We investigate the role of mitochondrial oxidative stress in mitochondrial proteome remodelling using mouse models of heart failure induced by pressure overload.
Methods and results
We demonstrate that mice overexpressing catalase targeted to mitochondria (mCAT) attenuate pressure overload-induced heart failure. An improved method of label-free unbiased analysis of the mitochondrial proteome was applied to the mouse model of heart failure induced by transverse aortic constriction (TAC). A total of 425 mitochondrial proteins were compared between wild-type and mCAT mice receiving TAC or sham surgery. The changes in the mitochondrial proteome in heart failure included decreased abundance of proteins involved in fatty acid metabolism, an increased abundance of proteins in glycolysis, apoptosis, mitochondrial unfolded protein response and proteolysis, transcription and translational control, and developmental processes as well as responses to stimuli. Overexpression of mCAT better preserved proteins involved in fatty acid metabolism and attenuated the increases in apoptotic and proteolytic enzymes. Interestingly, gene ontology analysis also showed that monosaccharide metabolic processes and protein folding/proteolysis were only overrepresented in mCAT but not in wild-type mice in response to TAC.
This is the first study to demonstrate that scavenging mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) by mCAT not only attenuates most of the mitochondrial proteome changes in heart failure, but also induces a subset of unique alterations. These changes represent processes that are adaptive to the increased work and metabolic requirements of pressure overload, but which are normally inhibited by overproduction of mitochondrial ROS.
Mitochondria; Oxidative stress; Proteome; Pressure overload; Cardiomyopathy
Lmna−/− mice display multiple tissue defects and die by 6–8 weeks of age reportedly from dilated cardiomyopathy with associated conduction defects. We sought to determine whether restoration of lamin A in cardiomyocytes improves cardiac function and extends the survival of Lmna−/− mice. We observed increased total desmin protein levels and disorganization of the cytoplasmic desmin network in ∼20% of Lmna−/− ventricular myocytes, rescued in a cell-autonomous manner in Lmna−/− mice expressing a cardiac-specific lamin A transgene (Lmna−/−; Tg). Lmna−/−; Tg mice displayed significantly increased contractility and preservation of myocardial performance compared to Lmna−/− mice. Lmna−/−; Tg mice attenuated ERK1/2 phosphorylation relative to Lmna−/− mice, potentially underlying the improved localization of connexin43 to the intercalated disc. Electrocardiographic recordings from Lmna−/− mice revealed arrhythmic events and increased frequency of PR interval prolongation, which is partially rescued in Lmna−/−; Tg mice. These findings support our observation that Lmna−/−; Tg mice have a 12% median extension in lifespan compared to Lmna−/− mice. While significant, Lmna−/−; Tg mice only have modest improvement in cardiac function and survival likely stemming from the observation that only 40% of Lmna−/−; Tg cardiomyocytes have detectable lamin A expression. Cardiomyocyte-specific restoration of lamin A in Lmna−/− mice improves heart-specific pathology and extends lifespan, demonstrating that the cardiac pathology of Lmna−/− mice limits survival. The expression of lamin A is sufficient to rescue certain cellular defects associated with loss of A-type lamins in cardiomyocytes in a cell-autonomous fashion.
Autophagy is characterized by recycling of cellular organelles and can be induced by several stimuli, including nutrient deprivation and oxidative stress. As a major site of free radical production during oxidative phosphorylation, mitochondria are believed to be primary targets of oxidative damage during stress. Our recent study demonstrated that angiotensin II increases cardiac mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, causes a decline of mitochondrial membrane potential in cardiomyocytes and increases cardiac mitochondrial protein oxidative damage and mitochondrial DNA deletions. The deleterious effects of angiotensin II on mitochondria are associated with an increase in autophagosomes and increased signaling of mitochondrial biogenesis, interpreted as an attempt to replenish the damaged mitochondria and restore energy production. Direct evidence for the central role of mitochondrial ROS was investigated by comparing the effect on mice overexpressing catalase targeted to mitochondria (mCAT) and mice overexpressing peroxisomal targeted catalase (pCAT, the natural site of catalase) challenged by angiotensin II or Gαq overexpression. The mCAT, but not pCAT, mice are resistant to cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis and mitochondrial damage, biogenesis and autophagy induced by angiotensin II, as well as heart failure induced by overexpression of Gαq.
mitochondria; autophagy; reactive oxygen species; catalase; angiotensin II; heart failure
Inflammation plays a role in the progression to cancer and it is linked to the presence of senescent cells. Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammatory disease that predisposes to colorectal cancer. Tumorigenesis in this setting is associated with telomere shortening that can be observed in the non-dysplastic epithelium of UC patients with high-grade dysplasia (HGD) or cancer (UC Progressors). We hypothesized that a pre-neoplastic field of inflammation, telomere shortening, and senescence underlies tumor progression in UC Progressors. Multiple biopsies of varying histological grade were collected along the colon of 9 UC Progressors and analyzed for telomere length, DNA damage, senescence, p53, p16, and chronic and acute inflammation. Twenty biopsies from 4 UC non- Progressors and 21 biopsies from control individuals without UC were also analyzed. Short telomeres and increased DNA damage, senescence, and infiltrating leukocytes were observed in biopsies located less than 10 cm from HGD or cancer. Low-grade dysplasia had the shortest telomeres along with the highest levels of senescence and infiltrating leukocytes, whereas HGD biopsies showed the opposite pattern. p16 and p53 expression was low in non-dysplastic biopsies, but progressively increased in LGD and HGD. Additionally, high levels of infiltrating leukocytes were associated with telomere shortening, senescence, and reduced p53 expression. These results suggest that dysplasia arises in a pre-neoplastic field of chronic inflammation which leads to telomere shortening, DNA damage, and senescence. Our findings argue that senescence acts as a tumor suppressor mechanism that is abrogated during the transition from LGD to HGD in ulcerative colitis.
ulcerative colitis; telomere length; inflammation; senescence; colon
Mitochondrial defects have been found in aging and several age-related diseases. Mice with a homozygous mutation in the exonuclease encoding domain of mitochondrial DNA polymerase gamma (Polgm/m) are prone to age-dependent accumulation of mitochondrial DNA mutations and have shown a broad spectrum of aging-like phenotypes. However, the mechanism of cardiac phenotypes in relation to the role of mitochondrial DNA mutations and oxidative stress in this mouse model has not been fully addressed. We demonstrate age-dependent cardiomyopathy in Polgm/m mice, which by 13-14 months of age displays marked cardiac hypertrophy and dilatation, impairment of systolic and diastolic function and increased cardiac fibrosis. This age-dependent cardiomyopathy is associated with increases in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) deletions and protein oxidative damage, increased expression of apoptotic and senescence markers, as well as a decline in signaling for mitochondrial biogenesis. The relationship of these changes to mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) was tested by crossing Polgm/m mice with mice that overexpress mitochondrial targeted catalase (mCAT). All of the above phenotypes were partially rescued in Polgm/m/mCAT mice. These data indicate that accumulation of mitochondrial DNA damage with age can lead to cardiomyopathy, and that this phenotype is partly mediated by mitochondrial oxidative stress.
mitochondria; mutation; aging; cardiomyopathy; oxidative stress
Barrett’s esophagus is a premalignant intermediate to esophageal adenocarcinoma, which develops in the context of chronic inflammation and exposure to bile and acid. We asked whether there might be common genomic alterations that could be identified as potential clinical biomarker(s) for Barrett’s esophagus by whole genome profiling. We detected copy number alterations and/or loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at fifty-six fragile sites in 20 patients with premalignant Barrett’s esophagus (BE). Chromosomal fragile sites are particularly sensitive to DNA breaks and have been shown to be frequent sites of rearrangement or loss in many human cancers. 78% of all genomic alterations detected by array-CGH were associated with fragile sites. Copy number losses in early BE were observed at particularly high frequency at FRA3B (81%), FRA9A/C (71.4%), FRA5E (52.4%) and FRA 4D (52.4%), and at lower frequencies in other fragile sites, including FRA1K (42.9%), FRAXC (42.9%), FRA 12B (33.3%) and FRA16D (33.3%). Due to the consistency of the region of copy number loss, we were able to verify these results by quantitative PCR which detected loss of FRA3B and FRA16D, in 83% and 40% of early molecular stage BE patients respectively. LOH in these cases was confirmed via pyrosequencing at FRA3B and FRA16D (75% and 70% respectively). Deletion and genomic instability at FRA3B and other fragile sites could thus be a biomarker of genetic damage in BE patients and a potential biomarker of cancer risk.
To determine whether the mean leukocyte telomere length (LTL) serves as a biomarker of disability assessed by Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and what factors may modify this relationship.
Retrospective cross-sectional study.
A subset of the National Long Term Care Survey (NTLCS), a Medicare-based U.S. population longitudinal study focused on trends of overall health and functional status in the elderly.
Six hundred and twenty four individuals from the 1999 wave of the NTLCS cohort.
Relative LTL determined by quantitative PCR. LTL has previously been shown to correlate with common age-related disorders and mortality, as well as with socioeconomical status.
We observed gender difference of LTL, but not age-dependent shortening or association with socio-economical status. Importantly, LTL was associated with disability and functional status assessed by ADL. The association between ADL and LTL was more significant among non-diabetic subjects, while associations were not seen when diabetic subjects only were analyzed. Associations of LTL with cardiovascular diseases and cancer were also present in the non-diabetic group, but not in the diabetic group.
Our findings support the concept that LTL is a biomarker of overall well-being that is predictive of disability of older individuals in the US population. Diabetes plays an important role as a modifier of the association of LTL with disability, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. These associations have obvious clinical implications due to the potential predictive value of LTL and deserve further investigation.
disability; telomere; aging; disease; human
Aging of the American society is leading to a growing need for disease-modifying interventions to treat age-related diseases and enhance healthspan. Mitochondria and mitochondrially-generated reactive oxygen species appear to play a central role in these processes and are a likely target for interventions. Conventional, untargeted antioxidants have not demonstrated a clear benefit in human studies. As a result, approaches have been developed to target antioxidants specifically to mitochondria. Studies have employed a wide array of targeted molecules including antioxidant enzymes such as catalase, peroxiredoxin, superoxide dismutases and small molecular compounds which recapitulate the antioxidant activities of these enzymes. Lifespan and healthspan effects differ between interventions suggesting varied roles for specific mitochondrial reactive oxygen species and their impact on usual aging. Consistent findings in myocardial protection across various interventions support a focus on the impact of cardiac aging on healthspan. The advancement of mitochondrially-targeted small molecule antioxidants suggests the prospect of swift translation to human use.
Mitochondria; antioxidants; drug targeting; healthspan
Approximately 10% of ulcerative colitis patients develop colorectal neoplasia. At present, identification of this subset is markedly limited and necessitates lifelong colonoscopic surveillance for the entire ulcerative colitis population. Better risk markers are needed to focus surveillance onto the patients most likely to benefit. Using array-based comparative genomic hybridization, we analyzed single, non-dysplastic biopsies from three patient groups: ulcerative colitis progressors (n=9) with cancer or high-grade dysplasia at a mean distance of 18 cm from the analyzed site; ulcerative colitis nonprogressors (n=8) without dysplasia during long-term surveillance; and non-ulcerative colitis normal controls (n=2). Genomic DNA from fresh colonic epithelium purified from stroma was hybridized to 287 (low-density) and 4,342 (higher-density) feature bacterial artificial chromosome arrays. Sample-to-reference fluorescence ratios were calculated for individual chromosomal targets and globally across the genome. The low-density arrays yielded pronounced genomic gains and losses in 3 of 9 (33%) ulcerative colitis progressors but in none of the 10 control patients. Identical DNA samples analyzed on the higher density arrays, using a combination of global and individual high variance assessments, distinguished all 9 progressors from all 10 controls. These data confirm that genomic alterations in ulcerative colitis progressors are widespread, even involving single non-dysplastic biopsies far distant from neoplasia. They therefore show promise toward eliminating full colonoscopic surveillance with extensive biopsy sampling in the majority of ulcerative colitis patients.
Ulcerative Colitis; Array Comparative Genomic Hybridization; Colonic Neoplasia
Aging-associated muscle insulin resistance has been hypothesized to be due to decreased mitochondrial function, secondary to cumulative free radical damage, leading to increased intramyocellular lipid content. To directly test this hypothesis we examined both in vivo and in vitro mitochondrial function, intramyocellular lipid content and insulin action in lean healthy mice with targeted overexpression of the human catalase gene to mitochondria (MCAT mice). Here we show that MCAT mice are protected from age-induced decrease in muscle mitochondrial function (~30%), energy metabolism (~7%) and lipid-induced muscle insulin resistance. This protection from age-induced reduction in mitochondrial function was associated with reduced mitochondrial oxidative damage, preserved mitochondrial respiration and muscle ATP synthesis and AMP-activated protein kinase-induced mitochondrial biogenesis. Taken together these data suggest that the preserved mitochondrial function maintained by reducing mitochondrial oxidative damage may prevent age-associated whole body energy imbalance and muscle insulin resistance.
Prostaglandins are important inflammatory mediators; PGE2 is the predominant prostaglandin in colorectal neoplasia and affects colorectal carcinogenesis. Prostaglandins are metabolites of omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; their biosynthesis is the primary target of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which reduce colorectal neoplasia risk.
We investigated candidate and tagSNPs in PGE2 synthase (PGES), PGE2 receptors (EP2 and EP4), and prostaglandin dehydrogenase (PGDH) in a case-control study of adenomas (n=483) vs. polyp-free controls (n=582) and examined interactions with NSAID use or fish intake, a source of omega-3 fatty acids.
A 30% adenoma risk reduction was observed for EP2 4950G>A (intron 1; ORGA/AA vs. GG: 0.71; 95% CI: 0.52-0.99). For the candidate polymorphism EP4 Val294Ile, increasing fish intake was associated with increased adenoma risk among those with variant genotypes, but not among those with the Val/Val genotype, (p-interaction=0.02). An interaction with fish intake was also observed for PGES -664A>T (5’UTR; p-interaction=0.01). Decreased risk with increasing fish intake was only seen among those with the AT or TT genotypes (OR>2 t/wk vs. <1 t/wk: 0.56; 95% CI: 0.28-1.13). We also detected interactions between NSAIDs and EP2 9814C>A (intron 1) and PGDH 343C>A (intron 1). However, none of the observed associations was statistically significant after adjustment for multiple testing. We investigated potential gene-gene interactions using the Chatterjee 1df Tukey test and logic regression; neither method detected significant interactions.
These data provide little support for associations between adenoma risk and genetic variability related to PGE2, yet suggest gene-environment interactions with anti-inflammatory exposures.
prostaglandins; colorectal cancer; colorectal polyps; NSAIDs; aspirin; fish; fat intake
Werner syndrome (WS) is a human autosomal recessive genetic instability and cancer predisposition syndrome with features of premature aging. Several genetically determined mouse models of WS have been generated, however none develops features of premature aging or an elevated risk of neoplasia unless additional genetic perturbations are introduced. In order to determine whether differences in cellular phenotype could explain the discrepant phenotypes of Wrn−/− mice and WRN-deficient humans, we compared the cellular phenotype of newly derived Wrn−/− mouse primary fibroblasts with previous analyses of primary and transformed fibroblasts from WS patients and with newly derived, WRN-depleted human primary fibroblasts. These analyses confirmed previously reported cellular phenotypes of WRN-mutant and WRN-deficient human fibroblasts, and demonstrated that the human WRN-deficient cellular phenotype can be detected in cells grown in 5% or in 20% oxygen. In contrast, we did not identify prominent cellular phenotypes present in WRN-deficient human cells in Wrn−/− mouse fibroblasts. Our results indicate that human and mouse fibroblasts have different functional requirements for WRN protein, and that the absence of a strong cellular phenotype may in part explain the failure of Wrn−/− mice to develop an organismal phenotype resembling Werner syndrome.
Age is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, not only because it prolongs exposure to several other cardiovascular risks, but also owing to intrinsic cardiac aging, which reduces cardiac functional reserve, predisposes the heart to stress and contributes to increased cardiovascular mortality in the elderly. Intrinsic cardiac aging in the murine model closely recapitulates age-related cardiac changes in humans, including left ventricular hypertrophy, fibrosis and diastolic dysfunction. Cardiac aging in mice is accompanied by accumulation of mitochondrial protein oxidation, increased mitochondrial DNA mutations, increased mitochondrial biogenesis, as well as decreased cardiac SERCA2 protein. All of these age-related changes are significantly attenuated in mice overexpressing catalase targeted to mitochondria (mCAT). These findings demonstrate the critical role of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cardiac aging and support the potential application of mitochondrial antioxidants to cardiac aging and age-related cardiovascular diseases.
Telomere shortening with age may lead to genomic instability and an increased risk of cancer. Given the role of the microenvironment in the pathophysiology of the myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), primarily a disease of older age, we determined telomere length in primary cultured marrow stroma cells using quantitative-fluorescence in situ hybridization (q-FISH) and quantitative-PCR (q-PCR). qFISH showed comparable rates of decrease in telomere length with age in MDS patients and age-matched healthy controls. Telomere length assessment by qPCR showed similar results. These findings suggest a lack of significant differences between MDS patients and healthy controls in terms of telomere stability in marrow stroma in contrast to that observed in hematopoietic cells. In conclusion, this demonstrates that although MDS stroma cells and hematopoietic cells share the same microenvironment, the stromal cells do not share the processes that contribute to accelerated telomere attrition, suggesting that stromal cell proliferative potential is not limiting in MDS.
marrow stroma; telomere; stroma; qFITC
Age is a major risk for cardiovascular diseases. Although mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been proposed as one of the causes of aging, their role in cardiac aging remains unclear. We have previously shown that overexpression of catalase targeted to mitochondria (mCAT) prolongs murine median lifespan by 17-21%.
Methods and Results:
We used echocardiography to study cardiac function in aging cohorts of wild type (WT) and mCAT mice. Changes found in WT mice recapitulate human aging: age-dependent increases in left ventricular mass index (LVMI) and left atrial dimension, worsening of the myocardial performance index (MPI), and a decline in diastolic function. Cardiac aging in mice is accompanied by accumulation of mitochondrial protein oxidation, increased mitochondrial DNA mutations and deletions and mitochondrial biogenesis, increased ventricular fibrosis, enlarged myocardial fiber size, decreased cardiac SERCA2 protein and activation of the calcineurin-NFAT pathway. All of these age-related changes were significantly attenuated in mCAT mice. Analysis of survival of 130 mice demonstrated that echocardiographic cardiac aging risk scores were significant predictors of mortality. The estimated attributable risk to mortality for these two parameters was 55%.
This study shows that cardiac aging in the mouse closely recapitulates human aging and demonstrates the critical role of mitochondrial ROS in cardiac aging and the impact of cardiac aging on survival. These findings also support the potential application of mitochondrial antioxidants in ROS-related cardiovascular diseases.
aging; diastole; mitochondria; oxidant stress; survival
Oxidative and nitrosative damage are major contributors to cone cell death in retinitis pigmentosa (RP). In this study, we explored the effects of augmenting components of the endogenous antioxidant defense system in models of RP, rd1 and rd10 mice. Unexpectedly, over-expression of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) in rd1 mice increased oxidative damage and accelerated cone cell death. With an elaborate mating scheme, genetically engineered rd10 mice with inducible expression of SOD2, Catalase, or both in photoreceptor mitochondria were generated. Littermates with the same genetic background that did not have increased expression of SOD2 nor Catalase provided ideal controls. Co-expression of SOD2 and Catalase, but not either alone, significantly reduced oxidative damage in the retinas of postnatal day (P) 50 rd10 mice as measured by protein carbonyl content. Cone density was significantly greater in P50 rd10 mice with co-expression of SOD2 and Catalase than rd10 mice that expressed neither, or SOD2 or Catalase alone. Co-expression of SOD2 and Catalase in rd10 mice did not slow rod cell death. These data support the concept of bolstering the endogenous antioxidant defense system as a gene-based treatment strategy for RP, but also indicate that co-expression of multiple components may be needed.
antioxidants; apoptosis; photoreceptors; reactive oxygen species; retina; retinal dystrophies
Patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) have an increased risk for developing colorectal cancer. Because UC tumorigenesis is associated with genomic field defects that can extend throughout the entire colon, including the non-dysplastic mucosa; we hypothesized that the same field defect will include abnormally expressed proteins. Here we applied proteomics to study the protein expression of UC neoplastic progression. The protein profiles of colonic epithelium were compared from 1) UC patients without dysplasia (non-progressors); 2) none-dysplastic colonic tissue from UC patient with high-grade dysplasia or cancer (progressors); 3) high-grade dysplastic tissue from UC progressors and 4) normal colon. We identified protein differential expression associated with UC neoplastic progression. Proteins relating to mitochondria, oxidative activity, calcium-binding proteins were some of interesting classes of these proteins. Network analysis discovered that Sp1 and c-myc proteins may play roles in UC early and late stages of neoplastic progression, respectively. Two over-expressed proteins in the non-dysplastic tissue of UC progressors, CPS1 and S100P, were further confirmed by IHC analysis. Our study provides insight into the molecular events associated with UC neoplastic progression, which could be exploited for the development of protein biomarkers in fields of non-dysplastic mucosa that identify a patient’s risk for UC dysplasia.
biomarker; cancer; dysplasia; neoplastic progression; ulcerative colitis
This work introduces, for the first time, simultaneous monitoring of fluorescence and absorbance using Bead Injection in a Lab-on-valve format. The aim of the paper is to show that when the target species, cells immobilized on a stationary phase, are exposed to reagents under well-controlled reaction conditions, dual monitoring yields valuable information. The applicability of this technique is demonstrated by the development of a Bead Injection method for automated measurement of cell density and intracellular hydrogen peroxide.
Elevated cellular proliferation and cell cycle abnormalities, which have been associated with premalignant lesions, may be caused by inactivation of tumor suppressor genes. We measured proliferative and cell cycle fractions of biopsies from a cohort of patients with Barrett’s esophagus to better understand the role of proliferation in early neoplastic progression and the association between cell cycle dysregulation and tumor suppressor gene inactivation.
Cell proliferative fractions (determined by Ki67/DNA multiparameter flow cytometry) and cell cycle fractions (DNA content flow cytometry) were measured in 853 diploid biopsies from 362 patients with Barrett’s esophagus. The inactivation status of CDKN2A and TP53 was assessed in a subset of these biopsies in a cross-sectional study. A prospective study followed 276 of the patients without detectable aneuploidy for an average of 6.3 years with esophageal adenocarcinoma as an endpoint.
Diploid S and 4N (G2/tetraploid) fractions were significantly higher in biopsies with TP53 mutation and LOH. CDKN2A inactivation was not associated with higher Ki67-positive, diploid S, G1, or 4N fractions. High Ki67-positive and G1 phase fractions were not associated with the future development of esophageal adenocarcinoma (p=0.13 and p=0.15, respectively), while high diploid S phase and 4N fractions were (p=0.03 and p<0.0001, respectively).
High Ki67-positive proliferative fractions were not associated with inactivation of CDKN2A and TP53 or future development of cancer in our cohort of patients with Barrett’s esophagus. Bi-allelic inactivation of TP53 was associated with elevated 4N fractions, which have been associated with the future development of esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Barrett’s esophagus; esophageal adenocarcinoma; cell cycle; p16; p53
The cyclic adenosine monophosphate–dependent protein kinase A (PKA) pathway helps regulate both cell growth and division, and triglyceride storage and metabolism in response to nutrient status. Studies in yeast show that disruption of this pathway promotes longevity in a manner similar to caloric restriction. Because PKA is highly conserved, it can be studied in mammalian systems. This report describes the metabolic phenotype of mice lacking the PKA catalytic subunit Cβ. We confirmed that Cβ has high levels of expression in the brain but also showed moderate levels in liver. Cβ-null animals had reduced basal PKA activity while appearing overtly normal when fed standard rodent chow. However, the absence of Cβ protected mice from diet-induced obesity, steatosis, dyslipoproteinemia, and insulin resistance, without any differences in caloric intake or locomotor activity. These findings have relevant pharmacological implications because aging in mammals is characterized by metabolic decline associated with obesity, altered body fat distribution, and insulin resistance.
Aging; PKA Cβ; Metabolic syndrome; Obesity resistance; Insulin sensitivity
Oxidative stress is thought to compromise muscle contractility. However, administration of generic antioxidants has failed to convincingly improve performance during exhaustive exercise. One possible explanation may relate to the inability of the supplemented antioxidants to effectively eliminate excessive free radicals at the site of generation. Here, we tested whether delivering catalase to the mitochondria, a site of free radical production in contracting muscle, could improve treadmill performance in C57Bl/6 mice. Recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype-9 (AV.RSV.MCAT) was generated to express a mitochondria-targeted catalase gene. AV.RSV.MCAT was delivered to newborn C57Bl/6 mouse circulation at the dose of 1012 vector genome particles per mouse. Three months later, we observed a ∼2 to 10-fold increase of catalase protein and activity in skeletal muscle and the heart. Subcellular fractionation western blot and double immunofluorescence staining confirmed ectopic catalase expression in the mitochondria. Compared with untreated control mice, absolute running distance and body weight normalized running distance were significantly improved in AV.RSV.MCAT infected mice during exhaustive treadmill running. Interestingly, ex vivo contractility of the extensor digitorum longus muscle was not altered. Taken together, we have demonstrated that forced catalase expression in the mitochondria enhances exercise performance. Our result provides a framework for further elucidating the underlying mechanism. It also raises the hope of applying similar strategies to remove excessive, pathogenic free radicals in certain muscle diseases (such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy) and ameliorate muscle disease.
Background & Aims
Telomere shortening is implicated in cancer and aging, and might link these two biological events. We explored this hypothesis in ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory disease that predisposes to colorectal cancer and where shorter telomeres have been associated with chromosomal instability and tumor progression.
Telomere length was measured by quantitative PCR in colonocytes and leukocytes of two different sets of ulcerative colitis patients, and compared with normal controls across a wide range of ages. For a subset of patients, telomere length was measured in epithelium and stroma of right and left colon biopsies. A third set of biopsies was analyzed for phosphorylation of histone H2AX (γH2AX), a DNA damage signal, by immunofluorescence, and for telomere length by quantitative FISH. Relationships between telomere length, γH2AX intensity, age, disease duration, and age of disease onset were explored.
Colonocyte telomeres shorten with age almost twice as rapidly in ulcerative colitis patients as in normal controls. This extensive shortening occurs within approximately eight years of disease duration. Leukocyte telomeres are slightly shorter in ulcerative colitis patients than in controls, but telomeres of colon stromal cells are unaffected. γH2AX intensity is higher in colonocytes of ulcerative colitis patients than in controls and is not dependent on age or telomere length.
Colonocytes of ulcerative colitis patients show premature shortening of telomeres, which might explain the increased and earlier risk of cancer in this disease. Shorter leukocyte telomeres and increased γH2AX in colonocytes might reflect oxidative damage secondary to inflammation.
ulcerative colitis; telomere length; γH2AX; colon; age