Interleukin (IL)-37, a pivotal anti-inflammatory cytokine and a fundamental inhibitor of innate immunity, has recently been shown to be abnormally expressed in several autoimmune-related orthopedic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and osteoporosis. However, the role of IL-37 during osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) remains largely unknown. In this study, extracellular IL-37 significantly increased osteoblast-specific gene expression, the number of mineral deposits, and alkaline phosphatase activity of MSCs. Moreover, a signaling pathway was activated in the presence of IL-37. The enhanced osteogenic differentiation of MSCs due to supplementation of IL-37 was partially rescued by the presence of a PI3K/AKT signaling inhibitor. Using a rat calvarial bone defect model, IL-37 significantly improved bone healing. Collectively, these findings indicate that extracellular IL-37 enhanced osteogenesis of MSCs, at least in part by activation of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway.
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been suggested as important regulators of cancer development and progression in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Nevertheless, the clinical value and biological roles of LINC00978 in HCC remain unclear. In this study, we detected the expression of LINC00978 in tumor tissues and serum of HCC patients, examined the roles of LINC00978 in HCC progression and elucidated the underlying molecular mechanisms. We found that LINC00978 expression was upregulated in tumor tissues and serum of HCC patients. Higher serum levels of LINC00978 could distinguish HCC patients from hepatitis and liver cirrhosis patients and healthy controls. LINC00978 knockdown inhibited HCC cell proliferation, migration and invasion while promoted cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Overexpression of LINC00978 led to the opposite effects. LINC00978 knockdown also inhibited HCC growth and metastasis in mouse tumor models. Mechanistically, LINC00978 bound to EZH2 and mediated its accumulation at the promoter region of p21 and E-cadherin genes, leading to the trimethylation of H27K3 and the inhibition of p21 and E-cadherin expression. Moreover, the simultaneous depletion of p21 and E-cadherin expression reversed the inhibitory effects of LINC00978 knockdown on HCC cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. Taken together, these findings suggest that LINC00978 promotes HCC progression by inhibiting p21 and E-cadherin expression via EZH2-mediated epigenetic silencing. LINC00978 may represent a novel biomarker for HCC diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy.
The molecular mechanism of intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD) remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the role of circular RNAs (circRNAs) in the pathogenesis of IVDD. We sued nucleus pulposus (NP) tissues of patients, tert-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP) stimulated NP cells (NPCs), and IVDD rat model to explore the interaction between circERCC2 and miR-182-5p/SIRT1 axis. The results showed that downregulation of circERCC2 increased the level of miR-182-5p and decreased the level of SIRT1 in degenerative NP tissues in vivo as well as in TBHP-stimulated NPCs in vitro. Treatment of SIRT1-si activated apoptosis and inhibited mitophagy. Moreover, miR-182-5p-si could regulate the mitophagy and the apoptosis of NPCs by targeting SIRT1. The effects of circERCC2 on NPCs and IVDD rat model were mediated by miR-182-5p/SIRT1 axis. In conclusion, this study provides the first evidence that circERCC2 could ameliorate IVDD through miR-182-5p/SIRT1 axis by activating mitophagy and inhibiting apoptosis, and suggests that circERCC2 is a potentially effective therapeutic target for IVDD.
Mucosal epithelial apoptosis with non-specific inflammation is an essential pathological characteristic in portal hypertensive gastropathy (PHG). However, whether a coordinated crosstalk between myeloid cells and epithelial cells involved in PHG remains unclear. IL-6, which is induced in the mucosa of PHG patients and mice, promotes FasL production via enhancing NF-kappa Bp65 activation in myeloid cells, while blockage of IL-6 signaling by Tocilizumab or deletion of NF-kappa Bp65 in myeloid cells attenuates the inflammatory response and Fas/FasL-mediated epithelial apoptosis in PHG. IL-6-driven FasL from myeloid cells combines with epithelial Fas receptor to encourage NF-kappa Bp65/PUMA-mediated epithelial apoptosis in PHG, and inhibition of NF-kappa Bp65 or knockout of PUMA alleviates Fas/FasL-mediated epithelial apoptosis in PHG. These results indicate that IL-6 drives FasL generation via NF-kappa Bp65 in myeloid cells to promote Fas/NF-kappa Bp65/PUMA-mediated epithelial apoptosis in PHG, and this coordinated crosstalk between myeloid cells and epithelial cells may provide a potential therapeutic target for PHG.
We investigated the mechanism underlying the effect of a combination treatment of I-125 radioactive seed implantation and lobaplatin (LBP) in hepatocellular carcinoma. The effects of administration of HCC cells and subcutaneous tumor model of mice with different doses of I-125 or a sensitizing concentration of LBP alone, or in combination, on cellular apoptosis and proliferation were analyzed and it was confirmed that LBP promotes I-125-induced apoptosis and inhibition of proliferation of HCC. Furthermore, isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantification labeling analyses suggested that I-125 promoted the apoptosis and inhibition of proliferation of HCC cells by upregulating the expression of PERK-eIF2 alpha-ATF4-CHOP pathway, a well-known apoptosis-related pathway. Moreover, LBP was found to boost the I-125-induced upregulation of this pathway and increase the apoptosis. Our data indicate that LBP promotes the apoptotic and anti-proliferative effects of I-125 and provide a firm foundation for better clinical application of this combination therapy.
Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), a classic angiogenic inhibitor, has been reported to function as a tumor suppression protein and to downregulate in many types of solid tumors. However, the expression level of PEDF and its role in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are contradictory. The present study investigates the expression and different activities of secreted and intracellular PEDF during HCC development, as well as the underlying mechanism of PEDF on HCC lipid disorders. We found that PEDF had no association with patients' prognosis, although PEDF was highly expressed and inhibited angiogenesis in HCC tumor tissues. The animal experiments indicated that full-length PEDF exhibited equalizing effects on tumor growth activation and tumor angiogenesis inhibition in the late stage of HCC progression. Importantly, the pro-tumor activity was mediated by the intracellular PEDF, which causes accumulation of free fatty acids (FFAs) in vivo and in vitro. Based on the correlation analysis of PEDF and lipid metabolic indexes in human HCC tissues, we demonstrated that the intracellular PEDF led to the accumulation of FFA and eventually promoted HCC cell growth by inhibiting the activation of AMPK via ubiquitin-proteasome-mediated degradation, which causes increased de novo fatty acid synthesis and decreased FFA oxidation. Our findings revealed why elevated PEDF did not improve the patients' prognosis as the offsetting intracellular and extracellular activities. This study will lead to a comprehensive understanding of the diverse role of PEDF in HCC and provide a new selective strategy by supplement of extracellular PEDF and downregulation of intracellular PEDF for the prevention and treatment of liver cancer.
Autophagy, as an important non-selective degradation mechanism, could promote tumor initiation and progression by maintaining cellular homeostasis and the cell metabolism as well as cell viability. CircCDR1as has been shown to function as an oncogene in cancer progression, however, it remains largely unknown as to how autophagy is regulated by circCDR1as in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). In this study, we validated the functional roles of circCDR1as in regulation of autophagy in OSCC cells and further investigated how circCDR1as contributed to cell survival via up-regulating autophagy under a hypoxic microenvironment by using combination of human tissue model, in vitro cell experiments and in vivo mice model. We found that hypoxia promoted the expression level of circCDR1as in OSCC cells and elevated autophagy. In addition, circCDR1as further increased hypoxia-mediated autophagy by targeting multiple key regulators of autophagy. We revealed that circCDR1as enhanced autophagy in OSCC cells via inhibition of rapamycin (mTOR) activity and upregulation of AKT and ERK1/2 pathways. Overexpression of circCDR1as enhanced OSCC cells viability, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, and inhibited cell apoptosis under a hypoxic microenvironment. Moreover, circCDR1as promoted autophagy in OSCC cells by sponging miR-671-5p. Collectively, these results revealed that high expression of circCDR1as enhanced the viability of OSCC cells under a hypoxic microenvironment by promoting autophagy, suggesting a novel treatment strategy involving circCDR1as and the inhibition of autophagy in OSCC cells.
PAI-1 plays significant roles in cancer occurrence, relapse and multidrug resistance and is highly expressed in tumours. ACT001, which is currently in phase I clinical trials for the treatment of glioblastoma (GBM). However, the detailed molecular mechanism of ACT001 is still unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of ACT001 on glioma cell proliferation and clarified its mechanism. We discovered that PAI-1 was the direct target of ACT001 by a cellular thermal shift assay. Then, the interaction between ACT001 and PAI-1 was verified by Biacore assays, thermal stability assays and ACT001 probe assays. Furthermore, from the proteomic analysis, we found that ACT001 directly binds PAI-1 to inhibit the PI3K/AKT pathway, which induces the inhibition of glioma cell proliferation, invasion and migration. Moreover, the combination of ACT001 and cisplatin showed a synergistic effect on the inhibition of glioma in vitro and in vivo. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that PAI-1 is a new target of ACT001, the inhibition of PAI-1 induces glioma inhibition, and ACT001 has a synergistic effect with cisplatin through the inhibition of the PAI-1/P13K/AKT pathway.
Ferroptosis is a non-apoptotic form of cell death characterized by the iron-dependent lipid peroxidation and is implicated in several human pathologies, such as tissue ischemia, neurodegeneration, and cancer. Ferroptosis appears to be high cell-context dependent and the regulation of ferroptosis by physiological or pathological conditions are unclear. Here, we report that tumor-derived IDH1 mutation sensitizes cells to ferroptosis. Deletion of the mutant IDH1 allele in IDH1 heterozygous tumor cells or pharmacological inhibition of mutant IDH1 to produce the oncometabolite D-2-hydroxyglutarate (D-2-HG) confers resistance to erastin-induced ferroptosis. Conversely, ectopic expression of mutant IDH1 or treatment of cells with cell-permeable D-2-HG promotes the accumulation of lipid reactive oxygen species (ROS) and subsequently ferroptosis. Mechanistically, mutant IDH1 reduces the protein level of the glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4), a key enzyme in removing lipid ROS and ferroptosis, and promotes depletion of glutathione. Our results uncover a new role of mutant IDH1 and 2-HG in ferroptosis.
M2-polarized tumor associated macrophages (TAMs) play an important role in tumor progression. It has been reported that response gene to complement 32 (RGC-32) promotes M2 macrophage polarization. However, whether RGC-32 expression in macrophages could play a potential role in tumor progression remain unclear. Here we identified that increasing RGC-32 expression in colon cancer and tumor associated macrophages was positively correlated with cancer progression. In vitro studies confirmed that colon cancer cells upregulated RGC-32 expression of macrophages via secreting TGF-beta 1. RGC-32 expression promoted macrophage migration. In addition, stimulation of HCT-116 cells with the condition mediums of RGC-32-silienced or over-expressed macrophages affected tumor cell colony formation and migration via altered COX-2 expression. In an animal model, macrophages with RGC-32 knockdown significantly decreased the expression of COX-2 and Ki67 in the xenografts, and partly inhibited tumor growth. Together, our results provide the evidences for a critical role of TGF-beta 1/RGC-32 pathway in TAMs and colon cancer cells during tumor progression.
Ovarian cancer remains the most lethal gynecologic malignancy with late detection and acquired chemoresistance. Advanced understanding of the pathophysiology and novel treatment strategies are urgently required. A growing body of proteomic investigations suggest that phosphorylation has a pivotal role in the regulation of ovarian cancer associated signaling pathways. Matrine has been extensively studied for its potent anti-tumor activities. However, its effect on ovarian cancer cells and underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Herein we showed that matrine treatment inhibited the development and progression of ovarian cancer cells by regulating proliferation, apoptosis, autophagy, invasion and angiogenesis. Matrine treatment retarded the cancer associated signaling transduction by decreasing the phosphorylation levels of ERK1/2, MEK1/2, PI3K, Akt, mTOR, FAK, RhoA, VEGFR2, and Tie2 in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, matrine showed excellent antitumor effect on chemoresistant ovarian cancer cells. No obvious toxic side effects were observed in matrine-administrated mice. As the natural agent, matrine has the potential to be the targeting drug against ovarian cancer cells with the advantages of overcoming the chemotherapy resistance and decreasing the toxic side effects.
Uterine angiogenesis and vascular remodeling play critical roles in determing the normal menstrual cycle and successful pregnancy. Poor uterine angiogenesis usually results in pregnancy failure. Protein O-fucosyltransferase 1 (poFUT1) is the key enzyme responsible for O-fucosylated glycan biosynthesis on glycoproteins. However, the dynamic expression and regulation of poFUT1 on the uterine angiogenesis and vascular remodeling remain unknown. Here, we showed that the enlargement of the vascular lumen in the secretory phase was greater than that in the proliferative phase of the uterine endometrium during menstrual cycle; whereas there was a narrower vessel lumen and fewer blood vessels in the decidua from miscarriage patients than in that from healthy pregnancy women. Additionally, the expression of poFUT1 was increased in the uterine endometrium during the secretory phase compared with that in the proliferation phase, and its expression was decreased in the uterus of miscarriage patients compared with that of the healthy pregnancy women. Using hESCs and a mouse model, we demonstrated that poFUT1 increased the O-fucosylation on uPA, and activated of the RhoA signaling pathway, thus facilitating uterine angiogenesis and vascular remodeling. We also provide evidence that poFUT1 promotes hESCs angiogenesis by the decreased stemness of hESCs. These findings reveal a new insight into the uterine angiogenesis and vascular remodeling. The study suggests that poFUT1 could be seen as a novel potential diagnostic and therapeutic target for miscarriage.
Postoperative acute kidney injury (AKI) is a severe complication after liver transplantation (LT). Its deterioration and magnification lead to the increase in mortality. Connexin43 (Cx43) mediates direct transmission of intracellular signals between neighboring cells, always considered to be the potent biological basis of organ damage deterioration and magnification. Thus, we explored the effects of Cx43 on AKI following LT and its related possible mechanism. In this study, alternations of Cx43 expression were observed in 82 patients, receiving the first-time orthotopic LT. We built autologous orthotopic liver transplantation (AOLT) models with Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats in vivo, and hypoxia-reoxygenation (H/R) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) pretreatment models with kidney tubular epithelial cells (NRK-52E) in vitro, both of which were the most important independent risk factors of AKI following LT. Then, different methods were used to alter the function of Cx43 channels to determine its protective effects on AKI. The results indicated that patients with AKI suffering from longer time of tracheal intubation or intensive care unit stay, importantly, had significantly lower survival rate at postoperative 30 days and 3 years. In rat AOLT models, as Cx43 was inhibited with heptanol, postoperative AKI was attenuated significantly. In vitro experiments, downregulation of Cx43 with selective inhibitors, or siRNA protected against post-hypoxic NRK-52E cell injuries caused by H/R and/or LPS, while upregulation of Cx43 exacerbated the above-mentioned cell injuries. Of note, alternation of Cx43 function regulated the content of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which not only mediated oxidative stress and inflammation reactions effectively, but also regulated necroptosis. Therefore, we concluded that Cx43 inhibition protected against AKI following LT through attenuating ROS transmission between the neighboring cells. ROS alternation depressed oxidative stress and inflammation reaction, which ultimately reduced necroptosis. This might offer new insights for targeted intervention for organ protection in LT, or even in other major surgeries.
Radiotherapy is essential to treat breast cancer and microRNA (miRNA) miR-200c is considered as a radiosensitizer of breast cancer. However, the molecular mechanisms by which miR-200c regulates radiosensitivity remain largely unknown. In the present study, we showed that induction of miR-200c led to widespread alteration in long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) expression in breast cancer cells. We identified lncRNA LINC02582 as a target of miR-200c. Inhibition of LINC02582 expression increased radiosensitvity, while overexpression of LINC02582 promoted radioresistance. Mechanistically, LINC02582 interacts with deubiquitinating enzyme ubiquitin specific peptidase 7 (USP7) to deubiquitinate and stabilize checkpoint kinase 1 (CHK1), a critical effector kinase in DNA damage response, thus promoting radioresistance. Furthermore, we detected an inverse correlation between the expression of miR-200c vs. LINC02582 and CHK1 in breast cancer samples. These findings identified LINC02582 as a downstream target of miR-200c linking miR-200c to CHK1, in which miR-200c increases radiosensitivity by downregulation of CHK1.