Abstract : Cells can communicate in a variety of ways, such as by contacting each other or by secreting certain factors. Recently, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been proposed to be mediators of cell communication. EVs are small vesicles with a lipid bilayer membrane that are secreted by cells and contain DNA, RNAs, lipids, and proteins. These EVs are secreted from various cell types and can migrate and be internalized by recipient cells that are the same or different than those that secrete them. EVs harboring various components are involved in regulating gene expression in recipient cells. These EVs may also play important roles in the senescence of cells and the accumulation of senescent cells in the body. Studies on the function of EVs in senescent cells and the mechanisms through which nonsenescent and senescent cells communicate through EVs are being actively conducted. Here, we summarize studies suggesting that EVs secreted from senescent cells can promote the senescence of other cells and that EVs secreted from nonsenescent cells can rejuvenate senescent cells. In addition, we discuss the functional components (proteins, RNAs, and other molecules) enclosed in EVs that enter recipient cells.
Abstract : Cellular senescence plays a paradoxical role in tumorigenesis through the expression of diverse senescence-associated (SA) secretory phenotypes (SASPs). The heterogeneity of SA gene expression in cancer cells not only promotes cancer stemness but also protects these cells from chemotherapy. Despite the potential correlation between cancer and SA biomarkers, many transcriptional changes across distinct cell populations remain largely unknown. During the past decade, single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) technologies have emerged as powerful experimental and analytical tools to dissect such diverse senescence-derived transcriptional changes. Here, we review the recent sequencing efforts that successfully characterized scRNA-seq data obtained from diverse cancer cells and elucidated the role of senescent cells in tumor malignancy. We further highlight the functional implications of SA genes expressed specifically in cancer and stromal cell populations in the tumor microenvironment. Translational research leveraging scRNA-seq profiling of SA genes will facilitate the identification of novel expression patterns underlying cancer susceptibility, providing new therapeutic opportunities in the era of precision medicine.
Abstract : Colorectal cancer (CRC) has a high mortality rate among cancers worldwide. To reduce this mortality rate, chemotherapy (5-fluorouracil, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan) or targeted therapy (bevacizumab, cetuximab, and panitumumab) has been used to treat CRC. However, due to various side effects and poor responses to CRC treatment, novel therapeutic targets for drug development are needed. In this study, we identified the overexpression of EHMT1 in CRC using RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) data derived from TCGA, and we observed that knocking down EHMT1 expression suppressed cell growth by inducing cell apoptosis in CRC cell lines. In Gene Ontology (GO) term analysis using RNA-seq data, apoptosis-related terms were enriched after EHMT1 knockdown. Moreover, we identified the CHOP gene as a direct target of EHMT1 using a ChIP (chromatin immunoprecipitation) assay with an anti-histone 3 lysine 9 dimethylation (H3K9me2) antibody. Finally, after cotransfection with siEHMT1 and siCHOP, we again confirmed that CHOP-mediated cell apoptosis was induced by EHMT1 knockdown. Our findings reveal that EHMT1 plays a key role in regulating CRC cell apoptosis, suggesting that EHMT1 may be a therapeutic target for the development of cancer inhibitors.
Abstract : Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in women worldwide, despite medical and technological advancements. The RhoBTB family consists of three isoforms: RhoBTB1, RhoBTB2, and RhoBTB3. RhoBTB1 and RhoBTB2 have been proposed as tumor suppressors in breast cancer. However, the roles of RhoBTB3 proteins are unknown in breast cancer. Bioinformatics analysis, including Oncomine, cBioportal, was used to evaluate the potential functions and prognostic values of RhoBTB3 and Col1a1 in breast cancer. qRT-PCR analysis and immunoblotting assay were performed to investigate relevant expression. Functional experiments including proliferation assay, invasion assay, and flow cytometry assay were conducted to determine the role of RhoBTB3 and Col1a1 in breast cancer cells. RhoBTB3 mRNA levels were significantly up-regulated in breast cancer tissues as compared to in adjacent normal tissues. Moreover, RhoBTB3 expression was found to be associated with Col1a1 expression. Decreasing RhoBTB3 expression may lead to decreases in the proliferative and invasive properties of breast cancer cells. Further, Col1a1 knockdown in breast cancer cells limited the proliferative and invasive ability of cancer cells. Knockdown of RhoBTB3 may exert inhibit the proliferation, migration, and metastasis of breast cancer cells by repressing the expression of Col1a1, providing a novel therapeutic strategy for treating breast cancer.
Abstract : CD133, also known as prominin-1, was first identified as a biomarker of mammalian cancer and neural stem cells. Previous studies have shown that the prominin-like (promL) gene, an orthologue of mammalian CD133 in Drosophila, plays a role in glucose and lipid metabolism, body growth, and longevity. Because locomotion is required for food sourcing and ultimately the regulation of metabolism, we examined the function of promL in Drosophila locomotion. Both promL mutants and pan-neuronal promL inhibition flies displayed reduced spontaneous locomotor activity. As dopamine is known to modulate locomotion, we also examined the effects of promL inhibition on the dopamine concentration and mRNA expression levels of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and DOPA decarboxylase (Ddc), the enzymes responsible for dopamine biosynthesis, in the heads of flies. Compared with those in control flies, the levels of dopamine and the mRNAs encoding TH and Ddc were lower in promL mutant and pan-neuronal promL inhibition flies. In addition, an immunostaining analysis revealed that, compared with control flies, promL mutant and pan-neuronal promL inhibition flies had lower levels of the TH protein in protocerebral anterior medial (PAM) neurons, a subset of dopaminergic neurons. Inhibition of promL in these PAM neurons reduced the locomotor activity of the flies. Overall, these findings indicate that promL expressed in PAM dopaminergic neurons regulates locomotion by controlling dopamine synthesis in Drosophila.
Abstract : A long-term energy nutritional imbalance fundamentally causes the development of obesity and associated fat accumulation. Lysosomes, as nutrient-sensing and lipophagy centers, critically control cellular lipid catabolism in response to nutrient deprivation. However, whether lysosome activity is directly involved in nutrient-induced fat accumulation remains unclear. In this study, worm fat accumulation was induced by 1 mM glucose or 0.02 mM palmitic acid supplementation. Along with the elevation of fat accumulation, lysosomal number and acidification were also increased, suggesting that lysosome activity might be correlated with nutrient-induced fat deposition in Caenorhabditis elegans. Furthermore, treatments with the lysosomal inhibitors chloroquine and leupeptin significantly reduced basal and nutrient-induced fat accumulation in C. elegans. The knockdown of hlh-30, which is a critical gene in lysosomal biogenesis, also resulted in worm fat loss. Finally, the mutation of aak-2, daf-15, and rsks-1 showed that mTORC1 (mechanistic target of rapamycin complex-1) signaling mediated the effects of lysosomes on basal and nutrient-induced fat accumulation in C. elegans. Overall, this study reveals the previously undescribed role of lysosomes in overnutrition sensing, suggesting a new strategy for controlling body fat accumulation.
Abstract : The target of rapamycin complex (TORC) plays a key role in plant cell growth and survival by regulating the gene expression and metabolism according to environmental information. TORC activates transcription, mRNA translation, and anabolic processes under favorable conditions, thereby promoting plant growth and development. Tomato fruit ripening is a complex developmental process promoted by ethylene and specific transcription factors. TORC is known to modulate leaf senescence in tomato. In this study, we investigated the function of TORC in tomato fruit ripening using virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) of the TORC genes, TOR, lethal with SEC13 protein 8 (LST8), and regulatory-associated protein of TOR (RAPTOR). Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction showed that the expression levels of tomato TORC genes were the highest in the orange stage during fruit development in Micro-Tom tomato. VIGS of these TORC genes using stage 2 tomato accelerated fruit ripening with premature orange/red coloring and decreased fruit growth, when control tobacco rattle virus 2 (TRV2)-myc fruits reached the mature green stage. TORC-deficient fruits showed early accumulation of carotenoid lycopene and reduced cellulose deposition in pericarp cell walls. The early ripening fruits had higher levels of transcripts related to fruit ripening transcription factors, ethylene biosynthesis, carotenoid synthesis, and cell wall modification. Finally, the early ripening phenotype in Micro-Tom tomato was reproduced in the commercial cultivar Moneymaker tomato by VIGS of the TORC genes. Collectively, these results demonstrate that TORC plays an important role in tomato fruit ripening by modulating the transcription of various ripening-related genes.