BBA - Molecular Cell Research (v.1843, #2)

Cdc6 is cleaved at residues 442 and 290 by caspase-3 during apoptosis producing p49-tCdc6 and p32-tCdc6, respectively. While p32-tCdc6 is unable to translocate into the cytoplasm, p49-tCdc6 retains cytoplasmic translocation activity, but it has a lower efficiency than wild-type Cdc6. We hypothesized that a novel nuclear export signal (NES) sequence exists between amino acids 290 and 442. Cdc6 contains a novel NES in the region of amino acids 300–315 (NES2) that shares sequence similarity with NES1 at residues 462–476. In mutant versions of Cdc6, we replaced leucine with alanine in NES1 and NES2 and co-expressed the mutant constructs with cyclin A. We observed that the cytoplasmic translocation of these mutants was reduced in comparison to wild-type Cdc6. Moreover, the cytoplasmic translocation of a mutant in which all four leucine residues were mutated to alanine was significantly inhibited in comparison to the translocation of wild-type Cdc6. The Crm1 binding activities of Cdc6 NES mutants were consistent with the efficiency of its cytoplasmic translocation. Further studies have revealed that L468 and L470 of NES1 are required for cytoplasmic translocation of Cdc6 phosphorylated at S74, while L311 and L313 of NES2 accelerate the cytoplasmic translocation of Cdc6 phosphorylated at S54. These results suggest that the two NESs of Cdc6 work cooperatively and distinctly for the cytoplasmic translocation of Cdc6 phosphorylated at S74 and S54 by cyclin A/Cdk2.
Keywords: Cdc6; Crm1; Nuclear export signal; Localization; Phosphorylation;

Valvular dystrophy associated filamin A mutations reveal a new role of its first repeats in small-GTPase regulation by D. Duval; A. Lardeux; T. Le Tourneau; R.A. Norris; R.R. Markwald; V. Sauzeau; V. Probst; H. Le Marec; R. Levine; J.J. Schott; J. Merot (234-244).
Filamin A (FlnA) is a ubiquitous actin binding protein which anchors various transmembrane proteins to the cell cytoskeleton and provides a scaffold to many cytoplasmic signaling proteins involved in actin cytoskeleton remodeling in response to mechanical stress and cytokines stimulation. Although the vast majority of FlnA binding partners interact with the carboxy-terminal immunoglobulin like (Igl) repeats of FlnA, little is known on the role of the amino-N-terminal repeats. Here, using cardiac mitral valvular dystrophy associated FlnA–G288R and P637Q mutations located in the N-terminal Igl repeat 1 and 4 respectively as a model, we identified a new role of FlnA N-terminal repeats in small Rho-GTPases regulation. Using FlnA-deficient melanoma and HT1080 cell lines as expression systems we showed that FlnA mutations reduce cell spreading and migration capacities. Furthermore, we defined a signaling network in which FlnA mutations alter the balance between RhoA and Rac1 GTPases activities in favor of RhoA and provided evidences for a role of the Rac1 specific GTPase activating protein FilGAP in this process. Together our work ascribed a new role to the N-terminal repeats of FlnA in Small GTPases regulation and supports a conceptual framework for the role of FlnA mutations in cardiac valve diseases centered around signaling molecules regulating cellular actin cytoskeleton in response to mechanical stress.
Keywords: Mitral valve prolapse; Filamin A; Rac1; RhoA; FilGAP;

Hsp90 activity is necessary to acquire a proper neuronal polarization by M.J. Benitez; D. Sanchez-Ponce; J.J. Garrido; F. Wandosell (245-252).
Chaperones are critical for the folding and regulation of a wide array of cellular proteins. Heat Shock Proteins (Hsps) are the most representative group of chaperones. Hsp90 represents up to 1–2% of soluble protein. Although the Hsp90 role is being studied in neurodegenerative diseases, its role in neuronal differentiation remains mostly unknown. Since neuronal polarity mechanisms depend on local stability and degradation, we asked whether Hsp90 could be a regulator of axonal polarity and growth. Thus, we studied the role of Hsp90 activity in a well established model of cultured hippocampal neurons using an Hsp90 specific inhibitor, 17-AAG. Our present data shows that Hsp90 inhibition at different developmental stages disturbs neuronal polarity formation or axonal elongation. Hsp90 inhibition during the first 3 h in culture promotes multiple axon morphology, while this inhibition after 3 h slows down axonal elongation. Hsp90 inhibition was accompanied by decreased Akt and GSK3 expression, as well as, a reduced Akt activity. In parallel, we detected an alteration of kinesin-1 subcellular distribution. Moreover, these effects were seconded by changes in Hsp70/Hsc70 subcellular localization that seem to compensate the lack of Hsp90 activity. In conclusion, our data strongly suggests that Hsp90 activity is necessary to control the expression, activity or location of specific kinases and motor proteins during the axon specification and axon elongation processes. Even more, our data demonstrate the existence of a “time-window” for axon specification in this model of cultured neurons after which the inhibition of Hsp90 only affects axonal elongation mechanisms.
Keywords: Neuronal chaperons; Hsp90; Axon; Neuronal polarity; PI3K–Akt pathway;

Intracellular mobility and nuclear trafficking of the stress-activated kinase JNK1 are impeded by hyperosmotic stress by Mariya Misheva; Gurpreet Kaur; Kevin R.W. Ngoei; Yvonne Y. Yeap; Ivan H.W. Ng; Kylie M. Wagstaff; Dominic C.H. Ng; David A. Jans; Marie A. Bogoyevitch (253-264).
The c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) are a group of stress-activated protein kinases that regulate gene expression changes through specific phosphorylation of nuclear transcription factor substrates. To address the mechanisms underlying JNK nuclear entry, we employed a semi-intact cell system to demonstrate for the first time that JNK1 nuclear entry is dependent on the importin α2/β1 heterodimer and independent of importins α3, α4, β2, β3, 7 and 13. However, quantitative image analysis of JNK1 localization following exposure of cells to either arsenite or hyperosmotic stress did not indicate its nuclear accumulation. Extending our analyses to define the dynamics of nuclear trafficking of JNK1, we combined live cell imaging analyses with fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) protocols. Subnuclear and subcytoplasmic bleaching protocols revealed the slowed movement of JNK1 in both regions in response to hyperosmotic stress. Strikingly, while movement into the nucleus of green fluorescent protein (GFP) or transport of a GFP-T-antigen fusion protein as estimated by initial rates and time to reach half-maximal recovery (t1/2) measures remained unaltered, hyperosmotic stress slowed the nuclear entry of GFP-JNK1. In contrast, arsenite exposure which did not alter the initial rates of nuclear accumulation of GFP, GFP-T-antigen or GFP-JNK1, decreased the t1/2 for nuclear accumulation of both GFP and GFP-JNK1. Thus, our results challenge the paradigm of increased nuclear localization of JNK broadly in response to all forms of stress-activation and are consistent with enhanced interactions of stress-activated JNK1 with scaffold and substrate proteins throughout the nucleus and the cytosol under conditions of hyperosmotic stress.
Keywords: Nuclear import; Sorbitol; Live-imaging; Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching;

T cell activation induces CuZn superoxide dismutase (SOD)-1 intracellular re-localization, production and secretion by Giuseppe Terrazzano; Valentina Rubino; Simona Damiano; Anna Sasso; Tiziana Petrozziello; Valentina Ucci; Anna Teresa Palatucci; Angela Giovazzino; Mariarosaria Santillo; Bruna De Felice; Corrado Garbi; Paolo Mondola; Giuseppina Ruggiero (265-274).
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) behave as second messengers in signal transduction for a series of receptor/ligand interactions. A major regulatory role is played by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), more stable and able to freely diffuse through cell membranes. Copper–zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZn-SOD)-1 is a cytosolic enzyme involved in scavenging oxygen radicals to H2O2 and molecular oxygen, thus representing a major cytosolic source of peroxides. Previous studies suggested that superoxide anion and H2O2 generation are involved in T cell receptor (TCR)-dependent signaling. Here, we describe that antigen-dependent activation of human T lymphocytes significantly increased extracellular SOD-1 levels in lymphocyte cultures. This effect was accompanied by the synthesis of SOD-1-specific mRNA and by the induction of microvesicle SOD-1 secretion. It is of note that SOD-1 increased its concentration specifically in T cell population, while no significant changes were observed in the “non-T” cell counterpart. Moreover, confocal microscopy showed that antigen-dependent activation was able to modify SOD-1 intracellular localization in T cells. Indeed, was observed a clear SOD-1 recruitment by TCR clusters. The ROS scavenger N-acetylcysteine (NAC) inhibited this phenomenon. Further studies are needed to define whether SOD-1-dependent superoxide/peroxide balance is relevant for regulation of T cell activation, as well as in the functional cross talk between immune effectors.
Keywords: Human T lymphocyte; Intracellular localization; Microvesicle secretion; SOD-1; T cell activation; TCR triggering;

Soluble T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain (TIM)-1 and -4 generated by A Disintegrin And Metalloprotease (ADAM)-10 and -17 bind to phosphatidylserine by Olga Schweigert; Christin Dewitz; Katja Möller-Hackbarth; Ahmad Trad; Christoph Garbers; Stefan Rose-John; Jürgen Scheller (275-287).
T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain 1 and 4 (TIM-1 and -4) proteins serve as phosphatidylserine receptors to engulf apoptotic cells. Here we show that human TIM-1 and TIM-4 proteins are targets of A Disintegrin And Metalloprotease (ADAM)-mediated ectodomain shedding resulting in soluble forms of TIM-1 and TIM-4. We identified ADAM10 and ADAM17 as major sheddases of TIM-1 and TIM-4 as shown by protease-specific inhibitors, the ADAM10 prodomain, siRNA and ADAM10/ADAM17 deficient murine embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). TIM-1 and TIM-4 lacking the intracellular domain were efficiently cleaved after ionomycin- and PMA-treatment, indicating that the intracellular domain was not necessary for ectodomain shedding. Soluble TIM-1 and -4 were able to bind to phosphatidylserine, suggesting that soluble TIM-1 and -4 might act as negative regulators of cellular TIM-1 and -4. In summary, we describe TIM-1 and TIM-4 as novel targets for ADAM10- and ADAM17-mediated ectodomain shedding.
Keywords: ADAM; Shedding; Cell surface receptor; T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain protein;

The tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1 inhibits proliferation of activated hepatic stellate cells by impairing PDGF receptor signaling by Elena Tibaldi; Francesca Zonta; Luciana Bordin; Elisa Magrin; Enrico Gringeri; Umberto Cillo; Giuseppe Idotta; Mario Angelo Pagano; Anna Maria Brunati (288-298).
The dimerization and auto-transphosphorylation of platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) upon engagement by platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) activates signals promoting the mitogenic response of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) due to liver injury, thus contributing to the development of hepatic fibrosis. We demonstrate that the tyrosine phosphatases Src homology 2 domain-containing phosphatase 1 and 2 (SHP-1 and SHP-2) act as crucial regulators of a complex signaling network orchestrated by PDGFR activation in a spatio-temporal manner with diverse and opposing functions in HSCs. In fact, silencing of either phosphatase shows that SHP-2 is committed to PDGFR-mediated cell proliferation, whereas SHP-1 dephosphorylates PDGFR hence abrogating the downstream signaling pathways that result in HSC activation. In this regard, SHP-1 as an off-switch of PDGFR signaling appears to emerge as a valuable molecular target to trigger as to prevent HSC proliferation and the fibrogenic effects of HSC activation. We show that boswellic acid, a multitarget compound with potent anti-inflammatory action, exerts an anti-proliferative effect on HSCs, as in other cell models, by upregulating SHP-1 with subsequent dephosphorylation of PDGFR-β and downregulation of PDGF-dependent signaling after PDGF stimulation. Moreover, the synergism resulting from the combined use of boswellic acid and imatinib, which directly inhibits PDGFR-β activity, on activated HSCs offers new perspectives for the development of therapeutic strategies that could implement molecules affecting diverse players of this molecular circuit, thus paving the way to multi-drug low-dose regimens for liver fibrosis.
Keywords: Hepatic stellate cell; Liver fibrosis; Tyrosine phosphorylation; Protein tyrosine phosphatase; SHP-1; PDGF receptor;

Calcium signaling and the MAPK cascade are required for sperm activation in Caenorhabditis elegans by Zhiyu Liu; Bin Wang; Ruijun He; Yanmei Zhao; Long Miao (299-308).
In nematode, sperm activation (or spermiogenesis), a process in which the symmetric and non-motile spermatids transform into polarized and crawling spermatozoa, is critical for sperm cells to acquire fertilizing competence. SPE-8 dependent and SPE-8 independent pathways function redundantly during sperm activation in both males and hermaphrodites of Caenorhabditis elegans. However, the downstream signaling for both pathways remains unclear. Here we show that calcium signaling and the MAPK cascade are required for both SPE-8 dependent and SPE-8 independent sperm activation, implying that both pathways share common downstream signaling components during sperm activation. We demonstrate that activation of the MAPK cascade is sufficient to activate spermatids derived from either wild-type or spe-8 group mutant males and that activation of the MAPK cascade bypasses the requirement of calcium signal to induce sperm activation, indicating that the MAPK cascade functions downstream of or parallel with the calcium signaling during sperm activation. Interestingly, the persistent activation of MAPK in activated spermatozoa inhibits Major Sperm Protein (MSP)-based cytoskeleton dynamics. We demonstrate that MAPK plays dual roles in promoting pseudopod extension during sperm activation but also blocking the MSP-based, amoeboid motility of the spermatozoa. Thus, though nematode sperm are crawling cells, morphologically distinct from flagellated sperm, and the molecular machinery for motility of amoeboid and flagellated sperm is different, both types of sperm might utilize conserved signaling pathways to modulate sperm maturation.
Keywords: Sperm activation; Calcium; MAPK; Major Sperm Protein; C. elegans;

Alpha-crystallin-mediated protection of lens cells against heat and oxidative stress-induced cell death by Karen L. Christopher; Michelle G. Pedler; Biehuoy Shieh; David A. Ammar; J. Mark Petrash; Niklaus H. Mueller (309-315).
In addition to their key role as structural lens proteins, α-crystallins also appear to confer protection against many eye diseases, including cataract, retinitis pigmentosa, and macular degeneration. Exogenous recombinant α-crystallin proteins were examined for their ability to prevent cell death induced by heat or oxidative stress in a human lens epithelial cell line (HLE-B3). Wild type αA- or αB-crystallin (WT-αA and WT-αB) and αA- or αB-crystallins, modified by the addition of a cell penetration peptide (CPP) designed to enhance the uptake of proteins into cells (gC-αB, TAT-αB, gC-αA), were produced by recombinant methods. In vitro chaperone-like assays were used to assay the ability of α-crystallins to protect client proteins from chemical or heat induced aggregation. In vivo viability assays were performed in HLE-B3 to determine whether pre-treatment with α-crystallins reduced death after exposure to oxidative or heat stress. Most of the five recombinant α-crystallin proteins tested conferred some in vitro protection from protein aggregation, with the greatest effect seen with WT-αB and gC-αB. All α-crystallins displayed significant protection to oxidative stress induced cell death, while only the αB-crystallins reduced cell death induced by thermal stress. Our findings indicate that the addition of the gC tag enhanced the protective effect of αB-crystallin against oxidative but not thermally-induced cell death. In conclusion, modifications that increase the uptake of α-crystallin proteins into cells, without destroying their chaperone-like activity and anti-apoptotic functions, create the potential to use these proteins therapeutically.
Keywords: Alpha crystallin; Small heat shock protein; Apoptosis; Lens;

Cytosolic functions of MORC2 in lipogenesis and adipogenesis by Beatriz Sánchez-Solana; Da-Qiang Li; Rakesh Kumar (316-326).
Microrchidia (MORC) family CW-type zinc finger 2 (MORC2) has been shown to be involved in several nuclear processes, including transcription modulation and DNA damage repair. However, its cytosolic function remains largely unknown. Here, we report an interaction between MORC2 and adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-citrate lyase (ACLY), an enzyme that catalyzes the formation of acetyl-coA and plays a central role in lipogenesis, cholesterogenesis, and histone acetylation. Furthermore, we demonstrate that MORC2 promotes ACLY activation in the cytosol of lipogenic breast cancer cells and plays an essential role in lipogenesis, adipogenesis and differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytic cells. Consistently, the expression of MORC2 is induced during the process of 3T3-L1 adipogenic differentiation and mouse mammary gland development at a stage of increased lipogenesis. This observation was accompanied by a high ACLY activity. Together, these results demonstrate a cytosolic function of MORC2 in lipogenesis, adipogenic differentiation, and lipid homeostasis by regulating the activity of ACLY.
Keywords: MORC2; ACLY; Protein–protein interaction; Lipogenesis; Adipogenesis;

Isoforms of protein kinase C involved in phorbol ester-induced sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 1 phosphorylation and desensitization by Marco Antonio Morquecho-León; Silvana Bazúa-Valenti; M. Teresa Romero-Ávila; J. Adolfo García-Sáinz (327-334).
The role of protein kinase C (PKC) isozymes in phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)-induced sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor 1 (S1P1) phosphorylation was studied. Activation of S1P1 receptors induced an immediate increase in intracellular calcium, which was blocked by preincubation with PMA. Both S1P and PMA were able to increase S1P1 phosphorylation in a concentration- and time-dependent fashion. Down-regulation of PKC (overnight incubation with PMA) blocked the subsequent effect of the phorbol ester on S1P1 phosphorylation, without decreasing that of the natural agonist. Pharmacological inhibition of PKC α prevented the effects of PMA on S1P-triggered intracellular calcium increase and on S1P1 phosphorylation; no such effect was observed on the effects of the sphingolipid agonist. The presence of PKC α and β isoforms in S1P1 immunoprecipitates was evidenced by Western blotting. Additionally, expression of dominant-negative mutants of PKC α or β and knockdown of these isozymes using short hairpin RNA, markedly attenuated PMA-induced S1P1 phosphorylation. Our results indicate that the classical isoforms, mainly PKC α, mediate PMA-induced phosphorylation and desensitization of S1P1.
Keywords: Sphingosine-1-phosphate; S1P; Sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1; S1P1; Receptor phosphorylation; Protein kinase C; PKC;

A-kinase anchoring protein-Lbc promotes pro-fibrotic signaling in cardiac fibroblasts by Sabrina Cavin; Darko Maric; Dario Diviani (335-345).
In response to stress or injury the heart undergoes an adverse remodeling process associated with cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and fibrosis. Transformation of cardiac fibroblasts to myofibroblasts is a crucial event initiating the fibrotic process. Cardiac myofibroblasts invade the myocardium and secrete excess amounts of extracellular matrix proteins, which cause myocardial stiffening, cardiac dysfunctions and progression to heart failure. While several studies indicate that the small GTPase RhoA can promote profibrotic responses, the exchange factors that modulate its activity in cardiac fibroblasts are yet to be identified. In the present study, we show that AKAP-Lbc, an A-kinase anchoring protein (AKAP) with an intrinsic Rho-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) activity, is critical for activating RhoA and transducing profibrotic signals downstream of type I angiotensin II receptors (AT1Rs) in cardiac fibroblasts. In particular, our results indicate that suppression of AKAP-Lbc expression by infecting adult rat ventricular fibroblasts with lentiviruses encoding AKAP-Lbc specific short hairpin (sh) RNAs strongly reduces the ability of angiotensin II to promote RhoA activation, differentiation of cardiac fibroblasts to myofibroblasts, collagen deposition as well as myofibroblast migration. Interestingly, AT1Rs promote AKAP-Lbc activation via a pathway that requires the α subunit of the heterotrimeric G protein G12. These findings identify AKAP-Lbc as a key Rho-guanine nucleotide exchange factor modulating profibrotic responses in cardiac fibroblasts.
Keywords: A kinase-anchoring protein (AKAP); Protein kinase A; G protein-coupled receptor; Cardiac fibroblast; RhoA;

Inflammation, caveolae and CD38-mediated calcium regulation in human airway smooth muscle by Venkatachalem Sathish; Michael A. Thompson; Sutapa Sinha; Gary C. Sieck; Y.S. Prakash; Christina M. Pabelick (346-351).
The pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) increases expression of CD38 (a membrane-associated bifunctional enzyme regulating cyclic ADP ribose), and enhances agonist-induced intracellular Ca2 + ([Ca2 +]i) responses in human airway smooth muscle (ASM). We previously demonstrated that caveolae and their constituent protein caveolin-1 are important for ASM [Ca2 +]i regulation, which is further enhanced by TNFα. Whether caveolae and CD38 are functionally linked in mediating TNFα effects is unknown. In this regard, whether the related cavin proteins (cavin-1 and -3) that maintain structure and function of caveolae play a role is also not known. In the present study, we hypothesized that TNFα effects on CD38 expression and function in human ASM involve caveolae. Caveolar fractions from isolated human ASM cells expressed CD38 and its expression was upregulated by exposure to 20 ng/ml TNFα (48 h). ASM cells expressed cavin-1 and cavin-3, which were also upregulated by TNFα. Knockdown of caveolin-1, cavin-1 or cavin-3 (using siRNA) all significantly reduced CD38 expression and ADP-ribosyl cyclase activity in the presence or absence of TNFα. Furthermore, caveolin-1, cavin-1 and cavin-3 siRNAs reduced [Ca2 +]i responses to histamine under control conditions, and blunted the enhanced [Ca2 +]i responses in TNFα-exposed cells. These data demonstrate that CD38 is expressed within caveolae and its function is linked to the caveolar regulatory proteins caveolin-1, cavin-1 and -3. The link between caveolae and CD38 is further enhanced during airway inflammation demonstrating the important role of caveolae in regulation of [Ca2 +]i and contractility in the airway.
Keywords: Plasma membrane; ADP ribosyl cyclase; Lung; Asthma; Cavin;

Mechanism of cleavage of alpha-synuclein by the 20S proteasome and modulation of its degradation by the RedOx state of the N-terminal methionines by Beatriz Alvarez-Castelao; Marc Goethals; Joël Vandekerckhove; José G. Castaño (352-365).
Alpha-synuclein is a small protein implicated in the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD). We have investigated the mechanism of cleavage of alpha-synuclein by the 20S proteasome. Alpha-synuclein interacts with the C8 (α7) subunit of the proteasome. The N-terminal part of alpha-synuclein (amino acids 1–60) is essential for its proteasomal degradation and analysis of peptides released from proteasomal digestion allows concluding that initial cleavages occur within the N-terminal region of the molecule. Aggregated alpha-synucleins are also degraded by the proteasome with a reduced rate, likely due to Met oxidation. In fact, mild oxidation of alpha-synuclein with H2O2 resulted in the inhibition of its degradation by the proteasome, mainly due to oxidation of Met 1 and 5 of alpha-synuclein. The inhibition was reversed by treatment of the oxidized protein with methionine sulfoxide reductases (MsrA plus MsrB). Similarly, treatment with H2O2 of N2A cells transfected with alpha-synuclein resulted in the inhibition of its degradation that was also reverted by co-transfection of MsrA plus MsrB. These results clearly indicate that oxidative stress, a common feature of PD and other synucleinopathies, promotes a RedOx change in the proteostasis of alpha-synuclein due to Met oxidation and reduced proteasomal degradation; compromised reversion of those oxidative changes would result in the accumulation of oxidative damaged alpha-synuclein likely contributing to the pathogenesis of PD.
Keywords: Protein degradation; Alpha-synuclein; Proteasome; RedOx; MsrA and B; Parkinson's disease;

Diverse functions of PHD fingers of the MLL/KMT2 subfamily by Muzaffar Ali; Robert A. Hom; Weston Blakeslee; Larissa Ikenouye; Tatiana G. Kutateladze (366-371).
Five members of the KMT2 family of lysine methyltransferases, originally named the mixed lineage leukemia (MLL1-5) proteins, regulate gene expression during embryogenesis and development. Each KMT2A-E contains a catalytic SET domain that methylates lysine 4 of histone H3, and one or several PHD fingers. Over the past few years a growing number of studies have uncovered diverse biological roles of the KMT2A-E PHD fingers, implicating them in binding to methylated histones and other nuclear proteins, and in mediating the E3 ligase activity and dimerization. Mutations in the PHD fingers or deletion of these modules are linked to human diseases including cancer and Kabuki syndrome. In this work, we summarize recently identified biological functions of the KMT2A-E PHD fingers, discuss mechanisms of their action, and examine preference of these domains for histone and non-histone ligands.
Keywords: PHD finger; KMT2; MLL; Methyltransferase; Histone; Chromatin;

Colorectal neoplasia differentially expressed (CRNDE) is a novel gene that is activated early in colorectal cancer but whose regulation and functions are unknown. CRNDE transcripts are recognized as long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), which potentially interact with chromatin-modifying complexes to regulate gene expression via epigenetic changes. Complex alternative splicing results in numerous transcripts from this gene, and we have identified novel transcripts containing a highly-conserved sequence within intron 4 (“gVC-In4”). In colorectal cancer cells, we demonstrate that treatment with insulin and insulin-like growth factors (IGF) repressed CRNDE nuclear transcripts, including those encompassing gVC-In4. These repressive effects were negated by use of inhibitors against either the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway or Raf/MAPK pathway, suggesting CRNDE is a downstream target of both signaling cascades. Expression array analyses revealed that siRNA-mediated knockdown of gVC-In4 transcripts affected the expression of many genes, which showed correlation with insulin/IGF signaling pathway components and responses, including glucose and lipid metabolism. Some of the genes are identical to those affected by insulin treatment in the same cell line. The results suggest that CRNDE expression promotes the metabolic changes by which cancer cells switch to aerobic glycolysis (Warburg effect). This is the first report of a lncRNA regulated by insulin/IGFs, and our findings indicate a role for CRNDE nuclear transcripts in regulating cellular metabolism which may correlate with their upregulation in colorectal cancer.
Keywords: CRNDE; Colorectal cancer; lncRNA; Insulin; IGF1; Warburg effect;

Vascular endothelial growth factor-C modulates proliferation and chemoresistance in acute myeloid leukemic cells through an endothelin-1-dependent induction of cyclooxygenase-2 by Kuo-Tai Hua; Wei-Jiunn Lee; Shun-Fa Yang; Chi-Kuan Chen; Michael Hsiao; Chia-Chi Ku; Lin-Hung Wei; Min-Liang Kuo; Ming-Hsien Chien (387-397).
High-level expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C is associated with chemoresistance and adverse prognosis in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Our previous study has found that VEGF-C induces cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression in AML cell lines and significant correlation of VEGF-C and COX-2 in bone marrow specimens. COX-2 has been reported to mediate the proliferation and drug resistance in several solid tumors. Herein, we demonstrated that the VEGF-C-induced proliferation of AML cells is effectively abolished by the depletion or inhibition of COX-2. The expression of endothelin-1 (ET-1) rapidly increased following treatment with VEGF-C. We found that ET-1 was also involved in the VEGF-C-mediated proliferation of AML cells, and that recombinant ET-1 induced COX-2 mRNA and protein expressions in AML cells. Treatment with the endothelin receptor A (ETRA) antagonist, BQ 123, or ET-1 shRNAs inhibited VEGF-C-induced COX-2 expression. Flow cytometry and immunoblotting revealed that VEGF-C induces S phase accumulation through the inhibition of p27 and the upregulation of cyclin E and cyclin-dependent kinase-2 expressions. The cell-cycle-related effects of VEGF-C were reversed by the depletion of COX-2 or ET-1. The depletion of COX-2 or ET-1 also suppressed VEGF-C-induced increases in the bcl-2/bax ratio and chemoresistance against etoposide and cytosine arabinoside in AML cells. We also demonstrated VEGF-C/ET-1/COX-2 axis-mediated chemoresistance in an AML xenograft mouse model. Our findings suggest that VEGF-C induces COX-2-mediated resistance to chemotherapy through the induction of ET-1 expression. Acting as a key regulator in the VEGF-C/COX-2 axis, ET-1 represents a potential target for ameliorating resistance to chemotherapy in AML patients.
Keywords: VEGF-C; AML; Chemoresistance; Endothelin-1; Cyclooxygenase-2;

Calmodulin (CaM) is a ubiquitous Ca2 + receptor protein mediating a large number of signaling processes in all eukaryotic cells. CaM plays a central role in regulating a myriad of cellular functions via interaction with multiple target proteins. This review focuses on the action of CaM and CaM-dependent signaling systems in the control of vertebrate cell proliferation, programmed cell death and autophagy. The significance of CaM and interconnected CaM-regulated systems for the physiology of cancer cells including tumor stem cells, and processes required for tumor progression such as growth, tumor-associated angiogenesis and metastasis are highlighted. Furthermore, the potential targeting of CaM-dependent signaling processes for therapeutic use is discussed.
Keywords: Calmodulin; Ca2 + binding protein; Cell proliferation; Cancer biology; Apoptosis; Autophagy;

p27 is regulated independently of Skp2 in the absence of Cdk2 by Shuhei Kotoshiba; Lakshmi Gopinathan; Elisabeth Pfeiffenberger; Anisa Rahim; Leah A. Vardy; Keiko Nakayama; Keiichi I. Nakayama; Philipp Kaldis (436-445).
Cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (Cdk2) is dispensable for mitotic cell cycle progression and Cdk2 knockout mice are viable due to the compensatory functions of other Cdks. In order to assess the role of Cdk2 under limiting conditions, we used Skp2 knockout mice that exhibit increased levels of Cdk inhibitor, p27Kip1, which is able to inhibit Cdk2 and Cdk1. Knockdown of Cdk2 abrogated proliferation of Skp2−/− mouse embryonic fibroblasts, encouraging us to generate Cdk2−/−Skp2−/− double knockout mice. Cdk2−/−Skp2−/− double knockout mice are viable and display similar phenotypes as Cdk2−/− and Skp2−/− mice. Unexpectedly, fibroblasts generated from Cdk2−/−Skp2−/− double knockout mice proliferated at normal rates. The increased stability of p27 observed in Skp2−/− MEFs was not observed in Cdk2−/−Skp2−/− double knockout fibroblasts indicating that in the absence of Cdk2, p27 is regulated by Skp2-independent mechanisms. Ablation of other ubiquitin ligases for p27 such as KPC1, DDB1, and Pirh2 did not restore stability of p27 in Cdk2−/−Skp2−/− MEFs. Our findings point towards novel and alternate pathways for p27 regulation.
Keywords: Cyclin-dependent kinase; Knockout mice; Cdk2; Skp2; p27;

We have studied the membrane transport of the chimeric precursor protein 16/33, which is composed of the Tat1-specific transport signal of OEC16 and the Sec passenger protein OEC33, both subunits of the oxygen-evolving system associated with photosystem II. Protein transport experiments performed with isolated pea thylakoids show that the 16/33 chimera is transported in a strictly Tat-dependent manner into the thylakoid vesicles yielding mature OEC33 (mOEC33) in two different topologies. One fraction accumulates in the thylakoid lumen and is thus resistant to externally added protease. A second fraction is arrested during transport in an N-in/C-out topology within the membrane. Chase experiments demonstrate that this membrane-arrested mOEC33 moiety does not represent a translocation intermediate but instead an alternative end product of the transport process. Transport arrest of mOEC33, which is embedded in the membrane with a mildly hydrophobic protein segment, requires more than 26 additional and predominantly hydrophilic residues C-terminal of the membrane-embedded segment. Furthermore, it is stimulated by mutations which potentially affect the conformation of mOEC33 suggesting that at least partial folding of the passenger protein is required for complete membrane translocation.Display Omitted
Keywords: Protein transport; Twin-arginine translocation; Thylakoid membrane; Tat pathway; Stop-transfer; Membrane arrest;

GSTpi protects against angiotensin II-induced proliferation and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells by preventing signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 activation by Dan Chen; Jinjiao Liu; Bing Rui; Min Gao; Ningwei Zhao; Shuai Sun; Aijing Bi; Tingting Yang; Yingtao Guo; Zhimin Yin; Lan Luo (454-463).
Angiotensin II (Ang II)-elicited excessive proliferation, hypertrophy and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) are vital to the pathogenesis of atheroclerosis. Glutathione S-transferase pi (GSTpi) exists extensively in various kinds of cells and protects cells against different stresses. However, knowledge remains limited about what GSTpi acts in VSMCs. We investigated the effect of GSTpi on Ang II-induced VSMC proliferation, hypertrophy and migration and its latent mechanism. Overexpression and RNAi experiments demonstrated that GSTpi inhibited Ang II-induced proliferation, hypertrophy and migration of VSMCs and arrested progression of cell cycle from G0/G1 to S phase. Immunoprecipitation, mass spectrometry and confocal microscopy analyses showed that GSTpi directly associated with signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) to prevent Ang II-triggered binding of Src to STAT3 and thus suppressed Ang II-stimulated phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of STAT3, as well as cyclin D1 expression. In contrast, GSTpi didn't affect Ang II-activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2). GSTpi acts as a negative regulator to prevent Ang II-triggered proliferative signaling in VSMCs, suggesting that it may protect vessels against the stresses associated with atherosclerosis formation.Display Omitted
Keywords: Glutathione S-transferase pi; Angiotensin II; Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3; Vascular smooth muscle cells;

Are Orai1 and Orai3 channels more important than calcium influx for cell proliferation? by Anne-Sophie Borowiec; Gabriel Bidaux; Rachida Tacine; Pauline Dubar; Natascha Pigat; Philippe Delcourt; Olivier Mignen; Thierry Capiod (464-472).
Transformed and tumoral cells share the characteristic of being able to proliferate even when external calcium concentration is very low. We have investigated whether Human Embryonic Kidney 293 cells, human hepatoma cell Huh-7 and HeLa cells were able to proliferate when kept 72 h in complete culture medium without external calcium. Our data showed that cell proliferation rate was similar over a range of external calcium concentration (2 μM to 1.8 mM). Incubation in the absence of external calcium for 72 h had no significant effect on endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2 + contents but resulted in a significant decrease in cytosolic free calcium concentration in all 3 cell types. Cell proliferation rates were dependent on Orai1 and Orai3 expression levels in HEK293 and HeLa cells. Silencing Orai1 or Orai3 resulted in a 50% reduction in cell proliferation rate. Flow cytometry analysis showed that Orai3 induced a small but significant increase in cell number in G2/M phase. RO-3306, a cdk-1 inhibitor, induced a 90% arrest in G2/M reversible in less than 15 min. Our data showed that progression through G2/M phase after release from RO-3306-induced cell cycle arrest was slower in both Orai1 and Orai3 knock-downs. Overexpressing Orai1, Orai3 and the dominant negative non-permeant mutants E106Q-Orai1 and E81Q-Orai3 induced a 50% increase in cell proliferation rate in HEK293 cells. Our data clearly demonstrated that Orai1 and Orai3 proteins are more important than calcium influx to control cell proliferation in some cell lines and that this process is probably independent of ICRAC and Iarc.
Keywords: Store-independent calcium entry; Store-operated calcium entry; Mitosis; Cell cycle;

Dynamic karyotype, dynamic proteome: buffering the effects of aneuploidy by Neysan Donnelly; Zuzana Storchová (473-481).
Despite its ubiquity in cancer, link with other pathologies, and role in promoting adaptive evolution, the effects of aneuploidy or imbalanced chromosomal content on cellular physiology have remained incompletely characterized. Significantly, it appears that the detrimental as well as beneficial effects of aneuploidy are due to the altered gene expression elicited by the aneuploid state. In this review we examine the correlation between chromosome copy number changes and gene expression in aneuploid cells. We discuss the primary effects of aneuploidy on gene expression and describe the cellular response to altered mRNA and protein levels. Moreover, we consider compensatory mechanisms that may ameliorate imbalanced gene expression and restore protein homeostasis in aneuploid cells. Finally, we propose a novel hypothesis to explain the hitherto enigmatic abundance compensation of proteins encoded on supernumerary chromosomes.
Keywords: Genome stability; Genome dynamics; Gene expression; Proteomics;