ISSN: 1471-2121 |
Published by Biomed Central Ltd.
No Issue Number
- Annual acknowledgement of manuscript reviewers
Contributing reviewersThe editors of BMC Cell Biology would like to thank all of our reviewers who have contributed to the journal in Volume 13 (2012).
- High-throughput fluorescent-based NKCC functional assay in adherent epithelial cells
Background: The kidney-specific NKCC cotransporter isoform NKCC2 is involved in the Na+ reabsorption in the Thich Ascending Limb (TAL) cells and in the regulation of body fluid volume. In contrast, the isoform NKCC1 represents the major pathway for Cl- entry in endothelial cells, playing a crucial role in cell volume regulation and vascular tone. Importantly, both NKCC isoforms are involved in the regulation of blood pressure and represent important potential drug targets for the treatment of hypertension. Results: Taking advantage of an existing Thallium (Tl+)-based kit, we set up a Tl+ influx-based fluorescent assay, that can accurately and rapidly measure NKCC transporter activity in adherent epithelial cells using the high-throughput Flex station device. We assessed the feasibility of this assay in the renal epithelial LLC-PK1 cells stably transfected with a previously characterized chimeric NKCC2 construct (c-NKCC2). We demonstrated that the assay is highly reproducible, offers high temporal resolution of NKCC-mediated ion flux profiles and, importantly, being a continuous assay, it offers improved sensitivity over previous endpoint NKCC functional assays. Conclusions: So far the screening of NKCC transporters activity has been done by 86Rb+ influx assays. Indeed, a fluorescence-based high-throughput screening method for testing NKCC inhibitors would be extremely useful in the development and characterization of new anti-hypertensive drugs.
- Stromal fibroblasts in the microenvironment of gastric carcinomas promote tumor metastasis via upregulating TAGLN expression
Background: Fibroblasts play a critical role in tumorigenesis, tumor progression and metastasis. However, their detailed molecular characteristics and clinical significance are still elusive. TAGLN is an actin-binding protein that plays an important role in tumorigenesis. Results: We investigated the interaction between cancer cells and the tumor microenvironment to determine how the fibroblasts from human gastric carcinoma facilitate tumorigenesis through TAGLN. QRT-PCR and Western blot indicated that TAGLN expression was upregulated in gastric carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) that promote gastric cancer cell migration and invasion. Using small interfering RNA (siRNA), we found that CAFs enhanced tumor metastasis through upregulated TAGLN in vitro and in vivo. The expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) was significantly lower after TAGLN knock-down by siRNA. TAGLN levels were elevated in human gastric cancer stroma than normal gastric stroma and associated with differentiation and lymph node metastasis of gastric cancer. Conclusion: CAFs may promote gastric cancer cell migration and invasion via upregulating TAGLN and TAGLN induced MMP-2 production.
- BMSCs reduce rat granulosa cell apoptosis induced by cisplatin and perimenopause
Background: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) on the apoptosis of granulosa cells (GCs) in rats.BMSCs and GCs were isolated from rats. GCs were separated into one of the following three groups: an untreated control group (control), a cisplatin (5 mg/L) treatment group (cisplatin), and group co-cultured with BMSCs and treated with cisplatin (BMSC). GC apoptosis was analyzed by annexin V staining and real-time PCR analysis for apoptosis-related genes. The effect of BMSCs was also determined in 9 to 10 month-old perimenopausal rats that were separated into the following groups: saline control, BMSC transplantation (1--2 x 106 cells), and estrogen treatment (0.158 mg/kg/d) groups. A young group consisting of 3 to 4 month-old rats that were treated with saline was also evaluated as a control. After 1 and 3 months, GC apoptosis was evaluated by TUNEL analysis. Results: Cisplatin increased GC apoptosis from 0.59% to 13.04% in the control and cisplatin treatment groups, respectively, which was significantly reduced upon co-culture with BMSCs to 4.84%. Cisplatin treatment increased p21 and bax and decreased c-myc mRNA expression, which was reversed upon co-culture with BMSCs. As compared to young rats, increased apoptosis was observed in the perimenopausal rats (P < 0.001). After 3 months, the apoptosis rate in the BMSC group was significantly lower than that of the control group (P = 0.007). Conclusions: BMSC therapy may protect against GC apoptosis induced by cisplatin and perimenopause. Further studies are necessary to evaluate therapeutic efficacy of BMSCs.
- Claudins play a role in normal and tumor cell motility
Background: Claudins are key integral proteins of the tight junction. Although they play an essential role in controlling paracellular diffusion in epithelia, increasing evidence supports a role for these proteins in non-barrier forming activities. To elucidate a potential function for claudins outside of their traditional role in tight junctions, subcellular localization of claudin-4 was determined in normal mammary epithelial cells as well as breast and ovarian cancer cell lines and the effects of a claudin mimic peptide on cell motility were determined. Results: Immunofluorescence revealed that claudin-4 was localized along cellular projections. Using a fluorescent peptide that mimics a conserved sequence in the second extracellular loop of a set of claudin subtypes, that includes claudin-4, exposure of this loop to the extracellular environment was confirmed in non-polarized cells. This peptide inhibited cell motility when normal mammary epithelial cells as well as breast and ovarian tumor cells were subjected to a wound healing assay. Knockdown of claudin-4 also inhibited cell motility and the mimic peptide had no effect on motility in the claudin-4 knockdown cells. This effect on motility was seen when cells were grown on collagen, but not when cells were grown on non-physiological cell adhesive or fibronectin. Conclusion: The second extracellular loop of claudins is able to interact with the extracellular environment to promote normal and tumor cell motility when it is not associated with tight junction structures
- Characterization of adipose-derived stromal/stem cells from the twitcher mouse model of krabbe disease
Background: Krabbe disease, also known as globoid cell leukodystrophy, is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease caused by the genetic deficiency of galactocerebrosidase (GALC), a lysosomal enzyme responsible for the degradation of several glycosphingolipids like psychosine and galactosylceramide. In order to investigate whether GALC deficiency in Krabbe disease affects adipose-derived stromal/stem cell (ASC) properties and if the ASCs could be used as a source of autologous stem cell therapy for patients with Krabbe disease, ASCs isolated from subcutaneous adipose tissue of Twitcher mice (a murine model of Krabbe disease) and their normal wild type littermates were cultured, expanded, and characterized for their cell morphology, surface antigen expression, osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation, colony forming units, growth kinetics, and immune regulatory capacities in vitro. Results: ASCs from Twitcher mice (TwiASCs), when compared to ASCs from normal mice (WtASCs), have a reduced osteogenic differentiation potential, have less self-replicating and proliferative capacity, although they have the same fibroblast morphologies and cell sizes. However, surprisingly, the TwiASCs demonstrated similar immune-suppressive capacities as their counterparts WtASCs did when they were transwell co-cultured with macrophages in vitro. Conclusion: This study reveals that Twitcher ASCs exhibit differences in the biologic potential when compared to their counterparts from normal mice. The changes in Twitcher ASCs may be influenced by the GALC deficiency in Twitcher mice. Nevertheless, none of the changes preclude the use of the TwiASCs for autologous applications.
- Visualising single molecules of HIV-1 and miRNA nucleic acids
Background: The scarcity of certain nucleic acid species and the small size of target sequences such as miRNA, impose a significant barrier to subcellular visualization and present a major challenge to cell biologists. Here, we offer a generic and highly sensitive visualization approach (oligo fluorescent in situ hybridization, O-FISH) that can be used to detect such nucleic acids using a single-oligonucleotide probe of 19--26 nucleotides in length. Results: We used O-FISH to visualize miR146a in human and avian cells. Furthermore, we reveal the sensitivity of O-FISH detection by using a HIV-1 model system to show that as little as 1--2 copies of nucleic acids can be detected in a single cell. We were able to discern newly synthesized viral cDNA and, moreover, observed that certain HIV RNA sequences are only transiently available for O-FISH detection. Conclusions: Taken together, these results suggest that the O-FISH method can potentially be used for in situ probing of, as few as, 1--2 copies of nucleic acid and, additionally, to visualize small RNA such as miRNA. We further propose that the O-FISH method could be extended to understand viral function by probing newly transcribed viral intermediates; and discern the localisation of nucleic acids of interest. Additionally, interrogating the conformation and structure of a particular nucleic acid in situ might also be possible, based on the accessibility of a target sequence.
- Constant or fluctuating hyperglycemias increases cytomembrane stiffness of human umbilical vein endothelial cells in culture: roles of cytoskeletal rearrangement and nitric oxide synthesis
Background: Previous studies have implicated continuous or intermittent hyperglycemia in altered endothelium-derived nitric oxide (NO) synthesis. NO can regulate both the F-actin cytoskeleton and endothelial cell membrane stiffness. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a powerful tool that can be used to study plasma membrane deformability at the single cell level. As membrane stiffness is partially dependent on filamentous F-actin, the interdependence of these parameters can be studied through the combined approaches of AFM and laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM). In the present study, we evaluated the effects of constant or fluctuating hyperglycemia on endothelial-derived NO synthesis, the cytoskeletal contribution and endothelial cell membrane stiffness. Results: Compared to control cells cultured in low glucose (5mM), constant (25mM) or fluctuating (25/5mM) high glucose significantly decreased NO release along with stiffening of endothelial cell membranes and F-actin rearrangement. The non-selective nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor, NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) exerted similar effects on endothelial cells. Increasing concentrations of L-NAME (from 0.1 to 1 mM) exacerbated these effects in a concentration-dependent manner. Conclusions: Result from the present study suggest that stiffening endothelial cell membranes are associated with decreased NO synthesis, which was established through the F-actin cytoskeletal redistribution. The precise mechanisms of hyperglycemia-induced endothelial dysfunction require further investigation.
- Circulating microparticles: square the circle
Background: The present review summarizes current knowledge about microparticles (MPs) and provides a systematic overview of last 20 years of research on circulating MPs, with particular focus on their clinical relevance. Results: MPs are a heterogeneous population of cell-derived vesicles, with sizes ranging between 50 and 1000 nm. MPs are capable of transferring peptides, proteins, lipid components, microRNA, mRNA, and DNA from one cell to another without direct cell-to-cell contact. Growing evidence suggests that MPs present in peripheral blood and body fluids contribute to the development and progression of cancer, and are of pathophysiological relevance for autoimmune, inflammatory, infectious, cardiovascular, hematological, and other diseases. MPs have large diagnostic potential as biomarkers; however, due to current technological limitations in purification of MPs and an absence of standardized methods of MP detection, challenges remain in validating the potential of MPs as a non-invasive and early diagnostic platform. Conclusions: Improvements in the effective deciphering of MP molecular signatures will be critical not only for diagnostics but also for the evaluation of treatment regimens and predicting disease outcomes.
- Cell metabolism sets the differences between subpopulations of satellite cells (SCs)
Background: We have recently characterized two distinct populations of Satellite Cells (SCs) that differ in proliferation, regenerative potential, and mitochondrial coupling efficiency and classified these in Low Proliferative Clones (LPC) and High Proliferative Clones (HPC). Herewith, we have investigated their cell metabolism and individuated features that remark an intrinsic difference in basal physiology but that are retrievable also at the initial phases of their cloning. Results: Indeed, LPC and HPC can be distinguished for mitochondrial membrane potential (DeltaPsim) just after isolation from the fiber. This is matched by mitochondrial redox state measured via NAD+/NADH analysis and alternative respiratory CO2 production in cloned cells. All these parameters are accountable for metabolic differences reflected indeed by alternative expression of the glycolytic enzyme 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-biphosphatase 3 (Pfkfb3). Also Ca2+ handling by mitochondria is different together with the sensitivity to apoptosis triggered via this pathway. Finally, according to the above, we were able to determine which one among the clones represents the suitable stem cell. Conclusions: These experimental observations report novel physiological features in the cell biology of SCs and refer to an intrinsic heterogeneity within which their stemness may reside.
- Unlaid Xenopus eggs degrade by apoptosis in the genital tract
Background: In several species with external fertilization, including frogs, laid unfertilized eggs were found to die by apoptosis outside of the animal body. However, there is no apparent reason for the externally laid eggs to degrade by this process, considering that apoptosis developed as a mechanism to reduce the damaging effect of individual cell death to the whole organism. Results: Here, we demonstrate that a number of eggs are retained in the genital tract of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis after gonadotropin-induced ovulation. The majority of these eggs exit meiotic arrest within 24 hours of hormone administration. Subsequently, post-meiotic eggs die in the frog genital tract by a well-defined apoptotic process. The hallmarks of egg degradation include prominent morphological changes, cytochrome c release, caspase activation, increase in ADP/ATP ratio, progressive intracellular acidification, egg swelling and all-out proteolysis of egg proteins. The sustained presence of post-apoptotic eggs in the genital tract of ageing frogs evidenced age-associated worsening of apoptotic clearance. Conclusions: The direct observation of egg degradation in the Xenopus genital tract provides a clue to the physiological relevance of frog egg apoptosis. It works to eliminate the mature unlaid eggs retained in the animal body after ovulation. Our findings establish egg apoptosis as a major physiological process accompanying ovulation in frogs.
- The interaction of Kinesin-1 with its adaptor protein JIP1 can be regulated via proteins binding to the JIP1-PTB domain
Background: The regulatory mechanisms of motor protein-dependent intracellular transport are still not fully understood. The kinesin-1-binding protein, JIP1, can function as an adaptor protein that links kinesin-1 and other JIP1-binding "cargo" proteins. However, it is unknown whether these "cargo" proteins influence the JIP1--kinesin-1 binding. Results: We show here that JIP1--kinesin-1 binding in Neuro2a cells was dependent on conserved amino acid residues in the JIP1-phosphotyrosine binding (PTB) domain, including F687. In addition, mutation of F687 severely affected the neurite tip localization of JIP1. Proteomic analysis revealed another kinesin-1 binding protein, JIP3, as a major JIP1 binding protein. The association between JIP1 and JIP3 was dependent on the F687 residue in JIP1, and this association induced the formation of a stable ternary complex with kinesin-1. On the other hand, the binding of JIP1 and JIP3 was independent of kinesin-1 binding. We also show that other PTB binding proteins can interrupt the formation of the ternary complex. Conclusions: The formation of the JIP1--kinesin-1 complex depends on the protein binding-status of the JIP1 PTB domain. This may imply a regulatory mechanism of kinesin-1-dependent intracellular transport.
- EGFR inhibition prevents in vitro tumor growth of salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma
Background: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is involved in the development of many human malignant tumors and plays an important role in tumor growth and metastasis. Antagonists of EGFR can suppress the growth of several malignancies; however, their therapeutic effect in adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is controversial. Results: The increased proliferation of two ACC cell lines induced by EGF-treatment was reversed by nimotuzumab. Regardless of EGF stimulation, nimotuzumab-treated ACC cells were arrested in G1 phase and showed decreased expression of Ki67. In addition, EGF activated the MAPK-dependent pathway and up-regulated the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 and Snail, enhancing the invasive potential of an ACC cell line (ACC-M). The effects of EGF were down-regulated by nimotuzumab treatment. Conclusions: These results suggest that nimotuzumab can inhibit the growth and invasion of ACC cells induced by EGF, probably through inactivation of ERK phosphorylation. Thus, nimotuzumab should be considered as a promising novel agent for the treatment of ACC.
- Analysis of Sec61p and Ssh1p interactions in the ER membrane using the split-ubiquitin system
Background: The split-ubiquitin system monitors interactions of transmembrane proteins in yeast. It is based on the formation of a quasi-native ubiquitin structure upon interaction of two proteins to which the N- and C-terminal halves of ubiquitin have been fused. In the system we use here ubiquitin formation leads to proteolytic cleavage liberating a transcription factor (PLV) from the C-ubiquitin (C) fusion protein which can then activate reporter genes. Generation of fusion proteins is, however, rife with problems, and particularly in transmembrane proteins often disturbs topology, structure and function. Results: We show that both the Sec61 protein which forms the principal protein translocation channel in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane, and its non-essential homologue, Ssh1p, when fused C-terminally to CPLV are inactive. In a heterozygous diploid Sec61-CPLV is present in protein translocation channels in the ER membrane without disturbing their function and displays a limited set of protein-protein interactions similar those found for the wildtype protein using biochemical methods. Although its expression level is similar, Ssh1-CPLV interactions are less strong, and, in contrast to Sec61p, Ssh1p does not distinguish between Sbh1p and Sbh2p. We show that interactions can be monitored by reporter gene activity or directly by PLV cleavage, which is more sensitive, but leads to quantitatively different results. Conclusions: We conclude that the split-ubiquitin system we used here has high fidelity, but low sensitivity and is of limited use for detection of new, transient interactions with protein translocation channels in the ER membrane.
- Identification and characterization of two distinct PPP1R2 isoforms in human spermatozoa
Background: Protein Ser/Thr Phosphatase PPP1CC2 is an alternatively spliced isoform of PPP1C that is highly enriched in testis and selectively expressed in sperm. Addition of the phosphatase inhibitor toxins okadaic acid or calyculin A to caput and caudal sperm triggers and stimulates motility, respectively. Thus, the endogenous mechanisms of phosphatase inhibition are fundamental for controlling sperm function and should be characterized. Preliminary results have shown a protein phosphatase inhibitor activity resembling PPP1R2 in bovine and primate spermatozoa. Results: Here we show conclusively, for the first time, that PPP1R2 is present in sperm. In addition, we have also identified a novel protein, PPP1R2P3. The latter was previously thought to be an intron-less pseudogene. We show that the protein corresponding to the pseudogene is expressed. It has PPP1 inhibitory potency similar to PPP1R2. The potential phosphosites in PPP1R2 are substituted by non-phosphorylable residues, T73P and S87R, in PPP1R2P3. We also confirm that PPP1R2/PPP1R2P3 are phosphorylated at Ser121 and Ser122, and report a novel phosphorylation site, Ser127. Subfractionation of sperm structures show that PPP1CC2, PPP1R2/PPP1R2P3 are located in the head and tail structures. Conclusions: The conclusive identification and localization of sperm PPP1R2 and PPP1R2P3 lays the basis for future studies on their roles in acrosome reaction, sperm motility and hyperactivation. An intriguing possibility is that a switch in PPP1CC2 inhibitory subunits could be the trigger for sperm motility in the epididymis and/or sperm hyperactivation in the female reproductive tract.
- The scaffolding protein GRASP/Tamalin directly binds to Dock180 as well as to cytohesins facilitating GTPase crosstalk in epithelial cell migration
Background: The transition of epithelial cells from their normal non-motile state to a motile one requires the coordinated action of a number of small GTPases. We have previously shown that epithelial cell migration is stimulated by the coordinated activation of Arf and Rac GTPases. This crosstalk depends upon the assembly of a multi-protein complex that contains the Arf-activating protein cytohesin 2/ARNO and the Rac activating protein Dock180. Two scaffolding proteins that bind directly to cytohesin 2 organize this complex. Results: We now have found that Rac activation in response to hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) requires cytohesin 2 and Dock180. GRASP/Tamalin is one of the scaffolds that builds the complex containing cytohesin 2 and Dock180. We determine here that the Ala/Pro rich region of GRASP directly interacts with the SH3 domain of Dock180. By binding to both cytohesin 2/ARNO and Dock180, GRASP bridges the guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) that activate Arf and Rac, thereby promoting Arf-to-Rac signaling. Furthermore, we find that knockdown of GRASP impairs hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-stimulated Rac activation and HGF-stimulated epithelial migration. Conclusions: GRASP binds directly both cytohesin 2 and Dock180 to coordinate their activities, and by doing so promotes crosstalk between Arf and Rac.
VOL 11 NUMBER 2010
- DNA damage-induced translocation of S100A11 into the nucleus regulates cell proliferation
Background: Proteins are able to react in response to distinct stress stimuli by alteration of their subcellular distribution. The stress-responsive protein S100A11 belongs to the family of multifunctional S100 proteins which have been implicated in several key biological processes. Previously we have shown that S100A11 is directly involved in DNA repair processes at damaged chromatin in the nucleus. To gain further insight into the underlying mechanism subcellular trafficking of S100A11 in response to DNA damage was analyzed. Results: We show that DNA damage induces a nucleolin-mediated translocation of S100A11 from the cytoplasm into the nucleus. This translocation is impeded by inhibition of the phosphorylation activity of PKC. Translocation of S100A11 into the nucleus correlates with an increased cellular p21 protein level. Depletion of nucleolin by siRNA severely impairs translocation of S100A11 into the nucleus resulting in a decreased p21 protein level. Additionally, cells lacking nucleolin showed a reduced colony forming capacity. Conclusions: These observations suggest that regulation of the subcellular distribution of S100A11 plays an important role in the DNA damage response and p21-mediated cell cycle control.
- The chromosomal association/dissociation of the chromatin insulator protein Cp190 of Drosophila melanogaster is mediated by the BTB/POZ domain and two acidic regions
Background: Chromatin insulators or boundary elements are a class of functional elements in the eukaryotic genome. They regulate gene transcription by interfering with promoter-enhancer communication. The Cp190 protein of Drosophila melanogaster is essential to the function of at least three-types of chromatin insulator complexes organized by Su(Hw), CTCF and BEAF32. Results: We mapped functional regions of Cp190 in vivo and identified three domains that are essential for the insulator function and for the viability of flies: the BTB/POZ domain, an aspartic acid-rich (D-rich) region and a C-terminal glutamic acid-rich (E-rich) region. Other domains including the centrosomal targeting domain and the zinc fingers are dispensable. The N-terminal CP190BTB-D fragment containing the BTB/POZ domain and the D-rich region is sufficient to mediate association with all three types of insulator complexes. The fragment however is not sufficient for insulator activity or viability. The Cp190 and CP190BTB-D are regulated differently in cells treated with heat-shock. The Cp190 dissociated from chromosomes during heat-shock, indicating that dissociation of Cp190 with chromosomes can be regulated. In contrast, the CP190BTB-D fragment didn't dissociate from chromosomes in the same heat-shocked condition, suggesting that the deleted C-terminal regions have a role in regulating the dissociation of Cp190 with chromosomes. Conclusions: The N-terminal fragment of Cp190 containing the BTB/POZ domain and the D-rich region mediates association of Cp190 with all three types of insulator complexes and that the E-rich region of Cp190 is required for dissociation of Cp190 from chromosomes during heat-shock. The heat-shock-induced dissociation is strong evidence indicating that dissociation of the essential insulator protein Cp190 from chromosomes is regulated. Our results provide a mechanism through which activities of an insulator can be modulated by internal and external cues.
- Lack of alpha8 integrin leads to morphological changes in renal mesangial cells, but not in vascular smooth muscle cells
Background: Extracellular matrix receptors of the integrin family are known to regulate cell adhesion, shape and functions. The alpha8 integrin chain is expressed in glomerular mesangial cells and in vascular smooth muscle cells. Mice deficient for alpha8 integrin have structural alterations in glomeruli but not in renal arteries. For this reason we hypothesized that mesangial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells differ in their respective capacity to compensate for the lack of alpha8 integrin. Results: Wild type and alpha8 integrin-deficient mesangial cells varied markedly in cell morphology and expression or localization of cytoskeletal molecules. In alpha8 integrin-deficient mesangial cells alpha-smooth muscle actin and CTGF were downregulated. In contrast, there were no comparable differences between alpha8 integrin-deficient and wild type vascular smooth muscle cells. Expression patterns of integrins were altered in alpha8 integrin-deficient mesangial cells compared to wild type mesangial cells, displaying a prominent overexpression of alpha2 and alpha6 integrins, while expression patterns of the these integrins were not different between wild type and alpha8 integrin-deficient vascular smooth muscle cells, respectively. Cell proliferation was augmented in alpha8 integrin-deficient mesangial cells, but not in vascular smooth muscle cells, compared to wild type cells. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that alpha8 integrin deficiency has differential effects in mesangial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells. While the phenotype of vascular smooth muscle cells lacking alpha8 integrin is not altered, mesangial cells lacking alpha8 integrin differ considerably from wild type mesangial cells which might be a consequence of compensatory changes in the expression patterns of other integrins. This could result in glomerular changes in alpha8 integrin-deficient mice, while the vasculature is not affected in these mice.
- Structural determinants of PINK1 topology and dual subcellular distribution
Background: PINK1 is a mitochondria-targeted kinase that constitutively localizes to both the mitochondria and the cytosol. The mechanism of how PINK1 achieves cytosolic localization following mitochondrial processing remains unknown. Understanding PINK1 subcellular localization will give us insights into PINK1 functions and how mutations in PINK1 lead to Parkinson's disease. We asked how the mitochondrial localization signal, the transmembrane domain, and the kinase domain participate in PINK1 localization. Results: We confirmed that PINK1 mitochondrial targeting signal is responsible for mitochondrial localization. Once inside the mitochondria, we found that both PINK1 transmembrane and kinase domain are important for membrane tethering and cytosolic-facing topology. We also showed that PINK1 dual subcellular distribution requires both Hsp90 interaction with the kinase domain and the proteolysis at a cleavage site downstream of the transmembrane domain because removal of this cleavage site completely abolished cytosolic PINK1. In addition, the disruption of the Hsp90-PINK1 interaction increased mitochondrial PINK1 level. Conclusion: Together, we believe that once PINK1 enters the mitochondria, PINK1 adopts a tethered topology because the transmembrane domain and the kinase domain prevent PINK1 forward movement into the mitochondria. Subsequent proteolysis downstream of the transmembrane domain then releases PINK1 for retrograde movement while PINK1 kinase interacts with Hsp90 chaperone. The significance of this dual localization could mean that PINK1 has compartmental-specific functions.
- The role of HIF-1 in up-regulating MICA expression on human renal proximal tubular epithelial cells during hypoxia/ reoxygenation
Background: Human major histocompatibility complex class I-related chain A (MICA) plays a dual role in adaptive and innate immune responses. Increasing evidence demonstrates that MICA is closely correlated with acute and chronic kidney allograft rejection. Therefore, understanding the activation mechanisms of MICA is important in kidney transplantation. We previously demonstrated that ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) could up-regulate MICA expression on mouse kidney allografts. Since hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) is the master regulator of cellular adaptive responses to hypoxia during IRI, here we investigate whether HIF-1 could up-regulate MICA expression and its influence on NK cell cytotoxicity. Results: We find that HIF-1alpha plays an important role in up-regulating MICA expression, inducing IFNgamma secretion and NK cell cytotoxicity during hypoxia/reoxygenation. First, we generated a HIF-1alphaDeltaODD-expressing adenovirus to stably and functionally express HIF-1alpha in human renal proximal tubular epithelial (HK-2) cells under normoxia conditions. HIF-1alpha over-expression in HK-2 cells induces MICA expression and enhances NK cell cytotoxic activity towards cells that express HIF-1alpha. Second, we used a hypoxia/reoxygenation cell model to simulate IRI in vitro and found that the suppression of HIF-1alpha by RNAi induces down-regulation of MICA expression and inhibits NK cytotoxicity. In antibody blocking experiments, an anti-MICA mAb was able to down-regulate NK cell cytotoxic activity towards HK-2 cells that over-expressed HIF-1alpha. Moreover, when NK cells were co-cultured with the HK-2 cells expressing MICA, which was up-regulated by over-expression of HIF-1alpha, there was a significant increase in the secretion of IFNgamma. In the presence of the blocking MICA mAb, IFNgamma secretion was significantly decreased. Conclusions: These results demonstrate that hypoxia/reoxygenation-promoted MICA expression on HK-2 cells is through a HIF-1 pathway. The increased IFNgamma secretion and enhanced NK cell cytotoxicity was mainly due to the surface expression of MICA induced by over-expression of HIF-1alpha. This study enhances our understanding of MICA activation mechanisms during kidney transplantation and provides insights into how IRI can influence transplant outcome. Moreover, these findings might be also important for developing strategies to reduce the effect of MICA in kidney transplant outcomes in the future.
- cAMP/PKA signaling balances respiratory activity with mitochondria dependent apoptosis via transcriptional regulation
Background: Appropriate control of mitochondrial function, morphology and biogenesis are crucial determinants of the general health of eukaryotic cells. It is therefore imperative that we understand the mechanisms that co-ordinate mitochondrial function with environmental signaling systems. The regulation of yeast mitochondrial function in response to nutritional change can be modulated by PKA activity. Unregulated PKA activity can lead to the production of mitochondria that are prone to the production of ROS, and an apoptotic form of cell death. Results: We present evidence that mitochondria are sensitive to the level of cAMP/PKA signaling and can respond by modulating levels of respiratory activity or committing to self execution. The inappropriate activation of one of the yeast Protein Kinase A (PKA) catalytic subunits, Tpk3p, is sufficient to commit cells to an apoptotic death through transcriptional changes that promote the production of dysfunctional, ROS producing mitochondria. Our data implies that cAMP/PKA regulation of mitochondrial function that promotes apoptosis engages the function of multiple transcription factors, including HAP4, SOK2 and SCO1. Conclusions: We propose that in yeast, as is the case in mammalian cells, mitochondrial function and biogenesis are controlled in response to environmental change by the concerted regulation of multiple transcription factors. The visualization of cAMP/TPK3 induced cell death within yeast colonies supports a model that PKA regulation plays a physiological role in coordinating respiratory function and cell death with nutritional status in budding yeast.
- Differential gene expression and clonal selection during cellular transformation induced by adhesion deprivation
Background: Anchorage independent growth is an important hallmark of oncogenic transformation. Previous studies have shown that when adhesion dependent fibroblasts were prevented from adhering to a substrate they underwent anoikis. In the present study we have demonstrated how anoikis resistant cells gain the transformation related properties with sequential selection of genes. We have proposed this process as a model system for selection of transformed cells from normal cells. Results: This report demonstrates that some fibroblasts can survive during late stages of anoikis, at which time they exhibit transformation-associated properties such as in vitro colony formation in soft agar and in vivo subcutaneous tumour formation in nude mice. Cytogenetic characterisation of these cells revealed that they contained a t (2; 2) derivative chromosome and they have a selective survival advantage in non adherent conditions. Gene expression profile indicated that these cells over expressed genes related to hypoxia, glycolysis and tumor suppression/metastasis which could be helpful in their retaining a transformed phenotype. Conclusion: Our results reveal some new links between anoikis and cell transformation and they provide a reproducible model system which can potentially be useful to study multistage cancer and to identify new targets for drug development.
- Erythropoietin and the effect of oxygen during proliferation and differentiation of human neural progenitor cells
Background: Hypoxia plays a critical role in various cellular mechanisms, including proliferation and differentiation of neural stem and progenitor cells. In the present study, we explored the impact of lowered oxygen on the differentiation potential of human neural progenitor cells, and the role of erythropoietin in the differentiation process. Results: In this study we demonstrate that differentiation of human fetal neural progenitor cells under hypoxic conditions results in an increased neurogenesis. In addition, expansion and proliferation under lowered oxygen conditions also increased neuronal differentiation, although proliferation rates were not altered compared to normoxic conditions. Erythropoietin partially mimicked these hypoxic effects, as shown by an increase of the metabolic activity during differentiation and protection of differentiated cells from apoptosis. Conclusion: These results provide evidence that hypoxia promotes the differentiation of human fetal neural progenitor cells, and identifies the involvement of erythropoietin during differentiation as well as different cellular mechanisms underlying the induction of differentiation mediated by lowered oxygen levels.
- Maintaining RNA integrity in a homogeneous population of mammary epithelial cells isolated by Laser Capture Microdissection
Background: Laser-capture microdissection (LCM) that enables the isolation of specific cell populations from complex tissues under morphological control is increasingly used for subsequent gene expression studies in cell biology by methods such as real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR), microarrays and most recently by RNA-sequencing. Challenges are i) to select precisely and efficiently cells of interest and ii) to maintain RNA integrity. The mammary gland which is a complex and heterogeneous tissue, consists of multiple cell types, changing in relative proportion during its development and thus hampering gene expression profiling comparison on whole tissue between physiological stages. During lactation, mammary epithelial cells (MEC) are predominant. However several other cell types, including myoepithelial (MMC) and immune cells are present, making it difficult to precisely determine the specificity of gene expression to the cell type of origin. In this work, an optimized reliable procedure for producing RNA from alveolar epithelial cells isolated from frozen histological sections of lactating goat, sheep and cow mammary glands using an infrared-laser based Arcturus Veritas LCM system has been developed. The following steps of the microdissection workflow: cryosectioning, staining, dehydration and harvesting of microdissected cells have been carefully considered and designed to ensure cell capture efficiency without compromising RNA integrity. Results: The best results were obtained when staining 8 um-thick sections with Cresyl violet(Ambion) and capturing microdissected cells during less than 2 hours before RNA extraction. In addition, particular attention was paid to animal preparation before biopsies or slaughtering (milking) and freezing of tissue blocks which were embedded in a cryoprotective compound before being immersed in isopentane. The amount of RNA thus obtained from ca.150 to 250 acini (300,000 to 600,000 um^2) ranges between 5 to 10 ng. RNA integrity number (RIN) was ca. 8.0 and selectivity of this LCM protocol was demonstrated through qPCR analyses for several alveolar cell specific genes, including LALBA (alpha-lactalbumin) and CSN1S2 (alpha s2-casein), as well as Krt14 (cytokeratin 14), CD3e and CD68 which are specific markers of MMC, lymphocytes and macrophages, respectively. Conclusions: RNAs isolated from MEC in this manner were of very good quality for subsequent linear amplification, thus making it possible to establish a referential gene expression profile of the healthy MEC, a useful platform for tumor biomarker discovery.
- Lipid droplets as ubiquitous fat storage organelles in C. elegans
Background: Lipid droplets are a class of eukaryotic cell organelles for storage of neutral fat such as triacylglycerol (TAG) and cholesterol ester (CE). We and others have recently reported that lysosome-related organelles (LROs) are not fat storage structures in the nematode C. elegans. We also reported the formation of enlarged lipid droplets in a class of peroxisomal fatty acid beta-oxidation mutants. In the present study, we seek to provide further evidence on the organelle nature and biophysical properties of fat storage structures in wild-type and mutant C. elegans. Results: In this study, we provide biochemical, histological and ultrastructural evidence of lipid droplets in wild-type and mutant C. elegans that lack lysosome related organelles (LROs). The formation of lipid droplets and the targeting of BODIPY fatty acid analogs to lipid droplets in live animals are not dependent on lysosomal trafficking or peroxisome dysfunction. However, the targeting of Nile Red to lipid droplets in live animals occurs only in mutants with defective peroxisomes. Nile Red labelled-lipid droplets are characterized by a fluorescence emission spectrum distinct from that of Nile Red labelled-LROs. Moreover, we show that the recently developed post-fix Nile Red staining method labels lipid droplets exclusively. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate lipid droplets as ubiquitous fat storage organelles and provide a unified explanation for previous studies on fat labelling methods in C. elegans. These results have important applications to the studies of fat storage and lipid droplet regulation in the powerful genetic system, C. elegans.
- The role of hRev7, the accessory subunit of hPolzeta, in translesion synthesis past DNA damage induced by benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide (BPDE).
Background: DNA polymerase zeta (Polzeta) is a specialized DNA polymerase that, unlike classical replicative polymerases, is capable of replicating past DNA lesions, i.e. of performing translesion synthesis (TLS). The catalytic subunit of hPolzeta, hRev3, has been shown to play a critical role in DNA damage-induced mutagenesis in human cells, but less is known about the role of hRev7, the accessory subunit of hPolzeta, in such mutagenesis. To address this question, we recently generated human fibroblasts with very significantly reduced levels of hRev7 protein and demonstrated that hRev7 is required to protect cells from the cytotoxic and mutagenic effects of ultraviolet(254nm) radiation (UV) (McNally et al., DNA Repair 7 (2008) 597-604). The goal of the present study was to determine whether hRev7 is similarly involved in the tolerance of mutations induced by benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide (BPDE), the reactive form of the widespread environmental carcinogen benzo[a]pyrene. Methods: To determine whether hRev7 also plays a role in protecting human cells from the cytotoxic and mutagenic effects of BPDE, cell strains with reduced hRev7 were compared to their parental strain and a vector control strain for the effect of BPDE on cell survival, induction of mutations, and the ability to progress through the cell cycle. Results: The results show that cell strains with reduced hRev7 are more sensitive to the cytotoxic effect of BPDE than the control strains, and progress through S-phase at a slower rate than the control cells following BPDE treatment, indicating that hRev7, and likely hPolzeta, is required for efficient bypass of BPDE-induced DNA lesions. However, neither the frequency nor the kinds of mutations induced by BPDE in cells with reduced hRev7 differ from those induced in the control strains, suggesting that hPolzeta is not essential for inserting nucleotides opposite BPDE-induced DNA damage. Conclusions: Taken together, our results which show that hRev7 is required for TLS past BPDE-induced DNA lesions but that it is not essential for inserting nucleotides opposite such lesions suggest a role for hPolzeta in the extension step of translesion synthesis.
- Ligands specify estrogen receptor alpha nuclear localization and degradation.
Background: The estrogen receptor alpha (ER) is found predominately in the nucleus, both in hormone stimulated and untreated cells. Intracellular distribution of the ER changes in the presence of agonists but the impact of different antiestrogens on the fate of ER is a matter of debate. Results: A MCF-7 cell line stably expressing GFP-tagged human ERalpha (SK19 cell line) was created to examine the localization of ligand-bound GFP-ERalpha. We combined digitonin-based cell fractionation analyses with fluorescence and immuno-electron microscopy to determine the intracellular distribution of ligand-bound ERand/or GFP-ERUsing fluorescence- and electron microscopy we demonstrate that both endogenous ERand GFP-ER form numerous nuclear focal accumulations upon addition of agonist, 17-estradiol, and pure antagonists (selective estrogen regulator disruptor; SERD), ICI 182,780 or RU58,668, while in the presence of partial antagonists (selective estrogen regulator modulator; SERM), 4-hydroxytamoxifen or RU39,411, diffuse nuclear staining persisted.Digitonin based cell fractionation analyses confirmed that endogenous ER and GFP-ER predominantly reside in the nuclear fraction. Overall ER protein levels were reduced after estradiol treatment. In the presence of SERMs ER was stabilized in the nuclear soluble fraction, while in the presence of SERDs protein levels decreased drastically and the remaining ER was largely found in a nuclear insoluble fraction. mRNA levels of ESR1 were reduced compared to untreated cells in the presence of all ligands tested, including E2. E2 and SERDs induced ER degradation occurred in distinct nuclear foci composed of ERalpha and the proteasome providing a simple explanation for ERalpha sequestration in the nucleus. Conclusions: Our results indicate that chemical structure of ligands directly affect the nuclear fate and protein turnover of the estrogen receptor alpha independently of their impact on transcription. These findings provide a molecular basis for the selection of antiestrogen compounds issue from pharmacological studies aimed at improving treatment of breast cancer.
- 3D nuclear organization of telomeres in the Hodgkin cell lines U-HO1 and U-HO1-PTPN1: PTPN1 expression prevents the formation of very short telomeres including "t-stumps"
Background: In cancer cells the three-dimensional (3D) telomere organization of interphase nuclei into a telomeric disk is heavily distorted and aggregates are found. In Hodgkin's lymphoma quantitative FISH (3D Q-FISH) reveals a major impact of nuclear telomere dynamics during the transition form mononuclear Hodgkin (H) to diagnostic multinuclear Reed-Sternberg (RS) cells. In vitro and in vivo formation of RS-cells is associated with the increase of very short telomeres including "t-stumps", telomere loss, telomeric aggregate formation and the generation of "ghost nuclei". Results: Here we analyze the 3D telomere dynamics by Q-FISH in the novel Hodgkin cell line U-HO1 and its non-receptor protein-tyrosine phosphatase N1 (PTPN1) stable transfectant U-HO1-PTPN1, derived from a primary refractory Hodgkin's lymphoma. Both cell lines show equally high telomerase activity but U-HO1-PTPN differs from U-HO1 by a three times longer doubling time, low STAT5A expression, accumulation of RS-cells (p<0.0001) and a fourfold increased number of apoptotic cells.As expected, multinuclear U-HO1-RS-cells and multinuclear U-HO1-PTPN1-RS-cells differ from their mononuclear H-precursors by their nuclear volume (p<0.0001), the number of telomeres (p<0.0001) and the increase in telomere aggregates (p<0.003). Surprisingly, U-HO1-RS cells differ from U-HO1-PTPN1-RS-cells by a highly significant increase of very short telomeres including "t-stumps" (p<0.0001). Conclusion: Abundant RS-cells without additional very short telomeres including "t-stumps", high rate of apoptosis, but low STAT5A expression, are hallmarks of the U-HO1-PTPN1 cell line. These characteristics are independent of telomerase activity. Thus, PTPN1 induced dephosphorylation of STAT5 with consecutive lack of Akt/PKB activation and cellular arrest in G2, promoting induction of apoptosis, appears as a possible pathogenetic mechanism deserving further experimental investigation.
- Function of nuclear transport factor 2 and Ran in the 20E signal transduction pathway in the cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera
Background: Nuclear transport factor 2 and small GTPase Ran participate in the nucleo-cytoplasm transport of macromolecules, but their function in the 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) signal transduction pathway are not well known. Results: A 703 bp encoding Ntf2 and a 1233 bp encoding Ran full-length cDNAs were cloned from Helicoverpa armigera, and named Ha-Ntf2 and Ha-Ran, respectively. Northern blot and immunoblotting revealed that Ha-Ntf2 had an obviously higher expression levels in the head-thorax and integument of the metamorphically committed larvae. In contrast, the expression of Ha-Ran did not show obvious variation at various developmental stages in four tissues by immunoblotting analysis, except in the midgut, which showed increased expression from 5th-36 h (molting) to 6th-48 h. Both expressions of Ha-Ntf2 and Ha-Ran could be upregulated by 20E in vitro. Immunohistochemistry revealed that Ha-Ntf2 and Ha-Ran were primarily localized in the nucleus of various tissues. Protein binding assay and co-immunoprecipitation indicated that Ha-Ntf2 and Ha-Ran can combine with each other in vitro and in vivo. Knock down of Ha-Ntf2 or Ha-Ran by RNAi resulted in the suppression of other 20E regulated genes including EcR-B1, USP1, E75B, BR-CZ2, HHR3 and Ha-eIF5c. In addition, the knockdown of Ha-Ntf2 resulted in Ha-Ran being prevented in the cytoplasm. The nuclear location of the ecdysone receptor b1 (EcR-B1) was also blocked after the knockdown of Ha-Ntf2 and Ha-Ran. Conclusion: These evidences suggested that Ha-Ntf2 and Ha-Ran participated in the 20E signal transduction pathway by regulating the location of EcR-B1.
- Mechano-transduction in periodontal ligament cells identifies activated states of MAP-kinases p42/44 and p38-stress kinase as a mechanism for MMP-13 expression
Background: Mechano-transduction in periodontal ligament (PDL) cells is crucial for physiological and orthodontic tooth movement-associated periodontal remodelling. On the mechanistic level, molecules involved in this mechano-transduction process in PDL cells are not yet completely elucidated. Results: In the present study we show by western blot (WB) analysis and/or indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) that mechanical strain modulates the amount of the matrix metalloproteinase MMP-13, and induces non-coherent modulation in the amount and activity of signal transducing molecules, such as FAK, MAP-kinases p42/44, and p38 stress kinase, suggesting their mechanistic role in mechano-transduction. Increase in the amount of FAK occurs concomitant with increased levels of the focal contact integrin subunits beta 3 and beta 1, as indicated by WB or optionally by IIF. By employing specific inhibitors, we further identified p42/44 and p38 in their activated, i.e. phosphorylated state responsible for the expression of MMP-13. This finding may point to the obedience in the expression of this MMP as extracellular matrix (ECM) remodelling executioner from the activation state of mechano-transducing molecules. mRNA analysis by pathway-specific RT-profiler arrays revealed up- and/or down-regulation of genes assigning to MAP-kinase signalling and cell cycle, ECM and integrins and growth factors. Up-regulated genes include for example focal contact integrin subunit alpha 3, MMP-12, MAP-kinases and associated kinases, and the transcription factor c-fos, the latter as constituent of the AP1-complex addressing the MMP-13 promotor. Among others, genes down-regulated are those of COL-1 and COL-14, suggesting that strain-dependent mechano-transduction may transiently perturbate ECM homeostasis. Conclusions: Strain-dependent mechano-/signal-transducing in PDL cells involves abundance and activity of FAK, MAP-kinases p42/44, and p38 stress kinase in conjunction with the amount of MMP-13, and integrin subunits beta 1 and beta 3. Identifying the activated state of p42/44 and p38 as critical for MMP-13 expression may indicate the mechanistic contribution of mechano-transducing molecules on executioners of ECM homeostasis.
- Low physiologic oxygen tensions reduce proliferation and differentiation of human multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells
Background: Human multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) can be isolated from various tissues including bone marrow. Here, MSC participate as bone lining cells in the formation of the hematopoietic stem cell niche. In this compartment, the oxygen tension is low and oxygen partial pressure is estimated to range from 1% to 7%. We analyzed the effect of low oxygen tensions on human MSC cultured with platelet-lysate supplemented media and assessed proliferation, morphology, chromosomal stability, immunophenotype and plasticity. Results: After transferring MSC from atmospheric oxygen levels of 21% to 1%, HIF-1alpha expression was induced, indicating efficient oxygen reduction. Simultaneously, MSC exhibited a significantly different morphology with shorter extensions and broader cell bodies. MSC did not proliferate as rapidly as under 21% oxygen and accumulated in G1 phase. The immunophenotype, however, was unaffected. Hypoxic stress as well as free oxygen radicals may affect chromosomal stability. However, no chromosomal abnormalities in human MSC under either culture condition were detected using high-resolution matrix-based comparative genomic hybridization. Reduced oxygen tension severely impaired adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation of human MSC. Elevation of oxygen from 1% to 3% restored osteogenic differentiation. Conclusion: Physiologic oxygen tension during in vitro culture of human MSC slows down cell cycle progression and differentiation. Under physiological conditions this may keep a proportion of MSC in a resting state. Further studies are needed to analyze these aspects of MSC in tissue regeneration.
- Monkey hybrid stem cells develop cellular features of Huntington's disease
Background: Pluripotent stem cells that are capable of differentiating into different cell types and develop robust hallmark cellular features are useful tools for clarifying the impact of developmental events on neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's disease. Additionally, a Huntington's cell model that develops robust pathological features of Huntington's disease would be valuable for drug discovery research. Results: To test this hypothesis, a pluripotent Huntington's disease monkey hybrid cell line (TrES1) was established from a tetraploid Huntington's disease monkey blastocyst generated by the fusion of transgenic Huntington's monkey skin fibroblast and a wild-type non-transgenic monkey oocyte. The TrES1 developed key Huntington's disease cellular pathological features that paralleled neural development. It expressed mutant huntingtin and stem cell markers, was capable of differentiating to neural cells, and developed teratoma in severely compromised immune deficient (SCID) mice. Interestingly, the expression of mutant htt, the accumulation of oligomeric mutant htt and the formation of intranuclear inclusions paralleled neural development in vitro, and even mutant htt was ubiquitously expressed. This suggests the development of Huntington's disease cellular features is influenced by neural developmental events. Conclusions: Huntington's disease cellular features is influenced by neural developmental events.These results are the first to demonstrate that a pluripotent stem cell line is able to mimic Huntington's disease progression that parallels neural development, which could be a useful cell model for investigating the developmental impact on Huntington's disease pathogenesis.
- Role of apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) in programmed nuclear death during conjugation in Tetrahymena thermophila
Background: Programmed nuclear death (PND), also referred to as nuclear apoptosis, is a unique process in ciliates during sexual reproduction (conjugation). In Tetrahymena thermophila, when the new macronucleus differentiates, only the parental macronucleus is selectively eliminated from cytoplasm of the progeny, accompanied with apoptotic nuclear events. Yet the molecular mechanisms are still not sufficiently understood. The parental macronucleus is engulfed by a large autophagosome, in which many mitochondria that have lost their membrane potential are incorporated. In animals, the mitochondrial depolarization precedes apoptotic cell death that involves DNA fragmentation and final nuclear degradation. Results: We focused on the role of mitochondrial apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) during PND in Tetrahymena. The disruption of AIF delays normal progression of PND, specifically nuclear condensation and kb-sized DNA fragmentation. AIF localized in Tetrahymena mitochondria and was released into the macronucleus prior to nuclear condensation. In addition, AIF associated and cooperated with mitochondrial DNase to facilitate kb-sized DNA degradation, followed by oligonucleosome-sized DNA laddering. Conclusion: These observations suggest that Tetrahymena AIF plays an important role in the degradation of DNA at an early stage of PND, leading to the idea that the mitochondria-initiated apoptotic DNA degradation pathway is widely conserved in eukaryotes.
- R-Ras regulates beta1-integrin trafficking via effects on
membrane ruffling and endocytosis
Background: Integrin-mediated cell adhesion and spreading is dramatically enhanced by activation of the small GTPase, R-Ras. Moreover, R-Ras localizes to the leading edge of migrating cells, and regulates membrane protrusion. The exact mechanisms by which R-Ras regulates integrin function are not fully known. Nor is much known about the spatiotemporal relationship between these two molecules, an understanding of which may provide insight into R-Ras regulation of integrins. Results: GFP-R-Ras localized to the plasma membrane, most specifically in membrane ruffles, in Cos-7 cells. GFP-R-Ras remained in the plasma membrane from 30 seconds up to 20 minutes before being endocytosed and trafficked via multiple pathways, one of which involved large, acidic vesicles that were positive for Rab11. Cells transfected with a dominant negative form of GFP-R-Ras did not form ruffles, had decreased cell spreading, and contained numerous, non-trafficking small vesicles. Conversely, cells transfected with the constitutively active form of GFP-R-Ras contained a greater number of ruffles and large vesicles compared to wild-type transfected cells. Ruffle formation was inhibited by knock-down of endogenous R-Ras with siRNA, suggesting that activated R-Ras is not just a component of, but also an architect of ruffle formation. Importantly, beta1-integrin co-localized with endogenous R-Ras in ruffles and endocytosed vesicles. Expression of dominant negative R-Ras or knock down of R-Ras by siRNA prevented integrin accumulation into ruffles, impaired endocytosis of beta1-integrin, and decreased beta1-integrin-mediated adhesion. Knock-down of R-Ras also perturbed the dynamics of GFP-VSVG, suggesting a more global role for R-Ras on membrane dynamics. However, while R-Ras co-internalized with integrins, it did not traffic with VSVG, which instead moves laterally out of ruffles within the plane of the membrane, suggesting multiple levels of regulation of and by R-Ras. Conclusions: Our results suggest that integrin function involves integrin trafficking via a cycle of membrane protrusion, ruffling, and endocytosis regulated by R-Ras, providing a novel mechanism by which integrins are linked to R-Ras through control of membrane dynamics.
- Green-to-red photoconvertible fluorescent proteins: tracking cell and protein dynamics on standard wide-field mercury arc-based microscopes
Background: Green fluorescent protein (GFP) and other FP fusions have been extensively utilized to track protein dynamics in living cells. Recently, development of photoactivatable, photoswitchable and photoconvertible fluorescent proteins (PAFPs) has made it possible to investigate the fate of discrete subpopulations of tagged proteins. Initial limitations to their use (due to their tetrameric nature) were overcome when monomeric variants, such as Dendra, mEos, and mKikGR were cloned/engineered. Results: Here, we report that by closing the field diaphragm, selective, precise and irreversible green-to-red photoconversion (330-380 nm illumination) of discrete subcellular protein pools was achieved on a wide-field fluorescence microscope equipped with standard DAPI, Fluorescein, and Rhodamine filter sets and mercury arc illumination within 5-10 seconds. Use of a DAPI-filter cube with long-pass emission filter (LP420) allowed the observation and control of the photoconversion process in real time. Following photoconversion, living cells were imaged for up to 5 hours often without detectable phototoxicity or photobleaching. Conclusions: We demonstrate the practicability of this technique using Dendra2 and mEos2 as monomeric, photoconvertible PAFP representatives fused to proteins with low (histone H2B), medium (gap junction channel protein connexin 43), and high (alpha-tubulin; clathrin light chain) dynamic cellular mobility as examples. Comparable efficient, irreversible green-to-red photoconversion of selected portions of cell nuclei, gap junctions, microtubules and clathrin-coated vesicles was achieved. Tracking over time allowed elucidation of the dynamic live-cycle of these subcellular structures. The advantage of this technique is that it can be performed on a standard, relatively inexpensive wide-field fluorescence microscope with mercury arc illumination. Together with previously described laser scanning confocal microscope-based photoconversion methods, this technique promises to further increase the general usability of photoconvertible PAFPs to track the dynamic movement of cells and proteins over time.
- Integrin-linked kinase functions as a downstream signal of platelet-derived growth factor to regulate actin polymerization and vascular smooth muscle cell migration
Background: Vascular smooth muscle cell migration and accumulation in response to growth factors extensively contribute to the development of intimal thickening within the vessel wall. Cumulative evidence has shown that actin cytoskeleton polymerization and rearrangement are critical steps during cellular spreading and migration. Integrin-linked kinase, an intracellular serine/threonine kinase, is a cytoplasmic interactor of integrin beta-1 and beta-3 receptors regulating cell-cell and/or cell-extracellular matrix interaction, cell contraction, extracellular matrix modification, and cell spreading and migration in response to various stimuli. However, the regulatory role of ILK during vascular smooth muscle cell migration and the importance of integrin signaling in occlusive vascular diseases are not yet fully elucidated. Results: In the present study, we report that integrin-linked kinase controls mouse aortic smooth muscle cell migration in response to platelet-derived growth factor. We have also identified p38 mitogen activated protein kinase as a downstream signaling pathway of the integrin-linked kinase that regulates platelet-derived growth factor-induced actin polymerization and smooth muscle cell migration. Conclusion: This study will provide new insights into the potential therapeutic value of modulating integrin signaling in an attempt to block or delay smooth muscle cell migration and the progression of vascular diseases.
- Role of casein kinase 1 in the glucose sensor-mediated signaling pathway in yeast
Background: In yeast, glucose-dependent degradation of the Mth1 protein, a corepressor of the glucose transporter gene (HXT) repressor Rgt1, is a crucial event enabling expression of several HXT. This event occurs through a signaling pathway that involves the Rgt2 and Snf3 glucose sensors and yeast casein kinase 1 and 2 (Yck1/2). In this study, we examined whether the glucose sensors directly couple with Yck1/2 to convert glucose binding into an intracellular signal that leads to the degradation of Mth1. Results: High levels of glucose induce degradation of Mth1 through the Rgt2/Snf3 glucose signaling pathway. Fluorescence microscopy analysis indicates that, under glucose-limited conditions, GFP-Mth1 is localized in the nucleus and does not shuttle between the nucleus and cytoplasm. If glucose-induced degradation is prevented due to disruption of the Rgt2/Snf3 pathway, GFP-Mth1 accumulates in the nucleus. When engineered to be localized to the cytoplasm, GFP-Mth1 is degraded regardless of the presence of glucose or the glucose sensors. In addition, removal of Grr1 from the nucleus prevents degradation of GFP-Mth1. These results suggest that glucose-induced, glucose sensor-dependent Mth1 degradation occurs in the nucleus. We also show that, like Yck2, Yck1 is localized to the plasma membrane via C-terminal palmitoylation mediated by the palmitoyl transferase Akr1. However, glucose-dependent degradation of Mth1 is not impaired in the absence of Akr1, suggesting that a direct interaction between the glucose sensors and Yck1/2 is not required for Mth1 degradation. Conclusion: Glucose-induced, glucose sensor-regulated degradation of Mth1 occurs in the nucleus and does not require direct interaction of the glucose sensors with Yck1/2.
- Mechanical strain modulates age-related changes in the proliferation and differentiation of mouse adipose-derived stromal cells
Background: Previous studies on the effects of aging in human and mouse mesenchymal stem cells suggest that a decline in the number and differentiation potential of stem cells may contribute to aging and aging-related diseases. In this report, we used stromal cells isolated from adipose tissue (ADSCs) of young (8-10 weeks), adult (5 months), and old (21 months) mice to test the hypothesis that mechanical loading modifies aging-related changes in the self-renewal and osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation potential of these cells. Results: We show that aging significantly reduced the proliferation and increased the adipogenesis of ADSCs, while the osteogenic potential is not significantly reduced by aging. Mechanical loading (10% cyclic stretching, 0.5 Hz, 48 h) increased the subsequent proliferation of ADSCs from mice of all ages. Although the number of osteogenic colonies with calcium deposition was increased in ADSCs subjected to pre-strain, it resulted from an increase in colony number rather than from an increase in osteogenic potential after strain. Pre-strain significantly reduced the number of oil droplets and the expression of adipogenic marker genes in adult and old ADSCs. Simultaneously subjecting ADSCs to mechanical loading and adipogenic induction resulted in a stronger inhibition of adipogenesis than that caused by pre-strain. The reduction of adipogenesis by mechanical strain was loading-magnitude dependent: loading with 2% strain only resulted in a partial inhibition, and loading with 0.5% strain could not inhibit adipogenesis in ADSCs. Conclusions: We demonstrate that mechanical stretching counteracts the loss of self-renewal in aging ADSCs by enhancing their proliferation and, at the same time, reduces the heightened adipogenesis of old cells. These findings are important for the further study of stem cell control and treatment for a variety of aging related diseases.
- A novel link between Sus1 and the cytoplasmic mRNA decay machinery suggests a broad role in mRNA metabolism
Background: Gene expression is achieved by the coordinated action of multiple factors to ensure a perfect synchrony from chromatin epigenetic regulation through to mRNA export. Sus1 is a conserved mRNA export/transcription factor and is a key player in coupling transcription initiation, elongation and mRNA export. In the nucleus, Sus1 is associated to the transcriptional co-activator SAGA and to the NPC associated complex termed TREX2/THSC. Through these associations, Sus1 mediates the nuclear dynamics of different gene loci and facilitate the export of the new transcripts. Results: In this study, we have investigated whether the yeast Sus1 protein is linked to factors involved in mRNA degradation pathways. We provide evidence for genetic interactions between SUS1 and genes coding for components of P-bodies such as PAT1, LSM1, LSM6 and DHH1. We demonstrate that SUS1 deletion is synthetic lethal with 5'3' decay machinery components LSM1 and PAT1 and has a strong genetic interaction with LSM6 and DHH1. Interestingly, Sus1 overexpression led to an accumulation of Sus1 in cytoplasmic granules, which can co-localise with components of P-bodies and stress granules. In addition, we have identified novel physical interactions between Sus1 and factors associated to P-bodies/stress granules. Finally, absence of LSM1 and PAT1 slightly promotes the Sus1-TREX2 association. Conclusions: In this study, we found genetic and biochemical association between Sus1 and components responsible for cytoplasmic mRNA metabolism. Moreover, Sus1 accumulates in discrete cytoplasmic granules, which partially co-localise with P-bodies and stress granules under specific conditions. These interactions suggest a role for Sus1 in gene expression during cytoplasmic mRNA metabolism in addition to its nuclear function.
- Elevated endogenous expression of the dominant negative basic helix-loop-helix protein ID1 correlates with significant centrosome abnormalities in human tumor cells
Background: ID proteins are dominant negative inhibitors of basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors that have multiple functions during development and cellular differentiation. Ectopic (over-)expression of ID1 extends the lifespan of primary human epithelial cells. High expression levels of ID1 have been detected in multiple human malignancies, and in some have been correlated with unfavorable clinical prognosis. ID1 protein is localized at the centrosomes and forced (over-)expression of ID1 results in errors during centrosome duplication. Results: Here we analyzed the steady state expression levels of the four ID-proteins in 18 tumor cell lines and assessed the number of centrosome abnormalities. While expression of ID1, ID2, and ID3 was detected, we failed to detect protein expression of ID4. Expression of ID1 correlated with increased supernumerary centrosomes in most cell lines analyzed. Conclusions: This is the first report that shows that not only ectopic expression in tissue culture but endogenous levels of ID1 modulate centrosome numbers. Thus, our findings support the hypothesis that ID1 interferes with centrosome homeostasis, most likely contributing to genomic instability and associated tumor aggressiveness.
- Nuclear variants of bone morphogenetic proteins
Background: Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) contribute to many different aspects of development including mesoderm formation, heart development, neurogenesis, skeletal development, and axis formation. They have previously been recognized only as secreted growth factors, but the present study detected Bmp2, Bmp4, and Gdf5/CDMP1 in the nuclei of cultured cells using immunocytochemistry and immunoblotting of nuclear extracts. Results: In all three proteins, a bipartite nuclear localization signal (NLS) was found to overlap the site at which the proproteins are cleaved to release the mature growth factors from the propeptides. Mutational analyses indicated that the nuclear variants of these three proteins are produced by initiating translation from downstream alternative start codons. The resulting proteins lack N-terminal signal peptides and are therefore translated in the cytoplasm rather than the endoplasmic reticulum, thus avoiding proteolytic processing in the secretory pathway. Instead, the uncleaved proteins (designated nBmp2, nBmp4, and nGdf5) containing the intact NLSs are translocated to the nucleus. Immunostaining of endogenous nBmp2 in cultured cells demonstrated that the amount of nBmp2 as well as its nuclear/cytoplasmic distribution differs between cells that are in M-phase versus other phases of the cell cycle. Conclusions: The observation that nBmp2 localization varies throughout the cell cycle, as well as the conservation of a nuclear localization mechanism among three different BMP family members, suggests that these novel nuclear variants of BMP family proteins play an important functional role in the cell.
- High-throughput and single-cell imaging of NF-kappabeta oscillations using monoclonal cell lines
Background: The nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) family of transcription factors plays a role in a wide range of cellular processes including the immune response and cellular growth. In addition, deregulation of the NF-kappaB system has been associated with a number of disease states, including cancer. Therefore, insight into the regulation of NF kappaB activation has crucial medical relevance, holding promise for novel drug target discovery. Transcription of NF-kappaB-induced genes is regulated by differential dynamics of single NF kappaB subunits, but only a few methods are currently being applied to study dynamics. In particular, while oscillations of NF-kappaB activation have been observed in response to the cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha), little is known about the occurrence of oscillations in response to bacterial infections. Results: To quantitatively assess NF-kappaB dynamics we generated human and murine monoclonal cell lines that stably express the NF-kappaB subunit p65 fused to GFP. Furthermore, a high-throughput assay based on automated microscopy coupled to image analysis to quantify p65-nuclear translocation was established. Using this assay, we demonstrate a stimulus- and cell line-specific temporal control of p65 translocation, revealing, for the first time, oscillations of p65 translocation in response to bacterial infection. Oscillations were detected at the single-cell level using real-time microscopy as well as at the population level using high-throughput image analysis. In addition, mathematical modeling of NF-kappaB dynamics during bacterial infections predicted masking of oscillations on the population level in asynchronous activations, which was experimentally confirmed. Conclusions: Taken together, this simple and cost effective assay constitutes an integrated approach to infer the dynamics of NF-kappaB kinetics in single cells and cell populations. Using a single system, novel factors modulating NF-kappaB can be identified and analyzed, providing new possibilities for a wide range of applications from therapeutic discovery and understanding of disease to host-pathogen interactions.
- Functional investigations on human mesenchymal stem cells exposed to magnetic fields and labeled with clinically approved iron nanoparticles
Background: For clinical applications of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), labeling and tracking is crucial to evaluate cell distribution and homing. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been successfully established detecting MSCs labeled with superparamagnetic particles of iron oxide (SPIO). Despite initial reports that labeling of MSCs with SPIO is safe without affecting the MSC`s biology, recent studies report on influences of SPIO-labeling on metabolism and function of MSCs. Exposition of cells and tissues to high magnetic fields is the functional principle of MRI. In this study we established innovative labeling protocols for human MSCs using clinically established SPIO in combination with magnetic fields and investigated on functional effects (migration assays, quantification of colony forming units, analyses of gene and protein expression and analyses on the proliferation capacity, the viability and the differentiation potential) of magnetic fields on unlabeled and labeled human MSCs. To evaluate the imaging properties, quantification of the total iron load per cell (TIL), electron microscopy, and MRI at 3.0 T were performed. Results: Human MSCs labeled with SPIO permanently exposed to magnetic fields arranged and grew according to the magnetic flux lines. Exposure of MSCs to magnetic fields after labeling with SPIO significantly enhanced the TIL compared to SPIO labeled MSCs without exposure to magnetic fields resulting in optimized imaging properties (detection limit: 1,000 MSCs). Concerning the TIL and the imaging properties, immediate exposition to magnetic fields after labeling was superior to exposition after 24 h. On functional level, exposition to magnetic fields inhibited the ability of colony formation of labeled MSCs and lead to an enhanced expression of lipoprotein lipase and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma in labeled MSCs under adipogenic differentiation, and to a reduced expression of alkaline phosphatase in unlabeled MSCs under osteogenic differentiation as detected by qRT-PCR. Moreover, microarray analyses revealed that exposition of labeled MSCs to magnetic fields led to an up regulation of CD93 mRNA and cadherin 7 mRNA and to a down regulation of Zinc finger FYVE domain mRNA. Exposition of unlabeled MSCs to magnetic fields led to an up regulation of CD93 mRNA, lipocalin 6 mRNA, sialic acid acetylesterase mRNA, and olfactory receptor mRNA and to a down regulation of ubiquilin 1 mRNA. No influence of the exposition to magnetic fields could be observed on the migration capacity, the viability, the proliferation rate and the chondrogenic differentiation capacity of labeled or unlabeled MSCs. Conclusions: In our study an innovative labeling protocol for tracking MSCs by MRI using SPIO in combination with magnetic fields was established. Both, SPIO and the static magnetic field were identified as independent factors which affect the functional biology of human MSCs. Further in vivo investigations are needed to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of the interaction of magnetic fields with stem cell biology.
- CC3/TIP30 affects DNA damage repair
Background: The pro-apoptotic protein CC3/TIP30 has an unusual cellular function as an inhibitor of nucleocytoplasmic transport. This function is likely to be activated under conditions of stress. A number of studies support the notion that CC3 acts as a tumor and metastasis suppressor in various types of cancer. The yeast homolog of CC3 is likely to be involved in responses to DNA damage. Here we examined the potential role of CC3 in regulation of cellular responses to genotoxic stress. Results: We found that forced expression of CC3 in CC3-negative cells strongly delays the repair of UV-induced DNA damage. Exogenously introduced CC3 negatively affects expression levels of DDB2/XPE and p21CIP1, and inhibits induction of c-FOS after UV exposure. In addition, exogenous CC3 prevents the nuclear accumulation of P21CIP in response to UV. These changes in the levels/localization of relevant proteins resulting from the enforced expression of CC3 are likely to contribute to the observed delay in DNA damage repair. Silencing of CC3 in CC3-positive cells has a modest delaying effect on repair of the UV induced damage, but has a much more significant negative affect on the translesion DNA synthesis after UV exposure. This could be related to the higher expression levels and increased nuclear localization of p21CIP1 in cells where expression of CC3 is silenced. Expression of CC3 also inhibits repair of oxidative DNA damage and leads to a decrease in levels of nucleoredoxin, that could contribute to the reduced viability of CC3 expressing cells after oxidative insult. Conclusions: Manipulation of the cellular levels of CC3 alters expression levels and/or subcellular localization of proteins that exhibit nucleocytoplasmic shuttling. This results in altered responses to genotoxic stress and adversely affects DNA damage repair by affecting the recruitment of adequate amounts of required proteins to proper cellular compartments. Excess of cellular CC3 has a significant negative effect on DNA repair after UV and oxidant exposure, while silencing of endogenous CC3 slightly delays repair of UV-induced damage.
- Significantly improved precision of cell migration analysis in time-lapse video microscopy through use of a fully automated tracking system
Background: Cell motility is a critical parameter in many physiological as well as pathophysiological processes. In time-lapse video microscopy, manual cell tracking remains the most common method of analyzing migratory behavior of cell populations. In addition to being labor-intensive, this method is susceptible to user-dependent errors regarding the selection of "representative" subsets of cells and manual determination of precise cell positions. Results: We have quantitatively analyzed these error sources, demonstrating that manual cell tracking of pancreatic cancer cells lead to mis-calculation of migration rates of up to 410 %. In order to provide for objective measurements of cell migration rates, we have employed multi-target tracking technologies commonly used in radar applications to develop fully automated cell identification and tracking system suitable for high throughput screening of video sequences of unstained living cells. Conclusion: We demonstrate that automatic multi target tracking systems identify cell objects, follow individual cells and compute migration rates with high precision, clearly outperforming manual procedures.
- Functional neural differentiation of human adipose tissue-derived stem cells using bFGF and forskolin
Background: Adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from adipose tissue have the capacity to differentiate into mesenchymal as well as endodermal and ectodermal cell lineages in vitro. We characterized the multipotent ability of human adipose tissue-derived stem cells (hADSCs) as MSCs and investigated the neural differentiation potential of these cells. Results: Human ADSCs from earlobe fat maintained self-renewing capacity and differentiated into adipocytes, osteoblasts, or chondrocytes under specific culture conditions. Following neural induction with bFGF and forskolin, hADSCs were differentiated into various types of neural cells including neurons and glia in vitro. In neural differentiated-hADSCs (NI-hADSCs), the immunoreactivities for neural stem cell marker (nestin), neuronal markers (Tuj1, MAP2, NFL, NFM, NFH, NSE, and NeuN), astrocyte marker (GFAP), and oligodendrocyte marker (CNPase) were significantly increased than in the primary hADSCs. RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that the mRNA levels encoding for ABCG2, nestin, Tuj1, MAP2, NFL, NFM, NSE, GAP43, SNAP25, GFAP, and CNPase were also highly increased in NI-hADSCs. Moreover, NI-hADSCs acquired neuron-like functions characterized by the display of voltage-dependent tetrodotoxin (TTX)-sensitive sodium currents, outward potassium currents, and prominent negative resting membrane potentials under whole-cell patch clamp recordings. Further examination by RT-PCR showed that NI-hADSCs expressed high level of ionic channel genes for sodium (SCN5A), potassium (MaxiK, Kv4.2, and EAG2), and calcium channels (CACNA1C and CACNA1G), which were expressed constitutively in the primary hADSCs. In addition, we demonstrated that Kv4.3 and Eag1, potassium channel genes, and NE-Na, a TTX-sensitive sodium channel gene, were highly induced following neural differentiation. Conclusions: These combined results indicate that hADSCs have the same self-renewing capacity and multipotency as stem cells, and can be differentiated into functional neurons using bFGF and forskolin.
- Cytometry of chromatin bound Mcm6 and PCNA identifies two states in G1 that are separated functionally by the G1 restriction point
Background: Cytometric measurements of DNA content and chromatin-bound Mcm2 have demonstrated bimodal patterns of expression in G1. These patterns, the replication licensing function of Mcm proteins, and a correlation between Mcm loading and cell cycle commitment for cells re-entering the cell cycle, led us to test the idea that cells expressing a defined high level of chromatin-bound Mcm6 in G1 are committed - i.e., past the G1 restriction point. We developed a cell-based assay for tightly-bound PCNA (PCNA*) and Mcm6 (Mcm6*), DNA content, and a mitotic marker to clearly define G1, S, G2, and M phases of the cell cycle. hTERT-BJ1, hTERT-RPE-1, and Molt4 cells were extracted with Triton X-100 followed by methanol fixation, stained with antibodies and DAPI, then measured by cytometry. Results: Bivariate analysis of cytometric data demonstrated complex patterns with distinct clustering for all combinations of the 4 variables. In G1, cells clustered in two groups characterized by low and high Mcm6* expression. Serum starvation and release experiments showed that residence in the high group was in late G1, just prior to S phase. Kinetic experiments, employing serum withdrawal, and stathmokinetic analysis with aphidicolin, mimosine or nocodazole demonstrated that cells with high levels of Mcm6* cycled with the committed phases of the cell cycle (S, G2, and M). Conclusions: A multivariate assay for Mcm6*, PCNA*, DNA content, and a mitotic marker provides analysis capable of estimating the fraction of pre and post-restriction point G1 cells and supports the idea that there are at least two states in G1 defined by levels of chromatin bound Mcm proteins.
- HAb18G/CD147 cell-cell contacts confer resistance of a HEK293 subpopulation to anoikis in an E-cadherin-dependent manner
Background: Acquisition of resistance to "anoikis" facilitates the survival of cells under independent matrix-deficient conditions, such as cells in tumor progression and the production of suspension culture cells for biomedical engineering. There is evidence suggesting that CD147, an adhesion molecule associated with survival of cells in tumor metastasis and cell-cell contacts, plays an important role in resistance to anoikis. However, information regarding the functions of CD147 in mediating cell-cell contacts and anoikis-resistance remains limited and even self-contradictory. Results: An anoikis-resistant clone (HEK293ar), derived from anoikis-sensitive parental Human Embryonic Kidney 293 cells, survived anoikis by the formation of cell-cell contacts. The expression of HAb18G/CD147 (a member of the CD147 family) was upregulated and the protein was located at cell-cell junctions. Upregulation of HAb18G/CD147 in suspended HEK293ar cells suppressed anoikis by mediating the formation of cell-cell adhesions. Anoikis resistance in HEK293ar cells also required E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell contacts. Knock-down of HAb18G/CD147 and E-cadherin inhibited cell-cell contacts formation and increased anoikis sensitivity respectively. When HAb18G/CD147 was downregulated, E-cadherin expression in HEK293ar cells was significantly suppressed; however, knockdown of E-cadherin by E-cadherin siRNA or blocking of E-cadherin binding activity with a specific antibody and EDTA had no significant effect on HAb18G/CD147 expression. Finally, pretreatment with LY294002, a phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K/AKT) inhibitor, disrupted cell-cell contacts and decreased cell number, but this was not the case in cells treated with the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) inhibitor PD98059. Conclusions: Our results provide new evidence that HAb18G/CD147-mediated cell-cell contact confers anoikis resistance in an E-cadherin-dependent manner; and cell-cell contact mediated resistance to anoikis implicates PI3K pathway in a highly relevant cell model (HEK293ar). Understanding of the role of HAb18G/CD147 cell-cell contacts in anoikis resistance may help in understanding the survival of cells in anchorage-independent growth, such as cells in tumor metastasis and suspension culture produced for biomedical engineering. Our results also contribute to a better understanding of the biology of HEK293 cell spheroids, a major workhorse for producing human therapeutic agents and viral vaccines.
- Pelota interacts with HAX1, EIF3G and SRPX and the resulting protein complexes are associated with the actin cytoskeleton
Background: Pelota (PELO) is an evolutionary conserved protein, which has been reported to be involved in the regulation of cell proliferation and stem cell self-renewal. Recent studies revealed the essential role of PELO in the No-Go mRNA decay, by which mRNA with translational stall are endonucleotically cleaved and degraded. Further, PELO-deficient mice die early during gastrulation due to defects in cell proliferation and/or differentiation. Results: We show here that PELO is associated with actin microfilaments of mammalian cells. Overexpression of human PELO in Hep2G cells had prominent effect on cell growth, cytoskeleton organization and cell spreading. To find proteins interacting with PELO, full-length human PELO cDNA was used as a bait in a yeast two-hybrid screening assay. Partial sequences of HAX1, EIF3G and SRPX protein were identified as PELO-interacting partners from the screening. The interactions between PELO and HAX1, EIF3G and SRPX were confirmed in vitro by GST pull-down assays and in vivo by co-immunoprecipitation. Furthermore, the PELO interaction domain was mapped to residues 268-385 containing the c-terminal and acidic tail domain. By bimolecular fluorescence complementation assay (BiFC), we found that protein complexes resulting from the interactions between PELO and either HAX1, EIF3G or SRPX were mainly localized to cytoskeletal filaments. Conclusion: We could show that PELO is subcellularly localized at the actin cytoskeleton, interacts with HAX1, EIF3G and SRPX proteins and that this interaction occurs at the cytoskeleton. Binding of PELO to cytoskeleton-associated proteins may facilitate PELO to detect and degrade aberrant mRNAs, at which the ribosome is stalled during translation.
- Mesenchymal stem cells rescue cardiomyoblasts from cell death in an in vitro ischemia model via direct cell-to-cell connections
Background: Bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are promising candidates for cell based therapies in myocardial infarction. However, the exact underlying cellular mechanisms are still not fully understood. Our aim was to explore the possible role of direct cell-to-cell interaction between ischemic H9c2 cardiac myoblasts and normal MSCs. Using an in vitro ischemia model of 150 minutes of oxygen glucose deprivation we investigated cell viability and cell interactions with confocal microscopy and flow cytometry. Results: Our model revealed that adding normal MSCs to the ischemic cell population significantly decreased the ratio of dead H9c2 cells (H9c2 only: 0.85 +/- 0.086 vs. H9c2+MSCs: 0.16 +/- 0.035). This effect was dependent on direct cell-to-cell contact since co-cultivation with MSCs cultured in cell inserts did not exert the same beneficial effect (ratio of dead H9c2 cells: 0.90 +/- 0.055). Confocal microscopy revealed that cardiomyoblasts and MSCs frequently formed 200-500 nm wide intercellular connections and cell fusion rarely occurred between these cells. Conclusion: Based on these results we hypothesize that mesenchymal stem cells may reduce the number of dead cardiomyoblasts after ischemic damage via direct cell-to-cell interactions and intercellular tubular connections may play an important role in these processes
- Modulatory effects of cAMP and PKC activation on gap junctional intercellular communication among thymic epithelial cells
Background: We investigated the effects of the signaling molecules, cyclic AMP (cAMP) and protein-kinase C (PKC), on gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) between thymic epithelial cells (TEC). Results: Treatment with 8-Br-cAMP, a cAMP analog; or forskolin, which stimulates cAMP production, resulted in an increase in dye transfer between adjacent TEC, inducing a three-fold enhancement in the mean fluorescence of coupled cells, ascertained by flow cytometry after calcein transfer. These treatments also increased Cx43 mRNA expression, and stimulated Cx43 protein accumulation in regions of intercellular contacts. VIP, adenosine, and epinephrine which may also signal through cyclic nucleotides were tested. The first two molecules did not mimic the effects of 8-Br-cAMP, however epinephrine was able to increase GJIC suggesting that this molecule functions as an endogenous inter-TEC GJIC modulators. Stimulation of PKC by phorbol-myristate-acetate inhibited inter-TEC GJIC. Importantly, both the enhancing and the decreasing effects, respectively induced by cAMP and PKC, were observed in both mouse and human TEC preparations. Lastly, experiments using mouse thymocyte/TEC heterocellular co-cultures suggested that the presence of thymocytes does not affect the degree of inter-TEC GJIC. Conclusions: Overall, our data indicate that cAMP and PKC intracellular pathways are involved in the homeostatic control of the gap junction-mediated communication in the thymic epithelium, exerting respectively a positive and negative role upon cell coupling. This control is phylogenetically conserved in the thymus, since it was seen in both mouse and human TEC preparations. Lastly, our work provides new clues for a better understanding of how the thymic epithelial network can work as a physiological syncytium.
- Bomapin is a redox-sensitive nuclear serpin that affects responsiveness of myeloid progenitor cells to growth environment
Background: Haematopoiesis is a process of formation of mature blood cells from hematopoietic progenitors in bone marrow. Haematopoietic progenitors are stimulated by growth factors and cytokines to proliferate and differentiate, and they die via apoptosis when these factors are depleted. An aberrant response to growth environment may lead to haematological disorders. Bomapin (serpinb10) is a hematopoietic- and myeloid leukaemia-specific protease inhibitor with unknown function. Results: We found that the majority of naturally expressed bomapin was located in the nucleus. Both the natural and recombinant bomapin was stabilized by a disulfide bond which linked the only two bomapin cysteines: one located in the CD-loop and the other near the C-terminus. Computer modelling showed that the cysteines are distant in the reduced bomapin, but can easily be disulfide-linked without distortion of the overall bomapin structure. Low-level ectopic expression of bomapin in bomapin-deficient K562 cells resulted in about 90% increased cell proliferation under normal growth conditions. On the other hand, antisense-downregulation of natural bomapin in U937 cells resulted in a decreased cell proliferation. Bomapin C395S mutant, representing the reduced form of the serpin, had no effect on cell proliferation, suggesting that the disulfide bond-stabilized conformation of bomapin is biologically important. The bomapin-dependent effect was specific for myeloid cells, since ectopic expression of the serpin in HT1080 cells did not change cell proliferation. In contrast to the survival-promoting activity of bomapin in cells cultured under optimal growth conditions, bomapin enhanced cell apoptosis following growth factor withdrawal. Conclusions: We propose that bomapin is a redox-sensitive nuclear serpin that augments proliferation or apoptosis of leukaemia cells, depending on growth factors availability.
- Salvianolic acid B prevents epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition through the TGF-beta1 signal transduction pathway in vivo and in vitro
Background: Salvianolic Acid B (Sal B) is a water-soluble component from Danshen (a traditional Chinese herb widely used for chronic renal diseases) with anti-oxidative and cell protective properties. Sal B also has potential protective effects on renal diseases. Tubular epithelial cells can undergo epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which plays an important role in the pathogenesis of renal interstitial fibrosis (RIF) and is mainly regulated by TGF-b1/Smads pathway. The aims of the study are to investigate the effect of Sal B on tubular EMT in vivo and in vitro, and to elucidate its underlying mechanism against EMT related to TGF-b1/Smads pathway. Results: For in vivo experiments, RIF was induced in rats by oral administration of HgCl2 and prophylaxised with Sal B and vitamin E. The protein expression of E-cadherin was down-regulated, while the expression of a-SMA, TGF-b1, TbR-I, p-Smad2/3 and the activity of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) were up-regulated in kidneys of model rats when compared with those of normal rats. In contrast, Sal B and vitamin E significantly attenuated the expression of a-SMA, TGF-b1, TbR-I, p-Smad2/3, and MMP-2 activity, but increased E-cadherin expression. For in vitro experiments, HK-2 cells were incubated with TGF-b1 to induce EMT, and the cells were co-cultured with 1 and 10 uM Sal B or SB-431542 (a specific inhibitor of TbR-I kinase). TGF-b1 induced a typical EMT in HK-2 cells, while it was blocked by Sal B and SB-431542, as evidenced by blocking morphologic transformation, restoring E-cadherin and CK-18 expression, inhibiting a-SMA expression and F-actin reorganization, and down-regulating MMP-2/9 activities in TGF-b1 mediated HK-2 cells. Furthermore, Sal B and SB-431542 profoundly down-regulated the expressions of TbR-I and p-Smad2/3 but prevented the decreased expression of Smad7 in TGF-b1 stimulated HK-2 cells. Conclusions: Sal B can prevent tubular EMT in the fibrotic kidney induced by HgCl2 as well as HK-2 cells triggered by TGF-b1, the mechanism of Sal B is closely related to the regulation of TGF-b1/Smads pathway, manifested as the inhibition of TGF-b1 expression, suppression of TbR-I expression and function, down-regulation of Smad2/3 phosphorylation, and restoration of the down-regulation of Smad7, as well as inhibition of MMP-2 activity.
- Differentiation potential of STRO-1+ dental pulp stem cells changes during cell passaging
Background: Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) can be driven into odontoblast, osteoblast, and chondrocyte lineages in different inductive media. However, the differentiation potential of naive DPSCs after serial passaging in the routine culture system has not been fully elucidated. Results: DPSCs were isolated from human/rat dental pulps by the magnetic activated cell sorting based on STRO-1 expression, cultured and passaged in the conventional culture media. The biological features of STRO-1+ DPSCs at the 1st and 9th passages were investigated. During the long-term passage, the proliferation ability of human STRO-1+ DPSCs was downregulated as indicated by the growth kinetics. When compared with STRO-1+ DPSCs at the 1st passage (DPSC-P1), the expression of mature osteoblast-specific genes/proteins (alkaline phosphatase, bone sialoprotein, osterix, and osteopontin), odontoblast-specific gene/protein (dentin sialophosphoprotein and dentin sialoprotein), and chondrocyte-specific gene/protein (type II collagen) was significantly upregulated in human STRO-1+ DPSCs at the 9th passage (DPSC-P9). Furthermore, human DPSC-P9 cells in the mineralization-inducing media presented higher levels of alkaline phosphatase at day 3 and day 7 respectively, and produced more mineralized matrix than DPSC-P9 cells at day 14. In vivo transplantation results showed that rat DPSC-P1 cell pellets developed into dentin, bone and cartilage structures respectively, while DPSC-P9 cells can only generate bone tissues. Conclusions: These findings suggest that STRO-1+ DPSCs consist of several interrelated subpopulations which can spontaneously differentiate into odontoblasts, osteoblasts, and chondrocytes. The differentiation capacity of these DPSCs changes during cell passaging, and DPSCs at the 9th passage restrict their differentiation potential to the osteoblast lineage in vivo.
- The human collagen beta(1-O)galactosyltransferase, GLT25D1, is a soluble endoplasmic reticulum localized protein
Background: Glycosyl transferases transfer glycosyl groups onto their substrate. Localization partially defines their function. Glycosyl transferase 25 domain 1 (GLT25D1) was recently shown to have galactosyltransferase activity towards collagens and another well known substrate, mannose binding lectin (MBL). To gain more insight in the role of galactosylation of lysines in the Gly-X-Lys repeats of collagenous proteins, we investigated the subcellular localization of GLT25D1. Results: Immunofluorescence analysis of GLT25D1 expressed in the human hepatoma cell line (Huh7), revealed a perinuclear lattice like staining, resembling localization to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Possible targeting signals, an N-terminal signal sequence and a C-terminal ER-retention signal, were identified using prediction programs. These signals were then investigated by constructing a series of epitope-tagged forms of GLT25D1 that were analyzed by immunofluorescence and western blotting. In agreement with the predictions our results show that GLT25D1 is directed to the ER lumen as a soluble protein and retained there. Moreover, using two endoglycosidase enzymes EndoH and EndoF, we demonstrate that the putative bi-functional glycosyl transferase itself is a glycoprotein. Additionally we examined co-localization of GLT25D1 with MBL and lysyl hydroxylase 3 (LH3, PLOD3), which is a protein able to catalyze hydroxylation of lysine residues before they can be glycosylated. We demonstrate overlapping localization patterns of GLT25D1, MBL and LH3. Conclusions: Taken together our data indicate that galactosylation of collagenous proteins by the soluble GLT25D1 occurs in the early secretory pathway.
- Centriole movements in mammalian epithelial cells during cytokinesis
Background: In cytokinesis, when the cleavage furrow has been formed, the two centrioles in each daughter cell separate. It has been suggested that the centrioles facilitate and regulate cytokinesis to some extent. It has been postulated that termination of cytokinesis (abscission) depends on the migration of a centriole to the intercellular bridge and then back to the cell center. To investigate the involvement of centrioles in cytokinesis, we monitored the movements of centrioles in three mammalian epithelial cell lines, HeLa, MCF 10A, and the p53-deficient mouse mammary tumor cell line KP-7.7, by time-lapse imaging. Centrin1-EGFP and alpha-Tubulin-mCherry were co-expressed in the cells to visualize respectively the centrioles and microtubules. Results: Here we report that separated centrioles that migrate from the cell pole are very mobile during cytokinesis and their movements can be characterized as 1) along the nuclear envelope, 2) irregular, and 3) along microtubules forming the spindle axis. Centriole movement towards the intercellular bridge was only seen occasionally and was highly cell-line dependent. Conclusions: These findings show that centrioles are highly mobile during cytokinesis and suggest that the repositioning of a centriole to the intercellular bridge is not essential for controlling abscission. We suggest that centriole movements are microtubule dependent and that abscission is more dependent on other mechanisms than positioning of centrioles.
- Connective Tissue Growth Factor (CTGF/CCN2) enhances lactogenic differentiation of mammary epithelial cells via integrin-mediated cell adhesion
Background: Connective Tissue Growth Factor (CTGF/CCN2), a known matrix-associated protein, is required for the lactogenic differentiation of mouse mammary epithelial cells. An HC11 mammary epithelial cell line expressing CTGF/CCN2 was constructed to dissect the cellular responses to CTGF/CCN2 that contribute to this differentiation program. Results: Tetracycline-regulated expression of CTGF/CCN2 in HC11 cells enhanced multiple markers of lactogenic differentiation including -casein transcription and mammosphere formation. In a separate measure of mammary differentiation the addition of CTGF/CCN2 to cultures of MCF10A cells increased the development of acini in vitro. In HC11 cells the elevated levels of CTGF/CCN2 diminished the requirement for extracellular matrix proteins in the activation of beta-casein transcription, indicating that CTGF/CCN2 contributed to lactogenic differentiation through the regulation of matrix dependent cell adhesion. CTGF/CCN2 expression in HC11 cells increased expression of extracellular matrix proteins and integrins , enhanced the formation of focal adhesion complexes, and increased survival signaling. In addition, HC11 cells adhered to immobilized CTGF/CCN2 and this was inhibited by function-blocking antibodies to the integrins alpha6 and beta1, and to a lesser degree by antibody to beta 3 integrin. Conclusions: CTGF/CCN2 expression in HC11 cells led to an increase in multiple markers of lactogenic differentiation. The mechanisms by which CTGF/CCN2 contributed to lactogenic differentiation include direct binding of CTGF/CCN2 to integrin complexes and CTGF/CCN2-induced matrix protein expression resulting in elevated integrin functionality.
- Angiotensin II upregulates the expression of placental growth factor in human vascular endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells
Background: Atherosclerosis is now recognized as a chronic inflammatory disease. Angiotensin II (Ang II) is a critical factor in inflammatory responses, which promotes the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Placental growth factor (PlGF) is a member of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family cytokines and is associated with inflammatory progress of atherosclerosis. However, the potential link between PlGF and Ang II has not been investigated. In the current study, whether Ang II could regulate PlGF expression, and the effect of PlGF on cell proliferation, was investigated in human vascular endothelial cells (VECs) and smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Results: In growth-arrested human VECs and VSMCs, Ang II induced PlGF mRNA expression after 4 hour treatment, and peaked at 24 hours. 10-6 mol/L Ang II increased PlGF protein production after 8 hour treatment, and peaked at 24 hours. Stimulation with Ang II also induced mRNA expression of VEGF receptor-1 and -2(VEGFR-1 and -2) in these cells. The Ang II type I receptor (AT1R) antagonist blocked Ang II-induced PlGF gene expression and protein production. Several intracellular signals elicited by Ang II were involved in PlGF synthesis, including activation of protein kinase C, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and PI3-kinase. A neutralizing antibody against PlGF partially inhibited the Ang II-induced proliferation of VECs and VSMCs. However, this antibody showed little effect on the basal proliferation in these cells, whereas blocking antibody of VEGF could suppress both basal and Ang II-induced proliferation in VECs and VSMCs. Conclusion: Our results showed for the first time that Ang II could induce the gene expression and protein production of PlGF in VECs and VSMCs, which might play an important role in the pathogenesis of vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis.
- Prolonged activation of S6K1 does not suppress IRS or PI-3 kinase signaling during muscle cell differentiation
Background: Myogenesis in C2C12 cells requires the activation of the PI3K/mTOR signaling pathways. Since mTOR signaling can feedback through S6K1 to inhibit the activation of PI3K, the aim of this work was to assess whether feedback from S6K1 played a role in myogenesis and determine whether siRNA mediated knockdown of S6K1 would lead to an increased rate of myotube formation. Results: S6K1 activity increased in a linear fashion following plating and was more than 3-fold higher after Day 3 of differentiation (subconfluent = 11.09 +/- 3.05, Day 3 = 29.34 +/- 3.58). IRS-1 levels tended to increase upon serum withdrawal but decreased approximately 2-fold (subconfluent = 0.88 +/- 0.10, Day 3 = 0.42 +/- 0.06) 3 days following differentiation whereas IRS-2 protein remained stable. IRS-1 associated p85 was significantly reduced upon serum withdrawal (subconfluent = 0.86 +/- 0.07, Day 0 = 0.31 +/- 0.05), remaining low through day 1. IRS-2 associated p85 decreased following serum withdrawal (subconfluent = 0.96 +/- 0.05, Day 1 = 0.56 +/- 0.08) and remained suppressed up to Day 3 following differentiation (0.56 +/- 0.05). Phospho-tyrosine associated p85 increased significantly from subconfluent to Day 0 and remained elevated throughout differentiation. siRNA directed against S6K1 and S6K2 did not result in changes in IRS-1 levels after either 48 or 96hrs. Furthermore, neither 48 nor 96hrs of S6K1 knockdown caused a change in myotube formation. Conclusions: Even though S6K1 activity increases throughout muscle cell differentiation and IRS-1 levels decrease over this period, siRNA suggests that S6K1 is not mediating the decrease in IRS-1. The decrease in IRS-1/2 associated p85 together with the increase in phospho-tyrosine associated p85 suggests that PI3K associates primarily with scaffolds other than IRS-1/2 during muscle cell differentiation.
- Characterisation of the dynamic behaviour of lipid droplets in the early mouse embryo using adaptive harmonic generation microscopy
Background: Lipid droplets (LD) are organelles with an important role in normal metabolism and disease. The lipid content of embryos has a major impact on viability and development. LD in Drosophila embryos and cultured cell lines have been shown to move and fuse in a microtubule dependent manner. Due to limitations in current imaging technology, little is known about the behaviour of LD in the mammalian embryo. Harmonic generation microscopy (HGM) allows one to image LD without the use of exogenous labels. Adaptive optics can be used to correct aberrations that would otherwise degrade the quality and information content of images. Results: We have built a harmonic generation microscope with adaptive optics to characterise early mouse embryogenesis. At fertilization, LD are small and uniformly distributed, but in the implanting blastocyst, LD are larger and enriched in the invading giant cells of the trophectoderm. Time-lapse studies reveal that LD move continuously and collide but do not fuse, instead forming aggregates that subsequently behave as single units. Using specific inhibitors, we show that the velocity and dynamic behaviour of LD is dependent not only on microtubules as in other systems, but also on microfilaments. We explore the limits within which HGM can be used to study living embryos without compromising viability and make the counterintuitive finding that 16 J of energy delivered continuously over a period of minutes can be less deleterious than an order of magnitude lower energy delivered dis-continuously over a period of hours. Conclusions: LD in pre-implantation mouse embryos show a previously unappreciated complexity of behaviour that is dependent not only on microtubules, but also microfilaments. Unlike LD in other systems, LD in the mouse embryo do not fuse but form aggregates. This study establishes HGM with adaptive optics as a powerful tool for the study of LD biology and provides insights into the photo-toxic effects of imaging embryos.
- Heme and non-heme iron transporters in non-polarized and polarized cells
Background: Heme and non-heme iron from diet, and recycled iron from hemoglobin are important products of the synthesis of iron-containing molecules. In excess, iron is potentially toxic because it can produce reactive oxygen species through the Fenton reaction. Humans can absorb, transport, store, and recycle iron without an excretory system to remove excess iron. Two candidate heme transporters and two iron transporters have been reported thus far. Heme incorporated into cells is degraded by heme oxygenases (HOs), and the iron product is reutilized by the body. To specify the processes of heme uptake and degradation, and the reutilization of iron, we determined the subcellular localizations of these transporters and HOs. Results: In this study, we analyzed the subcellular localizations of 2 isoenzymes of HOs, 4 isoforms of divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1), and 2 candidate heme transporters--heme carrier protein 1 (HCP1) and heme responsive gene-1 (HRG-1)--in non-polarized and polarized cells. In non-polarized cells, HCP1, HRG-1, and DMT1A-I are located in the plasma membrane. In polarized cells, they show distinct localizations: HCP1 and DMT1A-I are located in the apical membrane, whereas HRG-1 is located in the basolateral membrane and lysosome. 16Leu at DMT1A-I N-terminal cytosolic domain was found to be crucial for plasma membrane localization. HOs are located in smooth endoplasmic reticulum and colocalize with NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase. Conclusions: HCP1 and DMT1A-I are localized to the apical membrane, and HRG-1 to the basolateral membrane and lysosome. These findings suggest that HCP1 and DMT1A-I have functions in the uptake of dietary heme and non-heme iron. HRG-1 can transport endocytosed heme from the lysosome into the cytosol. These localization studies support a model in which cytosolic heme can be degraded by HOs, and the resulting iron is exported into tissue fluids via the iron transporter ferroportin 1, which is expressed in the basolateral membrane in enterocytes or in the plasma membrane in macrophages. The liberated iron is transported by transferrin and reutilized for hemoglobin synthesis in the erythroid system.
VOL 12 NUMBER 2011
- Anastral spindle assembly and gamma-tubulin in Drosophila oocytes
Background: Anastral spindles assemble by a mechanism that involves microtubule nucleation and growth from chromatin. It is still uncertain whether gamma-tubulin, a microtubule nucleator essential for mitotic spindle assembly and maintenance, plays a role. Not only is the requirement for gamma-tubulin to form anastral Drosophila oocyte meiosis I spindles controversial, but its presence in oocyte meiosis I spindles has not been demonstrated and is uncertain. Results: We show, for the first time, using a bright GFP fusion protein and live imaging, that the Drosophila maternally-expressed gammaTub37C is present at low levels in oocyte meiosis I spindles. Despite this, we find that formation of bipolar meiosis I spindles does not require functional gammaTub37C, extending previous findings by others. Fluorescence photobleaching assays show rapid recovery of gammaTub37C in the meiosis I spindle, similar to the cytoplasm, indicating weak binding by gammaTub37C to spindles, and fits of a new, potentially more accurate model for fluorescence recovery yield kinetic parameters consistent with transient, diffusional binding. Conclusions: The FRAP results, together with its mutant effects late in meiosis I, indicate that gammaTub37C may perform a role subsequent to metaphase I, rather than nucleating microtubules for meiosis I spindle formation. Weak binding to the meiosis I spindle could stabilize pre-existing microtubules or position gamma-tubulin for function during meiosis II spindle assembly, which follows rapidly upon oocyte activation and completion of the meiosis I division.
- Carbon monoxide prevents hepatic mitochondrial membrane permeabilization
Background: Low concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO) protect hepatocytes against apoptosis and confers cytoprotection in several models of liver. Mitochondria are key organelles in cell death control via their membrane permeabilization and the release of pro-apoptotic factors. Results: Herein, we show that CO prevents mitochondrial membrane permeabilization (MMP) in liver isolated mitochondria. Direct and indirect approaches were used to evaluate MMP inhibition by CO: mitochondrial swelling, mitochondrial depolarization and inner membrane permeabilization. Additionally, CO increases mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and their scavenging, by beta-carotene addition, decreases CO protection, which reveals the key role of ROS. Interestingly, cytochrome c oxidase transiently responds to low concentrations of CO by decreasing its activity in the first 5 min, later on there is an increase of cytochrome c oxidase activity, which were detected up to 30 min. Conclusion: CO directly prevents mitochondrial membrane permeabilization, which might be implicated in the hepatic apoptosis inhibition by this gaseoustransmitter.
- Requirement of Osteopontin in migration and the protection against Taxol-induced apoptosis via ATX-LPA axis in SGC7901 cells
Background: Autotaxin (ATX) has lysophospholipase D (lysoPLD) activity, which converts lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) into lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). The ATX-LPA signaling axis has been implicated in angiogenesis, chronic inflammation, fibrotic diseases and tumor progression. Osteopontin (OPN) is important chemokine involved in the survival, proliferation, migration, invasion and metastasis of gastric cancer cells. The focus of the study was to investigate the relationship between the ATX-LPA axis and OPN. Results: In comparison with non-treated cells, we found that the ATX-LPA axis up-regulated OPN expression by 1.92 fold in protein levels and 1.3 fold in mRNA levels. The ATX-LPA axis activates LPA2, Akt, ERK and ELK-1 and also protects SGC7901 cells from apoptosis induced by Taxol treatment. Conclusions: The study provides the first evidence to show that expression of OPN induced by ATX-LPA axis was mediated by the activation of Akt and MAPK/ERK pathways through LPA2 receptor. In addition, OPN was required for the protective effect of ATX-LPA against Taxol-induced apoptosis and ATX-LPA-induced migration of SGC7901 cells.
- Long term culture of mesenchymal stem cells in hypoxia promotes a genetic program maintaining their undifferentiated and multipotent status.
Background: In the bone marrow, hematopietic and mesenchymal stem cells form a unique niche in which the oxygen tension is low. Hypoxia may have a role in maintaining stem cell fate, self renewal and multipotency. However, whereas most studies addressed the effect of transient in vitro exposure of MSC to hypoxia, permanent culture under hypoxia should reflect the better physiological conditions. Results: Morphologic studies, differentiation and transcriptional profiling experiments were performed on MSC cultured in normoxia (21% O2) versus hypoxia (5% O2) for up to passage 2. Cells at passage 0 and at passage 2 were compared, and those at P0 in hypoxia generated fewer and smaller colonies than in normoxia. In parallel, MSC displayed (>4 fold) inhibition of genes involved in DNA metabolism, cell cycle progression and chromosome cohesion whereas transcripts involved in adhesion and metabolism (CD93, ESAM, VWF, PLVAP, ANGPT2, LEP, TCF1) were stimulated. Compared to normoxic cells, hypoxic cells were morphologically undifferentiated and contained less mitochondrias. After this lag phase, cells at passage 2 in hypoxia outgrew the cells cultured in normoxia and displayed an enhanced expression of genes (4-60 fold) involved in extracellular matrix assembly (SMOC2), neural and muscle development (NOG, GPR56, SNTG2, LAMA) and epithelial development (DMKN). This group described herein for the first time was assigned by the Gene Ontology program to "plasticity". Conclusion: The duration of hypoxemia is a critical parameter in the differentiation capacity of MSC. Even in growth promoting conditions, hypoxia enhanced a genetic program that maintained the cells undifferentiated and multipotent. This condition may better reflect the in vivo gene signature of MSC, with potential implications in regenerative medicine.
- Occurrence of multipolar mitoses and association with Aurora-A/-B kinases and p53 mutations in aneuploid esophageal carcinoma cells
Background Aurora kinases and loss of p53 function are implicated in the carcinogenesis of aneuploid esophageal cancers. Their association with occurrence of multipolar mitoses in the two main histotypes of aneuploid esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and Barrett's adenocarcinoma (BAC) remains unclear. Here, we investigated the occurrence of multipolar mitoses, Aurora-A/-B gene copy numbers and expression/activation as well as p53 alterations in aneuploid ESCC and BAC cancer cell lines.Results A control esophageal epithelial cell line (EPC-hTERT) had normal Aurora-A and -B gene copy numbers and expression, was p53 wild type and displayed bipolar mitoses. In contrast, both ESCC (OE21, Kyse-410) and BAC (OE33, OE19) cell lines were aneuploid and displayed elevated gene copy numbers of Aurora-A (chromosome 20 polysomy: OE21, OE33, OE19; gene amplification: Kyse-410) and Aurora-B (chromosome 17 polysomy: OE21, Kyse-410). Aurora-B gene copy numbers were not elevated in OE19 and OE33 cells despite chromosome 17 polysomy. Aurora-A expression and activity (Aurora-A/phosphoT288) was not directly linked to gene copy numbers and was highest in Kyse-410 and OE33 cells. Aurora-B expression and activity (Aurora-B/phosphoT232) was higher in OE21 and Kyse-410 than in OE33 and OE19 cells. The mitotic index was highest in OE21, followed by OE33 > OE19 > Kyse-410 and EPC-hTERT cells. Multipolar mitoses occurred with high frequency in OE33 (13.8+/-4.2%), followed by OE21 (7.7+/-5.0%) and Kyse-410 (6.3+/-2.0%) cells. Single multipolar mitoses occurred in OE19 (1.0+/-1.0%) cells. Distinct p53 mutations and p53 protein expression patterns were found in all esophageal cancer cell lines, but complete functional p53 inactivation occurred in OE21 and OE33 only.Conclusions High Aurora-A expression alone is not associated with overt multipolar mitoses in aneuploid ESCC and BAC cancer cells, as specifically shown here for OE21 and OE33 cells, respectively. Additional p53 loss of function mutations are necessary for this to occur, at least for invasive esophageal cancer cells. Further assessment of Aurora kinases and p53 interactions in cells or tissue specimens derived from non-invasive dysplasia (ESCC) or intestinal metaplasia (BAC) are necessary to disclose a potential causative role of Aurora kinases and p53 for development of aneuploid, invasive esophageal cancers.
- A STAT3-decoy oligonucleotide induces cell death
in a human colorectal carcinoma cell line
by blocking nuclear transfer of STAT3
and STAT3-bound NF-kappaB
Background: The transcription factor STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) is frequently activated in tumor cells. Activated STAT3 forms homodimers, or heterodimers with other TFs such as NF-kappaB, which becomes activated. Cytoplasmic STAT3 dimers are activated by tyrosine phosphorylation; they interact with importins via a nuclear localization signal (NLS) one of which is located within the DNA-binding domain formed by the dimer. In the nucleus, STAT3 regulates target gene expression by binding a consensus sequence within the promoter. STAT3-specific decoy oligonucleotides (STAT3-decoy ODN) that contain this consensus sequence inhibit the transcriptional activity of STAT3, leading to cell death; however, their mechanism of action is unclear. Results: The mechanism of action of a STAT3-decoy ODN was analyzed in the colon carcinoma cell line SW 480. These cells' dependence on activated STAT3 was verified by showing that cell death is induced by STAT3-specific siRNAs or Stattic. STAT3-decoy ODN was shown to bind activated STAT3 within the cytoplasm, and to prevent its translocation to the nucleus, as well as that of STAT3-associated NF-kappaB, but it did not prevent the nuclear transfer of STAT3 with mutations in its DNA-binding domain. The complex formed by STAT3 and the STAT3-decoy ODN did not associate with importin, while STAT3 alone was found to co-immunoprecipitate with importin. Leptomycin B and vanadate both trap STAT3 in the nucleus. They were found here to oppose the cytoplasmic trapping of STAT3 by the STAT3-decoy ODN. Control decoys consisting of either a mutated STAT3-decoy ODN or a NF-kappaB-specific decoy ODN had no effect on STAT3 nuclear translocation. Finally, blockage of STAT3 nuclear transfer correlated with the induction of SW 480 cell death. Conclusions: The inhibition of STAT3 by a STAT3-decoy ODN, leading to cell death, involves the entrapment of activated STAT3 dimers in the cytoplasm. A mechanism is suggested whereby this entrapment is due to STAT3-decoy ODN's inhibition of active STAT3/importin interaction. These observations point to the high potential of STAT3-decoy ODN as a reagent and to STAT3 nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling in tumor cells as a potential target for effective anti-cancer compounds.
- Mitotic phosphorylation activates hepatoma-derived growth factor as a mitogen
Background: Hepatoma-derived growth factor (HDGF) is a nuclear protein that is a mitogen for a wide variety of cells. Mass spectrometry based methods have identified HDGF as a phosphoprotein without validation or a functional consequence of this post-translational modification. Results: We found that HDGF in primary mouse aortic vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) was phosphorylated. Wild type HDGF was phosphorylated in asynchronous cells and substitution of S103, S165 and S202 to alanine each demonstrated a decrease in HDGF phosphorylation. A phospho-S103 HDGF specific antibody was developed and demonstrated mitosis-specific phosphorylation. HDGF-S103A was not mitogenic and FACS analysis demonstrated a G2/M arrest in HDGF-S103A expressing cells, whereas cells expressing HDGF-S103D showed cell cycle progression. Nocodazole arrest increased S103 phosphorylation from 1.6% to 29% (P=0.037). Conclusions: Thus, HDGF is a phosphoprotein and phosphorylation of S103 is mitosis related and required for its function as a mitogen. We speculate that cell cycle regulated phosphorylation of HDGF may play an important role in vascular cell proliferation.
- Quantitative Digital In Situ Senescence-Associated beta-Galactosidase Assay.
Background: Cellular senescence plays important roles in the aging process of complex organisms, in tumor suppression and in response to stress. Several markers can be used to identify senescent cells, of which the most widely used is the senescence-associated beta-galactosidase (SABG) activity. The main advantage of SABG activity over other markers is the simplicity of the detection assay and the capacity to identify in situ a senescent cell in a heterogeneous cell population. Several approaches have been introduced recently to render the SABG assay quantitative. However none of these approaches to date has proven particularly amenable to quantitative analysis of SABG activity in situ. Furthermore the role of cellular senescence (CS) in vivo remains unclear mainly due to the ambiguity of current cellular markers in identifying CS of individual cells in tissues. Results: In the current study we applied a digital image analysis technique to the staining generated using the original SABG assay, and show that this analysis is highly reproducible and sensitive to subtle differences in staining intensities resulting from diverse cellular senescence pathways in culture. We have further validated our method on mouse kidney samples with and without diabetes mellitus, and show that a more accurate quantitative SABG activity with a wider range of values can be achieved at a pH lower than that used in the conventional SABG assay. Conclusions: We conclude that quantitative in situ SABG assay, is feasible and reproducible and that the pH at which the reaction is performed should be tailored and chosen, depending on the research question and experimental system of interest.
- Stanniocalcin 2 alters PERK signaling and reduces cellular injury during cerulein induced pancreatitis in mice
Background: Stanniocalcin 2 (STC2) is a secreted protein activated by (PKR)-like Endoplasmic Reticulum Kinase (PERK) signalling under conditions of ER stress in vitro. Over-expression of STC2 in mice leads to a growth-restricted phenotype; however, the physiological function for STC2 has remained elusive. Given the relationship of STC2 to PERK signalling, the objective of this study was to examine the role of STC2 to PERK signalling in vivo. Results: Since PERK signalling has both physiological and pathological roles in the pancreas, STC2 expression was assessed in mouse pancreata before and after induction of injury using a cerulein-induced pancreatitis (CIP) model. Increased Stc2 expression was identified within four hours of initiating pancreatic injury and correlated to increased activation of PERK signalling. To determine the effect of STC2 over-expression on PERK, mice systemically expressing human STC2 (STC2Tg) were examined. STC2Tg pancreatic tissue exhibited normal pancreatic morphology, but altered activation of PERK signalling, including increases in Activating Transcription Factor (ATF) 4 accumulation and autophagy. Upon induction of pancreatic injury, STC2Tg mice exhibited limited increases in circulating amylase levels and increased maintenance of cellular junctions. Conclusions: This study links STC2 to the pathological activation of PERK in vivo, and suggests involvement of STC2 in responding to pancreatic acinar cell injury.
- Myomegalin is a novel A-kinase anchoring protein involved in the phosphorylation of cardiac myosin binding protein C
Background: Cardiac contractility is regulated by dynamic phosphorylation of sarcomeric proteins by kinases such as cAMP-activated protein kinase A (PKA). Efficient phosphorylation requires that PKA be anchored close to its targets by A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs). Cardiac Myosin Binding Protein-C (cMyBPC) and cardiac troponin I (cTNI) are hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)-causing sarcomeric proteins which regulate contractility in response to PKA phosphorylation. Results: During a yeast 2-hybrid (Y2H) library screen using a trisphosphorylation mimic of the C1-C2 region of cMyBPC, we identified isoform 4 of myomegalin (MMGL) as an interactor of this N-terminal cMyBPC region. As MMGL has previously been shown to interact with phosphodiesterase 4D, we speculated that it may be a PKA-anchoring protein (AKAP).To investigate this possibility, we assessed the ability of MMGL isoform 4 to interact with PKA regulatory subunits R1A and R2A using Y2H-based direct protein-protein interaction assays. Additionally, to further elucidate the function of MMGL, we used it as bait to screen a cardiac cDNA library. Other PKA targets, viz. CARP, COMMD4, ENO1, ENO3 and cTNI were identified as putative interactors, with cTNI being the most frequent interactor.We further assessed and confirmed these interactions by fluorescent 3D-colocalization in differentiated H9C2 cells as well as by in vivo co-immunoprecipitation. We also showed that quantitatively more interaction occurs between MMGL and cTNI under beta-adrenergic stress. Moreover, siRNA-mediated knockdown of MMGL leads to reduction of cMyBPC levels under conditions of adrenergic stress, indicating that MMGL-assisted phosphorylation is requisite for protection of cMyBPC against proteolytic cleavage. Conclusions: This study ascribes a novel function to MMGL isoform 4: it meets all criteria for classification as an AKAP, and we show that is involved in the phosphorylation of cMyBPC as well as cTNI, hence MMGL is an important regulator of cardiac contractility. This has further implications for understanding the patho-aetiology of HCM-causing mutations in the genes encoding cMyBPC and cTNI, and raises the question of whether MMGL might itself be considered a candidate HCM-causing or modifying factor.
- AGE-BSA down-regulates endothelial connexin43 gap junctions
Background: Advanced glycation end products generated in the circulation of diabetic patients were reported to affect the function of vascular wall. We examined the effects of advanced glycation end products-bovine serum albumin (AGE-BSA) on endothelial connexin43 (Cx43) expression and gap-junction communication. Results: In human aortic endothelial cells (HAEC) treated with a series concentrations of AGE-BSA (0-500 ug/ml) for 24 and 48 hours, Cx43 transcript and Cx43 protein were reduced in a dose dependent manner. In addition, gap-junction communication was reduced. To clarify the mechanisms underlying the down-regulation, MAPKs pathways in HAEC were examined. Both a MEK1 inhibitor (PD98059) and a p38 MAPK inhibitor (SB203580) significantly reversed the reductions of Cx43 mRNA and protein induced by AGE-BSA. Consistently, phosphorylation of ERK and p38 MAPK was enhanced in response to exposure to AGE-BSA. However, all reversions of down-regulated Cx43 by inhibitors did not restore the functional gap-junction communication. Conclusions: AGE-BSA down-regulated Cx43 expression in HAEC, mainly through reduced Cx43 transcription, and the process involved activation of ERK and p38 MAPK.
- Drug-induced cell cycle modulation leading to cell-cycle arrest, nuclear mis-segregation, or endoreplication
Background: Cancer cell responses to chemotherapeutic agents vary, and this may reflect different defects in DNA repair, cell-cycle checkpoints, and apoptosis control. Cytometry analysis only quantifies dye-incorporation to examine DNA content and does not reflect the biological complexity of the cell cycle in drug discovery screens. Results: Using population and time-lapse imaging analyses of cultured immortalized cells expressing a new version of the fluorescent cell-cycle indicator, Fucci (Fluorescent Ubiquitination-based Cell Cycle Indicator), we found great diversity in the cell-cycle alterations induced by two anticancer drugs. When treated with etoposide, an inhibitor of DNA topoisomerase II, HeLa and NMuMG cells halted at the G2/M checkpoint. HeLa cells remained there, but NMuMG cells then overrode the checkpoint and underwent nuclear mis-segregation or avoided the checkpoint and entered the endoreplication cycle in a drug concentration dependent manner. In contrast, an inhibitor of Cdk4 led to G1 arrest or endoreplication in NMuMG cells depending upon the initial cell-cycle phase of drug exposure. Conclusions: Drug-induced cell cycle modulation varied not only between different cell types or following treatment with different drugs, but also between cells treated with different concentrations of the same drug or following drug addition during different phases of the cell cycle. By combining cytometry analysis with the Fucci probe, we have developed a novel assay that fully integrates the complexity of cell cycle regulation into drug discovery screens. This assay system will represent a powerful drug-discovery tool for the development of the next generation of anti-cancer therapies.
- Surface expression and limited proteolysis of ADAM10 are increased by a dominant negative inhibitor of dynamin
Background: The amyloid precursor protein (APP) is cleaved by beta- and gamma-secretases to generate toxic amyloid beta (Abeta) peptides. Alternatively, alpha-secretases cleave APP within the Abeta domain, precluding Abeta formation and releasing the soluble ectodomain, sAPPalpha. We previously showed that inhibition of the GTPase dynamin reduced APP internalization and increased release of sAPPalpha, apparently by prolonging the interaction between APP and alpha-secretases at the plasma membrane. This was accompanied by a reduction in Abeta generation. In the present study, we investigated whether surface expression of the alpha-secretase ADAM (a disintegrin and metalloprotease)10 is also regulated by dynamin-dependent endocytosis. Results: Transfection of human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells stably expressing M3 muscarinic receptors with a dominant negative dynamin I mutant (dyn I K44A), increased surface expression of both immature, and mature, catalytically active forms of co-expressed ADAM10. Surface levels of ADAM10 were unaffected by activation of protein kinase C (PKC) or M3 receptors, indicating that receptor-coupled shedding of the ADAM substrate APP is unlikely to be mediated by inhibition of ADAM10 endocytosis in this cell line. Dyn I K44A strongly increased the formation of a C-terminal fragment of ADAM10, consistent with earlier reports that the ADAM10 ectodomain is itself a target for sheddases. The abundance of this fragment was increased in the presence of a gamma-secretase inhibitor, but was not affected by M3 receptor activation. The dynamin mutant did not affect the distribution of ADAM10 and its C-terminal fragment between raft and non-raft membrane compartments. Conclusions: Surface expression and limited proteolysis of ADAM10 are regulated by dynamin-dependent endocytosis, but are unaffected by activation of signaling pathways that upregulate shedding of ADAM substrates such as APP. Modulation of ADAM10 internalization could affect cellular behavior in two ways: by altering the putative signaling activity of the ADAM10 C-terminal fragment, and by regulating the biological function of ADAM10 substrates such as APP and N-cadherin.
- u-Slide Chemotaxis: A new chamber for long-term chemotaxis studies
Background: Effective tools for measurement of chemotaxis are desirable since cell migration towards given stimuli plays a crucial role in tumour metastasis, angiogenesis, inflammation, and wound healing. As for now, the Boyden chamber assay is the longstanding "gold-standard" for in vitro chemotaxis measurements. However, support for live cell microscopy is weak, concentration gradients are rather steep and poorly defined, and chemotaxis cannot be distinguished from migration in a single experiment. Results: Here, we describe a novel all-in-one chamber system for long-term analysis of chemotaxis in vitro that improves upon many of the shortcomings of the Boyden chamber assay. This chemotaxis chamber was developed to provide high quality microscopy, linear concentration gradients, support for long-term assays, and observation of slowly migrating cells via video microscopy. AlexaFluor 488 dye was used to demonstrate the establishment, shape and time development of linear chemical gradients. Human fibrosarcoma cell line HT1080 and freshly isolated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were used to assess chemotaxis towards 10% fetal calf serum (FCS) and FaDu cells' supernatant. Time-lapse video microscopy was conducted for 48 hours, and cell tracking and analysis was performed using ImageJ plugins. The results disclosed a linear steady-state gradient that was reached after approximately 8 hours and remained stable for at least 48 hours. Both cell types were chemotactically active and cell movement as well as cell-to-cell interaction was assessable. Conclusions: Compared to the Boyden chamber assay, this innovative system allows for the generation of a stable gradient for a much longer time period as well as for the tracking of cell locomotion along this gradient and over long distances. Finally, random migration can be distinguished from primed and directed migration along chemotactic gradients in the same experiment, a feature, which can be qualified via cell morphology imaging.
- A Potential Role for the Clathrin Adaptor GGA in Drosophila Spermatogenesis
Background: GGAs (Golgi-localised, gamma-ear containing, ADP ribosylation factor-binding) are a family of clathrin adaptors that sort a number of biologically important transmembrane proteins into clathrin-coated vesicles. Knockout and knockdown studies to determine GGA function are confounded by the fact that there are 3 GGA genes in mammalian cells. Thus Drosophila melanogaster is a useful model system to study tissue expression profiles and knockdown phenotypes as there is a single GGA ortholog. Results: Here we have quantified protein expression in Drosophila and show that there is >3-fold higher expression of GGA in male flies relative to female flies. In female flies the majority of GGA expression is in the head. In male flies GGA is not only expressed at high levels in the head but the gender specific increased expression is due to the abundant expression of GGA in the testes. Using a highly specific antibody we have localised endogenous GGA protein in testes squashes, and visualised it in somatic and germ line cells. We show that GGA is expressed during multiple stages of sperm development, and co-stains with a marker of the trans-Golgi Network. This is most striking at the acroblast of early spermatids. In spite of the high expression of GGA in testes, knocking down its expression by >95% using transgenic RNAi fly lines did not affect male fertility. Therefore spermatogenesis in the male flies appears to progress normally with <5% GGA, most likely because alternative clathrin adaptors may be able to substitute partially or completely for the function of GGA. We also identify 'cueball' as a novel cargo for GGA, and mutants of cueball have been shown to have a male sterility phenotype. Conclusion: In Drosophila we have uncovered a potential role for GGA in the testes of male flies. The gender specific higher expression of GGA, its specific enrichment in testes and its localisation to developing spermatocytes and at the acroblast of spermatids supports a role for GGA function in Drosophila spermatogenesis, even though spermatogenesis still occurs when GGA expression is depleted to <5% of control.
- Immortalized cells and one oncogene in malignant transformation: old insights on new explanation
Background: Nearly thirty years ago, it was first shown that malignant transformation with single oncogene necessarily requires the immortal state of the cell. From that time this thesis for the cells of human origin was not disproved. The basic point which we want to focus on by this short communication is the correct interpretation of the results obtained on the widely used human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells. Results: Intensive literature analysis revealed an increasing number of recent studies discovering new oncogenes with non-overlapping functions. Since the 1970s, dozens of oncogenes have been identified in human cancer. Cultured cell lines are often used as model systems in these experiments. In some investigations the results obtained on such cells are interpreted by the authors as a malignant transformation of normal animal or even normal human cells (as for example with HEK293 cells). However, when a cell line gains the ability to undergo continuous cell division, the cells are not normal any more, they are immortalized cells. Nevertheless, the authors consider these cells as normal human ones, what is basically incorrect. Moreover, it was early demonstrated that the widely used human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells have a relationship to neurons. Conclusions: Thus, the experiments with established cell lines reinforce the notion that immortality is an essential requirement for malignant transformation that cooperates with other oncogenic changes to program the neoplastic state and substances under such investigation should be interpreted as factors which do not malignantly transform normal cells alone, but possess the ability to enhance the tumorigenic potential of already immortalized cells.
- The nuclear envelope localization of DYT1 dystonia torsinA-deltaE requires the SUN1 LINC complex component
Background: DYT1 dystonia is an autosomal dominant neurological condition caused by a mutation that removes a single glutamic acid residue (DeltaE) from the torsinA (torA) AAA+ protein. TorA appears to possess a nuclear envelope (NE) localized activity that requires Lamina-Associated-Polypeptide 1 (LAP1), which is an inner nuclear membrane localized torA-binding partner. Although hypoactive, the DYT1 dystonia torA-DeltaE isoform often concentrates in the NE, suggesting that torA-DeltaE also interacts with an NE-localized binding partner. Results: We confirm that NE-localized torA-DeltaE does not co-immunoprecipitate with LAP1, and find that torA-DeltaE continues to concentrate in the NE of cells that lack LAP1. Instead, we find that variability in torA-DeltaE localization correlates with the presence of the SUN-domain and Nesprin proteins that assemble into the LINC complex. We also find that siRNA depletion of SUN1, but not other LINC complex components, removes torA-DeltaE from the NE. In contrast, the LAP1-dependent NE-accumulation of an ATP-locked torA mutant is unaffected by loss of LINC complex proteins. This SUN1 dependent torA-DeltaE localization requires the torA membrane association domain, as well as a putative substrate-interaction residue, Y147, neither of which are required for torA interaction with LAP1. We also find that mutation of these motifs, or depletion of SUN1, decreases the amount of torA-WT that colocalizes with NE markers, indicating that each also underlies a normal NE-localized torA binding interaction. Conclusions: These data suggest that the disease causing DeltaE mutation promotes an association between torA and SUN1 that is distinct to the interaction between LAP1 and ATP-bound torA. This evidence for two NE-localized binding partners suggests that torA may act on multiple substrates and/ or possesses interacting co-factor partners that regulate torA activity. In addition, finding that the DYT1 mutation causes abnormal association with SUN1 implicates LINC complex dysfunction in DYT1 dystonia pathogenesis, and suggests a gain-of-function activity contributes to this dominantly inherited disease.
- Computer-based fluorescence quantification: a novel approach to study nucleolar biology.
Background: Nucleoli are composed of possibly several thousand different proteins and represent the most conspicuous compartments in the nucleus; they play a crucial role in the proper execution of many cellular processes. As such, nucleoli carry out ribosome biogenesis and sequester or associate with key molecules that regulate cell cycle progression, tumorigenesis, apoptosis and the stress response. Nucleoli are dynamic compartments that are characterized by a constant flux of macromolecules. Given the complex and dynamic composition of the nucleolar proteome, it is challenging to link modifications in nucleolar composition to downstream effects. Results: In this contribution, we present quantitative immunofluorescence methods that rely on computer-based image analysis. We demonstrate the effectiveness of these techniques by monitoring the dynamic association of proteins and RNA with nucleoli under different physiological conditions. Thus, the protocols described by us were employed to study stress-dependent changes in the nucleolar concentration of endogenous and GFP-tagged proteins. Furthermore, our methods were applied to measure de novo RNA synthesis that is associated with nucleoli. We show that the techniques described here can be easily combined with automated high throughput screening (HTS) platforms, making it possible to obtain large data sets and analyze many of the biological processes that are located in nucleoli. Conclusions: Our protocols set the stage to analyze in a quantitative fashion the kinetics of shuttling nucleolar proteins, both at the single cell level as well as for a large number of cells. Moreover, the procedures described here are compatible with high throughput image acquisition and analysis using HTS automated platforms, thereby providing the basis to quantify nucleolar components and activities for numerous samples and experimental conditions. Together with the growing amount of information obtained for the nucleolar proteome, improvements in quantitative microscopy as they are described here can be expected to produce new insights into the complex biological functions that are orchestrated by the nucleolus.
- Bmp-signaling balances proliferation and differentiation of muscle satellite cell descendants
Background: The capacity of muscle to grow or to regenerate after damage is provided by adult stem cells, so called satellite cells, which are located under the basement lamina of each myofiber. Upon activation satellite cells enter the cell cycle, proliferate and differentiate into myoblasts, which fuse to injured myofibers or form new fibers. These processes are tightly controlled by many growth factors. Results: Here we investigate the role of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) during satellite cell differentiation. Unlike the myogenic C2C12 cell line, primary satellite cells do not differentiate into osteoblasts upon BMP signaling. Instead BMP signaling inhibits myogenic differentiation of primary satellite cells ex vivo. In contrast, inhibition of BMP signaling results in cell cycle exit, followed by enhanced myoblast differentiation and myotube formation. Using an in vivo trauma model we demonstrate that satellite cells respond to BMP signals during the regeneration process. Interestingly, we found the BMP inhibitor Chordin upregulated in primary satellite cell cultures and in regenerating muscles. In both systems Chordin expression follows that of Myogenin, a marker for cells committed to differentiation. Conclusion: Our data indicate that BMP signaling plays a critical role in balancing proliferation and differentiation of activated satellite cells and their descendants. Initially, BMP signals maintain satellite cells descendants in a proliferating state thereby expanding cell numbers. After cells are committed to differentiate they upregulate the expression of the BMP inhibitor Chordin thereby supporting terminal differentiation and myotube formation in a negative feedback mechanism.
- Translocation of signalling proteins to the plasma membrane revealed by a new bioluminescent procedure
Background: Activation by extracellular ligands of G protein-coupled (GPCRs) and tyrosine kinase receptors (RTKs), results in the generation of second messengers that in turn control specific cell functions. Further, modulation/amplification or inhibition of the initial signalling events, depend on the recruitment onto the plasma membrane of soluble protein effectors.High throughput methodologies to monitor quantitatively second messenger production, have been developed over the last years and are largely used to screen chemical libraries for drug development. On the contrary, no such high throughput methods are yet available for the other aspect of GPCRs regulation, i.e. protein translocation to the plasma membrane, despite the enormous interest of this phenomenon for the modulation of receptor downstream functions. Indeed, to date, the experimental procedures available are either inadequate or complex and expensive. Results: Here we describe the development of a novel conceptual approach to the study of cytosolic proteins translocation to the inner surface of the plasma membrane. The basis of the technique consists in: i) generating chimeras between the protein of interests and the calcium (Ca2+)-sensitive, luminescent photo-protein, aequorin and ii) taking advantage of the large Ca2+ concentration [Ca2+] difference between bulk cytosolic and the sub-plasma membrane rim. Conclusion: This approach, that keeps unaffected the translocation properties of the signalling protein, can in principle be applied to any protein that, upon activation, moves from the cytosol to the plasma membrane.Thus, not only the modulation of GPCRs and RTKs can be investigated in this way, but that of all other proteins that can be recruited to the plasma membrane also independently of receptor activation.Moreover, its automated version, which can provide information about the kinetics and concentration-dependence of the process, is also applicable to high throughput screening of drugs affecting the translocation process.
- Dynamic reorganization of flotillins in chemokine-stimulated human T-lymphocytes
Background: Different types of membrane microdomains (rafts) have been postulated to be present in the rear and front of polarized migrating T-lymphocytes. Disruption of rafts by cholesterol sequestration prevents T-cell polarization and migration. Reggie/flotillin-1 and -2 are two highly homologous proteins that are thought to shape membrane microdomains. We have previously demonstrated the enrichment of flotillins in the uropod of human neutrophils. We have now investigated mechanisms involved in chemokine-induced flotillin reorganization in human T-lymphocytes, and possible roles of flotillins in lymphocyte polarization. Results: We studied flotillin reorganization and lateral mobility at the plasma membrane using immunofluorescence staining and FRAP (fluorescence recovery after photobleaching). We show that flotillins redistribute early upon chemokine stimulation, and form very stable caps in the uropods of human peripheral blood T-lymphocytes, colocalizing with the adhesion molecule PSGL-1 and activated ezrin/radixin/moesin (ERM) proteins. Chemokine-induced formation of stable flotillin caps requires integrity and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton, but is not abolished by inhibitors suppressing Rho-kinase or myosin II activity. Tagged flotillin-2 and flotillin-1 coexpressed in T-lymphocytes, but not singly expressed proteins, colocalize in stable caps at the tips of uropods. Lateral mobility of coexpressed flotillins at the plasma membrane is already partially restricted in the absence of chemokine. Incubation with chemokine results in almost complete immobilization of flotillins. Capping is abolished when wild-type flotillin-1 is coexpressed with a mutant of flotillin-2 (G2A) that is unable to interact with the plasma membrane, or with a deletion mutant of flotillin-2 that lacks a putative actin-binding domain. Wild-type flotillin-2 in contrast forms caps when coexpressed with a mutant of flotillin-1 unable to interact with membranes. Transfection of T-lymphocytes with flotillin-2-G2A reduces cell polarization and uropod recruitment of endogenous flotillin-1 and PSGL-1. Conclusions: Our data suggest that stable flotillin cap formation in the rear of polarized T-lymphocytes requires flotillin heterooligomer formation, as well as direct F-actin interactions of flotillin-2 and raft/membrane association of flotillin-2, but not -1. Our data also implicate flotillin-rich actin-dependent membrane microdomains in T-lymphocyte uropod formation.
- Digging deeper into lymphatic vessel formation in vitro and in vivo
Background: Abnormal lymphatic vessel formation (lymphangiogenesis) is associated with different pathologies such as cancer, lymphedema, psoriasis and graft rejection. Lymphatic vasculature displays distinctive features than blood vasculature, and mechanisms underlying the formation of new lymphatic vessels during physiological and pathological processes are still poorly documented. Most studies on lymphatic vessel formation are focused on organism development rather than lymphangiogenic events occurring in adults. We have here studied lymphatic vessel formation in two in vivo models of pathological lymphangiogenesis (corneal assay and lymphangioma). These data have been confronted to those generated in the recently set up in vitro model of lymphatic ring assay. Ultrastructural analyses through Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) were performed to investigate tube morphogenesis, an important differentiating process observed during endothelial cell organization into capillary structures. Results: In both in vivo models (lymphangiogenic corneal assay and lymphangioma), migrating lymphatic endothelial cells extended long processes exploring the neighboring environment and organized into cord-like structures. Signs of intense extracellular matrix remodeling were observed extracellularly and inside cytoplasmic vacuoles. The formation of intercellular spaces between endothelial cells led to tube formation. Proliferating lymphatic endothelial cells were detected both at the tips of sprouting capillaries and inside extending sprouts. The different steps of lymphangiogenesis observed in vivo are fully recapitulated in vitro, in the lymphatic ring assay and include: (1) endothelial cell alignment in cord like structure, (2) intracellular vacuole formation and (3) matrix degradation. Conclusions: In this study, we are providing evidence for lymphatic vessel formation through tunneling relying on extensive matrix remodeling, migration and alignment of sprouting endothelial cells into tubular structures. In addition, our data emphasize the suitability of the lymphatic ring assay to unravel mechanisms underlying lymphangiogenesis.
- DNA moves sequentially towards the nuclear matrix during DNA replication in vivo.
Background: In the interphase nucleus of metazoan cells DNA is organized in supercoiled loops anchored to a nuclear matrix (NM). There is varied evidence indicating that DNA replication occurs in replication factories organized upon the NM and that DNA loops may correspond to the actual replicons in vivo. In normal rat liver the hepatocytes are arrested in G0 but they synchronously re-enter the cell cycle after partial-hepatectomy leading to liver regeneration in vivo. We have previously determined in quiescent rat hepatocytes that a 162 kbp genomic region containing members of the albumin gene family is organized into five structural DNA loops. Results: In the present work we tracked down the movement relative to the NM of DNA sequences located at different points within such five structural DNA loops during the S phase and after the return to cellular quiescence during liver regeneration. Our results indicate that looped DNA moves sequentially, towards the NM during replication and then returns to its original position in newly quiescent cells, once the liver regeneration has been achieved. Conclusions: Looped DNA moves in a sequential fashion, as if reeled in, towards the NM during DNA replication in vivo thus supporting the notion that the DNA template is pulled progressively towards the replication factories on the NM so as to be replicated. These results provide further evidence that the structural DNA loops correspond to the actual replicons in vivo.
- Isolation of mouse mesenchymal stem cells with normal ploidy from bone marrows by reducing oxidative stress in combination with extracellular matrix
Background: Isolation of mouse MSCs (mMSCs) with normal ploidy from bone marrow remains challenging. mMSCs isolated under 20% O2 are frequently contaminated by overgrown hematopoietic cells, and could also be especially vulnerable to oxidative damage, resulting in chromosomal instability. Culture under low oxygen or extracellular matrix (ECM) improves proliferation of MSCs in several species. We tested the hypothesis that culture under low oxygen in combination with ECM prepared from mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF-ECM) could be used to purify proliferative mMSCs, and to reduce oxidative damage and maintain their chromosomal stability. Results: Optimization of culture conditions under 20% O2 resulted in immortalization of mMSCs, showing extensive chromosome abnormalities, consistent with previous studies. In contrast, culture under low oxygen (2% O2) improved proliferation of mMSCs and reduced oxidative damage, such that mMSCs were purified simply by plating at low density under 2% O2. MEF-ECM reduced oxidative damage and enhanced proliferation of mMSCs. However, these isolated mMSCs still exhibited high frequency of chromosome abnormalities, suggesting that low oxygen or in combination with MEF-ECM was insufficient to fully protect mMSCs from oxidative damage. Notably, antioxidants (alpha -phenyl-t-butyl nitrone (PBN) and N-acetylcysteine (NAC)) further reduced DNA damage and chromosomal abnormalities, and increased proliferation of mMSCs. mMSCs isolated by the combination method were successfully used to generate induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells by ectopic expression of Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc. Conclusions: We have developed a technique that allows to reduce the number of karyotypic abnormalities for isolation of primary mMSCs and for limited culture period by combination of low oxygen, MEF-ECM, antioxidants and low density plating strategy. The effectiveness of the new combination method is demonstrated by successful generation of iPS cells from the isolated mMSCs. However, a culture system for mMSCs still is needed to prevent all the anomalies, especially after a long-term culture period.
- Polydatin up-regulates Clara cell secretory protein to suppress phospholipase A2 of lung induced by LPS in vivo and in vitro
Background: Lung injury induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in children. The damage to membrane phospholipids leads to the collapse of the bronchial alveolar epithelial barrier during acute lung injury (ALI)/acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Phospholipase A2 (PLA2), a key enzyme in the hydrolysis of membrane phospholipids, plays an important traumatic role in pulmonary inflammation, and Clara cell secretory protein (CCSP) is an endogenous inhibitor of PLA2. Our previous study showed that polydatin (PD), a monocrystalline extracted from a traditional Chinese medicinal herb (Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb, et Zucc), reduced PLA2 activity and sPLA2-IIA mRNA expression and mitigated LPS-induced lung injury. However, the potential mechanism for these effects has not been well defined. We have continued to investigate the effect of PD on LPS-induced expression of CCSP mRNA and protein in vivo and in vitro. Results: Our results suggested that the CCSP mRNA level was consistent with its protein expression. CCSP expression was decreased in lung after LPS challenge. In contrast, PD markedly increased CCSP expression in a concentration-dependent manner. In particular, CCSP expression in PD-pretreated rat lung was higher than in rats receiving only PD treatment. Conclusion: These results indicated that up-regulation of CCSP expression causing inhibition of PLA2 activation may be one of the crucial protective mechanisms of PD in LPS-induced lung injury.
- Hypoxia-mimetic agents inhibit proliferation and alter the morphology of human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells
Background: The therapeutic efficacy of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) for the treatment of hypoxic-ischemic diseases is closely related to level of hypoxia in the damaged tissues. To elucidate the potential therapeutic applications and limitations of hMSCs derived from human umbilical cords, the effects of hypoxia on the morphology and proliferation of hMSCs were analyzed. Results: After treatment with DFO and CoCl2, hMSCs were elongated, and adjacent cells were no longer in close contact. In addition, vacuole-like structures were observed within the cytoplasm; the rough endoplasmic reticulum expanded, and expanded ridges were observed in mitochondria. In addition, DFO and CoCl2 treatments for 48 h significantly inhibited hMSCs proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner (P0.05). This treatment also increased the number of cells in G0/G1 phase and decreased those in G2/S/M phase. Conclusions: The hypoxia-mimetic agents, DFO and CoCl2, alter hMSCs morphology and inhibit their proliferation through influencing the cell cycle.
- Quantitative nucleolar proteomics reveals nuclear re-organization during stress-induced senescence in mouse fibroblast
Background: Nucleolus is the most prominent mammalian organelle within the nucleus which is also the site for ribosomal biogenesis. There have been many reports indicating the involvement of nucleolus in the process of aging. Several proteins related to aging have been shown to localize in the nucleolus, which suggests the role of this organelle in senescence. Results: In this study, we used quantitative mass spectrometry to map the flux of proteins into and out of the nucleolus during the induction of senescence in cultured mammalian cells. Changes in the abundance of 344 nucleolar proteins in sodium butyrate-induced senescence in NIH3T3 cells were studied by SILAC (stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture)-based mass spectrometry. Biochemically, we have validated the proteomic results and confirmed that B23 (nucleophosmin) protein was down-regulated, while poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and nuclear DNA helicase II (NDH II/ DHX9/ RHA) were up-regulated in the nucleolus upon treatment with sodium butyrate. Accumulation of chromatin in the nucleolus was also observed, by both proteomics and microscopy, in sodium butyrate-treated cells. Similar observations were found in other models of senescence, namely, in mitoxantrone- (MTX) treated cells and primary fibroblasts from the Lamin A knockout mice. Conclusion: Our data indicate an extensive nuclear organization during senescence and suggest that the redistribution of B23 protein and chromatin can be used as an important marker for senescence.
- Localization of chondromodulin-I at the feto-maternal interface and its inhibitory actions on trophoblast invasion in vitro
Background: Chondromodulin-I (ChM-I) is an anti-angiogenic glycoprotein that is specifically localized at the extracellular matrix of the avascular mesenchyme including cartilage and cardiac valves. In this study, we characterized the expression pattern of ChM-I during early pregnancy in mice in vivo and its effect on invasion of trophoblastic cells into Matrigel in vitro. Results: Northern blot analysis clearly indicated that ChM-I transcripts were expressed in the pregnant mouse uterus at 6.5-9.5 days post coitum. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry revealed that ChM-I was localized to the mature decidua surrounding the matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9)-expressing trophoblasts. Consistent with this observation, the expression of ChM-I mRNA was induced in decidualizing endometrial stromal cells in vitro, in response to estradiol and progesterone. Recombinant human ChM-I (rhChM-I) markedly inhibited the invasion through Matrigel as well as the chemotactic migration of rat Rcho-1 trophoblast cells in a manner independent of MMP activation. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the inhibitory action of ChM-I on trophoblast migration and invasion, implying the potential role of the ChM-I expression in decidual cells for the regulated tissue remodeling and angiogenesis at feto-maternal interface.
- Differentiation of mouse bone marrow derived stem cells toward microglia-like cells
Background: Microglia, the macrophages of the brain, have been implicated in the causes of neurodegenerative diseases and display a loss of function during aging. Throughout life, microglia are replenished by limited proliferation of resident microglial cells. Replenishment by bone marrow-derived progenitor cells is still under debate. In this context, we investigated the differentiation of mouse microglia from bone marrow (BM) stem cells. Furthermore, we looked at the effects of FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (Flt3L), astrocyte-conditioned medium (ACM) and GM-CSF on the differentiation to microglia-like cells. Methods: We assessed in vitro-derived microglia differentiation by marker expression (CD11b/CD45, F4/80), but also for the first time for functional performance (phagocytosis, oxidative burst) and in situ migration into living brain tissue. Integration, survival and migration were assessed in organotypic brain slices. Results: The cells differentiated from mouse BM show function, markers and morphology of primary microglia and migrate into living brain tissue. Flt3L displays a negative effect on differentiation while GM-CSF enhances differentiation. Conclusion: We conclude that in vitro-derived microglia are the phenotypic and functional equivalents to primary microglia and could be used in cell therapy.
- Intracellular Trafficking as a Determinant of AS-DACA Cytotoxicity in Rhabdomyosarcoma Cells
Background: Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a malignant soft tissue sarcoma derived from skeletal muscle precursor cells, which accounts for 5-8% of all childhood malignancies. Disseminated RMS represents a major clinical obstacle, and the need for better treatment strategies for the clinically aggressive alveolar RMS subtype is particularly apparent. Previously, we have shown that the acridine-4-carboxamide derivative AS-DACA, a known topoisomerase II poison, is potently cytotoxic in the alveolar RMS cell line RH30, but is 190-fold less active in the embryonal RMS cell line RD. Here, we investigate the basis for this selectivity, and demonstrate in these RMS lines, and in an AS-DACA-resistant subclone of RH30, that AS-DACA-induced cytotoxicity correlates with the induction of DNA double strand breaks. Results: We show that inhibition of the multidrug-resistance associated protein (MRP1) has no effect on AS-DACA sensitivity. By exploiting the pH-dependent fluorescence properties of AS-DACA, we have characterized its intracellular distribution, and show that it concentrates in the cell nucleus, as well as in acidic vesicles of the membrane trafficking system. We show that fluorescence microscopy can be used to determine the localization of AS-DACA to the nuclear and cytoplasmic compartments of RMS cells grown as spheroids, penetrance being much greater in RH30 than RD spheroids, and that the vesicular signal leads the way into the spheroid mass. EEA1 and Rab5 proteins, molecular markers expressed on early-endosomal vesicles, are reduced by >50% in the sensitive cell lines. Conclusion: Taking the evidence as a whole, suggests that endosomal vesicle trafficking influences the toxicity of AS-DACA in RMS cells.
- Repression of GW/P body components and the RNAi microprocessor impacts primary ciliogenesis in human astrocytes
Background: In most cells, the centriolar component of the centrosome can function as a basal body supporting the formation of a primary cilium, a non-motile sensory organelle that monitors information from the extracellular matrix and relays stimuli into the cell via associated signaling pathways. Defects in the formation and function of primary cilia underlie multiple human diseases and are hallmarks of malignancy. The RNA silencing pathway is involved in the post-transcriptional silencing of >50% of mRNA that occurs within GW/P bodies. GW/P bodies are found throughout the cytoplasm and previously published live cell imaging data suggested that in a malignant cell type (U2OS), two GW/P bodies reside at the centrosome during interphase. This led us to investigate if a similar relationship exists in primary cells and if the inhibition of the miRNA pathway impairs primary cilium formation. Results: Two GW/P bodies as marked by GW182 and hAgo2 colocalized to the basal body of primary human astrocytes as well as human synoviocytes during interphase and specifically with the distal end of the basal body in the pericentriolar region. Since it is technically challenging to examine the two centrosomal GW/P bodies in isolation, we investigated the potential relationship between the global population of GW/P bodies and primary ciliogenesis. Astrocytes were transfected with siRNA directed to GW182 and hAgo2 and unlike control astrocytes, a primary cilium was no longer associated with the centrosome as detected in indirect immunofluorescence assays. Ultrastructural analysis of siRNA transfected astrocytes revealed that knock down of GW182, hAgo2, Drosha and DGCR8 mRNA did not affect the appearance of the earliest stage of ciliogenesis but did prevent the formation and elongation of the ciliary axoneme. Conclusions: This study confirms and extends a previously published report that GW/P bodies reside at the centrosome in U2OS cells and documents that GW/P bodies are resident at the centrosome in diverse non-malignant cells. Further, our study demonstrates that repression of key effector proteins in the post-transcriptional miRNA pathway impairs primary cilium formation.
- The putative Notch Ligand HyJagged is a transmembrane protein present in all cell types of adult hydra and upregulated at the boundary between bud and parent
Background: The Notch signalling pathway is conserved in pre-bilaterian animals. In the Cnidarian Hydra it is involved in interstitial stem cell differentiation and in boundary formation during budding. Experimental evidence suggests that in Hydra Notch is activated by presenilin through proteolytic cleavage at the S3 site as in all animals. However, the endogenous ligand for HvNotch has not been described yet. Results: We have cloned a cDNA from Hydra, which encodes a bona-fide Notch ligand with a conserved domain structure similar to that of Jagged-like Notch ligands from other animals. Hyjagged mRNA is undetectable in adult Hydra by in situ hybridisation but is strongly upregulated and easily visible at the border between bud and parent shortly before bud detachment. In contrast, HyJagged protein is found in all cell types of an adult hydra, where it localises to membranes and endosomes. Co-localisation experiments showed that it is present in the same cells as HvNotch, however not always in the same membrane structures. Conclusions: The putative Notch ligand HyJagged is conserved in Cnidarians. Together with HvNotch it may be involved in the formation of the parent-bud boundary in Hydra. Moreover, protein distribution of both, HvNotch receptor and HyJagged indicate a more widespread function for these two transmembrane proteins in the adult hydra, which may be regulated by additional factors, possibly involving endocytic pathways.
- Persistent directional cell migration requires ion transport proteins as direction sensors and membrane potential differences in order to maintain directedness
Background: Ion transport proteins generate small electric fields that can induce directional cell motility; however, little is known about their mechanisms that lead to directedness. We investigated Na,K-ATPase (NaKA) and Na+/H+ exchanger isoforms (NHE1 and 3) in SaOS-2 and Calvarial osteoblasts, which present anode- and cathode-directed motility, during electrotaxis. Results: Significant colocalizations of NaKA with vinculin and pNHE3 with beta-actin were observed to occur at the leading edges of cells. The directedness were attenuated when NaKA or NHE3 was inhibited, confirming their implication in directional sensing. Depending on the perceived direction, a divergent regulation in PIP2 levels as a function of NHE3 and NaKA levels was observed, suggesting that PIP2 may act as a spatiotemporal regulator of the cell membrane during electrotaxis. At the same places where pNHE3 accumulates, bubble-shaped H+ clouds were observed, suggesting a physio-mechanical role for NHE3. Moreover, the cell membrane becomes hyperpolarized at the front and depolarized at the back, which confirms NaKA activity at the leading edge. Conclusion: We suggest a novel role for both NaKA and NHE3 that extends beyond ion translocation and conclude that they can act as directional sensors and membrane potential as a regulatory cue which maintains the persistent direction in electrotaxis.
- Macrophage colony-stimulating factor and its receptor signaling augment glycated albumin-induced retinal microglial inflammation in vitro
Background: Microglial activation and the proinflammatory response are controlled by a complex regulatory network. Among the various candidates, macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) is considered an important cytokine. The up-regulation of M-CSF and its receptor CSF-1R has been reported in brain disease, as well as in diabetic complications; however, the mechanism is unclear. An elevated level of glycated albumin (GA) is a characteristic of diabetes; thus, it may be involved in monocyte/macrophage-associated diabetic complications. Results: The basal level of expression of M-CSF/CSF-1R was examined in retinal microglial cells in vitro. Immunofluorescence, real-time PCR, immunoprecipitation, and Western blot analyses revealed the up-regulation of CSF-1R in GA-treated microglial cells. We also detected increased expression and release of M-CSF, suggesting that the cytokine is produced by activated microglia via autocrine signaling. Using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, we found that GA affects microglial activation by stimulating the release of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1beta. Furthermore, the neutralization of M-CSF or CSF-1R with antibodies suppressed the proinflammatory response. Conversely, this proinflammatory response was augmented by the administration of M-CSF. Conclusions: We conclude that GA induces microglial activation via the release of proinflammatory cytokines, which may contribute to the inflammatory pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy. The increased microglial expression of M-CSF/CSF-1R not only is a response to microglial activation in diabetic retinopathy but also augments the microglial inflammation responsible for the diabetic microenvironment.
- A role for p38 MAPK in the regulation of ciliary motion in a eukaryote
Background: Motile cilia are essential to the survival and reproduction of many eukaryotes; they are responsible for powering swimming of protists and small multicellular organisms and drive fluids across respiratory and reproductive surfaces in mammals. Although tremendous progress has been made to comprehend the biochemical basis of these complex evolutionarily-conserved organelles, few protein kinases have been reported to co-ordinate ciliary beat. Here we present evidence for p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) playing a role in the ciliary beat of a multicellular eukaryote, the free-living miracidium stage of the platyhelminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni. Results: Fluorescence confocal microscopy revealed that non-motile miracidia trapped within eggs prior to hatching displayed phosphorylated (activated) p38 MAPK associated with their ciliated surface. In contrast, freshly-hatched, rapidly swimming, miracidia lacked phosphorylated p38 MAPK. Western blotting and immunocytochemistry demonstrated that treatment of miracidia with the p38 MAPK activator anisomycin resulted in a rapid, sustained, activation of p38 MAPK, which was primarily localized to the cilia associated with the ciliated epidermal plates, and the tegument. Freshly-hatched miracidia possessed swim velocities between 2.17 - 2.38 mm/s. Strikingly, anisomycin-mediated p38 MAPK activation rapidly attenuated swimming, reducing swim velocities by 55% after 15 min and 99% after 60 min. In contrast, SB 203580, a p38 MAPK inhibitor, increased swim velocity by up to 15% over this duration. Finally, by inhibiting swimming, p38 MAPK activation resulted in early release of ciliated epidermal plates from the miracidium thus accelerating development to the post-miracidium larval stage. Conclusions: This study supports a role for p38 MAPK in the regulation of ciliary-beat. Given the evolutionary conservation of signalling processes and cilia structure, we hypothesize that p38 MAPK may regulate ciliary beat and beat-frequency in a variety of eukaryotes.
- Interaction of annexin A6 with alpha actinin in cardiomyocytes
Background: Annexins are calcium dependent phospholipid binding proteins that are expressed in a wide variety of tissues and implicated in various extra- and intracellular processes. In myocardial tissue, annexins A2, A5 and A6 are particularly abundant, of which the expression levels of annexin A6 has been found to be maximal. Conflicting reports from transgenic mice overexpressing annexin A6 or null mice lacking annexin A6 showed imbalances in intracellular calcium turnover and disturbed cardiac contractility. However, few studies have focussed on the signalling module of annexin A6 in the heart either in normal or in pathological state. Results: To identify the putative binding partners of annexin A6 in the heart, ventricular extracts were subjected to glutathione S-transferase (GST)- annexin A6 pull down assay and the GST- annexin A6 bound proteins were identified by mass spectrometry. The pull down fractions of ventricular extracts with GST-full length annexin A6 as well as GST-C terminus deleted annexin A6 when immunoblotted with anti sarcomeric alpha actinin antibody showed the presence of alpha actinin in the immunoblot which was absent when GST-N terminus deleted annexin A6 was used for pull down. Overexpression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) tagged full length annexin A6 showed z-line like appearance in cardiomyocytes whereas GFP-N termimus deleted annexin A6 was mostly localized to the nucleus. Overexpression of GFP-C terminus deleted annexin A6 in cardiomyocytes showed aggregate like appearance in the cytoplasm. Double immunofluorescent staining of cardiomyocytes with anti annexin A6 and anti sarcomeric alpha actinin antibodies showed perfect co-localization of these two proteins with annexin A6 appearing like a component of sarcomere. Transient knockdown of annexin A6 in cardiomyocytes by shRNA significantly enhances the contractile functions but does not affect the z-band architecture, as revealed by alpha actinin immunostaining in shRNA treated cells. Conclusions: In overall, the present study demonstrated for the first time that annexin A6 physically interacts with sarcomeric alpha actinin and alters contractility of cardiomyocytes suggesting that it might play important role in excitation and contraction process.
- Auxin-inducible protein depletion system in fission yeast
Background: Inducible inactivation of a protein is a powerful approach for analysis of its function within cells. Fission yeast is a useful model for studying the fundamental mechanisms such as chromosome maintenance and cell cycle. However, previously published strategies for protein-depletion are successful only for some proteins in some specific conditions and still do not achieve efficient depletion to cause acute phenotypes such as immediate cell cycle arrest. The aim of this work was to construct a useful and powerful protein-depletion system in Shizosaccaromyces pombe. Results: We constructed an auxin-inducible degron (AID) system, which utilizes auxin-dependent poly-ubiquitination of Aux/IAA proteins by SCFTIR1 in plants, in fission yeast. Although expression of a plant F-box protein, TIR1, decreased Mcm4-aid, a component of the MCM complex essential for DNA replication tagged with Aux/IAA peptide, depletion did not result in an evident growth defect. We successfully improved degradation efficiency of Mcm4-aid by fusion of TIR1 with fission yeast Skp1, a conserved F-box-interacting component of SCF (improved-AID system; i-AID), and the cells showed severe defect in growth. The i-AID system induced degradation of Mcm4-aid in the chromatin-bound MCM complex as well as those in soluble fractions. The i-AID system in conjunction with transcription repression (off-AID system), we achieved more efficient depletion of other proteins including Pol1 and Cdc45, causing early S phase arrest. Conclusion: Improvement of the AID system allowed us to construct conditional null mutants of S. pombe. We propose that the off-AID system is the powerful method for in vivo protein-depletion in fission yeast.
- Targeting the motor regulator Klar to lipid droplets
Background: In Drosophila, the transport regulator Klar displays tissue-specific localization: In photoreceptors, it is abundant on the nuclear envelope; in early embryos, it is absent from nuclei, but instead present on lipid droplets. Differential targeting of Klar appears to be due to isoform variation. Droplet targeting, in particular, has been suggested to occur via a variant C-terminal region, the LD domain. Although the LD domain is necessary and sufficient for droplet targeting in cultured cells, lack of specific reagents had made it previously impossible to analyze its role in vivo. Results: Here we describe a new mutant allele of klar with a lesion specifically in the LD domain; this lesion abolishes both droplet localization of Klar and the ability of Klar to regulate droplet motion. It does not disrupt Klar's function for nuclear migration in photoreceptors. Using a GFP-LD fusion, we show that the LD domain is not only necessary but also sufficient for droplet targeting in vivo; it mediates droplet targeting in embryos, in ovaries, and in a number of somatic tissues. Conclusions: Our analysis demonstrates that droplet targeting of Klar occurs via a cis-acting sequence and generates a new tool for monitoring lipid droplets in living tissues of Drosophila.