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1.  Overexpression of FXYD-3 Is Involved in the Tumorigenesis and Development of Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma 
Disease markers  2013;35(3):195-202.
Objective. To investigate the association of FXYD-3 expression with clinicopathological variables and PINCH in patients with ESCC. Patients and Methods. Expression of FXYD-3 protein was immunohistochemically examined in normal esophageal mucous (n = 20) and ESCC (n = 64). Results. Expression of FXYD-3 in the cytoplasm markedly increased from normal esophageal epithelial cells to primary ESCC (P = 0.001). The expression of FXYD-3 was correlated with TNM stages and depth of tumor invasion. Furthermore, the cases with lymph node metastasis tended to show a higher frequency of positive expression than those without metastasis (P = 0.086), and FXYD-3 expression tended to be positively related to the expression of PINCH (P = 0.063). Moreover, the cases positive for both proteins had the highest frequency of lymph node metastasis (P = 0.001). However, FXYD-3 expression was not correlated with patient's gender (P = 0.847), age (P = 0.876), tumor location (P = 0.279), size (P = 0.771), grade of differentiation (P = 0.279), and survival (P = 0.113). Conclusion. Overexpression of FXYD-3 in the cytoplasm may play an important role in the tumorigenesis and development in the human ESCC, particularly in combination with PINCH expression.
PMCID: PMC3774971  PMID: 24167366
2.  The microtubule affinity regulating kinase MARK4 promotes axoneme extension during early ciliogenesis 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2013;200(4):505-522.
A functional screen identified MARK4 as a positive regulator of axonemal extension and ciliogenesis via its interaction with the mother centriolar protein ODF2.
Despite the critical contributions of cilia to embryonic development and human health, key regulators of cilia formation await identification. In this paper, a functional RNA interference–based screen linked 30 novel protein kinases with ciliogenesis. Of them, we have studied the role of the microtubule (MT)-associated protein/MT affinity regulating kinase 4 (MARK4) in depth. MARK4 associated with the basal body and ciliary axoneme in human and murine cell lines. Ultrastructural and functional analyses established that MARK4 kinase activity was required for initiation of axoneme extension. We identified the mother centriolar protein ODF2 as an interaction partner of MARK4 and showed that ODF2 localization to the centriole partially depended on MARK4. Our data indicated that, upon MARK4 or ODF2 knockdown, the ciliary program arrested before the complete removal of the CP110–Cep97 inhibitory complex from the mother centriole, suggesting that these proteins act at this level of axonemal extension. We propose that MARK4 is a critical positive regulator of early steps in ciliogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3575539  PMID: 23400999
3.  Cep164 mediates vesicular docking to the mother centriole during early steps of ciliogenesis 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2012;199(7):1083-1101.
Cep164 provides a molecular link between the mother centriole and the ciliary membrane biogenesis machinery by interacting with the GEF Rabin8 and the GTPase Rab8.
Cilia formation is a multi-step process that starts with the docking of a vesicle at the distal part of the mother centriole. This step marks the conversion of the mother centriole into the basal body, from which axonemal microtubules extend to form the ciliary compartment. How vesicles are stably attached to the mother centriole to initiate ciliary membrane biogenesis is unknown. Here, we investigate the molecular role of the mother centriolar component Cep164 in ciliogenesis. We show that Cep164 was indispensable for the docking of vesicles at the mother centriole. Using biochemical and functional assays, we identified the components of the vesicular transport machinery, the GEF Rabin8 and the GTPase Rab8, as interacting partners of Cep164. We propose that Cep164 is targeted to the apical domain of the mother centriole to provide the molecular link between the mother centriole and the membrane biogenesis machinery that initiates cilia formation.
PMCID: PMC3529528  PMID: 23253480
4.  The novel actin/focal adhesion-associated protein MISP is involved in mitotic spindle positioning in human cells 
Cell Cycle  2013;12(9):1457-1471.
Accurate mitotic spindle positioning is essential for the regulation of cell fate choices, cell size and cell position within tissues. The most prominent model of spindle positioning involves a cortical pulling mechanism, where the minus end-directed microtubule motor protein dynein is attached to the cell cortex and exerts pulling forces on the plus ends of astral microtubules that reach the cortex. In nonpolarized cultured cells integrin-dependent, retraction fiber-mediated cell adhesion is involved in spindle orientation. Proteins serving as intermediaries between cortical actin or retraction fibers and astral microtubules remain largely unknown. In a recent genome-wide RNAi screen we identified a previously uncharacterized protein, MISP (C19ORF21) as being involved in centrosome clustering, a process leading to the clustering of supernumerary centrosomes in cancer cells into a bipolar mitotic spindle array by microtubule tension. Here, we show that MISP is associated with the actin cytoskeleton and focal adhesions and is expressed only in adherent cell types. During mitosis MISP is phosphorylated by Cdk1 and localizes to retraction fibers. MISP interacts with the +TIP EB1 and p150glued, a subunit of the dynein/dynactin complex. Depletion of MISP causes mitotic arrest with reduced tension across sister kinetochores, chromosome misalignment and spindle multipolarity in cancer cells with supernumerary centrosomes. Analysis of spindle orientation revealed that MISP depletion causes randomization of mitotic spindle positioning relative to cell axes and cell center. Together, we propose that MISP links microtubules to the actin cytoskeleton and focal adhesions in order to properly position the mitotic spindle.
PMCID: PMC3674073  PMID: 23574715
cell adhesion; centrosomal clustering; focal adhesion; mitosis; spindle orientation; centrosome; actin; MISP; spindle positioning
5.  Epigenetic Upregulation of lncRNAs at 13q14.3 in Leukemia Is Linked to the In Cis Downregulation of a Gene Cluster That Targets NF-kB 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(4):e1003373.
Non-coding RNAs are much more common than previously thought. However, for the vast majority of non-coding RNAs, the cellular function remains enigmatic. The two long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) genes DLEU1 and DLEU2 map to a critical region at chromosomal band 13q14.3 that is recurrently deleted in solid tumors and hematopoietic malignancies like chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). While no point mutations have been found in the protein coding candidate genes at 13q14.3, they are deregulated in malignant cells, suggesting an epigenetic tumor suppressor mechanism. We therefore characterized the epigenetic makeup of 13q14.3 in CLL cells and found histone modifications by chromatin-immunoprecipitation (ChIP) that are associated with activated transcription and significant DNA-demethylation at the transcriptional start sites of DLEU1 and DLEU2 using 5 different semi-quantitative and quantitative methods (aPRIMES, BioCOBRA, MCIp, MassARRAY, and bisulfite sequencing). These epigenetic aberrations were correlated with transcriptional deregulation of the neighboring candidate tumor suppressor genes, suggesting a coregulation in cis of this gene cluster. We found that the 13q14.3 genes in addition to their previously known functions regulate NF-kB activity, which we could show after overexpression, siRNA–mediated knockdown, and dominant-negative mutant genes by using Western blots with previously undescribed antibodies, by a customized ELISA as well as by reporter assays. In addition, we performed an unbiased screen of 810 human miRNAs and identified the miR-15/16 family of genes at 13q14.3 as the strongest inducers of NF-kB activity. In summary, the tumor suppressor mechanism at 13q14.3 is a cluster of genes controlled by two lncRNA genes that are regulated by DNA-methylation and histone modifications and whose members all regulate NF-kB. Therefore, the tumor suppressor mechanism in 13q14.3 underlines the role both of epigenetic aberrations and of lncRNA genes in human tumorigenesis and is an example of colocalization of a functionally related gene cluster.
Author Summary
Recent results suggest that genome regions not coding for proteins are read and transcribed into RNA. While the function for the majority of the resulting non-coding RNA molecules remains unclear, some of them are termed according to their length (typically 200–2,000 nucleotides) as long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) genes that play a role in regulating the activity of target genes. In most instances, this deregulation involves changes of so-called “epigenetic” marks associated with the DNA that are inherited to the cellular progeny without changes in the DNA sequence. Here we describe an example where two lncRNA genes (DLEU1 and DLEU2) are epigenetically deregulated together with a cluster of neighboring protein-coding tumor suppressor genes in almost all patients suffering from chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Such a common regulation suggests that the affected genes are involved in the same cellular pathway. In line with this notion, the 13q14.3 genes modulate the NF-kB signalling pathway, either inducing or repressing its activity. An activation of NF-kB has previously been shown to promote survival of the leukemic cells, underlining the importance of the 13q14.3 tumor suppressor locus for the pathomechanism of the disease.
PMCID: PMC3616974  PMID: 23593011
6.  CCDC39 is required for assembly of inner dynein arms and the dynein regulatory complex and for normal ciliary motility in humans and dogs 
Nature genetics  2010;43(1):72-78.
Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is an inherited disorder characterized by recurrent infections of the upper and lower respiratory tract, reduced fertility in males and situs inversus in about 50% of affected individuals (Kartagener syndrome). It is caused by motility defects in the respiratory cilia that are responsible for airway clearance, the flagella that propel sperm cells and the nodal monocilia that determine left-right asymmetry1. Recessive mutations that cause PCD have been identified in genes encoding components of the outer dynein arms, radial spokes and cytoplasmic pre-assembly factors of axonemal dyneins, but these mutations account for only about 50% of cases of PCD. We exploited the unique properties of dog populations to positionally clone a new PCD gene, CCDC39. We found that loss-of-function mutations in the human ortholog underlie a substantial fraction of PCD cases with axonemal disorganization and abnormal ciliary beating. Functional analyses indicated that CCDC39 localizes to ciliary axonemes and is essential for assembly of inner dynein arms and the dynein regulatory complex.
PMCID: PMC3509786  PMID: 21131972
7.  Ktu/PF13 is required for cytoplasmic pre-assembly of axonemal dyneins 
Nature  2008;456(7222):611-616.
Cilia/flagella are highly conserved organelles that play diverse roles in cell motility and sensing extracellular signals. Motility defects in cilia/flagella often result in primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD). However, the mechanisms underlying cilia formation and function, and in particular the cytoplasmic assembly of dyneins that power ciliary motility, are only poorly understood. Here we report a novel gene, kintoun (ktu), involved in this cytoplasmic process. This gene was first identified in a medaka mutant, and found to be mutated in PCD patients from two affected families as well as in the pf13 mutant of Chlamydomonas. In the absence of Ktu/PF13, both outer and inner dynein arms are missing or defective in the axoneme, leading to a loss of motility. Biochemical and immunohistochemical studies show that Ktu/PF13 is one of the long-sought proteins involved in pre-assembly of dynein arm complexes in the cytoplasm before intraflagellar transport loads them for the ciliary compartment.
PMCID: PMC3279746  PMID: 19052621
8.  Orthoretroviral-like prototype foamy virus gag-pol expression is compatible with viral replication 
Retrovirology  2011;8:66.
Foamy viruses (FVs) unlike orthoretroviruses express Pol as a separate precursor protein and not as a Gag-Pol fusion protein. A unique packaging strategy, involving recognition of briding viral RNA by both Pol precursor and Gag as well as potential Gag-Pol protein interactions, ensures Pol particle encapsidation.
Several Prototype FV (PFV) Gag-Pol fusion protein constructs were generated to examine whether PFV replication is compatible with an orthoretroviral-like Pol expression. During their analysis, non-particle-associated secreted Pol precursor protein was discovered in extracellular wild type PFV particle preparations of different origin, copurifying in simple virion enrichment protocols. Different analysis methods suggest that extracellular wild type PFV particles contain predominantly mature p85PR-RT and p40IN Pol subunits. Characterization of various PFV Gag-Pol fusion constructs revealed that PFV Pol expression in an orthoretroviral manner is compatible with PFV replication as long as a proteolytic processing between Gag and Pol proteins is possible. PFV Gag-Pol translation by a HIV-1 like ribosomal frameshift signal resulted in production of replication-competent virions, although cell- and particle-associated Pol levels were reduced in comparison to wild type. In-frame fusion of PFV Gag and Pol ORFs led to increased cellular Pol levels, but particle incorporation was only marginally elevated. Unlike that reported for similar orthoretroviral constructs, a full-length in-frame PFV Gag-Pol fusion construct showed wildtype-like particle release and infectivity characteristics. In contrast, in-frame PFV Gag-Pol fusion with C-terminal Gag ORF truncations or non-removable Gag peptide addition to Pol displayed wildtype particle release, but reduced particle infectivity. PFV Gag-Pol precursor fusion proteins with inactivated protease were highly deficient in regular particle release, although coexpression of p71Gag resulted in a significant copackaging of these proteins.
Non-particle associated PFV Pol appears to be naturally released from infected cells by a yet unknown mechanism. The absence of particle-associated Pol precursor suggests its rapid processing upon particle incorporation. Analysis of different PFV Gag-Pol fusion constructs demonstrates that orthoretroviral-like Pol expression is compatible with FV replication in principal as long as fusion protein processing is possible. Furthermore, unlike orthoretroviruses, PFV particle release and infectivity tolerate larger differences in relative cellular Gag/Pol levels.
PMCID: PMC3196705  PMID: 21843316
Foamy virus; Gag-Pol fusion protein; retroviral morphogenesis; capsid assembly; Pol processing
9.  N-Glycosylation of Carnosinase Influences Protein Secretion and Enzyme Activity 
Diabetes  2010;59(8):1984-1990.
The (CTG)n polymorphism in the serum carnosinase (CN-1) gene affects CN-1 secretion. Since CN-1 is heavily glycosylated and glycosylation might influence protein secretion as well, we tested the role of N-glycosylation for CN-1 secretion and enzyme activity. We also tested whether CN-1 secretion is changed under hyperglycemic conditions.
N-glycosylation of CN-1 was either inhibited by tunicamycin in pCSII-CN-1–transfected Cos-7 cells or by stepwise deletion of its three putative N-glycosylation sites. CN-1 protein expression, N-glycosylation, and enzyme activity were assessed in cell extracts and supernatants. The influence of hyperglycemia on CN-1 enzyme activity in human serum was tested in homozygous (CTG)5 diabetic patients and healthy control subjects.
Tunicamycin completely inhibited CN-1 secretion. Deletion of all N-glycosylation sites was required to reduce CN-1 secretion efficiency. Enzyme activity was already diminished when two sites were deleted. In pCSII-CN-1–transfected Cos-7 cells cultured in medium containing 25 mmol/l d-glucose, the immature 61 kilodaltons (kDa) CN-1 immune reactive band was not detected. This was paralleled by an increased GlcNAc expression in cell lysates and CN-1 expression in the supernatants. Homozygous (CTG)5 diabetic patients had significantly higher serum CN-1 activity compared with genotype-matched, healthy control subjects.
We conclude that apart from the (CTG)n polymorphism in the signal peptide of CN-1, N-glycosylation is essential for appropriate secretion and enzyme activity. Since hyperglycemia enhances CN-1 secretion and enzyme activity, our data suggest that poor blood glucose control in diabetic patients might result in an increased CN-1 secretion even in the presence of the (CTG)5 allele.
PMCID: PMC2911063  PMID: 20460427
10.  Novel Functions of Prototype Foamy Virus Gag Glycine- Arginine-Rich Boxes in Reverse Transcription and Particle Morphogenesis▿  
Journal of Virology  2010;85(4):1452-1463.
Prototype foamy virus (PFV) Gag lacks the characteristic orthoretroviral Cys-His motifs that are essential for various steps of the orthoretroviral replication cycle, such as RNA packaging, reverse transcription, infectivity, integration, and viral assembly. Instead, it contains three glycine-arginine-rich boxes (GR boxes) in its C terminus that putatively represent a functional equivalent. We used a four-plasmid replication-deficient PFV vector system, with uncoupled RNA genome packaging and structural protein translation, to analyze the effects of deletion and various substitution mutations within each GR box on particle release, particle-associated protein composition, RNA packaging, DNA content, infectivity, particle morphology, and intracellular localization. The degree of viral particle release by all mutants was similar to that of the wild type. Only minimal effects on Pol encapsidation, exogenous reverse transcriptase (RT) activity, and genomic viral RNA packaging were observed. In contrast, particle-associated DNA content and infectivity were drastically reduced for all deletion mutants and were undetectable for all alanine substitution mutants. Furthermore, GR box I mutants had significant changes in particle morphology, and GR box II mutants lacked the typical nuclear localization pattern of PFV Gag. Finally, it could be shown that GR boxes I and III, but not GR box II, can functionally complement each other. It therefore appears that, similar to the orthoretroviral Cys-His motifs, the PFV Gag GR boxes are important for RNA encapsidation, genome reverse transcription, and virion infectivity as well as for particle morphogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3028916  PMID: 21106749
11.  Mutations in KIF7 link Joubert syndrome with Sonic Hedgehog signaling and microtubule dynamics  
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2011;121(7):2662-2667.
Joubert syndrome (JBTS) is characterized by a specific brain malformation with various additional pathologies. It results from mutations in any one of at least 10 different genes, including NPHP1, which encodes nephrocystin-1. JBTS has been linked to dysfunction of primary cilia, since the gene products known to be associated with the disorder localize to this evolutionarily ancient organelle. Here we report the identification of a disease locus, JBTS12, with mutations in the KIF7 gene, an ortholog of the Drosophila kinesin Costal2, in a consanguineous JBTS family and subsequently in other JBTS patients. Interestingly, KIF7 is a known regulator of Hedgehog signaling and a putative ciliary motor protein. We found that KIF7 co-precipitated with nephrocystin-1. Further, knockdown of KIF7 expression in cell lines caused defects in cilia formation and induced abnormal centrosomal duplication and fragmentation of the Golgi network. These cellular phenotypes likely resulted from abnormal tubulin acetylation and microtubular dynamics. Thus, we suggest that modified microtubule stability and growth direction caused by loss of KIF7 function may be an underlying disease mechanism contributing to JBTS.
PMCID: PMC3223820  PMID: 21633164
12.  Nephrocystin-4 Regulates Pyk2-induced Tyrosine Phosphorylation of Nephrocystin-1 to Control Targeting to Monocilia* 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2011;286(16):14237-14245.
Nephronophthisis is the most common genetic cause of end-stage renal failure during childhood and adolescence. Genetic studies have identified disease-causing mutations in at least 11 different genes (NPHP1–11), but the function of the corresponding nephrocystin proteins remains poorly understood. The two evolutionarily conserved proteins nephrocystin-1 (NPHP1) and nephrocystin-4 (NPHP4) interact and localize to cilia in kidney, retina, and brain characterizing nephronophthisis and associated pathologies as result of a ciliopathy. Here we show that NPHP4, but not truncating patient mutations, negatively regulates tyrosine phosphorylation of NPHP1. NPHP4 counteracts Pyk2-mediated phosphorylation of three defined tyrosine residues of NPHP1 thereby controlling binding of NPHP1 to the trans-Golgi sorting protein PACS-1. Knockdown of NPHP4 resulted in an accumulation of NPHP1 in trans-Golgi vesicles of ciliated retinal epithelial cells. These data strongly suggest that NPHP4 acts upstream of NPHP1 in a common pathway and support the concept of a role for nephrocystin proteins in intracellular vesicular transport.
PMCID: PMC3077625  PMID: 21357692
Centrosome; Epithelium; Golgi; Protein-tyrosine Kinase (Tyrosine Kinase); Vesicles; Pyk2; Cilium; Cystic Kidney Disease; Nephrocystin
13.  An epichromatin epitope 
Nucleus  2011;2(1):47-60.
Interphase nuclear architecture is disrupted and rapidly reformed with each cell division cycle. Successive cell generations exhibit a “memory” of this nuclear architecture, as well as for gene expression. Furthermore, many features of nuclear and mitotic chromosome structure are recognizably species and tissue specific. We wish to know what properties of the underlying chromatin structure may determine these conserved features of nuclear architecture. Employing a particular mouse autoimmune anti-nucleosome monoclonal antibody (PL2-6), combined with deconvolution immunofluorescence microscopy, we present evidence for a unique epitope (involving a ternary complex of histones H2A and H2B and DNA) which is localized only at the exterior chromatin surface of interphase nuclei and mitotic chromosomes in mammalian, invertebrate and plant systems. As only the surface chromatin region is identified with antibody PL2-6, we have assigned it the name “epichromatin”. We describe an “epichromatin hypothesis”, suggesting that epichromatin may have a unique evolutionary conserved conformation which facilitates interaction with the reforming post-mitotic nuclear envelope and a rapid return of interphase nuclear architecture.
PMCID: PMC3104809  PMID: 21647299
interphase nuclear architecture; mitotic chromosomes; chromatin; epichromatin; evolution
14.  Through Its Nonstructural Protein NS1, Parvovirus H-1 Induces Apoptosis via Accumulation of Reactive Oxygen Species▿ †  
Journal of Virology  2010;84(12):5909-5922.
The rat parvovirus H-1 (H-1PV) attracts high attention as an anticancer agent, because it is not pathogenic for humans and has oncotropic and oncosuppressive properties. The viral nonstructural NS1 protein is thought to mediate H-1PV cytotoxicity, but its exact contribution to this process remains undefined. In this study, we analyzed the effects of the H-1PV NS1 protein on human cell proliferation and cell viability. We show that NS1 expression is sufficient to induce the accumulation of cells in G2 phase, apoptosis via caspase 9 and 3 activation, and cell lysis. Similarly, cells infected with wild-type H-1PV arrest in G2 phase and undergo apoptosis. Furthermore, we also show that both expression of NS1 and H-1PV infection lead to higher levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), associated with DNA double-strand breaks. Antioxidant treatment reduces ROS levels and strongly decreases NS1- and virus-induced DNA damage, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis, indicating that NS1-induced ROS are important mediators of H-1PV cytotoxicity.
PMCID: PMC2876649  PMID: 20375165
15.  Analysis of Prototype Foamy Virus particle-host cell interaction with autofluorescent retroviral particles 
Retrovirology  2010;7:45.
The foamy virus (FV) replication cycle displays several unique features, which set them apart from orthoretroviruses. First, like other B/D type orthoretroviruses, FV capsids preassemble at the centrosome, but more similar to hepadnaviruses, FV budding is strictly dependent on cognate viral glycoprotein coexpression. Second, the unusually broad host range of FV is thought to be due to use of a very common entry receptor present on host cell plasma membranes, because all cell lines tested in vitro so far are permissive.
In order to take advantage of modern fluorescent microscopy techniques to study FV replication, we have created FV Gag proteins bearing a variety of protein tags and evaluated these for their ability to support various steps of FV replication. Addition of even small N-terminal HA-tags to FV Gag severely impaired FV particle release. For example, release was completely abrogated by an N-terminal autofluorescent protein (AFP) fusion, despite apparently normal intracellular capsid assembly. In contrast, C-terminal Gag-tags had only minor effects on particle assembly, egress and particle morphogenesis. The infectivity of C-terminal capsid-tagged FV vector particles was reduced up to 100-fold in comparison to wild type; however, infectivity was rescued by coexpression of wild type Gag and assembly of mixed particles. Specific dose-dependent binding of fluorescent FV particles to target cells was demonstrated in an Env-dependent manner, but not binding to target cell-extracted- or synthetic- lipids. Screening of target cells of various origins resulted in the identification of two cell lines, a human erythroid precursor- and a zebrafish- cell line, resistant to FV Env-mediated FV- and HIV-vector transduction.
We have established functional, autofluorescent foamy viral particles as a valuable new tool to study FV - host cell interactions using modern fluorescent imaging techniques. Furthermore, we succeeded for the first time in identifying two cell lines resistant to Prototype Foamy Virus Env-mediated gene transfer. Interestingly, both cell lines still displayed FV Env-dependent attachment of fluorescent retroviral particles, implying a post-binding block potentially due to lack of putative FV entry cofactors. These cell lines might ultimately lead to the identification of the currently unknown ubiquitous cellular entry receptor(s) of FVs.
PMCID: PMC2887381  PMID: 20478027
16.  The LINC-less granulocyte nucleus 
European journal of cell biology  2008;88(4):203-214.
The major blood granulocyte (neutrophil) is rapidly recruited to sites of bacterial and fungal infections. It is a highly malleable cell, allowing it to squeeze out of blood vessels and migrate through tight tissue spaces. The human granulocyte nucleus is lobulated and exhibits a paucity of nuclear lamins, increasing its capability for deformation. The present study examined the existence of protein connections between the nuclear envelope and cytoskeletal elements (the LINC complex) in differentiated cell states (i.e. granulocytic, monocytic and macrophage) of the human leukemic cell line HL-60, as well as in human blood leukocytes. HL-60 granulocytes exhibited a deficiency of several LINC complex proteins (i.e. nesprin 1 giant, nesprin 2 giant, SUN1, plectin and vimentin); whereas, the macrophage state revealed nesprin 1 giant, plectin and vimentin. Both states possessed SUN2 in the nuclear envelope. Parallel differences were observed with some of the LINC complex proteins in isolated human blood leukocytes, including macrophage cells derived from blood monocytes. The present study documenting the paucity of LINC complex proteins in granulocytic forms, in combination with previous data on granulocyte nuclear shape and nuclear envelope composition, suggest the hypothesis that these adaptations evolved to facilitate granulocyte cellular malleability.
PMCID: PMC2671807  PMID: 19019491
Neutrophil; Monocyte; Macrophage; Nuclear envelope; Cytoskeleton
17.  Small intestinal mucosa expression of putative chaperone fls485 
BMC Gastroenterology  2010;10:27.
Maturation of enterocytes along the small intestinal crypt-villus axis is associated with significant changes in gene expression profiles. fls485 coding a putative chaperone protein has been recently suggested as a gene involved in this process. The aim of the present study was to analyze fls485 expression in human small intestinal mucosa.
fls485 expression in purified normal or intestinal mucosa affected with celiac disease was investigated with a molecular approach including qRT-PCR, Western blotting, and expression strategies. Molecular data were corroborated with several in situ techniques and usage of newly synthesized mouse monoclonal antibodies.
fls485 mRNA expression was preferentially found in enterocytes and chromaffine cells of human intestinal mucosa as well as in several cell lines including Rko, Lovo, and CaCo2 cells. Western blot analysis with our new anti-fls485 antibodies revealed at least two fls485 proteins. In a functional CaCo2 model, an increase in fls485 expression was paralleled by cellular maturation stage. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated fls485 as a cytosolic protein with a slightly increasing expression gradient along the crypt-villus axis which was impaired in celiac disease Marsh IIIa-c.
Expression and synthesis of fls485 are found in surface lining epithelia of normal human intestinal mucosa and deriving epithelial cell lines. An interdependence of enterocyte differentiation along the crypt-villus axis and fls485 chaperone activity might be possible.
PMCID: PMC2838759  PMID: 20205943
18.  Microcephalin and pericentrin regulate mitotic entry via centrosome-associated Chk1 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2009;185(7):1149-1157.
Primary microcephaly, Seckel syndrome, and microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type II (MOPD II) are disorders exhibiting marked microcephaly, with small brain sizes reflecting reduced neuron production during fetal life. Although primary microcephaly can be caused by mutations in microcephalin (MCPH1), cells from patients with Seckel syndrome and MOPD II harbor mutations in ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3 related (ATR) or pericentrin (PCNT), leading to disturbed ATR signaling. In this study, we show that a lack of MCPH1 or PCNT results in a loss of Chk1 from centrosomes with subsequently deregulated activation of centrosomal cyclin B–Cdk1.
PMCID: PMC2712957  PMID: 19546241
19.  The human granulocyte nucleus: unusual nuclear envelope and heterochromatin composition 
European journal of cell biology  2008;87(5):279-290.
The human blood granulocyte (neutrophil) is adapted to find and destroy infectious agents. The nucleus of the human neutrophil has a segmented appearance, consisting of a linear or branched array of three or four lobes. Adequate levels of lamin B receptor (LBR) are necessary for differentiation of the lobulated nucleus. The levels of other components of the nuclear envelope may also be important for nuclear shape determination. In the present study, immunostaining and immunoblotting procedures explored the levels of various components of the nuclear envelope and heterochromatin, comparing freshly isolated human neutrophils with granulocytic forms of HL-60 cells, a tissue culture model system. In comparison to granulocytic HL-60 cells, blood neutrophil nuclear envelopes contain low-to-negligible amounts of LBR, lamins A/C, B1 and B2, LAP2β and emerin. Surprisingly, a “mitotic” chromosome marker, H3(S10)phos, is elevated in neutrophil nuclei, compared to granulocytic HL-60 cells. Furthermore, neutrophil nuclei appear to be more fragile to methanol fixation, than observed with granulocytic HL-60 cells. Thus, the human neutrophil nucleus appears to be highly specialized, possessing a paucity of nuclear envelope-stabilizing proteins. In consequence, the neutrophil nucleus appears to be very malleable, supporting rapid migration through tight tissue spaces.
PMCID: PMC2438038  PMID: 18396345
Neutrophil; Nuclear envelope; Lamin B receptor; Lamins; Nuclear shape; Heterochromatin
20.  Intranucleolar sites of ribosome biogenesis defined by the localization of early binding ribosomal proteins 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2007;177(4):573-578.
Considerable efforts are being undertaken to elucidate the processes of ribosome biogenesis. Although various preribosomal RNP complexes have been isolated and molecularly characterized, the order of ribosomal protein (r-protein) addition to the emerging ribosome subunits is largely unknown. Furthermore, the correlation between the ribosome assembly pathway and the structural organization of the dedicated ribosome factory, the nucleolus, is not well established. We have analyzed the nucleolar localization of several early binding r-proteins in human cells, applying various methods, including live-cell imaging and electron microscopy. We have located all examined r-proteins (S4, S6, S7, S9, S14, and L4) in the granular component (GC), which is the nucleolar region where later pre-ribosomal RNA (rRNA) processing steps take place. These results imply that early binding r-proteins do not assemble with nascent pre-rRNA transcripts in the dense fibrillar component (DFC), as is generally believed, and provide a link between r-protein assembly and the emergence of distinct granules at the DFC–GC interface.
PMCID: PMC2064203  PMID: 17517959
21.  Correct Capsid Assembly Mediated by a Conserved YXXLGL Motif in Prototype Foamy Virus Gag Is Essential for Infectivity and Reverse Transcription of the Viral Genome▿  
Journal of Virology  2007;81(7):3317-3326.
Unlike other retrovirus Gag proteins, the prototype foamy virus (PFV) p71gag protein is not processed into mature matrix (MA), capsid (CA), and nucleocapsid (NC) subunits. Little information about sequence motifs involved in FV capsid assembly and release is available. The recent analysis of candidate L-domain motifs in PFV Gag identified an evolutionarily conserved YXXL sequence motif with a potential function in capsid assembly. Here we provide support for the hypothesis that this motif does not function like a conventional L domain, by demonstrating that, unlike the PFV Gag PSAP L-domain motif, it cannot be functionally replaced by heterologous L-domain sequences. Furthermore, mutation of individual amino acids Y464, I466, L467, and L469, but not E465, to alanine led to reduced particle release and production of noninfectious, aberrant capsid structures, although relative structural protein incorporation and processing were not affected. In contrast, mutation of G468 to alanine resulted in an intermediate, temperature-sensitive phenotype characterized by reduced particle release and reduced infectivity. Despite similar relative RNA genome incorporation for all mutants, analysis and quantification of particle-associated viral nucleic acids demonstrated defects in genomic reverse transcription for all the noninfectious mutants, a process that, unlike that of orthoretroviruses, in the case of FVs takes place in the virus-producing cell. In correlation with the reduced infectivity, the G468A mutant displayed an intermediate level of genomic reverse transcription. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the conserved YXXLGL motif in PFV Gag is involved in correct capsid assembly, which in turn is essential for reverse transcription of the FV genome.
PMCID: PMC1866044  PMID: 17229703
22.  The von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein controls ciliogenesis by orienting microtubule growth 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2006;175(4):547-554.
Cilia are specialized organelles that play an important role in several biological processes, including mechanosensation, photoperception, and osmosignaling. Mutations in proteins localized to cilia have been implicated in a growing number of human diseases. In this study, we demonstrate that the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) protein (pVHL) is a ciliary protein that controls ciliogenesis in kidney cells. Knockdown of pVHL impeded the formation of cilia in mouse inner medullary collecting duct 3 kidney cells, whereas the expression of pVHL in VHL-negative renal cancer cells rescued the ciliogenesis defect. Using green fluorescent protein–tagged end-binding protein 1 to label microtubule plus ends, we found that pVHL does not affect the microtubule growth rate but is needed to orient the growth of microtubules toward the cell periphery, a prerequisite for the formation of cilia. Furthermore, pVHL interacts with the Par3–Par6–atypical PKC complex, suggesting a mechanism for linking polarity pathways to microtubule capture and ciliogenesis.
PMCID: PMC2064591  PMID: 17101696
23.  E6/E7 Expression of Human Papillomavirus Type 20 (HPV-20) and HPV-27 Influences Proliferation and Differentiation of the Skin in UV-Irradiated SKH-hr1 Transgenic Mice▿  
Journal of Virology  2006;80(22):11153-11164.
The functional role of UV irradiation, in combination with the E6 and E7 proteins of the cutaneous human papillomavirus (HPV) types in the malignant conversion of benign papillomatous lesions, has not been elucidated. Transgenic SKH-hr1 hairless mice expressing HPV-20 and HPV-27 E6 and E7 proteins in the suprabasal compartment were generated and exposed to chronic UV irradiation. Histological and immunohistochemical examination of skin samples revealed enhanced proliferation of the epidermal layers and papilloma formation in both transgenic strains in comparison to what was observed with nontransgenic mice. Squamous cell carcinoma developed in the HPV-20 E6/E7 transgenic line as well as in the HPV-27 E6/E7 transgenic line. Several weeks after cessation of UV-B exposure, enhanced proliferation, as measured by BrdU incorporation, was maintained only in HPV-20 transgenic skin. Keratin 6 expression was increased in the transgenic mice throughout all cell layers. Expression of the differentiation markers involucrin and loricrin was reduced and disturbed. p63α expression was differentially regulated with high levels of cytoplasmic expression in clusters of cells in the granular layer of the skin in the transgenic lines 20 weeks after cessation of UV-B exposure, in contrast to uninterrupted staining in the nontransgenic lines. p53 was expressed in clusters of cells in nontransgenic and HPV-27 transgenic mice, in contrast to an even distribution in a higher number of cells in HPV-20 transgenic animals.
PMCID: PMC1642157  PMID: 16971438
24.  Nucleoporin 88 expression in hepatitis B and C virus-related liver diseases 
AIM: To investigate the expression of nucleoporin 88 (Nup88) in hepatitis B virus (HBV) and C virus (HCV)-related liver diseases.
METHODS: We generated a new monoclonal Nup88 antibody to investigate the Nup88 protein expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in 294 paraffin-embedded liver specimens comprising all stages of hepatocellular carcinogenesis. In addition, in cell culture experiments HBV-positive (HepG2.2.15 and HB611) and HBV-negative (HepG2) hepatoma cell lines were tested for the Nup88 expression by Western-immunoblotting to test data obtained by IHC.
RESULTS: Specific Nup88 expression was found in chronic HCV hepatitis and unspecific chronic hepatitis, whereas no or very weak Nup88 expression was detected in normal liver. The Nup88 expression was markedly reduced or missing in mild chronic HBV infection and inversely correlated with HBcAg expression. Irrespective of the HBV- or HCV-status, increasing Nup88 expression was observed in cirrhosis and dysplastic nodules, and Nup88 was highly expressed in hepatocellular carcinomas. The intensity of Nup88 expression significantly increased during carcinogenesis (P < 0.0001) and correlated with dedifferentiation (P < 0.0001). Interestingly, Nup88 protein expression was significantly downregulated in HBV-positive HepG2.2.15 (P < 0.002) and HB611 (P < 0.001) cell lines as compared to HBV-negative HepG2 cells.
CONCLUSION: Based on our immunohistochemical data, HBV and HCV are unlikely to influence the expression of Nup88 in cirrhotic and neoplastic liver tissue, but point to an interaction of HBV with the nuclear pore in chronic hepatitis. The expression of Nup88 in nonneoplastic liver tissue might reflect enhanced metabolic activity of the liver tissue. Our data strongly indicate a dichotomous role for Nup88 in non-neoplastic and neoplastic conditions of the liver.
PMCID: PMC4100670  PMID: 17007055
Nucleoporin 88; Hepatitis B and C virus; Hepatocellular carcinogenesis
25.  Ubiquitination of the Prototype Foamy Virus Envelope Glycoprotein Leader Peptide Regulates Subviral Particle Release 
Journal of Virology  2005;79(24):15074-15083.
Foamy virus (FV) particle egress is unique among retroviruses because of its essential requirement for Gag and Env coexpression for budding and particle release. The FV glycoprotein undergoes a highly unusual biosynthesis resulting in the generation of three particle-associated, mature subunits, leader peptide (LP), surface (SU), and transmembrane (TM), derived from a precursor protein by posttranslational proteolysis mediated by furin or furinlike proteases. Previously at least three LP products of different molecular weights were detected in purified FV particles. Here we demonstrate that the higher-molecular-weight forms gp28LP and gp38LP are ubiquitinated variants of the major gp18LP cleavage product, which has a type II membrane topology. Furthermore, we show that all five lysine residues located within the N-terminal 60-amino-acid cytoplasmic domain of gp18LP can potentially be ubiquitinated, however, there seems to be a preference for using the first three. Inactivation of ubiquitination sites individually resulted in no obvious phenotype. However, simultaneous inactivation of the first three or all five ubiquitination sites in gp18LP led to a massive increase in subviral particles released by these mutant glycoproteins that were readily detectable by electron microscopy analysis upon expression of the ubiquitination-deficient glycoprotein by itself or in a proviral context. Surprisingly, only the quintuple ubiquitination mutant showed a two- to threefold increase in single-cycle infectivity assays, whereas all other mutants displayed infectivities similar to that of the wild type. Taken together, these data suggest that the balance between viral and subviral particle release of FVs is regulated by ubiquitination of the glycoprotein LP.
PMCID: PMC1316034  PMID: 16306578

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