRNA for binding miR-140-5p in the cytoplasm. Using bioinformatics analyses, we found hepatocarcinogenesis is particularly associated with dysregulated expression of SNHG1 and activation of the cell cycle pathway. SNHG1 was upregulated in HCC tissues and cells, and its knockdown significantly inhibited HCC cell cycle, growth, metastasis, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) both in vitro and in vivo. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and RNA immunoprecipitation assays demonstrate that SNHG1 inhibit the transcription of CDKN1A and CDKN2B through enhancing EZH2 mediated-H3K27me3 in the promoter of CDKN1A and CDKN2B, thus resulting in the de-repression of the cell cycle. Dual-luciferase assay and RNA pulldown revealed that SNHG1 promotes the expression of CDK4 by competitively binding to miR-140-5p. In conclusion, we propose that SNHG1 formed a regulatory network to confer an oncogenic function in HCC and SNHG1 may serve as a potential target for HCC diagnosis and treatment.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a major leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Alpha fetoprotein (AFP) is reactivated in a majority of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and associated with poor patient outcomes. Although increasing evidence has shown that AFP can regulate HCC cell growth, the precise functions of AFP in hepatocarcinogenesis and the associated underlying mechanism remain incompletely understood. In this study, we demostrated that depleting AFP significantly suppressed diethylnitrosamine (DEN)-induced liver tumor progression in an AFP gene-deficient mouse model. Similarly, knocking down AFP expression inhibited human HCC cell proliferation and tumor growth by inducing apoptosis. AFP expression level was inversely associated with the apoptotic rate in mouse and human HCC specimens. Investigation of potential cross-talk between AFP and apoptotic signaling revealed that AFP exerted its growth-promoting effect by suppressing the Fas/FADD-mediated extrinsic apoptotic pathway. Mechanistically, AFP bound to the RNA-binding protein HuR, increasing the accumulation of HuR in the cytoplasm and subsequent inhibition of Fas mRNA translation. In addition, we found that inhibiting AFP enhanced the cytotoxicity of therapeutics to AFP-positive HCC cells by activating HuR-mediated Fas/FADD apoptotic signaling. Conclusion: Our study defined the pro-oncogenic role of AFP in HCC progression and uncovered a novel antiapoptotic mechanism connecting AFP to HuR-mediated Fas translation. Our findings suggest that AFP is involved in the pathogenesis and chemosensitivity of HCC and that blockade of AFP may be a promising strategy to treat advanced HCC.
As an important modality for the local control of colorectal cancer (CRC), radiotherapy or neoadjuvant radiotherapy is widely applied in the clinic, but radioresistance has become a major obstacle for CRC radiotherapy. Here we reported that B7-H3, an important costimulatory molecule, is associated with radioresistance in CRC. The expression of B7-H3 was obviously increased in CRC cells after irradiation. The enhanced expression of B7-H3 promoted, while the knockdown of B7-H3 inhibited, colony formation and cell activity in CRC cells following radiation treatment. B7-H3 overexpression reduced S phase arrest and protected cell apoptosis induced by radiation, whereas B7-H3 knockdown had the opposite effects. In addition, B7-H3 blockade by 3E8, a specific B7-H3 antibody, significantly sensitized CRC cells to irradiation in vivo. Mechanistic analysis revealed that B7-H3 regulated KIF15 via RNA sequencing, which was in dependent of NF-kappa B pathway. And small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated KIF15 silencing or KIF15 blockade by the inhibitor SB743921 abolished the effect of B7-H3 on radioresistance in vitro and in vivo. Similar to B7-H3, we find that the protein expression levels of KIF15, which showed a positive correlation with B7-H3, was abnormal upregulated in cancer tissues than in adjacent normal tissues and associated with TNM stage. Finally, B7-H3/KIF15 enhanced resistance against irradiation in CRC cells via activating ERK1/2 signaling, a key pathway involved in radioresistance in cancer. Our findings reveal an alternative mechanism by which CRC cells can acquire radioresistance via the B7-H3/KIF15/ERK axis.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive interstitial lung disease characterized by chronic non-specific inflammation of the interstitial lung and extensive deposition of collagen fibers leading to destruction of lung function. Studies have demonstrated that exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) increases the risk of IPF. In order to recover from PM2.5-induced lung injury, alveolar epithelial cells need to be repaired and regenerated to maintain lung function. Type 2 alveolar epithelial cells (AEC2) are stem cells in the adult lung that contribute to the lung repair process through complex signaling. Our previous studies demonstrated that RAB6, a RAS family member lowly expressed in lung cancer, inhibited lung cancer stem cell self-renewal, but it is unclear whether or not and how RAB6 may regulate AEC2 cell proliferation and self-renewal in PM2.5-induced pulmonary fibrosis. Here, we demonstrated that knockout of RAB6 inhibited pulmonary fibrosis, oxidative stress, and AEC2 cell death in PM2.5-injured mice. In addition, knockout of RAB6 decreased Dickkopf 1(DKK1) autocrine and activated proliferation, self-renewal, and wnt/beta-catenin signaling of PM2.5-injured AEC2 cells. RAB6 overexpression increased DKK1 autocrine and inhibited proliferation, self-renewal and wnt/beta-catenin signaling in AEC2 cells in vitro. Furthermore, DKK1 inhibitors promoted proliferation, self-renewal and wnt/beta-catenin signaling of RAB6 overexpressing AEC2 cells, and attenuated PM2.5-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice. These data establish RAB6 as a regulator of DKK1 autocrine and wnt/beta-catenin signal that serves to regulate AEC2 cell proliferation and self-renewal, and suggest a mechanism that RAB6 disruption may promote AEC2 cell proliferation and self-renewal to enhance lung repair following PM2.5 injury.
Systemic inflammatory processes, including alveolar injury, cytokine induction, and neutrophil accumulation, play key roles in the pathophysiology of acute lung injury (ALI). The immunomodulatory effects of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can contribute to the treatment of inflammatory disorders. In previous studies, the focus was on innate immune cells and the effects of MSCs on ALI through CD8(+) T cells remain unclear. In the present study, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was used to induce ALI in mice. ALI mice were treated with MSCs via intratracheal instillation. Survival rate, histopathological changes, protein levels, total cell count, cytokine levels, and chemokine levels in alveolar lavage fluid were used to determine the efficacy of MSCs. Mass cytometry and single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) were used to characterize the CD8(+) T cells in the lungs. Ly6C(-) CD8(+) T cells are prevalent in normal mice, whereas a specialized effector phenotype expressing a high level of Ly6C is predominant in advanced disease. MSCs significantly mitigated ALI and improved survival. MSCs decreased the infiltration of CD8(+) T cells, especially Ly6C(+) CD8(+) T cells into the lungs. Mass cytometry revealed that CD8(+) T cells expressing high Ly6C and CXCR3 levels caused tissue damage in the lungs of ALI mice, which was alleviated by MSCs. The scRNA-seq showed that Ly6C(+) CD8(+) T cells exhibited a more activated phenotype and decreased expression of proinflammatory factors that were enriched the most in immune chemotaxis after treatment with MSCs. We showed that CD8(+) T cells play an important role in MSC-mediated ALI remission, and both infiltration quantity and proinflammatory function were inhibited by MSCs, indicating a potential mechanism for therapeutic intervention.
Most luminal breast carcinomas (BrCas) bearing PIK3CA mutations initially respond to phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K)-alpha inhibitors, but many eventually become resistant. The underlying mechanisms of this resistance remain obscure. In this work, we showed that a CD44(high) state due to aberrant isoform splicing was acquired from adaptive resistance to a PI3K alpha inhibitor (BLY719) in luminal BrCas. Notably, the expression of CD44 was positively correlated with estrogen receptor (ER) activity in PIK3CA-mutant breast cancers, and ER-dependent transcription upon PI3K alpha pathway inhibition was in turn mediated by CD44. Furthermore, the interaction of CD44 with the ligand hyaluronan (HA) initiated the Src-ERK signaling cascade, which subsequently maintained AKT and mTOR activity in the presence of a PI3K alpha inhibitor. Activation of this pathway was prevented by disruption of the CD44/HA interaction, which in turn restored sensitivity to BLY719. Our results revealed that an ER-CD44-HA signaling circuit that mediates robust compensatory activation of the Src-ERK signaling cascade may contribute to the development of acquired resistance to PI3K alpha inhibitors. This study provides new insight into the mechanism of adaptive resistance to PI3K alpha inhibition therapy.
Elongation factor Tu GTP binding domain containing 2 (EFTUD2), a spliceosomal GTPase, plays a pivotal role in multiple organ development and innate immune. It has been reported that EFTUD2 is a new host factor with activity against HCV infection. However, the role of EFTUD2 in solid tumors, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), remains unexplored. In this study, we investigated the molecular function of EFTUD2 in HCC. Data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) indicated an upregulation of EFTUD2 in HCC tissues compared to that in nontumor liver tissues. Immunohistochemical analysis performed on two independent HCC cohorts confirmed the upregulation of EFTUD2 in HCC tissues and further suggested that a high level of EFTUD2 expression predicted shorter overall and recurrence-free survival in HCC patients. Functional studies suggested that siRNA interference with EFTUD2 expression significantly suppressed cell viability, blocked cell cycle progression, facilitated tumor cell apoptosis, and inhibited metastasis, while the enhancement of EFTUD2 expression promoted the proliferation and migration of HCC cells both in vitro and in vivo. Surprisingly, we also found that the stable knockdown of EFTUD2 expression via lentivirus infection was lethal for HCC cells. This finding suggested that EFTUD2 was essential for maintaining the survival of HCC cells. Mechanistically, RNA sequencing and gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) suggested that the gene sets of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the JAK/STAT3 pathway were enriched in EFTUD2-overexpressing cells. Further verification indicated that EFTUD2-overexpressing cells exhibited an EMT-like phenotype and had enhanced STAT3 activation, while the STAT3 inhibitor S3I-201 partially blocked these pro-malignant effects of EFTUD2 overexpression. In summary, we report EFTUD2 as a novel oncogene that helps to maintain the survival of HCC cells and promotes HCC progression through the activation of STAT3. The high level of expression of EFTUD2 in HCC tissues indicates shorter overall and recurrence-free survival in HCC patients.
Involvement of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in hepatocarcinogenesis has been largely documented. Mitochondrial dynamics is identified to impact survival and metastasis in tumors including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but the underlying mechanism remains poorly understood. This study planned to explore the regulation of lncRNA LL22NC03-N14H11.1 on HCC progression and mitochondrial fission. Dysregulated lncRNAs in HCC are identified through circlncRNAnet and GEPIA bioinformatics tools. Biological function of LL22NC03-N14H11.1 in HCC was detected by CCK-8 assay, flow cytometry analysis, transwell invasion, and wound healing assays. Molecular interactions were determined by RNA immunoprecipitation, RNA pull-down, and co-immunoprecipitation assays. Results showed that LL22NC03-N14H11.1 was upregulated in HCC tissues and cells. Functionally, LL22NC03-N14H11.1 contributed to cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in HCC. Moreover, LL22NC03-N14H11.1 facilitated mitochondrial fission in HCC cells. Mechanistically, LL22NC03-N14H11.1 recruited Myb proto-oncogene (c-Myb) to repress the transcription of leucine zipper-like transcription regulator 1 (LZTR1), so as to inhibit LZTR1-mediated ubiquitination of H-RAS (G12V), leading to the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling and induction of p-DRP1 (Serine 616). In conclusion, this study firstly revealed that lncRNA LL22NC03-N14H11.1 promoted HCC progression through activating H-RAS/MAPK pathway to induce mitochondrial fission, indicating LL22NC03-N14H11.1 as a novel potential biomarker for HCC treatment.
A number of circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been implicated in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pathogenesis; however, little is known about their function and hidden molecular mechanism in immune and inflammation regulation. We investigated the role and the underlying mechanism of circRNA_09505 in RA in this study. Real-time PCR and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) are adopted to estimate the quantitative expression and localization of circRNA_09505 in macrophages. The altering effect of circRNA_09505 on inflammation is investigated in vitro and in vivo by use of macrophage cell models and collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) mice. Luciferase reporter assay and RNA-binding protein immunoprecipitation (RIP) are used to confirm the circRNA_09505/miR-6089 ceRNA network predicted by bioinformatics analysis. Compared with controls, the expression of circRNA_09505 is upregulated in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from patients with RA. The proliferation and cell cycle are significantly promoted when circRNA_09505 is upregulated in macrophages, whereas knockdown of circRNA_09505 inhibits macrophage proliferation and cell- cycle progression. Besides, circRNA_09505 can act as a miRNA sponge for miR-6089 in macrophages, and promote the production of TNF-alpha, IL-6, and IL-12 through ceRNA mechanism. Moreover, AKT1 is a direct target of miR-6089. CircRNA_09505 can promote AKT1 expression by acting as a miR-6089 sponge via I kappa B alpha/NF-kappa B signaling pathway in macrophages. Most interestingly, knockdown of circRNA_09505 significantly alleviates arthritis and inflammation in vivo in CIA mice. These data support the hypothesis that circRNA_09505 can function as a miR-6089 sponge and regulate inflammation via miR-6089/AKT1/NF-kappa B axis in CIA mice.
Manganese (Mn) overexposure produces long-term cognitive deficits and reduces brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the hippocampus. However, it remains elusive whether Mn-dependent enhanced alpha-synuclein (alpha-Syn) expression, suggesting a multifaceted mode of neuronal toxicities, accounts for interference with BDNF/TrkB signaling. In this study, we used C57BL/6J WT and alpha-Syn knockout (KO) mice to establish a model of manganism and found that Mn-induced impairments in spatial memory and synaptic plasticity were related to the alpha-Syn protein. In addition, consistent with the long-term potentiation (LTP) impairments that were observed, alpha-Syn KO relieved Mn-induced degradation of PSD95, phosphorylated CaMKII alpha, and downregulated SynGAP protein levels. We transfected HT22 cells with lentivirus (LV)-alpha-Syn shRNA, followed by BDNF and Mn stimulation. In vitro experiments indicated that alpha-Syn selectively interacted with TrkB receptors and inhibited BDNF/TrkB signaling, leading to phosphorylation and downregulation of GluN2B. The binding of alpha-Syn to TrkB and Fyn-mediated phosphorylation of GluN2B were negatively regulated by BDNF. Together, these findings indicate that Mn-dependent enhanced alpha-Syn expression contributes to further exacerbate BDNF protein-level reduction and to inhibit TrkB/Akt/Fyn signaling, thereby disturbing Fyn-mediated phosphorylation of the NMDA receptor GluN2B subunit at tyrosine. In KO alpha-Syn mice treated with Mn, spatial memory and LTP impairments were less pronounced than in WT mice. However, the same robust neuronal death was observed as a result of Mn-induced neurotoxicity.
An increasing number of studies have shown that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play important roles in tumor development and progression. However, their involvement in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) remains largely unknown. Epigenetic regulation is one major mechanism utilized by cancer cells to control lncRNA expression. We identified that lncRNA VENTXP1 was epigenetically silenced in multiple cancer types, and its lower expression was correlated with poorer survival in HNSCC patients. Through in silico analysis and experimental validation, we identified miR-205-5p and its direct interacting partner of VENTXP1, which regulates HNSCC cell proliferation and tumorigenicity. Using RNA-seq and differential gene expression analysis, we further identified ANKRD2 as a miR-205-5p target, which plays an essential role in modulating NF-kB signaling. These findings suggest that VENTXP1 inhibits tumor growth via suppressing miR-205-5p/ANKRD2-mediated NF-kB signaling in HNSCC. Thus, pharmaceutical targeting of DNA methylation to restore VENTXP1 expression might constitute a therapeutic strategy for HNSCC.
N-6-methyladenosine (m(6)A) is the most common epigenetic RNA modification with essential roles in cancer progression. However, roles of m(6)A and its regulator METTL3 on non-coding RNA in gastric cancer are unknown. In this study, we found elevated levels of m(6)A and METTL3 in gastric cancer. Increased METTL3 expression indicated poor outcomes of patients and high malignancy in vitro and in vivo. Mechanically, m(6)A facilitated processing of pri-miR-17-92 into the miR-17-92 cluster through an m(6)A/DGCR8-dependent mechanism. The m(6)A modification that mediated this process occurred on the A879 locus of pri-miR-17-92. The miR-17-92 cluster activated the AKT/mTOR pathway by targeting PTEN or TMEM127. Compared with those with low levels of METTL3, METTL3-high tumors showed preferred sensitivity to an mTOR inhibitor, everolimus. These results reveal a perspective on epigenetic regulations of non-coding RNA in gastric cancer progression and provide a theoretical rationale for use of everolimus in the treatment of m(6)A/METTL3-high gastric cancer.
Polyamine biosynthesis is an essential metabolic pathway for cell growth and differentiation in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Fragile-site associated tumour suppressor (FATS) is a novel gene involved in cancer. The results of our previous study showed that FATS-mediated polyubiquitination of p53 promotes the activation of p53 in response to DNA damage; however, little is known about the role of FATS in metabolic reprogramming in NSCLC. In the present study, FATS was observed to be significantly downregulated in NSCLC tissues compared with paired adjacent normal tissues and was associated with the survival of NSCLC patients. We further showed that the presence of the tumour suppressor FATS in NSCLC cells led to apoptosis by inducing pro-death autophagy. In addition, FATS was shown to function as a suppressor of polyamine biosynthesis by inhibiting ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) at the protein and mRNA levels, which was partially dependent on oestrogen receptor (ER). Furthermore, FATS was observed to bind to ER beta and translocate to the cytosol, leading to ODC degradation. The findings of our study demonstrate that FATS plays important roles in polyamine metabolism in NSCLC and provides a new perspective for NSCLC progression.
Spermatogenesis associated serine rich 2 (SPATS2) has been reported to contribute to the tumorigenesis of multiple malignancies. The molecular function of SPATS2 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is still not fully understood. In this study, we aimed to investigate the expression pattern and function roles of SPATS2 in HCC. The regulation of SPATS2 expression was also explored. We found that SPATS2 was highly expressed in HCC tissues in comparison with that in adjacent normal tissues. High expression of SPATS2 was associated with vascular invasion, advanced TNM stages, tumor multiplicity, and poor survival. Functionally, SPATS2 was found to promote the proliferation and metastasis of HCC cells both in vitro and in vivo, while knockdown of SPATS2 enhanced apoptosis and G1 arrest of HCC cells in vitro. Mechanistically, bioinformatics analysis revealed that MiR-145-5p directly targeted SPATS2 and functional rescue experiments verified that MiR-145-5p overexpression could abolish the effect of SPATS2 on the regulation of HCC malignant phenotype. Taken together, our findings suggest that SPATS2 functions as an oncogene in HCC. The MiR-145-5p/SPATS2 axis provides a novel mechanism underlying HCC progression and may serve as a potential therapeutic target for HCC.