Abnormal glycosylation of cellular glycoconjugates is a common phenotypic change in many human tumors. Here, we explore the possibility that an altered Golgi pH may also be responsible for these cancer-associated glycosylation abnormalities. We show that a mere dissipation of the acidic Golgi pH results both in increased expression of some cancer-associated carbohydrate antigens and in structural disorganization of the Golgi apparatus in otherwise normally glycosylating cells. pH dependence of these alterations was confirmed by showing that an acidification-defective breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) also displayed a fragmented Golgi apparatus, whereas the Golgi apparatus was structurally normal in its acidification-competent subline (MCF-7/AdrR). Acidification competence was also found to rescue normal glycosylation potential in MCF-7/AdrR cells. Finally, we show that abnormal glycosylation is also accompanied by similar structural disorganization and fragmentation of the Golgi apparatus in colorectal cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. These results suggest that an inappropriate Golgi pH may indeed be responsible for the abnormal Golgi structure and lowered glycosylation potential of the Golgi apparatus in malignant cells.
In vertebrates, the synthesis of prostaglandin hormones is catalyzed by cyclooxygenase (COX)-1, a constitutively expressed enzyme with physiological functions, and COX-2, induced in inflammation and cancer. Prostaglandins have been detected in high concentrations in certain corals, and previous evidence suggested their biosynthesis through a lipoxygenase-allene oxide pathway. Here we describe the discovery of an ancestor of cyclooxygenases that is responsible for prostaglandin biosynthesis in coral. Using a homology-based polymerase chain reaction cloning strategy, the cDNA encoding a polypeptide with approximately 50% amino acid identity to both mammalian COX-1 and COX-2 was cloned and sequenced from the Arctic soft coral Gersemia fruticosa. Nearly all the amino acids essential for substrate binding and catalysis as determined in the mammalian enzymes are represented in coral COX: the arachidonate-binding Arg(120) and Tyr(355) are present, as are the heme-coordinating His(207) and His(388); the catalytic Tyr(385); and the target of aspirin attack, Ser(530). A key amino acid that determines the sensitivity to selective COX-2 inhibitors (Ile(523) in COX-1 and Val(523) in COX-2) is present in coral COX as isoleucine. The conserved Glu(524), implicated in the binding of certain COX inhibitors, is represented as alanine. Expression of the G. fruticosa cDNA afforded a functional cyclooxygenase that converted exogenous arachidonic acid to prostaglandins. The biosynthesis was inhibited by indomethacin, whereas the selective COX-2 inhibitor nimesulide was ineffective. We conclude that the cyclooxygenase occurs widely in the animal kingdom and that vertebrate COX-1 and COX-2 are evolutionary derivatives of the invertebrate precursor.
Germline mutations in the breast cancer susceptibility genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, are thought to account for a large portion of familial breast cancer. The increased risk of breast cancer in women carrying such mutations suggests that these proteins play a critical role in the growth regulation of mammary epithelial cells. Another protein, Stat5a, is known to be essential for growth and terminal differentiation of breast epithelial cells. Here we show that Stat5a forms a complex with both BRCA1 and BRCA2 in breast epithelial cells upon stimulation with prolactin. In addition, we show that the activity of Stat5a on the beta-casein promoter is modulated by both BRCA1 and BRCA2. This interaction may be important during the expansion and terminal differentiation of breast epithelial cells, as happens during pregnancy and lactation.
Aberrant secretion of lysosomal hydrolases such as (pro)cathepsin D (proCD) is a common phenotypic change in many human cancers. Here we explore the underlying molecular defect(s) and find that MCF-7 breast and CaCo-2 colorectal cancer cells that are unable to acidify their endosomal compartments secreted higher amounts of proCD than did acidification-competent cancer cell types. The latter secreted equivalent amounts of proCD only after dissipation of their organellar pH gradients with NH(4)Cl. Assessing the critical steps that resulted in proCD secretion revealed that the Golgi-associated sorting receptor for CD, i.e. the cation-independent mannose-6-phosphate receptor (MPR300), was aberrantly distributed in acidification-defective MCF-7 cells. It accumulated mainly in late endosomes and/or lysosomes as a complex with its ligand (proCD or intermediate CD), as evidenced by its co-localization with both CD and LAMP-2, a late endosome/lysosome marker. Our immunoprecipitation analyses also showed that MCF-7 cells possessed 7-fold higher levels of receptor-enzyme complexes than did acidification-competent cells. NH(4)Cl induced similar receptor redistribution into LAMP-2-positive structures in acidification-competent cells but not in MCF-7 cells. The receptor also recovered its normal Golgi localization upon drug removal. Based on these observations, we conclude that defective acidification results in the aberrant secretion of proCD in certain cancer cells and interferes mainly with the normal disassembly of the receptor-enzyme complexes and efficient receptor reutilization in the Golgi.
The molecular basis of host-tumor interaction in HLA-A31+ cancer patients has not been well understood. This lack of clarification is hampering the development of specific immunotherapies for these patients. This study aimed to identify a set of CTL-epitope peptides applicable for the specific immunotherapy of cancer patients with HLA-A31 allele. HLA-A31 allele is expressed in 5-10% of the world population, with the highest expression among Brazilian Amerinds (65%), and the lowest in the Eskimo population (0%). We report herein four cDNAs encoding CTL-epitopes and 7 epitope peptides with the ability to induce HLA-A31-restricted CTLs cytotoxic to tumor cell lines in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of HLA-A31+ cancer patients. These peptides might be useful for the development of a peptide-based immunotherapy for HLA-A31+ cancer patients.
Background and Aims: Hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC) and Lynch syndrome (LS) are characterized by defects in the mismatch repair (MMR) system, which protects the integrity of the genome. Pathogenic variants in four MMR genes (MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2) are responsible for LS, an autosomal, dominant hereditary disease that occurs with a frequency of 2-5% among all colorectal cancer cases. It has been estimated that ~2-5% of all pathogenic variants found in the four MMR genes in LS cases are detected in the PMS2 gene. An overview of detected variants is presented here. Materials and Methods: Long-range (LR) PMS2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and PMS2 multiplex ligation probe amplification (MLPA) assays were used to detect PMS2 variants in ~1500 probands. In a subset of the probands, pathogenic PMS2 variants were detected by next-generation sequencing, and all detected variants were confirmed by LR-PCR combined with an MLPA assay. Results: A summary of PMS2 mutation analyses performed on colon cancer patients from molecular diagnostic laboratories in Denmark and Sweden is presented. By screening ~1500 HNPCC probands, a total of 40 different PMS2 variants were detected in 71 probands (5%); 20 variants were classified as pathogenic (C5), 2 variants as likely pathogenic (C4), 15 variants as variants of unknown significance (VUSs) (C3), 1 variant as likely benign (C2), and 2 variants as benign (C1). In total, 22/71 (31%) of the probands carried a pathogenic sequence variant. Among the probands with isolated loss of pPMS2 expression, the fraction of pathogenic variants was 20/35 (55%). Conclusions: Approximately 5% of the probands found in the Danish and Swedish populations presented here carried a PMS2 variant. In this study, six novel pathogenic variants and seven VUSs are reported.
A 3 bp deletion located at the 5' end of exon 3 of MLH1, resulting in deletion of exon 3 from RNA, was recently identified.
That this mutation disrupts an exon splicing enhancer (ESE) because it occurs in a purine-rich sequence previously identified as an ESE in other genes, and ESEs are often found in exons with splice signals that deviate from the consensus signals, as does the 3' splice signal in exon 3 of MLH1.
The 3 bp deletion and several other mutations were created by polymerase chain reaction mutagenesis and tested using an in vitro splicing assay. Both mutant and wild type exon 3 sequences were cloned into an exon trapping vector and transiently expressed in Cos-1 cells.
Analysis of the RNA indicates that the 3 bp deletion c.213_215delAGA (gi:28559089, NM_000249.2), a silent mutation c.216T-->C, a missense mutation c.214G-->C, and a nonsense mutation c.214G-->T all cause varying degrees of exon skipping, suggesting the presence of an ESE at the 5' end of exon 3. These mutations are situated in a GAAGAT sequence 3 bp downstream from the start of exon 3.
The results of the splicing assay suggest that inclusion of exon 3 in the mRNA is ESE dependent. The exon 3 ESE is not recognised by all available motif scoring matrices, highlighting the importance of RNA analysis in the detection of ESE disrupting mutations.
Acidic pH of the Golgi lumen is known to be crucial for correct glycosylation, transport and sorting of proteins and lipids during their transit through the organelle. To better understand why Golgi acidity is important for these processes, we have examined here the most pH sensitive events in N-glycosylation by sequentially raising Golgi luminal pH with chloroquine (CQ), a weak base. We show that only a 0.2 pH unit increase (20 microM CQ) is sufficient to markedly impair terminal alpha(2,3)-sialylation of an N-glycosylated reporter protein (CEA), and to induce selective mislocalization of the corresponding alpha(2,3)-sialyltransferase (ST3) into the endosomal compartments. Much higher pH increase was required to impair alpha(2,6)-sialylation, or the proximal glycosylation steps such as beta(1,4)-galactosylation or acquisition of Endo H resistance, and the steady-state localization of the key enzymes responsible for these modifications (ST6, GalT I, MANII). The overall Golgi morphology also remained unaltered, except when Golgi pH was raised close to neutral. By using transmembrane domain chimeras between the ST6 and ST3, we also show that the luminal domain of the ST6 is mainly responsible for its less pH sensitive localization in the Golgi. Collectively, these results emphasize that moderate Golgi pH alterations such as those detected in cancer cells can impair N-glycosylation by inducing selective mislocalization of only certain Golgi glycosyltransferases.
Cerebrovascular deposition of the amyloid beta-protein (Abeta) is a common pathologic event in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and certain related disorders. Such an Abeta vascular deposition occurs primarily in the medial layer of the cerebral vessel wall in an assembled fibrillar state. These deposits are associated with several pathological responses, including degeneration of the smooth muscle cells in the cerebral vessel wall. Severe cases of cerebrovascular Abeta deposition are also accompanied by loss of vessel wall integrity and hemorrhagic stroke. Although the reasons for this pathological consequence are unclear, altered proteolytic mechanisms within the cerebral vessel wall may be involved. We analyzed cerebral Abeta deposition in brains with AD and Dutch-type hereditary cerebral hemorrhage with amyloidosis (HCHWA-D) on the basis of two amyloid species of Abeta(40) and Abeta(42/43) using specific monoclonal antibodies. Compared to Abeta deposition in senile plaques, the molecular composition of Abeta was distinguishable, indicating that the Abeta(40) species is the main component for vascular amyloid. Furthermore, we found Abeta(42/43) immunoreactivity was also much increased in amyloid angiopathy of all cases with HCHWA-D. Taken together, amyloid angiopathy in HCHWA-D may share an Abeta(42)-driven deposition mechanism with plaque amyloid, resulting in enhanced Abeta(40) deposition.
The aim of this study was to identify mutations in the lipoprotein lipase (LPL) gene in 20 unrelated patients with familial lipoprotein deficiency (FLLD) and to investigate the genotype/phenotype relationship. The previously reported G188E mutation (Monsalve et al., J Clin Invest 86:728-734, 1990) was screened for and found to be present in seven individuals (12/40 alleles). In addition, three patients were heterozygous for the 2.0 kb insertion (Langlois et al., Proc Nalt Acad Sci US 86:948-952, 1989). Two approaches were taken for new mutation detection; single-strand conformation polymorphism and sequencing to identify micro-mutations in the proximal promoter and exons 1-9 of the LPL gene and Southern blotting to identify gross mutations. Ten different point mutations were found (W86G, A158T, H183Q, G188E, S193R, P207L, L252X, N291S, M301T, L303P). Additionally, a two nucleotide deletion in exon 6 (delta1006-1007), a six nucleotide deletion in exon 8 (delta1441-1447), and a silent substitution in the wobble position of codon E118 were identified. In vitro mutagenesis and expression in COS-B cells suggested that the A158T and S193R substitutions virtually abolished enzyme activity. In analysing the genotype/phenotype relationship, there was no strong association between age at diagnosis, severity of symptoms, lipid levels, and the nature/position of the mutation. Triglyceride levels, however, were higher in compound heterozygotes compared to true homozygotes, possibly reflecting increased instability of heterodimers. Overall, 29 of 40 (72.5%) mutant alleles were identified. Failure to identify the mutation in 11 alleles might reflect the inadequacy of the method or the possibility that mutations lie within regions of the gene not screened in the study because of lack of availability of sequence.