Dendritic arbors of many neurons are patterned by a process called self-avoidance, in which branches arising from a single neuron repel each other1-7. By minimizing gaps and overlaps within the arbor, self-avoidance facilitates complete coverage of a neuron’s territory by its neurites1-3. Remarkably, some neurons that display self-avoidance interact freely with other neurons of the same subtype, implying that they discriminate self from non-self. Here, we demonstrate roles for the clustered protocadherins (Pcdhs) in dendritic self-avoidance and self/non-self discrimination. The Pcdh locus encodes ~60 related cadherin-like transmembrane proteins, at least some of which exhibit isoform-specific homophilic adhesion in heterologous cells and are expressed stochastically and combinatorially in single neurons7-11. Deletion of all 22 Pcdhs in the mouse gamma subcluster (Pcdhgs) disrupts self-avoidance of dendrites in retinal starburst amacrine cells (SACs) and cerebellar Purkinje cells. Further genetic analysis of SACs showed that Pcdhgs act cell-autonomously during development, and that replacement of the 22 Pcdhgs with a single isoform restores self-avoidance. Moreover, expression of the same single isoform in all SACs decreases interactions among dendrites of neighboring SACs (heteroneuronal interactions). These results suggest that homophilic Pcdhg interactions between sibling neurites (isoneuronal interactions) generate a repulsive signal that leads to self-avoidance. In this model, heteroneuronal interactions are normally permitted because dendrites seldom encounter a matched set of Pcdhgs unless they emanate from the same soma. In many respects, our results mirror those reported for Dscam1 in Drosophila: this complex gene encodes thousands of recognition molecules that exhibit stochastic expression and isoform-specific interactions, and mediate both self-avoidance and self/non-self discrimination4-7,12-15. Thus, although insect Dscams and vertebrate Pcdhs share no sequence homology, they appear to underlie similar strategies for endowing neurons with distinct molecular identities and patterning their arbors.
We have found that the γ2 subunit of the GABAA receptor (γ2-GABAAR) specifically interacts with protocadherin γ-C5 (Pcdh-γC5) in the rat brain. The interaction occurs between the large intracellular loop of the γ2-GABAAR and the cytoplasmic domain of Pcdh-γC5. In brain extracts, Pcdh-γC5 co-immunoprecipitates with GABAARs. In co-transfected HEK293 cells, Pcdh-γC5 promotes the transfer of γ2-GABAAR to the cell surface. We have previously shown that in cultured hippocampal neurons, endogenous Pcdh-γC5 forms clusters, some of which associate with GABAergic synapses. Overexpression of Pcdh-γC5 in hippocampal neurons increases the density ofγ2-GABAAR clusters but has no significant effect on the number of GABAergic contacts that these neurons receive, indicating that Pcdh-γC5 is not synaptogenic. Deletion of the cytoplasmic domain of Pcdh-γC5 enhanced its surface expression but decreased the association with both γ2-GABAAR clusters and presynaptic GABAergic contacts. Cultured hippocampal neurons from the Pcdh-γ triple C-type isoform knockout (TCKO) mouse (Pcdhgtcko/tcko) showed plenty of GABAergic synaptic contacts, although their density was reduced compared with sister cultures from wild type and heterozygous mice. Knocking down Pcdh-γC5 expression with shRNA decreased γ2-GABAAR cluster density and GABAergic innervation. The results indicate that although Pcdh-γC5 is not essential for GABAergic synapse formation or GABAAR clustering, i) Pcdh-γC5 regulates the surface expression of GABAARs via cis-cytoplasmic interaction with γ2-GABAAR; and ii) Pcdh-γC5 plays a role in the stabilization and maintenance of some GABAergic synapses.
GABAA receptors; synapses; GABAergic synapse; protocadherin; PCDHGC5; interaction
Mutations in the RNA binding protein FUS cause ALS, a fatal adult motor neuron disease. Decreased expression of SMN causes the fatal childhood motor neuron disorder SMA. The SMN complex localizes in both the cytoplasm and nuclear Gems, and loss of Gems is a cellular hallmark of SMA patient fibroblasts. Here, we report that FUS associates with the SMN complex, an interaction mediated by U1 snRNP and by direct interactions between FUS and SMN. Functionally, we show that FUS is required for Gem formation in HeLa cells, and expression of FUS containing a severe ALS-causing mutation (R495X) also results in Gem loss. Strikingly, a reduction in Gems is observed in ALS patient fibroblasts expressing either mutant FUS or TDP-43, another ALS-causing protein that interacts with FUS. The physical and functional interactions between SMN, FUS, TDP-43, and Gems indicate that ALS and SMA share a biochemical pathway, adding strong new support to the view that these motor neuron diseases are related.
Post-traumatic pulmonary pseudocyst is an uncommon cavitary lesion of the lung and develops after blunt chest trauma and even more rarely following penetrating injuries. It is generally seen in young adults presenting with cough, chest pain, hemoptysis, and dyspnea. Post-traumatic pulmonary pseudocyst should be included in the differential diagnosis of cavitary pulmonary lesions. We describe the case of a 60-year-old Caucasian Greek woman who sustained traumatic pulmonary pseudocyst with hemopneumothorax due to a blunt chest trauma after a traffic accident.
After a traffic accident, a 60-year-old Caucasian Greek woman sustained a hemopneumothorax due to a blunt chest trauma. There was evidence of an extensive contusion in the posterior and lateral segments of the right lower lobe, a finding that was attributed to an early sign of a cavitation, and the presence of a thin-walled air cavity was detected on the anterior segment of the right lower lobe in the control computed tomography taken 24 hours after admission. Our patient was treated by catheter aspiration, and the findings of computed tomography evaluation about one month later showed complete resolution of one of the two air-filled cavitary lesions. The second pseudocyst also disappeared completely, as shown by the control computed tomography scan performed six months later.
Traumatic pulmonary pseudocyst is a rare complication of blunt chest trauma, and computed tomography is a more valuable imaging technique than chest radiograph for early diagnosis.
Traumatic pulmonary pseudocyst; lung cyst; blunt chest trauma; pulmonary contusion
Caveolin-1 is a key regulator of pulmonary endothelial barrier function. Here, we tested the hypothesis that caveolin-1 expression is required for ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI). Caveolin-1 gene-disrupted (Cav-1-/-) and age-, sex-, and strain-matched wild-type (WT) control mice were ventilated using two protocols: volume-controlled with protective (8 mL/kg) versus injurious (21 mL/Kg) tidal volume for up to 6 hours; and pressure-controlled with protective (airway pressure = 12 cm H2O) versus injurious (30 cm H2O) ventilation to induce lung injury. Lung microvascular permeability (whole-lung 125I-albumin accumulation, lung capillary filtration coefficient [Kf, c]) and inflammatory markers (bronchoalveolar lavage [BAL] cytokine levels and neutrophil counts) were measured. We also evaluated histologic sections from lungs, and the time course of Src kinase activation and caveolin-1 phosphorylation. VILI induced a 1.7-fold increase in lung 125I-albumin accumulation, fourfold increase in Kf, c, significantly increased levels of cytokines CXCL1 and interleukin-6, and promoted BAL neutrophilia in WT mice. Lung injury by these criteria was significantly reduced in Cav-1-/- mice but fully restored by i.v. injection of liposome/Cav-1 cDNA complexes that rescued expression of Cav-1 in lung microvessels. As thrombin is known to play a significant role in mediating stretch-induced vascular injury, we observed in cultured mouse lung microvascular endothelial cells (MLECs) thrombin-induced albumin hyperpermeability and phosphorylation of p44/42 MAP kinase in WT but not in Cav-1-/- MLECs. Thus, caveolin-1 expression is required for mechanical stretch-induced lung inflammation and endothelial hyperpermeability in vitro and in vivo.
high tidal volume mechanical ventilation; lung inflammation; thrombin; caveolae; albumin permeability
Anthocyanin content is a trait of major interest in Vitis vinifera L. These compounds affect grape and wine quality, and have beneficial effects on human health. A candidate-gene approach was used to identify genetic variants associated with anthocyanin content in grape berries. A total of 445 polymorphisms were identified in 5 genes encoding transcription factors and 10 genes involved in either the biosynthetic pathway or transport of anthocyanins. A total of 124 SNPs were selected to examine association with a wide range of phenotypes based on RP-HPLC analysis and visual characterization. The phenotypes were total skin anthocyanin (TSA) concentration but also specific types of anthocyanins and relative abundance. The visual assessment was based on OIV (Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin) descriptors for berry and skin colour. The genes encoding the transcription factors MYB11, MYBCC and MYCB were significantly associated with TSA concentration. UFGT and MRP were associated with several different types of anthocyanins. Skin and pulp colour were associated with nine genes (MYB11, MYBCC, MYCB, UFGT, MRP, DFR, LDOX, CHI and GST). Pulp colour was associated with a similar group of 11 genes (MYB11, MYBCC, MYCB, MYCA, UFGT, MRP, GST, DFR, LDOX, CHI and CHSA). Statistical interactions were observed between SNPs within the transcription factors MYB11, MYBCC and MYCB. SNPs within LDOX interacted with MYB11 and MYCB, while SNPs within CHI interacted with MYB11 only. Together, these findings suggest the involvement of these genes in anthocyanin content and on the regulation of anthocyanin biosynthesis. This work forms a benchmark for replication and functional studies.
The primary function of the mammalian lung is to facilitate diffusion of oxygen to venous blood and to ventilate carbon dioxide produced by catabolic reactions within cells. However, it is also responsible for a variety of other important functions, including host defense and production of vasoactive agents to regulate not only systemic blood pressure, but also water, electrolyte and acid-base balance. Caveolin-1 is highly expressed in the majority of cell types in the lung, including epithelial, endothelial, smooth muscle, connective tissue cells, and alveolar macrophages. Deletion of caveolin-1 in these cells results in major functional aberrations, suggesting that caveolin-1 may be crucial to lung homeostasis and development. Furthermore, generation of mutant mice that under-express caveolin-1 results in severe functional distortion with phenotypes covering practically the entire spectrum of known lung diseases, including pulmonary hypertension, fibrosis, increased endothelial permeability, and immune defects. In this Chapter, we outline the current state of knowledge regarding caveolin-1-dependent regulation of pulmonary cell functions and discuss recent research findings on the role of caveolin-1 in various pulmonary disease states, including obstructive and fibrotic pulmonary vascular and inflammatory diseases.
Diabetic patients may develop acute lung injury less often than non-diabetics; a fact that could be partially ascribed to the usage of antidiabetic drugs, including metformin. Metformin exhibits pleiotropic properties which make it potentially beneficial against lung injury. We hypothesized that pretreatment with metformin preserves alveolar capillary permeability and, thus, prevents ventilator-induced lung injury.
Twenty-four rabbits were randomly assigned to pretreatment with metformin (250 mg/Kg body weight/day per os) or no medication for two days. Explanted lungs were perfused at constant flow rate (300 mL/min) and ventilated with injurious (peak airway pressure 23 cmH2O, tidal volume ≈17 mL/Kg) or protective (peak airway pressure 11 cmH2O, tidal volume ≈7 mL/Kg) settings for 1 hour. Alveolar capillary permeability was assessed by ultrafiltration coefficient, total protein concentration in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity in BALF.
High-pressure ventilation of the ex-vivo lung preparation resulted in increased microvascular permeability, edema formation and microhemorrhage compared to protective ventilation. Compared to no medication, pretreatment with metformin was associated with a 2.9-fold reduction in ultrafiltration coefficient, a 2.5-fold reduction in pulmonary edema formation, lower protein concentration in BALF, lower ACE activity in BALF, and fewer histological lesions upon challenge of the lung preparation with injurious ventilation. In contrast, no differences regarding pulmonary artery pressure and BALF total cell number were noted. Administration of metformin did not impact on outcomes of lungs subjected to protective ventilation.
Pretreatment with metformin preserves alveolar capillary permeability and, thus, decreases the severity of ventilator-induced lung injury in this model.
BRCA1 promotes DNA repair through interactions with multiple proteins, including CtIP and FANCJ (also known as BRIP1/BACH1). While CtIP facilitates DNA end resection when de-acetylated, the function of FANCJ in repair processing is less well defined. Here, we report that FANCJ is also acetylated. Preventing FANCJ acetylation at lysine 1249 does not interfere with the ability of cells to survive DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs). However, resistance is achieved with reduced reliance on recombination. Mechanistically, FANCJ acetylation facilitates DNA end processing required for repair and checkpoint signaling. This conclusion was based on the finding that FANCJ and its acetylation were required for robust RPA foci formation, RPA phosphorylation, and Rad51 foci formation in response to camptothecin (CPT). Furthermore, both preventing and mimicking FANCJ acetylation at lysine 1249 disrupts FANCJ function in checkpoint maintenance. Thus, we propose that the dynamic regulation of FANCJ acetylation is critical for robust DNA damage response, recombination-based processing, and ultimately checkpoint maintenance.
The BRCA1–Fanconi anemia (FA) pathway is required for both tumor suppression and cell survival, particularly following treatment with DNA damaging agents that induce DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs). ICL processing by the BRCA–FA pathway includes promotion of homologous recombination (HR) and DNA damage tolerance through translesion synthesis. However, little is known about how the BRCA–FA pathway or these ICL processing mechanisms are regulated. Here, we identify acetylation as a DNA damage–dependent regulator of the BRCA–FA protein, FANCJ. FANCJ acetylation at lysine 1249 is enhanced by expression of the histone acetyltransferase CBP and reduced by expression of histone deacetylases HDAC3 or SIRT1. Furthermore, acetylation on endogenous FANCJ is induced upon treatment of cells with agents that generate DNA lesions. Consistent with this post-translation event regulating FANCJ function during cellular DNA repair, preventing FANCJ acetylation skews ICL processing. Cells have reduced reliance on HR factor Rad54 and greater reliance on translesion synthesis polymerase polη. Our data indicate that FANCJ acetylation contributes to DNA end processing that is required for HR. Furthermore, resection-dependent checkpoint maintenance relies on the dynamic regulation of FANCJ acetylation. The implication of these findings is that FANCJ acetylation contributes to DNA repair choice within the BRCA–FA pathway.
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is one of many types rapidly growing malignant diseases, such as Burkitt’s lymphoma and testicular germ cell cancers. At present, there is no reliable way to screen for SCLC, and imaging modalities tend to be delayed in detecting this type of cancer. The clinical presentation of acutely and rapidly growing SCLC can mimic those of pulmonary inflammatory or infectious disorders, and in some instances, this delays appropriate management and negatively affects patient outcome.
small cell; doubling time
The analysis of stochastic interferon-beta gene expression in virus-infected mammalian cells reveals that the levels of components required for virtually every step in the virus induction pathway are limiting.
Virus infection of mammalian cells induces the production of high levels of type I interferons (IFNα and β), cytokines that orchestrate antiviral innate and adaptive immunity. Previous studies have shown that only a fraction of the infected cells produce IFN. However, the mechanisms responsible for this stochastic expression are poorly understood. Here we report an in depth analysis of IFN-expressing and non-expressing mouse cells infected with Sendai virus. Mouse embryonic fibroblasts in which an internal ribosome entry site/yellow fluorescent protein gene was inserted downstream from the endogenous IFNβ gene were used to distinguish between the two cell types, and they were isolated from each other using fluorescence-activated cell sorting methods. Analysis of the separated cells revealed that stochastic IFNβ expression is a consequence of cell-to-cell variability in the levels and/or activities of limiting components at every level of the virus induction process, ranging from viral replication and expression, to the sensing of viral RNA by host factors, to activation of the signaling pathway, to the levels of activated transcription factors. We propose that this highly complex stochastic IFNβ gene expression evolved to optimize both the level and distribution of type I IFNs in response to virus infection.
Eukaryotic cells can respond to extracellular signals by triggering the activation of specific genes. Viral infection of mammalian cells, for example, induces a high level of expression of type I interferons (IFNα and β), proteins required for antiviral immunity that protects cells from the infection. Previous studies have shown that the expression of the IFNβ gene is stochastic, and under optimal conditions only a fraction of the infected cells express the IFNβ gene. At present neither the mechanisms nor functions of this interesting phenomenon are well understood. We have addressed this question by analyzing IFN-expressing and non-expressing mouse cells that were infected with the highly transmissible Sendai virus. We show that stochastic IFNβ gene expression is a consequence of cell-to-cell differences in limiting levels and/or activities of virus components at every level of the virus induction process, from viral replication to expression. These differences include the sensing of viral RNA by host factors, the activation of the signaling pathway, and the levels of activated transcription factors. Our findings reveal the complexity of the regulatory mechanisms controlling stochastic IFNβ gene expression. We propose that the stochastic expression of IFN allows for an even distribution of IFN, thus avoiding over-expression of IFN in infected cells.
Reduced lung capillary expression of angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE), a key enzyme in cardiovascular pathophysiology, and of caveolin-1, an important regulator of endothelial cell signalling, has been demonstrated in various models of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). We addressed the relationship between PAH and ACE expression in caveolin-1 knockout mice (Cav1−/−), which have moderate PAH. Tissue ACE activity was reduced by 50% in lungs from 3- month old Cav1−/− mice compared to wild type (WT). A similar reduction in lung endothelial ACE expression was observed by measuring the lung uptake of 125I-labeled monoclonal anti-ACE antibody and by quantitative immunohistochemistry. These alterations in ACE are limited to capillary segments of the pulmonary circulation. Functionally, the increase in pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) in response to ACE conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II in isolated, perfused mouse lungs was reduced significantly in Cav1−/− mice compared to WT. Thus, these complementary approaches demonstrate the dependence of lung microvascular endothelial cell ACE protein expression on caveolin-1 expression and underscore the vital role of caveolin-1-regulated pulmonary vascular homeostasis on endothelial ACE expression and activity. In summary, we have revealed a novel role of caveolin-1 in the regulation of ACE expression in pulmonary capillary endothelial cells. Further understanding of the mechanism by which reduced caveolin-1 expression leads altered pulmonary vascular development, PAH, and reduced ACE expression may have important clinical implications in patients with these severe lung diseases.
pulmonary hypertension; endothelial dysfunction; anti-ACE monoclonal antibody
To evaluate the associations of emergent genome-wide-association study-derived coronary heart disease (CHD)-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with established and emerging risk factors, and the association of genome-wide-association study-derived lipid-associated SNPs with other risk factors and CHD events.
Methods and results
Using two case–control studies, three cross-sectional, and seven prospective studies with up to 25 000 individuals and 5794 CHD events we evaluated associations of 34 genome-wide-association study-identified SNPs with CHD risk and 16 CHD-associated risk factors or biomarkers. The Ch9p21 SNPs rs1333049 (OR 1.17; 95% confidence limits 1.11–1.24) and rs10757274 (OR 1.17; 1.09–1.26), MIA3 rs17465637 (OR 1.10; 1.04–1.15), Ch2q36 rs2943634 (OR 1.08; 1.03–1.14), APC rs383830 (OR 1.10; 1.02, 1.18), MTHFD1L rs6922269 (OR 1.10; 1.03, 1.16), CXCL12 rs501120 (OR 1.12; 1.04, 1.20), and SMAD3 rs17228212 (OR 1.11; 1.05, 1.17) were all associated with CHD risk, but not with the CHD biomarkers and risk factors measured. Among the 20 blood lipid-related SNPs, LPL rs17411031 was associated with a lower risk of CHD (OR 0.91; 0.84–0.97), an increase in Apolipoprotein AI and HDL-cholesterol, and reduced triglycerides. SORT1 rs599839 was associated with CHD risk (OR 1.20; 1.15–1.26) as well as total- and LDL-cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B. ANGPTL3 rs12042319 was associated with CHD risk (OR 1.11; 1.03, 1.19), total- and LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and interleukin-6.
Several SNPs predicting CHD events appear to involve pathways not currently indexed by the established or emerging risk factors; others involved changes in blood lipids including triglycerides or HDL-cholesterol as well as LDL-cholesterol. The overlapping association of SNPs with multiple risk factors and biomarkers supports the existence of shared points of regulation for these phenotypes.
Coronary disease; Lipids; Genes; Risk factors
RNA-Seq and microarray platforms have emerged as important tools for detecting changes in gene expression and RNA processing in biological samples. We present ExpressionPlot, a software package consisting of a default back end, which prepares raw sequencing or Affymetrix microarray data, and a web-based front end, which offers a biologically centered interface to browse, visualize, and compare different data sets. Download and installation instructions, a user's manual, discussion group, and a prototype are available at http://expressionplot.com/.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are ~22-nucleotide-long noncoding RNAs that normally function by suppressing translation and destabilizing messenger RNAs bearing complementary target sequences. Some miRNAs are expressed in a cell- or tissue-specific manner and may contribute to the establishment and/or maintenance of cellular identity. Recent studies indicate that tissue-specific miRNAs may function at multiple hierarchical levels of gene regulatory networks, from targeting hundreds of effector genes incompatible with the differentiated state to controlling the levels of global regulators of transcription and alternative pre-mRNA splicing. This multilevel regulation may allow individual miRNAs to profoundly affect the gene expression program of differentiated cells.
Both microRNAs and alternative pre-mRNA splicing have been implicated in the development of the nervous system (NS), but functional interactions between these two pathways are poorly understood. We demonstrate that the neuron-specific microRNA miR-124 directly targets PTBP1 (PTB/hnRNP I) mRNA, which encodes a global repressor of alternative pre-mRNA splicing in nonneuronal cells. Among the targets of PTBP1 is a critical cassette exon in the pre-mRNA of PTBP2 (nPTB/brPTB/PTBLP), an NS-enriched PTBP1 homolog. When this exon is skipped, PTBP2 mRNA is subject to nonsense-mediated decay (NMD). During neuronal differentiation, miR-124 reduces PTBP1 levels, leading to the accumulation of correctly spliced PTBP2 mRNA and a dramatic increase in PTBP2 protein. These events culminate in the transition from non-NS to NS-specific alternative splicing patterns. We also present evidence that miR-124 plays a key role in the differentiation of progenitor cells to mature neurons. Thus, miR-124 promotes NS development, at least in part by regulating an intricate network of NS-specific alternative splicing.
Here we report an in vitro model system for studying the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) derived from mice carrying normal or mutant transgenic alleles of the human SOD1 gene were used to generate motor neurons by in vitro differentiation. These motor neurons could be maintained in long-term coculture either with additional cells that arose during differentiation or with primary glial cells. Motor neurons carrying either the nonpathological human SOD1 transgene or the mutant SOD1G93A allele showed neurodegenerative properties when cocultured with SOD1G93A glial cells. Thus, our studies demonstrate that glial cells carrying a human SOD1G93A mutation have a direct, non–cell autonomous effect on motor neuron survival. More generally, our results show that ESC-based models of disease provide a powerful tool for studying the mechanisms of neural degeneration. These phenotypes displayed in culture could provide cell-based assays for the identification of new ALS drugs.
We report that bufalin and other cardiac glycoside inhibitors of the sodium-potassium ATPase (sodium pump) potently inhibit the induction of the interferon-β (IFNβ) gene by virus, dsRNA or dsDNA. Cardiac glycosides increase the intracellular sodium concentration, which appears to inhibit the ATPase activity of the RNA sensor RIG-I, an essential and early component in the IFNβ activation pathway. This, in turn, prevents the activation of the critical transcription factors IRF3 and NFκB. Bufalin inhibition can be overcome by expressing a drug-resistant variant of the sodium pump, and knocking down the pump by shRNA inhibits IFNβ expression. Thus, bufalin acts exclusively through the sodium pump. We also show that bufalin inhibits tumor necrosis factor (TNF) signaling, at least in part by interfering with the nuclear translocation of NFκB. These findings suggest that bufalin could be used to treat inflammatory and autoimmune diseases where IFN or TNF are hyperactivated.
The production of type I interferons (IFNs) in response to viral infections is critical for antiviral immunity. However, IFN production is transient, and continued expression can lead to inflammatory or autoimmune diseases. Thus, understanding the mechanisms underlying the negative regulation of IFN expression could lead to the development of novel therapeutic approaches to the treatment of these diseases. We report that the transcription factor IRF3 plays a central role in the negative regulation of interferon-β (IFNβ) expression during both acute and persistent (chronic) virus infections. We show that the degradation of IRF3 during acute infections, rather than the activation of transcriptional repressors, leads to the down regulation of IFNβ expression. We also show that the block to IFNβ expression in mouse embryonic fibroblasts that are persistently infected with Sendai virus (SeV) correlates with the absence of transcriptionally active IRF3. Remarkably, ongoing protein synthesis and viral replication are required to maintain repression of the IFNβ gene in persistently infected cells, as the gene can be activated by the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide, or by the antiviral drug ribavirin. Finally, we show that the SeV V protein inhibits IRF3 activity in persistently infected cells. Thus, in conjunction with the known interference with STAT1 by the SeV C protein, both IFN activation and its signaling pathways are blocked in persistently infected cells. We conclude that the transcription factor IRF3 is targeted for turnover and inactivation through distinct mechanisms from both the host cells and virus, leading to the inhibition of IFNβ gene expression during acute and persistent viral infections. These observations show that IRF3 plays a critical role, not only in the activation of the IFNβ gene, but also in the controlling the duration of its expression. (284 words)
Despite its widespread use in pulmonary fibrosis research, the bleomycin mouse model has not been thoroughly validated from a pulmonary functional standpoint using new technologies. Purpose of this study was to systematically assess the functional alterations induced in murine lungs by fibrogenic agent bleomycin and to compare the forced oscillation technique with quasi-static pressure-volume curves in mice following bleomycin exposure.
Single intratracheal injections of saline (50 μL) or bleomycin (2 mg/Kg in 50 μL saline) were administered to C57BL/6 (n = 40) and Balb/c (n = 32) mice. Injury/fibrosis score, tissue volume density (TVD), collagen content, airway resistance (RN), tissue damping (G) and elastance coefficient (H), hysteresivity (η), and area of pressure-volume curve (PV-A) were determined after 7 and 21 days (inflammation and fibrosis stage, respectively). Statistical hypothesis testing was performed using one-way ANOVA with LSD post hoc tests.
Both C57BL/6 and Balb/c mice developed weight loss and lung inflammation after bleomycin. However, only C57BL/6 mice displayed cachexia and fibrosis, evidenced by increased fibrosis score, TVD, and collagen. At day 7, PV-A increased significantly and G and H non-significantly in bleomycin-exposed C57BL/6 mice compared to saline controls and further increase in all parameters was documented at day 21. G and H, but not PV-A, correlated well with the presence of fibrosis based on histology, TVD and collagen. In Balb/c mice, no change in collagen content, histology score, TVD, H and G was noted following bleomycin exposure, yet PV-A increased significantly compared to saline controls.
Lung dysfunction in the bleomycin model is more pronounced during the fibrosis stage rather than the inflammation stage. Forced oscillation mechanics are accurate indicators of experimental bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis. Quasi-static PV-curves may be more sensitive than forced oscillations at detecting inflammation and fibrosis.
Procedures are detailed for a quantitative release of O-linked glycans from peptides that now provide a shorter reaction time, a possible identification of O-linked sites, and a quantification of all reaction products. The release was initiated by a mild base, dimethylamine, and accelerated by microwave radiation. Differential analysis using standard glycoproteins has shown improved release efficiency concurrent with facile incorporation of dimethylamine into the former O-linked sites. In situ glycan reduction insures protection against peeling, and is synchronous with subsequent studies by high performance MSn sequencing. The protocols were established with a synthetic O-GlcNAc peptide that would mimic the linkage chemistry and applied to a well characterized glycoprotein bovine fetuin with both N-, and O-linked glycans and a highly-glycosylated swine mucin.