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Teitz T.,St Jude Childrens Research Hospital | Inoue M.,St Jude Childrens Research Hospital | Valentine M.B.,St Jude Childrens Research Hospital | Zhu K.,St Jude Childrens Research Hospital | And 10 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2013

Neuroblastoma, the most common extracranial pediatric solid tumor, is responsible for 15% of all childhood cancer deaths. Patients frequently present at diagnosis with metastatic disease, particularly to the bone marrow. Advances in therapy and understanding of the metastatic process have been limited due, in part, to the lack of animal models harboring bone marrow disease. The widely used transgenic model, the Th-MYCN mouse, exhibits limited metastasis to this site. Here, we establish the first genetic immunocompetent mouse model for metastatic neuroblastoma with enhanced secondary tumors in the bone marrow. This model recapitulates 2 frequent alterations in metastatic neuroblasoma, overexpression of MYCN and loss of caspase-8 expression. Mouse caspase-8 gene was deleted in neural crest lineage cells by crossing a Th-Cre transgenic mouse with a caspase-8 conditional knockout mouse. This mouse was then crossed with the neuroblastoma prone Th-MYCN mouse. Although overexpression of MYCN by itself rarely caused bone marrow metastasis, combining MYCN overexpression and caspase-8 deletion significantly enhanced bone marrow metastasis (37% incidence). Microarray expression studies of the primary tumorsmRNAs and microRNAs revealed extracellular matrix structural changes, increased expression of genes involved in epithelial to mesenchymal transition, inflammation, and downregulation of miR-7a and miR-29b. These molecular changes have been shown to be associated with tumor progression and activation of the cytokine TGF-β pathway in various tumor models. Cytokine TGF-β can preferentially promote single cell motility and blood-borne metastasis and therefore activation of this pathway may explain the enhanced bone marrow metastasis observed in this animal model. © 2013 American Association for Cancer Research.

Hsieh M.-L.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Hsieh M.-L.,Michigan State University | James T.D.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | James T.D.,New York University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2013

Gene expression can be regulated through factors that direct RNA polymerase to the correct promoter sequence at the correct time. Bacteriophage T4 controls its development in this way using phage proteins that interact with host RNA polymerase. Using a process called α appropriation, the T4 co-activator AsiA structurally remodels the α70 subunit of host RNA polymerase, while a T4 activator, MotA, engages the C terminus of α70 and binds to a DNA promoter element, the MotA box. Structures for the N-terminal (NTD) and C-terminal (CTD) domains of MotA are available, but no structure exists for MotA with or without DNA. We report the first molecular map of the MotA/DNA interaction within the α-appropriated complex, which we obtained by using the cleaving reagent, iron bromoacetamidobenzyl-EDTA (FeBABE). We conjugated surface-exposed, single cysteines in MotA with FeBABE and performed cleavage reactions in the context of stable transcription complexes. The DNA cleavage sites were analyzed using ICM Molsoft software and three-dimensional physical models of MotANTD, MotACTD, and the DNA to investigate shape complementarity between the protein and the DNA and to position MotA on the DNA. We found that the unusual "double wing" motif present within MotACTD resides in the major groove of the MotA box. In addition, we have used surface plasmon resonance to show that MotA alone is in a very dynamic equilibrium with the MotA element. Our results demonstrate the utility of fine resolution FeBABE mapping to determine the architecture of protein-DNA complexes that have been recalcitrant to traditional structure analyses. © 2013 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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