Try a new search

Format these results:

Searched for:



Total Results:


MicroRNA-Gene Interactions Impacted by Toxic Metal(oid)s during EMT and Carcinogenesis

Tran, Franklin; Lee, Eunji; Cuddapah, Suresh; Choi, Byeong Hyeok; Dai, Wei
Chronic environmental exposure to toxic metal(loid)s significantly contributes to human cancer development and progression. It is estimated that approximately 90% of cancer deaths are a result of metastasis of malignant cells, which is initiated by epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) during early carcinogenesis. EMT is regulated by many families of genes and microRNAs (miRNAs) that control signaling pathways for cell survival, death, and/or differentiation. Recent mechanistic studies have shown that toxic metal(loid)s alter the expression of miRNAs responsible for regulating the expression of genes involved in EMT. Altered miRNA expressions have the potential to be biomarkers for predicting survival and responses to treatment in cancers. Significantly, miRNAs can be developed as therapeutic targets for cancer patients in the clinic. In this mini review, we summarize key findings from recent studies that highlight chemical-miRNA-gene interactions leading to the perturbation of EMT after exposure to toxic metal(loid)s including arsenic, cadmium, nickel, and chromium.
PMID: 36497298
ISSN: 2072-6694
CID: 5381762

Oxidative stress modulates expression of immune checkpoint genes via activation of AhR signaling

Kou, Ziyue; Yang, Rui; Lee, Eunji; Cuddapah, Suresh; Choi, Byeong Hyeok; Dai, Wei
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are by-products of metabolism of oxygen and they play an important role in normal homeostasis and cell signaling, as well as in the initiation of diseases including cancer when their production is upregulated. Thus, it is imperative to understand the cellular and molecular basis by which ROS impact on various biological and pathological processes. In this report, we show that human keratinocyte cell line (HaCaT) treated with hydrogen peroxide displayed an increased activity of AhR, leading to enhanced expression of its downstream targets including cytochrome P450 genes. Intriguingly, preincubation of the complete culture medium with hydrogen peroxide accelerated AhR activation and its downstream signaling. Subsequent mass spectrometric analysis reveals that the oxidant elicits the production of oxindole, a tryptophan catabolic product. We further demonstrate that 2-oxindole (a major form of oxindole) is capable of activating AhR, strongly suggesting that ROS may exert a significant impact on AhR signaling. Consistent with this, we also observe that hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)], a heavy metal known to generate ROS in vivo, enhances AhR protein levels, as well as stimulates expression of CYP1A2 in an AhR-dependent manner. Significantly, we show that hydrogen peroxide and 2-oxindole induce expression of IDO1 and PD-L1, two immune checkpoint proteins. Given the role of IDO1 and PD-L1 in mediating T cell activity and/or differentiation, we postulate that ROS in the tumor microenvironment may play a crucial role in immune suppression via perturbing AhR signaling.
PMID: 36368423
ISSN: 1096-0333
CID: 5356602

Identification and characterization of a novel cell binding and cross-reactive region on spike protein of SARS-CoV-2

Wang, Hanlu; Yang, Tiantian; Jiang, Wenhong; Qin, Meng; Sun, Ziyong; Dai, Wei; Jiang, Yongping
Given that COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc around the world, it is imperative to search for a conserved region involved in viral infection so that effective vaccines can be developed to prevent the virus from rapid mutations. We have established a twelve-fragment library of recombinant proteins covering the entire region of spike protein of both SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV from Escherichia coli. IgGs from murine antisera specifically against 6 spike protein fragments of SARS-CoV-2 were produced, purified, and characterized. We found that one specific IgG against the fusion process region, named COVID19-SF5, serologically cross-reacted with all twelve S-protein fragments. COVID19-SF5, with amino acid sequences from 880 to 1084, specifically bound to VERO-E6 and BEAS-2B cells, with Kd values of 449.1 ± 21.41 and 381.9 ± 31.53 nM, and IC50 values of 761.2 ± 28.2 nM and 862.4 ± 32.1 nM, respectively. In addition, COVID19-SF5 greatly enhanced binding of the full-length CHO cell-derived spike protein to the host cells in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, COVID19-SF5 and its IgGs inhibited the infection of the host cells by pseudovirus. The combined data from our studies reveal that COVID19-SF5, a novel cell-binding fragment, may contain a common region(s) for mediating viral binding during infection. Our studies also provide valuable insights into how virus variants may evade host immune recognition. Significantly, the observation that the IgGs against COVID19-SF5 possesses cross reactivity to all other fragments of S protein, suggesting that it is possible to develop universal neutralizing monoclonal antibodies to curb rapid mutations of COVID-19.
PMID: 36123381
ISSN: 2045-2322
CID: 5335082

Ras sumoylation in cell signaling and transformation

Dai, Wei; Xie, Suqing; Chen, Changyan; Choi, Byeong Hyeok
Ras proteins are small GTPases that participate in multiple signal cascades, regulating crucial cellular processes including cell survival, proliferation, and differentiation. Mutations or deregulated activities of Ras are frequently the driving force for oncogenic transformation and tumorigenesis. Posttranslational modifications play a crucial role in mediating the stability, activity, or subcellular localization/trafficking of numerous cellular regulators including Ras proteins. A series of recent studies reveal that Ras proteins are also regulated by sumoylation. All three Ras protein isoforms (HRas, KRas, and NRas) are modified by SUMO3. The conserved lysine42 appears to be the primary site for mediating sumoylation. Expression of KRasV12/R42 mutants compromised the activation of the Raf/MEK/ERK signaling axis, leading to a reduced rate of cell migration and invasion in vitro in multiple cell lines. Moreover, treatment of transformed pancreatic cells with a SUMO E2 inhibitor blocks cell migration in a concentration-dependent manner, which is associated with a reduced level of both KRas sumoylation and expression of mesenchymal cell markers. Furthermore, mouse xenograft experiments reveal that expression of a SUMO-resistant mutant appears to suppress tumor development in vivo. Combined, these studies indicate that sumoylation functions as an important mechanism in mediating the roles of Ras in cell proliferation, differentiation, and malignant transformation and that the SUMO-modification system of Ras oncoproteins can be explored as a new druggable target for various human malignancies.
PMID: 33812985
ISSN: 1096-3650
CID: 4862412

Identification of Radil as a Ras binding partner and putative activator

Choi, Byeong Hyeok; Kou, Ziyue; Colon, Tania Marlyn; Chen, Chih-Hong; Chen, Yuan; Dai, Wei
Ras genes are among the most frequently mutated oncogenes in human malignancies. To date, there are no successful anti-cancer drugs in the clinic that target Ras proteins or their pathways. Therefore, it is imperative to identify and characterize new components that regulate Ras activity or mediates its downstream signaling. To this end, we used a combination of affinity-pulldown and mass spectrometry to search for proteins that are physically associated with KRas. One of the top hits was Radil, a gene product with a Ras-association (RA) domain. Radil is known to be a downstream effector of Rap1, inhibiting RhoA signaling to regulate cell adhesion and migration. We demonstrate that Radil interacted with all three isoforms of Ras including HRas, NRas, and KRas, although it exhibited the strongest interaction with KRas. Moreover, Radil interacts with GTP-bound Ras more efficiently, suggesting a possibility that Radil may be involved in Ras activation. Supporting this, ectopic expression of Radil led to transient activation of MEK and ERK; Radil knockdown resulted in weakened activation of Ras downstream signaling components, which was coupled with decreased cell proliferation and invasion, and reduced expression of mesenchymal cell markers. Moreover, Radil knockdown greatly reduced the number of adhesion foci and depolymerized actin filaments, molecular processes that facilitate cancer cell migration. Taken together, our current studies strongly suggest that Radil is an important player for regulating Ras signaling, cell adhesion, and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and may provide new directions for Ras-related anti-cancer drug development.
PMID: 33482197
ISSN: 1083-351x
CID: 4875102

Good Manufacturing Practice-Grade of Megakaryocytes Produced by a Novel Ex Vivo Culturing Platform

Guan, Xin; Wang, Lan; Wang, Hanlu; Wang, Huihui; Dai, Wei; Jiang, Yongping
Ex vivo (EV)-derived megakaryocytes (MKs) have shown great promise as a substitute for platelets in transfusion medicine to alleviate a severe shortage of donor-platelets. Challenges remain that include poor efficiency, a limited scale of production, and undefined short-term storage conditions of EV-derived MKs. This study aims to develop a high-efficiency system for large-scale production of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)-grade MKs and determine the short-term storage condition for the MKs. A roller-bottle culture system was introduced to produce GMP-grade MKs from small-molecule/cytokine cocktail expanded hematopoietic stem cells. Various buffer systems and temperatures for the short-term storage of MKs were assessed by cell viability, biomarker expression, and DNA ploidy levels. MKs stored for 24 hours were transplanted into sublethally irradiated nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficient (NOD/SCID) mice to confirm their platelet-releasing and tissue-homing ability in vivo. A yield of ~ 2.5 × 104 CD41a+ /CD42b+ MKs with purity of ~ 80% was achieved from one original cord blood CD34+ cell. Compared with the static culture, the roller-bottle culture system significantly enhanced megakaryopoiesis, as shown by the cell size, DNA ploidy, and megakaryopoiesis-related gene expression. The optimal storage condition for the MKs was defined as normal saline with 10% human serum albumin at 22℃. Stored MKs were capable of rapidly producing functional platelets and largely distributing in the lungs of NOD/SCID mice. The novel development of efficient production and storage system for GMP-grade MKs represents a significant step toward application of these MKs in the clinic.
PMID: 33030809
ISSN: 1752-8062
CID: 4710082

Safety and efficacy of ex vivo expanded CD34+ stem cells in murine and primate models

Zhang, Yu; Shen, Bin; Guan, Xin; Qin, Meng; Ren, Zhihua; Ma, Yupo; Dai, Wei; Ding, Xinxin; Jiang, Yongping
BACKGROUND:Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation has been widely applied to the treatment of malignant blood diseases. However, limited number of functional HSCs hinders successful transplantation. The purpose of our current study is to develop a new and cost-efficient medium formulation that could greatly enhance the expansion of HSCs while retaining their long-term repopulation and hematopoietic properties for effective clinical transplantation. METHODS:cells were expanded with a new, cost-efficient expansion medium formulation, named hematopoietic expansion medium (HEM), consisting of various cytokines and nutritional supplements. The long-term repopulation potential and hematologic-lineage differentiation ability of expanded human cells were studied in the non-obese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency mouse model. Furthermore, the efficacy and safety studies were performed by autologous transplantation of expanded primate cells in the nonhuman primate model. RESULTS:cells survived for over 18 months without any noticeable abnormalities. CONCLUSIONS:Together, these findings demonstrate promising potential for the utility of HEM to improve expansion of HSCs for clinical application.
PMID: 31196160
ISSN: 1757-6512
CID: 3930192

CD44s is a crucial ATG7 downstream regulator for stem-like property, invasion, and lung metastasis of human bladder cancer (BC) cells

Zhu, Junlan; Huang, Grace; Hua, Xiaohui; Li, Yang; Yan, Huiying; Che, Xun; Tian, Zhongxian; Liufu, Huating; Huang, Chao; Li, Jingxia; Xu, Jiheng; Dai, Wei; Huang, Haishan; Huang, Chuanshu
Over half a million US residents are suffering with bladder cancer (BC), which costs a total $4 billion in treatment annually. Although recent studies report that autophagy-related gene 7 (ATG7) is overexpressed in BCs, the regulatory effects of ATG7 on cancer stem-like phenotypes and invasion have not been explored yet. Current studies demonstrated that the deficiency of ATG7 by its shRNA dramatically reduced sphere formation and invasion in vitro, as well as lung metastasis in vivo in human invasive BC cells. Further studies indicated that the knockdown of ATG7 attenuated the expression of CD44 standard (CD44s), while ectopic introduction of CD44s, was capable of completely restoring sphere formation, invasion, and lung metastasis in T24T(shATG7) cells. Mechanistic studies revealed that ATG7 overexpression stabilized CD44s proteins accompanied with upregulating USP28 proteins. Upregulated USP28 was able to bind to CD44s and remove the ubiquitin group from CD44s' protein, resulting in the stabilization of CD44s protein. Moreover, ATG7 inhibition stabilized AUF1 protein and thereby reduced tet1 mRNA stability and expression, which was able to demethylate usp28 promoter, reduced USP28 expression, finally promoting CD44s degradation. In addition, CD44s was defined to inhibit degradation of RhoGDIβ, which in turn promotes BC invasion. Our results demonstrate that CD44s is a key ATG7 downstream regulator of the sphere formation, invasion, and lung metastasis of BCs, providing significant insight into understanding the BC invasions, metastasis, and stem-like properties.
PMID: 30635654
ISSN: 1476-5594
CID: 3580082

Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor: Its Regulation and Roles in Transformation and Tumorigenesis

Che, Xun; Dai, Wei
AhR is an environmental response gene that mediates cellular responses to a variety of xenobiotic compounds that frequently function as AhR ligands. Many AhR ligands are classified as carcinogens or pro-carcinogens. Thus, AhR itself acts as a major mediator of the carcinogenic effect of many xenobiotics in vivo. In this concise review, mechanisms by which AhR trans-activates downstream target gene expression, modulates immune responses, and mediates malignant transformation and tumor development are discussed. Moreover, activation of AhR by post-translational modifications and crosstalk with other transcription factors or signaling pathways are also summarized.
PMID: 30411679
ISSN: 1873-5592
CID: 3796862

Negative regulation of aryl hydrocarbon receptor by its lysine mutations and exposure to nickel

Che, Xun; Dai, Wei
ISSN: 1738-642x
CID: 4155902