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2.  The Galvanotactic Migration of Keratinocytes is Enhanced by Hypoxic Preconditioning 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:10289.
The endogenous electric field (EF)-directed migration of keratinocytes (galvanotaxis) into wounds is an essential step in wound re-epithelialization. Hypoxia, which occurs immediately after injury, acts as an early stimulus to initiate the healing process; however, the mechanisms for this effect, remain elusive. We show here that the galvanotactic migration of keratinocytes was enhanced by hypoxia preconditioning as a result of the increased directionality rather than the increased motility of keratinocytes. This enhancement was both oxygen tension- and preconditioning time-dependent, with the maximum effects achieved using 2% O2 preconditioning for 6 hours. Hypoxic preconditioning (2% O2, 6 hours) decreased the threshold voltage of galvanotaxis to < 25 mV/mm, whereas this value was between 25 and 50 mV/mm in the normal culture control. In a scratch-wound monolayer assay in which the applied EF was in the default healing direction, hypoxic preconditioning accelerated healing by 1.38-fold compared with the control conditions. Scavenging of the induced ROS by N-acetylcysteine (NAC) abolished the enhanced galvanotaxis and the accelerated healing by hypoxic preconditioning. Our data demonstrate a novel and unsuspected role of hypoxia in supporting keratinocyte galvanotaxis. Enhancing the galvanotactic response of cells might therefore be a clinically attractive approach to induce improved wound healing.
PMCID: PMC4437307  PMID: 25988491
3.  Role of Ran-regulated nuclear-cytoplasmic trafficking of pVHL in the regulation of microtubular stability-mediated HIF-1α in hypoxic cardiomyocytes 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:9193.
Our previous study suggested that microtubule network alteration affects the process of glycolysis in cardiomyocytes (CMs) via the regulation of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α during the early stages of hypoxia. However, little is known regarding the underlying mechanisms of microtubule network alteration-induced changes of HIF-1α. The von Hippel–Lindau tumor suppressor protein (pVHL) has been shown to mediate the ubiquitination of HIF-1α in the nuclear compartment prior to HIF-1α exportation to the cytoplasm, and pVHL dynamic nuclear-cytoplasmic trafficking is indicated to be involved in the process of HIF-1α degradation. In this study, by administering different microtubule-stabilizing and -depolymerizing interventions, we demonstrated that microtubule stabilization promoted pVHL nuclear export and drove the translocation of pVHL to the cytoplasm, while microtubule disruption prevented pVHL nuclear export in hypoxic CMs. Moreover, the ratio between nuclear and cytoplasmic pVHL was associated with HIF-1α regulation. Importantly, microtubule network alteration also affected the subcellular localization of Ran, which was involved in the regulation of pVHL nuclear-cytoplasmic trafficking. The above results suggest that the subcellular translocation of pVHL plays an important role in microtubular structure alteration-induced HIF-1α regulation. Interestingly, Ran is involved in the process of pVHL nuclear-cytoplasmic trafficking following microtubule network alteration in hypoxic CMs.
PMCID: PMC4361876  PMID: 25779090
4.  P38/MAPK contributes to endothelial barrier dysfunction via MAP4 phosphorylation-dependent microtubule disassembly in inflammation-induced acute lung injury 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8895.
Excessive activation of inflammation and the accompanying lung vascular endothelial barrier disruption are primary pathogenic features of acute lung injury (ALI). Microtubule-associated protein 4 (MAP4), a tubulin assembly-promoting protein, is important for maintaining the microtubule (MT) cytoskeleton and cell-cell junctional structures. However, both the involvement and exact mechanism of MAP4 in the development of endothelial barrier disruption in ALI remains unknown. In this study, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were applied to human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMECs) to mimic the endothelial damage during inflammation in vitro. We demonstrated that the MAP4 (Ser696 and Ser787) phosphorylation increased concomitantly with the p38/MAPK pathway activation by the LPS and TNF-α stimulation of HPMECs, which induced MT disassembly followed by hyperpermeability. Moreover, the application of taxol, the overexpression of a MAP4 (Ala) mutant, or the application of the p38/MAPK inhibitor SB203580 inhibited the MT disruption and the intracellular junction dysfunction. In contrast, MKK6 (Glu), which constitutively activated p38/MAPK, resulted in microtubule depolymerisation and, subsequently, hyperpermeability. Our findings reveal a novel role of MAP4 in endothelial barrier dysfunction.
PMCID: PMC4352893  PMID: 25746230
5.  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
6.  Acute Renal Injury as a Result of Liposomal Amphotericin B Treatment in Sodium Stibogluconate Unresponsive Visceral Leishmaniasis 
We report an unusual case of visceral leishmaniasis occurring in a patient from Sichuan China. The patient presented with a remitting fever, anemia, and pancytopenia. The case was confirmed as visceral leishmaniasis by microscopical detection of the Leishmania species amastigote in bone marrow aspirate. The patient was treated with 10 mg/kg/day of sodium stibogluconate for 5 days, with no therapeutic response. As a result, the patient was treated with liposomal amphotericin B (LAB) at 10 mg/day as an initial dosage. After treatment with an increasing drug dosage for 7 days, acute renal injury was evident as indicated by increased serum creatinine and urea nitrogen. LAB administration was discontinued until serum creatinine and serum urea nitrogen regressed on Day 15. Two maintenance treatments of 100 mg/day LAB were given on Days 19 and 26 (total 870 mg, 14.5 mg/kg). Bone marrow aspirate and clinical examination suggested total remission.
PMCID: PMC3225147  PMID: 22144439
7.  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

Results 1-7 (7)