Articles by Ricardo Serrano in JoVE
A Multi-well Format Polyacrylamide-based Assay for Studying the Effect of Extracellular Matrix Stiffness on the Bacterial Infection of Adherent Cells Effie E Bastounis1, Fabian E Ortega1, Ricardo Serrano2, Julie A Theriot3 1Department of Biochemistry, Stanford University School of Medicine, 2Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California San Diego, 3Departments of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine We have developed a multi-well format polyacrylamide-based assay for probing the effect of extracellular matrix stiffness on bacterial infection of adherent cells. This assay is compatible with flow cytometry, immunostaining, and traction force microscopy, allowing for quantitative measurements of the biomechanical interactions between cells, their extracellular matrix, and pathogenic bacteria.
Other articles by Ricardo Serrano on PubMed
Cyclic Stretch of Embryonic Cardiomyocytes Increases Proliferation, Growth, and Expression While Repressing Tgf-β Signaling Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology. | Pubmed ID: 25446186 Perturbed biomechanical stimuli are thought to be critical for the pathogenesis of a number of congenital heart defects, including Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). While embryonic cardiomyocytes experience biomechanical stretch every heart beat, their molecular responses to biomechanical stimuli during heart development are poorly understood. We hypothesized that biomechanical stimuli activate specific signaling pathways that impact proliferation, gene expression and myocyte contraction. The objective of this study was to expose embryonic mouse cardiomyocytes (EMCM) to cyclic stretch and examine key molecular and phenotypic responses. Analysis of RNA-Sequencing data demonstrated that gene ontology groups associated with myofibril and cardiac development were significantly modulated. Stretch increased EMCM proliferation, size, cardiac gene expression, and myofibril protein levels. Stretch also repressed several components belonging to the Transforming Growth Factor-β (Tgf-β) signaling pathway. EMCMs undergoing cyclic stretch had decreased Tgf-β expression, protein levels, and signaling. Furthermore, treatment of EMCMs with a Tgf-β inhibitor resulted in increased EMCM size. Functionally, Tgf-β signaling repressed EMCM proliferation and contractile function, as assayed via dynamic monolayer force microscopy (DMFM). Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that biomechanical stimuli play a vital role in normal cardiac development and for cardiac pathology, including HLHS.
Rickettsia Sca4 Reduces Vinculin-Mediated Intercellular Tension to Promote Spread Cell. | Pubmed ID: 27768890 Spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae are human pathogens that infect cells in the vasculature. They disseminate through host tissues by a process of cell-to-cell spread that involves protrusion formation, engulfment, and vacuolar escape. Other bacterial pathogens rely on actin-based motility to provide a physical force for spread. Here, we show that SFG species Rickettsia parkeri typically lack actin tails during spread and instead manipulate host intercellular tension and mechanotransduction to promote spread. Using transposon mutagenesis, we identified surface cell antigen 4 (Sca4) as a secreted effector of spread that specifically promotes protrusion engulfment. Sca4 interacts with the cell-adhesion protein vinculin and blocks association with vinculin's binding partner, α-catenin. Using traction and monolayer stress microscopy, we show that Sca4 reduces vinculin-dependent mechanotransduction at cell-cell junctions. Our results suggest that Sca4 relieves intercellular tension to promote protrusion engulfment, which represents a distinctive strategy for manipulating cytoskeletal force generation to enable spread.
High-throughput Screening of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Cardiotoxicity with Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Science Translational Medicine. | Pubmed ID: 28202772 Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), despite their efficacy as anticancer therapeutics, are associated with cardiovascular side effects ranging from induced arrhythmias to heart failure. We used human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs), generated from 11 healthy individuals and 2 patients receiving cancer treatment, to screen U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved TKIs for cardiotoxicities by measuring alterations in cardiomyocyte viability, contractility, electrophysiology, calcium handling, and signaling. With these data, we generated a "cardiac safety index" to reflect the cardiotoxicities of existing TKIs. TKIs with low cardiac safety indices exhibit cardiotoxicity in patients. We also derived endothelial cells (hiPSC-ECs) and cardiac fibroblasts (hiPSC-CFs) to examine cell type-specific cardiotoxicities. Using high-throughput screening, we determined that vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2)/platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR)-inhibiting TKIs caused cardiotoxicity in hiPSC-CMs, hiPSC-ECs, and hiPSC-CFs. With phosphoprotein analysis, we determined that VEGFR2/PDGFR-inhibiting TKIs led to a compensatory increase in cardioprotective insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling in hiPSC-CMs. Up-regulating cardioprotective signaling with exogenous insulin or IGF1 improved hiPSC-CM viability during cotreatment with cardiotoxic VEGFR2/PDGFR-inhibiting TKIs. Thus, hiPSC-CMs can be used to screen for cardiovascular toxicities associated with anticancer TKIs, and the results correlate with clinical phenotypes. This approach provides unexpected insights, as illustrated by our finding that toxicity can be alleviated via cardioprotective insulin/IGF signaling.