Stromal interacting molecule 1 (STIM1) regulates store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE). Here we show that STIM1 expression in endothelial cells (ECs) is increased during sepsis and, therefore, contributes to hyperpermeability. LPS induced STIM1 mRNA and protein expression in human and mouse lung ECs. The induced STIM1 expression was associated with augmented SOCE as well as a permeability increase in both in vitro and in vivo models. Because activation of both the NF-?B and p38 MAPK signaling pathways downstream of TLR4 amplifies vascular inflammation, we studied the influence of these two pathways on LPS-induced STIM1 expression. Inhibition of either NF-?B or p38 MAPK activation by pharmacological agents prevented LPS-induced STIM1 expression. Silencing of the NF-?B proteins (p65/RelA or p50/NF-?B1) or the p38 MAPK isoform p38? prevented LPS-induced STIM1 expression and increased SOCE in ECs. In support of these findings, we found NF-?B and AP1 binding sites in the 5'-regulatory region of human and mouse STIM1 genes. Further, we demonstrated that LPS induced time-dependent binding of the transcription factors NF-?B (p65/RelA) and AP1 (c-Fos/c-Jun) to the STIM1 promoter. Interestingly, silencing of c-Fos, but not c-Jun, markedly reduced LPS-induced STIM1 expression in ECs. We also observed that silencing of p38? prevented c-Fos expression in response to LPS in ECs, suggesting that p38? signaling mediates the expression of c-Fos. These results support the proposal that cooperative signaling of both NF-?B and AP1 (via p38?) amplifies STIM1 expression in ECs and, thereby, contributes to the lung vascular hyperpermeability response during sepsis.
Adult stem cell treatment is a potential novel therapeutic approach for acute respiratory distress syndrome. Given the extremely low rate of cell engraftment, it is believed that these cells exert their beneficial effects via paracrine mechanisms. However, the endogenous mediator(s) in the pulmonary vasculature remains unclear. Using the mouse model with endothelial cell (EC)-restricted disruption of FoxM1 (FoxM1 CKO), here we show that endothelial expression of the reparative transcriptional factor FoxM1 is required for the protective effects of bone marrow progenitor cells (BMPC) against LPS-induced inflammatory lung injury and mortality. BMPC treatment resulted in rapid induction of FoxM1 expression in wild type (WT) but not FoxM1 CKO lungs. BMPC-induced inhibition of lung vascular injury, resolution of lung inflammation, and survival, as seen in WT mice, were abrogated in FoxM1 CKO mice following LPS challenge. Mechanistically, BMPC treatment failed to induce lung EC proliferation in FoxM1 CKO mice, which was associated with impaired expression of FoxM1 target genes essential for cell cycle progression. We also observed that BMPC treatment enhanced endothelial barrier function in WT but not in FoxM1-deficient EC monolayers. Restoration of ?-catenin expression in FoxM1-deficient ECs normalized endothelial barrier enhancement in response to BMPC treatment. These data demonstrate the requisite role of endothelial FoxM1 in the mechanism of BMPC-induced vascular repair to restore vascular integrity and accelerate resolution of inflammation, thereby promoting survival following inflammatory lung injury.
Here we found that the transcription repressor DREAM bound to the promoter of the gene encoding A20 to repress expression of this deubiquitinase that suppresses inflammatory NF-?B signaling. DREAM-deficient mice displayed persistent and unchecked A20 expression in response to endotoxin. DREAM functioned by transcriptionally repressing A20 through binding to downstream regulatory elements (DREs). In contrast, binding of the transcription factor USF1 to the DRE-associated E-box domain in the gene encoding A20 activated its expression in response to inflammatory stimuli. Our studies define the critical opposing functions of DREAM and USF1 in inhibiting and inducing A20 expression, respectively, and thereby the strength of NF-?B signaling. Targeting of DREAM to induce USF1-mediated A20 expression is therefore a potential anti-inflammatory strategy for the treatment of diseases associated with unconstrained NF-?B activity, such as acute lung injury.
The Ca(2+) sensor STIM1 is crucial for activation of store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE) through transient receptor potential canonical and Orai channels. STIM1 phosphorylation serves as an "off switch" for SOCE. However, the signaling pathway for STIM1 phosphorylation is unknown. Here, we show that SOCE activates AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK); its effector p38? mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38? MAPK) phosphorylates STIM1, thus inhibiting SOCE in human lung microvascular endothelial cells. Activation of AMPK using 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-?-d-ribofuranoside (AICAR) resulted in STIM1 phosphorylation on serine residues and prevented protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR-1)-induced Ca(2+) entry. Furthermore, AICAR pretreatment blocked PAR-1-induced increase in the permeability of mouse lung microvessels. Activation of SOCE with thrombin caused phosphorylation of isoform ?1 but not ?2 of the AMPK catalytic subunit. Moreover, knockdown of AMPK?1 augmented SOCE induced by thrombin. Interestingly, SB203580, a selective inhibitor of p38 MAPK, blocked STIM1 phosphorylation and led to sustained STIM1-puncta formation and Ca(2+) entry. Of the three p38 MAPK isoforms expressed in endothelial cells, p38? knockdown prevented PAR-1-mediated STIM1 phosphorylation and potentiated SOCE. In addition, inhibition of the SOCE downstream target CaM kinase kinase ? (CaMKK?) or knockdown of AMPK?1 suppressed PAR-1-mediated phosphorylation of p38? and hence STIM1. Thus, our findings demonstrate that SOCE activates CaMKK?-AMPK?1-p38? MAPK signaling to phosphorylate STIM1, thereby suppressing endothelial SOCE and permeability responses.
Earlier studies indicated a role for reactive oxygen species (ROS) in host defense against Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection. However, the role of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-reduced (NADPH) oxidase (NOX) proteins and the mechanism of activation for NADPH oxidase in P. aeruginosa infection are not well-defined. Here, we investigated the role of NOX2 and NOX4 proteins in P. aeruginosa infection, ROS generation, and endothelial barrier function in murine lungs and in human lung microvascular endothelial cells (HLMVECs). Airway instillation of P. aeruginosa strain 103 (PA103) significantly increased ROS concentrations in bronchial alveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, along with the expression of NOX2 and NOX4, but not NOX1 and NOX3, in lung tissue. In addition, PA103-infected HLMVECs revealed elevated concentrations of ROS, NOX2, and NOX4. In murine lungs and HLMVECs, PA103 induced the NF-?B pathway, and its inhibition blocked PA103-dependent NOX2 and NOX4 expression. Barrier function analysis showed that heat-killed PA103 induced endothelial permeability in a dose-dependent manner, which was attenuated by treatment with small interfering (si)RNA specific for NOX4, but not NOX2. Furthermore, the knockdown of NOX4, but not NOX2, with siRNA reduced PA103-mediated apoptosis in HLMVECs. In vivo, the down-regulation of NOX4 with NOX4 siRNA attenuated PA103-induced lung vascular permeability. The deletion of NOX2 in mice exerted no effect on permeability, but offered significant resistance to P. aeruginosa-induced lung inflammation. These data show that P. aeruginosa lung infection up-regulates NOX2 and NOX4 expression and ROS generation, which play distinct roles in regulating lung inflammation, apoptosis, and permeability.
We addressed the requirement for stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1), the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca(2+)-sensor, and Orai1, a Ca(2+) selective channel, in regulating Ca(2+) entry through the store-operated channels mouse transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) 4 or human TRPC1. Studies were made using murine and human lung endothelial cells (ECs) challenged with thrombin known to induce Ca(2+) entry via TRPC1/4. Deletion or knockdown of TRPC4 abolished Ca(2+) entry secondary to depletion of ER Ca(2+) stores, preventing the disruption of the endothelial barrier. Knockdown of STIM1 (but not of Orai1or Orai3) or expression of the dominant-negative STIM1(K684E-K685E) mutant in ECs also suppressed Ca(2+) entry secondary to store depletion. Ectopic expression of WT-STIM1 or WT-Orai1 in TRPC4(-/-)-ECs failed to rescue Ca(2+) entry; however, WT-TRPC4 expression in TRPC4(-/-)-ECs restored Ca(2+) entry indicating the requirement for TRPC4 in mediating store-operated Ca(2+) entry. Moreover, expression of the dominant-negative Orai1(R91W) mutant or Orai3(E81W) mutant in WT-ECs failed to prevent thrombin-induced Ca(2+) entry. In contrast, expression of the dominant-negative TRPC4(EE647-648KK) mutant in WT-ECs markedly reduced thrombin-induced Ca(2+) entry. In ECs expressing YFP-STIM1, ER-store Ca(2+) depletion induced formation of fluorescent membrane puncta in WT but not in TRPC4(-/-) cells, indicating that mobilization of STIM1 and engagement of its Ca(2+) sensing function required TRPC4 expression. Coimmunoprecipitation studies showed coupling of TRPC1 and TRPC4 with STIM1 on depletion of ER Ca(2+) stores. Thus, TRPC1 and TRPC4 can interact with STIM1 to form functional store-operated Ca(2+)-entry channels, which are essential for mediating Ca(2+) entry-dependent disruption of the endothelial barrier.
The endothelial cell monolayer lining the vessel wall forms a size-selective, semi-permeable barrier between the blood and tissue that must be crossed by blood borne therapeutic agents to reach diseased extravascular tissue. Nanoparticles engineered to carry drugs present an opportunity to enhance the specificity and efficacy of drug delivery. Therefore, an understanding of how these engineered nanoparticles are transported across the vessel wall will help us to more fully exploit this powerful therapeutic technology. Vascular endothelial cells are rich in caveolae, cell surface invaginations 50-100 nm in diameter that mediate endocytosis of lipids, proteins, and viruses. Caveolar invaginations pinch off to form intracellular vesicles that can transport cargo across the cell and release the cargo into the extravascular space via exocytosis. Here, we will review the current concepts and state of development for delivering engineered nanoparticles across the endothelium via the caveolae-mediated pathway.
Amino acids 50-77 (p28) of azurin, a 128 aa cupredoxin isolated from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, is essentially responsible for azurins preferential penetration of cancer cells. We now report that p28 also preferentially penetrates human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), co-localized with caveolin-1 and VEGFR-2, and inhibits VEGF- and bFGF-induced migration, capillary tube formation and neoangiogenesis in multiple xenograft models. The antiangiogenic effect of p28 in HUVEC is associated with a dose-related non-competitive inhibition of VEGFR-2 kinase activity. However, unlike other antiangiogenic agents that inhibit the VEGFR-2 kinase, p28 decreased the downstream phosphorylation of FAK and Akt that normally precedes cellular repositioning of the cytoskeletal (F-actin), focal adhesion (FAK and paxillin), and cell to cell junction protein PECAM-1, inhibiting HUVEC motility and migration. The decrease in pFAK and pAkt levels suggests that p28 induces a pFAK-mediated loss of HUVEC motility and migration and a parallel Akt-associated reduction in cell matrix attachment and survival. This novel, direct antiangiogenic effect of p28 on endothelial cells may enhance the cell cycle inhibitory and apoptotic properties of this prototype peptide on tumor cell proliferation as it enters a Phase II clinical trial.
Caveolin-1 (Cav1), the scaffolding protein of caveolae, has been shown to play an important role in host defense and inflammation. However, the underlying molecular basis for these actions remains elusive. Here, using double mutant mice with genetic deletions of Cav1 and NOS3, we show that chronic endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activation secondary to loss of Cav1 serves a crucial immunomodulatory function through tyrosine nitration-mediated impairment of interleukin-1 receptor associated kinase (IRAK)4, a signaling component required for nuclear factor-kappaB activation and innate immunity. We observed an eNOS-dependent decrease in the plasma concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines and marked improvement of survival in Cav1(-/-) mice following lipopolysaccharide challenge. Activation of eNOS secondary to loss of Cav1 resulted in decreased activation of nuclear factor-kappaB in response to lipopolysaccharide challenge, and thereby protected the animals from lipopolysaccharide-induced lung injury. IRAK4 was prominently nitrated in Cav1-deficient endothelial cells, whereas eNOS deletion in Cav1-deficient endothelial cells resulted in marked decrease of IRAK4 nitration and restored the inflammatory response after lipopolysaccharide challenge. Furthermore, in vitro nitration of IRAK4 resulted in impairment of the kinase activity. Thus, eNOS activation secondary to loss of Cav1 signals dampening of the innate immune response to lipopolysaccharide through IRAK4 nitration and the resultant impairment of kinase activity, and consequently mitigates inflammatory lung injury.
We studied the potential involvement of the Ca(2+)-independent atypical protein kinase C isoform PKCzeta in mediating the thrombin-induced increase in endothelial permeability. Studies were done using human dermal microvessel endothelial cells (HMEC), which we showed constitutively expressed PKCzeta. We quantified the patency of inter-endothelial junctions (IEJs) and endothelial barrier function by measuring transendothelial electrical resistance (TER) in confluent HMEC monolayers. In control monolayers, thrombin decreased TER by approximately 50%, indicating thrombin-dependent opening of IEJs. Thrombin also elicited increases in cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration [Ca(2+)](i), actin stress fiber formation, and myosin light chain (MLC) phosphorylation. Pan-PKC inhibitors, calphostin C and chelerythrine, abrogated these responses. Thrombin also decreased TER after depletion of conventional and novel Ca(2+)-dependent PKC isoforms using phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA). In these PMA-treated cells, thrombin induced inter-endothelial gap formation, MLC phosphorylation, and actin stress fiber formation, but failed to increase [Ca(2+)](i). Inhibition of PKCzeta activation using the PKCzeta pseudosubstrate peptide (PSI), depletion of PKCzeta protein with siRNA, and competitive inhibition of PKCzeta activity using dominant-negative (dn) PKCzeta mutant all prevented the thrombin-induced decrease in TER and MLC phosphorylation. Expression of dn-PKCzeta also inhibited thrombin-induced RhoA activation. These findings reveal a novel Ca(2+)-independent, PKCzeta-dependent mechanism of thrombin-induced increase in endothelial permeability. The results raise the possibility that inhibition of PKCzeta may be a novel drug target for thrombin-induced inflammatory hyperpermeability.
NF-kappaB signaling is known to induce the expression of antiapoptotic and proinflammatory genes in endothelial cells (ECs). We have shown recently that Ca(2+) influx through canonical transient receptor potential (TRPC) channels activates NF-kappaB in ECs. Here we show that Ca(2+) influx signal prevents thrombin-induced apoptosis by inducing NF-kappaB-dependent A20 expression in ECs. Knockdown of TRPC1 expressed in human umbilical vein ECs with small interfering RNA (siRNA) suppressed thrombin-induced Ca(2+) influx and NF-kappaB activation in ECs. Interestingly, we observed that thrombin induced >25% of cell death (apoptosis) in TRPC1-knockdown ECs whereas thrombin had no effect on control or control siRNA-transfected ECs. To understand the basis of EC survival, we performed gene microarray analysis using ECs. Thrombin stimulation increased only a set of NF-kappaB-regulated genes 3- to 14-fold over basal levels in ECs. Expression of the antiapoptotic gene A20 was the highest among these upregulated genes. Like TRPC1 knockdown, thrombin induced apoptosis in A20-knockdown ECs. To address the importance of Ca(2+) influx signal, we measured thrombin-induced A20 expression in control and TRPC1-knockdown ECs. Thrombin-induced p65/RelA binding to A20 promoter-specific NF-kappaB sequence and A20 protein expression were suppressed in TRPC1-knockdown ECs compared with control ECs. Furthermore, in TRPC1-knockdown ECs, thrombin induced the expression of proapoptotic proteins caspase-3 and BAX. Importantly, thrombin-induced apoptosis in TRPC1-knockdown ECs was prevented by adenovirus-mediated expression of A20. These results suggest that Ca(2+) influx via TRPC channels plays a critical role in the mechanism of cell survival signaling through A20 expression in ECs.
Caveolae are plasma membrane invaginations prominent in all endothelial cells lining blood vessels. Caveolae characteristically bud to form free cytoplasmic vesicles capable of transporting carrier proteins such as albumin through the cell. However, caveolae size distribution and dynamics in living endothelial cells and ability of caveolae to internalize nanoparticles are not well understood. We demonstrate here the design of a dual-color nanoparticle pair to measure noninvasively caveolae size and dynamics. First, we coated nanoparticles with BSA (bovine serum albumin) to address whether albumin promoted their delivery. Albumin has been shown to bind to protein on endothelial cell surface localized in caveolae and activate albumin endocytosis. Imaging of BSA-coated nanoparticles varying from 20 to 100 nm in diameter in endothelial cells demonstrated that caveolae-mediated nanoparticle uptake was dependent on albumin coating of particles. We also showed that caveolae could accommodate up to 100 nm diameter nanoparticles, a size larger than the diameter of typical caveolae, suggesting compliant property of caveolae. Together, our results show the feasibility of tracking multicolored nanoparticles in living endothelial cells and potential usefulness for designing therapeutic nanoparticle cargo to cross the limiting vessel wall endothelial barrier.
Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) regulates agonist-induced Ca(2+) entry in endothelial cells; however, how Cav-1 regulates this process is poorly understood. Here, we describe that Cav-1 scaffold domain (NH(2)-terminal residues 82-101; CSD) interacts with transient receptor potential canonical channel 1 (TRPC1) and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor 3 (IP(3)R3) to regulate Ca(2+) entry. We have shown previously that the TRPC1 COOH-terminal residues 781-789 bind to CSD. In the present study, we show that the TRPC1 COOH-terminal residues 781-789 truncated (TRPC1-CDelta781-789) mutant expression abolished Ca(2+) store release-induced Ca(2+) influx in human dermal microvascular endothelial cell line (HMEC) and human embryonic kidney (HEK-293) cells. To understand the basis of loss of Ca(2+) influx, we determined TRPC1 binding to IP(3)R3. We observed that the wild-type (WT)-TRPC1 but not TRPC1-CDelta781-789 effectively interacted with IP(3)R3. Similarly, WT-TRPC1 interacted with Cav-1, whereas TRPC1-CDelta781-789 binding to Cav-1 was markedly suppressed. We also assessed the direct binding of Cav-1 with TRPC1 and observed that the WT-Cav-1 but not the Cav-1DeltaCSD effectively interacted with TRPC1. Since the interaction between TRPC1 and Cav-1DeltaCSD was reduced, we measured Ca(2+) store release-induced Ca(2+) influx in Cav-1DeltaCSD-transfected cells. Surprisingly, Cav-1DeltaCSD expression showed a gain-of-function in Ca(2+) entry in HMEC and HEK-293 cells. We observed a similar gain-of-function in Ca(2+) entry when Cav-1DeltaCSD was expressed in lung endothelial cells of Cav-1 knockout mice. Immunoprecipitation results revealed that WT-Cav-1 but not Cav-1DeltaCSD interacted with IP(3)R3. Furthermore, we observed using confocal imaging the colocalization of IP(3)R3 with WT-Cav-1 but not with Cav-1DeltaCSD on Ca(2+) store release in endothelial cells. These findings suggest that CSD interacts with TRPC1 and IP(3)R3 and thereby regulates Ca(2+) store release-induced Ca(2+) entry in endothelial cells.
Activation of NF-kappaB is essential for protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR-1)-mediated ICAM-1 expression in endothelial cells. Here we show that PAR-1 activation induces binding of both p65/RelA and NFATc1 to the NF-kappaB binding site localized in intron-1 of the ICAM-1 gene to initiate transcription in endothelial cells. We discovered the presence of two NF-kappaB binding sites in intron-1 (+70, NF-kappaB site 1; +611, NF-kappaB site 2) of the human ICAM-1 gene. Chromatin immunoprecipitation results showed that thrombin induced binding of p65/RelA and of NFATc1 specifically to intronic NF-kappaB site 1 of the ICAM-1 gene. Electrophoretic mobility shift and supershift assays confirmed the binding of p65/RelA and NFATc1 to the intronic NF-kappaB site 1 in thrombin-stimulated cells. Thrombin increased the expression of ICAM-1-promoter-intron 1-reporter (-1,385 to +234) construct approximately 25-fold and mutation of intronic NF-kappaB site 1 markedly reduced thrombin-induced reporter expression. Moreover, inhibition of calcineurin, knockdown of either NFATc1 or p65/RelA with siRNA significantly reduced thrombin-induced ICAM-1 expression and polymorphonuclear leukocyte adhesion to endothelial cells. In contrast, NFATc1 knockdown had no effect on TNF-alpha-induced ICAM-1 expression. Thus these results suggest that p65/RelA and NFATc1 bind to the intronic NF-kappaB site 1 sequence to induce optimal transcription of the ICAM-1 gene in response to thrombin in endothelial cells.
The transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) family channels are proposed to be essential for store-operated Ca2+ entry in endothelial cells. Ca2+ signaling is involved in NF-kappaB activation, but the role of store-operated Ca2+ entry is unclear. Here we show that thrombin-induced Ca2+ entry and the resultant AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation targets the Ca2+-independent protein kinase Cdelta (PKCdelta) to mediate NF-kappaB activation in endothelial cells. We observed that thrombin-induced p65/RelA, AMPK, and PKCdelta activation were markedly reduced by knockdown of the TRPC isoform TRPC1 expressed in human endothelial cells and in endothelial cells obtained from Trpc4 knock-out mice. Inhibition of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase beta downstream of the Ca2+ influx or knockdown of the downstream Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase beta target kinase, AMPK, also prevented NF-kappaB activation. Further, we observed that AMPK interacted with PKCdelta and phosphorylated Thr505 in the activation loop of PKCdelta in thrombin-stimulated endothelial cells. Expression of a PKCdelta-T505A mutant suppressed the thrombin-induced but not the TNF-alpha-induced NF-kappaB activation. These findings demonstrate a novel mechanism for TRPC channels to mediate NF-kappaB activation in endothelial cells that involves the convergence of the TRPC-regulated signaling at AMPK and PKCdelta and that may be a target of interference of the inappropriate activation of NF-kappaB associated with thrombosis.
Platelet-activating factor (PAF) is a potent, bioactive phospholipid that acts on multiple cells and tissues through its G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). PAF is not stored but is rapidly generated via enzymatic acetylation of the precursor 1-O-hexadecyl-2-hydroxy-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (lysoPAF). The bioactivity of PAF is effectively and tightly regulated by PAF acetylhydrolases, which convert PAF back to lysoPAF. Previous studies report that lysoPAF is an inactive precursor and metabolite of PAF. However, lysoPAF has not been carefully studied in its own context. Here we report that lysoPAF has an opposing effect of PAF in the activation of neutrophils and platelets. Whereas PAF potentiates neutrophil NADPH oxidase activation, lysoPAF dose-dependently inhibits this function. Inhibition by lysoPAF is not affected by the use of a PAF receptor antagonist or genetic deletion of the PAF receptor gene. The mechanism of lysoPAF-mediated inhibition of neutrophils involves an elevation in the intracellular cAMP level, and pharmacological blockade of adenylyl cyclase completely reverses the inhibitory effect of lysoPAF. In addition, lysoPAF increases intracellular cAMP levels in platelets and inhibits thrombin-induced platelet aggregation, which can be reversed by inhibition of protein kinase A. These findings identify lysoPAF as a bioactive lipid with opposing functions of PAF and suggest a novel and intrinsic regulatory mechanism for balance of the potent activity of PAF.
Glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP-78) is one of the many endoplasmic reticulum chaperone proteins that have been shown to possess multifunctional roles. We have previously demonstrated that GRP-78 functions as a receptor for dentin matrix protein 1 (DMP1) and is required for DMP1-mediated calcium release; that it is a secreted protein and can bind to type I collagen and DMP1 extracellularly and aid in the nucleation of calcium phosphate. We provide evidence in this study that tyrosine phosphorylation is required for DMP1/GRP-78-mediated calcium release in mesenchymal cells. We further demonstrate that GRP-78 is localized in the nucleus of mesenchymal cells and that the cell surface GRP-78 is not associated with the G-protein G?q in mesenchymal cells. Results from this study show that during development of mineralized tissues, increased expression of GRP-78 can be observed in condensing cartilage and mesenchymal cells of the alveolar bone, endochondral bone and dental pulp. Additionally, we show that GRP-78 is present in the mineralizing matrices of teeth, bone and in the extracellular matrix of differentiating human marrow stromal cells and dental pulp stem cells. Collectively, our observations provide a new perspective on GRP-78 with respect to mineralized matrix formation.
Calpains are calcium-regulated cysteine proteases that have been implicated in the regulation of cell death pathways. Here, we used our calpain-1 null mouse model to evaluate the function of calpain-1 in neural degeneration following a rodent model of traumatic brain injury. In vivo, calpain-1 null mice show significantly less neural degeneration and apoptosis and a smaller contusion 3 days post-injury than wild type littermates. Protection from traumatic brain injury corroborated with the resistance of calpain-1 neurons to apoptosis induced by oxidative stress. Biochemical analysis revealed that caspase-3 activation, extracellular calcium entry, mitochondrial membrane permeability, and release of apoptosis-inducing factor from mitochondria are partially blocked in the calpain-1 null neurons. These findings suggest that the calpain-1 knock-out mice may serve as a useful model system for neuronal protection and apoptosis in traumatic brain injury and other neurodegenerative disorders in which oxidative stress plays a role.
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