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Peixoto P.,University of Liege | Castronovo V.,University of Liege | Matheus N.,University of Liege | Polese C.,University of Liege | And 7 more authors.
Cell Death and Differentiation | Year: 2012

Histone deacetylases (HDACs) form a family of enzymes, which have fundamental roles in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression and contribute to the growth, differentiation, and apoptosis of cancer cells. In this study, we further investigated the biological function of HDAC5 in cancer cells. We found HDAC5 is associated with actively replicating pericentric heterochromatin during late S phase. We demonstrated that specific depletion of HDAC5 by RNA interference resulted in profound changes in the heterochromatin structure and slowed down ongoing replication forks. This defect in heterochromatin maintenance and assembly are sensed by DNA damage checkpoint pathways, which triggered cancer cells to autophagy and apoptosis, and arrested their growth both in vitro and in vivo. Finally, we also demonstrated that HDAC5 depletion led to enhanced sensitivity of DNA to DNA-damaging agents, suggesting that heterochromatin de-condensation induced by histone HDAC5 silencing may enhance the efficacy of cytotoxic agents that act by targeting DNA in vitro. Together, these results highlighted for the first time an unrecognized link between HDAC5 and the maintenance/assembly of heterochromatin structure, and demonstrated that its specific inhibition might contribute to increase the efficacy of DNA alteration-based cancer therapies in clinic. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Simboeck E.,Medical University of Vienna | Sawicka A.,Medical University of Vienna | Zupkovitz G.,Medical University of Vienna | Senese S.,Italian National Cancer Institute | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2010

Histone deacetylase inhibitors induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in tumor cells and are, therefore, promising anticancer drugs. The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21 is activated in histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor-treated tumor cells, and its growth-inhibitory function contributes to the anti-tumorigenic effect of HDAC inhibitors. We show here that induction of p21 by trichostatin A involves MAP kinase signaling. Activation of the MAP kinase signaling pathway by growth factors or stress signals results in histone H3 serine 10 phosphorylation at the p21 promoter and is crucial for acetylation of the neighboring lysine 14 and recruitment of activated RNA polymerase II in response to trichostatin A treatment. In non-induced cells, the protein phosphatase PP2A is associated with the p21 gene and counteracts its activation. Induction of p21 is linked to simultaneous acetylation and phosphorylation of histone H3. The dual modification mark H3S10phK14ac at the activated p21 promoter is recognized by the phospho-binding protein 14-3-3ζ, which protects the phosphoacetylation mark from being processed by PP2A. Taken together we have revealed a cross-talk of reversible phosphorylation and acetylation signals that controls the activation of p21 by HDAC inhibitors and identify the phosphatase PP2A as chromatin-associated transcriptional repressor in mammalian cells. © 2010 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

Clay O.K.,El Rosario University | Clay O.K.,Cellular and Molecular Biology Unit | Clay O.K.,Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn | Bernardi G.,Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn | Bernardi G.,Rome University 3
Molecular Biology and Evolution | Year: 2011

In an article published in these pages, Elhaik et al. (Elhaik E, Landan G, Graur D. 2009. Can GC content at third-codon positions be used as a proxy for isochore composition? Mol Biol Evol. 26:1829-1833) asked if GC3, the GC level of the third-codon positions in protein-coding genes, can be used as a "proxy" to estimate the GC level of the surrounding isochore. We use available data to directly answer this simple question in the affirmative and show how the use of indirect methods can lead to apparently conflicting conclusions. The answer reasserts that in human and other vertebrates, genes have a strong tendency to reside in compositionally corresponding isochores, which has far-reaching implications for genome structure and evolution. © 2010 The Author.

Mouton V.,Catholic University of Louvain | Toussaint L.,Catholic University of Louvain | Toussaint L.,Cellular and Molecular Biology Unit | Vertommen D.,Catholic University of Louvain | And 9 more authors.
Biochemical Journal | Year: 2010

On the basis of transfection experiments using a dominant-negative approach, our previous studies suggested that PKB (protein kinase B) was not involved in heart PFK-2 (6-phosphofructo-2-kinase) activation by insulin. Therefore we first tested whether SGK3 (serum- and glucocorticoid-induced protein kinase 3) might be involved in this effect. Treatment of recombinant heart PFK-2 with [γ-32P]ATP and SGK3 in vitro led to PFK-2 activation and phosphorylation at Ser466 and Ser483. However, in HEK-293T cells [HEK (human embryonic kidney)-293 cells expressing the large T-antigen of SV40 (simian virus 40)] co-transfected with SGK3 siRNA (small interfering RNA) and heart PFK-2, insulin-induced heart PFK-2 activation was unaffected. The involvement of PKB in heart PFK-2 activation by insulin was re-evaluated using different models: (i) hearts from transgenic mice with a muscle/heart-specific mutation in the PDK1 (phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase 1)-substrate-docking site injected with insulin; (ii) hearts from PKBβ-deficient mice injected with insulin; (iii) freshly isolated rat cardiomyocytes and perfused hearts treated with the selective Akti-1/2 PKB inhibitor prior to insulin treatment; and (iv) HEK-293T cells co-transfected with heart PFK-2, and PKBα/β siRNA or PKBα siRNA, incubated with insulin. Together, the results indicated that SGK3 is not required for insulin-induced PFK-2 activation and that this effect is likely mediated by PKBα. © The Authors.

Hernandez O.,Major College of Antioquia | Araque P.,University of Antioquia | Tamayo D.,University of Medellin | Restrepo A.,Cellular and Molecular Biology Unit | And 4 more authors.
Medical mycology | Year: 2015

Paracoccidioides brasiliensis is the etiologic agent of one of the most common systemic mycoses in Latin America. As a dimorphic fungus, it must adapt to different environments during its life cycle, either in nature or within the host, enduring external stresses such as temperature or host-induced oxidative stress. In this study we addressed the role of alternative oxidase (PbAOX) in cellular homeostasis during batch culture growth and the morphological transition of P. brasiliensis. Using a PbAOX-antisense-RNA (PbAOX-aRNA) strain with a 70% reduction in gene expression, we show that PbAOX is crucial for maintaining cell viability and vitality during batch culture growth of yeast cells, in what appears to be a pH-dependent manner. We also show that silencing of PbAOX drastically reduced expression levels of other detoxifying enzymes (PbY20 and PbMSOD). In addition, our data indicate that PbAOX plays a role during the morphological transition, namely, during the yeast-to-mycelia germination and mycelia/conidia-to-yeast transition, essential events during the establishment of infection by dimorphic fungal pathogens. Altogether, our findings support the hypothesis that PbAOX is important for the maintenance of cellular homeostasis, possibly by assisting redox balancing during cell growth and the morphological switch of P. brasiliensis. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The International Society for Human and Animal Mycology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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