METHODS AND RESULTS: Selective agonists of PKA and EPAC synergistically inhibited Egr1 expression, which was essential for VSMC proliferation. Forskolin, adenosine, A2B receptor agonist BAY60-6583 and Cicaprost also inhibited Egr1 expression in VSMC but not in endothelial cells. Inhibition of Egr1 by cAMP was independent of cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) activity but dependent on inhibition of serum response element (SRE) activity. SRF binding to the Egr1 promoter was not modulated by cAMP stimulation. However, Egr1 expression was dependent on the SRF co-factors Elk1 and 4 but independent of MAL. Inhibition of SRE-dependent Egr1 expression was due to synergistic inhibition of Rac1 activity by PKA and EPAC, resulting in rapid cytoskeleton remodelling and nuclear export of ERK1/2. This was associated with de-phosphorylation of the SRF co-factor Elk1.
CONCLUSION: cAMP inhibits VSMC proliferation by rapidly inhibiting Egr1 expression. This occurs, at least in part, via inhibition of Rac1 activity leading to rapid actin-cytoskeleton remodelling, nuclear export of ERK1/2, impaired Elk1-phosphorylation and inhibition of SRE activity. This identifies one of the earliest mechanisms underlying the anti-mitogenic effects of cAMP in VSMC but not in endothelial cells, making it an attractive target for selective inhibition of VSMC proliferation.
METHODS: Blood and pancreas were collected from adult male diabetic rats receiving 28days treatment with VVSAE orally. Fasting blood glucose (FBG), glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), insulin and lipid profile levels and activity levels of anti-oxidative enzymes (superoxide dismutase-SOD, catalase-CAT and glutathione peroxidase-GPx) in the pancreas were determined by biochemical assays. Histopathological changes in the pancreas were examined under light microscopy and levels of insulin, glucose transporter (GLUT)-2, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, Ikkβ and caspase-3 mRNA and protein were analyzed by real-time PCR (qPCR) and immunohistochemistry respectively. Radical scavenging activity of VVSAE was evaluated by in-vitro anti-oxidant assay while gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was used to identify the major compounds in the extract.
RESULTS: GC-MS analyses indicated the presence of compounds that might exert anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptosis effects. Near normal FBG, HbAIc, lipid profile and serum insulin levels with lesser signs of pancreatic destruction were observed following administration of VVSAE to diabetic rats. Higher insulin, GLUT-2, SOD, CAT and GPx levels but lower TNF-α, Ikkβ and caspase-3 levels were also observed in the pancreas of VVSAE-treated diabetic rats (p<0.05 compared to non-treated diabetic rats). The extract possesses high in-vitro radical scavenging activities.
CONCLUSION: In conclusions, administration of VVSAE to diabetic rats could help to protect the pancreas against oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis-induced damage while preserving pancreatic function near normal in diabetes.
RESULTS: We show that Rasd1 is expressed in vasopressin neurons of the PVN and SON, within which mRNA levels are induced by hyperosmotic cues. Dexamethasone treatment of AtT20 cells decreased forskolin stimulation of c-Fos, Nr4a1 and phosphorylated CREB expression, effects that were mimicked by overexpression of Rasd1, and inhibited by knockdown of Rasd1. These effects were dependent upon isoprenylation, as both farnesyltransferase inhibitor FTI-277 and CAAX box deletion prevented Rasd1 inhibition of cAMP-induced gene expression. Injection of lentiviral vector into rat SON expressing Rasd1 diminished, whereas CAAX mutant increased, cAMP inducible genes in response to osmotic stress.
CONCLUSIONS: We have identified two mechanisms of Rasd1 induction in the hypothalamus, one by elevated glucocorticoids in response to stress, and one in response to increased plasma osmolality resulting from osmotic stress. We propose that the abundance of RASD1 in vasopressin expressing neurons, based on its inhibitory actions on CREB phosphorylation, is an important mechanism for controlling the transcriptional responses to stressors in both the PVN and SON. These effects likely occur through modulation of cAMP-PKA-CREB signaling pathway in the brain.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The cytotoxic effect of thymoquinone was assessed using an MTT assay, while the inhibitory effect of thymoquinone on murine WEHI-3 cell growth was due to the induction of apoptosis, as evidenced by chromatin condensation dye, Hoechst 33342 and acridine orange/propidium iodide fluorescent staining. In addition, Annexin V staining for early apoptosis was performed using flowcytometric analysis. Apoptosis was found to be associated with the cell cycle arrest at the S phase. Expression of Bax, Bcl2 and HSP 70 proteins were observed by western blotting. The effects of thymoquinone on BALB/c mice injected with WEHI-3 cells were indicated by the decrease in the body, spleen and liver weights of the animal, as compared to the control.
CONCLUSION: Thymoquinone promoted natural killer cell activities. This compound showed high toxicity against WEHI-3 cell line which was confirmed by an increase of the early apoptosis, followed by up-regulation of the anti-apoptotic protein, Bcl2, and down-regulation of the apoptotic protein, Bax. On the other hand, high reduction of the spleen and liver weight, and significant histopathology study of spleen and liver confirmed that thymoquinone inhibited WEHI-3 growth in the BALB/c mice. Results from this study highlight the potential of thymoquinone to be developed as an anti-leukemic agent.
METHODS: MCF-7 and MDA-MB231 cells were treated with several concentrations of FKA. The apoptotic analysis was done through the MTT assay, BrdU assay, Annexin V analysis, cell cycle analysis, JC-1 mitochondrial dye, AO/PI dual staining, caspase 8/9 fluorometric assay, quantitative real time PCR and western blot. For the metastatic assays, the in vitro scratch assay, trans-well migration/invasion assay, HUVEC tube formation assay, ex vivo rat aortic ring assay, quantitative real time PCR and western blot were employed.
RESULTS: We have investigated the effects of FKA on the apoptotic and metastatic process in two breast cancer cell lines. FKA induces apoptosis in both MCF-7 and MDA-MB231 in a dose dependent manner through the intrinsic mitochondrial pathway. Additionally, FKA selectively induces a G2/M arrest in the cell cycle machinery of MDA-MB231 and G1 arrest in MCF-7. This suggests that FKA's anti-cancer activity is dependent on the p53 status. Moreover, FKA also halted the migration and invasion process in MDA-MB231. The similar effects can be seen in the inhibition of the angiogenesis process as well.
CONCLUSIONS: FKA managed to induce apoptosis and inhibit the metastatic process in two breast cancer cell lines, in vitro. Overall, FKA may serve as a promising candidate in the search of a new anti-cancer drug especially in halting the metastatic process but further in vivo evidence is needed.