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  • MinireviewAugust 31, 2014

    19 369 1422
    Abstract

    Abstract : As a scaffold, SLX4/FANCP interacts with multiple proteins involved in genome integrity. Although not having recognizable catalytic domains, SLX4 participates in diverse genome maintenance pathways by delivering nucleases where they are needed, and promoting their cooperative execution to prevent genomic instabilities. Physiological importance of SLX4 is emphasized by the identification of causative mutations of SLX4 genes in patients diagnosed with Fanconi anemia (FA), a rare recessive genetic disorder characterized by genomic instability and predisposition to cancers. Recent progress in understanding functional roles of SLX4 has greatly expanded our knowledge in the repair of DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs), Holliday junction (HJ) resolution, telomere homeostasis and regulation of DNA damage response induced by replication stress. Here, these diverse functions of SLX4 are reviewed in detail.

  • MinireviewAugust 31, 2014

    45 402 1867
    Abstract

    Abstract : Potassium is a macronutrient that is crucial for healthy plant growth. Potassium availability, however, is often limited in agricultural fields and thus crop yields and quality are reduced. Therefore, improving the efficiency of potassium uptake and transport, as well as its utilization, in plants is important for agricultural sustainability. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the molecular mechanisms involved in potassium uptake and transport in plants, and the molecular response of plants to different levels of potassium availability. Based on this information, four strategies for improving potassium use efficiency in plants are proposed; 1) increased root volume, 2) increasing efficiency of potassium uptake from the soil and translocation in planta, 3) increasing mobility of potassium in soil, and 4) molecular breeding new varieties with greater potassium efficiency through marker assisted selection which will require identification and utilization of potassium associated quantitative trait loci.

  • ArticleAugust 31, 2014

    21 622 840

    Indacaterol Inhibits Tumor Cell Invasiveness and MMP-9 Expression by Suppressing IKK/NF-κB Activation

    Su Ui Lee, Kyung-Seop Ahn, Min Hee Sung, Ji-Won Park, Hyung Won Ryu, Hyun-Jun Lee, Sung-Tae Hong, and Sei-Ryang Oh

    Mol. Cells 2014; 37(8): 585-591 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2014.0076
    Abstract

    Abstract : The β2 adrenergic receptor (ADRB2) is a G protein-coupled transmembrane receptor expressed in the human respiratory tract and widely recognized as a pharmacological target for treatments of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). Although a number of ADRB2 agonists have been developed for use in asthma therapy, indacaterol is the only ultra-long-acting inhaled β2-agonist (LABA) approved by the FDA for relieving the symptoms in COPD patients.The precise molecular mechanism underlying the pharmacological effect of indacaterol, however, remains unclear. Here, we show that β-arrestin-2 mediates the internalization of ADRB2 following indacaterol treatment. Moreover, we demonstrate that indacaterol significantly inhibits tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-induced NF-κB activity by reducing levels of both phosphorylated-IKK and -IκBα, thereby decreasing NF-κB nuclear translocation and the expression of MMP-9, an NF-κB target gene. Subsequently, we show that indacaterol significantly inhibits TNF-α/NF-κB-induced cell invasiveness and migration in a human cancer cell line. In conclusion, we propose that indacaterol may inhibit NF-κB activity in a β-arrestin2-dependent manner, preventing further lung damage and improving lung function in COPD patients.

  • ArticleAugust 31, 2014

    9 359 578

    Atomic Force Microscopy of Asymmetric Membranes from Turtle Erythrocytes

    Yongmei Tian, Mingjun Cai, Haijiao Xu, Bohua Ding, Xian Hao, Junguang Jiang, Yingchun Sun, and Hongda Wang

    Mol. Cells 2014; 37(8): 592-597 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2014.0115
    Abstract

    Abstract : The cell membrane provides critical cellular functions that rely on its elaborate structure and organization. The structure of turtle membranes is an important part of an ongoing study of erythrocyte membranes. Using a combination of atomic force microscopy and single-molecule force spectroscopy, we characterized the turtle erythrocyte membrane structure with molecular resolution in a quasi-native state. High-resolution images both leaflets of turtle erythrocyte membranes revealed a smooth outer membrane leaflet and a protein covered inner membrane leaflet. This asymmetry was verified by single-molecule force spectroscopy, which detects numerous exposed amino groups of membrane proteins in the inner membrane leaflet but much fewer in the outer leaflet. The asymmetric membrane structure of turtle erythrocytes is consistent with the semi-mosaic model of human, chicken and fish erythrocyte membrane structure, making the semi-mosaic model more widely applicable. From the perspective of biological evolution, this result may support the universality of the semi-mosaic model.

  • ArticleAugust 31, 2014

    27 464 958
    Abstract

    Abstract : Fatty acids, important components of a normal diet, have been reported to play a role in bone metabolism. Osteoclasts are bone-resorbing cells that are responsible for many bone-destructive diseases such as osteoporosis. In this study, we investigated the impact of a medium-chain fatty acid, capric acid, on the osteoclast differentiation, function, and survival induced by receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) and macrophage colony-stimulating factor (MCSF). Capric acid inhibited RANKL-mediated osteoclastogenesis in bone marrow-derived macrophages and suppressed RANKL-induced IκBα phosphorylation, p65 nuclear translocation, and NF-κB transcriptional activity. Capric acid further blocked the RANKL-stimulated activation of ERK without affecting JNK or p38. The induction of NFATc1 in response to RANKL was also attenuated by capric acid. In addition, capric acid abrogated M-CSF and RANKL-mediated cytoskeleton reorganization, which is crucial for the efficient bone resorption of osteoclasts. Capric acid also increased apoptosis in mature osteoclasts through the induction of Bim expression and the suppression of ERK activation by M-CSF. Together, our results reveal that capric acid has inhibitory effects on osteoclast development. We therefore suggest that capric acid may have potential therapeutic implications for the treatment of bone resorption-associated disorders.

  • ArticleAugust 31, 2014

    11 270 712

    TAp73 and ΔNp73 Have Opposing Roles in 5-aza-2′-Deoxycytidine-Induced Apoptosis in Breast Cancer Cells

    Jing Lai, Fang Yang, Wenwen Zhang, Yanru Wang, Jing Xu, Wei Song, Guichun Huang, Jun Gu, and Xiaoxiang Guan

    Mol. Cells 2014; 37(8): 605-612 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2014.0154
    Abstract

    Abstract : The p73 gene contains an extrinsic P1 promoter and an intrinsic P2 promoter, controlling the transcription of the pro-apoptotic TAp73 isoform and the anti-apoptotic ΔΝp73 isoform, respectively. The DNA methylation status of both promoters act equally in the epigenetic transcriptional regulation of their relevant isoforms. The aim of this study was to analyze the different effects of these p73 isoforms in 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC)-induced apoptosis in breast cancer cells. We investigated the effects of the DNA demethylation agent, 5-aza-dC, on the T-47D breast cancer cell line, and evaluated the methylation status of the p73 promoters and expression of TAp73 and ΔNp73. Furthermore, we assessed the expression of p53 and p73 isoforms in 5-aza-dC-treated T-47D cells and p53 knockout cells. 5-aza-dC induced significant anti-tumor effects in T-47D cells, including inhibition of cell viability, G1 phase arrest and apoptosis. This was associated with p73 promoter demethylation and a concomitant increase in TAp73 mRNA and protein expression. In contrast, the methylation status of promoter P2 was not associated with ΔNp73 mRNA or protein levels. Furthermore, demethylation of P2 failed to inhibit the expression of ΔNp73 with 5-aza-dC in the p53 knockdown cell model. Our study suggests that demethylation of the P1 and P2 promoters has opposite effects on the expression of p73 isoforms, namely up-regulation of TAp73 and down-regulation of ΔΝp73. We also demonstrate that p53 likely contributes to 5-aza-dC-induced ΔNp73 transcriptional inactivation in breast cancer cells.

  • ArticleAugust 31, 2014

    9 220 701
    Abstract

    Abstract : The optic nerve often suffers regenerative failure after injury, leading to serious visual impairment such as glaucoma. The main inhibitory factors, including Nogo-A, oligodendrocyte myelin glycoprotein, and myelin-associated glycoprotein, exert their inhibitory effects on axonal growth through the same receptor, the Nogo-66 receptor (NgR). Oncomodulin (OM), a calcium-binding protein with a molecular weight of an ∼12 kDa, which is secreted from activated macrophages, has been demonstrated to have high and specific affinity for retinal ganglion cells (RGC) and promote greater axonal regeneration than other known polypeptide growth factors. Protamine has been reported to effectively deliver small interference RNA (siRNA) into cells. Accordingly, a fusion protein of OM and truncated protamine (tp) may be used as a vehicle for the delivery of NgR siRNA into RGC for gene therapy. To test this hypothesis, we constructed OM and tp fusion protein (OM/tp) expression vectors. Using the indirect immunofluorescence labeling method, OM/tp fusion proteins were found to have a high affinity for RGC. The gel shift assay showed that the OM/tp fusion proteins retained the capacity to bind to DNA. Using OM/tp fusion proteins as a delivery tool, the siRNA of NgR was effectively transfected into cells and significantly down-regulated NgR expression levels. More importantly, OM/tp-NgR siRNA dramatically promoted axonal growth of RGC compared with the application of OM/tp recombinant protein or NgR siRNA alone in vitro. In addition, OM/tp-NgR siRNA highly elevated intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels and inhibited activation of the Ras homolog gene family, member A (RhoA). Taken together, our data demonstrated that the recombinant OM/tp fusion proteins retained the functions of both OM and tp, and that OM/tp-NgR siRNA might potentially be used for the treatment of optic nerve injury.

  • ArticleAugust 31, 2014

    33 332 983
    Abstract

    Abstract : We have previously shown that microRNAs (miRNAs) miR-760, miR-186, miR-337-3p, and miR-216b stimulate premature senescence through protein kinase CK2 (CK2) down-regulation in human colon cancer cells. Here, we examined whether these four miRNAs are involved in the replicative senescence of human lung fibroblast IMR-90 cells. miR-760 and miR-186 were significantly upregulated in replicatively senescent IMR-90 cells, and their joint action with both miR-337-3p and miR-216b was necessary for efficient downregulation of the α subunit of CK2 (CK2α) in IMR-90 cells. A mutation in any of the four miRNA-binding sequences within the CK2α 3′-untranslated region (UTR) indicated that all four miRNAs should simultaneously bind to the target sites for CK2α downregulation. The four miRNAs increased senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) staining, p53 and p21Cip1/WAF1 expression, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in proliferating IMR-90 cells. CK2α over-expression almost abolished this event. Taken together, the present results suggest that the upregulation of miR-760 and miR-186 is associated with replicative senescence in human lung fibroblast cells, and their cooperative action with miR-337-3p and miR-216b may induce replicative senescence through CK2α downregulation-dependent ROS generation.

  • ArticleAugust 31, 2014

    6 246 666
    Abstract

    Abstract : 2-(Trimethylammonium) ethyl (R)-3-methoxy-3-oxo-2-stearamidopropyl phosphate [(R)-TEMOSPho], a derivative of an organic chemical identified from a natural product library, promotes highly efficient megakaryopoiesis. Here, we show that (R)-TEMOSPho blocks osteoclast maturation from progenitor cells of hematopoietic origin, as well as blocking the resorptive function of mature osteoclasts. The inhibitory effect of (R)-TEMOSPho on osteoclasts was due to a disruption of the actin cytoskeleton, resulting from impaired downstream signaling of c-Fms, a receptor for macrophage-colony stimulating factor linked to c-Cbl, phosphoinositol-3-kinase (PI3K), Vav3, and Rac1. In addition, (R)-TEMOSPho blocked inflammation-induced bone destruction by reducing the numbers of osteoclasts produced in mice. Thus, (R)-TEMOSPho may represent a promising new class of antiresorptive drugs for the treatment of bone loss associated with increased osteoclast maturation and activity.

Mol. Cells
Nov 30, 2022 Vol.45 No.11
COVER PICTURE
Naive (cyan) and axotomized (magenta) retinal ganglion cell axons in Xenopus tropicalis (Choi et al., pp. 846-854).

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