The family C G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) T1R2 and T1R3 heterodimer functions as a broadly acting sweet taste receptor. Perception of sweet taste is a species-dependent physiological process. It has been widely reported that New World monkeys and rodents can not perceive some of the artificial sweeteners and sweet-tasting proteins that can be perceived by humans, apes, and Old World monkeys. Until now, only the sweet receptors of humans, mice and rats have been functionally characterized. Here we report characterization of the sweet taste receptor (T1R2/T1R3) from a species of New World squirrel monkey. Our results show that the heterodimeric receptor of squirrel monkey does not respond to artificial sweeteners aspartame, neotame, cyclamate, saccharin and sweet-tasting protein monellin, but surprisingly, it does respond to thaumatin at high concentrations (>18 μM). This is the first report that New World monkey species can perceive some specific sweet-tasting proteins. Furthermore, the receptor responses to the sweeteners cannot be inhibited by the sweet inhibitor lactisole. We compared the response differences of the squirrel monkey and human receptors and found that the residues in T1R2 determine species-dependent sweet taste toward saccharin, while the residues in either T1R2 or T1R3 are responsible for the sweet taste difference between humans and squirrel monkeys toward monellin. Molecular models indicated that electrostatic properties of the receptors probably mediate the species-dependent response to sweet-tasting proteins.
New World monkeys; squirrel monkey; sweet taste receptors; sweet-tasting proteins; G protein-coupled receptor; molecular modeling
Biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles complex-1 (BLOC-1) is an eight-subunit complex involved in lysosomal trafficking. Interacting proteins of these subunits expand the understanding of its biological functions. With the implementation of the naïve Bayesian analysis, we found that a human uncharacterized 20 kDa coiled-coil KxDL protein, KXD1, is a BLOS1-interacting protein. In vitro binding assays confirmed the interaction between BLOS1 and KXD1. Mouse KXD1 homolog was widely expressed and absent in Kxd1 knockout (KO) mice. BLOS1 was apparently reduced in Kxd1-KO mice. Mild defects in the melanosomes of the retinal pigment epithelia and in the platelet dense granules of the Kxd1-KO mouse were observed, mimicking a mouse model of mild Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome that affects the biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles.
BLOC-1; KXD1; BLOS1; lysosome-related organelles; Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome
Many protein-protein docking protocols are based on a shotgun approach, in which thousands of independent random-start trajectories minimize the rigid-body degrees of freedom. Another strategy is enumerative sampling as used in ZDOCK. Here, we introduce an alternative strategy, ReplicaDock, using a small number of long trajectories of temperature replica exchange. We compare replica exchange sampling as low-resolution stage of RosettaDock with RosettaDock's original shotgun sampling as well as with ZDOCK. A benchmark of 30 complexes starting from structures of the unbound binding partners shows improved performance for ReplicaDock and ZDOCK when compared to shotgun sampling at equal or less computational expense. ReplicaDock and ZDOCK consistently reach lower energies and generate significantly more near-native conformations than shotgun sampling. Accordingly, they both improve typical metrics of prediction quality of complex structures after refinement. Additionally, the refined ReplicaDock ensembles reach significantly lower interface energies and many previously hidden features of the docking energy landscape become visible when ReplicaDock is applied.
Regulation of microglial migration is not well understood. In this study, we proposed that Na+/H+ exchanger isoform 1 (NHE-1) is important in microglial migration. NHE-1 protein was co-localized with cytoskeletal protein ezrin in lamellipodia of microglia and maintained its more alkaline intracellular pH (pHi). Chemoattractant bradykinin (BK) stimulated microglial migration by increasing lamellipodial area and protrusion rate, but reducing lamellipodial persistence time. Interestingly, blocking NHE-1 activity with its potent inhibitor HOE 642 not only acidified microglia, abolished the BK-triggered dynamic changes of lamellipodia, but also reduced microglial motility and microchemotaxis in response to BK. In addition, NHE-1 activation resulted in intracellular Na+ loading as well as intracellular Ca2+ elevation mediated by stimulating reverse mode operation of Na+/Ca2+ exchange (NCXrev). Taken together, our study shows that NHE-1 protein is abundantly expressed in microglial lamellipodia and maintains alkaline pHi in response to BK stimulation. In addition, NHE-1 and NCXrev play a concerted role in BK-induced microglial migration via Na+ and Ca2+ signaling.
Insect voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channels are formed by a well-known pore-forming α-subunit encoded by para-like gene and ancillary subunits related to TipE from the mutation “temperature-induced-paralysis locus E.” The role of these ancillary subunits in the modulation of biophysical and pharmacological properties of Na+ currents are not enough documented. The unique neuronal ancillary subunit TipE-homologous protein 1 of Drosophila melanogaster (DmTEH1) strongly enhances the expression of insect Nav channels when heterologously expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Here we report the cloning and functional expression of two neuronal DmTEH1-homologs of the cockroach, Periplaneta americana, PaTEH1A and PaTEH1B, encoded by a single bicistronic gene. In PaTEH1B, the second exon encoding the last 11-amino-acid residues of PaTEH1A is shifted to 3′UTR by the retention of a 96-bp intron-containing coding-message, thus generating a new C-terminal end. We investigated the gating and pharmacological properties of the Drosophila Nav channel variant (DmNav1-1) co-expressed with DmTEH1, PaTEH1A, PaTEH1B or a truncated mutant PaTEH1Δ(270-280) in Xenopus oocytes. PaTEH1B caused a 2.2-fold current density decrease, concomitant with an equivalent α-subunit incorporation decrease in the plasma membrane, compared to PaTEH1A and PaTEH1Δ(270-280). PaTEH1B positively shifted the voltage-dependences of activation and slow inactivation of DmNav1-1 channels to more positive potentials compared to PaTEH1A, suggesting that the C-terminal end of both proteins may influence the function of the voltage-sensor and the pore of Nav channel. Interestingly, our findings showed that the sensitivity of DmNav1-1 channels to lidocaine and to the pyrazoline-type insecticide metabolite DCJW depends on associated TEH1-like subunits. In conclusion, our work demonstrates for the first time that density, gating and pharmacological properties of Nav channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes can be modulated by an intron retention process in the transcription of the neuronal TEH1-like ancillary subunits of P. americana.
Potassium is the most abundant cation and a myriad of transporters regulate K+ homeostasis in plant. Potassium plays a role as a major osmolyte to regulate stomatal movements that control water utility of land plants. Here we report the characterization of two inward rectifying shaker-like potassium channels, OsKAT2 and OsKAT3, expressed in guard cell of rice plants. While OsKAT2 showed typical potassium channel activity, like that of Arabidopsis KAT1, OsKAT3 did not despite high sequence similarity between the two channel proteins. Interestingly, the two potassium channels physically interacted with each other and such interaction negatively regulated the OsKAT2 channel activity in CHO cell system. Furthermore, deletion of the C-terminal domain recovered the channel activity of OsKAT3, suggesting that the C-terminal region was regulatory domain that inhibited channel activity. Two homologous channels with antagonistic interaction has not been previously reported and presents new information for potassium channel regulation in plants, especially in stomatal regulation.
Although many adiposity indices may be used to predict obesity-related health risks, uncertainty remains over which of them performs best.
This study compared the predictive capability of direct and indirect adiposity measures in identifying people at higher risk of metabolic abnormalities.
This population-based cross-sectional study recruited 2780 women and 1160 men. Body weight and height, waist circumference (WC), and hip circumference (HC) were measured and body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) were calculated. Body fat (and percentage of fat) over the whole body and the trunk were determined by bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). Blood pressure, fasting lipid profiles, and glucose and urine acid levels were assessed.
In women, the ROC and the multivariate logistic regression analyses both showed that WHtR consistently had the best performance in identifying hypertension, dyslipidemia, hyperuricemia, diabetes/IFG, and metabolic syndrome (MetS). In men, the ROC analysis showed that WHtR was the best predictor of hypertension, WHtR and WC were equally good predictors of dyslipidemia and MetS, and WHtR was the second-best predictor of hyperuricemia and diabetes/IFG. The multivariate logistic regression also found WHtR to be superior in discriminating between MetS, diabetes/IFG, and dyslipidemia while BMI performed better in predicting hypertension and hyperuricemia in men. The BIA-derived indices were the second-worst predictors for all of the endpoints, and HC was the worst.
WHtR was the best predictor of various metabolic abnormalities. BMI may be used as an alternative measure of obesity for identifying hypertension in both sexes.
Previously, we have shown that the intraductal (i.duc) administration of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) to Her2/neu transgenic mice is associated with mammary tumor regression and prevention. Exploring the mechanism underlying the protection afforded by PLD, we studied: the effects of i.duc PLD-treatment with a subsequent pregnancy on outgrowth of tumors in Her2/neu mice; whether the i.duc PLD antitumor effect was mediated partially through changes in normal mammary stem cells (MaSCs); and the long-term safety of i.duc PLD into the normal mouse mammary gland. Her2/neu mice were treated with two i.duc injections of PLD given four weeks apart; pregnancy was induced and mice were followed up for changes in physiology, and tumor formation. We found that all pups born to i.duc PLD-treated Her2/neu mice died without weight gain within 7 days after birth. Despite an additional pregnancy, compared to vehicle control PLD-treated Her2/neu mice had a significantly longer latency and lower frequency of tumor development. Mammary epithelial cells isolated from untreated and i.duc PLD-treated 6–8 months-old multiparous FVB/N mice were analyzed for their repopulating ability in mammary fat pads of naïve recipients. Mice were also monitored for abnormalities in mammary gland morphology and function, including tumor formation. PLD-treated FVB/N mice displayed histomorphologic changes and a significant reduction in the outgrowth potential of cells from the mammary glands. Thus, i.duc PLD administration altered the mammary gland structurally and functionally by reducing the MaSC population, which could compromise milk production. Followed long term, i.duc PLD-treated FVB/N mice developed malignant mammary tumors, confirming similar published findings on doxorubicin injected into the mammary gland of rats. Unless there are fundamental species differences in PLD metabolism in rodents and humans, this finding seriously limits the consideration of i.duc PLD use in the clinic for treatment or prevention of breast cancer.
Intraductal; Mammary; Carcinogenesis; Doxorubicin; Stem cell
Hypocretin/orexin-producing neurons, located in the perifornical region of the lateral hypothalamus area (LHA) and projecting to the brain sites of rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM), involve in the increase of sympathetic activity, thereby regulating cardiovascular function. The current study was designed to test the hypothesis that the central orexin-A (OXA) could be involved in the cardiovascular dysfunction of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) by releasing NAD(P)H oxidase-derived superoxide anion (O2−) generation in RVLM, AMI rat model established by ligating the left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery to induce manifestation of cardiac dysfunction, monitored by the indicators as heart rate (HR), heart rate variability (HRV), mean arterial pressure (MAP) and left intraventricular pressure. The results showed that the expressions of OXA in LHA and orexin 1 receptor (OX1R) increased in RVLM of AMI rats. The double immunofluorescent staining indicated that OX1R positive cells and NAD(P)H oxidative subunit gp91phox or p47phox-immunoreactive (IR) cells were co-localized in RVLM. Microinjection of OXA into the cerebral ventricle significantly increased O2− production and mRNA expression of NAD(P)H oxidase subunits when compared with aCSF-treated ones. Exogenous OXA administration in RVLM produced pressor and tachycardiac effects. Furthermore, the antagonist of OX1R and OX2R (SB-408124 and TCS OX2 29, respectively) or apocynin (APO), an inhibitor of NAD(P)H oxidase, partly abolished those cardiovascular responses of OXA. HRV power spectral analysis showed that exogenous OXA led to decreased HF component of HRV and increased LF/HF ratio in comparison with aCSF, which suggested that OXA might be related to sympathovagal imbalance. As indicated by the results, OXA might participate in the central regulation of cardiovascular activities by disturbing the sympathovagal balance in AMI, which could be explained by the possibility that OXR and NAD(P)H-derived O2− in RVLM mediates OXA-induced cardiovascular responses.
Primary mitochondrial respiratory chain (RC) diseases are heterogeneous in etiology and manifestations but collectively impair cellular energy metabolism. Mechanism(s) by which RC dysfunction causes global cellular sequelae are poorly understood. To identify a common cellular response to RC disease, integrated gene, pathway, and systems biology analyses were performed in human primary RC disease skeletal muscle and fibroblast transcriptomes. Significant changes were evident in muscle across diverse RC complex and genetic etiologies that were consistent with prior reports in other primary RC disease models and involved dysregulation of genes involved in RNA processing, protein translation, transport, and degradation, and muscle structure. Global transcriptional and post-transcriptional dysregulation was also found to occur in a highly tissue-specific fashion. In particular, RC disease muscle had decreased transcription of cytosolic ribosomal proteins suggestive of reduced anabolic processes, increased transcription of mitochondrial ribosomal proteins, shorter 5′-UTRs that likely improve translational efficiency, and stabilization of 3′-UTRs containing AU-rich elements. RC disease fibroblasts showed a strikingly similar pattern of global transcriptome dysregulation in a reverse direction. In parallel with these transcriptional effects, RC disease dysregulated the integrated nutrient-sensing signaling network involving FOXO, PPAR, sirtuins, AMPK, and mTORC1, which collectively sense nutrient availability and regulate cellular growth. Altered activities of central nodes in the nutrient-sensing signaling network were validated by phosphokinase immunoblot analysis in RC inhibited cells. Remarkably, treating RC mutant fibroblasts with nicotinic acid to enhance sirtuin and PPAR activity also normalized mTORC1 and AMPK signaling, restored NADH/NAD+ redox balance, and improved cellular respiratory capacity. These data specifically highlight a common pathogenesis extending across different molecular and biochemical etiologies of individual RC disorders that involves global transcriptome modifications. We further identify the integrated nutrient-sensing signaling network as a common cellular response that mediates, and may be amenable to targeted therapies for, tissue-specific sequelae of primary mitochondrial RC disease.
Our previous studies have shown that HOXB7 mRNA is overexpressed in ~50% of invasive breast carcinomas and promotes tumor progression in breast cancer cells grown as xenografts in mice. In silico analysis of published microarray data showed that high levels of HOXB7 predict a poor outcome in HER-2–positive (P = 0.046), but not in HER-2–negative breast cancers (P = 0.94). To study the function of HOXB7 in vivo in the context of HER-2 overexpression, we generated mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-Hoxb7 transgenic mice, and then crossed them with MMTV-HER-2/neu transgenic mice. In the mice carrying both Hoxb7 and HER-2/neu transgenes, Hoxb7 plays a dual role in mammary tumorigenesis. In double transgenic mice, overexpression of Hoxb7 delayed tumor onset and lowered tumor multiplicity. However, consistent with the clinical data, once the tumors appeared, their growth was faster and metastasis to the lungs occurred at a higher frequency. Our data show, for the first time, that deregulated expression of Hoxb7 in mammary tumor cells can significantly modulate HER-2/neu-oncogene induced tumorigenesis in vivo.
β subunits of mammalian sodium channels play important roles in modulating the expression and gating of mammalian sodium channels. However, there are no orthologs of β subunits in insects. Instead, an unrelated protein, TipE in Drosophila melanogaster and its orthologs in other insects, is thought to be a sodium channel auxiliary subunit. In addition, there are four TipE-homologous genes (TEH1-4) in D. melanogaster and three to four orthologs in other insect species. TipE and TEH1-3 have been shown to enhance the peak current of various insect sodium channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes. However, limited information is available on how these proteins modulate the gating of sodium channels, particularly sodium channel variants generated by alternative splicing and RNA editing. In this study, we compared the effects of TEH1 and TipE on the function of three Drosophila sodium channel splice variants, DmNav9-1, DmNav22, and DmNav26, in Xenopus oocytes. Both TipE and TEH1 enhanced the amplitude of sodium current and accelerated current decay of all three sodium channels tested. Strikingly, TEH1 caused hyperpolarizing shifts in the voltage-dependence of activation, fast inactivation and slow inactivation of all three variants. In contrast, TipE did not alter these gating properties except for a hyperpolarizing shift in the voltage-dependence of fast inactivation of DmNav26. Further analysis of the gating kinetics of DmNav9-1 revealed that TEH1 accelerated the entry of sodium channels into the fast inactivated state and slowed the recovery from both fast- and slow-inactivated states, thereby, enhancing both fast and slow inactivation. These results highlight the differential effects of TipE and TEH1 on the gating of insect sodium channels and suggest that TEH1 may play a broader role than TipE in regulating sodium channel function and neuronal excitability in vivo.
Huwentoxin-IV (HWTX-IV), a tetrodotoxin-sensitive (TTX-s) sodium channel antagonist, is found in the venom of the Chinese spider Ornithoctonus huwena. A naturally modified HWTX-IV (mHWTX-IV), having a molecular mass 18 Da lower than HWTX-IV, has also been isolated from the venom of the same spider. By a combination of enzymatic fragmentation and MS/MS de novo sequencing, mHWTX-IV has been shown to have the same amino acid sequence as that of HWTX-IV, except that the N-terminal glutamic acid replaced by pyroglutamic acid. mHWTX-IV inhibited tetrodotoxin-sensitive voltage-gated sodium channels of dorsal root ganglion neurons with an IC50 nearly equal to native HWTX-IV. mHWTX-IV showed the same activation and inactivation kinetics seen for native HWTX-IV. In contrast with HWTX-IV, which dissociates at moderate voltage depolarization voltages (+50 mV, 180000 ms), mHWTX-IV inhibition of TTX-sensitive sodium channels is not reversed by strong depolarization voltages (+200 mV, 500 ms). Recovery of Nav1.7current was voltage-dependent and was induced by extreme depolarization in the presence of HWTX-IV, but no obvious current was elicited after application of mHWTX-IV. Our data indicate that the N-terminal modification of HWTX-IV gives the peptide toxin a greater ability to trap the voltage sensor in the sodium channel. Loss of a negative charge, caused by cyclization at the N-terminus, is a possible reason why the modified toxin binds much stronger. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a pyroglutamic acid residue in a spider toxin; this modification seems to increase the trapping ability of the voltage sensor in the sodium channel.
Nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP) is an endogenous Ca2+ mobilizing nucleotide presented in various species. NAADP mobilizes Ca2+ from acidic organelles through two pore channel 2 (TPC2) in many cell types and it has been previously shown that NAADP can potently induce neuronal differentiation in PC12 cells. Here we examined the role of TPC2 signaling in the neural differentiation of mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells. We found that the expression of TPC2 was markedly decreased during the initial ES cell entry into neural progenitors, and the levels of TPC2 gradually rebounded during the late stages of neurogenesis. Correspondingly, TPC2 knockdown accelerated mouse ES cell differentiation into neural progenitors but inhibited these neural progenitors from committing to neurons. Overexpression of TPC2, on the other hand, inhibited mouse ES cell from entering the early neural lineage. Interestingly, TPC2 knockdown had no effect on the differentiation of astrocytes and oligodendrocytes of mouse ES cells. Taken together, our data indicate that TPC2 signaling plays a temporal and differential role in modulating the neural lineage entry of mouse ES cells, in that TPC2 signaling inhibits ES cell entry to early neural progenitors, but is required for late neuronal differentiation.
The G protein-coupled inwardly-rectifying potassium channels (known as GIRK or Kir3) form functional heterotetramers gated by G-βγ subunits. GIRK channels participate in heart rate modulation and neuronal postsynaptic inhibition in mammals. In Xenopus laevis oocytes, GIRK5 is a functional homomultimer. Previously, we found that phosphorylation of a tyrosine (Y16) at its N-terminus downregulates the surface expression of GIRK5. In this work, we elucidated the subcellular localization and trafficking of GIRK5 in oocytes. Several EGFP-GIRK5 chimeras were produced and an ECFP construct was used to identify the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Whereas GIRK5-WT was retained in the ER at the animal pole, the phospho-null GIRK5-Y16A was localized to the vegetal pole. Interestingly, a construct with an N-terminal Δ25 deletion produced an even distribution of the channel in the whole oocyte. Through an alanine-scan, we identified an acidic cluster/di-leucine sorting-signal recognition motif between E17 and I22. We quantified the effect of each amino acid residue within this di-leucine motif in determining the distribution of GIRK5 to the animal and vegetal poles. We found that Y16 and I22 contributed to functional expression and were dominant in the polarization of GIRK5. We thus conclude that the N-terminal acidic di-leucine motif of GIRK5 determines its retention and polarized trafficking within Xl oocytes.
Voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.5 has been linked to the cardiac cell excitability and a variety of arrhythmic syndromes including long QT, Brugada, and conduction abnormalities. Nav1.5 exhibits a slow inactivation, corresponding to a duration-dependent bi-exponential recovery, which is often associated with various arrhythmia syndromes. However, the gating mechanism of Nav1.5 and the physiological role of slow inactivation in cardiac cells remain elusive. Here a 12-state two-step inactivation Markov model was successfully developed to depict the gating kinetics of Nav1.5. This model can simulate the Nav1.5 channel in not only steady state processes, but also various transient processes. Compared with the simpler 8-state model, this 12-state model is well-behaved in simulating and explaining the processes of slow inactivation and slow recovery. This model provides a good framework for further studying the gating mechanism and physiological role of sodium channel in excitable cells.
Objective: To investigate the association of serum lipids and other risk factors with diabetic retinopathy (DR) in Chinese type 2 diabetic patients. Methods: Five hundred and twenty-three type 2 diabetic patients underwent ophthalmic examination by experienced retinal specialists to assess their DR. Serum lipids, including triglycerides, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLC), and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLC), were measured using Roche automated clinical chemistry analyzers. The concentration of very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDLC) was calculated based on total cholesterol, HDLC and LDLC. Hyperlipidemia was defined as a total cholesterol concentration of 6.2 mmol/L or higher or the use of lipid-lowering medications. The association of risk factors with any DR or proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) was assessed using the odds ratio (OR) and its 95% confidence interval (CI), calculated from logistic regression models. Results: In multivariate logistic regression models, hyperlipidemia (OR=2.39, 95% CI: 1.02–5.66), higher VLDLC (OR=1.59, 95% CI: 1.14–2.23), and higher triglyceride (OR=1.18, 95% CI: 1.03–1.37) were associated with increased risk of DR. A longer diabetic duration was associated with increased risk of DR (P<0.0001) and PDR (P=0.002) in a dose-response manner. Higher systolic blood pressure (P=0.02) and higher serum creatinine (P=0.01) were independently associated with increased risk of DR, and female gender was associated with increased risk of PDR (P=0.03). Conclusions: Among Chinese type 2 diabetic patients, hyperlipidemia, higher VLDLC, and higher triglyceride were independently associated with increased risk of DR, suggesting control of serum lipids may decrease the risk of DR.
Diabetic retinopathy; Serum lipids; Risk factors
NSCaTE is a short linear motif of (xWxxx(I or L)xxxx), composed of residues with a high helix-forming propensity within a mostly disordered N-terminus that is conserved in L-type calcium channels from protostome invertebrates to humans. NSCaTE is an optional, lower affinity and calcium-sensitive binding site for calmodulin (CaM) which competes for CaM binding with a more ancient, C-terminal IQ domain on L-type channels. CaM bound to N- and C- terminal tails serve as dual detectors to changing intracellular Ca2+ concentrations, promoting calcium-dependent inactivation of L-type calcium channels. NSCaTE is absent in some arthropod species, and is also lacking in vertebrate L-type isoforms, Cav1.1 and Cav1.4 channels. The pervasiveness of a methionine just downstream from NSCaTE suggests that L-type channels could generate alternative N-termini lacking NSCaTE through the choice of translational start sites. Long N-terminus with an NSCaTE motif in L-type calcium channel homolog LCav1 from pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis has a faster calcium-dependent inactivation than a shortened N-termini lacking NSCaTE. NSCaTE effects are present in low concentrations of internal buffer (0.5 mM EGTA), but disappears in high buffer conditions (10 mM EGTA). Snail and mammalian NSCaTE have an alpha-helical propensity upon binding Ca2+-CaM and can saturate both CaM N-terminal and C-terminal domains in the absence of a competing IQ motif. NSCaTE evolved in ancestors of the first animals with internal organs for promoting a more rapid, calcium-sensitive inactivation of L-type channels.
Cellular effects of primary mitochondrial dysfunction, as well as potential mitochondrial disease therapies, can be modeled in living animals such as the microscopic nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. In particular, molecular analyses can provide substantial insight into the mechanism by which genetic and/or pharmacologic manipulations alter mitochondrial function. The relative expression of individual genes across both nuclear and mitochondrial genomes, as well as relative quantitation of mitochondrial DNA content, can be readily performed by quantitative Real-Time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis of C. elegans. Additionally, microarray expression profiling offers a powerful tool by which to survey the global genetic consequences of various causes of primary mitochondrial dysfunction and potential therapeutic interventions at both the single gene and integrated pathway level. Here, we describe detailed protocols for RNA and DNA isolation from whole animal populations in C. elegans, qRT-PCR analysis of both nuclear and mitochondrial genes, and global nuclear genome expression profiling using the Affymetrix GeneChip C. elegans Genome Array.
Total RNA; mitochondrial DNA; qRT-PCR; Taqman; Affymetrix GeneChip C. elegans Genome Array
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs (ribonucleic acids), approximately 22 nucleotides in length, that function as regulators of gene expression. Dysregulation of miRNAs has been associated with the initiation and progression of oncogenesis in humans. The cell division cycle (CDC)25 phosphatases are important regulators of the cell cycle. Their abnormal expression detected in a number of tumors implies that their dysregulation is involved in malignant transformation.
Using miRNA target prediction software, we found that miR-141 could target the 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) sequence of CDC25B. To shed light on the role of miR-141 in renal cell carcinogenesis, the expression of miR-141 was examined by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in renal cell carcinoma and normal tissues. The impact of miR-141 re-expression on 769-P cells was analyzed using 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and colony-forming assay. A luciferase reporter assay was applied to prove the functionality of the miR-141 binding site.
miR-141 is significantly downregulated in renal cell carcinoma. miR-141 re-expression suppressed cell growth in 769-P cells. Luciferase expression from a reporter vector containing the CDC25B-3′UTR was decreased when this construct was transfected with miR-141 in 769-P cells. The overexpression of miR-141 suppressed the endogenous CDC25B protein level in 769-P cells.
For the first time, we demonstrated that CDC25B is a direct target of miR-141 in renal cell carcinoma. The transcriptional loss of miR-141 and the resultant increase in CDC25B expression facilitates increased genomic instability at an early stage of renal cell carcinoma development.
carcinogenesis; 769-P; target; MicroRNAs; proliferation; luciferase
Most breast cancers originate in the epithelial cells lining the breast ducts. Intraductal administration of cancer therapeutics would lead to high drug exposure to ductal cells and eliminate preinvasive neoplasms while limiting systemic exposure. We performed preclinical studies in N-methyl-N’-nitrosourea–treated rats to compare the effects of 5-fluorouracil, carboplatin, nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel, and methotrexate to the previously reported efficacy of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) on treatment of early and established mammary tumors. Protection from tumor growth was observed with all five agents, with extensive epithelial destruction present only in PLD-treated rats. Concurrently, we initiated a clinical trial to establish the feasibility, safety, and maximum tolerated dose of intraductal PLD. In each eligible woman awaiting mastectomy, we visualized one ductal system and administered dextrose or PLD using a dose-escalation schema (2 to 10 mg). Intraductal administration was successful in 15 of 17 women with no serious adverse events. Our preclinical studies suggest that several agents are candidates for intraductal therapy. Our clinical trial supports the feasibility of intraductal administration of agents in the outpatient setting. If successful, administration of agents directly into the ductal system may allow for “breast-sparing mastectomy” in select women.
BACKGROUND & AIMS
The risk of pancreatic cancer is increased in patients with a strong family history of pancreatic cancer or a predisposing germline mutation. Screening can detect curable, non-invasive pancreatic neoplasms, but the optimal imaging approach is not known. We determined the baseline prevalence and characteristics of pancreatic abnormalities using 3 imaging tests to screen asymptomatic, high-risk individuals (HRI).
We screened 225 asymptomatic adult HRI at 5 academic US medical centers once, using computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS). We compared results in a blinded, independent fashion.
Ninety-two of 216 HRI (42%) were found to have at least 1 pancreatic mass (84 cystic, 3 solid) or a dilated pancreatic duct (n=5) by any of the imaging modalities. Fifty-one of the 84 HRI with a cyst (60.7%) had multiple lesions, typically small (mean 0.55 cm, range 2–39 mm), in multiple locations. The prevalence of pancreatic lesions increased with age; they were detected in 14% of subjects <50 years old, 34% of subjects 50–59 years old, and 53% of subjects 60–69 years old (P<.0001). CT, MRI, and EUS detected a pancreatic abnormality in 11%, 33.3%, and 42.6% of the HRI, respectively. Among these abnormalities, proven or suspected neoplasms were identified in 85 HRI (82 intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms [IPMN] and 3 pancreatic endocrine tumors). Three of 5 HRI who underwent pancreatic resection had high-grade dysplasia in <3 cm IPMNs and in multiple intraepithelial neoplasias.
Screening of asymptomatic HRI frequently detects small pancreatic cysts, including curable, non-invasive high-grade neoplasms. EUS and MRI detect pancreatic lesions better than CT.
IPMN, PanIN; surveillance; familial pancreatic cancer
KCNH channels form an important family of voltage gated potassium channels. These channels include a N-terminal Per-Arnt-Sim (PAS) domain with unknown function. In other proteins PAS domains are implicated in cellular responses to environmental queues through small molecule binding or involvement in signaling cascades. To better understand their role we characterized the structural properties of several channel PAS domains. We determined high resolution structures of PAS domains from the mouse EAG (mEAG), drosophila ELK (dELK) and human ERG (hERG) channels and also of the hERG domain without the first nine amino acids. We analyzed these structures for features connected to ligand binding and signaling in other PAS domains. In particular, we have found cavities in the hERG and mEAG structures that share similarities with the ligand binding sites from other PAS domains. These cavities are lined by polar and apolar chemical groups and display potential flexibility in their volume. We have also found that the hydrophobic patch on the domain β-sheet is a conserved feature and appears to drive the formation of protein-protein contacts. In addition, the structures of the dELK domain and of the truncated hERG domain revealed the presence of N-terminal helices. These helices are equivalent to the helix described in the hERG NMR structures and are known to be important for channel function. Overall, these channel domains retain many of the PAS domain characteristics known to be important for cell signaling.
The large-conductance potassium channel (BK) α subunit contains a transmembrane (TM) helix S0 preceding the canonical TM helices S1 through S6. S0 lies between S4 and the TM2 helix of the regulatory β1 subunit. Pairs of Cys were substituted in the first helical turns in the membrane of BK α S0 and S4 and in β1 TM2. One such pair, W22C in S0 and W203C in S4, was 95% crosslinked endogenously. Under voltage-clamp conditions in outside-out patches, this crosslink was reduced by DTT and reoxidized by a membrane-impermeant bis-quaternary ammonium derivative of diamide. The rate constants for this reoxidation were not significantly different in the open and closed states of the channel. Thus, these two residues are approximately equally close in the two states. In addition, 90% crosslinking of a second pair, R20C in S0 and W203C in S4, had no effect on the V50 for opening. Taken together, these findings indicate that separation between residues at the extracellular ends of S0 and S4 is not required for voltage-sensor activation. On the contrary, even though W22C and W203C were equally likely to form a disulfide in the activated and deactivated states, relative immobilization by crosslinking of these two residues favored the activated state. Furthermore, the efficiency of recrosslinking of W22C and W203C on the cell surface was greater in the presence of the β1 subunit than in its absence, consistent with β1 acting through S0 to stabilize its immobilization relative to α S4.
Motivation: The folding free energy is an important characteristic of proteins stability and is directly related to protein's wild-type function. The changes of protein's stability due to naturally occurring mutations, missense mutations, are typically causing diseases. Single point mutations made in vitro are frequently used to assess the contribution of given amino acid to the stability of the protein. In both cases, it is desirable to predict the change of the folding free energy upon single point mutations in order to either provide insights of the molecular mechanism of the change or to design new experimental studies.
Results: We report an approach that predicts the free energy change upon single point mutation by utilizing the 3D structure of the wild-type protein. It is based on variation of the molecular mechanics Generalized Born (MMGB) method, scaled with optimized parameters (sMMGB) and utilizing specific model of unfolded state. The corresponding mutations are built in silico and the predictions are tested against large dataset of 1109 mutations with experimentally measured changes of the folding free energy. Benchmarking resulted in root mean square deviation = 1.78 kcal/mol and slope of the linear regression fit between the experimental data and the calculations was 1.04. The sMMGB is compared with other leading methods of predicting folding free energy changes upon single mutations and results discussed with respect to various parameters.
Availability: All the pdb files we used in this article can be downloaded from http://compbio.clemson.edu/downloadDir/mentaldisorders/sMMGB_pdb.rar
Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.