Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), a non-hematopoietic stem cell population first discovered in bone marrow, are multipotent cells capable of differentiating into mature cells of several mesenchymal tissues, such as fat and bone. As common progenitor cells of adipocytes and osteoblasts, MSCs are delicately balanced for their differentiation commitment. Numerous in vitro investigations have demonstrated that fat-induction factors inhibit osteogenesis, and, conversely, bone-induction factors hinder adipogenesis. In fact, a variety of external cues contribute to the delicate balance of adipo-osteogenic differentiation of MSCs, including chemical, physical, and biological factors. These factors trigger different signaling pathways and activate various transcription factors that guide MSCs to commit to either lineage. The dysregulation of the adipo-osteogenic balance has been linked to several pathophysiologic processes, such as aging, obesity, osteopenia, osteopetrosis, and osteoporosis. Thus, the regulation of MSC differentiation has increasingly attracted great attention in recent years. Here, we review external factors and their signaling processes dictating the reciprocal regulation between adipocytes and osteoblasts during MSC differentiation and the ultimate control of the adipo-osteogenic balance.
p73 is a tumor suppressor belonging to the p53 family of transcription factors. Distinct isoforms are transcribed from the p73 locus. The use of 2 promoters at the N-terminus allows the expression of an isoform containing (TAp73) or not containing (ΔNp73) a complete N-terminal transactivation domain, with the latter isoform capable of a dominant negative effect over the former. In addition, both N-terminal variants are alternatively spliced at the C-terminus. TAp73 is a bona fide tumor suppressor, being able to induce cell death and cell cycle arrest; conversely, ΔNp73 shows oncogenic properties, inhibiting TAp73 and p53 functions. Here, we discuss the latest findings linking p73 to cancer. The generation of isoform specific null mice has helped in dissecting the contribution of TA versus ΔNp73 isoforms to tumorigenesis. The activity of both isoforms is regulated transcriptionally and by posttranslational modification. p73 dysfunction, particularly of TAp73, has been associated with mitotic abnormalities, which may lead to polyploidy and aneuploidy and thus contribute to tumorigenesis. Although p73 is only rarely mutated in cancer, the tumor suppressor actions of TAp73 are inhibited by mutant p53, a finding that has important implications for cancer therapy. Finally, we discuss the expression and role of p73 isoforms in human cancer, with a particular emphasis on the neuroblastoma cancer model. Broadly, the data support the hypothesis that the ratio between TAp73 and ΔNp73 is crucial for tumor progression and therapeutic response.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic and debilitating autoimmune disease, characterized by chronic inflammatory demyelination in the nervous tissue and subsequent neurological dysfunction. Spermidine, a natural polyamine, has been shown to affect inflammation in some experimental models. We show here that spermidine could alleviate experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model for MS, through regulating the infiltration of CD4+ T cells and macrophages in central nervous system. Unexpectedly, we found that spermidine treatment of MOG-specific T cells did not affect their pathogenic potency upon adaptive transfer; however, spermidine diminished the ability of macrophages in activating MOG-specific T cells ex vivo. Depletion of macrophages in diseased mice completely abolished the therapeutic effect of spermidine, indicating a critical role of spermidine-activated macrophages. Mechanistically, spermidine was found to specifically suppress the expression of interleukin-1beta (IL-1β), IL-12 and CD80 while enhance the expression of arginase 1 in macrophages. Interestingly, macrophages from spermidine-treated mice could also reverse EAE progression, while pretreatment of those macrophages with the arginase 1 inhibitor abrogated the therapeutic effect. Therefore, our studies revealed a critical role of macrophages in spermidine-mediated treatment on EAE and provided novel information for better management of MS.
The amino acid Glutamine is converted into Glutamate by a deamidation reaction catalyzed by the enzyme Glutaminase (GLS). Two isoforms of this enzyme have been described, and the GLS2 isoform is regulated by the tumor suppressor gene p53. Here, we show that the p53 family member TAp73 also drives the expression of GLS2. Specifically, we demonstrate that TAp73 regulates GLS2 during retinoic acid-induced terminal neuronal differentiation of neuroblastoma cells, and overexpression or inhibition of GLS2 modulates neuronal differentiation and intracellular levels of ATP. Moreover, inhibition of GLS activity, by removing Glutamine from the growth medium, impairs in vitro differentiation of cortical neurons. Finally, expression of GLS2 increases during mouse cerebellar development. Although, p73 is dispensable for the in vivo expression of GLS2, TAp73 loss affects GABA and Glutamate levels in cortical neurons. Together, these findings suggest a role for GLS2 acting, at least in part, downstream of p73 in neuronal differentiation and highlight a possible role of p73 in regulating neurotransmitter synthesis
p73, a transcription factor of the p53 family, plays a key role in many biological processes including neuronal development. Indeed, mice deficient for both TAp73 and ΔNp73 isoforms display neuronal pathologies, including hydrocephalus and hippocampal dysgenesis, with defects in the CA1-CA3 pyramidal cell layers and the dentate gyrus. TAp73 expression increases in parallel with neuronal differentiation and its ectopic expression induces neurite outgrowth and expression of neuronal markers in neuroblastoma cell lines and neural stem cells, suggesting that it has a pro-differentiation role. In contrast, ΔNp73 shows a survival function in mature cortical neurons as selective ΔNp73 null mice have reduced cortical thickness. Recent evidence has also suggested that p73 isoforms are deregulated in neurodegenerative pathologies such as Alzheimer’s disease, with abnormal tau phosphorylation. Thus, in addition to its increasingly accepted contribution to tumorigenesis, the p73 subfamily also plays a role in neuronal development and neurodegeneration.
It has been shown that p53 has a critical role in the differentiation and functionality of various multipotent progenitor cells. P53 mutations can lead to genome instability and subsequent functional alterations and aberrant transformation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). The significance of p53 in safeguarding our body from developing osteosarcoma (OS) is well recognized. During bone remodeling, p53 has a key role in negatively regulating key factors orchestrating the early stages of osteogenic differentiation of MSCs. Interestingly, changes in the p53 status can compromise bone homeostasis and affect the tumor microenvironment. This review aims to provide a unique opportunity to study the p53 function in MSCs and OS. In the context of loss of function of p53, we provide a model for two sources of OS: MSCs as progenitor cells of osteoblasts and bone tumor microenvironment components. Standing at the bone remodeling point of view, in this review we will first explain the determinant function of p53 in OS development. We will then summarize the role of p53 in monitoring MSC fidelity and in regulating MSC differentiation programs during osteogenesis. Finally, we will discuss the importance of loss of p53 function in tissue microenvironment. We expect that the information provided herein could lead to better understanding and treatment of OS.
The transcription factor p73 belongs to the p53 family of tumour suppressors and similar to other family members, transcribed as different isoforms with opposing pro- and anti-apoptotic functions. Unlike p53, p73 mutations are extremely rare in cancers. Instead, the pro-apoptotic activities of transcriptionally active p73 isoforms are commonly inhibited by over-expression of the dominant negative p73 isoforms. Therefore the relative ratio of different p73 isoforms is critical for the cellular response to a chemotherapeutic agent. Here, we analysed the expression of N-terminal p73 isoforms in cell lines and mouse tissues. Our data showed that the transcriptionally competent TAp73 isoform is abundantly expressed in cancer cell lines compared to the dominant negative ΔNp73 isoform. Interestingly, we detected higher levels of ΔNp73 in some mouse tissues, suggesting that ΔNp73 may have a physiological role in these tissues.
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are strongly immunosuppressive via producing nitric oxide (NO) and known to migrate into tumor sites to promote tumor growth, but the underlying mechanisms remain largely elusive. Here, we found that IFNα-secreting MSCs showed more dramatic inhibition effect on tumor progression than that of IFNα alone. Interestingly, IFNα-primed MSCs could also effectively suppress tumor growth. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that both IFNα and IFNβ (type I IFNs) reversed the immunosuppressive effect of MSCs on splenocyte proliferation. This effect of type I IFNs was exerted through inhibiting iNOS (inducible nitric oxide synthase) expression in IFNγ and TNFα-stimulated MSCs. Notably, only NO production was inhibited by IFNα; production of other cytokines or chemokines tested was not suppressed. Furthermore, IFNα promoted the switch from Stat1 homodimers to Stat1-Stat2 heterodimers. Studies using the luciferase reporter system and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed that IFNα suppressed iNOS transcription through inhibiting the binding of Stat1 to iNOS promoter. Therefore, the synergistic anti-tumor effects of type I IFNs and MSCs were achieved by inhibiting NO production. This study provides essential information for understanding the mechanisms of MSC-mediated immunosuppression and for the development of better clinical strategies using IFNs and MSCs for cancer immunotherapy.
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