Dysfunction of circadian clocks exacerbates various diseases, in part likely due to impaired stress resistance. It is unclear how circadian clock system responds toward critical stresses, to evoke life-protective adaptation. We identified a reactive oxygen species (ROS), H2O2 -responsive circadian pathway in mammals. Near-lethal doses of ROS-induced critical oxidative stress (cOS) at the branch point of life and death resets circadian clocks, synergistically evoking protective responses for cell survival. The cOS-triggered clock resetting and pro-survival responses are mediated by transcription factor, central clock-regulatory BMAL1 and heat shock stress-responsive (HSR) HSF1. Casein kinase II (CK2) -mediated phosphorylation regulates dimerization and function of BMAL1 and HSF1 to control the cOS-evoked responses. The core cOS-responsive transcriptome includes CK2-regulated crosstalk between the circadian, HSR, NF-kappa-B-mediated anti-apoptotic, and Nrf2-mediated anti-oxidant pathways. This novel circadian-adaptive signaling system likely plays fundamental protective roles in various ROS-inducible disorders, diseases, and death.
S100 proteins comprise a large family of Ca(2+)-binding proteins and exhibit a variety of intra- and extracellular functions. Despite our growing knowledge about the biology of S100 proteins in some tissues such as brain and smooth muscle, little is known about S100 proteins in the normal mammalian reproductive tissue. In the present study, we investigated the distribution pattern of S100A6 (alternatively named calcyclin) in the murine ovary by immunohistochemical study using specific antibody. S100A6 was localized substantially in the cytoplasm of luteal cells, with concomitant expression of S100A11, another S100 protein, but not in the other type of cells such as oocytes, follicle epithelial cells (granulosa cells), and cells of stroma including theca interna cells in the murine ovary. S100A6-immunoreactive corpora lutea (CLs) were divided into two types: homogeneously and heterogeneously stained CLs, and possibly they may represent differentiating and mature CL, respectively. Our regression analysis revealed that expression level of S100A6 positively correlated with that of cytochrome P450 11A, a steroidogenic enzyme in the heterogeously stained CL. These results suggested that S100A6 may contribute to differentiation of steroidogenic activity of luteal cells in a synergistic manner with S100A11 by facilitating some shared functions.
Circadian rhythms are the general physiological processes of adaptation to daily environmental changes, such as the temperature cycle. A change in temperature is a resetting cue for mammalian circadian oscillators, which are possibly regulated by the heat shock (HS) pathway. The HS response (HSR) is a universal process that provides protection against stressful conditions, which promote protein-denaturation. Heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) is essential for HSR. In the study presented here, we investigated whether a short-term HS pulse can reset circadian rhythms. Circadian Per2 rhythm and HSF1-mediated gene expression were monitored by a real-time bioluminescence assay for mPer2 promoter-driven luciferase and HS element (HSE; HSF1-binding site)-driven luciferase activity, respectively. By an optimal duration HS pulse (43°C for approximately 30 minutes), circadian Per2 rhythm was observed in the whole mouse fibroblast culture, probably indicating the synchronization of the phases of each cell. This rhythm was preceded by an acute elevation in mPer2 and HSF1-mediated gene expression. Mutations in the two predicted HSE sites adjacent (one of them proximally) to the E-box in the mPer2 promoter dramatically abolished circadian mPer2 rhythm. Circadian Per2 gene/protein expression was not observed in HSF1-deficient cells. These findings demonstrate that HSF1 is essential to the synchronization of circadian rhythms by the HS pulse. Importantly, the interaction between HSF1 and BMAL1:CLOCK heterodimer, a central circadian transcription factor, was observed after the HS pulse. These findings reveal that even a short-term HS pulse can reset circadian rhythms and cause the HSF1-BMAL1:CLOCK interaction, suggesting the pivotal role of crosstalk between the mammalian circadian and HSR systems.
We recently found that Xenopus dicalcin, present in the extracellular egg-coating envelope, suppresses the efficiency of fertilization in vitro through binding to envelope-constituent glycoproteins. In the present study, we explored the mouse counterpart of Xenopus dicalcin, specifically its localization in the female reproductive tract and its action on mouse fertilization. Our homology and phylogenetic analyses using known S100 proteins showed that S100A11 is most closely related to Xenopus dicalcin. S100A11 was localized in the cytosol of luteal cells, but not in the follicle, in the mouse ovary, and also in the cytosol of the oviductal epithelial cells. In addition, our quantitative analyses revealed preferential expression of S100A11 in the ampullary region of the oviduct and at the estrus stage during the mouse estrous cycle. In the cumulus cell-oocyte complex dissected from the oviduct following ovulation, S100A11 was present in the plasma membrane of cumulus cells, but not in the zona pellucida, which is comparable with Ca(2+) -dependent binding of exogenously applied S100A11 to the plasma membrane of cumulus cells. Pretreatment of the cumulus cell-oocyte complex with recombinant S100A11 substantially reduced the efficiency of in vitro fertilization, but S100A10, the next closest S100 protein to Xenopus dicalcin, had no effect. These results suggested that S100A11 is the mouse counterpart of Xenopus dicalcin, suppresses the fertilization process through its action on cumulus cells, and thereby plays a key role in fertilization success in the mouse.
Fertilization comprises oligosaccharide-mediated sperm-egg interactions, including sperm binding to an extracellular egg envelope, sperm penetration through the envelope, and fusion with an egg plasma membrane. We show that Xenopus dicalcin, an S100-like Ca(2+)-binding protein, present in the extracellular egg envelope (vitelline envelope (VE)), is a suppressive mediator of sperm-egg interaction. Preincubation with specific antibody greatly increased the efficiency of in vitro fertilization, whereas prior application of exogenous dicalcin substantially inhibited fertilization as well as sperm binding to an egg and in vitro sperm penetration through the VE protein layer. Dicalcin showed binding to protein cores of gp41 and gp37, constituents of VE, in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner and increased in vivo reactivity of VE with a lectin, Ricinus communis agglutinin I, which was accounted for by increased binding ability of gp41 to the lectin and greater exposure of gp41 to an external environment. Our findings strongly suggest that dicalcin regulates the distribution of oligosaccharides within the VE through its binding to the protein core of gp41, probably by modulating configuration of oligosaccharides on gp41 and the three-dimensional structure of VE framework, and thereby plays a pivotal role in sperm-egg interactions during fertilization.
In the vertebrate circadian feedback loop, CLOCK:BMAL heterodimers induce the expression of Cry genes. The CRY proteins in turn inhibit CLOCK:BMAL-mediated transcription closing the negative feedback loop. Four CRYs, which all inhibit CLOCK:BMAL-mediated transcription, exist in zebrafish. Although these zebrafish Crys (zCry1a, 1b, 2a, and 2b) show a circadian pattern of expression, previous studies have indicated that the circadian oscillation of zCry1a could be CLOCK:BMAL-independent. Here we show that abrogation of CLOCK:BMAL-dependent transcription in zebrafish cells by the dominant negative zCLOCK3-DeltaC does not affect the circadian oscillation of zCry1a. Moreover, we provide several lines of evidence indicating that the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling cascade modulates the circadian expression of zCry1a gene in constant darkness. Taken together, our data strongly support the notion that circadian oscillation of zCry1a is CLOCK:BMAL-independent and further indicate that mechanisms involving non-canonical clock genes could contribute to the circadian expression of zCry1a gene in a cell autonomous manner.
The isolation of neural stem cells (NSCs) from the brain has been hampered by the lack of valid cell surface markers and the requirement for long-term in vitro cultivation that may lead to phenotype deterioration. However, few suitable specific cell surface antigens are available on NSCs that could be used for their prospective isolation. The present study demonstrated that the expression of complex type asparagine-linked oligosaccharide (N-glycans) was detected on brain cells dissociated from embryonic and adult brain using Phaseolus vulgaris erythroagglutinating lectin (E-PHA) which binds to biantennary complex type N-glycans, and demonstrated that E-PHA bound preferentially to purified NSCs, but not to neurons, microglia, or oligodendrocyte precursor cells. The labeling of dissociated mouse embryonic brain cells or adult brain cells with E-PHA enabled the enrichment of NSCs by 25-fold or 9-fold of the number of neurosphere-forming cells in comparison to that of unsorted cells, respectively. Furthermore, a lectin blot analysis revealed the presence of several glycoproteins which were recognized by E-PHA in the membrane fraction of the proliferating NSCs, but not in the differentiated cells. These results indicate that complex type N-glycans is a valuable cell surface marker for living mouse NSCs from both the embryonic and adult brain.
Clock proteins govern circadian physiology and their function is regulated by various mechanisms. Here we demonstrate that Casein kinase (CK)-2alpha phosphorylates the core circadian regulator BMAL1. Gene silencing of CK2alpha or mutation of the highly conserved CK2-phosphorylation site in BMAL1, Ser90, result in impaired nuclear BMAL1 accumulation and disruption of clock function. Notably, phosphorylation at Ser90 follows a rhythmic pattern. These findings reveal that CK2 is an essential regulator of the mammalian circadian system.
Intracellular calcium ions (Ca(2+)) have an essential role in the regulation of neurite outgrowth, but how outgrowth is controlled remains largely unknown. In this study, we examined how the mechanisms of neurite outgrowth change during development in chick and mouse dorsal root ganglion neurons. 2APB, a potent inhibitor of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP(3)) receptors (IP(3)R), inhibited neurite outgrowth at early developmental stages, but not at later stages. In contrast, pharmacological inhibition with Ni(2+), Cd(2+), or dantrolene revealed that ryanodine receptor (RyR)-mediated Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release (CICR) was involved in neurite outgrowth at later stage, but not at early stages. The distribution of IP(3)R and RyR in growth cones also changed during development. Furthermore, pharmacological inhibition of the Ca(2+)-calmodulin-dependent phosphatase calcineurin with FK506 reduced neurite outgrowth only at early stages. These data suggest that the calcium signaling that regulates neurite outgrowth may change during development from an IP(3)R-mediated pathway to a RyR-mediated pathway.
Hippocalcin is a member of the neuronal Ca(2+) sensor protein family. Among its many biochemical functions, its established physiological function is that via neuronal apoptosis inhibitory protein it protects the neurons from Ca(2+)-induced cell death. The precise biochemical mechanism/s, through which hippocalcin functions, is not clear. In the present study, a new mechanism by which it functions is defined. The bovine form of hippocalcin (BovHpca) native to the hippocampus has been purified, sequenced, cloned, and studied. The findings show that there is the evolutionary conservation of its structure. It is a Ca(2+)-sensor of a variant form of the ROS-GC subfamily of membrane guanylate cyclases, ONE-GC. It senses physiological increments of Ca(2+) with a K(1/2) of 0.5 microM and stimulates ONE-GC or ONE-GC-like membrane guanylate cyclase. The Hpca-modulated ONE-GC-like transduction system exists in the hippocampal neurons. And hippocalcin-modulated ONE-GC transduction system exists in the olfactory receptor neuroepithelium. The Hpca-gene knock out studies demonstrate that the portion of this is about 30% of the total membrane guanylate cyclase transduction system. The findings establish Hpca as a new Ca(2+) sensor modulator of the ROS-GC membrane guanylate cyclase transduction subfamily. They support the concept on universality of the presence and operation of the ROS-GC transduction system in the sensory and sensory-linked neurons. They validate that the ROS-GC transduction system exists in multiple forms. And they provide an additional mechanism by which ROS-GC subfamily acts as a transducer of the Ca(2+) signals originating in the neurons.
The calcium-activated slow afterhyperpolarization (sAHP) is a potassium conductance implicated in many physiological functions of the brain including memory, aging, and epilepsy. In large part, the sAHPs importance stems from its exceedingly long-lasting time-course, which integrates action potential-induced calcium signals and allows the sAHP to control neuronal excitability and prevent runaway firing. Despite its role in neuronal physiology, the molecular mechanisms that give rise to its unique kinetics are, to our knowledge, still unknown. Recently, we identified KCNQ channels as a candidate potassium channel family that can contribute to the sAHP. Here, we test whether KCNQ channels shape the sAHP rise and decay kinetics in wild-type mice and mice lacking Hippocalcin, the putative sAHP calcium sensor. Application of retigabine to speed KCNQ channel activation accelerated the rise of the CA3 pyramidal neuron sAHP current in both wild-type and Hippocalcin knockout mice, indicating that the gating of KCNQ channels limits the sAHP activation. Interestingly, we found that the decay of the sAHP was prolonged in Hippocalcin knockout mice, and that the decay was sensitive to retigabine modulation, unlike in wild-type mice. Together, our results demonstrate that sAHP activation in CA3 pyramidal neurons is critically dependent on KCNQ channel kinetics whereas the identity of the sAHP calcium sensor determines whether KCNQ channel kinetics also limit the sAHP decay.
Hippocalcin (Hpca) is a Ca(2+)-binding protein that is expressed in neurons and contributes to neuronal plasticity. We purified a 48 kDa Hpca-associated protein from rat brain and identified it to be the creatine kinase B (CKB) subunit, which constitutes brain-type creatine kinase (BB-CK). Hpca specifically bound to CKB in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner, but not to the muscle-type creatine kinase M subunit. The N-terminal region of Hpca was required for binding to CKB. Hpca mediated Ca(2+)-dependent partial translocation of CKB (approximately 10-15% of total creatine kinase activity) to membranes. N-myristoylation of Hpca was critical for membrane translocation, but not for binding to CKB. In cultured hippocampal neurons, ionomycin treatment led to colocalization of Hpca and CKB adjacent to the plasma membrane. These results indicate that Hpca associates with BB-CK and that together they translocate to membrane compartments in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner.
Nerve growth cones contain mRNA and its translational machinery and thereby synthesize protein locally. The regulatory mechanisms in the growth cone, however, remain largely unknown. We previously found that the calcium entry-induced increase of phosphorylation of eukaryotic elongation factor-2 (eEF2), a key component of mRNA translation, within growth cones showed growth arrest of neurites. Because dephosphorylated eEF2 and phosphorylated eEF2 are known to promote and inhibit mRNA translation, respectively, the data led to the hypothesis that eEF2-mediating mRNA translation may regulate neurite outgrowth. Here, we validated the hypothesis by using a chromophore-assisted light inactivation (CALI) technique to examine the roles of localized eEF2 and eEF2 kinase (EF2K), a specific calcium calmodulin-dependent enzyme for eEF2 phosphorylation, in advancing growth cones of cultured chick dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. The phosphorylated eEF2 was weakly distributed in advancing growth cones, whereas eEF2 phosphorylation was increased by extracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-evoked calcium transient through P2 purinoceptors in growth cones and resulted in growth arrest of neurites. The increase of eEF2 phosphorylation within growth cones by inhibition of protein phosphatase 2A known to dephosphorylate eEF2 also showed growth arrest of neurites. CALI of eEF2 within growth cones resulted in retardation of neurite outgrowth, whereas CALI of EF2K enhanced neurite outgrowth temporally. Moreover, CALI of EF2K abolished the ATP-induced retardation of neurite outgrowth. These findings suggest that an eEF2 phosphorylation state localized to the growth cone regulates neurite outgrowth.
Alzheimers disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia, and amyloid-? (A?) plaques and tau-containing tangles are its histopathological hallmark lesions. These do not occur at random; rather, the neurodegenerative process is stereotyped in that it is initiated in the entorhinal cortex and hippocampal formation. Interestingly, it is the latter brain area where the calcium-sensing enzyme hippocalcin is highly expressed. Because calcium deregulation is a well-established pathomechanism in AD, we aimed to address the putative role of hippocalcin in human AD brain and transgenic mouse models. We found that hippocalcin levels are increased in human AD brain and in A? plaque-forming APP23 transgenic mice compared to controls. To determine the role of hippocalcin in A? toxicity, we treated primary cultures derived from hippocalcin knockout (HC KO) mice with A? and found them to be more susceptible to A? toxicity than controls. Likewise, treatment with either thapsigargin or ionomycin, both known to deregulate intracellular calcium levels, caused an increased toxicity in hippocampal neurons from HC KO mice compared to wild-type. We found further that mitochondrial complex I activity increased from 3 to 6months in hippocampal mitochondria from wild-type and HC KO mice, but that the latter exhibited a significantly stronger aging phenotype than wild-type. A? treatment induced significant toxicity on hippocampal mitochondria from HC KO mice already at 3months of age, while wild-type mitochondria were spared. Our data suggest that hippocalcin has a neuroprotective role in AD, presenting it as a putative biomarker.
Down-regulation of hMSH3 is associated with elevated microsatellite alterations at selected tetranucleotide repeats and low levels of microsatellite instability in colorectal cancer (CRC). However, the mechanism that down-regulates hMSH3 in CRC is not known. In this study, a significant association between over-expression of glucose transporter 1, a marker for hypoxia, and down-regulation of hMSH3 in CRC tissues was observed. Therefore, we examined the effect of hypoxia on the expression of hMSH3 in human cell lines. When cells with wild type p53 (wt-p53) were exposed to hypoxia, rapid down-regulation of both hMSH2 and hMSH3 occurred. In contrast, when null or mutated p53 (null/mut-p53) cells were exposed to hypoxia, only hMSH3 was down-regulated, and at slower rate than wt-p53 cells. Using a reporter assay, we found that disruption of the two putative hypoxia response elements (HREs) located within the promoter region of the hMSH3 abrogated the suppressive effect of hypoxia on reporter activity regardless of p53 status. In an EMSA, two different forms of HIF-1? complexes that specifically bind to these HREs were detected. A larger complex containing HIF-1? predominantly bound to the HREs in hypoxic null/mut-p53 cells whereas a smaller complex predominated in wt-p53 cells. Finally, HIF-1? knockdown by siRNA significantly inhibited down-regulation of hMSH3 by hypoxia in both wt-p53 and mut-p53 cells. Taken together, our results suggest that the binding of HIF-1? complexes to HRE sites is necessary for down-regulation of hMSH3 in both wt-p53 and mut-p53 cells.
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