PKM2 is essential for bladder cancer growth and maintenance
Pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) has been shown to promote tumorigenesis by facilitating the Warburg effect and enhancing the activities of oncoproteins. However, this paradigm has recently been challenged by studies in which the absence of PKM2 failed to inhibit and instead accelerated tumorigenesis in mouse models. These results seem inconsistent with the fact that most human tumors overexpress PKM2. To further elucidate the role of PKM2 in tumorigenesis, we investigated the effect of PKM2 knockout in oncogenic HRAS-driven urothelial carcinoma. While PKM2 ablation in mouse urothelial cells did not affect tumor initiation, it impaired the growth and maintenance of HRAS-driven tumors. Chemical inhibition of PKM2 recapitulated these effects. Both conditions substantially reduced complex formation of PKM2 with STAT3, their nuclear translocation, and HIF1Î±- and VEGF-related angiogenesis. The reduction in nuclear STAT3 in the absence of PKM2 also correlated with decreased autophagy and increased apoptosis. Time-controlled, inducible PKM2 overexpression in simple urothelial hyperplasia did not trigger tumorigenesis, while overexpression of PKM2, but not PKM1, in nodular urothelial hyperplasia with angiogenesis strongly accelerated tumorigenesis. Finally, in human patients, PKM2 was overexpressed in low-grade non-muscle invasive and high-grade muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Based on these data, PKM2 is not required for tumor initiation but is essential for tumor growth and maintenance by enhancing angiogenesis and metabolic addiction. The PKM2-STAT3-HIF1Î±/VEGF signaling axis may play a critical role in bladder cancer and may serve as an actionable therapeutic target.
Editorial: Discovering novel anticancer molecules and revealing the pharmacological mechanism of gastrointestinal carcinoma [Editorial]
The role of TAp63Î³ and P53 point mutations in regulating DNA repair, mutational susceptibility and invasion of bladder cancer cells
It has long been recognized that non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) has a low propensity (20%) of becoming muscle-invasive (MIBC), and that MIBC carry many more p53 point mutations (p53m) than NMIBC (50% vs 10%). MIBC also has a higher mutation burden than NMIBC. These results suggest that DNA repair capacities, mutational susceptibility and p53m are crucial for MIBC development. We found MIBC cells are hypermutable, deficient in DNA repair and have markedly downregulated DNA repair genes, XPC, hOGG1/2 and Ref1, and the tumor suppressor, TAp63Î³. In contrast, NMIBC cells are hyperactive in DNA repair and exhibit upregulated DNA repair genes and TAp63Î³. A parallel exists in human tumors, as MIBC tissues have markedly lower DNA repair activity, and lower expression of DNA repair genes and TAp63Î³ compared to NMIBC tissues. Forced TAp63Î³ expression in MIBC significantly mitigates DNA repair deficiencies and reduces mutational susceptibility. Knockdown of TAp63Î³ in NMIBC greatly reduces DNA repair capacity and enhances mutational susceptibility. Manipulated TAp63Î³ expression or knockdown of p53m reduce the invasion of MIBC by 40-60%. However, the combination of p53m knockdown with forced TAp63Î³ expression reduce the invasion ability to nil suggesting that p53m contributes to invasion phenotype independent from TAp63Î³. These results indicate that in BC, TAp63Î³ regulates DNA repair capacities, mutational susceptibility and invasion, and that p53m contribute to the invasion phenotype. We conclude that concurrent TAp63Î³ suppression and acquisition of p53m are a major cause for MIBC development.
Dominant role of CDKN2B/p15INK4B of 9p21.3 tumor suppressor hub in inhibition of cell-cycle and glycolysis
Human chromosome 9p21.3 is susceptible to inactivation in cell immortalization and diseases, such as cancer, coronary artery disease and type-2 diabetes. Although this locus encodes three cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors (p15INK4B, p14ARF and p16INK4A), our understanding of their functions and modes of action is limited to the latter two. Here, we show that in vitro p15INK4B is markedly stronger than p16INK4A in inhibiting pRb1 phosphorylation, E2F activity and cell-cycle progression. In mice, urothelial cells expressing oncogenic HRas and lacking p15INK4B, but not those expressing HRas and lacking p16INK4A, develop early-onset bladder tumors. The potency of CDKN2B/p15INK4B in tumor suppression relies on its strong binding via key N-terminal residues to and inhibition of CDK4/CDK6. p15INK4B also binds and inhibits enolase-1, a glycolytic enzyme upregulated in most cancer types. Our results highlight the dual inhibition of p15INK4B on cell proliferation, and unveil mechanisms whereby p15INK4B aberrations may underpin cancer and non-cancer conditions.
Tamm-Horsfall Protein/Uromodulin Deficiency Elicits Tubular Compensatory Responses Leading to Hypertension and Hyperuricemia
Expression of Tamm-Horsfall protein (THP or uromodulin) is highly restricted to the kidneys' thick ascending limb (TAL) of loop of Henle. Despite the unique location and recent association of THP gene mutations with hereditary uromodulin-associated kidney disease and THP single nucleotide polymorphisms with chronic kidney disease and hypertension, the physiological function(s) of THP and its pathological involvement remain incompletely understood. By studying age-dependent changes of THP knockout (KO) mice, we show here that young KO mice had significant salt and water wasting but were partially responsive to furosemide, due to decreased luminal translocation of Na-K-Cl cotransporter 2 (NKCC2) in the TAL. Aged THP KO mice were, however, markedly oliguric and unresponsive to furosemide, and their NKCC2 was localized primarily in the cytoplasm as evidenced by lipid raft floatation assay, cell fractionation, confocal and immunoelectron microscopy. These aged KO mice responded to metolazone and acetazolamide, known to target distal and proximal tubules, respectively. They also had marked upregulation of renin in juxtaglomerular apparatus and serum, and they were hypertensive. Finally, the aged THP KO mice had significant upregulation of Na-coupled urate transporters Slc5a8 and Slc22a12 as well as sodium-hydrogen exchanger 3 (NHE3) in the proximal tubule and elevated serum uric acid and allantoin. Collectively, our results suggest that THP deficiency can cause progressive disturbances in renal functions via initially NKCC2 dysfunction and later compensatory responses resulting in prolonged activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone axis and hyperuricema.
Uromodulin deficiency alters tubular injury and interstitial inflammation but not fibrosis in experimental obstructive nephropathy
Human GWAS and Mendelian genetic studies have linked polymorphic variants and mutations in the human uromodulin gene (UMOD) with chronic kidney disease. The primary function of this kidney-specific and secreted protein remains elusive. This study investigated whether UMOD deficiency modified responses to unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO)-induced kidney injury. Kidneys harvested from groups of wild-type (UMOD+/+) and knockout (UMOD-/-) male mice (nÂ =Â 7-10 each) were studied on days 7, 14, and 21. Compared to sham kidneys, UMOD protein levels increased 9-13x after UUO and were associated with increased urinary UMOD levels. Kidney KIM-1 protein levels were higher in the UMOD-/- groups at all time-points (4-14x). The UMOD-/- groups also had higher KIM-1 kidney-to-urine relative ratios (5-35x). In vitro studies using KIM-1 expressing 769-P cells showed lower KIM-1 levels in the presence of UMOD protein. Levels of proapoptotic genes and the epithelial cell apoptotic protein marker M30 were significantly lower in the UMOD-/- groups. Both M30 and KIM-1 colocalized with intraluminal UMOD protein deposits. Interstitial inflammation was less intense in the UMOD-/- groups. Renal fibrosis severity (kidney collagen mRNA and protein) was similar in both genotypic groups on days 7, 14, and 21. Our findings suggest a role for UMOD-dependent inhibition of KIM-1 expression and its apoptotic cell scavenging responses during chronic obstruction-associated tubular injury.
Point mutation in D8C domain of Tamm-Horsfall protein/uromodulin in transgenic mice causes progressive renal damage and hyperuricemia
Hereditary mutations in Tamm-Horsfall protein (THP/uromodulin) gene cause autosomal dominant kidney diseases characterized by juvenile-onset hyperuricemia, gout and progressive kidney failure, although the disease pathogenesis remains unclear. Here we show that targeted expression in transgenic mice of a mutation within the domain of 8 cysteines of THP in kidneys' thick ascending limb (TAL) caused unfolded protein response in younger (1-month old) mice and apoptosis in older (12-month old) mice. While the young mice had urine concentration defects and polyuria, such defects progressively reversed in the older mice to marked oliguria, highly concentrated urine, fibrotic kidneys and reduced creatinine clearance. Both the young and the old transgenic mice had significantly higher serum uric acid and its catabolic product, allantoin, than age-matched wild-type mice. This THP mutation apparently caused primary defects in TAL by compromising the luminal translocation and reabsorptive functions of NKCC2 and ROMK and secondary responses in proximal tubules by upregulating NHE3 and URAT1. Our results strongly suggest that the progressive worsening of kidney functions reflects the accumulation of the deleterious effects of the misfolded mutant THP and the compensatory responses. Transgenic mice recapitulating human THP/uromodulin-associated kidney diseases could be used to elucidate their pathogenesis and test novel therapeutic strategies.
Role of isoenzyme M2 of pyruvate kinase in urothelial tumorigenesis
The conversion of precancerous lesions to full-fledged cancers requires the affected cells to surpass certain rate-limiting steps. We recently showed that activation of HRAS proto-oncogene in urothelial cells of transgenic mice causes simple urothelial hyperplasia (SUH) which is persistent and whose transition to low-grade papillary urothelial carcinoma (UC) must undergo nodular urothelial hyperplasia (NUH). We hypothesized that NUH, which has acquired fibrovascular cores, plays critical roles in mesenchymal-to-epithelial signaling, breaching the barriers of urothelial tumor initiation. Using proteomics involving two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, immunoblotting with pan-phosphotyrosine antibody and MALDI-mass spectrometry, we identified isoform 2 of pyruvate kinase (PKM2) as the major tyrosine-phosphorylated protein switched on during NUH. We extended this finding using specimens from transgenic mice, human UC and UC cell lines, establishing that PKM2, but not its spliced variant PKM1, was over-expressed in low-grade and, more prominently, high-grade UC. In muscle-invasive UC, PKM2 was co-localized with cytokeratins 5 and 14, UC progenitor markers. Specific inhibition of PKM2 by siRNA or shRNA suppressed UC cell proliferation via increased apoptosis, autophagy and unfolded protein response. These results strongly suggest that PKM2 plays an important role in the genesis of low-grade non-invasive and high-grade invasive urothelial carcinomas.
Dual ligand/receptor interactions activate urothelial defenses against uropathogenic E. coli
During urinary tract infection (UTI), the second most common bacterial infection, dynamic interactions take place between uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) and host urothelial cells. While significant strides have been made in the identification of the virulence factors of UPEC, our understanding of how the urothelial cells mobilize innate defenses against the invading UPEC remains rudimentary. Here we show that mouse urothelium responds to the adhesion of type 1-fimbriated UPEC by rapidly activating the canonical NF-kappaB selectively in terminally differentiated, superficial (umbrella) cells. This activation depends on a dual ligand/receptor system, one between FimH adhesin and uroplakin Ia and another between lipopolysaccharide and Toll-like receptor 4. When activated, all the nuclei (up to 11) of a multinucleated umbrella cell are affected, leading to significant amplification of proinflammatory signals. Intermediate and basal cells of the urothelium undergo NF-kappaB activation only if the umbrella cells are detached or if the UPEC persistently express type 1-fimbriae. Inhibition of NF-kappaB prevents the urothelium from clearing the intracellular bacterial communities, leading to prolonged bladder colonization by UPEC. Based on these data, we propose a model of dual ligand/receptor system in innate urothelial defenses against UPEC.
Inhibition and Reversal of Microbial Attachment by an Antibody with Parasteric Activity against the FimH Adhesin of Uropathogenic E. coli
Attachment proteins from the surface of eukaryotic cells, bacteria and viruses are critical receptors in cell adhesion or signaling and are primary targets for the development of vaccines and therapeutic antibodies. It is proposed that the ligand-binding pocket in receptor proteins can shift between inactive and active conformations with weak and strong ligand-binding capability, respectively. Here, using monoclonal antibodies against a vaccine target protein - fimbrial adhesin FimH of uropathogenic Escherichia coli, we demonstrate that unusually strong receptor inhibition can be achieved by antibody that binds within the binding pocket and displaces the ligand in a non-competitive way. The non-competitive antibody binds to a loop that interacts with the ligand in the active conformation of the pocket but is shifted away from ligand in the inactive conformation. We refer to this as a parasteric inhibition, where the inhibitor binds adjacent to the ligand in the binding pocket. We showed that the receptor-blocking mechanism of parasteric antibody differs from that of orthosteric inhibition, where the inhibitor replaces the ligand or allosteric inhibition where the inhibitor binds at a site distant from the ligand, and is very potent in blocking bacterial adhesion, dissolving surface-adherent biofilms and protecting mice from urinary bladder infection.