Abstract: In this Editorial, I comment on the exciting and original topic of plant neurobiology, focusing on natural products whose biosynthesis is shared by animal and plant organisms, i.e., indoleamines (melatonin and serotonin) and catecholamines (dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine).
Abstract: The transmission of T-2 toxin and its metabolites into the edible tissues of poultry has potential effects on human health. We report that T-2 toxin significantly induces CYP1A4 and CYP1A5 expression in chicken embryonic hepatocyte cells. The enzyme activity assays of CYP1A4 and CYP1A5 heterologously expressed in HeLa cells indicate that only CYP1A5 metabolizes T-2 to 3'OH-T-2 by the 3'-hydroxylation of isovaleryl groups. In vitro enzyme assays of recombinant CYP1A5 expressed in DH5α further confirm that CYP1A5 can convert T-2 into TC-1 (3'OH-T-2). Therefore, CYP1A5 is critical for the metabolism of trichothecene mycotoxin in chickens.
Abstract: Penile carcinoma (PeCa) represents an important public health problem in poor and developing countries. Despite its unpredictable behavior and aggressive treatment, there have only been a few reports regarding its molecular data, especially epigenetic mechanisms. The functional diversity in different cell types is acquired by chromatin modifications, which are established by epigenetic regulatory mechanisms involving DNA methylation, histone acetylation, and miRNAs. Recent evidence indicates that the dysregulation in these processes can result in the development of several diseases, including cancer. Epigenetic alterations, such as the methylation of CpGs islands, may reveal candidates for the development of specific markers for cancer detection, diagnosis and prognosis. There are a few reports on the epigenetic alterations in PeCa, and most of these studies have only focused on alterations in specific genes in a limited number of cases. This review aims to provide an overview of the current knowledge of the epigenetic alterations in PeCa and the promising results in this field. The identification of epigenetically altered genes in PeCa is an important step in understanding the mechanisms involved in this unexplored disease.
Abstract: The Src gene product (Src) and the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are prototypes of oncogene products and function primarily as a cytoplasmic non-receptor tyrosine kinase and a transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinase, respectively. The identification of Src and EGFR, and the subsequent extensive investigations of these proteins have long provided cutting edge research in cancer and other molecular and cellular biological studies. In 1995, we reported that the human epidermoid carcinoma cells, A431, contain a small fraction of Src and EGFR in which these two kinase were in physical association with each other, and that Src phosphorylates EGFR on tyrosine 845 (Y845) in the Src-EGFR complex. Y845 of EGFR is located in the activation segment of the kinase domain, where many protein kinases contain kinase-activating autophosphorylation sites (e.g., cAMP-dependent protein kinase, Src family kinases, transmembrane receptor type tyrosine kinases) or trans-phosphorylation sites (e.g., cyclin-dependent protein kinase, mitogen-activated protein kinase, Akt protein kinase). A number of studies have demonstrated that Y845 phosphorylation serves an important role in cancer as well as normal cells. Here we compile the experimental facts involving Src phosphorylation of EGFR on Y845, by which cell proliferation, cell cycle control, mitochondrial regulation of cell metabolism, gamete activation and other cellular functions are regulated. We also discuss the physiological relevance, as well as structural insights of the Y845 phosphorylation.
Abstract: The deubiquitinating enzyme USP14 has been identified and biochemically studied, but its role in lung cancer remains to be elucidated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic significance of USP14 in patients with lung adenocarcinoma and to define its role in lung cancer cell proliferation. USP14 mRNA levels in different non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines were detected by real-time qPCR. USP14 protein levels in surgically resected samples from NSCLC patients, and in NSCLC cell lines, were detected by immunohistochemistry or Western blot. The correlation of USP14 expression with clinical characteristics and prognosis was determined by survival analysis. After silencing USP14, cell proliferation was assessed by MTT assay and the cell cycle was measured by FACS assay. It was found that USP14 expression was upregulated in NSCLC cells, especially in adenocarcinoma cells. Over-expression of USP14 was associated with shorter overall survival of patients. Downregulation of USP14 expression arrested the cell cycle, which may be related to β-catenin degradation. Over-expression of USP14 was associated with poor prognosis in NSCLC patients and promoted tumor cell proliferation, which suggests that USP14 is a tumor-promoting factor and a promising therapeutic target for NSCLC.
Abstract: Poly-(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB), a linear polymer of R-3-hydroxybutyrate (R-3HB), is a fundamental constituent of biological cells. Certain prokaryotes accumulate PHB of very high molecular weight (10,000 to >1,000,000 residues), which is segregated within granular deposits in the cytoplasm; however, all prokaryotes and all eukaryotes synthesize PHB of medium-chain length (~100–200 residues) which resides within lipid bilayers or lipid vesicles, and PHB of short-chain length (<12 residues) which is conjugated to proteins (cPHB), primarily proteins in membranes and organelles. The physical properties of cPHB indicate it plays important roles in the targeting and folding of cPHB-proteins. Here we review the occurrence, physical properties and molecular characteristics of cPHB, and discuss its influence on the folding and structure of outer membrane protein A (OmpA) of Escherichia coli.