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1.  The combination of IDH1 mutations and MGMT methylation status predicts survival in glioblastoma better than either IDH1 or MGMT alone 
Neuro-Oncology  2014;16(9):1263-1273.
Genetic and epigenetic profiling of glioblastomas has provided a comprehensive list of altered cancer genes of which only O6-methylguanine-methyltransferase (MGMT) methylation is used thus far as a predictive marker in a clinical setting. We investigated the prognostic significance of genetic and epigenetic alterations in glioblastoma patients.
We screened 98 human glioblastoma samples for genetic and epigenetic alterations in 10 genes and chromosomal loci by PCR and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). We tested the association between these genetic and epigenetic alterations and glioblastoma patient survival. Subsequently, we developed a 2-gene survival predictor.
Multivariate analyses revealed that mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1), promoter methylation of MGMT, irradiation dosage, and Karnofsky Performance Status (KFS) were independent prognostic factors. A 2-gene predictor for glioblastoma survival was generated. Based on the genetic and epigenetic status of IDH1 and MGMT, glioblastoma patients were stratified into 3 clinically different genotypes: glioblastoma patients with IDH1mt/MGMTmet had the longest survival, followed by patients with IDH1mt/MGMTunmet or IDH1wt/MGMTmet, and patients with IDH1wt/MGMTunmet had the shortest survival. This 2-gene predictor was an independent prognostic factor and performed significantly better in predicting survival than either IDH1 mutations or MGMT methylation alone. The predictor was validated in 3 external datasets.
The combination of IDH1 mutations and MGMT methylation outperforms either IDH1 mutations or MGMT methylation alone in predicting survival of glioblastoma patients. This information will help to increase our understanding of glioblastoma biology, and it may be helpful for baseline comparisons in future clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC4136888  PMID: 24510240
genetic and epigenetic; glioblastoma; IDH1; MGMT; survival prediction
2.  Heparin blocks transfer of extracellular vesicles between donor and recipient cells 
Journal of neuro-oncology  2013;115(3):10.1007/s11060-013-1235-y.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been implicated in tumorigenesis. Biomolecules which can block EV binding and uptake into recipient cells may be of therapeutic value as well as enhance understanding of EV biology. Here, we show that heparin interacts with uptake of tumor-derived as well as non-tumor-derived EVs into recipient cells. Incubation of glioma cell-derived EVs with heparin resulted in micron-sized structures observed by transmission electron microscopy, with EVs clearly visible within these structures. Inclusion of heparin greatly diminished transfer of labeled EVs from donor to recipient tumor cells. We also show a direct interaction between heparin and EVs using confocal microscopy. We found that the block in EV uptake was at the level of cell binding and not internalization. Finally, incubation of glioma-derived EVs containing EGFRvIII mRNA with heparin reduced transfer of this message to recipient cells. The effect of heparin on EVs uptake may provide a unique tool to study EV function. It may also foster research of heparin or its derivatives as a therapeutic for disease in which EVs play a role.
PMCID: PMC3856724  PMID: 24002181
Extracellular vesicles; Exosomes; Glioblastoma; EGFRvIII; Heparin; Tumor
3.  Expression Analysis of All Protease Genes Reveals Cathepsin K to Be Overexpressed in Glioblastoma 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e111819.
Cancer genome and transcriptome analyses advanced our understanding of cancer biology. We performed transcriptome analysis of all known genes of peptidases also called proteases and their endogenous inhibitors in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), which is one of the most aggressive and deadly types of brain cancers, where unbalanced proteolysis is associated with tumor progression.
Comparisons were performed between the transcriptomics of primary GBM tumors and unmatched non-malignant brain tissue, and between GBM cell lines (U87-MG and U373) and a control human astrocyte cell line (NHA). Publicly-available data sets and our own datasets were integrated and normalized using bioinformatics tools to reveal protease and protease inhibitor genes with deregulated expression in both malignant versus non-malignant tissues and cells.
Of the 311 protease genes identified to be differentially expressed in both GBM tissues and cells, 5 genes were highly overexpressed, 2 genes coding for non-peptidase homologues transferrin receptor (TFRC) and G protein-coupled receptor 56 (GPR56), as well as 3 genes coding for the proteases endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidase 2 (ERAP2), glutamine-fructose-6-phosphate transaminase 2 (GFPT2) and cathepsin K (CTSK), whereas one gene, that of the serine protease carboxypeptidase E (CPE) was strongly reduced in expression. Seventy five protease inhibitor genes were differentially expressed, of which 3 genes were highly overexpressed, the genes coding for stefin B (CSTB), peptidase inhibitor 3 (PI3 also named elafin) and CD74. Seven out of 8 genes (except CSTB) were validated using RT-qPCR in GBM cell lines. CTSK overexpression was validated using RT-qPCR in GBM tissues as well. Cathepsin K immunohistochemical staining and western blotting showed that only proteolytically inactive proforms of cathepsin K were overexpressed in GBM tissues and cells.
The presence of high levels of inactive proforms of cathepsin K in GBM tissues and cells indicate that in GBM the proteolytic/collagenolytic role is not its primary function but it plays rather a different yet unknown role.
PMCID: PMC4214761  PMID: 25356585
4.  Oxidative Damage in Clinical Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury: A Reappraisal 
Antioxidants & Redox Signaling  2013;19(6):535-545.
Aims: Ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury is a common clinical problem. Although the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying I/R injury are unclear, oxidative damage is considered a key factor in the initiation of I/R injury. Findings from preclinical studies consistently show that quenching reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS), thus limiting oxidative damage, alleviates I/R injury. Results from clinical intervention studies on the other hand are largely inconclusive. In this study, we systematically evaluated the release of established biomarkers of oxidative and nitrosative damage during planned I/R of the kidney and heart in a wide range of clinical conditions. Results: Sequential arteriovenous concentration differences allowed specific measurements over the reperfused organ in time. None of the biomarkers of oxidative and nitrosative damage (i.e., malondialdehyde, 15(S)-8-iso-prostaglandin F2α, nitrite, nitrate, and nitrotyrosine) were released upon reperfusion. Cumulative urinary measurements confirmed plasma findings. As of these negative findings, we tested for oxidative stress during I/R and found activation of the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), the master regulator of oxidative stress signaling. Innovation: This comprehensive, clinical study evaluates the role of RONS in I/R injury in two different human organs (kidney and heart). Results show oxidative stress, but do not provide evidence for oxidative damage during early reperfusion, thereby challenging the prevailing paradigm on RONS-mediated I/R injury. Conclusion: Findings from this study suggest that the contribution of oxidative damage to human I/R may be less than commonly thought and propose a re-evaluation of the mechanism of I/R. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 19, 535–545.
PMCID: PMC3717197  PMID: 23305329
5.  VEGF Levels in Plasma in Relation to Platelet Activation, Glycemic Control, and Microvascular Complications in Type 1 Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(6):1629-1634.
Increased levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in human plasma samples have suggested that circulating VEGF is a cause of endothelial dysfunction in diabetes mellitus. However, artificial release of VEGF from platelets as a source of VEGF in plasma samples, as also occurs in serum samples, has not been ruled out in these studies.
We determined VEGF levels in plasma collected in both citrate and PECT, a medium that inactivates platelets, in a cross-sectional cohort of 21 healthy subjects and 64 patients with type 1 diabetes. In addition, we evaluated whether VEGF levels in both types of plasma correlated with the presence of diabetes, glycemic control, markers of in vivo or ex vivo platelet activation, and degree of diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy.
VEGF levels were invariably low in PECT plasma of both nondiabetic and diabetic subjects and were unrelated to any other diabetes-related variable studied. In contrast, VEGF levels in citrate plasma were 150% higher in diabetic patients than in control subjects and correlated with diabetes-related variables. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that levels of platelet factor 4, a marker for ex vivo platelet activation, and HbA1c were the independent predictors of VEGF levels in citrate plasma. Platelet activation, in vivo and ex vivo, was similar in diabetic persons and control subjects.
Like serum, citrate plasma is not suitable for reliable measurements of circulating VEGF. The low levels of VEGF in vivo, as represented by measurements in PECT plasma in our study, do not support a role of circulating VEGF in endothelial dysfunction in type 1 diabetes. Higher levels of VEGF in citrate plasma samples of diabetic persons do not represent the in vivo situation, but mainly originate from higher artificial ex vivo release from platelets correlating with the degree of glycemic control.
PMCID: PMC3661842  PMID: 23321217
6.  Endothelial Tip Cells in Ocular Angiogenesis 
Endothelial tip cells are leading cells at the tips of vascular sprouts coordinating multiple processes during angiogenesis. In the developing retina, tip cells play a tightly controlled, timely role in angiogenesis. In contrast, excessive numbers of tip cells are a characteristic of the chaotic pathological blood vessels in proliferative retinopathies. Tip cells control adjacent endothelial cells in a hierarchical manner to form the stalk of the sprouting vessel, using, among others, the VEGF-DLL-Notch signaling pathway, and recruit pericytes. Tip cells are guided toward avascular areas by signals from the local extracellular matrix that are released by cells from the neuroretina such as astrocytes. Recently, tip cells were identified in endothelial cell cultures, enabling identification of novel molecular markers and mechanisms involved in tip cell biology. These mechanisms are relevant for understanding proliferative retinopathies. Agents that primarily target tip cells can block pathological angiogenesis in the retina efficiently and safely without adverse effects. A striking example is platelet-derived growth factor, which was recently shown to be an efficacious additional target in the treatment of retinal neovascularization. Here we discuss these and other tip cell-based strategies with respect to their potential to treat patients with ocular diseases dominated by neovascularization.
PMCID: PMC3636692  PMID: 23092791
angiogenesis; endothelial tip cell; proliferative retinopathy; anti-angiogenesis therapy; retinal neovascularization; vascular sprouts; endothelial stalk cell; molecular mediators of angiogenesis; pericytes
7.  Vitreous TIMP-1 levels associate with neovascularization and TGF-β2 levels but not with fibrosis in the clinical course of proliferative diabetic retinopathy 
In proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and CCN2 (connective tissue growth factor; CTGF) cause blindness by neovascularization and subsequent fibrosis. This angio-fibrotic switch is associated with a shift in the balance between vitreous levels of CCN2 and VEGF in the eye. Here, we investigated the possible involvement of other important mediators of fibrosis, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-1 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β2, and of the matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-2 and MMP-9, in the natural course of PDR. TIMP-1, activated TGF-β2, CCN2 and VEGF levels were measured by ELISA in 78 vitreous samples of patients with PDR (n = 28), diabetic patients without PDR (n = 24), and patients with the diabetes-unrelated retinal conditions macular hole (n = 10) or macular pucker (n = 16), and were related to MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity on zymograms and to clinical data, including degree of intra-ocular neovascularization and fibrosis. TIMP-1, CCN2 and VEGF levels, but not activated TGF-β2 levels, were significantly increased in the vitreous of diabetic patients, with the highest levels in PDR patients. CCN2 and the CCN2/VEGF ratio were the strongest predictors of degree of fibrosis. In diabetic patients with or without PDR, activated TGF-β2 levels correlated with TIMP-1 levels, whereas in PDR patients, TIMP-1 levels, MMP-2 and proMMP-9 were associated with degree of neovascularization, like VEGF levels, but not with fibrosis. We confirm here our previous findings that retinal fibrosis in PDR patients is significantly correlated with vitreous CCN2 levels and the CCN2/VEGF ratio. In contrast, TIMP-1, MMP-2 and MMP-9 appear to have a role in the angiogenic phase rather than in the fibrotic phase of PDR.
PMCID: PMC3590360  PMID: 23054594
Diabetic retinopathy; CCN2; VEGF; TGF-β; TIMP-1; MMP-2; MMP-9; Neovascularization; Fibrosis
8.  Publication Bias in Laboratory Animal Research: A Survey on Magnitude, Drivers, Consequences and Potential Solutions 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e43404.
Publication bias jeopardizes evidence-based medicine, mainly through biased literature syntheses. Publication bias may also affect laboratory animal research, but evidence is scarce.
To assess the opinion of laboratory animal researchers on the magnitude, drivers, consequences and potential solutions for publication bias. And to explore the impact of size of the animals used, seniority of the respondent, working in a for-profit organization and type of research (fundamental, pre-clinical, or both) on those opinions.
Internet-based survey.
All animal laboratories in The Netherlands.
Laboratory animal researchers.
Main Outcome Measure(s)
Median (interquartile ranges) strengths of beliefs on 5 and 10-point scales (1: totally unimportant to 5 or 10: extremely important).
Overall, 454 researchers participated. They considered publication bias a problem in animal research (7 (5 to 8)) and thought that about 50% (32–70) of animal experiments are published. Employees (n = 21) of for-profit organizations estimated that 10% (5 to 50) are published. Lack of statistical significance (4 (4 to 5)), technical problems (4 (3 to 4)), supervisors (4 (3 to 5)) and peer reviewers (4 (3 to 5)) were considered important reasons for non-publication (all on 5-point scales). Respondents thought that mandatory publication of study protocols and results, or the reasons why no results were obtained, may increase scientific progress but expected increased bureaucracy. These opinions did not depend on size of the animal used, seniority of the respondent or type of research.
Non-publication of “negative” results appears to be prevalent in laboratory animal research. If statistical significance is indeed a main driver of publication, the collective literature on animal experimentation will be biased. This will impede the performance of valid literature syntheses. Effective, yet efficient systems should be explored to counteract selective reporting of laboratory animal research.
PMCID: PMC3434185  PMID: 22957028
9.  Multivariate analysis of immunohistochemical evaluation of protein expression in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma reveals prognostic significance for persistent Smad4 expression only 
Cellular Oncology (Dordrecht)  2012;35(2):119-126.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has a dismal prognosis with a 5-year survival rate of <5% and an average survival of only 6 months. Although advances have been made in understanding the pathogenesis of PDAC in the last decades, overall survival has not changed. Various clinicopathological and immunohistological variables have been associated with survival time but the exact role that these variables play in relation to survival is not clear.
Methods and results
To examine how the variables affected survival independently, multivariate analysis was conducted in a study group of 78 pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas. The analysis included clinicopathological parameters and protein expression examined by immunohistochemistry of p53, Smad4, Axl, ALDH, MSH2, MSH6, MLH1 and PMS2. Lymph node ratio <0.2 (p = 0.004), tumor free resection margins (p = 0.044) and Smad4 expression (p = 0.004) were the only independent prognostic variables in the multivariate analysis. Expression of the other proteins examined was not significantly related to survival.
Discrepancies with other studies in this regard are likely due to differences in quantification of immunohistochemical staining and the lack of multivariate analysis. It underscores the importance to standardize the methods used for the application of immunohistochemistry in prognostic studies.
PMCID: PMC3306569  PMID: 22351431
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; Immunohistochemistry; Prognosis; Long term survival; Smad4; Resection margin; Lymph node ratio
10.  A shift in the balance of vascular endothelial growth factor and connective tissue growth factor by bevacizumab causes the angiofibrotic switch in proliferative diabetic retinopathy 
In proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) may cause blindness by neovascularisation followed by fibrosis of the retina. It has previously been shown that a shift in the balance between levels of CTGF and VEGF in the eye is associated with this angiofibrotic switch. This study investigated whether anti-VEGF agents induce accelerated fibrosis in patients with PDR, as predicted by this model.
CTGF and VEGF levels were measured by ELISA in 52 vitreous samples of PDR patients, of which 24 patients had received intravitreal bevacizumab 1 week to 3 months before vitrectomy, and were correlated with the degree of vitreoretinal fibrosis as determined clinically and intra-operatively.
CTGF correlated positively, and VEGF correlated negatively with the degree of fibrosis. The CTGF/VEGF ratio was the strongest predictor of fibrosis. Clinically, increased fibrosis was observed after intravitreal bevacizumab.
These results confirm that the CTGF/VEGF ratio is a strong predictor of vitreoretinal fibrosis in PDR, and show that intravitreal anti-VEGF treatment causes increased fibrosis in PDR patients. These findings provide strong support for the model that the balance of CTGF and VEGF determines the angiofibrotic switch, and identify CTGF as a possible therapeutic target in the clinical management of PDR.
PMCID: PMC3308470  PMID: 22289291
Angiogenesis; choroid; CTGF; diabetic retinopathy; drugs; fibrosis; imaging; macula; retina; VEGF; vitreous
11.  CD34 marks angiogenic tip cells in human vascular endothelial cell cultures 
Angiogenesis  2012;15(1):151-163.
The functional shift of quiescent endothelial cells into tip cells that migrate and stalk cells that proliferate is a key event during sprouting angiogenesis. We previously showed that the sialomucin CD34 is expressed in a small subset of cultured endothelial cells and that these cells extend filopodia: a hallmark of tip cells in vivo. In the present study, we characterized endothelial cells expressing CD34 in endothelial monolayers in vitro. We found that CD34-positive human umbilical vein endothelial cells show low proliferation activity and increased mRNA expression of all known tip cell markers, as compared to CD34-negative cells. Genome-wide mRNA profiling analysis of CD34-positive endothelial cells demonstrated enrichment for biological functions related to angiogenesis and migration, whereas CD34-negative cells were enriched for functions related to proliferation. In addition, we found an increase or decrease of CD34-positive cells in vitro upon exposure to stimuli that enhance or limit the number of tip cells in vivo, respectively. Our findings suggest cells with virtually all known properties of tip cells are present in vascular endothelial cell cultures and that they can be isolated based on expression of CD34. This novel strategy may open alternative avenues for future studies of molecular processes and functions in tip cells in angiogenesis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10456-011-9251-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3274677  PMID: 22249946
Angiogenesis; Endothelial tip cell; Vascular endothelial cell cultures; CD34
12.  In Silico Analysis of Kinase Expression Identifies WEE1 as a Gatekeeper against Mitotic Catastrophe in Glioblastoma 
Cancer cell  2010;18(3):244-257.
Kinases execute pivotal cellular functions and are therefore widely investigated as potential targets in anticancer treatment. Here we analyze the kinase gene expression profiles of various tumor types and reveal the wee1 kinase to be overexpressed in glioblastomas. We demonstrate that WEE1 is a major regulator of the G2 checkpoint in glioblastoma cells. Inhibition of WEE1 by siRNA or small molecular compound in cells exposed to DNA damaging agents results in abrogation of the G2 arrest, premature termination of DNA repair, and cell death. Importantly, we show that the small-molecule inhibitor of WEE1 sensitizes glioblastoma to ionizing radiation in vivo. Our results suggest that inhibition of WEE1 kinase holds potential as a therapeutic approach in treatment of glioblastoma.
PMCID: PMC3115571  PMID: 20832752
13.  Scientific imperatives, clinical implications, and theoretical underpinnings for the investigation of the relationship between genetic variables and patient-reported quality-of-life outcomes 
Quality of Life Research  2010;19(10):1395-1403.
There is emerging evidence for a genetic basis of patient-reported quality-of-life (QOL) outcomes that can ultimately be incorporated into clinical research and practice. Objectives are (1) to provide arguments for the timeliness of investigating the genetic basis of QOL given the scientific advances in genetics and patient-reported QOL research; (2) to describe the clinical implications of such investigations; (3) to present a theoretical foundation for investigating the genetic underpinnings of QOL; and (4) to describe a series of papers resulting from the GENEQOL Consortium that was established to move this work forward.
Discussion of scientific advances based on relevant literature.
In genetics, technological advances allow for increases in speed and efficiency and decreases in costs in exploring the genetic underpinnings of disease processes, drug metabolism, treatment response, and survival. In patient-based research, advances yield empirically based and stringent approaches to measurement that are scientifically robust. Insights into the genetic basis of QOL will ultimately allow early identification of patients susceptible to QOL deficits and to target care. The Wilson and Cleary model for patient-reported outcomes was refined by incorporating the genetic underpinnings of QOL.
This series of papers provides a path for QOL and genetics researchers to work together to move this field forward and to unravel the intricate interplay of the genetic underpinnings of patient-reported QOL outcomes. The ultimate result will be a greater understanding of the process relating disease, patient, and doctor that will have the potential to lead to improved survival, QOL, and health services delivery.
PMCID: PMC2977054  PMID: 20945161
Quality of life; Patient-reported outcomes; Genetic variables; Theory; Clinical implications
14.  A Low Molecular Weight Heparin Inhibits Experimental Metastasis in Mice Independently of the Endothelial Glycocalyx 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(6):e11200.
Some low molecular weight heparins (LMWHs) prolong survival of cancer patients and inhibit experimental metastasis. The underlying mechanisms are still not clear but it has been suggested that LMWHs (at least in part) limit metastasis by preventing cancer cell-induced destruction of the endothelial glycocalyx.
Methodology/Principal Findings
To prove or refute this hypothesis, we determined the net effects of the endothelial glycocalyx in cancer cell extravasation and we assessed the anti-metastatic effect of a clinically used LMWH in the presence and absence of an intact endothelial glycocalyx. We show that both exogenous enzymatic degradation as well as endogenous genetic modification of the endothelial glycocalyx decreased pulmonary tumor formation in a murine experimental metastasis model. Moreover, LMWH administration significantly reduced the number of pulmonary tumor foci and thus experimental metastasis both in the presence or absence of an intact endothelial glycocalyx.
In summary, this paper shows that the net effect of the endothelial glycocalyx enhances experimental metastasis and that a LMWH does not limit experimental metastasis by a process involving the endothelial glycocalyx.
PMCID: PMC2888573  PMID: 20574516
15.  The Establishment of the GENEQOL Consortium to Investigate the Genetic Disposition of Patient-Reported Quality-of-Life Outcomes 
To our knowledge, no comprehensive, interdisciplinary initiatives have been taken to examine the role of genetic variants on patient-reported quality-of-life outcomes. The overall objective of this paper is to describe the establishment of an international and interdisciplinary consortium, the GENEQOL Consortium, which intends to investigate the genetic disposition of patient-reported quality-of-life outcomes. We have identified five primary patient-reported quality-of-life outcomes as initial targets: negative psychological affect, positive psychological affect, self-rated physical health, pain, and fatigue. The first tangible objective of the GENEQOL Consortium is to develop a list of potential biological pathways, genes and genetic variants involved in these quality-of-life outcomes, by reviewing current genetic knowledge. The second objective is to design a research agenda to investigate and validate those genes and genetic variants of patient-reported quality-of-life outcomes, by creating large datasets. During its first meeting, the Consortium has discussed draft summary documents addressing these questions for each patient-reported quality-of-life outcome. A summary of the primary pathways and robust findings of the genetic variants involved is presented here. The research agenda outlines possible research objectives and approaches to examine these and new quality-of-life domains. Intriguing questions arising from this endeavor are discussed. Insight into the genetic versus environmental components of patient-reported quality-of-life outcomes will ultimately allow us to explore new pathways for improving patient care. If we can identify patients who are susceptible to poor quality of life, we will be able to better target specific clinical interventions to enhance their quality of life and treatment outcomes.
PMCID: PMC2824176  PMID: 19456223
16.  The prognostic IDH1R132 mutation is associated with reduced NADP+-dependent IDH activity in glioblastoma 
Acta Neuropathologica  2010;119(4):487-494.
Somatic mutations in the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 gene (IDH1) occur at high frequency in gliomas and seem to be a prognostic factor for survival in glioblastoma patients. In our set of 98 glioblastoma patients, IDH1R132 mutations were associated with improved survival of 1 year on average, after correcting for age and other variables with Cox proportional hazards models. Patients with IDH1 mutations were on average 17 years younger than patients without mutation. Mutated IDH1 has a gain of function to produce 2-hydroxyglutarate by NADPH-dependent reduction of α-ketoglutarate, but it is unknown whether NADPH production in gliomas is affected by IDH1 mutations. We assessed the effect of IDH1R132 mutations on IDH-mediated NADPH production in glioblastomas in situ. Metabolic mapping and image analysis was applied to 51 glioblastoma samples of which 16 carried an IDH1R132 mutation. NADP+-dependent IDH activity was determined in comparison with activity of NAD+-dependent IDH and all other NADPH-producing dehydrogenases, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, malate dehydrogenase, and hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. The occurrence of IDH1 mutations correlated with approx. twofold diminished NADP+-dependent IDH activity, whereas activity of NAD+-dependent IDH and the other NADP+-dependent dehydrogenases was not affected in situ in glioblastoma. The total NADPH production capacity in glioblastoma was provided for 65% by IDH activity and the occurrence of IDH1R132 mutation reduced this capacity by 38%. It is concluded that NADPH production is hampered in glioblastoma with IDH1R132 mutation. Moreover, mutated IDH1 consumes rather than produces NADPH, thus likely lowering NADPH levels even further. The low NADPH levels may sensitize glioblastoma to irradiation and chemotherapy, thus explaining the prolonged survival of patients with mutated glioblastoma.
PMCID: PMC2841753  PMID: 20127344
IDH1; IDH2; Mutation; Glioblastoma; IDH activity; NADPH; Metabolic mapping
17.  The Angio-Fibrotic Switch of VEGF and CTGF in Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(7):e2675.
In proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) cause blindness by neovascularization and subsequent fibrosis, but their relative contribution to both processes is unknown. We hypothesize that the balance between levels of pro-angiogenic VEGF and pro-fibrotic CTGF regulates angiogenesis, the angio-fibrotic switch, and the resulting fibrosis and scarring.
Methods/Principal Findings
VEGF and CTGF were measured by ELISA in 68 vitreous samples of patients with proliferative DR (PDR, N = 32), macular hole (N = 13) or macular pucker (N = 23) and were related to clinical data, including degree of intra-ocular neovascularization and fibrosis. In addition, clinical cases of PDR (n = 4) were studied before and after pan-retinal photocoagulation and intra-vitreal injections with bevacizumab, an antibody against VEGF. Neovascularization and fibrosis in various degrees occurred almost exclusively in PDR patients. In PDR patients, vitreous CTGF levels were significantly associated with degree of fibrosis and with VEGF levels, but not with neovascularization, whereas VEGF levels were associated only with neovascularization. The ratio of CTGF and VEGF was the strongest predictor of degree of fibrosis. As predicted by these findings, patients with PDR demonstrated a temporary increase in intra-ocular fibrosis after anti-VEGF treatment or laser treatment.
CTGF is primarily a pro-fibrotic factor in the eye, and a shift in the balance between CTGF and VEGF is associated with the switch from angiogenesis to fibrosis in proliferative retinopathy.
PMCID: PMC2443281  PMID: 18628999
18.  Dipeptidyl peptidase IV inhibitors in diabetes: more than inhibition of glucagon-like peptide-1 metabolism? 
Inhibitors of the protease dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV) are promising new drugs for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. They are thought to act by inhibiting the breakdown of glucagon-like peptide-1 and, thereby, selectively enhancing insulin release under conditions when it is physiologically required. These drugs are selective for DPP-IV, but the enzyme itself has a broad range of substrates other than glucagon-like peptide-1. Other high affinity substrates of DPP-IV including peptide YY may also play a role in the regulation of energy homeostasis. Moreover, DPP-IV is also known as CD26 and considered to be a moonlighting protein because it has a wide range of other functions unrelated to energy homeostasis, e.g. in immunity. The potential role of DPP-IV inhibition on substrates other than glucagon-like peptide-1 in diabetes patients remains to be elucidated.
PMCID: PMC2323035  PMID: 18398599
Dipeptidyl peptidase IV; Glucagon-like peptide-1; Peptide YY; Diabetes; CD26
19.  Determination of Glutamate Dehydrogenase Activity and Its Kinetics in Mouse Tissues using Metabolic Mapping (Quantitative Enzyme Histochemistry) 
Glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) catalyses the reversible conversion of glutamate into α-ketoglutarate with the concomitant reduction of NAD(P)+ to NAD(P)H or vice versa. GDH activity is subject to complex allosteric regulation including substrate inhibition. To determine GDH kinetics in situ, we assessed the effects of various glutamate concentrations in combination with either the coenzyme NAD+ or NADP+ on GDH activity in mouse liver cryostat sections using metabolic mapping. NAD+-dependent GDH Vmax was 2.5-fold higher than NADP+-dependent Vmax, whereas the Km was similar, 1.92 mM versus 1.66 mM, when NAD+ or NADP+ was used, respectively. With either coenzyme, Vmax was determined at 10 mM glutamate and substrate inhibition was observed at higher glutamate concentrations with a Ki of 12.2 and 3.95 for NAD+ and NADP+ used as coenzyme, respectively. NAD+- and NADP+-dependent GDH activities were examined in various mouse tissues. GDH activity was highest in liver and much lower in other tissues. In all tissues, the highest activity was found when NAD+ was used as a coenzyme. In conclusion, GDH activity in mice is highest in the liver with NAD+ as a coenzyme and highest GDH activity was determined at a glutamate concentration of 10 mM.
PMCID: PMC4230541  PMID: 25124006
glutamate; enzyme cytochemistry; enzymes; enzyme inhibition; quantitation
20.  Determination of Phosphate-activated Glutaminase Activity and Its Kinetics in Mouse Tissues using Metabolic Mapping (Quantitative Enzyme Histochemistry) 
Phosphate-activated glutaminase (PAG) converts glutamine to glutamate as part of the glutaminolysis pathway in mitochondria. Two genes, GLS1 and GLS2, which encode for kidney-type PAG and liver-type PAG, respectively, differ in their tissue-specific activities and kinetics. Tissue-specific PAG activity and its kinetics were determined by metabolic mapping using a tetrazolium salt and glutamate dehydrogenase as an auxiliary enzyme in the presence of various glutamine concentrations. In kidney and brain, PAG showed Michaelis-Menten kinetics with a Km of 0.6 mM glutamine and a Vmax of 1.1 µmol/mL/min when using 5 mM glutamine. PAG activity was high in the kidney cortex and inner medulla but low in the outer medulla, papillary tip, glomeruli and the lis of Henle. In brain tissue sections, PAG was active in the grey matter and inactive in myelin-rich regions. Liver PAG showed allosteric regulation with a Km of 11.6 mM glutamine and a Vmax of 0.5 µmol/mL/min when using 20 mM glutamine. The specificity of the method was shown after incubation of brain tissue sections with the PAG inhibitor 6-diazo-5-oxo-L-norleucine. PAG activity was decreased to 22% in the presence of 2 mM 6-diazo-5-oxo-L-norleucine. At low glutamine concentrations, PAG activity was higher in periportal regions, indicating a lower Km for periportal PAG. When compared with liver, kidney and brain, other tissues showed 3-fold to 6-fold less PAG activity. In conclusion, PAG is mainly active in mouse kidney, brain and liver, and shows different kinetics depending on which type of PAG is expressed.
PMCID: PMC4230542  PMID: 25163927
glutaminolysis; glutamine; glutamate; enzyme histochemistry; enzyme inhibition; quantitation

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