This report compares cellular localization of fesselin in chicken smooth, skeletal and cardiac muscle tissues using affinity purified polyclonal fesselin antibodies. Western blot analyses revealed large amounts of fesselin in gizzard smooth muscle with lower amounts in skeletal and cardiac muscle. In gizzard, fesselin was detected by immunofluorescence as discrete cytoplasmic structures. Fesselin did not co-localize with talin, vinculin or caveolin indicating that fesselin is not associated with dense bands or caveolar regions of the cell membrane. Immunoelectron microscopy established localization of fesselin within dense bodies. Since dense bodies function as anchorage points for actin and desmin in smooth muscle cells, fesselin may be involved in establishing cytoskeletal structure in this tissue. In skeletal muscle, fesselin was associated with desmin in regularly space bands distributed along the length of muscle fibers suggesting localization to the Z-line. Infrequently, this banding pattern was observed in heart tissues as well. Localization at the Z-line of skeletal and cardiac muscle suggests a role in contraction of these tissues.
Fesselin; smooth muscle; dense bodies; immunofluorescence; electron microscopy
In 1898, the Golgi apparatus was discovered by light microscopy, and since the 1950s, the ultrastructure composition is known by electron microscopic investigation. The complex three-dimensional morphology fascinated researchers and was sometimes even the driving force to develop novel visualization techniques. However, the highly dynamic membrane systems of Golgi apparatus are delicate and prone to fixation artifacts. Therefore, the understanding of Golgi morphology and its function has been improved significantly with the development of better preparation methods. Nowadays, cryo-fixation is the method of choice to arrest instantly all dynamic and physiological processes inside cells, tissues, and small organisms. Embedded in amorphous ice, such samples can be further processed by freeze substitution or directly analyzed in their fully hydrated state by cryo-electron microscopy and tomography. Even though the overall morphology of vitrified Golgi stacks is comparable to well-prepared and resin-embedded samples, previously unknown structural details can be observed solely based on their native density. At this point, any further improvement of sample preparation would gain novel insights, perhaps not in terms of general morphology, but on fine structural details of this dynamic organelle.
Golgi apparatus; High-pressure freezing (HPF); Self-pressurized rapid freezing (SPRF); Cryo-electron microscopy of vitreous sections (CEMOVIS); Freeze substitution
The neural crest is a stem cell population, unique to vertebrates, that gives rise to a vast array of derivatives, ranging from peripheral ganglia to the facial skeleton. This population is induced in the early embryo at the border of the neural plate, which will form the central nervous system (CNS). After neural tube closure, neural crest cells depart from the dorsal CNS via an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), forming a migratory mesenchymal cell type that migrates extensive to diverse locations in the embryo. Using in vivo loss-of-function approaches and cis-regulatory analysis coupled with live imaging, we have investigated the gene regulatory network that mediates formation of this fascinating cell type. The results show that a combination of transcriptional inputs and epigenetic modifiers control the timing of onset of neural crest gene expression. This in turn leads to the EMT process that produces this migratory cell population.
Neural crest; neural tube; EMT; transcription factor; chromatin; cis-regulatory network
The medulla of the adrenal gland is a neuroendocrine tissue in which catecholamine-storing chromaffin cells exist. The chromaffin cells are derived from neural crest cells and distinctly differentiated into two types of cells, epinephrine (E) (adrenaline)-storing and norepinephrine (NE) (noradrenaline)-storing cells. Using histochemical or immunostaining methods, the two types of chromaffin cells have been differentially distinguished. However, difficulties and/or drawbacks of the procedures have somewhat restricted the progress of research in differential functions of E-storing and NE-storing cells. Here, we show a new method for the differential demonstration of these two cell types. We found that mouse and rat adrenomedullary cells are heterogeneously stained with Harris hematoxylin after treatment with citrate buffer at pH 6. The cell clusters stained with hematoxylin were positive for tyrosine hydroxylase, which is an enzyme involved in catecholamine biosynthesis. Furthermore, the cell clusters were negative for phenylethanolamine-N-methyl transferase, which is an enzyme responsible for the conversion from NE to E and expresses in E-storing chromaffin cells. Moreover, we found that the cell clusters stained with hematoxylin can also be stained with nitroblue tetrazolium at pH 11, using Hopsu and Mäkinen’s method by which NE-storing chromaffin cells are stained. These observations indicate that the cytoplasm of NE-storing chromaffin cells is specifically stained with hematoxylin after treatment with citrate buffer at pH 6. This method will allow us to facilitate cell-type specific research of chromaffin cells. Indeed, this method revealed that α-synuclein selectively expresses in E-storing chromaffin cells, but not in NE-storing chromaffin cells.
Adrenal; Medulla; Chromaffin; Epinephrine; α-Synuclein; PNMT
Plectin is a large, 500-kDa, intermediate filament (IF)-associated protein. It acts as a cytoskeletal crosslinker and signaling scaffold, affecting mechanical as well as dynamic properties of the cytoskeleton. As a member of the plakin family of cytolinker proteins, plectin has a multidomain structure that is responsible for its vast binding portfolio. It not only binds to all types of IFs, actin filaments and microtubules, but also to transmembrane receptors, proteins of the subplasma membrane protein skeleton, components of the nuclear envelope, and several kinases with known roles in migration, proliferation, and energy metabolism of cells. Due to alternative splicing, plectin is expressed as various isoforms with differing N-terminal heads that dictate their differential subcellular targeting. Through specific interactions with other proteins at their target sites and their ability to bind to all types of IFs, plectin molecules provide strategically located IF anchorage sites within the cytoplasm of cells. In this review, we will present an overview of the structural features and functional properties of plectin and discuss recent progress in defining the role of its isoforms in stress-prone tissues and the implicated diseases, with focus on skin, skeletal muscle, and Schwann cells of peripheral nerve.
Mass spectrometry (MS) imaging links molecular information and the spatial distribution of analytes within a sample. In contrast to most histochemical techniques, mass spectrometry imaging can differentiate molecular modifications and does not require labeling of targeted compounds. We have recently introduced the first mass spectrometry imaging method that provides highly specific molecular information (high resolution and accuracy in mass) at cellular dimensions (high resolution in space). This method is based on a matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) imaging source working at atmospheric pressure which is coupled to an orbital trapping mass spectrometer. Here, we present a number of application examples and demonstrate the benefit of ‘mass spectrometry imaging with high resolution in mass and space.’ Phospholipids, peptides and drug compounds were imaged in a number of tissue samples at a spatial resolution of 5–10 μm. Proteins were analyzed after on-tissue tryptic digestion at 50-μm resolution. Additional applications include the analysis of single cells and of human lung carcinoma tissue as well as the first MALDI imaging measurement of tissue at 3 μm pixel size. MS image analysis for all these experiments showed excellent correlation with histological staining evaluation. The high mass resolution (R = 30,000) and mass accuracy (typically 1 ppm) proved to be essential for specific image generation and reliable identification of analytes in tissue samples. The ability to combine the required high-quality mass analysis with spatial resolution in the range of single cells is a unique feature of our method. With that, it has the potential to supplement classical histochemical protocols and to provide new insights about molecular processes on the cellular level.
Mass spectrometry imaging; Tissue analysis; High-resolution mass spectrometry; Accurate mass measurements; Mass spectrometry-based histology; MALDI mass spectrometry
An immunohistochemical examination of guinea-pig taste buds in vallate papillae revealed gustducin-immunoreactive cells in the area of von Ebner’s glands, minor salivary glands. Since there have been no reports describing those cells in these locations for other species, we investigated these glands in order both to localize the cells and compare their immunoreactive characteristics with corresponding cells in the vallate taste buds. The gustducin-immunoreactive cells coincided with cells containing no secretory granules in the end portion of the glands, which was supported by the electron-microscopic immunocytochemistry. Double immunofluorescence microscopy confirmed these cells to be entirely immunopositive to type III inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptor (IP3R-3), phospholipase Cβ2 (PLCβ2), and villin and also partly immunopositive to neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and calbindin D-28K. The gustducin-immunoreactive cells in the vallate taste buds exhibited completely the same immunoreactivities for these five molecules. Accordingly, the present results give credence to a consideration that the gustducin-immunnoreactive cells in both locations are identical in function(s) e.g., chemo-reception.
Guinea pig; von Ebner’s glands; Taste bud; Gustducin-immunoreactive cell; Immunohistochemistry
Epithelial tuft cells are named for their characteristic microtubule bundle located at the cell apex where it is exposed to the luminal environment. As such, tuft cells are found in multiple organs, including the gastrointestinal (GI) tract where the apical “tuft” is hypothesized to detect and transmit environmental signals. Thus, the goal of our study was to characterize gastric tuft cells during GI tract development, then subsequently in the normal and metaplastic adult stomach. GI tracts from mouse embryos, newborn and post-natal mice were analyzed. Tuft cells were identified by immunohistochemistry using acetylated-α-tubulin (acTub) antibody to detect the microtubule bundle. Additional tuft cell markers, e.g., doublecortin-like kinase 1 (DCLK1), were used to co-localize with acTub. Tuft cells were quantified in human gastric tissue arrays and in mouse stomachs with or without inflammation. In the developing intestine, tuft cells in both the crypts and villi expressed all markers by E18.5. In the stomach, acTub co-localized with DCLK1 and other established tuft cell markers by E18.5 in the antrum but not until postnatal day 7 in the corpus, with the highest density of tuft cells clustered at the forestomach ridge. Tuft cell numbers increased in hyperplastic human and mouse stomachs. In the adult GI tract, the tuft cell marker acTub co-expressed with DCKL1 and chemosensory markers, e.g., TRPM5. In summary, tuft cells appear in the gastric antrum and intestine at E18.5, but their maximal numbers in the corpus are not achieved until after weaning. Tuft cell numbers increase with inflammation, hyperplasia and metaplasia.
Chemosensory; TRPM5; metaplasia; brush cells; stomach; development
The kidney has an intrinsic ability to repair itself when injured. Epithelial cells of distal tubules may participate in regeneration. Stem cell marker, TRA-1-60 is linked to pluripotency in human embryonic stem cells and is lost upon differentiation. TRA-1-60 expression was mapped and quantified in serial sections of human foetal, adult and diseased kidneys. In 8- to 10-week human foetal kidney, the epitope was abundantly expressed on ureteric bud and structures derived therefrom including collecting duct epithelium. In adult kidney inner medulla/papilla, comparisons with reactivity to epithelial membrane antigen, aquaporin-2 and Tamm–Horsfall protein, confirmed extensive expression of TRA-1-60 in cells lining collecting ducts and thin limb of the loop of Henle, which may be significant since the papillae were proposed to harbour slow cycling cells involved in kidney homeostasis and repair. In the outer medulla and cortex there was rare, sporadic expression in tubular cells of the collecting ducts and nephron, with positive cells confined to the thin limb and thick ascending limb and distal convoluted tubules. Remarkably, in cortex displaying tubulo-interstitial injury, there was a dramatic increase in number of TRA-1-60 expressing individual cells and in small groups of cells in distal tubules. Dual staining showed that TRA-1-60 positive cells co-expressed Pax-2 and Ki-67, markers of tubular regeneration. Given the localization in foetal kidney and the distribution patterns in adults, it is tempting to speculate that TRA-1-60 may identify a population of cells contributing to repair of distal tubules in adult kidney.
Kidney; Tubulo-interstitial; TRA-1-60; Stem cell; Foetal; Regeneration
Myosin VI (MVI) is a unique unconventional motor moving backwards on actin filaments. In non-muscle cells, it is involved in cell migration, endocytosis and intracellular trafficking, actin cytoskeleton dynamics, and possibly in gene transcription. An important role for MVI in striated muscle functioning was suggested in a report showing that a point mutation (H236R) within the MVI gene was associated with cardiomyopathy (Mohiddin et al., J Med Genet 41:309–314, 2004). Here, we have addressed MVI function in striated muscle by examining its expression and distribution in rat hindlimb skeletal muscle. We found that MVI was present predominantly at the muscle fiber periphery, and it was also localized within muscle nuclei. Analysis of both the hindlimb and cardiac muscle longitudinal sections revealed ~3 μm striation pattern, corresponding to the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Moreover, MVI was detected in the sarcoplasmic reticulum fractions isolated from skeletal and cardiac muscle. The protein also localized to the postsynaptic region of the neuromuscular junction. In denervated muscle, the defined MVI distribution pattern was abolished and accompanied by significant increase in its amount in the muscle fibers. In addition, we have identified several novel potential MVI-binding partners, which seem to aid our observations that in striated muscle MVI could be involved in postsynaptic trafficking as well as in maintenance of and/or transport within the sarcoplasmic reticulum and non-sarcomeric cytoskeleton.
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The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00418-012-1070-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Cytoskeleton; Muscle fiber; Myosin VI; Neuromuscular junction; Nucleus; Sarcoplasmic reticulum
It has been recently shown that the biological effects of erythropoietin (EPO) are not limited to the hematopoietic compartment but, as pleiotropic glycoprotein, this hormone can exert pro-angiogenic and tissue-protective functions also in a wide range of non-hematopoietic organs. The role of EPO and the effective functionality of its receptor in solid tumors are still a controversial point of debate. In the present work we analyzed the gene expression of EPO and its cognate receptor (EpoR) in a rat model of thioacetamide-induced damage and tumor. An analysis of the EPO/EpoR axis was also performed on human cholangiocarcinoma (CC) cell lines. A progressive increase of EPO and EpoR mRNA can already be observed during the fibrotic–cirrhotic development with a peak of expression rising at tumor formation (24.7 ± 9.9-fold increase and 15.5 ± 1.1-fold increase, respectively, for the two genes). Co-localization studies by immunofluorescence revealed hepatocytes in the regenerative cirrhotic nodules (Hep Par-1+) and in the dysplastic bile duct cells (CK19+) as the major EPO producers in this specific condition. The same cell populations, together with endothelial cells, exhibited an increased expression of EpoR, although all the non-parenchymal cell populations in the liver exhibited modest basal mRNA levels. Challenging human CC cells, Mz-Cha-2, with a combination of EPO and SCF resulted in a synergistic effect on the gene expression of EPO, CyclinD1 and PCNA. This study suggests that the autocrine and paracrine release of endogenous EPO in the microenvironment may contribute to the development and maintenance of the CC possibly in cooperation with other signaling pathways.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00418-012-1037-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Cholangiocarcinoma (CC); Chronic liver injury; Erythropoietin (EPO); Erythropoietin receptor (EpoR); Thioacetamide (TAA)
The small extracellular matrix proteoglycan decorin which possesses a potent antitumor activity has been shown to be present in various amounts in the stroma of several tumors including those of the breast. Regarding decorin in breast malignancies the published data are conflicting, i.e., whether breast cancer cells express it or not. Here, we first compared decorin gene expression levels between healthy human breast tissue and selected types of human breast cancer using GeneSapiens databank. Next, we localized decorin mRNA in tissue specimen of normal human breast, intraductal breast papillomas and various histologic types of human breast cancer using in situ hybridization (ISH) with digoxigenin-labeled RNA probes for decorin. We also examined the effect of decorin transduction on the behavior of cultured human breast cancer MCF7 cells. Analysis of GeneSapiens databank revealed that in various human breast cancers decorin expression is significant. However, ISH results clearly demonstrated that human breast cancer cells independently of the type of the cancer do not express decorin mRNA. This was also true for papilloma-forming cells of the human breast. Indeed, decorin gene expression in healthy human breast tissue as well as in benign and malignant tumors of human breast was shown to take place solely in cells of the original stroma. Decorin transduction using decorin adenoviral vector in decorin-negative MCF7 cells resulted in a significant decrease in the proliferation of these cells and changed cell cohesion. Decorin-transduced MCF7 cells also exhibited increased apoptosis. In conclusion, our study shows that in human breast tissue only cells of the original stroma are capable of decorin gene expression. Our study also shows that transduction of decorin in decorin-negative human breast cancer cells markedly modulates the growth pattern of these cells.
Breast cancer; Extracellular matrix; Decorin; In situ hybridization; Cell behavior
Non viral-mediated gene delivery represents an alternative way to express the gene of interest without inducing immune responses or other adverse effects. Understanding the mechanisms by which plasmid DNAs are delivered to the proper target in vivo is a fundamental issue that needs to be addressed in order to design more effective strategies for gene therapy. As a model system, we have used the submandibular salivary glands in live rats and we have recently shown that reporter transgenes can be expressed in different cell populations of the glandular epithelium, depending on the modality of administration of plasmid DNA. Here, by using a combination of immunofluorescence and intravital microscopy, we have explored the relationship between the pattern of transgenes expression and the internalization of plasmid DNA. We found that plasmid DNA is internalized: 1) by all the cells in the salivary gland epithelium, when administered alone 2) by large ducts, when mixed with empty adenoviral particles, and 3) by acinar cells upon stimulation of compensatory endocytosis. Moreover, we showed that plasmid DNA utilizes different routes of internalization, and evades both the lysosomal degradative pathway and the retrograde pathway towards the Golgi apparatus. This study clearly shows that in vivo approaches have the potential to address fundamental questions on the cellular mechanisms regulating gene delivery.
Intravital microscopy; plasmid DNA; endocytosis; salivary glands; gene therapy; non-viral gene delivery
The choroid plexus epithelium controls the movement of solutes between the blood and the cerebrospinal fluid. It has been considered as a functionally more immature interface during brain development than in adult. The anatomical basis of this barrier is the interepithelial choroidal junction whose tightness has been attributed to the presence of claudins. We used quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, Western blot and immunohistochemistry to identify different claudins in the choroid plexuses of developing and adult rats. Claudin-1, -2, and -3 were highly and selectively expressed in the choroid plexus as compared to brain or parenchyma microvessels and were localized at epithelial junctions. Claudin-6, -9, -19, and -22 also displayed a previously undescribed choroidal selectivity, while claudin-4, -5, and -16 were enriched in the cerebral microvessels. The choroidal pattern of tight junction protein expression in prenatal brains was already complex and included occludin and zonula occludens proteins. It differed from the adult pattern in that the pore-forming claudin-2, claudin-9, and claudin-22 increased during development, while claudin-3 and claudin-6 decreased. Claudin-2 and claudin-11 presented a mirror image of abundance between lateral ventricle and fourth ventricle choroid plexuses. Imunohistochemical analysis of human fetal and postnatal brains for claudin-1, -2, and -3 demonstrated their early presence and localization at the apico-lateral border of the choroid plexus epithelial cells. Overall, choroidal epithelial tight junctions are already complex in developing brain. The observed differences in claudin expression between developing and adult choroid plexuses may indicate developmental differences in selective blood–cerebrospinal fluid transport functions.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00418-012-1001-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Blood–brain barrier; Brain development; Choroid plexus; Tight junction
Caveolae and caveolins, structural components of caveolae, are associated with specific ion channels in cardiac myocytes. We have previously shown that P2X purinoceptor 7 (P2X7R), a ligand gated ion channel, is increased in atrial cardiomyocytes of caveolin-1 knockout mice; however, the specific biochemical relationship of P2X7R with caveolins in the heart is not clear. The aim of this work was to study the presence of the P2X7R in atrial cardiomyocytes and its biochemical relationship to caveolin-1 and caveolin-3. Caveolin isoforms and P2X7R were predominantly localized in buoyant membrane fractions (lipid rafts/caveolae) prepared from hearts using detergent-free sucrose gradient centrifugation. Caveolin-1 knockout mice showed normal distribution of caveolin-3 and P2X7R to byoyant membranes indicating the importance of caveolin-3 to formation of caveolae. Using clear native PAGE, we showed that caveolin-1, -3 and P2X7R contribute to the same protein complex in membranes of heart atrial cardiomyocytes and in the immortal cardiomyocyte cell line HL-1. Western blot analysis revealed increased caveolin-1 and -3 protein in tissue homogenates of P2X7R knockout mice. Finally, tissue homogenates of atrial tissues from caveolin-3 knockout mice showed elevated mRNA for P2X7R in atria. The co-localization of caveolins with P2X7R in a biochemical complex and compensated upregulation of P2X7R or caveolins in the absence of any component of the complex suggests P2XR7 and caveolins may serve an important regulatory control point for disease pathology in the heart.
P2X7R; caveolin-3; cardiomyocytes; mice; HL-1
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidants are essential to maintain a redox balance within tissues and cells. Intracellular ROS regulate key cellular functions such as proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis through cellular signaling, and response to injury. The redox environment is particularly important for stem/progenitor cells, as their self-renewal and differentiation has been shown to be redox sensitive. However, not much is known about ROS and antioxidant protein function in freshly isolated keratinocytes, notably the different keratinocyte subpopulations. Immunostaining of neonatal cutaneous sections revealed that antioxidant enzymes [catalase, SOD2, gluthatione peroxidase-1 (GPx)] and ROS are localized predominantly to the epidermis. We isolated keratinocyte subpopulations and found lower levels of SOD2, catalase and GPx, as well as decreased SOD and catalase activity in an epidermal side population with stem cell-like characteristics (EpSPs) compared to more differentiated (Non-SP) keratinocytes. EpSPs also exhibited less mitochondrial area, fewer peroxisomes and produced lower levels of ROS than Non-SPs. Finally, EpSPs were more resistant to UV radiation than their progeny. Together, our data indicate ROS and antioxidant levels are decreased in stem-like EpSPs.
Keratinocytes; Stem cells; Anti-oxidant protein; Oxidative stress; Reactive oxygen species; Mouse
The dynamic reorganization of actin cytoskeleton is regulated by a large number of actin-binding proteins. Among them, the interaction of ADF/cofilin with monomeric and filamentous actin is very important, since it severs actin filaments. It also positively influences actin treadmilling. The activity of ADF/cofilin is reversibly regulated by phosphorylation and dephosphorylation at Ser-3, with the phosphorylated form (P-cofilin) being inactive. Here, we studied the effects of overexpression of cofilin and two cofilin variants in the human colon adenocarcinoma LS180 cell line. We have generated the LS180 cells expressing three different cofilin variants: WT (wild type), Ser 3 Ala (S3A) (constitutively active) or Ser 3 Asp (S3D) (constitutively inactive cofilin). The cells expressing WT cofilin were characterized by abundant cell spreading and colocalization of cofilin with the submembranous F-actin. Similar effects were observed in cells expressing S3A cofilin. In contrast, LS180 cells expressing S3D cofilin remained longitudinal in morphology and cofilin was equally distributed within the cell body. Furthermore, the migration ability of LS180 cells expressing different cofilin mutants was analyzed. In comparison to control cells, we have noticed a significant, approximately fourfold increase in the migration factor value of cells overexpressing WT type cofilin. The overexpression of S3D cofilin resulted in an almost complete inhibition of cell motility. The estimation of actin pool in the cytosol of LS180 cells expressing S3A cofilin has shown a significantly lower level of total actin in reference to control cells. The opposite effect was observed in LS180 cells overexpressing S3D cofilin. In summary, the results of our experiments indicate that phosphorylation “status” of cofilin is a factor affecting the actin cytoskeleton organization and migration abilities of colon adenocarcinoma LS180 cells.
Cofilin; Cell migration; ABPs; Actin cytoskeleton; Actin polymerization state
Although the biology the PLUNC (recently renamed BPI fold, BPIF) family of secreted proteins is poorly understood, multiple array based studies have suggested that some are differentially expressed in lung diseases. We have examined the expression of BPIFB1 (LPLUNC1), the prototypic two-domain containing family member, in lungs from CF patients and in mouse models of CF lung disease. BPIFB1 was localized in CF lung samples along with BPIFA1, MUC5AC, CD68 and NE and directly compared to histologically normal lung tissues and that of bacterial pneumonia. We generated novel antibodies to mouse BPIF proteins to conduct similar studies on ENaC transgenic (ENaC-Tg) mice, a model for CF-like lung disease. Small airways in CF demonstrated marked epithelial staining of BPIFB1 in goblet cells but staining was absent from alveolar regions. BPIFA1 and BPIFB1 were not co-localised in the diseased lungs. In ENaC-Tg mice there was strong staining of both proteins in the airways and luminal contents. This was most marked for BPIFB1 and was noted within 2 weeks of birth. The two proteins were present in distinct cells within epithelium. BPIFB1 was readily detected in BAL from ENaC-Tg mice but was absent from wild-type mice. Alterations in the expression of BPIF proteins is associated with CF lung disease in humans and mice. It is unclear if this elevation of protein production, which results from phenotypic alteration of the cells within the diseased epithelium, plays a role in the pathogenesis of the disease.
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The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00418-012-0990-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
BPIFB1; LPLUNC1; Airway; Immunohistochemistry; Cystic fibrosis; Mouse models
Mandibuloacral dysplasia type A (MADA) is a rare laminopathy characterized by growth retardation, craniofacial anomalies, bone resorption at specific sites including clavicles, phalanges and mandibula, mottled cutaneous pigmentation, skin rigidity, partial lipodystrophy, and insulin resistance. The disorder is caused by recessive mutations of the LMNA gene encoding for A-type lamins. The molecular feature of MADA consists in the accumulation of the unprocessed lamin A precursor, which is detected at the nuclear rim and in intranuclear aggregates. Here, we report the characterization of prelamin A post-translational modifications in MADA cells that induce alterations in the chromatin arrangement and dislocation of nuclear envelope-associated proteins involved in correct nucleo-cytoskeleton relationships. We show that protein post-translational modifications change depending on the passage number, suggesting the onset of a feedback mechanism. Moreover, we show that treatment of MADA cells with the farnesyltransferase inhibitors is effective in the recovery of the chromatin phenotype, altered in MADA, provided that the cells are at low passage number, while at high passage number, the treatment results ineffective. Moreover, the distribution of the lamin A interaction partner SUN2, a constituent of the nuclear envelope, is altered by MADA mutations, as argued by the formation of a highly disorganized lattice. Treatment with statins partially rescues proper SUN2 organization, indicating that its alteration is caused by farnesylated prelamin A accumulation. Given the major role of SUN1 and SUN2 in the nucleo-cytoskeleton interactions and in regulation of nuclear positioning in differentiating cells, we hypothesise that mechanisms regulating nuclear membrane–centrosome interplay and nuclear movement may be affected in MADA fibroblasts.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00418-012-0977-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Mandibuloacral dysplasia type A (MADA); Prelamin A forms; SUN2; Heterochromatin defects; Statins; Trichostatin A
Molecular chaperones localized at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lumen constitutively or cellular stress-dependently associate with a variety of proteins to promote their proper folding or to inhibit protein misfolding. ER chaperones preferentially form large complexes with co-chaperones and/or misfolded proteins in a highly crowded cellular environment that often hampers their detection by immunocytochemistry (ICC). This study establishes an antigen retrieval (AR) protocol to improve the ICC detection of ER chaperones in cultured cells using widely available antibodies against synthetic peptides. Among ten different antigen retrieval/fixation conditions, only the AR with Tris-HCl (pH 9.5) containing 6 M urea (80 °C for 10 min) significantly improved the ICC detection of the novel ER chaperone sigma-1 receptor (Sig-1R) in Chinese hamster ovary cells. Extended fixation with 4% paraformaldehyde for 1 hr effectively preserved the morphology of the ER under the AR condition. This method greatly enhanced the signal-to-noise ratio in Sig-1R ICC, thus allowing for semi-quantitative detection of protein upregulation under ER stress. The AR similarly improved the ICC detection of a series of other major ER chaperones, including BiP/GRP78, GRP94, calnexin, calreticulin, ERp57, protein disulfide isomerase, and cyclophilin B. The improved ICC methodology using the urea AR at 80°C may improve ICC of ER molecules as well as visualization of ER structure and substructures.
antigen retrieval; urea; molecular chaperone; endoplasmic reticulum; sigma-1 receptor; ER stress
One of the most important questions in cell biology concerns how cells reorganize after sensing polarity cues. In the present study, we describe the formation of an actin-rich domain on the apical surface of human primary endothelial cells adhering to the substrate and investigate its role in cell polarity. We used confocal immunofluorescence procedures to follow the redistribution of proteins required for endothelial cell polarity during spreading initiation. Activated Moesin, vascular endothelial cadherin and partitioning defective 3 were found to be localized in the apical domain, whereas podocalyxin and caveolin-1 were distributed along the microtubule cytoskeleton axis, oriented from the centrosome to the cortical actin-rich domain. Moreover, activated signaling molecules were localized in the core of the apical domain in tight association with filamentous actin. During cell attachment, loss of the apical domain by Moesin silencing or drug disruption of the actin cytoskeleton caused irregular cell spreading and mislocalization of polarity markers. In conclusion, our results suggest that the apical domain that forms during the spreading process is a structural organizer of cell polarity by regulating trafficking and activation of signaling proteins.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00418-012-0965-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Cell spreading; Moesin; VE-cadherin; Src; Cytoskeleton; Endothelial cell
The Slit glycoproteins and their Roundabout (Robo) receptors regulate migration and growth of many types of cells including human cancer cells. However, little is known about the expression and roles of Slit/Robo in human ovarian cancer. Herein, we examined the expression of Slit/Robo in human normal and malignant ovarian tissues and its potential participation in regulating migration and proliferation of human ovarian cancer cells using two ovarian cancer cell lines, OVCAR-3 and SKOV-3. We demonstrated that Slit2/3 and Robo1 were immunolocalized primarily in stromal cells in human normal ovaries and in cancer cells in many histotypes of ovarian cancer tissues. Protein expression of Slit2/3 and Robo1/4 was also identified in OVCAR-3 and SKOV-3 cells. However, recombinant human Slit2 did not significantly affect SKOV-3 cell migration, and OVCAR-3 and SKOV-3 cell proliferation. Slit2 also did not induce ERK1/2 and AKT1 phosphorylation in OVCAR-3 and SKOV-3 cells. The current findings indicate that three major members (Slit2/3 and Robo1) of Slit/Robo family are widely expressed in the human normal and malignant ovarian tissues and in OVCAR-3 and SKOV-3 cells. However, Slit/Robo signaling may not play an important role in regulating human ovarian cancer cell proliferation and migration.
Slit; Robo; Ovarian cancer; ERK1/2; AKT; Migration; Proliferation
The keratinocyte growth factor (KGF/FGF7), produced by stromal cells, is a key paracrine mediator of epithelial proliferation, differentiation and migration. Expression of the growth factor is increased in wound healing and in hyperproliferative epithelial diseases, as a consequence of the activation of dermal fibroblasts by the inflammatory microenvironment. The middle ear cholesteatoma, an aural epidermal pathology characterized by keratinocyte hyperproliferation and chronic inflammation, may represent a model condition to study the epithelial-mesenchymal interactions. To develop an in vitro model for this disease, we isolated and characterized human primary cultures of fibroblasts associated with the cholesteatoma lesion, analyzing their secretory behaviour and degree of differentiation or activation. Compared to the perilesional or control normal fibroblasts, all cultures derived from cholesteatoma tissues were less proliferating and more differentiated and their highly variable activated phenotype correlated with the secretion of KGF as well as of metalloproteases 2 and 9. Culture supernatants collected from the cholesteatoma-associated fibroblasts were able to increase the proliferation and differentiation of human keratinocytes assessed by the expression of Ki67 and keratin-1 markers. The single crucial contribution of the KGF released by fibroblasts on the keratinocyte biological response was shown by the specific, although partial, block induced by inhibiting the KGF receptor or by immunoneutralizing the growth factor. Altogether, these results suggest that the activation of the stromal fibroblasts present in the pathological tissue, and the consequent increased secretion of KGF, play a crucial role in the deregulation of the epidermal proliferation and differentiation.
Keratinocyte growth factor; Fibroblast growth factor; Cholesteatoma; Cultured human fibroblasts; Metalloproteases
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are key regulators of extracellular matrix remodeling, but have also important intracellular targets. The purpose of this study was to examine the activity and subcellular localization of the gelatinases MMP-2 and MMP-9 in skeletal muscle of control and physically trained rats. In control hind limb muscle, the activity of the gelatinases was barely detectable. In contrast, after 5 days of intense exercise, in Soleus (Sol), but not Extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle, significant upregulation of gelatinolytic activity in myofibers was observed mainly in the nuclei, as assessed by high resolution in situ zymography. The nuclei of quiescent satellite cells did not contain the activity. Within the myonuclei, the gelatinolytic activity colocalized with an activated RNA Polymerase II. Also in Sol, but not in EDL, there were few foci of mononuclear cells with strongly positive cytoplasm, associated with apparent necrotic myofibers. These cells were identified as activated satellite cells/myoblasts. No extracellular gelatinase activity was observed. Gel zymography combined with subcellular fractionation revealed training-related upregulation of active MMP-2 in the nuclear fraction, and increase of active MMP-9 in the cytoplasmic fraction of Sol. Using RT-PCR, selective increase in MMP-9 mRNA was observed. We conclude that training activates nuclear MMP-2, and increases expression and activity of cytoplasmic MMP-9 in Sol, but not in EDL. Our results suggest that the gelatinases are involved in muscle adaptation to training, and that MMP-2 may play a novel role in myonuclear functions.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00418-012-0940-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Matrix metalloproteinase; Exercise; Skeletal muscle; Rat; Cell nucleus; Satellite cells