Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is characterized by structural remodeling, contractile dysfunction and AF progression. HDACs influence acetylation of both histones and cytosolic proteins, thereby mediating epigenetic regulation and influencing cell proteostasis. As the exact function of HDACs in AF is unknown, we investigated their role in experimental and clinical AF models.
According to the "membrane sensor" hypothesis, the membranes physical properties and microdomain organization play an initiating role in the heat shock response. Clinical conditions such as cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases are all coupled with specific changes in the physical state and lipid composition of cellular membranes and characterized by altered heat shock protein levels in cells suggesting that these "membrane defects" can cause suboptimal hsp-gene expression. Such observations provide a new rationale for the introduction of novel, heat shock protein modulating drug candidates. Intercalating compounds can be used to alter membrane properties and by doing so normalize dysregulated expression of heat shock proteins, resulting in a beneficial therapeutic effect for reversing the pathological impact of disease. The membrane (and lipid) interacting hydroximic acid (HA) derivatives discussed in this review physiologically restore the heat shock protein stress response, creating a new class of "membrane-lipid therapy" pharmaceuticals. The diseases that HA derivatives potentially target are diverse and include, among others, insulin resistance and diabetes, neuropathy, atrial fibrillation, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. At a molecular level HA derivatives are broad spectrum, multi-target compounds as they fluidize yet stabilize membranes and remodel their lipid rafts while otherwise acting as PARP inhibitors. The HA derivatives have the potential to ameliorate disparate conditions, whether of acute or chronic nature. Many of these diseases presently are either untreatable or inadequately treated with currently available pharmaceuticals. Ultimately, the HA derivatives promise to play a major role in future pharmacotherapy.
Maternal embryonic leucine zipper kinase (MELK) functions as a modulator of intracellular signaling and affects various cellular and biological processes, including cell cycle, cell proliferation, apoptosis, spliceosome assembly, gene expression, embryonic development, hematopoiesis, and oncogenesis. In these cellular processes, MELK functions by binding to numerous proteins. In general, the effects of multiple protein interactions with MELK are oncogenic in nature, and the overexpression of MELK in kinds of cancer provides some evidence that it may be involved in tumorigenic process. In this review, our current knowledge of MELK function and recent discoveries in MELK signaling pathway were discussed. The regulation of MELK in cancers and its potential as a therapeutic target were also described.
With concerns about the disastrous health and economic consequences caused by the influenza pandemic, comprehensively understanding the global host response to influenza virus infection is urgent. The role of microRNA (miRNA) has recently been highlighted in pathogen-host interactions. However, the precise role of miRNAs in the pathogenesis of influenza virus infection in humans, especially in critically ill patients is still unclear.
The 58-kDa inhibitor of the interferon-induced double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase (P58IPK) is a cellular protein that is activated during influenza virus infection. Although the function of human P58IPK has been studied for a long time, porcine P58IPK (pP58IPK) has little been studied except for its cloning.
To extend the use of RNAi in chicken, we have developed a RNA interference (RNAi) system using a shortened chicken 7SK (ch7SK) promoter. The results stated that the cloned ch7SK promoter includes multiple Oct-1 motifs, SPH domain, PSE and TATA box, without CACCC box. All RNAi groups driven by ch7SK promoter showed significant mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) reduction. In the pch7SK-shEGFP transfected DF-EGFP cell culture, the MFI reduction ratio was smaller than the pmU6-shEGFP did. In the pmU6-shEGFP transfected Vero-EGFP cell culture, the MFI was reduced significantly than the pch7SK-shEGFP did. In summary, the essential part of ch7SK promoter was capable of efficiently expressing shRNAs with relatively different interfering degrees in avian and mammalian cells, respectively. Our results suggest that ch7SK promoter is an efficient alternative to commercially mouse U6 promoter in shRNA expression with chicken cells, and provide references for furthering functional genome analysis and disease resistant breeding in chicken.
The most common clinical tachycardia, Atrial Fibrillation (AF), is a progressive disease, caused by cardiomyocyte remodeling, which finally results in contractile dysfunction and AF persistence. Recently, we identified a protective role of heat shock proteins (HSPs), especially the small HSPB1 member, against tachycardia remodeling in experimental AF models. Our understanding of tachycardia remodeling and anti-remodeling drugs is currently hampered by the lack of suitable (genetic) manipulatable in vivo models for rapid screening of key targets in remodeling. We hypothesized that Drosophila melanogaster can be exploited to study tachycardia remodeling and protective effects of HSPs by drug treatments or by utilizing genetically manipulated small HSP-overexpressing strains. Tachypacing of Drosophila pupae resulted in gradual and significant cardiomyocyte remodeling, demonstrated by reduced contraction rate, increase in arrhythmic episodes and reduction in heart wall shortening, compared to normal paced pupae. Heat shock, or pre-treatment with HSP-inducers GGA and BGP-15, resulted in endogenous HSP overexpression and protection against tachycardia remodeling. DmHSP23 overexpressing Drosophilas were protected against tachycardia remodeling, in contrast to overexpression of other small HSPs (DmHSP27, DmHSP67Bc, DmCG4461, DmCG7409, and DmCG14207). (Ultra)structural evaluation of the tachypaced heart wall revealed loss of sarcomeres and mitochondrial damage which were absent in tachypaced DmHSP23 overexpressing Drosophila. In addition, tachypacing induced a significant increase in calpain activity, which was prevented in tachypaced Drosophila overexpressing DmHSP23. Tachypacing of Drosophila resulted in cardiomyocyte remodeling, which was prevented by general HSP-inducing treatments and overexpression of a single small HSP, DmHSP23. Thus, tachypaced D. melanogaster can be used as an in vivo model system for rapid identification of novel targets to combat AF associated cardiomyocyte remodeling.
The isochore, a large DNA sequence with relatively small GC variance, is one of the most important structures in eukaryotic genomes. Although the isochore has been widely studied in humans and other species, little is known about its distribution in pigs.
Recently, three independent laboratories reported the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from pig (Sus scrofa). This finding sums to the growing list of species (mouse, human, monkey, and rat, in this order) for which successful reprogramming using exogenous factors has been achieved, and multiple others are possibly forthcoming. But apart from demonstrating the universality of the network identified by Shinya Yamanaka, what makes the porcine model so special? On one side, pigs are an agricultural commodity and have an easy and affordable maintenance compared with nonhuman primates that normally need to be imported. On the other side, resemblance (for example, size of organs) of porcine and human physiology is striking and because pigs are a regular source of food the ethical concerns that still remain in monkeys are not applicable. Besides, the prolonged lifespan of pigs compared with other domestic species can allow exhaustive follow up of side effects after transplantation. Porcine iPSCs may thus fill the gap between the mouse model, which due to its ease is preferred for mechanistic studies, and the first clinical trials using iPSCs in humans. However, although these studies are relevant and have created significant interest they face analogous problems that we discuss herein together with potential new directions.
Haptoglobin (Hp) is one of the acute phase proteins (APPs) that help to alleviate the immune oxidative damage. The present study expressed a truncated porcine Hp in Escherichia coli and produced rabbit and mouse antisera to the recombinant protein, in order to investigate Hp levels in sera from piglets infected with porcine reproduction and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV). Antisera prepared revealed both chains of porcine Hp in Western blot, and mouse antisera showed stronger binding activities than the rabbit antisera. With the combination of Hp monoclonal antibodies, this study confirmed that serum Hp was increased in piglets infected with PRRSV and offered a tool to know about subunit levels of Hp in porcine serum. But Hp itself could not be used as a specific biomarker for PRRSV infection, for elevated Hp levels were also obtained from pigs infected with other pathogens.
BCL-G, also known as Bcl2-like14, is a unique member of the Bcl-2 family that plays an important role in regulating apoptosis in humans. In the present study, we assessed the biological activities of porcine BCL-G (pBCL-G). The open reading frame (ORF) of pBCL-G covered 990 bp and encoded 329 amino acids. The genomic structure of the pBCL-G gene was also determined. The deduced amino acid sequence of the pBCL-G cDNA was highly identical to homologs in other species. Furthermore, domain prediction showed that pBCL-G protein contains BH2 and BH3 domains, which are typical domains of the Bcl-2 family. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that BCL-G may function differently among species. Subcellular localization analysis showed that GFP-pBCL-G fusion protein is distributed in the nucleus and cytoplasm. Flow cytometric analysis proved that pBCL-G is a pro-apoptotic factor. This study is useful for understanding pBCL-G and offers a potential molecular model for the investigation of diseases related to human BCL-G.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common clinical tachyarrhythmia associated with significant morbidity and mortality and is expected to affect approximately 30 million North Americans and Europeans by 2050. AF is a persistent disease, caused by progressive, often age-related, derailment of proteostasis resulting in structural remodeling of the atrial cardiomyocytes. It has been widely acknowledged that the progressive nature of the disease hampers the effective functional conversion to sinus rhythm in patients and explains the limited effect of current drug therapies. Therefore, research is directed at preventing new-onset AF by limiting the development of substrates underlying AF promotion. Upstream therapy refers to the use of drugs that modify the atrial substrate- or target-specific mechanisms of AF, with the ultimate aim to prevent the occurrence (primary prevention) and recurrence of the arrhythmia following (spontaneous) conversion and to prevent the progression of AF (secondary prevention). Recently, we observed that heat shock protein (HSP)-inducing drugs, such as geranylgeranylacetone, prevent derailment of proteostasis and remodeling of cardiomyocytes and thereby attenuate the AF substrate in cellular, Drosophila melanogaster, and animal experimental models. Also, correlative data from human studies were consistent with a protective role of HSPs in preventing the progression from paroxysmal AF to permanent AF and in the recurrence of AF. In this review, we discuss novel HSP-inducing compounds as emerging therapeutics for the primary and secondary prevention of AF.
The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphatases (MKPs) are important negative regulators in the MAPK signaling pathways, which play crucial roles in plant growth, regulation of development and response to environment stresses. Several MAPKs have been reported to be involved in the drought stress response, however, there is no evidence for the specific function of MKPs in drought stress. Here, a putative MKP in rice (Oryza sativa), OsIBR5, was characterized. Expression of OsIBR5 was induced by PEG6000, abscisic acid (ABA) and hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)). Overexpression of OsIBR5 in tobacco plants resulted in hypersensitivity to drought and H(2)O(2) treatments. Drought and ABA-induced stomatal closure was significantly reduced in OsIBR5-overexpressing tobacco plants compared with controls. Moreover, OsIBR5 was found to interact with tobacco MAPKs SIPK and WIPK, and drought-induced WIPK activity was impaired in OsIBR5-overexpressing tobacco plants. These results indicated that OsIBR5 is a MKP which was induced by abiotic stresses and decreased tolerance to drought stress in transgenic tobacco plants.
Since 2006, highly pathogenic porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (HP-PRRSV) has become the major pathogen attributed to the prevalent porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) in China. The present study aims to identify serum proteins modified in response to infection of HuN4, a HP-PRRSV strain isolated from a farm in 2006. 2-D DIGE analysis allowed for the detection of 19 differentially expressed protein spots, of which 18 were identified by MALDI-TOF/TOF MS. These 18 spots represented for a total of 9 proteins (6 up-regulated and 3 down-regulated), most of which belonged to the acute phase proteins in swine and showed a trend of regression in the late phase of the experiment. One of a series of AGP spots was identified for the first time to be decreased in acute phase of PRRSV infection in swine. But the whole level of the protein in the serum did not show significant changes by Western blot. The rising tendency of Hp was confirmed by Western blot and ELISA. These altered proteins were probably involved in the inflammatory process triggered by HuN4 and in alleviating the oxidative damage occurring in the process. In summary, these results may provide new insights into understanding the mechanisms of HP-PRRSV infection.
Although functionally similar proteins across species have been widely studied, functionally similar proteins within species showing low sequence similarity have not been examined in detail. Identification of these proteins is of significant importance for understanding biological functions, evolution of protein families, progression of co-evolution, and convergent evolution and others which cannot be obtained by detection of functionally similar proteins across species. Here, we explored a method of detecting functionally similar proteins within species based on graph theory. After denoting protein-protein interaction networks using graphs, we split the graphs into subgraphs using the 1-hop method. Proteins with functional similarities in a species were detected using a method of modified shortest path to compare these subgraphs and to find the eligible optimal results. Using seven protein-protein interaction networks and this method, some functionally similar proteins with low sequence similarity that cannot detected by sequence alignment were identified. By analyzing the results, we found that, sometimes, it is difficult to separate homologous from convergent evolution. Evaluation of the performance of our method by gene ontology term overlap showed that the precision of our method was excellent.
Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) is a rare congenital disorder of skeletal malformations and progressive extraskeletal ossification. There is still no effective treatment for FOP. All FOP individuals harbor conserved point mutations in ACVR1 gene that are thought to cause ACVR1 constitutive activation and activate BMP signal pathway. The constitutively active ACVR1 is also found to be able to cause endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) in endothelial cells, which may cause the formation of FOP lesions. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play an essential role in regulating cell differentiation. Here, we verified that miR-148a directly targeted the 3 UTR of ACVR1 mRNA by reporter gene assays and mutational analysis at the miRNA binding sites, and inhibited ACVR1 both at the protein level and mRNA level. Further, we verified that miR-148a could inhibit the mRNA expression of the Inhibitor of DNA binding (Id) gene family thereby suppressing the BMP signaling pathway. This study suggests miR-148a is an important mediator of ACVR1, thus offering a new potential target for the development of therapeutic agents against FOP.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common, sustained clinical tachyarrhythmia associated with significant morbidity and mortality. AF is a persistent condition with progressive structural remodeling of the atrial cardiomyocytes due to the AF itself, resulting in cellular changes commonly observed in aging and in other heart diseases. While rhythm control by electrocardioversion or drug treatment is the treatment of choice in symptomatic AF patients, its efficacy is still limited. Current research is directed at preventing first-onset AF by limiting the development of substrates underlying AF progression and resembles mechanism-based therapy. Upstream therapy refers to the use of non-ion channel anti-arrhythmic drugs that modify the atrial substrate- or target-specific mechanisms of AF, with the ultimate aim to prevent the occurrence (primary prevention) or recurrence of the arrhythmia following (spontaneous) conversion (secondary prevention). Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are molecular chaperones and comprise a large family of proteins involved in the protection against various forms of cellular stress. Their classical function is the conservation of proteostasis via prevention of toxic protein aggregation by binding to (partially) unfolded proteins. Our recent data reveal that HSPs prevent electrical, contractile, and structural remodeling of cardiomyocytes, thus attenuating the AF substrate in cellular, Drosophila melanogaster, and animal experimental models. Furthermore, studies in humans suggest a protective role for HSPs against the progression from paroxysmal AF to persistent AF and in recurrence of AF. In this review, we discuss upregulation of the heat shock response system as a novel target for upstream therapy to prevent derailment of proteostasis and consequently progression and recurrence of AF.
Studying the large-scale protein-protein interaction (PPI) network is important in understanding biological processes. The current research presents the first PPI map of swine, which aims to give new insights into understanding their biological processes.
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