Abstract: Nanomedicine helps to fight diseases at the cellular and molecular level by utilizing unique properties of quasi-atomic particles at a size scale ranging from 1 to 100 nm. Nanoparticles are used in therapeutic and diagnostic approaches, referred to as theranostics. The aim of this review is to illustrate the application of general principles of nanotechnology to select examples of life sciences, molecular medicine and bio-assays. Critical aspects relating to those examples are discussed.
Abstract: HGF/c-Met system has covered, in the past two decades, multiple areas of research, from basic cell biology to clinical trials. This research topic witnessed a good deal of scientific interest and progress. [...]
Abstract: Accumulating evidence suggests that ubiquitin E3 ligases are involved in cancer development as their mutations correlate with genomic instability and genetic susceptibility to cancer. Despite significant findings of cancer-driving mutations in the BRCA1 gene, estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancers progress upon treatment with DNA damaging-cytotoxic therapies. In order to understand the underlying mechanism by which ER-positive breast cancer cells develop resistance to DNA damaging agents, we employed an estrogen receptor agonist, Erb-041, to increase the activity of ERβ and negatively regulate the expression and function of the estrogen receptor α (ERα) in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Upon Erb-041-mediated ERα down-regulation, the transcription of an ERα downstream effector, BCA2 (Breast Cancer Associated gene 2), correspondingly decreased. The ubiquitination of chromatin-bound BCA2 was induced by ultraviolet C (UVC) irradiation but suppressed by Erb-041 pretreatment, resulting in a blunted DNA damage response. Upon BCA2 silencing, DNA double-stranded breaks increased with Rad51 up-regulation and ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) activation. Mechanistically, UV-induced BCA2 ubiquitination and chromatin binding were found to promote DNA damage response and repair via the interaction of BCA2 with ATM, γH2AX and Rad51. Taken together, this study suggests that Erb-041 potentiates BCA2 dissociation from chromatin and co-localization with Rad51, resulting in inhibition of homologous recombination repair.
Abstract: The hepatocyte growth factor (HGF): MET axis is a ligand-mediated receptor tyrosine kinase pathway that is involved in multiple cellular functions, including proliferation, survival, motility, and morphogenesis. Aberrancy in the HGF/MET pathway has been reported in multiple tumor types and is associated with tumor stage and prognosis. Thus, targeting the HGF/MET pathway has become a potential therapeutic strategy in oncology development in the last two decades. A number of novel therapeutic agents—either as therapeutic proteins or small molecules that target the HGF/MET pathway—have been tested in patients with different tumor types in clinical studies. In this review, recent progress in HGF/MET pathway-targeted therapy for cancer treatment, the therapeutic potential of HGF/MET-targeted agents, and challenges in the development of such agents will be discussed.
Abstract: Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-signaling via Met can induce mitogenic, morphogenic, and motogenic activity in various cell types. Met expression in the immune system is limited to cells with antigen-presenting capacities, including dendritic cells (DCs). Thus, it appears highly conceivable that Met-signaling impacts on adaptive immune responses. However, the mechanisms by which HGF imparts its effects on immunological responses are not yet fully understood. DCs possess unique functionalities that are critically involved in controlling both tolerance and immunity. HGF conveys immunoregulatory functions, which strongly correlate with that of DCs orchestrating the apt immune response in inflammation. Therefore, this review focuses on the current knowledge of Met-signaling in DCs with specific emphasis on the morphogenic and motogenic activities. HGF has been identified to play a role in peripheral immune tolerance by directing DC differentiation towards a tolerogenic phenotype. In skin immunity, Met-signaling was shown to drive mobilization of DCs by regulating matrix metalloproteinase activities. This is strikingly reminiscent of the role of Met for regulating a cell fate program during embryonic development, wound healing, and in tumor invasion known as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Thus, the concept emerges that an EMT program is executed by Met-signaling in DCs, which will be also discussed.
Abstract: Activation of the hepatocyte growth factor/Met receptor is involved in muscle regeneration, through promotion of proliferation and inhibition of differentiation in myogenic stem cells (MSCs). We previously described that the specific expression of an oncogenic version of the Met receptor (Tpr–Met) in terminally-differentiated skeletal muscle causes muscle wasting in vivo. Here, we induced Tpr–Met in differentiated myotube cultures derived from the transgenic mouse. These cultures showed a reduced protein level of myosin heavy chain (MyHC), increased phosphorylation of Erk1,2 MAPK, the formation of giant sacs of myonuclei and the collapse of elongated myotubes. Treatment of the cultures with an inhibitor of the MAPK kinase pathway or with an inhibitor of the proteasome increased the expression levels of MyHC. In addition, the inhibition of the MAPK kinase pathway prevented the formation of myosacs and myotube collapse. Finally, we showed that induction of Tpr–Met in primary myotubes was unable to produce endoreplication in their nuclei. In conclusion, our data indicate that multinucleated, fused myotubes may be forced to disassemble their contractile apparatus by the Tpr–Met oncogenic factor, but they resist the stimulus toward the reactivation of the cell cycle.