In our published work, we reported that HMGB1 is actively released from autophagy-deficient hepatocytes via a pathway from NRF2 to inflammasomes to promote ductular reaction, hepatic progenitor cell expansion, and tumorigenesis. We based our conclusions on multiple lines of evidence. Release of HMGB1 from autophagy-deficient hepatocytes was documented by immunoblotting, immunostaining, and ELISA analysis in different age groups of autophagy-deficient mice. The release of HMGB1 through an active mechanism is supported by kinetics analysis that shows tissue injury can be separated from the release process and by pharmacological and genetic analyses showing that the molecular elements of NRF2 and CASPASE 1 are required. The impact of HMGB1 on ductular reaction and tumor progression was also documented by both in vivo and in vitro evidence using knockout mice, cell fractionation, and transcriptional analysis. Figure 1G showed the results of an analysis of HMGB1 isoforms by mass spectrometry that was undertaken in a separate laboratory by Daniel J. Antoine. In February 2019, we learned that these data were likely compromised. We contacted the journal, and the Editorial Board gave us permission to correct the study. In the corrected version, all conclusions based on Figure 1G have been removed, and the journal has published an online version of the original article with the unreliable statements crossed out and the modified text highlighted in red (Supplemental File, Redaction). Figure 1G only suggested the formation of the released HMGB1, but carried no significance as to the releasing mechanisms and the functional significance of HMGB1 release in autophagy-deficient conditions. We thus believe that the major conclusions of the study on the releasing mechanism and functional significance of HMGB1 in autophagy-deficient conditions are independent of Figure 1G and are accurate and that the corrected paper is reliable.
Autophagy is important for liver homeostasis, and the deficiency leads to injury, inflammation, ductular reaction (DR), fibrosis, and tumorigenesis. It is not clear how these events are mechanistically linked to autophagy deficiency. Here, we reveal the role of high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) in two of these processes. First, HMGB1 was required for DR, which represents the expansion of hepatic progenitor cells (HPCs) implicated in liver repair and regeneration. DR caused by hepatotoxic diets (3,5-diethoxycarbonyl-1,4-dihydrocollidine [DDC] or choline-deficient, ethionine-supplemented [CDE]) also depended on HMGB1, indicating that HMGB1 may be generally required for DR in various injury scenarios. Second, HMGB1 promoted tumor progression in autophagy-deficient livers. Receptor for advanced glycation end product (RAGE), a receptor for HMGB1, was required in the same two processes and could mediate the proliferative effects of HMBG1 in isolated HPCs. HMGB1 was released from autophagy-deficient hepatocytes independently of cellular injury but depended on NRF2 and the inflammasome, which was activated by NRF2. Pharmacological or genetic activation of NRF2 alone, without disabling autophagy or causing injury, was sufficient to cause inflammasome-dependent HMGB1 release. In conclusion, HMGB1 release is a critical mechanism in hepatic pathogenesis under autophagy-deficient conditions and leads to HPC expansion as well as tumor progression.
Several lines of evidence suggest that defects in telomere maintenance play a significant role in the initiation of genomic instability during carcinogenesis. Although the general concept of defective telomere maintenance initiating genomic instability has been acknowledged, there remains a critical gap in the direct evidence of telomere dysfunction in human solid tumors. To address this topic, we devised a multiplex PCR-based assay, termed TAR (telomereassociated repeat) fusion PCR, to detect and analyze chromosome end-to-end associations (telomere fusions) within human breast tumor tissue. Using TAR fusion PCR, we found that human breast lesions, but not normal breast tissues from healthy volunteers, contained telomere fusions. Telomere fusions were detected at similar frequencies during early ductal carcinoma in situ and in the later invasive ductal carcinoma stage. Our results provide direct evidence that telomere fusions are present in human breast tumor tissue and suggest that telomere dysfunction may be an important component of the genomic instability observed in this cancer. Development of this robust method that allows identification of these genetic aberrations (telomere fusions) is anticipated to be a valuable tool for dissecting mechanisms of telomere dysfunction.breast cancer | retrotransposon D efects in telomere maintenance have been suggested to play significant roles in the initiation of genomic instability via breakage-fusion-bridge cycles and aneuploidy, which are associated with the development of human cancers, including breast cancer (1, 2). A critical function of the telomere is to disguise the chromosome end from being recognized as a double-strand break, to prevent aberrant chromosomal end joining and recombination events. Cells disguise telomeric DNA by encapsulating or "capping" the chromosome ends with several telomere-associated proteins and unique telomere-specific structures (3). In healthy cells, telomere length is highly regulated in a tissue-and cell typespecific manner and is dependent on mitotic turnover rate, telomerase activity, and telomerase-associated factors (4, 5).Several lines of evidence from mouse and human systems suggest that defects in telomere maintenance play an important role in the development of cancer (1, 2). Induction of telomere dysfunction by deficiency in the telomerase RNA component (mTER) in a p53 mutant mouse background results in significant levels of breast adenocarcinomas and colon carcinomas (6-8). Telomere dysfunction also has been reported in a human mammary epithelial cell culture model (9). In this model, late-passage human mammary epithelial cell escape a stress-associated senescencelike barrier and acquire genomic alterations, including telomere fusions (9). In addition, clinical studies have shown that a significant proportion of normal breast luminal cells and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) tissues have shortened telomeric DNA lengths when assayed by telomere FISH (10). Several studies have reported that anaphase bridges, possibly formed...
Telomeres are essential for genomic integrity, but little is known about their regulation in the normal human mammary gland. We now demonstrate that a phenotypically defined cell population enriched in luminal progenitors (LPs) is characterized by unusually short telomeres independently of donor age. Furthermore, we find that multiple DNA damage response proteins colocalize with telomeres in >95% of LPs but in <5% of basal cells. Paradoxically, 25% of LPs are still capable of exhibiting robust clonogenic activity in vitro. This may be partially explained by the elevated telomerase activity that was also seen only in LPs. Interestingly, this potential telomere salvage mechanism declines with age. Our findings thus reveal marked differences in the telomere biology of different subsets of primitive normal human mammary cells. The chronically dysfunctional telomeres unique to LPs have potentially important implications for normal mammary tissue homeostasis as well as the development of certain breast cancers.
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved intracellular degradative function that is important for liver homeostasis. Accumulating evidence suggests that autophagy is deregulated during the progression and development of alcoholic and non-alcoholic liver diseases. Impaired autophagy prevents the clearance of excessive lipid droplets (LDs), damaged mitochondria, and toxic protein aggregates, which can be generated during the progression of various liver diseases, thus contributing to the development of steatosis, injury, steatohepatitis, fibrosis, and tumors. In this review, we look at the status of hepatic autophagy during the pathogenesis of alcoholic and non-alcoholic liver diseases. We also examine the mechanisms of defects in autophagy, and the hepato-protective roles of autophagy in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic liver disease (ALD), focusing mainly on steatosis and liver injury. Finally, we discuss the therapeutic potential of autophagy modulating agents for the treatment of these two common liver diseases.
Protein kinases of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-like kinase family, originally known to act in maintaining genomic integrity via DNA repair pathways, have been shown to also function in telomere maintenance. Here we focus on the functional role of DNA damage-induced phosphorylation of the essential mammalian telomeric DNA binding protein TRF2, which coordinates the assembly of the proteinaceous cap to disguise the chromosome end from being recognized as a double-stand break (DSB). Previous results suggested a link between the transient induction of human TRF2 phosphorylation at threonine 188 (T188) by the ataxia telangiectasia mutated protein kinase (ATM) and the DNA damage response. Here, we report evidence that X-ray-induced phosphorylation of TRF2 at T188 plays a role in the fast pathway of DNA DSB repair. These results connect the highly transient induction of human TRF2 phosphorylation to the DNA damage response machinery. Thus, we find that a protein known to function in telomere maintenance, TRF2, also plays a functional role in DNA DSB repair.Telomeres act as protective caps to disguise the chromosome end from being recognized as a DNA double-strand break (DSB) and play other important roles in maintaining genomic integrity (2,21,26). Telomere capping dysfunction resulting in genomic instability is likely a major pathway leading to human cancers and other age-related diseases (8,27).An increasing number of proteins known to play important roles in DNA repair have also been found to be critical for telomere maintenance (6). Specifically, phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase-like kinase family members, such as ataxia telangiectasia mutated protein kinase (ATM) and the DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit in mammals, originally known to act in maintaining genomic stability via DNA repair pathways, have been shown to be important in telomere maintenance (1,4,7,9,10,16,25). Previous reports indicate that ATM is required for the DNA damage-induced phosphorylation of two major telomere-associated proteins in mammals, human TRF1 and TRF2 (16,28). The specific molecular roles played by the DNA damage-induced phosphorylation of TRF1 and TRF2 in telomere maintenance and/or DNA repair are unclear and under active investigation. We previously reported that upon DNA damage, human TRF2 was rapidly and transiently phosphorylated at threonine 188 (T188) (28). Here, we report that X-ray-induced phosphorylation of human TRF2 at T188 plays a functional role in the fast pathway of DNA DSB repair. MATERIALS AND METHODSConstruction of TRF2 mutants. Site-directed mutagenesis was performed using Stratagene's QuikChange kit. The MluI and NheI sites were introduced into primer sequences in order to subclone wild-type human TRF2 (TRF2 WT ) into pTRE2Hyg (Clontech, CA). Nucleotide sequences of the constructs were checked and confirmed by sequencing both strands. The TRF2 cDNA was provided by Titia de Lange (Rockefeller University, New York, NY). Cell culture and transfection. HT1080 Tet-Off, advanced MCF7 Tet-Off, and S...
Gradual alterations of cell’s physiology and functions due to age or exposure to various stresses lead to the conversion of normal cells to senescent cells. Once becoming senescent, the cell stops dividing permanently but remains metabolically active. Cellular senescence does not have a single marker but is characterized mainly by a combination of multiple markers, such as, morphological changes, expression of cell cycle inhibitors, senescence associated β-galactosidase activity, and changes in nuclear membrane. When cells in an organ become senescent, the entire organism can be affected. This may occur through the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). SASP may exert beneficial or harmful effects on the microenvironment of tissues. Research on senescence has become a very exciting field in cell biology since the link between age-related diseases, including cancer, and senescence has been established. The loss of regenerative and homeostatic capacity of the liver over the age is somehow connected to cellular senescence. The major contributors of senescence properties in the liver are hepatocytes and cholangiocytes. Senescent cells in the liver have been implicated in the etiology of chronic liver diseases including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma and in the interference of liver regeneration. This review summarizes recently reported findings in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of senescence and its relationship with liver diseases.
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