• LGN regulates mitotic spindle orientation during epithelial morphogenesis

      Zheng, Zhen; Zhu, Huabin; Wan, Qingwen; Liu, Jing; Xiao, Zhuoni; Siderovski, David P.; Du, Quansheng; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics; Department of Neurology (2010-04-19)
      Coordinated cell polarization and mitotic spindle orientation are thought to be important for epithelial morphogenesis. Whether spindle orientation is indeed linked to epithelial morphogenesis and how it is controlled at the molecular level is still unknown. Here, we show that the NuMA- and Ga-binding protein LGN is required for directing spindle orientation during cystogenesis of MDCK cells. LGN localizes to the lateral cell cortex, and is excluded from the apical cell cortex of dividing cells. Depleting LGN, preventing its cortical localization, or disrupting its interaction with endogenous NuMA or Ga proteins all lead to spindle misorientation and abnormal cystogenesis. Moreover, artificial mistargeting of endogenous LGN to the apical membrane results in a near 90° rotation of the spindle axis and profound cystogenesis defects that are dependent on cell division. The normal apical exclusion of LGN during mitosis appears to be mediated by atypical PKC. Thus, cell polarizationâ mediated spatial restriction of spindle orientation determinants is critical for epithelial morphogenesis.
    • A Kinetic Analysis of Calcium-Triggered Exocytosis

      Blank, Paul S.; Vogel, Steven S.; Malley, James D.; Zimmerberg, Joshua; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics (2001-08-1)
      Although the relationship between exocytosis and calcium is fundamental both to synaptic and nonneuronal secretory function, analysis is problematic because of the temporal and spatial properties of calcium, and the fact that vesicle transport, priming, retrieval, and recycling are coupled. By analyzing the kinetics of sea urchin egg secretory vesicle exocytosis in vitro , the final steps of exocytosis are resolved. These steps are modeled as a three-state system: activated, committed, and fused, where interstate transitions are given by the probabilities that an active fusion complex commits (a ) and that a committed fusion complex results in fusion, p . The number of committed complexes per vesicle docking site is Poisson distributed with mean n. Experimentally, p and n increase with increasing calcium, whereas a and the p/n ratio remain constant, reducing the kinetic description to only one calcium-dependent, controlling variable, . On average, the calcium dependence of the maximum rate (R max ) and the time to reach R max (T peak ) are described by the calcium dependence of n . Thus, the nonlinear relationship between the free calcium concentration and the rate of exocytosis can be explained solely by the calcium dependence of the distribution of fusion complexes at vesicle docking sites.
    • Viral Escape by Selection of Cytotoxic T Cellâ Resistant Variants in Influenza a Virus Pneumonia

      Price, Graeme E.; Ou, Rong; Jiang, Hong; Huang, Lei; Moskophidis, Demetrius; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics (2000-06-5)
      Antigenic variation is a strategy exploited by influenza viruses to promote survival in the face of the host adaptive immune response and constitutes a major obstacle to efficient vaccine development. Thus, variation in the surface glycoproteins hemagglutinin and neuraminidase is reflected by changes in susceptibility to antibody neutralization. This has led to the current view that antibody-mediated selection of influenza A viruses constitutes the basis for annual influenza epidemics and periodic pandemics. However, infection with this virus elicits a vigorous protective CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response, suggesting that CD8+ CTLs might exert selection pressure on the virus. Studies with influenza A virusâ infected transgenic mice bearing a T cell receptor (TCR) specific for viral nucleoprotein reveal that virus reemergence and persistence occurs weeks after the acute infection has apparently been controlled. The persisting virus is no longer recognized by CTLs, indicating that amino acid changes in the major viral nucleoprotein CTL epitope can be rapidly accumulated in vivo. These mutations lead to a total or partial loss of recognition by polyclonal CTLs by affecting presentation of viral peptide by class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules, or by interfering with TCR recognition of the mutant peptideâ MHC complex. These data illustrate the distinct features of pulmonary immunity in selection of CTL escape variants. The likelihood of emergence and the biological impact of CTL escape variants on the clinical outcome of influenza pneumonia in an immunocompetent host, which is relevant for the design of preventive vaccines against this and other respiratory viral infections, are discussed.
    • Contribution of â Virus-specific CD8+ Cytotoxic T Cells to Virus Clearance or Pathologic Manifestations of Influenza Virus Infection in a T Cell Receptor Transgenic Mouse Model

      Moskophidis, Demetrius; Kioussis, Dimitris; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics (1998-07-20)
      The ability of influenza virus to evade immune surveillance by neutralizing antibodies (Abs) directed against its variable surface antigens provides a challenge to the development of effective vaccines. CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) restricted by class I major histocompatibility complex molecules are important in establishing immunity to influenza virus because they recognize internal viral proteins which are conserved between multiple viral strains. In contrast, protective Abs are strain-specific. However, the precise role of effector CD8+ CTLs in protection from influenza virus infection, critical for understanding disease pathogenesis, has not been well defined. In transgenic mice with a very high frequency of antiinfluenza CTL precursors, but without protective Abs, CD8+ CTLs conferred protection against low dose viral challenge, but exacerbated viral pathology and caused mortality at high viral dose. The data suggest a dual role for CD8+ CTLs against influenza, which may present a challenge to the development of effective CTL vaccines. Effector mechanisms used by CD8+ CTLs in orchestrating clearance of virus and recovery from experimental influenza infection, or potentiation of lethal pathology, are discussed.
    • T Cell Receptorâ Induced Calcineurin Activation Regulates T Helper Type 2 Cell Development by Modifying the Interleukin 4 Receptor Signaling Complex

      Yamashita, Masakatsu; Katsumata, Makoto; Iwashima, Makio; Kimura, Motoko; Shimizu, Chiori; Kamata, Tohru; Shin, Tahiro; Seki, Nobuo; Suzuki, Seiichi; Taniguchi, Masaru; et al. (2000-06-5)
      The activation of downstream signaling pathways of both T cell receptor (TCR) and interleukin 4 receptor (IL-4R) is essential for T helper type 2 (Th2) cell development, which is central to understanding immune responses against helminthic parasites and in allergic and autoimmune diseases. However, little is known about how these two distinct signaling pathways cooperate with each other to induce Th2 cells. Here, we show that successful Th2 cell development depends on the effectiveness of TCR-induced activation of calcineurin. An inhibitor of calcineurin activation, FK506, inhibited the in vitro anti-TCRâ induced Th2 cell generation in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, the development of Th2 cells was significantly impaired in naive T cells from dominant-negative calcineurin Aα transgenic mice, whereas that of Th1 cells was less affected. Efficient calcineurin activation in naive T cells upregulated Janus kinase (Jak)3 transcription and the amount of protein. The generation of Th2 cells induced in vitro by anti-TCR stimulation was inhibited significantly by the presence of Jak3 antisense oligonucleotides, suggesting that the Jak3 upregulation is an important event for the Th2 cell development. Interestingly, signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)5 became physically and functionally associated with the IL-4R in the anti-TCRâ activated developing Th2 cells that received efficient calcineurin activation, and also in established cloned Th2 cells. In either cell population, the inhibition of STAT5 activation resulted in a diminished IL-4â induced proliferation. Moreover, our results suggest that IL-4â induced STAT5 activation is required for the expansion process of developing Th2 cells. Thus, Th2 cell development is controlled by TCR-mediated activation of the Ca2+/calcineurin pathway, at least in part, by modifying the functional structure of the IL-4R signaling complex.
    • A critical role for the programmed death ligand 1 in fetomaternal tolerance

      Guleria, Indira; Khosroshahi, Arezou; Ansari, Mohammed Javeed; Habicht, Antje; Azuma, Miyuki; Yagita, Hideo; Noelle, Randolph J.; Coyle, Anthony; Mellor, Andrew L.; Khoury, Samia J.; et al. (2005-07-18)
      Fetal survival during gestation implies that tolerance mechanisms suppress the maternal immune response to paternally inherited alloantigens. Here we show that the inhibitory T cell costimulatory molecule, programmed death ligand 1 (PDL1), has an important role in conferring fetomaternal tolerance in an allogeneic pregnancy model. Blockade of PDL1 signaling during murine pregnancy resulted in increased rejection rates of allogeneic concepti but not syngeneic concepti. Fetal rejection was T cell– but not B cell–dependent because PDL1-specific antibody treatment caused fetal rejection in B cell–deficient but not in RAG-1 –deficient females. Blockade of PDL1 also resulted in a significant increase in the frequency of IFN- –producing lymphocytes in response to alloantigen in an ELISPOT assay and higher IFN- levels in placental homogenates by ELISA. Finally, PDL1-deficient females exhibited decreased allogeneic fetal survival rates as compared with littermate and heterozygote controls and showed evidence of expansion of T helper type 1 immune responses in vivo. These results provide the first evidence that PDL1 is involved in fetomaternal tolerance.
    • Positive Selection of Cd4+ T Cells Is Induced in Vivo by Agonist and Inhibited by Antagonist Peptides

      Kraj, Piotr; Pacholczyk, Rafal; Ignatowicz, Hanna; Kisielow, Pawel; Jensen, Peter; Ignatowicz, Leszek; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics (2001-08-20)
      The nature of peptides that positively select T cells in the thymus remains poorly defined. Here we report an in vivo model to study the mechanisms of positive selection of CD4+ T cells. We have restored positive selection of TCR transgenic CD4+ thymocytes, arrested at the CD4+CD8+ stage, due to the lack of the endogenously selecting peptide(s), in mice deficient for H2-M and invariant chain. A single injection of soluble agonist peptide(s) initiated positive selection of CD4+ transgenic T cells that lasted for up to 14 days. Positively selected CD4+ T cells repopulated peripheral lymphoid organs and could respond to the antigenic peptide. Furthermore, coinjection of the antagonist peptide significantly inhibited agonist-driven positive selection. Hence, contrary to the prevailing view, positive selection of CD4+ thymocytes can be induced in vivo by agonist peptides and may be a result of accumulation of signals from TCR engaged by different peptides bound to major histocompatibility complex class II molecules. We have also identified a candidate natural agonist peptide that induces positive selection of CD4+ TCR transgenic thymocytes.
    • Critical Roles of Pten in B Cell Homeostasis and Immunoglobulin Class Switch Recombination

      Suzuki, Akira; Kaisho, Tsuneyasu; Ohishi, Minako; Tsukio-Yamaguchi, Manae; Tsubata, Takeshi; Koni, Pandelakis A.; Sasaki, Takehiko; Mak, Tak Wah; Nakano, Toru; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics (2003-03-3)
      Pten is a tumor suppressor gene mutated in human cancers. We used the Cre-loxP system to generate a B cellâ specific mutation of Pten in mice (bPtenflox/floxmice). bPtenflox/flox mice showed elevated numbers of B1a cells and increased serum autoantibodies. Among B2 cells in bPtenflox/flox spleens, numbers of marginal zone B (MZB) cells were significantly increased while those of follicular B (FOB) cells were correspondingly decreased. Pten-deficient B cells hyperproliferated, were resistant to apoptotic stimuli, and showed enhanced migration. The survival kinase PKB/Akt was highly activated in Pten-deficient splenic B cells. In addition, immunoglobulin class switch recombination was defective and induction of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) was impaired. Thus, Pten plays a role in developmental fate determination of B cells and is an indispensable regulator of B cell homeostasis.
    • Inhibition ofâ T Cell Proliferation by Macrophage Tryptophan Catabolism

      Munn, David H.; Shafizadeh, Ebrahim; Attwood, John T.; Bondarev, Igor; Pashine, Achal; Mellor, Andrew L.; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics; Department of Pediatrics (1999-05-3)
      We have recently shown that expression of the enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) during murine pregnancy is required to prevent rejection of the allogeneic fetus by maternal T cells. In addition to their role in pregnancy, IDO-expressing cells are widely distributed in primary and secondary lymphoid organs. Here we show that monocytes that have differentiated under the influence of macrophage colony-stimulating factor acquire the ability to suppress T cell proliferation in vitro via rapid and selective degradation of tryptophan by IDO. IDO was induced in macrophages by a synergistic combination of the T cellâ derived signals IFN-g and CD40-ligand. Inhibition of IDO with the 1-methyl analogue of tryptophan prevented macrophage-mediated suppression. Purified T cells activated under tryptophan-deficient conditions were able to synthesize protein, enter the cell cycle, and progress normally through the initial stages of G1, including upregulation of IL-2 receptor and synthesis of IL-2. However, in the absence of tryptophan, cell cycle progression halted at a mid-G1 arrest point. Restoration of tryptophan to arrested cells was not sufficient to allow further cell cycle progression nor was costimulation via CD28. T cells could exit the arrested state only if a second round of T cell receptor signaling was provided in the presence of tryptophan. These data reveal a novel mechanism by which antigen-presenting cells can regulate T cell activation via tryptophan catabolism. We speculate that expression of IDO by certain antigen presenting cells in vivo allows them to suppress unwanted T cell responses.
    • Conditional Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule 1 Deletion in Mice

      Koni, Pandelakis A.; Joshi, Sunil K.; Temann, Ulla-Angela; Olson, Dian; Burkly, Linda; Flavell, Richard A.; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics; Department of Medicine (2001-03-19)
      We generated vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1 “knock-in” mice and Cre recombinase transgenic mice to delete the VCAM-1 gene ( vcam-1 ) in whole mice, thereby overcoming the embryonic lethality seen with conventional vcam-1 –deficient mice. vcam-1 knock-in mice expressed normal levels of VCAM-1 but showed loss of VCAM-1 on endothelial and hematopoietic cells when interbred with a “TIE2Cre” transgene. Analysis of peripheral blood from conditional vcam-1– deficient mice revealed mild leukocytosis, including elevated immature B cell numbers. Conversely, the bone marrow (BM) had reduced immature B cell numbers, but normal numbers of pro-B cells. vcam-1 –deficient mice also had reduced mature IgD 1 B and T cells in BM and a greatly reduced capacity to support short-term migration of transferred B cells, CD4 1 T cells, CD8 1 T cells, and preactivated CD4 1 T cells to the BM. Thus, we report an until now unappreciated dominant role for VCAM-1 in lymphocyte homing to BM.
    • Regulation of cell death in mitotic neural progenitor cells by asymmetric distribution of prostate apoptosis response 4 (PAR-4) and simultaneous elevation of endogenous ceramide

      Bieberich, Erhard; MacKinnon, Sarah; Silva, Jeane; Noggle, Scott A; Condie, Brian G.; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics; Department of Medicine (2003-08-4)
      Cell death and survival of neural progenitor (NP) cells are determined by signals that are largely unknown. We have analyzed pro-apoptotic signaling in individual NP cells that have been derived from mouse embryonic stem cells. NP formation was concomitant with elevated apoptosis and increased expression of ceramide and prostate apoptosis response 4 (PAR-4). Morpholino oligonucleotide-mediated antisense knockdown of PAR-4 or inhibition of ceramide biosynthesis reduced stem cell apoptosis, whereas PAR-4 overexpression and treatment with ceramide analogs elevated apoptosis. Apoptotic cells also stained for proliferating cell nuclear antigen (a nuclear mitosis marker protein), but not for nestin (a marker for NP cells). In mitotic cells, asymmetric distribution of PAR-4 and nestin resulted in one nestin(â )/PAR-4(+) daughter cell, in which ceramide elevation induced apoptosis. The other cell was nestin(+), but PAR-4(â ), and was not apoptotic. Asymmetric distribution of PAR-4 and simultaneous elevation of endogenous ceramide provides a possible mechanism underlying asymmetric differentiation and apoptosis of neuronal stem cells in the developing brain.
    • Selective apoptosis of pluripotent mouse and human stem cells by novel ceramide analogues prevents teratoma formation and enriches for neural precursors in ES cellâ derived neural transplants

      Bieberich, Erhard; Silva, Jeane; Wang, Guanghu; Krishnamurthy, Kannan; Condie, Brian G.; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics (2004-11-22)
      The formation of stem cellâ derived tumors (teratomas) is observed when engrafting undifferentiated embryonic stem (ES) cells, embryoid bodyâ derived cells (EBCs), or mammalian embryos and is a significant obstacle to stem cell therapy. We show that in tumors formed after engraftment of EBCs into mouse brain, expression of the pluripotency marker Oct-4 colocalized with that of prostate apoptosis response-4 (PAR-4), a protein mediating ceramide-induced apoptosis during neural differentiation of ES cells. We tested the ability of the novel ceramide analogue N-oleoyl serinol (S18) to eliminate mouse and human Oct-4(+)/PAR-4(+) cells and to increase the proportion of nestin(+) neuroprogenitors in EBC-derived cell cultures and grafts. S18-treated EBCs persisted in the hippocampal area and showed neuronal lineage differentiation as indicated by the expression of β-tubulin III. However, untreated cells formed numerous teratomas that contained derivatives of endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm. Our results show for the first time that ceramide-induced apoptosis eliminates residual, pluripotent EBCs, prevents teratoma formation, and enriches the EBCs for cells that undergo neural differentiation after transplantation.
    • BDNF-induced recruitment of TrkB receptor into neuronal lipid rafts

      Suzuki, Shingo; Numakawa, Tadahiro; Shimazu, Kazuhiro; Koshimizu, Hisatsugu; Hara, Tomoko; Hatanaka, Hiroshi; Mei, Lin; Lu, Bai; Kojima, Masami; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics (2004-12-20)
      Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in synaptic plasticity but the underlying signaling mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we show that BDNF rapidly recruits full-length TrkB (TrkB-FL) receptor into cholesterol-rich lipid rafts from nonraft regions of neuronal plasma membranes. Translocation of TrkB-FL was blocked by Trk inhibitors, suggesting a role of TrkB tyrosine kinase in the translocation. Disruption of lipid rafts by depleting cholesterol from cell surface blocked the ligand-induced translocation. Moreover, disruption of lipid rafts prevented potentiating effects of BDNF on transmitter release in cultured neurons and synaptic response to tetanus in hippocampal slices. In contrast, lipid rafts are not required for BDNF regulation of neuronal survival. Thus, ligand-induced TrkB translocation into lipid rafts may represent a signaling mechanism selective for synaptic modulation by BDNF in the central nervous system.
    • Impaired membrane resealing and autoimmune myositis in synaptotagmin VIIâ deficient mice

      Chakrabarti, Sabyasachi; Kobayashi, Koichi S.; Flavell, Richard A.; Marks, Carolyn B.; Miyake, Katsuya; Liston, David R.; Fowler, Kimberly T.; Gorelick, Fred S.; Andrews, Norma W.; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics (2003-08-18)
      Members of the synaptotagmin family have been proposed to function as Ca2+ sensors in membrane fusion. Syt VII is a ubiquitously expressed synaptotagmin previously implicated in plasma membrane repair and Trypanosoma cruzi invasion, events which are mediated by the Ca2+-regulated exocytosis of lysosomes. Here, we show that embryonic fibroblasts from Syt VII-deficient mice are less susceptible to trypanosome invasion, and defective in lysosomal exocytosis and resealing after wounding. Examination of mutant mouse tissues revealed extensive fibrosis in the skin and skeletal muscle. Inflammatory myopathy, with muscle fiber invasion by leukocytes and endomysial collagen deposition, was associated with elevated creatine kinase release and progressive muscle weakness. Interestingly, similar to what is observed in human polymyositis/dermatomyositis, the mice developed a strong antinuclear antibody response, characteristic of autoimmune disorders. Thus, defective plasma membrane repair in tissues under mechanical stress may favor the development of inflammatory autoimmune disease.
    • Exocytotic Insertion of Calcium Channels Constrains Compensatory Endocytosis to Sites of Exocytosis

      Smith, Robert M.; Baibakov, Boris; Ikebuchi, Yoshihide; White, Benjamin H.; Lambert, Nevin A.; Kaczmarek, Leonard K.; Vogel, Steven S.; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics (2000-02-21)
      Proteins inserted into the cell surface by exocytosis are thought to be retrieved by compensatory endocytosis, suggesting that retrieval requires granule proteins. In sea urchin eggs, calcium influx through P-type calcium channels is required for retrieval, and the large size of sea urchin secretory granules permits the direct observation of retrieval. Here we demonstrate that retrieval is limited to sites of prior exocytosis. We tested whether channel distribution can account for the localization of retrieval at exocytotic sites. We find that P-channels reside on secretory granules before fertilization, and are translocated to the egg surface by exocytosis. Our study provides strong evidence that the transitory insertion of P-type calcium channels in the surface membrane plays an obligatory role in the mechanism coupling exocytosis and compensatory endocytosis.
    • Regulation of osteoclast function and bone mass by RAGE

      Zhou, Zheng; Immel, David; Xi, Cai-Xia; Bierhaus, Angelika; Feng, Xu; Mei, Lin; Nawroth, Peter; Stern, David M.; Xiong, Wen-Cheng; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics; et al. (2006-04-17)
      The receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily that has multiple ligands and is implicated in the pathogenesis of various diseases, including diabetic complications, neurodegenerative disorders, and inflammatory responses. However, the role of RAGE in normal physiology is largely undefined. Here, we present evidence for a role of RAGE in osteoclast maturation and function, which has consequences for bone remodeling. Mice lacking RAGE had increased bone mass and bone mineral density and decreased bone resorptive activity in vivo. In vitroâ differentiated RAGE-deficient osteoclasts exhibited disrupted actin ring and sealing zone structures, impaired maturation, and reduced bone resorptive activity. Impaired signaling downstream of αvβ3 integrin was observed in RAGEâ /â bone marrow macrophages and precursors of OCs. These results demonstrate a role for RAGE in osteoclast actin cytoskeletal reorganization, adhesion, and function, and suggest that the osteosclerotic-like phenotype observed in RAGE knockout mice is due to a defect in osteoclast function.
    • Gap Junctionâ mediated Cellâ Cell Communication Modulates Mouse Neural Crest Migration

      Huang, G.Y.; Cooper, E.S.; Waldo, K.; Kirby, M.L.; Gilula, N.B.; Lo, C.W.; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics (1998-12-14)
      Previous studies showed that conotruncal heart malformations can arise with the increase or decrease in a1 connexin function in neural crest cells. To elucidate the possible basis for the quantitative requirement for a1 connexin gap junctions in cardiac development, a neural crest outgrowth culture system was used to examine migration of neural crest cells derived from CMV43 transgenic embryos overexpressing a1 connexins, and from a1 connexin knockout (KO) mice and FC transgenic mice expressing a dominant-negative a1 connexin fusion protein. These studies showed that the migration rate of cardiac neural crest was increased in the CMV43 embryos, but decreased in the FC transgenic and a1 connexin KO embryos. Migration changes occurred in step with connexin gene or transgene dosage in the homozygous vs. hemizygous a1 connexin KO and CMV43 embryos, respectively. Dye coupling analysis in neural crest cells in the outgrowth cultures and also in the living embryos showed an elevation of gap junction communication in the CMV43 transgenic mice, while a reduction was observed in the FC transgenic and a1 connexin KO mice. Further analysis using oleamide to downregulate gap junction communication in nontransgenic outgrowth cultures showed that this independent method of reducing gap junction communication in cardiac crest cells also resulted in a reduction in the rate of crest migration. To determine the possible relevance of these findings to neural crest migration in vivo, a lacZ transgene was used to visualize the distribution of cardiac neural crest cells in the outflow tract. These studies showed more lacZ-positive cells in the outflow septum in the CMV43 transgenic mice, while a reduction was observed in the a1 connexin KO mice. Surprisingly, this was accompanied by cell proliferation changes, not in the cardiac neural crest cells, but in the myocardium - an elevation in the CMV43 mice vs. a reduction in the a1 connexin KO mice. The latter observation suggests that cardiac neural crest cells may have a role in modulating growth and development of non-neural crest- derived tissues. Overall, these findings suggest that gap junction communication mediated by a1 connexins plays an important role in cardiac neural crest migration. Furthermore, they indicate that cardiac neural crest perturbation is the likely underlying cause for heart defects in mice with the gain or loss of a1 connexin function.
    • Rab11 in dysplasia of Barrett's epithelia.

      Goldenring, J R; Ray, G S; Lee, J R; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics (2000-05-16)
      Barrett's esophagus predisposes affected patients to the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma. The development of adenocarcinoma proceeds along a progression through low- and high-grade dysplasia. Surveillance of Barrett's patients requires serial endoscopic investigations and grading mucosal biopsies. Unfortunately, grading of biopsies by conventional hematoxylin and eosin staining is fraught with significant interobserver variations. We have found in both biopsy and resection specimens that immunostaining for the small GTP binding protein Rab11 is increased in low-grade dysplastic cells. This staining is lost in high-grade dysplastic cells. These results suggest that low-grade dysplastic cells undergo an apical trafficking blockade, which is released as cells progress to the less differentiated phenotype of high-grade dysplasia and adenocarcinoma. Examination of the SKGT-4 esophageal adenocarcinoma cell line demonstrated prominent mRNA and protein expression for Rab11. Rab11 immunostaining was present in SKGT-4 cells as a perinuclear nidus of punctate staining along with a more diffuse punctate pattern. Thus, Rab11 expression was present in a esophageal adenocarcinoma cells in culture. Markers of vesicle trafficking may be critical factors for grading of mucosal dysplastic transitions leading to adenocarcinoma.
    • Deoxycholate promotes survival of breast cancer cells by reducing the level of pro-apoptotic ceramide.

      Krishnamurthy, Kannan; Wang, Guanghu; Rokhfeld, Dmitriy; Bieberich, Erhard; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics; Student Research and Training (STAR) Program, School of Graduate Studies (2009-02-23)
      INTRODUCTION: At physiologic concentration in serum, the bile acid sodium deoxycholate (DC) induces survival and migration of breast cancer cells. Here we provide evidence of a novel mechanism by which DC reduces apoptosis that is induced by the sphingolipid ceramide in breast cancer cells. METHODS: Murine mammacarcinoma 4T1 cells were used in vitro to determine apoptosis and alteration of sphingolipid metabolism by DC, and in vivo to quantify the effect of DC on metastasis. RESULTS: We found that DC increased the number of intestinal metastases generated from 4T1 cell tumors grafted into the fat pad. The metastatic nodes contained slowly dividing cancer cells in immediate vicinity of newly formed blood vessels. These cells were positive for CD44, a marker that has been suggested to be expressed on breast cancer stem cells. In culture, a subpopulation (3 +/- 1%) of slowly dividing, CD44+ cells gave rise to rapidly dividing, CD44- cells. DC promoted survival of CD44+ cells, which was concurrent with reduced levels of activated caspase 3 and ceramide, a sphingolipid inducing apoptosis in 4T1 cells. Z-guggulsterone, an antagonist of the farnesoid-X-receptor, obliterated this anti-apoptotic effect, indicating that DC increased cell survival via farnesoid-X-receptor. DC also increased the gene expression of the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (Flk-1), suggesting that DC enhanced the initial growth of secondary tumors adjacent to blood vessels. The Flk-1 antagonist SU5416 obliterated the reduction of ceramide and apoptosis by DC, indicating that enhanced cell survival is due to Flk-1-induced reduction in ceramide. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings show, for the first time, that DC is a natural tumor promoter by elevating Flk-1 and decreasing ceramide-mediated apoptosis of breast cancer progenitor cells. Reducing the level or effect of serum DC and elevating ceramide in breast cancer progenitor cells by treatment with Z-guggulsterone and/or vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2/Flk-1 antagonists may thus be a promising strategy to reduce breast cancer metastasis.
    • Effect of pre-germinated brown rice intake on diabetic neuropathy in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

      Usuki, Seigo; Ito, Yukihiko; Morikawa, Keiko; Kise, Mitsuo; Ariga, Toshio; Rivner, Michael; Yu, Robert K.; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics; Department of Neurology (2008-02-19)
      ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: To study the effects of a pre-germinated brown rice diet (PR) on diabetic neuropathy in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. METHODS: The effects of a PR diet on diabetic neuropathy in STZ-induced diabetic rats were evaluated and compared with those fed brown rice (BR) or white rice (WR) diets with respect to the following parameters: blood-glucose level, motor-nerve conduction velocity (NCV), sciatic-nerve Na+/K+-ATPase activity, and serum homocysteine-thiolactonase (HTase) activity. RESULTS: Compared with diabetic rats fed BR or WR diets, those fed a PR diet demonstrated significantly lower blood-glucose levels (p < 0.001), improved NCV (1.2- and 1.3-fold higher, respectively), and increased Na+/K+-ATPase activity (1.6- and 1.7-fold higher, respectively). The PR diet was also able to normalize decreased serum homocysteine levels normally seen in diabetic rats. The increased Na+/K+-ATPase activity observed in rats fed PR diets was associated with elevations in HTase activity (r = 0.913, p < 0.001). The in vitro effect of the total lipid extract from PR bran (TLp) on the Na+/K+-ATPase and HTase activity was also examined. Incubation of homocysteine thiolactone (HT) with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in vitro resulted in generation of HT-modified LDL, which possessed high potency to inhibit Na+/K+-ATPase activity in the sciatic nerve membrane. The inhibitory effect of HT-modified LDL on Na+/K+-ATPase activity disappeared when TLp was added to the incubation mixture. Furthermore, TLp directly activated the HTase associated with high-density lipoprotein (HDL). CONCLUSION: PR treatment shows efficacy for protecting diabetic deterioration and for improving physiological parameters of diabetic neuropathy in rats, as compared with a BR or WR diet. This effect may be induced by a mechanism whereby PR intake mitigates diabetic neuropathy by one or more factors in the total lipid fraction. The active lipid fraction is able to protect the Na+/K+-ATPase of the sciatic-nerve membrane from the toxicity of HT-modified LDL and to directly activate the HTase of HDL.