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qPCR Instrumentation
Real-Time Quantitative PCR
SYBR Green Detection
PerfeCTa SYBR Green SuperMix
PerfeCTa SYBR Green FastMix
Probe-based Detection
PerfeCTa MultiPlex qPCR SuperMix
PerfeCTa qPCR ToughMix
PerfeCTa Multiplex qPCR ToughMix
PerfeCTa FastMix II
PerfeCTa qPCR FastMix UNG
Multiplexed Pre-Amplification
PerfeCTa PreAmp SuperMix
Conventional PCR
AccuStart II PCR SuperMix
AccuStart II Taq DNA Polymerase
AccuStart II PCR ToughMix
AccuStart II GelTrack PCR SuperMix
AccuStart Long Range SuperMix
repliQa HiFi ToughMix
repliQa HiFi ToughMix
Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)
sparQ HiFi PCR Master Mix
sparQ DNA Library Prep Kit
sparQ DNA Frag & Library Prep Kit
sparQ PureMag Beads
sparQ Universal Library Quant Kit
sparQ UDI Adapters (1-96)
Reverse Transcription
Conventional RT-PCR
qScript XLT 1-Step RT-PCR Kit
Quantitative RT-qPCR
qScript XLT 1-Step RT-qPCR ToughMix
qScript One-Step SYBR Green RT-qPCR
UltraPlex 1-Step ToughMix
qScript One-Step RT-qPCR Kit
Qscript lyo 1-step
qScript 1-Step Virus ToughMix
First-Strand cDNA Synthesis
qScript cDNA SuperMix
qScript XLT cDNA SuperMix
qScript cDNA Synthesis Kit
qScript Flex cDNA Kit
Sample Preparation
Extracta DNA Prep
5PRIME Phase Lock Gel
Extracta DBS
Extracta Plus RNA
Extracta Plus DNA
AccuStart II PCR Genotyping Kit
AccuStart Genotyping ToughMix
Product Manuals
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  • Reverse Transcription
    Quantitative RT-qPCR
    A New Multiplex Real-Time RT-PCR for Simultaneous Detection and Differentiation of Avian Bornaviruses
    Brigitte Sigrist, Viruses - 2021
    Avian bornaviruses were first described in 2008 as the causative agents of proventricular dilatation disease (PDD) in parrots and their relatives (Psittaciformes). To date, 15 genetically highly diverse avian bornaviruses covering at least five viral species have been discovered in different bird orders. Currently, the primary diagnostic tool is the detection of viral RNA by conventional or real-time RT-PCR (rRT-PCR). One of the drawbacks of this is the usage of either specific assays, allowing the detection of one particular virus, or of assays with a broad detection spectrum, which, however, do not allow for the simultaneous specification of the detected virus. To facilitate the simultaneous detection and specification of avian bornaviruses, a multiplex real-time RT-PCR assay was developed. Whole-genome sequences of various bornaviruses were aligned. Primers were designed to recognize conserved regions within the overlapping X/P gene and probes were selected to detect virus species-specific regions within the target region. The optimization of the assay resulted in the sensitive and specific detection of bornaviruses of Psittaciformes, Passeriformes, and aquatic birds. Finally, the new rRT-PCR was successfully employed to detect avian bornaviruses in field samples from various avian species. This assay w
    Extractionless Nucleic Acid Detection: A High Capacity Solution to COVID-19 Testing
    Shairaz Baksh, Science Direct - 2021
    We describe an extractionless real-time reverse transcriptase-PCR (rRT-PCR) protocol for SARS‐CoV‐2 nucleic acid detection using heat as an accurate cost-effective high-capacity solution to COVID‐19 testing. We present the effect of temperature, transport media, rRT-PCR mastermixes and gene assays on SARS‐CoV‐2 gene amplification and limits of detection. Utilizing our heated methodology, our limits of detection were 12.5 and 1 genome copy/reaction for singleplex E‐ and N1‐gene assays, respectively, and 1 genome copy/reaction by utilizing an E/N1 or Orf1ab/N1 multiplex assay combination. Using this approach, we detected up to 98% of COVID‐19 positive patient samples analyzed in our various cohorts including a significant percentage of weak positives. Importantly, this extractionless approach will allow for > 2‐fold increase in testing capacity with existing instruments, circumvent the additional need for expensive extraction devices, provide the sensitivity needed for COVID‐19 detection and significantly reduce the turn‐around time of reporting COVID‐19 test results.
    Targeted wastewater surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 on a University Campus for COVID-19 outbreak detection and mitigation
    Laura C. Scott, Environmental Research - 2021
    Targeted wastewater surveillance of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been proposed by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Wastewater Surveillance System as a complementary approach to clinical surveillance to detect the presence of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at high-density facilities and institutions such as university campuses, nursing homes, and correctional facilities. In this study we evaluated the efficacy of targeted wastewater surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 RNA together with individual-level testing for outbreak mitigation on a university campus during Fall 2020 semester. Wastewater samples (n = 117) were collected weekly from manholes or sewer cleanouts that receive wastewater inputs from dormitories, community-use buildings, and a COVID-19 isolation dormitory. Quantitative RT-PCR N1 and N2 assays were used to measure SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid genes in wastewater. Due to varying human waste input in different buildings, pepper mild mottle virus (PMMV) RNA was also measured in all samples and used to normalize SARS-CoV-2 N1 and N2 RNA wastewater concentrations. In this study, temporal trends of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater samples mirrored trends in COVID-19 cases detected on campus. Normalizing SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentrations using human fecal indicator, PMMV enhanced the correlation between N1 and N2 gene abundances in wastewater with COVID-19 cases. N1 and N2 genes were significant predictors of COVID-19 cases in dormitories, and the N2 gene was significantly correlated with the number of detected COVID-19 cases in dormitories. By implementing several public health surveillance programs include targeted wastewater surveillance, individual-level testing, contact tracing, and quarantine/isolation facilities, university health administrators could act decisively during an outbreak on campus, resulting in rapid decline of newly detected COVID-19 cases. Wastewater surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 is a proactive outbreak monitoring tool for university campuses seeking to continue higher education practices in person during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Innate and Adaptive Immune Genes Associated with MERS-CoV Infection in Dromedaries
    Sara Lado, Cells - 2021
    The recent SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has refocused attention to the betacoronaviruses, only eight years after the emergence of another zoonotic betacoronavirus, the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). While the wild source of SARS-CoV-2 may be disputed, for MERS-CoV, dromedaries are considered as source of zoonotic human infections. Testing 100 immune-response genes in 121 dromedaries from United Arab Emirates (UAE) for potential association with present MERS-CoV infection, we identified candidate genes with important functions in the adaptive, MHC-class I (HLA-A-24-like) and II (HLA-DPB1-like), and innate immune response (PTPN4, MAGOHB), and in cilia coating the respiratory tract (DNAH7). Some of these genes previously have been associated with viral replication in SARS-CoV-1/-2 in humans, others have an important role in the movement of bronchial cilia. These results suggest similar host genetic pathways associated with these betacoronaviruses, although further work is required to better understand the MERS-CoV disease dynamics in both dromedaries and humans.
    Comparative effects of viral-transport- medium heat inactivation upon downstream SARS-CoV- 2 detection in patient samples
    Jamie L. Thompson, Journal of Medical Microbiology - 2021
    Introduction. The COVID-19 pandemic, which began in 2020 is testing economic resilience and surge capacity of healthcare providers worldwide. At the time of writing, positive detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus remains the only method for diagnosing COVID-19 infection. Rapid upscaling of national SARS-CoV-2 genome testing presented challenges: (1) Unpredictable supply chains of reagents and kits for virus inactivation, RNA extraction and PCR-detection of viral genomes. (2) Rapid time to result of <24 h is required in order to facilitate timely infection control measures.Hypothesis. Extraction-free sample processing would impact commercially available SARS-CoV-2 genome detection methods.Aim. We evaluated whether alternative commercially available kits provided sensitivity and accuracy of SARS-CoV-2 genome detection comparable to those used by regional National Healthcare Services (NHS).Methodology. We tested several detection methods and tested whether detection was altered by heat inactivation, an approach for rapid one-step viral inactivation and RNA extraction without chemicals or kits.Results. Using purified RNA, we found the CerTest VIASURE kit to be comparable to the Altona RealStar system currently in use, and further showed that both diagnostic kits performed similarly in the BioRad CFX96 and Roche LightCycler 480 II machines. Additionally, both kits were comparable to a third alternative using a combination of Quantabio qScript one-step Quantitative Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (qRT-PCR) mix and Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-accredited N1 and N2 primer/probes when looking specifically at borderline samples. Importantly, when using the kits in an extraction-free protocol, following heat inactivation, we saw differing results, with the combined Quantabio-CDC assay showing superior accuracy and sensitivity. In particular, detection using the CDC N2 probe following the extraction-free protocol was highly correlated to results generated with the same probe following RNA extraction and reported clinically (n=127; R2=0.9259).Conclusion. Our results demonstrate that sample treatment can greatly affect the downstream performance of SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic kits, with varying impact depending on the kit. We also showed that one-step heat-inactivation methods could reduce time from swab receipt to outcome of test result. Combined, these findings present alternatives to the protocols in use and can serve to alleviate any arising supply-chain issues at different points in the workflow, whilst accelerating testing, and reducing cost and environmental impact.
    Correlation of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater with COVID-19 disease burden in sewersheds
    Jennifer Weidhaas, Science of the Total Environment - 2021
    The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is shed in feces and the viral ribonucleic acid (RNA) is detectable inwastewater. A nine-weekwastewater epidemiology study of tenwastewater facilities, serving 39% of the state of Utah or 1.26Mindividuals was conducted in April andMay of 2020. COVID-19 cases were tabulated fromwithin each sewershed boundary. RNA from SARS-CoV-2 was detectable in 61% of 126 wastewater samples. Urban sewersheds serving >100,000 individuals and tourist communities had higher detection frequencies. An outbreak of COVID-19 across two communities positively correlated with an increase in wastewater SARS-CoV-2 RNA, while a decline in COVID-19 cases preceded a decline in RNA. SARS-CoV-2 RNA followed a first order decay rate in wastewater, while 90% of the RNAwas present in the liquid phase of the influent. Infiltration and inflow, virus decay and sewershed characteristics should be considered during correlation analysis of SAR-CoV-2 with COVID-19 cases. These results provide evidence of the utility of wastewater epidemiology to assist in public health responses to COVID-19.
    COVID-19 infection among emergency department healthcare providers in a large tertiary academic medical center following the peak of the pandemic
    Eric Murakami, The American journal of emergency medicine - 2021
    The COVID-19 pandemic has spread through the US during the last few months exposing healthcare providers to possible infection. Here we report testing of emergency department (ED) healthcare providers (HCP) for exposure to COVID-19 through lateral flow point of care (POC) and lab-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and RTq-PCR for evidence of acute infection. 138 ED HCP were tested between May 26th (approximately one month after the peak of COVID-19 first wave of cases) and June 14th. Enrolled ED HCP represented about 70% of the total ED HCP workforce during the study period. Subjects were tested with a POC COVID-19 antibody test, and standard ELISA performed by a university-based research lab. Subjects also provided a mid-turbinate swab and a saliva specimen for RTq-PCR. All subjects provided demographic information, past medical history, information about personal protective equipment (PPE) use, COVID-19 symptoms, as well as potential COVID-19 exposures during the previous 4 weeks, both in the ED, and outside the clinical setting. None of the HCP had positive RT-PCR results; 7 HCP (5%) had positive IgG for COVID-19; there was strong agreement between the lab-based ELISA (reference test) and the POC Ab test (P ≤ 0.0001). For the POC Ab test there were no false negatives and only one false positive among the 138 participants. There was no significant difference in demographic/ethnic variables, past medical history, hours worked in the ED, PPE use, or concerning exposures between seropositive and seronegative individuals. Moreover, there was no significant difference in reported symptoms between the two groups during the previous four weeks. The rate of COVID-19 seroconversion in our ED was 5% during the month following the pandemic's first wave. Based on questionnaire responses, differences in demographics/ethnicity, medical history, COVID-19 exposures, and PPE use were not associated with ED HCP having been infected with SARS-CoV-2. In the setting of our limited cohort of subjects the COVID-19 POC Ab test performed comparably to the ELISA lab-based standard.
    Investigation of pooling strategies using clinical COVID-19 samples for more efficient diagnostic testing
    Samantha H. Adikari, medRxiv - 2020
    When testing large numbers of clinical COVID-19 samples for diagnostic purposes, pooling samples together for processing can offer significant reductions in the materials, reagents, time, and labor needed. We have evaluated two different strategies for pooling independent nasopharyngeal swab samples prior to testing with an EUA-approved SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR diagnostic assay. First, in the Dilution Study, we assessed the assay's ability to detect a single positive clinical sample diluted in multiple negative samples before the viral RNA extraction stage. We observed that positive samples with Ct values at ~30 can be reliably detected in pools of up to 30 independent samples, and positive samples with Ct values at ~35 can be detected in pools of 5 samples. Second, in the Reloading Study, we assessed the efficacy of reloading QIAamp viral RNA extraction columns numerous times using a single positive sample and multiple negative samples. We determined that one RNA extraction column can be reloaded with up to 20 clinical samples (1 positive and 19 negatives) sequentially without any loss of signal in the diagnostic assay. Furthermore, we found there was no significant difference in assay readout whether the positive sample was loaded first or last in a series of 20 samples. These results demonstrate that different pooling strategies can lead to increased process efficiencies for COVID-19 clinical diagnostic testing.
    Background The emergence of Zika virus (ZIKV) as an important cause of congenital and childhood developmental disorders presents another challenge to global health. Efforts to develop a Zika vaccine have begun although vaccine development against flavivir
    , EBio Medicine - 2020
    Background The emergence of Zika virus (ZIKV) as an important cause of congenital and childhood developmental disorders presents another challenge to global health. Efforts to develop a Zika vaccine have begun although vaccine development against flaviviruses, of which ZIKV belongs to, has proven to be time-consuming and challenging. Defining the vaccine attributes that elicit adaptive immune response necessary for preventing ZIKV infection could provide an evidence-based guide to Zika vaccine development. Methods We used a previously described attenuated ZIKV DN-2 strain in a type-I interferon receptor deficient mouse model and tested the hypothesis that duration of vaccine burden rather than peak level of infection, is a determinant of immunogenicity. We quantified both humoral and cellular responses against ZIKV using plaque reduction neutralisation test and flow cytometry with ELISPOT assays, respectively. Vaccinated mice were challenged with wild-type ZIKV (H/PF/2013 strain) to determine the level of protection against infection. Findings We found that the overall vaccine burden is directly correlated with neutralising antibody titres. Reduced duration of vaccine burden lowered neutralising antibody titres that resulted in subclinical infection, despite unchanged peak vaccine viraemia levels. We also found that sterilising immunity is dependant on both neutralising antibody and CD8+ T cell responses; depletion of CD8+ T cells in vaccinated animals led to wild-type ZIKV infection, especially in the male reproductive tract. Interpretation Our findings indicate that duration of attenuated virus vaccine burden is a determinant of humoral and cellular immunity and also suggest that vaccines that elicit both arms of the adaptive immune response are needed to fully prevent ZIKV transmission. Funding This study was supported by the National Medical Research Council through the Clinician-Scientist Award (Senior Investigator) to E.E.O. Salary support for S.W. was from a Competitive Research Programme grant awarded by the National Research Foundation of Singapore.
    Live vaccine infection burden elicits adaptive humoral and cellularimmunity required to prevent Zika virus infection
    Clement Yau, EBio Medicine - 2020
    Background:The emergence of Zika virus (ZIKV) as an important cause of congenital and childhood develop-mental disorders presents another challenge to global health. Efforts to develop a Zika vaccine have begunalthough vaccine development againstflaviviruses, of which ZIKV belongs to, has proven to be time-consum-ing and challenging. Defining the vaccine attributes that elicit adaptive immune response necessary for pre-venting ZIKV infection could provide an evidence-based guide to Zika vaccine development.Methods:We used a previously described attenuated ZIKV DN-2 strain in a type-I interferon receptor defi-cient mouse model and tested the hypothesis that duration of vaccine burden rather than peak level of infec-tion, is a determinant of immunogenicity. We quantified both humoral and cellular responses against ZIKVusing plaque reduction neutralisation test andflow cytometry with ELISPOT assays, respectively. Vaccinatedmice were challenged with wild-type ZIKV (H/PF/2013 strain) to determine the level of protection againstinfection.Findings:We found that the overall vaccine burden is directly correlated with neutralising antibody titres.Reduced duration of vaccine burden lowered neutralising antibody titres that resulted in subclinical infec-tion, despite unchanged peak vaccine viraemia levels. We also found that sterilising immunity is dependanton both neutralising antibody and CD8+Tcell responses; depletion of CD8+Tcells in vaccinated animals ledto wild-type ZIKV infection, especially in the male reproductive tract.Interpretation:Ourfindings indicate that duration of attenuated virus vaccine burden is a determinant ofhumoral and cellular immunity and also suggest that vaccines that elicit both arms of the adaptive immuneresponse are needed to fully prevent ZIKV transmission.Funding:This study was supported by the National Medical Research Council through the Clinician-ScientistAward (Senior Investigator) to E.E.O. Salary support for S.W. was from a Competitive Research Programmegrant awarded by the National Research Foundation of Singapore.
    Antibody Screening Results for Anti-Nucleocapsid Antibodies Towards the Development of a SARS-CoV-2 Nucleocapsid Protein Antigen Detecting Lateral Flow Assay
    David Cate, ChemRxiv - 2020
    The global COVID-19 pandemic has created an urgent demand for accurate rapid point of care diagnostic tests. Antigen-based assays are suitably inexpensive and can be rapidly mass-produced, but sufficiently accurate performance requires highly optimized antibodies and assay conditions. An automated liquid handling system, customized to handle lateral flow immunoassay (LFA) arrays, was used for high-throughput antibody screening of anti-nucleocapsid antibodies that will perform optimally on an LFA. Six hundred seventy-three anti-nucleocapsid antibody pairs were tested as both capture and detection reagents with the goal of finding those pairs that have the greatest affinity for unique epitopes of the nucleocapsid protein of SARS-CoV-2 while also performing optimally in an LFA format. In contrast to traditional antibody screening methods (e.g. ELISA, bio-layer interferometry), the methods described here integrate real-time LFA reaction kinetics and binding directly on nitrocellulose. We have identified several candidate antibody pairs that are suitable for further development of an LFA for SARS-CoV-2.
    Development and validation of a real-time RT-PCR test for screening pepper and tomato seed lots for the presence of pospiviroids
    Marleen Botermans, BioRxiv - 2020
    Potato spindle tuber viroid and other pospiviroids can cause serious diseases in potato and tomato crops. Consequently, pospiviroids are regulated in several countries. Since seed transmission is considered as a pathway for the introduction and spread of pospiviroids, some countries demand for the testing of seed lots of solanaceous crops for the presence of pospiviroids. A real-time RT-PCR test, named PospiSense, was developed for testing pepper (Capsicum annuum) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) seeds for seven pospiviroid species known to occur naturally in these crops. The test consists of two multiplex reactions running in parallel, PospiSense 1 and PospiSense 2, that target Citrus exocortis viroid (CEVd), Columnea latent viroid (CLVd), pepper chat fruit viroid (PCFVd), potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd), tomato apical stunt viroid (TASVd), tomato chlorotic dwarf viroid (TCDVd) and tomato planta macho viroid (TPMVd, including the former Mexican papita viroid). Dahlia latent viroid (DLVd) is used as an internal isolation control. Validation of the test showed that for both pepper and tomato seeds the current requirements of a routine screening test are fulfilled, i.e. the ability to detect one infested seed in a sample of c.1000 seeds for each of these seven pospiviroids. Additionally, the Pospisense test performed well in an inter-laboratory comparison, which included two routine seed-testing laboratories, and as such provides a relatively easy alternative to the currently used tests.
    The effect of increased inoculum on oral rotavirus vaccine take amonginfants in Dhaka, Bangladesh: A double-blind, parallel group,randomized, controlled trial
    Benjamin Lee, Vaccine - 2020
    Background:Oral, live-attenuated rotavirus vaccines suffer from impaired immunogenicity and efficacyin low-income countries. Increasing the inoculum of vaccine might improve vaccine response, but thisapproach has been inadequately explored in low-income countries.Methods:We performed a double-blind, parallel group, randomized controlled trial from June 2017through June 2018 in the urban Mirpur slum of Dhaka, Bangladesh to compare vaccine take (primary out-come) among healthy infants randomized to receive either the standard dose or double the standard doseof oral Rotarix (GlaxoSmithKline) vaccine at 6 and 10 weeks of life. Infants with congenital malforma-tions, birth or enrollment weight <2000 gm, known immunocompromising condition, enrollment inanother vaccine trial, or other household member enrolled in the study were excluded. Infants were ran-domized using random permuted blocks. Vaccine take was defined as detection of post-vaccination fecalvaccine shedding by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction with sequence confirma-tion or plasma rotavirus-specific immunoglobulin A (RV-IgA) seroconversion 4 weeks following the sec-ond dose.Results:220 infants were enrolled and randomized (110 per group). 97 standard-dose and 92 high-doseinfants completed the study per-protocol. For the primary outcome, no significant difference wasobserved between groups: vaccine take occurred in 62 (67%) high-dose infants versus 69 (71%)standard-dose infants (RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.67–1.24). However, in post-hoc analysis, children with con-firmed vaccine replication had significantly increased RV-IgA responses, independent of the intervention.No significant adverse events related to study participation were detected.Conclusions:Administration of double the standard dose of an oral, live-attenuated rotavirus vaccine(Rotarix) did not improve vaccine take among infants in urban Dhaka, Bangladesh. However, improvedimmunogenicity in children with vaccine replication irrespective of initial inoculum provides further evi-dence for the need to promote in-host replication and improved gut health to improve oral vaccineresponse in low-income settings.
    Multiplexed and extraction-free amplification for simplified SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests
    Samantha A. Byrnes, medRxiv - 2020
    The rapid onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic has led to multiple challenges for accurately diagnosing the infection. One of the main bottlenecks for COVID-19 detection is reagent and material shortages for sample collection, preservation, and purification prior to testing. Currently, most authorized diagnostic tests require RNA extraction from patient samples and detection by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). However, RNA purification is expensive, time consuming, and requires technical expertise to perform. Additionally, there have been reported shortages of the RNA purification kits needed for most tests. With these challenges in mind, we report on extraction-free amplification of SARS-CoV-2 RNA directly from patient samples. In addition, we have developed a multiplex RT-PCR using the CDC singleplex targets. This multiplex has a limit of detection of 2 copies/µL. We have demonstrated these improvements to the current diagnostic workflow, which reduce complexity and cost, minimize reagent usage, expedite time to results, and increase testing capacity.
    An efficient, reproducible and accurate RT-qPCR based method to determine mumps specific neutralizing antibody
    Chisha T. Sikazwe, Journal of Virological Methods - 2020
    Introduction A resurgence of mumps among fully vaccinated adolescents and young adults globally has led to questions about the longevity of vaccine derived specific immunity. Unfortunately, the ideal serological correlate of immunity to mumps has yet to be identified. However, neutralising antibody titres in serum are used extensively as a surrogate marker of immunity to mumps. Conventional neutralisation tests are technically challenging, thus we developed and validated a high throughput, RT-qPCR microneutralisation (RT-qPCR-MN) method to determine serum neutralising antibody levels to mumps virus strains which avoids a number of the technical limitations of existing methods. Methods The qPCR-MN assays were thoroughly validated using human serum samples from patients with prior exposure to mumps infection or vaccination. Results Each sample of pooled sera neutralised virus at a constant rate and without significant changes when tested against genotype A (MuV-A) and G (MuV-G) mumps virus concentrations from 200 to 3200 TCID50. The within run and between run variation of the RT-qPCR-MN assays for both genotypes were less than 3 % and 9 % for low and high titre samples, respectively. The correlation between the focus reduction neutralisation test and RT-qPCR-MN was excellent for both MuV-G (r2 = 0.80, 95CI: 0.67–1.00, p < 0.0001) and MuV-A genotypes (r2 = 0.88, 95 %CI 0.69–1.00, p < 0.0001) endpoint determinations. Conclusions We have developed a RT-qPCR MN assay for mumps virus that is simple, fast, scientifically objective and has high throughput. The assay can be used to provide key insights into the efficacy of mumps vaccination, to help explain the causes for the resurgence of mumps infection in vaccinated populations.
    A Non-structural 1 Protein G53D SubstitutionAttenuates a Clinically Tested Live Dengue Vaccine
    Milly M. Choy, Cell Reports - 2020
    The molecular basis of dengue virus (DENV) attenuation remains ambiguous and hampers a targetedapproach to derive safe but nonetheless immunogenic live vaccine candidates. Here, we take advantageof DENV serotype 2 PDK53 vaccine strain, which recently and successfully completed a phase-3 clinical trial,to identify how this virus is attenuated compared to its wild-type parent, DENV2 16681. Site-directed muta-genesis on a 16681 infectious clone identifies a single G53D substitution in the non-structural 1 (NS1) proteinthat reduces 16681 infection and dissemination in bothAedes aegypti, as well as in mammalian cells to pro-duce the characteristic phenotypes of PDK53. Mechanistically, NS1 G53D impairs the function of a knownhost factor, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident ribophorin 1 protein, to properly glycosylate NS1 andthus induce a host antiviral gene through ER stress responses. Our findings provide molecular insights onDENV attenuation on a clinically tested strain.
    Characterization of Experimental Oro-Nasal Inoculation of Seba’s Short-Tailed Bats (Carollia perspicillata) with Bat Influenza A Virus H18N11
    Marco Gorka, Viruses - 2020
    In 2012 and 2013, the genomic sequences of two novel influenza A virus (IAV) subtypes, designated H17N10 and H18N11, were identified via next-generation sequencing in the feces of the little yellow-shouldered fruit bat (Sturnira lilium) and the flat-faced fruit-eating bat (Artibeus planirostris), respectively. The pathogenesis caused by these viruses in their respective host species is currently insufficiently understood, which is primarily due to the inability to obtain and keep these bat species under appropriate environmental and biosafety conditions. Seba’s short-tailed bats (Carollia perspicillata), in contrast, are close relatives and a natural H18N11 reservoir species, with the advantage of established animal husbandry conditions in academic research. To study viral pathogenesis in more detail, we here oro-nasally inoculated Seba’s short-tailed bats with the bat IAV H18N11 subtype. Following inoculation, bats appeared clinically healthy, but the histologic examination of tissues revealed a mild necrotizing rhinitis. Consistently, IAV-matrix protein and H18-RNA positive cells were seen in lesioned respiratory and olfactory nasal epithelia, as well as in intestinal tissues. A RT-qPCR analysis confirmed viral replication in the conchae and intestines as well as the presence of viral RNA in the excreted feces, without horizontal transmission to naïve contact animals. Moreover, all inoculated animals seroconverted with low titers of neutralizing antibodies.
    The effect of increased inoculum on oral rotavirus vaccine take among infants in Dhaka, Bangladesh: A double-blind, parallel group, randomized, controlled trial
    Benjamin Lee, Vaccine - 2020
    Background Oral, live-attenuated rotavirus vaccines suffer from impaired immunogenicity and efficacy in low-income countries. Increasing the inoculum of vaccine might improve vaccine response, but this approach has been inadequately explored in low-income countries. Methods We performed a double-blind, parallel group, randomized controlled trial from June 2017 through June 2018 in the urban Mirpur slum of Dhaka, Bangladesh to compare vaccine take (primary outcome) among healthy infants randomized to receive either the standard dose or double the standard dose of oral Rotarix (GlaxoSmithKline) vaccine at 6 and 10 weeks of life. Infants with congenital malformations, birth or enrollment weight <2000 gm, known immunocompromising condition, enrollment in another vaccine trial, or other household member enrolled in the study were excluded. Infants were randomized using random permuted blocks. Vaccine take was defined as detection of post-vaccination fecal vaccine shedding by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction with sequence confirmation or plasma rotavirus-specific immunoglobulin A (RV-IgA) seroconversion 4 weeks following the second dose. Results 220 infants were enrolled and randomized (110 per group). 97 standard-dose and 92 high-dose infants completed the study per-protocol. For the primary outcome, no significant difference was observed between groups: vaccine take occurred in 62 (67%) high-dose infants versus 69 (71%) standard-dose infants (RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.67–1.24). However, in post-hoc analysis, children with confirmed vaccine replication had significantly increased RV-IgA responses, independent of the intervention. No significant adverse events related to study participation were detected. Conclusions Administration of double the standard dose of an oral, live-attenuated rotavirus vaccine (Rotarix) did not improve vaccine take among infants in urban Dhaka, Bangladesh. However, improved immunogenicity in children with vaccine replication irrespective of initial inoculum provides further evidence for the need to promote in-host replication and improved gut health to improve oral vaccine response in low-income settings. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02992197.
    Different dynamics of Usutu virus infections in Austria and Hungary, 2017–2018
    Pia Weidinger, Transboundary and Emerging Diseases - 2020
    Usutu virus (USUV), a mosquito‐borne flavivirus closely related to West Nile virus, emerged in Austria in 2001, when it caused a considerable mass‐mortality of Eurasian blackbirds. Cases in birds increased until 2003 and quickly declined thereafter, presumably due to developing herd immunity. Since 2006, no further cases were recorded, until two blackbirds were tested positive in 2016. In Hungary, USUV first appeared in 2005 and has caused only sporadic infections since then. Initially, the only genetic USUV lineage found across both countries was Europe 1. This changed in 2015/2016, when Europe 2 emerged, which has since then become the prevalent lineage. Due to dispersal of these strains and introduction of new genetic lineages, USUV infections are now widespread across Europe. In 2009, the first cases of USUV‐related encephalitis were described in humans, and the virus has been frequently detected in blood donations since 2016. To monitor USUV infections among the Austrian wild bird population in 2017/2018, 86 samples were investigated by RT‐PCR. In 67 of them, USUV nucleic acid was detected (17 in 2017, 50 in 2018). The majority of succumbed birds were blackbirds, found in Vienna and Lower Austria. However, the virus also spread westwards to Upper Austria and southwards to Styria and Carinthia. In Hungary, 253 wild birds were examined, but only six of them were infected with USUV (five in 2017, one in 2018). Thus, in contrast to the considerable increase in USUV‐associated bird mortality in Austria, the number of infections in Hungary declined after a peak in 2016. Except for one case of USUV lineage Africa 3 in Austria in 2017, Europe 2 remains the most prevalent genetic lineage in both countries. Since USUV transmission largely depends on temperature, which affects vector populations, climate change may cause more frequent USUV outbreaks in the future.
    Respiratory viral infections in Western Australians with cystic fibrosis
    Brian Brestovac, Respiratory Medicine - 2020
    Background Viral respiratory infections (VRI) in people living with Cystic fibrosis (CF) is less well understood than respiratory bacterial infections, particularly adults with CF and few studies have compared children with adults. This study evaluated the frequency of respiratory viruses in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) in Western Australia (WA). We determined the VRI in CF and compared them with non-CF patients. Further, we compared CF patients that were hospitalised with those that were not. Patients/methods Nucleic acid from sputum of 157 CF and 348 non-CF patients was analysed for influenzavirus A (Flu A) and B, (Flu B), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human metapneumovirus (hMPV), human rhinovirus (RV), and parainfluenza viruses (PIV 1-3) by RT-PCR, during the 2016 winter respiratory season. Results No significant difference in the frequency of respiratory virus detection between CF and non-CF patients was found. RV was the most frequently detected virus in CF patients, and in hospitalised CF. RSV and hMPV were found less frequently in CF patients and RSV was not found in any hospitalised CF patient. A trend for fewer influenzavirus detections in adult CF patients was observed, however the trend was opposite for paediatric patients. RV and Flu A were the most common viruses detected in hospitalised CF patients. Conclusion There was no significant difference in VRI between CF and non-CF patients. RV and influenza A were most commonly found in hospitalised CF patients, suggesting that infection with these viruses may contribute to hospitalisation for CF respiratory exacerbations.
    Autologous Transplantation of Skin-Derived Precursor Cells in a Porcine Model
    Anne-Laure Thomas, Journal of Pediatric Surgery - 2020
    Background Hirschprung's disease is characterized by aganglionic bowel and often requires surgical resection. Cell-based therapies have been investigated as potential alternatives to restore functioning neurons. Skin-derived precursor cells (SKPs) differentiate into neural and glial cells in vitro and generate ganglion-like structures in rodents. In this report, we aimed to translate this approach into a large animal model of aganglionosis using autologous transplantation of SKPs. Methods Juvenile pigs underwent skin procurement from the shoulder and simultaneous chemical denervation of an isolated colonic segment. Skin cells were cultured in neuroglial-selective medium and labeled with fluorescent dye for later identification. The cultured SKPs were then injected into the aganglionic segments of colon, and the specimens were retrieved within seven days after transplantation. SKPs in vitro and in vivo were assessed with histologic samples for various immunofluorescent markers of multipotency and differentiation. SKPs from the time of harvest were compared to those at the time of injection using PCR. Results Prior to transplantation, 72% of SKPs stained positive for nestin and S100b, markers of neural and glial precursor cells of neural crest origin, respectively. Markers of differentiated neurons and gliocytes, TUJ1 and GFAP, were detected in 47% of cultured SKPs. After transplantation, SKPs were identified in both myenteric and submucosal plexuses of the treated colon. Nestin co-expression was detected in the SKPs within the aganglionic colon in vivo. Injected SKPs appeared to migrate and express early neuroglial differentiation markers. Conclusions Autologous SKPs implanted into aganglionic bowel demonstrated immunophenotypes of neuroglial progenitors. Our results suggest that autologous SKPs may be potentially useful for cell-based therapy for patients with enteric nervous system disorders. Type of Study Basic science.
    Human Norovirus Neutralized by a Monoclonal Antibody Targeting the Histo-Blood Group Antigen Pocket
    Anna D. Koromyslova, Journal of Virology - 2019
    Temporal changes in the GII.4 human norovirus capsid sequences occasionally result in the emergence of genetic variants capable of causing new epidemics. The persistence of GII.4 is believed to be associated with the recognition of numerous histo-blood group antigen (HBGA) types and antigenic drift. We found that one of the earliest known GII.4 isolates (in 1974) and a more recent epidemic GII.4 variant (in 2012) had varied norovirus-specific monoclonal antibody (MAb) reactivities but similar HBGA binding profiles. To better understand the binding interaction of one MAb (10E9) that had varied reactivity with these GII.4 variants, we determined the X-ray crystal structure of the NSW-2012 GII.4 P domain 10E9 Fab complex. We showed that the 10E9 Fab interacted with conserved and variable residues, which could be associated with antigenic drift. Interestingly, the 10E9 Fab binding pocket partially overlapped the HBGA pocket and had direct competition for conserved HBGA binding residues (i.e., Arg345 and Tyr444). Indeed, the 10E9 MAb blocked norovirus virus-like particles (VLPs) from binding to several sources of HBGAs. Moreover, the 10E9 antibody completely abolished virus replication in the human norovirus intestinal enteroid cell culture system. Our new findings provide the first direct evidence that competition for GII.4 HBGA binding residues and steric obstruction could lead to norovirus neutralization. On the other hand, the 10E9 MAb recognized residues flanking the HBGA pocket, which are often substituted as the virus evolves. This mechanism of antigenic drift likely influences herd immunity and impedes the possibility of acquiring broadly reactive HBGA-blocking antibodies. IMPORTANCE The emergence of new epidemic GII.4 norovirus variants is thought to be associated with changes in antigenicity and HBGA binding capacity. Here, we show that HBGA binding profiles remain unchanged between the 1974 and 2012 GII.4 variants, whereas these variants showed various levels of reactivity against a panel of GII.4 MAbs. We identified a MAb that bound at the HBGA pocket, blocked norovirus VLPs from binding to HBGAs, and neutralized norovirus virions in the cell culture system. Raised against a GII.4 2006 strain, this MAb was unreactive to a GII.4 1974 isolate but was able to neutralize the newer 2012 strain, which has important implications for vaccine design. Altogether, these new findings suggest that the amino acid variations surrounding the HBGA pocket lead to temporal changes in antigenicity without affecting the ability of GII.4 variants to bind HBGAs, which are known cofactors for infection.
    Co-subsistence of avian influenza virus subtypes of low and high pathogenicity in Bangladesh: Challenges for diagnosis, risk assessment and control
    Rokshana Parvin, Scientific Reports - 2019
    Endemic co-circulation of potentially zoonotic avian influenza viruses (AIV) of subtypes H5N1 and H9N2 (G1 lineage) in poultry in Bangladesh accelerated diversifying evolution. Two clinical samples from poultry obtained in 2016 yielded five different subtypes (highly pathogenic [HP] H5N1, HP H5N2, HP H7N1, HP H7N2, H9N2) and eight genotypes of AIV by plaque purification. H5 sequences grouped with clade viruses while N1 was related to an older, preceding clade, 2.2.2. The internal genome segments of the plaque-purified viruses originated from clade 2.2.2 of H5N1 or from G1/H9N2 viruses. H9 and N2 segments clustered with contemporary H9N2 strains. In addition, HP H7 sequences were detected for the first time in samples and linked to Pakistani HP H7N3 viruses of 2003. The unexpected findings of mixtures of reassorted HP H5N1 and G1-like H9N2 viruses, which carry genome segments of older clades in association with the detection of HP H7 HA segments calls for confirmation of these results by targeted surveillance in the area of origin of the investigated samples. Hidden niches and obscured transmission pathways may exist that retain or re-introduce genome segments of older viruses or reassortants thereof which causes additional challenges for diagnosis, risk assessment and disease control.
    Fibronectin synthesis, but not α-smooth muscle expression, is regulated by periostin in gingival healing through FAK/JNK signaling
    Shawna S. Kim, Scientific Reports - 2019
    During skin healing, periostin facilitates myofibroblast differentiation through a β1 integrin/FAK dependent mechanism and continued expression is associated with scarring. In contrast to skin, gingival tissue does not typically scar upon injury, but the role of periostin in gingival healing has never been investigated. Using a rat gingivectomy model, we show that the gingival architecture is re-established within 14 days of wounding. Periostin mRNA levels peak at day 7 post-wounding, with persistence of periostin protein in the connective tissue through day 14. Collagen type I and lysyl oxidase mRNA levels peak at day 7 post wounding, which corresponded with the peak of fibroblast proliferation. Although α-smooth muscle actin mRNA levels increased 200-fold in the tissue, no myofibroblasts were detected in the regenerating tissue. In vitro, human gingival fibroblast adhesion on periostin, but not collagen, was inhibited by blocking β1 integrins. Fibroblasts cultured on periostin exhibited similar rates of proliferation and myofibroblast differentiation to cells cultured on collagen only. However, human gingival fibroblasts cultured in the presence of periostin exhibited significantly increased fibronectin and collagen mRNA levels. Increases in fibronectin production were attenuated by pharmacological inhibition of FAK and JNK signaling in human gingival fibroblasts. In vivo, mRNA levels for fibronectin peaked at day 3 and 7 post wounding, with protein immunoreactivity highest at day 7, suggesting periostin is a modulator of fibronectin production during gingival healing.
    CD4+ T cells promote humoral immunity and viral control during Zika virus infection
    Annie Elong Ngono, PLOS ONE - 2019
    Several Zika virus (ZIKV) vaccines designed to elicit protective antibody (Ab) responses are currently under rapid development, but the underlying mechanisms that control the magnitude and quality of the Ab response remain unclear. Here, we investigated the CD4+ T cell response to primary intravenous and intravaginal infection with ZIKV. Using the LysMCre+Ifnar1fl/fl (myeloid type I IFN receptor-deficient) C57BL/6 mouse models, we identified six I-Ab-restricted ZIKV epitopes that stimulated CD4+ T cells with a predominantly cytotoxic Th1 phenotype in mice primed with ZIKV. Intravenous and intravaginal infection with ZIKV effectively induced follicular helper and regulatory CD4+ T cells. Treatment of mice with a CD4+ T cell-depleting Ab reduced the plasma cell, germinal center B cell, and IgG responses to ZIKV without affecting the CD8+ T cell response. CD4+ T cells were required to protect mice from a lethal dose of ZIKV after infection intravaginally, but not intravenously. However, adoptive transfer and peptide immunization experiments showed a role for memory CD4+ T cells in ZIKV clearance in mice challenged intravenously. These results demonstrate that CD4+ T cells are required mainly for the generation of a ZIKV-specific humoral response but not for an efficient CD8+ T cell response. Thus, CD4+ T cells could be important mediators of protection against ZIKV, depending on the infection or vaccination context.
    Target (MexB)- and Efflux-Based Mechanisms Decreasing the Effectiveness of the Efflux Pump Inhibitor D13-9001 in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1: Uncovering a New Role for MexMN-OprM in Efflux of -Lactams and a Novel Regulatory Circuit (MmnRS) Controlling Mex
    Srijan Ranjitkar, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy - 2019
    Efflux pumps contribute to antibiotic resistance in Gram-negative pathogens. Correspondingly, efflux pump inhibitors (EPIs) may reverse this resistance. D13- 9001 specifically inhibits MexAB-OprM in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Mutants with decreased susceptibility to MexAB-OprM inhibition by D13-9001 were identified, and these fell into two categories: those with alterations in the target MexB (F628L and ΔV177) and those with an alteration in a putative sensor kinase of unknown function, PA1438 (L172P). The alterations in MexB were consistent with reported structural studies of the D13-9001 interaction with MexB. The PA1438L172P alteration mediated a 150-fold upregulation of MexMN pump gene expression and a 50-fold upregulation of PA1438 and the neighboring response regulator gene, PA1437. We propose that these be renamed mmnR and mmnS for MexMN regulator and MexMN sensor, respectively. MexMN was shown to partner with the outer membrane channel protein OprM and to pump several -lactams, monobactams, and tazobactam. Upregulated MexMN functionally replaced MexAB-OprM to efflux these compounds but was insusceptible to inhibition by D13-9001. MmnSL172P also mediated a decrease in susceptibility to imipenem and biapenem that was independent of MexMN-OprM. Expression of oprD, encoding the uptake channel for these compounds, was downregulated, suggesting that this channel is also part of the MmnSR regulon. Transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) of cells encoding MmnSL172P revealed, among other things, an interrelationship between the regulation of mexMN and genes involved in heavy metal resistance.
    Matrix composition in 3-D collagenous bioscaffolds modulates the survival and angiogenic phenotype of human chronic wound dermal fibroblasts
    Pascal Morissette Martin, Acta Biomaterialia - 2019
    There is a substantial need for new strategies to stimulate cutaneous tissue repair in the treatment of chronic wounds. To address this challenge, our team is developing modular biomaterials termed “bead foams”, comprised of porous beads synthesized exclusively of extracellular matrix (ECM) and assembled into a cohesive three-dimensional (3-D) network. In the current study, bead foams were fabricated from human decellularized adipose tissue (DAT) or commercially-sourced bovine tendon collagen (COL) to explore the effects of ECM composition on human wound edge dermal fibroblasts (weDF) sourced from chronic wound tissues. The DAT and COL bead foams were shown to be structurally similar, but compositionally distinct, containing different levels of glycosaminoglycan content and collagen types IV, V, and VI. In vitro testing under conditions simulating stresses within the chronic wound microenvironment indicated that weDF survival and angiogenic marker expression were significantly enhanced in the DAT bead foams as compared to the COL bead foams. These findings were corroborated through in vivo assessment in a subcutaneous athymic mouse model. Taken together, the results demonstrate that weDF survival and paracrine function can be modulated by the matrix source applied in the design of ECM-derived scaffolds and that the DAT bead foams hold promise as cell-instructive biological wound dressings. Statement of Significance Biological wound dressings derived from the extracellular matrix (ECM) can be designed to promote the establishment of a more permissive microenvironment for healing in the treatment of chronic wounds. In the current work, we developed modular biomaterials comprised of fused networks of porous ECM-derived beads fabricated from human decellularized adipose tissue (DAT) or commercially-available bovine collagen. The bioscaffolds were designed to be structurally similar to provide a platform for investigating the effects of ECM composition on human dermal fibroblasts isolated from chronic wounds. Testing in in vitro and in vivo models demonstrated that cell survival and pro-angiogenic function were enhanced in the adipose-derived bioscaffolds, which contained higher levels of glycosaminoglycans and collagen types IV, V, and VI. Our findings support that the complex matrix composition within DAT can induce a more pro-regenerative cellular response for applications in wound healing.
    The exonuclease Xrn1 activates transcription and translation of mRNAs encoding membrane proteins
    Bernat Blasco-Moreno, Nature Communications - 2019
    The highly conserved 5’–3’ exonuclease Xrn1 regulates gene expression in eukaryotes by coupling nuclear DNA transcription to cytosolic mRNA decay. By integrating transcriptome-wide analyses of translation with biochemical and functional studies, we demonstrate an unanticipated regulatory role of Xrn1 in protein synthesis. Xrn1 promotes translation of a specific group of transcripts encoding membrane proteins. Xrn1-dependence for translation is linked to poor structural RNA contexts for translation initiation, is mediated by interactions with components of the translation initiation machinery and correlates with an Xrn1-dependence for mRNA localization at the endoplasmic reticulum, the translation compartment of membrane proteins. Importantly, for this group of mRNAs, Xrn1 stimulates transcription, mRNA translation and decay. Our results uncover a crosstalk between the three major stages of gene expression coordinated by Xrn1 to maintain appropriate levels of membrane proteins.
    Urine RNA Processing in a Clinical Setting: Comparison of 3 Protocols
    Megan S. Bradley, MD, Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery - 2019
    Objective: The objective of this study was to compare quantitative and qualitative RNA extraction results from clinical voided urine samples between 3 commercially available extraction protocols. Methods: For phase 1, fresh voided urine samples from 10 female subjects were collected and processed in clinic and transported to the laboratory with cold packs. RNA was purified with 1 of 3 RNA extraction protocols: (1) TRI Reagent Protocol; (2) Absolutely RNA Nanoprep Kit; and (3) ZR Urine RNA Isolation Kit. Real-time polymerase chain reactions (RT-PCR) were performed. As the ZR Urine RNA Isolation Kit provided the highest quality RNA in phase 1, for phase 2, RNA was extracted from 9 additional voided urine specimens using this kit to perform additional qualitative analyses. Results: Median RNA yield was significantly higher with the TRI Reagent Protocol as compared with the other protocols (P = 0.007). However, there was a significantly lower median threshold cycle value from polymerase chain reaction (indicating improved downstream application performance) with the ZR Urine RNA Isolation Kit as compared with the other methods (P = 0.005). In phase 2, the median RNA integrity number of urine RNA was 2.5 (range, 1.6-5.9). Conclusions: Although other methods may provide a higher quantity of RNA, when using clinical urine samples, the ZR Urine RNA Isolation Kit provided the highest quality of extracted RNA. This kit is especially attractive for the clinical setting because it does not require an initial centrifugation step. The urine RNA obtained with this kit may be useful for polymerase chain reaction but is not likely to be of high enough integrity for RNA sequencing.
    Storage-Dependent Generation of Potent Anti-ZIKV Activity in Human Breast Milk
    Carina Conzelmann, Viruses - 2019
    Zika virus (ZIKV) causes congenital neurologic birth defects, notably microcephaly, and has been associated with other serious complications in adults. The virus has been detected in human breast milk and possible transmissions via breastfeeding have been reported. Breast milk is rich in nutrients and bio-active substances that might directly affect viral infectivity. Thus, here, we analyzed the effect of human breast milk on ZIKV infection. We observed that fresh human breast milk had no effect on ZIKV, but found that upon storage, milk effectively suppressed infection. The antiviral activity is present in the fat-containing cream fraction of milk and results in the destruction of the structural integrity of viral particles, thereby abrogating infectivity. The release of the factor is time dependent but varies with donors and incubation temperatures. The viral titer of milk that was spiked with ZIKV decreased considerably upon storage at 37 °C for 8 h, was lost entirely after 2 days of 4 °C storage, but was not affected at −20 °C. This suggests that cold storage of milk inactivates ZIKV and that the antiviral factor in milk may also be generated upon breastfeeding and limit this transmission route of ZIKV.
    Generation and characterization of a stable cell line persistently replicating and secreting the human hepatitis delta virus
    Yi Ni, Scientific Reports - 2019
    Human hepatitis delta virus (HDV) causes the most severe form of viral hepatitis. Approximately 15–25 million people are chronically infected with HDV. As a satellite virus of the human hepatitis B virus (HBV), HDV uses the HBV-encoded envelope proteins for egress from and de novo entry into hepatocytes. So far, in vitro production of HDV particles is restricted to co-transfection of cells with HDV/HBV encoding cDNAs. This approach has several limitations. In this study, we established HuH7-END cells, which continuously secrete infectious HDV virions. The cell line was generated through stepwise stable integration of the cDNA of the HDV antigenome, the genes for the HBV envelope proteins and the HBV/HDV receptor NTCP. We found that HuH7-END cells release infectious HDV particles up to 400 million copies/milliliter and support virus spread to co-cultured cells. Due to the expression of NTCP, HuH7-END cells are also susceptible to de novo HDV entry. Virus production is stable for >16 passages and can be scaled up for preparation of large HDV virus stocks. Finally, HuH7-END cells are suitable for screening of antiviral drugs targeting HDV replication. In summary, the HuH7-END cell line provides a novel tool to study HDV replication in vitro.
    Targeting the HIV-infected brain to improve ischemic stroke outcome
    Luc Bertrand, Nature Communications - 2019
    HIV-associated cerebrovascular events remain highly prevalent even in the current era of antiretroviral therapy (ART). We hypothesize that low-level HIV replication and associated inflammation endure despite antiretroviral treatment and affect ischemic stroke severity and outcomes. Using the EcoHIV infection model and the middle cerebral artery occlusion as the ischemic stroke model in mice, we present in vivo analysis of the relationship between HIV and stroke outcome. EcoHIV infection increases infarct size and negatively impacts tissue and functional recovery. Ischemic stroke also results in an increase in EcoHIV presence in the affected regions, suggesting post-stroke reactivation that magnifies pro-inflammatory status. Importantly, ART with a high CNS penetration effectiveness (CPE) is more beneficial than low CPE treatment in limiting tissue injury and accelerating post-stroke recovery. These results provide potential insight for treatment of HIV-infected patients that are at risk of developing cerebrovascular disease, such as ischemic stroke.
    Imaging Mass Spectrometry and Proteome Analysis of Marek’s Disease Virus-Induced Tumors
    V. I. Pauker, American Society For Microbiology - 2019
    The highly oncogenic alphaherpesvirus Marek’s disease virus (MDV) causes immense economic losses in the poultry industry. MDV induces a variety of symptoms in infected chickens, including neurological disorders and immunosuppression. Most notably, MDV induces transformation of lymphocytes, leading to T cell lymphomas in visceral organs with a mortality of up to 100%. While several factors involved in MDV tumorigenesis have been identified, the transformation process and tumor composition remain poorly understood. Here we developed an imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) approach that allows sensitive visualization of MDV-induced lymphoma with a specific mass profile and precise differentiation from the surrounding tissue. To identify potential tumor markers in tumors derived from a very virulent wild-type virus and a telomerase RNA-deficient mutant, we performed laser capture microdissection (LCM) and thereby obtained tumor samples with no or minimal contamination from surrounding nontumor tissue. The proteomes of the LCM samples were subsequently analyzed by quantitative mass spectrometry based on stable isotope labeling. Several proteins, like interferon gamma-inducible protein 30 and a 70-kDa heat shock protein, were identified that are differentially expressed in tumor tissue compared to surrounding tissue and naive T cells. Taken together, our results demonstrate for the first time that MDV-induced tumors can be visualized using IMS, and we identified potential MDV tumor markers by analyzing the proteomes of virus-induced tumors. IMPORTANCE Marek’s disease virus (MDV) is an oncogenic alphaherpesvirus that infects chickens and causes the most frequent clinically diagnosed cancer in the animal kingdom. Not only is MDV an important pathogen that threatens the poultry industry but it is also used as a natural virus-host model for herpesvirus-induced tumor formation. In order to visualize MDV-induced lymphoma and to identify potential biomarkers in an unbiased approach, we performed imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) and noncontact laser capture microdissection. This study provides a first description of the visualization of MDV-induced tumors by IMS that could be applied also for diagnostic purposes. In addition, we identified and validated potential biomarkers for MDV-induced tumors that could provide the basis for future research on pathogenesis and tumorigenesis of this malignancy.
    Performance and workflow assessment of six nucleic acid extraction technologies for use in resource limited settings
    Shivani G. Beall, PLOS ONE - 2019
    Infectious disease nucleic acid amplification technologies (NAAT) have superior sensitivity, specificity, and rapid time to result compared to traditional microbiological methods. Recovery of concentrated, high quality pathogen nucleic acid (NA) from complex specimen matrices is required for optimal performance of several NA amplification/detection technologies such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Fully integrated NAAT platforms that enable rapid sample-to-result workflows with minimal user input are generally restricted to larger reference lab settings, and their complexity and cost are prohibitive to widespread implementation in resource limited settings (RLS). Identification of component technologies for incorporation of reliable and affordable sample preparation with pathogen NA amplification/detection into an integrated platform suitable for RLS, is a necessary first step toward achieving the overarching goal of reducing infectious disease-associated morbidity and mortality globally. In the current study, we evaluate the performance of six novel NA extraction technologies from different developers using blinded panels of stool, sputum and blood spiked with variable amounts of quality-controlled DNA- and/or RNA-based microbes. The extraction efficiencies were semi-quantitatively assessed using validated real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR assays specific for each microbe and comparing target-specific RT-PCR results to those obtained with reference NA extraction methods. The technologies were ranked based on overall diagnostic accuracy (analytical sensitivity and specificity). Sample input and output volumes, total processing time, user-required manual steps and cost estimates were also examined for suitability in RLS. Together with the performance analysis, these metrics were used to select the more suitable candidate technologies for further optimization of integrated NA amplification and detection technologies for RLS.
    Assessment of eight nucleic acid amplification technologies for potential use to detect infectious agents in low-resource settings
    Jason L. Cantera, PLOS ONE - 2019
    Nucleic acid amplification technologies (NAATs) are high-performance tools for rapidly and accurately detecting infectious agents. They are widely used in high-income countries to diagnose disease and improve patient care. The complexities associated with test methods, reagents, equipment, quality control and assurance require dedicated laboratories with trained staff, which can exclude their use in low-resource and decentralized healthcare settings. For certain diseases, fully integrated NAAT devices and assays are available for use in environmentally-controlled clinics or emergency rooms where relatively untrained staff can perform testing. However, decentralized settings in many low- and middle-income countries with large burdens of infectious disease are challenged by extreme environments, poor infrastructure, few trained staff and limited financial resources. Therefore, there is an urgent need for low-cost, integrated NAAT tools specifically designed for use in low-resource settings (LRS). Two essential components of integrated NAAT tools are: 1) efficient nucleic acid extraction technologies for diverse and complex sample types; and 2) robust and sensitive nucleic acid amplification and detection technologies. In prior work we reported the performance and workflow capacity for the nucleic acid extraction component. In the current study we evaluated performance of eight novel nucleic acid amplification and detection technologies from seven developers using blinded panels of RNA and/or DNA from three pathogens to assess both diagnostic accuracy and suitability as an essential component for low-cost NAAT in LRS. In this exercise, we noted significant differences in performance among these technologies and identified those most promising for potential further development.
    Arbovirus surveillance using FTATM cards in modified CO2‐baited encephalitis virus surveillance traps in the Northern Territory, Australia
    Nina Kurucz, Journal of Vector Ecology - 2019
    In 2016, modified CO2‐baited encephalitis virus surveillance (EVS) traps were evaluated for flavivirus surveillance in the Northern Territory, Australia. The traps were fitted with honey‐soaked nucleic acid preservation cards (FTATM) for mosquitoes to expectorate virus while feeding on the cards. Cards were tested for the presence of selected arboviruses, with two cards testing positive for Kunjin virus and Alfuy, while sentinel chickens tested in parallel also showed Kunjin virus activity at the same time. The results from the cards and vector mosquito feeding rates indicate that CO2‐baited EVS traps coupled with honey‐baited FTATM cards are an effective tool for broad‐scale arbovirus surveillance.
    Experimental Infection and Transmission Competence of Sindbis Virus in Culex torrentium and Culex pipiens Mosquitoes from Northern Sweden
    Olivia Wesula Lwande, Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases - 2019
    Introduction: Sindbis virus (SINV) is a mosquito-borne Alphavirus known to infect birds and cause intermittent outbreaks among humans in Fenno-Scandia. In Sweden, the endemic area has mainly been in central Sweden. Recently, SINV infections have emerged to northern Sweden, but the vectorial efficiency for SINV of mosquito species in this northern region has not yet been ascertained. Objective: Mosquito larvae were sampled from the Umea˚ region in northern Sweden and propagated in a laboratory to adult stage to investigate the infection, dissemination, and transmission efficiency of SINV in mosquitoes. Materials and Methods: The mosquito species were identified by DNA barcoding of the cytochrome oxidase I gene. Culex torrentium was the most abundant (82.2%) followed by Culex pipiens (14.4%), Aedes annulipes (1.1%), Anopheles claviger (1.1%), Culiseta bergrothi (1.1%), or other unidentified species (1.1%). Mosquitoes were fed with SINV-infected blood and monitored for 29 days to determine the viral extrinsic incubation period. Infection and dissemination were determined by RT-qPCR screening of dissected body parts of individual mosquitoes. Viral transmission was determined from saliva collected from individual mosquitoes at 7, 14, and 29 days. SINV was detected by cell culture using BHK-21 cells, RT-qPCR, and sequencing. Results: Cx. torrentium was the only mosquito species in our study that was able to transmit SINV. The overall transmission efficiency of SINV in Cx. torrentium was 6.8%. The rates of SINV infection, dissemination, and transmission in Cx. torrentium were 11%, 75%, and 83%, respectively. Conclusions: Cx. torrentium may be the key vector involved in SINV transmission in northern Sweden.
    Indications for a vertical transmission pathway of piscine myocarditis virus in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)
    Britt Bang Jensen, Journal of Fish Diseases - 2019
    Losses due to cardiomyopathy syndrome (CMS) keep increasing in salmon‐producing countries in the North‐Atlantic. Recently, Piscine myocarditis virus (PMCV) has been detected in post‐smolts shortly after sea‐transfer, indicating a possible carry‐over from the hatcheries. In addition, there are reports of prevalences of PMCV as high as 70%–90% in certain groups of broodfish, and a recent outbreak of CMS in the Faroe Islands has been linked to the importation of eggs from a CMS‐endemic area. Thus, there is a need to investigate whether PMCV can be transmitted vertically from infected broodstock to their progeny. In the present study, samples from eggs, larvae, fingerlings and presmolt originating from PMCV‐positive broodstock from two commercial Atlantic salmon producers were tested for PMCV. The prevalence of PMCV in the broodstock was 98% in the hearts, 69% in the roe and 59% in the milt. Piscine myocarditis virus was detected in all stages of the progeny until and including the 40 g stage. Piscine myocarditis virus was also detected in presmolt sampled for tissue tropism. This provides farmers with several options for minimizing the risk of transfer of PMCV from broodstock to progeny, including screening of broodstock and aiming to use only those that are negative for PMCV or have low levels of virus.
    Monitoring infection with Piscine myocarditis virus and development of cardiomyopathy syndrome in farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) in Norway
    Julie Christine Svendsen, Journal of Fish Diseases - 2019
    An epidemiological study was carried out in Norway in 2015–2018, investigating the development of infection with Piscine myocarditis virus (PMCV) and development of cardiomyopathy syndrome (CMS) in farmed Atlantic salmon. Cohorts from 12 sites were followed and sampled every month or every other month from sea transfer to slaughter. PMCV was detected at all sites and in all sampled cages, and fish in six sites developed clinical CMS. The initial infection happened between 1 and 7 months post‐sea transfer, and the median time from infection with PMCV until outbreak of CMS was 6.5 months. Generally, fish from sites with CMS had higher viral titre and a higher prevalence of PMCV, compared to sites that did not develop clinical CMS. The virus persisted until the point of slaughter at most (11 out of 12) of the sites. The detection of PMCV in all sites suggests that PMCV is more widespread than previously known. Screening for PMCV as a tool to monitor impending outbreaks of CMS must be supported by observations of the health status of the fish and risk factors for development of disease.
    Rifamycin SV exhibits strong anti-inflammatory in vitro activity through pregnane X receptor stimulation and NFκB inhibition
    Caridad Rosette, Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics - 2019
    Rifamycin SV (rifamycin), is a member of the ansamycin family of antimicrobial compounds which kills bacteria commonly associated with infectious diarrhea and other enteric infections. Rifamycin has been found to be effective in experimental animal models of gut inflammation and its efficacy in these settings has been attributed partially to immunomodulatory non-bactericidal activities. This study aimed to further evaluate the anti-inflammatory activities of rifamycin by analyzing its effect on two key regulators of inflammation: PXR and NFκB. Rifamycin stimulated PXR transcriptional activity in two PXR reporter cell lines and induced expression of two genes known to be regulated by PXR and are directly involved in cellular detoxification: CYP3A4 and PgP. Moreover, CYP3A4 metabolic activity was induced by rifamycin in HepG2 cells. Rifamycin also antagonized TNFα and LPS-induced NFκB activities and inhibited IL1β-induced synthesis of inflammatory chemokine, IL8. Although reciprocal regulation of PXR and NFkB by rifamycin was not directly addressed, the data suggest that in the absence of PXR, inhibition of NFκB by rifamycin is not dependent on PXR stimulation. Thus, rifamycin exhibits potent anti-inflammatory activities, characterized by in vitro PXR activation and concomitant CYP3A4 and PgP induction, in parallel with potent NFκB inhibition and concomitant IL8 inhibition.
    Cervical carcinoma high‑expressed long non‑coding RNA 1 may promote growth of colon adenocarcinoma through interleukin‑17A
    Jue Wang, Oncology Letters - 2019
    Cervical carcinoma high‑expressed long non‑coding RNA 1 (CCHE1) has been demonstrated to promote several different types of cancer; however, the involvement of CCHE1 in other types of cancer remains unknown. In the present study, the expression levels of CCHE1 and inter‑ leukin (IL)‑17A were increased in the plasma of patients with metastatic and non‑metastatic colon adenocarcinoma (MC and NMC, respectively) compared with the healthy controls. There was no significant difference in the plasma expression levels of CCHE1 and IL‑17A in patients with MC compared with patients with NMC. The plasma expression levels of CCHE1 and IL‑17A were positively associated with the primary tumor diameter. A significant correlation as demonstrated between the serum levels of CCHE1 and IL‑17A in patients with colon adenocarcinoma, but not in the healthy controls. CCHE1 and IL‑17A overexpression promoted colon adenocarcinoma cell proliferation. Transfection of small interfering RNA against IL‑17A partially reversed the effects of CCHE1 overexpres‑ sion on cancer cell proliferation. Upregulation of IL‑17A was observed after CCHE1 overexpression, while IL‑17A overex‑ pression did not significantly change the expression level of CCHE1. Therefore, CCHE1 may promote growth of colon adenocarcinoma through interactions with IL‑17A.
    Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy Attenuates the Progression of Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis in Mice on a High-Fat High-Cholesterol Diet
    Emily Whang, Obesity Surgery - 2019
    Objective To determine whether vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) attenuates fibrosis in mice on a high-fat high-cholesterol (HFHC) diet. Background Bariatric surgery mitigates non-alcoholic steatohepatitis in 85–90% of obese patients. While animal models demonstrate similar results on a high-fat diet, none have observed the effects of bariatric surgery on a combined HFHC diet. Methods Mice on a HFHC diet were used to confirm the development of hepatic fibrosis at 8 (n = 15) and 24 (n = 15) weeks. A separate cohort of mice on a HFHC diet for 12 weeks was subjected to either VSG (n = 18) or sham (n = 12) operations and remained on a HFHC diet for an additional 20 weeks. Changes in weight, dyslipidemia, and the development of steatosis and fibrosis were documented. Serum was obtained for bile acid analysis by liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, while hepatic gene expression by RT-PCR was performed to evaluate intrahepatic lipid metabolism. Results Hepatic steatosis and fibrosis developed after 8 weeks on the HFHC diet. After VSG, mice demonstrated a sustained decrease in weight with a significant decrease in fibrosis compared to sham mice. Serum total cholesterol, HDL, and LDL were significantly reduced following surgery, while serum bile acids were significantly elevated. Intra-hepatic cholesterol excretion was not upregulated based on hepatic gene expression of CYP7A1 and ABCG5/8. Conclusions VSG attenuates the development of hepatic fibrosis in diet-induced obese mice, presumably through enhancement of cholesterol elimination at the intestinal level.
    Development of a PPRV challenge model in goats and its use to assess the efficacy of a PPR vaccine
    Francois Enchery, Vaccine - 2019
    Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) is a severe disease of small ruminants and has high economic impacts in developing countries. Endemic in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, the disease is currently progressing with occurrences reported in North Africa, Turkey and in Georgia, and now threatens Europe. Much remains unknown about the infection dynamics, the virulence of the different strains and species/breed susceptibility. Robust experimental challenge models are needed to explore these fields and to confirm the efficacy of currently sold vaccines. We first assessed virulence of two PPR virus strains (CI89 and MA08) in Saanen goats. Whereas the MA08 strain led to classical severe clinical signs of PPR, the CI89 strain appeared to cause a mild disease in Saanen goats, highlighting the difference in virulence between strains in this animal model. We further demonstrated the importance of the inoculation route in the appearance of clinical signs and that ocular excretion is a better choice than blood for viral detection. After developing a robust challenge model, we assessed the efficacy of a vaccine (PPR-VAC®, BVI Botswana) against the MA08 strain and demonstrated that this vaccine blocked viral excretion and significantly reduced clinical signs. These results reinforce the paradigm that a strain from one lineage could protect against strains from other lineages.
    LncRNA NRON down-regulates lncRNA snaR and inhibits cancer cell proliferation in TNBC
    Limin Niu, Bioscience Reports - 2019
    NRON mediates the degradation of tat protein to participate in HIV-1 infection. Interestingly, our study observed the down-regulation of NRON in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) tissues compared with paired adjacent healthy tissues. In contrast, lncRNA snaR was up-regulated in TNBC tissues and was inversely correlated with NRON. Expression levels of snaR increased, while expression levels of NRON decreased along with the increase of clinical stages. The snaR overexpression resulted in promoted cancer cell proliferation but did not significantly affect NRON expression. NRON overexpression inhibited cancer cell proliferation and down-regulated snaR. The snaR overexpression reduced the effects of NRON overexpression. We therefore conclude that NRON may down-regulate lncRNA snaR to inhibit cancer cell proliferation in TNBC.
    The ubiquitin-protein ligase E6AP/UBE3A supports early encephalomyocarditis virus replication
    Marybeth Carmody, Virus Research - 2018
    Many viruses make use of, and even direct, the ubiquitin-proteasome system to facilitate the generation of a cellular environment favorable for virus replication, while host cells use selected protein ubiquitylation pathways for antiviral defense. Relatively little information has been acquired, however, regarding the extent to which protein ubiquitylation determines the replication success of picornaviruses. Here we report that the ubiquitin-protein ligase E6AP/UBE3A, recently shown to be a participant in encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) 3C protease concentration regulation, also facilitates the early stages of EMCV replication, probably by a mechanism that does not involve 3C protease ubiquitylation. Using stably transfected E6 AP knockdown cells, we found that reduced E6AP concentration extends the time required for infected cells to undergo the morphological changes caused by virally induced pathogenesis and to begin the production of infectious virions. This lag in virion production is accompanied by a corresponding delay in the appearance of detectable levels of viral proteins and RNA. We also found, by using both immunofluorescence microscopy and cell fractionation, that E6AP is partially redistributed from the nucleus to the cytoplasm in EMCV-infected cells, thereby increasing its availability to participate in cytoplasmic virus replication processes.
    Xenobiotic Nuclear Receptor Signaling Determines Molecular Pathogenesis of Progressive Familial Intrahepatic Cholestasis
    Kang Ho Kim, Endocrinology - 2018
    Abstract. Progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC) is a genetically heterogeneous disorder of bile flow disruption due to abnormal canalicular tran
    Synthesis and antiviral evaluation of novel peptidomimetics as Norovirus protease inhibitors
    Franck Amblard, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters - 2018
    A series of tripeptidyl transition state inhibitors with new P1 and warhead moieties were synthesized and evaluated in a GI-1 norovirus replicon system and against GII-4 and GI-1 norovirus proteases. Compound 19, containing a 6-membered ring at the P1 position and a reactive aldehyde warhead exhibited sub-micromolar replicon inhibition. Retaining the same peptidyl scaffold, several reactive warheads were tested for protease inhibition and norovirus replicon inhibition. Of the six that were synthesized and tested, compounds 42, 43, and 45 potently inhibited the protease in biochemical assay and GI-1 norovirus replicon in the nanomolar range.
    Control of Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) via Trunk Injection of Plant Activators and Antibiotics
    Jiahuai Hu, Phytopathology - 2017
    Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) or greening is a devastating disease of citrus worldwide and no effective control measure is currently available. Plant activators represent environment friendly compounds capable of inducing resistance against many plant pathogens. Earlier studies showed that foliar spray of plant defense inducers could slow down HLB disease progress. In this study, eight plant activators and three antibiotics were evaluated in 3 field trials for their effect to control HLB by trunk injection of young and mature sweet orange trees. Results showed that 4 trunk injections of several activators including salicylic acid, oxalic acid, acibenzolar-S-methyl and potassium phosphate provided significant control of HLB by suppressing Las titer and disease progress. Trunk injection of penicillin, streptomycin and oxytetracycline hydrochloride resulted in excellent control of HLB. In general, antibiotics were more effective in reduction of Las titer and HLB symptom expressions than plant activators. These treatments also resulted in increased yield and better fruit quality. Injection of both salicylic acid and acibenzolar-S-methyl led to significant induction of PR-1 and PR-2 genes. Meanwhile, injection of either potassium phosphate or oxalic acid resulted in significant induction of PR-2 or PR-15 gene expression, respectively. These results suggested that HLB diseased trees remained inducible for systemic acquired resistance (SAR) under field conditions. In summary, this study presents information regarding controlling HLB via trunk injection of plant defense activators and antibiotics, which helps citrus growers in decision-making regarding developing an effective HLB management program.
    The Susceptibilities of Respiratory Syncytial Virus to Nucleolin Receptor Blocking and Antibody Neutralization Are Dependent upon the Method of Virus Purification - viruses-09-00207-v2.pdf
    Leanne M. Bilawchuk, viruses - 2017
    Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) that is propagated in cell culture is purified from cellular contaminants that can confound experimental results. A number of different purification methods have been described, including methods that utilize fast protein liquid chromatography (FPLC) and gradient ultracentrifugation. Thus, the constituents and experimental responses of RSV stocks purified by ultracentrifugation in sucrose and by FPLC were analyzed and compared by infectivity assay, Coomassie stain, Western blot, mass spectrometry, immuno-transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and ImageStream flow cytometry. The FPLC-purified RSV had more albumin contamination, but there was less evidence of host-derived exosomes when compared to ultracentrifugation-purified RSV as detected by Western blot and mass spectrometry for the exosome markers superoxide dismutase [Cu-Zn] (SOD1) and the tetraspanin CD63. Although the purified virus stocks were equally susceptible to nucleolin-receptor blocking by the DNA aptamer AS1411, the FPLC-purified RSV was significantly less susceptible to anti-RSV polyclonal antibody neutralization; there was 69% inhibition ( p=0.02) of the sucrose ultracentrifugation-purified RSV, 38% inhibition (p=0.03) of the unpurified RSV, but statistically ineffective neutralization in the FPLC-purified RSV (22% inhibition;p=0.30). The amount of RSV neutralization of the purified RSV stocks was correlated with anti-RSV antibody occupancy on RSV particles observed by immuno-TEM. RSV purified by different methods alters the stock composition and morphological characteristics of virions that can lead to different experimental responses.
    Development of duplex dual-gene and DIVA real-time RT-PCR assays and use of feathers as a non-invasive sampling method
    Irit Davidson, Avian Pathology - 2016
    The avian flavivirus Turkey Meningoencephalitis Virus (TMEV) causes a neuroparalytic disease of commercial turkeys, expressed in paresis, incoordination, dropping wings and mortality that is controlled by vaccination. The molecular diagnosis using brain tissue RNA was now upgraded by the development of a diagnostic dual-gene multiplex real-time PCR targeting the env and the NS5 genes, increasing the sensitivity by 10-100 fold compared to the previously existing assays. Based on the recent complete sequences of 5 TMEV isolates we now developed a Differentiating Infected from Vaccinated Animals (DIVA) assay, to distinguish between wild-type TMEV strains and the vaccine virus. The DIVA was evaluated on commercial vaccines produced by two manufacturers, on RNA purified from brains of experimentally infected turkeys with TMEV strains, and on clinical samples collected between the years 2009-2015. We also investigated turkey feather pulps for their suitability to serve for TMEV detection, to avoid invasive sampling and bird killing. The parallel TMEV diagnosis in brain and feather-pulp RNA were similarly useful for diagnosis, at least, in experimentally-infected turkeys and in 3 cases of disease encountered in commercial flocks.
    Regulation of Cytochrome P450 2B10 (CYP2B10) Expression in Liver by Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor-β/δ Modulation of SP1 Promoter Occupancy
    Takayuki Koga, Journal of Biological Chemistry - 2016
    Alcoholic liver disease is a pathological condition caused by over-consumption of alcohol. Due to the high morbidity and mortality associated with this disease, there remains a need to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying its etiology and to develop new treatments. Since peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-β/δ (PPARβ/δ) modulates ethanol-induced hepatic effects, the present study examined alterations in gene expression that may contribute to this disease. Chronic ethanol treatment causes increased hepatic CYP2B10 expression in Pparβ/δ+/+ mice, but not in Pparβ/δ-/- mice. Nuclear and cytosolic localization of the constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), a transcription factor known to regulate Cyp2b10 expression, was not different between genotypes. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ co-activator 1α (PGC1α), a co-activator of both CAR and PPARβ/δ, was up-regulated in Pparβ/δ+/+ liver following ethanol exposure, but not in Pparβ/δ-/- liver. Functional mapping of the Cyp2b10 promoter and ChIP assays revealed that PPARβ/δ-dependent modulation of SP1 promoter occupancy up-regulated Cyp2b10 expression in response to ethanol. These results suggest that PPARβ/δ regulates Cyp2b10 expression indirectly by modulating SP1 and PGC1α expression and/or activity independent of CAR activity. Ligand activation of PPARβ/δ attenuates ethanol-induced Cyp2b10 expression in Pparβ/δ+/+ liver, but not in Pparβ/δ-/- liver. Strikingly, Cyp2b10 suppression by ligand activation of PPARβ/δ following ethanol treatment occurred in hepatocytes and was mediated by paracrine signaling from Kupffer cells. Combined, results from the present study demonstrate a novel regulatory role of PPARβ/δ in modulating CYP2B10 that may contribute to the etiology of alcoholic liver disease.
    Targeting NF-κB RelA/p65 phosphorylation overcomes RITA resistance
    Yiwen Bu, Cancer Letters - 2016
    Inactivation of p53 occurs frequently in various cancers. RITA is a promising anticancer small molecule that dissociates p53-MDM2 interaction, reactivates p53 and induces exclusive apoptosis in cancer cells, but acquired RITA resistance remains a major drawback. This study found that the site-differential phosphorylation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) RelA/p65 creates a barcode for RITA chemosensitivity in cancer cells. In naïve MCF7 and HCT116 cells where RITA triggered vast apoptosis, phosphorylation of RelA/p65 increased at Ser536, but decreased at Ser276 and Ser468; oppositely, in RITA-resistant cells, RelA/p65 phosphorylation decreased at Ser536, but increased at Ser276 and Ser468. A phosphomimetic mutation at Ser536 (p65/S536D) or silencing of endogenous RelA/p65 resensitized the RITA-resistant cells to RITA while the phosphomimetic mutant at Ser276 (p65/S276D) led to RITA resistance of naïve cells. In mouse xenografts, intratumoral delivery of the phosphomimetic p65/S536D mutant increased the antitumor activity of RITA. Furthermore, in the RITA-resistant cells ATP-binding cassette transporter ABCC6 was upregulated, and silencing of ABCC6 expression in these cells restored RITA sensitivity. In the naïve cells, ABCC6 delivery led to RITA resistance and blockage of p65/S536D mutant-induced RITA sensitivity. Taken together, these data suggest that the site-differential phosphorylation of RelA/p65 modulates RITA sensitivity in cancer cells, which may provide an avenue to manipulate RITA resistance.
    Low β 2 -adrenergic receptor level may promote development of castration resistant prostate cancer and altered steroid metabolism
    Peder Rustøen Braadland, Oncotarget - 2015
    he underlying mechanisms responsible for the development of castration- resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) in patients who have undergone androgen deprivation therapy are not fully understood. This is the first study to address whether β2-adrenergic receptor (ADRB2)- mediated signaling may affect CRPC progression in vivo. By immunohistochemical analyses, we observed that low levels of ADRB2 is associated with a more rapid development of CRPC in a Norwegian patient cohort. To elucidate mechanisms by which ADRB2 may affect CRPC development, we stably transfected LNCaP cells with shRNAs to mimic low and high expression of ADRB2. Two UDP-glucuronosyltransferases, UGT2B15 and UGT2B17, involved in phase II metabolism of androgens, were strongly downregulated in two LNCaP shADRB2 cell lines. The low-ADRB2 LNCaP cell lines displayed lowered glucuronidation activities towards androgens than high-ADRB2 cells. Furthermore, increased levels of testosterone and enhanced androgen responsiveness were observed in LNCaP cells expressing low level of ADRB2. Interestingly, these cells grew faster than high- ADRB2 LNCaP cells, and sustained their low glucuronidation activity in castrated NOD/Oncotarget2 www.impactjournals.com/oncotarget INTRODUCTIONAndrogen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the first line of treatment for patients with advanced or metastatic prostate cancer [1]. ADT is initially effective in controlling tumor growth and symptoms, but most tumors eventually develop resistance to ADT and become castration resistant prostate cancers (CRPC). Over the last years, it has become evident that the androgen signaling axis plays a pivotal role in the development of CRPC [2]. The multiple molecular mechanisms by which the androgen receptor (AR) contributes to disease progression despite castration levels of androgens in prostate cancer have been thoroughly reviewed [3-6]. Several new targets in the AR activation pathway have emerged in recent years [7, 8]. The steroidogenic pathway has received increasing attention, as drugs targeting this pathway, such as abiraterone (an inhibitor of cytochrome P450, family 17, subfamily A,polypeptide 1 (CYP17)) improve the life expectancy of patients with CRPC, despite the assumed androgen-independence of these cancer cases [8]. No curative options for CRPC are, however, available today. Increased knowledge of the mechanisms by which the cancer cells progress to CRPC is hence needed. Recently, targeting the androgen extrahepatic phase-II metabolic pathways has arisen as a potential tool to help maintain androgen-deprived conditions during ADT [9]. The UDP-glucuronosyltransferases 2B15 (UGT2B15) and 2B17 (UGT2B17) are of special interest, as they are expressed in prostate tissue and cell lines, and they exhibit specificity for androgen metabolites [10].The β2-adrenergic receptor (ADRB2) and its downstream effectors cyclic AMP (cAMP) and cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) have been implicated in prostate cancer progression and AR signaling [11]. In particular, sympathetic stimulation of ADRB2 has been shown to potentially sensitize AR in cell lines under androgen depleted conditions [12], suggesting that ADRB2 might play a role in the development of CRPC. Furthermore, a number of target genes are common for the androgen and the PKA signaling cascades [13], and in steroidogenic cells both cAMP and PKA have been shown to regulate transcription of steroidogenic genes such as CYP17 and STAR [14-16], as well as to modulate their activity at the protein level [17].While most pre-clinical evidence points towards a tumor promoting role of β-adrenergic signaling [18, 19], a previous study by Yu et al. reported an inverse correlation between ADRB2 expression levels and prostate cancer progression [20]. Low levels of ADRB2 in prostate cancer tissue were found to correlate with biochemical recurrence measured as increasing prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, or metastatic disease after radical prostatectomy. Conversely, our group has recently reported an association between the use of β-blockers (ADRB antagonists) and improved prostate cancer specific survival both for patients who have undergone ADT [21] and for patients with high risk or metastatic disease [22].Our knowledge about the potential role of the ADRB2 in prostate cancer and CRPC development is still limited. Therefore, in this study, we have addressed this topic by performing immunohistochemical analyses and investigated the potential role of ADRB2 in development of CRPC in ADRB2 knockdown cell lines. RESULTS Low ADRB2 expression level in tumor tissue is associated with poor prognosis after androgen deprivation therapyTissue from 45 prostate cancer patients who had received hormonal therapy and had been treated with transurethral resection of the prostate (TUR-P) at Oslo University Hospital, Aker (the Oslo ADT cohort) were included in a tissue micro-array study. Five patients were excluded due to lack of cancerous tissue following staining with anti-ADRB2 antibody. The mean follow-up from initiation of ADT for the 40 patients included in the survival analyses was 71 months. For prostate cancer- specific mortality the mean follow-up was 70 months, as we lacked information on the cause of death for four patients. Patient and tumor characteristics at time of diagnosis are shown in Supplementary Table 2. Examples of negative and strong ADRB2 staining of two specimens with Gleason score 9 are shown in Figure 1a and 1b. Kaplan-Meier plots showing time to CRPC development and prostate cancer- specific mortality in patients stratified according to staining intensity above and below mean are shown in Figure 1c and 1d. Competing risk regression modelling showed that increasing staining intensity was associated with increased time to CRPC development, with an adjusted SHR of 0.67 (95% CI 0.46-0.97, p-value 0.035; adjusted for age at initiation of ADT and Gleason score) (Table 1). For prostate cancer- specific mortality, the association was not statistically significant (adjusted SCID mice. ADRB2 immunohistochemical staining intensity correlated with UGT2B15 staining intensity in independent TMA studies and with UGT2B17 in one TMA study. Similar to ADRB2, we show that low levels of UGT2B15 are associated with a more rapid CRPC progression. We propose a novel mechanism by which ADRB2 may affect the development of CRPC through downregulation of UGT2B15 and UGT2B17.
    Toxic Accumulation of LPS Pathway Intermediates Underlies the Requirement of LpxH for Growth of Acinetobacter baumannii ATCC 19606
    Daryl L. Richie, PLOS ONE - 2016
    The lipid A moiety of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is the main constituent of the outer leaflet of the Gram-negative bacterial outer membrane (OM) and is essential in many Gram-negative pathogens. An exception is Acinetobacter baumannii ATCC 19606, where mutants lacking enzymes occurring early in lipid A biosynthesis (LpxA, LpxC or LpxD), and correspondingly lacking LPS, can grow. In contrast, we show here that LpxH, an enzyme that occurs downstream of LpxD in the lipid A biosynthetic pathway, is essential for growth in this strain. Multiple attempts to disrupt lpxH on the genome were unsuccessful, and when LpxH expression was controlled by an isopropyl β- d -1-thiogalactopyranoside (IPTG) inducible promoter, cell growth under typical laboratory conditions required IPTG induction. Mass spectrometry analysis of cells shifted from LpxH-induced to uninduced (and whose growth was correspondingly slowing as LpxH was depleted) showed a large cellular accumulation of UDP-2,3-diacyl-GlcN (substrate of LpxH), a C14:0(3-OH) acyl variant of the LpxD substrate (UDP-3- O -[( R )-3-OH-C 14 ]-GlcN), and disaccharide 1-monophosphate (DSMP). Furthermore, the viable cell counts of the LpxH depleted cultures dropped modestly, and electron microscopy revealed clear defects at the cell (inner) membrane, suggesting lipid A intermediate accumulation was toxic. Consistent with this, blocking the synthesis of these intermediates by inhibition of the upstream LpxC enzyme using CHIR-090 abrogated the requirement for IPTG induction of LpxH. Taken together, these data indicate that LpxH is essential for growth in A . baumannii ATCC19606, because, unlike earlier pathway steps like LpxA or LpxC, blockage of LpxH causes accumulation of detergent-like pathway intermediates that prevents cell growth.
    Impaired function of trophoblast cells derived from translocated hESCs may explain pregnancy loss in women with balanced translocation (11;22)
    Alina Shpiz, Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics - 2016
    PurposeThe aim of the study was to study whether the trophoblasts carrying unbalanced translocation 11,22 [t(11;12)] display abnormal expression of trophoblastic genes and impaired functional properties that may explain implantation failure.Methodst(11;22) hESCs and control hESCs were differentiated in vitro into trophoblast cells in the presence of BMP4, and trophoblast vesicles (TBVs) were created in suspension. The expression pattern of extravillous trophoblast (EVT) genes was compared between translocated and control TBVs. The functional properties of the TBVs were evaluated by their attachment to endometrium cells (ECC1) and invasion through trans-well inserts.ResultsTBVs derived from control hESCs expressed EVT genes from functioning trophoblast cells. In contrast, TBVs differentiated from the translocated hESC line displayed impaired expression of EVT genes. Moreover, the number of TBVs that were attached to endometrium cells was significantly lower compared to the controls. Correspondingly, invasiveness of trophoblast-differentiated translocated cells was also significantly lower than that of the control cells.ConclusionsThese results may explain the reason for implantation failure in couple carriers of t(11;22). They also demonstrate that translocated hESCs comprise a valuable in vitro human model for studying the mechanisms underlying implantation failure.
    Prevalence of influenza A virus in live-captured North Atlantic gray seals: a possible wild reservoir
    Wendy Blay Puryear, Emerging Microbes & Infections - 2016
    Influenza A virus (IAV) has been associated with multiple unusual mortality events (UMEs) in North Atlantic pinnipeds, frequently attributed to spillover of virus from wild-bird reservoirs. To determine if endemic infection persists outside of UMEs, we undertook a multiyear investigation of IAV in healthy, live-captured Northwest Atlantic gray seals (Halichoerus grypus). From 2013 to 2015, we sampled 345 pups and 57 adults from Cape Cod, MA, USA and Nova Scotia, Canada consistently detecting IAV infection across all groups. There was an overall viral prevalence of 9.0% (95% confidence interval (CI): 6.4%–12.5%) in weaned pups and 5.3% (CI: 1.2%–14.6%) in adults, with seroprevalences of 19.3% (CI: 15.0%–24.5%) and 50% (CI: 33.7%–66.4%), respectively. Positive sera showed a broad reactivity to diverse influenza subtypes. IAV status did not correlate with measures of animal health nor impact animal movement or foraging. This study demonstrated that Northwest Atlantic gray seals are both permissive to and tolerant of diverse IAV, possibly representing an endemically infected wild reservoir population.
    Replication of human norovirus RNA in mammalian cells reveals a lack of interferon response
    Lin Qu, Journal of Virology - 2016
    Human noroviruses (HuNoVs), named after the prototype strain Norwalk virus (NV), are a leading cause of acute gastroenteritis outbreaks worldwide. Studies on the related murine norovirus (MNV) have demonstrated the importance of an interferon (IFN) response in host control of virus replication, but this remains unclear for HuNoVs. Despite the lack of an efficient cell culture infection system, transfection of stool-isolated NV RNA into mammalian cells leads to viral RNA replication and virus production. Using this system, we show here that NV RNA replication is sensitive to type I (α/β) and III (IL-29) IFN treatment. However, in cells capable of robust IFN response to Sendai virus (SeV) and poly(I:C), NV RNA replicates efficiently and generates double-stranded RNA without inducing a detectable IFN response. Replication of HuNoV genogroup GII.3 strain U201 RNA, generated from a reverse genetics system, also does not induce an IFN response. Consistent with a lack of IFN induction, NV RNA replication is neither enhanced by neutralization of type I/III IFNs through neutralizing antibodies or the soluble IFN decoy receptor B18R, nor by shRNA knockdown of MAVS or IRF3 in the IFN induction pathways. In contrast to other positive-strand RNA viruses that block IFN induction by targeting MAVS for degradation, MAVS is not degraded in NV RNA-replicating cells and a SeV-induced IFN response is not blocked. Together, these results indicate that HuNoV RNA replication in mammalian cells does not induce IFN response, suggesting that the IFN response may play a limited role in host restriction of HuNoV replication. IMPORTANCE Human noroviruses (HuNoVs) are a leading cause of epidemic gastroenteritis worldwide. Due to lack of an efficient cell culture system and robust small animal model, little is known about the innate host defense to these viruses. Studies on murine norovirus (MNV) have shown the importance of an interferon (IFN) response in host control of MNV replication, but this remains unclear for HuNoVs. Here we investigated the IFN response to HuNoV RNA replication in mammalian cells using Norwalk virus stool RNA transfection, a reverse genetics system, IFN neutralization reagents, and shRNA knockdown methods. Our results show that HuNoV RNA replication in mammalian cells does not induce an IFN response, nor can it be enhanced by blocking the IFN response. These results suggest a limited role of the IFN response in host control of HuNoV RNA replication, providing important insights into our understanding of host defense to HuNoVs that differs from MNV.
    RALFL34 regulates formative cell divisions in Arabidopsis pericycle during lateral root initiation
    Evan Murphy, Journal of Experimental Botany - 2016
    In plants, many signalling molecules, such as phytohormones, miRNAs, transcription factors, and small signalling peptides, drive growth and development. However, very few small signalling peptides have been shown to be necessary for lateral root development. Here, we describe the role of the peptide RALFL34 during early events in lateral root development, and demonstrate its specific importance in orchestrating formative cell divisions in the pericycle. Our results further suggest that this small signalling peptide acts on the transcriptional cascade leading to a new lateral root upstream of GATA23, an important player in lateral root formation. In addition, we describe a role for ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTORs (ERFs) in regulating RALFL34 expression. Taken together, we put forward RALFL34 as a new, important player in lateral root initiation.
    Engagement of distinct epitopes on CD43 induces different co-stimulatory pathways in human T cells
    Madhura Modak, Immunology - 2016
    Co-receptors, being either co-stimulatory or co-inhibitory, play a pivotal role in T-cell immunity. Several studies have indicated that CD43, one of the abundant T-cell surface glycoproteins, acts not only as a potent co-receptor but also as a negative regulator for T-cell activation. Here we demonstrate that co-stimulation of human peripheral blood (PB) T cells through two distinct CD43 epitopes recognized by monoclonal antibodies (mAb) CD43-6E5 (T6E5-act) and CD43-10G7 (T10G7-act) potently induced T-cell proliferation. However, T-cell co-stimulation through two CD43 epitopes differentially regulated activation of nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) transcription factors, T-cell cytokine production and effector function. T6E5-act produced high levels of interleukin-22 (IL-22) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) similar to T cells activated via CD28 (TCD28-act), whereas T10G7-act produced low levels of inflammatory cytokines but higher levels of regulatory cytokines transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and interleukin-35 (IL-35). Compared with T6E5-act or to TCD28-act, T10G7-act performed poorly in response to re-stimulation and further acquired a T-cell suppressive function. T10G7-act did not directly inhibit proliferation of responder T cells, but formed stable heterotypic clusters with dendritic cells (DC) via CD2 to constrain activation of responder T cells. Together, our data demonstrate that CD43 is a unique and polarizing regulator of T-cell function.
    Stationary-Phase Mutagenesis in Stressed Bacillus subtilis Cells Operates by Mfd-Dependent Mutagenic Pathways
    Martha Gómez-Marroquín, MDPI - 2016
    In replication-limited cells of Bacillus subtilis, Mfd is mutagenic at highly transcribed regions, even in the absence of bulky DNA lesions. However, the mechanism leading to increased mutagenesis through Mfd remains currently unknown. Here, we report that Mfd may promote mutagenesis in nutritionally stressed B. subtilis cells by coordinating error-prone repair events mediated by UvrA, MutY and PolI. Using a point-mutated gene conferring leucine auxotrophy as a genetic marker, it was found that the absence of UvrA reduced the Leu+ revertants and that a second mutation in mfd reduced mutagenesis further. Moreover, the mfd and polA mutants presented low but similar reversion frequencies compared to the parental strain. These results suggest that Mfd promotes mutagenic events that required the participation of NER pathway and PolI. Remarkably, this Mfd-dependent mutagenic pathway was found to be epistatic onto MutY; however, whereas the MutY-dependent Leu+ reversions required Mfd, a direct interaction between these proteins was not apparent. In summary, our results support the concept that Mfd promotes mutagenesis in starved B. subtilis cells by coordinating both known and previously unknown Mfd-associated repair pathways. These mutagenic processes bias the production of genetic diversity towards highly transcribed regions in the genome. Keywords:
    Regulation of fibronectin gene expression in cardiac fibroblasts by scleraxis
    Rushita A. Bagchi, Cell and Tissue Research - 2016
    The glycoprotein fibronectin is a key component of the extracellular matrix. By interacting with numerous matrix and cell surface proteins, fibronectin plays important roles in cell adhesion, migration and intracellular signaling. Up-regulation of fibronectin occurs in tissue fibrosis, and previous studies have identified the pro-fibrotic factor TGFβ as an inducer of fibronectin expression, although the mechanism responsible remains unknown. We have previously shown that a key downstream effector of TGFβ signaling in cardiac fibroblasts is the transcription factor scleraxis, which in turn regulates the expression of a wide variety of extracellular matrix genes. We noted that fibronectin expression tracked closely with scleraxis expression, but it was unclear whether scleraxis directly regulated the fibronectin gene. Here, we report that scleraxis acts via two E-box binding sites in the proximal human fibronectin promoter to govern fibronectin expression, with the second E-box being both sufficient and necessary for scleraxis-mediated fibronectin expression to occur. A combination of electrophoretic mobility shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays indicated that scleraxis interacted to a greater degree with the second E-box. Over-expression or knockdown of scleraxis resulted in increased or decreased fibronectin expression, respectively, and scleraxis null mice presented with dramatically decreased immunolabeling for fibronectin in cardiac tissue sections compared to wild-type controls. Furthermore, scleraxis was required for TGFβ-induced fibronectin expression: TGFβ lost its ability to induce fibronectin expression following scleraxis knockdown. Together, these results demonstrate a novel and required role for scleraxis in the regulation of cardiac fibroblast fibronectin gene expression basally or in response to TGFβ.
    The impact of the long-distance transport of a BEL1-Like Messenger RNA on Development
    Tian Lin, Original Research - 2016
    BEL1- and KNOTTED1-type proteins are transcription factors from the three-amino-loop-extension superclass that interact in atandem complex to regulate the expression of target genes. In potato (Solanum tuberosum), StBEL5 and its Knox protein partner regulate tuberization by targeting genes that control growth. RNA movement assays demonstrated that StBEL5 transcripts move through the phloem to stolon tips, the site of tuber induction.StBEL5 messenger RNA originates in the leaf, and its movement to stolons is induced by a short-day photoperiod. Here, we report the movement of StBEL5 RNA to roots correlated with increased growth, changes in morphology, and accumulation of GA2-oxidase1,YUCCA1a, and ISOPENTENYL TRANSFERASE transcripts. Transcription of tBEL5 n leaves is induced by light but insensitive to photoperiod, whereas in stolon tips growing in the dark, romoter activity is enhanced by short days. The heterodimer of StBEL5 and POTH1, a KNOTTED1-type transcription factor,binds to a tandem TTGAC-TTGAC motif that is essential for regulating transcription. The discovery of an inverted tandem motifin the tBEL5 romoter with TTGAC motifs on opposite strands may explain the induction of tBEL5 romoter activity in stolon ips under short days. Using transgenic potato lines, deletion of one of the TTGAC motifs from the tBEL5 romoter results in he reduction of GUS activity in new tubers and roots. Gel-shift assays demonstrate BEL5/POTH1 binding specificity to the otifs present in the tBEL5 promoter and a double tandem motif present in the StGA2-oxidase1 promoter. These results suggest that, in addition to tuberization, the movement of StBEL5 messenger RNA regulates other aspects of vegetative development.
    The liver-specific microRNA-122*, the complementary strand of microRNA-122, acts as a tumor suppressor by modulating the p53/mouse double minute 2 homolog circuitry
    Alina Simerzin, Hepatology - 2016
    The tumor suppressor p53 is a central regulator of signaling pathways that controls the cell cycle and maintains the integrity of the human genome. p53 level is regulated by mouse double minute 2 homolog (Mdm2), which marks p53 for proteasomal degradation. The p53-Mdm2 circuitry is subjected to complex regulation by a variety of mechanisms, including microRNAs (miRNAs). We found a novel effector of this regulatory circuit, namely, miR-122*, the passenger strand of the abundantly expressed liver-specific miR-122. Here, we demonstrate that miR-122* levels are reduced in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We found that miR-122* targets Mdm2, thus participating as an important player in the p53-Mdm2 circuitry. Moreover, we observed significant negative correlation between levels of miR-122* and Mdm2 in a large set of human HCC samples. In vivo tumorigenicity assays demonstrate that miR-122* is capable of inhibiting tumor growth, emphasizing the tumor-suppressor characteristics of this miRNA. Furthermore, we show that blocking miR-122 in murine livers with an antagomiR-122 (miRNA inhibitor) results in miR-122* accumulation, leading to Mdm2 repression followed by elevated p53 protein levels. Conclusion: We show that miR-122*, the passenger strand of miR-122, regulates the activity of p53 by targeting Mdm2. Importantly, similarly to miR-122, miR-122* is significantly down-regulated in human HCC. We therefore propose that miR-122* is an important contributor to the tumor suppression activity previously attributed solely to miR-122. (Hepatology 2016)
    High Prevalence of Highly Variable Atypical Porcine Pestiviruses Found in Germany
    M. Beer, Transboundary and Emerging Diseases - 2016
    Recently, a novel atypical porcine pestivirus (APPV) with significant distribution was described in the USA. Subsequent screening of the German pig sector showed a high prevalence of APPV with high variability among strains. First indication of a cell culture isolate is provided which will allow further investigations like pathogenesis studies.
    Heterogeneous Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein L is required for the survival and functional integrity of murine hematopoietic stem cells : Scientific Reports
    Marie-Claude Gaudreau, Scientific Reports - 2016
    The proliferation and survival of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) has to be strictly coordinated to ensure the timely production of all blood cells. Here we report that the splice factor and RNA binding protein hnRNP L (heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein L) is required for hematopoiesis, since its genetic ablation in mice reduces almost all blood cell lineages and causes premature death of the animals. In agreement with this, we observed that hnRNP L deficient HSCs lack both the ability to self-renew and foster hematopoietic differentiation in transplanted hosts. They also display mitochondrial dysfunction, elevated levels of γH2AX, are Annexin V positive and incorporate propidium iodide indicating that they undergo cell death. Lin-c-Kit+ fetal liver cells from hnRNP L deficient mice show high p53 protein levels and up-regulation of p53 target genes. In addition, cells lacking hnRNP L up-regulated the expression of the death receptors TrailR2 and CD95/Fas and show Caspase-3, Caspase-8 and Parp cleavage. Treatment with the pan-caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-fmk, but not the deletion of p53, restored cell survival in hnRNP L deficient cells. Our data suggest that hnRNP L is critical for the survival and functional integrity of HSCs by restricting the activation of caspase-dependent death receptor pathways.
    Reliable quantification of rhinovirus species C using real-time PCR
    Chisha T. Sikazwe, Research Gate - 2016
    Background: Rhinovirus C (RV-C) is an important respiratory pathogen of children, but little is known about its contribution to disease severity, though viral load appears to be important. Difficulty in RV-C cultivation and target sequence variation has precluded the development of a PCR based quantification method. Objective: The aim of this study was to develop and validate reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) assays for a broad range of circulating RV-C genotypes in nasopharyngeal aspirates (NPAs). Study design: Four assays were designed to quantify a 296bp region located within the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of RV-C types. These assays were based on in silico analysis of available RV-C sequences. Probes were designed to provide 100% homology to the corresponding RV-C genotypes. Results: The linear dynamic range of each of the four assays spanned eight orders of magnitude (10(4)-10(11) copies/mL). The limit of detection for assays 1-4 was estimated to be 1147 copies/mL, 765 copies/mL, 1138 copies/mL and 1470 copies/mL respectively. Each assay demonstrated a strong linear relationship (r(2)=>0.995) and amplification efficiency greater than 95%. Repeatability and reproducibility of the method were shown to be high, with coefficients of variations lower than 8% and 15% respectively. Discover the world's research
    Sujan Shresta, United States Patent - 2016
    Dengue virus (DV) peptides, including T cell epitopes, structural and non-structural (NS) polypeptide sequences, subsequences and modifications thereof, nucleotide sequences encoding such peptides, and compositions including such peptides and encoding nucleotide sequences, and cells expressing such peptides, are provided. Such DV peptides, nucleotide sequences and compositions, can be used to elicit, stimulate, induce, promote, increase, enhance or activate an anti-DV CD8+ T cell response or an anti-DV CD4+ T cell response. Such peptides, nucleotide sequences and compositions can also be used for and in methods of vaccination/immunization of a subject against Dengue virus (DV) (e.g., to provide protection against DV infection and/or pathology), and for treatment of a subject in need thereof, for example, treatment of the subject for a Dengue virus (DV) infection or pathology.
    Overwintering of Rabies Virus in Silver Haired Bats ( Lasionycteris noctivagans )
    April Davis, PLOS ONE - 2016
    Silver-haired bats, ( Lasionycteris noctivagans ) are semi-colonial, migratory tree bats that have infrequent contact with humans. Despite the species rarity, the L . noctivagans rabies variant is the most commonly reported rabies virus variant (RABV) in domestically acquired human rabies cases in the US. Unlike big brown bats ( Eptesicus fuscus ) and little brown bats ( Myotis lucifugus ), L . noctivagans are not considered true hibernators. It is unknown if RABV can overwinter in hibernating L . noctivagans or is only maintained in members of this taxa that migrate to warmer climates. To better understand RABV overwintering in this species, L . noctivagans were inoculated intramuscularly with either a homologous RABV ( L . noctivagans Virus 1) or one of two heterologous RABV ( Eptesicus fuscus Virus 2 and Myotis lucifugus Virus 1). Five days following inoculation, L . noctivagans were placed in a hibernation chamber for 6 weeks. Our results demonstrate that rabies virus can overwinter in L . noctivagans yet the incubation period was extended 6 weeks when compared to bats maintained at ambient temperatures. Additionally, we found that the longer the incubation period, the greater the viral dissemination to the salivary glands. Similar to our previous studies, L . noctivagans were most susceptible to a homologous variant. In summary, we found that RABV incubation is extended following a subcutaneous exposure or maintenance in hibernation and longer incubation times increase dissemination and potential for transmission.
    Reliable quantification of rhinovirus species C using real-time PCR
    Chisha T. Sikazwe, Journal of Virological Methods - 2016
    Background Rhinovirus C (RV-C) is an important respiratory pathogen of children, but little is known about its contribution to disease severity, though viral load appears to be important. Difficulty in RV-C cultivation and target sequence variation has precluded the development of a PCR based quantification method. Objective The aim of this study was to develop and validate reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) assays for a broad range of circulating RV-C genotypes in nasopharyngeal aspirates (NPAs). Study design Four assays were designed to quantify a 296 bp region located within the 5′ untranslated region (UTR) of RV-C types. These assays were based on in silico analysis of available RV-C sequences. Probes were designed to provide 100% homology to the corresponding RV-C genotypes. Results The linear dynamic range of each of the four assays spanned eight orders of magnitude (104–1011 copies/mL). The limit of detection for assays 1–4 was estimated to be 1147 copies/mL, 765 copies/mL, 1138 copies/mL and 1470 copies/mL respectively. Each assay demonstrated a strong linear relationship (r2 = >0.995) and amplification efficiency greater than 95%. Repeatability and reproducibility of the method were shown to be high, with coefficients of variations lower than 8% and 15% respectively.
    Bosentan reverses the hypoxia-induced downregulation of the bone morphogenetic protein signaling in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells
    Hidekazu Maruyama, Life Sciences - 2016
    Aims Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a common complication of chronic hypoxic lung diseases. Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and endothelin-1 signaling pathways have been shown to be altered in hypoxic PH and to play crucial roles in the associated pulmonary artery remodeling. We, therefore, aimed to study the potential link between hypoxia and the alteration of BMP and endothelin-1 signaling observed in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PA-SMCs) in hypoxic PH. Materials and Methods Human PA-SMCs were treated with hypoxia-mimetic agent cobalt chloride (CoCl2; 100 μM), with or without pretreatment with a dual endothelin receptor antagonist bosentan (10 μM). Expressions of preproendothelin-1 (PPET1), BMP type 2 receptor (BMPR-2), and one BMP signaling target gene, the inhibitor of DNA binding 1 (ID1) were evaluated by real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. BMP2-treated PA-SMCs were assessed for Smad1/5/8 signaling activation by Western Blotting. Key findings Treatment of PA-SMCs with CoCl2 increased PPET1 gene expression, while it did not alter expressions of endothelin converting enzyme, endothelin receptor type A or type B. Hypoxia-mimetic agent CoCl2 decreased the expressions of BMPR-2 and ID1 maximally after 3- and 6-hour treatment respectively, while CoCl2 treatment progressively increased noggin expression. Bosentan pretreatment restored expressions of BMPR-2 and ID1, as well as the activation (by phosphorylation) of Smad1/5/8 signaling induced by BMP2. Significance Hypoxia induces the downregulation of the BMP signaling in PA-SMCs, at least, partly through the endothelin system. In hypoxic PH, increased endothelin-1 production might therefore contribute to the altered BMP signaling and subsequent PA-SMC hyperplasia.
    Soluble Fn14 Is Detected and Elevated in Mouse and Human Kidney Disease
    M. Nusrat Sharif, PLOS ONE - 2016
    The cytokine TWEAK and its cognate receptor Fn14 are members of the TNF/TNFR superfamily and are upregulated in tissue injury to mediate local tissue responses including inflammation and tissue remodeling. We found that in various models of kidney disease, Fn14 expression (mRNA and protein) is upregulated in the kidney. These models include: lupus nephritis mouse models (Nephrotoxic serum Transfer Nephritis and MRL.Fas lpr/lpr ), acute kidney injury models (Ischemia reperfusion injury and Folic acid injury), and a ZSF-1 diabetic nephropathy rat model. Fn14 expression levels correlate with disease severity as measured by disease histology. We have also shown for the first time the detection of soluble Fn14 (sFn14) in the urine and serum of mice. Importantly, we found the sFn14 levels are markedly increased in the diseased mice and are correlated with disease biomarkers including proteinuria and MCP-1. We have also detected sFn14 in human plasma and urine. Moreover, sFn14 levels, in urine are significantly increased in DN patients and correlated with proteinuria and MCP-1 levels. Thus our data not only confirm the up-regulation of Fn14/TWEAK pathway in kidney diseases, but also suggest a novel mechanism for its regulation by the generation of sFn14. The correlation of sFn14 levels and disease severity suggest that sFn14 may serve as a potential biomarker for both acute and chronic kidney diseases.
    Molecular evolution of H9N2 avian influenza viruses in Israel
    Irit Davidson, International Journal of Vaccine Research - 2016
    Avian influenza viruses, H9N2 subtype, are endemic in Asia and the Middle East. The Israeli H9N2 (G1 lineage) consists of five phylogenetic clades that were detected in the country since the year 2000. The influence of the inter-clade genetic differences on vaccine efficacy was evaluated by vaccination-challenge trials in specific pathogen free (SPF) chickens. Experimental vaccines utilizing isolates belonging to Israeli H9 clades IV and V were prepared with Montanide ISA 70VG adjuvant. When challenged with H9 AIV strains from different genetic clades and antigenic groups provided similar protection, indicating the existence of cross-genetic clade protection (i.e. reduction in amount of virus shed and number of chickens shedding virus). Notably, the protection conferred by both experimental vaccines was highly dependent on the infection dose of the challenge virus
    Cotargeting MNK and MEK kinases induces the regression of NF1-mutant cancers
    rebecca Lock, Journal of Clinical Investigation - 2016
    Neurofibromin 1–mutant (NF1-mutant) cancers are driven by excessive Ras signaling; however, there are currently no effective therapies for these or other Ras-dependent tumors. While combined MEK and mTORC1 suppression causes regression of NF1-deficient malignancies in animal models, the potential toxicity of cotargeting these 2 major signaling pathways in humans may necessitate the identification of more refined, cancer-specific signaling nodes. Here, we have provided evidence that MAPK-interacting kinases (MNKs), which converge on the mTORC1 effector eIF4E, are therapeutic targets in NF1-deficient malignancies. Specifically, we evaluated primary human NF1-deficient peripheral nervous system tumors and found that MNKs are activated in the majority of tumors tested. Genetic and chemical suppression of MNKs in NF1-deficient murine tumor models and human cell lines potently cooperated with MEK inhibitors to kill these cancers through effects on eIF4E. We also demonstrated that MNK kinases are important and direct targets of cabozantinib. Accordingly, coadministration of cabozantinib and MEK inhibitors triggered dramatic regression in an aggressive genetically engineered tumor model. The cytotoxicity of this combination required the suppression of MNK-induced eIF4E phosphorylation and was not recapitulated by suppressing other cabozantinib targets. Collectively, these studies demonstrate that combined MNK and MEK suppression represents a promising therapeutic strategy for these incurable Ras-driven tumors and highlight the utility of developing selective MNK inhibitors for these and possibly other malignancies.
    3-3-Di-Substituted-Oxindoles as Inhibitors of Translation Initiation
    Halperin, José A, US Patent - 2016
    Compositions and methods for inhibiting translation are provided. Compositions, methods and kits for treating (1) cellular proliferative disorders, (2) non-proliferative, degenerative disorders, (3) viral infections, and/or (4) disorders associated with viral infections, using diaryloxindole compounds are described.
    CRISPRs for Optimal Targeting: Delivery of CRISPR Components as DNA, RNA, and Protein into Cultured Cells and Single-Cell Embryos
    Evguenia Kouranova, Human Gene Therapy - 2016
    The rapid development of CRISPR technology greatly impacts the field of genetic engineering. The simplicity in design and generation of highly efficient CRISPR reagents allows more and more researchers to take on genome editing in different model systems in their own labs, even for those who found it daunting before. An active CRISPR complex contains a protein component (Cas9) and an RNA component (small guide RNA [sgRNA]), which can be delivered into cells in various formats. Cas9 can be introduced as a DNA expression plasmid, in vitro transcripts, or as a recombinant protein bound to the RNA portion in a ribonucleoprotein particle (RNP), whereas the sgRNA can be delivered either expressed as a DNA plasmid or as an in vitro transcript. Here we compared the different delivery methods in cultured cell lines as well as mouse and rat single-cell embryos and view the RNPs as the most convenient and efficient to use. We also report the detection of limited off-targeting in cells and embryos and discuss approaches to lower that chance. We hope that researchers new to CRISPR find our results helpful to their adaptation of the technology for optimal gene editing.
    Cardiac hypertrophy and decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in Lrig3-deficient mice
    Martin Hellstrom, American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology - 2016
    Genetic factors confer risk for cardiovascular disease. Recently, large genome-wide population studies have shown associations between genomic loci close to LRIG3 and heart failure and plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level. Here, we ablated Lrig3 in mice and investigated the importance of Lrig3 for heart function and plasma lipid levels. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to analyze Lrig3 expression in the hearts of wild-type and Lrig3-deficient mice. In addition, molecular, physiological, and functional parameters such as organ weights, heart rate, blood pressure, heart structure and function, gene expression in the heart, and plasma insulin, glucose and lipid levels were evaluated. The Lrig3-deficient mice were smaller than the wild-type mice but otherwise appeared grossly normal. Lrig3 was expressed at detectable but relatively low levels in adult mouse hearts. At nine months of age, ad libitum fed Lrig3-deficient mice had lower insulin levels than wild-type mice. At 12 months of age, Lrig3-deficient mice exhibited increased blood pressure, and the Lrig3-deficient female mice displayed signs of cardiac hypertrophy as assessed by echocardiography, heart-to-body-weight ratio, and expression of the cardiac hypertrophy marker gene Nppa. Additionally, Lrig3-deficient mice had reduced plasma HDL-cholesterol and free glycerol. These findings in mice complement the human epidemiological results and suggest that Lrig3 may influence heart function and plasma lipid levels in mice and humans.
    MAPK Activation Is Essential for Waddlia chondrophila Induced CXCL8 Expression in Human Epithelial Cells
    Skye Storrie, PLOS ONE - 2016
    Background Waddlia chondrophila ( W . chondrophila ) is an emerging agent of respiratory and reproductive disease in humans and cattle. The organism is a member of the order Chlamydiales, and shares many similarities at the genome level and in growth studies with other well-characterised zoonotic chlamydial agents, such as Chlamydia abortus ( C . abortus ). The current study investigated the growth characteristics and innate immune responses of human and ruminant epithelial cells in response to infection with W . chondrophila . Methods Human epithelial cells (HEp2) were infected with W . chondrophila for 24h. CXCL8 release was significantly elevated in each of the cell lines by active-infection with live W . chondrophila , but not by exposure to UV-killed organisms. Inhibition of either p38 or p42/44 MAPK significantly inhibited the stimulation of CXCL8 release in each of the cell lines. To determine the pattern recognition receptor through which CXCL8 release was stimulated, wild-type HEK293 cells which express no TLR2, TLR4, NOD2 and only negligible NOD1 were infected with live organisms. A significant increase in CXCL8 was observed. Conclusions/Significance W . chondrophila actively infects and replicates within both human and ruminant epithelial cells stimulating CXCL8 release. Release of CXCL8 is significantly inhibited by inhibition of either p38 or p42/44 MAPK indicating a role for this pathway in the innate immune response to W . chondrophila infection. W . chondrophila stimulation of CXCL8 secretion in HEK293 cells indicates that TLR2, TLR4, NOD2 and NOD1 receptors are not essential to the innate immune response to infection.
    The transcription factor scleraxis is a critical regulator of cardiac fibroblast phenotype
    Rushita A. Bagchi, BMC Biology - 2016
    Resident fibroblasts synthesize the cardiac extracellular matrix, and can undergo phenotype conversion to myofibroblasts to augment matrix production, impairing function and contributing to organ failure. A significant gap in our understanding of the transcriptional regulation of these processes exists. Given the key role of this phenotype conversion in fibrotic disease, the identification of such novel transcriptional regulators may yield new targets for therapies for fibrosis.
    RNA-binding protein IGF2BP3 targeting of oncogenic transcripts promotes hematopoietic progenitor proliferation
    Jayanth Kumar Palanichamy, Journal of Clinical Investigation - 2016
    Posttranscriptional control of gene expression is important for defining both normal and pathological cellular phenotypes. In vitro, RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) have recently been shown to play important roles in posttranscriptional regulation; however, the contribution of RBPs to cell specification is not well understood. Here, we determined that the RBP insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding protein 3 (IGF2BP3) is specifically overexpressed in mixed lineage leukemia–rearranged (MLL-rearranged) B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL), which constitutes a subtype of this malignancy associated with poor prognosis and high risk of relapse. IGF2BP3 was required for the survival of B-ALL cell lines, as knockdown led to decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis. Enforced expression of IGF2BP3 provided murine BM cells with a strong survival advantage, led to proliferation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, and skewed hematopoietic development to the B cell/myeloid lineage. Cross-link immunoprecipitation and high throughput sequencing uncovered the IGF2BP3-regulated transcriptome, which includes oncogenes MYC and CDK6 as direct targets. IGF2BP3 regulated transcripts via targeting elements within 3′ untranslated regions (3′UTR), and enforced IGF2BP3 expression in mice resulted in enhanced expression of Myc and Cdk6 in BM. Together, our data suggest that IGF2BP3-mediated targeting of oncogenic transcripts may represent a critical pathogenetic mechanism in MLL-rearranged B-ALL and support IGF2BP3 and its cognate RNA-binding partners as potential therapeutic targets in this disease.
    Oxysterol-related-binding-protein related Protein-2 (ORP2) regulates cortisol biosynthesis and cholesterol homeostasis
    Tamara Escajadillo, Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology - 2016
    Oxysterol binding protein-related protein 2 (ORP2) is a lipid binding protein that has been implicated in various cellular processes, including lipid sensing, cholesterol efflux, and endocytosis. We recently identified ORP2 as a member of a protein complex that regulates glucocorticoid biosynthesis. Herein, we examine the effect of silencing ORP2 on adrenocortical function and show that the ORP2 knockdown cells exhibit reduced amounts of multiple steroid metabolites, including progesterone, 11-deoxycortisol, and cortisol, but have increased concentrations of androgens, and estrogens. Moreover, silencing ORP2 suppresses the expression of most proteins required for cortisol production and reduces the expression of steroidogenic factor 1 (SF1). ORP2 silencing also increases cellular cholesterol, concomitant with decreased amounts of 22-hydroxycholesterol and 7-ketocholesterol, two molecules that have been shown to bind to ORP2. Further, we show that ORP2 binds to liver X receptor (LXR) and is required for nuclear LXR expression. LXR and ORP2 are recruited to the CYP11B1 promoter in response to cAMP signaling. Additionally, ORP2 is required for the expression of other LXR target genes, including ABCA1 and the LDL receptor (LDLR). In summary, we establish a novel role for ORP2 in regulating steroidogenic capacity and cholesterol homeostasis in the adrenal cortex.
    Siegel, Richard M, United States Patent - 2016
    Methods and compositions for treating inflammatory or autoimmune diseases in a subject comprising blocking the interaction between DR3 and TL1A. In the methods of treating inflammatory or autoimmune disease, the inflammatory or autoimmune disease can be an autoimmune disease with a T cell component, including asthma, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, graft versus host disease or inflammatory bowel disease.
    LabDisk with complete reagent prestorage for sample-to-answer nucleic acid based detection of respiratory pathogens verified with influenza A H3N2 virus
    F. Stumpf, The Royal Society of Chemistry 2016 - 2015
    Portable point-of-care devices for pathogen detection require easy, minimal and user-friendly handling steps and need to have the same diagnostic performance compared to centralized laboratories. In this work we present a fully automated sample-to-answer detection of influenza A H3N2 virus in a centrifugal LabDisk with complete prestorage of reagents. Thus, the initial supply of the sample remains the only manual handling step. The self-contained LabDisk automates by centrifugal microfluidics all necessary process chains for PCR-based pathogen detection: pathogen lysis, magnetic bead based nucleic acid extraction, aliquoting of the eluate into 8 reaction cavities, and real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Prestored reagents comprise air dried specific primers and fluorescence probes, lyophilized RT-PCR mastermix and stick-packaged liquid reagents for nucleic acid extraction. Employing two different release frequencies for the stick-packaged liquid reagents enables on-demand release of highly wetting extraction buffers, such as sequential release of lysis and binding buffer. Microfluidic process-flow was successful in 54 out of 55 tested LabDisks. We demonstrate successful detection of the respiratory pathogen influenza A H3N2 virus in a total of 18 LabDisks with sample concentrations down to 2.39 × 104 viral RNA copies per ml, which is in the range of clinical relevance. Furthermore, we detected RNA bacteriophage MS2 acting as internal control in 3 LabDisks with a sample concentration down to 75 plaque forming units (pfu) per ml. All experiments were applied in a 2 kg portable, laptop controlled point-of-care device. The turnaround time of the complete analysis from sample-to-answer was less than 3.5 hours.
    Developmental Expression of CYP2B6: A Comprehensive Analysis of mRNA Expression, Protein Content and Bupropion Hydroxylase Activity and the Impact of Genetic Variation
    Robin E. Pearce, Drug Metabolism and Disposition - 2015
    Although CYP2B6 catalyzes the biotransformation of many drugs used clinically in children and adults, information regarding the effects of development on CYP2B6 expression and activity are scarce. Utilizing a large panel of human liver samples (201 donors: 24 fetal, 141 pediatric and 36 adult), we quantified CYP2B6 mRNA and protein expression levels, characterized CYP2B6 (bupropion hydroxylase) activity in human liver microsomes (HLMs) and performed an extensive genotype analysis to differentiate CYP2B6 haplotypes so that the impact of genetic variation on these parameters could be assessed. Fetal livers contained extremely low levels of CYP2B6 mRNA relative to post-natal samples and all of the fetal HLMs failed to catalyze bupropion hydroxylation, but fetal CYP2B6 protein levels were not significantly different from post-natal levels. Considerable inter-individual variation in CYP2B6 mRNA expression, protein levels and activity was observed in post-natal HLMs (mRNA, ~40,000-fold; protein, ~300-fold; activity, ~600-fold). The extremely wide range of inter-individual variability in CYP2B6 expression and activity was significantly associated with age (ρ<0.01) following log transformation of the data. Our data suggest that CYP2B6 activity appears as early as the first day of life, increases through infancy, and by 1 year of age, CYP2B6 levels and activity may approach those of adults. Surprisingly, CYP2B6 inter-individual variability was not significantly associated with genetic variation in CYP2B6, nor with differences in gender or ethnicity, suggesting that factors other than these are largely responsible for the wide range of variability in CYP2B6 expression and activity observed among a large group of individuals/samples.
    Evaluation of the maturation of individual Dengue virions with flow virometry
    Sonia Zicari, Virology - 2016
    High-throughput techniques are needed to analyze individual virions to understand how viral heterogeneity translates into pathogenesis since in bulk analysis the individual characteristics of virions are lost. Individual Dengue virions (DENV) undergo a maturation that involves a proteolytic cleavage of prM precursor into virion-associated M protein. Here, using a new nanoparticle-based technology, “flow virometry”, we compared the maturation of individual DENV produced by BHK-21 and LoVo cells. The latter lacks the furin-protease that mediates prM cleavage. We found that prM is present on about 50% of DENV particles produced in BHK-21 cells and about 85% of DENV virions produced in LoVo, indicating an increase in the fraction of not fully matured virions. Flow virometry allows us to quantify the number of fully mature particles in DENV preparations and proves to be a useful method for studying heterogeneity of the surface proteins of various viruses.
    Human Intestinal Enteroids: A New Model to Study Human Rotavirus Infection, Host Restriction and Pathophysiology
    Kapil Saxena, Journal of Virology - 2015
    Human gastrointestinal tract research is limited by the paucity of in vitro intestinal cell models that recapitulate the cellular diversity and complex functions of human physiology and disease pathology. Human intestinal enteroid (HIE) cultures contain multiple intestinal epithelial cell types that comprise the intestinal epithelium (enterocytes, goblet, enteroendocrine, and Paneth cells) and are physiologically active based on responses to agonists. We evaluated these non-transformed, 3D HIE cultures as models for pathogenic infections in the small intestine by examining whether HIEs from different regions of the small intestine from different patients are susceptible to human rotavirus (HRV) infection. Little is known about HRVs as they generally replicate poorly in transformed cell lines and host range restriction prevents their replication in many animal models whereas many animal RVs (ARV) exhibit a broader host range and replicate in mice. Using HRVs, including the RV1 Rotarix™ vaccine strain and ARVs, we evaluated host susceptibility, virus production, and cellular responses of HIEs. HRVs infect at higher rates and grow to higher titers than ARV. HRVs infect differentiated enterocytes and enteroendocrine cells, and viroplasms and lipid droplets are induced. Heterogeneity in replication was seen in HIEs from different patients. HRV infection and RV enterotoxin treatment of HIEs caused a physiologic lumenal expansion detected by time-lapse microscopy, recapitulating one of the hallmarks of rotavirus-induced diarrhea. These results demonstrate that HIEs are a novel pathophysiological model, which will allow the study of HRV biology including host restriction, cell-type restriction, and viral-induced fluid secretion. IMPORTANCE Our research establishes HIEs as nontransformed cell culture models to understand human intestinal physiology, pathophysiology and the epithelial response, including host restriction to gastrointestinal infections such as HRV infection. HRVs remain a major worldwide cause of diarrhea-associated morbidity and mortality in children ≤ age five. Current in vitro models of rotavirus infection rely primarily on the use of animal rotaviruses because HRV growth is limited in most transformed cell lines and animal models. We demonstrate that HIEs are novel, diverse cellular and physiologically relevant epithelial cultures, which recapitulate in vivo properties of HRV infection. HIEs will allow the study of HRV biology, including human host-pathogen and live, attenuated vaccine interactions, host and cell-type restriction, viral-induced fluid secretion, cell-cell communication within the epithelium, and the epithelial response to infection in cultures from genetically diverse individuals. Finally, drug therapies to prevent/treat diarrheal disease can be tested in these physiologically active cultures.
    Spatiotemporal analysis of zebrafish hox gene regulation by Cdx4
    Albert G. Hayward, Developmental Dynamics - 2015
    Background: Cdx factors expressed in caudal regions of vertebrate embryos regulate hox patterning gene transcription. While loss of Cdx function is known to shift hox spatial expression domains posteriorly, the mechanism underlying the shift is not understood. We addressed this problem by analyzing the spatiotemporal expression profile of all 49 zebrafish hox genes in wild-type and Cdx4-deficient embryos. Results: Loss of Cdx4 had distinct effects on hox spatial expression in a paralogous group-dependent manner: in the head, group 4 expression was expanded posteriorly; in the trunk, group 5–10 expression was shifted posteriorly; and in the tail, group 11–13 genes were expressed in the tail bud but not in more differentiated tissues. In the trunk neural tissue, loss of Cdx4 severely delayed both transcriptional activation of hox genes during the initiation phase, and the anterior-ward expansion of hox expression domains during the establishment phase. In contrast, in the trunk mesoderm, loss of Cdx4 only delayed the hox initiation phase. Conclusions: These results indicate that Cdx4 differentially regulates the transcription of head, trunk and tail hox genes. In the trunk, Cdx4 conveys spatial positional information to axial tissues primarily by regulating the time of hox gene transcriptional activation during the initiation phase. Developmental Dynamics, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Microarray analysis of pancreatic gene expression during biotin repletion in biotin-deficient rats
    Krishnamurti Dakshinamurti, NRC Research Press - 2015
    Biotin is a B vitamin involved in multiple metabolic pathways. In humans, biotin deficiency is relatively rare but can cause dermatitis, alopecia, and perosis. Low biotin levels occur in individuals with type-2 diabetes, and supplementation with biotin plus chromium may improve blood sugar control. The acute effect on pancreatic gene expression of biotin repletion following chronic deficiency is unclear, therefore we induced biotin deficiency in adult male rats by feeding them a 20% raw egg white diet for 6 weeks. Animals were then randomized into 2 groups: one group received a single biotin supplement and returned to normal chow lacking egg white, while the second group remained on the depletion diet. After 1 week, pancreata were removed from biotin-deficient (BD) and biotin-repleted (BR) animals and RNA was isolated for microarray analysis. Biotin depletion altered gene expression in a manner indicative of inflammation, fibrosis, and defective pancreatic function. Conversely, biotin repletion activated numerous repair and anti-inflammatory pathways, reduced fibrotic gene expression, and induced multiple genes involved in pancreatic endocrine and exocrine function. A subset of the results was confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR analysis, as well as by treatment of pancreatic AR42J cells with biotin. The results indicate that biotin repletion, even after lengthy deficiency, results in the rapid induction of repair processes in the pancreas.
    Effective disposal of nitrogen waste in blood-fed Aedes aegypti mosquitoes requires alanine aminotransferase
    Stacy Mazzalupo, The FASEB Journal - 2015
    To better understand the mechanisms responsible for the success of female mosquitoes in their disposal of excess nitrogen, we investigated the role of alanine aminotransferase (ALAT) in blood-fed Aedes aegypti. Transcript and protein levels from the 2 ALAT genes were analyzed in sucrose- and blood-fed A. aegypti tissues. ALAT1 and ALAT2 exhibit distinct expression patterns in tissues during the first gonotrophic cycle. Injection of female mosquitoes with either double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-ALAT1 or dsRNA ALAT2 significantly decreased mRNA and protein levels of ALAT1 or ALAT2 in fat body, thorax, and Malpighian tubules compared with dsRNA firefly luciferase-injected control mosquitoes. The silencing of either A. aegypti ALAT1 or ALAT2 caused unexpected phenotypes such as a delay in blood digestion, a massive accumulation of uric acid in the midgut posterior region, and a significant decrease of nitrogen waste excretion during the first 48 h after blood feeding. Concurrently, the expression of genes encoding xanthine dehydrogenase and ammonia transporter (Rhesus 50 glycoprotein) were significantly increased in tissues of both ALAT1- and ALAT2-deficient females. Moreover, perturbation of ALAT1 and ALAT2 in the female mosquitoes delayed oviposition and reduced egg production. These novel findings underscore the efficient mechanisms that blood-fed mosquitoes use to avoid ammonia toxicity and free radical damage.—Mazzalupo, S., Isoe, J., Belloni, V., Scaraffia, P. Y. Effective disposal of nitrogen waste in blood-fed Aedes aegypti mosquitoes requires alanine aminotransferase.
    IEEE Xplore Abstract - Automated sample-to-answer nucleic acid testing with frequency controlled reagent release from cartr...
    F. Stumpf, IEEE - 2015
    For the first time we demonstrate an automated centrifugal Lab-on-a-Disk system for sample-to-answer point-of-care testing of multiple nucleic acid targets that features pre-storage of all required liquid reagents for nucleic acid extraction as well as primers and probes and magnetic beads. Highly wetting and thus hardly controllable liquid buffers were pre-stored in stickpacks with frequency controlled on-demand reagent release enabling automated addition of binding buffer after sample lysis. The self-contained Lab-on-a-Disk system automates all necessary assay steps for PCR-based pathogen detection: RNA extraction, aliquoting of the RNA and geometrically multiplexed real-time RT-PCR. As a proof-of-principle, we demonstrated detection of as little as 15 plaque forming units (pfu) of RNA bacteriophage MS2 in a 200 µL sample in 3.5 hours.
    A duplex real-time RT-PCR assay for the detection of California serogroup and Cache Valley viruses
    Heng Wang, Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease - 2009
    A duplex TaqMan real-time RT-PCR assay was developed for the detection of California (CAL) serogroup viruses and Cache Valley virus (CVV)- for use in human surveillance. The targets selected for the assay were the sequences encoding the nucleocapsid protein of CAL and the G1 glycoprotein of CVV. Conserved regions were selected by aligning genetic sequences from various strains available in the GenBank database. Primers and probes were selected in conserved regions. The assay sensitivity was 75 gene copies (gc)/reaction for CAL serogroup viruses and 30 gc/reaction for CVV. The performance of the assay was linear over at least 6 log10 gc. The assay was specific- given that it did not cross-react with a variety of pathogens. It did however- detect 11 viruses within the CAL serogroup- and 12 CVV isolates. The use of an internal control ensured that possible inefficiency in nucleic acid extraction or PCR inhibition would be detected.
    Disruption of a Large Intergenic Noncoding RNA in Subjects with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
    Michael Talkowski, American Journal of Human Genetics - 2012
    Large intergenic noncoding (linc) RNAs represent a newly described class of ribonucleic acid whose importance in human disease remains undefined. We identified a severely developmentally delayed 16-year-old female with karyotype 46-XX-t(2,11)(p25.1,p15.1)dn in the absence of clinically significant copy number variants (CNVs). DNA capture followed by next-generation sequencing of the translocation breakpoints revealed disruption of a single noncoding gene on chromosome 2- LINC00299- whose RNA product is expressed in all tissues measured- but most abundantly in brain. Among a series of additional- unrelated subjects referred for clinical diagnostic testing who showed CNV affecting this locus- we identified four with exon-crossing deletions in association with neurodevelopmental abnormalities. No disruption of the LINC00299 coding sequence was seen in almost 14-000 control subjects. Together- these subjects with disruption of LINC00299 implicate this particular noncoding RNA in brain development and raise the possibility that- as a class- abnormalities of lincRNAs may play a significant role in human developmental disorders.
    Quadraplex qRT-PCR assay for the simultaneous detection of Eastern equine encephalitis virus and West Nile virus
    Steven Zink, Diagnostic Microbiology & Infectious Disease - 2013
    In order to increase testing throughput and reduce cost- we developed a multiplex real-time assay that identifies both Eastern equine encephalitis virus and West Nile virus. The assay allows for the screening for the presence of both the nonstructural and envelope genes of both viruses simultaneously allowing for confirmatory testing to be done in a single assay. We utilized newly designed primers and probes- each labeled with a unique fluorescent label allowing for differentiation using an ABI 7500 real-time PCR machine. The use of Quanta Biosciences qScript XLT One-Step RT-qPCR® Toughmix allowed for a quadraplex assay without loss of sensitivity when compared to the previously run singleplex reaction as seen with viral RNA PFU control dilution series. There was no cross reactivity between the viruses within the reaction- and upon utilization of the assay during surveillance- there was no cross reactivity with other historically encountered arthropod-borne viruses. The results from the quantitative Reverse Transcriptase - Polymerase Chain Reaction were comparable to those achieved by cell culture which was performed on a subset of the field mosquito pools screened during the 2012 surveillance season. The multiplex assay resulted in savings in both time and resources for the lab and faster turn-around of results.
    Effect of gamma-irradiation on gene expression of heat shock proteins in the foodborne pathogen Escherichia coli O157:H7
    Karine Trudeau, International Journal of Radiation Biology - 2013
    Abstract Purpose: The expression levels of seven genes (clpB- dnaK- groES- grpE- htpG- htpX and ibpB) encoding heat shock proteins (HSP) in Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli) gamma irradiated was investigated. Timing impact of post-irradiated RNA extraction on the expression levels of these seven genes was also studied at a dose damaging the bacterial cells (0.4 kGy). Methods: Bacterial samples were gamma-irradiated at 0.4 kGy and at a lethal dose of 1.3 kGy. RNA was extracted at 0 min post irradiation for both irradiation doses and at 15- 30- 60- 90 or 120 min post-irradiation at the dose damaging the cells. Quantification of the gene expression was performed using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (q-RT-PCR). Results: The expression of genes encoding HSP was a very dynamic process evolving rapidly when E. coli cells were irradiated at 0.4 kGy. Notably- groES- grpE and ibpB were more up- regulated at 1.3 kGy than those at 0.4 kGy. Conclusions: For the seven genes studied there were more damaged proteins during irradiation at the lethal dose and this dose causes increased expression in HSP which contributes to damage reparation. Expression patterns of genes encoding HSP in E. coli treated by gamma-irradiation are different from those treated by heat shock.
    An Amino Acid-based Amphoteric Liposomal Delivery System for Systemic Administration of siRNA
    Roger Adami, Molecular Therapy - 2011
    We demonstrate a systematic and rational approach to create a library of natural and modified- dialkylated amino acids based upon arginine for development of an efficient small interfering RNA (siRNA) delivery system. These amino acids- designated DiLA2 compounds- in conjunction with other components- demonstrate unique properties for assembly into monodisperse- 100-nm small liposomal particles containing siRNA. We show that DiLA2-based liposomes undergo a pH-dependent phase transition to an inverted hexagonal phase facilitating efficient siRNA release from endosomes to the cytosol. Using an arginine-based DiLA2- cationic liposomes were prepared that provide high in vivo siRNA delivery efficiency and are well-tolerated in both cell and animal models. DiLA2-based liposomes demonstrate a linear dose-response with an ED50 of 0.1 mg/kg against liver-specific target genes in BALB/c mice.
    West Nile Virus Infection Causes Endocytosis of a Specific Subset of Tight Junction Membrane Proteins
    Zaikun Xu, PLoS ONE - 2012
    West Nile virus (WNV) is a blood-borne pathogen that causes systemic infections and serious neurological disease in human and animals. The most common route of infection is mosquito bites and therefore- the virus must cross a number of polarized cell layers to gain access to organ tissue and the central nervous system. Resistance to trans-cellular movement of macromolecules between epithelial and endothelial cells is mediated by tight junction complexes. While a number of recent studies have documented that WNV infection negatively impacts the barrier function of tight junctions- the intracellular mechanism by which this occurs is poorly understood. In the present study- we report that endocytosis of a subset of tight junction membrane proteins including claudin-1 and JAM-1 occurs in WNV infected epithelial and endothelial cells. This process- which ultimately results in lysosomal degradation of the proteins- is dependent on the GTPase dynamin and microtubule-based transport. Finally- infection of polarized cells with the related flavivirus- Dengue virus-2- did not result in significant loss of tight junction membrane proteins. These results suggest that neurotropic flaviviruses such as WNV modulate the host cell environment differently than hemorrhagic flaviviruses and thus may have implications for understanding the molecular basis for neuroinvasion.
    PD 404-182 Is a Virocidal Small Molecule That Disrupts Hepatitis C Virus and Human Immunodeficiency Virus
    Ana Chamoun, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy - 2012
    We describe a virucidal small molecule- PD 404-182- that is effective against hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The median 50\% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) for the antiviral effect of PD 404-182 against HCV and HIV in cell culture are 11 and 1 μM- respectively. The antiviral activity of PD 404-182 is due to the physical disruption of virions that is accompanied to various degrees (depending on the virus and exposure temperature/time) by the release of viral nucleic acids into the surrounding medium. PD 404-182 does not directly lyse liposomal membranes even after extended exposure- and it shows no attenuation in antiviral activity when preincubated with liposomes of various lipid compositions- suggesting that the compound inactivates viruses through interaction with a nonlipid structural component of the virus. The virucidal activity of PD 404-182 appears to be virus specific- as little to no viral inactivation was detected with the enveloped Dengue and Sindbis viruses. PD 404-182 effectively inactivates a broad range of primary isolates of HIV-1 as well as HIV-2 and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)- and it does not exhibit significant cytotoxicity with multiple human cell lines in vitro (50\% cytotoxic concentration- {\textgreater}300 μM). The compound is fully active in cervical fluids- although it exhibits decreased potency in the presence of human serum- retains its full antiviral potency for 8 h when in contact with cells- and is effective against both cell-free and cell-associated HIV. These qualities make PD 404-182 an attractive candidate anti-HIV microbicide for the prevention of HIV transmission through sexual intercourse.
    Optimization of Multiple Pathogen Detection Using the TaqMan Array Card: Application for a Population-Based Study of Neonatal Infection
    Maureen Diaz, PLoS ONE - 2013
    Identification of etiology remains a significant challenge in the diagnosis of infectious diseases- particularly in resource-poor settings. Viral- bacterial- and fungal pathogens- as well as parasites- play a role for many syndromes- and optimizing a single diagnostic system to detect a range of pathogens is challenging. The TaqMan Array Card (TAC) is a multiple-pathogen detection method that has previously been identified as a valuable technique for determining etiology of infections and holds promise for expanded use in clinical microbiology laboratories and surveillance studies. We selected TAC for use in the Aetiology of Neonatal Infection in South Asia (ANISA) study for identifying etiologies of severe disease in neonates in Bangladesh- India- and Pakistan. Here we report optimization of TAC to improve pathogen detection and overcome technical challenges associated with use of this technology in a large-scale surveillance study. Specifically- we increased the number of assay replicates- implemented a more robust RT-qPCR enzyme formulation- and adopted a more efficient method for extraction of total nucleic acid from blood specimens. We also report the development and analytical validation of ten new assays for use in the ANISA study. Based on these data- we revised the study-specific TACs for detection of 22 pathogens in NP/OP swabs and 12 pathogens in blood specimens as well as two control reactions (internal positive control and human nucleic acid control) for each specimen type. The cumulative improvements realized through these optimization studies will benefit ANISA and perhaps other studies utilizing multiple-pathogen detection approaches. These lessons may also contribute to the expansion of TAC technology to the clinical setting.
    Nanoparticle-based flow virometry for the analysis of individual virions
    Anush Arakelyan, Journal of Clinical Investigation - 2013
    First-Strand cDNA Synthesis
    Anti-Biofilm Activity of Cannabigerol against Streptococcus mutans
    Muna Aqawi, microorganisms - 2021
    Streptococcus mutans is a common cariogenic bacterium in the oral cavity involved in plaque formation. Previous studies showed that Cannabigerol (CBG) has bacteriostatic and bacteriocidic activity against S. mutans. The aim of the present study was to study its effect on S. mutans biofilm formation and dispersion. S. mutans was cultivated in the presence of CBG, and the resulting biofilms were examined by CV staining, MTT assay, qPCR, biofilm tracer, optical profilometry, and SEM. Gene expression was determined by real-time qPCR, extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) production was determined by Congo Red, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were determined using DCFH-DA. CBG prevented the biofilm formation of S. mutans shown by reduced biofilm biomass, decreased biofilm thickness, less EPS production, reduced DNA content, diminished metabolic activity, and increased ROS levels. CBG altered the biofilm roughness profile, resulting in a smoother biofilm surface. When treating preformed biofilms, CBG reduced the metabolic activity of S. mutans with a transient effect on the biomass. CBG reduced the expression of various genes involved in essential metabolic pathways related to the cariogenic properties of S. mutans biofilms. Our data show that CBG has anti-biofilm activities against S. mutans and might be a potential drug for preventive treatment of dental caries.
    A Novel Spectral Annotation Strategy Streamlines Reporting of mono-ADP-ribosylated Peptides Derived from Mouse Liver and Spleen in Response to IFN-y
    Shiori Kuraoka, Molecular & Cellular Proteomics - 2021
    Mass spectrometry-enabled ADP-ribosylation workflows are developing rapidly, providing researchers a variety of ADP-ribosylome enrichment strategies and mass spectrometric acquisition options. Despite the growth spurt in upstream technologies, systematic ADP-ribosyl (ADPr) peptide mass spectral annotation methods are lacking. HCD-dependent ADP-ribosylome studies are common but the resulting MS2 spectra are complex, owing to a mixture of b/y-ions and the m/p-ion peaks representing one or more dissociation events of the ADPr moiety (m-ion) and peptide (p-ion). In particular, p-ions that dissociate further into one or more fragment ions can dominate HCD spectra but are not recognized by standard spectral annotation workflows. As a result, annotation strategies that are solely reliant upon the b/y-ions result in lower spectral scores that in turn reduce the number of reportable ADPr peptides. To improve the confidence of spectral assignments we implemented an ADPr peptide annotation and scoring strategy. All MS2 spectra are scored for the ADPr m-ions, but once spectra are assigned as an ADPr peptide they are further annotated and scored for the p-ions. We implemented this novel workflow to ADPr peptides enriched from the liver and spleen isolated from mice post 4-hour exposure to systemic IFN-. HCD collision energy experiments were first performed on the Orbitrap Fusion Lumos and the Q Exactive, with notable ADPr peptide dissociation properties verified with CID (Lumos). The m-ion and p-ion series score distributions revealed that ADPr peptide dissociation properties vary markedly between instruments and within instrument collision energy settings, with consequences on ADPr peptide reporting and amino acid localization. Consequentially, we increased the number of reportable ADPr peptides by 25% (liver) and 17% (spleen) by validation and the inclusion of lower confidence ADPr peptide spectra. This systematic annotation strategy will streamline future reporting of ADPr peptides that have been sequenced using any HCD/CID-based method.
    The effects of palbociclib in combination with radiation in preclinical models of aggressive meningioma
    Craig Horbinski, Neuro-Oncology Advances - 2021
    Background. Meningiomas are the most common tumor arising within the cranium of adults. Despite surgical resection and radiotherapy, many meningiomas invade the brain, and many recur, often repeatedly. To date, no chemotherapy has proven effective against such tumors. Thus, there is an urgent need for chemotherapeutic options for treating meningiomas, especially those that enhance radiotherapy. Palbociclib is an inhibitor of cyclindependent kinases 4 and 6 that has been shown to enhance radiotherapy in preclinical models of other cancers, is well-tolerated in patients, and is used to treat malignancies elsewhere in the body. We, therefore, sought to determine its therapeutic potential in preclinical models of meningioma. Methods. Patient-derived meningioma cells were tested in vitro and in vivo with combinations of palbociclib and radiation. Outputs included cell viability, apoptosis, clonogenicity, engrafted mouse survival, and analysis of engrafted tumor tissues after therapy. Results. We found that palbociclib was highly potent against p16-deficient, Rb-intact CH157 and IOMM-Lee meningioma cells in vitro, but was ineffective against p16-intact, Rb-deficient SF8295 meningioma cells. Palbociclib also enhanced the in vitro efficacy of radiotherapy when used against p16-deficient meningioma, as indicated by cell viability and clonogenic assays. In vivo, the combination of palbociclib and radiation extended the survival of mice bearing orthotopic p16 deficient meningioma xenografts, relative to each as a monotherapy. Conclusions. These data suggest that palbociclib could be repurposed to treat patients with p16- deficient, Rb-intact meningiomas, and that a clinical trial in combination with radiation therapy merits consideration.
    The Impact of Melatonin Supplementation and NLRP3 Inflammasome Deletion on Age-Accompanied Cardiac Damage
    Ramy K. A. Sayed, Antioxidants - 2021
    To investigate the role of NLRP3 inflammasome in cardiac aging, we evaluate here morphological and ultrastructural age-related changes of cardiac muscles fibers in wild-type and NLRP3-knockout mice, as well as studying the beneficial effect of melatonin therapy. The results clarified the beginning of the cardiac sarcopenia at the age of 12 months, with hypertrophy of cardiac myocytes, increased expression of β-MHC, appearance of small necrotic fibers, decline of cadiomyocyte number, destruction of mitochondrial cristae, appearance of small-sized residual bodies, and increased apoptotic nuclei ratio. These changes were progressed in the cardiac myocytes of 24 old mice, accompanied by excessive collagen deposition, higher expressions of IL-1α, IL-6, and TNFα, complete mitochondrial vacuolation and damage, myofibrils disorganization, multivesicular bodies formation, and nuclear fragmentation. Interestingly, cardiac myocytes of NLRP3−/− mice showed less detectable age-related changes compared with WT mice. Oral melatonin therapy preserved the normal cardiomyocytes structure, restored cardiomyocytes number, and reduced β-MHC expression of cardiac hypertrophy. In addition, melatonin recovered mitochondrial architecture, reduced apoptosis and multivesicular bodies’ formation, and decreased expressions of β-MHC, IL-1α, and IL-6. Fewer cardiac sarcopenic changes and highly remarkable protective effects of melatonin treatment detected in aged cardiomyocytes of NLRP3−/− mice compared with aged WT animals, confirming implication of the NLRP3 inflammasome in cardiac aging. Thus, NLRP3 suppression and melatonin therapy may be therapeutic approaches for age-related cardiac sarcopenia.
    5-HT recruits distinct neurocircuits to inhibit hunger-driven and non-hunger-driven feeding
    Yanlin He, Molecular Psychiatry - 2021
    Obesity is primarily a consequence of consuming calories beyond energetic requirements, but underpinning drivers have not been fully defined. 5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) neurons in the dorsal Raphe nucleus (5-HTDRN) regulate different types of feeding behavior, such as eating to cope with hunger or for pleasure. Here, we observed that activation of 5-HTDRN to hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (5-HTDRN → ARH) projections inhibits food intake driven by hunger via actions at ARH 5-HT2C and 5-HT1B receptors, whereas activation of 5-HTDRN to ventral tegmental area (5-HTDRN → VTA) projections inhibits non-hunger-driven feeding via actions at 5-HT2C receptors. Further, hunger-driven feeding gradually activates ARH-projecting 5-HTDRN neurons via inhibiting their responsiveness to inhibitory GABAergic inputs; non-hunger-driven feeding activates VTA-projecting 5-HTDRN neurons through reducing a potassium outward current. Thus, our results support a model whereby parallel circuits modulate feeding behavior either in response to hunger or to hunger-independent cues.
    Thyroid hormones regulate goblet cell differentiation and Fgf19-Fgfr4 signaling
    Einat Blitz, Endocrine Society - 2021
    Hypothyroidism is a common pathological condition that is characterized by insufficient activity of the thyroid hormones (THs), thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), in the whole body or in specific tissues. Hypothyroidism is associated with inadequate development of the intestine as well as gastrointestinal diseases. We utilized a zebrafish model of hypothyroidism in order to identify and characterize TH-modulated genes and cellular pathways controlling intestine development. In the intestine of hypothyroid juveniles and adults, the number of mucus-secreting goblet cells was reduced, and this phenotype could be rescued by T3 treatment. Transcriptome profiling revealed dozens of differentially expressed genes in the intestine of hypothyroid adults compared to controls. Notably, the expression of genes encoding to Fgf19 and its receptor Fgfr4 was markedly increased in the intestine of hypothyroid adults, and treatment with T3 normalized it. Blocking FGF signaling, using an inducible dominant negative Fgfr transgenic line, rescued the number of goblet cells in hypothyroid adults. These results show that THs inhibit the Fgf19-Fgfr4 signaling pathway, which is associated with inhibition of goblet cell differentiation in hypothyroidism. Both the TH and Fgf19-Fgfr4 signaling pathways can be pharmaceutical targets for the treatment of TH-related gastrointestinal diseases
    Zebrafish Blunt-Force TBI Induces Heterogenous Injury Pathologies That Mimic Human TBI and Responds with Sonic Hedgehog-Dependent Cell Proliferation across the Neuroaxis
    James Hentig, Biomedicines - 2021
    Blunt-force traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects an increasing number of people worldwide as the range of injury severity and heterogeneity of injury pathologies have been recognized. Most current damage models utilize non-regenerative organisms, less common TBI mechanisms (penetrating, chemical, blast), and are limited in scalability of injury severity. We describe a scalable blunt-force TBI model that exhibits a wide range of human clinical pathologies and allows for the study of both injury pathology/progression and mechanisms of regenerative recovery. We modified the Marmarou weight drop model for adult zebrafish, which delivers a scalable injury spanning mild, moderate, and severe phenotypes. Following injury, zebrafish display a wide range of severity-dependent, injury-induced pathologies, including seizures, blood–brain barrier disruption, neuroinflammation, edema, vascular injury, decreased recovery rate, neuronal cell death, sensorimotor difficulties, and cognitive deficits. Injury-induced pathologies rapidly dissipate 4–7 days post-injury as robust cell proliferation is observed across the neuroaxis. In the cerebellum, proliferating nestin:GFP-positive cells originated from the cerebellar crest by 60 h post-injury, which then infiltrated into the granule cell layer and differentiated into neurons. Shh pathway genes increased in expression shortly following injury. Injection of the Shh agonist purmorphamine in undamaged fish induced a significant proliferative response, while the proliferative response was inhibited in injured fish treated with cyclopamine, a Shh antagonist. Collectively, these data demonstrate that a scalable blunt-force TBI to adult zebrafish results in many pathologies similar to human TBI, followed by recovery, and neuronal regeneration in a Shh-dependent manner.
    Nuclear Organization during Hepatogenesis in Zebrafish Requires Uhrf1
    Bhavani P. Madakashira, Genes - 2021
    Acquisition of cellular fate during development is initiated and maintained by well-coordinated patterns of gene expression that are dictated by the epigenetic landscape and genome organization in the nucleus. While the epigenetic marks that mediate developmental gene expression patterns during organogenesis have been well studied, less is known about how epigenetic marks influence nuclear organization during development. This study examines the relationship between nuclear structure, chromatin accessibility, DNA methylation, and gene expression during hepatic outgrowth in zebrafish larvae. We investigate the relationship between these features using mutants that lack DNA methylation. Hepatocyte nuclear morphology was established coincident with hepatocyte differentiation at 80 h post-fertilization (hpf), and nuclear shape and size continued to change until the conclusion of outgrowth and morphogenesis at 120 hpf. Integrating ATAC-Seq analysis with DNA methylation profiling of zebrafish livers at 120 hpf showed that closed and highly methylated chromatin occupies most transposable elements and that open chromatin correlated with gene expression. DNA hypomethylation, due to mutation of genes encoding ubiquitin-like, containing PHD and RING Finger Domains 1 (uhrf1) and DNA methyltransferase (dnmt1), did not block hepatocyte differentiation, but had dramatic effects on nuclear organization. Hepatocytes in uhrf1 mutants have large, deformed nuclei with multiple nucleoli, downregulation of nucleolar genes, and a complete lack of the nuclear lamina. Loss of lamin B2 staining was phenocopied by dnmt1 mutation. Together, these data show that hepatocyte nuclear morphogenesis coincides with organ morphogenesis and outgrowth, and that DNA methylation directs chromatin organization, and, in turn, hepatocyte nuclear shape and size during liver development.
    Food Chemistry: Molecular Sciences 3 (2021) 100034Available online 13 July 20212666-5662/© 2021 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).Direct effects of p
    Oren Hadaya, Food Chemistry: Molecular Sciences - 2021
    We assessed the potential of Pistacia lentiscus (lentisk) phenolic compounds to enhance production of milk composition in lactating goats and caprine primary mammary epithelial cells (MEC). Damascus goats were given a lentisk infusion (LI) or fresh water (FW) to drink, in a crossover design. Milk from LI vs. FW goats was 0.43% richer in fat and 30% in omega 3 fatty acids. Lentisk infusion enhanced antioxidant capacity of plasma and milk by 37% and 30% respectively, and induced transcriptional activation of antioxidant genes. To assess the direct effect of polyphenols on milk quality in terms of composition and antioxidant capacity, we used plasma collected from goats fed hay (HP) or browsed on phenolic compounds-rich pasture (primarily lentisk; PP) as a conditioning medium for primary culture of MEC. PP increased 2-fold cellular triglyceride content and 2.4-fold intracellular casein, and increased ATP production and non-mitochondrial oxygen consumption. Taken together, the results imply that lentisk phenolic compounds affect blood, MEC and milk oxidative status, which increase fat pro-duction by the mammary gland.
    The Molecular Underpinning of Life-History Evolution: Roles of the IIS network and the Building of a Reptilian Model
    Abby Elizabeth Beatty, - 2021
    The Insulin and Insulin-like Signaling (IIS) network regulates cellular processes including pre- and post-natal growth, cellular development, wound healing, reproduction, and longevity. Despite their importance on the physiology of vertebrates, the study of the specific functions of the top regulators of the IIS network — insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs) has been mostly limited to a few model organisms, namely labrodents. My dissertation aims to build a foundation for the development of a reptilian model to study IIS in the context of early life growth and reproduction. Towards this aim, the chapters of my dissertation (1) demonstrate that the expression patterns of IGF1 and IGF2 seen in labrodents are atypical relative to the typical patterns across amniotic clades, including humans; (2) characterize the gene expression of IGFs and IGFBPs across tissues and developmental stages in a model reptile, the brown anole lizard (Anolis sagrei); (3) discover that forced investment in tail regeneration results in increased investment in reproduction in the brown anole; and (4) demonstrate how a CURE focused on novel IIS research can be an effective teaching tool in the undergraduate biology classroom.
    Glucocorticoid-mediated induction of caveolin-1 disrupts cytoskeletal organization, inhibits cell migration and re-epithelialization of non-healing wounds
    Ivan Jozic, Communications Biology - 2021
    Although impaired keratinocyte migration is a recognized hallmark of chronic wounds, the molecular mechanisms underpinning impaired cell movement are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that both diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) and venous leg ulcers (VLUs) exhibit global deregulation of cytoskeletal organization in genomic comparison to normal skin and acute wounds. Interestingly, we found that DFUs and VLUs exhibited downregulation of ArhGAP35, which serves both as an inactivator of RhoA and as a glucocorticoid repressor. Since chronic wounds exhibit elevated levels of cortisol and caveolin-1 (Cav1), we posited that observed elevation of Cav1 expression may contribute to impaired actin-cytoskeletal signaling, manifesting in aberrant keratinocyte migration. We showed that Cav1 indeed antagonizes ArhGAP35, resulting in increased activation of RhoA and diminished activation of Cdc42, which can be rescued by Cav1 disruption. Furthermore, we demonstrate that both inducible keratinocyte specific Cav1 knockout mice, and MβCD treated diabetic mice, exhibit accelerated wound closure. Taken together, our findings provide a previously unreported mechanism by which Cav1-mediated cytoskeletal organization prevents wound closure in patients with chronic wounds.
    Targeted PI3K/AKT-hyperactivation induces cell death in chronic lymphocytic leukemia
    Veronika Ecker, nature communications - 2021
    Current therapeutic approaches for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) focus on the suppression of oncogenic kinase signaling. Here, we test the hypothesis that targeted hyperactivation of the phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate/AKT (PI3K/AKT)-signaling pathway may be leveraged to trigger CLL cell death. Though counterintuitive, our data show that genetic hyperactivation of PI3K/AKT-signaling or blocking the activity of the inhibitory phosphatase SH2-containing-inositol-5′-phosphatase-1 (SHIP1) induces acute cell death in CLL cells. Our mechanistic studies reveal that increased AKT activity upon inhibition of SHIP1 leads to increased mitochondrial respiration and causes excessive accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), resulting in cell death in CLL with immunogenic features. Our results demonstrate that CLL cells critically depend on mechanisms to fine-tune PI3K/AKT activity, allowing sustained proliferation and survival but avoid ROS-induced cell death and suggest transient SHIP1-inhibition as an unexpectedly promising concept for CLL therapy.
    Mistranslation Drives Alterations in Protein Levels and the Effects of a Synonymous Variant at the Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 Locus
    Ali Bayoumi, Advanced Science - 2021
    Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a liver‐derived hormone with pleiotropic beneficial effects on metabolism. Paradoxically, FGF21 levels are elevated in metabolic diseases. Interventions that restore metabolic homeostasis reduce FGF21. Whether abnormalities in FGF21 secretion or resistance in peripheral tissues is the initiating factor in altering FGF21 levels and function in humans is unknown. A genetic approach is used to help resolve this paradox. The authors demonstrate that the primary event in dysmetabolic phenotypes is the elevation of FGF21 secretion. The latter is regulated by translational reprogramming in a genotype‐ and context‐dependent manner. To relate the findings to tissues outcomes, the minor (A) allele of rs838133 is shown to be associated with increased hepatic inflammation in patients with metabolic associated fatty liver disease. The results here highlight a dominant role for translation of the FGF21 protein to explain variations in blood levels that is at least partially inherited. These results provide a framework for translational reprogramming of FGF21 to treat metabolic diseases.
    Human Adult Fibroblast‐like Synoviocytes and Articular Chondrocytes Exhibit Prominent Overlap in Their Transcriptomic Signatures
    Kyle Jones BS, American College of Rheumatology - 2021
    Objectives Fibroblast‐like synoviocytes (FLS) and articular chondrocytes (AC) derive from a common pool of embryonic precursor cells. They are currently believed to engage in largely distinct differentiation programs to build synovium and articular cartilage and maintain healthy tissues throughout life. We tested this hypothesis by deeply characterizing and comparing their transcriptomic attributes. Methods We profiled the transcriptomes of freshly isolated AC, synovium, primary FLS, and dermal fibroblasts from healthy adult humans using bulk RNA sequencing assays and downloaded published single‐cell RNA sequencing data from freshly isolated human FLS. We integrated all data to define cell‐specific signatures and validated findings with quantitative reverse transcription PCR of human samples and RNA hybridization of mouse joint sections. Results We identified 212 AC and 168 FLS markers on the basis of exclusive or enriched expression in either cell and 294 AC/FLS markers on the basis of similar expression in both cells. AC markers included joint‐specific and pan‐cartilaginous genes. FLS and AC/FLS markers featured 37 and 55 joint‐specific genes, respectively, and 131 and 239 pan‐fibroblastic genes, respectively. These signatures included many previously unrecognized markers with potentially important joint‐specific roles. AC/FLS markers overlapped in their expression patterns among all FLS and AC subpopulations, suggesting that they fulfill joint‐specific properties in all, rather than in discrete, AC and FLS subpopulations. Conclusion This study broadens knowledge and identifies a prominent overlap of the human adult AC and FLS transcriptomic signatures. It also provides data resources to help further decipher mechanisms underlying joint homeostasis and degeneration and to improve the quality control of tissues engineered for regenerative treatments.
    Time-restricted feeding normalizes hyperinsulinemia to inhibit breast cancer in obese postmenopausal mouse models
    Manasi Das, Nature Communications - 2021
    Accumulating evidence indicates that obesity with its associated metabolic dysregulation, including hyperinsulinemia and aberrant circadian rhythms, increases the risk for a variety of cancers including postmenopausal breast cancer. Caloric restriction can ameliorate the harmful metabolic effects of obesity and inhibit cancer progression but is difficult to implement and maintain outside of the clinic. In this study, we aim to test a time-restricted feeding (TRF) approach on mouse models of obesity-driven postmenopausal breast cancer. We show that TRF abrogates the obesity-enhanced mammary tumor growth in two orthotopic models in the absence of calorie restriction or weight loss. TRF also reduces breast cancer metastasis to the lung. Furthermore, TRF delays tumor initiation in a transgenic model of mammary tumorigenesis prior to the onset of obesity. Notably, TRF increases whole-body insulin sensitivity, reduces hyperinsulinemia, restores diurnal gene expression rhythms in the tumor, and attenuates tumor growth and insulin signaling. Importantly, inhibition of insulin secretion with diazoxide mimics TRF whereas artificial elevation of insulin through insulin pumps implantation reverses the effect of TRF, suggesting that TRF acts through modulating hyperinsulinemia. Our data suggest that TRF is likely to be effective in breast cancer prevention and therapy.
    The Expression Levels and Cellular Localization of Pigment Epithelium Derived Factor (PEDF) in Mouse Testis: Its Possible Involvement in the Differentiation of Spermatogonial Cells
    Noy Bagdadi, International Journal of Molecular Sciences - 2021
    Pigment epithelium derived factor (PEDF) is a multifunctional secretory soluble glycoprotein that belongs to the serine protease inhibitor (serpin) family. It was reported to have neurotrophic, anti-angiogenic and anti-tumorigenic activity. Recently, PEDF was found in testicular peritubular cells and it was assumed to be involved in the avascular nature of seminiferous tubules. The aim of this study was to determine the cellular origin, expression levels and target cells of PEDF in testicular tissue of immature and adult mice under physiological conditions, and to explore its possible role in the process of spermatogenesis in vitro. Using immunofluorescence staining, we showed that PEDF was localized in spermatogenic cells at different stages of development as well as in the somatic cells of the testis. Its protein levels in testicular homogenates and Sertoli cells supernatant showed a significant decrease with age. PEDF receptor (PEDF-R) was localized within the seminiferous tubule cells and in the interstitial cells compartment. Its RNA expression levels showed an increase with age until 8 weeks followed by a decrease. RNA levels of PEDF-R showed the opposite trend of the protein. Addition of PEDF to cultures of isolated cells from the seminiferous tubules did not changed their proliferation rate, however, a significant increase was observed in number of meiotic/post meiotic cells at 1000 ng/mL of PEDF; indicating an in vitro differentiation effect. This study may suggest a role for PEDF in the process of spermatogenesis.
    Heterogeneity in PHGDH protein expression potentiates cancer cell dissemination and metastasis
    Matteo Rossi, bioRxiv - 2021
    Cancer metastasis requires the transient activation of cellular programs enabling dissemination and seeding in distant organs. Genetic, transcriptional and translational intra-tumor heterogeneity contributes to this dynamic process. Beyond this, metabolic intra-tumor heterogeneity has also been observed, yet its role for cancer progression remains largely elusive. Here, we discovered that intra-tumor heterogeneity in phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH) protein expression drives breast cancer cell dissemination and metastasis formation. Specifically, we observed intra-tumor heterogeneous PHGDH expression in primary breast tumors, with low PHGDH expression being indicative of metastasis in patients. In mice, Phgdh protein, but not mRNA, expression is low in circulating tumor cells and early metastatic lesions, leading to increased dissemination and metastasis formation. Mechanistically, low PHGDH protein expression induces an imbalance in glycolysis that can activate sialic acid synthesis. Consequently, cancer cells undergo a partial EMT and show increased p38 as well as SRC phosphorylation, which activate cellular programs of dissemination. In turn, inhibition of sialic acid synthesis through knock-out of cytidine monophosphate N-acetylneuraminic acid synthetase (CMAS) counteracts the increased cancer cell dissemination and metastasis induced by low PHGDH expression. In conclusion, we find that heterogeneity in PHGDH protein expression promotes cancer cell dissemination and metastasis formation
    Mutant SF3B1 promotes AKT and NF-kB driven mammary tumorigenesis
    Bo Liu, - 2020
    Mutations in the core RNA splicing factor SF3B1 are prevalent in leukemias and uveal melanoma but hotspot SF3B1 mutations are also seen in epithelial malignancies such as breast cancer. Although hotspot mutations in SF3B1 alter hematopoietic differentiation, whether SF3B1 mutations contribute to epithelial cancer development and progression is unknown. Here, we identify that SF3B1 mutations in mammary epithelial and breast cancer cells induce a recurrent pattern of aberrant splicing leading to activation of AKT and NF-kB, enhanced cell migration, and accelerated tumorigenesis. Transcriptomic analysis of human cancer specimens, MMTV-cre Sf3b1K700E/WT mice, and isogenic mutant cell lines identified hundreds of aberrant 3’ splice sites (3’ss) induced by mutant SF3B1. Consistently between mouse and human tumors, mutant SF3B1 promoted aberrant splicing (dependent on aberrant branchpoints as well as pyrimidines downstream of the cryptic 3’ss) and consequent suppression of PPP2R5A and MAP3K7, critical negative regulators of AKT and NF-kB. Coordinate activation of NF-kB and AKT signaling was observed in the knock-in models, leading to accelerated cell migration and tumor development in combination with mutant PIK3CA but also hypersensitizing cells to AKT kinase inhibitors. These data identify hotspot mutations in SF3B1 as an important contributor to breast tumorigenesis and reveal unique vulnerabilities in cancers harboring them.
    Evaluation of PC12 Cell Neural Differentiation on Graphene Coated ITO Microchips
    Tansu Golcez, Evaluation of PC12 Cell Neural Differentiation on Graphene Coated ITO Microchips - 2020
    In this study, the impact of graphene on neuronal differentiation of PC12 cells into neuron-like cells was evaluated in conjunction with electrical stimuli. First, an ITO (Indium Tin Oxide) microchip with a certain number of electrodes was fabricated using photolithography and then a chemically synthesized graphene was coated on the microchip. The electrical stimulation was applied through the ITO-microchip. Following optimization of neuronal differentiation conditions, the effect of AC and DC electrical stimulation on both bare and graphenecoated ITO-microchips for neuronal differentiation was investigated. According to the results, it was observed that electrical stimulation with direct current for 30 minutes caused a large degree of neuronal cell differentiation on the graphene coated ITO-microchips. The results were also verified by real-time qPCR.
    Transition between canonical to non-canonical Wnt signaling during interactions between mesenchymal stem cells and osteosarcomas
    Masha Asulin, Orthopedics and Rheumatology - 2020
    Background: Wnt signaling pathways are taking a part in regulation of cell fate decisions in normal and cancerous cells. In some cancer types, a transition from canonical to non-canonical Wnt signaling pathways was identifi ed, a phenomenon, that in return led to increase proliferation, invasiveness and metastasis. Methods: In the current in vitro study we investigated the infl uence of MSCs, co-cultured in direct and indirect contact with OS cells, on the role of Wnt signaling pathways and tumor aggressiveness. Sub-populations were separated using Boyden chambers. Gene expression profi les were determined by qPCR. Results: The results revealed that interactions with MSCs increased migration and invasion capacities along with OS proliferation. Moreover, canonical Wnt signaling activity was low in OS, and co-culture with MSC. However, MSCs did not trigger a switch between the canonical to the no-canonical Wnt pathways. In addition, a more aggressive OS sub-population tend to undergo a transition towards the non-canonical pathway. Moreover, this aggressive subtype presented cancer stem-cells like characteristic. Conclusions: We submit that the progression in OS aggressiveness is attributed to a transition in Wnt signaling from canonical to non-canonical pathways, although MSCs are likely to take a part during the tumor progression, in the case of OS, they did not affect the Wnt switch. These complex tumor promoting interactions may be found in the natural and tumorigenic bone microenvironment. A better understanding of the molecular signaling mechanisms involved in the tumor development and metastasis may contribute to development of new cancer therapies.
    Choroid plexus LAT2 and SNAT3 as partners in CSF amino acid homeostasis maintenance
    Elena Dolgodilina, Fluids and Barriers of the CNS - 2020
    Background Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is mainly produced by the choroid plexus (CP) located in brain ventricles. Although derived from blood plasma, it is nearly protein-free (~ 250-fold less) and contains about 2–20-fold less free amino acids, with the exception of glutamine (Gln) which is nearly equal. The aim of this study was to determine which amino acid transporters are expressed in mouse CP epithelium in order to gain understanding about how this barrier maintains the observed amino acid concentration gradient. Methods Expression of amino acid transporters was assessed in isolated choroid plexuses (CPs) by qRT-PCR followed by localization studies using immunofluorescence with specific antibodies. The impact of LAT2 (Slc7a8) antiporter deletion on CSF amino acids was determined. Results The purity of isolated choroid plexuses was tested on the mRNA level using specific markers, in particular transthyretin (Ttr) that was enriched 330-fold in CP compared to cerebral tissue. In a first experimental round, 14 out of 32 Slc amino acid transporters tested on the mRNA level by qPCR were selected for further investigation. Out of these, five were considered highly expressed, SNAT1 (Slc38a1), SNAT3 (Slc38a3), LAT2 (Slc7a8), ASC1 (Slc7a10) and SIT1 (Slc6a20b). Three of them were visualized by immunofluorescence: SNAT1 (Slc38a1), a neutral amino acid-Na+ symporter, found at the blood side basolateral membrane of CP epithelium, while SNAT3 (Slc38a3), an amino acid-Na+ symporter and H+ antiporter, as well as LAT2 (Slc7a8), a neutral amino acid antiporter, were localized at the CSF-facing luminal membrane. In a LAT2 knock-out mouse model, CSF Gln was unchanged, whereas other amino acids normally 2–20-fold lower than in plasma, were increased, in particular the LAT2 uptake substrates leucine (Leu), valine (Val) and tryptophan (Trp) and some other amino acids such as glutamate (Glu), glycine (Gly) and proline (Pro). Conclusion These results suggest that Gln is actively transported by SNAT1 from the blood into CP epithelial cells and then released luminally into CSF via SNAT3 and LAT2. Its efflux via LAT2 may drive the reuptake from the CSF of essential amino acid substrates of this antiporter and thereby participates to maintaining the amino acid gradient between plasma and CSF.
    TNF controls a speed-accuracy tradeoff in the apoptotic decision to restrict viral spread
    Jennifer Oyler-Yaniv1, bioRxiv - 2020
    Early commitment to apoptosis is an important antiviral strategy. However, fast decisions that are based on limited evidence can be erroneous and cause unnecessary cell death and tissue damage. How cells optimize their decision making strategy to account for both speed and accuracy is unclear. Here we show that exposure to TNF, which is secreted by macrophages during viral infection, causes cells to change their decision strategy from “slow and accurate” to “fast and error-prone”. Mathematical modeling combined with experiments in cell culture and mouse corneas show that the regulation of the apoptotic decision strategy is critical to prevent HSV-1 spread. These findings demonstrate that immune regulation of cellular cognitive processes dynamically changes a tissues’ tolerance for self-damage, which is required to protect against viral spread.
    Conserved statin-mediated activation of the p38-MAPK pathway protects Caenorhabditis elegans from the cholesterol-independent effects of statins
    Irina Langier Goncalves, Molecular Metabolism - 2020
    Objective Statins are a group of medications that reduce cholesterol synthesis by inhibiting the activity of HMG-CoA reductase, a key enzyme in the mevalonate pathway. The clinical use of statins to lower excess cholesterol levels has revolutionized the cardiovascular field and increased the survival of millions, but some patients have adverse side effects. A growing body of data suggests that some of the beneficial and adverse effects of statins, including their anti-inflammatory, anti-tumorigenic, and myopathic activities, are cholesterol-independent. However, the underlying mechanisms for these effects of statins are not well defined. Methods Because Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) lacks the cholesterol synthesis branch of the mevalonate pathway, this organism is a powerful system to unveil the cholesterol-independent effects of statins. We used genetic and biochemical approaches in C. elegans and cultured macrophage-derived murine cells to study the cellular response to statins. Results We found that statins activate a conserved p38-MAPK (p38) cascade and that the protein geranylgeranylation branch of the mevalonate pathway links the effect of statins to the activation of this p38 pathway. We propose that the blockade of geranylgeranylation impairs the function of specific small GTPases we identified as upstream regulators of the p38 pathway. Statin-mediated p38 activation in C. elegans results in the regulation of programs of innate immunity, stress, and metabolism. In agreement with this regulation, knockout of the p38 pathway results in the hypersensitivity of C. elegans to statins. Treating cultured mammalian cells with clinical doses of statins results in the activation of the same p38 pathway, which upregulates the COX-2 protein, a major regulator of innate immunity in mammals. Conclusions Statins activate an evolutionarily conserved p38 pathway to regulate metabolism and innate immunity. Our results highlight the cytoprotective role of p38 activation under statin treatment in vivo and propose that this activation underlies many of the critical cholesterol-independent effects of statins.
    Introduction of a green algal squalene synthase enhances squalene accumulation in a strain of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803
    Bagmi Pattanaik, Metabolic Engineering Communications - 2020
    Squalene is a triterpene which is produced as a precursor for a wide range of terpenoid compounds in many organisms. It has commercial use in food and cosmetics but could also be used as a feedstock for production of chemicals and fuels, if generated sustainably on a large scale. We have engineered a cyanobacterium, Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, for production of squalene from CO2. In this organism, squalene is produced via the methylerythritol-phosphate (MEP) pathway for terpenoid biosynthesis, and consumed by the enzyme squalene hopene cyclase (Shc) for generation of hopanoids. The gene encoding Shc in Synechocystis was inactivated (Δshc) by insertion of a gene encoding a squalene synthase from the green alga Botryococcus braunii, under control of an inducible promoter. We could demonstrate elevated squalene generation in cells where the algal enzyme was induced. Heterologous overexpression of genes upstream in the MEP pathway further enhanced the production of squalene, to a level three times higher than the Δshc background strain. During growth in flat panel bioreactors, a squalene titer of 5.1 ​mg/L of culture was reached.
    Blimp-1 is essential for allergen-induced asthma and Th2 cell development in the lung
    Kun He, Journal of Experimental Medicine - 2020
    A Th2 immune response is central to allergic airway inflammation, which afflicts millions worldwide. However, the mechanisms that augment GATA3 expression in an antigen-primed developing Th2 cell are not well understood. Here, we describe an unexpected role for Blimp-1, a transcriptional repressor that constrains autoimmunity, as an upstream promoter of GATA3 expression that is critical for Th2 cell development in the lung to inhaled but not systemically delivered allergens but is dispensable for TFH function and IgE production. Mechanistically, Blimp-1 acts through Bcl6, leading to increased GATA3 expression in lung Th2 cells. Surprisingly, the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, but not the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 or IL-21, is required via STAT3 activation to up-regulate Blimp-1 and promote Th2 cell development. These data reveal a hitherto unappreciated role for an IL-10–STAT3–Blimp-1 circuit as an initiator of an inflammatory Th2 response in the lung to allergens. Thus, Blimp-1 in a context-dependent fashion can drive inflammation by promoting rather than terminating effector T cell responses.
    Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Absorption of Aglycone and Glycosidic Flavonoids in a Caco-2 BBe1 Cell Model
    Hua Zhang, ACS Publications - 2020
    The mechanisms of cellular absorption and transport underlying the differences between flavonoid aglycones and glycosides and the effect of the structural feature are not well established. In this study, aglycone, mono-, and diglycosides of quercetin and cyanidin were selected to examine the effects of the structural feature on the bioavailability of flavonoids using hexose transporters SGLT1 and GLUT2 in a Caco-2 BBe1 cell model. Cellular uptake and transport of all glycosides were significantly different. The glycosides also significantly inhibited cellular uptake of d-glucose, indicating the involvement of the two hexose transporters SGLT1 and GLUT2 in the absorption, and the potential of the glycosides in lowering the blood glucose level. The in silico prediction model also supported these observations. The absorption of glycosides, especially diglycosides but not the aglycones, was significantly blocked by SGLT1 and GLUT2 inhibitors (phloridzin and phloretin) and further validated in SGLT1 knockdown Caco-2 BBe1 cells.
    Zika virus noncoding RNA suppresses apoptosis and is required for virus transmission by mosquitoes
    Andrii Slonchak, Nature Communications - 2020
    Flaviviruses, including Zika virus (ZIKV), utilise host mRNA degradation machinery to produce subgenomic flaviviral RNA (sfRNA). In mammalian hosts, this noncoding RNA facilitates replication and pathogenesis of flaviviruses by inhibiting IFN-signalling, whereas the function of sfRNA in mosquitoes remains largely elusive. Herein, we conduct a series of in vitro and in vivo experiments to define the role of ZIKV sfRNA in infected Aedes aegypti employing viruses deficient in production of sfRNA. We show that sfRNA-deficient viruses have reduced ability to disseminate and reach saliva, thus implicating the role for sfRNA in productive infection and transmission. We also demonstrate that production of sfRNA alters the expression of mosquito genes related to cell death pathways, and prevents apoptosis in mosquito tissues. Inhibition of apoptosis restored replication and transmission of sfRNA-deficient mutants. Hence, we propose anti-apoptotic activity of sfRNA as the mechanism defining its role in ZIKV transmission.
    Extrahepatic cholangiocyte obstruction is mediated by decreased glutathione, Wnt and Notch signaling pathways in a toxic model of biliary atresia
    Sophia Fried, Nature - 2020
    Biliary atresia is a neonatal liver disease with extrahepatic bile duct obstruction and progressive liver fibrosis. The etiology and pathogenesis of the disease are unknown. We previously identified a plant toxin, biliatresone, responsible for biliary atresia in naturally-occurring animal models, that causes cholangiocyte destruction in in-vitro models. Decreases in reduced glutathione (GSH) mimic the effects of biliatresone, and agents that replenish cellular GSH ameliorate the effects of the toxin. The goals of this study were to define signaling pathways downstream of biliatresone that lead to cholangiocyte destruction and to determine their relationship to GSH. Using cholangiocyte culture and 3D cholangiocyte spheroid cultures, we found that biliatresone and decreases in GSH upregulated RhoU/Wrch1, a Wnt signaling family member, which then mediated an increase in Hey2 in the NOTCH signaling pathway, causing downregulation of the transcription factor Sox17. When these genes were up- or down-regulated, the biliatresone effect on spheroids was phenocopied, resulting in lumen obstruction. Biopsies of patients with biliary atresia demonstrated increased RhoU/Wrch1 and Hey2 expression in cholangiocytes. We present a novel pathway of cholangiocyte injury in a model of biliary atresia, which is relevant to human BA and may suggest potential future therapeutics.
    Expanding the search for genetic biomarkers of Parkinson's disease into the living brain
    Simon M. Benoit, Neurobiology of Disease - 2020
    Altered gene expression related to Parkinson's Disease (PD) has not been described in the living brain, yet this information may support novel discovery pertinent to disease pathophysiology and treatment. This study compared the transcriptome in brain biopsies obtained from living PD and Control patients. To evaluate the novelty of this data, a comprehensive literature review also compared differentially expressed gene (DEGs) identified in the current study with those reported in PD cadaveric brain and peripheral tissues. RNA was extracted from rapidly cryopreserved frontal lobe specimens collected from PD and Control patients undergoing neurosurgical procedures. RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) was performed and validated using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. DEG data was assessed using bioinformatics and subsequently included within a comparative analysis of PD RNA-Seq studies. 370 DEGs identified in living brain specimens reflected diverse gene groups and included key members of trophic signaling, apoptosis, inflammation and cell metabolism pathways. The comprehensive literature review yielded 7 RNA-Seq datasets generated from blood, skin and cadaveric brain but none from a living brain source. From the current dataset, 123 DEGs were identified only within the living brain and 267 DEGs were either newly found or had distinct directional change in living brain relative to other tissues. This is the first known study to analyze the transcriptome in brain tissue from living PD and Control patients. The data produced using these methods offer a unique, unexplored resource with potential to advance insight into the genetic associations of PD.
    Embryonic development and secondary axis induction in the Brazilian white knee tarantula Acanthoscurria geniculata, C. L. Koch, 1841 (Araneae; Mygalomorphae; Theraphosidae)
    Matthias Pechmann, Development Genes and Evolution - 2020
    Tarantulas represent some of the heaviest and most famous spiders. However, there is little information about the embryonic development of these spiders or their relatives (infraorder Mygalomorphae) and time-lapse recording of the embryonic development is entirely missing. I here describe the complete development of the Brazilian white knee tarantula, Acanthoscurria geniculata, in fixed and live embryos. The establishment of the blastoderm, the formation, migration and signalling of the cumulus and the shape changes that occur in the segment addition zone are analysed in detail. In addition, I show that there might be differences in the contraction process of early embryos of different theraphosid spider species. A new embryonic reference transcriptome was generated for this study and was used to clone and analyse the expression of several important developmental genes. Finally, I show that embryos of A. geniculata are amenable to tissue transplantation and bead insertion experiments. Using these functional approaches, I induced axis duplication in embryos via cumulus transplantation and ectopic activation of BMP signalling. Overall, the mygalomorph spider A. geniculata is a useful laboratory system to analyse evolutionary developmental questions, and the availability of such a system will help understanding conserved and divergent aspects of spider/chelicerate development.
    Liver Organoids Generated from Mice with Necrotizing Enterocolitis Have Reduced Regenerative Capacity
    Hiromu Miyake, European Journal of Pediatric Surgery - 2020
    Introduction  Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is one of the most severe gastrointestinal diseases in infancy. NEC can cause metabolic derangements, multi-organ injury including severe liver damage. The mechanism leading to hepatic damage in NEC remains unclear. The aim of this study is to establish and characterize liver organoids from NEC mice. Materials and Methods  Following ethical approval (#44032), we induced experimental NEC from postnatal day 5 (P5) to P9 using C57BL/6 mice pups. NEC was induced by gavage formula feeding, gavage lipopolysaccharide (LPS) administration, and hypoxia. Breastfed pups were used as control. On P9, NEC and control pups were sacrificed and liver tissue was harvested and organoids were generated. Organoid size was recorded daily (day 2–4) by measuring their surface area and organoid growth was calculated. RNA was extracted on day 4 after liver organoid generation. Results  Organoid growth rate was significantly lower in NEC liver organoids compared to control liver organoids. mRNA expression of liver progenitor cells markers of LGR5 and SOX9 was lower in NEC liver organoids compared to control liver organoids. Similarly, expression of proliferation markers of Ki67 and PCNA was lower in NEC liver organoids. Conclusion  We report a novel technique to generate liver organoids during NEC. These organoids are characterized by reduced progenitor cells, reduced proliferation, and overall impaired regenerative capacity. Liver progenitor cells are important targets to prevent liver damage in NEC and promote recovery.
    Lactoferrin Reduces Necrotizing Enterocolitis Severity by Upregulating Intestinal Epithelial Proliferation
    Jia Liu, European Journal of Pediatric Surgery - 2020
    Introduction Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a devastating intestinal illness in premature infants characterized by severe intestinal inflammation. Despite medical interventions, NEC mortality remains alarmingly high, which necessitates improved therapies. Lactoferrin is among the most abundant proteins in human milk and has important immunomodulatory functions. While previous studies have indicated protective effects of lactoferrin against neonatal sepsis and NEC, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. We hypothesize that lactoferrin downregulates inflammation and upregulates proliferation in intestinal epithelium during NEC injury. Materials and Methods  NEC was induced by hypoxia, gavage feeding of hyperosmolar formula and lipopolysaccharide between postnatal day P5 and P9 (n = 8). Breastfed mice were used as control (n = 7). Lactoferrin (0.3 g/kg/day) was administered once daily by gavage from P6 to P8 in both NEC (NEC + Lac; n = 9) and control mice (Cont + Lac; n = 5). Distal ileum was harvested on P9 and analyzed for disease severity, inflammation, and proliferation. Groups were compared using one-way ANOVA and t-test appropriately; p < 0.05 was considered significant. Results  Compared to NEC group, lactoferrin-treated NEC mice had reduced disease severity, reduced inflammation markers IL-6 and TNF-α expression and increased intestinal stem cell marker Lgr5 + expression. Lactoferrin-treated NEC mice exhibited increased nuclear β-catenin, indicating upregulated Wnt pathway, and increased Ki67 positivity, suggesting enhanced proliferation. Furthermore, lactoferrin administration to control mice did not affect intestinal inflammation as well as Lgr5 + stem cell expression and epithelial proliferation. This supports the safety of lactoferrin administration and indicates that the beneficial effects of lactoferrin are present when intestinal injury such as NEC is present. Conclusion  Lactoferrin administration reduces the intestinal injury in experimental NEC by downregulating inflammation and upregulating cell proliferation. This beneficial effect of lactoferrin in stimulating cell proliferation is mediated by the Wnt pathway. This experimental study provides insights on the mechanism of action of lactoferrin in NEC and the role of lactoferrin in enteral feeding.
    Nuclear‐encoded sigma factor 6 (SIG6) is involved in the block of greening response in Arabidopsis thaliana
    Hussien F. Alameldin, American Journal of Botany - 2020
    Premise Light is critical in the ability of plants to accumulate chlorophyll. When exposed to far‐red (FR) light and then grown in white light in the absence of sucrose, wild‐type seedlings fail to green in a response known as the FR block of greening (BOG). This response is controlled by phytochrome A through repression of protochlorophyllide reductase‐encoding (POR) genes by FR light coupled with irreversible plastid damage. Sigma (SIG) factors are nuclear‐encoded proteins that contribute to plant greening and plastid development through regulating gene transcription in chloroplasts and impacting retrograde signaling from the plastid to nucleus. SIGs are regulated by phytochromes, and the expression of some SIG factors is reduced in phytochrome mutant lines, including phyA. Given the association of phyA with the FR BOG and its regulation of SIG factors, we investigated the potential regulatory role of SIG factors in the FR BOG response. Methods We examined FR BOG responses in sig mutants, phytochrome‐deficient lines, and mutant lines for several phy‐associated factors. We quantified chlorophyll levels and examined expression of key BOG‐associated genes. Results Among six sig mutants, only the sig6 mutant significantly accumulated chlorophyll after FR BOG treatment, similar to the phyA mutant. SIG6 appears to control protochlorophyllide accumulation by contributing to the regulation of tetrapyrrole biosynthesis associated with glutamyl‐tRNA reductase (HEMA1) function, select phytochrome‐interacting factor genes (PIF4 and PIF6), and PENTA1, which regulates PORA mRNA translation after FR exposure. Conclusions Regulation of SIG6 plays a significant role in plant responses to FR exposure during the BOG response.
    Improving synthetic methylotrophy via dynamic formaldehyde regulation of pentose phosphate pathway genes and redox perturbation
    Julia Rohlhill, Metabolic Engineering - 2020
    Escherichia coli is an ideal choice for constructing synthetic methylotrophs capable of utilizing the non-native substrate methanol as a carbon and energy source. All current E. coli-based synthetic methylotrophs require co-substrates. They display variable levels of methanol-carbon incorporation due to a lack of native regulatory control of biosynthetic pathways, as E. coli does not recognize methanol as a proper substrate despite its ability to catabolize it. Here, using the E. coli formaldehyde-inducible promoter Pfrm, we implement dynamic expression control of select pentose-phosphate genes in response to the formaldehyde produced upon methanol oxidation. Genes under Pfrm control exhibited 8- to 30-fold transcriptional upregulation during growth on methanol. Formaldehyde-induced episomal expression of the B. methanolicus rpe and tkt genes involved in the regeneration of ribulose 5-phosphate required for formaldehyde fixation led to significantly improved methanol assimilation into intracellular metabolites, including a 2-fold increase of 13C-methanol into glutamate. Using a simple strategy for redox perturbation by deleting the E. coli NAD-dependent malate dehydrogenase gene maldh, we demonstrate 5-fold improved biomass formation of cells growing on methanol in the presence of a small concentration of yeast extract. Further improvements in methanol utilization are achieved via adaptive laboratory evolution and heterologous rpe and tkt expression. A short-term in vivo 13C-methanol labeling assay was used to determine methanol assimilation activity for Δmaldh strains, and demonstrated dramatically higher labeling in intracellular metabolites, including a 6-fold and 1.8-fold increase in glycine labeling for the rpe/tkt and evolved strains, respectively. The combination of formaldehyde-controlled pentose phosphate pathway expression and redox perturbation with the maldh knock-out greatly improved both growth benefit with methanol and methanol carbon incorporation into intracellular metabolites.
    Catestatin improves insulin sensitivity by attenuating endoplasmic reticulum stress: In vivo and in silico validation
    Abhijit Dasgupta, Comput Struct Biotechnol J - 2020
    Obesity is characterized by a state of chronic, unresolved inflammation in insulin-targeted tissues. Obesity-induced inflammation causes accumulation of proinflammatory macrophages in adipose tissue and liver. Proinflammatory cytokines released from tissue macrophages inhibits insulin sensitivity. Obesity also leads to inflammation-induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and insulin resistance. In this scenario, based on the data (specifically patterns) generated by our in vivo experiments on both diet-induced obese (DIO) and normal chow diet (NCD) mice, we developed an in silico state space model to integrate ER stress and insulin signaling pathways. Computational results successfully followed the experimental results for both DIO and NCD conditions. Chromogranin A (CgA) peptide catestatin (CST: hCgA352−372) improves obesity-induced hepatic insulin resistance by reducing inflammation and inhibiting proinflammatory macrophage infiltration. We reasoned that the anti-inflammatory effects of CST would alleviate ER stress. CST decreased obesity-induced ER dilation in hepatocytes and macrophages. On application of Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controllers on the in silico model, we checked whether the reduction of phosphorylated PERK resulting in attenuation of ER stress, resembling CST effect, could enhance insulin sensitivity. The simulation results clearly pointed out that CST not only decreased ER stress but also enhanced insulin sensitivity in mammalian cells. In vivo experiment validated the simulation results by depicting that CST caused decrease in phosphorylation of UPR signaling molecules and increased phosphorylation of insulin signaling molecules. Besides simulation results predicted that enhancement of AKT phosphorylation helps in both overcoming ER stress and achieving insulin sensitivity. These effects of CST were verified in hepatocyte culture model.
    Boosting Natural Killer Cell-Mediated Targeting of Sarcoma Through DNAM-1 and NKG2D
    Ece Canan Sayitoglu, Frontiers in Immunology - 2020
    Sarcomas are malignancies of mesenchymal origin that occur in bone and soft tissues. Many are chemo- and radiotherapy resistant, thus conventional treatments fail to increase overall survival. Natural Killer (NK) cells exert anti-tumor activity upon detection of a complex array of tumor ligands, but this has not been thoroughly explored in the context of sarcoma immunotherapy. In this study, we investigated the NK cell receptor/ligand immune profile of primary human sarcoma explants. Analysis of tumors from 32 sarcoma patients identified the proliferative marker PCNA and DNAM-1 ligands CD112 and/or CD155 as commonly expressed antigens that could be efficiently targeted by genetically modified (GM) NK cells. Despite the strong expression of CD112 and CD155 on sarcoma cells, characterization of freshly dissociated sarcomas revealed a general decrease in tumor-infiltrating NK cells compared to the periphery, suggesting a defect in the endogenous NK cell response. We also applied a functional screening approach to identify relevant NK cell receptor/ligand interactions that induce efficient anti-tumor responses using a panel NK-92 cell lines GM to over-express 12 different activating receptors. Using GM NK-92 cells against primary sarcoma explants (n = 12) revealed that DNAM-1 over-expression on NK-92 cells led to efficient degranulation against all tested explants (n = 12). Additionally, NKG2D over-expression showed enhanced responses against 10 out of 12 explants. These results show that DNAM-1+ or NKG2D+ GM NK-92 cells may be an efficient approach in targeting sarcomas. The degranulation capacity of GM NK-92 cell lines was also tested against various established tumor cell lines, including neuroblastoma, Schwannoma, melanoma, myeloma, leukemia, prostate, pancreatic, colon, and lung cancer. Enhanced degranulation of DNAM-1+ or NKG2D+ GM NK-92 cells was observed against the majority of tumor cell lines tested. In conclusion, DNAM-1 or NKG2D over-expression elicited a dynamic increase in NK cell degranulation against all sarcoma explants and cancer cell lines tested, including those that failed to induce a notable response in WT NK-92 cells. These results support the broad therapeutic potential of DNAM-1+ or NKG2D+ GM NK-92 cells and GM human NK cells for the treatment of sarcomas and other malignancies.
    Neutrophils are mediators of metastatic prostate cancer progression in bone
    Diane L. Costanzo-Garvey, Springer Link - 2020
    Bone metastatic prostate cancer (BM-PCa) significantly reduces overall patient survival and is currently incurable. Current standard immunotherapy showed promising results for PCa patients with metastatic, but less advanced, disease (i.e., fewer than 20 bone lesions) suggesting that PCa growth in bone contributes to response to immunotherapy. We found that: (1) PCa stimulates recruitment of neutrophils, the most abundant immune cell in bone, and (2) that neutrophils heavily infiltrate regions of prostate tumor in bone of BM-PCa patients. Based on these findings, we examined the impact of direct neutrophil–prostate cancer interactions on prostate cancer growth. Bone marrow neutrophils directly induced apoptosis of PCa in vitro and in vivo, such that neutrophil depletion in bone metastasis models enhanced BM-PCa growth. Neutrophil-mediated PCa killing was found to be mediated by suppression of STAT5, a transcription factor shown to promote PCa progression. However, as the tumor progressed in bone over time, neutrophils from late-stage bone tumors failed to elicit cytotoxic effector responses to PCa. These findings are the first to demonstrate that bone-resident neutrophils inhibit PCa and that BM-PCa are able to progress via evasion of neutrophil-mediated killing. Enhancing neutrophil cytotoxicity in bone may present a novel therapeutic option for bone metastatic prostate cancer.
    Gene Expression Signatures Identify Novel Therapeutics for Metastatic Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors
    Aaron T Scott, Clinical Cancer Research - 2020
    Purpose Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs) are uncommon malignancies noted for their propensity to metastasize and comparatively favorable prognosis. Although both the treatment options and clinical outcomes have improved in the last decades, most patients will die of metastatic disease. New systemic therapies are needed. Experimental Design Tissues were obtained from 43 patients with well-differentiated pNETs undergoing surgery. Gene expression was compared between primary tumors versus liver and lymph node metastases using RNASeq. Genes that were selectively elevated at only one metastatic site were filtered out to reduce tissuespecific effects. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) and the Connectivity Map (CMap) identified drugs likely to antagonize metastasis-specific targets. The biological activity of top identified agents was tested in vitro using two pNET cell lines (BON-1 and QGP-1). Results 902 genes were differentially expressed in pNET metastases compared to primary tumors, 626 of which remained in the common metastatic profile after filtering. Analysis with IPA and CMap revealed altered activity of factors involved in survival and proliferation, and identified drugs targeting those pathways, including inhibitors of mTOR, PI3K, MEK, TOP2A, PKC, NF-kB, CDK and HDAC. Inhibitors of MEK and TOP2A were consistently the most active compounds. Conclusions We employed a complementary bioinformatics approach to identify novel therapeutics for pNETs by analyzing gene expression in metastatic tumors. The potential utility of these drugs was confirmed by in vitro cytotoxicity assays, suggesting drugs targeting MEK and TOP2A may be highly efficacious against metastatic pNETs. This is a promising strategy for discovering more effective treatments for pNET patients.
    Validation of suitable reference genes for normalization of quantitative reverse transcriptase- polymerase chain reaction in rice infected by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae
    Carlo Magno Sagun, Plant Gene - 2020
    Bacterial blight (BB) caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) is a costly disease in rice that threatens global rice production. Gene expression analysis by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) allows the study of the underlying mechanisms of both BB pathogenesis and resistance. In relative quantification, reference genes are often used to normalize the results to remove technical variations allowing the determination of true biological changes in a pilot experiment. However, variations in the expression of these reference genes can lead to erroneous and unreliable results. Thus, choosing the most stable reference genes for any specific experimental condition is of utmost importance in qRT-PCR experiments. Here, we used geNorm, NormFinder, Bestkeeper, Delta-Ct and RefFinder programs and/or methods to analyze the stability of the expression of eleven candidate reference genes namely: 18S ribosomal RNA (18S rRNA), Actin-1 (ACT1), ADP-Ribosylation Factor (ARF), Endothelial differentiation factor (Edf), eukaryotic Elongation Factor-1α (eEF-1α), eukaryotic Initiation Factor-4a (eIF-4a), Profilin 2 (Prof2), Nucleic Acid Binding Protein (NABP), Triosephosphate Isomerase (TI), Ubiquitin 5 (UBQ5) and Ubiquitin 10 (UBQ10) in cDNA samples from BB-susceptible and Xa21-mediated resistant rice cultivars collected at various times after Xoo inoculation. Under our experimental conditions, Edf and TI were the most stable reference genes while the common housekeeping genes 18S rRNA, and UBQ5 were among the least stable genes. Though using either Edf or TI as internal control is adequate for gene expression analysis, we suggest using both genes to normalize the data of qRT-PCR assays for rice subjected to Xoo inoculation.
    Response of the Salmon Heart Transcriptome to Pancreas Disease: Differences Between High- and Low-Ranking Families for Resistance
    N. A. Robinson, Scientific Reports - 2020
    Pancreas disease caused by salmonid alphaviruses leads to severe losses in Atlantic salmon aquaculture. The aim of our study was to gain a better understanding of the biological differences between salmon with high and low genomic breeding values (H-gEBV and L-gEBV respectively) for pancreas disease resistance. Fish from H- and L-gEBV families were challenged by intraperitoneal injection of salmonid alphavirus or co-habitation with infected fish. Mortality was higher with co-habitation than injection, and for L- than H-gEBV. Heart for RNA-seq and histopathology was collected before challenge and at four- and ten-weeks post-challenge. Heart damage was less severe in injection-challenged H- than L-gEBV fish at week 4. Viral load was lower in H- than L-gEBV salmon after co-habitant challenge. Gene expression differences between H- and L-gEBV manifested before challenge, peaked at week 4, and moderated by week 10. At week 4, H-gEBV salmon showed lower expression of innate antiviral defence genes, stimulation of B- and T-cell immune function, and weaker stress responses. Retarded resolution of the disease explains the higher expression of immune genes in L-gEBV at week 10. Results suggest earlier mobilization of acquired immunity better protects H-gEBV salmon by accelerating clearance of the virus and resolution of the disease.
    AKINβ1, a subunit of SnRK1, regulates organic acid metabolism and acts as a global modulator of genes involved in carbon, lipid, and nitrogen metabolism
    You Wang, Journal of Experimental Botany - 2020
    The sucrose non-fermenting-1-related protein kinase 1 (SnRK1) is a highly conserved heterotrimeric protein kinase in plants. It possesses a catalytic subunit (α) and two regulatory subunits (β and γ). The effects of altered expression of AKINβ1 on carbohydrate metabolism and gene expression in leaves were investigated in an Arabidopsis T-DNA insertion mutant. The contents of key intermediates in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle of the mutant leaves were markedly reduced throughout the diurnal cycle, coupled with a decrease in measurable respiration rate. Compared with the wild type, 2485 genes and 188 genes were differentially expressed in leaves of the akinβ1 mutant in response to light and darkness, respectively. Among these, several genes exhibited very substantial decreases in expression. Notably, expression of particular isoforms of multigene families involved in malate and lipid metabolism and nitrate uptake showed decreases of 40- to 240-fold during the light period, but not during darkness. The subcellular localization of AKINβ1 and the regulatory function of N-myristoylation for this localization were investigated, showing that AKINβ1 localizes to the Golgi. A model is hypothesized to explain the effects of AKINβ1 on metabolism and gene expression in Arabidopsis.
    Acute Synovitis after Trauma Precedes and is Associated with Osteoarthritis Onset and Progression
    Lifan Liao, International Journal of Biological Sciences - 2020
    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a whole-joint disease characterized by cartilage destruction, subchondral bone sclerosis, osteophyte formation, and synovitis. However, it remains unclear which part of the joint undergoes initial pathological changes that drives OA onset and progression. In the present study, we investigated the longitudinal alterations of the entire knee joint using a surgically-induced OA mouse model. Histology analysis showed that synovitis occurred as early as 1 week after destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM), which preceded the events of cartilage degradation, subchondral sclerosis and osteophyte formation. Importantly, key pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β, IL-6, TNFα, and Ccl2, major matrix degrading enzymes including Adamts4, Mmp3 and Mmp13, as well as nerve growth factor (NGF), all increased significantly in both synovium and articular cartilage. It is notable that the inductions of these factors in synovium are far more extensive than those in articular cartilage. Results from behavioral tests demonstrated that sensitization of knee joint pain developed after 8 weeks, later than histological and molecular changes. In addition, the nanoindentation modulus of the medial tibiae decreased 4 weeks after DMM surgery, simultaneous with histological OA signs, which is also later than appearance of synovitis. Collectively, our data suggested that synovitis precedes and is associated with OA, and thus synovium may be an important target to intervene in OA treatment.
    The Δ133p53β isoform promotes an immunosuppressive environment leading to aggressive prostate cancer
    Marina Kazantseva, Cell Death and Disease - 2019
    Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, for which there are no reliable biomarkers or targeted therapies. Here we demonstrate that elevated levels of Δ133TP53β isoform characterize prostate cancers with immune cell infiltration, particularly T cells and CD163+ macrophages. These cancers are associated with shorter progression-free survival, Gleason scores ≥ 7, and an immunosuppressive environment defined by a higher proportion of PD-1, PD-L1 and colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) positive cells. Consistent with this, RNA-seq of tumours showed enrichment for pathways associated with immune signalling and cell migration. We further show a role for hypoxia and wild-type p53 in upregulating Δ133TP53 levels. Finally, AUC analysis showed that Δ133TP53β expression level alone predicted aggressive disease with 88% accuracy. Our data identify Δ133TP53β as a highly accurate prognostic factor for aggressive prostate cancer.
    An evolutionarily-conserved Wnt3/β-catenin/Sp5 feedback loop restricts head organizer activity in Hydra
    Matthias C. Vogg, Nature Communications - 2019
    Polyps of the cnidarian Hydra maintain their adult anatomy through two developmental organizers, the head organizer located apically and the foot organizer basally. The head organizer is made of two antagonistic cross-reacting components, an activator, driving apical differentiation and an inhibitor, preventing ectopic head formation. Here we characterize the head inhibitor by comparing planarian genes down-regulated when β-catenin is silenced to Hydra genes displaying a graded apical-to-basal expression and an up-regulation during head regeneration. We identify Sp5 as a transcription factor that fulfills the head inhibitor properties: leading to a robust multiheaded phenotype when knocked-down in Hydra, acting as a transcriptional repressor of Wnt3 and positively regulated by Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Hydra and zebrafish Sp5 repress Wnt3 promoter activity while Hydra Sp5 also activates its own expression, likely via β-catenin/TCF interaction. This work identifies Sp5 as a potent feedback loop inhibitor of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, a function conserved across eumetazoan evolution.
    Targeted exon skipping with AAV-mediated split adenine base editors
    Jackson Winter, Cell Discovery - 2019
    Techniques for exclusion of exons from mature transcripts have been applied as gene therapies for treating many different diseases. Since exon skipping has been traditionally accomplished using technologies that have a transient effect, it is particularly important to develop new techniques that enable permanent exon skipping. We have recently shown that this can be accomplished using cytidine base editors for permanently disabling the splice acceptor of target exons. We now demonstrate the application of CRISPR-Cas9 adenine deaminase base editors to disrupt the conserved adenine within splice acceptor sites for programmable exon skipping. We also demonstrate that by altering the amino acid sequence of the linker between the adenosine deaminase domain and the Cas9-nickase or by coupling the adenine base editor with a uracil glycosylase inhibitor, the DNA editing efficiency and exon-skipping rates improve significantly. Finally, we developed a split base editor architecture compatible with adeno-associated viral packaging. Collectively, these results represent significant progress toward permanent in vivo exon skipping through base editing and, ultimately, a new modality of gene therapy for the treatment of genetic diseases.
    Retinoids induce antagonism between FOXO3A and FOXM1 transcription factors in human oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cells
    Kwame Osei-Sarfo, PLOS ONE - 2019
    To gain a greater understanding of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) we investigated the actions of all-trans-retinoic acid (RA; a retinoid), bexarotene (a pan-RXR agonist), and forkhead box (FOX) transcription factors in human OSCC-derived cell lines. RA and bexarotene have been shown to limit several oncogenic pathways in many cell types. FOXO proteins typically are associated with tumor suppressive activities, whereas FOXM1 acts as an oncogene when overexpressed in several cancers. RA and/or bexarotene increased the transcript levels of FOXO1, FOXO3A, and TRAIL receptors; reduced the transcript levels of FOXM1, Aurora kinase B (AURKB), and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA); and decreased the proliferation of OSCC-derived cell lines. Also, RA and/or bexarotene influenced the recruitment of FOXO3A and FOXM1 to target genes. Additionally, FOXM1 depletion reduced cell proliferation, decreased transcript levels of downstream targets of FOXM1, and increased transcript levels of TRAIL receptors. Overexpression of FOXO3A decreased proliferation and increased binding of histone deacetylases (HDACs) 1 and 2 at the FOXM1, AURKB, and VEGFA promoters. This research suggests novel influences of the drugs RA and bexarotene on the expression of FOXM1 and FOXO3A in transcriptional regulatory pathways of human OSCC.
    An Hb-mediated circulating macrophage contributing to pulmonary vascular remodeling in sickle cell disease
    Katherine Redinus, JCI Insight - 2019
    Circulating macrophages recruited to the lung contribute to pulmonary vascular remodeling in various forms of pulmonary hypertension (PH). In this study we investigated a macrophage phenotype characterized by intracellular iron accumulation and expression of antioxidant (HO-1), vasoactive (ET-1), and proinflammatory (IL-6) mediators observed in the lung tissue of deceased sickle cell disease (SCD) patients with diagnosed PH. To this end, we evaluated an established rat model of group 5 PH that is simultaneously exposed to free hemoglobin (Hb) and hypobaric hypoxia (HX). Here, we tested the hypothesis that pulmonary vascular remodeling observed in human SCD with concomitant PH could be replicated and mechanistically driven in our rat model by a similar macrophage phenotype with iron accumulation and expression of a similar mixture of antioxidant (HO-1), vasoactive (ET-1), and inflammatory (IL-6) proteins. Our data suggest phenotypic similarities between pulmonary perivascular macrophages in our rat model and human SCD with PH, indicating a potentially novel maladaptive immune response to concomitant bouts of Hb and HX exposure. Moreover, by knocking out circulating macrophages with gadolinium trichloride (GdCl3), the response to combined Hb and hypobaric HX was significantly attenuated in rats, suggesting a critical role for macrophages in the exacerbation of SCD PH.
    Inhibiting nucleolin reduces inflammation induced by mitochondrial DNA in cardiomyocytes exposed to hypoxia and reoxygenation
    Lars Henrik Mariero, British Pharmacological Society - 2019
    Background and purpose Cellular debris causes sterile inflammation after myocardial infarction. Mitochondria constitute about 30 percent of the human heart. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a damage‐associated‐molecular‐pattern that induce injurious sterile inflammation. Little is known about mtDNA's inflammatory signalling pathways in cardiomyocytes and how mtDNA is internalized to associate with its putative receptor, toll‐like receptor 9 (TLR9). Experimental Approach We hypothesized that mtDNA can be internalized in cardiomyocytes and induce an inflammatory response. Adult mouse cardiomyocytes were exposed to hypoxia‐reoxygenation and extracellular DNA. Microscale thermophoresis was used to demonstrate binding between nucleolin and DNA. Key results Expression of the pro‐inflammatory cytokines IL‐1β and TNFα were upregulated by mtDNA, but not by nuclear DNA (nDNA), in cardiomyocytes exposed to hypoxia‐reoxygenation. Blocking the RNA/DNA binding protein nucleolin with midkine reduced expression of IL‐1β/TNFα and the nucleolin inhibitor AS1411 reduced interleukin‐6 release in adult mouse cardiomyocytes. mtDNA bound 10‐fold stronger than nDNA to nucleolin. In HEK293‐NF‐κB reporter cells, mtDNA induced NF‐κB activity in normoxia, while CpG‐DNA and hypoxia‐reoxygenation, synergistically induced TLR9‐dependent NF‐κB activity. Protein expression of nucleolin was found in the plasma membrane of cardiomyocytes and inhibition of nucleolin with midkine inhibited cellular uptake of CpG‐DNA. Inhibition of endocytosis did not reduce CpG‐DNA uptake in cardiomyocytes. Conclusion and implications mtDNA, but not nDNA, induce an inflammatory response in mouse cardiomyocytes during hypoxia‐reoxygenation. In cardiomyocytes, nucleolin is expressed on the membrane and blocking nucleolin reduce inflammation. Nucleolin might be a therapeutic target to prevent uptake of immunogenic DNA and reduce inflammation.
    n-6 Linoleic Acid Induces Epigenetics Alterations Associated with Colonic Inflammation and Cancer
    Donato F. Romagnolo, Nutrients - 2019
    The farnesoid-X-receptor (FXR) protects against inflammation and cancer of the colon through maintenance of intestinal bile acid (BA) homeostasis. Conversely, higher levels of BA and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) are risk factors for inflammation and cancer of the colon. In the United States, n-6 linoleic acid (LA) is the most commonly used dietary vegetable fat. Metabolism of n-6 fatty acids has been linked to a higher risk of intestinal cancer. The objectives of this study were to investigate in colonic mucosa the effects of a high-fat diet rich in LA (n-6HFD) on CpG methylation of Fxr and prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase-2 (Ptsg-2) genes, and the impact on the expression of tumor suppressor adenomatous polyposis Coli (Apc) and proliferative cyclin D1 (Ccnd1) genes. Weaned C57BL/6J male mice were fed for 6 weeks either an n-6HFD containing 44% energy (44%E) from 22% safflower oil (SO, 76% LA by weight) or a 13% energy (13%E) control diet (Control) from SO (5% by weight). Mice fed the n-6HFD had reduced (60%) Fxr promoter CpG methylation and increased (~50%) Fxr mRNA. The expression of FXR-target ileal bile acid-binding protein (Ibabp), small heterodimer protein (Shp), and anti-inflammatory peroxisome proliferator-activated-γ1 genes was increased. The n-6HFD reduced Ptgs-2 CpG methylation, increased the expression of Cox-2, and increased Apc CpG methylation in colonic mucosa. Accordingly, reduced expression of Apc was coupled to accumulation of c-JUN and Ccnd1, respectively cofactor and gene targets for the β-catenin/Wnt signaling pathway. Finally, the n-6HFD reduced the expression of histone deacetylase-1 while favoring the accumulation of acetylated histone 3. We conclude that an n-6HFD epigenetically modifies Fxr, leading to the activation of downstream factors that participate in BA homeostasis. However, epigenetic activation of Ptsg-2 coupled with silencing of Apc and accumulation of C-JUN and Ccnd1 may increase the risk of inflammation and cancer of the colon.
    Defining fallopian tube‐derived miRNA cancer signatures
    Selam B. Dejene, Cancer Medicine - 2019
    Background MicroRNAs have recently emerged as promising circulating biomarkers in diverse cancer types, including ovarian cancer. We utilized conditional, doxycycline‐induced fallopian tube (FT)‐derived cancer models to identify changes in miRNA expression in tumors and plasma, and further validated the murine findings in high‐grade ovarian cancer patient samples. Methods We analyzed 566 biologically informative miRNAs in doxycycline‐induced FT and metastatic tumors as well as plasma samples derived from murine models bearing inactivation of Brca, Tp53, and Pten genes. We identified miRNAs that showed a consistent pattern of dysregulated expression and validated our results in human patient serum samples. Results We identified six miRNAs that were significantly dysregulated in doxycycline‐induced FTs (P < .05) and 130 miRNAs differentially regulated in metastases compared to normal fallopian tissues (P < .05). Furthermore, we validated miR‐21a‐5p, miR‐146a‐5p, and miR‐126a‐3p as dysregulated in both murine doxycycline‐induced FT and metastatic tumors, as well as in murine plasma and patient serum samples. Conclusions In summary, we identified changes in miRNA expression that potentially accompany tumor development in murine models driven by commonly found genetic alterations in cancer patients. Further studies are required to test both the function of these miRNAs in driving the disease and their utility as potential biomarkers for diagnosis and/or disease progression.
    Nuclear and cytoplasmic WDR-23 isoforms mediate differential effects on GEN-1 and SKN-1 substrates
    Brett N. Spatola, Scientific Reports - 2019
    Maintaining a healthy cellular environment requires the constant control of proteostasis. E3 ubiquitin ligase complexes facilitate the post-translational addition of ubiquitin, which based on the quantity and specific lysine linkages, results in different outcomes. Our studies reveal the CUL4-DDB1 substrate receptor, WDR23, as both a positive and a negative regulator in cellular stress responses. These opposing roles are mediated by two distinct isoforms: WDR-23A in the cytoplasm and WDR-23B in the nucleus. C. elegans expressing only WDR-23A display activation of SKN-1 and enhanced survival to oxidative stress, whereas animals with restricted WDR-23B expression do not. Additionally, we identify GEN-1, a Holliday junction resolvase, as an evolutionarily conserved WDR-23 substrate and find that the nuclear and cytoplasmic isoforms of WDR-23 differentially affect double-strand break repair. Our results suggest that through differential ubiquitination, nuclear WDR-23B inhibits the activity of substrates, most likely by promoting protein turnover, while cytoplasmic WDR-23A performs a proteasome-independent role. Together, our results establish a cooperative role between two spatially distinct isoforms of WDR-23 in ensuring proper regulation of WDR-23 substrates.
    The Expression of Thrombospondin-4 Correlates with Disease Severity in Osteoarthritic Knee Cartilage
    Dr. Rolf M. Schwiete, International Journal of Molecular Sciences - 2019
    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive joint disease characterized by a continuous degradation of the cartilage extracellular matrix (ECM). The expression of the extracellular glycoprotein thrombospondin-4 (TSP-4) is known to be increased in injured tissues and involved in matrix remodeling, but its role in articular cartilage and, in particular, in OA remains elusive. In the present study, we analyzed the expression and localization of TSP-4 in healthy and OA knee cartilage by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), immunohistochemistry, and immunoblot. We found that TSP-4 protein expression is increased in OA and that expression levels correlate with OA severity. TSP-4 was not regulated at the transcriptional level but we detected changes in the anchorage of TSP-4 in the altered ECM using sequential protein extraction. We were also able to detect pentameric and fragmented TSP-4 in the serum of both healthy controls and OA patients. Here, the total protein amount was not significantly different but we identified specific degradation products that were more abundant in sera of OA patients. Future studies will reveal if these fragments have the potential to serve as OA-specific biomarkers.
    Synapse Formation Activates a Transcriptional Program for Persistent Enhancement in the Bi-directional Transport of Mitochondria
    Kerrianne K. Badal, Cell Reports - 2019
    Mechanisms that regulate the bi-directional transport of mitochondria in neurons for maintaining functional synaptic connections are poorly understood. Here, we show that in the pre-synaptic sensory neurons of the Aplysia gill withdrawal reflex, the formation of functional synapses leads to persistent enhancement in the flux of bi-directional mitochondrial transport. In the absence of a functional synapse, activation of cAMP signaling is sufficient to enhance bi-directional transport in sensory neurons. Furthermore, persistent enhancement in transport does not depend on NMDA and AMPA receptor signaling nor signaling from the post-synaptic neuronal cell body, but it is dependent on transcription and protein synthesis in the pre-synaptic neuron. We identified ∼4,000 differentially enriched transcripts in pre-synaptic neurons, suggesting a long-term change in the transcriptional program produced by synapse formation. These results provide insights into the regulation of bi-directional mitochondrial transport for synapse maintenance.
    Downregulation of Friend Leukemia Integration 1 (FLI1) follows the stepwise progression to gastric adenocarcinoma
    Armando Del Portillo, Oncotarget - 2019
    Gastric adenocarcinoma (GC) is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The transcription factor gene Friend Leukemia Integration 1 (FLI1) is methylated and downregulated in human GC tissues. Using human GC samples, we determined which cells downregulate FLI1, when FLI1 downregulation occurs, if FLI1 downregulation correlates with clinical-pathologic characteristics, and whether FLI1 plays a role in invasion and/or proliferation of cultured cells. We analyzed stomach tissues from 98 patients [8 normal mucosa, 8 intestinal metaplasia (IM), 7 dysplasia, 91 GC] by immunohistochemistry for FLI1. Epithelial cells from normal, IM, and low-grade dysplasia (LGD) showed strong nuclear FLI1 staining. GC epithelial cells showed significantly less nuclear FLI1 staining as compared to normal epithelium, IM and LGD (P=1.2×10-5, P=1.4×10-6 and P=0.006, respectively). FLI1 expression did not correlate with tumor stage or differentiation, but was associated with patient survival, depending on tumor differentiation. We tested the functional role of FLI1 by assaying proliferation and invasion in cultured GC cells. Lentiviral-transduced FLI1 overexpression in GC AGS cells inhibited invasion by 73.5% (P = 0.001) and proliferation by 31.5% (P = 0.002), as compared to controls. Our results support a combined role for FLI1 as a suppressor of invasiveness and proliferation in gastric adenocarcinoma, specifically in the transition from pre-cancer lesions and dysplasia to invasive adenocarcinoma, and suggest that FLI1 may be a prognostic biomarker of survival in gastric cancers.
    Attenuated Replication of Lassa Virus Vaccine Candidate ML29 in STAT-1-/- Mice
    Dylan M. Johnson, Pathogens - 2019
    Lassa virus (LASV), a highly prevalent mammalian arenavirus endemic in West Africa, can cause Lassa fever (LF), which is responsible for thousands of deaths annually. LASV is transmitted to humans from naturally infected rodents. At present, there is not an effective vaccine nor treatment. The genetic diversity of LASV is the greatest challenge for vaccine development. The reassortant ML29 carrying the L segment from the nonpathogenic Mopeia virus (MOPV) and the S segment from LASV is a vaccine candidate under current development. ML29 demonstrated complete protection in validated animal models against a Nigerian strain from clade II, which was responsible for the worst outbreak on record in 2018. This study demonstrated that ML29 was more attenuated than MOPV in STAT1-/- mice, a small animal model of human LF and its sequelae. ML29 infection of these mice resulted in more than a thousand-fold reduction in viremia and viral load in tissues and strong LASV-specific adaptive T cell responses compared to MOPV-infected mice. Persistent infection of Vero cells with ML29 resulted in generation of interfering particles (IPs), which strongly interfered with the replication of LASV, MOPV and LCMV, the prototype of the Arenaviridae. ML29 IPs induced potent cell-mediated immunity and were fully attenuated in STAT1-/- mice. Formulation of ML29 with IPs will improve the breadth of the host’s immune responses and further contribute to development of a pan-LASV vaccine with full coverage meeting the WHO requirements.
    Adrenergic stimulation of adiponectin secretion in visceral mouse adipocytes is blunted in high-fat diet induced obesity
    Saliha Musovic, Scientific Reports - 2019
    The hormone adiponectin is secreted by white adipocytes and has been put forward as a key mediator of obesity-linked insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome. Although adiponectin was discovered two decades ago, the knowledge about the molecular and cellular regulation of its secretion is incomplete. Here we have investigated the adrenergic regulation of adiponectin secretion in primary visceral (gonadal) adipocytes isolated from lean or obese/diabetic mice. We show that visceral adipocyte adiponectin release is triggered by cAMP/catecholamines via signalling pathways involving adrenergic beta-3-receptors (β3ARs) and Exchange Protein directly Activated by cAMP, isoform 1 (Epac1). The adrenergically stimulated adiponectin secretion is blunted in visceral adipocytes isolated from obese and diabetic mice and our results suggest the existence of a secretory defect. We have previously shown that adiponectin secretion in subcutaneous adipocytes is abolished in the obese/diabetic state due to reduced abundance of β3ARs and Epac1. However, here we show that protein levels of β3ARs and Epac1 are maintained in visceral adipocytes from obese/diabetic mice proposing that other molecular defects underlie the blunted adiponectin release. Gene expression analysis indicate diabesity-associated disturbances of the signalling downstream of Epac1 and/or the exocytotic process itself. Our study proposes that visceral adipocytes partake in the regulated secretion of adiponectin and may thus influence circulating levels of the hormone, in health and in metabolic disease.
    Redox-regulation and life-history trade-offs: scavenging mitochondrial ROS improves growth in a wild bird
    Alberto Velando, Scientific Reports - 2019
    It has been proposed that animals usually restrain their growth because fast growth leads to an increased production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS), which can damage mitochondrial DNA and promote mitochondrial dysfunction. Here, we explicitly test whether this occurs in a wild bird by supplementing chicks with a mitochondria-targeted ROS scavenger, mitoubiquinone (mitoQ), and examining growth rates and mtDNA damage. In the yellow-legged gull Larus michahellis, mitoQ supplementation increased the early growth rate of chicks but did not reduce mtDNA damage. The level of mtDNA damage was negatively correlated with chick mass, but this relationship was not affected by the mitoQ treatment. We also found that chick growth was positively correlated with both mtDNA copy number and the mitochondrial enzymatic activity of citrate synthase, suggesting a link between mitochondrial content and growth. Additionally, we found that MitoQ supplementation increased mitochondrial content (in males), altered the relationship between mtDNA copy number and damage, and downregulated some transcriptional pathways related to cell rejuvenation, suggesting that scavenging mtROS during development enhanced growth rates but at the expense of cellular turnover. Our study confirms the central role of mitochondria modulating life-history trade-offs during development by other mechanisms than mtROS-inflicted damage.
    Chromatin dynamics governed by a set of nuclear structuralproteins
    Anat Vivante, Genes, Chromosomes & Cancer - 2019
    During the past three decades, the study of nuclear and chromatin organization has become ofgreat interest. The organization and dynamics of chromatin are directly responsible for manyfunctions including gene regulation, genome replication, and maintenance. In order to betterunderstand the details of these mechanisms, we need to understand the role of specific proteinsthat take part in these processes. The genome in the nucleus is organized in different lengthscales, ranging from the bead-like nucleosomes through topological associated domains up tochromosome territories. The mechanisms that maintain these structures, however, remain to befully elucidated. Previous works highlighted the significance of lamin A, an important nucleoplas-mic protein; however, there are other nuclear structural proteins that are also important forchromatin organization. Studying the organizational aspects of the nucleus is a complex task,and different methods have been developed and adopted for this purpose, including molecularand imaging methods. Here we describe the use of the live-cell imaging method and demon-strate that the dynamics of the nucleus is strongly related to its organizational mechanisms. Welabeled different genomic sites in the nucleus and measured the effect of nuclear structural pro-teins on their dynamics. We studied lamin A, BAF, Emerin, lamin B, CTCF, and Cohesin and dis-cuss how each of them affect chromatin dynamics. Our findings indicate that lamin A and BAFhave a significant effect on chromosomes dynamics, while other proteins mildly affect the typeof the diffusion while the volume of motion is not affected.
    Selective inhibition of N-linked glycosylation impairs receptor tyrosine kinase processing
    Elsenoor Klaver, Disease Models & Mechanisms - 2019
    Global inhibition of N-linked glycosylation broadly reduces glycan occupancy on glycoproteins, but identifying how this inhibition functionally impacts specific glycoproteins is challenging. This limits our understanding of pathogenesis in the congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG). We used selective exo-enzymatic labeling of cells deficient in the two catalytic subunits of oligosaccharyltransferase – STT3A and STT3B – to monitor the presence and glycosylation status of cell surface glycoproteins. We show reduced abundance of two canonical tyrosine receptor kinases – the insulin receptor and insulinlike growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) – at the cell surface in STT3A-null cells, due to decreased N-linked glycan site occupancy and proteolytic processing in combination with increased endoplasmic reticulum localization. Providing cDNA for Golgi-resident proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 5a (PCSK5a) and furin cDNA to wild-type and mutant cells produced under-glycosylated forms of PCSK5a, but not furin, in cells lacking STT3A. Reduced glycosylation of PCSK5a in STT3A-null cells or cells treated with the oligosaccharyltransferase inhibitor NGI-1 corresponded with failure to rescue receptor processing, implying that alterations in the glycosylation of this convertase have functional consequences. Collectively, our findings show that STT3A-dependent inhibition of N-linked glycosylation on receptor tyrosine kinases and their convertases combines to impair receptor processing and surface localization. These results provide new insight into CDG pathogenesis and highlight how the surface abundance of some glycoproteins can be dually impacted by abnormal glycosylation.
    A Quantitative HILIC–MS/MS Assay of the Metabolic Response of Huh-7 Cells Exposed to 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-Dioxin
    Qing Liu, Metabolites - 2019
    A hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC)–ultra high-pressure liquid chromatography (UHPLC) coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) method was developed and applied to profile metabolite changes in human Huh-7 cells exposed to the potent aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) ligand 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Comparisons of sensitivity (limit of detection as low as 0.01 µM) and reproducibility (84% of compounds had an interday relative standard deviation (RSD) less than 10.0%; 83% of compounds had an intraday RSD less than 15.0%) were assessed for all the metabolites. The exposure of Huh-7 cells to the hepatotoxic carcinogen TCDD at low doses (1 nM and 10 nM for 4 h and 24 h, respectively) was reflected by the disturbance of amino acid metabolism, energy metabolism (glycolysis, TCA cycle), and nucleic acid metabolism. TCDD caused a significant decrease in amino acids such as serine, alanine, and proline while promoting an increase in arginine levels with 24 h treatment. Energy metabolism intermediates such as phosphoenolpyruvate and acetyl–CoA and nucleosides such as UMP, XMP, and CMP were also markedly decreased. These results support the application of HILIC–UHPLC–MS/MS for robust and reliable analysis of the cellular response to environmentally relevant toxicants at lower doses.
    Epithelial-mesenchymal transition of cancer cells using bioengineered hybrid scaffold composed of hydrogel/3D-fibrous framework
    Mintu Pal, Scientific Reports - 2019
    Cancer cells undergoing epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) acquire stem cell-like phenotype associated with malignant behaviour, chemoresistance, and relapse. Current two-dimensional (2D) in-vitro culture models of tumorigenesis are inadequate to replicate the complexity of in-vivo microenvironment. Therefore, the generation of functional three-dimensional (3D) constructs is a fundamental prerequisite to form multi-cellular tumour spheroids for studying basic pathological mechanisms. In this study, we focused on two major points (i) designing and fabrication of 3D hybrid scaffolds comprising electrospun fibers with cancer cells embedded within hydrogels, and (ii) determining the potential roles of 3D hybrid scaffolds associated with EMT in cancer progression and metastasis. Our findings revealed that 3D hybrid scaffold enhances cell proliferation and induces cancer cells to undergo EMT, as demonstrated by significant up-regulation of EMT associated transcriptional factors including Snail1, Zeb1, and Twist2; and mesenchymal markers whereas epithelial marker, E-Cadherin was downregulated. Remarkably, this induction is independent of cancer cell-type as similar results were obtained for breast cancer cells, MDA-MB-231 and gastric cancer cells, MKN74. Moreover, the hybrid scaffolds enrich aggressive cancer cells with stem cell properties. We showed that our 3D scaffolds could trigger EMT of cancer cells which could provide a useful model for studying anticancer therapeutics against metastasis.
    Dominant-negative inhibition of canonical Notch signaling in trophoblast cells does not disrupt placenta formation
    Carrie J. Shawber, Biology Open - 2019
    Proper development and function of the mammalian placenta requires interactions between embryo-derived trophoblasts and uterine endothelial cells to form mosaic vessels that facilitate blood flow to a developing conceptus. Notch signaling utilizes a cell–cell contact dependent mechanism to drive cell behaviors, such as differentiation and invasion. In mice, Notch2 is needed for proper placentation and embryo survival. We used transgenic mice with a dominant-negative form of Mastermind-like1 and Cyp19-Cre and Tpbpa-Cre drivers to inhibit canonical Notch signaling in trophoblasts. Both Cre drivers resulted in robust placental expression of dominantnegative Mastermind-like1. All pregnancies progressed beyond mid-gestation and morphological analyses of placentas revealed no differences between mutants and controls. Our data suggest that mouse placentation occurs normally despite dominant negative inhibition of trophoblast canonical Notch signaling and that Notch2 signaling via the canonical pathway is not necessary for placentation.
    Mast Cell-Specific Expression of Human Siglec-8 in Conditional Knock-in Mice
    Yadong Wei, International Journal of Molecular Sciences - 2019
    Sialic acid-binding Ig-like lectin 8 (Siglec-8) is expressed on the surface of human eosinophils, mast cells, and basophils—cells that participate in allergic and other diseases. Ligation of Siglec-8 by specific glycan ligands or antibodies triggers eosinophil death and inhibits mast cell degranulation; consequences that could be leveraged as treatment. However, Siglec-8 is not expressed in murine and most other species, thus limiting preclinical studies in vivo. Based on a ROSA26 knock-in vector, a construct was generated that contains the CAG promoter, a LoxP-floxed-Neo-STOP fragment, and full-length Siglec-8 cDNA. Through homologous recombination, this Siglec-8 construct was targeted into the mouse genome of C57BL/6 embryonic stem (ES) cells, and chimeric mice carrying the ROSA26-Siglec-8 gene were generated. After cross-breeding to mast cell-selective Cre-recombinase transgenic lines (CPA3-Cre, and Mcpt5-Cre), the expression of Siglec-8 in different cell types was determined by RT-PCR and flow cytometry. Peritoneal mast cells (dual FcεRI+ and c-Kit+) showed the strongest levels of surface Siglec-8 expression by multicolor flow cytometry compared to expression levels on tissue-derived mast cells. Siglec-8 was seen on a small percentage of peritoneal basophils, but not other leukocytes from CPA3-Siglec-8 mice. Siglec-8 mRNA and surface protein were also detected on bone marrow-derived mast cells. Transgenic expression of Siglec-8 in mice did not affect endogenous numbers of mast cells when quantified from multiple tissues. Thus, we generated two novel mouse strains, in which human Siglec-8 is selectively expressed on mast cells. These mice may enable the study of Siglec-8 biology in mast cells and its therapeutic targeting in vivo.
    Carbon metabolism modulates the efficacy of drugs targeting the cytochrome bc1:aa3 in Mycobacterium tuberculosis
    Nitin P. Kalia, Scientific Reports - 2019
    The influence of carbon metabolism on oxidative phosphorylation is poorly understood in mycobacteria. M. tuberculosis expresses two respiratory terminal oxidases, the cytochrome bc1:aa3 and the cytochrome bd oxidase, which are jointly required for oxidative phosphorylation and mycobacterial viability. The essentiality of the cytochrome bc1:aa3 for optimum growth is illustrated by its vulnerability to chemical inhibition by the clinical drug candidate Q203 and several other chemical series. The cytochrome bd oxidase is not strictly essential for growth but is required to maintain bioenergetics when the function of the cytochrome bc1:aa3 is compromised. In this study, we observed that the potency of drugs targeting the cytochrome bc1:aa3 is influenced by carbon metabolism. The efficacy of Q203 and related derivatives was alleviated by glycerol supplementation. The negative effect of glycerol supplementation on Q203 potency correlated with an upregulation of the cytochrome bd oxidase-encoding cydABDC operon. Upon deletion of cydAB, the detrimental effect of glycerol on the potency of Q203 was abrogated. The same phenomenon was also observed in recent clinical isolates, but to a lesser extent compared to the laboratory-adapted strain H37Rv. This study reinforces the importance of optimizing in vitro culture conditions for drug evaluation in mycobacteria, a factor which appeared to be particularly essential for drugs targeting the cytochrome bc1:aa3 terminal oxidase.
    Differential changes in bone strength of two inbred mouse strains following administration of a sclerostin-neutralizing antibody during growth
    Noah J. Mathis, PLOS ONE - 2019
    Administration of sclerostin-neutralizing antibody (Scl-Ab) treatment has been shown to elicit an anabolic bone response in growing and adult mice. Prior work characterized the response of individual mouse strains but did not establish whether the impact of Scl-Ab on whole bone strength would vary across different inbred mouse strains. Herein, we tested the hypothesis that two inbred mouse strains (A/J and C57BL/6J (B6)) will show different whole bone strength outcomes following sclerostin-neutralizing antibody (Scl-Ab) treatment during growth (4.5–8.5 weeks of age). Treated B6 femurs showed a significantly greater stiffness (S) (68.8% vs. 46.0%) and maximum load (ML) (84.7% vs. 44.8%) compared to A/J. Although treated A/J and B6 femurs showed greater cortical area (Ct.Ar) similarly relative to their controls (37.7% in A/J and 41.1% in B6), the location of new bone deposition responsible for the greater mass differed between strains and may explain the greater whole bone strength observed in treated B6 mice. A/J femurs showed periosteal expansion and endocortical infilling, while B6 femurs showed periosteal expansion. Post-yield displacement (PYD) was smaller in treated A/J femurs (-61.2%, p < 0.001) resulting in greater brittleness compared to controls; an effect not present in B6 mice. Inter-strain differences in S, ML, and PYD led to divergent changes in work-to-fracture (Work). Work was 27.2% (p = 0.366) lower in treated A/J mice and 66.2% (p < 0.001) greater in treated B6 mice relative to controls. Our data confirmed the anabolic response to Scl-Ab shown by others, and provided evidence suggesting the mechanical benefits of Scl-Ab administration may be modulated by genetic background, with intrinsic growth patterns of these mice guiding the location of new bone deposition. Whether these differential outcomes will persist in adult and elderly mice remains to be determined.
    Propionic fermentation by the probiotic Propionibacterium freudenreichii to functionalize whey
    Song Huang, Journal of Functional Foods - 2019
    A new probiotic functionalized sweet whey was evaluated. Weaned healthy piglets consumed sweet whey (SW), unmodified or fermented by P. freudenreichii CIRM-BIA 129 (PF-SW). Fecal short chain fatty acids amounts remained unchanged. Bifidobacteria were enhanced in the PF-SW group, and so was the expression of T-bet, which orchestrates Th1 differentiation of T lymphocytes, in mesenteric lymph nodes immune cells (MLNC). This was consistent with ex vivo increased TNF-α secretion by MLNC in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The consumption of the functionalized whey induced a different response in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) to ex vivo stimulations, as the inhibition of TNF-α secretion in response to concanavalin A stimulation. Thus, by cultivating a probiotic GRAS bacterium in concentrated whey, prior to spray drying, it is possible to transform this by-product into a functional ingredient. This opens new avenues for the development of functional ingredients through enhanced valorisation of whey.
    Tissue-specific decellularized endometrial substratum mimicking different physiological conditions influences in vitro embryo development in a rabbit model
    Hannes Campo, Acta Biomaterialia - 2019
    In the last decades, the decellularization (DC) of organs has become an established technique in the fieldof regenerative medicine to yield complex and vascularized bioscaffolds. Furthermore, it has beendemonstratedin vitrothat these decellularized scaffolds retain their native tissue-specificity. This is alsothe case when this tissue-specific extracellular matrix (ECM) is solubilized and used as hydrogels or coat-ings to create a biomimetic environment. In this study we investigated if this specificity not only remainswhen applied to distinct tissues but even more, that these differences can be distinguished within thesame tissue at different stages of proliferation. To address this question, a sensitivein vitroanimal modelwas used: rabbit embryos at the third day of development were cultured on coatings made from acellularendometrium that was non-proliferating (non-synchronous, NS) and proliferating (synchronous with theembryo, S) and their development was compared.For this, we obtained whole NS and S rabbit uteri and subjected them to an adapted decellularizationprotocol. The acellular endometrium was carefully separated by microdissection and converted into apre-gel solution to be used as hydrogels and coatings forin vitroassays. First, the characteristics of theseNS and S hydrogels were investigated by proteomic analysis, electron microscopy and gelling kinetics.When used as substrata for day 3 embryos culture, it became apparent that only the acellular ECM fromsynchronous endometrial coating achieved similar results to the gold standard culture protocols and con-ditions, possibly because of the slow release of growth factors present in the synchronous/proliferatingendometrium.
    The Role of Lactate Metabolism in Prostate Cancer Progression and Metastases Revealed by Dual-Agent Hyperpolarized 13C MRSI
    Robert Bok, Cancers - 2019
    This study applied a dual-agent, 13C-pyruvate and 13C-urea, hyperpolarized 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) and multi-parametric (mp) 1H magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) approach in the transgenic adenocarcinoma of mouse prostate (TRAMP) model to investigate changes in tumor perfusion and lactate metabolism during prostate cancer development, progression and metastases, and after lactate dehydrogenase-A (LDHA) knock-out. An increased Warburg effect, as measured by an elevated hyperpolarized (HP) Lactate/Pyruvate (Lac/Pyr) ratio, and associated Ldha expression and LDH activity were significantly higher in high- versus low-grade TRAMP tumors and normal prostates. The hypoxic tumor microenvironment in high-grade tumors, as measured by significantly decreased HP 13C-urea perfusion and increased PIM staining, played a key role in increasing lactate production through increased Hif1α and then Ldha expression. Increased lactate induced Mct4 expression and an acidic tumor microenvironment that provided a potential mechanism for the observed high rate of lymph node (86%) and liver (33%) metastases. The Ldha knockdown in the triple-transgenic mouse model of prostate cancer resulted in a significant reduction in HP Lac/Pyr, which preceded a reduction in tumor volume or apparent water diffusion coefficient (ADC). The Ldha gene knockdown significantly reduced primary tumor growth and reduced lymph node and visceral metastases. These data suggested a metabolic transformation from low- to high-grade prostate cancer including an increased Warburg effect, decreased perfusion, and increased metastatic potential. Moreover, these data suggested that LDH activity and lactate are required for tumor progression. The lactate metabolism changes during prostate cancer provided the motivation for applying hyperpolarized 13C MRSI to detect aggressive disease at diagnosis and predict early therapeutic response.
    PACAP Is Lethal to Flavobacterium psychrophilum Through Either Direct Membrane Permeabilization or Indirectly, by Priming the Immune Response in Rainbow Trout Macrophages
    Shawna L. Semple, Frontiers in Immunology - 2019
    Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a multifunctional neuropeptide that is widely distributed in mammals and is capable of performing roles as a neurotransmitter, neuromodulator, and vasodilator. This polypeptide belongs to the glucagon/secretin superfamily, of which some members have been shown to act as antimicrobial peptides in both mammalian and aquatic organisms. In teleosts, PACAP has been demonstrated to have direct antimicrobial activity against several aquatic pathogens, yet this phenomenon has never been studied throughout a live bacterial challenge. The present study focuses on the influence of synthetic Clarias gariepinus 38 amino acid PACAP on the rainbow trout monocyte/macrophage-like cell line, RTS11, when exposed to the coldwater bacterial pathogen Flavobacterium psychrophilum. PACAP was shown to have direct antimicrobial activity on F. psychrophilum when grown in both cytophaga broth and cell culture media (L-15). Further, the ability of teleostean PACAP to permeabilize the membrane of an aquatic pathogen, F. psychrophilum, was demonstrated for the first time. The viability of RTS11 when exposed to PACAP was also observed using a trypan blue exclusion assay to determine optimal experimental doses of the antimicrobial peptide. This displayed that only concentrations higher than 0.1 μM negatively impacted RTS11 survival. Interestingly, when RTS11 was pre-treated with PACAP for 24 h before experiencing infection with live F. psychrophilum, growth of the pathogen was severely inhibited in a dose-dependent manner when compared to cells receiving no pre-treatment with the polypeptide. Relative expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, TNFα, and IL-6) and PACAP receptors (VPAC1 and PAC1) was also analyzed in RTS11 following PACAP exposure alone and in conjunction with live F. psychrophilum challenge. These qRT-PCR findings revealed that PACAP may have a synergistic effect on RTS11 immune function. The results of this study provide evidence that PACAP has immunostimulatory activity on rainbow trout immune cells as well as antimicrobial activity against aquatic bacterial pathogens such as F. psychrophilum. As there are numerous pathogens that plague the aquaculture industry, PACAP may stimulate the teleost immune system while also providing an efficacious alternative to antibiotic use.
    A Protective Role for the Lectin CD169/Siglec-1 against a Pathogenic Murine Retrovirus
    Pradeep D. Uchil, Cell Host & Microbe - 2019
    Lymph- and blood-borne retroviruses exploit CD169/Siglec-1-mediated capture by subcapsular sinus and marginal zone metallophilic macrophages for trans-infection of permissive lymphocytes. However, the impact of CD169-mediated virus capture on retrovirus dissemination and pathogenesis in vivo is unknown. In a murine model of the splenomegaly-inducing retrovirus Friend virus complex (FVC) infection, we find that while CD169 promoted draining lymph node infection, it limited systemic spread to the spleen. At the spleen, CD169-expressing macrophages captured incoming blood-borne retroviruses and limited their spread to the erythroblasts in the red pulp where FVC manifests its pathogenesis. CD169-mediated retroviral capture activated conventional dendritic cells 1 (cDC1s) and promoted cytotoxic CD8+ T cell responses, resulting in efficient clearing of FVC-infected cells. Accordingly, CD169 blockade led to higher viral loads and accelerated death in susceptible mouse strains. Thus, CD169 plays a protective role during FVC pathogenesis by reducing viral dissemination to erythroblasts and eliciting an effective cytotoxic T lymphocyte response via cDC1s.
    Characterizing Cellular Responses During Oncolytic Maraba Virus Infection
    Golnoush Hassanzadeh, International Journal of Molecular Sciences - 2019
    The rising demand for powerful oncolytic virotherapy agents has led to the identification of Maraba virus, one of the most potent oncolytic viruses from Rhabdoviridae family which displays high selectivity for killing malignant cells and low cytotoxicity in normal cells. Although the virus is readied to be used for clinical trials, the interactions between the virus and the host cells is still unclear. Using a newly developed interferon-sensitive mutant Maraba virus (MG1), we have identified two key regulators of global translation (4E-BP1 and eIF2α) as being involved in the regulation of protein synthesis in the infected cells. Despite the translational arrest upon viral stress, we showed an up-regulation of anti-apoptotic Bcl-xL protein that provides a survival benefit for the host cell, yet facilitates effective viral propagation. Given the fact that eIF5B canonically regulates 60S ribosome subunit end joining and is able to replace the role of eIF2 in delivering initiator tRNA to the 40S ribosome subunit upon the phosphorylation of eIF2α we have tested whether eIF5B mediates the translation of target mRNAs during MG1 infection. Our results show that the inhibition of eIF5B significantly down-regulates the level of Bcl-xL steady-state mRNA, thus indirectly attenuates viral propagation.
    Age-Associated mRNA and miRNA Expression Changes in the Blood-Brain Barrier
    Emily F. Goodall, International Journal of Molecular Sciences - 2019
    Functional and structural age-associated changes in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) may affect the neurovascular unit and contribute to the onset and progression of age-associated neurodegenerative pathologies, including Alzheimer’s disease. The current study interrogated the RNA profile of the BBB in an ageing human autopsy brain cohort and an ageing mouse model using combined laser capture microdissection and expression profiling. Only 12 overlapping genes were altered in the same direction in the BBB of both ageing human and mouse cohorts. These included genes with roles in regulating vascular tone, tight junction protein expression and cell adhesion, all processes prone to dysregulation with advancing age. Integrated mRNA and miRNA network and pathway enrichment analysis of the datasets identified 15 overlapping miRNAs that showed altered expression. In addition to targeting genes related to DNA binding and/or autophagy, many of the miRNAs identified play a role in age-relevant processes, including BBB dysfunction and regulating the neuroinflammatory response. Future studies have the potential to develop targeted therapeutic approaches against these candidates to prevent vascular dysfunction in the ageing brain.
    Effects of exercise training on inflammasome-related mediators and their associations to glucometabolic variables in patients with combined coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus: Sub-study of a randomized control trial
    Hani Zaidi, Sage Journals - 2019
    Background: Adipose tissue produces pro-inflammatory mediators involved in the atherosclerotic process. We investigated whether 12-month exercise training in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and coronary artery disease would reduce circulating levels and genetic expression of mediators in the interleukin-18, Caspase-1 and NLR pyrin domain containing 3 pathways. Correlations to glucometabolic variables; fasting glucose, HbA1c, duration of diabetes, insulin, C-peptide, insulin resistance (measured by homeostatic model assessment indexes – insulin resistance) and body mass index at baseline were further assessed. Methods: 137 patients (aged 41–81 years, 17.2% female participants) were included and randomized to a 12-month exercise programme or to a control group. Fasting blood and adipose tissue samples were taken at inclusion and after 12 months. Results: No statistically significant difference in changes of any variable between the intervention and the control group was found. At baseline, a positive correlation between insulin and homeostatic model assessment indexes – insulin resistance, interleukin-18 expression in adipose tissue and an inverse correlation between some glucometabolic variables and leukocyte expression of NLR pyrin domain containing 3 and Caspase-1 were observed. Conclusion: No significant effects of long-term exercise training were observed on the inflammasome-related mediators in our patients with combined coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The observed correlations may indicate a pro-inflammatory state in adipose tissue by overweight and a compensatory downregulation of these mediators in circulating leucocytes.
    Blocking IL-1β reverses the immunosuppression in mouse breast cancer and synergizes with anti–PD-1 for tumor abrogation
    Irena Kaplanov, PNAS - 2019
    Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) is abundant in the tumor microenvironment, where this cytokine can promote tumor growth, but also antitumor activities. We studied IL-1β during early tumor progression using a model of orthotopically introduced 4T1 breast cancer cells. Whereas there is tumor progression and spontaneous metastasis in wild-type (WT) mice, in IL-1β–deficient mice, tumors begin to grow but subsequently regress. This change is due to recruitment and differentiation of inflammatory monocytes in the tumor microenvironment. In WT mice, macrophages heavily infiltrate tumors, but in IL-1β–deficient mice, low levels of the chemokine CCL2 hamper recruitment of monocytes and, together with low levels of colony-stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1), inhibit their differentiation into macrophages. The low levels of macrophages in IL-1β– deficient mice result in a relatively high percentage of CD11b+ dendritic cells (DCs) in the tumors. In WT mice, IL-10 secretion from macrophages is dominant and induces immunosuppression and tumor progression; in contrast, in IL-1β–deficient mice, IL-12 secretion by CD11b+ DCs prevails and supports antitumor immunity. The antitumor immunity in IL-1β–deficient mice includes activated CD8+ lymphocytes expressing IFN-γ, TNF-α, and granzyme B; these cells infiltrate tumors and induce regression. WT mice with 4T1 tumors were treated with either anti–IL-1β or anti–PD-1 Abs, each of which resulted in partial growth inhibition. However, treating mice first with anti–IL-1β Abs followed by anti– PD-1 Abs completely abrogated tumor progression. These data define microenvironmental IL-1β as a master cytokine in tumor progression. In addition to reducing tumor progression, blocking IL-1β facilitates checkpoint inhibition.
    Affinity-enhanced T-cell receptors for adoptive T-cell therapy targeting MAGE-A10: strategy for selection of an optimal candidate
    Ellen C. Border, Oncoimmunology - 2019
    Circulating T-cells that have passed thymic selection generally bear T-cell receptors (TCRs) with sub-optimal affinity for cancer-associated antigens, resulting in a limited ability to detect and eliminate tumor cells. Engineering TCRs to increase their affinity for cancer targets is a promising strategy for generating T-cells with enhanced potency for adoptive immunotherapy in cancer patients. However, this manipulation also risks generating cross-reactivity to antigens expressed by normal tissue, with potentially serious consequences. Testing in animal models might not detect such cross-reactivity due to species differences in the antigenic repertoire. To mitigate the risk of off-target toxicities in future clinical trials, we therefore developed an extensive in vitro testing strategy. This approach involved systematic substitution at each position of the antigenic peptide sequence using all natural amino acids to generate a profile of peptide specificity (“X-scan”). The likelihood of off-target reactivity was investigated by searching the human proteome for sequences matching this profile, and testing against a panel of primary cell lines. Starting from a diverse panel of parental TCRs, we engineered several affinity-enhanced TCRs specific for the cancer-testis antigen MAGE-A10. Two of these TCRs had affinities and specificities which appeared to be equally optimal when tested in conventional biochemical and cellular assays. The X-scan method, however, permitted us to select the most specific and potent candidate for further pre-clinical and clinical testing.
    XX sex chromosome complement promotes atherosclerosis in mice
    Yasir AlSiraj, Nature Communications - 2019
    Men and women differ in circulating lipids and coronary artery disease (CAD). While sex hormones such as estrogens decrease CAD risk, hormone replacement therapy increases risk. Biological sex is determined by sex hormones and chromosomes, but effects of sex chromosomes on circulating lipids and atherosclerosis are unknown. Here, we use mouse models to separate effects of sex chromosomes and hormones on atherosclerosis, circulating lipids and intestinal fat metabolism. We assess atherosclerosis in multiple models and experimental paradigms that distinguish effects of sex chromosomes, and male or female gonads. Pro-atherogenic lipids and atherosclerosis are greater in XX than XY mice, indicating a primary effect of sex chromosomes. Small intestine expression of enzymes involved in lipid absorption and chylomicron assembly are greater in XX male and female mice with higher intestinal lipids. Together, our results show that an XX sex chromosome complement promotes the bioavailability of dietary fat to accelerate atherosclerosis.
    Epiregulin is released from intervertebral disks and induces spontaneous activity in pain pathways
    Mette Kongstop, Pain Reports - 2019
    Introduction: Lumbar radicular pain after disk herniation is associated with local release of many inflammatory molecules from nucleus pulposus (NP) cells leaking out of the intervertebral disk. Here, we have used a rat model to investigate the role of epiregulin (EREG), a member of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) family, in this process. Methods: A protein immunoassay was chosen to confirm the release of EREG from the NP tissue. Single unit recordings were used to demonstrate the effect of recombinant EREG applied onto the dorsal nerve roots in vivo. Intracellular responses induced by recombinant EREG were studied in cultured dorsal root ganglion (DRG) cells by phosphoprotein assay. Changes in EGF receptor expression induced by NP in the DRG were examined by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Results: The protein immunoassay showed that EREG was released from the NP tissue. Moreover, application of EREG onto the spinal dorsal nerve roots induced a decrease in the evoked responses, but an increase in spontaneous activity in the dorsal horn neurons. Interestingly, the EREG activated the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway in the DRG, a pathway previously linked to cellular growth, proliferation, and tissue regeneration. An NP-induced upregulation of the EGF receptor HER3 in the DRG was also revealed. Conclusion: Taken together, the present observations indicate that EREG may induce changes in the DRG and spontaneous activity in the pain pathways. We suggest that EREG signaling may be involved in the pathophysiological process leading to sensory deficits and neuropathic pain in patients after disk herniation.
    CSDC2, a cold shock domain RNA‐binding protein in decidualization
    Griselda Vallejo, Journal of Cellular Physiology - 2019
    RNA‐binding proteins (RBPs) have been described for cancer cell progression and differentiation, although there is still much to learn about their mechanisms. Here, using in vivo decidualization as a model, we describe the role of RBP cold shock domain containing C2 (CSDC2) in the endometrium. Csdc2 messenger RNA expression was differentially regulated depending on time and areas of decidua development, with the most variation in antimesometrium (AM) and, to a lesser degree, in the junctional zone (JZ). Immunohistochemistry of CSDC2 showed a preferentially cytoplasmic localization at AM and JZ, and nuclear localization in underneath myometrium and mesometrium (M). Cytoplasmic localization coincided with differentiated, DESMIN‐marked areas, while nuclear localization coincides with proliferative zones. Uterine suppression of CSDC2 through intrauterine‐injected‐specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) led to abnormal decidualization in early pregnancy, with more extended antimesometrial area and with poor M development if compared with control siRNA‐injected animals. These results suggest that CSDC2 could be a regulator during decidua development.
    Oxygen and contact with human intestinal epithelium independently stimulate virulence gene expression in enteroaggregative Escherichia coli
    Samuel J. Ellis, Cellular Microbiology - 2019
    Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) are important intestinal pathogens causing acute and persistent diarrhoeal illness worldwide. Although many putative EAEC virulence factors have been identified, their association with pathogenesis remains unclear. As environmental cues can modulate bacterial virulence, we investigated the effect of oxygen and human intestinal epithelium on EAEC virulence gene expression to determine the involvement of respective gene products in intestinal colonisation and pathogenesis. Using in vitro organ culture of human intestinal biopsies, we established the colonic epithelium as the major colonisation site of EAEC strains 042 and 17‐2. We subsequently optimised a vertical diffusion chamber system with polarised T84 colon carcinoma cells for EAEC infection and showed that oxygen induced expression of the global regulator AggR, aggregative adherence fimbriae, E. coli common pilus, EAST‐1 toxin, and dispersin in EAEC strain 042 but not in 17‐2. Furthermore, the presence of T84 epithelia stimulated additional expression of the mucinase Pic and the toxins HlyE and Pet. This induction was dependent on physical host cell contact and did not require AggR. Overall, these findings suggest that EAEC virulence in the human gut is modulated by environmental signals including oxygen and the intestinal epithelium.
    Eukaryotic initiation factor 5B (eIF5B) provides a critical cell survival switch to glioblastoma cells via regulation of apoptosis
    Joseph A. Ross, Cell Death and Disease - 2019
    Physiological stress conditions attenuate global mRNA translation via modifications of key eukaryotic initiation factors. However, non-canonical translation initiation mechanisms allow cap-independent translation of certain mRNAs. We have previously demonstrated that eIF5B promotes cap-independent translation of the mRNA encoding the antiapoptotic factor, XIAP, during cellular stress. Here, we show that depletion of eIF5B sensitizes glioblastoma multiforme cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis by a pathway involving caspases-8, −9, and −7, with no significant effect on cell cycle progression. eIF5B promotes evasion of apoptosis by promoting the translation of several IRES-containing mRNAs, encoding the antiapoptotic proteins XIAP, Bcl-xL, cIAP1, and c-FLIPS. We also show that eIF5B promotes translation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 and suggest that reactive oxygen species contribute to increased apoptosis under conditions of eIF5B depletion. Finally, eIF5B depletion leads to decreased activation of the canonical NF-κB pathway. Taken together, our data suggest that eIF5B represents a regulatory node, allowing cancer cells to evade apoptosis by promoting the translation of pro-survival proteins from IRES-containing mRNAs.
    Specific loss of adipocyte CD248 improves metabolic health via reduced white adipose tissue hypoxia, fibrosis and inflammation
    Paul Petrus, EBio Medicine - 2019
    Background A positive energy balance promotes white adipose tissue (WAT) expansion which is characterized by activation of a repertoire of events including hypoxia, inflammation and extracellular matrix remodelling. The transmembrane glycoprotein CD248 has been implicated in all these processes in different malignant and inflammatory diseases but its potential impact in WAT and metabolic disease has not been explored. Methods The role of CD248 in adipocyte function and glucose metabolism was evaluated by omics analyses in human WAT, gene knockdowns in human in vitro differentiated adipocytes and by adipocyte-specific and inducible Cd248 gene knockout studies in mice. Findings CD248 is upregulated in white but not brown adipose tissue of obese and insulin-resistant individuals. Gene ontology analyses showed that CD248 expression associated positively with pro-inflammatory/pro-fibrotic pathways. By combining data from several human cohorts with gene knockdown experiments in human adipocytes, our results indicate that CD248 acts as a microenvironmental sensor which mediates part of the adipose tissue response to hypoxia and is specifically perturbed in white adipocytes in the obese state. Adipocyte-specific and inducible Cd248 knockouts in mice, both before and after diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance/glucose intolerance, resulted in increased microvascular density as well as attenuated hypoxia, inflammation and fibrosis without affecting fat cell volume. This was accompanied by significant improvements in insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. Interpretation CD248 exerts detrimental effects on WAT phenotype and systemic glucose homeostasis which may be reversed by suppression of adipocyte CD248. Therefore, CD248 may constitute a target to treat obesity-associated co-morbidities.
    Effect of conjugated linoleic acid overproducing Lactobacillus with berry pomace phenolic extracts on Campylobacter jejuni pathogenesis
    Zajeba Tabashsum, Royal Society of Chemistry - 2019
    Campylobacter jejuni (CJ) is one of the predominant causative agents of acute gastroenteritis in the US and other developed countries through the handling of raw chicken or the consumption of undercooked poultry and poultry products. Probiotics and their metabolites such as conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs) play a crucial role in improving host health and act as antimicrobials against enteric pathogens. Furthermore, prebiotics or prebiotic-like components such as bioactive phenolics from berry pomace can stimulate the growth of beneficial microbes including Lactobacillus casei (LC) and its metabolites, and competitively inhibit the growth of enteric bacterial pathogens. In this study, we aimed at enhancing the efficiency of antimicrobial/beneficial activities of LC and the extent of production of bioactive compounds by combining berry pomace phenolic extract (BPPE) and overproducing CLA in L. casei (LC-CLA). Under mixed culture conditions, LC-CLA in the presence of BPPE reduced the growth of CJ by more than 3 log CFU ml−1 within 48 h. The cell-free culture supernatant (CFCS) of LC-CLA in the presence of BPPE also reduced significantly the growth of CJ >3.2 log CFU ml−1 at 24 h. The interactions of CJ with cultured chicken fibroblast cells (DF-1), chicken macrophage (HD-11), and human epithelial cells (HeLa) were altered significantly. Treatments with BPPE and/or CFCS also altered the injured cell number, auto-aggregation capacity and cell surface hydrophobicity of CJ, significantly. Furthermore, combined treatments with BPPE and CFCSs of LC-CLA altered the expression of multiple virulence genes such as ciaB, cdtB, cadF, flaA, and flaB of CJ from 0.45 fold to 6.85 fold. Overall, BPPE enhanced the effect of LC-CLA in the reduction of CJ growth, survival ability, host cell–CJ interactions, and virulence gene expression. This finding indicates that a combination of BPPE and LC-CLA may be able to prevent the colonization of CJ in poultry, reduce the cross-contamination of poultry products and control poultry-borne campylobacteriosis in humans.
    Dysregulation of the histone demethylase KDM6B in alcohol dependence is associated with epigenetic regulation of inflammatory signaling pathways
    Andrea L. Johnstone, Addiction Biology - 2019
    Epigenetic enzymes oversee long‐term changes in gene expression by integrating genetic and environmental cues. While there are hundreds of enzymes that control histone and DNA modifications, their potential roles in substance abuse and alcohol dependence remain underexplored. A few recent studies have suggested that epigenetic processes could underlie transcriptomic and behavioral hallmarks of alcohol addiction. In the present study, we sought to identify epigenetic enzymes in the brain that are dysregulated during protracted abstinence as a consequence of chronic and intermittent alcohol exposure. Through quantitative mRNA expression analysis of over 100 epigenetic enzymes, we identified 11 that are significantly altered in alcohol‐dependent rats compared with controls. Follow‐up studies of one of these enzymes, the histone demethylase KDM6B, showed that this enzyme exhibits region‐specific dysregulation in the prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens of alcohol‐dependent rats. KDM6B was also upregulated in the human alcoholic brain. Upregulation of KDM6B protein in alcohol‐dependent rats was accompanied by a decrease of trimethylation levels at histone H3, lysine 27 (H3K27me3), consistent with the known demethylase specificity of KDM6B. Subsequent epigenetic (chromatin immunoprecipitation [ChIP]–sequencing) analysis showed that alcohol‐induced changes in H3K27me3 were significantly enriched at genes in the IL‐6 signaling pathway, consistent with the well‐characterized role of KDM6B in modulation of inflammatory responses. Knockdown of KDM6B in cultured microglial cells diminished IL‐6 induction in response to an inflammatory stimulus. Our findings implicate a novel KDM6B‐mediated epigenetic signaling pathway integrated with inflammatory signaling pathways that are known to underlie the development of alcohol addiction.
    HDAC7 regulates histone 3 lysine 27 acetylation and transcriptional activity at super-enhancer-associated genes in breast cancer stem cells
    Corrado Caslini, Oncogene - 2019
    Chromatin regulation through histone modifications plays an essential role in coordinated expression of multiple genes. Alterations in chromatin induced by histone modifiers and readers regulate critical transcriptional programs involved in both normal development and tumor differentiation. Recently, we identified that histone deacetylases HDAC1 and HDAC7 are necessary to maintain cancer stem cells (CSCs) in both breast and ovarian tumors. Here, we sought to investigate the CSC-specific function of HDAC1 and HDAC7 mechanistically by using a stem-like breast cancer (BrCa) cell model BPLER and matched nonstem tumor cell (nsTC)-like HMLER, along with conventional BrCa cell lines with different CSC enrichment levels. We found that HDAC1 and HDAC3 inhibition or knockdown results in HDAC7 downregulation, which is associated with a decrease in histone 3 lysine 27 acetylation (H3K27ac) at transcription start sites (TSS) and super-enhancers (SEs) prominently in stem-like BrCa cells. Importantly, these changes in chromatin landscape also correlate with the repression of many SE-associated oncogenes, including c-MYC, CD44, CDKN1B, SLUG, VDR, SMAD3, VEGFA, and XBP1. In stem-like BrCa cells, HDAC7 binds near TSS and to SEs of these oncogenes where it appears to contribute to both H3K27ac and transcriptional regulation. These results suggest that HDAC7 inactivation, directly or through inhibition of HDAC1 and HDAC3, can result in the inhibition of the CSC phenotype by downregulating multiple SE-associated oncogenes. The CSC selective nature of this mechanism and the prospect of inhibiting multiple oncogenes simultaneously makes development of HDAC7 specific inhibitors a compelling objective.
    Impaired HDL Function Amplifies Systemic Inflammation in Common Variable Immunodeficiency
    Magnhild E. Macpherson, Scientific Reports - 2019
    Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is the most common symptomatic primary immunodeficiency, characterized by inadequate antibody responses and recurrent bacterial infections. Paradoxically, a majority of CVID patients have non-infectious inflammatory and autoimmune complications, associated with systemic immune activation. Our aim was to explore if HDL, known to have anti-inflammatory properties, had impaired function in CVID patients and thereby contributed to their inflammatory phenotype. We found reduced HDL cholesterol levels in plasma of CVID patients compared to healthy controls, particularly in patients with inflammatory and autoimmune complications, correlating negatively with inflammatory markers CRP and sCD25. Reverse cholesterol transport capacity testing showed reduced serum acceptance capacity for cholesterol in CVID patients with inflammatory and autoimmune complications. They also had reduced cholesterol efflux capacity from macrophages to serum and decreased expression of ATP-binding cassette transporter ABCA1. Human HDL suppressed TLR2-induced TNF release less in blood mononuclear cells from CVID patients, associated with decreased expression of transcriptional factor ATF3. Our data suggest a link between impaired HDL function and systemic inflammation in CVID patients, particularly in those with autoimmune and inflammatory complications. This identifies HDL as a novel therapeutic target in CVID as well as other more common conditions characterized by sterile inflammation or autoimmunity.
    Deletion of Sulfonylurea Receptor 2 in the Adult Myocardium Enhances Cardiac Glucose Uptake and Is Cardioprotective
    Gregory Aubert, MD, PhD, JACC Journals - 2019
    The adult myocardium relies on oxidative metabolism. In ischemic myocardium, such as the embryonic heart, glycolysis contributes more prominently as a fuel source. The sulfonylurea receptor 2 (SUR2) was previously implicated in the normal myocardial transition from glycolytic to oxidative metabolism that occurs during adaptation to postnatal life. This receptor was now selectively deleted in adult mouse myocardium resulting in protection from ischemia reperfusion injury. SUR2-deleted cardiomyocytes had enhanced glucose uptake, and SUR2 forms a complex with the major glucose transporter. These data identify the SUR2 receptor as a target to shift cardiac metabolism to protect against myocardial injury. (J Am Coll Cardiol Basic Trans Science 2019;4:251–68) © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier on behalf of the American College of Cardiology Foundation. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
    The effect of chronic kidney disease on CYP2B expression and activity in male Wistar rats
    Andrew S. Kucey, The British Pharmacological Society - 2019
    Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is characterized by progressive reduction in kidney function over time. CKD affects greater than 10% of the population and its incidence is on the rise due to the growing prevalence of its risk factors. Previous studies demonstrated CKD alters nonrenal clearance of drugs in addition to reducing renal clearance. We assessed the function and expression of hepatic CYP2B enzymes using a rat model of CKD. CKD was induced in Wistar rats by supplementing their chow with adenine and confirmed through the detection of elevated uremic toxins in plasma. Liver enzymes AST and ALT were unchanged by the adenine diet. Bupropion was used as a probe substrate for hepatic CYP2B function using rat liver microsomes. The resulting metabolite, hydroxy‐bupropion, and bupropion were quantified by ultra‐performance liquid chromatography coupled to time‐of‐flight mass spectrometry. Level of mRNA and protein were determined by RT‐PCR and Western blot, respectively. The results of our study demonstrate that CYP2B1 is downregulated in a rat model of CKD. CYP2B1 mRNA level was significantly decreased (88%, P < 0.001) in CKD relative to control. Similarly, maximal enzymatic velocity (Vmax) for CYP2B was decreased by 46% in CKD relative to control (P < 0.0001). Previous studies involving patients with CKD demonstrated altered bupropion pharmacokinetics compared to control. Hence, our results suggest that these alterations may be mediated by attenuated CYP2B hepatic metabolism. This finding may partially explain the alterations in pharmacokinetics and nonrenal drug clearance frequently observed in patients with CKD.
    Single-Cell Fluorescence Analysis of Pseudotemporal Ordered Cells Provides Protein Expression Dynamics for Neuronal Differentiation
    Zhichao Song, Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology - 2019
    Stem cell replacement therapy is a potential method for repopulating lost spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) in the inner ear. Efficacy of cell replacement relies on proper differentiation. Defining the dynamic expression of different transcription factors essential for neuronal differentiation allows us to monitor the progress and determine when the protein functions in differentiating stem cell cultures. Using immortalized multipotent otic progenitors (iMOPs) as a cellular system for SGN differentiation, a method for determining dynamic protein expression from heterogeneous cultures was developed. iMOP-derived neurons were identified and ordered by increasing neurite lengths to create a pseudotime course that reflects the differentiation trajectory. The fluorescence intensities of transcription factors SOX2 and NEUROD1 from individual pseudotemporally ordered cells were measured. Individual cells were grouped by K-means clustering and the mean fluorescence intensity for each cluster determined. Curve fit of the mean fluorescence represented the protein expression dynamics in differentiating cells. The method provides information about protein expression dynamics in differentiating stem cell cultures.
    The unfolded protein response modulators GSK2606414 and KIRA6 are potent KIT inhibitors
    Mohamed Mahameed, Cell Death and Disease - 2019
    IRE1, PERK, and ATF6 are the three transducers of the mammalian canonical unfolded protein response (UPR). GSK2606414 is a potent inhibitor of PERK, while KIRA6 inhibits the kinase activity of IRE1. Both molecules are frequently used to probe the biological roles of the UPR in mammalian cells. In a direct binding assay, GSK2606414 bound to the cytoplasmic domain of KIT with dissociation constants (Kd) value of 664 ± 294 nM whereas KIRA6 showed a Kd value of 10.8 ± 2.9 µM. In silico docking studies confirmed a compact interaction of GSK2606414 and KIRA6 with KIT ATP binding pocket. In cultured cells, GSK2606414 inhibited KIT tyrosine kinase activity at nanomolar concentrations and in a PERK-independent manner. Moreover, in contrast to other KIT inhibitors, GSK2606414 enhanced KIT endocytosis and its lysosomal degradation. Although KIRA6 also inhibited KIT at nanomolar concentrations, it did not prompt KIT degradation, and rescued KIT from GSK2606414-mediated degradation. Consistent with KIT inhibition, nanomolar concentrations of GSK2606414 and KIRA6 were sufficient to induce cell death in a KIT signaling-dependent mast cell leukemia cell line. Our data show for the first time that KIT is a shared target for two seemingly unrelated UPR inhibitors at concentrations that overlap with PERK and IRE1 inhibition. Furthermore, these data underscore discrepancies between in vitro binding measurements of kinase inhibitors and inhibition of the tyrosine kinase receptors in living cells.
    Preoperative administration of the 5-HT4 receptor agonist prucalopride reduces intestinal inflammation and shortens postoperative ileus via cholinergic enteric neurons
    Nathalie Stakenborg, Neurogastroenterology - 2019
    Objectives Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), most likely via enteric neurons, prevents postoperative ileus (POI) by reducing activation of alpha7 nicotinic receptor (α7nAChR) positive muscularis macrophages (mMφ) and dampening surgery-induced intestinal inflammation. Here, we evaluated if 5-HT4 receptor (5-HT4R) agonist prucalopride can mimic this effect in mice and human. Design Using Ca2+ imaging, the effect of electrical field stimulation (EFS) and prucalopride was evaluated in situ on mMφ activation evoked by ATP in jejunal muscularis tissue. Next, preoperative and postoperative administration of prucalopride (1–5 mg/kg) was compared with that of preoperative VNS in a model of POI in wild-type and α7nAChR knockout mice. Finally, in a pilot study, patients undergoing a Whipple procedure were preoperatively treated with prucalopride (n=10), abdominal VNS (n=10) or sham/placebo (n=10) to evaluate the effect on intestinal inflammation and clinical recovery of POI. Results EFS reduced the ATP-induced Ca2+ response of mMφ, an effect that was dampened by neurotoxins tetrodotoxin and ω-conotoxin and mimicked by prucalopride. In vivo, prucalopride administered before, but not after abdominal surgery reduced intestinal inflammation and prevented POI in wild-type, but not in α7nAChR knockout mice. In humans, preoperative administration of prucalopride, but not of VNS, decreased Il6 and Il8 expression in the muscularis externa and improved clinical recovery. Conclusion Enteric neurons dampen mMφ activation, an effect mimicked by prucalopride. Preoperative, but not postoperative treatment with prucalopride prevents intestinal inflammation and shortens POI in both mice and human, indicating that preoperative administration of 5-HT4R agonists should be further evaluated as a treatment of POI.
    Low‐Dose Pesticide Mixture Induces Accelerated Mesenchymal Stem Cell Aging In Vitro
    Xavier Leveque, Stem Cells - 2019
    The general population is chronically exposed to multiple environmental contaminants such as pesticides. We have previously demonstrated that human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) exposed in vitro to low doses of a mixture of seven common pesticides showed a permanent phenotype modification with a specific induction of an oxidative stress‐related senescence. Pesticide mixture also induced a shift in MSC differentiation toward adipogenesis. Thus, we hypothesized that common combination of pesticides may induce a premature cellular aging of adult MSCs. Our goal was to evaluate if the prolonged exposure to pesticide mixture could accelerate aging‐related markers and in particular deteriorate the immunosuppressive properties of MSCs. MSCs exposed to pesticide mixture, under long‐term culture and obtained from aging donor, were compared by bulk RNA sequencing analysis. Aging, senescence, and immunomodulatory markers were compared. The protein expression of cellular aging‐associated metabolic markers and immune function of MSCs were analyzed. Functional analysis of the secretome impacts on immunomodulatory properties of MSCs was realized after 21 days' exposure to pesticide mixture. The RNA sequencing analysis of MSCs exposed to pesticide showed some similarities with cells from prolonged culture, but also with the MSCs of an aged donor. Changes in the metabolic markers MDH1, GOT and SIRT3, as well as an alteration in the modulation of active T cells and modifications in cytokine production are all associated with cellular aging. A modified functional profile was found with similarities to aging process.
    ADAM17-deficiency on microglia but not on macrophages promotes phagocytosis and functional recovery after spinal cord injury
    Daniela Sommer, Brain, Behavior and Immunity - 2019
    A disintegrin and metalloproteinase 17 (ADAM17) is the major sheddase involved in the cleavage of a plethora of cytokines, cytokine receptors and growth factors, thereby playing a substantial role in inflammatory and regenerative processes after central nervous system trauma. By making use of a hypomorphic ADAM17 knockin mouse model as well as pharmacological ADAM10/ADAM17 inhibitors, we showed that ADAM17-deficiency or inhibition significantly increases clearance of apoptotic cells, promotes axon growth and improves functional recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI) in mice. Microglia-specific ADAM17-knockout (ADAM17flox+/+-Cx3Cr1 Cre+/−) mice also showed improved functional recovery similar to hypomorphic ADAM17 mice. In contrast, endothelial-specific (ADAM17flox+/+-Cdh5Pacs Cre+/−) and macrophage-specific (ADAM17flox+/+-LysM Cre+/−) ADAM17-knockout mice or bone marrow chimera with transplanted ADAM17-deficient macrophages, displayed no functional improvement compared to wild type mice. These data indicate that ADAM17 expression on microglia cells (and not on macrophages or endothelial cells) plays a detrimental role in inflammation and functional recovery after SCI.
    The Laminin-α1 Chain-Derived Peptide, AG73, Binds to Syndecans on MDA-231 Breast Cancer Cells and Alters Filopodium Formation
    Madhavi Puchalapalli, Analytical Cellular Pathology - 2019
    Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer affecting women in the United States, second only to skin cancers. Although treatments have been developed to combat primary breast cancer, metastasis remains a leading cause of death. An early step of metastasis is cancer cell invasion through the basement membrane. However, this process is not yet well understood. AG73, a synthetic laminin-α1 chain peptide, plays an important role in cell adhesion and has previously been linked to migration, invasion, and metastasis. Thus, we aimed to identify the binding partner of AG73 on breast cancer cells that could mediate cancer progression. We performed adhesion assays using MCF10A, T47D, SUM1315, and MDA-231 breast cell lines and found that AG73 binds to syndecans (Sdcs) 1, 2, and 4. This interaction was inhibited when we silenced Sdcs 1 and/or 4 in MDA-231 cells, indicating the importance of these receptors in this relationship. Through actin staining, we found that silencing of Sdc 1, 2, and 4 expression in MDA-231 cells exhibits a decrease in the length and number of filopodia bound to AG73. Expression of mouse Sdcs 1, 2, and 4 in MDA-231 cells provides rescue in filopodia, and overexpression of Sdcs 1 and 2 leads to increased filopodium length and number. Our findings demonstrate an intrinsic interaction between AG73 in the tumor environment and the Sdcs on breast cancer cells in supporting tumor cell adhesion and invasion through filopodia, an important step in cancer metastasis.
    A. Islam, European Cells and Materials - 2019
    Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), given their regenerative potential, are being investigated as a potential therapeutic tool for cartilage lesions. MSCs express several bioactive molecules which act in a paracrine fashion to modulate the tissue microenvironment. Yet, little is known about the divergence of these signalling molecules in different MSC populations. The present study investigated secretomes of stromal cells harvested from Hoffa’s fat pad (HFPSCs), synovial membrane (SMSCs), umbilical cord (UCSCs) and cartilage (ACs) by quantitative liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) proteomics. Also, multiplex protein arrays and functional assays were performed to compare the constitutive immunomodulatory capabilities of different MSCs. Proteins involved in extracellular matrix degradation and inflammation, such as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), interleukin (IL)-17 and complement factors, were downregulated in UCSCs as compared to adult cell sources. Additionally, secretion of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) was enhanced in UCSC supernatants. UCSCs were superior in inhibiting peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) proliferation, migration and cytokine secretion as compared to adult stromal cells. SMSCs significantly suppressed the proliferation of PBMCs only if they were primed with pro-inflammatory cytokines. Although all cell types repressed human leukocyte antigen-DR isotype (HLADR) surface expression and cytokine release by activated macrophages, only UCSCs significantly blocked IL-6 and IL-12 production. Furthermore, UCSCs supernatants increased aggrecan gene expression in twodimensional chondrocyte cultures. The data demonstrated that UCSCs displayed superior anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties than stromal cells from adult tissues. This allogeneic cell source could potentially be considered as an adjuvant therapy for articular cartilage repair
    A Ubiquitous Platform for Bacterial Nanotube Biogenesis
    Saurabh Bhattacharya, Cell Reports - 2019
    We have previously described the existence of membranous nanotubes, bridging adjacent bacteria, facilitating intercellular trafficking of nutrients, cytoplasmic proteins, and even plasmids, yet components enabling their biogenesis remain elusive. Here we reveal the identity of a molecular apparatus providing a platform for nanotube biogenesis. Using Bacillus subtilis (Bs), we demonstrate that conserved components of the flagellar export apparatus (FliO, FliP, FliQ, FliR, FlhB, and FlhA), designated CORE, dually serve for flagellum and nanotube assembly. Mutants lacking CORE genes, but not other flagellar components, are deficient in both nanotube production and the associated intercellular molecular trafficking. In accord, CORE components are located at sites of nanotube emergence. Deleting COREs of distinct species established that CORE-mediated nanotube formation is widespread. Furthermore, exogenous COREs from diverse species could restore nanotube generation and functionality in Bs lacking endogenous CORE. Our results demonstrate that the CORE-derived nanotube is a ubiquitous organelle that facilitates intercellular molecular trade across the bacterial kingdom.
    LACC1 Regulates TNF and IL-17 in Mouse Models of Arthritis and Inflammation
    Cara Skon-Hegg, Journal of Immunology - 2019
    Both common and rare genetic variants of laccase domain-containing 1 (LACC1, previously C13orf31) are associated with inflammatory bowel disease, leprosy, Behcet disease, and systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis. However, the functional relevance of these variants is unclear. In this study, we use LACC1-deficient mice to gain insight into the role of LACC1 in regulating inflammation. Following oral administration of Citrobacter rodentium, LACC1 knockout (KO) mice had more severe colon lesions compared with wildtype (WT) controls. Immunization with collagen II, a collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model, resulted in an accelerated onset of arthritis and significantly worse arthritis and inflammation in LACC1 KO mice. Similar results were obtained in a mannan-induced arthritis model. Serum and local TNF in CIA paws and C. rodentium colons were significantly increased in LACC1 KO mice compared with WT controls. The percentage of IL-17A–producing CD4+ T cells was elevated in LACC1 KO mice undergoing CIA as well as aged mice compared with WT controls. Neutralization of IL-17, but not TNF, prevented enhanced mannan-induced arthritis in LACC1 KO mice. These data provide new mechanistic insight into the function of LACC1 in regulating TNF and IL-17 during inflammatory responses. We hypothesize that these effects contribute to immune-driven pathologies observed in individuals carrying LACC1 variants.
    Insights Into an Unexplored Component of the Mosquito Repeatome: Distribution and Variability of Viral Sequences Integrated Into the Genome of the Arboviral Vector Aedes albopictus
    Elisa Pischedda, Frontiers in Genetics - 2019
    The Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus is an invasive mosquito and a competent vector for public-health relevant arboviruses such as Chikungunya (Alphavirus), Dengue and Zika (Flavivirus) viruses. Unexpectedly, the sequencing of the genome of this mosquito revealed an unusually high number of integrated sequences with similarities to non-retroviral RNA viruses of the Flavivirus and Rhabdovirus genera. These Non-retroviral Integrated RNA Virus Sequences (NIRVS) are enriched in piRNA clusters and coding sequences and have been proposed to constitute novel mosquito immune factors. However, given the abundance of NIRVS and their variable viral origin, their relative biological roles remain unexplored. Here we used an analytical approach that intersects computational, evolutionary and molecular methods to study the genomic landscape of mosquito NIRVS. We demonstrate that NIRVS are differentially distributed across mosquito genomes, with a core set of seemingly the oldest integrations with similarity to Rhabdoviruses. Additionally, we compare the polymorphisms of NIRVS with respect to that of fast and slow-evolving genes within the Ae. albopictus genome. Overall, NIRVS appear to be less polymorphic than slow-evolving genes, with differences depending on whether they occur in intergenic regions or in piRNA clusters. Finally, two NIRVS that map within the coding sequences of genes annotated as Rhabdovirus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and the nucleocapsid-encoding gene, respectively, are highly polymorphic and are expressed, suggesting exaptation possibly to enhance the mosquito’s antiviral responses. These results greatly advance our understanding of the complexity of the mosquito repeatome and the biology of viral integrations in mosquito genomes.
    Serine protease inhibitors rich Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt leaf extract induces protective immune responses in murine visceral leishmaniasis
    Asmita Pramanik, Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy - 2019
    Leishmaniasis is a parasite-mediated tropical disease affecting millions of individuals worldwide. The available antileishmanial chemotherapeutic modalities exhibit adverse toxicity, exorbitant price and advent of drug-resistant parasites. Hence, plant-derived products are an alternative preference for the emergence of novel and effective antileishmanial agents that rejuvenate the host immunity with limited toxicity. The present work is complementary to our previous report that revealed the in vitro antileishmanial and immunomodulatory activity of Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt leaf extract (Cg-Ex) rich in serine protease inhibitors. Thus, preliminary objectives of the study were to elucidate the leishmanicidal activity and host effector mechanism in Leishmania donovani infected BALB/c mice treated with Cg-Ex. Oral administration of Cg-Ex significantly reduced the spleen and liver parasite burden at dose-dependently. The parasite elimination was associated with generation of ROS and NO that are interrelated with up-regulation of disease-suppressing Th1 cytokines and down-regulation of disease-promoting Th2 cytokines at both protein and mRNA level. Moreover, Cg-Ex augmented the delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) response and serum IgG2a level which are correlated with the diminution of parasite burden with no hepatic and renal toxicity. Additionally, histological analysis of spleen depicted the improvement of structural disorganization of white and red pulp after Cg-Ex treatment. Therefore, our intriguing findings have presented the first indication of in vivo antileishmanial efficacy through activation of pro-inflammatory immune responses of the host by a natural plant leaf extract (Cg-Ex) containing serine protease inhibitors which could have a role as a potential immunomodulator against visceral leishmaniasis.
    Kinetic studies on clinical and immunological modulations by intramuscular injection of Escherichia coli LPS in laying hens
    Wendy Leirmann, Innate Immunity - 2019
    The present study investigated clinical and immunological modulations due to intramuscular injection of Escherichia coli LPS in 49-wk-old laying hens over 48 h post injection (p.i.). LPS induced characteristic sickness behavior but no significant body temperature alterations (P > 0.05). During experimental period decreases in blood albumin, calcium, phosphorus and tryptophan concentrations, hyperglycemia, increased plasma nitrite concentrations, leucopenia, decreased thrombocyte counts, lymphopenia, heterophilia and an increased heterophilic granulocyte/lymphocyte (H/L) ratio were observed after LPS administration. Time-dependent effects were shown on T and B cell subsets in caecal tonsils (CT) and on splenic CD3+/CD4+/CD8+ proportions, on IL-1β and -10 and inducible NO synthase mRNA expression in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL), liver, spleen and CT, and on the mRNA expression of the TLR4 in PBL, liver and spleen p.i. (P < 0.05). The main responding period of mentioned alterations due to LPS appears to include the period from 2 until 8 h p.i. According to the H/L ratio, the most stressful phase was 5 h p.i. T and B cell subsets in CT, the IL-1β and TLR4 mRNA expression in liver and plasma nitrite concentrations seemed to be affected for a longer period.
    Complex Role for E‐Prostanoid 4 Receptors in Hypertension
    Marcela Herrera, JAHA Journal of the American Heart Association - 2019
    Background Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is a major prostanoid with multiple actions that potentially affect blood pressure (BP). PGE2 acts through 4 distinct E‐prostanoid (EP) receptor isoforms: EP1 to EP4. The EP4 receptor (EP4R) promotes PGE2‐dependent vasodilation, but its role in the pathogenesis of hypertension is not clear. Methods and Results To address this issue, we studied mice after temporal‐ and cell‐specific deletion of EP4R. First, using a mouse line with loss of EP4 expression induced universally after birth, we confirm that EP4R mediates a major portion of the acute vasodilatory effects of infused PGE2. In addition, EP4 contributes to control of resting BP, which was increased by 5±1 mm Hg in animals with generalized deficiency of this receptor. We also show that EP4 is critical for limiting elevations in BP caused by high salt feeding and long‐term infusion of angiotensin II. To more precisely identify the mechanism for these actions, we generated mice in which EP4R loss is induced after birth and is limited to smooth muscle. In these mice, acute PGE2‐dependent vasodilation was attenuated, indicating that this response is mediated by EP4R in vascular smooth muscle cells. However, absence of EP4R only in this vascular compartment had a paradoxical effect of lowering resting BP, whereas the protective effect of EP4R on limiting angiotensin II–dependent hypertension was unaffected. Conclusions Taken together, our findings support a complex role for EP4R in regulation of BP and in hypertension, which appears to involve actions of the EP4R in tissues beyond vascular smooth muscle cells.
    Autophagy induction and PDGFR-β knockdown by siRNA-encapsulated nanoparticles reduce chlamydia trachomatis infection
    Sidi Yang, Scientific Reports - 2019
    C. trachomatis is the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection in the world. Although the infection can be easily controlled by the use of antibiotics, several reports of clinical isolates that are resistant to antibiotics have prompted us to search for alternative strategies to manage this disease. In this paper, we developed a nanoparticle formulation (PDGFR-β siRNA-PEI-PLGA-PEG NP) that can simultaneously induce autophagy in human cells and knock down PDGFR-β gene expression, an important surface binding protein for C. trachomatis, as a strategy to reduce vaginal infection of C. trachomatis. PDGFR-β siRNA-PEI-PLGA-PEG NP significantly induced autophagy in human vaginal epithelial cells (VK2/E6E7) 48 hr post treatment by improving autophagic degradation activity without causing inflammation, apoptosis or any decrease in cell viability. Beclin-1, VPS34 (markers for initiation stage of autophagy), UVRAG, TECPR-1 (markers for degradation stage of autophagy) were found to be significantly upregulated after treatment with PDGFR-β siRNA-PEI-PLGA-PEG NP. Furthermore, PDGFR-β siRNA-PEI-PLGA-PEG NP decreased PDGFR-β mRNA expression by 50% and protein expression by 43% in VK2/E6E7 cells 48 hr post treatment. Treatment of cells with PDGFR-β siRNA-PEI-PLGA-PEG NP significantly decreased the intracellular C. trachomatis and extracellular release of C. trachomatis by approximately 65% and 67%, respectively, in vitro through augmenting autophagic degradation pathways and reducing bacterial binding simultaneously.
    Distinct transcriptional response of Caenorhabditis elegans to different exposure routes of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid
    Marios Stylianou, Environmental Research - 2019
    Although people are exposed daily to per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs), the biological consequences are poorly explored. The health risks associated with PFAS exposure are currently based on chemical analysis with a weak correlation to potential harmful effects in man and animals. In this study, we show that perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), often the most enriched PFAS in the environment, can be transferred via bacteria to higher organisms such as Caenorhabditis elegans. C. elegans nematodes were exposed to PFOS directly in buffer or by feeding on bacteria pretreated with PFOS, and this led to distinct gene expression profiles. Specifically, heavy metal and heat shock associated genes were significantly, although inversely, expressed following the different PFOS exposures. The innate immunity receptor for microbial pathogens, clec-60, was shown for the first time to be down-regulated by PFOS. This is in line with a previous study indicating that PFOS is associated with children's susceptibility to certain infectious diseases. Furthermore, bar-1, a gene associated with various cancers was highly up-regulated only when C. elegans were exposed to PFOS pretreated live bacteria. Furthermore, dead bacterial biomass had higher binding capacity for linear and isomeric PFOS than live bacteria, which correlated to the higher levels of PFOS detected in C. elegans when fed the treated E. coli, respectively. These results reveal new aspects concerning trophic chain transport of PFOS.
    Noninvasive Analysis of High-Risk Driver Mutations and Gene Expression Profiles in Primary Cutaneous Melanoma
    Laura K. Ferris, Journal of Investigative Dermatology - 2019
    Tools that help reduce the number of surgical biopsies performed on benign lesions have the potential to improve patient care. The pigmented lesion assay (PLA) is a noninvasive tool validated against histopathology that helps rule out melanoma and the need for surgical biopsies of atypical pigmented skin lesions. Genetic information is collected using adhesive patches and the expression of two genes, LINC and PRAME, is measured. By using genetic material collected noninvasively and to further validate the PLA, somatic hotspot mutations in genes known to be drivers of early melanoma development (BRAF other than V600E, NRAS, and the TERT promoter) can also be identified. The frequency of these hotspot mutations in samples of early melanoma was 77%, which is higher than the 14% found in nonmelanoma samples (P < 0.0001). TERT promoter mutations were the most prevalent mutation type in PLA-positive melanomas; 82% of PLA-negative lesions had no mutations, and 97% of histopathologically confirmed melanomas were PLA and/or mutation positive (cohort 1, n = 103). Mutation frequencies were similar in prospectively collected real-world PLA samples (cohort 2, n = 519), in which 88% of PLA-negative samples had no mutations. Combining gene expression and mutation analyses enhances the ability to noninvasively detect early cutaneous melanoma.
    Cellular Gene Expression during Hepatitis C Virus Replication as Revealed by Ribosome Profiling
    Gesche K. Gerresheim, International Journal of Molecular Sciences - 2019
    Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects human liver hepatocytes, often leading to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). It is believed that chronic infection alters host gene expression and favors HCC development. In particular, HCV replication in Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) derived membranes induces chronic ER stress. How HCV replication affects host mRNA translation and transcription at a genome wide level is not yet known. Methods: We used Riboseq (Ribosome Profiling) to analyze transcriptome and translatome changes in the Huh-7.5 hepatocarcinoma cell line replicating HCV for 6 days. Results: Established viral replication does not cause global changes in host gene expression—only around 30 genes are significantly differentially expressed. Upregulated genes are related to ER stress and HCV replication, and several regulated genes are known to be involved in HCC development. Some mRNAs (PPP1R15A/GADD34, DDIT3/CHOP, and TRIB3) may be subject to upstream open reading frame (uORF) mediated translation control. Transcriptional downregulation mainly affects mitochondrial respiratory chain complex core subunit genes. Conclusion: After establishing HCV replication, the lack of global changes in cellular gene expression indicates an adaptation to chronic infection, while the downregulation of mitochondrial respiratory chain genes indicates how a virus may further contribute to cancer cell-like metabolic reprogramming (“Warburg effect”) even in the hepatocellular carcinoma cells used here.
    A novel nonosteocytic regulatory mechanism of bone modeling
    Lior Ofer, PLOS Biology - 2019
    Osteocytes, cells forming an elaborate network within the bones of most vertebrate taxa, are thought to be the master regulators of bone modeling, a process of coordinated, local bone-tissue deposition and removal that keeps bone strains at safe levels throughout life. Neoteleost fish, however, lack osteocytes and yet are known to be capable of bone modeling, although no osteocyte-independent modeling regulatory mechanism has so far been described. Here, we characterize a novel, to our knowledge, bone-modeling regulatory mechanism in a fish species (medaka), showing that although lacking osteocytes (i.e., internal mechanosensors), when loaded, medaka bones model in mechanically directed ways, successfully reducing high tissue strains. We establish that as in mammals, modeling in medaka is regulated by the SOST gene, demonstrating a mechanistic link between skeletal loading, SOST down-regulation, and intense bone deposition. However, whereas mammalian SOST is expressed almost exclusively by osteocytes, in both medaka and zebrafish (a species with osteocytic bones), SOST is expressed by a variety of nonosteocytic cells, none of which reside within the bone bulk. These findings argue that in fishes (and perhaps other vertebrates), nonosteocytic skeletal cells are both sensors and responders, shouldering duties believed exclusive to osteocytes. This previously unrecognized, SOST-dependent, osteocyte-independent mechanism challenges current paradigms of osteocyte exclusivity in bone-modeling regulation, suggesting the existence of multivariate feedback networks in bone modeling—perhaps also in mammalian bones—and thus arguing for the possibility of untapped potential for cell targets in bone therapeutics.
    Effects of a synthetic di‐phosphoserine peptide (SS‐2) on gene expression profiling against TNF‐α induced inflammation
    Hua Zhang, Food Science and Technology - 2019
    It has been showed bioactive di‐phosphoserine peptide (SS‐2) possesses functions to ameliorate oxidative stress in vitro. This study aimed to substantiate the role of bioactive di‐phosphoserine peptide (SS‐2) in modulating inflammatory responses in TNF‐α‐stimulated HT‐29 cells, and its mechanism of action. SS‐2 significantly reduced IL‐8 secretion in TNF‐α‐induced HT‐29 cells, and also suppressed pro‐inflammatory cytokines, including IL‐8, IL‐12, MCP‐1 and TNF‐α. Moreover, SS‐2 inhibited TNF‐α initiated signalling cascades by suppressing phosphorylation of the ERK1/2, JNK, P38 and IκB those culminate in above cellular inflammatory responses. Differentially expressed genes analysis within NF‐κB signalling pathway revealed that SS‐2 blocks multiple sites of upstream NF‐κB signalling cascade, including FADD and MyD88, thereby preventing the signalling transduction involved in cellular inflammatory response. These results provide a new insight into molecular mechanism for anti‐inflammatory action of SS‐2, suggesting SS‐2 is a potential alternative approach to treat IBD by particular targeting TNF‐α driven inflammatory event.
    Caveolin-1 regulation of Sp1 controls production of the antifibrotic protein follistatin in kidney mesangial cells
    Neel Mehta, BMC - 2019
    Background We previously showed that caveolin-1 (cav-1), an integral membrane protein, is required for the synthesis of matrix proteins by glomerular mesangial cells (MC). In a previous study to understand how cav-1 is involved in regulating matrix production, we had identified significant upregulation of the antifibrotic protein follistatin in cav-1 knockout MC. Follistatin inhibits the profibrotic effects of several members of the transforming growth factor beta superfamily, in particular the activins. Here, we characterize the molecular mechanism through which cav-1 regulates the expression of follistatin. Methods Kidneys from cav-1 wild type and knockout (KO) mice were analyzed and primary cultures of MC from cav-1 wild-type and KO mice were utilized. FST promoter deletion constructs were generated to determine the region of the promoter important for mediating FST upregulation in cav-1 KO MC. siRNA-mediated down-regulation and overexpression of Sp1 in conjunction with luciferase activity assays, immunoprecipitation, western blotting and ChiP was used to assess the role of Sp1 in transcriptionally regulating FST expression. Pharmacologic kinase inhibitors and specific siRNA were used to determine the post-translational mechanism through which cav-1 affects Sp1 activity. Results Our results establish that follistatin upregulation occurs at the transcript level. We identified Sp1 as the critical transcription factor regulating activation of the FST promoter in cav-1 KO MC through binding to a region within 123 bp of the transcription start site. We further determined that the lack of cav-1 increases Sp1 nuclear levels and transcriptional activity. This occurred through increased phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) activity and downstream protein kinase C (PKC) zeta-mediated phosphorylation and activation of Sp1. Conclusions These findings shed light on the transcriptional mechanism by which cav-1 represses the expression of a major antifibrotic protein, and can inform the development of novel antifibrotic treatment strategies.
    Tubular NOX4 expression decreases in chronic kidney disease but does not modify fibrosis evolution
    Renuga Devi Rajaram, Redox Biology - 2019
    Background NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4) catalyzes the formation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). NOX4 is highly expressed in the kidney, but its role in renal injury is unclear and may depend on its specific tissue localization. Methods We performed immunostaining with a specific anti-NOX4 antibody and measured NOX4 mRNA expression in human renal biopsies encompassing diverse renal diseases. We generated transgenic mice specifically overexpressing mouse Nox4 in renal tubular cells and subjected the animals to the unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) model of fibrosis. Results In normal human kidney, NOX4 protein expression was at its highest on the basolateral side of proximal tubular cells. NOX4 expression increased in mesangial cells and podocytes in proliferative diabetic nephropathy. In tubular cells, NOX4 protein expression decreased in all types of chronic renal disease studied. This finding was substantiated by decreased NOX4 mRNA expression in the tubulo-interstitial compartment in a repository of 175 human renal biopsies. Overexpression of tubular NOX4 in mice resulted in enhanced renal production of H2O2, increased NRF2 protein expression and decreased glomerular filtration, likely via stimulation of the tubulo-glomerular feedback. Tubular NOX4 overexpression had no obvious impact on kidney morphology, apoptosis, or fibrosis at baseline. Under acute and chronic tubular injury induced by UUO, overexpression of NOX4 in tubular cells did not modify the course of the disease. Conclusions NOX4 expression was decreased in tubular cells in all types of CKD tested. Tubular NOX4 overexpression did not induce injury in the kidney, and neither modified microvascularization, nor kidney structural lesions in fibrosis.
    Mitochondrial Stress-Initiated Aberrant Activation of the NLRP3 Inflammasome Regulates the Functional Deterioration of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Aging
    Hanzhi Luo, Cell Reports - 2019
    Aging-associated defects in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) can manifest in their progeny, leading to aberrant activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in macrophages and affecting distant tissues and organismal health span. Whether the NLRP3 inflammasome is aberrantly activated in HSCs during physiological aging is unknown. We show here that SIRT2, a cytosolic NAD+-dependent deacetylase, is required for HSC maintenance and regenerative capacity at an old age by repressing the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in HSCs cell autonomously. With age, reduced SIRT2 expression and increased mitochondrial stress lead to aberrant activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in HSCs. SIRT2 overexpression, NLRP3 inactivation, or caspase 1 inactivation improves the maintenance and regenerative capacity of aged HSCs. These results suggest that mitochondrial stress-initiated aberrant activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome is a reversible driver of the functional decline of HSC aging and highlight the importance of inflammatory signaling in regulating HSC aging.
    A fluorescent reporter assay of differential gene expression response to insulin in hepatocytes
    Wendy M. McKimpson, American Journal of Physiology - 2019
    Insulin regulates multiple hepatic metabolic pathways in a seemingly heterogeneous manner. To understand this heterogeneity, we hypothesized that different subpopulations of hepatocytes have different sensitivity to insulin. To test this hypothesis, we developed a fluorescent reporter in which the insulin-responsive fatty acid synthase (FAS) promoter drove expression of a time-dependent fluorescent protein (“timer”) and characterized timer expression in flow-sorted cell populations. In Hepa1c1c7 and AML12 hepatocytes, we found that different cell populations express distinct timer fluorescence following insulin treatment, consistent with cellular heterogeneity in the response to insulin. RNA measurements indicated an enrichment of forkhead box O transcription factors in cells with a greater response to insulin. Moreover, we found evidence of increased Akt activation. These data are consistent with a heterogeneous cellular response to insulin and raise the possibility that these different subpopulations underlie the peculiar pathophysiology of hepatic insulin resistance.
    Sigmoidal kinetics define porcine intestinal segregation of electrogenic monosaccharide transport systems as having multiple transporter population involvement
    Marina Subramaniam, The Physiological Society - 2019
    Kinetic characterization of electrogenic sodium‐dependent transport in Ussing chambers of d‐glucose and d‐galactose demonstrated sigmoidal/Hill kinetics in the porcine jejunum and ileum, with the absence of transport in the distal colon. In the jejunum, a high‐affinity, super‐low‐capacity (Ha/sLc) kinetic system accounted for glucose transport, and a low‐affinity, low‐capacity (La/Lc) kinetic system accounted for galactose transport. In contrast, the ileum demonstrated a high‐affinity, super‐high‐capacity (Ha/sHc) glucose transport and a low‐affinity, high‐capacity (La/Hc) galactose transport systems. Jejunal glucose transport was not inhibited by dapagliflozin, but galactose transport was inhibited. Comparatively, ileal glucose and galactose transport were both sensitive to dapagliflozin. Genomic and gene expression analyses identified 10 of the 12 known SLC5A family members in the porcine jejunum, ileum, and distal colon. Dominant SGLT1 (SLC5A1) and SGLT3 (SLC5A4) expression was associated with the sigmoidal Ha/sLc glucose and La/Lc galactose transport systems in the jejunum. Comparatively, the dominant expression of SGLT1 (SLC5A1) in the ileum was only associated with Ha glucose and La galactose kinetic systems. However, the sigmoidal kinetics and overall high capacity (Hc) of transport is unlikely accounted for by SGLT1 (SLC5A1) alone. Finally, the absence of transport and lack of pharmacological inhibition in the colon was associated with the poor expression of SLC5A genes. Altogether, the results demonstrated intestinal segregation of monosaccharide transport fit different sigmoidal kinetic systems. This reveals multiple transporter populations in each system, supported by gene expression profiles and pharmacological inhibition. Overall, this work demonstrates a complexity to transporter involvement in intestinal electrogenic monosaccharide absorption systems not previously defined.
    In vitro chondrogenic potency of surplus chondrocytes from autologous transplantation procedures does not predict short-term clinical outcomes
    Ashraful Islam, BMC - 2019
    Background Autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) has been used over the last two decades to treat focal cartilage lesions aiming to delay or prevent the onset of osteoarthritis; however, some patients do not respond adequately to the procedure. A number of biomarkers that can forecast the clinical potency of the cells have been proposed, but evidence for the relationship between in vitro chondrogenic potential and clinical outcomes is missing. In this study, we explored if the ability of cells to make cartilage in vitro correlates with ACI clinical outcomes. Additionally, we evaluated previously proposed chondrogenic biomarkers and searched for new biomarkers in the chondrocyte proteome capable of predicting clinical success or failure after ACI. Methods The chondrogenic capacity of chondrocytes derived from 14 different donors was defined based on proteoglycans staining and visual histological grading of tissues generated using the pellet culture system. A Lysholm score of 65 two years post-ACI was used as a cut-off to categorise “success” and “failure” clinical groups. A set of predefined biomarkers were investigated in the chondrogenic and clinical outcomes groups using flow cytometry and qPCR. High-throughput proteomics of cell lysates was used to search for putative biomarkers to predict chondrogenesis and clinical outcomes. Results Visual histological grading of pellets categorised donors into “high” and “low” chondrogenic groups. Direct comparison between donor-matched in vitro chondrogenic potential and clinical outcomes revealed no significant associations. Comparative analyses of selected biomarkers revealed that expression of CD106 and TGF-β-receptor-3 was enhanced in the low chondrogenic group, while expression of integrin-α1 and integrin-β1 was significantly upregulated in the high chondrogenic group. Additionally, increased surface expression of CD166 was observed in the clinical success group, while the gene expression of cartilage oligomeric matrix protein was downregulated. High throughput proteomics revealed no differentially expressed proteins from success and failure clinical groups, whereas seven proteins including prolyl-4-hydroxylase 1 were differentially expressed when comparing chondrogenic groups. Conclusion In our limited material, we found no correlation between in vitro cartilage-forming capacity and clinical outcomes, and argue on the limitations of using the chondrogenic potential of cells or markers for chondrogenesis as predictors of clinical outcomes.
    Cellulose nanocrystals modulate alveolar macrophage phenotype and phagocytic function
    Johanna Samulin Erdem, Biomaterials - 2019
    Nanocellulose is a promising bio-nanomaterial with attractive properties suitable for multiple industrial applications. The increased use of nanocellulose may lead to occupational exposure and negative health outcomes. However, knowledge on its health effects is limited, and while nanocellulose exposure may induce acute inflammatory responses in the lung, the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Alveolar macrophages are key cells in alveolar particle clearance. Their activation and function may be affected by various particles. Here, we investigated the uptake of pristine cellulose nanocrystals (CNC), and their effects on alveolar macrophage polarization and biological function. CNC uptake enhanced the secretion of several cytokines but did not on its own induce a complete macrophage polarization. In presence of macrophage activators, such as LPS/IFNG and IL4/IL13, CNC exposure enhanced the expression of M1 phenotype markers and the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, while decreasing M2 markers. CNC exposure also affected the function of activated alveolar macrophages resulting in a prominent cytokine burst and altered phagocytic activity. In conclusion, CNC exposure may result in dysregulation of macrophage activation and function that are critical in inflammatory responses in the lung.
    Bovine milk-derived exosomes enhance goblet cell activity and prevent the development of experimental necrotizing enterocolitis
    Bo Li, PLOS ONE - 2019
    Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is characterized by intestinal injury and impaired mucin synthesis. We recently showed that breast milk exosomes from rodents promote intestinal cell viability, epithelial proliferation, and stem cell activity, but whether they also affect mucus production is unknown. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of bovine milk-derived exosomes on goblet cell expression in experimental NEC and delineate potential underlying mechanisms of action. Exosomes were isolated from bovine milk by ultracentrifugation and confirmed by Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis and through the detection of exosome membrane markers. To study the effect on mucin production, human colonic LS174T cells were cultured and exposed to exosomes. Compared to control, exosomes promoted goblet cell expression, as demonstrated by increased mucin production and relative expression levels of goblet cell expression markers trefoil factor 3 (TFF3) and mucin 2 (MUC2). In addition, exosome treatment enhanced the expression of glucose-regulated protein 94 (GRP94), the most abundant intraluminal endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone protein that aids in protein synthesis. Furthermore, experimental NEC was induced in mouse pups by hyperosmolar formula feeding, lipopolysaccharide administration and hypoxia exposure on postnatal days 5–9. Milk exosomes were given with each gavage feed. NEC was associated with ileal morphological injury and reduction in MUC2+ goblet cells and GRP94+ cells per villus. Exosome administration to NEC pups prevented these changes. This research highlights the potential novel application of milk-derived exosomes in preventing the development of NEC in high-risk infants when breast milk is not available.
    Defective IgA response to atypical intestinal commensals in IL-21 receptor deficiency reshapes immune cell homeostasis and mucosal immunity
    Hyeson Cho, Mucosal Immunology - 2019
    Despite studies indicating the effects of IL-21 signaling in intestinal inflammation, its roles in intestinal homeostasis and infection are not yet clear. Here, we report potent effects of commensal microbiota on the phenotypic manifestations of IL-21 receptor deficiency. IL-21 is produced highly in the small intestine and appears to be critical for mounting an IgA response against atypical commensals such as segmented filamentous bacteria and Helicobacter, but not to the majority of commensals. In the presence of these atypical commensals, IL-21R-deficient mice exhibit reduced numbers of germinal center and IgA+ B cells and expression of activation-induced cytidine deaminase in Peyer’s patches as well as a significant decrease in small intestine IgA+ plasmablasts and plasma cells, leading to higher bacterial burdens and subsequent expansion of Th17 and Treg cells. These microbiota-mediated secondary changes in turn enhance T cell responses to an oral antigen and strikingly dampen Citrobacter rodentium-induced immunopathology, demonstrating a complex interplay between IL-21-mediated mucosal immunity, microbiota, and pathogens.
    Role of Norepinephrine in IL-1β-Induced Chondrocyte Dedifferentiation under Physioxia
    Saskia Speichert, International Journal of Molecular Sciences - 2019
    As part of the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis (OA), chondrocytes lose their phenotype and become hypertrophic, or dedifferentiate, mainly driven by interleukin-1β (IL-1β). The contribution of other factors to the dedifferentiation process is not completely understood. Recent studies suggested a dose-dependent role for the sympathetic neurotransmitter norepinephrine (NE) in OA chondrocyte metabolism. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze the contribution of NE (10−8 M, 10−6 M) to human articular OA chondrocyte dedifferentiation in the absence or presence of IL-1β (0.5 ng/mL). Here, we demonstrate that OA chondrocytes express α2A-, α2C- and β2-adrenoceptors (AR) and show the characteristic shift towards a fibroblast-like shape at day 7 in physioxic monolayer culture. NE alone did not affect morphology but, in combination with IL-1β, markedly accelerated this shift. Moderate glycosaminoglycan (GAG) staining was observed in untreated and NE-treated cells, while IL-1β strongly decreased GAG deposition. IL-1β alone or in combination with NE decreased SOX9, type II collagen, COMP, and aggrecan, and induced MMP13 and ADAMTS4 gene expression, indicating an accelerated dedifferentiation. NE alone did not influence gene expression and did not modulate IL-1β-mediated effects. In conclusion, these results indicate that low-grade inflammation exerts a dominant effect on chondrocyte dedifferentiation and should be targeted early in OA therapy.
    Involvement of HPV Infection in the Release of Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma
    Nadege Kindt, Journal of Clinical Medicine - 2019
    Human papilloma virus (HPV) infection has been well-established as a risk factor in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The carcinogenic effect of HPV is mainly due to the E6 and E7 oncoproteins, which inhibit the functions of p53 and pRB, respectively. These oncoproteins could also play a role in the Warburg effect, thus favoring tumor immune escape. Here, we demonstrated that the pro-inflammatory cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is expressed at higher levels in HPV-negative patients than in HPV-positive patients. However, the secretion of MIF is higher in HPV-positive human HNSCC cell lines, than in HPV-negative cell lines. In-HPV positive cells, the half inhibitory concentration (IC50) of MIF inhibitor (4-iodo-6-phenylpyrimidine (4-IPP)) is higher than that in HPV-negative cells. This result was confirmed in vitro and in vivo by the use of murine SCCVII cell lines expressing either E6 or E7, or both E6 and E7. Finally, to examine the mechanism of MIF secretion, we conducted proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) experiments, and observed that lactate production is increased in both the intracellular and conditioned media of HPV-positive cells. In conclusion, our data suggest that the stimulation of enzymes participating in the Warburg effect by E6 and E7 oncoproteins increases lactate production and hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) expression, and finally induces MIF secretion.
    Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Derivation and Ex Vivo Gene Correction Using a Mucopolysaccharidosis Type 1 Disease Mouse Model
    Toshio Miki, Hindawi - 2019
    Mucopolysaccharidosis type 1 (MPS-1), also known as Hurler’s disease, is a congenital metabolic disorder caused by a mutation in the alpha-L-iduronidase (IDUA) gene, which results in the loss of lysosomal enzyme function for the degradation of glycosaminoglycans. Here, we demonstrate the proof of concept of ex vivo gene editing therapy using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) and CRISPR/Cas9 technologies with MPS-1 model mouse cell. Disease-affected iPSCs were generated from Idua knockout mouse embryonic fibroblasts, which carry a disrupting neomycin-resistant gene cassette (Neor) in exon VI of the Idua gene. Double guide RNAs were used to remove the Neor sequence, and various lengths of donor templates were used to reconstruct the exon VI sequence. A quantitative PCR-based screening method was used to identify Neor removal. The sequence restoration without any indel mutation was further confirmed by Sanger sequencing. After induced fibroblast differentiation, the gene-corrected iPSC-derived fibroblasts demonstrated Idua function equivalent to the wild-type iPSC-derived fibroblasts. The Idua-deficient cells were competent to be reprogrammed to iPSCs, and pluripotency was maintained through CRISPR/CAS9-mediated gene correction. These results support the concept of ex vivo gene editing therapy using iPSC and CRISPR/Cas9 technologies for MPS-1 patients.
    S-Nitrosylation of α1-Antitrypsin Triggers Macrophages Toward Inflammatory Phenotype and Enhances Intra-Cellular Bacteria Elimination
    Ziv Kaner, Frontiers in Immunology - 2019
    Background: Human α1-antitrypsin (hAAT) is a circulating anti-inflammatory serine-protease inhibitor that rises during acute phase responses. in vivo, hAAT reduces bacterial load, without directly inhibiting bacterial growth. In conditions of excess nitric-oxide (NO), hAAT undergoes S-nitrosylation (S-NO-hAAT) and gains antibacterial capacity. The impact of S-NO-hAAT on immune cells has yet to be explored. Aim: Study the effects of S-NO-hAAT on immune cells during bacterial infection. Methods: Clinical-grade hAAT was S-nitrosylated and then compared to unmodified hAAT, functionally, and structurally. Intracellular bacterial clearance by THP-1 macrophages was assessed using live Salmonella typhi. Murine peritoneal macrophages were examined, and signaling pathways were evaluated. S-NO-hAAT was also investigated after blocking free mambranal cysteine residues on cells. Results: S-NO-hAAT (27.5 uM) enhances intracellular bacteria elimination by immunocytes (up to 1-log reduction). S-NO-hAAT causes resting macrophages to exhibit a pro-inflammatory and antibacterial phenotype, including release of inflammatory cytokines and induction of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and TLR2. These pro-inflammatory effects are dependent upon cell surface thiols and activation of MAPK pathways. Conclusions: hAAT duality appears to be context-specific, involving S-nitrosylation in a nitric oxide rich environment. Our results suggest that S-nitrosylation facilitates the antibacterial activity of hAAT by promoting its ability to activate innate immune cells. This pro-inflammatory effect may involve transferring of nitric oxide from S-NO-hAAT to a free cysteine residue on cellular targets.
    B cell activation and proliferation increase intracellular zinc levels
    Johanna Ollig, The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry - 2019
    Zinc ions serve as second messengers in major cellular pathways, including the regulation pathways of proliferation and their proper regulation is necessary for homeostasis and a healthy organism. Accordingly, expression of zinc transporters can be altered in various cancer cell lines and is often involved in producing elevated intracellular zinc levels. In this study, human B cells were infected with Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) to generate immortalized cells, which revealed traits of tumor cells, such as high proliferation rates and an extended lifespan. These cells showed differentially altered zinc transporter expression with ZIP7 RNA and protein expression being especially increased as well as a corresponding increased phosphorylation of ZIP7 in EBV-transformed B cells. Accordingly, free zinc levels were elevated within these cells. To prove whether the observed changes resulted from immortalization or rather high proliferation, free zinc levels in in vitro activated B cells and in freshly isolated B cells expressing the activation marker CD69 were determined. Here, comparatively increased zinc levels were found, suggesting that activation and proliferation, but not immortalization, act as crucial factors for the elevation of intracellular free zinc.
    MiR-135 suppresses glycolysis and promotes pancreatic cancer cell adaptation to metabolic stress by targeting phosphofructokinase-1
    Ying Yang, Nature Communications - 2019
    Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal human cancers. It thrives in a nutrient-poor environment; however, the mechanisms by which PDAC cells undergo metabolic reprogramming to adapt to metabolic stress are still poorly understood. Here, we show that microRNA-135 is significantly increased in PDAC patient samples compared to adjacent normal tissue. Mechanistically, miR-135 accumulates specifically in response to glutamine deprivation and requires ROS-dependent activation of mutant p53, which directly promotes miR-135 expression. Functionally, we found miR-135 targets phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK1) and inhibits aerobic glycolysis, thereby promoting the utilization of glucose to support the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Consistently, miR-135 silencing sensitizes PDAC cells to glutamine deprivation and represses tumor growth in vivo. Together, these results identify a mechanism used by PDAC cells to survive the nutrient-poor tumor microenvironment, and also provide insight regarding the role of mutant p53 and miRNA in pancreatic cancer cell adaptation to metabolic stresses.
    TIMP Loss Activates Metalloproteinase‐TNFα‐DKK1 Axis To Compromise Wnt Signaling and Bone Mass
    Yan Chen, Journal of Bone and Mineral Research - 2019
    Deregulated proteolysis invariably underlies most human diseases including bone pathologies. Metalloproteinases constitute the largest of the five protease families, and the metzincin metalloproteinases are inhibited by the four tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase called TIMPs. We hypothesized that Timp genes are essential for skeletal homeostasis. We bred individual Timp knockout mice to generate unique mouse models, the quadruple Timp null strain (QT) as well as mice harboring only a single Timp3 allele (QT3+/–). QT mice are grossly smaller and exhibit a dramatic reduction of trabeculae in long bones by μCT imaging with a corresponding increase in metalloproteinase activity. At the cellular level, Timp deficiency compromised differentiation markers, matrix deposition and mineralization in neonatal osteoblasts from calvariae, as well as the fibroblastic colony‐forming unit (CFU‐F) capacity of bone marrow–derived stromal cells. In contrast, we observed that osteoclasts were overactive in the Timp null state, consistent with the noted excessive bone resorption of QT bones. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) and immunofluorescence (IF) analyses of bone sections revealed higher Cathepsin K and RANKL signals upon Timp loss. Seeking the molecular mechanism, we identified abnormal TNFα bioactivity to be a central event in Timp‐deficient mice. Specifically, TNFα triggered induction of the Wnt signaling inhibitor Dkk1 in the osteoblasts at the mRNA and protein levels, with a simultaneous increase in RANKL. Neutralizing TNFα antibody was capable of rescuing the induction of Dkk1 as well as RANKL. Therefore, the generation of novel Timp‐deficient systems allowed us to uncover the essential and collective function of TIMP proteins in mammalian long‐bone homeostasis. Moreover, our study discovers a functional TIMP/metalloproteinase‐TNFα‐Dkk1/RANKL nexus for optimal control of the bone microenvironment, which dictates coexistence of the osteoblast and osteoclast lineages. © 2018 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
    Co-administering Melatonin With an Estradiol-Progesterone Menopausal Hormone Therapy Represses Mammary Cancer Development in a Mouse Model of HER2-Positive Breast Cancer
    Balasunder R. Dodda, Frontiers in Oncology - 2019
    Melatonin has numerous anti-cancer properties reported to influence cancer initiation, promotion, and metastasis. With the need for effective hormone therapies (HT) to treat menopausal symptoms without increasing breast cancer risk, co-administration of nocturnal melatonin with a natural, low-dose HT was evaluated in mice that develop primary and metastatic mammary cancer. Individually, melatonin (MEL) and estradiol-progesterone therapy (EPT) did not significantly affect mammary cancer development through age 14 months, but, when combined, the melatonin-estradiol-progesterone therapy (MEPT) significantly repressed tumor formation. This repression was due to effects on tumor incidence, but not latency. These results demonstrate that melatonin and the HT cooperate to decrease the mammary cancer risk. Melatonin and EPT also cooperate to alter the balance of the progesterone receptor (PR) isoforms by significantly increasing PRA protein expression only in MEPT mammary glands. Melatonin significantly suppressed amphiregulin transcripts in MEL and MEPT mammary glands, suggesting that amphiregulin together with the higher PRA:PRB balance and other factors may contribute to reducing cancer development in MEPT mice. Melatonin supplementation influenced mammary morphology by increasing tertiary branching in the mouse mammary glands and differentiation in human mammary epithelial cell cultures. Uterine weight in the luteal phase was elevated after long-term exposure to EPT, but not to MEPT, indicating that melatonin supplementation may reduce estrogen-induced uterine stimulation. Melatonin supplementation significantly decreased the incidence of grossly-detected lung metastases in MEL mice, suggesting that melatonin delays the formation of metastatic lesions and/or decreases aggressiveness in this model of HER2+ breast cancer. Mammary tumor development was similar in EPT and MEPT mice until age 8.6 months, but after 8.6 months, only MEPT continued to suppress cancer development. These data suggest that melatonin supplementation has a negligible effect in young MEPT mice, but is required in older mice to inhibit tumor formation. Since melatonin binding was significantly decreased in older mammary glands, irrespective of treatment, melatonin supplementation may overcome reduced melatonin responsiveness in the aged MEPT mice. Since melatonin levels are known to decline near menopause, nocturnal melatonin supplementation may also be needed in aging women to cooperate with HT to decrease breast cancer risk.
    Autophagy Regulation of Metabolism Is Required for CD8+ T Cell Anti-tumor Immunity
    Lindsay DeVorkin, Cell Reports - 2019
    Autophagy is a cell survival process essential for the regulation of immune responses to infections. However, the role of T cell autophagy in anti-tumor immunity is less clear. Here, we demonstrate a cell-autonomous role for autophagy in the regulation of CD8+ T-cell-mediated control of tumors. Mice deficient for the essential autophagy genes Atg5, Atg14, or Atg16L1 display a dramatic impairment in the growth of syngeneic tumors. Moreover, T cells lacking Atg5 have a profound shift to an effector memory phenotype and produce greater amounts of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α). Mechanistically, Atg5−/− CD8+ T cells exhibit enhanced glucose metabolism that results in alterations in histone methylation, increases in H3K4me3 density, and transcriptional upregulation of both metabolic and effector target genes. Nonetheless, glucose restriction is sufficient to suppress Atg5-dependent increases in effector function. Thus, autophagy-dependent changes in CD8+ T cell metabolism directly regulate anti-tumor immunity.
    Vagus nerve stimulation dampens intestinal inflammation in a murine model of experimental food allergy
    Goele Bosmans, Allergy - 2019
    Background: The vagus nerve has emerged as an important modulator of the intesti‐ nal immune system. Its anti‐inflammatory properties have been previously shown in innate and Th1/Th17 predominant inflammatory models. To what extent the vagus nerve is of importance in Th2 inflammatory responses like food allergy is still unclear. In this study, we therefore aimed to investigate the effect of vagotomy (VGX) and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), on the development and severity of experimental food allergy. Methods: Balb/C mice were first sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA) in the presence of alum. Prior to oral challenges with OVA, mice were subjected to VGX or VNS. Disease severity was determined by assessing severity and onset of diarrhoea, OVA‐specific antibody production, mast cell number and activity, inflammatory gene expression in duodenal tissue and lamina propria immune cells by flow cytometry analysis. Results: When compared to control mice, VGX did not significantly affect the devel‐ opment and severity of the disease in our model of food allergy. VNS, on the other hand, resulted in a significant amelioration of the different inflammatory parameters assessed. This effect was independent of α7nAChR and is possibly mediated through the dampening of mast cells and increased phagocytosis of OVA by CX3CR1hi macrophages. Conclusions: These results underscore the anti‐inflammatory properties of the vagus nerve and the potential of neuro‐immune interactions in the intestine. Further insight into the underlying mechanisms could ultimately lead to novel therapeutic ap‐ proaches in the treatment of not only food allergy but also other immune‐mediated diseases.
    Loss of SMYD1 Results in Perinatal Lethality via Selective Defects within Myotonic Muscle Descendants
    Tara L. Rasmussen, Diseases - 2019
    SET and MYND Domain 1 (SMYD1) is a cardiac and skeletal muscle-specific, histone methyl transferase that is critical for both embryonic and adult heart development and function in both mice and men. We report here that skeletal muscle-specific, myogenin (myoG)-Cre-mediated conditional knockout (CKO) of Smyd1 results in perinatal death. As early as embryonic day 12.5, Smyd1 CKOs exhibit multiple skeletal muscle defects in proliferation, morphology, and gene expression. However, all myotonic descendants are not afflicted equally. Trunk muscles are virtually ablated with excessive accumulation of brown adipose tissue (BAT), forelimb muscles are disorganized and improperly differentiated, but other muscles, such as the masseter, are normal. While expression of major myogenic regulators went unscathed, adaptive and innate immune transcription factors critical for BAT development/physiology were downregulated. Whereas classical mitochondrial BAT accumulation went unscathed following loss of SMYD1, key transcription factors, including PRDM16, UCP-1, and CIDE-a that control skeletal muscle vs. adipose fate, were downregulated. Finally, in rare adults that survive perinatal lethality, SMYD1 controls specification of some, but not all, skeletal muscle fiber-types
    O-GlcNAc Transferase Inhibition Differentially Affects Breast Cancer Subtypes
    Anna Barkovskaya, Scientific Reports - 2019
    Post-translational modification of intracellular proteins with a single N-acetylglucosamine sugar (O-GlcNAcylation) regulates signaling, proliferation, metabolism and protein stability. In breast cancer, expression of the enzyme that catalyzes O-GlcNAcylation – O-GlcNAc-transferase (OGT), and the extent of protein O-GlcNAcylation, are upregulated in tumor tissue, and correlate with cancer progression. Here we compare the significance of O-GlcNAcylation in a panel of breast cancer cells of different phenotypes. We find a greater dependency on OGT among triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cell lines, which respond to OGT inhibition by undergoing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Searching for the cause of this response, we evaluate the changes in the proteome that occur after OGT inhibition or knock-down, employing a reverse-phase protein array (RPPA). We identify transcriptional repressor - hairy and enhancer of split-1 (HES1) - as a mediator of the OGT inhibition response in the TNBC cells. Inhibition of OGT as well as the loss of HES1 results in potent cytotoxicity and apoptosis. The study raises a possibility of using OGT inhibition to potentiate DNA damage in the TNBC cells.
    p53 Promotes Cancer Cell Adaptation to Glutamine Deprivation by Upregulating Slc7a3 to Increase Arginine Uptake
    Xazmin H. Lowman, Cell Reports - 2019
    Cancer cells heavily depend on the amino acid glutamine to meet the demands associated with growth and proliferation. Due to the rapid consumption of glutamine, cancer cells frequently undergo glutamine starvation in vivo. We and others have shown that p53 is a critical regulator in metabolic stress resistance. To better understand the molecular mechanisms by which p53 activation promotes cancer cell adaptation to glutamine deprivation, we identified p53-dependent genes that are induced upon glutamine deprivation by using RNA-seq analysis. We show that Slc7a3, an arginine transporter, is significantly induced by p53. We also show that increased intracellular arginine levels following glutamine deprivation are dependent on p53. The influx of arginine has minimal effects on known metabolic pathways upon glutamine deprivation. Instead, we found arginine serves as an effector for mTORC1 activation to promote cell growth in response to glutamine starvation. Therefore, we identify a p53-inducible gene that contributes to the metabolic stress response.
    Nitrogen Supply Drives Senescence-Related Seed Storage Protein Expression in Rapeseed Leaves
    Stefan Bieker, Genes - 2019
    In general, yield and fruit quality strongly rely on efficient nutrient remobilization during plant development and senescence. Transcriptome changes associated with senescence in spring oilseed rape grown under optimal nitrogen supply or mild nitrogen deficiency revealed differences in senescence and nutrient mobilization in old lower canopy leaves and younger higher canopy leaves. Having a closer look at this transcriptome analyses, we identified the major classes of seed storage proteins (SSP) to be expressed in vegetative tissue, namely leaf and stem tissue. Expression of SSPs was not only dependent on the nitrogen supply but transcripts appeared to correlate with intracellular H2O2 contents, which functions as well-known signaling molecule in developmental senescence. The abundance of SSPs in leaf material transiently progressed from the oldest leaves to the youngest. Moreover, stems also exhibited short-term production of SSPs, which hints at an interim storage function. In order to decipher whether hydrogen peroxide also functions as a signaling molecule in nitrogen deficiency-induced senescence, we analyzed hydrogen peroxide contents after complete nitrogen depletion in oilseed rape and Arabidopsis plants. In both cases, hydrogen peroxide contents were lower in nitrogen deficient plants, indicating that at least parts of the developmental senescence program appear to be suppressed under nitrogen deficiency.
    The Modulatory Role of MicroRNA-873 in the Progression of KRAS-Driven Cancers
    Hamada A. Mokhlis, Molecular therapy Nucleic Acids - 2019
    KRAS is one of the most frequently mutated proto-oncogenes in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and aberrantly activated in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). A profound role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the pathogenesis of human cancer is being uncovered, including in cancer therapy. Using in silico prediction algorithms, we identified miR-873 as a potential regulator of KRAS, and we investigated its role in PDAC and TNBC. We found that reduced miR-873 expression is associated with shorter patient survival in both cancers. miR-873 expression is significantly repressed in PDAC and TNBC cell lines and inversely correlated with KRAS levels. We demonstrate that miR-873 directly bound to the 3′ UTR of KRAS mRNA and suppressed its expression. Notably, restoring miR-873 expression induced apoptosis; recapitulated the effects of KRAS inhibition on cell proliferation, colony formation, and invasion; and suppressed the activity of ERK and PI3K/AKT, while overexpression of KRAS rescued the effects mediated by miR-873. Moreover, in vivo delivery of miR-873 nanoparticles inhibited KRAS expression and tumor growth in PDAC and TNBC tumor models. In conclusion, we provide the first evidence that miR-873 acts as a tumor suppressor by targeting KRAS and that miR-873-based gene therapy may be a therapeutic strategy in PDAC and TNBC.
    Dietary Tryptophan Induces Opposite Health-Related Responses in the Senegalese Sole (Solea senegalensis) Reared at Low or High Stocking Densities With Implications in Disease Resistance
    Rita Azeredo, Frontiers in Physiology - 2019
    High rearing densities are typical conditions of both inland and onshore intensive aquaculture units. Despite obvious drawbacks, this strategy is nonetheless used to increase production profits. Such conditions inflict stress on fish, reducing their ability to cope with disease, bringing producers to adopt therapeutic strategies. In an attempt to overcome deleterious effects of chronic stress, Senegalese sole, Solea senegalensis, held at low (LD) or high density (HD) were fed tryptophan-supplemented diets with final tryptophan content at two (TRP2) or four times (TRP4) the requirement level, as well as a control and non-supplemented diet (CTRL) for 38 days. Fish were sampled at the end of the feeding trial for evaluation of their immune status, and mortalities were recorded following intra-peritoneal infection with Photobacterium damselae subsp. piscicida. Blood was collected for analysis of the hematological profile and innate immune parameters in plasma. Pituitary and hypothalamus were sampled for the assessment of neuro-endocrine-related gene expression. During the feeding trial, fish fed TRP4 and held at LD conditions presented higher mortalities, whereas fish kept at HD seemed to benefit from this dietary treatment, as disease resistance increased over that of CTRL-fed fish. In accordance, cortisol level tended to be higher in fish fed both supplemented diets at LD compared to fish fed CTRL, but was lower in fish fed TRP4 than in those fed TRP2 under HD condition. Together with lower mRNA levels of proopiomelanocortin observed with both supplementation levels, these results suggest that higher levels of tryptophan might counteract stress-induced cortisol production, thereby rendering fish better prepared to cope with disease. Data regarding sole immune status showed no clear effects of tryptophan on leucocyte numbers, but TRP4-fed fish displayed inhibited alternative complement activity (ACH50) when held at LD, as opposed to their HD counterparts whose ACH50 was higher than that of CTRL-fed fish. In conclusion, while dietary tryptophan supplementation might have harmful effects in control fish, it might prove to be a promising strategy to overcome chronic stress-induced disease susceptibility in farmed Senegalese sole.
    Norepinephrine Inhibits Synovial Adipose Stem Cell Chondrogenesis via α2a-Adrenoceptor-Mediated ERK1/2 Activation
    Karima El Bagdadi, International Journal of Molecular Sciences - 2019
    In recent years, first evidences emerged that sympathetic neurotransmitters influence osteoarthritis (OA) manifestation. Joint-resident stem cells might contribute to cartilage repair, however, their chondrogenic function is reduced. The neurotransmitter norepinephrine (NE) was detected in the synovial fluid of trauma and OA patients. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyse how NE influences the chondrogenesis of synovial adipose tissue-derived stem cells (sASCs). sASCs were isolated from knee-OA patients synovia. After adrenoceptor (AR) expression analysis, proliferation and chondrogenic differentiation in presence of NE and/or α- and β-AR antagonist were investigated. Cell count, viability, chondrogenic and hypertophic gene expression, sulfated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG) and type II collagen content were determined. Key AR-dependent signaling (ERK1/2, PKA) was analyzed via western blot. sASC expressed α1A-, α1B-, α2A-, α2B-, α2C-, and β2-AR in monolayer and pellet culture. NE did not affect proliferation and viability, but 10−7 and 10−6 M NE significantly reduced sGAG and type II collagen content as well as ERK1/2 phosphorylation. These effects were fully reversed by yohimbine (α2-AR antagonist). Our study confirms the important role of NE in sASC chondrogenic function and provides new insights in OA pathophysiology. Future studies might help to develop novel therapeutic options targeting neuroendocrine pathways for OA treatment.
    The autism/neuroprotection-linked ADNP/NAP regulate the excitatory glutamatergic synapse
    Schlomo Sragovich, Translational Psychology - 2019
    Activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP), essential for brain formation, was discovered as a leading de novo mutated gene causing the autism-like ADNP syndrome. This syndrome is phenotypically characterized by global developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, speech impediments, and motor dysfunctions. The Adnp haploinsufficient mouse mimics the human ADNP syndrome in terms of synapse density and gene expression patterns, as well as in developmental, motor, and cognitive abilities. Peripheral ADNP was also discovered as a biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia, with nasal administration of the ADNP snippet peptide NAP (enhancing endogenous ADNP activity) leading to partial cognitive and functional protection at the cellular, animal and clinical settings. Here, a novel formulation for effective delivery of NAP is provided with superior brain penetration capabilities. Also provided are methods for treating pertinent clinical implications such as autism, cognitive impairments, olfactory deficits, and muscle strength using the formulation in the Adnp haploinsufficient mouse. Results showed a dramatically specific increase in brain/body bioavailability with the new formulation, without breaching the blood brain barrier. Additional findings included improvements using daily intranasal treatments with NAP, at the behavioral and brain structural levels, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), translatable to clinical practice. Significant effects on hippocampal and cerebral cortical expression of the presynaptic Slc17a7 gene encoding vesicular excitatory glutamate transporter 1 (VGLUT1) were observed at the RNA and immunohistochemical levels, explaining the DTI results. These findings tie for the first time a reduction in presynaptic glutamatergic synapses with the autism/Alzheimer’s/schizophrenia-linked ADNP deficiency coupled with amelioration by NAP (CP201).
    Decitabine attenuates nociceptive behavior in a murine model of bone cancer pain
    Appel, PAIN - 2019
    Abstract: Bone cancer metastasis is extremely painful and decreases the quality of life of the affected patients. Available pharmacological treatments are not able to sufficiently ameliorate the pain, and as patients with cancer are living longer, new treatments for pain management are needed. Decitabine (5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine), a DNA methyltransferases inhibitor, has analgesic properties in preclinical models of postsurgical and soft-tissue oral cancer pain by inducing an upregulation of endogenous opioids. In this study, we report that daily treatment with decitabine (2 [micro]g/g, intraperitoneally) attenuated nociceptive behavior in the 4T1-luc2 mouse model of bone cancer pain. We hypothesized that the analgesic mechanism of decitabine involved activation of the endogenous opioid system through demethylation and reexpression of the transcriptionally silenced endothelin B receptor gene, Ednrb. Indeed, Ednrb was hypermethylated and transcriptionally silenced in the mouse model of bone cancer pain. We demonstrated that expression of Ednrb in the cancer cells lead to release of [beta]-endorphin in the cell supernatant, which reduced the number of responsive dorsal root ganglia neurons in an opioid-dependent manner. Our study supports a role of demethylating drugs, such as decitabine, as unique pharmacological agents targeting the pain in the cancer microenvironment.
    CCAAT/enhancer binding protein delta (C/EBPδ) demonstrates a dichotomous role in tumour initiation and promotion of epithelial carcinoma
    Ramlogan Sowamber, EBio Medicine - 2019
    Background CCAAT/enhancer binding protein delta (C/EBPδ,CEBPD), a gene part of the highly conserved basic-leucine zipper (b-ZIP) domain of transcriptional factors, is downregulated in 65% of high grade serous carcinomas of the ovary (HGSC). Overexpression of C/EBPδ in different tumours, such as glioblastoma and breast cancer either promotes tumour progression or inhibits growth and has low expression in normal tissue until activated by cytotoxic stressors. Methods Higher overall expression of C/EBPδ in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle prompted us to investigate the role of C/EBPδ in carcinogenesis. In vitro experiments were conducted in fallopian tube cell samples and cancer cell lines to investigate the role of C/EBPδ in proliferation, migration, and the epithelial to mesenchymal transition. Findings Expression of C/EBPδ induced premature cellular arrest and decreased soft agar colony formation. Loss of C/EBPδ in epithelial cancer cell lines did not have significant effects on proliferation, yet overexpression demonstrated downregulation of growth, similar to normal fallopian tube cells. C/EBPδ promoted a partial mesenchymal to epithelial (MET) phenotype by upregulating E-cadherin and downregulating Vimentin and N-cadherin in FTE cells and increased migratory activity, which suggests a regulatory role in the epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity of these cells. Interpretation Our findings suggest that C/EBPδ regulates the phenotype of normal fallopian tube cells by acting on downstream regulatory factors that are implicated in the development of ovarian serous carcinogenesis. Fund This study was funded by the CDMRP Ovarian Cancer program (W81WH-0701-0371, W81XWH-18-1-0072), the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Foundation, Foundation for Women's Cancer – The Belinda-Sue/Mary-Jane Walker Fund, Colleen's Dream Foundation and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.
    Serotonin2B receptors in the rat dorsal raphe nucleus exert a GABA-mediated tonic inhibitory control on serotonin neurons
    Adeline Cathala, Experimental Neurology - 2019
    The central serotonin2B receptor (5-HT2BR) is a well-established modulator of dopamine (DA) neuron activity in the rodent brain. Recent studies in rats have shown that the effect of 5-HT2BR antagonists on accumbal and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) DA outflow results from a primary action in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), where they activate 5-HT neurons innervating the mPFC. Although the mechanisms underlying this interaction remain largely unknown, data in the literature suggest the involvement of DRN GABAergic interneurons in the control of 5-HT activity. The present study examined this hypothesis using in vivo (intracerebral microdialysis) and in vitro (immunohistochemistry coupled to reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) experimental approaches in rats. Intraperitoneal (0.16 mg/kg) or intra-DRN (1 μM) administration of the selective 5-HT2BR antagonist RS 127445 increased 5-HT outflow in both the DRN and the mPFC, these effects being prevented by the intra-DRN perfusion of the GABAA antagonist bicuculline (100 μM), as well as by the subcutaneous (0.16 mg/kg) or the intra-DRN (0.1 μM) administration of the selective 5-HT1AR antagonist WAY 100635. The increase in DRN 5-HT outflow induced by the intra-DRN administration of the selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitor citalopram (0.1 μM) was potentiated by the intra-DRN administration (0.5 μM) of RS 127445 only in the absence of bicuculline perfusion. Finally, in vitro experiments revealed the presence of the 5-HT2BR mRNA on DRN GABAergic interneurons. Altogether, these results show that, in the rat DRN, 5-HT2BRs are located on GABAergic interneurons, and exert a tonic inhibitory control on 5-HT neurons innervating the mPFC.
    Dual Role of a C-Terminally Truncated Isoform of Large Tumor Suppressor Kinase 1 in the Regulation of Hippo Signaling and Tissue Growth
    Yurika Matsui, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers - 2019
    The considerable amount of experimental evidence has defined the Hippo pathway as a tumor suppressive pathway and increased expression and/or activity of its oncogenic effectors is frequently observed in cancer. However, clinical studies have failed to attribute cancer development and progression to mutations in the pathway. In explaining this conundrum, we investigated the expression and functions of a C-terminally truncated isoform of large tumor suppressor kinase 1 (LATS1) called short LATS1 (sLATS1) in human cell lines and Drosophila. Intriguingly, through overexpression of sLATS1, we demonstrated that sLATS1 either activates or suppresses the activity of Yes-associated protein (YAP), one of the effectors of the Hippo pathway, in a cell type-specific manner. The activation is mediated through inhibition of full-length LATS1, whereas suppression of YAP is accomplished through sLATS1–YAP interaction. In HEK293T cells, the former mechanism may affect the cellular response more dominantly, whereas in U2OS cells and developing tissues in Drosophila, the latter mechanism may be solely carried out. Finally, to find the clinical relevance of this molecule, we examined the expression of sLATS1 in breast cancer patients. The transcriptome analysis showed that the ratio of sLATS1 to LATS1 was increased in tumor tissues comparing to their adjacent normal tissues.
    Curcumin and o-Vanillin Exhibit Evidence of Senolytic Activity in Human IVD Cells In Vitro
    Hosni Cherif, Journal of Clinical Medicine - 2019
    Curcumin and o-Vanillin cleared senescent intervertebral disc (IVD) cells and reduced the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) associated with inflammation and back pain. Cells from degenerate and non-mildly-degenerate human IVD were obtained from organ donors and from patients undergoing surgery for low back pain. Gene expression of senescence and SASP markers was evaluated by RT-qPCR in isolated cells, and protein expression of senescence, proliferation, and apoptotic markers was evaluated by immunocytochemistry (ICC). The expression levels of SASP factors were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Matrix synthesis was verified with safranin-O staining and the Dimethyl-Methylene Blue Assay for proteoglycan content. Western blotting and ICC were used to determine the molecular pathways targeted by the drugs. We found a 40% higher level of senescent cells in degenerate compared to non-mildly-degenerate discs from unrelated individuals and a 10% higher level in degenerate compared to non-mildly-degenerate discs from the same individual. Higher levels of senescence were associated with increased SASP. Both drugs cleared senescent cells, and treatment increased the number of proliferating as well as apoptotic cells in cultures from degenerate IVDs. The expression of SASP factors was decreased, and matrix synthesis increased following treatment. These effects were mediated through the Nrf2 and NFkB pathways
    Transport and Recovery of Gilthead Seabream (Sparus aurata L.) Sedated With Clove Oil and MS-222: Effects on Stress Axis Regulation and Intermediary Metabolism
    Ismael Jerez-Cepa, Frontiers in Physiology - 2019
    Transport processes between aquaculture facilities activate the stress response in fish. To deal with these situations, the hypothalamic-pituitary-interrenal (HPI) axis releases cortisol, leading to an increase in circulating energy resources to restore homeostasis. However, if the allostatic load generated exceeds fish tolerance limits, stress-related responses will compromise health and welfare of the animals. In this context, anesthetics have arisen as potential agents aiming to reduce negative effects of stress response. Here we assessed the effects of a sedative dose of clove oil (CO) and MS-222 on hallmarks involved in HPI axis regulation and energy management after simulated transport, and further recovery, in gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata L.) juveniles. Fish were placed in a mobile setup of water tanks where transport conditions were simulated for 6 h. Sedation doses of either CO (2.5 mg L−1) or MS-222 (5 mg L−1) were added in the water tanks. A control group without anesthetics was also included in the setup. Half of the animals (n = 12 per group) were sampled immediately after transport, while remaining animals were allowed to recover for 18 h in clean water tanks and then sampled. Our results showed that the HPI axis response was modified at peripheral level, with differences depending on the anesthetic employed. Head kidney gene-expressions related to cortisol production (star and cyp11b1) matched concomitantly with increased plasma cortisol levels immediately after transport in CO-sedated fish, but these levels remained constant in MS-222-sedated fish. Differential changes in the energy management of carbohydrates, lipids and amino acids, depending on the anesthetic employed, were also observed. The use of CO stimulated amino acids catabolism, while MS-222-sedated fish tended to consume liver glycogen and mobilize triglycerides. Further studies, including alternative doses of both anestethics, as well as the assessment of time-course HPI activation and longer recovery periods, are necessary to better understand if the use of clove oil and MS-222 is beneficial for S. aurata under these circumstances.
    Identification of traits associated with barley yield performance using contrasting nitrogen fertilizations and genotypes
    Ruben Vicente, Plant Science - 2019
    Much attention has been paid to understanding the traits associated with crop performance and the associated underlying physiological mechanisms, with less effort done towards combining different plant scales, levels of observation, or including hybrids of autogamous species. We aim to identify mechanisms at canopy, leaf and transcript levels contributing to crop performance under contrasting nitrogen supplies in three barley genotypes, two hybrids and one commercial line. High nitrogen fertilization did not affect photosynthetic capacity on a leaf area basis and lowered nitrogen partial factor productivity past a certain point, but increased leaf area and biomass accumulation, parameters that were closely tracked using various different high throughput remote sensing based phenotyping techniques. These aspects, together with a larger catabolism of leaf nitrogen compounds amenable to sink translocation, contributed to higher crop production. Better crop yield and growth in hybrids compared to the line was linked to a nitrogen-saving strategy in source leaves to the detriment of larger sink size, as indicated by the lower leaf nitrogen content and downregulation of nitrogen metabolism and aquaporin genes. While these changes did not reduce photosynthesis capacity on an area basis, they were related with better nitrogen use in the hybrids compared with the line.
    Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) and the Proteasome Attenuates IL-1β Expression in Primary Mouse Cardiac Fibroblasts
    May-Kristin Torp, Frontiers in Immunology - 2019
    Background: IL-1β is a highly potent pro-inflammatory cytokine and its secretion is tightly regulated. Inactive pro-IL-1β is transcribed in response to innate immune receptors activating NFκB. If tissue damage occurs, danger signals released from necrotic cells, such as ATP, can activate NLRP3-inflammasomes (multiprotein complexes consisting of NLRP3, ASC, and active caspase-1) which cleaves and activates pro-IL-1β. NLRP3 activation also depends on NEK7 and mitochondrial ROS-production. Thus, IL-1β secretion may be regulated at the level of each involved component. We have previously shown that NLRP3-dependent IL-1β release can be induced in cardiac fibroblasts by pro-inflammatory stimuli. However, anti-inflammatory mechanisms targeting IL-1β release in cardiac cells have not been investigated. mTOR is a key regulator of protein metabolism, including autophagy and proteasome activity. In this study we explored whether autophagy or proteasomal degradation are regulators of NLRP3 inflammasome activation and IL-1β release from cardiac fibroblasts. Methods and Results: Serum starvation selectively reduced LPS/ATP-induced IL-1β secretion from cardiac fibroblasts. However, no other inflammasome components, nor mitochondrial mass, were affected. The mTOR inhibitor rapamycin restored pro-IL-1β protein levels as well as LPS/ATP-induced IL-1β release from serum starved cells. However, neither serum starvation nor rapamycin induced autophagy in cardiac fibroblasts. Conversely, chloroquine and bafilomycin A (inhibitors of autophagy) and betulinic acid (a proteasome activator) effectively reduced LPS-induced pro-IL-1β protein levels. Key findings were reinvestigated in human monocyte-derived macrophages. Conclusion: In cardiac fibroblasts, mTOR inhibition selectively favors pro-IL-1β synthesis while proteasomal degradation and not autophagy is the major catabolic anti-inflammatory mechanism for degradation of this cytokine.
    The Nuclear Receptor and Clock Repressor Rev-erbα Suppresses Myogenesis
    Somik Chatterjee, Scientific Reports - 2019
    Rev-erbα is a ligand-dependent nuclear receptor and a key repressor of the molecular clock transcription network. Accumulating evidence indicate that the circadian clock machinery governs diverse biological processes in skeletal muscle, including muscle growth, repair and mass maintenance. The physiological function of Rev-erbα in myogenic regulation remains largely unknown. Here we show that Rev-erbα exerts cell-autonomous inhibitory effects on proliferation and differentiation of myogenic precursor cells, and these actions concertedly inhibit muscle regeneration in vivo. Mechanistic studies reveal Rev-erbα direct transcriptional control of two major myogenic mechanisms, proliferative pathway and the Wnt signaling cascade. Consistent with this finding, primary myoblasts lacking Rev-erbα display significantly enhanced proliferative growth and myogenic progression. Furthermore, pharmacological activation of Rev-erbα activity attenuates, whereas its inhibition by an antagonist promotes these processes. Notably, upon muscle injury, the loss-of-function of Rev-erbα in vivo augmented satellite cell proliferative expansion and regenerative progression during regeneration. Collectively, our study identifies Rev-erbα as a novel inhibitory regulator of myogenic progenitor cell properties that suppresses postnatal myogenesis. Pharmacological interventions to dampen Rev-erbα activity may have potential utilities to enhance regenerative capacity in muscle diseases.
    n-6 Linoleic Acid Induces Epigenetics Alterations Associated with Colonic Inflammation and Cancer
    Donaro F. Romagnolo, Nutrients - 2019
    The farnesoid-X-receptor (FXR) protects against inflammation and cancer of the colon through maintenance of intestinal bile acid (BA) homeostasis. Conversely, higher levels of BA and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) are risk factors for inflammation and cancer of the colon. In the United States, n-6 linoleic acid (LA) is the most commonly used dietary vegetable fat. Metabolism of n-6 fatty acids has been linked to a higher risk of intestinal cancer. The objectives of this study were to investigate in colonic mucosa the effects of a high-fat diet rich in LA (n-6HFD) on CpG methylation of Fxr and prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase-2 (Ptsg-2) genes, and the impact on the expression of tumor suppressor adenomatous polyposis Coli (Apc) and proliferative cyclin D1 (Ccnd1) genes. Weaned C57BL/6J male mice were fed for 6 weeks either an n-6HFD containing 44% energy (44%E) from 22% safflower oil (SO, 76% LA by weight) or a 13% energy (13%E) control diet (Control) from SO (5% by weight). Mice fed the n-6HFD had reduced (60%) Fxr promoter CpG methylation and increased (~50%) Fxr mRNA. The expression of FXR-target ileal bile acid-binding protein (Ibabp), small heterodimer protein (Shp), and anti-inflammatory peroxisome proliferator-activated-γ1 genes was increased. The n-6HFD reduced Ptgs-2 CpG methylation, increased the expression of Cox-2, and increased Apc CpG methylation in colonic mucosa. Accordingly, reduced expression of Apc was coupled to accumulation of c-JUN and Ccnd1, respectively cofactor and gene targets for the β-catenin/Wnt signaling pathway. Finally, the n-6HFD reduced the expression of histone deacetylase-1 while favoring the accumulation of acetylated histone 3. We conclude that an n-6HFD epigenetically modifies Fxr, leading to the activation of downstream factors that participate in BA homeostasis. However, epigenetic activation of Ptsg-2 coupled with silencing of Apc and accumulation of C-JUN and Ccnd1 may increase the risk of inflammation and cancer of the colon.
    Bulky DNA adducts, microRNA profiles, and lipid biomarkers in Norwegian tunnel finishing workers occupationally exposed to diesel exhaust
    Iselin Rynning, BMJ Journals - 2019
    Objectives This study aimed to assess the biological impact of occupational exposure to diesel exhaust (DE) including DE particles (DEP) from heavy-duty diesel-powered equipment in Norwegian tunnel finishing workers (TFW). Methods TFW (n=69) and referents (n=69) were investigated for bulky DNA adducts (by 32P-postlabelling) and expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) (by small RNA sequencing) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), as well as circulating free arachidonic acid (AA) and eicosanoid profiles in plasma (by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry). Results PBMC from TFW showed significantly higher levels of DNA adducts compared with referents. Levels of DNA adducts were also related to smoking habits. Seventeen miRNAs were significantly deregulated in TFW. Several of these miRNAs are related to carcinogenesis, apoptosis and antioxidant effects. Analysis of putative miRNA-gene targets revealed deregulation of pathways associated with cancer, alterations in lipid molecules, steroid biosynthesis and cell cycle. Plasma profiles showed higher levels of free AA and 15-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid, and lower levels of prostaglandin D2 and 9-hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid in TFW compared with referents. Conclusion Occupational exposure to DE/DEP is associated with biological alterations in TFW potentially affecting lung homoeostasis, carcinogenesis, inflammation status and the cardiovascular system. Of particular importance is the finding that tunnel finishing work is associated with an increased level of DNA adducts formation in PBMC. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial
    MTA2/NuRD Regulates B Cell Development and Cooperates with OCA-B in Controlling the Pre-B to Immature B Cell Transition
    Xiangdong Lu, Cell Reports - 2019
    The NuRD complex contains both chromatin remodeling and histone deacetylase activities. Mice lacking the MTA2 subunit of NuRD show developmental defects in pro-B, pre-B, immature B, and marginal zone B cells, and abnormal germinal center B cell differentiation during immune responses. Mta2 inactivation also causes a derepression of Igll1 and VpreB1 genes in pre-B cells. Furthermore, MTA2/NuRD interacts directly with AIOLOS/IKAROS and shows a striking overlap with AIOLOS/IKAROS target genes in human pre-B cells, suggesting a functional inter-dependence between MTA2/NuRD and AIOLOS. Mechanistically, MTA2 deficiency in mice leads to increased H3K27 acetylation at both Igll1 and VpreB1 promoters. Gene profiling analyses also identify distinct MTA2-dependent transcription programs in pro-B and pre-B cells. In addition, we find a strong synergy between MTA2 and OCA-B in repressing Igll1 and VpreB1 at the pre-B cell stage, and in regulating both the pre-B to immature B transition and splenic B cell development.
    Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 Controls Maintenance of Fungiform Papillae by Repressing Sonic Hedgehog Expression
    Carmit Bar, Cell Reports - 2019
    How tissue patterns are formed and maintained are fundamental questions. The murine tongue epithelium, a paradigm for tissue patterning, consists of an array of specialized fungiform papillae structures that harbor taste cells. The formation of fungiform papillae is preceded by pronounced spatial changes in gene expression, in which taste cell genes such as Shh, initially diffused in lingual epithelial progenitors, become restricted to taste cells when their specification progresses. However, the requirement of spatial restriction of taste cell gene expression for patterning and formation of fungiform papillae is unknown. Here, we show that a chromatin regulator, Polycomb repressive complex (PRC) 1, is required for proper maintenance of fungiform papillae by repressing Shh and preventing ectopic SHH signaling in non-taste cells. Ablation of SHH signaling in PRC1-null non-taste cells rescues the maintenance of taste cells. Altogether, our studies exemplify how epigenetic regulation establishes spatial gene expression patterns necessary for specialized niche structures.
    The heterogeneity and complexity of Cannabis extracts as antitumor agents
    Liran Baram, Oncotarget - 2019
    The Cannabis plant contains over 100 phytocannabinoids and hundreds of other components. The biological effects and interplay of these Cannabis compounds are not fully understood and yet influence the plant’s therapeutic effects. Here we assessed the antitumor effects of whole Cannabis extracts, which contained significant amounts of differing phytocannabinoids, on different cancer lines from various tumor origins. We first utilized our novel electrospray ionization liquid chromatography mass spectrometry method to analyze the phytocannabinoid contents of 124 Cannabis extracts. We then monitored the effects of 12 chosen different Cannabis extracts on 12 cancer cell lines. Our results show that specific Cannabis extracts impaired the survival and proliferation of cancer cell lines as well as induced apoptosis. Our findings showed that pure (-)-Δ9-trans-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) did not produce the same effects on these cell lines as the whole Cannabis extracts. Furthermore, Cannabis extracts with similar amounts of Δ9-THC produced significantly different effects on the survival of specific cancer cells. In addition, we demonstrated that specific Cannabis extracts may selectively and differentially affect cancer cells and differing cancer cell lines from the same organ origin. We also found that cannabimimetic receptors were differentially expressed among various cancer cell lines and suggest that this receptor diversity may contribute to the heterogeneous effects produced by the differing Cannabis extracts on each cell line. Our overall findings indicate that the effect of a Cannabis extract on a specific cancer cell line relies on the extract’s composition as well as on certain characteristics of the targeted cells.
    The Hematopoietic Oxidase NOX2 Regulates Self-Renewal of Leukemic Stem Cells
    Biniam Adane, Cell Reports - 2019
    The NADPH-dependent oxidase NOX2 is an important effector of immune cell function, and its activity has been linked to oncogenic signaling. Here, we describe a role for NOX2 in leukemia-initiating stem cell populations (LSCs). In a murine model of leukemia, suppression of NOX2 impaired core metabolism, attenuated disease development, and depleted functionally defined LSCs. Transcriptional analysis of purified LSCs revealed that deficiency of NOX2 collapses the self-renewal program and activates inflammatory and myeloid-differentiation-associated programs. Downstream of NOX2, we identified the forkhead transcription factor FOXC1 as a mediator of the phenotype. Notably, suppression of NOX2 or FOXC1 led to marked differentiation of leukemic blasts. In xenotransplantation models of primary human myeloid leukemia, suppression of either NOX2 or FOXC1 significantly attenuated disease development. Collectively, these findings position NOX2 as a critical regulator of malignant hematopoiesis and highlight the clinical potential of inhibiting NOX2 as a means to target LSCs.
    Multi‐omics identify xanthine as a pro‐survival metabolite for nematodes with mitochondrial dysfunction
    Anna Gioran, The Embo Journal - 2019
    Aberrant mitochondrial function contributes to the pathogenesis of various metabolic and chronic disorders. Inhibition of insulin/IGF‐1 signaling (IIS) represents a promising avenue for the treatment of mitochondrial diseases, although many of the molecular mechanisms underlying this beneficial effect remain elusive. Using an unbiased multi‐omics approach, we report here that IIS inhibition reduces protein synthesis and favors catabolism in mitochondrial deficient Caenorhabditis elegans. We unveil that the lifespan extension does not occur through the restoration of mitochondrial respiration, but as a consequence of an ATP‐saving metabolic rewiring that is associated with an evolutionarily conserved phosphoproteome landscape. Furthermore, we identify xanthine accumulation as a prominent downstream metabolic output of IIS inhibition. We provide evidence that supplementation of FDA‐approved xanthine derivatives is sufficient to promote fitness and survival of nematodes carrying mitochondrial lesions. Together, our data describe previously unknown molecular components of a metabolic network that can extend the lifespan of short‐lived mitochondrial mutant animals.
    Exploring targets of TET2-mediated methylation reprogramming as potential discriminators of prostate cancer progression
    Shivani Kamdar, BMC - 2019
    Background Global DNA methylation alterations are hallmarks of cancer. The tumor-suppressive TET enzymes, which are involved in DNA demethylation, are decreased in prostate cancer (PCa); in particular, TET2 is specifically targeted by androgen-dependent mechanisms of repression in PCa and may play a central role in carcinogenesis. Thus, the identification of key genes targeted by TET2 dysregulation may provide further insight into cancer biology. Results Using a CRISPR/Cas9-derived TET2-knockout prostate cell line, and through whole-transcriptome and whole-methylome sequencing, we identified seven candidate genes—ASB2, ETNK2, MEIS2, NRG1, NTN1, NUDT10, and SRPX—exhibiting reduced expression and increased promoter methylation, a pattern characteristic of tumor suppressors. Decreased expression of these genes significantly discriminates between recurrent and non-recurrent prostate tumors from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) cohort (n = 423), and ASB2, NUDT10, and SRPX were significantly correlated with lower recurrence-free survival in patients by Kaplan-Meier analysis. ASB2, MEIS2, and SRPX also showed significantly lower expression in high-risk Gleason score 8 tumors as compared to low or intermediate risk tumors, suggesting that these genes may be particularly useful as indicators of PCa progression. Furthermore, methylation array probes in the TCGA dataset, which were proximal to the highly conserved, differentially methylated sites identified in our TET2-knockout cells, were able to significantly distinguish between matched prostate tumor and normal prostate tissues (n = 50 pairs). Except ASB2, all genes exhibited significantly increased methylation at these probes, and methylation status of at least one probe for each of these genes showed association with measures of PCa progression such as recurrence, stage, or Gleason score. Since ASB2 did not have any probes within the TET2-knockout differentially methylated region, we validated ASB2 methylation in an independent series of matched tumor-normal samples (n = 19) by methylation-specific qPCR, which revealed concordant and significant increases in promoter methylation within the TET2-knockout site. Conclusions Our study identifies seven genes governed by TET2 loss in PCa which exhibit an association between their methylation and expression status and measures of PCa progression. As differential methylation profiles and TET2 expression are associated with advanced PCa, further investigation of these specialized TET2 targets may provide important insights into patterns of carcinogenic gene dysregulation.
    Broad and Protective Influenza B Virus Neuraminidase Antibodies in Humans after Vaccination and their Clonal Persistence as Plasma Cells
    Michael S. Piepenbrink, American Society For Microbiology - 2019
    Although most seasonal inactivated influenza vaccines (IIV) contain neuraminidase (NA), the extent and mechanisms of action of protective human NAspecific humoral responses induced by vaccination are poorly resolved. Due to the propensity of influenza virus for antigenic drift and shift and its tendency to elicit predominantly strain-specific antibodies, humanity remains susceptible to waves of new strains of seasonal viruses and is at risk from viruses with pandemic potential for which limited or no immunity may exist. Here we demonstrate that the use of IIV results in increased levels of influenza B virus (IBV) NA-specific serum antibodies. Detailed analysis of the IBV NA B cell response indicates concurrent expansion of IBV NA-specific peripheral blood plasmablasts 7 days after IIV immunization which express monoclonal antibodies with broad and potent antiviral activity against both IBV Victoria and Yamagata lineages and prophylactic and therapeutic activity in mice. These IBV NA-specific B cell clonal lineages persisted in CD138 long-lived bone marrow plasma cells. These results represent the first demonstration that IIVinduced NA human antibodies can protect and treat influenza virus infection in vivo and suggest that IIV can induce a subset of IBV NA-specific B cells with broad protective potential, a feature that warrants further study for universal influenza vaccine development. IMPORTANCE Influenza virus infections continue to cause substantial morbidity and mortality despite the availability of seasonal vaccines. The extensive genetic variability in seasonal and potentially pandemic influenza strains necessitates new vaccine strategies that can induce universal protection by focusing the immune response on generating protective antibodies against conserved targets such as regions within the influenza neuraminidase protein. We have demonstrated that seasonal immunization stimulates neuraminidase-specific antibodies in humans that are broad and potent in their protection from influenza B virus when tested in mice. These antibodies further persist in the bone marrow, where they are expressed by long-lived antibody-producing cells, referred to here as plasma cells. The significance in our research is the demonstration that seasonal influenza immunization can induce a subset of neuraminidase-specific B cells with broad protective potential, a process that if further studied and enhanced could aid in the development of a universal influenza vaccine.
    Hybrid nanocarriers incorporating mechanistically distinct drugs for lymphatic CD4+ T cell activation and HIV-1 latency reversal
    Shijie Cao, Science Advances - 2019
    A proposed strategy to cure HIV uses latency-reversing agents (LRAs) to reactivate latent proviruses for purging HIV reservoirs. A variety of LRAs have been identified, but none has yet proven effective in reducing the reservoir size in vivo. Nanocarriers could address some major challenges by improving drug solubility and safety, providing sustained drug release, and simultaneously delivering multiple drugs to target tissues and cells. Here, we formulated hybrid nanocarriers that incorporate physicochemically diverse LRAs and target lymphatic CD4+ T cells. We identified one LRA combination that displayed synergistic latency reversal and low cytotoxicity in a cell model of HIV and in CD4+ T cells from virologically suppressed patients. Furthermore, our targeted nanocarriers selectively activated CD4+ T cells in nonhuman primate peripheral blood mononuclear cells as well as in murine lymph nodes, and substantially reduced local toxicity. This nanocarrier platform may enable new solutions for delivering anti-HIV agents for an HIV cure.
    Functional Screening Identifies MicroRNAs as Multi-Cellular Regulators of Heart Failure
    Robin Verjans, Scientific Reports - 2019
    Heart failure (HF) is the leading cause of death in the Western world. Pathophysiological processes underlying HF development, including cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis and inflammation, are controlled by specific microRNAs (miRNAs). Whereas most studies investigate miRNA function in one particular cardiac cell type, their multicellular function is poorly investigated. The present study probed 194 miRNAs –differentially expressed in cardiac inflammatory disease – for regulating cardiomyocyte size, cardiac fibroblasts collagen content, and macrophage polarization. Of the tested miRNAs, 13%, 26%, and 41% modulated cardiomyocyte size, fibroblast collagen production, and macrophage polarization, respectively. Seventeen miRNAs affected all three cellular processes, including miRNAs with established (miR-210) and unknown roles in cardiac pathophysiology (miR-145-3p). These miRNAs with a multi-cellular function commonly target various genes. In-depth analysis in vitro of previously unstudied miRNAs revealed that the observed phenotypical alterations concurred with changes in transcript and protein levels of hypertrophy-, fibrosis- and inflammation-related genes. MiR-145-3p and miR-891a-3p were identified to regulate the fibrotic response, whereas miR-223-3p, miR-486-3p, and miR-488-5p modulated macrophage activation and polarisation. In conclusion, miRNAs are multi-cellular regulators of different cellular processes underlying cardiac disease. We identified previously undescribed roles of miRNAs in hypertrophy, fibrosis, and inflammation, and attribute new cellular effects to various well-known miRNAs.
    PDGFRα+ stromal adipocyte progenitors transition into epithelial cells during lobulo-alveologenesis in the murine mammary gland
    Purna A. Joshi, Nature Communications - 2019
    The mammary gland experiences substantial remodeling and regeneration during development and reproductive life, facilitated by stem cells and progenitors that act in concert with physiological stimuli. While studies have focused on deciphering regenerative cells within the parenchymal epithelium, cell lineages in the stroma that may directly contribute to epithelial biology is unknown. Here we identify, in mouse, the transition of a PDGFRα+ mesenchymal cell population into mammary epithelial progenitors. In addition to being adipocyte progenitors, PDGFRα+ cells make a de novo contribution to luminal and basal epithelia during mammary morphogenesis. In the adult, this mesenchymal lineage primarily generates luminal progenitors within lobuloalveoli during sex hormone exposure or pregnancy. We identify cell migration as a key molecular event that is activated in mesenchymal progenitors in response to epithelium-derived chemoattractant. These findings demonstrate a stromal reservoir of epithelial progenitors and provide insight into cell origins and plasticity during mammary tissue growth.
    Ntrk1 Promotes Resistance to PD-1 Checkpoint Blockade in Mesenchymal Kras/p53 Mutant Lung Cancer
    Jessica M. Konen, Cancers - 2019
    The implementation of cancer immunotherapeutics for solid tumors including lung cancers has improved clinical outcomes in a small percentage of patients. However, the majority of patients show little to no response or acquire resistance during treatment with checkpoint inhibitors delivered as a monotherapy. Therefore, identifying resistance mechanisms and novel combination therapy approaches is imperative to improve responses to immune checkpoint inhibitors. To address this, we performed an in vivo shRNA dropout screen that focused on genes encoding for FDA-approved drug targets (FDAome). We implanted epithelial and mesenchymal Kras/p53 (KP) mutant murine lung cancer cells expressing the FDAome shRNA library into syngeneic mice treated with an anti-PD-1 antibody. Sequencing for the barcoded shRNAs revealed Ntrk1 was significantly depleted from mesenchymal tumors challenged with PD-1 blockade, suggesting it provides a survival advantage to tumor cells when under immune system pressure. Our data confirmed Ntrk1 transcript levels are upregulated in tumors treated with PD-1 inhibitors. Additionally, analysis of tumor-infiltrating T cell populations revealed that Ntrk1 can promote CD8+ T cell exhaustion. Lastly, we found that Ntrk1 regulates Jak/Stat signaling to promote expression of PD-L1 on tumor cells. Together, these data suggest that Ntrk1 activates Jak/Stat signaling to regulate expression of immunosuppressive molecules including PD-L1, promoting exhaustion within the tumor microenvironment.
    Development of a Cx46 Targeting Strategy for Cancer Stem Cells
    Erin E. Mulkearns-Hubert, Cell Reports - 2019
    Gap-junction-mediated cell-cell communication enables tumor cells to synchronize complex processes. We previously found that glioblastoma cancer stem cells (CSCs) express higher levels of the gap junction protein Cx46 compared to non-stem tumor cells (non-CSCs) and that this was necessary and sufficient for CSC maintenance. To understand the mechanism underlying this requirement, we use point mutants to disrupt specific functions of Cx46 and find that Cx46-mediated gap-junction coupling is critical for CSCs. To develop a Cx46 targeting strategy, we screen a clinically relevant small molecule library and identify clofazimine as an inhibitor of Cx46-specific cell-cell communication. Clofazimine attenuates proliferation, self-renewal, and tumor growth and synergizes with temozolomide to induce apoptosis. Although clofazimine does not cross the blood-brain barrier, the combination of clofazimine derivatives optimized for brain penetrance with standard-of-care therapies may target glioblastoma CSCs. Furthermore, these results demonstrate the importance of targeting cell-cell communication as an anti-cancer therapy.
    Krt5+/Krt15+ foregut basal progenitors give rise to cyclooxygenase-2-dependent tumours in response to gastric acid stress
    Hyeongsun Moon, Nature Communications - 2019
    The effective prevention of tumor initiation, especially for potentially inoperable tumors, will be beneficial to obtain an overall higher quality of our health and life. Hence, thorough understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms of early tumor formation arising from identifiable cellular origins is required to develop efficient preventative and early treatment options for each tumor type. Here, using genetically engineered mouse models, we provide preclinical experimental evidence for a long-standing open question regarding the pathophysiological potential of a microenvironmental and physiological stressor in tumor development, gastric acid-mediated regional microscopic injury in foregut squamous epithelia. This study demonstrates the association of gastric acid stress with Cyclooxygenase-2-dependent tumor formation originating from tumor-competent Krt5+/Krt15+ foregut basal progenitor cells. Our findings suggest that clinical management of microenvironmental stressor-mediated microscopic injury may be important in delaying tumor initiation from foregut basal progenitor cells expressing pre-existing tumorigenic mutation(s) and genetic alteration(s).
    Stratifying nonfunctional pituitary adenomas into two groups distinguished by macrophage subtypes
    Garima Yagnik, Oncotarget Open Access Impact Journal - 2019
    Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) polarize to M1 and M2 subtypes exerting anti-tumoral and pro-tumoral effects, respectively. To date, little is known about TAMs, their subtypes, and their roles in non-functional pituitary adenomas (NFPAs). We performed flow cytometry on single cell suspensions from 16 NFPAs, revealing that CD11b+ myeloid cells comprise an average of 7.3% of cells in NFPAs (range = 0.5%–27.1%), with qPCR revealing most CD11b+ cells to be monocyte-derived TAMs rather than native microglia. The most CD11b-enriched NFPAs (10–27% CD11b+) were the most expansile (size>3.5 cm or MIB1>3%). Increasing CD11b+ fraction was associated with decreased M2 TAMs and increased M1 TAMs. All NFPAs with cavernous sinus invasion had M2/M1 gene expression ratios above one, while 80% of NFPAs without cavernous sinus invasion had M2/M1<1 (P = 0.02). Cultured M2 macrophages promoted greater invasion (P < 10-5) and proliferation (P = 0.03) of primary NFPA cultures than M1 macrophages in a manner inhibited by siRNA targeting S100A9 and EZH2, respectively. Primary NFPA cultures were of two types: some recruited more monocytes in an MCP-1-dependent manner and polarized these to M2 TAMs, while others recruited fewer monocytes and polarized them to M1 TAMS in a GM-CSF-dependent manner. These findings suggest that TAM recruitment and polarization into the pro-tumoral M2 subtype drives NFPA proliferation and invasion. Robust M2 TAM infiltrate may occur during an NFPA growth phase before self-regulating into a slower growth phase with fewer overall TAMs and M1 polarization. Analyses like these could generate immunomodulatory therapies for NFPAs.
    Different bacterial and viral pathogens trigger distinct immune responses in a globally invasive ant
    Philip J. Lester, Scientific Reports - 2019
    Invasive species populations periodically collapse from high to low abundance, sometimes even to extinction. Pathogens and the burden they place on invader immune systems have been hypothesised as a mechanism for these collapses. We examined the association of the bacterial pathogen (Pseudomonas spp.) and the viral community with immune gene expression in the globally invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile (Mayr)). RNA-seq analysis found evidence for 17 different viruses in Argentine ants from New Zealand, including three bacteriophages with one (Pseudomonas phage PS-1) likely to be attacking the bacterial host. Pathogen loads and prevalence varied immensely. Transcriptomic data showed that immune gene expression was consistent with respect to the viral classification of negative-sense, positive-sense and double-stranded RNA viruses. Genes that were the most strongly associated with the positive-sense RNA viruses such as the Linepithema humile virus 1 (LHUV-1) and the Deformed wing virus (DWV) were peptide recognition proteins assigned to the Toll and Imd pathways. We then used principal components analysis and regression modelling to determine how RT-qPCR derived immune gene expression levels were associated with viral and bacterial loads. Argentine ants mounted a substantial immune response to both Pseudomonas and LHUV-1 infections, involving almost all immune pathways. Other viruses including DWV and the Kashmir bee virus appeared to have much less immunological influence. Different pathogens were associated with varying immunological responses, which we hypothesize to interact with and influence the invasion dynamics of this species.
    Clinical S. aureus Isolates Vary in Their Virulence to Promote Adaptation to the Host
    Lorena Tuchscherr, Toxins - 2019
    Staphylococcus aureus colonizes epithelial surfaces, but it can also cause severe infections. The aim of this work was to investigate whether bacterial virulence correlates with defined types of tissue infections. For this, we collected 10–12 clinical S. aureus strains each from nasal colonization, and from patients with endoprosthesis infection, hematogenous osteomyelitis, and sepsis. All strains were characterized by genotypic analysis, and by the expression of virulence factors. The host–pathogen interaction was studied through several functional assays in osteoblast cultures. Additionally, selected strains were tested in a murine sepsis/osteomyelitis model. We did not find characteristic bacterial features for the defined infection types; rather, a wide range in all strain collections regarding cytotoxicity and invasiveness was observed. Interestingly, all strains were able to persist and to form small colony variants (SCVs). However, the low-cytotoxicity strains survived in higher numbers, and were less efficiently cleared by the host than the highly cytotoxic strains. In summary, our results indicate that not only destructive, but also low-cytotoxicity strains are able to induce infections. The low-cytotoxicity strains can successfully survive, and are less efficiently cleared from the host than the highly cytotoxic strains, which represent a source for chronic infections. The understanding of this interplay/evolution between the host and the pathogen during infection, with specific attention towards low-cytotoxicity isolates, will help to optimize treatment strategies for invasive and therapy-refractory infection courses.
    Heterodera glycines utilizes promiscuous spliced leaders and demonstrates a unique preference for a species-specific spliced leader over C. elegans SL1
    Stacey N. Barnes, Scientific Reports - 2019
    Spliced leader trans-splicing (SLTS) plays a part in the maturation of pre-mRNAs in select species across multiple phyla but is particularly prevalent in Nematoda. The role of spliced leaders (SL) within the cell is unclear and an accurate assessment of SL occurrence within an organism is possible only after extensive sequencing data are available, which is not currently the case for many nematode species. SL discovery is further complicated by an absence of SL sequences from high-throughput sequencing results due to incomplete sequencing of the 5’-ends of transcripts during RNA-seq library preparation, known as 5′-bias. Existing datasets and novel methodology were used to identify both conserved SLs and unique hypervariable SLs within Heterodera glycines, the soybean cyst nematode. In H. glycines, twenty-one distinct SL sequences were found on 2,532 unique H. glycines transcripts. The SL sequences identified on the H. glycines transcripts demonstrated a high level of promiscuity, meaning that some transcripts produced as many as nine different individual SL-transcript combinations. Most uniquely, transcriptome analysis revealed that H. glycines is the first nematode to demonstrate a higher SL trans-splicing rate using a species-specific SL over well-conserved Caenorhabditis elegans SL-like sequences.
    Two-tailed RT-qPCR panel for quality control of circulating microRNA studies
    Peter Androvic, Scientific Reports - 2019
    Circulating cell-free microRNAs are promising candidates for minimally invasive clinical biomarkers for the diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of many human diseases. Despite substantial efforts invested in the field, the research so far has failed to deliver expected results. One of the contributing factors is general lack of agreement between various studies, partly due to the considerable technical challenges accompanying the workflow. Pre-analytical variables including sample collection, RNA isolation, and quantification are sources of bias that may hamper biological interpretation of the results. Here, we present a Two-tailed RT-qPCR panel for quality control, monitoring of technical performance, and optimization of microRNA profiling experiments from biofluid samples. The Two-tailed QC (quality control) panel is based on two sets of synthetic spike-in molecules and three endogenous microRNAs that are quantified with the highly specific Two-tailed RT-qPCR technology. The QC panel is a cost-effective way to assess quality of isolated microRNA, degree of inhibition, and erythrocyte contamination to ensure technical soundness of the obtained results. We provide assay sequences, detailed experimental protocol and guide to data interpretation. The application of the QC panel is demonstrated on the optimization of RNA isolation from biofluids with the miRNeasy Serum/Plasma Advanced Kit (Qiagen).
    West Nile virus infection and interferon alpha treatment alter the spectrum and the levels of coding and noncoding host RNAs secreted in extracellular vesicles
    Andril Slonchak, BMC Genomics - 2019
    Background: Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are small membrane vesicles secreted by the cells that mediate intercellular transfer of molecules and contribute to transduction of various signals. Viral infection and action of pro-inflammatory cytokines has been shown to alter molecular composition of EV content. Transfer of antiviral proteins by EVs is thought to contribute to the development of inflammation and antiviral state. Altered incorporation of selected host RNAs into EVs in response to infection has also been demonstrated for several viruses, but not for WNV. Considering the medical significance of flaviviruses and the importance of deeper knowledge about the mechanisms of flavivirus-host interactions we assessed the ability of West Nile virus (WNV) and type I interferon (IFN), the main cytokine regulating antiviral response to WNV, to alter the composition of EV RNA cargo. Results: We employed next generation sequencing to perform transcriptome-wide profiling of RNA cargo in EVs produced by cells infected with WNV or exposed to IFN-alpha. RNA profile of EVs secreted by uninfected cells was also determined and used as a reference. We found that WNV infection significantly changed the levels of certain host microRNAs (miRNAs), small noncoding RNAs (sncRNAs) and mRNAs incorporated into EVs. Treatment with IFN-alpha also altered miRNA and mRNA profiles in EV but had less profound effect on sncRNAs. Functional classification of RNAs differentially incorporated into EVs upon infection and in response to IFN-alpha treatment demonstrated association of enriched in EVs mRNAs and miRNAs with viral processes and pro-inflammatory pathways. Further analysis revealed that WNV infection and IFN-alpha treatment changed the levels of common and unique mRNAs and miRNAs in EVs and that IFN-dependent and IFNindependent processes are involved in regulation of RNA sorting into EVs during infection. Conclusions: WNV infection and IFN-alpha treatment alter the spectrum and the levels of mRNAs, miRNAs and sncRNAs in EVs. Differentially incorporated mRNAs and miRNAs in EVs produced in response to WNV infection and to IFN-alpha treatment are associated with viral processes and host response to infection. WNV infection affects composition of RNA cargo in EVs via IFN-dependent and IFN-independent mechanisms.
    A Versatile Strategy to Reduce UGA-Selenocysteine Recoding Efficiency of the Ribosome Using CRISPR-Cas9-Viral-Like-Particles Targeting Selenocysteine-tRNA[Ser]Sec Gene
    Caroline Vindry, Cells - 2019
    The translation of selenoprotein mRNAs involves a non-canonical ribosomal event in which an in-frame UGA is recoded as a selenocysteine (Sec) codon instead of being read as a stop codon. The recoding machinery is centered around two dedicated RNA components: The selenocysteine insertion sequence (SECIS) located in the 3′ UTR of the mRNA and the selenocysteine-tRNA (Sec-tRNA[Ser]Sec). This translational UGA-selenocysteine recoding event by the ribosome is a limiting stage of selenoprotein expression. Its efficiency is controlled by the SECIS, the Sec-tRNA[Ser]Sec and their interacting protein partners. In the present work, we used a recently developed CRISPR strategy based on murine leukemia virus-like particles (VLPs) loaded with Cas9-sgRNA ribonucleoproteins to inactivate the Sec-tRNA[Ser]Sec gene in human cell lines. We showed that these CRISPR-Cas9-VLPs were able to induce efficient genome-editing in Hek293, HepG2, HaCaT, HAP1, HeLa, and LNCaP cell lines and this caused a robust reduction of selenoprotein expression. The alteration of selenoprotein expression was the direct consequence of lower levels of Sec-tRNA[Ser]Sec and thus a decrease in translational recoding efficiency of the ribosome. This novel strategy opens many possibilities to study the impact of selenoprotein deficiency in hard-to-transfect cells, since these CRISPR-Cas9-VLPs have a wide tropism.
    Metformin Increases Proliferative Activity and Viability of Multipotent Stromal Stem Cells Isolated from Adipose Tissue Derived from Horses with Equine Metabolic Syndrome
    Agnieszka Smieszek, Cells - 2019
    In this study, we investigated the influence of metformin (MF) on proliferation and viability of adipose-derived stromal cells isolated from horses (EqASCs). We determined the effect of metformin on cell metabolism in terms of mitochondrial metabolism and oxidative status. Our purpose was to evaluate the metformin effect on cells derived from healthy horses (EqASCHE) and individuals affected by equine metabolic syndrome (EqASCEMS). The cells were treated with 0.5 μM MF for 72 h. The proliferative activity was evaluated based on the measurement of BrdU incorporation during DNA synthesis, as well as population doubling time rate (PDT) and distribution of EqASCs in the cell cycle. The influence of metformin on EqASC viability was determined in relation to apoptosis profile, mitochondrial membrane potential, oxidative stress markers and BAX/BCL-2 mRNA ratio. Further, we were interested in possibility of metformin affecting the Wnt3a signalling pathway and, thus, we determined mRNA and protein level of WNT3A and β-catenin. Finally, using a two-tailed RT-qPCR method, we investigated the expression of miR-16-5p, miR-21-5p, miR-29a-3p, miR-140-3p and miR-145-5p. Obtained results indicate pro-proliferative and anti-apoptotic effects of metformin on EqASCs. In this study, MF significantly improved proliferation of EqASCs, which manifested in increased synthesis of DNA and lowered PDT value. Additionally, metformin improved metabolism and viability of cells, which correlated with higher mitochondrial membrane potential, reduced apoptosis and increased WNT3A/β-catenin expression. Metformin modulates the miRNA expression differently in EqASCHE and EqASCEMS. Metformin may be used as a preconditioning agent which stimulates proliferative activity and viability of EqASCs.
    Resistin and adenylyl cyclase-associated protein 1 (CAP1) regulate the expression of genes related to insulin resistance in BNL CL.2 mouse liver cells
    Dimiter Avtanski, Data in Brief - 2019
    Resistin is an adipokine produced in white adipose tissue that is thought to modulate insulin sensitivity in peripheral tissues (such as liver, skeletal muscle or adipose tissue). Human and murine resistin molecules share only about 60% sequence homology. [1] Contrary to humans, in which resistin is secreted mostly by macrophages, Park and Ahima 2013 resistin in rodents is produced primarily by the mature adipocytes of the white adipose tissue. Although resistin can bind to toll-like receptor 4 (TLF4) activating proinflammatory responses in human and rodents, [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8] the inflammatory actions of resistin in human monocytes were found to be mediated by resistin binding to adenylyl cyclase-associated protein 1 (CAP1). [9] In this study, we aimed to investigate the in vitro effects of resistin on the expression of various genes related to insulin resistance in mouse liver cells. Using BNL CL.2 cells, we investigated the effect of resistin in untransfected or CAP1 siRNA-transfected cells on the expression of 84 key genes involved in insulin resistance.
    Sumoylation regulates the stability and nuclease activity of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Dna2
    Lepakshi Ranjha, Communications Biology - 2019
    Dna2 is an essential nuclease-helicase that acts in several distinct DNA metabolic pathways including DNA replication and recombination. To balance these functions and prevent unscheduled DNA degradation, Dna2 activities must be regulated. Here we show that Saccharomyces cerevisiae Dna2 function is controlled by sumoylation. We map the sumoylation sites to the N-terminal regulatory domain of Dna2 and show that in vitro sumoylation of recombinant Dna2 impairs its nuclease but not helicase activity. In cells, the total levels of the non-sumoylatable Dna2 variant are elevated. However, non-sumoylatable Dna2 shows impaired nuclear localization and reduced recruitment to foci upon DNA damage. Non-sumoylatable Dna2 reduces the rate of DNA end resection, as well as impedes cell growth and cell cycle progression through S phase. Taken together, these findings show that in addition to Dna2 phosphorylation described previously, Dna2 sumoylation is required for the homeostasis of the Dna2 protein function to promote genome stability.
    Complement 3+ -astrocytes are highly abundant in prion diseases, but their abolishment led to an accelerated disease course and early dysregulation of microglia
    Kristin Hartmann, Acta Neurpathologica Communications - 2019
    Astrogliosis and activation of microglia are hallmarks of prion diseases in humans and animals. Both were viewed to be rather independent events in disease pathophysiology, with proinflammatory microglia considered to be the potential neurotoxic species at late disease stages. Recent investigations have provided substantial evidence that a proinflammatory microglial cytokine cocktail containing TNF-α, IL-1α and C1qa reprograms a subset of astrocytes to change their expression profile and phenotype, thus becoming neurotoxic (designated as A1-astrocytes). Knockout or antibody blockage of the three cytokines abolish formation of A1-astrocytes, therefore, this pathway is of high therapeutic interest in neurodegenerative diseases. Since astrocyte polarization profiles have never been investigated in prion diseases, we performed several analyses and could show that C3+ -PrPSc-reactive-astrocytes, which may represent a subtype of A1-astrocytes, are highly abundant in prion disease mouse models and human prion diseases. To investigate their impact on prion disease pathophysiology and to evaluate their potential therapeutic targeting, we infected TNF-α, IL-1α, and C1qa Triple-KO mice (TKO-mice), which do not transit astrocytes into A1, with prions. Although formation of C3+ -astrocytes was significantly reduced in prion infected Triple-KO-mice, this did not affect the amount of PrPSc deposition or titers of infectious prions. Detailed characterization of the astrocyte activation signature in thalamus tissue showed that astrocytes in prion diseases are highly activated, showing a mixed phenotype that is distinct from other neurodegenerative diseases and were therefore termed C3+ -PrPSc-reactive-astrocytes. Unexpectedly, Triple-KO led to a significant acceleration of prion disease course. While pan-astrocyte and -microglia marker upregulation was unchanged compared to WT-brains, microglial homeostatic markers were lost early in disease in TKO-mice, pointing towards important functions of different glia cell types in prion diseases.
    In vitro effects of resistin on epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells – qRT-PCR and westen blot analyses data
    Dimiter Avtanski, Data in Brief - 2019
    Resistin is an adipokine produced by the white adipocytes and adipose-derived macrophages, which mediates inflammation and insulin resistance [1], [2] Huang et al., 1997 and Renehan et al., 2008 Feb. Here, we provide data on the effect of resistin on epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in breast cancer cells in vitro. As model systems, we used human MCF-7 (low-metastatic) and MDA-MB-231 (high-metastatic) breast cancer cell lines. To optimize experimental conditions, we treated the cells with various concentrations of resistin (12.5, 25 and 50 ng/ml) for different time intervals (6 and 24 hours), and measured SOCS3 mRNA expression by using qRT-PCR analysis. Further, we used qRT-PCR and Western blot analyses to measure the expression of various epithelial (E-cadherin, claudin-1) and mesenchymal (SNAIL, SLUG, ZEB1, TWIST1, fibronectin, and vimentin) markers after resistin treatment. This data article is part of a study Avtanski et al., 2019 May, where detailed interpretation and discussion.
    A truncating MEIOB mutation responsible for familial primary ovarian insufficiency abolishes its interaction with its partner SPATA22 and their recruitment to DNA double-strand breaks
    Sandrine Caburet, EBio Medicine - 2019
    Background Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI), a major cause of infertility, affects about 1–3% of women under forty years of age. Although there is a growing list of causal genetic alterations, POI remains mostly idiopathic. Methods We performed exome sequencing (WES) of two sisters affected with POI, one unaffected sister and their mother from a consanguineous family. We assessed the impact of the identified MEIOB variant with a minigene assay and by sequencing illegitimate transcripts from the proband's leukocytes. We studied its functional impact on the interaction between MEIOB with its partner SPATA22 and their localization to DNA double-strand breaks (DSB). Findings We identified a homozygous variant in the last base of exon 12 of MEIOB, which encodes a factor essential for meiotic recombination. This variant was predicted to strongly affect MEIOB pre-mRNA splicing. Consistently, a minigene assay showed that the variant induced exon 12 skipping, which was confirmed in vivo in the proband's leukocytes. Aberrant splicing leads to the production of a C-terminally truncated protein that cannot interact with SPATA22, abolishing their recruitment to DSBs. Interpretation This truncating MEIOB variant is expected to provoke meiotic defects and a depleted follicular stock, as in Meiob−/− mice. This is the first molecular defect reported in a meiosis-specific single-stranded DNA-binding protein (SSB) responsible for POI. We hypothesise that alterations in other SSB proteins could explain cases of syndromic or isolated ovarian insufficiency. Fund Université Paris Diderot, Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale, Fondation ARC contre le cancer, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique and Institut Universitaire de France.
    Single-cell RNA sequencing identifies TGF-β as a key regenerative cue following LPS-induced lung injury
    Kent A. Riemondy, JCI Insight - 2019
    Many lung diseases result from a failure of efficient regeneration of damaged alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) after lung injury. During regeneration, AEC2s proliferate to replace lost cells, after which proliferation halts and some AEC2s transdifferentiate into AEC1s to restore normal alveolar structure and function. Although the mechanisms underlying AEC2 proliferation have been studied, the mechanisms responsible for halting proliferation and inducing transdifferentiation are poorly understood. To identify candidate signaling pathways responsible for halting proliferation and inducing transdifferentiation, we performed single-cell RNA sequencing on AEC2s during regeneration in a murine model of lung injury induced by intratracheal LPS. Unsupervised clustering revealed distinct subpopulations of regenerating AEC2s: proliferating, cell cycle arrest, and transdifferentiating. Gene expression analysis of these transitional subpopulations revealed that TGF-β signaling was highly upregulated in the cell cycle arrest subpopulation and relatively downregulated in transdifferentiating cells. In cultured AEC2s, TGF-β was necessary for cell cycle arrest but impeded transdifferentiation. We conclude that during regeneration after LPS-induced lung injury, TGF-β is a critical signal halting AEC2 proliferation but must be inactivated to allow transdifferentiation. This study provides insight into the molecular mechanisms regulating alveolar regeneration and the pathogenesis of diseases resulting from a failure of regeneration.
    Insights from transcriptome profiling on the non-photosynthetic and stomatal signaling response of maize carbonic anhydrase mutants to low CO2
    Allison R. Kolbe, BMC Genomics - 2019
    Carbonic anhydrase (CA) catalyzes the hydration of CO2 in the first biochemical step of C4 photosynthesis, and has been considered a potentially rate-limiting step when CO2 availability within a leaf is low. Previous work in Zea mays (maize) with a double knockout of the two highest-expressed β-CA genes, CA1 and CA2, reduced total leaf CA activity to less than 3% of wild-type. Surprisingly, this did not limit photosynthesis in maize at ambient or higher CO2concentrations. However, the ca1ca2 mutants exhibited reduced rates of photosynthesis at sub-ambient CO2, and accumulated less biomass when grown under sub-ambient CO2 (9.2 Pa). To further clarify the importance of CA for C4 photosynthesis, we assessed gene expression changes in wild-type, ca1 and ca1ca2 mutants in response to changes in pCO2 from 920 to 9.2 Pa. Results Leaf samples from each genotype were collected for RNA-seq analysis at high CO2 and at two time points after the low CO2 transition, in order to identify early and longer-term responses to CO2 deprivation. Despite the existence of multiple isoforms of CA, no other CA genes were upregulated in CA mutants. Although photosynthetic genes were downregulated in response to low CO2, differential expression was not observed between genotypes. However, multiple indicators of carbon starvation were present in the mutants, including amino acid synthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, and sugar signaling. In particular, multiple genes previously implicated in low carbon stress such as asparagine synthetase, amino acid transporters, trehalose-6-phosphate synthase, as well as many transcription factors, were strongly upregulated. Furthermore, genes in the CO2 stomatal signaling pathway were differentially expressed in the CA mutants under low CO2. Conclusions Using a transcriptomic approach, we showed that carbonic anhydrase mutants do not compensate for the lack of CA activity by upregulating other CA or photosynthetic genes, but rather experienced extreme carbon stress when grown under low CO2. Our results also support a role for CA in the CO2 stomatal signaling pathway. This study provides insight into the importance of CA for C4 photosynthesis and its role in stomatal signaling.
    High OGT activity is essential for MYC-driven proliferation of prostate cancer cells
    Harri M. Itkonen, Theranostics - 2019
    O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) is overexpressed in aggressive prostate cancer. OGT modifies intra-cellular proteins via single sugar conjugation (O-GlcNAcylation) to alter their activity. We recently discovered the first fast-acting OGT inhibitor OSMI-2. Here, we probe the stability and function of the chromatin O-GlcNAc and identify transcription factors that coordinate with OGT to promote proliferation of prostate cancer cells. Methods: Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) coupled to sequencing (seq), formaldehyde-assisted isolation of regulatory elements, RNA-seq and reverse-phase protein arrays (RPPA) were used to study the importance of OGT for chromatin structure and transcription. Mass spectrometry, western blot, RT-qPCR, cell cycle analysis and viability assays were used to establish the role of OGT for MYC-related processes. Prostate cancer patient data profiled for both mRNA and protein levels were used to validate findings. Results: We show for the first time that OGT inhibition leads to a rapid loss of O-GlcNAc chromatin mark. O-GlcNAc ChIP-seq regions overlap with super-enhancers (SE) and MYC binding sites. OGT inhibition leads to down-regulation of SE-dependent genes. We establish the first O-GlcNAc chromatin consensus motif, which we use as a bait for mass spectrometry. By combining the proteomic data from oligonucleotide enrichment with O-GlcNAc and MYC ChIP-mass spectrometry, we identify host cell factor 1 (HCF-1) as an interaction partner of MYC. Inhibition of OGT disrupts this interaction and compromises MYC's ability to confer androgen-independent proliferation to prostate cancer cells. We show that OGT is required for MYC-mediated stabilization of mitotic proteins, including Cyclin B1, and/or the increased translation of their coding transcripts. This implies that increased expression of mRNA is not always required to achieve increased protein expression and confer aggressive phenotype. Indeed, high expression of Cyclin B1 protein has strong predictive value in prostate cancer patients (p=0.000014) while mRNA does not. Conclusions: OGT promotes SE-dependent gene expression. OGT activity is required for the interaction between MYC and HCF-1 and expression of MYC-regulated mitotic proteins. These features render OGT essential for the androgen-independent, MYC-driven proliferation of prostate cancer cells. Androgen-independency is the major mechanism of prostate cancer progression, and our study identifies OGT as an essential mediator in this process.
    Impaired LXRα Phosphorylation Attenuates Progression of Fatty Liver Disease
    Natalia Becares, Cell Reports - 2019
    Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a very common indication for liver transplantation. How fat-rich diets promote progression from fatty liver to more damaging inflammatory and fibrotic stages is poorly understood. Here, we show that disrupting phosphorylation at Ser196 (S196A) in the liver X receptor alpha (LXRα, NR1H3) retards NAFLD progression in mice on a high-fat-high-cholesterol diet. Mechanistically, this is explained by key histone acetylation (H3K27) and transcriptional changes in pro-fibrotic and pro-inflammatory genes. Furthermore, S196A-LXRα expression reveals the regulation of novel diet-specific LXRα-responsive genes, including the induction of Ces1f, implicated in the breakdown of hepatic lipids. This involves induced H3K27 acetylation and altered LXR and TBLR1 cofactor occupancy at the Ces1f gene in S196A fatty livers. Overall, impaired Ser196-LXRα phosphorylation acts as a novel nutritional molecular sensor that profoundly alters the hepatic H3K27 acetylome and transcriptome during NAFLD progression placing LXRα phosphorylation as an alternative anti-inflammatory or anti-fibrotic therapeutic target.
    Experimental necrotizing enterocolitis induces neuroinflammation in the neonatal brain
    George Biouss, Journal of Neuroinflammation - 2019
    Background: Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is an inflammatory gastrointestinal disease primarily affecting preterm neonates. Neonates with NEC suffer from a degree of neurodevelopmental delay that is not explained by prematurity alone. There is a need to understand the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental delay in NEC. In this study, we assessed the macroscopic and microscopic changes that occur to brain cell populations in specific brain regions in a neonatal mouse model of NEC. Moreover, we investigated the role of intestinal inflammation as part of the mechanism responsible for the changes observed in the brain of pups with NEC. Methods: Brains of mice were assessed for gross morphology and cerebral cortex thickness (using histology). Markers for mature neurons, oligodendrocytes, neural progenitor cells, microglia, and astrocytes were used to quantify their cell populations in different regions of the brain. Levels of cell apoptosis in the brain were measured by Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress markers and levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (in the ileum and brain) were measured by RT-qPCR and Western blotting. A Pearson test was used to correlate the levels of cytokines (ELISA) in the brain and ileum and to correlate activated microglia and astrocyte populations to the severity of NEC. Results: NEC pups had smaller brain weights, higher brain-to-body weight ratios, and thinner cortices compared to control pups. NEC pups had increased levels of apoptosis and ER stress. In addition, NEC was associated with a reduction in the number of neurons, oligodendrocytes, and neural progenitors in specific regions of the brain. Levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the density of activated microglia and astrocytes were increased in the brain and positively correlated with the increase in the levels pro-inflammatory cytokines in the gut and the severity of NEC damage respectively. Conclusions: NEC is associated with severe changes in brain morphology, a pro-inflammatory response in the brain that alters cell homeostasis and density of brain cell populations in specific cerebral regions. We show that the severity of neuroinflammation is associated with the severity of NEC. Our findings suggest that early intervention during NEC may reduce the chance of acute neuroinflammation and cerebral damage
    Insulin Receptor deletion in S100a4-lineage cells accelerates age-related bone loss
    Valentina Studentsova, Bone reports - 2019
    Type I and Type II Diabetes dramatically impair skeletal health. Altered Insulin Receptor (IR) signaling is a common feature of both diseases, and insulin has potent bone anabolic functions. Several previous studies have demonstrated that loss of IR in bone cells results in disrupted bone homeostasis during early post-natal growth. Here we have deleted IR in S100a4-lineage cells (IRcKOS100a4) and assessed the effects on bone homeostasis in both young (15 weeks) and older adult (48 weeks) mice. S100a4-Cre has previously been shown to target the perichondrium during bone development, and here we show that S100a4 is expressed by adult trabecular and cortical bone cells, and that S100a4-Cre effectively targets adult bone, resulting in efficient deletion of IRβ. Deletion of IRβ in S100a4-lineage cells does not affect initial bone acquisition or homeostasis with no changes in cortical, trabecular or mechanical properties at 15-weeks of age, relative to wild type (WT) littermates. However, by 48-weeks of age, IRcKOS100a4 mice display substantial declines in trabecular bone volume, bone volume fraction and torsional rigidity, relative to age-matched WT controls. This work establishes the utility of using S100a4-cre to target bone and demonstrates that IRβ in S100a4-lineage cells is required for maintenance of bone homeostasis in adult mice.
    Standardization of Human Calcific Aortic Valve Disease in vitro Modeling Reveals Passage-Dependent Calcification
    Lang H. Lee, Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine - 2019
    Aortic valvular interstitial cells (VICs) isolated from patients undergoing valve replacement are commonly used as in vitro models of calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD). Standardization of VIC calcification, however, has not been implemented, which impairs comparison of results from different studies. We hypothesized that different culture methods impact the calcification phenotype of human VICs. We sought to identify the key parameters impacting calcification in primary human VICs to standardize CAVD in vitro research. Here we report that in calcification media containing organic phosphate, termed osteogenic media (OM), primary human VICs exhibited a passage-dependent decrease in calcification potential, which was not observed in calcification media containing inorganic phosphate, termed pro-calcifying media (PM). We used Alizarin red staining to compare the calcification potential of VICs cultured in OM and PM between the first and fourth passages after cell isolation from human CAVD tissues. Human VICs showed consistent Alizarin red stain when cultured with PM in a passage-independent manner. VICs cultured in OM did not exhibit consistent calcification potential between donors in early passages and consistently lacked positive Alizarin red stain in late passages. We performed whole cell, cytoplasmic and nuclear fractionation proteomics to identify factors regulating VIC passage-dependent calcification in OM. Proteomics cluster analysis identified tissue non-specific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) as a regulator of passage-dependent calcification in OM. We verified an association of TNAP activity with calcification potential in VICs cultured in OM, but not in PM in which VICs calcified independent of TNAP activity. This study demonstrates that media culture conditions and cell passage impact the calcification potential of primary human VICs and should be taken into consideration in cell culture models of CAVD. Our results help standardize CAVD modeling as part of a greater effort to identify disease driving mechanisms and therapeutics for this unmet medical need.
    Yin/Yang expression of CCN family members: Transforming growth factor beta 1, via ALK5/FAK/MEK, induces CCN1 and CCN2, yet suppresses CCN3, expression in human dermal fibroblasts
    Alexander Peidl, PLOS ONE - 2019
    The role of the microenvironment in driving connective tissue disease is being increasingly appreciated. Matricellular proteins of the CCN family are signaling modifiers that are secreted by cells into the extracellular matrix microenvironment where they have profound, context-dependent effects on organ development, homeostasis and disease. Indeed, CCN proteins are emergent targets for therapeutic intervention. Recent evidence suggests that, in vivo, CCN3 has effects opposing CCN2. Moreover, when CCN3 expression is high, CCN2 expression is low. That is, they appear to be regulated in a yin/yang fashion, leading to the hypothesis that the CCN2:CCN3 ratio is important to control tissue homeostasis. To begin to test the hypothesis that alterations in CCN2:CCN3 expression might be important in skin biology in vivo, we evaluated the relative ex vivo effects of the profibrotic protein TGFbeta1 on dermal fibroblasts on protein and RNA expression of CCN3 and CCN2, as well as the related protein CCN1. We also used signal transduction inhibitors to begin to identify the signal transduction pathways controlling the ability of fibroblasts to respond to TGFbeta1. As anticipated, CCN1 and CCN2 protein and mRNA were induced by TGFbeta1 in human dermal fibroblasts. This induction was blocked by TAK1, FAK, YAP1 and MEK inhibition. Conversely, TGFbeta1 suppressed CCN3 mRNA expression in a fashion insensitive to FAK, MEK, TAK1 or YAP1 inhibition. Unexpectedly, CCN3 protein was not detected in human dermal fibroblasts basally. These data suggest that, in dermal fibroblasts, the profibrotic protein TGFbeta1 has a divergent effect on CCN3 relative to CCN2 and CCN1, both at the mRNA and protein level. Given that the major source in skin in vivo of CCN proteins are fibroblasts, our data are consistent that alterations in CCN2/CCN1: CCN3 ratios in response to profibrotic agents such as TGFbeta1 may play a role in connective tissue pathologies including fibrosis
    Inhibition of heat shock protein 90 suppresses TWIST1 transcription * Authors and affiliations
    Kay Yi Chong, Molecular Pharmacology - 2019
    Molecular chaperone heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) is involved in oncogenic signaling pathways including epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a key process in tumor initiation, progression, metastasis and chemoresistance. The molecular mechanisms underlying the involvement of HSP90 in EMT are still under investigation. In this study, we identified a previously unrecognized role of HSP90 in cooperating with signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) to regulate TWIST1 transcription in cancer cells. HSP90 inhibitor, 17- allylamino-17 demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG) suppressed TWIST1 mRNA expression and promoter activity in epithelial ovarian cancer, renal clear cell cancer, and nasopharyngeal cancer cell lines. The interactions between HSP90 and transcription factors were visualized in cancer cell lines and tumor tissues using proximity ligation assays. Our findings reveal that HSP90 promotes the binding of STAT3 to TWIST1 promoter, leading to the transcription of TWIST1. The inhibition of HSP90 downregulates STAT3 activity and TWIST1 transcription, thereby suppressing EMT and potentially inhibiting tumor progression, metastasis and chemoresistance in different types of cancers.
    Crosstalk between mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitors and transforming growth factor-β signaling results in variable activation of human dermal fibroblasts
    David M. Dolivo, International Journal of Molecular Medicine - 2019
    Fibroblast activation is a key step in the establishment of skin fibrosis induced by acute injury, and it is characterized by the differentiation of plastic resident tissue fibroblasts into contractile, extracellular matrix‑secreting myofibroblasts. As fibroblast activation must be regulated in vivo, fibroblasts receive signals from the surrounding environment that initiate their fibrotic program. Thus, the present study investigated the effects of mitogen‑activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways on fibroblast activation. It was demonstrated in primary human dermal fibroblasts that small molecule‑mediated inhibition of extracellular signal‑regulated kinase (ERK) and c‑Jun N‑terminal kinase (JNK) potentiated fibroblast activation, and that small molecule‑mediated inhibition of p38 antagonized fibroblast activation. ERK and JNK inhibition cooperatively enhanced fibroblast activation mediated by treatment with exogenous transforming growth factor (TGF)‑β1, and p38 inhibition antagonized ERK inhibitor‑mediated or JNK inhibitor‑mediated fibroblast activation. Transcript analysis demonstrated that ERK and JNK inhibitor‑mediated fibroblast activation was accompanied by distinct changes in the expression of TGF‑β‑associated ligands and receptors, and that p38 inhibitor‑mediated antagonism of fibroblast activation was accompanied by a distinct expression paradigm of TGF‑β‑associated genes, including upregulation of betaglycan. ERK inhibitor‑mediated and JNK inhibitor‑mediated fibroblast activation was partially antagonized by small molecule‑mediated inhibition of TGF‑β receptor (R)1, indicating that these mechanisms of fibroblast activation are partially dependent on TGF‑β/TGF‑βR signaling. These data collectively demonstrate and provide partial explanations of the varied effects and pathway dependencies of MAPK inhibitor‑mediated effects on fibroblast activation.
    Development and validation of an in vitro 3D model of NASH with severe fibrotic phenotype
    Sumanta Mukherjee, American Journal of Translational Research - 2019
    Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis represents a significant and rapidly growing unmet medical need. The development of novel therapies has been hindered in part, by the limitations of existing preclinical models. There is a strong need for physiologically relevant in vivo and in vitro liver fibrosis models that are characterized by better translational predictability. In this study, we used the InSphero 3D InSightTM three-dimensional (3D) human liver microtissue (3D-hLMT) system prepared by co-culturing primary human hepatocytes with hepatic stellate cells, Kupffer cells and endothelial cells to develop a model of NASH with a severe fibrotic phenotype. In our model, palmitic acid (PA) induced a robust proinflammatory and profibrogenic phenotype in the 3D-hLMT. PA significantly increased several markers of the inflammatory and profibrotic process including gene expression of collagens, α-sma, tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloprotease 1 (timp1) and the stellate cell activation marker pdgfrβ as well as secreted CXCL8 (IL8) levels. We also observed TGFβ pathway activation, increase in active collagen synthesis and significant overall increase in tissue damage in the 3D-hLMTs. Immunohistochemistry analysis demonstrated the upregulation of collagen, cleaved caspase 3 as well as of the PDGFRβ protein. We further validated the model using a phase 3 clinical compound, GS-4997, an apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK-1) inhibitor and showed that GS-4997 significantly decreased PA induced profibrotic and proinflammatory response in the 3D-hLMTs with decreases in apoptosis and stellate cell activation in the microtissues. Taken together we have established and validated an in vitro 3D-hLMT NASH model with severe fibrotic phenotype that can be a powerful tool to investigate experimental compounds for the treatment of NASH.
    Characterization of the chondrogenic and osteogenic potential of male and female human muscle‐derived stem cells: Implication for stem cell therapy
    Alex C. Scibetta, Journal of Orthopaedic Research - 2019
    People of all backgrounds are susceptible to bone and cartilage damage, and these injuries can be debilitating. Current treatments for bone and cartilage injuries are less than optimal, and we are interested in developing new approaches to treat these diseases, specifically using human muscle‐derived stem cells (hMDSCs). Our lab previously demonstrated that sex differences exist between male and female murine MDSCs; thus, this paper sought to investigate whether sex differences also exist in hMDSCs. In the present study, we characterized the chondrogenic and osteogenic sex differences of hMDSCs in vitro and in vivo. We performed in vitro osteogenic and chondrogenic differentiation using hMDSC pellet cultures. As demonstrated by microCT, histology, and immunohistochemistry, male hMDSCs were more chondrogenic and osteogenic than their female counterparts in vitro. No differences were observed based on the sex of hMDSCs in osteogenic and chondrogenic gene expression and cell surface markers. For our in vivo study, we transduced hMDSCs with lenti‐BMP2/GFP and transplanted these cells into critical‐sized calvarial defects in mice. MicroCT results revealed that male hMDSCs regenerated more bone at 2 weeks and demonstrated higher bone density at 4 and 6 weeks than female hMDSCs. Histology demonstrated that both male and female hMDSCs regenerated functional bone. Clinical relevance: These studies reinforce that stem cells isolated from male and female patients differ in function, and we should disclose the sex of cells used in future studies. Considering sex differences of hMDSCs may help to improve cell‐based therapies for autologous cell treatment of bone and cartilage damage. © 2019 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 37:1339–1349, 2019.
    Dysregulation of Circadian Rhythm Gene Expression in Cystic Fibrosis Mice
    Eric Barbato, Journal of Circadian Rhythms - 2019
    Cystic fibrosis (CF) is autosomal recessive disease that affects multiple body systems. CF patients often experience sleep disturbances, altered sleep patterns, and sleep apnea. Sleep in mammals is controlled in part by circadian clock genes, including Clock, Bmal1, Period1, Period2, Cryptochrome1, and Cryptochrome2. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of the biological underpinnings of disordered sleep experienced in CF. To accomplish this, we evaluated circadian clock gene expression profiles in CF and wildtype mice, divided into two subgroups each based on sleep condition. One subgroup of each genotype was permitted to maintain their sleep-wake cycle while the other was deprived of sleep for six hours prior to sacrifice. Brain, skeletal muscle, jejunum, colon, lung and adipose tissues were collected from each mouse. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to quantify expression of Clock, Bmal1, Period1, Period2, Cryptochrome1 and Cryptochrome2, and expression levels were compared between study groups. Our comparisons showed distinct differences between the CF groups and the wildtype groups under both sleep conditions. Additionally, we found the CF mice that had been sleep deprived had severely dysregulated expression of all measured genes in the lung apart from Cry1. Our findings suggest that (1) disordered sleep in CF may be caused by circadian system dysregulation and (2) the loss of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is a causative factor in the dysregulated circadian clock gene expression profiles of CF mice.
    Isolation and profiling of plasma microRNAs: Biomarkers for asthma and allergic rhinitis
    Ronaldo P. Panganiban, Methods - 2019
    Chronic inflammatory diseases can be particularly challenging to diagnose and characterize, as inflammatory changes in tissue may not be present in blood. There is a crucial need to develop non-invasive biomarkers that would be useful in diagnosing disease and selecting medical therapies. For example, there are no blood tests to diagnose asthma, a common inflammatory lung disease. MicroRNA (miRNA) expression profiling in blood is emerging as a potentially sensitive and useful biomarker of many diseases. In particular, we have characterized a cost-effective PCR-based array technology to measure and profile circulating miRNAs in the plasma of patients with allergic rhinitis and asthma. Here, we describe the methods to isolate, quantify, and analyze miRNAs in the plasma of human subjects as well as ways to determine their diagnostic utility.
    Glucocorticoid-driven transcriptomes in human airway epithelial cells: commonalities, differences and functional insight from cell lines and primary cells
    Mahmoud M. Mostafa, BMC Medical Genomics - 2019
    Background Glucocorticoids act on the glucocorticoid receptor (GR; NR3C1) to resolve inflammation and, as inhaled corticosteroids (ICS), are the cornerstone of treatment for asthma. However, reduced efficacy in severe disease or exacerbations indicates a need to improve ICS actions. Methods Glucocorticoid-driven transcriptomes were compared using PrimeView microarrays between primary human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells and the model cell lines, pulmonary type II A549 and bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells. Results In BEAS-2B cells, budesonide induced (≥2-fold, P ≤ 0.05) or, in a more delayed fashion, repressed (≤0.5-fold, P ≤ 0.05) the expression of 63, 133, 240, and 257 or 15, 56, 236, and 344 mRNAs at 1, 2, 6, and 18 h, respectively. Within the early-induced mRNAs were multiple transcriptional activators and repressors, thereby providing mechanisms for the subsequent modulation of gene expression. Using the above criteria, 17 (BCL6, BIRC3, CEBPD, ERRFI1, FBXL16, FKBP5, GADD45B, IRS2, KLF9, PDK4, PER1, RGCC, RGS2, SEC14L2, SLC16A12, TFCP2L1, TSC22D3) induced and 8 (ARL4C, FLRT2, IER3, IL11, PLAUR, SEMA3A, SLC4A7, SOX9) repressed mRNAs were common between A549, BEAS-2B and HBE cells at 6 h. As absolute gene expression change showed greater commonality, lowering the cut-off (≥1.25 or ≤ 0.8-fold) within these groups produced 93 induced and 82 repressed genes in common. Since large changes in few mRNAs and/or small changes in many mRNAs may drive function, gene ontology (GO)/pathway analyses were performed using both stringency criteria. Budesonide-induced genes showed GO term enrichment for positive and negative regulation of transcription, signaling, proliferation, apoptosis, and movement, as well as FOXO and PI3K-Akt signaling pathways. Repressed genes were enriched for inflammatory signaling pathways (TNF, NF-κB) and GO terms for cytokine activity, chemotaxis and cell signaling. Reduced growth factor expression and effects on proliferation and apoptosis were highlighted. Conclusions While glucocorticoids repress mRNAs associated with inflammation, prior induction of transcriptional activators and repressors may explain longer-term responses to these agents. Furthermore, positive and negative effects on signaling, proliferation, migration and apoptosis were revealed. Since many such gene expression changes occurred in human airways post-ICS inhalation, the effects observed in cell lines and primary HBE cells in vitro may be relevant to ICS in vivo.
    A highly expressed intestinal cysteine protease of Ancylostoma ceylanicum protects vaccinated hamsters from hookworm infection
    Jason B. Noon, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases - 2019
    Background Human hookworms (Necator americanus, Ancylostoma duodenale, and Ancylostoma ceylanicum) are intestinal blood-feeding parasites that infect ~500 million people worldwide and are among the leading causes of iron-deficiency anemia in the developing world. Drugs are useful against hookworm infections, but hookworms rapidly reinfect people, and the parasites can develop drug resistance. Therefore, having a hookworm vaccine would be of tremendous benefit. Methodology/Principal findings We investigated the vaccine efficacy in outbred Syrian hamsters of three A. ceylanicum hookworm antigen candidates from two classes of proteins previously identified as promising vaccine candidates. These include two intestinally-enriched, putatively secreted cathepsin B cysteine proteases (AceyCP1, AceyCPL) and one small Kunitz-type protease inhibitor (AceySKPI3). Recombinant proteins were produced in Pichia pastoris, and adsorbed to Alhydrogel. Recombinant AceyCPL (rAceyCPL)/Alhydrogel and rAceySKPI3/Alhydrogel induced high serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) titers in 8/8 vaccinates, but were not protective. rAceyCP1/Alhydrogel induced intermediate serum IgG titers in ~60% of vaccinates in two different trials. rAceyCP1 serum IgG responders had highly significantly decreased hookworm burdens, fecal egg counts and clinical pathology compared to Alhydrogel controls and nonresponders. Protection was highly correlated with rAceyCP1 serum IgG titer. Antisera from rAceyCP1 serum IgG responders, but not nonresponders or rAceyCPL/Alhydrogel vaccinates, significantly reduced adult A. ceylanicum motility in vitro. Furthermore, rAceyCP1 serum IgG responders had canonical Th2-specific recall responses (IL4, IL5, IL13) in splenocytes stimulated ex vivo. Conclusions/Significance These findings indicate that rAceyCP1 is a promising vaccine candidate and validates a genomic/transcriptomic approach to human hookworm vaccine discovery.
    CDK9 Inhibition Induces a Metabolic Switch that Renders Prostate Cancer Cells Dependent on Fatty Acid Oxidation
    Harri M. Itkonen, Neoplasia - 2019
    Cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9), a key regulator of RNA-polymerase II, is a candidate drug target for cancers driven by transcriptional deregulation. Here we report a multi-omics-profiling of prostate cancer cell responses to CDK9 inhibition to identify synthetic lethal interactions. These interactions were validated using live-cell imaging, mitochondrial flux-, viability- and cell death activation assays. We show that CDK9 inhibition induces acute metabolic stress in prostate cancer cells. This is manifested by a drastic down-regulation of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, ATP depletion and induction of a rapid and sustained phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), the key sensor of cellular energy homeostasis. We used metabolomics to demonstrate that inhibition of CDK9 leads to accumulation of acyl-carnitines, metabolic intermediates in fatty acid oxidation (FAO). Acyl-carnitines are produced by carnitine palmitoyltransferase enzymes 1 and 2 (CPT), and we used both genetic and pharmacological tools to show that inhibition of CPT-activity is synthetically lethal with CDK9 inhibition. To our knowledge this is the first report to show that CDK9 inhibition dramatically alters cancer cell metabolism.
    MicroRNA‑223 attenuates LPS‑induced inflammation in an acute lung injury model via the NLRP3 inflammasome and TLR4/NF‑κB signaling pathway via RHOB
    Yurong Yan, International Journal of Molecular Medicine - 2019
    Acute lung injury (ALI) and the more severe acute respiratory distress syndrome are common and complex inflammatory lung diseases. MicroRNAs (miRs) have emerged as novel gene regulatory molecules, serving a crucial role in a variety of complex diseases, including ALI. In the present study, the anti‑inflammatory action of miR‑223 on inflammation in ALI was demonstrated and the possible mechanism was further examined. In lipopolysaccharide‑induced ALI, the expression of miR‑223 was reduced compared with that in the control normal group. An in vitro model was used to analyze the effect of miR‑223 downregulation on an ALI model, which increased inflammation, and induced the activation of the NACHT, LRR and PYD domains‑containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome and Toll‑like receptor 4 (TLR4)/nuclear factor (NF)‑κB signaling pathway via rho‑related GTP‑binding protein RhoB (RHOB). In addition, the overexpression of miR‑223 reduced inflammation and suppressed the NLRP3 inflammasome and TLR4/NF‑κB signaling pathway via RHOB in the in vitro model. Furthermore, TLR4 inhibitor or NLRP3 inhibitor reduced the pro‑inflammatory effect of miR‑223 downregulation in ALI. In conclusion, the results of the present study indicated that miR‑223 functioned as a biological indicator by regulating inflammation in ALI, and may represent a novel potential therapeutic target and prognostic marker of ALI.
    Early treated HIV-1 positive individuals demonstrate similar restriction factor expression profile as long-term non-progressors
    Clarissa Van Hecke, EBio Medicine - 2019
    Background:A wide range of host restriction factors (RF) become upregulated upon HIV-1 infection to suppressviral infectivity and may aid viremic controlin vivo. This cross-sectional study evaluated HIV-1 RFs and depen-dency factors in HIV infected individuals with progressive or non-progressive infection, as well as in early andlate treated cohorts that exhibit different viro-immunological profiles due to differences in timing oftreatment-initiation.Methods:The expression profile ofIFIT1,MX1,APOBEC3G,SAMHD1,BST2(encoding TETHERIN),TRIM5,MX2,SLFN11,PAF1,PSIP1(encoding LEDGF/p75), andNLRX1was measured by qPCR in 104 HIV-1 positive individuals:seroconverters (SRCV;n= 19), long term non-progressors (LTNP;n= 17), viremic progressors (VP;n= 12),patients treated during seroconversion (Early treated;n= 24) or chronic infection (Late treated;n=32),andnon-infected controls.Findings:Expression levels of early treated HIV-1 positive individuals were significantly upregulated in compar-ison to late treated patients (IFIT1:p=0·0003;MX1:p= 0·008;APOBEC3G:p= 0·002;SAMHD1:p=0·0008;SLFN11:pb0·0001;BST2:pb0·0001). Similarly,SLFN11,BST2,andSAMHD1were highly expressed in LTNPs atcomparable levels as in early treated HIV-1 positive individuals. Furthermore,SLFN11andSAMHD1expressionnegatively correlated with total and integrated HIV-1 DNA levels.Interpretation:Early treatment initiation maintains initial RF elevation even after a decade of ART. Elevated ex-pression ofSLFN11,BST2,andSAMHD1in LTNP and early treated subjects implies that these RFs may be associ-ated with spontaneous virological control.
    Differential neuro-immune patterns in two clinically relevant murine models of multiple sclerosis
    Krista D. DiSano, Journal of Neuroinflammation - 2019
    Background The mechanisms driving multiple sclerosis (MS), the most common cause of non-traumatic disability in young adults, remain unknown despite extensive research. Especially puzzling are the underlying molecular processes behind the two major disease patterns of MS: relapsing-remitting and progressive. The relapsing-remitting course is exemplified by acute inflammatory attacks, whereas progressive MS is characterized by neurodegeneration on a background of mild-moderate inflammation. The molecular and cellular features differentiating the two patterns are still unclear, and the role of inflammation during progressive disease is a subject of active debate. Methods We performed a comprehensive analysis of the intrathecal inflammation in two clinically distinct mouse models of MS: the PLP139-151-induced relapsing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (R-EAE) and the chronic progressive, Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus-induced demyelinating disease (TMEV-IDD). Microarray technology was first used to examine global gene expression changes in the spinal cord. Inflammation in the spinal cord was further assessed by immunohistochemical image analysis and flow cytometry. Levels of serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) immunoglobulin (Ig) isotypes and chemokines were quantitated using Luminex Multiplex technology, whereas a capture ELISA was used to measure serum and CSF albumin levels. Finally, an intrathecal Ig synthesis index was established with the ratio of CSF and serum test results corrected as a ratio of their albumin concentrations. Results Microarray analysis identified an enrichment of B cell- and Ig-related genes upregulated in TMEV-IDD mice. We also demonstrated an increased level of intrathecal Ig synthesis as well as a marked infiltration of late differentiated B cells, including antibody secreting cells (ASC), in the spinal cord of TMEV-IDD, but not R-EAE mice. An intact blood-brain barrier in TMEV-IDD mice along with higher CSF levels of CXCL13, CXCL12, and CCL19 provides evidence for an intrathecal synthesis of chemokines mediating B cell localization to the central nervous system (CNS). Conclusions Overall, these findings, showing increased concentrations of intrathecally produced Igs, substantial infiltration of ASC, and the presence of B cell supporting chemokines in the CNS of TMEV-IDD mice, but not R-EAE mice, suggest a potentially important role for Igs and ASC in the chronic progressive phase of demyelinating diseases.
    Targeting ubiquitin-activating enzyme induces ER stress–mediated apoptosis in B-cell lymphoma cells
    Scott Best, Blood Advances - 2019
    Alterations in the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) leave malignant cells in heightened cellular stress, making them susceptible to proteasome inhibition. However, given the limited efficacy of proteasome inhibitors in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), novel approaches to target the UPS are needed. Here, we show that TAK-243, the first small-molecule inhibitor of the ubiquitin activating enzyme (UAE) to enter clinical development, disrupts all ubiquitin signaling and global protein ubiquitination in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) cells, thereby inducing endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR). Activation of the ER stress response protein kinase R (PKR)–like ER kinase and phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation initiator factor 2α led to upregulation of the proapoptotic molecule C/EBP homologous protein and cell death across a panel of DLBCL cell lines independent of cell of origin. Concurrently, targeting UAE led to accumulation of Cdt1, a replication licensing factor, leading to DNA rereplication, checkpoint activation, and cell cycle arrest. MYC oncoprotein sensitized DLBCL cells to UAE inhibition; engineered expression of MYC enhanced while genetic MYC knockdown protected from TAK-243–induced apoptosis. UAE inhibition demonstrated enhanced ER stress and UPR and increased potency compared with bortezomib in DLBCL cell lines. In vivo treatment with TAK-243 restricted the growth of xenografted DLBCL tumors, accompanied by reduced cell proliferation and apoptosis. Finally, primary patient-derived DLBCL cells, including those expressing aberrant MYC, demonstrated susceptibility to UAE inhibition. In sum, targeting UAE may hold promise as a novel therapeutic approach in NHL.
    Beta-2 Adrenergic and Glucocorticoid Receptor Agonists Modulate Ozone-Induced Pulmonary Protein Leakage and Inflammation in Healthy and Adrenalectomized Rats
    Andres R. Henriquez, Toxicological Sciences - 2018
    We have shown that acute ozone inhalation activates sympathetic-adrenal-medullary and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal stress axes, and adrenalectomy (AD) inhibits ozone-induced lung injury and inflammation. Therefore, we hypothesized that stress hormone receptor agonists (β2 adrenergic-β2AR and glucocorticoid-GR) will restore the ozone injury phenotype in AD, while exacerbating effects in sham-surgery (SH) rats. Male Wistar Kyoto rats that underwent SH or AD were treated with vehicles (saline + corn oil) or β2AR agonist clenbuterol (CLEN, 0.2 mg/kg, i.p.) + GR agonist dexamethasone (DEX, 2 mg/kg, s.c.) for 1 day and immediately prior to each day of exposure to filtered air or ozone (0.8 ppm, 4 h/day for 1 or 2 days). Ozone-induced increases in PenH and peak-expiratory flow were exacerbated in CLEN+DEX-treated SH and AD rats. CLEN+DEX affected breath waveform in all rats. Ozone exposure in vehicle-treated SH rats increased bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) protein, N-acetyl glucosaminidase activity (macrophage activation), neutrophils, and lung cytokine expression while reducing circulating lymphocyte subpopulations. AD reduced these ozone effects in vehicle-treated rats. At the doses used herein, CLEN+DEX treatment reversed the protection offered by AD and exacerbated most ozone-induced lung effects while diminishing circulating lymphocytes. CLEN+DEX in air-exposed SH rats also induced marked protein leakage and reduced circulating lymphocytes but did not increase BALF neutrophils. In conclusion, circulating stress hormones and their receptors mediate ozone-induced vascular leakage and inflammatory cell trafficking to the lung. Those receiving β2AR and GR agonists for chronic pulmonary diseases, or with increased circulating stress hormones due to psychosocial stresses, might have altered sensitivity to air pollution.
    Atlantic salmon post-smolts adapted for a longer time to seawater develop an effective humoral and cellular immune response against Salmonid alphavirus
    N. Nuñez-Ortiz, Fish & Shellfish Immunology - 2018
    Salmonid alphavirus (SAV) causes pancreas disease (PD) in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) and disease outbreaks are mainly detected after seawater transfer. The influence of the smoltification process on the immune responses, specifically the adaptive response of Atlantic salmon after SAV infection, is not fully understood. In this study, Atlantic salmon post-smolts were infected by either bath immersion (BI) or intramuscular injection (IM) with SAV subtype 3, 2 weeks (Phase A) or 9 weeks (Phase B) after seawater transfer. The transcript levels of genes related to cellular, humoral and inflammatory responses were evaluated on head kidney samples collected at 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28 days post-infection (dpi). Corresponding negative control groups (CT) were established accordingly. Significant differences were found between both phases and between the IM and BI groups. The anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 was up-regulated in Phase A at a higher level than in Phase B. High mRNA levels of the genes RIG-1, SOCS1 and STAT1 were observed in all groups except the BI-B group (BI-Phase B). Moreover, the IM-B group showed a higher regulation of genes related to cellular responses, such as CD40, MHCII, and IL-15, that indicated the activation of a strong cell-mediated immune response. CD40 mRNA levels were elevated one week earlier in the BI-B group than in the BI-A group (BI-Phase A). A significant up-regulation of IgM and IgT genes was seen in both IM groups, but the presence of neutralizing antibodies to SAV was detected only in Phase B fish at 21 and 28 dpi. In addition, we found differences in the basal levels of some of the analysed genes between non-infected control groups of both phases. Findings suggest that Atlantic salmon post-smolts adapted for a longer time to seawater before they come into contact with SAV, developed a stronger humoral and cell-mediated immune response during a SAV infection.
    Neutrophils Promote Amphiregulin Production in Intestinal Epithelial Cells through TGF-β and Contribute to Intestinal Homeostasis
    Feidi Chen, The Journal of Immunology - 2018
    Neutrophils are the first responders to sites of inflammation when the intestinal epithelial barrier is breached and the gut microbiota invade. Despite current efforts in understanding the role of neutrophils in intestinal homeostasis, the complex interactions between neutrophils and intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) is still not well characterized. In this study, we demonstrated that neutrophils enhanced production of amphiregulin (AREG), a member of the EGFR ligand family, by IECs, which promoted IEC barrier function and tissue repair. Depletion of neutrophils resulted in more severe colitis in mice because of decreased AREG production by IECs upon dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) insult. Administration of AREG restored epithelial barrier function and ameliorated colitis. Furthermore, neutrophil-derived TGF-β promoted AREG production by IECs. Mechanistically, TGF-β activated MEK1/2 signaling, and inhibition of MEK1/2 abrogated TGF-β–induced AREG production by IECs. Collectively, these findings reveal that neutrophils play an important role in the maintenance of IEC barrier function and homeostasis.
    Reduced expression of the IL7Ra signaling pathway in Neuromyelitis optica
    Livnat Brill, Journal of Neuroimmunology - 2018
    Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a chronic inflammatory demyelinating autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that most commonly affects the optic nerves and spinal cord. To characterize the immunological pathways involved in NMO, whole blood RNA expression array was performed using Nanostring nCounter technology. Two major clusters of genes were found associated with NMO: T cell-associated genes and the TNF/NF-kB signaling pathway. Analysis of the genes within the first cluster confirmed significantly reduced expression of IL7Ra (CD127) in the peripheral blood of NMO patients vs that in healthy controls. IL7Ra upstream transcription factors and its downstream survival signaling pathway were also markedly reduced. In line with the essential role of IL7Ra in T cell maturation and survival, a significantly lower number of naïve T cells, and reduced T cell survival signaling mediated by increased BID (BH3-interacting domain death agonist) expression and increased apoptosis was observed. Cumulatively, these findings indicate that the IL7Ra signaling pathway may play a role in the autoimmune process in NMO.
    Variation in the responsiveness of induced resistance against Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato by Solanum lycopersicum treated with para-aminobenzoic acid
    P. H. Goodwin, Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology - 2018
    Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) induced resistance against Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato in Solanum lycopersicum. Fertilizer application was necessary for induced resistance and only two out of eight breeding lines showed PABA-induced resistance. A comparison of gene expression between a PABA-responsive and PABA-non-responsive line showed that either the responsive line had a faster and stronger increase in expression or the responsive line showed increased expression due to PABA. Although PABA affected SA-related gene expression, changes in gene expression were not always directly related to the responsiveness to PABA. The response to PABA by SA, JA and ET-related mutants showed SA dependence. Factors, such as fertilization practices and host genotype, are important considerations in the development of PABA as a disease management product.
    Small adipose stores in cystic fibrosis mice are characterized by reduced cell volume, not cell number
    Ilya R. Bederman, American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology - 2018
    Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a lethal genetic disorder that affects many organ systems of the body, including various endocrine and exocrine tissues. Health and survival positively associate with body mass and as a consequence, CF clinical care includes high-fat, high-calorie diets to maintain and increase adipose tissue stores. Such strategies have been implemented without a clear understanding of the cause and effect relationship between body mass and patients' health. Here, we use CF mouse models, which display small adipose stores, to begin examining body fat as a prelude into mechanistic studies of low body growth in CF, so that optimal therapeutic strategies can be developed. We reasoned that low adiposity must result from reduced number and/or volume of adipocytes. To determine relative contribution of either mechanism, we quantified volume of intraperitoneal and subcutaneous adipocytes. We found smaller, but not fewer, adipocytes in CF compared to wildtype (WT) animals. Specifically, intraperitoneal CF adipocytes were half the volume of WT cells, whereas subcutaneous cells were less affected by the Cftr genotype. No differences were found in cell types between CF and WT adipose tissues. Adipose tissue CFTR mRNA was detected and we found greater CFTR expression in intraperitoneal depots as compared with subcutaneous samples. RNA sequencing revealed that CF adipose tissue exhibited lower expression of several key genes of adipocyte function (Lep, Pck1, Fas, Jun), consistent with low triglyceride storage. The data indicate that CF adipocytes contain less triglycerides than WT cells and a role for CFTR in these cells is proposed.
    Comparison of inhibitory neuromuscular transmission in the Cynomolgus monkey IAS and rectum: special emphasis on differences in purinergic transmission
    C. A. Cobine, The Journal of Physiology - 2018
    Key points summary Inhibitory NMT was compared in the IAS and rectum of the Cynomolgus monkey; an animal with high gene sequence identity to humans. Nitrergic NMT was present in both muscles while purinergic NMT was limited to the rectum and VIPergic NMT to the IAS. The profile for monkey IAS more closely resembles humans than rodents. In both muscles, SK3 channels were localized to PDGFRα+ cells that were closely associated with nNOS+/VIP+ nerves. Gene expression levels of P2RY subtypes were the same in IAS and rectum while KCNN expression levels were similar. SK3 channel activation and inhibition caused greater/faster changes in contractile activity in rectum than IAS. P2Y1 receptor activation inhibited contraction in rectum while increasing contraction in the IAS. The absence of purinergic NMT in the IAS may be due to poor coupling between P2Y1 receptors and SK3 channels on PDGFRα+ cells. Abstract Inhibitory neuromuscular transmission (NMT) was compared in the internal anal sphincter (IAS) and rectum of the Cynomolgus monkey; an animal with high gene sequence identity to humans. Electrical field stimulation produced NOS-dependent contractile inhibition in both muscles whereas P2Y1-dependent purinergic NMT was restricted to rectum. An additional NOS-independent, α-Chymotrypsin-sensitive component was identified in the IAS consistent with VIPergic NMT. Microelectrode recordings revealed slow NOS-dependent inhibitory junction potentials (IJPs) in both muscles and fast P2Y1-dependent IJPs in rectum. The basis for the difference in purinergic NMT was investigated. PDGFRα+/SK3+ cells were closely aligned with nNOS+/VIP+ neurons in both muscles. Gene expression of P2RY was the same in IAS and rectum (P2RY1>>P2RY2-14) while KCNN3 expression was 32% greater in rectum. The SK channel inhibitor apamin doubled contractile activity in rectum while having minimal effect in the IAS. Contractile inhibition elicited with the SK channel agonist CyPPA was 5 times faster in rectum than the IAS. The P2Y1 receptor agonist MRS2365 inhibited contraction in rectum but increased contraction in the IAS. In conclusion, both the IAS and rectum have nitrergic NMT whereas purinergic NMT is limited to rectum and VIPergic NMT to the IAS. The profile in monkey IAS more closely resembles that of humans than rodents. The lack of purinergic NMT in the IAS cannot be attributed to the absence of PDGFRα+ cells, P2Y1 receptors or SK3 channels. Rather, it appears to be due to poor coupling between P2Y1 receptors and SK3 channels on PDGFRα+ cells. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
    CETP Inhibition Improves HDL Function but Leads to Fatty Liver and Insulin Resistance in CETP-Expressing Transgenic Mice on a High-Fat Diet
    Lin Zhu, Diabetes - 2018
    In clinical trials inhibition of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) raises HDL cholesterol levels but doesn’t robustly improve cardiovascular outcomes. About 2/3 of trial participants were obese. Lower plasma CETP activity is associated with increased cardiovascular risk in human studies, and protective aspects of CETP have been observed in mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) with regard to metabolic outcomes. To define if CETP inhibition has different effects depending on the presence of obesity, we performed short-term anacetrapib treatment in chow- and HFD-fed CETP-transgenic mice. Anacetrapib raised HDL cholesterol and improved aspects of HDL functionality including reverse cholesterol transport and HDL’s anti-oxidative capacity in HFD-fed mice better than in chow-fed mice. Anacetrapib worsened the anti-inflammatory capacity of HDL in HFD-fed mice. The HDL proteome was markedly different with anacetrapib treatment in HFD-fed vs. chow-fed mice. Despite benefits on HDL, anacetrapib led to liver triglyceride accumulation and insulin resistance in HFD-fed mice. Overall, our results support a physiologic importance of CETP in protecting from fatty liver, and demonstrate a context-selectivity of CETP inhibition that might be important in obese subjects.
    TIMP Loss Activates Metalloproteinase-TNFα-DKK1 Axis To Compromise Wnt Signaling and Bone Mass
    Yan Chen, Journal of Bone and Mineral Research - 2018
    Deregulated proteolysis invariably underlies most human diseases including bone pathologies. Metalloproteinases constitute the largest of the five protease families, and the metzincin metalloproteinases are inhibited by the four tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase called TIMPs. We hypothesized that Timp genes are essential for skeletal homeostasis. We bred individual Timp knockout mice to generate unique mouse models, the quadruple Timp null strain (QT) as well as mice harboring only a single Timp3 allele (QT3+/–). QT mice are grossly smaller and exhibit a dramatic reduction of trabeculae in long bones by μCT imaging with a corresponding increase in metalloproteinase activity. At the cellular level, Timp deficiency compromised differentiation markers, matrix deposition and mineralization in neonatal osteoblasts from calvariae, as well as the fibroblastic colony-forming unit (CFU-F) capacity of bone marrow–derived stromal cells. In contrast, we observed that osteoclasts were overactive in the Timp null state, consistent with the noted excessive bone resorption of QT bones. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) and immunofluorescence (IF) analyses of bone sections revealed higher Cathepsin K and RANKL signals upon Timp loss. Seeking the molecular mechanism, we identified abnormal TNFα bioactivity to be a central event in Timp-deficient mice. Specifically, TNFα triggered induction of the Wnt signaling inhibitor Dkk1 in the osteoblasts at the mRNA and protein levels, with a simultaneous increase in RANKL. Neutralizing TNFα antibody was capable of rescuing the induction of Dkk1 as well as RANKL. Therefore, the generation of novel Timp-deficient systems allowed us to uncover the essential and collective function of TIMP proteins in mammalian long-bone homeostasis. Moreover, our study discovers a functional TIMP/metalloproteinase-TNFα-Dkk1/RANKL nexus for optimal control of the bone microenvironment, which dictates coexistence of the osteoblast and osteoclast lineages. © 2018 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
    Genetics and expression of anthocyanin pathway genes in the major skin-pigmented Portuguese cultivar ‘Vinhão’ developing berries
    Vanessa Ferreira, Scientia Horticulturae - 2018
    ‘Vinhão’ is an autochthonous Portuguese cultivar with an intense black-bluish skin color, highly appreciated due to this feature. This study aimed to give the first insights into the genetic background that may be responsible for the skin color properties of cv. ‘Vinhão’. For this purpose, the allelic composition of MYBA1 and MYBA2 genes was investigated, along with quantification of the expression levels of structural and regulatory genes involved in the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway via qRT-PCR. The molecular characterization of MYBA1 and MYBA2 loci revealed that cv. ‘Vinhão’ is homozygous for the functional allele in both genes, corresponding to the most ancestral haplotype, which is consistent with the high colored phenotype that characterizes this cultivar. There were no differences in the DNA sequence of the MYBA1 promoter region between cv. ‘Vinhão’ and the grapevine reference genome Pinot Noir. The expression patterns of genes playing key functional roles in anthocyanin biosynthesis was analyzed in four developmental stages. The dynamics occurring throughout grape berry development revealed the involvement of these genes in the progression of key development events, mainly from veraison to mature berries. These findings provide the first molecular characterization focused on the skin color feature of cv. ‘Vinhão’ to improve our understanding of the genetics behind its intense skin pigmentation.
    Induction of early growth response gene 1 (EGR1) by endoplasmic reticulum stress is mediated by the extracellular regulated kinase (ERK) arm of the MAPK pathways
    Jixiu Shan, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Cell Research - 2018
    Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress activates three principal signaling pathways, collectively known as the unfolded protein response, leading to translational and transcriptional control mechanisms that dictate the cell's response as adaptive or apoptotic. The present study illustrates that for HepG2 human hepatocellular carcinoma cells the signaling pathways triggered by ER stress extend beyond the three principal pathways to include mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling, leading to activation of transcription from the early growth response 1 (EGR1) gene. Analysis provided evidence for a SRC-RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK cascade mechanism that leads to enhanced phosphorylation of the transcription factor ELK1. ELK1 and serum response factor (SRF) are constitutively bound to the EGR1 promoter and are phosphorylated by nuclear localized ERK. The promoter abundance of both phospho-SRF and phopsho-ELK1 was increased by ER stress, but the SRF phosphorylation was transient. Knockdown of ELK1 had little effect on the basal EGR1 mRNA content, but completely blocked the increase in response to ER stress. Conversely, knockdown of SRF suppressed basal EGR1 mRNA content, but had only a small effect on the induction by ER stress. This research highlights the importance of MAPK signaling in response to ER stress and identifies ELK1 as a transcriptional mediator and the EGR1 gene as a target.
    The latitude-dependent autoimmune disease risk genes ZMIZ1 and IRF8 regulate mononuclear phagocytic cell differentiation in response to vitamin D
    Grant P. Parnell, Human Molecular Genetics - 2018
    Epidemiological, molecular and genetic studies have indicated high serum vitamin D levels are associated with lower risk of several autoimmune diseases. The Vitamin D Receptor (VDR) binding sites in monocytes and dendritic cells (DCs) are more common in risk genes for diseases with latitude-dependence than in risk genes for other diseases. The transcription factor genes ZMIZ1 and IRF8 - risk genes for many of these diseases - have VDR binding peaks co-incident with the risk SNPs. We show these genes are responsive to vitamin D: ZMIZ1 expression increased and IRF8 expression decreased, and this response was affected by genotype in different cell subsets. The IL10/IL12 ratio in tolerogenic DCs increased with vitamin D. These data indicate that vitamin D regulation of ZMIZ1 and IRF8 in DCs and monocytes contribute to latitude-dependent autoimmune disease risk.
    Treatment with Lecinoxoids Attenuates Focal and Segmental Glomerulosclerosis Development in Nephrectomized Rats
    Niva Yacov, Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology - 2018
    Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a scarring process associated with chronic low-grade inflammation ascribed to toll-like receptor (TLR) activation and monocyte migration. We developed synthetic, small-molecule lecinoxoids, VB-201 and VB-703, that differentially inhibit TLR-2- and TLR-4-mediated activation and monocyte migration. The efficacy of anti-inflammatory lecinoxoid treatment on FSGS development was explored using a 5/6 nephrectomy rat model. Five-sixths nephrectomized rats were treated with lecinoxoids VB-201, VB-703 or PBS, for 7 weeks. Upon sacrifice, albumin/creatinine ratio, glomerulosclerosis, fibrosis-related gene expression, and the number of glomerular and interstitial monocyte were evaluated. Treatment of nephrectomized rats with lecinoxoids ameliorated glomerulosclerosis. The percent of damaged glomeruli, glomerular sclerosis and glomeruli fibrotic score were significantly reduced following VB-201 and VB-703 treatment. VB-703 attenuated the expression of fibrosis hallmark genes collagen, fibronectin (FN), and transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) in kidneys and improved albumin/creatinine ratio with higher efficacy than did VB-201, but only VB-201 significantly reduced the number of glomerular and interstitial monocytes. These results indicate that treatment with TLR-2, and more prominently, TLR-4 antagonizing lecinoxioids, is sufficient to significantly inhibit FSGS. Moreover, inhibiting monocyte migration can also contribute to treatment of FSGS. Our data demonstrate that targeting TLR2-4 and/or monocyte migration, directly affects the priming phase of fibrosis and may consequently perturb disease parthogenesis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Myeloperoxidase deficiency attenuates systemic and dietary Iron-induced adverse effects
    Xia Xiao, The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry - 2018
    Iron deficiency is routinely treated with oral or systemic iron supplements, which is highly reactive and could induce oxidative stress via augmenting the activity of proinflammatory enzyme, myeloperoxidase (MPO). To investigate the extent to which MPO is involved in iron-induced toxicity, acute (24 h) iron toxicity was induced by intraperitoneal administration of FeSO4 (25 mg/kg body weight) to MPO deficient (MpoKO) mice and their WT littermates. Acute iron-toxicity was also assessed in WT mice pretreated with a MPO inhibitor, 4-aminobenzoic acid hydrazide (ABAH). Systemic iron administration upregulated circulating MPO, neutrophil elastase and elevated systemic inflammatory and organ damage markers in WT mice. However, genetic deletion of MPO or its inhibition significantly reduced iron-induced organ damage and systemic inflammatory responses. In contrast to the acute model, 8 weeks of 2% carbonyl iron diet feeding to WT mice did not change the levels of circulating MPO and neutrophil elastase but promoted their accumulation in the liver. Even though both MpoKO and WT mice displayed similar levels of diet-induced hyperferremia, MpoKO mice showed significantly reduced inflammatory response and oxidative stress than the WT mice. In addition, WT bone marrow-derived neutrophils (BMDN) generated more reactive oxygen species than MPO deficient BMDN upon iron stimulation. Altogether, genetic deficiency or pharmacologic inhibition of MPO substantially attenuated acute and chronic iron-induced toxicity. Our results suggest that targeting MPO during iron supplementation is a promising approach to reduce iron-induced toxicity/side effects in vulnerable population.
    Vamorolone Treatment Improves Skeletal Muscle Outcome in a Critical Illness Myopathy Rat Model
    Hazem Akkad, Acta Physiologica - 2018
    Aim Critical illness myopathy (CIM) is a consequence of modern critical care, leading to skeletal muscle atrophy/paralysis with negative consequences for mortality/morbidity and health care costs. Glucocorticoids (GCs) have been proposed to trigger CIM. Here, we compare outcomes of two GCs, the commonly used prednisolone and the newly developed dissociative vamorolone in response to the intensive care unit (ICU) condition for 5 days, i.e., sedation, immobilization, and mechanical ventilation. Methods Rats were divided into a 0-day sham-operated control group, and three groups exposed to 5 days ICU condition during treatment with prednisolone (PRED) or vamorolone (VAM) or none of these GCs (ICU-group). Survival, body and muscle weights, cytokine concentrations, regulation of muscle contraction in single fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers, myofibrillar protein expression and protein degradation pathways were studied. Results CIM geno- and phenotypes were confirmed in the ICU group. However, VAM and PRED groups showed reduced atrophy/weakness than the ICU group, and muscle specific differences with more severe negative effects on fast-twitch muscle fibers in the PRED than the other groups. Conclusion These results show that vamorolone provides a GC intervention superior to typical GCs in improving CIM outcomes. Further, the findings do not support the notion that moderate-dose GC treatment represents a factor triggering CIM. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Humoral and cellular immune response of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax(vaccinated with heat-killed Mycobacterium marinum (iipA::kan mutant)
    N. Ziklo, Journal of Aquatic Animal Health - 2018
    No vaccine is yet commercially available against Mycobacterium marinum, the etiological agent of “fish tuberculosis”. The mycobacterial gene responsible for invasion and intracellular persistence, iipA, is known to moderate M. marinum pathology in zebrafish. Two doses of heat-killed, wild type virulent M. marinum and two doses of a heat-killed avirulent M. marinum iipA::kan mutant strain were used in parallel to vaccinate sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax). The fish were then challenged with live virulent M. marinum and the pathogenesis of the infection was monitored. High specific IgM response and increase in cytokine TNF-α mRNA expression levels were observed in all vaccinated fish. One month post-challenge, TNF-α expression levels increased in spleen tissues of fish vaccinated with the virulent type and of unvaccinated fish, whereas in the head-kidney expression up-regulated only in unvaccinated fish. The expression then decreased and two months post-challenge appeared similar in all vaccination types. Highest survival rate (75%) was recorded in the group of fish vaccinated with high dose of iipA::kan avirulent mutant. The iipA::kan mutant induced a strong immune response accompanied by only modest tissue disruption. Coupled with an effective program of booster treatments, the iipA::kan mutant vaccine may be developed into a powerful preventive measure against fish mycobacteriosis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Peripubertal stress increases play fighting at adolescence and modulates nucleus accumbens CB1 receptor expression and mitochondrial function in the amygdala
    Aurélie Papilloud, Translational Psychiatry - 2018
    Play fighting is a highly rewarding behavior that helps individuals to develop social skills. Early-life stress has been shown to alter play fighting in rats and hamsters as well as to increase aggressive behaviors at adulthood. However, it is not known whether individual differences in stress-induced play fighting are related to differential developmental trajectories towards adult aggression. To address this question, we used a rat model of peripubertal stress (PPS)-induced psychopathology that involves increased aggression at adulthood. We report that, indeed, PPS leads to enhanced play fighting at adolescence. Using a stratification approach, we identify individuals with heightened levels of play fighting as the ones that show abnormal forms of aggression at adulthood. These animals showed as well a rapid habituation of their corticosterone responsiveness to repeated stressor exposure at peripuberty. They also showed a striking increase in mitochondrial function in the amygdala—but not nucleus accumbens—when tested ex vivo. Conversely, low, but not high players, displayed increased expression of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor in the nucleus accumbens shell. Our results highlight adolescence as a potential critical period in which aberrant play fighting is linked to the emergence of adult aggression. They also point at brain energy metabolism during adolescence as a possible target to prevent adult aggression.
    Sesamin and sesamolin reduce amyloid-β toxicity in a transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans
    Roongpetch Keowkase, Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy - 2018
    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease characterized by β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques in the brain. At the present, there is no approved drug with a proven disease-modifying effect. Sesame seed (Sesame indicum) has long been known as a healthy food in Southeast Asian countries. Sesame lignans obtained from sesame seed possess antioxidant property that exhibit a variety of beneficial effects in various models. The objective of this study was to investigate the protective effects of sesame lignans including sesamin, sesamolin, and sesamol against Aβ toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) model of Aβ toxicity and to address whether these sesame lignans have a positive effect on lifespan extension. A transgenic C. elegans expressing human Aβ was used to investigate protective effects of sesame lignans against Aβ toxicity. Sesamin and sesamolin significantly alleviated Aβ-induced paralysis. The real-time PCR revealed that both sesamin and sesamolin did not affect the expression of Aβ transgene. However, we found that only sesamin inhibited Aβ oligomerization. These findings demonstrated that, among three sesame lignans tested, sesamin protected against Aβ toxicity by reducing toxic Aβ oligomers. Sesamin and sesamolin also significantly improved Aβ-induced defect in chemotaxis behavior and reversed the defect to normal. Moreover, sesamin prolonged median and mean lifespan of the wild type worm. On the other hand, sesamolin and sesamol failed to extend lifespan. These results offer valuable evidence for the future use of sesamin in the development of agents for the treatment of AD. It is also worth investigating the structure-activity relationship of lignan-related structures and their anti-Aβ toxicity activities in the future.
    Extracellular dsRNA induces a type I interferon response mediated via class A scavenger receptors in a novel Chinook salmon derived spleen cell line
    S. L. Semple, Developmental & Comparative Immunology - 2018
    Despite increased global interest in Chinook salmon aquaculture, little is known of their viral immune defenses. This study describes the establishment and characterization of a continuous cell line derived from Chinook salmon spleen, CHSS, and its use in innate immune studies. Optimal growth was seen at 14–18 °C when grown in Leibovitz's L-15 media with 20% fetal bovine serum. DNA analyses confirmed that CHSS was Chinook salmon and genetically different from the only other available Chinook salmon cell line, CHSE-214. Unlike CHSE-214, CHSS could bind extracellular dsRNA, resulting in the rapid and robust expression of antiviral genes. Receptor/ligand blocking assays confirmed that class A scavenger receptors (SR-A) facilitated dsRNA binding and subsequent gene expression. Although both cell lines expressed three SR-A genes: SCARA3, SCARA4, and SCARA5, only CHSS appeared to have functional cell-surface SR-As for dsRNA. Collectively, CHSS is an excellent cell model to study dsRNA-mediated innate immunity in Chinook salmon.
    Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology may not predict functional impairment in HIV: a report of two individuals
    Susan Morgello, Journal of NeuroVirology - 2018
    With aging of HIV populations, there is concern that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may become prevalent and difficult to distinguish from HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. To date, there are no reports documenting histologically verified Alzheimer’s neuropathology in individuals with HIV and dementia. Herein, we report two antiretroviral-treated, virally suppressed, HIV-infected individuals autopsied by the Manhattan HIV Brain Bank. Subject A presented to study at 52 years, already dependent in instrumental activities of daily living (ADLs), with severe cognitive impairment inclusive of learning and memory dysfunction. Her history was significant for educational disability and head trauma. She had rapid cognitive decline and, by death at age 59 years, was bed-bound, incontinent, and non-communicative. At autopsy, she exhibited severe AD neuropathologic change (NIA-AA score A3B3C3) and age-related tau astrogliopathy (ARTAG). She was homozygous for APOE ε3/ε3. No HIV DNA was detected in frontal lobe by nested polymerase chain reaction. Subject B was a community dwelling 81-year-old woman who experienced sudden death by pulmonary embolus. Prior to death, she was fully functional, living independently, and managing all ADLs. At autopsy, she displayed moderate amyloid and severe tau AD neuropathologic changes (A2B3C2), ARTAG, and cerebral congophilic angiopathy. She was an APOE ε3/ε4 heterozygote, and HIV DNA, but not RNA, was detected in frontal lobe, despite 20 years of therapy-induced viral suppression. We conclude that in the setting of HIV, AD neuropathology may occur with or without symptomatic cognitive dysfunction; as with seronegative individuals, there are likely to be complex factors in the generation of clinically relevant impairments.
    EZH1 is an antipsychotic-sensitive epigenetic modulator of social and motivational behavior that is dysregulated in schizophrenia
    Andrea L. Johnstone, Neurobiology of Disease - 2018
    Background With the capacity to modulate gene networks in an environmentally-sensitive manner, the role of epigenetic systems in mental disorders has come under intense investigation. Dysregulation of epigenetic effectors, including microRNAs and histone-modifying enzymes, may better explain the role of environmental risk factors and the observed heritability rate that cannot be fully attributed to known genetic risk alleles. Here, we aimed to identify novel epigenetic targets of the schizophrenia-associated microRNA 132 (miR-132). Methods Histone modifications were quantified by immunodetection in response to viral-mediated overexpression of miR-132 while a luminescent reporter system was used to validate targets of miR-132 in vitro. Genome-wide profiling, quantitative PCR and NanoSting were used to quantify gene expression in post-mortem human brains, neuronal cultures and prefrontal cortex (PFC) of mice chronically exposed to antipsychotics. Following viral-mediated depletion of Enhancer of Zeste 1 (EZH1) in the murine PFC, behaviors including sociability and motivation were assessed using a 3-chambered apparatus and forced-swim test, respectively. Results Overexpression of miR-132 decreased global histone 3 lysine 27 tri-methylation (H3K27me3), a repressive epigenetic mark. Moreover, the polycomb-associated H3K27 methyltransferase, EZH1, is regulated by miR-132 and upregulated in the PFC of schizophrenics. Unlike its homolog EZH2, expression of EZH1 in the murine PFC decreased following chronic exposure to antipsychotics. Viral-mediated depletion of EZH1 in the mouse PFC attenuated sociability, enhanced motivational behaviors, and affected gene expression pathways related to neurotransmission and behavioral phenotypes. Conclusions EZH1 is dysregulated in schizophrenia, sensitive to antipsychotic medications, and a brain-enriched miR-132 target that controls neurobehavioral phenotypes.
    A piRNA utilizes HILI and HIWI2 mediated pathway to down-regulate ferritin heavy chain 1 mRNA in human somatic cells
    Sumirtha Balaratnam, Nucleic Acids Research - 2018
    The piwi interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that specifically bind to the PIWI proteins, a functional requirement. The piRNAs regulate germline development, transposons control, and gene expression. However, piRNA-mediated post-transcriptional gene regulation in human somatic cells is not well understood. We discovered a human piRNA (piR-FTH1) which has a complementary sequence in the ferritin heavy chain 1 (Fth1) mRNA. We demonstrated that expression of piR-FTH1 and Fth1 are inversely correlated in the tested tumor cell lines. We found that piR-FTH1 negatively regulates the Fth1 expression at post-transcriptional level in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells. Additionally, we confirmed that transfected piR-FTH1 knocks down the Fth1 mRNA via the HIWI2 and HILI mediated mechanism. piR-FTH1 mediated Fth1 repression also increased doxorubicin sensitivity by a remarkable 20-fold in TNBC cells. Since the current piRNA-mediated knockdowns of target mRNA are mostly reported in germ line cells, piRNA-mediated post-transcriptional gene regulation in somatic cells is rather unique in its application and mechanistically uses an alternative pathway to siRNA and miRNA. This work begins to lay the groundwork with a broader impact on treatment of various diseases that are linked to elevated levels of specific mRNAs which have a piRNA target.
    Resident brain neural precursor cells develop age-dependent loss of therapeutic functions in Alzheimer's mice
    Nina Fainstein, Neurobiology of Aging - 2018
    There is vast knowledge on pathogenic mechanisms in Alzheimer's disease, but very little on means by which the brain protects itself from disease. A major candidate in providing neuroprotection is the resident brain neural stem/precursor cell (NPC) pool. Transplanted NPCs possess powerful immune-modulatory and trophic properties in vivo and in vitro, underscoring the question whether resident brain NPCs have any role in regulating disease pathology in Alzheimer's disease, and particularly whether they fail to protect the brain from degeneration. To evaluate brain NPC function in relation to disease pathology, we first characterized the pathological properties of 5xFAD transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease at different ages. We found that age seven months is a critical time point of heavy amyloid deposition and gliosis but prior to neurodegeneration and a normal basal rate of NPC turnover in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of 5xFAD mice as compared to wild type mice. Analysis of NPC functional properties showed that despite preserved rate of turnover, there was substantial SVZ NPC dysfunction as indicated by both ex vivo and in vivo assays. Freshly isolated NPCs from seven months old 5xFAD mice exhibited reduced expansion rate, and diminished immune-modulatory and trophic properties. Moreover, there was slowed recovery of SVZ NPCs after Cytosine-arabinoside insult and markedly reduced migratory response following a Lysolecithine-induced lesion in the Corpus-Callosum in vivo. Importantly, these functions were fully preserved in two-months old 5xFAD mice, a time-point prior to Alzheimer's-specific pathological changes. There was reduced expression of key genes involved in NPC proliferative and migratory response in NPCs derived from seven months old 5xFAD mice. The dysfunctional properties and down-regulation of gene expression were reversible in NPCs derived from seven-months old 5xFAD mice following in-vitro expansion and were reproduced in wild type NPC by addition of amyloid beta peptide. Thus, there is age-dependent acquired NPC dysfunction, with loss of immune-modulatory and neurotrophic properties, which is induced by the pathological Alzheimer's brain environment at a critical time point prior to neurodegeneration. We suggest that failure of resident NPC to provide tissue support may be involved in promoting neurodegeneration.
    Gja1 expression is regulated by cooperation between SOX8/SOX9 and cJUN transcription factors in TM4 and 15P-1 Sertoli cell lines
    Firas Ghouili, Molecular Reproduction and Development - 2018
    Within the seminiferous tubules of the testis, Gja1-encoded connexin43 plays a critical role in intercellular communication between Sertoli cells. These cells nurture, protect and stimulate the developing germ cells and spermatids. SOX transcription factors are known to play an important role in male fertility and sex determination; however, their physiological function and the identity of their target genes in postnatal Sertoli cells remain to be defined. Members of the AP-1 family have been shown to regulate Gja1 expression in myometrial and testicular cells and to physically interact with SOX members, suggesting that these transcription factors may regulate its expression within the testis. Hence, we performed co-transfections of expression plasmids encoding SOX4, SOX8, SOX9 and cJUN with different mouse Gja1 promoter/luciferase reporter constructs within TM4 and 15P-1 Sertoli cells. We showed that a functional cooperation between cJUN and SOX8 or SOX9 regulates Gja1 expression and may involve DNA regulatory elements located between -132 and -26 bp. Such synergy relies on the recruitment of cJUN to the -47 bp AP-1 DNA regulatory element of the mouse Gja1 promoter. Hence, SOX and AP-1 members cooperate to regulate Gja1 within testicular Sertoli cells. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    CSDC2, a cold shock domain RNA-binding protein in decidualization
    Griselda Vallejo, Journal of Cellular Physiology - 2018
    RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) have been described for cancer cell progression and differentiation, although there is still much to learn about their mechanisms. Here, using in vivo decidualization as a model, we describe the role of RBP cold shock domain containing C2 (CSDC2) in the endometrium. Csdc2 messenger RNA expression was differentially regulated depending on time and areas of decidua development, with the most variation in antimesometrium (AM) and, to a lesser degree, in the junctional zone (JZ). Immunohistochemistry of CSDC2 showed a preferentially cytoplasmic localization at AM and JZ, and nuclear localization in underneath myometrium and mesometrium (M). Cytoplasmic localization coincided with differentiated, DESMIN-marked areas, while nuclear localization coincides with proliferative zones. Uterine suppression of CSDC2 through intrauterine-injected-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) led to abnormal decidualization in early pregnancy, with more extended antimesometrial area and with poor M development if compared with control siRNA-injected animals. These results suggest that CSDC2 could be a regulator during decidua development.
    Induction of brain Nrf2-HO-1 pathway and antinociception after different physical training paradigms in mice
    Abdulkarim Tutakhail, Life Sciences - 2018
    Aim Activation of the Nrf2-antioxidant response element signaling pathway is a major mechanism in the cellular defense against oxidative or electrophilic stress through conjugative reactions and by enhancing cellular antioxidant capacity. Although exercise training up-regulates antioxidant defenses system, while information regarding the intensity levels of physical exercise that acts on the cellular protection systems is limited. Main methods The present study evaluated the effects of different durations and intensities of physical exercise on the hippocampus, cortex and hypothalamus Nrf2 and HO-1 gene expression and related protein content and the nociception thresholds in adult C57Bl male mice. Exercise training consisted of daily running on a 10-lane rodent motor-driven treadmill for either 3 or 7 weeks at three different intensities. Pain responses were evaluated after exercise and in untrained mice by Von Frey hair test and cold plate test. Key findings This study confirmed that only vigorous and longer duration aerobic exercise increased Nrf2 protein level in the hippocampus and HO-1 protein level in the cortex and reduced pain perception. Mechanical and thermal hypoalgesia were only observed in exercise groups after 7 weeks of physical training. Significance The overall findings in this study confirm that only the long duration intensive forced exercise reduced inflammatory pain by induction of Nrf2/HO-1 antioxidant signaling pathway.
    Deletion of Axin1 in condylar chondrocytes leads to osteoarthritis-like phenotype in temporomandibular joint via activation of β-catenin and FGF signaling
    Yachuan Zhou, Journal of Cellular Physiology - 2018
    Osteoarthritis (OA) in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a degenerative disease in the adult, which is characterized by the pathological degeneration of condylar cartilage. Axin1 plays a critical role in the regulation of cartilage development and homeostasis. To determine the role of Axin1 in TMJ tissue at the adult stage, we generated Axin1Agc1ER mice, in which Axin1 was deleted in aggrecan-expressing chondrocytes at 2 months of age. Histology, histomorphometry, and immunostaining analyses were performed using TMJ tissues harvested from 4- and 6-month-old mice after tamoxifen administration. Total RNA isolated from TMJ cartilage of 6-month-old mice was used for gene expression analysis. Progressive OA-like degeneration was observed in condylar cartilage in Axin1 knockout (KO) mice with loss of surface continuity and the formation of vertical fissures. In addition, reduced alcian blue staining in condylar cartilage was also found in Axin1 KO mice. Immunostaining and reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) assays revealed disturbed homeostasis in condylar cartilage with increased expressions of MMP13 and Adamts5 and decreased lubricin expression in Axin1-deficient chondrocytes. Less proliferative cells with increased hypertrophic and apoptotic activities were presented in the condylar cartilage of Axin1Agc1ER KO mice. As a scaffolding protein, the deletion of Axin1 stimulated not only the β-catenin but also the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling via extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) activation. The qRT-PCR results showed an increased expression of Fgfr1 in Axin1 KO cartilage. Overall, the deletion of Axin1 in condylar chondrocytes altered the β-catenin and FGF/ERK1/2 signaling pathways, thus cooperatively contribute to the cartilage degeneration.
    Cultivation of Purified Primary Purkinje Cells from Rat Cerebella
    Jonas Tjaden, Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology - 2018
    Primary neurons are difficult to cultivate because they are often part of a complex tissue, and synaptically connected to numerous other cell types. These circumstances often prevent us from unveiling molecular and metabolic mechanisms of distinct cells, as functional signals or assays cannot clearly be correlated with them due to interfering signals from other parts of the culture. We therefore present an up-to-date method for obtaining a highly purified neuronal culture of Purkinje cells. In the past, Purkinje cells were successfully isolated from young mouse cerebella, but this protocol was never adapted to other mammals. We therefore provide an updated and adjusted protocol for Purkinje cell isolation from rat instead of mouse cerebella. To purify Purkinje cells, we obtained perinatal rat cerebella, dissociated them and performed a Percoll gradient centrifugation to segregate the smaller and larger cell fractions. In a second step, we performed an immunopanning procedure to enrich only Purkinje cells from the large cell fraction. Based on former protocols, we used a different antibody for the immunopanning procedure and adjusted several aspects from the initial protocol to improve the yield and vitality of Purkinje cells. We provide RT-qPCR-based purity data obtained with this protocol and show the behaviour and the growth of these purified Purkinje cells. We provide a highly reproducible purification protocol for Purkinje cell cultures of high purity that allows functional analysis and downstream assays on living rat Purkinje cells and further morphological growth analysis in future.
    Serotonin uptake is required for Rac1 activation in Kras-induced acinar-to-ductal metaplasia in the pancreas
    Enrica Saponara, The Journal of Pathology - 2018
    Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the primary cause of pancreatic cancer mortality, is poorly responsive to currently available interventions. Identifying new targets that drive PDAC formation and progression is critical to develop alternative therapeutic strategies to treat this lethal malignancy. Using genetic and pharmacologic approaches, we investigated in vivo and in vitro whether uptake of the monoamine serotonin is required for PDAC development. We demonstrated that pancreatic acinar cells have the ability to readily take up serotonin in a transport-mediated manner. Serotonin uptake promoted the activation of the small GTPase Ras-Related C3 Botulinum Toxin Substrate 1 (Rac1), which is required for trans-differentiation of acinar cells into acinar-to-ductal metaplasia (ADM), a key determinant in PDAC development. Consistent with the central role played by Rac1 in ADM formation, inhibition of the serotonin transporter Sert (Slc6a4) with fluoxetine reduced ADM formation both in vitro and in vivo in a cell autonomous manner. In addition, fluoxetine treatment profoundly compromised the stromal reaction and affected proliferation and lipid metabolism of malignant PDAC cells. We propose that Sert is a promising therapeutic target to counteract the early event of acinar-to-ductal metaplasia with the potential to stall initiation and progression of pancreatic carcinogenesis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Assessment of Sep1virus interaction with stationary cultures by transcriptional and flow cytometry studies
    Luís D. R. Melo, FEMS Microbiology Ecology - 2018
    The majority of phage infection studies are performed in bacteria that are growing exponentially, although in nature, phages usually interact also with non-replicating cells. These stationary-phase cells differ from exponential cells morphologically, physiologically and metabolically. The interaction of a Sep1virus with Staphylococcus epidermidis stationary and exponential phase cells was explored. Phage SEP1 efficiently infected both cell culture states, without the addition of any fresh nutrients to stationary cultures. Phage-host interactions, analysed by flow cytometry, showed stationary-phase cells response to phage immediately after SEP1 addition. Quantitative PCR experiments corroborate that phage genes are expressed within 5 min of contact with stationary phase cells. The increase of host RNA polymerase transcripts in stationary cells, suggests that SEP1 infection leads to upregulation of host machinery fundamental for completion of its lytic life cycle. SEP1 infection and replication process highlights its potential clinical interest targeting stationary phase cells.
    Loss of IGF1R in human astrocytes alters complex I activity and support for neurons
    Laura E. Ratcliffe, Neuroscience - 2018
    The insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) signalling pathways are implicated in longevity and in progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Previously, we showed that insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) and downstream signalling transcripts are reduced in astrocytes in human brain with progression of Alzheimer’s neuropathology and developed a model of IGF1 signalling impairment in human astrocytes using an IGF1R-specific monoclonal antibody, MAB391. Here, we have established a novel human astrocyte-neuron co-culture system to determine whether loss of astrocytic IGF1R affects their support for neurons. Astrocyte-neuron co-cultures were developed using human primary astrocytes and differentiated Lund Human Mesencephalic Cells (LUHMES). Neurite outgrowth assays, performed to measure astrocytic support for neurons, showed astrocytes provided contact-mediated support for neurite outgrowth. Loss of IGF1R did not affect neurite outgrowth under control conditions but when challenged with hydrogen peroxide IGF1R-impaired astrocytes were less able to protect LUHMES. To determine how loss of IGF1R affects neuronal support MAB391-treated astrocytes were FACS sorted from GFP-LUHMES and their transcriptomic profile was investigated using microarrays. Changes in transcripts involved in astrocyte energy metabolism were identified, particularly NDUFA2 and NDUFB6, which are related to complex I assembly. Loss of complex I activity in MAB391-treated astrocytes validated these findings. In conclusion, reduced IGF1 signalling in astrocytes impairs their support for neurons under conditions of stress and this is associated with defects in the mitochondrial respiratory chain in astrocytes.
    Differential gene expression to an LPS challenge in relation to exogenous corticosterone in the invasive cane toad (Rhinella marina)
    Steven Gardner, Developmental & Comparative Immunology - 2018
    The cane toad (Rhinella marina) is an invasive amphibian in several parts of the world. Much of the research performed on assessing the dispersal potential of invasive species has focused immunity. Invaders are predicted to rely less on pro-inflammatory immunity, allowing them to allocate energy to dispersal. Elevated stress may play a role in regulation of immune responses used by invasive species. RNA sequencing of spleen tissue from cane toads subjected to an acute LPS challenge revealed genes coding for cytokines involved in typical innate responses such as phagocytic cell recruitment, extravasation, inflammation, and lymphocyte differentiation were significantly upregulated, while toads receiving transdermal application of corticosterone in addition to an LPS injection showed downregulation of genes involved with cell mediated immunity. These results indicate hormonal changes associated with acute stress may alter investment into mounting cell-mediated or humoral responses while allowing for prolonged phagocytic innate responses in this invasive species.
    NLRP3 inflammasome mediates oxidative stress-induced pancreatic islet dysfunction.
    Marina Sokolova, American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism - 2018
    Inflammasomes are multi-protein inflammatory platforms that induce caspase-1 activation and subsequently interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18 processing. The NLRP3 inflammasome is activated by different forms of oxidative stress, and based on the central role of IL-1β in the destruction of pancreatic islets, it could be related to the development of diabetes. We therefore investigated responses in wild-type C57Bl/6 (WT), NLRP3-/- and ASC-/- mice after exposing islets to short-term hypoxia or alloxan induced islet damage. NLRP3 deficient islets compared to WT islets had preserved function ex vivo and were protected against hypoxia-induced cell death. Further, NLRP3 and ASC deficient mice were protected against oxidative stress-induced diabetes caused by repetitive low dose alloxan administration, and this was associated with reduced β-cell death and reduced macrophage infiltration. This suggests that the beneficial effect of NLRP3 inflammasome deficiency on oxidative stress-mediated β-cell damage could involve reduced macrophage infiltration and activation. To support the role of macrophage activation in alloxan-induced diabetes, we injected WT mice with liposomal clodronate which causes macrophage depletion prior to induction of a diabetic phenotype by alloxan treatment resulting in improved glucose homeostasis in WT mice. We show here that the NLRP3 inflammasome acts as a mediator of hypoxia and oxidative stress in insulin producing cells, suggesting that inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome could have beneficial effects on β-cell preservation.
    Xiao Zhu, Acta Pharmacologica Sinica - 2018
    Perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT), a special type of adipose tissue, closely surrounds vascular adventitia and produces numerous bioactive substances to maintain vascular homeostasis. PVAT dysfunction has a crucial role in regulating vascular remodeling, but the exact mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, we investigated whether and how obesity-induced PVAT dysfunction affected adventitia remodeling in early vascular injury stages. Mini pigs were fed a high sugar and fat diet for 6 months to induce metabolic syndrome and obesity. In the mini pigs, left carotid vascular injury was then generated using balloon dilation. Compared with normal mini pigs, obese mini pigs displayed significantly enhanced vascular injury-induced adventitial responses, evidenced by adventitia fibroblast (AF) proliferation and differentiation, and adventitia fibrosis, as well as exacerbated PVAT dysfunction characterized by increased accumulation of resident macrophages, particularly the M1 pro-inflammatory phenotype, increased expression of leptin and decreased expression of adiponectin, and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18. Primary AFs cultured in PVAT-conditioned medium from obese mini pigs also showed significantly increased proliferation and differentiation. We further revealed that activated nod-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome and its downstream products, i.e., IL-1 family members such as IL-1β and IL-18 were upregulated in the PVAT of obese mini pigs; PVAT dysfunction was also demonstrated in preadipocytes treated with palmitic acid. Finally, we showed that pretreatment with IL-1 receptor (IL-1R) antagonist or IL-1R knockdown blocked AF proliferation and differentiation in AFs cultured in PVAT-conditioned medium. These results demonstrate that obesity-induced PVAT dysfunction aggravates adventitial remodeling after early vascular injury with elevated AF proliferation and differentiation via activating the NLRP3/IL-1 signaling pathway.
    MED31 involved in regulating self-renewal and adipogenesis of human mesenchymal stem cells
    Erik P. Beadle, Molecular Biology Reports - 2018
    Regulation of gene expression is critical for the maintenance of cell state and homeostasis. Aberrant regulation of genes can lead to unwanted cell proliferation or misdirected differentiation. Here we investigate the role of MED31, a highly conserved subunit of the Mediator complex, to determine the role this subunit plays in the maintenance of human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) state. Using siRNA-mediated knockdown of MED31 we demonstrate a decrease in self-renewal based on cell assays and monitoring of gene expression. In addition, in the absence of MED31, hMSCs also displayed a reduction in adipogenesis as evidenced by diminished lipid vesicle formation and expression of specific adipogenic markers. These data present evidence for a significant role for MED31 in maintaining adult stem cell homeostasis, thereby introducing potential novel targets for future investigation and use in better understanding stem cell behavior and adipogenesis.
    Viral RNA load and histological changes in tissues following experimental infection with an arterivirus of possums (wobbly possum disease virus)
    Julia Giles, Virology - 2018
    Tissues from Australian brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) that had been experimentally infected with wobbly possum disease (WPD) virus (WPDV) were examined to elucidate pathogenesis of WPDV infection. Mononuclear inflammatory cell infiltrates were present in livers, kidneys, salivary glands and brains of WPD-affected possums. Specific staining was detected by immunohistochemistry within macrophages in the livers and kidneys, and undefined cell types in the brains. The highest viral RNA load was found in macrophage-rich tissues. The detection of viral RNA in the salivary gland, serum, kidney, bladder and urine is compatible with transmission via close physical contact during encounters such as fighting or grooming, or by contact with an environment that has been contaminated with saliva or urine. Levels of viral RNA remained high in all tissues tested throughout the study, suggesting that on-going virus replication and evasion of the immune responses may be important in the pathogenesis of disease.
    MPZL2 is a novel gene associated with autosomal recessive nonsyndromic moderate hearing loss
    Guney Bademci, Human Genetics - 2018
    While recent studies have revealed a substantial portion of the genes underlying human hearing loss, the extensive genetic landscape has not been completely explored. Here, we report a loss-of-function variant (c.72delA) in MPZL2 in three unrelated multiplex families from Turkey and Iran with autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing loss. The variant co-segregates with moderate sensorineural hearing loss in all three families. We show a shared haplotype flanking the variant in our families implicating a single founder. While rare in other populations, the allele frequency of the variant is ~ 0.004 in Ashkenazi Jews, suggesting that it may be an important cause of moderate hearing loss in that population. We show that Mpzl2 is expressed in mouse inner ear, and the protein localizes in the auditory inner and outer hair cells, with an asymmetric subcellular localization. We thus present MPZL2 as a novel gene associated with sensorineural hearing loss.
    The search for proteins involved in the formation of crustacean cuticular structures
    Shai Abehsera, Hydrobiologia - 2018
    Crustacean cuticular structures are key features formed during a molt cycle. These structures are complex biomaterials comprising chitin and different mineral forms in distinct scaffold organizations. The formation of these complex biomaterials is controlled by the organic extracellular matrix including structural proteins. Since cuticular structures are formed de novo during each molt cycle, the spatial and temporal expression patterns of structural proteins are tightly linked to molt cycle events. As a model scenario, we demonstrate the molt-related pattern of expression of the gene encoding GAP65, a core structural protein involved in the formation of the cuticular structures of Cherax quadricarinatus. Based on this typical pattern of expression and using a binary-patterning approach, which is a specialized tool for the study of molt-related proteins, we revealed and characterized additional candidate proteins involved in the formation of crustacean cuticular structures. We propose that our approach be applied as a framework in the search for proteins involved in the formation of the crustacean cuticle. To stimulate research on this important aspect of structural biology, we put forward a schematic representation of the extracellular matrix and its proteins in three cuticular structures of C. quadricarinatus, the gastroliths, the mandibles, and the mineralized cuticle.
    Lactobacillus casei BL23 modulates the innate immune response in Staphylococcus aureus-stimulated bovine mammary epithelial cells
    R.f.s. Souza, Beneficial Microbes - 2018
    Probiotics have been adopted to treat and prevent various diseases in humans and animals. They were notably shown to be a promising alternative to prevent mastitis in dairy cattle. This inflammation of the mammary gland is generally of infectious origin and generates extensive economic losses worldwide. In a previous study, we found that Lactobacillus casei BL23 was able to inhibit the internalisation of Staphylococcus aureus, one of the major pathogens involved in mastitis, into bovine mammary epithelial cells (bMEC). In this study, we further explored the capacity of this strain to modulate the innate immune response of bovine mammary epithelial cells during S. aureus infection. L. casei BL23 was able to decrease the expression of several pro-inflammatory cytokines, including interleukins 6, 8, 1α and 1β and tumour necrosis factor alpha, in S. aureus-stimulated bMEC, 8 h post-infection. On the other hand, L. casei did not impair the induction of defensins, such as lingual antimicrobial peptide and defensin β1 in the presence of S. aureus, and even slightly increased the induction of tracheal antimicrobial peptide during S. aureus infection. Finally, this strain did not alter the expression of the pattern recognition receptor nucleotide-binding oligomerisation domain proteins (NOD2). This study demonstrates that L. casei BL23 displayed anti-inflammatory properties on S. aureus-stimulated bMEC. These results open the way to further characterisation of the BL23 probiotic potential in a bovine mammary gland context and to a better understanding of how all these beneficial properties combine in vivo to combat mastitis pathogens.
    The von Hippel Lindau tumour suppressor gene is a novel target of E2F4-mediated transcriptional repression in preeclampsia
    Sruthi Alahari, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Basis of Disease - 2018
    The von Hippel Lindau tumour suppressor (VHL) protein is essential for proper placental development and is downregulated in preeclampsia (PE), a devastating disorder of pregnancy typified by chronic hypoxia. To date, knowledge on VHL genetic and epigenetic regulation is restricted to inactivating mutations and loss-of-heterozygosity in renal cell carcinomas. Herein, we sought to examine whether VHL DNA is subject to differential methylation, and if so, whether it is altered in early-onset PE (E-PE). Sodium bisulfite modification and methylation-specific PCR analysis revealed that VHL is subject to extensive methylation in a CpG-rich region within its promoter in the human placenta. Notably, we detected significant differences in methylation in E-PE placentae relative to normotensive age-matched controls at key transcription factor binding sites, including that of the transcriptional repressor E2F4. Treatment of JEG3 cells with 5-Aza-2′-deoxycytidine, revealed that loss of DNA methylation promoted VHL transcription by attenuating VHL association with E2F4. RNAi knockdown of E2F4 in vitro confirmed its function on VHL repression. Exposure of JEG3 cells to transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) downregulated VHL mRNA. In line with elevated levels of TGFβ3 in E-PE, chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed that E2F4-VHL association was enhanced upon TGFβ3 treatment, indicative of VHL transcriptional inhibition. In line with decreased VHL expression in E-PE, augmented E2F4-VHL association was also observed in E-PE placental tissue relative to controls. In conclusion, we demonstrate for the first time that hypomethylation of VHL DNA at a key transcription factor binding site has significant consequences for its transcriptional repression in early-onset preeclampsia.
    Microphysiological flux balance platform unravels the dynamics of drug induced steatosis
    Avner Ehrlich, Lab on a Chip - 2018
    Drug development is currently hampered by the inability of animal experiments to accurately predict human response. While emerging organ on chip technology offers to reduce risk using microfluidic models of human tissues, the technology still mostly relies on end-point assays and biomarker measurements to assess tissue damage resulting in limited mechanistic information and difficulties to detect adverse effects occurring below the threshold of cellular damage. Here we present a sensor-integrated liver on chip array in which oxygen is monitored using two-frequency phase modulation of tissue-embedded microprobes, while glucose, lactate and temperature are measured in real time using microfluidic electrochemical sensors. Our microphysiological platform permits the calculation of dynamic changes in metabolic fluxes around central carbon metabolism, producing a unique metabolic fingerprint of the liver's response to stimuli. Using our platform, we studied the dynamics of human liver response to the epilepsy drug Valproate (Depakine™) and the antiretroviral medication Stavudine (Zerit™). Using E6/E7LOW hepatocytes, we show TC50 of 2.5 and 0.8 mM, respectively, coupled with a significant induction of steatosis in 2D and 3D cultures. Time to onset analysis showed slow progressive damage starting only 15–20 hours post-exposure. However, flux analysis showed a rapid disruption of metabolic homeostasis occurring below the threshold of cellular damage. While Valproate exposure led to a sustained 15% increase in lipogenesis followed by mitochondrial stress, Stavudine exposure showed only a transient increase in lipogenesis suggesting disruption of β-oxidation. Our data demonstrates the importance of tracking metabolic stress as a predictor of clinical outcome.
    A STAT4 variant increases liver fibrosis risk in Caucasian patients with chronic hepatitis B
    R. El Sharkawy, Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics - 2018
    Background Host genetic modifiers of the natural history of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) remain poorly understood. Recently, a genome-wide association study (GWAS)-identified polymorphism in the STAT4 gene that contributes to the risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was shown to be associated with the full spectrum of hepatitis B virus (HBV) outcomes in Asian patients. However, the functional mechanisms for this effect are unknown and the role of the variant in modulating HBV disease in Caucasians has not been investigated. Aims To determine whether STAT4 genetic variation is associated with liver injury in Caucasian patients with CHB and to investigate potential mechanisms mediating this effect. Methods STAT4 rs7574865 was genotyped in 1085 subjects (830 with CHB and 255 healthy controls). STAT4 expression in liver, PBMCs and NK cells, STAT4 phosphorylation and secretion of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) according to STAT4 genetic variation was examined. Results STAT4 rs7574865 genotype was independently associated with hepatic inflammation (OR: 1.42, 95% CI: 1.07-2.06, P = 0.02) and advanced fibrosis (OR: 1.83, 95% CI: 1.19-2.83, P = 0.006). The minor allele frequency of rs7574865 was significantly lower than that in healthy controls. rs7574865 GG risk carriers expressed lower levels of STAT4 in liver, PBMCs and in NK cells, while NK cells from patients with the risk genotype had impaired STAT4 phosphorylation following stimulation with IL-12/IL-18 and a reduction in secretion of IFN-γ. Conclusion Genetic susceptibility to HBV persistence, hepatic inflammation and fibrosis in Caucasians associates with STAT4 rs7574865 variant. Downstream effects on NK cell function through STAT4 phosphorylation-dependent IFN-γ production likely contribute to these effects.
    Striatal Rgs4 regulates feeding and susceptibility to diet-induced obesity
    Michael Michaelides, Molecular Psychiatry - 2018
    Consumption of high fat, high sugar (western) diets is a major contributor to the current high levels of obesity. Here, we used a multidisciplinary approach to gain insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying susceptibility to diet-induced obesity (DIO). Using positron emission tomography (PET), we identified the dorsal striatum as the brain area most altered in DIO-susceptible rats and molecular studies within this region highlighted regulator of G-protein signaling 4 (Rgs4) within laser-capture micro-dissected striatonigral (SN) and striatopallidal (SP) medium spiny neurons (MSNs) as playing a key role. Rgs4 is a GTPase accelerating enzyme implicated in plasticity mechanisms of SP MSNs, which are known to regulate feeding and disturbances of which are associated with obesity. Compared to DIO-resistant rats, DIO-susceptible rats exhibited increased striatal Rgs4 with mRNA expression levels enriched in SP MSNs. siRNA-mediated knockdown of striatal Rgs4 in DIO-susceptible rats decreased food intake to levels comparable to DIO-resistant animals. Finally, we demonstrated that the human Rgs4 gene locus is associated with increased body weight and obesity susceptibility phenotypes, and that overweight humans exhibit increased striatal Rgs4 protein. Our findings highlight a novel role for involvement of Rgs4 in SP MSNs in feeding and DIO-susceptibility.
    Prenatal stress disrupts social behavior, cortical neurobiology and commensal microbes in adult male offspring
    Tamar L. Gur, Behavioural Brain Research - 2018
    In utero and early neonatal exposure to maternal stress is linked with psychiatric disorders, and the underlying mechanisms are currently being elucidated. We used a prenatal stressor in pregnant mice to examine novel relationships between prenatal stress exposure, changes in the gut microbiome, and social behavior. Here, we show that males exposed to prenatal stress had a significant reduction in social behavior in adulthood, with increased corticosterone release following social interaction. Male offspring exposed to prenatal stress also had neuroinflammation, decreased oxytocin receptor, and decreased serotonin metabolism in their cortex in adulthood, which are linked to decreased social behavior. Finally, we found a significant difference in commensal microbes, including decreases in Bacteroides and Parabacteroides, in adult male offspring exposed to prenatal stress when compared to non-stressed controls. Our findings indicate that gestation is a critical window where maternal stress contributes to the development of aberrant social behaviors and alterations in cortical neurobiology, and that prenatal stress is sufficient to disrupt the male gut-brain axis into adulthood.
    Development of Escherichia coli based gene expression profiling of sewage sludge leachates
    Manish Goswami, Journal of Applied Microbiology - 2018
    Aims The impact of municipal waste on pathogenic microorganisms released into the environment is a public health concern. The present study aims to evaluate the effects of sewage sludge and antibiotic contaminants on stress response, virulence and antibiotic resistance in a pathogenic Escherichia coli. Methods and Results The effects of sewage sludge leachates on uropathogenic E. coli CFT073 were determined by monitoring the expression of 45 genes associated with antibiotic/metal resistance, stress response and virulence using RT-qPCR. The E. coli gene expression was validated using sub-inhibitory concentrations of tetracycline and ciprofloxacin. E. coli exposed to sewage sludge or sewage sludge-fly ash leachates altered the expression of 5 antibiotic and metal resistance, 3 stress response and 2 virulence associated genes. When antibiotics were combined with sludge or sludge-fly ash the antibiotic-associated gene expression was altered. Conclusions E. coli treated with two sludge leachates had distinct gene expression patterns that were altered when the sludge leachates were combined with tetracycline, although to a lesser extent with ciprofloxacin. Significance and Impact of Study The E. coli multigene expression analysis is a potential new tool for assessing the effects of pollutants on pathogenic microbes in environmental waters for improved risk assessment. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    High MUC2 Mucin Biosynthesis in Goblet Cells Impedes Restitution and Wound Healing by Elevating Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Altered Production of Growth Factors
    Adelaide Tawiah, The American Journal of Pathology - 2018
    Intestinal epithelial cell wound healing involves cell migration, proliferation, and differentiation. Although numerous studies have analyzed the migration of absorptive epithelial cells during wound healing, it remains unclear how goblet cells restitute and how MUC2 mucin production affects this process. In this study, we examined the role of high MUC2 production in goblet cell migration during wound healing and demonstrated that during high MUC2 output, goblet cells migrated slower because of impaired production of wound healing factors and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Two goblet cell lines, HT29-H and HT29-L, that produced high and low MUC2 mucin, respectively, were used. HT29-L healed wounds faster than HT29-H cells by producing significantly higher amounts of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 1, FGF2, vascular endothelial growth factor-C, and matrix metallopeptidase 1. Predictably, treatment of HT29-H cells with recombinant FGF2 significantly enhanced migration and wound healing. High MUC2 biosynthesis in HT29-H cells induced ER stress and delayed migration that was abrogated by inhibiting ER stress with tauroursodeoxycholic acid and IL-22. FGF2- and IL-22–induced wound repair was dependent on STAT1 and STAT3 signaling. During wound healing after dextran sulfate sodium–induced colitis, restitution of Math1M1GFP+ goblet cells occurred earlier in the proximal colon, followed by the mid and then distal colon, where ulceration was severe. We conclude that high MUC2 output during colitis impairs goblet cell migration and wound healing by reducing production of growth factors critical in wound repair.
    PTCH1 isoform 1b is the major transcript in the development of basal cell nevus syndrome
    Robbert-Jan C. A. M. Gielen, Journal of Human Genetics - 2018
    Basal cell nevus syndrome (BCNS) is an autosomal dominant disorder most commonly caused by a germline mutation in the PTCH1 gene. PTCH1 is known to have different isoforms with different functional properties and expression patterns among tissues. We detected a novel, pathogenic de novo mutation in PTCH1 isoform 1b (c.114delG) in a BCNS patient. Furthermore, we elucidated the specific expression pattern of PTCH1 isoforms in normal skin, BCC and peripheral blood by studying expression of different PTCH1 isoforms. Human skin showed expression of isoforms 1b and 1d, while peripheral blood additionally showed 1a and 1e expression. BCCs showed expression of all isoforms. Here we report a patient with a novel, isoform 1b specific mutation in PTCH1 and thereby distinguish PTCH1 isoform 1b as the major transcript in the development of BCNS.
    Roflumilast promotes memory recovery and attenuates white matter injury in aged rats subjected to chronic cerebral hypoperfusion
    Amanda Santiago, Neuropharmacology - 2018
    Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH) has been associated with aging-related vascular dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. It can be induced by the four-vessel occlusion/internal carotid artery (4VO/ICA) model in aged rats, resulting in persistent memory deficits, white matter injury, and significant neuronal loss in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex. The phosphodiesterase type 4 inhibitor (PDE4-I) roflumilast has been reported to have pro-cognitive effects in several behavioral paradigms. The present study evaluated the effects of repeated roflumilast treatment in aged rats that were subjected to CCH. After surgery, roflumilast (0.003 and 0.01 mg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally once per day for 29 days. Memory performance was assessed in the aversive radial maze (AvRM) 7, 14, and 21 days after CCH. The effects of roflumilast on hippocampal neurodegeneration and white matter injury were investigated using Nissl and Kluver-Barrera staining, respectively. Western blot and RT-qPCR were used to explore microglial polarization using M1 (Iba-1 and iNOS) and M2 (Arginase-1) markers. Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion caused persistent memory deficits, hippocampal neurodegeneration, and vacuolization and fiber disarrangement in white matter. Repeated roflumilast treatment restored CCH-induced cognitive impairments in aged rats but in the absence of the rescue of hippocampal neurons. Attenuation of white matter injury was detected in the optic tract in aged CCH rats that were treated with roflumilast. In vitro, roflumilast increased Arg-1 gene expression in myelin-laden primary microglia. The present data suggest that roflumilast might be useful for the treatment of cognitive sequelae associated with CCH.
    The origins of global invasions of the German wasp (Vespula germanica) and its infection with four honey bee viruses
    Evan C. Brenton-Rule, Biological Invasions - 2018
    A successful control or eradication programme using biological control or genetically-mediated methods requires knowledge of the origin and the extent of wasp genetic diversity. Mitochondrial DNA variation in the native and invaded range of the social wasp Vespula germanica was used to examine intra-specific genetic variation and invasive source populations. We also examined wasps for the presence of four viruses found in honey bees: Acute bee paralysis virus, Deformed wing virus, Israeli acute paralysis virus and Kashmir bee virus. German wasps showed reduced genetic diversity in the invaded range compared to that of their native range. Populations in the introduced range are likely to have arrived from different source populations. All four viral honey bee pathogens were found in V. germanica, although they varied in their distribution and strain. Multiple introductions of German wasps have occurred for most invaded regions, though some populations are genetically homogenous. The differing locations of origin will guide researchers searching for biocontrol agents and the reduced genetic diversity may make these wasps a potentially viable target for control via gene drives.
    Novel key roles for Structural maintenance of chromosome flexible domain containing 1 (Smchd1) during preimplantation mouse development
    Uros Midic, Molecular Reproduction and Development - 2018
    Structural maintenance of chromosome flexible domain containing 1 (Smchd1) is a chromatin regulatory gene for which mutations are associated with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy and arhinia. The contribution of oocyte- and zygote-expressed SMCHD1 to early development was examined in mice (Mus musculus) using an siRNA knockdown approach. Smchd1 knockdown compromised long-term embryo viability, with reduced embryo nuclear volumes at the morula stage, reduced blastocyst cell number, formation and hatching, and reduced viability to term. RNAseq analysis of Smchd1 knockdown morulae revealed aberrant increases in expression of a small number of trophectoderm-related genes and reduced expression of cell proliferation genes, including S-phase kinase-associated protein 2 (Skp2). Smchd1 expression was elevated in embryos deficient for Caudal type homeobox transcription factor 2 (Cdx2, a key regulator of trophectoderm specification), indicating that Smchd1 is normally repressed by CDX2. These results indicate that Smchd1 plays an important role in the preimplantation embryo, regulating early gene expression and contributing to long-term embryo viability. These results extend the known functions of SMCHD1 to the preimplantation period and highlight important function for maternally expressed Smchd1 mRNA and protein. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Elevation of the TP53 isoform Δ133p53β in glioblastomas: an alternative to mutant p53 in promoting tumour development
    Marina Kazantseva, The Journal of Pathology - 2018
    As tumour protein 53 (p53) isoforms have tumour promoting, migration and inflammatory properties, this study investigated whether p53 isoforms contributed to glioblastoma progression. The expression levels of full-length TP53α (TAp53α) and six TP53 isoforms were quantitated by RT-qPCR in 89 glioblastomas and correlated with TP53 mutation status, tumour-associated macrophage content and various immune cell markers. Elevated levels of Δ133p53β mRNA characterised glioblastomas with increased CD163-positive macrophages and wild-type TP53. In situ based analyses found Δ133p53β expression localised to malignant cells in areas with increased hypoxia, and in cells with the monocyte chemoattractant protein C-C motif chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2) expressed. Tumours with increased Δ133p53β had increased numbers of cell positive for macrophage colony stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) and programmed death ligand 1 (PDL1). In addition, cells expressing a murine ‘mimic’ of Δ133p53 (Δ122p53) were resistant to temozolomide treatment and oxidative stress. Our findings suggest elevated Δ133p53β is an alternative pathway to TP53 mutation in glioblastoma that aids tumour progression by promoting an immunosuppressive and chemoresistant environment. Adding Δ133p53β to a TP53 signature along with TP53 mutation status will better predict treatment resistance in glioblastoma. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Isolation and profiling of plasma microRNAs: Biomarkers for asthma and allergic rhinitis
    Ronaldo P. Panganiban, Methods - 2018
    Chronic inflammatory diseases can be particularly challenging to diagnose and characterize, as inflammatory changes in tissue may not be present in blood. There is a crucial need to develop non-invasive biomarkers that would be useful in diagnosing disease and selecting medical therapies. For example, there are no blood tests to diagnose asthma, a common inflammatory lung disease. MicroRNA (miRNA) expression profiling in blood is emerging as a potentially sensitive and useful biomarker of many diseases. In particular, we have characterized a cost-effective PCR-based array technology to measure and profile circulating miRNAs in the plasma of patients with allergic rhinitis and asthma. Here, we describe the methods to isolate, quantify, and analyze miRNAs in the plasma of human subjects as well as ways to determine their diagnostic utility.
    Fabrication of Plant Virus-Based Thin Films to Modulate the Osteogenic Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells
    Kamolrat Metavarayuth, Virus-Derived Nanoparticles for Advanced Technologies - 2018
    Stem cells can interact and respond to the extracellular nanoscale environment. Viral nanoparticles have been utilized as building blocks to control cell growth and differentiation. By integrating stem cell research and virus nanoparticle chemistry together, a systematic analysis of the effects of nanotopography on stem cell differentiation can be accomplished. The fabrication of thin films of the viral nanoparticles is particularly valuable for such studies. Here, we describe two methods to fabricate plant virus-based thin films and procedures to study the osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells on plant virus-based substrates. The method makes use of wild-type tobacco mosaic virus (wt-TMV), RGD-modified TMV (TMV-RGD), turnip yellow mosaic virus (TYMV), cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV), turnip vein clearing virus (TVCV), and potato virus X (PVX) for development of bone tissue engineering biomaterials.
    Antioxidant treatment ameliorates phenotypic features of SMC1A-mutated Cornelia de Lange syndrome in vitro and in vivo
    Dubravka Cukrov, Human Molecular Genetics - 2018
    Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) is a rare disease characterized by cognitive impairment, multisystemic alterations and premature aging. Furthermore, CdLS cells display gene expression dysregulation and genomic instability. Here, we demonstrated that treatment with antioxidant drugs, such as ascorbic acid and riboceine, reduced the level of genomic instability and extended the in vitro lifespan of CdLS cell lines. We also found that antioxidant treatment partially rescued the phenotype of a zebrafish model of CdLS. Gene expression profiling showed that antioxidant drugs caused dysregulation of gene transcription; notably, a number of genes coding for the zinc finger (ZNF)-containing Krueppel-associated box (KRAB) protein domain (KRAB-ZNF) were found to be downregulated. Taken together, these data suggest that antioxidant drugs have the potential to ameliorate the developmental phenotype of CdLS.
    Gemcitabine resistance mediated by ribonucleotide reductase M2 in lung squamous cell carcinoma is reversed by GW8510 through autophagy induction
    Ping Chen, Clinical Science - 2018
    Although chemotherapeutic regimen containing gemcitabine is the first-line therapy for advanced lung squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC), gemcitabine resistance remains an important clinical problem. Some studies suggest that overexpressions of ribonucleotide reductase subunit M2 (RRM2) may be involved in gemcitabine resistance. We used a novel RRM2 inhibitor, GW8510, as a gemcitabine sensitization agent to investigate the therapeutic utility in reversing gemcitabine resistance in LSCC. Results showed that the expressions of RRM2 were increased in gemcitabine intrinsic resistant LSCC cells upon gemcitabine treatment. GW8510 not only suppressed LSCC cell survival, but also sensitized gemcitabine-resistant cells to gemcitabine through autophagy induction mediated by RRM2 downregulation along with decreases of deoxyribonucleotide triphosphate (dNTP) levels. The combination of GW8510 and gemcitabine produced a synergistic effect on killing LSCC cells. The synergism of the two agents was impeded by addition of autophagy inhibitors chloroquine or bafilomycin A1, or knockdown of the autophagy gene BECN1. Moreover, GW8510-caused LSCC cell sensitization to gemcitabine through autophagy induction was parallel with impairment of DNA double strand break repair and marked increase of cell apoptosis, revealing a crosstalk between autophagy and DNA damage repair, and an interplay between autophagy and apoptosis. Finally, gemcitabine sensitization mediated by autophagy induction through GW8510-caused RRM2 downregulation was demonstrated in vivo gemcitabine-resistant LSCC tumor xenograft, further indicating that the sensitization is dependent on autophagy activation. In conclusions, GW8510 can reverses gemcitabine resistance in LSCC cells through RRM2 downregulation-mediated autophagy induction, and GW850 may be a promising therapeutic agent against LSCC as it combined with gemcitabine.
    Comparative transcriptome analysis of the swimbladder reveals expression signatures in response to low oxygen stress in channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus.
    Yujia Yang, Physiological Genomics - 2018
    Channel catfish is the leading aquaculture species in the US, and one of the reasons for its application in aquaculture is its relatively high tolerance against hypoxia. However, hypoxia can still cause huge economic losses to the catfish industry. Studies on hypoxia tolerance, therefore, are important for aquaculture. Fish swimbladder has been considered as an accessory respiration organ surrounded by a dense capillary countercurrent exchange system. In this regard, we conducted RNA-Seq analysis with swimbladder samples of catfish under hypoxic and normal conditions to determine if swimbladder was responsive to low oxygen treatment, and to reveal genes, their expression patterns and pathways involved in hypoxia responses in catfish. A total of 155 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified from swimbladder of adult catfish, whereas a total of 2,127 DEGs were identified from swimbladder of fingerling catfish, under hypoxic condition as compared to untreated controls. Subsequent pathway analysis revealed that many DEGs under hypoxia were involved in HIF signaling pathway (nos2, eno2, camk2d2, prkcb, cdkn1a, eno1, and tfrc), MAPK signaling pathway (voltage-dependent calcium channel subunit genes), PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway (itga6, g6pc, and cdkn1a), Ras signaling pathway (efna3 and ksr2), and signaling by VEGF (fn1, wasf3, and hspb1) in catfish swimbladder. This study provided insights into regulation of gene expression and their involved gene pathways in catfish swimbladder in response to low oxygen stresses.
    Heparanase is expressed in adult human osteoarthritic cartilage and drives catabolic responses in primary chondrocytes
    G. Gibor, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage - 2018
    Summary Objectives The chondrocytes' pericellular matrix acts as a mechanosensor by sequestering growth factors that are bound to heparan sulfate (HS) proteoglycans. Heparanase is the sole mammalian enzyme with HS degrading endoglycosidase activity. Here, we aimed to ascertain whether heparanase plays a role in modulating the anabolic or catabolic responses of human articular chondrocytes. Methods Primary chondrocytes were incubated with pro-heparanase and catabolic and anabolic gene expression was analyzed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR). MMP13 enzymatic activity in the culture medium was measured with a specific fluorescent assay. Extracellular regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation was evaluated by Western blot. Human osteoarthritis (OA) cartilage was assessed for heparanase expression by reverse-transcriptase PCR, by Western blot and by a heparanase enzymatic activity assay. Results Cultured chondrocytes rapidly associated with and activated pro-heparanase. Heparanase induced the catabolic genes MMP13 and ADAMTS4 and the secretion of active MMP13, and down-regulated the anabolic genes ACAN and COL2A1. PG545, a HS-mimetic, inhibited the effects of heparanase. Heparanase expression and enzymatic activity were demonstrated in adult human osteoarthritic cartilage. Heparanase induced ERK phosphorylation in cultured chondrocytes and this could be inhibited by PG545, by fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) neutralizing antibodies and by a FGF-receptor inhibitor. Conclusions Heparanase is active in osteoarthritic cartilage and induces catabolic responses in primary human chondrocytes. This response is due, at least in part, to the release of soluble growth factors such as FGF2.
    Functional characterization of oxazolone-induced colitis and survival improvement by vagus nerve stimulation
    Elisa Meroni, PLOS ONE - 2018
    Background Oxazolone-induced colitis has been frequently used in literature as a model of IBD, but insights into the underlying immune response and pathological features are surprisingly still very limited. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) has proven to be effective in innate and Th1/Th17 predominant inflammatory models, including pre-clinical models of colitis, however to what extent VNS is also effective in ameliorating Th2-driven colitis remains to be studied. In the present study, we therefore further characterized the immune response in oxazolone-induced colitis and investigated the potential therapeutic effect of VNS. Methods Colitis was induced in Balb/c mice by cutaneous sensitization with 3% oxazolone followed by intracolonic administration of 1% oxazolone 7 days later. To evaluate the effect of VNS on the development of Th2-driven colitis, VNS and sham-treated mice were challenged with 1% oxazolone. Results Intracolonic oxazolone administration resulted in a severe destruction of the colonic mucosa and a rapid drop in body temperature leading to a 65% mortality rate at day 5. Severe infiltration of neutrophils and monocytes was detected 6h after oxazolone administration which was associated with a Th2-type inflammatory response. VNS significantly improved survival rate which correlated with decreased levels of HMGB1 and reduced colonic (il6 and cxcl1 mRNA) and serum cytokine levels (IL-6, TNFα and CXCL1) compared to sham treated mice. Conclusions Oxazolone-induced colitis rather represents a model of sepsis and, at best, may resemble a severe type of ulcerative colitis, associated with early and severe mucosal damage and a high mortality rate. VNS reduces colonic inflammation and improves survival in this model, supporting the anti-inflammatory properties of VNS, even in an aggressive model as oxazolone-induced colitis.
    Prebiotic effects of white button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) feeding on succinate and intestinal gluconeogenesis in C57BL/6 mice
    Yuan Tian, Journal of Functional Foods - 2018
    The mechanisms by which white button (WB) mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) may influence health are unclear. WB feeding (1%) resulted in changes in the composition of microbiota in conventional (CV) mice to expand a population of Prevotella that produce propionate and succinate. Microbial propionate and succinate production induced expression of genes important for intestinal gluconeogenesis (IGN) via the gut-brain neural circuit. Reduced hepatic glucose production was a metabolic benefit of IGN that was found in WB fed CV mice. In the absence of microbiota or in mice with disruptions in the ability to sense microbiota there was no WB mediated effect. WB-fed lean mice had a small but significant improvement in glucose sensitivity. WB feeding resulted in shifts in the microbiota that induced IGN and improved glucose homeostasis.
    Characterization of carfilzomib-resistant non-small cell lung cancer cell lines
    Neale T. Hanke, Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology - 2018
    PurposeWe previously showed that carfilzomib (CFZ) has potent anti-proliferative and cytotoxic activity in a broad range of lung cancer cell lines. Here we investigate possible mechanisms of CFZ acquired resistance in lung cancer cell lines.MethodsCFZ-resistant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines were developed by exposing A549 and H520 cells to stepwise increasing concentrations of CFZ. Resistance to CFZ and cross-resistance to bortezomib and other chemotherapy drugs was measured using the MTT assay. Cytotoxicity to CFZ was determined using a CytoTox assay. Western blot was used to measure apoptosis, autophagy, and drug efflux transporter-related proteins. Quantitative targeted whole transcriptome sequencing and quantitative RT-PCR was used to measure gene expression. Flow cytometry was used to analyze intracellular accumulation of doxorubicin.ResultsThe CFZ IC50 value of the resistant cells increased versus parental lines (2.5-fold for A549, 122-fold for H520). Resistant lines showed reduced expression of apoptosis and autophagy markers and reduced death versus parental lines following CFZ treatment. Both resistant lines exhibited higher P-glycoprotein (Pgp) gene (TempO-Seq® analysis, increased 1.2-fold in A549, > 9000-fold in H520) and protein expression levels versus parental lines. TempO-Seq® analysis indicated other drug resistance pathways were upregulated. The resistant cell lines demonstrated less accumulation of intracellular doxorubicin, and were cross-resistant to other Pgp client drugs: bortezomib, doxorubicin, and paclitaxel, but not cisplatin.ConclusionsUpregulation of Pgp appears to be an important, but not the only, mechanism of CFZ resistance in NSCLC cell lines.
    Regulated intratumoral expression of IL-12 using a RheoSwitch Therapeutic System ® (RTS ® ) gene switch as gene therapy for the treatment of glioma
    John A. Barrett, Cancer Gene Therapy - 2018
    The purpose of this study was to determine if localized delivery of IL-12 encoded by a replication-incompetent adenoviral vector engineered to express IL-12 via a RheoSwitch Therapeutic System® (RTS®) gene switch (Ad-RTS-IL-12) administered intratumorally which is inducibly controlled by the oral activator veledimex is an effective approach for glioma therapy. Mice bearing 5–10-day-old intracranial GL-261 gliomas were intratumorally administered Ad-RTS-mIL-12 in which IL-12 protein expression is tightly controlled by the activator ligand, veledimex. Local tumor viral vector levels concomitant with veledimex levels, IL-12-mRNA expression, local and systemic cytokine expression, tumor and systemic flow cytometry and overall survival were studied. Ad-RTS-mIL-12+veledimex elicited a dose-related increase in tumor IL-12 mRNA and IL-12 protein and discontinuation of veledimex resulted in a return to baseline levels. These changes correlated with local immune and antitumor responses. Veledimex crossed the blood–brain barrier in both orthotopic GL-261 mice and cynomolgus monkeys. We have demonstrated that this therapy induced localized controlled production of IL-12 which correlates with an increase in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) leading to the desired biologic response of tumor growth inhibition and regression. At day 85 (study termination), 65% of the animals that received veledimex at 10 or 30 mg/m2/day were alive and tumor free. In contrast, the median survival for the other groups were: vehicle 23 days, bevacizumab 20 days, temozolomide 33 days and anti-PD-1 37 days. These findings suggest that the controlled intratumoral production of IL-12 induces local immune cell infiltration and improved survival in glioma, thereby demonstrating that this novel regulated immunotherapeutic approach may be an effective form of therapy for glioma.
    Effect of green light on nitrate reduction and edible quality of hydroponically grown lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) under short-term continuous light from red and blue light-emitting diodes
    Zhonghua Bian, Environmental and Experimental Botany - 2018
    Most leafy vegetables can accumulate large amounts of nitrate, which are often associated with harmful effects on human health. Nitrate assimilation in plants is determined by various growth conditions, especially light conditions including light intensity, light duration and light spectral composition. Red and blue light are the most important since both drive photosynthesis. Increasingly, recent evidence demonstrates a role for green light in the regulation of plant growth and development by regulating the expression of some specific genes. However, the effect of green light on nitrate assimilation has been underestimated. In this study, lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. cv. Butterhead) was treated with continuous light (CL) for 48 h by combined red and blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) supplemented with or without green LED in an environment-controlled growth chamber. The results showed that nitrate reductase (NR) and nitrite reductase (NiR) related-gene expression and nitrate assimilation enzyme activities were affected by light spectral composition and light duration of CL. Adding green light to red and blue light promoted NR and NiR expressions at 24 h, subsequently, it reduced expression of these genes during CL. Compared with red and blue LEDs, green light supplementation significantly increased NR, NiR, glutamate synthase (GOGAT) and glutamine synthetase (GS) activities. Green-light supplementation under red and blue light was more efficient in promoting nutritional values by maintaining high net photosynthetic rates (Pn) and maximal photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm).
    Myristate-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress requires ceramide synthases 5/6 and generation of C14-ceramide in intestinal epithelial cells
    Songhwa Choi, The FASEB Journal - 2018
    Saturated fatty acids (SFAs) have been shown to induce endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and chronic inflammatory responses, as well as alter sphingolipid metabolism. Disruptions in ER stress and sphingolipid metabolism have also been implicated in intestinal inflammation. Therefore, to elucidate the roles of SFAs in ER stress and inflammation in intestinal epithelial cells, we examined myristate (C14:0) and palmitate (C16:0). Myristate, but not palmitate, induced ER stress signaling, including activation of inositol-requiring enzyme 1 (IRE1) and X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1) signaling. Myristate significantly increased C14-ceramide levels, whereas palmitate increased several long-chain ceramides. To define the role of ceramide synthases (CerSs) in myristate-induced ER stress, we used the pharmacologic inhibitor, fumonisin B1 (FB1), and small interfering RNA (siRNA) for CerS5 and 6, the primary isoforms that are involved in C14-ceramide generation. FB1 and siRNA for CerS5 or 6 suppressed myristate-induced C14-ceramide generation and XBP1 splicing (XBP1s). Moreover, increased XBP1s induced the downstream expression of IL-6 in a CerS5/6-dependent manner. In addition, a myristate-enriched milk fat–based diet, but not a lard-based diet, increased C14-ceramide, XBP1s, and IL-6 expression in vivo. Taken together, our data suggest that myristate modulates ER stress and cytokine production in the intestinal epithelium via CerS5/6 and C14-ceramide generation.—Choi, S., Snider, J. M., Olakkengil, N., Lambert, J. M., Anderson, A. K., Ross-Evans, J. S., Cowart, L. A., Snider, A. J. Myristate-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress requires ceramide synthases 5/6 and generation of C14-ceramide in intestinal epithelial cells.
    Poly (ethylene glycol) hydrogel elasticity influences human mesenchymal stem cell behavior
    Anna K. Whitehead, Regenerative Biomaterials - 2018
    Abstract. Coordinated investigations into the interactions between biologically mimicking (biomimetic) material constructs and stem cells advance the potential
    The role of zinc in calprotectin expression in human myeloid cells
    Simone Lienau, Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology - 2018
    Elevated levels of calprotectin and other inflammatory mediators have been observed in inflammatory diseases paralleling serum hypozincemia. While a role of zinc in the regulation of tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 expression has been established, the direct interrelation of zinc and calprotectin (S100A8/S100A9 heterodimer) expression is so far missing. In the present study, we analyzed mRNA and protein levels of S100A8 and S100A9 in monocytic Mono Mac (MM)1 and early myeloid THP-1 and U937 cells to elucidate the effect of zinc deficiency on their expression. We could depict that zinc deficiency alone enhances mRNA and protein expression of calprotectin in myeloid cells, independently from maturity stage. Moreover, pre-existing zinc deficiency augmented lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced calprotectin expression in CD14+ MM1, but not in CD14− U937 or CD14− THP-1 cells. Zinc deficiency and LPS seem therefore to activate different intracellular pathways. Our findings suggest that zinc does not only regulate the activity of calprotectin but also its expression by human myeloid cells.
    Traditional kefir reduces weight gain and improves plasma and liver lipid profiles more successfully than a commercial equivalent in a mouse model of obesity
    Benjamin C. T. Bourrie, Journal of Functional Foods - 2018
    Kefir, a fermented milk beverage, has shown promise in alleviating obesity and associated metabolic dysfunction. However, microbial characteristics are variable among traditional kefirs, and commercial kefirs drastically differ from traditional kefir. This study investigated the ability of four traditional and one commercial kefir to control weight gain, plasma cholesterol, and liver triglycerides in a high fat diet-induced obesity mouse model. Two traditional kefirs decreased weight gain and plasma cholesterol levels. Conversely, commercial kefir had no beneficial effect. Additionally, one of the four traditional kefirs lowered liver triglycerides, which corresponded with decreases in the expression of fatty acid synthase, a gene involved in liver lipogenesis. Together with evidence of gut microbiome modulation, this study shows that traditional kefir has the potential for improving metabolic dysfunction associated with obesity. Notably, differences in kefir microbial populations may influence the ability of traditional kefir to positively impact host metabolic health.
    Long Noncoding RNAs AC009014.3 and Newly Discovered XPLAID Differentiate Aggressive and Indolent Prostate Cancers
    Anthony J. Cesnik, Translational Oncology - 2018
    The molecular mechanisms underlying aggressive versus indolent disease are not fully understood. Recent research has implicated a class …
    Salmon louse rhabdoviruses: Impact on louse development and transcription of selected Atlantic salmon immune genes
    Aina-Cathrine Øvergård, Developmental & Comparative Immunology - 2018
    Recently, it has been shown that the salmon louse (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) is commonly infected by one or two vertically transmitted Lepeophtheirus salmonis rhabdoviruses (LsRVs). As shown in the present study, the viruses have limited effect on louse survival, developmental rate and fecundity. Since the LsRVs were confirmed to be present in the louse salivary glands, the salmon cutaneous immune response towards LsRV positive and negative lice was analyzed. In general, L. salmonis increased the expression of IL1β, IL8 and IL4/13A at the attachment site, in addition to the non-specific cytotoxic cell receptor protein 1 (NCCRP-1). Interestingly, LsRV free lice induced a higher skin expression of IL1β, IL8, and NCCRP-1 than the LsRV infected lice. The inflammatory response is important for louse clearance, and the present results suggest that the LsRVs can be beneficial for the louse by dampening inflammation. Further research is, however; needed to ascertain whether this is a direct modulatory effect of secreted virions, or if virus replication is altering the level of louse salivary gland proteins.
    Salmon louse rhabdoviruses: Impact on louse development and transcription of selected Atlantic salmon immune genes
    Aina-Cathrine Øvergård, Developmental & Comparative Immunology - 2018
    Recently, it has been shown that the salmon louse (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) is commonly infected by one or two vertically transmitted Lepeophtheirus salmonis rhabdoviruses (LsRVs). As shown in the present study, the viruses have limited effect on louse survival, developmental rate and fecundity. Since the LsRVs were confirmed to be present in the louse salivary glands, the salmon cutaneous immune response towards LsRV positive and negative lice was analyzed. In general, L. salmonis increased the expression of IL1β, IL8 and IL4/13A at the attachment site, in addition to the non-specific cytotoxic cell receptor protein 1 (NCCRP-1). Interestingly, LsRV free lice induced a higher skin expression of IL1β, IL8, and NCCRP-1 than the LsRV infected lice. The inflammatory response is important for louse clearance, and the present results suggest that the LsRVs can be beneficial for the louse by dampening inflammation. Further research is, however; needed to ascertain whether this is a direct modulatory effect of secreted virions, or if virus replication is altering the level of louse salivary gland proteins.
    Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia–Derived IL-10 Suppresses Antitumor Immunity
    Sara S. Alhakeem, The Journal of Immunology - 2018
    Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients progressively develop an immunosuppressive state. CLL patients have more plasma IL-10, an anti-inflammatory cytokine, than healthy controls. In vitro human CLL cells produce IL-10 in response to BCR cross-linking. We used the transgenic Eμ–T cell leukemia oncogene-1 (TCL1) mouse CLL model to study the role of IL-10 in CLL associated immunosuppression. Eμ-TCL mice spontaneously develop CLL because of a B cell–specific expression of the oncogene, TCL1. Eμ-TCL1 mouse CLL cells constitutively produce IL-10, which is further enhanced by BCR cross-linking, CLL-derived IL-10 did not directly affect survival of murine or human CLL cells in vitro. We tested the hypothesis that the CLL-derived IL-10 has a critical role in CLL disease in part by suppressing the host immune response to the CLL cells. In IL-10R−/− mice, wherein the host immune cells are unresponsive to IL-10–mediated suppressive effects, there was a significant reduction in CLL cell growth compared with wild type mice. IL-10 reduced the generation of effector CD4 and CD8 T cells. We also found that activation of BCR signaling regulated the production of IL-10 by both murine and human CLL cells. We identified the transcription factor, Sp1, as a novel regulator of IL-10 production by CLL cells and that it is regulated by BCR signaling via the Syk/MAPK pathway. Our results suggest that incorporation of IL-10 blocking agents may enhance current therapeutic regimens for CLL by potentiating host antitumor immune response.
    Cross-talk between androgen and Wnt signaling potentially contributes to age-related skeletal muscle atrophy in rats
    Petey W. Mumford, Journal of Applied Physiology - 2018
    We sought to determine whether age-related gastrocnemius muscle mass loss was associated with parallel decrements in androgen receptor (AR) or select Wnt signaling markers. To test this hypothesis, serum free and total testosterone (TEST) as well as gastrocnemius AR and Wnt signaling markers were analyzed in male Fischer 344 rats that were 3/6/12/18 and 24 months (mo) old (n=9 per group). Free and total TEST were greatest in 6 mo rats, and AR protein and Wnt5 protein levels linearly declined with aging. There were associations between Wnt5 protein levels and relative gastrocnemius mass (r=0.395, p=0.007) as well as AR and Wnt5 protein levels (r=0.670, p<0.001). We next tested the hypothesis that Wnt5 affects muscle fiber size by treating C2C12-derived myotubes lower (75 ng/mL) and higher (150 ng/mL) concentrations of recombinant Wnt5a protein. Both treatments increased myotube size (p<0.05) suggesting this ligand may affect muscle fiber size in vivo. We next tested if Wnt5a protein levels were androgen-modulated by examining 10 mo old male Fischer 344 rats (n=10-11 per group) that were orchiectomized and treated with testosterone-enanthate (TEST-E), trenbolone enanthate (TREN), a non-aromatizable synthetic testosterone analogue, or a vehicle (ORX only) for 4 weeks. Interestingly, TEST-E and TREN treatments increased Wnt5a protein in the androgen-sensitive levator ani/bulbocavernosus (LABC) muscle compared ORX only (p<0.05). To summarize, aromatizable and non-aromatizable androgens increase Wnt5a protein expression in skeletal muscle, age-related decrements in muscle AR may contribute Wnt5a protein decrements, and our in vitro data imply this mechanism may contribute to age-related muscle loss.
    Distinct roles for REV-ERBα and REV-ERBβ in oxidative capacity and mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle
    Ariadna Amador, PLOS ONE - 2018
    The nuclear receptors REV-ERBα and REV-ERBβ have been demonstrated to be core members of the circadian clock and participate in the regulation of a diverse set of metabolic functions. Due to their overlapping tissue expression patterns and gene expression profiles, REV-ERBβ is thought to be redundant to REV-ERBα. Recent work has highlighted REV-ERBα’s role in the regulation of skeletal muscle oxidative capacity and mitochondrial biogenesis. Considering the similarity between the REV-ERBs and the hypothesized overlap in function, we sought to determine whether REV-ERBβ-deficiency presented with a similar skeletal muscle phenotype as REV-ERBα-deficiency. Ectopic overexpression in C2C12 cells demonstrated that REV-ERBβ drives mitochondrial biogenesis and the expression of genes involved in fatty acid oxidation. Intriguingly, knock down of REV-ERBβ in C2C12 cultures also resulted in mitochondrial biogenesis and increased expression of genes involved in fatty acid β-oxidation. To determine whether these effects occurred in vivo, we examined REV-ERBβ-deficient mice and observed a similar increase in expression of genes involved in mitochondrial biogenesis and fatty acid β-oxidation. Consistent with these results, REV-ERBβ-deficient mice exhibited an altered metabolic phenotype compared to wild-type littermate controls when measured by indirect calorimetry. This likely compensated for the increased food consumption that occurred, possibly aiding in the maintenance of their weight over time. Since feeding behaviors are a direct circadian output, this study suggests that REV-ERBβ may have more subtle effects on circadian behaviors than originally identified. Furthermore, these data implicate REV-ERBβ in the control of skeletal muscle metabolism and energy expenditure and suggest that development of REV-ERBα versus REV-ERBβ selective ligands may have therapeutic utility in the treatment of metabolic syndrome.
    Cutting Edge: The Histone Methyltransferase G9a Is Required for Silencing of Helper T Lineage–Associated Genes in Proliferating CD8 T Cells
    Daniel J. Verbaro, The Journal of Immunology - 2018
    Helper versus cytotoxic T lineage decision in the thymus has been studied as a model for silencing of alternative lineage genes. Although the transcription factor RUNX3 is required for the initiation of Cd4 silencing in developing CD8 T cells, it is unknown how silencing of Cd4 and other helper T lineage genes is maintained. We show that the histone methyltransferase G9a is necessary for silencing helper T lineage genes in proliferating mouse CD8 T cells. Despite normal initial Cd4 downregulation, G9a-deficient CD8 T cells derepress Cd4 and other helper lineage genes during repeated division in lymphopenia or in response to tumor Ag. However, G9a was dispensable for continued silencing of those genes in CD8 T cells that respond to infection by Listeria monocytogenes. These results demonstrate that G9a facilitates maintenance of cellular identity of CD8 T cells during cell division, which is further reinforced by inflammatory signals.
    Obesity in mares promotes uterine inflammation and alters embryo lipid fingerprints and homeostasis
    Dawn R. Sessions-Bresnahan, Biology of Reproduction - 2018
    Abstract. Maternal body composition can be an important determinant for development of obesity and metabolic syndrome in adult offspring. Obesity-related outco
    Estrogens and selective estrogen receptor modulators differentially antagonize Runx2 in ST2 mesenchymal progenitor cells
    Yonatan Amzaleg, The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - 2018
    Estrogens attenuate bone turnover by inhibiting both osteoclasts and osteoblasts, in part through antagonizing Runx2. Apparently conflicting, stimulatory effects in osteoblast lineage cells, however, sway the balance between bone resorption and bone formation in favor of the latter. Consistent with this dualism, 17ß-estradiol (E2) both stimulates and inhibits Runx2 in a locus-specific manner, and here we provide evidence for such locus-specific regulation of Runx2 by E2 in vivo. We also demonstrate dual, negative and positive, regulation of Runx2-driven alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity by increasing E2 concentrations in ST2 osteoblast progenitor cells. We further compared the effects of E2 to those of the Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) raloxifene (ral) and lasofoxifene (las) and the phytoestrogen puerarin. We found that E2 at the physiological concentrations of 0.1-1 nM, as well as ral and las, but not puerarin, antagonize Runx2-driven ALP activity. At ≥10 nM, E2 and puerarin, but not ral or las, stimulate ALP relative to the activity measured at 0.1-1 nM. Contrasting the difference between E2 and SERMs in ST2 cells, they all shared a similar dose-response profile when inhibiting pre-osteoclast proliferation. That ral and las poorly mimic the locus- and concentration-dependent effects of E2 in mesenchymal progenitor cells may help explain their limited clinical efficacy.
    Gastrointestinal microbiota and mucosal immune gene expression in neonatal pigs reared in a cross-fostering model
    Nidia Maradiaga, Microbial Pathogenesis - 2018
    Cross fostering is employed to equalize the number of piglet between litters ensuring colostrum intake for their survival and growth. However, little is known about the impact of cross fostering on the intestinal microbiota and mucosal immune gene expression of the neonatal pig. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of maternal microbial communities on the gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota and mucosal immune gene expression in young pigs reared in a cross-fostering model. Piglets were given high quality colostrum from birth dam or foster dam upon birth. Twenty-four piglets were randomly assigned at birth to 1 of 3 treatments according to colostrum source and postcolostral milk feeding during, as follow: treatment 1 (n = 8), received colostrum and post-colostral milk feeding from their own dam; treatment 2 (n = 8), received colostrum from foster dam and returned to their own dam for post-colostral milk feeding; and treatment 3 (n = 8), received colostrum and post-colostral milk feeding from foster dam. Genomic DNA was extracted, and the V1-V3 hypervariable region of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene was amplified and sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq platform. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis was also performed to quantify the expression of toll-like receptors (TLR) 2, TLR 4, TLR 10, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), interferon gamma (IFNγ), and interleukin (IL) 4 and IL 10. Data analysis revealed that microbial communities were varied according to the GI biogeographical location, with colon being the most diverse section. Bacterial communities in both maternal colostrum and vaginal samples were significantly associated with those present in the fecal samples of piglets. Cross-fostering did not affect bacterial communities present in the piglet GI tract. However, the mRNA expression of TLR and inflammatory cytokines changed (P < 0.05) with biogeographical location in the GI tract. Higher mRNA expression of TLR and inflammatory cytokines was observed in ileum and ileum associated lymph tissues. This study suggests an impact of colostrum and maternal microbial communities on the microbiota development and mucosal immune gene expression in the newly born piglet. This study revealed novel information about the distribution and expression patterns of TLR and inflammatory cytokines in the GI tract of the young pig. Future studies are needed to determine the role and clinical importance of the mucosal microbiota and mucosal gene expression in health, productivity, and susceptibility to the development of GI disease, in piglets.
    Cyanidin Curtails Renal Cell Carcinoma Tumorigenesis
    Xiaobing Liu, Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry - 2018
    Cyanidin is an anthocyanin found in many foods. Although its variable antioxidant levels are well-documented, little is known about its effects on renal cell carcinoma (RCC) tumorigenesis. This study, therefore, investigated the effects of cyanidin on the proliferation, migration, and invasion of renal cell carcinoma lines and demonstrated, for the first time, significant inhibitory effects of cyanidin on RCC tumorigenesis. Methods: RCC cells were treated with different doses of cyanidin and the effects were tested by Cell Counting Kit-8 reagent, clone formation assay, transwell assay, and flow cytometry. Moreover, the cyanidin-mediated mechanism that curtailed tumorigenesis was analyzed by RNA sequencing (RNA-seq). Sequencing data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) were used to compare the expression of both early growth response protein 1 (EGR1) and selenoprotein W (SEPW1) in RCC and tumor-free adjacent normal tissue samples. Real-time PCR (RT-PCR) and/or western blot were used to assess the expression of E-cadherin, cleaved-caspase3, Bcl2, p62, and ATG4. Results: We found significantly greater induction of cell-cycle arrest, apoptosis, and suppression of RCC cell invasion and migration at concentrations of 25 µM and 100 µM than at a concentration of 50 µM. It was also discovered, first through RNA-seq then confirmed by RT-PCR, that cyanidin (100 µM) inhibited RCC carcinogenesis through EGR1 and SEPW1. TCGA data indicated that the expression level of EGR1 was lower and that of SEPW1 was higher in RCC tumor tissue than in normal tissues. Moreover, western blot and/or RT-PCR indicated that cleaved-caspase3 was enhanced and E-cadherin was inhibited by cyanidin treatment. Furthermore, western blot and RT-PCR also showed regulation of p62 and ATG4, which are associated with autophagy. Cyanidin in vivo significantly inhibited the growth of xenografts in nude mice. Conclusions: The results of this study showed the therapeutic potential of cyanidin for the treatment of RCC and the prevention of recurrence and metastasis.
    Low-dose irradiated mesenchymal stromal cells break tumor defensive properties in vivo
    Francesca Romana Stefani, International Journal of Cancer - 2018
    Solid tumors, including gliomas, still represent a challenge to clinicians and first line treatments often fail, calling for new paradigms in cancer therapy. Novel strategies to overcome tumor resistance are mainly represented by multi-targeted approaches, and cell vector-based therapy is one of the most promising treatment modalities under development. Here, we show that mouse bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), when primed with low-dose irradiation (irMSCs), undergo changes in their immunogenic and angiogenic capacity and acquire anti-tumoral properties in a mouse model of glioblastoma (GBM). Following grafting in GL261 glioblastoma, irMSCs migrate extensively and selectively within the tumor and infiltrate predominantly the perivascular niche, leading to rejection of established tumors and cure in 29% of animals. The therapeutic radiation dose window is narrow, with effects seen between 2 and 15 Gy, peaking at 5 Gy. A single low-dose radiation decreases MSCs inherent immune suppressive properties in vitro as well as shapes their immune regulatory ability in vivo. Intra-tumorally grafted irMSCs stimulate the immune system and decrease immune suppression. Additionally, irMSCs enhance peri-tumoral reactive astrocytosis and display anti-angiogenic properties. Hence, the present study provides strong evidence for a therapeutic potential of low-dose irMSCs in cancer as well as giving new insight into MSC biology and applications. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Targeted Gene Knock Out Using Nuclease-Assisted Vector Integration: Hemi- and Homozygous Deletion of JAG1
    Michael Gapinske, Synthetic Biology - 2018
    Gene editing technologies are revolutionizing fields such as biomedicine and biotechnology by providing a simple means to manipulate the genetic makeup of essentially any organism. Gene editing tools function by introducing double-stranded breaks at targeted sites within the genome, which the host cells repair preferentially by Non-Homologous End Joining. While the technologies to introduce double-stranded breaks have been extensively optimized, this progress has not been matched by the development of methods to integrate heterologous DNA at the target sites or techniques to detect and isolate cells that harbor the desired modification. We present here a technique for rapid introduction of vectors at target sites in the genome that enables efficient isolation of successfully edited cells.
    Triggering the activation of Activin A type II receptor in human adipose stem cells towards tenogenic commitment using mechanomagnetic stimulation
    A. I. Gonçalves, Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine - 2018
    Stem cell therapies hold potential to stimulate tendon regeneration and homeostasis, which is maintained in response to the native mechanical environment. Activins are members of the mechano-responsive TGF-β superfamily that participates in the regulation of several downstream biological processes. Mechanosensitive membrane receptors such as activin can be activated in different types of stem cells via magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) through remote magnetic actuation resulting in cell differentiation. In this work, we target the Activin receptor type IIA (ActRIIA) in human adipose stem cells (hASCs), using anti-ActRIIA functionalized MNPs, externally activated through a oscillating magnetic bioreactor. Upon activation, the phosphorylation of Smad2/3 is induced allowing translocation of the complex to the nucleus, regulating tenogenic transcriptional responses. Our study demonstrates the potential remote activation of MNPs tagged hASCs to trigger the Activin receptor leading to tenogenic differentiation. These results may provide insights toward tendon regeneration therapies.
    Insecticide toxicity associated with detoxification enzymes and genes related to transcription of cuticular melanization among color morphs of Asian citrus psyllid
    Xue Dong Chen, Insect Science - 2018
    The Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama) is known to exhibit abdominal color polymorphisms. In the current study, susceptibility to four insecticides was compared among orange/yellow, blue/green and gray/brown color morphs of field collected D. citri. The LD50 values and 95% fiducial limits were quantified for each insecticide and color morph combination and ranged between 0.10 ng/μL (0.06–0.10) and 6.16 ng/μL (3.30–12.50). Second, we measured the detoxification enzyme activity levels of orange/yellow, blue/green and gray/brown color morphs for cytochrome P450, glutathione S-transferase, and general esterase. The mean P450 activity (equivalent units) was significantly lower in gray/brown (0.152 ± 0.006) and blue/green morphs (0.149 ± 0.005) than in the orange/yellow morphs (0.179 ± 0.008). GST activity (μmol/min/mg protein) was significantly lower in the orange/yellow morph (299.70 ±1.24) than gray/brown (350.86 ± 1.19) and blue/green (412.25 ± 1.37) morphs. The mean EST activity (μmol/min/mg protein) was significantly higher in blue/green (416.72 ± 5.12) and gray/brown morphs (362.19 ± 4.69) than in the orange/yellow morphs (282.56 ± 2.93). Additionally, we analyzed the relative expression of assortment genes involved in cuticular melanization and basal immunity. The transcripts of Dopa Decarboxylase and Tyrosine Hydroxylase were expressed higher in blue/green and gray/brown than orange/yellow morphs. The transcription results paralleled the susceptibility of D. citri to organophosphate, neonicotinoid and pyrethroid insecticides. GST and EST activity may also be correlated with low levels of insecticide susceptibility. Cuticular melanization could be a factor for the development of resistance to insecticides among different color morphs.
    Nrf2 deletion from adipocytes, but not hepatocytes, potentiates systemic metabolic dysfunction after long-term high-fat diet-induced obesity in mice
    Dionysios V Chartoumpekis, American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism - 2018
    Nrf2 is a canonical regulator of cytoprotective gene expression but evidence of its crosstalk with other pathways, including metabolic ones, is ever increasing. Pharmacologic or systemic genetic activation of the Nrf2 pathway partially protects from obesity in mice and ameliorates fasting hyperglycemia in mice and humans. However, systemic Nrf2 deletion also protected from diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance in mice. To further investigate the effect of the disruption of Nrf2 on obesity in a tissue-specific manner, we focused on adipocytes and hepatocytes with targeted deletion of Nrf2. To this end, mice with cell-specific deletion of Nrf2 in adipocytes (ANKO) or hepatocytes (HeNKO) were fed high-fat diet (HFD) for 6 months and showed similar increases in body weight and body fat content. ANKO mice showed a partially deteriorated glucose tolerance, higher fasting glucose levels and higher levels of cholesterol, and non-esterified fatty acids compared to their control counterparts. The HeNKO mice though, had lower insulin levels and trended towards improved insulin sensitivity without having any difference in liver triglyceride accumulation. This study compared for the first time two conditional Nrf2 knock-out models in adipocytes and in hepatocytes during HFD-induced obesity. None of these models could completely recapitulate the unexpected protection against obesity observed in the whole body Nrf2 knock-out mice but this study points out the differential roles that Nrf2 may play, beyond cytoprotection, in different target tissues and rather suggests systemic activation of the Nrf2 pathway as an effective means of prevention and treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
    Study of the beneficial effects of green light on lettuce grown under short-term continuous red and blue light-emitting diodes
    Zhonghua Bian, Physiologia Plantarum - 2018
    Red and blue light are the most important light spectra for driving photosynthesis to produce adequate crop yield. It is also believed that green light may contribute to adaptations to growth. However, the effects of green light, which can trigger specific and necessary responses of plant growth, have been underestimated in the past. In this study, lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) was exposed to different continuous light (CL) conditions for 48 h by a combination of red and blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) supplemented with or without green LEDs, in an environmental-controlled growth chamber. Green light supplementation enhanced photosynthetic capacity by increasing net photosynthetic rates (Pn), maximal photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm), electron transport for carbon fixation (JPSII) and chlorophyll content in plants under the CL treatment. Green light decreased malondialdehyde and H2O2 accumulation by increasing the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD; EC and ascorbate peroxidase (APX; EC after 24 h of CL. Supplemental green light significantly increased the expression of photosynthetic genes LHCb and PsbA from 6 to 12 h, and these gene expression were maintained at higher levels than those under other light conditions between 12 and 24 h. However, a notable down-regulation of both LHCb and PsbA was observed during 24 to 48 h. These results indicate that the effects of green light on lettuce plant growth, via enhancing activity of particular components of antioxidantive enzyme system and promoting of LHCb and PsbA expression to maintain higher photosynthetic capacity, alleviated a number of the negative effects caused by CL.
    Morphine-potentiated cognitive deficits correlate to suppressed hippocampal iNOS RNA expression and an absent type 1 interferon response in LP-BM5 murine AIDS
    Virginia D. McLane, Journal of Neuroimmunology - 2018
    Opioid use accelerates neurocognitive impairment in HIV/AIDS patients. We assessed the effect of chronic morphine treatment and LP-BM5/murine AIDS (MAIDS) infection on cognition, cytokine production, and type 1 interferon (IFN) expression in the murine CNS. Morphine treatment decreased expression of pro-inflammatory factors (CCL5, iNOS) and reduced cognitive performance in LP-BM5-infected mice, correlating to increased hippocampal viral load and a blunted type 1 IFN response. In the striatum, morphine reduced viral load while increasing IFN-α RNA expression. Our results suggest that differentially regulated type 1 IFN responses may contribute to distinct regional outcomes in the hippocampus and striatum in LP-BM5/MAIDS.
    Liver damage, proliferation, and progenitor cell markers in experimental necrotizing enterocolitis
    Hiromu Miyake, Journal of Pediatric Surgery - 2018
    Background Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a disease known to cause injury to multiple organs including the liver. Liver regeneration is essential for the recovery after NEC-induced liver injury. Our aim was to investigate hepatic proliferation and progenitor cell marker expression in experimental NEC. Methods Following ethical approval (#32238), NEC was induced in mice by hypoxia, gavage feeding of hyperosmolar formula, and lipopolysaccharide. Breastfed pups were used as control. We analyzed serum ALT level, liver inflammatory cytokines, liver proliferation markers, and progenitor cell marker expression. Comparison was made between NEC and controls. Results Serum ALT level was higher in NEC (p<0.05). The mRNA expression of inflammatory cytokines in the liver was also higher in NEC (IL6: p<0.05, TNF-α: p<0.01). Conversely, mRNA expression of proliferation markers in the liver was lower in NEC (Ki67; p<0.01, PCNA: p<0.01). LGR5 expression was also significantly decreased in NEC as demonstrated by mRNA (p<0.05) and protein (p<0.01) levels. Conclusions Inflammatory injury was present in the liver during experimental NEC. Proliferation and LGR5 expression were impaired in the NEC liver. Modulation of progenitor cell expressing LGR5 may result in stimulation of liver regeneration in NEC-induced liver injury and improved clinical outcome. Level of evidence Level IV.
    Improved apple latent spherical virus-induced gene silencing in multiple soybean genotypes through direct inoculation of agro-infiltrated Nicotiana benthamiana extract
    C. R. Gedling, Plant Methods - 2018
    Virus induced gene silencing (VIGS) is a powerful genomics tool for interrogating the function of plant genes. Unfortunately, VIGS vectors often produce disease symptoms that interfere with the silencing phenotypes of target genes, or are frequently ineffective in certain plant genotypes or tissue types. This is especially true in crop plants like soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr]. To address these shortcomings, we modified the inoculation procedure of a VIGS vector based on Apple latent spherical virus (ALSV). The efficacy of this new procedure was assessed in 19 soybean genotypes using a soybean Phytoene desaturase (GmPDS1) gene as the VIGS target. Silencing of GmPDS1 was easily scored as photo-bleached leaves and/or stems.
    Is 8% O2 more normoxic than 21% O2 for long-term in vitro cultures of human primary term cytotrophoblasts?
    C. L. Depoix, MHR: Basic science of reproductive medicine - 2018
    STUDY QUESTIONIs 8% O2 a better percentage of atmospheric oxygen for long-term cultures of human primary term cytotrophoblasts than the conventional 21% O2 traditionally used in cell culture?SUMMARY ANSWERHuman primary term cytotrophoblasts are able to differentiate into syncytiotrophoblasts under both atmospheric oxygen levels.WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADYCell culture is traditionally done under 21% O2, which is equal to a pO2 of ~160 mm Hg. Based on the pO2 measured after instauration of the blood circulation within the placenta, it has been proposed that cytotrophoblasts culture should be under 8% O2, which is equivalent to 60 mm Hg, and that this percentage should be considered as the physiological normoxia for cytotrophoblasts.STUDY, DESIGN, SIZE, DURATIONCytotrophoblasts were isolated and purified from human term placentas (n > 4). Cells were cultured under 21% O2 and 8% O2 for 12 days. Several cellular parameters were assessed on Days 2, 4, 8 and 12.PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODSPlacentas were obtained after vaginal or elective cesarean delivery from uncomplicated pregnancies at term (n ≥ 4). Cell viability was measured by a luminescent assay based on quantitation of the ATP content of living cells. Cell fusion was assessed by quantification of syncytin and e-cadherin mRNA expression by real-time PCR and determination of the fusion index by immunofluorescent microscopy. Trophoblast differentiation was assessed by measuring the expression levels of hCGβ, inhibin α subunit (InhA) and placental growth factor (PlGF) by real-time PCR and ELISA. Finally, the effect of the two oxygen levels on apoptosis and cellular oxidative stress was also investigated by quantifying caspase 3/7 activation, superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD-1) mRNA expression and H2O2 generation.MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCEThere was no difference between 21% O2 and 8% O2 on cell viability. Cell fusion seemed to be enhanced during the first 4 days when the cells were cultured under 21% O2 compared to 8% O2. The expression level of hCGβ was equivalent in both oxygen conditions, indicating that there was no difference in trophoblast differentiation. Interestingly, InhA expression was higher under 8% O2, while PlGF expression was inhibited compared to 21% O2. This latter result indicates that 8% O2 may be more hypoxic than normoxic for in vitro culture of primary term cytotrophoblast. This is further corroborated by the fact that 21% O2 did not significantly increase caspase 3/7 activities and the oxidative stress (SOD-1 mRNA expression and H2O2 generation) in our cell cultures.LARGE SCALE DATANot applicable.LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTIONThe in vitro culture of cytotrophoblasts is artificial and does not reflect the in vivo situation. The cell population is nearly 100% pure, cultured as a monolayer, and the cells bath in a chemically defined culture medium deprived of any oxygen carrier. The oxygen molecules available to the cells are passively dissolved in the medium. The gas dissolution properties of the medium and the cellular consumption rate of oxygen may allow the cells to sustain a wide range of oxygen percentages from 8% to 21%.WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGSIt is possible to culture human primary term cytotrophoblasts for at least 12 days. The O2 percentage of the air does not negatively affect in vitro cytotrophoblast differentiation. For in vitro culture of cytotrophoblasts, it is not necessary to lower the percentage of atmospheric oxygen to 8%.STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S)This work was fully supported by ‘Fetus for Life’ charity. The authors state that there is no conflict of interest to declare regarding the publication of this paper.
    Redundant regulation of localization and protein stability of DmPar3
    Lars Kullmann, Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences - 2018
    Apical–basal polarity is an important characteristic of epithelia and Drosophila neural stem cells. The conserved Par complex, which consists of the atypical protein kinase C and the scaffold proteins Baz and Par6, is a key player in the establishment of apical–basal cell polarity. Membrane recruitment of Baz has been reported to be accomplished by several mechanisms, which might function in redundancy, to ensure the correct localization of the complex. However, none of the described interactions was sufficient to displace the protein from the apical junctions. Here, we dissected the role of the oligomerization domain and the lipid-binding motif of Baz in vivo in the Drosophila embryo. We found that these domains function in redundancy to ensure the apical junctional localization of Baz: inactivation of only one domain is not sufficient to disrupt the function of Baz during apical–basal polarization of epithelial cells and neural stem cells. In contrast, mutation of both domains results in a strongly impaired protein stability and a phenotype characterized by embryonic lethality and an impaired apical–basal polarity in the embryonic epithelium and neural stem cells, resembling a baz-loss of function allele. Strikingly, the binding of Baz to the transmembrane proteins E-Cadherin, Echinoid, and Starry Night was not affected in this mutant protein. Our findings reveal a redundant function of the oligomerization and the lipid-binding domain, which is required for protein stability, correct subcellular localization, and apical–basal cell polarization.
    Short-term effect of FSH on gene expression in bovine granulosa cells in vitro
    Anne-Laure Nivet, Reproduction, Fertility and Development - 2018
    In reproduction, FSH is one of the most important hormones, especially in females, because it controls the number of follicles and the rate of follicular growth. Although several studies have examined the follicular response at the transcriptome level, it is difficult to obtain a clear and complete picture of the genes responding to an increase in FSH in an in vivo context because follicles undergo rapid morphological and physical changes during their growth. To help define the transcriptome downstream response to FSH, an in vitro model was used in the present study to observe the short-term (4 h) cellular response. Gene expression analysis highlighted a set of novel transcripts that had not been reported previously as being part of the FSH response. Moreover, the results of the present study indicate that the epithelial to mesenchymal transition pathway is inhibited by short-term FSH stimuli, maintaining follicles in a growth phase and preventing differentiation. Modulating gene expression in vitro has physiological limitations, but it can help assess the potential downstream response and begin the mapping of the granulosa cell transcriptome in relation to FSH. This information is a key feature to help discriminate between the effects of FSH and LH, or to elucidate the overlapping of insulin-like growth factor 1 and FSH in the granulosa mitogenic response.
    Effect of metformin on estrogen and progesterone receptor-positive (MCF-7) and triple-negative (MDA-MB-231) breast cancer cells
    Inês Amaral, Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy - 2018
    This work aimed to investigate the effect of metformin on cellular glucose uptake and metabolism by breast cancer cells, as a mechanism contributing to its anticancer properties. Estrogen and progesterone receptor-positive (MCF-7) and triple-negative (MDA-MB-231) breast cancer cell lines were used as in vitro models of breast cancer. Short-term (26 min) exposure of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells to metformin inhibited uptake of 3H-deoxy-D-glucose (3H-DG). In contrast, long-term (24 h) exposure to metformin (5 μM–1 mM) concentration-dependently increased 3H-DG uptake in both cell lines. This effect was associated with an increase in lactate production but was not associated with changes in GLUT1 mRNA expression. Long-term exposure of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells to metformin (5 μM–1 mM) concentration-dependently reduced cell viability and culture mass and slightly increased cell proliferation rates. Combination of metformin (1 mM) with the facilitative glucose transporter (GLUT) inhibitor kaempferol (30 μM) did not change the effect of metformin on culture growth. In conclusion, short-term exposure to metformin reduces cellular glucose uptake, probably by direct inhibition of GLUT1. However, after long-term exposure to metformin, cellular uptake of glucose is significantly increased, not associated to changes in GLUT1 transcription rates. We suggest that, in the long-term, metformin induces a compensatory increase in glucose uptake in response to cellular energy depletion resulting from its inhibitory effect on mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation machinery. Metformin-induced dependence of breast cancer cells on glycolytic pathway, associated with an anticarcinogenic effect of the drug, provides a biochemical basis for the design of new therapeutic strategies.
    Hydroxychavicol, a key ingredient of Piper betle induces bacterial cell death by DNA damage and inhibition of cell division
    Deepti Singh, Free Radical Biology and Medicine - 2018
    Antibiotic resistance is a global problem and there is an urgent need to augment the arsenal against pathogenic bacteria. The emergence of different drug resistant bacteria is threatening human lives to be pushed towards the pre-antibiotic era. Botanical sources remain a vital source of diverse organic molecules that possess antibacterial property as well as augment existing antibacterial molecules. Piper betle, a climber, is widely used in south and south-east Asia whose leaves and nuts are consumed regularly. Hydroxychavicol (HC) isolated from Piper betle has been reported to possess antibacterial activity. It is currently not clear how the antibacterial activity of HC is manifested. In this investigation we show HC generates superoxide in E. coli cells. Antioxidants protected E. coli against HC induced cell death while gshA mutant was more sensitive to HC than wild type. DNA damage repair deficient mutants are hypersensitive to HC and HC induces the expression of DNA damage repair genes that repair oxidative DNA damage. HC treated E. coli cells are inhibited from growth and undergo DNA condensation. In vitro HC binds to DNA and cleaves it in presence of copper. Our data strongly indicates HC mediates bacterial cell death by ROS generation and DNA damage. Damage to iron sulfur proteins in the cells contribute to amplification of oxidative stress initiated by HC. Further HC is active against a number of Gram negative bacteria isolated from patients with a wide range of clinical symptoms and varied antibiotic resistance profiles.
    Growth characteristics of Chlamydia trachomatis in human intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells
    Ildikó Lantos, Pathogens and Disease - 2018
    Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular bacterium causing infections of the eyes, urogenital and respiratory tracts. Asymptomatic, repeat and chronic infections with C. trachomatis are common in the urogenital tract potentially causing severe reproductive pathology. Animal models of infection and epidemiological studies suggested the gastrointestinal tract as a reservoir of chlamydiae and as a source of repeat urogenital infections. Thus, we investigated the growth characteristics of C. trachomatis in human intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells and the infection-induced defensin production. Immunofluorescence staining and transmission electron microscopy showed the presence of chlamydial inclusions in the cells. Chlamydial DNA and viable C. trachomatis were recovered from Caco-2 cells in similar quantity compared to that detected in the usual in vitro host cell of this bacterium. The kinetics of expression of selected C. trachomatis genes in Caco-2 cells indicated prolonged replication with persisting high expression level of late genes and of heat shock protein gene groEL. Replication of C. trachomatis induced moderate level of β-defensin-2 production by Caco-2 cells, which might contribute to avoidance of immune recognition in the intestine. According to our results, Caco-2 cells support C. trachomatis replication, suggesting that the gastrointestinal tract is a site of residence for these bacteria.
    Macrophage-Derived Protein S Facilitates Apoptotic Polymorphonuclear Cell Clearance by Resolution Phase Macrophages and Supports Their Reprogramming
    Delphine Lumbroso, Frontiers in Immunology - 2018
    The complete resolution of inflammation requires the uptake of apoptotic polymorphonuclear cells (PMN) by local macrophages (efferocytosis) and the consequent reprogramming of the engulfing phagocytes to reparative and pro-resolving phenotypes. The tyrosine kinase receptors TYRO3, AXL, and MERTK (collectively named TAM) are fundamental mediators in regulating inflammatory responses and efferocytosis. Protein S (PROS1) is a ligand for all TAM receptors that mediates various aspects of their activity. However, the involvement of PROS1 in the resolution of inflammation is incompletely understood. Here, we report the upregulation of Pros1 in macrophages during the resolution of inflammation. Selective knockout of Pros1 in the myeloid lineage significantly downregulated macrophage pro-resolving properties. Hence, Pros1-deficient macrophages engulfed fewer apoptotic PMN remnants in vivo, and exogenous PROS1 rescued impaired efferocytosis ex vivo. Moreover, Pros1-deficient peritoneal macrophages secreted higher levels of the pro-inflammatory mediators TNFα and CCL3, while they secreted lower levels of the reparative/anti-inflammatory IL-10 following exposure to lipopolysaccharide in comparison to their WT counterparts. Moreover, Pros1-deficient macrophages expressed less of the anti-inflammatory/pro-resolving enzymes arginase-1 and 12/15-lipoxygenase and produced less of the specialized pro-resolving mediator resolvin D1. Altogether, our results suggest that macrophage-derived PROS1 is an important effector molecule in regulating the efferocytosis, maturation, and reprogramming of resolution phase macrophages, and imply that PROS1 could provide a new therapeutic target for inflammatory and fibrotic disorders.
    RANKL/RANK Pathway and its Inhibitor RANK-Fc in Uterine Leiomyoma Growth
    Deborah E. Ikhena, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism - 2018
    ContextUterine leiomyomas are the most common type of gynecologic tumor in women.ObjectiveTo determine the role of the cytokine RANKL, its receptor RANK, and the RANKL/RANK pathway inhibitor RANK-Fc in leiomyoma growth.DesignmRNA or protein levels of RANKL, RANK and proliferation markers cyclin D1 and Ki67 were assessed in various leiomyoma tissues and cell populations. Human xenograft experiments were performed to determine the effects of RANK-Fc on leiomyoma growth in vivo.SettingResearch laboratoryPatientsTwenty-four regularly cycling premenopausal women (age 28-49 years) who were not on hormone therapy.InterventionsnoneMain Outcome MeasureTumor growth in a murine xenograft model following targeting of the RANKL/RANK pathway with RANK-Fc.ResultsRANKL mRNA levels in leiomyoma were significantly higher than those in myometrial tissues. The highest RANK levels were found in the leiomyoma stem cell (LSC) population, which is deficient in progesterone receptor (PR). Conversely, the highest RANKL levels were found in the PR-rich leiomyoma intermediate cell (LIC) population. R5020, a PR agonist, specifically increased RANKL expression in LICs. RANK-Fc blocked RANKL-induced expression of the proliferative gene cyclin D1. Treatment with RANK-Fc also significantly decreased tumor growth in vivo and diminished the expression of proliferation marker Ki67 in tumors (p<0.01, n=4).ConclusionsTreatment with the RANKL/RANK pathway inhibitor RANK-Fc significantly decreased human leiomyoma cell proliferation and tumor growth. This suggests that the RANKL/RANK pathway could serve as a potential target for the prevention and treatment of uterine leiomyoma.
    Inflammation arising from obesity reduces taste bud abundance and inhibits renewal
    Andrew Kaufman, PLOS Biology - 2018
    Despite evidence that the ability to taste is weakened by obesity and can be rescued with weight loss intervention, few studies have investigated the molecular effects of obesity on the taste system. Taste bud cells undergo continual turnover even in adulthood, exhibiting an average life span of only a few weeks, tightly controlled by a balance of proliferation and cell death. Recent data reveal that an acute inflammation event can alter this balance. We demonstrate that chronic low-grade inflammation brought on by obesity reduces the number of taste buds in gustatory tissues of mice—and is likely the cause of taste dysfunction seen in obese populations—by upsetting this balance of renewal and cell death.
    Surfactant protein A suppresses preterm delivery induced by live Escherichia coli in mice
    Varkha Agrawal, Biology of Reproduction - 2018
    Preterm birth accounts for the majority of neonatal morbidity and mortality in the developed world. A significant proportion of cases of spontaneous preterm labor are attributable to infections within gestational tissues. Surfactant protein A (SP-A), a collectin produced in the fetal lung and other tissues, has been shown previously in mice to suppress preterm delivery due to intrauterine (IU) instillation of sterile proinflammatory substances. Here we report a powerful antilabor effect for SP-A after IU infection with live Escherichia coli. SP-A abolished preterm birth (rate reduced from 100% to 0%) when it was administered into the uterus simultaneously with bacterial infection, reducing it by 75% when administered intravenously at the same time as IU bacterial inoculation, and by 48% when administered intravenously 4 h after IU bacterial infection. This effect on preterm delivery was accompanied by a parallel benefit on fetal survival in utero. SP-A had no effect on bacterial growth but reversed several major consequences of infection, including increased production of inflammatory mediators and a shift in macrophage polarization to the M1 phenotype. These findings suggest that exogenous SP-A has potential use to counteract infection-induced labor by reversing its proinflammatory consequences.
    MCP-1 is overexpressed in triple-negative breast cancers and drives cancer invasiveness and metastasis
    Pranabananda Dutta, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment - 2018
    BackgroundTriple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive type of breast cancer that lacks ER/PR and HER2 receptors. Hence, there is urgency in developing new or novel therapeutic strategies for treatment of TNBC. Our study shows that the Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1 (MCP-1) is a marker associated with TNBC and may play a key role in TNBC disease progression.Experimental designELISA method was used to measure secreted MCP-1, and mRNA levels were determined by Real-time PCR in numerous cancer cell lines, representing various breast cancer subtypes. Cellular invasiveness was determined by Boyden chamber assay.ResultsOur data show that MCP-1 is upregulated in TNBC cell lines both transcriptionally as well as in secreted protein levels compared to ER-positive luminal cell line, MCF-7. Breast cancer patients, with Basal or Claudin-low subtypes, also showed high expression of MCP-1. MCP-1 treatment induced cell invasion in various breast cancer cell types, without affecting cell proliferation. Small molecule antagonists against Chemokine Receptor 2 (CCR2), cognate receptor for MCP-1 as well as the MAP kinase pathway inhibitor U0126 negatively affected MCP-1 induced MCF-7 cell invasion. This suggests that MCP-1-CCR2 axis may regulate invasiveness via the MAP Kinase pathway. Knocking down MCP-1 decreased cell invasion in TNBC cell line BT-549, along with downregulation of key epithelial to mesenchymal transition markers, N-cadherin and Vimentin.ConclusionOur study suggests that MCP-1 mediated pathways could be potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of TNBC, and could reduce cancer health disparities.
    Cryosurvival of rabbit embryos obtained after superovulation with corifollitropin alfa with or without LH
    José Salvador Vicente, Animal Reproduction Science - 2018
    The efficiency of an embryo bank depends on provision of optimal conditions for recovery, cryopreservation and transfer to a breed or strain. In this sense, increasing the number of embryos available using superovulation should improve the cryobank efficiency. However, vagueness of response to conventional protocols to control or increase ovarian response and the quality of oocytes and embryos and their cryotolerance remain a challenge. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effect of corifollitropin alpha (CTP) and a recombinant human FSH (rhFSH), alone or supplemented with rhLH, on embryo cryosurvival by in vitro development and OCT4 and NANOG mRNA abundance at blastocyst stage and offspring rate. In vitro development of vitrified embryos was not significantly affected by superstimulation with or without rhLH supplementation, resulting in similar development rates to those of the control groups (fresh and vitrified embryos from non-superstimulated donor does). Blastocysts developed from vitrified embryos showed higher levels of OCT4 transcript abundance than fresh control, while NANOG transcript abundance was only higher in the blastocysts developed from vitrified embryos after superstimulation treatment in comparison with control groups. The implantation and offspring rates at birth were negatively affected by supplementation with rhLH. Both rhFSH or CTP vitrified embryo groups showed an implantation rate similar to those of the control groups, but an offspring rate lower than control. In conclusion, embryos produced using corifollitropin alpha did not compromise the cryosurvival of vitrified embryos in the rabbit. In addition, this study points out the negative effect of rhLH supplementation in terms of offspring rate on embryo vitrification.
    Involvement of organic acids and amino acids in ameliorating Ni(II) toxicity induced cell cycle dysregulation in Caulobacter crescentus: a metabolomics analysis
    Abhishek Jain, Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology - 2018
    Nickel (Ni(II)) toxicity is addressed by many different bacteria, but bacterial responses to nickel stress are still unclear. Therefore, we studied the effect of Ni(II) toxicity on cell proliferation of α-proteobacterium Caulobacter crescentus. Next, we showed the mechanism that allows C. crescentus to survive in Ni(II) stress condition. Our results revealed that the growth of C. crescentus is severely affected when the bacterium was exposed to different Ni(II) concentrations, 0.003 mM slightly affected the growth, 0.008 mM reduced the growth by 50%, and growth was completely inhibited at 0.015 mM. It was further shown that Ni(II) toxicity induced mislocalization of major regulatory proteins such as MipZ, FtsZ, ParB, and MreB, resulting in dysregulation of the cell cycle. GC-MS metabolomics analysis of Ni(II) stressed C. crescentus showed an increased level of nine important metabolites including TCA cycle intermediates and amino acids. This indicates that changes in central carbon metabolism and nitrogen metabolism are linked with the disruption of cell division process. Addition of malic acid, citric acid, alanine, proline, and glutamine to 0.015 mM Ni(II)-treated C. crescentus restored its growth. Thus, the present work shows a protective effect of these organic acids and amino acids on Ni(II) toxicity. Metabolic stimulation through the PutA/GlnA pathway, accelerated degradation of CtrA, and Ni-chelation by organic acids or amino acids are some of the possible mechanisms suggested to be involved in enhancing C. crescentus’s tolerance. Our results shed light on the mechanism of increased Ni(II) tolerance in C. crescentus which may be useful in bioremediation strategies and synthetic biology applications such as the development of whole cell biosensor.
    27-Hydroxycholesterol increases α-synuclein protein levels through proteasomal inhibition in human dopaminergic neurons
    Jared Schommer, BMC Neuroscience - 2018
    Accumulation of the α-synuclein (α-syn) protein is a hallmark of a group of brain disorders collectively known as synucleinopathies. The mechanisms responsible for α-syn accumulation are not well understood. Several studies suggest a link between synucleinopathies and the cholesterol metabolite 27-hydroxycholesterol (27-OHC). 27-OHC is the major cholesterol metabolite in the blood that crosses the blood brain barrier, and its levels can increase following hypercholesterolemia, aging, and oxidative stress, which are all factors for increased synucleinopathy risk. In this study, we determined the extent to which 27-OHC regulates α-syn levels in human dopaminergic neurons, the cell type in which α-syn accumulates in PD, a major synucleinopathy disorder.
    Transcription and microRNA Profiling of Cultured Human Tympanic Membrane Epidermal Keratinocytes
    Peder Aabel, Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology - 2018
    The human tympanic membrane (TM) has a thin outer epidermal layer which plays an important role in TM homeostasis and ear health. The specialised cells of the TM epidermis have a different physiology compared to normal skin epidermal keratinocytes, displaying a dynamic and constitutive migration that maintains a clear TM surface and assists in regeneration. Here, we characterise and compare molecular phenotypes in keratinocyte cultures from TM and normal skin. TM keratinocytes were isolated by enzymatic digestion and cultured in vitro. We compared global mRNA and microRNA expression of the cultured cells with that of human epidermal keratinocyte cultures. Genes with either relatively higher or lower expression were analysed further using the biostatistical tools g:Profiler and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. Approximately 500 genes were found differentially expressed. Gene ontology enrichment and Ingenuity analyses identified cellular migration and closely related biological processes to be the most significant functions of the genes highly expressed in the TM keratinocytes. The genes of low expression showed a marked difference in homeobox (HOX) genes of clusters A and C, giving the TM keratinocytes a strikingly low HOX gene expression profile. An in vitro scratch wound assay showed a more individualised cell movement in cells from the tympanic membrane than normal epidermal keratinocytes. We identified 10 microRNAs with differential expression, several of which can also be linked to regulation of cell migration and expression of HOX genes. Our data provides clues to understanding the specific physiological properties of TM keratinocytes, including candidate genes for constitutive migration, and may thus help focus further research.
    Regulation of dual specificity phosphatases in breast cancer during initial treatment with Herceptin: a Boolean model analysis
    Petronela Buiga, BMC Systems Biology - 2018
    25% of breast cancer patients suffer from aggressive HER2-positive tumours that are characterised by overexpression of the HER2 protein or by its increased tyrosine kinase activity. Herceptin is a major drug used to treat HER2 positive breast cancer. Understanding the molecular events that occur when breast cancer cells are exposed to Herceptin is therefore of significant importance. Dual specificity phosphatases (DUSPs) are central regulators of cell signalling that function downstream of HER2, but their role in the cellular response to Herceptin is mostly unknown. This study aims to model the initial effects of Herceptin exposure on DUSPs in HER2-positive breast cancer cells using Boolean modelling.
    Genomic and transcriptomic alterations in Leishmania donovani lines experimentally resistant to antileishmanial drugs
    Alberto Rastrojo, International Journal for Parasitology: Drugs and Drug Resistance - 2018
    Leishmaniasis is a serious medical issue in many countries around the World, but it remains largely neglected in terms of research investment for developing new control and treatment measures. No vaccines exist for human use, and the chemotherapeutic agents currently used are scanty. Furthermore, for some drugs, resistance and treatment failure are increasing to alarming levels. The aim of this work was to identify genomic and trancriptomic alterations associated with experimental resistance against the common drugs used against VL: trivalent antimony (SbIII, S line), amphotericin B (AmB, A line), miltefosine (MIL, M line) and paromomycin (PMM, P line). A total of 1006 differentially expressed transcripts were identified in the S line, 379 in the A line, 146 in the M line, and 129 in the P line. Also, changes in ploidy of chromosomes and amplification/deletion of particular regions were observed in the resistant lines regarding the parental one. A series of genes were identified as possible drivers of the resistance phenotype and were validated in both promastigotes and amastigotes from Leishmania donovani, Leishmania infantum and Leishmania major species. Remarkably, a deletion of the gene LinJ.36.2510 (coding for 24-sterol methyltransferase, SMT) was found to be associated with AmB-resistance in the A line. In the P line, a dramatic overexpression of the transcripts LinJ.27.T1940 and LinJ.27.T1950 that results from a massive amplification of the collinear genes was suggested as one of the mechanisms of PMM resistance. This conclusion was reinforced after transfection experiments in which significant PMM-resistance was generated in WT parasites over-expressing either gene LinJ.27.1940 (coding for a D-lactate dehydrogenase-like protein, D-LDH) or gene LinJ.27.1950 (coding for an aminotransferase of branched-chain amino acids, BCAT). This work allowed to identify new drivers, like SMT, the deletion of which being associated with resistance to AmB, and the tandem D-LDH-BCAT, the amplification of which being related to PMM resistance.
    Follicle capacitation: A meta-analysis to investigate the transcriptome dynamics following FSH decline in bovine granulosa cells.
    David A. Landry, Biology of Reproduction - 2018
    In recent years, exciting progress was made to improve the embryo outcome after ovarian stimulation in domestic animals. The practice of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) withdrawal, which is defined as the period of time between the last injection of FSH and oocyte retrieval, resulted in embryo yields significantly superior. Since then, specific changes in the transcriptome of granulosa cells were associated with the increase and also the decline in oocyte developmental competence following the FSH decline. In this study, we integrated large data sets from a public depository using a meta-analysis in order to elucidate the molecular changes occurring in granulosa cells following FSH decline in association with oocyte developmental competence. The meta-analysis revealed that the gene expression patterns observed during this period resulted from the downregulation of proliferative signals, and the upregulation of differentiation signals and early apoptotic signals. Additionally, FSH decline induced cellular hypoxia and triggered the expression of pro-inflammatory molecules which resulted in early atresia and mimicked the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge signaling to ovulation. To characterize this unique differentiation period, we suggest using the term “follicle capacitation” to refer to the functional changes occurring within the follicle in order to prepare the molecular machinery for the LH surge and ovulation following FSH decline. During this period, the follicle confers the oocyte with developmental competence to become a viable embryo. However, if this period is not rapidly followed by a LH surge, apoptosis signals are increased to generate follicular atresia and decrease oocyte quality.
    The integrated analysis of transcriptome and proteome for exploring the biodegradation mechanism of 2, 4, 6-trinitrotoluene by Citrobacter sp
    Hung-Yu Liao, Journal of Hazardous Materials - 2018
    Citrobacter sp. has been shown to degrade 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT). However, the mechanism of its TNT biodegradation is poorly understood. An integrated proteome and transcriptome analysis was performed for investigating the differential genes and differential proteins in bacterial growth at the onset of experiments and after 12 h treatment with TNT. With the RNA sequencing, we found a total of 3792 transcripts and 569 differentially expressed genes (≥2 fold, P < 0.05) by. Genes for amino acid transport, cellular metabolism and stress-shock proteins were up-regulated, while carbohydrate transport and metabolism were down-regulated. A total of 42 protein spots (≥1.5 fold, P < 0.05) showed differential expression on two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and these proteins were identified by mass spectrometry. The most prominent proteins up-regulated were involved in energy production and conversion, amino acid transport and metabolism, posttranslational modification, protein turnover and chaperones. Proteins involved in carbohydrate transport and metabolism were down-regulated. Most notably, we observed that nemA encoding N-ethylmaleimide reductase was the most up-regulated gene involved in TNT degradation, and further proved that it can transform TNT to 4-amino-2,6-dinitrotoluene (4-ADNT) and 2-amino-4,6-dinitrotoluene (2-ADNT). This study highlights the molecular mechanisms of Citrobacter sp. for TNT removal.
    Genetic defects in mtDNA-encoded protein translation cause pediatric, mitochondrial cardiomyopathy with early-onset brain disease
    Rick Kamps, European Journal of Human Genetics - 2018
    This study aims to identify gene defects in pediatric cardiomyopathy and early-onset brain disease with oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) deficiencies. We applied whole-exome sequencing in three patients with pediatric cardiomyopathy and early-onset brain disease with OXPHOS deficiencies. The brain pathology was studied by MRI analysis. In consanguineous patient 1, we identified a homozygous intronic variant (c.850-3A > G) in the QRSL1 gene, which was predicted to cause abnormal splicing. The variant segregated with the disease and affected the protein function, which was confirmed by complementation studies, restoring OXPHOS function only with wild-type QRSL1. Patient 2 was compound heterozygous for two novel affected and disease-causing variants (c.[253G > A];[938G > A]) in the MTO1 gene. In patient 3, we detected one unknown affected and disease-causing variants (c.2872C > T) and one known disease-causing variant (c.1774C > T) in the AARS2 gene. The c.1774C > T variant was present in the paternal copy of the AARS2 gene, the c.2872C > T in the maternal copy. All genes were involved in translation of mtDNA-encoded proteins. Defects in mtDNA-encoded protein translation lead to severe pediatric cardiomyopathy and brain disease with OXPHOS abnormalities. This suggests that the heart and brain are particularly sensitive to defects in mitochondrial protein synthesis during late embryonic or early postnatal development, probably due to the massive mitochondrial biogenesis occurring at that stage. If both the heart and brain are involved, the prognosis is poor with a likely fatal outcome at young age.
    Targeting the nonmevalonate pathway in Burkholderia cenocepacia increases susceptibility to certain β-lactam antibiotics
    Andrea Sass, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy - 2018
    The non-mevalonate pathway is the sole pathway for isoprenoid biosynthesis in Burkholderia cenocepacia and possibly a novel target for the development of antibacterial chemotherapy. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the essentiality of dxr, the second gene of the non-mevalonate pathway, in B. cenocepacia and to determine whether interfering with the non-mevalonate increases susceptibility towards antibiotics. To this end, a rhamnose-inducible conditional dxr knock-down mutant of B. cenocepacia K56-2 (B. cenocepacia K56-2dxr) was constructed, by using a plasmid which enables the delivery of a rhamnose-inducible promotor in the chromosome. Expression of dxr is essential for bacterial growth; this growth defect could be complemented by expressing dxr in trans under control of a constitutive promotor, but not by providing 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol-4-phosphate, the reaction product of DXR. B. cenocepacia K56-2dxr showed markedly increased susceptibility to the β-lactam antibiotics aztreonam, ceftazidime and cefotaxime, while susceptibility to other antibiotics was not (or much less) affected, and also this increased susceptibility could be complemented by in trans expression of dxr. A similar increased susceptibility was observed when antibiotics were combined with FR900098, a known DXR inhibitor. Our data confirm that the non-mevalonate pathway is essential in B. cenocepacia and suggest that combining potent DXR inhibitors with selected β-lactam antibiotics is a useful strategy to combat B. cenocepacia infections.
    Germ cell depletion in zebrafish leads to incomplete masculinization of the brain
    Ajay Pradhan, General and Comparative Endocrinology - 2018
    Zebrafish sex differentiation is under the control of multiple genes, but also relies on germ cell number for gonadal development. Morpholino and chemical mediated germ cell depletion leads to sterile male development in zebrafish. In this study we produced sterile males, using a dead end gene morpholino, to determine gonadal-brain interactions. Germ cell depletion following dnd inhibition downregulated the germ cell markers, vasa and ziwi, and later the larvae developed as sterile males. Despite lacking proper testis, the gonadal 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) and estradiol (E2) levels of sterile males were similar to wild type males. Qualitative analysis of sexual behavior of sterile males demonstrated that they behaved like wild type males. Furthermore, we observed that brain 11-KT and E2 levels in sterile males remained the same as in the wild type males. In female brain, 11-KT was lower in comparison to wild type males and sterile males, while E2 was higher when compared to wild type males. qRT-PCR analysis revealed that the liver transcript profile of sterile adult males was similar to wild type males while the brain transcript profile was similar to wild type females. The results demonstrate that proper testis development may not be a prerequisite for male brain development in zebrafish but that it may be needed to fully masculinize the brain.
    Characterization of Caco-2 cells stably expressing the protein-based zinc probe eCalwy-5 as a model system for investigating intestinal zinc transport
    Maria Maares, Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology - 2018
    Intestinal zinc resorption, in particular its regulation and mechanisms, are not yet fully understood. Suitable intestinal cell models are needed to investigate zinc uptake kinetics and the role of labile zinc in enterocytes in vitro. Therefore, a Caco-2 cell clone was produced, stably expressing the genetically encoded zinc biosensor eCalwy-5. The aim of the present study was to reassure the presence of characteristic enterocyte-specific properties in the Caco-2-eCalwy clone. Comparison of Caco-2-WT and Caco-2-eCalwy cells revealed only slight differences regarding subcellular localization of the tight junction protein occludin and alkaline phosphatase activity, which did not affect basic integrity of the intestinal barrier or the characteristic brush border membrane morphology. Furthermore, introduction of the additional zinc-binding protein in Caco-2 cells did not alter mRNA expression of the major intestinal zinc transporters (zip4, zip5, znt-1 and znt-5), but increased metallothionein 1a-expression and cellular resistance to higher zinc concentrations. Moreover, this study examines the effect of sensor expression level on its saturation with zinc. Fluorescence cell imaging indicated considerable intercellular heterogeneity in biosensor-expression. However, FRET-measurements confirmed that these differences in expression levels have no effect on fractional zinc-saturation of the probe.
    REV-ERBβ is required to maintain normal wakefulness and the wake-inducing effect of dual REV-ERB agonist SR9009
    Ariadna Amador, Biochemical Pharmacology - 2018
    Circadian signaling regulates and synchronizes physiological and behavioral processes, such as feeding, metabolism, and sleep cycles. The endogenous molecular machinery that regulates circadian activities is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus. The REV-ERBs are transcription factors that play key roles in the regulation of the circadian clock and metabolism. Using pharmacological methods, we recently demonstrated the involvement of the REV-ERBs in sleep architecture. Another group reported a delayed response to sleep deprivation and altered sleep cycles in REV-ERBα null mice, indicating a role of REV-ERBα in sleep. Given that REV-ERBβ is structurally and functionally similar to REV-ERBα, we investigated the role of REV-ERBβ in sleep and wakefulness by assessing electroencephalographic recordings in REV-ERBβ deficient mice and the mechanism underlying effects of loss of REV-ERBβ on sleep. Our data suggest that REV-ERBβ is involved in the maintenance of wakefulness during the activity period. In addition, REV-ERBβ-deficient mice administered with dual REV-ERB agonist SR9009, failed to show drug-induced wake increase. Finally, the expression of a number of genes known to mediate sleep and wakefulness were altered in REV-ERBβ null mice.
    Oncogenic RAC1 and NRAS drive resistance to endoplasmic reticulum stress through MEK/ERK signalling
    Michael D. Bright, Cellular Signalling - 2018
    Cancer cells are able to survive under conditions that cause endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER-stress), and can adapt to this stress by upregulating cell-survival signalling pathways and down-regulating apoptotic pathways. The cellular response to ER-stress is controlled by the unfolded protein response (UPR). Small Rho family GTPases are linked to many cell responses including cell growth and apoptosis. In this study, we investigate the function of small GTPases in cell survival under ER-stress. Using siRNA screening we identify that RAC1 promotes cell survival under ER-stress in cells with an oncogenic N92I RAC1 mutation. We uncover a novel connection between the UPR and N92I RAC1, whereby RAC1 attenuates phosphorylation of EIF2S1 under ER-stress and drives over-expression of ATF4 in basal conditions. Interestingly, the UPR connection does not drive resistance to ER-stress, as knockdown of ATF4 did not affect this. We further investigate cancer-associated kinase signalling pathways and show that RAC1 knockdown reduces the activity of AKT and ERK, and using a panel of clinically important kinase inhibitors, we uncover a role for MEK/ERK, but not AKT, in cell viability under ER-stress. A known major activator of ERK phosphorylation in cancer is oncogenic NRAS and we show that knockdown of NRAS in cells, which bear a Q61 NRAS mutation, sensitises to ER-stress. These findings highlight a novel mechanism for resistance to ER-stress through oncogenic activation of MEK/ERK signalling by small GTPases.
    3D-Printed Gelatin Scaffolds of Differing Pore Geometry Modulate Hepatocyte Function and Gene Expression
    Phillip L. Lewis, Acta Biomaterialia - 2018
    Three dimensional (3D) printing is highly amenable to the fabrication of tissue-engineered organs of a repetitive microstructure such as the liver. The creation of uniform and geometrically repetitive tissue scaffolds can also allow for the control over cellular aggregation and nutrient diffusion. However, the effect of differing geometries, while controlling for pore size, has yet to be investigated in the context of hepatocyte function. In this study, we show the ability to precisely control pore geometry of 3D-printed gelatin scaffolds. An undifferentiated hepatocyte cell line (HUH7) demonstrated high viability and proliferation when seeded on 3D-printed scaffolds of two different geometries. However, hepatocyte specific functions (albumin secretion, CYP activity, and bile transport) increases in more interconnected 3D-printed gelatin cultures compared to a less interconnected geometry and to 2D controls. Additionally, we also illustrate the disparity between gene expression and protein function in simple 2D culture modes, and that recreation of a physiologically mimetic 3D environment is necessary to induce both expression and function of cultured hepatocytes. Statement of Significance Three dimensional (3D) printing provides tissue engineers the ability spatially pattern cells and materials in precise geometries, however the biological effects of scaffold geometry on soft tissues such as the liver have not been rigorously investigated. In this manuscript, we describe a method to 3D print gelatin into well-defined repetitive geometries that show clear differences in biological effects on seeded hepatocytes. We show that a relatively simple and widely used biomaterial, such as gelatin, can significantly modulate biological processes when fabricated into specific 3D geometries. Furthermore, this study expands upon past research into hepatocyte aggregation by demonstrating how it can be manipulated to enhance protein function, and how function and expression may not precisely correlate in 2D models.
    Atlantic salmon adapted to seawater for 9 weeks develop a robust immune response to salmonid alphavirus upon bath challenge
    L. J. Moore, Fish & Shellfish Immunology - 2018
    Pancreas disease (PD) caused by salmonid alphavirus (SAV) is the most serious viral disease in Norwegian aquaculture. Study of the immune response to SAV will aid preventative measures including vaccine development. The innate immune response was studied in Atlantic salmon infected by either bath immersion (BI) or by intra-muscular (i.m.) injection (IM) with SAV subtype 3, two and nine weeks after seawater transfer (Phases A and B respectively). Phase A results have been previously published (Moore et al., 2017) and Phase B results are presented here together with a comparison of results achieved in Phase A. There was a rapid accumulation of infected fish in the IM-B (IM Phase B) group and all fish sampled were SAV RNA positive by 7 dpi (days post infection). In contrast, only a few SAV RNA positive (infected) fish were identified at 14, 21 and 28 dpi in the BI-B (BI Phase B) group. Differences in the transcription of several immune genes were apparent when compared between the infected fish in the IM-B and BI-B groups. Transcription of the analysed genes peaked at 7 dpi in the IM-B group and at 14 dpi in the BI-B group. However, this latter finding was difficult to interpret due to the low prevalence of SAV positive fish in this group. Additionally, fish positive for SAV RNA in the BI-B group showed higher transcription of IL-1β, IFNγ and CXCL11_L1, all genes associated with the inflammatory response, compared to the IM-B group. Histopathological changes in the heart were restricted to the IM-B group, while (immune) cell filtration into the pancreas was observed in both groups. Compared to the Phase A fish that were exposed to SAV3 two weeks after seawater transfer, the Phase B fish in the current paper, showed a higher and more sustained innate immune gene transcription in response to the SAV3 infection. In addition, the basal transcription of several innate immune genes in non-infected control fish in Phase B (CT-B) was also significantly different when compared to Phase A control fish (CT-A).
    Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Activity in Adipose Tissue: Isolation and Gene Expression Profile of Distinct Sub-population of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells
    Mehdi Najar, Stem Cell Reviews and Reports - 2018
    Thanks to their relative abundance and easier collection, adipose tissue (AT) is considered an alternative source for the isolation of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). MSCs have great therapeutic values and are thus under investigations for several clinical indications such as regenerative medicine and immunomodulation. In this work, we aimed to identify, isolate and characterize AT-MSCs based on their aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity known to be a classical feature of stem cells. FACS technology allowed to isolate two different populations of AT-MSCs according to their ALDH activity (referred as ALDH+ and ALDH−). Depending on their ALDH activity, the transcriptome analysis of both cell populations demonstrated a differential pattern of genes related to the main properties of MSCs (proliferation, response to hypoxia, angiogenesis, phenotype, stemness, multilineage, hematopoiesis, immunomodulation). Based on these profiling, both AT-MSC populations could differ in terms of biological responses and functionalities. Collectively, the use of ALDH for isolating and identifying sub-populations of MSCs with specific gene profile may represent an alternative method to provide solutions for targeted therapeutic applications.
    The effects of platelet lysate patches on the activity of tendon-derived cells
    Raquel Costa-Almeida, Acta Biomaterialia - 2018
    Platelet-derived biomaterials are widely explored as cost-effective sources of therapeutic factors, holding a strong potential for endogenous regenerative medicine. Particularly for tendon repair, treatment approaches that shift the injury environment are explored to accelerate tendon regeneration. Herein, genipin-crosslinked platelet lysate (PL) patches are proposed for the delivery of human-derived therapeutic factors in patch augmentation strategies aiming at tendon repair. Developed PL patches exhibited a controlled release profile of PL proteins, including bFGF and PDGF-BB. Additionally, PL patches exhibited an antibacterial effect by preventing the adhesion, proliferation and biofilm formation by S. aureus, a common pathogen in orthopaedic surgical site infections. Furthermore, these patches supported the activity of human tendon-derived cells (hTDCs). Cells were able to proliferate over time and an up-regulation of tenogenic genes (SCX, COL1A1 and TNC) was observed, suggesting that PL patches may modify the behavior of hTDCs. Accordingly, hTDCs deposited tendon-related extracellular matrix proteins, namely collagen type I and tenascin C. In summary, PL patches can act as a reservoir of biomolecules derived from PL and support the activity of native tendon cells, being proposed as bioinstructive patches for tendon regeneration. Statement of significance Platelet-derived biomaterials hold great interest for the delivery of therapeutic factors for applications in endogenous regenerative medicine. In the particular case of tendon repair, patch augmentation strategies aiming at shifting the injury environment are explored to improve tendon regeneration. In this study, PL patches were developed with remarkable features, including the controlled release of growth factors and antibacterial efficacy. Remarkably, PL patches supported the activity of native tendon cells by up-regulating tenogenic genes and enabling the deposition of ECM proteins. This patch holds great potential towards simultaneously reducing post-implantation surgical site infections and promoting tendon regeneration for prospective in vivo applications.
    Cancer Stem Cell Phenotypes in ER+ Breast Cancer Models are Promoted by PELP1/AIB1 Complexes
    Thu H. Truong, Molecular Cancer Research - 2018
    Abstract: Proline, glutamic acid, and leucine rich protein 1 (PELP1) is overexpressed in approximately 80% of invasive breast tumors. PELP1 dynamically shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm, but is primarily nuclear in normal breast tissue. However, altered localization of PELP1 to the cytoplasm is an oncogenic event that promotes breast cancer initiation and progression. Herein, interacting partners unique to cytoplasmic PELP1 and the mechanisms by which these interactions promote oncogenic PELP1 signaling were sought. AIB1 (amplified in breast cancer 1; also known as SRC-3 or NCOA3) was identified as a novel binding partner of cytoplasmic PELP1 in both estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) and ER-negative cell lines. Cytoplasmic PELP1 expression elevated basal phosphorylation levels (i.e. activation) of AIB1 at Thr24, enhanced ALDH+ tumorsphere formation, and upregulated specific target genes independently of hormone stimulation. Direct manipulation of AIB1 levels using shRNA abrogated cytoplasmic PELP1-induced tumorsphere formation and down-regulated cytoplasmic PELP1-specific target genes. SI-2, an AIB1 inhibitor, limited the PELP1/AIB1 interaction and decreased cytoplasmic PELP1-induced tumorsphere formation. Similar results were observed in a murine-derived MMTV-AIB1 tumor cell line. Furthermore, in vivo syngeneic tumor studies revealed that PELP1 knockdown resulted in increased survival of tumor-bearing mice as compared to mice injected with control cells. Implications: These data demonstrate that cytoplasmic PELP1/AIB1 containing complexes function to promote advanced cancer phenotypes, including outgrowth of stem-like cells, associated with estrogen-independent breast cancer progression.
    The splicing factor transformer2 (tra2) functions in the Drosophila fat body to regulate lipid storage
    Cezary Mikoluk, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications - 2018
    Excess nutrients are stored as triglycerides mainly in the adipose tissue of an animal and these triglycerides are located in structures called lipid droplets. Previous genome-wide RNAi screens in Drosophila cells identified splicing factors as playing a role in lipid droplet formation. Our lab has recently identified the SR protein, 9G8, as an important factor in fat storage as decreasing its levels results in augmented triglyceride storage in the fat body. Previous in vitro studies have implicated 9G8 in the regulation of splicing of the sex determination gene doublesex (dsx) by binding to transformer (tra) and transformer2 (tra2); however, any function of these sex determination proteins in regulating metabolism is unknown. In this study, we have uncovered a role of tra2 to regulate fat storage in vivo. Inducing tra2dsRNA in the adult fat body resulted in an increase in triglyceride levels but had no effect on glycogen storage. Consistent with the triglyceride phenotype, tra2 knockdown flies lived longer under starvation conditions. In addition, this increase in triglycerides is due to more fat storage per cell and not an increase in the number of fat cells. Interestingly, the splicing of CPT1, an enzyme involved in the breakdown of lipids, was altered in flies with decreased tra2. The less-catalytically active isoform of CPT1 accumulated in tra2dsRNA flies suggesting a decrease in lipid breakdown, which is consistent with the increased triglyceride levels observed in these flies. Together, these results suggest a link between mRNA splicing, sex determination and lipid metabolism and may provide insight into the mechanisms underlying tissue-specific splicing and nutrient storage.
    Characterization of three salmon louse (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) genes with fibronectin II domains expressed by tegumental type 1 glands
    Ewa Harasimczuk, Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology - 2018
    The salmon louse, Lepeophtheirus salmonis (Copepoda: Caligidae), is currently the most significant pathogen affecting the salmon farming industry in the Northern Hemisphere. Exocrine glands of blood-feeding parasites are believed to be important for the host-parasite interaction, but also in the production of substances for integument lubrication and antifouling. In L. salmonis; however, we have limited knowledge about the exocrine glands. The aim of this study was therefore to examine three genes containing fibronectin type II (FNII) domains expressed in L. salmonis tegumental type 1 (teg 1) glands, namely LsFNII1, 2 and 3. LsFNII1, 2 and 3 contains four, three, and two FNII domains respectively. Sequence alignment of LsFNII domains showed conservation of amino acids that may indicate a possible involvement of LsFNII domains in collagen binding. Ontogenetic analysis of LsFNII1, 2 and 3 revealed highest expression in pre-adult and adult lice. Localization of LsFNII1, 2 and 3 transcripts showed expression in teg 1 glands only, which are the most abundant exocrine gland type in L. salmonis. LsFNII1, 2 and 3 were successfully knocked-down by RNAi, however, alteration in gland morphology was not detected between the knock-down and control groups. Overall, this study gives first insight into FNII domain containing proteins in L. salmonis.
    Adrenergic and glucocorticoid receptor antagonists reduce ozone-induced lung injury and inflammation
    Andres R. Henriquez, Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology - 2018
    Recent studies showed that the circulating stress hormones, epinephrine and corticosterone/cortisol, are involved in mediating ozone-induced pulmonary effects through the activation of the sympathetic-adrenal-medullary (SAM) and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axes. Hence, we examined the role of adrenergic and glucocorticoid receptor inhibition in ozone-induced pulmonary injury and inflammation. Male 12-week old Wistar-Kyoto rats were pretreated daily for 7 days with propranolol (PROP; a non-selective β adrenergic receptor [AR] antagonist, 10 mg/kg, i.p.), mifepristone (MIFE; a glucocorticoid receptor [GR] antagonist, 30 mg/kg, s.c.), both drugs (PROP + MIFE), or respective vehicles, and then exposed to air or ozone (0.8 ppm), 4 h/d for 1 or 2 consecutive days while continuing drug treatment. Ozone exposure alone led to increased peak expiratory flow rates and enhanced pause (Penh); with greater increases by day 2. Receptors blockade minimally affected ventilation in either air- or ozone-exposed rats. Ozone exposure alone was also associated with marked increases in pulmonary vascular leakage, macrophage activation, neutrophilic inflammation and lymphopenia. Notably, PROP, MIFE and PROP + MIFE pretreatments significantly reduced ozone-induced pulmonary vascular leakage; whereas PROP or PROP + MIFE reduced neutrophilic inflammation. PROP also reduced ozone-induced increases in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) IL-6 and TNF-α proteins and/or lung Il6 and Tnfα mRNA. MIFE and PROP + MIFE pretreatments reduced ozone-induced increases in BALF N-acetyl glucosaminidase activity, and lymphopenia. We conclude that stress hormones released after ozone exposure modulate pulmonary injury and inflammatory effects through AR and GR in a receptor-specific manner. Individuals with pulmonary diseases receiving AR and GR-related therapy might experience changed sensitivity to air pollution.
    Myrcia sylvatica essential oil mitigates molecular, biochemical and physiological alterations in Rhamdia quelen under different stress events associated to transport
    Etiane M. H. Saccol, Research in Veterinary Science - 2018
    The effects of pre-transport handling and addition of essential oil of Myrcia sylvatica (EOMS) during transport on stress pathways activation in Rhamdia quelen were investigated. Fish (n = 400, 25.2 ± 2.9 g) were captured in production ponds and transferred to 100-L tank (density 100 g L− 1). After 24 h, 10 fish were sampled (before transport group). The remaining fish were placed in plastic bags (n = 30 or 32 fish per bag, density 150 g L− 1) containing 5 L of water (control), ethanol (315 μL L− 1, vehicle) or EOMS (25 or 35 μL L− 1), in triplicate, transported for 6 h and sampled (n = 10 animals per group). Indicators of stress and metabolism, as well as mRNA expression of brain hormones were evaluated. Previously, full-length cDNAs, encoding specific corticotropin-releasing hormone (crh) and proopiomelanocortins (pomca and pomcb), were cloned from whole brain of R. quelen. Crh expression increased after 24 h of capture and handling, whereas cortisol and glucose plasmatics enhanced their values in the control group. Transport with EOMS reduced plasma cortisol and lactate levels, while ethanol and EOMS groups increased Na+/K+-ATPase gill activity compared to control. Gene expression of crh, pomcb, prolactin and somatolactin mRNAs were lower after transport with EOMS compared to control. EOMS was able to mitigate the stress pathways activation caused by transport, maintaining a balance in body homeostasis. Thus, EOMS is recommended as sedative in procedures as transport and the pre-transport handling requires greater attention and use of tranquilizers.
    Effect of heifer age on the granulosa cell transcriptome after ovarian stimulation
    David A. Landry, Reproduction, Fertility and Development - 2018
    Genomic selection is accelerating genetic gain in dairy cattle. Decreasing generation time by using younger gamete donors would further accelerate breed improvement programs. Although ovarian stimulation of peripubertal animals is possible and embryos produced in vitro from the resulting oocytes are viable, developmental competence is lower than when sexually mature cows are used. The aim of the present study was to shed light on how oocyte developmental competence is acquired as a heifer ages. Ten peripubertal Bos taurus Holstein heifers underwent ovarian stimulation cycles at the ages of 8, 11 (mean 10.8) and 14 (mean 13.7) months. Collected oocytes were fertilised in vitro with spermatozoa from the same adult male. Each heifer served as its own control. The transcriptomes of granulosa cells recovered with the oocytes were analysed using microarrays. Differential expression of certain genes was measured using polymerase chain reaction. Principal component analysis of microarray data revealed that the younger the animal, the more distinctive the gene expression pattern. Using ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA) and NetworkAnalyst (www.networkanalyst.ca), the main biological functions affected in younger donors were identified. The results suggest that cell differentiation, inflammation and apoptosis signalling are less apparent in peripubertal donors. Such physiological traits have been associated with a lower basal concentration of LH.
    Expression Pattern of Individual IFNA Subtypes in Chronic HIV Infection
    Yanpeng Li, Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research - 2018
    Interferon-α (IFN-α) plays an important role in HIV pathogenesis. IFN-α consists of 13 individual IFN-α subtypes, which exhibit individual antiviral and immunomodulatory activities in HIV infection. Here, we determined the expression profiles of all IFN-α subtypes in treated and treatment-naive HIV+ patients and their impact on the induction of distinct HIV restriction factors. We collected blood samples of chronic HIV+ patients, which underwent antiretroviral therapy or were treatment-naive, and determined the individual expression levels of different IFN-α subtypes and HIV restriction factors. HIV infection transiently enhanced the expression of IFNA mRNA. The IFN-α response was dominated by the most abundantly expressed subtypes IFNA4, A5, A7, and A14 in all individuals. HIV infection affected the expression pattern of the IFN-α response, in particular for IFNA2 and IFNA16, which were elevated by chronic HIV infection. Elevated expression of HIV restriction factors was observed in chronically HIV-infected patients, which partly decreased during successful antiretroviral treatment. In vitro stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells revealed that IFN-α6, -α14, and -α21 were most effective in inducing the expression of HIV restriction factors. These results indicate that HIV infection induces a specific expression pattern of IFN-α subtypes, which in turn induce the expression of various HIV restriction factors.
    Characterization of a novel variant in siblings with Asparagine Synthetase Deficiency
    Stephanie J. Sacharow, Molecular Genetics and Metabolism - 2018
    Asparagine Synthetase Deficiency (ASD) is a recently described inborn error of metabolism caused by bi-allelic pathogenic variants in the asparagine synthetase (ASNS) gene. ASD typically presents congenitally with microcephaly and severe, often medically refractory, epilepsy. Development is generally severely affected at birth. Tone is abnormal with axial hypotonia and progressive appendicular spasticity. Hyperekplexia has been reported. Neuroimaging typically demonstrates gyral simplification, abnormal myelination, and progressive cerebral atrophy. The present report describes two siblings from consanguineous parents with a homozygous Arg49Gln variant associated with a milder form of ASD that is characterized by later onset of symptoms. Both siblings had a period of normal development before onset of seizures, and development regression. Primary fibroblast studies of the siblings and their parents document that homozygosity for Arg49Gln blocks cell growth in the absence of extracellular asparagine. Functional studies with these cells suggest no impact of the Arg49Gln variant on basal ASNS mRNA or protein levels, nor on regulation of the gene itself. Molecular modelling of the ASNS protein structure indicates that the Arg49Gln variant lies near the substrate binding site for glutamine. Collectively, the results suggest that the Arg49Gln variant affects the enzymatic function of ASNS. The clinical, cellular, and molecular observations from these siblings expand the known phenotypic spectrum of ASD.
    Neonatal Systemic Inflammation Induces Inflammatory Reactions and Brain Apoptosis in a Pathogen-Specific Manner
    Mari Falck, Neonatology - 2018
    After neonatal asphyxia, therapeutic hypothermia (HT) is the only proven treatment option. Although established as a neuroprotective therapy, benefit
    Hippocampal GABAA antagonism reverses the novel object recognition deficit in sub-chronic phencyclidine-treated rats
    Nichole M. Neugebauer, Behavioural Brain Research - 2018
    Background Abnormalities in prefrontal cortical and hippocampal GABAergic function are postulated to be major causes of the cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia (CIAS). There are conflicting views on whether diminished or enhanced GABAergic activity contributes to the deficit in short-term novel object recognition (NOR) in the sub-chronic phencyclidine (scPCP) rodent model of CIAS. This study assessed the role of GABAA signaling in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and ventral hippocampus (vHPC) in NOR in saline (scSAL)- and scPCP-treated rats. Methods The effects of local administration of a GABAA agonist (muscimol) into the vHPC or mPFC and an antagonist (bicuculline) or a GABAA/benzodiazepine partial agonist (bretazenil) into the vHPC on NOR in scSAL and scPCP-treated rats were determined. Results In scSAL-treated rats, injection of muscimol into the vHPC, but not mPFC, induced a deficit in NOR. The scPCP-induced NOR deficit was significantly reversed by intra-vHPC bicuculline, while intra-vHPC bretazenil produced a non-significant trend for reversal (p = 0.06). scPCP treatment increased mRNA expression of GABAA γ2 in PFC and GABAA α5 and GABAA β1 in the HPC. However, GABA concentration in the PFC or HPC was not altered. Conclusions These findings indicate that the scPCP-induced NOR deficit can be rescued by reducing GABAA receptor stimulation in vHPC, indicating that increased vHPC GABAA inhibition may contribute to the scPCP-induced NOR deficit in rats. These results also indicate that excessive GABAA receptor signalling in the vHPC has a deleterious effect on NOR in normal rats.
    Anti-nociceptive role of CXCL1 in a murine model of peripheral nerve injury-induced neuropathic pain
    Ling Cao, Neuroscience - 2018
    Both spinal cord infiltrating CD4+ T lymphocytes and microglial CD40 contribute to the maintenance of neuropathic pain-like behaviors induced by spinal nerve L5 transection (L5Tx), a murine model of neuropathic pain. Here, we sought to investigate the involvement of multiple chemokines in microglial CD40-mediated and CD4+ T lymphocytes-mediated L5Tx-induced sensory hypersensitivity. Spinal cord chemokine expression in CD4 knockout (KO), CD40 KO, and wild type (WT) BALB/c mice was determined at the protein level via multiplex assays and at the RNA level via quantitative real-time PCR. In WT mice, L5Tx induced significant increases in CCL2, CCL3, and CCL5 expression (protein and RNA) up to day 21 post-L5Tx, while CD4 KO mice displayed blunted, predominantly non-significant, responses in these chemokines at protein levels post-L5Tx. L5Tx also induced increased expression of these chemokines in CD40 KO mice; however, the overall protein levels of these chemokines were significantly lower than that in WT mice. Further, L5Tx induced a significant increase in CXCL1 at the protein level and in CXCR2 at RNA level only in CD40 KO mice. Intrathecal administration of CXCL1 in WT mice significantly reduced L5Tx-induced mechanical hypersensitivity. CD40 KO mice also displayed higher levels of Ly6G (neutrophil marker) RNA expression in the lumbar spinal cord post-L5Tx. Altogether, our data suggest that CD4+ T lymphocytes and microglial CD40 mediate their pro-nociceptive effects in part by promoting selected chemokine responses, and more importantly, CXCL1 can play an anti-nociceptive role in peripheral nerve injury induced neuropathic pain, which is possibly mediated by infiltrating neutrophils.
    Expression and clinical role of long non-coding RNA in high-grade serous carcinoma
    Natalie Filippov-Levy, Gynecologic Oncology - 2018
    Objective To profile long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) expression at the various anatomic sites of high-grades serous carcinoma (HGSC) and in effusion-derived exosomes. Methods LncRNA profiling was performed on 60 HGSC specimens, including 10 ovarian tumors, 10 solid metastases and 10 malignant effusions, as well as exosomes from 30 effusion supernatants. Anatomic site-related expression of ESRG, Link-A, GAS5, MEG3, GATS, PVT1 H19, Linc-RoR, HOTAIR and MALAT1 was validated by quantitative PCR and assessed for clinical relevance in a series of 77 HGSC effusions, 40 ovarian carcinomas, 21 solid metastases and 42 supernatant exosomes. Results Significantly different (p < 0.05) expression of 241, 406 and 3634 lncRNAs was found in comparative analysis of the ovarian tumors to solid metastases, effusions and exosomes, respectively. Cut-off at two-fold change in lncRNA expression identified 54 lncRNAs present at the 3 anatomic sites and in exosomes. Validation analysis showed significantly different expression of 5 of 10 lncRNAs in the 4 specimen groups (ESRG, Link-A, MEG3, GATS and PVT1, all p < 0.001). Higher ESRG levels in HGSC effusions were associated with longer overall survival in the entire effusion cohort (p = 0.023) and in patients with pre-chemotherapy effusions tapped at diagnosis (p = 0.048). Higher Link-A levels were associated with better overall (p = 0.015) and progression-free (p = 0.023) survival for patients with post-chemotherapy effusions. Link-A was an independent prognostic marker in Cox multivariate analysis in the latter group (p = 0.045). Conclusions We present the first evidence of differential LncRNA expression as function of anatomic site in HGSC. LncRNA levels in HGSC effusions are candidate prognostic markers.
    Trichloroethylene perturbs HNF4a expression and activity in the developing chick heart
    Alondra P. Harris, Toxicology Letters - 2018
    Exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE) is linked to formation of congenital heart defects in humans and animals. Prior interactome analysis identified the transcription factor, Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 4 alpha (HNF4a), as a potential target of TCE exposure. As a role for HNF4a is unknown in the heart, we examined developing avian hearts for HNF4a expression and for sensitivity to TCE and the HNF4a agonist, Benfluorex. In vitro analysis using a HNF4a reporter construct showed both TCE and HFN4a to be antagonists of HNF4a-mediated transcription at the concentrations tested. HNF4a mRNA is expressed transiently in the embryonic heart during valve formation and cardiac development. Embryos were examined for altered gene expression in the presence of TCE or Benfluorex. TCE altered expression of selected mRNAs including HNF4a, TRAF6 and CYP2C45. There was a transition between inhibition and induction of marker gene expression in embryos as TCE concentration increased. Benfluorex was largely inhibitory to selected markers. Echocardiography of exposed embryos showed reduced cardiac function with both TCE and Benfluorex. Cardiac contraction was reduced by 29% and 23%, respectively at 10 ppb. The effects of TCE and Benfluorex on autocrine regulation of HNF4a, selected markers and cardiac function argue for a functional interaction of TCE and HNF4a. Further, the dose-sensitive shift between inhibition and induction of marker expression may explain the nonmonotonic-like dose response observed with TCE exposure in the heart.
    CXCR4/CXCR7/CXCL12 axis promotes an invasive phenotype in medullary thyroid carcinoma
    Thomas A. Werner, British Journal of Cancer - 2017
    CXCR4/CXCR7/CXCL12 axis promotes an invasive phenotype in medullary thyroid carcinoma
    Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3 Modulates Cbl-b and Constrains T Cell Activation
    Charles W. Tran, The Journal of Immunology - 2017
    The decision between T cell activation and tolerance is governed by the spatial and temporal integration of diverse molecular signals and events occurring downstream of TCR and costimulatory or coinhibitory receptor engagement. The PI3K–protein kinase B (PKB; also known as Akt) signaling pathway is a central axis in mediating proximal signaling events of TCR and CD28 engagement in T cells. Perturbation of the PI3K–PKB pathway, or the loss of negative regulators of T cell activation, such as the E3 ubiquitin ligase Cbl-b, have been reported to lead to increased susceptibility to autoimmunity. In this study, we further examined the molecular pathway linking PKB and Cbl-b in murine models. Our data show that the protein kinase GSK-3, one of the first targets identified for PKB, catalyzes two previously unreported phosphorylation events at Ser476 and Ser480 of Cbl-b. GSK-3 inactivation by PKB abrogates phosphorylation of Cbl-b at these two sites and results in reduced Cbl-b protein levels. We further show that constitutive activation of PKB in vivo results in a loss of tolerance that is mediated through the downregulation of Cbl-b. Altogether, these data indicate that the PI3K–PKB–GSK-3 pathway is a novel regulatory axis that is important for controlling the decision between T cell activation and tolerance via Cbl-b.
    Effect of different salinities on gene expression and activity of digestive enzymes in the thick-lipped grey mullet (Chelon labrosus)
    I. M. Pujante, Fish Physiology and Biochemistry - 2017
    The effects of different environmental salinities (0, 12, 40, and 55 ppt) on pepsinogen 2 (pga2), trypsinogen 2 (try2), chymotrypsinogen (ctr), and pancreatic alpha-amylase (amy2a) gene expression, and on the total activities of their corresponding enzymes, were assessed in Chelon labrosus juveniles, after their corresponding full-complementary DNA sequences were cloned. Furthermore, the quantitative effect of different salinities on the hydrolysis of feed protein by fish digestive enzymes was evaluated using an in vitro system. Relative pga2 expression levels were significantly higher in animals maintained at 12 ppt, while a significantly higher gene expression level for ctr and try2 was observed at 40 ppt. amy2a gene expression showed its maximum level at 40 ppt and the lowest at 55 ppt. A significant reduction in the activity of amylase with the increase in salinity was observed, whereas the maximum activity for alkaline proteases was observed in individuals maintained at 40 ppt. A negative effect of high salinity on the action of proteases was confirmed by the in vitro assay, indicating a decreased efficiency in the digestive function in C. labrosus when maintained at high environmental salinities. Nevertheless, individuals can live under different environmental salinities, even though gene expression is different and the enzymatic activities are not maintained at the highest studied salinity. Therefore, compensatory mechanisms should be in place. Results are discussed on the light of the importance as a new species for aquaculture.
    Comparative transcriptome analysis reveals conserved branching morphogenesis related genes involved in chamber formation of catfish swimbladder
    Qiang Fu, Physiological Genomics - 2017
    The swimbladder is an internal gas-filled organ in teleosts. Its major function is to regulate buoyancy. Swimbladder exhibits great variations in size, shape, number of compartments or chambers among teleosts. However, the genomic control of swimbladder variations is unknown. Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus), and their F1 hybrids of female channel catfish x male blue catfish (C×B hybrid catfish) provide a good model to investigate the swimbladder morphology, because channel catfish possess a single-chambered swimbladder whereas blue catfish possess a bi-chambered swimbladder; and C×B hybrid catfish possess a bi-chambered swimbladder but with significantly reduced posterior chamber. Here we determined the transcriptional profiles of swimbladder from channel catfish, blue catfish, and C×B hybrid catfish. We examined their transcriptomes at both the fingerling and adult stages. Through comparative transcriptome analysis, approximately 4,000 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified. Among these DEGs, members of the Wnt signaling pathway (wnt1, wnt2, nfatc1, rac2), Hedgehog signaling pathway (shh), and growth factors (fgf10, igf-1) were identified. As these genes were known to be important for branching morphogenesis of mammalian lung and of mammary glands, their association with budding of posterior chamber primordium and progressive development of bi-chambered swimbladder in fish suggested that these branching morphogenesis related genes and their functions in branching are evolutionarily conserved across a broad spectrum of species.
    Phenotypic and functional characterization of porcine bone marrow monocyte subsets
    Fernández-Caballero, Developmental & Comparative Immunology - 2017
    Monocytes comprise several subsets with distinct phenotypes and functional capacities. Based on CD163 expression, two major monocyte subsets can be discriminated in the porcine bone marrow. The CD163+ cells expressed higher levels of SLA-DR, Siglec-1, CD11R1 and CD16 when compared to CD163- monocytes, whereas no remarkable differences were observed in the expression of other markers analyzed. Gene expression analysis showed differential expression of several chemokine receptor and TLR genes. Both subsets phagocytosed microspheres with similar efficiency. However, CD163- cells tended to produce higher levels of ROS in response to PMA, whereas CD163+ cells were more efficient in endocytosing and processing antigens (DQ-OVA). CD163- monocytes produced higher levels of TNF-α and IL-10 than CD163+ cells when stimulated with LPS or Imiquimod. Both subsets produced similar amounts of IL-8 in response to LPS; however, CD163+ cells produced more IL-8 after Imiquimod stimulation. Whether these subsets represent different developmental stages, and how are they related remain to be investigated.
    Transcriptomic difference in bovine blastocysts following vitrification and slow freezing at morula stage
    Alisha Gupta, PLOS ONE - 2017
    Cryopreservation is known for its marked deleterious effects on embryonic health. Bovine compact morulae were vitrified or slow-frozen, and post-warm morulae were cultured to the expanded blastocyst stage. Blastocysts developed from vitrified and slow-frozen morulae were subjected to microarray analysis and compared with blastocysts developed from unfrozen control morulae for differential gene expression. Morula to blastocyst conversion rate was higher (P < 0.05) in control (72%) and vitrified (77%) than in slow-frozen (34%) morulae. Total 20 genes were upregulated and 44 genes were downregulated in blastocysts developed from vitrified morulae (fold change ≥ ± 2, P < 0.05) in comparison with blastocysts developed from control morulae. In blastocysts developed from slow-frozen morulae, 102 genes were upregulated and 63 genes were downregulated (fold change ≥ ± 1.5, P < 0.05). Blastocysts developed from vitrified morulae exhibited significant changes in gene expression mainly involving embryo implantation (PTGS2, CALB1), lipid peroxidation and reactive oxygen species generation (HSD3B1, AKR1B1, APOA1) and cell differentiation (KRT19, CLDN23). However, blastocysts developed from slow-frozen morulae showed changes in the expression of genes related to cell signaling (SPP1), cell structure and differentiation (DCLK2, JAM2 and VIM), and lipid metabolism (PLA2R1 and SMPD3). In silico comparison between blastocysts developed form vitrified and slow-frozen morulae revealed similar changes in gene expression as between blastocysts developed from vitrified and control morulae. In conclusion, blastocysts developed form vitrified morulae demonstrated better post-warming survival than blastocysts developed from slow-frozen morulae but their gene expression related to lipid metabolism, steroidogenesis, cell differentiation and placentation changed significantly (≥ 2 fold). Slow freezing method killed more morulae than vitrification but those which survived up to blastocyst stage did not express ≥ 2 fold change in their gene expression as compared with blastocysts from control morulae.
    Carbohydrates digestion and metabolism in the spiny lobster (Panulirus argus): biochemical indication for limited carbohydrate utilization
    Leandro Rodríguez-Viera, PeerJ - 2017
    As other spiny lobsters, Panulirus argus is supposed to use preferentially proteins and lipids in energy metabolism, while carbohydrates are well digested but poorly utilized. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of dietary carbohydrate level on digestion and metabolism in the spiny lobster P. argus. We used complementary methodologies such as post-feeding flux of nutrients and metabolites, as well as measurements of α-amylase expression and activity in the digestive tract. Lobsters readily digested and absorbed carbohydrates with a time-course that is dependent on their content in diet. Lobster showed higher levels of free glucose and stored glycogen in different tissues as the inclusion of wheat flour increased. Modifications in intermediary metabolism revealed a decrease in amino acids catabolism coupled with a higher use of free glucose as carbohydrates rise up to 20%. However, this effect seems to be limited by the metabolic capacity of lobsters to use more than 20% of carbohydrates in diets. Lobsters were not able to tightly regulate α-amylase expression according to dietary carbohydrate level but exhibited a marked difference in secretion of this enzyme into the gut. Results are discussed to highlight the limitations to increasing carbohydrate utilization by lobsters. Further growout trials are needed to link the presented metabolic profiles with phenotypic outcomes.
    Increased Chalcone Synthase (CHS) expression is associated with dicamba resistance in Kochia scoparia
    Dean J. Pettinga, Pest Management Science - 2017
    BACKGROUND Resistance to the synthetic auxin herbicide dicamba is increasingly problematic in Kochia scoparia. The resistance mechanism in an inbred dicamba-resistant K. scoparia line (9425R) was investigated using physiological and transcriptomics (RNA-Seq) approaches. RESULTS No differences were found in dicamba absorption or metabolism between 9425R and a dicamba-susceptible line, but 9425R was found to have significantly reduced dicamba translocation. Known auxin-responsive genes ACC synthase (ACS) and indole-3-acetic acid amino synthetase (GH3) were transcriptionally induced following dicamba treatment in dicamba-susceptible K. scoparia but not in 9425R. Chalcone synthase (CHS), the gene regulating synthesis of the flavonols quertecin and kaemperfol, was found to have two-fold higher transcription in 9425R both without and 12 h after dicamba treatment. Increased CHS transcription co-segregated with dicamba resistance in a forward genetics screen using an F2 population. CONCLUSION Prior work has shown that the flavonols quertecin and kaemperfol compete with auxin for intercellular movement and vascular loading via ATP-binding cassette subfamily B (ABCB) membrane transporters. The results of this study support a model in which constitutively increased CHS expression in the meristem produces more flavonols that would compete with dicamba for intercellular transport by ABCB transporters, resulting in reduced dicamba translocation.
    High-fat diet exposure, regardless of induction of obesity, is associated with altered expression of genes critical to normal ovulatory function
    Natalie M. Hohos, Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology - 2017
    We evaluated the impact of high-fat diet (HFD) on ovarian gene expression. Female 5-week-old C57BL/6J mice were fed a 60% HFD or standard chow for 10 weeks. HFD-fed mice were then separated into obese (HF-Ob) and lean (HF-Ln) based on body weight. HFD exposure led to impairment of the estrous cycle, changes in hormones affecting reproduction, and decreased primordial follicles regardless of the development of obesity. RNA-sequencing of whole ovaries identified multiple genes with altered expression after HFD, with 25 genes displaying decreased expression in both HF-Ln and HF-Ob mice compared to the chow-fed controls (q < 0.05). Several of these 25 genes are involved in normal ovarian functions, including ovulation (Edn2, Tnfaip6, Errfi1, Prkg2, and Nfil3), luteinization (Edn2), and luteolysis (Nr4a1). Taken together, elevated dietary fat intake, regardless of obesity, is associated with impaired estrous cycle, depletion of the ovarian reserve, and altered expression of genes critical to normal ovulatory function.
    CmpX Affects Virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa Through the Gac/Rsm Signaling Pathway and by Modulating c-di-GMP Levels
    Anjali Y. Bhagirath, The Journal of Membrane Biology - 2017
    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an ubiquitous organism which is able to infect and colonize many types of hosts including humans. Colonization of P. aeruginosa in chronic infections leads to the formation of biofilms, which are difficult to eradicate. P. aeruginosa is capable of regulating its virulence factors in response to external environment triggers and its signaling mechanism involves two-component regulatory systems and small molecules such as bis-(3′–5′)-cyclic dimeric guanosine monophosphate. PA1611-RetS-GacS/A-RsmA/Y/Z is a key regulatory pathway in P. aeruginosa that controls several virulence factors and biofilm formation. We have previously identified a conserved cytoplasmic membrane protein cmpX (PA1775), as a regulator for PA1611 expression. In this study, we demonstrate that cmpX regulates virulence, and controls biofilm formation in P. aeruginosa as well as provide evidence showing that cmpX affects Gac/Rsm pathway, possibly by modulating intra-cellular c-di-GMP levels. A cmpX knockout showed significantly decreased promoter activity of exoS (PA1362) and increased activity of small RNA, RsmY. As compared to the wild-type PAO1, cmpX mutant had elevated intracellular c-di-GMP level as measured indirectly by cdrA (PA4625) activity, as well as increased expression of wspR (PA3702), a c-di-GMP synthase. The transcription of the major outer membrane porin gene oprF (PA1777), and sigma factor sigX (PA1776) was also significantly decreased in the cmpX mutant. Biolog phenotype microarray experiments further indicated that the cmpX knockout mutant had increased sensitivity to membrane detergents and antibiotics such as lauryl sulfobetaine, tobramycin, and vancomycin. These results point to a significant role of cmpX in P. aeruginosa virulence and colonization.
    Unraveling vasotocinergic, isotocinergic and stress pathways after food deprivation and high stocking density in the gilthead sea bream
    Arleta Krystyna Skrzynska, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology - 2017
    The influence of chronic stress, induced by food deprivation (FD) and/or high stocking density (HSD), was assessed on stress, vasotocinergic and isotocinergic pathways of the gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata). Fish were randomly assigned to one of the following treatments: (1) fed at low stocking density (LSD-F; 5kg·m−3); (2) fed at high stocking density (HSD-F, 40kg·m−3); (3) food-deprived at LSD (LSD-FD); and (4) food-deprived at HSD (HSD-FD). After 21days, samples from plasma, liver, hypothalamus, pituitary and head-kidney were collected. Both stressors (FD and HSD) induced a chronic stress situation, as indicated by the elevated cortisol levels, the enhancement in corticotrophin releasing hormone (crh) expression and the down-regulation in corticotrophin releasing hormone binding protein (crhbp) expression. Changes in plasma and liver metabolites confirmed a metabolic adjustment to cope with energy demand imposed by stressors. Changes in avt and it gene expression, as well as in their specific receptors (avtrv1a, avtrv2 and itr) at central (hypothalamus and pituitary) and peripheral (liver and head-kidney) levels, showed that vasotocinergic and isotocinergic pathways are involved in physiological changes induced by FD or HSD, suggesting that different stressors are handled through different stress pathways in S. aurata.
    Concomitant external pneumatic compression treatment with consecutive days of high intensity interval training reduces markers of proteolysis
    Cody T. Haun, European Journal of Applied Physiology - 2017
    PurposeTo compare the effects of external pneumatic compression (EPC) and sham when used concurrently with high intensity interval training (HIIT) on performance-related outcomes and recovery-related molecular measures.MethodsEighteen recreationally endurance-trained male participants (age: 21.6 ± 2.4 years, BMI: 25.7 ± 0.5 kg/m2, VO2peak: 51.3 ± 0.9 mL/kg/min) were randomized to balanced sham and EPC treatment groups. Three consecutive days of HIIT followed by EPC/sham treatment (Days 2–4) and 3 consecutive days of recovery (Days 5–7) with EPC/sham only on Days 5–6 were employed. Venipuncture, flexibility and pressure-to-pain threshold (PPT) measurements were made throughout. Vastus lateralis muscle was biopsied at PRE (i.e., Day 1), 1-h post-EPC/sham treatment on Day 2 (POST1), and 24-h post-EPC/sham treatment on Day 7 (POST2). 6-km run time trial performance was tested at PRE and POST2.ResultsNo group × time interaction was observed for flexibility, PPT, or serum measures of creatine kinase (CK), hsCRP, and 8-isoprostane. However, there was a main effect of time for serum CK (p = 0.005). Change from PRE in 6-km run times at POST2 were not significantly different between groups. Significant between-groups differences existed for change from PRE in atrogin-1 mRNA (p = 0.018) at the POST1 time point (EPC: − 19.7 ± 8.1%, sham: + 7.7 ± 5.9%) and atrogin-1 protein concentration (p = 0.013) at the POST2 time point (EPC: − 31.8 ± 7.5%, sham: + 96.0 ± 34.7%). In addition, change from PRE in poly-Ub proteins was significantly different between groups at both the POST1 (EPC: − 26.0 ± 10.3%, sham: + 34.8 ± 28.5%; p = 0.046) and POST2 (EPC: − 33.7 ± 17.2%, sham: + 21.4 ± 14.9%; p = 0.037) time points.ConclusionsEPC when used concurrently with HIIT and in subsequent recovery days reduces skeletal muscle markers of proteolysis.
    Shear Stress Upregulates Regeneration-Related Immediate Early Genes in Liver Progenitors in 3D ECM-like Microenvironments
    Kenichiro Nishii, Journal of Cellular Physiology - 2017
    The role of fluid stresses in activating the hepatic stem/progenitor cell regenerative response is not well understood. This study hypothesized that immediate early genes (IEGs) with known links to liver regeneration will be upregulated in liver progenitor cells (LPCs) exposed to in vitro shear stresses on the order of those produced from elevated interstitial flow after partial hepatectomy. The objectives were: (1) to develop a shear flow chamber for application of fluid stress to LPCs in 3D culture; and (2) to determine the effects of fluid stress on IEG expression in LPCs. Two hours of shear stress exposure at ∼4 dyn/cm2 was applied to LPCs embedded individually or as 3D spheroids within a hyaluronic acid/collagen I hydrogel. Results were compared against static controls. Quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction was used to evaluate the effect of experimental treatments on gene expression. Twenty-nine genes were analyzed, including IEGs and other genes linked to liver regeneration. Four IEGs (CFOS, IP10, MKP1, ALB) and three other regeneration-related genes (WNT, VEGF, EpCAM) were significantly upregulated in LPCs in response to fluid mechanical stress. LPCs maintained an early to intermediate stage of differentiation in spheroid culture in the absence of the hydrogel, and addition of the gel initiated cholangiocyte differentiation programs which were abrogated by the onset of flow. Collectively the flow-upregulated genes fit the pattern of an LPC-mediated proliferative/regenerative response. These results suggest that fluid stresses are potentially important regulators of the LPC-mediated regeneration response in liver. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
    Chronic BMY7378 treatment alters behavioral circadian rhythms
    Jhenkruthi Vijaya Shankara, European Journal of Neuroscience - 2017
    The mammalian circadian clock is synchronized to the day:night cycle by light. Serotonin modulates the circadian effects of light, with agonists inhibiting response to light and antagonists enhancing responses to light. A special class of serotonergic compounds, the mixed 5-HT1A agonist/antagonists, potentiate light-induced phase advances by up to 400% when administered acutely. In this study, we examine the effects of one of these mixed 5-HT1A agonist/antagonists, BMY7378, when administered chronically. Thirty adult male hamsters were administered either vehicle or BMY7378 via surgically implanted osmotic minipumps over a period of 28 days. In a light:dark cycle, chronic BMY7378 advanced the phase angle of entrainment, prolonged the duration of the active phase, and attenuated the amplitude of the wheel running rhythm during the early night. In constant darkness, chronic treatment with BMY7378 significantly attenuated light-induced phase advances, but had no significant effect on light-induced phase delays. Non-photic phase shifts to daytime administration of a 5-HT1A/7 agonist were also attenuated by chronic BMY7378 treatment. qRT-PCR analysis revealed that chronic BMY7378 treatment upregulated mRNA for 5-HT1A and 5-HT1B receptors in the hypothalamus, and downregulated mRNA for 5-HT1A and monoamine oxidase-A in the brainstem. These results highlight adaptive changes of serotonin receptors in the brain to chronic treatment with BMY7378, and link such up- and down-regulation to changes in important circadian parameters. Such long-term changes to the circadian system should be considered when patients are treated chronically with drugs that alter serotonergic function. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Competitive elimination and virulence property alteration of Campylobacter jejuni by genetically engineered Lactobacillus casei
    Zajeba Tabashsum, Food Control - 2017
    Probiotics, prebiotics, or a combination of these two referred to as synbiotics, have emerged as a promising natural and alternative approach to make the sustainable animal farming. Previously, we reported that in the presence of prebiotic like components such as peanut flour, Lactobacillus produced more metabolites and inhibited several enteric pathogens. In this study, we tested a genetically modified lactic acid-producing bacterial strain Lactobacillus casei (LC), that produced large amounts of bioactive compounds including conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), in inhibiting enteric bacterial pathogens and improving host immune systems. The genetically engineered LC strain, LC+mcra (overexpressed mcra gene in LC) effectively eliminated Campylobacter jejuni (CJ) in co-culture condition without any stimulation with prebiotic like components. LC+mcra alone inhibited the growth of CJ completely by 48 h (P < 0.05) similarly the combine effect of LC with prebiotic like component, peanut flour. Cell free culture supernatants (CFCSs) of LC+mcra was also effective in growth reduction of CJ most efficiently (p < 0.05), followed by CFCSs of LC with peanut flour (p < 0.05). In co-culture conditions, LC with peanut flour, LC+mcra and their CFCSs reduced the adherence and invasion ability of CJ to both HD-11 and HeLa cells. Physicochemical properties and gene expressions related to CJ virulence were also altered by CFCSs treatments significantly. These findings suggest, LC+mcra can be an alternative in controlling CJ infection along with other beneficial attributes of LC.
    Exercise training attenuates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by peripheral immunomodulation rather than direct neuroprotection
    Ofira Einstein, Experimental Neurology - 2017
    Conflicting results exist on the effects of exercise training (ET) on Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE), nor is it known how exercise impacts on disease progression. We examined whether ET ameliorates the development of EAE by modulating the systemic immune system or exerting direct neuroprotective effects on the CNS. Healthy mice were subjected to 6weeks of motorized treadmill running. The Proteolipid protein (PLP)-induced transfer EAE model in mice was utilized. To assess effects of ET on systemic autoimmunity, lymph-node (LN)-T cells from trained- vs. sedentary donor mice were transferred to naïve recipients. To assess direct neuroprotective effects of ET, PLP-reactive LN-T cells were transferred into recipient mice that were trained prior to EAE transfer or to sedentary mice. EAE severity was assessed in vivo and the characteristics of encephalitogenic LN-T cells derived from PLP-immunized mice were evaluated in vitro. LN-T cells obtained from trained mice induced an attenuated clinical and pathological EAE in recipient mice vs. cells derived from sedentary animals. Training inhibited the activation, proliferation and cytokine gene expression of PLP-reactive T cells in response to CNS-derived autoantigen, but strongly enhanced their proliferation in response to Concanavalin A, a non-specific stimulus. However, there was no difference in EAE severity when autoreactive encephalitogenic T cells were transferred to trained vs. sedentary recipient mice. ET inhibits immune system responses to an auto-antigen to attenuate EAE, rather than generally suppressing the immune system, but does not induce a direct neuro-protective effect against EAE.
    Influence of stress factors on intestinal epithelial injury and regeneration
    Carol Lee, Pediatric Surgery International - 2017
    PurposeLgr5+ intestinal epithelial stem cells (ISCs) crucial for intestinal epithelial regeneration are impaired during necrotizing enterocolitis. This study aims to investigate the influence of different stressors on intestinal epithelial injury and regeneration in vitro.MethodsIntestinal epithelial cells (IEC-18) were exposed to stressors such as lipopolysaccharide, hydrogen peroxide, and serum. Cell viability was assessed using MTT assay at 18 and 24 h. IL-6 and Lgr5 gene expressions were measured using qPCR.ResultsIEC-18 cell viability decreased 18 h following administration of lipopolysaccharide, hydrogen peroxide, and low serum concentration. However, after 24 h, the decrease in cell viability was observed only in higher, but not in lower concentrations of lipopolysaccharide and hydrogen peroxide. IL-6 expression increased in all groups compared to control. Lgr5 expression was up-regulated in cells exposed to a single stressor, but down-regulated when multiple stressors were administered.ConclusionLipopolysaccharide, hydrogen peroxide, or low serum induced IEC-18 injury. The upregulation of Lgr5 expression after exposure to a single stressor suggests that minor injury to IEC-18 induces Lgr5+ ISCs to stimulate repair. Conversely, when IEC-18 cells were exposed to multiple stressors, Lgr5 expression was reduced. We speculate that this finding is similar to what happens in NEC when multiple stressors cause impairment of intestinal epithelium regeneration.
    Pegylated interferon beta in the treatment of the Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus mouse model of multiple sclerosis
    Francesca Gilli, Journal of Neuroimmunology - 2017
    We evaluated the effects of pegylated-interferonβ-1a (pegIFNβ) therapy on intrathecal antibody responses, disability progression, and viral load in the CNS in mice infected with the Theiler's virus (TMEV), an animal model of progressive disability in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The lack of a direct antiviral activity in the CNS, the absence of any effect upon the intrathecal immune response, and the failure to treat disease progression, indicate that the immunomodulatory effects of pegIFNβ-1a likely occur in the systemic circulation rather than within the CNS. These results may be relevant to the relative lack of effect of IFNβ in progressive MS relative to relapsing MS.
    In roots of Arabidopsis thaliana, the damage-associated molecular pattern AtPep1 is a stronger elicitor of immune signalling than flg22 or the chitin heptamer
    Lorenzo Poncini, PLOS ONE - 2017
    Plants interpret their immediate environment through perception of small molecules. Microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) such as flagellin and chitin are likely to be more abundant in the rhizosphere than plant-derived damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs). We investigated how the Arabidopsis thaliana root interprets MAMPs and DAMPs as danger signals. We monitored root development during exposure to increasing concentrations of the MAMPs flg22 and the chitin heptamer as well as of the DAMP AtPep1. The tissue-specific expression of defence-related genes in roots was analysed using a toolkit of promoter::YFPN lines reporting jasmonic acid (JA)-, salicylic acid (SA)-, ethylene (ET)- and reactive oxygen species (ROS)- dependent signalling. Finally, marker responses were analysed during invasion by the root pathogen Fusarium oxysporum. The DAMP AtPep1 triggered a stronger activation of the defence markers compared to flg22 and the chitin heptamer. In contrast to the tested MAMPs, AtPep1 induced SA- and JA-signalling markers in the root and caused a severe inhibition of root growth. Fungal attack resulted in a strong activation of defence genes in tissues close to the invading fungal hyphae. The results collectively suggest that AtPep1 presents a stronger danger signal to the Arabidopsis root than the MAMPs flg22 and chitin heptamer.
    Sex-specific phenotypes and metabolism-related gene expression in juvenile sticklebacks
    Alberto Velando, Behavioral Ecology - 2017
    To fully understand the evolution of sexual dimorphism, it is necessary to study how genetic and developmental systems function to generate sex-specific phenotype as well as sex-specific selection. Males and females show different patterns of energy storage and mitochondrial metabolism from early stages of life, and this may underlie sex-specific developmental pathway to shape both juvenile and adult phenotype. Here, we examined sex-specific relationships between juvenile morphology and behavior, and transcriptional profiles of 4 candidate genes related to mitochondrial function in the 3-spined stickleback. This study provides, for the first time to our knowledge, evidence for sex differences in melanin pigmentation and antipredator behavior as well as the expression of mitochondria-related genes in juvenile sticklebacks. Males were paler and bolder, and overexpressed genes involved in mitochondrial respiration and antioxidant enzymes compared to females. Relationships between phenotypic traits and gene expression were also sex-specific. In general, females showed stronger positive correlations between body size or pigmentation and the expression of genes involved in mitochondrial biogenesis and activity. In both sexes, more fearful individuals overexpressed those genes. Our results suggest that mitochondrial function may either facilitate or constrain sex-specific responses to selection on dimorphic phenotype, possibly generating intralocus sexual conflict on the transcriptional regulation of mito-nuclear genes during ontogeny. This study highlights that mitochondrial regulation plays an important role in the process of phenotypic differentiation between the 2 sexes from early stages of life before apparent sexual dimorphism appears.
    More than just antibodies: Protective mechanisms of a mucosal vaccine against fish pathogen Flavobacterium columnare
    Dongdong Zhang, Fish & Shellfish Immunology - 2017
    A recently developed attenuated vaccine for Flavobacterium columnare has been demonstrated to provide superior protection for channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, against genetically diverse columnaris isolates. We were interested in examining the mechanisms of this protection by comparing transcriptional responses to F. columnare challenge in vaccinated and unvaccinated juvenile catfish. Accordingly, 58 day old fingerling catfish (28 days post-vaccination or unvaccinated control) were challenged with a highly virulent F. columnare isolate (BGSF-27) and gill tissues collected pre-challenge (0 h), and 1 h and 2 h post infection, time points previously demonstrated to be critical in early host-pathogen interactions. Following RNA-sequencing and transcriptome assembly, differential expression (DE) analysis within and between treatments revealed several patterns and pathways potentially underlying improved survival of vaccinated fish. Most striking was a pattern of dramatically higher basal expression of an array of neuropeptides (e.g. somatostatin), hormones, complement factors, and proteases at 0 h in vaccinated fish. Previous studies indicate these are likely the preformed mediators of neuroendocrine cells and/or eosinophilic granular (mast-like) cells within the fish gill. Following challenge, these elements fell to almost undetectable levels (>100-fold downregulated) by 1 h in vaccinated fish, suggesting their rapid release and/or cessation of synthesis following degranulation. Concomitantly, levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1b, IL-8, IL-17) were induced in unvaccinated fish. In contrast, in vaccinated catfish, we observed widespread induction of genes needed for collagen deposition and tissue remodeling. Taken together, our results indicate an important component of vaccine protection in fish mucosal tissues may be the sensitization, proliferation and arming of resident secretory cells in the period between primary and secondary challenge.
    Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate and diethyl phthalate disrupt lipid metabolism, reduce fecundity and shortens lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans
    Ajay Pradhan, Chemosphere - 2017
    The widespread use of phthalates is of major concern as they have adverse effects on many different physiological functions, including reproduction, metabolism and cell differentiation. The aim of this study was to compare the toxicity of the widely-used di (2-ethydlhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) with its substitute, diethyl phthalate (DEP). We analyzed the toxicity of these two phthalates using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system. Gene expression analysis following exposure during the L1 to young adult stage showed that DEHP and DEP alter the expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism and stress response. Genes associated with lipid metabolism, including fasn-1, pod-2, fat-5, acs-6 and sbp-1, and vitellogenin were upregulated. Among the stress response genes, ced-1 wah-1, daf-21 and gst-4 were upregulated, while ctl-1, cdf-2 and the heat shock proteins (hsp-16.1, hsp-16.48 and sip-1) were downregulated. Lipid staining revealed that DEHP significantly increased lipid content following 1 μM exposure, however, DEP required 10 μM exposure to elicit an effect. Both DEHP and DEP reduced the fecundity at 1 μM concentration. Lifespan analysis indicated that DEHP and DEP reduced the average lifespan from 14 days in unexposed worms to 13 and 12 days, respectively. Expression of lifespan associated genes showed a correlation to shortened lifespan in the exposed groups. As reported previously, our data also indicates that the banned DEHP is toxic to C. elegans, however its substitute DEP has not been previously tested in this model organism and our data revealed that DEP is equally potent as DEHP in regulating C. elegans physiological functions.
    Impaired fertility and motor function in a zebrafish model for classic galactosemia
    Jo M. Vanoevelen, Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease - 2017
    Classic galactosemia is a genetic disorder of galactose metabolism, caused by severe deficiency of galactose-1-phosphate uridylyltransferase (GALT) enzyme activity due to mutations of the GALT gene. Its pathogenesis is still not fully elucidated, and a therapy that prevents chronic impairments is lacking. In order to move research forward, there is a high need for a novel animal model, which allows organ studies throughout development and high-throughput screening of pharmacologic compounds. Here, we describe the generation of a galt knockout zebrafish model and present its phenotypical characterization. Using a TALEN approach, a galt knockout line was successfully created. Accordingly, biochemical assays confirm essentially undetectable galt enzyme activity in homozygotes. Analogous to humans, galt knockout fish accumulate galactose-1-phosphate upon exposure to exogenous galactose. Furthermore, without prior exposure to exogenous galactose, they exhibit reduced motor activity and impaired fertility (lower egg quantity per mating, higher number of unsuccessful crossings), resembling the human phenotype(s) of neurological sequelae and subfertility. In conclusion, our galt knockout zebrafish model for classic galactosemia mimics the human phenotype(s) at biochemical and clinical levels. Future studies in our model will contribute to improved understanding and management of this disorder.
    Tissue-engineered magnetic cell sheet patches for advanced strategies in tendon regeneration
    Ana I. Gonçalves, Acta Biomaterialia - 2017
    Tendons are powerful 3D biomechanically structures combining a few cells in an intrincated and highly hierarchical niche environment. When tendon homeostasis is compromised, restoration of functionality upon injury is limited and requires alternatives to current augmentation or replacement strategies. Cell sheet technologies are a powerful tool for the fabrication of living extracellular-rich patches towards regeneration of tenotopic defects. Thus, we originally propose the development of magnetically responsive tenogenic patches through magnetic cell sheet (magCSs) technology that enable the remote control upon implantation of the tendon-mimicking constructs. A Tenomodulin positive (TNMD+) subpopulation of cells sorted from a crude population of human adipose stem cells (hASCs) previously identified as being prone to tenogenesis was selected for the magCSs patch construction. We investigated the stability, the cellular co-location of the iron oxide nanoparticles (MNPs), as well as the morphology and mechanical properties of the developed magCSs. Moreover, the expression of tendon markers and collagenous tendon-like matrix were further assessed under the actuation of an external magnetic field. Overall, this study confirms the potential to bioengineer tendon patches using a magnetic cell sheet construction with magnetic responsiveness, good mechanoelastic properties and a tenogenic prone stem cell population envisioning cell-based functional therapies towards tendon regeneration. The concept of magnetic force-based tissue engineering may assist the development of innovative solutions to treat tendon (or other tissues) disorders upon remote control of biological processes as cell migration or differentiation. Herein, we originally fabricated magnetic responsive cell sheets (magCSs) with a Tenomodulin positive subpopulation of adipose tissue derived stem cells identified to commit to the tenogenic lineage. To the best of authors knowledge, this is the first time a tendon oriented strategy resorting on magCSsis reported. Moreover, the promising role of tenogenic living constructs fabricated as magnetically responsive ECM-rich patches is highlighted, envisioning the stimulation of endogenous regenerative mechanisms. Altogether, these findings contribute to future stem cell studies and their translation toward tendon therapies.
    Treatment of Theiler’s virus-induced demyelinating disease with teriflunomide
    Francesca Gilli, Journal of NeuroVirology - 2017
    Teriflunomide is an oral therapy approved for the treatment of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), showing both anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. Currently, it is uncertain whether one or both of these properties may explain teriflunomide’s beneficial effect in MS. Thus, to learn more about its mechanisms of action, we evaluated the effect of teriflunomide in the Theiler’s encephalomyelitis virus-induced demyelinating disease (TMEV-IDD) model, which is both a viral infection and an excellent model of the progressive disability of MS. We assessed the effects of the treatment on central nervous system (CNS) viral load, intrathecal immune response, and progressive neurological disability in mice intracranially infected with TMEV. In the TMEV-IDD model, we showed that teriflunomide has both anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, but there seemed to be no impact on disability progression and intrathecal antibody production. Notably, benefits in TMEV-IDD were mostly mediated by effects on various cytokines produced in the CNS. Perhaps the most interesting result of the study has been teriflunomide’s antiviral activity in the CNS, indicating it may have a role as an antiviral prophylactic and therapeutic compound for CNS viral infections.
    Mechanisms of pathogen virulence and host susceptibility in virulent Aeromonas hydrophila infections of channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)
    Eric Peatman, Aquaculture - 2017
    An emerging pathotype of Aeromonas hydrophila (vAh) has been responsible for widespread farm losses in the US catfish industry over the last decade. While our genetic and biochemical understanding of vAh has been greatly enhanced in this time frame, our ability to reliably induce the disease in the laboratory has remained limited. Taking cues from observed farm conditions associated with outbreaks, here we perturbed iron scavenging dynamics and catfish feeding status. Addition of a xenosiderophore, deferoxamine mesylate (DFO), to vAh cultures prior to immersion challenge significantly increased virulence in several vAh isolates but not in a non-epidemic strain. DFO addition did not impact vAh growth dynamics or perturb iron-sensitive gene pathways, but did significantly enhance hemolysis of catfish blood. Furthermore, hours between last feeding and immersion challenge (postprandial status), was observed to be a critical determinant of catfish susceptibility. Fish with a full gastrointestinal tract had significantly lower survival than those in a fasted state, and this effect was cumulative with that of DFO-enhanced vAh virulence. Taken together, our results not only provide a more robust challenge model, they offer actionable insights into pond level host-pathogen-environmental interactions potentially underlying vAh pathogenesis.
    Biopsy-derived intestinal epithelial cell cultures for pathway based stratification of patients with inflammatory bowel disease
    Wiebe Vanhove, Journal of Crohn's and Colitis - 2017
    BackgroundEndoplasmic reticulum stress was shown to be pivotal in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. Despite progress in IBD drug development, not more than one third of patients achieve steroid-free remission and mucosal healing with current therapies. Furthermore, patient stratification tools for therapy selection are lacking. We aimed to identify and quantify epithelial ER stress in a patient-specific manner in an attempt towards personalized therapy.MethodsA biopsy-derived intestinal epithelial cell culture system was developed and characterized. ER stress was induced by thapsigargin and quantified with a BiP ELISA on cell lysates from 35 patients with known genotypes who were grouped based on the number of IBD-associated ER stress and autophagy risk alleles.ResultsThe epithelial character of the cells was confirmed by E-cadherin, ZO-1 and MUC2 staining and CK-18,CK-20 and LGR5 gene expression. Patients with 3 risk alleles had higher median epithelial BiP-induction (vs. untreated) levels compared to patients with 1 or 2 risk alleles (p=0.026 and 0.043, respectively). When autophagy risk alleles were included and patients were stratified in genetic risk quartiles, patients in Q2, Q3 and Q4 had significantly higher ER stress (BiP) when compared to Q1 (p=0.034, 0.040 and 0.034, respectively).ConclusionWe developed and validated an ex vivo intestinal epithelial cell culture system and showed that patients with more ER stress and autophagy risk alleles have augmented epithelial ER stress responses. We thus presented a personalized approach whereby patient-specific defects can be identified which in turn could help in selecting tailored therapies.
    Fetal sex alters maternal anti-Mullerian hormone during pregnancy in cattle
    Anja Stojsin-Carter, Animal Reproduction Science - 2017
    Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) is expressed by both male and female fetuses during mammalian development, with males expressing AMH earlier and at significantly higher concentration. The aim of the current study was to explore the potential impact of pregnancy and fetal sex on maternal AMH and to determine if plasma (Pl) AMH or placenta intercotyledonary membrane and cotyledonary AMH receptor 2 (AMHR2) mRNA expression differ in pregnant cows carrying male vs. female fetuses. AMH levels in blood were measured using a bovine optimized ELISA kit. Cows pregnant with a male fetus were observed to have a significantly greater difference in Pl AMH between day 35 and 135 of gestation. Average fetal AMH level between 54 and 220 days of gestation was also observed to be significantly higher in male vs. female fetuses. Intercotyledonary membranes and cotyledons were found to express AMHR2 between days 38 and 80 of gestation at similar levels in both fetal sexes. These findings support the hypothesis that fetal sex alters maternal Pl AMH during pregnancy in cattle.
    Data supporting the functional role of Eleven-nineteen Lysine-rich Leukemia 3 (ELL3) in B cell lymphoma cell line cells
    Lou-Ella M. M. Alexander, Data in Brief - 2017
    The data presented here are related to the research article entitled “Selective expression of the transcription elongation factor ELL3 in B cells prior to ELL2 drives proliferation and survival” (Alexander et al., 2017) [1]. The cited research article characterizes Eleven-nineteen Lysine-rich Leukemia 3 (ELL3) expression in the B cell compartment and functional dependence in B lymphoma cell lines. This data report describes the mRNA expression pattern in a panel of cell lines representing the B cell compartment, supplementing the protein expression data presented in the associated research report. In addition, a reanalysis is presented of publicly available mRNA expression data from primary murine B cells to reveal dynamic regulation of the ELL family members post LPS stimulation (Barwick et al., 2016) [2]. The effect of ELL3 depletion on cell morphology, latent Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) lytic replication and differentiation markers in a Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) cell line cells are presented.
    Susceptibility of Human Cumulus Cells to Bisphenol A In Vitro
    Abdallah Mansur, Reproductive Toxicology - 2017
    Bisphenol A (BPA) is detectable in follicular fluid. However, the effect of BPA exposure on human cumulus cells (CC) that surround the oocyte and are crucial for oocyte competence has been largely unexplored. We exposed primary cultures of CC to increasing concentrations of BPA [0,0.002, 0.02 and 20 μg/mL] and tested the effects of BPA on the expression of genes associated with apoptosis using quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR); we also assessed the effect of BPA on apoptosis by staining with anti-caspase 3. Exposure to 20 μg/mL BPA led to significantly decreased expression of CDC20, BUB1 B and HAS2 (p < 0.03), increased expression of TRIB3 and LUM (p ≤ 0.005), and increased frequency of cells positive for anti-CASP3 (p = 0.03), compared to control. Our results imply that BPA may lead to ovarian toxicity by increasing CC apoptosis and provide an important molecular mechanism for the effect of BPA on human CC in vitro.
    The role of Tec kinase signaling pathways in the development of Mallory Denk Bodies in balloon cells in alcoholic hepatitis
    N. Afifiyan, Experimental and Molecular Pathology - 2017
    Several research strategies have been used to study the pathogenesis of alcoholic hepatitis (AH). These strategies have shown that various signaling pathways are the target of alcohol in liver cells. However, few have provided specific mechanisms associated with Mallory-Denk Bodies (MDBs) formed in Balloon cells in AH. The formation of MDBs in these hepatocytes is an indication that the mechanisms of protein quality control have failed. The MDB is the result of aggregation and accumulation of proteins in the cytoplasm of balloon degenerated liver cells. To understand the mechanisms that failed to degrade and remove proteins in the hepatocyte from patients suffering from alcoholic hepatitis, we investigated the pathways that showed significant up regulation in the AH liver biopsies compared to normal control livers (Liu et al., 2015). Analysis of genomic profiles of AH liver biopsies and control livers by RNA-seq revealed different pathways that were up regulated significantly. In this study, the focus was on Tec kinase signaling pathways and the genes that significantly interrupt this pathway. Quantitative PCR and immunofluorescence staining results, indicated that several genes and proteins are significantly over expressed in the livers of AH patients that affect the Tec kinase signaling to PI3K which leads to activation of Akt and its downstream effectors.
    Didox (3,4-dihydroxybenzohydroxamic acid) suppresses IgE-mediated mast cell activation through attenuation of NFκB and AP-1 transcription
    Jamie Josephine Avila McLeod, Cellular Immunology - 2017
    Mast cell activation via the high-affinity IgE receptor (FcεRI) elicits production of inflammatory mediators central to allergic disease. As a synthetic antioxidant and a potent ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) inhibitor, Didox (3,4-dihyroxybenzohydroxamic acid) has been tested in clinical trials for cancer and is an attractive therapeutic for inflammatory disease. We found that Didox treatment of mouse bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMMC) reduced IgE-stimulated degranulation and cytokine production, including IL-6, IL-13, TNF and MIP-1a (CCL3). These effects were consistent using BMMC of different genetic backgrounds and peritoneal mast cells. While the RNR inhibitor hydroxyurea had little or no effect on IgE-mediated function, high concentrations of the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine mimicked Didox-mediated suppression. Furthermore, Didox increased expression of the antioxidant genes superoxide dismutase and catalase, and suppressed DCFH-DA fluorescence, indicating reduced reactive oxygen species production. Didox effects were not due to changes in FcεRI expression or cell viability, suggesting it inhibits signaling required for inflammatory cytokine production. In support of this, we found that Didox reduced FcεRI-mediated AP-1 and NFκB transcriptional activity. Finally, Didox suppressed mast cell-dependent, IgE-mediated passive systemic anaphylaxis in vivo. These data demonstrate the potential use for Didox as a means of antagonizing mast cell responses in allergic disease.
    A phenotype combining hidradenitis suppurativa with Dowling-Degos disease caused by a founder mutation in PSENEN
    M. Pavlovsky, British Journal of Dermatology - 2017
    Dowling-Degos disease, featuring reticulate pigmentation, and familial hidradenitis suppurativa share many clinical features including autosomal dominant inheritance, flexural location and follicular defects. The co-existence of the two disorders was recently found to result from mutations in PSENEN, encoding protein presenilin enhancer gamma-secretase subunit. Here we report 4 additional families of Jewish Ashkenazi origin who presented with clinical features characteristic of both disorders. All patients were found to carry the same, heterozygous mutation in PSENEN (c.168T>G, p.Y56X). Haplotype analysis revealed that the mutation originated from a common ancestor. Dowling-Degos disease- as well as hidradenitis suppurativa-associated genes have been shown to encode important regulators of Notch signaling. Accordingly, using a reporter assay, we demonstrated decreased Notch activity in patient's keratinocytes. The present data confirm the genetic basis of the combined Dowling-Degos disease-hidradenitis suppurativa phenotype and suggest that Notch signaling may play a central role in the pathogenesis of this rare condition. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Design of Boron Nitride/Gelatin Electrospun Nanofibers for Bone Tissue Engineering
    Sakthivel Nagarajan, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces - 2017
    Gelatin is a biodegradable biopolymer obtained by collagen denaturation, which shows poor mechanical properties. Hence, improving its mechanical properties is very essential towards the fabrication of efficient nontoxic material for biomedical applications. For this aim, various methods are employed using external fillers such as ceramics or bioglass. In this report, we introduce boron nitride (BN) reinforced gelatin as a new class of two dimensional biocompatible nanomaterials. The effect of the nanofiller on the mechanical behavior is analyzed. BN is efficiently exfoliated using the biopolymer gelatin as shown through Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The exfoliated BN reinforces gelatin electrospun fibers, which results in an increase in the Young’s modulus. The ESM are stable after the glutaraldehyde cross-linking and the fibrous morphology is preserved. The cross-linked gelatin/BN ESM is highly bioactive in forming bone like hydroxyapatite as shown by scanning electron microscopy. Due to their enhanced mineralization ability, the cross-linked ESM have been tested on human bone cells (HOS osteosarcoma cell line). The cell attachment, proliferation and biocompatibility results show that the ESM are nontoxic and biodegradable. The analysis of osteoblast gene expression and the measurement of alkaline phosphatase activity confirm that these materials are suitable for bone tissue engineering.
    Wnt7a induces a unique phenotype of monocyte-derived macrophages with lower phagocytic capacity and differential expression of pro-and anti-inflammatory cytokines
    Jennillee Wallace, Immunology - 2017
    The variation of macrophage functions suggests the involvement of multiple signaling pathways in fine tuning their differentiation. Macrophages that originate from monocytes in the blood migrate to tissue in response to homeostatic or “danger” signals and undergo substantial morphological and functional modifications to meet the needs of the dominant signals in the microenvironment. Wnts are secreted glycoproteins that play a significant role in organ and cell differentiation, yet their impact on monocyte differentiation is not clear. In this study, we assessed the role of Wnt1 and Wnt7a on the differentiation of monocytes and the subsequent phenotype and function of monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs). We show that Wnt7a decreased the expression of CD14, CD11b, CD163 and CD206 whereas Wnt1 had no effect. Wnt7a effect on CD11b was also observed in the brain and spleen of Wnt7a -/- adult brain mouse tissue and in embryonic Wnt7a -/- tissue. Wnt7a reduced the phagocytic capacity of M-MDM and M1-like MDMs, decreased IL-10 and IL-12 secretion and increased IL-6 secretion. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that Wnt7a generates an MDM phenotype with both pro-inflammatory and alternative MDM cytokine profiles and reduced phagocytic capacity. As such, Wnt7a can have a significant impact on macrophage responses in health and disease. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    An amphipathic trans -acting phosphorothioate RNA element delivers an uncharged phosphorodiamidate morpholino sequence in mdx mouse myotubes
    H.V. Jain, RSC Advances - 2017
    An efficient method for the delivery of uncharged polyA-tailed phosphorodiamidate morpholino sequences (PMO) in mammalian cells consists of employing a synthetic 8-mer amphipathic trans-acting poly-2′-O-methyluridylic thiophosphate triester element (2′-OMeUtaPS) as a transfection reagent. Unlike the dTtaPS DNA-based element, this RNA element is potent at delivering polyA-tailed PMO sequences to HeLa pLuc 705 cells or to myotube muscle cells. However, much like dTtaPS, the 2′-OMeUtaPS-mediated internalization of PMO sequences occurs through an energy-dependent mechanism; macropinocytosis appears to be the predominant endocytic pathway used for cellular uptake. The transfected PMO sequences induce alternate splicing of either the pre-mRNA encoding luciferase in HeLa pLuc 705 cells or the excision of exon 23 from the pre-mRNA encoding dystrophin in myotube muscle cells of the mdx mouse model of muscular dystrophy with an efficiency comparable to that of commercial cationic lipid reagents but without detrimental cytotoxicity.
    Trichostatin A Sensitizes Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells to Enhanced NK Cell-mediated Killing by Regulating Immune-related Genes
    Sangsu Shin, Cancer Genomics - Proteomics - 2017
    Background/Aim: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. The ability of HCC to avoid immune detection is considered one of the main factors making it difficult to cure. Abnormal histone deacetylation is thought to be one of the mechanisms for HCC immune escape, making histone deacetylases (HDACs) attractive targets for HCC treatment. Here, we investigated the effect of trichostatin A (TSA), a highly potent HDAC inhibitor, on HCC (HepG2) gene expression and function. Materials and Methods: A genome wide-transcriptional microarray was used to identify genes regulated by TSA in HepG2 cells. Gene Ontology was used to identify pathways regulated by TSA, and these changes were confirmed by qPCR. The effect of TSA on natural killer (NK) cell-mediated killing of HCC cell lines were analyzed by both flow cytometry and LDH cytotoxicity assay. A study was also conducted in a Balb/c nude mice xenograft model to assess the anti-tumor activity of TSA. Results: TSA regulated the transcription of numerous innate immunity & tumor antigen recognition-associated genes, such as ULBP1 and RAET1G, in HCC cells. In vivo, TSA reduced tumor cell growth in an NK cell-dependent manner. In vitro, TSA treatment of HepG2 cells rendered them more susceptible to NK cell-mediated killing while increasing the expression of NKGD2 ligands, including ULBP1/2/3 and MICA/B. TSA also induced direct killing of HCC cells by stimulating apoptosis. Conclusion: TSA likely increases killing of HCC cells indirectly by increasing NK cell-directed killing and directly by increasing apoptosis.
    Helicobacter pylori infection perturbs iron homeostasis in gastric epithelial cells
    Sebastian E. Flores, PLOS ONE - 2017
    The iron deficiency anaemia that often accompanies infection with Helicobacter pylori may reflect increased uptake of iron into gastric epithelial cells. Here we show an infection-associated increase in total intracellular iron levels was associated with the redistribution of the transferrin receptor from the cell cytosol to the cell surface, and with increased levels of ferritin, an intracellular iron storage protein that corresponded with a significant increase in lysosomal stores of labile iron. In contrast, the pool of cytosolic labile iron was significantly decreased in infected cells. These changes in intracellular iron distribution were associated with the uptake and trafficking of H. pylori through the cells, and enhanced in strains capable of expressing the cagA virulence gene. We speculate that degradation of lysosomal ferritin may facilitate H. pylori pathogenesis, in addition to contributing to bacterial persistence in the human stomach.
    Selective expression of the transcription elongation factor ELL3 in B cells prior to ELL2 drives proliferation and survival
    Lou-Ella M. M. Alexander, Molecular Immunology - 2017
    B cell activation is dependent on a large increase in transcriptional output followed by focused expression on secreted immunoglobulin as the cell transitions to an antibody producing plasma cell. The rapid transcriptional induction is facilitated by the release of poised RNA pol II into productive elongation through assembly of the super elongation complex (SEC). We report that a SEC component, the Eleven -nineteen Lysine-rich leukemia (ELL) family member 3 (ELL3) is dynamically up-regulated in mature and activated human B cells followed by suppression as B cells transition to plasma cells in part mediated by the transcription repressor PRDM1. Burkitt’s lymphoma and a sub-set of Diffuse Large B cell lymphoma cell lines abundantly express ELL3. Depletion of ELL3 in the germinal center derived lymphomas results in severe disruption of DNA replication and cell division along with increased DNA damage and cell death. This restricted utilization and survival dependence reveal a key step in B cell activation and indicate a potential therapeutic target against B cell lymphoma’s with a germinal center origin.
    In silico analysis and effects of environmental salinity in the expression and activity of digestive α-amylase and trypsins from the euryhaline crab Neohelice granulata
    Antonela Asaro, Canadian Journal of Zoology - 2017
    Studies on molecular characteristics and modulation of expression of α-amylase and trypsin in the hepatopancreas of intertidal euryhaline crabs are lacking. In this work, we cloned and studied by in silico approaches the characteristics of cDNA sequences for α-amylase and two trypsins isoforms, as well as the effect of environmental salinity on gene expression and protein activities in hepatopancreas of Neohelice granulata (Dana,1852), as a good invertebrate model species. The cDNA sequence of -amylase is 1,637 bp long, encoding 459 amino acid residues. Trypsin 1 and 2 are 689 bp and 1,174 bp long, encoding 204 and 151 amino acid residues, respectively. Multiple sequence alignment of deduced protein sequences revealed the presence of conserved motifs found in other invertebrates. In crabs acclimated at 37 psu (hypo-regulation),α-amylase mRNA level and total pancreatic amylase activity were higher than at 10 psu (hyper-regulation) and 35 psu (osmoconformation). Trypsin 1 mRNA levels increased at 37 psu wh...
    Artemisinin permeability via Caco-2 cells increases after simulated digestion of Artemisia annua leaves
    Matthew R. Desrosiers, Journal of Ethnopharmacology - 2017
    Ethnopharmacological relevance Artemisia annua has been used for > 2000 yrs to treat fever and is more recently known for producing the important antimalarial drug, artemisinin. Aim of the study Artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) are effective for treating malaria, but are often unavailable to those in need. Dried leaves of A. annua (DLA) have recently been studied as a cost effective alternative to traditional ACTs. DLA was shown to dramatically increase oral bioavailability compared to pure artemisinin, so more investigation into the mechanisms causing this increased bioavailability is needed. Materials and methods In this study, we used a simulated digestion system coupled with Caco-2 cell permeability assays to investigate the intestinal permeability of DLA compared to pure artemisinin. We also determined the effects of different phytochemicals (7 flavonoids, 3 monoterpenes, 2 phenolic acids, scopoletin and inulin) and the cytochrome P450 isoform CYP3A4 on artemisinin intestinal permeability. Results Artemisinin permeability, when delivered as digested DLA, significantly increased by 37% (Papp = 8.03 × 10−5 cm s−1) compared to pure artemisinin (Papp = 5.03 × 10−5 cm s−1). However, none of the phytochemicals tested or CYP3A4 had any significant effect on the intestinal permeability of artemisinin. We also showed that essential oil derived from A. annua negatively affected the intestinal permeability of artemisinin, but only after simulated digestion. Finally, we showed that A. annua essential oil reduced the transepithelial electrical resistance of Caco-2 monolayers, but only in the presence of bile. Although also reduced by essential oils, artemisinin Papp subsequently recovered in the presence of plant matrix. Conclusions These results shed light on the mechanisms by which DLA enhances the oral bioavailability of artemisinin.
    Chronic stress targets adult neurogenesis preferentially in the suprapyramidal blade of the rat dorsal dentate gyrus
    Nuno D. Alves, Brain Structure and Function - 2017
    The continuous generation of new neurons and glial cells in the adult hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) represents an important form of adult neuroplasticity, involved in normal brain function and behavior but also associated with the etiopathogenesis and treatment of psychiatric disorders. Despite the large number of studies addressing cell genesis along the septotemporal axis, data on the anatomical gradients of cytogenesis along the DG transverse axis is scarce, especially after exposure to stress. As such, in this study we characterized both basal proliferation and survival of adult-born neural cells along the transverse axis of the rat dorsal DG, and after stress exposure. In basal conditions, both proliferating cells and newborn neurons and glial cells were preferentially located at the subgranular zone and suprapyramidal blade. Exposure to chronic stress induced an overall decrease in the generation of adult-born neural cells and, more specifically, produced a regional-specific decrease in the survival of adult-born neurons at the suprapyramidal blade. No particular region-specific alterations were observed on surviving adult-born glial cells. This work reveals, for the first time, a distinct survival profile of adult-born neural cells, neurons and glial cells, among the transverse axis of the DG, in both basal and stress conditions. Our results unveil that adult-born neurons are preferentially located in the suprapyramidal blade and suggest a regional-specific impact of chronic stress in this blade with potential repercussions for its functional significance.
    Assessment of Response of Kidney Tumors to Rapamycin and Atorvastatin in Tsc1+/− Mice
    Ming Hong Shen, Translational Oncology - 2017
    Atorvastatin is widely used to lower blood cholesterol and to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease–associated complications. Epidemiological investigations and preclinical studies suggest that statins such as atorvastatin have antitumor activity for various types of cancer. Tuberous sclerosis (TSC) is a tumor syndrome caused by TSC1 or TSC2 mutations that lead to aberrant activation of mTOR and tumor formation in multiple organs. Previous studies have demonstrated that atorvastatin selectively suppressed growth and proliferation of mouse Tsc2 null embryonic fibroblasts through inhibition of mTOR. However, atorvastatin alone did not reduce tumor burden in the liver and kidneys of Tsc2+/− mice as assessed by histological analysis, and no combination therapy of rapamycin and atorvastatin has been tried. In this study, we used T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging to track changes in tumor number and size in the kidneys of a Tsc1+/− mouse model and to assess the efficacy of rapamycin and atorvastatin alone and as a combination therapy. We found that rapamycin alone or rapamycin combined with atorvastatin significantly reduced tumor burden, while atorvastatin alone did not. Combined therapy with rapamycin and atorvastatin appeared to be more effective for treating renal tumors than rapamycin alone, but the difference was not statistically significant. We conclude that combined therapy with rapamycin and atorvastatin is unlikely to provide additional benefit over rapamycin as a single agent in the treatment of Tsc-associated renal tumors.
    AR-V7 in Peripheral Whole Blood of Patients with Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer: Association with Treatment-specific Outcome Under Abiraterone and Enzalutamide
    Anna Katharina Seitz, European Urology - 2017
    Background It has been demonstrated that androgen receptor splice variant 7 (AR-V7) expression in circulating tumor cells (CTCs) predicts poor treatment response in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) patients treated with abiraterone or enzalutamide. Objective To develop a practical and robust liquid profiling approach for direct quantification of AR-V7 in peripheral whole blood without the need for CTC capture and to determine its potential for predicting treatment response in mCRPC patients. Design, setting, and participants Whole blood samples from a prospective biorepository of 85 mCRPC patients before treatment initiation with abiraterone (n = 56) or enzalutamide (n = 29) were analyzed via droplet digital polymerase chain reaction. Outcome measurements and statistical analysis The association of AR-V7 status with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) response defined by PSA decline ≥50% and with PSA–progression-free survival (PSA-PFS), clinical PFS, and overall survival (OS) was assessed. Results and limitations High AR-V7 expression levels in whole blood were detectable in 18% (15/85) of patients. No patient with high AR-V7 expression achieved a PSA response, and AR-V7 status was an independent predictor of PSA response in multivariable logistic regression analysis (p = 0.03). High AR-V7 expression was associated with shorter PSA-PFS (median 2.4 vs 3.7 mo; p < 0.001), shorter clinical PFS (median 2.7 vs 5.5 mo; p < 0.001), and shorter OS (median 4.0 vs. 13.9 mo; p < 0.001). On multivariable Cox regression analysis, high AR-V7 expression remained an independent predictor of shorter PSA-PFS (hazard ratio [HR] 7.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.3–20.7; p < 0.001), shorter clinical PFS (HR 2.3, 95% CI 1.1–4.9; p = 0.02), and shorter OS (HR 3.0, 95% CI 1.4–6.3; p = 0.005). Conclusions Testing of AR-V7 mRNA levels in whole blood is a simple and promising approach to predict poor treatment outcome in mCRPC patients receiving abiraterone or enzalutamide. Patient summary We established a method for determining AR-V7 status in whole blood. This test predicted treatment resistance in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer undergoing treatment with abiraterone or enzalutamide. Prospective validation is needed before application to clinical practice.
    Variation in the response of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) breeding lines to the effects of benzo (1,2,3) thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid S-methyl ester (BTH) on systemic acquired resistance and seed germination
    Paul H. Goodwin, Journal of Phytopathology - 2017
    Genetic variation may play a major role in how plants respond to activators of systemic acquired resistance. To examine this, the defence activator benzo(1,2,3)thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid S-methyl ester (BTH) was applied to seed of different breeding lines of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) with diverse pedigrees, and the levels of induced resistance against Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato, changes in defence gene expression and detrimental effects on seed germination and seedling emergence were measured. Two breeding lines, 7007 and 7024, were selected as non-responsive and responsive to BTH. The SAR-associated genes, SlPR1a and SlPR3b, were induced earlier or more strongly over the control prior to inoculation for line 7024 but not for line 7007. This was not observed for the ISR-related genes, SlPin2 and SlPR2b. BTH inhibition of seed germination and seedling emergence was more delayed in line 7024 than 7007. However, applying BTH as a seed or soil drip reduced the delay. Thus, greater levels of BTH response have both positive (i.e., induced resistance and expression of SAR-related gene expression) and negative (i.e., inhibition of seed germination and seedling emergence) effects and can differ significantly between genotypes. Thus, recommendations for use of induced resistance activators should include plant genotype recommendations and consider possible negative impacts of greater responsiveness.
    Fibroblast Growth Factor 15 Deficiency Increases Susceptibility but does not Improves Repair to Acetaminophen-induced Liver Injury in Mice
    Mingxing Huang, Digestive and Liver Disease - 2017
    The leading cause of acute liver failure (ALF) is hepatotoxicity from acetaminophen (APAP) overdose. However, limited options are available to treat this ALF so stimulating liver regeneration maybe a potential treatment. Our previous study has shown that fibroblast growth factor 15 (FGF15) plays a crucial role in liver regeneration, but the roles of FGF15 in liver injury and repair following APAP-overdose are unknown. In this study, treatment of FGF15 knockout (KO) male mice with APAP at 200, 250, or 300 mg/kg significantly increased the degree of liver injury compared to wild type (WT) mice. To determine the effects of FGF15 deficiency on liver repair following APAP overdose, a similar degree of liver injury was first obtained 24 hrs after treatment of WT and Fgf15 KO mice with APAP at different dosage. Fgf15 KO mice did not differ from WT mice in liver repair following similar degree of liver injury. In conclusion, we showed that FGF15 deficiency renders mice more susceptible to APAP-induced liver injury but did not seem to affect liver repair or regeneration. This study suggests that in contrast to the critical role that FGF15 plays in promoting liver regeneration following partial hepatectomy, this intestine factor is less involved in liver repair after APAP-induced liver injury.
    Validation of a Targeted RNA Sequencing Assay for Kinase Fusion Detection in Solid Tumors
    Julie W.Reeser, The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics - 2017
    Kinase gene fusions are important drivers of oncogenic transformation and can be inhibited with targeted therapies. Clinical grade diagnostics using RNA sequencing to detect gene rearrangements in solid tumors are limited, and the few that are available require prior knowledge of fusion break points. To address this, we have analytically validated a targeted RNA sequencing assay (OSU-SpARKFuse) for fusion detection that interrogates complete transcripts from 93 kinase and transcription factor genes. From a total of 74 positive and 36 negative control samples, OSU-SpARKFuse had 93.3% sensitivity and 100% specificity for fusion detection. Assessment of repeatability and reproducibility revealed 96.3% and 94.4% concordance between intrarun and interrun technical replicates, respectively. Application of this assay on prospective patient samples uncovered OLFM4 as a novel RET fusion partner in a small-bowel cancer and led to the discovery of a KLK2-FGFR2 fusion in a patient with prostate cancer who subsequently underwent treatment with a pan–fibroblast growth factor receptor inhibitor. Beyond fusion detection, OSU-SpARKFuse has built-in capabilities for discovery research, including gene expression analysis, detection of single-nucleotide variants, and identification of alternative splicing events.
    Chronic traumatic stress impairs memory in mice: Potential roles of acetylcholine, neuroinflammation and corticotropin releasing factor expression in the hippocampus
    Ami Bhakta, Behavioural Brain Research - 2017
    Chronic stress in humans can result in multiple adverse psychiatric and neurobiological outcomes, including memory deficits. These adverse outcomes can be more severe if each episode of stress is very traumatic. When compared to acute or short term stress relatively little is known about the effects of chronic traumatic stress on memory and molecular changes in hippocampus, a brain area involved in memory processing. Here we studied the effects of chronic traumatic stress in mice by exposing them to adult Long Evan rats for 28 consecutive days and subsequently analyzing behavioral outcomes and the changes in the hippocampus. Results show that stressed mice developed memory deficits when assayed with radial arm maze tasks. However, chronic traumatic stress did not induce anxiety, locomotor hyperactivity or anhedonia. In the hippocampus of stressed mice interleukin-1β protein expression was increased along with decreased corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) gene expression. Furthermore, there was a reduction in acetylcholine levels in the hippocampus of stressed mice. There were no changes in brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) or nerve growth factor (NGF) levels in the hippocampus of stressed mice. Gene expression of immediate early genes (Zif268, Arc, C-Fos) as well as glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors were also not affected by chronic stress. These data demonstrate that chronic traumatic stress followed by a recovery period might lead to development of resilience resulting in the development of selected, most vulnerable behavioral alterations and molecular changes in the hippocampus.
    An inducible form of Nrf2 confers enhanced protection against acute oxidative stresses in RPE cells
    Khiem T. Vu, Experimental Eye Research - 2017
    Increasing evidence suggests that overt oxidative stress within the retina plays an important role in the progression of age-related retinal decline, and in particular, in the disease age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Nuclear factor erythroid 2-like 2 (Nrf2) is a master transcription factor that upregulates numerous of antioxidant/detoxification genes. Nrf2−/− mice develop progressive retinal degeneration that includes the formation of drusen-like deposits, lipofuscin, and sub-retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) deposition of inflammatory proteins. Furthermore, strategies that promote Nrf2 activation have shown promise for the treatment of cone/rod dystrophies and other forms of retinal degeneration. Herein we explored whether utilizing a small molecule-inducible version of Nrf2 confers additional protection against oxidative stresses when compared to a constitutively expressed version of Nrf2. Stable populations of human ARPE-19 cells were generated that express either constitutive FLAG-tagged (FT) Nrf2 (FT cNrf2) or doxycycline (dox)-inducible FT Nrf2 (FT iNrf2) at low levels (∼4.5 fold vs. endogenous). Expression of either FT cNRF2 or FT iNrf2 upregulated canonical antioxidant genes (e.g., NQO1, GCLC). Both FT cNrf2 and FT iNrf2 ARPE-19 cells were protected from cigarette smoke extract-induced nitric oxide generation to similar extents. However, only FT iNrf2 cells demonstrated enhanced resistance to doxorubicin and cumene hydroperoxide-mediated increases in mitochondrial superoxide and lipid peroxidation, respectively, and did so in a dox-dependent manner. These results suggest that therapeutic approaches which conditionally control Nrf2 activity may provide additional protection against acute oxidative stresses when compared to constitutively expressed Nrf2 strategies.
    A Novel Egr-1-Agrin Pathway and Potential Implications for Regulation of Synaptic Physiology and Homeostasis at the Neuromuscular Junction
    Ryen MacDonald, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience - 2017
    Synaptic transmission requires intricate coordination of the components involved in processing of incoming signals, formation and stabilization of synaptic machinery, neurotransmission, and in all related signaling pathways. Changes to any of these components cause synaptic imbalance and disruption of neuronal circuitry. Extensive studies at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) have greatly aided in the current understanding of synapses and served to elucidate the underlying physiology as well as associated adaptive and homeostatic processes. The heparansulfate proteoglycan agrin is a vital component of the NMJ, mediating synaptic formation and maintenance in both brain and muscle, but very little is known about direct control of its expression. Here, we investigated the relationship between agrin and transcription factor early growth response-1 (Egr-1), as Egr-1 regulates the expression of many genes involved in synaptic homeostasis and plasticity. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation, cell culture with cell lines derived from brain and muscle, and animal models, we show that Egr-1 binds to the AGRN gene locus and suppresses its expression. When compared with wild type (WT), mice deficient in Egr-1 (Egr-1-/-) display a marked increase in AGRN mRNA and agrin full-length and cleavage fragment protein levels, including the 22 kDa, C-terminal fragment in brain and muscle tissue homogenate. Because agrin is a crucial component of the NMJ, we explored possible physiological implications of the Egr-1-agrin relationship. In the diaphragm, Egr-1-/- mice display increased NMJ motor endplate density, individual area, and area of innervation. In addition to increased density, soleus NMJs also display an increase in fragmented and faint endplates in Egr-1-/- versus WT mice. Moreover, the soleus NMJ electrophysiology of Egr-1-/- mice revealed increased quantal content and motor testing showed decreased movement and limb muscle strength compared with WT. This study provides evidence for the potential involvement of a novel Egr-1-agrin pathway in synaptic homeostatic and compensatory mechanisms at the NMJ. Synaptic homeostasis is greatly affected by the process of aging. These and other data suggest that changes in Egr-1 expression may directly or indirectly promote age-related pathologies.
    Isobutanol production in Synechocystis PCC 6803 using heterologous and endogenous alcohol dehydrogenases
    Rui Miao, Metabolic Engineering Communications - 2017
    Isobutanol is a flammable compound that can be used as a biofuel due to its high energy density and suitable physical and chemical properties. In this study, we examined the capacity of engineered strains of Synechocystis PCC 6803 containing the α-ketoisovalerate decarboxylase from Lactococcus lactis and different heterologous and endogenous alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH) for isobutanol production. A strain expressing an introduced kivd without any additional copy of ADH produced 3 mg L−1 OD750−1 isobutanol in 6 days. After the cultures were supplemented with external addition of isobutyraldehyde, the substrate for ADH, 60.8 mg L−1 isobutanol was produced after 24 h when OD750 was 0.8. The in vivo activities of four different ADHs, two heterologous and two putative endogenous in Synechocystis, were examined and the Synechocystis endogenous ADH encoded by slr1192 showed the highest efficiency for isobutanol production. Furthermore, the strain overexpressing the isobutanol pathway on a self-replicating vector with the strong Ptrc promoter showed significantly higher gene expression and isobutanol production compared to the corresponding strains expressing the same operon introduced on the genome. Hence, this study demonstrates that Synechocystis endogenous AHDs have a high capacity for isobutanol production, and identifies kivd encoded α-ketoisovalerate decarboxylase as one of the likely bottlenecks for further isobutanol production.
    Choroid plexus-cerebrospinal fluid route for monocyte-derived macrophages after stroke
    Ruimin Ge, Journal of Neuroinflammation - 2017
    Choroid plexus (CP) supports the entry of monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) to the central nervous system in animal models of traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and Alzheimer’s disease. Whether the CP is involved in the recruitment of MDMs to the injured brain after ischemic stroke is unknown.
    Short-day photoperiods affect expression of genes related to dormancy and freezing tolerance in Norway spruce seedlings
    Elisabeth Wallin, Annals of Forest Science - 2017
    Key MessageGene expression analysis showed that prolonged short day (SD) treatment deepened dormancy and stimulated development of freezing tolerance ofPicea abiesseedlings. Prolonged SD treatment also caused later appearance of visible buds in autumn, reduced risks for reflushing, and promoted earlier spring bud break. ContextShort day (SD) treatment of seedlings is a common practice in boreal forest tree nurseries to regulate shoot growth and prepare the seedlings for autumn planting or frozen storage. AimsThe aim of this study was to examine responses of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) to a range of SD treatments of different length and evaluate gene expression related to dormancy induction and development of freezing tolerance. MethodsThe seedlings were SD treated for 11 h a day during 7, 14, 21, or 28 days. Molecular tests were performed, and the expression profiles of dormancy and freezing tolerance-related genes were analyzed as well as determination of shoot growth, bud set, bud size, reflushing, dry matter content, and timing of spring bud break. ResultsThe 7-day SD treatment was as effective as longer SD treatments in terminating apical shoot growth. However, short (7 days) SD treatment resulted in later activation of dormancy-related genes and of genes related to freezing tolerance compared to the longer treatments which had an impact on seedling phenology. ConclusionGene expression analysis indicated an effective stimulus of dormancy-related genes when the SD treatment is prolonged for at least 1–2 weeks after shoot elongation has terminated and that seedlings thereafter are exposed to ambient outdoor climate conditions.
    RNAi screen identifies essential regulators of human brain metastasis-initiating cells
    Mohini Singh, Acta Neuropathologica - 2017
    Brain metastases (BM) are the most common brain tumor in adults and are a leading cause of cancer mortality. Metastatic lesions contain subclones derived from their primary lesion, yet their functional characterization is limited by a paucity of preclinical models accurately recapitulating the metastatic cascade, emphasizing the need for a novel approach to BM and their treatment. We identified a unique subset of stem-like cells from primary human patient brain metastases, termed brain metastasis-initiating cells (BMICs). We now establish a BMIC patient-derived xenotransplantation (PDXT) model as an investigative tool to comprehensively interrogate human BM. Using both in vitro and in vivo RNA interference screens of these BMIC models, we identified SPOCK1 and TWIST2 as essential BMIC regulators. SPOCK1 in particular is a novel regulator of BMIC self-renewal, modulating tumor initiation and metastasis from the lung to the brain. A prospective cohort of primary lung cancer specimens showed that SPOCK1 was overexpressed only in patients who ultimately developed BM. Protein–protein interaction network mapping between SPOCK1 and TWIST2 identified novel pathway interactors with significant prognostic value in lung cancer patients. Of these genes, INHBA, a TGF-β ligand found mutated in lung adenocarcinoma, showed reduced expression in BMICs with knockdown of SPOCK1. In conclusion, we have developed a useful preclinical model of BM, which has served to identify novel putative BMIC regulators, presenting potential therapeutic targets that block the metastatic process, and transform a uniformly fatal systemic disease into a locally controlled and eminently more treatable one.
    miR-130b directly targets Arhgap1 to drive activation of a metastatic CDC42-PAK1-AP1 positive feedback loop in Ewing sarcoma
    Laura Satterfield, International Journal of Cancer - 2017
    Ewing Sarcoma (ES) is a highly aggressive bone tumor with peak incidence in the adolescent population. It has a high propensity to metastasize, which is associated with dismal survival rates of approximately 25%. To further understand mechanisms of metastasis we investigated microRNA regulatory networks in ES. Our studies focused on miR-130b due to our analysis that enhanced expression of this microRNA has clinical relevance in multiple sarcomas, including ES. Our studies provide insights into a novel positive feedback network involving the direct regulation of miR-130b and activation of downstream signaling events contributing towards sarcoma metastasis. Specifically, we demonstrated miR-130b induces proliferation, invasion, and migration in vitro and increased metastatic potential in vivo. Using microarray analysis of ES cells with differential miR-130b expression we identified alterations in downstream signaling cascades including activation of the CDC42 pathway. We identified Arhgap1, which is a negative regulator of CDC42, as a novel, direct target of miR-130b. In turn, downstream activation of PAK1 activated the JNK and AP-1 cascades and downstream transcriptional targets including IL-8, MMP1 and CCND1. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation of endogenous AP-1 in ES cells demonstrated direct binding to an upstream consensus binding site within the miR-130b promoter. Finally, small molecule inhibition of PAK1 blocked miR-130b activation of JNK and downstream AP-1 target genes, including primary miR-130b transcripts, and mir-130b oncogenic properties, thus identifying PAK1 as a novel therapeutic target for ES. Taken together, our findings identify and characterize a novel, targetable miR-130b regulatory network that promotes ES metastasis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Hepatitis C virus NS5A region mutation in chronic hepatitis C genotype 1 patients who are non-responders to two or more treatments and its relationship with response to a new treatment
    Paloma Muñoz de Rueda, World Journal of Gastroenterology - 2017
    AIM To determine the number of mutations in the NS5A region of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and its relationship to the response to antiviral therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C genotype 1 who are non-responders to two or more treatments. METHODS Sequences within HCV NS5A [PKR binding domain (PKRBD) and the interferon-sensitivity-determining region (ISDR)] were analysed via direct sequencing in a selected cohort of 72 patients, with a total of 201 treatments [interferon-alpha (IFN-α), n = 49; IFN-α + ribavirin (RBV), n = 75; pegylated (peg) IFN-α + RBV, n = 47; first-generation direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), n = 13; and second-generation DAAs, n = 17]. Of these, 48/201 achieved a sustained virological response (SVR) and 153/201 achieved no virological response (NVR). RESULTS For both regions, treatments resulting in SVR were associated with more baseline mutations than were treatments resulting in NVR (SVR vs NVR; PKRBD: 5.82 ± 3 vs 4.86 ± 2 mutations, P = 0.045; ISDR: 2.65 ± 2 vs 1.51 ± 1.7 mutations, P = 0.005). A decrease or no change in the number of mutations over time between treatments in the PKRBD or ISDR, as shown by sequencing, was associated with patients who usually failed to respond to treatment (PKRBD, P = 0.02; ISDR, P = 0.001). Moreover, patients showing a post-treatment baseline viral load > 600000 IU/mL and increased ISDR mutations with respect to the previous treatment were 9.21 times more likely to achieve SVR (P = 0.001). CONCLUSION The obtained results show that among patients who have shown no response to two or more antiviral treatments, the likelihood of achieving SVR increases with the genetic variability in the ISDR region (≥ 2 mutations or number of substitutions from the HCV-J and HCV-1 prototype), especially when the viral load is greater than 600000 IU/mL.
    The roles of NF-κB and ROS in regulation of pro-inflammatory mediators of inflammation induction in LPS-stimulated zebrafish embryos
    Eun-Yi Ko, Fish & Shellfish Immunology - 2017
    In this study, the roles of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and NF-κB on inflammation induction in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated zebrafish embryos were evaluated using N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) and pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC), specific inhibitors of ROS and NF-κB, respectively. LPS-stimulated zebrafish embryos showed increasing production of NO and ROS and expression of iNOS and COX-2 protein, compared to a control group without LPS. However, NAC significantly inhibited production of NO and ROS and markedly suppressed expression of iNOS and COX-2 protein in LPS-stimulated zebrafish embryos. The mRNA expressions of NF-κB such as p65NF-κB and IκB-A were significantly increased after LPS stimulation, whereas PDTC attenuated mRNA expression of NF-κB. IκB was suppressed by PDTC, but not significantly. PDTC also inhibited production of NO and reduced expression of iNOS and COX-2 protein in LPS-stimulated zebrafish embryos. Taken together, these results indicated that LPS increases pro-inflammatory mediators in zebrafish embryos through ROS and NF-κB regulation.
    Alternative strategy for visceral leishmaniosis control: HisAK70-Salmonella Choleraesuis-pulsed Dendritic Cells
    Gustavo Domínguez-Bernal, Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases - 2017
    Here, we describe a novel approach that exploits an attenuated mutant of Salmonella enterica serovar Choleraesuis as carrier to deliver a plasmid encoding protein HisAK70. Subsequently, dendritic cells (DCs) were pulsed with this vaccine vector. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the prepared HisAK70-S. Choleraesuis-pulsed DCs (HisAK70-SAL DCs) against visceral leishmaniosis (VL). In our ex vivo model of infection, the prepared formulations could decrease parasite growth by up to 80% by augmenting the production of IL-12p40 and by reducing arginase activity (ARG). Also, BALB/c mice when immunised with this formulation showed significant reduction in parasite burden in both spleen (20% of reduction) and liver (75% of reduction). The balance of the immune ratios IFN-γ/IL-10, TNF-α/IL-10, and IgG2a/IgG1 reflected the acquisition of an improved resistant phenotype in HisAK70-SAL DCs vaccinated mice compared to control mice. Our results suggest that HisAK70-SAL DCs could be a promising alternative approach for vaccine delivery that has the potential to fight Leishmania infantum (L. infantum) infection.
    Next Generation Sequencing to characterise the breaking of bud dormancy using a natural biostimulant in kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa)
    Frank A. Hoeberichts, Scientia Horticulturae - 2017
    Dormancy occurs in many woody perennials and fruit trees, and is characterised mainly by the temporal absence of growth. This strategy has an ecological role in ensuring plant survival under non-permissive growing conditions. In kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa), buds must be exposed to a certain amount of chilling to complete dormancy and achieve optimal bud break and flowering in spring. However, in warmer geographical areas bud break can be limited by insufficient winter chilling, leading to less and uneven flowering and lower productivity. Several bud break-enhancing compounds have been shown to be effective in kiwifruit, overcoming the negative effects of poor winter chilling. However, their mode of action is still largely unknown. In this work, using a molecular approach based on Next Generation Sequencing, we characterised dormancy and its breaking after the application of the biostimulant Erger®. Samples were collected at different time-points and in distinct geographical areas, namely Italy and New Zealand. Our results indicated that the effect of Erger® depends on the moment of application. Furthermore, molecular mechanisms that characterise a biostimulant treatment for bud break, irrespective of the region and seasonality, were identified. This characterisation opens new perspectives to improve bud break-enhancing compound formulations and identify their best moment of application.
    Biofilm formation and antibiotic resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae urinary strains
    Claudia Vuotto, Journal of Applied Microbiology - 2017
    Aims Multi-drug resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae has become a relevant healthcare-associated pathogen. Capsule, type 1 and 3 fimbriae (mrkA gene), type 2 quorum-sensing system (luxS), synthesis of D-galactan I (wbbM), LPS transport (wzm) and poly-beta-1,6-N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (pgaA) seem involved in K. pneumoniae biofilm. Non-enzymatic antibiotic resistance is related to non-expression or mutation of porins (OmpK35 and OmpK36), and efflux pump (acrB) over-expression. The aim of this study was to analyse some virulence factors of K. pneumoniae isolates, and to evaluate possible correlations between their antibiotic resistance profile and ability to form biofilm. Methods and Results Quantitative biofilm production assay, congo red agar test and string test were performed on 120 isolates clustered in 56 extensively drug resistant (XDR, 40 MDR and 24 susceptible (S)). Nine representative strains were analyzed by real-time RT-PCR for the expression of antibiotic resistance (OmpK35, OmpK36, acrB) and biofilm production genes (mrkA, luxS,, pga, wbbM, wzm) during planktonic and sessile growth. XDR isolates showed a higher ability to form biofilm (91.07%) and to produce polysaccharides (78.57%) when compared to MDR and S strains. In biofilm-growing XDR strains, 7 out of 8 genes were upregulated, with the only exception of OmpK36. Conclusions XDR strains exhibited phenotypic and genotypic features supporting a significant growth as biofilm. Significance and Impact of Study this study produces new findings that highlight a positive correlation between antibiotic resistance profile and biofilm-forming ability in XDR K. pneumoniae strains. These new evidences might contribute to the progress in selection of therapeutic treatments of infections caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae resistant also to the “last line of defense” antibiotics, i.e. carbapenems. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    The receptor tyrosine kinase AXL promotes migration and invasion in colorectal cancer
    Diana J. Uribe, - 2017
    The receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) TYRO3, AXL and MERTK (TAM) have well-described oncogenic functions in a number of cancers. Notwithstanding, TAM RTKs are also potent and indispensable inhibitors of inflammation. The combined deletion of Axl and Mertk in mice enhances chronic inflammation and autoimmunity, including increased inflammation in the gut and colitis-associated cancer. On the other hand, deletion of Tyro3 increases the risk of allergic responses. Therefore, the indiscriminate inhibition of these TAM RTKs could result in undesirable immunological diseases. Here we show that AXL, but not MERTK or TYRO3 expression is enhanced in late stage colorectal cancer (CRC) and AXL expression associates with a cell migration gene signature. Silencing AXL or the inhibition of AXL kinase activity significantly inhibits tumor cell migration and invasion. These results indicate that the selective inhibition of AXL alone might confer sufficient therapeutic benefit in CRC, while preserving at least some of the beneficial, anti-inflammatory effects of MERTK and TYRO3 RTKs.
    Cytokine profiling in the prefrontal cortex of Parkinson's Disease and Multiple System Atrophy patients
    Rasmus Rydbirk, Neurobiology of Disease - 2017
    Parkinson's Disease (PD) and Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) are neurodegenerative diseases characterized neuropathologically by alpha-synuclein accumulation in brain cells. This accumulation is hypothesized to contribute to constitutive neuroinflammation, and to participate in the neurodegeneration. Cytokines, which are the main inflammatory signalling molecules, have been identified in blood and cerebrospinal fluid of PD patients, but studies investigating the human brain levels are scarce. It is documented that neurotrophins, necessary for survival of brain cells and known to interact with cytokines, are altered in the basal ganglia of PD patients. In regards to MSA, no major study has investigated brain cytokine or neurotrophin protein expression. Here, we measured protein levels of 18 cytokines (IL-2, 4–8, 10, 12, 13, 17, G-CSF, GM-CSF, IFN-γ, MCP-1, MIP-1α and 1β, TNF-α) and 5 neurotrophins (BDNF, GDNF, bFGF, PDGF-BB, VEGF) in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in brains of MSA and PD patients and control subjects. We found altered expression of IL-2, IL-13, and G-CSF, but no differences in neurotrophin levels. Further, in MSA patients we identified increased mRNA levels of GSK3β that is involved in neuroinflammatory pathways. Lastly, we identified increased expression of the neurodegenerative marker S100B, but not CRP, in PD and MSA patients, indicating local rather than systemic inflammation. Supporting this, in both diseases we observed increased MHC class II+ and CD45+ positive cells, and low numbers of infiltrating CD3+ cells. In conclusion, we identified neuroinflammatory responses in PD and MSA which seems more widespread in the brain than neurotrophic changes.
    Effect of dietary polyphenols on fructose uptake by human intestinal epithelial (Caco-2) cells
    Nelson Andrade, Journal of Functional Foods - 2017
    Intake of high-fructose products is associated with metabolic syndrome development. We investigated if dietary polyphenols can interfere with fructose absorption by the human intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cell line. Acutely, several polyphenols induced a significant decrease (15–20%) in 14C-fructose uptake. Chronically, 14C-fructose uptake was also affected by polyphenols; quercetin, chrysin and apigenin (100 µM) were the most effective (±25% decrease). These compounds (100 µM) appear to interfere with both GLUT2 and GLUT5 activity; accordingly, they caused a very marked decrease in the mRNA expression levels of GLUT2 (≅90%) and GLUT5 (≅75%). The effect of these compounds on 14C-fructose uptake does not involve interference with PKC, PKA, PI3K and p38 MAPK intracellular signaling pathways. Quercetin, apigenin and chrysin might decrease the intestinal absorption of fructose. Further studies are needed to test for their beneficial effects on metabolic syndrome.
    Mdm2 selectively suppresses DNA damage arising from inhibition of topoisomerase II independent of p53
    Senturk J.C., Oncogene - 2017
    Mdm2 is often overexpressed in tumors that retain wild-type TP53 but may affect therapeutic response independently of p53. Herein is shown that tumor cells with MDM2 amplification are selectively resistant to treatment with topoisomerase II poisons but not other DNA damaging agents. Tumor cells that overexpress Mdm2 have reduced DNA double-strand breaks in response to doxorubicin or etoposide. This latter result is not due to altered drug uptake. The selective attenuation of DNA damage in response to these agents is dependent on both Mdm2 levels and an intact ubiquitin ligase function. These findings reveal a novel, p53-independent activity of Mdm2 and have important implications for the choice of chemotherapeutic agents in the treatment of Mdm2-overexpressing tumors.
    The Absence of Laminin Alpha 4 in Male Mice Results in Enhanced Energy Expenditure and Increased Beige Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue
    Marcella K. Vaicik, Endocrinology - 2017
    Laminin alpha 4 (LAMA4) is located in the extracellular basement membrane that surrounds each individual adipocyte. Here we show that LAMA4 null (Lama4-/-) mice exhibit significantly higher energy expenditure relative to wild type mice at room temperature and when exposed to a cold challenge, despite similar levels of food intake and locomotor activity. The Lama4-/- mice are resistant to age- and diet-induced obesity. Expression of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) is higher in subcutaneous white adipose tissue (sWAT) of Lama4-/- mice relative to wild type animals on either a chow diet or a high-fat diet. In constrast, UCP1 expression was not increased in brown adipose tissue (BAT). Lama4-/- mice exhibit significantly improved insulin sensitivity when compared to WT mice, suggesting improved metabolic function. Overall, these data provide critical evidence for a role of the basement membrane in energy expenditure, weight gain, and systemic insulin sensitivity.
    Didox (3,4-dihydroxybenzohydroxamic acid) suppresses IL-33-induced cytokine production in primary mouse mast cells
    Heather L. Caslin, Cellular Immunology - 2017
    While IgE is considered the primary mediator of mast cell activation, IL-33 contributes substantially in asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis. To develop effective treatments for allergic disease, it is important to understand the role of therapeutic agents on IL-33 activation. We examined the effect of Didox (3,4-dihydroxybenzohydroxamic acid), an antioxidant and ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) inhibitor, on IL-33-mediated mast cell activation. Didox suppressed IL-6, IL-13, TNF, and MIP-1α (CCL3) production in bone marrow derived mast cells following IL-33 activation. This suppression was observed in different genetic backgrounds and extended to peritoneal mast cells. The antioxidant N-acetylcysteine mimicked the suppression of Didox, albeit at a much higher dose, while the RNR inhibitor hydroxyurea had no effect. Didox substantially suppressed IL-33-mediated NFκB and AP-1 transcriptional activities. These results suggest that Didox attenuates IL-33-induced mast cell activation and should be further studied as a potential therapeutic agent for inflammatory diseases involving IL-33.
    Cellular zinc homeostasis modulates polarization of THP-1-derived macrophages
    Laura Dierichs, European Journal of Nutrition - 2017
    PurposePolarization of macrophages by environmental stimuli leads to the characteristic of different phenotypes that exhibit distinct functions, ranging in a continuous spectrum from pro-inflammatory M1 up to immunoregulatory and wound-healing M2 macrophages. Diseases like cancer, allergic asthma or diabetes are associated with an M1/M2 imbalance. Owing to the importance of the essential trace element zinc for the immune system and its involvement in signal transduction as a second messenger, we investigated the impact of zinc on M1 and M2 polarization of macrophages in vitro.MethodsA polarization model with human THP-1 cells was established and validated with previously described markers using quantitative real-time PCR, Western blot and flow cytometry. Intracellular free Zn2+ was determined with FluoZin-3-AM.ResultsWhereas pSTAT1 and HLA-DR or pSTAT6 and Dectin-1 distinguish between M1 and M2 macrophages, respectively, CD86 and CD206 failed. Depending on the used markers, both zinc supplementation in physiological dose (50 µM) and zinc deficiency promote M1 polarization of THP-1-derived macrophages. Furthermore, zinc supplementation strongly inhibits M2 polarization.ConclusionFor the first time, we show a modulating effect of zinc for the polarization of human macrophages. The strong inhibitory effect of zinc supplementation on M2 polarization indicates a relevance regarding M2-dominated diseases like allergic asthma or cancer. All in all, zinc achieves a great potential for modulating macrophage polarization.
    Maternal Antiviral Immunoglobulin Accumulates in Neural Tissue of Neonates To Prevent HSV Neurological Disease
    Yike Jiang, mBio - 2017
    While antibody responses to neurovirulent pathogens are critical for clearance, the extent to which antibodies access the nervous system to ameliorate infection is poorly understood. In this study on herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), we demonstrate that HSV-specific antibodies are present during HSV-1 latency in the nervous systems of both mice and humans. We show that antibody-secreting cells entered the trigeminal ganglion (TG), a key site of HSV infection, and persisted long after the establishment of latent infection. We also demonstrate the ability of passively administered IgG to enter the TG independently of infection, showing that the naive TG is accessible to antibodies. The translational implication of this finding is that human fetal neural tissue could contain HSV-specific maternally derived antibodies. Exploring this possibility, we observed HSV-specific IgG in HSV DNA-negative human fetal TG, suggesting passive transfer of maternal immunity into the prenatal nervous system. To further investigate the role of maternal antibodies in the neonatal nervous system, we established a murine model to demonstrate that maternal IgG can access and persist in neonatal TG. This maternal antibody not only prevented disseminated infection but also completely protected the neonate from neurological disease and death following HSV challenge. Maternal antibodies therefore have a potent protective role in the neonatal nervous system against HSV infection. These findings strongly support the concept that prevention of prenatal and neonatal neurotropic infections can be achieved through maternal immunization. IMPORTANCE Herpes simplex virus 1 is a common infection of the nervous system that causes devastating neonatal disease. Using mouse and human tissue, we discovered that antiviral antibodies accumulate in neural tissue after HSV-1 infection in adults. Similarly, these antibodies pass to the offspring during pregnancy. We found that antiviral maternal antibodies can readily access neural tissue of the fetus and neonate. These maternal antibodies then protect neonatal mice against HSV-1 neurological infection and death. These results underscore the previously unappreciated role of maternal antibodies in protecting fetal and newborn nervous systems against infection. These data suggest that maternal immunization would be efficacious at preventing fetal/neonatal neurological infections.
    Polyphenols and tri-terpenoids from Olea europaea L. in alleviation of enteric pathogen infections through limiting bacterial virulence and attenuating inflammation
    Mengfei Peng, Journal of Functional Foods - 2017
    Olea europaea L. was known associated with health benefits, however the role of single bioactive component remains to be elucidated. This study was to investigate the operational feasibility of maslinic/oleanolic acid, hydroxytyrosol, and oleuropein from olive in control and alleviation of enteric pathogen infections. Our results indicated that the growth of Lactobacillus was stimulated by maslinic/oleanolic acid up to 4% (w/v) in dose-dependent manner. Hydroxytyrosol (>0.05%) and oleuropein (>0.5%) significantly reduced Salmonella Typhimurium/EHEC within 12 h, altered their physicochemical properties, influenced host cell-pathogen interactions, and especially 0.6–6.0 folds down-regulated the virulence gene expressions. Further molecular analysis revealed that these olive compounds up-regulated anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 gene by 3.0–8.0 folds and down-regulated multiple inflammation related genes at various levels. These results suggest that polyphenols in olive may serve as potential preservatives in post-harvest food processing while tri-terpenoids may assist in modulation of gut microflora and reduction of enteric pathogen colonization.
    Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell-derived CD63+ exosomes transport Wnt3a exteriorly and enhance dermal fibroblast proliferation, migration and angiogenesis in vitro
    Jeffrey D. McBride, Stem Cells and Development - 2017
    Wnts are secreted glycoproteins that regulate stem cell self-renewal, differentiation, and cell-to-cell communication during embryonic development and in adult tissues. Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) have been shown to stimulate dermis repair and regeneration; however, it is unclear how BM-MSCs may modulate downstream Wnt signaling. While recent reports implicate that Wnt ligands and Wnt messenger RNAs (such as Wnt4) exist within the interior compartment of exosomes, it has been debated whether or not Wnts exist on the exterior surface of exosomes to travel in the extracellular space. To help answer this question, we utilized flow cytometry of magnetic beads coated with anti-CD63 antibodies, and found for the first time, that Wnt3a protein is detectable exteriorly on CD63+ exosomes derived from BM-MSCs over-secreting Wnt3a into serum-free conditioned media (Wnt3a CM). Our data suggests that CD63+ exosomes significantly help transport exterior Wnt3a signal to recipient cells to promote fibroblast and endothelial functions. During purification of exosomes, we unexpectedly found that use of ultracentrifugation alone significantly decreased the ability to detect exteriorly bound Wnt3a on CD63+ exosomes, however, polyethylene glycol-mediated exosome-enrichment prior to exosome-purification (with ultracentrifugation into a sucrose cushion) resulted in exosomes more likely to retain exterior Wnt3a detectability and downstream Wnt/beta-catenin activity. Our findings indicate the important role that purification methods may have on stem cell-derived Wnt-exosome activity in downstream assays. The ability for BM-MSC Wnt3a CM and exosomes to stimulate dermal fibroblast proliferation and migration, as well as endothelial angiogenesis in vitro, was significantly decreased after CD63+-exosome depletion or knockdown of Wnt coreceptor LRP6 in recipient cells, suggesting both are required for optimal Wnt-exosome activity in our system. Thus, BM-MSC-derived CD63+ exosomes are a significant carrier of exterior Wnt3a within high Wnt environments, resulting in downstream fibroblast proliferation, migration and angiogenesis in vitro.
    Dual loss of succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) and complex I activity is necessary to recapitulate the metabolic phenotype of SDH mutant tumors
    Doriane Lorendeau, ResearchGate - 2016
    Mutations in succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) are associated with tumor development and neurodegenerative diseases. Only in tumors, loss of SDH activity is accompanied with the loss of complex I...
    ROS mediates interferon gamma induced phosphorylation of Src, through the Raf/ERK pathway, in MCF-7 human breast cancer cell line
    Kazem Zibara, Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling - 2016
    Interferon gamma (IFN-ɣ) is a pleiotropic cytokine which plays dual contrasting roles in cancer. Although IFN-ɣ has been clinically used to treat various malignancies, it was recently shown to have protumorigenic activities. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are overproduced in cancer cells, mainly due to NADPH oxidase activity, which results into several changes in signaling pathways. In this study, we examined IFN-ɣ effect on the phosphorylation levels of key signaling proteins, through ROS production, in the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7. After treatment by IFN-ɣ, results showed a significant increase in the phosphorylation of STAT1, Src, raf, AKT, ERK1/2 and p38 signaling molecules, in a time specific manner. Src and Raf were found to be involved in early stages of IFN-ɣ signaling since their phosphorylation increased very rapidly. Selective inhibition of Src-family kinases resulted in an immediate significant decrease in the phosphorylation status of Raf and ERK1/2, but not p38 and AKT. On the other hand, IFN-ɣ resulted in ROS generation, through H2O2 production, whereas pre-treatment with the ROS inhibitor NAC caused ROS inhibition and a significant decrease in the phosphorylation levels of AKT, ERK1/2, p38 and STAT1. Moreover, pretreatment with a selective NOX1 inhibitor resulted in a significant decrease of AKT phosphorylation. Finally, no direct relationship was found between ROS production and calcium mobilization. In summary, IFN-ɣ signaling in MCF-7 cell line is ROS-dependent and follows the Src/Raf/ERK pathway whereas its signaling through the AKT pathway is highly dependent on NOX1.
    Insights into a novel nuclear function for Fascin in the regulation of the amino-acid transporter SLC3A2
    Amine Saad, Scientific Reports - 2016
    Fascin 1 (FSCN1) is a cytoskeleton-associated protein recognized to function primarily in the regulation of cytoskeleton structure and formation of plasma membrane protrusions.
    MicroRNA-126 overexpression rescues diabetes-induced impairment in efferocytosis of apoptotic cardiomyocytes
    Sahana Suresh Babu, Scientific Reports - 2016
    Efferocytosis, a process of clearance of apoptotic cells by phagocytes, is essential for successful resolution of inflammation and maintenance of tissue homeostasis.
    A Ketogenic Diet in Rodents Elicits Improved Mitochondrial Adaptations in Response to Resistance Exercise Training Compared to an Isocaloric Western Diet
    Hayden W. Hyatt, Frontiers in Physiology - 2016
    Purpose: Ketogenic diets (KD) can facilitate weight loss, but their effects on skeletal muscle remain equivocal. In this experiment we investigated the effects of two diets on skeletal muscle mitochondrial coupling, mitochondrial complex activity, markers of oxidative stress, and gene expression in sedentary and resistance exercised rats. Methods: Male Sprague-Dawley rats (9-10 weeks of age, 300-325 g) were fed isocaloric amounts of either a KD (17 g/day, 5.2 kcal/g, 20.2% protein, 10.3% CHO, 69.5% fat, n=16) or a Western diet (WD) (20 g/day, 4.5 kcal/g, 15.2% protein, 42.7% CHO, 42.0% fat, n=16) for 6 weeks. During these six weeks animals were either sedentary (SED, n=8 per diet group) or voluntarily exercised using resistance-loaded running wheels (EXE, n=8 per diet group). Gastrocnemius was excised and used for mitochondrial isolation and biochemical analyses. RESULTS: In the presence of a complex II substrate, the respiratory control ratio (RCR) of isolated gastrocnemius mitochondria was higher (p<0.05) in animals fed the KD compared to animals fed the WD. Complex I and IV enzyme activity was higher (p<0.05) in EXE animals regardless of diet. SOD2 protein levels and GLUT4 and PGC1α mRNA expression were higher (p<0.05) in EXE animals regardless of diet. CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that skeletal muscle mitochondrial coupling of complex II substrates is more efficient in chronically resistance trained rodents fed a KD. These findings may p