The medicinal mushroom Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) was tested as a potential therapeutic for Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) using in vivo and in vitro IBC models. IBC is a lethal and aggressive form of breast cancer that manifests itself without a typical tumor mass. Studies show that IBC tissue biopsies overexpress E-cadherin and the eukaryotic initiation factor 4GI (eIF4GI), two proteins that are partially responsible for the unique pathological properties of this disease. IBC is treated with a multimodal approach that includes non-targeted systemic chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. Because of its non-toxic and selective anti-cancer activity, medicinal mushroom extracts have received attention for their use in cancer therapy. Our previous studies demonstrate these selective anti-cancer effects of Reishi, where IBC cell viability and invasion, as well as the expression of key IBC molecules, including eIF4G is compromised. Thus, herein we define the mechanistic effects of Reishi focusing on the phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, a regulator of cell survival and growth. The present study demonstrates that Reishi treated IBC SUM-149 cells have reduced expression of mTOR downstream effectors at early treatment times, as we observe reduced eIF4G levels coupled with increased levels of eIF4E bound to 4E-BP, with consequential protein synthesis reduction. Severe combined immunodeficient mice injected with IBC cells treated with Reishi for 13 weeks show reduced tumor growth and weight by ∼50%, and Reishi treated tumors showed reduced expression of E-cadherin, mTOR, eIF4G, and p70S6K, and activity of extracellular regulated kinase (ERK1/2). Our results provide evidence that Reishi suppresses protein synthesis and tumor growth by affecting survival and proliferative signaling pathways that act on translation, suggesting that Reishi is a potential natural therapeutic for breast and other cancers.
Young, skeletally mature mice lacking Cx43 in osteocytes exhibit increased osteocyte apoptosis and decreased bone strength, resembling the phenotype of old mice. Further, the expression of Cx43 in bone decreases with age, suggesting a contribution of reduced Cx43 levels to the age-related changes in the skeleton. We report herein that Cx43 overexpression in osteocytes achieved by using the DMP1-8kb promoter (Cx43OT mice) attenuates the skeletal cortical, but not trabecular bone phenotype of aged, 14-month-old mice. The percentage of Cx43-expressing osteocytes was higher in Cx43OT mice, whereas the percentage of Cx43 positive osteoblasts remained similar to wild type (WT) littermate control mice. The percentage of apoptotic osteocytes and osteoblasts was increased in aged WT mice compared to skeletally mature, 6-month-old WT mice, and the percentage of apoptotic osteocytes, but not osteoblasts, was decreased in age-matched Cx43OT mice. Aged WT mice exhibited decreased bone formation and increased bone resorption as quantified by histomorphometric analysis and circulating markers, compared to skeletally mature mice. Further, aged WT mice exhibited the expected decrease in bone biomechanical structural and material properties compared to young mice. Cx43 overexpression prevented the increase in osteoclasts and decrease in bone formation on the endocortical surfaces, and the changes in circulating markers in the aged mice. Moreover, the ability of bone to resist damage was preserved in aged Cx43OT mice both at the structural and material level. All together, these findings suggest that increased Cx43 expression in osteocytes ameliorates age-induced cortical bone changes by preserving osteocyte viability and maintaining bone formation, leading to improved bone strength.
Bone has the potential for spontaneous healing. This process, however, often fails in patients with comorbidities. Tissue engineering combining functional cells, biomaterials and osteoinductive cues may provide alternative treatment strategies. We have recently demonstrated that stromal cell-derived factor-1β (SDF-1β) works in concert with bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) to potentiate osteogenic differentiation of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (BMSCs). Here, we test the hypothesis that SDF-1β overexpressed in Tet-Off-SDF-1β BMSCs, delivered on acellular dermal matrix (ADM), synergistically augments BMP-2-induced healing of critical-sized mouse calvarial defects. BMSC therapies alone showed limited bone healing, which was increased with co-delivery of BMP-2. This was further enhanced in Tet-Off-SDF-1β BMSCs + BMP-2. Only limited BMSC retention on ADM constructs was observed after 4 weeks in vivo, which was increased with BMP-2 co-delivery. In vitro cell proliferation studies showed that supplementing BMP-2 to Tet-Off BMSCs significantly increased the cell number during the first 24 h. Consequently, the increased cell numbers decreased the detectable BMP-2 levels in the medium, but increased cell-associated BMP-2. The data suggest that SDF-1β provides synergistic effects supporting BMP-2-induced, BMSC-mediated bone formation and appears suitable for optimization of bone augmentation in combination therapy protocols.
What doesn't kill you makes you stranger: Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (CD26) proteolysis differentially modulates the activity of many peptide hormones and cytokines generating novel cryptic bioactive ligands
BackgroundThe increasing numbers of people who use plant-based remedies as alternative or complementary medicine call for the validation of less known herbal formulations used to treat their ailments. Since Puerto Rico has the highest rate of Type 2 diabetes within all the states and territories of the United States, and Puerto Ricans commonly use plants as diabetes adjuvants, it is important to study the plants’ physiological effects, and identify their bioactive compounds to understand their role in modulation of blood glucose levels. We present the phytochemical profiles and hypoglycemic effects of Tapeinochilus ananassae, Costus speciosus and Syzygium jambos.MethodsPhytochemicals in methanolic and aqueous extracts were analyzed by thin layer chromatography (TLC). Alkaloids (Bromocresol green, λ = 470 nm), flavonoids (AlCl3, λ = 415 nm), saponins (DNS, λ = 760 nm), tannins (FeCl3/K4Fe(CN)6, λ = 395 nm) and phenolics (Folin-Ciocalteau, λ = 765 nm) were quantified. Male C57BLKS/J (db/db) and C57BL/J (ob/ob) genetically obese mice were orally gavaged with aqueous extracts of lyophilized plant decoctions for 10wks.ResultsOur results show that T. ananassae had significantly greater amounts of flavonoids and tannins, while S. jambos showed the greatest concentration of phenolics and C. speciosus exhibited higher amounts of alkaloids. C57BLKS/J db/db treated with plant extracts show better glucose modulation when the extracts are administered in complement with an insulin injection. Finally, C57BL/J ob/ob mice on T. ananassae and S. jambos treatments show better blood glucose modulation over time.ConclusionThese results document for the first time the chemical profile of T. ananassae and provide evidence for a potential anti-diabetic efficacy of T. ananassae and S. jambos.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12906-015-0772-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Pannexins (Panxs), glycoproteins that oligomerize to form hemichannels on the cell membrane, are topologically similar to connexins, but do not form cell-to-cell gap junction channels. There are 3 members of the family, 1–3, with Panx1 being the most abundant. All Panxs are expressed in bone, but their role in bone cell biology is not completely understood. We now report that osteocytic Panx1 deletion (Panx1Δot) alters bone mass and strength in female mice. Bone mineral density after reaching skeletal maturity is higher in female Panx1Δot mice than in control Panx1fl/fl mice. Further, osteocytic Panx1 deletion partially prevented aging effects on cortical bone structure and mechanical properties. Young 4-month-old female Panx1Δot mice exhibited increased lean body mass, even though pannexin levels in skeletal muscle were not affected; whereas no difference in lean body mass was detected in male mice. Furthermore, female Panx1-deficient mice exhibited increased muscle mass without changes in strength, whereas Panx1Δot males showed unchanged muscle mass and decreased in vivo maximum plantarflexion torque, indicating reduced muscle strength. Our results suggest that osteocytic Panx1 deletion increases bone mass in young and old female mice and muscle mass in young female mice, but has deleterious effects on muscle strength only in males.
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