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Pekkonen P.,University of Helsinki | Jarviluoma A.,University of Helsinki | Zinovkina N.,University of Helsinki | Cvrljevic A.,University of Turku | And 8 more authors.
Cell Cycle | Year: 2014

Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV)-encoded v-cyclin, a homolog of cellular cyclin D2, activates cellular CDK6, promotes G1-S transition of the cell cycle, induces DNA damage, apoptosis, autophagy and is reported to have oncogenic potential. Here we show that in vivo expression of v-cyclin in the B- and T-cell lymphocyte compartments results in a markedly low survival due to high penetrance of early-onset T-cell lymphoma and pancarditis. The v-cyclin transgenic mice have smaller pre-tumorigenic lymphoid organs, showing decreased cellularity, and increased proliferation and apoptosis. Furthermore, v-cyclin expression resulted in decreased amounts of CD3-expressing mature T-cells in the secondary lymphoid organs concurrent with alterations in the T-cell subpopulations of the thymus. This suggests that v-cyclin interferes with normal T-cell development. As the Notch pathway is recognized for its role in both T-cell development and lymphoma initiation, we addressed the role of Notch in the v-cyclin-induced alterations. Fittingly, we demonstrate induction of Notch3 and Hes1 in the pre-tumorigenic thymi and lymphomas of v-cyclin expressing mice, and show that lymphoma growth and viability are dependent on activated Notch signaling. Notch3 transcription and growth of the lymphomas was dependent on CDK6, as determined by silencing of CDK6 expression or chemical inhibition, respectively. Our work here reveals a viral cyclin-CDK6 complex as an upstream regulator of Notch receptor, suggesting that cyclins can play a role in the initiation of Notch-dependent lymphomagenesis. © 2014 Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


Suffert G.,University of Strasbourg | Malterer G.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Hausser J.,Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics | Viiliainen J.,University of Helsinki | And 12 more authors.
PLoS Pathogens | Year: 2011

Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) encodes a cluster of twelve micro (mi)RNAs, which are abundantly expressed during both latent and lytic infection. Previous studies reported that KSHV is able to inhibit apoptosis during latent infection; we thus tested the involvement of viral miRNAs in this process. We found that both HEK293 epithelial cells and DG75 cells stably expressing KSHV miRNAs were protected from apoptosis. Potential cellular targets that were significantly down-regulated upon KSHV miRNAs expression were identified by microarray profiling. Among them, we validated by luciferase reporter assays, quantitative PCR and western blotting caspase 3 (Casp3), a critical factor for the control of apoptosis. Using site-directed mutagenesis, we found that three KSHV miRNAs, miR-K12-1, 3 and 4-3p, were responsible for the targeting of Casp3. Specific inhibition of these miRNAs in KSHV-infected cells resulted in increased expression levels of endogenous Casp3 and enhanced apoptosis. Altogether, our results suggest that KSHV miRNAs directly participate in the previously reported inhibition of apoptosis by the virus, and are thus likely to play a role in KSHV-induced oncogenesis. © 2011 Suffert et al.


Eriste E.,University of Tartu | Kurrikoff K.,University of Tartu | Suhorutsenko J.,University of Tartu | Oskolkov N.,University of Tartu | And 7 more authors.
Bioconjugate Chemistry | Year: 2013

Gliomas are therapeutically challenging cancers with poor patient prognosis. New drug delivery strategies are needed to achieve a more efficient chemotherapy-based approach against brain tumors. The current paper demonstrates development of a tumor-targeted delivery vector that is based on a cell-penetrating peptide pVEC and a novel glioma-targeting peptide sequence gHo. The unique tumor-homing peptide gHo was identified using in vitro phage display technology. The novel delivery vector, which we designated as gHoPe2, was constructed by a covalent conjugation of pVEC, gHo, and a cargo; the latter could be either a labeling moiety (such as a fluorescent marker) or a cytostatic entity. Using a fluorescent marker, we demonstrate efficient uptake of the vector in glioma cells and selective labeling of glioma xenograft tumors in a mouse model. This is the first time that we know where in vitro phage display has yielded an efficient, in vivo working vector. We also demonstrate antitumor efficacy of the delivery vector gHoPe2 using a well-characterized chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin. Vectorized doxorubicin proved to be more efficient than the free drug in a mouse glioma xenograft model after systemic administration of the drugs. In conclusion, we have characterized a novel glioma-homing peptide gHo, demonstrated development of a new and potential glioma-targeted drug delivery vector gHoPe2, and demonstrated the general feasibility of the current approach for constructing cell-penetrating peptide-based targeted delivery systems. © 2013 American Chemical Society.


Ojala P.M.,University of Helsinki | Ojala P.M.,Foundation for the Finnish Cancer Institute | Ojala P.M.,Imperial College London | Schulz T.F.,Hannover Medical School
Seminars in Cancer Biology | Year: 2014

Kaposi sarcoma (KS), a viral cancer associated to Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) infection, is currently the most common tumor in men in sub-Saharan Africa. KS is an angiogenic tumor and characterized by the presence of aberrant vascular structures in the lesion. Although our understanding of how KSHV causes the aberrant differentiation of endothelial cells and the typical vascular abnormalities in KS tumors is far from complete, the experimental evidence reviewed here provides a comprehensive description of the role of KSHV in the pathogenesis of this unusual tumor. In contrast to other tumor viruses, whose interference with cellular processes relating to cell cycle, apoptosis and DNA damage may be at the heart of their oncogenic properties, KSHV may cause KS primarily by its ability to engage with the differentiation and function of endothelial cells.Although the intracellular pathways engaged by KSHV in the endothelial cells are being explored as drug targets, a better understanding of the impact of KSHV on endothelial cell differentiation and vasculogenesis is needed before the encouraging findings can form the basis for new targeted therapeutic approaches to KS. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Karhemo P.-R.,University of Helsinki | Ravela S.,University of Helsinki | Laakso M.,University of Helsinki | Ritamo I.,Red Cross | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Proteomics | Year: 2012

Details of metastasis, the deadliest aspect of cancer, are unclear. Cell surface proteins play central roles in adhesive contacts between the tumor cell and the stroma during metastasis. We optimized a fast, small-scale isolation of biotinylated cell surface proteins to reveal novel metastasis-associated players from an isogenic pair of human MDA-MB-435 cancer cells with opposite metastatic phenotypes. Isolated proteins were trypsin digested and analyzed using LC-MS/MS followed by quantitation with the Progenesis LC-MS software. Sixteen proteins displayed over twofold expression differences between the metastatic and non-metastatic cells. Interestingly, overexpression of most of them (14/16) in the metastatic cells indicates a gain of novel surface protein profile as compared to the non-metastatic ones. All five validated, differentially expressed proteins showed higher expression in the metastatic cells in culture, and four of these were further validated in vivo. Moreover, we analyzed expression of two of the identified proteins, CD109 and ITGA6 in 3-dimensional cultures of six melanoma cell lines. Both proteins marked the surface of cells derived from melanoma metastasis over cells derived from primary melanoma. The unbiased identification and validation of both known and novel metastasis-associated proteins indicate a reliable approach for the identification of differentially expressed surface proteins. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Sarek G.,University of Helsinki | Jarviluoma A.,University of Helsinki | Moore H.M.,University of Helsinki | Tojkander S.,University of Helsinki | And 6 more authors.
PLoS Pathogens | Year: 2010

Nucleophosmin (NPM) is a multifunctional nuclear phosphoprotein and a histone chaperone implicated in chromatin organization and transcription control. Oncogenic Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) is the etiological agent of Kaposi's sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) and multicentric Castleman disease (MCD). In the infected host cell KSHV displays two modes of infection, the latency and productive viral replication phases, involving extensive viral DNA replication and gene expression. A sustained balance between latency and reactivation to the productive infection state is essential for viral persistence and KSHV pathogenesis. Our study demonstrates that the KSHV v-cyclin and cellular CDK6 kinase phosphorylate NPM on threonine 199 (Thr199) in de novo and naturally KSHV-infected cells and that NPM is phosphorylated to the same site in primary KS tumors. Furthermore, v-cyclin-mediated phosphorylation of NPM engages the interaction between NPM and the latency-associated nuclear antigen LANA, a KSHV-encoded repressor of viral lytic replication. Strikingly, depletion of NPM in PEL cells leads to viral reactivation, and production of new infectious virus particles. Moreover, the phosphorylation of NPM negatively correlates with the level of spontaneous viral reactivation in PEL cells. This work demonstrates that NPM is a critical regulator of KSHV latency via functional interactions with v-cyclin and LANA. © 2010 Sarek et al.


Cheng F.,University of Helsinki | Cheng F.,Institute of Biomedicine | Pekkonen P.,University of Helsinki | Pekkonen P.,Institute of Biomedicine | And 21 more authors.
Cell Host and Microbe | Year: 2011

Kaposi sarcoma (KS), an angioproliferative disease associated with Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) infection, harbors a diversity of cell types ranging from endothelial to mesenchymal cells of unclear origin. We developed a three-dimensional cell model for KSHV infection and used it to demonstrate that KSHV induces transcriptional reprogramming of lymphatic endothelial cells to mesenchymal cells via endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT). KSHV-induced EndMT was initiated by the viral proteins vFLIP and vGPCR through Notch pathway activation, leading to gain of membrane-type-1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP)-dependent invasive properties and concomitant changes in viral gene expression. Mesenchymal markers and MT1-MMP were found codistributed with a KSHV marker in the same cells from primary KS biopsies. Our data explain the heterogeneity of cell types within KS lesions and suggest that KSHV-induced EndMT may contribute to KS development by giving rise to infected, invasive cells while providing the virus a permissive cellular microenvironment for efficient spread. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Tvorogov D.,University of Helsinki | Anisimov A.,University of Helsinki | Anisimov A.,Ludwig Boltzmann Research Institute | Zheng W.,University of Helsinki | And 14 more authors.
Cancer Cell | Year: 2010

Antibodies that block vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) have become an integral part of antiangiogenic tumor therapy, and antibodies targeting other VEGFs and receptors (VEGFRs) are in clinical trials. Typically receptor-blocking antibodies are targeted to the VEGFR ligand-binding site. Here we describe a monoclonal antibody that inhibits VEGFR-3 homodimer and VEGFR-3/VEGFR-2 heterodimer formation, signal transduction, as well as ligand-induced migration and sprouting of microvascular endothelial cells. Importantly, we show that combined use of antibodies blocking ligand binding and receptor dimerization improves VEGFR inhibition and results in stronger inhibition of endothelial sprouting and vascular network formation in vivo. These results suggest that receptor dimerization inhibitors could be used to enhance antiangiogenic activity of antibodies blocking ligand binding in tumor therapy. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.


Schulz T.F.,Hannover Medical School | Santag S.,Hannover Medical School | Jager W.,Hannover Medical School | Karsten C.B.,Hannover Medical School | And 6 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2013

Kaposi's Sarcoma Herpesvirus (KSHV) is the causative agent of Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS) and two rare lymphoproliferative disorders, primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) and the plasmablastic variant of multicentric Castleman's disease (MCD). The KSHV latency-associated nuclear antigen-1 (LANA), required for the replication and maintenance of latent viral episomal DNA, is involved in the transcriptional regulation of viral and cellular genes and interacts with different cellular proteins, including the tumour suppressor p53. Here, we report that LANA also recruits the p53-related nuclear transcription factor p73, which influences cellular processes like DNA damage response, cell cycle progression and apoptosis. Both the full-length isoform TAp73α, as well as its dominant negative regulator ΔNp73α, interact with LANA. LANA affects TAp73α stability and sub-nuclear localisation, as well as TAp73α-mediated transcriptional activation of target genes. We observed that the small-molecule inhibitor Nutlin-3, which disrupts the interaction of p53 and p73 with MDM2, induces apoptotic cell death in p53 wild-type, as well as p53-mutant PEL cell lines, suggesting a possible involvement of p73. The small-molecule RETRA, which activates p73 in the context of mutant p53, leads to the induction of apoptosis in p53-mutant PEL cell lines. RNAi-mediated knockdown of p73 confirmed that these effects depend on the presence of the p73 protein. Furthermore, both Nutlin-3 and RETRA disrupt the LANA-p73 interaction in different PEL cell lines. These results suggest that LANA modulates p73 function and that the LANA-p73 interaction may represent a therapeutic target to interfere with the survival of latently KSHV-infected cells. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Cheng F.,University of Helsinki | Cheng F.,Åbo Akademi University | Pekkonen P.,University of Helsinki | Ojala P.M.,University of Helsinki | Ojala P.M.,Foundation for the Finnish Cancer Institute
Future Microbiology | Year: 2012

The Notch pathway is a highly conserved signaling circuit with a critical role in cell-fate determination and tumor initiation. Notch is reported to regulate various key events in tumor progression, such as angiogenesis, maintenance of cancer stem cells, resistance to therapeutic agents and metastasis. This review describes the intimate interplay of human tumor viruses with the Notch signaling pathway. Special attention is paid to Kaposis sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, the etiological agent of Kaposis sarcoma and rare lymphoproliferative disorders. The past decade of active research has led to significant advances in understanding how Kaposis sarcoma-associated herpesvirus exploits the Notch pathway to regulate its replication phase and to modulate the host cellular microenvironment to make it more favorable for viral persistence and spreading. © 2012 Future Medicine Ltd.

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