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  • MinireviewSeptember 30, 2018

    0 64 1303
    Abstract

    Abstract : Discovery of the naturally evolved fluorescent proteins and their genetically engineered biosensors have enormously contributed to current bioimaging techniques. These reporters to trace dynamic changes of intracellular protein activities have continuously transformed according to the various demands in biological studies. Along with that, light-inducible optogenetic technologies have offered scientists to perturb, control and analyze the function of intracellular machineries in spatiotemporal manner. In this review, we present an overview of the molecular strategies that have been exploited for producing genetically encoded protein reporters and various optogenetic modules. Finally, in particular, we discuss the current efforts for combined use of these reporters and optogenetic modules as a powerful tactic for the control and imaging of signaling events in cells and tissues.

  • MinireviewSeptember 30, 2018

    0 146 2726

    RNA-Binding Proteins in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Melody Zhao, Jihye Rachel Kim, Rebekah van Bruggen, and Jeehye Park

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(9): 818-829 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2018.0243
    Abstract

    Abstract : Significant research efforts are ongoing to elucidate the complex molecular mechanisms underlying amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which may in turn pinpoint potential therapeutic targets for treatment. The ALS research field has evolved with recent discoveries of numerous genetic mutations in ALS patients, many of which are in genes encoding RNA binding proteins (RBPs), including TDP-43, FUS, ATXN2, TAF15, EWSR1, hnRNPA1, hnRNPA2/B1, MATR3 and TIA1. Accumulating evidence from studies on these ALS-linked RBPs suggests that dysregulation of RNA metabolism, cytoplasmic mislocalization of RBPs, dysfunction in stress granule dynamics of RBPs and increased propensity of mutant RBPs to aggregate may lead to ALS pathogenesis. Here, we review current knowledge of the biological function of these RBPs and the contributions of ALS-linked mutations to disease pathogenesis.

  • ArticleSeptember 30, 2018

    0 44 1003

    MicroRNA-766-3p Inhibits Tumour Progression by Targeting Wnt3a in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

    Yu You, Keting Que, Yun Zhou, Zhen Zhang, Xiaoping Zhao, Jianpin Gong, and Zuojin Liu

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(9): 830-841 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2018.0181
    Abstract

    Abstract : Recent studies have indicated that microRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) progression. In this study, we showed that miR-766-3p was decreased in approximately 72% of HCC tissues and cell lines, and its low expression level was significantly correlated with tumour size, TNM stage, metastasis, and poor prognosis in HCC. Ectopic miR-766-3p expression inhibited HCC cell proliferation, colony formation, migration and invasion. In addition, we showed that miR-766-3p repressed Wnt3a expression. A luciferase reporter assay revealed that Wnt3a was a direct target of miR-766-3p, and an inverse correlation between miR-766-3p and Wnt3a expression was observed. Moreover, Wnt3a up-regulation reversed the effects of miR-766-3p on HCC progression. In addition, our study showed that miR-766-3p up-regulation decreased the nuclear β-catenin level and expression of Wnt targets (TCF1 and Survivin) and reduced the level of MAP protein regulator of cytokinesis 1 (PRC1). However, these effects of miR-766-3p were reversed by Wnt3a up-regulation. In addition, PRC1 up-regulation increased the nuclear β-catenin level and protein expression of TCF1 and Survivin. iCRT3, which disrupts the β-catenin-TCF4 interaction, repressed the TCF1, Survivin and PRC1 protein levels. Taken together, our results suggest that miR-766-3p down-regulation promotes HCC cell progression, probably by targeting the Wnt3a/PRC1 pathway, and miR-766-3p may serve as a potential therapeutic target in HCC.

  • ArticleSeptember 30, 2018

    0 33 479
    Abstract

    Abstract : Notch signaling is an evolutionarily conserved pathway and involves in the regulation of various cellular and developmental processes. Ligand binding releases the intracellular domain of Notch receptor (NICD), which interacts with DNA-bound CSL [CBF1/Su(H)/Lag-1] to activate transcription of target genes. In the absence of NICD binding, CSL down-regulates target gene expression through the recruitment of various corepressor proteins including SMRT/NCoR (silencing mediator of retinoid and thyroid receptors/nuclear receptor corepressor), SHARP (SMRT/HDAC1-associated repressor protein), and KyoT2. Structural and functional studies revealed the molecular basis of these interactions, in which NICD coactivator and corepressor proteins competitively bind to β-trefoil domain (BTD) of CSL using a conserved ?W?P motif (? denotes any hydrophobic residues). To date, there are conflicting ideas regarding the molecular mechanism of SMRT-mediated repression of CSL as to whether CSL-SMRT interaction is direct or indirect (via the bridge factor SHARP). To solve this issue, we mapped the CSL-binding region of SMRT and employed a ‘one- plus two-hybrid system’ to obtain CSL interaction-defective mutants for this region. We identified the CSL-interaction module of SMRT (CIMS; amino acid 1816?1846) as the molecular determinant of its direct interaction with CSL. Notably, CIMS contains a canonical ?W?P sequence (APIWRP, amino acids 1832?1837) and directly interacts with CSL-BTD in a mode similar to other BTD-binding corepressors. Finally, we showed that CSL-interaction motif, rather than SHARP-interaction motif, of SMRT is involved in transcriptional repression of NICD in a cell-based assay. These results strongly suggest that SMRT participates in CSL-mediated repression via direct binding to CSL.

  • ArticleSeptember 30, 2018

    0 58 805
    Abstract

    Abstract : As the most common type of endocrine malignancy, papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) accounts for 85–90% of all thyroid cancers. In this study, we presented the hypothesis that SDC4 gene silencing could effectively attenuate epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT), and promote cell apoptosis via the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in human PTC cells. Bioinformatics methods were employed to screen the determined differential expression levels of SDC4 in PTC and adjacent normal samples. PTC tissues and adjacent normal tissues were prepared and their respective levels of SDC4 protein positive expression, in addition to the mRNA and protein levels of SDC4, Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, EMT and apoptosis related genes were all detected accordingly. Flow cytometry was applied in order to detect cell cycle entry and apoptosis. Finally, analyses of PTC migration and invasion abilities were assessed by using a Transwell assay and scratch test. In PTC tissues, activated Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, increased EMT and repressed cell apoptosis were determined. Moreover, the PTC K1 and TPC-1 cell lines exhibiting the highest SDC4 expression were selected for further experiments. In vitro experiments revealed that SDC4 gene silencing could suppress cell migration, invasion and EMT, while acting to promote the apoptosis of PTC cells by inhibiting the activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. Besides, si-β-catenin was observed to inhibit the promotion of PTC cell migration and invasion caused by SDC4 overexpression. Our study revealed that SDC4 gene silencing represses EMT, and enhances cell apoptosis by suppressing the activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in human PTC.

  • ArticleSeptember 30, 2018

    0 75 706
    Abstract

    Abstract : Pancreatic cancer (PC) is one of the most aggressive cancers presenting with high rates of invasion and metastasis, and unfavorable prognoses. The current study aims to investigate whether EZH2/miR-139-5p axis affects epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and lymph node metastasis (LNM) in PC, and the mechanism how EZH2 regulates miR-139-5p. Human PC and adjacent normal tissues were collected to determine expression of EZH2 and miR-139-5p, and their relationship with clinicopathological features of PC. Human PC cell line was selected, and treated with miR-139-5p mimics/inhibitors, EZH2 vector or shEZH2 in order to validate the regulation of EZH2-mediated miR-139-5p in PC cells. Dual-luciferase report gene assay and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay were employed to identify the relationship between miR-139-5p and EZH2. RT-qPCR and Western blot analysis were conducted to determine the expression of miR-139-5p, EZH2 and EMT-related markers and ZEB1/2. Tumor formation ability and in vitro cell activity were also analyzed. Highly-expressed EZH2 and poorly-expressed miR-139-5p were detected in PC tissues, and miR-139-5p and EZH2 expressions were associated with patients at Stage III/IV, with LNM and highly-differentiated tumors. EZH2 suppressed the expression of miR-139-5p through up-regulating Histone 3 Lysine 27 Trimethylation (H3K27me3). EMT, cell proliferation, migration and invasion were impeded, and tumor formation and LNM were reduced in PC cells transfected with miR-139-5p mimics and shEZH2. MiR-139-5p transcription is inhibited by EZH2 through up-regulating H3K27me3, thereby down-regulation of EZH2 and up-regulation of miR-139-5p impede EMT and LNM in PC. In addition, the EZH2/miR-139-5p axis presents as a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of PC.

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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