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1.  Stem cells and modeling of autism spectrum disorders 
Experimental neurology  2012;S0014-4886(12)00379-2 10.1016/j.expneurol.2012.09.017.
Human neurons, generated from reprogrammed somatic cells isolated from live patients, bring a new perspective on the understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The new technology can nicely complement other models for basic research and the development of therapeutic compounds aiming to revert or ameliorate the condition. Here, we discuss recent advances on the use of stem cells and other models to study ASDs, as well as their limitations, implications and future perspectives.
doi:10.1016/j.expneurol.2012.09.017
PMCID: PMC3568448  PMID: 23036599
autism spectrum disorders; stem cells; induced pluripotent stem cells; animal model; Fragile X syndrome; Rett syndrome; Angelman syndrome; Timothy syndrome; genomic editing
2.  A TRβ-selective agonist confers resistance to diet-induced obesity 
The Journal of endocrinology  2009;203(2):291-299.
Thyroid hormone receptor β (TRβ also listed as THRB on the MGI Database)-selective agonists activate brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis, while only minimally affecting cardiac activity or lean body mass. Here, we tested the hypothesis that daily administration of the TRβ agonist GC-24 prevents the metabolic alterations associated with a hypercaloric diet. Rats were placed on a high-fat diet and after a month exhibited increased body weight (BW) and adiposity, fasting hyperglycemia and glucose intolerance, increased plasma levels of triglycerides, cholesterol, nonesterified fatty acids and interleukin-6. While GC-24 administration to these animals did not affect food ingestion or modified the progression of BW gain, it did increase energy expenditure, eliminating the increase in adiposity without causing cardiac hypertrophy. Fasting hyperglycemia remained unchanged, but treatment with GC-24 improved glucose tolerance by increasing insulin sensitivity, and also normalized plasma triglyceride levels. Plasma cholesterol levels were only partially normalized and liver cholesterol content remained high in the GC-24-treated animals. Gene expression in liver, skeletal muscle, and white adipose tissue was only minimally affected by treatment with GC-24, with the main target being BAT. In conclusion, during high-fat feeding treatment with the TRβ-selective agonist, GC-24 only partially improves metabolic control probably as a result of accelerating the resting metabolic rate.
doi:10.1677/JOE-08-0539
PMCID: PMC3133532  PMID: 19713219
3.  Impaired Metabolic Effects of a Thyroid Hormone Receptor Beta-Selective Agonist in a Mouse Model of Diet-Induced Obesity 
Thyroid  2010;20(5):545-553.
Background
The use of selective agonists of the thyroid hormone receptor isoform β (TRβ) has been linked to metabolic improvement in animal models of diet-induced obesity, nonalcoholic liver disease, and genetic hypercholesterolemia.
Methods
To identify potential target tissues of such compounds, we exposed primary murine brown adipocytes and skeletal myocytes for 24 hours to 50 nM GC-24, a highly selective TRβ agonist. GC-24 (17 ng/[g BW·day] for 36 days) was also tested in a mouse model of diet-induced obesity.
Results
While the brown adipocytes responded to GC-24, with 17%–400% increases in the expression of 12 metabolically relevant genes, the myocytes remained largely unresponsive to GC-24 treatment. In control mice kept on chow diet, GC-24 treatment accelerated energy expenditure by about 15% and limited body weight gain by about 50%. However, in the obese animals the GC-24-mediated reduction in body weight gain dropped to only 20%, while energy expenditure remained unaffected. In addition, an analysis of gene expression in the skeletal muscle, brown adipose tissue, and liver of these obese animals failed to identify a conclusive GC-24 transcriptome footprint.
Conclusion
Feeding a high-fat diet impairs most of the beneficial metabolic effects associated with treatment with TRβ-selective agonists.
doi:10.1089/thy.2009.0318
PMCID: PMC2941403  PMID: 20406106
4.  ABI3 ectopic expression reduces in vitro and in vivo cell growth properties while inducing senescence 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:11.
Background
Mounting evidence has indicated that ABI3 (ABI family member 3) function as a tumor suppressor gene, although the molecular mechanism by which ABI3 acts remains largely unknown.
Methods
The present study investigated ABI3 expression in a large panel of benign and malignant thyroid tumors and explored a correlation between the expression of ABI3 and its potential partner ABI3-binding protein (ABI3BP). We next explored the biological effects of ABI3 ectopic expression in thyroid and colon carcinoma cell lines, in which its expression was reduced or absent.
Results
We not only observed that ABI3 expression is reduced or lost in most carcinomas but also that there is a positive correlation between ABI3 and ABI3BP expression. Ectopic expression of ABI3 was sufficient to lead to a lower transforming activity, reduced tumor in vitro growth properties, suppressed in vitro anchorage-independent growth and in vivo tumor formation while, cellular senescence increased. These responses were accompanied by the up-regulation of the cell cycle inhibitor p21 WAF1 and reduced ERK phosphorylation and E2F1 expression.
Conclusions
Our result links ABI3 to the pathogenesis and progression of some cancers and suggests that ABI3 or its pathway might have interest as therapeutic target. These results also suggest that the pathways through which ABI3 works should be further characterized.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-11
PMCID: PMC3032749  PMID: 21223585
5.  Paracrine signaling by glial cell–derived triiodothyronine activates neuronal gene expression in the rodent brain and human cells 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2010;120(6):2206-2217.
Hypothyroidism in humans is characterized by severe neurological consequences that are often irreversible, highlighting the critical role of thyroid hormone (TH) in the brain. Despite this, not much is known about the signaling pathways that control TH action in the brain. What is known is that the prohormone thyroxine (T4) is converted to the active hormone triiodothyronine (T3) by type 2 deiodinase (D2) and that this occurs in astrocytes, while TH receptors and type 3 deiodinase (D3), which inactivates T3, are found in adjacent neurons. Here, we modeled TH action in the brain using an in vitro coculture system of D2-expressing H4 human glioma cells and D3-expressing SK-N-AS human neuroblastoma cells. We found that glial cell D2 activity resulted in increased T3 production, which acted in a paracrine fashion to induce T3-responsive genes, including ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 2 (ENPP2), in the cocultured neurons. D3 activity in the neurons modulated these effects. Furthermore, this paracrine pathway was regulated by signals such as hypoxia, hedgehog signaling, and LPS-induced inflammation, as evidenced both in the in vitro coculture system and in in vivo rat models of brain ischemia and mouse models of inflammation. This study therefore presents what we believe to be the first direct evidence for a paracrine loop linking glial D2 activity to TH receptors in neurons, thereby identifying deiodinases as potential control points for the regulation of TH signaling in the brain during health and disease.
doi:10.1172/JCI41977
PMCID: PMC2877954  PMID: 20458138
6.  The E3 Ubiquitin Ligase TEB4 Mediates Degradation of Type 2 Iodothyronine Deiodinase▿ §  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2009;29(19):5339-5347.
The endoplasmic reticulum resident thyroid hormone-activating type 2 deiodinase (D2) is inactivated by ubiquitination via the hedgehog-inducible WSB-1. Ubiquitinated D2 can then be subsequently taken up by the proteasomal system or be reactivated by USP-33/20-mediated deubiquitination. Given that heterologously expressed D2 accumulates in Saccharomyces cerevisiae lacking the E3 ligase Doa10, we tested whether the human Doa10 ortholog, TEB4, plays a role in D2 ubiquitination and degradation. In a setting of transient coexpression in HEK-293 cells, TEB4 and D2 could be coimmunoprecipitated, and additional TEB4 expression decreased D2 activity by ∼50% (P < 0.05). A highly efficient TEB4 knockdown (>90% reduction in mRNA and protein levels) decreased D2 ubiquitination and increased D2 activity and protein levels by about fourfold. The other activating deiodinase, D1, or a truncated D2 molecule (Δ18-D2) that lacks a critical instability domain was not affected by TEB4 knockdown. Furthermore, TEB4 knockdown prolonged D2 activity half-life at least fourfold, even under conditions known to promote D2 ubiquitination. Neither exposure to 1 μM of the proteasomal inhibitor MG132 for 24 h nor RNA interference WSB-1 knockdown resulted in additive effects on D2 expression when combined with TEB4 knockdown. Similar results were obtained with MSTO-211 cells, which endogenously express D2, after TEB4 knockdown using a lentivirus-based transduction strategy. While TEB4 expression predominates in the hematopoietic lineage, both WSB-1 and TEB4 are coexpressed with D2 in a number of tissues and cell types, except the thyroid and brown adipose tissue, where TEB4 expression is minimal. We conclude that TEB4 interacts with and mediates loss of D2 activity, indicating that D2 ubiquitination and degradation can be tissue specific, depending on WSB-1 and TEB4 expression levels.
doi:10.1128/MCB.01498-08
PMCID: PMC2747977  PMID: 19651899
7.  Ubiquitination-Induced Conformational Change within the Deiodinase Dimer Is a Switch Regulating Enzyme Activity▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2007;27(13):4774-4783.
Ubiquitination is a critical posttranslational regulator of protein stability and/or subcellular localization. Here we show that ubiquitination can also regulate proteins by transiently inactivating enzymatic function through conformational change in a dimeric enzyme, which can be reversed upon deubiquitination. Our model system is the thyroid hormone-activating type 2 deiodinase (D2), an endoplasmic reticulum-resident type 1 integral membrane enzyme. D2 exists as a homodimer maintained by interacting surfaces at its transmembrane and globular cytosolic domains. The D2 dimer associates with the Hedgehog-inducible ubiquitin ligase WSB-1, the ubiquitin conjugase UBC-7, and VDU-1, a D2-specific deubiquitinase. Upon binding of T4, its natural substrate, D2 is ubiquitinated, which inactivates the enzyme by interfering with D2's globular interacting surfaces that are critical for dimerization and catalytic activity. This state of transient inactivity and change in dimer conformation persists until deubiquitination. The continuous association of D2 with this regulatory protein complex supports rapid cycles of deiodination, conjugation to ubiquitin, and enzyme reactivation by deubiquitination, allowing tight control of thyroid hormone action.
doi:10.1128/MCB.00283-07
PMCID: PMC1951476  PMID: 17452445
8.  Structure of a lectin from Canavalia gladiata seeds: new structural insights for old molecules 
Background
Lectins are mainly described as simple carbohydrate-binding proteins. Previous studies have tried to identify other binding sites, which possible recognize plant hormones, secondary metabolites, and isolated amino acid residues. We report the crystal structure of a lectin isolated from Canavalia gladiata seeds (CGL), describing a new binding pocket, which may be related to pathogen resistance activity in ConA-like lectins; a site where a non-protein amino-acid, α-aminobutyric acid (Abu), is bound.
Results
The overall structure of native CGL and complexed with α-methyl-mannoside and Abu have been refined at 2.3 Å and 2.31 Å resolution, respectively. Analysis of the electron density maps of the CGL structure shows clearly the presence of Abu, which was confirmed by mass spectrometry.
Conclusion
The presence of Abu in a plant lectin structure strongly indicates the ability of lectins on carrying secondary metabolites. Comparison of the amino acids composing the site with other legume lectins revealed that this site is conserved, providing an evidence of the biological relevance of this site. This new action of lectins strengthens their role in defense mechanisms in plants.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-7-52
PMCID: PMC1955443  PMID: 17683532
9.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of a lectin from Canavalia maritima seeds 
A lectin from C. maritima was crystallized using the vapour-diffusion method and crystals diffracted to 2.1 Å resolution. A molecular-replacement search found a solution with a correlation coefficient of 69.2% and an R factor of 42.5%, refinement is in progress.
A lectin from Canavalia maritima seeds (ConM) was purified and submitted to crystallization experiments. The best crystals were obtained using the vapour-diffusion method at a constant temperature of 293 K and grew in 7 d. A complete structural data set was collected to 2.1 Å resolution using a synchrotron-radiation source. The ConM crystal belongs to the orthorhombic space group P21212, with unit-cell parameters a = 67.15, b = 70.90, c = 97.37 Å. A molecular-replacement search found a solution with a correlation coefficient of 69.2% and an R factor of 42.5%. Crystallographic refinement is under way.
doi:10.1107/S1744309104029197
PMCID: PMC1952371  PMID: 16508099
lectins; Canavalia maritima
10.  Deubiquitination of type 2 iodothyronine deiodinase by von Hippel–Lindau protein–interacting deubiquitinating enzymes regulates thyroid hormone activation 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2003;112(2):189-196.
The type 2 iodothyronine deiodinase (D2) is an integral membrane ER-resident selenoenzyme that activates the pro-hormone thyroxine (T4) and supplies most of the 3,5,3′-triiodothyronine (T3) that is essential for brain development. D2 is inactivated by selective conjugation to ubiquitin, a process accelerated by T4 catalysis and essential for the maintenance of T3 homeostasis. A yeast two-hybrid screen of a human-brain library with D2 as bait identified von Hippel–Lindau protein–interacting deubiquitinating enzyme-1 (VDU1). D2 interaction with VDU1 and VDU2, a closely related deubiquitinase, was confirmed in mammalian cells. Both VDU proteins colocalize with D2 in the ER, and their coexpression prolongs D2 half-life and activity by D2 deubiquitination. VDU1, but not VDU2, is markedly increased in brown adipocytes by norepinephrine or cold exposure, further amplifying the increase in D2 activity that results from catecholamine-stimulated de novo synthesis. Thus, deubiquitination regulates the supply of active thyroid hormone to brown adipocytes and other D2-expressing cells.
doi:10.1172/JCI200318348
PMCID: PMC164294  PMID: 12865408

Results 1-10 (10)