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  • MinireviewMay 31, 2018

    0 54 2134
    Abstract

    Abstract : Synapses and neural circuits form with exquisite specificity during brain development to allow the precise and appropriate flow of neural information. Although this property of synapses and neural circuits has been extensively investigated for more than a century, molecular mechanisms underlying this property are only recently being unveiled. Recent studies highlight several classes of cell-surface proteins as organizing hubs in building structural and functional architectures of specific synapses and neural circuits. In the present mini-review, we discuss recent findings on various synapse organizers that confer the distinct properties of specific synapse types and neural circuit architectures in mammalian brains, with a particular focus on the hippocampus and cerebellum.

  • MinireviewMay 31, 2018

    0 59 1480

    Regulatory Network of ARF in Cancer Development

    Aram Ko, Su Yeon Han, and Jaewhan Song

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(5): 381-389 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2018.0100
    Abstract

    Abstract : ARF is a tumor suppressor protein that has a pivotal role in the prevention of cancer development through regulating cell proliferation, senescence, and apoptosis. As a factor that induces senescence, the role of ARF as a tumor suppressor is closely linked to the p53-MDM2 axis, which is a key process that restrains tumor formation. Thus, many cancer cells either lack a functional ARF or p53, which enables them to evade cell oncogenic stress-mediated cycle arrest, senescence, or apoptosis. In particular, the ARF gene is a frequent target of genetic and epigenetic alterations including promoter hyper-methylation or gene deletion. However, as many cancer cells still express ARF, pathways that negatively modulate transcriptional or post-translational regulation of ARF could be potentially important means for cancer cells to induce cellular proliferation. These recent findings of regulators affecting ARF protein stability along with its low levels in numerous human cancers indicate the significance of an ARF post-translational mechanism in cancers. Novel findings of regulators stimulating or suppressing ARF function would provide new therapeutic targets to manage cancer- and senescence-related diseases. In this review, we present the current knowledge on the regulation and alterations of ARF expression in human cancers, and indicate the importance of regulators of ARF as a prognostic marker and in potential therapeutic strategies.

  • ArticleMay 31, 2018

    0 38 803

    miRNA-103a-3p Promotes Human Gastric Cancer Cell Proliferation by Targeting and Suppressing ATF7 in vitro

    Xiaoyi Hu, Jiyu Miao, Min Zhang, Xiaofei Wang, Zhenzhen Wang, Jia Han, Dongdong Tong, and Chen Huang

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(5): 390-400 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2018.2078
    Abstract

    Abstract : Studies have revealed that miR-103a-3p contributes to tumor growth in several human cancers, and high miR-103a-3p expression is associated with poor prognosis in advanced gastric cancer (GC) patients. Moreover, bioinformatics analysis has shown that miR-103a-3p is upregulated in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) stomach cancer cohort. These results suggest that miR-103a-3p may function as an oncogene in GC. The present study aimed to investigate the role of miR-103a-3p in human GC. miR-103a-3p expression levels were increased in 33 clinical GC specimens compared with adjacent nontumor stomach tissues. Gain- and loss-of-function studies were performed to identify the correlation between miR-103a-3p and tumorigenesis in human GC. Inhibiting miR-103a-3p suppressed GC cell proliferation and blocked the S-G2/M transition in MKN-45/SGC-7901 cells, whereas miR-103a-3p overexpression improved GC cell proliferation and promoted the S-G2/M transition in vitro. Bioinformatics and dual-luciferase reporter assays confirmed that ATF7 is a direct target of miR-103a-3p. Analysis of the TCGA stomach cancer cohort further revealed that miR-103a-3p expression was inversely correlated with ATF7 expression. Notably, silencing ATF7 showed similar cellular and molecular effects as miR-103a-3p overexpression, namely, increased GC cell proliferation, improved CDK2 expression and decreased P27 expression. ATF7 overexpression eliminated the effects of miR-103a-3p expression. These findings indicate that miR-103a-3p promotes the proliferation of GC cell by targeting and suppressing ATF7 in vitro.

  • ArticleMay 31, 2018

    0 44 695
    Abstract

    Abstract : Oxymatrine (OMT) often used in treatment for chronic hepatitis B virus infection in clinic. However, OMT?induced liver injury has been reported. In this study, we aim to investigate the possible mechanism of OMT-induced hepatotoxicity in human normal liver cells (L02). Exposed cells to OMT, the cell viability was decreased and apoptosis rate increased, the intracellular markers of oxidative stress were changed. Simultaneously, OMT altered apoptotic related proteins levels, including Bcl-2, Bax and pro-caspase-8/-9/-3. In addition, OMT enhanced the protein levels of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress makers (GRP78/Bip, CHOP, and cleaved-Caspase-4) and phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (p-JNK), as well as the mRNA levels of GRP78/Bip, CHOP, caspase-4, and ER stress sensors (IREI, ATF6, and PERK). Pre-treatment with Z-VAD-fmk, JNK inhibitor SP600125 and N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC), a ROS scavenger, partly improved the survival rates and restored OMT-induced cellular damage, and reduced caspase-3 cleavage. SP600125 or NAC reduced OMT-induced p-JNK and NAC significantly lowered caspase-4. Furthermore, 4-PBA, the ER stress inhibitor, weakened inhibitory effect of OMT on cells, on the contrary, TM worsen. 4-PBA also reduced the levels of p-JNK and cleaved-caspase-3 proteins. Therefore, OMT-induced injury in L02 cells was related to ROS mediated p-JNK and ER stress induction. Antioxidant, by inhibition of p-JNK or ER stress, may be a feasible method to alleviate OMT-induced liver injury.

  • ArticleMay 31, 2018

    0 36 770

    Confirmation of Drought Tolerance of Ectopically Expressed AtABF3 Gene in Soybean

    Hye Jeong Kim, Hyun Suk Cho, Jung Hun Pak, Tackmin Kwon, Jai-Heon Lee, Doh-Hoon Kim, Dong Hee Lee, Chang-Gi Kim, and Young-Soo Chung

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(5): 413-422 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2018.2254
    Abstract

    Abstract : Soybean transgenic plants with ectopically expressed AtABF3 were produced by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation and investigated the effects of AtABF3 expression on drought and salt tolerance. Stable Agrobacterium-mediated soybean transformation was carried based on the half-seed method (Paz et al. 2006). The integration of the transgene was confirmed from the genomic DNA of transformed soybean plants using PCR and the copy number of transgene was determined by Southern blotting using leaf samples from T2 seedlings. In addition to genomic integration, the expression of the transgenes was analyzed by RT-PCR and most of the transgenic lines expressed the transgenes introduced. The chosen two transgenic lines (line #2 and #9) for further experiment showed the substantial drought stress tolerance by surviving even at the end of the 20-day of drought treatment. And the positive relationship between the levels of AtABF3 gene expression and drought-tolerance was confirmed by qRT-PCR and drought tolerance test. The stronger drought tolerance of transgenic lines seemed to be resulted from physiological changes. Transgenic lines #2 and #9 showed ion leakage at a significantly lower level (P < 0.01) than non-transgenic (NT) control. In addition, the chlorophyll contents of the leaves of transgenic lines were significantly higher (P < 0.01). The results indicated that their enhanced drought tolerance was due to the prevention of cell membrane damage and maintenance of chlorophyll content. Water loss by transpiration also slowly proceeded in transgenic plants. In microscopic observation, higher stomata closure was confirmed in transgenic lines. Especially, line #9 had 56% of completely closed stomata whereas only 16% were completely open. In subsequent salt tolerance test, the apparently enhanced salt tolerance of transgenic lines was measured in ion leakage rate and chlorophyll contents. Finally, the agronomic characteristics of ectopically expressed AtABF3 transgenic plants (T2) compared to NT plants under regular watering (every 4 days) or low rate of watering condition (every 10 days) was investigated. When watered regularly, the plant height of drought-tolerant line (#9) was shorter than NT plants. However, under the drought condition, total seed weight of line #9 was significantly higher than in NT plants (P < 0.01). Moreover, the pods of NT plants showed severe withering, and most of the pods failed to set normal seeds. All the evidences in the study clearly suggested that overexpression of the AtABF3 gene conferred drought and salt tolerance in major crop soybean, especially under the growth condition of low watering.

  • ArticleMay 31, 2018

    0 140 1680
    Abstract

    Abstract : This investigation was aimed at working out the combined role of lncRNA H19, miR-29b and Wnt signaling in the development of colorectal cancer (CRC). In the aggregate, 185 CRC tissues and corresponding para-carcinoma tissues were gathered. The human CRC cell lines (i.e. HT29, HCT116, SW480 and SW620) and normal colorectal mucosa cell line (NCM460) were also purchased. Si-H19, si-NC, miR-29b-3p mimics, miR-29b-3p inhibitor, si-PGRN and negative control (NC) were, respectively, transfected into the CRC cells. Lucif-erase reporter plasmids were prepared to evaluate the transduction activity of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, and dual-luciferase reporter gene assay was arranged to confirm the targeted relationship between H19 and miR-29b-3p, as well as between miR-29b-3p and PGRN. Finally, the proliferative and invasive capacities of CRC cells were appraised through transwell, MTT and scratch assays. As a result, over-expressed H19 and down-expressed miR-29b-3p displayed close associations with the CRC patients’ poor prognosis (P < 0.05). Besides, transfection with si-H19, miR-29b-3p mimic or si-PGRN were correlated with elevated E-cadherin expression, decreased snail and vimentin expressions, as well as less-motivated cell proliferation and cell metastasis (P < 0.05). Moreover, H19 was verified to directly target miR-29b-3p based on the luciferase reporter gene assay (P < 0.05), and miR-29b-3p also bound to PGRN in a direct manner (P < 0.05). Finally, addition of LiCl (Wnt/β-catenin pathway activator) or XAV93920 (Wnt/β-catenin pathway inhibitor) would cause remarkably altered E-cadherin, c-Myc, vimentin and snail expressions, as well as significantly changed transcriptional activity of β-catenin/Tcf reporter plasmid (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the lncRNA H19/miR-29b-3p/PGRN/Wnt axis counted a great deal for seeking appropriate diagnostic biomarkers and treatment targets for CRC.

  • ArticleMay 31, 2018

    0 32 635
    Abstract

    Abstract : The actin cytoskeleton plays a key role in the entry of mitosis as well as in cytokinesis. In a previous study, we showed that actin disruption delays mitotic entry at G2/M by sustained activation of extracellular signal-related kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) in primary cells but not in transformed cancer cell lines. Here, we examined the mechanism of cell cycle delay at G2/M by actin dysfunction in IMR-90 normal human fibroblasts. We observed that de-polymerization of actin with cytochalasin D (CD) constitutively activated ribosomal S6 kinase (RSK) and induced inhibitory phosphorylation of Cdc2 (Tyr 15) in IMR-90 cells. In the presence of an actin defect in IMR-90 cells, activating phosphorylation of Wee1 kinase (Ser 642) and inhibitory phosphorylation of Cdc25C (Ser 216) was also maintained. However, when kinase-dead RSK (DN-RSK) was over-expressed, we observed sustained activation of ERK1/2, but no delay in the G2/M transition, demonstrating that RSK functions downstream of ERK in cell cycle delay by actin dysfunction. In DN-RSK overexpressing IMR-90 cells treated with CD, phosphorylation of Cdc25C (Ser 216) was blocked and phosphorylation of Cdc2 (Tyr 15) was decreased, but the phosphorylation of Wee1 (Ser 642) was maintained, demonstrating that RSK directly controls phosphorylation of Cdc25C (Ser 216), but not the activity of Wee1. These results strongly suggest that actin dysfunction in primary cells activates ERK1/2 to inhibit Cdc2, delaying the cell cycle at G2/M by activating downstream RSK, which phosphorylates and blocks Cdc25C, and by directly activating Wee1.

  • ArticleMay 31, 2018

    0 61 1240

    AURKA Suppresses Leukemic THP-1 Cell Differentiation through Inhibition of the KDM6B Pathway

    Jin Woo Park, Hana Cho, Hyein Oh, Ji-Young Kim, and Sang-Beom Seo

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(5): 444-453 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2018.2311
    Abstract

    Abstract : Aberrations in histone modifications are being studied in mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL)-AF9-driven acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In this study, we focused on the regulation of the differentiation of the MLL-AF9 type AML cell line THP-1. We observed that, upon phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) treatment, THP-1 cells differentiated into monocytes by down-regulating Aurora kinase A (AURKA), resulting in a reduction in H3S10 phosphorylation. We revealed that the AURKA inhibitor alisertib accelerates the expression of the H3K27 demethylase KDM6B, thereby dissociating AURKA and YY1 from the KDM6B promoter region. Using Flow cytometry, we found that alisertib induces THP-1 differentiation into monocytes. Furthermore, we found that treatment with the KDM6B inhibitor GSK-J4 perturbed the PMA-mediated differentiation of THP-1 cells. Thus, we discovered the mechanism of AURKA?KDM6B signaling that controls the differentiation of THP-1 cells, which has implications for biotherapy for leukemia.

  • ArticleMay 31, 2018

    0 30 783

    Regulator of G-Protein Signaling 4 (RGS4) Controls Morphine Reward by Glutamate Receptor Activation in the Nucleus Accumbens of Mouse Brain

    Juhwan Kim, Sueun Lee, Sohi Kang, Tae-Il Jeon, Man-Jong Kang, Tae-Hoon Lee, Yong Sik Kim, Key-Sun Kim, Heh-In Im, and Changjong Moon

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(5): 454-464 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2018.0023
    Abstract

    Abstract : Crosstalk between G-protein signaling and glutamatergic transmission within the brain reward circuits is critical for long-term emotional effects (depression and anxiety), cravings, and negative withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid addiction. A previous study showed that Regulator of G-protein signaling 4 (RGS4) may be implicated in opiate action in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). However, the mechanism of the NAc-specific RGS4 actions that induce the behavioral responses to opiates remains largely unknown. The present study used a short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated knock-down of RGS4 in the NAc of the mouse brain to investigate the relationship between the activation of ionotropic glutamate receptors and RGS4 in the NAc during morphine reward. Additionally, the shRNA-mediated RGS4 knock-down was implemented in NAc/striatal primary-cultured neurons to investigate the role that striatal neurons have in the morphine-induced activation of ionotropic glutamate receptors. The results of this study show that the NAc-specific knockdown of RGS4 significantly increased the behaviors associated with morphine and did so by phosphorylation of the GluR1 (Ser831) and NR2A (Tyr1325) glutamate receptors in the NAc. Furthermore, the knock-down of RGS4 enhanced the phosphorylation of the GluR1 and NR2A glutamate receptors in the primary NAc/striatal neurons during spontaneous morphine withdrawal. These findings show a novel molecular mechanism of RGS4 in glutamatergic transmission that underlies the negative symptoms associated with morphine administration.

  • ArticleMay 31, 2018

    0 28 747

    Identification of Novel Functional Variants of SIN3A and SRSF1 among Somatic Variants in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patients

    Jae-Woong Min, Youngil Koh, Dae-Yoon Kim, Hyung-Lae Kim, Jeong A Han, Yu-Jin Jung, Sung-Soo Yoon, and Sun Shim Choi

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(5): 465-475 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2018.0051
    Abstract

    Abstract : The advent of massively parallel sequencing, also called next-generation sequencing (NGS), has dramatically influenced cancer genomics by accelerating the identification of novel molecular alterations. Using a whole genome sequencing (WGS) approach, we identified somatic coding and noncoding variants that may contribute to leukemogenesis in 11 adult Korean acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients, with serial tumor samples (primary and relapse) available for 5 of them; somatic variants were identified in 187 AML-related genes, including both novel (SIN3A, C10orf53, PTPRR, and RERGL) and well-known (NPM1, RUNX1, and CEPBA) AML-related genes. Notably, SIN3A expression shows prognostic value in AML. A newly designed method, referred to as “hot-zone” analysis, detected two putative functional noncoding variants that can alter transcription factor binding affinity near PPP1R10 and SRSF1. Moreover, the functional importance of the SRSF1 noncoding variant was further investigated by luciferase assays, which showed that the variant is critical for the regulation of gene expression leading to leukemogenesis. We expect that further functional investigation of these coding and noncoding variants will contribute to a more in-depth understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms of AML and the development of targeted anti-cancer drugs.

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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