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  • Author: Ting-Ting Wang x
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Ting-Ting Zhou, Fei Ma, Xiao-Fan Shi, Xin Xu, Te Du, Xiao-Dan Guo, Gai-Hong Wang, Liang Yu, Vatcharin Rukachaisirikul, Li-Hong Hu, Jing Chen and Xu Shen

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a chronic metabolic disease with complicated pathogenesis and targeting gluconeogenesis inhibition is a promising strategy for anti-diabetic drug discovery. G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are classified as distinct families by heterotrimeric G proteins, primarily including Gαs, Gαi and Gαq. Gαs-coupled GPCRs function potently in the regulation of hepatic gluconeogenesis by activating cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)/protein kinase A (PKA) pathway and Gαi-coupled GPCRs exhibit inhibitory effect on adenylyl cyclase and reduce intracellular cAMP level. However, little is known about the regulation of Gαq-coupled GPCRs in hepatic gluconeogenesis. Here, small-molecule 2-(2,4-dimethoxy-3-methylphenyl)-7-(thiophen-2-yl)-9-(trifluoromethyl)-2,3-dihydropyrido[3′,2′:4,5]thieno[3,2-d]pyrimidin-4(1H)-one (DMT) was determined to suppress hepatic glucose production and reduce mRNA levels of gluconeogenic genes. Treatment of DMT in db/db mice decreased fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) levels, while improved glucose tolerance and pyruvate tolerance. Mechanism study demonstrated that DMT-inhibited gluconeogenesis by regulating the Gαq/phospholipase C (PLC)/inositol-1,4,5-triphosphate receptor (IP3R)-mediated calcium (Ca2+)/calmodulin (CaM)/phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT)/forkhead box protein O1 (FOXO1) signaling pathway. To our knowledge, DMT might be the first reported small molecule able to suppress hepatic gluconeogenesis by regulating Gαq signaling, and our current work has also highlighted the potential of DMT in the treatment of T2DM.

Free access

Wei-An Lai, Yi-Ting Yeh, Wei-Ling Fang, Leang-Shin Wu, Nobuhiro Harada, Peng-Hui Wang, Ferng-Chun Ke, Wen-Ling Lee and Jiuan-Jiuan Hwang

Estrogens are essential for female reproduction and overall well-being, and estrogens in the circulation are largely synthesized in ovarian granulosa cells. Using primary cultures of ovarian granulosa cells from gonadotropin-primed immature rats, we have recently discovered that pituitary FSH and ovarian cytokine transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFβ1) induce calcineurin-mediated dephosphorylation–activation of cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB)-regulated transcription coactivator (CRTC2) to modulate the expression of Star, Cyp11a1, and Hsd3b leading to increased production of progesterone. This study explored the role of calcineurin and CRTC2 in FSH and TGFβ1 regulation of Cyp19a1 expression in granulosa cells. Ovarian granulosa cells treated with FSH displayed increased aromatase protein at 24 h post-treatment, which subsided by 48 h, while TGFβ1 acting through its type 1 receptor augmented the action of FSH with a greater and longer effects. It is known that the ovary-specific Cyp19a1 PII-promoter contains crucial response elements for CREB and nuclear receptor NR5A subfamily liver receptor homolog 1 (LRH1/NR5A2) and steroidogenic factor 1 (SF1/NR5A1), and that the Nr5a2 promoter also has a potential CREB-binding site. Herein, we demonstrate that FSH+TGFβ1 increased LRH1 and SF1 protein levels, and their binding to the Cyp19a1 PII-promoter evidenced, determined by chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis. Moreover, pretreatment with calcineurin auto-inhibitory peptide (CNI) abolished the FSH+TGFβ1-upregulated but not FSH-upregulated aromatase activity at 48 h, and the corresponding mRNA changes in Cyp19a1, and Nr5a2 and Nr5a1 at 24 h. In addition, FSH and TGFβ1 increased CRTC2 binding to the Cyp19a1 PII-promoter and Nr5a2 promoter at 24 h, with CREB bound constitutively. In summary, the results of this study indicate that calcineurin and CRTC2 have important roles in mediating FSH and TGFβ1 collateral upregulation of Cyp19a1 expression together with its transcription regulators Nr5a2 and Nr5a1 in ovarian granulosa cells.

Open access

Kamran Ullah, Tanzil Ur Rahman, Hai-Tao Pan, Meng-Xi Guo, Xin-Yan Dong, Juan Liu, Lu-Yang Jin, Yi Cheng, Zhang-Hong Ke, Jun Ren, Xian-Hua Lin, Xiao-Xiao Qiu, Ting-Ting Wang, He-Feng Huang and Jian-Zhong Sheng

Previous studies have shown that increasing estradiol concentrations had a toxic effect on the embryo and were deleterious to embryo adhesion. In this study, we evaluated the physiological impact of estradiol concentrations on endometrial cells to reveal that serum estradiol levels probably targeted the endometrium in controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) protocols. An attachment model of human choriocarcinoma (JAr) cell spheroids to receptive-phase endometrial epithelial cells and Ishikawa cells treated with different estradiol (10−9 M or 10−7 M) concentrations was developed. Differentially expressed protein profiling of the Ishikawa cells was performed by proteomic analysis. Estradiol at 10−7 M demonstrated a high attachment rate of JAr spheroids to the endometrial cell monolayers. Using iTRAQ coupled with LC–MS/MS, we identified 45 differentially expressed proteins containing 43 significantly upregulated and 2 downregulated proteins in Ishikawa cells treated with 10−7 M estradiol. Differential expression of C3, plasminogen and kininogen-1 by Western blot confirmed the proteomic results. C3, plasminogen and kininogen-1 localization in human receptive endometrial luminal epithelium highlighted the key proteins as possible targets for endometrial receptivity and interception. Ingenuity pathway analysis of differentially expressed proteins exhibited a variety of signaling pathways, including LXR/RXR activation pathway and acute-phase response signaling and upstream regulators (TNF, IL6, Hmgn3 and miR-140-3p) associated with endometrial receptivity. The observed estrogenic effect on differential proteome dynamics in Ishikawa cells indicates that the human endometrium is the probable target for serum estradiol levels in COH cycles. The findings are also important for future functional studies with the identified proteins that may influence embryo implantation.