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  • 1.
    Afrakhte, Mozhgan
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Genetics and Pathology.
    Morén, Anita
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm , Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Jossan, Surinder
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Genetics and Pathology.
    Itoh, Susumu
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm , Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Sampath, Kuber
    Westermark, Bengt
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Genetics and Pathology.
    Heldin, Carl-Henrik
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm , Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Heldin, Nils-Erik
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Genetics and Pathology.
    ten Dijke, Peter
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm , Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Induction of inhibitory Smad6 and Smad7 mRNA by TGF-beta family members1998In: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications - BBRC, ISSN 0006-291X, E-ISSN 1090-2104, Vol. 249, no 2, p. 505-11Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Smad6 and Smad7 function as intracellular antagonists in transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) signaling. Here we report the isolation of human Smad6, which is closely related to Smad7. Smad6 and Smad7 mRNAs were differentially expressed in lung cancer cell lines and were rapidly and directly induced by TGF-beta1, activin and bone morphogenetic protein-7. Cross-talk between TGF-beta and other signaling pathways was demonstrated by the finding that epidermal growth factor (EGF) induced the expression of inhibitory SMAD mRNA. Moreover, whereas the phorbol ester PMA alone had no effect, it potentiated the TGF-beta1-induced expression of Smad7 mRNA. Ectopic expression of anti-sense Smad7 RNA was found to increase the effect of TGF-beta1, supporting its role as a negative regulator in TGF-beta signaling. Thus, expression of inhibitory Smads is induced by multiple stimuli, including the various TGF-beta family members, whose action they antagonize.

  • 2.
    Blokzijl, Andries
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology. YUMAB GmbH, Rebenring 33, D-38106 Braunschweig, Germany..
    Zieba, Agata
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Molecular tools.
    Hust, Michael
    Tech Univ Carolo Wilhelmina Braunschweig, Inst Biochem Biotechnol & Bioinformat, Dept Biotechnol, Spielmannstr 7, D-38106 Braunschweig, Germany..
    Schirrmann, Thomas
    Tech Univ Carolo Wilhelmina Braunschweig, Inst Biochem Biotechnol & Bioinformat, Dept Biotechnol, Spielmannstr 7, D-38106 Braunschweig, Germany.;YUMAB GmbH, Rebenring 33, D-38106 Braunschweig, Germany..
    Helmsing, Saskia
    Tech Univ Carolo Wilhelmina Braunschweig, Inst Biochem Biotechnol & Bioinformat, Dept Biotechnol, Spielmannstr 7, D-38106 Braunschweig, Germany..
    Grannas, Karin
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology.
    Hertz, Ellen
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology.
    Morén, Anita
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Chen, Lei
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Molecular tools.
    Söderberg, Ola
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Molecular tools.
    Moustakas, Aristidis
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Dubel, Stefan
    Tech Univ Carolo Wilhelmina Braunschweig, Inst Biochem Biotechnol & Bioinformat, Dept Biotechnol, Spielmannstr 7, D-38106 Braunschweig, Germany..
    Landegren, Ulf
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Molecular tools.
    Single Chain Antibodies as Tools to Study transforming growth factor--Regulated SMAD Proteins in Proximity Ligation-Based Pharmacological Screens2016In: Molecular & cellular proteomics (online), ISSN 1535-9476, E-ISSN 1535-9484, Vol. 15, no 6, p. 1848-1856Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The cellular heterogeneity seen in tumors, with subpopulations of cells capable of resisting different treatments, renders single-treatment regimens generally ineffective. Accordingly, there is a great need to increase the repertoire of drug treatments from which combinations may be selected to efficiently target sets of pathological processes, while suppressing the emergence of resistance mutations. In this regard, members of the TGF- signaling pathway may furnish new, valuable therapeutic targets. In the present work, we developed in situ proximity ligation assays (isPLA) to monitor the state of the TGF- signaling pathway. Moreover, we extended the range of suitable affinity reagents for this analysis by developing a set of in-vitro-derived human antibody fragments (single chain fragment variable, scFv) that bind SMAD2 (Mothers against decapentaplegic 2), 3, 4, and 7 using phage display. These four proteins are all intracellular mediators of TGF- signaling. We also developed an scFv specific for SMAD3 phosphorylated in the linker domain 3 (p179 SMAD3). This phosphorylation has been shown to inactivate the tumor suppressor function of SMAD3. The single chain affinity reagents developed in the study were fused tocrystallizable antibody fragments (Fc-portions) and expressed as dimeric IgG-like molecules having Fc domains (Yumabs), and we show that they represent valuable reagents for isPLA. Using these novel assays, we demonstrate that p179 SMAD3 forms a complex with SMAD4 at increased frequency during division and that pharmacological inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4)(1) reduces the levels of p179SMAD3 in tumor cells. We further show that the p179SMAD3-SMAD4 complex is bound for degradation by the proteasome. Finally, we developed a chemical screening strategy for compounds that reduce the levels of p179SMAD3 in tumor cells with isPLA as a read-out, using the p179SMAD3 scFv SH544-IIC4. The screen identified two kinase inhibitors, known inhibitors of the insulin receptor, which decreased levels of p179SMAD3/SMAD4 complexes, thereby demonstrating the suitability of the recombinant affinity reagents applied in isPLA in screening for inhibitors of cell signaling.

  • 3. Bondestam, Jonas
    et al.
    Huotari, Mar-Anne
    Morén, Anita
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Ustinov, Jarkko
    Kaivo-Oja, Noora
    Kallio, Janne
    Horelli-Kuitunen, Nina
    Aaltonen, Johanna
    Fujii, Makiko
    Moustakas, Aristidis
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    ten Dijke, Peter
    Otonkoski, Timo
    Ritvos, Olli
    cDNA cloning, expression studies and chromosome mapping of human type I serine/threonine kinase receptor ALK7 (ACVR1C)2001In: Cytogenetics and Cell Genetics, ISSN 0301-0171, E-ISSN 1421-9816, Vol. 95, no 3-4, p. 157-162Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily related growth factors signal by binding to transmembrane type I and type II receptor serine/threonine kinases (RSTK), which phosphorylate intracellular Smad transcription factors in response to ligand binding. Here we describe the cloning of the human type I RSTK activin receptor-like kinase 7 (ALK7), an orthologue of the previously identified rat ALK7. Nodal, a TGF-beta member expressed during embryonic development and implicated in developmental events like mesoderm formation and left-right axis specification, was recently shown to signal through ALK7. We found ALK7 mRNA to be most abundantly expressed in human brain, pancreas and colon. A cDNA encoding the open reading frame of ALK7 was obtained from a human brain cDNA library. Furthermore, a P1 artificial chromosome (PAC) clone containing the human ALK7 gene was isolated and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) on metaphase chromosomes identified the gene locus as chromosome 2q24.1-->q3. To test the functionality of the ALK7 signaling, we generated recombinant adenoviruses containing a constitutively active form of ALK7 (Ad-caALK7), which is capable of activating downstream targets in a ligand independent manner. Infection with Ad-caALK7 of MIN6 insulinoma cells, in which ALK7 has previously been shown to be endogenously expressed, led to a marked increase in the phosphorylation of Smad2, a signaling molecule also used by TGF-betas and activins.

  • 4.
    Caja, Laia
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Tzavlaki, Kalliopi
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Dadras, Mahsa Shahidi
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Tan, E-Jean
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Hatem, Gad
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Maturi, Naga Prathyusha
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Neuro-Oncology. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Morén, Anita
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Wik, Lotta
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Molecular tools. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Watanabe, Yukihide
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. Univ Tsukuba, Dept Expt Pathol, Fac Med, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.
    Savary, Katia
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Univ Reims, UMR CNRS MEDyC 7369, Reims, France.
    Kamali-Moghaddam, Masood
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Molecular tools. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Uhrbom, Lene
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Neuro-Oncology.
    Heldin, Carl-Henrik
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Moustakas, Aristidis
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Snail regulates BMP and TGF beta pathways to control the differentiation status of glioma-initiating cells2018In: Oncogene, ISSN 0950-9232, E-ISSN 1476-5594, Vol. 37, no 19, p. 2515-2531Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Glioblastoma multiforme is a brain malignancy characterized by high heterogeneity, invasiveness, and resistance to current therapies, attributes related to the occurrence of glioma stem cells (GSCs). Transforming growth factor beta (TGF beta) promotes self-renewal and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) induces differentiation of GSCs. BMP7 induces the transcription factor Snail to promote astrocytic differentiation in GSCs and suppress tumor growth in vivo. We demonstrate that Snail represses stemness in GSCs. Snail interacts with SMAD signaling mediators, generates a positive feedback loop of BMP signaling and transcriptionally represses the TGFB1 gene, decreasing TGF beta 1 signaling activity. Exogenous TGF beta 1 counteracts Snail function in vitro, and in vivo promotes proliferation and re-expression of Nestin, confirming the importance of TGFB1 gene repression by Snail. In conclusion, novel insight highlights mechanisms whereby Snail differentially regulates the activity of the opposing BMP and TGF beta pathways, thus promoting an astrocytic fate switch and repressing stemness in GSCs.

  • 5.
    Carthy, Jon M.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. Imperial Coll London, Fac Med, Div Brain Sci, London, England..
    Stoeter, Martin
    Max Planck Inst Mol Cell Biol & Genet, Dresden, Germany..
    Bellomo, Claudia
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Vanlandewijck, Michael
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Vascular Biology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Heldin, Angelos
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Moren, Anita
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Kardassis, Dimitris
    Univ Crete, Sch Med, Dept Biochem, Iraklion 71003, Crete, Greece..
    Gahman, Timothy C.
    Ludwig Inst Canc Res, Small Mol Discovery Program, La Jolla, CA 92093 USA..
    Shiau, Andrew K.
    Ludwig Inst Canc Res, Small Mol Discovery Program, La Jolla, CA 92093 USA..
    Bickle, Marc
    Max Planck Inst Mol Cell Biol & Genet, Dresden, Germany..
    Zerial, Marino
    Max Planck Inst Mol Cell Biol & Genet, Dresden, Germany..
    Heldin, Carl-Henrik
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Moustakas, Aristidis
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Chemical regulators of epithelial plasticity reveal a nuclear receptor pathway controlling myofibroblast differentiation2016In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 6, article id 29868Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Plasticity in epithelial tissues relates to processes of embryonic development, tissue fibrosis and cancer progression. Pharmacological modulation of epithelial transitions during disease progression may thus be clinically useful. Using human keratinocytes and a robotic high-content imaging platform, we screened for chemical compounds that reverse transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta)-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition. In addition to TGF-beta receptor kinase inhibitors, we identified small molecule epithelial plasticity modulators including a naturally occurring hydroxysterol agonist of the liver X receptors (LXRs), members of the nuclear receptor transcription factor family. Endogenous and synthetic LXR agonists tested in diverse cell models blocked alpha-smooth muscle actin expression, myofibroblast differentiation and function. Agonist-dependent LXR activity or LXR overexpression in the absence of ligand counteracted TGF-beta-mediated myofibroblast terminal differentiation and collagen contraction. The protective effect of LXR agonists against TGF-beta-induced pro-fibrotic activity raises the possibility that anti-lipidogenic therapy may be relevant in fibrotic disorders and advanced cancer.

  • 6.
    Maturi, Varun
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology.
    Morén, Anita
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology.
    Enroth, Stefan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Medicinsk genetik och genomik. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Heldin, Carl-Henrik
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology.
    Moustakas, Aristidis
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Genomewide binding of transcription factor Snail1 in triple-negative breast cancer cells2018In: Molecular Oncology, ISSN 1574-7891, E-ISSN 1878-0261, Vol. 12, no 7, p. 1153-1174Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Transcriptional regulation mediated by the zinc finger protein Snail1 controls early embryogenesis. By binding to the epithelial tumor suppressor CDH1 gene, Snail1 initiates the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). The EMT generates stem-like cells and promotes invasiveness during cancer progression. Accordingly, Snail1 mRNA and protein is abundantly expressed in triple-negative breast cancers with enhanced metastatic potential and phenotypic signs of the EMT. Such high endogenous Snail1 protein levels permit quantitative chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing (ChIP-seq) analysis. Snail1 associated with 185 genes at cis regulatory regions in the Hs578T triple-negative breast cancer cell model. These genes include morphogenetic regulators and signaling components that control polarized differentiation. Using the CRISPR/Cas9 system in Hs578T cells, a double deletion of 10bp each was engineered into the first exon and into the second exon-intron junction of Snail1, suppressing Snail1 expression and causing misregulation of several hundred genes. Specific attention to regulators of chromatin organization provides a possible link to new phenotypes uncovered by the Snail1 loss-of-function mutation. On the other hand, genetic inactivation of Snail1 was not sufficient to establish a full epithelial transition to these tumor cells. Thus, Snail1 contributes to the malignant phenotype of breast cancer cells via diverse new mechanisms.

  • 7.
    Morén, Anita
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Bellomo, Claudia
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Tsubakihara, Yutaro
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Kardassis, Dimitris
    Univ Crete, Med Sch, Dept Biochem, Iraklion 71003, Crete, Greece.
    Mikulits, Wolfgang
    Med Univ Vienna, Comprehens Canc Ctr Vienna, Div Inst Canc Res, Dept Med 1, Vienna, Austria.
    Heldin, Carl-Henrik
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology.
    Moustakas, Aristidis
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    LXR alpha limits TGF beta-dependent hepatocellular carcinoma associated fibroblast differentiation2019In: Oncogenesis, E-ISSN 2157-9024, Vol. 8, article id 36Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Transforming growth factor beta (TGF beta) is deposited in the extracellular space of diverse tissues. Resident fibroblasts respond to TGF beta and undergo myofibroblastic differentiation during tissue wound healing and cancer progression. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) communicate with tumor cells during cancer progression, under the guidance of TGF beta signaling. We report that agonist-activated liver X receptors (LXR) limit the expression of key components of myofibroblast differentiation, including the a-smooth muscle actin (alpha SMA) gene in liver cancer cells. CAFs derived from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) express high aSMA and low LXR alpha levels, whereas hepatocarcinoma cells exhibit an inverse expression pattern. All hepatoma cells analyzed responded to the LXR alpha agonist T0901317 by inducing fatty acid synthase (FASN) expression. On the other hand, T0901317 antagonized TGF beta-induced fibroblastic marker responses, such as fibronectin and calponin, in a subset of hepatoma cells and all CAFs analyzed. Mechanistically, LXR alpha antagonized TGF beta signaling at the transcriptional level. Smad3 and LXR alpha were recruited to adjacent DNA motifs of the ACTA2 promoter. Upon cloning the human ACTA2 promoter, we confirmed its transcriptional induction by TGF beta stimulation, and LXR alpha overexpression repressed the promoter activity. Hepatosphere formation by HCC cells was enhanced upon co-culturing with CAFs. T0901317 suppressed the positive effects exerted on hepatosphere growth by CAFs. Taken together, the data suggest that LXR alpha agonists limit TGF beta-dependent CAF differentiation, potentially limiting primary HCC growth.

  • 8.
    Morén, Anita
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Hellman, Ulf
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Inada, Yuri
    Imamura, Takeshi
    Heldin, Carl-Henrik
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Moustakas, Aristidis
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Differential ubiquitination defines the functional status of the tumor suppressor Smad42003In: Journal of Biological Chemistry, ISSN 0021-9258, E-ISSN 1083-351X, Vol. 278, no 35, p. 33571-33582Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Smad4 is an essential signal transducer of all transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily pathways that regulate cell growth and differentiation, and it becomes inactivated in human cancers. Receptor-activated (R-) Smads can be poly-ubiquitinated in the cytoplasm or the nucleus, and this regulates their steady state levels or shutdown of the signaling pathway. Oncogenic mutations in Smad4 and other Smads have been linked to protein destabilization and proteasomal degradation. We analyzed a panel of missense mutants derived from human cancers that map in the N-terminal Mad homology (MH) 1 domain of Smad4 and result in protein instability. We demonstrate that all mutants exhibit enhanced poly-ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. In contrast, wild type Smad4 is a relatively stable protein that undergoes mono- or oligo-ubiquitination, a modification not linked to protein degradation. Analysis of Smad4 deletion mutants indicated efficient mono- or oligo-ubiquitination of the C-terminal MH2 domain. Mass spectrometric analysis of mono-ubiquitinated Smad4 MH2 domain identified lysine 507 as a major target for ubiquitination. Lysine 507 resides in the conserved L3 loop of Smad4 and participates in R-Smad C-terminal phosphoserine recognition. Mono- or oligo-ubiquitinated Smad4 exhibited enhanced ability to oligomerize with R-Smads, whereas mutagenesis of lysine 507 led to inefficient Smad4/R-Smad hetero-oligomerization and defective transcriptional activity. Finally, overexpression of a mutant ubiquitin that only leads to mono-ubiquitination of Smad4 enhanced Smad transcriptional activity. These data suggest that oligo-ubiquitination positively regulates Smad4 function, whereas poly-ubiquitination primarily occurs in unstable cancer mutants and leads to protein degradation.

  • 9.
    Morén, Anita
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Imamura, Takeshi
    Miyazono, Kohei
    Heldin, Carl-Henrik
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Moustakas, Aristidis
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Degradation of the tumor suppressor Smad4 by WW and HECT domain ubiquitin ligases2005In: Journal of Biological Chemistry, ISSN 0021-9258, E-ISSN 1083-351X, Vol. 280, no 23, p. 22115-22123Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Smad4 mediates signaling by the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily of cytokines. Smad signaling is negatively regulated by inhibitory (I) Smads and ubiquitin-mediated processes. Known mechanisms of proteasomal degradation of Smads depend on the direct interaction of specific E3 ligases with Smads. Alternatively, I-Smads elicit degradation of the TGF-beta receptor by recruiting the WW and HECT domain E3 ligases, Smurfs, WWP1, or NEDD4-2. We describe an equivalent mechanism of degradation of Smad4 by the above E3 ligases, via formation of ternary complexes between Smad4 and Smurfs, mediated by R-Smads (Smad2) or I-Smads (Smad6/7), acting as adaptors. Smurfs, which otherwise cannot directly bind to Smad4, mediated poly-ubiquitination of Smad4 in the presence of Smad6 or Smad7. Smad4 co-localized with Smad7 and Smurf1 primarily in the cytoplasm and in peripheral cell protrusions. Smad2 or Smad7 mutants defective in Smad4 interaction failed to induce Smurf1-mediated down-regulation of Smad4. A Smad4 mutant defective in Smad2 or Smad7 interaction could not be effectively down-regulated by Smurf1. We propose that Smad4 is targeted for degradation by multiple ubiquitin ligases that can simultaneously act on R-Smads and signaling receptors. Such mechanisms of down-regulation of TGF-beta signaling may be critical for proper physiological response to this pathway.

  • 10.
    Papoutsoglou, Panagiotis
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Tsubakihara, Yutaro
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology.
    Caja, Laia
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Morén, Anita
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Pallis, Paris
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Ameur, Adam
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Heldin, Carl-Henrik
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology.
    Moustakas, Aristidis
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala Univ, Sci Life Lab, Dept Med Biochem & Microbiol, S-75123 Uppsala, Sweden;Uppsala Univ, Ludwig Canc Res, Biomed Ctr, Box 582, S-75123 Uppsala, Sweden.
    The TGFB2-AS1 lncRNA Regulates TGF-beta Signaling by Modulating Corepressor Activity2019In: Cell reports, ISSN 2211-1247, E-ISSN 2211-1247, Vol. 28, no 12, p. 3182-3198.ellArticle in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Molecular processes involving lncRNAs regulate cell function. By applying transcriptomics, we identify lncRNAs whose expression is regulated by transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta). Upon silencing individual lncRNAs, we identify several that regulate TGF-beta signaling. Among these lncRNAs, TGFB2-antisense RNA1 (TGFB2-AS1) is induced by TGF-beta through Smad and protein kinase pathways and resides in the nucleus. Depleting TGFB2-AS1 enhances TGF-beta/Smad-mediated transcription and expression of hallmark TGF-beta-target genes. Increased dose of TGFB2-AS1 reduces expression of these genes, attenuates TGF-beta-induced cell growth arrest, and alters BMP and Wnt pathway gene profiles. Mechanistically, TGFB2-AS1, mainly via its 3' terminal region, binds to the EED adaptor of the Polycomb repressor complex 2 (PRC2), promoting repressive histone H3K27me(3) modifications at TGF-beta-target gene promoters. Silencing EED or inhibiting PRC2 methylation activity partially rescues TGFB2-AS1-mediated gene repression. Thus, the TGF-beta-induced TGFB2-AS1 lncRNA exerts inhibitory functions on TGF-beta/BMP signaling output, supporting auto-regulatory negative feedback that balances TGF-beta/BMP-mediated responses.

  • 11.
    Raja, Erna
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Tzavlaki, Kalliopi
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Molecular Cell Biology.
    Vuilleumier, Robin
    Edlund, Karolina
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Molecular and Morphological Pathology.
    Kahata, Kaoru
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Zieba, Agata
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology.
    Morén, Anita
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology.
    Watanabe, Yukihide
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Voytyuk, Iryna
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Botling, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Molecular and Morphological Pathology.
    Söderberg, Ola
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Molecular tools.
    Micke, Patrick
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Molecular and Morphological Pathology.
    Pyrowolakis, George
    Heldin, Carl-Henrik
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
    Moustakas, Aristidis
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology.
    The protein kinase LKB1 negatively regulates bone morphogenetic protein receptor signaling2016In: OncoTarget, ISSN 1949-2553, E-ISSN 1949-2553, Vol. 7, no 2, p. 1120-1143Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The protein kinase LKB1 regulates cell metabolism and growth and is implicated in intestinal and lung cancer. Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling regulates cell differentiation during development and tissue homeostasis. We demonstrate that LKB1 physically interacts with BMP type I receptors and requires Smad7 to promote downregulation of the receptor. Accordingly, LKB1 suppresses BMP-induced osteoblast differentiation and affects BMP signaling in Drosophila wing longitudinal vein morphogenesis. LKB1 protein expression and Smad1 phosphorylation analysis in a cohort of non-small cell lung cancer patients demonstrated a negative correlation predominantly in a subset enriched in adenocarcinomas. Lung cancer patient data analysis indicated strong correlation between LKB1 loss-of-function mutations and high BMP2 expression, and these two events further correlated with expression of a gene subset functionally linked to apoptosis and migration. This new mechanism of BMP receptor regulation by LKB1 has ramifications in physiological organogenesis and disease.

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