Browsing Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy: Faculty Research and Presentations by Subjects
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Automated Reporter Quantification In Vivo: High-Throughput Screening Method for Reporter-Based Assays in ZebrafishReporter-based assays underlie many high-throughput screening (HTS) platforms, but most are limited to in vitro applications. Here, we report a simple whole-organism HTS method for quantifying changes in reporter intensity in individual zebrafish over time termed,
Cell Membrane Disruption Stimulates NO/PKG Signaling and Potentiates Cell Membrane Repair in Neighboring CellsResealing of a disrupted plasma membrane at the micron-diameter range requires Ca2+-regulated exocytosis. Repeated membrane disruptions reseal more quickly than the initial wound, and this potentiation of membrane resealing persists for at least 24 hours after the initial wound. Long-term potentiation of membrane resealing requires CREB-dependent gene expression, which is activated by the PKC- and p38 MAPK-dependent pathway in a wounded cell. The present study demonstrates that membrane resealing is potentiated in both wounded and neighboring cells in MDCK cells. Wounding of cells expressing CREB133, a mutant variant of CREB, does not show the potentiated response of cell membrane resealing in either wounded or neighboring cells. Furthermore, wounding of cells induces CREB phosphorylation, not only in wounded cells, but also in neighboring cells. Inhibition of the nitric oxide/PKG signaling pathway suppresses CREB phosphorylation in neighboring cells, but not in wounded cells. The potentiation of membrane resealing in neighboring cells is suppressed if the nitric oxide/PKG pathway is inhibited during the initial wound. Together, these results suggest that the nitric oxide/PKG pathway stimulates CREB phosphorylation in neighboring cells so that subsequent cell membrane disruptions of the neighboring cells reseal more quickly.
Curtailing side effects in chemotherapy: a tale of PKCÎ´ in cisplatin treatmentThe efficacy of chemotherapy is often limited by side effects in normal tissues. This is exemplified by cisplatin, a widely used anti-cancer drug that may induce serious toxicity in normal tissues and organs including the kidneys. Decades of research have delineated multiple signaling pathways that lead to kidney cell injury and death during cisplatin treatment. However, the same signaling pathways may also be activated in cancer cells and be responsible for the chemotherapeutic effects of cisplatin in tumors and, as a result, blockade of these pathways is expected to reduce the side effects as well as the anti-cancer efficacy. Thus, to effectively curtail the side effects, it is imperative to elucidate and target the cell killing mechanisms that are specific to normal (and not cancer) tissues. Our recent work identified protein kinase C δ (PKCδ) as a new and critical mediator of cisplatin-induced kidney cell injury and death. Importantly, inhibition of PKCδ enhanced the chemotherapeutic effects of cisplatin in several tumor models while alleviating the side effect in kidneys, opening a new avenue for normal tissue protection during chemotherapy.
The Effects of Mechanical Stress on the Growth, Differentiation, and Paracrine Factor Production of Cardiac Stem CellsStem cell therapies have been clinically employed to repair the injured heart, and cardiac stem cells are thought to be one of the most potent stem cell candidates. The beating heart is characterized by dynamic mechanical stresses, which may have a significant impact on stem cell therapy. The purpose of this study is to investigate how mechanical stress affects the growth and differentiation of cardiac stem cells and their release of paracrine factors. In this study, human cardiac stem cells were seeded in a silicon chamber and mechanical stress was then induced by cyclic stretch stimulation (60 cycles/min with 120% elongation). Cells grown in non-stretched silicon chambers were used as controls. Our result revealed that mechanical stretching significantly reduced the total number of surviving cells, decreased Ki-67-positive cells, and increased TUNEL-positive cells in the stretched group 24 hrs after stretching, as compared to the control group. Interestingly, mechanical stretching significantly increased the release of the inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-1Î² as well as the angiogenic growth factors VEGF and bFGF from the cells in 12 hrs. Furthermore, mechanical stretching significantly reduced the percentage of c-kit-positive stem cells, but increased the expressions of cardiac troponin-I and smooth muscle actin in cells 3 days after stretching. Using a traditional stretching model, we demonstrated that mechanical stress suppressed the growth and proliferation of cardiac stem cells, enhanced their release of inflammatory cytokines and angiogenic factors, and improved their myogenic differentiation. The development of this in vitro approach may help elucidate the complex mechanisms of stem cell therapy for heart failure.