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  • MinireviewMarch 31, 2015

    17 36 1996

    Life of T Follicular Helper Cells

    Woong-Kyung Suh

    Mol. Cells 2015; 38(3): 195-201 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2015.2331
    Abstract

    Abstract : Antibodies are powerful defense tools against pathogens but may cause autoimmune diseases when erroneously directed toward self-antigens. Thus, antibody producing cells are carefully selected, refined, and expanded in a highly regulated microenvironment (germinal center) in the peripheral lymphoid organs. A subset of T cells termed T follicular helper cells (Tfh) play a central role in instructing B cells to form a repertoire of antibody producing cells that provide life-long supply of high affinity, pathogen-specific antibodies. Therefore, understanding how Tfh cells arise and how they facilitate B cell selection and differentiation during germinal center reaction is critical to improve vaccines and better treat autoimmune diseases. In this review, I will summarise recent findings on molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying Tfh generation and function with an emphasis on T cell costimulation.

  • MinireviewMarch 31, 2015

    21 38 1496
    Abstract

    Abstract : Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a highly malignant disease and the third leading cause of all cancer mortalities worldwide, often responses poorly to current treatments and results in dismal outcomes due to frequent chemoresistance and tumor relapse. The heterogeneity of HCC is an important attribute of the disease. It is the outcome of many factors, including the cross-talk between tumor cells within the tumor microenvironment and the acquisition and accumulation of genetic and epigenetic alterations in tumor cells. In addition, there is accumulating evidence in recent years to show that the malignancy of HCC can be attributed partly to the presence of cancer stem cell (CSC). CSCs are capable to self-renew, differentiate and initiate tumor formation. The regulation of the stem cell-like properties by several important signaling pathways have been found to endow the tumor cells with an increased level of tumorigenicity, chemoresistance, and metastatic ability. In this review, we will discuss the recent findings on hepatic CSCs, with special emphasis on their putative origins, relationship with hepatitis viruses, regulatory signaling networks, tumor microenvironment, and how these factors control the stemness of hepatic CSCs. We will also discuss some novel therapeutic strategies targeted at hepatic CSCs for combating HCC and perspectives of future investigation.

  • ArticleMarch 31, 2015

    16 44 1090

    Genome-Wide Analysis of DNA Methylation before-and after Exercise in the Thoroughbred Horse with MeDIP-Seq

    Jeong-An Gim, Chang Pyo Hong, Dae-Soo Kim, Jae-Woo Moon, Yuri Choi, Jungwoo Eo, Yun-Jeong Kwon, Ja-Rang Lee, Yi-Deun Jung, Jin-Han Bae, Bong-Hwan Choi, Junsu Ko, Sanghoon Song, Kung Ahn, Hong-Seok Ha, Young Mok Yang, Hak-Kyo Lee, Kyung-Do Park, Kyoung-Tag Do, Kyudong Han, Joo Mi Yi, Hee-Jae Cha, Selvam Ayarpadikannan, Byung-Wook Cho, Jong Bhak, and Heui-Soo Kim

    Mol. Cells 2015; 38(3): 210-220 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2015.2138
    Abstract

    Abstract : Athletic performance is an important criteria used for the selection of superior horses. However, little is known about exercise-related epigenetic processes in the horse. DNA methylation is a key mechanism for regulating gene expression in response to environmental changes. We carried out comparative genomic analysis of genome-wide DNA methylation profiles in the blood samples of two different thoroughbred horses before and after exercise by methylated-DNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeDIP-Seq). Differentially methylated regions (DMRs) in the pre-and post-exercise blood samples of superior and inferior horses were identified. Exercise altered the methylation patterns. After 30 min of exercise, 596 genes were hypomethylated and 715 genes were hypermethylated in the superior horse, whereas in the inferior horse, 868 genes were hypomethylated and 794 genes were hypermethylated. These genes were analyzed based on gene ontology (GO) annotations and the exercise-related pathway patterns in the two horses were compared. After exercise, gene regions related to cell division and adhesion were hypermethylated in the superior horse, whereas regions related to cell signaling and transport were hypermethylated in the inferior horse. Analysis of the distribution of methylated CpG islands confirmed the hypomethylation in the gene-body methylation regions after exercise. The methylation patterns of transposable elements also changed after exercise. Long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs) showed abundance of DMRs. Collectively, our results serve as a basis to study exercise-based reprogramming of epigenetic traits.

  • ArticleMarch 31, 2015

    2 13 522

    A Fibrin Matrix Promotes the Differentiation of EMSCs Isolated from Nasal Respiratory Mucosa to Myelinating Phenotypical Schwann-Like Cells

    Qian Chen, Zhijian Zhang, Jinbo Liu, Qinghua He, Yuepeng Zhou, Genbao Shao, Xianglan Sun, Xudong Cao, Aihua Gong, and Ping Jiang

    Mol. Cells 2015; 38(3): 221-228 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2015.2170
    Abstract

    Abstract : Because Schwann cells perform the triple tasks of myelination, axon guidance and neurotrophin synthesis, they are candidates for cell transplantation that might cure some types of nervous-system degenerative diseases or injuries. However, Schwann cells are difficult to obtain. As another option, ectomesenchymal stem cells (EMSCs) can be easily harvested from the nasal respiratory mucosa. Whether fibrin, an important transplantation vehicle, can improve the differentiation of EMSCs into Schwann-like cells (SLCs) deserves further research. EMSCs were isolated from rat nasal respiratory mucosa and were purified using anti-CD133 magnetic cell sorting. The purified cells strongly expressed HNK-1, nestin, p75NTR, S-100, and vimentin. Using nuclear staining, the MTT assay and Western blotting analysis of the expression of cell-cycle markers, the proliferation rate of EMSCs on a fibrin matrix was found to be significantly higher than that of cells grown on a plastic surface but insignificantly lower than that of cells grown on fibronectin. Additionally, the EMSCs grown on the fibrin matrix expressed myelination-related molecules, including myelin basic protein (MBP), 2′,3′-cyclic nucleotide 3′-phosphodiesterase (CNPase) and galactocerebrosides (GalCer), more strongly than did those grown on fibronectin or a plastic surface. Furthermore, the EMSCs grown on the fibrin matrix synthesized more neurotrophins compared with those grown on fibronectin or a plastic surface. The expression level of integrin in EMSCs grown on fibrin was similar to that of cells grown on fibronectin but was higher than that of cells grown on a plastic surface. These results demonstrated that fibrin not only promoted EMSC proliferation but also the differentiation of EMSCs into the SLCs. Our findings suggested that fibrin has great promise as a cell transplantation vehicle for the treatment of some types of nervous system diseases or injuries.

  • ArticleMarch 31, 2015

    27 37 654

    Nicotinamide Exerts Antioxidative Effects on Senescent Cells

    Ju Yeon Kwak, Hyun Joo Ham, Cheol Min Kim, and Eun Seong Hwang

    Mol. Cells 2015; 38(3): 229-235 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2015.2253
    Abstract

    Abstract : Nicotinamide (NAM) has been shown to suppress reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in primary human fibroblasts, thereby extending their replicative lifespan when added to the medium during long-term cultivation. Based on this finding, NAM is hypothesized to affect cellular senescence progression by keeping ROS accumulation low. In the current study, we asked whether NAM is indeed able to reduce ROS levels and senescence phenotypes in cells undergoing senescence progression and those already in senescence. We employed two different cellular models: MCF-7 cells undergoing senescence progression and human fibroblasts in a state of replicative senescence. In both models, NAM treatment substantially decreased ROS levels. In addition, NAM attenuated the expression of the assessed senescence phenotypes, excluding irreversible growth arrest. N-acetyl cysteine, a potent ROS scavenger, did not have comparable effects in the tested cell types. These data show that NAM has potent antioxidative as well as anti-senescent effects. Moreover, these findings suggest that NAM can reduce cellular deterioration caused by oxidative damage in postmitotic cells in vivo.

  • ArticleMarch 31, 2015

    15 33 648
    Abstract

    Abstract : Intake of caffeine during pregnancy can cause retardation of fetal development. Although the significant influence of caffeine on animal development is widely recognized, much remains unknown about its mode of action because of its pleiotropic effects on living organisms. In the present study, by using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism, the effects of caffeine on development were examined. Brood size, embryonic lethality, and percent larval development were investigated, and caffeine was found to inhibit the development of C. elegans at most of the stages in a dosage-dependent fashion. Upon treatment with 30 mM caffeine, the majority (86.1 ± 3.4%) of the L1 larvae were irreversibly arrested without further development. In contrast, many of the late-stage larvae survived and grew to adults when exposed to the same 30 mM caffeine. These results suggest that early-stage larvae are more susceptible to caffeine than later-stage larvae. To understand the metabolic responses to caffeine treatment, the levels of expression of cytochrome P450 (cyp) genes were examined with or without caffeine treatment using comparative micro-array, and it was found that the expression of 24 cyp genes was increased by more than 2-fold (p < 0.05). Among them, induction of the cyp-35A gene family was the most prominent. Interestingly, depletion of the cyp-35A family genes one-by-one or in combination through RNA interference resulted in partial rescue from early larval developmental arrest caused by caffeine treatment, suggesting that the high-level induction of cyp-35A family genes can be fatal to the development of early-stage larvae.

  • ArticleMarch 31, 2015

    7 33 697

    Comparative Analysis of the Conserved Functions of Arabidopsis DRL1 and Yeast KTI12

    Sang Eun Jun, Kiu-Hyung Cho, Ji-Young Hwang, Wael Abdel-Fattah, Alexander Hammermeister, Raffael Schaffrath, John L. Bowman, and Gyung-Tae Kim

    Mol. Cells 2015; 38(3): 243-250 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2015.2297
    Abstract

    Abstract : Patterning of the polar axis during the early leaf developmental stage is established by cell-to-cell communication between the shoot apical meristem (SAM) and the leaf primordia. In a previous study, we showed that the DRL1 gene, which encodes a homolog of the Elongator-associated protein KTI12 of yeast, acts as a positive regulator of adaxial leaf patterning and shoot meristem activity. To determine the evolutionally conserved functions of DRL1, we performed a comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence of DRL1 and its yeast homolog, KTI12, and found that while overall homology was low, well-conserved domains were presented. DRL1 contained two conserved plant-specific domains. Expression of the DRL1 gene in a yeast KTI12-deficient yeast mutant suppressed the growth retardation phenotype, but did not rescue the caffeine sensitivity, indicating that the role of Arabidopsis Elongator-associated protein is partially conserved with yeast KTI12, but may have changed between yeast and plants in response to caffeine during the course of evolution. In addition, elevated expression of DRL1 gene triggered zymocin sensitivity, while overexpression of KTI12 maintained zymocin resistance, indicating that the function of Arabidopsis DRL1 may not overlap with yeast KTI12 with regards to toxin sensitivity. In this study, expression analysis showed that class-I KNOX genes were downregulated in the shoot apex, and that YAB and KAN were upregulated in leaves of the Arabidopsis drl1-101 mutant. Our results provide insight into the communication network between the SAM and leaf primordia required for the establishment of leaf polarity by mediating histone acetylation or through other mechanisms.

  • ArticleMarch 31, 2015

    9 38 583

    Brca2 Deficiency Leads to T Cell Loss and Immune Dysfunction

    Jun-hyeon Jeong, Areum Jo, Pilgu Park, Hyunsook Lee, and Hae-Ock Lee

    Mol. Cells 2015; 38(3): 251-258 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2015.2302
    Abstract

    Abstract : Germline mutations in the breast cancer type 2 susceptibility gene (BRCA2) are linked to familial breast cancer and the progressive bone marrow failure syndrome Fanconi anaemia. Established Brca2 mouse knockout models show embryonic lethality, but those with a truncating mutation at the C-terminus survive to birth and develop thymic lymphoma at an early age. To overcome early lethality and investigate the function of BRCA2, we used T cell-specific conditional Brca2 knockout mice, which were previously shown to develop thymic lymphoma at a low penetrance. In the current study we showed that the number of peripheral T cells, particularly na?ve pools, drastically declined with age. This decline was primarily ascribed to improper peripheral maintenance. Furthermore, heterozygous mice with one wild-type Brca2 allele manifested reduced T cell numbers, suggesting that Brca2 haploinsufficiency might also result in T cell loss. Our study reveals molecular events occurring in Brca2-deficient T cells and suggests that both heterozygous and homozygous Brca2 mutation may lead to dysfunction in T cell populations.

  • ArticleMarch 31, 2015

    34 61 1503

    Expression of the Floral Repressor miRNA156 is Positively Regulated by the AGAMOUS-like Proteins AGL15 and AGL18

    Phanu Serivichyaswat, Hak-Seung Ryu, Wanhui Kim, Soonkap Kim, Kyung Sook Chung, Jae Joon Kim, and Ji Hoon Ahn

    Mol. Cells 2015; 38(3): 259-266 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2015.2311
    Abstract

    Abstract : The regulation of flowering time has crucial implications for plant fitness. MicroRNA156 (miR156) represses the floral transition in Arabidopsis thaliana, but the mechanisms regulating its transcription remain unclear. Here, we show that two AGAMOUS-like proteins, AGL15 and AGL18, act as positive regulators of the expression of MIR156. Small RNA northern blot analysis revealed a significant decrease in the levels of mature miR156 in agl15 agl18 double mutants, but not in the single mutants, suggesting that AGL15 and AGL18 co-regulate miR156 expression. Histochemical analysis further indicated that the double mutants showed a reduction in MIR156 promoter strength. The double mutants also showed reduced abundance of pri-miR156a and pri-miR156c, two of the primary transcripts from MIR156 genes. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated that AGL15 directly associated with the CArG motifs in the MIR156a/c promoters. AGL18 did not show binding affinity to the CArG motifs, but pull-down and yeast two-hybrid assays showed that AGL18 forms a heterodimer with AGL15. GFP reporter assays and bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) showed that AGL15 and AGL18 co-localize in the nucleus and confirmed their in vivo interaction. Overexpression of miR156 did not affect the levels of AGL15 and AGL18 transcripts. Taking these data together, we present a model for the transcriptional regulation of MIR156. In this model, AGL15 and AGL18 may form a complex along with other proteins, and bind to the CArG motifs of the promoters of MIR156 to activate the MIR156 expression.

  • ArticleMarch 31, 2015

    25 25 735

    Osteogenic Potency of Nacre on Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells

    David W. Green, Hyuk-Jae Kwon, and Han-Sung Jung

    Mol. Cells 2015; 38(3): 267-272 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2015.2315
    Abstract

    Abstract : Nacre seashell is a natural osteoinductive biomaterial with strong effects on osteoprogenitors, osteoblasts, and osteoclasts during bone tissue formation and morphogenesis. Although nacre has shown, in one study, to induce bridging of new bone across large non-union bone defects in 8 individual human patients, there have been no succeeding human surgical studies to confirm this outstanding potency. But the molecular mechanisms associated with nacre osteoinduction and the influence on bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSC’s), skeletal stem cells or bone marrow stromal cells remain elusive. In this study we highlight the phenotypic and biochemical effects of Pinctada maxima nacre chips and the global nacre soluble protein matrix (SPM) on primary human bone marrow-derived stromal cells (hBMSCs) in vitro. In static co-culture with nacre chips, the hBMSCs secreted Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) at levels that exceeded bone morphogenetic protein (rhBMP-2) treatment. Concentrated preparation of SPM applied to Stro-1 selected hBMSC’s led to rapid ALP secretions, at concentrations exceeding the untreated controls even in osteogenic conditions. Within 21 days the same population of Stro-1 selected hBMSCs proliferated and secreted collagens I?IV, indicating the premature onset of an osteoblast phenotype. The same SPM was found to promote unselected hBMSC differentiation with osteocalcin detected at 7 days, and proliferation increased at 7 days in a dose-dependent manner. In conclusion, nacre particles and nacre SPM induced the early stages of human bone cell differentiation, indicating that they may be promising soluble factors with osteoinductive capacity in primary human bone cell progenitors such as, hBMSC’s.

Mol. Cells
Nov 30, 2021 Vol.44 No.11
COVER PICTURE
3D quantitative images of the vesicular structure and the nucleolus using label free optical diffraction tomography (Kim et al., pp. 851-860).

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