Genetic predisposition and senescence of retinal pigment epithelium induced by oxidative stress are major contributors to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in HTRA1 are strongly linked to the onset of AMD. In this study, we examine the role of HtrA1 in premature senescence and cell death induced by oxidative stress. HtrA1 mRNA and protein were up-regulated during premature senescence induced by H2O2 in both mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and ARPE-19 cells. Expression of the senescence markers p21(CIP1/WAF1) and p16(INK4a), and SA-?-galactosidase activity, were higher in HtrA1+/- MEFs than in HtrA1-/- MEFs. HtrA1+/+ and HtrA1+/- MEFs were more resistant than HtrA1-/- MEFs to H2O2-induced cell death. Activation of p38 MAPK by oxidative stress was quicker in HtrA1+/- MEFs than in HtrA1-/- MEFs. The effects of excess HtrA1 were examined by transient transfection of cells with HtrA1 expression vectors or by addition of recombinant proteins. Excess wild type HtrA1 accelerated premature senescence of MEFs and ARPE-19 cells, while the protease-inactive HtrA1 S328A did not. HtrA1-induced senescence was abrogated by inhibition of p38 MAPK. We conclude that HtrA1 is induced by oxidative stress and promotes premature cell senescence through p38 MAPK in a protease activity-dependent manner.
Genome-wide association study (GWAS) has identified genetic variants in the promoter region of the high temperature requirement factor A1 (HTRA1) gene associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). As a secreted serine protease, HTRA1 has been reported to interact with members of the transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?) family and regulate their signaling pathways. Growth differentiation factor 6 (GDF6), a member of the TGF-? family, is involved in ectoderm patterning and eye development. Mutations in GDF6 have been associated with abnormal eye development that may result in microphthalmia and anophthalmia. In this report, we identified a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs6982567 A/G near the GDF6 gene that is significantly associated with AMD (p value = 3.54 × 10(-8)). We demonstrated that the GDF6 AMD risk allele (rs6982567 A) is associated with decreased expression of the GDF6 and increased expression of HTRA1. Similarly, the HTRA1 AMD risk allele (rs10490924 T) is associated with decreased GDF6 and increased HTRA1 expression. We observed decreased vascular development in the retina and significant up-regulation of GDF6 gene in the RPE layer, retinal and brain tissues in HTRA1 knock-out (htra1(-/-)) mice as compared with the wild-type counterparts. Furthermore, we showed enhanced SMAD signaling in htra1(-/-) mice. Our data suggests a critical role of HTRA1 in the regulation of angiogenesis via TGF-? signaling and identified GDF6 as a novel disease gene for AMD.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the elderly. Wet AMD includes typical choroidal neovascularization (CNV) and polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV). The etiology and pathogenesis of CNV and PCV are not well understood. Genome-wide association studies have linked a multifunctional serine protease, HTRA1, to AMD. However, the precise role of HTRA1 in AMD remains elusive. By transgenically expressing human HTRA1 in mouse retinal pigment epithelium, we showed that increased HTRA1 induced cardinal features of PCV, including branching networks of choroidal vessels, polypoidal lesions, severe degeneration of the elastic laminae, and tunica media of choroidal vessels. In addition, HTRA1 mice displayed retinal pigment epithelium atrophy and photoreceptor degeneration. Senescent HTRA1 mice developed occult CNV, which likely resulted from the degradation of the elastic lamina of Bruchs membrane and up-regulation of VEGF. Our results indicate that increased HTRA1 is sufficient to cause PCV and is a significant risk factor for CNV.
Deficiency of caytaxin results in hereditary ataxia or dystonia in humans, mice and rats. Our yeast two-hybrid screen identified kinesin light chains (KLCs) as caytaxin-binding proteins. The tetratricopeptide-repeat region of KLC1 recognizes the ELEWED sequence (amino acids 115-120) of caytaxin. This motif is conserved among BNIP-2 family members and other KLC-interacting kinesin cargo proteins such as calsyntenins. Caytaxin associates with kinesin heavy chains (KHCs) indirectly by binding to KLCs, suggesting that caytaxin binds to the tetrameric kinesin molecule. In cultured hippocampal neurons, we found that caytaxin is distributed in both axons and dendrites in punctate patterns, and it colocalizes with microtubules and KHC. GFP-caytaxin expressed in hippocampal neurons is transported at a speed ( approximately 1 mum/second) compatible with kinesin movement. Inhibition of kinesin-1 by dominant-negative KHC decreases the accumulation of caytaxin in the growth cone. Caytaxin puncta do not coincide with vesicles containing known kinesin cargos such as APP or JIP-1. A part of caytaxin, however, colocalizes with mitochondria and suppression of caytaxin expression by RNAi redistributes mitochondria away from the distal ends of neurites. These data indicate that caytaxin binds to kinesin-1 and functions as an adaptor that mediates intracellular transport of specific cargos, one of which is the mitochondrion.
Recent studies show LDL receptor-related protein 1B, LRP1B as a transducer of extracellular signals. Here, we identify six interacting partners of the LRP1B cytoplasmic region by yeast two-hybrid screen and confirmed their in vivo binding by immunoprecipitation. One of the partners, PICK1 recognizes the C-terminus of LRP1B and LRP1. The cytoplasmic domains of LRP1B are phosphorylated by PKCalpha about 100 times more efficiently than LRP1. Binding of PICK1 inhibits phosphorylation of LRP1B, but does not affect LRP1 phosphorylation. This study presents the possibility that LRP1B participates in signal transduction which PICK1 may regulate by inhibiting PKCalpha phosphorylation of LRP1B.
Palladium(II) complexes of glycoconjugated porphyrin and pyrrolidine-fused chlorin were prepared to examine sugar and heavy atom effects on in vitro photocytotoxicity. Cellular uptake into HeLa cells was enhanced by introducing sugar units regardless of other features, such as the central ion (free base or palladium(II) ion) and the ring structure (porphyrin or chlorin). The palladium(II) complex of glycoconjugated pyrrolidine-fused chlorin (PdPC2) exerted an excellent degree of photocytotoxicity not only on HeLa cells, but also on metastatic B16-BL6 cells, weakly metastatic B16F1 cells, and metastatic 4T1 cells. However, free-base glycoconjugated pyrrolidine-fused chlorin (PC2) also exerted similar or much higher photocytotoxicity rather than PdPC2. Therefore, the palladium(II) ion did not improve the in vitro photocytotoxicity of PC2. The enhanced singlet oxygen generation of palladium(II) complexes (i.e., the heavy atom effect) was confirmed at least in O(2)-saturated D(2)O. In addition, the formation of hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radical were also detected in O(2)-saturated phosphate buffered saline. However, the reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation efficiency, which is the product of the (relative) quantum yield of each ROS and the light absorbing ability, did not fit the trends of photocytotoxicity seen for the photosensitizers. In our glycoconjugated photosensitizers tested, the best indicator of the photocytotoxicity was found to be the light absorbing ability (namely, the oscillator strength in the wavelength region applied in the photocytotoxicity test). These results indicated that photochemical characteristics of glycoconjugated photosensitizers were notably susceptible to the microenvironment. The biological characteristics, such as the sugar effect, were a much more reliable approach to improving the photocytotoxicity of photosensitizers.
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