Original Research: Featured Article: Imatinib mesylate (Gleevec) inhibits Notch and c-Myc signaling: Five-day treatment permanently rescues mammary development.
ABSTRACT: Wap-Int3 transgenic females expressing the Notch4 intracellular domain (designated Int3) from the whey acidic protein promoter exhibit two phenotypes in the mammary gland: blockage of lobuloalveolar development and lactation, and tumor development with 100% penetrance. Previously, we have shown that treatment of Wap-Int3 tumor bearing mice with Imatinib mesylate (Gleevec) is associated with complete regression of the tumor. In the present study, we show that treatment of Wap-Int3 mice during day 1 through day 6 of pregnancy with Gleevec leads to the restoration of their lobuloalveolar development and ability to lactate in subsequent pregnancies in absence of Gleevec treatment. In addition, these mice do not develop mammary tumors. We investigated the mechanism for Gleevec regulation of Notch signaling and found that Gleevec treatment results in a loss of Int3 protein but not of Int3 mRNA in HC11 mouse mammary epithelial cells expressing Int3. The addition of MG-132, a proteasome inhibitor, shows increased ubiquitination of Int3 in the presence of Gleevec. Thus, Gleevec affects the stability of Int3 by promoting the degradation of Int3 via E3 ubiquitin ligases targeting it for the proteasome degradation. Gleevec is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that acts on c-Kit and PDGFR. Therefore, we investigated the downstream substrate kinase GSK3β to ascertain the possible role that this kinase might play in the stability of Int3. Data show that Gleevec degradation of Int3 is GSK3β dependent. We have expanded our study of the effects Gleevec has on tumorigenesis of other oncogenes. We have found that anchorage-independent growth of HC11-c-Myc cells as well as tumor growth in nude mice is inhibited by Gleevec treatment. As with Int3, Gleevec treatment appears to destabilize the c-Myc protein but not mRNA. These results indicate that Gleevec could be a potential therapeutic drug for patients bearing Notch4 and/or c-Myc positive breast carcinomas.
Project description:The int3 oncogene was discovered as a frequent target in mouse mammary tumor virus-induced mammary tumors and encodes the intracellular domain of a Notch4/int3 protein. In one spontaneous mammary tumor, no. 9, that developed in a BALB/c mouse, we have found an insertion of a 1.2-kb sequence, consisting of a 5' long terminal repeat and gag sequences of an intracisternal type A particle (IAP) as well as an extra copy of the Notch4/int3 genomic sequences containing exons 23 and 24, into the intron between exons 24 and 25 of the Notch4/int3 gene. In this tumor, unique splicing events between the IAP and the Notch4/int3 sequences generated two types of IAP-Notch4/int3 fusion transcripts encoding two different portions of the intracellular domain of Notch4/int3 proteins: one with a RAM domain and the other without. Interestingly, these two proteins showed different subcellular localizations in a mouse mammary epithelial cell line, HC-11.
Project description:We have identified the transforming acidic coiled-coil protein-3 (Tacc3) as a binding partner for Notch4/Int3 and were able to show that it binds to the intracellular domain (ICD) of all members of the Notch receptor family. Members of the Tacc family reside at the centrosomes and associates with microtubules. Recent studies suggest that Tacc3 also contributes to the regulation of gene transcription. Tacc3 specifically interacts with the Notch4/Int3 CDC10/Ankyrin repeats and to a lesser extent, with residues C-terminal to these repeats in the ICD. Dual label immunofluorescence of mouse mammary tissue shows Tacc3 co-localizes with the Notch3 ICD. Co-immunoprecipitation of endogenous Notch and Tacc3 proteins from NIH3T3 cell extracts, lung and mammary gland confirms that these two proteins interact under physiological conditions. In addition, knock down of Tacc3 in NIH3T3 cells leads to the up-regulation of Hey2, a target gene for Notch signaling. The affinity of Tacc3 binding to Notch4/Int3 ICD is similar to that between Rbpj and Notch4/Int3 ICD. Notch4/Int3 ICD-Tacc3 interaction results in the inhibition of transcription from a Hes1-Luciferase reporter vector in COS-1 cells. The inhibition was reversed in these cells by increasing the levels of Rbpj. Taken together, these results suggest that Tacc3 is a negative regulator of the Notch signaling pathway.
Project description:The HER4 receptor tyrosine kinase and STAT5A cooperate to promote mammary luminal progenitor cell maturation and mammary epithelial cell differentiation. Coupled HER4 and STAT5A signaling is mediated, in part, through association of the HER4 intracellular domain (4ICD) with STAT5A at STAT5A target gene promoters where 4ICD functions as a STAT5A transcriptional coactivator. Despite an essential role for coupled 4ICD and STAT5A signaling in mammary gland development, the mechanistic basis of 4ICD and STAT5A cooperative signaling remains unexplored. Here we show for the first time that 4ICD and STAT5A directly interact through STAT5A recruitment and binding to HER4/4ICD residue Y984. Accordingly, altering the 4ICD Y984 to phenylalanine results in a dramatic reduction of STAT5A and 4ICD-Y984F interacting complexes coimmunoprecipitated with HER4 or STAT5A specific antibodies. We further show that disrupting the 4ICD and STAT5A interaction has an important physiological impact on mammary epithelial cell differentiation. HC11 mammary epithelial cells with stable expression of 4ICD undergo differentiation with significantly increased expression of the STAT5A target genes and differentiation markers ?-casein and WAP. In contrast, HC11 cells stably expressing 4ICD-Y984F failed to undergo differentiation with basal expression levels of ?-casein and WAP. Differentiation in this cell system was induced in the absence of exogenous prolactin indicating that 4ICD activity is sufficient to induce mammary epithelial cell differentiation. Finally, we show that suppression of STAT5A expression abolishes the ability of 4ICD to induce HC11 differentiation and activate ?-casein or WAP expression. Taken together our results demonstrate for the first time that direct coupling of 4ICD and STAT5A is both necessary and sufficient to drive mammary epithelial differentiation. In conclusion, our findings that 4ICD and STAT5A directly interact to form a physiologically important transcriptional activation complex, provide a mechanistic basis for the in vivo observations that HER4/4ICD and STAT5A cooperate to promote mammary gland progenitor cell maturation and initiate lactation at parturition.
Project description:Members of the Notch family of transmembrane receptors, Notch1-4 in mammals, are involved in the regulation of cell fate decisions and cell proliferation in various organisms. The Notch4 isoform, which is specific to mammals, was originally identified as a viral oncogene in mice, Int3, able to initiate mammary tumors. In humans, Notch4 expression appears to be associated with breast cancer stem cells and endocrine resistance. Following ligand binding, the Notch4 receptor undergoes cleavage at the membrane and the Notch4-intracellular domain (ICD), translocates to the nucleus and regulates gene transcription. Little is known on the mechanisms regulating Notch4-ICD and its nuclear localization. Here, we describe the identification of four distinct AKT phosphorylation sites in human Notch4-ICD and demonstrate that AKT binds Notch4-ICD and phosphorylates all four sites in vitro and in vivo. The phosphorylation in cells is regulated by growth factors and is sensitive to phosphatidyl inositol-3 kinase (PI3K) inhibitors. This phosphorylation generates binding sites to the 14-3-3 regulatory proteins, which are involved in the regulation of nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of target proteins, restricting phosphorylated Notch4-ICD to the cytoplasm. Our findings provide a novel mechanism for Notch4-ICD regulation, suggesting a negative regulatory role for the PI3K-AKT pathway in Notch4 nuclear signaling.
Project description:We have previously demonstrated that the bHLH/PAS transcription factor, singleminded 2s (Sim2s), is required for proper mammary ductal morphogenesis and luminal epithelial differentiation. Furthermore, loss of Sim2s in breast cancer cells resulted in downregulation of epithelial markers and acquisition of a basal-like phenotype. The objective of this study was to further define the role of Sim2s in mammary differentiation. We found that Sim2s is developmentally regulated throughout mammary gland development with highest expression during lactation. Mammary glands from nulliparous mice expressing Sim2s driven by the mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) long terminal repeat (LTR) promoter were morphologically indistinguishable from wild-type mice but displayed hallmarks of precocious lactogenic differentiation. These included elevated expression of the milk protein genes Wap and Csn2, and apical localization of the lactation marker Npt2b. Consistent with the in vivo results, Sim2s enhanced prolactin-mediated Csn2 expression in HC11 and CIT3 mouse mammary epithelial cells, and downregulation of Sim2s by shRNA in HC11 cells inhibited Csn2 expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analyses of the Csn2 gene found that Sim2s associates with the Csn2 promoter and re-ChIP experiments showed that Sim2s interacted with the RNA II polymerase (RNAPII) complex. Together, these data demonstrate, for the first time, that Sim2s is required for establishing and maintaining mammary gland differentiation.
Project description:The lactating mammary gland and pancreas of mouse constitute the main tissues for synthesis and secretion of a bile-salt-stimulated lipase called carboxyl ester lipase (CEL). In this paper we have analysed the endogenous CEL gene expression in mammary gland. It is shown that the gene is expressed at day 14 of pregnancy, which is synchronous with that of the whey acidic protein (WAP) gene. Even though the CEL and WAP genes are induced at the same time during mammary gland differentiation, their regulation is different with respect to dependence on lactogenic hormones. The high induction of the WAP gene expression due to the activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)5 by prolactin has not been observed for the CEL gene, even though it has been demonstrated that both STAT5 isoforms interact with one of the gamma-interferon activation sequence sites in the promoter of the CEL gene. Hence we have demonstrated that the prolactin/STAT5 signal is not involved in a general and significant activation of 'milk genes'. Instead of a direct effect of the lactogenic hormones, the up-regulation of the CEL gene is correlated with an increase in the number of differentiated epithelial cells. Furthermore, promoter studies using the mammary-gland-derived cell line, HC11, show that a major positive element in the CEL gene promoter interacts with a member(s) of the CCAAT-binding transcription factor/nuclear factor 1 family, binding to a palindromic site. Binding of this factor(s) is important for the tissue-specific activation of the CEL gene in the mammary gland, because no activation by this factor(s) was seen in cells of pancreatic origin.
Project description:Direct communication between arteries and veins without intervening capillary beds is the primary pathology of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). Although Notch signaling is implicated in embryonic arteriovenous (AV) differentiation, its function in the adult mammalian vasculature has not been established due to the embryonic lethality that often occurs in both gain- and loss-of-function mutants. We expressed a constitutively active Notch4, int3, in the adult mouse endothelium by using the tetracycline-repressible system to suppress int3 during embryogenesis. int3 caused profound blood vessel enlargement and AV shunting, which are hallmarks of AVM, and led to lethality within weeks of its expression. Vessel enlargement, a manifestation of AVM, occurred in an apparently tissue-specific fashion; the liver, uterus, and skin were affected. int3-mediated vascular defects were accompanied by arterialization, including ectopic venous expression of ephrinB2, increased smooth muscle cells, and up-regulation of endogenous Notch signaling. Remarkably, the defective vessels and illness were reversed upon repression of int3 expression. Finally, endothelial expression of a constitutively active Notch1 induced similar hepatic vascular lesions. Our results provide gain-of-function evidence that Notch signaling in the adult endothelium is sufficient to render arterial characteristics and lead to AVMs.
Project description:Mice have been used as models for human breast cancers for many years, however, it is still unclear which murine models faithfully represent human tumor phenotypes. To address this question, we used DNA microarrays to characterize 10 different murine mammary models and compared these data to the expression patterns from primary human breast tumors. Hierarchical clustering analysis of the murine samples showed that the WAP-Myc, MMTV-Neu, MMTV-PyMT, WAP-Int3, and C3(1)-Tag tumors were highly correlated within each model. Other models, including the WAP-T_121 , MMTV-Wnt1, and DMBA-induced tumor model, did not show this consistency and gave rise to tumors with potentially different cell types of origin. A combined clustering analysis of the murine tumors with 102 human breast tumors showed many shared expression features. These features included a proliferation signature, an Interferon-regulated pattern, and patterns reflective of the presence of lymphocytes and fibroblasts. Murine tumors could be categorized according to their presumed cellular origins; the C3(1)-Tag, BRCA1+/-; p53+/-;IR, and DMBA-treated models displayed expression characteristics of human basal-like breast tumors; the MMTV-Neu, MMTV-PyMT, and WAP-Myc models shared features with human luminal breast tumors including the high expression of GATA3 and XBP1. In some cases, single mouse models did not reproduce the entire expression pattern seen in a specific human subtype; rather portions of a subtype’s expression profile were captured/represented by different murine models. The presence of shared patterns of expression between mice and humans provides a common framework for the direct comparison and integration of animal models with human breast Keywords: reference x sample Overall design: 122 microarrays consisting of 108 unique mammary tumors and 10 normal mammary gland samples and 232 Human breast tumor and normal tissue arrays
Project description:Brain arteriovenous malformations (BAVMs) can cause devastating stroke in young people and contribute to half of all hemorrhagic stroke in children. Unfortunately, the pathogenesis of BAVMs is unknown. In this article we show that activation of Notch signaling in the endothelium during brain development causes BAVM in mice. We turned on constitutively active Notch4 (int3) expression in endothelial cells from birth by using the tetracycline-regulatable system. All mutants developed hallmarks of BAVMs, including cerebral arteriovenous shunting and vessel enlargement, by 3 weeks of age and died by 5 weeks of age. Twenty-five percent of the mutants showed signs of neurological dysfunction, including ataxia and seizure. Affected mice exhibited hemorrhage and neuronal cell death within the cerebral cortex and cerebellum. Strikingly, int3 repression resolved ataxia and reversed the disease progression, demonstrating that int3 is not only sufficient to induce, but also required to sustain the disease. We show that int3 expression results in widespread enlargement of the microvasculature, which coincided with a reduction in capillary density, linking vessel enlargement to Notch's known function of inhibiting vessel sprouting. Our data suggest that the Notch pathway is a molecular regulator of BAVM pathogenesis in mice, and offer hope that their regression might be possible by targeting the causal molecular lesion.
Project description:Some chemicals are ligands to efflux transporters which may result in high concentrations in milk. Limited knowledge is available on the influence of maternal exposure to chemicals on the expression and function of transporters in the lactating mammary gland. We determined gene expression of ABC and SLC transporters in murine mammary tissue of different gestation and lactation stages, in murine mammary cells (HC11) featuring resting and secreting phenotypes and in bovine mammary tissue and cells (BME-UV). Effects on transporter expression and function of the imidazole fungicide prochloraz, previously reported to influence BCRP in mammary cells, was investigated on transporter expression and function in the two cell lines. Transporters studied were BCRP, MDR1, MRP1, OATP1A5/OATP1A2, OCTN1 and OCT1. Gene expressions of BCRP and OCT1 in murine mammary glands were increased during gestation and lactation, whereas MDR1, MRP1, OATP1A5 and OCTN1 were decreased, compared to expressions in virgins. All transporters measured in mammary glands of mice were detected in bovine mammary tissue and in HC11 cells, while only MDR1 and MRP1 were detected in BME-UV cells. Prochloraz treatment induced MDR1 gene and protein expression in both differentiated HC11 and BME-UV cells and increased protein function in HC11 cells, resulting in decreased accumulation of the MDR1 substrate digoxin. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that murine (HC11) and bovine (BME-UV) mammary epithelial cells can be applied to characterize expression and function of transporters as well as effects of contaminants on the mammary transporters. An altered expression, induced by a drug or toxic chemical, on any of the transporters expressed in the mammary epithelial cells during lactation may modulate the well-balanced composition of nutrients and/or secretion of contaminants in milk with potential adverse effects on breast-fed infants and dairy consumers.