In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (14)
- Journal of Lipid Research
- Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
- Molecular Biology of the Cell
- Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta
- Heart Rhythm
- The Journal of Membrane Biology
- Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine
- Journal of Diabetes Research
- Cancer Letters
- American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology
- Trends in Biotechnology
- Tissue Engineering. Part B, Reviews
- FEBS Letters
- BMC Cancer
Articles by J. Matthew Rhett in JoVE
Microdissection of Primary Renal Tissue Segments and Incorporation with Novel Scaffold-free Construct Technology Chase A. Arbra*1, Satish N. Nadig*1, Sarah Grace Dennis1, Sanket Pattanaik1, Heather A. Bainbridge1, J. Matthew Rhett1, Stephen A. Fann1, Carl Atkinson1, Michael J. Yost1 1Department of Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina Tissue-engineered renal constructs provide a solution for the organ shortage and deleterious effects of dialysis. Here, we describe a protocol to micro dissect murine kidneys for isolation of cortico-medullary segments. These segments are implanted into scaffold-free cellular constructs, forming renal organoids.
Other articles by J. Matthew Rhett on PubMed
Definition of the Immunogenic Forms of Modified Human LDL Recognized by Human Autoantibodies and by Rabbit Hyperimmune Antibodies Journal of Lipid Research. | Pubmed ID: 15258197 Humans and laboratory animals recognize human modified LDL as immunogenic. Immune complexes (ICs) isolated from human sera contain malondialdehyde-modified LDL (MDA-LDL) and N (epsilon)(carboxymethyl)lysine-modified LDL (CML-LDL) as well as antibodies reacting with MDA-LDL, copper-oxidized LDL (OxLDL), CML-LDL, and advanced glycosylation end product (AGE)-modified LDL. OxLDL and AGE-LDL antibodies isolated from human sera recognize the same LDL modifications and do not react with modified non-LDL proteins. Rabbit antibodies have different reactivity patterns: MDA-LDL antibodies react strongly with MDA-LDL and MDA-BSA but weakly with OxLDL; OxLDL antibodies react strongly with OxLDL and weakly with MDA-LDL; CML-LDL antibodies react with CML-LDL > CML-BSA > AGE-LDL > OxLDL; AGE-LDL antibodies react strongly with AGE-LDL, react weakly with OxLDL, and do not react with CML-LDL. Thus, human and rabbit antibodies seem to recognize different epitopes. Capture assays carried out with all rabbit antibodies showed binding of apolipoprotein B-rich lipoproteins isolated from ICs, suggesting that laboratory-generated epitopes are expressed by in vivo-modified LDL, although they are not necessarily recognized by the human immune system. Thus, the definition of immunogenic forms of modified LDL eliciting human autoimmune responses requires the isolation and characterization of autoantibodies and modified LDL from human samples, whereas rabbit antibodies can be used to detect in vivo-modified human LDL.
Translational Lessons from Scarless Healing of Cutaneous Wounds and Regenerative Repair of the Myocardium Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology. | Pubmed ID: 19560469 Regenerative healing is the process by which injured tissues are restored to their original structure and function. Many species are capable of healing in this manner. However, in mammals the healing response in most tissues is marked by fibroblast proliferation and scar tissue deposition. While scarring contributes to efficient resolution of mammalian wounds and restoration of at least partial structural and functional support, the final result of scar formation can be more deleterious than the initial insult. This is especially true in the heart, which is sensitive to electrical heterogeneities and altered mechanical properties produced by scarring. Several therapeutic modalities promoting regeneration in skin wounds have been developed that modulate various aspects of the healing process. Targets include cytokine stimulation, control of fibroblast activation, modulation of gap junctions, and stem cell differentiation. Here, we review and compare mechanisms of injury, repair, and scarring in the skin and heart and discuss the promise and caveats of future therapies that may translate to improving repair of myocardial tissues.
Connexin 43 Connexon to Gap Junction Transition is Regulated by Zonula Occludens-1 Molecular Biology of the Cell. | Pubmed ID: 21411628 Connexin 43 (Cx43) is a gap junction (GJ) protein widely expressed in mammalian tissues that mediates cell-to-cell coupling. Intercellular channels comprising GJ aggregates form from docking of paired connexons, with one each contributed by apposing cells. Zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) binds the carboxy terminus of Cx43, and we have previously shown that inhibition of the Cx43/ZO-1 interaction increases GJ size by 48 h. Here we demonstrated that increases in GJ aggregation occur within 2 h (∼Cx43 half-life) following disruption of Cx43/ZO-1. Immunoprecipitation and Duolink protein-protein interaction assays indicated that inhibition targets ZO-1 binding with Cx43 in GJs as well as connexons in an adjacent domain that we term the "perinexus." Consistent with GJ size increases being matched by decreases in connexons, inhibition of Cx43/ZO-1 reduced the extent of perinexal interaction, increased the proportion of connexons docked in GJs relative to undocked connexons in the plasma membrane, and increased GJ intercellular communication while concomitantly decreasing hemichannel-mediated membrane permeance in contacting, but not noncontacting, cells. ZO-1 small interfering RNA and overexpression experiments verified that loss and gain of ZO-1 function govern the transition of connexons into GJs. It is concluded that ZO-1 regulates the rate of undocked connexon aggregation into GJs, enabling dynamic partitioning of Cx43 channel function between junctional and proximal nonjunctional domains of plasma membrane.
The Connexin43 Carboxyl Terminus and Cardiac Gap Junction Organization Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta. | Pubmed ID: 21856279 The precise spatial order of gap junctions at intercalated disks in adult ventricular myocardium is thought vital for maintaining cardiac synchrony. Breakdown or remodeling of this order is a hallmark of arrhythmic disease of the heart. The principal component of gap junction channels between ventricular cardiomyocytes is connexin43 (Cx43). Protein-protein interactions and modifications of the carboxyl-terminus of Cx43 are key determinants of gap junction function, size, distribution and organization during normal development and in disease processes. Here, we review data on the role of proteins interacting with the Cx43 carboxyl-terminus in the regulation of cardiac gap junction organization, with particular emphasis on Zonula Occludens-1. The rapid progress in this area suggests that in coming years we are likely to develop a fuller understanding of the molecular mechanisms causing pathologic remodeling of gap junctions. With these advances come the promise of novel approach to the treatment of arrhythmia and the prevention of sudden cardiac death. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Communicating junctions, composition, structure and characteristics.
Cx43 Associates with Na(v)1.5 in the Cardiomyocyte Perinexus The Journal of Membrane Biology. | Pubmed ID: 22811280 Gap junctions (GJs) are aggregates of channels that provide for direct cytoplasmic connection between cells. Importantly, this connection is thought responsible for cell-to-cell transfer of the cardiac action potential. The GJ channels of ventricular myocytes are composed of connexin43 (Cx43). Interaction of Cx43 with zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) is localized not only at the GJ plaque, but also to the region surrounding the GJ, the perinexus. Cx43 in the perinexus is not detectable by immunofluorescence, yet localization of Cx43/ZO-1 interaction to this region indicated the presence of Cx43. Therefore, we hypothesized that Cx43 occurs in the perinexus at a lower concentration per unit membrane than in the GJ itself, making it difficult to visualize. To overcome this, the Duolink protein-protein interaction assay was used to detect Cx43. Duolink labeling of cardiomyocytes localized Cx43 to the perinexus. Quantification demonstrated that signal in the perinexus was lower than in the GJ but significantly higher than in nonjunctional regions. Additionally, Duolink of Triton X-100-extracted cultures suggested that perinexal Cx43 is nonjunctional. Importantly, the voltage gated sodium channel Na(v)1.5, which is responsible for initiation of the action potential, was found to interact with perinexal Cx43 but not with ZO-1. This work provides a detailed characterization of the structure of the perinexus at the GJ edge and indicates that one of its potential functions in the heart may be in facilitating conduction of action potential.
The Perinexus: Sign-post on the Path to a New Model of Cardiac Conduction? Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine. | Pubmed ID: 23490883 The perinexus is a recently identified microdomain surrounding the cardiac gap junction that contains elevated levels of connexin43 and the sodium channel protein, Nav1.5. Ongoing work has established a role for the perinexus in regulating gap junction aggregation. However, recent studies have raised the possibility of a perinexal contribution at the gap junction cleft to intercellular propagation of action potential via non-electrotonic mechanisms. The latter possibility could modify the current theoretical understanding of cardiac conduction, help explain paradoxical experimental findings, and open up entirely new avenues for antiarrhythmic therapy. We review recent structural insights into the perinexus and its potential novel functional role in cardiac-excitation spread, highlighting presently unanswered questions, the evidence for ephaptic conduction in the heart and how structural insights may help complete this picture.
Connexin-Based Therapeutics and Tissue Engineering Approaches to the Amelioration of Chronic Pancreatitis and Type I Diabetes: Construction and Characterization of a Novel Prevascularized Bioartificial Pancreas Journal of Diabetes Research. | Pubmed ID: 26788521 Total pancreatectomy and islet autotransplantation is a cutting-edge technique to treat chronic pancreatitis and postoperative diabetes. A major obstacle has been low islet cell survival due largely to the innate inflammatory response. Connexin43 (Cx43) channels play a key role in early inflammation and have proven to be viable therapeutic targets. Even if cell death due to early inflammation is avoided, insufficient vascularization is a primary obstacle to maintaining the viability of implanted cells. We have invented technologies targeting the inflammatory response and poor vascularization: a Cx43 mimetic peptide that inhibits inflammation and a novel prevascularized tissue engineered construct. We combined these technologies with isolated islets to create a prevascularized bioartificial pancreas that is resistant to the innate inflammatory response. Immunoconfocal microscopy showed that constructs containing islets express insulin and possess a vascular network similar to constructs without islets. Glucose stimulated islet-containing constructs displayed reduced insulin secretion compared to islets alone. However, labeling for insulin post-glucose stimulation revealed that the constructs expressed abundant levels of insulin. This discrepancy was found to be due to the expression of insulin degrading enzyme. These results suggest that the prevascularized bioartificial pancreas is potentially a tool for improving long-term islet cell survival in vivo.
Connexin 43, Breast Cancer Tumor Suppressor: Missed Connections? Cancer Letters. | Pubmed ID: 26884256 Connexins are a family of transmembrane proteins that are characterized by their capacity to form intercellular channels called gap junctions that directly link the cytoplasm of adjacent cells. The formation of gap junctions by connexin proteins facilitates intercellular communication between neighboring cells by allowing for the transfer of ions and small signaling molecules. Communication through gap junctions is key to cellular equilibrium, where connexins, and the gap junction intercellular communication that connexins propagate, have roles in cellular processes such as cell growth, differentiation, and tissue homeostasis. Due to their importance in maintaining cellular functions, the disruption of connexin expression and function underlies the etiology and progression of numerous pathologies, including cancer. Over the past half a century, the role of connexins and gap junction intercellular communication have been highlighted as critical areas of research in cellular malignancies, and much research effort has been geared toward understanding their dysfunction in human cancers. Although ample evidence supports the role of connexins in a variety of human cancers, detailed examination in specific cancers, such as breast cancer, is still lacking. This review highlights the most abundant gap junction connexin isoform in higher vertebrate organisms, Connexin 43, and its role in breast cancer.
Mechanism of Action of the Anti-inflammatory Connexin43 Mimetic Peptide JM2 American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology. | Pubmed ID: 28701358 Connexin-based therapeutics have shown the potential for therapeutic efficacy in improving wound healing. Our previous work demonstrated that the connexin43 (Cx43) mimetic peptide juxtamembrane 2 (JM2) reduced the acute inflammatory response to a submuscular implant model by inhibiting purinergic signaling. Given the prospective application in improving tissue-engineered construct tolerance that these results indicated, we sought to determine the mechanism of action for JM2 in the present study. Using confocal microscopy, a gap-FRAP cell communication assay, and an ethidium bromide uptake assay of hemichannel function we found that the peptide reduced cell surface Cx43 levels, Cx43 gap junction (GJ) size, GJ communication, and hemichannel activity. JM2 is based on the sequence of the Cx43 microtubule binding domain, and microtubules have a confirmed role in intracellular trafficking of Cx43 vesicles. Therefore, we tested the effect of JM2 on Cx43-microtubule interaction and microtubule polymerization. We found that JM2 enhanced Cx43-microtubule interaction and that microtubule polymerization was significantly enhanced. Taken together, these data suggest that JM2 inhibits trafficking of Cx43 to the cell surface by promoting irrelevant microtubule polymerization and thereby reduces the number of hemichannels in the plasma membrane available to participate in proinflammatory purinergic signaling. Importantly, this work indicates that JM2 may have therapeutic value in the treatment of proliferative diseases such as cancer. We conclude that the targeted action of JM2 on Cx43 channels may improve the tolerance of implanted tissue-engineered constructs against the innate inflammatory response.
Novel Therapies for Scar Reduction and Regenerative Healing of Skin Wounds Trends in Biotechnology. Apr, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18295916 Fibrotic scars deposited during skin wound healing can cause disfiguration and loss of dermal function. Scar differentiation involves inputs from multiple cell types in a predictable and overlapping sequence of cellular events that includes inflammation, migration/proliferation and extracellular matrix deposition. Research into the molecular mechanisms underpinning these processes in embryonic and adult wounds has contributed to the development of a growing number of novel therapeutic approaches for improving scar appearance. This review discusses some of these emerging strategies for shifting the balance of healing from scarring to regeneration in the context of non-pathological wounds. Particular focus is given to potential therapies based on transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta signaling and recent unexpected findings involving targeting of gap junctional connexins. Lessons learned in promoting scarless healing of cutaneous injuries might provide a basis for regenerative healing in other scenarios, such as spinal cord rupture or myocardial infarction.
Purinergic Signaling in Early Inflammatory Events of the Foreign Body Response: Modulating Extracellular ATP As an Enabling Technology for Engineered Implants and Tissues Tissue Engineering. Part B, Reviews. Oct, 2014 | Pubmed ID: 24279914 Purinergic signaling is a ubiquitous and vital aspect of mammalian biology in which purines--mainly adenosine triphosphate (ATP)--are released from cells through loss of membrane integrity (cell death), exocytosis, or transport/diffusion across membrane channels, and exert paracrine or autocrine signaling effects through three subclasses of well-characterized receptors: the P1 adenosine receptors, the P2X ionotropic nucleotide receptors, and the P2Y metabotropic receptors. ATP and its metabolites are released by damaged and stressed cells in injured tissues. The early events of wound healing, hemostasis, and inflammation are highly regulated by these signals through activation of purinergic receptors on platelets and neutrophils. Recent data have demonstrated that ATP signaling is of particular importance to targeting leukocytes to sites of injury. This is particularly relevant to the subject of implanted medical devices, engineered tissues, and grafts as all these technologies elicit a wound healing response with varying degrees of encapsulation, rejection, extrusion, or destruction of the tissue or device. Here, we review the biology of purinergic signaling and focus on ATP release and response mechanisms that pertain to the early inflammatory phase of wound healing. Finally, therapeutic options are explored, including a new class of peptidomimetic drugs based on the ATP-conductive channel connexin43.
Cardiac to Cancer: Connecting Connexins to Clinical Opportunity FEBS Letters. Apr, 2014 | Pubmed ID: 24607540 Gap junctions and their connexin components are indispensable in mediating the cellular coordination required for tissue and organ homeostasis. The critical nature of their existence mandates a connection to disease while at the same time offering therapeutic potential. Therapeutic intervention may be offered through the pharmacological and molecular disruption of the pathways involved in connexin biosynthesis, gap junction assembly, stabilization, or degradation. Chemical inhibitors aimed at closing connexin channels, peptide mimetics corresponding to short connexin sequences, and gene therapy approaches have been incredibly useful molecular tools in deciphering the complexities associated with connexin biology. Recently, therapeutic potential in targeting connexins has evolved from basic research in cell-based models to clinical opportunity in the form of human trials. Clinical promise is particularly evident with regards to targeting connexin43 in the context of wound healing. The following review is aimed at highlighting novel advances where the pharmacological manipulation of connexin biology has proven beneficial in animals or humans.
Targeting Connexin 43 with α-connexin Carboxyl-terminal (ACT1) Peptide Enhances the Activity of the Targeted Inhibitors, Tamoxifen and Lapatinib, in Breast Cancer: Clinical Implication for ACT1 BMC Cancer. 2015 | Pubmed ID: 25881004 Treatment failure is a critical issue in breast cancer and identifying useful interventions that optimize current cancer therapies remains a critical unmet need. Expression and functional studies have identified connexins (Cxs), a family of gap junction proteins, as potential tumor suppressors. Studies suggest that Cx43 has a role in breast cancer cell proliferation, differentiation, and migration. Although pan-gap junction drugs are available, the lack of specificity of these agents increases the opportunity for off target effects. Consequently, a therapeutic agent that specifically modulates Cx43 would be beneficial and has not been tested in breast cancer. In this study, we now test an agent that specifically targets Cx43, called ACT1, in breast cancer.