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author:("finnmark, Ulf")
1.  Stimulatory effects of thyroid hormone on brain angiogenesis in vivo and in vitro 
Thyroid hormone is critical for the proper development of the central nervous system. However, the specific role of thyroid hormone on brain angiogenesis remains poorly understood. Treatment of rats from birth to postnatal day 21 (P21) with propylthiouracil (PTU), a reversible blocker of triiodothyronine (T3) synthesis, resulted in decreased brain angiogenesis, as indicated by reduced complexity and density of microvessels. However, when PTU was withdrawn at P22, these parameters were fully recovered by P90. These changes were paralleled by an altered expression of vascular endothelial growth factor A (Vegfa) and basic fibroblast growth factor (Fgf2). Physiologic concentrations of T3 and thyroxine (T4) stimulated proliferation and tubulogenesis of rat brain-derived endothelial (RBE4) cells in vitro. Protein and mRNA levels of VEGF-A and FGF-2 increased after T3 stimulation of RBE4 cells. The thyroid hormone receptor blocker NH-3 abolished T3-induced Fgf2 and Vegfa upregulation, indicating a receptor-mediated effect. Thyroid hormone inhibited the apoptosis in RBE4 cells and altered mRNA levels of apoptosis-related genes, namely Bcl2 and Bad. The present results show that thyroid hormone has a substantial impact on vasculature development in the brain. Pathologically altered vascularization could, therefore, be a contributing factor to the neurologic deficits induced by thyroid hormone deficiency.
PMCID: PMC2949126  PMID: 19861975
angiogenesis; apoptosis; endothelial cells; fibroblast growth factor 2; postnatal hypothyroidism; vascular endothelial growth factor
2.  Regulation of autophagy by cytoplasmic p53 
Nature cell biology  2008;10(6):676-687.
Multiple cellular stressors, including activation of the tumour suppressor p53, can stimulate autophagy. Here we show that knockout, knockdown or pharmacological inhibition of p53 can induce autophagy in human, mouse and nematode cells. Enhanced autophagy improved the survival of p53-deficient cancer cells under conditions of hypoxia and nutrient depletion, allowing them to maintain high ATP levels. Inhibition of p53 led to autophagy in enucleated cells, and cytoplasmic, not nuclear, p53 was able to repress the enhanced autophagy of p53-/- cells. Many different inducers of autophagy (for example, starvation, rapamycin and toxins affecting the endoplasmic reticulum) stimulated proteasome-mediated degradation of p53 through a pathway relying on the E3 ubiquitin ligase HDM2. Inhibition of p53 degradation prevented the activation of autophagy in several cell lines, in response to several distinct stimuli. These results provide evidence of a key signalling pathway that links autophagy to the cancer-associated dysregulation of p53.
PMCID: PMC2676564  PMID: 18454141
3.  Differential Roles of the Universal Stress Proteins of Escherichia coli in Oxidative Stress Resistance, Adhesion, and Motility 
Journal of Bacteriology  2005;187(18):6265-6272.
The universal stress protein (UspA) superfamily encompasses a conserved group of proteins that are found in bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes. Escherichia coli harbors six usp genes—uspA, -C, -D, -E, -F, and -G—the expression of which is triggered by a large variety of environmental insults. The uspA gene is important for survival during cellular growth arrest, but the exact physiological role of the Usp proteins is not known. In this work we have performed phenotypic characterization of mutants with deletions of the six different usp genes. We report on hitherto unknown functions of these genes linked to motility, adhesion, and oxidative stress resistance, and we show that usp functions are both overlapping and distinct. Both UspA and UspD are required in the defense against superoxide-generating agents, and UspD appears also important in controlling intracellular levels of iron. In contrast, UspC is not involved in stress resistance or iron metabolism but is essential, like UspE, for cellular motility. Electron microscopy demonstrates that uspC and uspE mutants are devoid of flagella. In addition, the function of the uspC and uspE genes is linked to cell adhesion, measured as FimH-mediated agglutination of yeast cells. While the UspC and UspE proteins promote motility at the expense of adhesion, the UspF and UspG proteins exhibit the exact opposite effects. We suggest that the Usp proteins have evolved different physiological functions that reprogram the cell towards defense and escape during cellular stress.
PMCID: PMC1236625  PMID: 16159758

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