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Engholm-Keller K.,University of Southern Denmark | Engholm-Keller K.,Childrens Medical Research Institute | Larsen M.R.,University of Southern Denmark
Proteomics | Year: 2013

Phosphorylation, the reversible addition of a phosphate group to amino acid side chains of proteins, is a fundamental regulator of protein activity, stability, and molecular interactions. Most cellular processes, such as inter- and intracellular signaling, protein synthesis, degradation, and apoptosis, rely on phosphorylation. This PTM is thus involved in many diseases, rendering localization and assessment of extent of phosphorylation of major scientific interest. MS-based phosphoproteomics, which aims at describing all phosphorylation sites in a specific type of cell, tissue, or organism, has become the main technique for discovery and characterization of phosphoproteins in a nonhypothesis driven fashion. In this review, we describe methods for state-of-the-art MS-based analysis of protein phosphorylation as well as the strategies employed in large-scale phosphoproteomic experiments with focus on the various challenges and limitations this field currently faces. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

Speidel D.,Childrens Medical Research Institute
Trends in Cell Biology | Year: 2010

Apoptosis induced by p53 is firmly established as a central mechanism of tumour suppression. In addition to its complex functions as a nuclear transcription factor, p53 can act in the cytosol and mitochondria to promote apoptosis through transcription-independent mechanisms. Recent studies have shown that physical and functional interactions of p53 with various members of the Bcl-2 family provide the basis for this alternative route of p53-mediated cell death. However, different models of how these interactions promote apoptosis have been proposed. This review focuses on the mechanisms, regulation and physiological roles of transcription-independent p53 activities and highlights recent findings suggesting that the utilisation of these activities provides a promising alternative strategy for p53-based cancer therapy. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Double strand break (DSB) repair is suppressed during mitosis because RNF8 and downstream DNA damage response (DDR) factors, including 53BP1, do not localize to mitotic chromatin. Discovery of the mitotic kinase-dependent mechanism that inhibits DSB repair during cell division was recently reported. It was shown that restoring mitotic DSB repair was detrimental, resulting in repair dependent genome instability and covalent telomere fusions. The telomere DDR that occurs naturally during cellular aging and in cancer is known to be refractory to G2/M checkpoint activation. Such DDR-positive telomeres, and those that occur as part of the telomere-dependent prolonged mitotic arrest checkpoint, normally pass through mitosis without covalent ligation, but result in cell growth arrest in G1 phase. The discovery that suppressing DSB repair during mitosis may function primarily to protect DDR-positive telomeres from fusing during cell division reinforces the unique cooperation between telomeres and the DDR to mediate tumor suppression. © 2014 The Author. Bioessays published by WILEY Periodicals, Inc. Source

Pera M.F.,University of Southern California | Tam P.P.L.,Childrens Medical Research Institute | Tam P.P.L.,University of Sydney
Nature | Year: 2010

During early mammalian development, as the pluripotent cells that give rise to all of the tissues of the body proliferate and expand in number, they pass through transition states marked by a stepwise restriction in developmental potential and by changes in the expression of key regulatory genes. Recent findings show that cultured stem-cell lines derived from different stages of mouse development can mimic these transition states. They further reveal that there is a high degree of heterogeneity and plasticity in pluripotent populations in vitro and that these properties are modulated by extrinsic signalling. Understanding the extrinsic control of plasticity will guide efforts to use human pluripotent stem cells in research and therapy. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Source

Henson J.D.,Childrens Medical Research Institute | Reddel R.R.,Childrens Medical Research Institute | Reddel R.R.,University of Sydney
FEBS Letters | Year: 2010

Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) activity can be deduced from the presence of telomere length maintenance in the absence of telomerase activity. More convenient assays for ALT utilize phenotypic markers of ALT activity, but only a few of these assays are potentially definitive. Here we assess each of the current ALT assays and their implications for understanding the ALT mechanism. We also review the clinical situations where availability of an ALT activity assay would be advantageous. The prevalence of ALT ranges from 25% to 60% in sarcomas and 5% to 15% in carcinomas. Patients with many of these types of ALT[+] tumors have a poor prognosis. © 2010 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Source

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