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Galectin-3 Is an Amplifier of Inflammation in Atherosclerotic Plaque Progression through Macrophage Activation and Monocyte Chemoattraction

Objective— Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a 26-kDa lectin known to regulate many aspects of inflammatory cell behavior. We assessed the hypothesis that increased levels of Gal-3 contribute to atherosclerotic plaque progression by enhancing monocyte chemoattraction through macrophage activation.

Methods and Results— Gal-3 was found to be upregulated in unstable plaque regions of carotid endarterectomy (CEA) specimens compared with stable regions from the same patient (3.2-fold, P<0.05) at the mRNA (n=12) and (2.3-fold, P<0.01) at the protein level (n=9). Analysis of aortic tissue from ApoE−/− mice on a high fat diet (n=14) and wild-type controls (n=9) showed that Gal-3 mRNA and protein levels are elevated by 16.3-fold (P<0.001) and 12.2-fold (P<0.01) and that Gal-3 staining colocalizes with macrophages. In vitro, conditioned media from Gal-3–treated human macrophages induced an up to 6-fold increase in human monocyte chemotaxis (P<0.01, ANOVA), an effect that was reduced by 66 and 60% by Pertussis Toxin (PTX) and the Vaccinia virus protein 35K, respectively. Microarray analysis of human macrophages and subsequent qPCR validation confirmed the upregulation of CC chemokines in response to Gal-3 treatment.

Conclusions— Our data suggest that Gal-3 is both a marker of atherosclerotic plaque progression and a central contributor to the pathology by amplification of key proinflammatory molecules.

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The non-thiazolidinedione tyrosine-based PPARγ ligand GW7845 induces apoptosis and limits migration and invasion of rat and human glioma cells

Despite new approaches, treatment options for malignant gliomas are still limited, calling for further development of therapeutic strategies. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)γ, a member of the nuclear hormone receptor family, represents a possible new target for neoplastic therapies. Synthetic PPARγ agonists were developed and are already in clinical use for the treatment of type II diabetes, since PPARγ plays a crucial role in lipid metabolism and regulation of insulin sensitivity. Beyond these metabolic effects, PPARγ agonists exhibit antineoplastic effects in various malignant tumor cells. Here, we investigated the antineoplastic effects of the nonthiazolidinedione tyrosine-based PPARγ ligand (S)-2-(1-carboxy-2-{4-[2-(5-methyl-2-phenyloxazol-4-yl)ethoxy]phenyl}ethylamino)benzoic acid methyl ester (GW7845) in rat and human glioma cells. GW7845 reduced cellular viability of rat C6 glioma and human glioma cells in a time-dependent manner. Analysis of GW7845-treated tumor cells revealed induction of apoptotic cell death as determined by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling staining and cleaved caspase-3 activation. Furthermore, GW7845 reduced proliferation of C6 glioma cells as measured by Ki-67 immunore-activity. There was also a reduction of migration and invasion, assessed by Boyden chamber and spheroid experiments. Together, these data indicate that the PPARγ agonist GW7845 may be of potential use in treatment of malignant gliomas.

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Inhibition of SNARE-mediated membrane traffic impairs cell migration

Cell migration occurs as a highly-regulated cycle of cell polarization, membrane extension at the leading edge, adhesion, contraction of the cell body, and release from the extracellular matrix at the trailing edge. In this study, we investigated the involvement of SNARE-mediated membrane trafficking in cell migration. Using a dominant-negative form of the enzyme N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor as a general inhibitor of SNARE-mediated membrane traffic and tetanus toxin as a specific inhibitor of VAMP3/cellubrevin, we conducted transwell migration assays and determined that serum-induced migration of CHO-K1 cells is dependant upon SNARE function. Both VAMP3-mediated and VAMP3-independent traffic were involved in regulating this cell migration. Inhibition of SNARE-mediated membrane traffic led to a decrease in the protrusion of lamellipodia at the leading edge of migrating cells. Additionally, the reduction in cell migration resulting from the inhibition of SNARE function was accompanied by perturbation of a Rab11-containing alpha(5)beta(1) integrin compartment and a decrease in cell surface alpha(5)beta(1) without alteration to total cellular integrin levels. Together, these observations suggest that inhibition of SNARE-mediated traffic interferes with the intracellular distribution of integrins and with the membrane remodeling that contributes to lamellipodial extension during cell migration.

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Lysophosphatidic acid induces cell migration through the selective activation of Akt1

Akt plays pivotal roles in many physiological responses including growth, proliferation, survival, metabolism, and migration. In the current studies, we have evaluated the isoform-specific role of akt in lysophosphatidic acid (LPA)-induced cell migration. Ascites from ovarian cancer patients (AOCP) induced mouse embryo fibroblast (MEF) cell migration in a dose-dependent manner. On the other hand, ascites from liver cirrhosis patients (ALCP) did not induce MEF cell migration. AOCP-induced MEF cell migration was completely blocked by pre-treatment of cells with LPA receptor antagonist, Ki16425. Both LPA- and AOCP-induced MEF cell migration was completely attenuated by PI3K inhibitor, LY294002. Furthermore, cells lacking Akt1 displayed defect in LPA-induced cell migration. Re-expression of Akt1 in DKO (Akt1-/-Akt2-/-) cells restored LPA-induced cell migration, whereas re-expression of Akt2 in DKO cells could not restore the LPA-induced cell migration. Finally, Akt1 was selectively phosphorylated by LPA and AOCP stimulation. These results suggest that LPA is a major factor responsible for AOCP-induced cell migration and signaling specificity of Akt1 may dictate LPA-induced cell migration.