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Kusk K.O.,Technical University of Denmark | Kruger T.,University of Aarhus | Long M.,University of Aarhus | Taxvig C.,Technical University of Denmark | And 7 more authors.
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry | Year: 2011

Industrial and municipal effluents are important sources of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) discharged into the aquatic environment. This study investigated the endocrine potency of wastewater and the cleaning efficiency of two typical urban Danish sewage treatment plants (STPs), using chemical analysis and a battery of bioassays. Influent samples, collected at the first STP grate, and effluent samples, collected after the sewage treatment, were extracted using solid phase extraction. Extracts were analyzed for the content of a range of industrial chemicals with endocrine disrupting properties: phthalate metabolites, parabens, industrial phenols, ultraviolet screens, and natural and synthetic steroid estrogens. The endocrine disrupting bioactivity and toxicity of the extracts were analyzed in cell culture assay for the potency to affect the function of the estrogen, androgen, aryl hydrocarbon, and thyroid receptors as well as the steroid hormone synthesis. The early-life stage (ELS) development was tested in a marine copepod. The concentrations of all analyzed chemicals were reduced in effluents compared with influents, and for some to below the detection limit. Influent as well as effluent samples from both STPs were found to interact with all four receptors and to interfere with the steroid hormone synthesis showing the presence of measured EDCs. Both influent samples and one of the effluent samples inhibited the development of the copepod Acartia tonsa. In conclusion, the presence of EDCs was reduced in the STPs but not eliminated, as verified by the applied bioassays that all responded to the extracts of effluent samples. Our data suggest that the wastewater treatment processes are not efficient enough to prevent contamination of environmental surface waters. © 2010 SETAC.


Mathiasen D.P.,Institute of Cancer Biology | Egebjerg C.,Institute of Cancer Biology | Andersen S.H.,Institute of Cancer Biology | Rafn B.,Institute of Cancer Biology | And 14 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2012

Ras is one of the most frequently activated oncogenes in cancer. Two mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are important for ras transformation: extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase 2 (JNK2). Here we present a downstream signal amplification cascade that is critical for ras transformation in murine embryonic fibroblasts. This cascade is coordinated by ERK and JNK2 MAPKs, whose Ras-mediated activation leads to the enhanced levels of three oncogenic transcription factors, namely, c-Myc, activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2) and ATF3, all of which are essential for ras transformation. Previous studies show that ERK-mediated serine 62 phosphorylation protects c-Myc from proteasomal degradation. ERK is, however, not alone sufficient to stabilize c-Myc but requires the cooperation of cancerous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A (CIP2A), an oncogene that counteracts protein phosphatase 2A-mediated dephosphorylation of c-Myc. Here we show that JNK2 regulates Cip2a transcription via ATF2. ATF2 and c-Myc cooperate to activate the transcription of ATF3. Remarkably, not only ectopic JNK2, but also ectopic ATF2, CIP2A, c-Myc and ATF3 are sufficient to rescue the defective ras transformation of JNK2-deficient cells. Thus, these data identify the key signal converging point of JNK2 and ERK pathways and underline the central role of CIP2A in ras transformation. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Huang W.-C.,China Medical University at Taichung | Huang W.-C.,Institute of Cancer Biology | Huang W.-C.,Asia University, Taiwan | Hsu S.-C.,China Medical University at Taichung | And 13 more authors.
American Journal of Translational Research | Year: 2013

Sodium/glucose co-transporter 1 (SGLT1), which actively and energy-dependently uptakes glucose, plays critical roles in the development of various diseases including diabetes mellitus and cancer, and has been viewed as a promising therapeutic target for these diseases. Protein-protein interaction with EGFR has been shown to regulate the expression and activity of SGLT1. Exogenous expression of SGLT1 is one of the essential approaches to characterize its functions; however, exogenously expressed SGLT1 is not firmly detectable by Western blot at its calculated molecular weight, which creates a hurdle for further understanding the molecular events by which SGLT1 is regulated. In this study, we demonstrated that exogenous SGLT1 functions in glucose-uptake normally but is consistently detected near the interface between stacking gel and running gel rather than at the calculated molecular weight in Western blot analysis, suggesting that the overexpressed SGLT1 forms SDS-resistant aggregates, which cannot be denatured and effectively separated on SDS-PAGE. Co-expression of EGFR enhances both the glucose-uptake activity and protein level of the SGLT1. However, fusion with Flag or HA tag at its carboxy- but not its amino-terminus abolished the glucose-uptake activity of exogenous SGLT1 without affecting its protein level. Furthermore, the solubility of SGLT1 aggregates was not affected by other detergents but was partially improved by inhibition of o-link glycosylation. These findings suggested exogenous overexpression of SGLT1 can function normally but may not be consistently detectable at its formula weight due to its gel-shift behavior by forming the SDS-resistant aggregates.


Novakova Z.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Novakova Z.,Institute of Animal Science | Hubackova S.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Kosar M.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | And 13 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2010

Cellular senescence guards against cancer and modulates aging; however, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here, we show that genotoxic drugs capable of inducing premature senescence in normal and cancer cells, such as 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU), distamycin A (DMA), aphidicolin and hydroxyurea, persistently activate Janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK/STAT) signaling and expression of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs), such as MX1, OAS, ISG15, STAT1, PML, IRF1 and IRF7, in several human cancer cell lines. JAK1/STAT-activating ligands, interleukin 10 (IL10), IL20, IL24, interferon γ (IFNγ), IFNΒ and IL6, were also expressed by senescent cells, supporting autocrine/paracrine activation of JAK1/STAT. Furthermore, cytokine genes, including proinflammatory IL1, tumor necrosis factor and transforming growth factor families, were highly expressed. The strongest inducer of JAK/STAT signaling, cytokine production and senescence was BrdU combined with DMA. RNA interference-mediated knockdown of JAK1 abolished expression of ISGs, but not DNA damage signaling or senescence. Thus, although DNA damage signaling, p53 and RB activation, and the cytokine/chemokine secretory phenotype are apparently shared by all types of senescence, our data reveal so far unprecedented activation of the IFNΒ-STAT1-ISGs axis, and indicate a less prominent causative role of IL6-JAK/STAT signaling in genotoxic drug-induced senescence compared with reports on oncogene-induced or replicative senescence. These results highlight shared and unique features of drug-induced cellular senescence, and implicate induction of cancer secretory phenotype in chemotherapy. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Kirkegaard T.,Institute of Cancer Biology | Roth A.G.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Petersen N.H.T.,Institute of Cancer Biology | Mahalka A.K.,University of Helsinki | And 10 more authors.
Nature | Year: 2010

Heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) is an evolutionarily highly conserved molecular chaperone that promotes the survival of stressed cells by inhibiting lysosomal membrane permeabilization, a hallmark of stress-induced cell death. Clues to its molecular mechanism of action may lay in the recently reported stress-and cancer-associated translocation of a small portion of Hsp70 to the lysosomal compartment. Here we show that Hsp70 stabilizes lysosomes by binding to an endolysosomal anionic phospholipid bis(monoacylglycero)phosphate (BMP), an essential co-factor for lysosomal sphingomyelin metabolism. In acidic environments Hsp70 binds with high affinity and specificity to BMP, thereby facilitating the BMP binding and activity of acid sphingomyelinase (ASM). The inhibition of the Hsp70-BMP interaction by BMP antibodies or a point mutation in Hsp70 (Trp90Phe), as well as the pharmacological and genetic inhibition of ASM, effectively revert the Hsp70-mediated stabilization of lysosomes. Notably, the reduced ASM activity in cells from patients with Niemann-Pick disease (NPD) A and Bsevere lysosomal storage disorders caused by mutations in the sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase 1 gene (SMPD1) encoding for ASMis also associated with a marked decrease in lysosomal stability, and this phenotype can be effectively corrected by treatment with recombinant Hsp70. Taken together, these data open exciting possibilities for the development of new treatments for lysosomal storage disorders and cancer with compounds that enter the lysosomal lumen by the endocytic delivery pathway. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Moreira J.M.A.,Institute of Cancer Biology | Ohlsson G.,Institute of Cancer Biology | Ohlsson G.,Novo Nordisk AS | Gromov P.,Institute of Cancer Biology | And 4 more authors.
Molecular and Cellular Proteomics | Year: 2010

It is becoming increasingly clear that no single marker will have the sensitivity and specificity necessary to be used on its own for diagnosis/prognosis of tumors. Interpatient and intratumor heterogeneity provides overwhelming odds against the existence of such an ideal marker. With this in mind, our laboratory has been applying a long term systematic approach to identify multiple biomarkers that can be used for clinical purposes. As a result of these studies, we have identified and reported several candidate biomarker proteins that are deregulated in bladder cancer. Following the conceptual biomarker development phases proposed by the Early Detection Research Network, we have taken some of the most promising candidate proteins into post-discovery validation studies, and here we report on the characterization of one such biomarker, the bladder cancer-associated protein (BLCAP), formerly termed Bc10. To characterize BLCAP protein expression and cellular localization patterns in benign bladder urothelium and urothelial carcinomas (UCs), we used two independent sets of samples from different patient cohorts: a reference set consisting of 120 bladder specimens (formalin-fixed as well as frozen biopsies) and a validation set consisting of 2,108 retrospectively collected UCs with long term clinical follow-up. We could categorize the UCs examined into four groups based on levels of expression and subcellular localization of BLCAP protein and showed that loss of BLCAP expression is associated with tumor progression. The results indicated that increased expression of this protein confers an adverse patient outcome, suggesting that categorization of staining patterns for this protein may have prognostic value. Finally, we applied a combinatorial two-marker discriminator using BLCAP and adipocyte-type fatty acid-binding protein, another UC biomarker previously reported by us, and found that the combination of the two markers correlated more closely with grade and/or stage of disease than the individual markers. The implications of these results in biomarker discovery are discussed. © 2010 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.


Frankel L.B.,Copenhagen University | Wen J.,Copenhagen University | Lees M.,Copenhagen University | Hoyer-Hansen M.,Institute of Cancer Biology | And 4 more authors.
EMBO Journal | Year: 2011

Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism of cellular self-digestion in which proteins and organelles are degraded through delivery to lysosomes. Defects in this process are implicated in numerous human diseases including cancer. To further elucidate regulatory mechanisms of autophagy, we performed a functional screen in search of microRNAs (miRNAs), which regulate the autophagic flux in breast cancer cells. In this study, we identified the tumour suppressive miRNA, miR-101, as a potent inhibitor of basal, etoposide-and rapamycin-induced autophagy. Through transcriptome profiling, we identified three novel miR-101 targets, STMN1, RAB5A and ATG4D. siRNA-mediated depletion of these genes phenocopied the effect of miR-101 overexpression, demonstrating their importance in autophagy regulation. Importantly, overexpression of STMN1 could partially rescue cells from miR-101-mediated inhibition of autophagy, indicating a functional importance for this target. Finally, we show that miR-101-mediated inhibition of autophagy can sensitize breast cancer cells to 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHT)-mediated cell death. Collectively, these data establish a novel link between two highly important and rapidly growing research fields and present a new role for miR-101 as a key regulator of autophagy. © 2011 European Molecular Biology Organization | All Rights Reserved.


Szyniarowski P.,Institute of Cancer Biology | Szyniarowski P.,University of Dundee | Corcelle-Termeau E.,Institute of Cancer Biology | Farkas T.,Institute of Cancer Biology | And 4 more authors.
Autophagy | Year: 2011

Macroautophagy is a catabolic process that maintains cellular homeostasis and protects cells against various external stresses including starvation. except for the identification of the Akt-mToRc1 pathway as a major negative regulator, little is known about signaling networks that control macroautophagy under optimal growth conditions. Therefore, we screened a human kinome siRNA library for siRNAs that increase the number of autophagosomes in normally growing McF-7 human breast carcinoma cells and identified 10 kinases as regulators of constitutive macroautophagy. Further analysis of these kinases with respect to the autophagic flux, kinase signaling and endolysosomal function identified WNK2 as a positive regulator of autophagosome maturation and nine others as macroautophagy inhibitors. The depletion of MK2, PAcsIN1, DAPK2, cDKL3 and scYL1 functioned upstream of Akt-mToRc1 pathway, whereas csNK1A1, BuB1, PKLR and NeK4 suppressed autophagosome formation downstream or independent of mToRc1. Importantly, all identified kinases except for BuB1 regulated macroautophagy also in immortalized McF-10A breast epithelial cells. The kinases identified here shed light to the complex regulation of macroautophagy and open new possibilities for its pharmacological manipulation. © 2011 Landes Bioscience.


Petersen N.H.T.,Institute of Cancer Biology | Kirkegaard T.,Institute of Cancer Biology | Olsen O.D.,Institute of Cancer Biology | Jaattela M.,Institute of Cancer Biology
Cell Cycle | Year: 2010

Heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) is an evolutionary highly conserved molecular chaperone. Upon cancer-associated translocation to the lysosomal compartment, it promotes cell survival by inhibiting lysosomal membrane permeabilization, a hallmark of stress-induced death. We have recently shown that Hsp70 stabilizes lysosomes by binding to the endo-lysosomal lipid bis(monoacylglycero)phosphate (BMP), an essential co-factor for lysosomal sphingolipid catabolism. The Hsp70-BMP interaction enhances the activity of acid sphingomyelinase, an important enzyme that hydrolyzes sphingomyelin. Importantly, treatment with recombinant Hsp70 effectively reverts the dramatic increase in lysosomal volume and decrease in lysosomal stability in cells from patients with Niemann-Pick disease, a genetic disorder associated with reduced acid sphingomyelinase activity. These findings give new insight into the mechanisms controlling lysosomal stability and integrity, and open new exciting possibilities for the treatment of cancer as well as Niemann-Pick disease. © 2010 Landes Bioscience.


Lukas J.,Institute of Cancer Biology
EMBO Reports | Year: 2010

The crucial role of ubiquitin signalling in genome-integrity maintenance was first recognized in 1987 by Stefan Jentsch and Alex Varshavsky, who showed that Rad6-the repair protein involved in DNA damage tolerance-is a ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme. Although this discovery inspired extensive research and led to the discovery of genome surveillance pathways that are fuelled by proteolytic and regulatory ubiquitylation and SUMOylation, it took more than two decades for these fields to meet at a dedicated interdisciplinary conference. This was rectified at an EMBO workshop held between 1 and 5 September on Red Island, Rovinj, Croatia. © 2010 European Molecular Biology Organization.

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