Inflammation is a biological response of the immune system that can be triggered by a variety of factors, including pathogens, damaged cells and toxic compounds. These factors may induce acute and/or chronic inflammatory responses in the heart, pancreas, liver, kidney, lung, brain, intestinal tract and reproductive system, potentially leading to tissue damage or disease. Both infectious and non-infectious agents and cell damage activate inflammatory cells and trigger inflammatory signaling pathways, most commonly the NF-κB, MAPK, and JAK-STAT pathways. Here, we review inflammatory responses within organs, focusing on the etiology of inflammation, inflammatory response mechanisms, resolution of inflammation, and organ-specific inflammatory responses.
Apigenin is a nontoxic dietary flavonoid that has been shown to possess anti-tumor properties and therefore poses special interest for the development of a novel chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic agent for cancer. Ovarian cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer death among women. Here we demonstrate that apigenin inhibits expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in human ovarian cancer cells. VEGF plays an important role in tumor angiogenesis and growth. We found that apigenin inhibited VEGF expression at the transcriptional level through expression of hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha (HIF-1alpha). Apigenin inhibited expression of HIF-1alpha and VEGF via the PI3K/AKT/p70S6K1 and HDM2/p53 pathways. Apigenin inhibited tube formation in vitro by endothelial cells. These findings reveal a novel role of apigenin in inhibiting HIF-1 and VEGF expression that is important for tumor angiogenesis and growth, identifying new signaling molecules that mediate this regulation.
Apolipoprotein (apo) A-I, a 243-residue, 28.1-kDa protein is a major mediator of the reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) pathway, a process that may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in humans. In plasma, a small fraction of lipid-free or lipid-poor apoA-I is likely a key player in the first step of RCT. Therefore, a basic understanding of the structural details of lipid-free apoA-I will be useful for elucidating the molecular details of the pathway. To address this issue, we applied the combined approach of cross-linking chemistry and high-resolution mass spectrometry (MS) to obtain distance constraints within the protein structure. The 21 lysine residues within apoA-I were treated with homo bifunctional chemical cross-linkers capable of covalently bridging two lysine residues residing within a defined spacer arm length. After trypsin digestion of the sample, individual peptide masses were identified by MS just after liquid chromatographic separation. With respect to the linear amino acid sequence, we identified 5 short-range and 12 long-range cross-links within the monomeric form of lipid-free apoA-I. Using the cross-linker spacer arm length as a constraint for identified Lys pairs, a molecular model was built for the lipid-free apoA-I monomer based on homology with proteins of similar sequence and known three-dimensional structures. The result is the first detailed model of lipid-free apoA-I. It depicts a helical bundle structure in which the N- and C-termini are in close proximity. Furthermore, our data suggest that the self-association of lipid-free apoA-I occurs via C- and N-termini of the protein based on the locations of six cross-links that are unique to the cross-linked dimeric form of apoA-I.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression is elevated in ovarian and other cancer cells. However, the mechanism that causes the increase in VEGF expression still remains to be elucidated. In this study, we demonstrated that activation of PI3K signaling mediated VEGF protein expression at the transcriptional level through hypoxia-inducible factor 1␣ (HIF-1␣) expression in human ovarian cancer cells. We found that inhibition of PI3K activity by LY294002 decreased VEGF transcriptional activation and that forced expression of AKT completely reversed the inhibitory effect. HDM2 and p70S6K1 are two downstream targets of AKT that mediate growth factor-induced VEGF transcriptional activation and HIF-1␣ expression. The inhibition of PI3K by LY294002 inhibited p70S6K1 and HDM2 activity in the cells. Forced expression of p70S6K1 or HDM2 reversed LY294002-inhibited VEGF transcriptional activation and HIF-1␣ expression. This study identifies a potential novel mechanism responsible for increased VEGF expression in ovarian cancer cells. It also indicates the important role of VEGF and HIF-1 in ovarian tumorigenesis and angiogenesis, which is mediated by the PI3K/AKT/HDM2 and AKT/p70S6K1 pathways in ovarian cancer cells.
Bcl-2-associated transcription factor 1 (BCLAF1) is known to be involved in multiple biological processes. Although several splice variants of BCLAF1 have been identified, little is known about how BCLAF1 splicing is regulated or the contribution of alternative splicing to its developmental functions. Here we find that inclusion of alternative exon5a was significantly increased in colorectal cancer (CRC) samples. Knockdown of the BCLAF1 protein isoform resulting from exon5a inclusion inhibited growth and that its overexpression increased tumorigenic potential. We also found that the splicing factor SRSF10 stimulates inclusion of exon5a and has growth-inducing activity. Importantly, the upregulation of SRSF10 expression observed in clinical CRC samples parallels the increased inclusion of BCLAF1 exon5a, both of which are associated with higher tumour grade. These findings identify SRSF10 as a key regulator of BCLAF1 pre-mRNA splicing and the maintenance of oncogenic features in human colon cancer cells.
ABSTRACTtrans-3,4,5-Trihydroxystibene (resveratrol) is a natural product commonly found in the human diet and has been shown recently to have anticancer effects on various human cancer cells. However, the molecular basis for its anticancer action remains to be elucidated. In this study, we investigated the effect of resveratrol on hypoxia-inducible factor 1␣ (HIF-1␣) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in human ovarian cancer cells A2780/CP70 and OVCAR-3. We found that although resveratrol did not affect HIF-1␣ mRNA levels, it did dramatically inhibit both basal-level and growth factor-induced HIF-1␣ protein expression in the cells. Resveratrol also greatly inhibited VEGF expression. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that resveratrol inhibited HIF-1␣ and VEGF expression through multiple mechanisms. First, resveratrol inhibited AKT and mitogen-activated protein kinase activation, which played a partial role in the down-regulation of HIF-1␣ expression. Second, resveratrol inhibited insulin-like growth factor 1-induced HIF-1␣ expression through the inhibition of protein translational regulators, including M r 70,000 ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1, S6 ribosomal protein, eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1, and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E. Finally, we showed that resveratrol substantially induced HIF-1␣ protein degradation through the proteasome pathway. Our data suggested that resveratrol may inhibit human ovarian cancer progression and angiogenesis by inhibiting HIF-1␣ and VEGF expression and thus provide a novel potential mechanism for the anticancer action of resveratrol.
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