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On February 23, 2018, PubMed Central Canada (PMC Canada) will be taken offline permanently. No author manuscripts will be deleted, and the approximately 2,900 manuscripts authored by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-funded researchers currently in the archive will be copied to the National Research Council’s (NRC) Digital Repository over the coming months. These manuscripts along with all other content will also remain publicly searchable on PubMed Central (US) and Europe PubMed Central, meaning such manuscripts will continue to be compliant with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.

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Results 1-6 (6)
 

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author:(Liliane J dable)
1.  A Parkinson's disease gene regulatory network identifies the signaling protein RGS2 as a modulator of LRRK2 activity and neuronal toxicity 
Human Molecular Genetics  2014;23(18):4887-4905.
Mutations in LRRK2 are one of the primary genetic causes of Parkinson's disease (PD). LRRK2 contains a kinase and a GTPase domain, and familial PD mutations affect both enzymatic activities. However, the signaling mechanisms regulating LRRK2 and the pathogenic effects of familial mutations remain unknown. Identifying the signaling proteins that regulate LRRK2 function and toxicity remains a critical goal for the development of effective therapeutic strategies. In this study, we apply systems biology tools to human PD brain and blood transcriptomes to reverse-engineer a LRRK2-centered gene regulatory network. This network identifies several putative master regulators of LRRK2 function. In particular, the signaling gene RGS2, which encodes for a GTPase-activating protein (GAP), is a key regulatory hub connecting the familial PD-associated genes DJ-1 and PINK1 with LRRK2 in the network. RGS2 expression levels are reduced in the striata of LRRK2 and sporadic PD patients. We identify RGS2 as a novel interacting partner of LRRK2 in vivo. RGS2 regulates both the GTPase and kinase activities of LRRK2. We show in mammalian neurons that RGS2 regulates LRRK2 function in the control of neuronal process length. RGS2 is also protective against neuronal toxicity of the most prevalent mutation in LRRK2, G2019S. We find that RGS2 regulates LRRK2 function and neuronal toxicity through its effects on kinase activity and independently of GTPase activity, which reveals a novel mode of action for GAP proteins. This work identifies RGS2 as a promising target for interfering with neurodegeneration due to LRRK2 mutations in PD patients.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddu202
PMCID: PMC4140468  PMID: 24794857
2.  Manufacturing and Characterization of a Recombinant Adeno-Associated Virus Type 8 Reference Standard Material 
Human Gene Therapy  2014;25(11):977-987.
Abstract
Gene therapy approaches using recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 2 (rAAV2) and serotype 8 (rAAV8) have achieved significant clinical benefits. The generation of rAAV Reference Standard Materials (RSM) is key to providing points of reference for particle titer, vector genome titer, and infectious titer for gene transfer vectors. Following the example of the rAAV2RSM, here we have generated and characterized a novel RSM based on rAAV serotype 8. The rAAV8RSM was produced using transient transfection, and the purification was based on density gradient ultracentrifugation. The rAAV8RSM was distributed for characterization along with standard assay protocols to 16 laboratories worldwide. Mean titers and 95% confidence intervals were determined for capsid particles (mean, 5.50×1011 pt/ml; CI, 4.26×1011 to 6.75×1011 pt/ml), vector genomes (mean, 5.75×1011 vg/ml; CI, 3.05×1011 to 1.09×1012 vg/ml), and infectious units (mean, 1.26×109 IU/ml; CI, 6.46×108 to 2.51×109 IU/ml). Notably, there was a significant degree of variation between institutions for each assay despite the relatively tight correlation of assay results within an institution. This outcome emphasizes the need to use RSMs to calibrate the titers of rAAV vectors in preclinical and clinical studies at a time when the field is maturing rapidly. The rAAV8RSM has been deposited at the American Type Culture Collection (VR-1816) and is available to the scientific community.
doi:10.1089/hum.2014.057
PMCID: PMC4236062  PMID: 25275822
3.  Conditional Expression of Parkinson's Disease-Related R1441C LRRK2 in Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons of Mice Causes Nuclear Abnormalities without Neurodegeneration 
Neurobiology of disease  2014;71:345-358.
Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene cause late-onset, autosomal dominant Parkinson's disease (PD). The clinical and neurochemical features of LRRK2-linked PD are similar to idiopathic disease although neuropathology is somewhat heterogeneous. Dominant mutations in LRRK2 precipitate neurodegeneration through a toxic gain-of-function mechanism which can be modeled in transgenic mice overexpressing human LRRK2 variants. A number of LRRK2 transgenic mouse models have been developed that display abnormalities in dopaminergic neurotransmission and alterations in tau metabolism yet without consistently inducing dopaminergic neurodegeneration. To directly explore the impact of mutant LRRK2 on the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway, we developed conditional transgenic mice that selectively express human R1441C LRRK2 in dopaminergic neurons from the endogenous murine ROSA26 promoter. The expression of R1441C LRRK2 does not induce the degeneration of substantia nigra dopaminergic neurons or striatal dopamine deficits in mice up to 2 years of age, and fails to precipitate abnormal protein inclusions containing alpha-synuclein, tau, ubiquitin or autophagy markers (LC3 and p62). Furthermore, mice expressing R1441C LRRK2 exhibit normal motor activity and olfactory function with increasing age. Intriguingly, the expression of R1441C LRRK2 induces age-dependent abnormalities of the nuclear envelope in nigral dopaminergic neurons including reduced nuclear circularity and increased invaginations of the nuclear envelope. In addition, R1441C LRRK2 mice display increased neurite complexity of cultured midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Collectively, these novel R1441C LRRK2 conditional transgenic mice reveal altered dopaminergic neuronal morphology with advancing age, and provide a useful tool for exploring the pathogenic mechanisms underlying the R1441C LRRK2 mutation in PD.
doi:10.1016/j.nbd.2014.08.027
PMCID: PMC4455551  PMID: 25174890
4.  A novel thermostable xylanase GH10 from Malbranchea pulchella expressed in Aspergillus nidulans with potential applications in biotechnology 
Background
The search for novel thermostable xylanases for industrial use has intensified in recent years, and thermophilic fungi are a promising source of useful enzymes. The present work reports the heterologous expression and biochemical characterization of a novel thermostable xylanase (GH10) from the thermophilic fungus Malbranchea pulchella, the influence of glycosylation on its stability, and a potential application in sugarcane bagasse hydrolysis.
Results
Xylanase MpXyn10A was overexpressed in Aspergillus nidulans and was active against birchwood xylan, presenting an optimum activity at pH 5.8 and 80°C. MpXyn10A was 16% glycosylated and thermostable, preserving 85% activity after 24 hours at 65°C, and deglycosylation did not affect thermostability. Circular dichroism confirmed the high alpha-helical content consistent with the canonical GH10 family (β/α)8 barrel fold observed in molecular modeling. Primary structure analysis revealed the existence of eight cysteine residues which could be involved in four disulfide bonds, and this could explain the high thermostability of this enzyme even in the deglycosylated form. MpXyn10A showed promising results in biomass degradation, increasing the amount of reducing sugars in bagasse in natura and in three pretreated sugarcane bagasses.
Conclusions
MpXyn10A was successfully secreted in Aspergillus nidulans, and a potential use for sugarcane bagasse biomass degradation was demonstrated.
doi:10.1186/1754-6834-7-115
PMCID: PMC4364333  PMID: 25788980
Xylanase; Malbranchea; Glycosylation; Heterologous expression; Thermostability; Biomass degradation; Sugarcane bagasse
5.  Parkinson's disease-linked mutations in VPS35 induce dopaminergic neurodegeneration 
Human Molecular Genetics  2014;23(17):4621-4638.
Mutations in the vacuolar protein sorting 35 homolog (VPS35) gene at the PARK17 locus, encoding a key component of the retromer complex, were recently identified as a new cause of late-onset, autosomal dominant Parkinson's disease (PD). Here we explore the pathogenic consequences of PD-associated mutations in VPS35 using a number of model systems. VPS35 exhibits a broad neuronal distribution throughout the rodent brain, including within the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway. In the human brain, VPS35 protein levels and distribution are similar in tissues from control and PD subjects, and VPS35 is not associated with Lewy body pathology. The common D620N missense mutation in VPS35 does not compromise its protein stability or localization to endosomal and lysosomal vesicles, or the vesicular sorting of the retromer cargo, sortilin, SorLA and cation-independent mannose 6-phosphate receptor, in rodent primary neurons or patient-derived human fibroblasts. In yeast we show that PD-linked VPS35 mutations are functional and can normally complement VPS35 null phenotypes suggesting that they do not result in a loss-of-function. In rat primary cortical cultures the overexpression of human VPS35 induces neuronal cell death and increases neuronal vulnerability to PD-relevant cellular stress. In a novel viral-mediated gene transfer rat model, the expression of D620N VPS35 induces the marked degeneration of substantia nigra dopaminergic neurons and axonal pathology, a cardinal pathological hallmark of PD. Collectively, these studies establish that dominant VPS35 mutations lead to neurodegeneration in PD consistent with a gain-of-function mechanism, and support a key role for VPS35 in the development of PD.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddu178
PMCID: PMC4119414  PMID: 24740878
6.  Integrin CD11b positively regulates TLR4-induced signalling pathways in dendritic cells but not in macrophages 
Nature Communications  2014;5:3039.
Tuned and distinct responses of macrophages and dendritic cells to Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) activation induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) underpin the balance between innate and adaptive immunity. However, the molecule(s) that confer these cell-type-specific LPS-induced effects remain poorly understood. Here we report that the integrin αM (CD11b) positively regulates LPS-induced signalling pathways selectively in myeloid dendritic cells but not in macrophages. In dendritic cells, which express lower levels of CD14 and TLR4 than macrophages, CD11b promotes MyD88-dependent and MyD88-independent signalling pathways. In particular, in dendritic cells CD11b facilitates LPS-induced TLR4 endocytosis and is required for the subsequent signalling in the endosomes. Consistent with this, CD11b deficiency dampens dendritic cell-mediated TLR4-triggered responses in vivo leading to impaired T-cell activation. Thus, by modulating the trafficking and signalling functions of TLR4 in a cell-type-specific manner CD11b fine tunes the balance between adaptive and innate immune responses initiated by LPS.
The signalling pathways that confer differences in the responses of dendritic cells and macrophages to LPS remain poorly understood. Here, Ling et al. report that the integrin C11b is required for LPS-induced TLR4 trafficking and signalling in dendritic cells but not in macrophages.
doi:10.1038/ncomms4039
PMCID: PMC3905776  PMID: 24423728

Results 1-6 (6)