The major regulators of the c‐jun promoter are ATF‐2 and c‐Jun. They act as pre‐bound heterodimers on two ‘AP‐1‐like’ sites, and are preferentially addressed by different types of extracellular signals. The transactivating potential of ATF‐2 is stimulated to a higher extent than that of c‐Jun by a broad group of agents causing DNA damage and other types of cellular stress, such as short‐wavelength UV, or the alkylating compounds N‐methyl‐N’‐nitro‐N‐nitroso‐guanidine (MNNG) or methylmethanesulphonate (MMS). In contrast, treatment with the phorbol ester TPA preferentially enhances c‐Jun‐dependent transactivation but does not affect ATF‐2. Accordingly, UV and MMS but not TPA induce c‐jun transcription in F9 cells, which express ATF‐2, but not c‐Jun. Stimulation of ATF‐2‐dependent transactivation by genotoxic agents requires the presence of threonines 69 and 71 located in the N‐terminal transactivation domain. These sites are the target of p54 and p46 stress‐activated protein kinases (SAPKs) which bind to, and phosphorylate ATF‐2 in vitro. However, p46 and p54 kinase activity is not increased by phorbol ester, which strongly suggests that the protein kinase phosphorylating c‐Jun in response to TPA is distinct from SAPKs and does not act on ATF‐2. Our data demonstrate that distinct signal transduction pathways converge at c‐Jun/ATF‐2, whereby each subunit is individually addressed by a specific class of protein kinases. This allows fine tuned modulation of c‐jun expression by a large spectrum of extracellular signals.
UV irradiation of human and murine cells enhances the transcription of several genes. Here we report on the primary target of relevant UV absorption, on pathways leading to gene activation, and on the elements receiving the UV-induced signal in the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) long terminal repeat, in the gene coding for collagenase, and in the cellular oncogenefos. In order to induce the expression of genes, UV radiation needs to be absorbed by DNA and to cause DNA damage of the kind that cannot be repaired by cells from patients with xeroderma pigmentosum group A. UV-induced activation of the three genes is mediated by the major enhancer elements (located between nucleotide positions -105 and -79 of HIV-1, between positions -72 and -65 of the collagenase gene, and between positions -320 and -299 offos). These elements share no apparent sequence motif and bind different trans-acting proteins; a member of the NFKB family binds to the HIV-1 enhancer, the heterodimer of Jun and Fos (AP-1) binds to the collagenase enhancer, and the serum response factors p67 and p62 bind to fos. DNA-binding activities of the factors recognizing the HIIV-1 and collagenase enhancers are augmented in extracts from UV-treated cells. The increase in activity is due to posttranslational modification. While AP-1 resides in the nucleus and must be modulated there, NFKB is activated in the cytoplasm, indicating the existence of a cytoplasmic signal transduction pathway triggered by UV-induced DNA damage. In addition to activation, new synthesis of AP-1 is induced by UV radiation.Under severe stress, e.g., replication arrest by UV-induced DNA damage, many bacteria mount a productive response which involves the new synthesis of a large number of specific gene products (39, 74). The response has been named SOS (51), and it is triggered by the activation of preexisting recA protein and its increased synthesis, probably due to the interaction of recA protein with singlestranded regions of DNA (for a review, see reference 74).Mammalian cells in culture react to UV irradiation with a number of genetic changes resembling those in bacteria (for reviews, see references 29-31, 52, 60). These changes include the altered expression of specific genes (see B. Kaina, B. Stein, A. Schonthal, H. J. Rahmsdorf, H. Ponta, and P. Herrlich, in M. W. Lambert et al., ed., DNA Repair Mechanisms and Their Biological Implications in Mammalian Cells, in press, for a recent list of references). Many genes are induced, e.g., plasminogen activator (46), collagenase and metallothionein genes (2, 4), the cellular oncogene fos (5), and a human retrovirus, the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) (B. Stein, cited in reference 29; 30, 69, 73).In an attempt to identify the elements of signal transduction to these genes, we show here that UV-induced gene expression is preceded by and requires absorption of UV radiation by DNA and UV-induced covalent DNA changes (photoproducts). Moreover, we define the DNA elements in three of the responsive genes (HIV-1, t...
Transplantation of pancreatic islets is emerging as a successful treatment for type-1 diabetes. Its current stringent restriction to patients with critical metabolic lability is justified by the long-term need for immunosuppression and a persistent shortage of donor organs. We developed an oxygenated chamber system composed of immune-isolating alginate and polymembrane covers that allows for survival and function of islets without immunosuppression. A patient with type-1 diabetes received a transplanted chamber and was followed for 10 mo. Persistent graft function in this chamber system was demonstrated, with regulated insulin secretion and preservation of islet morphology and function without any immunosuppressive therapy. This approach may allow for future widespread application of cell-based therapies.β-cell replacement | immune barrier | oxygenation T he transplantation of isolated islets of Langerhans has evolved into a successful method to restore endogenous insulin secretion and stabilize glycemic control without the risk of hypoglycemia (1, 2). However, due to persistent lack of human donor pancreata and the requirement of chronic immune suppression to prevent graft rejection through allo-and autoimmunity, the indication for islet transplantation is restricted to patients with complete insulin deficiency, critical metabolic lability, and repeated severe hypoglycemia despite optimal diabetes management and compliance (3). Furthermore, progressive loss of islet function over time due to chronic hypoxia and inflammatory processes at the intraportal transplantation site remain additional unresolved challenges in islet transplantation (4, 5).When islets are immune-isolated, the lack of oxygen impairs the survival and long-term function of the cells. Experimental approaches to overcome this impediment have involved the implantation of hypoxia-resistant islets, stimulation and sprouting of vessels, and the use of islets designed to contain an intracellular oxygen carrier as well as local oxygen production by electrochemical processes or photosynthesis (6). However, so far, none of these methods have been capable of guaranteeing an adequate physiological oxygen concentration or to allow, at the same time, an adequate immunoprotective environment. To overcome these major obstacles, we have developed a strategy for islet macroencapsulation that provides sufficient immune isolation and permits endogenously regulated islet graft function. Here we demonstrate a system that allows a controlled oxygen supply to the islet graft by means of an integrated oxygen reservoir that can be refilled regularly and can maintain oxygen pressure. Earlier we demonstrated that a sufficient supply of oxygen for maintaining optimal islet function can simultaneously ensure functional potency and immunoprotective characteristics of the device. After application of this bioartificial pancreas system in allogeneic and xenogeneic preclinical diabetes models (7-9) the method was then applied to allogeneic human islet transplantation in an ind...
Affibody (affibody) ligands that are specific for the extracellular domain of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/neu) have been selected by phage display technology from a combinatorial protein library based on the 58 amino acid residue staphylococcal protein A-derived Z domain. The predominant variants from the phage selection were produced in Escherichia coli, purified by affinity chromatography, and characterized by biosensor analyses. Two affibody variants were shown to selectively bind to the extracellular domain of HER2/neu (HER2-ECD), but not to control proteins. One of the variants, denoted His6-ZHER2/neu:4, was demonstrated to bind with nanomolar affinity (approximately 50 nM) to the HER2-ECD molecule at a different site than the monoclonal antibody trastuzumab. Furthermore, radiolabeled His6-ZHER2/neu:4 affibody showed specific binding to native HER2/neu, overexpressed on the SKBR-3 tumor cell line. Such affibody ligands might be considered in tumor targeting applications for radionuclide diagnostics and therapy of adenocarcinomas such as breast and ovarian cancers.
Islet transplantation is a feasible therapeutic alternative for metabolically labile patients with type 1 diabetes. The primary therapeutic target is stable glycemic control and prevention of complications associated with diabetes by reconstitution of endogenous insulin secretion. However, critical shortage of donor organs, gradual loss in graft function over time, and chronic need for immunosuppression limit the indication for islet transplantation to a small group of patients. Here we present a promising approach to address these limitations by utilization of a macrochamber specially engineered for islet transplantation. The s.c. implantable device allows for controlled and adequate oxygen supply and provides immunological protection of donor islets against the host immune system. The minimally invasive implantable chamber normalized blood glucose in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rodents for up to 3 mo. Sufficient graft function depended on oxygen supply. Pretreatment with the growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) agonist, JI-36, significantly enhanced graft function by improving glucose tolerance and increasing β-cell insulin reserve in rats thereby allowing for a reduction of the islet mass required for metabolic control. As a result of hypervascularization of the tissue surrounding the device, no relevant delay in insulin response to glucose changes has been observed. Consequently, this system opens up a fundamental strategy for therapy of diabetes and may provide a promising avenue for future approaches to xenotransplantation. treatment of diabetes | immune isolation | beta cells
The 185 kDa transmembrane glycoprotein human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2) (p185/neu, c-ErbB-2) is overexpressed in breast and ovarian cancers. Overexpression in breast cancer correlates with poor patient prognosis, and visualization of HER-2 expression might provide valuable diagnostic information influencing patient management. We have previously described the generation of a new type of affinity ligand, a 58-amino-acid affibody (Z(HER2:4)) with specific binding to HER-2. In order to benefit from avidity effects, we have created a bivalent form of the affibody ligand, (Z(HER2:4))2. The monovalent and bivalent ligands were compared in various assays. The new bivalent affibody has a molecular weight of 15.6 kDa and an apparent affinity (K(D)) against HER-2 of 3 nM. After radioiodination, using the linker molecule N-succinimidyl p-(trimethylstannyl) benzoate (SPMB), in vitro binding assays showed specific binding to HER-2 overexpressing cells. Internalization of 125I was shown after delivery with both the monovalent and the bivalent affibody. The cellular retention of 125I was longer after delivery with the bivalent affibody when compared to delivery with the monovalent affibody. With approximately the same affinity as the monoclonal antibody trastuzumab (Herceptin) but only one tenth of the size, this new bivalent molecule is a promising candidate for radionuclide-based detection of HER-2 expression in tumors. 125I was used in this study as a surrogate marker for the diagnostically relevant radioisotopes 123I for single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/gamma-camera imaging and 124I for positron emission tomography (PET).
Developing a device that protects xenogeneic islets to allow treatment and potentially cure of diabetes in large mammals has been a major challenge in the past decade. Using xenogeneic islets for transplantation is required in light of donor shortage and the large number of diabetic patients that qualify for islet transplantation. Until now, however, host immunoreactivity against the xenogeneic graft has been a major drawback for the use of porcine islets. Our study demonstrates the applicability of a novel immunoprotective membrane that allows successful xenotransplantation of rat islets in diabetic minipigs without immunosuppressive therapy. Rat pancreatic islets were encapsulated in highly purified alginate and integrated into a plastic macrochamber covered by a poly-membrane for subcutaneous transplantation. Diabetic Sinclair pigs were transplanted and followed for up to 90 days. We demonstrated a persistent graft function and restoration of normoglycemia without the need for immunosuppressive therapy. This concept could potentially offer an attractive strategy for a more widespread islet replacement therapy that would restore endogenous insulin secretion in diabetic patients without the need for immunosuppressive drugs and may even open up an avenue for safe utilization of xenogeneic islet donors.
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