ABSTRACT: Oncogenic Ras induces epidermal cell growth arrest. Induction of the JNK/Ap1 signaling cascade by expression of MKK7 overcomes Ras-induced cell growth arrest in a manner dependent on AP1 fucntion. We used microarrays to detail the global programme of gene expression in response to MKK7, Ras activation and AP1 inhibition Keywords: response to specific genetic change Overall design: To study the gene expression profile responsive to Ras and MKK7 expression. We used retroviral expression system to express LacZ, MKK7, Ras, DNc-Jun, MKK7+Ras, and MKK7+Ras +DNc-Jun in primary human keratinocytes, and then extract total RNA from the transduced cells for gene expression analysis.
INSTRUMENT(S): [HG-U133A_2] Affymetrix Human Genome U133A 2.0 Array
Project description:Oncogenic Ras induces epidermal cell growth arrest. Induction of the JNK/Ap1 signaling cascade by expression of MKK7 overcomes Ras-induced cell growth arrest in a manner dependent on AP1 fucntion. We used microarrays to detail the global programme of gene expression in response to MKK7, Ras activation and AP1 inhibition Experiment Overall Design: To study the gene expression profile responsive to Ras and MKK7 expression. We used retroviral expression system to express LacZ, MKK7, Ras, DNc-Jun, MKK7+Ras, and MKK7+Ras +DNc-Jun in primary human keratinocytes, and then extract total RNA from the transduced cells for gene expression analysis.
Project description:The tumor necrosis factor alpha receptor (TNFR1) activates downstream effectors that include the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 7 (MKK7)/c-Jun-NH(2)-kinase (JNK)/activator protein 1 (AP1) cascade. Here, we report that JNK is activated in a majority of spontaneous human squamous cell carcinomas (SCC). JNK pathway induction bypassed cell cycle restraints induced by oncogenic Ras and cooperated with Ras to convert normal human epidermis into tumors indistinguishable from SCC, confirming its oncogenic potency in human tissue. Inhibiting MKK7, JNK, and AP1 as well as TNFR1 itself using genetic, pharmacologic, or antibody-mediated approaches abolished invasive human epidermal neoplasia in a tumor cell autonomous fashion. The TNFR1/MKK7/JNK/AP1 cascade thus promotes human neoplasia and represents a potential therapeutic target for human epithelial cancers.
Project description:CYLD has been recognized as a tumor suppressor due to its dominant genetic linkage to multiple types of epidermal tumors and a range of other cancers. The molecular mechanisms governing CYLD control of skin cancer are still unclear. Here, we showed that K14-driven epidermal expression of a patient-relevant and catalytically deficient CYLD truncated mutant (CYLD(m)) sensitized mice to skin tumor development in response to 7,12-dimethylbenz[?]anthracene (DMBA)/(12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate) TPA challenge. Tumors developed on transgenic mice were prone to malignant progression and lymph node metastasis and displayed increased activation of c-Jun-NH2-kinase (JNK) and the downstream c-Jun and c-Fos proteins. Most importantly, topical application of a pharmacologic JNK inhibitor significantly reduced tumor development and abolished metastasis in the transgenic mice. Further in line with these animal data, exogenous expression of CYLD(m) in A431, a human squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cell line, markedly enhanced cell growth, migration, and subcutaneous tumor growth in an AP1-depdendent manner. In contrast, expression of the wild-type CYLD inhibited SCC tumorigenesis and AP1 function. Most importantly, CYLD(m) not only increased JNK activation but also induced an upregulation of K63 ubiquitination on both c-Jun and c-Fos, leading to sustained AP1 activation. Our findings uncovered c-Jun and c-Fos as novel CYLD targets and underscore that CYLD controls epidermal tumorigenesis through blocking the JNK/AP1 signaling pathway at multiple levels.
Project description:To maintain epidermal homeostasis, the balance between keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation is tightly controlled. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this balance remain unclear. In 3D organotypic coculture with mouse keratinocytes and fibroblasts, the thickness of stratified cell layers was prolonged, and growth arrest and terminal differentiation were delayed when PKC?-null keratinocytes were used. Re-expression of PKC? in PKC?-null keratinocytes restored stratified cell layer thickness, growth arrest and terminal differentiation. We show that in 3D cocultured PKC?-null keratinocytes, p27(Kip1) mRNA was downregulated, whereas JNK/c-Jun signaling was enhanced. Furthermore, inhibition of JNK/c-Jun signaling in PKC?-null keratinocytes led to upregulation of p27(Kip1) mRNA, and to thinner stratified cell layers. Collectively, our findings indicate that PKC? upregulates p27(Kip1) mRNA through suppression of JNK/c-Jun signaling. This results in promoting a proliferation to differentiation switch in keratinocytes.
Project description:The c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling cascade has been implicated in a wide range of diseases, including cancer. It is unclear how different JNK proteins contribute to human cancer. Here, we report that JNK2 is activated in more than 70% of human squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) samples and that inhibition of JNK2 pharmacologically or genetically impairs tumorigenesis of human SCC cells. Most importantly, JNK2, but not JNK1, is sufficient to couple with oncogenic Ras to transform primary human epidermal cells into malignancy with features of SCC. JNK2 prevents Ras-induced cell senescence and growth arrest by reducing the expression levels of the cell cycle inhibitor p16 and the activation of NF-kappaB. On the other hand, JNK, along with phosphoinositide 3-kinase, is essential for Ras-induced glycolysis, an energy-producing process known to benefit cancer growth. These data indicate that JNK2 collaborates with other oncogenes, such as Ras, at multiple molecular levels to promote tumorigenesis and hence represents a promising therapeutic target for cancer.
Project description:Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is generally acknowledged as the most common primary malignant tumor, and it is known to be resistant to conventional chemotherapy. Wentilactone B (WB), a tetranorditerpenoid derivative extracted from the marine algae-derived endophytic fungus Aspergillus wentii EN-48, has been shown to trigger apoptosis and inhibit metastasis in HCC cell lines. However, the mechanisms of its antitumor activity remain to be elucidated. We report here that WB could significantly induce cell cycle arrest at G2 phase and mitochondrial-related apoptosis, accompanying the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Additionally, treatment with WB induced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), but not p38 MAP kinase. Among the pathway inhibitors examined, only SP600125 (JNK inhibitor) markedly reversedWB-induced apoptosis, and only U0126 (ERK inhibitor) significantly blocked WB-triggered G2 phase arrest. We also found that WB treatment increased both Ras and Raf activation, and transfection of cells with dominant-negative Ras (RasN17) abolishedWB-induced apoptosis and G2 phase arrest in SMMC-7721 cells. Furthermore, the results of inverse docking (INVDOCK) analysis suggested that WB could bind to Ras-GTP, and the direct binding affinity was also confirmed by surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Finally, in vivo, WB suppressed tumor growth in mouse xenograft models. Taken together, these results indicate that WB induced G2/M phase arrest and apoptosis in human hepatoma SMMC-7721 cells via the Ras/Raf/ERK and Ras/Raf/JNK signaling pathways, and this agent may be a potentially useful compound for developing anticancer agents for HCC.
Project description:Papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is the most common type of thyroid cancer. Deciphering the pathophysiological mechanisms that contribute to PTC development is essential to the discovery of optimal diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. MiR-146b-5p has been identified as a cancer-associated microRNA highly up-regulated in PTC. This study explores the hypothesis that miR-146b-5p contributes to papillary thyroid carcinogenesis through regulation of cell signaling pathways in a manner that overcomes the cellular growth suppressive events and provides survival advantage. The effect of miR-146b-5p inhibition on major cancer related signaling pathways and expression of Stanniocalcin-1 (STC1), an emerging molecule associated with stress response and carcinogenesis, was tested in cultured primary thyroid cells using luciferase reporter assays, quantitative real-time PCR, immunofluorescence staining, and flow cytometry. Our results demonstrated that miR-146b-5p inhibits the JNK/AP1 pathway activity and down-regulates the expression of STC-1 in thyroid-cultured cells and in thyroid tissue samples. In the presence of miR-146b-5p, PTC cells were resistant to cell death in response to oxidative stress. This is a novel report that miR-146b-5p directly targets STC1 and regulates the activity of JNK/AP1 pathway. Considering the importance of the JNK/AP1 pathway and STC1 in mediating many physiological and pathological processes like apoptosis, stress response and cellular metabolism, a biological regulator of these pathways would have a great scientific and clinical significance.
Project description:c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) is a member of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family, and it is reportedly involved in the development of several cancers. However, the role of JNK in pancreatic cancer has not been elucidated. We assessed t he involvement of JNK in the development of pancreatic cancer and investigated the therapeutic effect of JNK inhibitors on this deadly cancer. Small interfering RNAs against JNK or the JNK inhibitor SP600125 were used to examine the role of JNK in cellular proliferation and the cell cycles of pancreatic cancer cell lines. Ptf1a(cre/+) ;LSL-Kras(G12D/+) ;Tgfbr2(flox/flox) mice were treated with the JNK inhibitor to examine pancreatic histology and survival. The effect of JNK inhibition on tumor angiogenesis was also assessed using cell lines and murine pancreatic cancer specimens. JNK was frequently activated in human and murine pancreatic cancer in vitro and in vivo. Growth of human pancreatic cancer cell lines was suppressed by JNK inhibition through G1 arrest in the cell cycle with decreased cyclin D1 expression. In addition, oncogenic K-ras expression led to activation of JNK in pancreatic cancer cell lines. Treatment of Ptf1a(cre/+) ;LSL-Kras(G12D/+) ;Tgfbr2(flox/flox) mice with the JNK inhibitor decreased growth of murine pancreatic cancer and prolonged survival of the mice significantly. Angiogenesis was also decreased by JNK inhibition in vitro and in vivo. In conclusion, activation of JNK promotes development of pancreatic cancer, and JNK may be a potential therapeutic target for pancreatic cancer.
Project description:Cucurbitacin-I (JSI-124) is potent inhibitor of JAK/STAT3 signaling pathway and has anti-tumor activity in a variety of cancer including B cell leukemia. However, other molecular targets of JSI-124 beyond the JAK/STAT3 pathway are not fully understood.BJAB, I-83, NALM-6 and primary CLL cells were treated with JSI-124 as indicated. Apoptosis was measured using flow cytometry for accumulation of sub-G1 phase cells (indicator of apoptosis) and Annexin V/PI staining. Cell cycle was analyzed by FACS for DNA content of G1 and G2 phases. Changes in phosphorylation and protein expression of p38, Erk1/2, JNK, c-Jun, and XIAP were detected by Western blot analysis. STAT3 and c-Jun genes were knocked out using siRNA transfection. VEGF expression was determined by mRNA and protein levels by RT-PCR and western blotting. Streptavidin Pull-Down Assay was used to determine c-Jun binding to the AP-1 DNA binding site.Herein, we show that JSI-124 activates c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and increases both the expression and serine phosphorylation of c-Jun protein in the B leukemic cell lines BJAB, I-83 and NALM-6. JSI-124 also activated MAPK p38 and MAPK Erk1/2 albeit at lower levels than JNK activation. Inhibition of the JNK signaling pathway failed to effect cell cycle arrest or apoptosis induced by JSI-124 but repressed JSI-124 induced c-Jun expression in these leukemia cells. The JNK pathway activation c-Jun leads to transcriptional activation of many genes. Treatment of BJAB, I-83, and NALM-6 cells with JSI-124 lead to an increase of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) at both the mRNA and protein level. Knockdown of c-Jun expression and inhibition of JNK activation significantly blocked JSI-124 induced VEGF expression. Pretreatment with recombinant VEGF reduced JSI-124 induced apoptosis.Taken together, our data demonstrates that JSI-124 activates the JNK signaling pathway independent of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, leading to increased VEGF expression.
Project description:Deregulation of the activator protein 1 (AP1) family gene regulators has been implicated in a wide range of diseases, including cancer. In this study we report that c-Jun was activated in human squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and coexpression of c-Jun with oncogenic Ras was sufficient to transform primary human epidermal cells into malignancy in a regenerated human skin grafting model. In contrast, JunB was not induced in a majority of human SCC cells. Moreover, exogenous expression of JunB inhibited tumorigenesis driven by Ras or spontaneous human SCC cells. Conversely, the dominant-negative JunB mutant (DNJunB) promoted tumorigenesis, which is in contrast to the tumor-suppressor function of the corresponding c-Jun mutant. At the cellular level, JunB induced epidermal cell senescence and slowed cell growth in a cell-autonomous manner. Consistently, coexpression of JunB and Ras induced premature epidermal differentiation concomitant with upregulation of p16 and filaggrin and downregulation of cyclin D1 and cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4). These findings indicate that JunB and c-Jun differentially regulate cell growth and differentiation and induce opposite effects on epidermal neoplasia.JID JOURNAL CLUB ARTICLE: For questions, answers, and open discussion about this article, please go to http://www.nature.com/jid/journalclub.