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Aonghus J. McCarthy, Caroline Coleman-Vaughan,
Published: 27 October 2017
Biochemical Society Transactions, Volume 45, pp 1185-1202; https://doi.org/10.1042/bst20170002

Abstract:
Receptor signalling events including those initiated following activation of cytokine and growth factor receptors and the well-characterised death receptors (tumour necrosis factor receptor, type 1, FasR and TRAIL-R1/2) are initiated at the cell surface through the recruitment and formation of intracellular multiprotein signalling complexes that activate divergent signalling pathways. Over the past decade, research studies reveal that many of these receptor-initiated signalling events involve the sequential proteolysis of specific receptors by membrane-bound proteases and the γ-secretase protease complexes. Proteolysis enables the liberation of soluble receptor ectodomains and the generation of intracellular receptor cytoplasmic domain fragments. The combined and sequential enzymatic activity has been defined as regulated intramembrane proteolysis and is now a fundamental signal transduction process involved in the termination or propagation of receptor signalling events. In this review, we discuss emerging evidence for a role of the γ-secretase protease complexes and regulated intramembrane proteolysis in cell- and immune-signalling pathways.
Juvid Aryaman, ,
Published: 24 November 2017
Biochemical Journal, Volume 474, pp 4019-4034; https://doi.org/10.1042/bcj20170651

Abstract:
Mitochondrial dysfunction is involved in a wide array of devastating diseases, but the heterogeneity and complexity of the symptoms of these diseases challenges theoretical understanding of their causation. With the explosion of omics data, we have the unprecedented opportunity to gain deep understanding of the biochemical mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction. This goal raises the outstanding need to make these complex datasets interpretable. Quantitative modelling allows us to translate such datasets into intuition and suggest rational biomedical treatments. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, we use a recently published large-scale dataset and develop a descriptive and predictive mathematical model of progressive increase in mutant load of the MELAS 3243A>G mtDNA mutation. The experimentally observed behaviour is surprisingly rich, but we find that our simple, biophysically motivated model intuitively accounts for this heterogeneity and yields a wealth of biological predictions. Our findings suggest that cells attempt to maintain wild-type mtDNA density through cell volume reduction, and thus power demand reduction, until a minimum cell volume is reached. Thereafter, cells toggle from demand reduction to supply increase, up-regulating energy production pathways. Our analysis provides further evidence for the physiological significance of mtDNA density and emphasizes the need for performing single-cell volume measurements jointly with mtDNA quantification. We propose novel experiments to verify the hypotheses made here to further develop our understanding of the threshold effect and connect with rational choices for mtDNA disease therapies.
Li-Li Zhao, Gang Su, Li-Xia Chen, Qi Yan, Xue-Ping Wang, Wei Yuan, Lei Wang,
Published: 29 November 2017
Bioscience reports, Volume 37; https://doi.org/10.1042/bsr20171088

Abstract:
Ischemic stroke (IS), the leading neurology cause of death and disability worldwide, is influenced by gene polymorphisms. To explore the association between IS and Apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene polymorphisms, a case–control study containing 513 IS patients and 514 controls without IS was conducted in a Northwest China Han population. MassARRAY iPLEX system was applied to determine the APOE polymorphisms according to the alleles of two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of APOE, rs429358, and rs7412. The results showed that rs429358 and rs7412 were in Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) in both cases and controls groups. APOE ε4 allele, ε4/ε4 genotype, and ε4-containing genotypes were associated with IS. According to the results of Trial of ORG 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment (TOAST) classification system, APOE ε2 allele, ε4 allele, and ε4/ε4 genotype were associated with large artery atherosclerosis IS subtypes. In addition, the results also indicated that the ε4 allele related to undetermined IS and ε4/ε4 genotype was related to small vessel disease IS. Compared with subjects with non-ε4-containing genotypes, the total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) level in blood and the proportion of cardiopath history were higher in all subjects with ε4-containing genotypes. Besides, the triacylglycerides (TG) level in blood was higher in controls with ε4-containing genotypes. In conclusion, in a Northwest China Han population, APOE ε4 allele was associated with blood lipid level. The TC and LDL levels were the independent risk factors for IS. APOE was a risk gene for IS, but not independent, especially for large artery atherosclerosis IS.
Qiaoyun Gong,
Published: 29 November 2017
Bioscience reports, Volume 37; https://doi.org/10.1042/bsr20171157

Abstract:
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults across the world. The pathogenesis of DR is multifactorial and the molecular mechanisms are still not fully understood. Accumulating evidence has demonstrated that noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) may be aberrantly expressed and may play vital roles in the development of DR. Amongst ncRNAs, miRNAs and long ncRNAs (lncRNAs) are known for their regulatory functions. Here, we summarize the functions and mechanisms of known aberrantly expressed miRNAs and lncRNAs in DR. Additionally, a novel lncRNA–mRNA–miRNA network is included in this review. We highlight original studies that provide detailed data about the mechanisms of miRNAs and lncRNAs, their applications as diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers, and their potential therapeutic targets. In conclusion, this review will help us gain a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which miRNAs and lncRNAs perform their functions in DR, and provide general strategies and directions for future research.
Fang Cao, Qiang Zhang, Wei Chen, Feng Zheng, Qishan Ran, Yang He, Yang Gao,
Published: 12 December 2017
Bioscience reports, Volume 37; https://doi.org/10.1042/bsr20171038

Abstract:
Gene associated with retinoid-interferon-induced mortality-19 (GRIM-19) has been recognized as a tumor suppressor protein, which regulates cell growth, apoptosis, and migration by signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling pathway and non-STAT3 pathway in glioma cells. Here, we investigated the molecular mechanisms that regulated GRIM-19 expression in glioma cells. By the TargetScan algorithm, four miRNAs, hsa-miR-17-3p, hsa-miR-423-5p, hsa-miR-3184-5p, and hsa-miR-6743-5p, were identified with the potential to bind with 3′-UTR of GRIM-19. Further miRNA inhibitor transfection and luciferase assays revealed that miR-6743-5p was able to directly target the 3′-UTR of GRIM-19. Additionally, miR-6743-5p expression was inversely related with GRIM-19 expression in glioma specimens and cell lines. Moreover, the inhibition of miR-6743-5p caused a significant inhibition of cell proliferation and a marked promotion of cell apoptosis in glioma cells, and this phenotype was rescued by GRIM-19 knockdown. Finally, the inhibition of miR-6743-5p expression suppressed the phosphorylation of STAT3, and the mRNA expression of CyclinD1 and Bcl-2, two target genes of STAT3, while miR-6743-5p mimic had the inversed effects. Treatment with STAT3 inhibitor AG490 partially rescued the proliferation-promoting and anti-apoptosis effects of miR-6743-5p overexpression or GRIM-19 knockdown. Collectively, miR-6743-5p may act as an oncomiRNA in glioma by targetting GRIM-19 and STAT3.
, Jinjiang Fan, Enrico Campioli, Sathvika Venugopal, Andrew Midzak, Edward Daly, Aline Harlay, Leeyah Issop, Vincenzo Libri, Dimitra Kalogiannopoulou, et al.
Published: 21 November 2017
Biochemical Journal, Volume 474, pp 3985-3999; https://doi.org/10.1042/bcj20170648

Abstract:
The 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO) is a ubiquitous conserved outer mitochondrial membrane protein implicated in numerous cell and tissue functions, including steroid hormone biosynthesis, respiration, cell proliferation, and apoptosis. TSPO binds with high affinity to cholesterol and numerous compounds, is expressed at high levels in steroid-synthesizing tissues, and mediates cholesterol import into mitochondria, which is the rate-limiting step in steroid formation. In humans, the rs6971 polymorphism on the TSPO gene leads to an amino acid substitution in the fifth transmembrane loop of the protein, which is where the cholesterol-binding domain of TSPO is located, and this polymorphism has been associated with anxiety-related disorders. However, recent knockout mouse models have provided inconsistent conclusions of whether TSPO is directly involved in steroid synthesis. In this report, we show that TSPO deletion mutations in rat and its corresponding rs6971 polymorphism in humans alter adrenocorticotropic hormone-induced plasma corticosteroid concentrations. Rat tissues examined show increased cholesteryl ester accumulation, and neurosteroid formation was undetectable in homozygous rats. These results also support a role for TSPO ligands in diseases with steroid-dependent stress and anxiety elements.
Hongyun Shi, Lanhui Yuan, Huibin Yang,
Published: 12 December 2017
Bioscience reports, Volume 37; https://doi.org/10.1042/bsr20170684

Abstract:
The apelin gene can promote vascular endothelial cell (VEC) proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis. However, the molecular mechanism for regulation of the apelin gene is still unknown. Real-time PCR and Western blotting analysis were employed to detect the effect of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) in up-regulating apelin expression in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Furthermore, the in vivo study also indicated that ATRA could increase apelin expression in balloon-injured arteries of rats, which is consistent with the results from the cultured HUVECs. To ensure whether retinoic acid receptor (RAR) α (RARα) could be induced by ATRA in regulating apelin, the expression of RARα was tested with a siRNA method to knock down RARα or adenovirus vector infection to overexpress RARα. The results showed that ATRA could up-regulate apelin expression time- and dose- dependently in HUVECs. ATRA could induce a RARα increase; however, the expression of RARβ and RARγ were unchanged. The blocking of RARα signaling reduced the response of apelin to ATRA when HUVECs were treated with RARα antagonists (Ro 41-5253) or the use of siRNA against RARα (si-RARα) knockdown RARα expression before using ATRA. In addition, induction of RARα overexpression by infection with pAd-GFP-RARα further increased the induction of apelin by ATRA. These results suggested that ATRA up-regulated apelin expression by promoting RARα signaling.
Michael Brad Strader, Rachel Bangle, Claire J. Parker Siburt, Cornelius L. Varnado, Jayashree Soman, Andres S. Benitez Cardenas, , Eileen W. Singleton, Alvin L. Crumbliss, , et al.
Published: 11 December 2017
Biochemical Journal, Volume 474, pp 4171-4192; https://doi.org/10.1042/bcj20170491

Abstract:
Previous work suggested that hemoglobin (Hb) tetramer formation slows autoxidation and hemin loss and that the naturally occurring mutant, Hb Providence (HbProv; βK82D), is much more resistant to degradation by H2O2. We have examined systematically the effects of genetic cross-linking of Hb tetramers with and without the HbProv mutation on autoxidation, hemin loss, and reactions with H2O2, using native HbA and various wild-type recombinant Hbs as controls. Genetically cross-linked Hb Presbyterian (βN108K) was also examined as an example of a low oxygen affinity tetramer. Our conclusions are: (a) at low concentrations, all the cross-linked tetramers show smaller rates of autoxidation and hemin loss than HbA, which can dissociate into much less stable dimers and (b) the HbProv βK82D mutation confers more resistance to degradation by H2O2, by markedly inhibiting oxidation of the β93 cysteine side chain, particularly in cross-linked tetramers and even in the presence of the destabilizing Hb Presbyterian mutation. These results show that cross-linking and the βK82D mutation do enhance the resistance of Hb to oxidative degradation, a critical element in the design of a safe and effective oxygen therapeutic.
Ming-Peng Zhang, Wei-San Zhang, Jin Tan, Ming-Hui Zhao, Lin-Juan Lian, Jie Cai
Published: 31 October 2017
Bioscience reports, Volume 37; https://doi.org/10.1042/bsr20170114

Abstract:
Thyroid cancer patients with high miR-490-3p inhibit translation of PCBP1 mRNA, whereas in patients with low miR-490-3p PCBP1 mRNA expression is high; however, the resultant protein is targeted for degradation through the proteasome. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the molecular mechanism that regulates post-translation degradation of poly r(C) binding protein (PCBP) 1 expression in thyroid cancer cells. Mass spectrometric analysis of PCBP1 immunoprecipitates from MG-132 treated TPC1 cells revealed a list of ubiquitin ligases associated with PCBP1. RNAi-mediated silencing of the candidate ubiquitin ligases revealed that knockdown of the ubiquitin ligase UBE4A stabilized PCBP1 in TPC1 cells. Concurrent overexpression of the candidate ubiquitin ligases in the normal thyroid epithelial cell line Nthy-ori 3-1 confirmed that ubiquitin conjugation factor E4 A (UBE4A) is the ubiquitin ligase that is degrading PCBP1. Coimmunoprecipitation of HA-tagged PCBP1 in TPC1 cells cotransfected with FLAG–UBE4A revealed robust polyubiquitinated smear of PCBP1, thus confirming UBE4A as the ubiquitin ligase of PCBP1. UBE4A expression mimicked PCBP1 mRNA expression in thyroid cancer patients and was inversely correlated to PCBP1 protein expression. Low UBE4A expression level was associated with a better prognosis in thyroid cancer patients. Our data reveal a post-translational regulatory mechanism of regulating PCBP1 expression in thyroid cancer cells.
Daniel M. Pinkas, Caroline E. Sanvitale, Joshua C. Bufton, Fiona J. Sorrell, Nicolae Solcan, Rod Chalk, James Doutch,
Published: 1 November 2017
Biochemical Journal, Volume 474, pp 3747-3761; https://doi.org/10.1042/bcj20170527

Abstract:
Members of the potassium channel tetramerization domain (KCTD) family are soluble non-channel proteins that commonly function as Cullin3 (Cul3)-dependent E3 ligases. Solution studies of the N-terminal BTB domain have suggested that some KCTD family members may tetramerize similarly to the homologous tetramerization domain (T1) of the voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels. However, available structures of KCTD1, KCTD5 and KCTD9 have demonstrated instead pentameric assemblies. To explore other phylogenetic clades within the KCTD family, we determined the crystal structures of the BTB domains of a further five human KCTD proteins revealing a rich variety of oligomerization architectures, including monomer (SHKBP1), a novel two-fold symmetric tetramer (KCTD10 and KCTD13), open pentamer (KCTD16) and closed pentamer (KCTD17). While these diverse geometries were confirmed by small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), only the pentameric forms were stable upon size-exclusion chromatography. With the exception of KCTD16, all proteins bound to Cul3 and were observed to reassemble in solution as 5 : 5 heterodecamers. SAXS data and structural modelling indicate that Cul3 may stabilize closed BTB pentamers by binding across their BTB–BTB interfaces. These extra interactions likely also allow KCTD proteins to bind Cul3 without the expected 3-box motif. Overall, these studies reveal the KCTD family BTB domain to be a highly versatile scaffold compatible with a range of oligomeric assemblies and geometries. This observed interface plasticity may support functional changes in regulation of this unusual E3 ligase family.
Ashwinie A. Ukuwela, , Anthony G. Wedd,
Published: 9 November 2017
Biochemical Journal, Volume 474, pp 3799-3815; https://doi.org/10.1042/bcj20170589

Abstract:
Glutaredoxins (Grxs) are a class of GSH (glutathione)-dependent thiol–disulfide oxidoreductase enzymes. They use the cellular redox buffer GSSG (glutathione disulfide)/GSH directly to catalyze these exchange reactions. Grxs feature dithiol active sites and can shuttle rapidly between three oxidation states, namely dithiol Grx(SH)2, mixed disulfide Grx(SH)(SSG) and oxidized disulfide Grx(SS). Each is characterized by a distinct standard reduction potential . The values for the redox couple Grx(SS)/Grx(SH)2 are available, but a recent estimate differs by over 100 mV from the literature values. No estimates are available for for the mixed disulfide couple Grx(SH)(SSG)/(Grx(SH)2 + GSH). This work determined both and for two representative Grx enzymes, Homo sapiens HsGrx1 and Escherichia coli EcGrx1. The empirical approaches were verified rigorously to overcome the sensitivity of these redox-labile enzymes to experimental conditions. The classic method of acid ‘quenching’ was demonstrated to shift the thiol–disulfide redox equilibria. Both enzymes exhibit an (vs. SHE) at a pH of 7.0. Their values (−213 and −230 mV for EcGrx1 and HsGrx1, respectively) are slightly less negative than that () of the redox buffer GSSG/2GSH. Both and vary with log [GSH], but the former more sensitively by a factor of 2. This confers dual catalytic functions to a Grx enzyme as either an oxidase at low [GSH] or as a reductase at high [GSH]. Consequently, these enzymes can participate efficiently in either glutathionylation or deglutathionylation. The catalysis is demonstrated to proceed via a monothiol ping-pong mechanism relying on a single Cys residue only in the dithiol active site.
Juan Zou, Mani Salarian, Yanyi Chen, You Zhuo, Nicole E. Brown, John R. Hepler,
Published: 27 November 2017
Biochemical Journal, Volume 474, pp 4035-4051; https://doi.org/10.1042/bcj20170426

Abstract:
Calmodulin (CaM) is an intracellular Ca2+ transducer involved in numerous activities in a broad Ca2+ signaling network. Previous studies have suggested that the Ca2+/CaM complex may participate in gap junction regulation via interaction with putative CaM-binding motifs in connexins; however, evidence of direct interactions between CaM and connexins has remained elusive to date due to challenges related to the study of membrane proteins. Here, we report the first direct interaction of CaM with Cx45 (connexin45) of γ-family in living cells under physiological conditions by monitoring bioluminescence resonance energy transfer. The interaction between CaM and Cx45 in cells is strongly dependent on intracellular Ca2+ concentration and can be blocked by the CaM inhibitor, N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloro-1-naphthalenesulfonamide hydrochloride (W7). We further reveal a CaM-binding site at the cytosolic loop (residues 164–186) of Cx45 using a peptide model. The strong binding (Kd ∼ 5 nM) observed between CaM and Cx45 peptide, monitored by fluorescence-labeled CaM, is found to be Ca2+-dependent. Furthermore, high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals that CaM and Cx45 peptide binding leads to global chemical shift changes of 15N-labeled CaM, but does not alter the size of the structure. Observations involving both N- and C-domains of CaM to interact with the Cx45 peptide differ from the embraced interaction with Cx50 from another connexin family. Such interaction further increases Ca2+ sensitivity of CaM, especially at the N-terminal domain. Results of the present study suggest that both helicity and the interaction mode of the cytosolic loop are likely to contribute to CaM's modulation of connexins.
Kourtney Kroll, Cynthia K. Holland, Courtney M. Starks,
Published: 1 November 2017
Biochemical Journal, Volume 474, pp 3705-3717; https://doi.org/10.1042/bcj20170549

Abstract:
Plants, fungi, and bacteria synthesize the aromatic amino acids: l-phenylalanine, l-tyrosine, and l-tryptophan. Chorismate mutase catalyzes the branch point reaction of phenylalanine and tyrosine biosynthesis to generate prephenate. In Arabidopsis thaliana, there are two plastid-localized chorismate mutases that are allosterically regulated (AtCM1 and AtCM3) and one cytosolic isoform (AtCM2) that is unregulated. Previous analysis of plant chorismate mutases suggested that the enzymes from early plants (i.e. bryophytes/moss, lycophytes, and basal angiosperms) formed a clade distinct from the isoforms found in flowering plants; however, no biochemical information on these enzymes is available. To understand the evolution of allosteric regulation in plant chorismate mutases, we analyzed a basal lineage of plant enzymes homologous to AtCM1 based on sequence similarity. The chorismate mutases from the moss/bryophyte Physcomitrella patens (PpCM1 and PpCM2), the lycophyte Selaginella moellendorffii (SmCM), and the basal angiosperm Amborella trichopoda (AmtCM1 and AmtCM2) were characterized biochemically. Tryptophan was a positive effector for each of the five enzymes examined. Histidine was a weak positive effector for PpCM1 and AmtCM1. Neither tyrosine nor phenylalanine altered the activity of SmCM; however, tyrosine was a negative regulator of the other four enzymes. Phenylalanine down-regulates both moss enzymes and AmtCM2. The 2.0 Å X-ray crystal structure of PpCM1 in complex with the tryptophan identified the allosteric effector site and reveals structural differences between the R- (more active) and T-state (less active) forms of plant chorismate mutases. Molecular insight into the basal plant chorismate mutases guides our understanding of the evolution of allosteric regulation in these enzymes.
Ernesto Martín-Núñez, , Ángel López-Castillo, Alejandro Delgado-Molinos, Carla Ferri, , Purificación Cerro, Nayra Pérez-Delgado, Victoria Castro, Carolina Hernández-Carballo, et al.
Published: 25 October 2017
Journal: Clinical Science
Clinical Science, Volume 131, pp 2601-2609; https://doi.org/10.1042/cs20171242

Abstract:
Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting the artery wall. Klotho, an anti-aging factor expressed in the vessel walls that participates in the maintenance of vascular homeostasis, can be down-regulated by inflammation. In this proof-of-concept work we seek to characterize the arterial KLOTHO expression in the vascular wall, as well as the serum concentration of this protein, in a group of patients with clinical atherosclerotic disease. In addition, we aim to analyze the relationship between Klotho and inflammation. Vascular samples were obtained from 27 patients with atherosclerotic disease under an elective vascular surgery procedure, and from 11 control subjects (cadaveric organ donation programme). qRT-PCR was performed to analyze the gene expression of KLOTHO, TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-10. Serum levels of soluble KLOTHO were measured by ELISA. As compared with control subjects, serum concentrations and vascular expression of Klotho were lower in patients with atherosclerotic vascular disease, whereas inflammatory status was significantly higher. There was a negative and significant correlation between inflammatory parameters and Klotho. After controlling for the effect of other variables, partial correlation showed a direct relationship between vascular KLOTHO gene expression and IL-10 mRNA levels, whereas there was a negative association with serum LDL concentrations and vascular TNF-α expression. Our study indicates an inverse interrelationship between inflammation and Klotho in atherosclerosis. Further studies are necessary to elucidate whether the inflammatory state causes Klotho deficiency or, on the contrary, reduction of Klotho could be responsible for greater inflammation, and finally, to investigate the potential clinical relevance of this association.
Wenshuang Wang, Xiaojuan Cai, Naihan Han, Wenjun Han, Kazuyuki Sugahara,
Published: 9 November 2017
Biochemical Journal, Volume 474, pp 3831-3848; https://doi.org/10.1042/bcj20170591

Abstract:
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are a family of chemically heterogeneous polysaccharides that play important roles in physiological and pathological processes. Owing to the structural complexity of GAGs, their sophisticated chemical structures and biological functions have not been extensively studied. Lyases that cleave GAGs are important tools for structural analysis. Although various GAG lyases have been identified, exolytic lyases with unique enzymatic property are urgently needed for GAG sequencing. In the present study, a putative exolytic GAG lyase from a marine bacterium was recombinantly expressed and characterized in detail. Since it showed exolytic lyase activity toward hyaluronan (HA), chondroitin sulfate (CS), and dermatan sulfate (DS), it was designated as HCDLase. This novel exolyase exhibited the highest activity in Tris–HCl buffer (pH 7.0) at 30°C. Especially, it showed a specific activity that released 2-aminobenzamide (2-AB)-labeled disaccharides from the reducing end of 2-AB-labeled CS oligosaccharides, which suggest that HCDLase is not only a novel exolytic lyase that can split disaccharide residues from the reducing termini of sugar chains but also a useful tool for the sequencing of CS chains. Notably, HCDLase could not digest 2-AB-labeled oligosaccharides from HA, DS, or unsulfated chondroitin, which indicated that sulfates and bond types affect the catalytic activity of HCDLase. Finally, this enzyme combined with CSase ABC was successfully applied for the sequencing of several CS hexa- and octasaccharides with complex structures. The identification of HCDLase provides a useful tool for CS-related research and applications.
, Junaid Kashir,
Published: 23 October 2017
Biochemical Journal, Volume 474, pp 3659-3673; https://doi.org/10.1042/bcj20160521

Abstract:
At mammalian fertilisation, the fundamental stimulus that triggers oocyte (egg) activation and initiation of early embryonic development is an acute rise of the intracellular-free calcium (Ca2+) concentration inside the egg cytoplasm. This essential Ca2+ increase comprises a characteristic series of repetitive Ca2+ oscillations, starting soon after sperm–egg fusion. Over the last 15 years, accumulating scientific and clinical evidence supports the notion that the physiological stimulus that precedes the cytosolic Ca2+ oscillations is a novel, testis-specific phospholipase C (PLC) isoform, known as PLC-zeta (PLCζ). Sperm PLCζ catalyses the hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate triggering cytosolic Ca2+ oscillations through the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate signalling pathway. PLCζ is the smallest known mammalian PLC isoform with the most elementary domain organisation. However, relative to somatic PLCs, the PLCζ isoform possesses a unique potency in stimulating Ca2+ oscillations in eggs that is attributed to its novel biochemical characteristics. In this review, we discuss the latest developments that have begun to unravel the vital role of PLCζ at mammalian fertilisation and decipher its unique mechanism of action within the fertilising egg. We also postulate the significant potential diagnostic and therapeutic capacity of PLCζ in alleviating certain types of male infertility.
Jordan J.S. VerPlank,
Published: 25 September 2017
Biochemical Journal, Volume 474, pp 3355-3371; https://doi.org/10.1042/bcj20160809

Abstract:
The ubiquitin proteasome system degrades the great majority of proteins in mammalian cells. Countless studies have described how ubiquitination promotes the selective degradation of different cell proteins. However, there is a small but growing literature that protein half-lives can also be regulated by post-translational modifications of the 26S proteasome. The present study reviews the ability of several kinases to alter proteasome function through subunit phosphorylation. For example, PKA (protein kinase A) and DYRK2 (dual-specificity tyrosine-regulated kinase 2) stimulate the proteasome's ability to degrade ubiquitinated proteins, peptides, and adenosine triphosphate, while one kinase, ASK1 (apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1), inhibits proteasome function during apoptosis. Proteasome phosphorylation is likely to be important in regulating protein degradation because it occurs downstream from many hormones and neurotransmitters, in conditions that raise cyclic adenosine monophosphate or cyclic guanosine monophosphate levels, after calcium influx following synaptic depolarization, and during phases of the cell cycle. Beyond its physiological importance, pharmacological manipulation of proteasome phosphorylation has the potential to combat various diseases. Inhibitors of phosphodiesterases by activating PKA or PKG (protein kinase G) can stimulate proteasomal degradation of misfolded proteins that cause neurodegenerative or myocardial diseases and even reduce the associated pathology in mouse models. These observations are promising since in many proteotoxic diseases, aggregation-prone proteins impair proteasome function, and disrupt protein homeostasis. Conversely, preventing subunit phosphorylation by DYRK2 slows cell cycle progression and tumor growth. However, further research is essential to determine how phosphorylation of different subunits by these (or other) kinases alters the properties of this complex molecular machine and thus influence protein degradation rates.
Ankit Tiwari, Niharika Pattnaik, Archita Mohanty Jaiswal,
Published: 27 October 2017
Bioscience reports, Volume 37; https://doi.org/10.1042/bsr20171062

Abstract:
Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) region gene 1 (FRG1) is a candidate gene for FSHD. FRG1 regulates various muscle-related functions, but studies have proposed its role in development and angiogenesis also, where it is involved with tumor-associated molecules. Therefore, we decided to look into its role in tumor progression, tumor angiogenesis, and its impact on cellular properties. Cell proliferation, migration, invasion and in vitro angiogenesis assays were performed to decipher the effect of FRG1 on endothelial and epithelial cell functions. Q-RT PCR was done for human embyonic kidney (HEK293T) cells with altered FRG1 levels to identify associated molecules. Further, immunohistochemistry was done to identify FRG1 expression levels in various cancers and its association with tumor angiogenesis. Subsequently, inference was drawn from Oncomine and Kaplan–Meier plotter analysis, for FRG1 expression in different cancers. Ectopic expression of FRG1 affected cell migration and invasion in both HEK293T and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). In HUVECs, FRG1 overexpression led to reduced angiogenesis in vitro. No effect was observed in cell proliferation in both the cell types. Q-RT PCR data revealed reduction in granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) expression with FRG1 overexpression and increased expression of matrix metalloproteinase 10 (MMP10) with FRG1 knockdown. Immunohistochemistry analysis showed reduced FRG1 levels in tumors which were supported by in silico analysis data. These findings suggest that reduction in FRG1 expression in gastric, colon and oral cavity tumor might have a role in tumor progression, by regulating cell migration and invasiveness. To elucidate a better understanding of molecular signaling involving FRG1 in angiogenesis regulation, further study is required.
Yuichi Morohashi, , Matthew Ball, Helen Hughes,
Published: 14 April 2010
Biochemical Journal, Volume 427, pp 401-412; https://doi.org/10.1042/bj20091681

Abstract:
Secretory protein trafficking is arrested and the Golgi apparatus fragmented when mammalian cells enter mitosis. These changes are thought to facilitate cell-cycle progression and Golgi inheritance, and are brought about through the actions of mitotically active protein kinases. To better understand how the Golgi apparatus undergoes mitotic fragmentation we have sought to identify novel Golgi targets for mitotic kinases. We report in the present paper the identification of the ARF (ADP-ribosylation factor) exchange factor GBF1 (Golgi-specific brefeldin A-resistant guanine nucleotide-exchange factor 1) as a Golgi phosphoprotein. GBF1 is phosphorylated by CDK1 (cyclin-dependent kinase 1)–cyclin B in mitosis, which results in its dissociation from Golgi membranes. Consistent with a reduced level of GBF1 activity at the Golgi membrane there is a reduction in levels of membrane-associated GTP-bound ARF in mitotic cells. Despite the reduced levels of membrane-bound GBF1 and ARF, COPI (coat protein I) binding to the Golgi membrane appears unaffected in mitotic cells. Surprisingly, this pool of COPI is dependent upon GBF1 for its recruitment to the membrane, suggesting that a low level of GBF1 activity persists in mitosis. We propose that the phosphorylation and membrane dissociation of GBF1 and the consequent reduction in ARF-GTP levels in mitosis are important for changes in Golgi dynamics and possibly other mitotic events mediated through effectors other than the COPI vesicle coat.
Vincent Pang, ,
Published: 23 November 2017
Journal: Clinical Science
Clinical Science, Volume 131, pp 2763-2775; https://doi.org/10.1042/cs20171252

Abstract:
The human placenta nourishes and protects the developing foetus whilst influencing maternal physiology for fetal advantage. It expresses several members of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family including the pro-angiogenic/pro-permeability VEGF-A165a isoform, the anti-angiogenic VEGF-A165b, placental growth factor (PIGF) and their receptors, VEGFR1 and VEGFR2. Alterations in the ratio of these factors during gestation and in complicated pregnancies have been reported; however, the impact of this on feto-placental endothelial barrier integrity is unknown. The present study investigated the interplay of these factors on junctional occupancy of VE-cadherin and macromolecular leakage in human endothelial monolayers and the perfused placental microvascular bed. Whilst VEGF-A165a (50 ng/ml) increased endothelial monolayer albumin permeability (P0.05) or PlGF (P>0.05) did not. Moreover, VEGF-A165b (100 ng/ml; P0.05) inhibited VEGF-A165a-induced permeability when added singly. PlGF abolished the VEGF-A165b-induced reduction in VEGF-A165a-mediated permeability (P>0.05); PlGF was found to compete with VEGF-A165b for binding to Flt-1 at equimolar affinity. Junctional occupancy of VE-cadherin matched alterations in permeability. In the perfused microvascular bed, VEGF-A165b did not induce microvascular leakage but inhibited and reversed VEGF-A165a-induced loss of junctional VE-cadherin and tracer leakage. These results indicate that the anti-angiogenic VEGF-A165b isoform does not increase permeability in human placental microvessels or HUVEC primary cells and can interrupt VEGF-A165a-induced permeability. Moreover, the interplay of these isoforms with PIGF (and s-flt1) suggests that the ratio of these three factors may be important in determining the placental and endothelial barrier in normal and complicated pregnancies.
Li Wang, Qiang Wu, Zhijia Fan, Rufeng Xie, Zhicheng Wang,
Published: 20 October 2017
Biochemical Society Transactions, Volume 45, pp 1213-1223; https://doi.org/10.1042/bst20170291

Abstract:
The platelet is considered as an accessible and valuable tool to study mitochondrial function, owing to its greater content of fully functional mitochondria compared with other metabolically active organelles. Different lines of studies have demonstrated that mitochondria in platelets have function far more than thrombogenesis regulation, and beyond hemostasis, platelet mitochondrial dysfunction has also been used for studying mitochondrial-related diseases. In this review, the interplay between platelet mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress, mitochondrial DNA lesions, electron transfer chain impairments, mitochondrial apoptosis and mitophagy has been outlined. Meanwhile, considerable efforts have been made towards understanding the role of platelet mitochondrial dysfunction in human diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, sepsis and neurodegenerative disorders. Alongside this, we have also articulated our perspectives on the development of potential biomarkers of platelet mitochondrial dysfunction in mitochondrial-related diseases.
Xin-Hua Wang, Xiao-Hua Song, Yan-Lin Wang, Xing-Hua Diao, Tong Li, Qing-Chun Li, Xiang-Hui Zhang, Xiao-Hui Deng
Published: 23 November 2017
Bioscience reports, Volume 37; https://doi.org/10.1042/bsr20170856

Abstract:
Up to 50% of recurrent miscarriage cases in women occur without an underlying etiology. In the current prospective case–control study, we determined the impact of CGG trinucleotide expansions of the fragile-X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene in 49 women with unexplained recurrent miscarriages. Case group consisted of women with two or more unexplained consecutive miscarriages. Blood samples were obtained and checked for the presence of expanded alleles of the FMR1 gene using PCR. Patients harboring the expanded allele, with a threshold set to 40 repeats, were further evaluated by sequencing. The number of abortions each woman had, was not associated with her respective CGG repeat number (P=0.255). The repeat sizes of CGG expansion in the FMR1 gene were significantly different in the two population groups (P=0.027). All the positive cases involved intermediate zone carriers. Hence, the CGG expanded allele of the FMR1 gene might be associated with unexplained multiple miscarriages; whether such an association is coincidental or causal can be confirmed by future studies using a larger patient cohort.
, Severin Rodler, Shangqing Song, Simone Romoli, Julian A. Marschner, Franziska Kraft, Alexander Holderied, Santosh Kumar, , Mohsen Honarpisheh, et al.
Published: 22 December 2017
Bioscience reports, Volume 37; https://doi.org/10.1042/bsr20170099

Abstract:
Notch and interleukin-22 (IL-22) signaling are known to regulate tissue homeostasis and respond to injury in humans and mice, and the induction of endogenous aryl hydrocarbon receptor (Ahr) ligands through Notch links the two pathways in a hierarchical fashion. However in adults, the species-, organ- and injury-specific gene expression of the Notch-AhR-IL22 axis components is unknown. We therefore performed gene expression profiling of DLL1, DLL3, DLL4, DLK1, DLK2, JAG1, JAG2, Notch1, Notch2, Notch3, Notch4, ADAM17/TNF-α ADAM metalloprotease converting enzyme (TACE), PSEN1, basigin (BSG)/CD147, RBP-J, HES1, HES5, HEY1, HEYL, AHR, ARNT, ARNT2, CYP1A1, CYP24A1, IL-22, IL22RA1, IL22RA2, IL10RB, and STAT3 under homeostatic conditions in ten mature murine and human organs. Additionally, the expression of these genes was assessed in murine models of acute sterile inflammation and progressive fibrosis. We show that there are organ-specific gene expression profiles of the Notch-AhR-IL22 axis in humans and mice. Although there is an overall interspecies congruency, specific differences between human and murine expression signatures do exist. In murine tissues with AHR/ARNT expression CYP1A1 and IL-22 were correlated with HES5 and HEYL expression, while in human tissues no such correlation was found. Notch and AhR signaling are involved in renal inflammation and fibrosis with specific gene expression changes in each model. Despite the presence of all Notch pathway molecules in the kidney and a model-specific induction of Notch ligands, IL-22 was only up-regulated in acute inflammation, but rapidly down-regulated during regeneration. This implies that for targeting injury responses, e.g. via IL-22, species-specific differences, injury type and time points have to be considered.
Jie Gao, Jie Wang, Na Gao, Xin Tian, Jun Zhou, Yan Fang, Hai-Feng Zhang, Qiang Wen, Lin-Jing Jia, Dan Zou, et al.
Published: 21 November 2017
Bioscience reports, Volume 37; https://doi.org/10.1042/bsr20171161

Abstract:
Determining drug-metabolizing enzyme activities on an individual basis is an important component of personalized medicine, and cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYPs) play a principal role in hepatic drug metabolism. Herein, a simple method for predicting the major CYP-mediated drug clearance in vitro and in vivo is presented. Ten CYP-mediated drug metabolic activities in human liver microsomes (HLMs) from 105 normal liver samples were determined. The descriptive models for predicting the activities of these CYPs in HLMs were developed solely on the basis of the measured activities of a smaller number of more readily assayed CYPs. The descriptive models then were combined with the Conventional Bias Corrected in vitro–in vivo extrapolation method to extrapolate drug clearance in vivo. The Vmax, Km, and CLint of six CYPs (CYP2A6, 2C8, 2D6, 2E1, and 3A4/5) could be predicted by measuring the activities of four CYPs (CYP1A2, 2B6, 2C9, and 2C19) in HLMs. Based on the predicted CLint, the values of CYP2A6-, 2C8-, 2D6-, 2E1-, and 3A4/5-mediated drug clearance in vivo were extrapolated and found that the values for all five drugs were close to the observed clearance in vivo. The percentage of extrapolated values of clearance in vivo which fell within 2-fold of the observed clearance ranged from 75.2% to 98.1%. These findings suggest that measuring the activity of CYP1A2, 2B6, 2C9, and 2C19 allowed us to accurately predict CYP2A6-, 2C8-, 2D6-, 2E1-, and 3A4/5-mediated activities in vitro and in vivo and may possibly be helpful for the assessment of an individual’s drug metabolic profile.
, Marian Sackey, Zhaoliang Su, Huaxi Xu
Published: 5 December 2017
Bioscience reports, Volume 37; https://doi.org/10.1042/bsr20171104

Abstract:
Stroke is a major cause of mortality and disability worldwide. Stroke is a frequent and severe neurovascular disorder. The main cause of stroke is atherosclerosis, and the most common risk factor for atherosclerosis is hypertension. Therefore, prevention and treatment of stroke are crucial issues in humans. High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is non-histone nuclear protein that is currently one of the crucial proinflammatory alarmins in ischemic stroke (IS). It is instantly released from necrotic cells in the ischemic core and activates an early inflammatory response. HMGB1 may signal via its putative receptors, such as receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE), toll-like receptors (TLRs) as well as matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) enzymes during IS. These receptors are expressed in brain cells. Additionally, brain-released HMGB1 can be redox modified in the circulation and activate peripheral immune cells. The role of HMGB1 may be more complex. HMGB1 possesses beneficial actions, such as endothelial activation, enhancement of neurite outgrowth, and neuronal survival. HMGB1 may also provide a novel link for brain-immune communication leading to post-stroke immunomodulation. Therefore, HMGB1 is new promising therapeutic intervention aimed at promoting neurovascular repair and remodeling after stroke. In this review, we look at the mechanisms of secretion of HMGB1, the role of receptors, MMP enzymes, hypoglycemia, atherosclerosis, edema, angiogenesis as well as neuroimmunological reactions and post-ischemic brain recovery in IS. We also outline therapeutic roles of HMGB1 in IS.
Yanli Luo,
Published: 12 December 2017
Bioscience reports, Volume 37; https://doi.org/10.1042/bsr20170779

Abstract:
Diabetic vascular complications result from high-glucose induced vascular endothelial cell dysfunction. There is an emerging need for novel drugs with vascular endothelial cell protective effects for the treatment of diabetic vascular complications. The present study aimed to investigate the protective effect of α-mangostin against high-glucose induced apoptosis of cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). HUVECs were treated with glucose to induce apoptosis. The expression of the apoptosis-related proteins, Bcl-2, Bax, and cleaved caspase-3, were detected by Western blotting. Ceramide concentration and acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) activity were assayed by HPLC. The cell apoptosis rate was detected by flow cytometry after staining with annexin V/propidium iodide (PI). Compared with HUVECs cultured in 5 mM glucose, cells cultured in 30 mM glucose exhibited a higher apoptosis rate, up-regulation of cleaved caspase-3 and Bax (proapoptotic proteins), down-regulation of Bcl-2 (anti-apoptotic protein), increased ceramide concentration, and enhanced ASM activity (all P<0.05). α-Mangostin (15 µM) significantly attenuated the high-glucose induced increase in apoptosis rate (8.64 ± 2.16 compared with 19.6 ± 3.54%), up-regulation of cleaved caspase-3 and Bax, down-regulation of Bcl-2, elevation of ceramide level, and enhancement of ASM activity (all P<0.05). The effects of desipramine were similar to those of α-mangostin. The protective effect of α-mangostin on high-glucose induced apoptotic damage may be mediated by an inhibition of ASM and thus a decreased level of ceramide.
Guochao Sun, Ying Lu, Yingxia Li, Jun Mao, Jun Zhang, Yanling Jin, Yan Li, Yan Sun, Lei Liu,
Published: 5 December 2017
Bioscience reports, Volume 37; https://doi.org/10.1042/bsr20170899

Abstract:
MiRNAs have been implicated in processing of cardiac hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R)-induced injury. Recent studies demonstrated that miR-19a might provide a potential cardioprotective effect on myocardial disease. However, the effect of miR-19a in regulating myocardial ischemic injury has not been previously addressed. The present study was to investigate the effect of miR-19a on myocardial ischemic injury and identified the potential molecular mechanisms involved. Using the H/R model of rat cardiomyocytes H9C2 in vitro, we found that miR-19a was in low expression in H9C2 cells after H/R treatment and H/R dramatically decreased cardiomyocyte viability, and increased lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release and cardiomyocyte apoptosis, which were attenuated by co-transfection with miR-19a mimic. Dual-luciferase reporter assay and Western blotting assay revealed that PTEN was a direct target gene of miR-19a, and miR-19a suppressed the expression of PTEN via binding to its 3′-UTR. We further identified that overexpression of miR-19a inhibited the expression of PTEN at the mRNA and protein levels. Moreover, PTEN was highly expressed in H/R H9C2 cells and the apoptosis induced by H/R was associated with the increase in PTEN expression. Importantly, miR-19a mimic significantly increased p-Akt levels under H/R. In conclusion, our findings indicate that miR-19a could protect against H/R-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis by inhibiting PTEN /PI3K/p-Akt signaling pathway.
, Deming Zhao, Liping Dong, Shuang Pan, Fengjin Hao, Yifu Guan
Published: 29 November 2017
Bioscience reports, Volume 37; https://doi.org/10.1042/bsr20171128

Abstract:
It is known that the guanine-rich strands in proto-oncogene promoters can fold into G-quadruplex structures to regulate gene expression. An intramolecular parallel G-quadruplex has been identified in MET promoter. It acts as a repressor in regulating MET expression. However, the full guanine-rich region in MET promoter forms a hybrid parallel/antiparallel G-quadruplex structure under physiological conditions, which means there are some antiparallel and hybrid parallel/antiparallel G-quadruplex structures in this region. In the present study, our data indicate that g3-5 truncation adopts an intramolecular hybrid parallel/antiparallel G-quadruplex under physiological conditions in vitro. The g3-5 G-quadruplex structure significantly stops polymerization by Klenow fragment in K+ buffer. Furthermore, the results of circular dichroism (CD) spectra and polymerase stop assay directly demonstrate that the G-quadruplex structure in g3-5 fragment can be stabilized by the G-quadruplex ligand TMPyP4 (5,10,15,20-tetra-(N-methyl-4-pyridyl) porphine). But the dual luciferase assay indicates TMPyP4 has no effect on the formation of g3-5 G-quadruplex in HepG2 cells. The findings in the present study will enrich our understanding of the G-quadruplex formation in proto-oncogene promoters and the mechanisms of gene expression regulation.
Natália E. Bernardes, , Thiago R. Dreyer, Fernanda B. Cupertino, , Nelly Pante, ,
Published: 6 December 2017
Biochemical Journal, Volume 474, pp 4091-4104; https://doi.org/10.1042/bcj20170654

Abstract:
The Neurospora crassa NIT-2 transcription factor belongs to the GATA transcription factor family and plays a fundamental role in the regulation of nitrogen metabolism. Because NIT-2 acts by accessing DNA inside the nucleus, understanding the nuclear import process of NIT-2 is necessary to characterize its function. Thus, in the present study, NIT-2 nuclear transport was investigated using a combination of biochemical, cellular, and biophysical methods. A complemented strain that produced an sfGFP–NIT-2 fusion protein was constructed, and nuclear localization assessments were made under conditions that favored protein translocation to the nucleus. Nuclear translocation was also investigated using HeLa cells, which showed that the putative NIT-2 nuclear localization sequence (NLS; 915TISSKRQRRHSKS927) was recognized by importin-α and that subsequent transport occurred via the classical import pathway. The interaction between the N. crassa importin-α (NcImpα) and the NIT-2 NLS was quantified with calorimetric assays, leading to the observation that the peptide bound to two sites with different affinities, which is typical of a monopartite NLS sequence. The crystal structure of the NcImpα/NIT-2 NLS complex was solved and revealed that the NIT-2 peptide binds to NcImpα with the major NLS-binding site playing a primary role. This result contrasts other recent studies that suggested a major role for the minor NLS-binding site in importin-α from the α2 family, indicating that both sites can be used for different cargo proteins according to specific metabolic requirements.
Anna M. Schmoker, Jaye L. Weinert, Kyle J. Kellett, Hannah E. Johnson, Ryan M. Joy, Marion E. Weir, Alicia M. Ebert,
Published: 21 November 2017
Biochemical Journal, Volume 474, pp 3963-3984; https://doi.org/10.1042/bcj20170615

Abstract:
Discoidin, CUB, and LCCL domain containing 2 (DCBLD2) is a neuropilin-like transmembrane scaffolding receptor with known and anticipated roles in vascular remodeling and neuronal positioning. DCBLD2 is also up-regulated in several cancers and can drive glioblastomas downstream of activated epidermal growth factor receptor. While a few studies have shown either a positive or negative role for DCBLD2 in regulating growth factor receptor signaling, little is known about the conserved signaling features of DCBLD family members that drive their molecular activities. We previously identified DCBLD2 tyrosine phosphorylation sites in intracellular YxxP motifs that are required for the phosphorylation-dependent binding of the signaling adaptors CRK and CRKL (CT10 regulator of kinase and CRK-like). These intracellular YxxP motifs are highly conserved across vertebrates and between DCBLD family members. Here, we demonstrate that, as for DCBLD2, DCBLD1 YxxP motifs are required for CRKL–SH2 (Src homology 2) binding. We report that Src family kinases (SFKs) and Abl differentially promote the interaction between the CRKL–SH2 domain and DCBLD1 and DCBLD2, and while SFKs and Abl each promote DCBLD1 and DCBLD2 binding to the CRKL–SH2 domain, the effect of Abl is more pronounced for DCBLD1. Using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry, we quantified phosphorylation at several YxxP sites in DCBLD1 and DCBLD2, mapping site-specific preferences for SFKs and Abl. Together, these data provide a platform to decipher the signaling mechanisms by which these novel receptors drive their biological activities.
Rui Li, Qi Li, Xiao-Lei Chu, Tao Tao, Lan Li, , Fang-You Gao
Published: 8 May 2018
Bioscience reports, Volume 38; https://doi.org/10.1042/bsr20170335

Abstract:
Synaptic plasticity plays a role during trace eyeblink conditioning (TEBC). Synaptophysin (Syn) is a major integral transmembrane protein, located particularly in the synaptic vesicles, and is considered a molecular marker of synapses. In addition, Syn immunoreactivity is an important indicator of synaptic plasticity. In the present study, we used immunohistochemical techniques to assess changes in Syn expression in the cerebellar interpositus nucleus (IN) of guinea pigs exposed to TEBC and pseudoconditioning. Additionally, we analyzed the relationship between Syn immunoreactivity and the percentage of trace-conditioned responses. Guinea pigs underwent trace conditioning or pseudoconditioning. Following two, six, or ten sessions, they were perfused and the cerebellum was removed for Syn immunohistochemical evaluation. After sessions 6 and 10, a significant increase in conditioned response (CR) percentage was observed in the trace-conditioned group, with the CR percentage reaching the learning criteria following session 10. Besides, for trace-conditioned animals, the Syn expression in IN was found significantly up-regulated after session 10 compared with pseudoconditioned ones. Our data suggest that the increase in Syn expression links to synaptic plasticity changes in the cerebellar IN and provides a histological substrate in the IN relating to TEBC training. The changing trend of Syn immunoreactivity in the IN is associated with CR percentage.
Angélique Mottais, Tony Le Gall, Yann Sibiril, Julian Ravel, Véronique Laurent, Frédérique D’Arbonneau,
Published: 17 November 2017
Bioscience reports, Volume 37; https://doi.org/10.1042/bsr20160618

Abstract:
The pathophysiology of obstructive pulmonary diseases, such as cystic fibrosis (CF), leads to the development of chronic infections in the respiratory tract. Thus, the symptomatic management of the disease requires, in particular, repetitive antibiotherapy. Besides these antibacterial treatments, certain pathologies, such as CF or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), require the intake of many drugs. This simultaneous absorption may lead to undesirable drug interactions. For example, Orkambi® (lumacaftor/Ivacaftor, Vertex), a pharmacological drug employed to treat F508del patients, cannot be used with antibiotics such as rifampicin or rifabutin (rifamycin family) which are necessary to treat Mycobacteriaceae. As far as gene therapy is concerned, bacteria and/or biofilm in the airways present an additional barrier for gene transfer. Thus, aerosol administration of nanoparticles have to overcome many obstacles before allowing cellular penetration of therapeutic compounds. This review focusses on the development of aerosol formulations adapted to the respiratory tract and its multiple barriers. Then, formulations that are currently used in clinical applications are summarized depending on the active molecule delivered. Finally, we focus on new therapeutic approaches to reduce possible drug interactions by transferring the antibacterial activity to the nanocarrier while ensuring the transfection efficiency.
Jamil Elfarra, Lorena M. Amaral, Maggie McCalmon, Jeremy D. Scott, Mark W. Cunningham, Ashley Gnam, Tarek Ibrahim, Babbette LaMarca,
Published: 23 November 2017
Journal: Clinical Science
Clinical Science, Volume 131, pp 2753-2762; https://doi.org/10.1042/cs20171118

Abstract:
Preeclampsia is associated with hypertension, small-for-gestational-age babies, and increased cytolytic natural killer (NK) cells. The specific role of cytolytic NK cells in the pathophysiology of preeclampsia has not been clearly defined. We hypothesized that Reduced Uterine Perfusion Pressure (RUPP) stimulates proliferation and cytolytic activation of NK cells, and that reducing NK cells in RUPP would prevent hypertension, intrauterine growth restriction, and inflammation in response to placental ischemia. RUPP was induced on gestation day (GD) 14 in pregnant rats. NK cells were depleted by i.p. administration of anti-asialo GM1 antibody on GDs 15 and 17. Placental and circulating NK cells were quantified via flow cytometry, mean arterial pressure (MAP), fetal weights, and cytokines were measured on GD 19. Total placental NK cells were 7.4 ± 2% of gated cells in normal pregnant (NP; n=10) and 16.5 ± 3% of gated cells in RUPP (n=10) rats. Furthermore, cytolytic placental NK cells also increased in RUPP. Depletion of NK cells in RUPP (RUPP + anti-ASGM1) significantly improved MAP and fetal weights. MAP was 108 ± 2 mmHg in NP, 125 ± 2 mmHg in RUPP, and 112 ± 2 mmHg in RUPP + anti-ASGM1 (n=12). Fetal weight was 2.32 ± 0.05 in NP, 1.8 ± 0.04g in RUPP, and increased to 2.0 ± 0.04g in RUPP + anti-ASGM1. Placental interferon-γ (IFN-γ) was 40.4 ± 5.2 pg/mg in NP, 72.17 ± 3.2 pg/mg in RUPP, and 44.0 ± 6.5 pg/mg in RUPP + anti-ASGM1 (P<0.05). Placental tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) was 17.9 ± 1.7 pg/mg in NP, 23.9 ± 2.2 pg/mg in RUPP, and 12.9 ± 2.3 pg/mg in RUPP + anti-ASGM1 (P<0.05). Depletion of NK cells significantly lowered MAP, intrauterine growth restriction, and inflammation in RUPP rats indicating that cytolytic NK cells are important in preeclampsia pathophysiology.
Published: 13 October 2017
Journal: Clinical Science
Clinical Science, Volume 131, pp 2525-2532; https://doi.org/10.1042/cs20160722

Abstract:
Background: Findings from in vivo research may be less reliable where studies do not report measures to reduce risks of bias. The experimental stroke community has been at the forefront of implementing changes to improve reporting, but it is not known whether these efforts are associated with continuous improvements. Our aims here were firstly to validate an automated tool to assess risks of bias in published works, and secondly to assess the reporting of measures taken to reduce the risk of bias within recent literature for two experimental models of stroke. Methods: We developed and used text analytic approaches to automatically ascertain reporting of measures to reduce risk of bias from full-text articles describing animal experiments inducing middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) or modelling lacunar stroke. Results: Compared with previous assessments, there were improvements in the reporting of measures taken to reduce risks of bias in the MCAO literature but not in the lacunar stroke literature. Accuracy of automated annotation of risk of bias in the MCAO literature was 86% (randomization), 94% (blinding) and 100% (sample size calculation); and in the lacunar stroke literature accuracy was 67% (randomization), 91% (blinding) and 96% (sample size calculation). Discussion: There remains substantial opportunity for improvement in the reporting of animal research modelling stroke, particularly in the lacunar stroke literature. Further, automated tools perform sufficiently well to identify whether studies report blinded assessment of outcome, but improvements are required in the tools to ascertain whether randomization and a sample size calculation were reported.
Pauline Chenuet, Louis Fauconnier, Fahima Madouri, Tiffany Marchiol, Nathalie Rouxel, Aurélie Ledru, Pascal Mauny, Rachel Lory, Catherine Uttenhove, Jacques van Snick, et al.
Published: 13 October 2017
Journal: Clinical Science
Clinical Science, Volume 131, pp 2533-2548; https://doi.org/10.1042/cs20171034

Abstract:
T helper (Th)17 immune response participates in allergic lung inflammation and asthma is reduced in the absence of interleukin (IL)-17 in mice. Since IL-17A and IL-17F are induced and bind the shared receptor IL-17RA, we asked whether both IL-17A and IL-17F contribute to house dust mite (HDM) induced asthma. We report that allergic lung inflammation is attenuated in absence of either IL-17A or IL-17F with reduced airway hyperreactivity, eosinophilic inflammation, goblet cell hyperplasia, cytokine and chemokine production as found in absence of IL-17RA. Furthermore, specific antibody neutralization of either IL-17A or IL-17F given during the sensitization phase attenuated allergic lung inflammation and airway hyperreactivity. In vitro activation by HDM of primary dendritic cells revealed a comparable induction of CXCL1 and IL-6 expression and the response to IL-17A and IL-17F relied on IL-17RA signaling via the adaptor protein act1 in fibroblasts. Therefore, HDM-induced allergic respiratory response depends on IL-17RA via act1 signaling and inactivation of either IL-17A or IL-17F is sufficient to attenuate allergic asthma in mice.
, Abhishek Upadhyay, , , , Michael J. Danson,
Published: 14 December 2012
Biochemical Journal, Volume 449, pp 415-425; https://doi.org/10.1042/bj20121150

Abstract:
Lipoylation, the covalent attachment of lipoic acid to 2-oxoacid dehydrogenase multi-enzyme complexes, is essential for metabolism in aerobic bacteria and eukarya. In Escherichia coli, lipoylation is catalysed by LplA (lipoate protein ligase) or by LipA (lipoic acid synthetase) and LipB [lipoyl(octanoyl) transferase] combined. Whereas bacterial and eukaryotic LplAs comprise a single two-domain protein, archaeal LplA function typically involves two proteins, LplA-N and LplA-C. In the thermophilic archaeon Thermoplasma acidophilum, LplA-N and LplA-C are encoded by overlapping genes in inverted orientation (lpla-c is upstream of lpla-n). The T. acidophilum LplA-N structure is known, but the LplA-C structure is unknown and LplA-C's role in lipoylation is unclear. In the present study, we have determined the structures of the substrate-free LplA-N–LplA-C complex and E2lipD (dihydrolipoyl acyltransferase lipoyl domain) that is lipoylated by LplA-N–LplA-C, and carried out biochemical analyses of this archaeal lipoylation system. Our data reveal the following: (i) LplA-C is disordered but folds upon association with LplA-N; (ii) LplA-C induces a conformational change in LplA-N involving substantial shortening of a loop that could repress catalytic activity of isolated LplA-N; (iii) the adenylate-binding region of LplA-N–LplA-C includes two helices rather than the purely loop structure of varying order observed in other LplA structures; (iv) LplAN–LplA-C and E2lipD do not interact in the absence of substrate; (v) LplA-N–LplA-C undergoes a conformational change (the details of which are currently undetermined) during lipoylation; and (vi) LplA-N–LplA-C can utilize octanoic acid as well as lipoic acid as substrate. The elucidated functional inter-dependence of LplA-N and LplA-C is consistent with their evolutionary co-retention in archaeal genomes.
Daniel Shiu-Hin Chan, Andrew J. Whitehouse, ,
Published: 6 October 2017
Essays in biochemistry, Volume 61, pp 465-473; https://doi.org/10.1042/ebc20170071

Abstract:
Fragment-based approaches in chemical biology and drug discovery have been widely adopted worldwide in both academia and industry. Fragment hits tend to interact weakly with their targets, necessitating the use of sensitive biophysical techniques to detect their binding. Common fragment screening techniques include differential scanning fluorimetry (DSF) and ligand-observed NMR. Validation and characterization of hits is usually performed using a combination of protein-observed NMR, isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) and X-ray crystallography. In this context, MS is a relatively underutilized technique in fragment screening for drug discovery. MS-based techniques have the advantage of high sensitivity, low sample consumption and being label-free. This review highlights recent examples of the emerging use of MS-based techniques in fragment screening.
Geoffray Monteuuis, , Juha M. Kerätär, Ali J. Masud,
Published: 6 November 2017
Biochemical Journal, Volume 474, pp 3783-3797; https://doi.org/10.1042/bcj20170416

Abstract:
Mitochondrial fatty acid synthesis (mtFAS) is a highly conserved pathway essential for mitochondrial biogenesis. The mtFAS process is required for mitochondrial respiratory chain assembly and function, synthesis of the lipoic acid cofactor indispensable for the function of several mitochondrial enzyme complexes and essential for embryonic development in mice. Mutations in human mtFAS have been reported to lead to neurodegenerative disease. The source of malonyl-CoA for mtFAS in mammals has remained unclear. We report the identification of a conserved vertebrate mitochondrial isoform of ACC1 expressed from an ACACA transcript splicing variant. A specific knockdown (KD) of the corresponding transcript in mouse cells, or CRISPR/Cas9-mediated inactivation of the putative mitochondrial targeting sequence in human cells, leads to decreased lipoylation and mitochondrial fragmentation. Simultaneous KD of ACSF3, encoding a mitochondrial malonyl-CoA synthetase previously implicated in the mtFAS process, resulted in almost complete ablation of protein lipoylation, indicating that these enzymes have a redundant function in mtFAS. The discovery of a mitochondrial isoform of ACC1 required for lipoic acid synthesis has intriguing consequences for our understanding of mitochondrial disorders, metabolic regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis and cancer.
Tao Zhang, , Yi Zheng, Zhongyu Zhang, Huiting Xue, Dongyang Zhao, , Kevin H. Mayo, , Guihua Tai
Published: 9 November 2017
Biochemical Journal, Volume 474, pp 3849-3868; https://doi.org/10.1042/bcj20170143

Abstract:
Although pectin-derived polysaccharides can antagonize galectin function in various pathological disorders, the nature of their binding interactions needs to be better defined for developing them as drugs. Moreover, given their relatively large size and complexity, pectin-derived polysaccharides are also useful as model systems to assess inter-polysaccharide and protein–polysaccharide interactions. Here, we investigated interactions between galectin-3 (Gal-3) and pectin-derived polysaccharides: a rhamnogalacturonan (RG) and two homogalacturonans (HGs). BioLayer Interferometry and fluorescence-linked immunosorbent assays indicate that these polysaccharides bind Gal-3 with macroscopic or apparent KD values of 49 nM, 46 µM, and 138 µM, respectively. 15N-1H heteronuclear single quantum coherence (HSQC) NMR studies reveal that these polysaccharides interact primarily with the F-face of the Gal-3 carbohydrate recognition domain. Even though their binding to Gal-3 does not inhibit Gal-3-mediated T-cell apoptosis and only weakly attenuates hemagglutination, their combination in specific proportions increases activity synergistically along with avidity for Gal-3. This suggests that RG and HG polysaccharides act in concert, a proposal supported by polysaccharide particle size measurements and 13C-1H HSQC data. Our model has HG interacting with RG to promote increased avidity of RG for Gal-3, likely by exposing additional lectin-binding sites on the RG. Overall, the present study contributes to our understanding of how complex HG and RG polysaccharides interact with Gal-3.
Carlos-Ernesto Fernandez-García, Carlos Tarin, Raquel Roldan-Montero, Diego Martinez-Lopez, Monica Torres-Fonseca, Jes S. Lindhot, Melina Vega de Ceniga, Jesus Egido, Natalia Lopez-Andres, , et al.
Published: 6 November 2017
Journal: Clinical Science
Clinical Science, Volume 131, pp 2707-2719; https://doi.org/10.1042/cs20171142

Abstract:
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) evolution is unpredictable and no specific treatment exists for AAA, except surgery to prevent aortic rupture. Galectin-3 has been previously associated with CVD, but its potential role in AAA has not been addressed. Galectin-3 levels were increased in the plasma of AAA patients (n=225) compared with the control group (n=100). In addition, galectin-3 concentrations were associated with the need for surgical repair, independently of potential confounding factors. Galectin-3 mRNA and protein expression were increased in human AAA samples compared with healthy aortas. Experimental AAA in mice was induced via aortic elastase perfusion. Mice were treated intravenously with the galectin-3 inhibitor modified citrus pectin (MCP, 10 mg/kg, every other day) or saline. Similar to humans, galectin-3 serum and aortic mRNA levels were also increased in elastase-induced AAA mice compared with control mice. Mice treated with MCP showed decreased aortic dilation, as well as elastin degradation, vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) loss, and macrophage content at day 14 postelastase perfusion compared with control mice. The underlying mechanism(s) of the protective effect of MCP was associated with a decrease in galectin-3 and cytokine (mainly CCL5) mRNA and protein expression. Interestingly, galectin-3 induced CCL5 expression by a mechanism involving STAT3 activation in VSMC. Accordingly, MCP treatment decreased STAT3 phosphorylation in elastase-induced AAA. In conclusion, increased galectin-3 levels are associated with AAA progression, while galectin-3 inhibition decreased experimental AAA development. Our data suggest the potential role of galectin-3 as a therapeutic target in AAA.
Published: 21 November 2017
Biochemical Journal, Volume 474, pp 3951-3961; https://doi.org/10.1042/bcj20170636

Abstract:
Outer membrane (OM) β-barrel proteins play important roles in importing nutrients, exporting wastes and conducting signals in Gram-negative bacteria, mitochondria and chloroplasts. The outer membrane proteins (OMPs) are inserted and assembled into the OM by OMP85 family proteins. In Escherichia coli, the β-barrel assembly machinery (BAM) contains four lipoproteins such as BamB, BamC, BamD and BamE, and one OMP BamA, forming a ‘top hat’-like structure. Structural and functional studies of the E. coli BAM machinery have revealed that the rotation of periplasmic ring may trigger the barrel β1C–β6C scissor-like movement that promote the unfolded OMP insertion without using ATP. Here, we report the BamA C-terminal barrel structure of Salmonella enterica Typhimurium str. LT2 and functional assays, which reveal that the BamA's C-terminal residue Trp, the β16C strand of the barrel and the periplasmic turns are critical for the functionality of BamA. These findings indicate that the unique β16C strand and the periplasmic turns of BamA are important for the outer membrane insertion and assembly. The periplasmic turns might mediate the rotation of the periplasmic ring to the scissor-like movement of BamA β1C–β6C, triggering the OMP insertion. These results are important for understanding the OMP insertion in Gram-negative bacteria, as well as in mitochondria and chloroplasts.
Jessica Duncombe, Akihiro Kitamura, Yoshiki Hase, , Raj N. Kalaria,
Published: 28 September 2017
Journal: Clinical Science
Clinical Science, Volume 131, pp 2451-2468; https://doi.org/10.1042/cs20160727

Abstract:
Increasing evidence suggests that vascular risk factors contribute to neurodegeneration, cognitive impairment and dementia. While there is considerable overlap between features of vascular cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), it appears that cerebral hypoperfusion is the common underlying pathophysiological mechanism which is a major contributor to cognitive decline and degenerative processes leading to dementia. Sustained cerebral hypoperfusion is suggested to be the cause of white matter attenuation, a key feature common to both AD and dementia associated with cerebral small vessel disease (SVD). White matter changes increase the risk for stroke, dementia and disability. A major gap has been the lack of mechanistic insights into the evolution and progress of VCID. However, this gap is closing with the recent refinement of rodent models which replicate chronic cerebral hypoperfusion. In this review, we discuss the relevance and advantages of these models in elucidating the pathogenesis of VCID and explore the interplay between hypoperfusion and the deposition of amyloid β (Aβ) protein, as it relates to AD. We use examples of our recent investigations to illustrate the utility of the model in preclinical testing of candidate drugs and lifestyle factors. We propose that the use of such models is necessary for tackling the urgently needed translational gap from preclinical models to clinical treatments.
Doo Nam Kim,
Published: 5 December 2017
Bioscience reports, Volume 37; https://doi.org/10.1042/bsr20170072

Abstract:
As cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) enters mainstream structural biology, the demand for fitting methods is high. Here, we review existing flexible fitting methods for cryo-EM. We discuss their importance, potential concerns and assessment strategies. We aim to give readers concrete descriptions of cryo-EM flexible fitting methods with corresponding examples.
Ghanshyam S. Yadav, Sandeep K. Ravala, Sangita Kachhap, Meghna Thakur, Abhishek Roy, Balvinder Singh, Subramanian Karthikeyan,
Published: 15 November 2017
Bioscience reports, Volume 37; https://doi.org/10.1042/bsr20171048

Abstract:
Guanylate kinase is an essential and conserved enzyme in nucleotide biosynthetic pathway that transfers phosphoryl group of ATP to GMP for yielding GDP. Here, we report the phosphorylation of guanylate kinase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (mGmk) by eukaryotic-type Ser/Thr kinase, PknA. Mass spectrometric studies identified Thr101 and Thr169 as phosphorylatable residues in mGmk. To evaluate the significance of phosphorylation in these threonines, two point (T101A and T169A) and one double (T101A-T169A) mutants were generated. The kinase assay with these mutant proteins revealed the major contribution of Thr169 compared with Thr101 in the phosphorylation of mGmk. Kinetic analysis indicated that p-mGmk was deficient in its enzymatic activity compared with that of its un-phosphorylated counterpart. Surprisingly, its phosphoablated (T169A) as well as phosphomimic (T169E) variants exhibited decreased activity as was observed with p-mGmk. Structural analysis suggested that phosphorylation of Thr169 might affect its interaction with Arg166, which is crucial for the functioning of mGmk. In fact, the R166A and R166K mutant proteins displayed a drastic decrease in enzymatic activity compared with that of the wild-type mGmk. Molecular dynamics (MD) studies of mGmk revealed that upon phosphorylation of Thr169, the interactions of Arg165/Arg166 with Glu158, Asp121 and residues of the loop in GMP-binding domain are perturbed. Taken together, our results illuminate the mechanistic insights into phosphorylation-mediated modulation of the catalytic activity of mGmk.
Ana Krhac Levacic, Stephan Morys,
Published: 31 October 2017
Bioscience reports, Volume 37; https://doi.org/10.1042/bsr20160617

Abstract:
Nucleic acid molecules are important therapeutic agents in the field of antisense oligonucleotide, RNA interference, and gene therapies. Since nucleic acids are not able to cross cell membranes and enter efficiently into cells on their own, the development of efficient, safe, and precise delivery systems is the crucial challenge for development of nucleic acid therapeutics. For the delivery of nucleic acids to their intracellular site of action, either the cytosol or the nucleus, several extracellular and intracellular barriers have to be overcome. Multifunctional carriers may handle the different special requirements of each barrier. The complexity of such macromolecules however poses a new hurdle in medical translation, which is the chemical production in reproducible and well-defined form. Solid-phase assisted synthesis (SPS) presents a solution for this challenge. The current review provides an overview on the design and SPS of precise sequence-defined synthetic carriers for nucleic acid cargos.
, , Manuela Magnusdóttir, Bernhard Ø. Palsson,
Published: 14 December 2012
Biochemical Journal, Volume 449, pp 427-435; https://doi.org/10.1042/bj20120980

Abstract:
Metabolic network reconstructions define metabolic information within a target organism and can therefore be used to address incomplete metabolic information. In the present study we used a computational approach to identify human metabolites whose metabolism is incomplete on the basis of their detection in humans but exclusion from the human metabolic network reconstruction RECON 1. Candidate solutions, composed of metabolic reactions capable of explaining the metabolism of these compounds, were then identified computationally from a global biochemical reaction database. Solutions were characterized with respect to how metabolites were incorporated into RECON 1 and their biological relevance. Through detailed case studies we show that biologically plausible non-intuitive hypotheses regarding the metabolism of these compounds can be proposed in a semi-automated manner, in an approach that is similar to de novo network reconstruction. We subsequently experimentally validated one of the proposed hypotheses and report that C9orf103, previously identified as a candidate tumour suppressor gene, encodes a functional human gluconokinase. The results of the present study demonstrate how semi-automatic gap filling can be used to refine and extend metabolic reconstructions, thereby increasing their biological scope. Furthermore, we illustrate how incomplete human metabolic knowledge can be coupled with gene annotation in order to prioritize and confirm gene functions.
, Chris Tasker, Elena Theophilidou, ,
Published: 25 October 2017
Journal: Clinical Science
Clinical Science, Volume 131, pp 2611-2626; https://doi.org/10.1042/cs20171288

Abstract:
Objective: We sought to quantify the anti-inflammatory effects of two cannabinoid drugs, cannabidiol (CBD) and palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), in cultured cell lines and compared this effect with experimentally inflamed explant human colonic tissue. These effects were explored in acutely and chronically inflamed colon, using inflammatory bowel disease and appendicitis explants.Design: Caco-2 cells and human colonic explants collected from elective bowel cancer, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or acute appendicitis resections, and were treated with the following drug treatments: vehicle, an inflammatory protocol of interferon γ (IFNγ) and tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα; 10 ng/ml), inflammation and PEA (10 µM), inflammation and CBD (10 µM), and PEA or CBD alone, CBD or vehicle were added simultaneously with IFNγ. Nine intracellular signalling phosphoproteins were determined by multiplex. Inflammatory cytokine secretion was determined using ELISA. Receptor mechanisms were investigated using antagonists for CB1, CB2, PPARα, PPARγ, TRPV1 and GPR55.Results: IFNγ and TNFα treatment increased phosphoprotein and cytokine levels in Caco-2 cultures and colonic explants. Phosphoprotein levels were significantly reduced by PEA or CBD in Caco-2 cultures and colonic explants. CBD and PEA prevented increases in cytokine production in explant colon, but not in Caco-2 cells. CBD effects were blocked by the CB2 antagonist AM630 and TRPV1 antagonist SB366791. PEA effects were blocked by the PPARα antagonist GW6471. PEA and CBD were anti-inflammatory in IBD and appendicitis explants.Conclusion: PEA and CBD are anti-inflammatory in the human colon. This effect is not seen in cultured epithelial cells. Appropriately sized clinical trials should assess their efficacy.
, Si-Jun Yang, Hong-Min Chen, Fang-Fang Peng, Hong Yu, Joan C. Kreprinsky,
Published: 27 October 2017
Bioscience reports, Volume 37; https://doi.org/10.1042/bsr20171061

Abstract:
Little is known about the cross-talk between parathyroid hormone (PTH) related protein (PTHrP) and TGF-β1 in mesangial cells (MCs). Our results showed that PTHrP treatment (≤3 h) induced internalization of PTH1R (PTH/PTHrP receptor)–TβRII (TGF-β type 2 receptor) complex and suppressed TGF-β1-mediated Smad2/3 activation and fibronectin (FN) up-regulation. However, prolonged PTHrP treatment (12–48 h) failed to induce PTH1R–TβRII association and internalization. Total protein levels of PTH1R and TβRII were unaffected by PTHrP treatment. These results suggest that internalization of PTH1R and TβRII after short PTHrP treatment might not lead to their proteolytic destruction, allowing the receptors to be recycled back to the plasma membrane during prolonged PTHrP exposure. Receptor re-expression at the cell surface allows PTHrP to switch from its initial inhibitory effect to promote induction of FN. Our study thus demonstrates the dual roles of PTHrP on TGF-β1 signaling and FN up-regulation for the first time in glomerular MCs. These data also provided new insights to guide development of therapy for diabetic kidney disease (DKD).
, Jia-Xin Zhang, Jing-Ping Wu, Ying-Hua Xu
Published: 12 December 2017
Bioscience reports, Volume 37; https://doi.org/10.1042/bsr20170818

Abstract:
Ovarian cancer is one of the most lethal gynecologic malignancies in women. Isoflurane is one of the volatile anesthetics used extensively for inhalational anesthesia and gynecological surgery. However, the effects of isoflurane on ovarian cancer have not been fully elucidated. It is widely studied that one of the biochemical fingerprints of cancer cells is the altered energy metabolism which is characterized by preferential dependence on glycolysis for energy production in an oxygen-independent manner. In the present study, we explored the roles of isoflurane in the regulation of cellular metabolism of ovarian cancer cells. We observed the glucose uptake, lactate production and extracellular acidification of two ovarian cancer cell lines, SKOV3 and TOV21G were significantly stimulated by isoflurane treatments at 1 and 2 h. The glycolysis enzymes, HK2, PKM2, and LDHA were up-regulated by isoflurane. We report that miR-21 was induced by isoflurane treatments in ovarian cancer cells, leading to the elevated AKT phosphorylation and up-regulation of glycolysis enzymes. In contrast, the mitochondrial functions were suppressed by isoflurane treatments: the oxygen consumption, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), and activities of complex I, II, and IV on the electron transport chain were significantly decreased under isoflurane treatments. Importantly, ovarian cancer cells become hypersensitive to glycolysis inhibitors with isoflurane pretreatments. The present study demonstrates that isoflurane treatments drive a metabolic switch of ovarian cancer cells and contributes to the discovery and development of clinical therapeutic agents against ovarian cancer.
Rachel E. Heap, Megan S. Gant, Frederic Lamoliatte, Julien Peltier,
Published: 22 September 2017
Biochemical Society Transactions, Volume 45, pp 1137-1148; https://doi.org/10.1042/bst20170091

Abstract:
Post-translational control of proteins through covalent attachment of ubiquitin plays important roles in all eukaryotic cell functions. The ubiquitin system in humans consists of 2 E1, 35 E2 and >600 E3 ubiquitin ligases as well as hundreds of deubiquitylases, which reverse ubiquitin attachment. Moreover, there are hundreds of proteins with ubiquitin-binding domains that bind one of the eight possible polyubiquitin chains. Dysfunction of the ubiquitin system is associated with many diseases such as cancer, autoimmunity and neurodegeneration, demonstrating the importance of ubiquitylation. Therefore, enzymes of the ubiquitin system are considered highly attractive drug targets. In recent years, mass spectrometry (MS)-based techniques have become increasingly important in the deciphering of the ubiquitin system. This short review addresses the state-of-the-art MS techniques for the identification of ubiquitylated proteins and their ubiquitylation sites. We also discuss the identification and quantitation of ubiquitin chain topologies and highlight how the activity of enzymes in the ubiquitin pathway can be measured. Finally, we present current MS tools that can be used for drug discovery in the ubiquitin space.
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