Akt and ERK control the proliferative response of mammary epithelial cells to the growth factors IGF-1 and EGF through the cell cycle inhibitor p57Kip2.
ABSTRACT: Epithelial cells respond to growth factors including epidermal growth factor (EGF), insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), and insulin. Using high-content immunofluorescence microscopy, we quantitated differences in signaling networks downstream of EGF, which stimulated proliferation of mammary epithelial cells, and insulin or IGF-1, which enhanced the proliferative response to EGF but did not stimulate proliferation independently. We found that the abundance of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p21Cip1 and p57Kip2 increased in response to IGF-1 or insulin but decreased in response to EGF. Depletion of p57Kip2, but not p21Cip1, rendered IGF-1 or insulin sufficient to induce cellular proliferation in the absence of EGF. Signaling through the PI3K (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase)-Akt-mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) pathway was necessary and sufficient for the increase in p57Kip2, whereas MEK [mitogen-activated or extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) kinase]-ERK activity suppressed this increase, forming a regulatory circuit that limited proliferation in response to unaccompanied Akt activity. Knockdown of p57Kip2 enhanced the proliferative phenotype induced by tumor-associated PI3K mutant variants and released mammary epithelial acini from growth arrest during morphogenesis in three-dimensional culture. These results provide a potential explanation for the context-dependent proliferative activities of insulin and IGF-1 and for the finding that the CDKN1C locus encoding p57Kip2 is silenced in many breast cancers, which frequently show hyperactivation of the PI3K pathway. The status of p57Kip2 may thus be an important factor to assess when considering targeted therapy against the ERK or PI3K pathways.
Project description:Strategies to improve retinal progenitor cell (RPC) capacity to yield proliferative and multipotent pools of cells that can efficiently differentiate into retinal neurons, including photoreceptors, could be vital for cell therapy in retinal degenerative diseases. In this study, we found that insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) plays a role in the regulation of proliferation and differentiation of RPCs. Our results show that IGF-1 promotes RPC proliferation via IGF-1 receptors (IGF-1Rs), stimulating increased phosphorylation in the PI3K/Akt and MAPK/Erk pathways. An inhibitor experiment revealed that IGF-1-induced RPC proliferation was inhibited when the PI3K/Akt and MAPK/Erk pathways were blocked. Furthermore, under the condition of differentiation, IGF-1-pretreated RPCs prefer to differentiate into retinal neurons, including photoreceptors, in vitro, which is crucial for visual formation and visual restoration. These results demonstrate that IGF-1 accelerates the proliferation of RPCs and IGF-1 pretreated RPCs may have shown an increased potential for retinal neuron differentiation, providing a novel strategy for regulating the proliferation and differentiation of retinal progenitors in vitro and shedding light upon the application of RPCs in retinal cell therapy.
Project description:Müller glia (MG) in the zebrafish retina respond to retinal injury by generating multipotent progenitors for retinal repair. Here, we show that Insulin, Igf-1, and fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling components are necessary for retina regeneration. Interestingly, these factors synergize with each other and with heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor (HB-EGF) and cytokines to stimulate MG to generate multipotent progenitors in the uninjured retina. These factors act by stimulating a core set of signaling cascades (Mapk/Erk, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase [PI3K], ?-catenin, and pStat3) that are also shared with retinal injury and exhibit a remarkable amount of crosstalk. Our studies suggest that MG both produce and respond to factors that stimulate MG reprogramming and proliferation following retinal injury. The identification of a core set of regeneration-associated signaling pathways required for MG reprogramming not only furthers our understanding of retina regeneration in fish but also suggests targets for enhancing regeneration in mammals.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a tumor syndrome caused by mutations in TSC1 or TSC2 genes, is characterized by the development of hamartomas. We previously isolated, from an angiomyolipoma of a TSC2 patient, a homogenous population of smooth muscle-like cells (TSC2(-/-) ASM cells) that have a mutation in the TSC2 gene as well as TSC2 loss of heterozygosity (LOH) and consequently, do not produce the TSC2 gene product, tuberin. TSC2(-/-) ASM cell proliferation is EGF-dependent.<h4>Methods and findings</h4>Effects of EGF on proliferation of TSC2(-/-) ASM cells and TSC2(-/-) ASM cells transfected with TSC2 gene were determined. In contrast to TSC2(-/-) ASM cells, growth of TSC2-transfected cells was not dependent on EGF. Moreover, phosphorylation of Akt, PTEN, Erk and S6 was significantly decreased. EGF is a proliferative factor of TSC2(-/-) ASM cells. Exposure of TSC2(-/-) ASM cells to anti-EGFR antibodies significantly inhibited their proliferation, reverted reactivity to HMB45 antibody, a marker of TSC2(-/-) cell phenotype, and inhibited constitutive phosphorylation of S6 and ERK. Exposure of TSC2(-/-) ASM cells to rapamycin reduced the proliferation rate, but only when added at plating time. Although rapamycin efficiently inhibited S6 phosphorylation, it was less efficient than anti-EGFR antibody in reverting HMB45 reactivity and blocking ERK phosphorylation. In TSC2(-/-) ASM cells specific PI3K inhibitors (e.g. LY294002, wortmannin) and Akt1 siRNA had little effect on S6 and ERK phosphorylation. Following TSC2-gene transfection, Akt inhibitor sensitivity was observed.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our results show that an EGF independent pathway is more important than that involving IGF-I for growth and survival of TSC(-/-) ASM cells, and such EGF-dependency is the result of the lack of tuberin.
Project description:The IGF-I (insulin-like growth factor-I) signalling pathway responsible for regulation of proteoglycan synthesis in chondrocytes has not been defined and is the focus of the present study. Chondrocytes isolated from normal human articular cartilage were stimulated with IGF-I in monolayer culture or in suspension in alginate. IGF-I activated members of both the PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase) pathway and the ERK (extracellular-signal-regulated kinase)/MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) pathway. The PI3K inhibitors LY294002 and wortmannin blocked IGF-I-stimulated Akt phosphorylation without blocking ERK phosphorylation and this was associated with complete inhibition of proteoglycan synthesis. A decrease in IGF-I-stimulated proteoglycan synthesis was also observed upon inhibition of mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) and p70S6 kinase, both of which are downstream of Akt. The MEK (MAPK/ERK kinase) inhibitors PD98059 and U0126 blocked IGF-I-stimulated ERK phosphorylation but did not block the phosphorylation of Akt and did not decrease proteoglycan synthesis. Instead, in alginate- cultured chondrocytes, the MEK inhibitors increased IGF-I-stimulated proteoglycan synthesis when compared with cells treated with IGF-I alone. This is the first study to demonstrate that IGF-I stimulation of the PI3K signalling pathway is responsible for the ability of IGF-I to increase proteoglycan synthesis. Although IGF-I also activates the ERK/MAPK pathway, ERK activity is not required for proteoglycan synthesis and may serve as a negative regulator.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Otic neurons and sensory cells derive from common progenitors whose transition into mature cells requires the coordination of cell survival, proliferation and differentiation programmes. Neurotrophic support and survival of post-mitotic otic neurons have been intensively studied, but the bases underlying the regulation of programmed cell death in immature proliferative otic neuroblasts remains poorly understood. The protein kinase AKT acts as a node, playing a critical role in controlling cell survival and cell cycle progression. AKT is activated by trophic factors, including insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), through the generation of the lipidic second messenger phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate by phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K). Here we have investigated the role of IGF-dependent activation of the PI3K-AKT pathway in maintenance of otic neuroblasts. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: By using a combination of organotypic cultures of chicken (Gallus gallus) otic vesicles and acoustic-vestibular ganglia, Western blotting, immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization, we show that IGF-I-activation of AKT protects neural progenitors from programmed cell death. IGF-I maintains otic neuroblasts in an undifferentiated and proliferative state, which is characterised by the upregulation of the forkhead box M1 (FoxM1) transcription factor. By contrast, our results indicate that post-mitotic p27(Kip)-positive neurons become IGF-I independent as they extend their neuronal processes. Neurons gradually reduce their expression of the Igf1r, while they increase that of the neurotrophin receptor, TrkC. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Proliferative otic neuroblasts are dependent on the activation of the PI3K-AKT pathway by IGF-I for survival during the otic neuronal progenitor phase of early inner ear development.
Project description:The proliferation of most normal cells depends on the co-operation of several growth factors and hormones, each with a specific role, but the key events involved in the action of each necessary stimulant remain largely uncharacterized. In the present study, the pathways involved in the mechanism(s) of co-operation have been investigated in primary cultures of dog thyroid epithelial cells. In this physiologically relevant system, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) acting through cAMP, epidermal growth factor (EGF) and phorbol esters (such as PMA) induce DNA synthesis. Their effect requires stimulation of the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) receptor by either IGF-1 or insulin, which are not themselves mitogenic agents. In contrast, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is itself fully mitogenic. The results of the study demonstrate that cAMP, EGF, HGF and PMA stimulate p70 ribosomal S6 kinase (p70 S6 kinase). However, insulin/IGF-1 also stimulate p70 S6 kinase. Thus stimulation of p70 S6 kinase might be necessary, but is certainly not sufficient, for the induction of DNA synthesis and is not specific for any stimulated pathway. In contrast, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) and protein kinase B (PKB) activation by insulin and HGF is strong and sustained, whereas it is weak and transient with EGF and absent in the presence of TSH or PMA. These findings suggest that: (i) stimulation of PI 3-kinases and/or PKB is not involved in the cAMP-dependent pathways leading to thyrocyte proliferation, or in the action of PMA, (ii) the stimulation of the PI 3-kinase/PKB pathway may account for the permissive action of insulin/IGF-1 in the proliferation of these cells, and (iii) the stimulation of this pathway by HGF may explain why this agent does not require insulin or IGF-1 for its mitogenic action.
Project description:Previously, we found that genistein at low concentrations stimulates the growth of human uterine leiomyoma (LM) cells, but not uterine smooth muscle (myometrial) cells (SMC). The aim of this study was to understand the molecular mechanism whereby genistein causes hyperproliferation of LM cells.The effects of genistein at 1 microg/ml on LM cells and SMC were evaluated using estrogen response element gene reporter, real-time RT-PCR, western blot, immunoprecipitation and cell proliferation assays.Elevated estrogen receptor (ER) transactivation, increased mRNA expression of early estrogen-responsive genes, progesterone receptor and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), and decreased protein levels of ER-alpha (ER alpha) were found in genistein-treated LM cells, but not SMC. Additionally, extracellular regulated kinase (ERK), Src homology/collagen (Shc) and ER alpha were transiently activated, and interactions between ER alpha and IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR) were rapidly induced by genistein in LM cells. Using ER antagonist ICI 182,780 and MAPK/ERK kinase (MEK) inhibitor PD98059, we found that these early events were inhibited and the proliferative effect of genistein on LM cells was abrogated.ER alpha is involved in the transient activation of ERK/mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) by genistein via its early association with IGF-IR, leading to hyper-responsiveness of LM cells and confirming that ER signaling is enhanced by activation of ERK/MAPK in LM cells.
Project description:The receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK)/phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway is fundamental for cancer cell proliferation and is known to be frequently altered and activated in neoplasia, including embryonal tumors. Based on the high frequency of alterations, targeting components of the PI3K signaling pathway is considered to be a promising therapeutic approach for cancer treatment. Here, we have investigated the potential of targeting the axis of the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) and PI3K signaling in two common cancers of childhood: neuroblastoma, the most common extracranial tumor in children and medulloblastoma, the most frequent malignant childhood brain tumor. By treating neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma cells with R1507, a specific humanized monoclonal antibody against the IGF-1R, we could observe cell line-specific responses and in some cases a strong decrease in cell proliferation. In contrast, targeting the PI3K p110? with the specific inhibitor PIK75 resulted in broad anti-proliferative effects in a panel of neuro- and medulloblastoma cell lines. Additionally, sensitization to commonly used chemotherapeutic agents occurred in neuroblastoma cells upon treatment with R1507 or PIK75. Furthermore, by studying the expression and phosphorylation state of IGF-1R/PI3K downstream signaling targets we found down-regulated signaling pathway activation. In addition, apoptosis occurred in embryonal tumor cells after treatment with PIK75 or R1507. Together, our studies demonstrate the potential of targeting the IGF-1R/PI3K signaling axis in embryonal tumors. Hopefully, this knowledge will contribute to the development of urgently required new targeted therapies for embryonal tumors.
Project description:Continuous stimulation of cells with insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) in G(1) phase is a well established requirement for IGF-induced cell proliferation; however, the molecular components of this prolonged signaling pathway that is essential for cell cycle progression from G(1) to S phase are unclear. IGF-I activates IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR) tyrosine kinase, followed by phosphorylation of substrates such as insulin receptor substrates (IRS) leading to binding of signaling molecules containing SH2 domains, including phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) to IRS and activation of the downstream signaling pathways. In this study, we found prolonged (>9 h) association of PI3K with IGF-IR induced by IGF-I stimulation. PI3K activity was present in this complex in thyrocytes and fibroblasts, although tyrosine phosphorylation of IRS was not yet evident after 9 h of IGF-I stimulation. IGF-I withdrawal in mid-G(1) phase impaired the association of PI3K with IGF-IR and suppressed DNA synthesis the same as when PI3K inhibitor was added. Furthermore, we demonstrated that Tyr(1316)-X-X-Met of IGF-IR functioned as a PI3K binding sequence when this tyrosine is phosphorylated. We then analyzed IGF signaling and proliferation of IGF-IR(-/-) fibroblasts expressing exogenous mutant IGF-IR in which Tyr(1316) was substituted with Phe (Y1316F). In these cells, IGF-I stimulation induced tyrosine phosphorylation of IGF-IR and IRS-1/2, but mutated IGF-IR failed to bind PI3K and to induce maximal phosphorylation of GSK3? and cell proliferation in response to IGF-I. Based on these results, we concluded that PI3K activity bound to IGF-IR, which is continuously sustained by IGF-I stimulation, is required for IGF-I-induced cell proliferation.
Project description:The cytosolic branched chain aminotransferase (BCATc) protein has been found to be highly expressed in breast cancer subtypes, including triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), compared with normal breast tissue. The catabolism of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) by BCATc leads to the production of glutamate and key metabolites which further drive the TCA cycle, important for cellular metabolism and growth. Upregulation of BCATc has been associated with increased cell proliferation, cell cycle progression and metastasis in several malignancies including breast, gliomas, ovarian and colorectal cancer but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. As nutrient levels of BCAAs, substrates of BCATc, regulate the PI3K/Akt pathway we hypothesized that increased expression of BCATc would contribute to tumour cell growth through upregulation of the insulin/IGF-1 signalling pathway. This pathway is known to potentiate proliferation and metastasis of malignant cells through the activation of PI3K/Akt and the RAS/ERK signalling cascades. Here we show that knockdown of BCATc significantly reduced insulin and IGF-1-mediated proliferation, migration and invasion of TNBC cells. An analysis of this pathway showed that when overexpressed BCATc regulates proliferation through the PI3K/Akt axis, whilst simultaneously attenuating the Ras/Erk pathway indicating that BCATc acts as a conduit between these two pathways. This ultimately led to an increase in FOXO3a, a key regulator of cell proliferation and Nrf2, which mediates redox homeostasis. Together this data indicates that BCATc regulates TNBC cell proliferation, migration and invasion through the IGF-1/insulin PI3K/Akt pathway, culminating in the upregulation of FOXO3a and Nrf2, pointing to a novel therapeutic target for breast cancer treatment.