Publications by authors named "Amanda J Blackwelder"

8 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

In Utero exposure to low-dose alcohol induces reprogramming of mammary development and tumor risk in MMTV-erbB-2 transgenic mice.

Int J Mol Sci 2015 Apr 7;16(4):7655-71. Epub 2015 Apr 7.

Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute and Department of Biology, North Carolina Central University, Kannapolis, NC 28081, USA.

There is increasing evidence that prenatal exposure to environmental factors may modify breast cancer risk later in life. This study aimed to investigate the effects of in utero exposure to low-dose alcohol on mammary development and tumor risk. Pregnant MMTV-erbB-2 mice were exposed to alcohol (6 g/kg/day) between day 13 and day 19 of gestation, and the female offspring were examined for tumor risk. Whole mount analysis indicated that in utero exposure to low-dose alcohol induced significant increases in ductal extension at 10 weeks of age. Molecular analysis showed that in utero alcohol exposure induced upregulation of ERα signaling and activation of Akt and Erk1/2 in pubertal mammary glands. However, enhanced signaling in the EGFR/erbB-2 pathway appeared to be more prominent in 10-week-old glands than did signaling in the other pathways. Interestingly, tumor development in mice with in utero exposure to low-dose alcohol was slightly delayed compared to control mice, but tumor multiplicity was increased. The results indicate that in utero exposure to low-dose alcohol induces the reprogramming of mammary development by mechanisms that include altered signaling in the estrogen receptor (ER) and erbB-2 pathways. The intriguing tumor development pattern might be related to alcohol dose and exposure conditions, and warrants further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms16047655DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425041PMC
April 2015

Metformin selectively targets tumor-initiating cells in ErbB2-overexpressing breast cancer models.

Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 2014 Feb 9;7(2):199-210. Epub 2013 Dec 9.

Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina Research Campus, 500 Laureate Way, Room 4301, Kannapolis, NC 28081.

Metformin is an oral biguanide used for type II diabetes. Epidemiologic studies suggest a link between metformin use and reduced risk of breast and other types of cancers. ErbB2-expressing breast cancer is a subgroup of tumors with poor prognosis. Previous studies demonstrated that metformin is a potent inhibitor of ErbB2-overexpressing breast cancer cells; metformin treatment extends the life span and impedes mammary tumor development in ErbB2 transgenic mice in vivo. However, the mechanisms of metformin associated antitumor activity, especially in prevention models, remain unclear. We report here for the first time that systemic administration of metformin selectively inhibits CD61(high)/CD49f(high) subpopulation, a group of tumor-initiating cells (TIC) of mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-ErbB2 mammary tumors, in preneoplastic mammary glands. Metformin also inhibited CD61(high)/CD49f(high) subpopulation in MMTV-ErbB2 tumor-derived cells, which was correlated with their compromised tumor initiation/development in a syngeneic tumor graft model. Molecular analysis indicated that metformin induced downregulation of ErbB2 and EGFR expression and inhibited the phosphorylation of ErbB family members, insulin-like growth factor-1R, AKT, mTOR, and STAT3 in vivo. In vitro data indicate that low doses of metformin inhibited the self-renewal/proliferation of cancer stem cells (CSC)/TICs in ErbB2-overexpressing breast cancer cells. We further demonstrated that the expression and activation of ErbB2 were preferentially increased in CSC/TIC-enriched tumorsphere cells, which promoted their self-renewal/proliferation and rendered them more sensitive to metformin. Our results, especially the in vivo data, provide fundamental support for developing metformin-mediated preventive strategies targeting ErbB2-associated carcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-13-0181DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4497590PMC
February 2014

Proto-oncogene activity of melanoma antigen-A11 (MAGE-A11) regulates retinoblastoma-related p107 and E2F1 proteins.

J Biol Chem 2013 Aug 12;288(34):24809-24. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, Department of Pediatrics, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.

Melanoma antigen-A11 (MAGE-A11) is a low-abundance, primate-specific steroid receptor coregulator in normal tissues of the human reproductive tract that is expressed at higher levels in prostate cancer. Increased expression of MAGE-A11 enhances androgen receptor transcriptional activity and promotes prostate cancer cell growth. Further investigation into the mechanisms of MAGE-A11 function in prostate cancer demonstrated interactions with the retinoblastoma-related protein p107 and Rb tumor suppressor but no interaction with p130 of the Rb family. MAGE-A11 interaction with p107 was associated with transcriptional repression in cells with low MAGE-A11 and transcriptional activation in cells with higher MAGE-A11. Selective interaction of MAGE-A11 with retinoblastoma family members suggested the regulation of E2F transcription factors. MAGE-A11 stabilized p107 by inhibition of ubiquitination and linked p107 to hypophosphorylated E2F1 in association with the stabilization and activation of E2F1. The androgen receptor and MAGE-A11 modulated endogenous expression of the E2F1-regulated cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27(Kip1). The ability of MAGE-A11 to increase E2F1 transcriptional activity was similar to the activity of adenovirus early oncoprotein E1A and depended on MAGE-A11 interactions with p107 and p300. The immunoreactivity of p107 and MAGE-A11 was greater in advanced prostate cancer than in benign prostate, and knockdown with small inhibitory RNA showed that p107 is a transcriptional activator in prostate cancer cells. These results suggest that MAGE-A11 is a proto-oncogene whose increased expression in prostate cancer reverses retinoblastoma-related protein p107 from a transcriptional repressor to a transcriptional activator of the androgen receptor and E2F1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M113.468579DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3750176PMC
August 2013

Melanoma antigen-A11 (MAGE-A11) enhances transcriptional activity by linking androgen receptor dimers.

J Biol Chem 2013 Jan 21;288(3):1939-52. Epub 2012 Nov 21.

Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7500, USA.

Prostate cancer growth and progression depend on androgen receptor (AR) signaling through transcriptional mechanisms that require interactions with coregulatory proteins, one of which is the primate-specific steroid receptor coregulator melanoma antigen-A11 (MAGE-A11). In this report, we provide evidence how increased expression of MAGE-A11 during prostate cancer progression enhances AR signaling and prostate cancer growth. MAGE-A11 protein levels were highest in castration-recurrent prostate cancer. The cyclic AMP-induced increase in androgen-dependent and androgen-independent AR transcriptional activity correlated with an increase in MAGE-A11 and was inhibited by silencing MAGE-A11 expression. MAGE-A11 mediated synergistic AR transcriptional activity in LAPC-4 prostate cancer cells. The ability of MAGE-A11 to rescue transcriptional activity of complementary inactive AR mutants and promote coimmunoprecipitation between unlike forms of AR suggests that MAGE-A11 links transcriptionally active AR dimers. A model for the AR·MAGE-A11 multidimeric complex is proposed in which one AR FXXLF motif of the AR dimer engages in the androgen-dependent AR NH(2)- and carboxyl-terminal interaction, whereas the second FXXLF motif region of the AR dimer interacts with dimeric MAGE-A11. The AR·MAGE-A11 multidimeric complex accounts for the dual functions of the AR FXXLF motif in the androgen-dependent AR NH(2)- and carboxyl-terminal interaction and binding MAGE-A11 and for synergy between reported AR splice variants and full-length AR. We conclude that the increased expression of MAGE-A11 in castration-recurrent prostate cancer, which is enhanced by cyclic AMP signaling, increases AR-dependent growth of prostate cancer by MAGE-A11 forming a molecular bridge between transcriptionally active AR dimers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M112.428409DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3548502PMC
January 2013

Primate-specific melanoma antigen-A11 regulates isoform-specific human progesterone receptor-B transactivation.

J Biol Chem 2012 Oct 13;287(41):34809-24. Epub 2012 Aug 13.

Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.

Progesterone acting through the progesterone receptor (PR) and its coregulators prepares the human endometrium for receptivity to embryo implantation and maintains pregnancy. The menstrual cycle-dependent expression of melanoma antigen-A11 (MAGE-11) in the mid-secretory human endometrium suggested a novel function in human PR signaling. Here we show that MAGE-11 is an isoform-specific coregulator responsible for the greater transcriptional activity of human PR-B relative to PR-A. PR was recruited to progesterone response regions of progesterone-regulated FK506-binding protein 5 (FKBP5) immunophilin and small Ras family G protein cell growth inhibitor RASD1 genes. Expression of MAGE-11 lentivirus shRNA in human endometrial Ishikawa cells expressing PR-B showed that MAGE-11 is required for isoform-specific PR-B up-regulation of FKBP5. In contrast, MAGE-11 was not required for progesterone up-regulation of RASD1 in endometrial cells expressing the PR-A/B heterodimer. Target gene specificity of PR-B depended on the synergistic actions of MAGE-11 and p300 mediated by the unique PR-B NH(2)-terminal (110)LLXXVLXXLL(119) motif that interacts with the MAGE-11 F-box region in a phosphorylation- and ubiquitinylation-dependent manner. A progesterone-dependent mechanism is proposed in which MAGE-11 and p300 increase PR-B up-regulation of the FKBP5 gene. MAGE-11 down-regulates PR-B, similar to the effects of progesterone, and interacts with FKBP5 to stabilize a complex with PR-B. We conclude that the coregulator function of MAGE-11 extends to isoform-specific regulation of PR-B during the cyclic development of the human endometrium.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M112.372797DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3464583PMC
October 2012

Androgen receptor exon 1 mutation causes androgen insensitivity by creating phosphorylation site and inhibiting melanoma antigen-A11 activation of NH2- and carboxyl-terminal interaction-dependent transactivation.

J Biol Chem 2012 Mar 13;287(14):10905-15. Epub 2012 Feb 13.

Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7500, USA.

Naturally occurring germ line mutations in the X-linked human androgen receptor (AR) gene cause incomplete masculinization of the external genitalia by disrupting AR function in males with androgen insensitivity syndrome. Almost all AR missense mutations that cause androgen insensitivity syndrome are located in the highly structured DNA and ligand binding domains. In this report we investigate the functional defect associated with an AR exon 1 missense mutation, R405S, that caused partial androgen insensitivity. The 46,XX heterozygous maternal carrier had a wild-type Arg-405 CGC allele but transmitted an AGC mutant allele coding for Ser-405. At birth, the 46,XY proband had a bifid scrotum, hypospadias, and micropenis consistent with clinical stage 3 partial androgen insensitivity. Androgen-dependent transcriptional activity of AR-R405S expressed in CV1 cells was less than wild-type AR and refractory in androgen-dependent AR NH(2)- and carboxyl interaction transcription assays that depend on the coregulator effects of melanoma antigen-A11. This mutation created a Ser-405 phosphorylation site evident by the gel migration of an AR-R405S NH(2)-terminal fragment as a double band that converted to the wild-type single band after treatment with λ-phosphatase. Detrimental effects of the R405S mutation were related to the proximity of the AR WXXLF motif (433)WHTLF(437) required for melanoma antigen-A11 and p300 to stimulate transcriptional activity associated with the AR NH(2)- and carboxyl-terminal interaction. We conclude that the coregulator effects of melanoma antigen-A11 on the AR NH(2)- and carboxyl-terminal interaction amplify the androgen-dependent transcriptional response to p300 required for normal human male sex development in utero.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M111.336081DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3322816PMC
March 2012

Gain in transcriptional activity by primate-specific coevolution of melanoma antigen-A11 and its interaction site in androgen receptor.

J Biol Chem 2011 Aug 5;286(34):29951-63. Epub 2011 Jul 5.

Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7500, USA.

Male sex development and growth occur in response to high affinity androgen binding to the androgen receptor (AR). In contrast to complete amino acid sequence conservation in the AR DNA and ligand binding domains among mammals, a primate-specific difference in the AR NH(2)-terminal region that regulates the NH(2)- and carboxyl-terminal (N/C) interaction enables direct binding to melanoma antigen-A11 (MAGE-11), an AR coregulator that is also primate-specific. Human, mouse, and rat AR share the same NH(2)-terminal (23)FQNLF(27) sequence that mediates the androgen-dependent N/C interaction. However, the mouse and rat AR FXXLF motif is flanked by Ala(33) that evolved to Val(33) in primates. Human AR Val(33) was required to interact directly with MAGE-11 and for the inhibitory effect of the AR N/C interaction on activation function 2 that was relieved by MAGE-11. The functional importance of MAGE-11 was indicated by decreased human AR regulation of an androgen-dependent endogenous gene using lentivirus short hairpin RNAs and by the greater transcriptional strength of human compared with mouse AR. MAGE-11 increased progesterone and glucocorticoid receptor activity independently of binding an FXXLF motif by interacting with p300 and p160 coactivators. We conclude that the coevolution of the AR NH(2)-terminal sequence and MAGE-11 expression among primates provides increased regulatory control over activation domain dominance. Primate-specific expression of MAGE-11 results in greater steroid receptor transcriptional activity through direct interactions with the human AR FXXLF motif region and indirectly through steroid receptor-associated p300 and p160 coactivators.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M111.244715DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3191036PMC
August 2011

Transcriptional synergy between melanoma antigen gene protein-A11 (MAGE-11) and p300 in androgen receptor signaling.

J Biol Chem 2010 Jul 6;285(28):21824-36. Epub 2010 May 6.

Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.

Androgen receptor (AR)-mediated gene regulation involves interactions with coregulatory proteins that include the melanoma antigen gene protein-A11 (MAGE-11). To understand the functional significance of sequence similarity between MAGE-11 and the adenovirus early protein E1A, we determined whether MAGE-11 contributes to AR transcriptional activity through an interaction with p300, a potent and ubiquitous transcriptional regulator. Here, we report that MAGE-11 interacts with the NH(2)-terminal region of p300 through the MAGE-11 MXXIF motif (185)MXXIF(189), with transcriptional activity depending on the MAGE-11 F-box and MAPK phosphorylation. The MAGE-11- and p300-dependent increase in AR transactivation required the NH(2)-terminal regions of AR and p300, p300 acetyltransferase activity, and the AR FXXLF motif (23)FQNLF(27) interaction with MAGE-11. MAGE-11 linked AR to p300 and the p160 coactivator, transcriptional intermediary protein 2 (TIF2). The p300 NH(2)-terminal FXXLF motif (33)FGSLF(37) was required for transcriptional activation by TIF2. Increased expression of p300 decreased the ubiquitinylation of MAGE-11 and transiently increased endogenous MAGE-11 levels. Autoacetylation of p300 and decreased acetylation of TIF2 were evident in the MAGE-11, p300, and TIF2 complex. The studies suggest that MAGE-11 links NH(2)-terminal domains of AR and p300 to promote transcriptional synergy through a cadre of FXXLF-related interacting motifs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M110.120600DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2898404PMC
July 2010