Ferroptosis, a recently identified and iron-dependent cell death, differs from other cell death such as apoptosis, necroptosis, pyroptosis, and autophagy-dependent cell death. This form of cell death does not exhibit typical morphological and biochemical characteristics, including cell shrinkage, mitochondrial fragmentation, nuclear condensation. The dysfunction of lipid peroxide clearance, the presence of redox-active iron as well as oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA)-containing phospholipids are three essential features of ferroptosis. Iron metabolism and lipid peroxidation signaling are increasingly recognized as central mediators of ferroptosis. Ferroptosis plays an important role in the regulation of oxidative stress and inflammatory responses. Accumulating evidence suggests that ferroptosis is implicated in a variety of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, stroke, ischemia-reperfusion injury, and heart failure, indicating that targeting ferroptosis will present a novel therapeutic approach against cardiovascular diseases. Here, we provide an overview of the features, process, function, and mechanisms of ferroptosis, and its increasingly connected relevance to oxidative stress, inflammation, and cardiovascular diseases.
A novel genome-wide screen that combines patient outcome analysis with array comparative genomic hybridization and mRNA expression profiling was developed to identify genes with copy number alterations, aberrant mRNA expression, and relevance to survival in glioblastoma. The method led to the discovery of physical gene clusters within the cancer genome with boundaries defined by physical proximity, correlated mRNA expression patterns, and survival relatedness. These boundaries delineate a novel genomic interval called the functional common region (FCR). Many FCRs contained genes of high biological relevance to cancer and were used to pinpoint functionally significant DNA alterations that were too small or infrequent to be reliably identified using standard algorithms. One such FCR contained the EphA2 receptor tyrosine kinase. Validation experiments showed that EphA2 mRNA overexpression correlated inversely with patient survival in a panel of 21 glioblastomas, and ligand-mediated EphA2 receptor activation increased glioblastoma proliferation and tumor growth via a mitogen-activated protein kinase-dependent pathway. This novel genome-wide approach greatly expanded the list of target genes in glioblastoma and represents a powerful new strategy to identify the upstream determinants of tumor phenotype in a range of human cancers. (Cancer Res 2006; 66(22): 10815-23)
The imprinted gene PEG3 confers parenting and sexual behaviors, alters growth and development, and regulates apoptosis. However, a molecular mechanism that can account for the diverse functions of Peg3/Pw1 is not known. To elucidate Peg3-regulated pathways, we performed a functional screen in zebrafish. Enforced overexpression of PEG3 mRNA during zebrafish embryogenesis decreased β-catenin protein expression and inhibited Wnt-dependent tail development. Peg3/Pw1 also inhibited Wnt signaling in human cells by binding to β-catenin and promoting its degradation via a p53/Siah1-dependent, GSK3β-independent proteasomal pathway. The inhibition of the Wnt pathway by Peg3/Pw1 suggested a role in tumor suppression. Hypermethylation of the PEG3 promoter in primary human gliomas led to a loss of imprinting and decreased PEG3 mRNA expression that correlated with tumor grade. The decrease in Peg3/Pw1 protein expression increased β-catenin, promoted proliferation, and inhibited p53-dependent apoptosis in human CD133+ glioma stem cells. Thus, mammalian imprinting utilizes Peg3/Pw1 to co-opt the Wnt pathway, thereby regulating development and glioma growth.
As a critical component in the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, AKT has become an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. ARQ 092 and a next generation AKT inhibitor, ARQ 751 are selective, allosteric, pan-AKT and AKT1-E17K mutant inhibitors that potently inhibit phosphorylation of AKT. Biochemical and cellular analysis showed that ARQ 092 and ARQ 751 inhibited AKT activation not only by dephosphorylating the membrane-associated active form, but also by preventing the inactive form from localizing into plasma membrane. In endometrial PDX models harboring mutant AKT1-E17K and other tumor models with an activated AKT pathway, both compounds exhibited strong anti-tumor activity. Combination studies conducted in in vivo breast tumor models demonstrated that ARQ 092 enhanced tumor inhibition of a common chemotherapeutic agent (paclitaxel). In a large panel of diverse cancer cell lines, ARQ 092 and ARQ 751 inhibited proliferation across multiple tumor types but were most potent in leukemia, breast, endometrial, and colorectal cancer cell lines. Moreover, inhibition by ARQ 092 and ARQ 751 was more prevalent in cancer cell lines containing PIK3CA/PIK3R1 mutations compared to those with wt-PIK3CA/PIK3R1 or PTEN mutations. For both ARQ 092 and ARQ 751, PIK3CA/PIK3R1 and AKT1-E17K mutations can potentially be used as predictive biomarkers for patient selection in clinical studies.
Impaired autophagy function and enhanced ARG2 (arginase 2)-MTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin) crosstalk are implicated in vascular aging and atherosclerosis. We are interested in the role of ARG2 and the potential underlying mechanism(s) in modulation of endothelial autophagy. Using human nonsenescent “young” and replicative senescent endothelial cells as well as Apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoe−/−Arg2+/+) and Arg2-deficient apoe−/− (apoe−/−arg2−/−) mice fed a high-fat diet for 10 wk as the atherosclerotic animal model, we show here that overexpression of ARG2 in the young cells suppresses endothelial autophagy with concomitant enhanced expression of RICTOR, the essential component of the MTORC2 complex, leading to activation of the AKT-MTORC1-RPS6KB1/S6K1 (ribosomal protein S6 kinase, 70kDa, polypeptide 1) cascade and inhibition of PRKAA/AMPK (protein kinase, AMP-activated, α catalytic subunit). Expression of an inactive ARG2 mutant (H160F) had the same effect. Moreover, silencing RPS6KB1 or expression of a constitutively active PRKAA prevented autophagy suppression by ARG2 or H160F. In senescent cells, enhanced ARG2-RICTOR-AKT-MTORC1-RPS6KB1 and decreased PRKAA signaling and autophagy were observed, which was reversed by silencing ARG2 but not by arginase inhibitors. In line with the above observations, genetic ablation of Arg2 in apoe−/− mice reduced RPS6KB1, enhanced PRKAA signaling and endothelial autophagy in aortas, which was associated with reduced atherosclerosis lesion formation. Taken together, the results demonstrate that ARG2 impairs endothelial autophagy independently of the L-arginine ureahydrolase activity through activation of RPS6KB1 and inhibition of PRKAA, which is implicated in atherogenesis.
BackgroundVascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) senescence and apoptosis are involved in atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability. Arginase‐II (Arg‐II) has been shown to promote vascular dysfunction and plaque vulnerability phenotypes in mice through uncoupling of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and activation of macrophage inflammation. The function of Arg‐II in VSMCs with respect to plaque vulnerability is unknown. This study investigated the functions of Arg‐II in VSMCs linking to plaque vulnerability.Methods and ResultsIn vitro studies were performed on VSMCs isolated from human umbilical veins, whereas in vivo studies were performed on atherosclerosis‐prone apolipoprotein E‐deficient (ApoE−/−) mice. In nonsenescent VSMCs, overexpressing wild‐type Arg‐II or an l‐arginine ureahydrolase inactive Arg‐II mutant (H160F) caused similar effects on mitochondrial dysfunction, cell apoptosis, and senescence, which were abrogated by silencing p66Shc or p53. The activation of p66Shc but not p53 by Arg‐II was dependent on extracellular signal‐regulated kinases (ERKs) and sequential activation of 40S ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 (S6K1)—c‐Jun N‐terminal kinases (JNKs). In senescent VSMCs, Arg‐II and S6K1, ERK‐p66Shc, and p53 signaling levels were increased. Silencing Arg‐II reduced all these signalings and cell senescence/apoptosis. Conversely, silencing p66Shc reduced ERK and S6K1 signaling and Arg‐II levels and cell senescence/apoptosis. Furthermore, genetic ablation of Arg‐II in ApoE−/− mice reduced the aforementioned signaling and apoptotic VSMCs in the plaque of aortic roots.ConclusionsArg‐II, independently of its l‐arginine ureahydrolase activity, promotes mitochondrial dysfunction leading to VSMC senescence/apoptosis through complex positive crosstalk among S6K1‐JNK, ERK, p66Shc, and p53, contributing to atherosclerotic vulnerability phenotypes in mice.
The cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk)-associated protein phosphatase KAP is a dual-specificity phosphatase of which the only known function is to dephosphorylate Cdk2 and inhibit cell cycle progression. Paradoxically, we find increased KAP mRNA expression in malignant astrocytomas, which correlates with increasing histologic grade and decreased patient survival. We have resolved this apparent paradox with the discovery of aberrant KAP splicing in malignant astrocytomas that leads to increased expression of KAP-related transcripts but decreased KAP protein expression. In addition, the aberrant splicing generates a dominant negative KAP variant that increases proliferation. We provide the first evidence that KAP not only regulates proliferation but also inhibits migration by decreasing cdc2 mRNA and protein expression. The effect of KAP on cdc2 expression requires its phosphatase activity but does not involve direct dephosphorylation of cdc2. Thus, KAP regulates both cdc2-dependent migration and Cdk2-dependent proliferation, and its loss due to aberrant splicing increases malignancy in human gliomas. [Cancer Res 2007;67(1):130-8]
Dysregulation of Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor (FGFR) signaling through amplifications, mutations, and gene fusions has been implicated in a broad array of cancers (e.g. liver, gastric, ovarian, endometrial, and bladder). ARQ 087 is a novel, ATP competitive, small molecule, multi-kinase inhibitor with potent in vitro and in vivo activity against FGFR addicted cell lines and tumors. Biochemically, ARQ 087 exhibited IC50 values of 1.8 nM for FGFR2, and 4.5 nM for FGFR1 and 3. In cells, inhibition of FGFR2 auto-phosphorylation and other proteins downstream in the FGFR pathway (FRS2α, AKT, ERK) was evident by the response to ARQ 087 treatment. Cell proliferation studies demonstrated ARQ 087 has anti-proliferative activity in cell lines driven by FGFR dysregulation, including amplifications, fusions, and mutations. Cell cycle studies in cell lines with high levels of FGFR2 protein showed a positive relationship between ARQ 087 induced G1 cell cycle arrest and subsequent induction of apoptosis. In addition, ARQ 087 was effective at inhibiting tumor growth in vivo in FGFR2 altered, SNU-16 and NCI-H716, xenograft tumor models with gene amplifications and fusions. ARQ 087 is currently being studied in a phase 1/2 clinical trial that includes a sub cohort for intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma patients with confirmed FGFR2 gene fusions (NCT01752920).
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