Valproic Acid Inhibits Proliferation and Reduces Invasiveness in Glioma Stem Cells Through Wnt/? Catenin Signalling Activation.
ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumour in adults. The failure of current therapies can be ascribed to glioma stem cells (GSCs), which can rapidly repopulate the tumour following the initial treatment. The study of histone deacetylase inhibitors, such as valproic acid (VPA), is becoming an attractive field in cancer research. However, the exact mechanisms underlying its anti-cancer effect remain to be elucidated due to its pleiotropic effects on several cell-signalling pathways. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) bioinformatics analysis was performed on genome-wide data regarding GSCs methylome to identify the signalling pathways mainly affected by methylation changes induced by VPA. Real time PCR and luciferase reporter assay were used to better investigate VPA effects on Wnt/?-catenin signalling pathway. VPA effect on GSC proliferation was evaluated by 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-Diphenyltetrazolium Bromide (MTT) and Trypan blue assays. Finally, VPA impact on GSC motility was demonstrated by Boyden chamber assay and further confirmed evaluating the expression levels or localisation, through western blot or immunofluorescence, of Twist1, Snail1, E-Cadherin and N-Cadherin. The bioinformatics analyses performed on GSCs methylome highlighted that Wnt/?-catenin signalling was affected by the methylation changes induced by VPA, which could influence its activation status. In particular, we pointed out a general activation of this pathway after VPA exposure, which was accompanied by an inhibitory potential on GSCs proliferation. Finally, we also proved VPA's ability to inhibit GSCs invasion through Snail1 and Twist1 downregulation and E-Cadherin relocalisation. VPA treatment may represent a new, interesting therapeutic approach to affect GSC proliferation and motility, but further investigations are certainly needed.
Project description:Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a grade IV astrocytoma and the most common form of malignant brain tumor in adults. GBM remains one of the most fatal and least successfully treated solid tumors: current therapies provide a median survival of 12-15 months after diagnosis, due to the high recurrence rate. Glioma Stem Cells (GSCs) are believed to be the real driving force of tumor initiation, progression and relapse. Therefore, better therapeutic strategies GSCs-targeted are needed. Resveratrol is a polyphenolic phytoalexin found in fruits and vegetables displaying pleiotropic health benefits. Many studies have highlighted its chemo-preventive and chemotherapeutic activities in a wide range of solid tumors. In this work, we analyzed the effects of Resveratrol exposure on cell viability, proliferation and motility in seven GSC lines isolated from GBM patients. For the first time in our knowledge, we investigated Resveratrol impact on Wnt signaling pathway in GSCs, evaluating the expression of seven Wnt signaling pathway-related genes and the protein levels of c-Myc and ?-catenin. Finally, we analyzed Twist1 and Snail1 protein levels, two pivotal activators of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program. Results showed that although response to Resveratrol exposure was highly heterogeneous among GSC lines, generally it was able to inhibit cell proliferation, increase cell mortality, and strongly decrease cell motility, modulating the Wnt signaling pathway and the EMT activators. Treatment with Resveratrol may represent a new interesting therapeutic approach, in order to affect GSCs proliferation and motility, even if further investigations are needed to deeply understand the GSCs heterogeneous response.
Project description:Palatal fusion is a tightly controlled process which comprises multiple cellular events, including cell movement and differentiation. Midline epithelial seam (MES) degradation is essential to palatal fusion. In this study, we analyzed the function of Snail1 during the degradation of the MES. We also analyzed the mechanism regulating the expression of the Snail1 gene in palatal shelves. Palatal explants treated with Snail1 siRNA did not degrade the MES and E-cadherin was not repressed leading to failure of palatal fusion. Transforming growth factor beta 3 (Tgf?3) regulated Snail1 mRNA, as Snail1 expression decreased in response to Tgf?3 neutralizing antibody and a PI-3 kinase (PI3K) inhibitor. Twist1, in collaboration with E2A factors, regulated the expression of Snail1. Twist1/E47 dimers bond to the Snail1 promoter to activate expression. Without E47, Twist1 repressed Snail1 expression. These results support the hypothesis that Tgf?3 may signal through Twist1 and then Snail1 to downregulate E-cadherin expression during palatal fusion.
Project description:Many adult stem cells reside in a special microenvironment known as the niche, where they receive essential signals that specify stem cell identity. Cell-cell adhesion mediated by cadherin and integrin plays a crucial role in maintaining stem cells within the niche. In Drosophila melanogaster, male germline stem cells (GSCs) are attached to niche component cells (i.e., the hub) via adherens junctions. The GSC centrosomes and spindle are oriented toward the hub-GSC junction, where E-cadherin-based adherens junctions are highly concentrated. For this reason, adherens junctions are thought to provide a polarity cue for GSCs to enable proper orientation of centrosomes and spindles, a critical step toward asymmetric stem cell division. However, understanding the role of E-cadherin in GSC polarity has been challenging, since GSCs carrying E-cadherin mutations are not maintained in the niche. Here, we tested whether E-cadherin is required for GSC polarity by expressing a dominant-negative form of E-cadherin. We found that E-cadherin is indeed required for polarizing GSCs toward the hub cells, an effect that may be mediated by Apc2. We also demonstrated that E-cadherin is required for the GSC centrosome orientation checkpoint, which prevents mitosis when centrosomes are not correctly oriented. We propose that E-cadherin orchestrates multiple aspects of stem cell behavior, including polarization of stem cells toward the stem cell-niche interface and adhesion of stem cells to the niche supporting cells.
Project description:In the Drosophila ovary, bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling activated by the niche promotes germline stem cell (GSC) self-renewal and proliferation, whereas E-cadherin-mediated cell adhesion anchors GSCs in the niche for their continuous self-renewal. Here we show that Lissencephaly-1 (Lis1) regulates BMP signaling and E-cadherin-mediated adhesion between GSCs and their niche and thereby controls GSC self-renewal. Lis1 mutant GSCs are lost faster than control GSCs because of differentiation but not because of cell death, indicating that Lis1 controls GSC self-renewal. The Lis1 mutant GSCs exhibit reduced BMP signaling activity, and Lis1 interacts genetically with the BMP pathway components in the regulation of GSC maintenance. Mechanistically, Lis1 binds directly to and stabilizes the SMAD protein Mothers against decapentaplegic (Mad), facilitates its phosphorylation, and thereby regulates BMP signaling. Finally, the Lis1 mutant GSCs accumulate less E-cadherin in the stem cell-niche junction than do their wild-type counterparts. Germline-specific expression of an activated BMP receptor thickveins (Tkv) or E-cadherin can partially rescue the loss phenotype of Lis1 mutant GSCs. Therefore, this study has revealed a role of Lis1 in the control of Drosophila ovarian GSC self-renewal, at least partly by regulating niche signal transduction and niche adhesion. It has been known that Lis1 controls neural precursor/stem cell proliferation in the developing mammalian brain; this study further suggests that Lis1, which is widely expressed in adult mammalian tissues, could regulate adult tissue stem cells through modulating niche signaling and adhesion.
Project description:There is evidence that tumour-stroma interactions have a major role in the neoplastic progression of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Tumour budding is thought to reflect the process of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT); however, the relationship between tumour buds and EMT remains unclear. Here we characterize the tumour-budding- and stromal cells in PDAC at protein and mRNA levels concerning factors involved in EMT.mRNA in situ hybridisation and immunostaining for E-cadherin, ?-catenin, SNAIL1, ZEB1, ZEB2, N-cadherin and TWIST1 were assessed in the main tumour, tumour buds and tumour stroma on multipunch tissue microarrays from 120 well-characterised PDACs and associated with the clinicopathological features, including peritumoural (PTB) and intratumoural (ITB) budding.Tumour-budding cells showed increased levels of ZEB1 (P<0.0001) and ZEB2 (P=0.0119) and reduced E-cadherin and ?-catenin (P<0.0001, each) compared with the main tumour. Loss of membranous ?-catenin in the main tumour (P=0.0009) and tumour buds (P=0.0053), without nuclear translocation, as well as increased SNAIL1 in tumour and stromal cells (P=0.0002, each) correlated with high PTB. ZEB1 overexpression in the main tumour-budding and stromal cells was associated with high ITB (P=0.0084; 0.0250 and 0.0029, respectively) and high PTB (P=0.0005; 0.0392 and 0.0007, respectively). ZEB2 overexpression in stromal cells correlated with higher pT stage (P=0.03), lymphatic invasion (P=0.0172) and lymph node metastasis (P=0.0152).In the tumour microenvironment of phenotypically aggressive PDAC, tumour-budding cells express EMT hallmarks at protein and mRNA levels underlining their EMT-type character and are surrounded by stromal cells expressing high levels of the E-cadherin repressors ZEB1, ZEB2 and SNAIL1, this being strongly associated with the tumour-budding phenotype. Moreover, our findings suggest the existence of subtypes of stromal cells in PDAC with phenotypical and functional heterogeneity.
Project description:Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a normal developmental program that is considered to also play an important role in cancer metastasis. Ultimate inducers of EMT are transcriptional repressors that individually can induce experimental EMT, yet in many cells, particularly cancer cells, multiple inducers are expressed simultaneously. Why, and if, and how they interact to regulate EMT is unanswered. Using RNA interference technology to affect protein knockdown and avoid potential overexpression artifact coupled with transient TGF? treatment to better mimic in vivo conditions we show, in both nontumorigenic and tumorigenic epithelial cancer cells, that Snail1 is uniquely required for EMT initiation, whereas Twist1 is required to maintain late EMT. Twist1, present in resting epithelial cells, is dispensable for EMT initiation. Mechanistically, in response to transient TGF? treatment, transient Snail1 expression represses Twist1 transcription directly, which is subsequently upregulated, as Snail1 levels decrease, to sustain E-cadherin downregulation and growth arrest of EMT. Persistent Twist1 expression is associated with a p38 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase signal feedback loop that sustains growth-inhibitory signals characteristic of quiescent micrometastatic tumors. This Snail1-Twist1 temporal and spatial cooperation was also observed in vivo during human breast cancer progression to metastasis. Twist1 level, but not Snail1 level, and Twist1:Snail1 ratio in disseminated micrometastatic bone marrow tumor cells was found to correlate with survival and treatment resistance and is highly predictive of metastatic or recurrent disease.
Project description:Tumor recurrence, the chief reason for poor prognosis of glioma, is largely attributed to glioma stem cells (GSCs) and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). However, the mechanisms among them remain unknown. Here, we determined whether leucine-rich repeat-containing G protein-coupled receptor 5 (LGR5), known as a stem cell marker for colon cancer and gastric cancer, can serve as a novel GSC marker involved in EMT and a therapeutic target in glioma.Stemness properties were examined in FACS-isolated LGR5+/LGR5- cells. Reported stem cell markers, EMT and the Wnt/?-catenin pathway were examined in stable LGR5 knockdown or overexpressed GSCs by Western Blot. The treatment experiment was performed in an intracranial orthotopic xenograft model by knockdown of LGR5 or by using the Wnt/?-catenin pathway inhibitor Wnt-C59. LGR5 expression was determined in 268 glioma specimens by immunohistochemistry.LGR5+ cells possessed stronger stemness properties compared to LGR5- cells. The expression of SOX2, Nanog, CD133, CD44, CD24 and EpCAM was modulated by LGR5. Both LGR5 knockdown and Wnt-C59 reduced tumor invasion and migration and blocked EMT by inhibiting the Wnt/?-catenin pathway in vitro and suppressed the intracranial orthotopic xenograft growth and prolonged the survival of xenograft mice in vivo. Moreover, LGR5 was positively correlated with Ki67, N-cadherin and WHO grade and negatively correlated with IDH1. Glioma patients with high expression of LGR5 showed significantly poorer prognosis.LGR5 is a new functional GSC marker and prognostic indicator that can promote EMT by activating the Wnt/?-catenin pathway and would thus be a novel therapeutic target for glioma.
Project description:The stem cell niche provides a supportive microenvironment to maintain adult stem cells in their undifferentiated state. Adhesion between adult stem cells and niche cells or the local basement membrane ensures retention of stem cells in the niche environment. Drosophila male germline stem cells (GSCs) attach to somatic hub cells, a component of their niche, through E-cadherin-mediated adherens junctions, and orient their centrosomes toward these localized junctional complexes to carry out asymmetric divisions. Here we show that the transmembrane receptor tyrosine phosphatase Leukocyte-antigen-related-like (Lar), which is best known for its function in axonal migration and synapse morphogenesis in the nervous system, helps maintain GSCs at the hub by promoting E-cadherin-based adhesion between hub cells and GSCs. Lar is expressed in GSCs and early spermatogonial cells and localizes to the hub-GSC interface. Loss of Lar function resulted in a reduced number of GSCs at the hub. Lar function was required cell-autonomously in germ cells for proper localization of Adenomatous polyposis coli 2 and E-cadherin at the hub-GSC interface and for the proper orientation of centrosomes in GSCs. Ultrastructural analysis revealed that in Lar mutants the adherens junctions between hub cells and GSCs lack the characteristic dense staining seen in wild-type controls. Thus, the Lar receptor tyrosine phosphatase appears to polarize and retain GSCs through maintenance of localized E-cadherin-based adherens junctions.
Project description:The histone-deacetylase inhibitor activity of valproic acid (VPA) was discovered after VPA's adoption as an anticonvulsant. This generated speculation for VPA's potential to increase the expression of neuroprotective genes. Clinical trials for retinitis pigmentosa (RP) are currently active, testing VPA's potential to reduce photoreceptor loss; however, we lack information regarding the effects of VPA on available mammalian models of retinal degeneration, nor do we know if retinal gene expression is perturbed by VPA in a predictable way. Thus, we examined the effects of systemic VPA on neurotrophic factor and Nrl-related gene expression in the mouse retina and compared VPA's effects on the rate of photoreceptor loss in two strains of mice, Pde6b(rd1/rd1) and Pde6b(rd10/rd10) .The expression of Bdnf, Gdnf, Cntf, and Fgf2 was measured by quantitative PCR after single and multiple doses of VPA (intraperitoneal) in wild-type and Pde6b(rd1/rd1) mice. Pde6b(rd1/rd1) mice were treated with daily doses of VPA during the period of rapid photoreceptor loss. Pde6b(rd10/rd10) mice were also treated with systemic VPA to compare in a partial loss-of-function model. Retinal morphology was assessed by virtual microscopy or spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). Full-field and focal electroretinography (ERG) analysis were employed with Pde6b(rd10/rd10) mice to measure retinal function.In wild-type postnatal mice, a single VPA dose increased the expression of Bdnf and Gdnf in the neural retina after 18 h, while the expression of Cntf was reduced by 70%. Daily dosing of wild-type mice from postnatal day P17 to P28 resulted in smaller increases in Bdnf and Gdnf expression, normal Cntf expression, and reduced Fgf2 expression (25%). Nrl gene expression was decreased by 50%, while Crx gene expression was not affected. Rod-specific expression of Mef2c and Nr2e3 was decreased substantially by VPA treatment, while Rhodopsin and Pde6b gene expression was normal at P28. Daily injections with VPA (P9-P21) dramatically slowed the loss of rod photoreceptors in Pde6b(rd1/rd1) mice. At age P21, VPA-treated mice had several extra rows of rod photoreceptor nuclei compared to PBS-injected littermates. Dosing started later (P14) or dosing every second day also rescued photoreceptors. In contrast, systemic VPA treatment of Pde6b(rd10/rd10) mice (P17-P28) reduced visual function that correlated with a slight increase in photoreceptor loss. Treating Pde6b(rd10/rd10) mice earlier (P9-P21) also failed to rescue photoreceptors. Treating wild-type mice earlier (P9-P21) reduced the number of photoreceptors in VPA-treated mice by 20% compared to PBS-treated animals.A single systemic dose of VPA can change retinal neurotrophic factor and rod-specific gene expression in the immature retina. Daily VPA treatment from P17 to P28 can also alter gene expression in the mature neural retina. While daily treatment with VPA could significantly reduce photoreceptor loss in the rd1 model, VPA treatment slightly accelerated photoreceptor loss in the rd10 model. The apparent rescue of photoreceptors in the rd1 model was not the result of producing more photoreceptors before degeneration. In fact, daily systemic VPA was toxic to wild-type photoreceptors when started at P9. However, the effective treatment period for Pde6b(rd1/rd1) mice (P9-P21) has significant overlap with the photoreceptor maturation period, which complicates the use of the rd1 model for testing of VPA's efficacy. In contrast, VPA treatment started after P17 did not cause photoreceptor loss in wild-type mice. Thus, the acceleration of photoreceptor loss in the rd10 model may be more relevant where both photoreceptor loss and VPA treatment (P17-P28) started when the central retina was mature.
Project description:Stem cell self-renewal is controlled by concerted actions of extrinsic niche signals and intrinsic factors in a variety of systems. Drosophila ovarian germline stem cells (GSCs) have been one of the most productive systems for identifying the factors controlling self-renewal. The differentiation factor BAM is necessary and sufficient for GSC differentiation, but it still remains expressed in GSCs at low levels. However, it is unclear how its function is repressed in GSCs to maintain self-renewal. Here, we report the identification of the translation initiation factor eIF4A for its essential role in self-renewal by directly inactivating BAM function. eIF4A can physically interact with BAM in Drosophila S2 cells and yeast cells. eIF4A exhibits dosage-specific interactions with bam in the regulation of GSC differentiation. It is required intrinsically for controlling GSC self-renewal and proliferation but not survival. In addition, it is required for maintaining E-cadherin expression but not BMP signaling activity. Furthermore, BAM and BGCN together repress translation of E-cadherin through its 3' UTR in S2 cells. Therefore, we propose that BAM functions as a translation repressor by interfering with translation initiation and eIF4A maintains self-renewal by inhibiting BAM function and promoting E-cadherin expression.