AbstractThe lung is one of the most sensitive tissues to ionizing radiation, thus, radiation-induced lung injury (RILI) stays a key dose-limiting factor of thoracic radiotherapy. However, there is still little progress in the effective treatment of RILI. Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate1, Rac1, is a small guanosine triphosphatases involved in oxidative stress and apoptosis. Thus, Rac1 may be an important molecule that mediates radiation damage, inhibition of which may produce a protective effect on RILI. By establishing a mouse model of radiation-induced lung injury and orthotopic lung tumor-bearing mouse model, we detected the role of Rac1 inhibition in the protection of RILI and suppression of lung tumor. The results showed that ionizing radiation induces the nuclear translocation of Rac1, the latter then promotes nuclear translocation of P53 and prolongs the residence time of p53 in the nucleus, thereby promoting the transcription of Trp53inp1 which mediates p53-dependent apoptosis. Inhibition of Rac1 significantly reduce the apoptosis of normal lung epithelial cells, thereby effectively alleviating RILI. On the other hand, inhibition of Rac1 could also significantly inhibit the growth of lung tumor, increase the radiation sensitivity of tumor cells. These differential effects of Rac1 inhibition were related to the mutation and overexpression of Rac1 in tumor cells.
AbstractLong noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have crucial functions in the tumorigenesis and metastasis of cancers. N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification of RNA is an important epigenetic regulatory mechanism in various malignancies. Nevertheless, the mechanism of m6A-modified lncRNA in diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) has remained poorly defined. In the present study, we showed that lncRNA TRERNA1 was associated with the poor prognosis of DLBCL patients. TRERNA1 with internal m6A modification was highly correlated with the demethylase ALKBH5 expression. We further demonstrated that TRERNA1 was a potential downstream target of ALKBH5-mediated m6A modification by m6A-RNA sequencing and m6A-RIP assays. Decreased m6A methylation of TRERNA1 regulated by ALKBH5 was shown to regulate cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo. The results of mechanism analyses revealed that TRERNA1 recruited EZH2 to epigenetically silence the expression of the cyclin-dependent kinases inhibitor p21 by H3K27me3 modification of its promoter region. In addition, ALKBH5 further inhibited p21 expression. Taken together, our results elucidate the functional roles and epigenetic alterations of TRERNA1 through m6A modification in DLBCL. TRERNA1, the expression of which is upregulated by ALKBH5, acts as a scaffold that decreases p21 expression. The results of the present study provide novel targets for the diagnosis and treatment of DLBCL.
AbstractThe deubiquitinating enzyme USP15 is implicated in several human cancers by regulating different cellular processes, including splicing regulation. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of its functional relevance and the successive roles in enhanced tumorigenesis remain ambiguous. Here, we found that USP15 and its close paralog USP4 are overexpressed and facilitate lung cancer cell proliferation by regulating the alternative splicing of SRSF1. Depletion of USP15 and USP4 impair SRSF1 splicing characterized by the replacement of exon 4 with non-coding intron sequences retained at its C-terminus, resulting in an alternative isoform SRSF1-3. We observed an increased endogenous expression of SRSF1 in lung cancer cells as well, and its overexpression significantly enhanced cancer cell phenotype and rescued the depletion effect of USP15 and USP4. However, the alternatively spliced isoform SRSF1-3 was deficient in such aspects for its premature degradation through nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. The increased USP15 expression contributes to the lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) development and shows significantly lower disease-specific survival of patients with USP15 alteration. In short, we identified USP15 and USP4 as key regulators of SRSF1 alternative splicing with altered functions, which may represent the novel prognostic biomarker as well as a potential target for LUAD.
AbstractKLF4 is implicated in tumor progression of pancreatic cancer, but the molecular regulatory mechanism of KLF4 needs to be further specified. We aimed to probe molecular regulatory mechanism of KLF4 in malignant progression of pancreatic cancer. qRT-PCR or western blot was completed to test levels of predicted genes. Dual-luciferase and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays were designed to validate binding between genes. Cell viability and oncogenicity detection were used for in vitro and vivo functional assessment. KLF4 was a downstream target of miR-135b-5p. KLF4 could regulate GPRC5A level. MiR-135b-5p was notably increased in cancer cells, and overexpressing KLF4 functioned a tumor repressive role, which could be restored by miR-135b-5p. Besides, cell malignant phenotypes could be inhibited through reducing miR-135b-5p level, but they were restored by GPRC5A. Our results stressed that KLF4, as a vital target of miR-135b-5p, could influence promoter region of GPRC5A, thus affecting the malignant progression of pancreatic cancer.
AbstractAlamandine (Ala) is a novel member of the renin–angiotensin-system (RAS) family. The present study aimed to explore the effects of Ala on hypertension and renal damage of Dahl salt-sensitive (SS) rats high-salt diet-induced, and the mechanisms of Ala on renal-damage alleviation. Dahl rats were fed with high-salt diets to induce hypertension and renal damage in vivo, and HK-2 cells were treated with sodium chloride (NaCl) to induce renal injury in vitro. Ala administration alleviated the high-salt diet-induced hypertension, renal dysfunction, and renal fibrosis and apoptosis in Dahl SS rats. The HK-2 cells’ damage, and the increases in the levels of cleaved (c)-caspase3, c-caspase8, and c-poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) induced by NaCl were inhibited by Ala. Ala attenuated the NaCl-induced oxidative stress in the kidney and HK-2 cells. DETC, an inhibitor of SOD, reversed the inhibitory effect of Ala on the apoptosis of HK-2 cells induced by NaCl. The NaCl-induced increase in the PKC level was suppressed by Ala in HK-2 cells. Notably, PKC overexpression reversed the moderating effects of Ala on the NaCl-induced apoptosis of HK-2 cells. These results show that Ala alleviates high-salt diet-induced hypertension and renal dysfunction. Ala attenuates the renal damage via inhibiting the PKC/reactive oxygen species (ROS) signaling pathway, thereby suppressing the apoptosis in renal tubular cells.
AbstractPapillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is a common endocrine tumor with a rapidly increasing incidence in recent years. Although the majority of PTCs are relatively indolent and have a good prognosis, a certain proportion is highly aggressive with lymphatic metastasis, iodine resistance, and easy recurrence. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a class of noncoding RNAs that are linked to a variety of tumor processes in several cancers, including PTC. In the current study, circRNA high-throughput sequencing was performed to identify alterations in circRNA expression levels in PTC tissues. circTIAM1 was then selected because of its increased expression in PTC and association with apoptosis, proliferation, and migration of PTC cells in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, circTIAM1 acted as a sponge of microRNA-646 and functioned in PTC by targeting miR-646 and heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein A1. Fluorescence in situ hybridization and dual-luciferase reporter assays further confirmed these connections. Overall, our results reveal an important oncogenic role of circTIAM1 in PTC and may represent a potentially therapeutic target against PTC progression.
AbstractGastric cancer (GC) is a global health problem and further studies of its molecular mechanisms are needed to identify effective therapeutic targets. Although some long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been found to be involved in the progression of GC, the molecular mechanisms of many GC-related lncRNAs remain unclear. In this study, a series of in vivo and in vitro assays were performed to study the relationship between FAM225A and GC, which showed that FAM225A levels were correlated with poor prognosis in GC. Higher FAM225A expression tended to be correlated with a more profound lymphatic metastasis rate, larger tumor size, and more advanced tumor stage. FAM225A also promoted gastric cell proliferation, invasion, and migration. Further mechanistic investigation showed that FAM225A acted as a miR-326 sponge to upregulate its direct target PADI2 in GC. Overall, our findings indicated that FAM225A promoted GC development and progression via a competitive endogenous RNA network of FAM225A/miR-326/PADI2 in GC, providing insight into possible therapeutic targets and prognosis of GC.
AbstractThe human caspase family comprises 12 cysteine proteases that are centrally involved in cell death and inflammation responses. The members of this family have conserved sequences and structures, highly similar enzymatic activities and substrate preferences, and overlapping physiological roles. In this paper, we present a deep mutational scan of the executioner caspases CASP3 and CASP7 to dissect differences in their structure, function, and regulation. Our approach leverages high-throughput microfluidic screening to analyze hundreds of thousands of caspase variants in tightly controlled in vitro reactions. The resulting data provides a large-scale and unbiased view of the impact of amino acid substitutions on the proteolytic activity of CASP3 and CASP7. We use this data to pinpoint key functional differences between CASP3 and CASP7, including a secondary internal cleavage site, CASP7 Q196 that is not present in CASP3. Our results will open avenues for inquiry in caspase function and regulation that could potentially inform the development of future caspase-specific therapeutics.
AbstractRadioresistance prevails as one of the largest obstacles in the clinical treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Meanwhile, tumor-derived extracellular vesicles (TEVs) possess the ability to manipulate radioresistance in NPC. However, its mechanism remains to be further explored. Therefore, the current study set out to explore the mechanism of microRNA (miR)-142-5p delivered by TEVs in regard to the radiosensitivity of NPC. Firstly, peripheral blood samples were collected from patients with radioresistance and radiosensitivity, followed by RT-qPCR detection of miR-142-5p expression. A dual-luciferase reporter assay was carried out to elucidate the targeting relationship of miR-142-5p with HGF and EGF. In addition, radiotherapy-resistant NPC cell models were established by screening NPC cells with gradient increasing radiation exposure, and co-incubated with EVs isolated from miR-142-5p mimic-transfected NPC cells, followed by overexpression of HGF and EGF. Moreover, cell viability was detected by means of MTS, cell proliferation with a colony formation assay, cell apoptosis with flow cytometry, and expression patterns of related genes with the help of Western blot analysis. NPC xenotransplantation models in nude mice were also established by subcutaneous injection of 5-8FR cells to determine apoptosis, tumorigenicity, and radiosensitivity in nude mice. It was found that miR-142-5p was poorly expressed in peripheral blood from NPC patients with radioresistance. Mechanistic experimentation illustrated that miR-142-5p inversely targeted HGF and EGF to inactivate the HGF/c-Met and EGF/EGFR pathways, respectively. NPC cell apoptosis was observed to be augmented, while their radioresistance and proliferation were restricted by EVs-miR-142-5p or HGF silencing, or EGF silencing. Furthermore, EVs-miR-142-5p inhibited growth and radioresistance and accelerated the apoptosis of radiotherapy-resistant NPC cells in nude mice by inhibiting the HGF/c-Met and EGF/EGFR pathways. Collectively, our findings indicated that TEVs might inhibit the HGF/c-Met and EGF/EGFR pathways by delivering miR-142-5p into radiotherapy-resistant NPC cells to enhance radiosensitivity in NPC.
AbstracttRNA-derived fragments (tRFs) are new noncoding RNAs, and recent studies have shown that tRNAs and tRFs have important functions in cell metabolism via posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression. However, whether tRFs regulate cellular metabolism of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) remains elusive. The aim of this study was to investigate the role and action mechanism of tRFs in ACL cell metabolism. A tRF array was used to determine tRF expression profiles in different human ACL cells, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and fluorescence in situ hybridisation were used to determine TRF365 expression. ACL cells were transfected with a TRF365 mimic or a TRF365 inhibitor to determine whether TRF365 regulates IKBKB expression. A rescue experiment and dual-luciferase reporter assay were conducted to determine whether the 3′-untranslated region (UTR) of IKBKB has a TRF365-binding site. TRF365 was weakly expressed in osteoarthritis (OA) ACL and interleukin-1β-treated ACL cells. IKBKB was highly expressed in OA ACL and interleukin-1β-treated ACL cells; transfection with the TRF365 mimic suppressed IKBKB expression, whereas transfection with the TRF365 inhibitor had the opposite effect. A dual-luciferase reporter assay showed that TRF365 silenced the expression of IKBKB by binding to its 3′-UTR. Thus, TRF365 regulates the metabolism of ACL cells by targeting IKBKB. In summary, TRF365 may provide a new direction for the study of ACL degeneration and on the pathophysiological process of OA.