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Laura E Pascal, Khalid Z Masoodi, June Liu, Xiaonan Qiu, Qiong Song, Yujuan Wang, Yachen Zang, Tiejun Yang, Yao Wang, Lora H Rigatti, Uma Chandran, Leandro M Colli, Ricardo Z N Vencio, Yi Lu, Jian Zhang, and Zhou Wang

Elongation factor, RNA polymerase II, 2 (ELL2) is an RNA Pol II elongation factor with functional properties similar to ELL that can interact with the prostate tumor suppressor EAF2. In the prostate, ELL2 is an androgen response gene that is upregulated in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). We recently showed that ELL2 loss could enhance prostate cancer cell proliferation and migration, and that ELL2 gene expression was downregulated in high Gleason score prostate cancer specimens. Here, prostate-specific deletion of ELL2 in a mouse model revealed a potential role for ELL2 as a prostate tumor suppressor in vivo. Ell2-knockout mice exhibited prostatic defects including increased epithelial proliferation, vascularity and PIN lesions similar to the previously determined prostate phenotype in Eaf2-knockout mice. Microarray analysis of prostates from Ell2-knockout and wild-type mice on a C57BL/6J background at age 3 months and qPCR validation at 17 months of age revealed a number of differentially expressed genes associated with proliferation, cellular motility and epithelial and neural differentiation. OncoPrint analysis identified combined downregulation or deletion in prostate adenocarcinoma cases from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data portal. These results suggest that ELL2 and its pathway genes likely play an important role in the development and progression of prostate cancer.

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C Y Shan, J H Yang, Y Kong, X Y Wang, M Y Zheng, Y G Xu, Y Wang, H Z Ren, B C Chang, and L M Chen

For centuries, Berberine has been used in the treatment of enteritis in China, and it is also known to have anti-hyperglycemic effects in type 2 diabetic patients. However, as Berberine is insoluble and rarely absorbed in gastrointestinal tract, the mechanism by which it works is unclear. We hypothesized that it may act locally by ameliorating intestinal barrier abnormalities and endotoxemia. A high-fat diet combined with low-dose streptozotocin was used to induce type 2 diabetes in male Sprague Dawley rats. Berberine (100 mg/kg) was administered by lavage to diabetic rats for 2 weeks and saline was given to controls. Hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance improved in the Berberine group, although there was no significant decrease in blood glucose. Berberine treatment also led to a notable restoration of intestinal villi/mucosa structure and less infiltration of inflammatory cells, along with a decrease in plasma lipopolysaccharide (LPS) level. Tight junction protein zonula occludens 1 (ZO1) was also decreased in diabetic rats but was restored by Berberine treatment. Glutamine-induced glucagon-like peptide 2 (GLP2) secretion from ileal tissue decreased dramatically in the diabetic group but was restored by Berberine treatment. Fasting insulin, insulin resistance index, plasma LPS level, and ZO1 expression were significantly correlated with GLP2 level. In type 2 diabetic rats, Berberine treatment not only augments GLP2 secretion and improves diabetes but is also effective in repairing the damaged intestinal mucosa, restoring intestinal permeability, and improving endotoxemia. Whether these effects are mechanistically related will require further studies, but they certainly support the hypothesis that Berberine acts via modulation of intestinal function.

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Yongmei Wang, Takeshi Sakata, Hashem Z Elalieh, Scott J Munson, Andrew Burghardt, Sharmila Majumdar, Bernard P Halloran, and Daniel D Bikle

Parathyroid hormone (PTH) exerts both catabolic and anabolic actions on bone. Studies on the skeletal effects of PTH have seldom considered the effects of gender. Our study was designed to determine whether the response of mouse bone to PTH differed according to sex. As a first step, we analyzed gender differences with respect to bone mass and structural properties of 4 month old PTH treated (80 μg/kg per day for 2 weeks) male and female CD-1 mice. PTH significantly increased fat free weight/body weight, periosteal bone formation rate, mineral apposition rate, and endosteal single labeling surface, while significantly decreasing medullary area in male mice compared with vehicle treated controls, but induced no significant changes in female mice. We then analyzed the gender differences in bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC) isolated from 4 month old male and female CD-1 mice following treatment with PTH (80 μg/kg per day for 2 weeks). PTH significantly increased the osteogenic colony number and the alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity (ALP/cell) by day 14 in cultures of BMSCs from male and female mice. PTH also increased the mRNA level of receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand in the bone tissue (marrow removed) of both females and males. However, PTH increased the mRNA levels of IGF-I and IGF-IR only in the bones of male mice. Our results indicate that on balance a 2-weeks course of PTH is anabolic on cortical bone in this mouse strain. These effects are more evident in the male mouse. These differences between male and female mice may reflect the greater response to PTH of IGF-I and IGF-IR gene expression in males enhancing the anabolic effect on cortical bone.

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W Yin, D Liao, M Kusunoki, S Xi, K Tsutsumi, Z Wang, X Lian, T Koike, J Fan, Y Yang, and C Tang

The synthetic compound NO-1886 (ibrolipim) is a lipoprotein lipase activator that has been proven to be highly effective in lowering plasma triglycerides. Recently, we found that NO-1886 also reduced plasma free fatty acids and glucose in high-fat/high-sucrose diet-induced diabetic rabbits. In the current study, we investigated the effects of NO-1886 treatment on ectopic lipid deposition and the islet pathology in miniature swine fed a high-fat/high-sucrose diet. Our results showed that feeding this diet to miniature swine caused insulin resistance, increased lipid deposition in non-adipose tissue, such as in the heart, skeletal muscle, liver and pancreas, and also caused pancreatic beta cell damage. However, supplementing 1% NO-1886 (200 mg/kg per day) into the high-fat/high-sucrose diet decreased ectopic lipid deposition, improved insulin resistance, and alleviated the beta cell damage. These results suggest that improvement of lipid disorder, non-adipose tissue steatosis and insulin resistance may be very important for the protection of beta cell damage. Therefore, NO-1886 is potentially beneficial for the treatment of insulin-resistance syndrome.