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1.  Differential interactions of thin filament proteins in two cardiac troponin T mouse models of hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathies 
Cardiovascular research  2008;79(1):109-117.
Aim
Mutations in a sarcomeric protein can cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) or dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), the opposite ends of a spectrum of phenotypic responses of the heart to mutations. We posit the contracting phenotypes could result from differential effects of the mutant proteins on interactions among the sarcomeric proteins. To test the hypothesis, we generated transgenic mice expressing either cardiac troponin T (cTnT)-Q92 or cTnT-W141, known to cause HCM and DCM, respectively, in the heart.
Methods and results
We phenotyped the mice by echocardiography, histology and immunoblotting, and real-time polymerase chain reaction. We detected interactions between the sarcomeric proteins by co-immunoprecipitation and determined Ca2+ sensitivity of myofibrillar protein ATPase activity by Carter assay. The cTnT-W141 mice exhibited dilated hearts and decreased systolic function. In contrast, the cTnT-Q92 mice showed smaller ventricles and enhanced systolic function. Levels of cardiac troponin I, cardiac α-actin, α-tropomyosin, and cardiac troponin C co-immunoprecipitated with anti-cTnT antibodies were higher in the cTnT-W141 than in the cTnT-Q92 mice, as were levels of α-tropomyosin co-immunoprecipitated with an anti-cardiac α-actin antibody. In contrast, levels of cardiac troponin I co-immunoprecipitated with an anti-cardiac α-actin antibody were higher in the cTnT-Q92 mice. Ca2+ sensitivity of myofibrillar ATPase activity was increased in HCM but decreased in DCM mice compared with non-transgenic mice.
Conclusion
Differential interactions among the sarcomeric proteins containing cTnT-Q92 or cTnT-W141 are responsible for the contrasting phenotypes of HCM or DCM, respectively.
doi:10.1093/cvr/cvn078
PMCID: PMC2773799  PMID: 18349139
Cardiomyopathy; Genetics; Mutation; Mouse model; Pathogenesis; Fibrosis; Heart failure
2.  Notch Activation Induces Endothelial Cell Cycle Arrest and Participates in Contact Inhibition: Role of p21Cip1 Repression†  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2004;24(20):8813-8822.
Although previous studies demonstrate that appropriate Notch signaling is required during angiogenesis and in vascular homeostasis, the mechanisms by which Notch regulates vascular function remain to be elucidated. Here, we show that activation of the Notch pathway by the ligand Jagged1 reduces the proliferation of endothelial cells. Notch activation inhibits proliferation of endothelial cells in a cell-autonomous manner by inhibiting phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein (Rb). During cell cycle entry, p21Cip1 is upregulated in endothelial cells. Activated Notch inhibits mitogen-induced upregulation of p21Cip1 and delays cyclin D-cdk4-mediated Rb phosphorylation. Notch-dependent repression of p21Cip1 prevents nuclear localization of cyclin D and cdk4. The necessity of p21Cip1 for nuclear translocation of cyclin D-cdk4 and S-phase entry in endothelial cells was demonstrated by targeted downregulation of p21Cip1 by using RNA interference. We further demonstrate that when endothelial cells reach confluence, Notch is activated and p21Cip1 is downregulated. Inhibition of the Notch pathway at confluence prevents p21Cip1 downregulation and induces Rb phosphorylation. We suggest that Notch activation contributes to contact inhibition of endothelial cells, in part through repression of p21Cip1 expression.
doi:10.1128/MCB.24.20.8813-8822.2004
PMCID: PMC517869  PMID: 15456857
3.  Activated Notch4 Inhibits Angiogenesis: Role of β1-Integrin Activation 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2002;22(8):2830-2841.
Notch4 is a member of the Notch family of transmembrane receptors that is expressed primarily on endothelial cells. Activation of Notch in various cell systems has been shown to regulate cell fate decisions. The sprouting of endothelial cells from microvessels, or angiogenesis, involves the modulation of the endothelial cell phenotype. Based on the function of other Notch family members and the expression pattern of Notch4, we postulated that Notch4 activation would modulate angiogenesis. Using an in vitro endothelial-sprouting assay, we show that expression of constitutively active Notch4 in human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1) inhibits endothelial sprouting. We also show that activated Notch4 inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced angiogenesis in the chick chorioallantoic membrane in vivo. Activated Notch4 does not inhibit HMEC-1 proliferation or migration through fibrinogen. However, migration through collagen is inhibited. Our data show that Notch4 cells exhibit increased β1-integrin-mediated adhesion to collagen. HMEC-1 expressing activated Notch4 do not have increased surface expression of β1-integrins. Rather, we demonstrate that Notch4-expressing cells display β1-integrin in an active, high-affinity conformation. Furthermore, using function-activating β1-integrin antibodies, we demonstrate that activation of β1-integrins is sufficient to inhibit VEGF-induced endothelial sprouting in vitro and angiogenesis in vivo. Our findings suggest that constitutive Notch4 activation in endothelial cells inhibits angiogenesis in part by promoting β1-integrin-mediated adhesion to the underlying matrix.
doi:10.1128/MCB.22.8.2830-2841.2002
PMCID: PMC133705  PMID: 11909975

Results 1-3 (3)