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1.  Do lamin B1 and lamin B2 have redundant functions? 
Nucleus  2014;5(4):287-292.
Lamins B1 and B2 have a high degree of sequence similarity and are widely expressed from the earliest stages of development. Studies of Lmnb1 and Lmnb2 knockout mice revealed that both of the B-type lamins are crucial for neuronal migration in the developing brain. These observations naturally posed the question of whether the two B-type lamins might play redundant functions in the development of the brain. To explore that issue, Lee and coworkers generated “reciprocal knock-in mice” (knock-in mice that produce lamin B1 from the Lmnb2 locus and knock-in mice that produce lamin B2 from the Lmnb1 locus). Both lines of knock-in mice manifested neurodevelopmental abnormalities similar to those in conventional knockout mice, indicating that lamins B1 and B2 have unique functions and that increased production of one B-type lamin cannot compensate for the loss of the other.
doi:10.4161/nucl.29615
PMCID: PMC4152341  PMID: 25482116
lamin B1; lamin B2; nuclear envelope; nuclear lamina
2.  Equivalent binding of wild-type lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and S447X-LPL to GPIHBP1, the endothelial cell LPL transporter 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2014;1841(7):963-969.
The S447X polymorphism in lipoprotein lipase (LPL), which shortens LPL by two amino acids, is associated with low plasma triglyceride levels and reduced risk for coronary heart disease. S447X carriers have higher LPL levels in the pre- and post-heparin plasma, raising the possibility that the S447X polymorphism leads to higher LPL levels within capillaries. One potential explanation for increased amounts of LPL in capillaries would be more avid binding of S447X-LPL to GPIHBP1 (the protein that binds LPL dimers and shuttles them to the capillary lumen). This explanation seems plausible because sequences within the carboxyl terminus of LPL are known to mediate LPL binding to GPIHBP1. To assess the impact of the S447X polymorphism on LPL binding to GPIHBP1, we compared the ability of internally tagged versions of wild-type LPL (WT-LPL) and S447X-LPL to bind to GPIHBP1 in both cell-based and cell-free binding assays. In the cell-based assay, we compared the binding of WT-LPL and S447X-LPL to GPIHBP1 on the surface of cultured cells. This assay revealed no differences in the binding of WT-LPL and S447X-LPL to GPIHBP1. In the cell-free assay, we compared the binding of internally tagged WT-LPL and S447X-LPL to soluble GPIHBP1 immobilized on agarose beads. Again, no differences in the binding of WT-LPL and S447X-LPL to GPIHBP1 were observed. We conclude that increased binding of S447X-LPL to GPIHBP1 is unlikely to be the explanation for more efficient lipolysis and lower plasma triglyceride levels in S447X carriers.
doi:10.1016/j.bbalip.2014.03.011
PMCID: PMC4212522  PMID: 24704550
3.  An Absence of Nuclear Lamins in Keratinocytes Leads to Ichthyosis, Defective Epidermal Barrier Function, and Intrusion of Nuclear Membranes and Endoplasmic Reticulum into the Nuclear Chromatin 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2014;34(24):4534-4544.
B-type lamins (lamins B1 and B2) have been considered to be essential for many crucial functions in the cell nucleus (e.g., DNA replication and mitotic spindle formation). However, this view has been challenged by the observation that an absence of both B-type lamins in keratinocytes had no effect on cell proliferation or the development of skin and hair. The latter findings raised the possibility that the functions of B-type lamins are subserved by lamins A and C. To explore that idea, we created mice lacking all nuclear lamins in keratinocytes. Those mice developed ichthyosis and a skin barrier defect, which led to death from dehydration within a few days after birth. Microscopy of nuclear-lamin-deficient skin revealed hyperkeratosis and a disordered stratum corneum with an accumulation of neutral lipid droplets; however, BrdU incorporation into keratinocytes was normal. Skin grafting experiments confirmed the stratum corneum abnormalities and normal BrdU uptake. Interestingly, the absence of nuclear lamins in keratinocytes resulted in an interspersion of nuclear/endoplasmic reticulum membranes with the chromatin. Thus, a key function of the nuclear lamina is to serve as a “fence” and prevent the incursion of cytoplasmic organelles into the nuclear chromatin.
doi:10.1128/MCB.00997-14
PMCID: PMC4248738  PMID: 25312645
4.  The GPIHBP1–LPL complex is responsible for the margination of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins in capillaries 
Cell metabolism  2014;19(5):849-860.
Triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TRLs) undergo lipolysis by lipoprotein lipase (LPL), an enzyme that is transported to the capillary lumen by an endothelial cell protein, GPIHBP1. For LPL-mediated lipolysis to occur, TRLs must bind to the lumen of capillaries. This process is often assumed to involve heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), but we suspected that TRL margination might instead require GPIHBP1. Indeed, TRLs marginate along the heart capillaries of wild-type but not Gpihbp1−/− mice, as judged by fluorescence microscopy, quantitative assays with infrared-dye–labeled lipoproteins, and EM tomography. Both cell culture and in vivo studies showed that TRL margination depends on LPL bound to GPIHBP1. Of note, the expression of LPL by endothelial cells in Gpihbp1−/− mice did not restore defective TRL margination, implying that the binding of LPL to HSPGs is ineffective in promoting TRL margination. Our studies show that GPIHBP1-bound LPL is the main determinant of TRL margination.
doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2014.01.017
PMCID: PMC4143151  PMID: 24726386
5.  Lpcat3-dependent production of arachidonoyl phospholipids is a key determinant of triglyceride secretion 
eLife  null;4:e06557.
The role of specific phospholipids (PLs) in lipid transport has been difficult to assess due to an inability to selectively manipulate membrane composition in vivo. Here we show that the phospholipid remodeling enzyme lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase 3 (Lpcat3) is a critical determinant of triglyceride (TG) secretion due to its unique ability to catalyze the incorporation of arachidonate into membranes. Mice lacking Lpcat3 in the intestine fail to thrive during weaning and exhibit enterocyte lipid accumulation and reduced plasma TGs. Mice lacking Lpcat3 in the liver show reduced plasma TGs, hepatosteatosis, and secrete lipid-poor very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) lacking arachidonoyl PLs. Mechanistic studies indicate that Lpcat3 activity impacts membrane lipid mobility in living cells, suggesting a biophysical basis for the requirement of arachidonoyl PLs in lipidating lipoprotein particles. These data identify Lpcat3 as a key factor in lipoprotein production and illustrate how manipulation of membrane composition can be used as a regulatory mechanism to control metabolic pathways.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06557.001
eLife digest
Living cells are surrounded by a membrane that forms a barrier between the cell and its external environment. This membrane is largely made up of a variety of molecules known as lipids. The particular lipid molecules found in a cell membrane strongly influence its mobility, flexibility and other physical properties.
The liver and intestine can package lipids gained from the diet into molecules called lipoproteins, which are released into the bloodstream for use by the body. An enzyme known as Lpcat3 is found in high levels in the liver and intestine and it appears to be involved in the production of lipoproteins. Altering the amount of Lpcat3 in cells can change the types of lipids found in the cell membranes, connected to the production of lipoproteins.
Rong et al. studied newborn mice that were missing the Lpcat3 protein in either the liver or intestine. Mice lacking Lpcat3 in the intestine had higher levels of lipids inside their intestine cells and grew more slowly than normal mice. Mice lacking Lpcat3 in the liver also accumulated lipids in their cells and their bloodstream had lower levels of lipids that contain a molecule called arachidonic acid than normal mice. Further experiments showed that the loss of Lpcat3 reduces the ability of lipids to move within the cell membrane.
The experiments show that Lpcat3 plays a key role in attaching arachidonic acid to membrane lipids to promote the release of lipoproteins into the bloodstream. Rong et al.'s findings reveal that changing the type of lipids in the cell membrane plays an important role in regulating the levels of lipids in the blood.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06557.002
doi:10.7554/eLife.06557
PMCID: PMC4400582  PMID: 25806685
phospholipid; lipoprotein; nuclear receptor; mouse
6.  Nuclear Lamins and Neurobiology 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2014;34(15):2776-2785.
Much of the work on nuclear lamins during the past 15 years has focused on mutations in LMNA (the gene for prelamin A and lamin C) that cause particular muscular dystrophy, cardiomyopathy, partial lipodystrophy, and progeroid syndromes. These disorders, often called “laminopathies,” mainly affect mesenchymal tissues (e.g., striated muscle, bone, and fibrous tissue). Recently, however, a series of papers have identified important roles for nuclear lamins in the central nervous system. Studies of knockout mice uncovered a key role for B-type lamins (lamins B1 and B2) in neuronal migration in the developing brain. Also, duplications of LMNB1 (the gene for lamin B1) have been shown to cause autosome-dominant leukodystrophy. Finally, recent studies have uncovered a peculiar pattern of nuclear lamin expression in the brain. Lamin C transcripts are present at high levels in the brain, but prelamin A expression levels are very low—due to regulation of prelamin A transcripts by microRNA 9. This form of prelamin A regulation likely explains why “prelamin A diseases” such as Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome spare the central nervous system. In this review, we summarize recent progress in elucidating links between nuclear lamins and neurobiology.
doi:10.1128/MCB.00486-14
PMCID: PMC4135577  PMID: 24842906
7.  Palmoplantar keratoderma along with neuromuscular and metabolic phenotypes in Slurp1-deficient mice 
Mutations in SLURP1 cause mal de Meleda, a rare palmoplantar keratoderma (PPK). SLURP1 is a secreted protein that is expressed highly in keratinocytes but has also been identified elsewhere (e.g., spinal cord neurons). Here, we examined Slurp1-deficient mice (Slurp1−/−) created by replacing exon 2 with β-gal and neo cassettes. Slurp1−/− mice developed severe PPK characterized by increased keratinocyte proliferation, an accumulation of lipid droplets in the stratum corneum, and a water barrier defect. In addition, Slurp1−/− mice exhibited reduced adiposity, protection from obesity on a high-fat diet, low plasma lipid levels, and a neuromuscular abnormality (hind limb clasping). Initially, it was unclear whether the metabolic and neuromuscular phenotypes were due to Slurp1 deficiency because we found that the targeted Slurp1 mutation reduced the expression of several neighboring genes (e.g., Slurp2, Lypd2). We therefore created a new line of knockout mice (Slurp1X−/− mice) with a simple nonsense mutation in exon 2. The Slurp1X mutation did not reduce the expression of adjacent genes, but Slurp1X−/− mice exhibited all of the phenotypes observed in the original line of knockout mice. Thus, Slurp1 deficiency in mice elicits metabolic and neuromuscular abnormalities in addition to PPK.
doi:10.1038/jid.2014.19
PMCID: PMC4214150  PMID: 24499735
8.  Reciprocal knock-in mice to investigate the functional redundancy of lamin B1 and lamin B2 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2014;25(10):1666-1675.
To assess the redundancy of lamins B1 and B2, knock-in lines were created that produce lamin B2 from the Lmnb1 locus and lamin B1 from the Lmnb2 locus. Both lines developed severe neurodevelopmental abnormalities, indicating that the abnormalities elicited by the loss of one B-type lamin cannot be prevented by increased synthesis of the other.
Lamins B1 and B2 (B-type lamins) have very similar sequences and are expressed ubiquitously. In addition, both Lmnb1- and Lmnb2-deficient mice die soon after birth with neuronal layering abnormalities in the cerebral cortex, a consequence of defective neuronal migration. The similarities in amino acid sequences, expression patterns, and knockout phenotypes raise the question of whether the two proteins have redundant functions. To investigate this topic, we generated “reciprocal knock-in mice”—mice that make lamin B2 from the Lmnb1 locus (Lmnb1B2/B2) and mice that make lamin B1 from the Lmnb2 locus (Lmnb2B1/B1). Lmnb1B2/B2 mice produced increased amounts of lamin B2 but no lamin B1; they died soon after birth with neuronal layering abnormalities in the cerebral cortex. However, the defects in Lmnb1B2/B2 mice were less severe than those in Lmnb1-knockout mice, indicating that increased amounts of lamin B2 partially ameliorate the abnormalities associated with lamin B1 deficiency. Similarly, increased amounts of lamin B1 in Lmnb2B1/B1 mice did not prevent the neurodevelopmental defects elicited by lamin B2 deficiency. We conclude that lamins B1 and B2 have unique roles in the developing brain and that increased production of one B-type lamin does not fully complement loss of the other.
doi:10.1091/mbc.E14-01-0683
PMCID: PMC4019497  PMID: 24672053
9.  GPIHBP1 and the intravascular processing of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins 
Journal of internal medicine  2012;272(6):528-540.
Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) is produced by parenchymal cells, mainly adipocytes and myocytes, but its role in hydrolyzing triglycerides in plasma lipoproteins occurs at the capillary lumen. For decades, the mechanism by which LPL reached its site of action in capillaries was unclear, but this mystery was recently solved. GPIHBP1, a GPI-anchored protein of capillary endothelial cells, picks up LPL from the interstitial spaces and shuttles it across endothelial cells to the capillary lumen. When GPIHBP1 is absent, LPL is mislocalized to the interstitial spaces, leading to severe hypertriglyceridemia. Some cases of hypertriglyceridemia in humans are caused by GPIHBP1 mutations that interfere with GPIHBP1's ability to bind LPL, and some are caused by LPL mutations that impair LPL's ability to bind to GPIHBP1. This review will cover recent progress in understanding GPIHBP1's role in health and disease and will discuss some remaining mysteries surrounding the processing of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins.
doi:10.1111/joim.12003
PMCID: PMC3940157  PMID: 23020258
hypertriglyceridemia; chylomicronemia; GPIHBP1; lipoprotein lipase; endothelial cells; lymphocyte antigen 6 proteins
10.  Nuclear lamins in the brain—new insights into function and regulation 
Molecular neurobiology  2012;47(1):290-301.
The nuclear lamina is an intermediate filament meshwork composed largely of four nuclear lamins—lamins A and C (A-type lamins) and lamins B1 and B2 (B-type lamins). Located immediately adjacent to the inner nuclear membrane, the nuclear lamina provides a structural scaffolding for the cell nucleus. It also interacts with both nuclear membrane proteins and the chromatin and is thought to participate in many important functions within the cell nucleus. Defects in A-type lamins cause cardiomyopathy, muscular dystrophy, peripheral neuropathy, lipodystrophy, and progeroid disorders. In contrast, the only bona fide link between the B-type lamins and human disease is a rare demyelinating disease of the central nervous system—adult-onset autosomal-dominant leukoencephalopathy, caused by a duplication of the gene for lamin B1. However, this leukoencephalopathy is not the only association between the brain and B-type nuclear lamins. Studies of conventional and tissue-specific knockout mice have demonstrated that B-type lamins play essential roles in neuronal migration in the developing brain and in neuronal survival. The importance of A-type lamin expression in the brain is unclear, but it is intriguing that the adult brain preferentially expresses lamin C rather than lamin A, very likely due to microRNA-mediated removal of prelamin A transcripts. Here, we review recent studies on nuclear lamins, focusing on the function and regulation of the nuclear lamins in the central nervous system.
doi:10.1007/s12035-012-8350-1
PMCID: PMC3538886  PMID: 23065386
Nuclear lamina; brain development; A-type lamins; B-type lamins; differential gene expression
11.  A new monoclonal antibody, 4-1a, that binds to the amino terminus of human lipoprotein lipase 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2014;1841(7):970-976.
Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) has been highly conserved through vertebrate evolution, making it challenging to generate useful antibodies. Some polyclonal antibodies against LPL have turned out to be nonspecific, and the available monoclonal antibodies (Mab) against LPL, all of which bind to LPL’s carboxyl terminus, have drawbacks for some purposes. We report a new LPL-specific monoclonal antibody, Mab 4-1a, which binds to the amino terminus of LPL (residues 5–25). Mab 4-1a binds human and bovine LPL avidly; it does not inhibit LPL catalytic activity nor does it interfere with the binding of LPL to heparin. Mab 4-1a does not bind to human hepatic lipase. Mab 4-1a binds to GPIHBP1-bound LPL and does not interfere with the ability of the LPL–GPIHBP1 complex to bind triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. Mab 4-1a will be a useful reagent for both biochemists and clinical laboratories.
doi:10.1016/j.bbalip.2014.03.008
PMCID: PMC4222086  PMID: 24681165
12.  SEC24A deficiency lowers plasma cholesterol through reduced PCSK9 secretion 
eLife  2013;2:e00444.
The secretory pathway of eukaryotic cells packages cargo proteins into COPII-coated vesicles for transport from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the Golgi. We now report that complete genetic deficiency for the COPII component SEC24A is compatible with normal survival and development in the mouse, despite the fundamental role of SEC24 in COPII vesicle formation and cargo recruitment. However, these animals exhibit markedly reduced plasma cholesterol, with mutations in Apoe and Ldlr epistatic to Sec24a, suggesting a receptor-mediated lipoprotein clearance mechanism. Consistent with these data, hepatic LDLR levels are up-regulated in SEC24A-deficient cells as a consequence of specific dependence of PCSK9, a negative regulator of LDLR, on SEC24A for efficient exit from the ER. Our findings also identify partial overlap in cargo selectivity between SEC24A and SEC24B, suggesting a previously unappreciated heterogeneity in the recruitment of secretory proteins to the COPII vesicles that extends to soluble as well as trans-membrane cargoes.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00444.001
eLife digest
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a structure that performs a variety of functions within eukaryotic cells. It can be divided into two regions: the surface of the rough ER is coated with ribosomes that manufacture various proteins, while the smooth ER is involved in activities such as lipid synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism. Proteins synthesized by the ribosomes attached to the rough ER are generally transferred to another structure within the cell, the Golgi apparatus, where they undergo further processing and packaging before being secreted or transported to another location within the cell.
Proteins are shuttled from the ER to the Golgi apparatus by vesicles covered with coat protein complex II (COPII). This complex is composed of an inner and outer coat, each of which is assembled primarily with two different SEC proteins: the SEC23/SEC24 protein heterodimer forms the inner coat of the COPII vesicle, and plays a key role in recruiting the appropriate protein cargos to the transport vesicle, while the SEC13/SEC31 protein heterotetramer forms the outer coat and is generally responsible for regulating vesicle size and rigidity.
Previous work found that mammals, including humans and mice, harbor multiple copies of several SEC protein genes, including two copies of SEC23 and four copies of SEC24. Both copies of SEC23 are derived from the same ancestral gene, and all four copies of SEC24 are derived from a different ancestral gene, and the availability of these copies potentially expands the range of properties that the vesicles can have. Insight into the roles of each SEC protein has come from work with SEC mutants. For example, a mutation in SEC23A was found to cause skeletal abnormalities in humans.
Here, Chen et al. report the results of experiments which showed that mice with an inactive Sec24a gene could develop normally. However, these mice experienced a 45% reduction in their plasma cholesterol levels because they were not able to recruit and transport a secretory protein called PCSK9, which is a critical regulator of blood cholesterol levels.
The work of Chen et al. reveals a previously unappreciated complexity in the recruitment of secretory proteins to the COPII vesicle and suggests that the various combinations of SEC proteins influence the proteins selected for transport to the Golgi apparatus. The work also identifies Sec24a as a potential therapeutic target for the reduction of plasma cholesterol, a finding that could be of interest to researchers working on heart disease and other conditions exacerbated by high cholesterol.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00444.002
doi:10.7554/eLife.00444
PMCID: PMC3622177  PMID: 23580231
Secretory pathway; COP II; Cholesterol metabolism; Mouse
13.  Reciprocal Metabolic Perturbations in the Adipose Tissue and Liver of GPIHBP1-deficient Mice 
Objective
Gpihbp1-deficient mice (Gpihbp1−/−) lack the ability to transport lipoprotein lipase to the capillary lumen, resulting in mislocalization of LPL within tissues, defective lipolysis of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins, and chylomicronemia. We asked whether GPIHBP1 deficiency and mislocalization of catalytically active LPL would alter the composition of triglycerides in adipose tissue or perturb the expression of lipid biosynthetic genes. We also asked whether perturbations in adipose tissue composition and gene expression, if they occur, would be accompanied by reciprocal metabolic changes in the liver.
Methods and Results
The chylomicronemia in Gpihbp1−/− mice was associated with reduced levels of essential fatty acids in adipose tissue triglycerides and increased expression of lipid biosynthetic genes. The liver exhibited the opposite changes—increased levels of essential fatty acids in triglycerides and reduced expression of lipid biosynthetic genes.
Conclusions
Defective lipolysis in Gpihbp1−/− mice causes reciprocal metabolic perturbations in adipose tissue and liver. In adipose tissue, the essential fatty acid content of triglycerides is reduced and lipid biosynthetic gene expression is increased, while the opposite changes occur in the liver.
doi:10.1161/ATVBAHA.111.241406
PMCID: PMC3281771  PMID: 22173228
lipoprotein lipase; hypertriglyceridemia; lipolysis; essential fatty acids; lipid biosynthetic genes
14.  Nuclear Envelope Protein Lem2 is Required for Mouse Development and Regulates MAP and AKT Kinases 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(3):e0116196.
The nuclear lamina, along with associated nuclear membrane proteins, is a nexus for regulating signaling in the nucleus. Numerous human diseases arise from mutations in lamina proteins, and experimental models for these disorders have revealed aberrant regulation of various signaling pathways. Previously, we reported that the inner nuclear membrane protein Lem2, which is expressed at high levels in muscle, promotes the differentiation of cultured myoblasts by attenuating ERK signaling. Here, we have analyzed mice harboring a disrupted allele for the Lem2 gene (Lemd2). No gross phenotypic defects were seen in heterozygotes, although muscle regeneration induced by cardiotoxin was delayed. By contrast, homozygous Lemd2 knockout mice died by E11.5. Although many normal morphogenetic hallmarks were observed in E10.5 knockout embryos, most tissues were substantially reduced in size. This was accompanied by activation of multiple MAP kinases (ERK1/2, JNK, p38) and AKT. Knockdown of Lem2 expression in C2C12 myoblasts also led to activation of MAP kinases and AKT. These findings indicate that Lemd2 plays an essential role in mouse embryonic development and that it is involved in regulating several signaling pathways. Since increased MAP kinase and AKT/mTORC signaling is found in other animal models for diseases linked to nuclear lamina proteins, LEMD2 should be considered to be another candidate gene for human disease.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116196
PMCID: PMC4366207  PMID: 25790465
15.  New Lmna knock-in mice provide a molecular mechanism for the ‘segmental aging’ in Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome† 
Human Molecular Genetics  2013;23(6):1506-1515.
Lamins A and C (products of the LMNA gene) are found in roughly equal amounts in peripheral tissues, but the brain produces mainly lamin C and little lamin A. In HeLa cells and fibroblasts, the expression of prelamin A (the precursor to lamin A) can be reduced by miR-9, but the relevance of those cell culture studies to lamin A regulation in the brain was unclear. To address this issue, we created two new Lmna knock-in alleles, one (LmnaPLAO-5NT) with a 5-bp mutation in a predicted miR-9 binding site in prelamin A's 3′ UTR, and a second (LmnaPLAO-UTR) in which prelamin A's 3′ UTR was replaced with lamin C's 3′ UTR. Neither allele had significant effects on lamin A levels in peripheral tissues; however, both substantially increased prelamin A transcript levels and lamin A protein levels in the cerebral cortex and the cerebellum. The increase in lamin A expression in the brain was more pronounced with the LmnaPLAO-UTR allele than with the LmnaPLAO-5NT allele. With both alleles, the increased expression of prelamin A transcripts and lamin A protein was greater in the cerebral cortex than in the cerebellum. Our studies demonstrate the in vivo importance of prelamin A's 3′ UTR and its miR-9 binding site in regulating lamin A expression in the brain. The reduced expression of prelamin A in the brain likely explains why children with Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome (a progeroid syndrome caused by a mutant form of prelamin A) are spared from neurodegenerative disease.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddt537
PMCID: PMC3929089  PMID: 24203701
16.  Are B-type lamins essential in all mammalian cells? 
Nucleus  2011;2(6):562-569.
The B-type lamins are widely assumed to be essential for mammalian cells. In part, this assumption is based on a highly cited study that found that RNAi-mediated knockdown of lamin B1 or lamin B2 in HeLa cells arrested cell growth and led to apoptosis. Studies indicating that B-type lamins play roles in DNA replication, the formation of the mitotic spindle, chromatin organization and regulation of gene expression have fueled the notion that B-type lamins must be essential. But surprisingly, this idea had never been tested with genetic approaches. Earlier this year, a research group from UCLA reported the development of genetically modified mice that lack expression of both Lmnb1 and Lmnb2 in skin keratinocytes (a cell type that proliferates rapidly and participates in complex developmental programs). They reasoned that if lamins B1 and B2 were truly essential, then keratinocyte-specific lamin B1/lamin B2 knockout mice would exhibit severe pathology. Contrary to expectations, the skin and hair of lamin B1/lamin B2-deficient mice were quite normal, indicating that the B-type lamins are dispensable in some cell types. The same UCLA research group has gone on to show that lamin B1 and lamin B2 are critical for neuronal migration in the developing brain and for neuronal survival.  The absence of either lamin B1 or lamin B2, or the absence of both B-type lamins, results in severe neurodevelopmental abnormalities.
doi:10.4161/nucl.2.6.18085
PMCID: PMC3324344  PMID: 22127257
lamin B1; lamin B2; nuclear envelope; nuclear lamina
17.  Sphingosine-1-phosphate lyase downregulation promotes colon carcinogenesis through STAT3-activated microRNAs 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(12):5368-5384.
Growing evidence supports a link between inflammation and cancer; however, mediators of the transition between inflammation and carcinogenesis remain incompletely understood. Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) lyase (SPL) irreversibly degrades the bioactive sphingolipid S1P and is highly expressed in enterocytes but downregulated in colon cancer. Here, we investigated the role of SPL in colitis-associated cancer (CAC). We generated mice with intestinal epithelium-specific Sgpl1 deletion and chemically induced colitis and tumor formation in these animals. Compared with control animals, mice lacking intestinal SPL exhibited greater disease activity, colon shortening, cytokine levels, S1P accumulation, tumors, STAT3 activation, STAT3-activated microRNAs (miRNAs), and suppression of miR-targeted anti-oncogene products. This phenotype was attenuated by STAT3 inhibition. In fibroblasts, silencing SPL promoted tumorigenic transformation through a pathway involving extracellular transport of S1P through S1P transporter spinster homolog 2 (SPNS2), S1P receptor activation, JAK2/STAT3-dependent miR-181b-1 induction, and silencing of miR-181b-1 target cylindromatosis (CYLD). Colon biopsies from patients with inflammatory bowel disease revealed enhanced S1P and STAT3 signaling. In mice with chemical-induced CAC, oral administration of plant-type sphingolipids called sphingadienes increased colonic SPL levels and reduced S1P levels, STAT3 signaling, cytokine levels, and tumorigenesis, indicating that SPL prevents transformation and carcinogenesis. Together, our results suggest that dietary sphingolipids can augment or prevent colon cancer, depending upon whether they are metabolized to S1P or promote S1P metabolism through the actions of SPL.
doi:10.1172/JCI74188
PMCID: PMC4348973  PMID: 25347472
18.  Feedback regulation of cholesterol uptake by the LXR-IDOL-LDLR axis 
Inducible Degrader Of the Low-density lipoprotein receptor (IDOL) is an E3 ubiquitin ligase that mediates the ubiquitination and degradation of the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR). IDOL expression is controlled at the transcriptional level by the cholesterol-sensing nuclear receptor LXR. In response to rising cellular sterol levels, activated LXR induces IDOL production, thereby limiting further uptake of exogenous cholesterol through the LDLR pathway. The LXR–IDOL–LDLR mechanism for feedback inhibition of cholesterol uptake is independent of and complementary to the SREBP pathway. Since the initial description of the LXR–IDOL pathway, biochemical studies have helped to define the structural basis for both IDOL target recognition and LDLR ubiquitin transfer. Recent work has also suggested links between IDOL and human lipid metabolism.
doi:10.1161/ATVBAHA.112.250571
PMCID: PMC4280256  PMID: 22936343
19.  Binding Preferences for GPIHBP1, a GPI-Anchored Protein of Capillary Endothelial Cells 
Objective
GPIHBP1, a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored Ly6 protein of capillary endothelial cells, binds lipoprotein lipase (LPL) avidly, but its ability to bind related lipase family members has never been evaluated. We sought to define the ability of GPIHBP1 to bind other lipase family members as well as other apolipoproteins and lipoproteins.
Methods and Results
As judged by cell-based and cell-free binding assays, LPL binds to GPIHBP1 but other members of the lipase family do not. We also examined the binding of apoAV–phospholipid disks to GPIHBP1. ApoAV binds avidly to GPIHBP1-transfected cells; this binding requires GPIHBP1’s amino-terminal acidic domain and is independent of its cysteine-rich Ly6 domain (the latter domain is essential for LPL binding). GPIHBP1-transfected cells did not bind HDL. Chylomicrons binds avidly to GPIHBP1-transfected CHO cells, but this binding is dependent on GPIHBP1’s ability to bind LPL within the cell culture medium.
Conclusions
GPIHBP1 binds LPL but does not bind other lipase family members. GPIHBP1 binds apoAV but did not bind apoAI or HDL. The ability of GPIHBP1-transfected CHO cells to bind chylomicrons is mediated by LPL; chylomicron binding does not occur unless GPIHBP1 first captures LPL from the cell culture medium.
doi:10.1161/ATVBAHA.110.214718
PMCID: PMC3004026  PMID: 20966398
lipoprotein lipase; chylomicronemia; hypertriglyceridemia; GPIHBP1
20.  Cholesterol Intake Modulates Plasma Triglyceride Levels in GPIHBP1-deficient Mice 
Objective
Adult GPIHBP1-deficient mice (Gpihbp1−/−) have severe hypertriglyceridemia; however, the plasma triglyceride levels are only mildly elevated during the suckling phase when lipoprotein lipase (Lpl) is expressed at high levels in the liver. Lpl expression in the liver can be induced in adult mice with dietary cholesterol. We therefore hypothesized that plasma triglyceride levels in adult Gpihbp1−/− mice would be sensitive to cholesterol intake.
Methods and Results
After 4–8 weeks on a western diet containing 0.15% cholesterol, plasma triglyceride levels in Gpihbp1−/− mice were 10,000–12,000 mg/dl. When 0.005% ezetimibe was added to the diet to block cholesterol absorption, Lpl expression in the liver was reduced significantly, and the plasma triglyceride levels were significantly higher (>15,000 mg/dl). We also assessed plasma triglyceride levels in Gpihbp1−/− mice fed western diets containing either high (1.3%) or low (0.05%) amounts of cholesterol. The high-cholesterol diet significantly increased Lpl expression in the liver and lowered plasma triglyceride levels.
Conclusions
Treatment of Gpihbp1−/− mice with ezetimibe lowers Lpl expression in the liver and increases plasma triglyceride levels. A high-cholesterol diet had the opposite effects. Thus, cholesterol intake modulates plasma triglyceride levels in Gpihbp1−/− mice.
doi:10.1161/ATVBAHA.110.214403
PMCID: PMC2959134  PMID: 20814015
lipoprotein lipase; chylomicronemia; hypertriglyceridemia; GPIHBP1
21.  Chylomicronemia Elicits Atherosclerosis in Mice 
Objective
The risk of atherosclerosis in the setting of chylomicronemia has been a topic of debate. In this study, we examined susceptibility to atherosclerosis in Gpihbp1-deficient mice (Gpihbp1−/−), which manifest severe chylomicronemia as a result of defective lipolysis.
Methods and Results
Gpihbp1−/− mice on a chow diet have plasma triglyceride and cholesterol levels of 2812 ± 209 and 319 ± 27 mg/dl, respectively. Even though nearly all of the lipids were contained in large lipoproteins (50–135 nm), the mice developed progressive aortic atherosclerosis. In other experiments, we found that both Gpihbp1-deficient “apo-B48–only” mice and Gpihbp1-deficient “apo-B100–only” mice manifest severe chylomicronemia. Thus, GPIHBP1 is required for the processing of both apo-B48– and apo-B100–containing lipoproteins.
Conclusions
Chylomicronemia causes atherosclerosis in mice. Also, we found that GPIHBP1 is required for the lipolytic processing of both apo-B48– and apo-B100–containing lipoproteins.
doi:10.1161/ATVBAHA.109.196329
PMCID: PMC2796285  PMID: 19815815
lipoprotein lipase; chylomicronemia; lipolysis; GPIHBP1
22.  Laminopathies and the long strange trip from basic cell biology to therapy 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2009;119(7):1825-1836.
The main function of the nuclear lamina, an intermediate filament meshwork lying primarily beneath the inner nuclear membrane, is to provide structural scaffolding for the cell nucleus. However, the lamina also serves other functions, such as having a role in chromatin organization, connecting the nucleus to the cytoplasm, gene transcription, and mitosis. In somatic cells, the main protein constituents of the nuclear lamina are lamins A, C, B1, and B2. Interest in the nuclear lamins increased dramatically in recent years with the realization that mutations in LMNA, the gene encoding lamins A and C, cause a panoply of human diseases (“laminopathies”), including muscular dystrophy, cardiomyopathy, partial lipodystrophy, and progeroid syndromes. Here, we review the laminopathies and the long strange trip from basic cell biology to therapeutic approaches for these diseases.
doi:10.1172/JCI37679
PMCID: PMC2701866  PMID: 19587457
23.  Lipins, Lipinopathies, and the Modulation of Cellular Lipid Storage and Signaling 
Progress in lipid research  2013;52(3):10.1016/j.plipres.2013.04.001.
Summary
Members of the lipin protein family are phosphatidate phosphatase (PAP) enzymes, which catalyze the dephosphorylation of phosphatidic acid to diacylglycerol, the penultimate step in TAG synthesis. Lipins are unique among the glycerolipid biosynthetic enzymes in that they also promote fatty acid oxidation through their activity as co-regulators of gene expression by DNA-bound transcription factors. Lipin function has been evolutionarily conserved from a single ortholog in yeast to the mammalian family of three lipin proteins—lipin-1, lipin-2, and lipin-3. In mice and humans, the levels of lipin activity are a determinant of TAG storage in diverse cell types, and humans with deficiency in lipin-1 or lipin-2 have severe metabolic diseases. Recent work has highlighted the complex physiological interactions between members of the lipin protein family, which exhibit both overlapping and unique functions in specific tissues. The analysis of “lipinopathies” in mouse models and in humans has revealed an important role for lipin activity in the regulation of lipid intermediates (phosphatidate and diacylglycerol), which influence fundamental cellular processes including adipocyte and nerve cell differentiation, adipocyte lipolysis, and hepatic insulin signaling. The elucidation of lipin molecular and physiological functions could lead to novel approaches to modulate cellular lipid storage and metabolic disease.
doi:10.1016/j.plipres.2013.04.001
PMCID: PMC3830937  PMID: 23603613
24.  Caution! Analyze transcripts from conditional knockout alleles 
Transgenic research  2008;18(3):483-489.
A common strategy for conditional knockout alleles is to “flox” (flank with loxP sites) a 5′ exon within the target gene. Typically, the floxed exon does not contain a unit number of codons so that the Cre-mediated recombination event yields a frameshift and a null allele. Documenting recombination within the genomic DNA is often regarded as sufficient proof of a frameshift, and the analysis of transcripts is neglected. We evaluated a previously reported conditional knockout allele for the β-subunit of protein farnesyltransferase. The recombination event in that allele—the excision of exon 3—was predicted to yield a frameshift. However, following the excision of exon 3, exon 4 was skipped by the mRNA splicing machinery, and the predominant transcript from the mutant allele lacked exon 3 and exon 4 sequences. The “Δexon 3–4 transcript” does not contain a frameshift but rather is predicted to encode a protein with a short in-frame deletion. This represents a significant concern when studying an enzyme, since an enzyme with partial function could lead to erroneous conclusions. With thousands of new conditional knockout alleles under construction within mouse mutagenesis consortiums, the protein farnesyltransferase allele holds an important lesson—to characterize knockout alleles at both the DNA and RNA levels.
doi:10.1007/s11248-008-9237-9
PMCID: PMC2679093  PMID: 19093225
protein prenylation; farnesylation; prelamin A; HDJ-2; knockout mice
25.  Treatment with a Farnesyltransferase Inhibitor Improves Survival in Mice with a Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome Mutation 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2007;1781(1-2):36-39.
Summary
Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a progeroid syndrome characterized by multiple aging-like disease phenotypes. We recently reported that a protein farnesyltransferase inhibitor (FTI) improved several disease phenotypes in mice with a HGPS mutation (LmnaHG/+). Here, we investigated the impact of an FTI on the survival of LmnaHG/+ mice. The FTI significantly improved the survival of both male and female LmnaHG/+ mice. Treatment with the FTI also improved body weight curves and reduced the number of spontaneous rib fractures. This study provides further evidence for a beneficial effect of an FTI in HGPS.
doi:10.1016/j.bbalip.2007.11.003
PMCID: PMC2266774  PMID: 18082640
progeria; aging; protein farnesyltransferase inhibitor; knock-in mice

Results 1-25 (93)