|Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is overexpressed in high-grade dysplasia and adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and may represent a biomarker of histological progression in Barrett's esophagus (BE). |
Cronin, J; McAdam, E; Danikas, A; Tselepis, C; Griffiths, P; Baxter, J; Thomas, L; Manson, J; Jenkins, G
The American journal of gastroenterology
The assessment of cancer risk in patients with Barrett's esophagus (BE) is currently fraught with difficulty. The current gold standard method of assessing cancer risk is histological assessment, with the appearance of high-grade dysplasia (HGD) as the key event monitored. Sampling error during endoscopy limits the usefulness of this approach, and there has been much recent interest in supplementing histological assessment with molecular markers, which may aid in patient stratification.No molecular marker has been yet validated to accurately correlate with esophageal histological progression. Here, we assessed the suitability of several membranous proteins as biomarkers by correlating their abundance with histological progression. In all, 107 patient samples, from 100 patients, were arranged on a tissue microarray (TMA) and represented the various stages of histological progression in BE. This TMA was probed with antibodies for eight receptor proteins (mostly membranous).Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) staining was found to be the most promising biomarker identified with clear increases in staining accompanying histological progression. Further, immunohistochemistry was performed using the full-tissue sections from BE, HGD, and adenocarcinoma tissues, which confirmed the stepwise increase in EGFR abundance. Using a robust H-score analysis, EGFR abundance was shown to increase 13-fold in the adenocarcinoma tissues compared to the BE tissues. EGFR was "overexpressed" in 35% of HGD specimens and 80% of adenocarcinoma specimens when using the H-score of the BE patients (plus 3 s.d.) as the threshold to define overexpression. EGFR staining was also noted to be higher in BE tissues adjacent to HGD/adenocarcinoma. Western blotting, although showing more EGFR protein in the adenocarcinomas compared to the BE tissue, was highly variable. EGFR overexpression was accompanied by aneuploidy (gain) of chromosome 7, plus amplification of the EGFR locus. Finally, the bile acid deoxycholic acid (DCA) (at neutral and acidic pH) and acid alone was capable of upregulating EGFR mRNA in vitro, and in the case of neutral pH DCA, this was NF-κB dependent.EGFR is overexpressed during the histological progression in BE tissues and hence may be useful as a biomarker of histological progression. Furthermore, as EGFR is a membranous protein expressed on the luminal surface of the esophageal mucosa, it may also be a useful target for biopsy guidance during endoscopy.
|All-trans-retinoic acid stimulates translation and induces spine formation in hippocampal neurons through a membrane-associated RARalpha. |
Chen, N; Napoli, JL
FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Differentiation and patterning in the developing nervous system require the vitamin A metabolite all-trans-retinoic acid (atRA). Recent data suggest that higher cognitive functions, such as creation of hippocampal memory, also require atRA and its receptors, RAR, through affecting synaptic plasticity. Here we show that within 30 min atRA increased dendritic growth approximately 2-fold, and PSD-95 and synaptophysin puncta intensity approximately 3-fold, in cultured mouse hippocampal neurons, suggesting increased synapse formation. atRA (10 nM) increased ERK1/2 phosphorylation within 10 min. In synaptoneurosomes, atRA rapidly increased phosphorylation of ERK1/2, its target 4E-BP, and p70S6K, and its substrate, ribosome protein S6, indicating activation of MAPK and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Immunofluorescence revealed intense dendritic expression of RARalpha in the mouse hippocampus and localization of RARalpha on the surfaces of primary cultures of hippocampal neurons, with bright puncta along soma and neurites. Surface biotinylation confirmed the locus of RARalpha expression. Knockdown of RARalpha by shRNA impaired atRA-induced spine formation and abolished dendritic growth. Prolonged atRA stimulation reduced surface/total RARalpha by 43%, suggesting internalization, whereas brain-derived nerve growth factor or bicuculline increased the ratio by approximately 1.8-fold. atRA increased translation in the somatodendritic compartment, similar to brain-derived nerve growth factor. atRA specifically increased dendritic translation and surface expression of the alpha-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate receptor (AMPAR) subunit 1 (GluR1), without affecting GluR2. These data provide mechanistic insight into atRA function in the hippocampus and identify a unique membrane-associated RARalpha that mediates rapid induction of neuronal translation by atRA.
|Retinoic acid-gated sequence-specific translational control by RARalpha. |
Poon, Michael M and Chen, Lu
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 105: 20303-8 (2008)
Retinoic acid (RA) plays important roles in development by modulating gene transcription through nuclear receptor activation. Increasing evidence supports a role for RA and RA receptors (RARs) in synaptic plasticity in the brain. We have recently reported that RA mediates a type of homeostatic synaptic plasticity through activation of dendritic protein synthesis, a process that requires dendritically localized RARalpha and is independent of transcriptional regulation. The molecular basis of this translational regulation by RA/RARalpha signaling, however, is unknown. Here we show that RARalpha is actively exported from the nucleus. Cytoplasmic RARalpha acts as an RNA-binding protein that associates with a subset of mRNAs, including dendritically localized glutamate receptor 1 (GluR1) mRNA. This binding is mediated by the RARalpha carboxyl terminal F-domain and specific sequence motifs in the 5'UTR of the GluR1 mRNA. Moreover, RARalpha association with the GluR1 mRNA directly underlies the translational control of GluR1 by RA: RARalpha represses GluR1 translation, while RA binding to RARalpha reduces its association with the GluR1 mRNA and relieves translational repression. Taken together, our results demonstrate a ligand-gated translational regulation mechanism mediated by a non-genomic function of RA/RARalpha signaling.
|The nuclear transcription factor RARalpha associates with neuronal RNA granules and suppresses translation. |
Chen, N; Onisko, B; Napoli, JL
The Journal of biological chemistry
All-trans-retinoic acid stimulates dendritic growth in hippocampal neurons within minutes by activating mitogen-activated protein kinase and mTOR and increasing dendritic translation of calcium calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II alpha and the alpha-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate receptor subunit GluR1. Hippocampal neurons express RARalpha in dendrites, and knocking down RARalpha prevents all-trans-retinoic acid effects on dendritic growth. Here we show, by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis of immunoaffinity isolates of hippocampal neurons, that RARalpha partners with many RNA-binding proteins and translation factors conveyed in dendritic RNA transport granules, including the purine-rich element-binding protein, Pur alpha. The interaction of RARalpha with Pur alpha, an RNA-binding protein required for dendritic RNA transport, and other RNA-binding proteins was confirmed by tandem affinity purification. Confocal microscopy confirmed localization of neuronal RARalpha in dendritic RNA granules with Pur alpha and FMRP (the fragile x mental retardation protein). Hippocampal RARalpha also associates with mRNA, e.g. encoding GluR1 and calcium calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II alpha. Consistent with a granule function of conveying translationally silenced mRNA, RARalpha inhibits translation initiation, independent of 7-methylguanylate cap or poly(A) tail, and prompts mRNA redistribution to silencing ribonucleoprotein particles. These data afford a mechanism for rapid stimulation of dendritic growth by all-trans-retinoic acid and reveal that the ligand-dependent transcription factor RARalpha also regulates translation.