To solve the problem of immune incompatibility, nuclear transplantation has been envisaged as a means to produce cells or tissues for human autologous transplantation. Here we have derived embryonic stem cells by the transfer of human somatic nuclei into rabbit oocytes. The number of blastocysts that developed from the fused nuclear transfer was comparable among nuclear donors at ages of 5, 42, 52 and 60 years, and nuclear transfer (NT) embryonic stem cells (ntES cells) were subsequently derived from each of the four age groups. These results suggest that human somatic nuclei can form ntES cells independent of the age of the donor. The derived ntES cells are human based on karyotype, isogenicity, in situ hybridization, PCR and immunocytochemistry with probes that distinguish between the various species. The ntES cells maintain the capability of sustained growth in an undifferentiated state, and form embryoid bodies, which, on further induction, give rise to cell types such as neuron and muscle, as well as mixed cell populations that express markers representative of all three germ layers. Thus, ntES cells derived from human somatic cells by NT to rabbit eggs retain phenotypes similar to those of conventional human ES cells, including the ability to undergo multilineage cellular differentiation.
Vertebrate Msx genes are unlinked, homeobox-containing genes that bear homology to the Drosophila muscle segment homeobox gene. These genes are expressed at multiple sites of tissue-tissue interactions during vertebrate embryonic development. Inductive interactions mediated by the Msx genes are essential for normal craniofacial, limb and ectodermal organ morphogenesis, and are also essential to survival in mice, as manifested by the phenotypic abnormalities shown in knockout mice and in humans. This review summarizes studies on the expression, regulation, and functional analysis of Msx genes that bear relevance to craniofacial development in humans and mice.
ONYX-015 is an attractive therapeutic adenovirus for cancer because it can selectively replicate in tumor cells and kill them. To date, clinical trials of this adenovirus have demonstrated marked safety but not potent enough when it was used alone. In this paper, we put forward a novel concept of Gene-ViroTherapy strategy and in this way, we constructed an armed therapeutic oncolytic adenovirus system, ZD55-gene, which is not only deleted of E1B55-kD gene similar to ONYX-015, but also armed with foreign antitumor gene. ZD55-gene exhibited similar cytopathic effects and replication kinetics to that of ONYX-015 in vitro. Importantly, the carried gene is expressed and the expression level can increase with the replication of virus. Consequently, a significant antitumoral efficacy was observed when ZD55-CD/5-FU was used as an example in nude mice with subcutaneous human SW620 colon cancer. Our data demonstrated that ZD55-gene, which utilizing the Gene-ViroTherapy strategy, is more efficacious than each individual component in vivo.
Trichomoniasis is the most common, sexually transmitted infection.It is caused by the flagellated protozoan parasite Trichomonas vagina/is. Symptoms include vaginitis and infections have been associatedwith preterm delivery, low birth weight and increased infant mortality, as well as predisposing to HIV/AIDSand cervical cancer. Trichomoniasis has the highest prevalence and incidence of any sexually transmitted infection. The 5-nitroimidazole drugs, of which metronidazole is the most prescribed, are the only approved,effective drugs to treat trichomoniasis. Resistance against metronidazole is frequently reported and cross-resistance among the family of 5-nitroimidazole drugs is common, leaving no alternative for treatment, withsome cases remaining unresolved. The mechanism of metronidazole resistance in T. Vagina/is from treatment failures is not well understood, unlike resistance which is developed in the laboratory under increasingmet ronidazole pressure. In the latter situation, hydrog enosomal function which is involved in activationof the prodrug, metronidazole, is down-regulated. Reversion to sensitivity is incomplete after removal ofdrug pressure in the highly resistant parasites while clinically resistant strains, so far analysed, maintaintheir resistance levels in the absence of drug pressure. Although anaerobic resistance has been regarded asa laboratory induced phenomenon, it clearly has been demonstrated in clinical isolates. Pursuit of both approaches will allow dissection of the underlying mechanisms. Many alternative drugs and treatments have been tested in vivo in cases of refractory trichomoniasis, as well as in vitro with some successes including the broad spectrum anti-parasitic drug nitazoxanide. Drug resistance incidence in T. Vagina/is appears to be on the increase and improved surveillance of treatment failures is urged.
Intermittent hypoxia has been shown to provide myocardial protection against ishemiaJreperfusion-induced injury.Cardiac myocyte loss through apoptosis has been reported in ischemia/reperfusion injury. Our aim was to investigate whether intermittent hypoxia could attenuate ischemia/reperfusion-induced apoptosis in cardiac myocytes and its potential mechanisms. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to hypoxia simulated 5000 m in a hypobaric chamber for 6 h/day, lasting 42 days. Normoxia group rats were kept under normoxic conditions. Isolated perfused hearts from both groups were subjected to 30 min of global ischemia followed by 60 min reperfusion.Incidence of apoptosis in cardiac myocytes was determined by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) and DNA agarose gel electrophoresis. Expressions of apoptosis related proteins,Bax and Bcl-2, in cytosolic and membrane fraction were detected by Western Blotting. After ischemia/reperfusion,enhanced recovery of cardiac function was observed in intermittent hypoxia hearts compared with normoxia group.Ischemia/reperfusion-induced apoptosis, as evidenced by TUNEL-positive nuclei and DNA fragmentation, was significantly reduced in intermittent hypoxia group compared with normoxia group. After ischemia/reperfusion,expression of Bax in both cytosolic and membrane fractions was decreased in intermittent hypoxia hearts comparedwith normoxia group. Although ischemia/reperfusion did not induce changes in the level of Bcl-2 expression in cytosolic fraction between intermittent hypoxia and normoxia groups, the expression of Bcl-2 in membrane fraction was upregulated in intermittent hypoxia group compared with normoxia group. These results indicated that the cardioprotection of intermittent hypoxia against ischemia/reperfusion injury appears to be in part due to reducemyocardial apoptosis. Intermittent hypoxia attenuated ischemia/reperfusion-induced apoptosis via increasing the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax, especially in membrane fraction.
To determine the possible role of the epigenetic mechanisms in carcinogenesis of the hepatocellular carcinoma, we methylation-profiled the promoter CpG islands of twenty four genes both in HCC tumors and the neighboring non-cancerous tissues of twenty eight patients using the methylation-specific PCR (MSP) method in conjunction with the DNA sequencing. In comparison with the normal liver tissues from the healthy donors, it was found thatwhile remained unmethylated the ABL, CAV, EPO, GATA3, LKB 1, NEP, NFL, NIS and p27KIPI genes, varying extents of the HCC specific loss of the epigenetisoermethvlation were found associated with the ABO, AR. CSPG2. cvclin al. DBCCR1，GALR2, IRF7, MGMT, MT 1 A, MYOD 1, OCT6, p57KP2, p73, WT 1 genes, and demethylation with the MAGEA 1 gene, respectively. Judged by whether the hypermethylated occurred in HCC more rrequenuy man in tneir neignboring normal tissues, the hypermethylation status of the AR, DBCCR1, IRF7, OCT6, and p73 genes was considered as the event specific to the late stage, while that the rest that lacked such a distinguished contrast, as the event specific to the early stage of HCC carcinogenesis. Among all the clinical pathological parameters tested for theassociation with, the hypermethylation of the cyclin al gene was more prevalent in the non-cirrhosis group (P=0.02 1) while the hvoermethvlated p16^INK4a gene was more common in the cirrhosis group (P=0.017). The concordant dant methylation behaviors of nineteen genes, including the four previously studied and their association With clrrllosis has been evaluated by the best subgroup selection method. The data presented in this report would enable us toshape our understanding of the mechanisms for the HCC specific loss of the epigenetic stability of the genome, aswell as the strategy of developing the novel robust methylation based diagnostic and prognostic tools.
Quantum dots are the nanoparticles that are recently emerging as an alternative to organic fluorescence probes in cell biology and biomedicine, and have several predictive advantages. These include their i) broad absorption spectra allowing visualization with single light source, ii) exceptional photo-stability allowing long term studies and iii) narrow and symmetrical emission spectrum that is controlled by their size and material composition. These unique properties allow simultaneous excitation of different size of quantum dots with a single excitation light source, their simultaneous resolution and visualization as different colors. At present there are only a few studies that have tested quantum dots in cellular imaging. We describe here the use of quantum dots in mortalin imaging of normal and cancer cells. Mortalin staining pattern with quantum dots in both normal and cancer cells mimicked those obtained with organic florescence probes and were considerably stable.
Although mitochondria provide eukaryotic cells with certain metabolic advantages, in other ways they may be disadvantageous. For example, mitochondria produce reactive oxygen species that damage both nucleocytoplasm and mitochondria, resulting in mutations, diseases, and aging. The relationship of mito-chondria to the cytoplasm is best understood in the context of evolutionary history. Although it is clearthat mitochondria evolved from symbiotic bacteria, the exact nature of the initial symbiosis is a matter of continuing debate. The exchange of nutrients between host and symbiont may have differed from that be-tween the cytoplasm and mitochondria in modern cells. Speculations about the initial relationships includethe following. (1) The pre-mitochondrion may have been an invasive, parasitic bacterium. The host did notbenefit. (2) The relationship was a nutritional syntrophy based upon transfer of organic acids from host tosymbiont. (3) The relationship was a syntrophy based upon H2 transfer from symbiont to host, where thehost was a methanogen. (4) There was a syntrophy based upon reciprocal exchange of sulfur compounds.The last conjecture receives support from our detection in eukaryotic cells of substantial H2S-oxidizing activity in mitochondria, and sulfur-reducing activity in the cytoplasm.
A tumor vasculature is highly unstable and immature, characterized by a high proliferation rate of endothelial cells, hyper-permeability, and chaotic blood flow. The dysfunctional vasculature gives rise to continual plasma leakage and hypoxia in the tumor, resulting in constant on-sets of inflammation and angiogenesis. Tumors are thus likened to wounds that will not heal. The lack of functional mural cells, including pericytes and vascular smooth muscle cells, in tumor vascular structure contributes significantly to the abnormality of tumor vessels. Angiopoietin-1 (Ang 1) is aphysiological angiogenesis promoter during embryonic development. The function of Angl is essential to endothelial cell survival, vascular branching, and pericyte recruitment. However, an increasing amount of experimental data suggest that Angl-stimulated association of mural cells with endothelial cells lead to stabilization of newly formed blood vessels. This in turn may limit the otherwise continuous angiogenesis in the tumor, and consequently give riseto inhibition of tumor growth. We discuss the enigmatic role of Angl in tumor angiogenesis in this review.
In this study we used U0126, a potent and specific inhibitor of MEK, to study the roles of MEK/ERK/p90rsk signaling pathway in the meiotic cell cycle of mouse oocytes. The phosphorylation of MAP kinase and p90rsk in theoocytes treated with 1.5 μM U0126 was the same as that in oocytes cultured in drug-free medium. With 1.5 μM U0126 treatment, the spindles appeared normal as they formed in oocytes, but failed to maintain its structure.Instead, the spindle lost one pole or elongated extraordinarily. After further culture, some oocytes extruded giganticpolar bodies (>30 μm) that later divided into two small ones. Some oocytes underwent symmetric division and produced two equal-size daughter cells in which normal spindles formed. In oocytes with different division patterns,MAP kinase was normally phosphorylated. When the concentration of U0126 was increased to 15 μM, the phos-phorylation of both MAPK and p90rsk were inhibited, while symmetric division was decreased. When incubating in medium containing 15μM U0126 for 14 h, oocytes were activated, but part of them failed to emit polar bodies. MⅡ oocytes were also activated by 15 μM U0126, at the same time the dephosphorylation of MAP kinase and p90rsk was observed. Our results indicate that 1 ) MEK plays important but not indispensable roles in microtubule organization;2) MEK keeps normal meiotic spindle morphology, targets peripheral spindle positioning and regulates asymmetric division by activating some unknown substrates other than MAP kinase/p90rsk; and 3) activation of MEK/ERK/p90rsk cascade maintains MⅡ arrest in mouse oocvtes.
Transforming growth factor-b1 (TGF-beta1), a multi-function polypeptide, is a double-edged sword in cancer. For some tumor cells, TGF-beta1 is a potent growth inhibitor and apoptosis inducer. More commonly, TGF-beta1 loses its growth-inhibitory and apoptosis-inducing effects, but stimulates the metastatic capacity of tumor cells. It is currently little known about TGF-beta1-promoted cell migration in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells, let alone its mechanism. In this study, we found that TGF-beta1 lost its tumor-suppressive effects, but significantly stimulated cell migration in SMMC-7721 human HCC cells. By FACS and Western blot analysis, we observed that TGF-beta1 enhanced the expression of alpha5beta1 integrin obviously, and subsequently stimulated cell adhesion onto fibronectin (Fn). Furthermore, we observed that TGF-beta1 could also promote SMMC-7721 cells adhesion onto laminin (Ln). Our data also provided evidences that TGF-beta1 induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transformation (EMT) in SMMC-7721 cells. First, SMMC-7721 cells clearly switched to the spindle shape morphology after TGF-beta1 treatment. Furthermore, TGF-beta1 induced the down-regulation of E-cadherin and the nuclear translocation of P-catenin. These results indicated that TGF-beta1-promoted cell adhesion and TGF-beta1-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transformation might be both responsible for TGF-beta1-enhanced cell migration.
Dinoflagellates are a very large and diverse group of eukaryotic algae that play a major role in aquaticfood webs of both fresh water and marine habitats. Moreover, the toxic members of this group posea health threat in the form of red tides. Finally, dinoflagellates are of great evolutionary importance,because of their taxonomic position, and their unusual chromosome structure and composition. While the cytoplasm of dinoflagellates is typically eukaryotic, the nucleus is unique when compared to the nucleusof other eukaryotes. More specifically, while the chromosomes of all other eukaryotes contain histones,dinoflagellate chromosomes lack histones completely. There are no known exceptions to this observation: all dinoflagellates lack histones, and all other eukaryotes contain histones. Nevertheless, dinoflagellates remain a relatively unstudied group of eukaryotes.
Endothelial cells (TEC3 cells) derived from mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells were used as seed cells to construct blood vessels. Tissue engineered blood vessels were made by seeding 8 X 106 smooth muscle cells (SMCs) ob-tained from rabbit arteries onto a sheet of nonwoven polyglycolic acid (PGA) fibers, which was used as a biode-gradable polymer scaffold. After being cultured in DMEM medium for 7 days in vitro, SMCs grew well on the PGA fibers, and the cell-PGA sheet was then wrapped around a silicon tube, and implanted subcutaneously into nude mice. After 6～8 weeks, the silicon tube was replaced with another silicon tube in smaller diameter, and then the TEC3 cells (endothelial cells differentiated from mouse ES cells) were injected inside the engineered vessel tube as the test group. In the control group only culture medium was injected. Five days later, the engineered vessels were harvested for gross observation, histological and immunohistochemical analysis. The preliminary results demonstrated that the SMC-PGA construct could form a tubular structure in 6-8 weeks and PGA fibers were completely degraded. Histological and immunohistochemical analysis of the newly formed tissue revealed a typical blood vessel structure, including a lining of endothelial cells (ECs) on the lumimal surface and the presence of SMC and collagen in the wall. No EC lining was found in the tubes of control group. Therefore, the ECs differentiated from mouse ES cells can serve as seed cells for endothelium lining in tissue engineered blood vessels.
Major advances have been made over the last decade in our understanding of the molecular basis of several cardiac conditions.Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy(HCM)was the first cardiac disorder in which a genetic basis was identified and as such,has acted as a paradigm for the study of an inherited cardiac disorder.HCM can result in clinical symptoms ranging from no symptoms to severe heart failure and premature sudden death.HCM is the commonest cause of sudden death in those aged less than 35 years, including competitive athletes.At least ten genes have now been identified,defects in which cause HCM.All of these genes encode proteins which comprise the basic contractile unit of the heart,i.e.the sarcomere.While much is now known about which genes cause disease and the various clinical presentations,very little is known about how these gene defects cause disease,and what factors modify the expression of the mutant genes.Studies in both cell culture and animal models of HCM are now beginning to shed light on the signalling pathways involved in HCM,and the role of both environmental and genetic modifying factors.Understanding these mechanisms will ultimately improve our knowledge of the basic biology of heart muscle function,and will therefore provide new avenues for treating cardiovascular disease in man.
Nanog is a newly identified homeodomain gene that functions to sustain the pluripotency of embryonic stem cells. However, the molecular mechanism through which nanog regulates stem cell pluripotency remains unknown. Mouse nanog encodes a polypeptide of 305 residues with a divergent homeodomain similar to those in the NK-2 family. The rest of nanog contains no apparent homology to any known proteins characterized so far. It is hypothesized that nanog encodes a transcription factor that regulates stem cell pluripotency by switching on or off target genes. To test this hypothesis, we constructed fusion proteins between nanog and DNA binding domains of the yeast transcription factor Ga14 and tested the transactivation potentials of these constructs. Our data demonstrate that both regions N- and C- terminal to the homeodomain have transcription activities. Despite the fact that it contains no apparent transactivation motifs, the C-terminal domain is about 7 times as active as the N-terminal one. This unique arrangement of dual transactivators may confer nanog the flexibility and specificity to regulate downstream genes critical for both pluripotency and differentiation of stem cells.
During mitosis, the parent cell distributes its genetic materials equally into two daughter cells through chromosome segregation, a complex movements orchestrated by mitotic kinases and its effector proteins. Faithful chromosome segregation and cytokinesis ensure that each daughter cell receives a full copy of genetic materials of parent cell. Defects in these processes can lead to aneuploidy or polyploidy. Aurora/Ipl1p family, a class of conserved serine/threonine kinases, plays key roles in chromosome segregation and cytokinesis. This article highlights the function and regulation of Aurora/Ipl1p family in mitosis and provides potential links between aberrant regulation of Aurora/Ipl1p kinases and pathogenesis, of human cancer.
A novel ribosome-inactivating protein designated Moschatin from the mature seeds of pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) has been successively purified to homogeneity, using ammonium sulfate precipitation, CM-cellulose 52 column chromatography, Blue Sepharose CL-6B Affinity column chromatography and FPLC size-exclusion column chromatography. Moschatin is a type 1 RIP with a pI of 9.4 and molecular weight of approximately 29 kD. It is a rRNA N-glycosidase and potently blocked the protein synthesis in the rabbit reticulocyte lysate with a IC50 of 0.26 nM. Using the anti-human melanoma McAb Ng76, a novel immunotoxin Moschatin-Ng76 was prepared successfully and it efficiently inhibited the growth of targeted melanoma cells M21 with a IC50 of 0.04 nM, 1500 times lower than that of free Moschatin. The results implied that Moschatin could be used as a new potential anticancer agent.
It was suggested that chronic ethanol exposure could result in testicular germ cell apoptosis, but the mechanism is still unclear. In the present study, we use a model of transgenic mice ubiquitously overexpressing human FasL to investigate whether Fas ligand plays a role in ethanol-induced testicular germ cell apoptosis. Both wild-type (WT) mice and transgenic (TG) mice were treated with acute ethanol (20% v/v) by introperitoneal injection for five times. After ethanol injection, WT mice displayed up-regulation of Fas ligand in the testes, which was shown by FITCconjugated flow cytometry and western blotting. Moreover, TG mice exhibited significantly more apoptotic germcells than WT mice did after ethanol injection, which was demonstrated by DNA fragmentation, PI staining flowcytometry and TUNEL staining. In addition, histopathological examination revealed that degenerative changes ofepithelial component of the tubules occurred in FasL overexpressing transgenic mice while testicular morphologywas normal in wild-type mice after acute ethanol exposure, suggesting FasL expression determines the sensitivity of testes to ethanol in mice. In summary, we provide the direct evidences that Fas ligand mediates the apoptosis of testicular germ cells induced by acute ethanol using FasL transgenic mice.