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1.  Cigarette Smoke Targets Glutaredoxin 1, Increasing S-Glutathionylation and Epithelial Cell Death 
It is established that cigarette smoke (CS) causes irreversible oxidations in lung epithelial cells, and can lead to their death. However, its impact on reversible and physiologically relevant redox-dependent protein modifications remains to be investigated. Glutathione is an important antioxidant against inhaled reactive oxygen species as a direct scavenger, but it can also covalently bind protein thiols upon mild oxidative stress to protect them against irreversible oxidation. This posttranslational modification, known as S-glutathionylation, can be reversed under physiological conditions by the enzyme, glutaredoxin 1 (Grx1). The aim of this study was to investigate if CS modifies Grx1, and if this impacts on protein S-glutathionylation and epithelial cell death. Upon exposure of alveolar epithelial cells to CS extract (CSE), a decrease in Grx1 mRNA and protein expression was observed, in conjunction with decreased activity and increased protein S-glutathionylation. Using mass spectrometry, irreversible oxidation of recombinant Grx1 by CSE and acrolein was demonstrated, which was associated with attenuated enzyme activity. Furthermore, carbonylation of Grx1 in epithelial cells after exposure to CSE was shown. Overexpression of Grx1 attenuated CSE-induced increases in protein S-glutathionylation and increased survival. Conversely, primary tracheal epithelial cells of mice lacking Grx1 were more sensitive to CS-induced cell death, with corresponding increases in protein S-glutathionylation. These results show that CS can modulate Grx1, not only at the expression level, but can also directly modify Grx1 itself, decreasing its activity. These findings demonstrate a role for the Grx1/S-glutathionylation redox system in CS-induced lung epithelial cell death.
PMCID: PMC3262689  PMID: 21454804
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; cigarette smoke; cell death; glutaredoxin; protein S-glutathionylation
2.  Post-natal myogenic and adipogenic developmental 
Nucleus  2011;2(3):195-207.
A-type lamins are a major component of the nuclear lamina. Mutations in the LMNA gene, which encodes the A-type lamins A and C, cause a set of phenotypically diverse diseases collectively called laminopathies. While adult LMNA null mice show various symptoms typically associated with laminopathies, the effect of loss of lamin A/C on early post-natal development is poorly understood. Here we developed a novel LMNA null mouse (LMNAGT−/−) based on genetrap technology and analyzed its early post-natal development. We detect LMNA transcripts in heart, the outflow tract, dorsal aorta, liver and somites during early embryonic development. Loss of A-type lamins results in severe growth retardation and developmental defects of the heart, including impaired myocyte hypertrophy, skeletal muscle hypotrophy, decreased amounts of subcutaneous adipose tissue and impaired ex vivo adipogenic differentiation. These defects cause death at 2 to 3 weeks post partum associated with muscle weakness and metabolic complications, but without the occurrence of dilated cardiomyopathy or an obvious progeroid phenotype. Our results indicate that defective early post-natal development critically contributes to the disease phenotypes in adult laminopathies.
PMCID: PMC3149880  PMID: 21818413
laminopathies; lamin A; LMNA; knock-out mouse; cardiac hypertrophy; muscular dystrophy; differentiation

Results 1-2 (2)