A minimal ubiquitous chromatin opening element (UCOE) effectively prevents silencing of juxtaposed heterologous promoters by epigenetic remodeling in multipotent and pluripotent stem cells
- Epigenetic silencing of transgene expression represents a major obstacle for the efficient genetic modification of multipotent and pluripotent stem cells. We and others have demonstrated that a 1.5 kb methylation-free CpG island from the human HNRPA2B1-CBX3 housekeeping genes (A2UCOE) effectively prevents transgene silencing and variegation in cell lines, multipotent and pluripotent stem cells, and their differentiated progeny. However, the bidirectional promoter activity of this element may disturb expression of neighboring genes. Furthermore, the epigenetic basis underlying the anti-silencing effect of the UCOE on juxtaposed promoters has been only partially explored. In this study we removed the HNRPA2B1 moiety from the A2UCOE and demonstrate efficient anti-silencing properties also for a minimal 0.7 kb element containing merely the CBX3 promoter. This DNA element largely prevents silencing of viral and tissue-specific promoters in multipotent and pluripotent stem cells. The protective activity of CBX3 was associated with reduced promoter CpG-methylation, decreased levels of repressive and increased levels of active histone marks. Moreover, the anti-silencing effect of CBX3 was locally restricted and when linked to tissue-specific promoters did not activate transcription in off target cells. Thus, CBX3 is a highly attractive element for sustained, tissue-specific and copy-number dependent transgene expression in vitro and in vivo.
Enterovirus infection of human β-cells activates dendritic cells and triggers innate antiviral responses: are enteroviruses convicted now?
- Comment on "Phagocytosis of enterovirus-infected pancreatic beta-cells triggers innate immune responses in human dendritic cells."
Quantitative mass spectrometric profiling of cancer-cell proteomes derived from liquid and solid tumors
- In-depth analyses of cancer cell proteomes are needed to elucidate oncogenic pathomechanisms, as well as to identify potential drug targets and diagnostic biomarkers. However, methods for quantitative proteomic characterization of patient-derived tumors and in particular their cellular subpopulations are largely lacking. Here we describe an experimental set-up that allows quantitative analysis of proteomes of cancer cell subpopulations derived from either liquid or solid tumors. This is achieved by combining cellular enrichment strategies with quantitative Super-SILAC-based mass spectrometry followed by bioinformatic data analysis. To enrich specific cellular subsets, liquid tumors are first immunophenotyped by flow cytometry followed by FACS-sorting; for solid tumors, laser-capture microdissection is used to purify specific cellular subpopulations. In a second step, proteins are extracted from the purified cells and subsequently combined with a tumor-specific, SILAC-labeled spike-in standard that enables protein quantification. The resulting protein mixture is subjected to either gel electrophoresis or Filter Aided Sample Preparation (FASP) followed by tryptic digestion. Finally, tryptic peptides are analyzed using a hybrid quadrupole-orbitrap mass spectrometer, and the data obtained are processed with bioinformatic software suites including MaxQuant. By means of the workflow presented here, up to 8,000 proteins can be identified and quantified in patient-derived samples, and the resulting protein expression profiles can be compared among patients to identify diagnostic proteomic signatures or potential drug targets.
Randomized controlled multicenter trial on the effectiveness of the collagen hemostat Sangustop® compared with a carrier-bound fibrin sealant during liver resection (ESSCALIVER study, NCT00918619)
Andre L. Mihaljevic
Wolfgang E. Thasler
Markus K. Diener
Wolf Otto Bechstein
- Background: Despite improvements in liver surgery over the past decades, hemostasis during hepatic resections remains challenging. This multicenter randomized study compares the hemostatic effect of a collagen hemostat vs. a carrier-bound fibrin sealant after hepatic resection.
Methods: Patients scheduled for elective liver resection were randomized intraoperatively to receive either the collagen hemostat (COLL) or the carrier-bound fibrin sealant (CBFS) for secondary hemostasis. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients with hemostasis after 3 min. Secondary parameters were the proportions of patients with hemostasis after 5 and 10 min, the total time to hemostasis, and the complication rates during a 3 months follow-up period.
Results: A total of 128 patients were included. In the COLL group, 53 out of 61 patients (86.9 %) achieved complete hemostasis within 3 min after application of the hemostat compared to 52 out of 65 patients (80.0 %) in the CBFS group. The 95 % confidence interval for this difference [−6.0 %, 19.8 %] does not include the lower noninferiority margin (−10 %). Thus, the COLL treatment can be regarded as noninferior to the comparator. The proportions of patients with hemostasis after 3, 5, and 10 min were not significantly different between the two study arms. Postoperative mortality and morbidity were similar in both treatment groups.
Conclusion: The collagen hemostat is as effective as the carrier-bound fibrin sealant in obtaining secondary hemostasis during liver resection with a comparable complication rate.
Tricyclic guanidine alkaloids from the marine sponge Acanthella cavernosa that stabilize the tumor suppressor PDCD4
Johanna S. Blees
Magdalena M. Bayer
Nancy H. Colburn
Cheryl L. Thomas
Curtis J. Henrich
Megan L. Peach
James B. McMahon
Kirk R. Gustafson
- A cell-based high-throughput screen that assessed the cellular stability of a tumor suppressor protein PDCD4 (Programmed cell death 4) was used to identify a new guanidine-containing marine alkaloid mirabilin K (3), as well as the known compounds mirabilin G (1) and netamine M (2). The structures of these tricyclic guanidine alkaloids were established from extensive spectroscopic analyses. Compounds 1 and 2 inhibited cellular degradation of PDCD4 with EC50 values of 1.8 μg/mL and 2.8 μg/mL, respectively. Mirabilin G (1) and netamine M (2) are the first marine natural products reported to stabilize PDCD4 under tumor promoting conditions.
Resveratrol post-transcriptionally regulates pro-inflammatory gene expression via regulation of KSRP RNA binding activity
Verena M. Dirsch
- Resveratrol shows beneficial effects in inflammation-based diseases like cancer, cardiovascular and chronic inflammatory diseases. Therefore, the molecular mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory resveratrol effects deserve more attention. In human epithelial DLD-1 and monocytic Mono Mac 6 cells resveratrol decreased the expression of iNOS, IL-8 and TNF-α by reducing mRNA stability without inhibition of the promoter activity. Shown by pharmacological and siRNA-mediated inhibition, the observed effects are SIRT1-independent. Target-fishing and drug responsive target stability experiments showed selective binding of resveratrol to the RNA-binding protein KSRP, a central post-transcriptional regulator of pro-inflammatory gene expression. Knockdown of KSRP expression prevented resveratrol-induced mRNA destabilization in human and murine cells. Resveratrol did not change KSRP expression, but immunoprecipitation experiments indicated that resveratrol reduces the p38 MAPK-related inhibitory KSRP threonine phosphorylation, without blocking p38 MAPK activation or activity. Mutation of the p38 MAPK target site in KSRP blocked the resveratrol effect on pro-inflammatory gene expression. In addition, resveratrol incubation enhanced KSRP-exosome interaction, which is important for mRNA degradation. Finally, resveratrol incubation enhanced its intra-cellular binding to the IL-8, iNOS and TNF-α mRNA. Therefore, modulation of KSRP mRNA binding activity and, thereby, enhancement of mRNA degradation seems to be the common denominator of many anti-inflammatory effects of resveratrol.
Chemoresistance is associated with increased cytoprotective autophagy and diminished apoptosis in bladder cancer cells treated with the BH3 mimetic (-)-Gossypol (AT-101)
- Background: Acquired resistance to standard chemotherapy causes treatment failure in patients with metastatic bladder cancer. Overexpression of pro-survival Bcl-2 family proteins has been associated with a poor chemotherapeutic response, suggesting that Bcl-2-targeted therapy may be a feasible strategy in patients with these tumors. The small-molecule pan-Bcl-2 inhibitor (−)-gossypol (AT-101) is known to induce apoptotic cell death, but can also induce autophagy through release of the pro-autophagic BH3 only protein Beclin-1 from Bcl-2. The potential therapeutic effects of (−)-gossypol in chemoresistant bladder cancer and the role of autophagy in this context are hitherto unknown.
Methods: Cisplatin (5637rCDDP1000, RT4rCDDP1000) and gemcitabine (5637rGEMCI20, RT4rGEMCI20) chemoresistant sub-lines of the chemo-sensitive bladder cancer cell lines 5637 and RT4 were established for the investigation of acquired resistance mechanisms. Cell lines carrying a stable lentiviral knockdown of the core autophagy regulator ATG5 were created from chemosensitive 5637 and chemoresistant 5637rGEMCI20 and 5637rCDDP1000 cell lines. Cell death and autophagy were quantified by FACS analysis of propidium iodide, Annexin and Lysotracker staining, as well as LC3 translocation.
Results: Here we demonstrate that (−)-gossypol induces an apoptotic type of cell death in 5637 and RT4 cells which is partially inhibited by the pan-caspase inhibitor z-VAD. Cisplatin- and gemcitabine-resistant bladder cancer cells exhibit enhanced basal and drug-induced autophagosome formation and lysosomal activity which is accompanied by an attenuated apoptotic cell death after treatment with both (−)-gossypol and ABT-737, a Bcl-2 inhibitor which spares Mcl-1, in comparison to parental cells. Knockdown of ATG5 and inhibition of autophagy by 3-MA had no discernible effect on apoptotic cell death induced by (−)-gossypol and ABT-737 in parental 5637 cells, but evoked a significant increase in early apoptosis and overall cell death in BH3 mimetic-treated 5637rGEMCI20 and 5637rCDDP1000 cells.
Conclusions: Our findings show for the first time that (−)-gossypol concomitantly triggers apoptosis and a cytoprotective type of autophagy in bladder cancer and support the notion that enhanced autophagy may underlie the chemoresistant phenotype of these tumors. Simultaneous targeting of Bcl-2 proteins and the autophagy pathway may be an efficient new strategy to overcome their “autophagy addiction” and acquired resistance to current therapy.
Selenium supplementation in radiotherapy patients: do we need to measure selenium levels in serum or blood regularly prior radiotherapy?
- Considering the review by Puspitasari and colleagues, an additional discussion of the endpoints of the Se supplementation studies described would be helpful. In our view, selenium can safely be given to selenium-deficient cancer patients prior to and during radiotherapy. Therefore, in order to help the radiation oncologist in decision making, we strongly advocate to determine the selenium status prior to and during a potential adjuvant selenium supplementation, e.g. when trying to ease the side-effects of radiation treatment or in the aftercare situation when the selenium status may become insufficient.
Loss of lysosome-associated membrane protein 3 (LAMP3) enhances cellular vulnerability against proteasomal inhibition
Jorge Antolio Domínguez Bautista
- The family of lysosome-associated membrane proteins (LAMP) includes the ubiquitously expressed LAMP1 and LAMP2, which account for half of the proteins in the lysosomal membrane. Another member of the LAMP family is LAMP3, which is expressed only in certain cell types and differentiation stages. LAMP3 expression is linked with poor prognosis of certain cancers, and the locus where it is encoded was identified as a risk factor for Parkinson's disease (PD). Here, we investigated the role of LAMP3 in the two main cellular degradation pathways, the proteasome and autophagy. LAMP3 mRNA was not detected in mouse models of PD or in the brain of human patients. However, it was strongly induced upon proteasomal inhibition in the neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y. Induction of LAMP3 mRNA following proteasomal inhibition was dependent on UPR transcription factor ATF4 signaling and induced autophagic flux. Prevention of LAMP3 induction enhanced apoptotic cell death. In summary, these data demonstrate that LAMP3 regulation as part of the UPR contributes to protein degradation and cell survival during proteasomal dysfunction. This link between autophagy and the proteasome may be of special importance for the treatment of tumor cells with proteasomal inhibitors.
Medical student's attitude towards influenza vaccination
Birthe A. Lehmann
Robert AC Ruiter
- Background Influenza vaccination is recommended for all healthcare personnel (HCP) and most institutions offer vaccination for free and on site. However, medical students do not always have such easy access, and the predictors that might guide the motivation of medical students to get vaccinated are largely unknown. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional survey study among pre-clinical medical students in a German University hospital to assess the social cognitive predictors of influenza vaccination, as well as reasons for refusal and acceptance of the vaccine. Results Findings show that pre-clinical medical students have comparable knowledge gaps and negative attitudes towards influenza vaccination that have previously been reported among HCP. Lower injunctive norms and higher feelings of autonomy contribute to no intention to get vaccinated against influenza, while a positive instrumental attitude and higher feelings of autonomy contribute to a high intention to get vaccinated. The variables in the regression model explained 20% of the variance in intention to get vaccinated. Conclusions The identified factors should be addressed early in medical education, and hospitals might benefit from a more inclusive vaccination program and accessibility of free vaccines for their medical students.