ROCK Inhibition Facilitates In Vitro Expansion of Glioblastoma Stem-Like Cells.
ABSTRACT: Due to their stem-like characteristics and their resistance to existing chemo- and radiation therapies, there is a growing appreciation that cancer stem cells (CSCs) are the root cause behind cancer metastasis and recurrence. However, these cells represent a small subpopulation of cancer cells and are difficult to propagate in vitro. Glioblastoma is an extremely deadly form of brain cancer that is hypothesized to have a subpopulation of CSCs called glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs; also called brain tumor initiating cells, BTICs). We propose the use of selective Rho-kinase (ROCK) inhibitors, Y-27632 and fasudil, to promote GSC/BTIC-like cell survival and propagation in vitro. ROCK inhibitors have been implicated in suppressing apoptosis, and it was hypothesized that they would increase the number of GSC/BTIC-like cells grown in vitro and improve cloning efficiencies. Indeed, our data demonstrate that transient and continuous supplementation of non-toxic concentrations of Y-27632 and fasudil inhibited apoptosis, enhanced the cells' ability to form spheres, and increased stem cell marker expressing GSC/BTIC-like cell subpopulation. Our data indicated that pharmacological and genetic (siRNA) inhibitions of the ROCK pathway facilitates in vitro expansion of GSC/BTIC-like cells. Thus, ROCK pathway inhibition shows promise for future optimization of CSC culture media.
Project description:The blastocyst consists of the outer layer of trophectoderm and pluripotent inner cell mass (ICM), the precursor of the placenta and fetus, respectively. During blastocyst expansion, the ICM adopts a compact, ovoidal shape, whose proper morphology is crucial for normal embryogenesis. Rho-associated kinase (ROCK), an effector of small GTPase RHO signaling, mediates the diverse cellular processes of morphogenesis, but its role in ICM morphogenesis is unclear. Here, we demonstrate that ROCK is required for cohesion of ICM cells and formation of segregated tissues called primitive endoderm (PrE) and epiblast (Epi) in the ICM of the mouse blastocyst. Blastocyst treatment with ROCK inhibitors Y-27632 and Fasudil caused widening or spreading of the ICM, and intermingling of PrE and Epi. Widening of ICM was independent of trophectoderm because isolated ICMs as well as colonies of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESC) also spread upon Y-27632 treatment. PrE, Epi, and trophectoderm cell numbers were similar between control and treated blastocysts, suggesting that ROCK inhibition affected ICM morphology but not lineage differentiation. Rock1 and Rock2 knockdown via RNA interference in mESC also induced spreading, supporting the conclusion that morphological defects caused by the pharmacological inhibitors were due to ROCK inactivation. When blastocysts were transferred into surrogates, implantation efficiencies were unaffected by ROCK inhibition, but treated blastocysts yielded greater fetal loss. These results show that proper ICM morphology is dependent on ROCK activity and is crucial for fetal development. Our studies have wider implication for improving efficiencies of human assisted reproductive technologies that diminish pregnancy loss and promote successful births.
Project description:The acquisition of invasive capacities by carcinoma cells, i.e. their ability to migrate through and to remodel extracellular matrices, is a determinant process leading to their dissemination and to the development of metastases. these cancer cell properties have often been associated with an increased Rho-ROCK signalling, and ROCK inhibitors have been proposed for anticancer therapies. In this study we used the selective ROCK inhibitor, Y-27632, to address the participation of the Rho-ROCK signalling pathway in the invasive properties of SW620 human colon cancer cells. Contrarily to initial assumptions, Y-27632 induced the acquisition of a pro-migratory cell phenotype and increased cancer cell invasiveness in both 3- and 2-dimensions assays. This effect was also obtained using the other ROCK inhibitor Fasudil as well as with knocking down the expression of ROCK-1 or ROCK-2, but was prevented by the inhibition of NaV1.5 voltage-gated sodium channel activity. Indeed, ROCK inhibition enhanced the activity of the pro-invasive NaV1.5 channel through a pathway that was independent of gene expression regulation. In conclusions, our evidence identifies voltage-gated sodium channels as new targets of the ROCK signalling pathway, as well as responsible for possible deleterious effects of the use of ROCK inhibitors in the treatment of cancers.
Project description:Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a subpopulation of tumor cells suggested to be critical for tumor maintenance, metastasis, and therapeutic resistance. Prospective identification and targeting of CSCs are therefore priorities for the development of novel therapeutic paradigms. Although CSC enrichment has been achieved with cell surface proteins including CD133 (Prominin-1), the roles of current CSC markers in tumor maintenance remain unclear. We examined the glioblastoma stem cell (GSC) perivascular microenvironment in patient specimens to identify enrichment markers with a functional significance and identified integrin alpha6 as a candidate. Integrin alpha6 is coexpressed with conventional GSC markers and enriches for GSCs. Targeting integrin alpha6 in GSCs inhibits self-renewal, proliferation, and tumor formation capacity. Our results provide evidence that GSCs express high levels of integrin alpha6, which can serve not only as an enrichment marker but also as a promising antiglioblastoma therapy.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Recent evidence suggests that human breast cancer is sustained by a minor subpopulation of breast tumor-initiating cells (BTIC), which confer resistance to anticancer therapies and consequently must be eradicated to achieve durable breast cancer cure. METHODS/FINDINGS: To identify signaling pathways that might be targeted to eliminate BTIC, while sparing their normal stem and progenitor cell counterparts, we performed global gene expression profiling of BTIC- and mammary epithelial stem/progenitor cell- enriched cultures derived from mouse mammary tumors and mammary glands, respectively. Such analyses suggested a role for the Wnt/Beta-catenin signaling pathway in maintaining the viability and or sustaining the self-renewal of BTICs in vitro. To determine whether the Wnt/Beta-catenin pathway played a role in BTIC processes we employed a chemical genomics approach. We found that pharmacological inhibitors of Wnt/?-catenin signaling inhibited sphere- and colony-formation by primary breast tumor cells and primary mammary epithelial cells, as well as by tumorsphere- and mammosphere-derived cells. Serial assays of self-renewal in vitro revealed that the Wnt/Beta-catenin signaling inhibitor PKF118-310 irreversibly affected BTIC, whereas it functioned reversibly to suspend the self-renewal of mammary epithelial stem/progenitor cells. Incubation of primary tumor cells in vitro with PKF118-310 eliminated their capacity to subsequently seed tumor growth after transplant into syngeneic mice. Administration of PKF118-310 to tumor-bearing mice halted tumor growth in vivo. Moreover, viable tumor cells harvested from PKF118-310 treated mice were unable to seed the growth of secondary tumors after transplant. CONCLUSIONS: These studies demonstrate that inhibitors of Wnt/?-catenin signaling eradicated BTIC in vitro and in vivo and provide a compelling rationale for developing such antagonists for breast cancer therapy.
Project description:Abnormal activation of stemness factors is a crucial signature of cancer stem cells (CSCs), a highly tumorigenic subpopulation in malignant tumors. However, it is unclear whether multi-signaling pathways are activated in CSCs, as like normal stem cells. I would like to report that an inhibitor of differentiation 1 (ID1) activates intracellular multi-signaling involved in proliferation, genesis, and maintenance of glioma stem cells (GSCs) by suppression of Cullin3, an E3 ubiquitin ligase that degrades Cyclin E and components of SHH and WNT signaling. ID1 inhibits BMP-dependent differentiation of GSCs by activation of BMPR2-targeting miR17/20a. ID1HIGH-Cullin3LOW signature correlates with a poor prognosis of GBM patients with a significant association to gene signatures enriched in EGF, WNT, SHH, and BMP signaling. Combinational inhibition of GSC intracellular multi-signaling network increases tumor-bearing mice survival. These results provide insights on molecular and cellular basis of GSC biology, and also suggest necessity of multi-signaling inhibition for GSCs therapy. Two human primary glioma stem cells (GSCs) such as GSC2 and GSC8 were isolated from two individual primary human glioma specimens. The GSCs were directly transfected with pSuper-GFP-ID1-shRNA and pSuper-GFP-Scrambled-shRNA using FuGENE 6 reagent (Roche). The RNA extraction in these cells was used to analyze gene expression.
Project description:Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK) plays crucial roles in the proliferation and migration of different types of cells. ROCK inhibitor Y-27632 was previously reported to inhibit melanoma cell growth, and ROCK signaling was suggested to be a therapeutic target for treating melanoma. However, the negative effect of Y-27632 on melanoma cells was mainly seen in studies on murine B16 melanoma cells. Here, we reported that ROCK inhibitor actually promoted human melanoma cell growth and migration in vitro. Y-27632 increased the growth and migration of BRAF-mutated melanoma cells but had a negative effect on wild-type melanoma cells or primary melanocytes. We discovered that Y-27632 enhanced the growth of BRAF-mutated melanoma cells through increased ATK and ERK activity. The in vivo study further confirmed the in vitro finding. These data suggested that the effect of ROCK inhibitor on melanoma cells is cell-context dependent, and the application of ROCK inhibitor in the treatment of melanoma requires further study.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the leading genetic cause of infant death. It is caused by mutations/deletions of the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene and is typified by the loss of spinal cord motor neurons, muscular atrophy, and in severe cases, death. The SMN protein is ubiquitously expressed and various cellular- and tissue-specific functions have been investigated to explain the specific motor neuron loss in SMA. We have previously shown that the RhoA/Rho kinase (ROCK) pathway is misregulated in cellular and animal SMA models, and that inhibition of ROCK with the chemical Y-27632 significantly increased the lifespan of a mouse model of SMA. In the present study, we evaluated the therapeutic potential of the clinically approved ROCK inhibitor fasudil.<h4>Methods</h4>Fasudil was administered by oral gavage from post-natal day 3 to 21 at a concentration of 30 mg/kg twice daily. The effects of fasudil on lifespan and SMA pathological hallmarks of the SMA mice were assessed and compared to vehicle-treated mice. For the Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, the log-rank test was used and survival curves were considered significantly different at P < 0.05. For the remaining analyses, the Student's two-tail t test for paired variables and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to test for differences between samples and data were considered significantly different at P < 0.05.<h4>Results</h4>Fasudil significantly improves survival of SMA mice. This dramatic phenotypic improvement is not mediated by an up-regulation of Smn protein or via preservation of motor neurons. However, fasudil administration results in a significant increase in muscle fiber and postsynaptic endplate size, and restores normal expression of markers of skeletal muscle development, suggesting that the beneficial effects of fasudil could be muscle-specific.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our work underscores the importance of muscle as a therapeutic target in SMA and highlights the beneficial potential of ROCK inhibitors as a therapeutic strategy for SMA and for other degenerative diseases characterized by muscular atrophy and postsynaptic immaturity.
Project description:ROCK kinases, which play central roles in the organization of the actin cytoskeleton, are tantalizing targets for the treatment of human diseases. Deletion of ROCK I in mice revealed a role in the pathophysiological responses to high blood pressure, and validated ROCK inhibition for the treatment of specific types of cardiovascular disease. To date, the only ROCK inhibitor employed clinically in humans is fasudil, which has been used safely in Japan since 1995 for the treatment of cerebral vasospasm. Clinical trials, mostly focusing on the cardiovascular system, have uncovered beneficial effects of fasudil for additional indications. Intriguing recent findings also suggest significant potential for ROCK inhibitors in the production and implantation of stem cells for disease therapies.
Project description:Rho-kinase (ROCK) inhibition, broadly utilised in cardiovascular disease, may protect the blood-brain barrier (BBB) during thrombolysis from rt-PA-induced damage. While the use of nonselective ROCK inhibitors like fasudil together with rt-PA may be hindered by possible hypotensive side-effects and inadequate capacity to block detrimental rt-PA activity in brain endothelial cells (BECs), selective ROCK-2 inhibition may overcome these limitations. Here, we examined ROCK-2 expression in major brain cells and compared the ability of fasudil and KD025, a selective ROCK-2 inhibitor, to attenuate rt-PA-induced BBB impairment in an in vitro human model. ROCK-2 was highly expressed relative to ROCK-1 in all human and mouse brain cell types and particularly enriched in rodent brain endothelial cells and astrocytes compared to neurons. KD025 was more potent than fasudil in attenuation of rt-PA- and plasminogen-induced BBB permeation under normoxia, but especially under stroke-like conditions. Importantly, only KD025, but not fasudil, was able to block rt-PA-dependent permeability increases, morphology changes and tight junction degradation in isolated BECs. Selective ROCK-2 inhibition further diminished rt-PA-triggered myosin phosphorylation, shape alterations and matrix metalloprotease activation in astrocytes. These findings highlight ROCK-2 as the key isoform driving BBB impairment and brain endothelial damage by rt-PA and the potential of KD025 to optimally protect the BBB during thrombolysis.