ISSN: 1471-2121 |
Published by Biomed Central Ltd.
No Issue Number
- New insights in osteogenic differentiation revealed by mass spectrometric assessment of phosphorylated substrates in murine skin mesenchymal cells
Background: Bone fractures and loss represent significant costs for the public health system and often affect the patients quality of life, therefore, understanding the molecular basis for bone regeneration is essential. Cytokines, such as IL-6, IL-10 and TNFalpha, secreted by inflammatory cells at the lesion site, at the very beginning of the repair process, act as chemotactic factors for mesenchymal stem cells, which proliferate and differentiate into osteoblasts through the autocrine and paracrine action of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), mainly BMP-2. Although it is known that BMP-2 binds to ActRI/BMPR and activates the SMAD 1/5/8 downstream effectors, little is known about the intracellular mechanisms participating in osteoblastic differentiation. We assessed differences in the phosphorylation status of different cellular proteins upon BMP-2 osteogenic induction of isolated murine skin mesenchymal stem cells using Triplex Stable Isotope Dimethyl Labeling coupled with LC/MS. Results: From 150 mug of starting material, 2,264 proteins were identified and quantified at five different time points, 235 of which are differentially phosphorylated. Kinase motif analysis showed that several substrates display phosphorylation sites for Casein Kinase, p38, CDK and JNK. Gene ontology analysis showed an increase in biological processes related with signaling and differentiation at early time points after BMP2 induction. Moreover, proteins involved in cytoskeleton rearrangement, Wnt and Ras pathways were found to be differentially phosphorylated during all timepoints studied. Conclusions: Taken together, these data, allow new insights on the intracellular substrates which are phosphorylated early on during differentiation to BMP2-driven osteoblastic differentiation of skin-derived mesenchymal stem cells.
- Functional and differential proteomic analyses to identify platelet derived factors affecting ex vivo expansion of mesenchymal stromal cells
Background: Multilineage differentiation, immunomodulation and secretion of trophic factors render mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) highly attractive for clinical application. Human platelet derivatives such as pooled human platelet lysate (pHPL) and thrombin-activated platelet releasate in plasma (tPRP) have been introduced as alternatives to fetal bovine serum (FBS) to achieve GMP-compliance. However, whereas both pHPL and tPRP support similar proliferation kinetics of lipoaspirate-derived MSC (LA-MSC), only pHPL significantly accelerates bone marrow-derived MSC (BM-MSC) expansion. To identify functionally bioactive factors affecting ex vivo MSC expansion, a differential proteomic approach was performed and identified candidate proteins were evaluated within a bioassay. Results: Two dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE), MALDI-TOF analyses and complementary Western blotting revealed 20 differential protein species. 14 candidate proteins occured at higher concentrations in pHPL compared to tPRP and 6 at higher concentrations in tPRP. The candidate proteins fibrinogen and apolipoprotein A1 differentially affected LA- and BM-MSC proliferation.In a second set of experiments, reference cytokines known to foster proliferation in FBS were tested for their effects in the human supplements. Interestingly although these cytokines promoted proliferation in FBS, they failed to do so when added to the humanized system. Conclusions: The differential proteomic approach identified novel platelet derived factors differentially acting on human MSC proliferation. Complementary testing of reference cytokines revealed a lack of stimulation in the human supplements compared to FBS. The data describe a new coherent approach to combine proteomic technologies with functional testing to develop novel, humanized, GMP-compliant conditions for MSC expansion.
- The role of c-Src in integrin (alpha6beta4) dependent translational control
Background: Integrin alpha6beta4 contributes to cancer progression by stimulating transcription as well as translation of cancer related genes. Our previous study demonstrated that alpha6beta4 stimulates translation initiation of survival factors such as VEGF by activating mTOR pathway. However, the immediate early signaling events that link alpha6beta4 to mTOR activation needs to be defined. Results: In the current studies, we demonstrated that c-Src is an immediate early signaling molecule that acts upstream of alpha6beta4 dependent mTOR activation and subsequent translation of VEGF in MDA-MB-435/beta4 and MDA-MB-231 cancer cells. m7GTP-Sepharose--binding assay revealed that Src activity is required to form eIF4F complex which is necessary for Cap-dependent translation in alpha6beta4 expressing human cancer cells. Conclusions: Overall, our studies suggest that integrin beta4 and c-Src activation is important early signaling events to lead mTOR activation and cap-dependent translation of VEGF.
- A mouse protein that localizes to acrosome and sperm tail is regulated by Y-chromosome
Background: Acrosomal proteins play crucial roles in the physiology of fertilization. Identification of proteins localizing to the acrosome is fundamental to the understanding of its contribution to fertilization. Novel proteins are still being reported from acrosome. In order to capture yet unreported proteins localizing to acrosome in particular and sperm in general, 2D-PAGE and mass spectrometry analysis of mouse sperm proteins was done. Results: One of the protein spots identified in the above study was reported in the NCBI database as a hypothetical protein from Riken cDNA 1700026L06 that localizes to chromosome number 2. This protein shows 96% identity to the rat spermatid specific protein RSB66. Immunofluorescence studies using the antibody raised in rabbit against the recombinant protein showed that it localized to mouse acrosome and sperm tail. Based on the localization of this protein, it has been named mouse acrosome and sperm tail protein (MAST, [Q7TPM5 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/protein/Q7TPM5)]). Western blotting showed that MAST is expressed testis-specifically. Co-immunoprecipitation studies using the MAST antibody identified two calcium-binding proteins, caldendrin and calreticulin as interacting partners of MAST. Caldendrin and calreticulin genes localize to mouse chromosomes 5 and 8 respectively. In an Yq-deletion mutant mouse, that is subfertile and has a deletion of 2/3rd of the long arm of the Y chromosome, MAST failed to localize to the acrosome. Western blot analysis however, revealed equal expression of MAST in the testes of wild type and mutant mice. The acrosomal calcium-binding proteins present in the MAST IP-complex were upregulated in sperms of Yq-del mice. Conclusions: We have identified a mouse acrosomal protein, MAST, that is expressed testis specifically. MAST does not contain any known motifs for protein interactions; yet it complexes with calcium-binding proteins localizing to the acrosome. The misexpression of all the proteins identified in a complex in the Yq-del mice invokes the hypothesis of a putative pathway regulated by the Y chromosome. The role of Y chromosome in the regulation of this complex is however not clear from the current study.
- THOC5, a member of the mRNA export complex, contributes to processing of a subset of wingless/integrated (Wnt) target mRNAs and integrity of the gut epithelial barrier
Background: THO (Suppressors of the transcriptional defects of hpr1 delta by overexpression) complex 5 (THOC5), an mRNA export protein, is involved in the expression of only 1% of all genes. Using an interferon inducible knockout mouse system, we have previously shown that THOC5 is an essential element in the maintenance of hematopoietic stem cells and cytokine-mediated hematopoiesis in adult mice. Here we interrogate THOC5 function in cell differentiation beyond the hematopoietic system and study pathological changes caused by THOC5 deficiency. Results: To examine whether THOC5 plays a role in general differentiation processes, we generated tamoxifen inducible THOC5 knockout mice. We show here that the depletion of THOC5 impaired not only hematopoietic differentiation, but also differentiation and self renewal of the gut epithelium. Depletion of the THOC5 gene did not cause pathological alterations in liver or kidney.We further show that THOC5 is indispensable for processing of mRNAs induced by Wnt (wingless/integrated) signaling which play key roles in epithelial cell differentiation/proliferation. A subset of Wnt target mRNAs, SRY-box containing gene 9 (Sox9), and achaete-scute complex homolog 2 (Ascl2), but not Fibronectin 1 (Fn1), were down-regulated in THOC5 knockout intestinal cells. The down-regulated Wnt target mRNAs were able to bind to THOC5. Furthermore, pathological alterations in the gastrointestinal tract induced translocation of intestinal bacteria and caused sepsis in mice. The bacteria translocation may cause Toll-like receptor activation. We identified one of the Toll-like receptor inducible genes, prostaglandin-endoperoxidase synthase 2 (Ptgs2 or COX2) transcript as THOC5 target mRNA. Conclusion: THOC5 is indispensable for processing of only a subset of mRNAs, but plays a key role in processing of mRNAs inducible by Wnt signals. Furthermore, THOC5 is dispensable for general mRNA export in terminally differentiated organs, indicating that multiple mRNA export pathways exist. These data imply that THOC5 may be a useful tool for studying intestinal stem cells, for modifying the differentiation processes and for cancer therapy.
- BORIS/CTCFL is an RNA-binding protein that associates with polysomes
Background: BORIS (CTCFL), a paralogue of the multifunctional and ubiquitously expressed transcription factor CTCF, is best known for its role in transcriptional regulation. In the nucleus, BORIS is particularly enriched in the nucleolus, a crucial compartment for ribosomal RNA and RNA metabolism. However, little is known about cytoplasmic BORIS, which represents the major pool of BORIS protein. Results: We show, firstly, that BORIS has a putative nuclear export signal in the C-terminal domain. Furthermore, BORIS associates with mRNA in both neural stem cells and young neurons. The majority of the BORIS-associated transcripts are different in the two cell types. Finally, by using polysome profiling we show that BORIS is associated with actively translating ribosomes. Conclusion: We have demonstrated the RNA binding properties of cellular BORIS and its association with actively translating ribosomes. We suggest that BORIS is involved in gene expression at both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels.
- Suppression of anoikis in human intestinalepithelial cells: differentiation state-selective roles of alpha2beta1, alpha3beta1, alpha5beta1, and alpha6beta4 integrins
Background: Regulation of anoikis in human intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) implicates differentiation state-specific mechanisms. Human IECs express distinct repertoires of integrins according to their state of differentiation. Therefore, we investigated whether alpha2beta1, alpha3beta1, alpha5beta1, and alpha6beta4 integrins perform differentiation state-specific roles in the suppression of IEC anoikis. Results: Human (HIEC, Caco-2/15) IECs were exposed to specific antibodies that block the binding activity of integrin subunits (alpha2, alpha3, alpha5, alpha6, beta1 or beta4) to verify whether or not their inhibition induced anoikis. The knockdown of alpha6 was also performed by shRNA. Additionally, apoptosis/anoikis was induced by pharmacological inhibition of Fak (PF573228) or Src (PP2). Anoikis/apoptosis was assayed by DNA laddering, ISEL, and/or caspase activity (CASP-8, -9, or -3). Activation levels of Fak and Src, as well as functional Fak-Src interactions, were also assessed. We report herein that differentiated IECs exhibit a greater sensitivity to anoikis than undifferentiated ones. This involves an earlier onset of anoikis when kept in suspension, as well as significantly greater contributions from beta1 and beta4 integrins in the suppression of anoikis in differentiated cells, and functional distinctions between beta1 and beta4 integrins in engaging both Fak and Src, or Src only, respectively. Likewise, Fak performs significantly greater contributions in the suppression of anoikis in differentiated cells. Additionally, we show that alpha2beta1 and alpha5beta1 suppress anoikis in undifferentiated cells, whereas alpha3beta1 does so in differentiated ones. Furthermore, we provide evidence that alpha6beta4 contributes to the suppression of anoikis in a primarily alpha6 subunit-dependent manner in undifferentiated cells, whereas this same integrin in differentiated cells performs significantly greater contributions in anoikis suppression than its undifferentiated state-counterpart, in addition to doing so through a dependence on both of its subunits. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that the suppression of human IEC anoikis implicates differentiation state-selective repertoires of integrins, which in turn results into distinctions in anoikis regulation, and sensitivity, between undifferentiated and differentiated IECs. These data further the functional understanding of the concept that the suppression of anoikis is subjected to cell differentiation state-selective mechanisms.
- Differential marker expression by cultures rich in mesenchymal stem cells
Background: Mesenchymal stem cells have properties that make them amenable to therapeutic use. However, the acceptance of mesenchymal stem cells in clinical practice requires standardized techniques for their specific isolation. To date, there are no conclusive marker (s) for the exclusive isolation of mesenchymal stem cells. Our aim was to identify markers differentially expressed between mesenchymal stem cell and non-stem cell mesenchymal cell cultures. We compared and contrasted the phenotype of tissue cultures in which mesenchymal stem cells are rich and rare. By initially assessing mesenchymal stem cell differentiation, we established that bone marrow and breast adipose cultures are rich in mesenchymal stem cells while, in our hands, foreskin fibroblast and olfactory tissue cultures contain rare mesenchymal stem cells. In particular, olfactory tissue cells represent non-stem cell mesenchymal cells. Subsequently, the phenotype of the tissue cultures were thoroughly assessed using immuno-fluorescence, flow-cytometry, proteomics, antibody arrays and qPCR. Results: Our analysis revealed that all tissue cultures, regardless of differentiation potential, demonstrated remarkably similar phenotypes. Importantly, it was also observed that common mesenchymal stem cell markers, and fibroblast-associated markers, do not discriminate between mesenchymal stem cell and non-stem cell mesenchymal cell cultures. Examination and comparison of the phenotypes of mesenchymal stem cell and non-stem cell mesenchymal cell cultures revealed three differentially expressed markers -- CD24, CD108 and CD40. Conclusion: We indicate the importance of establishing differential marker expression between mesenchymal stem cells and non-stem cell mesenchymal cells in order to determine stem cell specific markers.
- Primary porcine proximal tubular cells as an alternative to human primary renal cells in vitro: an initial characterization
Background: A good in vitro model should approximate an in vivo-like behavior as closely as possible in order to reflect most likely the in vivo situation. Regarding renal physiology of different species, humans are more closely related to pigs than to rodents, therefore primary porcine kidney cells (PKC) and their subsequent cell strain could be a valid alternative to primary human cells for renal in vitro toxicology. For this PKC must display inherent characteristics (e.g. structural organization) and functions (e.g. transepithelial transport) as observed under in vivo conditions within the respective part of the kidney.FindingsWe carried out a comprehensive characterization of PKC and their subsequent cell strain, including morphology and growth as well as transporter expression and functionality. The data presented here demonstrate that PKC express various transporters including pMrp1 (abcc1), pMrp2 (abcc2), pOat1 (slc22a6) and pOat3 (slc22a8), whereas pMdr1 (abcb1) and pOatp1a2 (slco1a2) mRNA could not be detected in either the PKCs or in the porcine cortical tissue. Functionality of the transporters was demonstrated by determining the specific PAH transport kinetics. Conclusions: On the basis of the presented results it can be concluded that PKC and to some extent their subsequent cell strain represent a valuable model for in vitro toxicology, which might be used as an alternative to human primary cells.
- ERAD and protein import defects in a sec61 mutant lacking ER-lumenal loop 7
Background: The Sec61 channel mediates protein translocation across the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane during secretory protein biogenesis, and likely also during export of misfolded proteins for ER-associated degradation (ERAD). The mechanisms of channel opening for the different modes of translocation are not understood so far, but the position of the large ER-lumenal loop 7 of Sec61p suggests a decisive role. Results: We show here that the Y345H mutation in L7 which causes diabetes in the mouse displays no ER import defects in yeast, but a delay in misfolded protein export. A complete deletion of L7 in Sec61p resulted in viable, cold- and tunicamycin-hypersensitive yeast cells with strong defects in posttranslational protein import of soluble proteins into the ER, and in ERAD of soluble substrates. Membrane protein ERAD was only moderately slower in sec61[increment]L7 than in wildtype cells. Although Sec61[increment]L7 channels were unstable in detergent, co-translational protein integration into the ER membrane, proteasome binding to Sec61[increment]L7 channels, and formation of hetero-heptameric Sec complexes were not affected. Conclusions: We conclude that L7 of Sec61p is required for initiation of posttranslational soluble protein import into and misfolded soluble protein export from the ER, suggesting a key role for L7 in transverse gating of the Sec61 channel.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Syndecan-2 is upregulated in colorectal cancer cells through interactions with extracellular matrix produced by stromal fibroblasts
Background: The extracellular matrix (ECM) influences the structure, viability and functions of cells and tissues. Recent evidence indicates that tumor cells and stromal cells interact through direct cell-cell contact, the production of ECM components and the secretion of growth factors. Syndecans are a family of transmembrane heparan sulfate proteoglycans that are involved in cell adhesion, motility, proliferation and differentiation. Syndecan-2 has been found to be highly expressed in colorectal cancer cell lines and appears to be critical for cancer cell behavior. We have examined the effect of stromal fibroblast-produced ECM on the production of proteoglycans by colorectal cancer cell lines. Results: Our results showed that in a highly metastatic colorectal cancer cell line, HCT-116, syndecan-2 expression is enhanced by fibroblast ECM, while the expression of other syndecans decreased. Of the various components of the stromal ECM, fibronectin was the most important in stimulating the increase in syndecan-2 expression. The co-localization of syndecan-2 and fibronectin suggests that these two molecules are involved in the adhesion of HCT-116 cells to the ECM. Additionally, we demonstrated an increase in the expression of integrins alpha-2 and beta-1, in addition to an increase in the expression of phospho-FAK in the presence of fibroblast ECM. Furthermore, blocking syndecan-2 with a specific antibody resulted in a decrease in cell adhesion, migration, and organization of actin filaments. Conclusions: Overall, these results show that interactions between cancer cells and stromal ECM proteins induce significant changes in the behavior of cancer cells. In particular, a shift from the expression of anti-tumorigenic syndecans to the tumorigenic syndecan-2 may have implications in the migratory behavior of highly metastatic tumor cells.
- Lentivirus-mediated RNA interference targeting the H19 gene inhibits cell proliferation and apoptosis in human choriocarcinoma cell line JAR
Background: H19 is a paternally imprinted gene that has been shown to be highly expressed in the trophoblast tissue. Results from previous studies have initiated a debate as to whether noncoding RNA H19 acts as a tumor suppressor or as a tumor promotor in trophoblast tissue. In the present study, we developed lentiviral vectors expressing H19-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) to specifically block the expression of H19 in the human choriocarcinoma cell line JAR. Using this approach, we investigated the impact of the H19 gene on the proliferation, invasion and apoptosis of JAR cells. Moreover, we examined the effect of H19 knockdown on the expression of insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2), hairy and enhancer of split homologue-1 (HES-1) and dual-specific phosphatase 5 (DUSP5) genes. Results: H19 knockdown inhibited apoptosis and proliferation of JAR cells, but had no significant impact on cell invasion. In addition, H19 knockdown resulted in significant upregulation of HES-1 and DUSP5 expression, but not IGF2 expression in JAR cells. Conclusions: The finding that H19 downregulation could simultaneously inhibit proliferation and apoptosis of JAR cells highlights a putative dual function for H19 in choriocarcinoma and may explain the debate on whether H19 acts as a tumor suppressor or a tumor promotor in trophoblast tissue. Furthermore, upregulation of HES-1 and DUSP5 may mediate H19 downregulation-induced suppression of proliferation and apoptosis of JAR cells.
- Arginine68 is an essential residue for the C-terminal cleavage of human Atg8 family proteins
Background: Autophagy is a conserved cellular process that degrades and recycles cytoplasmic components via a lysosomal pathway. The phosphatidylethanolamine (PE)-conjugation of the Atg8 protein plays an important role in the yeast autophagy process. In humans, six Atg8 homologs, including MAP1LC3A, MAP1LC3B, MAP1LC3C (refer to LC3A, LC3B, and LC3C hereafter), GABARAP, GABARAPL1, and GABARAPL2 have been reported. All of them can be conjugated to PE through a ubiquitin-like conjugation system, and be located to autophagosomes. Results: In this study, we found 3 new alternative splicing isoforms in LC3B, GABARAP, and GABARAPL1, (designated as LC3B-a, GABARAP-a and GABARAPL1-a, respectively). None of them can go through the PE-conjugation process and be located to autophagosomes. Interestingly, compared with LC3B, LC3B-a has a single amino acid (Arg68) deletion due to the NAGNAG alternative splicing in intron 3. Through structural simulations, we found that the C-terminal tail of LC3B-a is less mobile than that of LC3B, thus affecting its C-terminal cleavage by human ATG4 family proteins. Furthermore, we found that Arg68 is an essential residue facilitating the interaction between human Atg8 family proteins and ATG4B by forming a salt bridge with Asp171 of ATG4B. Depletion of this salt bridge reduces autophagosomes formation and autophagic flux under both normal and nutrition starvation conditions. Conclusions: These results suggest Arg68 is an essential residue for the C-terminal cleavage of Atg8 family proteins during the autophagy process.
- Glucose-induced gradual phenotypic modulation of cultured human glomerular epithelial cells may be independent of Wilms' tumor 1 (WT1)
Background: Renal podocytes form the main filtration barrier possessing a unique phenotype maintained by proteins including podocalyxin and nephrin, the expression of which is suppressed in pathological conditions. We used an in vitro model of human glomerular epithelial cells (HGEC) to investigate the role of high glucose in dysregulating the podocytic epithelial phenotype and determined the time needed for this change to occur. Results: In our in vitro podocyte system changes indicating podocyte dedifferentiation in the prolonged presence of high glucose included loss of podocalyxin, nephrin and CD10/CALLA concomitant with upregulation of mesenchymal vimentin. Our study demonstrates for the first time that podocyte-specific markers undergo changes of expression at different time intervals, since glucose-mediated podocalyxin downregulation is a progressive process that precedes downregulation of nephrin expression. Finally we demonstrate that high glucose permanently impaired WT1 binding to the podocalyxin gene promoter region but did not affect WT1 binding on the nephrin gene promoter region. Conclusion: The presence of high glucose induced a phenotypic conversion of podocytes resembling partial dedifferentiation. Our study demonstrates that dysregulation of the normal podocytic phenotype is an event differentially affecting the expression of function-specific podocytic markers, exhibiting downregulation of the epithelial marker CD10/CALLA and PC first, followed by stably downregulated nephrin. Furthermore, it is herein suggested that WT1 may not be directly involved with upregulation of previously reduced PC and nephrin expression.
- Impaired proteasomal degradation enhances autophagy via hypoxia signaling in Drosophila
Background: Two pathways are responsible for the majority of regulated protein catabolism in eukaryotic cells: the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and lysosomal self-degradation through autophagy. Both processes are necessary for cellular homeostasis by ensuring continuous turnover and quality control of most intracellular proteins. Recent studies established that both UPS and autophagy are capable of selectively eliminating ubiquitinated proteins and that autophagy may partially compensate for the lack of proteasomal degradation, but the molecular links between these pathways are poorly characterized. Results: Here we show that autophagy is enhanced by the silencing of genes encoding various proteasome subunits (alpha, beta or regulatory) in larval fat body cells. Proteasome inactivation induces canonical autophagy, as it depends on core autophagy genes Atg1, Vps34, Atg9, Atg4 and Atg12. Large-scale accumulation of aggregates containing p62 and ubiquitinated proteins is observed in proteasome RNAi cells. Importantly, overexpressed Atg8a reporters are captured into the cytoplasmic aggregates, but these do not represent autophagosomes. Loss of p62 does not block autophagy upregulation upon proteasome impairment, suggesting that compensatory autophagy is not simply due to the buildup of excess cargo. One of the best characterized substrates of UPS is the alpha subunit of hypoxia-inducible transcription factor 1 (HIF-1alpha), which is continuously degraded by the proteasome during normoxic conditions. Hypoxia is a known trigger of autophagy in mammalian cells, and we show that genetic activation of hypoxia signaling also induces autophagy in Drosophila. Moreover, we find that proteasome inactivation-induced autophagy requires sima, the Drosophila ortholog of HIF-1alpha. Conclusions: We have characterized proteasome inactivation- and hypoxia signaling-induced autophagy in the commonly used larval Drosophila fat body model. Activation of both autophagy and hypoxia signaling was implicated in various cancers, and mutations affecting genes encoding UPS enzymes have recently been suggested to cause renal cancer. Our studies identify a novel genetic link that may play an important role in that context, as HIF-1alpha/sima may contribute to upregulation of autophagy by impaired proteasomal activity.
- 3D organization of telomeres in porcine neutrophils and analysis of LPS-activation effect
Background: While the essential role of 3D nuclear architecture on nuclear functions has been demonstrated for various cell types, information available for neutrophils, essential components of the immune system, remains limited. In this study, we analysed the spatial arrangements of telomeres which play a central role in cell fate. Our studies were carried out in swine, which is an excellent model organism for both biomedical research and agronomic applications. We isolated bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-containing subtelomeric p and q sequences specific to each porcine chromosome. This allowed us to study the behaviour of p and q telomeres of homologous chromosomes for seven pairs chosen for their difference in length and morphology. This was performed using 3D-FISH on structurally preserved neutrophils, and confocal microscopy. Resting and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated states were investigated to ascertain whether a response to a pathogen aggression modifies this organization. Results: The positions of the p and q telomeres relative to the nuclear outer border were determined in the two states. All p telomeres changed their position significantly during the activation process, although the effect was less pronounced for the q telomeres. The patterns of telomeric associations between homologs and their frequencies were analysed for 7 pairs of chromosomes. This analysis revealed that the distribution of pp, qq and pq associations differs significantly among the 7 chromosomes. This distribution does not fit with the theoretical distribution for each chromosome, suggesting that preferential associations occur between subtelomeres. Conclusions: The percentage of nuclei harbouring at least one telomeric association between homologs varies significantly among the chromosomes, the smallest metacentric chromosome SSC12, which is also the richest in gene-density, harbouring the highest value. The distribution of types of telomeric associations is highly dependent on the chromosomes and is not affected by the activation process. The frequencies of telomeric associations are also highly dependent on the type of association and the type of chromosome. Overall, the LPS-activation process induces only minor changes in these patterns of associations. When telomeric associations occur, the associations of p and q arms from the same chromosome are the most frequent, suggesting that "chromosome bending" occurs in neutrophils as previously observed in gametes.
- Chronic glucolipotoxic conditions in pancreatic islets impair insulin secretion due to dysregulated calcium dynamics, glucose responsiveness and mitochondrial activity
Background: In the progression towards diabetes, glucolipotoxicity is one of the main causes of pancreatic beta cell pathology. The aim of this study was to examine the in vitro effects of chronic glucolipotoxic conditions on cellular responses in pancreatic islets, including glucose and fat metabolism, Calcium mobilization, insulin secretion and insulin content. Results: Exposure of islets to chronic glucolipotoxic conditions decreased glucose stimulated insulin secretion in vitro. Reduced protein levels of Glut2/slc2a2, and decreased glucokinase and pyruvate carboxylase mRNA levels indicated a significant lowering in glucose sensing. Concomitantly, both fatty acid uptake and triglyceride accumulation increased significantly while fatty acid oxidation decreased. This general suppression in glucose metabolism correlated well with a decrease in mitochondrial number and activity, reduction in cellular ATP content and dampening of the TCA cycle. Further, we also observed a decrease in IP3 levels and lower Calcium mobilization in response to glucose. Importantly, chronic glucolipotoxic conditions in vitro decreased insulin gene expression, insulin content, insulin granule docking (to the plasma membrane) and insulin secretion. Conclusions: Our results present an integrated view of the effects of chronic glucolipotoxic conditions on known and novel signaling events, in vitro, that results in reduced glucose responsiveness and insulin secretion.
- Caspase-9, caspase-3 and caspase-7 have distinct roles during intrinsic apoptosis
Background: Apoptosis is a form of programmed cell death that is regulated by the Bcl-2 family and caspase family of proteins. The caspase cascade responsible for executing cell death following cytochrome c release is well described; however the distinct roles of caspases-9, -3 and -7 during this process are not completely defined. Results: Here we demonstrate several unique functions for each of these caspases during cell death. Specific inhibition of caspase-9 allows for efficient release of cytochrome c, but blocks changes in mitochondrial morphology and ROS production. We show that caspase-9 can cleave Bid into tBid at amino acid 59 and that this cleavage of Bid is required for ROS production following serum withdrawal. We also demonstrate that caspase-3-deficient MEFs are less sensitive to intrinsic cell death stimulation, yet have higher ROS production. In contrast, caspase-7 deficient MEFs are not resistance to intrinsic cell death, but remain attached to the ECM. Conclusions: Taken together, these data suggest that caspase-9 is required for mitochondrial morphological changes and ROS production by cleaving and activating Bid into tBid. After activation by caspase-9, caspase-3 inhibits ROS production and is required for efficient execution of apoptosis, while effector caspase-7 is required for apoptotic cell detachment.
- ERK-associated changes in E2F4 phosphorylation, localization and transcriptional activity during mitogenic stimulation in human intestinal epithelial crypt cells
Background: The transcription factor E2F4 controls proliferation of normal and cancerous intestinal epithelial cells. E2F4 localization in normal human intestinal epithelial cells (HIEC) is cell cycle-dependent, being cytoplasmic in quiescent differentiated cells but nuclear in proliferative cells. However, the intracellular signaling mechanisms regulating such E2F4 localization remain unknown. Results: Treatment of quiescent HIEC with serum induced ERK1/2 activation, E2F4 phosphorylation, E2F4 nuclear translocation and G1/S phase transition while inhibition of MEK/ERK signaling by U0126 prevented these events. Stimulation of HIEC with epidermal growth factor (EGF) also led to the activation of ERK1/2 but, in contrast to serum or lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), EGF failed to induce E2F4 phosphorylation, E2F4 nuclear translocation and G1/S phase transition. Furthermore, Akt and GSK3β phosphorylation levels were markedly enhanced in serum- or LPA-stimulated HIEC but not by EGF. Importantly, E2F4 phosphorylation, E2F4 nuclear translocation and G1/S phase transition were all observed in response to EGF when GSK3 activity was concomitantly inhibited by SB216763. Finally, E2F4 was found to be overexpressed, phosphorylated and nuclear localized in epithelial cells from human colorectal adenomas exhibiting mutations in APC and KRAS or BRAF genes, known to deregulate GSK3/β-catenin and MEK/ERK signaling, respectively. Conclusions: The present results indicate that MEK/ERK activation and GSK3 inhibition are both required for E2F4 phosphorylation as well as its nuclear translocation and S phase entry in HIEC. This finding suggests that dysregulated E2F4 nuclear localization may be an instigating event leading to hyperproliferation and hence, of tumor initiation and promotion in the colon and rectum.
- Body mass index affects proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of human subcutaneous adipose tissue-derived stem cells
Background: Obesity is associated with a higher risk of developing cancer and co-morbidities that are part of the metabolic syndrome. Adipose tissue is recognized as an endocrine organ, as it affects a number of physiological functions, and contains adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ASCs). ASCs can differentiate into cells of multiple lineages, and as such are applicable to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Yet the question of whether ASC functionality is affected by the donor's body mass index (BMI) still exists. Results: ASCs were isolated from patients having different BMIs (BMI-ASCs), within the ranges of 18.5-32.8. It was hypothesized that overweight BMI-ASCs would be more compromised in early adipogenic and osteogenic potential, and ability to form colonies in vitro. BMI was inversely correlated with ASC proliferation and colony forming potential as assessed by CyQUANT proliferation assay (fluorescence- based measurement of cellular DNA content), and colony forming assays. BMI was positively correlated with early time point (day 7) but not later time point (day 15) intracytoplasmic lipid accumulation as assessed by Oil-Red-O staining. Alizarin red staining and RT-PCR for alkaline phosphatase demonstrated that elevated BMI resulted in compromised ASC mineralization of extracellular matrix and decreased alkaline phosphatase mRNA expression. Conclusions: These data demonstrate that elevated BMI resulted in reduced ASC proliferation, and potentially compromised osteogenic capacity in vitro; thus BMI is an important criterion to consider in selecting ASC donors for clinical applications.
- A simple methodology to assess endolysosomal protease activity involved in antigen processing in human primary cells
Background: Endolysosomes play a key role in maintaining the homeostasis of the cell. They are made of a complex set of proteins that degrade lipids, proteins and sugars. Studies involving endolysosome contribution to cellular functions such as MHC class I and II epitope production have used recombinant endolysosomal proteins, knockout mice that lack one of the enzymes or purified organelles from human tissue. Each of these approaches has some caveats in analyzing endolysosomal enzyme functions. Results: In this study, we have developed a simple methodology to assess endolysosomal protease activity. By varying the pH in crude lysate from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), we documented increased endolysosomal cathepsin activity in acidic conditions. Using this new method, we showed that the degradation of HIV peptides in low pH extracts analyzed by mass spectrometry followed similar kinetics and degradation patterns as those performed with purified endolysosomes. Conclusion: By using crude lysate in the place of purified organelles this method will be a quick and useful tool to assess endolysosomal protease activities in primary cells of limited availability. This quick method will especially be useful to screen peptide susceptibility to degradation in endolysosomal compartments for antigen processing studies, following which detailed analysis using purified organelles may be used to study specific peptides.
- Evaluating Extracellular Matrix influence on adherent cell signaling by Cold Trypsin Phosphorylation-specific Flow Cytometry
Background: Tissue microenvironments comprise different extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins that regulate cellular responsiveness to growth factors. In vitro culture of adherent cells on ECM-coated substrata is commonly used to study microenvironmental influence on specific cell signaling responses. Phosphorylation-specific flow cytometry can be utilized to quantify intracellular phosphorylation-dependent signaling events in single cells. However this approach necessitates trypsinization of adherent cells to accommodate flow cytometric analysis. Trypsin is a potent activator of cell signaling and can obscure signal transduction events induced by other factors. Results: To address this we developed a cold trypsin-phosphorylation-specific flow cytometry protocol, where adherent cells are prepared for flow cytometric analysis on ice (~0[degree sign]C), a temperature where trypsin retains activity but where intracellular kinases are inactive. We show that this straightforward approach can be used to quantify intracellular pERK levels in single adherent primary human vascular smooth muscle cells grown on different ECM. Conclusions: Exploiting the limited temperature dependence of trypsin facilitated development of a generally applicable phosphorylation-specific flow cytometry method to allow adherent cell types including primary patient derived cells. We demonstrate the utility of cold trypsin-phosphorylation-specific flow cytometry analysis of cell signaling to measure microenvironmental influence in single adherent cells.
- Regulation of pre-fusion events: recruitment of M-cadherin to microrafts organized at fusion-competent sites of myogenic cells
Background: Previous research indicates that the membrane ruffles and leading edge of lamellipodia of myogenic cells contain presumptive fusion sites. A micrometer-sized lipid raft (microraft) is organized at the presumptive fusion site of mouse myogenic cells in a cell-contact independent way and serves as a platform tethering adhesion proteins that are relevant to cell fusion. However, the mechanisms underlying recruitment of adhesion proteins to lipid rafts and microraft organization remain unknown. Results: Here we show that small G-protein Rac1 was required for microraft organization and subsequent cell fusion. However, Rac1 activity was unnecessary for recruitment of M-cadherin to lipid rafts. We found that p120 catenin (p120) binds to M-cadherin exclusively in lipid rafts of differentiating myogenic cells. The Src kinase inhibitor SU6566 prevented p120 binding to M-cadherin and their recruitment to lipid rafts, then suppressed microraft organization, membrane ruffling, and myogenic cell fusion. Suppression of membrane ruffling in SU6566-treated cells was partially restored by pretreatment with the protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor vanadate. The present analyses using an antibody to tyrosine phosphorylated p120 suggest that Src family kinases play a role in binding of p120 to M-cadherin and the recruitment of M-cadherin to lipid rafts through phosphorylation of putative substrates other than p120. Conclusions: The present study showed that the procedure establishing fusion-competent sites consists of two sequential events: recruitment of adhesion complexes to lipid rafts and organization of microrafts. The recruitment of M-cadherin to lipid rafts depended on interaction with p120 catenin, whereas the organization of microrafts was controlled by a small G protein, Rac1.
- Restoration of angiogenic capacity of diabetes-insulted mesenchymal stem cells by oxytocin
Background: Angiogenesis is the main therapeutic mechanism of cell therapy for cardiovascular diseases, but diabetes is reported to reduce the function and number of progenitor cells. Therefore, we studied the effect of streptozotocin-induced diabetes on the bone marrow-mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) function, and examined whether diabetes-impaired MSC could be rescued by pretreatment with oxytocin. Results: MSCs were isolated and cultured from diabetic (DM) or non-diabetic (non-DM) rat, and proliferation rate was compared. DM-MSC was pretreated with oxytocin and compared with non-DM-MSC. Angiogenic capacity was estimated by tube formation and Matrigel plug assay, and therapeutic efficacy was studied in rat myocardial infarction (MI) model.The proliferation and angiogenic activity of DM-MSC were severely impaired but significantly improved by pretreatment with oxytocin. Kruppel-like factor 2 (KLF2), a critical angiogenic factor, was dramatically reduced in DM-MSC and significantly restored by oxytocin. In the Matrigel plug assay, vessel formation of DM-BMSCs was attenuated but was recovered by oxytocin. In rat MI model, DM-MSC injection did not ameliorate cardiac injury, whereas oxytocin-pretreated DM-MSC improved cardiac function and reduced fibrosis. Conclusions: Our results show that diabetes influenced MSC by reducing angiogenic capacity and therapeutic potential. We demonstrate the striking effect of oxytocin on stem cell dysfunction and suggest the use of oxytocin as a priming reagent in autologous stem cell therapy.
- Suppression of protein kinase C theta contributes to enhanced myogenesis In vitro via IRS1 and ERK1/2 phosphorylation
Background: Differentiation and fusion of skeletal muscle myoblasts into multi-nucleated myotubes is required for neonatal development and regeneration in adult skeletal muscle. Herein, we report novel findings that protein kinase C theta (PKCθ) regulates myoblast differentiation via phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate-1 and ERK1/2. Results: In this study, PKCθ knockdown (PKCθshRNA) myotubes had reduced inhibitory insulin receptor substrate-1 ser1095 phosphorylation, enhanced myoblast differentiation and cell fusion, and increased rates of protein synthesis as determined by [3H] phenylalanine incorporation. Phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate-1 ser632/635 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 (ERK1/2) was increased in PKCθshRNA cells, with no change in ERK5 phosphorylation, highlighting a PKCθ-regulated myogenic pathway. Inhibition of PI3-kinase prevented cell differentiation and fusion in control cells, which was attenuated in PKCθshRNA cells. Thus, with reduced PKCθ, differentiation and fusion occur in the absence of PI3-kinase activity. Inhibition of the ERK kinase, MEK1/2, impaired differentiation and cell fusion in control cells. Differentiation was preserved in PKCθshRNA cells treated with a MEK1/2 inhibitor, although cell fusion was blunted, indicating PKCθ regulates differentiation via IRS1 and ERK1/2, and this occurs independently of MEK1/2 activation. Conclusion: Cellular signaling regulating the myogenic program and protein synthesis are complex and intertwined. These studies suggest that PKCθ regulates myogenic and protein synthetic signaling via the modulation of IRS1and ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Myotubes lacking PKCθ had increased rates of protein synthesis and enhanced myotube development despite reduced activation of the canonical anabolic-signaling pathway. Further investigation of PKCθ regulated signaling may reveal important interactions regulating skeletal muscle health in an insulin resistant state.
- Respiratory uncoupling by increased H+ or K+ flux is beneficial for heart mitochondrial turnover of reactive oxygen species but not for permeability transition
Background: Ischemic preconditioning has been proposed to involve changes in mitochondrial H+ and K+ fluxes, in particular through activation of uncoupling proteins and ATP-sensitive K+ channels (MitoKATP). The objectives of the present study were to explore how increased H+ and K+ fluxes influence heart mitochondrial physiology with regard to production and scavenging of reactive oxygen species (ROS), volume changes and resistance to calcium-induced mitochondrial permeability transition (mPT). Results: Isolated rat heart mitochondria were exposed to a wide concentration range of the protonophore CCCP or the potassium ionophore valinomycin to induce increased H+ and K+ conductance, respectively. Simultaneous monitoring of mitochondrial respiration and calcium retention capacity (CRC) demonstrated that the relative increase in respiration caused by valinomycin or CCCP correlated with a decrease in CRC, and that no level of respiratory uncoupling was associated with enhanced resistance to mPT. Mitochondria suspended in hyperosmolar buffer demonstrated a dose-dependent reduction in CRC with increasing osmolarity. However, mitochondria in hypoosmolar buffer to increase matrix volume did not display increased CRC. ROS generation was reduced by both K+- and H+-mediated respiratory uncoupling. The ability of heart mitochondria to detoxify H2O2 was substantially greater than the production rate. The H2O2 detoxification was dependent on respiratory substrates and was dramatically decreased following calcium-induced mPT, but was unaffected by uncoupling via increased K+ and H+ conductance. Conclusion: It is concluded that respiratory uncoupling is not directly beneficial to rat heart mitochondrial resistance to calcium overload irrespective of whether H+ or K+ conductance is increased. The negative effects of respiratory uncoupling thus probably outweigh the reduction in ROS generation and a potential positive effect by increased matrix volume, resulting in a net sensitization of heart mitochondria to mPT activation.
- Retinoic acid has different effects on UCP1 expression in mouse and human adipocytes
Background: Increased adipose thermogenesis is being considered as a strategy aimed at preventing or reversing obesity. Thus, regulation of the uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) gene in human adipocytes is of significant interest. Retinoic acid (RA), the carboxylic acid form of vitamin A, displays agonist activity toward several nuclear hormone receptors, including RA receptors (RARs) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor δ (PPARδ). Moreover, RA is a potent positive regulator of UCP1 expression in mouse adipocytes. Results: The effects of all-trans RA (ATRA) on UCP1 gene expression in models of mouse and human adipocyte differentiation were investigated. ATRA induced UCP1 expression in all mouse white and brown adipocytes, but inhibited or had no effect on UCP1 expression in human adipocyte cell lines and primary human white adipocytes. Experiments with various RAR agonists and a RAR antagonist in mouse cells demonstrated that the stimulatory effect of ATRA on UCP1 gene expression was indeed mediated by RARs. Consistently, a PPARδ agonist was without effect. Moreover, the ATRA-mediated induction of UCP1 expression in mouse adipocytes was independent of PPARγ coactivator-1α. Conclusions: UCP1 expression is differently affected by ATRA in mouse and human adipocytes. ATRA induces UCP1 expression in mouse adipocytes through activation of RARs, whereas expression of UCP1 in human adipocytes is not increased by exposure to ATRA.
- Protein Ser/Thr phosphatase-6 is required for maintenance of E-cadherin at adherens junctions
Background: Epithelial tissues depend on intercellular homodimerization of E-cadherin and loss of E-cadherin is central to the epithelial to mesenchymal transition seen in multiple human diseases. Signaling pathways regulate E-cadherin function and cellular distribution via phosphorylation of the cytoplasmic region by kinases such as casein kinases but the protein phosphatases involved have not been identified. Results: This study shows protein Ser/Thr phosphatase-6 catalytic subunit (PP6c) is expressed in epithelial tissue and its mRNA and protein are robustly up-regulated in epithelial cell lines at high vs. low density. PP6c accumulates at adherens junctions, not tight junctions, co-immunoprecipitates with E-cadherin-catenin complexes without a canonical SAPS subunit, and associates directly with the E-cadherin cytoplasmic tail. Inducible shRNA knockdown of PP6c dispersed E-cadherin from the cell surface and this response was reversed by chemical inhibition of casein kinase-1 and prevented by alanine substitution of Ser846 in murine E-cadherin. Conclusions: PP6c associates with E-cadherin in adherens junctions and is required to oppose casein kinase-1 to maintain cell surface localization of E-cadherin. There is feedback signaling to enhance PP6c transcription and boost protein levels in high density epithelial cells.
- In vitro three-dimensional modeling of fallopian tube secretory epithelial cells
Background: Fallopian tube secretory epithelial cells (FTSECs) have been implicated as a cell-of-origin for high-grade serous epithelial ovarian cancer. However, there are relatively few in vitro models of this tissue type available for use in studies of FTSEC biology and malignant transformation. In vitro three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models aim to recreate the architecture and geometry of tissues in vivo and restore the complex network of cell-cell/cell-matrix interactions that occur throughout the surface of the cell membrane. Results: We have established and characterized 3D spheroid culture models of primary FTSECs. FTSEC spheroids contain central cores of hyaline matrix surrounded by mono- or multi-layer epithelial sheets. We found that 3D culturing alters the molecular characteristics of FTSECs compared to 2D cultures of the same cells. Gene expression profiling identified more than a thousand differentially expressed genes between 3D and 2D cultures of the same FTSEC lines. Pathways significantly under-represented in 3D FTSEC cultures were associated with cell cycle progression and DNA replication. This was also reflected in the reduced proliferative indices observed in 3D spheroids stained for the proliferation marker MIB1. Comparisons with gene expression profiles of fresh fallopian tube tissues revealed that 2D FTSEC cultures clustered with follicular phase tubal epithelium, whereas 3D FTSEC cultures clustered with luteal phase samples. Conclusions: This 3D model of fallopian tube secretory epithelial cells will advance our ability to study the underlying biology and etiology of fallopian tube tissues and the pathogenesis of high-grade serous epithelial ovarian cancer.
- Physiological beta-catenin signaling controls self-renewal networks and generation of stem-like cells from nasopharyngeal carcinoma
Background: A few reports suggested that low levels of Wnt signaling might drive cell reprogramming, but these studies could not establish a clear relationship between Wnt signaling and self-renewal networks. There are ongoing debates as to whether and how the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling is involved in the control of pluripotency gene networks. Additionally, whether physiological beta-catenin signaling generates stem-like cells through interactions with other pathways is as yet unclear. The nasopharyngeal carcinoma HONE1 cells have low expression of beta-catenin and wild-type expression of p53, which provided a possibility to study regulatory mechanism of stemness networks induced by physiological levels of Wnt signaling in these cells. Results: Introduction of increased beta-catenin signaling, haploid expression of beta-catenin under control by its natural regulators in transferred chromosome 3, resulted in activation of Wnt/beta-catenin networks and dedifferentiation in HONE1 hybrid cell lines, but not in esophageal carcinoma SLMT1 hybrid cells that had high levels of endogenous beta-catenin expression. HONE1 hybrid cells displayed stem cell-like properties, including enhancement of CD24+ and CD44+ populations and generation of spheres that were not observed in parental HONE1 cells. Signaling cascades were detected in HONE1 hybrid cells, including activation of p53- and RB1-mediated tumor suppressor pathways, up-regulation of Nanog-, Oct4-, Sox2-, and Klf4-mediated pluripotency networks, and altered E-cadherin expression in both in vitro and in vivo assays. qPCR array analyses further revealed interactions of physiological Wnt/beta-catenin signaling with other pathways such as epithelial-mesenchymal transition, TGF-beta, Activin, BMPR, FGFR2, and LIFR- and IL6ST-mediated cell self-renewal networks. Using beta-catenin shRNA inhibitory assays, a dominant role for beta-catenin in these cellular network activities was observed. The expression of cell surface markers such as CD9, CD24, CD44, CD90, and CD133 in generated spheres was progressively up-regulated compared to HONE1 hybrid cells. Thirty-four up-regulated components of the Wnt pathway were identified in these spheres. Conclusions: Wnt/beta-catenin signaling regulates self-renewal networks and plays a central role in the control of pluripotency genes, tumor suppressive pathways and expression of cancer stem cell markers. This current study provides a novel platform to investigate the interaction of physiological Wnt/beta-catenin signaling with stemness transition networks.
- Non-overlapping activities of ADF and cofilin-1 during the migration of metastatic breast tumor cells
Background: ADF/cofilin proteins are key modulators of actin dynamics in metastasis and invasion of cancer cells. Here we focused on the roles of ADF and cofilin-1 individually in the development of polarized migration of rat mammary adenocarcinoma (MTLn3) cells, which express nearly equal amounts of each protein. Small interference RNA (siRNA) technology was used to knockdown (KD) the expression of ADF and cofilin-1 independently. Results: Either ADF KD or cofilin KD caused cell elongation, a reduction in cell area, a decreased ability to form invadopodia, and a decreased percentage of polarized cells after 180 s of epidermal growth factor stimulation. Moreover, ADF KD or cofilin KD increased the rate of cell migration and the time of lamellipodia protrusion but through different mechanisms: lamellipodia protrude more frequently in ADF KD cells and are more persistent in cofilin KD cells. ADF KD cells showed a significant increase in F-actin aggregates, whereas cofilin KD cells showed a significant increase in prominent F-actin bundles and increased cell adhesion. Focal adhesion area and cell adhesion in cofilin KD cells were returned to control levels by expressing exogenous cofilin but not ADF. Return to control rates of cell migration in ADF KD cells was achieved by expression of exogenous ADF but not cofilin, whereas in cofilin KD cells, expression of cofilin efficiently rescued control migration rates. Conclusion: Although ADF and cofilin have many redundant functions, each of these isoforms has functional differences that affect F-actin structures, cell adhesion and lamellipodial dynamics, all of which are important determinants of cell migration.
- Functional analysis of the rodent CK1tau mutation in the circadian clock of a marine unicellular alga
Background: Casein Kinase 1 (CK1) is one of few proteins known to affect cellular timekeeping across metazoans, and the naturally occurring CK1tau mutation shortens circadian period in mammals. Functional conservation of a timekeeping function for CK1 in the green lineage was recently identified in the green marine unicell Ostreococcus tauri, in spite of the absence of CK1's transcriptional targets known from other species. The short-period phenotype of CK1tau mutant in mammals depends specifically on increased CK1 activity against PERIOD proteins. To understand how CK1 acts differently upon the algal clock, we analysed the cellular and proteomic effects of CK1tau overexpression in O. tauri. Results: Overexpression of the CK1tau in O. tauri induces period lengthening identical to overexpression of wild-type CK1, in addition to resistance to CK1 inhibitor IC261. Label-free quantitative mass spectrometry of CK1tau overexpressing algae revealed a total of 58 unique phospho-sites that are differentially responsive to CK1tau. Combined with CK1 phosphorylation site prediction tools and previously published wild-type CK1-responsive peptides, this study results in a highly stringent list of upregulated phospho-sites, derived from proteins containing ankyrin repeats, kinase proteins, and phosphoinositide-binding proteins. Conclusions: The identical phenotype for overexpression of wild-type CK1 and CK1tau is in line with the absence of critical targets for rodent CK1tau in O. tauri. Proteomic analyses reveal that two thirds of previously reported CK1 overexpression-responsive phospho-sites are shared with CK1tau. These results indicate that the two alleles are functionally indiscriminate in O. tauri, and verify the identified cellular CK1 target proteins in a minimal circadian model organism.
- 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.
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.