Background: The cell division cycle demands accuracy to avoid the accumulation of genetic damage. This process is controlled by molecular circuits called "checkpoints" that are common to all eukaryotic cells (1). Checkpoints monitor DNA integrity and cell growth prior to replication and division at the G1/S and G2/M transitions, respectively. The cdc2-cyclin B kinase is pivotal in regulating the G2/M transition (2,3). Cdc2 is phosphorylated at Thr14 and Tyr15 during G2-phase by the kinases Wee1 and Myt1, rendering it inactive. The tumor suppressor protein retinoblastoma (Rb) controls progression through the late G1 restriction point (R) and is a major regulator of the G1/S transition (4). During early and mid G1-phase, Rb binds to and represses the transcription factor E2F (5). The phosphorylation of Rb late in G1-phase by CDKs induces Rb to dissociate from E2F, permitting the transcription of S-phase-promoting genes. In vitro, Rb can be phosphorylated at multiple sites by cdc2, cdk2, and cdk4/6 (6-8). DNA damage triggers both the G2/M and the G1/S checkpoints. DNA damage activates the DNA-PK/ATM/ATR kinases, which phosphorylate Chk at Ser345 (9), Chk2 at Thr68 (10) and p53 (11). The Chk kinases inactivate cdc25 via phosphorylation at Ser216, blocking the activation of cdc2.
Background: Chk1 kinase acts downstream of ATM/ATR kinase and plays an important role in DNA damage checkpoint control, embryonic development, and tumor suppression (1). Activation of Chk1 involves phosphorylation at Ser317 and Ser345 by ATM/ATR, followed by autophosphorylation of Ser296. Activation occurs in response to blocked DNA replication and certain forms of genotoxic stress (2). While phosphorylation at Ser345 serves to localize Chk1 to the nucleus following checkpoint activation (3), phosphorylation at Ser317 along with site-specific phosphorylation of PTEN allows for re-entry into the cell cycle following stalled DNA replication (4). Chk1 exerts its checkpoint mechanism on the cell cycle, in part, by regulating the cdc25 family of phosphatases. Chk1 phosphorylation of cdc25A targets it for proteolysis and inhibits its activity through 14-3-3 binding (5). Activated Chk1 can inactivate cdc25C via phosphorylation at Ser216, blocking the activation of cdc2 and transition into mitosis (6). Centrosomal Chk1 has been shown to phosphorylate cdc25B and inhibit its activation of CDK1-cyclin B1, thereby abrogating mitotic spindle formation and chromatin condensation (7). Furthermore, Chk1 plays a role in spindle checkpoint function through regulation of aurora B and BubR1 (8). Research studies have implicated Chk1 as a drug target for cancer therapy as its inhibition leads to cell death in many cancer cell lines (9).
Background: Senescence is characterized by stable stress-induced proliferative arrest and resistance to mitogenic stimuli, as well as the secretion of proteins such as cytokines, growth factors and proteases. These secreted proteins comprise the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Senescent cells are thought to accumulate as an organism ages, and contribute to age-related diseases, including cancer, through promotion of inflammation and disruption of normal cellular function (1,2). The composition of the SASP varies, and SASP components can be either beneficial or deleterious in human disease, depending on the context (3).Senescence Associated Secretory Phenotype (SASP) Antibody Sampler Kit provides a collection of antibodies to various SASP components, including TNF-alpha, interleukin-6 (IL-6), the multifunctional cytokine IL-1beta, the chemokines CXCL10, RANTES/CCL5 and MCP-1, the matrix metalloprotease MMP3, and the serine-protease inhibitor PAI-1.
Background: Fanconi anemia (FA) is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder resulting in symptoms that include chromosomal breakage, bone marrow failure, hypersensitivity to DNA cross-linking agents (such as mitomycin C), and a predisposition to cancer (1). In response to DNA damage, the FA nuclear complex (FANCA, FANCB, FANCC, FANCE, FANCF, FANCG, FANCM) induces mono-ubiquitination of FANCD2 and FANCI (2).Monoubiquitination of FANCD2 induces localization of FANCD2 to sites of DNA damage, where it interacts with BRCA1 (4). FANCJ/BRIP1, FANCD1/BRCA2, and FANCN/PALB2 are also recruited to sites of DNA damage. FA signaling is important in maintenance of chromosome stability and control of mitosis (3).
Background: The p53 tumor suppressor protein plays a major role in cellular response to DNA damage and other genomic aberrations. Activation of p53 can lead to either cell cycle arrest and DNA repair or apoptosis (1). p53 is phosphorylated at multiple sites in vivo and by several different protein kinases in vitro (2,3). DNA damage induces phosphorylation of p53 at Ser15 and Ser20 and leads to a reduced interaction between p53 and its negative regulator, the oncoprotein MDM2 (4). MDM2 inhibits p53 accumulation by targeting it for ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation (5,6). p53 can be phosphorylated by ATM, ATR, and DNA-PK at Ser15 and Ser37. Phosphorylation impairs the ability of MDM2 to bind p53, promoting both the accumulation and activation of p53 in response to DNA damage (4,7). Chk2 and Chk1 can phosphorylate p53 at Ser20, enhancing its tetramerization, stability, and activity (8,9). p53 is phosphorylated at Ser392 in vivo (10,11) and by CAK in vitro (11). Phosphorylation of p53 at Ser392 is increased in human tumors (12) and has been reported to influence the growth suppressor function, DNA binding, and transcriptional activation of p53 (10,13,14). p53 is phosphorylated at Ser6 and Ser9 by CK1δ and CK1ε both in vitro and in vivo (13,15). Phosphorylation of p53 at Ser46 regulates the ability of p53 to induce apoptosis (16). Acetylation of p53 is mediated by p300 and CBP acetyltransferases. Inhibition of deacetylation suppressing MDM2 from recruiting HDAC1 complex by p19 (ARF) stabilizes p53. Acetylation appears to play a positive role in the accumulation of p53 protein in stress response (17). Following DNA damage, human p53 becomes acetylated at Lys382 (Lys379 in mouse) in vivo to enhance p53-DNA binding (18). Deacetylation of p53 occurs through interaction with the SIRT1 protein, a deacetylase that may be involved in cellular aging and the DNA damage response (19).
Background: The Bcl-2 family consists of a number of evolutionarily conserved proteins containing Bcl-2 homology domains (BH) that regulate apoptosis through control of mitochondrial membrane permeability and release of cytochrome c (1-3). Four BH domains have been identified (BH1-4) that mediate protein interactions. The family can be separated into three groups based upon function and sequence homology: pro-survival members include Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, Mcl-1, A1 and Bcl-w; pro-apoptotic proteins include Bax, Bak and Bok; and "BH3 only" proteins Bad, Bik, Bid, Puma, Bim, Bmf, Noxa and Hrk. Interactions between death-promoting and death-suppressing Bcl-2 family members has led to a rheostat model in which the ratio of pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic proteins controls cell fate (4). Thus, pro-survival members exert their behavior by binding to and antagonizing death-promoting members. In general, the "BH3-only members" can bind to and antagonize the pro-survival proteins leading to increased apoptosis (5). While some redundancy of this system likely exists, tissue specificity, transcriptional and post-translational regulation of many of these family members can account for distinct physiological roles.
Background: The epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor is a transmembrane tyrosine kinase that belongs to the HER/ErbB protein family. Ligand binding results in receptor dimerization, autophosphorylation, activation of downstream signaling, internalization, and lysosomal degradation (1,2). Phosphorylation of EGF receptor (EGFR) at Tyr845 in the kinase domain is implicated in stabilizing the activation loop, maintaining the active state enzyme, and providing a binding surface for substrate proteins (3,4). c-Src is involved in phosphorylation of EGFR at Tyr845 (5). The SH2 domain of PLCγ binds at phospho-Tyr992, resulting in activation of PLCγ-mediated downstream signaling (6). Phosphorylation of EGFR at Tyr1045 creates a major docking site for the adaptor protein c-Cbl, leading to receptor ubiquitination and degradation following EGFR activation (7,8). The GRB2 adaptor protein binds activated EGFR at phospho-Tyr1068 (9). A pair of phosphorylated EGFR residues (Tyr1148 and Tyr1173) provide a docking site for the Shc scaffold protein, with both sites involved in MAP kinase signaling activation (2). Phosphorylation of EGFR at specific serine and threonine residues attenuates EGFR kinase activity. EGFR carboxy-terminal residues Ser1046 and Ser1047 are phosphorylated by CaM kinase II; mutation of either of these serines results in upregulated EGFR tyrosine autophosphorylation (10).
Background: Insulin and IGF-1 act on two closely related tyrosine kinase receptors to initiate a cascade of signaling events. These signaling events activate a variety of biological molecules, including kinases and transcription factors, which regulate cell growth, survival and metabolism.Type I insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-IR) is a transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinase that is widely expressed in many cell lines and cell types within fetal and postnatal tissues (1-3). Three tyrosine residues within the kinase domain (Tyr1131, Tyr1135, and Tyr1136) are the earliest major autophosphorylation sites (4). Phosphorylation of these three tyrosine residues is necessary for kinase activation (5,6). Insulin receptors (IRs) share significant structural and functional similarity with IGF-I receptors, including the presence of an equivalent tyrosine cluster (Tyr1146/1150/1151) within the kinase domain activation loop. Tyrosine autophosphorylation of IRs is one of the earliest cellular responses to insulin stimulation (7). Autophosphorylation begins with phosphorylation at Tyr1146 and either Tyr1150 or Tyr1151, while full kinase activation requires triple tyrosine phosphorylation (8).Akt, also referred to as PKB or Rac, plays a critical role in controlling survival and apoptosis (9-11). This protein kinase is activated by insulin and various growth and survival factors to function in a wortmannin-sensitive pathway involving PI3 kinase (10,11). Akt is activated by phospholipid binding and activation loop phosphorylation at Thr308 by PDK1 (12) and by phosphorylation within the carboxy terminus at Ser473. The previously elusive PDK2 responsible for phosphorylation of Akt at Ser473 has been identified as mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in a rapamycin-insensitive complex with rictor and Sin1 (13,14).Tuberin is a product of the TSC2 tumor suppressor gene and an important regulator of cell proliferation and tumor development (15). Tuberin is phosphorylated on Ser939 and Thr1462 in response to PI3K activation and the human TSC complex is a direct biochemical target of the PI3K/Akt pathway (16). This result complements Drosophila genetics studies suggesting the possible involvement of the tuberin-hamartin complex in the PI3K/Akt mediated insulin pathway (17-19).The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR, FRAP, RAFT) is a Ser/Thr protein kinase (20-22) that functions as an ATP and amino acid sensor to balance nutrient availability and cell growth (23,24). When sufficient nutrients are available, mTOR responds to a phosphatidic acid-mediated signal to transmit a positive signal to p70 S6 kinase and participate in the inactivation of the eIF4E inhibitor, 4E-BP1 (25). These events result in the translation of specific mRNA subpopulations. mTOR is phosphorylated at Ser2448 via the PI3 kinase/Akt signaling pathway and autophosphorylated at Ser2481 (26,27).The Forkhead family of transcription factors is involved in tumorigenesis of rhabdomyosarcoma and acute leukemias (28-30). Within the family, three members (FoxO1, FoxO4, and FoxO3a) have sequence similarity to the nematode orthologue DAF-16, which mediates signaling via a pathway involving IGFR1, PI3K, and Akt (31-33). Active forkhead members act as tumor suppressors by promoting cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Increased proliferation results when forkhead transcription factors are inactivated through phosphorylation by Akt at Thr24, Ser256, and Ser319, which results in nuclear export and inhibition of transcription factor activity (34).Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) was initially identified as an enzyme that regulates glycogen synthesis in response to insulin (35). GSK-3 is a critical downstream element of the PI3K/Akt cell survival pathway whose activity can be inhibited by Akt-mediated phosphorylation at Ser21 of GSK-3α and Ser9 of GSK-3β (36,37).
Background: Senescence is characterized by stable stress-induced proliferative arrest and resistance to mitogenic stimuli, as well as the secretion of proteins such as cytokines, growth factors and proteases. These secreted proteins comprise the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Senescent cells are thought to accumulate as an organism ages, and contribute to age-related diseases, including cancer, through promotion of inflammation and disruption of normal cellular function (1,2).Because there is no single biomarker that can be used to definitively identify senescent cells, researchers must rely on a collection of biomarkers commonly associated with senescence. The Senescence Marker Antibody Sampler Kit provides a collection of antibodies to commonly used biomarkers of senescence-associated cell cycle arrest (p16 INK4A, p21 Waf1/Cip1), senescence-associated DNA damage (gamma-Histone H2A.X), and the SASP (HMGB1, IL-6, TNF-alpha, MMP3). The kit also includes an antibody to Lamin B1, which is frequently reduced in senescent cells.
Background: The stress-activated protein kinase/Jun-amino-terminal kinase SAPK/JNK is potently and preferentially activated by a variety of environmental stresses including UV and gamma radiation, ceramides, inflammatory cytokines, and in some instances, growth factors and GPCR agonists (1-6). As with the other MAPKs, the core signaling unit is composed of a MAPKKK, typically MEKK1-MEKK4, or by one of the mixed lineage kinases (MLKs), which phosphorylate and activate MKK4/7. Upon activation, MKKs phosphorylate and activate the SAPK/JNK kinase (2). Stress signals are delivered to this cascade by small GTPases of the Rho family (Rac, Rho, cdc42) (3). Both Rac1 and cdc42 mediate the stimulation of MEKKs and MLKs (3). Alternatively, MKK4/7 can be activated in a GTPase-independent mechanism via stimulation of a germinal center kinase (GCK) family member (4). There are three SAPK/JNK genes each of which undergoes alternative splicing, resulting in numerous isoforms (3). SAPK/JNK, when active as a dimer, can translocate to the nucleus and regulate transcription through its effects on c-Jun, ATF-2, and other transcription factors (3,5).