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CUL2-mediated clearance of misfolded TDP-43 is paradoxically affected by VHL in oligodendrocytes in ALS.

The molecular machinery responsible for cytosolic accumulation of misfolded TDP-43 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) remains elusive. Here we identified a cullin-2 (CUL2) RING complex as a novel ubiquitin ligase for fragmented forms of TDP-43. The von Hippel Lindau protein (VHL), a substrate binding component of the complex, preferentially recognized misfolded TDP-43 at Glu246 in RNA-recognition motif 2. Recombinant full-length TDP-43 was structurally fragile and readily cleaved, suggesting that misfolded TDP-43 is cleared by VHL/CUL2 in a step-wise manner via fragmentation. Surprisingly, excess VHL stabilized and led to inclusion formation of TDP-43, as well as mutant SOD1, at the juxtanuclear protein quality control center. Moreover, TDP-43 knockdown elevated VHL expression in cultured cells, implying an aberrant interaction between VHL and mislocalized TDP-43 in ALS. Finally, cytoplasmic inclusions especially in oligodendrocytes in ALS spinal cords were immunoreactive to both phosphorylated TDP-43 and VHL. Thus, our results suggest that an imbalance in VHL and CUL2 may underlie oligodendrocyte dysfunction in ALS, and highlight CUL2 E3 ligase emerges as a novel therapeutic potential for ALS.

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The GST-BHMT assay reveals a distinct mechanism underlying proteasome inhibition-induced macroautophagy in mammalian cells.

By monitoring the fragmentation of a GST-BHMT (a protein fusion of glutathionine S-transferase N-terminal to betaine-homocysteine S-methyltransferase) reporter in lysosomes, the GST-BHMT assay has previously been established as an endpoint, cargo-based assay for starvation-induced autophagy that is largely nonselective. Here, we demonstrate that under nutrient-rich conditions, proteasome inhibition by either pharmaceutical or genetic manipulations induces similar autophagy-dependent GST-BHMT processing. However, mechanistically this proteasome inhibition-induced autophagy is different from that induced by starvation as it does not rely on regulation by MTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin [serine/threonine kinase]) and PRKAA/AMPK (protein kinase, AMP-activated, α catalytic subunit), the upstream central sensors of cellular nutrition and energy status, but requires the presence of the cargo receptors SQSTM1/p62 (sequestosome 1) and NBR1 (neighbor of BRCA1 gene 1) that are normally involved in the selective autophagy pathway. Further, it depends on ER (endoplasmic reticulum) stress signaling, in particular ERN1/IRE1 (endoplasmic reticulum to nucleus signaling 1) and its main downstream effector MAPK8/JNK1 (mitogen-activated protein kinase 8), but not XBP1 (X-box binding protein 1), by regulating the phosphorylation-dependent disassociation of BCL2 (B-cell CLL/lymphoma 2) from BECN1 (Beclin 1, autophagy related). Moreover, the multimerization domain of GST-BHMT is required for its processing in response to proteasome inhibition, in contrast to its dispensable role in starvation-induced processing. Together, these findings support a model in which under nutrient-rich conditions, proteasome inactivation induces autophagy-dependent processing of the GST-BHMT reporter through a distinct mechanism that bears notable similarity with the yeast Cvt (cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting) pathway, and suggest the GST-BHMT reporter might be employed as a convenient assay to study selective macroautophagy in mammalian cells.

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Type III interferon induces apoptosis in human lung cancer cells.

The apoptotic effects of interferon lambdas (IFNλs) have been described in several types of cancers. However, their effects on human lung cancer cells and the mechanisms are elusive. In addition, the interaction between IFNλs and other interferons remains unclear. The interplay between IFNα and IFNλ has been reported. However, although IFNγ is a well-known regulatory interferon, the mechanisms through which it regulates IFNλs in lung cancer cells are unknown. These issues are critical for the application of IFNλs in lung cancer therapy. In this study, we used A549, a cell line derived from a human lung carcinoma, to characterize the antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of IFNλs on lung cancer, and the interplay between IFNγ and IFNλ. Because overexpression of full-length ectopic IFNλR1 led to cell death, we generated A549 cells stably expressing a chimeric receptor (10R1/λR1), which is composed of the extracellular domain of IL-10 receptor (IL10R1) fused in tandem to the transmembrane and intracellular domains of the IFNλ receptor (IFNλR1). By comparing with A549 cells stably expressing its cognate vector, we demonstrated that IL-10 stimulation triggered the intracellular IFNλ signaling via 10R1/λR1 receptor. By using A549 cells expressing 10R1/λR1, we report that the IFNλR1 chain of IFNλ receptor possesses an intrinsic ability to trigger apoptosis in human lung cancer cells. Although it did not suppress cell proliferation, IFNλ signaling via 10R1/λR1 receptor induced cell cycle arrest, externalization of phosphatidylserine, DNA fragmentation, activation of caspase-3, caspase-8 and caspase-9. However, the caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-FMK did not prevent apoptosis. In addition, the extent of induced apoptosis correlate with the expression levels of the IFNλ receptor and the levels of STAT1 activation. Lastly, we demonstrated that IFNγ sensitized A549 cells to IFNλ-induced apoptosis, via upregulation of IFNλR1. These data indicate the potential of IFNλ, alone or in combination with IFNγ, in the treatment of human lung carcinoma.

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Interferon-a Receptor Typ High density (208 cores), Top 4 types of cancer (co Top 4 types of cancer (co Human Interferon-gamma IF Macrophage Colony Stimula Macrophage Colony Stimula Interferon alpha-8 antibo Interferon alpha-6 antibo Recombinant Human Interfe Recombinant Human Interfe Recombinant Human Interfe

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Sensitization of vascular smooth muscle cell to TNF-alpha-mediated death in the presence of palmitate.

Saturated free fatty acids (FFAs), including palmitate, can activate the intrinsic death pathway in cells. However, the relationship between FFAs and receptor-mediated death pathway is still unknown. In this study, we have investigated whether FFAs are able to trigger receptor-mediated death. In addition, to clarify the mechanisms responsible for the activation, we examined the biochemical changes in dying vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) and the effects of various molecules to the receptor-mediated VSMC death. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha-mediated VSMC death occurred in the presence of sub-cytotoxic concentration of palmitate as determined by assessing viability and DNA degradation, while the cytokine did not influence VSMC viability in the presence of oleate. The VSMC death was inhibited by the gene transfer of a dominant-negative Fas-associated death domain-containing protein and the baculovirus p35, but not by the bcl-xL or the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) binding domain of JNK-interacting protein-1, in tests utilizing recombinant adenoviruses. The VSMC death was also inhibited by a neutralizing anti-TNF receptor 1 antibody, the caspase inhibitor z-VAD, and the cathepsin B inhibitor CA074, a finding indicative of the role of both caspases and cathepsin B in this process. Consistent with this finding, caspase-3 activation and an increase in cytosolic cathepsin B activity were detected in the dying VSMC. Palmitate inhibited an increase of TNF-alpha-mediated nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) activity, the survival pathway activated by the cytokine, by hindering the translocation of the NF-kappaB subunit of p65 from the cytosol into the nucleus. The gene transfer of inhibitor of NF-kappaB predisposed VSMC to palmitate-induced cell death. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first report to demonstrate the activation of TNF-alpha-mediated cell death in the presence of palmitate. The current study proposes that FFAs would take part in deleterious vascular consequences of such patients with elevated levels of FFAs as diabetics and obese individuals via the triggering of receptor-mediated death pathways of VSMC.

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A zinc-finger protein, PLAGL2, induces the expression of a proapoptotic protein Nip3, leading to cellular apoptosis.

Pleomorphic adenomas gene-like 2 (PLAGL2) protein containing seven C(2)H(2) zinc finger motifs exhibits DNA binding and transcriptional activation activity and is expressed in response to hypoxia or iron deficiency. To identify the target genes of PLAGL2, we transfected mouse PLAGL2 cDNA into Balb/c3T3 fibroblasts and neuroblastoma Neuro2a cells. Both cells were induced to undergo apoptosis by the expression of PLAGL2 as judged by assays of TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling), DNA fragmentation, propidium iodide staining, and the binding of annexin V to the cell surface. The treatment of the cells with an iron chelator, desferrioxamine, resulted in the induction of apoptosis with a concomitant accumulation of PLAGL2 in the nucleus. The expression of PLAGL2 in Balb/c3T3 cells led to the mRNA expression of a proapoptotic factor, Nip3, which can dimerize with Bcl-2. Nip3 mRNA was also induced in desferrioxamine-treated cells. Furthermore, the Nip3 promoter containing a hypoxia-responsive element was activated by PLAGL2, independent of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1). The transfection of antisense oligonucleotide to mouse Nip3 mRNA into PLAGL2-expressing cells led to a decrease in apoptotic cells compared with sense oligonucleotide-transfected cells. Despite the activation of DNA-HIF-1 binding activity under hypoxic conditions, neither an accumulation of HIF-1 alpha nor the activation of HIF-1 was observed following the expression of PLAGL2. These results indicate that PLAGL2 is located downstream of HIF-1 and suggest that PLAGL2 functions as a tumor suppressor in association with HIF-1.

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Structure, function, and targeting of interleukin 4 receptors on human head and neck cancer cells.

Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, survival rates for patients with head and neck cancer have remained unchanged for the last 30 years. In an attempt to develop novel therapeutic agents, we have observed that a variety of murine and human carcinoma cells expresses high levels of receptors for interleukin 4 (IL-4) in vitro and in vivo. Here, we demonstrate that 17 head and neck cancer cell lines also express surface IL-4 receptors (IL-4R) and IL-4 binds to IL-4R on one cell line studied with low affinity ((k)d = 37.9 +/- 0.4 nM). The investigation of the subunit structure of IL-4R demonstrated that head and neck cancer cell lines expressed mRNA for IL-4R beta chain (also known as IL-4R alpha) and IL-13R alpha' chain (also known as IL-13R alpha1). However, no cell line expressed IL-2R common gamma-chain, which is known to be shared with IL-4R in immune cells. IL-4R is functional because IL-4 strongly induced activation of signal transducers and activators of transcription 6 (STAT-6) in these cell lines. A fusion protein, IL4(38-37)-PE38KDEL, containing translocation and enzymatic domains of Pseudomonas exotoxin and a circularly permuted human IL-4 was found to be highly and specifically cytotoxic to IL-4R-positive head and neck cancer cells, as determined by protein synthesis inhibition assay and confirmed by clonogenic assay. IL4(38-37)-PE38KDEL induced DNA fragmentation and condensation of nuclei indicative of apoptotic cell death. These results establish uniform expression of IL-4R on head and neck cancer cell lines and IL-4 toxin IL4(38-37)-PE38KDEL as a novel therapeutic agent for the possible treatment of human head and neck cancers.

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Apoptosis mediated by activation of the G protein-coupled receptor for parathyroid hormone (PTH)/PTH-related protein (PTHrP).

The present studies were carried out to evaluate the mechanisms by which PTH/PTHrP receptor (PTHR) activation influences cell viability. In 293 cells expressing recombinant PTHRs, PTH treatment markedly reduced the number of viable cells. This effect was associated with a marked apoptotic response including DNA fragmentation and the appearance of apoptotic nuclei. Similar effects were evidenced in response to serum withdrawal or to the addition of tumor necrosis factor (TNFalpha). Addition of caspase inhibitors or overexpression of bcl-2 partially abrogated apoptosis induced by serum withdrawal. Caspase inhibitors also protected cells from PTH-induced apoptosis, but overexpression of bcl-2 did not. The effects of PTH on cell number and apoptosis were neither mimicked by activators of the cAMP pathway (forskolin, isoproterenol) nor blocked by an inhibitor (H-89). However, elevation of Ca(i)2+ by addition of thapsigargin induced rapid apoptosis, and suppression of Ca(i)2+ by overexpression of the calcium- binding protein, calbindin D28k, inhibited PTH-induced apoptosis. The protein kinase C inhibitor GF 109203X partially inhibited PTH-induced apoptosis. Regulator of G protein signaling 4 (RGS4) (an inhibitor of the activity of the alpha-subunit of Gq) suppressed apoptotic signaling by the PTHR, whereas the C-terminal fragment of GRK2 (an inhibitor of the activity of the beta(gamma)-subunits of G proteins) was without effect. Chemical mutagenesis allowed selection of a series of 293 cell lines resistant to the apoptotic actions of PTH; a subset of these were also resistant to TNFalpha. These results suggest that 1) apoptosis produced by PTHR and TNF receptor signaling involve converging pathways; and 2) Gq-mediated phospholipase C/Ca2+ signaling, rather than Gs-mediated cAMP signaling, is required for the apoptotic effects of PTHR activation.

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Induction of apoptosis in myeloid leukaemic cells by ribozymes targeted against AML1/MTG8.

The translocation (8;21)(q22;q22) is a karyotypic abnormality detected in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) M2 and results in the formation of the chimeric fusion gene AML1/MTG8. We previously reported that two hammerhead ribozymes against AML1/MTG8 cleave this fusion transcript and also inhibit the proliferation of myeloid leukaemia cell line Kasumi-1 which possesses t(8;21)(q22;q22). In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of inhibition of proliferation in myeloid leukaemic cells with t(8;21)(q22;q22) by ribozymes. These ribozymes specifically inhibited the growth of Kasumi-1 cells, but did not affect the leukaemic cells without t(8;21)(q22;q22). We observed the morphological changes including chromatin condensation, fragmentation and the formation of apoptotic bodies in Kasumi-1 cells incubated with ribozymes for 7 days. In addition, DNA ladder formation was also detected after incubation with ribozymes which suggested the induction of apoptosis in Kasumi-1 cells by the AML1/MTG8 ribozymes. However, the ribozymes did not induce the expression of CD11b and CD14 antigens in Kasumi-1 cells. The above data suggest that these ribozymes therefore inhibit the growth of myeloid leukaemic cells with t(8;21)(q22;q22) by the induction of apoptosis, but not differentiation. We conclude therefore that the ribozymes targeted against AML1/MTG8 may have therapeutic potential for patients with AML carrying t(8;21)(q22;q22) while, in addition, the product of the chimeric gene is responsible for the pathogenesis of myeloid leukaemia.

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Effects of redox-related congeners of NO on apoptosis and caspase-3 activity.

Nitric oxide has been shown to inhibit apoptosis of human umbilical venous endothelial cells (HUVEC). Therefore we investigated the effect of different NO donors, PAPA NONOate (NOC-15; NO.) and nitrosodium tetrafluoroborate (NOBF4, NO+), and the reaction product of NO and O2-, peroxynitrite (ONOO- ), on TNF-alpha- or serum depletion-induced apoptosis of HUVEC. TNF-alpha-induced DNA fragmentation, determined by ELISA, was inhibited by NOC-15, NOBF4, and ONOO- in a concentration-dependent manner (maximal effects with 10 microM NO. and ONOO- and 100 microM NO+). The inhibition of apoptosis correlated with a protective effect on cell viability. The caspases, a cysteine protease family, play an important role in apoptotic processes. To determine whether the different NO donors and ONOO- regulate this enzyme, caspase-3-like activity was measured in homogenates of TNF-alpha-treated HUVEC. The TNF-alpha-induced enzyme activity was abrogated by NO., NO+, and ONOO-. Furthermore, caspase-3 activity was determined in vitro by reconstitution of the separately cloned, bacterially expressed, and purified active p17 and p12 subunits. The reconstituted caspase-3 exhibited enzyme activity, which was suppressed by the different NO donors and ONOO- with an IC50 of 50 microM for NOC-15, 1 mM for NOBF4, and 50 microM for ONOO-. The inhibition of caspase-3 activity correlated with a S-nitrosylation of the reactive cysteine residue and was reversed by further addition of dithiothreitol. This study suggests that the cellular regulatory processes of NO to protect cells from apoptosis may be independent of the redox state and that low concentrations of NO and ONOO- inhibit the cellular suicide program in HUVEC via S-nitrosylation of members of the caspase family.

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Activation of the CPP32 apoptotic protease by distinct signaling pathways with differential sensitivity to Bcl-xL.

In the absence of growth factors, many types of mammalian cells undergo apoptosis. We and others have shown recently that growth factors promote cell survival by activating phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) in several cell types. In the present study, we have compared downstream elements of the apoptotic pathways induced by PI 3-kinase inhibitors and other stimuli. In U937 cells, both PI 3-kinase inhibitors (wortmannin and LY294002) and etoposide activated the CPP32 apoptotic protease by cleavage to active p17 subunits. In contrast, treatment with tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) resulted in the accumulation of a distinct active CPP32 subunit, p20. Furthermore, overexpression of Bcl-xL blocked DNA fragmentation, CPP32 activation and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase in U937 cells treated with both PI 3-kinase inhibitors and etoposide, but not in cells treated with TNFalpha. Distinct patterns of CPP32 activation and differential sensitivities to Bcl-xL thus distinguish the cell death pathways activated by PI 3-kinase inhibition and DNA damage from that activated by TNFalpha.

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