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1.  Deletion of LRP5 in VLDLR Knockout Mice Inhibits Retinal Neovascularization 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e75186.
The development and maintenance of retinal vasculature require a precise balance between pro-angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors. However, mechanisms underlying normal homeostasis of retinal vasculature and pathological changes of disrupted retinal vessel development are not fully understood. Recent studies of the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 (LRP5) and the very low-density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR) mutant mice indicate that LRP5 mediates a pro-angiogenic signal while VLDLR mediates an anti-angiogenic signal in retinal vasculature. Mice with a loss of LRP5 display underdeveloped intraretinal vasculature associated with endothelial cell (EC) clustering and failed EC migration into deep retinal layers. In contrast, VLDLR knockout mice show overgrown intraretinal vasculature and subretinal neovascularization. To understand the mechanisms for the opposite retinal vascular abnormalities between LRP5 and VLDLR mutant mice and to test how a loss of LRP5 perturbs subretinal neovascularization caused by a loss of VLDLR, we have generated and characterized the retinal vasculature in LRP5/VLDLR double knockout (DKO) mice. Our data show that DKO mice develop substantial EC clustering without subretinal neovascularization. The absence of subretinal neovascularization in DKO mice is associated with inhibited migration of ECs into the photoreceptor cell layer. In addition, the transcription level of Slc38a5, which encodes a Müller cell specific glutamine transporter, is significantly reduced in DKO mice, similar to previously reported changes in LRP5 single knockout mice. Thus, LRP5 signaling is a prerequisite for neovascularization in VLDLR knockout mice. LRP5 may be an effective target for inhibiting intraretinal neovascularization.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075186
PMCID: PMC3772893  PMID: 24058663
2.  Retinal Expression of Wnt-Pathway Mediated Genes in Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor-Related Protein 5 (Lrp5) Knockout Mice 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(1):e30203.
Mutations in low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 (Lrp5) impair retinal angiogenesis in patients with familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (FEVR), a rare type of blinding vascular eye disease. The defective retinal vasculature phenotype in human FEVR patients is recapitulated in Lrp5 knockout (Lrp5−/−) mouse with delayed and incomplete development of retinal vessels. In this study we examined gene expression changes in the developing Lrp5−/− mouse retina to gain insight into the molecular mechanisms that underlie the pathology of FEVR in humans. Gene expression levels were assessed with an Illumina microarray on total RNA from Lrp5−/− and WT retinas isolated on postnatal day (P) 8. Regulated genes were confirmed using RT-qPCR analysis. Consistent with a role in vascular development, we identified expression changes in genes involved in cell-cell adhesion, blood vessel morphogenesis and membrane transport in Lrp5−/− retina compared to WT retina. In particular, tight junction protein claudin5 and amino acid transporter slc38a5 are both highly down-regulated in Lrp5−/− retina. Similarly, several Wnt ligands including Wnt7b show decreased expression levels. Plasmalemma vesicle associated protein (plvap), an endothelial permeability marker, in contrast, is up-regulated consistent with increased permeability in Lrp5−/− retinas. Together these data suggest that Lrp5 regulates multiple groups of genes that influence retinal angiogenesis and may contribute to the pathogenesis of FEVR.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030203
PMCID: PMC3260226  PMID: 22272305
3.  Normal Development and Fertility of Knockout Mice Lacking the Tumor Suppressor Gene LRP1b Suggest Functional Compensation by LRP1 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2004;24(9):3782-3793.
LRP1b and the closely related LRP1 are large members of the low-density lipoprotein receptor family. At the protein level LRP1b is 55% identical to LRP1, a multifunctional and developmentally essential receptor with roles in cargo transport and cellular signaling. Somatic LRP1b mutations frequently occur in non-small cell lung cancer and urothelial cancers, suggesting a role in the modulation of cellular growth. In contrast to LRP1, LRP1b-deficient mice develop normally, most likely due to its restricted expression pattern and functional compensation by LRP1 or other receptors. LRP1b is expressed predominantly in the brain, and a differentially spliced form is present in the adrenal gland and in the testis. Despite the presence of a potential furin cleavage site and in contrast to LRP1, immunoblotting for LRP1b reveals the presence of a single 600-kDa polypeptide species. Using a yeast two-hybrid approach, we have identified two intracellular proteins, the postsynaptic density protein 95 and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor-interacting protein, that bind to the intracellular domain of LRP1b. In addition, we have found several potential ligands that bind to the extracellular domain. Analysis of LRP1b knockout mice may provide further insights into the role of LRP1b as a tumor suppressor and into the mechanisms of cancer development.
doi:10.1128/MCB.24.9.3782-3793.2004
PMCID: PMC387731  PMID: 15082773
4.  Cbfa1-independent decrease in osteoblast proliferation, osteopenia, and persistent embryonic eye vascularization in mice deficient in Lrp5, a Wnt coreceptor 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2002;157(2):303-314.
The low-density lipoprotein receptor–related protein (Lrp)-5 functions as a Wnt coreceptor. Here we show that mice with a targeted disruption of Lrp5 develop a low bone mass phenotype. In vivo and in vitro analyses indicate that this phenotype becomes evident postnatally, and demonstrate that it is secondary to decreased osteoblast proliferation and function in a Cbfa1-independent manner. Lrp5 is expressed in osteoblasts and is required for optimal Wnt signaling in osteoblasts. In addition, Lrp5-deficient mice display persistent embryonic eye vascularization due to a failure of macrophage-induced endothelial cell apoptosis. These results implicate Wnt proteins in the postnatal control of vascular regression and bone formation, two functions affected in many diseases. Moreover, these features recapitulate human osteoporosis-pseudoglioma syndrome, caused by LRP5 inactivation.
doi:10.1083/jcb.200201089
PMCID: PMC2199263  PMID: 11956231
low bone mass; blindness; Wnt; osteoblast function; vascular regression
5.  Immunohistochemical localization of low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 and α2-Macroglobulin in retinal and choroidal tissue of proliferative retinopathies 
Experimental eye research  2010;91(2):264-272.
The immunolocalization of the low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) and its ligand alpha 2-Macroglobulin (α2M) was examined in tissues from human donor eyes of normal, diabetic and sickle cell disease subjects. Streptavidin alkaline phosphatase immunohistochemistry was performed with a mouse anti-human LRP1 and rabbit anti-human α2M antibodies. Retinal and choroidal blood vessels were labeled with mouse anti-human CD34 antibody in adjacent tissue sections. Mean scores for immunostaining from the pathological and control eyes were statistically compared.
LRP1 immunoreactivity was very weak to negative in the neural retina of normal subjects except in scattered astrocytes. LRP1 expression in diabetic eyes was detected in the inner limiting membrane (ILM), astrocytes, inner photoreceptor matrix, choriocapillaris and choroidal stroma. The ligand α2M, however, was limited mainly to blood vessel walls, some areas of the inner nuclear layer (INL), photoreceptors, RPE-Bruch’s membrane–choriocapillaris complex, intercapillary septa, and choroidal stroma. In sickle cell eyes, avascular and vascular retina as well as choroidal neovascularization (CNV) were analyzed. In avascular areas, LRP1 immunoreactivity was in innermost retina (presumably ILM, astrocytes, and Muller cells) and INL as well as RPE–Bruch’s membrane–choriocapillaris complex and choroidal stroma. α2M was very weak in avascular peripheral retina compared to vascularized areas and limited to stroma in choroid. In contrast, in areas with CNV, LRP1 immunoreactivity was significantly decreased in overlying retina and in RPE–Bruch’s membrane and choroidal stroma compared to the controls, while α2M was elevated in RPE–Bruch’s membrane near CNV compared to normal areas in sickle cell choroid. The mean scores revealed that LRP1 and α2M in neural retina were significantly elevated in astrocytes and ILM in diabetic eyes (p ≤ 0.05), whereas in sickle cell eyes scores were elevated in ILM and INL (p ≤ 0.05). In addition, α2M immunoreactivity was in photoreceptors in both ischemic retinopathies. In choroid, the patterns of LRP1 and α2M expression were different and not coincident.
This is the first demonstration of the presence of LRP1 and α2M in human proliferative retinopathies. Elevated LRP1 expression in sickle cell neural retina and diabetic inner retina and choroid suggests that LRP1 plays an important role in ischemic neovascular diseases.
doi:10.1016/j.exer.2010.05.017
PMCID: PMC2907439  PMID: 20561980
α2-Macroglobulin; LRP1; Diabetes Mellitus; Sickle cell disease; Ischemia
6.  Norrin, Frizzled4, and Lrp5 signaling in endothelial cells controls a genetic program for retinal vascularization 
Cell  2009;139(2):285-298.
SUMMARY
Disorders of vascular structure and function play a central role in a wide variety of CNS diseases. Mutations in the Frizzled4 (Fz4) receptor, Lrp5 co-receptor, or Norrin ligand cause retinal hypovascularization, but the role of Norrin/Fz4/Lrp signaling in vascular development has not been defined. Using mouse genetic and cell culture models, we show that loss of Fz4 signaling in endothelial cells causes defective vascular growth, which leads to chronic but reversible silencing of retinal neurons. Loss of Fz4 in all endothelial cells disrupts the blood brain barrier in the cerebellum, while excessive Fz4 signaling disrupts embryonic angiogenesis. Sox17, a transcription factor that is up-regulated by Norrin/Fz4/Lrp signaling, plays a central role in inducing the angiogenic program controlled by Norrin/Fz4/Lrp. These experiments establish a cellular basis for retinal hypovascularization diseases due to insufficient Frizzled signaling, and they suggest a broader role for Frizzled signaling in vascular growth, remodeling, maintenance, and disease.
doi:10.1016/j.cell.2009.07.047
PMCID: PMC2779707  PMID: 19837032
7.  Wnt7b Activates Canonical Signaling in Epithelial and Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells through Interactions with Fzd1, Fzd10, and LRP5 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2005;25(12):5022-5030.
Wnt7b is a Wnt ligand that has been demonstrated to play critical roles in several developmental processes, including lung airway and vascular development and chorion-allantois fusion during placental development. Wnt signaling involves the binding of Wnt ligands to cell surface receptors of the frizzled family and coreceptors of the LRP5/6 family. However, little is known of the ligand-receptor specificity exhibited by different Wnts, Fzds, and LRPs in Wnt signaling. Expression analysis of Fzds and LRP5/6 in the developing lung and vasculature showed that Fzd1, -4, -7, and -10 and LRP5/6 are expressed in tissue-specific patterns during lung development. Fzd1, -4, and -7 are expressed primarily in the developing lung mesenchyme, and Fzd10 is expressed in airway epithelium. LRP5 and LRP6 are expressed in airway epithelium during lung development, whereas LRP5 but not LRP6 expression is observed in the muscular component of large blood vessels, including the aorta. Cell transfection studies demonstrate that Wnt7b can activate the canonical Wnt pathway but not the noncanonical Wnt pathway in a cell-specific manner. Biochemical analysis demonstrates that Wnt7b can bind to Fzd1 and -10 on the cell surface and cooperatively activate canonical Wnt signaling with these receptors in the presence of LRP5. Together, these data demonstrate that Wnt7b signals through Fzd1 and -10 and LRP5 and implicate these Wnt coreceptors in the regulation of lung airway and vascular development.
doi:10.1128/MCB.25.12.5022-5030.2005
PMCID: PMC1140585  PMID: 15923619
8.  The low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1: Unique tissue-specific functions revealed by selective gene knockout studies 
Physiological reviews  2008;88(3):887-918.
The low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor-related protein (originally called LRP, but now referred to as LRP1) is a large endocytic receptor that is widely expressed in several tissues. LRP1 is a member of the LDL receptor family that plays diverse roles in various biological processes including lipoprotein metabolism, degradation of proteases, activation of lysosomal enzymes and cellular entry of bacterial toxins and viruses. Deletion of the LRP1 gene leads to lethality in mice, revealing a critical, but as of yet, undefined role in development. Tissue-specific gene deletion studies reveal an important contribution of LRP1 in the vasculature, central nervous system, in macrophages and in adipocytes. Three important properties of LRP1 dictate its diverse role in physiology: first, its ability to recognize more than thirty distinct ligands; second, its ability to bind a large number of cytoplasmic adaptor proteins via determinants located on its cytoplasmic domain in a phosphorylation-specific manner; and third, its ability to associate with and modulate the activity of other transmembrane receptors such as integrins and receptor tyrosine kinases.
doi:10.1152/physrev.00033.2007
PMCID: PMC2744109  PMID: 18626063
9.  Smooth Muscle LDL Receptor-related Protein-1 Inactivation Reduces Vascular Reactivity and Promotes Injury-induced Neointima Formation 
Objective
Defective smooth muscle expression of LDL receptor-related protein-1 (Lrp1) increases atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic mice. This study explored the importance of smooth muscle Lrp1 expression under normolipidemic conditions.
Methods and Results
Smooth muscle cells isolated from control (smLrp1+/+) and smooth muscle-specific Lrp1 knockout (smLrp1−/−) mice were characterized based on morphology, smooth muscle marker protein expression levels, and growth rates in vitro. Vascular functions were assessed by aortic constrictive response to agonist stimulation in situ and neointimal hyperplasia to carotid arterial injury in vivo. The smLrp1−/− smooth muscle cells displayed reduced α-actin and calponin expression and an accelerated growth rate due to sustained phosphorylation of platelet derived growth factor receptor (PRGFR) and protein kinase B/Akt. Vasoconstrictive response to agonist stimulation was impaired in aortic rings isolated from smLrp1−/− mice. Injury-induced neointimal hyperplasia was significantly increased in smLrp1−/−mice. The increase in neointima was associated with corresponding elevated activation of PDGFR signaling pathway.
Conclusions
Smooth muscle expression of Lrp1 is important in maintaining normal vascular functions under normolipidemic conditions. The absence of Lrp1 expression results in greater smooth muscle cell proliferation, deficient contractile protein expression, impairment of vascular contractility, and promotion of denudation-induced neointimal hyperplasia.
doi:10.1161/ATVBAHA.109.194357
PMCID: PMC2766037  PMID: 19729608
Lipoprotein receptors; Smooth muscle cell phenotype; Vasocontractility; Growth factor receptor signaling
10.  Distinct Roles of Muscle and Motoneuron LRP4 in Neuromuscular Junction Formation 
Neuron  2012;75(1):94-107.
SUMMARY
Neuromuscular junction (NMJ) formation requires precise interaction between motoneurons and muscle fibers. LRP4 is a receptor of agrin that is thought to act incis to stimulate MuSK in muscle fibers for postsynaptic differentiation. Here we dissected the roles of LRP4 in muscle fibers and motoneurons in NMJ formation by cell-specific mutation. Studies of muscle-specific mutants suggest that LRP4 is involved in deciding where to form AChR clusters in muscle fibers, postsynaptic differentiation, and axon terminal development. LRP4 in HEK293 cells increased synapsin or SV2 puncta in contacting axons of co-cultured neurons, suggesting a synaptogenic function. Analysis of LRP4 muscle and motoneuron double mutants and mechanistic studies suggest that NMJ formation may also be regulated by LRP4 in motoneurons, which could serve as agrin’s receptor in trans to induce AChR clusters. These observations uncovered distinct roles of LRP4 in motoneurons and muscles in NMJ development.
doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2012.04.033
PMCID: PMC3422364  PMID: 22794264
11.  Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor-related Protein 1 Promotes Cancer Cell Migration and Invasion by Inducing the Expression of Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 and 9 
Cancer research  2009;69(3):879-886.
The low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) is a multifunctional endocytic receptor involved in the metabolism of various extracellular ligands including proteinases that play critical roles in tumor invasion. Although several studies have demonstrated an increased expression of LRP1 in cancer cells, its function in tumor development and progression remains largely unclear. Here, we reveal a novel mechanism by which LRP1 induces the expression of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) and MMP9 and thereby promotes the migration and invasion of human glioblastoma U87 cells. Knockdown of LRP1 expression greatly decreased U87 cell migration and invasion, which was rescued by forced expression of a functional LRP1 minireceptor. Inhibition of ligand binding to LRP1 by a specific antagonist RAP also led to reduced cancer cell migration and invasion. Because MMPs play critical roles in cancer cell migration and invasion, we examined the expression of several MMPs and found that the expression of functional MMP2 and MMP9 was selectively decreased in LRP1-knockdown cells. More importantly, decreased cell migration and invasion of LRP1-knockdown cells were completely rescued by exogenous expression of MMP2 or MMP9, suggesting that these MMPs are likely downstream targets of LRP1-mediated signaling. We further show that the level of phosphorylated ERK was significantly decreased in LRP1-silenced cells, suggesting that ERK is a potential mediator of LRP1-regulated MMP2 and MMP9 expression in U87 cells. Together, our data strongly suggest that LRP1 promotes glioblastoma cell migration and invasion by regulating the expression and function of MMP2 and MMP9 perhaps via an ERK-dependent signaling pathway.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-3379
PMCID: PMC2633434  PMID: 19176371
LRP1; U87 glioblastoma; invasion; MMP2; MMP9
12.  Mutation in EGFP domain of LRP6 impairs cellular LDL Clearance 
Circulation research  2008;103(11):1280-1288.
Mutation in the EGFP domain of LDL receptor-related protein 6 (LRP6R611C) is associated with hypercholesterolemia and early-onset atherosclerosis, but the mechanism by which it causes disease is not known.
Cholesterol uptake was examined in cells from LRP6 +/− mice and LRP6R611C mutation carriers. Splenic B cells of LRP6 +/− mice have significantly lower LRP6 expression and LDL uptake than those of the wildtype (WT) littermates. Although similar levels of total LRP6 were found in lymphoblastoid cells (LCLs) of LRP6R611C mutation carriers and those of the unaffected family member, LDL uptake was significantly lower in the mutant cells. Mutant and wildtype receptors show similar affinities for apoB at neutral pH. LRP6 colocalized with LDL and was coimmunoprecipitated with NPC1, an endocytic regulator of LDL trafficking. However, the cellular localization of LRP6 in the mutant cells shifted from cell surface to late endosomes/lysosomes. Plasma membrane expression levels of LRP6R611C was lower compared to WT receptor and declined to a greater extent in LDL-rich medium. Further examinations revealed lower efficacy of apoB dissociation from LRP6R611C compared to WT receptor at an acidic pH. These studies identify LRP6 as a receptor for LDL endocytosis and imply that R611C mutation results in reduced LRP6 membrane expression and decreased LDL clearance. Based on our findings, we conclude that the increased affinity of the mutant receptor for LDL in acidic pH leads to their impaired dissociation in late endosomes.which compromises their recycling to the plasma membrane.
doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.108.183863
PMCID: PMC3426315  PMID: 18948618
Atherosclerosis; cholesterol; hypercholesterolemia; receptors; genetics
13.  Lrp5 controls bone formation by inhibiting serotonin synthesis in the duodenum: an entero-bone endocrine axis 
Cell  2008;135(5):825-837.
Loss- and gain-of-function mutations in the broadly expressed gene Lrp5 affect bone formation causing osteoporosis and high bone mass, respectively. Although Lrp5 is viewed as a Wnt coreceptor osteoblast-specific disruption of β-Catenin does not affect bone formation. Instead, we show here that Lrp5 inhibits expression of Tph1, the rate-limiting biosynthetic enzyme for serotonin in enterochromaffin cells of the duodenum. Accordingly, decreasing serotonin blood levels normalizes bone formation and bone mass in Lrp5-deficient mice and gut- but not osteoblast-specific Lrp5 inactivation decreases bone formation in a β-Catenin–independent manner. Moreover, gut-specific activation of Lrp5, or inactivation of Tph1, increases bone mass and prevents ovariectomy-induced bone loss. Serotonin acts on osteoblasts through the Htr1b receptor and CREB to inhibit their proliferation. By identifying duodenum-derived serotonin as a hormone inhibiting bone formation in an Lrp5-dependent manner this study broadens our understanding of bone remodeling and suggests novel therapies to increase bone mass.
doi:10.1016/j.cell.2008.09.059
PMCID: PMC2614332  PMID: 19041748
14.  Lrp5 and Lrp6 Exert Overlapping Functions in Osteoblasts during Postnatal Bone Acquisition 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e63323.
The canonical Wnt signaling pathway is critical for skeletal development and maintenance, but the precise roles of the individual Wnt co-receptors, Lrp5 and Lrp6, that enable Wnt signals to be transmitted in osteoblasts remain controversial. In these studies, we used Cre-loxP recombination, in which Cre-expression is driven by the human osteocalcin promoter, to determine the individual contributions of Lrp5 and Lrp6 in postnatal bone acquisition and osteoblast function. Mice selectively lacking either Lrp5 or Lrp6 in mature osteoblasts were born at the expected Mendelian frequency but demonstrated significant reductions in whole-body bone mineral density. Bone architecture measured by microCT revealed that Lrp6 mutant mice failed to accumulate normal amounts of trabecular bone. By contrast, Lrp5 mutants had normal trabecular bone volume at 8 weeks of age, but with age, these mice also exhibited trabecular bone loss. Both mutants also exhibited significant alterations in cortical bone structure. In vitro differentiation was impaired in both Lrp5 and Lrp6 null osteoblasts as indexed by alkaline phosphatase and Alizarin red staining, but the defect was more pronounced in Lrp6 mutant cells. Mice lacking both Wnt co-receptors developed severe osteopenia similar to that observed previously in mice lacking β-catenin in osteoblasts. Likewise, calvarial cells doubly deficient for Lrp5 and Lrp6 failed to form osteoblasts when cultured in osteogenic media, but instead attained a chondrocyte-like phenotype. These results indicate that expression of both Lrp5 and Lrp6 are required within mature osteoblasts for normal postnatal bone development.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063323
PMCID: PMC3651091  PMID: 23675479
15.  A model for familial exudative vitreoretinopathy caused by LPR5 mutations 
Human Molecular Genetics  2008;17(11):1605-1612.
We have identified a mouse recessive mutation that leads to attenuated and hyperpermeable retinal vessels, recapitulating some pathological features of familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (FEVR) in human patients. DNA sequencing reveals a single nucleotide insertion in the gene encoding the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 (LRP5), causing a frame shift and resulting in the replacement of the C-terminal 39 amino acid residues by 20 new amino acids. This change eliminates the last three PPP(S/T)P repeats in the LRP5 cytoplasmic domain that are important for mediating Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Thus, mutant LRP5 protein is probably unable to mediate its downstream signaling. Immunostaining and three-dimensional reconstructions of retinal vasculature confirm attenuated retinal vessels. Ultrastructural data further reveal that some capillaries lack lumen structure in the mutant retina. We have also verified that LRP5 null mice develop similar alterations in the retinal vasculature. This study provides direct evidence that LRP5 is essential for the development of retinal vasculature, and suggests a novel role played by LRP5 in capillary maturation. LRP5 mutant mice can be a useful model to explore the clinical manifestations of FEVR.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddn047
PMCID: PMC2902293  PMID: 18263894
16.  Macrophage LRP1 Suppresses Neo-Intima Formation during Vascular Remodeling by Modulating the TGF-β Signaling Pathway 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e28846.
Background
Vascular remodeling in response to alterations in blood flow has been shown to modulate the formation of neo-intima. This process results from a proliferative response of vascular smooth muscle cells and is influenced by macrophages, which potentiate the development of the intima. The LDL receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) is a large endocytic and signaling receptor that recognizes a number of ligands including apoE-containing lipoproteins, proteases and protease-inhibitor complexes. Macrophage LRP1 is known to influence the development of atherosclerosis, but its role in vascular remodeling has not been investigated.
Methodology/Principal Findings
To define the contribution of macrophage LRP1 to vascular remodeling, we generated macrophage specific LRP1-deficient mice (macLRP1-/-) on an LDL receptor (LDLr) knock-out background. Using a carotid ligation model, we detected a 2-fold increase in neointimal thickening and a 2-fold increase in the intima/media ratio in macLRP1-/- mice. Quantitative RT-PCR arrays of the remodeled vessel wall identified increases in mRNA levels of the TGF-β2 gene as well as the Pdgfa gene in macLRP1-/- mice which could account for the alterations in vascular remodeling. Immunohistochemistry analysis revealed increased activation of the TGF-β signaling pathway in macLRP1-/- mice. Further, we observed that LRP1 binds TGF-β2 and macrophages lacking LRP1 accumulate twice as much TGF-β2 in conditioned media. Finally, TNF-α modulation of the TGF-β2 gene in macrophages is attenuated when LRP1 is expressed. Together, the data reveal that LRP1 modulates both the expression and protein levels of TGF-β2 in macrophages.
Conclusions/Significance
Our data demonstrate that macrophage LRP1 protects the vasculature by limiting remodeling events associated with flow. This appears to occur by the ability of macrophage LRP1 to reduce TGF-β2 protein levels and to attenuate expression of the TGF-β2 gene resulting in suppression of the TGF-β signaling pathway.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028846
PMCID: PMC3235159  PMID: 22174911
17.  Lrp5 functions in bone to regulate bone mass 
Nature medicine  2011;17(6):684-691.
The human skeleton is affected by mutations in Low-density lipoprotein Receptor-related Protein 5 (LRP5). To understand how LRP5 influences bone properties, we generated mice with inducible Lrp5 mutations that cause high bone mass and low bone mass phenotypes in humans. We conditionally-induced Lrp5 mutations in osteocytes and found that bone properties in these mice were comparable to bone properties in mice with inherited mutations. We also conditionally-induced an Lrp5 mutation in cells that contribute to the appendicular skeleton, and not to the axial skeleton, and we observed bone properties were altered in the limbs, and not in the spine. These data indicate that Lrp5 signaling functions locally and suggest increasing LRP5 signaling in mature bone cells as a strategy to treat human low bone mass disorders, such as osteoporosis.
doi:10.1038/nm.2388
PMCID: PMC3113461  PMID: 21602802
18.  Depletion of canonical Wnt signaling components has a neuroprotective effect on midbrain dopaminergic neurons in an MPTP-induced mouse model of Parkinson’s disease 
The canonical Wnt signaling pathway is critical for the development of midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons, and recent studies have suggested that disruption of this signaling cascade may underlie the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, the exact role of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway, including low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 and 6 (LRP5/6) and β-catenin components, in a mouse model of PD remains unclear. In the present study, the tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-Cre transgenic mouse line was used to generate mice with the specific knockout of LRP5, LRP6 or β-catenin in DA neurons. Following inactivation of LRP5, LRP6 or β-catenin, TH-immunohistochemical staining was performed. The results indicated that β-catenin is required for the development or maintenance of these neurons; however, LRP5 and LRP6 were found to be dispensable. In 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-treated mice, the depletion of LRP5, LRP6 or β-catenin was found to be protective for the midbrain DA neurons to a certain extent. These in vivo results provide a novel perspective for the function of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway in a mouse model of PD.
doi:10.3892/etm.2014.1745
PMCID: PMC4079420
LRP5; LRP6; β-catenin; MPTP; dopaminergic neuron; Parkinson’s disease
19.  Lrp5 and Lrp6 play compensatory roles in mouse intestinal development 
Journal of cellular biochemistry  2012;113(1):31-38.
Low-density lipoprotein receptor–related proteins 5 and 6 (Lrp5 and Lrp6) are co-receptors of Wnt ligands and play important roles in Wnt/β-catenin signal transduction. Mice homozygous for a germline deletion of Lrp6 die at birth with several associated defects, while Lrp5-deficient mice are viable. Here we conditionally deleted Lrp5 and/or Lrp6 in the mouse gut (gut−/−) by crossing mice carrying floxed alleles of Lrp5 and Lrp6 to a strain expressing Cre recombinase from the villin promoter (villin-Cre). The changes in morphology, differentiation and Wnt signal transduction were validated using immunohistochemistry and other staining. Consistent with observations in mice carrying a homozygous germline deletion in Lrp5, intestinal development in Lrp5gut−/− mice was normal. In addition, mice homozygous for villin-Cre–induced deletion of Lrp6 (Lrp6gut−/−) were viable with apparently normal intestinal differentiation and function. However, mice homozygous for villin-Cre inactivated alleles of both genes (Lrp5gut−/−;Lrp6gut−/−) died within one day of birth. Analysis of embryonic Lrp5gut−/−;Lrp6gut−/− intestinal epithelium showed a progressive loss of cells, an absence of proliferation, and a premature differentiation of crypt stem/precursor cells; no notable change in differentiation was observed in the embryos lacking either gene alone. Further immunohistochemical studies showed that expression of the Wnt/β-catenin target, cyclin D1, was specifically reduced in the intestinal epithelium of Lrp5gut−/−;Lrp6gut−/− embryos. Our data demonstrate that Lrp5 and Lrp6 play redundant roles in intestinal epithelium development, and that Lrp5/6 might regulate intestinal stem/precursor cell maintenance by regulating Wnt/β-catenin signaling.
doi:10.1002/jcb.23324
PMCID: PMC3245350  PMID: 21866564
Lrp5; Lrp6; Wnt/β-catenin signaling; intestine; epithelium; embryonic development
20.  Functional analysis of disease-associated polymorphism LRP5.Q89R 
Molecular Vision  2011;17:894-902.
Purpose
The canonical wingless and Int1 (Wnt) signaling pathway plays key roles in multiple biologic events. The pathway co-receptor, low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 (LRP5), is involved in the pathogenesis of retinal diseases and has been implicated in glaucoma. We studied whether a disease-associated polymorphism LRP5.Q89R, which is located in the second blade of the first β-propeller domain, directly alters Wnt signaling activity with cell-based assays.
Methods
The LRP5.Q89R polymorphism was evaluated by transfection of HEK293T or GTM3 cells with expression vectors. LRP5 expression and interaction with the molecular chaperone mesoderm development (MESD) were determined by western immunoblotting and co-immunoprecipitation analyses. To compare membrane-associated LRP5 proteins, surface proteins were labeled with biotin and pulled down with avidin beads followed by western immunoblotting. TCF-reporter plasmid-based luciferase assays were used to determine whether LRP5.Q89R affects the canonical Wnt signaling, or has altered efficacy to suppression by Dickkopf-1 (DKK-1).
Results
Cell-based assays showed that this polymorphism did not change protein expression, interaction with the molecular chaperone MESD, protein trafficking, Wnt signaling transduction, or its efficacy in DKK1-mediated inhibition.
Conclusions
Our data suggest that this specific polymorphism does not appear to alter the canonical Wnt signaling pathway. Further studies of LRP5 polymorphisms are needed to elucidate their roles in various associated diseases.
PMCID: PMC3081804  PMID: 21528003
21.  LRP1 Regulates Architecture of the Vascular Wall by Controlling PDGFRβ-Dependent Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase Activation 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(9):e6922.
Background
Low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) protects against atherosclerosis by regulating the activation of platelet-derived growth factor receptor β (PDGFRβ) in vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs). Activated PDGFRβ undergoes tyrosine phosphorylation and subsequently interacts with various signaling molecules, including phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), which binds to the phosphorylated tyrosine 739/750 residues in mice, and thus regulates actin polymerization and cell movement.
Methods and Principal Findings
In this study, we found disorganized actin in the form of membrane ruffling and enhanced cell migration in LRP1-deficient (LRP1−/−) SMCs. Marfan syndrome-like phenotypes such as tortuous aortas, disrupted elastic layers and abnormally activated transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) signaling are present in smooth muscle-specific LRP1 knockout (smLRP1−/−) mice. To investigate the role of LRP1-regulated PI3K activation by PDGFRβ in atherogenesis, we generated a strain of smLRP1−/− mice in which tyrosine 739/750 of the PDGFRβ had been mutated to phenylalanines (PDGFRβ F2/F2). Spontaneous atherosclerosis was significantly reduced in the absence of hypercholesterolemia in these mice compared to smLRP1−/− animals that express wild type PDGFR. Normal actin organization was restored and spontaneous SMC migration as well as PDGF-BB-induced chemotaxis was dramatically reduced, despite continued overactivation of TGFβ signaling, as indicated by high levels of nuclear phospho-Smad2.
Conclusions and Significance
Our data suggest that LRP1 regulates actin organization and cell migration by controlling PDGFRβ-dependent activation of PI3K. TGFβ activation alone is not sufficient for the expression of the Marfan-like vascular phenotype. Thus, regulation of PI3 Kinase by PDGFRβ is essential for maintaining vascular integrity, and for the prevention of atherosclerosis as well as Marfan syndrome.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006922
PMCID: PMC2734324  PMID: 19742316
22.  Low Level of Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor-Related Protein 1 Predicts an Unfavorable Prognosis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma after Curative Resection 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e32775.
Background
Low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) is a multifunctional receptor involved in receptor-mediated endocytosis and cell signaling. The aim of this study was to elucidate the expression and mechanism of LRP1 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Methods
LRP1 expression in 4 HCC cell lines and 40 HCC samples was detected. After interruption of LRP1 expression in a HCC cell line either with specific lentiviral-mediated shRNA LRP1 or in the presence of the LRP1-specific chaperone, receptor-associated protein (RAP), the role of LRP1 in the migration and invasion of HCC cells was assessed in vivo and in vitro, and the expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 9 in cells and the bioactivity of MMP9 in the supernatant were assayed. The expression and prognostic value of LRP1 were investigated in 327 HCC specimens.
Results
Low LRP1 expression was associated with poor HCC prognosis, with low expression independently related to shortened overall survival and increased tumor recurrence rate. Expression of LRP1 in non-recurrent HCC samples was significantly higher than that in early recurrent samples. LRP1 expression in HCC cell lines was inversely correlated with their metastatic potential. After inhibition of LRP1, low-metastatic SMCC-7721 cells showed enhanced migration and invasion and increased expression and bioactivity of MMP9. Correlation analysis showed a negative correlation between LRP1 and MMP9 expression in HCC patients. The prognostic value of LRP1 expression was validated in the independent data set.
Conclusions
LRP1 modulated the level of MMP9 and low level of LRP1 expression was associated with aggressiveness and invasiveness in HCCs. LRP1 offered a possible strategy for tumor molecular therapy.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032775
PMCID: PMC3299691  PMID: 22427881
23.  LRP5 and bone mass regulation: Where are we now? 
BoneKEy reports  2012;1:1.
The discovery of causal mutations in the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 (LRP5) gene underlying conditions of altered bone mass ushered in a new era in bone research. Since those original publications, the role of Lrp5 and the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway controlled by Lrp5 and its homologs, Lrp6 and Lrp4, in bone mass regulation has been an intense area of investigation. Studies to date have implicated this pathway in skeletal development, osteoblast differentiation and proliferation, osteoblast/osteocyte apoptosis, regulation of the balance between osteogenesis–chondrogenesis–adipogenesis, regulation of osteoclastogenesis and the response of bone to mechanical loading. Interestingly, the data from knockout and transgenic mice involving Lrp4/5/6 and/or their regulators, as well as β-catenin signaling pathway components, and in vitro studies have sometimes yielded conflicting results. Adding to the complexity of the system are the studies that suggested Lrp5 regulated bone mass through a gut-bone endocrine signaling system involving Lrp5 mediated control of gut serotonin synthesis. However, recent studies have called this into question and so this provocative concept remains an open question. Clearly, the manipulation of Lrp5/Wnt/β-catenin pathway presents as a major target for drug development to treat diseases of low bone mass such as osteoporosis and these new therapies are in full progress. At present, although it is clear that Lrp5 has a role in bone mass regulation, much of the details remain to be elucidated and this is a major and exciting challenge for future studies.
doi:10.1038/bonekey.2012.1
PMCID: PMC3705993  PMID: 23951413
24.  Wnt signaling mediates pathological vascular growth in proliferative retinopathy 
Circulation  2011;124(17):1871-1881.
Background
Ischemic proliferative retinopathy, characterized by pathologic retinal neovascularization, is a major cause of blindness in working age adults and children. Defining the molecular pathways distinguishing pathological neovascularization from normal vessels is critical to controlling these blinding diseases with targeted therapy. Because mutations in Wnt signaling cause defective retinal vasculature in humans with some characteristics of the pathologic vessels in retinopathy, we investigated the potential role of Wnt signaling in pathologic retinal vascular growth in proliferative retinopathy.
Methods and Results
In this study we show that Wnt receptors (Frizzled4 and Lrp5) and activity are significantly increased in pathologic neovascularization in a mouse model of oxygen-induced proliferative retinopathy. Loss of Wnt co-receptor Lrp5 and downstream signaling molecule disheveled2 significantly decreases the formation of pathologic retinal neovascularization in retinopathy. Loss of Lrp5 also affects retinal angiogenesis during development and formation of the blood retinal barrier, which is linked to significant down-regulation of tight junction protein claudin5 (Cln5) in Lrp5−/− vessels. Blocking Cln5 significantly suppresses Wnt-pathway driven endothelial cell sprouting in vitro and developmental and pathologic vascular growth in retinopathy in vivo.
Conclusions
These results demonstrate an important role of Wnt signaling in pathologic vascular development in retinopathy and show a novel function of Cln5 in promoting angiogenesis.
doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.111.040337
PMCID: PMC3326389  PMID: 21969016
angiogenesis; vessels; retinopathy; Wnt
25.  MESD is Essential for Apical Localization of Megalin/LRP2 in the Visceral Endoderm 
Deletion of the Mesd gene region blocks gastrulation and mesoderm differentiation in mice. MESD is a chaperone for the Wnt co-receptors: low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP) 5 and 6 (LRP5/6). We hypothesized that loss of Wnt signaling is responsible for the polarity defects observed in Mesd deficient embryos. However, because the Mesd deficient embryo is considerably smaller than Lrp5/6 or Wnt3 mutants, we predicted that MESD function extends more broadly to the LRP family of receptors. Consistent with this prediction, we demonstrated that MESD function in vitro was essential for maturation of the β-propeller/EGF domain common to LRPs. To begin to understand the role of MESD in LRP maturation in vivo, we generated a targeted Mesd knockout and verified that loss of Mesd blocks WNT signaling in vivo. Mesd mutants continue to express pluripotency markers, Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2, suggesting that Wnt signaling is essential for differentiation of the epiblast. Moreover, we demonstrated that MESD was essential for the apical localization of the related LRP2 (Megalin/MEG) in the visceral endoderm, resulting in impaired endocytic function. Combined, our results provide evidence that MESD functions as a general LRP chaperone, and suggest that the Mesd phenotype results from both signaling and endocytic defects resulting from mis-folding of multiple LRP receptors.
doi:10.1002/dvdy.22477
PMCID: PMC3069535  PMID: 21337463
mesd; lrp; low-density lipoprotein receptor related protein; visceral endoderm; megalin; lrp2; lysosome; chaperone; wnt

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