The ability of oncogenes to provoke cancer is harnessed by regulators that control cell proliferation or induce apoptosis, and bypass of these checkpoints is a hallmark of malignancies. Myc oncoproteins are overexpressed in ~70% of all cancers and induce numerous transcription targets that regulate cell growth, metabolism, and the ribosome machinery. We used the E-Myc mouse model from which one can directly compare expression profiles of wild type versus Myc-expressing B220+ pre-malignant lymphocytes and also queried differences in gene expression that ensue following the neoplastic switch to lymphoma (Nilsson et al., 2005 - PMID:15894264 and Keller et al. 2010 - PMID:20598117).
Targeting ornithine decarboxylase in Myc-induced lymphomagenesis prevents tumor formation.
Specimen partView Samples
NF1-C2 suppresses tumorigenesis and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition by repressing FoxF1.
Forkhead Box F1 promotes breast cancer cell migration by upregulating lysyl oxidase and suppressing Smad2/3 signaling.
Specimen part, Cell lineView Samples
Primordial follicle assembly is the process by which ovarian primordial follicles are formed. During follicle assembly oocyte nests break down and a layer of pre-granulosa cells surrounds individual oocytes to form primordial follicles. The pool of primordial follicles formed is the source of oocytes for ovulation during a females reproductive life. Complex networks of cellular signaling and gene expression are essential for any biological process. A systems biology experimental approach provides a global view of these gene relationships in a particular developmental process. The current study utilized a systems approach to detect all genes that are differentially expressed in response to seven different growth factor and hormone treatments known to influence primordial follicle assembly in a neonatal rat ovary culture system. One novel growth factor, basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF2), was experimentally determined to inhibit follicle assembly. The different growth factor and hormone treatments were all found to affect the same physiological pathways, but each treatment affected a unique set of differentially expressed genes (signature gene set). A gene bionetwork analysis identified gene modules of coordinately expressed interconnected genes and it was found that different gene modules appear to accomplish distinct tasks during primordial follicle assembly. Unique gene networks were identified for a number of the modules and signature gene sets. Predictions of physiological pathways important to follicle assembly were validated using ovary culture experiments in which ERK1/2 (MAPK1) activity was increased. A number of the highly interconnected genes in these gene networks have previously been linked to primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) and polycystic ovarian disease syndrome (PCOS). Observations have identified novel factors and gene networks that regulate primordial follicle assembly. This systems approach has helped elucidate the molecular control of primordial follicle assembly and provided potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of ovarian disease.
Gene bionetworks that regulate ovarian primordial follicle assembly.
Sex, Specimen part, TreatmentView Samples
Neurotrophins are growth factors that are known to have a role in promoting cell survival and differentiation. The focus of the current study is to examine the role of neurotrophins in regulating ovarian primordial follicle development. Ovaries from 4-day old rats were placed into organ culture and cultured for 10 days in the absence or presence of neurotrophin-3 (NT3), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), or nerve growth factor (NGF). Treatment of ovaries with NT3 resulted in a significant (P<0.01) increase in primordial follicle development (i.e. primordial to primary follicle transition). Treatment with BDNF at high doses of 100250 ng/ml also significantly (P<0.01) increased primordial follicle development, but NGF had no effect. Immunohistochemical studies determined that NT3 was present in granulosa cells, interstitial tissue, and in the oocytes of primordial and primary follicles. The NT3 receptor NTRK3 was present in oocytes at all stages of development. Analysis of ovaries that contain predominantly primordial follicles demonstrated the transcripts for NT3, NTRK3, NGF, and the BDNF/neurotrophin-4 (NT4) receptor NTRK2 are expressed, while BDNF, NT4, and the NGF receptor NTRK1 are not detectable. Inhibition of the NTRK3 receptor with the tyrophostin AG 879 resulted in oocyte death and a significant (P<0.01) reduction in follicle pool size. Inhibition of the NTRK receptors with K252a slowed primordial to primary follicle transition. A microarray analysis demonstrated that a small number of genes were differentially expressed after NT3 treatment. Observations indicate that the neurotrophin NT3, acting through the NTRK3 receptor in oocytes, promotes the primordial to primary follicle transition. Reproduction (2009) 138, pp. 697-707
Neurotrophin NT3 promotes ovarian primordial to primary follicle transition.
Sex, Specimen partView Samples
Primordial follicle assembly is a process that occurs in the embryonic or early post natal ovary in which oocyte nests break down to form individual primordial follicles. The size of this initial pool of primordial follicles in part determines the reproductive lifespan of the female. Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) was identified as a potential regulatory candidate for this process in a previous microarray analysis of follicle development. The current study examines the effects of CTGF and associated transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFbeta-1) on follicle assembly. Ovaries were removed from newborn rat pups and placed in an organ culture system for two days to measure the effect of these factors on follicle assembly. In addition, ovaries were cultured and treated for ten days to determine the potential of CTGF and TGFbeta-1 to manipulate the primordial follicle pool size over a longer developmental time period. The ovaries treated with CTGF for two days were found to have an increased proportion of assembled follicles. TGFbeta-1 had no effect on primordial follicle assembly and in combination with CTGF decreased oocyte number in the ovary after two days of culture. Over ten days of treatment only the combined treatment of CTGF and TGFbeta-1 was found to cause an increase in the proportion of assembled follicles. Interestingly, treatment with TGFbeta-1 alone resulted in fewer total oocytes in the ovary and decreased the primordial follicle pool size after ten days of culture. Observations indicate that CTGF alone or in combination with TGFbeta-1 stimulates primordial follicle assembly and TGFbeta-1 can decrease the primordial follicle pool size. CTGF was found to regulate the ovarian transcriptome during primordial follicle assembly and an integrative network of genes was identified. CTGF is one of the first growth factors shown to promote primordial follicle assembly, while TGFbeta-1 is one of the first factors shown to decrease the primordial follicle pool size. These observations suggest the possibility of manipulating primordial follicle pool size and influencing female reproductive lifespan.
Induction of ovarian primordial follicle assembly by connective tissue growth factor CTGF.
Sex, Specimen partView Samples
The oocytes found within the primordial follicles of mammalian ovaries remain quiescent for months to years until they receive the appropriate signals to undergo the primordial to primary follicle transition and initiate folliculogenesis. The molecular mechanisms and extracellular signaling factors that regulate this process remain to be fully elucidated. The current study investigates the mechanisms utilized by anti-Mllerian hormone (AMH; i.e. Mllerian inhibitory substance) to inhibit the primordial to primary follicle transition. Ovaries from 4-day-old rats were placed into organ culture and incubated in the absence or presence of AMH, either alone or in combination with known stimulators of follicle transition, including basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), kit ligand (KITL), or keratinocyte growth factor (KGF). Following 10 days of culture, the ovaries were sectioned, stained, and morphologically evaluated to determine the percentage of primordial versus developing follicles. As previously demonstrated, AMH treatment decreased primordial to primary follicle transition. Interestingly, AMH inhibited the stimulatory actions of KITL, bFGF, and KGF. Therefore, AMH can inhibit the basal and stimulated development of primordial follicles. To investigate the mechanism of AMH actions, the influence AMH has on the ovarian transcriptome was analyzed. AMH treatment when compared with controls was found to alter the expression of 707 genes. The overall effect of AMH exposure is to decrease the expression of stimulatory factors, increase the expression of inhibitory factors, and regulate cellular pathways (e.g. transforming growth factor beta signaling pathway) that result in the inhibition of primordial follicle development. Analysis of the regulatory factors and cellular pathways altered by AMH provides a better understanding of the molecular control of primordial follicle development.
Actions of anti-Mullerian hormone on the ovarian transcriptome to inhibit primordial to primary follicle transition.
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Female fertility is determined in part by the size and development of the primordial follicle pool. The current study investigates the role of glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in the regulation of primordial follicle development in the ovary. Ovaries from four-day old female rat pups were maintained in organ culture for ten days in the absence (control) or presence of GDNF or kit ligand/stem cell factor (KL). Ovaries treated with GDNF contained a significant increase in developing follicles, similar to that observed with KL treatment previously shown to promote follicle development. The actions of GDNF on the ovarian transcriptome were investigated with a microarray analysis. Immunohistochemical studies demonstrated that GDNF is localized to oocyte cytoplasm in follicles of all developmental stages, as well as to cumulus granulosa cells and theca cells in antral follicles. GDNF receptor alpha 1 (GFRalpha1) staining was localized to oocyte cytoplasm of primordial and primary follicles, and at reduced levels in oocytes of antral follicles. GFRalpha1 was present in mural granulosa cells of antral follicles, theca cells, and the ovarian surface epithelium. The localization studies were confirmed with molecular analysis. Microarray analysis was used to identify changes in the ovarian transcriptome and further elucidate the signaling network regulating early follicle development. Observations indicate that GDNF promotes primordial follicle development and mediates autocrine and paracrine cell-cell interactions required during folliculogenesis. In contrast to the testis, ovarian GDNF is predominantly produced by germ cells (oocytes) rather than somatic cells.
Glial-derived neurotrophic factor promotes ovarian primordial follicle development and cell-cell interactions during folliculogenesis.
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Follicle assembly is the process by which groups or nests of oocytes break down to form primordial follicles. The size of the primordial follicle pool is the major determinant of the reproductive lifespan of a female. Previously, progesterone (P4) has been shown to inhibit follicle assembly, while tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) has been shown to promote the apoptosis that is necessary for follicle assembly. The current study examines how TNF-alpha and progesterone interact to regulate primordial follicle assembly. Ovaries were collected from newborn rats and placed in organ culture to examine the actions of P4 and TNF-alpha. P4 was found to decrease primordial follicle assembly and increase the percentage of un-assembled oocytes both in vitro and in vivo. TNF-alpha treatment did not change the proportion of assembled follicles in cultured ovaries, but did block the ability of P4 to inhibit follicle assembly. Microarray analysis of the ovarian transcriptome revealed that progesterone treatment of the ovaries altered the expression of 513 genes with 132 only expressed after P4 treatment and 16 only expressed in control ovaries. The majority of genes were up-regulated greater than 2-fold over control, with a small subset of 16 genes down-regulated. Categories of genes affected by P4 are described including a group of extra-cellular signaling factors. The progesterone receptors expressed at the time of follicle assembly included the surface membrane progesterone receptors PGRMC1, PGRMC2 and RDA288. The nuclear genomic P4 receptor was not expressed at appreciable levels. Progesterone increased the expression of several genes (TANK, NFkappaB, Bcl2l1 and Bcl2l2) involved in a signaling pathway that promotes cell survival and inhibits apoptosis. Observations indicate that P4 acts through the surface membrane progesterone receptors to regulate primordial follicle assembly, and that TNF-alpha can over-ride the inhibitory actions of P4 on follicle assembly. A major mechanism involved in the actions of P4 is an increase in cell survival genes and inhibition of the apoptosis pathway. Observations provide insight into the hormonal regulation of primordial follicle assembly and lead to novel approaches to potentially manipulate follicle assembly and reproductive capacity.
Interactions between progesterone and tumor necrosis factor-alpha in the regulation of primordial follicle assembly.
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The current study was designed to investigate the actions of Anti-Mllerian Hormone (AMH) on primordial follicle assembly. Ovarian primordial follicles develop from the breakdown of oocyte nests during fetal development for the human and immediately after birth in rodents. AMH was found to inhibit primordial follicle assembly, decrease the initial primordial follicle pool size and promote the persistence of small oocyte nests in a rat ovarian organ culture. The AMH expression was found to be primarily in the stromal tissue of the ovaries at this period of development, suggesting a stromal-epithelial cell interaction for primordial follicle assembly. AMH was found to promote alterations in the ovarian transcriptome during primordial follicle assembly with over 200 genes with altered expression. A gene network was identified suggesting a potential central role for the Fgf2/Nudt6 antisense transcript in the follicle assembly process. A number of signal transduction pathways are regulated by AMH actions on the ovarian transcriptome, in particular the transforming growth factor beta (TGF) signaling process. AMH is the first hormone/protein shown to have an inhibitory action on primordial follicle assembly. Due to the critical role of the primordial follicle pool size for female reproduction, elucidation of the factors, such as AMH, that regulate the assembly process will provide insights into potential therapeutics to manipulate the pool size and female reproduction.
Inhibitory actions of Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) on ovarian primordial follicle assembly.
Sex, Specimen partView Samples
The assembly of the developmentally arrested primordial follicle and subsequent transition to the primary follicle are poorly understood processes critical to ovarian biology. Abnormal primordial follicle development can lead to pathologies such as premature ovarian failure. The current study used a genome-wide expression profile to investigate primordial follicle assembly and development. Rat ovaries with predominantly unassembled, primordial, or primary follicles were obtained. RNA from these ovaries was hybridized to rat microarray gene chips, and the gene expression (i.e., ovarian transcriptome) was compared between the developmental stages. Analysis of the ovarian transcriptome demonstrated 148 genes up-regulated and 50 genes down-regulated between the unassembled and primordial follicle stages. Observations demonstrate 80 genes up-regulated and 44 genes down-regulated between the primordial and primary follicle stages. The analysis demonstrated 2332 genes common among the three developmental stages, 146 genes specific for the unassembled follicles, 94 genes specific for the primordial follicles, and 151 genes specific for the primary follicles. Steroidogenic genes are up-regulated between unassembled and primordial follicles, and then many are again down-regulated between primordial and primary follicles. The hormones inhibin and Mullerian inhibitory substance (MIS) display a similar pattern of expression with the highest levels of mRNA in the primordial follicles. Several novel unknown genes that had dramatic changes in expression during primordial follicle development were also identified. Gene families/clusters identified that were up-regulated from unassembled to primordial follicles include growth factors and signal transduction gene clusters, whereas a down-regulated gene family was the synaptonemal complex genes associated with meiosis. Gene families/clusters that were up-regulated between primordial and primary follicles included immune response genes, metabolic enzymes, and proteases, whereas down-regulated gene families include the globulin genes and some steroidogenic genes. The expression of several growth factors changed during primordial follicle development, including vascular endothelial growth factor and insulin-like growth factor II. Elucidation of how these changes in gene expression coordinate primordial follicle assembly and the primordial to primary follicle transition provides a better understanding of these critical biological processes and allows selection of candidate regulatory factors for further investigation.
Alterations in the ovarian transcriptome during primordial follicle assembly and development.
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