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In JoVE (1)
- FRET Microscopy for Real-time Monitoring of Signaling Events in Live Cells Using Unimolecular Biosensors
Other Publications (53)
- The Journal of Biological Chemistry
- The Journal of Biological Chemistry
- The Journal of Biological Chemistry
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Nature Methods
- Physiology (Bethesda, Md.)
- The Journal of Biological Chemistry
- The Journal of Biological Chemistry
- Science's STKE : Signal Transduction Knowledge Environment
- Circulation Research
- The Journal of Clinical Investigation
- The Journal of Physiology
- The Journal of Biological Chemistry
- Journal of the American College of Cardiology
- Advances in Protein Chemistry
- Current Opinion in Pharmacology
- Nature Chemical Biology
- Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
- Circulation Research
- Cellular Signalling
- American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology
- Clinical Research in Cardiology : Official Journal of the German Cardiac Society
- The Journal of Clinical Investigation
- The Journal of Biological Chemistry
- Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
- Molecular Endocrinology (Baltimore, Md.)
- PloS One
- Development (Cambridge, England)
- Pflügers Archiv : European Journal of Physiology
- PLoS Biology
- American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology
- Journal of Cell Science
- The Journal of Biological Chemistry
- Science (New York, N.Y.)
- PloS One
- Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
- Journal of Molecular Endocrinology
- The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
- Reproduction (Cambridge, England)
- Journal of the Royal Society, Interface / the Royal Society
- Biochemical Pharmacology
- Reproduction (Cambridge, England)
- Nature Protocols
- Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine : CCLM / FESCC
- The Journal of Clinical Investigation
- Circulation. Heart Failure
- British Journal of Pharmacology
- Cardiovascular Research
Articles by Viacheslav O. Nikolaev in JoVE
FRET Microscopy for Real-time Monitoring of Signaling Events in Live Cells Using Unimolecular Biosensors
Julia U. Sprenger, Ruwan K. Perera, Konrad R. Götz, Viacheslav O. Nikolaev
Emmy Noether Group of the DFG, Department of Cardiology and Pneumology, European Heart Research Insitute Göttingen, Georg August University Medical Center, Göttingen, Germany
Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) microscopy is a powerful technique for real-time monitoring of signaling events in live cells using various biosensors as reporters. Here we describe how to build a customized epifluorescence FRET imaging system from commercially available components and how to use it for FRET experiments.
Other articles by Viacheslav O. Nikolaev on PubMed
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Sep, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15231839
cAMP is a universal second messenger of many G-protein-coupled receptors and regulates a wide variety of cellular events. cAMP exerts its effects via cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA), cAMP-gated ion channels, and two isoforms of exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (Epac). Here we report the development of novel fluorescent indicators for cAMP based on the cAMP-binding domains of Epac and PKA. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer between variants of green fluorescent protein (enhanced cyan fluorescent protein and enhanced yellow fluorescent protein) fused directly to the cAMP-binding domains was used to analyze spatial and temporal aspects of cAMP-signaling in different cells. In contrast to previously developed PKA-based indicators, these probes are comprised of only a single binding site lacking cooperativity, catalytic properties, and interactions with other proteins and thereby allow us to easily image free intracellular cAMP and rapid signaling events. Rapid beta-adrenergic receptor-induced cAMP signals were observed to travel with high speed ( approximately 40 microm/s) throughout the entire cell body of hippocampal neurons and peritoneal macrophages. The developed indicators could be ubiquitously applied to studying cAMP, its physiological role and spatio-temporal regulation.
Real-time Monitoring of the PDE2 Activity of Live Cells: Hormone-stimulated CAMP Hydrolysis is Faster Than Hormone-stimulated CAMP Synthesis
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Jan, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15557342
Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are the enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of cAMP and cGMP, thereby restricting the activity of these second messengers in cells. A unique ability to shape gradients of cyclic nucleotides and compartmentalize their signaling implies a high potency and a rapid action of PDEs. However, it has not been demonstrated how fast PDEs can hydrolyze cAMP in a living system. Here we perform a real-time monitoring of PDE2 activity in aldosterone-producing adrenal cells using a recently developed genetically encoded, fluorescent cAMP sensor, which reveals enormously rapid kinetics of cAMP degradation. Activation of PDE2 results in a rapid decrease of intracellular cAMP from high micromolar to the sub-micromolar range within a few seconds. Moreover, the kinetics of atrial natriuretic peptide-stimulated PDE2 activity (measured as decline of cAMP) are much faster than the speed of ACTH and isoprenaline-induced cAMP-synthesis (measured as cAMP accumulation) in the cells, revealing high catalytic activity and fast action of PDEs in regulating cAMP signaling in a physiological system.
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Sep, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15987680
Ca2+ and cAMP are important second messengers that regulate multiple cellular processes. Although previous studies have suggested direct interactions between Ca2+ and cAMP signaling pathways, the underlying mechanisms remain unresolved. In particular, direct evidence for Ca2+-regulated cAMP production in living cells is incomplete. Genetically encoded fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based biosensors have made possible real-time imaging of spatial and temporal gradients of intracellular cAMP concentration in single living cells. Here, we used confocal microscopy, fluorescence resonance energy transfer, and insulin-secreting MIN6 cells expressing Epac1-camps, a biosynthetic unimolecular cAMP indicator, to better understand the role of intracellular Ca2+ in cAMP production. We report that depolarization with high external K+, tolbutamide, or glucose caused a rapid increase in cAMP that was dependent on extracellular Ca2+ and inhibited by nitrendipine, a Ca2+ channel blocker, or 2',5'-dideoxyadenosine, a P-site antagonist of transmembrane adenylate cyclases. Stimulation of MIN6 cells with glucose in the presence of tetraethylammonium chloride generated concomitant Ca2+ and cAMP oscillations that were abolished in the absence of extracellular Ca2+ and blocked by 2',5'-dideoxyadenosine or 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine, an inhibitor of phosphodiesterase. Simultaneous measurements of Ca2+ and cAMP concentrations with Fura-2 and Epac1-camps, respectively, revealed a close temporal and causal interrelationship between the increases in cytoplasmic Ca2+ and cAMP levels following membrane depolarization. These findings indicate highly coordinated interplay between Ca2+ and cAMP signaling in electrically excitable endocrine cells and suggest that Ca2+-dependent cAMP oscillations are derived from an increase in adenylate cyclase activity and periodic activation and inactivation of cAMP-hydrolyzing phosphodiesterase.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Nov, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16236727
Parathyroid hormone (PTH) and its related receptor (PTHR) are essential regulators of calcium homeostasis and bone physiology. PTH activates PTHR by interacting with a ligand-binding site localized within the N-terminal extracellular domain (the N-domain) and the domain comprising the seven transmembrane helices and the connecting extracellular loops (the J-domain). PTH binding triggers a conformational switch in the receptor, leading to receptor activation and subsequent cellular responses. The process of receptor activation occurs rapidly, within approximately 1 s, but the binding event preceding receptor activation is not understood. By recording FRET between tetramethyl-rhodamine in PTH(1-34) and GFP in the N-domain of the receptor, we measured the binding event in real time in living cells. We show that the association time course between PTH(1-34) and PTHR involves a two-step binding process where the agonist initially binds the receptor with a fast time constant (tau approximately 140 ms) and then with slower kinetics (tau approximately 1 s). The fast and slow phases were assigned to hormone association to the receptor N- and J domains, respectively. Our data indicate that the slow binding step to the J-domain coincides with a conformational switch in the receptor, also monitored by FRET between the enhanced cyan fluorescent protein and the enhanced yellow fluorescent protein in the PTHR sensor, PTHR enhanced cyan fluorescent protein/enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (PTHR(CFP/YFP)). These data suggest that the conformational change that switches the receptor into its active state proceeds in a sequential manner, with the first rapid binding step event preceding receptor activation by PTH(1-34).
Nature Methods. Jan, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16369548
Sensors based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) are powerful tools to monitor signaling events in living mammalian cells. Here we describe development and use of new sensors for cyclic GMP (cGMP) based on cGMP binding domains from cGMP-dependent protein kinase I (GKI) and from phosphodiesterases (PDEs). The temporal and spatial resolution attained with the new sensors is superior to that of existing techniques, and permits direct recording and imaging of rapid cGMP-signaling events.
Physiology (Bethesda, Md.). Apr, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16565474
cAMP is an important second messenger with a plethora of cellular effects and biological roles. To monitor and visualize cAMP in intact living cells, electrophysiological and fluorescent methods have been developed based on activation of all three types of cAMP effectors: protein kinase A, cyclic nucleotide-gated channels, and exchange protein directly activated by cAMP. In this review, we describe and compare these techniques in terms of their robustness, sensitivity and spatio-temporal resolution.
Molecular Basis of Partial Agonism at the Neurotransmitter Alpha2A-adrenergic Receptor and Gi-protein Heterotrimer
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Aug, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16787921
To characterize the mechanism by which heterotrimeric G-proteins interpret the signals coming from various neurotransmitters of diverse efficacies (agonists and partial agonists) acting on alpha(2A)-adrenergic receptors, we used a fluorescent resonance energy transfer-based approach to study the effects of these partial agonists on the activation process of both the alpha(2A)-adrenergic receptor and its cognate G(i)-protein. We show that ligands of different efficacies switch the receptor into distinct conformational states, which in turn set the speed and extent of the G(i)-protein signaling. Thus, in cells the efficacy by which a receptor responds to diverse ligands is caused by the ability of the G-protein to differentiate between distinct receptor conformations. The data provide a new key characteristic underlying the mechanism of partial agonism at G-protein-coupled receptors.
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Nov, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16963443
To analyze individual steps of G(S)-linked signaling in intact cells, we used fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based assays for receptor-G protein interaction, G protein activation, and cAMP effector activation. To do so, we developed a FRET-based sensor to directly monitor G(S) activation in living cells. This was done by coexpressing a Galpha(s) mutant, in which a yellow fluorescent protein was inserted, together with cyan fluorescent protein-tagged Gbetagamma subunits and appropriate receptors in HEK293 cells. Together with assays for receptor activation and receptor-G protein interaction, it is possible to characterize large parts of the G(S) signaling cascade. When A(2A)-adenosine or beta(1)-adrenergic receptors are coexpressed with G(S) in HEK293T cells, the receptor-G(S) interaction was on the same time scale as A(2A) receptor activation with a time constant of <50 ms. G(S) activation was markedly slower and around 450 ms with similar kinetics following activation of A(2A)- or beta(1)-receptors. Taken together, our kinetic measurements demonstrate that the rate of G(S) activation limits initiation of G(S)-coupled receptor signaling.
Science's STKE : Signal Transduction Knowledge Environment. Sep, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16985238
Understanding the temporal and spatial integration of the Ca2+ and adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP) signaling pathways requires concurrent measurements of both second messengers. Here, we describe an optical technique to simultaneously image cAMP and Ca2+ concentration gradients in MIN6 mouse insulinoma cells using Epac1-camps, a Förster (or fluorescence) resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based cAMP biosensor, and Fura-2, a fluorescent indicator of Ca2+. This real-time imaging method allows investigation of the dynamic organization and integration of multiple levels of signal processing in single living cells.
Cyclic AMP Imaging in Adult Cardiac Myocytes Reveals Far-reaching Beta1-adrenergic but Locally Confined Beta2-adrenergic Receptor-mediated Signaling
Circulation Research. Nov, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 17038640
Beta(1)- and beta(2)-adrenergic receptors (betaARs) are known to differentially regulate cardiomyocyte contraction and growth. We tested the hypothesis that these differences are attributable to spatial compartmentation of the second messenger cAMP. Using a fluorescent resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based approach, we directly monitored the spatial and temporal distribution of cAMP in adult cardiomyocytes. We developed a new cAMP-FRET sensor (termed HCN2-camps) based on a single cAMP binding domain of the hyperpolarization activated cyclic nucleotide-gated potassium channel 2 (HCN2). Its cytosolic distribution, high dynamic range, and sensitivity make HCN2-camps particularly well suited to monitor subcellular localization of cardiomyocyte cAMP. We generated HCN2-camps transgenic mice and performed single-cell FRET imaging on freshly isolated cardiomyocytes. Whole-cell superfusion with isoproterenol showed a moderate elevation of cAMP. Application of various phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors revealed stringent control of cAMP through PDE4>PDE2>PDE3. The beta(1)AR-mediated cAMP signals were entirely dependent on PDE4 activity, whereas beta(2)AR-mediated cAMP was under control of multiple PDE isoforms. beta(1)AR subtype-specific stimulation yielded approximately 2-fold greater cAMP responses compared with selective beta(2)-subtype stimulation, even on treatment with the nonselective PDE inhibitor 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX) (DeltaFRET, 17.3+/-1.3% [beta(1)AR] versus 8.8+/-0.4% [beta(2)AR]). Treatment with pertussis toxin to inactivate G(i) did not affect cAMP production. Localized beta(1)AR stimulation generated a cAMP gradient propagating throughout the cell, whereas local beta(2)AR stimulation did not elicit marked cAMP diffusion. Our data reveal that in adult cardiac myocytes, beta(1)ARs induce far-reaching cAMP signals, whereas beta(2)AR-induced cAMP remains locally confined.
Real-time Optical Recording of Beta1-adrenergic Receptor Activation Reveals Supersensitivity of the Arg389 Variant to Carvedilol
The Journal of Clinical Investigation. Jan, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17200720
Antagonists of beta-adrenergic receptors (beta-ARs) have become a main therapeutic regimen for the treatment of heart failure even though the mechanisms of their beneficial effects are still poorly understood. Here, we used fluorescent resonance energy transfer-based (FRET-based) approaches to directly monitor activation of the beta(1)-AR and downstream signaling. While the commonly used beta-AR antagonists metoprolol, bisoprolol, and carvedilol displayed varying degrees of inverse agonism on the Gly389 variant of the receptor (i.e., actively switching off the beta(1)-AR), surprisingly, only carvedilol showed very specific and marked inverse agonist effects on the more frequent Arg389 variant. These specific effects of carvedilol on the Arg389 variant of the beta(1)-AR were also seen for control of beating frequency in rat cardiac myocytes expressing the 2 receptor variants. This FRET sensor permitted direct observation of activation of the beta(1)-AR in living cells in real time. It revealed that beta(1)-AR variants dramatically differ in their responses to diverse beta blockers, with possible consequences for their clinical use.
The Journal of Physiology. May, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17289786
Many different receptors can stimulate cAMP synthesis in the heart, but not all elicit the same functional responses. For example, it has been recognized for some time that prostaglandins such as PGE1 increase cAMP production and activate PKA, but they do not elicit responses like those produced by beta-adrenergic receptor (betaAR) agonists such as isoproterenol (isoprenaline), even though both stimulate the same signalling pathway. In the present study, we confirm that isoproterenol, but not PGE1, is able to produce cAMP-dependent stimulation of the L-type Ca(2+) current in guinea pig ventricular myocytes. This is despite finding evidence that these cells express EP(4) prostaglandin receptors, which are known to activate G(s)-dependent signalling pathways. Using fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based biosensors that are either freely diffusible or bound to A kinase anchoring proteins, we demonstrate that the difference is due to the ability of isoproterenol to stimulate cAMP production in cytosolic and caveolar compartments of intact cardiac myocytes, while PGE1 only stimulates cAMP production in the cytosolic compartment. Unlike other receptor-mediated responses, compartmentation of PGE1 responses was not due to concurrent activation of a G(i)-dependent signalling pathway or phosphodiesterase activity. Instead, compartmentation of the PGE1 response in cardiac myocytes appears to be due to transient stimulation of cAMP in a microdomain that can communicate directly with the bulk cytosolic compartment but not the caveolar compartment associated with betaAR regulation of L-type Ca(2+) channel function.
Live Cell Monitoring of Mu-opioid Receptor-mediated G-protein Activation Reveals Strong Biological Activity of Close Morphine Biosynthetic Precursors
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Sep, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17616524
G-protein activation by receptors is generally measured using (35)S-GTPgammaS binding assays in cell membranes and cannot be well assessed in intact cells. We have recently developed a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based approach to monitor G(i)-protein activation in living cells. Here we report that this technique can be used to determine structure-activity relationships of receptor agonists in intact cells. We have recently shown that morphine is biosynthesized de novo by mammals via a multistep pathway different from that in plants. However, the pharmacological properties of morphine precursors are poorly understood. Here, we directly monitored mu-opioid receptor (MOR)-mediated G(i)-protein activation in living cells by FRET and validated this method with classical GTPgammaS binding assays. Receptor binding studies and FRET measurements demonstrated that several (R)-configurated morphine precursors such as (R)-reticuline, salutaridine, salutaridinol, thebaine, and codeine were partial MOR agonists. Some closer precursors such as oripavine, codeinone, and morphinone activated G(i)-proteins as strongly as morphine, but with slightly lower potencies. The more distant the precursors were positioned in the pathway with respect to morphine, the less efficient and potent they were at MOR. Comparison of pharmacological properties of close morphine precursors and concentrations in which they occur in animal tissues suggests that they might activate MOR signaling under physiological conditions. Taken together, our data indicate that FRET-based assays of G-protein activation can serve to determine the abilities of compounds to activate G-protein signaling directly and in living cells.
A Novel Fluorescence Method for the Rapid Detection of Functional Beta1-adrenergic Receptor Autoantibodies in Heart Failure
Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Jul, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17662395
This study sought to develop a rapid method for the detection of activating autoantibodies directed against the beta1-adrenoceptor (anti-beta1-Abs) in patients with heart failure.
Kinetic Analysis of G Protein-coupled Receptor Signaling Using Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer in Living Cells
Advances in Protein Chemistry. 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17854658
We describe and review methods for the kinetic analysis of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) activation and signaling that are based on optical methods. In particular, we describe the use of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) as a means of analyzing conformational changes within a single protein (for example a receptor) or between subunits of a protein complex (such as a G protein heterotrimer) and finally between distinct proteins (such as a receptor and a G protein). These methods allow the analysis of signaling kinetics in intact cells with proteins that retain their essential functional properties. They have produced a number of unexpected results: fast receptor activation kinetics in the millisecond range, similarly fast kinetics for receptor-G protein interactions, but much slower activation kinetics for G protein activation.
Current Opinion in Pharmacology. Oct, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17919975
A large variety of techniques has been used to monitor activation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) both in isolated membranes and in intact cells. However, most of these techniques cannot resolve receptor activation and signaling in space and in time. Here, we describe techniques that allow the temporally and spatially resolved monitoring of these processes by optical recording with energy transfer techniques. Fluorescence and bioluminescence resonance energy transfer, FRET and BRET, are based on energy transfer between two closely spaced probes. The exquisite sensitivity of FRET and BRET to the distance of the two probes makes these techniques ideal tools to study either protein-protein interactions (when the two probes are localized on two different proteins) or conformational changes within a given protein (when the two probes are localized on a single protein). Here, we review the latter approach as a tool to study receptor activation and the levels of the second messengers cAMP and cGMP in intact cells.
Conformational Cross-talk Between Alpha2A-adrenergic and Mu-opioid Receptors Controls Cell Signaling
Nature Chemical Biology. Feb, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18193048
Morphine, a powerful analgesic, and norepinephrine, the principal neurotransmitter of sympathetic nerves, exert major inhibitory effects on both peripheral and brain neurons by activating distinct cell-surface G protein-coupled receptors-the mu-opioid receptor (MOR) and alpha2A-adrenergic receptor (alpha2A-AR), respectively. These receptors, either singly or as a heterodimer, activate common signal transduction pathways mediated through the inhibitory G proteins (G(i) and G(o)). Using fluorescence resonance energy transfer microscopy, we show that in the heterodimer, the MOR and alpha2A-AR communicate with each other through a cross-conformational switch that permits direct inhibition of one receptor by the other with subsecond kinetics. We discovered that morphine binding to the MOR triggers a conformational change in the norepinephrine-occupied alpha2A-AR that inhibits its signaling to G(i) and the downstream MAP kinase cascade. These data highlight a new mechanism in signal transduction whereby a G protein-coupled receptor heterodimer mediates conformational changes that propagate from one receptor to the other and cause the second receptor's rapid inactivation.
Trends in Pharmacological Sciences. Mar, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18262662
The activation of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) is traditionally measured either by monitoring downstream physiological events or by membrane-based biochemical assays. Neither of these approaches permits detailed kinetic or spatial analysis of receptor activation and signaling. Recently, several optical techniques have been developed to monitor receptor activation either by using purified reconstituted GPCRs or by observing GPCRs, G proteins and second messengers in intact cells. These techniques are providing, literally, new views on both the mechanistic basis of the signaling process and the kinetic and spatial properties of GPCR-mediated signals. They suggest that agonists can activate GPCRs within milliseconds, that different compounds can induce distinct active conformations of GPCRs, that G-protein activation is the rate-limiting step in GPCR signaling, and that cellular signals can be temporally and spatially confined. They are also raising controversial issues, such as whether or not receptors and G proteins are pre-coupled and whether G proteins dissociate during activation.
Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Beta-adrenergic CAMP Signals and L-type Ca2+ Channel Regulation in Adult Rat Ventricular Myocytes: Role of Phosphodiesterases
Circulation Research. May, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18369156
Steady-state activation of cardiac beta-adrenergic receptors leads to an intracellular compartmentation of cAMP resulting from localized cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (PDE) activity. To evaluate the time course of the cAMP changes in the different compartments, brief (15 seconds) pulses of isoprenaline (100 nmol/L) were applied to adult rat ventricular myocytes (ARVMs) while monitoring cAMP changes beneath the membrane using engineered cyclic nucleotide-gated channels and within the cytosol with the fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based sensor, Epac2-camps. cAMP kinetics in the two compartments were compared to the time course of the L-type Ca(2+) channel current (I(Ca,L)) amplitude. The onset and recovery of cAMP transients were, respectively, 30% and 50% faster at the plasma membrane than in the cytosol, in agreement with a rapid production and degradation of the second messenger at the plasma membrane and a restricted diffusion of cAMP to the cytosol. I(Ca,L) amplitude increased twice slower than cAMP at the membrane, and the current remained elevated for approximately 5 minutes after cAMP had already returned to basal level, indicating that cAMP changes are not rate-limiting in channel phosphorylation/dephosphorylation. Inhibition of PDE4 (with 10 micromol/L Ro 20-1724) increased the amplitude and dramatically slowed down the onset and recovery of cAMP signals, whereas PDE3 blockade (with 1 micromol/L cilostamide) had a minor effect only on subsarcolemmal cAMP. However, when both PDE3 and PDE4 were inhibited, or when all PDEs were blocked using 3-isobutyl-l-methylxanthine (300 micromol/L), cAMP signals and I(Ca,L) declined with a time constant >10 minutes. cAMP-dependent protein kinase inhibition with protein kinase inhibitor produced a similar effect as a partial inhibition of PDE4 on the cytosolic cAMP transient. Consistently, cAMP-PDE assay on ARVMs briefly (15 seconds) exposed to isoprenaline showed a pronounced (up to approximately 50%) dose-dependent increase in total PDE activity, which was mainly attributable to activation of PDE4. These results reveal temporally distinct beta-adrenergic receptor cAMP compartments in ARVMs and shed new light on the intricate roles of PDE3 and PDE4.
Widespread Receptivity to Neuropeptide PDF Throughout the Neuronal Circadian Clock Network of Drosophila Revealed by Real-time Cyclic AMP Imaging
Neuron. Apr, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18439407
The neuropeptide PDF is released by sixteen clock neurons in Drosophila and helps maintain circadian activity rhythms by coordinating a network of approximately 150 neuronal clocks. Whether PDF acts directly on elements of this neural network remains unknown. We address this question by adapting Epac1-camps, a genetically encoded cAMP FRET sensor, for use in the living brain. We find that a subset of the PDF-expressing neurons respond to PDF with long-lasting cAMP increases and confirm that such responses require the PDF receptor. In contrast, an unrelated Drosophila neuropeptide, DH31, stimulates large cAMP increases in all PDF-expressing clock neurons. Thus, the network of approximately 150 clock neurons displays widespread, though not uniform, PDF receptivity. This work introduces a sensitive means of measuring cAMP changes in a living brain with subcellular resolution. Specifically, it experimentally confirms the longstanding hypothesis that PDF is a direct modulator of most neurons in the Drosophila clock network.
Cellular Signalling. Aug, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18467075
Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are hydrolytic enzymes, which convert cyclic AMP (cAMP) and cyclic GMP (cGMP) into their corresponding monophosphates. PDE-dependent hydrolysis shape gradients of these second messengers in cells, which may form the basis of their compartmentation and play a key role in a vast number of physiological and pathological processes. Here, we present a novel approach for real-time monitoring of local cAMP and cGMP levels associated with particular PDEs. We used HEK 293 cells expressing genetic constructs encoding a PDE of interest (PDE3A, PDE4A1 or PDE5A) fused to cAMP and cGMP sensors, which allow to directly visualize changes in cyclic nucleotide concentrations in the vicinity of PDE molecules by fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). FRET was detected by imaging of single cells on 96-well plates and demonstrated specific effects of PDE inhibitors on local cyclic nucleotide levels. In addition, this approach reported physiological regulation of PDE3A activity, its activation by PKA-dependent phosphorylation and inhibition by cGMP. In conclusion, our assay provides a unique and highly sensitive method to analyze PDE activity in living cells. It allows to sense cAMP gradients around particular PDE molecules and to study the pharmacological effects of selective inhibitors on localized cAMP signalling.
American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology. Aug, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18550706
In cardiac myocytes there is evidence that activation of some receptors can regulate protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent responses by stimulating cAMP production that is limited to discrete intracellular domains. We previously developed a computational model of compartmentalized cAMP signaling to investigate the feasibility of this idea. The model was able to reproduce experimental results demonstrating that both beta(1)-adrenergic and M(2) muscarinic receptor-mediated cAMP changes occur in microdomains associated with PKA signaling. However, the model also suggested that the cAMP concentration throughout most of the cell could be significantly higher than that found in PKA-signaling domains. In the present study we tested this counterintuitive hypothesis using a freely diffusible fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based biosensor constructed from the type 2 exchange protein activated by cAMP (Epac2-camps). It was determined that in adult ventricular myocytes the basal cAMP concentration detected by the probe is approximately 1.2 muM, which is high enough to maximally activate PKA. Furthermore, the probe detected responses produced by both beta(1) and M(2) receptor activation. Modeling suggests that responses detected by Epac2-camps mainly reflect what is happening in a bulk cytosolic compartment with little contribution from microdomains where PKA signaling occurs. These results support the conclusion that even though beta(1) and M(2) receptor activation can produce global changes in cAMP, compartmentation plays an important role by maintaining microdomains where cAMP levels are significantly below that found throughout most of the cell. This allows receptor stimulation to regulate cAMP activity over concentration ranges appropriate for modulating both higher (e.g., PKA) and lower affinity (e.g., Epac) effectors.
Clinical Research in Cardiology : Official Journal of the German Cardiac Society. Oct, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18633566
Multidrug Resistance-associated Protein 4 Regulates CAMP-dependent Signaling Pathways and Controls Human and Rat SMC Proliferation
The Journal of Clinical Investigation. Aug, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18636120
The second messengers cAMP and cGMP can be degraded by specific members of the phosphodiesterase superfamily or by active efflux transporters, namely the multidrug resistance-associated proteins (MRPs) MRP4 and MRP5. To determine the role of MRP4 and MRP5 in cell signaling, we studied arterial SMCs, in which the effects of cyclic nucleotide levels on SMC proliferation have been well established. We found that MRP4, but not MRP5, was upregulated during proliferation of isolated human coronary artery SMCs and following injury of rat carotid arteries in vivo. MRP4 inhibition significantly increased intracellular cAMP and cGMP levels and was sufficient to block proliferation and to prevent neointimal growth in injured rat carotid arteries. The antiproliferative effect of MRP4 inhibition was related to PKA/CREB pathway activation. Here we provide what we believe to be the first evidence that MRP4 acts as an independent endogenous regulator of intracellular cyclic nucleotide levels and as a mediator of cAMP-dependent signal transduction to the nucleus. We also identify MRP4 inhibition as a potentially new way of preventing abnormal VSMC proliferation.
Alternative Splicing of the Guanylyl Cyclase-A Receptor Modulates Atrial Natriuretic Peptide Signaling
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Oct, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18713751
Atrial (ANP) and B-type natriuretic peptides (BNP) modulate blood pressure and volume through the stimulation of cyclic GMP production by their guanylyl cyclase-A (GC-A) receptor. A novel isoform of GC-A has been identified that is the result of differential splicing of exon 4. The deletion of a 51-bp sequence is predicted to delete 17 amino acids (Lys314-Gln330) in the membrane-distal part of the extracellular domain. Reverse transcription-PCR analyses demonstrated low messenger RNA expression levels of spliced GC-A in all tissues. Homology modeling suggested that the alterations in the protein structure could interfere with ANP binding or signaling. Indeed, functional studies in transfected HEK 293 cells demonstrated that binding of ANP and ANP-induced cyclic GMP formation by GC-ADelta(Lys314-Gln330) were totally abolished. Furthermore, cotransfection studies showed that this GC-A variant forms heterodimers with the wild type receptor and inhibits ligand-inducible cGMP generation. Finally, treatment of mice with angiotensin II (300 ng/kg/min during 7 days) resulted in enhanced pulmonary mRNA expression of spliced GC-A, which was concomitant to diminished GC-A/cGMP responses to ANP. We conclude that alternative splicing can regulate endogenous ANP/GC-A signaling. Angiotensin II-induced alternative splicing of GC-A may represent a novel mechanism for reducing the sensitivity to ANP.
Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology. 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19089332
Recent developments of biophysical and electrophysiological techniques have enabled researchers to monitor levels of free intracellular cGMP in real-time and in intact living cells. These techniques are based on the use of cGMP sensors, which respond to cGMP with changes in transmembrane ion current or changes in fluorescence. Here, we describe the principles of these techniques, compare them in terms of sensitivity and discuss possible application for current cell biology and physiology.
Molecular Endocrinology (Baltimore, Md.). May, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19196832
Many biochemical pathways are driven by G protein-coupled receptors, cell surface proteins that convert the binding of extracellular chemical, sensory, and mechanical stimuli into cellular signals. Their interaction with various ligands triggers receptor activation that typically couples to and activates heterotrimeric G proteins, which in turn control the propagation of secondary messenger molecules (e.g. cAMP) involved in critically important physiological processes (e.g. heart beat). Successful transfer of information from ligand binding events to intracellular signaling cascades involves a dynamic interplay between ligands, receptors, and G proteins. The development of Förster resonance energy transfer and bioluminescence resonance energy transfer-based methods has now permitted the kinetic analysis of initial steps involved in G protein-coupled receptor-mediated signaling in live cells and in systems as diverse as neurotransmitter and hormone signaling. The direct measurement of ligand efficacy at the level of the receptor by Förster resonance energy transfer is also now possible and allows intrinsic efficacies of clinical drugs to be linked with the effect of receptor polymorphisms.
Sweet Taste Receptor Expressed in Pancreatic Beta-cells Activates the Calcium and Cyclic AMP Signaling Systems and Stimulates Insulin Secretion
PloS One. 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19352508
Sweet taste receptor is expressed in the taste buds and enteroendocrine cells acting as a sugar sensor. We investigated the expression and function of the sweet taste receptor in MIN6 cells and mouse islets.
Development (Cambridge, England). Jun, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19429786
Mammalian oocytes are arrested in meiotic prophase by an inhibitory signal from the surrounding somatic cells in the ovarian follicle. In response to luteinizing hormone (LH), which binds to receptors on the somatic cells, the oocyte proceeds to second metaphase, where it can be fertilized. Here we investigate how the somatic cells regulate the prophase-to-metaphase transition in the oocyte, and show that the inhibitory signal from the somatic cells is cGMP. Using FRET-based cyclic nucleotide sensors in follicle-enclosed mouse oocytes, we find that cGMP passes through gap junctions into the oocyte, where it inhibits the hydrolysis of cAMP by the phosphodiesterase PDE3A. This inhibition maintains a high concentration of cAMP and thus blocks meiotic progression. LH reverses the inhibitory signal by lowering cGMP levels in the somatic cells (from approximately 2 microM to approximately 80 nM at 1 hour after LH stimulation) and by closing gap junctions between the somatic cells. The resulting decrease in oocyte cGMP (from approximately 1 microM to approximately 40 nM) relieves the inhibition of PDE3A, increasing its activity by approximately 5-fold. This causes a decrease in oocyte cAMP (from approximately 700 nM to approximately 140 nM), leading to the resumption of meiosis.
A Technique for Monitoring Multiple Signals with a Combination of Prism-based Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy and Epifluorescence Microscopy
Pflügers Archiv : European Journal of Physiology. Nov, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19680684
Physiological phenomena are regulated by multiple signal pathways upon receptor stimulation. Here, we have introduced a new technique with a combination of prism-based total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (PBTIRFM) and epifluorescence microscopy (EPI) to simultaneously monitor multiple signal pathways. This instrumentation allows us to visualize three signal pathways, Ca2+, cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)/protein kinase A (PKA), and diacylglycerol (DAG)/protein kinase C (PKC) signals in living cells. Three fluorescent indicators were employed for this purpose: (1) Fura-2 AM as a calcium sensor; (2) Epac1-camp, a cyan fluorescent protein-yellow fluorescent protein fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based cAMP indicator, as a cAMP sensor; and (3) C1-tagged monomeric red fluorescent protein, a tandem DAG-binding domain of PKC gamma, as a DAG sensor or myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate-tagged DsRed for the PKC activation pathway. The DAG signal was monitored by PBTIRFM, whereas the Ca2+ and cAMP signals were monitored by EPI. Adenosine trisphosphate resulted in generation of all three second messengers in triple probe-loaded Cos-7 cells. The spectral overlap between these signal probes was evaluated by means of linear unmixing. Forskolin also evoked Ca2+, cAMP/PKA, and DAG/PKC signals whereas acetylcholine activated Ca2+ and DAG/PKC signals as well as inhibiting cAMP generation in triple probe-loaded insulin-secreting cells. Thus, the optical observation system combining PBTIRFM and EPI offers a great advance in analyzing interplay of multiple signaling pathways, such as these second messengers, upon G-protein-coupled receptor stimulation in living cells.
PLoS Biology. Aug, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19688034
G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are generally thought to signal to second messengers like cyclic AMP (cAMP) from the cell surface and to become internalized upon repeated or prolonged stimulation. Once internalized, they are supposed to stop signaling to second messengers but may trigger nonclassical signals such as mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation. Here, we show that a GPCR continues to stimulate cAMP production in a sustained manner after internalization. We generated transgenic mice with ubiquitous expression of a fluorescent sensor for cAMP and studied cAMP responses to thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in native, 3-D thyroid follicles isolated from these mice. TSH stimulation caused internalization of the TSH receptors into a pre-Golgi compartment in close association with G-protein alpha(s)-subunits and adenylyl cyclase III. Receptors internalized together with TSH and produced downstream cellular responses that were distinct from those triggered by cell surface receptors. These data suggest that classical paradigms of GPCR signaling may need revision, as they indicate that cAMP signaling by GPCRs may occur both at the cell surface and from intracellular sites, but with different consequences for the cell.
American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology. Feb, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 19889965
cAMP and Ca(2+) are antagonistic intracellular messengers for the regulation of vascular smooth muscle tone; rising levels of Ca(2+) lead to vasoconstriction, whereas an increase of cAMP induces vasodilatation. Here we investigated whether Ca(2+) interferes with cAMP signaling by regulation of phophodiesterases (PDEs) or adenylyl cyclases (ACs). We studied regulation of cAMP concentrations by Ca(2+) signals evoked by endogenous purinergic receptors in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). The fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based cAMP sensor Epac1-camps allowed the measurement of cAMP levels in single-living VSMCs with subsecond temporal resolution. Moreover, in vitro calibration of Epac1-camps enabled us to estimate the absolute cytosolic cAMP concentrations. Stimulation of purinergic receptors decreased cAMP levels in the presence of the beta-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol. Simultaneous imaging of cAMP with Epac1-camps and of Ca(2+) with Fura 2 revealed a rise of intracellular Ca(2+) in response to purinergic stimulation followed by a decline of cAMP. Chelation of intracellular Ca(2+) and overexpression of Ca(2+)-independent AC4 antagonized this decline of cAMP, whereas pharmacological inhibition of Ca(2+)-activated PDE1 had no effect. AC assays with VSMC membranes revealed a significant attenuation of isoproterenol-stimulated cAMP production by the presence of 2 muM Ca(2+). Furthermore, small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown of AC5 and AC6 (the two ACs known to be inhibited by Ca(2+)), significantly reduced the decrease of cAMP upon purinergic stimulation of isoproterenol-prestimulated VSMCs. Taken together, these results implicate a Ca(2+)-mediated inhibition of AC5 and 6 as an important mechanism of purinergic receptor-induced decline of cAMP and show a direct cross talk of these signaling pathways in VSMCs.
Distinct Pools of CAMP Centre on Different Isoforms of Adenylyl Cyclase in Pituitary-derived GH3B6 Cells
Journal of Cell Science. Jan, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20016070
Microdomains have been proposed to explain specificity in the myriad of possible cellular targets of cAMP. Local differences in cAMP levels can be generated by phosphodiesterases, which control the diffusion of cAMP. Here, we address the possibility that adenylyl cyclases, the source of cAMP, can be primary architects of such microdomains. Distinctly regulated adenylyl cyclases often contribute to total cAMP levels in endogenous cellular settings, making it virtually impossible to determine the contribution of a specific isoform. To investigate cAMP dynamics with high precision at the single-isoform level, we developed a targeted version of Epac2-camps, a cAMP sensor, in which the sensor was tagged to a catalytically inactive version of the Ca(2+)-stimulable adenylyl cyclase 8 (AC8). This sensor, and less stringently targeted versions of Epac2-camps, revealed opposite regulation of cAMP synthesis in response to Ca(2+) in GH(3)B(6) pituitary cells. Ca(2+) release triggered by thyrotropin-releasing hormone stimulated the minor endogenous AC8 species. cAMP levels were decreased by inhibition of AC5 and AC6, and simultaneous activation of phosphodiesterases, in different compartments of the same cell. These findings demonstrate the existence of distinct adenylyl-cyclase-centered cAMP microdomains in live cells and open the door to their molecular micro-dissection.
A Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer-based M2 Muscarinic Receptor Sensor Reveals Rapid Kinetics of Allosteric Modulation
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Mar, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20083608
Allosteric modulators have been identified for several G protein-coupled receptors, most notably muscarinic receptors. To study their mechanism of action, we made use of a recently developed technique to generate fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based sensors to monitor G protein-coupled receptor activation. Cyan fluorescent protein was fused to the C terminus of the M(2) muscarinic receptor, and a specific binding sequence for the small fluorescent compound fluorescein arsenical hairpin binder, FlAsH, was inserted into the third intracellular loop; the latter site was labeled in intact cells by incubation with FlAsH. We then measured FRET between the donor cyan fluorescent protein and the acceptor FlAsH in intact cells and monitored its changes in real time. Agonists such as acetylcholine and carbachol induced rapid changes in FRET, indicative of agonist-induced conformational changes. Removal of the agonists or addition of an antagonist caused a reversal of this signal with rate constants between 400 and 1100 ms. The allosteric ligands gallamine and dimethyl-W84 caused no changes in FRET when given alone, but increased FRET when given in the presence of an agonist, compatible with an inactivation of the receptors. The kinetics of these effects were very rapid, with rate constants of 80-100 ms and approximately 200 ms for saturating concentrations of gallamine and dimethyl-W84, respectively. Because these speeds are significantly faster than the responses to antagonists, these data indicate that gallamine and dimethyl-W84 are allosteric ligands and actively induce a conformation of the M(2) receptor with a reduced affinity for its agonists.
Science (New York, N.Y.). Mar, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20185685
The beta1- and beta2-adrenergic receptors (betaARs) on the surface of cardiomyocytes mediate distinct effects on cardiac function and the development of heart failure by regulating production of the second messenger cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). The spatial localization in cardiomyocytes of these betaARs, which are coupled to heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G proteins), and the functional implications of their localization have been unclear. We combined nanoscale live-cell scanning ion conductance and fluorescence resonance energy transfer microscopy techniques and found that, in cardiomyocytes from healthy adult rats and mice, spatially confined beta2AR-induced cAMP signals are localized exclusively to the deep transverse tubules, whereas functional beta1ARs are distributed across the entire cell surface. In cardiomyocytes derived from a rat model of chronic heart failure, beta2ARs were redistributed from the transverse tubules to the cell crest, which led to diffuse receptor-mediated cAMP signaling. Thus, the redistribution of beta(2)ARs in heart failure changes compartmentation of cAMP and might contribute to the failing myocardial phenotype.
PloS One. 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20300620
Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) is a common disease affecting up to 5% of pregnancies and which can cause fetal arrhythmia and sudden intrauterine death. We previously demonstrated that bile acid taurocholate (TC), which is raised in the bloodstream of ICP, can acutely alter the rate and rhythm of contraction and induce abnormal calcium destabilization in cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (NRCM). Apart from their hepatic functions bile acids are ubiquitous signalling molecules with diverse systemic effects mediated by either the nuclear receptor FXR or by a recently discovered G-protein coupled receptor TGR5. We aim to investigate the mechanism of bile-acid induced arrhythmogenic effects in an in-vitro model of the fetal heart.
Trends in Pharmacological Sciences. May, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20303186
G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are cell surface receptors and are generally assumed to signal to second messengers such as cyclic AMP (cAMP) exclusively from the plasma membrane. However, recent studies indicate that GPCRs can continue signaling to cAMP after internalization together with their agonists. Signaling from inside the cell is persistent and appears to trigger specific downstream effects. Here, we will review these recent data, which form the basis for a novel concept of intracellular GPCR signaling and suggest new and intriguing scenarios for the functions of GPCRs in the endocytic compartment. We propose that current models of GPCR signaling should be revised to accommodate the ability of receptors to change their signaling properties depending on their subcellular localization.
Journal of Molecular Endocrinology. Jul, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20378719
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest family of plasma membrane receptors. They mediate the effects of several endogenous cues and serve as important pharmacological targets. Although many biochemical events involved in GPCR signaling have been characterized in great detail, little is known about their spatiotemporal dynamics in living cells. The recent advent of optical methods based on fluorescent resonance energy transfer allows, for the first time, to directly monitor GPCR signaling in living cells. Utilizing these methods, it has been recently possible to show that the receptors for two protein/peptide hormones, the TSH and the parathyroid hormone, continue signaling to cAMP after their internalization into endosomes. This type of intracellular signaling is persistent and apparently triggers specific cellular outcomes. Here, we review these recent data and explain the optical methods used for such studies. Based on these findings, we propose a revision of the current model of the GPCR-cAMP signaling pathway to accommodate receptor signaling at endosomes.
Type 4 Phosphodiesterase Plays Different Integrating Roles in Different Cellular Domains in Pyramidal Cortical Neurons
The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Apr, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20427672
We investigated the role of phosphodiesterases (PDEs) in the integration of cAMP signals and protein kinase A (PKA) activity following beta-adrenergic stimulation, by carrying out real-time imaging of male mouse pyramidal cortical neurons expressing biosensors to monitor cAMP levels (Epac1-camps and Epac2-camps300) or PKA activity (AKAR2). In the soma, isoproterenol (ISO) increased the PKA signal to approximately half the maximal response obtained with forskolin, with a characteristic beta(1) pharmacology and an EC(50) of 4.5 nm. This response was related to free cAMP levels in the submicromolar range. The specific type 4 PDE (PDE4) inhibitor rolipram had a very small effect alone, but strongly potentiated the PKA response to ISO. Blockers of other PDEs had no effect. PDE4 thus acts as a brake in the propagation of the beta(1)-adrenergic signal from the membrane to the bulk somatic cytosol. The results for a submembrane domain were markedly different, whether recorded with a PKA-sensitive potassium current related to the slow AHP or by two-photon imaging of small distal dendrites. The responses to ISO were stronger than in the bulk cytosol. This is consistent with the cAMP/PKA signal being strong at the membrane, as shown by electrophysiology, and favored in cellular domains with a high surface area to volume ratio, in which this signal was detected by imaging. Rolipram alone also produced a strong cAMP/PKA signal, revealing tonic cAMP production. PDE4 thus appears as a crucial integrator with different physiological implications in different subcellular domains.
Endocrinology. Sep, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20610560
Fluorescence resonance energy transfer using genetically encoded biosensors has proven to be a powerful technique to monitor the spatiotemporal dynamics of cAMP signals stimulated by G(s)-coupled receptors in living cells. In contrast, real-time imaging of G(i)-mediated cAMP signals under native conditions remains challenging. Here, we describe the use of transgenic mice for cAMP imaging in living pituitary slices and primary pituitary cells. This technique can be widely used to assess the contribution of various pituitary receptors, including individual G(i) protein-coupled somatostatin receptors, to the regulation of cAMP levels under physiologically relevant settings.
Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Kinase Activity is Required for Gap Junction Closure and for Part of the Decrease in Ovarian Follicle CGMP in Response to LH
Reproduction (Cambridge, England). Nov, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20826538
The meiotic cell cycle in mouse oocytes is arrested in prophase, and then restarted when LH acts on the surrounding granulosa cells. The granulosa cells keep meiosis arrested by providing a source of cGMP that diffuses into the oocyte through gap junctions, and LH restarts the cell cycle by closing the junctions and by decreasing granulosa cell cGMP, thus lowering oocyte cGMP. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activation is an essential step in triggering LH-induced meiotic resumption, but its relationship to the cGMP decrease in the follicle is incompletely understood, and its possible function in causing gap junction closure has not been investigated. Here, we use EGFR agonists (epiregulin and amphiregulin) and an EGFR kinase inhibitor (AG1478) to study the function of the EGFR in the signaling pathways leading to the release of oocytes from prophase arrest. Our results indicate that the EGFR kinase contributes to LH-induced meiotic resumption in two different ways. First, it is required for gap junction closure. Second, it is required for an essential component of the decrease in follicle cGMP. Our data show that the EGFR kinase-dependent component of the cGMP decrease is required for LH-induced meiotic resumption, but they also indicate that an as yet unidentified pathway accounts for a large part of the cGMP decrease.
Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy: a Convergent High-resolution Technology for Multi-parametric Analysis of Living Cardiovascular Cells
Journal of the Royal Society, Interface / the Royal Society. Jul, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21325316
Cardiovascular diseases are complex pathologies that include alterations of various cell functions at the levels of intact tissue, single cells and subcellular signalling compartments. Conventional techniques to study these processes are extremely divergent and rely on a combination of individual methods, which usually provide spatially and temporally limited information on single parameters of interest. This review describes scanning ion conductance microscopy (SICM) as a novel versatile technique capable of simultaneously reporting various structural and functional parameters at nanometre resolution in living cardiovascular cells at the level of the whole tissue, single cells and at the subcellular level, to investigate the mechanisms of cardiovascular disease. SICM is a multimodal imaging technology that allows concurrent and dynamic analysis of membrane morphology and various functional parameters (cell volume, membrane potentials, cellular contraction, single ion-channel currents and some parameters of intracellular signalling) in intact living cardiovascular cells and tissues with nanometre resolution at different levels of organization (tissue, cellular and subcellular levels). Using this technique, we showed that at the tissue level, cell orientation in the inner and outer aortic arch distinguishes atheroprone and atheroprotected regions. At the cellular level, heart failure leads to a pronounced loss of T-tubules in cardiac myocytes accompanied by a reduction in Z-groove ratio. We also demonstrated the capability of SICM to measure the entire cell volume as an index of cellular hypertrophy. This method can be further combined with fluorescence to simultaneously measure cardiomyocyte contraction and intracellular calcium transients or to map subcellular localization of membrane receptors coupled to cyclic adenosine monophosphate production. The SICM pipette can be used for patch-clamp recordings of membrane potential and single channel currents. In conclusion, SICM provides a highly informative multimodal imaging platform for functional analysis of the mechanisms of cardiovascular diseases, which should facilitate identification of novel therapeutic strategies.
Distinct Pharmacological Properties of Morphine Metabolites at G(i)-protein and β-arrestin Signaling Pathways Activated by the Human μ-opioid Receptor
Biochemical Pharmacology. May, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21396918
Morphine and several other opioids are important drugs for the treatment of acute and chronic pain. Opioid-induced analgesia is predominantly mediated by the μ-opioid receptor (MOR). When administered to humans, complex metabolic pathways lead to generation of many metabolites, nine of which may be considered major metabolites. While the properties of the two main compounds, morphine-6-glucuronide and morphine-3-glucuronide, are well described, the activity of other morphine metabolites is largely unknown. Here we performed an extensive pharmacological characterization by comparing efficacies and potencies of morphine and its nine major metabolites for the two main signaling pathways engaged by the human MOR, which occur via G(i)-protein activation and β-arrestins, respectively. We used radioligand binding studies and FRET-based methods to monitor MOR-mediated G(i)-protein activation and β-arrestin recruitment in single intact 293T cells. This approach identified two major groups of morphine metabolites, which we classified into "strong" and "weak" receptor ligands. Strong partial agonists morphine, morphine-6-glucuronide, normorphine, morphine-6-sulfate, 6-acetylmorphine and 3-acetylmorphine showed efficacies in the nanomolar range, while the weak metabolites morphine-N-oxide, morphine-3-sulfate, morphine-3-glucuronide and pseudomorphine activated MOR pathways only in the micromolar range. Interestingly, three metabolites, normorphine, 6-acetylmorphine and morphine-6-glucuronide, had lower potencies for Gi-protein activation but higher potencies and efficacies for β-arrestin recruitment than morphine itself, suggesting that they are biased towards β-arrestin pathways.
Reproduction (Cambridge, England). Jun, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21411693
Mammalian oocytes are arrested at prophase I of meiosis until a preovulatory surge of LH stimulates them to resume meiosis. Prior to the LH surge, high levels of cAMP within the oocyte maintain meiotic arrest; this cAMP is generated in the oocyte through the activity of the constitutively active, G(s)-coupled receptor, G-protein-coupled receptor 3 (GPR3) or GPR12. Activated GPRs are typically targeted for desensitization through receptor-mediated endocytosis, but a continuously high level of cAMP is needed for meiotic arrest. The aim of this study was to examine whether receptor-mediated endocytosis occurs in the mouse oocyte and whether this could affect the maintenance of meiotic arrest. We found that constitutive endocytosis occurs in the mouse oocyte. Inhibitors of receptor-mediated endocytosis, monodansylcadaverine and dynasore, inhibited the formation of early endosomes and completely inhibited spontaneous meiotic resumption. A red fluorescent protein-tagged GPR3 localized in the plasma membrane and within early endosomes in the oocyte, demonstrating that GPR3 is endocytosed. However, overexpression of G-protein receptor kinase 2 and β-arrestin-2 had only a modest effect on stimulating meiotic resumption, suggesting that these proteins do not play a major role in GPR3 endocytosis. Inhibition of endocytosis elevated cAMP levels within oocytes, suggesting that there is an accumulation of GPR3 at the plasma membrane. These results show that endocytosis occurs in the oocyte, leading to a decrease in cAMP production, and suggest that there is a balance between cAMP production and degradation in the arrested oocyte that maintains cAMP levels at an appropriate level during the maintenance of meiotic arrest.
Nature Protocols. Apr, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21412271
Real-time measurements of second messengers in living cells, such as cAMP, are usually performed by ratiometric fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) imaging. However, correct calibration of FRET ratios, accurate calculations of absolute cAMP levels and actual permeabilities of different cAMP analogs have been challenging. Here we present a protocol that allows precise measurements of cAMP concentrations and kinetics by expressing FRET-based cAMP sensors in cells and modulating them with an inhibitor of adenylyl cyclase activity and a cell-permeable cAMP analog that fully inhibits and activates the sensors, respectively. Using this protocol, we observed different basal cAMP levels in primary mouse cardiomyocytes, thyroid cells and in 293A cells. The protocol can be generally applied for calibration of second messenger or metabolite concentrations measured by FRET, and for studying kinetics and pharmacological properties of their membrane-permeable analogs. The complete procedure, including cell preparation and FRET measurements, takes 3-6 d.
A Protective Antiarrhythmic Role of Ursodeoxycholic Acid in an in Vitro Rat Model of the Cholestatic Fetal Heart
Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.). Oct, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21809354
Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy may be complicated by fetal arrhythmia, fetal hypoxia, preterm labor, and, in severe cases, intrauterine death. The precise etiology of fetal death is not known. However, taurocholate has been demonstrated to cause arrhythmia and abnormal calcium dynamics in cardiomyocytes. To identify the underlying reason for increased susceptibility of fetal cardiomyocytes to arrhythmia, we studied myofibroblasts (MFBs), which appear during structural remodeling of the adult diseased heart. In vitro, they depolarize rat cardiomyocytes via heterocellular gap junctional coupling. Recently, it has been hypothesized that ventricular MFBs might appear in the developing human heart, triggered by physiological fetal hypoxia. However, their presence in the fetal heart (FH) and their proarrhythmogenic effects have not been systematically characterized. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that ventricular MFBs transiently appear in the human FH during gestation. We established two in vitro models of the maternal heart (MH) and FH, both exposed to increasing doses of taurocholate. The MH model consisted of confluent strands of rat cardiomyocytes, whereas for the FH model, we added cardiac MFBs on top of cardiomyocytes. Taurocholate in the FH model, but not in the MH model, slowed conduction velocity from 19 to 9 cm/s, induced early after depolarizations, and resulted in sustained re-entrant arrhythmias. These arrhythmic events were prevented by ursodeoxycholic acid, which hyperpolarized MFB membrane potential by modulating potassium conductance. CONCLUSION: These results illustrate that the appearance of MFBs in the FH may contribute to arrhythmias. The above-described mechanism represents a new therapeutic approach for cardiac arrhythmias at the level of MFB.
A Cardiac Pathway of Cyclic GMP-independent Signaling of Guanylyl Cyclase A, the Receptor for Atrial Natriuretic Peptide
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Nov, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22027011
Cardiac atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) regulates arterial blood pressure, moderates cardiomyocyte growth, and stimulates angiogenesis and metabolism. ANP binds to the transmembrane guanylyl cyclase (GC) receptor, GC-A, to exert its diverse functions. This process involves a cGMP-dependent signaling pathway preventing pathological [Ca(2+)](i) increases in myocytes. In chronic cardiac hypertrophy, however, ANP levels are markedly increased and GC-A/cGMP responses to ANP are blunted due to receptor desensitization. Here we show that, in this situation, ANP binding to GC-A stimulates a unique cGMP-independent signaling pathway in cardiac myocytes, resulting in pathologically elevated intracellular Ca(2+) levels. This pathway involves the activation of Ca(2+)-permeable transient receptor potential canonical 3/6 (TRPC3/C6) cation channels by GC-A, which forms a stable complex with TRPC3/C6 channels. Our results indicate that the resulting cation influx activates voltage-dependent L-type Ca(2+) channels and ultimately increases myocyte Ca(2)(+)(i) levels. These observations reveal a dual role of the ANP/GC-A-signaling pathway in the regulation of cardiac myocyte Ca(2+)(i) homeostasis. Under physiological conditions, activation of a cGMP-dependent pathway moderates the Ca(2+)(i)-enhancing action of hypertrophic factors such as angiotensin II. By contrast, a cGMP-independent pathway predominates under pathophysiological conditions when GC-A is desensitized by high ANP levels. The concomitant rise in [Ca(2+)](i) might increase the propensity to cardiac hypertrophy and arrhythmias.
Low Angle Light Scattering Analysis: a Novel Quantitative Method for Functional Characterization of Human and Murine Platelet Receptors
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine : CCLM / FESCC. Dec, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22149738
Abstract Background: Determinations of platelet receptor functions are indispensable diagnostic indicators of cardiovascular and hemostatic diseases including hereditary and acquired receptor defects and receptor responses to drugs. However, presently available techniques for assessing platelet function have some disadvantages, such as low sensitivity and the requirement of large sample sizes and unphysiologically high agonist concentrations. Our goal was to develop and initially characterize a new technique designed to quantitatively analyze platelet receptor activation and platelet function on the basis of measuring changes in low angle light scattering. Methods: We developed a novel technique based on low angle light scattering registering changes in light scattering at a range of different angles in platelet suspensions during activation. Results: The method proved to be highly sensitive for simultaneous real time detection of changes in size and shape of platelets during activation. Unlike commonly-used methods, the light scattering method could detect platelet shape change and aggregation in response to nanomolar concentrations of extracellular nucleotides. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that the advantages of the light scattering method make it a choice method for platelet receptor monitoring and for investigation of both murine and human platelets in disease models. Conclusions: Our data demonstrate the suitability and superiority of this new low angle light scattering method for comprehensive analyses of platelet receptors and functions. This highly sensitive, quantitative, and online detection of essential physiological, pathophysiological and pharmacological-response properties of human and mouse platelets is a significant improvement over conventional techniques.
Popeye Domain Containing Proteins Are Essential for Stress-mediated Modulation of Cardiac Pacemaking in Mice
The Journal of Clinical Investigation. Mar, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22354168
Cardiac pacemaker cells create rhythmic pulses that control heart rate; pacemaker dysfunction is a prevalent disorder in the elderly, but little is known about the underlying molecular causes. Popeye domain containing (Popdc) genes encode membrane proteins with high expression levels in cardiac myocytes and specifically in the cardiac pacemaking and conduction system. Here, we report the phenotypic analysis of mice deficient in Popdc1 or Popdc2. ECG analysis revealed severe sinus node dysfunction when freely roaming mutant animals were subjected to physical or mental stress. In both mutants, bradyarrhythmia developed in an age-dependent manner. Furthermore, we found that the conserved Popeye domain functioned as a high-affinity cAMP-binding site. Popdc proteins interacted with the potassium channel TREK-1, which led to increased cell surface expression and enhanced current density, both of which were negatively modulated by cAMP. These data indicate that Popdc proteins have an important regulatory function in heart rate dynamics that is mediated, at least in part, through cAMP binding. Mice with mutant Popdc1 and Popdc2 alleles are therefore useful models for the dissection of the mechanisms causing pacemaker dysfunction and could aid in the development of strategies for therapeutic intervention.
Plasticity of Surface Structures and β(2)-adrenergic Receptor Localization in Failing Ventricular Cardiomyocytes During Recovery from Heart Failure
Circulation. Heart Failure. May, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22456061
Cardiomyocyte surface morphology and T-tubular structure are significantly disrupted in chronic heart failure, with important functional sequelae, including redistribution of sarcolemmal β(2)-adrenergic receptors (β(2)AR) and localized secondary messenger signaling. Plasticity of these changes in the reverse remodeled failing ventricle is unknown. We used AAV9.SERCA2a gene therapy to rescue failing rat hearts and measured z-groove index, T-tubule density, and compartmentalized β(2)AR-mediated cAMP signals, using a combined nanoscale scanning ion conductance microscopy-Förster resonance energy transfer technique.
British Journal of Pharmacology. May, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22612416
Background and purpose: cGMP is involved in the regulation of many cellular processes such as cardiac and smooth muscle contractility, aldosterone synthesis, inhibition of platelet activation etc. Intracellular cGMP effects are mediated by cGMP-dependent protein kinases, cGMP-regulated phosphodiesterases and cGMP-gated ion channels. PKG inhibitors are widely used to discriminate PKG specific effects. They can be divided into cyclic nucleotide binding site inhibitors such as Rp-phosphorothioate analogues (Rp-cGMPS), ATP binding site inhibitors such as KT5823, and substrate binding site inhibitors represented by the recently described DT-oligopeptides. Since it has been shown that Rp-cGMPS and KT5823 have numerous unspecific effects, we extensively analyzed pharmacological properties of (D)-DT-2 which is regarded as a highly specific, membrane permeable PKG inhibitor. Experimental approach: Specificity and potency of (D)-DT-2 to inhibit PKG activity was evaluated using biochemical assay in vitro and by substrate phosphorylation analysis in various cell types including human platelets, rat mesangial cells and rat neonatal cardiomyocytes. Key results: Despite potent inhibitory potential for PKGI in vitro, (D)-DT-2 looses its PKG-specificity in cell homogenates and especially in living cells, as demonstrated by phosphorylation of different substrates. Instead, (D)-DT-2 modulates activity of other kinases including ERK, p38, PKB and PKC, thereby inducing unpredictable, often opposing functional effects. Conclusions and Implications: We conclude that DT-oligopeptides, similar to other inhibitors, cannot be used to specifically inhibit PKG in intact cells. Therefore no specific pharmacological PKG inhibitors are available, and reliable studies of PKG signaling can only be made by using RNA knockdown or genetic ablation approaches. © 2012 The Authors. British Journal of Pharmacology © 2012 The British Pharmacological Society.
High Levels of Circulating Epinephrine Trigger Apical Cardiodepression in a β2-Adrenergic Receptor/Gi-Dependent Manner: A New Model of Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy
Circulation. Aug, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22732314
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is an acute heart failure syndrome characterized by myocardial hypocontractility from the mid left ventricle to the apex. It is precipitated by extreme stress and can be triggered by intravenous catecholamine administration, particularly epinephrine. Despite its grave presentation, Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is rapidly reversible, with generally good prognosis. We hypothesized that this represents switching of epinephrine signaling through the pleiotropic β(2)-adrenergic receptor (β(2)AR) from canonical stimulatory G-protein-activated cardiostimulant to inhibitory G-protein-activated cardiodepressant pathways.
Atrial Natriuretic Peptide Enhances Microvascular Albumin Permeability by the Caveolae-mediated Transcellular Pathway
Cardiovascular Research. Jan, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22025581
Cardiac atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) participates in the maintenance of arterial blood pressure and intravascular volume homeostasis. The hypovolaemic effects of ANP result from coordinated actions in the kidney and systemic microcirculation. Hence, ANP, via its guanylyl cyclase-A (GC-A) receptor and intracellular cyclic GMP as second messenger, stimulates endothelial albumin permeability. Ultimately, this leads to a shift of plasma fluid into interstitial pools. Here we studied the role of caveolae-mediated transendothelial albumin transport in the hyperpermeability effects of ANP.