1,323 research outputs found

    Withaferin A Alters Intermediate Filament Organization, Cell Shape and Behavior

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    Withaferin A (WFA) is a steroidal lactone present in Withania somnifera which has been shown in vitro to bind to the intermediate filament protein, vimentin. Based upon its affinity for vimentin, it has been proposed that WFA can be used as an anti-tumor agent to target metastatic cells which up-regulate vimentin expression. We show that WFA treatment of human fibroblasts rapidly reorganizes vimentin intermediate filaments (VIF) into a perinuclear aggregate. This reorganization is dose dependent and is accompanied by a change in cell shape, decreased motility and an increase in vimentin phosphorylation at serine-38. Furthermore, vimentin lacking cysteine-328, the proposed WFA binding site, remains sensitive to WFA demonstrating that this site is not required for its cellular effects. Using analytical ultracentrifugation, viscometry, electron microscopy and sedimentation assays we show that WFA has no effect on VIF assembly in vitro. Furthermore, WFA is not specific for vimentin as it disrupts the cellular organization and induces perinuclear aggregates of several other IF networks comprised of peripherin, neurofilament-triplet protein, and keratin. In cells co-expressing keratin IF and VIF, the former are significantly less sensitive to WFA with respect to inducing perinuclear aggregates. The organization of microtubules and actin/microfilaments is also affected by WFA. Microtubules become wavier and sparser and the number of stress fibers appears to increase. Following 24 hrs of exposure to doses of WFA that alter VIF organization and motility, cells undergo apoptosis. Lower doses of the drug do not kill cells but cause them to senesce. In light of our findings that WFA affects multiple IF systems, which are expressed in many tissues of the body, caution is warranted in its use as an anti-cancer agent, since it may have debilitating organism-wide effects

    The kinome of Phytophthora infestans reveals oomycete-specific innovations and links to other taxonomic groups

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Oomycetes are a large group of economically and ecologically important species. Its most notorious member is <it>Phytophthora infestans</it>, the cause of the devastating potato late blight disease. The life cycle of <it>P. infestans </it>involves hyphae which differentiate into spores used for dispersal and host infection. Protein phosphorylation likely plays crucial roles in these stages, and to help understand this we present here a genome-wide analysis of the protein kinases of <it>P. infestans </it>and several relatives. The study also provides new insight into kinase evolution since oomycetes are taxonomically distant from organisms with well-characterized kinomes.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Bioinformatic searches of the genomes of <it>P. infestans</it>, <it>P. ramorum</it>, and <it>P. sojae </it>reveal they have similar kinomes, which for <it>P. infestans </it>contains 354 eukaryotic protein kinases (ePKs) and 18 atypical kinases (aPKs), equaling 2% of total genes. After refining gene models, most were classifiable into families seen in other eukaryotes. Some ePK families are nevertheless unusual, especially the tyrosine kinase-like (TKL) group which includes large oomycete-specific subfamilies. Also identified were two tyrosine kinases, which are rare in non-metazoans. Several ePKs bear accessory domains not identified previously on kinases, such as cyclin-dependent kinases with integral cyclin domains. Most ePKs lack accessory domains, implying that many are regulated transcriptionally. This was confirmed by mRNA expression-profiling studies that showed that two-thirds vary significantly between hyphae, sporangia, and zoospores. Comparisons to neighboring taxa (apicomplexans, ciliates, diatoms) revealed both clade-specific and conserved features, and multiple connections to plant kinases were observed. The kinome of <it>Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis</it>, an oomycete with a simpler life cycle than <it>P. infestans</it>, was found to be one-third smaller. Some differences may be attributable to gene clustering, which facilitates subfamily expansion (or loss) through unequal crossing-over.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>The large sizes of the <it>Phytophthora </it>kinomes imply that phosphorylation plays major roles in their life cycles. Their kinomes also include many novel ePKs, some specific to oomycetes or shared with neighboring groups. Little experimentation to date has addressed the biological functions of oomycete kinases, but this should be stimulated by the structural, evolutionary, and expression data presented here. This may lead to targets for disease control.</p

    Role of monocarboxylate transporters in human cancers : state of the art

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    Monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs) belong to the SLC16 gene family, presently composed by 14 members. MCT1-MCT4 are proton symporters, which mediate the transmembrane transport of pyruvate, lactate and ketone bodies. The role of MCTs in cell homeostasis has been characterized in detail in normal tissues, however, their role in cancer is still far from understood. Most solid tumors are known to rely on glycolysis for energy production and this activity leads to production of important amounts of lactate, which are exported into the extracellular milieu, contributing to the acidic microenvironment. In this context, MCTs will play a dual role in the maintenance of the hyper-glycolytic acidresistant phenotype of cancer, allowing the maintenance of the high glycolytic rates by performing lactate efflux, and pH regulation by the co-transport of protons. Thus, they constitute attractive targets for cancer therapy, which have been little explored. Here we review the literature on the role of MCTs in solid tumors in different locations, such as colon, central nervous system, breast, lung, gynecologic tract, prostate, stomach, however, there are many conflicting results and in most cases there are no functional studies showing the dependence of the tumors on MCT expression and activity. Additional studies on MCT expression in other tumor types, confirmation of the results already published as well as additional functional studies are needed to deeply understand the role of MCTs in cancer maintenance and aggressiveness

    PP2A ligand ITH12246 protects against memory impairment and focal cerebral ischemia in mice

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    ITH12246 (ethyl 5-amino-2-methyl-6,7,8,9-tetrahydrobenzo[b][1,8] naphthyridine-3-carboxylate) is a 1,8-naphthyridine described to feature an interesting neuroprotective profile in in vitro models of Alzheimer's disease. These effects were proposed to be due in part to a regulatory action on protein phosphatase 2A inhibition, as it prevented binding of its inhibitor okadaic acid. We decided to investigate the pharmacological properties of ITH12246, evaluating its ability to counteract the memory impairment evoked by scopolamine, a muscarinic antagonist described to promote memory loss, as well as to reduce the infarct volume in mice suffering phototrombosis. Prior to conducting these experiments, we confirmed its in vitro neuroprotective activity against both oxidative stress and Ca2+ overload-derived excitotoxicity, using SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells and rat hippocampal slices. Using a predictive model of blood-brain barrier crossing, it seems that the passage of ITH12246 is not hindered. Its potential hepatotoxicity was observed only at very high concentrations, from 0.1 mM. ITH12246, at the concentration of 10 mg/kg i.p., was able to improve the memory index of mice treated with scopolamine, from 0.22 to 0.35, in a similar fashion to the well-known Alzheimer's disease drug galantamine 2.5 mg/kg. On the other hand, ITH12246, at the concentration of 2.5 mg/kg, reduced the phototrombosis-triggered infarct volume by 67%. In the same experimental conditions, 15 mg/kg melatonin, used as control standard, reduced the infarct volume by 30%. All of these findings allow us to consider ITH12246 as a new potential drug for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, which would act as a multifactorial neuroprotectant.Peer Reviewe

    Beam test performance of a prototype module with Short Strip ASICs for the CMS HL-LHC tracker upgrade

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    The Short Strip ASIC (SSA) is one of the four front-end chips designed for the upgrade of the CMS Outer Tracker for the High Luminosity LHC. Together with the Macro-Pixel ASIC (MPA) it will instrument modules containing a strip and a macro-pixel sensor stacked on top of each other. The SSA provides both full readout of the strip hit information when triggered, and, together with the MPA, correlated clusters called stubs from the two sensors for use by the CMS Level-1 (L1) trigger system. Results from the first prototype module consisting of a sensor and two SSA chips are presented. The prototype module has been characterized at the Fermilab Test Beam Facility using a 120 GeV proton beam

    Test beam performance of a CBC3-based mini-module for the Phase-2 CMS Outer Tracker before and after neutron irradiation

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    The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN will undergo major upgrades to increase the instantaneous luminosity up to 5–7.5×1034^{34} cm−2^{-2}s−1^{-1}. This High Luminosity upgrade of the LHC (HL-LHC) will deliver a total of 3000–4000 fb-1 of proton-proton collisions at a center-of-mass energy of 13–14 TeV. To cope with these challenging environmental conditions, the strip tracker of the CMS experiment will be upgraded using modules with two closely-spaced silicon sensors to provide information to include tracking in the Level-1 trigger selection. This paper describes the performance, in a test beam experiment, of the first prototype module based on the final version of the CMS Binary Chip front-end ASIC before and after the module was irradiated with neutrons. Results demonstrate that the prototype module satisfies the requirements, providing efficient tracking information, after being irradiated with a total fluence comparable to the one expected through the lifetime of the experiment

    Selection of the silicon sensor thickness for the Phase-2 upgrade of the CMS Outer Tracker

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    During the operation of the CMS experiment at the High-Luminosity LHC the silicon sensors of the Phase-2 Outer Tracker will be exposed to radiation levels that could potentially deteriorate their performance. Previous studies had determined that planar float zone silicon with n-doped strips on a p-doped substrate was preferred over p-doped strips on an n-doped substrate. The last step in evaluating the optimal design for the mass production of about 200 m2^{2} of silicon sensors was to compare sensors of baseline thickness (about 300 ÎŒm) to thinned sensors (about 240 ÎŒm), which promised several benefits at high radiation levels because of the higher electric fields at the same bias voltage. This study provides a direct comparison of these two thicknesses in terms of sensor characteristics as well as charge collection and hit efficiency for fluences up to 1.5 × 1015^{15} neq_{eq}/cm2^{2}. The measurement results demonstrate that sensors with about 300 ÎŒm thickness will ensure excellent tracking performance even at the highest considered fluence levels expected for the Phase-2 Outer Tracker

    Combined searches for the production of supersymmetric top quark partners in proton–proton collisions at √s=13Te