Interaction of vimentin filaments (vIFs) and force-bearing adhesions is essential for endoplasm spreading. For adhesions to be connected to a contractile network involved in endoplasm spreading, vIFs are needed. Thus endoplasm spreading and microtubule stabilization in the periphery require a multicomponent actin network anchored at adhesions.
For cells to develop long-range forces and carry materials to the periphery, the microtubule and organelle-rich region at the center of the cell—the endoplasm—needs to extend to near the cell edge. Depletion of the actin cross-linking protein filamin A (FlnA) causes a collapse of the endoplasm into a sphere around the nucleus of fibroblasts and disruption of matrix adhesions, indicating that FlnA is involved in endoplasmic spreading and adhesion growth. Here, we report that treatment with the calpain inhibitor N-[N-(N-acetyl-l-leucyl)-l-leucyl]-l-norleucine (ALLN) restores endoplasmic spreading as well as focal adhesion (FA) growth on fibronectin-coated surfaces in a Fln-depleted background. Addback of calpain-uncleavable talin, not full-length talin, achieves a similar effect in Fln-depleted cells and indicates a crucial role for talin in endoplasmic spreading. Because FA maturation involves the vimentin intermediate filament (vIF) network, we also examined the role of vIFs in endoplasmic spreading. Wild-type cells expressing a vimentin variant incapable of polymerization exhibit deficient endoplasmic spreading as well as defects in FA growth. ALLN treatment restores FA growth despite the lack of vIFs but does not restore endoplasmic spreading, implying that vIFs are essential for endoplasm spreading. Consistent with that hypothesis, vIFs are always displaced from adhesions when the endoplasm does not spread. In Fln-depleted cells, vIFs extend beyond adhesions, nearly to the cell edge. Finally, inhibiting myosin II–mediated contraction blocks endoplasmic spreading and adhesion growth. Thus we propose a model in which myosin II–mediated forces and coalescence of vIFs at mature FAs are required for endoplasmic spreading.
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is the first step required for breast cancer to initiate metastasis. However, the potential of drugs to block and reverse the EMT process are not well explored. In the present study, we investigated the inhibitory effect of beta-elemene (ELE), an active component of a natural plant-derived anti-neoplastic agent in an established EMT model mediated by transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-β1). We found that ELE (40 µg/ml ) blocked the TGF-β1-induced phenotypic transition in the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7. ELE was able to inhibit TGF-β1-mediated upregulation of mRNA and protein expression of nuclear transcription factors (SNAI1, SNAI2, TWIST and SIP1), potentially through decreasing the expression and phosphorylation of Smad3, a central protein mediating the TGF-β1 signalling pathway. These findings suggest a potential therapeutic benefit of ELE in treating basal-like breast cancer.
Ectopic lipids in peripheral tissues have been implicated in attenuating insulin action in vivo. The botanical extract of Artemisia dracunculus L. (PMI 5011) improves insulin action, yet the precise mechanism is not known. We sought to determine whether the mechanism by which PMI 5011 improves insulin signaling is through regulation of lipid metabolism. After differentiation, cells were separately preincubated with free fatty acids (FFAs) and ceramide C2, and the effects on glycogen content, insulin signaling, and ceramide profiles were determined. The effect of PMI 5011 on ceramide accumulation and ceramide-induced inhibition of insulin signaling was evaluated. FFAs resulted in increased levels of total ceramides and ceramide species in L6 myotubes. Saturated FFAs and ceramide C2 inhibited insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of protein kinase B/Akt and reduced glycogen content. PMI 5011 had no effect on ceramide formation or accumulation but increased insulin sensitivity via restoration of Akt phosphorylation. PMI 5011 also attenuated the FFA-induced upregulation of a negative inhibitor of insulin signaling, i.e., protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B), and increased phosphorylation of PTP1B. PMI 5011 attenuates the reduction in insulin signaling induced by ceramide accumulation, but the mechanism of improved insulin signaling is independent of ceramide formation.
The mechanism by which extracellular cues influence intracellular biochemical cascades that guide axons is important, yet poorly understood. Because of the mechanical nature of axon extension, we explored whether the physical interactions of growth cones with their guidance cues might be involved. In the context of mouse spinal commissural neuron axon attraction to netrin-1, we found that mechanical attachment of netrin-1 to the substrate was required for axon outgrowth, growth cone expansion, axon attraction and phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and Crk-associated substrate (CAS). Myosin II activity was necessary for traction forces >30 pN on netrin-1. Interestingly, while these myosin II-dependent forces on netrin-1 substrates or beads were needed to increase the kinase activity and phosphorylation of FAK, they were not necessary for netrin-1 to increase CAS phosphorylation. When FAK kinase activity was inhibited, the growth cone’s ability to recruit additional adhesions and to generate forces >60 pN on netrin-1 was disrupted. Together, these findings demonstrate an important role for mechanotransduction during chemoattraction to netrin-1 and that mechanical activation of FAK reinforces interactions with netrin-1 allowing greater forces to be exerted.
Impaired insulin signaling is a key feature of type 2 diabetes and is associated with increased ubiquitin-proteasome-dependent protein degradation in skeletal muscle. An extract of Artemisia dracunculus L. (termed PMI5011) improves insulin action by increasing insulin signaling in skeletal muscle. We sought to determine if the effect of PMI5011 on insulin signaling extends to regulation of the ubiquitin-proteasome system. C2C12 myotubes and the KK-Ay murine model of type 2 diabetes were used to evaluate the effect of PMI5011 on steady-state levels of ubiquitylation, proteasome activity and expression of Atrogin-1 and MuRF-1, muscle-specific ubiquitin ligases that are upregulated with impaired insulin signaling. Our results show that PMI5011 inhibits proteasome activity and steady-state ubiquitylation levels in vitro and in vivo. The effect of PMI5011 is mediated by PI3K/Akt signaling and correlates with decreased expression of Atrogin-1 and MuRF-1. Under in vitro conditions of hormonal or fatty acid-induced insulin resistance, PMI5011 improves insulin signaling and reduces Atrogin-1 and MuRF-1 protein levels. In the KK-Ay murine model of type 2 diabetes, skeletal muscle ubiquitylation and proteasome activity is inhibited and Atrogin-1 and MuRF-1 expression is decreased by PMI5011. PMI5011-mediated changes in the ubiquitin-proteasome system in vivo correlate with increased phosphorylation of Akt and FoxO3a and increased myofiber size. The changes in Atrogin-1 and MuRF-1 expression, ubiquitin-proteasome activity and myofiber size modulated by PMI5011 in the presence of insulin resistance indicate the botanical extract PMI5011 may have therapeutic potential in the preservation of muscle mass in type 2 diabetes.
Pollination is the first crucial step of sexual reproduction in flowering plants, and it requires communication and coordination between the pollen and the stigma. Maize (Zea mays) is a model monocot with extraordinarily long silks, and a fully sequenced genome, but little is known about the mechanism of its pollen–stigma interactions. In this study, the dynamic gene expression of silks at four different stages before and after pollination was analyzed. The expression profiles of immature silks (IMS), mature silks (MS), and silks at 20 minutes and 3 hours after pollination (20MAP and 3HAP, respectively) were compared. In total, we identified 6,337 differentially expressed genes in silks (SDEG) at the four stages. Among them, the expression of 172 genes were induced upon pollination, most of which participated in RNA binding, processing and transcription, signal transduction, and lipid metabolism processes. Genes in the SDEG dataset could be divided into 12 time-course clusters according to their expression patterns. Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analysis revealed that many genes involved in microtubule-based movement, ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation, and transport were predominantly expressed at specific stages, indicating that they might play important roles in the pollination process of maize. These results add to current knowledge about the pollination process of grasses and provide a foundation for future studies on key genes involved in the pollen–silk interaction in maize.
Solitary plasmacytoma of the skull is rare and few cases have been reported in the English literature. Plasmacytoma of the skull has a wide spectrum of pathology, including a quite benign, solitary plasmacytoma (SPC), and an extremely malignant, multiple myeloma (MM) at the two ends of the spectrum. The prognosis for solitary plasmacytoma of the skull appears to be good when it can be diagnosed on strict criteria. The clinical features of solitary plasmacytoma of the skull are complex and not easily identified, resulting in a high misdiagnosis rate. A comprehensive examination and analysis which includes radiological examination, immunoglobulin, biochemistry, test for Bence Jones protein in the urine and bone marrow is needed for correct diagnosis. If the skull lesion is isolated, with accompanying marked swelling in the area and tenderness, plasmacytoma must be considered as a possibility for the cause of solitary skull masses. Two cases of solitary plasmacytoma of the skull lesions were retrospectively reviewed, in which a comprehensive examination was used in order to predict the clinical course of solitary plasmacytoma of the skull. The patients received postoperative radiation and/or chemotherapy. Survival following surgery was longer than 2 years for patient 1, and patient 2 is alive at the 18-month follow-up.
plasmacytoma; skull; diagnosis; therapy
The rise of high mountain chains is widely seen as one of the factors driving rapid diversification of land plants and the formation of biodiversity hotspots. Supporting evidence was reported for the impact of the rapid rise of the Andean mountains but this hypothesis has so far been less explored for the impact of the “roof of the world”. The formation of the Himalaya, and especially the rise of the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau in the recent 20 million years, altered the monsoon regimes that dominate the current climates of South East Asia. Here, we infer the hypothesis that the rise of Himalaya had a strong impact on the plant diversity in the biodiversity hotspot of the Southwest Chinese Mountains.
Our analyses of the diversification pattern of the derived fern genus Lepisorus recovered evidence for changes in plant diversity that correlated with the strengthening of South East Asian monsoon. Southwest China or Southwest China and Japan was recovered as the putative area of origin of Lepisorus and enhancing monsoon regime were found to shape the early diversification of the genus as well as subsequent radiations during the late Miocene and Pliocene.
We report new evidence for a coincidence of plant diversification and changes of the climate caused by the uplift of the Himalaya. These results are discussed in the context of the impact of incomplete taxon sampling, uncertainty of divergence time estimates, and limitations of current methods used to assess diversification rates.
Diversification pattern; East Asian monsoon; Himalaya; LASER; Lepisorus
A network of DNA damage response (DDR) mechanisms functions coordinately to maintain genome integrity and prevent disease. The Nucleotide Excision Repair (NER) pathway is known to function in the response to UV-induced DNA damage. Although numbers of coding genes and miRNAs have been identified and reported to participate in UV-induced DNA damage response (UV-DDR), the precise role of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) in UV-DDR remains largely unknown.
We used high-throughput RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq) to discover intermediate-size (70–500 nt) ncRNAs (is-ncRNAs) in C. elegans, using the strains of L4 larvae of wild-type (N2), UV-irradiated (N2/UV100) and NER-deficient mutant (xpa-1), and 450 novel non-coding transcripts were initially identified. A customized microarray assay was then applied to examine the expression profiles of both novel transcripts and known is-ncRNAs, and 57 UV-DDR-related is-ncRNA candidates showed expression variations at different levels between UV irradiated strains and non- irradiated strains. The top ranked is-ncRNA candidates with expression differences were further validated by qRT-PCR analysis, of them, 8 novel is-ncRNAs were significantly up-regulated after UV irradiation. Knockdown of two novel is-ncRNAs, ncRNA317 and ncRNA415, by RNA interference, resulted in higher UV sensitivity and significantly decreased expression of NER-related genes in C. elegans.
The discovery of above two novel is-ncRNAs in this study indicated the functional roles of is-ncRNAs in the regulation of UV-DDR network, and aided our understanding of the significance of ncRNA involvement in the UV-induced DNA damage response.
Bioactive components from bitter melon (BM) have been reported to improve glucose metabolism in vivo, but definitive studies on efficacy and mechanism of action are lacking. We sought to investigate the effects of BM bioactives on body weight, muscle lipid content and insulin signaling in mice fed a high fat diet and on insulin signaling in L6 myotubes. Male C57BL/6J mice were randomly divided into low-fat diet control (LFD), high-fat diet (HFD) and HFD plus BM (BM) groups. Body weight, body composition, plasma glucose, leptin, insulin, and muscle lipid profile were determined over 12 weeks. Insulin signaling was determined in the mouse muscle taken at end of study and in L6 myotubes exposed to the extract. Body weight, plasma glucose, insulin, leptin levels, and HOMA-IR values were significantly lower in the BM fed HFD group when compared to the HFD group. BM supplementation significantly increased IRS-2, IR β, PI 3K and GLUT4 protein abundance in skeletal muscle as well as phosphorylation of IRS-1, Akt1 and Akt2 when compared with HFD (P<0.05 and P<0.01). BM also significantly reduced muscle lipid content in the HFD mice. BM extract greatly increased glucose uptake and enhanced insulin signaling in L6 myotubes. This study shows that bitter melon bioactives reduced body weight, improved glucose metabolism and enhanced skeletal muscle insulin signaling. A contributing mechanism to the enhanced insulin signaling may associate with the reduction in skeletal muscle lipid content. Nutritional supplementation with this extract, if validated for human studies, may offer an adjunctive therapy for diabetes.
Bitter melon extract; acyl carnitine; IRS-1; PI 3Kinase; High fat diet
Bone disorders (including osteoporosis, loosening of a prosthesis, and bone infections) are of great concern to the medical community and are difficult to cure. Therapies are available to treat such diseases, but all have drawbacks and are not specifically targeted to the site of disease. Chitosan is widely used in the biomedical community, including for orthopedic applications. The aim of the present study was to coat chitosan onto iron oxide nanoparticles and to determine its effect on the proliferation and differentiation of osteoblasts.
Nanoparticles were characterized using transmission electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering, x-ray diffraction, zeta potential, and vibrating sample magnetometry. Uptake of nanoparticles by osteoblasts was studied by transmission electron microscopy and Prussian blue staining. Viability and proliferation of osteoblasts were measured in the presence of uncoated iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles or those coated with chitosan. Lactate dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase, total protein synthesis, and extracellular calcium deposition was studied in the presence of the nanoparticles.
Chitosan-coated iron oxide nanoparticles enhanced osteoblast proliferation, decreased cell membrane damage, and promoted cell differentiation, as indicated by an increase in alkaline phosphatase and extracellular calcium deposition. Chitosan-coated iron oxide nanoparticles showed good compatibility with osteoblasts.
Further research is necessary to optimize magnetic nanoparticles for the treatment of bone disease.
chitosan-coated iron oxide; magnetic nanoparticles; osteoblasts
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is the principle causative agent of osteomyelitis, accounting for 80% of all human cases. S. aureus internalized in osteoblasts escapes immune response, including engulfment by phagocytes. It also escapes the action of a number of antibiotics. Ultrasound increases cell membrane permeability to a number of drugs. Following an internalization assay, we used low-frequency, low-power ultrasound combined with the antibiotic rifampin to target S. aureus internalized in human osteoblasts. Tryptic soy agar (TSA) was used to quantitate the antibacterial effect of rifampin combined with low-frequency ultrasound. A Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8) assay was used to evaluate cell viability following exposure to ultrasound. Our data revealed that rifampin successfully penetrates into osteoblasts and kills internalized S. aureus in osteoblasts, while low-frequency ultrasound promotes this process. Ultrasound had a negative impact on the cell viability of osteoblasts; however, this damage was slight and reversible. Ultrasound-enhanced antibiotic efficiency to bacteria internalized in the osteoblasts may contribute to the control of chronic infection to reduce recurrence.
ultrasound; osteoblast; Staphylococcus aureus; rifampin
China has become the country with the largest diabetes mellitus population in the world since the 1990s. About 100 million diabetes cases have been diagnosed since 2008. Handheld blood glucose meters and test strips are urgently needed for daily patient measurement. The glucose monitor with a screen-printed carbon-based glucose electrode has been in commercial production since 1994. Since then, approximately 20 companies have been involved in manufacturing and marketing meters and test strips in China. The current market and production volume and updates on technology issues are discussed in this article.
blood glucose meter; blood sugar; diabetes; market; mediator
Intensified conditioning regimens (increasing the intensity of standard myeloablative conditioning) for hematological malignancies in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) could reduce the relapse rate of the underlying disease, but it might simultaneously increase the transplant-related mortality including the mortality of infections. To explore whether intensified conditioning affected Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections, 185 patients undergoing allo-HSCT were enrolled.
A total of 104 cases received standard and 81 intensified conditioning. Cyclosporine A (CsA) withdrawal and/or donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) were conducted in high-risk patients. The EBV-DNA and CMV-DNA levels of blood were monitored regularly by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RQ-PCR) and immune reconstitution of recipients were analyzed by flow cytometry.
The 3-year cumulative incidence of EBV viremia, EBV-associated diseases and mortality of EBV-associated diseases were 25.3% ± 4.6%, 10.5% ± 3.4% and 0.0% ± 0.0% in the standard group, compared with 45.6% ± 6.5%, 26.0% ±5.3% and 7.3% ± 3.1% in the intensified group (P = 0.002, P = 0.002, P = 0.008). The 3-year cumulative incidence of CMV viremia and CMV-associated diseases, mortality of CMV-associated diseases and incidence of bacterial and fungal infections were similar between the two groups (P = 0.855, P = 0.581, P = 0.933, P = 0.142, P = 0.182, respectively). Multivariate analysis showed that intensified conditioning was one of the risk factors for EBV viremia and EBV-associated diseases (P = 0.037, P = 0.037), but it had no effects on CMV infections. The percentage of CD4+ T cells and CD4+/CD8+ ratio at 3 months post-transplantation were lower in the intensified group (P = 0.032, P = 0.022). The 3-year OS and DFS in the standard group were 62.2% ± 5.8% and 60.6% ± 5.6%, compared with 51.6% ± 6.2% and 51.1% ± 5.9% in the intensified group (P = 0.029, P = 0.063).
Intensified conditioning represents a promising approach for high-risk hematological malignancies, although it affects early immune reconstitution of recipients and increases the incidence and mortality of EBV infections.
Epstein-Barr virus; Cytomegalovirus; Conditioning; Hematological malignancies; Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
Phosphoinositides play important roles in eukaryotic cells, although they constitute a minor fraction of total cellular lipids. Specific kinases and phosphatases function on the regulation of phosphoinositide levels. Phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PtdIns3P), a molecule of phosphoinositides regulates multiple aspects of plant growth and development. In this article, we introduce and discuss the kinases and phosphatases involved in PtdIns3P metabolism and their roles in pollen development and pollen tube growth in Arabidopsis.
kinase; phosphatase; phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate; Pollen; pollen tube
Resveratrol (3,4,5-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene), a phytoalexin found in grape skin, grape products, and peanuts as well as red wine, has been reported to have various biological and pharmacological properties. The purpose of this study was to investigate the anti-obesity effect of resveratrol-amplified grape skin extracts on adipocytes. The anti-obesity effects of grape skin extracts were investigated by measuring proliferation and differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells. The effect of grape skin ethanol extracts on cell proliferation was detected by the MTS assay. The morphological changes and degree of adipogenesis of preadipocyte 3T3-L1 cells were measured by Oil Red-O staining assay. Treatment with extracts of resveratrol-amplified grape skin decreased lipid accumulation and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase activity without affecting 3T3-L1 cell viability. Grape skin extract treatment resulted in significantly attenuated expression of key adipogenic transcription factors, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins, and their target genes (FAS, aP2, SCD-1, and LPL). These results indicate that resveratrol-amplified grape skin extracts may be useful for preventing obesity by regulating lipid metabolism.
Grape skin extracts; resveratrol; 3T3-L1; adipocyte differentiation
In plants, pollination is a critical step in reproduction. During pollination, constant communication between male pollen and the female stigma is required for pollen adhesion, germination, and tube growth. The detailed mechanisms of stigma-mediated reproductive processes, however, remain largely unknown. Maize (Zea mays L.), one of the world’s most important crops, has been extensively used as a model species to study molecular mechanisms of pollen and stigma interaction. A comprehensive analysis of maize silk transcriptome may provide valuable information for investigating stigma functionality. A comparative analysis of expression profiles between maize silk and dry stigmas of other species might reveal conserved and diverse mechanisms that underlie stigma-mediated reproductive processes in various plant species.
Transcript abundance profiles of mature silk, mature pollen, mature ovary, and seedling were investigated using RNA-seq. By comparing the transcriptomes of these tissues, we identified 1,427 genes specifically or preferentially expressed in maize silk. Bioinformatic analyses of these genes revealed many genes with known functions in plant reproduction as well as novel candidate genes that encode amino acid transporters, peptide and oligopeptide transporters, and cysteine-rich receptor-like kinases. In addition, comparison of gene sets specifically or preferentially expressed in stigmas of maize, rice (Oryza sativa L.), and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana [L.] Heynh.) identified a number of homologous genes involved either in pollen adhesion, hydration, and germination or in initial growth and penetration of pollen tubes into the stigma surface. The comparison also indicated that maize shares a more similar profile and larger number of conserved genes with rice than with Arabidopsis, and that amino acid and lipid transport-related genes are distinctively overrepresented in maize.
Many of the novel genes uncovered in this study are potentially involved in stigma-mediated reproductive processes, including genes encoding amino acid transporters, peptide and oligopeptide transporters, and cysteine-rich receptor-like kinases. The data also suggest that dry stigmas share similar mechanisms at early stages of pollen-stigma interaction. Compared with Arabidopsis, maize and rice appear to have more conserved functional mechanisms. Genes involved in amino acid and lipid transport may be responsible for mechanisms in the reproductive process that are unique to maize silk.
Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) hold great promise for regenerative medicine because they can undergo unlimited self-renewal and retain the capability to differentiate into all cell types in the body. Although numerous genes/proteins such as Oct4 and Gata6 have been identified to play critical regulatory roles in self-renewal and differentiation of hESC, the majority of the regulators in these cellular processes and more importantly how these regulators co-operate with each other and/or with epigenetic modifications are still largely unknown. We propose here a systematic approach to integrate genomic and epigenomic data for identification of direct regulatory interactions. This approach allows reconstruction of cell-type-specific transcription networks in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and fibroblasts at an unprecedented scale. Many links in the reconstructed networks coincide with known regulatory interactions or literature evidence. Systems-level analyses of these networks not only uncover novel regulators for pluripotency and differentiation, but also reveal extensive interplays between transcription factor binding and epigenetic modifications. Especially, we observed poised enhancers characterized by both active (H3K4me1) and repressive (H3K27me3) histone marks that contain enriched Oct4- and Suz12-binding sites. The success of such a systems biology approach is further supported by experimental validation of the predicted interactions.
To compare the effects of dietary fibers on hepatic cellular signaling in mice.
Mice were randomly divided into four groups (n = 9/group): high-fat diet (HFD) control, cellulose, psyllium, and sugarcane fiber (SCF) groups. All mice were fed a HFD with or without 10% dietary fiber (w/w) for 12 weeks. Body weight, food intake, fasting glucose, and fasting insulin levels were measured. At the end of the study, hepatic fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 21, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and insulin signaling protein content were determined.
Hepatic FGF21 content was significantly lowered, but βKlotho, fibroblast growth factor receptor 1, fibroblast growth factor receptor 3, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha proteins were significantly increased in the SCF group compared with those in the HFD group (P < 0.01). SCF supplementation also significantly enhanced insulin and AMPK signaling, as well as decreased hepatic triglyceride and cholesterol in comparison with the HFD mice. The study has shown that dietary fiber, especially SCF, significantly attenuates lipid accumulation in the liver by enhancing hepatic FGF21, insulin, and AMPK signaling in mice fed a HFD.
This study suggests that the modulation of gastrointestinal factors by dietary fibers may play a key role in both enhancing hepatic multiple cellular signaling and reducing lipid accumulation.
dietary fiber; FGF21; insulin signaling; AMPK; GLP-1; PI 3K
β-site APP cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) cleaves β-amyloid precursor protein (APP) to initiate the production of β-amyloid (Aβ), the prime culprit in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Dysregulation of the intracellular trafficking of BACE1 may affect Aβ generation, contributing to AD pathology. In this study, we investigated whether BACE1 trafficking and BACE1-mediated APP processing/Aβ generation are affected by sorting nexin 12 (SNX12), a member of the sorting nexin (SNX) family that is involved in protein trafficking regulation.
Herein, we find that SNX12 is widely expressed in brain tissues and is mainly localized in the early endosomes. Overexpression of SNX12 does not affect the steady-state levels of APP, BACE1 or γ-secretase components, but dramatically reduces the levels of Aβ, soluble APPβ and APP β-carboxyl terminal fragments. Downregulation of SNX12 has the opposite effects. Modulation of SNX12 levels does not affect γ-secretase activity or in vitro β-secretase activity. Further studies reveal that SNX12 interacts with BACE1 and downregulation of SNX12 accelerates BACE1 endocytosis and decreases steady-state level of cell surface BACE1. Finally, we find that the SNX12 protein level is dramatically decreased in the brain of AD patients as compared to that of controls.
This study demonstrates that SNX12 can regulate the endocytosis of BACE1 through their interaction, thereby affecting β-processing of APP for Aβ production. The reduced level of SNX12 in AD brains suggests that an alteration of SNX12 may contribute to AD pathology. Therefore, inhibition of BACE1-mediated β-processing of APP by regulating SNX12 might serve as an alternative strategy in developing an AD intervention.
β-amyloid; β-amyloid precursor protein; β-site APP cleaving enzyme 1; Alzheimer’s disease; Intracellular trafficking; Sorting nexin 12.
Four new cycloartane glycosides, 3-O-β-d-xylopyranosyl-(1 → 6)-β-d-glucopyranosyl-(1 → 4)-β-d-fucopyranosyl (22S,24Z)-cycloart-24-en-3β,22,26-triol 26-O-(6-O-acetyl)-β-d-glucopyranoside (1), 3-O-α-l-arabinopyranosyl-(1 → 6)-β-d-glucopyranosyl-(1 → 4)-β-d-fucopyranosyl (22S,24Z)-cycloart-24-en-3β,22,26-triol 26-O-(6-O-acetyl)-β-d-glucopyranoside (2), 3-O-β-d-glucopyranosyl (24S)-cycloartane-3β,16β,24,25,30-pentaol 25-O-β-d-glucopyranosyl-(1 → 6)-β-d-glucopyranoside (3) and 3-O-β-d-glucopyranosyl (24S)-cycloartane-3β,16β,24,25,30-pentaol 25-O-β-d-glucopyranosyl-(1 → 4)-β-d-glucopyranoside (4), were isolated from the aerial parts of Thalictrum fortunei. Their structures were established on the basis of extensive NMR and HR-ESI-MS analyses, along with acid hydrolysis.
Thalictrum fortunei; Ranunculaceae; Cycloartane glycoside
The so-called IS/OS border visible on OCT scans is now thought to be the ellipsoids of the inner segment. This band of increased reflectivity is visible, but less intense, in patients with markedly reduced cone function secondary to achromatopsia and cone dystrophy.
The integrity of the inner segment ellipsoid (ISe) band, previously called the inner segment/outer segment (IS/OS) border, seen on optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans is of clinical significance. To better understand the influence of cones on the appearance of this band, the intensity of its signal in patients with diminished cone function was examined.
Horizontal line scans through the fovea of 30 healthy controls, 10 patients with achromatopsia (A), and six with cone dystrophy (CD) were obtained with frequency domain (fd) OCT. The fdOCT borders were segmented with a computer-aided manual technique. The ISe was divided into regions 60.1 μm wide and 19.5 μm deep. The relative ISe intensity of each region was defined as its intensity divided by the intensity of a local region, which extended in depth from the choroid to the retinal ganglion cell/retinal nerve fiber layer.
Except for the central fovea, all patients had a clear ISe band across the region studied, ± 3 mm from the foveal center. However, the relative ISe intensity was significantly lower (P < 0.0001) in patients (A: 1.14 ± 0.14; CD: 1.27 ± 0.14), than in controls (1.61 ± 0.16). There were no differences in the relative intensity of the other retinal layers.
Although present, the intensity of this ISe band is lower in patients with diminished cone function than it is in healthy controls. This is consistent with the hypothesis that both rod and cone receptors must be absent or damaged for the ISe band to be missing.
While the M. smegmatis genome has been sequenced, only a small portion of the genes have been characterized experimentally. Here, we purify and characterize MSMEG_2731, a conserved hypothetical alanine and arginine rich M. smegmatis protein. Using ultracentrifugation, we show that MSMEG_2731 is a monomer in vitro. MSMEG_2731 exists at a steady level throughout the M. smegmatis life-cycle. Combining results from pull-down techniques and LS-MS/MS, we show that MSMEG_2731 interacts with ribosomal protein S1. The existence of this interaction was confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation. We also show that MSMEG_2731 can bind ssDNA, dsDNA and RNA in vitro. Based on the interactions of MSMEG_2731 with RPS1 and RNA, we propose that MSMEG_2731 is involved in the transcription-translation process in vivo.
Recent research raised the possibility that some viral microRNAs (miRNAs) may function as orthologs of cellular miRNAs. In the present work, to study the functional orthologous relationships of viral and cellular miRNAs, we first constructed a dual-fluorescent protein reporter vector system for the easy determination of miRNA function. By expressing the miRNAs and the indicator and internal control fluorescent proteins individually from a single vector, this simple reporter system can be used for miRNA functional assays that include visualizing miRNA activity in live cells. Sequence alignments indicated that the simian virus 40 (SV40) encoded miRNA sv40-mir-S1-5p contains a seed region identical to that of the human miRNA hsa-miR423-5p. Using the new reporter system, it was found that sv40-mir-S1-5p and hsa-miR423-5p downregulate the expression of common artificial target mRNAs and some predicted biological targets of hsa-miR423-5p, demonstrating that they are functional orthologs. The human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) encoded hiv1-miR-N367 also contains a seed sequence identical to that of the human miRNA hsa-miR192. Functional assays showed that hiv1-miR-N367 and hsa-miR192 could downregulate common artificial and predicted biological targets, suggesting that these miRNAs may also act as functional orthologs. Thus, this study presents a simple and universal system for testing miRNA function and identifies two new pairs of functional orthologs, sv40-mir-S1-5p and hsa-miR423-5p as well as hiv-1-miR-N367 and hsa-miR192. These findings also expand upon our current knowledge of functional homology and imply that a more general phenomenon of orthologous relationships exists between viral and cellular miRNAs.