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1.  Inhibition of myeloperoxidase-mediated hypochlorous acid production by nitroxides 
The Biochemical journal  2009;421(1):79-86.
Tissue damage resulting from the extracellular production of HOCl (hypochlorous acid) by the MPO (myeloperoxidase)-hydrogen peroxide-chloride system of activated phagocytes is implicated as a key event in the progression of a number of human inflammatory diseases. Consequently, there is considerable interest in the development of therapeutically useful MPO inhibitors. Nitroxides are well established antioxidant compounds of low toxicity that can attenuate oxidative damage in animal models of inflammatory disease. They are believed to exert protective effects principally by acting as superoxide dismutase mimetics or radical scavengers. However, we show here that nitroxides can also potently inhibit MPO-mediated HOCl production, with the nitroxide 4-aminoTEMPO inhibiting HOCl production by MPO and by neutrophils with IC50 values of approx. 1 and 6 μM respectively. Structure–activity relationships were determined for a range of aliphatic and aromatic nitroxides, and inhibition of oxidative damage to two biologically-important protein targets (albumin and perlecan) are demonstrated. Inhibition was shown to involve one-electron oxidation of the nitroxides by the compound I form of MPO and accumulation of compound II. Haem destruction was also observed with some nitroxides. Inhibition of neutrophil HOCl production by nitroxides was antagonized by neutrophil-derived superoxide, with this attributed to superoxide-mediated reduction of compound II. This effect was marginal with 4-aminoTEMPO, probably due to the efficient superoxide dismutase-mimetic activity of this nitroxide. Overall, these data indicate that nitroxides have considerable promise as therapeutic agents for the inhibition of MPO-mediated damage in inflammatory diseases.
PMCID: PMC4058678  PMID: 19379130
hypochlorous acid; myeloperoxidase; neutrophil; nitroxide; protein oxidation; superoxide
2.  Heparan sulfate dependent signaling of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 18 by chondrocyte-derived perlecan 
Biochemistry  2010;49(26):5524-5532.
Perlecan is a large multi-domain proteoglycan which is essential for normal cartilage development. In this study perlecan was localized in the pericellular matrix of hypertrophic chondrocytes in developing human cartilage rudiments. Perlecan immunopurified from medium conditioned by cultured human fetal chondrocytes was found to be substituted with heparan sulfate (HS), chondroitin sulfate (CS) and keratan sulfate (KS). Ligand and carbohydrate engagement (LACE) assays demonstrated that immunopurified chondrocyte-derived perlecan formed HS dependent ternary complexes with fibroblast growth factors (FGF) 2 and either FGFR receptors (FGFRs) 1 or 3, however these complexes were not biologically active in the BaF32 cell system. Chondrocyte-derived perlecan also formed HS dependent ternary complexes with FGF18 and FGFR3. The proliferation of BaF32 cells expressing FGFR3 was promoted by chondrocyte-derived perlecan in the presence of FGF18 and this activity was reduced by digesting the HS with either heparinase III or mammalian heparanase. These data suggest that FGF2 and 18 bind to discrete structures on the HS chains attached to chondrocyte-derived perlecan which modulate the growth factor activities. The presence and activity of mammalian heparanase may be important in the turnover of HS and subsequent signaling required for the establishment and maintenance of functional osteo-chondral junctions in long bone growth.
PMCID: PMC2900151  PMID: 20507176
perlecan; heparan sulfate; fibroblast growth factor; fibroblast growth factor receptor; heparanase
3.  Myeloperoxidase-derived oxidants selectively disrupt the protein core of the heparan sulfate proteoglycan perlecan 
The potent oxidants hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and hypobromous acid (HOBr) are produced extracellularly by myeloperoxidase, following release of this enzyme from activated leukocytes. The subendothelial extracellular matrix is a key site for deposition of myeloperoxidase and damage by myeloperoxidase-derived oxidants, with this damage implicated in the impairment of vascular cell function during acute inflammatory responses and chronic inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis. The heparan sulfate proteoglycan perlecan, a key component of the subendothelial extracellular matrix, regulates important cellular processes and is a potential target for HOCl and HOBr. It is shown here that perlecan binds myeloperoxidase via its heparan sulfate side chains and that this enhances oxidative damage by myeloperoxidase-derived HOCl and HOBr. This damage involved selective degradation of the perlecan protein core without detectable alteration of its heparan sulfate side chains, despite the presence of reactive GlcNH2 resides within this glycosaminoglycan. Modification of the protein core by HOCl and HOBr (measured by loss of immunological recognition of native protein epitopes and the appearance of oxidatively-modified protein epitopes) was associated with an impairment of its ability to support endothelial cell adhesion, with this observed at a pathologically-achievable oxidant dose of 425 nmol oxidant/mg protein. In contrast, the heparan sulfate chains of HOCl/HOBr-modified perlecan retained their ability to bind FGF-2 and collagen V and were able to promote FGF-2-dependent cellular proliferation. Collectively, these data highlight the potential role of perlecan oxidation, and consequent deregulation of cell function, in vascular injuries by myeloperoxidase-derived HOCl and HOBr.
PMCID: PMC2818291  PMID: 19788922
oxidation; heparan sulfate; perlecan; myeloperoxidase; inflammation
4.  Similarity of Recombinant Human Perlecan Domain 1 by Alternative Expression Systems Bioactive Heterogenous Recombinant Human Perlecan D1 
BMC Biotechnology  2010;10:66.
Heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycans are diverse components of certain proteoglycans and are known to interact with growth factors as a co-receptor necessary to induce signalling and growth factor activity. In this report we characterize heterogeneously glycosylated recombinant human perlecan domain 1 (HSPG2 abbreviated as rhPln.D1) synthesized in either HEK 293 cells or HUVECs by transient gene delivery using either adenoviral or expression plasmid technology.
By SDS-PAGE analysis following anion exchange chromatography, the recombinant proteoglycans appeared to possess glycosaminoglycan chains ranging, in total, from 6 kDa to >90 kDa per recombinant. Immunoblot analysis of enzyme-digested high Mr rhPln.D1 demonstrated that the rhPln.D1 was synthesized as either a chondroitin sulfate or heparan sulfate proteoglycan, in an approximately 2:1 ratio, with negligible hybrids. Secondary structure analysis suggested helices and sheets in both recombinant species. rhPln.D1 demonstrated binding to rhFGF-2 with an apparent kD of 2 ± 0.2 nM with almost complete susceptibility to digestion by heparinase III in ligand blot analysis but not to chondroitinase digestion. Additionally, we demonstrate HS-mediated binding of both rhPln.D1 species to several other GFs. Finally, we corroborate the augmentation of FGF-mediated cell activation by rhPln.D1 and demonstrate mitogenic signalling through the FGFR1c receptor.
With importance especially to the emerging field of DNA-based therapeutics, we have shown here that proteoglycan synthesis, in different cell lines where GAG profiles typically differ, can be directed by recombinant technology to produce populations of bioactive recombinants with highly similar GAG profiles.
PMCID: PMC2944331  PMID: 20828410
5.  Peroxynitrite modifies the structure and function of the extracellular matrix proteoglycan perlecan by reaction with both the protein core and the heparan sulfate chains 
Free Radical Biology & Medicine  2010;49(2):282-293.
The heparan sulfate (HS) proteoglycan perlecan is a major component of basement membranes, plays a key role in extracellular matrix (ECM) structure, interacts with growth factors and adhesion molecules, and regulates the adhesion, differentiation and proliferation of vascular cells. Atherosclerosis is characterized by chronic inflammation and the presence of oxidized materials within lesions, with the majority of protein damage present on ECM, rather than cell, proteins. Weakening of ECM structure plays a key role in lesion rupture, the major cause of heart attacks and strokes. In this study peroxynitrite, a putative lesion oxidant, is shown to damage perlecan structurally and functionally. Exposure of human perlecan to peroxynitrite decreases recognition by antibodies raised against both the core protein and heparan sulfate chains; dose-dependent formation of 3-nitrotyrosine was also detected. These effects were modulated by bicarbonate and reaction pH. Oxidant exposure resulted in aggregate formation, consistent with oxidative protein crosslinking. Peroxynitrite treatment modified functional properties of perlecan that are dependent on both the protein core (decreased binding of human coronary artery endothelial cells), and the HS chains (diminished fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) receptor-mediated proliferation of Baf-32 cells). The latter is consistent with a decrease in FGF-2 binding to the HS chains of modified perlecan. Immunofluorescence of advanced human atherosclerotic lesions provided evidence for the presence of perlecan and extensive formation of 3-nitrotyrosine epitopes within the intimal region; these materials showing marked co-localization. These data indicate that peroxynitrite induces major structural and functional changes to perlecan and that damage to this material occurs within human atherosclerotic lesions.
PMCID: PMC2892749  PMID: 20416372
ABTS, 2,2’-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid); dONOO, decomposed peroxynitrite; ECM, extracellular matrix; FGF-2, fibroblast growth factor 2; HCAEC, human coronary artery endothelial cells; HS, heparan sulfate; HSPG, heparan sulfate proteoglycan; MTT, 1-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-3,5-diphenylformazan; 3-nitroTyr, 3-nitrotyrosine; ONOO-, peroxynitrous acid anion; ONOOH, peroxynitrous acid; TCA, trichloroacetic acid; Atherosclerosis; Extracellular matrix; Perlecan; Peroxynitrite; Heparan sulfate proteoglycans; Plaque rupture; Cell adhesion; Cell proliferation; Inflammation
6.  Perlecan regulates developmental angiogenesis by modulating the VEGF-VEGFR2 axis 
Using the zebrafish, we previously identified a central function for perlecan during angiogenic blood vessel development. Here, we explored the nature of perlecan function during developmental angiogenesis. A close examination of individual endothelial cell behavior revealed that perlecan is required for proper endothelial cell migration and proliferation. Because these events are largely mediated by VEGF-VEGFR2 signaling, we investigated the relationship between perlecan and the VEGF pathway. We discovered that perlecan knockdown caused an abnormal increase and redistribution of total VEGF-A protein suggesting perlecan is required for the appropriate localization of VEGF-A. Importantly, we linked perlecan function to the VEGF pathway by efficiently rescuing the perlecan morphant phenotype by microinjecting VEGF-A165 protein or mRNA. Combining the strategic localization of perlecan throughout the vascular basement membrane along with its growth factor-binding ability, we hypothesized a major role for perlecan during the establishment of the VEGF gradient which provides the instructive cues to endothelial cells during angiogenesis. In support of this hypothesis we demonstrated that human perlecan bound in a heparan sulfate-dependent fashion to VEGF-A165. Moreover, perlecan enhanced VEGF mediated VEGFR2 activation of human endothelial cells. Collectively, our results indicate that perlecan coordinates developmental angiogenesis through modulation of VEGF-VEGFR2 signaling events. The identification of angiogenic factors, such as perlecan, and their role in vertebrate development will not only enhance overall understanding of the molecular basis of angiogenesis, but may also provide new insight into angiogenesis-based therapeutic approaches.
PMCID: PMC2705690  PMID: 19422911
Perlecan; Heparan sulfate proteoglycan; VEGF; VEGF receptor; Angiogenesis; Endothelial cell; Zebrafish
7.  Diverse Cell Signaling Events Modulated by Perlecan† 
Biochemistry  2008;47(43):11174-11183.
Perlecan is a ubiquitous pericellular proteoglycan ideally placed to mediate cell signaling events controlling migration, proliferation and differentiation. Its control of growth factor signaling usually involves interactions with the heparan sulfate chains covalently coupled to the protein core’s N-terminus. However, this modular protein core also binds with relatively high affinity to a number of growth factors and surface receptors, thereby stabilizing cell-matrix links. This review will focus on perlecan/growth factor interactions and describe recent advances in our understanding of this highly-conserved proteoglycan during development, cancer growth and angiogenesis. The pro-angiogenic capacities of perlecan that involve proliferative and migratory signals in response to bound growth factors will be explored, as well as the anti-angiogenic signals resulting from interactions between the C-terminal domain known as endorepellin and integrins that control cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix. These two somewhat diametrically-opposed roles will be discussed in light of new data emerging from various fields which converge on perlecan as a key regulator of cell growth and angiogenesis.
PMCID: PMC2605657  PMID: 18826258
8.  Perlecan Up-Regulation of FRNK Suppresses Smooth Muscle Cell Proliferation via Inhibition of FAK Signaling 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2003;14(5):1941-1952.
We previously reported that fully assembled basement membranes are nonpermissive to smooth muscle cell (SMC) replication and that perlecan (PN), a basement membrane heparan sulfate proteoglycan, is a dominant effector of this response. We report here that SMC adhesion to basement membranes, and perlecan in particular, up-regulate the expression of focal adhesion kinase-related nonkinase (FRNK), a SMC-specific endogenous inhibitor of FAK, which subsequently suppresses FAK-mediated, ERK1/2-dependent growth signals. Up-regulation of FRNK by perlecan is actively and continuously regulated. Relative to the matrix proteins studied, the effects are unique to perlecan, because plating of SMCs on several other basement membrane proteins is associated with low levels of FRNK and corresponding high levels of FAK and ERK1/2 phosphorylation and SMC growth. Perlecan supports SMC adhesion, although there is reduced cell spreading compared with fibronectin (FN), laminin (LN), or collagen type IV (IV). Despite the reduction in cell spreading, we report that perlecan-induced up-regulation of FRNK is independent of cell shape changes. Growth inhibition by perlecan was rescued by overexpressing a constitutively active FAK construct, but overexpressing kinase-inactivated mutant FAK or FRNK attenuated fibronectin-stimulated growth. These data indicate that perlecan functions as an endogenously produced inhibitor of SMC growth at least in part through the active regulation of FRNK expression. FRNK, in turn, may control SMC growth by downregulating FAK-dependent signaling events.
PMCID: PMC165088  PMID: 12802066
9.  Perlecan domain 1 recombinant proteoglycan augments BMP-2 activity and osteogenesis 
BMC Biotechnology  2012;12:60.
Many growth factors, such as bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2, have been shown to interact with polymers of sulfated disacharrides known as heparan sulfate (HS) glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are found on matrix and cell-surface proteoglycans throughout the body. HS GAGs, and some more highly sulfated forms of chondroitin sulfate (CS), regulate cell function by serving as co-factors, or co-receptors, in GF interactions with their receptors, and HS or CS GAGs have been shown to be necessary for inducing signaling and GF activity, even in the osteogenic lineage. Unlike recombinant proteins, however, HS and CS GAGs are quite heterogenous due, in large part, to post-translational addition, then removal, of sulfate groups to various positions along the GAG polymer. We have, therefore, investigated whether it would be feasible to deliver a DNA pro-drug to generate a soluble HS/CS proteoglycan in situ that would augment the activity of growth-factors, including BMP-2, in vivo.
Utilizing a purified recombinant human perlecan domain 1 (rhPln.D1) expressed from HEK 293 cells with HS and CS GAGs, tight binding and dose-enhancement of rhBMP-2 activity was demonstrated in vitro. In vitro, the expressed rhPln.D1 was characterized by modification with sulfated HS and CS GAGs. Dose-enhancement of rhBMP-2 by a pln.D1 expression plasmid delivered together as a lyophilized single-phase on a particulate tricalcium phosphate scaffold for 6 or more weeks generated up to 9 fold more bone volume de novo on the maxillary ridge in a rat model than in control sites without the pln.D1 plasmid. Using a significantly lower BMP-2 dose, this combination provided more than 5 times as much maxillary ridge augmentation and greater density than rhBMP-2 delivered on a collagen sponge (InFuse™).
A recombinant HS/CS PG interacted strongly and functionally with BMP-2 in binding and cell-based assays, and, in vivo, the pln.247 expression plasmid significantly improved the dose-effectiveness of BMP-2 osteogenic activity for in vivo de novo bone generation when delivered together on a scaffold as a single-phase. The use of HS/CS PGs may be useful to augment GF therapeutics, and a plasmid-based approach has been shown here to be highly effective.
PMCID: PMC3485628  PMID: 22967000
Osteogenesis; BMP-2; Heparan sulfate; Chondroitin sulfate; Proteoglycan; TCP; Bone graft; Implant; Osteoblast; Perlecan

Results 1-9 (9)