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Borralho P.M.,University of Lisbon | Simoes A.E.S.,University of Lisbon | Gomes S.E.,University of Lisbon | Lima R.T.,University of Porto | And 6 more authors.

Background: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are aberrantly expressed in human cancer and involved in the (dys)regulation of cell survival, proliferation, differentiation and death. Specifically, miRNA-143 (miR-143) is down-regulated in human colon cancer. In the present study, we evaluated the role of miR-143 overexpression on the growth of human colon carcinoma cells xenografted in nude mice (immunodeficient mouse strain: N: NIH (s) II-nu/nu). Methodology/Principal Findings: HCT116 cells with stable miR-143 overexpression (Over-143) and control (Empty) cells were subcutaneously injected into the flanks of nude mice, and tumor growth was evaluated over time. Tumors arose ~ 14 days after tumor cell implantation, and the experiment was ended at 40 days after implantation. miR-143 was confirmed to be significantly overexpressed in Over-143 versus Empty xenografts, by TaqMan® Real-time PCR (p<0.05). Importantly, Over-143 xenografts displayed slower tumor growth compared to Empty xenografts from 23 until 40 days in vivo (p<0.05), with final volumes of 928±338 and 2512±387 mm 3, respectively. Evaluation of apoptotic proteins showed that Over-143 versus Empty xenografts displayed reduced Bcl-2 levels, and increased caspase-3 activation and PARP cleavage (p<0.05). In addition, the incidence of apoptotic tumor cells, assessed by TUNEL, was increased in Over-143 versus Empty xenografts (p<0.01). Finally, Over-143 versus Empty xenografts displayed significantly reduced NF-κB activation and ERK5 levels and activation (p<0.05), as well as reduced proliferative index, evaluated by Ki-67 immunohistochemistry (p<0.01). Conclusions: Our results suggest that reduced tumor volume in Over-143 versus Empty xenografts may result from increased apoptosis and decreased proliferation induced by miR-143. This reinforces the relevance of miR-143 in colon cancer, indicating an important role in the control of in vivo tumor progression, and suggesting that miR-143 may constitute a putative novel therapeutic tool for colon cancer treatment that warrants further investigation. © 2011 Borralho et al. Source

Vieira L.,Instituto Nacional Of Saude Dr Ricardo Jorge | Vaz A.,Instituto Nacional Of Saude Dr Ricardo Jorge | Matos P.,Instituto Nacional Of Saude Dr Ricardo Jorge | Ambrosio A.P.,Instituto Nacional Of Saude Dr Ricardo Jorge | And 5 more authors.
Genes Chromosomes and Cancer

Essential thrombocythemia (ET) is a myeloproliferative neoplasm essentially characterized by excessive production of platelets. Molecular pathogenesis of ET is linked in approximately half of the patients to intracellular cytokine signaling dysregulation as a result of thrombopoietin receptor or Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) mutations. However, genetic defects underlying cytokine transcription have not been associated with ET. Using molecular cytogenetics and whole-genome array analyses, we uncovered a submicroscopic deletion at 20q13.2 in a JAK2V617F-positive ET patient with an acquired complex chromosome translocation. The deletion encompassed the nuclear factor of activated T-cells, cytoplasmic, calcineurin-dependent 2 (NFATC2) gene that encodes a transcription factor involved in the regulation of hematopoietic cytokines. RNA interference-mediated suppression of NFATC2 mRNA or pharmacological inhibition of NFATC2 protein with 11R-VIVIT in cultured JAK2V617F-positive SET-2 megakaryocytes increased colony stimulating factor 2 (granulocyte-macrophage) (CSF2) mRNA and promoted cell proliferation. Moreover, impairment of NFATC2-calcineurin interaction with 11R-VIVIT further reduced the transcription of the NFATC2 gene. Antibody-mediated neutralization of CSF2 cytokine in inhibitor-treated cells prevented 11R-VIVIT-induced cell proliferation, indicating that impairment of NFATC2-calcineurin interaction promotes megakaryocyte proliferation through up-regulation of CSF2 transcription. Our results suggest a model in which haplo-insufficiency of NFATC2 cooperates with activation of the JAK-STAT signaling pathway in the pathogenesis of JAK2V617F-positive ET with del(20q). These results further indicate that pathogenesis of ET may be linked to genetic defects of other transcription factor genes involved in the regulation of cytokine expression. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Cachaco A.S.,Instituto Portugues Of Oncologia Of Francisco Gentil | Carvalho T.,Instituto Portugues Of Oncologia Of Francisco Gentil | Santos A.C.,University of Lisbon | Igreja C.,Instituto Portugues Of Oncologia Of Francisco Gentil | And 10 more authors.

Background: Secondary bone marrow (BM) myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are increasingly common, as a result of radio or chemotherapy administered to a majority of cancer patients. Patients with secondary MDS have increased BM cell apoptosis, which results in BM dysfunction (cytopenias), and an increased risk of developing fatal acute leukemias. In the present study we asked whether TNF-α, known to regulate cell apoptosis, could modulate the onset of secondary MDS. Principal Findings:We show that TNF-α is induced by irradiation and regulates BM cells apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. In contrast to irradiated wild type (WT) mice, TNF-α deficient (TNF-α KO) mice or WT mice treated with a TNF-α-neutralizing antibody were partially protected from the apoptotic effects of irradiation. Next we established a 3-cycle irradiation protocol, in which mice were sub-lethally irradiated once monthly over a 3 month period. In this model, irradiated WT mice presented loss of microsatellite markers on BM cells, low white blood cell (WBC) counts, reduced megakaryocyte (MK) and platelet levels (thrombocytopenia) and macrocytic anemia, phenoypes that suggest the irradiation protocol resulted in BM dysfunction with clinical features of MDS. In contrast, TNF-α KO mice were protected from the irradiation effects: BM cell apoptosis following irradiation was significantly reduced, concomitant with sustained BM MK numbers and absence of other cytopenias. Moreover, irradiated WT mice with long term (≥5 months) BM dysfunction had increased BM angiogenesis, MMPs and VEGF and NFkB p65, suggestive of disease progression. Conclusion:Taken together, our data shows that TNF-α induction following irradiation modulates BM cell apoptosis and is a crucial event in BM dysfunction, secondary MDS onset and progression. © 2010 Cachaço et al. Source

Peixeiro I.,Instituto Nacional Of Saude Dr Ricardo Jorge | Peixeiro I.,University of Lisbon | Inacio A.,Instituto Nacional Of Saude Dr Ricardo Jorge | Inacio A.,University of Lisbon | And 8 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research

Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a surveillance pathway that recognizes and rapidly degrades mRNAs containing premature termination codons (PTC). The strength of the NMD response appears to reflect multiple determinants on a target mRNA. We have previously reported that mRNAs containing PTCs in close proximity to the translation initiation codon (AUG-proximal PTCs) can substantially evade NMD. Here, we explore the mechanistic basis for this NMD resistance. We demonstrate that translation termination at an AUG-proximal PTC lacks the ribosome stalling that is evident in an NMD-sensitive PTC. This difference is associated with demonstrated interactions of the cytoplasmic poly(A)-binding protein 1, PABPC1, with the cap-binding complex subunit, eIF4G and the 40S recruitment factor eIF3 as well as the ribosome release factor, eRF3. These interactions, in combination, underlie critical 3′-5′ linkage of translation initiation with efficient termination at the AUG-proximal PTC and contribute to an NMD-resistant PTC definition at an early phase of translation elongation. © 2011 The Author(s). Source

Serpa J.,Instituto Portugues Of Oncologia Of Francisco Gentil | Serpa J.,Instituto Gulbenkian Of Ciencia | Serpa J.,New University of Lisbon | Caiado F.,Instituto Portugues Of Oncologia Of Francisco Gentil | And 18 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry

The short chain fatty acid (SCFA) buyrate is a product of colonic fermentation of dietary fibers. It is the main source of energy for normal colonocytes, but cannot be metabolized by most tumor cells. Butyrate also functions as a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor to control cell proliferation and apoptosis. In consequence, butyrate and its derived drugs are used in cancer therapy. Here we show that aggressive tumor cells that retain the capacity of metabolizing butyrate are positively selected in their microenvironment. In the mouse xenograft model, butyrate-preselected human colon cancer cells gave rise to subcutaneous tumors that grew faster and were more angiogenic than those derived from untreated cells. Similarly, butyrate-preselected cells demonstrated a significant increase in rates of homing to the lung after intravenous injection. Our data showed that butyrate regulates the expression of VEGF and its receptor KDR at the transcriptional level potentially through FoxM1, resulting in the generation of a functional VEGF:KDR autocrine growth loop. Cells selected by chronic exposure to butyrate express higher levels of MMP2, MMP9, α2 and α3 integrins, and lower levels of E-cadherin, a marker for epithelial to mesenchymal transition. The orthotopic model of colon cancer showed that cells preselected by butyrate are able to colonize the animals locally and at distant organs, whereas control cells can only generate a local tumor in the cecum. Together our data shows that a butyrate-rich microenvironment may select for tumor cells that are able to metabolize butyrate, which are also phenotypically more aggressive. © 2010 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. Source

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