Jun 2014, Volume 5 Issue 6

Cover illustration

  • CD146 is a newly identified endothelial biomarker that has been implicated in angiogenesis. Here, we generated endothelial-specific CD146 knockout (CD146EC-KO) mice using the Tg(Tek-cre) system. These mice did not exhibit any apparent morphological defects in the development of normal retinal vasculature, but in a xenograft tumor model, both tumor volume and vascular density were significantly lower in CD146EC-KO mice when compared to WT littermates [Detail] ...

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    Baoyuan Zhang,Jing Qu,Nur Estya Binte Rahman
    Haijin He,Marlyn Gonzalez,Fan Zhang,Fei Li

    Genetic information stored in DNA is accurately copied and transferred to subsequent generations through DNA replication. This process is accomplished through the concerted actions of highly conserved DNA replication components. Epigenetic information stored in the form of histone modifications and DNA methylation, constitutes a second layer of regulatory information important for many cellular processes, such as gene expression regulation, chromatin organization, and genome stability. During DNA replication, epigenetic information must also be faithfully transmitted to subsequent generations. How this monumental task is achieved remains poorly understood. In this review, we will discuss recent advances on the role of DNA replication components in the inheritance of epigenetic marks, with a particular focus on epigenetic regulation in fission yeast. Based on these findings, we propose that specific DNA replication components function as key regulators in the replication of epigenetic information across the genome.

    Xiaofei Yang,Dongmei Hou,Wei Jiang,Chen Zhang

    Chemical synapses are asymmetric intercellular junctions through which neurons send nerve impulses to communicate with other neurons or excitable cells. The appropriate formation of synapses, both spatially and temporally, is essential for brain function and depends on the intercellular protein-protein interactions of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) at synaptic clefts. The CAM proteins link pre- and post-synaptic sites, and play essential roles in promoting synapse formation and maturation, maintaining synapse number and type, accumulating neurotransmitter receptors and ion channels, controlling neuronal differentiation, and even regulating synaptic plasticity directly. Alteration of the interactions of CAMs leads to structural and functional impairments, which results in many neurological disorders, such as autism, Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the functions of CAMs during development and in the mature neural system, as well as in the pathogenesis of some neurological disorders. Here, we review the function of the major classes of CAMs, and how dysfunction of CAMs relates to several neurological disorders.

    Qiqun Zeng,Zhenzhen Wu,Hongxia Duan,Xuan Jiang,Tao Tu,Di Lu,Yongting Luo,Ping Wang,Lina Song,Jing Feng,Dongling Yang,Xiyun Yan

    CD146 is a newly identified endothelial biomarker that has been implicated in angiogenesis. Though in vitro angiogenic function of CD146 has been extensively reported, in vivo evidence is still lacking. To address this issue, we generated endothelial-specific CD146 knockout (CD146EC-KO) mice using the Tg(Tek-cre) system. Surprisingly, these mice did not exhibit any apparent morphological defects in the development of normal retinal vasculature. To evaluate the role of CD146 in pathological angiogenesis, a xenograft tumor model was used. We found that both tumor volume and vascular density were significantly lower in CD146EC-KO mice when compared to WT littermates. Additionally, the ability for sprouting, migration and tube formation in response to VEGF treatmentwas impairedinendothelial cells (ECs) of CD146EC-KO mice. Mechanistic studies further confirmed that VEGFinduced VEGFR-2 phosphorylation and AKT/p38 MAPKs/ NF-κB activation were inhibited in these CD146-null ECs, whichmight present theunderlyingcause for theobserved inhibition of tumor angiogenesis in CD146EC-KO mice. These results suggest thatCD146 plays a redundant role in physiological angiogenic processes, but becomes essential during pathological angiogenesis as observed in tumorigenesis.

    Jiangmei Li,Lunfeng Zhang,Zhen Gao,Hua Kang,Guohua Rong,Xu Zhang,Chang Chen

    Our previous studies indicate that phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase IIα can promote the growth of multi-malignant tumors viaHER-2/PI3K andMAPK pathways.However, the molecular mechanisms of this pathway and its potential for clinical application remain unknown. In this study, we found that PI4KIIα could be an ideal combinatorial target for EGFR treatment via regulating EGFR degradation. Results showed that PI4KIIα knockdown reduced EGFR protein level, and the expression ofPI4KIIα shows a strong correlation with EGFR in human breast cancer tissues (r = 0.77, P<0.01). PI4KIIα knockdown greatly prolonged the effects and decreased the effective dosage ofAG-1478, a specific inhibitor of EGFR. In addition, it significantly enhanced AG1478-induced inhibition of tumor cell survival and strengthened the effect of the EGFR-targeting anti-cancer drug Iressa in xenograft tumor models. Mechanistically, we found that PI4KIIα suppression increased EGFR ligand-independent degradation. Quantitative proteomic analysis by stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) and LC-MS/MS suggested that HSP90mediated the effect of PI4KIIα onEGFR. Furthermore, we found that combined inhibition of PI4KIIα and EGFR suppressed both PI3K/AKT and MAPK/ERK pathways, and resulted in downregulation of multiple oncogenes like PRDX2, FASN, MTA2, ultimately leading to suppression of tumor growth. Therefore,we conclude that combined inhibition of PI4KIIα and EGFR exerts a multiple anti-tumor effect. Dual inhibition of EGFR at protein and activity level via combinatorial blocking of PI4KIIα presents anovel strategy tocombatEGFR-dependent tumors.

    Youguang Luo,Dengwen Li,Jie Ran,Bing Yan,Jie Chen,Xin Dong,Zhu Liu,Ruming Liu,Jun Zhou,Min Liu

    Paclitaxel is a microtubule-targeting agent widely used for the treatment of many solid tumors. However, patients show variable sensitivity to this drug, and effective diagnostic tests predicting drug sensitivity remain to be investigated. Herein, we show that the expression of end-binding protein 1 (EB1), a regulator of microtubule dynamics involved in multiple cellular activities, in breast tumor tissues correlates with the pathological response of tumors to paclitaxel-based chemotherapy. In vitro cell proliferation assays reveal that EB1 stimulates paclitaxel sensitivity in breast cancer cell lines. Our data further demonstrate that EB1 increases the activity of paclitaxel to cause mitotic arrest and apoptosis in cancer cells. In addition, microtubule binding affinity analysis and polymerization/depolymerization assays show that EB1 enhances paclitaxel binding to microtubules and stimulates the ability of paclitaxel to promote microtubule assembly and stabilization. These findings thus reveal EB1 as a critical regulator of paclitaxel sensitivity and have important implications in breast cancer chemotherapy.

    Lizong Deng,Xiaoxi Dong,Aiping Wu,Tingrui Song,Taijiao Jiang
    Min Qiang,Yajie Xu,Yang Lu,Yingge He,Chanshuai Han,Ying Liu,Rongqiao He