Murine embryonic stem (ES) cells are pluripotent cell lines established directly from the early embryo which can contribute differentiated progeny to all adult tissues, including the germ-cell lineage, after re-incorporation into the normal embryo. They provide both a cellular vector for the generation of transgenic animals and a useful system for the identification of polypeptide factors controlling differentiation processes in early development. In particular, medium conditioned by Buffalo rat liver cells contains a polypeptide factor, ES cell differentiation inhibitory activity (DIA), which specifically suppresses the spontaneous differentiation of ES cells in vitro, thereby permitting their growth as homogeneous stem cell populations in the absence of heterologous feeder cells. ES cell pluripotentiality, including the ability to give rise to functional gametes, is preserved after prolonged culture in Buffalo rat liver media as a source of DIA. Here, we report that purified DIA is related in structure and function to the recently identified hematopoietic regulatory factors human interleukin for DA cells and leukaemia inhibitory factor. DIA and human interleukin DA/leukaemia inhibitory factor have thus been identified as related multifunctional regulatory factors with distinct biological activities in both early embryonic and hematopoietic stem cell systems.
Adenosine is released from metabolically active cells by facilitated diffusion, and is generated extracellularly by degradation of released ATP. It is a potent biological mediator that modulates the activity of numerous cell types, including various neuronal populations, platelets, neutrophils and mast cells, and smooth muscle cells in bronchi and vasculature. Most of these effects help to protect cells and tissues during stress conditions such as ischaemia. Adenosine mediates its effects through four receptor subtypes: the A1, A2a, A2b and A3 receptors. The A2a receptor (A2aR) is abundant in basal ganglia, vasculature and platelets, and stimulates adenylyl cyclase. It is a major target of caffeine, the most widely used psychoactive drug. Here we investigate the role of the A2a receptor by disrupting the gene in mice. We found that A2aR-knockout (A2aR-/-) mice were viable and bred normally. Their exploratory activity was reduced, whereas caffeine, which normally stimulates exploratory behaviour, became a depressant of exploratory activity. Knockout animals scored higher in anxiety tests, and male mice were much more aggressive towards intruders. The response of A2aR-/- mice to acute pain stimuli was slower. Blood pressure and heart rate were increased, as well as platelet aggregation. The specific A2a agonist CGS 21680 lost its biological activity in all systems tested.
A mouse platelet-derived growth factor A chain (PDGF-A) null allele is shown to be homozygous lethal, with two distinct restriction points, one prenatally before E10 and one postnatally. Postnatally surviving PDGF-A-deficient mice develop lung emphysema secondary to the failure of alveolar septation. This is apparently caused by the loss of alveolar myofibroblasts and associated elastin fiber deposits. PDGF alpha receptor-positive cells in the lung having the location of putative alveolar myofibroblast progenitors were specifically absent in PDGF-A null mutants. We conclude that PDGF-A is crucial for alveolar myofibroblast ontogeny. We have previously shown that PDGF-B is required in the ontogeny of kidney mesangial cells. The PDGFs therefore appear to regulate the generation of specific populations of myofibroblasts during mammalian development. The two PDGF null phenotypes also reveal analogous morphogenetic functions for myofibroblast-type cells in lung and kidney organogenesis.
Exposure of quiescent MRC‐5 human fibroblasts to growth factors such as epidermal growth factor, basic fibroblast growth factor or embryonal carcinoma‐derived growth factor resulted in the induction of mRNA transcripts encoding the metalloproteinases collagenase and stromelysin and the specific metalloproteinase inhibitor TIMP, whilst expression of collagen and fibronectin was relatively unaffected. Exposure of quiescent cells to growth factors in the presence of transforming growth factor beta (TGF‐beta) resulted in inhibition of collagenase induction and a synergistic increase in TIMP expression. TGF‐beta alone did not significantly induce metalloproteinase or TIMP expression. These effects on mRNA transcripts were reflected in increased secretion of TIMP protein and collagenase activity. Nuclear run‐off analysis of growth factor‐induced transcription revealed that the TGF‐beta modulation of TIMP and collagenase expression was due to transcriptional mechanisms. The observations suggest that TGF‐beta exerts a selective effect on extracellular matrix deposition by modulating the action of other growth factors on metalloproteinase and TIMP expression.
To determine how hyaluronidase increases certain cancer cell sensitivity to tumor necrosis factor (TNF) cytotoxicity, we report here the isolation and characterization of a hyaluronidase-induced murine WW domaincontaining oxidoreductase (WOX1). WOX1 is composed of two N-terminal WW domains, a nuclear localization sequence, and a C-terminal alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) domain. WOX1 is mainly located in the mitochondria, and the mitochondrial targeting sequence was mapped within the ADH domain. Induction of mitochondrial permeability transition by TNF, staurosporine, and atractyloside resulted in WOX1 release from mitochondria and subsequent nuclear translocation. TNFmediated WOX1 nuclear translocation occurred shortly after that of nuclear factor-B nuclear translocation, whereas both were independent events. WOX1 enhanced TNF cytotoxicity in L929 cells via its WW and ADH domains as determined using stable cell transfectants. In parallel with this observation, WOX1 also enhanced TRADD (TNF receptor-associated death domain protein)-mediated cell death in transient expression experiments. Antisense expression of WOX1 raised TNF resistance in L929 cells. Enhancement of TNF cytotoxicity by WOX1 is due, in part, to its significant downregulation of the apoptosis inhibitors Bcl-2 and Bcl-x L (>85%), but up-regulation of pro-apoptotic p53 (ϳ200%) by the ADH domain. When overexpressed, the ADH domain mediated apoptosis, probably due to modulation of expression of these proteins. The WW domains failed to modulate the expression of these proteins, but sensitized COS-7 cells to TNF killing and mediated apoptosis in various cancer cells independently of caspases. Transient cotransfection of cells with both p53 and WOX1 induced apoptosis in a synergistic manner. WOX1 colocalizes with p53 in the cytosol and binds to the prolinerich region of p53 via its WW domains. Blocking of WOX1 expression by antisense mRNA abolished p53 apoptosis. Thus, WOX1 is a mitochondrial apoptogenic protein and an essential partner of p53 in cell death.Most cancer cells are known to secrete the matrix-degrading enzyme hyaluronidase. Elevation of hyaluronidase levels is associated with progression, invasion, and metastasis of breast, ovarian, endometrial, prostate, and other cancers (1-5). Also, expression of hyaluronidase by tumor cells induces angiogenesis in vivo (6). The growth of murine lung carcinoma and melanoma, for example, is influenced by Hyal-1, a locus determining hyaluronidase levels and polymorphism (7). How hyaluronidase modulates cell growth is not known.Both in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that exogenous hyaluronidase reverses the resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs in cancer cells and solid tumors by increasing their exposure to the drugs (8 -10). We have determined that hyaluronidase enhances cancer cell susceptibility to tumor necrosis factor (TNF) 1 -mediated cell death (11-13). For example, pretreatment of murine L929 fibroblasts and human prostate LNCaP cells with hyaluronidase for at least 12 h significantly increases t...
We disrupted the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptor 2 (FGFR2) gene by introducing a neo cassette into the IIIc ligand binding exon and by deleting a genomic DNA fragment encoding its transmembrane domain and part of its kinase I domain. A recessive embryonic lethal mutation was obtained. Preimplantation development was normal until the blastocyst stage. Homozygous mutant embryos died a few hours after implantation at a random position in the uterine crypt, with collapsed yolk cavity. Mutant blastocysts hatched, adhered, and formed a layer of trophoblast giant cells in vitro, but after prolonged culture, the growth of the inner cell mass stopped, no visceral endoderm formed, and finally the egg cylinder disintegrated. It follows that FGFR2 is required for early postimplantation development between implantation and the formation of the egg cylinder. We suggest that FGFR2 contributes to the outgrowth, differentiation, and maintenance of the inner cell mass and raise the possibility that this activity is mediated by FGF4 signals transmitted by FGFR2. The role of early FGF signaling in pregastrulation development as a possible adaptation to mammalian (amniote) embryogenesis is discussed.
Oligodendrocyte progenitors originate near the floor plate of the spinal cord, then proliferate and migrate throughout the cord before giving rise to oligodendrocytes. Progenitor cell proliferation stops before birth because the cell cycle slows down, linked to an increase in differentiation and death. Experiments with transgenic mice show that platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) drives progenitor cell division and suggest that slowing of and exit from the cycle reflects a decline in PDGF signaling. Overexpressing PDGF induces hyperproliferation of progenitor cells and excessive, ectopic production of oligodendrocytes. However, the superfluous oligodendrocytes die at an immature stage of differentiation, leaving a normal complement of myelin-forming cells. Therefore, cell survival controls override proliferation controls for determining the final number and distribution of mature oligodendrocytes.
In early embryonic development the basic body plan arises because cells in different regions become programmed to follow different developmental pathways. We have proposed that in the early amphibian embryo this process of regional specification arises from the action of three different inducing factors, or morphogens, but we have not until now had any idea of their chemical nature. In this paper we report that pure basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), at very low concentrations and with high specificity, closely mimics the effect of the ventrovegetal (VV) signal and that the transmission of the natural VV signal can be blocked by heparin, suggesting that it may be a heparin-binding factor such as bFGF.
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