Publications by authors named "Sarani Ghoshal"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Targeting acid ceramidase inhibits YAP/TAZ signaling to reduce fibrosis in mice.

Sci Transl Med 2020 08;12(557)

Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA.

Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) drive hepatic fibrosis. Therapies that inactivate HSCs have clinical potential as antifibrotic agents. We previously identified acid ceramidase (aCDase) as an antifibrotic target. We showed that tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) reduce hepatic fibrosis by inhibiting aCDase and increasing the bioactive sphingolipid ceramide. We now demonstrate that targeting aCDase inhibits YAP/TAZ activity by potentiating its phosphorylation-mediated proteasomal degradation via the ubiquitin ligase adaptor protein β-TrCP. In mouse models of fibrosis, pharmacologic inhibition of aCDase or genetic knockout of aCDase in HSCs reduces fibrosis, stromal stiffness, and YAP/TAZ activity. In patients with advanced fibrosis, aCDase expression in HSCs is increased. Consistently, a signature of the genes most down-regulated by ceramide identifies patients with advanced fibrosis who could benefit from aCDase targeting. The findings implicate ceramide as a critical regulator of YAP/TAZ signaling and HSC activation and highlight aCDase as a therapeutic target for the treatment of fibrosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aay8798DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7976849PMC
August 2020

Fibrotic Response to Neoadjuvant Therapy Predicts Survival in Pancreatic Cancer and Is Measurable with Collagen-Targeted Molecular MRI.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 Sep 1;26(18):5007-5018. Epub 2020 Jul 1.

Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Purpose: To evaluate the prognostic value of posttreatment fibrosis in human PDAC patients, and to compare a type I collagen targeted MRI probe, CM-101, to the standard contrast agent, Gd-DOTA, for their abilities to identify FOLFIRINOX-induced fibrosis in a murine model of PDAC.

Experimental Design: Ninety-three chemoradiation-treated human PDAC samples were stained for fibrosis and outcomes evaluated. For imaging, C57BL/6 and FVB mice were orthotopically implanted with PDAC cells and FOLFIRINOX was administered. Mice were imaged with Gd-DOTA and CM-101.

Results: In humans, post-chemoradiation PDAC tumor fibrosis was associated with longer overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) on multivariable analysis (OS = 0.028, DFS = 0.047). CPA increased the prognostic accuracy of a multivariable logistic regression model comprised of previously established PDAC risk factors [AUC CPA (-) = 0.76, AUC CPA (+) = 0.82]. In multiple murine orthotopic PDAC models, FOLFIRINOX therapy reduced tumor weight ( < 0.05) and increased tumor fibrosis by collagen staining ( < 0.05). CM-101 MR signal was significantly increased in fibrotic tumor regions. CM-101 signal retention was also increased in the more fibrotic FOLFIRINOX-treated tumors compared with untreated controls ( = 0.027), consistent with selective probe binding to collagen. No treatment-related differences were observed with Gd-DOTA imaging.

Conclusions: In humans, post-chemoradiation tumor fibrosis is associated with OS and DFS. In mice, our MR findings indicate that translation of collagen molecular MRI with CM-101 to humans might provide a novel imaging technique to monitor fibrotic response to therapy to assist with prognostication and disease management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-1359DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7980315PMC
September 2020

Acetyl-CoA carboxylase inhibition disrupts metabolic reprogramming during hepatic stellate cell activation.

J Hepatol 2020 10 4;73(4):896-905. Epub 2020 May 4.

Gilead Sciences, Foster City, CA, USA.

Background & Aims: Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a chronic liver disease characterized by hepatic lipid accumulation, inflammation, and progressive fibrosis. Acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) catalyzes the rate-limiting step of de novo lipogenesis and regulates fatty acid β-oxidation in hepatocytes. ACC inhibition reduces hepatic fat content and markers of liver injury in patients with NASH; however, the effect of ACC inhibition on liver fibrosis has not been reported.

Methods: A direct role for ACC in fibrosis was evaluated by measuring de novo lipogenesis, procollagen production, gene expression, glycolysis, and mitochondrial respiration in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) in the absence or presence of small molecule inhibitors of ACC. ACC inhibitors were evaluated in rodent models of liver fibrosis induced by diet or the hepatotoxin, diethylnitrosamine. Fibrosis and hepatic steatosis were evaluated by histological and biochemical assessments.

Results: Inhibition of ACC reduced the activation of TGF-β-stimulated HSCs, as measured by both α-SMA expression and collagen production. ACC inhibition prevented a metabolic switch necessary for induction of glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation during HSC activation. While the molecular mechanism by which inhibition of de novo lipogenesis blocks glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation is unknown, we definitively show that HSCs require de novo lipogenesis for activation. Consistent with this direct antifibrotic mechanism in HSCs, ACC inhibition reduced liver fibrosis in a rat choline-deficient, high-fat diet model and in response to chronic diethylnitrosamine-induced liver injury (in the absence of hepatic lipid accumulation).

Conclusions: In addition to reducing lipid accumulation in hepatocytes, ACC inhibition also directly impairs the profibrogenic activity of HSCs. Thus, small molecule inhibitors of ACC may lessen fibrosis by reducing lipotoxicity in hepatocytes and by preventing HSC activation, providing a mechanistic rationale for the treatment of patients with advanced liver fibrosis due to NASH.

Lay Summary: Hepatic fibrosis is the most important predictor of liver-related outcomes in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Small molecule inhibitors of acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) reduce hepatic fat content and markers of liver injury in patients with NASH. Herein, we report that inhibition of ACC and de novo lipogenesis also directly suppress the activation of hepatic stellate cells - the primary cell responsible for generating fibrotic scar in the liver - and thus fibrosis. These data provide further evidence for the use of ACC inhibitors to treat patients with NASH and advanced fibrosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2020.04.037DOI Listing
October 2020

The farnesoid X receptor agonist EDP-305 reduces interstitial renal fibrosis in a mouse model of unilateral ureteral obstruction.

FASEB J 2019 06 18;33(6):7103-7112. Epub 2019 Mar 18.

Division of Surgical Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center-Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a nuclear receptor that has emerged as a key regulator in the maintenance of hepatic steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis. However, the role of FXR in renal fibrosis remains to be established. Here, we investigate the effects of the FXR agonist EDP-305 in a mouse model of tubulointerstitial fibrosis unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO). Male C57Bl/6 mice received a UUO on their left kidney. On postoperative d 4, mice received daily treatment by oral gavage with either vehicle control (0.5% methylcellulose) or 10 or 30 mg/kg EDP-305. All animals were euthanized on postoperative d 12. EDP-305 dose-dependently decreased macrophage infiltration as measured by the F4/80 staining area and proinflammatory cytokine gene expression. EDP-305 also dose-dependently reduced interstitial fibrosis as assessed by morphometric quantification of the collagen proportional area and kidney hydroxyproline levels. Finally, yes-associated protein (YAP) activation, a major driver of fibrosis, increased after UUO injury and was diminished by EDP-305 treatment. Consistently, EDP-305 decreased TGF-β1-induced YAP nuclear localization in human kidney 2 cells by increasing inhibitory YAP phosphorylation. YAP inhibition may be a novel antifibrotic mechanism of FXR agonism, and EDP-305 could be used to treat renal fibrosis.-Li, S., Ghoshal, S., Sojoodi, M., Arora, G., Masia, R., Erstad, D. J., Ferriera, D. S., Li, Y., Wang, G., Lanuti, M., Caravan, P., Or, Y. S., Jiang, L.-J., Tanabe, K. K., Fuchs, B. C. The farnesoid X receptor agonist EDP-305 reduces interstitial renal fibrosis in a mouse model of unilateral ureteral obstruction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.201801699RDOI Listing
June 2019

Pioglitazone Reduces Hepatocellular Carcinoma Development in Two Rodent Models of Cirrhosis.

J Gastrointest Surg 2019 01 26;23(1):101-111. Epub 2018 Oct 26.

Division of Surgical Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School, 55 Fruit Street, WRN 401, Boston, MA, 02114, USA.

Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the deadliest malignancies worldwide due to the lack of effective treatments. Chemoprevention in high-risk patients is a promising, alternative strategy. In this study, pioglitazone was investigated for its ability to prevent hepatocarcinogenesis in two rodent models of cirrhosis.

Methods: In the first model, male Wistar rats were given repeated, low-dose injections of diethylnitrosamine (DEN) to accurately recapitulate the progression of fibrosis to cirrhosis and HCC. In the second model, a single dose of DEN was administered to male C57Bl/6 pups at day fifteen followed by administration of a choline-deficient, L-amino acid defined, high-fat diet (CDAHFD) at week six for 24 weeks. Pioglitazone treatment started at the first signs of fibrosis in both models.

Results: Pioglitazone effectively reduced fibrosis progression and HCC development in both models. Gross tumor nodules were significantly reduced after pioglitazone treatment (7.4 ± 1.6 vs. 16.6 ± 2.6 in the rat DEN model and 5.86 ± 1.82 vs. 13.2 ± 1.25 in the mouse DEN+CDAHFD model). In both models, pioglitazone reduced the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and upregulated the hepato-protective AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway via increasing circulating adiponectin production.

Conclusion: Pioglitazone is an effective agent for chemoprevention in rodents and could be repurposed as a multi-targeted drug for delaying liver fibrosis and hepatocarcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11605-018-4004-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6328630PMC
January 2019

Inhibition of Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase by Phosphorylation or the Inhibitor ND-654 Suppresses Lipogenesis and Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Cell Metab 2019 01 20;29(1):174-182.e5. Epub 2018 Sep 20.

Divison of Surgical Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA. Electronic address:

The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is rapidly increasing due to the prevalence of obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, but the molecular triggers that initiate disease development are not fully understood. We demonstrate that mice with targeted loss-of-function point mutations within the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation sites on acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 (ACC1 Ser79Ala) and ACC2 (ACC2 Ser212Ala) have increased liver de novo lipogenesis (DNL) and liver lesions. The same mutation in ACC1 also increases DNL and proliferation in human liver cancer cells. Consistent with these findings, a novel, liver-specific ACC inhibitor (ND-654) that mimics the effects of ACC phosphorylation inhibits hepatic DNL and the development of HCC, improving survival of tumor-bearing rats when used alone and in combination with the multi-kinase inhibitor sorafenib. These studies highlight the importance of DNL and dysregulation of AMPK-mediated ACC phosphorylation in accelerating HCC and the potential of ACC inhibitors for treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2018.08.020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6643297PMC
January 2019

Molecular magnetic resonance imaging accurately measures the antifibrotic effect of EDP-305, a novel farnesoid X receptor agonist.

Hepatol Commun 2018 Jul 21;2(7):821-835. Epub 2018 May 21.

Division of Surgical Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston MA.

We examined a novel farnesoid X receptor agonist, EDP-305, for its antifibrotic effect in bile duct ligation (BDL) and choline-deficient, L-amino acid-defined, high-fat diet (CDAHFD) models of hepatic injury. We used molecular magnetic resonance imaging with the type 1 collagen-binding probe EP-3533 and the oxidized collagen-specific probe gadolinium hydrazide to noninvasively measure treatment response. BDL rats (n = 8 for each group) were treated with either low or high doses of EDP-305 starting on day 4 after BDL and were imaged on day 18. CDAHFD mice (n = 8 for each group) were treated starting at 6 weeks after the diet and were imaged at 12 weeks. Liver tissue was subjected to pathologic and morphometric scoring of fibrosis, hydroxyproline quantitation, and determination of fibrogenic messenger RNA expression. High-dose EDP-305 (30 mg/kg) reduced liver fibrosis in both the BDL and CDAHFD models as measured by collagen proportional area, hydroxyproline analysis, and fibrogenic gene expression (all < 0.05). Magnetic resonance signal intensity with both EP-3533 in the BDL model and gadolinium hydrazide in the CDAHFD model was reduced with EDP-305 30 mg/kg treatment ( < 0.01). Histologically, EDP-305 30 mg/kg halted fibrosis progression in the CDAHFD model. : EDP-305 reduced fibrosis progression in rat BDL and mouse CDAHFD models. Molecular imaging of collagen and oxidized collagen is sensitive to changes in fibrosis and could be used to noninvasively measure treatment response in clinical trials. ( 2018;2:821-835).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hep4.1193DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6049071PMC
July 2018

Orthotopic and heterotopic murine models of pancreatic cancer and their different responses to FOLFIRINOX chemotherapy.

Dis Model Mech 2018 07 30;11(7). Epub 2018 Jul 30.

Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, United States

Syngeneic, immunocompetent allograft tumor models recapitulate important aspects of the tumor microenvironment and have short tumor latency with predictable growth kinetics, making them useful for trialing novel therapeutics. Here, we describe surgical techniques for orthotopic and heterotopic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) tumor implantation and characterize phenotypes based on implantation site.Mice (=8 per group) were implanted with 10 cells in the pancreas or flank. Hy15549 and Han4.13 cell lines were derived from primary murine PDAC (Ptf1-Cre; LSL-KRAS-G12D; Trp53 Lox/+) on C57BL/6 and FVB strains, respectively. Single-cell suspension and solid tumor implants were compared. Tumors were treated with two intravenous doses of FOLFIRINOX and responses evaluated.All mice developed pancreatic tumors within 7 days. Orthotopic tumors grew faster and larger than heterotopic tumors. By 3 weeks, orthotopic mice began losing weight, and showed declines in body condition requiring euthanasia starting at 4 weeks. Single-cell injection into the pancreas had near 100% engraftment, but solid tumor implant engraftment was ∼50% and was associated with growth restriction. Orthotopic tumors were significantly more responsive to intravenous FOLFIRINOX compared with heterotopic tumors, with greater reductions in size and increased apoptosis. Heterotopic tumors were more desmoplastic and hypovascular. However, drug uptake into tumor tissue was equivalent regardless of tumor location or degree of fibrosis, indicating that microenvironment differences between heterotopic and orthotopic tumors influenced response to therapy.Our results show that orthotopic and heterotopic allograft locations confer unique microenvironments that influence growth kinetics, desmoplastic response and angiogenesis. Tumor location influences chemosensitivity to FOLFIRINOX and should inform future preclinical trials.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dmm.034793DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6078400PMC
July 2018

Tricyclic Antidepressants Promote Ceramide Accumulation to Regulate Collagen Production in Human Hepatic Stellate Cells.

Sci Rep 2017 03 21;7:44867. Epub 2017 Mar 21.

Gastrointestinal Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA USA.

Activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) in response to injury is a key step in hepatic fibrosis, and is characterized by trans-differentiation of quiescent HSCs to HSC myofibroblasts, which secrete extracellular matrix proteins responsible for the fibrotic scar. There are currently no therapies to directly inhibit hepatic fibrosis. We developed a small molecule screen to identify compounds that inactivate human HSC myofibroblasts through the quantification of lipid droplets. We screened 1600 compounds and identified 21 small molecules that induce HSC inactivation. Four hits were tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and they repressed expression of pro-fibrotic factors Alpha-Actin-2 (ACTA2) and Alpha-1 Type I Collagen (COL1A1) in HSCs. RNA sequencing implicated the sphingolipid pathway as a target of the TCAs. Indeed, TCA treatment of HSCs promoted accumulation of ceramide through inhibition of acid ceramidase (aCDase). Depletion of aCDase also promoted accumulation of ceramide and was associated with reduced COL1A1 expression. Treatment with B13, an inhibitor of aCDase, reproduced the antifibrotic phenotype as did the addition of exogenous ceramide. Our results show that detection of lipid droplets provides a robust readout to screen for regulators of hepatic fibrosis and have identified a novel antifibrotic role for ceramide.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep44867DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5359599PMC
March 2017

Molecular Liver Cancer Prevention in Cirrhosis by Organ Transcriptome Analysis and Lysophosphatidic Acid Pathway Inhibition.

Cancer Cell 2016 Dec;30(6):879-890

Division of Liver Diseases, Department of Medicine, Liver Cancer Program, Tisch Cancer Institute, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA. Electronic address:

Cirrhosis is a milieu that develops hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the second most lethal cancer worldwide. HCC prediction and prevention in cirrhosis are key unmet medical needs. Here we have established an HCC risk gene signature applicable to all major HCC etiologies: hepatitis B/C, alcohol, and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. A transcriptome meta-analysis of >500 human cirrhotics revealed global regulatory gene modules driving HCC risk and the lysophosphatidic acid pathway as a central chemoprevention target. Pharmacological inhibition of the pathway in vivo reduced tumors and reversed the gene signature, which was verified in organotypic ex vivo culture of patient-derived fibrotic liver tissues. These results demonstrate the utility of clinical organ transcriptome to enable a strategy, namely, reverse-engineering precision cancer prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccell.2016.11.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5161110PMC
December 2016

RPTOR, a novel target of miR-155, elicits a fibrotic phenotype of cystic fibrosis lung epithelium by upregulating CTGF.

RNA Biol 2016 09 10;13(9):837-47. Epub 2016 Jun 10.

b Department of Anatomy , Physiology and Genetics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences , Bethesda , MD , USA.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene, the most frequent of which is F508del-CFTR. CF is characterized by excessive secretion of pro-inflammatory mediators into the airway lumen, inducing a highly inflammatory cellular phenotype. This process triggers fibrosis, causing airway destruction and leading to high morbidity and mortality. We previously reported that miR-155 is upregulated in CF lung epithelial cells, but the molecular mechanisms by which miR-155 affects the disease phenotype is not understood. Here we report that RPTOR (regulatory associated protein of mTOR, complex 1) is a novel target of miR-155 in CF lung epithelial cells. The suppression of RPTOR expression and subsequent activation of TGF-β signaling resulted in the induction of fibrosis by elevating connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) abundance in CF lung epithelial cells. Thus, we propose that miR-155 might regulate fibrosis of CF lungs through the increased CTGF expression, highlighting its potential value in CF therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15476286.2016.1197484DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5013987PMC
September 2016

STAT3 is a key transcriptional regulator of cancer stem cell marker CD133 in HCC.

Hepatobiliary Surg Nutr 2016 Jun;5(3):201-3

Division of Surgical Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Cancer stem cell (CSC) marker CD133 was found to be upregulated in many cancers including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the molecular mechanism of CD133 regulation in the liver tumor microenvironment has remained elusive. In this study Won and colleagues report that interleukin-6 (IL-6) mediated signal transducer and activator of transcription factor 3 (STAT3) signaling and hypoxia enhance the expression of CD133 and promote the progression of HCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/hbsn.2016.03.02DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4876240PMC
June 2016

Metformin prevents hepatocellular carcinoma development by suppressing hepatic progenitor cell activation in a rat model of cirrhosis.

Cancer 2016 Apr 23;122(8):1216-27. Epub 2016 Feb 23.

Division of Surgical Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)-associated mortality is increasing at an alarming rate, and there is a readily identifiable cohort of at-risk patients with cirrhosis, viral hepatitis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and diabetes. These patients are candidates for chemoprevention. Metformin is an attractive agent for chemoprevention because it is inexpensive, has a favorable safety profile, and is well tolerated over long time periods.

Methods: The authors studied the efficacy of metformin as a prevention agent in a clinically relevant rat model of HCC, in which tumors develop in the setting of chronic inflammation and cirrhosis. Repeated injections of diethylnitrosamine were used to induce sequential cirrhosis and HCC, and metformin was administered at the first signs of either fibrosis or cirrhosis.

Results: Prolonged metformin exposure was safe and was associated with decreases in fibrotic and inflammatory markers, especially when administered early at the first signs of fibrosis. In addition, early metformin treatment led to a 44% decrease in HCC incidence, whereas tumor burden was unchanged when metformin was administered at the first signs of cirrhosis. It is noteworthy that activation of the hepatic progenitor/stem cell compartment was first observed at the onset of cirrhosis; therefore, only early metformin treatment suppressed receptor for advanced glycation end products and inhibited the activation of hepatic progenitor cells.

Conclusions: The current results are the first to demonstrate an effect on progenitor/stem cells in the setting of chemoprevention and provide further rationale to explore metformin as an early intervention in clinical trials of patients with chronic liver disease at high risk for HCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.29912DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4828262PMC
April 2016

Progressive decrease of phosphocreatine, creatine and creatine kinase in skeletal muscle upon transformation to sarcoma.

FEBS J 2008 Jun 13;275(12):3236-47. Epub 2008 May 13.

Department of Biological Chemistry, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Jadavpur, Kolkata, India.

In vertebrates, phosphocreatine and ATP are continuously interconverted by the reversible reaction of creatine kinase in accordance with cellular energy needs. Sarcoma tissue and its normal counterpart, creatine-rich skeletal muscle, are good source materials to study the status of creatine and creatine kinase with the progression of malignancy. We experimentally induced sarcoma in mouse leg muscle by injecting either 3-methylcholanthrene or live sarcoma 180 cells into one hind leg. Creatine, phosphocreatine and creatine kinase isoform levels decreased as malignancy progressed and reached very low levels in the final stage of sarcoma development; all these parameters remained unaltered in the unaffected contralateral leg muscle of the same animal. Creatine and creatine kinase levels were also reduced significantly in frank malignant portions of human sarcoma and gastric and colonic adenocarcinoma compared with the distal nonmalignant portions of the same samples. In mice, immunoblotting with antibodies against cytosolic muscle-type creatine kinase and sarcomeric mitochondrial creatine kinase showed that both of these isoforms decreased as malignancy progressed. Expressions of mRNA of muscle-type creatine kinase and sarcomeric mitochondrial creatine kinase were also severely downregulated. In human sarcoma these two isoforms were undetectable also. In human gastric and colonic adenocarcinoma, brain-type creatine kinase was found to be downregulated, whereas ubiquitous mitochondrial creatine kinase was upregulated. These significantly decreased levels of creatine and creatine kinase isoforms in sarcoma suggest that: (a) the genuine muscle phenotype is lost during sarcoma progression, and (b) these parameters may be used as diagnostic marker and prognostic indicator of malignancy in this tissue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-4658.2008.06475.xDOI Listing
June 2008

Mulberry non-engineered silk gland protein vis-à-vis silk cocoon protein engineered by silkworms as biomaterial matrices.

J Mater Sci Mater Med 2008 Jul 19;19(7):2679-89. Epub 2008 Feb 19.

Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India.

Silk fibroin from silk gland of Bombyx mori 5th instar larvae was utilized to fabricate films, which may find possible applications as two-dimensional matrices for tissue engineering. Bombyx mori cocoon fibroin is well characterized as potential biomaterial by virtue of its good mechanical strength, water stability, thermal properties, surface roughness and biocompatibility. The present study aims to characterize the biophysical, thermal, mechanical, rheological, swelling properties along with spectroscopic analysis, surface morphology and biocompatibility of the silk gland fibroin films compared with cocoon fibroin. Fibroin solutions showed increased turbidity and shear thinning at higher concentration. The films after methanol treatment swelled moderately and were less hydrophilic compared to the untreated. The spectroscopic analysis of the films illustrated the presence of various amide peaks and conformational transition from random coil to beta sheet on methanol treatment. X-ray diffraction studies also confirmed the secondary structure. Thermogravimetric analysis showed distinct weight loss of the films. The films were mechanically stronger and AFM studies showed surfaces were rougher on methanol treatment. The matrices were biocompatible and supported L929 mouse fibroblast cell growth and proliferation. The results substantiate the silk gland fibroin films as potential biomaterial matrices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10856-008-3398-1DOI Listing
July 2008