JoVE   
You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Biology

  
You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Neuroscience

  
You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Immunology and Infection

  
You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Clinical and Translational Medicine

  
You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Bioengineering

  
You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Applied Physics

  
You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Chemistry

  
You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Behavior

  
You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Environment

|   

JoVE Science Education

General Laboratory Techniques

You do not have subscription access to videos in this collection. Learn more about access.

Basic Methods in Cellular and Molecular Biology

You do not have subscription access to videos in this collection. Learn more about access.

Model Organisms I

You do not have subscription access to videos in this collection. Learn more about access.

Model Organisms II

You do not have subscription access to videos in this collection. Learn more about access.

Essentials of
Neuroscience

You do not have subscription access to videos in this collection. Learn more about access.

Essentials of Developmental Biology

You have subscription access to videos in this collection through your user account.

In JoVE (2)

Other Publications (207)

Articles by Simon C. Watkins in JoVE

 JoVE Immunology and Infection

Visualization of Bacterial Toxin Induced Responses Using Live Cell Fluorescence Microscopy

1Department of Immunology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine


JoVE 4227

Methods for purifying the cholesterol binding toxin streptolysin O from recombinant E. coli and visualization of toxin binding to live eukaryotic cells are described. Localized delivery of toxin induces rapid and complex changes in targeted cells revealing novel aspects of toxin biology.

 JoVE Bioengineering

Correlative Microscopy for 3D Structural Analysis of Dynamic Interactions

1Department of Structural Biology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine


JoVE 50386

We describe a correlative microscopy method that combines high-speed 3D live-cell fluorescent light microscopy and high-resolution cryo-electron tomography. We demonstrate the capability of the correlative method by imaging dynamic, small HIV-1 particles interacting with host HeLa cells.

Other articles by Simon C. Watkins on PubMed

Chronic Exposure to Interleukin 1beta Induces a Delayed and Reversible Alteration in Excitation-contraction Coupling of Cultured Cardiomyocytes

While proinflammatory cytokines can depress cardiac contractility, the mechanism by which this occurs remains unclear. To clarify the cellular effects of interleukin (IL)-1beta, we assessed contractility, calcium homeostasis, and gene expression in cardiomyocytes exposed to this proinflammatory cytokine. Neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were exposed to IL-1beta in the presence or absence of an inhibitor of nitric oxide (NO) synthase. Videomicroscopy was used to follow calcium transients (Fura-2 fluorescence) and amplitude of contraction, both unstimulated and after isoproterenol challenge. Gene expression was assessed by Northern and Western blot analyses. Both basal contractility (amplitude of contraction, maximum speed of contraction and relaxation) and amplitude of calcium transients were decreased, respectively, ca. 60% ( P< or =0.05) and ca. 40% ( P< or =0.05) after 3 days of IL-1beta exposure. Contractile function and amplitude of calcium transients returned to control values when cells where cultured an additional 3 days in the absence of IL-1beta. IL-1beta-treated cells had reduced responses to isoproterenol as evidenced by a lack of enhanced amplitude of contraction and a reduction in cAMP production. IL-1beta decreased the expression of genes important to the regulation of calcium homeostasis (phospholamban, sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase) at both the transcript and protein level. Alterations in contractile function did not occur through NO-mediated pathways. These results support the hypothesis that IL-1beta may play an important role in contractile dysfunction through alterations in calcium homeostasis.

The Autosomal Recessive Hypercholesterolemia (ARH) Protein Interfaces Directly with the Clathrin-coat Machinery

The low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor plays a pivotal role in cholesterol metabolism. Inherited mutations that disturb the activity of the receptor lead to elevations in plasma cholesterol levels and early-onset coronary atherosclerosis. Defects in either the LDL receptor or apolipoprotein B, the proteinaceous component of LDL particles that binds the LDL receptor, elevate circulating LDL-cholesterol levels in an autosomal-dominant fashion, with heterozygotes displaying values between homozygous and normal individuals. Rarely, similar clinical phenotypes occur with a recessive pattern of inheritance, and several genetic lesions in the autosomal recessive hypercholesterolemia (ARH) gene on chromosome 1 have been mapped in this class of patients. ARH has an N-terminal phosphotyrosine-binding (PTB) domain evolutionarily related to that found in Disabled-2 and numb, two endocytic proteins. PTB domains bind to the consensus sequence FXNPXY, corresponding to the internalization motif of the LDL receptor. We show here that in addition to the FXNPXY sequence, ARH binds directly to soluble clathrin trimers and to clathrin adaptors by a mode involving the independently folded appendage domain of the beta subunit. At steady state, ARH colocalizes with endocytic proteins in HeLa cells, and the LDL receptor fluxes through peripheral ARH-positive sites before delivery to early endosomes. Because ARH also binds directly to phosphoinositides, which regulate clathrin bud assembly at the cell surface, our data suggest that in ARH patients, defective sorting adaptor function in hepatocytes leads to faulty LDL receptor traffic and hypercholesterolemia.

CYR61 (CCN1) is Essential for Placental Development and Vascular Integrity

CYR61 (CCN1) is a member of the CCN family of secreted matricellular proteins that includes connective tissue growth factor (CCN2), NOV (CCN3), WISP-1 (CCN4), WISP-2 (CCN5), and WISP-3 (CCN6). First identified as the product of a growth factor-inducible immediate-early gene, CYR61 is an extracellular matrix-associated angiogenic inducer that functions as a ligand of integrin receptors to promote cell adhesion, migration, and proliferation. Aberrant expression of Cyr61 is associated with breast cancer, wound healing, and vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and restenosis. To understand the functions of CYR61 during development, we have disrupted the Cyr61 gene in mice. We show here that Cyr61-null mice suffer embryonic death: approximately 30% succumbed to a failure in chorioallantoic fusion, and the reminder perished due to placental vascular insufficiency and compromised vessel integrity. These findings establish CYR61 as a novel and essential regulator of vascular development. CYR61 deficiency results in a specific defect in vessel bifurcation (nonsprouting angiogenesis) at the chorioallantoic junction, leading to an undervascularization of the placenta without affecting differentiation of the labyrinthine syncytiotrophoblasts. This unique phenotype is correlated with impaired Vegf-C expression in the allantoic mesoderm, suggesting that CYR61-regulated expression of Vegf-C plays a role in vessel bifurcation. The genetic and molecular basis of vessel bifurcation is presently unknown, and these findings provide new insight into this aspect of angiogenesis.

Local Administration of IL-12-transfected Dendritic Cells Induces Antitumor Immune Responses to Colon Adenocarcinoma in the Liver in Mice

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common fatal malignancies in the United States, with an incidence second only to lung cancer. The liver is the most common site of colorectal metastases and frequently the only affected organ once the primary tumor has been surgically removed. The only potentially curative treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer in the liver is surgery, although most patients are not eligible for resection. We have therefore, evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of dendritic cells (DCs) engineered to express IL-12 in a liver metastasis model. Direct administration of DCs into the portal vein significantly inhibited the growth of established MC38 colon carcinoma in the liver in C57BL/6 mice. This effect was accompanied by an intratumoral accumulation of CD4+, CD8+, and NLDC-145+ immune effector cells, and also resulted in a systemic immune response as determined by enhanced production of IFN-gamma by T lymphocytes isolated from both spleen and draining lymph nodes. Evaluation of homing of Cy3-labeled DCs following the portal vein injection confirmed their distribution in the liver and lymphoid tissue. Thus, a local delivery of DCs transduced with the IL-12 gene can not only inhibit colorectal tumor growth in vivo but also mount systemic antitumor immune responses. This approach is likely to improve the outcome of immunotherapy for metastatic colorectal cancer since high numbers of tumor-associated DCs positively correlate with a more favorable prognosis. Simultaneous local gene therapy with IL-12 will further improve clinical efficacy without placing the patient at risk for systemic toxicity.

Disabled-2 Exhibits the Properties of a Cargo-selective Endocytic Clathrin Adaptor

Clathrin-coated pits at the cell surface select material for transportation into the cell interior. A major mode of cargo selection at the bud site is via the micro 2 subunit of the AP-2 adaptor complex, which recognizes tyrosine-based internalization signals. Other internalization motifs and signals, including phosphorylation and ubiquitylation, also tag certain proteins for incorporation into a coated vesicle, but the mechanism of selection is unclear. Disabled-2 (Dab2) recognizes the FXNPXY internalization motif in LDL-receptor family members via an N-terminal phosphotyrosine-binding (PTB) domain. Here, we show that in addition to binding AP-2, Dab2 also binds directly to phosphoinositides and to clathrin, assembling triskelia into regular polyhedral coats. The FXNPXY motif and phosphoinositides contact different regions of the PTB domain, but can stably anchor Dab2 to the membrane surface, while the distal AP-2 and clathrin-binding determinants regulate clathrin lattice assembly. We propose that Dab2 is a typical member of a growing family of cargo-specific adaptor proteins, including beta-arrestin, AP180, epsin, HIP1 and numb, which regulate clathrin-coat assembly at the plasma membrane by synchronizing cargo selection and lattice polymerization events.

Depletion of Pulmonary EC-SOD After Exposure to Hyperoxia

Extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD) is highly expressed in lung tissue. EC-SOD contains a heparin-binding domain that is sensitive to proteolysis. This heparin-binding domain is important in allowing EC-SOD to exist in relatively high concentrations in specific regions of the extracellular matrix and on cell surfaces. EC-SOD has been shown to protect the lung against hyperoxia in transgenic and knockout studies. This study tests the hypothesis that proteolytic clearance of EC-SOD from the lung during hyperoxia contributes to the oxidant-antioxidant imbalance that is associated with this injury. Exposure to 100% oxygen for 72 h resulted in a significant decrease in EC-SOD levels in the lungs and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of mice. This correlated with a significant depletion of EC-SOD from the alveolar parenchyma as determined by immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry. EC-SOD mRNA was unaffected by hyperoxia; however, there was an increase in the ratio of proteolyzed to uncut EC-SOD after hyperoxia, which suggests that hyperoxia depletes EC-SOD from the alveolar parenchyma by cutting the heparin-binding domain. This may enhance hyperoxic pulmonary injury by altering the oxidant-antioxidant balance in alveolar spaces.

Hepatocyte Fas-associating Death Domain Protein/mediator of Receptor-induced Toxicity (FADD/MORT1) Levels Increase in Response to Pro-apoptotic Stimuli

We examined the regulation of Fas-associating death domain (FADD) protein as an important adaptor molecule in apoptosis signaling and hypothesized that the regulation of FADD could contribute to hepatocyte death. FADD/mediator of receptor-induced toxicity (MORT1) is required for activation of several signaling pathways of cell death. In this study we report the interesting and unexpected result that actinomycin D increased the expression of FADD protein, and we demonstrate that other cellular stresses like ultraviolet irradiation or heat shock could also increase FADD levels in hepatocytes. In cells treated with actinomycin D, FADD levels were elevated homogeneously in the cytoplasm. The increase in cytoplasmic FADD protein by actinomycin D or FADD overexpression alone both correlated with cell death, and specific antisense inhibition of FADD expression consistently diminished approximately 30% of the cell death induced by actinomycin D. These data indicate that FADD protein expression can increase rapidly in hepatocytes exposed to broadly cytotoxic agents.

Effect of Immunosuppressive Agents on Glucocorticoid Receptor Function in A6 Cells

Immunosuppressive agents such as FK-506 and rapamycin inhibit aldosterone- stimulated Na+ transport in A6 cells. Concentration dependence is consistent with the known affinities of these agents for immunophilins. The inhibition was also dependent on time, requiring preincubation with FK-506 or rapamycin before inhibition was seen. The present studies were designed to determine whether this inhibition was pretranscriptional and whether it was due to an effect on either receptor translocation or nuclear accumulation. Because transport effects of steroids in A6 cells are mediated by glucocorticoid receptors (GRs), we examined the transcriptional response of GR-regulated reporters transfected into these cells. Preincubation of cells with FK-506 and rapamycin completely blocked reporter gene activation, whereas preincubation with cyclosporin A partially inhibited this activation. A minimum of 8 h of preincubation was required before the effect was seen. Using a transiently transfected green fluorescent protein-GR construct, we examined the effect of FK-506 and rapamycin on GR translocation. GR translocation induced by dexamethasone was extremely rapid (<5 min) and was largely unaffected by FK-506 or rapamycin but was completely blocked by geldanamycin. Digital deconvolutions revealed a punctate nuclear accumulation of GR, which was still seen after preincubation with immunosuppressive agents. These agents clearly inhibit steroid action by blocking GR-stimulated gene transcription, but this effect is not mediated by altered translocation or nuclear accumulation of receptors. Inhibition of steroid-regulated gene transcription by immunosuppressive agents may explain the electrolyte abnormalities seen in patients receiving these drugs.

Intranuclear Localization of Apoptosis-inducing Factor (AIF) and Large Scale DNA Fragmentation After Traumatic Brain Injury in Rats and in Neuronal Cultures Exposed to Peroxynitrite

Programmed cell death occurs after ischemic, excitotoxic, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Recently, a caspase-independent pathway involving intranuclear translocation of mitochondrial apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) has been reported in vitro; but whether this occurs after acute brain injury was unknown. To address this question adult rats were sacrificed at various times after TBI. Western blot analysis on subcellular protein fractions demonstrated intranuclear localization of AIF in ipsilateral cortex and hippocampus at 2-72 h. Immunocytochemical analysis showed AIF labeling in neuronal nuclei with DNA fragmentation in the ipsilateral cortex and hippocampus. Immunoelectronmicroscopy verified intranuclear localization of AIF in hippocampal neurons after TBI, primarily in regions of euchromatin. Large-scale DNA fragmentation ( approximately 50 kbp), a signature event in AIF-mediated cell death, was detected in ipsilateral cortex and hippocampi by 6 h. Neuron-enriched cultures exposed to peroxynitrite also demonstrated intranuclear AIF and large-scale DNA fragmentation concurrent with impaired mitochondrial respiration and cell death, events that are inhibited by treatment with a peroxynitrite decomposition catalyst. Intranuclear localization of AIF and large-scale DNA fragmentation occurs after TBI and in neurons under conditions of oxidative/nitrosative stress, providing the first evidence of this alternative mechanism by which programmed cell death may proceed in neurons after brain injury.

Peroxisomal Localization of Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase in Hepatocytes

Shock states induce the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in both Kupffer cells and hepatocytes in the liver, but little is known about its subcellular localization in these cells. Studies were undertaken to characterize the subcellular location of iNOS in hepatocytes in response to sepsis. By immunofluorescence analysis, intraperitoneal challenge with bacterial lipopolysaccharide induced cytosolic iNOS in Kupffer cells but punctate labeling in hepatocytes. Cultured rat hepatocytes exposed to interferon gamma, interleukin 1, and tumor necrosis factor alpha showed iNOS protein expression within peroxisomes as early as 4 hours after stimulation, as determined by colabeling for catalase or PMP70. To a lesser extent, iNOS was also observed associated with the plasma membrane and in undefined intracellular aggregates. The nitric oxide synthase (NOS) antagonist L-N-imino-ornithine (L-NIO) did not affect the expression of iNOS within peroxisomes, cytoplasmic aggregates, or cytosol but increased plasma membrane localization of iNOS. Human iNOS transduced into iNOS-null mouse hepatocytes using an adenoviral vector also localized to peroxisomes. The expression of iNOS often resulted in the disappearance of detectable catalase in many hepatocytes. In conclusion, these studies establish the peroxisome as a site of iNOS localization in hepatocytes and show a relationship between iNOS up-regulation and decreased expression of catalase.

Efficiency of Protein Transduction is Cell Type-dependent and is Enhanced by Dextran Sulfate

Protein transduction domains (PTDs), both naturally occurring and synthetic, have been increasingly utilized to deliver biologically active agents to a variety of cell types in vitro and in vivo. We report that in addition to previously characterized arginine-rich PTDs, including TAT, lysine homopolymers were able to mediate transduction of a wide variety of cell types, as measured by flow cytometric and enzymatic assays. The efficiency of PTD-mediated transduction was influenced by the cell type tested, although polylysine homopolymers demonstrate levels of internalization that consistently exceeded those of TAT and arginine homopolymers. Transduction of arginine/lysine-rich PTDs occurred at 4 degrees C and following depletion of cellular ATP pools, albeit generally at reduced levels. Although transduction was reduced in Chinese hamster ovary mutant lines deficient in either heparan sulfate or glycosaminoglycan synthesis, uptake was restored to wild-type levels by incubating target cells with dextran sulfate. The enhancement of transduction by dextran sulfate suggests that electrostatic interactions play an important first step in the process by which PTDs and their cargo traverse the plasma membrane.

Nerve Growth Factor-induced Differentiation Changes the Cellular Organization of Regulated Peptide Release by PC12 Cells

PC12 cells, like endocrine chromaffin cells, undergo neuronal-like differentiation in response to nerve growth factor (NGF). Here we report that this phenotype conversion produces major changes in release of a green fluorescent protein-tagged neuropeptide-hormone. First, the spatial distribution of the releasable pool is altered; peptide release from untreated cells is supported predominantly by membrane-proximal vesicles, whereas a diffuse pool at the ends of processes is used by NGF-treated cells. Second, the time course of release evoked by photolysis of caged Ca(2+) is faster after differentiation. High-resolution measurements suggest that a slow step before membrane fusion dominates the kinetics of release in untreated cells. Finally, the effect of actin microfilament depolymerization on total release is altered by NGF treatment. This implies that the mechanism that limits the size of the releasable pool is altered by phenotype conversion. Therefore, the cellular organization of peptide release is plastic and changes in response to NGF. This flexibility may be used to generate cell-specific release properties.

Wild-type Levels of the Mouse Forkhead Box F1 Gene Are Essential for Lung Repair

The Forkhead Box (Fox) family of transcription factors plays important roles in regulating expression of genes involved in cellular proliferation and differentiation. In a previous study, we showed that newborn foxf1(+/-) mice with diminished Foxf1 levels exhibited abnormal formation of pulmonary alveoli and capillaries and died postnatally. Interestingly, surviving newborn foxf1(+/-) mice exhibited increased pulmonary Foxf1 levels and normal adult lung morphology, suggesting that wild-type Foxf1 levels are required for lung development and function. The present study was conducted to determine whether adult foxf1(+/-) mice were able to undergo lung repair similar to that observed in wild-type mice. We demonstrated that adult foxf1(+/-) mice died from severe lung hemorrhage after butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) lung injury and that this phenotype was associated with a 10-fold decrease in pulmonary Foxf1 expression and increased alveolar endothelial cell apoptosis that disrupted capillary integrity. Furthermore, BHT-induced lung hemorrhage of adult foxf1(+/-) mice was associated with a drastic reduction in expression of the Flk-1, bone morphogenetic protein-4, surfactant protein B, platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule, and vascular endothelial cadherin genes, whereas the expression of these genes was either transiently diminished or increased in wild-type lungs after BHT injury. Because these proteins are critical for lung morphogenesis and endothelial homeostasis, their decreased mRNA levels are likely contributing to BHT-induced lung hemorrhage in foxf1(+/-) mice. Collectively, our data suggest that sustained expression of Foxf1 is essential for normal lung repair and endothelial cell survival in response to pulmonary cell injury.

Murine Dendritic Cell-induced Tumor Apoptosis is Partially Mediated by Nitric Oxide

Dendritic cells (DC) are potent antigen-presenting cells that are important for the priming of antitumor cytotoxic T cells. Recent reports suggest that DC may also have direct cytotoxic effector functions against selected tumor-cell lines by mechanisms that are dependent on dendritic cell-tumor cell contact in vitro. The authors report that ex vivo-generated murine DC induce the apoptosis of a panel of syngeneic and allogeneic murine tumors. Apoptosis of the MCA205 fibrosarcoma tumor-cell line by C57BL/6-derived DC was not mediated by Fas/FasL interactions and, in contrast to other studies, DC-tumor cell contact was not required to effect tumor-cell killing by DC. Therefore, the authors postulated that tumor-cell killing was mediated by an apoptotic factor that was secreted by DC. Even though DC did not secrete such apoptotic cytokines as interferon-alpha or tumor necrosis factor-alpha, they did secrete nitric oxide, and tumor apoptosis was partially abrogated by the nitric oxide synthase antagonist NG-monomethyl-L-arginine. Therefore, the authors' data demonstrate a novel mechanism for DC-induced tumor-cell apoptosis that does not require DC-tumor cell contact and is partially mediated by nitric oxide.

Distribution of Gelsolin and Phosphoinositol 4,5-bisphosphate in Lamellipodia During EGF-induced Motility

During induced cell motility the actin cytoskeleton at the leading edge must undergo constant reorganization. Recently, phosphoinositides have been shown to be central to cytoskeleton-membrane linkages and actin organization and turnover. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR)-mediated cell motility requires phospholipase C-gamma (PLCgamma), hydrolysis of phosphoinsotide 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP(2)) and subsequent release of gelsolin. We hypothesized this led to the mobilization of PIP(2)-binding proteins which modify the actin cytoskeleton and thus sought to determine whether the leading edge was a site of active PIP(2) hydrolysis and gelsolin redistribution to cytoskeleton. Herein, we report that during EGF-induced motility, the leading edge's submembranous region constitutes a distinct subcellular locale. The relevant phosphoinositide composition of this space was determined by probing with an antibody to PIP(2) and a green fluorescence protein (GFP)-tagged pleckstrin homology (PH) domain of PLCdelta (GFP-PH) that recognizes both PIP(2) and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP(3)). PIP(2) was absent from leading lamellipodia despite an increase in IP(3) generation, suggesting an increase in PIP(2) hydrolysis at the leading edge. Visualized with immunofluorescence, gelsolin preferentially concentrated near the leading edge in a punctate fashion. Examining the Triton X-insoluble actin cytoskeleton fractions, we observe a PLCgamma-dependent increase of gelsolin incorporation upon EGF stimulation. At a molecular level, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) shows that gelsolin incorporates preferentially into the submembranous actin arcs at the leading edge of the lamellipodia. Together these data suggest a model of PIP(2) hydrolysis at the leading edge causing a localized release of PIP(2)-binding proteins-particularly gelsolin-that drives cytoskeletal rearrangement and protrusion.

Role of Glutathione Conjugate Efflux in Cellular Protection Against Benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-diol-9,10-epoxide-induced DNA Damage

Glutathione (GSH) conjugation of (+)-anti-benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-diol-9,10-epoxide [(+)-anti-BPDE], the activated metabolite of benzo[a]pyrene, is believed to be an important mechanism in detoxification of this environmental and dietary carcinogen. Here, we demonstrate that the intracellular accumulation of GSH conjugate of (+)-anti-BPDE (BPD-SG) caused a statistically significant increase in (+)-anti-BPDE-induced DNA adduction. The relationship between intracellular accumulation of BPD-SG and (+)-anti-BPDE-induced DNA adduction was studied using a canine kidney epithelial cell line (MDCKII) and its variants overexpressing multidrug resistance transporter (MDR1) or canalicular multispecific organic anion transporter (cMOAT; also known as multidrug resistance protein 2). MDR1 and cMOAT are implicated in ATP-dependent efflux of anticancer drugs or GSH-xenobiotic conjugates, or both. The GST activity toward (+)-anti-BPDE in parental MDCKII cells did not differ from that in subline overexpressing MDR1 (MDCKII-MDR1) or cMOAT (MDCKII-cMOAT). Intracellular accumulation of BPD-SG, after a 5- or 10-min incubation with 1 microM (+)-anti-BPDE, was significantly higher in parental (41- to 67-fold) and MDCK II-MDR1 cells (31- to 43-fold) than in the MDCKII-cMOAT cells. Interestingly, the levels of DNA adducts of (+)-anti-BPDE, after a 30-min incubation with 0.1 or 0.5 microM [(3)H](+)-anti-BPDE, were significantly higher (about 2.1- and 1.7-fold, respectively) in parental cells than in the MDCKII-cMOAT cells. The results of the present study indicate that in addition to GSH conjugation, the efflux of BPD-SG may be essential for cellular protection against (+)-anti-BPDE-induced DNA damage.

Induction of Anti-human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1) CD8(+) and CD4(+) T-cell Reactivity by Dendritic Cells Loaded with HIV-1 X4-infected Apoptotic Cells

T-cell responses to X4 strains of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) are considered important in controlling progression of HIV-1 infection. We investigated the ability of dendritic cells (DC) and various forms of HIV-1 X4 antigen to induce anti-HIV-1 T-cell responses in autologous peripheral blood mononuclear cells from HIV-1-infected persons. Immature DC loaded with HIV-1 IIIB-infected, autologous, apoptotic CD8(-) cells and matured with CD40 ligand induced gamma interferon production in autologous CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cells. In contrast, mature DC loaded with HIV-1 IIIB-infected, necrotic cells or directly infected with cell-free HIV-1 IIIB were poorly immunogenic. Thus, HIV-1-infected cells undergoing apoptosis serve as a rich source of X4 antigen for CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cells by DC. This may be an important mechanism of HIV-1 immunogenicity and provides a strategy for immunotherapy of HIV-1-infected patients on combination antiretroviral therapy.

Platelet-endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1-directed Immunotargeting to Cardiopulmonary Vasculature

Therapeutic molecules conjugated with antibodies to the platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1) accumulate in the pulmonary endothelium after i.v. injection in mice. In this study, we characterized PECAM-directed targeting to the lung and heart after local versus systemic intravascular administration in a large animal model, pigs. Radiolabel tracing showed that 1 h post-i.v. injection, 35% of anti-PECAM versus 2.5% of control IgG had accumulated in the lungs. Infusion of anti-PECAM via a catheter placed in the right pulmonary artery (RPA) resulted in a 3-fold elevation of the uptake in the right lower lobe and 2-fold reduction of uptake in the left lobes in the lung. Cardiac uptake of anti-PECAM was negligible after i.v. and RPA infusion. In contrast, delivery with a catheter placed in the right coronary artery (RCA) resulted in a 4-fold elevation of cardiac uptake of anti-PECAM, but not IgG, compared with i.v. injection. To estimate the targeting of an active reporter enzyme, streptavidin-conjugated beta-galactosidase (beta-Gal) was coupled to anti-PECAM or IgG (anti-PECAM/beta-Gal and IgG/beta-Gal) and injected into the RCA. Beta-Gal activity was markedly elevated in the heart and lungs (5- and 25-fold increased, respectively) after injection of anti-PECAM/beta-Gal, but not IgG/beta-Gal. Image analysis confirmed endothelial targeting of anti-PECAM/beta-Gal in the heart and lung. In summary, anti-PECAM antibody conjugates deliver agents to the pulmonary endothelium regardless of injection route, whereas local arterial infusion permits targeting to the cardiac vasculature. This paradigm may be useful for drug targeting to endothelium in lungs, heart, and possibly other organs.

The Modulation of Hepatic Injury and Heat Shock Expression by Inhibition of Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase After Hemorrhagic Shock

The role of nitric oxide (NO) in maintaining homeostasis and regulating organ function during hemorrhagic shock is complex. The inducible NO synthase (iNOS) has been hypothesized to play a critical role in the pathophysiologic consequences of severe hemorrhage. Heat shock protein (HSP) expression is increased by hemorrhage and is a marker of the magnitude of ischemic injury in the liver. HSP induction is protective against injury in animal models of inflammation and is regulated by NO in hepatocytes. To clarify the role of iNOS in hepatic injury and its relationship to HSP expression in hemorrhagic shock, NOS was inhibited with L-N-6-(1-iminoethyl) lysine (L-NIL), which is reported to be a selective inhibitor of the inducible NOS isoform. Doses of 50 microg/kg or 150 microg/kg were infused over 1 h at the end of compensated shock. Plasma ornithine carbamoyltransferase (OCT), a specific marker of liver injury, was significantly reduced after hemorrhage with low-dose L-NIL (7.1+/-1.5 IU/L) compared to saline-treated control rats (13.0+/-1.5 IU/L, P < 0.005), while high-dose L-NIL significantly increased OCT release (35.9+/-7.2 IU/L, P< 0.05 versus shock alone) despite a greater MAP after resuscitation. HSP expression (HSP-72 and HSP-32) after hemorrhage was increased by L-NIL treatment at the highest dose. We conclude that excessive NO production from iNOS contributes to shock-induced hepatic injury. Our data suggest HSP expression may reflect the degree of ischemic injury after hemorrhage.

Adenovirus-transduced Dendritic Cells Injected into Skin or Lymph Node Prime Potent Simian Immunodeficiency Virus-specific T Cell Immunity in Monkeys

Adenoviral vectors can be used to deliver complex Ag to dendritic cells (DC), and thus may be ideal for stimulating broad T cell responses to viral pathogens and tumors. To test this hypothesis in a relevant primate model, we used recombinant adenovirus serotype 5 vectors expressing SIV Gag Ag to transduce monocyte-derived DC from rhesus macaques, and then immunized donor animals either by intradermal or intranodal injections. T cell responses were evaluated by ELISPOT assay using previously frozen PBMC pulsed with pools of 15-mer peptides representing the Gag sequence. Immunization resulted in rapid and potent induction of T cell responses to multiple regions of Gag, with frequencies approaching 1 Gag-specific T cell per 500 uncultured PBMC. Surprisingly, intradermal and intranodal injections generated a similar intensity and breadth of response, indicating that administration of Ag-expressing DC by either route may be equally effective at inducing immune responses. Detailed analysis of two monkeys revealed CD8(+) T cell responses to several peptide epitopes of Gag not previously described, at least two of which are restricted by MHC class I alleles not currently identified. Repeated vaccination did not induce T cell responses to the adenoviral vector and did not prevent Ag-expressing DC injected under the capsule of the lymph node from migrating to the paracortex and interposing between T cells. However, boost injections of adenovirus-transduced DC were generally limited in efficacy. These findings support the use of adenovirus-transduced DC in the therapy of HIV infection and cancer.

Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Expressing a Chimeric Sindbis Glycoprotein Containing an Fc Antibody Binding Domain Targets to Her2/neu Overexpressing Breast Cancer Cells

Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) is a candidate for development for cancer therapy. It is an oncolytic virus that is safe in humans. Recombinant virus can be made directly from plasmid components. We attempted to create a virus that targeted specifically to breast cancer cells. Nonreplicating and replicating pseudotype VSV were created whose only surface glycoprotein (gp) was a Sindbis gp, called Sindbis-ZZ, modified to severely reduce its native binding function and to contain the Fc-binding domain of Staphylococcus aureus protein A. When titered on Her2/neu overexpressing SKBR3 human breast cancer cells, pseudotype VSV coated with Sindbis-ZZ had <1% the titer of pseudotype VSV coated with wild-type Sindbis gp. Titer was increased 50-fold when the Sindbis-ZZ pseudotype was conjugated with 4D5, a mouse monoclonal antibody directed against the Her2/neu receptor. Titers of antibody-conjugated virus were increased 36-fold on a second human breast cancer cell line, MCF7/H2, which expressed lower concentrations of Her2/neu receptor on the cell surface. At multiple concentrations of antibody, titers on SKBR3 cells were significantly greater when the virus was incubated with Herceptin, an antibody with a human Fc, than with 4D5, a mouse antibody, reflecting the known higher affinity of the protein A Fc-binding domain for human Fc. Analysis of the protein composition of the pseudotype VSV found low expression of the modified Sindbis gp on the virus accounting, in part, for a viral titer that did not exceed 1.2 x 10(5)/ml. This work demonstrates the ability to easily create, directly from plasmid components, an oncolytic replicating VSV with a restricted host cell range.

Selective Toxicity of Engineered Lentivirus Lytic Peptides in a CF Airway Cell Model

Lentivirus lytic peptides (LLPs) are derived from HIV-1 and have antibacterial properties. LLP derivatives (eLLPs) were engineered for greater potency against Staphylococcus aureus (SA) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA). Minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) was determined in low and physiologic salt concentrations. MBC was decreased against SA and equivalent against PA in physiologic salt when compared to the parent compound LLP1. In a novel cystic fibrosis (CF) airway cell model, one derivative, WLSA5, reduced the number of adherent PA and only moderately affected CF cell viability. Overall, eLLPs are selectively toxic to bacteria and may be useful against CF airway infections.

Some Morphological, Growth, and Genomic Properties of Human Cells Chronically Infected with Porcine Endogenous Retrovirus (PERV)

A major concern in using porcine organs for transplantation is the potential of transmission of porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV). To investigate the long-term effects of PERV infection on human cells, human embryonic kidney cell line HEK-293 infected with PERV PK-15 was maintained for up to 72 passages and samples were harvested at intervals for use in morphological, growth, and genomic analyses. Morphology, DNA content/cell, and doubling time of uninfected and infected cells were similar. Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of PCR-amplified nearly full-length PERV genome showed no alterations in band pattern. RFLP analysis of the long terminal repeats (LTR) showed some changes in band pattern, but not in length. Southern blot analysis of genomic DNA of infected cells indicated random integration of PERV without structural alterations in proviral genome. Semi-quantitative PCR demonstrated a gradual increase of proviral load in the infected cells. Sequence analysis of the LTR region of PERV from infected cells indicated a relatively low rate (6.0 x 10(-4)/bp or about 2 x 10(-6)/bp/generation) of mutation. There were also indications of recombination of PERV strains A and B. Finally, PERV infection had no effect on transcription of human endogenous retrovirus-K (HERV-K) genes. Together, no significant effect attributable to PERV infection was evident on chronically PERV-infected HEK-293 cells.

Body Window-enabled in Vivo Multicolor Imaging of Transplanted Mouse Islets Expressing an Insulin-Timer Fusion Protein

Type 1 diabetes results from the selective destruction of insulin-producing beta cells in the islets of Langerhans, and autoimmune T cells are thought to be the mediators of this destruction. T cells are also responsible for allorejection once the islets are transplanted into a patient to reduce the negative consequences of a lack of insulin. To better understand these processes, we have developed a transgenic mouse expressing proinsulin II tagged with a live-cell fluorescent reporter protein, Timer. Timer protein is unique because it changes color from green to red in the first 24 h after synthesis. With this marker, insulin synthesis can be carefully monitored through fluorescent changes over time. To complement this new biotechnological research tool, we designed a body window to allow for in vivo imaging over time of the islets transplanted under the kidney capsule. The window device, which is sutured to replace the underlying skin and body wall over the site of islet transplantation, may be used to simultaneously observe beta cells and T cells that have been labeled with a fluorochrome distinguishable from Timer. The imaging of both insulin-producing cells and T cells may be carried out repeatedly for a week or more with no need for repeated surgery, while preserving the life of the studied animal.

Intratumoral Delivery of Dendritic Cells Engineered to Secrete Both Interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-18 Effectively Treats Local and Distant Disease in Association with Broadly Reactive Tc1-type Immunity

Dendritic cells (DCs) were adenovirally engineered to constitutively and durably secrete the potent Th1-biasing cytokines interleukin (IL)-12 (AdIL12DC) and/or IL-18 (AdIL18DC) and evaluated for their ability to promote therapeutic antitumor immunity in murine sarcoma models. Injection of either AdIL12DC or AdIL18DC into day 7 CMS4 or MethA tumors resulted in tumor rejection or slowed tumor growth when compared with control cohorts. Importantly, intratumoral injection with DCs engineered to secrete both IL-12 and IL-18 (AdIL12/IL18DC) resulted in complete and the most acute rejection of any treatment group analyzed. This strategy was also effective in promoting the regression of contralateral, untreated tumors. Both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were required for tumor rejection. CD8+ splenic T cells from mice treated with AdIL12/IL18DC produced the highest levels of IFN-gamma in response to tumor rechallenge in vitro and displayed the broadest repertoire of Tc1-type reactivity to acid-eluted, tumor-derived peptides among all treatment cohorts. This apparent enhancement in cross-presentation of tumor-associated epitopes in vivo may result from the increased capacity of engineered DCs to kill tumor cells, survive tumor-induced apoptosis, and present immunogenic MHC/tumor peptide complexes to T cells after intratumoral injection. In support of this hypothesis, cytokine gene-engineered DCs expressed higher levels of MHC and costimulatory molecules, as well as Fas ligand and membrane-bound tumor necrosis factor alpha, with the latter markers associated with elevated tumoricidal activity in vitro. Cytokine gene-engineered DCs appeared to have a survival advantage in situ when injected into tumor lesions, to be found in approximation with regions of tumor apoptosis, and to have the capacity to ingest apoptotic tumor bodies. These results support the ability of combined cytokine gene transfer to enhance multiple effector functions mediated by intralesionally injected DCs that may concertedly promote cross-priming and the accelerated immune-mediated rejection of tumors.

Activation of Phospholipase D by the Small GTPase Sar1p is Required to Support COPII Assembly and ER Export

The small GTPase Sar1p controls the assembly of the cytosolic COPII coat that mediates export from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Here we demonstrate that phospholipase D (PLD) activation is required to support COPII-mediated ER export. PLD activity by itself does not lead to the recruitment of COPII to the membranes or ER export. However, PLD activity is required to support Sar1p-dependent membrane tubulation, the subsequent Sar1p-dependent recruitment of Sec23/24 and Sec13/31 COPII complexes to ER export sites and ER export. Sar1p recruitment to the membrane is PLD independent, yet activation of Sar1p is required to stimulate PLD activity on ER membranes, thus PLD is temporally regulated to support ER export. Regulated modification of membrane lipid composition is required to support the cooperative interactions that enable selective transport, as we demonstrate here for the mammalian COPII coat.

Identification of a Synovial Fibroblast-specific Protein Transduction Domain for Delivery of Apoptotic Agents to Hyperplastic Synovium

Synovial hyperplasia, resulting in erosion of cartilage and bone, represents one of the major pathologies associated with rheumatoid arthritis. To develop an approach for efficient delivery of proteins or agents to synovium to induce targeted apoptosis of hyperplastic synovial tissue, we have screened an M13 peptide phage display library for synovial-specific transduction peptides. We identified a novel synovial-targeted transduction peptide, HAP-1, which is able to facilitate specific internalization of protein complexes into human and rabbit synovial cells in culture and rabbit synovial lining in vivo. HAP-1 and a non-tissue-specific cationic protein transduction domain, PTD-5, were fused to an antimicrobial peptide, (KLAK)(2), to generate two proapoptotic peptides termed DP2 and DP1, respectively. Administration of these peptides was able to induce apoptosis of rabbit and human synovial cells in culture, with DP2 inducing synovial cell-specific apoptosis. Intra-articular injection of DP1 and DP2 into arthritic rabbit joints with synovial hyperplasia induced extensive apoptosis of the hyperplastic synovium, while reducing the leukocytic infiltration and synovitis. These results suggest that proapoptotic peptides and, in particular, DP2 can be clinically useful for treatment of synovial hyperplasia, as well as inflammation. Moreover, the results demonstrate the feasibility of identifying tissue-specific transduction peptides capable of mediating efficient transduction in vivo.

Multimodal Optical Imaging

The recent resurgence of interest in the use of intravital microscopy in lung research is a manifestation of extraordinary progress in visual imaging and optical microscopy. This review evaluates the tools and instrumentation available for a number of imaging modalities, with particular attention to recent technological advances, and addresses recent progress in use of optical imaging techniques in basic pulmonary research.1 Limitations of existing methods and anticipated future developments are also identified. Although there have also been major advances made in the use of magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, and X-ray and computed tomography to image intact lungs and while these technologies have been instrumental in advancing the diagnosis and treatment of patients, the purpose of this review is to outline developing optical methods that can be evaluated for use in basic research in pulmonary biology.

Aberrant Development of Motor Axons and Neuromuscular Synapses in MyoD-null Mice

Myogenic regulatory factors (MRFs), muscle-specific transcription factors, are implicated in the activity-dependent regulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) subunit genes. Here we show, with immunohistochemistry, Western blotting, and electron microscopy that MyoD, a member of the MRF family, also plays a role in fetal synapse formation. In the diaphragm of 14.5 d gestation (E14.5) wild-type and MyoD-/- mice, AChR clusters (the formation of which is under a muscle intrinsic program) are confined to a centrally located endplate zone. This distribution persists in wild-type adult muscles. However, beginning at E15.5 and extending to the adult, innervated AChR clusters are distributed all over the diaphragm of MyoD-/- mice, extending as far as the insertion of the diaphragm into the ribs. In wild-type muscle, motor axons terminate on clusters adjacent to the main intramuscular nerve; in MyoD-/- muscle, axonal bundles form extensive secondary branches that terminate on the widely distributed clusters. The number of AChR clusters on adult MyoD-/- and wild-type diaphram muscles is similar. Junctional fold density is reduced at MyoD-/- endplates, and the transition from the fetal (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) to adult-type (alpha, beta, delta, epsilon) AChRs is markedly delayed. However, MyoD-/- mice assemble a complex postsynaptic apparatus that includes muscle-specific kinase (MuSK), rapsyn, erbB, and utrophin.

Carbon Monoxide Induces Cytoprotection in Rat Orthotopic Lung Transplantation Via Anti-inflammatory and Anti-apoptotic Effects

Successful lung transplantation has been limited by the high incidence of acute graft rejection. There is mounting evidence that the stress response gene heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and/or its catalytic by-product carbon monoxide (CO) confers cytoprotection against tissue and cellular injury. This led us to hypothesize that CO may protect against lung transplant rejection via its anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic effects. Orthotopic left lung transplantation was performed in Lewis rat recipients from Brown-Norway rat donors. HO-1 mRNA and protein expression were markedly induced in transplanted rat lungs compared to sham-operated control lungs. Transplanted lungs developed severe intraalveolar hemorrhage, marked infiltration of inflammatory cells, and intravascular coagulation. However, in the presence of CO exposure (500 ppm), the gross anatomy and histology of transplanted lungs showed marked preservation. Furthermore, transplanted lungs displayed increased apoptotic cell death compared with the transplanted lungs of CO-exposed recipients, as assessed by TUNEL and caspase-3 immunostaining. CO exposure inhibited the induction of IL-6 mRNA and protein expression in lung and serum, respectively. Gene array analysis revealed that CO also down-regulated other proinflammatory genes, including MIP-1alpha and MIF, and growth factors such as platelet-derived growth factor, which were up-regulated by transplantation. These data suggest that the anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic properties of CO confer potent cytoprotection in a rat model of lung transplantation.

Transforming Growth Factor Beta Blocks Tec Kinase Phosphorylation, Ca2+ Influx, and NFATc Translocation Causing Inhibition of T Cell Differentiation

Transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta inhibits T cell proliferation and differentiation. TGF-beta has been shown to inhibit the expression of transcription factors such as GATA-3 and T-bet that play important roles in T cell differentiation. Here we show that TGF-beta inhibits T cell differentiation at a more proximal step. An early event during T cell activation is increased intracellular calcium levels. Calcium influx in activated T cells and the subsequent activation of transcription factors such as NFATc, events essential for T cell differentiation, are modulated by the Tec kinases that are downstream of the T cell receptor and CD28. We show that in stimulated CD4+ T cells, TGF-beta inhibits phosphorylation and activation of the Tec kinase Itk, increase in intracellular Ca2+ levels, NFATc translocation, and activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase ERK that together regulate T cell differentiation. Our studies suggest that by inhibiting Itk, and consequently Ca2+ influx, TGF-beta limits T cell differentiation along both the Th1 and Th2 lineages.

Directional Motility Induced by Epidermal Growth Factor Requires Cdc42

Cell motility is actuated by a host of intracellular signaling cascades that result in movement of the cell in one direction, even without an external gradient. Phospholipase C-gamma (PLCgamma) has been shown to be important for growth factor-induced lamellipodial protrusion at the front of the cell while Cdc42 has been implicated in both filopodium formation at the leading edge and control of polarity of migrating cells. We asked whether these asymmetries in effector molecules may be linked. When we overexpressed either constitutively active, dominant negative, or GFP-tagged Cdc42, wild-type NR6 fibroblasts lost directionality, as expected. On epidermal growth factor (EGF) exposure these cells produced multiple, transient protrusions in every direction; these extensions failed to result in productive motility. GFP-tagged Cdc42 appeared transiently at edges of newly formed protrusions in EGF-stimulated cells while they moved haphazardly. While PLCgamma is distributed throughout the cell, the ratio of active, tyrosyl-phosphorylated PLCgamma was increased at the leading edge, where phosphatidylinositol (4,5)-bisphosphate (PIP(2)) hydrolysis is concentrated. This co-localization of activities may be due to Cdc42 directing PLCgamma to the cell front, as PLCgamma associated with Cdc42 in an EGF-dependent manner. We conclude that Cdc42 controls cell polarity, likely in part, through its binding to active PLCgamma.

Elevated Hepatocyte Levels of the Forkhead Box A2 (HNF-3beta) Transcription Factor Cause Postnatal Steatosis and Mitochondrial Damage

The Forkhead box (Fox) transcription factor Foxa2 (HNF-3beta) and related family members Foxa1 (HNF-3alpha) and Foxa3 (HNF-3gamma) act in concert with other hepatocyte nuclear factors (HNF) to coordinately regulate liver-specific gene expression. To circumvent the hepatic functional redundancy of the Foxa proteins, we used the T-77 transgenic (TG) mouse line in which the -3-kb transthyretin (TTR) promoter functioned to increase hepatocyte expression of the Foxa2 cDNA. Adult TG mice exhibited reduced hepatic glycogen and progressive liver injury, but maintained normal serum levels of glucose, insulin, and glucagon. In this study, we further characterized the postnatal liver defect in TTR-FoxA2 TG mice. The postnatal TG mice displayed significant reduction in serum glucose levels and in hepatocyte glycogen storage without increased serum levels of ketone bodies and free fatty acid suggesting that they are not undergoing a starvation response. We show that TG liver developed a substantial transient steatosis, which reached a maximum at postnatal day 5 and is associated with increased expression of hepatic genes involved in fatty acid and triglyceride synthesis, lipid beta-oxidation, and amino acid biosynthesis. Furthermore, transmission electron microscopy analysis of postnatal TG liver revealed extensive mitochondrial membrane damage, which is likely due to reactive oxygen species generated from lipid beta-oxidation. In conclusion, our model proposes that in response to reduction in hepatocyte glycogen storage, the TTR-Foxa2 TG mice survive by maintaining sufficient serum levels of glucose through gluconeogenesis using deaminated amino acids with dicarboxylate products of peroxisomal lipid beta-oxidation shuttled through the tricarboxylic acid cycle.

Necrotic Cell Death in Response to Oxidant Stress Involves the Activation of the Apoptogenic Caspase-8/bid Pathway

Human epithelial (A549) cells exposed to hyperoxia die by cellular necrosis. In the current study, we demonstrated the involvement of apoptogenic factors in epithelial cell necrosis in response to hyperoxia, including the formation of the Fas-related death-inducing signaling complex and initiation of mitochondria-dependent apoptotic pathways. We showed increased activation of both Bid and Bax in A549 cells subjected to hyperoxia. Bax activation involved a Bid-assisted conformational change. We discovered that the response to hyperoxia in vivo predominantly involved the activation of the Bid/caspase-8 pathway without apparent increases in Bax expression. Disruption of the Bid pathway by gene deletion protected against cell death in vivo and in vitro. Likewise, inhibition of caspase-8 by Flip also protected against cell death. Taken together, we have demonstrated the involvement of apoptogenic factors in epithelial cell responses to hyperoxia, despite a final outcome of cellular necrosis. We have, for the first time, identified a predominant role for the caspase-8/Bid pathway in signaling associated with hyperoxic lung injury and cell death in vivo and in vitro.

Caspase-8 Expression and Proteolysis in Human Brain After Severe Head Injury

Programmed cell death involves a complex and interrelated cascade of cysteine proteases termed caspases that are synthesized as inactive zymogens, which are proteolytically processed to active enzymes. Caspase-8 is an initiator caspase that becomes activated when Fas death receptor-Fas ligand (FasL) coupling on the cell surface leads to coalescence of a "death complex" perpetuating the programmed cell death cascade. In this study, brain tissue samples removed from adult patients during the surgical management of severe intracranial hypertension after traumatic brain injury (TBI; n=17) were compared with postmortem control brain tissue samples (n=6). Caspase-8 mRNA was measured by semiquantitative reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction, and caspase-8 protein was examined by Western blot and immunocytochemistry. Fas and FasL were also examined using Western blot. Caspase-8 mRNA and protein were increased in TBI patients vs. controls, and caspase-8 protein was predominately expressed in neurons. Proteolysis of caspase-8 to 20-kDa fragments was seen only in TBI patients. Fas was also increased after TBI vs. control and was associated with relative levels of caspase-8, supporting formation of a death complex. These data identify additional steps in the programmed cell death cascade involving Fas death receptors and caspase-8 after TBI in humans.

Inducible Expression of Keratinocyte Growth Factor (KGF) in Mice Inhibits Lung Epithelial Cell Death Induced by Hyperoxia

Oxidant-induced injury to the lung is associated with extensive damage to the lung epithelium. Instillation of keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) in the lungs of animals protects animals from oxidant-induced injury but the mechanism of protection is not well understood. An inherent problem in studying KGF function in vivo has been that constitutive overexpression of KGF in the lung causes embryonic lethality with extensive pulmonary malformation. Here we report the development of a stringently regulated, tetracycline-inducible, lung-specific transgenic system that allows regulated expression of KGF in the lung without causing developmental abnormalities from leaky KGF expression. By using this system, we show that exposure of KGF-expressing mice to hyperoxia protects the lung epithelium but not the endothelium from cell death in accordance with the selective expression of KGF receptor on epithelial and not on endothelial cells. Investigations of KGF-induced cell survival pathways revealed KGF-induced activation of the multifunctional pro-survival Akt signaling axis both in vitro and in vivo. Inhibition of KGF-induced Akt activation by a dominant-negative mutant of Akt blocked the KGF-mediated protection of epithelial cells exposed to hyperoxia. KGF-induced Akt activation may play an important role in inhibiting lung alveolar cell death thereby preserving the lung architecture and function during oxidative stress.

Tumor-localization by Adoptively Transferred, Interleukin-2-activated NK Cells Leads to Destruction of Well-established Lung Metastases

We have shown previously that i.v. injection of interleukin-2-(IL-2) activated natural killer (A-NK) cells together with IL-2 leads to a substantial localization of the A-NK cells into most, but not all, well-established B16 lung metastases in C57BL/6 mice within 12-24 hr. We demonstrate that the morphology of the lung metastases, (loose or more compact in appearance), and their location in the lungs (on the surface or deep in the lung parenchyma) are closely tied to the infiltration-permissiveness of the metastases as well as their sensitivity to treatment with A-NK cells. Although more than 1100 A-NK cells/mm(2) were found in deep metastases with a "loose" morphology (D-L), only 534, 90 and 89 cells/mm(2) were found in surface-loose (S-L), surface-compact (S-C) and deep-compact (D-C) metastases, respectively. The best infiltrated metastases responded best to the A-NK cell therapy. Thus, metastases of the D-L phenotype became reduced by 65-90% after treatment with 2 x 10(6) A-NK cells and IL-2 (120000 IU Peg-IL-2 every 12 hr for 3 days) compared to similar lesions in animals treated with PEG-IL-2 alone. In contrast, poorly infiltrated metastases, that is lesions of the compact phenotype (D-C and S-C) as well as loose metastases on the lung surface (S-L), did not react significantly to this treatment. We conclude that adoptively transferred A-NK cells are able to eliminate even well-established metastases. The existence of metastases that are resistant to infiltration by the transferred effector cells at time of treatment might reduce the efficacy of cell-based immuno-therapeutic ventures.

Localization of the BiP Molecular Chaperone with Respect to Endoplasmic Reticulum Foci Containing the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator in Yeast

Almost all secreted proteins pass through the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), an organelle that is equipped to tolerate and/or degrade misfolded proteins. We report here that yeast expressing the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) concentrate the protein at defined sites in the ER membrane that are not necessarily enriched for the ER molecular chaperone BiP. We propose that these sites are Russell bodies, an ER subcompartment in which misfolded proteins are stored and can be targeted for degradation.

Intra-mitochondrial Poly(ADP-ribosylation) Contributes to NAD+ Depletion and Cell Death Induced by Oxidative Stress

Poly(ADP-ribosylation), primarily via poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1), is a pluripotent cellular process important for maintenance of genomic integrity and RNA transcription in cells. However, during conditions of oxidative stress and energy depletion, poly(ADP-ribosylation) paradoxically contributes to mitochondrial failure and cell death. Although it has been presumed that poly(ADP-ribosylation) within the nucleus mediates this pathologic process, PARP-1 and other poly(ADP-ribosyltransferases) are also localized within mitochondria. To this end, the presence of PARP-1 and poly(ADP-ribosylation) were verified within mitochondrial fractions from primary cortical neurons and fibroblasts. Inhibition of poly(ADP-ribosylation) within the mitochondrial compartment preserved transmembrane potential (DeltaPsi(m)), NAD(+) content, and cellular respiration, prevented release of apoptosis-inducing factor, and reduced neuronal cell death triggered by oxidative stress. Treatment with liposomal NAD(+) also preserved DeltaPsi(m) and cellular respiration during oxidative stress. Furthermore, inhibition of poly(ADP-ribosylation) prevented intranuclear localization of apoptosis-inducing factor and protected neurons from excitotoxic injury; and PARP-1 null fibroblasts were protected from oxidative stress-induced cell death. Collectively these data suggest that poly(ADP-ribosylation) compartmentalized to the mitochondria can be converted from a homeostatic process to a mechanism of cell death when oxidative stress is accompanied by energy depletion. These data implicate intra-mitochondrial poly(ADP-ribosylation) as an important therapeutic target for central nervous system and other diseases associated with oxidative stress and energy failure.

Cellular Mechanisms of Interleukin-12-mediated Neuroblastoma Regression

Interleukin-12 (IL-12) is a proinflammatory cytokine with potent antitumor effects. Previous studies from the authors laboratory showed regression of established neuroblastoma in mice vaccinated with IL-12 transduced dendritic cells (DC). Although regression was associated with intense T cell infiltration, the precise role of T cells is unknown. The purpose of this work is to study the cellular mechanisms in IL-12-mediated tumor regression.

A Role for Class A Scavenger Receptor in Dendritic Cell Nibbling from Live Cells

Monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DC) possess the unique capacity to capture Ag from live cells through intimate cell contact, a process referred to as nibbling. We sought to define the receptor(s) mediating DC nibbling. Uptake of fluorescently labeled plasma membrane from live cells by DC was inhibited by protease treatment and by a panel of polyanionic ligands, implicating scavenger receptors (SR) in this process. Differential expression of SR on DC and macrophages correlated with the capacity to acquire membrane from live cells. Internalized membrane colocalized with SR ligand and entered the endosomal pathway. DC very efficiently acquired and internalized gp100 tumor Ag expressed at the surface of viable adenocarcinoma cells via recombinant adenoviral infection. Cross-presentation of gp100 by DC to MHC class I-restricted T cells was inhibited by polyanionic SR ligand and an Ab to type A SR (SR-A), whereas Ab to the class B SR CD36, which mediates uptake of apoptotic cells, induced no inhibition. DC capture of fluorescently labeled membrane from live cells was partially blocked by SR-A-specific Ab, suggesting that other SR may also be contributing to nibbling. DC maturation resulted in a switch in expression from type II SR-A (SR-AII) to the SR-AI splice variant. Finally, SR-A was identified on interdigitating DC isolated from monkey lymph nodes. These findings define a novel role for SR-A, and suggest that Ag uptake from live cells by DC may be important in the generation of immunity and in the maintenance of peripheral tolerance in vivo.

Characterization of the Expression of Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase in Rat and Human Liver During Hemorrhagic Shock

It has been previously shown that the inducible nitric oxide (NO) synthase (iNOS; NOS-2) is elevated after hemorrhage, and that iNOS-derived NO participates in the upregulation of inflammation as well as lung and liver injury postresuscitation from shock. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the time course of iNOS mRNA expression, as well as the cellular and subcellular localization of iNOS protein in the liver posthemorrhage in rats subjected to varying durations of hemorrhagic shock (HS; mean arterial blood pressure [MAP] = 40 mmHg) with or without resuscitation. Expression of iNOS mRNA in rat liver by real-time reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR demonstrated iNOS upregulation in shocked animals as compared with their sham counterparts as early as 60 min after the initiation of hemorrhage. By 1 h of HS, iNOS protein was detectable in rat liver by immunofluorescence, and this expression increased with time. Immunofluorescence localized iNOS primarily to the hepatocytes, and in particular to hepatocytes in the centrilobular regions. This analysis, confirmed by immunoelectron microscopy, revealed that iNOS colocalizes with catalase, a peroxisomal marker. Furthermore, we determined that iNOS mRNA is detectable by RT-PCR in liver biopsies from human subjects with HS (MAP < 90 mmHg) associated with trauma (n = 18). In contrast, none of the seven nontrauma surgical patients studied had detectable iNOS mRNA in their livers. Collectively, these results suggest that hepatic iNOS expression, associated with peroxisomal localization, is an early molecular response to HS in experimental animals and possibly in human patients with trauma with HS.

Dendritic Cells Transduced to Express Interleukin-4 Prevent Diabetes in Nonobese Diabetic Mice with Advanced Insulitis

Our previous studies demonstrated that adoptive transfer of dendritic cells (DC) prevents diabetes in young nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice by inducing regulatory T(H)2 cells. In this report, as a means of treating NOD mice with more advanced insulitis, we infected DC with adenoviral vectors expressing interleukin (IL)-4 (Ad.IL-4), eGFP (Ad.eGFP), or empty vector (Ad psi 5). DC infected with any of the Ad vectors expressed higher levels of CD40, CD80, and CD86 molecules than uninfected DC and Ad.IL-4 DC produced IL-4 after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and interferon (IFN)-gamma stimulation. Ad-infected DC efficiently stimulated allogeneic T cells, and cultures of T cells with Ad.IL-4 DC produced lower levels of IFN-gamma and marginally higher levels of IL-4. In vivo studies demonstrated that the Ad.eGFP DC trafficked to the pancreatic lymph nodes within 24 hr of intravenous administration, and could be visualized in the T cell areas of the spleen. The intrapancreatic IFN-gamma:IL-4 or IFN-gamma:IL-10 cytokine ratios were lower in 10-week-old mice treated with Ad.IL-4 DC, and these mice were significantly protected from disease. These results demonstrate, for the first time, that genetically modified DC can prevent diabetes in the context of advanced insulitis.

Expression and Localization of Human Lysozyme in the Endosperm of Transgenic Rice

In order to understand the characteristics of recombinant protein expression and sublocalization in rice ( Oryza sativa L.) endosperm, we examined the expression level of human lysozyme protein and its subcellular location in transgenic rice seeds driven by rice glutelin and globulin promoters and signal peptides. A time course of human lysozyme expression during endosperm development was analyzed. The results showed that the expression profile of recombinant protein accumulation in endosperm paralleled that of the two storage proteins. Immunofluorescence microscopy revealed that human lysozyme and storage proteins co-localized to type-II protein bodies. Both promoter-signal peptide parings targeted recombinant protein to the protein bodies. In addition, a transgenic line with a higher lysozyme expression level exhibited morphologically different protein bodies with an unbalanced composition of lysozyme and native storage proteins. The high-level expression of recombinant protein distorted the trafficking and sorting of native storage proteins in rice endosperm and affected the expression of native storage protein.

Alterations in Inducible 72-kDa Heat Shock Protein and the Chaperone Cofactor BAG-1 in Human Brain After Head Injury

The stress response in injured brain is well characterized after experimental ischemic and traumatic brain injury (TBI); however, the induction and regulation of the stress response in humans after TBI remains largely undefined. Accordingly, we examined injured brain tissue from adult patients (n = 8) that underwent emergent surgical decompression after TBI, for alterations in the inducible 72-kDa heat shock protein (Hsp70), the constitutive 73-kDa heat shock protein (Hsc70), and isoforms of the chaperone cofactor BAG-1. Control samples (n = 6) were obtained postmortem from patients dying of causes unrelated to CNS trauma. Western blot analysis showed that Hsp70, but not Hsc70, was increased in patients after TBI versus controls. Both Hsp70 and Hsc70 coimmunoprecipitated with the cofactor BAG-1. The 33 and 46, but not the 50-kDa BAG-1 isoforms were increased in patients after TBI versus controls. The ratio of the 46/33-kDa isoforms was increased in TBI versus controls, suggesting negative modulation of Hsp70/Hsc70 protein refolding activity in injured brain. These data implicate induction of the stress response and its modulation by the chaperone cofactor and Bcl-2 family member BAG-1, after TBI in humans.

Gene Transfer of Manganese Superoxide Dismutase Extends Islet Graft Function in a Mouse Model of Autoimmune Diabetes

Islet transplantation is a promising cure for diabetes. However, inflammation, allorejection, and recurrent autoimmune damage all may contribute to early graft loss. Pancreatic islets express lower levels of antioxidant genes than most other tissues of the body, and beta-cells in particular are sensitive to oxidative damage. Therefore, damage from oxidative stress may pose a major obstacle to islet replacement therapy in that both the islet isolation and transplantation processes generate oxygen radicals. To determine whether antioxidant gene overexpression in isolated pancreatic islets can prevent oxidative damage and prolong islet function after transplantation, we used the NOD mouse model to study oxidative stress encountered during both transplantation and autoimmune attack. We transferred an antioxidant gene, manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), by adenoviral infection into isolated islets that were transplanted into streptozotocin-treated NODscid recipient mice. Functioning islet grafts were subsequently exposed to diabetogenic spleen cells and monitored until graft failure. The results show that islet grafts overexpressing MnSOD functioned approximately 50% longer than control grafts. This significant prolongation of graft function suggests that the antioxidant activity of MnSOD is beneficial to transplanted islet survival and may be used in combination with other strategies aimed at islet graft protection.

Identification of C-kit-positive Cells in the Mouse Ureter: the Interstitial Cells of Cajal of the Urinary Tract

The existence of a pacemaker system in the urinary tract capable of orchestrating the movement of filtrated urine from the ureteral pelvis to the distal ureter and lower urinary tract seems intuitive. The coordinated activity necessary for such movement or "peristalsis" would likely require an intricate network of cells with pacemaker-like activity, as is the case with the interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) of the gut. We investigated whether these putative pacemaker cells of the urinary tract are antigenically similar to ICC of the gut by using immunofluorescence staining for c-kit, a cell-surface marker specific for ICC. Ureteral, urinary bladder, and urethral tissues were harvested from female mice of the WBB6F1 strain, and fixed sections were prepared and stained for c-kit. Cell networks composed of stellate-appearing, c-kit-positive, ICC-like cells were found in the lamina propria and at the interface of the inner longitudinal and outer circular muscle layers of the ureteral pelvis but not in the urinary bladder or urethra. Thus, like in the gut, c-kit-positive, ICC-like cells are present in the urinary tract but appear to be restricted to the proximal ureter of this murine species.

Vascularization and Tissue Infiltration of a Biodegradable Polyurethane Matrix

Urethanes are frequently used in biomedical applications because of their excellent biocompatibility. However, their use has been limited to bioresistant polyurethanes. The aim of this study was to develop a nontoxic biodegradable polyurethane and to test its potential for tissue compatibility. A matrix was synthesized with pentane diisocyanate (PDI) as a hard segment and sucrose as a hydroxyl group donor to obtain a microtextured spongy urethane matrix. The matrix was biodegradable in an aqueous solution at 37 degrees C in vitro as well as in vivo. The polymer was mechanically stable at body temperatures and exhibited a glass transition temperature (Tg) of 67 degrees C. The porosity of the polymer network was between 10 and 2000 microm, with the majority of pores between 100 and 300 microm in diameter. This porosity was found to be adequate to support the adherence and proliferation of bone-marrow stromal cells (BMSC) and chondrocytes in vitro. The degradation products of the polymer were nontoxic to cells in vitro. Subdermal implants of the PDI-sucrose matrix did not exhibit toxicity in vivo and did not induce an acute inflammatory response in the host. However, some foreign-body giant cells did accumulate around the polymer and in its pores, suggesting its degradation is facilitated by hydrolysis as well as by giant cells. More important, subdermal implants of the polymer allowed marked infiltration of vascular and connective tissue, suggesting the free flow of fluids and nutrients in the implants. Because of the flexibility of the mechanical strength that can be obtained in urethanes and because of the ease with which a porous microtexture can be achieved, this matrix may be useful in many tissue-engineering applications.

Trafficking of the Ca2+-activated K+ Channel, HIK1, is Dependent Upon a C-terminal Leucine Zipper

We demonstrate that the C-terminal truncation of hIK1 results in a loss of functional channels. This could be caused by either (i) a failure of the channel to traffic to the plasma membrane or (ii) the expression of non-functional channels. To delineate among these possibilities, a hemagglutinin epitope was inserted into the extracellular loop between transmembrane domains S3 and S4. Surface expression and channel function were measured by immunofluorescence, cell surface immunoprecipitation, and whole-cell patch clamp techniques. Although deletion of the last 14 amino acids of hIK1 (L414STOP) had no effect on plasma membrane expression and function, deletion of the last 26 amino acids (K402STOP) resulted in a complete loss of membrane expression. Mutation of the leucine heptad repeat ending at Leu(406) (L399A/L406A) completely abrogated membrane localization. Additional mutations within the heptad repeat (L385A/L392A, L392A/L406A) or of the a positions (I396A/L403A) resulted in a near-complete loss of membrane-localized channel. In contrast, mutating individual leucines did not compromise channel trafficking or function. Both membrane localization and function of L399A/L406A could be partially restored by incubation at 27 degrees C. Co-immunoprecipitation studies demonstrated that leucine zipper mutations do not compromise multimer formation. In contrast, we demonstrated that the leucine zipper region of hIK1 is capable of co-assembly and that this is dependent upon an intact leucine zipper. Finally, this leucine zipper is conserved in another member of the gene family, SK3. However, mutation of the leucine zipper in SK3 had no effect on plasma membrane localization or function. In conclusion, we demonstrate that the C-terminal leucine zipper is critical to facilitate correct folding and plasma membrane trafficking of hIK1, whereas this function is not conserved in other gene family members.

Internalization of Circulating Apoptotic Cells by Splenic Marginal Zone Dendritic Cells: Dependence on Complement Receptors and Effect on Cytokine Production

Under steady-state conditions, internalization of self-antigens embodied in apoptotic cells by dendritic cells (DCs) resident in peripheral tissue followed by DC migration and presentation of self-peptides to T cells in secondary lymphoid organs are key steps for induction and maintenance of peripheral T-cell tolerance. We show here that, besides this traffic of apoptotic cells mediated by peripheral tissue-resident DCs, splenic marginal zone DCs rapidly ingest circulating apoptotic leukocytes, process apoptotic cell-derived peptides into major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) molecules, and acquire CD8alpha during their mobilization to T-cell areas of splenic follicles. Because apoptotic cells activate complement and some complement factors are opsonins for phagocytosis and play roles in the maintenance of peripheral tolerance, we investigated the role of complement receptors (CRs) in relation to phagocytosis of apoptotic cells by DCs. Apoptotic cell uptake by marginal zone DCs was mediated in part via CR3 (CD11b/CD18) and, to a lesser extent, CR4 (CD11c/CD18) and was reduced significantly in vivo in hypocomplementemic animals. Following phagocytosis of apoptotic cells, DCs exhibited decreased levels of mRNA and secretion of the proinflammatory cytokines interleukin 1alpha (IL-1alpha), IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-12p70, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), without effect on the anti-inflammatory mediator transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-beta1). This selective inhibitory effect was at least partially mediated through C3bi-CD11b/CD18 interaction. Characterization of apoptotic cell/DC interaction and its outcome provides insight into the mechanisms by which apoptotic cells affect DC function without disrupting peripheral tolerance.

Ectopic Expression of Interferon Regulatory Factor-1 Promotes Human Breast Cancer Cell Death and Results in Reduced Expression of Survivin

The overexpression of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein, survivin, may provide tumor cells with a distinct survival advantage in situ; hence, therapeutic strategies have been designed to inhibit its expression. In this study, we ectopically expressed the interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-1 protein in the breast carcinoma cell lines MDA-MB-468 and SK-BR-3 using a recombinant adenovirus (Ad-IRF-1). By screening microarray analysis of cDNA from the human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-468 infected with Ad-IRF-1, we observed a 15-fold down-regulation of the survivin gene when compared with uninfected cells. Consequently, we tested survivin expression in Ad-IRF-1-infected MDA-MB-468 and SK-BR-3 breast cancer cell lines. Immunoblotting analyses supported the contention that ectopic expression of the IRF-1 protein results in down-regulation of survivin protein expression that is independent of p53. In addition, Ad-IRF-1 infection of these human breast cancer cell lines induces the expression of p21. We also report that increased apoptosis is observed in tumor cells infected with Ad-IRF-1 compared with Ad-Psi5 mock-infected cells and that cell death is further augmented when the IRF-1-infected cells are cultured with Adriamycin. Moreover, in a xenogeneic mouse model of breast carcinoma, in vivo treatment of tumor-bearing mice with intratumoral Ad-IRF-1 injections results in tumor growth inhibition. In resected tumors from mice that had been treated with Ad-IRF-1, tumor cells that express the IRF-1 transgene have a predominant IRF-1-positive, survivin-negative phenotype. Collectively, these observations suggest that therapies designed to enhance IRF-1 expression within tumor cells may represent novel treatment strategies for breast cancer.

Nitric Oxide and Ionizing Radiation Synergistically Promote Apoptosis and Growth Inhibition of Cancer by Activating P53

Nitric oxide (NO) is a potent tumor radiosensitizer; however, its clinical use is limited by systemic side effects. We have demonstrated previously that gene transfer of the human inducible NO synthase (iNOS) gene into tumor cells and tumors induces high-output NO production that significantly enhances tumor radioresponsiveness, with no observed side effects. Notably, iNOS gene transfer enhances tumor radioresponsiveness via apoptotic cell death. Because NO and ionizing radiation are both known to promote p53-dependent apoptosis, we hypothesized that p53 activation might be a primary mechanism for the synergy of these two genotoxic stresses. We report that NO and ionizing radiation synergistically activate p53 in colorectal cancers grown in athymic mice by augmenting phosphorylation of p53 at serine 15. The effect of NO and ionizing radiation on tumor cell apoptosis and tumor radioresponsiveness is significantly reduced in p53 knockout isogenic cancer cell lines. Furthermore, the transfer of both p53 and iNOS genes into tumor cells lacking functional p53 enhanced their radioresponsiveness more than transfer of either gene alone.

Gene Combination Transfer to Block Autoimmune Damage in Transplanted Islets of Langerhans

Islet transplantation therapy would be applicable to a wider range of diabetic patients if donor islet acceptance and protection were possible without systemic immunosuppression of the recipient. To this aim, gene transfer to isolated donor islets ex vivo is one method that has shown promise. This study examines the combined effect of selected immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory genes known to extend the functional viability of pancreatic islet grafts in an autoimmune system. These genes, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), and interleukin (IL)-1 receptor antagonist protein (IRAP), were transferred to isolated NOD donor islets ex vivo then transplanted to NODscid recipients and evaluated in vivo after diabetogenic T-cell challenge. The length of time the recipient remained euglycemic was used to measure the ability of the transgenes to protect the graft from autoimmune destruction. Although the results of these cotransfections gave little evidence of a synergistic relationship, they were useful to show that gene combinations can be used to more efficiently protect islet grafts from diabetogenic T cells.

Comprehensive Gene Expression Profiles Reveal Pathways Related to the Pathogenesis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

To better understand the molecular basis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), we used serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) and microarray analysis to compare the gene expression patterns of lung tissues from COPD and control smokers. A total of 59,343 tags corresponding to 26,502 transcripts were sequenced in SAGE analyses. A total of 327 genes were differentially expressed (1.5-fold up- or down-regulated). Microarray analysis using the same RNA source detected 261 transcripts that were differentially expressed to a significant degree between GOLD-2 and GOLD-0 smokers. We confirmed the altered expression of a select number of genes by using real-time quantitative RT-PCR. These genes encode for transcription factors (EGR1 and FOS), growth factors or related proteins (CTGF, CYR61, CX3CL1, TGFB1, and PDGFRA), and extracellular matrix protein (COL1A1). Immunofluorescence studies on the same lung specimens localized the expression of Egr-1, CTGF, and Cyr61 to alveolar epithelial cells, airway epithelial cells, and stromal and inflammatory cells of GOLD-2 smokers. Cigarette smoke extract induced Egr-1 protein expression and increased Egr-1 DNA-binding activity in human lung fibroblast cells. Cytomix (tumor necrosis factor alpha, IL-1beta, and IFN-gamma) treatment showed that the activity of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) was increased in lung fibroblasts from EGR1 control (+/+) mice but not detected in that of EGR1 null (-/-) mice, whereas MMP-9 was regulated by EGR1 in a reverse manner. Our study represents the first comprehensive analysis of gene expression on GOLD-2 versus GOLD-0 smokers and reveals previously unreported candidate genes that may serve as potential molecular targets in COPD.

Autocrine Activation by Interleukin 1alpha Induces the Fibrogenic Phenotype of Systemic Sclerosis Fibroblasts

To explore the cellular localization of interleukin 1alpha (IL-1alpha) in cultured fibroblasts from lesional skin of patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) and to study the role of intracellular IL-1alpha in the activation of fibroblasts.

Signaling Via a Novel Integral Plasma Membrane Pool of a Serine/threonine Protein Kinase PRK1 in Mammalian Cells

Mammalian serine/threonine protein kinases, except for TGF-beta receptor kinase family, are intracellular proteins. PRK1/PKN is a member of the protein kinase C superfamily of serine/threonine kinases and is one of the first identified effectors for RhoA GTPase. However, the role of PRK1 in mediating signaling downstream of activated RhoA is largely unknown. Here, we present evidence that identifies a novel plasma membrane pool of PRK1. This integral membrane form of PRK1 is catalytically active. The phosphorylation of serine377 of PRK1 is required for its integration into membranes. This integration is essential for PRK1 to function as a Rho effector as only the integral plasma membrane PRK1 is able to initiate RhoA-mediated and ligand-dependent transcriptional activation of the androgen receptor in human epithelial cells and to mediate RhoA-induced neurite retraction in mouse neuronal cells. These results indicate that RhoA signals via the integral membrane pool of its effectors in its immediate vicinity at the plasma membrane, thus establishing a new paradigm in mammalian cell signaling.

Beta-synemin Localizes to Regions of High Stress in Human Skeletal Myofibers

Synemin is an intermediate filament protein shown previously to interact with alpha-dystrobrevin and desmin. Immunoblot analysis detects a beta-synemin protein of 170 kDa in human skeletal muscle and an alpha-synemin protein of 225 kDa in monkey brain. Low-resolution immunohistochemical analysis localizes beta-synemin within muscle along the sarcolemma, whereas confocal microscopic analysis further refines localization to the costamere and muscle Z-lines. In addition to these locations, beta-synemin is also enriched at the neuromuscular and myotendinous junctions, other regions that undergo high stress during myofiber contraction. Based on its localization and its expression pattern, it is proposed that beta-synemin functions as a structural protein involved in maintaining muscle integrity through its interactions with alpha-dystrobrevin, desmin, and other structural proteins.

Inhibition of Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor-1-mediated Pathways Has Beneficial Effects in a Murine Model of Postischemic Remodeling

The aim of the present study was to investigate the importance of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha receptor-1 (TNFR1)-mediated pathways in a murine model of myocardial infarction and remodeling. One hundred and ninety-four wild-type (WT) and TNFR1 gene-deleted (TNFR1KO) mice underwent left coronary artery ligation to induce myocardial infarction. On days 1, 3, 7, and 42, mice underwent transesophageal echocardiography. Hearts were weighed, and the left ventricle (LV) was assayed for matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9 activity and for tissue inhibitor of MMP (TIMP)-1 and -2 expression. Deletion of the TNFR1 gene substantially improved survival because no deaths were observed in TNFR1KO mice versus 56.4% and 18.2% in WT males and females, respectively (P < 0.002). At 42 days, LV remodeling, assessed by LV function (fractional area change of 31.9 +/- 7.9%, 32.2 +/- 7.7%, and 21.6 +/- 7.1% in TNFR1KO males, TNFR1KO females, and WT females, respectively, P < 0.04), and hypertrophy (heart weight-to-body weight ratios of 5.435 +/- 0.986, 5.485 +/- 0.677, and 6.726 +/- 0.704 mg/g, P < 0.04) were ameliorated in TNFR1KO mice. MMP-9 activity was highest at 3 days postinfarction and was highest in WT males (1.9 +/- 0.4 4, 3.6 +/- 0.24, 1.15 +/- 0.28, and 1.3 +/- 1.2 ng/100 microg protein, respectively, in TNFR1KO males, WT males, TNFR1KO females, and WT females, respectively, P < 0.002), whereas at 3 days TIMP-1 mRNA fold upregulation compared with type- and sex-matched controls was lowest in WT males (138.32 +/- 13.05, 46.74 +/- 5.43, 186.09 +/- 28.07, and 101.76 +/- 22.48, respectively, P < 0.002). MMP-2 and TIMP-2 increased similarly in all infarcted groups. These findings suggest that the benefits of TNFR1 ablation might be attributable at least in part to the attenuation of cytokine-mediated imbalances in MMP-TIMP activity.

Delivery of Interferon-alpha Transfected Dendritic Cells into Central Nervous System Tumors Enhances the Antitumor Efficacy of Peripheral Peptide-based Vaccines

We evaluated the effects, on immunity and survival, of injection of interferon (IFN)-alpha-transfected dendritic cells (DC-IFN-alpha) into intracranial tumors in mice immunized previously with syngeneic dendritic cells (DCs) pulsed either with ovalbumin-derived CTL or T helper epitopes. These immunizations protected animals from s.c. challenge with ovalbumin-expressing M05 melanoma (class I+ and class II-negative). Notably, antiovalbumin CTL responses were observed in animals vaccinated with an ovalbumin-derived T helper epitope but only after the mice were challenged with M05 cells. This cross-priming of CTL was dependent on both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Because we observed that s.c., but not intracranial, tumors were infiltrated with CD11c+ DCs, and because IFN-alpha promotes the activation and survival of both DCs and T cells, we evaluated the combinational antitumor effects of injecting adenoviral (Ad)-IFN-alpha-engineered DCs into intracranial M05 tumors in preimmunized mice. Delivery of DC-IFN-alpha prolonged survival. This was most notable for animals prevaccinated with both the CTL and T helper ovalbumin epitopes, with 60% (6 of 10) of mice (versus 0 of 10 of control animals) surviving for > 80 days after tumor challenge. DC-IFN-alpha appeared to persist longer than mock-transfected DCs within the intracranial tumor microenvironment, and DC-IFN-alpha-treated mice exhibited enhanced levels of ovalbumin-specific CTL in draining cervical lymph nodes. On the basis of these results, we believe that local expression of IFN-alpha by DCs within the intracranial tumor site may enhance the clinical efficacy of peripheral vaccine approaches for brain tumors.

Nitric Oxide-induced Modification of Protein Thiolate Clusters As Determined by Spectral Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer in Live Endothelial Cells

Low-molecular-weight S-nitrosothiols are found in many tissues and affect a diverse array of signaling pathways via decomposition to *NO or exchange of their -NO function with thiol-containing proteins (transnitrosation). We used spectral laser scanning confocal imaging to visualize the effects of D- and L-stereoisomers of S-nitrosocysteine ethyl ester (SNCEE) on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based reporters that are targets for the following NO-related modifications: (a) S-nitrosation, via the cysteine-rich protein metallothionein (FRET-MT), and (b) nitrosyl-heme-Fe, via guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cygnet-2). Conformational changes consistent with S-nitrosation of FRET-MT were specific to l-SNCEE. In addition, they were reversed by dithiothreitol (DTT) but unaffected by exogenous oxyhemoglobin. In contrast, d- and l-SNCEE had comparable effects on cygnet-2, likely via activation of soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) by *NO as they were sensitive to the sGC inhibitor 1H-[1,2,4]-oxadiazolo[4,3-alpha] quinoxalin-1-one and exogenous oxyhemoglobin. These data demonstrate the utility of spectral laser scanning confocal imaging in revealing subtle aspects of NO signal transduction in live cells. Stereoselective transnitrosation of MT emphasizes the specificity of posttranslational modification as a component of NO signaling.

Redistribution of Pulmonary EC-SOD After Exposure to Asbestos

Inhalation of asbestos fibers leads to interstitial lung disease (asbestosis) characterized by inflammation and fibrosis. The pathogenesis of asbestosis is not fully understood, but reactive oxygen species are thought to play a central role. Extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD) is an antioxidant enzyme that protects the lung in a bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis model, but its role has not been studied in asbestos-mediated disease. EC-SOD is found in high levels in the extracellular matrix of lung alveoli because of its positively charged heparin-binding domain. Proteolytic removal of this domain results in clearance of EC-SOD from the matrix of tissues. We treated wild-type C57BL/6 mice with 0.1 mg of crocidolite asbestos by intratracheal instillation and euthanized them 24 h later. Compared with saline- or titanium dioxide-treated control mice, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) from asbestos-treated mice contained significantly higher total protein levels and increased numbers of inflammatory cells, predominantly neutrophils, indicating acute lung injury in response to asbestos. Decreased EC-SOD protein and activity were found in the lungs of asbestos-treated mice, whereas more EC-SOD was found in the BALF of these mice. The EC-SOD in the BALF was predominantly in the proteolyzed form, which lacks the heparin-binding domain. This redistribution of EC-SOD correlated with development of fibrosis 14 days after asbestos exposure. These data suggest that asbestos injury leads to enhanced proteolysis and clearance of EC-SOD from lung parenchyma into the air spaces. The depletion of EC-SOD from the extracellular matrix may increase susceptibility of the lung to oxidative stress during asbestos-mediated lung injury.

Endocytosis, Intracellular Sorting, and Processing of Exosomes by Dendritic Cells

Exosomes are nanovesicles released by leukocytes and epithelial cells. Although their function remains enigmatic, exosomes are a source of antigen and transfer functional major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-I/peptide complexes to dendritic cells (DCs) for CD8(+) T-cell activation. Here we demonstrate that exosomes also are internalized and processed by immature DCs for presentation to CD4(+) T cells. Endocytosed exosomes are sorted into the endocytic compartment of DCs for processing, followed by loading of exosome-derived peptides in MHC-II molecules for presentation to CD4(+) T cells. Targeting of exosomes to DCs is mediated via milk fat globule (MFG)-E8/lactadherin, CD11a, CD54, phosphatidylserine, and the tetraspanins CD9 and CD81 on the exosome and alpha(v)/beta(3) integrin, and CD11a and CD54 on the DCs. Circulating exosomes are internalized by DCs and specialized phagocytes of the spleen and by hepatic Kupffer cells. Internalization of blood-borne allogeneic exosomes by splenic DCs does not affect DC maturation and is followed by loading of the exosome-derived allopeptide IEalpha(52-68) in IA(b) by host CD8alpha(+) DCs for presentation to CD4(+) T cells. These data imply that exosomes present in circulation or extracellular fluids constitute an alternative source of self- or allopeptides for DCs during maintenance of peripheral tolerance or initiation of the indirect pathway of allorecognition in transplantation.

Disruption of Muscle Membrane and Phenotype Divergence in Two Novel Mouse Models of Dysferlin Deficiency

Limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 2B and Miyoshi myopathy are clinically distinct forms of muscular dystrophy that arise from defects in the dysferlin gene. Here, we report two novel lines of dysferlin-deficient mice obtained by (a) gene targeting and (b) identification of an inbred strain, A/J, bearing a retrotransposon insertion in the dysferlin gene. The mutations in these mice were located at the 3' and 5' ends of the dysferlin gene. Both lines of mice lacked dysferlin and developed a progressive muscular dystrophy with histopathological and ultrastructural features that closely resemble the human disease. Vital staining with Evans blue dye revealed loss of sarcolemmal integrity in both lines of mice, similar to that seen in mdx and caveolin-3 deficient mice. However, in contrast to the latter group of animals, the dysferlin-deficient mice have an intact dystrophin glycoprotein complex and normal levels of caveolin-3. Our findings indicate that muscle membrane disruption and myofiber degeneration in dysferlinopathy were directly mediated by the loss of dysferlin via a new pathogenic mechanism in muscular dystrophies. We also show that the mutation in the A/J mice arose between the late 1970s and the early 1980s, and had become fixed in the production breeding stocks. Therefore, all studies involving the A/J mice or mice derived from A/J, including recombinant inbred, recombinant congenic and chromosome substitution strains, should take into account the dysferlin defect in these strains. These new dysferlin-deficient mice should be useful for elucidating the pathogenic pathway in dysferlinopathy and for developing therapeutic strategies.

Innate Gender-based Proclivity in Response to Cytotoxicity and Programmed Cell Death Pathway

Many central nervous system (CNS) diseases display sexual dimorphism. Exposure to circulating sex steroids is felt to be a chief contributor to this phenomenon; however, CNS diseases of childhood and the elderly also demonstrate gender predominance and/or a sexually dimorphic response to therapies. Here we show that XY and XX neurons cultured separately are differentially susceptible to various cytotoxic agents and treatments. XY neurons were more sensitive to nitrosative stress and excitotoxicity versus XX neurons. In contrast, XX neurons were more sensitive to etoposide- and staurosporine-induced apoptosis versus XY neurons. The responses to specific therapies were also sexually dimorphic. Moreover, gender proclivity in programmed cell death pathway was observed. After cytotoxic challenge, programmed cell death proceeded predominately via an apoptosis-inducing factor-dependent pathway in XY neurons versus a cytochrome c-dependent pathway in XX neurons. This gender-dependent susceptibility is related to the incapacity of XY neurons to maintain intracellular levels of reduced glutathione. In vivo studies further demonstrated an incapacity for male, but not female, 17-day-old rats to maintain reduced glutathione levels within cerebral cortex acutely after an 8-min asphyxial cardiac arrest. This gender difference in sensitivity to cytotoxic agents may be generalized to nonneuronal cells, as splenocytes from male and female 16-18-day-old rats show similar gender-dependent responses to nitrosative stress and staurosporine-induced apoptosis. These data support gender stratification in the evaluation of mechanisms and treatment of CNS disease, particularly those where glutathione may play a role in detoxification, such as Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury, and conditions producing cerebral ischemia, and may apply to non-CNS diseases as well.

Resolution of Anaphase Bridges in Cancer Cells

Chromosomal instability is a key step in the generation of the cancer cell karyotype. An indicator of unstable chromosomes is the presence of chromatin bridges during anaphase. We examined in detail the fate of anaphase bridges in cultured oral squamous cell carcinoma cells in real-time. Surprisingly, chromosomes in bridges typically resolve by breaking into multiple fragments. Often these fragments give rise to micronuclei (MN) at the end of mitosis. The formation of MN is shown to have important consequences for the cell. We found that MN have incomplete nuclear pore complex (NPC) formation and nuclear import defects and the chromatin within has greatly reduced transcriptional activity. Thus, a major consequence of the presence of anaphase bridges is the regular sequestration of chromatin into genetically inert MN. This represents another source of ongoing genetic instability in cancer cells.

Role of the NH2 Terminus in the Assembly and Trafficking of the Intermediate Conductance Ca2+-activated K+ Channel HIK1

The role of the NH(2)-terminal leucine zipper and dileucine motifs of hIK1 in the assembly, trafficking, and function of the channel was investigated using cell surface immunoprecipitation, co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP), immunoblot, and whole-cell patch clamp techniques. Mutation of the NH(2)-terminal leucine zipper at amino acid positions 18 and 25 (L18A/L25A) resulted in a complete loss of steady-state protein expression, cell surface expression, and whole-cell current density. Inhibition of proteasomal degradation with lactacystin restored L18A/L25A protein expression, although this channel was not expressed at the cell surface as assessed by cell surface immunoprecipitation and whole-cell patch clamp. In contrast, inhibitors of lysosomal degradation (leupeptin/pepstatin) and endocytosis (chloroquine) had little effect on L18A/L25A protein expression or localization. Further studies confirmed the rapid degradation of this channel, having a time constant of 19.0 +/- 1.3 min compared with 3.2 +/- 0.8 h for wild type hIK1. Co-expression studies demonstrated that the L18A/L25A channel associates with wild type channel, thereby attenuating its expression at the cell surface. Co-IP studies confirmed this association. However, L18A/L25A channels failed to form homotetrameric channels, as assessed by Co-IP, suggesting the NH(2) terminus plays a role in tetrameric channel assembly. As with the leucine zipper, mutation of the dileucine motif to alanines, L18A/L19A, resulted in a near complete loss in steady-state protein expression with the protein being similarly targeted to the proteasome for degradation. In contrast to our results on the leucine zipper, however, both chloroquine and growing the cells at the permissive temperature of 27 degrees C restored expression of L18A/L19A at the cell surface, suggesting that the defect in the channel trafficking is the result of a subtle folding error. In conclusion, we demonstrate that the NH(2) terminus of hIK1 contains overlapping leucine zipper and dileucine motifs essential for channel assembly and trafficking to the plasma membrane.

Escherichia Coli Expressing Recombinant Antigen and Listeriolysin O Stimulate Class I-restricted CD8+ T Cells Following Uptake by Human APC

Vaccination against cancer or intracellular pathogens requires stimulation of class I-restricted CD8(+) T cells. It is therefore important to develop Ag delivery vectors that will promote cross-presentation by APCs and stimulate appropriate inflammatory responses. Toward this goal, we tested the potential of Escherichia coli as an Ag delivery vector in in vitro human culture. Bacteria expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein were internalized efficiently by dendritic cells, as shown by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. Phenotypic changes in DC were observed, including up-regulation of costimulatory molecules and IL-12p40 production. We tested whether bacteria expressing recombinant Ags could stimulate human T cells using the influenza matrix protein as a model Ag. Specific responses against an immunodominant epitope were seen using IFN-gamma ELISPOT assays when the matrix protein was coexpressed with listeriolysin O, but not when expressed alone. THP-1 macrophages were also capable of stimulating T cells after uptake of bacteria, but showed slower kinetics and lower overall levels of T cell stimulation than dendritic cells. Increased phagocytosis of bacteria induced by differentiation of THP-1 increased their ability to stimulate T cells, as did opsonization. Presentation was blocked by proteasome inhibitors, but not by lysosomal protease inhibitors leupeptin and E64. These results demonstrate that recombinant E. coli can be engineered to direct Ags to the cytosol of human phagocytic APCs, and suggest possible vaccine strategies for generating CD8(+) T cell responses against pathogens or tumors.

Endocytic Adaptor Molecules Reveal an Endosomal Population of Clathrin by Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy

Most eukaryotes utilize a single pool of clathrin to assemble clathrin-coated transport vesicles at different intracellular locations. Coat assembly is a cyclical process. Soluble clathrin triskelia are recruited to the membrane surface by compartment-specific adaptor and/or accessory proteins. Adjacent triskelia then pack together to assemble a polyhedral lattice that progressively invaginates, budding off the membrane surface encasing a nascent transport vesicle that is quickly uncoated. Using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy to follow clathrin dynamics close to the cell surface, we find that the majority of labeled clathrin structures are relatively static, moving vertically in and out of the evanescent field but with little lateral motion. A small minority shows rapid lateral and directed movement over micrometer distances. Adaptor proteins, including the alpha subunit of AP-2, ARH, and Dab2 are also relatively static and exhibit virtually no lateral movement. A fluorescently labeled AP-2 beta2 subunit, incorporated into both AP-2 and AP-1 adaptor complexes, exhibits both types of behavior. This suggests that the highly motile clathrin puncta may be distinct from plasma membrane-associated clathrin structures. When endocytosed cargo molecules, such as transferrin or low density lipoprotein, are followed into cells, they exhibit even more lateral motion than clathrin, and gradually concentrate in the perinuclear region, consistent with classical endosomal trafficking. Importantly, clathrin partially colocalizes with internalized transferrin, but diverges as the structures move longitudinally. Thus, highly motile clathrin structures are apparently distinct from the plasma membrane, accompany transferrin, and contain AP-1, revealing an endosomal population of clathrin structures.

Cdk-inhibitors and Exit from Quiescence in Primitive Haematopoietic Cell Subsets

Prolonged quiescence of haematopoietic stem cells has been proposed to support durable haematopoiesis through clonal succession. Genetic experiments in mice have implicated the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (cdki) p21Waf1 in sustaining stem cell quiescence, and the cdki p27Kip1 in inhibiting the expansion of more mature progenitor cells. The expression of these inhibitory proteins in human haematopoietic stem cell candidates has not hitherto been studied. We describe a rare subpopulation (3 x 10-7 umbilical cord mononuclear cells) of lineage-negative cells that exhibited sustained resistance over months to cytokine-induced cycling, and characterized the expression of p21Waf1 and p27Kip1 proteins in these cells. Whereas p27Kip1 was uniformly expressed in these cells, the expression of p21Waf1 in this population and in lineage-negative CD34+ cells was variable. For this rare subset of cells exhibiting prolonged quiescence, p21Waf1 may be dispensable and p27Kip1 necessary for growth arrest.

Differential Effects of Actin Cytoskeleton Dynamics on Equine Infectious Anemia Virus Particle Production

Retrovirus assembly and budding involve a highly dynamic and concerted interaction of viral and cellular proteins. Previous studies have shown that retroviral Gag proteins interact with actin filaments, but the significance of these interactions remains to be defined. Using equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV), we now demonstrate differential effects of cellular actin dynamics at distinct stages of retrovirus assembly and budding. First, virion production was reduced when EIAV-infected cells were treated with phallacidin, a cell-permeable reagent that stabilizes actin filaments by slowing down their depolymerization. Confocal microscopy confirmed that the inhibition of EIAV production correlated temporally over several days with the incorporation dynamics of phallacidin into the actin cytoskeleton. Although the overall structure of the actin cytoskeleton and expression of viral protein appeared to be unaffected, phallacidin treatment dramatically reduced the amount of full-length Gag protein associated with the actin cytoskeleton. These data suggest that an association of full-length Gag proteins with de novo actin filaments might contribute to Gag assembly and budding. On the other hand, virion production was enhanced when EIAV-infected cells were incubated briefly (2 h) with the actin-depolymerizing drugs cytochalasin D and latrunculin B. Interestingly, the enhanced virion production induced by cytochalasin D required a functional late (L) domain, either the EIAV YPDL L-domain or the proline-rich L domains derived from human immunodeficiency virus type 1 or Rous sarcoma virus, respectively. Thus, depolymerization of actin filaments may be a common function mediated by retrovirus L domains during late stages of viral budding. Taken together, these observations indicate that dynamic actin polymerization and depolymerization may be associated with different stages of viral production.

Rapid and Extensive Membrane Reorganization by Dendritic Cells Following Exposure to Bacteria Revealed by High-resolution Imaging

Using live cell imaging, we demonstrate that immature dendritic cells (DC) derived from human peripheral blood monocytes undergo pronounced morphologic changes in vitro within minutes of exposure to unopsonized Escherichia coli, developing extensive membrane veils that efficiently capture additional bacteria. Internalization does not occur in the veils, but instead, bacteria are transported to the central region of the cell, where they sink directly into the plasma membrane. In contrast, exposure to polystyrene beads does not induce notable changes in cell morphology, and DC do not efficiently capture beads when introduced alone or mixed with bacteria. Long dendritic processes were also visualized in some cells that allowed capture of clumps of bacteria at a distance of more than 100 microm. These results demonstrate that immature DC can distinguish between inert particles and bacteria and alter their shape and phagocytic capacity in response to the latter.

Highly Efficient Expression of Transgenic Proteins by Naked DNA-transfected Dendritic Cells Through Terminal Differentiation

Dendritic cells (DCs) play a key role in the induction and control of immunity. Genetic engineering of DCs is a promising approach for the development of a broad range of immunomodulatory strategies, for purposes ranging from genetic immunization to tolerance induction. The development of DC-based immunotherapies is limited by the inability to efficiently transfect DCs using naked DNA. Here we demonstrate that after plasmid DNA delivery, the transgene expression level controlled by the human immediate-early cytomegalovirus promoter (hIE-CMVp) is higher in mature DCs than in immature DCs and is further increased after terminal differentiation of DCs by agonist anti-CD40 monoclonal antibody (mAb) or after DC interaction with CD4(+) T cells. CD40 signaling of DCs resulted in nuclear translocation of the transcription factors nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), activator of protein-1 (AP-1), and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-responsive element, necessary for the activation of hIE-CMVp. Transgene expression by DCs diminished after the inhibition of these transcription factors or the blockade of adhesion molecules involved in the DC-T-cell synapse. Importantly, CD40 signaling of DCs results in the highly efficient expression and presentation of transgenic antigens and the induction of "in vivo" cytotoxic T-cell (CTL) responses specific for transgenic antigen peptides, demonstrating the functional potential of genetically engineered DCs.

Regulation of Sar1 NH2 Terminus by GTP Binding and Hydrolysis Promotes Membrane Deformation to Control COPII Vesicle Fission

The mechanisms by which the coat complex II (COPII) coat mediates membrane deformation and vesicle fission are unknown. Sar1 is a structural component of the membrane-binding inner layer of COPII (Bi, X., R.A. Corpina, and J. Goldberg. 2002. Nature. 419:271-277). Using model liposomes we found that Sar1 uses GTP-regulated exposure of its NH2-terminal tail, an amphipathic peptide domain, to bind, deform, constrict, and destabilize membranes. Although Sar1 activation leads to constriction of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes, progression to effective vesicle fission requires a functional Sar1 NH2 terminus and guanosine triphosphate (GTP) hydrolysis. Inhibition of Sar1 GTP hydrolysis, which stabilizes Sar1 membrane binding, resulted in the formation of coated COPII vesicles that fail to detach from the ER. Thus Sar1-mediated GTP binding and hydrolysis regulates the NH2-terminal tail to perturb membrane packing, promote membrane deformation, and control vesicle fission.

Confocal Microscopy: Comparisons, Applications, and Problems

Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer-based Assays for the Real-time Detection of Nitric Oxide Signaling

Low-molecular-weight S-nitrosothiols are found in many tissues and affect an array of signaling pathways via decomposition to *NO or exchange of their -NO function with thiol-containing proteins (transnitrosation). We used spectral laser scanning confocal imaging to visualize the effects of the membrane permeant S-nitrosothiol, S-nitrosocysteine ethyl ester (SNCEE), on a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) reporter based on the cysteine-rich heavy metal binding protein, metallothionein (FRET-MT) flanked by enhanced cyan and yellow fluorescent proteins (ECFP and EYFP, respectively). We previously showed that FRET can be used to follow metal binding and release by this construct. SNCEE (50 microM) induced a decrease in energy transfer, as shown by an increase in the peak emission intensity of the donor fluorophore (ECFP) and a decrease in that of the acceptor (EYFP). These changes in intramolecular FRET were reversed by 50 microM dithiothreitol (DTT), suggesting nitrosothiol-mediated modification of a cysteine residue in MT. Furthermore, the effects of SNCEE on the FRET-MT reporter were not affected by HbO(2), which would be expected to block any process involving (*)NO liberated by decomposition of nitrosothiol but would not necessarily affect transnitrosation. In further support of SNCEE-induced conformational changes in MT, we used live cell imaging of the zinc-sensitive fluorescent indicator FluoZin-3 to show that SNCEE also caused increases in labile Zn(2+).

Tumor Cell Loaded Type-1 Polarized Dendritic Cells Induce Th1-mediated Tumor Immunity

Dendritic cells are professional antigen-presenting cells capable of inducing and regulating innate and antigen-specific immune responses. Therapeutic cancer vaccines using ex vivo engineered or in vivo targeted dendritic cells are being evaluated in clinical trials. T-helper type-1 (Th1)-skewed immune responses are characterized by the preferential induction of antigen-specific IFN-gamma-secreting CD4+ T cells and correlate with effector mechanisms important for tumor and viral immunity. Methods to "polarize" human monocyte-derived dendritic cells for the preferential induction of Th1-skewed immune responses have been developed, and polarized dendritic cells (DC1s) are being evaluated in preclinical and clinical studies. Here, we show that stimulation of bone marrow-derived murine dendritic cell populations with poly(I:C) and CpGs results in phenotypic maturation of dendritic cells and synergistic induction of durable, high-level IL-12p70 secretion characteristic of human type-1 polarized dendritic cells. Functionally, these dendritic cells induce antigen-specific Th1-type CD4+ T-cell activation in vitro and in vivo. Dendritic cell maturation and polarization are not inhibited by the presence of live B16 melanoma tumor cells, and tumor-loaded DC1s induce delayed-type hypersensitivity responses in vivo. DC1s loaded with B16 melanoma cells and injected into tumor-bearing mice induce Th1-skewed tumor-specific CD4+ T cells and a significant reduction in tumor growth. Tumor infiltrates in DC1-immunized animals are characterized by the presence of CD4+ T cells and activated macrophages. These results show a murine model of DC1 function and suggest an important role for CD4+ T cells and macrophages in DC1-induced antitumor immune responses. They have implications for the future development of DC1-based immunotherapies and strategies for clinical immune monitoring of their effectiveness.

Improvement of Human Lysozyme Expression in Transgenic Rice Grain by Combining Wheat (Triticum Aestivum) Puroindoline B and Rice (Oryza Sativa) Gt1 Promoters and Signal Peptides

Heterologous protein expression levels in transgenic plants are of critical importance in the production of plant-made pharmaceuticals (PMPs). We studied a puroindoline b promoter and signal peptide (Tapur) driving human lysozyme expression in rice endosperm. The results demonstrated that human lysozyme expressed under the control of the Tapur cassette is seed-specific, readily extractable, active, and properly processed. Immuno-electron microscopy indicated that lysozyme expressed from this cassette is localized in protein bodies I and II in rice endosperm cells, demonstrating that this non-storage promoter and signal peptide can be used for targeting human lysozyme to rice protein bodies. We successfully employed a strategy to improve the expression of human lysozyme in transgenic rice grain by combining the Tapur cassette with our well established Gt1 expression system. The results demonstrated that when the two expression cassettes were combined, the expression level of human lysozyme increased from 5.24 +/- 0.34 mg(-1) g flour for the best single cassette line to 9.24 +/- 0.06 mg(-1) g flour in the best double cassette line, indicating an additive effect on expression of human lysozyme in rice grain.

Nitric Oxide and Zinc Homeostasis in Acute Lung Injury

Among putative small molecules that affect sensitivity to acute lung injury, zinc and nitric oxide are potentially unique by virtue of their interdependence and dual capacities to be cytoprotective or injurious. Nitric oxide and zinc appear to be linked via an intracellular signaling pathway involving S-nitrosation of metallothoinein--itself a small protein known to be an important inducible gene product that may modify lung injury. In the present article, we summarize recent efforts using genetic and fluorescence optical imaging techniques to: (1) demonstrate that S-nitrosation of metallothionein affects intracellular zinc homeostasis in intact pulmonary endothelial cells; and (2) reveal a protective role for this pathway in hyperoxic and LPS-induced injury.

IL-18-induced CD83+CCR7+ NK Helper Cells

In addition to their cytotoxic activities, natural killer (NK) cells can have immunoregulatory functions. We describe a distinct "helper" differentiation pathway of human CD56+CD3- NK cells into CD56+/CD83+/CCR7+/CD25+ cells that display high migratory responsiveness to lymph node (LN)-associated chemokines, high ability to produce interferon-gamma upon exposure to dendritic cell (DC)- or T helper (Th) cell-related signals, and pronounced abilities to promote interleukin (IL)-12p70 production in DCs and the development of Th1 responses. This helper pathway of NK cell differentiation, which is not associated with any enhancement of cytolytic activity, is induced by IL-18, but not other NK cell-activating factors. It is blocked by prostaglandin (PG)E2, a factor that induces a similar CD83+/CCR7+/CD25+ LN-homing phenotype in maturing DCs. The current data demonstrate independent regulation of the "helper" versus "effector" pathways of NK cell differentiation and novel mechanisms of immunoregulation by IL-18 and PGE2.

Functional Connectivity Between Immune Cells Mediated by Tunneling Nanotubules

Intercellular signals can be transmitted through neuronal synapses or through gap junctions, with the latter mediating transmission of calcium fluxes and small molecules between cells. We show here that a third form of communication between cells can be mediated by tunneling nanotubules (TNT). When myeloid-lineage dendritic cells and monocytes are triggered to flux calcium by chemical or mechanical stimulation, the signal can be propagated within seconds to other cells at distances hundreds of microns away via TNT. A complex and transient network of TNT is seen in live cells, with individual tubules exhibiting substantial variation in length and diameter. In addition to calcium fluxes, microinjected dye tracers can be transferred through these connections. Following TNT-mediated stimulation, spreading of lamellipodia occurs in dendritic cells characteristic of that seen during the phagocytic response to bacteria. These results demonstrate that nonneuronal cells can transmit signals to distant cells through a physically connected network.

Delivery of Dendritic Cells Engineered to Secrete IFN-alpha into Central Nervous System Tumors Enhances the Efficacy of Peripheral Tumor Cell Vaccines: Dependence on Apoptotic Pathways

We tested whether modulation of the CNS-tumor microenvironment by delivery of IFN-alpha-transduced dendritic cells (DCs: DC-IFN-alpha) would enhance the therapeutic efficacy of peripheral vaccinations with cytokine-gene transduced tumor cells. Mice bearing intracranial GL261 glioma or MCA205 sarcoma received peripheral immunizations with corresponding irradiated tumor cells engineered to express IL-4 or GM-CSFs, respectively, as well as intratumoral delivery of DC-IFN-alpha. This regimen prolonged survival of the animals and induced tumor-specific CTLs that expressed TRAIL, which in concert with perforin and Fas ligand (FasL) was involved in the tumor-specific CTL activity of these cells. The in vivo antitumor activity associated with this approach was abrogated by administration of neutralizing mAbs against TRAIL or FasL and was not observed in perforin-/-, IFN-gamma-/-, or FasL-/- mice. Transduction of the tumor cells with antiapoptotic protein cellular FLIP rendered the gene-modified cells resistant to TRAIL- or FasL-mediated apoptosis and to CTL killing activity in vitro. Furthermore, the combination therapeutic regimen was ineffective in an intracranial cellular FLIP-transduced MCA205 brain tumor model. These results suggest that the combination of intratumoral delivery of DC-IFN-alpha and peripheral immunization with cytokine-gene transduced tumor cells may be an effective therapy for brain tumors that are sensitive to apoptotic signaling pathways.

Gene Transfer to Human Joints: Progress Toward a Gene Therapy of Arthritis

This article describes the clinical application of gene therapy to a nonlethal disease, rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Intraarticular transfer of IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) cDNA reduces disease in animal models of RA. Whether this procedure is safe and feasible in humans was addressed in a phase I clinical study involving nine postmenopausal women with advanced RA who required unilateral sialastic implant arthroplasty of the 2nd-5th metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints. Cultures of autologous synovial fibroblasts were established and divided into two. One was transduced with a retrovirus carrying IL-1Ra cDNA; the other provided untransduced, control cells. In a dose escalation, double-blinded fashion, two MCP joints were injected with transduced cells, and two MCP joints received control cells. One week later, injected joints were resected and examined for evidence of successful gene transfer and expression by using RT-PCR, ex vivo production of IL-1Ra, in situ hybridization, and immunohistochemistry. All subjects tolerated the protocol well, without adverse events. Unlike control joints, those receiving transduced cells gave positive RT-PCR signals. Synovia that were recovered from the MCP joints of intermediate and high dose subjects produced elevated amounts of IL-1Ra (P = 0.01). Clusters of cells expressing high levels of IL-1Ra were present on synovia of transduced joints. No adverse events occurred. Thus, it is possible to transfer a potentially therapeutic gene safely to human rheumatoid joints and to obtain intraarticular, transgene expression. This conclusion justifies additional efficacy studies and encourages further development of genetic approaches to the treatment of arthritis and related disorders.

Exosomes Derived from IL-10-treated Dendritic Cells Can Suppress Inflammation and Collagen-induced Arthritis

We have demonstrated previously that local, adenoviral-mediated gene transfer of viral IL-10 to a single joint of rabbits and mice with experimental arthritis can suppress disease in both the treated and untreated contralateral joints. This contralateral effect is mediated in part by APCs able to traffic from the treated joint to lymph nodes as well as to untreated joints. Moreover, injection of dendritic cells (DC) genetically modified to express IL-4 or Fas ligand was able to reverse established murine arthritis. To examine the ability of exosomes derived from immunosuppressive DCs to reduce inflammation and autoimmunity, murine models of delayed-type hypersensitivity and collagen-induced arthritis were used. In this study, we demonstrate that periarticular administration of exosomes purified from either bone marrow-derived DCs transduced ex vivo with an adenovirus expressing viral IL-10 or bone marrow-derived DCs treated with recombinant murine IL-10 were able to suppress delayed-type hypersensitivity responses within injected and untreated contralateral joints. In addition, the systemic injection of IL-10-treated DC-derived exosomes was able suppress the onset of murine collagen-induced arthritis as well as reduce severity of established arthritis. Taken together, these data suggest that immature DCs are able to secrete exosomes that are involved in the suppression of inflammatory and autoimmune responses. Thus DC-derived exosomes may represent a novel, cell-free therapy for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor-transfected Bone Marrow Stromal Cells Exhibit Enhanced Migratory Response and Therapeutic Potential Against Murine Brain Tumors

We have created a novel cellular vehicle for gene therapy of malignant gliomas by transfection of murine bone marrow stroma cells (MSCs) with a cDNA encoding epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). These cells (EGFR-MSCs) demonstrate enhanced migratory responses toward glioma-conditioned media in comparison to primary MSCs in vitro. Enhanced migration of EGFR-MSC was at least partially dependent on EGF-EGFR, PI3-, MAP kinase kinase, and MAP kinases, protein kinase C, and actin polymerization. Unlike primary MSCs, EGFR-MSCs were resistant to FasL-mediated cytotoxicity and were capable of stimulating allogeneic mixed lymphocyte reaction, suggesting EGFR-MSCs possess suitable characteristics as vehicles for brain tumor immuno-gene therapy. Following injection at various sites, including the contralateral hemisphere in the brain of syngeneic mice, EGFR-MSCs were able to migrate toward GL261 gliomas or B16 melanoma in vivo. Finally, intratumoral injection with EGFR-MSC adenovirally engineered to secrete interferon-alpha to intracranial GL261 resulted in significantly prolonged survival in comparison to controls. These data indicate that EGFR-MSCs may serve as attractive vehicles for infiltrating brain malignancies such as malignant gliomas.

Normal Rat Hepatic Stellate Cells Respond to Endotoxin in LBP-independent Manner to Produce Inhibitor(s) of DNA Synthesis in Hepatocytes

Endotoxin is implicated in the pathology of acute liver failure. The mechanisms of its actions on quiescent hepatic stellate cells (qHSCs) and their implications in hepatocyte injury are incompletely understood. We investigated effects of endotoxin (bacterial lipopolysaccharide; LPS) on qHSCs and subsequently on hepatocytes. After overnight culture following their isolation, qHSCs were incubated with or without endotoxin for 24 h. The cells and the culture supernatant were analyzed for cytokines and nitric oxide (NO) synthesis. The effects of qHSC-conditioned media on hepatocytes were then determined. LPS increased inducible NO synthase expression, stimulated NO synthesis, and inhibited DNA synthesis in qHSCs. qHSC-conditioned medium inhibited DNA synthesis in hepatocytes without affecting NO synthesis, while LPS (1-1,000 ng/ml)-conditioned qHSC medium stimulated NO synthesis and caused further inhibition of DNA synthesis and apoptosis. These effects of LPS were more pronounced when qHSCs were incubated with serum, but not with LPS-binding protein (LBP) although CD14 (a receptor for LPS-LBP complex) was found in qHSCs. LPS stimulated the synthesis of TNF-alpha, interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-1beta but not of TGF-beta in qHSCs. Individually or together, L-N(G)-monomethylarginine and antibodies to IL-1beta, IL-6, and TNF-alpha only partly reversed qHSC + LPS-conditioned medium-induced inhibition of DNA synthesis in hepatocytes. These results suggest that the effects of LPS on qHSCs are novel, occurring without the aid of LBP/CD14. They also indicate that other factors, in addition to NO, TGF-beta, TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, and IL-6 are involved in the mechanisms of the growth inhibitory effects of qHSCs on hepatocytes.

Dynamic Regulation of Tec Kinase Localization in Membrane-proximal Vesicles of a T Cell Clone Revealed by Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence and Confocal Microscopy

Tec family tyrosine kinases are key regulators of lymphocyte activation and effector function. Several Tec family kinases (Tec, Itk, Rlk/Txk) are expressed in T cells, but it is still not clear to what degree these are redundant or have unique functions. We recently demonstrated that Tec alone, among the Tec kinase family members examined, can induce nuclear factor of activated T cell-dependent transcription. This unique functional characteristic correlated with a unique pattern of subcellular localization, as Tec (but not other family members) was found in small vesicles, the appearance of which requires signaling through the T cell receptor for antigen. Here we report on our studies of these Tec-containing structures in live T cells, using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. With this technique, we showed that, in live T cells, the Tec vesicles are located at the plasma membrane, the vesicles are unique to Tec (and not the related kinase Itk), and their formation and maintenance require T cell receptor signaling through Src family kinases and PI 3-kinase. Finally, we have imaged isolated T cell membranes by confocal microscopy, confirming the membrane-proximal location of Tec vesicles, as well as demonstrating overlap of these vesicles with the tyrosine kinase Lck, the Tec substrate PLC-gamma1, and the early endosomal antigen 1 marker EEA1.

The Characterization of Tumor Apoptosis After Experimental Radiosurgery

We sought to evaluate whether radiosurgery induces apoptosis in an experimental glioma model and to elucidate the time course of this radiobiologic phenomenon. Fischer 344 rats harboring established intracranial 9L gliosarcomas underwent radiosurgery (n = 42) or no radiosurgery (n = 45). Animals were sacrificed at 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 72 h, and 1 or 2 weeks after treatment and in situ tumor apoptosis was assessed by specific staining. Tumor apoptosis was noted to be statistically higher in radiosurgery-treated animals relative to controls at the 6-, 24-, and 48-hour time points following radiosurgery. Radiosurgery induces apoptosis in the rat intracranial 9L gliosarcoma in a time-dependent fashion. The time course of this radiobiologic phenomenon begins at approximately 6 h following radiosurgery, continues up to 48 h, and begins to decline by 72 h.

Sulforaphane-induced Cell Death in Human Prostate Cancer Cells is Initiated by Reactive Oxygen Species

We have shown previously that sulforaphane (SFN), a constituent of many edible cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, suppresses growth of prostate cancer cells in culture as well as in vivo by causing apoptosis, but the sequence of events leading to cell death is poorly defined. Using PC-3 and DU145 human prostate cancer cells as a model, we now demonstrate, for the first time, that the initial signal for SFN-induced apoptosis is derived from reactive oxygen species (ROS). Exposure of PC-3 cells to growth-suppressive concentrations of SFN resulted in ROS generation, which was accompanied by disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential, cytosolic release of cytochrome c, and apoptosis. All these effects were significantly blocked on pretreatment with N-acetylcysteine and overexpression of catalase. The SFN-induced ROS generation was significantly attenuated on pretreatment with mitochondrial respiratory chain complex I inhibitors, including diphenyleneiodonium chloride and rotenone. SFN treatment also caused a rapid and significant depletion of GSH levels. Collectively, these observations indicate that SFN-induced ROS generation is probably mediated by a nonmitochondrial mechanism involving GSH depletion as well as a mitochondrial component. Ectopic expression of Bcl-xL, but not Bcl-2, in PC-3 cells offered significant protection against the cell death caused by SFN. In addition, SFN treatment resulted in an increase in the level of Fas, activation of caspase-8, and cleavage of Bid. Furthermore, SV40-immortalized mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) derived from Bid knock-out mice displayed significant resistance toward SFN-induced apoptosis compared with wild-type MEFs. In conclusion, the results of the present study indicate that SFN-induced apoptosis in prostate cancer cells is initiated by ROS generation and that both intrinsic and extrinsic caspase cascades contribute to the cell death caused by this highly promising cancer chemopreventive agent.

Altered Trafficking of Fas and Subsequent Resistance to Fas-mediated Apoptosis Occurs by a Wild-type P53 Independent Mechanism in Esophageal Adenocarcinoma

Decreased cell-surface expression of Fas (CD95) results in resistance to Fas-mediated apoptosis in esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA). Because p53 is known to increase transcription of Fas and also may induce trafficking of the protein to the plasma membrane, we investigated whether the loss of wild-type (wt)-p53 function accounts for our previous findings.

Physical and Functional Association of Migfilin with Cell-cell Adhesions

Cell-cell junctions are essential for epithelial and endothelial tissue formation and communication between neighboring cells. We report here that migfilin, a recently identified component of cell-extracellular matrix adhesions, is recruited to cell-cell junctions in response to cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesions. Migfilin is detected at cell-cell junctions in both epithelial and endothelial cells. It forms detergent-resistant, discrete clusters that associate with actin bundles bridging neighboring cells. Immunoelectron microscopic analyses reveal that migfilin is closely associated with beta-catenin, but not desmosomes, at cell-cell junctions. Furthermore, we show that the C-terminal LIM domains, but not its N-terminal domain, mediates migfilin localization to cell-cell junctions. The site mediating the localization of migfilin to cell-cell junctions at least partially overlaps with that mediating the localization of migfilin to cell-ECM adhesions. Finally, siRNA-mediated depletion of migfilin compromised the organization of adherens junctions and weakened cell-cell association. These results identify migfilin as a component of adherens junctions and suggest an important role for migfilin in the organization of the cell-cell adhesion structure.

Dynamics of Dendritic Cell Phenotype and Interactions with CD4+ T Cells in Airway Inflammation and Tolerance

An emerging concept is that different types of dendritic cells (DCs) initiate different immune outcomes, such as tolerance vs inflammation. In this study, we have characterized the DCs from the lung draining lymph nodes of mice immunized for allergic airway inflammation or tolerance and examined their interactions with CD4(+) T cells. The DC population derived from tolerized mice was predominantly CD11c(+), B220(+), Gr-1(+), CD11b(-), and MHC class II(low), which resembled plasmacytoid-type DCs whereas DCs from the inflammatory condition were largely CD11c(+), B220(-), Gr-1(-), CD11b(+), and MHC class II(high) resembling myeloid-type DCs. The DCs from the tolerogenic condition were poor inducers of T cell proliferation. DCs from both conditions induced T cell IL-4 production but the T cells cultured with tolerogenic DCs were unresponsive to IL-4 as indicated by inhibition of STAT6 activation and expression of growth factor-independent 1, which has been recently shown to be important for STAT6-activated Th2 cell expansion. Our data suggest that airway tolerance vs inflammation is determined by the DC phenotype in lung draining lymph nodes.

Distinct Golgi Populations of Phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate Regulated by Phosphatidylinositol 4-kinases

Phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI4P) regulates biosynthetic membrane traffic at multiple steps and differentially affects the surface delivery of apically and basolaterally destined proteins in polarized cells. Two phosphatidylinositol 4-kinases (PI4Ks) have been localized to the Golgi complex in mammalian cells, type III PI4Kbeta (PI4KIIIbeta) and type II PI4Kalpha (PI4KIIalpha). Here we report that PI4KIIIbeta and PI4KIIalpha localize to discrete subcompartments of the Golgi complex in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. PI4KIIIbeta was enriched in early Golgi compartments, whereas PI4KIIalpha colocalized with markers of the trans-Golgi network (TGN). To understand the temporal and spatial control of PI4P generation across the Golgi complex, we quantitated the steady state distribution of a fluorescent PI4P-binding domain relative to cis/medial Golgi and TGN markers in transiently transfected MDCK cells. The density of the signal from this PI4P reporter was roughly 2-fold greater in the early Golgi compartments compared with that of the TGN. Furthermore, this ratio could be modulated in vivo by overexpression of catalytically inactive PI4KIIIbeta and PI4KIIalpha or in vitro by the PI4KIIIbeta inhibitor wortmannin. Our data suggest that both PI4KIIIbeta and PI4KIIalpha contribute to the compartmental regulation of PI4P synthesis within the Golgi complex. We discuss our results with respect to the kinetic effects of modulating PI4K activity on polarized biosynthetic traffic in MDCK cells.

Dynamic Properties of Antigen Uptake and Communication Between Dendritic Cells

We have examined mechanisms of antigen uptake by dendritic cells (DC). While multiple experimental approaches have been used, live cell imaging has been especially informative, and is reviewed here. DC were shown to bind to and internalize bacteria, but not inert particles, demonstrating an unexpected selectivity that included sensing of secreted bacterial products and subsequent cell activation. This led to the observation that induced calcium fluxes in these cells could be propagated to other cells via thin membrane connections termed tunneling nanotubules that were shown to form an extensive network between cells, and are also present in other cell types. These data are discussed in terms of DC function, and also demonstrate the power of live cell imaging in elucidating complex biological phenomena that are not readily revealed using static imaging approaches or by biochemical analyses.

Phagocytosis Induces Lysosome Remodeling and Regulated Presentation of Particulate Antigens by Activated Dendritic Cells

Immunization with particulate Ag effectively induces antitumor and antiviral T cell-mediated immunity. Immature dendritic cells (DCs) efficiently internalize, process, and present a variety of particulate Ags; however, previously published data suggest that both the uptake of soluble Ag through micropinocytosis, and phagocytosis of particulates are significantly curtailed in activated DC populations. In this study, we demonstrate that although macropinocytosis of soluble Ag is diminished following DC activation, subsets of DCs in activated DC populations retain the ability to actively phagocytose particulate Ags. Live cell imaging of activated DCs reveals that phagocytosis of particulates can result in cytoskeletal remodeling and perinuclear lysosome cluster disruption in a time-dependent manner. Interestingly, our results suggest that in activated DC populations, presentation of phagocytosed particulate Ags is dependent on the nature of the activation signal. These results provide direct evidence of functional heterogeneity in DC populations and contribute to the development of particle-based immunization strategies.

Proteolysis Consistent with Activation of Caspase-7 After Severe Traumatic Brain Injury in Humans

The expression and proteolysis of caspase family proteins are involved in the initiation and execution of apoptosis, which has been reported to occur in human and experimental traumatic brain injury (TBI). Caspase-3, -6, and -7 belong to the group of executioner caspases, which are cleaved and activated at the late, irreversible stage of apoptosis. Our previous studies demonstrated roles for caspase-1, -3, and -8 in humans after severe TBI. Here we report expression of caspase-7 mRNA and protein in humans after TBI (n = 16) and control brain-bank tissue (n = 6). Semiquantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction showed no differences between caspase-7 mRNA in TBI patients versus controls (73 +/- 24 vs. 85 +/- 56 relative optical density [ROD], respectively). In contrast, Western blot analysis showed increased pro-caspase-7 in TBI patients versus controls (214 +/- 30 vs. 1 +/- 1 ROD, respectively), as well as an increase in the approximately 20 kD proteolytic fragment in TBI patients versus controls (86 +/- 13 vs. 22 +/- 12 ROD, respectively), consistent with activation of caspase-7 after TBI in humans. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that cells expressing caspase-7 included astrocytes and neurons and possibly other glial cell types and infiltrated inflammatory cells. These data show that caspase-7 and its cleavage product are increased in human brain after TBI in many central nervous system, as well as noncentral nervous system, cell types. Thus, caspase-7 may play a role in the glial and inflammatory responses, and possibly neuronal death, after TBI in humans.

Phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate Formation at ER Exit Sites Regulates ER Export

The mechanisms that regulate endoplasmic reticulum (ER) exit-site (ERES) assembly and COPII-mediated ER export are currently unknown. We analyzed the role of phosphatidylinositols (PtdIns) in regulating ER export. Utilizing pleckstrin homology domains and a PtdIns phosphatase to specifically sequester or reduce phosphorylated PtdIns levels, we found that PtdIns 4-phosphate (PtsIns4P) is required to promote COPII-mediated ER export. Biochemical and morphological in vitro analysis revealed dynamic and localized PtsIns4P formation at ERES. PtdIns4P was utilized to support Sar1-induced proliferation and constriction of ERES membranes. PtdIns4P also assisted in Sar1-induced COPII nucleation at ERES. Therefore, localized dynamic remodeling of PtdIns marks ERES membranes to regulate COPII-mediated ER export.

The Beta-delta-core of Sarcoglycan is Essential for Deposition at the Plasma Membrane

Mutations of any of the sarcoglycan complex subunits (alpha, beta, delta, and gamma) cause limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. Furthermore, individual mutations lead to a reduction or loss of all other members of the complex. In some cases of limb-girdle muscular dystrophies, however, residual sarcoglycan expression has been documented. Therefore, in this study we tested the hypothesis that formation of specific sarcoglycan subcomplexes is crucial for plasma membrane deposition. Using co-immunoprecipitation assays, we demonstrated that beta- and delta-sarcoglycan interact with alpha-sarcoglycan and these two subunits must be co-expressed for export from the endoplasmic reticulum. Advanced light-microscopic imaging techniques demonstrated that co-expression of beta-sarcoglycan and delta-sarcoglycan is also responsible for delivery to and retention of sarcoglycan subcomplexes at the cell surface. These data suggest that formation of the beta-delta-core may promote the export and deposition of sarcoglycan subcomplexes at the plasma membrane, and therefore identifies a mechanism for sarcoglycan transport.

Cell-surface Protein Disulfide Isomerase is Required for Transnitrosation of Metallothionein by S-nitroso-albumin in Intact Rat Pulmonary Vascular Endothelial Cells

S-nitrosation of the metal binding protein, metallothionein (MT) appears to be a critical link in affecting endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS)-derived nitric oxide (NO)-induced changes in cytoplasmic and nuclear labile zinc, respectively. Although low molecular weight S-nitrosothiols also appear to affect this signaling system, less is known about the ability of extracellular protein nitrosothiols to transnitrosate MT. Accordingly, we synthesized fluorescently labeled S-nitroso-albumin (SNO-albumin, a major protein S-nitrosothiol in plasma) and determined, via confocal microscopy in fixed tissue, that it is transported into cultured rat pulmonary vascular endothelial cells in a temperature sensitive fashion. The cells were transfected with an expression vector that encodes human MT-IIa cDNA sandwiched between enhanced cyan (donor) and yellow (acceptor) fluorescent proteins (FRET-MT) that can detect conformational changes in MT through fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). SNO-albumin and the membrane-permeant low molecular weight S-nitroso-l-cysteine ethyl ester (l-SNCEE) caused a conformational change in FRET-MT as ascertained by full spectral laser scanning confocal microscopy in live rat pulmonary vascular endothelial cells, a result which is consistent with transnitrosation of the reporter molecule. Transnitrosation of FRET-MT by SNO-albumin, but not l-SNCEE, was sensitive to antisense oligonucleotide-mediated inhibition of the expression of cell surface protein disulfide isomerase (csPDI). These results extend the original observations of Ramachandran et al. (Ramachandran N, Root P, Jiang XM, Hogg PJ, Mutus B. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 98: 9539-9544, 2001) and suggest that csPDI-mediated denitrosation helps to regulate the ability of the major plasma NO carrier (SNO-albumin) to transnitrosate endothelial cell molecular targets (e.g. MT).

Autophagy is Induced in CD4+ T Cells and Important for the Growth Factor-withdrawal Cell Death

Autophagy is a tightly regulated catabolic mechanism that degrades proteins and organelles. Autophagy mediates programmed cell death under certain conditions. To determine the role of autophagy in T cells, we examined, in mouse CD4+ T cells, conditions under which autophagy is induced and alterations of the cell fate when autophagy is blocked. We have found that resting naive CD4+ T cells do not contain detectable autophagosomes. Autophagy can be observed in activated CD4+ T cells upon TCR stimulation, cytokine culturing, and prolonged serum starvation. Induction of autophagy in T cells requires JNK and the class III PI3K. Autophagy is inhibited by caspases and mammalian target of rapamycin in T cells. Interestingly, more Th2 cells than Th1 cells undergo autophagy. Th2 cells become more resistant to growth factor-withdrawal cell death when autophagy is blocked using either chemical inhibitors 3-methyladenine, or by RNA interference knockdown of beclin 1 and Atg7. Therefore, autophagy is an important mechanism that controls homeostasis of CD4+ T cells.

Intravital Fluorescence Microscopy in Pulmonary Research

Over the last several years, microscopy as a scientific tool has reinvented itself evolving from a group of principally descriptive methodologies to encompass a wide range of primary tools and techniques to investigate the molecular organization of organs, tissues and cells. Advances in microscope and camera design, fluorescent dye technology, the development of fluorescent proteins as well as the advent of inexpensive powerful computers, has led to the feasibility of simultaneous sub micron resolution and quantitation of multiple concurrent molecular markers for both protein and DNA. Confocal microscopy has allowed optical sectioning and reconstruction of tissues in three dimensions. Finally, the development of multiphoton methodologies as an extension of optical sectioning microscopy has further improved the potential utility of this technology when examining living or light scattering tissues such as the lung. In order to illustrate the utility of two-photon methods in pulmonary biology, we present the application of this approach to the study of cellular trafficking in situ and to the study of pulmonary vasoregulation in an ex vivo rodent model.

Comprehensive Analysis of Gene Expression on GOLD-2 Versus GOLD-0 Smokers Reveals Novel Genes Important in the Pathogenesis of COPD

Rapid Adaptation of a Recombinant Vesicular Stomatitis Virus to a Targeted Cell Line

Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) is being developed for cancer therapy. We created a recombinant replicating VSV (rrVSV) that preferentially infected Her2/neu-expressing breast cancer cells. This rrVSV did not express the native VSV-G glycoprotein (gp). Instead, it expressed a chimeric Sindbis gp which included a single-chain antibody (SCA) directed to the human Her2/neu receptor. The virus infected mouse mammary carcinoma cells (D2F2/E2) expressing Her2/neu 23-fold better than the parent cells (D2F2). However, viral growth in cultured D2F2/E2 cells was curtailed after several cycles, and viral yield was very poor at 2 x 10(4) infectious doses (ID)/ml. We performed in vitro serial passage in D2F2/E2 cells to evolve a virus with improved growth that could be used for preclinical therapy trials in mice. Fifteen passes generated an adapted virus that progressed through multiple cycles in cultured D2F2/E2 cells until all cells were infected and had a viral yield of 1 x 10(8) ID/ml. Sequencing of the entire viral genomes found only 2 mutations in the adapted virus. Both mutations occurred in the gp gene segment coding for the SCA. An additional N-glycosylation site was created by one of the mutations. The adapted virus showed higher density of gp on the viral envelope, improved infectivity, much greater stability, higher burst size, and decreased induction of cellular interferon. The specificity for cells expressing the Her2/neu receptor was unchanged. These studies demonstrate that serial passage can be used to rapidly evolve a VSV genome encoding an improved chimeric glycoprotein.

Mechanisms of Endotoxin-induced NO, IL-6, and TNF-alpha Production in Activated Rat Hepatic Stellate Cells: Role of P38 MAPK

Compelling experimental evidence indicates that the interactions between endotoxin and hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) can play a significant role in the pathogenesis of liver disease. Endotoxin-induced release of a multifunctional mediator NO (via inducible NO synthase) and the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin (IL)-6 by HSCs could be an important mechanism of pathological changes in the liver. However, the signaling mechanisms of these effects are poorly understood. In this study, we found that endotoxin causes activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) (extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase [ERK] 1 and 2, p38, and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase [JNK]) and nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) and production of H(2)O(2) in culture-activated HSCs. However, only p38 and NF-kappaB were found to be responsible for the synthesis of NO, IL-6, and TNF-alpha. Exogenous H(2)O(2) caused modest stimulation of TNF-alpha synthesis, did not affect the synthesis of NO or IL-6, and did not activate NF-kappaB or MAPKs. Inhibition of p38 and NF-kappaB activation by SB203580 and pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate, respectively, blocked endotoxin-induced H(2)O(2), NO, TNF-alpha, and IL-6 synthesis. Inhibition of ERK1/2 and JNK phosphorylation did not alter these effects of endotoxin. Whereas SB203580 inhibited endotoxin-induced NF-kappaB activation, pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate did not affect p38 phosphorylation in endotoxin-stimulated cells. In conclusion, endotoxin-induced synthesis of NO, TNF-alpha, and IL-6 in HSCs is mediated by p38 and NF-kappaB, with involvement of H(2)O(2) in TNF-alpha production.

A Single Common Portal for Clathrin-mediated Endocytosis of Distinct Cargo Governed by Cargo-selective Adaptors

Sorting of transmembrane cargo into clathrin-coated vesicles requires endocytic adaptors, yet RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated gene silencing of the AP-2 adaptor complex only disrupts internalization of a subset of clathrin-dependent cargo. This suggests alternate clathrin-associated sorting proteins participate in cargo capture at the cell surface, and a provocative recent proposal is that discrete endocytic cargo are sorted into compositionally and functionally distinct clathrin coats. We show here that the FXNPXY-type internalization signal within cytosolic domain of the LDL receptor is recognized redundantly by two phosphotyrosine-binding domain proteins, Dab2 and ARH; diminishing both proteins by RNAi leads to conspicuous LDL receptor accumulation at the cell surface. AP-2-dependent uptake of transferrin ensues relatively normally in the absence of Dab2 and ARH, clearly revealing delegation of sorting operations at the bud site. AP-2, Dab2, ARH, transferrin, and LDL receptors are all present within the vast majority of clathrin structures at the surface, challenging the general existence of specialized clathrin coats for segregated internalization of constitutively internalized cargo. However, Dab2 expression is exceptionally low in hepatocytes, likely accounting for the pathological hypercholesterolemia that accompanies ARH loss.

DC-SIGN on B Lymphocytes is Required for Transmission of HIV-1 to T Lymphocytes

Infection of T cells by HIV-1 can occur through binding of virus to dendritic cell (DC)-specific ICAM-3 grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN) on dendritic cells and transfer of virus to CD4+ T cells. Here we show that a subset of B cells in the blood and tonsils of normal donors expressed DC-SIGN, and that this increased after stimulation in vitro with interleukin 4 and CD40 ligand, with enhanced expression of activation and co-stimulatory molecules CD23, CD58, CD80, and CD86, and CD22. The activated B cells captured and internalized X4 and R5 tropic strains of HIV-1, and mediated trans infection of T cells. Pretreatment of the B cells with anti-DC-SIGN monoclonal antibody blocked trans infection of T cells by both strains of HIV-1. These results indicate that DC-SIGN serves as a portal on B cells for HIV-1 infection of T cells in trans. Transmission of HIV-1 from B cells to T cells through this DC-SIGN pathway could be important in the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection.

Spatial Localization of M-calpain to the Plasma Membrane by Phosphoinositide Biphosphate Binding During Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor-mediated Activation

Calpain activity is required for de-adhesion of the cell body and rear to enable productive locomotion of adherent cells during wound repair and tumor invasion. Growth factors activate m-calpain (calpain 2, CAPN2) via ERK/mitogen-activated protein kinases, but only when these kinases are localized to the plasma membrane. We thus hypothesized that m-calpain is activated by epidermal growth factor (EGF) only when it is juxtaposed to the plasma membrane secondary to specific docking. Osmotic disruption of NR6 fibroblasts expressing the EGF receptor demonstrated m-calpain being complexed with the substratum-adherent membrane with this increasing in an EGF-dependent manner. m-Calpain colocalized with phosphoinositide biphosphate (PIP(2)) with exogenous phospholipase C removal of phosphoinositides, specifically, PI(4,5)P(2) but not PI(4)P(1) or PIP(3), releasing the bound m-calpain. Downregulation of phosphoinositide production by 1-butanol resulted in diminished PIP(2) in the plasma membrane and eliminated EGF-induced calpain activation. This PIP(2)-binding capacity resided in domain III of calpain, which presents a putative C2-like domain. This active conformation of this domain appears to be partially masked in the holoenzyme as both activation of m-calpain by phosphorylation at serine 50 and expression of constitutively active phosphorylation mimic glutamic acid-increased m-calpain binding to the membrane, consistent with blockade of this cascade diminishing membrane association. Importantly, we found that m-calpain was enriched toward the rear of locomoting cells, which was more pronounced in the plasma membrane footprints; EGF further enhanced this enrichment, in line with earlier reports of loss of PIP(2) in lamellipodia of motile cells. These data support a model of m-calpain binding to PIP(2) concurrent with and likely to enable ERK activation and provides a mechanism by which cell de-adhesion is directed to the cell body and tail as phospholipase C-gamma hydrolyzes PIP(2) in the protruding lamellipodia.

Alpha-sarcoglycan is Recycled from the Plasma Membrane in the Absence of Sarcoglycan Complex Assembly

The sarcoglycan complex consists of four subunits in skeletal muscle (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta-SG). Mutations in alpha-sarcoglycan (alpha-SG) result in the most common form of limb girdle muscular dystrophy. However, the function of alpha-SG remains unknown. In this report we attempt to clarify its function by delineating the trafficking pathway of alpha-SG in live cells. We present evidence, utilizing total internal reflection microscopy, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching and photoactivation of green fluorescent protein (GFP) constructs, that pools of alpha-SG are able to translocate to the plasma membrane in the absence of the remaining sarcoglycans. Internalization assays and drug treatment experiments demonstrate that alpha-SG recycles from the plasma membrane and accumulates in recycling endosomes. We also establish that alpha-SG utilizes well-described clathrin mediated mechanisms and microtubules to traffic within the cell. Finally, we show that the most commonly reoccurring limb girdle muscular dystrophy (R77C) mutation causes a fundamental defect in protein biosynthesis, trapping the mutant protein in the endoplasmic recticulum (ER). These results demonstrate that alpha-SG requires assembly into the sarcoglycan complex for stability at the plasma membrane rather than export out of the ER. Furthermore, this data suggests that alpha-SG utilizes known trafficking machinery to control deposition at the plasma membrane through recycling.

Transgenic Galectin-1 Induces Maturation of Dendritic Cells That Elicit Contrasting Responses in Naive and Activated T Cells

Dendritic cells (DC) are professional APC that control the balance between T cell immunity and tolerance. Genetic engineering of DC to regulate the outcome of the immune response is an area of intense research. Galectin (gal)-1 is an endogenous lectin that binds to glycoproteins and exerts potent regulatory effects on T cells. Consequently, gal-1 participates in central deletion of thymocytes and exerts therapeutic effects on experimental models of T cell-mediated autoimmune disorders and graft-vs-host disease. Together, these observations strongly indicate that engineering DC to express transgenic (tg) gal-1 may be beneficial to treat T cell-mediated disorders. In this study, we have investigated the impact of the expression of high levels of tg gal-1 on maturation/activation of DC and on their T cell stimulatory function. Murine DC were transduced with a recombinant adenovirus encoding hu gal-1 (gal-1-DC). Tg gal-1 was exported by a nonclassical pathway through exosomes and was retained on the DC surface inducing segregation of its ligand CD43. Expression of tg gal-1 triggered activation of DC determined by induction of a more mature phenotype, increased levels of mRNA for proinflammatory cytokines, and enhanced ability to stimulate naive T cells. Conversely, gal-1-DC induced rapid apoptosis of activated T cells. In vivo, gal-1-DC increased significantly the sensitization phase of contact hypersensitivity assays while inducing a drastic inhibition of the elicitation phase by triggering apoptosis of activated T cells in the dermis. Gal-1-DC represent a novel tool to control differentially the afferent and efferent arms of the T cell response.

Mycoplasma Fermentans and TNF-beta Interact to Amplify Immune-modulating Cytokines in Human Lung Fibroblasts

Mycoplasma can establish latent infections and are associated with arthritis, leukemia, and chronic lung disease. We developed an experimental model in which lung cells are deliberately infected with Mycoplasma fermentans. Human lung fibroblasts (HLF) were exposed to live M. fermentans and immune-modulating cytokine release was assessed with and without known inducers of cytokine production. M. fermentans increased IL-6, IL-8/CXCL8, MCP-1/CCL2, and Gro-alpha/CXCL1 production. M. fermentans interacted with TNF-beta to release more IL-6, CXCL8, and CXCL1 than predicted by the responses to either stimulus alone. The effects of live infection were recapitulated by exposure to M. fermentans-derived macrophage-activating lipopeptide-2 (MALP-2), a Toll-like receptor-2- and receptor-6-specific ligand. The synergistic effect of combined stimuli was more pronounced with prolonged incubations. Preexposure to TNF-beta sensitized the cells to subsequent MALP-2 challenge, but preexposure to MALP-2 did not alter the IL-6 response to TNF-beta. Exposure to M. fermentans or MALP-2 did not enhance nuclear localization, DNA binding, or transcriptional activity of NF-kappaB and did not modulate early NF-kappaB activation in response to TNF-beta. Application of specific inhibitors of various MAPKs suggested that p38 and JNK/stress-activated protein kinase were involved in early IL-6 release after exposure to TNF-beta and M. fermentans, respectively. The combined response to M. fermentans and TNF-beta, however, was uniquely sensitive to delayed application of SP-600125, suggesting that JNK/stress-activated protein kinase contributes to the amplification of IL-6 release. Thus M. fermentans interacts with stimuli such as TNF-beta to amplify lung cell production of immune-modulating cytokines. The mechanisms accounting for this interaction can now be dissected with the use of this in vitro model.

Polysomes Are Associated with Microtubules in Fertilized Eggs of Chinese Pine (Pinus Tabulaeformis)

Transmission electron microscopy of immunogold-labeled Chinese pine egg cells before and after fertilization revealed that polysomes are associated with microtubules (MTs) from fertilization to the 2-nucleate embryo stage. Ribosome aggregates of various size and shape were randomly distributed in the cytoplasm of the eggs before fertilization. Single MTs or clusters were observed to be free of polysomes at this stage. Upon fertilization, all polysomes were attached to MTs, and this association persisted until the formation of the polarized embryo. Thereafter, the polysomes spread into the cytoplasm and no polysome-MT association was observed in the embryo. Some of the polysomes were attached to one end of the MTs, while others appeared to form contacts along their entire length. No polysome-microfilament association was observed at any stage of the development. The polysome-MT association may provide a mechanism for MT-dependent mRNA localization in early embryo development of this plant.

Combinational FLt3 Ligand and Granulocyte Macrophage Colony-stimulating Factor Treatment Promotes Enhanced Tumor Infiltration by Dendritic Cells and Antitumor CD8(+) T-cell Cross-priming but is Ineffective As a Therapy

Dendritic cells play significant roles in the development and maintenance of antitumor immune responses. Therapeutic recruitment of dendritic cells into the tumor microenvironment has the potential to result in enhanced antitumor T-cell cross-priming against a broad array of naturally processed and presented tumor-associated antigens. We have observed that the treatment of BALB/c mice bearing syngeneic CMS4 sarcomas with the combination of recombinant Flt3 ligand and recombinant granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) for five sequential days is sufficient to optimize the number of tumor-infiltrating dendritic cells (TIDC). However, despite the significant increase in the number of TIDCs, the therapeutic benefit of Flt3 ligand and GM-CSF treatment is minimal. Therapy-associated TIDCs do not exhibit a "suppressed" or "suppressor" phenotype in vitro, and their enhanced numbers in cytokine-treated mice were associated with increased levels of peripheral antitumor CD8(+) T effector cells and with an augmented population of CD8(+) tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL). These data suggest that Flt3 ligand + GM-CSF therapy of murine tumors fails at a mechanistic point that is downstream of specific T-cell priming by therapy-induced TIDCs and the recruitment of these T cells into the tumor microenvironment. Based on the enhanced infiltration of tumors by CD4(+)CD25(+) TIL in Flt3 ligand + GM-CSF-treated mice, this could reflect the dominant influence of regulatory T cells in situ.

Gene Expression Profiling of Target Genes in Ventilator-induced Lung Injury

In the lungs, high-pressure mechanical ventilation induces an inflammatory response similar to that observed in acute respiratory distress syndrome. To further characterize these responses and to compare them with classical inflammatory pathways, we performed gene expression profiling analysis of 20,000 mouse genes in isolated blood-free (to exclude genes from sequestered leukocytes) perfused mouse lungs exposed to low-pressure ventilation (10 cmH2O), high-pressure ventilation (25 cmH2O, overventilation), and LPS treatment. A large number of inflammatory and apoptotic genes were increased by both overventilation and LPS. However, certain growth factor-related genes, as well as genes related to development, cellular communication, and the cytoskeleton, were only regulated by overventilation. We validated and confirmed increased mRNA expression pattern of five genes (amphiregulin, gravin, Nur77, Cyr61, interleukin-11) by real-time PCR; furthermore, we confirmed increased protein expression of amphiregulin by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting assays. These genes represent novel candidate genes in ventilator-induced lung injury.

The NPM-RAR Fusion Protein Associated with the T(5;17) Variant of APL Does Not Interact with PML

The PML protein localizes to regions of the nucleus known as nuclear bodies or PODs. However, in t(15;17) Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL) blasts, PML is found in a micro-punctate pattern. In order to test the hypothesis that delocalization of PML from PODs is necessary for APL, we investigated the interaction of the t(5;17) APL fusion protein NPM-RAR with PML. NPM-RAR localizes diffusely throughout the nucleoplasm. NPM-RAR does not alter the localization of PML in transfected HeLa cells, and does not associate with PML in vitro. These studies suggest that NPM-RAR does not interact with PML.

Epsin 1 is a Polyubiquitin-selective Clathrin-associated Sorting Protein

Epsin 1 engages several core components of the endocytic clathrin coat, yet the precise mode of operation of the protein remains controversial. The occurrence of tandem ubiquitin-interacting motifs (UIMs) suggests that epsin could recognize a ubiquitin internalization tag, but the association of epsin with clathrin-coat components or monoubiquitin is reported to be mutually exclusive. Here, we show that endogenous epsin 1 is clearly an integral component of clathrin coats forming at the cell surface and is essentially absent from caveolin-1-containing structures under normal conditions. The UIM region of epsin 1 associates directly with polyubiquitin chains but has extremely poor affinity for monoubiquitin. Polyubiquitin binding is retained when epsin synchronously associates with phosphoinositides, the AP-2 adaptor complex and clathrin. The enrichment of epsin within clathrin-coated vesicles purified from different tissue sources varies and correlates with sorting of multiubiquitinated cargo, and in cultured cells, polyubiquitin, rather than non-conjugable monoubiquitin, promotes rapid internalization. As epsin interacts with eps15, which also contains a UIM region that binds to polyubiquitin, epsin and eps15 appear to be central components of the vertebrate poly/multiubiquitin-sorting endocytic clathrin machinery.

Mini-dystrophin Efficiently Incorporates into the Dystrophin Protein Complex in Living Cells

Dystrophin is a critical muscle cell structural protein which when deficient results in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Recently miniature versions of the dystrophin gene have been constructed that ameliorate the pathology in mouse models. To characterize mini-dystrophin's incorporation into the dystrophin protein complex in living cells, two fusion proteins were constructed where mini-dystrophin is fused to the N- or C-terminus of an enhanced green fluorescent protein reporter gene. Both fusion proteins correctly localize at the plasma membrane in vitro and in vivo. Live cell microscopy establishes that mini-dystrophin translocates directly to the PM of differentiating muscle cells, within 4 h of expression. Latrunculin A treatment, actin and beta-dystroglycan binding domain deletion constructs, and co-immunoprecipitation assays demonstrate that mini-dystrophin is firmly anchored to the sarcolemma primarily through its connections to beta-dystroglycan, mimicking effects seen with wild type dystrophin. Furthermore, point mutations made within the putative beta-dystroglycan anchoring ZZ domain of mini-dystrophin result in an ablation of beta-dystroglycan binding and a nuclear translocation of the protein. These results demonstrate that mini-dystrophin is efficiently bound and incorporated into the dystrophin protein complex, via beta-dystroglycan in living cells, similarly to the full length dystrophin protein.

DC-SIGN is a Receptor for Human Herpesvirus 8 on Dendritic Cells and Macrophages

Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) causes Kaposi's sarcoma and pleural effusion lymphoma. In this study, we show that dendritic cell-specific ICAM-3 grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN; CD209) is a receptor for HHV-8 infection of myeloid DCs and macrophages. DC-SIGN was required for virus attachment to these cells and DC-SIGN-expressing cell lines. HHV-8 binding and infection were blocked by anti-DC-SIGN mAb and soluble DC-SIGN, and mannan, a natural ligand for DC-SIGN. Infection of DCs and macrophages with HHV-8 led to production of viral proteins, with little production of viral DNA, similar to HHV-8 infection of vascular endothelial cells. Infection of DCs resulted in down-regulation of DC-SIGN, a decrease in endocytic activity, and an inhibition of Ag stimulation of CD8+ T cells. We propose that DC-SIGN serves as a portal for immune dysfunction and oncogenesis caused by HHV-8 infection.

Guidance of Engineered Tissue Collagen Orientation by Large-scale Scaffold Microstructures

The tensile strength and stiffness of load-bearing soft tissues are dominated by their collagen fiber orientation. While microgrooved substrates have demonstrated a capacity to orient cells and collagen in monolayer tissue culture, tissue engineering (TE) scaffolds are structurally distinct in that they consist of a three-dimensional (3-D) open pore network. It is thus unclear how the geometry of these open pores might influence cell and collagen orientation. In the current study we developed an in vitro model system for quantifying the capacity of large scale ( approximately 200 microm), geometrically well-defined open pores to guide cell and collagen orientation in engineered tissues. Non-degradable scaffolds exhibiting a grid of 200 microm wide rectangular pores (1:1, 2:1, 5:1, and 10:1 aspect ratios) were fabricated from a transparent epoxy resin via high-resolution stereolithography. The scaffolds (n=6 per aspect ratio) were surface modified to support cell adhesion by covalently grafting GRGDS peptides, sterilized, and seeded with neonatal rat skin fibroblasts. Following 4 weeks of static incubation, the resultant collagen orientation was assessed quantitatively by small angle light scattering (SALS), and cell orientation was evaluated by laser confocal and scanning electron microscopy. Cells adhered to the struts of the pores and proceeded to span the pores in a generally circumferential pattern. While the cell and collagen orientations within 1:1 aspect ratio pores were effectively random, higher aspect ratio rectangular pores exhibited a significant capacity to guide global cell and collagen orientation. Preferential alignment parallel to the long strut axis and decreased spatial variability were observed to occur with increasing pore aspect ratio. Intra-pore variability depended in part on the spatial uniformity of cell attachment around the perimeter of each pore achieved during seeding. Evaluation of diamond-shaped pores [Sacks, M.S. et al., 1997. J. Biomech. Eng. 119(1), 124-127] suggests that they are less sensitive to initial conditions of cell attachment than rectangular pores, and thus more effective in guiding engineered tissue cell and collagen orientation.

Potential Solutions for Confocal Imaging of Living Animals

The use of confocal and multiphoton microscopy for in vivo studies in animals continues to be an area of exciting technical and commercial development. However the application of these technologies at high resolution, such that molecular and subcellular information is collected, remains an elusive goal. This review discusses the practical and performance limitations and the potential uses of currently available systems. We also highlight the ongoing developments in both miniaturized and bench-mounted systems for single and multiphoton optical sectioning studies in animals and in human clinical trials.

An Intracellular Serpin Regulates Necrosis by Inhibiting the Induction and Sequelae of Lysosomal Injury

Extracellular serpins such as antithrombin and alpha1-antitrypsin are the quintessential regulators of proteolytic pathways. In contrast, the biological functions of the intracellular serpins remain obscure. We now report that the C. elegans intracellular serpin, SRP-6, exhibits a prosurvival function by blocking necrosis. Minutes after hypotonic shock, srp-6 null animals underwent a catastrophic series of events culminating in lysosomal disruption, cytoplasmic proteolysis, and death. This newly defined hypo-osmotic stress lethal (Osl) phenotype was dependent upon calpains and lysosomal cysteine peptidases, two in vitro targets of SRP-6. By protecting against both the induction of and the lethal effects from lysosomal injury, SRP-6 also blocked death induced by heat shock, oxidative stress, hypoxia, and cation channel hyperactivity. These findings suggest that multiple noxious stimuli converge upon a peptidase-driven, core stress response pathway that, in the absence of serpin regulation, triggers a lysosomal-dependent necrotic cell death routine.

Distinct Intracellular Trafficking of Equine Infectious Anemia Virus and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Gag During Viral Assembly and Budding Revealed by Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation Assays

Retroviral Gag polyproteins are necessary and sufficient for virus budding. Numerous studies of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Gag assembly and budding mechanisms have been reported, but relatively little is known about these fundamental pathways among animal lentiviruses. While there may be a general assumption that lentiviruses share common assembly mechanisms, studies of equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) have indicated alternative cellular pathways and cofactors employed among lentiviruses for assembly and budding. In the current study, we used bimolecular fluorescence complementation to characterize and compare assembly sites and budding efficiencies of EIAV and HIV-1 Gag in both human and rodent cells. The results of these studies demonstrated that replacing the natural RNA nuclear export element (Rev-response element [RRE]) used by HIV-1 and EIAV with the hepatitis B virus posttranscriptional regulatory element (PRE) altered HIV-1, but not EIAV, Gag assembly sites and budding efficiency in human cells. Consistent with this novel observation, different assembly sites were revealed in human cells for Rev-dependent EIAV and HIV-1 Gag polyproteins. In rodent cells, Rev-dependent HIV-1 Gag assembly and budding were blocked, but changing RRE to PRE rescued HIV-1 Gag assembly and budding. In contrast, EIAV Gag polyproteins synthesized from mRNA exported via either Rev-dependent or PRE-dependent mechanisms were able to assemble and bud efficiently in rodent cells. Taken together, our results suggest that lentivirus assembly and budding are regulated by the RNA nuclear export pathway and that alternative cellular pathways can be adapted for lentiviral Gag assembly and budding.

Generation of FGF Reporter Transgenic Zebrafish and Their Utility in Chemical Screens

Fibroblast Growth Factors (FGFs) represent a large family of secreted proteins that are required for proper development and physiological processes. Mutations in mouse and zebrafish FGFs result in abnormal embryogenesis and lethality. A key to understanding the precise role for these factors is to determine their spatial and temporal activity during embryogenesis.

Association of Gag Multimers with Filamentous Actin During Equine Infectious Anemia Virus Assembly

A role for the actin cytoskeleton in retrovirus assembly has long been speculated. However, specific mechanisms by which actin facilitates the assembly process remain elusive. We previously demonstrated differential effects of experimentally modified actin dynamics on virion production of equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV), a lentivirus related to HIV-1, suggesting an involvement of actin dynamics in retrovirus production. In the current study, we used bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) to reveal intimate (<15 nm) and specific associations between EIAV Gag and actin, but not tubulin. Specific interaction between Gag and filamentous actin was also demonstrated by co-immunoprecipitation experiments combined with the actin severing protein gelsolin to solubilize F-actin. Deletion of capsid (CA) or nucleocapsid (NC) genes reduced Gag association with F-actin by 40% and 95%, respectively. Interestingly, GCN4, a leucine zipper motif, could substitute for the NC domain in mediating F-actin association. Furthermore, deficiency of the DeltaNC Gag in F-actin interaction was restored upon co-expression of Gag constructs containing both CA and NC or the GCN4, suggesting a requirement for Gag polyprotein multimerization prior to F-actin association. The observed Gag-F-actin association appeared to correlate with viral budding, as enhanced budding of the DeltaNC mutant was evident upon restoration of F-actin association. Intracellular association of Gag complexes with F-actin was also detected by immunoscanning electron microscopy of Triton-extracted EIAV-infected cells. Together, these data suggest that Gag multimers induced by CA and NC domains interact with F-actin and that this association is important for efficient virion production.

Golgi-associated Maturation of Very Low Density Lipoproteins Involves Conformational Changes in Apolipoprotein B, but is Not Dependent on Apolipoprotein E

The major protein component in secreted very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) is apoB, and it is established that these particles can reach sizes approaching 100 nm. We previously employed a cell-free system to investigate the nature of the vesicles in which this large cargo exits the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) (Gusarova, V., Brodsky, J. L., and Fisher, E. A. (2003) J. Biol. Chem. 278, 48051-48058). We found that apoB-containing lipoproteins exit the ER as dense lipid-protein complexes regardless of the final sizes of the particles and that further expansion occurs via post-ER lipidation. Here, we focused on maturation in the Golgi apparatus. In three separate approaches, we found that VLDL maturation (as assessed by changes in buoyant density) was associated with conformational changes in apoB. In addition, as the size of VLDL expanded, apoE concentrated in a subclass of Golgi microsomes or Golgi-derived vesicles that co-migrated with apoB-containing microsomes or vesicles, respectively. A relationship between apoB and apoE was further confirmed in co-localization studies by immunoelectron microscopy. These combined results are consistent with previous suggestions that apoE is required for VLDL maturation. To our surprise, however, we observed robust secretion of mature VLDL when apoE synthesis was inhibited in either rat hepatoma cells or apoE(-/-) mouse primary hepatocytes. We conclude that VLDL maturation in the Golgi involves apoB conformational changes and that the expansion of the lipoprotein does not require apoE; rather, the increase in VLDL surface area favors apoE binding.

Gliotoxin Causes Apoptosis and Necrosis of Rat Kupffer Cells in Vitro and in Vivo in the Absence of Oxidative Stress: Exacerbation by Caspase and Serine Protease Inhibition

A potential application of gliotoxin therapy for liver fibrosis was suggested by its apoptotic effect on fibrogenic activated stellate cells. We investigated if gliotoxin exerts similar effects on hepatic macrophage Kupffer cells.

Treatment-enhanced CD4+Foxp3+ Glucocorticoid-induced TNF Receptor Family Related High Regulatory Tumor-infiltrating T Cells Limit the Effectiveness of Cytokine-based Immunotherapy

Regulatory T cells can suppress activated CD4+ and CD8+ T effector cells and may serve as an impediment to spontaneous or therapeutic type 1 antitumor immunity. In a previous study, we observed minimal therapeutic impact, but significantly enhanced T cell cross-priming and lesional infiltration of tumor-reactive CD8+ T cells into established CMS4 sarcomas after combined treatment of BALB/c mice with rFLt3 ligand (rFL) and recombinant GM-CSF (rGM-CSF). In this study, we show that this cytokine regimen also results in the profound enhancement of CD4+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) expressing FoxP3, IL-10, and TGF-beta mRNA, with 50 or 90% of CD4+ TIL coexpressing the CD25 and glucocorticoid-induced TNFR family related molecules, respectively. Intracellular staining for Foxp3 protein revealed that combined treatment with rFL plus rGM-CSF results in a significant increase in CD4+Foxp3+ T cells in the spleen of both control and tumor-bearing mice, and that nearly half of CD4+ TIL expressed this marker. In addition, CD4+ TIL cells were of an activated/memory (ICOS(high)CD62L(low)CD45RB(low)) phenotype and were capable of suppressing allospecific T cell proliferation and IFN-gamma production from (in vivo cross-primed) anti-CMS4 CD8+ T cells in vitro, via a mechanism at least partially dependent on IL-10 and TGF-beta. Importantly, in vivo depletion of CD4+ T cells resulted in the ability of previously ineffective, rFL plus rGM-CSF therapy-induced CD8+ T cells to now mediate tumor regression.

Testosterone Activates Mitogen-activated Protein Kinase Via Src Kinase and the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor in Sertoli Cells

A new pathway of testosterone (T) action in Sertoli cells was recently identified that may be required to support spermatozoa production (spermatogenesis) and fertility. Specifically, T acts via the androgen receptor (AR) to rapidly activate the MAPK cascade and the cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) transcription factor in Sertoli cells. In further characterizing the signaling pathway that transduces T actions, we now find that a population of AR is localized to the plasma membrane and that AR associates with Src kinase after T stimulation. In addition, we demonstrate that Src kinase is activated by T and that Src kinase activity is required for stimulation of the ERK MAPK and CREB. Furthermore, we determine that activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor downstream of Src contributes to the activation of the MAPK cascade and CREB. The elucidation of this nonclassical pathway of T action in the testis may provide new targets for the control of male fertility.

The Hsp40 Molecular Chaperone Ydj1p, Along with the Protein Kinase C Pathway, Affects Cell-wall Integrity in the Yeast Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

Molecular chaperones, such as Hsp40, regulate cellular processes by aiding in the folding, localization, and activation of multi-protein machines. To identify new targets of chaperone action, we performed a multi-copy suppressor screen for genes that improved the slow-growth defect of yeast lacking the YDJ1 chromosomal locus and expressing a defective Hsp40 chimera. Among the genes identified were MID2, which regulates cell-wall integrity, and PKC1, which encodes protein kinase C and is linked to cell-wall biogenesis. We found that ydj1delta yeast exhibit phenotypes consistent with cell-wall defects and that these phenotypes were improved by Mid2p or Pkc1p overexpression or by overexpression of activated downstream components in the PKC pathway. Yeast containing a thermosensitive allele in the gene encoding Hsp90 also exhibited cell-wall defects, and Mid2p or Pkc1p overexpression improved the growth of these cells at elevated temperatures. To determine the physiological basis for suppression of the ydj1delta growth defect, wild-type and ydj1delta yeast were examined by electron microscopy and we found that Mid2p overexpression thickened the mutant's cell wall. Together, these data provide the first direct link between cytoplasmic chaperone function and cell-wall integrity and suggest that chaperones orchestrate the complex biogenesis of this structure.

Mitochondrial Localization and Function of Heme Oxygenase-1 in Cigarette Smoke-induced Cell Death

Cigarette smoke-induced apoptosis and necrosis contribute to the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The induction of heme oxygenase-1 provides cytoprotection against oxidative stress, and may protect in smoking-related disease. Since mitochondria regulate cellular death, we examined the functional expression and mitochondrial localization of heme oxygenase-1 in pulmonary epithelial cells exposed to cigarette smoke extract (CSE), and its role in modulating cell death. Heme oxygenase-1 expression increased dramatically in cytosolic and mitochondrial fractions of human alveolar (A549), or bronchial epithelial cells (Beas-2b) exposed to either hemin, lipopolysaccharide, or CSE. Mitochondrial localization of heme oxygenase-1 was also observed in a primary culture of human small airway epithelial cells. Furthermore, heme oxygenase activity increased dramatically in mitochondrial fractions, and in whole cell extracts of Beas-2b after exposure to hemin and CSE. The mitochondrial localization of heme oxygenase-1 in Beas-2b was confirmed using immunogold-electron microscopy and immunofluorescence labeling on confocal laser microscopy. CSE caused loss of cellular ATP and rapid depolarization of mitochondrial membrane potential. Apoptosis occurred in Beas-2b at low concentrations of cigarette smoke extract, whereas necrosis occurred at high concentrations. Overexpression of heme oxygenase-1 inhibited CSE-induced Beas-2b cell death and preserved cellular ATP levels. Finally, heme oxygenase-1 mRNA expression was elevated in the lungs of mice chronically exposed to cigarette smoke. We demonstrate the functional compartmentalization of heme oxygenase-1 in the mitochondria of lung epithelial cells, and its potential role in defense against mitochondria-mediated cell death during CSE exposure.

Boc-Aspartyl(OMe)-fluoromethylketone Attenuates Mitochondrial Release of Cytochrome C and Delays Brain Tissue Loss After Traumatic Brain Injury in Rats

The pathobiology of traumatic brain injury (TBI) includes activation of multiple caspases followed by cell death with a spectrum of apoptotic phenotypes. There are initiator (e.g. caspase-2, -8, and -9) and effector (e.g. caspase-3 and -7) caspases. Recently, caspase-2 and -8 have been shown to regulate cell death via provoking cytochrome c release from the mitochondria upstream of caspase-9. Here, we show that an intracerebral injection of the pan-caspase inhibitor boc-Aspartyl(OMe)-fluoromethylketone (BAF; 1 micromol) 1 min after TBI in rats reduces caspase-3-like activity, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) and tissue damage, and cytochrome c release in ipsilateral cortex at 24 h versus vehicle. To investigate whether either caspase-2 and/or caspase-8 activation may contribute to cytochrome release, the effect of BAF treatment on caspase-2 and caspase-8 proteolysis was also examined. boc-aspartyl(OMe)-fluoromethylketone treatment inhibited proteolysis of caspase-2 but not caspase-8 24 h after TBI in rats versus vehicle. However, BAF with or without nerve growth factor (12.5 ng/h x 14 days intracerebrally via osmotic pump) did not result in differences in motor function, Morris water maze performance, hippocampal neuron survival, nor contusion volume at 14 days. These data suggest that BAF treatment reduces acute cell death after TBI by inhibiting mitochondrial release of cytochrome c, possibly via a mechanism involving initiator caspases; however, BAF appears to delay cell death, rather than result in permanent protection.

The AP-2 Adaptor Beta2 Appendage Scaffolds Alternate Cargo Endocytosis

The independently folded appendages of the large alpha and beta2 subunits of the endocytic adaptor protein (AP)-2 complex coordinate proper assembly and operation of endocytic components during clathrin-mediated endocytosis. The beta2 subunit appendage contains a common binding site for beta-arrestin or the autosomal recessive hypercholesterolemia (ARH) protein. To determine the importance of this interaction surface in living cells, we used small interfering RNA-based gene silencing. The effect of extinguishing beta2 subunit expression on the internalization of transferrin is considerably weaker than an AP-2 alpha subunit knockdown. We show the mild sorting defect is due to fortuitous substitution of the beta2 chain with the closely related endogenous beta1 subunit of the AP-1 adaptor complex. Simultaneous silencing of both beta1 and beta2 subunit transcripts recapitulates the strong alpha subunit RNA interference (RNAi) phenotype and results in loss of ARH from endocytic clathrin coats. An RNAi-insensitive beta2-yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) expressed in the beta1 + beta2-silenced background restores cellular AP-2 levels, robust transferrin internalization, and ARH colocalization with cell surface clathrin. The importance of the beta appendage platform subdomain over clathrin for precise deposition of ARH at clathrin assembly zones is revealed by a beta2-YFP with a disrupted ARH binding interface, which does not restore ARH colocalization with clathrin. We also show a beta-arrestin 1 mutant, which engages coated structures in the absence of any G protein-coupled receptor stimulation, colocalizes with beta2-YFP and clathrin even in the absence of an operational clathrin binding sequence. These findings argue against ARH and beta-arrestin binding to a site upon the beta2 appendage platform that is later obstructed by polymerized clathrin. We conclude that ARH and beta-arrestin depend on a privileged beta2 appendage site for proper cargo recruitment to clathrin bud sites.

Fatty Acid Synthase is Up-regulated During Hepatitis C Virus Infection and Regulates Hepatitis C Virus Entry and Production

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major human pathogen that causes serious illness, including acute and chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Using a mass spectrometry-based proteomics approach, we have identified 175 proteins from a cell culture supernatant fraction containing the HCV genotype 2a (JFH1) virus, among which fatty acid synthase (FASN), the multifunctional enzyme catalyzing the de novo synthesis of fatty acids, was confirmed to be highly enriched. Subsequent studies showed that FASN expression increased in the human hepatoma cell line, Huh7, or its derivative, upon HCV infection. Blocking FASN activity by C75, a pharmacological FASN inhibitor, led to decreased HCV production. Reduction of FASN by RNA interference suppressed viral replication in both replicon and infection systems. Remarkably, FASN appeared to be selectively required for the expression of claudin-1, a tight junction protein that was recently identified as an entry coreceptor for HCV, but not for the expression of another HCV coreceptor, CD81. The decrease in Claudin-1 expression resulting from FASN inhibition was accompanied by a decrease in transepithelial electric resistance of Huh7 cells, implying a reduction in the relative tightness of the cell monolayer. Consequently, the entry of human immunodeficiency virus-HCV pseudotypes was significantly inhibited in C75-treated Huh7 cells. CONCLUSION: As far as we know, this is the first line of evidence that demonstrates that HCV infection directly induces FASN expression, and thus suggests a possible mechanism by which HCV infection alters the cellular lipid profile and causes diseases such as steatosis.

CD8+ T-cell Responses Against Hemoglobin-beta Prevent Solid Tumor Growth

Bone marrow-derived dendritic cells engineered using recombinant adenovirus to secrete high levels of IL-12p70 dramatically inhibited the growth of established CMS4 sarcomas in BALB/c mice after intratumoral administration. An analysis of splenic CD8(+) T cells in regressor mice revealed a strong, complex reactivity pattern against high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-resolved peptides isolated by acid elution from single-cell suspensions of surgically resected CMS4 lesions. Mass spectrometry analyses defined two major overlapping peptide species that derive from the murine hemoglobin-beta (HBB) protein within the most stimulatory HPLC fractions. Although cultured CMS4 tumor cells failed to express HBB mRNA based on reverse transcription-PCR analyses, prophylactic vaccination of BALB/c mice with vaccines containing HBB peptides promoted specific CD8(+) T-cell responses that protected mice against a subsequent challenge with CMS4 or unrelated syngeneic (HBB(neg)) tumors of divergent histology (sarcoma, carcinomas of the breast or colon). In situ imaging suggested that vaccines limit or destabilize tumor-associated vascular structures, potentially by promoting immunity against HBB+ vascular pericytes. Importantly, there were no untoward effects of vaccination with the HBB peptide on peripheral RBC numbers, RBC hemoglobin content, or vascular structures in the brain or eye.

CX3CL1 Up-regulation is Associated with Recruitment of CX3CR1+ Mononuclear Phagocytes and T Lymphocytes in the Lungs During Cigarette Smoke-induced Emphysema

CX3CR1 is expressed on monocytes, dendritic cells, macrophages, subsets of T lymphocytes, and natural killer cells and functions in diverse capacities such as leukocyte adhesion, migration, and cell survival on ligand binding. Expression of the CX3CL1 gene, whose expression product is the sole ligand for CX3CR1, is up-regulated in human lungs with chronic cigarette smoke-induced obstructive lung disease. At present, it is unknown whether CX3CL1 up-regulation is associated with the recruitment and accumulation of immune cells that express CX3CR1. We show that mice chronically exposed to cigarette smoke up-regulate CX3CL1 gene expression, which is associated with an influx of CX3CR1+ cells in the lungs. The increase in CX3CR1+ cells is primarily comprised of macrophages and T lymphocytes and is associated with the development of emphysema. In alveolar macrophages, cigarette smoke exposure increased the expression of both CX3CR1 and CX3CL1 genes. The inducibility of CX3CR1 expression was not solely dependent on a chronic stimulus because lipopolysaccharide up-regulated CX3CR1 in RAW264.7 cells in vitro and in mononuclear phagocytes in vivo. Our findings suggest a mechanism by which macrophages amplify and promote CX3CR1+ cell accumulation within the lungs during both acute and chronic inflammatory stress. We suggest that one function of the CX3CR1-CX3CL1 pathway is to recruit and sustain divergent immune cell populations implicated in the pathogenesis of cigarette smoke-induced emphysema.

Nitric-oxide-mediated Zinc Release Contributes to Hypoxic Regulation of Pulmonary Vascular Tone

The metal binding protein metallothionein (MT) is a target for nitric oxide (NO), causing release of bound zinc that affects myogenic reflex in systemic resistance vessels. Here, we investigate a role for NO-induced zinc release in pulmonary vasoregulation. We show that acute hypoxia causes reversible constriction of intraacinar arteries (<50 microm/L) in isolated perfused mouse lung (IPL). We further demonstrate that isolated pulmonary (but not aortic) endothelial cells constrict in hypoxia. Hypoxia also causes NO-dependent increases in labile zinc in mouse lung endothelial cells and endothelium of IPL. The latter observation is dependent on MT because it is not apparent in IPL of MT(-/-) mice. Data from NO-sensitive fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based reporters support hypoxia-induced NO production in pulmonary endothelium. Furthermore, hypoxic constriction is blunted in IPL of MT(-/-) mice and in wild-type mice, or rats, treated with the zinc chelator N,N,N',N'-tetrakis(2-pyridylmethyl)-ethylenediamine (TPEN), suggesting a role for chelatable zinc in modulating HPV. Finally, the NO donor DETAnonoate causes further vasoconstriction in hypoxic IPL in which NO vasodilatory pathways are inhibited. Collectively, these data suggest that zinc thiolate signaling is a component of the effects of acute hypoxia-mediated NO biosynthesis and that this pathway may contribute to constriction in the pulmonary vasculature.

Chemokine and Cytokine Mediated Loss of Regulatory T Cells in Lymph Nodes During Pathogenic Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Infection

Regulatory T cells (T(reg)) play key roles in immune regulation through multiple modes of suppression. The effects of HIV-1 infection on T(reg) levels in lymphoid tissues remain incompletely understood. To explore this issue, we have measured the levels of forkhead box protein 3 (FOXP3)-positive cells and associated immunomodulatory genes in a pathogenic simian immunodeficiency virus/macaque model and found that a loss of T(reg) in lymph nodes occurred following simian immunodeficiency virus infection. Changes in expression of the ligands for CXCR3, CCR4, and CCR7 and the cytokines TGF-beta and IL-2 were all linked to this loss of T(reg), which in turn was linked with increased levels of cellular activation. Our findings identify three mechanisms that likely contribute to SIV-driven loss of T(reg), including reduced levels of cytokines associated with T(reg) differentiation and altered expression of agonist and antagonist chemokines. The loss of T(reg) and the associated cellular activation in lymphoid tissues is consistent with the events in HIV-1-infected individuals and suggest that components of the T(reg) differentiation and trafficking network could be targets for therapeutic intervention.

Spatiotemporal Response of Living Cell Structures in Dictyostelium Discoideum with Semiconductor Quantum Dots

The ability to monitor the spatial and temporal organization of molecules such as biopolymers within a cell is essential to enable the ability to understand the complexity and dynamics existing in biological processes. However, many limitations currently exist in specifically labeling proteins in living cells. In our study, we incorporate nanometer-sized semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) into living cells for spatiotemporal protein imaging of actin polymers in Dictyostelium discoideum without the necessity of using complicating transmembrane transport approaches. We first demonstrate cytoplasmic distribution of QDs within these living amoebae cells and then show molecular targeting through actin filament labeling. Also, we have developed a microfluidic system to control and visualize the spatiotemporal response of the cellular environment during cell motility, which allows us to demonstrate specific localization control of the QD-protein complexes in living cells. This study provides a valuable tool for the specific targeting and analysis of proteins within Dictyostelium without the encumbrance of transmembrane assisted methods, which has implication in fields including polymer physics, material science, engineering, and biology.

Protein Kinase C Alpha and Zeta Differentially Regulate Death-inducing Signaling Complex Formation in Cigarette Smoke Extract-induced Apoptosis

Cigarette smoke, a major risk factor in emphysema, causes cell death by incompletely understood mechanisms. Death-inducing signaling complex (DISC) formation is an initial event in Fas-mediated apoptosis. We demonstrate that cigarette smoke extract (CSE) induces DISC formation in human lung fibroblasts (MRC-5) and promotes DISC trafficking from the Golgi complex to membrane lipid rafts. We demonstrate a novel role of protein kinase C (PKC) in the regulation of DISC formation and trafficking. The PKC isoforms, PKCalpha, zeta, epsilon, and eta, were activated by CSE exposure. Overexpression of wild-type PKCalpha inhibited, while PKCzeta promoted, CSE-induced cell death. Dominant-negative (dn)PKCzeta protected against CSE-induced cell death by suppressing DISC formation and caspase-3 activation, while dnPKCalpha enhanced cell death by promoting these events. DISC formation was augmented by wortmannin, an inhibitor of PI3K. CSE-induced Akt phosphorylation was reduced by dnPKCalpha, but it was increased by dnPKCzeta. Expression of PKCalpha in vivo inhibited DISC formation, caspase-3/8 activation, lung injury, and cell death after prolonged cigarette smoke exposure, whereas expression of PKCzeta promoted caspase-3 activation. In conclusion, CSE-induced DISC formation is differentially regulated by PKCalpha and PKCzeta via the PI3K/Akt pathway. These results suggest that modulation of PKC may have therapeutic potential in the prevention of smoke-related lung injury.

Memory CD8+ T Cells Protect Dendritic Cells from CTL Killing

CD8(+) T cells have been shown to be capable of either suppressing or promoting immune responses. To reconcile these contrasting regulatory functions, we compared the ability of human effector and memory CD8(+) T cells to regulate survival and functions of dendritic cells (DC). We report that, in sharp contrast to the effector cells (CTLs) that kill DCs in a granzyme B- and perforin-dependent mechanism, memory CD8(+) T cells enhance the ability of DCs to produce IL-12 and to induce functional Th1 and CTL responses in naive CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell populations. Moreover, memory CD8(+) T cells that release the DC-activating factor TNF-alpha before the release of cytotoxic granules induce DC expression of an endogenous granzyme B inhibitor PI-9 and protect DCs from CTL killing with similar efficacy as CD4(+) Th cells. The currently identified DC-protective function of memory CD8(+) T cells helps to explain the phenomenon of CD8(+) T cell memory, reduced dependence of recall responses on CD4(+) T cell help, and the importance of delayed administration of booster doses of vaccines for the optimal outcome of immunization.

Exosomes As a Short-range Mechanism to Spread Alloantigen Between Dendritic Cells During T Cell Allorecognition

Exosomes are nanovesicles released by different cell types including dendritic cells (DCs). The fact that exosomes express surface MHC-peptide complexes suggests that they could function as Ag-presenting vesicles or as vehicles to spread allogeneic Ags for priming of anti-donor T cells during elicitation of graft rejection or induction/maintenance of transplant tolerance. We demonstrate that circulating exosomes transporting alloantigens are captured by splenic DCs of different lineages. Internalization of host-derived exosomes transporting allopeptides by splenic DCs leads to activation of anti-donor CD4 T cells by the indirect pathway of allorecognition, a phenomenon that requires DC-derived, instead of exosome-derived, MHC class II molecules. By contrast, allogeneic exosomes are unable to stimulate direct-pathway T cells in vivo. We demonstrate in mice that although graft-infiltrating leukocytes release exosomes ex vivo, they do not secrete enough concentrations of exosomes into circulation to stimulate donor-reactive T cells in secondary lymphoid organs. Instead, our findings indicate that migrating DCs (generated in vitro or isolated from allografts), once they home in the spleen, they transfer exosomes expressing the reporter marker GFP to spleen-resident DCs. Our results suggest that exchange of exosomes between DCs in lymphoid organs might constitute a potential mechanism by which passenger leukocytes transfer alloantigens to recipient's APCs and amplify generation of donor-reactive T cells following transplantation.

Augmenter of Liver Regeneration: an Important Intracellular Survival Factor for Hepatocytes

Augmenter of liver regeneration (ALR), a protein synthesized and stored in hepatocytes, is associated with mitochondria, and possesses sulfhydryl oxidase and cytochrome c reductase activities. We sought to determine the effects of ALR depletion in hepatocytes by antisense oligonucleotide transfection.

Mitogen-activated Protein Kinases Regulate Susceptibility to Ventilator-induced Lung Injury

BACKGROUND: Mechanical ventilation causes ventilator-induced lung injury in animals and humans. Mitogen-activated protein kinases have been implicated in ventilator-induced lung injury though their functional significance remains incomplete. We characterize the role of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase/mitogen activated protein kinase kinase-3 and c-Jun-NH(2)-terminal kinase-1 in ventilator-induced lung injury and investigate novel independent mechanisms contributing to lung injury during mechanical ventilation. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPLE FINDINGS: C57/BL6 wild-type mice and mice genetically deleted for mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase-3 (mkk-3(-/-)) or c-Jun-NH(2)-terminal kinase-1 (jnk1(-/-)) were ventilated, and lung injury parameters were assessed. We demonstrate that mkk3(-/-) or jnk1(-/-) mice displayed significantly reduced inflammatory lung injury and apoptosis relative to wild-type mice. Since jnk1(-/-) mice were highly resistant to ventilator-induced lung injury, we performed comprehensive gene expression profiling of ventilated wild-type or jnk1(-/-) mice to identify novel candidate genes which may play critical roles in the pathogenesis of ventilator-induced lung injury. Microarray analysis revealed many novel genes differentially expressed by ventilation including matrix metalloproteinase-8 (MMP8) and GADD45alpha. Functional characterization of MMP8 revealed that mmp8(-/-) mice were sensitized to ventilator-induced lung injury with increased lung vascular permeability. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate that mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways mediate inflammatory lung injury during ventilator-induced lung injury. C-Jun-NH(2)-terminal kinase was also involved in alveolo-capillary leakage and edema formation, whereas MMP8 inhibited alveolo-capillary protein leakage.

Correlation of the Tight Junction-like Distribution of Claudin-1 to the Cellular Tropism of Hepatitis C Virus

Claudin-1 (CLDN1), a tight junction (TJ) protein, has recently been identified as an entry co-receptor for hepatitis C virus (HCV). Ectopic expression of CLDN1 rendered several non-hepatic cell lines permissive to HCV infection. However, little is known about the mechanism by which CLDN1 mediates HCV entry. It is believed that an additional entry receptor(s) is required because ectopic expression of CLDN1 in both HeLa and NIH3T3 cells failed to confer susceptibility to viral infection. Here we found that CLDN1 was co-immunoprecipitated with both HCV envelope proteins when expressed in 293T cells. Results from biomolecular fluorescence complementation assay showed that overexpressed CLDN1 also formed complexes with CD81 and low density lipoprotein receptor. Subsequent imaging analysis revealed that CLDN1 was highly enriched at sites of cell-cell contact in permissive cell lines, co-localizing with the TJ marker, ZO-1. However, in both HeLa and NIH3T3 cells the ectopically expressed CLDN1 appeared to reside predominantly in intracellular vesicles. The CLDN1-CD81 complex formed in HeLa cells was also exclusively distributed intracellularly, co-localizing with EEA1, an early endosomal marker. Correspondingly, transepithelial electric resistance, obtained from the naturally susceptible human liver cell line, Huh7, was much higher than that of the HeLa-CLDN1 cell line, suggesting that Huh7 is likely to form functional tight junctions. Finally, the disruption of TJ-enriched CLDN1 by tumor necrosis factor-alpha treatment markedly reduced the susceptibility of Huh7.5.1 cells to HCV infection. Our results suggest that the specific localization pattern of CLDN1 may be crucial in the regulation of HCV cellular tropism.

GTP-dependent Polymerization of the Tubulin-like RepX Replication Protein Encoded by the PXO1 Plasmid of Bacillus Anthracis

RepX protein encoded by the pXO1 plasmid of Bacillus anthracis is required for plasmid replication. RepX harbours the tubulin signature motif and contains limited amino acid sequence homology to the bacterial cell division protein FtsZ. Although replication proteins are not known to polymerize, here we show by electron microscopy that RepX undergoes GTP-dependent polymerization into long filaments. RepX filaments assembled in the presence of GTPgammaS were more stable than those assembled in the presence of GTP, suggesting a role for GTP hydrolysis in the depolymerization of the filaments. Light scattering studies showed that RepX underwent rapid polymerization, and substitution of GTP with GTPgammaS stabilized the filaments. RepX exhibited GTPase activity and a mutation in the tubulin signature motif severely impaired its GTPase activity and its polymerization in vitro. Unlike FtsZ homologues, RepX harbours a highly basic carboxyl-terminal region and exhibits GTP-dependent, non-specific DNA binding activity. We speculate that RepX may be involved in both the replication and segregation of the pXO1 plasmid.

Sequences in Intron 51 of the Von Willebrand Factor Gene Target Promoter Activation to a Subset of Lung Endothelial Cells in Transgenic Mice

In vivo analyses of the VWF promoter previously demonstrated that a fragment spanning sequences -487 to +247 targets promoter activation to brain vascular endothelial cells, whereas a longer fragment including 2182 bp of the 5'-flanking sequences, the first exon, and the first intron activated expression in endothelial cells of the heart and muscles as well as the brain of transgenic mice. These results suggested that additional VWF gene sequences were required for expression in other vascular endothelial cells in vivo. We have now identified a region within intron 51 of the VWF gene that is DNase I-hypersensitive (HSS) specifically in non-endothelial cells and interacts with endothelial and non-endothelial specific complexes that contain YY1. We demonstrate that beta-actin is associated with YY1 specifically in the nucleus of non-endothelial cells and is a component of the nuclear protein complexes that interact with the DNase I-hypersensitive region. In vitro transfection analyses demonstrated that HSS sequences containing this YY1-binding site do not significantly affect VWF promoter activity. However, in vivo analyses demonstrated that addition of these sequences to the VWF promoter (-487 to +247) results in promoter activation in lung and brain vascular endothelial cells. These results demonstrate that the HSS sequences in intron 51 of the VWF gene contain cis-acting elements that are necessary for the VWF gene transcription in a subset of lung endothelial cells in vivo.

Identification of Poly-ADP-ribosylated Mitochondrial Proteins After Traumatic Brain Injury

Poly-ADP-ribosylation is a post-translational modification performed by poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases (PARP), involved in many diverse cellular functions including DNA repair, transcription, and long-term potentiation. Paradoxically, PARP over-activation under pathologic conditions including traumatic brain injury (TBI) results in cell death. We previously demonstrated that intra-mitochondrial poly-ADP-ribosylation occurs following excitotoxic and oxidative injury in vitro. Here we sought to identify mitochondrial proteins modified by poly-ADP-ribosylation after TBI in vivo. Poly-ADP-ribosylation within mitochondria from injured brain after experimental TBI in rats was first verified using western blot and immuno-electron microscopy. Poly-ADP-ribosylated mitochondrial proteins identified using a targeted proteomic approach included voltage-dependent anion channel-1, mitofilin, mitochondrial stress proteins, and the electron transport chain components F1F0 ATPase, cytochrome c oxidase, and cytochrome c reductase. To examine the functional consequences of mitochondrial poly-ADP-ribosylation, isolated rat brain mitochondria were exposed to conditions of nitrosative stress known to activate PARP. PARP activation-induced reductions in State 3 respiration were prevented by the PARP-1 inhibitor 5-iodo-6-amino-1,2-benzopyrone or exogenous poly(ADP-ribose) glycohydrolase. As the effects of PARP activation on mitochondrial respiration appear regulated by poly(ADP-ribose) glycohydrolase, a direct effect of poly-ADP-ribosylation on electron transport chain function is suggested. These findings may be of relevance to TBI and other diseases where mitochondrial dysfunction occurs.

Virologic and Immunologic Events in Hilar Lymph Nodes During Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Infection: Development of Polarized Inflammation

Lymphoid tissues are sites of soluble and cell-associated antigen sampling of peripheral tissues, and they are key compartments for the generation of cellular and humoral immune responses. Hilar lymph nodes (HiLNs), which drain the lungs, were examined to understand the effects of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection on this compartment of the immune system. Histologic and messenger RNA (mRNA) expression profiling approaches were used to determine the numbers, types, and distributions of SIV viral RNA cells and to identify differentially expressed genes in HiLNs during SIV infection. SIV RNA cells were found to be primarily CD68 and localized to paracortical and medullary regions early in infection, whereas they resided mainly in paracortex during AIDS. As SIV infection progressed, CXCL9, CXCL10, interferon-gamma, and Toll-like receptor 3 levels all increased. In contrast, CCL19 increased early in infection but decreased during AIDS, whereas CCL21 decreased progressively throughout infection. Finally, local levels of cellular activation were increased throughout infection. Taken together, these findings indicate that SIV infection leads to an inflammatory environment in lung-draining lymph nodes that is characterized by type 1 cytokines and chemokines and likely has an impact on the nature and strength of immune responses to pulmonary pathogens.

Autophagy is Increased in Mice After Traumatic Brain Injury and is Detectable in Human Brain After Trauma and Critical Illness

Autophagy is a homeostatic process for recycling of proteins and organelles, that increases during times of nutrient deprivation and is regulated by reactive oxygen species. We reported that autophagy can also be induced after traumatic brain injury (TBI) in mice.1 Specifically, autophagosomes and multilamellar bodies were frequently observed in cell processes and axons in injured brain regions by electron microscopy, and lipidated microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3-II), was increased after TBI vs. controls. To determine if antioxidants could reduce autophagy, separate mice were treated with the antioxidant ?-glutamylcysteinyl ethyl ester (GCEE). Treatment with GCEE preserved total antioxidant reserves, reduced LC3-II in injured brains, and improved both behavioral and histological outcome after TBI. Here we report that LC3-II and autophagosomes were detectable in brain tissue from humans after TBI. Taken together, we show that autophagy occurs after both experimental and clinical TBI, and that oxidative stress contributes to overall neuropathology after TBI in mice, at least in part by initiating or influencing autophagy.

Autophagy is Increased After Traumatic Brain Injury in Mice and is Partially Inhibited by the Antioxidant Gamma-glutamylcysteinyl Ethyl Ester

Autophagy is a homeostatic process for recycling of proteins and organelles, induced by nutrient deprivation and regulated by oxygen radicals. Whether autophagy is induced after traumatic brain injury (TBI) is not established. We show that TBI in mice results in increased ultrastructural and biochemical evidence of autophagy. Specifically, autophagosomal vacuoles and secondary lysosomes were frequently observed in cell processes and axons in ipsilateral brain regions by electron microscopy, and lipidated microtubule-associated protein light chain 3, a biochemical footprint of autophagy referred to as LC3 II, was increased at 2 and 24 h after TBI versus controls. Since oxygen radicals are believed to be important in the pathogenesis of TBI and are essential for the process of starvation-induced autophagy in vitro, we also sought to determine if treatment with the antioxidant gamma-glutamylcysteinyl ethyl ester (GCEE) reduced autophagy and influenced neurologic outcome after TBI in mice. Treatment with GCEE reduced oxidative stress and partially reduced LC3 II formation in injured brain at 24 h after TBI versus vehicle. Treatment with GCEE also led to partial improvement in behavioral and histologic outcome versus vehicle. Taken together, these data show that autophagy occurs after experimental TBI, and that oxidative stress contributes to overall neuropathology, in part by initiating or influencing autophagy.

Stratification of Antigen-presenting Cells Within the Normal Cornea

The composition and location of professional antigen presenting cells (APC) varies in different mucosal surfaces. The cornea, long considered an immune-privileged tissue devoid of APCs, is now known to host a heterogeneous network of bone marrow-derived cells. Here, we utilized transgenic mice that express enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) from the CD11c promoter (pCD11c) in conjunction with immunohistochemical staining to demonstrate an interesting stratification of APCs within non-inflamed murine corneas. pCD11c(+) dendritic cells (DCs) reside in the basal epithelium, seemingly embedded in the basement membrane. Most DCs express MHC class II on at least some dendrites, which extend up to 50 µm in length and traverse up 20 µm tangentially towards the apical surface of the epithelium. The DC density diminishes from peripheral to central cornea. Beneath the DCs and adjacent to the stromal side of the basement membrane reside pCD11c(-) CD11b(+) putative macrophages that express low levels of MHC class II. Finally, MHC class II(-)pCD11c(-) CD11b(+) cells form a network throughout the remainder of the stroma. This highly reproducible stratification of bone marrow-derived cells is suggestive of a progression from an APC function at the exposed corneal surface to an innate immune barrier function deeper in the stroma.

Structural Requirements for PACSIN/Syndapin Operation During Zebrafish Embryonic Notochord Development

PACSIN/Syndapin proteins are membrane-active scaffolds that participate in endocytosis. The structure of the Drosophila Syndapin N-terminal EFC domain reveals a crescent shaped antiparallel dimer with a high affinity for phosphoinositides and a unique membrane-inserting prong upon the concave surface. Combined structural, biochemical and reverse genetic approaches in zebrafish define an important role for Syndapin orthologue, Pacsin3, in the early formation of the notochord during embryonic development. In pacsin3-morphant embryos, midline convergence of notochord precursors is defective as axial mesodermal cells fail to polarize, migrate and differentiate properly. The pacsin3 morphant phenotype of a stunted body axis and contorted trunk is rescued by ectopic expression of Drosophila Syndapin, and depends critically on both the prong that protrudes from the surface of the bowed Syndapin EFC domain and the ability of the antiparallel dimer to bind tightly to phosphoinositides. Our data confirm linkage between directional migration, endocytosis and cell specification during embryonic morphogenesis and highlight a key role for Pacsin3 in this coupling in the notochord.

Ectopic T-bet Expression Licenses Dendritic Cells for IL-12-independent Priming of Type 1 T Cells in Vitro

T-bet (TBX21) is a transcription factor required for the optimal development of type 1 immune responses. Although initially characterized for its intrinsic role in T cell functional polarization, endogenous T-bet may also be critical to the licensing of type 1-biasing APCs. Here, we investigated whether human dendritic cells (DC) genetically engineered to express high levels of T-bet (i.e., DC.Tbet) promote superior type 1 T cell responses in vitro. We observed that DC.Tbet were selective activators of type 1 effector T cells developed from the naive pool of responder cells, whereas DC.Tbet and control DC promoted type 1 responses equitably from the memory pool of responder cells. Naive T cells primed by (staphylococcal enterotoxin B or tumor-associated protein-loaded) DC.Tbet exhibited an enhancement in type 1- and a concomitant reduction in Th2- and regulatory T cell-associated phenotype/function. Surprisingly, DC.Tbets were impaired in their production of IL-12 family member cytokines (IL-12p70, IL-23, and IL-27) when compared with control DC, and the capacity of DC.Tbet to preferentially prime type 1 T cell responses was only minimally inhibited by cytokine (IL-12p70, IL-23, IFN-gamma) neutralization or receptor (IL-12Rbeta2, IL-27R) blockade during T cell priming. The results of transwell assays suggested the DC.Tbet-mediated effects are predominantly the result of direct DC-T cell contact or their close proximity, thereby implicating a novel, IL-12-independent mechanism by which DC.Tbets promote improved type 1 functional polarization from naive T cell responders. Given their superior type 1 polarizing capacity, DC.Tbet may be suitable for use in vaccines designed to prevent/treat cancer or infectious disease.

HIV-1 Infection of DC: Evidence for the Acquisition of Virus Particles from Infected T Cells by Antigen Uptake Mechanism

Dendritic cells (DC) play a pivotal role in transmission and dissemination of HIV-1. Earlier studies reported that DC present at the site of infection trap virus particles via DC-SIGN and transfer the virus to the interacting naïve T cells. This prompted us to ask the question whether DC could acquire virus from infected T cells during DC-T cell interaction. To address this, we investigated the likely transfer of virus from HIV-1 infected T cells to DC and the underlying mechanisms involved. Results indicate that DC acquire virus from infected T cells via antigen uptake mechanism and this results in infection of DC with expression of proteins directed by viral DNA. Further studies with HIV-1 lacking the Env protein also resulted in infection of DC. The use of antibodies against DC-SIGN and DC-SIGN-R ruled out a role for receptor in the infection of DC. Additional data show that DC infection is directly correlated with the ability of DC to take up antigen from infected T cells. Overall, these studies provide evidence to suggest that HIV-1, besides infecting immune cells, also utilizes immunological mechanism(s) to acquire and disseminate virus.

WITHDRAWN: Communication Between Immune Cells Mediated by Membrane Connections

This article has been withdrawn at the request of the authors and Guest Editor. The Publisher apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause. The full Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal can be found at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy.

Dendritic Cell Altered States: What Role for Calcium?

Ca2+-driven responses in dendritic cells (DCs) are less well characterized than in lymphocytes. When DCs undergo a sequence of activation/maturation events, typically beginning with exposure to pathogens in the periphery, Ca2+ entry into the cytosol from stores in the endoplasmic reticulum or from outside the cell can occur at various steps and participate in intracellular signaling. However, not all cellular processes identified in these cells are Ca2+ dependent. While immigration of precursor DCs into the peripheral tissues as well as emigration to secondary lymphoid sites following microbial challenge depend on processes that involve Ca2+, other processes such as DC maturation in response to Toll-like receptor agonist stimulation appear not to. Certain microbial stimuli and host-derived chemokines induce Ca2+ entry that is important for the induced responses. In this article, we review the current state of our understanding of the role of Ca2+ in DC biology and argue that homeostatic control of Ca2+ levels in these cells is critical for maintaining their proper function. We also consider evidence for intercellular transmission of Ca2+ signals between DCs that are physically linked by thin membranous extensions termed tunneling nanotubules.

Using Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) Microscopy to Visualize Cortical Actin and Microtubules in the Drosophila Syncytial Embryo

The Drosophila syncytial embryo is a powerful developmental model system for studying dynamic coordinated cytoskeletal rearrangements. Confocal microscopy has begun to reveal more about the cytoskeletal changes that occur during embryogenesis. Total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy provides a promising new approach for the visualization of cortical events with heightened axial resolution. We have applied TIRF microscopy to the Drosophila embryo to visualize cortical microtubule and actin dynamics in the syncytial blastoderm. Here, we describe the details of this technique, and report qualitative assessments of cortical microtubules and actin in the Drosophila syncytial embryo. In addition, we identified a peak of cortical microtubules during anaphase of each nuclear cycle in the syncytial blastoderm, and using images generated by TIRF microscopy, we quantitatively analyzed microtubule dynamics during this time.

Cholesterol-dependent Cytolysins Induce Rapid Release of Mature IL-1beta from Murine Macrophages in a NLRP3 Inflammasome and Cathepsin B-dependent Manner

CDC are exotoxins secreted by many Gram-positive bacteria that bind cholesterol and oligomerize to form pores in eukaryotic cell membranes. We demonstrate that CDC TLO induces caspase-1 cleavage and the rapid release of IL-1beta from LPS-primed murine BMDM. IL-1beta secretion depends on functional toxin pore formation, as free cholesterol, which prevents TLO binding to cell membranes, blocks the cytokine release. Secretion of the mature forms of IL-1beta and caspase-1 occurs only at lower TLO doses, whereas at a higher concentration, cells release the biologically inactive proforms. IL-1beta release at a low TLO dose requires potassium efflux, calcium influx, and the activities of calcium-independent PLA(2), caspase-1, and cathepsin B. Additionally, mature IL-1beta release induced by a low TLO dose is dependent on the NLRP3 inflammasome, and pro-IL-1beta release induced by a high TLO dose occurs independently of NLRP3. These results further elucidate a mechanism of CDC-induced IL-1beta release and suggest a novel, immune evasion strategy in which IL-1beta-containing macrophages might release primarily inactive cytokine following exposure to high doses of these toxins.

The Tubulin-like RepX Protein Encoded by the PXO1 Plasmid Forms Polymers in Vivo in Bacillus Anthracis

Bacillus anthracis contains two megaplasmids, pXO1 and pXO2, that are critical for its pathogenesis. Stable inheritance of pXO1 in B. anthracis is dependent upon the tubulin/FtsZ-like RepX protein encoded by this plasmid. Previously, we have shown that RepX undergoes GTP-dependent polymerization in vitro. However, the polymerization properties and localization pattern of RepX in vivo are not known. Here, we utilize a RepX-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion to show that RepX forms foci and three distinct forms of polymeric structures in B. anthracis in vivo, namely straight, curved, and helical filaments. Polymerization of RepX-GFP as well as the nature of polymers formed were dependent upon concentration of the protein inside the B. anthracis cells. RepX predominantly localized as polymers that were parallel to the length of the cell. RepX also formed polymers in Escherichia coli in the absence of other pXO1-encoded products, showing that in vivo polymerization is an inherent property of the protein and does not require either the pXO1 plasmid or proteins unique to B. anthracis. Overexpression of RepX did not affect the cell morphology of B. anthracis cells, whereas it drastically distorted the cell morphology of E. coli host cells. We discuss the significance of our observations in view of the plasmid-specific functions that have been proposed for RepX and related proteins encoded by several megaplasmids found in members of the Bacillus cereus group of bacteria.

Noncytotoxic Suppression of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Transcription by Exosomes Secreted from CD8+ T Cells

CD8(+) T cells display a noncytotoxic activity that suppresses transcription of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in an antigen-independent and major histocompatibility complex-unrestricted manner. To date, the precise cellular and molecular factors mediating this CD8(+) T-cell effector function remain unsolved. Despite evidence indicating the dependence of the activity on cell-cell contact, the possibility of a membrane-mediated activity that represses transcription from the viral promoter remains unexplored. We therefore investigated whether this inhibition of HIV-1 transcription might be elicited by a membrane-bound determinant. Using a CD8(+) T-cell line displaying potent noncytotoxic HIV-1 suppression activity, we have identified a membrane-localized HIV-1-suppressing activity that is concomitantly secreted as 30- to 100-nm endosome-derived tetraspanin-rich vesicles known as exosomes. Purified exosomes from CD8(+) T-cell culture supernatant noncytotoxically suppressed CCR5-tropic (R5) and CXCR4-tropic (X4) replication of HIV-1 in vitro through a protein moiety. Similar antiviral activity was also found in exosomes isolated from two HIV-1-infected subjects. The antiviral exosomes specifically inhibited HIV-1 transcription in both acute and chronic models of infection. Our results, for the first time, indicate the existence of an antiviral membrane-bound factor consistent with the hallmarks defining noncytotoxic CD8(+) T-cell suppression of HIV-1.

Effective Immunotherapy Against Murine Gliomas Using Type 1 Polarizing Dendritic Cells--significant Roles of CXCL10

In an attempt to develop effective vaccines against central nervous system (CNS) tumors, we evaluated the ability of vaccines with standard dendritic cells (DC) versus type 1 polarizing DCs (DC1) to induce glioma-specific type 1 CTLs with CNS tumor-relevant homing properties and the mechanism of their action. C57BL/6 mouse-derived bone marrow cells were cultured with mouse granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) for 6 days, and CD11c(+) cells were subsequently cultured with GM-CSF, rmIFN-gamma, rmIFN-alpha, rmIL-4, and polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid stabilized by lysine and carboxymethylcellulose for 24 hours to generate DC1s. In analogy to their human counterparts, mouse DC1s exhibited surface marker profiles of mature DCs and produced high levels of IL-12 and CXCL10. Importantly for their application as cancer vaccines, such DC1s stably retained their type 1 phenotype even when exposed to type 2-promoting or regulatory T cell (Treg)-promoting environments. Consistently, mouse DC1s induced antigen-specific type 1 CTLs more efficiently than nonpolarized DCs in vitro. DC1s given s.c. migrated into draining lymph nodes, induced antigen-specific CTLs, and suppressed Treg accumulation. In addition, s.c. immunization with DC1s loaded with glioma-associated antigen (GAA)-derived CTL epitope peptides prolonged the survival of CNS GL261 glioma-bearing mice, which was associated with efficient CNS glioma homing of antigen-specific CTLs. Intratumoral injections of GAA peptide-loaded DC1s further enhanced the anti-CNS glioma effects of DC1-based s.c. immunization. Interestingly, the antitumor functions were abrogated with CXCL10(-/-) mouse-derived DC1s. Collectively, these findings show the anti-CNS glioma effects of DC1-based therapy and a novel role of CXCL10 in the immunologic and therapeutic activity of DC-based cancer vaccines.

Differential Capability of Human Cutaneous Dendritic Cell Subsets to Initiate Th17 Responses

Human skin-migratory dendritic cells (DCs) have the ability to prime and bias Th1 and Th2 CD4+ T lymphocytes. However, whether human cutaneous DCs are capable of initiating proinflammatory Th17 responses remains undetermined. We report that skin-migratory DCs stimulate allogeneic naive CD4+ T cells that differentiate simultaneously into two distinct effector Th17 and Th1 populations capable of homing to the skin, where they induce severe cutaneous damage. Skin-migratory Langerhans cells (smiLCs) were the main cutaneous DC subset capable of inducing Th17 responses dependent on the combined effects of IL-15 and stabilized IL-6, which resulted in IL-6 trans-signaling of naive CD4+ T cells. Different from smiLCs, purified skin-migratory dermal DCs did not synthesize IL-15 and were unable to bias Th17 responses. Nevertheless, these dermal DCs were capable of differentiating Th17 cells in mixed leukocyte cultures supplemented with IL-15 and stabilized IL-6. Overall, our data demonstrate that human epidermal smiLCs induce Th17 responses by mechanisms different from those previously described and highlight the need to target clinical treatments based on these variations.

Starving Neurons Show Sex Difference in Autophagy

Sex-dependent differences in adaptation to famine have long been appreciated, thought to hinge on female versus male preferences for fat versus protein sources, respectively. However, whether these differences can be reduced to neurons, independent of typical nutrient depots, such as adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, and liver, was heretofore unknown. A vital adaptation to starvation is autophagy, a mechanism for recycling amino acids from organelles and proteins. Here we show that segregated neurons from males in culture are more vulnerable to starvation than neurons from females. Nutrient deprivation decreased mitochondrial respiration, increased autophagosome formation, and produced cell death more profoundly in neurons from males versus females. Starvation-induced neuronal death was attenuated by 3-methyladenine, an inhibitor of autophagy; Atg7 knockdown using small interfering RNA; or L-carnitine, essential for transport of fatty acids into mitochondria, all more effective in neurons from males versus females. Relative tolerance to nutrient deprivation in neurons from females was associated with a marked increase in triglyceride and free fatty acid content and a cytosolic phospholipase A2-dependent increase in formation of lipid droplets. Similar sex differences in sensitivity to nutrient deprivation were seen in fibroblasts. However, although inhibition of autophagy using Atg7 small interfering RNA inhibited cell death during starvation in neurons, it increased cell death in fibroblasts, implying that the role of autophagy during starvation is both sex- and tissue-dependent. Thus, during starvation, neurons from males more readily undergo autophagy and die, whereas neurons from females mobilize fatty acids, accumulate triglycerides, form lipid droplets, and survive longer.

P38-MAPK- and Caspase-3-mediated Superoxide-induced Apoptosis of Rat Hepatic Stellate Cells: Reversal by Retinoic Acid

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) activate retinoid-containing quiescent hepatic stellate cells (qHSCs) to retinoid-deficient fibrogenic myofibroblast-like cells (aHSCs). However, ROS also cause apoptosis of aHSCs, and apoptotic aHSCs are observed in inflammatory fibrotic liver. Here, we investigated mechanisms of the effects of oxidative stress on the survival of qHSCs and aHSCs. HSCs from normal rat liver were used after overnight culture (qHSCs), or in 3-5 passages (aHSCs). For in vivo induction of oxidative stress, tert-butylhydroperoxide was injected into control and CCl4-induced cirrhotic rats. Spontaneous caspase-3 activation and apoptosis, observed in cultured qHSCs, decreased with time and were unaffected by superoxide. In contrast, superoxide caused caspase-3 and p38-MAPK activation, reduction in Bcl-xL expression, and apoptosis in aHSCs. Inhibition of caspase-3 and p38-MAPK did not affect the viability of qHSCs in the absence or presence of superoxide, but inhibited superoxide-induced death of aHSCs. Glutathione (GSH) level and activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) were lower in aHSCs than qHSCs. Superoxide increased GSH content, and activities of SOD, catalase and GPx in qHSCs but not in aHSCs. Incubation of 13-cis-retinoic acid (RA)-treated aHSCs with superoxide increased their GSH content significantly, and prevented superoxide-induced p38-MAPK and caspase-3 activation while dramatically reducing the extent of apoptosis. Finally, oxidative stress induced in vivo caused apoptosis of aHSCs in cirrhotic but not of qHSCs in control rats. These results suggest that the absence of retinoids render aHSCs susceptible to superoxide-induced apoptosis via caspase-3 and p38-MAPK activation.

Accelerated Aging of Intervertebral Discs in a Mouse Model of Progeria

Intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is a common and debilitating disorder that results in reduced flexibility of the spine, pain, and reduced mobility. Risk factors for IDD include age, genetic predisposition, injury, and other environmental factors such as smoking. Loss of proteoglycans (PGs) contributes to IDD with advancing age. Currently there is a lack of a model for rapid investigation of disc aging and evaluation of therapeutic interventions. Here we examined progression of disc aging in a murine model of a human progeroid syndrome caused by deficiency of the DNA repair endonuclease, ERCC1-XPF (Ercc1(-/Δ) mice). The ERCC1-deficient mice showed loss of disc height and degenerative structural changes in their vertebral bodies similar to those reported for old rodents. Compared to their wild-type littermates, Ercc1(-/Δ) mice also exhibit other age-related IDD characteristics, including premature loss of disc PG, reduced matrix PG synthesis, and enhanced apoptosis and cell senescence. Finally, the onset of age-associated disc pathologies was further accelerated in Ercc1(-/Δ) mice following chronic treatment with the chemotherapeutic agent mechlorethamine. These results demonstrate that Ercc1(-/Δ) mice represent an accurate and rapid model of disc aging and provide novel evidence that DNA damage negatively impacts PG synthesis.

The Second Extracellular Loop Dictates Occludin-mediated HCV Entry

Recent findings have implicated tight junction (TJ) protein Occludin (OCLN) as an essential factor for hepatitis C virus (HCV) to enter human hepatocytes. To gain insights into OCLN-mediated HCV entry, we created a panel of OCLN deletion mutants and found that without impairing OCLN's cell surface localization, removal of the extracellular loop 2 (EL2) from OCLN abolished both its ability to mediate HIV-HCV pseudotypes' (HCVpp) entry as well as its ability to coprecipitate HCV glycoprotein E2. Recombinant OCLN EL2, however, failed to robustly bind soluble E2 (sE2) in pull-down assays. Subsequent studies revealed that OCLN formed complex with Dynamin II, an important GTPase for endocytosis, in an EL2-dependent fashion. HCVpp, as well as cell culture grown HCV (HCVcc), was sensitive to Dynamin knockdown or inhibition. We conclude that OCLN EL2 dictates the Dynamin-dependent HCV entry. Furthermore, OCLN could function to bridge virions to Dynamin-dependent endocytic machineries.

Identification of a Cardiac Specific Protein Transduction Domain by in Vivo Biopanning Using a M13 Phage Peptide Display Library in Mice

A peptide able to transduce cardiac tissue specifically, delivering cargoes to the heart, would be of significant therapeutic potential for delivery of small molecules, proteins and nucleic acids. In order to identify peptide(s) able to transduce heart tissue, biopanning was performed in cell culture and in vivo with a M13 phage peptide display library.

Sar1 Assembly Regulates Membrane Constriction and ER Export

The guanosine triphosphatase Sar1 controls the assembly and fission of COPII vesicles. Sar1 utilizes an amphipathic N-terminal helix as a wedge that inserts into outer membrane leaflets to induce vesicle neck constriction and control fission. We hypothesize that Sar1 organizes on membranes to control constriction as observed with fission proteins like dynamin. Sar1 activation led to membrane-dependent oligomerization that transformed giant unilamellar vesicles into small vesicles connected through highly constricted necks. In contrast, membrane tension provided through membrane attachment led to organization of Sar1 in ordered scaffolds that formed rigid, uniformly nonconstricted lipid tubules to suggest that Sar1 organization regulates membrane constriction. Sar1 organization required conserved residues located on a unique C-terminal loop. Mutations in this loop did not affect Sar1 activation or COPII recruitment and enhanced membrane constriction, yet inhibited Sar1 organization and procollagen transport from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Sar1 activity was directed to liquid-disordered lipid phases. Thus, lipid-directed and tether-assisted Sar1 organization controls membrane constriction to regulate ER export.

Virally Infected and Matured Human Dendritic Cells Activate Natural Killer Cells Via Cooperative Activity of Plasma Membrane-bound TNF and IL-15

Recombinant adenovirus-engineered dendritic cells (Ad.DCs) are potent immunologic adjuvants of antiviral and anticancer vaccines. The effectiveness of Ad.DC-based vaccines may depend on the ability of Ad.DCs to crosstalk with natural killer (NK) cells and to activate, polarize, and bridge innate and adaptive immunity. We investigated, for the first time, whether and how human Ad.DCs activate NK cells, and compared the Ad.DC function with that of immature DCs and matured DCs (mDCs). We found that adenovirus transduction and lipopolysaccharide/interferon-gamma-induced maturation increased expression of transmembrane tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and trans-presented (trans) interleukin-15 (IL-15) on DCs, leading to enhanced NK cell activation without enhancing DC susceptibility to NK cell-mediated killing. This crosstalk enhanced NK cell CD69 expression, interferon-gamma secretion, proliferation, and antitumor activities, with Ad.DCs being significantly more effective than immature DCs, but less effective than mDCs. The Ad.DC and mDC crosstalk with NK cells was largely prevented by physical separation of DCs and NK cells, and neutralization of total TNF and IL-15, but not by selective sequestration of soluble TNF. These findings demonstrate that both Ad.DCs and mDCs can efficiently promote innate immune functions by activation of NK cells through the cooperative activities of tmTNF and trans-IL-15 mediated by cell-to-cell contact.

Inhibition and Role of Let-7d in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic, progressive, and usually lethal fibrotic lung disease characterized by profound changes in epithelial cell phenotype and fibroblast proliferation.

Deregulation of Mitochondrial Membrane Potential by Mitochondrial Insertion of Granzyme B and Direct Hax-1 Cleavage

The cytoplasm and the nucleus have been identified as activity sites for granzyme B (GrB) following its delivery from cytotoxic lymphocyte granules into target cells. Here we report on the ability of exogenous GrB to insert into and function within a proteinase K-resistant mitochondrial compartment. We identified Hax-1 (HS-1-associated protein X-1), a mitochondrial protein involved in the maintenance of mitochondrial membrane potential, as a GrB substrate within the mitochondrion. GrB cleaves Hax-1 into two major fragments: an N-terminal fragment that localizes to mitochondria and a C-terminal fragment that localizes to the cytosol after being released from GrB-treated mitochondria. The N-terminal Hax-1 fragment major cellular impact is on the regulation of mitochondrial polarization. Overexpression of wild-type Hax-1 or its uncleavable mutant form protects the mitochondria against GrB or valinomycin-mediated depolarization. The N-terminal Hax-1 fragment functions as a dominant negative form of Hax-1, mediating mitochondrial depolarization in a cyclophilin D-dependent manner. Thus, induced expression of the N-terminal Hax-1 fragment results in mitochondrial depolarization and subsequent lysosomal degradation of such altered mitochondria. This study is the first to demonstrate GrB activity within the mitochondrion and to identify Hax-1 cleavage as a novel mechanism for GrB-mediated mitochondrial depolarization.

Characterization of an Lhx1a Transgenic Reporter in Zebrafish

The LIM-domain containing transcription factor, Lhx1, is involved in the regulation of early gastrulation cell movements, kidney organogenesis and other processes in vertebrate model organisms. To follow the expression of this gene in live embryos, we created transgenic zebrafish expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) under the control of lhx1a regulatory regions. Tg(lhx1a:EGFP)(pt303) recapitulates the expression of endogenous lhx1a beginning at early gastrula stages through 72 hours of development with only few exceptions. In addition, over-expression of the Nodal ligand, ndr1, results in the concomitant expansion of the transgene and endogenous lhx1a expression. Treatment of Tg(lhx1a:EGFP)(pt303) embryos with the small molecule SB-431542, an inhibitor of Nodal signaling, results in the loss of both transgene and endogenous lhx1a expression. These experiments suggest that Tg(lhx1a:EGFP)(pt303) is regulated in a manner similar to endogenous lhx1a. Therefore, this reporter can be utilized not only for monitoring lhx1a expression, but also for numerous applications, including chemical genetics screening.

DC Expressing Transgene Foxp3 Are Regulatory APC

Tolerogenic DC and suppressive Foxp3(+) Treg play important roles in preventing autoimmunity and allograft rejection. We report that (adenovirus mediated) ectopic expression of Foxp3 in human DC (i.e. DC.Foxp3) yields an APC that severely limits T-cell proliferation and type-1 immune responses from the naïve, but not memory, pool of responder T cells in vitro. In marked contrast, the frequencies of type-2 and Treg responses were dramatically increased after stimulation of naïve T cells with DC.Foxp3 versus control DC. DC.Foxp3-induced CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg cells potently suppressed the proliferation of, and IFN-gamma production from, CD4(+) and CD8(+) responder T cells. Notably, the immunosuppressive biology of DC.Foxp3 was effectively normalized by addition of 1-methyl-tryptophan or neutralizing anti-TGF-beta1 Ab during the period of T-cell priming. These data suggest the potential utility of regulatory DC.Foxp3 and/or DC.Foxp3-induced CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg as translational agents for the amelioration or prevention of pathology in the setting of allograft transplantation and/or autoimmunity.

Biochemical Isolation and Characterization of the Tubulovesicular LC3-positive Autophagosomal Compartment

Autophagosomes and their precursors are best defined by electron microscopy but may also be traced in living cells based on the distribution of specific autophagy molecules. LC3, the most commonly examined autophagy marker in mammalian cells, labels structures that are frequently manifested as dots or rings using light microscopy; however, the nature of these structures is not entirely clear. We reported here a novel approach to examine the LC3-positive compartment in cell-free lysates, which revealed that they were actually tubulovesicular structures with considerable heterogeneity. Using affinity purification, we isolated these membranes for electron microscopy, which indicated that they possessed ultrastructural features consistent with autophagosomal membranes at various maturation stages. Further biochemical and proteomics analyses demonstrated the presence of multiple autophagy-related and other functional molecules. The different distribution patterns of Atg5, Atg16, Atg9, and p62/SQSTM1 on the LC3-positive compartment provided new clues on how these molecules might be involved in the dynamics of the autophagosomal membranes. Finally, several morphologically unique groups of LC3-positive membranes were categorized. Their topological configurations suggested that double-membrane vesicles could be derived from single membrane compartments via different means, including tubule-to-vesicle conversion, whose presence was supported by live cell imaging. These findings thus provide new information on the dynamics of the autophagosomal compartment.

IL-6 Adsorption Dynamics in Hemoadsorption Beads Studied Using Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy

Sepsis is characterized by a systemic inflammatory response caused by infection, and can result in organ failure and death. Removal of inflammatory mediators such as cytokines from the circulating blood is a promising treatment for severe sepsis. We are developing an extracorporeal hemoadsorption device to remove cytokines from the blood using biocompatible, polymer sorbent beads. In this study, we used confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) to directly examine adsorption dynamics of a cytokine (IL-6) within hemoadsorption beads. Fluorescently labeled IL-6 was incubated with sorbent particles, and CLSM was used to quantify spatial adsorption profiles of IL-6 within the sorbent matrix. IL-6 adsorption was limited to the outer 15 microm of the sorbent particle over a relevant clinical time period, and intraparticle adsorption dynamics was modeled using classical adsorption/diffusion mechanisms. A single model parameter, alpha = q(max) K/D, was estimated by fitting CLSM intensity profiles to our mathematical model, where q(max) and K are Langmuir adsorption isotherm parameters, and D is the effective diffusion coefficient of IL-6 within the sorbent matrix. Given the large diameter of our sorbent beads (450 microm), less than 20% of available sorbent surface area participates in cytokine adsorption. Development of smaller beads may accelerate cytokine adsorption by maximizing available surface area per bead mass.

AMPK Agonists Ameliorate Sodium and Fluid Transport and Inflammation in Cystic Fibrosis Airway Epithelial Cells

The metabolic sensor AMP-activated kinase (AMPK) inhibits both the cystic fibrosis (CF) transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) Cl(-) channel and epithelial Na(+) channel (ENaC), and may inhibit secretion of proinflammatory cytokines in epithelia. Here we have tested in primary polarized CF and non-CF human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells the effects of AMPK activators, metformin and 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-beta-D-riboside (AICAR), on various parameters that contribute to CF lung disease: ENaC-dependent short-circuit currents (I(sc)), airway surface liquid (ASL) height, and proinflammatory cytokine secretion. AMPK activation after overnight treatment with either metformin (2-5 mM) or AICAR (1 mM) substantially inhibited ENaC-dependent I(sc) in both CF and non-CF airway cultures. Live-cell confocal images acquired 60 minutes after apical addition of Texas Red-dextran-containing fluid revealed significantly greater ASL heights after AICAR and metformin treatment relative to controls, suggesting that AMPK-dependent ENaC inhibition slows apical fluid reabsorption. Both metformin and AICAR decreased secretion of various proinflammatory cytokines, both with and without prior LPS stimulation. Finally, prolonged exposure to more physiologically relevant concentrations of metformin (0.03-1 mM) inhibited ENaC currents and decreased proinflammatory cytokine levels in CF HBE cells in a dose-dependent manner. These findings suggest that novel therapies to activate AMPK in the CF airway may be beneficial by blunting excessive sodium and ASL absorption and by reducing excessive airway inflammation, which are major contributors to CF lung disease.

Direct Visualization of HIV-1 with Correlative Live-cell Microscopy and Cryo-electron Tomography

Cryo-electron tomography (cryoET) allows 3D visualization of cellular structures at molecular resolution in a close-to-native state and therefore has the potential to help elucidate early events of HIV-1 infection in host cells. However, structural details of infecting HIV-1 have not been observed, due to technological challenges in working with rare and dynamic HIV-1 particles in human cells. Here, we report structural analysis of HIV-1 and host-cell interactions by means of a correlative high-speed 3D live-cell-imaging and cryoET method. Using this method, we showed under near-native conditions that intact hyperstable mutant HIV-1 cores are released into the cytoplasm of host cells. We further obtained direct evidence to suggest that a hyperstable mutant capsid, E45A, showed delayed capsid disassembly compared to the wild-type capsid. Together, these results demonstrate the advantages of our correlative live-cell and cryoET approach for imaging dynamic processes, such as viral infection.

Functional Characterization of an ScFv-Fc Antibody That Immunotherapeutically Targets the Common Cancer Cell Surface Proteoglycan CSPG4

Cell surface chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan 4 (CSPG4) is an attractive target for antibody-based cancer immunotherapy because of its role in tumor cell biology, its high expression on malignant cells including cancer-initiating cells, and its restricted distribution in normal tissues. The clinical use of CSPG4 has been hampered by the lack of a CSPG4-specific chimeric, humanized, or fully human monoclonal antibody. To overcome this limitation, we generated a CSPG4-specific fully human single-chain antibody termed scFv-FcC21 and characterized its specificity and antitumor activity. Viable CSPG4(+) melanoma cells were used in a screen of a human scFv phage display library that included CDR3 engineered to optimize antibody binding sites. The scFv antibody isolated was then recombinantly engineered with a human immunoglobulin G1 Fc region to construct the fully human antibody scFv-FcC21, which recognized tumors of neuroectodermal origin, various types of carcinomas, mesotheliomas, and sarcomas as well as myeloid leukemias. scFv-FcC21 inhibited in vitro growth and migration of tumor cells and in vivo growth of human tumor xenografts. These effects were mediated by inhibition of the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase and focal adhesion kinase signaling pathways that are critical for tumor cell growth and migration, respectively. Our findings define the CSPG4-specific fully human scFv-FcC21 antibody as a candidate therapeutic agent to target the many types of tumors that express CSPG4.

Dynamic Na+-H+ Exchanger Regulatory Factor-1 Association and Dissociation Regulate Parathyroid Hormone Receptor Trafficking at Membrane Microdomains

Na/H exchanger regulatory factor-1 (NHERF1) is a cytoplasmic PDZ (postsynaptic density 95/disc large/zona occludens) protein that assembles macromolecular complexes and determines the localization, trafficking, and signaling of select G protein-coupled receptors and other membrane-delimited proteins. The parathyroid hormone receptor (PTHR), which regulates mineral ion homeostasis and bone turnover, is a G protein-coupled receptor harboring a PDZ-binding motif that enables association with NHERF1 and tethering to the actin cytoskeleton. NHERF1 interactions with the PTHR modify its trafficking and signaling. Here, we characterized by live cell imaging the mechanism whereby NHERF1 coordinates the interactions of multiple proteins, as well as the fate of NHERF1 itself upon receptor activation. Upon PTHR stimulation, NHERF1 rapidly dissociates from the receptor and induces receptor aggregation in long lasting clusters that are enriched with the actin-binding protein ezrin and with clathrin. After NHERF1 dissociates from the PTHR, ezrin then directly interacts with the PTHR to stabilize the PTHR at the cell membrane. Recruitment of β-arrestins to the PTHR is delayed until NHERF1 dissociates from the receptor, which is then trafficked to clathrin for internalization. The ability of NHERF to interact dynamically with the PTHR and cognate adapter proteins regulates receptor trafficking and signaling in a spatially and temporally coordinated manner.

Are Mitochondrial Reactive Oxygen Species Required for Autophagy?

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are said to participate in the autophagy signaling. Supporting evidence is obscured by interference of autophagy and apoptosis, whereby the latter heavily relies on ROS signaling. To dissect autophagy from apoptosis we knocked down expression of cytochrome c, the key component of mitochondria-dependent apoptosis, in HeLa cells using shRNA. In cytochrome c deficient HeLa1.2 cells, electron transport was compromised due to the lack of electron shuttle between mitochondrial respiratory complexes III and IV. A rapid and robust LC3-I/II conversion and mitochondria degradation were observed in HeLa1.2 cells treated with staurosporine (STS). Neither generation of superoxide nor accumulation of H(2)O(2) was detected in STS-treated HeLa1.2 cells. A membrane permeable antioxidant, PEG-SOD, plus catalase exerted no effect on STS-induced LC3-I/II conversion and mitochondria degradation. Further, STS caused autophagy in mitochondria DNA-deficient ρ° HeLa1.2 cells in which both electron transport and ROS generation were completely disrupted. Counter to the widespread view, we conclude that mitochondrial ROS are not required for the induction of autophagy.

Complement Proteins C3 and C4 Bind to Collagen and Elastin in the Vascular Wall: a Potential Role in Vascular Stiffness and Atherosclerosis

Circulating inflammatory mediators including complement activation products participate in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases. As such, previous reports demonstrating the presence of complement proteins within atherosclerotic plaque and on the luminal surface would be anticipated. In contrast, we have recently made the unexpected observation that complement proteins also deposit along the external elastic lamina of mouse aortas in the absence of luminal deposition or plaque development. This suggests that complement activation may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of vascular stiffness and atherosclerosis through a mechanism initiated within the adventitia rather than on the endothelial surface. This hypothesis was tested in the current study by ultrastructural identification of the C3- and C4-binding targets within the adventitia of the mouse aorta. The results demonstrate extensive binding of C3 and C4 to both collagen and elastin fibers within the adventitia in both ApoE(-/-) and C57Bl/6J control mice, as well as the presence of C3 and C4 within perivascular adipose tissue. These observations suggest a potential "outside-in" mechanism of vascular stiffness during which perivascular adipose may produce C3 and C4 that bind to collagen and elastin fibers within the adventitia through covalent thiolester bonds, leading to increased vascular stiffness.

Streptolysin O Clearance Through Sequestration into Blebs That Bud Passively from the Plasma Membrane

Cells survive exposure to bacterial pore-forming toxins, such as streptolysin O (SLO), through mechanisms that remain unclear. Previous studies have suggested that these toxins are cleared by endocytosis. However, the experiments reported here failed to reveal any evidence for endocytosis of SLO, nor did they reveal any signs of damage to endosomal membranes predicted from such endocytosis. Instead, we illustrate that SLO induces a characteristic form of plasma membrane blebbing that allows cells to shed SLO by the process known as ectocytosis. Specifically, 'deep-etch' electron microscopy of cells exposed to SLO illustrates that the toxin is rapidly sequestered into domains in the plasmalemma greatly enriched in SLO pores, and these domains bleb outwards and bud from the cell surface into the medium. Such ectocytosis is even observed in cells that have been chemically fixed before exposure to SLO, suggesting that it is caused by a direct physical action of the toxin on the cell membrane, rather than by an active cellular reaction. We conclude, therefore, that ectocytosis is an important means for SLO clearance and hypothesize that this is a primary method by which cells defend themselves generally against pore-forming toxins.

Extracellular Superoxide Dismutase in Macrophages Augments Bacterial Killing by Promoting Phagocytosis

Extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD) is abundant in the lung and limits inflammation and injury in response to many pulmonary insults. To test the hypothesis that EC-SOD has an important role in bacterial infections, wild-type and EC-SOD knockout (KO) mice were infected with Escherichia coli to induce pneumonia. Although mice in the EC-SOD KO group demonstrated greater pulmonary inflammation than did wild-type mice, there was less clearance of bacteria from their lungs after infection. Macrophages and neutrophils express EC-SOD; however, its function and subcellular localization in these inflammatory cells is unclear. In the present study, immunogold electron microscopy revealed EC-SOD in membrane-bound vesicles of phagocytes. These findings suggest that inflammatory cell EC-SOD may have a role in antibacterial defense. To test this hypothesis, phagocytes from wild-type and EC-SOD KO mice were evaluated. Although macrophages lacking EC-SOD produced more reactive oxygen species than did cells expressing EC-SOD after stimulation, they demonstrated significantly impaired phagocytosis and killing of bacteria. Overall, this suggests that EC-SOD facilitates clearance of bacteria and limits inflammation in response to infection by promoting bacterial phagocytosis.

A Role for Zinc in Regulating Hypoxia-induced Contractile Events in Pulmonary Endothelium

We previously reported that zinc thiolate signaling contributes to hypoxic contraction of small, nonmuscularized arteries of the lung. The present studies were designed to investigate mechanisms by which hypoxia-released zinc induces contraction in isolated pulmonary endothelial cells and to delineate the signaling pathways involved in zinc-mediated changes in the actin cytoskeleton. We used fluorescence-based imaging to show that hypoxia induced time-dependent increases in actin stress fibers that were reversed by the zinc chelator, N,N,N',N'-tetrakis-(2-pyridylmethyl)-ethylenediamine (TPEN). We further showed that hypoxia-induced phosphorylation of the contractile protein myosin light chain (MLC) and assembly of actin stress fibers were each TPEN sensitive. Hypoxia and zinc-induced inhibition of MLC phosphatase (MLCP) were independent of the regulatory subunit (MYPT1) of MLCP, and therefore hypoxia-released zinc likely inhibits MLCP at its catalytic (PP1) subunit. Inhibition of PKC by Ro-31-8220 and a dominant-negative construct of PKC-ε attenuated hypoxia-induced contraction of isolated pulmonary endothelial cells. Furthermore, zinc-induced phosphorylation of MLC (secondary to inhibition of MLCP) was PKC dependent, and hypoxia-released zinc promoted the phosphorylation of the PKC substrate, CPI-17. Collectively, these data suggest a link between hypoxia, elevations in labile zinc, and activation of PKC, which in turn acts through CPI-17 to inhibit MLCP activity and promote MLC phosphorylation, ultimately inducing stress fiber formation and endothelial cell contraction.

An Unexpected Role for the Clock Protein Timeless in Developmental Apoptosis

Programmed cell death is critical not only in adult tissue homeostasis but for embryogenesis as well. One of the earliest steps in development, formation of the proamniotic cavity, involves coordinated apoptosis of embryonic cells. Recent work from our group demonstrated that c-Src protein-tyrosine kinase activity triggers differentiation of mouse embryonic stem (mES) cells to primitive ectoderm-like cells. In this report, we identified Timeless (Tim), the mammalian ortholog of a Drosophila circadian rhythm protein, as a binding partner and substrate for c-Src and probed its role in the differentiation of mES cells.

Intratumoral IL-12 Gene Therapy Results in the Crosspriming of Tc1 Cells Reactive Against Tumor-associated Stromal Antigens

HLA-A2 transgenic mice bearing established HLA-A2(neg) B16 melanomas were effectively treated by intratumoral (i.t.) injection of syngeneic dendritic cells (DCs) transduced to express high levels of interleukin (IL)-12, resulting in CD8(+) T cell-dependent antitumor protection. In this model, HLA-A2-restricted CD8(+) T cells do not directly recognize tumor cells and therapeutic benefit was associated with the crosspriming of HLA-A2-restricted type-1 CD8(+) T cells reactive against antigens expressed by stromal cells [i.e., pericytes and vascular endothelial cells (VEC)]. IL-12 gene therapy-induced CD8(+) T cells directly recognized HLA-A2(+) pericytes and VEC flow-sorted from B16 tumor lesions based on interferon (IFN)-γ secretion and translocation of the lytic granule-associated molecule CD107 to the T cell surface after coculture with these target cells. In contrast, these CD8(+) T effector cells failed to recognize pericytes/VEC isolated from the kidneys of tumor-bearing HHD mice. The tumor-associated stromal antigen (TASA)-derived peptides studied are evolutionarily conserved and could be recognized by CD8(+) T cells harvested from the blood of HLA-A2(+) normal donors or melanoma patients after in vitro stimulation. These TASA and their derivative peptides may prove useful in vaccine formulations against solid cancers, as well as, in the immune monitoring of HLA-A2(+) cancer patients receiving therapeutic interventions, such as IL-12 gene therapy.

Sunitinib Facilitates the Activation and Recruitment of Therapeutic Anti-tumor Immunity in Concert with Specific Vaccination

The multikinase inhibitor sunitinib malate (SUT) has been reported to reduce levels of myeloid suppressor cells and Treg cells in cancer patients, hypothetically diminishing intrinsic impediments for active immunization against tumor-associated antigens in such individuals. The goal of this study was to identify longitudinal immune molecular and cellular changes associated with tumor regression and disease-free status after the treatment of established day 7 s.c. MO5 (B16.OVA) melanomas with SUT alone (1 mg/day via oral gavage for 7 days), vaccination using ovalbumin (OVA) peptide-pulsed dendritic cell [vaccine (VAC)] alone, or the combination of SUT and VAC (SUT/VAC). We observed superior anti-tumor efficacy for SUT/VAC combination approaches, particularly when SUT was applied at the time of the initial vaccination or the VAC boost. Treatment effectiveness was associated with the acute loss of (and/or failure to recruit) cells bearing myeloid-derived suppressor cells or Treg phenotypes within the tumor microenvironment (TME) and the corollary, prolonged enhancement of Type-1 anti-OVA CD8(+) T cell responses in the tumor-draining lymph node and the TME. Enhanced Type-1 T cell infiltration of tumors was associated with treatment-induced expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and CXCR3 ligand chemokines in vascular/peri-vascular cells within the TME, with SUT/VAC therapy benefits conditionally negated upon adminsitration of CXCR3 or VCAM-1 blocking antibodies. These data support the ability of a short 7 day course of SUT to (re)condition the TME to become more receptive to the recruitment and prolonged therapeutic action of (VAC-induced) anti-tumor Tc1 cells.

Mitochondrial Hyperfusion Induced by Loss of Fission Protein Drp1 Causes ATM-dependent G2/M Arrest and Aneuploidy Through DNA Replication Stress

Mitochondrial fission and fusion cycles are integrated with cell cycle progression. Here we have identified that inhibition of mitochondrial fission protein Drp1 causes an unexpected delay in G2/M cell cycle progression and aneuploidy. In investigating the underlying molecular mechanism, we revealed that inhibiting Drp1 triggers replication stress, which is mediated by hyperfused mitochondrial structure and unscheduled expression of cyclin E in G2 phase. This persistent replication stress then induces an ATM-dependent activation of G2 to M transition cell cycle checkpoint. Knockdown of ATR, an essential kinase in preventing replication stress, significantly enhanced DNA damage and cell death of Drp1-deficienct cells. Persistent mitochondrial hyperfusion also induces centrosomal overamplification and chromosomal instability, which are the causes of aneuploidy. Analysis using cells depleted of mitochondrial DNA revealed that these events are not mediated by the defects in mitochondrial ATP production and ROS generation. Thus dysfunctional mitochondrial fission directly induces genome instability by replication stress, which then initiates DNA damage response. Our findings provide a novel mechanism that contributes to the cellular dysfunction and diseases associated with altered mitochondrial dynamics.

Dynamin- and Rab5-Dependent Endocytosis of a Ca(2+)-Activated K(+) Channel, KCa2.3

Regulation of the number of ion channels at the plasma membrane is a critical component of the physiological response. We recently demonstrated that the Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel, KCa2.3 is rapidly endocytosed and enters a Rab35- and EPI64C-dependent recycling compartment. Herein, we addressed the early endocytic steps of KCa2.3 using a combination of fluorescence and biotinylation techniques. We demonstrate that KCa2.3 is localized to caveolin-rich domains of the plasma membrane using fluorescence co-localization, transmission electron microscopy and co-immunoprecipitation (co-IP). Further, in cells lacking caveolin-1, we observed an accumulation of KCa2.3 at the plasma membrane as well as a decreased rate of endocytosis, as assessed by biotinylation. We also demonstrate that KCa2.3 and dynamin II are co-localized following endocytosis as well as demonstrating they are associated by co-IP. Further, expression of K44A dynamin II resulted in a 2-fold increase in plasma membrane KCa2.3 as well as a 3-fold inhibition of endocytosis. Finally, we evaluated the role of Rab5 in the endocytosis of KCa2.3. We demonstrate that expression of a dominant active Rab5 (Q79L) results in the accumulation of newly endocytosed KCa2.3 on to the membrane of the Rab5-induced vacuoles. We confirmed this co-localization by co-IP; demonstrating that KCa2.3 and Rab5 are associated. As expected, if Rab5 is required for the endocytosis of KCa2.3, expression of a dominant negative Rab5 (S34N) resulted in an approximate 2-fold accumulation of KCa2.3 at the plasma membrane. This was confirmed by siRNA-mediated knockdown of Rab5. Expression of the dominant negative Rab5 also resulted in a decreased rate of KCa2.3 endocytosis. These results demonstrate that KCa2.3 is localized to a caveolin-rich domain within the plasma membrane and is endocytosed in a dynamin- and Rab5-dependent manner prior to entering the Rab35/EPI64C recycling compartment and returning to the plasma membrane.

High Resolution Imaging of Vascular Function in Zebrafish

The role of the endothelium in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease is an emerging field of study, necessitating the development of appropriate model systems and methodologies to investigate the multifaceted nature of endothelial dysfunction including disturbed barrier function and impaired vascular reactivity.

Quantitative Proteomics Reveal ATM Kinase-dependent Exchange in DNA Damage Response Complexes

ATM is a protein kinase that initiates a well-characterized signaling cascade in cells exposed to ionizing radiation (IR). However, the role for ATM in coordinating critical protein interactions and subsequent exchanges within DNA damage response (DDR) complexes is unknown. We combined SILAC-based tandem mass spectrometry and a subcellular fractionation protocol to interrogate the proteome of irradiated cells treated with or without the ATM kinase inhibitor KU55933. We developed an integrative network analysis to identify and prioritize proteins that were responsive to KU55933, specifically in chromatin, and that were also enriched for physical interactions with known DNA repair proteins. This analysis identified 53BP1 and annexin A1 (ANXA1) as strong candidates. Using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, we found that the exchange of GFP-53BP1 in DDR complexes decreased with KU55933. Further, we found that ANXA1 knockdown sensitized cells to IR via a mechanism that was not potentiated by KU55933. Our study reveals a role for ATM kinase activity in the dynamic exchange of proteins in DDR complexes and identifies a role for ANXA1 in cellular radioprotection.

NF-κB Inhibition Delays DNA Damage-induced Senescence and Aging in Mice

The accumulation of cellular damage, including DNA damage, is thought to contribute to aging-related degenerative changes, but how damage drives aging is unknown. XFE progeroid syndrome is a disease of accelerated aging caused by a defect in DNA repair. NF-κB, a transcription factor activated by cellular damage and stress, has increased activity with aging and aging-related chronic diseases. To determine whether NF-κB drives aging in response to the accumulation of spontaneous, endogenous DNA damage, we measured the activation of NF-κB in WT and progeroid model mice. As both WT and progeroid mice aged, NF-κB was activated stochastically in a variety of cell types. Genetic depletion of one allele of the p65 subunit of NF-κB or treatment with a pharmacological inhibitor of the NF-κB-activating kinase, IKK, delayed the age-related symptoms and pathologies of progeroid mice. Additionally, inhibition of NF-κB reduced oxidative DNA damage and stress and delayed cellular senescence. These results indicate that the mechanism by which DNA damage drives aging is due in part to NF-κB activation. IKK/NF-κB inhibitors are sufficient to attenuate this damage and could provide clinical benefit for degenerative changes associated with accelerated aging disorders and normal aging.

Obesity-induced Tissue Free Radical Generation: an in Vivo Immuno-spin Trapping Study

Assessment of tissue free radical production is routinely accomplished by measuring secondary by-products of redox reactions and/or diminution of key antioxidants such as reduced thiols. However, immuno-spin trapping, a newly developed immunohistochemical technique for detection of free radical formation, is garnering considerable interest as it allows for the visualization of 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyrroline N-oxide (DMPO)-adducted molecules. Yet, to date, immuno-spin trapping reports have utilized in vivo models in which successful detection of free radical adducts required exposure to lethal levels of oxidative stress not reflective of chronic inflammatory disease. To study the extents and anatomic locations of more clinically relevant levels of radical formation, we examined tissues from high-fat (HF) diet-fed mice, a model of low-grade chronic inflammation known to demonstrate enhanced rates of reactive species production. Mice subjected to 20 weeks of HF diet displayed increased free radical formation (anti-DMPO mean fluorescence staining) in skeletal muscle (0.863±0.06 units vs 0.512±0.07 units), kidney (0.076±0.0036 vs 0.043±0.0025), and liver (0.275±0.012 vs 0.135±0.014) compared to control mice fed normal laboratory chow (NC). Western blot analysis of tissue homogenates confirmed these results showing enhanced DMPO immunoreactivity in HF mice compared to NC samples. The obesity-related results were confirmed in a rat model of pulmonary hypertension and right heart failure in which intense immunodetectable radical formation was observed in the lung and right ventricle of monocrotaline-treated rats compared to saline-treated controls. Combined, these data affirm the utility of immuno-spin trapping as a tool for in vivo assessment of altered extents of macromolecule oxidation to radical intermediates under chronic inflammatory conditions.

Impaired Clearance and Enhanced Pulmonary Inflammatory/fibrotic Response to Carbon Nanotubes in Myeloperoxidase-deficient Mice

Advancement of biomedical applications of carbonaceous nanomaterials is hampered by their biopersistence and pro-inflammatory action in vivo. Here, we used myeloperoxidase knockout B6.129X1-MPO (MPO k/o) mice and showed that oxidation and clearance of single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) from the lungs of these animals after pharyngeal aspiration was markedly less effective whereas the inflammatory response was more robust than in wild-type C57Bl/6 mice. Our results provide direct evidence for the participation of MPO - one of the key-orchestrators of inflammatory response - in the in vivo pulmonary oxidative biodegradation of SWCNT and suggest new ways to control the biopersistence of nanomaterials through genetic or pharmacological manipulations.

Genetically Encoded PH Sensor for Tracking Surface Proteins Through Endocytosis

Traffic cam: a tandem dye prepared from a FRET acceptor and a fluorogenic donor functions as a cell surface ratiometric pH indicator, which upon internalization serves to follow protein trafficking during endocytosis. This sensor was used to analyze agonist-dependent internalization of β(2)-adrenergic receptors. It was also used as a surrogate antigen to reveal direct surface-to-endosome antigen transfer between dendritic cells (not shown).

The Apoptotic Engulfment Protein Ced-6 Participates in Clathrin-mediated Yolk Uptake in Drosophila Egg Chambers

Clathrin-mediated endocytosis and phagocytosis are both selective surface internalization processes but have little known mechanistic similarity or interdependence. Here we show that the phosphotyrosine-binding (PTB) domain protein Ced-6, a well-established phagocytosis component that operates as a transducer of so-called "eat-me" signals during engulfment of apoptotic cells and microorganisms, is expressed in the female Drosophila germline and that Ced-6 expression correlates with ovarian follicle development. Ced-6 exhibits all the known biochemical properties of a clathrin-associated sorting protein, yet ced-6-null flies are semifertile despite massive accumulation of soluble yolk precursors in the hemolymph. This is because redundant sorting signals within the cytosolic domain of the Drosophila vitellogenin receptor Yolkless, a low density lipoprotein receptor superfamily member, occur; a functional atypical dileucine signal binds to the endocytic AP-2 clathrin adaptor directly. Nonetheless, the Ced-6 PTB domain specifically recognizes the noncanonical Yolkless FXNPXA sorting sequence and in HeLa cells promotes the rapid, clathrin-dependent uptake of a Yolkless chimera lacking the distal dileucine signal. Ced-6 thus operates in vivo as a clathrin adaptor. Because the human Ced-6 orthologue GULP similarly binds to clathrin machinery, localizes to cell surface clathrin-coated structures, and is enriched in placental clathrin-coated vesicles, new possibilities for Ced-6/Gulp operation during phagocytosis must be considered.

Pharmacological Rescue of the Mutant Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) Detected by Use of a Novel Fluorescence Platform

Numerous human diseases arise because of defects in protein folding, leading to their degradation in the endoplasmic reticulum. Among them is cystic fibrosis (CF), caused by mutations in the gene encoding the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR ), an epithelial anion channel. The most common mutation, F508del, disrupts CFTR folding, which blocks its trafficking to the plasma membrane. We developed a fluorescence detection platform using fluorogen-activating proteins (FAPs) to directly detect FAP-CFTR trafficking to the cell surface using a cell-impermeant probe. By using this approach, we determined the efficacy of new corrector compounds, both alone and in combination, to rescue F508del-CFTR to the plasma membrane. Combinations of correctors produced additive or synergistic effects, improving the density of mutant CFTR at the cell surface up to ninefold over a single-compound treatment. The results correlated closely with assays of stimulated anion transport performed in polarized human bronchial epithelia that endogenously express F508del-CFTR. These findings indicate that the FAP-tagged constructs faithfully report mutant CFTR correction activity and that this approach should be useful as a screening assay in diseases that impair protein trafficking to the cell surface.

P53/HMGB1 Complexes Regulate Autophagy and Apoptosis

The balance between apoptosis ("programmed cell death") and autophagy ("programmed cell survival") is important in tumor development and response to therapy. Here, we show that high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) and p53 form a complex that regulates the balance between tumor cell death and survival. We show that knockout of p53 in HCT116 cells increases expression of cytosolic HMGB1 and induces autophagy. Conversely, knockout of HMGB1 in mouse embryonic fibroblasts increases p53 cytosolic localization and decreases autophagy. p53 is thus a negative regulator of the HMGB1/Beclin 1 complex, and HMGB1 promotes autophagy in the setting of diminished p53. HMGB1-mediated autophagy promotes tumor cell survival in the setting of p53-dependent processes. The HMGB1/p53 complex affects the cytoplasmic localization of the reciprocal binding partner, thereby regulating subsequent levels of autophagy and apoptosis. These insights provide a novel link between HMGB1 and p53 in the cross-regulation of apoptosis and autophagy in the setting of cell stress, providing insights into their reciprocal roles in carcinogenesis.

Allele Specific Transactivation of Matrix Metalloproteinase 7 by FOXA2 and Correlation with Plasma Levels in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a complex disease with poorly understood etiology. Previously we reported up-regulation of matrix metalloproteinase 7 (MMP7) in both lung and peripheral blood of IPF patients. Here we report evidence for genetic correlation of plasma levels and promoter polymorphisms (rs11568818 and rs11568819) of MMP7 in a well-characterized IPF cohort. Both the AA genotype of rs11568818 and the CT genotype of rs11568819 were found to be significantly associated with higher MMP7 plasma levels. These associations were observed only in IPF patients and not in healthy controls. The G-to-A transition of rs11568818 resulted in a novel binding site for the forkhead box A2 (FOXA2) transcription factor, a key regulator of embryonic lung development and proper function of the mature lung. In vitro, this transition led to increased sensitivity of the MMP7 promoter to FOXA2. In IPF lungs, FOXA2 was localized in the nucleus of epithelial cells that expressed MMP7 in the cytoplasm. These results suggest that increased sensitivity of the polymorphic MMP7 promoter to FOXA2 provides one of the genetic bases for the up-regulation of MMP7 in IPF.

The Engineering of Organized Human Corneal Tissue Through the Spatial Guidance of Corneal Stromal Stem Cells

Corneal stroma is an avascular connective tissue characterized by layers of highly organized parallel collagen fibrils, mono-disperse in diameter with uniform local interfibrillar spacing. Reproducing this level of structure on a nano- and micro-scale may be essential to engineer corneal tissue with strength and transparency similar to that of native cornea. A substrate of aligned poly(ester urethane) urea (PEUU) fibers, 165 ± 55 nm in diameter, induced alignment of cultured human corneal stromal stem cells (hCSSCs) which elaborated a dense collagenous matrix, 8-10 μm in thickness, deposited on the PEUU substratum. This matrix contained collagen fibrils with uniform diameter and regular interfibrillar spacing, exhibiting global parallel alignment similar to that of native stroma. The cells expressed high levels of gene products unique to keratocytes. hCSSCs cultured on PEUU fibers of random orientation or on a cast film of PEUU also differentiated to keratocytes and produced abundant matrix, but lacked matrix organization. These results demonstrate the importance of topographic cues in instructing organization of the transparent connective tissue of the corneal stroma by differentiated keratocytes. This important information will help with design of biomaterials for a bottom-up strategy to bioengineer spatially complex, collagen-based nano-structured constructs for corneal repair and regeneration.

Mechanism of Transfer of Functional MicroRNAs Between Mouse Dendritic Cells Via Exosomes

Dendritic cells (DCs) are the most potent APCs. Whereas immature DCs down-regulate T-cell responses to induce/maintain immunologic tolerance, mature DCs promote immunity. To amplify their functions, DCs communicate with neighboring DCs through soluble mediators, cell-to-cell contact, and vesicle exchange. Transfer of nanovesicles (< 100 nm) derived from the endocytic pathway (termed exosomes) represents a novel mechanism of DC-to-DC communication. The facts that exosomes contain exosome-shuttle miRNAs and DC functions can be regulated by exogenous miRNAs, suggest that DC-to-DC interactions could be mediated through exosome-shuttle miRNAs, a hypothesis that remains to be tested. Importantly, the mechanism of transfer of exosome-shuttle miRNAs from the exosome lumen to the cytosol of target cells is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that DCs release exosomes with different miRNAs depending on the maturation of the DCs. By visualizing spontaneous transfer of exosomes between DCs, we demonstrate that exosomes fused with the target DCs, the latter followed by release of the exosome content into the DC cytosol. Importantly, exosome-shuttle miRNAs are functional, because they repress target mRNAs of acceptor DCs. Our findings unveil a mechanism of transfer of exosome-shuttle miRNAs between DCs and its role as a means of communication and posttranscriptional regulation between DCs.

GENE EXPRESSION AND COLLAGEN FIBER MICROMECHANICAL INTERACTIONS OF THE SEMILUNAR HEART VALVE INTERSTITIAL CELL

The semilunar (aortic and pulmonary) heart valves function under dramatically different hemodynamic environments, and have been shown to exhibit differences in mechanical properties, extracellular matrix (ECM) structure, and valve interstitial cell (VIC) biosynthetic activity. However, the relationship between VIC function and the unique micromechanical environment in each semilunar heart valve remains unclear. In the present study, we quantitatively compared porcine semilunar mRNA expression of primary ECM constituents, and layer- and valve-specific VIC-collagen mechanical interactions under increasing transvalvular pressure (TVP). Results indicated that the aortic valve (AV) had a higher fibrillar collagen mRNA expression level compared to the pulmonary valve (PV). We further noted that VICs exhibited larger deformations with increasing TVP in the collagen rich fibrosa layer, with substantially smaller changes in the spongiosa and ventricularis layers. While the VIC-collagen micro-mechanical coupling varied considerably between the semilunar valves, we observed that the VIC deformations in the fibrosa layer were similar at each valve's respective peak TVP. This result suggests that each semilunar heart valve's collagen fiber microstructure is organized to induce a consistent VIC deformation under its respective diastolic TVP. Collectively, our results are consistent with higher collagen biosynthetic demands for the AV compared to the PV, and that the valvular collagen microenvironment may play a significant role in regulating VIC function.

Hydrogels Derived from Central Nervous System Extracellular Matrix

Biologic scaffolds composed of extracellular matrix (ECM) are commonly used repair devices in preclinical and clinical settings; however the use of these scaffolds for peripheral and central nervous system (CNS) repair has been limited. Biologic scaffolds developed from brain and spinal cord tissue have recently been described, yet the conformation of the harvested ECM limits therapeutic utility. An injectable CNS-ECM derived hydrogel capable of in vivo polymerization and conformation to irregular lesion geometries may aid in tissue reconstruction efforts following complex neurologic trauma. The objectives of the present study were to develop hydrogel forms of brain and spinal cord ECM and compare the resulting biochemical composition, mechanical properties, and neurotrophic potential of a brain derived cell line to a non-CNS-ECM hydrogel, urinary bladder matrix. Results showed distinct differences between compositions of brain ECM, spinal cord ECM, and urinary bladder matrix. The rheologic modulus of spinal cord ECM hydrogel was greater than that of brain ECM and urinary bladder matrix. All ECMs increased the number of cells expressing neurites, but only brain ECM increased neurite length, suggesting a possible tissue-specific effect. All hydrogels promoted three-dimensional uni- or bi-polar neurite outgrowth following 7 days in culture. These results suggest that CNS-ECM hydrogels may provide supportive scaffolding to promote in vivo axonal repair.

Mechanism of Aortic Medial Matrix Remodeling is Distinct in Patients with Bicuspid Aortic Valve

OBJECTIVES: Patients with bicuspid aortic valves (BAV) are predisposed to developing ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA) at an earlier age than patients who develop degenerative TAAs and have a tricuspid aortic valve (TAV). The hypothesis tested is that BAV associated aortopathy is mediated by a mechanism of matrix remodeling that is distinct from that seen in TAAs of patients with tricuspid aortic valves. METHODS: Aortic specimens were collected during ascending aortic replacement, aortic valve replacement, and heart transplants from nonaneurysmal (NA) donors and recipients. Matrix architecture of the aortic media was assessed qualitatively using multiphoton microscopy followed by quantification of collagen and elastin fiber orientation. α-Elastin was determined and matrix maturity was assessed by quantifying immature and mature collagen and lysyl oxidase (Lox) expression and activity in aortic specimens. Matrix metalloproteinase-2/9 activity was quantified in aortic smooth muscle cells. RESULTS: Elastin and collagen fibers were more highly aligned in BAV-NA and BAV-TAA cases than in TAV-TAA cases, whereas TAV-TAA cases were more disorganized than TAV-NA cases. α-Elastin content was unchanged. Immature collagen was reduced in BAV-NA and BAV-TAA cases when compared with TAV-NA and TAV-TAA cases. Mature collagen was elevated in TAV-TAA cases compared with TAV-NA and BAV-TAA cases. There was a trend toward elevated Lox gene expression and activity and matrix metalloproteinase-2/9 activity for TAV-TAA, BAV-NA, and BAV-TAA specimens. CONCLUSIONS: The highly aligned matrix architecture in patients with BAVs indicates that wall remodeling is distinct from TAV-TAA. Altered matrix architecture and reduced collagen maturity suggest that the effector molecules mediating the remodeling of TAAs are different in BAV and TAV cases.

Interaction Between Her2 and Beclin-1 Underlies a New Mechanism of Reciprocal Regulation

Beclin-1 is a key regulator of autophagy that functions in the context of two phase-specific complexes in the initiation and maturation of autophagosomes. Its known interacting proteins include autophagy effectors, Bcl-2 family members, and organelle membrane anchor proteins. Here we report a newly identified interaction between Beclin-1 and the protein tyrosine kinase receptor Her2. We demonstrate that in Her2-expressing breast carcinoma cells that do not succumb to lapatinib, this Her1/2 inhibitor disrupts the cell surface interaction between Her2 and Beclin-1. The data suggest that the ensuing autophagic response is correlatively associated with the release of Beclin-1 from its complex with Her2 and with the subsequent increase in cytosolic Beclin-1. Upon its interaction with Her2, Beclin-1 upregulates the phosphorylation levels of Her2 and Akt. The Beclin-1 evolutionarily conserved domain, is required for both Beclin-1 interaction with Her2 and for the increased Her2 and Akt phosphorylation. These findings shed new light on mechanisms involved in lapatinib-mediated autophagy in Her2-expressing breast carcinoma cell lines and in Beclin-1 signaling in these cells.

Regulated Recycling of Mutant CFTR is Partially Restored by Pharmacological Treatment

Efficient trafficking of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) to and from the cell surface is essential for maintaining channel density at the plasma membrane (PM) and ensuring proper physiological activity. The most common mutation, F508del, exhibits reduced surface expression and impaired function despite treatment with currently available pharmacological small molecules, called correctors. To gain more detailed insight into whether CFTR enters compartments that allow corrector stabilization in the cell periphery, we investigated the peripheral trafficking itineraries and kinetics of wild type (WT) and F508del in living cells using high-speed fluorescence microscopy together with fluorogen activating protein detection. We directly visualized internalization and accumulation of CFTR WT from the PM to a perinuclear compartment that colocalized with the endosomal recycling compartment (ERC) markers Rab11 and EHD1, reaching steady-state distribution by 25 minutes. Stimulation by protein kinase A (PKA) depleted this intracellular pool and redistributed CFTR channels to the cell surface, elicited by reduced endocytosis and active translocation to the PM. Corrector or temperature rescue of F508del also resulted in targeting to the ERC and exhibited subsequent PKA-stimulated trafficking to the PM. Corrector treatment (24 hours) led to persistent residence of F508del in the ERC, while thermally destabilized F508del was targeted to lysosomal compartments by 3 hours. Acute addition of individual correctors, C4 or C18, acted on peripheral trafficking steps to partially block lysosomal targeting of thermally destabilized F508del. Taken together, corrector treatment redirects F508del trafficking from a degradative pathway to a regulated recycling route, and proteins that mediate this process become potential targets for improving the efficacy of current and future correctors.

PEX7 and EBP50 Target INOS to the Peroxisome in Hepatocytes

iNOS localizes to both the cytosol and peroxisomes in hepatocytes in vitro and in vivo. The structural determinants for iNOS localization are not known. One plausible mechanism for iNOS localization to the peroxisome is through the interaction with peroxisomal import proteins PEX5 or PEX7. siRNA knockdown of PEX7 reduced iNOS colocalization with the peroxisomal protein PMP70. Proteomic studies using MALDI-MS identified iNOS association with the 50-kD ezrin binding PDZ protein (EBP50). Confocal microscopy studies and immunoelectron microscopy confirmed iNOS association with EBP50, with greatest colocalization occurring at 8h of cytokine exposure. EBP50 associated with peroxisomes in a PEX5 and PEX7-dependent manner. iNOS localization to peroxisomes was contingent on EBP50 expression in LPS-treated mice. Thus, iNOS targeting to peroxisomes in hepatocytes involves interaction with PEX7 and EBP50. The targeting of iNOS protein to the peroxisome may shift the balance of metabolic processes that rely on heme proteins susceptible to modification by radical oxygen and nitrogen radicals.

Regional Structural and Biomechanical Alterations of the Ovine Main Pulmonary Artery During Postnatal Growth

The engineering foundation for novel approaches for the repair of congenital defects that involve the main pulmonary artery (PA) must rest on an understanding of changes in the structure-function relationship that occur during postnatal maturation. In the present study, we quantified the postnatal growth patterns in structural and biomechanical behavior in the ovine PA in the juvenile and adult stages. The biaxial mechanical properties and collagen and elastin fiber architecture were studied in four regions of the PA wall, with the collagen recruitment of the medial region analyzed using a custom biaxial mechanical-multiphoton microscopy system. Circumferential residual strain was also quantified at the sinotubular junction and bifurcation locations, which delimit the PA. The PA wall demonstrated significant mechanical anisotropy, except in the posterior region where it was nearly isotropic. Overall, we observed only moderate changes in regional mechanical properties with growth. We did observe that the medial and lateral locations experience a moderate increase in anisotropy. There was an average of about 24% circumferential residual stain present at the luminal surface in the juvenile stage that decreased to 16% in the adult stage with a significant decrease at the bifurcation, implying that the PA wall remodels toward the bifurcation with growth. There were no measurable changes in collagen and elastin content of the tunica media with growth. On average, the collagen fiber recruited more rapidly with strain in the adult compared to the juvenile. Interestingly, the PA thickness remained constant with growth. When this fact is combined with the observed stable overall mechanical behavior and increase in vessel diameter with growth, a simple Laplace Law wall stress estimate suggests an increase in effective PA wall stress with postnatal maturation. This observation is contrary to the accepted theory of maintenance of homeostatic stress levels in the regulation of vascular function and suggests alternative mechanisms regulate postnatal somatic growth. Understanding the underlying mechanisms, incorporating important structural features during growth, will help to improve our understanding of congenital defects of the PA and lay the basis for functional duplication in their repair and replacement.

Automated Imaging System for Fast Quantitation of Neurons, Cell Morphology and Neurite Morphometry in Vivo and in Vitro

Quantitation of neurons using stereologic approaches reduces bias and systematic error, but is time-consuming and labor-intensive. Accurate methods for quantifying neurons in vitro are lacking; conventional methodologies are limited in reliability and application. The morphological properties of the soma and neurites are a key aspect of neuronal phenotype and function, but the assays commonly used in such evaluations are beset with several methodological drawbacks. Herein we describe automated techniques to quantify the number and morphology of neurons (or any cell type, e.g., astrocytes) and their processes with high speed and accuracy. Neuronal quantification from brain tissue using a motorized stage system yielded results that were statistically comparable to those generated by stereology. The approach was then adapted for in vitro neuron and neurite outgrowth quantification. To determine the utility of our methods, rotenone was used as a neurotoxicant leading to morphological changes in neurons and cell death, astrocytic activation, and loss of neurites. Importantly, our technique counted about 8 times as many neurons in less than 5-10% of the time taken by manual stereological analysis.

Waiting
simple hit counter