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1.  ATM Mediates pRB Function To Control DNMT1 Protein Stability and DNA Methylation 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2013;33(16):3113-3124.
The retinoblastoma tumor suppressor gene (RB) product has been implicated in epigenetic control of gene expression owing to its ability to physically bind to many chromatin modifiers. However, the biological and clinical significance of this activity was not well elucidated. To address this, we performed genetic and epigenetic analyses in an Rb-deficient mouse thyroid C cell tumor model. Here we report that the genetic interaction of Rb and ATM regulates DNMT1 protein stability and hence controls the DNA methylation status in the promoters of at least the Ink4a, Shc2, FoxO6, and Noggin genes. Furthermore, we demonstrate that inactivation of pRB promotes Tip60 (acetyltransferase)-dependent ATM activation; allows activated ATM to physically bind to DNMT1, forming a complex with Tip60 and UHRF1 (E3 ligase); and consequently accelerates DNMT1 ubiquitination driven by Tip60-dependent acetylation. Our results indicate that inactivation of the pRB pathway in coordination with aberration in the DNA damage response deregulates DNMT1 stability, leading to an abnormal DNA methylation pattern and malignant progression.
PMCID: PMC3753918  PMID: 23754744
2.  Glycosylated Porphyra-334 and Palythine-Threonine from the Terrestrial Cyanobacterium Nostoc commune 
Marine Drugs  2013;11(9):3124-3154.
Mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) are water-soluble UV-absorbing pigments, and structurally different MAAs have been identified in eukaryotic algae and cyanobacteria. In this study novel glycosylated MAAs were found in the terrestrial cyanobacterium Nostoc commune (N. commune). An MAA with an absorption maximum at 334 nm was identified as a hexose-bound porphyra-334 derivative with a molecular mass of 508 Da. Another MAA with an absorption maximum at 322 nm was identified as a two hexose-bound palythine-threonine derivative with a molecular mass of 612 Da. These purified MAAs have radical scavenging activities in vitro, which suggests multifunctional roles as sunscreens and antioxidants. The 612-Da MAA accounted for approximately 60% of the total MAAs and contributed approximately 20% of the total radical scavenging activities in a water extract, indicating that it is the major water-soluble UV-protectant and radical scavenger component. The hexose-bound porphyra-334 derivative and the glycosylated palythine-threonine derivatives were found in a specific genotype of N. commune, suggesting that glycosylated MAA patterns could be a chemotaxonomic marker for the characterization of the morphologically indistinguishable N. commune. The glycosylation of porphyra-334 and palythine-threonine in N. commune suggests a unique adaptation for terrestrial environments that are drastically fluctuating in comparison to stable aquatic environments.
PMCID: PMC3801118  PMID: 24065157
anhydrobiosis; antioxidant; mycosporine-like amino acid (MAA); Nostoc commune; UV protectant
3.  The Secreted Antifungal Protein Thionin 2.4 in Arabidopsis thaliana Suppresses the Toxicity of a Fungal Fruit Body Lectin from Fusarium graminearum 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(8):e1003581.
Plants possess active defense systems and can protect themselves from pathogenic invasion by secretion of a variety of small antimicrobial or antifungal proteins such as thionins. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of thionins are derived from their ability to induce open pore formation on cell membranes of phytopathogens, resulting in release of potassium and calcium ions from the cell. Wheat thionin also accumulates in the cell walls of Fusarium-inoculated plants, suggesting that it may have a role in blocking pathogen infection at the plant cell walls. Here we developed an anti-thionin 2.4 (Thi2.4) antibody and used it to show that Thi2.4 is localized in the cell walls of Arabidopsis and cell membranes of F. graminearum, when flowers are inoculated with F. graminearum. The Thi2.4 protein had an antifungal effect on F. graminearum. Next, we purified the Thi2.4 protein, conjugated it with glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and coupled the proteins to an NHS-activated column. Total protein from F. graminearum was applied to GST-Thi2.4 or Thi2.4-binding columns, and the fungal fruit body lectin (FFBL) of F. graminearum was identified as a Thi2.4-interacting protein. This interaction was confirmed by a yeast two-hybrid analysis. To investigate the biological function of FFBL, we infiltrated the lectin into Arabidopsis leaves and observed that it induced cell death in the leaves. Application of FFBL at the same time as inoculation with F. graminearum significantly enhanced the virulence of the pathogen. By contrast, FFBL-induced host cell death was effectively suppressed in transgenic plants that overexpressed Thi2.4. We found that a 15 kD Thi2.4 protein was specifically expressed in flowers and flower buds and suggest that it acts not only as an antifungal peptide, but also as a suppressor of the FFBL toxicity. Secreted thionin proteins are involved in this dual defense mechanism against pathogen invasion at the plant-pathogen interface.
Author Summary
Host-pathogen interactions involve a multiplicity of mechanisms that coevolved for successful host resistance to pathogenic invasion or for overcoming host defenses by the pathogen. In our study, we focused on antifungal peptides called thionins that plants use for defense against a broad range of phytopathogens. Recently, a wheat thionin was shown to preferentially accumulate in plant cell walls, suggesting that it might have a novel function there during plant-pathogen interactions. We investigated this possible interaction in the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana and found that the plant thionin 2.4 (Thi2.4) protein interacted with a secreted protein from the fungal species Fusarium graminearum named the fungal fruiting body lectin (FFBL). FFBL causes cell death in Arabidopsis leaves; however, its effect is largely prevented in Arabidopsis plants overexpressing the Thi2.4 protein, i.e., Thi2.4 can act as an effective trap against FFBL. We also found that inoculating flower buds with F. graminearum and FFBL reduces accumulation of Thi2.4 and that disease symptoms develop in the flower buds 2 days after inoculation. Thus, molecular competition between the two secretory proteins, host Thi2.4 and pathogen FFBL, in extracellular spaces is likely to determine whether or not host plants can prevent invasion by F. graminearum.
PMCID: PMC3749967  PMID: 23990790
4.  Proteomic analysis of S-nitrosylation induced by 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) 
Proteome Science  2012;10:74.
Nitric oxide (NO) mediates its function through the direct modification of various cellular targets. S-nitrosylation is a post-translational modification of cysteine residues by NO that regulates protein function. Recently, an imbalance of S-nitrosylation has also been linked to neurodegeneration through the impairment of pro-survival proteins by S-nitrosylation.
In the present study, we used two-dimensional gel electrophoresis in conjunction with the modified biotin switch assay for protein S-nitrosothiols using resin-assisted capture (SNO-RAC) to identify proteins that are S-nitrosylated more intensively in neuroblastoma cells treated with a mitochondrial complex I inhibitor, 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+). We identified 14 proteins for which S-nitrosylation was upregulated and seven proteins for which it was downregulated in MPP+-treated neuroblastoma cells. Immunoblot analysis following SNO-RAC confirmed a large increase in the S-nitrosylation of esterase D (ESD), serine-threonine kinase receptor-associated protein (STRAP) and T-complex protein 1 subunit γ (TCP-1 γ) in MPP+-treated neuroblastoma cells, whereas S-nitrosylation of thioredoxin domain-containing protein 5 precursor (ERp46) was decreased.
These results suggest that S-nitrosylation resulting from mitochondrial dysfunction can compromise neuronal survival through altering multiple signal transduction pathways and might be a potential therapeutic target for neurodegenerative diseases.
PMCID: PMC3576269  PMID: 23273257
5.  The defense response in Arabidopsis thaliana against Fusarium sporotrichioides 
Proteome Science  2012;10:61.
Certain graminaceous plants such as Zea mays and Triticum aestivum serve as hosts for Fusarium sporotrichioides; however, molecular interactions between the host plants and F. sporotrichioides remain unknown. It is also not known whether any interaction between Arabidopsis thaliana and F. sporotrichioides can occur. To understand these interactions, we performed proteomic analysis.
Arabidopsis leaves and flowers were inoculated with F. sporotrichioides. Accumulation of PLANT DEFENSIN1.2 (PDF1.2) and PATHOGENESIS RELATED1 (PR1) mRNA in Arabidopsis were increased by inoculation of F. sporotrichioides. Furthermore, mitogen-activated protein kinase 3 (MPK3) and mitogen-activated protein kinase 6 (MPK6), which represent MAP kinases in Arabidopsis, were activated by inoculation of F. sporotrichioides. Proteomic analysis revealed that some defense-related proteins were upregulated, while the expression of photosynthesis- and metabolism-related proteins was down regulated, by inoculation with F. sporotrichioides. We carried out the proteomic analysis about upregulated proteins by inoculation with Fusarium graminearum. The glutathione S-transferases (GSTs), such as GSTF4 and GSTF7 were upregulated, by inoculation with F. graminearum-infected Arabidopsis leaves. On the other hand, GSTF3 and GSTF9 were uniquely upregulated, by inoculation with F. sporotrichioides.
These results indicate that Arabidopsis is a host plant for F. sporotrichioides. We revealed that defense response of Arabidopsis is initiated by infection with F. sporotrichioides.
PMCID: PMC3507649  PMID: 23110430
Arabidopsis thaliana; Defense response; Fusarium sporotrichioides; T-2 toxin; MAP kinase; GSTs; Superoxide dismutase; Ascorbate peroxidase
7.  Compensatory Upregulation of Myelin Protein Zero-Like 2 Expression in Spermatogenic Cells in Cell Adhesion Molecule-1-Deficient Mice 
The cell adhesion molecule-1 (Cadm1) is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily. In the mouse testis, Cadm1 is expressed in the earlier spermatogenic cells up to early pachytene spermatocytes and also in elongated spermatids, but not in Sertoli cells. Cadm1-deficient mice have male infertility due to defective spermatogenesis, in which detachment of spermatids is prominent while spermatocytes appear intact. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms of the impaired spermatogenesis caused by Cadm1 deficiency, we performed DNA microarray analysis of global gene expression in the testis compared between Cadm1-deficient and wild-type mice. Out of the 25 genes upregulated in Cadm1-deficient mice, we took a special interest in myelin protein zero-like 2 (Mpzl2), another cell adhesion molecule of the immunoglobulin superfamily. The levels of Mpzl2 mRNA increased by 20-fold and those of Mpzl2 protein increased by 2-fold in the testis of Cadm1-deficient mice, as analyzed with quantitative PCR and western blotting, respectively. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry demonstrated that Mpzl2 mRNA and protein are localized in the earlier spermatogenic cells but not in elongated spermatids or Sertoli cells, in both wild-type and Cadm1-deficient mice. These results suggested that Mpzl2 can compensate for the deficiency of Cadm1 in the earlier spermatogenic cells.
PMCID: PMC3317495  PMID: 22489104
cell adhesion molecule; immunoglobulin superfamily; knockout mouse; spermatogenesis; testis
9.  Visualization of wounding-induced root-to-shoot communication in Arabidopsis 
Plant Signaling & Behavior  2011;6(7):1037-1039.
It is known that wounding systemically activates the expression of various defense-related genes in plants. However, most studies of wound-induced systemic response are concerned with a leaf-to-leaf response. We have recently reported that the long distance signaling was also observed in the shoots of Arabidopsis seedling with wounded roots. We identified early and late root-to-shoot responsive (RtS) genes that were upregulated in the shoots of root-wounded seedlings at 30 min and 6 h post-injury, respectively. It is likely that the primary signals were rapidly transfered from injured roots to shoots, and then these signals were converted into chemical signals. In fact, increase of JA and OPDA content activated the expression of early and late RtS genes in shoots, respectively. In addition, we visualized wound-induced root-to-shoot response by using RtS pro-moter-luciferase (Luc) transgenic plants. Analysis of the AtERF13 promoter::Luc transgenic plants clearly shows that the wound-induced root-to-shoot signaling was rapidly activated via the vascular systems.
PMCID: PMC3257789  PMID: 21617378
wounding; root-to-shoot; inter-organ communication; long distance signaling; oxylipin; microarray
10.  Involvement of auxin dynamics in hypergravity-induced promotion of lignin-related gene expression in Arabidopsis inflorescence stems 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2011;62(15):5463-5469.
Recent studies have shown that hypergravity enhances lignification through up-regulation of the expression of lignin biosynthesis-related genes, although its hormonal signalling mechanism is unknown. The effects of hypergravity on auxin dynamics were examined using Arabidopsis plants that were transformed with the auxin reporter gene construct DR5::GUS. Hypergravity treatment at 300 g significantly increased β-glucuronidase activity in inflorescence stems of DR5::GUS plants, indicating that endogenous auxin accumulation was enhanced by hypergravity treatment. The hypergravity-related increased expression levels of both DR5::GUS and lignin biosynthesis-related genes in inflorescence stems were suppressed after disbudding, indicating that the increased expression of lignin biosynthesis-related genes is dependent on an increase in auxin influx from the shoot apex.
PMCID: PMC3223044  PMID: 21841171
Arabidopsis; auxin; disbudding; DR5::GUS; hypergravity; lignin
11.  HvCEBiP, a gene homologous to rice chitin receptor CEBiP, contributes to basal resistance of barley to Magnaporthe oryzae 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:288.
Rice CEBiP recognizes chitin oligosaccharides on the fungal cell surface or released into the plant apoplast, leading to the expression of plant disease resistance against fungal infection. However, it has not yet been reported whether CEBiP is actually required for restricting the growth of fungal pathogens. Here we evaluated the involvement of a putative chitin receptor gene in the basal resistance of barley to the ssd1 mutant of Magnaporthe oryzae, which induces multiple host defense responses.
The mossd1 mutant showed attenuated pathogenicity on barley and appressorial penetration was restricted by the formation of callose papillae at attempted entry sites. When conidial suspensions of mossd1 mutant were spotted onto the leaves of HvCEBiP-silenced plants, small brown necrotic flecks or blast lesions were produced but these lesions did not expand beyond the inoculation site. Wild-type M. oryzae also produced slightly more severe symptoms on the leaves of HvCEBiP-silenced plants. Cytological observation revealed that these lesions resulted from appressorium-mediated penetration into plant epidermal cells.
These results suggest that HvCEBiP is involved in basal resistance against appressorium-mediated infection and that basal resistance might be triggered by the recognition of chitin oligosaccharides derived from M. oryzae.
PMCID: PMC3020183  PMID: 21190588
12.  Sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor-2 deficiency leads to inhibition of macrophage proinflammatory activities and atherosclerosis in apoE-deficient mice 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2010;120(11):3979-3995.
Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a biologically active sphingolipid that has pleiotropic effects in a variety of cell types including ECs, SMCs, and macrophages, all of which are central to the development of atherosclerosis. It may therefore exert stimulatory and inhibitory effects on atherosclerosis. Here, we investigated the role of the S1P receptor S1PR2 in atherosclerosis by analyzing S1pr2–/– mice with an Apoe–/– background. S1PR2 was expressed in macrophages, ECs, and SMCs in atherosclerotic aortas. In S1pr2–/–Apoe–/– mice fed a high-cholesterol diet for 4 months, the area of the atherosclerotic plaque was markedly decreased, with reduced macrophage density, increased SMC density, increased eNOS phosphorylation, and downregulation of proinflammatory cytokines compared with S1pr2+/+Apoe–/– mice. Bone marrow chimera experiments indicated a major role for macrophage S1PR2 in atherogenesis. S1pr2–/–Apoe–/– macrophages showed diminished Rho/Rho kinase/NF-κB (ROCK/NF-κB) activity. Consequently, they also displayed reduced cytokine expression, reduced oxidized LDL uptake, and stimulated cholesterol efflux associated with decreased scavenger receptor expression and increased cholesterol efflux transporter expression. S1pr2–/–Apoe–/– ECs also showed reduced ROCK and NF-κB activities, with decreased MCP-1 expression and elevated eNOS phosphorylation. Pharmacologic S1PR2 blockade in S1pr2+/+Apoe–/– mice diminished the atherosclerotic plaque area in aortas and modified LDL accumulation in macrophages. We conclude therefore that S1PR2 plays a critical role in atherogenesis and may serve as a novel therapeutic target for atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC2964972  PMID: 20978351
13.  The AtNFXL1 gene functions as a signaling component of the type A trichothecene-dependent response 
Plant Signaling & Behavior  2008;3(11):991-992.
Phytopathogenic Fusarium species produce the trichothecene family of phytotoxins, which function as a virulence factor during infection of plants. Trichothecenes are classifiable into four major groups by their chemical structures. Recently, the AtNFXL1 gene was reported as a type A trichothecene T-2 toxin-inducible gene. The AtNFXL1 gene encodes a putative transcription factor with similarity to the human transcription repressor NF-X1. The atnfxl1 mutant exhibited hypersensitivity phenotype to T-2 toxin but not to type B deoxynivalenol (DON) in comparison with wild type when Arabidopsis thaliana grew on agar medium containing trichothecenes. The absence or presence of a carbonyl group at the C8 position distinguishes type A and type B. Growth defect by another type A trichothecene diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS), was weakly enhanced in the atnfxl1 mutant. Diacetoxyscirpenol is distinguishable from T-2 toxin only by the absence of an isovaleryl group at the C8 position. Correspondingly, the AtNFXL1 promoter activity was apparently induced in T-2 toxin-treated and DAS-treated plants. In contrast, DON failed to induce the AtNFXL1 promoter activity. Consequently, the AtNFXL1 gene functions as a signaling component of the type A trichothecene-dependent response in Arabidopsis. In addition, the C8 position of trichothecenes might be closely related to the function of AtNFXL1 gene.
PMCID: PMC2633753  PMID: 19704430
trichothecene; phytotoxin; elicitor; translational inhibition; virulence; arabidopsis; fusarium

Results 1-13 (13)