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1.  Functional Characterization and Regulation of gadX, a Gene Encoding an AraC/XylS-Like Transcriptional Activator of the Escherichia coli Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase System†  
Journal of Bacteriology  2002;184(10):2603-2613.
The Escherichia coli chromosome contains two distantly located genes, gadA and gadB, which encode biochemically undistinguishable isoforms of glutamic acid decarboxylase (Gad). The Gad reaction contributes to pH homeostasis by consuming intracellular H+ and producing γ-aminobutyric acid. This compound is exported via the protein product of the gadC gene, which is cotranscribed with gadB. Here we demonstrate that transcription of both gadA and gadBC is positively controlled by gadX, a gene downstream of gadA, encoding a transcriptional regulator belonging to the AraC/XylS family. The gadX promoter encompasses the 67-bp region preceding the gadX transcription start site and contains both RpoD and RpoS putative recognition sites. Transcription of gadX occurs in neutral rich medium upon entry into the stationary phase and is increased at acidic pH, paralleling the expression profile of the gad structural genes. However, PT5lacO-controlled gadX expression in neutral rich medium results in upregulation of target genes even in exponential phase, i.e., when the gad system is normally repressed. Autoregulation of the whole gad system is inferred by the positive effect of GadX on the gadA promoter and gadAX cotranscription. Transcription of gadX is derepressed in an hns mutant and strongly reduced in both rpoS and hns rpoS mutants, consistent with the expression profile of gad structural genes in these genetic backgrounds. Gel shift and DNase I footprinting analyses with a MalE-GadX fusion protein demonstrate that GadX binds gadA and gadBC promoters at different sites and with different binding affinities.
PMCID: PMC135039  PMID: 11976288
2.  p53 Target Gene SMAR1 Is Dysregulated in Breast Cancer: Its Role in Cancer Cell Migration and Invasion 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(8):e660.
Tumor suppressor SMAR1 interacts and stabilizes p53 through phosphorylation at its serine-15 residue. We show that SMAR1 transcription is regulated by p53 through its response element present in the SMAR1 promoter. Upon Doxorubicin induced DNA damage, acetylated p53 is recruited on SMAR1 promoter that allows activation of its transcription. Once SMAR1 is induced, cell cycle arrest is observed that is correlated to increased phospho-ser-15-p53 and decreased p53 acetylation. Further we demonstrate that SMAR1 expression is drastically reduced during advancement of human breast cancer. This was correlated with defective p53 expression in breast cancer where acetylated p53 is sequestered into the heterochromatin region and become inaccessible to activate SMAR1 promoter. In a recent report we have shown that SMAR1 represses Cyclin D1 transcription through recruitment of HDAC1 dependent repressor complex at the MAR site of Cyclin D1 promoter. Here we show that downmodulation of SMAR1 in high grade breast carcinoma is correlated with upregulated Cyclin D1 expression. We also established that SMAR1 inhibits tumor cell migration and metastases through inhibition of TGFβ signaling and its downstream target genes including cutl1 and various focal adhesion molecules. Thus, we report that SMAR1 plays a central role in coordinating p53 and TGFβ pathways in human breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC1924604  PMID: 17668048
3.  Collaborative Regulation of Escherichia coli Glutamate-Dependent Acid Resistance by Two AraC-Like Regulators, GadX and GadW (YhiW) 
Journal of Bacteriology  2002;184(24):7001-7012.
An important feature of Escherichia coli pathogenesis is an ability to withstand extremely acidic environments of pH 2 or lower. This acid resistance property contributes to the low infectious dose of pathogenic E. coli species. One very efficient E. coli acid resistance system encompasses two isoforms of glutamate decarboxylase (gadA and gadB) and a putative glutamate:γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) antiporter (gadC). The system is subject to complex controls that vary with growth media, growth phase, and growth pH. Previous work has revealed that the system is controlled by two sigma factors, two negative regulators (cyclic AMP receptor protein [CRP] and H-NS), and an AraC-like regulator called GadX. Earlier evidence suggested that the GadX protein acts both as a positive and negative regulator of the gadA and gadBC genes depending on environmental conditions. New data clarify this finding, revealing a collaborative regulation between GadX and another AraC-like regulator called GadW (previously YhiW). GadX and GadW are DNA binding proteins that form homodimers in vivo and are 42% homologous to each other. GadX activates expression of gadA and gadBC at any pH, while GadW inhibits GadX-dependent activation. Regulation of gadA and gadBC by either regulator requires an upstream, 20-bp GAD box sequence. Northern blot analysis further indicates that GadW represses expression of gadX. The results suggest a control circuit whereby GadW interacts with both the gadA and gadX promoters. GadW clearly represses gadX and, in situations where GadX is missing, activates gadA and gadBC. GadX, however, activates only gadA and gadBC expression. CRP also represses gadX expression. It does this primarily by repressing production of sigma S, the sigma factor responsible for gadX expression. In fact, the acid induction of gadA and gadBC observed when rich-medium cultures enter stationary phase corresponds to the acid induction of sigma S production. These complex control circuits impose tight rein over expression of the gadA and gadBC system yet provide flexibility for inducing acid resistance under many conditions that presage acid stress.
PMCID: PMC135476  PMID: 12446650
4.  Mechanisms of Transcription Activation Exerted by GadX and GadW at the gadA and gadBC Gene Promoters of the Glutamate-Based Acid Resistance System in Escherichia coli▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2006;188(23):8118-8127.
In Escherichia coli the gad system protects the cell from the extreme acid stress encountered during transit through the host stomach. The structural genes gadA, gadB, and gadC encode two glutamate decarboxylase isoforms and a glutamate/γ-aminobutyrate (GABA) antiporter, respectively. Glutamate decarboxylation involves both proton consumption and production of GABA, a neutral compound which is finally exported via the GadC antiporter. Regulation of gadA and gadBC transcription is very complex, involving several circuits controlling expression under different growth phase, medium, and pH conditions. In this study we found that the AraC-like activators GadX and GadW share the same 44-bp binding sites in the gadA and gadBC regulatory regions. The common binding sites are centered at 110.5 bp and 220.5 bp upstream of the transcriptional start points of the gadA and gadBC genes, respectively. At the gadA promoter this regulatory element overlaps one of the binding sites of the repressor H-NS. The DNA of the gadBC promoter has an intrinsic bend which is centered at position −121. These findings, combined with transcriptional regulation studies, may account for the two different mechanisms of transcriptional activation by GadX and GadW at the two promoters studied. We speculate that while at the gadA promoter GadX and GadW activate transcription by displacing H-NS via an antirepressor mechanism, at the gadBC promoter the mechanism of activation involves looping of the DNA sequence between the promoter and the activator binding site.
PMCID: PMC1698215  PMID: 16980449
5.  Compartmentalization of GABA Synthesis by GAD67 Differs between Pancreatic Beta Cells and Neurons 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0117130.
The inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA is synthesized by the enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) in neurons and in pancreatic β-cells in islets of Langerhans where it functions as a paracrine and autocrine signaling molecule regulating the function of islet endocrine cells. The localization of the two non-allelic isoforms GAD65 and GAD67 to vesicular membranes is important for rapid delivery and accumulation of GABA for regulated secretion. While the membrane anchoring and trafficking of GAD65 are mediated by intrinsic hydrophobic modifications, GAD67 remains hydrophilic, and yet is targeted to vesicular membrane pathways and synaptic clusters in neurons by both a GAD65-dependent and a distinct GAD65-independent mechanism. Herein we have investigated the membrane association and targeting of GAD67 and GAD65 in monolayer cultures of primary rat, human, and mouse islets and in insulinoma cells. GAD65 is primarily detected in Golgi membranes and in peripheral vesicles distinct from insulin vesicles in β-cells. In the absence of GAD65, GAD67 is in contrast primarily cytosolic in β-cells; its co-expression with GAD65 is necessary for targeting to Golgi membranes and vesicular compartments. Thus, the GAD65-independent mechanism for targeting of GAD67 to synaptic vesicles in neurons is not functional in islet β-cells. Therefore, only GAD65:GAD65 homodimers and GAD67:GAD65 heterodimers, but not the GAD67:GAD67 homodimer gain access to vesicular compartments in β-cells to facilitate rapid accumulation of newly synthesized GABA for regulated secretion and fine tuning of GABA-signaling in islets of Langerhans.
PMCID: PMC4315522  PMID: 25647668
6.  GadY, a Small-RNA Regulator of Acid Response Genes in Escherichia coli 
Journal of Bacteriology  2004;186(20):6698-6705.
A previous bioinformatics-based search for small RNAs in Escherichia coli identified a novel RNA named IS183. The gene encoding this small RNA is located between and on the opposite strand of genes encoding two transcriptional regulators of the acid response, gadX (yhiX) and gadW (yhiW). Given that IS183 is encoded in the gad gene cluster and because of its role in regulating acid response genes reported here, this RNA has been renamed GadY. We show that GadY exists in three forms, a long form consisting of 105 nucleotides and two processed forms, consisting of 90 and 59 nucleotides. The expression of this small RNA is highly induced during stationary phase in a manner that is dependent on the alternative sigma factor σS. Overexpression of the three GadY RNA forms resulted in increased levels of the mRNA encoding the GadX transcriptional activator, which in turn caused increased levels of the GadA and GadB glutamate decarboxylases. A promoter mutation which abolished gadY expression resulted in a reduction in the amount of gadX mRNA during stationary phase. The gadY gene was shown to overlap the 3′ end of the gadX gene, and this overlap region was found to be necessary for the GadY-dependent accumulation of gadX mRNA. We suggest that during stationary phase, GadY forms base pairs with the 3′-untranslated region of the gadX mRNA and confers increased stability, allowing for gadX mRNA accumulation and the increased expression of downstream acid resistance genes.
PMCID: PMC522195  PMID: 15466020
7.  pH-Dependent Modulation of Cyclic AMP Levels and GadW-Dependent Repression of RpoS Affect Synthesis of the GadX Regulator and Escherichia coli Acid Resistance 
Journal of Bacteriology  2003;185(23):6852-6859.
Extreme acid resistance is a remarkable property of virulent and avirulent Escherichia coli. The ability to resist environments in which the pH is 2.5 and below is predicted to contribute significantly to the survival of E. coli during passage through the gastric acid barrier. One acid resistance system imports glutamate from acidic environments and uses it as a proton sink during an intracellular decarboxylation reaction. Transcription of the genes encoding the glutamate decarboxylases and the substrate-product antiporter required for this system is induced under a variety of conditions, including the stationary phase and a low pH. Acid induction during log-phase growth in minimal medium appears to occur through multiple pathways. We recently demonstrated that GadE, the essential activator of the genes, was itself acid induced. In this report we present evidence that there is a regulatory loop involving cross-repression of two AraC-like regulators, GadX and GadW, that can either assist or interfere with GadE activation of the gad decarboxylase and antiporter genes, depending on the culture conditions. Balancing cross-repression appears to be dependent on cAMP and the cAMP regulator protein (CRP). The control loop involves the GadX protein repressing the expression of gadW and the GadW protein repressing or inhibiting RpoS, which is the alternative sigma factor that drives transcription of gadX. CRP and cAMP appear to influence GadX-GadW cross-repression from outside the loop by inhibiting production of RpoS. We found that GadW represses the decarboxylase genes in minimal medium and that growth under acidic conditions lowers the intracellular cAMP levels. These results indicate that CRP and cAMP can mediate pH control over gadX expression and, indirectly, expression of the decarboxylase genes. Mutational or physiological lowering of cAMP levels increases the level of RpoS and thereby increases the production of GadX. Higher GadX levels, in turn, repress gadW and contribute to induction of the gad decarboxylase genes. The presence of multiple pH control pathways governing expression of this acid resistance system is thought to reflect different environmental routes to a low pH.
PMCID: PMC262709  PMID: 14617649
8.  A comparative study of extraction techniques for maximum recovery of glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) from Aspergillus oryzae NSK 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:526.
γ-Amino butyric acid (GABA) is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter of the mammalian central nervous system that plays a vital role in regulating vital neurological functions. The enzyme responsible for producing GABA is glutamate decarboxylase (GAD), an intracellular enzyme that both food and pharmaceutical industries are currently using as the major catalyst in trial biotransformation process of GABA. We have successfully isolated a novel strain of Aspergillus oryzae NSK that possesses a relatively high GABA biosynthesizing capability compared to other reported GABA-producing fungal strains, indicating the presence of an active GAD. This finding has prompted us to explore an effective method to recover maximum amount of GAD for further studies on the GAD’s biochemical and kinetic properties. The extraction techniques examined were enzymatic lysis, chemical permeabilization, and mechanical disruption. Under the GAD activity assay used, one unit of GAD activity is expressed as 1 μmol of GABA produced per min per ml enzyme extract (U/ml) while the specific activity was expressed as U/mg protein.
Mechanical disruption by sonication, which yielded 1.99 U/mg of GAD, was by far the most effective cell disintegration method compared with the other extraction procedures examined. In contrast, the second most effective method, freeze grinding followed by 10% v/v toluene permeabilization at 25°C for 120 min, yielded only 1.17 U/mg of GAD, which is 170% lower than the sonication method. Optimized enzymatic lysis with 3 mg/ml Yatalase® at 60°C for 30 min was the least effective. It yielded only 0.70 U/mg of GAD. Extraction using sonication was further optimized using a one-variable-at-a-time approach (OVAT). Results obtained show that the yield of GAD increased 176% from 1.99 U/mg to 3.50 U/mg.
Of the techniques used to extract GAD from A. oryzae NSK, sonication was found to be the best. Under optimized conditions, about 176% of GAD was recovered compared to recovery under non optimized conditions. The high production level of GAD in this strain offers an opportunity to conduct further studies on GABA production at a larger scale.
PMCID: PMC4029468  PMID: 24321181
Aspergillus oryzae; Glutamate decarboxylase; γ-Amino-butyric acid; Sonication; Mechanical disruption; Enzymatic lysis; Chemical permeabilization
9.  Genes of the GadX-GadW Regulon in Escherichia coli 
Journal of Bacteriology  2003;185(10):3190-3201.
Acid in the stomach is thought to be a barrier to bacterial colonization of the intestine. Escherichia coli, however, has three systems for acid resistance, which overcome this barrier. The most effective of these systems is dependent on transport and decarboxylation of glutamate. GadX regulates two genes that encode isoforms of glutamate decarboxylase critical to this system, but additional genes associated with the glutamate-dependent acid resistance system remained to be identified. The gadX gene and a second downstream araC-like transcription factor gene, gadW, were mutated separately and in combination, and the gene expression profiles of the mutants were compared to those of the wild-type strain grown in neutral and acidified media under conditions favoring induction of glutamate-dependent acid resistance. Cluster and principal-component analyses identified 15 GadX-regulated, acid-inducible genes. Reverse transcriptase mapping demonstrated that these genes are organized in 10 operons. Analysis of the strain lacking GadX but possessing GadW confirmed that GadX is a transcriptional activator under acidic growth conditions. Analysis of the strain lacking GadW but possessing GadX indicated that GadW exerts negative control over three GadX target genes. The strain lacking both GadX and GadW was defective in acid induction of most but not all GadX target genes, consistent with the roles of GadW as an inhibitor of GadX-dependent activation of some genes and an activator of other genes. Resistance to acid was decreased under certain conditions in a gadX mutant and even more so by combined mutation of gadX and gadW. However, there was no defect in colonization of the streptomycin-treated mouse model by the gadX mutant in competition with the wild type, and the gadX gadW mutant was a better colonizer than the wild type. Thus, E. coli colonization of the mouse does not appear to require glutamate-dependent acid resistance.
PMCID: PMC154079  PMID: 12730179
10.  Long-Lasting Immune Responses 4 Years after GAD-Alum Treatment in Children with Type 1 Diabetes 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e29008.
A phase II clinical trial with glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) 65 formulated with aluminium hydroxide (GAD-alum) has shown efficacy in preserving residual insulin secretion in children and adolescents with recent-onset type 1 diabetes (T1D). We have performed a 4-year follow-up study of 59 of the original 70 patients to investigate long-term cellular and humoral immune responses after GAD-alum-treatment. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were stimulated in vitro with GAD65. Frequencies of naïve, central and effector memory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were measured, together with cytokine secretion, proliferation, gene expression and serum GAD65 autoantibody (GADA) levels. We here show that GAD-alum-treated patients display increased memory T-cell frequencies and prompt T-cell activation upon in vitro stimulation with GAD65, but not with control antigens, compared with placebo subjects. GAD65-induced T-cell activation was accompanied by secretion of T helper (Th) 1, Th2 and T regulatory cytokines and by induction of T-cell inhibitory pathways. Moreover, post-treatment serum GADA titres remained persistently increased in the GAD-alum arm, but did not inhibit GAD65 enzymatic activity. In conclusion, memory T- and B-cell responses persist 4 years after GAD-alum-treatment. In parallel to a GAD65-induced T-cell activation, our results show induction of T-cell inhibitory pathways important for regulating the GAD65 immunity.
PMCID: PMC3236224  PMID: 22174945
11.  Adult and Embryonic GAD Transcripts Are Spatiotemporally Regulated during Postnatal Development in the Rat Brain 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(2):e4371.
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, is synthesized by glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD). GAD exists in two adult isoforms, GAD65 and GAD67. During embryonic brain development at least two additional transcripts exist, I-80 and I-86, which are distinguished by insertions of 80 or 86 bp into GAD67 mRNA, respectively. Though it was described that embryonic GAD67 transcripts are not detectable during adulthood there are evidences suggesting re-expression under certain pathological conditions in the adult brain. In the present study we systematically analyzed for the first time the spatiotemporal distribution of different GADs with emphasis on embryonic GAD67 mRNAs in the postnatal brain using highly sensitive methods.
Methodology/Principal Findings
QPCR was used to precisely investigate the postnatal expression level of GAD related mRNAs in cortex, hippocampus, cerebellum, and olfactory bulb of rats from P1 throughout adulthood. Within the first three postnatal weeks the expression of both GAD65 and GAD67 mRNAs reached adult levels in hippocampus, cortex, and cerebellum. The olfactory bulb showed by far the highest expression of GAD65 as well as GAD67 transcripts. Embryonic GAD67 splice variants were still detectable at birth. They continuously declined to barely detectable levels during postnatal development in all investigated regions with exception of a comparatively high expression in the olfactory bulb. Radioactive in situ hybridizations confirmed the occurrence of embryonic GAD67 transcripts in the olfactory bulb and furthermore detected their localization mainly in the subventricular zone and the rostral migratory stream.
Embryonic GAD67 transcripts can hardly be detected in the adult brain, except for specific regions associated with neurogenesis and high synaptic plasticity. Therefore a functional role in processes like proliferation, migration or synaptogenesis is suggested.
PMCID: PMC2629816  PMID: 19190758
12.  Characterization of the Escherichia coli O157:H7 Sakai GadE Regulon▿ †  
Journal of Bacteriology  2008;191(6):1868-1877.
Integrating laterally acquired virulence genes into the backbone regulatory network is important for the pathogenesis of Escherichia coli O157:H7, which has captured many virulence genes through horizontal transfer during evolution. GadE is an essential transcriptional activator of the glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) system, the most efficient acid resistance (AR) mechanism in E. coli. The full contribution of GadE to the AR and virulence of E. coli O157:H7 remains largely unknown. We inactivated gadE in E. coli O157:H7 Sakai and compared global transcription profiles of the mutant with that of the wild type in the exponential and stationary phases of growth. Inactivation of gadE significantly altered the expression of 60 genes independently of the growth phase and of 122 genes in a growth phase-dependent manner. Inactivation of gadE markedly downregulated the expression of gadA, gadB, and gadC and of many acid fitness island genes. Nineteen genes encoded on the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE), including ler, showed a significant increase in expression upon gadE inactivation. Inactivation of ler in the ΔgadE strain reversed the effect of gadE deletion on LEE expression, indicating that Ler is necessary for LEE repression by GadE. GadE is also involved in downregulation of LEE expression under conditions of moderately acidic pH. Characterization of AR of the ΔgadE strain revealed that GadE is indispensable for a functional GAD system and for survival of E. coli O157:H7 in a simulated gastric environment. Altogether, these data indicate that GadE is critical for the AR of E. coli O157:H7 and that it plays an important role in virulence by downregulating expression of LEE.
PMCID: PMC2648353  PMID: 19114477
13.  Tumor Suppressor SMAR1 Mediates Cyclin D1 Repression by Recruitment of the SIN3/Histone Deacetylase 1 Complex†  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2005;25(19):8415-8429.
Matrix attachment region binding proteins have been shown to play an important role in gene regulation by altering chromatin in a stage- and tissue-specific manner. Our previous studies report that SMAR1, a matrix-associated protein, regresses B16-F1-induced tumors in mice. Here we show SMAR1 targets the cyclin D1 promoter, a gene product whose dysregulation is attributed to breast malignancies. Our studies reveal that SMAR1 represses cyclin D1 gene expression, which can be reversed by small interfering RNA specific to SMAR1. We demonstrate that SMAR1 interacts with histone deacetylation complex 1, SIN3, and pocket retinoblastomas to form a multiprotein repressor complex. This interaction is mediated by the SMAR1(160-350) domain. Our data suggest SMAR1 recruits a repressor complex to the cyclin D1 promoter that results in deacetylation of chromatin at that locus, which spreads to a distance of at least the 5 kb studied upstream of the cyclin D1 promoter. Interestingly, we find that the high induction of cyclin D1 in breast cancer cell lines can be correlated to the decreased levels of SMAR1 in these lines. Our results establish the molecular mechanism exhibited by SMAR1 to regulate cyclin D1 by modification of chromatin.
PMCID: PMC1265755  PMID: 16166625
14.  Detection of autoantibodies against reactive oxygen species modified glutamic acid decarboxylase-65 in type 1 diabetes associated complications 
BMC Immunology  2011;12:19.
Autoantibodies against glutamate decarboxylase-65 (GAD65Abs) are thought to be a major immunological tool involved in pathogenic autoimmunity development in various diseases. GAD65Abs are a sensitive and specific marker for type 1 diabetes (T1D). These autoantibodies can also be found in 6-10% of patients classified with type 2 diabetes (T2D), as well as in 1-2% of the healthy population. The latter individuals are at low risk of developing T1D because the prevalence rate of GAD65Abs is only about 0.3%. It has, therefore, been suggested that the antibody binding to GAD65 in these three different GAD65Ab-positive phenotypes differ with respect to epitope specificity. The specificity of reactive oxygen species modified GAD65 (ROS-GAD65) is already well established in the T1D. However, its association in secondary complications of T1D has not yet been ascertained. Hence this study focuses on identification of autoantibodies against ROS-GAD65 (ROS-GAD65Abs) and quantitative assays in T1D associated complications.
From the cohort of samples, serum autoantibodies from T1D retinopathic and nephropathic patients showed high recognition of ROS-GAD65 as compared to native GAD65 (N-GAD65). Uncomplicated T1D subjects also exhibited reactivity towards ROS-GAD65. However, this was found to be less as compared to the binding recorded from complicated subjects. These results were further proven by competitive ELISA estimations. The apparent association constants (AAC) indicate greater affinity of IgG from retinopathic T1D patients (1.90 × 10-6 M) followed by nephropathic (1.81 × 10-6 M) and uncomplicated (3.11 × 10-7 M) T1D patients for ROS-GAD65 compared to N-GAD65.
Increased oxidative stress and blood glucose levels with extended duration of disease in complicated T1D could be responsible for the gradual formation and/or exposing cryptic epitopes on GAD65 that induce increased production of ROS-GAD65Abs. Hence regulation of ROS-GAD65Abs could offer novel tools for analysing and possibly treating T1D complications.
PMCID: PMC3063234  PMID: 21385406
15.  Stabilization of SMAR1 mRNA by PGA2 involves a stem–loop structure in the 5′ UTR 
Nucleic Acids Research  2007;35(18):6004-6016.
Prostaglandins are anticancer agents known to inhibit tumor cell proliferation both in vitro and in vivo by affecting the mRNA stability. Here we report that a MAR-binding protein SMAR1 is a target of Prostaglandin A2 (PGA2) induced growth arrest. We identify a regulatory mechanism leading to stabilization of SMAR1 transcript. Our results show that a minor stem and loop structure present in the 5′ UTR of SMAR1 (ϕ1-UTR) is critical for nucleoprotein complex formation that leads to SMAR1 stabilization in response to PGA2. This results in an increased SMAR1 transcript and altered protein levels, that in turn causes downregulation of Cyclin D1 gene, essential for G1/S phase transition. We also provide evidence for the presence of a variant 5′ UTR SMAR1 (ϕ17-UTR) in breast cancer-derived cell lines. This form lacks the minor stem and loop structure required for mRNA stabilization in response to PGA2. As a consequence of this, there is a low level of endogenous tumor suppressor protein SMAR1 in breast cancer-derived cell lines. Our studies provide a mechanistic insight into the regulation of tumor suppressor protein SMAR1 by a cancer therapeutic PGA2, that leads to repression of Cyclin D1 gene.
PMCID: PMC2094063  PMID: 17726044
16.  A signal located within amino acids 1-27 of GAD65 is required for its targeting to the Golgi complex region 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1994;126(2):331-341.
The mechanisms involved in the targeting of proteins to different cytosolic compartments are still largely unknown. In this study we have investigated the targeting signal of the 65-kD isoform of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65), a major autoantigen in two autoimmune diseases: Stiff-Man syndrome and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. GAD65 is expressed in neurons and in pancreatic beta-cells, where it is concentrated in the Golgi complex region and in proximity to GABA- containing vesicles. GAD65, but not the similar isoform GAD67 which has a more diffuse cytosolic distribution, is palmitoylated within its first 100 amino acids (a.a.). We have previously demonstrated that the domain corresponding to a.a. 1-83 of GAD65 is required for the targeting of GAD65 to the Golgi complex region. Here we show that this domain is sufficient to target an unrelated protein, beta- galactosidase, to the same region. Site-directed mutagenesis of all the putative acceptor sites for thiopalmitoylation within this domain did not abolish targeting of GAD65 to the Golgi complex region. The replacement of a.a. 1-29 of GAD67 with the corresponding a.a. 1-27 of GAD65 was sufficient to target the otherwise soluble GAD67 to the Golgi complex region. Conversely, the replacement of a.a. 1-27 of GAD65 with a.a. 1-29 of GAD67 resulted in a GAD65 protein that had a diffuse cytosolic distribution and was primarily hydrophilic, suggesting that targeting to the Golgi complex region is required for palmitoylation of GAD65. We propose that the domain corresponding to a.a. 1-27 of GAD65, contains a signal required for the targeting of GAD65 to the Golgi complex region.
PMCID: PMC2200031  PMID: 8034738
17.  Epigenetic control of neurotransmitter expression in olfactory bulb interneurons 
Defining the molecular mechanisms that underlie development and maintenance of neuronal phenotypic diversity in the CNS is a fundamental challenge in developmental neurobiology. The vast majority of olfactory bulb (OB) interneurons are GABAergic and this neurotransmitter phenotype is specified in migrating neuroblasts by transcription of either or both glutamic acid decarboxylase 1 (Gad1) and Gad2. A subset of OB interneurons also co-express dopamine, but transcriptional repression of tyrosine hydroxylase (Th) suppresses the dopaminergic phenotype until these neurons terminally differentiate. In mature OB interneurons, GABA and dopamine levels are modulated by odorant-induced synaptic activity-dependent regulation of Gad1 and Th transcription. The molecular mechanisms that specify and maintain the GABAergic and dopaminergic phenotypes in the OB are not clearly delineated. In this report, we review previous studies and present novel findings that provide insight into the contribution of epigenetic regulatory mechanisms for controlling expression of these neurotransmitter phenotypes in the OB. We show that HDAC enzymes suppress the dopaminergic phenotype in migrating neuroblasts by repressing Th transcription. In the mature interneurons, both Th and Gad1 transcription levels are modulated by synaptic activity-dependent recruitment of acetylated histone H3 on both the Th and Gad1 proximal promoters. We also show that HDAC2 has the opposite transcriptional response to odorant-induced synaptic activity when compared to Th and Gad1. These findings suggest that HDAC2 mediates, in part, the activity-dependent chromatin remodeling of the Th and Gad1 proximal promoters in mature OB interneurons.
PMCID: PMC3622794  PMID: 23220178
dopamine; GABA; tyrosine hydroxylase; glutamic acid decarboxylase; olfactory bulb; adult neurogenesis
18.  An Analysis of the Cross-Reactivity of Autoantibodies to GAD65 and GAD67 in Diabetes 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(4):e18411.
Autoantibodies to GAD65 (anti-GAD65) are present in the sera of 70–80% of patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D), but antibodies to the structurally similar 67 kDa isoform GAD67 are rare. Antibodies to GAD67 may represent a cross-reactive population of anti-GAD65, but this has not been formally tested.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In this study we examined the frequency, levels and affinity of anti-GAD67 in diabetes sera that contained anti-GAD65, and compared the specificity of GAD65 and GAD67 reactivity. Anti-GAD65 and anti-GAD67 were measured by radioimmunoprecipitation (RIP) using 125I labeled recombinant GAD65 and GAD67. For each antibody population, the specificity of the binding was measured by incubation with 100-fold excess of unlabeled GAD in homologous and heterologous inhibition assays, and the affinity of binding with GAD65 and GAD67 was measured in selected sera. Sera were also tested for reactivity to GAD65 and GAD67 by immunoblotting. Of the 85 sera that contained antibodies to GAD65, 28 contained anti–GAD67 measured by RIP. Inhibition with unlabeled GAD65 substantially or completely reduced antibody reactivity with both 125I GAD65 and with 125I GAD67. In contrast, unlabeled GAD67 reduced autoantibody reactivity with 125I GAD67 but not with 125I GAD65. Both populations of antibodies were of high affinity (>1010 l/mol).
Our findings show that autoantibodies to GAD67 represent a minor population of anti-GAD65 that are reactive with a cross-reactive epitope found also on GAD67. Experimental results confirm that GAD65 is the major autoantigen in T1D, and that GAD67 per se has very low immunogenicity. We discuss our findings in light of the known similarities between the structures of the GAD isoforms, in particular the location of a minor cross-reactive epitope that could be induced by epitope spreading.
PMCID: PMC3072979  PMID: 21494613
19.  Calmodulin-dependent and calmodulin-independent glutamate decarboxylases in apple fruit 
BMC Plant Biology  2013;13:144.
The ubiquitous, non-proteinaceous amino acid GABA (γ-aminobutyrate) accumulates in plants subjected to abiotic stresses such as chilling, O2 deficiency and elevated CO2. Recent evidence indicates that controlled atmosphere storage causes the accumulation of GABA in apple (Malus x domestica Borkh.) fruit, and now there is increasing interest in the biochemical mechanisms responsible for this phenomenon. Here, we investigated whether this phenomenon could be mediated via Ca2+/calmodulin (CaM) activation of glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) activity.
GAD activity in cell-free extracts of apple fruit was stimulated by Ca2+/CaM at physiological pH, but not at the acidic pH optimum. Based on bioinformatics analysis of the apple genome, three apple GAD genes were identified and their expression determined in various apple organs, including fruit. Like recombinant Arabidopsis GAD1, the activity and spectral properties of recombinant MdGAD1 and MdGAD2 were regulated by Ca2+/CaM at physiological pH and both enzymes possessed a highly conserved CaM-binding domain that was autoinhibitory. In contrast, the activity and spectral properties of recombinant MdGAD3 were not affected by Ca2+/CaM and they were much less sensitive to pH than MdGAD1, MdGAD2 and Arabidopsis GAD1; furthermore, the C-terminal region neither bound CaM nor functioned as an autoinhibitory domain.
Plant GADs typically differ from microbial and animal GAD enzymes in possessing a C-terminal 30–50 amino acid residue CaM-binding domain. To date, rice GAD2 is the only exception to this generalization; notably, the C-terminal region of this enzyme still functions as an autoinhibitory domain. In the present study, apple fruit were found to contain two CaM-dependent GADs, as well as a novel CaM-independent GAD that does not possess a C-terminal autoinhibitory domain.
PMCID: PMC3849887  PMID: 24074460
Abiotic stress; Apple fruit; Biochemical regulation; Calmodulin; Controlled atmosphere storage; γ-Aminobutyrate; Glutamate decarboxylase; Recombinant protein
20.  Acid stress response in Escherichia coli: mechanism of regulation of gadA transcription by RcsB and GadE 
Nucleic Acids Research  2010;38(11):3546-3554.
Escherichia coli can survive extreme acid stress for several hours. The most efficient acid resistance system is based on glutamate decarboxylation by the GadA and GadB decarboxylases and the import of glutamate via the GadC membrane protein. The expression of the corresponding genes is controlled by GadE, the central activator of glutamate-dependent acid resistance (GDAR). We have previously shown by genetic approaches that as well as GadE, the response regulator of the Rcs system, RcsB is absolutely required for control of gadA/BC transcription. In the presence of GadE, basal activity of RcsB stimulates the expression of gadA/BC, whereas activation of RcsB leads to general repression of the gad genes. We report here the results of various in vitro assays that show RcsB to regulate by direct binding to the gadA promoter region. Furthermore, activation of gadA transcription requires a GAD box and binding of an RcsB/GadE heterodimer. In addition, we have identified an RcsB box, which lies just upstream of the −10 element of gadA promoter and is involved in repression of this operon.
PMCID: PMC2887963  PMID: 20189963
21.  Glutamate acid decarboxylase 1 promotes metastasis of human oral cancer by β-catenin translocation and MMP7 activation 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:555.
Glutamate decarboxylase 1 (GAD1), a rate-limiting enzyme in the production of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), is found in the GABAergic neurons of the central nervous system. Little is known about the relevance of GAD1 to oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). We investigated the expression status of GAD1 and its functional mechanisms in OSCCs.
We evaluated GAD1 mRNA and protein expressions in OSCC-derived cells using real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and immunoblotting analyses. To assess the critical functions of GAD1, i.e., cellular proliferation, invasiveness, and migration, OSCC-derived cells were treated with the shRNA and specific GAD1 inhibitor, 3-mercaptopropionic acid (3-MPA). GAD1 expression in 80 patients with primary OSCCs was analyzed and compared to the clinicopathological behaviors of OSCC.
qRT-PCR and immunoblotting analyses detected frequent up-regulation of GAD1 in OSCC-derived cells compared to human normal oral keratinocytes. Suppression of nuclear localization of β-catenin and MMP7 secretion was observed in GAD1 knockdown and 3-MPA-treated cells. We also found low cellular invasiveness and migratory abilities in GAD1 knockdown and 3-MPA-treated cells. In the clinical samples, GAD1 expression in the primary OSCCs was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than in normal counterparts and was correlated significantly (P < 0.05) with regional lymph node metastasis.
Our data showed that up-regulation of GAD1 was a characteristic event in OSCCs and that GAD1 was correlated with cellular invasiveness and migration by regulating β-catenin translocation and MMP7 activation. GAD1 might play an important role in controlling tumoral invasiveness and metastasis in oral cancer.
PMCID: PMC3866561  PMID: 24261884
Glutamate acid decarboxylase 1; β-catenin; Matrix metalloproteinase-7; 3-mercaptopropionic acid; Metastasis; Oral squamous cell carcinoma
22.  GAD1 mRNA Expression and DNA Methylation in Prefrontal Cortex of Subjects with Schizophrenia 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(8):e809.
Dysfunction of prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia includes changes in GABAergic mRNAs, including decreased expression of GAD1, encoding the 67 kDa glutamate decarboxylase (GAD67) GABA synthesis enzyme. The underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Alterations in DNA methylation as an epigenetic regulator of gene expression are thought to play a role but this hypothesis is difficult to test because no techniques are available to extract DNA from GAD1 expressing neurons efficiently from human postmortem brain. Here, we present an alternative approach that is based on immunoprecipitation of mononucleosomes with anti-methyl-histone antibodies differentiating between sites of potential gene expression as opposed to repressive or silenced chromatin. Methylation patterns of CpG dinucleotides at the GAD1 proximal promoter and intron 2 were determined for each of the two chromatin fractions separately, using a case-control design for 14 schizophrenia subjects affected by a decrease in prefrontal GAD1 mRNA levels. In controls, the methylation frequencies at CpG dinucleotides, while overall higher in repressive as compared to open chromatin, did not exceed 5% at the proximal GAD1 promoter and 30% within intron 2. Subjects with schizophrenia showed a significant, on average 8-fold deficit in repressive chromatin-associated DNA methylation at the promoter. These results suggest that chromatin remodeling mechanisms are involved in dysregulated GABAergic gene expression in schizophrenia.
PMCID: PMC1950080  PMID: 17726539
23.  Escherichia coli has two homologous glutamate decarboxylase genes that map to distinct loci. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1992;174(18):5820-5826.
Degenerate oligonucleotides based on the published Escherichia coli glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) protein sequence were used in a polymerase chain reaction to generate a DNA probe for the E. coli GAD structural gene. Southern blots showed that there were two cross-hybridizing GAD genes, and both of these were cloned and sequenced. The two GAD structural genes, designated gadA and gadB, were found to be 98% similar at the nucleotide level. Each gene encoded a 466-residue polypeptide, named, respectively, GAD alpha and GAD beta, and these differed by only five amino acids. Both GAD alpha and GAD beta contain amino acid residues which are highly conserved among pyridoxal-dependent decarboxylases, but otherwise the protein sequences were not homologous to any other known proteins. By restriction mapping and hybridization to the Kohara miniset library, the two GAD genes were located on the E. coli chromosome. gadA maps at 4046 kb and gadB at 1588 kb. Neither of these positions is in agreement with the current map position for gadS as determined by genetic means. Analysis of Southern blots indicated that two GAD genes were present in all E. coli strains examined, including representatives from the ECOR collection. However, no significant cross-hybridizing gene was found in Salmonella species. Information about the DNA sequences and map positions of gadA and gadB should facilitate a genetic approach to elucidate the role of GAD in E. coli metabolism.
PMCID: PMC207112  PMID: 1522060
24.  POSTTRANSLATIONAL MODIFICATION OF GLUTAMIC ACID DECARBOXYLASE 67 BY INTERMITTENT HYPOXIA: Evidence for the involvement of dopamine D1 receptor signaling$ 
Journal of neurochemistry  2010;115(6):1568-1578.
Intermittent hypoxia (IH) associated with sleep apnea leads to cardio-respiratory morbidities. Previous studies have shown that IH alters the synthesis of neurotransmitters including catecholamines and neuropeptides in brainstem regions associated with regulation of cardio-respiratory functions. GABA, a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, has been implicated in cardio-respiratory control. GABA synthesis is primarily catalyzed by glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD). Here, we tested the hypothesis that IH like its effect on other transmitters also alters GABA synthesis. The impact of IH on GABA synthesis was investigated in pheochromocytoma 12 (PC12) cells, a neuronal cell line which is known to express active form of GAD67 in the cytosolic fraction and also assessed the underlying mechanisms contributing to IH-evoked response. Exposure of cell cultures to IH decreased GAD67 activity and GABA level. IH-evoked decrease in GAD67 activity was due to increased cAMP - protein kinase A (PKA) - dependent phosphorylation of GAD67, but not as a result of changes in either GAD67 mRNA or protein expression. PKA inhibitor restored GAD67 activity and GABA levels in IH treated cells. PC12 cells express dopamine 1 receptor (D1R), a G-protein coupled receptor whose activation increased adenylyl cyclase (AC) activity. Treatment with either D1R antagonist or AC inhibitor reversed IH-evoked GAD67 inhibition. Silencing D1R expression with siRNA reversed cAMP elevation and GAD67 inhibition by IH. These results provide evidence for the role of D1R-cAMP-PKA signaling in IH mediated inhibition of GAD67 via protein phosphorylation resulting in down regulation of GABA synthesis.
PMCID: PMC2997678  PMID: 20969567
25.  Combinational Spinal GAD65 Gene Delivery and Systemic GABA-Mimetic Treatment for Modulation of Spasticity 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(1):e30561.
Loss of GABA-mediated pre-synaptic inhibition after spinal injury plays a key role in the progressive increase in spinal reflexes and the appearance of spasticity. Clinical studies show that the use of baclofen (GABAB receptor agonist), while effective in modulating spasticity is associated with major side effects such as general sedation and progressive tolerance development. The goal of the present study was to assess if a combined therapy composed of spinal segment-specific upregulation of GAD65 (glutamate decarboxylase) gene once combined with systemic treatment with tiagabine (GABA uptake inhibitor) will lead to an antispasticity effect and whether such an effect will only be present in GAD65 gene over-expressing spinal segments.
Methods/Principal Findings
Adult Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were exposed to transient spinal ischemia (10 min) to induce muscle spasticity. Animals then received lumbar injection of HIV1-CMV-GAD65 lentivirus (LVs) targeting ventral α-motoneuronal pools. At 2–3 weeks after lentivirus delivery animals were treated systemically with tiagabine (4, 10, 20 or 40 mg/kg or vehicle) and the degree of spasticity response measured. In a separate experiment the expression of GAD65 gene after spinal parenchymal delivery of GAD65-lentivirus in naive minipigs was studied. Spastic SD rats receiving spinal injections of the GAD65 gene and treated with systemic tiagabine showed potent and tiagabine-dose-dependent alleviation of spasticity. Neither treatment alone (i.e., GAD65-LVs injection only or tiagabine treatment only) had any significant antispasticity effect nor had any detectable side effect. Measured antispasticity effect correlated with increase in spinal parenchymal GABA synthesis and was restricted to spinal segments overexpressing GAD65 gene.
These data show that treatment with orally bioavailable GABA-mimetic drugs if combined with spinal-segment-specific GAD65 gene overexpression can represent a novel and highly effective anti-spasticity treatment which is associated with minimal side effects and is restricted to GAD65-gene over-expressing spinal segments.
PMCID: PMC3264568  PMID: 22291989

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