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1.  Hypoxia regulates CD9-mediated keratinocyte migration via the P38/MAPK pathway 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6304.
Keratinocyte migration is an early event in the wound healing process. Although we previously found that CD9 downregulation is required for the keratinocyte migration during wound repair, the mechanism of how CD9 expression is regulated remains unclear. Here, we observed the effect of hypoxia (2% O2) on CD9 expression and keratinocyte migration. CD9 expression was downregulated and keratinocyte migration was increased under hypoxic conditions. In addition, CD9 overexpression reversed hypoxia-induced cell migration. We also found that hypoxia activated the p38/MAPK pathway. SB203580, a p38/MAPK inhibitor, increased CD9 expression and inhibited keratinocyte migration under hypoxia, while MKK6 (Glu) overexpression decreased CD9 expression and promoted hypoxic keratinocyte migration. Our results demonstrate that hypoxia regulates CD9 expression and CD9-mediated keratinocyte migration via the p38/MAPK pathway.
PMCID: PMC4158574  PMID: 25200404
2.  The activation of AMPK in cardiomyocytes at the very early stage of hypoxia relies on an adenine nucleotide-independent mechanism 
The energy status of a cell plays a key role in its survival, and the exposure of eukaryotic cells to the hypoxia that accompanies the depletion of intracellular ATP triggers specific systemic adaptive responses. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) has emerged as a key regulator of energy metabolism in the heart and plays a critical role in inducing these responses. However, the specific mechanism responsible for AMPK activation in cardiomyocytes at very early stages of hypoxia remain unclear. The goals of this study were to assess the relative contribution to AMPK activation of phosphorylation by AMPK kinase (AMPKK) and of positive allosterism due to AMP:ATP ratios in the early stages of hypoxia. Our results demonstrated that, compared with normoxic controls, neither intracellular AMP concentrations nor AMP:ATP ratios significantly increased within 1h of hypoxia onset. In contrast, a SAMS peptide phosphorylation assay and an immunoblot analysis revealed significant increases in both AMPK activity and ACC phosphorylation within 5min of hypoxic treatment. Furthermore, exposure of cardiomyocytes to hypoxia significantly increased AMPK phosphorylation within 5min, by 3- to 4-fold compared with controls (P<0.01), while overall levels of AMPKα protein did not differ between aerobic and anoxic cardiomyocytes. We also observed increased AMPKK activity in anoxic cardiomyocytes, through use of an α312 substrate. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that in the early stage of hypoxia in cardiomyocytes, increases in AMPK activity occur prior to and independently of increases in AMP concentration or in the AMP:ATP ratio. Instead, under these circumstances, AMPK is primarily activated by phosphorylation of the conserved Thr-172 residue in its activation loop by its upstream kinase AMPKK.
PMCID: PMC3466980  PMID: 23071859
Cardiomyocytes; hypoxia; AMPK; AMP; AMPK kinase
3.  Electrically Guiding Migration of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells 
Stem Cell Reviews  2011;7(4):987-996.
A major road-block in stem cell therapy is the poor homing and integration of transplanted stem cells with the targeted host tissue. Human induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cells are considered an excellent alternative to embryonic stem (ES) cells and we tested the feasibility of using small, physiological electric fields (EFs) to guide hiPS cells to their target. Applied EFs stimulated and guided migration of cultured hiPS cells toward the anode, with a stimulation threshold of <30 mV/mm; in three-dimensional (3D) culture hiPS cells remained stationary, whereas in an applied EF they migrated directionally. This is of significance as the therapeutic use of hiPS cells occurs in a 3D environment. EF exposure did not alter expression of the pluripotency markers SSEA-4 and Oct-4 in hiPS cells. We compared EF-directed migration (galvanotaxis) of hiPS cells and hES cells and found that hiPS cells showed greater sensitivity and directedness than those of hES cells in an EF, while hES cells migrated toward cathode. Rho-kinase (ROCK) inhibition, a method to aid expansion and survival of stem cells, significantly increased the motility, but reduced directionality of iPS cells in an EF by 70–80%. Thus, our study has revealed that physiological EF is an effective guidance cue for the migration of hiPS cells in either 2D or 3D environments and that will occur in a ROCK-dependent manner. Our current finding may lead to techniques for applying EFs in vivo to guide migration of transplanted stem cells.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12015-011-9247-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3226697  PMID: 21373881
Human induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cell; Electric field (EF); Cell migration; Wound healing; Galvanotaxis

Results 1-3 (3)