In human colorectal DLD1 cancer cells, the dietary bioflavonoid resveratrol (RV) rapidly induced autophagy. This effect was reversible (on removal of the drug) and was associated with increased expression and cytosolic redistribution of the proteins Beclin1 and LC3 II. Supplementing the cells with asparagine (Asn) abrogated the Beclin-dependent autophagy. When applied acutely (2 h), RV was not toxic; however, reiterate chronic (48 h) exposure to RV eventually led to annexin V- and terminal deoxinucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling-positive cell death. This toxic effect was autophagy dependent, as it was prevented either by Asn, by expressing a dominant-negative lipid kinase-deficient class III phosphoinositide 3-phosphate kinase, or by RNA interference knockdown of Beclin1. Lamp2b silencing abolished the fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes and preserved cell viability despite the ongoing formation of autophagosomes in cells chronically exposed to RV. The pan-caspase inhibitor benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethylketone inhibited RV-induced cell death, but not autophagy. These results uncover a novel pathway of RV cytotoxicity in which autophagy plays a dual role: (i) at first, it acts as a prosurvival stress response and (ii) at a later time, it switches to a caspase-dependent apoptosis pathway. The present data also indicate that genetic or epigenetic inactivation of autophagy proteins in cancer cells may confer resistance to RV-mediated killing.
Site-specific mutagenesis at one or multiple sites has recently become an invaluable strategy in functional proteomic studies and genetic engineering.
In the corpus luteum (CL), blood vessels develop, stabilize, and regress. This process depends on the ratio of pro- and antiangiogenic factors, which change during the ovarian cycle. The present study focuses on the possible roles of 23,000 (23K) prolactin (PRL) in the bovine CL and its antiangiogenic NH(2)-terminal fragments after extracellular cleavage by cathepsin D (Cath D). PRL RNA and protein were demonstrated in the CL tissue, in luteal endothelial cells, and in steroidogenic cells. Cath D was detected in CL tissue, cell extracts, and corresponding cell supernatants. In the intact CL, 23K PRL levels decreased gradually, whereas Cath D levels concomitantly increased between early and late luteal stages. In vitro, PRL cleavage occurred in the presence of acidified homogenates of CL tissue, cells, and corresponding cell supernatants. Similar fragments were obtained with purified Cath D, and their appearance was inhibited by pepstatin A. The aspartic protease specific substrate MOCAc-GKPILF~FRLK(Dnp)-D-R-NH(2) was cleaved by CL cell supernatants, providing further evidence for Cath D activity. The 16,000 PRL inhibited proliferation of luteal endothelial cells accompanied by an increase in cleaved caspase-3. In conclusion, 1) the bovine CL is able to produce PRL and to process it into antiangiogenic fragments by Cath D activity and 2) PRL cleavage might mediate angioregression during luteolysis.
Hydrogen peroxide, the major oxidoradical species in the central nervous system, has been involved in neuronal cell death and associated neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, we have investigated the involvement of the lysosomal pathway in the cytotoxic mechanism of hydrogen peroxide in human neuroblastoma cells. Alteration of lysosomal and mitochondrial membrane integrity was shown to be an early event in the lethal cascade triggered by oxidative stress. Desferrioxamine (DFO), an iron chelator that abolishes the formation of reactive oxygen species within lysosomes, prevented lysosome leakage, mitochondrial permeabilization and caspase-dependent apoptosis in hydrogen peroxide-treated cells. Inhibition of cathepsin D, not of cathepsin B, as well as small-interference RNA-mediated silencing of the cathepsin D gene prevented hydrogen peroxide-induced injury of mitochondria, caspase activation, and TUNEL-positive cell death. Cathepsin D activity was shown indispensable for translocation of Bax onto mitochondrial membrane associated with oxidative stress. DFO abolished both the cytosolic relocation of Cathepsin D and the mitochondrial relocation of Bax in hydrogen peroxide-treated cells. siRNA-mediated down-regulation of Bax expression protected the cells from oxidoradical injury. The present study identifies the lysosome as the primary target and the axis cathepsin D-Bax as the effective pathway of hydrogen peroxide lethal activity in neuroblastoma cells.
In human colorectal cancer cells, the polyphenol resveratrol (RV) activated the caspase-dependent intrinsic pathway of apoptosis. This effect was not mediated via estrogen receptors. Pepstatin A, an inhibitor of lysosomal cathepsin D (CD), not (2S,3S)-trans-epoxysuccinyl-L-leucylamido-3-methylbutane ethyl ester, an inhibitor of cathepsins B and L, prevented RV cytotoxicity. Similar protection was attained by small interference RNA-mediated knockdown of CD protein expression. RV promoted the accumulation of mature CD, induced lysosome leakage and increased cytosolic immunoreactivity of CD. Inhibition of CD or its post-transcriptional down-regulation precluded Bax oligomerization, permeabilization of mitochondrial membrane, cytosolic translocation of cytochrome c, caspase 3 activation and terminal deoxinucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling positivity occurring in RV-treated cells. The present study identifies the lysosome as a novel target of RV activity and demonstrates a hierarchy of the proteolytic pathways involved in its cytotoxic mechanism in which the lysosomal CD acts upstream of the cytosolic caspase activation. Our data indicate that metabolic, pharmacologic or genetic conditions affecting CD expression and/or activity could reflect on the sensitivity of cancer cells to RV.
The precursor of human cathepsin D (CD) is converted into the single-chain and the double-chain active polypeptides by subsequent proteolysis reactions taking place in the endosomal-lysosomal compartment and involving specific aminoacid sequences. We have mutagenized the region of aminoacids (comprising the beta-hairpin loop) involved in the latter proteolytic maturation step and generated a mutant CD that cannot be converted into the mature double-chain form. This mutant CD expressed in rodent cells reaches the lysosome and is stable as single-chain polypeptide, bears high-mannose type sugars, binds to pepstatin A and is enzymatically active, indicating that it is correctly folded. The present work provides new insights on the aminoacid region involved in the terminal processing of human CD and on the function of the processing beta-hairpin loop.
We investigated the signal mediators and the cellular events involved in the nitric oxide (NO)-induced hepatocyte resistance to oxygen deprivation in isolated hepatocytes treated with the NO donor (Z)-1-(N-methyl-N-[6-(N-methylammoniohexyl)amino])diazen-1-ium-1,2-diolate (NOC-9). NOC-9 greatly induced PI3K activation, as tested by phosphorylation of PKB/Akt. This effect was prevented by either 1H-(1,2,4)-oxadiazolo-(4,3)-quinoxalin-1-one, an inhibitor of the soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC), or KT5823, an inhibitor of cGMP-dependent kinase (cGK), as well as by farnesyl protein transferase inhibitor, which blocks the function of Ras GTPase. Bafilomycin A, an inhibitor of the lysosome-type vacuolar H+-ATPase, cytochalasin D, which disrupts the cytoskeleton-dependent organelle traffic, and wortmannin, which inhibits the PI3K-dependent traffic of lysosomes, all abolished the NOC-9-induced hepatocyte protection. The treatment with NOC-9 was associated with the PI3K-dependent peripheral translocation and fusion with the plasma membrane of lysosomes and the appearance at the cell surface of the vacuolar H+-ATPase. Inhibition of sGC, cGK, and Ras, as well as the inhibition of PI3K by wortmannin, prevented the exocytosis of lysosomes and concomitantly abolished the protective effect of NOC-9 on hypoxia-induced pHi and [Na+]i alterations and cell death. These data indicate that NO increases hepatocyte resistance to hypoxic injury by activating a pathway involving Ras, sGC, and cGK that determines PI3K-dependent exocytosis of lysosomes.
The prognostic significance of microvessel density and proliferative activity of the neoplastic cells, evaluated respectively by CD31 and Ki-67 positivity, and immunohistochemical expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was retrospectively investigated in 105 cases of sinonasal carcinoma (80 surgical specimens and 25 biopsies). The most represented histologic types were intestinal-type adenocarcinoma found in 36 patients (34.3%), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in 34 (32.4%), mucinous adenocarcinoma (mainly made up of signet-ring cell patterns) in 15 (14.3%), and adenoid cystic carcinoma in 7 (6.7%). Microvessel density values (in vessels per square millimeter), VEGF, and Ki-67 were not dependent on histologic type but were rather correlated to the histologic grading in SCC. Clinical data were available for 92 (87.6%) of 105 patients, with minimum follow-up of 48 months. Most of the patients (81.5%) were at an advanced stage (T3-T4) at diagnosis. The values of all markers were correlated to tumor stage (P = .03). Multivariate analysis showed that both microvessel density and proliferative activity of the neoplastic cells were independent prognostic parameters (mortality hazard ratio, 1.33 and 1.60, respectively). Although VEGF expression was not correlated to prognosis on the whole series (P = .06), it was a powerful prognostic marker when the analysis was restricted to the group of SCCs (hazard ratio, 3.02; 90% confidence interval, 1.58-5.80). These results show that tumor neoangiogenesis, expressed by microvessel density, together with proliferative activity, is a pathologic marker with a strong prognostic impact in sinonasal carcinomas. Therefore, it may be a useful tool in this field so as to carry out therapeutic protocol planning, which may be further enhanced by the adoption of the more recent antiangiogenic molecules.
The present study investigated whether the expression of cellular Fas-associated death domain-like interleukin-1beta-converting enzyme (FLICE) inhibitory protein (cFLIP) conveys prognostic information in non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs). cFLIP expression was quantified by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence in biopsy specimens from 86 NHL patients for whom clinical information was available. NHL malignancy was graded as high/intermediate or low according to the World Health Organization Classification of Lymphoid Neoplasms. cFLIP was positive in 23 of 45 high-/intermediate-grade NHLs and in 25 of 41 low-grade NHLs. Negative expression of cFLIP was associated with the presence of apoptotic cells in the tumour mass, regardless of the histotype and of the malignancy grade. In NHLs positive for cFLIP, 11 of 23 (48%) high-/intermediate-grade cases and 18 of 25 (72%) low-grade cases showed a bad outcome. In NHLs negative for cFLIP, only four of 22 (18%) high-/intermediate-grade patients and 12 of 16 (75%) low-grade patients achieved complete remission. All these correlations were statistically significant. The correlation of cFLIP expression with clinical outcome was independent of therapy, whether or not it included anti-CD20 antibody (Rituximab). The present findings strongly indicate that cFLIP is a reliable predictor of tumour progression and clinical prognosis in NHLs of low grade of malignancy.
We used a vaccinia virus expression system for the production of recombinant human cathepsin D (CD), a lysosomal protease implicated in various patho-physiological processes including cancer, neurodegeneration, and development. The recombinant protein was successfully expressed in various human and non-human cells. It was correctly synthesized as a glycosylated 53 kDa precursor (proCDrec) that reacted with a polyclonal antibody against residues 7-21 of the propeptide sequence. In contrast to the control, in cells infected with the recombinant virus proCDrec was largely secreted into the culture medium, although it contained high-mannose oligosaccharides with uncovered mannose-6-phosphate residues. Intracellular proCDrec was processed into the 48 kDa intermediate single-chain and the 31 plus 13 kDa double-chain forms, however, the processing was slower than in normal cells. A method based on Pepstatin A-affinity chromatography allowed to isolate the recombinant protein from the medium of infected cells. Based on its latency in activity assay at acid pH and on its reactivity with antibodies specific for the N-terminus, the purified protein was judged to be in the inactive precursor form. During incubation at acid pH the purified proCDrec underwent autocatalytic processing and acquired pepstatin A-sensitive enzyme activity, as expected for correctly folded proCD. Antiserum raised in rabbits against proCDrec specifically reacted with human, but not with mouse proCD under non-denaturing conditions. We conclude that our vaccinia virus-directed proCDrec displays structural and functional features resembling those of native human proCD. This system can therefore be exploited for the synthesis of large quantities of human proCD, allowing further studies on the structure and function of this interesting protein.