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1.  The Muscle Ankyrin Repeat Proteins CARP, Ankrd2, and DARP Are Not Essential for Normal Cardiac Development and Function at Basal Conditions and in Response to Pressure Overload 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e93638.
Ankrd1/CARP, Ankrd2/Arpp, and Ankrd23/DARP belong to a family of stress inducible ankyrin repeat proteins expressed in striated muscle (MARPs). The MARPs are homologous in structure and localized in the nucleus where they negatively regulate gene expression as well as in the sarcomeric I-band, where they are thought to be involved in mechanosensing. Together with their strong induction during cardiac disease and the identification of causative Ankrd1 gene mutations in cardiomyopathy patients, this suggests their important roles in cardiac development, function, and disease. To determine the functional role of MARPs in vivo, we studied knockout (KO) mice of each of the three family members. Single KO mice were viable and had no apparent cardiac phenotype. We therefore hypothesized that the three highly homologous MARP proteins may have redundant functions in the heart and studied double and triple MARP KO mice. Unexpectedly, MARP triple KO mice were viable and had normal cardiac function both at basal levels and in response to mechanical pressure overload induced by transverse aortic constriction as assessed by echocardiography and hemodynamic studies. Thus, CARP, Ankrd2, and DARP are not essential for normal cardiac development and function at basal conditions and in response to mechanical pressure overload.
PMCID: PMC3988038  PMID: 24736439
2.  ANKRD1, the Gene Encoding Cardiac Ankyrin Repeat Protein, Is a Novel Dilated Cardiomyopathy Gene 
We evaluated ankyrin repeat domain 1 (ANKRD1), the gene encoding cardiac ankyrin repeat protein (CARP), as a novel candidate gene for dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) through mutation analysis of a cohort of familial or idiopathic DCM patients, based on the hypothesis that inherited dysfunction of mechanical stretch-based signaling is present in a subset of DCM patients.
CARP, a transcription coinhibitor, is a member of the titin-N2A mechanosensory complex and translocates to the nucleus in response to stretch. It is up-regulated in cardiac failure and hypertrophy and represses expression of sarcomeric proteins. Its overexpression results in contractile dysfunction.
In all, 208 DCM patients were screened for mutations/variants in the coding region of ANKRD1 using polymerase chain reaction, denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography, and direct deoxyribonucleic acid sequencing. In vitro functional analyses of the mutation were performed using yeast 2-hybrid assays and investigating the effect on stretch-mediated gene expression in myoblastoid cell lines using quantitative real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction.
Three missense heterozygous ANKRD1 mutations (P105S, V107L, and M184I) were identified in 4 DCM patients. The M184I mutation results in loss of CARP binding with Talin 1 and FHL2, and the P105S mutation in loss of Talin 1 binding. Intracellular localization of mutant CARP proteins is not altered. The mutations result in differential stretch-induced gene expression compared with wild-type CARP.
ANKRD1 is a novel DCM gene, with mutations present in 1.9% of DCM patients. The ANKRD1 mutations may cause DCM as a result of disruption of the normal cardiac stretch-based signaling.
PMCID: PMC2915893  PMID: 19608030
DCM; CARP; ANKRD1; mutations
3.  ZASP Interacts with the Mechanosensing Protein Ankrd2 and p53 in the Signalling Network of Striated Muscle 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92259.
ZASP is a cytoskeletal PDZ-LIM protein predominantly expressed in striated muscle. It forms multiprotein complexes and plays a pivotal role in the structural integrity of sarcomeres. Mutations in the ZASP protein are associated with myofibrillar myopathy, left ventricular non-compaction and dilated cardiomyopathy. The ablation of its murine homologue Cypher results in neonatal lethality. ZASP has several alternatively spliced isoforms, in this paper we clarify the nomenclature of its human isoforms as well as their dynamics and expression pattern in striated muscle. Interaction is demonstrated between ZASP and two new binding partners both of which have roles in signalling, regulation of gene expression and muscle differentiation; the mechanosensing protein Ankrd2 and the tumour suppressor protein p53. These proteins and ZASP form a triple complex that appears to facilitate poly-SUMOylation of p53. We also show the importance of two of its functional domains, the ZM-motif and the PDZ domain. The PDZ domain can bind directly to both Ankrd2 and p53 indicating that there is no competition between it and p53 for the same binding site on Ankrd2. However there is competition for this binding site between p53 and a region of the ZASP protein lacking the PDZ domain, but containing the ZM-motif. ZASP is negative regulator of p53 in transactivation experiments with the p53-responsive promoters, MDM2 and BAX. Mutations in the ZASP ZM-motif induce modification in protein turnover. In fact, two mutants, A165V and A171T, were not able to bind Ankrd2 and bound only poorly to alpha-actinin2. This is important since the A165V mutation is responsible for zaspopathy, a well characterized autosomal dominant distal myopathy. Although the mechanism by which this mutant causes disease is still unknown, this is the first indication of how a ZASP disease associated mutant protein differs from that of the wild type ZASP protein.
PMCID: PMC3960238  PMID: 24647531
4.  Ankrd2/ARPP is a novel Akt2 specific substrate and regulates myogenic differentiation upon cellular exposure to H2O2 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2011;22(16):2946-2956.
A proteomic-based search for novel substrates of Akt was undertaken in C2C12 murine muscle cells. Our data demonstrate that Akt isoform 2 phosphorylates Ankrd2 at Serine 99 in response to H2O2 stimuli, regulating muscle differentiation rate.
Activation of Akt-mediated signaling pathways is crucial for survival, differentiation, and regeneration of muscle cells. A proteomic-based search for novel substrates of Akt was therefore undertaken in C2C12 murine muscle cells exploiting protein characterization databases in combination with an anti–phospho-Akt substrate antibody. A Scansite database search predicted Ankrd2 (Ankyrin repeat domain protein 2, also known as ARPP) as a novel substrate of Akt. In vitro and in vivo studies confirmed that Akt phosphorylates Ankrd2 at Ser-99. Moreover, by kinase assay with recombinant Akt1 and Akt2, as well as by single-isoform silencing, we demonstrated that Ankrd2 is a specific substrate of Akt2. Ankrd2 is typically found in skeletal muscle cells, where it mediates the transcriptional response to stress conditions. In an attempt to investigate the physiological implications of Ankrd2 phosphorylation by Akt2, we found that oxidative stress induced by H2O2 triggers this phosphorylation. Moreover, the forced expression of a phosphorylation-defective mutant form of Ankrd2 in C2C12 myoblasts promoted a faster differentiation program, implicating Akt-dependent phosphorylation at Ser-99 in the negative regulation of myogenesis in response to stress conditions.
PMCID: PMC3154889  PMID: 21737686
5.  Ankrd2 is a modulator of NF-κB-mediated inflammatory responses during muscle differentiation 
Cell Death & Disease  2014;5(1):e1002-.
Adaptive responses of skeletal muscle regulate the nuclear shuttling of the sarcomeric protein Ankrd2 that can transduce different stimuli into specific adaptations by interacting with both structural and regulatory proteins. In a genome-wide expression study on Ankrd2-knockout or -overexpressing primary proliferating or differentiating myoblasts, we found an inverse correlation between Ankrd2 levels and the expression of proinflammatory genes and identified Ankrd2 as a potent repressor of inflammatory responses through direct interaction with the NF-κB repressor subunit p50. In particular, we identified Gsk3β as a novel direct target of the p50/Ankrd2 repressosome dimer and found that the recruitment of p50 by Ankrd2 is dependent on Akt2-mediated phosphorylation of Ankrd2 upon oxidative stress during myogenic differentiation. Surprisingly, the absence of Ankrd2 in slow muscle negatively affected the expression of cytokines and key calcineurin-dependent genes associated with the slow-twitch muscle program. Thus, our findings support a model in which alterations in Ankrd2 protein and phosphorylation levels modulate the balance between physiological and pathological inflammatory responses in muscle.
PMCID: PMC4040671  PMID: 24434510
inflammation; NF-κB; Gsk3β; oxidative stress; muscle differentiation
6.  26S Proteasome Regulation of Ankrd1/CARP in Adult Rat Ventricular Myocytes and Human Microvascular Endothelial Cells 
Ankyrin repeat domain 1 protein (Ankrd1), also known as cardiac ankyrin repeat protein (CARP), increases dramatically after tissue injury, and its overexpression improves aspects of wound healing. Reports that Ankrd1/CARP protein stability may affect cardiovascular organization, together with our findings that the protein is crucial to stability of the cardiomyocyte sarcomere and increased in wound healing, led us to compare the contribution of Ankrd1/CARP stability to its abundance. We found that the 26S proteasome is the dominant regulator of Ankrd1/CARP degradation, and that Ankrd1/CARP half-life is significantly longer in cardiomyocytes (hrs) than endothelial cells (min). In addition, higher endothelial cell density decreased the abundance of the protein without affecting steady state mRNA levels. Taken together, our data and that of others indicate that Ankrd1/CARP is highly regulated at multiple levels of its expression. The striking difference in protein half-life between a muscle and a non-muscle cell type suggests that post-translational proteolysis is correlated with the predominantly structural versus regulatory role of the protein in the two cell types.
PMCID: PMC3460693  PMID: 22892129
cardiomyocytes; endothelial cells; Ankrd1/CARP; 26S proteasome
7.  Novel mutations in the sarcomeric protein myopalladin in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy 
Recently, missense mutations in titin-associated proteins have been linked to the pathogenesis of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The objective of this study was to search for novel disease-associated mutations in the two human titin-binding proteins myopalladin and its amino-terminal-interacting partner cardiac ankyrin-repeat protein (CARP). In a cohort of 255 cases with familial and sporadic DCM, we analyzed the coding regions and all corresponding intron flanks located in the MYPN and CARP-encoding ANKRD1 gene. Two heterozygous missense mutations were detected in the MYPN gene (p.R955W and p.P961L), but neither of these mutations was found in 300 healthy controls. Both mutations were located in the α-actinin-binding region of myopalladin. Endomyocardial biopsies from the p.R955W carrier showed normal subcellular localization of myopalladin and α-actinin in cardiac myocytes, while their regular sarcomeric staining pattern was significantly disrupted in the p.P961L carrier, indicating that disturbed myofibrillogenesis and altered sarcomere assembly are the cause of the disease. In the ANKRD1 gene, we identified synonymous base exchanges (c.108T>C and c.-79C>T, respectively), but no non-synonymous mutations. In summary, we have identified novel missense mutations in the third immunoglobulin-like domain of myopalladin, which have either no or profound effects on the molecular composition of the sarcomere. According to our epidemiological data, the prevalence of ANKRD1 mutations seems to be lower than that of its binding partner myopalladin, indicating the clinical significance of myopalladin for the functional integrity of the sarcomeric apparatus and the protection against DCM.
PMCID: PMC3573205  PMID: 22892539
myopalladin; cardiac ankyrin-repeat protein; CARP; point mutation; single-nucleotide polymorphism; dilated cardiomyopathy
8.  Cytosolic CARP Promotes Angiotensin II- or Pressure Overload-Induced Cardiomyocyte Hypertrophy through Calcineurin Accumulation 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104040.
The gene ankyrin repeat domain 1 (Ankrd1) is an enigmatic gene and may exert pleiotropic function dependent on its expression level, subcellular localization and even types of pathological stress, but it remains unclear how these factors influence the fate of cardiomyocytes. Here we attempted to investigate the role of CARP on cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. In neonatal rat ventricular cardiomyocytes (NRVCs), angiotensin II (Ang II) increased the expression of both calpain 1 and CARP, and also induced cytosolic translocation of CARP, which was abrogated by a calpain inhibitor. In the presence of Ang-II in NRVCs, infection with a recombinant adenovirus containing rat Ankrd1 cDNA (Ad-Ankrd1) enhanced myocyte hypertrophy, the upregulation of atrial natriuretic peptide and β-myosin heavy chain genes and calcineurin proteins as well as nuclear translocation of nuclear factor of activated T cells. Cyclosporin A attenuated Ad-Ankrd1-enhanced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Intra-myocardial injection of Ad-Ankrd1 in mice with transverse aortic constriction (TAC) markedly increased the cytosolic CARP level, the heart weight/body weight ratio, while short hairpin RNA targeting Ankrd1 inhibited TAC-induced hypertrophy. The expression of calcineurin was also significantly increased in Ad-Ankrd1-infected TAC mice. Olmesartan (an Ang II receptor antagonist) prevented the upregulation of CARP in both Ang II-stimulated NRVCs and hearts with pressure overload. These findings indicate that overexpression of Ankrd1 exacerbates pathological cardiac remodeling through the enhancement of cytosolic translocation of CARP and upregulation of calcineurin.
PMCID: PMC4121294  PMID: 25089522
9.  Variants of the Ankyrin Repeat Domain 6 Gene (ANKRD6) and Muscle and Physical Activity Phenotypes Among European-Derived American Adults 
Ankyrin repeat domain 6 (ANKRD6) is a ubiquitous protein that associates with early development in mammals and is highly expressed in the brain, spinal cord, and heart of humans. We examined the role of 8 ANKRD6 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on muscle performance and habitual physical activity (PA). Single-nucleotide polymorphisms were 545 T>A (rs9362667), 485 M>L (rs61736690), 233 T>M (rs2273238), 128 I>L (rs3748085), 631 P>L (rs61739327), 122 Q>E (rs16881983), 197805 G>A (rs9344950), and 710 L>X (NOVEL). This study consisted of 922 healthy, untrained, European-derived American men (n = 376, 23.6 ± 0.3 years, 25.0 ± 0.2 kg·m−2) and women (n = 546, 23.2 ± 0.2 years, 24.0 ± 0.2 kg·m−2). Muscle strength (maximum voluntary contraction [MVC] and 1 repetition maximum [1RM]) and size (cross-sectional area [CSA]) were assessed before and after 12 weeks of unilateral resistance training (RT). A subsample (n = 536, 23.4 ± 0.2 years, 24.6 ± 0.2 kg·m−2) completed the Paffenbarger Physical Activity Questionnaire. Associations among ANKRD6 genotypes and muscle phenotypes were tested with repeated measure analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and PA phenotypes with multivariate ANCOVA, with age and body mass index as covariates. ANKRD6 122 Q>E was associated with increased baseline biceps CSA. ANKRD6 545 A>T and ANKRD6 710 L>X were associated with increased 1RM and MVC in response to RT, respectively. ANKRD6 631 P>L was associated with increased biceps CSA response to RT and time spent in moderate-intensity PA among the total sample and women. ANKRD6 genetic variants were associated with the muscle size and strength response to RT and habitual PA levels. Further research is needed to validate our results and explore mechanisms for the associations we observed.
PMCID: PMC4147939  PMID: 22580979
diversin; exercise; resistance training; genetics
10.  The Ankrd 13 family of UIM-bearing proteins regulates EGF receptor endocytosis from the plasma membrane 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2012;23(7):1343-1353.
Ankrd 13A, 13B, and 13D constitute a family of ubiquitin-interacting motif (UIM)-bearing cytoplasmic proteins. They are anchored to the plasma membrane, where they recognize the Lys63-linked polyubiquitin chains tagged to ligand-activated EGF receptor and regulate the endocytosis of EGF receptor from the cell surface in mammalian cells.
The mechanism of ubiquitin-dependent endocytosis of cell surface proteins is not completely understood. Here we examine the role of the ankyrin repeat domain (Ankrd) 13A, 13B, and 13D proteins, which constitute a functionally unknown family of ubiquitin-interacting motif (UIM)–bearing proteins, in the process. Stimulation of human HeLa cells with epidermal growth factor (EGF) rapidly induced direct binding of Ankrd 13 proteins to ubiquitinated EGF receptor (EGFR) via the UIMs. The binding was inhibited when the Ankrd 13 proteins underwent UIM-dependent monoubiquitination, suggesting that their activity is regulated by ubiquitination of themselves. Ankrd 13 proteins bound specifically to Lys-63–linked ubiquitin chains, which was consistent with a previous report that EGFR mainly undergoes Lys-63–linked polyubiquitination. Ankrd 13 proteins were anchored, via the central region and UIMs, to the plasma membrane, where they colocalized with EGFR. Finally, overexpression of wild-type as well as truncated-mutant Ankrd 13 proteins strongly inhibited rapid endocytosis of ubiquitinated EGFR from the surface in EGF-treated cells. We conclude that by binding to the Lys-63–linked polyubiquitin moiety of EGFR at the plasma membrane, Ankrd 13 proteins regulate the rapid internalization of ligand-activated EGFR.
PMCID: PMC3315809  PMID: 22298428
11.  ANKRD1 Acts as a Transcriptional Repressor of MMP13 via the AP-1 Site 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2014;34(8):1500-1511.
The transcriptional cofactor ANKRD1 is sharply induced during wound repair, and its overexpression enhances healing. We recently found that global deletion of murine Ankrd1 impairs wound contraction and enhances necrosis of ischemic wounds. A quantitative PCR array of Ankrd1−/− (KO) fibroblasts indicated that ANKRD1 regulates MMP genes. Yeast two-hybrid and coimmunoprecipitation analyses associated ANKRD1 with nucleolin, which represses AP-1 activation of MMP13. Ankrd1 deletion enhanced both basal and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA)-induced MMP13 promoter activity; conversely, Ankrd1 overexpression in control cells decreased PMA-induced MMP13 promoter activity. Ankrd1 reconstitution in KO fibroblasts decreased MMP13 mRNA, while Ankrd1 knockdown increased these levels. MMP13 mRNA and protein were elevated in intact skin and wounds of KO versus Ankrd1fl/fl (FLOX) mice. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay gel shift patterns suggested that additional transcription factors bind to the MMP13 AP-1 site in the absence of Ankrd1, and this concept was reinforced by chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis as greater binding of c-Jun to the AP-1 site in extracts from FLOX versus KO fibroblasts. We propose that ANKRD1, in association with factors such as nucleolin, represses MMP13 transcription. Ankrd1 deletion additionally relieved MMP10 transcriptional repression. Nuclear ANKRD1 appears to modulate extracellular matrix remodeling by MMPs.
PMCID: PMC3993579  PMID: 24515436
12.  ANKRD26 and Its Interacting Partners TRIO, GPS2, HMMR and DIPA Regulate Adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 Cells 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e38130.
Partial inactivation of the Ankyrin repeat domain 26 (Ankrd26) gene causes obesity and diabetes in mice and increases spontaneous and induced adipogenesis in mouse embryonic fibroblasts. However, it is not yet known how the Ankrd26 protein carries out its biological functions. We identified by yeast two-hybrid and immunoprecipitation assays the triple functional domain protein (TRIO), the G protein pathway suppressor 2 (GPS2), the delta-interacting protein A (DIPA) and the hyaluronan-mediated motility receptor (HMMR) as ANKRD26 interacting partners. Adipogenesis of 3T3-L1 cells was increased by selective down-regulation of Ankrd26, Trio, Gps2, Hmmr and Dipa. Furthermore, GPS2 and DIPA, which are normally located in the nucleus, were translocated to the cytoplasm, when the C-terminus of ANKRD26 was introduced into these cells. These findings provide biochemical evidence that ANKRD26, TRIO, GPS2 and HMMR are novel and important regulators of adipogenisis and identify new targets for the modulation of adipogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3364200  PMID: 22666460
13.  Clinical significance of Ankyrin repeat domain 12 expression in colorectal cancer 
Ankyrin repeat domain 12 (ANKRD12), is encoding a 224 kDa nuclear protein and most conserved at its N-terminal ankyrin repeats region and the C-terminal co-activator interacting domain. The aim of this study was to investigate the ANKRD12 mRNA expression in colorectal cancer (CRC) tumor tissues and the normal adjacent mucosa and its potential relevance to clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis.
Surgical specimens of tumor tissues (n = 68) and adjacent normal mucosa (n = 51) were obtained from CRC patients. The ANKRD12 mRNA expression was measured by quantitative real time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. The relationship between ANKRD12 mRNA expression and clinicopathological features was analyzed by appropriate statistics. Kaplan–Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to investigate the correlation between ANKRD12 expression and prognosis of CRC patients.
The relative mRNA expression of ANKRD12 were significantly lower in CRC tumor tissues than in the normal adjacent mucosa (P < 0.001), and the cases with low ANKRD12 expression showed a higher frequency of liver metastasis (P = 0.015). Kaplan–Meier analysis indicated that patients (CRC without liver metastasis) with low ANKRD12 expression had poor overall survival (P = 0.041). Multivariate analysis showed that low ANKRD12 expression was an independent predictor of overall survival.
This study revealed that ANKRD12 mRNA were down regulated in CRC tumor tissues and low ANKRD12 expression was correlated with liver metastasis and poor survival of CRC patients.
PMCID: PMC3689078  PMID: 23718802
Ankyrin repeat domain 12 (ANKRD12); Colorectal cancer; Metastasis; Prognostic factor
14.  Disruption of a GATA4/Ankrd1 Signaling Axis in Cardiomyocytes Leads to Sarcomere Disarray: Implications for Anthracycline Cardiomyopathy 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e35743.
Doxorubicin (Adriamycin) is an effective anti-cancer drug, but its clinical usage is limited by a dose-dependent cardiotoxicity characterized by widespread sarcomere disarray and loss of myofilaments. Cardiac ankyrin repeat protein (CARP, ANKRD1) is a transcriptional regulatory protein that is extremely susceptible to doxorubicin; however, the mechanism(s) of doxorubicin-induced CARP depletion and its specific role in cardiomyocytes have not been completely defined. We report that doxorubicin treatment in cardiomyocytes resulted in inhibition of CARP transcription, depletion of CARP protein levels, inhibition of myofilament gene transcription, and marked sarcomere disarray. Knockdown of CARP with small interfering RNA (siRNA) similarly inhibited myofilament gene transcription and disrupted cardiomyocyte sarcomere structure. Adenoviral overexpression of CARP, however, was unable to rescue the doxorubicin-induced sarcomere disarray phenotype. Doxorubicin also induced depletion of the cardiac transcription factor GATA4 in cardiomyocytes. CARP expression is regulated in part by GATA4, prompting us to examine the relationship between GATA4 and CARP in cardiomyocytes. We show in co-transfection experiments that GATA4 operates upstream of CARP by activating the proximal CARP promoter. GATA4-siRNA knockdown in cardiomyocytes inhibited CARP expression and myofilament gene transcription, and induced extensive sarcomere disarray. Adenoviral overexpression of GATA4 (AdV-GATA4) in cardiomyocytes prior to doxorubicin exposure maintained GATA4 levels, modestly restored CARP levels, and attenuated sarcomere disarray. Interestingly, siRNA-mediated depletion of CARP completely abolished the Adv-GATA4 rescue of the doxorubicin-induced sarcomere phenotype. These data demonstrate co-dependent roles for GATA4 and CARP in regulating sarcomere gene expression and maintaining sarcomeric organization in cardiomyocytes in culture. The data further suggests that concurrent depletion of GATA4 and CARP in cardiomyocytes by doxorubicin contributes in large part to myofibrillar disarray and the overall pathophysiology of anthracycline cardiomyopathy.
PMCID: PMC3332030  PMID: 22532871
15.  Thrombocytopenia-associated mutations in the ANKRD26 regulatory region induce MAPK hyperactivation  
Point mutations in the 5′ UTR of ankyrin repeat domain 26 (ANKRD26) are associated with familial thrombocytopenia 2 (THC2) and a predisposition to leukemia. Here, we identified underlying mechanisms of ANKRD26-associated thrombocytopenia. Using megakaryocytes (MK) isolated from THC2 patients and healthy subjects, we demonstrated that THC2-associated mutations in the 5′ UTR of ANKRD26 resulted in loss of runt-related transcription factor 1 (RUNX1) and friend leukemia integration 1 transcription factor (FLI1) binding. RUNX1 and FLI1 binding at the 5′ UTR from healthy subjects led to ANKRD26 silencing during the late stages of megakaryopoiesis and blood platelet development. We showed that persistent ANKRD26 expression in isolated MKs increased signaling via the thrombopoietin/myeloproliferative leukemia virus oncogene (MPL) pathway and impaired proplatelet formation by MKs. Importantly, we demonstrated that ERK inhibition completely rescued the in vitro proplatelet formation defect. Our data identify a mechanism for development of the familial thrombocytopenia THC2 that is related to abnormal MAPK signaling.
PMCID: PMC3904625  PMID: 24430186
16.  Knockdown of miR-21 in human breast cancer cell lines inhibits proliferation, in vitro migration and in vivo tumor growth 
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs (20 to 24 nucleotides) that post-transcriptionally modulate gene expression. A key oncomir in carcinogenesis is miR-21, which is consistently up-regulated in a wide range of cancers. However, few functional studies are available for miR-21, and few targets have been identified. In this study, we explored the role of miR-21 in human breast cancer cells and tissues, and searched for miR-21 targets.
We used in vitro and in vivo assays to explore the role of miR-21 in the malignant progression of human breast cancer, using miR-21 knockdown. Using LNA silencing combined to microarray technology and target prediction, we screened for potential targets of miR-21 and validated direct targets by using luciferase reporter assay and Western blot. Two candidate target genes (EIF4A2 and ANKRD46) were selected for analysis of correlation with clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis using immunohistochemistry on cancer tissue microrrays.
Anti-miR-21 inhibited growth and migration of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells in vitro, and tumor growth in nude mice. Knockdown of miR-21 significantly increased the expression of ANKRD46 at both mRNA and protein levels. Luciferase assays using a reporter carrying a putative target site in the 3' untranslated region of ANKRD46 revealed that miR-21 directly targeted ANKRD46. miR-21 and EIF4A2 protein were inversely expressed in breast cancers (rs = -0.283, P = 0.005, Spearman's correlation analysis).
Knockdown of miR-21 in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells inhibits in vitro and in vivo growth as well as in vitro migration. ANKRD46 is newly identified as a direct target of miR-21 in BC. These results suggest that inhibitory strategies against miR-21 using peptide nucleic acids (PNAs)-antimiR-21 may provide potential therapeutic applications in breast cancer treatment.
PMCID: PMC3109565  PMID: 21219636
17.  Regulation of Nucleocytoplasmic Shuttling of Bruton's Tyrosine Kinase (Btk) through a Novel SH3-Dependent Interaction with Ankyrin Repeat Domain 54 (ANKRD54) 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2012;32(13):2440-2453.
Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk), belonging to the Tec family of tyrosine kinases (TFKs), is essential for B-lymphocyte development. Abrogation of Btk signaling causes human X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA) and murine X-linked immunodeficiency (Xid). We employed affinity purification of Flag-tagged Btk, combined with tandem mass spectrometry, to capture and identify novel interacting proteins. We here characterize the interaction with ankryin repeat domain 54 protein (ANKRD54), also known as Lyn-interacting ankyrin repeat protein (Liar). While Btk is a nucleocytoplasmic protein, the Liar pool was found to shuttle at a higher rate than Btk. Importantly, our results suggest that Liar mediates nuclear export of both Btk and another TFK, Txk/Rlk. Liar-mediated Btk shuttling was enriched for activation loop, nonphosphorylated Btk and entirely dependent on Btk's SH3 domain. Liar also showed reduced binding to an aspartic acid phosphomimetic SH3 mutant. Three other investigated nucleus-located proteins, Abl, estrogen receptor β (ERβ), and transcription factor T-bet, were all unaffected by Liar. We mapped the interaction site to the C terminus of the Btk SH3 domain. A biotinylated, synthetic Btk peptide, ARDKNGQEGYIPSNYVTEAEDS, was sufficient for this interaction. Liar is the first protein identified that specifically influences the nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of Btk and Txk and belongs to a rare group of known proteins carrying out this activity in a Crm1-dependent manner.
PMCID: PMC3434478  PMID: 22527282
18.  Crosstalk between NSL Histone Acetyltransferase and MLL/SET Complexes: NSL Complex Functions in Promoting Histone H3K4 Di-Methylation Activity by MLL/SET Complexes 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(11):e1003940.
hMOF (MYST1), a histone acetyltransferase (HAT), forms at least two distinct multiprotein complexes in human cells. The male specific lethal (MSL) HAT complex plays a key role in dosage compensation in Drosophila and is responsible for histone H4K16ac in vivo. We and others previously described a second hMOF-containing HAT complex, the non-specific lethal (NSL) HAT complex. The NSL complex has a broader substrate specificity, can acetylate H4 on K16, K5, and K8. The WD (tryptophan-aspartate) repeat domain 5 (WDR5) and host cell factor 1 (HCF1) are shared among members of the MLL/SET (mixed-lineage leukemia/set-domain containing) family of histone H3K4 methyltransferase complexes. The presence of these shared subunits raises the possibility that there are functional links between these complexes and the histone modifications they catalyze; however, the degree to which NSL and MLL/SET influence one another's activities remains unclear. Here, we present evidence from biochemical assays and knockdown/overexpression approaches arguing that the NSL HAT promotes histone H3K4me2 by MLL/SET complexes by an acetylation-dependent mechanism. In genomic experiments, we identified a set of genes including ANKRD2, that are affected by knockdown of both NSL and MLL/SET subunits, suggested they are co-regulated by NSL and MLL/SET complexes. In ChIP assays, we observe that depletion of the NSL subunits hMOF or NSL1 resulted in a significant reduction of both H4K16ac and H3K4me2 in the vicinity of the ANKRD2 transcriptional start site proximal region. However, depletion of RbBP5 (a core component of MLL/SET complexes) only reduced H3K4me2 marks, but not H4K16ac in the same region of ANKRD2, consistent with the idea that NSL acts upstream of MLL/SET to regulate H3K4me2 at certain promoters, suggesting coordination between NSL and MLL/SET complexes is involved in transcriptional regulation of certain genes. Taken together, our results suggest a crosstalk between the NSL and MLL/SET complexes in cells.
Author Summary
Covalent modification of N-terminal tails of histone proteins is accomplished by a variety of chromatin modifying complexes. These complexes catalyze at least eight distinct types of histone modifications including acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation, and ubiquitination. Histone modifications may act alone or in a coordinated manner to activate or repress chromosomal processes. For example, a particular histone modification may recruit or activate chromatin modifying complexes that generate a different histone modification. Coordination between hMOF-mediated histone H4K16 acetylation and other histone modifications has been reported by several research groups. The presence of subunits shared between the hMOF-containing NSL and MLL/SET family complexes suggests there may be functional links between two complexes. Consistent with this idea, we identified a set of genes that are co-regulated by the NSL and MLL/SET complexes. Both in vitro and in vivo experimental approaches provide evidence that the NSL HAT functions in promoting histone H3K4 di-methylation activity by MLL/SET complexes. Interestingly crosstalk between hMOF/NSL HAT and MLL/SET HMT activity seems to be unidirectional since there we detected no effect of MLL/SET activity on NSL HAT, either in vitro or in cells.
PMCID: PMC3828133  PMID: 24244196
19.  Removal of immunoglobulin-like domains from titin’s spring segment alters titin splicing in mouse skeletal muscle and causes myopathy 
The Journal of General Physiology  2014;143(2):215-230.
Changes in titin splicing resulting in decreased size and increased stiffness lead to pathological changes in skeletal muscle.
Titin is a molecular spring that determines the passive stiffness of muscle cells. Changes in titin’s stiffness occur in various myopathies, but whether these are a cause or an effect of the disease is unknown. We studied a novel mouse model in which titin’s stiffness was slightly increased by deleting nine immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domains from titin’s constitutively expressed proximal tandem Ig segment (IG KO). KO mice displayed mild kyphosis, a phenotype commonly associated with skeletal muscle myopathy. Slow muscles were atrophic with alterations in myosin isoform expression; functional studies in soleus muscle revealed a reduced specific twitch force. Exon expression analysis showed that KO mice underwent additional changes in titin splicing to yield smaller than expected titin isoforms that were much stiffer than expected. Additionally, splicing occurred in the PEVK region of titin, a finding confirmed at the protein level. The titin-binding protein Ankrd1 was highly increased in the IG KO, but this did not play a role in generating small titin isoforms because titin expression was unaltered in IG KO mice crossed with Ankrd1-deficient mice. In contrast, the splicing factor RBM20 (RNA-binding motif 20) was also significantly increased in IG KO mice, and additional differential splicing was reversed in IG KO mice crossed with a mouse with reduced RBM20 activity. Thus, increasing titin’s stiffness triggers pathological changes in skeletal muscle, with an important role played by RBM20.
PMCID: PMC4001778  PMID: 24470489
20.  Identification of Genes that Elicit Disuse Muscle Atrophy via the Transcription Factors p50 and Bcl-3 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(1):e16171.
Skeletal muscle atrophy is a debilitating condition associated with weakness, fatigue, and reduced functional capacity. Nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) transcription factors play a critical role in atrophy. Knockout of genes encoding p50 or the NF-κB co-transactivator, Bcl-3, abolish disuse atrophy and thus they are NF-κB factors required for disuse atrophy. We do not know however, the genes targeted by NF-κB that produce the atrophied phenotype. Here we identify the genes required to produce disuse atrophy using gene expression profiling in wild type compared to Nfkb1 (gene encodes p50) and Bcl-3 deficient mice. There were 185 and 240 genes upregulated in wild type mice due to unloading, that were not upregulated in Nfkb1−/− and Bcl-3−/− mice, respectively, and so these genes were considered direct or indirect targets of p50 and Bcl-3. All of the p50 gene targets were contained in the Bcl-3 gene target list. Most genes were involved with protein degradation, signaling, translation, transcription, and transport. To identify direct targets of p50 and Bcl-3 we performed chromatin immunoprecipitation of selected genes previously shown to have roles in atrophy. Trim63 (MuRF1), Fbxo32 (MAFbx), Ubc, Ctsl, Runx1, Tnfrsf12a (Tweak receptor), and Cxcl10 (IP-10) showed increased Bcl-3 binding to κB sites in unloaded muscle and thus were direct targets of Bcl-3. p50 binding to the same sites on these genes either did not change or increased, supporting the idea of p50:Bcl-3 binding complexes. p65 binding to κB sites showed decreased or no binding to these genes with unloading. Fbxo9, Psma6, Psmc4, Psmg4, Foxo3, Ankrd1 (CARP), and Eif4ebp1 did not show changes in p65, p50, or Bcl-3 binding to κB sites, and so were considered indirect targets of p50 and Bcl-3. This work represents the first study to use a global approach to identify genes required to produce the atrophied phenotype with disuse.
PMCID: PMC3020958  PMID: 21249144
21.  ANKRD7 and CYTL1 are novel risk genes for alcohol drinking behavior 
Chinese medical journal  2012;125(6):1127-1134.
Alcohol dependence (AD) is a complex disorder characterized by impaired control over drinking. It is determined by both genetic and environmental factors. The recent approach of genome-wide association study (GWAS) is a powerful tool for identifying complex disease-associated susceptibility alleles, however, a few GWASs have been conducted for AD, and their results are largely inconsistent. The present study aimed to screen the loci associated with alcohol-related phenotypes using GWAS technology.
A genome-wide association study with the behavior of regular alcohol drinking and alcohol consumption was performed to identify susceptibility genes associated with AD, using the Affymetrix 500K SNP array in an initial sample consisting of 904 unrelated Caucasian subjects. Then, the initial results in GWAS were replicated in three independent samples: 1972 Caucasians in 593 nuclear families, 761 unrelated Caucasian subjects, and 2955 unrelated Chinese Hans.
Several genes were associated with the alcohol-related phenotypes at the genome-wide significance level, with the ankyrin repeat domain 7 gene (ANKRD7) showing the strongest statistical evidence for regular alcohol drinking and suggestive statistical evidence for alcohol consumption. In addition, certain haplotypes within the ANKRD7 and cytokine-like1 (CYTL1) genes were significantly associated with regular drinking behavior, such as one ANKRD7 block composed of the SNPs rs6466686-rs4295599-rs12531086 (P = 6.51×10–8). The association of alcohol consumption was successfully replicated with rs4295599 in ANKRD7 gene in independent Caucasian nuclear families and independent unrelated Chinese Hans, and with rs16836497 in CYTL1 gene in independent unrelated Caucasians. Meta-analyses based on both the GWAS and replication samples further supported the observed significant associations between the ANKRD7 or CYTL1 gene and alcohol consumption.
The evidence suggests that ANKRD7 and CYTL1 genes may play an important role in the variance in AD risk.
PMCID: PMC4174677  PMID: 22613542
alcohol dependence; ANKRD7; CYTL1; genome-wide association study
22.  Global Gene Expression Profiling in PAI-1 Knockout Murine Heart and Kidney: Molecular Basis of Cardiac-Selective Fibrosis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e63825.
Fibrosis is defined as an abnormal matrix remodeling due to excessive synthesis and accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins in tissues during wound healing or in response to chemical, mechanical and immunological stresses. At present, there is no effective therapy for organ fibrosis. Previous studies demonstrated that aged plasminogen activator inhibitor-1(PAI-1) knockout mice develop spontaneously cardiac-selective fibrosis without affecting any other organs. We hypothesized that differential expressions of profibrotic and antifibrotic genes in PAI-1 knockout hearts and unaffected organs lead to cardiac selective fibrosis. In order to address this prediction, we have used a genome-wide gene expression profiling of transcripts derived from aged PAI-1 knockout hearts and kidneys. The variations of global gene expression profiling were compared within four groups: wildtype heart vs. knockout heart; wildtype kidney vs. knockout kidney; knockout heart vs. knockout kidney and wildtype heart vs. wildtype kidney. Analysis of illumina-based microarray data revealed that several genes involved in different biological processes such as immune system processing, response to stress, cytokine signaling, cell proliferation, adhesion, migration, matrix organization and transcriptional regulation were affected in hearts and kidneys by the absence of PAI-1, a potent inhibitor of urokinase and tissue-type plasminogen activator. Importantly, the expressions of a number of genes, involved in profibrotic pathways including Ankrd1, Pi16, Egr1, Scx, Timp1, Timp2, Klf6, Loxl1 and Klotho, were deregulated in PAI-1 knockout hearts compared to wildtype hearts and PAI-1 knockout kidneys. While the levels of Ankrd1, Pi16 and Timp1 proteins were elevated during EndMT, the level of Timp4 protein was decreased. To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive report on the influence of PAI-1 on global gene expression profiling in the heart and kidney and its implication in fibrogenesis and several other biological processes. The significance of these observations in the light of heart-specific profibrotic signaling and fibrogenesis are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3665822  PMID: 23724005
23.  Regulation of focal adhesion and cell migration by ANKRD28-DOCK180 interaction 
Cell Adhesion & Migration  2009;3(3):281-284.
DOCK180 is an atypical guanine nucleotide exchange factor of Rac1 identified originally as one of the two major proteins bound to the SH3 domain of the Crk adaptor protein. DOCK180 induces tyrosine phosphorylation of p130Cas, and recruits the Crk-p130Cas complex to focal adhesions. Recently, we searched for DOCK180-binding proteins with a nano-LC/MS/MS system, and found that ANKRD28, a protein with twenty-six ankyrin domain-repeats, interacts with the SH3 domain of DOCK180. Knockdown of ANKRD28 reduced the migration velocity and altered the distribution of focal adhesion proteins such as Crk, paxillin and p130Cas. On the other hand, the expression of ANKRD28, p130Cas, Crk and DOCK180 induced hyper-phosphorylation of p130Cas, which paralleled the induction of multiple long cellular processes. Depletion of ELMO, another protein bound to the SH3 domain of DOCK180, also retarded cell migration, but its expression together with p130Cas, Crk and DOCK180 induced extensive lamellipodial protrusion around the entire circumference without 130Cas hyperphosphorylation. These data suggest the dual modes of DOCK180-Rac regulation for cell migration.
PMCID: PMC2712811  PMID: 19458477
ankyrin; Rac; p130Cas; DOCK180; paxillin; Crk; migration; focal adhesion
24.  Unique Transcriptional Profile of Sustained Ligand-Activated Preconditioning in Pre- and Post-Ischemic Myocardium 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e72278.
Opioidergic SLP (sustained ligand-activated preconditioning) induced by 3–5 days of opioid receptor (OR) agonism induces persistent protection against ischemia-reperfusion (I-R) injury in young and aged hearts, and is mechanistically distinct from conventional preconditioning responses. We thus applied unbiased gene-array interrogation to identify molecular effects of SLP in pre- and post-ischemic myocardium.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Male C57Bl/6 mice were implanted with 75 mg morphine or placebo pellets for 5 days. Resultant SLP did not modify cardiac function, and markedly reduced dysfunction and injury in perfused hearts subjected to 25 min ischemia/45 min reperfusion. Microarray analysis identified 14 up- and 86 down-regulated genes in normoxic hearts from SLP mice (≥1.3-fold change, FDR≤5%). Induced genes encoded sarcomeric/contractile proteins (Myh7, Mybpc3,Myom2,Des), natriuretic peptides (Nppa,Nppb) and stress-signaling elements (Csda,Ptgds). Highly repressed genes primarily encoded chemokines (Ccl2,Ccl4,Ccl7,Ccl9,Ccl13,Ccl3l3,Cxcl3), cytokines (Il1b,Il6,Tnf) and other proteins involved in inflammation/immunity (C3,Cd74,Cd83, Cd86,Hla-dbq1,Hla-drb1,Saa1,Selp,Serpina3), together with endoplasmic stress proteins (known: Dnajb1,Herpud1,Socs3; putative: Il6, Gadd45g,Rcan1) and transcriptional controllers (Egr2,Egr3, Fos,Hmox1,Nfkbid). Biological themes modified thus related to inflammation/immunity, together with cellular/cardiovascular movement and development. SLP also modified the transcriptional response to I-R (46 genes uniquely altered post-ischemia), which may influence later infarction/remodeling. This included up-regulated determinants of cellular resistance to oxidant (Mgst3,Gstm1,Gstm2) and other forms of stress (Xirp1,Ankrd1,Clu), and repression of stress-response genes (Hspa1a,Hspd1,Hsp90aa,Hsph1,Serpinh1) and Txnip.
Protection via SLP is associated with transcriptional repression of inflammation/immunity, up-regulation of sarcomeric elements and natriuretic peptides, and modulation of cell stress, growth and development, while conventional protective molecules are unaltered.
PMCID: PMC3749099  PMID: 23991079
25.  Reduction in Inflammatory Gene Expression in Skeletal Muscle from Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Patients Randomized to Omentectomy 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e28577.
To examine the effects of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery with and without laparoscopic removal of omental fat (omentectomy) on the temporal gene expression profiles of skeletal muscle.
Previously reported were the whole-body metabolic effects of a randomized, single-blinded study in patients receiving RYGB surgery stratified to receive or not receive omentectomy. In this follow up study we report on changes in skeletal muscle gene expression in a subset of 21 patients, for whom biopsies were collected preoperatively and at either 6 months or 12 months postoperatively.
Methodology/Principal Findings
RNA isolated from skeletal muscle biopsies of 21 subjects (8 without omentectomy and 13 with omentectomy) taken before RYGB or at 6 and 12 months postoperatively were subjected to gene expression profiling via Exon 1.0 S/T Array and Taqman Low Density Array. Robust Multichip Analysis and gene enrichment data analysis revealed 84 genes with at least a 4-fold expression difference after surgery. At 6 and 12 months the RYGB with omentectomy group displayed a greater reduction in the expression of genes associated with skeletal muscle inflammation (ANKRD1, CDR1, CH25H, CXCL2, CX3CR1, IL8, LBP, NFIL3, SELE, SOCS3, TNFAIP3, and ZFP36) relative to the RYGB non-omentectomy group. Expressions of IL6 and CCL2 were decreased at all postoperative time points. There was differential expression of genes driving protein turnover (IGFN1, FBXW10) in both groups over time and increased expression of PAAF1 in the non-omentectomy group at 12 months. Evidence for the activation of skeletal muscle satellite cells was inferred from the up-regulation of HOXC10. The elevated post-operative expression of 22 small nucleolar RNAs and the decreased expression of the transcription factors JUNB, FOS, FOSB, ATF3 MYC, EGR1 as well as the orphan nuclear receptors NR4A1, NR4A2, NR4A3 suggest dramatic reorganizations at both the cellular and genetic levels.
These data indicate that RYGB reduces skeletal muscle inflammation, and removal of omental fat further amplifies this response.
Trial Registration NCT00212160
PMCID: PMC3241684  PMID: 22194858

Results 1-25 (819852)