Publications by authors named "Junichiro Mizuguchi"

76 Publications

Differential regulation of T-cell dependent and T-cell independent antibody responses through arginine methyltransferase PRMT1 in vivo.

FEBS Lett 2016 04 8;590(8):1200-10. Epub 2016 Apr 8.

Department of Immunology, Tokyo Medical University, Japan.

Protein arginine methyltransferase 1 (PRMT1), a major PRMT in mammalian cells, has been shown to play a crucial role in multiple biological functions in vitro. To explore the role of PRMT1 in B cells in vivo, we generated B cell-specific PRMT1-deficient (Prmt1(-/-) ) mice using a Cre-loxP system. Prmt1(-/-) mice showed a defect in B-cell development with diminished levels of serum antibodies. Antibody responses in Prmt1(-/-) mice were absent after stimulation with the type 2 T cell-independent antigen NP-Ficoll but intact after stimulation with the T cell-dependent antigen NP-OVA. Our findings comprise the first evidence showing that PRMT1 is necessary for lymphocyte functions in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1873-3468.12161DOI Listing
April 2016

Environment-induced epigenetic reprogramming in genomic regulatory elements in smoking mothers and their children.

Mol Syst Biol 2016 Mar 24;12(3):861. Epub 2016 Mar 24.

Department of Environmental Immunology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig - UFZ, Leipzig, Germany

Epigenetic mechanisms have emerged as links between prenatal environmental exposure and disease risk later in life. Here, we studied epigenetic changes associated with maternal smoking at base pair resolution by mapping DNA methylation, histone modifications, and transcription in expectant mothers and their newborn children. We found extensive global differential methylation and carefully evaluated these changes to separate environment associated from genotype-related DNA methylation changes. Differential methylation is enriched in enhancer elements and targets in particular "commuting" enhancers having multiple, regulatory interactions with distal genes. Longitudinal whole-genome bisulfite sequencing revealed that DNA methylation changes associated with maternal smoking persist over years of life. Particularly in children prenatal environmental exposure leads to chromatin transitions into a hyperactive state. Combined DNA methylation, histone modification, and gene expression analyses indicate that differential methylation in enhancer regions is more often functionally translated than methylation changes in promoters or non-regulatory elements. Finally, we show that epigenetic deregulation of a commuting enhancer targeting c-Jun N-terminal kinase 2 (JNK2) is linked to impaired lung function in early childhood.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4812527PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.15252/msb.20156520DOI Listing
March 2016

Promotion of Expansion and Differentiation of Hematopoietic Stem Cells by Interleukin-27 into Myeloid Progenitors to Control Infection in Emergency Myelopoiesis.

PLoS Pathog 2016 Mar 18;12(3):e1005507. Epub 2016 Mar 18.

Department of Immunoregulation, Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo, Japan.

Emergency myelopoiesis is inflammation-induced hematopoiesis to replenish myeloid cells in the periphery, which is critical to control the infection with pathogens. Previously, pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interferon (IFN)-α and IFN-γ were demonstrated to play a critical role in the expansion of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and myeloid progenitors, leading to production of mature myeloid cells, although their inhibitory effects on hematopoiesis were also reported. Therefore, the molecular mechanism of emergency myelopoiesis during infection remains incompletely understood. Here, we clarify that one of the interleukin (IL)-6/IL-12 family cytokines, IL-27, plays an important role in the emergency myelopoiesis. Among various types of hematopoietic cells in bone marrow, IL-27 predominantly and continuously promoted the expansion of only Lineage-Sca-1+c-Kit+ (LSK) cells, especially long-term repopulating HSCs and myeloid-restricted progenitor cells with long-term repopulating activity, and the differentiation into myeloid progenitors in synergy with stem cell factor. These progenitors expressed myeloid transcription factors such as Spi1, Gfi1, and Cebpa/b through activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 and 3, and had enhanced potential to differentiate into migratory dendritic cells (DCs), neutrophils, and mast cells, and less so into macrophages, and basophils, but not into plasmacytoid DCs, conventional DCs, T cells, and B cells. Among various cytokines, IL-27 in synergy with the stem cell factor had the strongest ability to augment the expansion of LSK cells and their differentiation into myeloid progenitors retaining the LSK phenotype over a long period of time. The experiments using mice deficient for one of IL-27 receptor subunits, WSX-1, and IFN-γ revealed that the blood stage of malaria infection enhanced IL-27 expression through IFN-γ production, and the IL-27 then promoted the expansion of LSK cells, differentiating and mobilizing them into spleen, resulting in enhanced production of neutrophils to control the infection. Thus, IL-27 is one of the limited unique cytokines directly acting on HSCs to promote differentiation into myeloid progenitors during emergency myelopoiesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1005507DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4798290PMC
March 2016

Vaccination with OVA-bound nanoparticles encapsulating IL-7 inhibits the growth of OVA-expressing E.G7 tumor cells in vivo.

Oncol Rep 2015 Jan 12;33(1):292-6. Epub 2014 Nov 12.

Department of Immunology, Tokyo Medical University, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8402, Japan.

Immunotherapy has gained special attention due to its specific effects on tumor cells and systemic action to block metastasis. We recently demonstrated that ovalbumin (OVA) conjugated to the surface of nanoparticles (NPs) (OVA‑NPs) can manipulate humoral immune responses. In the present study, we aimed to ascertain whether vaccination with OVA-NPs entrapping IL-7 (OVA-NPs-IL-7) are able to induce antitumor immune responses in vivo. Pretreatment with a subcutaneous inoculation of OVA-NPs delayed the growth of thymic lymphoma cells expressing a model tumor antigen OVA (E.G7-OVA), and OVA-NPs-IL-7 substantially blocked the growth of E.G7-OVA tumor cells, although NPs-IL-7 alone had a meager effect, as assessed by the mean tumor size and the percentage of tumor-free mice. However, pretreatment with OVA-NPs-IL-7 failed to reduce the growth of parental thymic tumor cells, suggesting that the antitumor effect was antigen-specific. A tetramer assay revealed that vaccination with OVA-NPs-IL-7 tended to enhance the proportion of cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) specific for OVA. When the tumor-free mice inoculated with OVA-NPs-IL-7 plus EG.7 cells were rechallenged with E.G7-OVA cells, they demonstrated reduced growth compared with that in the control mice. Thus, a single subcutaneous injection of OVA-NPs-IL-7 into mice induced tumor-specific and also memory-like immune responses, resulting in regression of tumor cells. Antigens on NPs entrapping IL-7 would be a promising carrier to develop and enhance immune responses, including humoral and cellular immunity as well as a method of drug delivery to a specific target of interest.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/or.2014.3603DOI Listing
January 2015

OVA-bound nanoparticles induce OVA-specific IgG1, IgG2a, and IgG2b responses with low IgE synthesis.

Vaccine 2014 Oct 6;32(45):5918-24. Epub 2014 Sep 6.

Department of Immunology, Tokyo Medical University, 6-1-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8402, Japan. Electronic address:

There is an urgent requirement for a novel vaccine that can stimulate immune responses without unwanted toxicity, including IgE elevation. We examined whether antigen ovalbumin (OVA) conjugated to the surface of nanoparticles (NPs) (OVA-NPs) with average diameter of 110nm would serve as an immune adjuvant. When BALB/c mice were immunized with OVA-NPs, they developed sufficient levels of OVA-specific IgG1 antibody responses with low levels of IgE synthesis, representing helper T (Th)2-mediated humoral immunity. OVA-specific IgG2a and IgG2b responses (i.e., Th1-mediated immunity) were also induced by secondary immunization with OVA-NPs. As expected, immunization with OVA in alum (OVA-alum) stimulated humoral immune responses, including IgG1 and IgE antibodies, with only low levels of IgG2a/IgG2b antibodies. CD4-positive T cells from mice primed with OVA-NPs produced substantial levels of IL-21 and IL-4, comparable to those from OVA-alum group. The irradiated mice receiving OVA-NPs-primed B cells together with OVA-alum-primed T cells exhibited enhanced anti-OVA IgG2b responses relative to OVA-alum-primed B cells and T cells following stimulation with OVA-NPs. Moreover, when OVA-NPs-primed, but not OVA-alum-primed, B cells were cultured in the presence of anti-CD40 monoclonal antibody, IL-4, and IL-21, or LPS plus TGF-β in vitro, OVA-specific IgG1 or IgG2b antibody responses were elicited, suggesting that immunization with OVA-NPs modulates B cells to generate IgG1 and IgG2b responses. Thus, OVA-NPs might exert their adjuvant action on B cells, and they represent a promising potential vaccine for generating both IgG1 and IgG2a/IgG2b antibody responses with low IgE synthesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.08.059DOI Listing
October 2014

Immunosurveillance markers may predict patients who can discontinue imatinib therapy without relapse.

Oncoimmunology 2014;3:e28861. Epub 2014 May 14.

Department of Hematology; Tokyo Medical University; Tokyo, Japan.

Tyrosine kinase inhibitors have dramatically improved the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia. Recent evidence revealed that some patients with chronic myeloid leukemia can stop imatinib without relapse after achieving a complete molecular response. This review discusses the possible predictive markers to identify these patients who can stop imatinib without relapse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/onci.28861DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4091524PMC
May 2014

Phosphorylation of the adaptor ASC acts as a molecular switch that controls the formation of speck-like aggregates and inflammasome activity.

Nat Immunol 2013 Dec 3;14(12):1247-55. Epub 2013 Nov 3.

1] Department of Microbiology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan. [2].

The inflammasome adaptor ASC contributes to innate immunity through the activation of caspase-1. Here we found that signaling pathways dependent on the kinases Syk and Jnk were required for the activation of caspase-1 via the ASC-dependent inflammasomes NLRP3 and AIM2. Inhibition of Syk or Jnk abolished the formation of ASC specks without affecting the interaction of ASC with NLRP3. ASC was phosphorylated during inflammasome activation in a Syk- and Jnk-dependent manner, which suggested that Syk and Jnk are upstream of ASC phosphorylation. Moreover, phosphorylation of Tyr144 in mouse ASC was critical for speck formation and caspase-1 activation. Our results suggest that phosphorylation of ASC controls inflammasome activity through the formation of ASC specks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ni.2749DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4813763PMC
December 2013

IL-27 enhances the expression of TRAIL and TLR3 in human melanomas and inhibits their tumor growth in cooperation with a TLR3 agonist poly(I:C) partly in a TRAIL-dependent manner.

PLoS One 2013 14;8(10):e76159. Epub 2013 Oct 14.

Department of Immunoregulation, Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo, Japan.

Interleukin (IL)-27 is a member of the IL-6/IL-12 cytokine family and possesses potent antitumor activity, which is mediated by multiple mechanisms. Toll-like receptor (TLR)3 is the critical sensor of the innate immune system that serves to identify viral double-stranded RNA. TLR3 is frequently expressed by various types of malignant cells, and recent studies reported that a synthetic TLR3 agonist, polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid [poly(I:C)], induces antitumor effects on malignant cells. In the present study, we have explored the effect of IL-27 on human melanomas and uncovered a previously unknown mechanism. We found that IL-27 inhibits in vitro tumor growth of human melanomas and greatly enhances the expression of TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) in a dose-dependent manner. Neutralizing antibody against TRAIL partly but significantly blocked the IL-27-mediated inhibition of tumor growth. In addition, IL-27 and poly(I:C) cooperatively augmented TRAIL expression and inhibited tumor growth. The cooperative effect could be ascribed to the augmented expression of TLR3, but not retinoic acid-inducible gene-I or anti-melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5, by IL-27. The inhibition of tumor growth by the combination was also significantly abrogated by anti-TRAIL neutralizing antibody. Moreover, IL-27 and poly(I:C) cooperatively suppressed in vivo tumor growth of human melanoma in immunodeficient mice. Taken together, these results suggest that IL-27 enhances the expression of TRAIL and TLR3 in human melanomas and inhibits their tumor growth in cooperation with poly(I:C), partly in a TRAIL-dependent manner. Thus, IL-27 and the combination of IL-27 and poly(I:C) may be attractive candidates for cancer immunotherapy.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0076159PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3796519PMC
June 2014

Pivotal roles of T-helper 17-related cytokines, IL-17, IL-22, and IL-23, in inflammatory diseases.

Clin Dev Immunol 2013 14;2013:968549. Epub 2013 Jul 14.

Department of Anatomy, Tokyo Medical University, 6-1-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8402, Japan.

T-helper 17 (Th17) cells are characterized by producing interleukin-17 (IL-17, also called IL-17A), IL-17F, IL-21, and IL-22 and potentially TNF- α and IL-6 upon certain stimulation. IL-23, which promotes Th17 cell development, as well as IL-17 and IL-22 produced by the Th17 cells plays essential roles in various inflammatory diseases, such as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, and Concanavalin A-induced hepatitis. In this review, we summarize the characteristics of the functional role of Th17 cells, with particular focus on the Th17 cell-related cytokines such as IL-17, IL-22, and IL-23, in mouse models and human inflammatory diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/968549DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3728507PMC
February 2014

Requirement of apoptosis-inducing kinase 1 for the induction of bronchial asthma following stimulation with ovalbumin.

Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2013 31;162(2):104-14. Epub 2013 Jul 31.

Department of Immunology, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo, Japan.

Background: Bronchial asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airway. Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1), a member of the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase family, is activated by environmental stress and plays a crucial role in the induction of apoptosis and inflammation. To examine whether ASK1 is involved in the induction of bronchial asthma, we investigated the role of ASK1 using a genetic approach in the production of cytokines, as well as the development of airway hyperreactivity (AHR) and antibody responses using a murine airway inflammation model.

Methods: ASK1-deficient (ASK1(-/-)) and control wild-type (WT) mice were immunized with ovalbumin (OVA) without alum intraperitoneally, followed by intranasal administration of OVA. Airway infiltration of inflammatory cells, cytokine production, AHR and antibody production were assayed. The asthmatic phenotype was assessed following intranasal administration of IL-13 or TNF-α.

Results: ASK1(-/-) mice sensitized with OVA displayed an impaired inflammatory cell infiltration into airways and a decreased AHR relative to WT mice. Moreover, the production of OVA-specific IgE antibodies and proasthmatic cytokines (IL-5, IL-13 and TNF-α) was substantially reduced in OVA-stimulated ASK1(-/-) mice. Intranasal administration of IL-13 and OVA enhanced the accumulation of inflammatory cells in OVA-primed ASK1(-/-) mice. The OVA-induced AHR in response to methacholine was enhanced by IL-13 in WT mice but not ASK1(-/-) mice.

Conclusions: The ASK1 signaling pathway regulates the OVA-induced asthmatic phenotype, specifically AHR sensitivity and cytokine production. Therefore, the ASK1 signaling pathway is a promising target for therapeutic intervention in some asthmatic patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000353240DOI Listing
December 2013

Sustained upregulation of effector natural killer cells in chronic myeloid leukemia after discontinuation of imatinib.

Cancer Sci 2013 Sep 9;104(9):1146-53. Epub 2013 Jul 9.

Department of Immunoregulation, Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo, Japan.

A number of CML patients who achieve a sustained complete molecular response (CMR) for at least 2 years during imatinib (IM) therapy can discontinue IM without relapse. With the long-term goal of developing immunological criteria for managing IM therapy in CML patients, we compared the immunophenotypic profiles of three groups of CML patients: those who received IM and had a CMR for more than two consecutive years (CMR group); patients who received IM and did not have a sustained CMR but maintained a major molecular response for more than 2 years (fluctuating CMR group); and patients with a sustained CMR for more than 6 months after IM discontinuation (STOP-IM group), together with healthy controls. The percentages of effector populations of natural killer (NK) cells, such as interferon (IFN)-γ(+) CD3(-) CD56(+) cells, were significantly higher in the STOP-IM and CMR groups than in the fluctuating CMR and control groups. The elevated levels of these effector NK cells were sustained for more than 3 years after IM discontinuation. In contrast, the percentages of effector memory CD8(+) T cells, such as IFN-γ(+) CCR7(-) CD45RO(+) CD8(+) cells, were significantly higher in the STOP-IM and control groups than in the CMR and fluctuating CMR groups, possibly owing to IM intake. These results suggest that the immunological activation status of NK cells contributes to CMR maintenance. Higher activation levels of effector NK cells in CML patients being treated with IM might reflect minimization of BCR-ABL1 transcript levels and therefore could be additive information for determining whether to stop IM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cas.12216DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7656535PMC
September 2013

Arginine methylation regulates antibody responses through modulating cell division and isotype switching in B cells.

Microbiol Immunol 2013 Mar;57(3):185-92

Department of Immunology, Tokyo Medical University, 6-1-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-8402, Japan.

Protein arginine methylation plays crucial roles, including signal transduction, transcriptional control, cell proliferation and/or differentiation. B cells undergo clonal division, isotype switching and differentiate into antibody forming cells following stimulation with Toll-like receptor-ligand, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and T cell-derived signals, including CD40-ligand (CD40-L) and interleukin 4 (IL-4). Whether protein arginine methylation affects B cell division and/or isotype switching to IgG1 in response to LPS, IL-4, and CD40-L was examined using the arginine methyl transferase inhibitor adenosine-2',3'-dialdehyde (AdOx). Addition of AdOx substantially reduced the number of division cycles of stimulated B cells, whereas cell viability remained intact. Upon stimulation with LPS/IL-4/CD40-L, the proportion of surface IgG1 positive cells in each division cycle was slightly diminished by AdOx. However, the degree of expression of γ1 germ line transcript and activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) in response to LPS/IL-4/CD40-L were unaffected by addition of AdOx, suggesting that AdOx influences class switch recombination independent of AID expression through transcriptional control. Taken together, arginine methylation appears to be involved in B cell isotype switching, as well as in clonal expansion of B cells in response to LPS/IL-4/CD40-L.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1348-0421.12019DOI Listing
March 2013

IL-27 promotes nitric oxide production induced by LPS through STAT1, NF-κB and MAPKs.

Immunobiology 2013 Apr 8;218(4):628-34. Epub 2012 Aug 8.

Tumor Therapy Laboratory, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, 2-1-6 Kamikitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 156-8506, Japan.

Interleukin (IL)-27, a member of the IL-6/IL-12 heterodimeric cytokine family, induces pro-inflammatory responses including early T helper (Th)1 differentiation and generation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes, and also anti-inflammatory responses including the differentiation to IL-10-producing regulatory T cells, inhibition of Th2 and Th17 differentiation, and suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Nitric oxide (NO) is a potent source of reactive nitrogen species that play an important role in killing intracellular pathogens and forms a crucial component of host defense. Inducible NO synthase (iNOS), which catalyzes the production of NO, is induced by a range of stimuli including cytokines and microbes. Recently, IL-27 was reported to play an anti-inflammatory role in microglia by blocking oncostatin M-induced iNOS expression and neuronal toxicity. In the present study, we investigated the effects of IL-27 on NO production in thioglycollate-elicited peritoneal macrophages. IL-27 together with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced morphological change into more spread and elongated cells and synergistically enhanced NO production. The combined stimulation also enhanced iNOS mRNA expression and the NO production was abrogated by an iNOS inhibitor, NG-monomethyl L-arginine. The synergistic NO production could be attributed to the augmented Toll-like receptor (TLR)4 mRNA expression by the combination. Signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)1 was indispensable for the morphological change and NO production. The combination induced nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) translocation into nuclear and phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), and their inhibitors suppressed NO production. These results suggest that in contrast to the anti-proinflammatory role in microglia, IL-27 exerts a pro-inflammatory role by enhancing NO production in peritoneal macrophages stimulated with LPS through activation of STAT1, NF-κB and MAPKs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.imbio.2012.07.028DOI Listing
April 2013

PKC-δ mediates interferon-α-induced apoptosis through c-Jun NH₂-terminal kinase activation.

BMC Cell Biol 2012 Mar 21;13. Epub 2012 Mar 21.

Department of Immunology and Intractable Immune System Disease Research Center, Tokyo Medical University, 6-1-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8402, Japan.

Background: Interferon-α (IFN-α) exerts an anti-tumor effect at least through induction of apoptosis in a variety of types including B lymphoma cells. We recently found that IFN-α induced a sustained activation of c-Jun NH₂-terminal kinase1 (JNK1), which is implicated in activation of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) promoter. In the present study, we explored upstream component(s) of the prolonged IFN-α-initiated activation of JNK1.

Results: IFN-α caused activation of PKC-δ in Daudi B lymphoma cells and myeloma U266 cells, as detected by Western blotting using a monoclonal antibody specific for the phosphorylated form of PKC-δ. The dominant-negative form of mutant PKC-δ (dnPKC-δ) reduced the IFN-α-induced JNK1 activation, TRAIL promoter activity, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), and increase in propidium iodide (PI) positive cells. The IFN-α-induced activation of JNK1 and the TRAIL promoter was also attenuated by the PKC-δ inhibitor rottlerin. Moreover, a constitutively active form of mutant PKC-δ enhanced the IFN-α-induced TRAIL promoter activity and loss of ΔΨm in Daudi B lymphoma cells. In addition, IFN-α-induced Ser727 phosphorylation of Stat1 was also abrogated by dnPKC-δ.

Conclusions: IFN-α induced JNK1 activation via PKC-δ, leading to upregulation of TRAIL. The interaction of the consequent enhanced TRAIL expression with TRAIL-receptor results in a loss of ΔΨm and increase in PI positive cells. The IFN-α-induced apoptotic events may also be affected by the Ser727-Stat1 induced by PKC-δ-mediated signaling component(s).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2121-13-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3353249PMC
March 2012

Thy28 partially prevents apoptosis induction following engagement of membrane immunoglobulin in WEHI-231 B lymphoma cells.

Cell Mol Biol Lett 2012 Mar 2;17(1):36-48. Epub 2011 Dec 2.

Department of Immunology, Tokyo Medical University, Shinjuku-ku, Japan.

Thy28 protein is conserved among plants, bacteria, and mammalian cells. Nuclear Thy28 protein is substantially expressed in testis, liver, and immune cells such as lymphocytes. Lymphocyte apoptosis plays a crucial role in homeostasis and formation of a diverse lymphocyte repertoire. In this study, we examined whether Thy28 affects induction of apoptosis in WEHI-231 B lymphoma cells following engagement of membrane immunoglobulin (mIg). Once they were established, the Thy28-overexpressing WEHI-231 cells showed similar expression levels of IgM and class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecule compared with controls. The Thy28-overexpressing cells were considerably resistant to loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), caspase-3 activation, and increase in annexin-positive cells upon mIg engagement. These changes were concomitant with an increase in G1 phase associated with upregulation of p27(Kip1). The anti-IgM-induced sustained activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), which was associated with late-phase hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) production, was partially reduced in the Thy28-expressing cells relative to controls. Taken together, the data suggest that in WEHI-231 B lymphoma cells, Thy28 regulates mIg-mediated apoptotic events through the JNK-H(2)O(2) activation pathway, concomitant with an accumulation of cells in G1 phase associated with upregulation of p27(Kip1) in WEHI-231 B lymphoma cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2478/s11658-011-0034-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6275998PMC
March 2012

Regulation of the development of acute hepatitis by IL-23 through IL-22 and IL-17 production.

Eur J Immunol 2011 Oct 31;41(10):2828-39. Epub 2011 Aug 31.

Department of Immunoregulation, Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo Medical University, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

IL-23 plays a critical role in the expansion of highly proinflammatory Th17 cells secreting IL-17 and IL-22. Recently, we demonstrated that Notch signaling drives IL-22 secretion through the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) and plays a protective role in Con A-induced hepatitis. In this study, we investigated the role of IL-23 in hepatitis using IL-23p19- and IL-17-deficient mice. In WT mice, the injection of Con A induced the upregulation of various cytokines, which included IL-23, IL-22, IL-17, IFN-γ and TNF-α. In IL-23p19-deficient mice, exacerbated hepatitis was observed and serum IL-22 and IL-17 levels were greatly reduced, whereas in IL-17-deficient mice, ameliorated hepatitis was observed. The injection of exogenous IL-22 protected p19-deficient mice from hepatitis, whereas the injection of exogenous IL-23 significantly increased the serum levels of not only IL-22 but also IL-17, and less effectively protected against hepatitis in IL-17-dependent and -independent manners. Finally, it was revealed that STAT3, STAT4 and Notch contributed to the production of both the cytokines, and that the AHR was important only for IL-22 production in response to Con A and IL-23 in liver mononuclear cells. These results suggest that IL-23 plays a protective role in hepatitis through IL-22 production and also a pathological role via IL-17-dependent and -independent mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eji.201141291DOI Listing
October 2011

IL-27 suppresses RANKL expression in CD4+ T cells in part through STAT3.

Immunol Lett 2011 Jul 29;138(1):47-53. Epub 2011 Mar 29.

Department of Clinical Sciences, Josai International University, 1 Gumyo, Togane, Chiba 283-8555, Japan.

The receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL), which is expressed by not only osteoblasts but also activated T cells, plays an important role in bone-destructive diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. IL-27, a member of the IL-6/IL-12 family cytokines, activates STAT1 and STAT3, promotes early helper T (Th)1 differentiation and generation of IL-10-producing type 1 regulatory T (Tr1) cells, and suppresses the production of inflammatory cytokines and inhibits Th2 differentiation. In addition, IL-27 was recently demonstrated to not only inhibit Th17 differentiation but also directly act on osteoclast precursor cells and suppress RANKL-mediated osteoclastogenesis through STAT1-dependent inhibition of c-Fos, leading to amelioration of the inflammatory bone destruction. In the present study, we investigated the effect of IL-27 on the expression of RANKL in CD4(+) T cells. We found that IL-27 greatly inhibits cell surface expression of RANKL on naive CD4(+) T cells activated by T cell receptor ligation and secretion of its soluble RANKL as well. The inhibitory effect was mediated in part by STAT3 but not by STAT1 or IL-10. In contrast, in differentiated Th17 cells, IL-27 much less efficiently inhibited the RANKL expression after restimulation. Taken together, these results indicate that IL-27 greatly inhibits primary RANKL expression in CD4(+) T cells, which could contribute to the suppressive effects of IL-27 on the inflammatory bone destruction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.imlet.2011.02.022DOI Listing
July 2011

Regulation of antitumor immune responses by the IL-12 family cytokines, IL-12, IL-23, and IL-27.

Clin Dev Immunol 2010 14;2010. Epub 2010 Sep 14.

Intractable Disease Research Center, Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo Medical University, 6-1-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8402, Japan.

The interleukin (IL)-12 family, which is composed of heterodimeric cytokines including IL-12, IL-23, and IL-27, is produced by antigen-presenting cells such as macrophages and dendritic cells and plays critical roles in the regulation of helper T (Th) cell differentiation. IL-12 induces IFN-γ production by NK and T cells and differentiation to Th1 cells. IL-23 induces IL-17 production by memory T cells and expands and maintains inflammatory Th17 cells. IL-27 induces the early Th1 differentiation and generation of IL-10-producing regulatory T cells. In addition, these cytokines induce distinct immune responses to tumors. IL-12 activates signal transducers and activator of transcription (STAT)4 and enhances antitumor cellular immunity through interferon (IFN)-γ production. IL-27 activates STAT1, as does IFN-γ and STAT3 as well, and enhances antitumor immunity by augmenting cellular and humoral immunities. In contrast, although exogenously overexpressed IL-23 enhances antitumor immunity via memory T cells, endogenous IL-23 promotes protumor immunity through STAT3 activation by inducing inflammatory responses including IL-17 production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/832454DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2946577PMC
January 2011

Enhanced T cell-independent antibody responses in c-Jun N-terminal kinase 2 (JNK2)-deficient B cells following stimulation with CpG-1826 and anti-IgM.

Immunol Lett 2010 Aug;132(1-2):38-44

Department of Immunology and Intractable Immunology Research Center, Tokyo Medical University, 6-1-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8402, Japan.

Although c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) 1 and JNK2 have been demonstrated to modulate T cell activation, role of JNKs in B cell activation remains largely unclear. Phosphorylation of JNK2 was increased in murine B cells following stimulation with either anti-IgM or CpG-1826 oligonucleotide (ODN) alone, with a further increase by a combined stimulation with anti-IgM and CpG-1826 ODN. In this study, we examined whether antibody production induced by CpG ODN and/or anti-IgM is affected in B cells from JNK2-deficient (JNK2-/-) mice. After stimulation with CpG ODN or both CpG ODN and anti-IgM, JNK2-/- B cells displayed an enhanced antibody production of IgG1 and IgG2a, with less pronounced in IgG2b production, as assessed by enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA). However, IgM production in JNK2-/- B cells by CpG ODN was comparable to that in WT B cells. TLR9 expression was increased in JNK2-/- B cells after stimulation with anti-IgM or both CpG ODN and anti-IgM, suggesting that the anti-IgM/CpG ODN-induced enhancement of antibody production is partly due to the increased expression of TLR9. The enhanced antibody production in JNK2-/- B cells by the combined stimulation does not appear to involve either increased class switch recombination or cell proliferation. Our results provide useful information on the role of JNK2 in antibody responses mediated by T cell-independent antigens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.imlet.2010.05.006DOI Listing
August 2010

Interleukins and cancer immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy 2009 Sep;1(5):825-44

Intractable Disease Research Center, Tokyo Medical University, 6-1-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8402, Japan.

Cancer is a complex disease with interactions between normal and neoplastic cells. Since current therapies for cancer largely rely on drugs or radiation that kill dividing cells or block cell division, these treatments may have severe side effects on normal proliferating cells in patients with cancer. Therefore, the potential for treatment of cancer patients by immunologic approaches, which may be specific for tumors and will not injure most normal cells, has great promise. Cancer immunotherapy aims to augment the weak host immune response to developing tumors. One strategy is to utilize cytokines such as IL-2. More recently, several exciting new interleukins have been characterized that have considerable promise for future immunotherapy. The promise of cancer immunotherapy largely depends upon the identification of these novel interleukins. This review provides an overview of the antitumor effects of relatively new interleukins as potential therapeutic agents applicable for cancer immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/imt.09.46DOI Listing
September 2009

A double-edged sword in B-cell-targeted therapy for inflammatory diseases.

Expert Rev Clin Immunol 2009 May;5(3):283-90

Department of Immunology, Tokyo Medical University, 6-1-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8402, Japan.

Cells of the immune system, including B cells, perform inflammatory functions against microbial invasion, accompanied by anti-inflammatory responses to avoid host damage. B-cell-depletion therapy using anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies against inflammatory diseases has beneficial or adverse effects depending on the timing and/or microenvironment in which they are used. To achieve effective B-cell-targeted therapy, it is necessary to identify and understand the modes of action of pathogenic and regulatory B cells, which include antibody production, formation of immune complexes, cytokine and chemokine production, cytotoxic killing, lymphoid neogenesis and antigen presentation. B cells interact with multiple cells, including dendritic cells, T cells and natural killer T cells, creating a complex regulatory network. Specific targeting of B-cell subsets and/or their interaction partners might lead to clinical benefits with minimal host damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1586/eci.09.11DOI Listing
May 2009

A pivotal role for interleukin-27 in CD8+ T cell functions and generation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes.

J Biomed Biotechnol 2010 29;2010:605483. Epub 2010 Apr 29.

Intractable Disease Research Center, Tokyo Medical University, 6-1-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8402, Japan.

Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) play a critical role in the control of various cancers and infections, and therefore the molecular mechanisms of CTL generation are a critical issue in designing antitumor immunotherapy and vaccines which augment the development of functional and long-lasting memory CTLs. Interleukin (IL)-27, a member of the IL-6/IL-12 heterodimeric cytokine family, acts on naive CD4+ T cells and plays pivotal roles as a proinflammatory cytokine to promote the early initiation of type-1 helper differentiation and also as an antiinflammatory cytokine to limit the T cell hyperactivity and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Recent studies revealed that IL-27 plays an important role in CD8+ T cells as well. Therefore, this article reviews current understanding of the role of IL-27 in CD8+ T cell functions and generation of CTLs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/605483DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2862320PMC
September 2010

Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand induces apoptotic cell death through c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase activation in squamous cell carcinoma cells.

Oncol Rep 2009 Nov;22(5):1169-72

Department of Immunology and Intractable Immune System Disease Research Center, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo 160-8402, Japan.

Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) induces apoptosis in MIT6 cells derived from primary oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), whereas it does not induce apoptosis in MIL6 cells derived from metastases. The present studies were performed to examine whether activation of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) is implicated in the differential sensitivity to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. The TRAIL-induced JNK activation in MIT6 cells was stronger than in MIL6 cells, as assessed by Western blotting using antibodies specific for phospho-JNK. To evaluate the role of JNK1 in TRAIL-induced cell death, one clone expressing the dominant-negative form of JNK1 (dnJNK1) was established. The dnJNK1-expressing cells and MIL6 cells expressed TRAIL protein at levels similar to or even greater than MIT6 cells did. When cell death was assessed by annexin V staining and mitochondrial membrane potential, kinetic studies demonstrated that the dnJNK1-expressing cells were substantially more resistant to 100 ng/ml TRAIL, comparable to MIL6 cells, at 36 and 48 h after stimulation. Collectively, the primary OSCC cell line, MIT6, is sensitive to TRAIL but its metastatic line MIL6 is resistant to TRAIL exposure. Thus, the underlying molecular mechanism of TRAIL-induced cell death involves JNK activation. These results suggest that the acquisition of TRAIL resistance provides some metastatic capacity to primary tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/or_00000551DOI Listing
November 2009

Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase (ASK)-1 mediates apoptosis through activation of JNK1 following engagement of membrane immunoglobulin.

Exp Cell Res 2009 Dec 18;315(20):3467-76. Epub 2009 Sep 18.

Department of Immunology and Intractable Immunology Research Center, Tokyo Medical University, 6-1-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8402, Japan.

Engagement of membrane immunoglobulin (mIg) on WEHI-231 mouse B lymphoma cells results in growth arrest at the G1 phase of the cell cycle, followed by a reduction of mitochondrial membrane potential (DeltaPsim) and apoptosis. WEHI-231 cells resemble immature B cells in terms of the cell surface phenotype and sensitivity to mIg engagement. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying mIg-induced loss of DeltaPsim and apoptosis have not yet been established. In this study, we show that apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1)-c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1 (JNK1) signaling pathway participates in mIg-induced apoptosis through the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Stimulation of WEHI-231 cells with anti-IgM induces phosphorylation and subsequent activation of ASK1, leading to JNK activation. Anti-IgM stimulation immediately (5 min) induces hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) production with a substantial increase during later time points (36-48 h), accompanied by loss of DeltaPsim and an increase in cells with sub-G1 DNA content. The anti-IgM-induced late-phase H2O2 production, loss of DeltaPsim, and increase in the sub-G1 fraction were all reduced substantially in WEHI-231 cells overexpressing a dominant-negative form of ASK1, compared with control vector alone, but enhanced substantially in cells overexpressing a constitutively active form of ASK1. These mIg-mediated events were also partially abrogated by ROS scavenger N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC). Taken together, these results suggest that mIg engagement induces H2O2 production leading to activation of ASK1-JNK1 pathway, creating a feedback amplification loop of ROS-ASK/JNK that leads to loss of DeltaPsim and finally apoptosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yexcr.2009.09.007DOI Listing
December 2009

TGF-beta is necessary for induction of IL-23R and Th17 differentiation by IL-6 and IL-23.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2009 Aug 6;386(1):105-10. Epub 2009 Jun 6.

Intractable Disease Research Center, Tokyo Medical University, 6-1-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8402, Japan.

TGF-beta and IL-6 induce Th17 differentiation, and IL-23 is required for expansion and maintenance of Th17 cells. Recently, it was shown that IL-6 up-regulates IL-23R mRNA in naive CD4+ T cells and therefore IL-6 and IL-23 synergistically promote Th17 differentiation. However, the molecular mechanism whereby IL-6 and IL-23 induce Th17 differentiation and the relevance to TGF-beta remain unknown. Here, we found that IL-6 up-regulated IL-23R mRNA expression, and IL-6 and IL-23 synergistically augmented its protein expression. The combination induced Th17 differentiation, and TGF-beta1 further enhanced it. IL-6 augmented endogenous TGF-beta1 mRNA expression, whereas the amount of TGF-beta produced was not enough to induce Th17 differentiation by IL-6 alone. However, unexpectedly, the up-regulation of IL-23R and induction of Th17 differentiation by IL-6 and IL-23 were almost completely inhibited by anti-TGF-beta. These results suggest that the induction of IL-23R and Th17 differentiation by IL-6 and IL-23 is mediated through endogenously produced TGF-beta.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.05.140DOI Listing
August 2009

Mitochondrial depolarization and apoptosis associated with sustained activation of c-jun-N-terminal kinasein the human multiple myeloma cell line U266 induced by 2-aminophenoxazine-3-one.

Mol Med Rep 2009 Mar-Apr;2(2):199-203

Department of Geriatric Medicine, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan.

We investigated the involvement of c-jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) in mitochondrial depolarization and apoptosis in a human multiple myeloma cell line, U266, treated with 2-aminophenoxazine (Phx-3). It was found that, with Phx-3 administration to U266 cells, JNK was phosphorylated 2 and 7.5-fold at 6 and 24 h, respectively, compared to the Phx-3-free control. This increasing activation of JNK in U266 cells with Phx-3 correlated with cellular disorders, such as mitochondrial depolarization and cellular apoptosis. When the JNK-specific inhibitor SP6000125 was administered to the U266 cells together with Phx-3, the number of cells exhibiting mitochondrial depolarization and cellular apoptosis was significantly reduced. These results suggest that JNK activation in human multiple myeloma U266 cells may be closely associated with mitochondrial depolarization and apoptosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/mmr_00000084DOI Listing
October 2012

Antiproliferative activity of IL-27 on melanoma.

J Immunol 2008 May;180(10):6527-35

Intractable Immune System Disease Research Center, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo, Japan.

IL-27 is a member of the IL-6/IL-12 family and activates both STAT1 and STAT3 through its receptor, which consists of WSX-1 and gp130. We previously demonstrated that IL-27 has potent antitumor activities, which are mediated through CD8(+) T cells, NK cells, or its own antiangiogenic activity. In this study, we demonstrate that IL-27 also possesses a direct antiproliferative activity on melanoma. Although WSX-1 expression was hardly detected in parental mouse melanoma B16F10 cells, IL-27 activated STAT1 and STAT3 and up-regulated MHC class I in B16F10 transfectants expressing wild-type WSX-1. In contrast, IL-27 failed to activate STAT1 and up-regulate MHC class I in those expressing mutant WSX-1, in which the putative STAT1-binding Tyr-609 of the cytoplasmic region was replaced by Phe. IL-27 inhibited the tumor growth of transfectants expressing wild-type WSX-1 in a dose-dependent manner. IL-27 augmented the expression of IFN regulatory factor (IRF)-1 and IRF-8, which possess tumor suppressor activities, in B16F10 transfectants expressing wild-type WSX-1. Down-regulation of IRF-1 but not IRF-8 with small interfering RNA partially blocked the IL-27-induced growth inhibition. A small, but significant, direct antiproliferative effect of IL-27 was also observed in vivo. Moreover, several human melanoma cells were revealed to express both IL-27 receptor subunits, and activation of STAT1 and STAT3 and growth inhibition by IL-27 were detected. These results suggest that IL-27 has an antiproliferative activity on melanomas through WSX-1/STAT1 signaling. Thus, IL-27 may be an attractive candidate as an antitumor agent applicable to cancer immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.180.10.6527DOI Listing
May 2008

c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK)-dependent nuclear translocation of apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) following engagement of membrane immunoglobulin on WEHI-231 B lymphoma cells.

J Cell Biochem 2008 Aug;104(5):1927-36

Department of Immunology, Intractable Immune System Disease Research Center, Tokyo Medical University, 6-1-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8402, Japan.

WEHI-231 B lymphoma cells have been employed for analysis of antigen-induced B cell unresponsiveness because these cells undergo cell cycle arrest in G1, accompanied by induction of apoptosis. In the present study, we examined the requirement for toxic small molecules apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) and cytochrome c, and subsequent caspase activation in apoptotic cell death in WEHI-231 and CH31 B lymphoma cells following engagement of membrane immunoglobulin (mIg). Pan-caspase inhibitor BD-fmk blocked mIg-mediated increase in cells with sub-G1 DNA content, whereas it did not affect mIg-mediated loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and phosphatidylserine exposure on B cell membrane. Dominant-negative form of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase1 (JNK1) blocked the translocation of AIF into the nuclei and cytosol from the mitochondria in the WEHI-231 and CH31 cells following mIg engagement, whereas constitutively active form of JNK1 enhanced it. This AIF translocation was also blocked by Bcl-xL, but not by BD-fmk. Moreover, AIF-deficient clones via small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated method showed small increase in loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. After mIg engagement, the AIF-deficient clones displayed an enhanced sensitivity to mIg-mediated apoptosis, concomitant with translocation of a residual AIF into the nuclei, compared with control clone. Our findings are compatible with the notion that AIF has dual role, with a proapoptotic function in the nuclei and a distinct anti-apoptotic function in the mitochondria. These observations would be valuable for analysis of B cell unresponsiveness and hopefully for treatment of diseases involving B cell dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcb.21764DOI Listing
August 2008

STAT3 is indispensable to IL-27-mediated cell proliferation but not to IL-27-induced Th1 differentiation and suppression of proinflammatory cytokine production.

J Immunol 2008 Mar;180(5):2903-11

Intractable Immune System Disease Research Center, Department of Immunology, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo, Japan.

IL-27, a member of the IL-6/IL-12 family, activates both STAT1 and STAT3 through its receptor, which consists of WSX-1 and gp130 subunits, resulting in augmentation of Th1 differentiation and suppression of proinflammatory cytokine production. In the present study, we investigated the role of STAT3 in the IL-27-mediated immune functions. IL-27 induced phosphorylation of STAT1, -2, -3 and -5 in wild-type naive CD4+ T cells, but failed to induce that of STAT3 and STAT5 in STAT3-deficient cohorts. IL-27 induced not only proinflammatory responses including up-regulation of ICAM-1, T-box expressed in T cells, and IL-12Rbeta2 and Th1 differentiation, but also anti-inflammatory responses including suppression of proinflammatory cytokine production such as IL-2, IL-4, and IL-13 even in STAT3-deficient naive CD4+ T cells. In contrast, IL-27 augmented c-Myc and Pim-1 expression and induced cell proliferation in wild-type naive CD4+ T cells but not in STAT3-deficient cohorts. Moreover, IL-27 failed to activate STAT3, augment c-Myc and Pim-1 expression, and induce cell proliferation in pro-B BaF/3 transfectants expressing mutant gp130, in which the putative STAT3-binding four Tyr residues in the YXXQ motif of the cytoplasmic region was replaced by Phe. These results suggest that STAT3 is activated through gp130 by IL-27 and is indispensable to IL-27-mediated cell proliferation but not to IL-27-induced Th1 differentiation and suppression of proinflammatory cytokine production. Thus, IL-27 may be a cytokine, which activates both STAT1 and STAT3 through distinct receptor subunits, WSX-1 and gp130, respectively, to mediate its individual immune functions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.180.5.2903DOI Listing
March 2008

Apoptosis induction preceded by mitochondrial depolarization in multiple myeloma cell line U266 by 2-aminophenoxazine-3-one.

Biol Pharm Bull 2008 Jan;31(1):62-7

Laboratory of Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Human Sciences, Waseda University, Tokorozawa, Saitama 359-1192, Japan.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the mechanism of apoptosis in human multiple myeloma cell line, U266, caused by 2-aminophenoxazine-3-one (Phx-3). Flow-cytometrical and morphological analyses showed that Phx-3 increased the population of annexin V-positive cells including early stage apoptotic cells and late stage apoptotic cells and induced DNA fragmentation or apoptotic body formation in U266 cells, indicating that Phx-3 induced the apoptosis of U266 cells. Activity of caspase-3 was extensively increased in U266 cells treated with Phx-3 time-dependently within 24 h, but this Phx-3-stimulated activity of the enzyme in the cells was completely cancelled by the addition of N-benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethylketone (z-VAD-fmk), a pan-caspase inhibitor. The addition of z-VAD-fmk almost blocked the apoptotic effect of Phx-3 against U266 cells, indicating that Phx-3-induced apoptosis of U266 cells was dependent on a caspase signaling pathway. Moreover, the apoptosis of U266 cells occurred after the induction of cell cycle arrest of the cells in the S and G(2)/M phase, the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, and activation of caspase-3 reached maximum, which were caused by Phx-3 within 24 h. These results support the views that the apoptosis of U266 cells caused by Phx-3 may be preceded by the cell cycle arrest, depolarization of mitochondria and activation of caspase-3. These results support the view that Phx-3 may be utilized in future as chemotherapeutic agent against multiple myeloma which is extremely refractory to chemotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1248/bpb.31.62DOI Listing
January 2008