Many different genes or mediators have been implicated in promoting the development of vasculitis, although little is known regarding the mechanisms that normally act to suppress lesion formation. eNOS (NOS3) has been shown to inhibit vascular inflammation in many different model systems, but its roles in the pathogenesis of vasculitis have not been elucidated. The aim of this study was to determine the functions of eNOS in the initiation and progression of vasculitic lesion formation.
Nos3 mutant MRL/MpJ-Faslpr mice were generated and comprehensively evaluated and compared to controls for the development of autoimmune disease, including vasculitic lesion formation and glomerulonephritis.
Nos3−/− MRL/MpJ-Faslpr mice had accelerated onset and increased incidence of renal vasculitis compared to Nos3+/+ controls. In contrast, no significant differences in severity of glomerulonephritis were observed between groups. Vasculitis was also observed in eNOS deficient mice in other organs, including increased expression in the lung. Ultrastructural analyses of renal lesions revealed the presence of electron dense deposits in affected arteries, while IgG, IgA, and C3 deposition was observed in some vessels in Nos3−/− kidneys. In addition, eNOS deficient mice showed increased levels of circulating IgG-IgA immune complexes at 20 weeks of age compared to Nos3+/+ MRL/MpJ-Faslpr and Nos3−/− C57BL/6 mice.
These findings strongly indicate that eNOS serves as a negative regulator of vasculitis in MRL/MpJ-Faslpr mice, and further suggest that NO produced by this enzyme may be critical for inhibiting lesion formation and vascular damage in human vasculitic diseases.
We recently demonstrated the circadian clock modulated water dynamics in the roots of a small model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, by the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) microimaging technique. Our developed technique was able to visualize the water distribution that depended on differences in the 1H signal among region in the shoot, such as the shoot apex, the hypocotyl and the root shoot junction. Water content in the shoot increased during periods of light in comparison with dark periods, and continued through the early stage of seedling growth until the dark period. When the water content changed, elongation and/or movement occurred in the hypocotyl, and these events were synchronized. The water dynamics of the shoot also displayed an opposite phase with the root water dynamics.
Arabidopsis thaliana; 1H-NMR imaging; NMR microimaging; circadian regulation; water dynamics
Aberrancies in IgA1 glycosylation have been linked to the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy (IgAN), a kidney disease characterized by deposits of IgA1-containing immune complexes in the glomerular mesangium. IgA1 from IgAN patients is characterized by the presence of galactose (Gal)-deficient O-glycans in the hinge region that can act as epitopes for anti-glycan IgG or IgA1 antibodies. The resulting circulating immune complexes are trapped in the glomerular mesangium of the kidney where they trigger localized inflammatory responses by activating mesangial cells. Certain lectins recognize the terminal N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc)-containing O-glycans on Gal-deficient IgA1 and can be potentially used as diagnostic tools. To better understand GalNAc recognition by these lectins, we have carried out binding studies to assess the interaction of Helix aspersa agglutinin (HAA) and Helix pomatia agglutinin (HPA) with Gal-deficient IgA1. Surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy revealed that both HAA and HPA bind to a Gal-deficient synthetic hinge-region glycopeptide (HR-GalNAc) as well as various aberrantly glycosylated IgA1 myeloma proteins. Despite having six binding sites, both HAA and HPA bind IgA1 in a functionally bivalent manner, with the apparent affinity for IgA1 related to the number of exposed GalNAc groups in the IgA1 hinge. Finally, HAA and HPA were shown to discriminate very effectively between the IgA1 secreted by cell lines derived from peripheral blood cells of patients with IgAN and of healthy controls. These studies provide insight into lectin recognition of the Gal-deficient IgA1 hinge region and lay the groundwork for the development of reliable diagnostic tools for IgAN.
IgA nephropathy; lectin; GalNAc; IgA1 hinge; glycosylation; binding affinity; surface plasmon resonance; analytical ultracentrifugation
Background. Circulating immune complexes (CIC) containing galactose (Gal)-deficient IgA1 from adults with IgA nephropathy (IgAN) induce proliferation of cultured mesangial cells, but activities of CIC from pediatric patients with the disease have not been studied.
Methods. CIC of different sizes were isolated from sera of pediatric and adult IgAN patients and their effects on cultured human mesangial cells (MC) were assessed by measuring cellular proliferation, expression of IL-6 and IL-8 and laminin and phosphotyrosine signaling.
Results. Large CIC from pediatric IgAN patients (>800 kDa) containing Gal-deficient IgA1 stimulated cellular proliferation, whereas in some patients, smaller CIC were inhibitory. Addition of stimulatory and inhibitory CIC to MC differentially altered phosphorylation patterns of three major tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins of molecular mass 37, 60 and 115 kDa. The stimulatory CIC transiently increased tyrosine-phosphorylation of the 37-kDa protein and decreased phosphorylation of the other two proteins, whereas the inhibitory CIC increased phosphorylation of all three proteins. Furthermore, we investigated the influence of IgA1-containing CIC from sera of children with IgAN with clinically active disease (i.e., abnormal urinalysis and/or serum creatinine concentration) or inactive disease (i.e., normal urinalysis and serum creatinine concentration) on the expression of IL-6 and IL-8 genes by mesangial cells. Real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction results showed that the CIC from a patient with active disease stimulated MC to express the two cytokine genes at higher levels than did the CIC from a patient with inactive disease. Moreover, stimulatory CIC increased production of the extracellular matrix protein laminin.
Conclusion. These data indicate that sera of pediatric IgAN patients contain biologically active CIC with Gal-deficient IgA1.
autoimmunity; circulating immune complexes; glycosylation; immunoglobulin; O-linked glycans
Cellobiose dehydrogenase (CDH) gene transcripts were quantified by reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) in cultures of Phanerochaete chrysosporium supplemented with various cello- and xylooligosaccharides in order to elucidate the mechanism of enhanced CDH production in xylan/cellulose culture. Cellotriose and cellotetraose induced cdh expression, while xylobiose and xylotriose induced expression of cellobiohydrolase genes, especially cel7C.
Softwood is the predominant form of land plant biomass in the Northern hemisphere, and is among the most recalcitrant biomass resources to bioprocess technologies. The white rot fungus, Phanerochaete carnosa, has been isolated almost exclusively from softwoods, while most other known white-rot species, including Phanerochaete chrysosporium, were mainly isolated from hardwoods. Accordingly, it is anticipated that P. carnosa encodes a distinct set of enzymes and proteins that promote softwood decomposition. To elucidate the genetic basis of softwood bioconversion by a white-rot fungus, the present study reports the P. carnosa genome sequence and its comparative analysis with the previously reported P. chrysosporium genome.
P. carnosa encodes a complete set of lignocellulose-active enzymes. Comparative genomic analysis revealed that P. carnosa is enriched with genes encoding manganese peroxidase, and that the most divergent glycoside hydrolase families were predicted to encode hemicellulases and glycoprotein degrading enzymes. Most remarkably, P. carnosa possesses one of the largest P450 contingents (266 P450s) among the sequenced and annotated wood-rotting basidiomycetes, nearly double that of P. chrysosporium. Along with metabolic pathway modeling, comparative growth studies on model compounds and chemical analyses of decomposed wood components showed greater tolerance of P. carnosa to various substrates including coniferous heartwood.
The P. carnosa genome is enriched with genes that encode P450 monooxygenases that can participate in extractives degradation, and manganese peroxidases involved in lignin degradation. The significant expansion of P450s in P. carnosa, along with differences in carbohydrate- and lignin-degrading enzymes, could be correlated to the utilization of heartwood and sapwood preparations from both coniferous and hardwood species.
Phanerochaete carnosa; Comparative genomics; Phanerochaete chrysosporium; Softwood degradation
IgA nephropathy (IgAN), major cause of kidney failure worldwide, is common in Asians, moderately prevalent in Europeans, and rare in Africans. It is not known if these differences represent variation in genes, environment, or ascertainment. In a recent GWAS, we localized five IgAN susceptibility loci on Chr.6p21 (HLA-DQB1/DRB1, PSMB9/TAP1, and DPA1/DPB2 loci), Chr.1q32 (CFHR3/R1 locus), and Chr.22q12 (HORMAD2 locus). These IgAN loci are associated with risk of other immune-mediated disorders such as type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or inflammatory bowel disease. We tested association of these loci in eight new independent cohorts of Asian, European, and African-American ancestry (N = 4,789), followed by meta-analysis with risk-score modeling in 12 cohorts (N = 10,755) and geospatial analysis in 85 world populations. Four susceptibility loci robustly replicated and all five loci were genome-wide significant in the combined cohort (P = 5×10−32–3×10−10), with heterogeneity detected only at the PSMB9/TAP1 locus (I2 = 0.60). Conditional analyses identified two new independent risk alleles within the HLA-DQB1/DRB1 locus, defining multiple risk and protective haplotypes within this interval. We also detected a significant genetic interaction, whereby the odds ratio for the HORMAD2 protective allele was reversed in homozygotes for a CFHR3/R1 deletion (P = 2.5×10−4). A seven–SNP genetic risk score, which explained 4.7% of overall IgAN risk, increased sharply with Eastward and Northward distance from Africa (r = 0.30, P = 3×10−128). This model paralleled the known East–West gradient in disease risk. Moreover, the prediction of a South–North axis was confirmed by registry data showing that the prevalence of IgAN–attributable kidney failure is increased in Northern Europe, similar to multiple sclerosis and type I diabetes. Variation at IgAN susceptibility loci correlates with differences in disease prevalence among world populations. These findings inform genetic, biological, and epidemiological investigations of IgAN and permit cross-comparison with other complex traits that share genetic risk loci and geographic patterns with IgAN.
IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is the most common cause of kidney failure in Asia, has lower prevalence in Europe, and is very infrequent among populations of African ancestry. A long-standing question in the field is whether these differences represent variation in genes, environment, or ascertainment. In a recent genome-wide association study of 5,966 individuals, we identified five susceptibility loci for this trait. In this paper, we study the largest IgAN case-control cohort reported to date, composed of 10,775 individuals of European, Asian, and African-American ancestry. We confirm that all five loci are significant contributors to disease risk across this multi-ethnic cohort. In addition, we identify two novel independent susceptibility alleles within the HLA-DQB1/DRB1 locus and a new genetic interaction between loci on Chr.1p36 and Chr.22q22. We develop a seven–SNP genetic risk score that explains nearly 5% of variation in disease risk. In geospatial analysis of 85 world populations, the genetic risk score closely parallels worldwide patterns of disease prevalence. The genetic risk score also predicts an unsuspected Northward risk gradient in Europe. This genetic prediction is verified by examination of registry data demonstrating, similarly to other immune-mediated diseases such as multiple sclerosis and type I diabetes, a previously unrecognized increase in IgAN–attributable kidney failure in Northern European countries.
Transcripts of the human tumor susceptibility gene 101 (TSG101) are aberrantly spliced in many cancers. A major aberrant splicing event on the TSG101 pre-mRNA involves joining of distant alternative 5′ and 3′ splice sites within exon 2 and exon 9, respectively, resulting in the extensive elimination of the mRNA. The estimated strengths of the alternative splice sites are much lower than those of authentic splice sites. We observed that the equivalent aberrant mRNA could be generated from an intron-less TSG101 gene expressed ectopically in breast cancer cells. Remarkably, we identified a pathway-specific endogenous lariat RNA consisting solely of exonic sequences, predicted to be generated by a re-splicing between exon 2 and exon 9 on the spliced mRNA. Our results provide evidence for a two-step splicing pathway in which the initial constitutive splicing removes all 14 authentic splice sites, thereby bringing the weak alternative splice sites into close proximity. We also demonstrate that aberrant multiple-exon skipping of the fragile histidine triad (FHIT) pre-mRNA in cancer cells occurs via re-splicing of spliced FHIT mRNA. The re-splicing of mature mRNA can potentially generate mutation-independent diversity in cancer transcriptomes. Conversely, a mechanism may exist in normal cells to prevent potentially deleterious mRNA re-splicing events.
CELF/Bruno-like proteins play multiple roles, including the regulation of alternative splicing and translation. These RNA-binding proteins contain two RNA recognition motif (RRM) domains at the N-terminus and another RRM at the C-terminus. CUGBP2 is a member of this family of proteins that possesses several alternatively spliced exons.
The present study investigated the expression of exon 14, which is an alternatively spliced exon and encodes the first half of the third RRM of CUGBP2. The ratio of exon 14 skipping product (R3δ) to its inclusion was reduced in neuronal cells induced from P19 cells and in the brain. Although full length CUGBP2 and the CUGBP2 R3δ isoforms showed a similar effect on the inclusion of the smooth muscle (SM) exon of the ACTN1 gene, these isoforms showed an opposite effect on the skipping of exon 11 in the insulin receptor gene. In addition, examination of structural changes in these isoforms by molecular dynamics simulation and NMR spectrometry suggested that the third RRM of R3δ isoform was flexible and did not form an RRM structure.
Our results suggest that CUGBP2 regulates the splicing of ACTN1 and insulin receptor by different mechanisms. Alternative splicing of CUGBP2 exon 14 contributes to the regulation of the splicing of the insulin receptor. The present findings specifically show how alternative splicing events that result in three-dimensional structural changes in CUGBP2 can lead to changes in its biological activity.
The Black Rat (Rattus rattus) spread out of Asia to become one of the world's worst agricultural and urban pests, and a reservoir or vector of numerous zoonotic diseases, including the devastating plague. Despite the global scale and inestimable cost of their impacts on both human livelihoods and natural ecosystems, little is known of the global genetic diversity of Black Rats, the timing and directions of their historical dispersals, and the risks associated with contemporary movements. We surveyed mitochondrial DNA of Black Rats collected across their global range as a first step towards obtaining an historical genetic perspective on this socioeconomically important group of rodents. We found a strong phylogeographic pattern with well-differentiated lineages of Black Rats native to South Asia, the Himalayan region, southern Indochina, and northern Indochina to East Asia, and a diversification that probably commenced in the early Middle Pleistocene. We also identified two other currently recognised species of Rattus as potential derivatives of a paraphyletic R. rattus. Three of the four phylogenetic lineage units within R. rattus show clear genetic signatures of major population expansion in prehistoric times, and the distribution of particular haplogroups mirrors archaeologically and historically documented patterns of human dispersal and trade. Commensalism clearly arose multiple times in R. rattus and in widely separated geographic regions, and this may account for apparent regionalism in their associated pathogens. Our findings represent an important step towards deeper understanding the complex and influential relationship that has developed between Black Rats and humans, and invite a thorough re-examination of host-pathogen associations among Black Rats.
Although impaired immune regulation along the mucosa-bone marrow axis has been postulated to play an important role, the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is unknown; thus, no disease-specific therapy for this disease exists. The therapeutic efficacy of tonsillectomy or tonsillectomy in combination with steroid pulse therapy for IgAN has been discussed. Although randomized control trials for these therapies are ongoing in Japan, the scientific rationale for these therapies remains obscure. It is now widely accepted that abnormally glycosylated IgA1 and its related immune complex (IC) are probably key molecules for the pathogenesis, and are thus considered possible noninvasive biomarkers for this disease. Emerging evidence indicates that B cells in mucosal infections, particularly in tonsillitis, may produce the nephritogenic IgA. In this paper, we briefly summarize characteristics of the nephritogenic IgA/IgA IC, responsible B cells, and underlying mechanisms. This clinical and experimental information may provide important clues for a therapeutic rationale.
Although pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is still obscure, pathological contribution of mucosal immunity including production of nephritogenic IgA and IgA immune complex (IC) has been discussed. We have reported that mucosal toll-like receptor (TLR)-9 is involved in the pathogenesis of human and murine IgAN. However, cell-type expressing TLR9 in mucosa remains unclear. To address this, we nasally challenged cell-specific CpG DNA ((i): dendritic cell: (DC), (ii): B cell, (iii): both), known as ligand for TLR9, to IgAN prone mice and analyzed disease phenotype of each group. After 8 times of the weekly administration, every group showed deterioration of glomerular damage. However, CpG-A-group showed clear extension of mesangial proliferative lesions with increase of serum IgA-IgG2a IC and its glomerular depositions, while CpG-B-group showed extent of glomerular sclerotic lesions with increase of serum and glomerular IgA and M2 macrophage infiltration. Present results indicate that mucosal TLR9 on B cells and DC may differently contribute to the progression of this disease via induction of nephritogenic IgA or IgA-IgG IC, respectively. This picture is suggestive for the pathological difference between child and adult IgAN.
We report the development of IgA nephropathy (IgAN) following full myeloablative allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in two patients with human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matched sibling donors, unrelated to active or chronic graft-versus-host disease. Both recipients had elevated urinary levels of galactose-deficient IgA1, and one donor–recipient pair had elevated serum levels of galactose-deficient IgA1. We propose that IgAN developed after bone marrow transplantation due to a non-graft-versus-host-disease-related multi-hit process associated with glomerular deposition of galactose-deficient IgA1. These two cases provide unique insight into the kinetics of overproduction of galactose-deficient IgA1 and its glomerular deposition and consequential renal injury in IgAN.
bone marrow transplantation; galactose-deficient IgA1; hematopoietic cell transplantation; IgA nephropathy
Urine proteomics is emerging as a powerful tool for biomarker discovery. The purpose of this study is the development of a well characterized “real life” sample that can be used as reference standard in urine clinical proteomics studies.
We report on the generation of male and female urine samples that are extensively characterized by different platforms and methods (CE-MS, LC-MS, LC-MS/MS, GeLC-MS, and 2DE-MS) for their proteome and peptidome. In several cases analysis involved a definition of the actual biochemical entities, i.e. proteins/peptides associated with molecular mass and detected posttranslational modifications and the relative abundance of these compounds.
The combination of different technologies allowed coverage of a wide mass range revealing the advantages and complementarities of the different technologies. Application of these samples in “inter-laboratory” and “inter-platform” data comparison is also demonstrated.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance
These well characterized urine samples are freely available upon request to enable data comparison especially in the context of biomarker discovery and validation studies. It is also expected that they will provide the basis for the comprehensive characterization of the urinary proteome.
clinical proteomics; proteome; standard; urine
We have generated rats bearing an oxytocin (OXT)-enhanced cyan fluorescent protein (eCFP) fusion transgene designed from a murine construct previously shown to be faithfully expressed in transgenic mice. In situ hybridisation histochemistry revealed that the OXT-eCFP fusion gene was expressed in the supraoptic (SON) and the paraventricular nuclei (PVN) in these rats. The fluorescence emanating from eCFP was observed only in the SON, the PVN, the internal layer of the median eminence (ME) and the posterior pituitary (PP). In in vitro preparations, freshly dissociated cells from the SON and axon terminals showed clear eCFP fluorescence. Immunohistochemistry for OXT and arginine vasopressin (AVP) revealed that the eCFP fluorescence co-localises with OXT-immunofluorescence, but not with AVP-immunofluorescence in the SON and the PVN. Although the expression levels of the OXT-eCFP fusion gene in the SON and the PVN showed a wide range of variation in transgenic rats, eCFP fluorescence was markedly increased in the SON and the PVN, but decreased in the PP after chronic salt loading. The expression of the OXT gene was significantly increased in the SON and the PVN after chronic salt loading in both non-transgenic and transgenic rats. Compared to wild-type animals, euhydrated and salt-loaded male and female transgenic rats showed no significant differences in plasma osmolality, sodium concentration, OXT and AVP levels, suggesting that the fusion gene expression did not disturb any physiological processes. These results suggest that our new transgenic rat is a valuable new tool to identify OXT-producing neurones and their terminals.
hypothalamus; neuropeptides; neurohypophysis; oxytocin; vasopressin; osmolarity; salt loading; transgenic rats; fluorescent proteins; CFP
The wood decay basidiomycete Phanerochaete chrysosporium produces a variety of cellobiohydrolases belonging to glycoside hydrolase (GH) families 6 and 7 in the presence of cellulose. However, no inducer of the production of these enzymes has yet been identified. Here, we quantitatively compared the transcript levels of the genes encoding GH family 6 cellobiohydrolase (cel6A) and GH family 7 cellobiohydrolase isozymes (cel7A to cel7F/G) in cultures containing glucose, cellulose, and cellooligosaccharides by real-time quantitative PCR, in order to evaluate the transcription-inducing effect of soluble sugars. Upregulation of transcript levels in the presence of cellulose compared to glucose was observed for cel7B, cel7C, cel7D, cel7F/G, and cel6A at all time points during cultivation. In particular, the transcription of cel7C and cel7D was strongly induced by cellotriose or cellotetraose. The highest level of cel7C transcripts was observed in the presence of cellotetraose, whereas the highest level of cel7D transcripts was found in the presence of cellotriose, amounting to 2.7 × 106 and 1.7 × 106 copies per 105 actin gene transcripts, respectively. These numbers of cel7C and cel7D transcripts were higher than those in the presence of cellulose. In contrast, cellobiose had a weaker transcription-inducing effect than either cellotriose or cellotetraose for cel7C and had little effect in the case of cel7D. These results indicate that cellotriose and cellotetraose, but not cellobiose, are possible natural cellobiohydrolase gene transcription inducers derived from cellulose.
Alternative splicing, which produces multiple mRNAs from a single gene, occurs in most human genes and contributes to protein diversity. Many alternative isoforms are expressed in a spatio-temporal manner, and function in diverse processes, including in the neural system.
The purpose of the present study was to comprehensively investigate neural-splicing using P19 cells. GeneChip Exon Array analysis was performed using total RNAs purified from cells during neuronal cell differentiation. To efficiently and readily extract the alternative exon candidates, 9 filtering conditions were prepared, yielding 262 candidate exons (236 genes). Semiquantitative RT-PCR results in 30 randomly selected candidates suggested that 87% of the candidates were differentially alternatively spliced in neuronal cells compared to undifferentiated cells. Gene ontology and pathway analyses suggested that many of the candidate genes were associated with neural events. Together with 66 genes whose functions in neural cells or organs were reported previously, 47 candidate genes were found to be linked to 189 events in the gene-level profile of neural differentiation. By text-mining for the alternative isoform, distinct functions of the isoforms of 9 candidate genes indicated by the result of Exon Array were confirmed.
Alternative exons were successfully extracted. Results from the informatics analyses suggested that neural events were primarily governed by genes whose expression was increased and whose transcripts were differentially alternatively spliced in the neuronal cells. In addition to known functions in neural cells or organs, the uninvestigated alternative splicing events of 11 genes among 47 candidate genes suggested that cell cycle events are also potentially important. These genes may help researchers to differentiate the roles of alternative splicing in cell differentiation and cell proliferation.
Renal disorders account for a substantial fraction of the budget for health care in many countries. Proteinuria is a frequent manifestation in afflicted patients, but the origin of the proteins varies based on the nature of the disorder. The emerging field of urinary proteomics has the potential to replace kidney biopsy as the diagnostic procedure of choice for patients with some glomerular forms of renal disease. To fully realize this potential, it is vital to understand the basis for the urinary excretion of protein in physiological and pathological conditions. In this review, we discuss the structure of the nephron, the functional unit of the kidney, and the process by which proteins/peptides enter the urine. We discuss several aspects of proteinuria that impact the proteomic analysis of urine of patients with renal diseases.
Glomerular Filtration; Nephron; Proteinuria; Proteomics; Renal Tubule
renal disease; urinary proteomics
The severity of renal involvement is the major factor determining the long-term outcome of children with Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) nephritis (HSPN). Approximately 40% children with HSP develop nephritis, usually within 4 to 6 weeks after the initial onset of the typical purpuric rashes. Although the pathogenetic mechanisms are still not fully delineated, several studies suggest that galactose-deficient IgA1 (Gd-IgA1) is recognized by anti-glycan antibodies, leading to the formation of the circulating immune complexes and their mesangial deposition that induce renal injury in HSPN.
Henoch-Schönlein purpura nephritis; Children; Galactose-deficient IgA1; Pathogenesis; Immune complex
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the main causes of liver-related morbidity and mortality. Although combined interferon-α-ribavirin therapy is effective for about 50% of the patients with HCV, better therapies are needed and preventative vaccines have yet to be developed. Short-hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) inhibit gene expression by RNA interference. The application of transient shRNA expression is limited, however, due to the inability of the shRNA to replicate in mammalian cells and its inefficient transduction. The duration of transgene (shRNA) expression in mammalian cells can be significantly extended using baculovirus-based shRNA-expressing vectors that contain the latent viral protein Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1) and the origin of latent viral DNA replication (OriP) sequences. These recombinant vectors contain compatible promoters and are highly effective for infecting primary hepatocyte and hepatoma cell lines, making them very useful tools for studies of hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses. Here, we report the use of these baculovirus-based vector-derived shRNAs to inhibit core-protein expression in full-length hepatitis C virus (HCV) replicon cells.
We constructed a long-term transgene shRNA expression vector that contains the EBV EBNA1 and OriP sequences. We also designed baculovirus vector-mediated shRNAs against the highly conserved core-protein region of HCV. HCV core protein expression was inhibited by the EBNA1/OriP baculovirus vector for at least 14 days, which was considerably longer than the 3 days of inhibition produced by the wild-type baculovirus vector.
These findings indicate that we successfully constructed a long-term transgene (shRNA) expression vector (Ac-EP-shRNA452) using the EBNA1/OriP system, which was propagated in Escherichia coli and converted into mammalian cells. The potential anti-HCV activity of the long-term transgene (shRNA) expression vector was evaluated with the view of establishing highly effective therapeutic agents that can be further developed for HCV gene therapy applications.
IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is characterized by circulating immune complexes composed of galactose-deficient IgA1 and a glycan-specific IgG antibody. These immune complexes deposit in the glomerular mesangium and induce the mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis characteristic of IgAN. To define the precise specificities and molecular properties of the IgG antibodies, we generated EBV-immortalized IgG-secreting lymphocytes from patients with IgAN and found that the secreted IgG formed complexes with galactose-deficient IgA1 in a glycan-dependent manner. We cloned and sequenced the heavy- and light-chain antigen-binding domains of IgG specific for galactose-deficient IgA1 and identified an A to S substitution in the complementarity-determining region 3 of the variable region of the gene encoding the IgG heavy chain in IgAN patients. Furthermore, site-directed mutagenesis that reverted the residue to alanine reduced the binding of recombinant IgG to galactose-deficient IgA1. Finally, we developed a dot-blot assay for the glycan-specific IgG antibody that differentiated patients with IgAN from healthy and disease controls with 88% specificity and 95% sensitivity and found that elevated levels of this antibody in the sera of patients with IgAN correlated with proteinuria. Collectively, these findings indicate that glycan-specific antibodies are associated with the development of IgAN and may represent a disease-specific marker and potential therapeutic target.
Short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) efficiently inhibit gene expression by RNA interference. Here, we report the efficient inhibition by DNA-based vector-derived shRNAs of core protein expression in Huh-7 cells. The shRNAs were designed to target the core region of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) genome. The core region is the most conserved region in the HCV genome, making it an ideal target for shRNAs. We identified an effective site on the core region for suppression of the HCV core protein. The HCV core protein in core protein-expressing Huh-7 cells was downregulated by core protein-shRNA expression vectors (core-shRNA-452, 479, and 503). Our results support the feasibility of using shRNA-based gene therapy to inhibit HCV core protein production.
RNAi; Short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs); hepatitis C virus (HCV) core protein; Huh-7 cells; GFP; DsRed
Aberrant glycosylation of IgA1 plays an essential role in the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy. This abnormality is manifested by a deficiency of galactose in the hinge-region O-linked glycans of IgA1. Biosynthesis of these glycans occurs in a stepwise fashion beginning with the addition of N-acetylgalactosamine by the enzyme N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 2 and continuing with the addition of either galactose by β1,3-galactosyltransferase or a terminal sialic acid by a N-acetylgalactosamine–specific α2,6-sialyltransferase. To identify the molecular basis for the aberrant IgA glycosylation, we established EBV-immortalized IgA1-producing cells from peripheral blood cells of patients with IgA nephropathy. The secreted IgA1 was mostly polymeric and had galactose-deficient O-linked glycans, characterized by a terminal or sialylated N-acetylgalactosamine. As controls, we showed that EBV-immortalized cells from patients with lupus nephritis and healthy individuals did not produce IgA with the defective galactosylation pattern. Analysis of the biosynthetic pathways in cloned EBV-immortalized cells from patients with IgA nephropathy indicated a decrease in β1,3-galactosyltransferase activity and an increase in N-acetylgalactosamine–specific α2,6-sialyltransferase activity. Also, expression of β1,3-galactosyltransferase was significantly lower, and that of N-acetylgalactosamine–specific α2,6-sialyltransferase was significantly higher than the expression of these genes in the control cells. Thus, our data suggest that premature sialylation likely contributes to the aberrant IgA1 glycosylation in IgA nephropathy and may represent a new therapeutic target.
Glycosylation defects occur in several human diseases. In IgA nephropathy, IgA1 contains O-glycans that are galactose-deficient and consist mostly of core 1 α2,6 sialylated N-acetylgalactosamine, a configuration suspected to prevent β1,3 galactosylation. We confirmed the same aberrancy in IgA1 secreted by the human DAKIKI B cell line. Biochemical assays indicated CMP-NeuAc:GalNAc-IgA1 α2,6-sialyltransferase activity in this cell line. However, a candidate enzyme, ST6-GalNAcI, was not transcribed in DAKIKI cells, B cells isolated from blood, or Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-immortalized IgA1-producing cells from the blood of IgAN patients and healthy controls. Instead, ST6-GalNAcII transcription was detected at a high level. Expression of the ST6-GalNAcII gene and activity of the CMP-NeuAc:GalNAc-IgA1 α2,6-sialyltransferase were higher in IgA1-producing cell lines from IgAN patients than in such cells from healthy controls. These data are the first evidence that human cells that lack ST6-GalNAcI can sialylate core 1 GalNAc-Ser/Thr.
ST6GalNAcII; Dakiki; IgA nephropathy; IgA1 hinge region; sialylation