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Sample records for human activin a-induced

  1. Activin A-induced increase in LOX activity in human granulosa-lutein cells is mediated by CTGF.

    PubMed

    Chang, Hsun-Ming; Cheng, Jung-Chien; Liu, Yingtao; Klausen, Christian; Xu, Congjian; Leung, Peter C K

    2016-10-01

    Lysyl oxidase (LOX) is the key enzyme involved in the crosslinking of collagen and elastin that is essential for the formation of extracellular matrix (ECM). LOX-mediated ECM remodeling plays a critical role in follicle development, oocyte maturation and corpus luteum formation. To date, the regulation of LOX in human ovary has never been elucidated. Activin A and its functional receptors are highly expressed in ovarian follicles from an early developmental stage. They locally regulate follicle progression. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of activin A on the expression of LOX and its extracellular enzyme activity in primary and immortalized human granulosa-lutein cells obtained from patients undergoing an in vitro fertilization procedure. We demonstrated that activin A significantly upregulated the expression of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and LOX via an activin/TGF-β type I receptor mediated-signaling pathway. Using a target depletion small interfering RNA knockdown approach, we further confirmed that the upregulation of CTGF expression resulted in an activin-A-induced increases in LOX expression and activity. These findings may provide insight into the mechanisms by which intrafollicular growth factors regulate the expression of LOX for ECM formation and tissue remodeling in the human ovary. PMID:27530347

  2. FGF signaling via MAPK is required early and improves Activin A-induced definitive endoderm formation from human embryonic stem cells

    SciTech Connect

    Sui, Lina; Mfopou, Josue K.; Geens, Mieke; Sermon, Karen; Bouwens, Luc

    2012-09-28

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Deep study the FGF signaling role during DE specification in the context of hESCs. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer DE differentiation from hESCs has an early dependence on FGF signaling. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer A serum-free DE protocol is developed based on the findings. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The DE cells showed potential to differentiate into pancreatic progenitor cells. -- Abstract: Considering their unlimited proliferation and pluripotency properties, human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) constitute a promising resource applicable for cell replacement therapy. To facilitate this clinical translation, it is critical to study and understand the early stage of hESCs differentiation wherein germ layers are defined. In this study, we examined the role of FGF signaling in Activin A-induced definitive endoderm (DE) differentiation in the absence of supplemented animal serum. We found that activated FGF/MAPK signaling is required at the early time point of Activin A-induced DE formation. In addition, FGF activation increased the number of DE cells compared to Activin A alone. These DE cells could further differentiate into PDX1 and NKX6.1 positive pancreatic progenitors in vitro. We conclude that Activin A combined with FGF/MAPK signaling efficiently induce DE cells in the absence of serum. These findings improve our understanding of human endoderm formation, and constitute a step forward in the generation of clinical grade hESCs progenies for cell therapy.

  3. Activin A programs the differentiation of human TFH cells.

    PubMed

    Locci, Michela; Wu, Jennifer E; Arumemi, Fortuna; Mikulski, Zbigniew; Dahlberg, Carol; Miller, Andrew T; Crotty, Shane

    2016-08-01

    Follicular helper T cells (TFH cells) are CD4(+) T cells specialized in helping B cells and are associated both with protective antibody responses and autoimmune diseases. The promise of targeting TFH cells therapeutically has been limited by fragmentary understanding of extrinsic signals that regulate the differentiation of human TFH cells. A screen of a human protein library identified activin A as a potent regulator of TFH cell differentiation. Activin A orchestrated the expression of multiple genes associated with the TFH program, independently or in concert with additional signals. TFH cell programming by activin A was antagonized by the cytokine IL-2. Activin A's ability to drive TFH cell differentiation in vitro was conserved in non-human primates but not in mice. Finally, activin-A-induced TFH programming was dependent on signaling via SMAD2 and SMAD3 and was blocked by pharmacological inhibitors. PMID:27376469

  4. Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-A (VEGF-A) Mediates Activin A-Induced Human Trophoblast Endothelial-Like Tube Formation.

    PubMed

    Li, Yan; Zhu, Hua; Klausen, Christian; Peng, Bo; Leung, Peter C K

    2015-11-01

    Remodeling of maternal spiral arteries during pregnancy requires a subpopulation of extravillous cytotrophoblasts (EVTs) to differentiate into endovascular EVTs. Activin A, which is abundantly expressed at the maternal-fetal interface, has been shown to promote trophoblast invasion, but its role in endovascular differentiation remains unknown. Vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) is well recognized as a key regulator in trophoblast endovascular differentiation. Whether and how activin A might regulate VEGF-A production in human trophoblasts and its relationship to endovascular differentiation have yet to be determined. In the present study, we found that activin A increased VEGF-A production in primary and immortalized (HTR8/SVneo) human EVT cells. In addition, activin A enhanced HTR8/SVneo endothelial-like tube formation, and these effects were attenuated by pretreatment with small interfering RNA targeting VEGF-A or the VEGF receptor 1/2 inhibitor SU4312. Pretreatment with the activin/TGF-β type 1 receptor (ALK4/5/7) inhibitor SB431542 abolished the stimulatory effects of activin A on phosphorylated mothers against decapentaplegic (SMAD)-2/3 phosphorylation, VEGF-A production, and endothelial-like tube formation. Moreover, small interfering RNA-mediated down-regulation of SMAD2, SMAD3, or common SMAD4 abolished the effects of activin A on VEGF-A production and endothelial-like tube formation. In conclusion, activin A may promote human trophoblast cell endothelial-like tube formation by up-regulating VEGF-A production in an SMAD2/3-SMAD4-dependent manner. These findings provide insight into the cellular and molecular events regulated by activin A during human implantation. PMID:26327470

  5. FOXL2-induced follistatin attenuates activin A-stimulated cell proliferation in human granulosa cell tumors

    SciTech Connect

    Cheng, Jung-Chien; Chang, Hsun-Ming; Qiu, Xin; Fang, Lanlan; Leung, Peter C.K.

    2014-01-10

    Highlights: •Activin A stimulates cell proliferation in KGN human granulosa cell tumor-derived cell line. •Cyclin D2 mediates activin A-induced KGN cell proliferation. •FOXL2 induces follistatin expression in KGN cells. •FOXL2-induced follistatin attenuates activin A-stimulated KGN cell proliferation. -- Abstract: Human granulosa cell tumors (GCTs) are rare, and their etiology remains largely unknown. Recently, the FOXL2 402C > G (C134W) mutation was found to be specifically expressed in human adult-type GCTs; however, its function in the development of human GCTs is not fully understood. Activins are members of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily, which has been shown to stimulate normal granulosa cell proliferation; however, little is known regarding the function of activins in human GCTs. In this study, we examined the effect of activin A on cell proliferation in the human GCT-derived cell line KGN. We show that activin A treatment stimulates KGN cell proliferation. Treatment with the activin type I receptor inhibitor SB431542 blocks activin A-stimulated cell proliferation. In addition, our results show that cyclin D2 is induced by treatment with activin A and is involved in activin A-stimulated cell proliferation. Moreover, the activation of Smad signaling is required for activin A-induced cyclin D2 expression. Finally, we show that the overexpression of the wild-type FOXL2 but not the C134W mutant FOXL2 induced follistatin production. Treatment with exogenous follistatin blocks activin A-stimulated cell proliferation, and the overexpression of wild-type FOXL2 attenuates activin A-stimulated cell proliferation. These results suggest that FOXL2 may act as a tumor suppressor in human adult-type GCTs by inducing follistatin expression, which subsequently inhibits activin-stimulated cell proliferation.

  6. Activin C Antagonizes Activin A in Vitro and Overexpression Leads to Pathologies in Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Gold, Elspeth; Jetly, Niti; O'Bryan, Moira K.; Meachem, Sarah; Srinivasan, Deepa; Behuria, Supreeti; Sanchez-Partida, L. Gabriel; Woodruff, Teresa; Hedwards, Shelley; Wang, Hong; McDougall, Helen; Casey, Victoria; Niranjan, Birunthi; Patella, Shane; Risbridger, Gail

    2009-01-01

    Activin A is a potent growth and differentiation factor whose synthesis and bioactivity are tightly regulated. Both follistatin binding and inhibin subunit heterodimerization block access to the activin receptor and/or receptor activation. We postulated that the activin-βC subunit provides another mechanism regulating activin bioactivity. To test our hypothesis, we examined the biological effects of activin C and produced mice that overexpress activin-βC. Activin C reduced activin A bioactivity in vitro; in LNCaP cells, activin C abrogated both activin A-induced Smad signaling and growth inhibition, and in LβT2 cells, activin C antagonized activin A-mediated activity of an follicle-stimulating hormone-β promoter. Transgenic mice that overexpress activin-βC exhibited disease in testis, liver, and prostate. Male infertility was caused by both reduced sperm production and impaired sperm motility. The livers of the transgenic mice were enlarged because of an imbalance between hepatocyte proliferation and apoptosis. Transgenic prostates showed evidence of hypertrophy and epithelial cell hyperplasia. Additionally, there was decreased evidence of nuclear Smad-2 localization in the testis, liver, and prostate, indicating that overexpression of activin-βC antagonized Smad signaling in vivo. Underlying the significance of these findings, human testis, liver, and prostate cancers expressed increased activin-βC immunoreactivity. This study provides evidence that activin-βC is an antagonist of activin A and supplies an impetus to examine its role in development and disease. PMID:19095948

  7. Expression of activins C and E induces apoptosis in human and rat hepatoma cells.

    PubMed

    Vejda, Susanne; Erlach, Natascha; Peter, Barbara; Drucker, Claudia; Rossmanith, Walter; Pohl, Jens; Schulte-Hermann, Rolf; Grusch, Michael

    2003-11-01

    Activins C and E (homodimers of the betaC and betaE subunits), which are almost exclusively expressed in the liver, are members of the transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) superfamily of growth factors. We examined their expression in three different hepatoma cell lines and found that, compared with normal liver or primary hepatocytes, human hepatoblastoma (HepG2), human hepatocellular carcinoma (Hep3B) and rat hepatoma (H4IIEC3) cells have either completely lost or drastically reduced the expression of activins C and E. In order to elucidate the biological function of these proteins we transiently transfected HepG2, Hep3B and H4IIEC3 cell lines with rat activin betaC or betaE cDNA to study the consequences of restoring activin expression in hepatoma cells. Transfection with activin betaA, a known inhibitor of hepatic DNA synthesis and inducer of apoptosis, served as a positive control. We found that transfection of the three cell lines with activin betaC or betaE, as well as with activin betaA, reduced the increase in cell number by up to 40% compared with cells transfected with a control plasmid. Co-culture with a CHO cell clone secreting activin C also inhibited HepG2 cell multiplication. Furthermore, the three hepatoma cell lines studied showed an enhanced rate of apoptosis and elevated levels of active caspases in response to activin transfection. These results indicate that activins C and E share the potential to induce apoptosis in liver derived cell lines with activin A and TGFbeta1. PMID:12949049

  8. Impaired growth of pancreatic exocrine cells in transgenic mice expressing human activin {beta}E subunit

    SciTech Connect

    Hashimoto, Osamu . E-mail: ohashim@vmas.kitasato-u.ac.jp; Ushiro, Yuuki; Sekiyama, Kazunari; Yamaguchi, Osamu; Yoshioka, Kazuki; Mutoh, Ken-Ichiro; Hasegawa, Yoshihisa

    2006-03-10

    Activins, TGF-{beta} superfamily members, have multiple functions in a variety of cells and tissues. Recently, additional activin {beta} subunit genes, {beta}C and {beta}E, have been identified. To explore the role of activin E, we created transgenic mice overexpressing human activin {beta}E subunit. There were pronounced differences in the pancreata of the transgenic animals as compared with their wild-type counterparts. Pancreatic weight, expressed relative to total body weight, was significantly reduced. Histologically, adipose replacement of acini in the exocrine pancreas was observed. There was a significant decrease in the number of PCNA-positive cells in the acinar cells, indicating reduced proliferation in the exocrine pancreas of the transgenic mice. However, quantitative pancreatic morphometry showed that the total number and mass of the islets of the transgenic mice were comparable with those of the nontransgenic control mice. Our findings suggest a role for activin E in regulating the proliferation of pancreatic exocrine cells.

  9. Activin A directs striatal projection neuron differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Arber, Charles; Precious, Sophie V.; Cambray, Serafí; Risner-Janiczek, Jessica R.; Kelly, Claire; Noakes, Zoe; Fjodorova, Marija; Heuer, Andreas; Ungless, Mark A.; Rodríguez, Tristan A.; Rosser, Anne E.; Dunnett, Stephen B.; Li, Meng

    2015-01-01

    The efficient generation of striatal neurons from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) is fundamental for realising their promise in disease modelling, pharmaceutical drug screening and cell therapy for Huntington's disease. GABAergic medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs) are the principal projection neurons of the striatum and specifically degenerate in the early phase of Huntington's disease. Here we report that activin A induces lateral ganglionic eminence (LGE) characteristics in nascent neural progenitors derived from hESCs and hiPSCs in a sonic hedgehog-independent manner. Correct specification of striatal phenotype was further demonstrated by the induction of the striatal transcription factors CTIP2, GSX2 and FOXP2. Crucially, these human LGE progenitors readily differentiate into postmitotic neurons expressing the striatal projection neuron signature marker DARPP32, both in culture and following transplantation in the adult striatum in a rat model of Huntington's disease. Activin-induced neurons also exhibit appropriate striatal-like electrophysiology in vitro. Together, our findings demonstrate a novel route for efficient differentiation of GABAergic striatal MSNs from human pluripotent stem cells. PMID:25804741

  10. Effects of Activin A on the phenotypic properties of human periodontal ligament cells.

    PubMed

    Sugii, Hideki; Maeda, Hidefumi; Tomokiyo, Atsushi; Yamamoto, Naohide; Wada, Naohisa; Koori, Katsuaki; Hasegawa, Daigaku; Hamano, Sayuri; Yuda, Asuka; Monnouchi, Satoshi; Akamine, Akifumi

    2014-09-01

    Periodontal ligament (PDL) tissue plays an important role in tooth preservation by structurally maintaining the connection between the tooth root and the bone. The mechanisms involved in the healing and regeneration of damaged PDL tissue, caused by bacterial infection, caries and trauma, have been explored. Accumulating evidence suggests that Activin A, a member of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) superfamily and a dimer of inhibinβa, contributes to tissue healing through cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation of various target cells. In bone, Activin A has been shown to exert an inhibitory effect on osteoblast maturation and mineralization. However, there have been no reports examining the expression and function of Activin A in human PDL cells (HPDLCs). Thus, we aimed to investigate the biological effects of Activin A on HPDLCs. Activin A was observed to be localized in HPDLCs and rat PDL tissue. When PDL tissue was surgically damaged, Activin A and IL-1β expression increased and the two proteins were shown to be co-localized around the lesion. HPDLCs treated with IL-1β or TNF-α also up-regulated the expression of the gene encoding inhibinβa. Activin A promoted chemotaxis, migration and proliferation of HPDLCs, and caused an increase in fibroblastic differentiation of these cells while down-regulating their osteoblastic differentiation. These osteoblastic inhibitory effects of Activin A, however, were only noted during the early phase of HPDLC osteoblastic differentiation, with later exposures having no effect on differentiation. Collectively, our results suggest that Activin A could be used as a therapeutic agent for healing and regenerating PDL tissue in response to disease, trauma or surgical reconstruction. PMID:24928494

  11. Induced expression of the new cytokine, activin A, in human monocytes: inhibition by glucocorticoids and retinoic acid.

    PubMed Central

    Yu, J; Shao, L E; Frigon, N L; Lofgren, J; Schwall, R

    1996-01-01

    The capacity of recombinant human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), glucocorticoids or all-trans-retinoic acid to modulate production of activin A by human monocytes was studied. It was shown that GM-CSF stimulated monocytes to accumulate activin A RNA after as few as 4 hr of incubation, reaching a peak of stimulation at approximately 16 hr of incubation. The activin A transcripts accumulated in the monocytes after stimulation with only 5 U/ml of GM-CSF and reached a maximum plateau level of expression between 25 and 50 U/ml of GM-CSF. Biologically active activin A molecules were detected in the conditioned media by a bioassay, performed both in the absence and presence of a neutralizing antiserum for activin A. Accumulation of bioactive activin A in conditioned medium of monocyte cultures was detected after 24 hr of incubation with GM-CSF and high levels of activin A were maintained for 72 hr. The production of the dimeric beta A beta A in these monocytes was further confirmed by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) specific for activin A. In contrast to the stimulatory effect of GM-CSF, hydrocortisone, dexamethasone or all-trans-retinoic acid at 1 x 10(-7) to 1 x 10(-5) M inhibited the constitutive expression of activin A and greatly suppressed the GM-CSF-stimulated production. Thus, the expression of activin A is modulated in monocytes by different agents. These observations may imply new roles for activin A at sites of inflammation where monocytes accumulate. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 PMID:8774352

  12. Activin A, B and AB decrease progesterone production by down-regulating StAR in human granulosa cells.

    PubMed

    Chang, Hsun-Ming; Cheng, Jung-Chien; Huang, He-Feng; Shi, Feng-Tao; Leung, Peter C K

    2015-09-01

    Activins are homo- or heterodimers of inhibin β subunits that play important roles in the reproductive system. Our previous work has shown that activins A (βAβA), B (βBβB) and AB (βAβB) induce aromatase/estradiol, but suppress StAR/progesterone production in human granulosa-lutein cells. However, the underlying molecular determinants of these effects have not been examined. In this continuing study, we used immortalized human granulosa cells (SVOG) to investigate the effects of activins in regulating StAR/progesterone and the potential mechanisms of action. In SVOG cells, activins A, B and AB produced comparable down-regulation of StAR expression and progesterone production. In addition, all three activin isoforms induced equivalent phosphorylation of both SMAD2 and SMAD3. Importantly, the activin-induced down-regulation of StAR, increase in SMAD2/3 phosphorylation, and decrease in progesterone were abolished by the TGF-β type I receptor inhibitor SB431542. Interestingly, the small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of ALK4 but not ALK5 reversed the activin-induced suppression of StAR. Furthermore, the knockdown of SMAD4 or SMAD2 but not SMAD3 abolished the inhibitory effects of all three activin isoforms on StAR expression. These results provide evidence that activins A, B and AB down-regulate StAR expression and decrease progesterone production in human granulosa cells, likely via an ALK4-mediated SMAD2/SMAD4-dependent pathway. Our findings provide important insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulatory effects of activins on human granulosa cell steroidogenesis. PMID:26001835

  13. Activin/nodal signaling switches the terminal fate of human embryonic stem cell-derived trophoblasts.

    PubMed

    Sarkar, Prasenjit; Randall, Shan M; Collier, Timothy S; Nero, Anthony; Russell, Teal A; Muddiman, David C; Rao, Balaji M

    2015-04-01

    Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have been routinely treated with bone morphogenetic protein and/or inhibitors of activin/nodal signaling to obtain cells that express trophoblast markers. Trophoblasts can terminally differentiate to either extravillous trophoblasts or syncytiotrophoblasts. The signaling pathways that govern the terminal fate of these trophoblasts are not understood. We show that activin/nodal signaling switches the terminal fate of these hESC-derived trophoblasts. Inhibition of activin/nodal signaling leads to formation of extravillous trophoblast, whereas loss of activin/nodal inhibition leads to the formation of syncytiotrophoblasts. Also, the ability of hESCs to form bona fide trophoblasts has been intensely debated. We have examined hESC-derived trophoblasts in the light of stringent criteria that were proposed recently, such as hypomethylation of the ELF5-2b promoter region and down-regulation of HLA class I antigens. We report that trophoblasts that possess these properties can indeed be obtained from hESCs. PMID:25670856

  14. Activin/Nodal Signaling Switches the Terminal Fate of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-derived Trophoblasts*

    PubMed Central

    Sarkar, Prasenjit; Randall, Shan M.; Collier, Timothy S.; Nero, Anthony; Russell, Teal A.; Muddiman, David C.; Rao, Balaji M.

    2015-01-01

    Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have been routinely treated with bone morphogenetic protein and/or inhibitors of activin/nodal signaling to obtain cells that express trophoblast markers. Trophoblasts can terminally differentiate to either extravillous trophoblasts or syncytiotrophoblasts. The signaling pathways that govern the terminal fate of these trophoblasts are not understood. We show that activin/nodal signaling switches the terminal fate of these hESC-derived trophoblasts. Inhibition of activin/nodal signaling leads to formation of extravillous trophoblast, whereas loss of activin/nodal inhibition leads to the formation of syncytiotrophoblasts. Also, the ability of hESCs to form bona fide trophoblasts has been intensely debated. We have examined hESC-derived trophoblasts in the light of stringent criteria that were proposed recently, such as hypomethylation of the ELF5-2b promoter region and down-regulation of HLA class I antigens. We report that trophoblasts that possess these properties can indeed be obtained from hESCs. PMID:25670856

  15. Human eosinophil activin A synthesis and mRNA stabilization are induced by the combination of IL-3 plus TNF.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Elizabeth A; Esnault, Stephane; Johnson, Sean H; Liu, Lin Ying; Malter, James S; Burnham, Mandy E; Jarjour, Nizar N

    2016-08-01

    Eosinophils contribute to immune regulation and wound healing/fibrosis in various diseases, including asthma. Growing appreciation for the role of activin A in such processes led us to hypothesize that eosinophils are a source of this transforming growth factor-ß superfamily member. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF) induces activin A by other cell types and is often present at the site of allergic inflammation along with the eosinophil-activating common ß (ßc) chain-signaling cytokines (interleukin (IL)-5, IL-3, granulocyte-macrophages colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF)). Previously, we established that the combination of TNF plus a ßc chain-signaling cytokine synergistically induces eosinophil synthesis of the remodeling enzyme matrix metalloproteinase-9. Therefore, eosinophils were stimulated ex vivo by these cytokines and in vivo through an allergen-induced airway inflammatory response. In contrast to IL-5+TNF or GM-CSF+TNF, the combination of IL-3+TNF synergistically induced activin A synthesis and release by human blood eosinophils. IL-3+TNF enhanced activin A mRNA stability, which required sustained signaling of pathways downstream of p38 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase mitogen-activated protein kinases. In vivo, following segmental airway allergen challenge of subjects with mild allergic asthma, activin A mRNA was upregulated in airway eosinophils compared with circulating eosinophils, and ex vivo, circulating eosinophils tended to release more activin A in response to IL-3+TNF. These data provide evidence that eosinophils release activin A and that this function is enhanced when eosinophils are present in an allergen-induced inflammatory environment. Moreover, these data provide the first evidence for posttranscriptional control of activin A mRNA. We propose that an environment rich in IL-3+TNF will lead to eosinophil-derived activin A, which has an important role in regulating inflammation and/or fibrosis. PMID:27001469

  16. A novel 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D-activin A pathway in human alveolar macrophages is dysfunctional in patients with pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP).

    PubMed

    Barna, Barbara P; Malur, Anagha; Dalrymple, Heidi; Karnekar, Reema; Culver, Daniel A; Abraham, Susamma; Singh, Ravinder J; Brescia, Donald; Kavuru, Mani S; Thomassen, Mary Jane

    2009-01-01

    We have shown that activin A, a cytokine implicated in regulating B-cell proliferation, is severely deficient in alveolar macrophages from patients with pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP), an autoimmune disorder characterized by surfactant accumulation and neutralizing autoantibodies to granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor. Mechanisms of activin regulation in alveolar macrophages are not well understood. Based on previous gene array results from PAP bronchoalveolar lavage cells suggesting deficiencies in vitamin D target genes, and on recent evidence of vitamin D receptor elements (VDREs) in the human activin A gene promoter, we investigated the effects of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (vitamin D(3)) on activin A expression in alveolar macrophages from healthy individuals and PAP patients. Activin A expression was stimulated by LPS in cultures of either healthy control or PAP alveolar macrophages; in contrast, vitamin D(3) increased activin A only in healthy controls but not in PAP. Compared to healthy controls, freshly obtained (uncultured) PAP alveolar macrophages displayed healthy intrinsic vitamin D receptor expression but deficient expression of vitamin D target genes, cathelicidin and thioredoxin interacting protein. PAP patients also demonstrated a relative insufficiency of circulating vitamin D. Investigation of activin A in murine alveolar macrophages confirmed a lack of functional response to vitamin D as anticipated since murine activin A does not contain VDREs. Results suggest that mechanisms of activin A deficiency in PAP alveolar macrophages may involve dysregulation of a novel species-specific vitamin D-activin A pathway. PMID:18803071

  17. Development of novel activin-targeted therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Chen, Justin L; Walton, Kelly L; Al-Musawi, Sara L; Kelly, Emily K; Qian, Hongwei; La, Mylinh; Lu, Louis; Lovrecz, George; Ziemann, Mark; Lazarus, Ross; El-Osta, Assam; Gregorevic, Paul; Harrison, Craig A

    2015-03-01

    Soluble activin type II receptors (ActRIIA/ActRIIB), via binding to diverse TGF-β proteins, can increase muscle and bone mass, correct anemia or protect against diet-induced obesity. While exciting, these multiple actions of soluble ActRIIA/IIB limit their therapeutic potential and highlight the need for new reagents that target specific ActRIIA/IIB ligands. Here, we modified the activin A and activin B prodomains, regions required for mature growth factor synthesis, to generate specific activin antagonists. Initially, the prodomains were fused to the Fc region of mouse IgG2A antibody and, subsequently, "fastener" residues (Lys(45), Tyr(96), His(97), and Ala(98); activin A numbering) that confer latency to other TGF-β proteins were incorporated. For the activin A prodomain, these modifications generated a reagent that potently (IC(50) 5 nmol/l) and specifically inhibited activin A signaling in vitro, and activin A-induced muscle wasting in vivo. Interestingly, the modified activin B prodomain inhibited both activin A and B signaling in vitro (IC(50) ~2 nmol/l) and in vivo, suggesting it could serve as a general activin antagonist. Importantly, unlike soluble ActRIIA/IIB, the modified prodomains did not inhibit myostatin or GDF-11 activity. To underscore the therapeutic utility of specifically antagonising activin signaling, we demonstrate that the modified activin prodomains promote significant increases in muscle mass. PMID:25399825

  18. Activin A secreted by human mesenchymal stem cells induces neuronal development and neurite outgrowth in an in vitro model of Alzheimer's disease: neurogenesis induced by MSCs via activin A.

    PubMed

    Park, Sang Eon; Lee, Jeongmin; Chang, Eun Hyuk; Kim, Jong Hwa; Sung, Ji-Hee; Na, Duk L; Chang, Jong Wook

    2016-08-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by progressive loss of memory in addition to cortical atrophy. Cortical atrophy in AD brains begins in the parietal and temporal lobes, which are near the subventricular zone (SVZ). The aim of this study was to activate the neurogenesis in the SVZ of AD brains by human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). Neural stem cells (NSCs) were isolated from SVZ of 4-month-old 5XFAD mice. Co-culture of hMSCs with SVZ-derived NSCs from 5XFAD mice induced neuronal development and neurite outgrowth. To examine the inducing factor of neurogenesis, human cytokine array was performed with co-cultured media, and revealed elevated release of activin A from hMSCs. Also, we confirmed that the mRNA levels of activin A and activin receptor in the SVZ of 5XFAD mice were significantly lower than normal mice. Treatment of human recombinant activin A in SVZ-derived NSCs from 5XFAD mice induced neuronal development and neurite outgrowth. These data suggest that use of hMSCs and activin A to recover neurogenesis in future studies of cortical regeneration to treat AD. PMID:27515053

  19. Analysis of human follistatin structure: identification of two discontinuous N-terminal sequences coding for activin A binding and structural consequences of activin binding to native proteins.

    PubMed

    Wang, Q; Keutmann, H T; Schneyer, A L; Sluss, P M

    2000-09-01

    A primary physiological function of follistatin is the binding and neutralization of activin, a transforming growth factor-beta family growth factor, and loss of function mutations are lethal. Despite the critical biological importance of follistatin's neutralization of activin, the structural basis of activin's binding to follistatin is poorly understood. The purposes of these studies were 1) to identify the primary sequence(s) within the N-terminal domain of the follistatin coding for activin binding, and 2) to determine whether activin binding to the native protein causes changes in other structural domains of follistatin. Synthetic peptide mimotopes identified within a 63-residue N-terminal domain two discontinuous sequences capable of binding labeled activin A. The first is located in a region (amino acids 3-26) of follistatin, a site previously identified by directed mutagenesis as important for activin binding. The second epitope, predicted to be located between amino acids 46 and 59, is newly identified. Although the sequences 3-26 and 46-59 code for activin binding, native follistatin only binds activin if disulfide bonding is intact. Furthermore, pyridylethylation of Cys residues followed by N-terminal sequencing and amino acid analysis revealed that all of the Cys residues in follistatin are involved in disulfide bonds and lack reactive free sulfhydryl groups. Specific ligands were used to probe the structural effects of activin binding on the other domains of the full-length molecule, comprised largely of the three 10-Cys follistatin module domains. No effects on ligand binding to follistatin-like module I or II were observed after the binding of activin A to native protein. In contrast, activin binding diminished recognition of domain III and enhanced that of the C domain by their respective monoclonal antibody probes, indicating an alteration of the antigenic structures of these regions. Thus, subsequent to activin binding, interactions are likely to

  20. Activin inhibits telomerase activity in cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Katik, Indzi; Mackenzie-Kludas, Charley; Nicholls, Craig; Jiang, Fang-Xu; Zhou, Shufeng; Li, He; Liu, Jun-Ping

    2009-11-27

    Activin is a pleiotropic cytokine with broad tissue distributions. Recent studies demonstrate that activin-A inhibits cancer cell proliferation with unknown mechanisms. In this report, we demonstrate that recombinant activin-A induces telomerase inhibition in cancer cells. In breast and cervical cancer cells, activin-A resulted in telomerase activity in a concentration-dependent manner. Significant inhibition was observed at 10 ng/ml of activin-A, with a near complete inhibition at 80 ng/ml. Consistently, activin-A induced repression of the telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) gene, with the hTERT gene to be suppressed by 60-80% within 24 h. In addition, activin-A induced a concomitant increase in Smad3 signaling and decrease of the hTERT gene promoter activity in a concentration-dependent fashion. These data suggest that activin-A triggered telomerase inhibition by down-regulating hTERT gene expression is involved in activin-A-induced inhibition of cancer cell proliferation.

  1. Activin, BMP and FGF pathways cooperate to promote endoderm and pancreatic lineage cell differentiation from human embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiaofang; Browning, Victoria L; Odorico, Jon S

    2011-01-01

    The study of how human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) differentiate into insulin-producing beta cells has twofold significance: first, it provides an in vitro model system for the study of human pancreatic development, and second, it serves as a platform for the ultimate production of beta cells for transplantation into patients with diabetes. The delineation of growth factor interactions regulating pancreas specification from hESCs in vitro is critical to achieving these goals. In this study, we describe the roles of growth factors bFGF, BMP4 and Activin A in early hESC fate determination. The entire differentiation process is carried out in serum-free chemically-defined media (CDM) and results in reliable and robust induction of pancreatic endoderm cells, marked by PDX1, and cell clusters co-expressing markers characteristic of beta cells, including PDX1 and insulin/C-peptide. Varying the combinations of growth factors, we found that treatment of hESCs with bFGF, Activin A and BMP4 (FAB) together for 3-4days resulted in strong induction of primitive-streak and definitive endoderm-associated genes, including MIXL1, GSC, SOX17 and FOXA2. Early proliferative foregut endoderm and pancreatic lineage cells marked by PDX1, FOXA2 and SOX9 expression are specified in EBs made from FAB-treated hESCs, but not from Activin A alone treated cells. Our results suggest that important tissue interactions occur in EB-based suspension culture that contribute to the complete induction of definitive endoderm and pancreas progenitors. Further differentiation occurs after EBs are embedded in Matrigel and cultured in serum-free media containing insulin, transferrin, selenium, FGF7, nicotinamide, islet neogenesis associated peptide (INGAP) and exendin-4, a long acting GLP-1 agonist. 21-28days after embedding, PDX1 gene expression levels are comparable to those of human islets used for transplantation, and many PDX1(+) clusters are formed. Almost all cells in PDX1(+) clusters co

  2. PCSK6 regulated by LH inhibits the apoptosis of human granulosa cells via activin A and TGFβ2.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Wang, Xiao-Hui; Fan, Deng-Xuan; Zhang, Yuan; Li, Ming-Qing; Wu, Hai-Xia; Jin, Li-Ping

    2014-07-01

    Mammalian proprotein convertases (PCs) play an important role in folliculogenesis, as they proteolytically activate a variety of substrates such as the transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) superfamily. PC subtilism/kexin 6 (PCSK6) is a member of the PC family and is ubiquitously expressed and implicated in many physiological and pathological processes. However, in human granulosa cells, the expression of the PC family members, their hormonal regulation, and the function of PCs are not clear. In this study, we found that PCSK6 is the most highly expressed PC family member in granulosa cells. LH increased PCSK6 mRNA level and PCSK6 played an anti-apoptosis function in KGN cells. Knockdown of PCSK6 not only increased the secretion of activin A and TGFβ2 but also decreased the secretion of follistatin, estrogen, and the mRNA levels of FSH receptor (FSHR) and P450AROM (CYP19A1). We also found that, in the KGN human granulosa cell line, TGFβ2 and activin A could promote the apoptosis of KGN cells and LH could regulate the follistatin level. These data indicate that PCSK6, which is regulated by LH, is highly expressed in human primary granulosa cells of pre-ovulatory follicles and plays important roles in regulating a series of downstream molecules and apoptosis of KGN cells. PMID:24860148

  3. Atypical Activin A and IL-10 Production Impairs Human CD16+ Monocyte Differentiation into Anti-Inflammatory Macrophages.

    PubMed

    González-Domínguez, Érika; Domínguez-Soto, Ángeles; Nieto, Concha; Flores-Sevilla, José Luis; Pacheco-Blanco, Mariana; Campos-Peña, Victoria; Meraz-Ríos, Marco A; Vega, Miguel A; Corbí, Ángel L; Sánchez-Torres, Carmen

    2016-02-01

    Human CD14(++)CD16(-) and CD14(+/lo)CD16(+) monocyte subsets comprise 85 and 15% of blood monocytes, respectively, and are thought to represent distinct stages in the monocyte differentiation pathway. However, the differentiation fates of both monocyte subsets along the macrophage (Mϕ) lineage have not yet been elucidated. We have now evaluated the potential of CD14(++) CD16(-) and CD16(+) monocytes to differentiate and to be primed toward pro- or anti-inflammatory Mϕs upon culture with GM-CSF or M-CSF, respectively (subsequently referred to as GM14, M14, GM16, or M16). Whereas GM16 and GM14 were phenotypic and functionally analogous, M16 displayed a more proinflammatory profile than did M14. Transcriptomic analyses evidenced that genes associated with M-CSF-driven Mϕ differentiation (including FOLR2, IL10, IGF1, and SERPINB2) are underrepresented in M16 with respect to M14. The preferential proinflammatory skewing of M16 relative to M14 was found to be mediated by the secretion of activin A and the low levels of IL-10 produced by M16. In fact, activin A receptor blockade during the M-CSF-driven differentiation of CD16(+) monocytes, or addition of IL-10-containing M14-conditioned medium, significantly enhanced their expression of anti-inflammatory-associated molecules while impairing their acquisition of proinflammatory-related markers. Thus, we propose that M-CSF drives CD14(++)CD16- monocyte differentiation into bona fide anti-inflammatory Mϕs in a self-autonomous manner, whereas M-CSF-treated CD16(+) monocytes generate Mϕs with a skewed proinflammatory profile by virtue of their high activin A expression unless additional anti-inflammatory stimuli such as IL-10 are provided. PMID:26729812

  4. Administration of a soluble activin type IIB receptor promotes the transplantation of human myoblasts in dystrophic mice.

    PubMed

    Fakhfakh, Raouia; Lee, Se-Jin; Tremblay, Jacques P

    2012-01-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a recessive disease caused by a dystrophin gene mutation. Myoblast transplantation permits the introduction of the dystrophin gene into dystrophic muscle fibers. However, this strategy has so far produced limited results. Modulation of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) superfamily signaling promotes skeletal muscle differentiation and growth and myogenic regeneration. We investigated the possibility that the combination of TGF-β superfamily signaling inhibition with myoblast transplantation might be an effective therapeutic approach in dystrophin-deficient patients. In vitro, blocking myostatin and other ligands with a soluble form of the extracellular domain of the activin IIB receptor (ActRIIB/Fc) upregulated the expression of myogenic differentiation factors and increased human myoblast fusion. In vivo, systemic inhibition of activin IIB receptor signaling by delivery of ActRIIB/Fc increased the success of the myoblast transplantation. This effect was further increased by forcing the mice to swim weekly to induce cycles of muscle degeneration and regeneration. Treatment of dystrophic mice with ActRIIB/Fc led to increased body weight, increased skeletal muscle mass, and improved myoblast transplantation. Thus, ActRIIB/Fc represents an effective therapeutic strategy for muscular dystrophies, and its effects are enhanced when combined with muscle exercise. PMID:22449443

  5. Activins and activin antagonists in the prostate and prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Gold, Elspeth; Risbridger, Gail

    2012-08-15

    Activins are members of the TGF-β super-family. There are 4 mammalian activin subunits (β(A), β(B), β(C) and β(E)) that combine to form functional proteins. The role of activin A (β(A)β(A)) is well characterized and known to be a potent growth and differentiation factor. Two of the activin subunits (β(C) and β(E)) were discovered more recently and little is known about their biological functions. In this review the evidence that activin-β(C) is a significant regulator of activin A bioactivity is presented and discussed. It is concluded that activin-β(C), like other antagonists of activin A, is an important growth regulator in prostate health and disease. PMID:21787836

  6. Uric acid: a modulator of prostate cells and activin sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Sangkop, Febbie; Singh, Geeta; Rodrigues, Ely; Gold, Elspeth; Bahn, Andrew

    2016-03-01

    Elevated serum uric acid (SUA) or urate is associated with inflammation and gout. Recent evidence has linked urate to cancers, but little is known about urate effects in prostate cancer. Activins are inflammatory cytokines and negative growth regulators in the prostate. A hallmark of prostate cancer progression is activin insensitivity; however, mechanisms underlying this are unclear. We propose that elevated SUA is associated with prostate cancer counteracting the growth inhibitory effects of activins. The expression of activins A and B, urate transporter GLUT9 and tissue urate levels were examined in human prostate disease. Intracellular and secreted urate and GLUT9 expression were assessed in human prostate cancer cell lines. Furthermore, the effects of urate and probenecid, a known urate transport inhibitor, were determined in combination with activin A. Activin A expression was increased in low-grade prostate cancer, whereas activin B expression was reduced in high-grade prostate cancer. Intracellular urate levels decreased in all prostate pathologies, while GLUT9 expression decreased in benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatitis and high-grade prostate cancer. Activin responsive LNCaP cells had higher intracellular and lower secreted urate levels than activin-insensitive PC3 cells. GLUT9 expression in prostate cancer cells was progressively lower than in prostate epithelial cells. Elevated extracellular urate was growth promoting in vitro, which was abolished by the gout medication probenecid, and it antagonized the growth inhibitory effects of activins. This study shows for the first time that a change in plasma or intracellular urate levels, possibly involving GLUT9 and a urate efflux transporter, has an impact on prostate cancer cell growth, and that lowering SUA levels in prostate cancer is likely to be therapeutically beneficial. PMID:26910779

  7. Cripto forms a complex with activin and type II activin receptors and can block activin signaling

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Peter C.; Harrison, Craig A.; Vale, Wylie

    2003-01-01

    Activin, nodal, Vg1, and growth and differentiation factor 1 are members of the transforming growth factor β superfamily and signal via the activin type II (ActRII/IIB) and type I (ALK4) serine/threonine kinase receptors. Unlike activins, however, signaling by nodal, Vg1, and growth and differentiation factor 1 requires a coreceptor from the epidermal growth factor-Cripto-FRL1-Cryptic protein family such as Cripto. Cripto has important roles during development and oncogenesis and binds nodal or related ligands and ALK4 to facilitate assembly of type I and type II receptor signaling complexes. Because Cripto mediates signaling via activin receptors and binds directly to ALK4, we tested whether transfection with Cripto would affect the ability of activin to signal and/or interact with its receptors. Here we show that Cripto can form a complex with activin and ActRII/IIB. We were unable to detect activin binding to Cripto in the absence of ActRII/IIB, indicating that unlike nodal, activin requires type II receptors to bind Cripto. If cotransfected with ActRII/IIB and ALK4, Cripto inhibited crosslinking of activin to ALK4 and the association of ALK4 with ActRII/IIB. In addition, Cripto blocked activin signaling when transfected into either HepG2 cells or 293T cells. We have also shown that under conditions in which Cripto facilitates nodal signaling, it antagonizes activin. Inhibition of activin signaling provides an additional example of a Cripto effect on the regulation of signaling by transforming growth factor-β superfamily members. Because activin is a potent inhibitor of cell growth in multiple cell types, these results provide a mechanism that may partially explain the oncogenic action of Cripto. PMID:12682303

  8. Activin B induces human endometrial cancer cell adhesion, migration and invasion by up-regulating integrin β3 via SMAD2/3 signaling

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Siyuan; Klausen, Christian; Cheng, Jung-Chien; Zhu, Hua; Leung, Peter C.K.

    2015-01-01

    Endometrial cancer is the fourth most common female cancer and the most common gynecological malignancy. Although it comprises only ~10% of all endometrial cancers, the serous histological subtype accounts for ~40% of deaths due to its aggressive behavior and propensity to metastasize. Histopathological studies suggest that elevated expression of activin/inhibin βB subunit is associated with reduced survival in non-endometrioid endometrial cancers (type II, mostly serous). However, little is known about the specific roles and mechanisms of activin (βB dimer) in serous endometrial cancer growth and progression. In the present study, we examined the biological functions of activin B in type II endometrial cancer cell lines, HEC-1B and KLE. Our results demonstrate that treatment with activin B increases cell migration, invasion and adhesion to vitronectin, but does not affect cell viability. Moreover, we show that activin B treatment increases integrin β3 mRNA and protein levels via SMAD2/3-SMAD4 signaling. Importantly, siRNA knockdown studies revealed that integrin β3 is required for basal and activin B-induced cell migration, invasion and adhesion. Our results suggest that activin B-SMAD2/3-integrin β3 signaling could contribute to poor patient survival by promoting the invasion and/or metastasis of type II endometrial cancers. PMID:26384307

  9. The activin A antagonist follistatin inhibits cystic fibrosis-like lung inflammation and pathology

    PubMed Central

    Hardy, Charles L; King, Susannah J; Mifsud, Nicole A; Hedger, Mark P; Phillips, David J; Mackay, Fabienne; de Kretser, David M; Wilson, John W; Rolland, Jennifer M; O'Hehir, Robyn E

    2015-01-01

    Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common life-limiting genetically acquired respiratory disorder. Patients with CF have thick mucus obstructing the airways leading to recurrent infections, bronchiectasis and neutrophilic airway inflammation culminating in deteriorating lung function. Current management targets airway infection and mucus clearance, but despite recent advances in care, life expectancy is still only 40 years. We investigated whether activin A is elevated in CF lung disease and whether inhibiting activin A with its natural antagonist follistatin retards lung disease progression. We measured serum activin A levels, lung function and nutritional status in CF patients. We studied the effect of activin A on CF lung pathogenesis by treating newborn CF transgenic mice (β-ENaC) intranasally with the natural activin A antagonist follistatin. Activin A levels were elevated in the serum of adult CF patients, and correlated inversely with lung function and body mass index. Follistatin treatment of newborn β-ENaC mice, noted for respiratory pathology mimicking human CF, decreased the airway activin A levels and key features of CF lung disease including mucus hypersecretion, airway neutrophilia and levels of mediators that regulate inflammation and chemotaxis. Follistatin treatment also increased body weight and survival of β-ENaC mice, with no evidence of local or systemic toxicity. Our findings demonstrate that activin A levels are elevated in CF and provide proof-of-concept for the use of the activin A antagonist, follistatin, as a therapeutic in the long-term management of lung disease in CF patients. PMID:25753271

  10. Activins and inhibins: Novel regulators of thymocyte development

    SciTech Connect

    Licona-Limon, Paula; Aleman-Muench, German; Macias-Silva, Marina; Garcia-Zepeda, Eduardo A.; Fortoul, Teresa I.; Soldevila, Gloria

    2009-04-03

    Activins and inhibins are members of the transforming growth factor-{beta} superfamily that act on different cell types and regulate a broad range of cellular processes including proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Here, we provide the first evidence that activins and inhibins regulate specific checkpoints during thymocyte development. We demonstrate that both activin A and inhibin A promote the DN3-DN4 transition in vitro, although they differentially control the transition to the DP stage. Whereas activin A induces the accumulation of a CD8{sup +}CD24{sup hi}TCR{beta}{sup lo} intermediate subpopulation, inhibin A promotes the differentiation of DN4 to DP. In addition, both activin A and inhibin A appear to promote CD8{sup +}SP differentiation. Moreover, inhibin {alpha} null mice have delayed in vitro T cell development, showing both a decrease in the DN-DP transition and reduced thymocyte numbers, further supporting a role for inhibins in the control of developmental signals taking place during T cell differentiation in vivo.

  11. Activin/nodal signaling and NANOG orchestrate human embryonic stem cell fate decisions by controlling the H3K4me3 chromatin mark.

    PubMed

    Bertero, Alessandro; Madrigal, Pedro; Galli, Antonella; Hubner, Nina C; Moreno, Inmaculada; Burks, Deborah; Brown, Stephanie; Pedersen, Roger A; Gaffney, Daniel; Mendjan, Sasha; Pauklin, Siim; Vallier, Ludovic

    2015-04-01

    Stem cells can self-renew and differentiate into multiple cell types. These characteristics are maintained by the combination of specific signaling pathways and transcription factors that cooperate to establish a unique epigenetic state. Despite the broad interest of these mechanisms, the precise molecular controls by which extracellular signals organize epigenetic marks to confer multipotency remain to be uncovered. Here, we use human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to show that the Activin-SMAD2/3 signaling pathway cooperates with the core pluripotency factor NANOG to recruit the DPY30-COMPASS histone modifiers onto key developmental genes. Functional studies demonstrate the importance of these interactions for correct histone 3 Lys4 trimethylation and also self-renewal and differentiation. Finally, genetic studies in mice show that Dpy30 is also necessary to maintain pluripotency in the pregastrulation embryo, thereby confirming the existence of similar regulations in vivo during early embryonic development. Our results reveal the mechanisms by which extracellular factors coordinate chromatin status and cell fate decisions in hESCs. PMID:25805847

  12. Dual Inhibition of Activin/Nodal/TGF-β and BMP Signaling Pathways by SB431542 and Dorsomorphin Induces Neuronal Differentiation of Human Adipose Derived Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Madhu, Vedavathi; Dighe, Abhijit S.; Cui, Quanjun; Deal, D. Nicole

    2016-01-01

    Damage to the nervous system can cause devastating diseases or musculoskeletal dysfunctions and transplantation of progenitor stem cells can be an excellent treatment option in this regard. Preclinical studies demonstrate that untreated stem cells, unlike stem cells activated to differentiate into neuronal lineage, do not survive in the neuronal tissues. Conventional methods of inducing neuronal differentiation of stem cells are complex and expensive. We therefore sought to determine if a simple, one-step, and cost effective method, previously reported to induce neuronal differentiation of embryonic stem cells and induced-pluripotent stem cells, can be applied to adult stem cells. Indeed, dual inhibition of activin/nodal/TGF-β and BMP pathways using SB431542 and dorsomorphin, respectively, induced neuronal differentiation of human adipose derived stem cells (hADSCs) as evidenced by formation of neurite extensions, protein expression of neuron-specific gamma enolase, and mRNA expression of neuron-specific transcription factors Sox1 and Pax6 and matured neuronal marker NF200. This process correlated with enhanced phosphorylation of p38, Erk1/2, PI3K, and Akt1/3. Additionally, in vitro subcutaneous implants of SB431542 and dorsomorphin treated hADSCs displayed significantly higher expression of active-axonal-growth-specific marker GAP43. Our data offers novel insights into cell-based therapies for the nervous system repair. PMID:26798350

  13. Kdm6b and Pmepa1 as Targets of Bioelectrically and Behaviorally Induced Activin A Signaling.

    PubMed

    Link, Andrea S; Kurinna, Svitlana; Havlicek, Steven; Lehnert, Sandra; Reichel, Martin; Kornhuber, Johannes; Winner, Beate; Huth, Tobias; Zheng, Fang; Werner, Sabine; Alzheimer, Christian

    2016-08-01

    The transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) family member activin A exerts multiple neurotrophic and protective effects in the brain. Activin also modulates cognitive functions and affective behavior and is a presumed target of antidepressant therapy. Despite its important role in the injured and intact brain, the mechanisms underlying activin effects in the CNS are still largely unknown. Our goal was to identify the first target genes of activin signaling in the hippocampus in vivo. Electroconvulsive seizures, a rodent model of electroconvulsive therapy in humans, were applied to C57BL/6J mice to elicit a strong increase in activin A signaling. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments with hippocampal lysates subsequently revealed that binding of SMAD2/3, the intracellular effectors of activin signaling, was significantly enriched at the Pmepa1 gene, which encodes a negative feedback regulator of TGF-β signaling in cancer cells, and at the Kdm6b gene, which encodes an epigenetic regulator promoting transcriptional plasticity. Underlining the significance of these findings, activin treatment also induced PMEPA1 and KDM6B expression in human forebrain neurons generated from embryonic stem cells suggesting interspecies conservation of activin effects in mammalian neurons. Importantly, physiological stimuli such as provided by environmental enrichment proved already sufficient to engender a rapid and significant induction of activin signaling concomitant with an upregulation of Pmepa1 and Kdm6b expression. Taken together, our study identified the first target genes of activin signaling in the brain. With the induction of Kdm6b expression, activin is likely to gain impact on a presumed epigenetic regulator of activity-dependent neuronal plasticity. PMID:26215835

  14. Activin enhances skin tumourigenesis and malignant progression by inducing a pro-tumourigenic immune cell response

    PubMed Central

    Antsiferova, Maria; Huber, Marcel; Meyer, Michael; Piwko-Czuchra, Aleksandra; Ramadan, Tamara; MacLeod, Amanda S.; Havran, Wendy L.; Dummer, Reinhard; Hohl, Daniel; Werner, Sabine

    2011-01-01

    Activin is an important orchestrator of wound repair, but its potential role in skin carcinogenesis has not been addressed. Here we show using different types of genetically modified mice that enhanced levels of activin in the skin promote skin tumour formation and their malignant progression through induction of a pro-tumourigenic microenvironment. This includes accumulation of tumour-promoting Langerhans cells and regulatory T cells in the epidermis. Furthermore, activin inhibits proliferation of tumour-suppressive epidermal γδ T cells, resulting in their progressive loss during tumour promotion. An increase in activin expression was also found in human cutaneous basal and squamous cell carcinomas when compared with control tissue. These findings highlight the parallels between wound healing and cancer, and suggest inhibition of activin action as a promising strategy for the treatment of cancers overexpressing this factor. PMID:22146395

  15. Matrigel and Activin A promote cell-cell contact and anti-apoptotic activity in cultured human retinal pigment epithelium cells.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xiaoling; Zhu, Deliang; Lian, Ruiling; Han, Yuting; Guo, Yonglong; Li, Zhijie; Tang, Shibo; Chen, Jiansu

    2016-06-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness among the aging population. Currently, replacement of diseased retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells with transplanted healthy RPE cells could be a feasible approach for AMD therapy. However, maintaining cell-cell contact and good viability of RPE cells cultured in vitro is difficult and fundamentally determines the success of RPE cell transplantation. This study was conducted to examine the role of Matrigel and Activin A (MA) in regulating cell-cell contact and anti-apoptotic activity in human RPE (hRPE) cells, as assessed by atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscope (SEM), immunofluorescence staining, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis, Annexin V/propidium iodide (PI) analysis, mitochondrial membrane potential (△Ψ m) assays, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) assays and Western blotting. hRPE cells cultured in vitro could maintain their epithelioid morphology after MA treatment over at least 4 passages. The contact of N-cadherin to the lateral cell border was promoted in hRPE cells at P2 by MA. MA treatment also enhanced the expression of tight junction-associated genes and proteins, such as Claudin-1, Claudin-3, Occludin and ZO-1, as well as polarized ZO-1 protein distribution and barrier function, in cultured hRPE cells. Moreover, MA treatment decreased apoptotic cells, ROS and Bax and increased △Ψ m and Bcl2 in hRPE cells under serum withdrawal-induced apoptosis. In addition, MA treatment elevated the protein expression levels of β-catenin and its target proteins, including Cyclin D1, c-Myc and Survivin, as well as the gene expression levels of ZO-1, β-catenin, Survivin and TCF-4, all of which could be down-regulated by the Wnt/β-catenin pathway inhibitor XAV-939. Taken together, MA treatment could effectively promote cell-cell contact and anti-apoptotic activity in hRPE cells, partly involving the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. This study

  16. Activin A Suppresses Osteoblast Mineralization Capacity by Altering Extracellular Matrix (ECM) Composition and Impairing Matrix Vesicle (MV) Production*

    PubMed Central

    Alves, Rodrigo D. A. M.; Eijken, Marco; Bezstarosti, Karel; Demmers, Jeroen A. A.; van Leeuwen, Johannes P. T. M.

    2013-01-01

    During bone formation, osteoblasts deposit an extracellular matrix (ECM) that is mineralized via a process involving production and secretion of highly specialized matrix vesicles (MVs). Activin A, a transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) superfamily member, was previously shown to have inhibitory effects in human bone formation models through unclear mechanisms. We investigated these mechanisms elicited by activin A during in vitro osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC). Activin A inhibition of ECM mineralization coincided with a strong decline in alkaline phosphatase (ALP1) activity in extracellular compartments, ECM and matrix vesicles. SILAC-based quantitative proteomics disclosed intricate protein composition alterations in the activin A ECM, including changed expression of collagen XII, osteonectin and several cytoskeleton-binding proteins. Moreover, in activin A osteoblasts matrix vesicle production was deficient containing very low expression of annexin proteins. ECM enhanced human mesenchymal stem cell osteogenic development and mineralization. This osteogenic enhancement was significantly decreased when human mesenchymal stem cells were cultured on ECM produced under activin A treatment. These findings demonstrate that activin A targets the ECM maturation phase of osteoblast differentiation resulting ultimately in the inhibition of mineralization. ECM proteins modulated by activin A are not only determinant for bone mineralization but also possess osteoinductive properties that are relevant for bone tissue regeneration. PMID:23781072

  17. Activin-A is overexpressed in severe asthma and is implicated in angiogenic processes.

    PubMed

    Samitas, Konstantinos; Poulos, Nikolaos; Semitekolou, Maria; Morianos, Ioannis; Tousa, Sofia; Economidou, Erasmia; Robinson, Douglas S; Kariyawasam, Harsha H; Zervas, Eleftherios; Corrigan, Christopher J; Ying, Sun; Xanthou, Georgina; Gaga, Mina

    2016-03-01

    Activin-A is a pleiotropic cytokine that regulates allergic inflammation. Its role in the regulation of angiogenesis, a key feature of airways remodelling in asthma, remains unexplored. Our objective was to investigate the expression of activin-A in asthma and its effects on angiogenesis in vitro.Expression of soluble/immunoreactive activin-A and its receptors was measured in serum, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and endobronchial biopsies from 16 healthy controls, 19 patients with mild/moderate asthma and 22 severely asthmatic patients. In vitro effects of activin-A on baseline and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced human endothelial cell angiogenesis, signalling and cytokine release were compared with BALF concentrations of these cytokines in vivo.Activin-A expression was significantly elevated in serum, BALF and bronchial tissue of the asthmatics, while expression of its protein receptors was reduced. In vitro, activin-A suppressed VEGF-induced endothelial cell proliferation and angiogenesis, inducing autocrine production of anti-angiogenic soluble VEGF receptor (R)1 and interleukin (IL)-18, while reducing production of pro-angiogenic VEGFR2 and IL-17. In parallel, BALF concentrations of soluble VEGFR1 and IL-18 were significantly reduced in severe asthmatics in vivo and inversely correlated with angiogenesis.Activin-A is overexpressed and has anti-angiogenic effects in vitro that are not propagated in vivo, where reduced basal expression of its receptors is observed particularly in severe asthma. PMID:26869672

  18. Induction of prostanoid, nitric oxide, and cytokine formation in rat bone marrow derived macrophages by activin A.

    PubMed

    Nüsing, R M; Barsig, J

    1999-06-01

    1. In this study we describe that activin A, a transforming growth factor (TGF) beta-like polypeptide affects the expression of inflammatory response genes and their products. 2. In rat bone marrow derived macrophages 15 nM activin A caused the stimulation of prostaglandin (PG) E2 and thromboxane (TX) A2 formation, production of nitrite as a marker for nitric oxide (NO) and the release of the cytokines tumour necrosis factor (TNF) alpha and interleukin (IL) -1beta. As shown by mRNA analysis induction of cyclo-oxygenase-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase by activin A gave rise to the enhanced release of prostanoids and NO. 3. Costimulation of bone marrow derived macrophages with 15 nM activin A and 100 nM 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol 13-acetate (TPA) potentiated the synthesis of prostanoids in a synergistic manner. With respect to NO formation the effect of activin A and TPA was additive. 4. In contrast to the nitrite production activin A induced PGE2 synthesis was susceptible to tyrosine kinase inhibition by genistein and tyrphostin 46 (IC50 was 10 and 20 microM, respectively). This observed inhibition was caused by the selective suppression of activin A induced cyclo-oxygenase-2 mRNA expression. Further, the release of TNFalpha in the presence of activin A was potentiated by tyrosine kinase inhibition. 5. In summary, we report that activin A exerts proinflammatory activity which results in the formation of prostanoids, NO and cytokines in rat bone marrow derived macrophages. Tyrosine kinase dependent and independent signalling pathways are involved leading to the increased synthesis of these metabolites. Based upon these results, we speculate that activin A may be considered as a possible component of inflammatory processes affecting at least the haematopoietic system. PMID:10433499

  19. Regulation of FSHβ induction in LβT2 cells by BMP2 and an Activin A/BMP2 chimera, AB215.

    PubMed

    Jung, Jae Woo; Ahn, Chihoon; Shim, Sun Young; Gray, Peter C; Kwiatkowski, Witek; Choe, Senyon

    2014-10-01

    Activins and bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) share activin type 2 signaling receptors but utilize different type 1 receptors and Smads. We designed AB215, a potent BMP2-like Activin A/BMP2 chimera incorporating the high-affinity type 2 receptor-binding epitope of Activin A. In this study, we compare the signaling properties of AB215 and BMP2 in HEK293T cells and gonadotroph LβT2 cells in which Activin A and BMP2 synergistically induce FSHβ. In HEK293T cells, AB215 is more potent than BMP2 and competitively blocks Activin A signaling, while BMP2 has a partial blocking activity. Activin A signaling is insensitive to BMP pathway antagonism in HEK293T cells but is strongly inhibited by constitutively active (CA) BMP type 1 receptors. By contrast, the potencies of AB215 and BMP2 are indistinguishable in LβT2 cells and although AB215 blocks Activin A signaling, BMP2 has no inhibitory effect. Unlike HEK293T, Activin A signaling is strongly inhibited by BMP pathway antagonism in LβT2 cells but is largely unaffected by CA BMP type 1 receptors. BMP2 increases phospho-Smad3 levels in LβT2 cells, in both the absence and the presence of Activin A treatment, and augments Activin A-induced FSHβ. AB215 has the opposite effect and sharply decreases basal phospho-Smad3 levels and blocks Smad2 phosphorylation and FSHβ induction resulting from Activin A treatment. These findings together demonstrate that while AB215 activates the BMP pathway, it has opposing effects to those of BMP2 on FSHβ induction in LβT2 cells apparently due to its ability to block Activin A signaling. PMID:25100748

  20. The Expression of Human Cytomegalovirus MicroRNA MiR-UL148D during Latent Infection in Primary Myeloid Cells Inhibits Activin A-triggered Secretion of IL-6

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Betty; Poole, Emma; Krishna, Benjamin; Sellart, Immaculada; Wills, Mark R.; Murphy, Eain; Sinclair, John

    2016-01-01

    The successful establishment and maintenance of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) latency is dependent on the expression of a subset of viral genes. Whilst the exact spectrum and functions of these genes are far from clear, inroads have been made for protein-coding genes. In contrast, little is known about the expression of non-coding RNAs. Here we show that HCMV encoded miRNAs are expressed de novo during latent infection of primary myeloid cells. Furthermore, we demonstrate that miR-UL148D, one of the most highly expressed viral miRNAs during latent infection, directly targets the cellular receptor ACVR1B of the activin signalling axis. Consistent with this, we observed upregulation of ACVR1B expression during latent infection with a miR-UL148D deletion virus (ΔmiR-UL148D). Importantly, we observed that monocytes latently infected with ΔmiR-UL148D are more responsive to activin A stimulation, as demonstrated by their increased secretion of IL-6. Collectively, our data indicates miR-UL148D inhibits ACVR1B expression in latently infected cells to limit proinflammatory cytokine secretion, perhaps as an immune evasion strategy or to postpone cytokine-induced reactivation until conditions are more favourable. This is the first demonstration of an HCMV miRNA function during latency in primary myeloid cells, implicating that small RNA species may contribute significantly to latent infection. PMID:27491954

  1. Multiple roles of Activin/Nodal, bone morphogenetic protein, fibroblast growth factor and Wnt/β-catenin signalling in the anterior neural patterning of adherent human embryonic stem cell cultures

    PubMed Central

    Lupo, Giuseppe; Novorol, Claire; Smith, Joseph R.; Vallier, Ludovic; Miranda, Elena; Alexander, Morgan; Biagioni, Stefano; Pedersen, Roger A.; Harris, William A.

    2013-01-01

    Several studies have successfully produced a variety of neural cell types from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), but there has been limited systematic analysis of how different regional identities are established using well-defined differentiation conditions. We have used adherent, chemically defined cultures to analyse the roles of Activin/Nodal, bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and Wnt/β-catenin signalling in neural induction, anteroposterior patterning and eye field specification in hESCs. We show that either BMP inhibition or activation of FGF signalling is required for effective neural induction, but these two pathways have distinct outcomes on rostrocaudal patterning. While BMP inhibition leads to specification of forebrain/midbrain positional identities, FGF-dependent neural induction is associated with strong posteriorization towards hindbrain/spinal cord fates. We also demonstrate that Wnt/β-catenin signalling is activated during neural induction and promotes acquisition of neural fates posterior to forebrain. Therefore, inhibition of this pathway is needed for efficient forebrain specification. Finally, we provide evidence that the levels of Activin/Nodal and BMP signalling have a marked influence on further forebrain patterning and that constitutive inhibition of these pathways represses expression of eye field genes. These results show that the key mechanisms controlling neural patterning in model vertebrate species are preserved in adherent, chemically defined hESC cultures and reveal new insights into the signals regulating eye field specification. PMID:23576785

  2. Multiple roles of Activin/Nodal, bone morphogenetic protein, fibroblast growth factor and Wnt/β-catenin signalling in the anterior neural patterning of adherent human embryonic stem cell cultures.

    PubMed

    Lupo, Giuseppe; Novorol, Claire; Smith, Joseph R; Vallier, Ludovic; Miranda, Elena; Alexander, Morgan; Biagioni, Stefano; Pedersen, Roger A; Harris, William A

    2013-04-01

    Several studies have successfully produced a variety of neural cell types from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), but there has been limited systematic analysis of how different regional identities are established using well-defined differentiation conditions. We have used adherent, chemically defined cultures to analyse the roles of Activin/Nodal, bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and Wnt/β-catenin signalling in neural induction, anteroposterior patterning and eye field specification in hESCs. We show that either BMP inhibition or activation of FGF signalling is required for effective neural induction, but these two pathways have distinct outcomes on rostrocaudal patterning. While BMP inhibition leads to specification of forebrain/midbrain positional identities, FGF-dependent neural induction is associated with strong posteriorization towards hindbrain/spinal cord fates. We also demonstrate that Wnt/β-catenin signalling is activated during neural induction and promotes acquisition of neural fates posterior to forebrain. Therefore, inhibition of this pathway is needed for efficient forebrain specification. Finally, we provide evidence that the levels of Activin/Nodal and BMP signalling have a marked influence on further forebrain patterning and that constitutive inhibition of these pathways represses expression of eye field genes. These results show that the key mechanisms controlling neural patterning in model vertebrate species are preserved in adherent, chemically defined hESC cultures and reveal new insights into the signals regulating eye field specification. PMID:23576785

  3. Activin A-Smad Signaling Mediates Connective Tissue Growth Factor Synthesis in Liver Progenitor Cells

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Ze-Yang; Jin, Guan-Nan; Wang, Wei; Sun, Yi-Min; Chen, Wei-Xun; Chen, Lin; Liang, Hui-Fang; Datta, Pran K.; Zhang, Ming-Zhi; Zhang, Bixiang; Chen, Xiao-Ping

    2016-01-01

    Liver progenitor cells (LPCs) are activated in chronic liver damage and may contribute to liver fibrosis. Our previous investigation reported that LPCs produced connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2), an inducer of liver fibrosis, yet the regulatory mechanism of the production of CTGF/CCN2 in LPCs remains elusive. In this study, we report that Activin A is an inducer of CTGF/CCN2 in LPCs. Here we show that expression of both Activin A and CTGF/CCN2 were upregulated in the cirrhotic liver, and the expression of Activin A positively correlates with that of CTGF/CCN2 in liver tissues. We go on to show that Activin A induced de novo synthesis of CTGF/CCN2 in LPC cell lines LE/6 and WB-F344. Furthermore, Activin A contributed to autonomous production of CTGF/CCN2 in liver progenitor cells (LPCs) via activation of the Smad signaling pathway. Smad2, 3 and 4 were all required for this induction. Collectively, these results provide evidence for the fibrotic role of LPCs in the liver and suggest that the Activin A-Smad-CTGF/CCN2 signaling in LPCs may be a therapeutic target of liver fibrosis. PMID:27011166

  4. The neuroprotective effect of Activin A and B: implication for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Kupershmidt, Lana; Amit, Tamar; Bar-Am, Orit; Youdim, Moussa B H; Blumenfeld, Zeev

    2007-11-01

    Activin is a member of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily which comprises a growing list of multifunctional proteins that function as modulators of cell proliferation, differentiation, hormone secretion and neuronal survival. This study examined the neuroprotective effect of both Activin A and B in serum withdrawal and oxidative stress apoptotic cellular models and investigated the expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins, which may account for the mechanism of Activin-induced neuroprotection. Here, we report that recombinant Activin A and B are neuroprotective against serum deprivation- and toxin- [either the parkinsonism-inducing neurotoxin, 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) or the peroxynitrite donor, 3-(4-morpholinyl) sydnonimine hydrochloride (SIN-1)] induced neuronal death in human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. Furthermore, we demonstrate for the first time that transient transfection with Activin betaA or betaB significantly protect SH-SY5Y and rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cells against serum withdrawal-induced apoptosis. This survival effect is mediated by the Bcl-2 family members and involves inhibition of caspase-3 activation; reduction of cleaved poly-ADP ribose polymerase and phosphorylated H2A.X protein levels and elevation of tyrosine hydroxylase expression. These results indicate that both Activin-A and -B share the potential to induce neuroprotective activity and thus may have positive impact on aging and neurodegenerative diseases to retard the accelerated rate of neuronal degeneration. PMID:17680997

  5. Activin A enhances MMP-7 activity via the transcription factor AP-1 in an esophageal squamous cell carcinoma cell line.

    PubMed

    Yoshinaga, Keiji; Mimori, Koshi; Inoue, Hiroshi; Kamohara, Yukio; Yamashita, Keishi; Tanaka, Fumiaki; Mori, Masaki

    2008-09-01

    Activin A, a member of the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) superfamily, is often overexpressed in solid carcinomas. We have previously reported that the expression of activin A is associated with lymph node metastasis in esophageal cancer. In the current study, our goal was to clarify the molecular mechanisms underlying the aggressive behavior of tumors expressing high levels of activin A. Using cDNA microarrays, the gene expression profile of a human esophageal carcinoma cell line (KYSE170) stably transfected with activin betaA (Act-betaA, a subunit of activin A) was compared with those of control human esophageal carcinoma cell lines. We found that expression of MMP-7 was higher in the Act-betaA transfectants than in the control cells. To reveal the mechanism of expression of MMP-7 mediated by activin A, we evaluated mRNA expression of MMP-7 and Act-betaA with or without activin A neutralizing antibody, using real-time PCR and Northern blot analysis. We also performed promoter analysis of the MMP-7 promoter and assessed c-Jun and Smad2/3 expression. MMP-7 expression in the transfectants was correlated with the level of Act-betaA expression and was reduced by activin A neutralizing antibody. The Act-betaA transfectants had higher MMP-7 promoter activity than control cells. MMP-7 promoter activity was not affected by mutation in the Smad binding site, while mutation of the AP-1 binding site did reduce activity. Moreover, the expression of c-Jun was increased in Act-betaA transfectants. These results indicate that activin A may modulate the expression of MMP-7 via AP-1 and not through Smad2/3. PMID:18695873

  6. An activin-A/C chimera exhibits activin and myostatin antagonistic properties.

    PubMed

    Muenster, Uwe; Harrison, Craig A; Donaldson, Cynthia; Vale, Wylie; Fischer, Wolfgang H

    2005-11-01

    Activins are involved in many physiological and pathological processes and, like other members of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily, signal via type II and I receptor serine kinases. Ligand residues involved in type II receptor binding are located in the two anti-parallel beta strands of the TGF-beta proteins, also known as the fingers. Activin-A mutants able to bind ActRII but unable to bind the activin type I receptor ALK4 define ligand residues involved in ALK4 binding and could potentially act as antagonists. Therefore, a series of FLAG-tagged activin-A/C chimeras were constructed, in each of which eight residues in the wrist loop and helix region (A/C 46-53, 54-61, 62-69, and 70-78) were replaced. Additionally, a chimera was generated in which the entire wrist region (A/C 46-78) was changed from activin-A to activin-C. The chimeras were assessed for ActRII binding, activin bioactivity, as well as antagonistic properties. All five chimeras retained high affinity for mouse ActRII. Of these, only A/C 46-78 was devoid of significant activin bioactivity in an A3 Lux reporter assay in 293T cells at concentrations up to 40 nM. A/C 46-53, 54-61, 62-69, and 70-78 showed activity comparable with wild type activin-A. When tested for the ability to antagonize ligands that signal via activin type II receptors, such as activin-A and myostatin, only the A/C 46-78 chimera showed antagonism (IC(50), 1-10 nM). Additionally, A/C 46-78 decreased follicle-stimulating hormone release from the LbetaT2 cell line and rat anterior pituitary cells in primary culture in a concentration-dependent manner. These data indicate that activin residues in the wrist are involved in ALK4-mediated signaling. The activin antagonist A/C 46-78 may be useful for the study and modulation of activin-dependent processes. PMID:16129674

  7. Virtual High-Throughput Screening To Identify Novel Activin Antagonists

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Jie; Mishra, Rama K.; Schiltz, Gary E.; Makanji, Yogeshwar; Scheidt, Karl A.; Mazar, Andrew P.; Woodruff, Teresa K.

    2015-01-01

    Activin belongs to the TGFβ superfamily, which is associated with several disease conditions, including cancer-related cachexia, preterm labor with delivery, and osteoporosis. Targeting activin and its related signaling pathways holds promise as a therapeutic approach to these diseases. A small-molecule ligand-binding groove was identified in the interface between the two activin βA subunits and was used for a virtual high-throughput in silico screening of the ZINC database to identify hits. Thirty-nine compounds without significant toxicity were tested in two well-established activin assays: FSHβ transcription and HepG2 cell apoptosis. This screening workflow resulted in two lead compounds: NUCC-474 and NUCC-555. These potential activin antagonists were then shown to inhibit activin A-mediated cell proliferation in ex vivo ovary cultures. In vivo testing showed that our most potent compound (NUCC-555) caused a dose-dependent decrease in FSH levels in ovariectomized mice. The Blitz competition binding assay confirmed target binding of NUCC-555 to the activin A:ActRII that disrupts the activin A:ActRII complex’s binding with ALK4-ECD-Fc in a dose-dependent manner. The NUCC-555 also specifically binds to activin A compared with other TGFβ superfamily member myostatin (GDF8). These data demonstrate a new in silico-based strategy for identifying small-molecule activin antagonists. Our approach is the first to identify a first-in-class small-molecule antagonist of activin binding to ALK4, which opens a completely new approach to inhibiting the activity of TGFβ receptor superfamily members. in addition, the lead compound can serve as a starting point for lead optimization toward the goal of a compound that may be effective in activin-mediated diseases. PMID:26098096

  8. Virtual High-Throughput Screening To Identify Novel Activin Antagonists.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jie; Mishra, Rama K; Schiltz, Gary E; Makanji, Yogeshwar; Scheidt, Karl A; Mazar, Andrew P; Woodruff, Teresa K

    2015-07-23

    Activin belongs to the TGFβ superfamily, which is associated with several disease conditions, including cancer-related cachexia, preterm labor with delivery, and osteoporosis. Targeting activin and its related signaling pathways holds promise as a therapeutic approach to these diseases. A small-molecule ligand-binding groove was identified in the interface between the two activin βA subunits and was used for a virtual high-throughput in silico screening of the ZINC database to identify hits. Thirty-nine compounds without significant toxicity were tested in two well-established activin assays: FSHβ transcription and HepG2 cell apoptosis. This screening workflow resulted in two lead compounds: NUCC-474 and NUCC-555. These potential activin antagonists were then shown to inhibit activin A-mediated cell proliferation in ex vivo ovary cultures. In vivo testing showed that our most potent compound (NUCC-555) caused a dose-dependent decrease in FSH levels in ovariectomized mice. The Blitz competition binding assay confirmed target binding of NUCC-555 to the activin A:ActRII that disrupts the activin A:ActRII complex's binding with ALK4-ECD-Fc in a dose-dependent manner. The NUCC-555 also specifically binds to activin A compared with other TGFβ superfamily member myostatin (GDF8). These data demonstrate a new in silico-based strategy for identifying small-molecule activin antagonists. Our approach is the first to identify a first-in-class small-molecule antagonist of activin binding to ALK4, which opens a completely new approach to inhibiting the activity of TGFβ receptor superfamily members. in addition, the lead compound can serve as a starting point for lead optimization toward the goal of a compound that may be effective in activin-mediated diseases. PMID:26098096

  9. Activin Receptor-Like Kinase Receptors ALK5 and ALK1 Are Both Required for TGFβ-Induced Chondrogenic Differentiation of Human Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    de Kroon, Laurie M. G.; Narcisi, Roberto; Blaney Davidson, Esmeralda N.; Cleary, Mairéad A.; van Beuningen, Henk M.; Koevoet, Wendy J. L. M.; van Osch, Gerjo J. V. M.; van der Kraan, Peter M.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) are promising for cartilage regeneration because BMSCs can differentiate into cartilage tissue-producing chondrocytes. Transforming Growth Factor β (TGFβ) is crucial for inducing chondrogenic differentiation of BMSCs and is known to signal via Activin receptor-Like Kinase (ALK) receptors ALK5 and ALK1. Since the specific role of these two TGFβ receptors in chondrogenesis is unknown, we investigated whether ALK5 and ALK1 are expressed in BMSCs and whether both receptors are required for chondrogenic differentiation of BMSCs. Materials & Methods ALK5 and ALK1 gene expression in human BMSCs was determined with RT-qPCR. To induce chondrogenesis, human BMSCs were pellet-cultured in serum-free chondrogenic medium containing TGFβ1. Chondrogenesis was evaluated by aggrecan and collagen type IIα1 RT-qPCR analysis, and histological stainings of proteoglycans and collagen type II. To overexpress constitutively active (ca) receptors, BMSCs were transduced either with caALK5 or caALK1. Expression of ALK5 and ALK1 was downregulated by transducing BMSCs with shRNA against ALK5 or ALK1. Results ALK5 and ALK1 were expressed in in vitro-expanded as well as in pellet-cultured BMSCs from five donors, but mRNA levels of both TGFβ receptors did not clearly associate with chondrogenic induction. TGFβ increased ALK5 and decreased ALK1 gene expression in chondrogenically differentiating BMSC pellets. Neither caALK5 nor caALK1 overexpression induced cartilage matrix formation as efficient as that induced by TGFβ. Moreover, short hairpin-mediated downregulation of either ALK5 or ALK1 resulted in a strong inhibition of TGFβ-induced chondrogenesis. Conclusion ALK5 as well as ALK1 are required for TGFβ-induced chondrogenic differentiation of BMSCs, and TGFβ not only directly induces chondrogenesis, but also modulates ALK5 and ALK1 receptor signaling in BMSCs. These results imply that optimizing cartilage formation by

  10. [Role of Activin A and Myostatin in cancer cachexia].

    PubMed

    Thissen, Jean-Paul; Loumaye, Audrey

    2013-05-01

    Recent works suggest that Activin A (ActA) and Myostatin (Mstn), two members of the TGFβ superfamily, could contribute to skeletal muscle atrophy observed in some cancers. It is known that several human tumoral cell lines synthesize and secrete ActA and Mstn. In addition, systemic treatment with ActA and Mstn in mice induce muscle atrophy. Likewise, Inhibin-α knock-out mice, which are characterized by elevated circulating levels of ActA, exhibit muscle atrophy and die of cachexia. Finally, administration of ActA and Mstn antagonists prevents muscular atrophy and mortality induced by some animal tumors. Collectively, these findings suggest that ActA or Mstn production by several cancers could contribute to cachexia and thus to mortality associated with some cancers in human. This hypothesis is very interesting since new molecules that are able to inhibit ActA and Mstn, in particularly the sActRIIB, are under development. PMID:23566617

  11. Activin signaling as an emerging target for therapeutic interventions

    PubMed Central

    Tsuchida, Kunihiro; Nakatani, Masashi; Hitachi, Keisuke; Uezumi, Akiyoshi; Sunada, Yoshihide; Ageta, Hiroshi; Inokuchi, Kaoru

    2009-01-01

    After the initial discovery of activins as important regulators of reproduction, novel and diverse roles have been unraveled for them. Activins are expressed in various tissues and have a broad range of activities including the regulation of gonadal function, hormonal homeostasis, growth and differentiation of musculoskeletal tissues, regulation of growth and metastasis of cancer cells, proliferation and differentiation of embryonic stem cells, and even higher brain functions. Activins signal through a combination of type I and II transmembrane serine/threonine kinase receptors. Activin receptors are shared by multiple transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) ligands such as myostatin, growth and differentiation factor-11 and nodal. Thus, although the activity of each ligand is distinct, they are also redundant, both physiologically and pathologically in vivo. Activin receptors activated by ligands phosphorylate the receptor-regulated Smads for TGF-β, Smad2 and 3. The Smad proteins then undergo multimerization with the co-mediator Smad4, and translocate into the nucleus to regulate the transcription of target genes in cooperation with nuclear cofactors. Signaling through receptors and Smads is controlled by multiple mechanisms including phosphorylation and other posttranslational modifications such as sumoylation, which affect potein localization, stability and transcriptional activity. Non-Smad signaling also plays an important role in activin signaling. Extracellularly, follistatin and related proteins bind to activins and related TGF-β ligands, and control the signaling and availability of ligands. The functions of activins through activin receptors are pleiotrophic, cell type-specific and contextual, and they are involved in the etiology and pathogenesis of a variety of diseases. Accordingly, activin signaling may be a target for therapeutic interventions. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on activin signaling and discuss the potential roles of

  12. Activins and follistatins: Emerging roles in liver physiology and cancer

    PubMed Central

    Kreidl, Emanuel; Öztürk, Deniz; Metzner, Thomas; Berger, Walter; Grusch, Michael

    2009-01-01

    Activins are secreted proteins belonging to the TGF-β family of signaling molecules. Activin signals are crucial for differentiation and regulation of cell proliferation and apoptosis in multiple tissues. Signal transduction by activins relies mainly on the Smad pathway, although the importance of crosstalk with additional pathways is increasingly being recognized. Activin signals are kept in balance by antagonists at multiple levels of the signaling cascade. Among these, follistatin and FLRG, two members of the emerging family of follistatin-like proteins, can bind secreted activins with high affinity, thereby blocking their access to cell surface-anchored activin receptors. In the liver, activin A is a major negative regulator of hepatocyte proliferation and can induce apoptosis. The functions of other activins expressed by hepatocytes have yet to be more clearly defined. Deregulated expression of activins and follistatin has been implicated in hepatic diseases including inflammation, fibrosis, liver failure and primary cancer. In particular, increased follistatin levels have been found in the circulation and in the tumor tissue of patients suffering from hepatocellular carcinoma as well as in animal models of liver cancer. It has been argued that up-regulation of follistatin protects neoplastic hepatocytes from activin-mediated growth inhibition and apoptosis. The use of follistatin as biomarker for liver tumor development is impeded, however, due to the presence of elevated follistatin levels already during preceding stages of liver disease. The current article summarizes our evolving understanding of the multi-faceted activities of activins and follistatins in liver physiology and cancer. PMID:21160961

  13. Serum activin B concentration as predictive biomarker for ectopic pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Dhiman, Pooja; Senthilkumar, G P; Rajendiran, Soundravally; Sivaraman, K; Soundararaghavan, S; Kulandhasamy, Maheshwari

    2016-05-01

    We evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of activin B in discriminating tubal ectopic pregnancy (tEP) from intrauterine miscarriages (IUM), and normal viable intrauterine pregnancy (IUP). We included 28 women with tEP, 31 women with IUM, and 29 normal IUP, confirmed both by clinical examination and ultrasonography. Serum activin B concentration was measured at the time of admission using the ELISA kit. The median serum activin B concentration was found to be significantly decreased in both tEP (p=0.004) and IUM (p=0.022) compared to normal IUP. When compared between tEP and IUM, activin B concentrations did not differ significantly. ROC analysis of activin B and free β-hCG demonstrated AUC of 0.722 and 0.805, respectively to discriminate tEP from viable IUP. The model including both activin B and free β-hCG improved the discriminating potential with greater AUC (0.824), and specificity (93%) than individual one. To discriminate tEP from IUM, activin B, free β-hCG and combination of both performed poorly. We conclude that serum activin B concentration is lower in tubal ectopic pregnancy, and can discriminate it from normal pregnancy with moderate accuracy. It also shows improved diagnostic potential along with free β-hCG, but cannot distinguish tEP from IUM reliably. PMID:26968108

  14. Activin/Nodal signaling and NANOG orchestrate human embryonic stem cell fate decisions by controlling the H3K4me3 chromatin mark

    PubMed Central

    Bertero, Alessandro; Madrigal, Pedro; Galli, Antonella; Hubner, Nina C.; Moreno, Inmaculada; Burks, Deborah; Brown, Stephanie; Pedersen, Roger A.; Gaffney, Daniel; Mendjan, Sasha; Pauklin, Siim

    2015-01-01

    Stem cells can self-renew and differentiate into multiple cell types. These characteristics are maintained by the combination of specific signaling pathways and transcription factors that cooperate to establish a unique epigenetic state. Despite the broad interest of these mechanisms, the precise molecular controls by which extracellular signals organize epigenetic marks to confer multipotency remain to be uncovered. Here, we use human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to show that the Activin–SMAD2/3 signaling pathway cooperates with the core pluripotency factor NANOG to recruit the DPY30-COMPASS histone modifiers onto key developmental genes. Functional studies demonstrate the importance of these interactions for correct histone 3 Lys4 trimethylation and also self-renewal and differentiation. Finally, genetic studies in mice show that Dpy30 is also necessary to maintain pluripotency in the pregastrulation embryo, thereby confirming the existence of similar regulations in vivo during early embryonic development. Our results reveal the mechanisms by which extracellular factors coordinate chromatin status and cell fate decisions in hESCs. PMID:25805847

  15. A phase I study of the human anti-activin receptor-like kinase 1 antibody PF-03446962 in Asian patients with advanced solid tumors.

    PubMed

    Doi, Toshihiko; Lee, Kyung-Hun; Kim, Tae-Min; Ohtsu, Atsushi; Kim, Tae Yong; Ikeda, Masafumi; Yoh, Kiyotaka; Gallo Stampino, Corrado; Hirohashi, Tomoko; Suzuki, Akiyuki; Fujii, Yosuke; Andrew Williams, James; Bang, Yung-Jue

    2016-07-01

    Preclinical studies suggest that ALK-1 signaling mediates a complementary angiogenesis pathway activated upon development of resistance to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-targeted therapies. Inhibition of ALK-1 signaling may lead to disruption of tumor angiogenesis and growth. We report findings from a multicenter, open-label, phase I study of the fully human anti-ALK-1 mAb PF-03446962 conducted in Japan and South Korea, in Asian patients with advanced solid tumors. The dose escalation Part 1 of the study was based on a standard 3 + 3 design (n = 16). In Part 2, patients were treated with PF-03446962 at 7 and 10 mg/kg (10/cohort), including patients with disease progression following prior VEGF receptor (R)-targeted therapy. Primary objectives were determination of the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and recommended phase II dose (RP2D). Secondary objectives included safety, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and antitumor activity of PF-03446962. No dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) was noted in the 12 DLT-evaluable patients. Treatment was well tolerated. The MTD for biweekly intravenous administration was estimated to be 10 mg/kg and the RP2D 7 mg/kg. Treatment-related grades 1-3 thrombocytopenia was experienced by 27.8% patients. The most frequent nonhematologic treatment-related AEs were grades 1-2 pyrexia and epistaxis. Four patients (3/4 with hepatocellular carcinoma) developed telangiectasia suggesting vascular targeting and in vivo ALK-1 inhibition by PF-03446962. Stable disease for 12 weeks or more was observed in 25.7% of patients and in 44.4% of those with hepatocellular carcinoma. ALK-1 inhibition by PF-03446962 may represent a novel antiangiogenic strategy for patients with advanced solid malignancies complementary to current treatment with VEGF(R)-targeted inhibitors or chemotherapy. PMID:27075560

  16. Activin A balance regulates epithelial invasiveness and tumorigenesis

    PubMed Central

    Le Bras, Grégoire F.; Loomans, Holli A.; Taylor, Chase; Revetta, Frank; Andl, Claudia D.

    2015-01-01

    Activin A is a member of the TGFβ superfamily. Activin A and TGFβ have multiple common downstream targets and have been described to merge in their intracellular signaling cascades and function. We have previously demonstrated that coordinated loss of E-cadherin and TGFβ receptor II results in epithelial cell invasion. When grown in three-dimensional organotypic reconstruct cultures, esophageal keratinocytes expressing dominant-negative mutants of E-cadherin and TGFβ receptor II showed activated Smad2 in the absence of functional TGFβ receptor II. However, we could show increased levels of Activin A secretion, and Activin A was able to induce Smad2 phosphorylation. Growth factor secretion can activate autocrine and paracrine signaling, which affects crosstalk between the epithelial compartment and the surrounding microenvironment. We show that treatment with the Act A antagonist Follistatin or with a neutralizing Activin A antibody can increase cell invasion in organotypic cultures in a fibroblast- and MMP-dependent manner. Similarly, suppression of Activin A with shRNA increases cell invasion and tumorigenesis in vivo. Therefore, we conclude that maintaining a delicate balance of Activin A expression is critical for homeostasis in the esophageal microenvironment. PMID:25068654

  17. Activin Signaling in the Pathogenesis and Therapy of Neuropsychiatric Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Link, Andrea S.; Zheng, Fang; Alzheimer, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Activins are members of the transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) family and serve as multifunctional regulatory proteins in many tissues and organs. In the brain, activin A, which is formed by two disulfide-linked βA subunits, is recognized as the predominant player in activin signaling. Over the last years, considerable progress has been made in elucidating novel and unexpected functions of activin in the normal and diseased brain and in deciphering the underlying molecular mechanisms. Initially identified as a neurotrophic and protective factor during development and in several forms of acute injury, the scope of effects of activin A in the adult central nervous system (CNS) has been considerably broadened by now. Here, we will highlight recent findings that bear significance for a better understanding of the pathogenesis of various neuropsychiatric diseases and might hold promise for novel therapeutic strategies. While the basal level of activin A in the adult brain is low, significant short-term up-regulation occurs in response to increased neuronal activity. In fact, brief exposure to an enriched environment (EE) is already sufficient to considerably strengthen activin signaling. Enhancement of this pathway tunes the performance of glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses in a fashion that impacts on cognitive functions and affective behavior, counteracts death-inducing signals through extrasynaptic NMDA receptors (NMDARs), and stimulates adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus. We will discuss how impaired activin signaling is involved in anxiety disorders, depression, drug dependence, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and how reinforcement of activin signaling might be exploited for therapeutic interventions. PMID:27242425

  18. Overexpression of Leap2 impairs Xenopus embryonic development and modulates FGF and activin signals.

    PubMed

    Thiébaud, Pierre; Garbay, Bertrand; Auguste, Patrick; Sénéchal, Caroline Le; Maciejewska, Zuzanna; Fédou, Sandrine; Gauthereau, Xavier; Costaglioli, Patricia; Thézé, Nadine

    2016-09-01

    Besides its widely described function in the innate immune response, no other clear physiological function has been attributed so far to the Liver-Expressed-Antimicrobial-Peptide 2 (LEAP2). We used the Xenopus embryo model to investigate potentially new functions for this peptide. We identified the amphibian leap2 gene which is highly related to its mammalian orthologues at both structural and sequence levels. The gene is expressed in the embryo mostly in the endoderm-derived tissues. Accordingly it is induced in pluripotent animal cap cells by FGF, activin or a combination of vegT/β-catenin. Modulating leap2 expression level by gain-of-function strategy impaired normal embryonic development. When overexpressed in pluripotent embryonic cells derived from blastula animal cap explant, leap2 stimulated FGF while it reduced the activin response. Finally, we demonstrate that LEAP2 blocks FGF-induced migration of HUman Vascular Endothelial Cells (HUVEC). Altogether these findings suggest a model in which LEAP2 could act at the extracellular level as a modulator of FGF and activin signals, thus opening new avenues to explore it in relation with cellular processes such as cell differentiation and migration. PMID:27335344

  19. Activin A is essential for neurogenesis following neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Abdipranoto-Cowley, Andrea; Park, Jin Sung; Croucher, David; Daniel, James; Henshall, Susan; Galbraith, Sally; Mervin, Kyle; Vissel, Bryce

    2009-06-01

    It has long been proposed that excitotoxicity contributes to nerve cell death in neurodegenerative diseases. Activin A, a member of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily, is expressed by neurons following excitotoxicity. We show for the first time that this activin A expression is essential for neurogenesis to proceed following neurodegeneration. We found that intraventricular infusion of activin A increased the number of newborn neurons in the dentate gyrus, CA3, and CA1 layers of the normal adult hippocampus and also, following lipopolysaccharide administration, had a potent inhibitory effect on gliosis in vivo and on microglial proliferation in vivo and in vitro. Consistent with the role of activin A in regulating central nervous system inflammation and neurogenesis, intraventricular infusion of follistatin, an activin A antagonist, profoundly impaired neurogenesis and increased the number of microglia and reactive astrocytes following onset of kainic acid-induced neurodegeneration. These results show that inhibiting endogenous activin A is permissive for a potent underlying inflammatory response to neurodegeneration. We demonstrate that the anti-inflammatory actions of activin A account for its neurogenic effects following neurodegeneration because co-administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reversed follistatin's inhibitory effects on neurogenesis in vivo. Our work indicates that activin A, perhaps working in conjunction with other transforming growth factor-beta superfamily molecules, is essential for neurogenesis in the adult central nervous system following excitotoxic neurodegeneration and suggests that neurons can regulate regeneration by suppressing the inflammatory response, a finding with implications for understanding and treating acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:19489097

  20. Induction of primitive streak and mesendoderm formation in monolayer hESC culture by activation of TGF-β signaling pathway by Activin B.

    PubMed

    Mahmood, Amer; Aldahmash, Abdullah

    2015-11-01

    Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have the ability to differentiate into all human cells, however controlling the differentiation has always been a challenge. In the present study we have investigated the direct differentiation of hESCs on MEFs by using TGF-β signaling pathway activators Activin A and Activin B. Activation of the TGF-β pathway with Activin B in low serum highly induced primitive streak and mesendoderm formation after 24 h, which included up-regulation of SOX 17 and BRACHYURY protein and gene expression. Continuous stimulation with Activin B in 2% serum further induced mesendoderm formation by increased gene expression of Brachyury, SOX17, MEOX and FOX at the same time we found down-regulation of neuroectodermal marker genes. Further, by stimulating the mesodermal cells by BMP-2 we succeeded to induce mesenchymal like cells with high expression of mesenchymal markers including; MEOX, FOX, RUNX2, COL1 and OSTEOPONTIN. In conclusion we have directed the differentiation of hESCs as monolayer to primitive streak like cells with Activin B and further into pure mesoderm and mesenchymal like cells by BMP-2. PMID:26586995

  1. MiR-125b Regulates Primordial Follicle Assembly by Targeting Activin Receptor Type 2a in Neonatal Mouse Ovary.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shufen; Liu, Jiali; Li, Xinqiang; Ji, Xiaowen; Zhang, Jianfang; Wang, Yue; Cui, Sheng

    2016-04-01

    The establishment of the primordial follicle pool is crucial for fertility in mammalian females, and the interruption of overall micro-RNA production byDicer1conditional knockout in the female reproductive system results in infertility. However, there are few reports about the functions of individual micro-RNA in regulating primordial follicle assembly. The present study aimed to investigate the function of miR-125b, which is conserved and preferentially expressed in mammalian ovary during primordial follicle assembly. Detection of miR-125b in the developing mouse ovaries by real-time PCR and in situ hybridization showed that it was highly expressed perinatally and specifically located in the ovarian somatic cells. MiR-125b overexpression blocked the process of primordial follicle assembly in cultured newborn mouse ovaries, while its knockdown promoted this process. Further studies showed that miR-125b regulated the activin/Smad2 signaling in neonatal mouse ovary by directly targeting the 3'-untranslated region of activin receptor type 2a (Acvr2a). Overexpression of miR-125b in neonatal mouse ovary suppressed theAcvr2aprotein level, attenuating activin/Smad2 signaling, while knockdown of miR-125b showed the opposite effects. In addition, recombinant human activin A (rh-ActA) down-regulated miR-125b in the neonatal mouse ovary. Overexpression of miR-125b attenuated the promoting effects of rh-ActA on primordial follicle assembly. Taken together, these data suggest that miR-125b blocks the process of primordial follicle assembly, and miR-125b may play this role by regulating the expression ofAcvr2ain the activin/Smad2 signaling pathway. PMID:26962113

  2. Activation of signalling by the activin receptor complex.

    PubMed Central

    Attisano, L; Wrana, J L; Montalvo, E; Massagué, J

    1996-01-01

    Activin exerts its effects by simultaneously binding to two types of p rotein serine/threonine kinase receptors, each type existing in various isoforms. Using the ActR-IB and ActR-IIB receptor isoforms, we have investigated the mechanism of activin receptor activation. ActR-IIB are phosphoproteins with demonstrable affinity for each other. However, activin addition strongly promotes an interaction between these two proteins. Activin binds directly to ActR-IIB, and this complex associates with ActR-IB, which does not bind ligand on its own. In the resulting complex, ActR-IB becomes hyperphosphorylated, and this requires the kinase activity of ActR-IIB. Mutation of conserved serines and threonines in the GS domain, a region just upstream of the kinase domain in ActR-IB, abrogates both phosphorylation and signal propagation, suggesting that this domain contains phosphorylation sites required for signalling. ActR-IB activation can be mimicked by mutation of Thr-206 to aspartic acid, which yields a construct, ActR-IB(T206D), that signals in the absence of ligand. Furthermore, the signalling activity of this mutant construct is undisturbed by overexpression of a dominant negative kinase-defective ActR-IIB construct, indicating that ActR-IB(T206D) can signal independently of ActR-IIB. The evidence suggests that ActR-IIB acts as a primary activin receptor and ActR-IB acts as a downstream transducer of activin signals. PMID:8622651

  3. A drug delivery hydrogel system based on activin B for Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Li, Juan; Darabi, Mohammadali; Gu, Jingjing; Shi, Junbin; Xue, Jinhua; Huang, Lu; Liu, Yutong; Zhang, Lei; Liu, N; Zhong, Wen; Zhang, Lin; Xing, Malcolm; Zhang, Lu

    2016-09-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases. Activins are members of the superfamily of transforming growth factors and have many potential neuroprotective effects. Herein, at the first place, we verified activin B's neuroprotective role in a PD model, and revealed that activin B's fast release has limited function in the PD therapy. To this end, we developed a multi-functional crosslinker based thermosensitive injectable hydrogels to deliver activin B, and stereotactically injected the activin B-loaded hydrogel into the striatum of a mouse model of PD. The histological evaluation showed that activin B can be detected even 5 weeks post-surgery in PD mice implanted with activin B-loaded hydrogels, and activin B-loaded hydrogels can significantly increase the density of tyrosine hydroxylase positive (TH(+)) nerve fibers and reduce inflammatory responses. The behavioral evaluation demonstrated that activin B-loaded hydrogels significantly improved the performance of the mice in the PD model. Meanwhile, we found that hydrogels can slightly induce the activation of microglia cells and astrocytes, while cannot induce apoptosis in the striatum. Overall, our data demonstrated that the developed activin B-loaded hydrogels provide sustained release of activin B for over 5 weeks and contribute to substantial cellular protection and behavioral improvement, suggesting their potential as a therapeutic strategy for PD. PMID:27322960

  4. Intertwining of Activin A and TGFβ Signaling: Dual Roles in Cancer Progression and Cancer Cell Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Loomans, Holli A.; Andl, Claudia D.

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, a significant amount of research has examined the controversial role of activin A in cancer. Activin A, a member of the transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) superfamily, is best characterized for its function during embryogenesis in mesoderm cell fate differentiation and reproduction. During embryogenesis, TGFβ superfamily ligands, TGFβ, bone morphogenic proteins (BMPs) and activins, act as potent morphogens. Similar to TGFβs and BMPs, activin A is a protein that is highly systemically expressed during early embryogenesis; however, post-natal expression is overall reduced and remains under strict spatiotemporal regulation. Of importance, normal post-natal expression of activin A has been implicated in the migration and invasive properties of various immune cell types, as well as endometrial cells. Aberrant activin A signaling during development results in significant morphological defects and premature mortality. Interestingly, activin A has been found to have both oncogenic and tumor suppressor roles in cancer. Investigations into the role of activin A in prostate and breast cancer has demonstrated tumor suppressive effects, while in lung and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, it has been consistently shown that activin A expression is correlated with increased proliferation, invasion and poor patient prognosis. Activin A signaling is highly context-dependent, which is demonstrated in studies of epithelial cell tumors and the microenvironment. This review discusses normal activin A signaling in comparison to TGFβ and highlights how its dysregulation contributes to cancer progression and cell invasion. PMID:25560921

  5. Structure and activation of pro-activin A

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xuelu; Fischer, Gerhard; Hyvönen, Marko

    2016-01-01

    Activins are growth factors with multiple roles in the development and homeostasis. Like all TGF-β family of growth factors, activins are synthesized as large precursors from which mature dimeric growth factors are released proteolytically. Here we have studied the activation of activin A and determined crystal structures of the unprocessed precursor and of the cleaved pro-mature complex. Replacing the natural furin cleavage site with a HRV 3C protease site, we show how the protein gains its bioactivity after proteolysis and is as active as the isolated mature domain. The complex remains associated in conditions used for biochemical analysis with a dissociation constant of 5 nM, but the pro-domain can be actively displaced from the complex by follistatin. Our high-resolution structures of pro-activin A share features seen in the pro-TGF-β1 and pro-BMP-9 structures, but reveal a new oligomeric arrangement, with a domain-swapped, cross-armed conformation for the protomers in the dimeric protein. PMID:27373274

  6. Structure and activation of pro-activin A.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xuelu; Fischer, Gerhard; Hyvönen, Marko

    2016-01-01

    Activins are growth factors with multiple roles in the development and homeostasis. Like all TGF-β family of growth factors, activins are synthesized as large precursors from which mature dimeric growth factors are released proteolytically. Here we have studied the activation of activin A and determined crystal structures of the unprocessed precursor and of the cleaved pro-mature complex. Replacing the natural furin cleavage site with a HRV 3C protease site, we show how the protein gains its bioactivity after proteolysis and is as active as the isolated mature domain. The complex remains associated in conditions used for biochemical analysis with a dissociation constant of 5 nM, but the pro-domain can be actively displaced from the complex by follistatin. Our high-resolution structures of pro-activin A share features seen in the pro-TGF-β1 and pro-BMP-9 structures, but reveal a new oligomeric arrangement, with a domain-swapped, cross-armed conformation for the protomers in the dimeric protein. PMID:27373274

  7. Clinical Relevance and Mechanisms of Antagonism Between the BMP and Activin/TGF-β Signaling Pathways.

    PubMed

    Hudnall, Aaron M; Arthur, Jon W; Lowery, Jonathan W

    2016-07-01

    The transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) superfamily is a large group of signaling molecules that participate in embryogenesis, organogenesis, and tissue homeostasis. These molecules are present in all animal genomes. Dysfunction in the regulation or activity of this superfamily's components underlies numerous human diseases and developmental defects. There are 2 distinct arms downstream of the TGF-β superfamily ligands-the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and activin/TGF-β signaling pathways-and these 2 responses can oppose one another's effects, most notably in disease states. However, studies have commonly focused on a single arm of the TGF-β superfamily, and the antagonism between these pathways is unknown in most physiologic and pathologic contexts. In this review, the authors summarize the clinically relevant scenarios in which the BMP and activin/TGF-β pathways reportedly oppose one another and identify several molecular mechanisms proposed to mediate this interaction. Particular attention is paid to experimental findings that may be informative to human pathology to highlight potential therapeutic approaches for future investigation. PMID:27367950

  8. Myostatin/activin pathway antagonism: molecular basis and therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Han, H Q; Zhou, Xiaolan; Mitch, William E; Goldberg, Alfred L

    2013-10-01

    Muscle wasting is associated with a wide range of catabolic diseases. This debilitating loss of muscle mass and functional capacity reduces the quality of life and increases the risks of morbidity and mortality. Major progress has been made in understanding the biochemical mechanisms and signaling pathways regulating muscle protein balance under normal conditions and the enhanced protein loss in atrophying muscles. It is now clear that activation of myostatin/activin signaling is critical in triggering the accelerated muscle catabolism that causes muscle loss in multiple disease states. Binding of myostatin and activin to the ActRIIB receptor complex on muscle cell membrane leads to activation of Smad2/3-mediated transcription, which in turn stimulates FoxO-dependent transcription and enhanced muscle protein breakdown via ubiquitin-proteasome system and autophagy. In addition, Smad activation inhibits muscle protein synthesis by suppressing Akt signaling. Pharmacological blockade of the myostatin/activin-ActRIIB pathway has been shown to prevent or reverse the loss of muscle mass and strength in various disease models including cancer cachexia and renal failure. Moreover, it can markedly prolong the lifespan of animals with cancer-associated muscle loss. Furthermore, inhibiting myostatin/activin actions also improves insulin sensitivity, reduces excessive adiposity, attenuates systemic inflammation, and accelerates bone fracture healing in disease models. Based on these exciting advances, the potential therapeutic benefits of myostatin/activin antagonism are now being tested in multiple clinical settings. This article is part of a Directed Issue entitled: Molecular basis of muscle wasting. PMID:23721881

  9. Activin B is produced early in antral follicular development and suppresses thecal androgen production

    PubMed Central

    Young, J M; Henderson, S; Souza, C; Ludlow, H; Groome, N; McNeilly, A S

    2012-01-01

    Little is known about the role of activin B during folliculogenesis. This study investigated the expression levels of activin/inhibin subunits (βA, βB, and α), steroid enzyme, and gonadotrophin receptors in theca (TC) and granulosa cells (GC) by QPCR and activin A and B and inhibin A protein levels in follicular fluid (FF) of developing sheep follicles during estrus and anestrus. The effect of activin B on androgen production from primary TC cultures in vitro was also assessed. During folliculogenesis, in anestrus and estrus, FF activin B concentrations and thecal and GC activin βB mRNA levels decreased as follicle diameter increased from 1–3 to >6 mm regardless of estrogenic status. Estrogenic preovulatory follicles had reduced concentrations of FF activins B and A, and TC and GCs expressed higher levels of activin βA mRNA at 3–4 mm, and TCs more inhibin α mRNA at >4 mm stages of development compared with nonestrogenic follicles. Activin B decreased androstenedione production from primary TCs in vitro, an effect blocked by inhibin A. Thus, sheep follicles 1–3 mm in diameter contained high FF levels of activin B, which decreased as the follicle size increased, and, like activin A, suppressed thecal androgen production in vitro, an effect blocked by inhibin. Furthermore, the theca of large estrogenic follicles expressed high levels of inhibin α and activin βA mRNA suggesting local thecal derived inhibin A production. This would inhibit the negative effects of thecal activins B and A ensuring maximum androgen production for enhanced estradiol production by the preovulatory follicle(s). PMID:22450673

  10. The activin binding proteins follistatin and follistatin-related protein are differentially regulated in vitro and during cutaneous wound repair.

    PubMed

    Wankell, M; Kaesler, S; Zhang, Y Q; Florence, C; Werner, S; Duan, R

    2001-12-01

    Follistatin is a secreted protein that binds activin in vitro and in vivo and thereby inhibits its biological functions. Recently, related human and murine genes, designated follistatin-related gene (FLRG), were identified, and their products were shown to bind activin with high affinity. In this study we further characterized the murine FLRG protein, and we analyzed its tissue-specific expression and regulation in comparison with those of follistatin. Transient expression of the mouse FLRG protein in COS-1 cells revealed that the FLRG cDNA encodes a secreted glycoprotein. FLRG mRNA was expressed at high levels in the lung, the testis, the uterus and, particularly, the skin. Immunohistochemistry revealed the presence of FLRG in the basement membrane between the dermis and the epidermis and around blood vessels. FLRG mRNA expression was induced in keratinocytes by keratinocyte growth factor, epidermal growth factor and transforming growth factor-beta 1, and in fibroblasts by platelet-derived growth factor and epidermal growth factor. The induction was more rapid, but weaker, than that of follistatin. Most interestingly, both follistatin and FLRG were expressed during the wound healing process, but their distribution within the wound was different. The different expression pattern of FLRG and follistatin and their differential regulation suggest different functions of these activin-binding proteins in vivo. PMID:11739004

  11. Activin-β(c) reduces reproductive tumour progression and abolishes cancer-associated cachexia in inhibin-deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Gold, Elspeth; Marino, Francesco Elia; Harrison, Craig; Makanji, Yogeshwar; Risbridger, Gail

    2013-03-01

    Activins are involved in the regulation of a diverse range of physiological processes including development, reproduction, and fertility, and have been implicated in the progression of cancers. Bioactivity is regulated by the inhibin α-subunit and by an activin-binding protein, follistatin. The activin-β(C) subunit was not considered functionally significant in this regard due to an absence of phenotype in knockout mice. However, activin-β(C) forms heterodimers with activin-β(A) and activin-C antagonizes activin-A in vitro. Thus, it is proposed that overexpression, rather than loss of activin-β(C) , regulates activin-A bioactivity. In order to prove biological efficacy, inhibin α-subunit knockout mice (α-KO) were crossed with mice overexpressing activin-β(C) (ActC++). Deletion of inhibin leads to Sertoli and granulosa cell tumours, increased activin-A, and cancer-associated cachexia. Therefore, cachexia and reproductive tumour development should be modulated in α-KO/ActC++ mice, where excessive activin-A is the underlying cause. Accordingly, a reduction in activin-A, no significant weight loss, and reduced incidence of reproductive tumours were evident in α-KO/ActC++ mice. Overexpression of activin-β(C) antagonized the activin signalling cascade; thus, the tumourigenic effects of activin-A were abrogated. This study provides proof of the biological relevance of activin-β(C) . Being a regulator of activin-A, it is able to abolish cachexia and modulate reproductive tumour development in α-KO mice. PMID:23180294

  12. Activin A and follistatin during the oestrous cycle and early pregnancy in ewes.

    PubMed

    O'Connell, Anne R; McNatty, Kenneth P; Hurst, Peter R; Spencer, Thomas E; Bazer, Fuller W; Reader, Karen L; Johnstone, Peter D; Davis, George H; Juengel, Jennifer L

    2016-03-01

    The activin pathway has been postulated to be involved in regulation of multiple reproductive processes important for survival of the conceptus. These processes include luteinisation of the follicular cells and thus function of the corpus luteum, early embryo development and uterine function including implantation of the conceptus. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to determine whether the concentrations of activin A and follistatin (FST), an activin-binding protein, differed between ewes with a lifetime history of enhanced or reduced embryonic survival (ES). The mRNAs encoding FST and activin A (inhibin beta A subunit; INHBA) were present in the uterus and abundant in the uterine luminal or glandular epithelia by day 18 of gestation. A peak of activin A was observed in the systemic circulation around the time of oestrus, and activin A concentrations were elevated in animals with reduced ES during the oestrous cycle and early gestation. Concentrations of activin A in uterine fluid were approximately twofold greater on day 16 of gestation in ewes with reduced ES compared to those with enhanced ES. No consistent differences in FST were observed between these groups. Treatment of luteinising ovine granulosa cells with activin A in vitro suppressed progesterone secretion providing evidence of a potential pathway whereby increased concentrations of activin A may decrease ES. PMID:26733604

  13. Endoplasmic reticulum stress mediates withaferin A-induced apoptosis in human renal carcinoma cells.

    PubMed

    Choi, Min Jung; Park, Eun Jung; Min, Kyoung Jin; Park, Jong-Wook; Kwon, Taeg Kyu

    2011-04-01

    The accumulation of misfolded proteins in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) results in cellular stress that initiates a specialized response designated as the unfolded protein response. ER stress has been implicated in a variety of common diseases, such as diabetes, ischemia and neurodegenerative disorders. Withaferin A, a major chemical constituent of Withania somnifera, has been reported to inhibit tumor cell growth. We show that withaferin A induced a dose-dependent apoptotic cell death in several types of human cancer cells, as measured by FACS analysis and PARP cleavage. Treatment of Caki cells with withaferin A induced a number of signature ER stress markers, including phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor-2α (eIF-2 α), ER stress-specific XBP1 splicing, and up-regulation of glucose-regulated protein (GRP)-78. In addition, withaferin A caused up-regulation of CAAT/enhancer-binding protein-homologous protein (CHOP), suggesting the induction of ER stress. Pretreatment with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) significantly inhibited withaferin A-mediated ER stress proteins and cell death, suggesting that reactive oxygen species (ROS) mediate withaferin A-induced ER stress. Furthermore, CHOP siRNA or inhibition of caspase-4 activity attenuated withaferin A-induced apoptosis. Taken together, the present study provides strong evidence supporting an important role of the ER stress response in mediating withaferin A-induced apoptosis. PMID:21266191

  14. Short-Term Energy Deprivation Alters Activin A and Follistatin But Not Inhibin B Levels of Lean Healthy Women in a Leptin-Independent Manner

    PubMed Central

    Moragianni, Vasiliki A.; Aronis, Konstantinos N.; Chamberland, John P.

    2011-01-01

    Context: Leptin is a potent modulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis mediating the effect of energy deprivation on several hypothalamic-pituitary-peripheral axes. Activin A, inhibin B, and follistatin (FST) also regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in humans. It remains unknown whether energy deprivation affects these hormone levels in a leptin-dependent or -independent manner. Objective: We investigated 1) day-night variability patterns of activin, inhibin, and FST in the fed state, 2) whether their levels are affected by fasting, and 3) whether such an effect is mediated by leptin in physiological replacement or pharmacological doses. Design: We conducted two studies in healthy, eumenorrheic females, each comprising three separate admissions. In study 1, six women were maintained for 72 h 1) on isocaloric diet, 2) fasting while receiving placebo, or 3) fasting while receiving metreleptin in physiological replacement doses. In study 2, five women were administered physiological or pharmacological metreleptin doses (0.01, 0.1, or 0.3 mg/kg iv four times daily). Results: Neither activin A nor FST had a pulsatile or day-night variability pattern. Inhibin B levels were also nonpulsatile, but a trend toward a day-night pattern was noted. When compared with the fed state, inhibin B levels remained unchanged, whereas FST levels increased (P = 0.01) and activin A decreased (P = 0.01) in the fasting state. These changes were not corrected with metreleptin administered in replacement or pharmacological doses. Conclusions: Short-term energy deprivation alters levels of activin A and FST, but these effects are not mediated by leptin. PMID:21917874

  15. RAP-011, an activin receptor ligand trap, increases hemoglobin concentration in Hepcidin transgenic mice

    PubMed Central

    Langdon, Jacqueline M.; Barkataki, Sangjucta; Berger, Alan E.; Cheadle, Chris; Xue, Qian-Li; Sung, Victoria; Roy, Cindy N.

    2014-01-01

    Over expression of hepcidin antimicrobial peptide is a common feature of iron-restricted anemia in humans. We investigated the erythroid response to either erythropoietin or RAP-011, a “murinized” ortholog of sotatercept, in C57BL/6 mice and in hepcidin antimicrobial peptide over expressing mice. Sotatercept, a soluble, activin receptor type IIA ligand trap, is currently being evaluated for the treatment of anemias associated with chronic renal disease, myelodysplastic syndrome, β-thalassemia, and Diamond Blackfan anemia and acts by inhibiting signaling downstream of activin and other Transforming Growth Factor-β superfamily members. We found that erythropoietin and RAP-011 increased hemoglobin concentration in C57BL/6 mice and in hepcidin antimicrobial peptide over expressing mice. While erythropoietin treatment depleted splenic iron stores in C57BL/6 mice, RAP-011 treatment did not deplete splenic iron stores in mice of either genotype. Bone marrow erythroid progenitors from erythropoietin-treated mice exhibited iron-restricted erythropoiesis, as indicated by increased median fluorescence intensity of transferrin receptor immunostaining by flow cytometry. In contrast, RAP-011-treated mice did not exhibit the same degree of iron-restricted erythropoiesis. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that RAP-011 can improve hemoglobin concentration in hepcidin antimicrobial peptide transgenic mice. Our data support the hypothesis that RAP-011 has unique biologic effects which prevent or circumvent depletion of mouse splenic iron stores. RAP-011 may, therefore, be an appropriate therapeutic for trials in human anemias characterized by increased expression of hepcidin antimicrobial peptide and iron-restricted erythropoiesis. PMID:25236856

  16. RAP-011, an activin receptor ligand trap, increases hemoglobin concentration in hepcidin transgenic mice.

    PubMed

    Langdon, Jacqueline M; Barkataki, Sangjucta; Berger, Alan E; Cheadle, Chris; Xue, Qian-Li; Sung, Victoria; Roy, Cindy N

    2015-01-01

    Over expression of hepcidin antimicrobial peptide is a common feature of iron-restricted anemia in humans. We investigated the erythroid response to either erythropoietin or RAP-011, a "murinized" ortholog of sotatercept, in C57BL/6 mice and in hepcidin antimicrobial peptide 1 over expressing mice. Sotatercept, a soluble, activin receptor type IIA ligand trap, is currently being evaluated for the treatment of anemias associated with chronic renal disease, myelodysplastic syndrome, β-thalassemia, and Diamond Blackfan anemia and acts by inhibiting signaling downstream of activin and other Transforming Growth Factor-β superfamily members. We found that erythropoietin and RAP-011 increased hemoglobin concentration in C57BL/6 mice and in hepcidin antimicrobial peptide 1 over expressing mice. While erythropoietin treatment depleted splenic iron stores in C57BL/6 mice, RAP-011 treatment did not deplete splenic iron stores in mice of either genotype. Bone marrow erythroid progenitors from erythropoietin-treated mice exhibited iron-restricted erythropoiesis, as indicated by increased median fluorescence intensity of transferrin receptor immunostaining by flow cytometry. In contrast, RAP-011-treated mice did not exhibit the same degree of iron-restricted erythropoiesis. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that RAP-011 can improve hemoglobin concentration in hepcidin antimicrobial peptide 1 transgenic mice. Our data support the hypothesis that RAP-011 has unique biologic effects which prevent or circumvent depletion of mouse splenic iron stores. RAP-011 may, therefore, be an appropriate therapeutic for trials in human anemias characterized by increased expression of hepcidin antimicrobial peptide and iron-restricted erythropoiesis. PMID:25236856

  17. Constitutively Active FOXO1 Diminishes Activin Induction of Fshb Transcription in Immortalized Gonadotropes

    PubMed Central

    Park, Chung Hyun; Skarra, Danalea V.; Rivera, Alissa J.; Arriola, David J.; Thackray, Varykina G.

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, we investigate whether the FOXO1 transcription factor modulates activin signaling in pituitary gonadotropes. Our studies show that overexpression of constitutively active FOXO1 decreases activin induction of murine Fshb gene expression in immortalized LβT2 cells. We demonstrate that FOXO1 suppression of activin induction maps to the −304/−95 region of the Fshb promoter containing multiple activin response elements and that the suppression requires the FOXO1 DNA-binding domain (DBD). FOXO1 binds weakly to the −125/−91 region of the Fshb promoter in a gel-shift assay. Since this region of the promoter contains a composite SMAD/FOXL2 binding element necessary for activin induction of Fshb transcription, it is possible that FOXO1 DNA binding interferes with SMAD and/or FOXL2 function. In addition, our studies demonstrate that FOXO1 directly interacts with SMAD3/4 but not SMAD2 in a FOXO1 DBD-dependent manner. Moreover, we show that SMAD3/4 induction of Fshb-luc and activin induction of a multimerized SMAD-binding element-luc are suppressed by FOXO1 in a DBD-dependent manner. These results suggest that FOXO1 binding to the proximal Fshb promoter as well as FOXO1 interaction with SMAD3/4 proteins may result in decreased activin induction of Fshb in gonadotropes. PMID:25423188

  18. Activin A Predicts Left Ventricular Remodeling and Mortality in Patients with ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Jeng-Feng; Hsu, Shun-Yi; Teng, Ming-Sheng; Wu, Semon; Hsieh, Chien-An; Jang, Shih-Jung; Liu, Chih-Jen; Huang, Hsuan-Li; Ko, Yu-Lin

    2016-01-01

    Background Activin A levels increase in a variety of heart diseases including ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). The aim of this study is to investigate whether the level of activin A can be beneficial in predicting left ventricular remodeling, heart failure, and death in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Methods We enrolled 278 patients with STEMI who had their activin A levels measured on day 2 of hospitalization. Echocardiographic studies were performed at baseline and were repeated 6 months later. Thereafter, the clinical events of these patients were followed for a maximum of 3 years, including all-cause death and readmission for heart failure. Results During hospitalization, higher activin A level was associated with higher triglyceride level, lower left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), and lower left ventricular end diastolic ventricular volume index (LVEDVI) in multivariable linear regression model. During follow-up, patients with activin A levels > 129 pg/ml had significantly lower LVEF, and higher LVEDVI at 6 months. Kaplan-Meier survival curves showed that activin A level > 129 pg/ml was a predictor of all-cause death (p = 0.022), but not a predictor of heart failure (p = 0.767). Conclusions Activin A level > 129 pg/ml predicts worse left ventricular remodeling and all-cause death in STEMI. PMID:27471355

  19. Activin A increases arterial pressure in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus in rats by angiotension II.

    PubMed

    Ge, Jingyan; Fan, Yuqi; Lu, Yaqiong; Qi, Yan; Wang, Minghua; Liu, Zhonghui

    2016-06-15

    Activin A, a member of the transforming growth factor β superfamily, plays an important role in the central nervous system as a neurotrophic and neuroprotective factor. The hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) in the central nervous system is characterized as an important integrative site to regulate arterial pressure (AP). However, whether activin A in the PVN is involved in the regulation of AP is not well characterized. This study aimed to determine the effect of activin A on AP in the PVN in rats. The results showed that activin βA, activin type IIA and IIB receptors (ActRIIA and ActRIIB), and Smad2 and Smad3 mRNA expressions were detectable in the PVN of WKY rats by reverse-transcription PCR, and the expression of ActRIIA protein in the PVN was further confirmed by immunohistochemical staining. A microinjection of angiotensin II (AngII) (0.1 nmol/100 nl) or activin A (2 ng/100 nl) into the PVN increased AP significantly in WKY rats (P<0.05). Moreover, activin A (5 ng/ml) promoted AngII release from the primary cultured PVN neurons that can increase AP and upregulated the expressions of ActRIIA and Smad3 mRNA in the primary cultured PVN neurons (P<0.05). These data suggest that activin A can regulate AP in the PVN in an autocrine or a paracrine manner, which is related to AngII release and the ActRIIA-Smad3 signal pathway. PMID:27138952

  20. Activin a signaling regulates cell invasion and proliferation in esophageal adenocarcinoma.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Chase; Loomans, Holli A; Le Bras, Gregoire F; Koumangoye, Rainelli B; Romero-Morales, Alejandra I; Quast, Laura L; Zaika, Alexander I; El-Rifai, Wael; Andl, Thomas; Andl, Claudia D

    2015-10-27

    TGFβ signaling has been implicated in the metaplasia from squamous epithelia to Barrett's esophagus and, ultimately, esophageal adenocarcinoma. The role of the family member Activin A in Barrett's tumorigenesis is less well established. As tumorigenesis is influenced by factors in the tumor microenvironment, such as fibroblasts and the extracellular matrix, we aimed to determine if epithelial cell-derived Activin affects initiation and progression differently than Activin signaling stimulation from a mimicked stromal source. Using Barrett's esophagus cells, CPB, and the esophageal adenocarcinoma cell lines OE33 and FLO-1, we showed that Activin reduces colony formation only in CPB cells. Epithelial cell overexpression of Activin increased cell migration and invasion in Boyden chamber assays in CPB and FLO-1 cells, which exhibited mesenchymal features such as the expression of the CD44 standard form, vimentin, and MT1-MMP. When grown in organotypic reconstructs, OE33 cells expressed E-cadherin and Keratin 8. As mesenchymal characteristics have been associated with the acquisition of stem cell-like features, we analyzed the expression and localization of SOX9, showing nuclear localization of SOX9 in esophageal CPB and FLO-1 cells.In conclusion, we show a role for autocrine Activin signaling in the regulation of colony formation, cell migration and invasion in Barrett's tumorigenesis. PMID:26447543

  1. The Biology Of Activin: Recent Advances In Structure, Regulation And Function

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Yin; Schneyer, Alan L.

    2009-01-01

    Activin was discovered in the 1980’s as a gonadal protein that stimulated FSH release from pituitary gonadotropes and was thought of as a reproductive hormone. In the ensuing decades many additional activities of activin were described and it was found to be produced in a wide variety of cell types at nearly all stages of development. Its signaling and actions are regulated intracellularly as well as by extracellular antagonists. Over the past 5 years a number of important advances have been made that clarify our understanding of the structural basis for signaling and regulation, as well as the biological roles of activin in stem cells, embryonic development, and in adults. These include the crystallization of activin in complex with the activin type II receptor ActRIIB, or with the binding proteins follistatin and follistatin-like 3 (FSTL3), and identification of the activin roles in gonadal sex development, follicle development and luteolysis, in β-cell proliferation and function in the islet, in stem cell self-renewal and differentiation into different cell types, and in immune cells. These advances are reviewed to provide perspective for future studies. PMID:19273500

  2. Effects of Activin in Embryoid Bodies Expressing Fibroblast Growth Factor 5.

    PubMed

    Shirouzu, Yasumasa; Yanai, Goichi; Yang, Kai-Chiang; Sumi, Shoichiro

    2016-06-01

    Nodal/activin signaling is indispensable for embryonic development. We examined what activin does to the embryoid bodies (EBs) produced from mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) expressing an epiblast marker. The EBs were produced by culturing mESCs by the hanging drop method for 24 hours. The resulting EBs were transferred onto gelatin-coated dishes and allowed to further differentiate. The 24-hour EBs showed a stronger expression of fibroblast growth factor (FGF)5 and Brachyury (specific to the epiblast) in comparison with mESCs. Treating the transferred EBs with activin A maintained transcript levels of FGF5 and Oct4, while inhibiting definitive endoderm differentiation. The activin A treatment reversed the endoderm differentiation induced by retinoic acid (RA), while the inhibition of nodal/activin signaling promoted RA-induced endoderm differentiation. Inhibition of nodal/activin signaling in EBs, including epiblast-like cells, promotes differentiation into the endoderm, facilitating the transition from the pluripotent state to specification of the endoderm. PMID:27253628

  3. Activin A and follistatin as biomarkers for ectopic pregnancy and missed abortion.

    PubMed

    Daponte, Alexandros; Deligeoroglou, Efthimios; Garas, Antonios; Pournaras, Spyros; Hadjichristodoulou, Christos; Messinis, Ioannis E

    2013-01-01

    Activin A as a predictor of pregnancy failure has been the focus of heated debate, but the value of a combined activin A and follistatin (FS) measurement in serum to predict pregnancy failure has not been reported yet. We assessed whether a single serum measurement of the two physiological antagonists at 6-8 weeks gestation could differentiate ectopic pregnancies (EP) or missed abortions (MA) from healthy intrauterine pregnancies (IUP). activin A concentrations were significantly lower in women with EP (n = 30, median value of 264 pg/mL) and women with MA (n = 30, median value of 350 pg/mL) compared to IUP (n = 33, median value of 788 pg/mL); P < 0.001. At a threshold value of 505 pg/mL, activin A had 87.9% sensitivity and 100% specificity and negative predictive value of 0.974 for discriminating an ectopic pregnancy from viable pregnancies. FS was able to discriminate IUP from EP (ROC curve P < 0.001) as was their ratio (ROC curve P = 0.008), but was unable to discriminate a MA from an EP. In EP, activin A did not correlate with beta HCG levels. The present findings support the thesis that activin A or FS could be considered promising biomarkers for the discrimination between an IUP and a failed pregnancy (MA or EP). PMID:24222717

  4. Substantial Increases Occur in Serum Activins and Follistatin during Lung Transplantation

    PubMed Central

    de Kretser, David M.; Bensley, Jonathan G.; Phillips, David J.; Levvey, Bronwyn J.; Snell, Greg I.; Lin, Enjarn; Hedger, Mark P.; O’Hehir, Robyn E.

    2016-01-01

    Background Lung transplantation exposes the donated lung to a period of anoxia. Re-establishing the circulation after ischemia stimulates inflammation causing organ damage. Since our published data established that activin A is a key pro-inflammatory cytokine, we assessed the roles of activin A and B, and their binding protein, follistatin, in patients undergoing lung transplantation. Methods Sera from 46 patients participating in a published study of remote ischemia conditioning in lung transplantation were used. Serum activin A and B, follistatin and 11 other cytokines were measured in samples taken immediately after anaesthesia induction, after remote ischemia conditioning or sham treatment undertaken just prior to allograft reperfusion and during the subsequent 24 hours. Results Substantial increases in serum activin A, B and follistatin occurred after the baseline sample, taken before anaesthesia induction and peaked immediately after the remote ischemia conditioning/sham treatment. The levels remained elevated 15 minutes after lung transplantation declining thereafter reaching baseline 2 hours post-transplant. Activin B and follistatin concentrations were lower in patients receiving remote ischemia conditioning compared to sham treated patients but the magnitude of the decrease did not correlate with early transplant outcomes. Conclusions We propose that the increases in the serum activin A, B and follistatin result from a combination of factors; the acute phase response, the reperfusion response and the use of heparin-based anti-coagulants. PMID:26820896

  5. Regulation of body mass growth through activin type IIB receptor in teleost fish.

    PubMed

    Carpio, Yamila; Acosta, Jannel; Morales, Reynold; Santisteban, Yaimín; Sanchéz, Aniel; Estrada, Mario Pablo

    2009-01-15

    Myostatin is a TGF-beta family member that plays a key role in regulating skeletal muscle growth. Previous studies in mammals have demonstrated that myostatin is capable of binding the two activin type II receptors. Additionally, activin type II receptors have been shown to be capable of binding a number of other TGF-beta family members besides myostatin. An injection of a soluble form of activin type IIB receptor obtained from CHO cells into wild-type mice generated up to a 60% increase in muscle mass in 2 weeks. The knowledge on the role of activin receptors in fish is limited. In the present study, we examined the growth effect of administering a recombinant, soluble form of goldfish activin type IIB receptor extracellular domain to juvenile and larval goldfish (Carassius auratus), African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) larvae and tilapia (Oreochromis aureus) larvae. We have expressed the goldfish activin type IIB receptor extracellular domain in the yeast Pichia pastoris and we have demonstrated for the first time that this recombinant molecule stimulates growth in teleost fish in a dose-dependent manner. We provide evidence that this body weight increase is achieved by an increase in muscle mass and protein content. Histological analysis of the goldfish muscle revealed that treated fish exhibited hyperplasia as compared to controls. These findings contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms that regulate growth in non-mammalian vertebrates and suggest a powerful biotechnology approach to improving fish growth in aquaculture. PMID:19056390

  6. Activin a signaling regulates cell invasion and proliferation in esophageal adenocarcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Le Bras, Gregoire F.; Koumangoye, Rainelli B.; Romero-Morales, Alejandra I.; Quast, Laura L.; Zaika, Alexander I.; El-Rifai, Wael; Andl, Thomas; Andl, Claudia D.

    2015-01-01

    TGFβ signaling has been implicated in the metaplasia from squamous epithelia to Barrett's esophagus and, ultimately, esophageal adenocarcinoma. The role of the family member Activin A in Barrett's tumorigenesis is less well established. As tumorigenesis is influenced by factors in the tumor microenvironment, such as fibroblasts and the extracellular matrix, we aimed to determine if epithelial cell-derived Activin affects initiation and progression differently than Activin signaling stimulation from a mimicked stromal source. Using Barrett's esophagus cells, CPB, and the esophageal adenocarcinoma cell lines OE33 and FLO-1, we showed that Activin reduces colony formation only in CPB cells. Epithelial cell overexpression of Activin increased cell migration and invasion in Boyden chamber assays in CPB and FLO-1 cells, which exhibited mesenchymal features such as the expression of the CD44 standard form, vimentin, and MT1-MMP. When grown in organotypic reconstructs, OE33 cells expressed E-cadherin and Keratin 8. As mesenchymal characteristics have been associated with the acquisition of stem cell-like features, we analyzed the expression and localization of SOX9, showing nuclear localization of SOX9 in esophageal CPB and FLO-1 cells. In conclusion, we show a role for autocrine Activin signaling in the regulation of colony formation, cell migration and invasion in Barrett's tumorigenesis. PMID:26447543

  7. Endoderm differentiation and inductive effect of activin-treated ectoderm in Xenopus.

    PubMed

    Ninomiya, H; Takahashi, S; Tanegashima, K; Yokota, C; Asashima, M

    1999-08-01

    When presumptive ectoderm is treated with high concentrations of activin A, it mainly differentiates into axial mesoderm (notochord, muscle) in Xenopus and into yolk-rich endodermal cells in newt (Cynops pyrrhogaster). Xenopus ectoderm consists of multiple layers, different from the single layer of Cynops ectoderm. This multilayer structure of Xenopus ectoderm may prevent complete treatment of activin A and subsequent whole differentiation into endoderm. In the present study, therefore, Xenopus ectoderm was separated into an outer layer and an inner layer, which were individually treated with a high concentration of activin A (100 ng/mL). Then the differentiation and inductive activity of these ectodermal cells were examined in explantation and transplantation experiments. In isolation culture, ectoderm treated with activin A formed endoderm. Ectodermal and mesodermal tissues were seldom found in these explants. The activin-treated ectoderm induced axial mesoderm and neural tissues, and differentiated into endoderm when it was sandwiched between two sheets of ectoderm or was transplanted into the ventral marginal zone of other blastulae. These findings suggest that Xenopus ectoderm treated with a high concentration of activin A forms endoderm and mimics the properties of the organizer as in Cynops. PMID:10466926

  8. Coibamide A Induces mTOR-Independent Autophagy and Cell Death in Human Glioblastoma Cells

    PubMed Central

    Hau, Andrew M.; Greenwood, Jeffrey A.; Löhr, Christiane V.; Serrill, Jeffrey D.; Proteau, Philip J.; Ganley, Ian G.; McPhail, Kerry L.; Ishmael, Jane E.

    2013-01-01

    Coibamide A is an N-methyl-stabilized depsipeptide that was isolated from a marine cyanobacterium as part of an International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups (ICBG) program based in Panama. Previous testing of coibamide A in the NCI in vitro 60 cancer cell line panel revealed a potent anti-proliferative response and “COMPARE-negative” profile indicative of a unique mechanism of action. We report that coibamide A is a more potent and efficacious cytotoxin than was previously appreciated, inducing concentration- and time-dependent cytotoxicity (EC50<100 nM) in human U87-MG and SF-295 glioblastoma cells and mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). This activity was lost upon linearization of the molecule, highlighting the importance of the cyclized structure for both anti-proliferative and cytotoxic responses. We show that coibamide A induces autophagosome accumulation in human glioblastoma cell types and MEFs via an mTOR-independent mechanism; no change was observed in the phosphorylation state of ULK1 (Ser-757), p70 S6K1 (Thr-389), S6 ribosomal protein (Ser-235/236) and 4EBP-1 (Thr-37/46). Coibamide A also induces morphologically and biochemically distinct forms of cell death according to cell type. SF-295 glioblastoma cells showed caspase-3 activation and evidence of apoptotic cell death in a pattern that was also seen in wild-type and autophagy-deficient (ATG5-null) MEFs. In contrast, cell death in U87-MG glioblastoma cells was characterized by extensive cytoplasmic vacuolization and lacked clear apoptotic features. Cell death was attenuated, but still triggered, in Apaf-1-null MEFs lacking a functional mitochondria-mediated apoptotic pathway. From the study of ATG5-null MEFs we conclude that a conventional autophagy response is not required for coibamide A-induced cell death, but likely occurs in dying cells in response to treatment. Coibamide A represents a natural product scaffold with potential for the study of mTOR-independent signaling and cell death

  9. Licochalcone A induces autophagy through PI3K/Akt/mTOR inactivation and autophagy suppression enhances Licochalcone A-induced apoptosis of human cervical cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Ying, Tsung-Ho; Lin, Chu-Liang; Lin, Chia-Liang; Hsueh, Jung-Tsung; Hsieh, Yi-Hsien

    2015-01-01

    The use of dietary bioactive compounds in chemoprevention can potentially reverse, suppress, or even prevent cancer progression. However, the effects of licochalcone A (LicA) on apoptosis and autophagy in cervical cancer cells have not yet been clearly elucidated. In this study, LicA treatment was found to significantly induce the apoptotic and autophagic capacities of cervical cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. MTT assay results showed dose- and time-dependent cytotoxicity in four cervical cancer cell lines treated with LicA. We found that LicA induced mitochondria-dependent apoptosis in SiHa cells, with decreasing Bcl-2 expression. LicA also induced autophagy effects were examined by identifying accumulation of Atg5, Atg7, Atg12 and microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3)-II. Treatment with autophagy-specific inhibitors (3-methyladenine and bafilomycin A1) enhanced LicA-induced apoptosis. In addition, we suggested the inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mammalian target of mTOR pathway by LicA. Furthermore, the inhibition of PI3K/Akt by LY294002/si-Akt or of mTOR by rapamycin augmented LicA-induced apoptosis and autophagy. Finally, the in vivo mice bearing a SiHa xenograft, LicA dosed at 10 or 20 mg/kg significantly inhibited tumor growth. Our findings demonstrate the chemotherapeutic potential of LicA for treatment of human cervical cancer. PMID:26311737

  10. Withaferin A induces apoptosis through the generation of thiol oxidation in human head and neck cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Park, Jong Won; Min, Kyoung-Jin; Kim, Dong Eun; Kwon, Taeg Kyu

    2015-01-01

    Withaferin A is a steroidal lactone purified from the Indian medicinal plant, Withania somnifera. Withaferin A has been shown to inhibit the proliferation, metastasis, invasion and angiogenesis of cancer cells. In the present study, we investigated whether withaferin A induces apoptosis in the human head and neck cancer cells, AMC-HN4. Withaferin A markedly increased the sub-G1 cell population and the cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), which are markers of apoptosis. Pan-caspase inhibitor, z-VAD-fmk (z-VAD), markedly inhibited the withaferin A-induced apoptosis. However, the withaferin A-induced increase in the expression of COX-2 was not affected by treatment with z-VAD. Furthermore, withaferin A upregulated cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression. The COX-2 inhibitor, NS-398, reduced the withaferin A-induced production of prostaglandin E2. However, treatment with NS-398 did not affect the sub-G1 population and the cleavage of PARP. In addition, the withaferin A-induced apoptosis was independent of reactive oxygen species production. Thiol donors [N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and dithiothreitol (DTT)] reversed withaferin A-induced apoptosis. Therefore, our data suggest that withaferin A induces apoptosis through the mechanism of thiol oxidation in head and neck carcinoma cells. PMID:25351115

  11. TAK-1/p38/nNFκB signaling inhibits myoblast differentiation by increasing levels of Activin A

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Skeletal-muscle differentiation is required for the regeneration of myofibers after injury. The differentiation capacity of satellite cells is impaired in settings of old age, which is at least one factor in the onset of sarcopenia, the age-related loss of skeletal-muscle mass and major cause of frailty. One important cause of impaired regeneration is increased levels of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β accompanied by reduced Notch signaling. Pro-inflammatory cytokines are also upregulated in aging, which led us hypothesize that they might potentially contribute to impaired regeneration in sarcopenia. Thus, in this study, we further analyzed the muscle differentiation-inhibition pathway mediated by pro-inflammatory cytokines in human skeletal muscle cells (HuSKMCs). Methods We studied the modulation of HuSKMC differentiation by the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1α and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α The grade of differentiation was determined by either imaging (fusion index) or creatine kinase (CK) activity, a marker of muscle differentiation. Secretion of TGF-β proteins during differentiation was assessed by using a TGF-β-responsive reporter-gene assay and further identified by means of pharmacological and genetic inhibitors. In addition, signaling events were monitored by western blotting and reverse transcription PCR, both in HuSKMC cultures and in samples from a rat sarcopenia study. Results The pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1α and TNF-α block differentiation of human myoblasts into myotubes. This anti-differentiation effect requires activation of TGF-β-activated kinase (TAK)-1. Using pharmacological and genetic inhibitors, the TAK-1 pathway could be traced to p38 and NFκB. Surprisingly, the anti-differentiation effect of the cytokines required the transcriptional upregulation of Activin A, which in turn acted through its established signaling pathway: ActRII/ALK/SMAD. Inhibition of Activin A signaling was able to rescue human

  12. Serum activin A and B, and follistatin in critically ill patients with influenza A(H1N1) infection

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Activin A and its binding protein follistatin (FS) are increased in inflammatory disorders and sepsis. Overexpression of activin A in the lung causes similar histopathological changes as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). ARDS and severe respiratory failure are complications of influenza A(H1N1) infection. Interleukin 6 (IL-6), which in experimental studies increases after activin A release, is known to be related to the severity of H1N1 infection. Our aim was to evaluate the levels of activin A, activin B, FS, IL-6 and IL-10 and their association with the severity of respiratory failure in critically ill H1N1 patients. Methods A substudy of a prospective, observational cohort of H1N1 patients in Finnish intensive care units (ICU). Clinical information was recorded during ICU treatment, and serum activin A, activin B, FS, IL-6 and IL-10 were measured at admission to ICU and on days 2 and 7. Results Blood samples from 29 patients were analysed. At the time of admission to intensive care unit, elevated serum levels above the normal range for respective age group and sex were observed in 44% for activin A, 57% for activin B, and 39% for FS. In 13 of the 29 patients, serial samples at all time points were available and in these the highest activin A, activin B and FS were above the normal range in 85%, 100% and 46% of the patients, respectively. No difference in baseline or highest activin A or activin B was found in patients with or without acute lung injury (ALI) or ARDS (P > 0.05 for all). Peak levels of IL-6 were significantly elevated in ALI/ARDS patients. Peak activin A and activin A/FS were associated with ventilatory support free-days, severity of acute illness and length of ICU stay (P < 0.05 for all). Conclusions Higher than normal values of these proteins were common in patients with H1N1 infection but we found no association with the severity of their respiratory failure. PMID:24885241

  13. Targeting tumour vasculature by inhibiting activin receptor-like kinase (ALK)1 function.

    PubMed

    de Vinuesa, Amaya García; Bocci, Matteo; Pietras, Kristian; Ten Dijke, Peter

    2016-08-15

    Angiogenesis is a hallmark of cancer and is now a validated therapeutic target in the clinical setting. Despite the initial success, anti-angiogenic compounds impinging on the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway display limited survival benefits in patients and resistance often develops due to activation of alternative pathways. Thus, finding and validating new targets is highly warranted. Activin receptor-like kinase (ALK)1 is a transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) type I receptor predominantly expressed in actively proliferating endothelial cells (ECs). ALK1 has been shown to play a pivotal role in regulating angiogenesis by binding to bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)9 and 10. Two main pharmacological inhibitors, an ALK1-Fc fusion protein (Dalantercept/ACE-041) and a fully human antibody against the extracellular domain of ALK1 (PF-03446962) are currently under clinical development. Herein, we briefly recapitulate the role of ALK1 in blood vessel formation and the current status of the preclinical and clinical studies on inhibition of ALK1 signalling as an anti-angiogenic strategy. Future directions in terms of new combination regimens will also be presented. PMID:27528762

  14. Raddeanin A induces human gastric cancer cells apoptosis and inhibits their invasion in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    Xue, Gang; Zou, Xi; Zhou, Jin-Yong; Sun, Wei; Wu, Jian; Xu, Jia-Li; Wang, Rui-Ping

    2013-09-20

    Highlights: •Raddeanin A is a triterpenoid saponin in herb medicine Anemone raddeana Regel. •Raddeanin A can inhibit 3 kinds of gastric cancer cells’ proliferation and invasion. •Caspase-cascades’ activation indicates apoptosis induced by Raddeanin A. •MMPs, RECK, Rhoc and E-cad are involved in Raddeanin A-induced invasion inhibition. -- Abstract: Raddeanin A is one of the triterpenoid saponins in herbal medicine Anemone raddeana Regel which was reported to suppress the growth of liver and lung cancer cells. However, little was known about its effect on gastric cancer (GC) cells. This study aimed to investigate its inhibitory effect on three kinds of different differentiation stage GC cells (BGC-823, SGC-7901 and MKN-28) in vitro and the possible mechanisms. Proliferation assay and flow cytometry demonstrated Raddeanin A’s dose-dependent inhibitory effect and determined its induction of cells apoptosis, respectively. Transwell assay, wounding heal assay and cell matrix adhesion assay showed that Raddeanin A significantly inhibited the abilities of the invasion, migration and adhesion of the BGC-823 cells. Moreover, quantitative real time PCR and Western blot analysis found that Raddeanin A increased Bax expression while reduced Bcl-2, Bcl-xL and Survivin expressions and significantly activated caspase-3, caspase-8, caspase-9 and poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP). Besides, Raddeanin A could also up-regulate the expression of reversion inducing cysteine rich protein with Kazal motifs (RECK), E-cadherin (E-cad) and down-regulate the expression of matrix metalloproteinases-2 (MMP-2), MMP-9, MMP-14 and Rhoc. In conclusion, Raddeanin A inhibits proliferation of human GC cells, induces their apoptosis and inhibits the abilities of invasion, migration and adhesion, exhibiting potential to become antitumor drug.

  15. IL-17A induces Pendrin expression and chloride-bicarbonate exchange in human bronchial epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Adams, Kelly M; Abraham, Valsamma; Spielman, Daniel; Kolls, Jay K; Rubenstein, Ronald C; Conner, Gregory E; Cohen, Noam A; Kreindler, James L

    2014-01-01

    The epithelium plays an active role in the response to inhaled pathogens in part by responding to signals from the immune system. Epithelial responses may include changes in chemokine expression, increased mucin production and antimicrobial peptide secretion, and changes in ion transport. We previously demonstrated that interleukin-17A (IL-17A), which is critical for lung host defense against extracellular bacteria, significantly raised airway surface pH in vitro, a finding that is common to a number of inflammatory diseases. Using microarray analysis of normal human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells treated with IL-17A, we identified the electroneutral chloride-bicarbonate exchanger Pendrin (SLC26A4) as a potential mediator of this effect. These data were verified by real-time, quantitative PCR that demonstrated a time-dependent increase in Pendrin mRNA expression in HBE cells treated with IL-17A up to 48 h. Using immunoblotting and immunofluorescence, we confirmed that Pendrin protein expression is increased in IL-17 treated HBE cells and that it is primarily localized to the mucosal surface of the cells. Functional studies using live-cell fluorescence to measure intracellular pH demonstrated that IL-17A induced chloride-bicarbonate exchange in HBE cells that was not present in the absence of IL-17A. Furthermore, HBE cells treated with short interfering RNA against Pendrin showed substantially reduced chloride-bicarbonate exchange. These data suggest that Pendrin is part of IL-17A-dependent epithelial changes and that Pendrin may therefore be a therapeutic target in IL-17A-dependent lung disease. PMID:25141009

  16. The immunoregulatory and fibrotic roles of activin A in allergic asthma

    PubMed Central

    Hardy, C L; Rolland, J M; O'Hehir, R E

    2015-01-01

    Activin A, a member of the TGF-β superfamily of cytokines, was originally identified as an inducer of follicle stimulating hormone release, but has since been ascribed roles in normal physiological processes, as an immunoregulatory cytokine and as a driver of fibrosis. In the last 10–15 years, it has also become abundantly clear that activin A plays an important role in the regulation of asthmatic inflammation and airway remodelling. This review provides a brief introduction to the activin A/TGF-β superfamily, focussing on the regulation of receptors and signalling pathways. We examine the contradictory evidence for generalized pro- vs. anti-inflammatory effects of activin A in inflammation, before appraising its role in asthmatic inflammation and airway remodelling specifically by evaluating data from both murine models and clinical studies. We identify key issues to be addressed, paving the way for safe exploitation of modulation of activin A function for treatment of allergic asthma and other inflammatory lung diseases. PMID:25962695

  17. Reversible increase of serum activin A levels in women with Graves' disease.

    PubMed

    Centanni, M; Viceconti, N; Luisi, S; Reis, F M; Gargano, L; Maiani, F; Franchi, A; Canettieri, G; Petraglia, F

    2002-12-01

    The aim of this study was to analyze the serum levels of activin A in hyperthyroid patients with Graves' disease. Serum activin A and FSH levels were measured in a total of 93 females (64 regularly cycling and 29 post-menopausal). Of these, 20 were hyperthyroid patients with Graves disease, 33 were euthyroid goitrous patients (20 had autoimmune thyroiditis AT and 13 only had goiter) representing the internal control group and 40 were healthy subjects representing the external control group. Serum levels of activin A were higher in goitrous patients with AT than in control subjects (p=0.0388). Activin A levels were almost doubled in the cycling and in post-menopausal hyperthyroid women (0.91+/-0.21 vs 0.43+/-0.07 microg/l; p<0.0001 and 0.92+/-0.22 vs 0.48+/-0.24 microg/l; p=0.0001, respectively). In 10 cycling hyperthyroid patients, studied even after methimazole treatment, that increase was substantially reversed, once euthyroidism was attained (p=0.002). These findings indicate that thyroid function and autoimmune processes significantly affect serum levels of activin A in patients with Graves' disease. PMID:12553556

  18. Activin A Protects Midbrain Neurons in the 6-Hydroxydopamine Mouse Model of Parkinson’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Li, Kong M.; Vissel, Bryce

    2015-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease characterized by a significant loss of dopaminergic neurons within the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and a subsequent loss of dopamine (DA) within the striatum. Despite advances in the development of pharmacological therapies that are effective at alleviating the symptoms of PD, the search for therapeutic treatments that halt or slow the underlying nigral degeneration remains a particular challenge. Activin A, a member of the transforming growth factor β superfamily, has been shown to play a role in the neuroprotection of midbrain neurons against 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) in vitro, suggesting that activin A may offer similar neuroprotective effects in in vivo models of PD. Using robust stereological methods, we found that intrastriatal injections of 6-OHDA results in a significant loss of both TH positive and NeuN positive populations in the SNpc at 1, 2, and 3 weeks post-lesioning in drug naïve mice. Exogenous application of activin A for 7 days, beginning the day prior to 6-OHDA administration, resulted in a significant survival of both dopaminergic and total neuron numbers in the SNpc against 6-OHDA-induced toxicity. However, we found no corresponding protection of striatal DA or dopamine transporter (DAT) expression levels in animals receiving activin A compared to vehicle controls. These results provide the first evidence that activin A exerts potent neuroprotection in a mouse model of PD, however this neuroprotection may be localized to the midbrain. PMID:25902062

  19. Activin Signaling Targeted by Insulin/dFOXO Regulates Aging and Muscle Proteostasis in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Hua; Kang, Ping; Hernandez, Ana Maria; Tatar, Marc

    2013-01-01

    Reduced insulin/IGF signaling increases lifespan in many animals. To understand how insulin/IGF mediates lifespan in Drosophila, we performed chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing analysis with the insulin/IGF regulated transcription factor dFOXO in long-lived insulin/IGF signaling genotypes. Dawdle, an Activin ligand, is bound and repressed by dFOXO when reduced insulin/IGF extends lifespan. Reduced Activin signaling improves performance and protein homeostasis in muscles of aged flies. Activin signaling through the Smad binding element inhibits the transcription of Autophagy-specific gene 8a (Atg8a) within muscle, a factor controlling the rate of autophagy. Expression of Atg8a within muscle is sufficient to increase lifespan. These data reveal how insulin signaling can regulate aging through control of Activin signaling that in turn controls autophagy, representing a potentially conserved molecular basis for longevity assurance. While reduced Activin within muscle autonomously retards functional aging of this tissue, these effects in muscle also reduce secretion of insulin-like peptides at a distance from the brain. Reduced insulin secretion from the brain may subsequently reinforce longevity assurance through decreased systemic insulin/IGF signaling. PMID:24244197

  20. Activin/Nodal signalling before implantation: setting the stage for embryo patterning

    PubMed Central

    Papanayotou, Costis; Collignon, Jérôme

    2014-01-01

    Activins and Nodal are members of the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) family of growth factors. Their Smad2/3-dependent signalling pathway is well known for its implication in the patterning of the embryo after implantation. Although this pathway is active early on at preimplantation stages, embryonic phenotypes for loss-of-function mutations of prominent components of the pathway are not detected before implantation. It is only fairly recently that an understanding of the role of the Activin/Nodal signalling pathway at these stages has started to emerge, notably from studies detailing how it controls the expression of target genes in embryonic stem cells. We review here what is currently known of the TGF-β-related ligands that determine the activity of Activin/Nodal signalling at preimplantation stages, and recent advances in the elucidation of the Smad2/3-dependent mechanisms underlying developmental progression. PMID:25349448

  1. Low miR-143/miR-145 Cluster Levels Induce Activin A Overexpression in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinomas, Which Contributes to Poor Prognosis

    PubMed Central

    Bufalino, Andreia; Cervigne, Nilva K.; de Oliveira, Carine Ervolino; Fonseca, Felipe Paiva; Rodrigues, Priscila Campioni; Macedo, Carolina Carneiro Soares; Sobral, Lays Martin; Miguel, Marcia Costa; Lopes, Marcio Ajudarte; Leme, Adriana Franco Paes; Lambert, Daniel W.; Salo, Tuula A.; Kowalski, Luiz Paulo; Graner, Edgard; Coletta, Ricardo D.

    2015-01-01

    Deregulated expression of activin A is reported in several tumors, but its biological functions in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) are unknown. Here, we investigate whether activin A can play a causal role in OSCCs. Activin A expression was assessed by qPCR and immunohistochemistry in OSCC tissues. Low activin A-expressing cells were treated with recombinant activin A and assessed for apoptosis, proliferation, adhesion, migration, invasion and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Those phenotypes were also evaluated in high activin A-expressing cells treated with follistatin (an activin A antagonist) or stably expressing shRNA targeting activin A. Transfections of microRNA mimics were performed to determine whether the overexpression of activin A is regulated by miR-143/miR-145 cluster. Activin A was overexpressed in OSCCs in comparison with normal oral mucosa, and high activin A levels were significantly associated with lymph node metastasis, tumor differentiation and poor survival. High activin A levels promoted multiple properties associated with malignant transformation, including decreased apoptosis and increased proliferation, migration, invasion and EMT. Both miR-143 and miR-145 were markedly downregulated in OSCC cell lines and in clinical specimens, and inversely correlated to activin A levels. Forced expression of miR-143 and miR-145 in OSCC cells significantly decreased the expression of activin A. Overexpression of activin A in OSCCs, which is controlled by downregulation of miR-143/miR-145 cluster, regulates apoptosis, proliferation and invasiveness, and it is clinically correlated with lymph node metastasis and poor survival. PMID:26317418

  2. Activin Controls Ethanol Potentiation of Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission Through GABAA Receptors and Concomitant Behavioral Sedation.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Fang; Puppel, Anne; Huber, Sabine E; Link, Andrea S; Eulenburg, Volker; van Brederode, Johannes F; Müller, Christian P; Alzheimer, Christian

    2016-07-01

    Activin, a member of the transforming growth factor-β family, exerts multiple functions in the nervous system. Originally identified as a neurotrophic and -protective agent, increasing evidence implicates activin also in the regulation of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission in brain regions associated with cognitive and affective functions. To explore how activin impacts on ethanol potentiation of GABA synapses and related behavioral paradigms, we used an established transgenic model of disrupted activin receptor signaling, in which mice express a dominant-negative activin receptor IB mutant (dnActRIB) under the control of the CaMKIIα promoter. Comparison of GABAA receptor currents in hippocampal neurons from dnActRIB mice and wild-type mice showed that all concentrations of ethanol tested (30-150 mM) produced much stronger potentiation of phasic inhibition in the mutant preparation. In dentate granule cells of dnActRIB mice, tonic GABA inhibition was more pronounced than in wild-type neurons, but remained insensitive to low ethanol (30 mM) in both preparations. The heightened ethanol sensitivity of phasic inhibition in mutant hippocampi resulted from both pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms, the latter probably involving PKCɛ. At the behavioral level, ethanol produced significantly stronger sedation in dnActRIB mice than in wild-type mice, but did not affect consumption of ethanol or escalation after withdrawal. We link the abnormal narcotic response of dnActRIB mice to ethanol to the excessive potentiation of inhibitory neurotransmission. Our study suggests that activin counteracts oversedation from ethanol by curtailing its augmenting effect at GABA synapses. PMID:26717882

  3. Diagnostic accuracy of serum activin A in detection of ectopic pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Roghaei, Mohammad Ali; Sabet, Fahimeh; Mohamadi, Keivan

    2012-01-01

    Background: Ectopic pregnancy (EP) still remains a main cause of maternal mortalities. This study is designed to evaluate the accuracy of serum Activin A in detection of ectopic pregnancy. Methods: This prospective observational study was conducted from 2009 to 2010 at two main referral university hospitals, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran. Two hundred subjects who were under 10 week's pregnancy with clinical presentations of abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding were enrolled. After sampling serum Activin A, patients underwent ultrasonography, titer of B-HCG and surgery (if indicated) and were divided into two groups: EP (n = 100) and intrauterine pregnancy (IUP) (n = 100). The mean of Activin A was compared between groups and by ROC curve, the optimal cut off with sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) were determined. Results: The mean age of women with IUP was 25.4 ± 4.3 years (15-40 years) compared with 25.9 ± 4.1 years in women in EP group (P = 0.448). Statistical difference was not found between EP versus IUP groups in gestational age (6.32 ± 1.03 vs. 6.85 ± 1.82 weeks, P = 0.124). The mean of serum Activin A in EP group was 0.264 ± 0.0703 ng/ml versus 0.949 ± 0.5283 ng/ml in IUP group (P < 0.05). According to ROC curve (area under the curve = 0.981, P < 0.05, confidence interval: 0.961-1.000), the optimal cut off was estimated as 0.504 ng/ml with sensitivity of 97% and specificity of 93.5%. Conclusion: This study indicated that the mean of serum Activin A is lower in EP compared with IUP. The serum Activin A has a fair accuracy in detecting EP. PMID:23267401

  4. Pegylated Interferon-α Modulates Liver Concentrations of Activin-A and Its Related Proteins in Normal Wistar Rat

    PubMed Central

    Refaat, Bassem; El-Shemi, Adel Galal; Ashshi, Ahmed Mohamed; Mahamid, Elaf Wael; Al-Qadi, Noha Mohammed

    2015-01-01

    Aims. To measure the expression of activin βA-subunit, activin IIA and IIB receptors, Smad4, Smad7, and follistatin in the liver and the liver and serum concentrations of mature activin-A and follistatin in normal rat following treatment with pegylated interferon-α (Peg-INF-α) and ribavirin (RBV). Materials and Methods. 40 male Wistar rats were divided equally into 4 groups: “control,” “Peg-only” receiving 4 injections of Peg-INF-α (6 µg/rat/week), “RBV-only” receiving ribavirin (4 mg/rat/day) orally, and “Peg & RBV” group receiving both drugs. The expression of candidate molecules in liver was measured by immunohistochemistry and quantitative PCR. The concentrations of mature proteins in serum and liver homogenate samples were measured using ELISA. Results. Peg-INF-α  ± RBV altered the expression of all candidate molecules in the liver at the gene and protein levels (P < 0.05) and decreased activin-A and increased follistatin in serum and liver homogenates compared with the other groups (P < 0.05). There were also significant correlations between serum and liver activin-A and follistatin. Conclusion. Peg-INF-α modulates the hepatic production of activin-A and follistatin, which can be detected in serum. Further studies are needed to explore the role of Peg-INF-α on the production of activins and follistatin by the liver and immune cells. PMID:26236109

  5. Myostatin/activin blocking combined with exercise reconditions skeletal muscle expression profile of mdx mice.

    PubMed

    Kainulainen, Heikki; Papaioannou, Konstantinos G; Silvennoinen, Mika; Autio, Reija; Saarela, Janne; Oliveira, Bernardo M; Nyqvist, Miro; Pasternack, Arja; 't Hoen, Peter A C; Kujala, Urho M; Ritvos, Olli; Hulmi, Juha J

    2015-01-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy is characterized by muscle wasting and decreased aerobic metabolism. Exercise and blocking of myostatin/activin signaling may independently or combined counteract muscle wasting and dystrophies. The effects of myostatin/activin blocking using soluble activin receptor-Fc (sActRIIB-Fc) administration and wheel running were tested alone or in combination for 7 weeks in dystrophic mdx mice. Expression microarray analysis revealed decreased aerobic metabolism in the gastrocnemius muscle of mdx mice compared to healthy mice. This was not due to reduced home-cage physical activity, and was further downregulated upon sActRIIB-Fc treatment in enlarged muscles. However, exercise activated pathways of aerobic metabolism and counteracted the negative effects of sActRIIB-Fc. Exercise and sActRIIB-Fc synergistically increased expression of major urinary protein, but exercise blocked sActRIIB-Fc induced phosphorylation of STAT5 in gastrocnemius muscle. In conclusion, exercise alone or in combination with myostatin/activin blocking corrects aerobic gene expression profiles of dystrophic muscle toward healthy wild type mice profiles. PMID:25304272

  6. Tissue absence initiates regeneration through follistatin-mediated inhibition of activin signaling.

    PubMed

    Gaviño, Michael A; Wenemoser, Danielle; Wang, Irving E; Reddien, Peter W

    2013-01-01

    Regeneration is widespread, but mechanisms that activate regeneration remain mysterious. Planarians are capable of whole-body regeneration and mount distinct molecular responses to wounds that result in tissue absence and those that do not. A major question is how these distinct responses are activated. We describe a follistatin homolog (Smed-follistatin) required for planarian regeneration. Smed-follistatin inhibition blocks responses to tissue absence but does not prevent normal tissue turnover. Two activin homologs (Smed-activin-1 and Smed-activin-2) are required for the Smed-follistatin phenotype. Finally, Smed-follistatin is wound-induced and expressed at higher levels following injuries that cause tissue absence. These data suggest that Smed-follistatin inhibits Smed-Activin proteins to trigger regeneration specifically following injuries involving tissue absence and identify a mechanism critical for regeneration initiation, a process important across the animal kingdom. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00247.001. PMID:24040508

  7. Role of activin, inhibin, and follistatin in the pathogenesis of bovine cystic ovarian disease.

    PubMed

    Stangaferro, Matías L; Matiller, Valentina; Díaz, Pablo U; Ortega, Hugo H; Rey, Florencia; Rodríguez, Fernanda M; Silva, Manuel A; Salvetti, Natalia R

    2014-08-01

    Cystic ovarian disease (COD) is an important cause of infertility in dairy cattle. Although many researchers have focused their work on the endocrine changes related to this disease, evidence indicates that intraovarian components play an important role in follicular persistence. Activin, inhibin, and follistatin participate as intraovarian regulatory molecules involved in follicular cell proliferation, differentiation, steroidogenesis, oocyte maturation, and corpus luteum function. Given the importance of these factors in folliculogenesis, we examined the expression and immunolocalization of activin/inhibin βA-subunit, inhibin α-subunit, and follistatin in the ovaries of healthy estrus-synchronized cows and in those of cows with spontaneous or adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-induced COD. We also studied inhibin B (α βB) levels in serum and follicular fluid. We found an increased expression of the βA-subunit of activin A/inhibin A, the α-subunit of inhibin, and follistatin in granulosa cells of spontaneous follicular cysts by immunohistochemistry, and decreased concentrations of inhibin B (α βB) in the follicular fluid of spontaneous follicular cysts. These results, together with those previously obtained, indicate that the expression of the components of the activin-inhibin-follistatin system is altered. This could lead to multiple alterations in important functions in the ovary like the balance between pro- and anti-apoptotic factors, follicular proliferation/apoptosis, and steroidogenesis, which may contribute to the follicular persistence and endocrine changes found in cattle with COD. PMID:25001504

  8. Ophiobolin A induces paraptosis-like cell death in human glioblastoma cells by decreasing BKCa channel activity.

    PubMed

    Bury, M; Girault, A; Mégalizzi, V; Spiegl-Kreinecker, S; Mathieu, V; Berger, W; Evidente, A; Kornienko, A; Gailly, P; Vandier, C; Kiss, R

    2013-01-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most lethal and common malignant human brain tumor. The intrinsic resistance of highly invasive GBM cells to radiation- and chemotherapy-induced apoptosis accounts for the generally dismal treatment outcomes. This study investigated ophiobolin A (OP-A), a fungal metabolite from Bipolaris species, for its promising anticancer activity against human GBM cells exhibiting varying degrees of resistance to proapoptotic stimuli. We found that OP-A induced marked changes in the dynamic organization of the F-actin cytoskeleton, and inhibited the proliferation and migration of GBM cells, likely by inhibiting big conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel (BKCa) channel activity. Moreover, our results indicated that OP-A induced paraptosis-like cell death in GBM cells, which correlated with the vacuolization, possibly brought about by the swelling and fusion of mitochondria and/or the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In addition, the OP-A-induced cell death did not involve the activation of caspases. We also showed that the expression of BKCa channels colocalized with these two organelles (mitochondria and ER) was affected in this programmed cell death pathway. Thus, this study reveals a novel mechanism of action associated with the anticancer effects of OP-A, which involves the induction of paraptosis through the disruption of internal potassium ion homeostasis. Our findings offer a promising therapeutic strategy to overcome the intrinsic resistance of GBM cells to proapoptotic stimuli. PMID:23538442

  9. Uterine activin receptor-like kinase 5 is crucial for blastocyst implantation and placental development

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Jia; Monsivais, Diana; You, Ran; Zhong, Hua; Pangas, Stephanie A.; Matzuk, Martin M.

    2015-01-01

    Members of the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) superfamily are key regulators in most developmental and physiological processes. However, the in vivo roles of TGF-β signaling in female reproduction remain uncertain. Activin receptor-like kinase 5 (ALK5) is the major type 1 receptor for the TGF-β subfamily. Absence of ALK5 leads to early embryonic lethality because of severe defects in vascular development. In this study, we conditionally ablated uterine ALK5 using progesterone receptor-cre mice to define the physiological roles of ALK5 in female reproduction. Despite normal ovarian functions and artificial decidualization in conditional knockout (cKO) mice, absence of uterine ALK5 resulted in substantially reduced female reproduction due to abnormalities observed at different stages of pregnancy, including implantation defects, disorganization of trophoblast cells, fewer uterine natural killer (uNK) cells, and impairment of spiral artery remodeling. In our microarray analysis, genes encoding proteins involved in cytokine–cytokine receptor interactions and NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity were down-regulated in cKO decidua compared with control decidua. Flow cytometry confirmed a 10-fold decrease in uNK cells in cKO versus control decidua. According to these data, we hypothesize that TGF-β acts on decidual cells via ALK5 to induce expression of other growth factors and cytokines, which are key regulators in luminal epithelium proliferation, trophoblast development, and uNK maturation during pregnancy. Our findings not only generate a mouse model to study TGF-β signaling in female reproduction but also shed light on the pathogenesis of many pregnancy complications in human, such as recurrent spontaneous abortion, preeclampsia, and intrauterine growth restriction. PMID:26305969

  10. Uterine activin receptor-like kinase 5 is crucial for blastocyst implantation and placental development.

    PubMed

    Peng, Jia; Monsivais, Diana; You, Ran; Zhong, Hua; Pangas, Stephanie A; Matzuk, Martin M

    2015-09-01

    Members of the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) superfamily are key regulators in most developmental and physiological processes. However, the in vivo roles of TGF-β signaling in female reproduction remain uncertain. Activin receptor-like kinase 5 (ALK5) is the major type 1 receptor for the TGF-β subfamily. Absence of ALK5 leads to early embryonic lethality because of severe defects in vascular development. In this study, we conditionally ablated uterine ALK5 using progesterone receptor-cre mice to define the physiological roles of ALK5 in female reproduction. Despite normal ovarian functions and artificial decidualization in conditional knockout (cKO) mice, absence of uterine ALK5 resulted in substantially reduced female reproduction due to abnormalities observed at different stages of pregnancy, including implantation defects, disorganization of trophoblast cells, fewer uterine natural killer (uNK) cells, and impairment of spiral artery remodeling. In our microarray analysis, genes encoding proteins involved in cytokine-cytokine receptor interactions and NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity were down-regulated in cKO decidua compared with control decidua. Flow cytometry confirmed a 10-fold decrease in uNK cells in cKO versus control decidua. According to these data, we hypothesize that TGF-β acts on decidual cells via ALK5 to induce expression of other growth factors and cytokines, which are key regulators in luminal epithelium proliferation, trophoblast development, and uNK maturation during pregnancy. Our findings not only generate a mouse model to study TGF-β signaling in female reproduction but also shed light on the pathogenesis of many pregnancy complications in human, such as recurrent spontaneous abortion, preeclampsia, and intrauterine growth restriction. PMID:26305969

  11. Specific Activin Receptor–Like Kinase 3 Inhibitors Enhance Liver Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Tsugawa, Daisuke; Oya, Yuki; Masuzaki, Ryota; Ray, Kevin; Engers, Darren W.; Dib, Martin; Do, Nhue; Kuramitsu, Kaori; Ho, Karen; Frist, Audrey; Yu, Paul B.; Bloch, Kenneth D.; Lindsley, Craig W.; Hopkins, Corey R.; Hong, Charles C.

    2014-01-01

    Pharmacologic agents to enhance liver regeneration after injury would have wide therapeutic application. Based on previous work suggesting inhibition of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling stimulates liver regeneration, we tested known and novel BMP inhibitors for their ability to accelerate regeneration in a partial hepatectomy (PH) model. Compounds were produced based on the 3,6-disubstituted pyrazolo[1,5-a] pyrimidine core of the BMP antagonist dorsomorphin and evaluated for their ability to inhibit BMP signaling and enhance liver regeneration. Antagonists of the BMP receptor activin receptor–like kinase 3 (ALK3), including LDN-193189 (LDN; 4-[6-[4-(1-piperazinyl)phenyl]pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidin-3-yl]-quinoline), DMH2 (4-(2-(4-(3-(quinolin-4-yl)pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidin-6-yl)phenoxy)ethyl)morpholine; VU0364849), and the novel compound VU0465350 (7-(4-isopropoxyphenyl)-3-(1H-pyrazol-4-yl)imidazo[1,2-a]pyridine; VU5350), blocked SMAD phosphorylation in vitro and in vivo, and enhanced liver regeneration after PH. In contrast, an antagonist of the BMP receptor ALK2, VU0469381 (5-(6-(4-methoxyphenyl)pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidin-3-yl)quinolone; 1LWY), did not affect liver regeneration. LDN did not affect liver synthetic or metabolic function. Mechanistically, LDN increased serum interleukin-6 levels and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 phosphorylation in the liver, and modulated other factors known to be important for liver regeneration, including suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 and p53. These findings suggest that inhibition of ALK3 may be part of a therapeutic strategy for treating human liver disease. PMID:25271257

  12. Serum Activin A and Follistatin Levels in Gestational Diabetes and the Association of the Activin A-Follistatin System with Anthropometric Parameters in Offspring

    PubMed Central

    Näf, Silvia; Escote, Xavier; Ballesteros, Mónica; Yañez, Rosa Elena; Simón-Muela, Inmaculada; Gil, Pilar; Albaiges, Gerard

    2014-01-01

    Context The Activin A-Follistatin system has emerged as an important regulator of lipid and glucose metabolism with possible repercussions on fetal growth. Objective To analyze circulating activin A, follistatin and follistatin-like-3 (FSTL3) levels and their relationship with glucose metabolism in pregnant women and their influence on fetal growth and neonatal adiposity. Design and methods A prospective cohort was studied comprising 207 pregnant women, 129 with normal glucose tolerance (NGT) and 78 with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and their offspring. Activin A, follistatin and FSTL3 levels were measured in maternal serum collected in the early third trimester of pregnancy. Serial fetal ultrasounds were performed during the third trimester to evaluate fetal growth. Neonatal anthropometry was measured to assess neonatal adiposity. Results Serum follistatin levels were significantly lower in GDM than in NGT pregnant women (8.21±2.32 ng/mL vs 9.22±3.41, P = 0.012) whereas serum FSTL3 and activin A levels were comparable between the two groups. Serum follistatin concentrations were negatively correlated with HOMA-IR and positively with ultrasound growth parameters such as fractional thigh volume estimation in the middle of the third trimester and percent fat mass at birth. Also, in the stepwise multiple linear regression analysis serum follistatin levels were negatively associated with HOMA-IR (β = −0.199, P = 0.008) and the diagnosis of gestational diabetes (β = −0.138, P = 0.049). Likewise, fractional thigh volume estimation in the middle of third trimester and percent fat mass at birth were positively determined by serum follistatin levels (β = 0.214, P = 0.005 and β = 0.231, P = 0.002, respectively). Conclusions Circulating follistatin levels are reduced in GDM compared with NGT pregnant women and they are positively associated with fetal growth and neonatal adiposity. These data suggest a role of the Activin

  13. Licochalcone A induces apoptosis in KB human oral cancer cells via a caspase-dependent FasL signaling pathway

    PubMed Central

    KIM, JAE-SUNG; PARK, MI-RA; LEE, SOOK-YOUNG; KIM, DO KYOUNG; MOON, SUNG-MIN; KIM, CHUN SUNG; CHO, SEUNG SIK; YOON, GOO; IM, HEE-JEONG; YOU, JAE-SEEK; OH, JI-SU; KIM, SU-GWAN

    2014-01-01

    Licochalcone A (Lico-A) is a natural phenol licorice compound with multiple bioactivities, including anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-fungal and osteogenesis-inducing properties. In the present study, we investigated the Lico-A-induced apoptotic effects and examined the associated apoptosis pathway in KB human oral cancer cells. Lico-A decreased the number of viable KB oral cancer cells. However, Lico-A did not have an effect on primary normal human oral keratinocytes. In addition, the IC50 value of Lico-A was determined to be ~50 μM following dose-dependent stimulation. KB oral cancer cells stimulated with Lico-A for 24 h showed chromatin condensation by DAPI staining, genomic DNA fragmentation by agarose gel electrophoresis and a gradually increased apoptotic cell population by FACS analysis. These data suggest that Lico-A induces apoptosis in KB oral cancer cells. Additionally, Lico-A-induced apoptosis in KB oral cancer cells was mediated by the expression of factor associated suicide ligand (FasL) and activated caspase-8 and −3 and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). Furthermore, in the KB oral cancer cells co-stimulation with a caspase inhibitor (Z-VAD-fmk) and Lico-A significantly abolished the apoptotic phenomena. Our findings demonstrated that Lico-A-induced apoptosis in KB oral cancer cells involves the extrinsic apoptotic signaling pathway, which involves a caspase-dependent FasL-mediated death receptor pathway. Our data suggest that Lico-A be developed as a chemotherapeutic agent for the management of oral cancer. PMID:24337492

  14. Increased concanavalin A-induced suppressor cell activity in humans with occupational lead exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Cohen, N.; Modai, D.; Golik, A.; Weissgarten, J.; Peller, S.; Katz, A.; Averbukh, Z.; Shaked, U.

    1989-02-01

    E-rosette-forming cells (E-RFC), mitogen-induced blast transformation, OKT4+, OKT8+ cells, and their ratio were found to be normal in 10 subjects chronically exposed to lead with blood levels of 40-51 micrograms%. However, concanavalin A (Con A)-induced suppressor cell activity (SCA) in these subjects was significantly greater than in normal matched controls. The clinical relevance of this observation is not clear, but it may have some bearing on the various immunologic defects described in lead exposure.

  15. ActivinB Is Induced in Insulinoma To Promote Tumor Plasticity through a β-Cell-Induced Dedifferentiation

    PubMed Central

    Ripoche, Doriane; Charbord, Jérémie; Hennino, Ana; Teinturier, Romain; Bonnavion, Rémy; Jaafar, Rami; Goehrig, Delphine; Cordier-Bussat, Martine; Ritvos, Olli; Zhang, Chang X.; Andersson, Olov

    2015-01-01

    Loss of pancreatic β-cell maturity occurs in diabetes and insulinomas. Although both physiological and pathological stresses are known to promote β-cell dedifferentiation, little is known about the molecules involved in this process. Here we demonstrate that activinB, a transforming growth factor β (TGF-β)-related ligand, is upregulated during tumorigenesis and drives the loss of insulin expression and β-cell maturity in a mouse insulinoma model. Our data further identify Pax4 as a previously unknown activinB target and potent contributor to the observed β-cell dedifferentiation. More importantly, using compound mutant mice, we found that deleting activinB expression abolishes tumor β-cell dedifferentiation and, surprisingly, increases survival without significantly affecting tumor growth. Hence, this work reveals an unexpected role for activinB in the loss of β-cell maturity, islet plasticity, and progression of insulinoma through its participation in β-cell dedifferentiation. PMID:26711255

  16. Asparanin A induces G(2)/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wei; Huang, Xue-Feng; Qi, Qi; Dai, Qin-Sheng; Yang, Li; Nie, Fei-Fei; Lu, Na; Gong, Dan-Dan; Kong, Ling-Yi; Guo, Qing-Long

    2009-04-17

    We recently established that asparanin A, a steroidal saponin extracted from Asparagus officinalis L., is an active cytotoxic component. The molecular mechanisms by which asparanin A exerts its cytotoxic activity are currently unknown. In this study, we show that asparanin A induces G(2)/M phase arrest and apoptosis in human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells. Following treatment of HepG2 cells with asparanin A, cell cycle-related proteins such as cyclin A, Cdk1 and Cdk4 were down-regulated, while p21(WAF1/Cip1) and p-Cdk1 (Thr14/Tyr15) were up-regulated. Additionally, we observed poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage and activation of caspase-3, caspase-8 and caspase-9. The expression ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 was increased in the treated cells, where Bax was also up-regulated. We also found that the expression of p53, a modulator of p21(WAF1/Cip1) and Bax, was not affected in asparanin A-treated cells. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that asparanin A induces cell cycle arrest and triggers apoptosis via a p53-independent manner in HepG2 cells. These data indicate that asparanin A shows promise as a preventive and/or therapeutic agent against human hepatoma. PMID:19254688

  17. The transforming growth factor beta type II receptor can replace the activin type II receptor in inducing mesoderm.

    PubMed Central

    Bhushan, A; Lin, H Y; Lodish, H F; Kintner, C R

    1994-01-01

    The type II receptors for the polypeptide growth factors transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) and activin belong to a new family of predicted serine/threonine protein kinases. In Xenopus embryos, the biological effects of activin and TGF-beta 1 are strikingly different; activin induces a full range of mesodermal cell types in the animal cap assay, while TGF-beta 1 has no effects, presumably because of the lack of functional TGF-beta receptors. In order to assess the biological activities of exogenously added TGF-beta 1, RNA encoding the TGF-beta type II receptor was introduced into Xenopus embryos. In animal caps from these embryos, TGF-beta 1 and activin show similar potencies for induction of mesoderm-specific mRNAs, and both elicit the same types of mesodermal tissues. In addition, the response of animal caps to TGF-beta 1, as well as to activin, is blocked by a dominant inhibitory ras mutant, p21(Asn-17)Ha-ras. These results indicate that the activin and TGF-beta type II receptors can couple to similar signalling pathways and that the biological specificities of these growth factors lie in their different ligand-binding domains and in different competences of the responding cells. Images PMID:8196664

  18. [Molecular cloning of activin betaA subunit mature peptide from peafowl and its application in taxonomy and phylogeny].

    PubMed

    Zou, Fang-Dong; Tong, Xin-Xin; Yue, Bi-Song

    2005-03-01

    The sequences of activin gene betaA subunit mature peptide have been amplified from white peafowl, blue peafowl (pavo cristatus) and green peafowl (pavo muticus) genomic DNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with a pair of degenerate primers. The target fragments were cloned into the vector pMD18-T and sequenced. The length of activin gene betaA subunit mature peptide is 345bp, which encoded a peptide of 115 amino acid residues. Sequence analysis of activin gene betaA subunit mature peptide demonstrated that the identity of nucleotide is 98.0% between blue peaflowl and green peafowl, and the identity of that is 98.8% between blue peaflowl and white peafow. Sequences comparison in NCBI revealed that the sequences of activin gene betaA subunit mature peptides of different species are highly conserved during evolution process. In addition, the restriction enzyme map of activins is high similar between white peafowl and blue peafowl. Phylogenetic tree was constructed with Mega 2 and Clustalxldx software. The result showed that white peafowl has a closer relationship to blue peafowl than to green peafowl. Considered the nucleotide differences of peafowls' activin gene betaA subunit mature peptides, a highly conserved region, we supported that white peafowl was derived from blue peafowl, and it is more possible the hybrid but just the product of color mutation, or maybe as a subspecies of Pavo genus. PMID:15843351

  19. Celastrol Protects against Antimycin A-Induced Insulin Resistance in Human Skeletal Muscle Cells.

    PubMed

    Abu Bakar, Mohamad Hafizi; Cheng, Kian-Kai; Sarmidi, Mohamad Roji; Yaakob, Harisun; Huri, Hasniza Zaman

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammation are widely accepted as key hallmarks of obesity-induced skeletal muscle insulin resistance. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the functional roles of an anti-inflammatory compound, celastrol, in mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance induced by antimycin A (AMA) in human skeletal muscle cells. We found that celastrol treatment improved insulin-stimulated glucose uptake activity of AMA-treated cells, apparently via PI3K/Akt pathways, with significant enhancement of mitochondrial activities. Furthermore, celastrol prevented increased levels of cellular oxidative damage where the production of several pro-inflammatory cytokines in cultures cells was greatly reduced. Celastrol significantly increased protein phosphorylation of insulin signaling cascades with amplified expression of AMPK protein and attenuated NF-κB and PKC θ activation in human skeletal muscle treated with AMA. The improvement of insulin signaling pathways by celastrol was also accompanied by augmented GLUT4 protein expression. Taken together, these results suggest that celastrol may be advocated for use as a potential therapeutic molecule to protect against mitochondrial dysfunction-induced insulin resistance in human skeletal muscle cells. PMID:25961164

  20. Semaphorin 3A Induces Mesenchymal-Stem-Like Properties in Human Periodontal Ligament Cells

    PubMed Central

    Maeda, Hidefumi; Hasegawa, Daigaku; Gronthos, Stan; Bartold, Peter Mark; Menicanin, Danijela; Fujii, Shinsuke; Yoshida, Shinichiro; Tomokiyo, Atsushi; Monnouchi, Satoshi; Akamine, Akifumi

    2014-01-01

    Periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs) have recently been proposed as a novel option in periodontal regenerative therapy. However, one of the issues is the difficulty of stably generating PDLSCs because of the variation of stem cell potential between donors. Here, we show that Semaphorin 3A (Sema3A) can induce mesenchymal-stem-like properties in human periodontal ligament (PDL) cells. Sema3A expression was specifically observed in the dental follicle during tooth development and in parts of mature PDL tissue in rodent tooth and periodontal tissue. Sema3A expression levels were found to be higher in multipotential human PDL cell clones compared with low-differentiation potential clones. Sema3A-overexpressing PDL cells exhibited an enhanced capacity to differentiate into both functional osteoblasts and adipocytes. Moreover, PDL cells treated with Sema3A only at the initiation of culture stimulated osteogenesis, while Sema3A treatment throughout the culture had no effect on osteogenic differentiation. Finally, Sema3A-overexpressing PDL cells upregulated the expression of embryonic stem cell markers (NANOG, OCT4, and E-cadherin) and mesenchymal stem cell markers (CD73, CD90, CD105, CD146, and CD166), and Sema3A promoted cell division activity of PDL cells. These results suggest that Sema3A may possess the function to convert PDL cells into mesenchymal-stem-like cells. PMID:24380401

  1. Serum activin A and B levels predict outcome in patients with acute respiratory failure: a prospective cohort study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction 30 day mortality in patients with Acute Respiratory Failure (ARF) is approximately 30%, defined as patients requiring ventilator support for more than 6 hours. Novel biomarkers are needed to predict patient outcomes and to guide potential future therapies. The activins A and B, members of the Transforming Growth Factor β family of proteins, and their binding protein, follistatin, have recently been shown to be important regulators of inflammation and fibrosis but no substantial data are available concerning their roles in ARF. Our objectives were to evaluate whether the serum levels of activin A, B and follistatin are elevated in 518 patients with ARF from the FINNALI study compared the concentrations in 138 normal subjects that form a reference range. Methods Specific assays for activin A, B and follistatin were used and the results analyzed according to diagnostic groups as well as according to standard measures in intensive care. Multivariable logistic regression was used to create a model to predict death at 90 days and 12 months from the onset of the ARF. Results Serum activin A and B were significantly elevated in most patients and in most of the diagnostic groups. Patients who had activin A and/or B concentrations above the reference maximum were significantly more likely to die in the 12 months following admission [either activin A or B above reference maximum: Positive Likelihood Ratio [LR+] 1.65 [95% CI 1.28-2.12, P = 0.00013]; both activin A and B above reference maximum: LR + 2.78 [95% CI 1.96-3.95, P < 0.00001]. The predictive model at 12 months had an overall accuracy of 80.2% [95% CI 76.6-83.3%]. Conclusions The measurement of activin A and B levels in these patients with ARF would have assisted in predicting those at greatest risk of death. Given the existing data from animal studies linking high activin A levels to significant inflammatory challenges, the results from this study suggest that approaches to modulate

  2. Geoditin A Induces Oxidative Stress and Apoptosis on Human Colon HT29 Cells

    PubMed Central

    Cheung, Florence W. K.; Li, Chunman; Che, Chun-Tao; Liu, Bonnie P. L.; Wang, Lijun; Liu, Wing-Keung

    2010-01-01

    Geoditin A, an isomalabaricane triterpene isolated from the marine sponge Geodia japonica, has been demonstrated to dissipate mitochondrial membrane potential, activate caspase 3, decrease cytoplasmic proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), and induce apoptosis of leukemia cells, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear [1]. In this study, we found fragmentation of Golgi structure, suppression of transferrin receptor expression, production of oxidants, and DNA fragmentation in human colon cancer HT29 cells after treatment with geoditin A for 24 h. This apoptosis was not abrogated by chelation of intracellular iron with salicylaldehyde isonicotinoyl hydrazone (SIH), but suppressed by N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a thiol antioxidant and GSH precursor, indicating that the cytotoxic effect of geoditin A is likely mediated by a NAC-inhibitable oxidative stress. Our results provide a better understanding of the apoptotic properties and chemotherapeutical potential of this marine triterpene. PMID:20161972

  3. Concanavalin A-induced agglutination of human leukemic and lymphoma cells.

    PubMed

    Maca, R D

    1976-04-01

    With a newly developed turbidometric method, concanavalin A was shown to agglutinate normal lymphocytes, lymphoma cells, and leukemic cells from chronic lymphocytic leukemia and from acute myelocytic and lymphocytic leukemia. However, there was a marked difference in the kinetics of this agglutination process. Leukemic blast cells and cells from a patient with convoluted lymphoma agglutinated poorly in this system. Conversely, the degree of agglutination for chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells was greater than that for the blast cells and also slightly greater than that for normal lymphocytes. Cultured cells from a Burkitt's lymphoma (Raji) and from a patient with poorly differentiated lymphoma agglutinated very rapidly with concanavalin A. Prior incubation of all cell types with neuraminidase markedly enhanced the agglutination process similar to that of trypsinization. Thus, these studies illustrate the usefulness of this method in quantitating the kinetics of agglutination of various human neoplastic cell types by concanavalin A. PMID:1063062

  4. Withaferin A-Induced Apoptosis in Human Breast Cancer Cells Is Mediated by Reactive Oxygen Species

    PubMed Central

    Hahm, Eun-Ryeong; Moura, Michelle B.; Kelley, Eric E.; Van Houten, Bennett; Shiva, Sruti; Singh, Shivendra V.

    2011-01-01

    Withaferin A (WA), a promising anticancer constituent of Ayurvedic medicinal plant Withania somnifera, inhibits growth of MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 human breast cancer cells in culture and MDA-MB-231 xenografts in vivo in association with apoptosis induction, but the mechanism of cell death is not fully understood. We now demonstrate, for the first time, that WA-induced apoptosis is mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS) production due to inhibition of mitochondrial respiration. WA treatment caused ROS production in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells, but not in a normal human mammary epithelial cell line (HMEC). The HMEC was also resistant to WA-induced apoptosis. WA-mediated ROS production as well as apoptotic histone-associated DNA fragment release into the cytosol was significantly attenuated by ectopic expression of Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase in both MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells. ROS production resulting from WA exposure was accompanied by inhibition of oxidative phosphorylation and inhibition of complex III activity. Mitochondrial DNA-deficient Rho-0 variants of MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells were resistant to WA-induced ROS production, collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential, and apoptosis compared with respective wild-type cells. WA treatment resulted in activation of Bax and Bak in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells, and SV40 immortalized embryonic fibroblasts derived from Bax and Bak double knockout mouse were significantly more resistant to WA-induced apoptosis compared with fibroblasts derived from wild-type mouse. In conclusion, the present study provides novel insight into the molecular circuitry of WA-induced apoptosis involving ROS production and activation of Bax/Bak. PMID:21853114

  5. The Effects of Fibroblast Co-Culture and Activin A on in vitro Growth of Mouse Preantral Follicles

    PubMed Central

    Karimpour Malekshah, Abbasali; Heidari, Mahmoud; Parivar, Kazem; Azami, Nasrin Sadat

    2014-01-01

    Background: This study was conducted to evaluate fibroblast co-culture and Activin A on in vitro maturation and fertilization of mouse preantral follicles. Methods: The ovaries from 12-14-day-old mice were dissected, and 120-150 μm preantral follicles were cultured individually in α-MEM as based medium for 12 days. A total number of 456 follicles were cultured in four conditions: (i) base medium as control group (n = 113), (ii) base medium supplemented with 30 ng/ml Activin A (n = 115), (iii) base medium co-cultured with mouse embryonic fibroblast (n = 113), and (iv) base medium supplemented with 30 ng/ml Activin A and co-cultured with fibroblast (n = 115). Rate of growth, survivability, antrum formation, ovulation, embryonic development and steroid production were evaluated. Analysis of Variance and Duncan test were applied for analyzing. Results: Both co-culture and co-culture + Activin A groups showed significant difference (P<0.05) in growth (on days 4, 6, and 8 of culture period) and survival rates. However, there was no significant difference in antrum formation, ovulation rate, and embryonic development of ovulated oocytes. There were significant differences (P<0.05) in the estradiol production on days 8, 10, and 12 between co-culture + Activin A and the control group. Progesterone production also was significant (P<0.05) in co-culture + Activin A group on days 6, 8, 10, and 12 compared to control group. Conclusion: Fibroblast co-culture and Activin A promoted growth and survivability of preantral follicles. However, simultaneous use of them was more efficient. PMID:24375163

  6. BAFF and APRIL from Activin A-Treated Dendritic Cells Upregulate the Antitumor Efficacy of Dendritic Cells In Vivo.

    PubMed

    Shurin, Michael R; Ma, Yang; Keskinov, Anton A; Zhao, Ruijing; Lokshin, Anna; Agassandian, Marianna; Shurin, Galina V

    2016-09-01

    The members of the TGFβ superfamily play a key role in regulating developmental and homeostasis programs by controlling differentiation, proliferation, polarization, and survival of different cell types. Although the role of TGFβ1 in inflammation and immunity is well evident, the contribution of other TGFβ family cytokines in the modulation of the antitumor immune response remains less documented. Here we show that activin A triggers SMAD2 and ERK1/2 pathways in dendritic cells (DC) expressing type I and II activin receptors, and upregulates production of the TNFα family cytokines BAFF (TALL-1, TNFSF13B) and APRIL (TALL-2, TNFSF13A), which is blocked by SMAD2 and ERK1/2 inhibitors, respectively. BAFF and APRIL derived from activin A-treated DCs upregulate proliferation and survival of T cells expressing the corresponding receptors, BAFF-R and TACI. In vivo, activin A-stimulated DCs demonstrate a significantly increased ability to induce tumor-specific CTLs and inhibit the growth of melanoma and lung carcinoma, which relies on DC-derived BAFF and APRIL, as knockdown of the BAFF and APRIL gene expression in activin A-treated DCs blocks augmentation of their antitumor potential. Although systemic administration of activin A, BAFF, or APRIL for the therapeutic purposes is not likely due to the pluripotent effects on malignant and nonmalignant cells, our data open a novel opportunity for improving the efficacy of DC vaccines. In fact, a significant augmentation of the antitumor activity of DC pretreated with activin A and the proven role of DC-derived BAFF and APRIL in the induction of antitumor immunity in vivo support this direction. Cancer Res; 76(17); 4959-69. ©2016 AACR. PMID:27364554

  7. Overexpression of activin-A and -B in malignant mesothelioma – Attenuated Smad3 signaling responses and ERK activation promote cell migration and invasive growth

    SciTech Connect

    Tamminen, Jenni A.; Yin, Miao; Rönty, Mikko; Sutinen, Eva; Pasternack, Arja; Ritvos, Olli; Myllärniemi, Marjukka; Koli, Katri

    2015-03-01

    Activin-A and activin-B, members of the TGF-β superfamily, are regulators of reproductive functions, inflammation and wound healing. These dimeric molecules regulate various cellular activities such as proliferation, migration and suvival. Malignant mesothelioma is an asbestos exposure related tumor affecting mainly pleura and it usually has a dismal prognosis. Here, we demonstrate that both activin-A and -B are abundantly expressed in mesothelioma tumor tissue as well as in cultured primary and established mesothelioma cells. Migratory and invasive mesothelioma cells were also found to have attenuated activation of the Smad2/3 pathway in response to activins. Migration and invasive growth of the cells in three-dimentional matrix was prevented by inhibition of activin activity using a soluble activin receptor 2B (sActR2B-Fc). This was associated with decreased ERK activity. Furthermore, migration and invasive growth was significantly inhibited by blocking ERK phosphorylation. Mesothelioma tumors are locally invasive and our results clearly suggest that acivins have a tumor-promoting function in mesothelioma through increasing expression and switching from canonical Smad3 pathway to non-canonical ERK pathway signaling. Blocking activin activity offers a new therapeutic approach for inhibition of mesothelioma invasive growth. - Highlights: • Activin-A and activin-B are highly expressed in mesothelioma. • Mesothelioma cell migration and invasive growth can be blocked with sActR2B. • Activin induced Smad3 activity is attenuated in invasive mesothelioma cells. • Activins induce ERK activity in mesothelioma cells.

  8. Derivation of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells from Canine Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells by Inhibition of the TGFβ/Activin Signaling Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Frith, Jessica E.; Frith, Thomas J.R.; Ovchinnikov, Dmitry A.; Cooper-White, Justin J.; Wolvetang, Ernst J.

    2014-01-01

    In this study we have generated canine mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), also known as mesenchymal stem cells, from canine induced pluripotent stem cells (ciPSCs) by small-molecule inhibition of the transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ)/activin signaling pathway. These ciPSC-derived MSCs (ciPSC-MSCs) express the MSC markers CD73, CD90, CD105, STRO1, cPDGFRβ and cKDR, in addition to the pluripotency factors OCT4, NANOG and REX1. ciPSC-MSCs lack immunostaining for H3K27me3, suggesting that they possess two active X chromosomes. ciPSC-MSCs are highly proliferative and undergo robust differentiation along the osteo-, chondro- and adipogenic pathways, but do not form teratoma-like tissues in vitro. Of further significance for the translational potential of ciPSC-MSCs, we show that these cells can be encapsulated and maintained within injectable hydrogel matrices that, when functionalized with bound pentosan polysulfate, dramatically enhance chondrogenesis and inhibit osteogenesis. The ability to efficiently derive large numbers of highly proliferative canine MSCs from ciPSCs that can be incorporated into injectable, functionalized hydrogels that enhance their differentiation along a desired lineage constitutes an important milestone towards developing an effective MSC-based therapy for osteoarthritis in dogs, but equally provides a model system for assessing the efficacy and safety of analogous approaches for treating human degenerative joint diseases. PMID:25055193

  9. Differential effect of Activin A and WNT3a on definitive endoderm differentiation on electrospun nanofibrous PCL scaffold.

    PubMed

    Hoveizi, Elham; Massumi, Mohammad; Ebrahimi-barough, Somayeh; Tavakol, Shima; Ai, Jafar

    2015-05-01

    The first step in the formation of hepatocytes and beta cells is the generation of definitive endoderm (DE) which involves a central issue in developmental biology. Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have the pluripotency to differentiate into all three germ layers in vitro and have been considered potent candidates for regenerative medicine as an unlimited source of cells for therapeutic applications. In this study, we investigated the differentiating potential of hiPSCs on poly (ε-caprolactone) (PCL) nanofibrous scaffold into DE cells. Here, we demonstrate directed differentiation of hiPSCs by factors such as Activin A and Wnt3a. The differentiation was determined by immunofluoresence staining with Sox17, FoxA2 and Goosecoid (Gsc) and also by qRT-PCR analysis. The results of this study showed that hiPSCs, as a new cell source, have the ability to differentiate into DE cells with a high capacity and also demonstrate that three dimension (3D) culture provides a suitable nanoenviroment for growth, proliferation and differentiation of hiPSCs. PCL nanofibrous scaffold with essential supplements, stimulating factors and EB-derived cells is able to provide a novel method for enhancing functional differentiation of hiPSCs into DE cells. PMID:25640312

  10. A truncated, activin-induced Smad3 isoform acts as a transcriptional repressor of FSHβ expression in mouse pituitary.

    PubMed

    Kim, So-Youn; Zhu, Jie; Woodruff, Teresa K

    2011-08-01

    The receptor-regulated protein Smad3 is key player in the signaling cascade stimulated by the binding of activin to its cell surface receptor. Upon phosphorylation, Smad3 forms a heterocomplex with Smad2 and Smad4, translocates to the nucleus and acts as a transcriptional co-activator. We have identified a unique isoform of Smad3 that is expressed in mature pituitary gonadotropes. 5' RACE revealed that this truncated Smad3 isoform is transcribed from an ATG site within exon 4 and consists of 7 exons encoding half of the linker region and the MH2 region. In pituitary cells, the truncated Smad3 isoform was phosphorylated upon activin treatment, in a manner that was temporally distinct from the phosphorylation of full-length Smad3. Activin-induced phosphorylation of Smad3 and the truncated Smad3 isoform was blocked by both follistatin and siRNA-mediated knockdown of Smad3. The truncated Smad3 isoform antagonized Smad3-mediated, activin-responsive promoter activity. We propose that the pituitary gonadotrope contains an ultra-short, activin-responsive feedback loop utilizing two different isoforms of Smad3, one which acts as an agonist (Smad3) and another that acts as an intracrine antagonist (truncated Smad3 isoform) to regulate FSHβ production. PMID:21664424

  11. Effective suppression of C5a-induced proinflammatory response using anti-human C5a repebody.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Da-Eun; Choi, Jung-Min; Yang, Chul-Su; Lee, Joong-Jae; Heu, Woosung; Jo, Eun-Kyeong; Kim, Hak-Sung

    2016-09-01

    The strongest anaphylatoxin, C5a, plays a critical role in the proinflammatory responses, causing the pathogenesis of a number of inflammatory diseases including sepsis, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. Inhibitors of C5a thus have great potential as therapeutics for various inflammatory disorders. Herein, we present the development of a high-affinity repebody against human C5a (hC5a), which effectively suppresses the proinflammatory response. A repebody scaffold composed of leucine-rich repeat (LRR) modules was previously developed as an alternative protein scaffold. A repebody specifically binding to hC5a was selected through a phage display, and its affinity was increased up to 5 nM using modular engineering. The repebody was shown to effectively inhibit the production of C5a-induced proinflammatory cytokines by human monocytes. To obtain insight into a mode of action by the repebody, we determined its crystal structure in complex with hC5a. A structural analysis revealed that the repebody binds to the D1 and D3 regions of hC5a, overlapping several epitope residues with the hC5a receptor (hC5aR). It is thus likely that the repebody suppresses the hC5a-mediated immune response in monocytes by blocking the binding of hC5a to its receptor. The anti-hC5a repebody can be developed as a potential therapeutic for C5a-involved inflammatory diseases. PMID:27416759

  12. Does Activin Receptor Blockade by Bimagrumab (BYM338) Pose Detrimental Effects on Bone Healing in a Rat Fibula Osteotomy Model?

    PubMed

    Tankó, László B; Goldhahn, Jörg; Varela, Aurore; Lesage, Elisabeth; Smith, Susan Y; Pilling, Andrew; Chivers, Simon

    2016-09-01

    Bimagrumab (BYM338) is a novel fully human monoclonal antibody that exerts strong promyogenic effects on skeletal muscle by blocking activin type II receptors (ActRII). We investigated whether such blockade of ActRII by bimagrumab manifests any detrimental effect on outcomes of bone healing in a rat fibula osteotomy model. Animals (n = 150) were divided into 11 groups and received weekly treatment with either bimagrumab (10 or 100 mg/kg) or vehicle. Progression and outcomes of bone healing were assessed by lateral radiographs in vivo as well as by peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT), 4-point bending test, and microscopic examination of the excised fibula at Day 29 or later. The radiographic progression of bone healing showed no significant differences between treatment groups in any comparative setting. In 3-month-old animals, pQCT revealed slightly reduced immature callus size and bone mineral content in bimagrumab-treated animals compared with vehicle-treated animals at Day 29 (p < 0.05). There were, however, no differences in mature callus size, bone mineral density, or biomechanical competency. The aforementioned effects on immature callus size were not present when the treatment was initiated 4 weeks post osteotomy or when treating 6-month-old animals. In summary, these findings suggest that there is no major impact of ActRII blockade on overall fracture healing, and delayed treatment initiation can bypass the small and transient effect of the therapy on immature callus formation observed in younger animals. Verification of these findings in humans is the subject of an ongoing clinical trial on elderly hip fracture patients. PMID:27167138

  13. The Regulation of rRNA Gene Transcription during Directed Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zhong; Zhao, Rui; Giles, Keith E.

    2016-01-01

    It has become increasingly clear that proper cellular control of pluripotency and differentiation is related to the regulation of rRNA synthesis. To further our understanding of the role that the regulation of rRNA synthesis has in pluripotency we monitored rRNA synthesis during the directed differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). We discovered that the rRNA synthesis rate is reduced ~50% within 6 hours of ACTIVIN A treatment. This precedes reductions in expression of specific stem cell markers and increases in expression of specific germ layer markers. The reduction in rRNA synthesis is concomitant with dissociation of the Pol I transcription factor, UBTF, from the rRNA gene promoter and precedes any increase to heterochromatin throughout the rRNA gene. To directly investigate the role of rRNA synthesis in pluripotency, hESCs were treated with the Pol I inhibitor, CX-5461. The direct reduction of rRNA synthesis by CX-5461 induces the expression of markers for all three germ layers, reduces the expression of pluripotency markers, and is overall similar to the ACTIVIN A induced changes. This work indicates that the dissociation of UBTF from the rRNA gene, and corresponding reduction in transcription, represent early regulatory events during the directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells. PMID:27299313

  14. A soluble activin receptor type IIB does not improve blood glucose in streptozotocin-treated mice.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qian; Guo, Tingqing; Portas, Jennifer; McPherron, Alexandra C

    2015-01-01

    Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), or insulin dependent DM, is accompanied by decreased muscle mass. The growth factor myostatin (MSTN) is a negative regulator of muscle growth, and a loss of MSTN signaling has been shown to increase muscle mass and prevent the development of obesity, insulin resistance and lipodystrophic diabetes in mice. The effects of MSTN inhibition in a T1DM model on muscle mass and blood glucose are unknown. We asked whether MSTN inhibition would increase muscle mass and decrease hyperglycemia in mice treated with streptozotocin (STZ) to destroy pancreatic beta cells. After diabetes developed, mice were treated with a soluble MSTN/activin receptor fused to Fc (ACVR2B:Fc). ACVR2B:Fc increased body weight and muscle mass compared to vehicle treated mice. Unexpectedly, ACVR2B:Fc reproducibly exacerbated hyperglycemia within approximately one week of administration. ACVR2B:Fc treatment also elevated serum levels of the glucocorticoid corticosterone. These results suggest that although MSTN/activin inhibitors increased muscle mass, they may be counterproductive in improving health in patients with T1DM. PMID:25561902

  15. A Soluble Activin Receptor Type IIB Does Not Improve Blood Glucose in Streptozotocin-Treated Mice

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qian; Guo, Tingqing; Portas, Jennifer; McPherron, Alexandra C.

    2015-01-01

    Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), or insulin dependent DM, is accompanied by decreased muscle mass. The growth factor myostatin (MSTN) is a negative regulator of muscle growth, and a loss of MSTN signaling has been shown to increase muscle mass and prevent the development of obesity, insulin resistance and lipodystrophic diabetes in mice. The effects of MSTN inhibition in a T1DM model on muscle mass and blood glucose are unknown. We asked whether MSTN inhibition would increase muscle mass and decrease hyperglycemia in mice treated with streptozotocin (STZ) to destroy pancreatic beta cells. After diabetes developed, mice were treated with a soluble MSTN/activin receptor fused to Fc (ACVR2B:Fc). ACVR2B:Fc increased body weight and muscle mass compared to vehicle treated mice. Unexpectedly, ACVR2B:Fc reproducibly exacerbated hyperglycemia within approximately one week of administration. ACVR2B:Fc treatment also elevated serum levels of the glucocorticoid corticosterone. These results suggest that although MSTN/activin inhibitors increased muscle mass, they may be counterproductive in improving health in patients with T1DM. PMID:25561902

  16. Two highly-related regulatory subunits of PP2A exert opposite effects on TGF-β/Activin/Nodal signalling

    PubMed Central

    Batut, Julie; Schmierer, Bernhard; Cao, Jing; Raftery, Laurel A.; Hill, Caroline S.; Howell, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Summary We identify Bα (PPP2R2A) and Bδ (PPP2R2D), two highly-related members of the B family of regulatory subunits of the protein phosphatase PP2A, as important modulators of TGF-β/Activin/Nodal signalling, which affect the pathway in opposite ways. Knockdown of Bα in Xenopus embryos or mammalian tissue culture cells suppresses TGF-β/Activin/Nodal-dependent responses, whereas knockdown of Bδ enhances these responses. Moreover, in Drosophila, overexpression of Smad2 rescues a severe wing phenotype caused by overexpression of the single Drosophila PP2A B subunit, Twins. We show that in vertebrates Bα enhances TGF-β/Activin/Nodal signalling by stabilising the basal levels of type I receptor, whereas Bδ negatively modulates these pathways by restricting receptor activity. Thus, these highly-related members of the same subfamily of PP2A regulatory subunits differentially regulate TGF-β/Activin/Nodal signalling to elicit opposing biological outcomes. PMID:18697906

  17. Activin Plays a Key Role in the Maintenance of Long-Term Memory and Late-LTP

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ageta, Hiroshi; Ikegami, Shiro; Miura, Masami; Masuda, Masao; Migishima, Rika; Hino, Toshiaki; Takashima, Noriko; Murayama, Akiko; Sugino, Hiromu; Setou, Mitsutoshi; Kida, Satoshi; Yokoyama, Minesuke; Hasegawa, Yoshihisa; Tsuchida, Kunihiro; Aosaki, Toshihiko; Inokuchi, Kaoru

    2010-01-01

    A recent study has revealed that fear memory may be vulnerable following retrieval, and is then reconsolidated in a protein synthesis-dependent manner. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms of these processes. Activin [beta]A, a member of the TGF-[beta] superfamily, is increased in activated neuronal circuits and regulates…

  18. Regulation of epithelial to mesenchymal transition in bovine conceptuses through the interaction between follistatin and activin A.

    PubMed

    Kusama, Kazuya; Bai, Rulan; Ideta, Atsushi; Aoyagi, Yoshito; Okuda, Kiyoshi; Imakawa, Kazuhiko

    2016-10-15

    Dynamic changes in bovine conceptus and endometrium occur during early gestation, in which the conceptus undergoes epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) after the conceptus attachment to endometrium. To characterize EMT inducing factors, we initially undertook iTRAQ analysis with bovine uterine flushing (UF) obtained from pregnant animals on days 17 (P17: pre-attachment) and 20 (P20: post-attachment). The iTRAQ analysis demonstrated that follistatin (FST), an inhibitor of activin A, increased in P20 UF. We then found that FST decreased in P22 conceptuses, whereas elevated activin A found in P20 UF and endometria was further increased on P22. In addition, phosphorylated SMAD2 increased in P22 conceptuses. In bovine trophoblast cells, the treatment with P22 UF or activin An up-regulated EMT marker expressions, which were inhibited by FST. These results suggest that the initiation of bovine conceptus EMT could be regulated through the spatiotemporal expression of FST or activin A during the peri-attachment period. PMID:27321969

  19. Identification and expression of Smads associated with TGF-beta/activin/nodal signaling pathways in the rainbow trout (Oncorhynuchus mykiss)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Smad proteins are essential components of the TGF-beta/activin/nodal family signaling pathway. We report the identification and characterization of transcripts representing 3 receptor Smads (Smad2a, Smad2b, Smad3), 2 common Smads (Smad4a, Smad4b) and one inhibitory Smad (Smad7). Phylogenetic an...

  20. Expression cloning of Xantivin, a Xenopus lefty/antivin-related gene, involved in the regulation of activin signaling during mesoderm induction.

    PubMed

    Tanegashima, K; Yokota, C; Takahashi, S; Asashima, M

    2000-12-01

    In a screening for activin-responsive genes, we isolated a Xenopus lefty/antivin-related gene, called Xantivin (Xatv). In the animal cap assay, the expression of Xatv was induced by activin signaling, and in the embryo, by nodal-related genes. Overexpression of Xatv in the marginal zone caused suppression of mesoderm formation and gastrulation defects, and inhibited the secondary axis formation induced by Xnr1 and Xactivin, suggesting that Xatv acted as a feedback inhibitor of activin signaling. However, in the animal cap, Xatv failed to antagonize Xnr1 and Xactivin. This result suggested that Xatv has different responses in the marginal zone and in the animal region, and antagonizes to a higher degree activin signaling in the marginal zone. PMID:11091069

  1. Activin regulation of the follicle-stimulating hormone beta-subunit gene involves Smads and the TALE homeodomain proteins Pbx1 and Prep1.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Janice S; Rave-Harel, Naama; McGillivray, Shauna M; Coss, Djurdjica; Mellon, Pamela L

    2004-05-01

    FSH is critical for normal reproductive function in both males and females. Activin, a member of the TGFbeta family of growth factors, is an important regulator of FSH expression, but little is known about the molecular mechanisms through which it acts. We used transient transfections into the immortalized gonadotrope cell line LbetaT2 to identify three regions (at -973/-962, -167, and -134) of the ovine FSH beta-subunit gene that are required for full activin response. All three regions contain homology to consensus binding sites for Smad proteins, the intracellular mediators of TGFbeta family signaling. Mutation of the distal site reduces activin responsiveness, whereas mutation of either proximal site profoundly disrupts activin regulation of the FSHbeta gene. These sites specifically bind LbetaT2 nuclear proteins in EMSAs, and the -973/-962 site binds Smad4 protein. Interestingly, the protein complex binding to the -134 site contains Smad4 in association with the homeodomain proteins Pbx1 and Prep1. Using glutathione S-transferase interaction assays, we demonstrate that Pbx1 and Prep1 interact with Smads 2 and 3 as well. The two proximal activin response elements are well conserved across species, and Pbx1 and Prep1 proteins bind to the mouse gene in vivo. Furthermore, mutation of either proximal site abrogates activin responsiveness of a mouse FSHbeta reporter gene as well, confirming their functional conservation. Our studies provide a basis for understanding activin regulation of FSHbeta gene expression and identify Pbx1 and Prep1 as Smad partners and novel mediators of activin action. PMID:14764653

  2. IMMUNOLOCALIZATION OF INHIBIN/ACTIVIN SUBUNITS AND STEROIDOGENIC ENZYMES IN THE TESTES OF AN ADULT AFRICAN ELEPHANT (LOXODONTA AFRICANA).

    PubMed

    Li, Qinglin; Lu, Lu; Weng, Qiang; Kawakami, Shigehisa; Saito, Eriko; Yamamoto, Tatsuya; Yamamoto, Yuki; Kaewmanee, Saroch; Nagaoka, Kentaro; Watanabe, Gen; Taya, Kazuyoshi

    2016-06-01

    In this case report, the authors investigated immunolocalization of inhibin α and inhibin/activin βA and βB subunits, as well as steroidogenic enzymes, in the testes of an African elephant. Testes were collected from a reproductively active male African elephant (24 yr old) at autopsy. Histologically, all types of spermatogenic cells including mature-phase spermatozoa were found in the seminiferous tubules. Positive immunostaining for inhibin α and inhibin/activin βA and βB subunits was observed in Sertoli and Leydig cells. In addition, P450scc, 3βHSD, P450c17, and P450arom were also detected in the cytoplasm of Leydig cells. These results suggested that Leydig cells of adult African elephant testes have the ability to synthesize progestin, androgen, and estrogen, whereas both Sertoli and Leydig cells appear as a major source of inhibin secretion in the male African elephant. PMID:27468011

  3. The structure of the follistatin:activin complex reveals antagonism of both type I and type II receptor binding

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, T.B.; Lerch, T.F.; Cook, R.W.; Woodruff, T.K.; Jardetzky, T.S.

    2010-03-08

    TGF-{beta} ligands stimulate diverse cellular differentiation and growth responses by signaling through type I and II receptors. Ligand antagonists, such as follistatin, block signaling and are essential regulators of physiological responses. Here we report the structure of activin A, a TGF-{beta} ligand, bound to the high-affinity antagonist follistatin. Two follistatin molecules encircle activin, neutralizing the ligand by burying one-third of its residues and its receptor binding sites. Previous studies have suggested that type I receptor binding would not be blocked by follistatin, but the crystal structure reveals that the follistatin N-terminal domain has an unexpected fold that mimics a universal type I receptor motif and occupies this receptor binding site. The formation of follistatin:BMP:type I receptor complexes can be explained by the stoichiometric and geometric arrangement of the activin:follistatin complex. The mode of ligand binding by follistatin has important implications for its ability to neutralize homo- and heterodimeric ligands of this growth factor family.

  4. Cloning of Smad2, Smad3, Smad4, and Smad7 from the goldfish pituitary and evidence for their involvement in activin regulation of goldfish FSHbeta promoter activity.

    PubMed

    Lau, Man-Tat; Ge, Wei

    2005-03-01

    Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), a glycoprotein consisting of an alpha subunit and a unique beta subunit, is essential for gonadal development and function in vertebrates including teleosts. FSH is regulated by a variety of neuroendocrine and endocrine factors, and its biosynthesis is primarily determined by the expression of the beta subunit. Although the regulation of FSH biosynthesis has been well documented in mammals, the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation are poorly understood. Our previous studies demonstrated that activin stimulated goldfish FSHbeta expression in the primary pituitary cell culture and enhanced its promoter activity in the mouse gonadotrope cell line LbetaT-2 cells. However, little is known about the signal transduction pathway involved in the transcriptional activation of this gene by activin. To assess the involvement of intracellular signaling protein Smads in regulating goldfish FSHbeta promoter, we first cloned full-length cDNAs for goldfish Smad2, Smad3, Smad4, and Smad7 from the pituitary. All Smads cloned show high sequence conservation with their mammalian counterparts. The spatial expression of these Smads overlapped with that of activin subunits and its receptors in various tissues examined. In addition, we demonstrated that activin induced Smad3 and Smad7 expression, but not Smad2 and Smad4. Co-transfection of Smad2 or Smad3 cDNA into the LbetaT-2 cells with the reporter construct of goldfish FSHbeta promoter significantly enhanced basal and activin-stimulated reporter (SEAP, secreted alkaline phosphatase) expression, while Smad7 completely blocked basal and Smad2/3-stimulated FSHbeta activity. Interestingly, the effect of Smad3 was much higher than that of Smad2, suggesting that Smad3 is likely the principal signal transducing molecule involved in activin stimulation of FSHbeta expression in the goldfish. This work lays a foundation for further analysis of goldfish FSHbeta promoter for the cis-regulatory elements

  5. PI3K/mTORC2 regulates TGF-β/Activin signalling by modulating Smad2/3 activity via linker phosphorylation

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Jason S. L.; Ramasamy, Thamil Selvee; Murphy, Nick; Holt, Marie K.; Czapiewski, Rafal; Wei, Shi-Khai; Cui, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Crosstalk between the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and the transforming growth factor-β signalling pathways play an important role in regulating many cellular functions. However, the molecular mechanisms underpinning this crosstalk remain unclear. Here, we report that PI3K signalling antagonizes the Activin-induced definitive endoderm (DE) differentiation of human embryonic stem cells by attenuating the duration of Smad2/3 activation via the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2). Activation of mTORC2 regulates the phosphorylation of the Smad2/3-T220/T179 linker residue independent of Akt, CDK and Erk activity. This phosphorylation primes receptor-activated Smad2/3 for recruitment of the E3 ubiquitin ligase Nedd4L, which in turn leads to their degradation. Inhibition of PI3K/mTORC2 reduces this phosphorylation and increases the duration of Smad2/3 activity, promoting a more robust mesendoderm and endoderm differentiation. These findings present a new and direct crosstalk mechanism between these two pathways in which mTORC2 functions as a novel and critical mediator. PMID:25998442

  6. PI3K/mTORC2 regulates TGF-β/Activin signalling by modulating Smad2/3 activity via linker phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Yu, Jason S L; Ramasamy, Thamil Selvee; Murphy, Nick; Holt, Marie K; Czapiewski, Rafal; Wei, Shi-Khai; Cui, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Crosstalk between the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and the transforming growth factor-β signalling pathways play an important role in regulating many cellular functions. However, the molecular mechanisms underpinning this crosstalk remain unclear. Here, we report that PI3K signalling antagonizes the Activin-induced definitive endoderm (DE) differentiation of human embryonic stem cells by attenuating the duration of Smad2/3 activation via the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2). Activation of mTORC2 regulates the phosphorylation of the Smad2/3-T220/T179 linker residue independent of Akt, CDK and Erk activity. This phosphorylation primes receptor-activated Smad2/3 for recruitment of the E3 ubiquitin ligase Nedd4L, which in turn leads to their degradation. Inhibition of PI3K/mTORC2 reduces this phosphorylation and increases the duration of Smad2/3 activity, promoting a more robust mesendoderm and endoderm differentiation. These findings present a new and direct crosstalk mechanism between these two pathways in which mTORC2 functions as a novel and critical mediator. PMID:25998442

  7. Activin Upregulation by NF-κB is Required to Maintain Mesenchymal Features of Cancer Stem-like Cells in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Wamsley, J. Jacob; Kumar, Manish; Allison, David F.; Clift, Sheena H.; Holzknecht, Caitlyn M.; Szymura, Szymon J.; Hoang, Stephen A.; Xu, Xiaojiang; Moskaluk, Christopher A.; Jones, David R.; Bekiranov, Stefan; Mayo, Marty W.

    2014-01-01

    Soluble growth factors and cytokines within the tumor microenvironment aid in the induction of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Although EMT promotes the development of cancer-initiating cells (CICs), cellular mechanisms by which cancer cells maintain mesenchymal phenotypes remain poorly understood. Work presented here indicates that induction of EMT stimulates non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) to secrete soluble factors that function in an autocrine fashion. Using gene expression profiling of all annotated and predicted secreted gene products, we find that NF-κB activity is required to upregulate INHBA/Activin, a morphogen in the TGFβ superfamily. INHBA is capable of inducing and maintaining mesenchymal phenotypes, including the expression of EMT master-switch regulators and self-renewal factors that sustain CIC phenotypes and promote lung metastasis. Our work demonstrates that INHBA mRNA and protein expression is commonly elevated in primary human NSCLC and provide evidence that INHBA is a critical autocrine factor that maintains mesenchymal properties of CICs to promote metastasis in NSCLC. PMID:25432175

  8. Structures of an ActRIIB:activin A complex reveal a novel binding mode for TGF-beta ligand:receptor interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, T.B.; Woodruff, T.K.; Jardetzky, T.S.

    2010-03-08

    The TGF-{beta} superfamily of ligands and receptors stimulate cellular events in diverse processes ranging from cell fate specification in development to immune suppression. Activins define a major subgroup of TGF-{beta} ligands that regulate cellular differentiation, proliferation, activation and apoptosis. Activins signal through complexes formed with type I and type II serine/threonine kinase receptors. We have solved the crystal structure of activin A bound to the extracellular domain of a type II receptor, ActRIIB, revealing the details of this interaction. ActRIIB binds to the outer edges of the activin finger regions, with the two receptors juxtaposed in close proximity, in a mode that differs from TGF-{beta}3 binding to type II receptors. The dimeric activin A structure differs from other known TGF-{beta} ligand structures, adopting a compact folded-back conformation. The crystal structure of the complex is consistent with recruitment of two type I receptors into a close packed arrangement at the cell surface and suggests that diversity in the conformational arrangements of TGF-{beta} ligand dimers could influence cellular signaling processes.

  9. Effect of physical training on liver expression of activin A and follistatin in a nonalcoholic fatty liver disease model in rats.

    PubMed

    Silva, R N; Bueno, P G; Avó, L R S; Nonaka, K O; Selistre-Araújo, H S; Leal, A M O

    2014-09-01

    Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by fat accumulation in the liver and is associated with obesity and insulin resistance. Activin A is a member of the transforming growth factor beta (TGF)-β superfamily and inhibits hepatocyte growth. Follistatin antagonizes the biological actions of activin. Exercise is an important therapeutic strategy to reduce the metabolic effects of obesity. We evaluated the pattern of activin A and follistatin liver expression in obese rats subjected to swimming exercise. Control rats (C) and high-fat (HF) diet-fed rats were randomly assigned to a swimming training group (C-Swim and HF-Swim) or a sedentary group (C-Sed and HF-Sed). Activin βA subunit mRNA expression was significantly higher in HF-Swim than in HF-Sed rats. Follistatin mRNA expression was significantly lower in C-Swim and HF-Swim than in either C-Sed or HF-Sed animals. There was no evidence of steatosis or inflammation in C rats. In contrast, in HF animals the severity of steatosis ranged from grade 1 to grade 3. The extent of liver parenchyma damage was less in HF-Swim animals, with the severity of steatosis ranging from grade 0 to grade 1. These data showed that exercise may reduce the deleterious effects of a high-fat diet on the liver, suggesting that the local expression of activin-follistatin may be involved. PMID:25075578

  10. The Notch ligand Delta-like 1 integrates inputs from TGFbeta/Activin and Wnt pathways

    SciTech Connect

    Bordonaro, Michael Tewari, Shruti Atamna, Wafa Lazarova, Darina L.

    2011-06-10

    Unlike the well-characterized nuclear function of the Notch intracellular domain, it has been difficult to identify a nuclear role for the ligands of Notch. Here we provide evidence for the nuclear function of the Notch ligand Delta-like 1 in colon cancer (CC) cells exposed to butyrate. We demonstrate that the intracellular domain of Delta-like 1 (Dll1icd) augments the activity of Wnt signaling-dependent reporters and that of the promoter of the connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) gene. Data suggest that Dll1icd upregulates CTGF promoter activity through both direct and indirect mechanisms. The direct mechanism is supported by co-immunoprecipitation of endogenous Smad2/3 proteins and Dll1 and by chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses that revealed the occupancy of Dll1icd on CTGF promoter sequences containing a Smad binding element. The indirect upregulation of CTGF expression by Dll1 is likely due to the ability of Dll1icd to increase Wnt signaling, a pathway that targets CTGF. CTGF expression is induced in butyrate-treated CC cells and results from clonal growth assays support a role for CTGF in the cell growth-suppressive role of butyrate. In conclusion, integration of the Notch, Wnt, and TGFbeta/Activin signaling pathways is in part mediated by the interactions of Dll1 with Smad2/3 and Tcf4.

  11. Noncanonical Activin A Signaling in PC12 Cells: A Self-Limiting Feedback Loop.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jiao-Qi; Liang, Wen-Zhao; Cui, Yang; He, Jin-Ting; Liu, Hong-Yu; Wang, Yue; Xue, Long-Xing; Ji, Qiu-Ye; Shi, Wei; Shao, Yan-Kun; Mang, Jing; Xu, Zhong-Xin

    2016-05-01

    Activin A (Act A), a member of transforming growth factor-β superfamily, plays a neuroprotective role in multiple neurological diseases through Act A/Smads signal activation. Traditionally, the up-regulation of Act A gene and extracellular Act A accumulation show the signal activation as a linear pathway. However, one of our discoveries indicated that Act A could lead a loop signaling in ischemic injury. To clarify the characteristic of this loop signaling in a non-pathological state, we up-regulated the expression of Act A, monitored extracellular Act A accumulation and examined the activity of Act A signaling, which was quantified by the expression of phosphorylated Smad3 and the fluorescence intensity of Smad4 in nuclei. The results demonstrated a noncanonical Act A signal loop with self-amplifying property in PC12 cells. Further, it showed self-limiting behavior due to temporary activation and spontaneous attenuation. This periodic behavior of Act A signal loop was found to be regulated by the level of Smad anchor for receptor activation (SARA). Moreover, increased activity of Act A signal loop could promote PC12 cell proliferation and enhance the survival rate of cells to Oxygen-Glucose Deprivation. These practical discoveries will bring new insight on the functional outcome of Act A signaling in neurological diseases by the further understanding: loop signaling. PMID:26721511

  12. The Acute Phase Protein Serum Amyloid A Induces Lipolysis and Inflammation in Human Adipocytes through Distinct Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Faty, Aurélie; Ferré, Pascal; Commans, Stéphane

    2012-01-01

    Background The acute phase response (APR) is characterized by alterations in lipid and glucose metabolism leading to an increased delivery of energy substrates. In adipocytes, there is a coordinated decrease in Free Fatty acids (FFAs) and glucose storage, in addition to an increase in FFAs mobilization. Serum Amyloid A (SAA) is an acute phase protein mainly associated with High Density Lipoproteins (HDL). We hypothesized that enrichment of HDL with SAA, during the APR, could be implicated in the metabolic changes occurring in adipocytes. Methodology/Principal Findings In vitro differentiated human adipocytes (hMADS) were treated with SAA enriched HDL or recombinant SAA and the metabolic phenotype of the cells analyzed. In hMADS, SAA induces an increased lipolysis through an ERK dependent pathway. At the molecular level, SAA represses PPARγ2, C/EBPα and SREBP-1c gene expression, three transcription factors involved in adipocyte differentiation or lipid synthesis. In addition, the activation of the NF-κB pathway by SAA leads to the induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, as in the case of immune cells. These latter findings were replicated in freshly isolated mature human adipocytes. Conclusions/Significance Besides its well-characterized role in cholesterol metabolism, SAA has direct metabolic effects on human adipocytes. These metabolic changes could be at least partly responsible for alterations of adipocyte metabolism observed during the APR as well as during pathophysiological conditions such as obesity and conditions leading to insulin resistant states. PMID:22532826

  13. hARIP2 is a putative growth-promoting factor involved in human colon tumorigenesis.

    PubMed

    Gao, Rui-Feng; Li, Zhan-Dong; Jiang, Jing; Yang, Li-Hua; Zhu, Ke-Tong; Lin, Rui-Xin; Li, Hao; Zhao, Quan; Zhang, Nai-Sheng

    2014-01-01

    Activin is a multifunctional growth and differentiation factor of the growth factor-beta (TGF-β) superfamily, which inhibits the proliferation of colon cancer cells. It induces phosphorylation of intracellular signaling molecules (Smads) by interacting with its type I and type II receptors. Previous studies showed that human activin receptor-interacting protein 2 (hARIP2) can reduce activin signaling by interacting with activin type II receptors; however, the activity of hARIP2 in colon cancer has yet to be detailed. In vitro, overexpression of hARIP2 reduced activin-induced transcriptional activity and enhanced cell proliferation and colony formation in human colon cancer HCT8 cells and SW620 cells. Also, hARIP2 promoted colon cancer cell apoptosis, suggesting that a vital role in the initial stage of colon carcinogenesis. In vivo, immunohistochemistry revealed that hARIP2 was expressed more frequently and much more intensely in malignant colon tissues than in controls. These results indicate that hARIP2 is involved in human colon tumorigenesis and could be a predictive maker for colon carcinoma aggressiveness. PMID:25374171

  14. Oroxylin A induced apoptosis of human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HepG2 was involved in its antitumor activity

    SciTech Connect

    Hu Yang; Yang Yong; You Qidong . E-mail: qdyou@cpu.edu.cn; Liu Wei; Gu Hongyan; Zhao Li; Zhang Kun; Wang Wei; Wang Xiaotang; Guo Qinglong . E-mail: qinglongguo@hotmail.com

    2006-12-15

    We previously reported that wogonin, a flavonoid compound, was a potent apoptosis inducer of human hepatoma SMMC-7721 cells and murine sarcoma S180 cells. In the present study, the effect of oroxylin A, one wogonin structurally related flavonoid isolated from Scutellariae radix, on human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HepG2 was examined and molecular mechanisms were also investigated. Oroxylin A inhibited HepG2 cell proliferation in a concentration- and time-dependent manner measured by MTT-assay. Treatment with an apoptosis-inducing concentration of oroxylin A caused typical morphological changes and apoptotic blebbing in HepG2 cells. DNA fragmentation assay was used to examine later apoptosis induced by oroxylin A. FACScan analysis revealed a dramatic increase in the number of apoptotic and G{sub 2}/M phase arrest cells after oroxylin A treatment. The pro-apoptotic activity of oroxylin A was attributed to its ability to modulate the concerted expression of Bcl-2, Bax, and pro-caspase-3 proteins. The expression of Bcl-2 protein and pro-caspase-3 protein was dramatically decreased after treatment with oroxylin A. These results demonstrated that oroxylin A could effectively induce programmed cell death and suggested that it could be a promising antitumor drug.

  15. Overexpression of Smad2 Drives House Dust Mite–mediated Airway Remodeling and Airway Hyperresponsiveness via Activin and IL-25

    PubMed Central

    Gregory, Lisa G.; Mathie, Sara A.; Walker, Simone A.; Pegorier, Sophie; Jones, Carla P.; Lloyd, Clare M.

    2010-01-01

    Rationale: Airway hyperreactivity and remodeling are characteristic features of asthma. Interactions between the airway epithelium and environmental allergens are believed to be important in driving development of pathology, particularly because altered epithelial gene expression is common in individuals with asthma. Objectives: To investigate the interactions between a modified airway epithelium and a common aeroallergen in vivo. Methods: We used an adenoviral vector to generate mice overexpressing the transforming growth factor-β signaling molecule, Smad2, in the airway epithelium and exposed them to house dust mite (HDM) extract intranasally. Measurements and Main Results: Smad2 overexpression resulted in enhanced airway hyperreactivity after allergen challenge concomitant with changes in airway remodeling. Subepithelial collagen deposition was increased and smooth muscle hyperplasia was evident resulting in thickening of the airway smooth muscle layer. However, there was no increase in airway inflammation in mice given the Smad2 vector compared with the control vector. Enhanced airway hyperreactivity and remodeling did not correlate with elevated levels of Th2 cytokines, such as IL-13 or IL-4. However, mice overexpressing Smad2 in the airway epithelium showed significantly enhanced levels of IL-25 and activin A after HDM exposure. Blocking activin A with a neutralizing antibody prevented the increase in lung IL-25 and inhibited subsequent collagen deposition and also the enhanced airway hyperreactivity observed in the Smad2 overexpressing HDM-exposed mice. Conclusions: Epithelial overexpression of Smad2 can specifically alter airway hyperreactivity and remodeling in response to an aeroallergen. Moreover, we have identified novel roles for IL-25 and activin A in driving airway hyperreactivity and remodeling. PMID:20339149

  16. Activin receptor IIA ligand trap in chronic kidney disease: 1 drug to prevent 2 complications-or even more?

    PubMed

    Massy, Ziad A; Drueke, Tilman B

    2016-06-01

    Vascular calcification and kidney fibrosis are 2 important features of chronic kidney disease. Bone morphogenetic proteins/growth differentiation factors and their receptors are implicated in the pathogenesis of both processes. Modulation of the bone morphogenetic protein/growth differentiation factor pathways by a soluble chimeric protein that contains the activin receptor IIA (ActRIIA) domain and acts as an ActRIIA ligand trap for activin and other ligands could become a new therapeutic strategy for vascular calcification and kidney fibrosis in chronic kidney disease. PMID:27181771

  17. Serum amyloid A induces calcium mobilization and chemotaxis of human monocytes by activating a pertussis toxin-sensitive signaling pathway.

    PubMed

    Badolato, R; Johnston, J A; Wang, J M; McVicar, D; Xu, L L; Oppenheim, J J; Kelvin, D J

    1995-10-15

    We have previously reported that serum amyloid A (SAA) induces adhesion and chemotaxis of human monocytes and polymorphonuclear neutrophils, in vitro as well as in vivo. Since the mechanism of SAA signaling is unknown, we have investigated the possibility that SAA, like other chemoattractants such as the chemotactic peptide FMLP and chemokines, might induce migration of monocytes by G protein activation. We report here that preincubation of monocytes with pertussis toxin (PTx) inhibited SAA chemotaxis, while incubation with cholera toxin (CTx) did not. Staurosporine and H-7, both inhibitors of protein kinase C (PKC), significantly decreased rSAA-induced chemotaxis of monocytes, suggesting that PKC may be involved in the rSAA signaling pathway. Moreover, rSAA, at concentrations that were effective in chemoattracting monocytes, resulted in transient elevation of cytoplasmic calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i), and incubation of cells with PTx markedly inhibited the mobilization of Ca2+ in response to rSAA. This suggests that both chemotaxis and the rise in [Ca2+]i, are mediated by G proteins of the Gi class. The increase in [Ca2+]i, induced in monocytes by rSAA, was comparable to that elicited by FMLP, and was severalfold greater than that induced by optimal concentrations of chemokine beta-family members such as RANTES, MCAF/MCP-1, and MIP-1 alpha. The chemoattractants FMLP, RANTES, MIP-1 alpha, and MCAF/MCP-1, all failed to desensitize rSAA-induced Ca2+ influx and chemotaxis in monocytes. This suggests that SAA uses a distinct receptor that is coupled to PTx-sensitive G proteins. PMID:7561109

  18. Laser-ultraviolet-A induced ultra weak photon emission in human skin cells: A biophotonic comparison between keratinocytes and fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Niggli, Hugo J; Tudisco, Salvatore; Lanzanò, Luca; Applegate, Lee Ann; Scordino, Agata; Musumeci, Francesco

    2008-05-01

    Photons participate in many atomic and molecular interactions and processes. Recent biophysical research has discovered an ultraweak radiation in biological tissues. It is now recognized that plants, animal and human cells emit this very weak biophotonic emission which can be readily measured with a sensitive photomultiplier system. UVA laser induced biophotonic emission of cultured cells was used in this report with the intention to detect biophysical changes between young and adult fibroblasts as well as between fibroblasts and keratinocytes. With suspension densities ranging from 1-8 x 106 cells/ml, it was evident that an increase of the UVA-laser-light induced photon emission intensity could be observed in young as well as adult fibroblastic cells. By the use of this method to determine ultraweak light emission, photons in cell suspensions in low volumes (100 microl) could be detected, in contrast to previous procedures using quantities up to 10 ml. Moreover, the analysis has been further refined by turning off the photomultiplier system electronically during irradiation leading to the first measurements of induced light emission in the cells after less than 10 micros instead of more than 100 milliseconds. These significant changes lead to an improvement factor up to 106 in comparison to classical detection procedures. In addition, different skin cells as fibroblasts and keratinocytes stemming from the same donor were measured using this new highly sensitive method in order to find new biophysical insight of light pathways. This is important in view to develop new strategies in biophotonics especially for use in alternative therapies. PMID:18697620

  19. Inhibition of activin receptor type IIB increases strength and lifespan in myotubularin-deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Lawlor, Michael W; Read, Benjamin P; Edelstein, Rachel; Yang, Nicole; Pierson, Christopher R; Stein, Matthew J; Wermer-Colan, Ariana; Buj-Bello, Anna; Lachey, Jennifer L; Seehra, Jasbir S; Beggs, Alan H

    2011-02-01

    X-linked myotubular myopathy (XLMTM) is a congenital disorder caused by deficiency of the lipid phosphatase, myotubularin. Patients with XLMTM often have severe perinatal weakness that requires mechanical ventilation to prevent death from respiratory failure. Muscle biopsy specimens from patients with XLMTM exhibit small myofibers with central nuclei and central aggregations of organelles in many cells. It was postulated that therapeutically increasing muscle fiber size would cause symptomatic improvement in myotubularin deficiency. Recent studies have elucidated an important role for the activin-receptor type IIB (ActRIIB) in regulation of muscle growth and have demonstrated that ActRIIB inhibition results in significant muscle hypertrophy. To evaluate whether promoting muscle hypertrophy can attenuate symptoms resulting from myotubularin deficiency, the effect of ActRIIB-mFC treatment was determined in myotubularin-deficient (Mtm1δ4) mice. Compared with wild-type mice, untreated Mtm1δ4 mice have decreased body weight, skeletal muscle hypotrophy, and reduced survival. Treatment of Mtm1δ4 mice with ActRIIB-mFC produced a 17% extension of lifespan, with transient increases in weight, forelimb grip strength, and myofiber size. Pathologic analysis of Mtm1δ4 mice during treatment revealed that ActRIIB-mFC produced marked hypertrophy restricted to type 2b myofibers, which suggests that oxidative fibers in Mtm1δ4 animals are incapable of a hypertrophic response in this setting. These results support ActRIIB-mFC as an effective treatment for the weakness observed in myotubularin deficiency. PMID:21281811

  20. Bioinformatic Analysis of Pathogenic Missense Mutations of Activin Receptor Like Kinase 1 Ectodomain

    PubMed Central

    Scotti, Claudia; Olivieri, Carla; Boeri, Laura; Canzonieri, Cecilia; Ornati, Federica; Buscarini, Elisabetta; Pagella, Fabio; Danesino, Cesare

    2011-01-01

    Activin A receptor, type II-like kinase 1 (also called ALK1), is a serine-threonine kinase predominantly expressed on endothelial cells surface. Mutations in its ACVRL1 encoding gene (12q11-14) cause type 2 Hereditary Haemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT2), an autosomal dominant multisystem vascular dysplasia. The study of the structural effects of mutations is crucial to understand their pathogenic mechanism. However, while an X-ray structure of ALK1 intracellular domain has recently become available (PDB ID: 3MY0), structure determination of ALK1 ectodomain (ALK1EC) has been elusive so far. We here describe the building of a homology model for ALK1EC, followed by an extensive bioinformatic analysis, based on a set of 38 methods, of the effect of missense mutations at the sequence and structural level. ALK1EC potential interaction mode with its ligand BMP9 was then predicted combining modelling and docking data. The calculated model of the ALK1EC allowed mapping and a preliminary characterization of HHT2 associated mutations. Major structural changes and loss of stability of the protein were predicted for several mutations, while others were found to interfere mainly with binding to BMP9 or other interactors, like Endoglin (CD105), whose encoding ENG gene (9q34) mutations are known to cause type 1 HHT. This study gives a preliminary insight into the potential structure of ALK1EC and into the structural effects of HHT2 associated mutations, which can be useful to predict the potential effect of each single mutation, to devise new biological experiments and to interpret the biological significance of new mutations, private mutations, or non-synonymous polymorphisms. PMID:22028876

  1. Feroniellin A-induced autophagy causes apoptosis in multidrug-resistant human A549 lung cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Kaewpiboon, Chutima; Surapinit, Serm; Malilas, Waraporn; Moon, Jeong; Phuwapraisirisan, Preecha; Tip-Pyang, Santi; Johnston, Randal N; Koh, Sang Seok; Assavalapsakul, Wanchai; Chung, Young-Hwa

    2014-04-01

    During the screening of natural chemicals that can reverse multidrug resistance in human A549 lung cancer cells resistant to etoposide (A549RT-eto), we discovered that Feroniellin A (FERO), a novel furanocoumarin, shows toxicity toward A549RT-eto cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. FERO reduced the expression of NF-κB, leading to downregulation of P-glycoprotein (P-gp), encoded by MDR1, which eventually sensitized A549RT-eto cells to apoptosis. FERO specifically diminished transcription and promoter activity of MDR1 but did not inhibit the expression of other multidrug resistance genes MRP2 and BCRP. Moreover, co-administration of FERO with Bay11-7802, an inhibitor of NF-κB, accelerated apoptosis of A549RT-eto cells through decreased expression of P-gp, indicating that NF-κB is involved in multidrug resistance. Conversely, addition of Z-VAD, a pan-caspase inhibitor, blocked FERO-induced apoptosis in A549RT-eto cells but did not block downregulation of P-gp, indicating that a decrease in P-gp expression is necessary but not sufficient for FERO-induced apoptosis. Interestingly, we found that FERO also induces autophagy, which is characterized by the conversion of LC3 I to LC3 II, induction of GFP-LC3 puncta, enhanced expression of Beclin-1 and ATG5, and inactivation of mTOR. Furthermore, suppression of Beclin-1 by siRNA reduced FERO-induced apoptosis in A549RT-eto cells and activation of autophagy by rapamycin accelerated FERO-induced apoptosis, suggesting that autophagy plays an active role in FERO-induced apoptosis. Herein, we report that FERO reverses multidrug resistance in A549RT-eto cells and exerts its cytotoxic effect by induction of both autophagy and apoptosis, which suggests that FERO can be a useful anticancer drug for multidrug-resistant lung cancer. PMID:24535083

  2. Activins and Follistatin in Chronic Hepatitis C and Its Treatment with Pegylated-Interferon-α Based Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Refaat, Bassem; Ashshi, Ahmed Mohamed; El-Shemi, Adel Galal

    2015-01-01

    Pegylated-interferon-α based therapy for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) is considered suboptimal as not all patients respond to the treatment and it is associated with several side effects that could lead to dose reduction and/or termination of therapy. The currently used markers to monitor the response to treatment are based on viral kinetics and their performance in the prediction of treatment outcome is moderate and does not combine accuracy and their values have several limitations. Hence, the development of new sensitive and specific predictor markers could provide a useful tool for the clinicians and healthcare providers, especially in the new era of interferon-free therapy, for the classification of patients according to their response to the standard therapy and only subscribing the novel directly acting antiviral drugs to those who are anticipated not to respond to the conventional therapy and/or have absolute contraindications for its use. The importance of activins and follistatin in the regulation of immune system, liver biology, and pathology has recently emerged. This review appraises the up-to-date knowledge regarding the role of activins and follistatin in liver biology and immune system and their role in the pathophysiology of CHC. PMID:25969625

  3. The type I activin receptor ActRIB is required for egg cylinder organization and gastrulation in the mouse

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Zhenyu; Nomura, Masatoshi; Simpson, Brenda B.; Lei, Hong; Feijen, Alie; van den Eijnden-van Raaij, Janny; Donahoe, Patricia K.; Li, En

    1998-01-01

    ActRIB is a type I transmembrane serine/threonine kinase receptor that has been shown to form heteromeric complexes with the type II activin receptors to mediate activin signal. To investigate the function of ActRIB in mammalian development, we generated ActRIB-deficient ES cell lines and mice by gene targeting. Analysis of the ActRIB−/− embryos showed that the epiblast and the extraembryonic ectoderm were disorganized, resulting in disruption and developmental arrest of the egg cylinder before gastrulation. To assess the function of ActRIB in mesoderm formation and gastrulation, chimera analysis was conducted. We found that ActRIB−/− ES cells injected into wild-type blastocysts were able to contribute to the mesoderm in chimeric embryos, suggesting that ActRIB is not required for mesoderm formation. Primitive streak formation, however, was impaired in chimeras when ActRIB−/− cells contributed highly to the epiblast. Further, chimeras generated by injection of wild-type ES cells into ActRIB−/− blastocysts formed relatively normal extraembryonic tissues, but the embryo proper developed poorly probably resulting from severe gastrulation defect. These results provide genetic evidence that ActRIB functions in both epiblast and extraembryonic cells to mediate signals that are required for egg cylinder organization and gastrulation. PMID:9512518

  4. Inhibition of β-catenin signaling respecifies anterior-like endothelium into beating human cardiomyocytes.

    PubMed

    Palpant, Nathan J; Pabon, Lil; Roberts, Meredith; Hadland, Brandon; Jones, Daniel; Jones, Christina; Moon, Randall T; Ruzzo, Walter L; Bernstein, Irwin; Zheng, Ying; Murry, Charles E

    2015-09-15

    During vertebrate development, mesodermal fate choices are regulated by interactions between morphogens such as activin/nodal, BMPs and Wnt/β-catenin that define anterior-posterior patterning and specify downstream derivatives including cardiomyocyte, endothelial and hematopoietic cells. We used human embryonic stem cells to explore how these pathways control mesodermal fate choices in vitro. Varying doses of activin A and BMP4 to mimic cytokine gradient polarization in the anterior-posterior axis of the embryo led to differential activity of Wnt/β-catenin signaling and specified distinct anterior-like (high activin/low BMP) and posterior-like (low activin/high BMP) mesodermal populations. Cardiogenic mesoderm was generated under conditions specifying anterior-like mesoderm, whereas blood-forming endothelium was generated from posterior-like mesoderm, and vessel-forming CD31(+) endothelial cells were generated from all mesoderm origins. Surprisingly, inhibition of β-catenin signaling led to the highly efficient respecification of anterior-like endothelium into beating cardiomyocytes. Cardiac respecification was not observed in posterior-derived endothelial cells. Thus, activin/BMP gradients specify distinct mesodermal subpopulations that generate cell derivatives with unique angiogenic, hemogenic and cardiogenic properties that should be useful for understanding embryogenesis and developing therapeutics. PMID:26153229

  5. Complete reversal of muscle wasting in experimental cancer cachexia: Additive effects of activin type II receptor inhibition and β-2 agonist.

    PubMed

    Toledo, Míriam; Busquets, Sílvia; Penna, Fabio; Zhou, Xiaolan; Marmonti, Enrica; Betancourt, Angelica; Massa, David; López-Soriano, Francisco J; Han, H Q; Argilés, Josep M

    2016-04-15

    Formoterol is a highly potent β2-adrenoceptor-selective agonist, which is a muscle growth promoter in many animal species. Myostatin/activin inhibition reverses skeletal muscle loss and prolongs survival of tumor-bearing animals. The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the effects of a combination of the soluble myostatin receptor ActRIIB (sActRIIB) and the β2-agonist formoterol in the cachectic Lewis lung carcinoma model. The combination of formoterol and sActRIIB was extremely effective in reversing muscle wasting associated with experimental cancer cachexia in mice. Muscle weights from tumor-bearing animals were completely recovered following treatment and this was also reflected in the measured grip strength. This combination increased food intake in both control and tumor-bearing animals. The double treatment also prolonged survival significantly without affecting the weight and growth of the primary tumor. In addition, it significantly reduced the number of metastasis. Concerning the mechanisms for the preservation of muscle mass during cachexia, the effects of formoterol and sActRIIB seemed to be additive, since formoterol reduced the rate of protein degradation (as measured in vitro as tyrosine release, using incubated isolated individual muscles) while sActRIIB only affected protein synthesis (as measured in vivo using tritiated phenylalanine). Formoterol also increased the rate of protein synthesis and this seemed to be favored by the presence of sActRIIB. Combining formoterol and sActRIIB seemed to be a very promising treatment for experimental cancer cachexia. Further studies in human patients are necessary and may lead to a highly effective treatment option for muscle wasting associated with cancer. PMID:26595367

  6. Dose response of multiple parameters for calyculin A-induced premature chromosome condensation in human peripheral blood lymphocytes exposed to high doses of cobalt-60 gamma-rays.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xue; Zhao, Hua; Feng, Jiang-Bin; Zhao, Xiao-Tao; Chen, De-Qing; Liu, Qing-Jie

    2016-09-01

    Many studies have investigated exposure biomarkers for high dose radiation. However, no systematic study on which biomarkers can be used in dose estimation through premature chromosome condensation (PCC) analysis has been conducted. The present study aims to screen the high-dose radiation exposure indicator in calyculin A-induced PCC. The dose response of multiple biological endpoints, including G2/A-PCC (G2/M and M/A-PCC) index, PCC ring (PCC-R), ratio of the longest/shortest length (L/L ratio), and length and width ratio of the longest chromosome (L/B ratio), were investigated in calyculin A-induced G2/A-PCC spreads in human peripheral blood lymphocytes exposed to 0-20Gy (dose-rate of 1Gy/min) cobalt-60 gamma-rays. The G2/A-PCC index was decreased with enhanced absorbed doses of 4-20Gy gamma-rays. The G2/A PCC-R at 0-12Gy gamma-rays conformed to Poisson distribution. Three types of PCC-R were scored according to their shape and their solidity or hollowness. The frequencies of hollow PCC-R and PCC-R including or excluding solid ring in G2/A-PCC spreads were enhanced with increased doses. The length and width of the longest chromosome, as well as the length of the shortest chromosome in each G2/M-PCC or M/A-PCC spread, were measured. All L/L or L/B ratios in G2/M-PCC or M/A-PCC spread increased with enhanced doses. A blind test with two new irradiated doses was conducted to validate which biomarker could be used in dose estimation. Results showed that hollow PCC-R and PCC-R including solid ring can be utilized for accurate dose estimation, and that hollow PCC-R was optimal for practical application. PMID:27542714

  7. Salvinorin-A Induces Intense Dissociative Effects, Blocking External Sensory Perception and Modulating Interoception and Sense of Body Ownership in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Maqueda, Ana Elda; Valle, Marta; Addy, Peter H.; Antonijoan, Rosa Maria; Puntes, Montserrat; Coimbra, Jimena; Ballester, Maria Rosa; Garrido, Maite; González, Mireia; Claramunt, Judit; Barker, Steven; Johnson, Matthew W.; Griffiths, Roland R.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Salvinorin-A is a terpene with agonist properties at the kappa-opioid receptor, the binding site of endogenous dynorphins. Salvinorin-A is found in Salvia divinorum, a psychoactive plant traditionally used by the Mazatec people of Oaxaca, Mexico, for medicinal and spiritual purposes. Previous studies with the plant and salvinorin-A have reported psychedelic-like changes in perception, but also unusual changes in body awareness and detachment from external reality. Here we comprehensively studied the profiles of subjective effects of increasing doses of salvinorin-A in healthy volunteers, with a special emphasis on interoception. Methods: A placebo and three increasing doses of vaporized salvinorin-A (0.25, 0.50, and 1mg) were administered to eight healthy volunteers with previous experience in the use of psychedelics. Drug effects were assessed using a battery of questionnaires that included, among others, the Hallucinogen Rating Scale, the Altered States of Consciousness, and a new instrument that evaluates different aspects of body awareness: the Multidimensional Assessment for Interoceptive Awareness. Results: Salvinorin-A led to a disconnection from external reality, induced elaborate visions and auditory phenomena, and modified interoception. The lower doses increased somatic sensations, but the highest dose led to a sense of a complete loss of contact with the body. Conclusions: Salvinorin-A induced intense psychotropic effects characterized by a dose-dependent gating of external audio-visual information and an inverted-U dose-response effect on body awareness. These results suggest a prominent role for the kappa opioid receptor in the regulation of sensory perception, interoception, and the sense of body ownership in humans. PMID:26047623

  8. Pretreatment with a soluble activin type IIB receptor/Fc fusion protein improves hypoxia-induced muscle dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Pistilli, Emidio E.; Bogdanovich, Sasha; Mosqueira, Matias; Lachey, Jennifer; Seehra, Jasbir

    2010-01-01

    Hypoxia, or reduced oxygen, occurs in a variety of clinical and environmental situations. Hypoxic exposure is associated with decreased muscle mass and a concomitant reduction in exercise capacity, although the exact mechanisms are not completely understood. The activin type IIB receptor (ActRIIB) is a receptor for transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) superfamily members that are involved in the negative regulation of lean tissue mass. Given that hypoxia has negative effects on muscle mass and function and that modulation of the ActRIIB has been shown to increase muscle mass, we tested the hypothesis that pharmacological targeting of the ActRIIB for 2 wk would attenuate the loss of muscle mass and function in mice after exposure to normobaric hypoxia. ActRIIB modulation was achieved using a soluble activin receptor/Fc fusion protein (sActRIIB) in mice housed in a hypoxic chamber for 1 or 2 wk. Hypoxia induced a reduction in body weight in PBS- and sActRIIB-treated mice, although sActRIIB-treated mice remained larger throughout the hypoxic exposure. The absolute forces generated by extensor digitorum longus muscles were also significantly greater in sActRIIB- than PBS-treated mice and were more resistant to eccentric contraction-induced force drop after eccentric lengthening contractions. In summary, sActRIIB pretreatment attenuated hypoxia-induced muscle dysfunction. These data suggest that targeting the ActRIIB is an effective strategy to counter hypoxia-induced muscle dysfunction and to preacclimatize to hypoxia in clinical or high-altitude settings. PMID:19864340

  9. Pretreatment with a soluble activin type IIB receptor/Fc fusion protein improves hypoxia-induced muscle dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Pistilli, Emidio E; Bogdanovich, Sasha; Mosqueira, Matias; Lachey, Jennifer; Seehra, Jasbir; Khurana, Tejvir S

    2010-01-01

    Hypoxia, or reduced oxygen, occurs in a variety of clinical and environmental situations. Hypoxic exposure is associated with decreased muscle mass and a concomitant reduction in exercise capacity, although the exact mechanisms are not completely understood. The activin type IIB receptor (ActRIIB) is a receptor for transforming growth factor-beta (TGFbeta) superfamily members that are involved in the negative regulation of lean tissue mass. Given that hypoxia has negative effects on muscle mass and function and that modulation of the ActRIIB has been shown to increase muscle mass, we tested the hypothesis that pharmacological targeting of the ActRIIB for 2 wk would attenuate the loss of muscle mass and function in mice after exposure to normobaric hypoxia. ActRIIB modulation was achieved using a soluble activin receptor/Fc fusion protein (sActRIIB) in mice housed in a hypoxic chamber for 1 or 2 wk. Hypoxia induced a reduction in body weight in PBS- and sActRIIB-treated mice, although sActRIIB-treated mice remained larger throughout the hypoxic exposure. The absolute forces generated by extensor digitorum longus muscles were also significantly greater in sActRIIB- than PBS-treated mice and were more resistant to eccentric contraction-induced force drop after eccentric lengthening contractions. In summary, sActRIIB pretreatment attenuated hypoxia-induced muscle dysfunction. These data suggest that targeting the ActRIIB is an effective strategy to counter hypoxia-induced muscle dysfunction and to preacclimatize to hypoxia in clinical or high-altitude settings. PMID:19864340

  10. Transcriptional activation of mouse mast cell Protease-7 by activin and transforming growth factor-beta is inhibited by microphthalmia-associated transcription factor.

    PubMed

    Funaba, Masayuki; Ikeda, Teruo; Murakami, Masaru; Ogawa, Kenji; Tsuchida, Kunihiro; Sugino, Hiromu; Abe, Matanobu

    2003-12-26

    Previous studies have revealed that activin A and transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) induced migration and morphological changes toward differentiation in bone marrow-derived cultured mast cell progenitors (BMCMCs). Here we show up-regulation of mouse mast cell protease-7 (mMCP-7), which is expressed in differentiated mast cells, by activin A and TGF-beta1 in BMCMCs, and the molecular mechanism of the gene induction of mmcp-7. Smad3, a signal mediator of the activin/TGF-beta pathway, transcriptionally activated mmcp-7. Microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), a tissue-specific transcription factor predominantly expressed in mast cells, melanocytes, and heart and skeletal muscle, inhibited Smad3-mediated mmcp-7 transcription. MITF associated with Smad3, and the C terminus of MITF and the MH1 and linker region of Smad3 were required for this association. Complex formation between Smad3 and MITF was neither necessary nor sufficient for the inhibition of Smad3 signaling by MITF. MITF inhibited the transcriptional activation induced by the MH2 domain of Smad3. In addition, MITF-truncated N-terminal amino acids could associate with Smad3 but did not inhibit Smad3-mediated transcription. The level of Smad3 was decreased by co-expression of MITF but not of dominant-negative MITF, which resulted from proteasomal protein degradation. The changes in the level of Smad3 protein were paralleled by those in Smad3-mediated signaling activity. These findings suggest that MITF negatively regulates Smad-dependent activin/TGF-beta signaling in a tissue-specific manner. PMID:14527958

  11. Exercise restores decreased physical activity levels and increases markers of autophagy and oxidative capacity in myostatin/activin-blocked mdx mice.

    PubMed

    Hulmi, Juha J; Oliveira, Bernardo M; Silvennoinen, Mika; Hoogaars, Willem M H; Pasternack, Arja; Kainulainen, Heikki; Ritvos, Olli

    2013-07-15

    The importance of adequate levels of muscle size and function and physical activity is widely recognized. Myostatin/activin blocking increases skeletal muscle mass but may decrease muscle oxidative capacity and can thus be hypothesized to affect voluntary physical activity. Soluble activin receptor IIB (sActRIIB-Fc) was produced to block myostatin/activins. Modestly dystrophic mdx mice were injected with sActRIIB-Fc or PBS with or without voluntary wheel running exercise for 7 wk. Healthy mice served as controls. Running for 7 wk attenuated the sActRIIB-Fc-induced increase in body mass by decreasing fat mass. Running also enhanced/restored the markers of muscle oxidative capacity and autophagy in mdx mice to or above the levels of healthy mice. Voluntary running activity was decreased by sActRIIB-Fc during the first 3-4 wk correlating with increased body mass. Home cage physical activity of mice, quantified from the force plate signal, was decreased by sActRIIB-Fc the whole 7-wk treatment in sedentary mice. To understand what happens during the first weeks after sActRIIB-Fc administration, when mice are less active, healthy mice were injected with sActRIIB-Fc or PBS for 2 wk. During the sActRIIB-Fc-induced rapid 2-wk muscle growth period, oxidative capacity and autophagy were reduced, which may possibly explain the decreased running activity. These results show that increased muscle size and decreased markers of oxidative capacity and autophagy during the first weeks of myostatin/activin blocking are associated with decreased voluntary activity levels. Voluntary exercise in dystrophic mice enhances the markers of oxidative capacity and autophagy to or above the levels of healthy mice. PMID:23695214

  12. Muscle protein synthesis, mTORC1/MAPK/Hippo signaling, and capillary density are altered by blocking of myostatin and activins.

    PubMed

    Hulmi, Juha J; Oliveira, Bernardo M; Silvennoinen, Mika; Hoogaars, Willem M H; Ma, Hongqiang; Pierre, Philippe; Pasternack, Arja; Kainulainen, Heikki; Ritvos, Olli

    2013-01-01

    Loss of muscle mass and function occurs in various diseases. Myostatin blocking can attenuate muscle loss, but downstream signaling is not well known. Therefore, to elucidate associated signaling pathways, we used the soluble activin receptor IIb (sActRIIB-Fc) to block myostatin and activins in mice. Within 2 wk, the treatment rapidly increased muscle size as expected but decreased capillary density per area. sActRIIB-Fc increased muscle protein synthesis 1-2 days after the treatment correlating with enhanced mTORC1 signaling (phosphorylated rpS6 and S6K1, r = 0.8). Concurrently, increased REDD1 and eIF2Bε protein contents and phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 and AMPK was observed. In contrast, proangiogenic MAPK signaling and VEGF-A protein decreased. Hippo signaling has been characterized recently as a regulator of organ size and an important regulator of myogenesis in vitro. The phosphorylation of YAP (Yes-associated protein), a readout of activated Hippo signaling, increased after short- and longer-term myostatin and activin blocking and in exercised muscle. Moreover, dystrophic mdx mice had elevated phosphorylated and especially total YAP protein content. These results show that the blocking of myostatin and activins induce rapid skeletal muscle growth. This is associated with increased protein synthesis and mTORC1 signaling but decreased capillary density and proangiogenic signaling. It is also shown for the first time that Hippo signaling is activated in skeletal muscle after myostatin blocking and exercise and also in dystrophic muscle. This suggests that Hippo signaling may have a role in skeletal muscle in various circumstances. PMID:23115080

  13. High circulating activin A level is associated with tumor progression and predicts poor prognosis in lung adenocarcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Hoda, Mir Alireza; Rozsas, Anita; Lang, Elisabeth; Klikovits, Thomas; Lohinai, Zoltan; Torok, Szilvia; Berta, Judit; Bendek, Matyas; Berger, Walter; Hegedus, Balazs; Klepetko, Walter; Renyi-Vamos, Ferenc; Grusch, Michael; Dome, Balazs; Laszlo, Viktoria

    2016-01-01

    Activin A (ActA)/follistatin (FST) signaling has been shown to be deregulated in different tumor types including lung adenocarcinoma (LADC). Here, we report that serum ActA protein levels are significantly elevated in LADC patients (n=64) as compared to controls (n=46, p=0.015). ActA levels also correlated with more advanced disease stage (p<0.0001) and T (p=0.0035) and N (p=0.0002) factors. M1 patients had significantly higher ActA levels than M0 patients (p<0.001). High serum ActA level was associated with poor overall survival (p<0.0001) and was confirmed as an independent prognostic factor (p=0.004). Serum FST levels were increased only in female LADC patients (vs. female controls, p=0.031). Two out of five LADC cell lines secreted biologically active ActA, while FST was produced in all of them. Transcripts of both type I and II ActA receptors were detected in all five LADC cell lines. In conclusion, our study does not only suggest that measuring blood ActA levels in LADC patients might improve the prediction of prognosis, but also indicates that this parameter might be a novel non-invasive biomarker for identifying LADC patients with organ metastases. PMID:26950277

  14. Development of a small-molecule screening method for inhibitors of cellular response to myostatin and activin A.

    PubMed

    Cash, Jennifer N; Angerman, Elizabeth B; Kirby, R Jason; Merck, Lisa; Seibel, William L; Wortman, Matthew D; Papoian, Ruben; Nelson, Sandra; Thompson, Thomas B

    2013-08-01

    Myostatin, a member of the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β family of secreted ligands, is a strong negative regulator of muscle growth. As such, therapeutic inhibitors of myostatin are actively being investigated for their potential in the treatment of muscle-wasting diseases such as muscular dystrophy and sarcopenia. Here, we sought to develop a high-throughput screening (HTS) method for small-molecule inhibitors that target myostatin. We created a HEK293 stable cell line that expresses the (CAGA)12-luciferase reporter construct and robustly responds to signaling of certain classes of TGF-β family ligands. After optimization and miniaturization of the assay to a 384-well format, we successfully screened a library of compounds for inhibition of myostatin and the closely related activin A. Selection of some of the tested compounds was directed by in silico screening against myostatin, which led to an enrichment of target hits as compared with random selection. Altogether, we present an HTS method that will be useful for screening potential inhibitors of not only myostatin but also many other ligands of the TGF-β family. PMID:23543431

  15. Activin receptor-like kinase 2 and Smad6 regulate epithelial-mesenchymal transformation during cardiac valve formation.

    PubMed

    Desgrosellier, Jay S; Mundell, Nathan A; McDonnell, Maureen A; Moses, Harold L; Barnett, Joey V

    2005-04-01

    Epithelial-mesenchymal transformation (EMT) occurs during both development and tumorigenesis. Transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) ligands signal EMT in the atrioventricular (AV) cushion of the developing heart, a critical step in valve formation. TGFbeta signals through a complex of type I and type II receptors. Several type I receptors exist although activin receptor-like kinase (ALK) 5 mediates the majority of TGFbeta signaling. Here, we demonstrate that ALK2 is sufficient to induce EMT in the heart. Both ALK2 and ALK5 are expressed throughout the heart with ALK2 expressed abundantly in endocardial cells of the outflow tract (OFT), ventricle, and AV cushion. Misexpression of constitutively active (ca) ALK2 in non-transforming ventricular endocardial cells induced EMT, while caALK5 did not, thus demonstrating that ALK2 activity alone is sufficient to stimulate EMT. Smad6, an inhibitor of Smad signaling downstream of ALK2, but not ALK5, inhibited EMT in AV cushion endocardial cells. These data suggest that ALK2 activation may stimulate EMT in the AV cushion and that Smad6 may act downstream of ALK2 to negatively regulate EMT. PMID:15766759

  16. Mutation Detection in Activin A Receptor, Type I (ACVR1) Gene in Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva in An Iranian Family.

    PubMed

    Morovvati, Ziba; Morovvati, Saeid; Alishiri, Gholamhossein; Moosavi, Seyed Hossein; Ranjbar, Reza; Bolouki Moghaddam, Yaser

    2014-02-01

    Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP, MIM 135100) is a rare genetic disease that is often inherited sporadically in an autosomal dominant pattern. The disease manifests in early life with malformed great toes and, its episodic and progressive bone formation in skeletal muscle after trauma is led to extra-articular ankylosis. In this study, a 17 year-old affected girl born to a father with chemical injury due to exposure to Mustard gas during the Iran-Iraq war, and her first degree relatives were examined to find the genetic cause of the disease. The mutation c.617G>A in the Activin A receptor, type I (ACVR1) gene was found in all previously reported patients with FOP. Therefore, peripheral blood samples were taken from the patient and her first-degree relatives. DNA was extracted and PCR amplification for ACVR1 was performed. The sequencing of ACVR1 showed the existence of the heterozygous c.617G>A mutation in the patient and the lack of it in her relatives. Normal result of genetic evaluation in relatives of the patient, ruled out the possibility of the mutation being inherited from parents. Therefore, the mutation causing disease in the child, whether is a new mutation with no relation to the father's exposure to chemical gas, or in case of somatic mutation due to exposure to chemical gas, the mutant cells were created in father's germ cells and were not detectable in his blood sample. PMID:24518978

  17. Administration of soluble activin receptor 2B increases bone and muscle mass in a mouse model of osteogenesis imperfecta

    PubMed Central

    DiGirolamo, Douglas J.; Singhal, Vandana; Chang, Xiaoli; Lee, Se-Jin; Germain-Lee, Emily L.

    2015-01-01

    Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) comprises a group of heritable connective tissue disorders generally defined by recurrent fractures, low bone mass, short stature and skeletal fragility. Beyond the skeletal complications of OI, many patients also report intolerance to physical activity, fatigue and muscle weakness. Indeed, recent studies have demonstrated that skeletal muscle is also negatively affected by OI, both directly and indirectly. Given the well-established interdependence of bone and skeletal muscle in both physiology and pathophysiology and the observations of skeletal muscle pathology in patients with OI, we investigated the therapeutic potential of simultaneous anabolic targeting of both bone and skeletal muscle using a soluble activin receptor 2B (ACVR2B) in a mouse model of type III OI (oim). Treatment of 12-week-old oim mice with ACVR2B for 4 weeks resulted in significant increases in both bone and muscle that were similar to those observed in healthy, wild-type littermates. This proof of concept study provides encouraging evidence for a holistic approach to treating the deleterious consequences of OI in the musculoskeletal system. PMID:26161291

  18. Modified activin receptor IIB ligand trap mitigates ineffective erythropoiesis and disease complications in murine β-thalassemia

    PubMed Central

    Suragani, Rajasekhar N. V. S.; Cawley, Sharon M.; Li, Robert; Wallner, Samantha; Alexander, Mark J.; Mulivor, Aaron W.; Gardenghi, Sara; Rivella, Stefano; Grinberg, Asya V.; Pearsall, R. Scott

    2014-01-01

    In β-thalassemia, unequal production of α- and β-globin chains in erythroid precursors causes apoptosis and inhibition of late-stage erythroid differentiation, leading to anemia, ineffective erythropoiesis (IE), and dysregulated iron homeostasis. Here we used a murine model of β-thalassemia intermedia (Hbbth1/th1 mice) to investigate effects of a modified activin receptor type IIB (ActRIIB) ligand trap (RAP-536) that inhibits Smad2/3 signaling. In Hbbth1/th1 mice, treatment with RAP-536 reduced overactivation of Smad2/3 in splenic erythroid precursors. In addition, treatment of Hbbth1/th1 mice with RAP-536 reduced α-globin aggregates in peripheral red cells, decreased the elevated reactive oxygen species present in erythroid precursors and peripheral red cells, and alleviated anemia by promoting differentiation of late-stage erythroid precursors and reducing hemolysis. Notably, RAP-536 treatment mitigated disease complications of IE, including iron overload, splenomegaly, and bone pathology, while reducing erythropoietin levels, improving erythrocyte morphology, and extending erythrocyte life span. These results implicate signaling by the transforming growth factor-β superfamily in late-stage erythropoiesis and reveal potential of a modified ActRIIB ligand trap as a novel therapeutic agent for thalassemia syndrome and other red cell disorders characterized by IE. PMID:24795345

  19. Activin A/BMP2 chimera AB235 drives efficient redifferentiation of long term cultured autologous chondrocytes.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, G; López-Ruiz, E; Kwiatkowski, W; Montañez, E; Arrebola, F; Carrillo, E; Gray, P C; Izpisua Belmonte, J C; Choe, S; Perán, M; Marchal, J A

    2015-01-01

    Autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) depends on the quality and quantity of implanted cells and is hindered by the fact that chondrocytes cultured for long periods of time undergo dedifferentiation. Here we have developed a reproducible and efficient chondrogenic protocol to redifferentiate chondrocytes isolated from osteoarthritis (OA) patients. We used morphological, histological and immunological analysis together with a RT-PCR detection of collagen I and collagen II gene expression to show that chondrocytes isolated from articular cartilage biopsies of patients and subjected to long-term culture undergo dedifferentiation and that these cells can be redifferentiated following treatment with the chimeric Activin A/BMP2 ligand AB235. Examination of AB235-treated cell pellets in both in vitro and in vivo experiments revealed that redifferentiated chondrocytes synthesized a cartilage-specific extracellular matrix (ECM), primarily consisting of vertically-orientated collagen fibres and cartilage-specific proteoglycans. AB235-treated cell pellets also integrated into the surrounding subcutaneous tissue following transplantation in mice as demonstrated by their dramatic increase in size while non-treated control pellets disintegrated upon transplantation. Thus, our findings describe an effective protocol for the promotion of redifferentiation of autologous chondrocytes obtained from OA patients and the formation of a cartilage-like ECM that can integrate into the surrounding tissue in vivo. PMID:26563344

  20. Activin A/BMP2 chimera AB235 drives efficient redifferentiation of long term cultured autologous chondrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Jiménez, G.; López-Ruiz, E.; Kwiatkowski, W.; Montañez, E.; Arrebola, F.; Carrillo, E.; Gray, P. C.; Belmonte, J. C. Izpisua; Choe, S.; Perán, M.; Marchal, J. A.

    2015-01-01

    Autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) depends on the quality and quantity of implanted cells and is hindered by the fact that chondrocytes cultured for long periods of time undergo dedifferentiation. Here we have developed a reproducible and efficient chondrogenic protocol to redifferentiate chondrocytes isolated from osteoarthritis (OA) patients. We used morphological, histological and immunological analysis together with a RT-PCR detection of collagen I and collagen II gene expression to show that chondrocytes isolated from articular cartilage biopsies of patients and subjected to long-term culture undergo dedifferentiation and that these cells can be redifferentiated following treatment with the chimeric Activin A/BMP2 ligand AB235. Examination of AB235-treated cell pellets in both in vitro and in vivo experiments revealed that redifferentiated chondrocytes synthesized a cartilage-specific extracellular matrix (ECM), primarily consisting of vertically-orientated collagen fibres and cartilage-specific proteoglycans. AB235-treated cell pellets also integrated into the surrounding subcutaneous tissue following transplantation in mice as demonstrated by their dramatic increase in size while non-treated control pellets disintegrated upon transplantation. Thus, our findings describe an effective protocol for the promotion of redifferentiation of autologous chondrocytes obtained from OA patients and the formation of a cartilage-like ECM that can integrate into the surrounding tissue in vivo. PMID:26563344

  1. Stress Signaling from Human Mammary Epithelial Cells Contributes to Phenotypes of Mammographic Density

    PubMed Central

    Patten, Kelley; Chang, Hang; Zhao, Jianxin; Fontenay, Gerald V.; Kerlikowske, Karla; Parvin, Bahram; Tlsty, Thea D.

    2014-01-01

    Telomere malfunction and other types of DNA damage induce an activin A-dependent stress response in mortal non-tumorigenic human mammary epithelial cells that subsequently induces desmoplastic-like phenotypes in neighboring fibroblasts. Some characteristics of this fibroblast/stromal response, such as reduced adipocytes and increased extracellular matrix content, are observed not only in tumor tissues but also in disease-free breast tissues at high risk for developing cancer, especially high mammographic density tissues. We found that these phenotypes are induced by repression of the fatty acid translocase CD36, which is seen in desmoplastic and disease-free high mammographic density tissues. In this study, we show that epithelial cells from high mammographic density tissues have more DNA damage signaling, shorter telomeres, increased activin A secretion and an altered DNA damage response compared to epithelial cells from low mammographic density tissues. Strikingly, both telomere malfunction and activin A expression in epithelial cells can repress CD36 expression in adjacent fibroblasts. These results provide new insights into how high mammographic density arises and why it is associated with breast cancer risk, with implications for the definition of novel invention targets (e.g. activin A, CD36) to prevent breast cancer. PMID:25172842

  2. A Soluble Activin Receptor IIB Fails to Prevent Muscle Atrophy in a Mouse Model of Spinal Cord Injury.

    PubMed

    Graham, Zachary A; Collier, Lauren; Peng, Yuanzhen; Saéz, Juan C; Bauman, William A; Qin, Weiping; Cardozo, Christopher P

    2016-06-15

    Myostatin (MST) is a potent regulator of muscle growth and size. Spinal cord injury (SCI) results in marked atrophy of muscle below the level of injury. Currently, there is no effective pharmaceutical treatment available to prevent sublesional muscle atrophy post-SCI. To determine whether inhibition of MST with a soluble activin IIB receptor (RAP-031) prevents sublesional SCI-induced muscle atrophy, mice were randomly assigned to the following groups: Sham-SCI; SCI+Vehicle group (SCI-VEH); and SCI+RAP-031 (SCI-RAP-031). SCI was induced by complete transection at thoracic level 10. Animals were euthanized at 56 days post-surgery. RAP-031 reduced, but did not prevent, body weight loss post-SCI. RAP-031 increased total lean tissue mass compared to SCI-VEH (14.8%). RAP-031 increased forelimb muscle mass post-SCI by 38% and 19% for biceps and triceps, respectively (p < 0.001). There were no differences in hindlimb muscle weights between the RAP-031 and SCI-VEH groups. In the gastrocnemius, messenger RNA (mRNA) expression was elevated for interleukin (IL)-6 (8-fold), IL-1β (3-fold), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (8-fold) in the SCI-VEH, compared to the Sham group. Muscle RING finger protein 1 mRNA was 2-fold greater in the RAP-031 group, compared to Sham-SCI. RAP-031 did not influence cytokine expression. Bone mineral density of the distal femur and proximal tibia were decreased post-SCI (-26% and -28%, respectively) and were not altered by RAP-031. In conclusion, MST inhibition increased supralesional muscle mass, but did not prevent sublesional muscle or bone loss, or the inflammation in paralyzed muscle. PMID:26529111

  3. Heterozygous disruption of activin receptor-like kinase 1 is associated with increased arterial pressure in mice

    PubMed Central

    González-Núñez, María; Riolobos, Adela S.; Castellano, Orlando; Fuentes-Calvo, Isabel; de los Ángeles Sevilla, María; Oujo, Bárbara; Pericacho, Miguel; Cruz-Gonzalez, Ignacio; Pérez-Barriocanal, Fernando; ten Dijke, Peter; López-Novoa, Jose M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The activin receptor-like kinase 1 (ALK-1) is a type I cell-surface receptor for the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) family of proteins. Hypertension is related to TGF-β1, because increased TGF-β1 expression is correlated with an elevation in arterial pressure (AP) and TGF-β expression is upregulated by the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. The purpose of this study was to assess the role of ALK-1 in regulation of AP using Alk1 haploinsufficient mice (Alk1+/−). We observed that systolic and diastolic AP were significantly higher in Alk1+/− than in Alk1+/+ mice, and all functional and structural cardiac parameters (echocardiography and electrocardiography) were similar in both groups. Alk1+/− mice showed alterations in the circadian rhythm of AP, with higher AP than Alk1+/+ mice during most of the light period. Higher AP in Alk1+/− mice is not a result of a reduction in the NO-dependent vasodilator response or of overactivation of the peripheral renin-angiotensin system. However, intracerebroventricular administration of losartan had a hypotensive effect in Alk1+/− and not in Alk1+/+ mice. Alk1+/− mice showed a greater hypotensive response to the β-adrenergic antagonist atenolol and higher concentrations of epinephrine and norepinephrine in plasma than Alk1+/+ mice. The number of brain cholinergic neurons in the anterior basal forebrain was reduced in Alk1+/− mice. Thus, we concluded that the ALK-1 receptor is involved in the control of AP, and the high AP of Alk1+/− mice is explained mainly by the sympathetic overactivation shown by these animals, which is probably related to the decreased number of cholinergic neurons. PMID:26398936

  4. Angiomodulin is required for cardiogenesis of embryonic stem cells and is maintained by a feedback loop network of p63 and Activin-A.

    PubMed

    Wolchinsky, Zohar; Shivtiel, Shoham; Kouwenhoven, Evelyn Nathalie; Putin, Daria; Sprecher, Eli; Zhou, Huiqing; Rouleau, Matthieu; Aberdam, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    The transcription factor p63, member of the p53 gene family, encodes for two main isoforms, TAp63 and ΔNp63 with distinct functions on epithelial homeostasis and cancer. Recently, we discovered that TAp63 is essential for in vitro cardiogenesis and heart development in vivo. TAp63 is expressed by embryonic endoderm and acts on cardiac progenitors by a cell-non-autonomous manner. In the present study, we search for cardiogenic secreted factors that could be regulated by TAp63 and, by ChIP-seq analysis, identified Angiomodulin (AGM), also named IGFBP7 or IGFBP-rP1. We demonstrate that AGM is necessary for cardiac commitment of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and its regulation depends on TAp63 isoform. TAp63 directly activates both AGM and Activin-A during ESC cardiogenesis while these secreted factors modulate TAp63 gene expression by a feedback loop mechanism. The molecular circuitry controlled by TAp63 on AGM/Activin-A signaling pathway and thus on cardiogenesis emphasizes the importance of p63 during early cardiac development. PMID:24145187

  5. Up-regulation of FGFBP1 signaling contributes to miR-146a-induced angiogenesis in human umbilical vein endothelial cells

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Hua-yu; Bai, Wen-dong; Liu, Jia-qi; Zheng, Zhao; Guan, Hao; Zhou, Qin; Su, Lin-lin; Xie, Song-tao; Wang, Yun-chuan; Li, Jun; Li, Na; Zhang, Yi-jie; Wang, Hong-tao; Hu, Da-hai

    2016-01-01

    Recent microRNA expression profiling studies have documented an up-regulation of miR-146a in several angiogenesis models. However, the underlying molecular mechanism of miR-146a in the angiogenic activity of endothelial cells has not been clearly elucidated. The present study was aimed to evaluate whether miR-146a promotes angiogenesis in HUVECs by increasing FGFBP1 expression via directly targeting CREB3L1. miR-146a was over expressed in HUVECs via lentiviral-miR-146a. Expression profiling analysis found miR-146a over expression resulted in up-regulation of angiogenesis and cytokine activity associated genes including FGF2. Further a combination of bioinformatics and experimental analyses demonstrated the CREB3L1 as a bona fide functional target of miR-146a during angiogenesis. Moreover, CREB3L1 inhibited luciferase expression from FGFBP1 promoter containing only CRE elements. Furthermore, CREB3L1 inhibited FGFBP1 expression by binding to two CRE-like sites located at approximately −1780–1777 and −868–865 bp relative to the FGFBP1 transcription start site. Additionally, ectopic expression of CREB3L1 decreased miR-146a-induced FGF2 secretion. These findings indicate that the miR-146a-CREB3L1-FGFBP1 signaling axis plays an important role in the regulation of angiogenesis in HUVECs and provides a potential therapeutic target for anti-angiogenic therapeutics. PMID:27121396

  6. The maturation-inducing hormone 17a-20b-dihydroxy-4pregnen-3-one regulates gene expression of inhibin A and bambi (bone morphogenetic protein and activin membrane bound inhibitor) in the rainbow trout ovary

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Transforming growth factor-beta (TGFb) superfamily members are important paracrine and autocrine regulators of ovarian development and steroidogenesis in mammals and birds, but their reproductive roles in fish are not well understood. The activin system, Tgfb, and bone morphogenetic protein 15 (Bmp...

  7. Changes in intrafollicular concentrations of free IGF-1, activin A, inhibin A, VEGF, estradiol, and prolactin before ovulation in mares.

    PubMed

    Bashir, S T; Ishak, G M; Gastal, M O; Roser, J F; Gastal, E L

    2016-05-01

    Changes in intrafollicular growth factors and hormones were evaluated in vivo in postdeviation and impending ovulation follicles. Mares (n = 30) were randomly assigned to five experimental groups based on target diameters of 25, 30, 35, 40 mm, and impending signs of ovulation. Furthermore, data belonging to two or more proximal diameter groups that were not different were combined and regrouped for each factor separately. Follicular fluid-free insulin-like growth factor 1 was highest (P < 0.003) in 35-mm follicles, followed by the 40-mm and impending ovulation follicle group, and the 25- to 30-mm follicle group. However, concentrations of insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 in follicular fluid did not differ (P > 0.05) among groups. Additionally, follicular fluid activin A tended (P < 0.06) to be higher in impending ovulation follicles when compared with the 25- to 40-mm follicle group. Concentrations of intrafollicular estradiol were higher (P < 0.0001) in 40-mm and impending ovulation follicles than in the other follicle groups. Follicular fluid concentrations of inhibin A and vascular endothelial growth factor were lower (P < 0.05) in the 40-mm and the impending ovulation follicle group when compared with the 25- to 35-mm follicle group. Systemic and intrafollicular prolactin levels were lower (P < 0.05) in the impending ovulation group when compared with the 25- to 40-mm follicle group. Prolactin concentrations were higher (P < 0.05) in the follicular fluid than in the plasma. The novel findings of this study, a decrease in intrafollicular-free insulin-like growth factor 1, inhibin A, vascular endothelial growth factor, and prolactin during the final stages of follicular growth, document for the first time the occurrence of dynamic changes among intrafollicular factors and hormones during the stages of follicle dominance and as ovulation approaches. PMID:26895618

  8. Downregulation of miR-18a induces CTGF and promotes proliferation and migration of sodium hyaluronate treated human corneal epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Guo, Yingzhuo; Lu, Xiaohe; Wang, Hua

    2016-10-10

    Properly controlled corneal epithelial wound healing is critical for health of cornea, which involves cell proliferation, migration, anchoring and differentiation. Sodium hyaluronate (SH) has been proven to exert beneficial pharmacological effect on corneal wound healing, though the underlying mechanism remained open to investigation. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small single-stranded RNAs that could bind to 3'UTR of mRNAs of target genes. The multi-target regulation of miRNAs may favor treatment of corneal wound given the complicated processes implicated in the healing process, which has inspired initiatives to develop miRNA therapy in corneal wound healing. In this light, we used miRNAs profiling to detect whether miRNAs are also implicated in the mechanism underlying the stimulatory effect of SH on corneal epithelial wound healing. We found miR-18a was most susceptible to SH treatment, the target prediction of which were enriched in a bunch of pathways implicated in corneal wound healing. Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) was found to be overrepresented in most significant enriched pathways and was experimentally confirmed as a bona fide target of miR-18a, which modulated cell migration and proliferation of human corneal epithelial cells. PMID:27390086

  9. Tulipalin A induced phytotoxicity

    PubMed Central

    McCluskey, James; Bourgeois, Marie; Harbison, Raymond

    2014-01-01

    Tulipalin A induced phytotoxicity is a persistent allergic contact dermatitides documented in floral workers exposed to Alstroemeria and its cultivars.[1] The causative allergen is tulipalin A, a toxic glycoside named for the tulip bulbs from which it was first isolated.[2] The condition is characterized by fissured acropulpitis, often accompanied by hyperpigmentation, onychorrhexis, and paronychia. More of the volar surface may be affected in sensitized florists. Dermatitis and paronychia are extremely common conditions and diagnostic errors may occur. A thorough patient history, in conjunction with confirmatory patch testing with a bulb sliver and tuliposide A exposure, can prevent misdiagnosis. We report a case of Tulipalin A induced phytotoxicity misdiagnosed as an unresolved tinea manuum infection in a patient evaluated for occupational exposure. PMID:25024947

  10. Tulipalin A induced phytotoxicity.

    PubMed

    McCluskey, James; Bourgeois, Marie; Harbison, Raymond

    2014-04-01

    Tulipalin A induced phytotoxicity is a persistent allergic contact dermatitides documented in floral workers exposed to Alstroemeria and its cultivars.[1] The causative allergen is tulipalin A, a toxic glycoside named for the tulip bulbs from which it was first isolated.[2] The condition is characterized by fissured acropulpitis, often accompanied by hyperpigmentation, onychorrhexis, and paronychia. More of the volar surface may be affected in sensitized florists. Dermatitis and paronychia are extremely common conditions and diagnostic errors may occur. A thorough patient history, in conjunction with confirmatory patch testing with a bulb sliver and tuliposide A exposure, can prevent misdiagnosis. We report a case of Tulipalin A induced phytotoxicity misdiagnosed as an unresolved tinea manuum infection in a patient evaluated for occupational exposure. PMID:25024947

  11. Involvement of reactive oxygen species/c-Jun NH{sub 2}-terminal kinase pathway in kotomolide A induces apoptosis in human breast cancer cells

    SciTech Connect

    Kuo, P.-L.; Chen, C.-Y.; Tzeng, T.-F.; Lin, C.-C. Hsu, Y.-L.

    2008-06-01

    The anticancer effects of kotomolide A (KTA), a new butanolide constituent isolated from the leaves of Cinnamomum kotoense (Lauraceae), on the two human breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231, were first investigated in our study. KTA exhibited selectively antiproliferative effects in cancer cell lines without showing any toxicity in normal mammary epithelial cells. Treatment of cancer cells with KTA to trigger G2/M phase arrest was associated with increased p21/WAF1 levels and reduced amounts of cyclin A, cyclin B1, cdc2 and cdc25C. KTA induced cancer cell death treatment by triggering mitochondrial and death receptor 5 (DR5) apoptotic pathways, but did not act on the Fas receptor. Exposure of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells to KTA resulted in cellular glutathione reduction and ROS generation, accompanied by JNK activation and apoptosis. Both antioxidants, NAC and catalase, significantly decreased apoptosis by inhibiting the phosphorylation of JNK and subsequently triggering DR5 cell death pathways. The reduction of JNK expression by siRNA decreased KTA-mediated Bim cleavage, DR5 upregulation and apoptosis. Furthermore, daily KTA i.p. injections in nude mice with MDA-MB-231 s.c. tumors resulted in a 50% decrease of mean tumor volume, compared with vehicle-treated controls. Taken together, the data show that cell death of breast cancer cells in response to KTA is dependent upon ROS generation and JNK activation, triggering intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways. The ROS/JNK pathway could be a useful target for novel approaches in breast cancer chemotherapy.

  12. Borrelia burgdorferi outer membrane protein A induces nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-kappa B and inflammatory activation in human endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Wooten, R M; Modur, V R; McIntyre, T M; Weis, J J

    1996-11-15

    Lyme disease is caused by infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, and is characterized by bacterial persistence and inflammation in a number of host tissues. B. burgdorferi outer surface lipoproteins possess cytokine stimulatory properties that may be responsible for localized inflammation. B. burgdorferi presence is correlated with severity of disease, and the pathology of many tissues, particularly the arthritic joint, is consistent with localized cytokine production. Spirochete invasion of tissues requires interaction with and penetration of vascular endothelium, suggesting endothelial cells may participate in the inflammation of Lyme disease. In this study, outer surface protein A (OspA), a model B. burgdorferi lipoprotein, was found to be a potent stimulant of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappa B) nuclear translocation in human endothelial cells, resulting in nuclear levels similar to those seen in response to known inflammatory mediators. Only the lipid-modified OspA had activity, and activity was not due to contamination with LPS. Nuclear NF-kappa B was detectable within 15 min, suggesting that OspA directly mediates NF-kappa B nuclear translocation. OspA also rapidly up-regulated endothelial cell production of several proteins whose transcription is dependent on NF-kappa B: the cytokine IL-6; the chemokine IL-8; and the adhesion molecules E-selectin, VCAM-1, and ICAM-1. The adhesion molecules were functional, as demonstrated by enhanced binding of neutrophils to OspA-stimulated endothelial monolayers. These data suggest that OspA may initiate synthesis of many proteins essential for localized inflammation via the direct activation of NF-kappa B-dependent transcription. These observations suggest that the interaction of B. burgdorferi lipoproteins with the endothelium may directly induce the inflammation responsible for the symptoms of Lyme disease. PMID:8906837

  13. New simple and rapid method for purification of mesenchymal stem cells from the human umbilical cord Wharton jelly.

    PubMed

    Montanucci, Pia; Basta, Giuseppe; Pescara, Teresa; Pennoni, Ilaria; Di Giovanni, Francesca; Calafiore, Riccardo

    2011-11-01

    We have developed a simple and rapid method for isolation of human umbilical cord matrix stem cells (hUCMS). The umbilical cord contains a virtual inexhaustible source of adult stem cells. We have substantially modified, simplified, and improved previously reported hUCMS isolation procedures in terms of either used enzyme type, or digestion time, and substantially enhanced the final product yield and purity. The isolated hUCMS were positive for CD90, CD117, and SCF, and negative for CD31 and CD45 surface markers. mRNA and related proteins (i.e., Sox2, Oct4a, Nanog, ABCG2, and c-Myc) that coincide with an uncommitted cell status also were detected. hUCMS express genes and proteins for CD90 and Nestin that are associated with mesenchymal stem cells, as well as other genes that specifically relate to different embryonic germ layers, namely, Vimentin, Sox7, Sox17, FoxA2, E-cadherin, and N-cadherin. hUCMS showed multilineage cell differentiation potential into adipogenic, osteogenic, and neural cell phenotypes, under the influence of lineage-specific, differentiation culture media. Moreover, the basal expression of endocrine cell markers makes these cells seemingly suitable for endocrine cell phenotype differentiation. Noteworthy, Activin A induced hUCMS to acquire definitive endoderm cell markers. PMID:21679124

  14. [Molecular cloning of the DNA sequence of activin beta A subunit gene mature peptides from panda and related species and its application in the research of phylogeny and taxonomy].

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao-Jing; Wang, Xiao-Xing; Wang, Ya-Jun; Wang, Xi-Zhong; He, Guang-Xin; Chen, Hong-Wei; Fei, Li-Song

    2002-09-01

    Activin, which is included in the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF beta) superfamily of proteins and receptors, is known to have broad-ranging effects in the creatures. The mature peptide of beta A subunit of this gene, one of the most highly conserved sequence, can elevate the basal secretion of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in the pituitary and FSH is pivotal to organism's reproduction. Reproduction block is one of the main reasons which cause giant panda to extinct. The sequence of Activin beta A subunit gene mature peptides has been successfully amplified from giant panda, red panda and malayan sun bear's genomic DNA by using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with a pair of degenerate primers. The PCR products were cloned into the vector pBlueScript+ of Esherichia coli. Sequence analysis of Activin beta A subunit gene mature peptides shows that the length of this gene segment is the same (359 bp) and there is no intron in all three species. The sequence encodes a peptide of 119 amino acid residues. The homology comparison demonstrates 93.9% DNA homology and 99% homology in amino acid among these three species. Both GenBank blast search result and restriction enzyme map reveal that the sequences of Activin beta A subunit gene mature peptides of different species are highly conserved during the evolution process. Phylogeny analysis is performed with PHYLIP software package. A consistent phylogeny tree has been drawn with three different methods. The software analysis outcome accords with the academic view that giant panda has a closer relationship to the malayan sun bear than the red panda. Giant panda should be grouped into the bear family (Uersidae) with the malayan sun bear. As to the red panda, it would be better that this animal be grouped into the unique family (red panda family) because of great difference between the red panda and the bears (Uersidae). PMID:12561224

  15. A cost-effective system for differentiation of intestinal epithelium from human induced pluripotent stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Ogaki, Soichiro; Morooka, Mayu; Otera, Kaito; Kume, Shoen

    2015-01-01

    The human intestinal epithelium is a useful model for pharmacological studies of absorption, metabolism, drug interactions, and toxicology, as well as for studies of developmental biology. We established a rapid and cost effective system for differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into definitive endoderm (DE) cells. In the presence of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), a low concentration of Activin at 6.25 ng/ml is sufficient to give a similar differentiation efficiency with that using Activin at 100 ng/ml at the presence of Wnt activator. In the presence of DMSO, Activin at low concentration triggered hiPS cells to undergo differentiation through G1 arrest, reduce apoptosis, and potentiate activation of downstream targets, such as SMAD2 phosphorylation and SOX17 expression. This increased differentiation into CDX2 + SOX17 + DE cells. The present differentiation procedure therefore permits rapid and efficient derivation of DE cells, capable of differentiating into intestinal epithelium upon BIO and DAPT treatment and of giving rise to functional cells, such as enterocytes. PMID:26616277

  16. A cost-effective system for differentiation of intestinal epithelium from human induced pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Ogaki, Soichiro; Morooka, Mayu; Otera, Kaito; Kume, Shoen

    2015-01-01

    The human intestinal epithelium is a useful model for pharmacological studies of absorption, metabolism, drug interactions, and toxicology, as well as for studies of developmental biology. We established a rapid and cost effective system for differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into definitive endoderm (DE) cells. In the presence of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), a low concentration of Activin at 6.25 ng/ml is sufficient to give a similar differentiation efficiency with that using Activin at 100 ng/ml at the presence of Wnt activator. In the presence of DMSO, Activin at low concentration triggered hiPS cells to undergo differentiation through G1 arrest, reduce apoptosis, and potentiate activation of downstream targets, such as SMAD2 phosphorylation and SOX17 expression. This increased differentiation into CDX2 + SOX17 + DE cells. The present differentiation procedure therefore permits rapid and efficient derivation of DE cells, capable of differentiating into intestinal epithelium upon BIO and DAPT treatment and of giving rise to functional cells, such as enterocytes. PMID:26616277

  17. Selective Deletion of Leptin Receptors in Gonadotropes Reveals Activin and GnRH-Binding Sites as Leptin Targets in Support of Fertility

    PubMed Central

    Akhter, Noor; CarlLee, Tyler; Syed, Mohsin M.; Odle, Angela K.; Cozart, Michael A.; Haney, Anessa C.; Allensworth-James, Melody L.; Beneš, Helen

    2014-01-01

    The adipokine, leptin (LEP), is a hormonal gateway, signaling energy stores to appetite-regulatory neurons, permitting reproduction when stores are sufficient. Dual-labeling for LEP receptors (LEPRs) and gonadotropins or GH revealed a 2-fold increase in LEPR during proestrus, some of which was seen in LH gonadotropes. We therefore investigated LEPR functions in gonadotropes with Cre-LoxP technology, deleting the signaling domain of the LEPR (Lepr-exon 17) with Cre-recombinase driven by the rat LH-β promoter (Lhβ-cre). Selectivity of the deletion was validated by organ genotyping and lack of LEPR and responses to LEP by mutant gonadotropes. The mutation had no impact on growth, body weight, the timing of puberty, or pregnancy. Mutant females took 36% longer to produce their first litter and had 50% fewer pups/litter. When the broad impact of the loss of gonadotrope LEPR on all pituitary hormones was studied, mutant diestrous females had reduced serum levels of LH (40%), FSH (70%), and GH (54%) and mRNA levels of Fshβ (59%) and inhibin/activin β A and β B (25%). Mutant males had reduced serum levels of GH (74%), TSH (31%), and prolactin (69%) and mRNA levels of Gh (31%), Ghrhr (30%), Fshβ (22%), and glycoprotein α-subunit (Cga) (22%). Serum levels of LEP and ACTH and mRNA levels of Gnrhr were unchanged. However, binding to GnRH receptors was reduced in LEPR-null LH or FSH gonadotropes by 82% or 89%, respectively, in females (P < .0001) and 27% or 53%, respectively, in males (P < .03). This correlated with reductions in GnRH receptor protein immunolabeling, suggesting that LEP's actions may be posttranscriptional. Collectively, these studies highlight the importance of LEP to gonadotropes with GnRH-binding sites and activin as potential targets. LEP may modulate population growth, adjusting the number of offspring to the availability of food supplies. PMID:25057790

  18. Ligand trap for the activin type IIA receptor protects against vascular disease and renal fibrosis in mice with chronic kidney disease.

    PubMed

    Agapova, Olga A; Fang, Yifu; Sugatani, Toshifumi; Seifert, Michael E; Hruska, Keith A

    2016-06-01

    The causes of cardiovascular mortality associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are partly attributed to the CKD-mineral bone disorder (CKD-MBD). The causes of the early CKD-MBD are not well known. Our discovery of Wnt (portmanteau of wingless and int) inhibitors, especially Dickkopf 1, produced during renal repair as participating in the pathogenesis of the vascular and skeletal components of the CKD-MBD implied that additional pathogenic factors are critical. In the search for such factors, we studied the effects of activin receptor type IIA (ActRIIA) signaling by using a ligand trap for the receptor, RAP-011 (a soluble extracellular domain of ActRIIA fused to a murine IgG-Fc fragment). In a mouse model of CKD that stimulated atherosclerotic calcification, RAP-011 significantly increased aortic ActRIIA signaling assessed by the levels of phosphorylated Smad2/3. Furthermore, RAP-011 treatment significantly reversed CKD-induced vascular smooth muscle dedifferentiation as assessed by smooth muscle 22α levels, osteoblastic transition, and neointimal plaque calcification. In the diseased kidneys, RAP-011 significantly stimulated αklotho levels and it inhibited ActRIIA signaling and decreased renal fibrosis and proteinuria. RAP-011 treatment significantly decreased both renal and circulating Dickkopf 1 levels, showing that Wnt activation was downstream of ActRIIA. Thus, ActRIIA signaling in CKD contributes to the CKD-MBD and renal fibrosis. ActRIIA signaling may be a potential therapeutic target in CKD. PMID:27165838

  19. Expression and distribution of forkhead activin signal transducer 2 (FAST2) during follicle development in mouse ovaries and pre-implantation embryos.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guiping; Liu, Linlin; Guo, Shujuan; Zhang, Cong

    2016-07-01

    Xenopus forkhead activin signal transducer 1 (xFAST 1) was first characterized in Xenopus as the transcriptional partner for Smad proteins. FAST2, which is the xFAST 1 homologues in mouse, is expressed during early developmental stages of the organism. However, the function of FAST2 in mouse ovaries and pre-implantation embryos is unclear. Therefore, we investigated its expression during these processes. In postnatal mice, FAST2 was expressed in oocytes and thecal cells from postnatal day (PD) 1 to PD 21. In gonadotropin-induced immature mice, FAST2 was expressed in oocytes, thecal cells and newly formed corpora lutea (CLs), but was expressed at a lower level in degenerated CLs. Similar results were observed upon western blot analyses. In meloxicam-treated immature mice, ovulation was inhibited and FAST2 was expressed in thecal cells, luteinized granulosa cells and entrapped oocytes. Immunofluorescence results showed that FAST2 was expressed in the cytoplasm and nucleus but not the nucleolus from the zygote to 8-cell embryo stage, after which it was localized to the cytoplasm of the morulae and inner cell mass of the blastocysts. Taken together, these observations suggest that FAST2 is expressed in a cell-specific manner during ovarian follicle development, ovulation, luteinization and early embryonic development, and that FAST2 might play important roles in these physiological processes. PMID:27432806

  20. Activin receptor-like kinase5 inhibition suppresses mouse melanoma by ubiquitin degradation of Smad4, thereby derepressing eomesodermin in cytotoxic T lymphocytes

    PubMed Central

    Yoon, Jeong-Hwan; Jung, Su Myung; Park, Seok Hee; Kato, Mitsuyasu; Yamashita, Tadashi; Lee, In-Kyu; Sudo, Katsuko; Nakae, Susumu; Han, Jin Soo; Kim, Ok-Hee; Oh, Byung-Chul; Sumida, Takayuki; Kuroda, Masahiko; Ju, Ji-Hyeon; Jung, Kyeong Cheon; Park, Seong Hoe; Kim, Dae-Kee; Mamura, Mizuko

    2013-01-01

    Varieties of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) antagonists have been developed to intervene with excessive TGF-β signalling activity in cancer. Activin receptor-like kinase5 (ALK5) inhibitors antagonize TGF-β signalling by blocking TGF-β receptor-activated Smad (R-Smad) phosphorylation. Here we report the novel mechanisms how ALK5 inhibitors exert a therapeutic effect on a mouse B16 melanoma model. Oral treatment with a novel ALK5 inhibitor, EW-7197 (2.5 mg/kg daily) or a representative ALK5 inhibitor, LY-2157299 (75 mg/kg bid) suppressed the progression of melanoma with enhanced cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses. Notably, ALK5 inhibitors not only blocked R-Smad phosphorylation, but also induced ubiquitin-mediated degradation of the common Smad, Smad4 mainly in CD8+ T cells in melanoma-bearing mice. Accordingly, T-cell-specific deletion of Smad4 was sufficient to suppress the progression of melanoma. We further identified eomesodermin (Eomes), the T-box transcription factor regulating CTL functions, as a specific target repressed by TGF-β via Smad4 and Smad3 in CD8+ T cells. Thus, ALK5 inhibition enhances anti-melanoma CTL responses through ubiquitin-mediated degradation of Smad4 in addition to the direct inhibitory effect on R-Smad phosphorylation. PMID:24127404

  1. Activin receptor-like kinase5 inhibition suppresses mouse melanoma by ubiquitin degradation of Smad4, thereby derepressing eomesodermin in cytotoxic T lymphocytes.

    PubMed

    Yoon, Jeong-Hwan; Jung, Su Myung; Park, Seok Hee; Kato, Mitsuyasu; Yamashita, Tadashi; Lee, In-Kyu; Sudo, Katsuko; Nakae, Susumu; Han, Jin Soo; Kim, Ok-Hee; Oh, Byung-Chul; Sumida, Takayuki; Kuroda, Masahiko; Ju, Ji-Hyeon; Jung, Kyeong Cheon; Park, Seong Hoe; Kim, Dae-Kee; Mamura, Mizuko

    2013-11-01

    Varieties of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) antagonists have been developed to intervene with excessive TGF-β signalling activity in cancer. Activin receptor-like kinase5 (ALK5) inhibitors antagonize TGF-β signalling by blocking TGF-β receptor-activated Smad (R-Smad) phosphorylation. Here we report the novel mechanisms how ALK5 inhibitors exert a therapeutic effect on a mouse B16 melanoma model. Oral treatment with a novel ALK5 inhibitor, EW-7197 (2.5 mg/kg daily) or a representative ALK5 inhibitor, LY-2157299 (75 mg/kg bid) suppressed the progression of melanoma with enhanced cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses. Notably, ALK5 inhibitors not only blocked R-Smad phosphorylation, but also induced ubiquitin-mediated degradation of the common Smad, Smad4 mainly in CD8(+) T cells in melanoma-bearing mice. Accordingly, T-cell-specific deletion of Smad4 was sufficient to suppress the progression of melanoma. We further identified eomesodermin (Eomes), the T-box transcription factor regulating CTL functions, as a specific target repressed by TGF-β via Smad4 and Smad3 in CD8(+) T cells. Thus, ALK5 inhibition enhances anti-melanoma CTL responses through ubiquitin-mediated degradation of Smad4 in addition to the direct inhibitory effect on R-Smad phosphorylation. PMID:24127404

  2. The Epstein-Barr virus encoded LMP1 oncoprotein modulates cell adhesion via regulation of activin A/TGFβ and β1 integrin signalling

    PubMed Central

    Morris, Mhairi A.; Dawson, Christopher W.; Laverick, Louise; Davis, Alexandra M.; Dudman, Joe P. R.; Raveenthiraraj, Sathuwarman; Ahmad, Zeeshan; Yap, Lee-Fah; Young, Lawrence S.

    2016-01-01

    Approximately 20% of global cancer incidence is causally linked to an infectious agent. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) accounts for around 1% of all virus-associated cancers and is associated with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), the major oncoprotein encoded by EBV, behaves as a constitutively active tumour necrosis factor (TNF) receptor activating a variety of signalling pathways, including the three classic MAPKs (ERK-MAPK, p38 MAPK and JNK/SAPK). The present study identifies novel signalling properties for this integral membrane protein via the induction and secretion of activin A and TGFβ1, which are both required for LMP1’s ability to induce the expression of the extracellular matrix protein, fibronectin. However, it is evident that LMP1 is unable to activate the classic Smad-dependent TGFβ signalling pathway, but rather elicits its effects through the non-Smad arm of TGFβ signalling. In addition, there is a requirement for JNK/SAPK signalling in LMP1-mediated fibronectin induction. LMP1 also induces the expression and activation of the major fibronectin receptor, α5β1 integrin, an effect that is accompanied by increased focal adhesion formation and turnover. Taken together, these findings support the putative role for LMP1 in the pathogenesis of NPC by contributing to the metastatic potential of epithelial cells. PMID:26782058

  3. Cyclosporine A-Induced Renal Fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Slattery, Craig; Campbell, Eric; McMorrow, Tara; Ryan, Michael P.

    2005-01-01

    Cyclosporine A, which has been the foremost immunosuppressive agent since the early 1980’s, significantly improves the success of organ transplantation. However, common complications of cyclosporine A therapy, such as severe renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis, limit the drug’s clinical use. Although the exact mechanisms driving cyclosporine A-induced tubulointerstitial fibrosis remain elusive, we hypothesized that epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) may play a major role. We investigated this in vitro by treating human proximal tubular cells with cyclosporine A. Morphological changes were observed after cyclosporine A treatment, including cell elongation (with a large degree of detachment), cytoskeletal rearrangement, and junctional disruption. In addition, expression of the myofibroblast-specific marker α-smooth muscle actin was detected in treated cells. These observations are consistent with events described during EMT. Using Affymetrix gene microarrays, we identified 128 genes that were differentially regulated in renal tubular cells after cyclosporine A treatment, including known profibrotic factors, oncogenes, and transcriptional regulators. Cyclosporine A induced a dose-dependent increase in transforming growth factor-β secretion from proximal tubular cells. Subsequent functional studies revealed that protein kinase C-β isoforms play a key role in cyclosporine A-induced effects. These findings provide novel insights into cyclosporine A-induced renal fibrosis and the molecular mechanisms underlying EMT, events that may be relevant in other disease states. PMID:16049326

  4. Activin Decoy Receptor ActRIIB:Fc Lowers FSH and Therapeutically Restores Oocyte Yield, Prevents Oocyte Chromosome Misalignments and Spindle Aberrations, and Increases Fertility in Midlife Female SAMP8 Mice.

    PubMed

    Bernstein, Lori R; Mackenzie, Amelia C L; Lee, Se-Jin; Chaffin, Charles L; Merchenthaler, István

    2016-03-01

    Women of advanced maternal age (AMA) (age ≥ 35) have increased rates of infertility, miscarriages, and trisomic pregnancies. Collectively these conditions are called "egg infertility." A root cause of egg infertility is increased rates of oocyte aneuploidy with age. AMA women often have elevated endogenous FSH. Female senescence-accelerated mouse-prone-8 (SAMP8) has increased rates of oocyte spindle aberrations, diminished fertility, and rising endogenous FSH with age. We hypothesize that elevated FSH during the oocyte's FSH-responsive growth period is a cause of abnormalities in the meiotic spindle. We report that eggs from SAMP8 mice treated with equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) for the period of oocyte growth have increased chromosome and spindle misalignments. Activin is a molecule that raises FSH, and ActRIIB:Fc is an activin decoy receptor that binds and sequesters activin. We report that ActRIIB:Fc treatment of midlife SAMP8 mice for the duration of oocyte growth lowers FSH, prevents egg chromosome and spindle misalignments, and increases litter sizes. AMA patients can also have poor responsiveness to FSH stimulation. We report that although eCG lowers yields of viable oocytes, ActRIIB:Fc increases yields of viable oocytes. ActRIIB:Fc and eCG cotreatment markedly reduces yields of viable oocytes. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that elevated FSH contributes to egg aneuploidy, declining fertility, and poor ovarian response and that ActRIIB:Fc can prevent egg aneuploidy, increase fertility, and improve ovarian response. Future studies will continue to examine whether ActRIIB:Fc works via FSH and/or other pathways and whether ActRIIB:Fc can prevent aneuploidy, increase fertility, and improve stimulation responsiveness in AMA women. PMID:26713784

  5. Highly efficient differentiation of hESCs to functional hepatic endoderm requires ActivinA and Wnt3a signaling

    PubMed Central

    Hay, David C.; Fletcher, Judy; Payne, Catherine; Terrace, John D.; Gallagher, Ronald C. J.; Snoeys, Jan; Black, James R.; Wojtacha, Davina; Samuel, Kay; Hannoun, Zara; Pryde, Anne; Filippi, Celine; Currie, Ian S.; Forbes, Stuart J.; Ross, James A.; Newsome, Philip N.; Iredale, John P.

    2008-01-01

    Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are a valuable source of pluripotential primary cells. To date, however, their homogeneous cellular differentiation to specific cell types in vitro has proven difficult. Wnt signaling has been shown to play important roles in coordinating development, and we demonstrate that Wnt3a is differentially expressed at critical stages of human liver development in vivo. The essential role of Wnt3a in hepatocyte differentiation from hESCs is paralleled by our in vitro model, demonstrating the importance of a physiologic approach to cellular differentiation. Our studies provide compelling evidence that Wnt3a signaling is important for coordinated hepatocellular function in vitro and in vivo. In addition, we demonstrate that Wnt3a facilitates clonal plating of hESCs exhibiting functional hepatic differentiation. These studies represent an important step toward the use of hESC-derived hepatocytes in high-throughput metabolic analysis of human liver function. PMID:18719101

  6. The effects of a single intravenous injection of novel activin A/BMP-2 (AB204) on toxicity and the respiratory and central nervous systems.

    PubMed

    Yoon, Byung-Hak; Lee, Jae Hyup; Na, Kyuheum; Ahn, Chihoon; Cho, Jongho; Ahn, Hyun Chan; Choi, Jungyoun; Oh, Hyosun; Kim, Byong Moon; Choe, Senyon

    2016-07-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a single intravenous injection of a novel osteoinductive material, activin A/BMP-2 (AB204), to rodents on toxicity and their respiratory functions and central nervous system (CNS). A single intravenous injection of AB204 was given to Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats in doses of 0, 0.625, 2.5 and 10 mg/kg to observe the mortality rate, the general symptoms for 14 days. The experimental groups were also given 0.2, 0.4 and 0.8 mg/kg of AB204, respectively, and the respiration rate, the tidal volume and the minute volume were measured for 240 min. The experimental groups of imprinting control region (ICR) mice were given a single intravenous injection of 0.2, 0.4 and 0.8 mg/kg of AB204, respectively. Their body temperature was taken and general behaviors were observed to evaluate the effect of AB204 on the CNS for 240 min. The study on toxicity of a single intravenous injection found no death or abnormal symptoms, abnormal findings from autopsy, or abnormal body weight gain or loss in all the experimental groups. No abnormal variation associated with the test substance was observed in the respiration rate, the tidal volume, the minute volume, body temperature or the general behaviors. On the basis of these results, the approximate lethal dose of AB204 for a single intravenous injection exceeds 10 mg/kg for SD rats and a single intravenous injection of ≤0.8 mg/kg AB204 has no effect on their respiratory system for SD rat and no effect on their CNS for ICR mice. PMID:26446865

  7. Resveratrol Ameliorates the Maturation Process of β-Cell-Like Cells Obtained from an Optimized Differentiation Protocol of Human Embryonic Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Pezzolla, Daniela; López-Beas, Javier; Lachaud, Christian C.; Domínguez-Rodríguez, Alejandro; Smani, Tarik; Hmadcha, Abdelkrim; Soria, Bernat

    2015-01-01

    Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) retain the extraordinary capacity to differentiate into different cell types of an adult organism, including pancreatic β-cells. For this particular lineage, although a lot of effort has been made in the last ten years to achieve an efficient and reproducible differentiation protocol, it was not until recently that this aim was roughly accomplished. Besides, several studies evidenced the impact of resveratrol (RSV) on insulin secretion, even though the mechanism by which this polyphenol potentiates glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) is still not clear. The aim of this study was to optimize an efficient differentiation protocol that mimics in vivo pancreatic organogenesis and to investigate whether RSV may improve the final maturation step to obtain functional insulin-secreting cells. Our results indicate that treatment of hESCs (HS-181) with activin-A induced definitive endoderm differentiation as detected by the expression of SOX17 and FOXA2. Addition of retinoic acid (RA), Noggin and Cyclopamine promoted pancreatic differentiation as indicated by the expression of the early pancreatic progenitor markers ISL1, NGN3 and PDX1. Moreover, during maturation in suspension culture, differentiating cells assembled in islet-like clusters, which expressed specific endocrine markers such as PDX1, SST, GCG and INS. Similar results were confirmed with the human induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (hiPSC) line MSUH-001. Finally, differentiation protocols incorporating RSV treatment yielded numerous insulin-positive cells, induced significantly higher PDX1 expression and were able to transiently normalize glycaemia when transplanted in streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic mice thus promoting its survival. In conclusion, our strategy allows the efficient differentiation of hESCs into pancreatic endoderm capable of generating β-cell-like cells and demonstrates that RSV improves the maturation process. PMID:25774684

  8. Resveratrol ameliorates the maturation process of β-cell-like cells obtained from an optimized differentiation protocol of human embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Pezzolla, Daniela; López-Beas, Javier; Lachaud, Christian C; Domínguez-Rodríguez, Alejandro; Smani, Tarik; Hmadcha, Abdelkrim; Soria, Bernat

    2015-01-01

    Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) retain the extraordinary capacity to differentiate into different cell types of an adult organism, including pancreatic β-cells. For this particular lineage, although a lot of effort has been made in the last ten years to achieve an efficient and reproducible differentiation protocol, it was not until recently that this aim was roughly accomplished. Besides, several studies evidenced the impact of resveratrol (RSV) on insulin secretion, even though the mechanism by which this polyphenol potentiates glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) is still not clear. The aim of this study was to optimize an efficient differentiation protocol that mimics in vivo pancreatic organogenesis and to investigate whether RSV may improve the final maturation step to obtain functional insulin-secreting cells. Our results indicate that treatment of hESCs (HS-181) with activin-A induced definitive endoderm differentiation as detected by the expression of SOX17 and FOXA2. Addition of retinoic acid (RA), Noggin and Cyclopamine promoted pancreatic differentiation as indicated by the expression of the early pancreatic progenitor markers ISL1, NGN3 and PDX1. Moreover, during maturation in suspension culture, differentiating cells assembled in islet-like clusters, which expressed specific endocrine markers such as PDX1, SST, GCG and INS. Similar results were confirmed with the human induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (hiPSC) line MSUH-001. Finally, differentiation protocols incorporating RSV treatment yielded numerous insulin-positive cells, induced significantly higher PDX1 expression and were able to transiently normalize glycaemia when transplanted in streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic mice thus promoting its survival. In conclusion, our strategy allows the efficient differentiation of hESCs into pancreatic endoderm capable of generating β-cell-like cells and demonstrates that RSV improves the maturation process. PMID:25774684

  9. Gonadotrophins modulate hormone secretion and steady-state mRNA levels for activin receptors (type I, IIA, IIB) and inhibin co-receptor (betaglycan) in granulosa and theca cells from chicken prehierarchical and preovulatory follicles.

    PubMed

    Lovell, Tristan M; Al-Musawi, Sara L; Gladwell, Richard T; Knight, Philip G

    2007-06-01

    Ovarian follicle development is regulated through endocrine and local mechanisms. Increasing evidence indicates roles for transforming growth factor beta superfamily members, including inhibins and activins. We recently identified divergent expression of mRNAs encoding activin receptors (ActR) and inhibin co-receptor betaglycan in chicken follicles at different stages of maturation. Here, we compare the actions of LH and FSH (0, 1, 10, 100 ng/ml) on levels of mRNA for ActRI, ActRIIA, ActRIIB and betaglycan in chicken granulosa and theca cells (GC and TC) from preovulatory (F1) and prehierarchical (6-8 mm) follicles. The expression of mRNAs for LH-R and FSH-R and production of inhibin A, oestradiol and progesterone were also quantified. FSH decreased ActRIIB and ActRI mRNA levels in 6-8 mm GC, whereas LH increased the mRNA levels. Both LH and FSH enhanced ActRIIA (5- and 8.5-fold) and betaglycan mRNA expression (2- and 3.5-fold) in 6-8 mm GC. In 6-8 mm TC, LH and FSH both increased the betaglycan mRNA level (7- and 3.5-fold respectively) but did not affect ActRI, ActRIIA and ActRIIB transcript levels. In F1 GC, both LH and FSH stimulated ActRI (2- and 2.4-fold), ActRIIB (3.2- and 2.7-fold) and betaglycan (7- and 4-fold) mRNA levels, while ActRIIA mRNA was unaffected. In F1 TC, LH and FSH reduced ActRIIA (35-50%) and increased (4.5- and 7.6-fold) betaglycan mRNA, but had no effect on ActRI and ActRIIB transcript levels. Results support the hypothesis that expression of ActR and betaglycan are differentially regulated by gonadotrophins during follicle maturation in the hen. This may represent an important mechanism for fine-tuning follicle responsiveness to local and systemic activins and inhibins. PMID:17636170

  10. The spatiotemporal hormonal orchestration of human folliculogenesis, early embryogenesis and blastocyst implantation.

    PubMed

    Atwood, Craig S; Vadakkadath Meethal, Sivan

    2016-07-15

    The early reproductive events starting with folliculogenesis and ending with blastocyst implantation into the uterine endometrium are regulated by a complex interplay among endocrine, paracrine and autocrine factors. This review examines the spatiotemporal integration of these maternal and embryonic signals that are required for successful reproduction. In coordination with hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) hormones, an intraovarian HPG-like axis regulates folliculogenesis, follicular quiescence, ovulation, follicular atresia, and corpus luteal functions. Upon conception and passage of the zygote through the fallopian tube, the contribution of maternal hormones in the form of paracrine secretions from the endosalpinx to embryonic development declines, with autocrine and paracrine signaling becoming increasingly important as instructional signals for the differentiation of the early zygote/morula into a blastocyst. These maternal and embryonic signals include activin and gonadotropin-releasing hormone 1 (GnRH1) that are crucial for the synthesis and secretion of the 'pregnancy' hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). hCG in turn signals pre-implantation embryonic cell division and sex steroid production required for stem cell differentiation, and subsequent blastulation, gastrulation, cavitation and blastocyst formation. Upon reaching the uterus, blastocyst hatching occurs under the influence of decreased activin signaling, while the attachment and invasion of the trophoblast into the endometrium appears to be driven by a decrease in activin signaling, and by increased GnRH1 and hCG signaling that allows for tissue remodeling and the controlled invasion of the blastocyst into the uterine endometrium. This review demonstrates the importance of integrative endocrine, paracrine, and autocrine signaling for successful human reproduction. PMID:27045358

  11. Differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into clinically amenable keratinocytes in an autogenic environment.

    PubMed

    Kidwai, Fahad K; Liu, Hua; Toh, Wei Seong; Fu, Xin; Jokhun, Doorgesh S; Movahednia, Mohammad M; Li, Mingming; Zou, Yu; Squier, Christopher A; Phan, Toan T; Cao, Tong

    2013-03-01

    Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs)-derived keratinocytes hold great clinical and research potential. However, the current techniques are hampered by the use of xenogenic components that limits their clinical application. Here we demonstrated an efficient differentiation of H9 hESCs (H9-hESCs) into keratinocytes (H9-Kert) with the minimum use of animal-derived materials. For differentiation, we established two microenvironment systems originated from H9-hESCs (autogenic microenvironment). These autogenic microenvironment systems consist of an autogenic coculture system (ACC) and an autogenic feeder-free system (AFF). In addition, we showed a stage-specific effect of Activin in promoting keratinocyte differentiation from H9-hESCs while repressing the expression of early neural markers in the ACC system. Furthermore, we also explained the effect of Activin in construction of the AFF system made up of extracellular matrix similar to basement membrane extracted from H9-hESC-derived fibroblasts. H9-Kert differentiated in both systems expressed keratinocyte markers at mRNA and protein levels. H9-Kert were also able to undergo terminal differentiation in high Ca(2+) medium. These findings support the transition toward the establishment of an animal-free microenvironment for successful differentiation of hESCs into keratinocytes for potential clinical application. PMID:23235526

  12. Heightened potency of human pluripotent stem cell lines created by transient BMP4 exposure

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ying; Adachi, Katsuyuki; Sheridan, Megan A.; Alexenko, Andrei P.; Schust, Danny J.; Schulz, Laura C.; Ezashi, Toshihiko; Roberts, R. Michael

    2015-01-01

    Human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) show epiblast-type pluripotency that is maintained with ACTIVIN/FGF2 signaling. Here, we report the acquisition of a unique stem cell phenotype by both human ES cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in response to transient (24–36 h) exposure to bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) plus inhibitors of ACTIVIN signaling (A83-01) and FGF2 (PD173074), followed by trypsin dissociation and recovery of colonies capable of growing on a gelatin substratum in standard medium for human PSCs at low but not high FGF2 concentrations. The self-renewing cell lines stain weakly for CDX2 and strongly for NANOG, can be propagated clonally on either Matrigel or gelatin, and are morphologically distinct from human PSC progenitors on either substratum but still meet standard in vitro criteria for pluripotency. They form well-differentiated teratomas in immune-compromised mice that secrete human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) into the host mouse and include small areas of trophoblast-like cells. The cells have a distinct transcriptome profile from the human PSCs from which they were derived (including higher expression of NANOG, LEFTY1, and LEFTY2). In nonconditioned medium lacking FGF2, the colonies spontaneously differentiated along multiple lineages, including trophoblast. They responded to PD173074 in the absence of both FGF2 and BMP4 by conversion to trophoblast, and especially syncytiotrophoblast, whereas an A83-01/PD173074 combination favored increased expression of HLA-G, a marker of extravillous trophoblast. Together, these data suggest that the cell lines exhibit totipotent potential and that BMP4 can prime human PSCs to a self-renewing alternative state permissive for trophoblast development. The results may have implications for regulation of lineage decisions in the early embryo. PMID:25870291

  13. MicroRNA-34a induces a senescence-like change via the down-regulation of SIRT1 and up-regulation of p53 protein in human esophageal squamous cancer cells with a wild-type p53 gene background.

    PubMed

    Ye, Zhimin; Fang, Jun; Dai, Shujun; Wang, Yuezhen; Fu, Zhenfu; Feng, Wei; Wei, Qichun; Huang, Pintong

    2016-01-28

    MiR-34a has been reported as a non-coding RNA universally expressed in normal old cells and a probable suppressor of diverse cancer cells; however, this miRNA's expression and anti-tumor mechanism in esophageal squamous cancer cells (ESCC) remains unclear. We explored these questions in three human ESCC lines, KYSE-450, KYSE-410, and ECa-109, with wild-type p53 and mutant p53 backgrounds. Through a specific stem-loop RT primer for miR-34a, we examined the relevant expression level of miR-34a in these three cell lines using real-time reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR). We found that the expression level of miR-34a induced by the DNA damage agent adrmycin (ADR) was both p53- and time-dependent. Following incubation with miR-34a, cellular growth inhibition was exhibited differently in the three cell lines harbored with different p53 backgrounds. Furthermore, the MTT assay demonstrated an miR-34a-related cytotoxic effect in cell growth. Senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-Gal) staining was used to examine senescence-like phenotypes induced by miR-34a. Mechanistic investigation suggested that the down-regulation of Sirtuin1 (SIRT1) and up-regulation of p53/p21 contributed to the anti-tumor mechanism of miR-34a in wild-type p53 ECa-109 cells, while neither of the apoptosis-related proteins PARP and caspase-3 caused significant changes. In summary, our findings indicated that the intrinsic expression of miR-34a was relatively low and was expressed differently among different p53 backgrounds and ADR treatment times. The anti-tumor effect of miR-34a was primarily dependent on the regulation of SIRT1 and p53/p21 protein, not apoptosis-associated proteins. PMID:26523671

  14. BMP signaling mediated by constitutively active Activin type 1 receptor (ACVR1) results in ectopic bone formation localized to distal extremity joints

    PubMed Central

    Agarwal, Shailesh; Loder, Shawn J.; Brownley, Cameron; Eboda, Oluwatobi; Peterson, Jonathan; Hayano, Satoru; Wu, Bingrou; Zhao, Bin; Kaartinen, Vesa; Wong, Victor C.; Mishina, Yuji; Levi, Benjamin

    2015-01-01

    BMP signaling mediated by ACVR1 plays a critical role for development of multiple structures including the cardiovascular and skeletal systems. While deficient ACVR1 signaling impairs normal embryonic development, hyperactive ACVR1 function (R206H in humans and Q207D mutation in mice, ca-ACVR1) results in formation of heterotopic ossification (HO). We developed a mouse line, which conditionally expresses ca-ACVR1 with Nfatc1-Cre+ transgene. Mutant mice developed ectopic cartilage and bone at the distal joints of the extremities including the interphalangeal joints and hind limb ankles as early as P4 in the absence of trauma or exogenous bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) administration. Micro-CT showed that even at later time points (up to P40), cartilage and bone development persisted at the affected joints most prominently in the ankle. Interestingly, this phenotype was not present in areas of bone outside of the joints – tibia are normal in mutants and littermate controls away from the ankle. These findings demonstrate that this model may allow for further studies of heterotopic ossification, which does not require the use of stem cells, direct trauma or activation with exogenous Cre gene administration. PMID:25722188

  15. Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-9 potently induces osteogenic differentiation of human periodontal ligament fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Fuchigami, Sawako; Nakamura, Toshiaki; Furue, Kirara; Sena, Kotaro; Shinohara, Yukiya; Noguchi, Kazuyuki

    2016-04-01

    To accomplish effective periodontal regeneration for periodontal defects, several regenerative methods using growth and differentiation factors, including bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), have been developed. Bone morphogenetic protein-9 exhibits the most potent osteogenic activity of this growth factor family. However, it is unclear whether exogenous BMP-9 can induce osteogenic differentiation in human periodontal ligament (PDL) fibroblasts. Here, we examined the effects of recombinant human (rh) BMP-9 on osteoblastic differentiation in human PDL fibroblasts in vitro, compared with rhBMP-2. Recombinant human BMP-9 potently induced alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, mineralization, and increased expression of runt-related transcription factor-2/core binding factor alpha 1 (RUNX2/CBFA1), osterix, inhibitor of DNA binding/differentiation-1 (ID1), osteopontin, and bone sialoprotein genes, compared with rhBMP-2. The levels of rhBMP-9-induced osterix and ALP mRNA were significantly reduced in activin receptor-like kinase-1 and -2 small interfering RNA (siRNA)-transfected human PDL fibroblasts. Recombinant human BMP-9-induced ALP activity was not inhibited by noggin, in contrast to rhBMP-2 induced ALP activity, which was. Phosphorylation of SMAD1/5/8 in human PDL fibroblasts was induced by addition of rhBMP-9. Recombinant human BMP-9-induced ALP activity was suppressed by SB203580, SP600125, and U0126, which are inhibitors of p38, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), respectively. Our data suggest that rhBMP-9 is a potent inducer of the differentiation of human PDL fibroblasts into osteoblast-like cells and that this may be mediated by the SMAD and mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38, ERK1/2, and JNK) pathways. PMID:26879145

  16. Efficient Differentiation of Cardiomyocytes from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells with Growth Factors

    PubMed Central

    Jha, Rajneesh; Xu, Ren-He; Xu, Chunhui

    2016-01-01

    Human pluripotent stem cells have tremendous replicative capacity and demonstrated potential to generate functional cardiomyocytes. These cardiomyocytes represent a promising source for cell replacement therapy to treat heart disease and may serve as a useful tool for drug discovery and disease modeling. Efficient cardiomyocyte differentiation, a prerequisite for the application of stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes, can be achieved with a growth factor-guided method. Undifferentiated cells are sequentially treated with activin A and BMP4 in a serum-free and insulin-free medium and then maintained in a serum-free medium with insulin. This method yields as much as >75% cardiomyocytes in the differentiation culture within 2 weeks, and the beating cardiomyocytes have expected molecular, cellular and electrophysiological characteristics. In this chapter, we describe in detail the differentiation protocol and follow-up characterization focusing on immunocytochemistry, quantitative RT-PCR and flow cytometry analysis. PMID:25836579

  17. Human Embryonic Stem Cells Form Functional Thyroid Follicles

    PubMed Central

    Latif, Rauf; Davies, Terry F.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: The molecular events that lead to human thyroid cell speciation remain incompletely characterized. It has been shown that overexpression of the regulatory transcription factors Pax8 and Nkx2-1 (ttf-1) directs murine embryonic stem (mES) cells to differentiate into thyroid follicular cells by initiating a transcriptional regulatory network. Such cells subsequently organized into three-dimensional follicular structures in the presence of extracellular matrix. In the current study, human embryonic stem (hES) cells were studied with the aim of recapitulating this scenario and producing functional human thyroid cell lines. Methods: Reporter gene tagged pEZ-lentiviral vectors were used to express human PAX8-eGFP and NKX2-1-mCherry in the H9 hES cell line followed by differentiation into thyroid cells directed by Activin A and thyrotropin (TSH). Results: Both transcription factors were expressed efficiently in hES cells expressing either PAX8, NKX2-1, or in combination in the hES cells, which had low endogenous expression of these transcription factors. Further differentiation of the double transfected cells showed the expression of thyroid-specific genes, including thyroglobulin (TG), thyroid peroxidase (TPO), the sodium/iodide symporter (NIS), and the TSH receptor (TSHR) as assessed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunostaining. Most notably, the Activin/TSH-induced differentiation approach resulted in thyroid follicle formation and abundant TG protein expression within the follicular lumens. On stimulation with TSH, these hES-derived follicles were also capable of dose-dependent cAMP generation and radioiodine uptake, indicating functional thyroid epithelial cells. Conclusion: The induced expression of PAX8 and NKX2-1 in hES cells was followed by differentiation into thyroid epithelial cells and their commitment to form functional three-dimensional neo-follicular structures. The data provide proof of principal that hES cells can be

  18. Growth Differentiation Factor-8 Decreases StAR Expression Through ALK5-Mediated Smad3 and ERK1/2 Signaling Pathways in Luteinized Human Granulosa Cells.

    PubMed

    Fang, Lanlan; Chang, Hsun-Ming; Cheng, Jung-Chien; Yu, Yiping; Leung, Peter C K; Sun, Ying-Pu

    2015-12-01

    Growth differentiation factor-8 (GDF-8) has been recently shown to be expressed in human granulosa cells, and the mature form of GDF-8 protein can be detected in the follicular fluid. However, the biological function and significance of this growth factor in the human ovary remains to be determined. Here, we investigated the effects of GDF-8 on steroidogenic enzyme expression and the potential mechanisms of action in luteinized human granulosa cells. We demonstrated that treatment with GDF-8 did not affect the mRNA levels of P450 side-chain cleavage enzyme and 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, whereas it significantly down-regulated steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) expression and decreased progesterone production. The suppressive effect of GDF-8 on StAR expression was abolished by the inhibition of the TGF-β type I receptor. In addition, treatment with GDF-8 activated both Smad2/3 and ERK1/2 signaling pathways. Furthermore, knockdown of activin receptor-like kinase 5 reversed the effects of GDF-8 on Smad2/3 phosphorylation and StAR expression. The inhibition of Smad3 or ERK1/2 signaling pathways attenuated the GDF-8-induced down-regulation of StAR and production of progesterone. Interestingly, the concentrations of GDF-8 were negatively correlated with those of progesterone in human follicular fluid. These results indicate a novel autocrine function of GDF-8 to down-regulate StAR expression and decrease progesterone production in luteinized human granulosa cells, most likely through activin receptor-like kinase 5-mediated Smad3 and ERK1/2 signaling pathways. Our findings suggest that granulosa cells might play a critical role in the regulation of progesterone production to prevent premature luteinization during the final stage of folliculogenesis. PMID:26393302

  19. GDF9 is Transiently Expressed in Oocytes before Follicle Formation in the Human Fetal Ovary and is Regulated by a Novel NOBOX Transcript

    PubMed Central

    Bayne, Rosemary A. L.; Kinnell, Hazel L.; Coutts, Shiona M.; He, Jing; Childs, Andrew J.; Anderson, Richard A.

    2015-01-01

    During human fetal ovary development, the process of primordial follicle formation is immediately preceded by a highly dynamic period of germ cell and somatic cell reorganisation. This is regulated by germ-cell specific transcription regulators, by the conserved RNA binding proteins DAZL and BOLL and by secreted growth factors of the TGFβ family, including activin βA: these all show changing patterns of expression preceding follicle formation. In mice, the transcription factor Nobox is essential for follicle formation and oocyte survival, and NOBOX regulates the expression of GDF9 in humans. We have therefore characterised the expression of GDF9 in relation to these known key factors during follicle formation in the human fetal ovary. mRNA levels of GDF9, BMP15 and NOBOX were quantified by qRT-PCR and showed dramatic increases across gestation. GDF9 protein expression was localised by immunohistochemistry to the same population of germ cells as those expressing activin βA prior to follicle formation but did not co-localise with either BOLL or DAZL. A novel NOBOX isoform was identified in fetal ovary that was shown to be capable of up-regulating the GDF9 promoter in reporter assays. Thus, during oogenesis in humans, oocytes go through a dynamic and very sharply demarcated sequence of changes in expression of these various proteins, even within individual germ cell nests, likely to be of major functional significance in determining selective germ cell survival at this key stage in ovarian development. Transcriptional variation may contribute to the range of age of onset of POI in women with NOBOX mutations. PMID:25790371

  20. Human Umbilical Cord Blood-Derived Serum for Culturing the Supportive Feeder Cells of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Lines

    PubMed Central

    Rungsiwiwut, Ruttachuk; Ingrungruanglert, Praewphan; Numchaisrika, Pranee; Virutamasen, Pramuan; Phermthai, Tatsanee; Pruksananonda, Kamthorn

    2016-01-01

    Although human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) can proliferate robustly on the feeder-free culture system, genetic instability of hPSCs has been reported in such environment. Alternatively, feeder cells enable hPSCs to maintain their pluripotency. The feeder cells are usually grown in a culture medium containing fetal bovine serum (FBS) prior to coculture with hPSCs. The use of FBS might limit the clinical application of hPSCs. Recently, human cord blood-derived serum (hUCS) showed a positive effect on culture of mesenchymal stem cells. It is interesting to test whether hUCS can be used for culture of feeder cells of hPSCs. This study was aimed to replace FBS with hUCS for culturing the human foreskin fibroblasts (HFFs) prior to feeder cell preparation. The results showed that HFFs cultured in hUCS-containing medium (HFF-hUCS) displayed fibroblastic features, high proliferation rates, short population doubling times, and normal karyotypes after prolonged culture. Inactivated HFF-hUCS expressed important genes, including Activin A, FGF2, and TGFβ1, which have been implicated in the maintenance of hPSC pluripotency. Moreover, hPSC lines maintained pluripotency, differentiation capacities, and karyotypic stability after being cocultured for extended period with inactivated HFF-hUCS. Therefore, the results demonstrated the benefit of hUCS for hPSCs culture system. PMID:26839561

  1. Use of xenofree matrices and molecularly-defined media to control human embryonic stem cell pluripotency: effect of low physiological TGF-beta concentrations.

    PubMed

    Peiffer, Isabelle; Barbet, Romain; Zhou, Yi-Ping; Li, Ma-Lin; Monier, Marie-Noëlle; Hatzfeld, Antoinette; Hatzfeld, Jacques A

    2008-06-01

    To monitor human embryonic stem cell (hESC) self-renewal without differentiation, we used quantitative RT-PCR to study a selection of hESC genes, including markers for self-renewal, commitment/differentiation, and members of the TGF-beta superfamily and DAN gene family. Indeed, low commitment/differentiation gene expression, together with a significant self-renewal gene expres sion, provides a better pluripotency index than self-renewal genes alone. We demonstrate that matrices derived from human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) can advantageously replace murine embryonic fibroblasts (MEF) or hMSC feeders. Moreover, a xenofree molecularly-defined SBX medium, containing a synthetic lipid carrier instead of albumin, can replace SR medium. The number of selected differentiation genes expressed by hESCs in these culture conditions was significantly lower than those expressed on MEF feeders in SR medium. In SBX, the positive effect of a non-physiological concentration of activin A (10-30 ng/mL) to reduce differentiation during self-renewal could also be obtained by physiological concentrations of TGF-beta(100-300 pg/mL). In contrast, these TGF-beta concentrations added to activin favored differentiation as previously observed with TGF-beta concentrations of 1 ng/mL or more. Compared to SR-containing medium, SBX medium promoted down-regulation of CER1 and LEFTIES and up-regulation of GREM1. Thus these genes better control self-renewal and pluripotency and prevent differentiation. A strategy is proposed to analyze, in more physiological, xenofree, molecularly-defined media and matrices, the numerous genes with still unknown functions controlling hESCs or human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS). PMID:18513159

  2. Pancreatic Islet-Like Three-Dimensional Aggregates Derived From Human Embryonic Stem Cells Ameliorate Hyperglycemia in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Mice.

    PubMed

    Shim, Joong-Hyun; Kim, JongHyun; Han, Jiyou; An, Su Yeon; Jang, Yu Jin; Son, Jeongsang; Woo, Dong-Hun; Kim, Suel-Kee; Kim, Jong-Hoon

    2015-01-01

    We previously reported the in vitro differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) into pancreatic endoderm. Here we demonstrate that islet-like three-dimensional (3D) aggregates can be derived from the pancreatic endoderm by optimizing our previous protocol. Sequential treatment with Wnt3a, activin A, and noggin induced a transient upregulation of T and MixL1, followed by increased expression of endodermal genes, including FOXA2, SOX17, and CXCR4. Subsequent treatment with retinoic acid highly upregulated PDX1 expression. We also show that inhibition of sonic hedgehog signaling by bFGF/activin βB and cotreatment with VEGF and FGF7 produced many 3D cellular clusters that express both SOX17 and PDX1. We found for the first time that proteoglycans and vimentin(+) mesenchymal cells were mainly localized in hESC-derived PDX1(+) clusters. Importantly, treatment with chlorate, an inhibitor of proteoglycan sulfation, together with inhibition of Notch signaling significantly increased the expression of Neurog3 and NeuroD1, promoting a transition from PDX1(+) progenitor cells toward mature pancreatic endocrine cells. Purified dithizone(+) 3D aggregates generated by our refined protocol produced pancreatic hormones and released insulin in response to both glucose and pharmacological drugs in vitro. Furthermore, the islet-like 3D aggregates decreased blood glucose levels and continued to exhibit pancreatic features after transplantation into diabetic mice. Generation of islet-like 3D cell aggregates from human pluripotent stem cells may overcome the shortage of cadaveric donor islets for future cases of clinical islet transplantation. PMID:25397866

  3. RelA-Induced Interferon Response Negatively Regulates Proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Kochupurakkal, Bose S.; Wang, Zhigang C.; Hua, Tony; Culhane, Aedin C.; Rodig, Scott J.; Rajkovic-Molek, Koraljka; Lazaro, Jean-Bernard; Richardson, Andrea L.; Biswas, Debajit K.; Iglehart, J. Dirk

    2015-01-01

    Both oncogenic and tumor-suppressor activities are attributed to the Nuclear Factor kappa B (NF-kB) pathway. Moreover, NF-kB may positively or negatively regulate proliferation. The molecular determinants of these opposing roles of NF-kB are unclear. Using primary human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC) as a model, we show that increased RelA levels and consequent increase in basal transcriptional activity of RelA induces IRF1, a target gene. Induced IRF1 upregulates STAT1 and IRF7, and in consort, these factors induce the expression of interferon response genes. Activation of the interferon pathway down-regulates CDK4 and up-regulates p27 resulting in Rb hypo-phosphorylation and cell cycle arrest. Stimulation of HMEC with IFN-γ elicits similar phenotypic and molecular changes suggesting that basal activity of RelA and IFN-γ converge on IRF1 to regulate proliferation. The anti-proliferative RelA-IRF1-CDK4 signaling axis is retained in ER+/HER2- breast tumors analyzed by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Using immuno-histochemical analysis of breast tumors, we confirm the negative correlation between RelA levels and proliferation rate in ER+/HER2- breast tumors. These findings attribute an anti-proliferative tumor-suppressor role to basal RelA activity. Inactivation of Rb, down-regulation of RelA or IRF1, or upregulation of CDK4 or IRF2 rescues the RelA-IRF1-CDK4 induced proliferation arrest in HMEC and are points of disruption in aggressive tumors. Activity of the RelA-IRF1-CDK4 axis may explain favorable response to CDK4/6 inhibition observed in patients with ER+ Rb competent tumors. PMID:26460486

  4. RelA-Induced Interferon Response Negatively Regulates Proliferation.

    PubMed

    Kochupurakkal, Bose S; Wang, Zhigang C; Hua, Tony; Culhane, Aedin C; Rodig, Scott J; Rajkovic-Molek, Koraljka; Lazaro, Jean-Bernard; Richardson, Andrea L; Biswas, Debajit K; Iglehart, J Dirk

    2015-01-01

    Both oncogenic and tumor-suppressor activities are attributed to the Nuclear Factor kappa B (NF-kB) pathway. Moreover, NF-kB may positively or negatively regulate proliferation. The molecular determinants of these opposing roles of NF-kB are unclear. Using primary human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC) as a model, we show that increased RelA levels and consequent increase in basal transcriptional activity of RelA induces IRF1, a target gene. Induced IRF1 upregulates STAT1 and IRF7, and in consort, these factors induce the expression of interferon response genes. Activation of the interferon pathway down-regulates CDK4 and up-regulates p27 resulting in Rb hypo-phosphorylation and cell cycle arrest. Stimulation of HMEC with IFN-γ elicits similar phenotypic and molecular changes suggesting that basal activity of RelA and IFN-γ converge on IRF1 to regulate proliferation. The anti-proliferative RelA-IRF1-CDK4 signaling axis is retained in ER+/HER2- breast tumors analyzed by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Using immuno-histochemical analysis of breast tumors, we confirm the negative correlation between RelA levels and proliferation rate in ER+/HER2- breast tumors. These findings attribute an anti-proliferative tumor-suppressor role to basal RelA activity. Inactivation of Rb, down-regulation of RelA or IRF1, or upregulation of CDK4 or IRF2 rescues the RelA-IRF1-CDK4 induced proliferation arrest in HMEC and are points of disruption in aggressive tumors. Activity of the RelA-IRF1-CDK4 axis may explain favorable response to CDK4/6 inhibition observed in patients with ER+ Rb competent tumors. PMID:26460486

  5. The in vitro generation of lung and airway progenitor cells from human pluripotent stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Sarah X L; Green, Michael D; de Carvalho, Ana Toste; Mumau, Melanie; Chen, Ya-Wen; D’Souza, Sunita L.; Snoeck, Hans-Willem

    2015-01-01

    Lung and airway epithelial cells generated in vitro from human pluripotent stem cells have applications in regenerative medicine, modeling of lung disease, drug screening and studies of human lung development. Here we describe a strategy for directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into developmental lung progenitors, and their subsequent differentiation into predominantly distal lung epithelial cells. The protocol entails four stages that recapitulate lung development and takes approximately 50 days. First, definitive endoderm is induced in the presence of high concentrations of Activin A. Subsequently, lung-biased anterior foregut endoderm is specified by sequential inhibition of BMP, TGF-β and Wnt signaling. Anterior foregut endoderm is then ventralized by applying Wnt, BMP, FGF and RA signaling to obtain lung and airway progenitors. Finally, these are further differentiated into more mature epithelial cells types using Wnt, FGF, c-AMP and glucocorticoid agonism. This protocol is conducted in defined conditions, does not involve genetic manipulation of the cells, and results in cultures where the majority of the cells express markers of various lung and airway epithelial cells, with a predominance of cells identifiable as functional type II alveolar epithelial cells. PMID:25654758

  6. A Simple Protocol for the Myocardial Differentiation of Human iPS Cells.

    PubMed

    Aikawa, Nobuo; Suzuki, Yui; Takaba, Katsumi

    2015-01-01

    We have developed a simple protocol for inducing the myocardial differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Human iPS cell-derived embryonic bodies (EBs) were treated with a combination of activin-A, bone morphogenetic protein-4 and wnt-3a for one day in serum-free suspension culture, and were subsequently treated with noggin for three days. Thereafter, the EBs were subjected to adherent culture in media with 5% serum. All EBs were differentiated into spontaneously beating EBs, which were identified by the presence of striated muscles in transmission electron microscopy and the expression of the specific cardiomyocyte markers, NKX2-5 and TNNT2. The beating rate of the beating EBs was decreased by treatment with a rapidly activating delayed rectifier potassium current (Ikr) channel blocker, E-4031, an Ikr trafficking inhibitor, pentamidin, and a slowly activating delayed rectifier potassium current (Iks) channel blocker, chromanol 293B, and was increased by treatment with a beta-receptor agonist, isoproterenol. At a low concentration, verapamil, a calcium channel blocker, increased the beating rate of the beating EBs, while a high concentration decreased this rate. These findings suggest that the spontaneously beating EBs were myocardial cell clusters. This simple protocol for myocardial differentiation would be useful in providing a sufficient number of the beating myocardial cell clusters for studies requiring human myocardium. PMID:26133717

  7. Comparison of syncytiotrophoblast generated from human embryonic stem cells and from term placentas

    PubMed Central

    Yabe, Shinichiro; Alexenko, Andrei P.; Amita, Mitsuyoshi; Yang, Ying; Schust, Danny J.; Ezashi, Toshihiko; Roberts, R. Michael

    2016-01-01

    Human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) readily commit to the trophoblast lineage after exposure to bone morphogenetic protein-4 (BMP-4) and two small compounds, an activin A signaling inhibitor and a FGF2 signaling inhibitor (BMP4/A83-01/PD173074; BAP treatment). During differentiation, areas emerge within the colonies with the biochemical and morphological features of syncytiotrophoblast (STB). Relatively pure fractions of mononucleated cytotrophoblast (CTB) and larger syncytial sheets displaying the expected markers of STB can be obtained by differential filtration of dispersed colonies through nylon strainers. RNA-seq analysis of these fractions has allowed them to be compared with cytotrophoblasts isolated from term placentas before and after such cells had formed syncytia. Although it is clear from extensive gene marker analysis that both ESC- and placenta-derived syncytial cells are trophoblast, each with the potential to transport a wide range of solutes and synthesize placental hormones, their transcriptome profiles are sufficiently dissimilar to suggest that the two cell types have distinct pedigrees and represent functionally different kinds of STB. We propose that the STB generated from human ESCs represents the primitive syncytium encountered in early pregnancy soon after the human trophoblast invades into the uterine wall. PMID:27051068

  8. Comparison of syncytiotrophoblast generated from human embryonic stem cells and from term placentas.

    PubMed

    Yabe, Shinichiro; Alexenko, Andrei P; Amita, Mitsuyoshi; Yang, Ying; Schust, Danny J; Sadovsky, Yoel; Ezashi, Toshihiko; Roberts, R Michael

    2016-05-10

    Human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) readily commit to the trophoblast lineage after exposure to bone morphogenetic protein-4 (BMP-4) and two small compounds, an activin A signaling inhibitor and a FGF2 signaling inhibitor (BMP4/A83-01/PD173074; BAP treatment). During differentiation, areas emerge within the colonies with the biochemical and morphological features of syncytiotrophoblast (STB). Relatively pure fractions of mononucleated cytotrophoblast (CTB) and larger syncytial sheets displaying the expected markers of STB can be obtained by differential filtration of dispersed colonies through nylon strainers. RNA-seq analysis of these fractions has allowed them to be compared with cytotrophoblasts isolated from term placentas before and after such cells had formed syncytia. Although it is clear from extensive gene marker analysis that both ESC- and placenta-derived syncytial cells are trophoblast, each with the potential to transport a wide range of solutes and synthesize placental hormones, their transcriptome profiles are sufficiently dissimilar to suggest that the two cell types have distinct pedigrees and represent functionally different kinds of STB. We propose that the STB generated from human ESCs represents the primitive syncytium encountered in early pregnancy soon after the human trophoblast invades into the uterine wall. PMID:27051068

  9. Involvement of JNK and Caspase Activation in Hoiamide A-Induced Neurotoxicity in Neocortical Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Zhengyu; Li, Xichun; Zou, Xiaohan; Greenwood, Michael; Gerwick, William H.; Murray, Thomas F.

    2015-01-01

    The frequent occurrence of Moorea producens (formerly Lyngbya majuscula) blooms has been associated with adverse effects on human health. Hoiamide A is a structurally unique cyclic depsipeptide isolated from an assemblage of the marine cyanobacteria M. producens and Phormidium gracile. We examined the influence of hoiamide A on neurite outgrowth in neocortical neurons and found that it suppressed neurite outgrowth with an IC50 value of 4.89 nM. Further study demonstrated that hoiamide A stimulated lactic acid dehydrogenase (LDH) efflux, nuclear condensation and caspase-3 activity with EC50 values of 3.66, 2.55 and 4.33 nM, respectively. These data indicated that hoiamide A triggered a unique neuronal death profile that involves both necrotic and apoptotic mechanisms. The similar potencies and similar time-response relationships between LDH efflux and caspase-3 activation/nuclear condensation suggested that both necrosis and apoptosis may derive from interaction with a common molecular target. The broad-spectrum caspase inhibitor, Z-VAD-FMK completely inhibited hoiamide A-induced neurotoxicity. Additionally, hoiamide A stimulated JNK phosphorylation, and a JNK inhibitor attenuated hoiamide A-induced neurotoxicity. Collectively, these data demonstrate that hoiamide A-induced neuronal death requires both JNK and caspase signaling pathways. The potent neurotoxicity and unique neuronal cell death profile of hoiamide A represents a novel neurotoxic chemotype from marine cyanobacteria. PMID:25675001

  10. Comparison of Cardiomyogenic Potential among Human ESC and iPSC Lines

    PubMed Central

    Sepac, Ana; Si-Tayeb, Karim; Sedlic, Filip; Barrett, Sara; Canfield, Scott; Duncan, Stephen A.; Bosnjak, Zeljko J.; Lough, John

    2012-01-01

    We recently reported that following induction of clumps of pluripotent H1 human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) with activin-A and Bmp4 in defined medium for five days, widespread differentiation of rhythmically contracting cardiomyocytes occurs within 3–4 weeks. In this study the same approach was used to assess whether human induced pluripotent cells (hiPSCs), which may theoretically provide an unlimited source of patient-matched cells for transplantation therapy, can similarly undergo cardiomyocyte differentiation. Differentiation of four pluripotent cell-lines – H1 and H9 hESCs, and C2a and C6a hiPSCs – was compared in parallel by monitoring rhythmic contraction, morphologic differentiation, and expression of cardiomyogenic genes. Based on expression of the cardiomyogenic lineage markers MESP1, ISL1 and NKX2-5, all four cell-lines were induced into the cardiomyogenic lineage. However, in contrast to the widespread appearance of striations and rhythmic contractility seen in H9 and especially in H1 hESCs, both hiPSC lines exhibited poor terminal differentiation. These findings suggest that refined modes of generating hiPSCs, as well as of inducing cardiomyogenesis in them, may be required to fulfill their potential as agents of cardiac regeneration. PMID:22863088

  11. Long-term expandable SOX9+ chondrogenic ectomesenchymal cells from human pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Umeda, Katsutsugu; Oda, Hirotsugu; Yan, Qing; Matthias, Nadine; Zhao, Jiangang; Davis, Brian R; Nakayama, Naoki

    2015-04-14

    Here we report the successful generation and long-term expansion of SOX9-expressing CD271(+)PDGFRα(+)CD73(+) chondrogenic ectomesenchymal cells from the PAX3/SOX10/FOXD3-expressing MIXL1(-)CD271(hi)PDGFRα(lo)CD73(-) neural crest-like progeny of human pluripotent stem cells in a chemically defined medium supplemented with Nodal/Activin/transforming growth factorβ (TGFβ) inhibitor and fibroblast growth factor (FGF). When "primed" with TGFβ, such cells efficiently formed translucent cartilage particles, which were completely mineralized in 12 weeks in immunocompromized mice. The ectomesenchymal cells were expandable without loss of chondrogenic potential for at least 16 passages. They maintained normal karyotype for at least 10 passages and expressed genes representing embryonic progenitors (SOX4/12, LIN28A/B), cranial mesenchyme (ALX1/3/4), and chondroprogenitors (SOX9, COL2A1) of neural crest origin (SOX8/9, NGFR, NES). Ectomesenchyme is a source of many craniofacial bone and cartilage structures. The method we describe for obtaining a large quantity of human ectomesenchymal cells will help to model craniofacial disorders in vitro and potentially provide cells for the repair of craniofacial damage. PMID:25818812

  12. Expression of bone morphogenetic proteins in stromal cells from human bone marrow long-term culture.

    PubMed

    Martinovic, Snjezana; Mazic, Sanja; Kisic, Veronika; Basic, Nikolina; Jakic-Razumovic, Jasminka; Borovecki, Fran; Batinic, Drago; Simic, Petra; Grgurevic, Lovorka; Labar, Boris; Vukicevic, Slobodan

    2004-09-01

    Highly purified primitive hemopoietic stem cells express BMP receptors but do not synthesize bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). However, exogenously added BMPs regulate their proliferation, differentiation, and survival. To further explore the mechanism by which BMPs might be involved in hemopoietic differentiation, we tested whether stromal cells from long-term culture (LTC) of normal human bone marrow produce BMPs, BMP receptors, and SMAD signaling molecules. Stromal cells were immunohistochemically characterized by the presence of lyzozyme, CD 31, factor VIII, CD 68, S100, alkaline phosphatase, and vimentin. Gene expression was analyzed by RT-PCR and the presence of BMP protein was confirmed by immunohistochemistry (IHC). The supportive role of the stromal cell layer in hemopoiesis in vitro was confirmed by a colony assay of clonogenic progenitors. Bone marrow stromal cells express mRNA and protein for BMP-3, -4, and -7 but not for BMP-2, -5, and -6 from the first to the eighth week of culture. Furthermore, stromal cells express the BMP type I receptors, activin-like kinase-3 (ALK-3), ALK-6, and the downstream transducers SMAD-1, -4, and -5. Thus, human bone marrow stromal cells synthesize BMPs, which might exert their effects on hemopoietic stem cells in a paracrine manner through specific BMP receptors. PMID:15314083

  13. Long-Term Expandable SOX9+ Chondrogenic Ectomesenchymal Cells from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Umeda, Katsutsugu; Oda, Hirotsugu; Yan, Qing; Matthias, Nadine; Zhao, Jiangang; Davis, Brian R.; Nakayama, Naoki

    2015-01-01

    Summary Here we report the successful generation and long-term expansion of SOX9-expressing CD271+PDGFRα+CD73+ chondrogenic ectomesenchymal cells from the PAX3/SOX10/FOXD3-expressing MIXL1−CD271hiPDGFRαloCD73− neural crest-like progeny of human pluripotent stem cells in a chemically defined medium supplemented with Nodal/Activin/transforming growth factorβ (TGFβ) inhibitor and fibroblast growth factor (FGF). When “primed” with TGFβ, such cells efficiently formed translucent cartilage particles, which were completely mineralized in 12 weeks in immunocompromized mice. The ectomesenchymal cells were expandable without loss of chondrogenic potential for at least 16 passages. They maintained normal karyotype for at least 10 passages and expressed genes representing embryonic progenitors (SOX4/12, LIN28A/B), cranial mesenchyme (ALX1/3/4), and chondroprogenitors (SOX9, COL2A1) of neural crest origin (SOX8/9, NGFR, NES). Ectomesenchyme is a source of many craniofacial bone and cartilage structures. The method we describe for obtaining a large quantity of human ectomesenchymal cells will help to model craniofacial disorders in vitro and potentially provide cells for the repair of craniofacial damage. PMID:25818812

  14. Connective tissue growth factor mediates growth differentiation factor 8-induced increase of lysyl oxidase activity in human granulosa-lutein cells.

    PubMed

    Chang, Hsun-Ming; Fang, Ying; Liu, Pang-Pin; Cheng, Jung-Chien; Yang, Xiaokui; Leung, Peter C K

    2016-10-15

    Lysyl oxidase (LOX) is an essential enzyme for the stabilization of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and the subsequent follicle and oocyte maturation. Currently, there is limited information pertaining to the regulation of LOX activity in human ovarian tissue. Growth differentiation factor 8 (GDF8) is a unique member of the transforming growth factor-β superfamily that is expressed in human granulosa cells and has important roles in regulating a variety of ovarian functions. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of GDF8 on the regulation of LOX expression and activity in human granulosa cells and to examine the underlying molecular determinants. An established immortalized human granulosa cell line (SVOG) and primary granulosa-lutein cells were used as study models. Using dual inhibition approaches (TGF-β type I inhibitor SB505124 and small interfering RNAs) and ChIP analyses, we have demonstrated that GDF8 up-regulated the expression of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) through the activin receptor-like kinase 5-mediated SMAD2/3-SMAD4 signaling pathways. In addition, the increase in CTGF expression contributed to the GDF8-induced increase in LOX expression and activity. Our findings suggest that GDF8 and CTGF may play critical roles in the regulation of ECM formation in human granulosa cells. PMID:27392496

  15. Glutathione peroxidase 1 deficiency attenuates concanavalin A-induced hepatic injury by modulation of T-cell activation

    PubMed Central

    Lee, D H; Son, D J; Park, M H; Yoon, D Y; Han, S B; Hong, J T

    2016-01-01

    Concanavalin A (Con A)-induced hepatitis model is well-established experimental T cell-mediated liver disease. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) is associated with T-cell activation and proliferation, but continued ROS exposure induces T-cell hyporesponsiveness. Because glutathione peroxidase 1 (Gpx1) is an antioxidant enzyme and is involved in T-cell development, we investigated the role of Gpx1 during Con A-induced liver injury in Gpx1 knockout (KO) mice. Male wild-type (WT) mice and Gpx1 KO mice were intravenously injected with Con A (10 mg/kg), and then killed after 8 h after Con A injection. Serum levels of aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase were measured to assess hepatic injury. To identify that Gpx1 affects T cell-mediated inflammation, we pretreated Gpx1 inhibitor to Human Jurkat T cells then treated Con A. Con A-induced massive liver damage in WT mice but its damage was attenuated in Gpx1 KO mice. Con A-induced Th1 cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin (IL)-2 were also decreased in the liver and spleen of Gpx1 KO mice compared with WT mice. In Jurkat T cells, Con A-induced mRNA levels of IL-2, IFN-γ and TNF-α were downregulated by pretreatment of Gpx inhibitor, mercaptosuccinic acid. We also observed that Gpx1 KO mice showed increasing oxidative stress in the liver and spleen compared with WT mice. These results suggest that Gpx1 deficiency attenuates Con A-induced liver injury by induction of T-cell hyporesponsiveness through chronic ROS exposure. PMID:27124582

  16. Microscale technologies for regulating human stem cell differentiation.

    PubMed

    Cimetta, Elisa; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana

    2014-09-01

    During development and regeneration, tissues emerge from coordinated sequences of stem cell renewal, specialization, and assembly that are orchestrated by cascades of regulatory factors. This complex in vivo milieu, while necessary to fully recapitulate biology and to properly engineer progenitor cells, is difficult to replicate in vitro. We are just starting to fully realize the importance of the entire context of cell microenvironment-the other cells, three-dimensional matrix, molecular and physical signals. Bioengineered environments that combine tissue-specific transport and signaling are critical to study cellular responses at biologically relevant scales and in settings predictive of human condition. We therefore developed microbioreactors that couple the application of fast dynamic changes in environmental signals with versatile, high-throughput operation and imaging capability. Our base device is a microfluidic platform with an array of microwells containing cells or tissue constructs that are exposed to stable concentration gradients. Mathematical modeling of flow and mass transport can predict the shape of these gradients and the kinetic changes in local concentrations. A single platform, the size of a microscope slide, contains up to 120 biological samples. As an example of application, we describe studies of cell fate specification and mesodermal lineage commitment in human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. The embryoid bodies formed from these cells were subjected to single and multiple concentration gradients of Wnt3a, Activin A, bone morphogenic protein 4 (BMP4), and their inhibitors, and the gene expression profiles were correlated to the concentration gradients of morphogens to identify the exact conditions for mesodermal differentiation. PMID:24737735

  17. Atg7 Knockdown Augments Concanavalin A-Induced Acute Hepatitis through an ROS-Mediated p38/MAPK Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xuefeng; Xie, Qing; Wu, Min

    2016-01-01

    Concanavalin A (ConA), a T-cell mitogen that induces acute autoimmune hepatitis, is widely used to model pathophysiological processes of human acute autoimmune liver disease. Although autophagy has been extensively studied in the past decade, little is known about its molecular mechanism underlying the regulation of ConA-induced acute hepatitis. In this study, we used a Cre-conditional atg7 KO mouse to investigate the effects of Atg7-associated autophagy on ConA-induced murine hepatitis. Our results demonstrated that atg7 deficiency in mice enhanced macrophage activation and increased pro-inflammatory cytokines upon ConA stimulation. Atg7 silencing resulted in accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria, disruption of reactive oxygen species (ROS) degradation, and increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines in Raw264.7 cells. p38/MAPK and NF-κB levels were increased upon ConA induction due to Atg7 deficiency. Blocking ROS production inhibited ConA-induced p38/IκB phosphorylation and subsequent intracellular inflammatory responses. Hence, this study demonstrated that atg7 knockout in mice or Atg7 knockdown in cell culture augmented ConA-induced acute hepatitis and related cellular malfunction, indicating protective effects of Atg7 on regulating mitochondrial ROS via a p38/MAPK-mediated pathway. Collectively, our findings reveal that autophagy may attenuate macrophage-mediated inflammatory response to ConA and may be the potential therapeutic targets for acute liver injury. PMID:26939081

  18. Atg7 Knockdown Augments Concanavalin A-Induced Acute Hepatitis through an ROS-Mediated p38/MAPK Pathway.

    PubMed

    Zhuang, Yan; Li, Yi; Li, Xuefeng; Xie, Qing; Wu, Min

    2016-01-01

    Concanavalin A (ConA), a T-cell mitogen that induces acute autoimmune hepatitis, is widely used to model pathophysiological processes of human acute autoimmune liver disease. Although autophagy has been extensively studied in the past decade, little is known about its molecular mechanism underlying the regulation of ConA-induced acute hepatitis. In this study, we used a Cre-conditional atg7 KO mouse to investigate the effects of Atg7-associated autophagy on ConA-induced murine hepatitis. Our results demonstrated that atg7 deficiency in mice enhanced macrophage activation and increased pro-inflammatory cytokines upon ConA stimulation. Atg7 silencing resulted in accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria, disruption of reactive oxygen species (ROS) degradation, and increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines in Raw264.7 cells. p38/MAPK and NF-κB levels were increased upon ConA induction due to Atg7 deficiency. Blocking ROS production inhibited ConA-induced p38/IκB phosphorylation and subsequent intracellular inflammatory responses. Hence, this study demonstrated that atg7 knockout in mice or Atg7 knockdown in cell culture augmented ConA-induced acute hepatitis and related cellular malfunction, indicating protective effects of Atg7 on regulating mitochondrial ROS via a p38/MAPK-mediated pathway. Collectively, our findings reveal that autophagy may attenuate macrophage-mediated inflammatory response to ConA and may be the potential therapeutic targets for acute liver injury. PMID:26939081

  19. The RUNX1 +24 enhancer and P1 promoter identify a unique subpopulation of hematopoietic progenitor cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Ferrell, Patrick I; Xi, Jiafei; Ma, Chao; Adlakha, Mitali; Kaufman, Dan S.

    2016-01-01

    Derivation of hematopoietic stem cells from human pluripotent stem cells remains a key goal for the fields of developmental biology and regenerative medicine. Here, we use a novel genetic reporter system to prospectively identify and isolate early hematopoietic cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and human induced pluripotent cells (iPSCs). Cloning the human RUNX1c P1 promoter and +24 enhancer to drive expression of tdTomato (tdTom) in hESCs and iPSCs, we demonstrate that tdTom expression faithfully enriches for RUNX1c-expressing hematopoietic progenitor cells. Time-lapse microscopy demonstrated the tdTom+ hematopoietic cells to emerge from adherent cells. Furthermore, inhibition of primitive hematopoiesis by blocking Activin/Nodal signaling promoted the expansion and/or survival of tdTom+ population. Notably, RUNX1c/tdTom+ cells represent only a limited subpopuation of CD34+CD45+ and CD34+CD43+ cells with a unique genetic signature. Using gene array analysis, we find significantly lower expression of Let-7 and mir181a microRNAs in the RUNX1c/tdTom+ cell population. These phenotypic and genetic analyses comparing the RUNX1c/tdTom+ population to CD34+CD45+ umbilical cord blood and fetal liver demonstrate several key differences that likely impact the development of HSCs capable of long-term multilineage engraftment from hESCs and iPSCs. PMID:25546363

  20. NQO1-Knockout Mice Are Highly Sensitive to Clostridium Difficile Toxin A-Induced Enteritis.

    PubMed

    Nam, Seung Taek; Hwang, Jung Hwan; Kim, Dae Hong; Lu, Li Fang; Hong, Ji; Zhang, Peng; Yoon, I Na; Hwang, Jae Sam; Chung, Hyo Kyun; Shong, Minho; Lee, Chul-Ho; Kim, Ho

    2016-08-28

    Clostridium difficile toxin A causes acute gut inflammation in animals and humans. It is known to downregulate the tight junctions between colonic epithelial cells, allowing luminal contents to access body tissues and trigger acute immune responses. However, it is not yet known whether this loss of the barrier function is a critical factor in the progression of toxin A-induced pseudomembranous colitis. We previously showed that NADH:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) KO (knockout) mice spontaneously display weak gut inflammation and a marked loss of colonic epithelial tight junctions. Moreover, NQO1 KO mice exhibited highly increased inflammatory responses compared with NQO1 WT (wild-type) control mice when subjected to DSS-induced experimental colitis. Here, we tested whether toxin A could also trigger more severe inflammatory responses in NQO1 KO mice compared with NQO1 WT mice. Indeed, our results show that C. difficile toxin A-mediated enteritis is significantly enhanced in NQO1 KO mice compared with NQO1 WT mice. The levels of fluid secretion, villus disruption, and epithelial cell apoptosis were also higher in toxin A-treated NQO1 KO mice compared with WT mice. The previous and present results collectively show that NQO1 is involved in the formation of tight junctions in the small intestine, and that defects in NQO1 enhance C. difficile toxin A-induced acute inflammatory responses, presumably via the loss of epithelial cell tight junctions. PMID:27116994

  1. Serum Amyloid A Induces Inflammation, Proliferation and Cell Death in Activated Hepatic Stellate Cells

    PubMed Central

    Siegmund, Sören V.; Schlosser, Monika; Schildberg, Frank A.; Seki, Ekihiro; De Minicis, Samuele; Uchinami, Hiroshi; Kuntzen, Christian; Knolle, Percy A.; Strassburg, Christian P.; Schwabe, Robert F.

    2016-01-01

    Serum amyloid A (SAA) is an evolutionary highly conserved acute phase protein that is predominantly secreted by hepatocytes. However, its role in liver injury and fibrogenesis has not been elucidated so far. In this study, we determined the effects of SAA on hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), the main fibrogenic cell type of the liver. Serum amyloid A potently activated IκB kinase, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), Erk and Akt and enhanced NF-κB-dependent luciferase activity in primary human and rat HSCs. Serum amyloid A induced the transcription of MCP-1, RANTES and MMP9 in an NF-κB- and JNK-dependent manner. Blockade of NF-κB revealed cytotoxic effects of SAA in primary HSCs with signs of apoptosis such as caspase 3 and PARP cleavage and Annexin V staining. Serum amyloid A induced HSC proliferation, which depended on JNK, Erk and Akt activity. In primary hepatocytes, SAA also activated MAP kinases, but did not induce relevant cell death after NF-κB inhibition. In two models of hepatic fibrogenesis, CCl4 treatment and bile duct ligation, hepatic mRNA levels of SAA1 and SAA3 were strongly increased. In conclusion, SAA may modulate fibrogenic responses in the liver in a positive and negative fashion by inducing inflammation, proliferation and cell death in HSCs. PMID:26937641

  2. Serum Amyloid A Induces Inflammation, Proliferation and Cell Death in Activated Hepatic Stellate Cells.

    PubMed

    Siegmund, Sören V; Schlosser, Monika; Schildberg, Frank A; Seki, Ekihiro; De Minicis, Samuele; Uchinami, Hiroshi; Kuntzen, Christian; Knolle, Percy A; Strassburg, Christian P; Schwabe, Robert F

    2016-01-01

    Serum amyloid A (SAA) is an evolutionary highly conserved acute phase protein that is predominantly secreted by hepatocytes. However, its role in liver injury and fibrogenesis has not been elucidated so far. In this study, we determined the effects of SAA on hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), the main fibrogenic cell type of the liver. Serum amyloid A potently activated IκB kinase, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), Erk and Akt and enhanced NF-κB-dependent luciferase activity in primary human and rat HSCs. Serum amyloid A induced the transcription of MCP-1, RANTES and MMP9 in an NF-κB- and JNK-dependent manner. Blockade of NF-κB revealed cytotoxic effects of SAA in primary HSCs with signs of apoptosis such as caspase 3 and PARP cleavage and Annexin V staining. Serum amyloid A induced HSC proliferation, which depended on JNK, Erk and Akt activity. In primary hepatocytes, SAA also activated MAP kinases, but did not induce relevant cell death after NF-κB inhibition. In two models of hepatic fibrogenesis, CCl4 treatment and bile duct ligation, hepatic mRNA levels of SAA1 and SAA3 were strongly increased. In conclusion, SAA may modulate fibrogenic responses in the liver in a positive and negative fashion by inducing inflammation, proliferation and cell death in HSCs. PMID:26937641

  3. Small-Molecule-Directed Hepatocyte-Like Cell Differentiation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Mathapati, Santosh; Siller, Richard; Impellizzeri, Agata A R; Lycke, Max; Vegheim, Karianne; Almaas, Runar; Sullivan, Gareth J

    2016-01-01

    Hepatocyte-like cells (HLCs) generated in vitro from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) provide an invaluable resource for basic research, regenerative medicine, drug screening, toxicology, and modeling of liver disease and development. This unit describes a small-molecule-driven protocol for in vitro differentiation of hPSCs into HLCs without the use of growth factors. hPSCs are coaxed through a developmentally relevant route via the primitive streak to definitive endoderm (DE) using the small molecule CHIR99021 (a Wnt agonist), replacing the conventional growth factors Wnt3A and activin A. The small-molecule-derived DE is then differentiated to hepatoblast-like cells in the presence of dimethyl sulfoxide. The resulting hepatoblasts are then differentiated to HLCs with N-hexanoic-Tyr, Ile-6 aminohexanoic amide (Dihexa, a hepatocyte growth factor agonist) and dexamethasone. The protocol provides an efficient and reproducible procedure for differentiation of hPSCs into HLCs utilizing small molecules. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. PMID:27532814

  4. microRNA-21 Mediates Stretch-Induced Osteogenic Differentiation in Human Periodontal Ligament Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Dongxu; Feng, Cheng; Zhang, Fan; Yang, Shuangyan; Hu, Yijun; Ding, Gang

    2015-01-01

    microRNAs (miRNAs) are short 20- to 22-nucleotide noncoding RNAs that negatively regulate the expression of target genes at the post-transcriptional level. The expression of specific miRNAs and their roles in the osteogenic differentiation of human periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs) exposed to mechanical stretch remain unclear. Here, we found that stretch induced both osteogenic differentiation and the differential expression of miR-21 in PDLSCs. Furthermore, we identified activin receptor type IIB (ACVR2B) as a target gene of miR-21. Luciferase reporter assays showed that miR-21 interacts directly with the 3′-untranslated repeat sequence of ACVR2B mRNA. Mechanical stretch suppressed ACVR2B protein levels in PDLSCs, and this suppressive effect was modulated when endogenous miR-21 levels were either enhanced or inhibited. Both stretch and the expression of miR-21 altered endogenous ACVR2B protein levels and thus the osteogenic differentiation of PDLSCs. In addition, gain- and loss of function of ACVR2B mediated the osteogenic differentiation of PDLSCs. This study demonstrates that miR-21 is a mechanosensitive gene that plays an important role in the osteogenic differentiation of PDLSCs exposed to stretch. PMID:25203845

  5. Altered Expression of Bone Morphogenetic Protein Accessory Proteins in Murine and Human Pulmonary Fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Noelle; Gaynor, Katherine U; Rowan, Simon C; Walsh, Sinead M; Fabre, Aurelie; Boylan, John; Keane, Michael P; McLoughlin, Paul

    2016-03-01

    Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic, progressive fibrotic disease with a poor prognosis. The balance between transforming growth factor β1 and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling plays an important role in tissue homeostasis, and alterations can result in pulmonary fibrosis. We hypothesized that multiple BMP accessory proteins may be responsible for maintaining this balance in the lung. Using the bleomycin mouse model for fibrosis, we examined an array of BMP accessory proteins for changes in mRNA expression. We report significant increases in mRNA expression of gremlin 1, noggin, follistatin, and follistatin-like 1 (Fstl1), and significant decreases in mRNA expression of chordin, kielin/chordin-like protein, nephroblastoma overexpressed gene, and BMP and activin membrane-bound inhibitor (BAMBI). Protein expression studies demonstrated increased levels of noggin, BAMBI, and FSTL1 in the lungs of bleomycin-treated mice and in the lungs of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients. Furthermore, we demonstrated that transforming growth factor β stimulation resulted in increased expression of noggin, BAMBI, and FSTL1 in human small airway epithelial cells. These results provide the first evidence that multiple BMP accessory proteins are altered in fibrosis and may play a role in promoting fibrotic injury. PMID:26765958

  6. Enhanced Lung Epithelial Specification of Human iPSCs on Decellularized Lung Matrix

    PubMed Central

    Gilpin, Sarah E.; Ren, Xi; Okamoto, Tatsuya; Guyette, Jacques P.; Mou, Hongmei; Rajagopal, Jayaraj; Mathisen, Douglas J.; Vacanti, Joseph P.; Ott, Harald C.

    2014-01-01

    Background Whole lung scaffolds can be created by perfusion decellularization of cadaveric donor lungs. The resulting matrices can then be recellularized to regenerate functional organs. This study evaluates the capacity of acellular lung scaffolds to support recellularization with human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived lung progenitors. Methods Whole rat and human lungs were decellularized by constant-pressure perfusion with 0.1% SDS solution. Resulting lung scaffolds were either cryosectioned into slices or left intact. Human iPSCs were differentiated to definitive endoderm, anteriorized to a foregut fate, and then ventralized to an Nkx2.1-expressing population. Cells were seeded onto slices and whole lungs, which were maintained under constant-perfusion biomimetic culture. Lineage specification was assessed by quantitative PCR and immunofluorescent staining. Regenerated left lungs were transplanted in orthotopic position. Results Activin-A treatment followed by TGF-β inhibition induced differentiation of human iPSCs to anterior foregut endoderm as confirmed by FOXA2, SOX17, and SOX2 expression. Cells cultured on decellularized lung slices demonstrated proliferation and lineage commitment after 5 days. Nkx2.1-expressing cells were identified at 40–60% efficiency. Within whole lung scaffolds and under perfusion culture, cells further up-regulated Nkx2.1 expression. After orthotopic transplantation, grafts were perfused and ventilated via host vasculature and airways. Conclusions Decellularized lung matrix supports the culture and lineage commitment of human iPSC-derived lung progenitor cells. Whole organ scaffolds and biomimetic culture enable co-seeding of iPSC-derived endothelial and epithelial progenitors and enhance early lung fate. Orthotopic transplantation may enable further in vivo graft maturation. PMID:25149047

  7. Growth differentiation factor 8 suppresses cell proliferation by up-regulating CTGF expression in human granulosa cells.

    PubMed

    Chang, Hsun-Ming; Pan, Hui-Hui; Cheng, Jung-Chien; Zhu, Yi-Min; Leung, Peter C K

    2016-02-15

    Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is a matricellular protein that plays a critical role in the development of ovarian follicles. Growth differentiation factor 8 (GDF8) is mainly, but not exclusively, expressed in the mammalian musculoskeletal system and is a potent negative regulator of skeletal muscle growth. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of GDF8 and CTGF on the regulation of cell proliferation in human granulosa cells and to examine its underlying molecular determinants. Using dual inhibition approaches (inhibitors and small interfering RNAs), we have demonstrated that GDF8 induces the up-regulation of CTGF expression through the activin receptor-like kinase (ALK)4/5-mediated SMAD2/3-dependent signaling pathways. In addition, the increase in CTGF expression contributes to the GDF8-induced suppressive effect on granulosa cell proliferation. Our findings suggest that GDF8 and CTGF may play critical roles in the regulation of proliferative events in human granulosa cells. PMID:26577677

  8. miR-199a-5p inhibits monocyte/macrophage differentiation by targeting the activin A type 1B receptor gene and finally reducing C/EBPα expression.

    PubMed

    Lin, Hai-Shuang; Gong, Jia-Nan; Su, Rui; Chen, Ming-Tai; Song, Li; Shen, Chao; Wang, Fang; Ma, Yan-Ni; Zhao, Hua-Lu; Yu, Jia; Li, Wei-Wei; Huang, Li-Xia; Xu, Xin-Hua; Zhang, Jun-Wu

    2014-12-01

    miRNAs are short, noncoding RNAs that regulate expression of target genes at post-transcriptional levels and function in many important cellular processes, including differentiation, proliferation, etc. In this study, we observed down-regulation of miR-199a-5p during monocyte/macrophage differentiation of HL-60 and THP-1 cells, as well as human CD34(+) HSPCs. This down-regulation of miR-199a-5p resulted from the up-regulation of PU.1 that was demonstrated to regulate transcription of the miR-199a-2 gene negatively. Overexpression of miR-199a-5p by miR-199a-5p mimic transfection or lentivirus-mediated gene transfer significantly inhibited monocyte/macrophage differentiation of the cell lines or HSPCs. The mRNA encoding an ACVR1B was identified as a direct target of miR-199a-5p. Gradually increased ACVR1B expression level was detected during monocyte/macrophage differentiation of the leukemic cell lines and HSPCs, and knockdown of ACVR1B resulted in inhibition of monocyte/macrophage differentiation of HL-60 and THP-1 cells, which suggested that ACVR1B functions as a positive regulator of monocyte/macrophage differentiation. We demonstrated that miR-199a-5p overexpression or ACVR1B knockdown promoted proliferation of THP-1 cells through increasing phosphorylation of Rb. We also demonstrated that the down-regulation of ACVR1B reduced p-Smad2/3, which resulted in decreased expression of C/EBPα, a key regulator of monocyte/macrophage differentiation, and finally, inhibited monocyte/macrophage differentiation. PMID:25258381

  9. Effects of cellular origin on differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cell–derived endothelial cells

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Shijun; Zhao, Ming-Tao; Jahanbani, Fereshteh; Shao, Ning-Yi; Lee, Won Hee; Chen, Haodong; Snyder, Michael P.; Wu, Joseph C.

    2016-01-01

    Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be derived from various types of somatic cells by transient overexpression of 4 Yamanaka factors (OCT4, SOX2, C-MYC, and KLF4). Patient-specific iPSC derivatives (e.g., neuronal, cardiac, hepatic, muscular, and endothelial cells [ECs]) hold great promise in drug discovery and regenerative medicine. In this study, we aimed to evaluate whether the cellular origin can affect the differentiation, in vivo behavior, and single-cell gene expression signatures of human iPSC–derived ECs. We derived human iPSCs from 3 types of somatic cells of the same individuals: fibroblasts (FB-iPSCs), ECs (EC-iPSCs), and cardiac progenitor cells (CPC-iPSCs). We then differentiated them into ECs by sequential administration of Activin, BMP4, bFGF, and VEGF. EC-iPSCs at early passage (10 < P < 20) showed higher EC differentiation propensity and gene expression of EC-specific markers (PECAM1 and NOS3) than FB-iPSCs and CPC-iPSCs. In vivo transplanted EC-iPSC–ECs were recovered with a higher percentage of CD31+ population and expressed higher EC-specific gene expression markers (PECAM1, KDR, and ICAM) as revealed by microfluidic single-cell quantitative PCR (qPCR). In vitro EC-iPSC–ECs maintained a higher CD31+ population than FB-iPSC–ECs and CPC-iPSC–ECs with long-term culturing and passaging. These results indicate that cellular origin may influence lineage differentiation propensity of human iPSCs; hence, the somatic memory carried by early passage iPSCs should be carefully considered before clinical translation. PMID:27398408

  10. Novel insights into embryonic stem cell self-renewal revealed through comparative human and mouse systems biology networks.

    PubMed

    Dowell, Karen G; Simons, Allen K; Bai, Hao; Kell, Braden; Wang, Zack Z; Yun, Kyuson; Hibbs, Matthew A

    2014-05-01

    Embryonic stem cells (ESCs), characterized by their ability to both self-renew and differentiate into multiple cell lineages, are a powerful model for biomedical research and developmental biology. Human and mouse ESCs share many features, yet have distinctive aspects, including fundamental differences in the signaling pathways and cell cycle controls that support self-renewal. Here, we explore the molecular basis of human ESC self-renewal using Bayesian network machine learning to integrate cell-type-specific, high-throughput data for gene function discovery. We integrated high-throughput ESC data from 83 human studies (~1.8 million data points collected under 1,100 conditions) and 62 mouse studies (~2.4 million data points collected under 1,085 conditions) into separate human and mouse predictive networks focused on ESC self-renewal to analyze shared and distinct functional relationships among protein-coding gene orthologs. Computational evaluations show that these networks are highly accurate, literature validation confirms their biological relevance, and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) validation supports our predictions. Our results reflect the importance of key regulatory genes known to be strongly associated with self-renewal and pluripotency in both species (e.g., POU5F1, SOX2, and NANOG), identify metabolic differences between species (e.g., threonine metabolism), clarify differences between human and mouse ESC developmental signaling pathways (e.g., leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF)-activated JAK/STAT in mouse; NODAL/ACTIVIN-A-activated fibroblast growth factor in human), and reveal many novel genes and pathways predicted to be functionally associated with self-renewal in each species. These interactive networks are available online at www.StemSight.org for stem cell researchers to develop new hypotheses, discover potential mechanisms involving sparsely annotated genes, and prioritize genes of interest for experimental validation