Visualization of bisphosphonate-induced caspase-3 activity in apoptotic osteoclasts in vitro.
Bisphosphonates inhibit osteoclast-mediated bone resorption by mechanisms that have only recently become clear. Whereas nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates affect osteoclast function by preventing protein prenylation (especially geranylgeranylation), non-nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates have a different molecular mechanism of action. In this study, we demonstrate that nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates (risedronate, alendronate, pamidronate, and zoledronic acid) and non-nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates (clodronate and etidronate) cause apoptosis of rabbit osteoclasts, human osteoclastoma-derived osteoclasts, and human osteoclast-like cells generated in cultures of bone marrow in vitro. Osteoclast apoptosis was shown to involve characteristic morphological changes, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, and the activation of caspase-3-like proteases capable of cleaving peptide substrates with the sequence DEVD. Caspase-3-like activity could be visualized in unfixed, dying osteoclasts and osteoclast-like cells using a cell-permeable, fluorogenic substrate. Bisphosphonate-induced osteoclast apoptosis was dependent on caspase activation, because apoptosis resulting from alendronate, clodronate, or zoledronic acid treatment was suppressed by zVAD-fmk, a broad-range caspase inhibitor, or by SB-281277, a specific isatin sulfonamide inhibitor of caspase-3/-7. Furthermore, caspase-3 (but not caspase-6 or caspase-7) activity could be detected and quantitated in lysates from purified rabbit osteoclasts, whereas the p17 fragment of active caspase-3 could be detected in human osteoclast-like cells by immunofluorescence staining. Caspase-3, therefore, appears to be the major effector caspase activated in osteoclasts by bisphosphonate treatment. Caspase activation and apoptosis induced by nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates are likely to be the consequence of the loss of geranylgeranylated rather than farnesylated proteins, because the ability to cause apoptosis and caspase activation was mimicked by GGTI-298, a specific inhibitor of protein geranylgeranylation, whereas FTI-277, a specific inhibitor of protein farnesylation, had no effect on apoptosis or caspase activity.
Elzi DJ et al. (JUL 2001)
American journal of physiology. Cell physiology 281 1 C350--60
Ionomycin causes activation of p38 and p42/44 mitogen-activated protein kinases in human neutrophils.
Many receptor-linked agents that prime or activate the NADPH oxidase in polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) elicit changes in cytosolic Ca2+ concentration and activate mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases. To investigate the role of Ca2+ in the activation of p38 and p42/44 MAP kinases, we examined the effects of the Ca2+-selective ionophore ionomycin on priming and activation of the PMN oxidase. Ionomycin caused a rapid rise in cytosolic Ca2+ that was due to both a release of cytosolic Ca2+ stores and Ca2+ influx. Ionomycin also activated (2 microM) and primed (20-200 nM) the PMN oxidase. Dual phosphorylation of p38 MAP kinase and phosphorylation of its substrate activating transcription factor-2 were detected at ionomycin concentrations that prime or activate the PMN oxidase, while dual phosphorylation of p42/44 MAP kinase and phosphorylation of its substrate Elk-1 were elicited at 0.2-2 microM. SB-203580, a p38 MAP kinase antagonist, inhibited ionomycin-induced activation of the oxidase (68 +/- 8%, P textless 0.05) and tyrosine phosphorylation of 105- and 72-kDa proteins; conversely, PD-98059, an inhibitor of MAP/extracellular signal-related kinase 1, had no effect. Treatment of PMNs with thapsigargin resulted in priming of the oxidase and activation of p38 MAP kinase. Chelation of cytosolic but not extracellular Ca2+ completely inhibited ionomycin activation of p38 MAP kinase, whereas chelation of extracellular Ca2+ abrogated activation of p42/44 MAP kinase. These results demonstrate the importance of changes in cytosolic Ca2+ for MAP kinase activation in PMNs.
Barker AJ et al. ( 2001)
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters 11 14 1911--1914
Studies leading to the identification of ZD1839 (IRESSA): an orally active, selective epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor targeted to the treatment of cancer.
This paper describes the development of the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor ZD1839 from a lead series of 4-anilinoquinazoline compounds. ZD1839 has suitable properties for use as a clinically effective drug and shows activity against human tumours. In particular, the use of pharmacokinetic data in the development of ZD1839 is discussed.
Chase JC et al. (JUN 2001)
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 45 2 121--9
Analysis of Kudoa thyrsites (Myxozoa: Myxosporea) spore antigens using monoclonal antibodies.
A method employing Percoll gradient centrifugation was developed to purify Kudoa thyrsites spores from somatic muscle tissue of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar. Highly purified spores were then used to immunize inbred BALB/c mice for derivation of hybridomas secreting Kudoa-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Analysis of mAbs by immunofluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry showed that several were specific for antigens on the surface of K. thyrsites spores whereas other mAbs reacted with polar capsules or with polar filaments of spores of K. thyrsites, K. paniformis and K. crumena. Immunoblots on spore lysates using the surface-binding mAbs showed a broad band of 46 to textgreater 220 kDa, whereas mAbs specific for antigens of polar capsules and polar filaments detected sharper bands of various molecular masses, depending on the Kudoa species. The dominant epitope of the K. thyrsites spore surface antigen was shown to be carbohydrate as determined by its sensitivity to treatment with anhydrous trifluoromethane sulfonic acid and by its resistance to treatment with Proteinase K. Immunofluorescence microscopy using the K. thyrsites-specific mAbs on isolated, intact, permeabilized plasmodia and on thin sections of somatic muscle tissue containing plasmodia revealed intense labeling of spores both within the spore-producing plasmodia and in the flesh of infected Atlantic salmon. As few as 100 spores were detected by immunoblotting, indicating that these mAbs have potential for use in developing a field-based diagnostic test.
ClonaCell™-HY Hybridoma Kit
Phiel CJ et al. (SEP 2001)
The Journal of biological chemistry 276 39 36734--41
Histone deacetylase is a direct target of valproic acid, a potent anticonvulsant, mood stabilizer, and teratogen.
Valproic acid is widely used to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorder and is also a potent teratogen, but its mechanisms of action in any of these settings are unknown. We report that valproic acid activates Wntdependent gene expression, similar to lithium, the mainstay of therapy for bipolar disorder. Valproic acid, however, acts through a distinct pathway that involves direct inhibition of histone deacetylase (IC(50) for HDAC1 = 0.4 mm). At therapeutic levels, valproic acid mimics the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A, causing hyperacetylation of histones in cultured cells. Valproic acid, like trichostatin A, also activates transcription from diverse exogenous and endogenous promoters. Furthermore, valproic acid and trichostatin A have remarkably similar teratogenic effects in vertebrate embryos, while non-teratogenic analogues of valproic acid do not inhibit histone deacetylase and do not activate transcription. Based on these observations, we propose that inhibition of histone deacetylase provides a mechanism for valproic acid-induced birth defects and could also explain the efficacy of valproic acid in the treatment of bipolar disorder.
Kadison A et al. (AUG 2001)
Journal of pediatric surgery 36 8 1150--6
Retinoid signaling directs secondary lineage selection in pancreatic organogenesis.
BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Retinoid signaling plays an important role in many differentiation pathways. Retinoid signaling has been implicated in the induction of differentiation by pancreatic ductal cancer cell lines and in patients with pancreatic cancer. The authors wished to better understand the role of retinoid signaling in pancreatic development. METHODS: Embryonic pancreas was harvested from mice at serial gestational ages and immunohistochemical analysis was performed for retinoic acid receptors (RAR-alpha, RAR-beta, RAR-gamma), and retinoid X receptors (RXR-alpha, RXR-beta, and RXR-gamma). Also, early embryonic pancreases were cultured for 7 days with exogenous 9-cis retinoic acid (9cRA) or all-trans retinoic acid (atRA) and analyzed histologically and immunohistochemically. RESULTS: Retinoid receptors were expressed in a lineage-specific distribution, with stronger expression for many in the exocrine compartment. The receptors were not often expressed until late gestation. Exogenous 9cRA induced predominantly ducts instead of acini, plus more mature endocrine (islet) architecture. Exogenous atRA induced predominantly acini instead of ducts, with no apparent endocrine effect. CONCLUSIONS: Retinoids may have an important role in pancreatic differentiation, with a particular effect on secondary lineage selection between ductal and acinar phenotype. Because the control of ductal versus acinar differentiation has been implicated strongly in the pathogenesis of pancreatic ductal carcinoma, these results may lay the groundwork for studies in the mechanism of induced differentiation of pancreatic ductal cancer by retinoids.
9-cis Retinoic Acid
Grozinger CM et al. (OCT 2001)
The Journal of biological chemistry 276 42 38837--43
Identification of a class of small molecule inhibitors of the sirtuin family of NAD-dependent deacetylases by phenotypic screening.
The yeast transcriptional repressor Sir2p silences gene expression from the telomeric, rDNA, and silent mating-type loci and may play a role in higher order processes such as aging. Sir2p is the founding member of a large family of NAD-dependent deacetylase enzymes, named the sirtuins. These proteins are conserved from prokaryotes to eukaryotes, but most remain uncharacterized, including all seven human sirtuins. A reverse chemical genetic approach would be useful in identifying the biological function of sirtuins in a wide variety of experimental systems, but no cell-permeable small molecule inhibitors of sirtuins have been reported previously. Herein we describe a high throughput, phenotypic screen in cells that led to the discovery of a class of sirtuin inhibitors. All three compounds inhibited yeast Sir2p transcriptional silencing activity in vivo, and yeast Sir2p and human SIRT2 deacetylase activity in vitro. Such specific results demonstrate the utility and robustness of this screening methodology. Structure-activity relationship analysis of the compounds identified a key hydroxy-napthaldehyde moiety that is necessary and sufficient for inhibitory activity. Preliminary studies using one of these compounds suggest that inhibition of sirtuins interferes with body axis formation in Arabidopsis.
Namura S et al. ( 2001)
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 98 20 11569--11574
Intravenous administration of MEK inhibitor U0126 affords brain protection against forebrain ischemia and focal cerebral ischemia.
Brain subjected to acute ischemic attack caused by an arterial blockage needs immediate arterial recanalization. However, restoration of cerebral blood flow can cause tissue injury, which is termed reperfusion injury. It is important to inhibit reperfusion injury to achieve greater brain protection. Because oxidative stress has been shown to activate mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), and because oxidative stress contributes to reperfusion injury, MAPK may be a potential target to inhibit reperfusion injury after brain ischemia. Here, we demonstrate that reperfusion after forebrain ischemia dramatically increases phosphorylation level of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 (ERK2) in the gerbil hippocampus. In addition, i.v. administration of U0126 (100-200 mg/kg), a specific inhibitor of MEK (MAPK/ERK kinase), protects the hippocampus against forebrain ischemia. Moreover, treatment with U0126 at 3 h after ischemia significantly reduces infarct volume after transient (3 h) focal cerebral ischemia in mice. This protection is accompanied by reduced phosphorylation level of ERK2, substrates for MEK, in the damaged brain areas. Furthermore, U0126 protects mouse primary cultured cortical neurons against oxygen deprivation for 9 h as well as nitric oxide toxicity. These results provide further evidence for the role of MEK/ERK activation in brain injury resulting from ischemia/reperfusion, and indicate that MEK inhibition may increase the resistance of tissue to ischemic injury.
Lane ME et al. ( 2001)
Cancer research 61 16 6170--6177
A novel cdk2-selective inhibitor, SU9516, induces apoptosis in colon carcinoma cells.
Recent studies have indicated that the development of cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk)2 inhibitors that deregulate E2F are a plausible pharmacological strategy for novel antineoplastic agents. We show here that 3-[1-(3H-Imidazol-4-yl)-meth-(Z)-ylidene]-5-methoxy-1,3-dihydro-indol-2-one (SU9516), a novel 3-substituted indolinone compound, binds to and selectively inhibits the activity of cdk2. This inhibition results in a time-dependent decrease (4-64%) in the phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein pRb, an increase in caspase-3 activation (5-84%), and alterations in cell cycle resulting in either a G(0)-G(1) or a G(2)-M block. We also report here cell line differences in the cdk-dependent phosphorylation of pRb. These findings demonstrate that SU9516 is a selective cdk2 inhibitor and support the theory that compounds that inhibit cdk2 are viable resources in the development of new antineoplastic agents.
Kisselev AF and Goldberg AL (AUG 2001)
Chemistry & biology 8 8 739--58
Proteasome inhibitors: from research tools to drug candidates.
The 26S proteasome is a 2.4 MDa multifunctional ATP-dependent proteolytic complex, which degrades the majority of cellular polypeptides by an unusual enzyme mechanism. Several groups of proteasome inhibitors have been developed and are now widely used as research tools to study the role of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway in various cellular processes, and two inhibitors are now in clinical trials for treatment of multiple cancers and stroke.
Stingl J et al. (MAY 2001)
Breast cancer research and treatment 67 2 93--109
Characterization of bipotent mammary epithelial progenitor cells in normal adult human breast tissue.
The purpose of the present study was to characterize primitive epithelial progenitor populations present in adult normal human mammary tissue using a combination of flow cytometry and in vitro colony assay procedures. Three types of human breast epithelial cell (HBEC) progenitors were identified: luminal-restricted, myoepithelial-restricted and bipotent progenitors. The first type expressed epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM), alpha6 integrin and MUC1 and generated colonies composed exclusively of cells positive for the luminal-associated markers keratin 8/18, keratin 19, EpCAM and MUC1. Bipotent progenitors produced colonies containing a central core of cells expressing luminal markers surrounded by keratin 14+ myoepithelial-like cells. Single cell cultures confirmed the bipotentiality of these progenitors. Their high expression of alpha6 integrin and low expression of MUC1 suggests a basal position of these cells in the mammary epithelium in vivo. Serial passage in vitro of an enriched population of bipotent progenitors demonstrated that only myoepithelial-restricted progenitors could be readily generated under the culture conditions used. These results support a hierarchical branching model of HBEC progenitor differentiation from a primitive uncommitted cell to luminal- and myoepithelial-restricted progenitors.
Iacovitti L et al. (AUG 2001)
Brain research 912 1 99--104
Differentiation of human dopamine neurons from an embryonic carcinomal stem cell line.
Previous studies from this laboratory have demonstrated that fibroblast growth factor 1 together with a number of co-activator molecules (dopamine, TPA, IBMX/forskolin), will induce the expression of the catecholamine biosynthetic enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in 10% of human neurons (hNTs) derived from the NT2 cell line . In the present study, we found that TH induction was increased to nearly 75% in hNTs when cells were permitted to age 2 weeks in culture prior to treatment with the differentiation cocktail. This high level of TH expression was sustained 7 days after removal of the differentiating agents from the media. Moreover, the induced TH present in these cells was enzymatically active, resulting in the production of low levels of dopamine (DA) and its metabolite DOPAC. These findings suggest that hNTs may provide an important tissue culture model for the study of factors regulating TH gene expression in human neurons. Moreover, hNTs may serve, in vivo, as a source of human DA neurons for use in transplantation therapies.
Rathjen J and Rathjen PD (OCT 2001)
Current opinion in genetics & development 11 5 587--94
Mouse ES cells: experimental exploitation of pluripotent differentiation potential.
Pluripotent ES cells can be used to generate a wide variety of cell populations in vitro in a manner resembling embryonic development. Recent advances in controlling ES cell differentiation, combined with the power of genetic and biochemical manipulation, are providing insights into cell biology and the determination of cell fate.
ES-Cult™ Fetal Bovine Serum for Maintenance
CD-1 Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts, Day E12.5
CD-1 Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts, Day E14.5
Neomycin-Resistant Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts, Day E13.5
Hygromycin-Resistant Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts, Day E13.5
Puromycin-Resistant Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts, Day E13.5
Zhou S et al. (SEP 2001)
Nature medicine 7 9 1028--34
The ABC transporter Bcrp1/ABCG2 is expressed in a wide variety of stem cells and is a molecular determinant of the side-population phenotype.
Stem cells from bone marrow, skeletal muscle and possibly other tissues can be identified by the 'side-population' (SP) phenotype. Although it has been assumed that expression of ABC transporters is responsible for this phenotype, the specific molecules involved have not been defined. Here we show that expression of the Bcrp1 (also known as Abcg2 murine/ABCG2 human) gene is a conserved feature of stem cells from a wide variety of sources. Bcrp1 mRNA was expressed at high levels in primitive murine hematopoietic stem cells, and was sharply downregulated with differentiation. Enforced expression of the ABCG2 cDNA directly conferred the SP phenotype to bone-marrow cells and caused a reduction in maturing progeny both in vitro and in transplantation-based assays. These results show that expression of the Bcrp1/ABCG2 gene is an important determinant of the SP phenotype, and that it might serve as a marker for stem cells from various sources.
Pfeifer A et al. (SEP 2001)
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 98 20 11450--5
Delivery of the Cre recombinase by a self-deleting lentiviral vector: efficient gene targeting in vivo.
The Cre recombinase (Cre) from bacteriophage P1 is an important tool for genetic engineering in mammalian cells. We constructed lentiviral vectors that efficiently deliver Cre in vitro and in vivo. Surprisingly, we found a significant reduction in proliferation and an accumulation in the G(2)/M phase of Cre-expressing cells. To minimize the toxic effect of Cre, we designed a lentiviral vector that integrates into the host genome, expresses Cre in the target cell, and is subsequently deleted from the genome in a Cre-dependent manner. Thus, the activity of Cre terminates its own expression (self-deleting). We showed efficient modification of target genes in vitro and in the brain after transduction with the self-deleting vectors. In contrast to sustained Cre expression, transient expression of Cre from the self-deleting vector induced significantly less cytotoxicity. Such a self-deleting Cre vector is a promising tool for the induction of conditional gene modifications with minimal Cre toxicity in vivo.
Milella M et al. (SEP 2001)
The Journal of clinical investigation 108 6 851--9
Therapeutic targeting of the MEK/MAPK signal transduction module in acute myeloid leukemia.
The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway regulates growth and survival of many cell types, and its constitutive activation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of malignancies. In this study we demonstrate that small-molecule MEK inhibitors (PD98059 and PD184352) profoundly impair cell growth and survival of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cell lines and primary samples with constitutive MAPK activation. These agents abrogate the clonogenicity of leukemic cells but have minimal effects on normal hematopoietic progenitors. MEK blockade also results in sensitization to spontaneous and drug-induced apoptosis. At a molecular level, these effects correlate with modulation of the expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (p27(Kip1) and p21(Waf1/CIP1)) and antiapoptotic proteins of the inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAP) and Bcl-2 families. Interruption of constitutive MEK/MAPK signaling therefore represents a promising therapeutic strategy in AML.
Jasinski M et al. (OCT 2001)
Blood 98 7 2248--55
GATA1-Cre mediates Piga gene inactivation in the erythroid/megakaryocytic lineage and leads to circulating red cells with a partial deficiency in glycosyl phosphatidylinositol-linked proteins (paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria type II cells).
Patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) have blood cells deficient in glycosyl phosphatidylinositol (GPI)-linked proteins owing to a somatic mutation in the X-linked PIGA gene. To target Piga recombination to the erythroid/megakaryocytic lineage in mice, the Cre/loxP system was used, and Cre was expressed under the transcriptional regulatory sequences of GATA-1. Breeding of GATA1-cre (G) transgenic mice with mice carrying a floxed Piga (L) allele was associated with high embryonic lethality. However, double-transgenic (GL) mice that escaped early recombination looked healthy and were observed for 16 months. Flow cytometric analysis of peripheral blood cells showed that GL mice had up to 100% of red cells deficient in GPI-linked proteins. The loss of GPI-linked proteins on the cell surface occurred late in erythroid differentiation, causing a proportion of red cells to express low residual levels of GPI-linked proteins. Red cells with residual expression of GPI-linked proteins showed an intermediate sensitivity toward complement and thus resemble PNH type II cells in patients with PNH. Recombination of the floxed Piga allele was also detected in cultured megakaryocytes, mast cells, and eosinophils, but not in neutrophils, lymphocytes, or nonhematopoietic tissues. In summary, GATA1-Cre causes high-efficiency Piga gene inactivation in a GATA-1-specific pattern. For the first time, mice were generated that have almost 100% of red cells deficient in GPI-linked proteins. These animals will be valuable to further investigate the consequences of GPI-anchor deficiency on erythroid/megakaryocytic cells.
Schlecht G et al. (OCT 2001)
Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) 167 8 4215--21
Induction of CTL and nonpolarized Th cell responses by CD8alpha(+) and CD8alpha(-) dendritic cells.
Two distinct dendritic cell (DC) subpopulations have been evidenced in mice on the basis of their differential CD8alpha expression and their localization in lymphoid organs. Several reports suggest that CD8alpha(+) and CD8alpha(-) DC subsets could be functionally different. In this study, using a panel of MHC class I- and/or class II-restricted peptides, we analyzed CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell responses obtained after i.v. injection of freshly purified peptide-pulsed DC subsets. First, we showed that both DC subsets efficiently induce specific CTL responses and Th1 cytokine production in the absence of CD4(+) T cell priming. Second, we showed that in vivo activation of CD4(+) T cells by CD8alpha(+) or CD8alpha(-) DC, injected i.v., leads to a nonpolarized Th response with production of both Th1 and Th2 cytokines. The CD8alpha(-) subset induced a higher production of Th2 cytokines such as IL-4 and IL-10 than the CD8alpha(+) subset. However, IL-5 was produced by CD4(+) T cells activated by both DC subsets. When both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells were primed by DC injected i.v., a similar pattern of cytokines was observed, but, under these conditions, Th1 cytokines were mainly produced by CD8(+) T cells, while Th2 cytokines were produced by CD4(+) T cells. Thus, this study clearly shows that CD4(+) T cell responses do not influence the development of specific CD8(+) T cell cytotoxic responses induced either by CD8alpha(+) or CD8alpha(-) DC subsets.
Moreau-Gaudry F et al. (NOV 2001)
Blood 98 9 2664--72
High-level erythroid-specific gene expression in primary human and murine hematopoietic cells with self-inactivating lentiviral vectors.
Use of oncoretroviral vectors in gene therapy for hemoglobinopathies has been impeded by low titer vectors, genetic instability, and poor expression. Fifteen self- inactivating (SIN) lentiviral vectors using 4 erythroid promoters in combination with 4 erythroid enhancers with or without the woodchuck hepatitis virus postregulatory element (WPRE) were generated using the enhanced green fluorescent protein as a reporter gene. Vectors with high erythroid-specific expression in cell lines were tested in primary human CD34(+) cells and in vivo in the murine bone marrow (BM) transplantation model. Vectors containing the ankyrin-1 promoter showed high-level expression and stable proviral transmission. Two vectors containing the ankyrin-1 promoter and 2 erythroid enhancers (HS-40 plus GATA-1 or HS-40 plus 5-aminolevulinate synthase intron 8 [I8] enhancers) and WPRE expressed at levels higher than the HS2/beta-promoter vector in bulk unilineage erythroid cultures and individual erythroid blast-forming units derived from human BM CD34(+) cells. Sca1(+)/lineage(-) Ly5.1 mouse hematopoietic cells, transduced with these 2 ankyrin-1 promoter vectors, were injected into lethally irradiated Ly5.2 recipients. Eleven weeks after transplantation, high-level expression was seen from both vectors in blood (63%-89% of red blood cells) and erythroid cells in BM (70%-86% engraftment), compared with negligible expression in myeloid and lymphoid lineages in blood, BM, spleen, and thymus (0%-4%). The I8/HS-40-containing vector encoding a hybrid human beta/gamma-globin gene led to 43% to 113% human gamma-globin expression/copy of the mouse alpha-globin gene. Thus, modular use of erythroid-specific enhancers/promoters and WPRE in SIN-lentiviral vectors led to identification of high-titer, stably transmitted vectors with high-level erythroid-specific expression for gene therapy of red cell diseases.
Pessina A et al. (DEC 2001)
Toxicology in vitro : an international journal published in association with BIBRA 15 6 729--40
Prevalidation of a model for predicting acute neutropenia by colony forming unit granulocyte/macrophage (CFU-GM) assay.
This report describes an international prevalidation study conducted to optimise the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for detecting myelosuppressive agents by CFU-GM assay and to study a model for predicting (by means of this in vitro hematopoietic assay) the acute xenobiotic exposure levels that cause maximum tolerated decreases in absolute neutrophil counts (ANC). In the first phase of the study (Protocol Refinement), two SOPs were assessed, by using two cell culture media (Test A, containing GM-CSF; and Test B, containing G-CSF, GM-CSF, IL-3, IL-6 and SCF), and the two tests were applied to cells from both human (bone marrow and umbilical cord blood) and mouse (bone marrow) CFU-GM. In the second phase (Protocol Transfer), the SOPs were transferred to four laboratories to verify the linearity of the assay response and its interlaboratory reproducibility. After a further phase (Protocol Performance), dedicated to a training set of six anticancer drugs (adriamycin, flavopindol, morpholino-doxorubicin, pyrazoloacridine, taxol and topotecan), a model for predicting neutropenia was verified. Results showed that the assay is linear under SOP conditions, and that the in vitro endpoints used by the clinical prediction model of neutropenia are highly reproducible within and between laboratories. Valid tests represented 95% of all tests attempted. The 90% inhibitory concentration values (IC(90)) from Test A and Test B accurately predicted the human maximum tolerated dose (MTD) for five of six and for four of six myelosuppressive anticancer drugs, respectively, that were selected as prototype xenobiotics. As expected, both tests failed to accurately predict the human MTD of a drug that is a likely protoxicant. It is concluded that Test A offers significant cost advantages compared to Test B, without any loss of performance or predictive accuracy. On the basis of these results, we proposed a formal Phase II validation study using the Test A SOP for 16-18 additional xenobiotics that represent the spectrum of haematotoxic potential.
Coata G et al. (JAN 2001)
Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio) 19 6 534--42
Prenatal diagnosis of genetic abnormalities using fetal CD34+ stem cells in maternal circulation and evidence they do not affect diagnosis in later pregnancies.
In the present study, we report a new method for enrichment and analysis of fetal CD34+ stem cells after culture in order to determine whether it is feasible for noninvasive prenatal diagnosis. We also determined whether fetal CD34+ stem cells persist in maternal blood after delivery and assessed whether they have an impact on noninvasive prenatal diagnosis of genetic abnormalities. Peripheral blood samples were obtained from 35 pregnant women, 13 non-pregnant women who had given birth to male offsprings, 12 women who had never been pregnant, and eight pregnant women with male fetuses. CD34+ stem cells were enriched and either cultured for prenatal diagnosis or analyzed with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)/polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to determine peristance in maternal blood. Fetal/maternal cells can be isolated and grown in vitro" to provide enough cells for a more accurate fetal sex or aneuploid prediction than is provided by unenriched and uncultured CD34+ stem cells. The presence of fetal cells in maternal blood samples from mothers who had given birth to male offspring was found in 3 of 13 blood samples. PCR was positive for Y chromosome in one woman who had never been pregnant. Analysis of cultured CD34+ stem cells from mothers with Y PCR positivity did not detect any male cells in any samples. Even if PCR positivity is due to persistence of fetal stem cells from previous pregnancies�
MethoCult™ H4435 Enriched
Bennett BL et al. (NOV 2001)
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 98 24 13681--6
SP600125, an anthrapyrazolone inhibitor of Jun N-terminal kinase.
Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) is a stress-activated protein kinase that can be induced by inflammatory cytokines, bacterial endotoxin, osmotic shock, UV radiation, and hypoxia. We report the identification of an anthrapyrazolone series with significant inhibition of JNK1, -2, and -3 (K(i) = 0.19 microM). SP600125 is a reversible ATP-competitive inhibitor with textgreater20-fold selectivity vs. a range of kinases and enzymes tested. In cells, SP600125 dose dependently inhibited the phosphorylation of c-Jun, the expression of inflammatory genes COX-2, IL-2, IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, and prevented the activation and differentiation of primary human CD4 cell cultures. In animal studies, SP600125 blocked (bacterial) lipopolysaccharide-induced expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and inhibited anti-CD3-induced apoptosis of CD4(+) CD8(+) thymocytes. Our study supports targeting JNK as an important strategy in inflammatory disease, apoptotic cell death, and cancer.
Dockrell DH and Kinghorn GR (DEC 2001)
The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy 48 6 751--5
Imiquimod and resiquimod as novel immunomodulators.
Augmenting the host's natural immune response to viruses by the administration of exogenous cytokines such as interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) is a strategy increasingly employed in antiviral therapeutics. Enhancing the release of endogenous cytokines is, however, an alternative approach. The imidazoquinolinamines imiquimod and resiquimod have demonstrated potency as inducers of IFN-alpha and other cytokines both in vitro and in vivo. Cytokine gene activation is mediated via the signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT-1) and involves the transcription factors NFkappaB and alpha4F1. Antiviral activity has been demonstrated against a variety of viruses, and clinical efficacy has been demonstrated against genital warts, herpes genitalis and molluscum contagiosum. Imiquimod is administered as a 5% cream (Aldara) and has been licensed for the treatment of anogenital warts in immunocompetent patients. Complete clearance of warts has been observed in up to half of treated patients with only local side effects reported. Resiquimod can be administered topically but also exists as an oral formulation. The range of potential infections for which these agents may have clinical utility includes chronic hepatitis C virus infection and Kaposi's sarcoma. In addition, the imidazoquinolinamines may find roles in the therapy of cancers and as vaccine adjuvants.
Iversen PO et al. (JAN 2002)
American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology 282 1 R166--72
Decreased hematopoiesis in bone marrow of mice with congestive heart failure.
Patients with heart failure are predisposed to infections and anemia, possibly due to reduced hematopoiesis. The proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) is increased in heart failure, and it inhibits normal hematopoiesis, partly due to apoptosis through the effector molecule Fas. We examined bone marrow progenitor cells of mice with heart failure induced by acute myocardial infarction. The fraction of progenitor cells in mice with heart failure was only approximately 40% of control. Measured with in vitro clonal assays, the proliferative capacity of the progenitor cells in mice with heart failure was reduced to approximately 50% of control. Flow cytometry with specific markers revealed a threefold increase in apoptosis among progenitor cells from mice with heart failure. In these mice, TNF-alpha/Fas expression was increased in bone marrow natural killer (NK) and T cells, and these lymphocytes showed increased cytolytic activity in vitro against progenitor cells. We conclude that the TNF-alpha/Fas pathway in lymphocytes is activated in the bone marrow during heart failure, which may play a pathogenic role in the observed decrease in hematopoiesis.