Background The transcriptional co-activator MN1 confers a worse prognosis for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) when highly expressed; however, the mechanisms involved are unknown. We sought to model the effects of high MN1 expression in AML models to explore the underlying mechanisms.

Methodology/Principal Findings We used cell lines and a genetically defined mouse model of AML to examine the effects of MN1 overexpression on prognosis and response to cytarabine and doxorubicin in vitro and in vivo. Murine AML that was engineered to overexpress MN1 became more aggressive in vivo, leading to shortened survival in both treated and control groups. In vitro murine AML cells that overexpressed MN1 became resistant to treatment with cytarabine and highly resistant to doxorubicin. This resistant phenotype was also seen in vivo, where treatment with the combination of cytarabine and doxorubicin selected for cells expressing MN1. When therapy-induced DNA damage levels were assessed by γH2AX foci, no reduction was seen in MN1 expressing cells arguing against a drug efflux mechanism. Despite no reduction in DNA damage, MN1-expressing cells showed less apoptosis as assessed by annexin V and propidium iodide staining. Following treatment, p53 and BIM induction were markedly reduced in cells expressing MN1. Pharmacologic inhibition of the p53 E3 ligase MDM2 resulted in increased p53 levels and improved response to doxorubicin in vitro.

Conclusions/Significance MN1 overexpression accelerates an already aggressive leukemia, confers resistance to chemotherapy, and suppresses p53 and BIM induction, resulting in decreased apoptosis. This provides a mechanistic explanation of the poor prognosis observed with high MN1 expression and suggests that therapies directed at increasing p53 function may be useful for these patients.
Uterine leiomyomata (UL), the most prevalent pelvic tumors in women of reproductive age, pose a major public health problem given their high frequency, associated morbidities, and most common indication for hysterectomies. A genetic component to UL predisposition is supported by analyses of ethnic predisposition, twin studies, and familial aggregation. A genome-wide SNP linkage panel was genotyped and analyzed in 261 white UL-affected sister-pair families from the Finding Genes for Fibroids study. Two significant linkage regions were detected in 10p11 (LOD = 4.15) and 3p21 (LOD = 3.73), and five additional linkage regions were identified with LOD scores > 2.00 in 2q37, 5p13, 11p15, 12q14, and 17q25. Genome-wide association studies were performed in two independent cohorts of white women, and a meta-analysis was conducted. One SNP (rs4247357) was identified with a p value (p = 3.05 108) that reached genome-wide significance (odds ratio = 1.299). The candidate SNP is under a linkage peak and in a block of linkage disequilibrium in 17q25.3, which spans fatty acid synthase (FASN), coiled-coil-domain-containing 57 (CCDC57), and solute-carrier family 16, member 3 (SLC16A3). By tissue microarray immunohistochemistry, we found elevated (3-fold) FAS levels in UL-affected tissue compared to matched myometrial tissue. FAS transcripts and/or protein levels are upregulated in various neoplasms and implicated in tumor cell survival. FASN represents the initial UL risk allele identified in white women by a genome-wide, unbiased approach and opens a path to management and potential therapeutic intervention.
We compared the growth of human lung cancer cells in an ex vivo three-dimensional (3D) lung model and 2D culture to determine which better mimics lung cancer growth in patients. A549 cells were grown in an ex vivo 3D lung model and in 2D culture for 15 days. We measured the size and formation of tumor nodules and counted the cells after 15 days. We also stained the tissue/cells for Ki-67, and Caspase-3. We measured matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) levels in the conditioned media and in blood plasma from patients with adenocarcinoma of the lung. Organized tumor nodules with intact vascular space formed in the ex vivo 3D lung model but not in 2D culture. Proliferation and apoptosis were greater in the ex vivo 3D lung model compared to the 2D culture. After 15 days, there were significantly more cells in the 2D culture than the 3D model. MMP-1, MMP-9, and MMP-10 production were significantly greater in the ex vivo 3D lung model. There was no production of MMP-9 in the 2D culture. The patient samples contained MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-9, and MMP-10. The human lung cancer cells grown on ex vivo 3D model form perfusable nodules that grow over time. It also produced MMPs that were not produced in 2D culture but seen in human lung cancer patients. The ex vivo 3D lung model may more closely mimic the biology of human lung cancer development than the 2D culture.
Background Survival for patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer is highly variable. We assessed the effectiveness of a whole-blood RNA transcript-based model as a prognostic biomarker in castration-resistant prostate cancer. Methods Peripheral blood was prospectively collected from 62 men with castration-resistant prostate cancer on various treatment regimens who were enrolled in a training set at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Boston, MA, USA) from August, 2006, to June, 2008, and from 140 patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer in a validation set from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (New York, NY, USA) from August, 2006, to February, 2009. A panel of 168 inflammation-related and prostate cancer-related genes was assessed with optimised quantitative PCR to assess biomarkers predictive of survival. Findings A six-gene model (consisting of ABL2, SEMA4D, ITGAL, and C1QA, TIMP1, CDKN1A) separated patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer into two risk groups: a low-risk group with a median survival of more than 34·9 months (median survival was not reached) and a high-risk group with a median survival of 7·8 months (95% CI 1·8-13·9; p<0·0001). The prognostic utility of the six-gene model was validated in an independent cohort. This model was associated with a significantly higher area under the curve compared with a clinicopathological model (0·90 [95% CI 0·78-0·96] vs 0·65 [0·52-0·78]; p=0·0067). Interpretation Transcriptional profiling of whole blood yields crucial prognostic information about men with castration-resistant prostate cancer. The six-gene model suggests possible dysregulation of the immune system, a finding that warrants further study.
Eukaryotic cells have evolved an intricate system to resolve DNA damage to prevent its transmission to daughter cells. This system, collectively known as the DNA damage response (DDR) network, includes many proteins that detect DNA damage, promote repair, and coordinate progression through the cell cycle. Because defects in this network can lead to cancer, this network constitutes a barrier against tumorigenesis. The modular BRCA1 carboxyl-terminal (BRCT) domain is frequently present in proteins involved in the DDR, can exist either as an individual domain or as tandem domains (tBRCT), and can bind phosphorylated peptides. We performed a systematic analysis of protein-protein interactions involving tBRCT in the DDR by combining literature curation, yeast two-hybrid screens, and tandem affinity purification coupled to mass spectrometry. We identified 23 proteins containing conserved BRCT domains and generated a human protein-protein interaction network for seven proteins with tBRCT. This study also revealed previously unknown components in DNA damage signaling, such as COMMD1 and the target of rapamycin complex mTORC2. Additionally, integration of tBRCT domain interactions with DDR phosphoprotein studies and analysis of kinase-substrate interactions revealed signaling subnetworks that may aid in understanding the involvement of tBRCT in disease and DNA repair.
Myocardial cell death is initiated by excessive mitochondrial Ca2+ entry causing Ca2+ overload, mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening and dissipation of the mitochondrial inner membrane potential (ΔΨm)1, 2. However, the signalling pathways that control mitochondrial Ca2+ entry through the inner membrane mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter (MCU)3, 4, 5 are not known. The multifunctional Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is activated in ischaemia reperfusion, myocardial infarction and neurohumoral injury, common causes of myocardial death and heart failure; these findings suggest that CaMKII could couple disease stress to mitochondrial injury. Here we show that CaMKII promotes mPTP opening and myocardial death by increasing MCU current (IMCU). Mitochondrial-targeted CaMKII inhibitory protein or cyclosporin A, an mPTP antagonist with clinical efficacy in ischaemia reperfusion injury6, equivalently prevent mPTP opening, ΔΨm deterioration and diminish mitochondrial disruption and programmed cell death in response to ischaemia reperfusion injury. Mice with myocardial and mitochondrial-targeted CaMKII inhibition have reduced IMCU and are resistant to ischaemia reperfusion injury, myocardial infarction and neurohumoral injury, suggesting that pathological actions of CaMKII are substantially mediated by increasing IMCU. Our findings identify CaMKII activity as a central mechanism for mitochondrial Ca2+ entry in myocardial cell death, and indicate that mitochondrial-targeted CaMKII inhibition could prevent or reduce myocardial death and heart failure in response to common experimental forms of pathophysiological stress.
Claims of extreme survival of DNA have emphasized the need for reliable models of DNA degradation through time. By analysing mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from 158 radiocarbon-dated bones of the extinct New Zealand moa, we confirm empirically a long-hypothesized exponential decay relationship. The average DNA half-life within this geographically constrained fossil assemblage was estimated to be 521 years for a 242 bp mtDNA sequence, corresponding to a per nucleotide fragmentation rate (k) of 5.50 × 10–6 per year. With an effective burial temperature of 13.1°C, the rate is almost 400 times slower than predicted from published kinetic data of in vitro DNA depurination at pH 5. Although best described by an exponential model (R2 = 0.39), considerable sample-to-sample variance in DNA preservation could not be accounted for by geologic age. This variation likely derives from differences in taphonomy and bone diagenesis, which have confounded previous, less spatially constrained attempts to study DNA decay kinetics. Lastly, by calculating DNA fragmentation rates on Illumina HiSeq data, we show that nuclear DNA has degraded at least twice as fast as mtDNA. These results provide a baseline for predicting long-term DNA survival in bone.
Haploids and double haploids are important resources for studying recessive traits and have large impacts on crop breeding1, but natural haploids are rare in animals. Mammalian haploids are restricted to germline cells and are occasionally found in tumours with massive chromosome loss2, 3. Recent success in establishing haploid embryonic stem (ES) cells in medaka fish4 and mice5, 6 raised the possibility of using engineered mammalian haploid cells in genetic studies. However, the availability and functional characterization of mammalian haploid ES cells are still limited. Here we show that mouse androgenetic haploid ES (ahES) cell lines can be established by transferring sperm into an enucleated oocyte. The ahES cells maintain haploidy and stable growth over 30?passages, express pluripotent markers, possess the ability to differentiate into all three germ layers in vitro and in vivo, and contribute to germlines of chimaeras when injected into blastocysts. Although epigenetically distinct from sperm cells, the ahES cells can produce viable and fertile progenies after intracytoplasmic injection into mature oocytes. The oocyte-injection procedure can also produce viable transgenic mice from genetically engineered ahES cells. Our findings show the developmental pluripotency of androgenentic haploids and provide a new tool to quickly produce genetic models for recessive traits. They may also shed new light on assisted reproduction.
Wnt5a is a non-canonical secreted glycoprotein of the Wnt family that plays an important role in cancer development and progression. Previous studies report that Wnt5a is upregulated in prostate cancer and suggested that Wnt5a affects migration and invasion of prostate tumor cell. This study aimed to evaluate the prognostic value of Wnt5a protein expression in prostate cancer tissue and its potential to predict outcome after radical prostatectomy in patients with localized prostate cancer.

Methodology and Results
Immunohistochemical analysis of a tissue microarray containing prostate specimens of 503 patients with localized prostate cancer showed significantly higher Wnt5a protein expression in cancer compared to benign cores from the same patients (p<0.0001). Patients with high expression of Wnt5a protein had significantly better outcome in terms of time to biochemical recurrence compared to patients with low expression levels (p = 0.001, 95%CI 1.361–3.570, Hazard's ratio 2.204). A combination of high Wnt5a expression with low levels of Ki-67 or androgen receptor expression had even better outcome compared to all other groups. Furthermore, we found that Wnt5a expression significantly correlated with VEGF and with Ki-67 and androgen receptor expression, although not highly significant. In vitro, we demonstrated that recombinant Wnt5a decreased invasion of 22Rv1 and DU145 cells and that siRNA knockdown of endogenous Wnt5a protein led to increased invasion of 22Rv1 and LNCaP cells.

We demonstrate that preserved overexpression of Wnt5a protein in patients with localized prostate cancer predicts a favorable outcome after surgery. This finding together with our in vitro data demonstrating the ability of Wnt5a to impair the invasive properties of prostate cancer cells, suggests a tumor suppressing effect of Wnt5a in localized prostate cancer. These results indicate that Wnt5a can be used as a predictive marker and that it also is a plausible therapeutic target for treatment of localized prostate cancer.
The Hippo (Hpo) tumor suppressor pathway regulates tissue size by inhibiting cell proliferation and promoting apoptosis. The core components of the pathway, Hpo, Salvador, Warts (Wts), and Mats, form a kinase cascade to inhibit the activity of Yorkie (Yki), the transcriptional effector of the pathway. Homeodomain-interacting protein kinases (Hipks) are a family of conserved serine/threonine kinases that function as regulators of various transcription factors to regulate developmental processes including proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Hipk can induce tissue overgrowth in Drosophila. We demonstrate that Hipk is required to promote Yki activity. Hipk affects neither Yki stability nor its subcellular localization. Moreover, hipk knockdown suppresses the overgrowth and target gene expression caused by hyperactive Yki. Hipk phosphorylates Yki and in vivo analyses show that Hipks regulation of Yki is kinase-dependent. To our knowledge, this is the first kinase identified to positively regulate Yki.