Preterm infants have increased susceptibility to severe manifestations of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. The cause(s) for this age-dependent vulnerability is/are not well-defined, but alterations in innate immune products have been implicated. In sheep, RSV disease severity has similar age-dependent characteristics and sheep have several related innate molecules for study during pulmonary infection including surfactant protein A (SP-A), surfactant protein D (SP-D), sheep beta defensin 1 (SBD1), monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP1), and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). However, the in vivo cellular gene expression as a response to RSV infection is poorly understood. In this study, the effect of RSV infection on expression of these innate immune genes was determined for bovine RSV-infected (bRSV + fluorescence) epithelial cells, adjacent cells lacking bRSV antigen (adjoining cells lacking fluorescence), and control cells from non-infected lung using laser capture microdissection (LCM) and real-time RT-PCR. Control lambs had increased expression of innate immune molecules in full term (term) compared to preterm epithelia with statistical significance in SBD1, SP-D, and TLR4 mRNA. Infected cells (bRSV + fluorescent cells) had consistently higher mRNA levels of SP-A (preterm and term), MCP1 (preterm and term), and SP-D (preterm). Interestingly, bRSV − cells of infected term lambs had significantly reduced SP-D mRNA expression compared to bRSV + and control epithelia, suggesting that RSV infected cells may regulate the adjacent epithelial SP-D expression. This study defines specific innate immune components (e.g., SBD1, SP-D, and TLR4) that have differential age-dependent expression in the airway epithelia. Furthermore, cellular bRSV infection enhanced certain innate immune components while suppressing adjacent cellular SP-D expression in term animals. These in vivo gene expression results provide a framework for future studies on age-dependent susceptibility to RSV and RSV pathogenesis.
Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome (SDS) is a hereditary disease caused by mutations in the SBDS gene. SDS is clinically characterized by pancreatic insufficiency, skeletal abnormalities and bone marrow dysfunction. The hematologic abnormalities include neutropenia, neutrophil chemotaxis defects, and an increased risk of developing Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Although several studies have suggested that SBDS as a protein plays a role in ribosome processing/maturation, its impact on human neutrophil development and function remains to be clarified.
We observed that SBDS RNA and protein are expressed in the human myeloid leukemia PLB-985 cell line and in human hematopoietic progenitor cells by quantitative RT-PCR and Western blot analysis. SBDS expression is downregulated during neutrophil differentiation. Additionally, we observed that the differentiation and proliferation capacity of SDS-patient bone marrow hematopoietic progenitor cells in a liquid differentiation system was reduced as compared to control cultures. Immunofluorescence analysis showed that SBDS co-localizes with the mitotic spindle and in vitro binding studies reveal a direct interaction of SBDS with microtubules. In interphase cells a perinuclear enrichment of SBDS protein which co-localized with the microtubule organizing center (MTOC) was observed. Also, we observed that transiently expressed SDS patient-derived SBDS-K62 or SBDS-C84 mutant proteins could co-localize with the MTOC and mitotic spindle.
SBDS co-localizes with the mitotic spindle, suggesting a role for SBDS in the cell division process, which corresponds to the decreased proliferation capacity of SDS-patient bone marrow CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells in our culture system and also to the neutropenia in SDS patients. A role in chromosome missegregation has not been clarified, since similar spatial and time-dependent localization is observed when patient-derived SBDS mutant proteins are studied. Thus, the increased risk of myeloid malignancy in SDS remains unexplained.
Although chicken oviduct is a useful model and target tissue for reproductive biology and transgenesis, little is known because of the highly specific hormonal regulation and the lack of fundamental researches, including lectin-binding activities and glycobiology. Because lectin is attached to secreted glycoproteins, we hypothesized that lectin could be bound to secretory egg-white proteins, and played a crucial role in the generation of egg-white protein in the oviduct. Hence, the purpose of this study was to investigate the structural, histological and lectin-binding characteristics of the chicken oviductal magnum from juvenile and adult hens.
The oviductal magnums from juvenile and adult hens were prepared for ultrastructural analysis, qRT-PCR and immunostaining. Immunohistochemistry of anti-ovalbumin, anti-ESR1 and anti-PGR, and mRNA expression of egg-white genes and steroid hormone receptor genes were evaluated. Lectin histochemical staining was also conducted in juvenile and adult oviductal magnum tissues.
The ultrastructural analysis showed that ciliated cells were rarely developed on luminal surface in juvenile magnum, but not tubular gland cells. In adult magnum, two types of epithelium and three types of tubular gland cells were observed. qRT-PCR analysis showed that egg-white genes were highly expressed in adult oviduct compared with the juvenile. However, mRNA expressions of ESR1 and PGR were considerably higher in juvenile oviduct than adult (P < 0.05). The immunohistochemical analysis showed that anti-ovalbumin antibody was detected in adult oviduct not in juvenile, unlikely anti-ESR1 and anti-PGR antibodies that were stained in both oviducts. In histological analysis, Toluidine blue was stained in juvenile and adult oviductal epithelia, and adult tubular glands located in the outer layer of oviductal magnum. In contrast, PAS was positive only in adult oviductal tubular gland. Lectins were selectively bound to oviductal epithelium, stroma, and tubular gland cells. Particularly, lectin-ConA and WGA were bound to electron-dense secretory granules in tubular gland.
The observation of ultrastructural analysis, mRNA expression, immunohistochemistry and lectin staining showed structural and physiological characterization of juvenile and adult oviductal magnum. Consequently, oviduct study could be helped to in vitro culture of chicken oviductal cells, to develop epithelial or tubular gland cell-specific markers, and to understand female reproductive biology and endocrinology.
Mating changes the mode of action of 17beta-estradiol (E2) to accelerate oviductal egg transport from a nongenomic to a genomic mode, although in both pathways estrogen receptors (ER) are required. This change was designated as intracellular path shifting (IPS).
Herein, we examined the subcellular distribution of ESR1 and ESR2 (formerly known as ER-alpha and ER-beta) in oviductal epithelial cells of rats on day 1 of cycle (C1) or pregnancy (P1) using immunoelectron microscopy for ESR1 and ESR2. The effect of mating on intraoviductal ESR1 or ESR2 signaling was then explored comparing the expression of E2-target genes c-fos, brain creatine kinase (Ckb) and calbindin 9 kDa (s100g) in rats on C1 or P1 treated with selective agonists for ESR1 (PPT) or ESR2 (DPN). The effect of ER agonists on egg transport was also evaluated on C1 or P1 rats.
Receptor immunoreactivity was associated with the nucleus, cytoplasm and plasma membrane of the epithelial cells. Mating affected the subcellular distribution of both receptors as well as the response to E2. In C1 and P1 rats, PPT increased Ckb while both agonists increased c-fos. DPN increased Ckb and s100g only in C1 and P1 rats, respectively. PPT accelerated egg transport in both groups and DPN accelerated egg transport only in C1 rats.
Estrogen receptors present a subcellular distribution compatible with E2 genomic and nongenomic signaling in the oviductal epithelial cells of C1 and P1 although IPS occurs independently of changes in the distribution of ESR1 and ESR2 in the oviductal epithelial cells. Mating affected intraoviductal ER-signaling and induced loss of functional involvement of ESR2 on E2-induced accelerated egg transport. These findings reveal a profound influence on the ER signaling pathways exerted by mating in the oviduct.
The uptake and intracellular trafficking of sphingolipids, which self-associate into plasma membrane microdomains, is associated with many pathological conditions, including viral and toxin infection, lipid storage disease, and neurodegenerative disease. However, the means available to label the trafficking pathways of sphingolipids in live cells are extremely limited. In order to address this problem, we have developed an exogenous, non-toxic probe consisting of a 25-amino acid sphingolipid binding domain, the SBD, derived from the amyloid peptide Aβ, and conjugated by a neutral linker with an organic fluorophore. The current work presents the characterization of the sphingolipid binding and live cell trafficking of this novel probe, the SBD peptide. SBD was the name given to a motif originally recognized by Fantini et al  in a number of glycolipid-associated proteins, and was proposed to interact with sphingolipids in membrane microdomains.
In accordance with Fantini's model, optimal SBD binding to membranes depends on the presence of sphingolipids and cholesterol. In synthetic membrane binding assays, SBD interacts preferentially with raft-like lipid mixtures containing sphingomyelin, cholesterol, and complex gangliosides in a pH-dependent manner, but is less glycolipid-specific than Cholera toxin B (CtxB). Using quantitative time-course colocalization in live cells, we show that the uptake and intracellular trafficking route of SBD is unlike that of either the non-raft marker Transferrin or the raft markers CtxB and Flotillin2-GFP. However, SBD traverses an endolysosomal route that partially intersects with raft-associated pathways, with a major portion being diverted at a late time point to rab11-positive recycling endosomes. Trafficking of SBD to acidified compartments is strongly disrupted by cholesterol perturbations, consistent with the regulation of sphingolipid trafficking by cholesterol.
The current work presents the characterization and trafficking behavior of a novel sphingolipid-binding fluorescent probe, the SBD peptide. We show that SBD binding to membranes is dependent on the presence of cholesterol, sphingomyelin, and complex glycolipids. In addition, SBD targeting through the endolysosomal pathway in neurons is highly sensitive to cholesterol perturbations, making it a potentially useful tool for the analysis of sphingolipid trafficking in disease models that involve changes in cholesterol metabolism and storage.
S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase-like protein 1 (AHCYL1), also known as IP3 receptor-binding protein released with IP3 (IRBIT), regulates IP3-induced Ca2+ release into the cytoplasm of cells. AHCYL1 is a critical regulator of early developmental stages in zebrafish, but little is known about the function of AHCYL1 or hormonal regulation of expression of the AHCYL1 gene in avian species. Therefore, we investigated differential expression profiles of the AHCYL1 gene in various adult organs and in oviducts from estrogen-treated chickens. Chicken AHCYL1 encodes for a protein of 540 amino acids that is highly conserved and has considerable homology to mammalian AHCYL1 proteins (>94% identity). AHCYL1 mRNA was expressed abundantly in various organs of chickens. Further, the synthetic estrogen agonist induced AHCYL1 mRNA and protein predominantly in luminal and glandular epithelial cells of the chick oviduct. In addition, estrogen activated AHCYL1 through the ERK1/2 signal transduction cascade and that activated expression of AHCYL1 regulated genes affecting oviduct development in chicks as well as calcium release in epithelial cells of the oviduct. Also, microRNAs, miR-124a, miR-1669, miR-1710 and miR-1782 influenced AHCYL1 expression in vitro via its 3′-UTR which suggests that post-transcriptional events are involved in the regulation of AHCYL1 expression in the chick oviduct. In conclusion, these results indicate that AHCYL1 is a novel estrogen-stimulated gene expressed in epithelial cells of the chicken oviduct that likely affects growth, development and calcium metabolism of the mature oviduct of hens via an estrogen-mediated ERK1/2 MAPK cell signaling pathway.
Progesterone (P4) may modulate oviductal functions to promote early embryo development in cattle. In addition to its nuclear receptor (PR), P4 may mediate its actions through P4 receptor membrane component 1 (PGRMC1) and its relative, PGRMC2. Two successive experiments were undertaken to characterise the expression of PR, PGRMC1 and PGRMC2 in the bovine oviduct during the post-ovulation period, and to relate their expression to the presence of an embryo, the proximity of the CL and to the region of the oviduct.
In the first experiment (Exp. I), whole oviduct sections were collected from Holstein cows at Day 1.5, Day 4 and Day 5 post-ovulation (n = 2 cows per stage). The expression of PR, PGRMC1 and PGRMC2 was studied in the ampulla and isthmus by RT-PCR, western-blot and immunohistochemistry. In Exp. II, oviduct epithelial cells were collected from cyclic and pregnant Charolais cows (n = 4 cows per status) at Day 3.5 post-ovulation and mRNA expression of PR, PGRMC1 and PGRMC2 was examined in the ampulla and isthmus by real-time quantitative PCR.
In Exp. I, PR, PGRMC1 and PGRMC2 were expressed in all oviduct samples. PGRMC1 was mainly localised in the luminal epithelium whereas PR and PGRMC2 were localised in the epithelium as well as in the muscle and stroma layers of the oviduct. The expression was primarily nuclear for PR, primarily cytoplasmic for PGRMC1 and both nuclear and cytoplasmic for PGRMC2. In Exp. II, mRNA levels for PR, PGRMC1 and PGRMC2 were not affected by either the pregnancy status or the side relative to the CL. However, the expression of PR and PGRMC2 varied significantly with the region of the oviduct: PR was more highly expressed in the isthmus whereas PGRMC2 was more highly expressed in the ampulla.
This is the first evidence of PGRMC2 expression in the bovine oviduct. Our findings suggest that P4 regulates the functions of the bovine oviduct in a region-specific manner and through both classical and non classical pathways during the post-ovulation period.
PR; PGRMC1; PGRMC2; Oviduct; Bovine; Expression
Shwachman-Diamond syndrome (SDS; OMIM 260400) results from loss-of-function mutations in the Shwachman-Bodian Diamond syndrome (SBDS) gene. It is a multi-system disorder with clinical features of exocrine pancreatic dysfunction, skeletal abnormalities, bone marrow failure and predisposition to leukemic transformation. Although the cellular functions of SBDS are still unclear, its yeast ortholog has been implicated in ribosome biogenesis. Using affinity capture and mass spectrometry, we have developed an SBDS-interactome and report SBDS binding partners with diverse molecular functions, notably components of the large ribosomal subunit and proteins involved in DNA metabolism. Reciprocal co-immunoprecipitation confirmed the interaction of SBDS with the large ribosomal subunit protein RPL4 and with DNA-PK and RPA70, two proteins with critical roles in DNA repair. Function for SBDS in response to cellular stresses was implicated by demonstrating that SBDS-depleted HEK293 cells are hypersensitive to multiple types of DNA damage as well as chemically induced endoplasmic reticulum stress. Furthermore, using multiple routes to impair translation and mimic the effect of SBDS-depletion, we show that SBDS-dependent hypersensitivity of HEK293 cells to UV irradiation can be distinguished from a role of SBDS in translation. These results indicate functions of SBDS beyond ribosome biogenesis and may provide insight into the poorly understood cancer predisposition of SDS patients.
Preterm infants experience enhanced susceptibility and severity to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. Terminal airway epithelium is an important site of RSV infection and the extent of local innate immune gene expression is poorly understood. In this study, expression of surfactant proteins A and D (SP-AD), sheep beta defensin 1 (SBD1), and toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) mRNA were determined in whole lung homogenates from lambs. SP-AD and TLR4 mRNA expression increased (p<0.05) from late gestation to term birth. In addition, gene expression of LCM-retrieved type II pneumocytes (CD208+), adjacent epithelium (CD208−) and bronchial epithelium demonstrated that bronchiole-alveolar junction epithelium (combined CD208+/−) had significant (p<0.05) developmental increases in SP-AD, SBD1 and TLR4 mRNA, whereas CD208+ cells had statistically significant increases only with SP-A mRNA. Using immunofluorescence, SP-AD antigen distribution and intensity were also greater with developmental age. These studies show reduced SBD1, SP-AD, and TLR4 expression in the preterm lung and this may underlie enhanced RSV susceptibility.
Antimicrobial peptide; Beta-defensin; Lung; Preterm infant; Sheep; Surfactant protein; Toll-like receptor
Mammalian oviduct acts as a reservoir for spermatozoa and provides an environment in which they may compete for the opportunity to fertilize the oocyte. Whilst in the oviduct spermatozoa undergo capacitation essential for fertilization. Sperm-oviduct interaction is essential for sperm capacitation and is a tightly regulated process influenced by the local microenvironment. Previously we reported that the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) regulates sperm release from epithelial oviductal cells by promoting sperm capacitation. The aims of this work were to measure the AEA content and to characterize the main AEA metabolic pathway in the bovine oviduct and determine how these change through the oestrous cycle. In this study, the levels of AEA and two other N-acylethanolamines, N-oleoylethanolamine and N-palmitoylethanolamine, were measured in bovine oviduct collected during different stages of oestrous cycle by ultra high performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Results indicated that intracellular oviductal epithelial levels of all three N-acylethanolamines fluctuate during oestrous cycle. Anandamide from oviductal fluid also varied during oestrous cycle, with the highest values detected during the periovulatory period. Endocannabinoid levels from ipsilateral oviduct to ovulation were higher than those detected in the contralateral one, suggesting that levels of oviductal AEA may be regulated by ovarian hormones. The expression and localization of N-acylethanolamines metabolizing enzymes in bovine oviduct were also determined by RT-PCR, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry but no change was found during the oestrous cycle. Furthermore, nanomolar levels of AEA were detected in follicular fluids, suggesting that during ovulation the mature follicle may contribute to oviductal AEA levels to create an endocannabinoid gradient conducive to the regulation of sperm function for successful fertilization.
Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) affects thousands of children every year. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a regulator of vasculogenesis, pulmonary maturation, and immunity. In order to test the extent to which VEGF may alter RSV infection, 4 groups of lambs received either human recombinant VEGF (rhVEGF) or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) pretreatment followed by inoculation with human RSV strain A2 or sterile medium. Lambs in each group were sacrificed at 2, 4, and 6 days post infection. Expression of surfactant protein-A (SP-A), surfactant protein-D (SP-D), sheep β-defensin-1 (SBD-1), tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, interferon β, and endogenous VEGF were measured to determine effect of rhVEGF pretreatment. RSV lambs pretreated with rhVEGF had reduced viral mRNA and decreased pulmonary pathology at day 6. Pretreatment with rhVEGF increased mRNA expression of SP-A, SBD-1, and TNFα, with alteration of expression in RSV lambs. Endogenous VEGF mRNA levels were increased at day 2 regardless of pretreatment. Pretreatment with rhVEGF increased pulmonary cellular proliferation in RSV lambs at day 4 post infection. Overall, these results suggest that pretreatment with rhVEGF protein may have therapeutic potential to decrease RSV viral load, decrease pulmonary lesion severity, and alter both epithelial innate immune responses and epithelial cell proliferation.
innate immunity; pulmonary pathology; respiratory syncytial virus; sheep defensin; surfactant protein; vascular endothelial growth factor
Mating changes the mechanism by which E2 regulates oviductal egg transport, from a non-genomic to a genomic mode. Previously, we found that E2 increased the expression of several genes in the oviduct of mated rats, but not in unmated rats. Among the transcripts that increased its level by E2 only in mated rats was the one coding for an s100 calcium binding protein G (s100 g) whose functional role in the oviduct is unknown.
Herein, we investigated the participation of s100 g on the E2 genomic effect that accelerates oviductal transport in mated rats. Thus, we determined the effect of E2 on the mRNA and protein level of s100 g in the oviduct of mated and unmated rats. Then, we explored the effect of E2 on egg transport in unmated and mated rats under conditions in which s100 g protein was knockdown in the oviduct by a morpholino oligonucleotide against s100 g (s100 g-MO). In addition, the localization of s100 g in the oviduct of mated and unmated rats following treatment with E2 was also examined.
Expression of s100 g mRNA progressively increased at 3-24 h after E2 treatment in the oviduct of mated rats while in unmated rats s100 g increased only at 12 and 24 hours. Oviductal s100 g protein increased 6 h following E2 and continued elevated at 12 and 24 h in mated rats, whereas in unmated rats s100 g protein increased at the same time points as its transcript. Administration of a morpholino oligonucleotide against s100 g transcript blocked the effect of E2 on egg transport in mated, but not in unmated rats. Finally, immunoreactivity of s100 g was observed only in epithelial cells of the oviducts of mated and unmated rats and it was unchanged after E2 treatment.
Mating affects the kinetic of E2-induced expression of s100 g although it not changed the cellular localization of s100 g in the oviduct after E2 . On the other hand, s100 g is a functional component of E2 genomic effect that accelerates egg transport. These findings show a physiological involvement of s100 g in the rat oviduct.
Shwachman–Diamond syndrome (SDS) is an autosomal recessive ribosomopathy caused mainly by compound heterozygous mutations in SBDS. Structural variation (SV) involving the SBDS locus has been rarely reported in association with the disease. We aimed to determine whether an SV contributed to the pathogenesis of a case lacking biallelic SBDS point mutations.
Whole exome sequencing was performed in a patient with SDS lacking biallelic SBDS point mutations. Array comparative genomic hybridization and Southern blotting were used to seek SVs across the SBDS locus. Locus-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) encompassing flanking intronic sequence was also performed to investigate mutation within the locus. RNA expression and Western blotting were performed to analyze allele and protein expression. We found the child harbored a single missense mutation in SBDS (c.98A > C; p.K33T), inherited from the mother, and an SV in the SBDS locus, inherited from the father. The missense allele and SV segregated in accordance with Mendelian expectations for autosomal recessive SDS. Complementary DNA and western blotting analysis and locus specific PCR support the contention that the SV perturbed SBDS protein expression in the father and child.
Our findings implicate genomic rearrangements in the pathogenesis of some cases of SDS and support patients lacking biallelic SBDS point mutations be tested for SV within the SBDS locus.
Shwachman-Diamond syndrome; SBDS; Structural variation; Genomic rearrangement; Non-allelic homologous recombination; Low copy repeat; Whole exome sequencing; Copy number variation; Recessive disease
Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (SE) colonizes the ovary and oviduct of chickens without causing overt clinical signs which can lead to SE-contamination of the content and membrane of shell-eggs as well as hatchery eggs. The organism utilizes the Salmonella Pathogenicity Island-2 encoded type III secretion system (T3SS-2) to promote persistence in the oviduct of laying hens. In this study, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was carried out to determine the expression profiles of 14 known avian beta defensins (AvBDs) in primary chicken oviduct epithelial cells (COEC) before and after infections with a wild type SE strain and T3SS mutant SE strains carrying an inactivated sipA or pipB gene.
Based on the expression levels in uninfected COEC, AvBDs can be loosely grouped into three categories with AvBD4-5 and AvBD9-12 being constitutively expressed at high levels; AvBD1, AvBD3, and AvBD13-14 at moderate levels; and AvBD2 and AvBD6-8 at minimal levels. Infection with the wild type SE strain temporarily repressed certain highly expressed AvBDs and induced the expression of minimally expressed AvBDs. The pipB mutant, compared to the wild type strain, had reduced suppressive effect on the expression of highly expressed AvBDs. Moreover, the pipB mutant elicited significantly higher levels of the minimally expressed AvBDs than the wild type SE or the sipA mutant did.
Chicken oviduct epithelial cells express most of the known AvBD genes in response to SE infection. PipB, a T3SS-2 effector protein, plays a role in dampening the β-defensin arm of innate immunity during SE invasion of chicken oviduct epithelium.
Juvenile Batten disease is an autosomal recessive pediatric neurodegenerative disorder caused by mutations in the CLN3 gene. The CLN3 protein primarily resides in the lysosomal membrane, but its function is unknown. We demonstrate that CLN3 interacts with SBDS, the protein mutated in Shwachman–Bodian–Diamond syndrome patients. We demonstrate that this protein–protein interaction is conserved between Btn1p and Sdo1p, the respective yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae orthologs of CLN3 and SBDS. It was previously shown that deletion of BTN1 results in alterations in vacuolar pH and vacuolar (H+)-ATPase (V-ATPase)-dependent H+ transport and ATP hydrolysis. Here, we report that an SDO1 deletion strain has decreased vacuolar pH and V-ATPase-dependent H+ transport and ATP hydrolysis. These alterations result from decreased V-ATPase subunit expression. Overexpression of BTN1 or the presence of ionophore carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenil hydrazone (CCCP) causes decreased growth in yeast lacking SDO1. In fact, in normal cells, overexpression of BTN1 mirrors the effect of CCCP, with both resulting in increased vacuolar pH due to alterations in the coupling of V-ATPase-dependent H+ transport and ATP hydrolysis. Thus, we propose that Sdo1p and SBDS work to regulate Btn1p and CLN3, respectively. This report highlights a novel mechanism for controlling vacuole/lysosome homeostasis by the ribosome maturation pathway that may contribute to the cellular abnormalities associated with juvenile Batten disease and Shwachman–Bodian–Diamond syndrome.
ATP regulates the function of many proteins in the cell by transducing its binding and hydrolysis energies into protein conformational changes by mechanisms which are challenging to identify at the atomic scale. Based on molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, a method is proposed to analyze the structural changes induced by ATP binding to a protein by computing the effective free-energy landscape (FEL) of a subset of its coordinates along its amino-acid sequence. The method is applied to characterize the mechanism by which the binding of ATP to the nucleotide-binding domain (NBD) of Hsp70 propagates a signal to its substrate-binding domain (SBD). Unbiased MD simulations were performed for Hsp70-DnaK chaperone in nucleotide-free, ADP-bound and ATP-bound states. The simulations revealed that the SBD does not interact with the NBD for DnaK in its nucleotide-free and ADP-bound states whereas the docking of the SBD was found in the ATP-bound state. The docked state induced by ATP binding found in MD is an intermediate state between the initial nucleotide-free and final ATP-bound states of Hsp70. The analysis of the FEL projected along the amino-acid sequence permitted to identify a subset of 27 protein internal coordinates corresponding to a network of 91 key residues involved in the conformational change induced by ATP binding. Among the 91 residues, 26 are identified for the first time, whereas the others were shown relevant for the allosteric communication of Hsp70 s in several experiments and bioinformatics analysis. The FEL analysis revealed also the origin of the ATP-induced structural modifications of the SBD recently measured by Electron Paramagnetic Resonance. The pathway between the nucleotide-free and the intermediate state of DnaK was extracted by applying principal component analysis to the subset of internal coordinates describing the transition. The methodology proposed is general and could be applied to analyze allosteric communication in other proteins.
The precise biophysical characterization of the mechanisms of the protein conformational changes controlled by a nucleotide remains a challenge in biology. Molecular dynamics simulations of proteins in different nucleotide-binding states contain information on the nucleotide-dependent conformational dynamics. However, it is difficult to extract relevant information about the conformation-induced mechanism from the raw molecular dynamics data. Herein, we addressed this issue for the major ATP-dependent molecular chaperones Hsp70 s, which contribute to crucial cellular processes and are involved in several neurodegenerative diseases and in cancer. To function, Hsp70 undergoes several conformational changes controlled by the state of its nucleotide-binding domain. We demonstrated that the analysis of the effective free-energy landscape of the protein projected along the amino-acid sequence and computed from the molecular dynamics simulations of Hsp70 in different nucleotide-binding states, holds the key to identify the key residues of the conformational induced pathway. Identification of the key residues involved in the propagation of the structural changes induced by ATP binding offer alternative druggable specific sites other than the ligand binding clefts. The methodology developed for Hsp70 is general and can be adapted to any ligand induced conformational change in proteins.
Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome (SDS) is a rare inherited disease caused by mutations in the SBDS gene. Hematopoietic defects, exocrine pancreas dysfunction and short stature are the most prominent clinical features. To gain understanding of the molecular properties of the ubiquitously expressed SBDS protein, we examined its intracellular localization and mobility by live cell imaging techniques. We observed that SBDS full-length protein was localized in both the nucleus and cytoplasm, whereas patient-related truncated SBDS protein isoforms localize predominantly to the nucleus. Also the nucleo-cytoplasmic trafficking of these patient-related SBDS proteins was disturbed. Further studies with a series of SBDS mutant proteins revealed that three distinct motifs determine the intracellular mobility of SBDS protein. A sumoylation motif in the C-terminal domain, that is lacking in patient SBDS proteins, was found to play a pivotal role in intracellular motility. Our structure-function analyses provide new insight into localization and motility of the SBDS protein, and show that patient-related mutant proteins are altered in their molecular properties, which may contribute to the clinical features observed in SDS patients.
Estradiol-17beta (E2) is the major regulator of GnRH receptor (GnRHR) gene expression and number during the periovulatory period; however, the mechanisms underlying E2 regulation of the GNRHR gene remain undefined. Herein, we find that E2 conjugated to BSA (E2-BSA) mimics the stimulatory effect of E2 on GnRH binding in primary cultures of ovine pituitary cells. The time course for maximal GnRH analog binding was similar for both E2 and E2-BSA. The ability of E2 and E2-BSA to increase GnRH analog binding was blocked by the estrogen receptor (ER) antagonist ICI 182,780. Also, increased GnRH analog binding in response to E2 and the selective ESR1 agonist propylpyrazole triol was blocked by expression of a dominant-negative form of ESR1 (L540Q). Thus, membrane-associated ESR1 is the likely candidate for mediating E2 activation of the GNRHR gene. As cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) is an established target for E2 activation in gonadotrophs, we next explored a potential role for this protein as an intracellular mediator of the E2 signal. Consistent with this possibility, adenoviral-mediated expression of a dominant-negative form of CREB (A-CREB) completely abolished the ability of E2 to increase GnRH analog binding in primary cultures of ovine pituitary cells. Finally, the presence of membrane-associated E2 binding sites on ovine pituitary cells was demonstrated using a fluorescein isothiocyanate conjugate of E2-BSA. We suggest that E2 regulation of GnRHR number during the preovulatory period reflects a membrane site of action and may proceed through a nonclassical signaling mechanism, specifically a CREB-dependent pathway.
Estradiol increases numbers of GnRH receptors in the ovine pituitary via a nonclassical signaling mechanism.
GnRH receptors; membrane estrogen receptors; ovine; pituitary
Interactions between estrogen and growth factor signaling pathways at the level of gene expression play important roles in the function of reproductive tissues. For example, estrogen regulates transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) in the uterus during the proliferative phase of the mammalian reproductive cycle. Bone morphogenetic protein 7 (BMP-7), a member of the TGFβ superfamily, is also involved in the development and function of reproductive tissues. However, relatively few studies have addressed the expression of BMP-7 in reproductive tissues, and the role of BMP-7 remains unclear. As part of an ongoing effort to understand how estrogen represses gene expression and to study its interactions with other signaling pathways, chick BMP-7 (cBMP-7) was cloned. cBMP-7 mRNA levels are repressed threefold within 8 h following estrogen treatment in the chick oviduct, an extremely estrogen-responsive reproductive tissue. This regulation occurs at the transcriptional level. Estrogen has a protective role in many tissues, and withdrawal from estrogen often leads to tissue regression; however, the mechanisms mediating regression of the oviduct remain unknown. Terminal transferase-mediated end-labeling and DNA laddering assays demonstrated that regression of the oviduct during estrogen withdrawal involves apoptosis, which is a novel observation. cBMP-7 mRNA levels during estrogen withdrawal increase concurrently with the apoptotic index of the oviduct. Furthermore, addition of purified BMP-7 induces apoptosis in primary oviduct cells. This report demonstrates that the function of BMP-7 in the oviduct involves the induction of apoptosis and that estrogen plays an important role in opposing this function.
All mucosal epithelia, including those of the tubotympanium, are secreting a variety of antimicrobial innate immune molecules (AIIMs). In our previous study, we showed the bactericidal/bacteriostatic functions of AIIMs against various otitis media pathogens. Among the AIIMs, human β-defensin 2 is the most potent molecule and is inducible by exposure to inflammatory stimuli such as bacterial components or proinflammatory cytokines. Even though the β-defensin 2 is an important AIIM, the induction mechanism of this molecule has not been clearly established. We believe that this report is the first attempt to elucidate NTHi induced β-defensin expression in airway mucosa, which includes the middle ear.
Monoclonal antibody blocking method was employed in monitoring the TLR-dependent NTHi response. Two gene knock down methods – dominant negative (DN) plasmid and small interfering RNA (siRNA) – were employed to detect and confirm the involvement of several key genes in the signaling cascade resulting from the NTHi stimulated β-defensin 2 expression in human middle ear epithelial cell (HMEEC-1). The student's t-test was used for the statistical analysis of the data.
The experimental results showed that the major NTHi-specific receptor in HMEEC-1 is the Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2). Furthermore, recognition of NTHi component(s)/ligand(s) by TLR2, activated the Toll/IL-1 receptor (TIR)-MyD88-IRAK1-TRAF6-MKK3/6-p38 MAPK signal transduction pathway, ultimately leading to the induction of β-defensin 2.
This study found that the induction of β-defensin 2 is highest in whole cell lysate (WCL) preparations of NTHi, suggesting that the ligand(s) responsible for this up-regulation may be soluble macromolecule(s). We also found that this induction takes place through the TLR2 dependent MyD88-IRAK1-TRAF6-p38 MAPK pathway, with the primary response occurring within the first hour of stimulation. In combination with our previous studies showing that IL-1α-induced β-defensin 2 expression takes place through a MyD88-independent Raf-MEK1/2-ERK MAPK pathway, we found that both signaling cascades act synergistically to up-regulate β-defensin 2 levels. We propose that this confers an essential evolutionary advantage to the cells in coping with infections and may serve to amplify the innate immune response through paracrine signaling.
Epithelial ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological malignancy among US women. The etiology of this disease, although poorly understood, may involve the ovarian surface epithelium or the epithelium of the fallopian tube fimbriae as the progenitor cell. Disruptions in the transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) pathway and p53 are frequently found in chemotherapy-resistant serous ovarian tumors. Transgenic mice expressing a dominant negative form of Smad2 (Smad2DN), a downstream transcription factor of the TGFβ signaling pathway, targeted to tissues of the reproductive tract were created on a FVB background. These mice developed epithelium-lined inclusion cysts, a potential precursor lesion to ovarian cancer, which morphologically resembled oviductal epithelium but exhibited protein expression more closely resembling the ovarian surface epithelium. An additional genetic “hit” of p53 deletion was predicted to result in ovarian tumors. Tissue specific deletion of p53 in the ovaries and oviducts alone was attempted through intrabursal or intraoviductal injection of Cre-recombinase expressing adenovirus (AdCreGFP) into p53flox/flox mice. Ovarian bursal cysts were detected in some mice 6 months after intrabursal injection. No pathological abnormalities were detected in mice with intraoviductal injections, which may be related to decreased infectivity of the oviductal epithelium with adenovirus as compared to the ovarian surface epithelium. Bitransgenic mice, expressing both the Smad2DN transgene and p53flox/flox, were then exposed to AdCreGFP in the bursa and oviductal lumen. These mice did not develop any additional phenotypes. Exposure to AdCreGFP is not an effective methodology for conditional deletion of floxed genes in oviductal epithelium and tissue specific promoters should be employed in future mouse models of the disease. In addition, a novel phenotype was observed in mice with high expression of the Smad2DN transgene as validated through qPCR analysis, characterized by teratoma-like lesions implicating Smad signaling in teratoma development.
Germline mutations of the Liver Kinase b1 (LKB1/STK11) tumor suppressor gene have been linked to Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome (PJS), an autosomal-dominant, cancer-prone disorder in which patients develop neoplasms in several organs, including the oviduct, ovary, and cervix. We have conditionally deleted Lkb1 in Müllerian duct mesenchyme-derived cells of the female reproductive tract and observed expansion of the stromal compartment and hyperplasia and/or neoplasia of adjacent epithelial cells throughout the reproductive tract with paratubal cysts and adenomyomas in oviducts and, eventually, endometrial cancer. Examination of the proliferation marker phospho-histone H3 and mammalian Target Of Rapamycin Complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway members revealed increased proliferation and mTORC1 activation in stromal cells of both the oviduct and uterus. Treatment with rapamycin, an inhibitor of mTORC1 activity, decreased tumor burden in adult Lkb1 mutant mice. Deletion of the genes for Tuberous Sclerosis 1 (Tsc1) or Tsc2, regulators of mTORC1 that are downstream of LKB1 signaling, in the oviductal and uterine stroma phenocopies some of the defects observed in Lkb1 mutant mice, confirming that dysregulated mTORC1 activation in the Lkb1-deleted stroma contributes to the phenotype. Loss of PTEN, an upstream regulator of mTORC1 signaling, along with Lkb1 deletion significantly increased tumor burden in uteri and induced tumorigenesis in the cervix and vagina. These studies show that LKB1/TSC1/TSC2/mTORC1 signaling in mesenchymal cells is important for the maintenance of epithelial integrity and suppression of carcinogenesis in adjacent epithelial cells. Because similar changes in the stromal population are also observed in human oviductal/ovarian adenoma and endometrial adenocarcinoma patients, we predict that dysregulated mTORC1 activity by upstream mechanisms similar to those described in these model systems contributes to the pathogenesis of these human diseases.
Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome patients have autosomal dominant mutations in the LKB1/STK11 gene and are prone to developing cancer, predominantly in the intestinal tract but also in other tissues, including the reproductive tracts and gonads. To elucidate the mechanisms disrupted by the loss of LKB1 in the reproductive tract, we have developed a mouse model with deletion of Lkb1 specifically in stromal cells of gynecologic tissues. These mice show stromal cell expansion and develop oviductal adenomas and endometrial cancer. Deletion of either Tsc1 or Tsc2 genes, which are mutated in patients with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and whose protein products are indirect downstream targets of LKB1 signaling, resulted in some of the same defects observed in Lkb1 mutant mice. Activation of mammalian Target Of Rapamycin Complex 1 (mTORC1), a common effector of disrupted LKB1, TSC1, and TSC2 signaling, was observed in all mutant tissues examined, suggesting that uninhibited mTORC1 activity is necessary for the phenotypes. Suppression of mTORC1 signaling by rapamycin reduced tumor burden in Lkb1 mutant mice, confirming the link between dysregulation of mTORC1 to development of the Lkb1 mutant phenotype and suggesting that therapeutic targeting of LKB1/TSC1/TSC2/mTORC1 signaling would benefit human Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome and Tuberous Sclerosis patients with reproductive tract disease.
Alpha 2 macroglobulin (A2M; also known as ovostatin), a homotetrameric protein with four disulfide-linked subunits, has the unique feature of inactivating/inhibiting most known proteases including serine-, threonine-, cysteine-, aspartic- and metalloproteases. In chickens, A2M has been identified and characterized biochemically, but little is known of its functional role(s) in the oviduct, hormonal regulation of expression or its expression in ovarian carcinomas in chickens. Therefore, we investigated estrogen regulation of A2M gene expression during development of the chicken oviduct, and its expression in normal and cancerous ovaries from chickens.
To determine tissue-specific expression of A2M in chickens, we collected various organs from male and female chickens and performed RT-PCR analyses. To examine A2M gene expression in the oviduct of 1-week-old female chicks that received a subcutaneous implant of 15 mg DES in the abdominal region for 20 days, we performed RT-PCR, qPCR and in situ hybridization analyses using cDNAs from control- (n = 5) and DES-treated oviducts (n = 5), and then each segment of the oviduct from DES-treated chicks. To determine if A2M is a biomarker of ovarian cancer in hens, we collected cancerous (n = 10) ovaries from a total of 136 chickens which had completely stopped egg-laying and performed RT-PCR and in situ hybridization analyses.
We found that A2M is most abundant in the chicken oviduct, specifically luminal (LE) and glandular epithelia (GE), but it was not detected in any other tissues of either sex. We then determined that DES (dietylstilbestrol, a synthetic nonsteroidal estrogen) increased A2M mRNA only in LE and GE of the oviduct of chicks. Further, expression of A2M was most abundant in GE of endometrioid adenocarcinoma of cancerous, but not normal ovaries of hens.
Collectively, results of the present study indicate that A2M is novel estrogen-stimulated gene expressed in LE and GE of the chicken oviduct and may be used for monitoring effects of therapies for ovarian cancer in laying hens.
chicken; A2M; DES; cancer; oviduct; ovary
Classically, progesterone has been thought to act only through the well-known genomic pathway involving hormone binding to nuclear receptors and subsequent modulation of gene expression. However, there is increasing evidence for rapid, non-genomic effects of progesterone in a variety of mammalian tissues and it is possible that a membrane PR (mPR) is causing these events. We recently isolated and characterized an ovine mPR referred to as mPR-alpha, distinct from the nuclear PR. Based on predicted structural analysis, the ovine mPR-alpha possesses seven transmembrane domains typical of G protein-coupled receptors. Despite the homology to other reported mPRs, information pertaining to the steroid binding characteristics of the ovine mPR-alpha was lacking. Additionally, the ovine mPR-alpha transcript has been identified in the hypothalamus, pituitary, uterus, ovary and corpus luteum, yet changes in expression of the ovine mPR-alpha in these tissues were not known. Consequently, the purpose of this work was to determine the steroid binding characteristics of the ovine mPR-alpha and to investigate possible changes in expression of the ovine mPR-alpha in reproductive tissues throughout the estrous cycle.
Binding studies were performed using crude membrane fractions from CHO cells expressing the mPR-alpha. Using quantitative Real-time PCR we determined the expression pattern of mRNA for the ovine mPR-alpha during the ovine estrous cycle in tissues known to express the mPR-alpha. Jugular blood samples were also collected and analyzed for serum concentrations of P4 to ensure ewes were at the appropriate stage of their cycle.
Only progesterone, 20alpha-hydroxyprogesterone and 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone were able to displace binding of 3H-P4 (P < 0.001) to membrane fractions from CHO cells expressing ovine mPR-alpha. The average B-max and Kd values for three separate experiments were 624 +/- 119 fmol/micro gram protein and 122 +/- 50 nM, respectively. Significant changes in expression of mRNA for the mPR-alpha during the estrous cycle were noted in the corpus luteum and uterus.
The mPR-alpha specifically binds progestins and its expression was correlated to progesterone secretion during the ovine estrous cycle. Results from the present studies suggest that mPR-alpha may have an important physiological role during the ovine estrous cycle.
To examine whether or not the regulatory sequence of chicken ovalbumin gene can drive transgene expression specifically in hen oviduct, the authors constructed an oviduct-specific expression vector (pOV), containing 3.0 kilobases (kb) of the 5′-flanking sequence and 3.0 kb of the 3′-flanking sequence of the chicken ovalbumin gene. Jellyfish green fluorescence protein (EGFP) reporter gene and bacterial LacZ reporter gene were respectively inserted into the downstream of the 5′-regulatory region. The recombinants were named as pOVEGFP and pOVLacZ. Two transfer systems, in vitro and in vivo, were used to verify the function of the vector. In vitro, the plasmid DNA pOVEGFP and pEGFP-N1 were transfected respectively by the polyethyleneimine procedure into the primary chicken oviduct epithelium (PCOE) and fibroblasts cells isolated from laying hens. In vivo, the recombinant vector pOVLacZ was injected into egg-laying hens via wing vein and the tissues were collected for RT-PCR analysis. The results showed that expression of pEGFP-N1 was achieved at low level in oviduct epithelial cells and at high level in fibroblasts, but that the recombinant vector was not expressed in both cells. RT-PCR analysis showed that the LacZ gene was transcribed in the oviduct, but not in the heart, liver, kidney and spleen of the injected hens. Accordingly, the β-galactosidase activity was only detected in the oviduct magnum (116.7 mU/ml) and eggs (16.47 mU/ml). These results indicated that the cloned regulation regions of chicken ovalbumin gene could drive exogenous gene expression specifically in the oviducts of hens. In vivo gene injection via wing vein may serve as a rapid production system of recombinant proteins in chicken eggs. In addition, the cultured primary oviduct cells from laying hens were not efficient temporary expression systems for analyzing the function of regulating elements of ovalbumin gene.
Chicken ovalbumin gene regulatory regions; Oviduct-specific expression vector; Oviduct epithelium; In vivo expression