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1.  Dynamics of mRNA and polysomal abundance in early 3T3-L1 adipogenesis 
BMC Genomics  2014;15(1):381.
Adipogenesis is a complex process, in which immature pre-adipocytes change morphology, micro-anatomy and physiology to become mature adipocytes. These store and accumulate fat and release diverse hormones. Massive changes in protein content and protein composition of the transforming cell take place within a short time-frame.
In a previous study we analyzed changes in the abundance of free and polysomal, i.e. ribosome bound, RNAs in the first hours of adipogenesis in the murine cell line 3T3-L1. Here we analyze changes of mRNA levels and their potential contribution to the changing protein pool by determination of mRNA levels and ribosome binding to mRNAs in 3T3-L1 cells stimulated for adipogenesis. We grouped mRNA species into categories with respect to up- or down-regulated transcription and translation and analyzed the groups regarding specific functionalities based on Gene Ontology (GO).
A shift towards up-regulation of gene expression in early adipogenesis was detected. Genes up-regulated at the transcriptional (TC:up) and translational (TL:up) level (TC:up/TL:up) are very likely involved in control and logistics of translation. Many of them are known to contain a TOP motif. In the TC:up/TL:unchanged group we detected most of the metal binding proteins and metal transporters. In the TC:unchanged/TL:up group several factors of the olfactory receptor family were identified, while in TC:unchanged/TL:down methylation and repair genes are represented. In the TC:down/TL:up group we detected many signaling factors. The TC:down/TL:unchanged group mainly consists of regulatory factors.
Within the first hours of adipogenesis, changes in transcriptional and translational regulation take place. Notably, genes with a specific biological or molecular function tend to cluster in groups according to their transcriptional and translational regulation.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-381) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4039748  PMID: 24886538
Adipogenesis; Transcription; Translation; 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes; Gene ontology; Gene enrichment; Differential expression; TOP motif
2.  Extrinsic and intrinsic regulation of DOR/TP53INP2 expression in mice: effects of dietary fat content, tissue type and sex in adipose and muscle tissues 
DOR/TP53INP2 acts both at the chromosomal level as a nuclear co-factor e.g. for the thyroid hormone receptor and at the extrachromosomal level as an organizing factor of the autophagosome. In a previous study, DOR was shown to be down-regulated in skeletal muscle of obese diabetic Zucker fa/fa rats.
To identify sites of differential DOR expression in metabolically active tissues, we measured differences in DOR expression in white adipose tissue (WAT), brown adipose tissue (BAT), skeletal muscle (SM) and heart muscle (HM) by qPCR. To assess whether DOR expression is influenced in the short term by nutritional factors, NMRI mice were fed different fat rich diets (fat diet, FD: 18% or high fat diet, HFD: 80% fat) for one week and DOR expression was compared to NMRI mice fed a control diet (normal diet, ND: 3.3% fat). Additionally, DOR expression was measured in young (45 days old) and adult (100 days old) genetically obese (DU6/DU6i) mice and compared to control (DUKs/DUKsi) animals.
ANOVA results demonstrate a significant influence of diet, tissue type and sex on DOR expression in adipose and muscle tissues of FD and HFD mice. In SM, DOR expression was higher in HFD than in FD male mice. In WAT, DOR expression was increased compared to BAT in male FD and HFD mice. In contrast, expression levels in female mice were higher in BAT for both dietary conditions.
DOR expression levels in all tissues of 100 days old genetically obese animals were mainly influenced by sex. In HM, DOR expression was higher in male than female animals.
DOR expression varies under the influence of dietary fat content, tissue type and sex. We identified target tissues for further studies to analyze the specific function of DOR in obesity. DOR might be part of a defense mechanism against fat storage in high fat diets or obesity.
PMCID: PMC3497704  PMID: 22995226
DOR/TP53INP2; High fat diet; Genetically induced obesity; Fat tissue; Muscle tissue
3.  Phenotype Selection Reveals Coevolution of Muscle Glycogen and Protein and PTEN as a Gate Keeper for the Accretion of Muscle Mass in Adult Female Mice 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39711.
We have investigated molecular mechanisms for muscle mass accretion in a non-inbred mouse model (DU6P mice) characterized by extreme muscle mass. This extreme muscle mass was developed during 138 generations of phenotype selection for high protein content. Due to the repeated trait selection a complex setting of different mechanisms was expected to be enriched during the selection experiment. In muscle from 29-week female DU6P mice we have identified robust increases of protein kinase B activation (AKT, Ser-473, up to 2-fold) if compared to 11- and 54-week DU6P mice or controls. While a number of accepted effectors of AKT activation, including IGF-I, IGF-II, insulin/IGF-receptor, myostatin or integrin-linked kinase (ILK), were not correlated with this increase, phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) was down-regulated in 29-week female DU6P mice. In addition, higher levels of PTEN phosphorylation were found identifying a second mechanism of PTEN inhibition. Inhibition of PTEN and activation of AKT correlated with specific activation of p70S6 kinase and ribosomal protein S6, reduced phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) and higher rates of protein synthesis in 29-week female DU6P mice. On the other hand, AKT activation also translated into specific inactivation of glycogen synthase kinase 3ß (GSK3ß) and an increase of muscular glycogen. In muscles from 29-week female DU6P mice a significant increase of protein/DNA was identified, which was not due to a reduction of protein breakdown or to specific increases of translation initiation. Instead our data support the conclusion that a higher rate of protein translation is contributing to the higher muscle mass in mid-aged female DU6P mice. Our results further reveal coevolution of high protein and high glycogen content during the selection experiment and identify PTEN as gate keeper for muscle mass in mid-aged female DU6P mice.
PMCID: PMC3387210  PMID: 22768110
4.  Novel polysome messages and changes in translational activity appear after induction of adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 cells 
Control of translation allows for rapid adaptation of the cell to stimuli, rather than the slower transcriptional control. We presume that translational control is an essential process in the control of adipogenesis, especially in the first hours after hormonal stimulation. 3T3-L1 preadipocytes were cultured to confluency and adipogenesis was induced by standard protocols using a hormonal cocktail. Cells were harvested before and 6 hours after hormonal induction. mRNAs attached to ribosomes (polysomal mRNAs) were separated from unbound mRNAs by velocity sedimentation. Pools of polysomal and unbound mRNA fractions were analyzed by microarray analysis. Changes in relative abundance in unbound and polysomal mRNA pools were calculated to detect putative changes in translational activity. Changes of expression levels of selected genes were verified by qPCR and Western blotting.
We identified 43 genes that shifted towards the polysomal fraction (up-regulated) and 2 genes that shifted towards free mRNA fraction (down-regulated). Interestingly, we found Ghrelin to be down-regulated. Up-regulated genes comprise factors that are nucleic acid binding (eIF4B, HSF1, IRF6, MYC, POLR2a, RPL18, RPL27a, RPL6, RPL7a, RPS18, RPSa, TSC22d3), form part of ribosomes (RPL18, RPL27a, RPL6, RPL7a, RPS18, RPSa), act on the regulation of translation (eIF4B) or transcription (HSF1, IRF6, MYC, TSC22d3). Others act as chaperones (BAG3, HSPA8, HSP90ab1) or in other metabolic or signals transducing processes.
We conclude that a moderate reorganisation of the functionality of the ribosomal machinery and translational activity are very important steps for growth and gene expression control in the initial phase of adipogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3347988  PMID: 22436005
5.  Changes in gene expression of DOR and other thyroid hormone receptors in rat liver during acute-phase response 
Cell and Tissue Research  2010;342(2):261-272.
Non-thyroidal illness is characterized by low tri-iodothyronine (T3) serum level under acute-phase conditions. We studied hepatic gene expression of the newly identified thyroid hormone receptor (TR) cofactor DOR/TP53INP2 together with TRs in a rat model of aseptic abscesses induced by injecting intramuscular turpentine-oil into each hind limb. A fast (4-6 h) decrease in the serum level of free thyroxine and free T3 was observed. By immunohistology, abundant DOR protein expression was detected in the nuclei of hepatocytes and ED-1+ (mononuclear phagocytes), CK-19+ (biliary cells), and SMA+ (mesenchymal cells of the portal tract) cells. DOR signal was reduced with a minimum at 6-12 h after the acute-phase reaction (APR). Immunohistology also showed a similar pattern of protein expression in TRα1 but without a significant change during APR. Transcripts specific for DOR, nuclear receptor co-repressor 1 (NCoR-1), and TRβ1 were down-regulated with a minimum at 6-12 h, whereas expression for TRα1 and TRα2 was slightly and significantly up-regulated, respectively, with a maximum at 24 h after APR was initiated. In cultured hepatocytes, acute-phase cytokines interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-6 down-regulated DOR and TRβ1 at the mRNA level. Moreover, gene expression of DOR and TRs (TRα1, TRα2, and TRβ1) was up-regulated in hepatocytes by adding T3 to the culture medium; this up-regulation was almost completely blocked by treating the cells with IL-6. Thus, TRβ1, NCoR-1, and the recently identified DOR/TP53INP2 are abundantly expressed and down-regulated in liver cells during APR. Their down-regulation is attributable to the decreased serum level of thyroid hormones and most probably also to the direct action of the main acute-phase cytokines.
PMCID: PMC2977073  PMID: 20949361
Thyroid hormone; Thyroid hormone receptor; Cytokines; Acute phase response; Non-thyroidal-illness; Rat (Wistar)
6.  Identification of a Novel Modulator of Thyroid Hormone Receptor-Mediated Action 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(11):e1183.
Diabetes is characterized by reduced thyroid function and altered myogenesis after muscle injury. Here we identify a novel component of thyroid hormone action that is repressed in diabetic rat muscle.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We have identified a gene, named DOR, abundantly expressed in insulin-sensitive tissues such as skeletal muscle and heart, whose expression is highly repressed in muscle from obese diabetic rats. DOR expression is up-regulated during muscle differentiation and its loss-of-function has a negative impact on gene expression programmes linked to myogenesis or driven by thyroid hormones. In agreement with this, DOR enhances the transcriptional activity of the thyroid hormone receptor TRα1. This function is driven by the N-terminal part of the protein. Moreover, DOR physically interacts with TR α1 and to T3-responsive promoters, as shown by ChIP assays. T3 stimulation also promotes the mobilization of DOR from its localization in nuclear PML bodies, thereby indicating that its nuclear localization and cellular function may be related.
Our data indicate that DOR modulates thyroid hormone function and controls myogenesis. DOR expression is down-regulated in skeletal muscle in diabetes. This finding may be of relevance for the alterations in muscle function associated with this disease.
PMCID: PMC2065906  PMID: 18030323

Results 1-6 (6)