Pathogenic bacteria use the type III secretion system to deliver effector proteins into host cells to modulate the host signaling pathways. In this study, the Shigella type III effector OspF was shown to inactivate mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) [extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (Erk1/2), c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and p38]. OspF irreversibly removed phosphate groups from the phosphothreonine but not from the phosphotyrosine residue in the activation loop of MAPKs. Mass spectrometry revealed a mass loss of 98 daltons in p-Erk2, due to the abstraction of the alpha proton concomitant with cleavage of the C-OP bond in the phosphothreonine residue. This unexpected enzymatic activity, termed phosphothreonine lyase, appeared specific for MAPKs and was shared by other OspF family members.
Adult hepatic progenitor (oval) cells are facultative stem cells in liver, which participate in a range of human liver diseases, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the molecular pathways regulating the expansion and differentiation of these cells are poorly understood. We show that active Wnt/B-catenin signaling occurs preferentially within the oval cell population, and forced expression of constitutively active B-catenin mutant promotes expansion of the oval cell population in the regenerated liver. More importantly, we identify a subpopulation of less differentiated progenitor-like cells in HCC cell lines and primary HCC tissues, which are defined by expression of the hepatic progenitor marker OV6 and endowed with endogenously active Wnt/B-catenin signaling. These OV6 + HCC cells possess a greater ability to form tumor in vivo and show a substantial resistance to standard chemotherapy compared with OV6 À tumor cells. The fraction of tumor cells expressing OV6 is enriched after Wnt pathway activation, whereas inhibition of B-catenin signaling leads to a decrease in the proportion of OV6 + cells. In addition, the chemoresistance of OV6 + HCC progenitor-like cells can be reversed by lentivirus-delivered stable expression of micro-RNA targeting B-catenin. These results highlight the importance of the Wnt/B-catenin pathway in activation and expansion of oval cells in normal rodent models and human HCCs. OV6 + tumor cells may represent the cellular population that confers HCC chemoresistance, and therapies targeted to the Wnt/B-catenin signaling may provide a specific method to disrupt this resistance mechanism to improve overall tumor control with chemotherapy. [Cancer Res 2008;68(11):4287-95]
Activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) cascades after Toll-like receptor (TLR) stimulation contributes to innate immune responses. Signal regulatory protein (SIRP) α, a member of the SIRP family that is abundantly expressed in macrophages, has been implicated in regulating MAPK and NF-κB signaling pathways. In addition, SIRPα can negatively regulate the phagocytosis of host cells by macrophages, indicating an inhibitory role of SIRPα in innate immunity. We provide evidences that SIRPα is an essential endogenous regulator of the innate immune activation upon lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure. SIRPα expression was promptly reduced in macrophages after LPS stimulation. The decrease in SIRPα expression levels was required for initiation of LPS-induced innate immune responses because overexpression of SIRPα reduced macrophage responses to LPS. Knockdown of SIRPα caused prolonged activation of MAPKs and NF-κB pathways and augmented production of proinflammatory cytokines and type I interferon (IFN). Mice transferred with SIRPα-depleted macrophages were highly susceptible to endotoxic shock, developing multiple organ failure and exhibiting a remarkable increase in mortality. SIRPα may accomplish this mainly through its association and sequestration of the LPS signal transducer SHP-2. Thus, SIRPα functions as a biologically important modulator of TLR signaling and innate immunity.
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