This Round Table will host an open discussion about NIH support for shared resource facilities. NIH recently implemented a reorganization plan that eliminated the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR). Programs formerly administered by NCRR have been reassigned to other NIH Institutes and Centers. The Shared Instrumentation Grant (SIG) and High End Instrumentation (HEI) programs are now part of the NIH Office of the Director in DPCPSI, directed by James M. Anderson, MD, PhD. Dr. Anderson will present an overview of the role of his division and of NIH in supporting shared resource facilities. Before joining NIH, Dr. Anderson was Chair of the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology in the School of Medicine of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was responsible for the operation and management of a number of research core labs at UNC. He is a new voice of support for shared resource facilities that support NIH research. Abraham Levy, PhD, is the newly appointed Program Director responsible for the SIG and HEI programs. Dr. Levy worked for Dr. Marjorie Tingle in the NCRR SIG office for many years. He is highly qualified to be the new director of these important programs. Dr. Levy will discuss how SIG and HEI will be administered in their new home in DPCPSI. Time will be allowed for questions and discussion following the presentations of Drs. Anderson and Levy.
The integrity of the tight junction barrier in epithelial and endothelial cells is critical to human health, but we still lack a detailed mechanistic knowledge of how the barrier is formed during development or responds to pathological and pharmacological insults. This limits our understanding of barrier dysfunction in disease and slows the development of therapeutic strategies. Recent studies confirm the long-maintained but previously unsupported view that the zonula occludens (ZO) proteins ZO-1 and ZO-2 are critical determinants of barrier formation. However, ZO proteins can also be components of adherens junctions, and recent studies suggest that ZO proteins may also promote the assembly and function of these junctions during epithelial morphogenesis. We review these studies and outline several recent observations that suggest that one role of ZO proteins is to regulate cytoskeletal dynamics at cell junctions. Finally, we propose a model by which the functional activities of ZO proteins in the adherens junction and tight junction are differentiated by a novel regulatory motif known as the U6 or acidic motif.
tight junction; adherens junction; zonula occludens; ZO-1; ZO-2; E-cadherin; cytoskeleton; MAGUK; PDZ; scaffold; permeability; epithelia; morphogenesis
This study reports on the use of a fibrinogen-derived peptide for the specific targeting and delivery of vancomycin to Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilms. One method by which S. epidermidis initially adheres to biomaterials uses the plasma protein fibrinogen as an intermediary, where the S. epidermidis surface protein SdrG binds to a short amino acid sequence near the amino terminus of the Bβ chain of fibrinogen. We mimicked this binding interaction and demonstrated the use of a synthetic fibrinogen-based β6-20 peptide to target and deliver vancomycin to S. epidermidis in vitro. The β6-20 peptide was synthesized and labeled with a nanogold probe, and its targeting capabilities were examined through the use of scanning electron microscopy. The Nanogold component was then replaced by vancomycin, utilizing a flexible, variable length poly(ethylene glycol) linker between the peptide and antibiotic to create the targeted vancomycin products, β6-20-PEGx-VAN. Initial binding to surface adherent S. epidermidis was increased in a concentration-dependent manner relative to vancomycin for all equivalent concentrations ≥4 μg/ml, with targeted vancomcyin content up to 22.9 times that of vancomycin alone. Retention of the targeted antibiotics was measured after an additional 24 hour incubation period, revealing levels 1.3 times that of vancomycin. The results demonstrate the improved targeting and retention of vancomycin within a biofilm due to the incorporation of a specific targeting motif.
Staphylococcus epidermidis; SdrG; β6-20 peptide; Targeted Delivery; Vancomycin
The two compositionally distinct extracellular cochlear fluids, endolymph and perilymph, are separated by tight junctions that outline the scala media and reticular lamina. Mutations in TRIC (also known as MARVELD2), which encodes a tricellular tight junction protein known as tricellulin, lead to nonsyndromic hearing loss (DFNB49). We generated a knockin mouse that carries a mutation orthologous to the TRIC coding mutation linked to DFNB49 hearing loss in humans. Tricellulin was absent from the tricellular junctions in the inner ear epithelia of the mutant animals, which developed rapidly progressing hearing loss accompanied by loss of mechanosensory cochlear hair cells, while the endocochlear potential and paracellular permeability of a biotin-based tracer in the stria vascularis were unaltered. Freeze-fracture electron microscopy revealed disruption of the strands of intramembrane particles connecting bicellular and tricellular junctions in the inner ear epithelia of tricellulin-deficient mice. These ultrastructural changes may selectively affect the paracellular permeability of ions or small molecules, resulting in a toxic microenvironment for cochlear hair cells. Consistent with this hypothesis, hair cell loss was rescued in tricellulin-deficient mice when generation of normal endolymph was inhibited by a concomitant deletion of the transcription factor, Pou3f4. Finally, comprehensive phenotypic screening showed a broader pathological phenotype in the mutant mice, which highlights the non-redundant roles played by tricellulin.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:
Many thousands of patients die every year in the United States as a result of serious and largely preventable safety events or medical errors. Safety events are common in hospitalized children. We conducted a quality improvement initiative to implement cultural and system changes with the goal of reducing serious safety events (SSEs) by 80% within 4 years at our large, urban pediatric hospital.
A multidisciplinary SSE reduction team reviewed the safety literature, examined recent SSEs, interviewed internal leaders, and visited other leading organizations. Senior hospital leaders provided oversight, monitored progress, and helped to overcome barriers. Interventions focused on: (1) error prevention; (2) restructuring patient safety governance; (3) a new root cause analysis process and a common cause database; (4) a highly visible lessons learned program; and (5) specific tactical interventions for high-risk areas. Our outcome measures were the rate of SSEs and the change in patient safety culture.
SSEs per 10 000 adjusted patient-days decreased from a mean of 0.9 at baseline to 0.3 (P < .0001). The days between SSEs increased from a mean of 19.4 at baseline to 55.2 (P < .0001). After a worsening of patient safety culture outcomes in the first year of intervention, significant improvements were observed between 2007 and 2009.
Our multifaceted approach was associated with a significant and sustained reduction of SSEs and improvements in patient safety culture. Multisite studies are needed to better understand contextual factors and the significance of specific interventions.
patient safety; quality improvement; safety culture
Foreign body-type multinucleated giant cells (FBGC), formed by macrophage fusion, are a prominent cell type on implanted biomaterials, although the roles they play at these and other sites of chronic inflammation are not understood. Why lymphocytes are present in this scenario and the effects of fusing macrophages/FBGC on subsequent lymphocyte responses are also unclear. To address the physiological significance of FBGC in this regard, we employed our in vitro system of interleukin (IL)-4-induced human monocyte-derived macrophage fusion/FBGC formation. Initially, we pursued the identities of lymphocyte co-stimulatory molecules on fusing macrophages/FBGC. In addition, we further compared the FBGC phenotype to that currently associated with osteoclasts and dendritic cells using recognized markers. Immunoblotting of cell lysates and immunochemistry of macrophages/FBGC in situ, revealed that IL-4-induced macrophages/FBGC strongly express HLA-DR, CD98, B7-2 (CD86), and B7-H1 (PD-L1), but not B7-1 (CD80) or B7-H2 (B7RP-1). Furthermore, molecules currently recognized to be expressed on osteoclasts (calcitonin receptor, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase, RANK) or dendritic cells (CD1a, CD40, CD83, CD95/fas) are undetectable. In contrast, fusing macrophages/FBGC strongly express the macrophage markers αX integrin (CD11c), CD68, and dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule-3-grabbing non-integrin (DC-SIGN), whereas CD14 is completely down-modulated with IL-4-induced macrophage fusion. These novel data demonstrate that IL-4-induction of macrophage multinucleation/FBGC formation features the acquisition of a CD14-negative phenotypic profile which is distinguishable from that of dendritic cells and osteoclasts, yet potentially exhibits multiple capacities for lymphocyte interactions with resultant lymphocyte down-modulation.
Biocompatibility; chronic inflammation; lymphocyte; macrophage; multinucleated giant cell
Previous in vitro studies in our laboratory have shown that lymphocytes can influence macrophage adhesion and fusion on biomaterial surfaces. However, few studies have evaluated how material adherent macrophages can influence lymphocyte behavior, specifically T cells. In this study, we cultured human peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy donors on three synthetic non-biodegradable biomedical polymers: Elasthane 80A (PEU), Silicone rubber (SR), or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and tissue culture polystyrene (TCPS). Upregulation of T cell surface activation markers (CD69 and CD25), lymphocyte proliferation, and interleukin-2 (IL-2) and interferon-γ (IFNγ) concentrations were evaluated by flow cytometry, carboxy-fluorescein diacetate, succinimydyl ester (CFSE) incorporation, and multiplex cytokine immunoassay, respectively, to assess T cell activation. Following 3 and 7 days of culture, CD4+ helper T cells from cultures of any of the material groups did not express the activation markers CD69 and CD25 and lymphocyte proliferation was not present. IL-2 and IFNγ levels were produced, but dependent on donor. These data indicate that T cells are not activated in response to clinically relevant synthetic biomaterials. The data also suggest that lymphocyte subsets exclusive of T cells are the source of the lymphokines, IL-2 and IFN-γ, in certain donors.
Lymphocyte activation; biomaterials; interferonγ; Interleukin-2
To characterize the effects of adherent macrophages and biomaterial surface chemistries on lymphocyte adhesion and activation, lymphocytes were co-cultured with monocytes alone and together, directly and separated by a porous membrane transwell on hydrophobic, hydrophilic/neutral, hydrophilic/anionic, and hydrophilic/cationic biomaterial surfaces. Surface adherent cells were quantitatively analyzed after 3 days utilizing immunofluorescence and phase contrast imaging. After periods of 3, 7, and 10 days, secreted interferon-γ (IFN-γ) was quantified by ELISA. Limited direct biomaterial-adherent lymphocytes were identified regardless of the presence of macrophages or foreign body giant cells (FBGC). The majority of adherent lymphocytes, which were T cells (> 95%) rather than natural killer cells, predominantly interacted with adherent macrophages and FBGCs; greater than 90% were interacting on surfaces with higher levels of adherent macrophages and FBGCs and greater than 55% were interacting on surfaces with lower levels of macrophages and FBGCs. The hydrophilic/anionic surface promoted higher levels of macrophage- and FBGC-adherent lymphocytes but was nonselective for lymphocyte subtype interactions. The hydrophilic/neutral surface was selective for CD4+ T lymphocyte interactions while the hydrophobic surface was selective for CD8+ T lymphocyte interactions. IFN-γ was produced in direct and indirect co-cultures but not in lymphocyte- and monocyte-only cultures suggesting that lymphocytes are activated via macrophage-derived cytokines rather than direct biomaterial contact. Direct lymphocyte interactions with adherent macrophages/FBGCs enhanced IFN-γ production relative to indirect co-cultures. These results suggest that lymphocytes prefer interactions with adherent macrophages and FBGCs, resulting in lymphocyte activation, and these interactions can be influenced by biomaterial surface chemistries.
biomaterials; lymphocyte activation; adhesion; macrophages and foreign body giant cells; cytokines
This review is intended to provide insight into the current state of understanding regarding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the formation and function of various types of multinucleated giant cells.
Recent studies involving mainly osteoclasts and foreign body giant cells have revealed a number of common factors, e.g., vitronectin, an adhesion protein, dendritic cell-specific transmembrane protein (DC-STAMP), a fusion factor, and macrophage fusion receptor (MFR), that contribute to giant cell formation and function. Insight into common molecules, receptors, and mediators of the adhesion and fusion mechanisms of giant cell formation have been complicated by the wide diversity of species, models, and cell types utilized in these studies.
These recently identified factors together with the well-known osteoclast receptor, αvβ3, may serve as potential therapeutic targets for the modulation and inhibition of multinucleated giant cell formation and function. Further studies on intracellular and intercellular signaling mechanisms modulating multinucleated giant cell formation and function are necessary for the identification of therapeutic targets as well as a better understanding of giant cell biology.
Multinucleated Giant Cell; Foreign Body Giant Cell; Macrophage; Osteoclast
ETOC: Our study reveals that ZO proteins in fully polarized cells regulate the assembly and contractility of the perijunctional actomyosin ring associated with the adherens junction.
The structure and function of both adherens (AJ) and tight (TJ) junctions are dependent on the cortical actin cytoskeleton. The zonula occludens (ZO)-1 and -2 proteins have context-dependent interactions with both junction types and bind directly to F-actin and other cytoskeletal proteins, suggesting ZO-1 and -2 might regulate cytoskeletal activity at cell junctions. To address this hypothesis, we generated stable Madin-Darby canine kidney cell lines depleted of both ZO-1 and -2. Both paracellular permeability and the localization of TJ proteins are disrupted in ZO-1/-2–depleted cells. In addition, immunocytochemistry and electron microscopy revealed a significant expansion of the perijunctional actomyosin ring associated with the AJ. These structural changes are accompanied by a recruitment of 1-phosphomyosin light chain and Rho kinase 1, contraction of the actomyosin ring, and expansion of the apical domain. Despite these changes in the apical cytoskeleton, there are no detectable changes in cell polarity, localization of AJ proteins, or the organization of the basal and lateral actin cytoskeleton. We conclude that ZO proteins are required not only for TJ assembly but also for regulating the organization and functional activity of the apical cytoskeleton, particularly the perijunctional actomyosin ring, and we speculate that these activities are relevant both to cellular organization and epithelial morphogenesis.
The foreign body reaction composed of macrophages and foreign body giant cells is the end-stage response of the inflammatory and wound healing responses following implantation of a medical device, prosthesis, or biomaterial. A brief, focused overview of events leading to the foreign body reaction is presented. The major focus of this review is on factors that modulate the interaction of macrophages and foreign body giant cells on synthetic surfaces where the chemical, physical, and morphological characteristics of the synthetic surface are considered to play a role in modulating cellular events. These events in the foreign body reaction include protein adsorption, monocyte/macrophage adhesion, macrophage fusion to form foreign body giant cells, consequences of the foreign body response on biomaterials, and cross-talk between macrophages/foreign body giant cells and inflammatory/wound healing cells. Biomaterial surface properties play an important role in modulating the foreign body reaction in the first two to four weeks following implantation of a medical device, even though the foreign body reaction at the tissue/material interface is present for the in vivo lifetime of the medical device. An understanding of the foreign body reaction is important as the foreign body reaction may impact the biocompatibility (safety) of the medical device, prosthesis, or implanted biomaterial and may significantly impact short- and long-term tissue responses with tissue-engineered constructs containing proteins, cells, and other biological components for use in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Our perspective has been on the inflammatory and wound healing response to implanted materials, devices, and tissue-engineered constructs. The incorporation of biological components of allogeneic or xenogeneic origin as well as stem cells into tissue-engineered or regenerative approaches opens up a myriad of other challenges. An in depth understanding of how the immune system interacts with these cells and how biomaterials or tissue-engineered constructs influences these interactions may prove pivotal to the safety, biocompatibility, and function of the device or system under consideration.
Foreign body reaction; Macrophages; Foreign body giant cells; Biodegradation; Cytokines; Biomaterials
To better understand the relationship between macrophage/foreign body giant cell adhesion and activation on surface-modified biomaterials, quantitative assessment of adherent cell density (cells per mm²) and cytokine production (pgs per mL) were determined by ELISA. Further analysis to identify cellular activation was carried out by normalizing the cytokine concentration data to provide a measure of cellular activation. This method of analysis demonstrated that hydrophobic surfaces provided statistically significantly greater adherent cell densities than hydrophilic/neutral surfaces. However, when cell activation parameters were determined by normalization to the adherent cell density, the hydrophilic/neutral surfaces demonstrated statistically significantly greater levels of activation and production of IL-10, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and MIP-1β. With increasing time, production of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 increased, whereas IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 decreased and MIP-1β was relatively constant over the culture time period. This observed dichotomy or disparity between adhesion and activation may be related to surface-induced adherent cell apoptosis. Further evaluation of macrophage activation on biomaterial surfaces indicated that an apparent phenotypic switch in macrophage phenotype occurred over the course of the in vitro culture. Analysis of cytokine/chemokine profiles with surface-modified biomaterials revealed similarities between the classically activated macrophages and the biomaterial-adherent macrophages early (day 3) in culture, while at later timepoints the biomaterial-adherent macrophages produced profiles similar to alternatively activated macrophages. Classically activated macrophages are those commonly activated by LPS (lipopolysaccharide) or IFN-γ (interferon-γ) and alternatively activated macrophages are those activated by IL-4/IL-13 or IL-10. Surface modification of biomaterials offers an opportunity to control cellular activation and cytokine profiles in the phenotypic switch, and may provide a means by which macrophages can be induced to regulate particular secretory proteins that direct inflammation, the foreign body reaction, wound healing, and ultimately biocompatibility.
macrophages; adhesion; activation; hydrophilic, hydrophobic, and ionic surface chemistry; foreign body reaction
The effect of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) on the subsequent chronic phase macrophage-mediated foreign body reaction has not been previously investigated. Furthermore, while monocyte/macrophage-produced cytokines such as GM-CSF, G-CSF, or IL-1β have been shown to increase PMN survival in vitro, few studies have examined the impact of directly co-cultured monocytes/macrophages on PMN viability. To this end, we used our established in vitro system of interleukin (IL)-4-induced monocyte-derived macrophage fusion to examine the role of PMNs in the subsequent foreign body reaction. Monocytes were directly cultured with PMNs for 3 days prior to the addition of IL-4 to induce monocyte-derived macrophage fusion to facilitate foreign body giant cell (FBGC) formation by Day 7 and Day 10 of culture. Optical microscopy was used to quantitatively determine adherent monocyte density, percent macrophage fusion, and FBGC density. A colorimetric MTT assay was used to assess PMN viability for direct co-cultures of monocytes/macrophages and PMNs. Our results strongly suggest that the presence of PMNs inhibit IL-4-induced macrophage fusion and FBGC formation. Additionally, our findings demonstrate that co-cultures containing PMNs and monocytes/macrophages increases PMN survival with respect to PMN-only cultures in vitro.
foreign body reaction; polymorphonuclear leukocytes; monocytes; macrophages; foreign body giant cells
Biofilm formation plays an integral role in catheter-associated bloodstream infections caused by Candida albicans. Biofilms formed on catheters placed intravenously are exposed to shear stress caused by blood flow. In this study, we investigated whether shear stress affects the ability of C. albicans to form biofilms. Candida biofilms were formed on catheter discs and exposed to physiological levels of shear stress using a rotating disc system (RDS). Control biofilms were grown under conditions of no flow. Tetrazolium (XTT) assay and dry weight (DW) measurements were used to quantify metabolic activity and biofilm mass respectively. Confocal scanning laser microscopy (CSLM) was used to evaluate architecture and biofilm thickness. After 90 min, cells attached under no-flow exhibited significantly greater XTT activity and DW than those under shear. However, by 24 h, biofilms formed under both conditions had similar XTT activities and DW. Interestingly, thickness of biofilms formed under no-flow was significantly greater after 24 h than of those formed under shear stress, demonstrating that shear exposure results in thinner, but denser biofilms. These studies suggest that biofilm architecture is modulated by shear in a phase-dependent manner.
Candida albicans; biofilms; shear stress; catheter infections
We report a case of Histoplasma capsulatum endocarditis in which Histoplasma antigen assay and fungal blood cultures were negative. The diagnosis was made by microscopic examination and culture of the excised valve. Histoplasma capsulatum should be considered in the differential diagnosis of culture-negative endocarditis in regions where it is endemic and in travelers.
Pre-eclampsia (PE) is associated with profound changes in the maternal cardiovascular system. The aim of the present study was to assess whether alterations in the maternal arterial stiffness precede the onset of PE in at risk women.
This was a cross sectional study involving 70 pregnant women with normal and 70 women with abnormal uterine artery Doppler examination at 22–24 weeks of gestation. All women had their arterial stiffness (augmentation index and pulse wave velocity of the carotid-femoral and carotid-radial parts of the arterial tree) assessed by applanation tonometry in the second trimester of pregnancy, at the time of the uterine artery Doppler imaging. Among the 140 women participating in the study 29 developed PE (PE group) and 111 did not (non-PE group). Compared to the non-PE group, women that developed PE had higher central systolic (94.9±8.6 mmHg vs 104.3±11.1 mmHg; p = <0.01) and diastolic (64.0±6.0 vs 72.4±9.1; p<0.01) blood pressures. All the arterial stiffness indices were adjusted for possible confounders and expressed as multiples of the median (MoM) of the non-PE group. The adjusted median augmentation index was similar between the two groups (p = 0.84). The adjusted median pulse wave velocities were higher in the PE group compared to the non-PE group (carotid-femoral: 1.10±0.14 MoMs vs 0.99±0.11 MoMs; p<0.01 and carotid-radial: 1.08±0.12 MoMs vs 1.0±0.11 MoMs; p<0.01).
Increased maternal arterial stiffness, as assessed by pulse wave velocity, predates the development of PE in at risk women.
Current strategies to limit macrophage adhesion, fusion and fibrous capsule formation in the foreign body response have focused on modulating material surface properties. We hypothesize that topography close to biological scale, in the micron and nanometric range, provides a passive approach without bioactive agents to modulate macrophage behavior. In our study, topography-induced changes in macrophage behavior was examined using parallel gratings (250 nm-2 μm line width) imprinted on poly(s-caprolactone) (PCL), poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and poly(dimethyl siloxane) (PDMS). RAW 264.7 cell adhesion and elongation occurred maximally on 500 nm gratings compared to planar controls over 48 hr. TNF-α and VEGF secretion levels by RAW 264.7 cells showed greatest sensitivity to topographical effects, with reduced levels observed on larger grating sizes at 48 hr. In vivo studies at 21 days showed reduced macrophage adhesion density and degree of high cell fusion on 2 μm gratings compared to planar controls. It was concluded that topography affects macrophage behavior in the foreign body response on all polymer surfaces examined. Topography-induced changes, independent of surface chemistry, did not reveal distinctive patterns but do affect cell morphology and cytokine secretion in vitro, and cell adhesion in vivo particularly on larger size topography compared to planar controls.
Microtopography; Nanotopography; Foreign body response; Nanostructured biomaterials; Inflammation and wound healing; Cytokines
The cell surface proteoglycan, syndecan-1, is essential for normal epithelial morphology and function. Syndecan-1 is selectively localized to the basolateral domain of polarized epithelial cells and interacts with cytosolic PDZ (PSD-95, discs large, ZO-1) domain-containing proteins. Here, we show that the polarity of syndecan-1 is determined by its type II PDZ-binding motif. Mutations within the PDZ-binding motif lead to the mislocalization of syndecan-1 to the apical surface. In contrast to previous examples, however, PDZ-binding motif-dependent polarity is not determined by retention at the basolateral surface but rather by polarized sorting prior to syndecan-1’s arrival at the plasma membrane. Although none of the four known PDZ-binding partners of syndecan-1 appears to control basolateral localization, our results show that the PDZ-binding motif of syndecan-1 is decoded along the biosynthetic pathway establishing a potential role for PDZ-mediated interactions in polarized sorting.
basolateral; epithelia; PDZ; polarity; syndecan-1
ZO-1 binds numerous transmembrane and cytoplasmic proteins and is required for assembly of both adherens and tight junctions, but its role in defining barrier properties of an established tight junction is unknown. We depleted ZO-1 in MDCK cells using siRNA methods and observed specific defects in the barrier for large solutes, even though flux through the small claudin pores was unaffected. This permeability increase was accompanied by morphological alterations and reorganization of apical actin and myosin. The permeability defect, and to a lesser extent morphological changes, could be rescued by reexpression of either full-length ZO-1 or an N-terminal construct containing the PDZ, SH3, and GUK domains. ZO-2 knockdown did not replicate either the permeability or morphological phenotypes seen in the ZO-1 knockdown, suggesting that ZO-1 and -2 are not functionally redundant for these functions. Wild-type and knockdown MDCK cells had differing physiological and morphological responses to pharmacologic interventions targeting myosin activity. Use of the ROCK inhibitor Y27632 or myosin inhibitor blebbistatin increased TER in wild-type cells, whereas ZO-1 knockdown monolayers were either unaffected or changed in the opposite direction; paracellular flux and myosin localization were also differentially affected. These studies are the first direct evidence that ZO-1 limits solute permeability in established tight junctions, perhaps by forming a stabilizing link between the barrier and perijunctional actomyosin.
Understanding of tight junctions has evolved from their historical perception as inert solute barriers to recognition of their physiological and biochemical complexity. Many proteins are specifically localized to tight junctions, including cytoplasmic actin-binding proteins and adhesive transmembrane proteins. Among the latter are claudins, which are critical barrier proteins. Current information suggests that the paracellular barrier is most usefully modeled as having two physiologic components: a system of charge-selective small pores, 4 Å in radius, and a second pathway created by larger discontinuities in the barrier, lacking charge or size discrimination. The first pathway is influenced by claudin expression patterns and the second is likely controlled by different proteins and signals. Recent information on claudin function and disease-causing mutations have led to a more complete understanding of their role in barrier formation, but progress is impeded by lack of high resolution structural information.
Claudin proteins in tight junctions form a barrier to diffusion between epithelial cells. The permeability of the epithelium depends on the isoforms expressed.
ZO-1 is a multidomain protein involved in cell-cell junctions and contains three PDZ domains, which are necessary for its function in vivo. PDZ domains play a central role in assembling diverse protein complexes through their ability to recognize short peptide motifs on other proteins. We determined the structure of the second of the three PDZ domains of ZO-1, which is known to promote dimerization as well as bind to C-terminal sequences on connexins. The dimer is stabilized by extensive symmetrical domain swapping of β-strands, which is unlike any other known mechanism of PDZ dimerization. The canonical peptide-binding groove remains intact in both subunits of the PDZ2 dimer and is created by elements contributed from both monomers. This unique structure reveals an additional example of how PDZ domains dimerize and has multiple implications for both peptide binding and oligomerization in vivo.
Multinucleated giant cells are a classic cellular feature of chronic inflammation, although the mechanism of macrophage fusion leading to their formation is not well understood. Here, we investigate the participation of protein kinase C (PKC) in the interleukin (IL)-4-induced fusion of human monocyte-derived macrophages and foreign body giant cell (FBGC) formation in vitro. The PKC inhibitors H-7 and calphostin C attenuated macrophage fusion, whereas H-8, which is more selective for PKA and PKG, did not. Macrophage fusion was also prevented by the phospholipase C inhibitor, Et-18-OCH3, the PKC isoform inhibitors GO6983 or rottlerin and by peptide inhibitors for PKC (20-28), PKCβ, or PKCζ but not by HBDDE or peptide inhibitors for PKCε or PKA. In cultures of fusing macrophages/FBGC, we detected only PKCα, β, δ, and ζ by immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting, and we also observed strong expression of these isoforms by immunocytochemistry. Our collective results suggest that the γ, ε, η, μ, θ, or ι PKC isoforms are not required in the mechanism of IL-4-induced macrophage fusion; whether PKCα is required is unclear. However, new evidence is provided that FBGC formation is supported by PKCβ, PKCδ, and PKCζ in combined diacylglycerol-dependent (PKCβ and PKCδ) and - independent (PKCζ) signaling pathways.
diacylglycerol; foreign body giant cell; interleukin-4; monocyte; macrophage; fusion; multinucleated giant cell; protein kinase C
The proper cellular location and sealing of tight junctions is assumed to depend on scaffolding properties of ZO-1, a member of the MAGUK protein family. ZO-1 contains a conserved SH3-GUK module that is separated by a variable region (unique-5), which in other MAGUKs has proven regulatory functions. To identify motifs in ZO-1 critical for its putative scaffolding functions, we focused on the SH3-GUK module including unique-5 (U5) and unique-6 (U6), a motif immediately C-terminal of the GUK domain. In vitro binding studies reveal U5 is sufficient for occludin binding; U6 reduces the affinity of this binding. In cultured cells, U5 is required for targeting ZO-1 to tight junctions and removal of U6 results in ectopically displaced junction strands containing the modified ZO-1, occludin, and claudin on the lateral cell membrane. These results provide evidence that ZO-1 can control the location of tight junction transmembrane proteins and reveals complex protein binding and targeting signals within its SH3-U5-GUK-U6 region. We review these findings in the context of regulated scaffolding functions of other MAGUK proteins.
Candida albicans biofilms form on indwelling medical devices (e.g., denture acrylic or intravenous catheters) and are associated with both oral and invasive candidiasis. Here, we determined whether surface modifications of polyetherurethane (Elasthane 80A [E80A]), polycarbonateurethane, and poly(ethyleneterephthalate) (PET) can influence fungal biofilm formation. Polyurethanes were modified by adding 6% polyethylene oxide (6PEO), 6% fluorocarbon, or silicone, while the PET surface was modified to generate hydrophilic, hydrophobic, cationic, or anionic surfaces. Formation of biofilm was quantified by determining metabolic activity and total biomass (dry weight), while its architecture was analyzed by confocal scanning laser microscopy (CSLM). The metabolic activity of biofilm formed by C. albicans on 6PEO-E80A was significantly reduced (by 78%) compared to that of biofilm formed on the nonmodified E80A (optical densities of 0.054 ± 0.020 and 0.24 ± 0.10, respectively; P = 0.037). The total biomass of Candida biofilm formed on 6PEO-E80A was 74% lower than that on the nonmodified E80A surface (0.46 ± 0.15 versus 1.76 ± 0.32 mg, respectively; P = 0.003). Fungal cells were easily detached from the 6PEO-E80A surface, and we were unable to detect C. albicans biofilm on this surface by CSLM. All other surface modifications allowed formation of C. albicans biofilm, with some differences in thearchitecture. Correlation between contact angle and biofilm formation was observed for polyetherurethane substrates (r = 0.88) but not for PET biomaterials (r = −0.40). This study illustrates that surface modification is a viable approach for identifying surfaces that have antibiofilm characteristics. Investigations into the clinical utility of the identified surfaces are warranted.