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1.  Pressure mediated hypertrophy and mechanical stretch up-regulate expression of the long form of leptin receptor (ob-Rb) in rat cardiac myocytes 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:37.
Hyperleptinemia is known to participate in cardiac hypertrophy and hypertension, but the relationship between pressure overload and leptin is poorly understood. We therefore examined the expression of leptin (ob) and the leptin receptor (ob-R) in the pressure-overloaded rat heart. We also examined gene expressions in culture cardiac myocytes to clarify which hypertension-related stimulus induces these genes.
Pressure overload was produced by ligation of the rat abdominal aorta, and ob and ob-R isoform mRNAs were measured using a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We also measured these gene expressions in neonatal rat cardiac myocytes treated with angiotensin II (ANGII), endothelin-1 (ET-1), or cyclic mechanical stretch. Leptin and the long form of the leptin receptor (ob-Rb) gene were significantly increased 4 weeks after banding, but expression of the short form of the leptin receptor (ob-Ra) was unchanged. ob-Rb protein expression was also detected by immunohistochemistry in hypertrophied cardiac myocytes after banding. Meanwhile, plasma leptin concentrations were not different between the control and banding groups. In cultured myocytes, ANGII and ET-1 increased only ob mRNA expression. However, mechanical stretch activated both ob and ob-Rb mRNA expression in a time-dependent manner, but ob-Ra mRNA was unchanged by any stress.
We first demonstrated that both pressure mediated hypertrophy and mechanical stretch up-regulate ob-Rb gene expression in heart and cardiac myocytes, which are thought to be important for leptin action in cardiac myocytes. These results suggest a new local mechanism by which leptin affects cardiac remodeling in pressure-overloaded hearts.
PMCID: PMC3543168  PMID: 23270329
Obesity; Cardiac hypertrophy; Pressure overload
2.  Cells derived from murine induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) by treatment with members of TGF-beta family give rise to osteoblasts differentiation and form bone in vivo 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:35.
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) are generated by reprogramming somatic cells into embryonic like state (ESC) using defined factors. There is great interest in these cells because of their potential for application in regenerative medicine.
iPSC reprogrammed from murine tail tip fibroblasts were exposed to retinoic acid alone (RA) or in combination with TGF-β1 and 3, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) or bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2). The resulting cells expressed selected putative mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) markers; differentiated toward osteoblasts and adipocytic cell lineages in vitro at varying degrees. TGF-beta1 and 3 derived-cells possessed higher potential to give rise to osteoblasts than bFGF or BMP-2 derived-cells while BMP-2 derived cells exhibited a higher potential to differentiate toward adipocytic lineage. TGF-β1 in combination with RA derived-cells seeded onto HA/TCP ceramics and implanted in mice deposited typical bone. Immunofluorescence staining for bone specific proteins in cell seeded scaffolds tissue sections confirmed differentiation of the cells into osteoblasts in vivo.
The results demonstrate that TGF-beta family of proteins could potentially be used to generate murine iPSC derived-cells with potential for osteoblasts differentiation and bone formation in vivo and thus for application in musculoskeletal tissue repair and regeneration.
PMCID: PMC3541062  PMID: 23241430
iPSC; Stem cells; Osteoblasts; TGF-beta; Bone formation
3.  Association of telomere instability with senescence of porcine cells 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:36.
Telomeres are essential for the maintenance of genomic stability, and telomere dysfunction leads to cellular senescence, carcinogenesis, aging, and age-related diseases in humans. Pigs have become increasingly important large animal models for preclinical tests and study of human diseases, and also may provide xeno-transplantation sources. Thus far, Southern blot analysis has been used to estimate average telomere lengths in pigs. Telomere quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (Q-FISH), however, can reveal status of individual telomeres in fewer cells, in addition to quantifying relative telomere lengths, and has been commonly used for study of telomere function of mouse and human cells. We attempted to investigate telomere characteristics of porcine cells using telomere Q-FISH method.
The average telomere lengths in porcine cells measured by Q-FISH correlated with those of quantitative real-time PCR method (qPCR) or telomere restriction fragments (TRFs) by Southern blot analysis. Unexpectedly, we found that porcine cells exhibited high incidence of telomere doublets revealed by Q-FISH method, coincided with increased frequency of cellular senescence. Also, telomeres shortened during subculture of various porcine primary cell types. Interestingly, the high frequency of porcine telomere doublets and telomere loss was associated with telomere dysfunction-induced foci (TIFs). The incidence of TIFs, telomere doublets and telomere loss increased with telomere shortening and cellular senescence during subculture.
Q-FISH method using telomere PNA probe is particularly useful for characterization of porcine telomeres. Porcine cells exhibit high frequency of telomere instability and are susceptible to telomere damage and replicative senescence.
PMCID: PMC3563453  PMID: 23241441
Telomere; Q-FISH; qPCR; Telomere doublets; Telomere dysfunction; Senescence
4.  N-acetylation and phosphorylation of Sec complex subunits in the ER membrane 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:34.
Covalent modifications of proteins provide a mechanism to control protein function. Here, we have investigated modifications of the heptameric Sec complex which is responsible for post-translational protein import into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). It consists of the Sec61 complex (Sec61p, Sbh1p, Sss1p) which on its own mediates cotranslational protein import into the ER and the Sec63 complex (Sec63p, Sec62p, Sec71p, Sec72p). Little is known about the biogenesis and regulation of individual Sec complex subunits.
We show that Sbh1p when it is part of the Sec61 complex is phosphorylated on T5 which is flanked by proline residues. The phosphorylation site is conserved in mammalian Sec61ß, but only partially in birds, and not in other vertebrates or unicellular eukaryotes, suggesting convergent evolution. Mutation of T5 to A did not affect the ability of mutant Sbh1p to complement the growth defect in a Δsbh1Δsbh2 strain, and did not result in a hypophosphorylated protein which shows that alternate sites can be used by the T5 kinase. A survey of yeast phosphoproteome data shows that Sbh1p can be phosphorylated on multiple sites which are organized in two patches, one at the N-terminus of its cytosolic domain, the other proximal to the transmembrane domain. Surprisingly, although N-acetylation has been shown to interfere with ER targeting, we found that both Sbh1p and Sec62p are cotranslationally N-acetylated by NatA, and N-acetyl-proteome data indicate that Sec61p is modified by the same enzyme. Mutation of the N-acetylation site, however, did not affect Sec62p function in posttranslational protein import into the ER. Disabling NatA resulted in growth retardation, but not in co- or posttranslational translocation defects or instability of Sec62p or Sbh1p.
We conclude that N-acetylation of transmembrane and tail-anchored proteins does not interfere with their ER-targeting, and that Sbh1p phosphorylation on T5, which is not present in Sbh2p, plays a non-essential role specific to the Sec61 complex.
PMCID: PMC3541991  PMID: 23237413
Protein translocation; Endoplasmic Reticulum; Sec complex; Sbh1p; Sec62p; Sec61p; Phosphorylation; N-acetylation; Convergent evolution; ER targeting
5.  SNF8, a member of the ESCRT-II complex, interacts with TRPC6 and enhances its channel activity 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:33.
Transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) channels are non-selective cation channels involved in receptor-mediated calcium signaling in diverse cells and tissues. The canonical transient receptor potential 6 (TRPC6) has been implicated in several pathological processes, including focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), cardiac hypertrophy, and pulmonary hypertension. The two large cytoplasmic segments of the cation channel play a critical role in the proper regulation of channel activity, and are involved in several protein-protein interactions.
Here we report that SNF8, a component of the endosomal sorting complex for transport-II (ESCRT-II) complex, interacts with TRPC6. The interaction was initially observed in a yeast two-hybrid screen using the amino-terminal cytoplasmic domain of TRPC6 as bait, and confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation from eukaryotic cell extracts. The amino-terminal 107 amino acids are necessary and sufficient for the interaction. Overexpression of SNF8 enhances both wild-type and gain-of-function mutant TRPC6-mediated whole-cell currents in HEK293T cells. Furthermore, activation of NFAT-mediated transcription by gain-of-function mutants is enhanced by overexpression of SNF8, and partially inhibited by RNAi mediated knockdown of SNF8. Although the ESCRT-II complex functions in the endocytosis and lysosomal degradation of transmembrane proteins, SNF8 overexpression does not alter the amount of TRPC6 present on the cell surface.
SNF8 is novel binding partner of TRPC6, binding to the amino-terminal cytoplasmic domain of the channel. Modulating SNF8 expression levels alters the TRPC6 channel current and can modulate activation of NFAT-mediated transcription downstream of gain-of-function mutant TRPC6. Taken together, these results identify SNF8 as a novel regulator of TRPC6.
PMCID: PMC3520717  PMID: 23171048
Transient receptor potential; Calcium channel; Protein-protein interaction; Calcineurin-NFAT signaling
6.  Interphase chromosome positioning in in vitro porcine cells and ex vivo porcine tissues 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:30.
In interphase nuclei of a wide range of species chromosomes are organised into their own specific locations termed territories. These chromosome territories are non-randomly positioned in nuclei which is believed to be related to a spatial aspect of regulatory control over gene expression. In this study we have adopted the pig as a model in which to study interphase chromosome positioning and follows on from other studies from our group of using pig cells and tissues to study interphase genome re-positioning during differentiation. The pig is an important model organism both economically and as a closely related species to study human disease models. This is why great efforts have been made to accomplish the full genome sequence in the last decade.
This study has positioned most of the porcine chromosomes in in vitro cultured adult and embryonic fibroblasts, early passage stromal derived mesenchymal stem cells and lymphocytes. The study is further expanded to position four chromosomes in ex vivo tissue derived from pig kidney, lung and brain.
It was concluded that porcine chromosomes are also non-randomly positioned within interphase nuclei with few major differences in chromosome position in interphase nuclei between different cell and tissue types. There were also no differences between preferred nuclear location of chromosomes in in vitro cultured cells as compared to cells in tissue sections. Using a number of analyses to ascertain by what criteria porcine chromosomes were positioned in interphase nuclei; we found a correlation with DNA content.
PMCID: PMC3499214  PMID: 23151271
7.  Nucleolin mediates the antiangiogenesis effect of the pseudopeptide N6L 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:32.
Nucleolin is a protein over-expressed on the surface of activated cells. Recent studies have underlined the involvement of cell surface nucleolin in angiogenesis processes. This cell surface molecule serves as a receptor for various ligands implicated in pathophysiological processes such as growth factors, cell adhesion molecules like integrins, selectins or laminin-1, lipoproteins and viruses. N6L is a synthetic multimeric pseudopeptide that binds cell surface expressed nucleolin and inhibits cell proliferation.
In the present work, we further investigated the mechanisms of action of pseudopeptide N6L on angiogenesis using HUVECs. We provide evidence that N6L inhibits the in vitro adhesion, proliferation and migration of HUVECs without inducing their apoptosis. In addition, we found that N6L downregulates MMP-2 in HUVECs. The above biological actions are regulated by SRC, ERK1/2, AKT and FAK kinases as we found that N6L inhibits their activation in HUVECs. Finally, down regulation of nucleolin using siRNA demonstrated the implication of nucleolin in the biological actions of these peptides.
Taken together, these results indicate that N6L could constitute an interesting therapeutic tool for treating diseases associated with excessive angiogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3560177  PMID: 23146273
Angiogenesis; Nucleolin; Cancer; N6L; HB-19
8.  Yeast importin-β is required for nuclear import of the Mig2 repressor 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:31.
Mig2 has been described as a transcriptional factor that in the absence of Mig1 protein is required for glucose repression of the SUC2 gene. Recently it has been reported that Mig2 has two different subcellular localizations. In high-glucose conditions it is a nuclear modulator of several Mig1-regulated genes, but in low-glucose most of the Mig2 protein accumulates in mitochondria. Thus, the Mig2 protein enters and leaves the nucleus in a glucose regulated manner. However, the mechanism by which Mig2 enters into the nucleus was unknown until now.
Here, we report that the Mig2 protein is an import substrate of the carrier Kap95 (importin-β). The Mig2 nuclear import mechanism bypasses the requirement for Kap60 (importin-α) as an adaptor protein, since Mig2 directly binds to Kap95 in the presence of Gsp1(GDP). We also show that the Mig2 nuclear import and the binding of Mig2 with Kap95 are not glucose-dependent processes and require a basic NLS motif, located between lysine-32 and arginine-37. Mig2 interaction with Kap95 was assessed in vitro using purified proteins, demonstrating that importin-β, together with the GTP-binding protein Gsp1, is able to mediate efficient Mig2-Kap95 interaction in the absence of the importin-α (Kap60). It was also demonstrated, that the directionality of Mig2 transport is regulated by association with the small GTPase Gsp1 in the GDP- or GTP-bound forms, which promote cargo recognition and release, respectively.
The Mig2 protein accumulates in the nucleus through a Kap95 and NLS-dependent nuclear import pathway, which is independent of importin-α in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
PMCID: PMC3531251  PMID: 23131016
9.  The adhesion modulation protein, AmpA localizes to an endocytic compartment and influences substrate adhesion, actin polymerization and endocytosis in vegetative Dictyostelium cells 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:29.
AmpA is a secreted 24Kd protein that has pleiotropic effects on Dictyostelium development. Null mutants delay development at the mound stage with cells adhering too tightly to the substrate. Prestalk cells initially specify as prespore cells and are delayed in their migration to the mound apex. Extracellular AmpA can rescue these defects, but AmpA is also necessary in a cell autonomous manner for anterior like cells (ALCs) to migrate to the upper cup. The ALCs are only 10% of the developing cell population making it difficult to study the cell autonomous effect of AmpA on the migration of these cells. AmpA is also expressed in growing cells, but, while it contains a hydrophobic leader sequence that is cleaved, it is not secreted from growing cells. This makes growing cells an attractive system for studying the cell autonomous function of AmpA.
In growing cells AmpA plays an environment dependent role in cell migration. Excess AmpA facilitates migration on soft, adhesive surfaces but hinders migration on less adhesive surfaces. AmpA also effects the level of actin polymerization. Knockout cells polymerize less actin while over expressing cells polymerize more actin than wild type. Overexpression of AmpA also causes an increase in endocytosis that is traced to repeated formation of multiple endocytic cups at the same site on the membrane. Immunofluorescence analysis shows that AmpA is found in the Golgi and colocalizes with calnexin and the slow endosomal recycling compartment marker, p25, in a perinuclear compartment. AmpA is found on the cell periphery and is endocytically recycled to the perinuclear compartment.
AmpA is processed through the secretory pathway and traffics to the cell periphery where it is endocytosed and localizes to what has been defined as a slow endosomal recycling compartment. AmpA plays a role in actin polymerization and cell substrate adhesion. Additionally AmpA influences cell migration in an environment dependent manner. Wild type cells show very little variation in migration rates under the different conditions examined here, but either loss or over expression of AmpA cause significant substrate and environment dependent changes in migration.
PMCID: PMC3586950  PMID: 23126556
Actin polymerization; Endocytosis; Substrate adhesion; Migration; Dictyostelium discoideum
10.  Myotubularin family phosphatase ceMTM3 is required for muscle maintenance by preventing excessive autophagy in Caenorhabditis elegans 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:28.
Autophagy is a ubiquitous cellular process responsible for the bulk degradation of cytoplasmic components through the autophagosomal-lysosomal pathway. In skeletal muscle, autophagy has been regarded as a key regulator for muscle mass maintenance, and its imbalance leads to sarcopenia. However, the underlying mechanism is poorly understood.
In this study, we demonstrate that ceMTM3, a FYVE-domain containing myotubalarin family phosphatase, is required for the maintenance of muscle fibers by preventing excessive autophagy in Caenorhabditis elegans. Knockdown of ceMTM3 by using feeding-based RNA interference caused loss of muscle fibers accompanied by shortening of muscle cell and body size in aged C. elegans worms. This was preceded by the occurrence of excessive autophagy in the muscle and other tissues, which subsequently resulted in increased lysosomal activity and necrotic cell death. However, knockdown of ceMTM3 did not aggravate the abnormalities of muscle wasting in autophagy-deficient atg-18 mutant worms.
Our data suggest an important role of ceMTM3 in regulating autophagy and maintaining muscle fibers. This study may have clinical implications for prevention and treatment of sarcopenia.
PMCID: PMC3506462  PMID: 23114011
Phosphatase; Myotubalarin; RNAi; Autophagy; Muscle; C. elegans; Sarcopenia
11.  Phosphorylation of P68 RNA Helicase by P38 MAP kinase contributes to colon cancer cells apoptosis induced by oxaliplatin 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:27.
We previously demonstrated that p68 phosphorylation at threonine residues correlates with cancer cell apoptosis under the treatments of TNF-α and TRAIL (Yang, L. Mol Cancer Res Vol 3, pp 355–63 2005).
In this report, we characterized the role of p68 phosphorylation in apoptosis induction under the treatment of oxaliplatin in the colon cancer cells. Our data suggest that oxaliplatin treatment activates p38 MAP kinase, which subsequently phosphorylates p68 at T564 and/or T446. The phosphorylation of p68, at least partially, mediates the effects of the drug on apoptosis induction, as mutations at these two sites greatly reduce the cancer cell death.
Our studies reveal an important molecular mechanism that mediates the effects of anti-cancer drug, providing a potential strategy for improving cancer treatment.
PMCID: PMC3519718  PMID: 23110695
P68 RNA helicase; Oxaliplatin; Phosphorylation; p38 MAP kinase; DEAD-box; Apoptosis
12.  Dg-Dys-Syn1 signaling in Drosophila regulates the microRNA profile 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:26.
The Dystrophin Glycoprotein Complex (DGC) is at the center of significant inheritable diseases, such as muscular dystrophies that can be fatal and impair neuronal function in addition to muscle degeneration. Recent evidence has shown that it can control cellular homeostasis and work via Dystrophin signaling to regulate microRNA gene expression which implies that disease phenotypes hide an entourage of regulatory and homeostatic anomalies. Uncovering these hidden processes could shed new light on the importance of proper DGC function for an organism’s overall welfare and bring forth new ideas for treatments.
To better understand a role for the DGC in these processes, we used the genetically advantageous Drosophila muscular dystrophy model to conduct a whole animal microarray screen. Since we have recently found that dystrophic symptoms can be caused by stress even in wild type animals and are enhanced in mutants, we screened stressed animals for microRNA misregulation as well. We were able to define microRNAs misregulated due to stress and/or dystrophy. Our results support the hypothesis that there is a Dystrophin and Dystroglycan dependent circuitry of processes linking stress response, dystrophic conditions and cellular signaling and that microRNAs play an important role in this network. Verification of a subset of our results was conducted via q-PCR and revealed that miR-956, miR-980 and miR-252 are regulated via a Dystroglycan-Dystrophin-Syntrophin dependent pathway.
The results presented in this study support the hypothesis that there is a Dystrophin and Dystroglycan dependent circuitry of processes that includes regulation of microRNAs. Dystrophin signaling has already been found to occur in mammalian musculature; however, our data reveals that this regulation is evolutionarily conserved and also present in at least neuronal tissues. Our data imply that Dystroglycan-Dystrophin-Syntrophin signaling through control of multiple microRNAs is involved in highly managed regulation of gene expression required to adapt cellular homeostasis that is compromised under stress and dystrophic conditions.
PMCID: PMC3551632  PMID: 23107381
Dystrophin; Dystroglycan; Syntrophin; microRNAs; Neuromuscular disorders
13.  Secreted frizzled-related protein 4 expression is positively associated with responsiveness to Cisplatin of ovarian cancer cell lines in vitro and with lower tumour grade in mucinous ovarian cancers 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:25.
Ovarian cancer is one of the most lethal malignancies in women, as it is frequently detected at an advanced stage, and cancers often become refractory to chemotherapy. Evidence suggests that dysregulation of pro-apoptotic genes plays a key role in the onset of chemoresistance. The secreted Frizzled-Related Protein (sFRP) family is pro-apoptotic and also a negative modulator of the Wnt signalling cascade. Studies have demonstrated that the re-expression of sFRPs, in particular sFRP4, is associated with a better prognosis, and that experimentally induced expression results in cell death.
In vitro experimental models determined that sFRP4 was differentially expressed in chemosensitive (A2780) and chemoresistant (A2780 ADR and A2780 Cis) ovarian cell lines, with chemosensitive cells expressing significantly higher levels of sFRP4. Transfection of the chemoresistant cell lines with sFRP4 significantly increased their sensitivity to chemotherapy. Conversely, silencing of sFRP4 expression in the chemosensitive cell line resulted in a corresponding increase in chemoresistance. Comparison of sFRP4 expression in tumour biopsies revealed a positive trend between sFRP4 expression and tumour grade, with mucinous cyst adenocarcinomas exhibiting significantly decreased sFRP4 levels compared to mucinous borderline tumours.
This study indicates a role for sFRP4 as a predictive marker of chemosensitivity in ovarian cancer and suggests that this pathway may be worth exploiting for novel therapies.
PMCID: PMC3521476  PMID: 23039795
Secreted frizzled-related protein 4; Ovarian cancer; Cisplatin; Chemoresistance; Chemosensitivity; Tumour biopsy
14.  Genistein inhibits cell invasion and motility by inducing cell differentiation in murine osteosarcoma cell line LM8 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:24.
One of the problems associated with osteosarcoma is the frequent formation of micrometastases in the lung prior to diagnosis because the development of metastatic lesions often causes a fatal outcome. Therefore, the prevention of pulmonary metastases during the early stage of tumor development is critical for the improvement of the prognosis of osteosarcoma patients. In Japan, soy is consumed in a wide variety of forms, such as miso soup and soy sauce. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of genistein, an isoflavone found in soy, on the invasive and motile potential of osteosarcoma cells.
LM8 cells were treated for 3 days with various concentrations of genistein. The effect of genistein on cell proliferation was determined by DNA measurement in the cultures and 5-bromo-2’-deoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation study. The assays of cell invasion and motility were performed using the cell culture inserts with either matrigel-coated membranes or uncoated membranes in the invasion chambers. The expression and secretion of MMP-2 were determined by immunohistochemistry and gelatin zymography. The subcellular localization and cellular level of β-catenin were determined by immunofluorescence and Western blot. For examining cell morphology, the ethanol-fixed cells were stained with hematoxylin-eosin (H&E). The expression of osteocalcin mRNA was determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
Genistein dose-dependently inhibits cell proliferation. Genistein-treated cells were less invasive and less motile than untreated cells. The expression and secretion of MMP-2 were lower in the genistein-treated cultures than in the untreated cultures. β-Catenin in untreated cells was located in the cytoplasm and/or nucleus, while in genistein-treated cells it was translocated near to the plasma membrane. The level of β-catenin was higher in genistein-treated cells than in untreated cells. Treatment of LM8 cells with genistein induced morphological changes, markedly decreased the formation of multilayer masses of cells, and markedly increased the expression of osteocalcin mRNA.
Genistein decreased invasive and motile potential by inducing cell differentiation in LM8 cells. Genistein may be useful as an anti-metastatic drug for osteosarcoma through its differentiation-inducing effects.
PMCID: PMC3515800  PMID: 23013480
Genistein; LM8; Cell invasion; Matrix metalloproteinase-2; β-catenin; Cell differentiation
15.  Co action of CFTR and AQP1 increases permeability of peritoneal epithelial cells on estrogen-induced ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:23.
Ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome (OHSS) is an iatrogenic complication associated with fertility drugs. It is characterized by increased vascular permeability and substantial fluid shift with accumulation in the body cavity. The pathogenesis of OHSS remains obscure, and no definitive treatments are currently available.
Using western blot and short-circuit current (Isc) techniques, we investigate the potential coactions of analysis in cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) and aquaporin 1 (AQP1) on the hyper permeability of body cavity peritoneal epithelial cells in the pathogenesis of OHSS. The rats develop OHSS symptoms, with the up regulation of both CFTR and AQP1 expression and enhanced CFTR channel activity in peritoneal epithelial cells, can also be mimicked by administration of estrogen, alone in ovariectomized rats. Administration of progesterone suppresses CFTR activity, OHSS symptoms as well as CFTR and AQP1 expression. Besides, AQP1 inhibitor, HgCl2, can suppress CFTR channel activity. Therefore, antisera against CFTR or AQP1 to OHSS animals may result in alleviation of the symptom.
This study confirms the coactions of CFTR and AQP1 play a critical role in the development and progression of increased peritoneal epithelial permeability in severe OHSS. These findings may provide grounds for ameliorating assisted reproduction treatment strategy to reduce the risk of OHSS in in vitro fertilization (IVF).
PMCID: PMC3443456  PMID: 22928917
CFTR; AQP1; Estrogen; Ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome
16.  Two glutamic acid residues in the DNA-binding domain are engaged in the release of STAT1 dimers from DNA 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:22.
In interferon-γ-stimulated cells, the dimeric transcription factor STAT1 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 1) recognizes semi-palindromic motifs in the promoter regions of cytokine-driven target genes termed GAS (gamma-activated sites). However, the molecular steps that facilitate GAS binding and the subsequent liberation of STAT1 homodimers from these promoter elements are not well understood.
Using a mutational approach, we identified two critical glutamyl residues within the DNA-binding domain adjacent to the phosphodiester backbone of DNA which efficiently release phospho-STAT1 from DNA. The release of STAT1 dimers from DNA enhances transcriptional activity on both interferon-driven reporter and endogenous target genes. A substitution of either of the two glutamic acid residues broadens the repertoire of putative binding sites on DNA and enhances binding affinity to GAS sites. However, despite elevated levels of tyrosine phosphorylation and a prolonged nuclear accumulation period, the STAT1 DNA-binding mutants show a significantly reduced transcriptional activity upon stimulation of cells with interferon-γ. This reduced transcriptional response may be explained by the deposition of oligomerized STAT1 molecules outside GAS sites.
Thus, two negatively charged amino acid residues in the DNA-binding domain are engaged in the liberation of STAT1 from DNA, resulting in a high dissociation rate from non-GAS sites as a key feature of STAT1 signal transduction, which positively regulates cytokine-dependent gene expression probably by preventing retention at transcriptionally inert sites.
PMCID: PMC3507856  PMID: 22920460
17.  Human adipose tissue-derived multilineage progenitor cells exposed to oxidative stress induce neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells through p38 MAPK signaling 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:21.
Adipose tissues contain populations of pluripotent mesenchymal stem cells that also secrete various cytokines and growth factors to support repair of damaged tissues. In this study, we examined the role of oxidative stress on human adipose-derived multilineage progenitor cells (hADMPCs) in neurite outgrowth in cells of the rat pheochromocytoma cell line (PC12).
We found that glutathione depletion in hADMPCs, caused by treatment with buthionine sulfoximine (BSO), resulted in the promotion of neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells through upregulation of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) transcription in, and secretion from, hADMPCs. Addition of N-acetylcysteine, a precursor of the intracellular antioxidant glutathione, suppressed the BSO-mediated upregulation of BMP2 and FGF2. Moreover, BSO treatment caused phosphorylation of p38 MAPK in hADMPCs. Inhibition of p38 MAPK was sufficient to suppress BMP2 and FGF2 expression, while this expression was significantly upregulated by overexpression of a constitutively active form of MKK6, which is an upstream molecule from p38 MAPK.
Our results clearly suggest that glutathione depletion, followed by accumulation of reactive oxygen species, stimulates the activation of p38 MAPK and subsequent expression of BMP2 and FGF2 in hADMPCs. Thus, transplantation of hADMPCs into neurodegenerative lesions such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease, in which the transplanted hADMPCs are exposed to oxidative stress, can be the basis for simple and safe therapies.
PMCID: PMC3465210  PMID: 22870983
Human adipose-derived multilineage progenitor cells; Adult stem cells; Reactive oxygen species; p38 MAPK; Neurite outgrowth; BMP2; FGF2; Neurodegenerative disorders
18.  Hax-1 is rapidly degraded by the proteasome dependent on its PEST sequence 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:20.
HS-1-associated protein X-1 (Hax-1), is a multifunctional protein that has sequence homology to Bcl-2 family members. HAX-1 knockout animals reveal that it plays an essential protective role in the central nervous system against various stresses. Homozygous mutations in the HAX-1 gene are associated with autosomal recessive forms of severe congenital neutropenia along with neurological symptoms. The protein level of Hax-1 has been shown to be regulated by cellular protease cleavage or by transcriptional suppression upon stimulation.
Here, we report a novel post-translational mechanism for regulation of Hax-1 levels in mammalian cells. We identified that PEST sequence, a sequence rich in proline, glutamic acid, serine and threonine, is responsible for its poly-ubiquitination and rapid degradation. Hax-1 is conjugated by K48-linked ubiquitin chains and undergoes a fast turnover by the proteasome system. A deletion mutant of Hax-1 that lacks the PEST sequence is more resistant to the proteasomal degradation and exerts more protective effects against apoptotic stimuli than wild type Hax-1.
Our data indicate that Hax-1 is a short-lived protein and that its PEST sequence dependent fast degradation by the proteasome may contribute to the rapid cellular responses upon different stimulations.
PMCID: PMC3432607  PMID: 22827267
Hax-1; Proteasome; Ubiquitin; PEST sequence; Bcl-2 family protein
19.  Knock-down of methyl CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) causes alterations in cell proliferation and nuclear lamins expression in mammalian cells 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:19.
MeCP2 (CpG-binding protein 2) is a nuclear multifunctional protein involved in several cellular processes, like large-scale chromatin reorganization and architecture, and transcriptional regulation. In recent years, a non-neuronal role for MeCP2 has emerged in cell growth and proliferation. Mutations in the MeCP2 gene have been reported to determine growth disadvantages in cultured lymphocyte cells, and its functional ablation suppresses cell growth in glial cells and proliferation in mesenchymal stem cells and prostate cancer cells. MeCP2 interacts with lamin B receptor (LBR) and with Heterochromatin Protein 1 (HP1) at the nuclear envelope (NE), suggesting that it could be part of complexes involved in attracting heterochromatin at the nuclear periphery and in mediating gene silencing. The nuclear lamins, major components of the lamina, have a role in maintaining NE integrity, in orchestrating mitosis, in DNA replication and transcription, in regulation of mitosis and apoptosis and in providing anchoring sites for chromatin domains.
In this work, we inferred that MeCP2 might have a role in nuclear envelope stability, thereby affecting the proliferation pattern of highly proliferating systems.
By performing knock-down (KD) of MeCP2 in normal murine (NIH-3 T3) and in human prostate transformed cells (PC-3 and LNCaP), we observed a strong proliferation decrease and a defect in the cell cycle progression, with accumulation of cells in S/G2M, without triggering a strong apoptotic and senescent phenotype. In these cells, KD of MeCP2 evidenced a considerable decrease of the levels of lamin A, lamin C, lamin B1 and LBR proteins. Moreover, by confocal analysis we confirmed the reduction of lamin A levels, but we also observed an alteration in the shape of the nuclear lamina and an irregular nuclear rim.
Our results that indicate reduced levels of NE components, are consistent with a hypothesis that the deficiency of MeCP2 might cause the lack of a key “bridge” function that links the peripheral heterochromatin to the NE, thereby causing an incorrect assembly of the NE itself, together with a decreased cell proliferation and viability.
PMCID: PMC3477090  PMID: 22783988
Methyl CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2); Cell proliferation; Nuclear lamins
20.  Immunosuppressive activity enhances central carbon metabolism and bioenergetics in myeloid-derived suppressor cells in vitro models 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:18.
The tumor microenvironment contains a vast array of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines that alter myelopoiesis and lead to the maturation of immunosuppressive cells known as myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). Incubating bone marrow (BM) precursors with a combination of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) generated a tumor-infiltrating MDSC-like population that impaired anti-tumor specific T-cell functions. This in vitro experimental approach was used to simulate MDSC maturation, and the cellular metabolic response was then monitored. A complementary experimental model that inhibited L-arginine (L-Arg) metabolizing enzymes in MSC-1 cells, an immortalized cell line derived from primary MDSCs, was used to study the metabolic events related to immunosuppression.
Exposure of BM cells to GM-CSF and IL-6 activated, within 24 h, L-Arg metabolizing enzymes which are responsible for the MDSCs immunosuppressive potential. This was accompanied by an increased uptake of L-glutamine (L-Gln) and glucose, the latter being metabolized by anaerobic glycolysis. The up-regulation of nutrient uptake lead to the accumulation of TCA cycle intermediates and lactate as well as the endogenous synthesis of L-Arg and the production of energy-rich nucleotides. Moreover, inhibition of L-Arg metabolism in MSC-1 cells down-regulated central carbon metabolism activity, including glycolysis, glutaminolysis and TCA cycle activity, and led to a deterioration of cell bioenergetic status. The simultaneous increase of cell specific concentrations of ATP and a decrease in ATP-to-ADP ratio in BM-derived MDSCs suggested cells were metabolically active during maturation. Moreover, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) was activated during MDSC maturation in GM-CSF and IL-6–treated cultures, as revealed by the continuous increase of AMP-to-ATP ratios and the phosphorylation of AMPK. Likewise, AMPK activity was decreased in MSC-1 cells when L-Arg metabolizing enzymes were inhibited. Finally, inhibition of AMPK activity by the specific inhibitor Compound C (Comp-C) resulted in the inhibition of L-Arg metabolizing enzyme activity and abolished MDSCs immunosuppressive activity.
We anticipate that the inhibition of AMPK and the control of metabolic fluxes may be considered as a novel therapeutic target for the recovery of the immunosurveillance process in cancer-bearing hosts.
PMCID: PMC3433355  PMID: 22762146
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells; GM-CSF; IL-6; MSC-1 cells; Central carbon metabolism; Bioenergetics
21.  Retraction: Aurora kinase-C-T191D is constitutively active mutant 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:17.
PMCID: PMC3418155  PMID: 22734616
22.  A simplified but robust method for the isolation of avian and mammalian muscle satellite cells 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:16.
Current methods of isolation of muscle satellite cells from different animal species are highly variable making inter-species comparisons problematic. This variation mainly stems from the use of different proteolytic enzymes to release the satellite cells from the muscle tissue (sometimes a single enzyme is used but often a combination of enzymes is preferred) and the different extracellular matrix proteins used to coat culture ware. In addition, isolation of satellite cells is frequently laborious and sometimes may require pre-plating of the cell preparation on uncoated flasks or Percoll centrifugation to remove contaminating fibroblasts. The methodology employed to isolate and culture satellite cells in vitro can critically determine the fusion of myoblasts into multi-nucleated myotubes. These terminally differentiated myotubes resemble mature myofibres in the muscle tissue in vivo, therefore optimal fusion is a keystone of in vitro muscle culture. Hence, a simple method of muscle satellite cell isolation and culture of different vertebrate species that can result in a high fusion rate is highly desirable.
We demonstrate here a relatively simple and rapid method of isolating highly enriched muscle satellite cells from different avian and mammalian species. In brief, muscle tissue was mechanically dissociated, digested with a single enzyme (pronase), triturated with a 10-ml pipette, filtered and directly plated onto collagen coated flasks. Following this method and after optimization of the cell culture conditions, excellent fusion rates were achieved in the duck, chicken, horse and cow (with more than 50% cell fusion), and to a lesser extent pig, pointing to pronase as a highly suitable enzyme to release satellite cells from muscle tissue.
Our simplified method presents a quick and simple alternative to isolating highly enriched muscle satellite cell cultures which can subsequently rapidly differentiate into well developed primary myotubes. The use of the same isolation protocol allows better inter-species comparisons of muscle satellite cells. Of all the farm animal species investigated, harvested chicken muscle cells showed the highest percentage of muscle satellite cells, and equine muscle cells presented the highest fusion index, an impressive ≈ 77%. Porcine cells displayed the lowest amount of satellite cells but still achieved a modest fusion rate of ≈ 41%.
PMCID: PMC3432597  PMID: 22720831
Muscle satellite cells; Primary skeletal muscle cultures; Immunocytochemistry; Desmin; Pax7; α-sarcomeric actin; Fusion index
23.  Identification of novel mitosis regulators through data mining with human centromere/kinetochore proteins as group queries 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:15.
Proteins functioning in the same biological pathway tend to be transcriptionally co-regulated or form protein-protein interactions (PPI). Multiple spatially and temporally regulated events are coordinated during mitosis to achieve faithful chromosome segregation. The molecular players participating in mitosis regulation are still being unravelled experimentally or using in silico methods.
An extensive literature review has led to a compilation of 196 human centromere/kinetochore proteins, all with experimental evidence supporting the subcellular localization. Sixty-four were designated as “core” centromere/kinetochore components based on peak expression and/or well-characterized functions during mitosis. By interrogating and integrating online resources, we have mined for genes/proteins that display transcriptional co-expression or PPI with the core centromere/kinetochore components. Top-ranked hubs in either co-expression or PPI network are not only enriched with known mitosis regulators, but also contain candidates whose mitotic functions are not yet established. Experimental validation found that KIAA1377 is a novel centrosomal protein that also associates with microtubules and midbody; while TRIP13 is a novel kinetochore protein and directly interacts with mitotic checkpoint silencing protein p31comet.
Transcriptional co-expression and PPI network analyses with known human centromere/kinetochore proteins as a query group help identify novel potential mitosis regulators.
PMCID: PMC3419070  PMID: 22712476
Centromere; Kinetochore; Centrosome; Data mining; Protein-protein interaction; Co-expression
24.  In vitro expansion of the mammary stem/progenitor cell population by xanthosine treatment 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:14.
Mammary stem cells are critical for growth and maintenance of the mammary gland and therefore are of considerable interest for improving productivity and efficiency of dairy animals. Xanthosine treatment has been demonstrated to promote expansion of putative mammary stem cells in vivo, and hepatic and hair follicle stem cells in vitro. In the latter, xanthosine promoted the symmetrical division of hepatic and hair follicle stem cells. The objective of this study was to determine if treating primary cultures of bovine mammary epithelial cells (MEC) with xanthosine increases the stem/progenitor cell population by promoting symmetrical division of mammary stem cells.
In vitro treatment with xanthosine increased the population of MEC during the exponential phase of cell growth, reducing the doubling time from 86 h in control cultures to 60 h in xanthosine-treated cultures. The bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) labeling index and the proportion of MEC in S-phase both were increased by xanthosine treatment, indicating that increased cell accretion was due to increased cell proliferation. Analysis of daughter-pairs indicated that xanthosine promoted a shift from asymmetric to symmetric cell division. Moreover, the 30 % increase in symmetric cell division was concomitant with an increase in the proportion of MEC that were positive for a putative stem cell marker (FNDC3B) and a trend toward increased telomerase activity. These results suggest that xanthosine treatment in vitro can increase cell proliferation, promote symmetric cell division and enhance stem/progenitor cell activity.
Xanthosine treatment increased the proliferation rate of bovine MEC in vitro. This was likely to be mediated by an increase in the proportion of stem/progenitor cells in the MEC population due to promotion of symmetrical stem cell division by xanthosine.
PMCID: PMC3407777  PMID: 22698263
Mammary stem cell; Self renewal; Symmetric division; FNDC3B; Telomerase; Bovine
25.  Functional and genetic interactions of TOR in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae with myosin type II-deficiency (myo1Δ) 
BMC Cell Biology  2012;13:13.
Yeast has numerous mechanisms to survive stress. Deletion of myosin type II (myo1Δ) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae results in a cell that has defective cytokinesis. To survive this genetically induced stress, this budding yeast up regulates the PKC1 cell wall integrity pathway (CWIP). More recently, our work indicated that TOR, another stress signaling pathway, was down regulated in myo1Δ strains. Since negative signaling by TOR is known to regulate PKC1, our objectives in this study were to understand the cross-talk between the TOR and PKC1 signaling pathways and to determine if they share upstream regulators for mounting the stress response in myo1Δ strains.
Here we proved that TORC1 signaling was down regulated in the myo1Δ strain. While a tor1Δ mutant strain had increased viability relative to myo1Δ, a combined myo1Δtor1Δ mutant strain showed significantly reduced cell viability. Synthetic rescue of the tor2-21ts lethal phenotype was observed in the myo1Δ strain in contrast to the chs2Δ strain, a chitin synthase II null mutant that also activates the PKC1 CWIP and exhibits cytokinesis defects very similar to myo1Δ, where the rescue effect was not observed. We observed two pools of Slt2p, the final Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) of the PKC1 CWIP; one pool that is up regulated by heat shock and one that is up regulated by the myo1Δ stress. The cell wall stress sensor WSC1 that activates PKC1 CWIP under other stress conditions was shown to act as a negative regulator of TORC1 in the myo1Δ mutant. Finally, the repression of TORC1 was inversely correlated with the activation of PKC1 in the myo1Δ strain.
Regulated expression of TOR1 was important in the activation of the PKC1 CWIP in a myo1Δ strain and hence its survival. We found evidence that the PKC1 and TORC1 pathways share a common upstream regulator associated with the cell wall stress sensor WSC1. Surprisingly, essential TORC2 functions were not required in the myo1Δ strain. By understanding how yeast mounts a concerted stress response, one can further design pharmacological cocktails to undermine their ability to adapt and to survive.
PMCID: PMC3470973  PMID: 22646158
PKC1; SLT2/MPK1; WSC1; Tor2-21; Fungal cell wall

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