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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Directed Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells into Leydig-like Cells Rescue Testosterone Deficient Male Rats In Vivo.
Stem Cells Dev.
PUBLISHED: 10-24-2014
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The primary function of Leydig cells is to secrete testosterone, which is critical in the regulation of male reproduction and development. Low levels of testosterone will lead to male hypogonadism. Stem cell-derived Leydig cell transplantation may be a promising alternative therapy for male hypogonadism. Thus far, others have reported that Leydig-like cells can be derived from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). However, the efficiency of the differentiating Leydig cells remains low, and progress toward generating functional adult Leydig cells (ALCs) is limited. Herein, we describe a robust method of directing differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) into Leydig-like cells in vitro by over-expression of the transcription factor SF-1 and treatment with a combination of 8 Br-cAMP and forskolin. These differentiated cells express mRNA encoding the steroidogenic enzymes, and produce progesterone and testosterone. Importantly, when transplanted into male rats that had their original Leydig cells selectively eliminated by ethylene dimethanesulfonate (EDS), these in vitro-derived Leydig-like cells further developed into functional ALCs that rescued serum testosterone levels. These data provide evidence that mouse embryonic stem cells can be induced to differentiate into Leydig-like cells in vitro, which can develop in the in vivo microenvironment.
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Apolipoprotein e4 produced in GABAergic interneurons causes learning and memory deficits in mice.
J. Neurosci.
PUBLISHED: 10-17-2014
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Apolipoprotein (apo) E4 is expressed in many types of brain cells, is associated with age-dependent decline of learning and memory in humans, and is the major genetic risk factor for AD. To determine whether the detrimental effects of apoE4 depend on its cellular sources, we generated human apoE knock-in mouse models in which the human APOE gene is conditionally deleted in astrocytes, neurons, or GABAergic interneurons. Here we report that deletion of apoE4 in astrocytes does not protect aged mice from apoE4-induced GABAergic interneuron loss and learning and memory deficits. In contrast, deletion of apoE4 in neurons does protect aged mice from both deficits. Furthermore, deletion of apoE4 in GABAergic interneurons is sufficient to gain similar protection. This study demonstrates a detrimental effect of endogenously produced apoE4 on GABAergic interneurons that leads to learning and memory deficits in mice and provides a novel target for drug development for AD related to apoE4.
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Apolipoprotein E: Structure and function in lipid metabolism, neurobiology, and Alzheimer's diseases.
Neurobiol. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 08-27-2014
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Apolipoprotein (apo) E is a multifunctional protein with central roles in lipid metabolism, neurobiology, and neurodegenerative diseases. It has three major isoforms (apoE2, apoE3, and apoE4) with different effects on lipid and neuronal homeostasis. A major function of apoE is to mediate the binding of lipoproteins or lipid complexes in the plasma or interstitial fluids to specific cell-surface receptors. These receptors internalize apoE-containing lipoprotein particles; thus, apoE participates in the distribution/redistribution of lipids among various tissues and cells of the body. In addition, intracellular apoE may modulate various cellular processes physiologically or pathophysiologically, including cytoskeletal assembly and stability, mitochondrial integrity and function, and dendritic morphology and function. Elucidation of the functional domains within this protein and of the three-dimensional structure of the major isoforms of apoE has contributed significantly to our understanding of its physiological and pathophysiological roles at a molecular level. It is likely that apoE, with its multiple cellular origins and multiple structural and biophysical properties, is involved widely in processes of lipid metabolism and neurobiology, possibly encompassing a variety of disorders of neuronal repair, remodeling, and degeneration by interacting with different factors through various pathways.
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Inhibitory interneuron progenitor transplantation restores normal learning and memory in ApoE4 knock-in mice without or with A? accumulation.
J. Neurosci.
PUBLISHED: 07-18-2014
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Excitatory and inhibitory balance of neuronal network activity is essential for normal brain function and may be of particular importance to memory. Apolipoprotein (apo) E4 and amyloid-? (A?) peptides, two major players in Alzheimer's disease (AD), cause inhibitory interneuron impairments and aberrant neuronal activity in the hippocampal dentate gyrus in AD-related mouse models and humans, leading to learning and memory deficits. To determine whether replacing the lost or impaired interneurons rescues neuronal signaling and behavioral deficits, we transplanted embryonic interneuron progenitors into the hippocampal hilus of aged apoE4 knock-in mice without or with A? accumulation. In both conditions, the transplanted cells developed into mature interneurons, functionally integrated into the hippocampal circuitry, and restored normal learning and memory. Thus, restricted hilar transplantation of inhibitory interneurons restores normal cognitive function in two widely used AD-related mouse models, highlighting the importance of interneuron impairments in AD pathogenesis and the potential of cell replacement therapy for AD. More broadly, it demonstrates that excitatory and inhibitory balance are crucial for learning and memory, and suggests an avenue for investigating the processes of learning and memory and their alterations in healthy aging and diseases.
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Evaluation of the safety and brain-related tissues distribution characteristics of TAT-HaFGF via intranasal administration.
Biol. Pharm. Bull.
PUBLISHED: 07-04-2014
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Disabilities triggered by neurodegeneration mainly result in mortality in the elderly, and patients with neurodegenerative disease also display deficits in olfactory function. Therefore drug distribution to the brain through intranasal administration has become one of the most difficult challenges in the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) diseases. TAT-human acidic fibroblast growth factor (HaFGF) is a new fused protein retaining the neuroprotective activities of HaFGF, and is a promising prospect in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. TAT (a cell-penetrating peptide) contains a high relative abundance of positively charged amino acids such as lysine and arginine, which have a powerful attraction to the negatively charge on the nasal epithelial membrane. The present study focused on the evaluation of the safety and absorption characteristics of TAT-HaFGF following intranasal administration. After TAT-HaFGF intranasal administration (100, 300, 600 µg/kg) for 5 weeks, hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining showed no pathology in any of the investigated tissues and organs. The expression of olfactory marker protein (OMP) was observed with immunohistochemical staining, which showed no altered expression in the sensory neurons of the nasal epithelium. Nasal ciliotoxicity studies carried out using an in situ palate model and optical microscope showed that TAT-HaFGF had no nasal ciliotoxicity. The distribution of the TAT-HaFGF following intranasal administration was assessed using a radioisotopic tracing method. Radioactivity was observed in the brain after 15 min. This became stronger at 30 min and weaker at 1 h. All of the results confirmed the in vivo safety of TAT-HaFGF via intranasal administration.
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Basic fibroblast growth factor promotes stem Leydig cell development and inhibits LH-stimulated androgen production by regulating microRNA expression.
J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 05-13-2014
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Leydig cells are the primary source of testosterone in the testes, and their steroidogenic function is strictly controlled by the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad axis. Emerging evidence has indicated that fibroblast growth factors play a role in regulating stem Leydig cell development and steroidogenesis, but little is known about the regulatory mechanism. Using a seminiferous tubule culture system, we demonstrated that basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) can promote stem Leydig cell proliferation and commitment toward differentiation in testosterone-producing Leydig cells. However, these promoting effects decreased with an increase in the bFGF dose. Previous studies have reported that bFGF inhibits luteinizing hormone (LH)-stimulated androgen production by downregulating the mRNA expression of steroidogenic genes in immature Leydig cells. However, the expression levels of 677 microRNAs did not change significantly during the LH-mediated process of testosterone synthesis. Five microRNAs (miR-29a, -29c, -142-3p, -451 and -335) were identified, and their expression in immature Leydig cells was regulated simultaneously by bFGF and LH. These results suggested that the inhibition of LH-stimulated androgen production may be modulated by a change in bFGF-mediated microRNA expression, which further impacts the signaling pathway of testosterone biosynthesis and steroidogenic gene expression.
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Synthesis of novel curcumin analogues for inhibition of 11?-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 with anti-diabetic properties.
Eur J Med Chem
PUBLISHED: 02-23-2014
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In the present study, a series of mono-carbonyl analogues of curcumin were designed and synthesized by deleting the reactive beta-diketone moiety, which is responsible for the pharmacokinetic limitation of curcumin. We demonstrated that 4 of 9 curcumin analogues were selective inhibitors of human and rodent 11?-HSD1. The level of this inhibitor was 4-20 times more than that of curcumin. Curcumin analogues weakly inhibited 11?-HSD2, and further analyses revealed that these compounds were highly selective, favoring 11?-HSD1. These 4 curcumin analogues are potential therapeutic agents for type-2 diabetes by targeting 11?-HSD1. The compound 8 displays anti-diabetic properties in diabetic mice induced by streptozocin and high-fat-diet (STZHFD).
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Identification of a novel aFGF-binding peptide with anti-tumor effect on breast cancer from phage display library.
Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun.
PUBLISHED: 02-03-2014
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It has been reported that acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF) is expressed in breast cancer and via interactions with fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs) to promote the stage and grade of the disease. Thus, aFGF/FGFRs have been considered essential targets in breast cancer therapy. We identified a specific aFGF-binding peptide (AGNWTPI, named AP8) from a phage display heptapeptide library with aFGF after four rounds of biopanning. The peptide AP8 contained two (TP) amino acids identical and showed high homology to the peptides of the 182-188 (GTPNPTL) site of high-affinity aFGF receptor FGFR1. Functional analyses indicated that AP8 specifically competed with the corresponding phage clone A8 for binding to aFGF. In addition, AP8 could inhibit aFGF-stimulated cell proliferation, arrested the cell cycle at the G0/G1 phase by increasing PA2G4 and suppressing Cyclin D1 and PCNA, and blocked the aFGF-induced activation of Erk1/2 and Akt kinase in both breast cancer cells and vascular endothelial cells. Therefore, these results indicate that peptide AP8, acting as an aFGF antagonist, is a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of breast cancer.
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Expression, purification, and biological activity of the recombinant pramlintide precursor.
Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 01-29-2014
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Pramlintide is an artificially designed protein which has the same function as amylin in human body. This protein is extremely difficult to synthesize through prokaryotic expression method because of its two essential active sites, intrachain disulfide bond and C-terminal amide group. Since ?-amidating monooxygenase is widely distributed in human and animal, it is possible to use pramlintide precursor with an additional C-terminal glycine (PAG), which is the potential substrate of ?-amidating monooxygenase, for in vivo applications. The recombinant PAG was expressed in Escherichia coli using the small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) as the molecular chaperone, and the optimal fusion expression level reached to 36.3% of the total supernatant protein. Under optimal conditions in a 10-L fermentor, the recombinant PAG was obtained with a purity of greater than 95%, and the average expression level was reached to 20 mg/L. The authenticity and the intrachain disulfide bridge of PAG were confirmed by Western blotting and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) as well as N-terminal sequencing of protein. Based on an L6 myoblast cell model in vitro and an animal model of gastric emptying in vivo, the results of activity revealed that PAG showed a lower biological activity in vitro but has almost the same activity as the chemically synthesized pramlintide in vivo.
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HSP27 as a biomarker for predicting skin irritation in human skin and reconstructed organotypic skin model.
Toxicol. Lett.
PUBLISHED: 01-18-2014
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In vitro alternative tests aiming at replacing the traditional animal test for predicting the irritant potential of chemicals have been developed, but the assessing parameters or endpoints are still not sufficient. To discover novel endpoints for skin irritation responses, 2DE-based proteomics was used to analyze the protein expression in human skin exposed to sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) following the test protocol of the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) in the present study. HSP27 was up-regulated most significantly among the eight identified proteins, consistent with our previous reports. Acid and basic chemicals were applied on human skin for further validation and results showed that the up-regulated expression of HSP27 was induced in 24h after the exposure. Skin-equivalent constructed with fibroblasts, basement membrane and keratinocytes was used to investigate the potential of HSP27 as a biomarker or additional endpoint for the hazard assessment of skin irritation. Our skin-equivalent (Reconstructed Organotypic Skin Model, ROSM) had excellent epidermal differentiation and was suitable for the skin irritation test. HSP27 also displayed an up-regulated expression in the ROSM in 24h after the irritants exposure for 15min. All these results suggest that HSP27 may represent a potential marker or additional endpoint for the hazard assessment of skin irritation caused by chemical products.
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1,3-Dichloro-2-propanol inhibits progesterone production through the expression of steroidogenic enzymes and cAMP concentration in Leydig cells.
Food Chem
PUBLISHED: 01-08-2014
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1,3-Dichloro-2-propanol (1,3-DCP) is a well-known food processing contaminant that has been shown to impede male reproductive function. However, its mechanism of action remains elusive. In this study, the effects of 1,3-DCP on progesterone production were investigated using the R2C Leydig cell model. 1,3-DCP significantly reduced cell viability from 7.48% to 97.4% at doses comprised between 0.5 and 6mM. Single cell gel/comet assays and atomic force microscopy assays showed that 1,3-DCP induced early phase cell apoptosis. In addition, 1,3-DCP significantly reduced progesterone production detected by radioimmunoassay (RIA). The results from quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blotting demonstrated that the mRNA expression levels of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR), cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage enzyme and 3?-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase were significantly down-regulated in R2C cells. Particularly, the change rhythm of Star expression was highly consistent with progesterone production. Furthermore, the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and the mitochondrial membrane potential mediated by ROS, which are involved in regulating progesterone synthesis were also decreased in response to the 1,3-DCP treatment. Overall, the data presented here suggested that 1,3-DCP interferes with the male steroidogenic capacity mainly by down-regulating the level of cAMP and the key enzymes involved in the androgen synthesis pathway.
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Identification of a novel peptide that blocks basic fibroblast growth factor-mediated cell proliferation.
Oncotarget
PUBLISHED: 10-22-2013
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Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) has been implicated in tumor growth via interactions with its receptors (FGFRs) on the cell surface and therefore, bFGF/FGFRs are considered essential targets for cancer therapy. Herein, a consensus heptapeptide (LSPPRYP) was identified for the first time from a phage display heptapeptide library after three sequential rounds of biopanning against FGFR-expressing cells with competitive displacement of phage by bFGF, followed by subtraction of non-specific binding by FGFR-deficient cells. Phage bearing LSPPRYP showed high levels of binding to Balb/c 3T3 cells expressing high-affinity bFGF-binding FGFR (bFGFR), but not to the cells that do not express bFGFR (Cos-7), or express a very low affinity bFGFR (HaCat). The selected-phage-derived peptide synthesized by solid phase method using a rapid and practical Fmoc strategy was found to specifically compete with bFGF for binding to its receptors, inhibit bFGF-stimulated cell proliferation by inducing cell cycle arrest, and block bFGF-induced activation of Erk1 and Erk2 kinase in B16-F10 melanoma cells. Importantly, treatment of melanoma-bearing mice with the synthetic peptide significantly suppressed tumor growth. The results demonstrate a strong anticancer activity of the isolated bFGFR-binding peptide (and its future derivatives), which may have great potential for cancer therapy.
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Toxic mechanisms of 3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol on progesterone production in R2C rat leydig cells.
J. Agric. Food Chem.
PUBLISHED: 10-03-2013
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3-Monochloropropane-1,2-diol (3-MCPD) is a well-known food processing contaminant that has been shown to impede the male reproductive function. However, its mechanism of action remains to be elucidated. In this study, the effects of 3-MCPD on progesterone production were investigated using R2C Leydig cells. 3-MCPD caused concentration-dependent inhibition of cell viability at the IC25, IC50, and IC75 levels of 1.027, 1.802, and 3.160 mM, respectively. Single cell gel/comet assay and atomic force microscopy assay showed that 3-MCPD significantly induced early apoptosis. In addition, 3-MCPD significantly reduced progesterone production by reducing the expression of cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage enzyme, steroidogenic acute regulatory protein, and 3?-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase in R2C cells. The change in steroidogenic acute regulatory protein expression was highly consistent with progesterone production. Furthermore, the mitochondrial membrane potential and cAMP significantly decreased.
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Genetic correction of tauopathy phenotypes in neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells.
Stem Cell Reports
PUBLISHED: 09-10-2013
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Tauopathies represent a group of neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the accumulation of pathological TAU protein in brains. We report a human neuronal model of tauopathy derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) carrying a TAU-A152T mutation. Using zinc-finger nuclease-mediated gene editing, we generated two isogenic iPSC lines: one with the mutation corrected, and another with the homozygous mutation engineered. The A152T mutation increased TAU fragmentation and phosphorylation, leading to neurodegeneration and especially axonal degeneration. These cellular phenotypes were consistent with those observed in a patient with TAU-A152T. Upon mutation correction, normal neuronal and axonal morphologies were restored, accompanied by decreases in TAU fragmentation and phosphorylation, whereas the severity of tauopathy was intensified in neurons with the homozygous mutation. These isogenic TAU-iPSC lines represent a critical advancement toward the accurate modeling and mechanistic study of tauopathies with human neurons and will be invaluable for drug-screening efforts and future cell-based therapies.
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Greater medial temporal hypometabolism and lower cortical amyloid burden in ApoE4-positive AD patients.
J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatr.
PUBLISHED: 08-21-2013
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Apolipoprotein E ?4 (ApoE4) has been associated with an increased risk of Alzheimers disease (AD), amyloid deposition and hypometabolism. ApoE4 is less prevalent in non-amnestic AD variants suggesting a direct effect on the clinical phenotype. However, the impact of ApoE4 on amyloid burden and glucose metabolism across different clinical AD syndromes is not well understood. We aimed to assess the relationship between amyloid deposition, glucose metabolism and ApoE4 genotype in a clinically heterogeneous population of AD patients.
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A short peptide derived from the gN helix domain of FGF8b suppresses the growth of human prostate cancer cells.
Cancer Lett.
PUBLISHED: 05-25-2013
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Previous studies have demonstrated that fibroblast growth factor 8b (FGF8b) is up-regulated in a large proportion of prostate cancer patients and that it plays a key role in prostate carcinogenesis. In this study, we designed and synthesized a gN helix domain derived short peptide (termed 8b-13) based on the analysis of the FGF8b-FGFR structure. The synthetic peptides inhibited the proliferation of prostate cancer cell lines, including PC-3 and DU-145 cells. Further investigations indicated that 8b-13 arrested the cell cycle at the G0/G1 phase, reduced the activation of the Erk1/2, P38, and Akt cascades, and down-regulated the expression of G1/S-specific cyclinD1. The suppression of DNA synthesis and the G1 to S phase transition due to the expression of proteins related to proliferation and cell cycle progression may contribute to the inhibitory effect of 8b-13 peptides on cellular proliferation. Our results not only suggest that 8b-13 exerts an antitumor effect in prostate cancer but also confirm the essential role of the gN helix domain in mediating the activity of FGF8b.
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NGF induces adult stem Leydig cells to proliferate and differentiate during Leydig cell regeneration.
Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun.
PUBLISHED: 05-17-2013
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Nerve growth factor (NGF) has been reported to be involved in male reproductive physiology. However, few reports have described the activity of NGF during Leydig cell development. The objective of the present study was to examine the role of NGF during stem-Leydig-cell (SLC) regeneration. We investigated the effects of NGF on Leydig-cell (LC) regeneration by measuring mRNA levels in the adult rat testis after ethane dimethanesulfonate (EDS) treatment. Furthermore, we used the established organ culture model of rat seminiferous tubules to examine the regulation of NGF during SLC proliferation and differentiation using EdU staining, real-time PCR and western blotting. Progenitor Leydig cells (PLCs) and immature Leydig cells (ILCs) were also used to investigate the effects of NGF on LCs at different developmental stages. NGF mRNA levels changed significantly during Leydig-cell regeneration in vivo. In vitro, NGF significantly promoted the proliferation of stem Leydig cells and also induced steroidogenic enzyme gene expression and 3?-HSD protein expression. The data from PLCs and ILCs showed that NGF could increase Cyclin D1 and Hsd 17b3 mRNA levels in PLCs and Cyclin D1 mRNA levels in ILCs. These results indicate that NGF may play an important role during LC regeneration by regulating the proliferation and differentiation of LCs at different developmental stages, from SLCs to PLCs and from PLCs to ILCs. The discovery of this effect of NGF on Leydig cells will provide useful information for developing new potential therapies for PADAM (Partial Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male).
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Cellular source-specific effects of apolipoprotein (apo) E4 on dendrite arborization and dendritic spine development.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 02-14-2013
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Apolipoprotein (apo) E4 is the leading genetic risk factor for Alzheimers disease (AD), and it has a gene dose-dependent effect on the risk and age of onset of AD. Although apoE4 is primarily produced by astrocytes in the brain, neurons can also produce apoE4 under stress conditions. ApoE4 is known to inhibit neurite outgrowth and spine development in vitro and in vivo, but the potential influence of apoE4s cellular source on dendritic arborization and spine development has not yet been investigated. In this study, we report impairments in dendritic arborization and a loss of spines, especially thin (learning) and mushroom (memory) spines, in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex of 19-21-month-old female neuron-specific-enolase (NSE)-apoE4 and apoE4-knockin (KI) mice compared to their respective apoE3-expressing counterparts. In general, NSE-apoE4 mice had more severe and widespread deficits in dendritic arborization as well as spine density and morphology than apoE4-KI mice. The loss of dendritic spines, especially mushroom spines, occurred in NSE-apoE4 mice as early as 7-8 months of age. In contrast, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-apoE4 mice, which express apoE4 solely in astrocytes, did not have impairments in their dendrite arborization or spine density and morphology compared to GFAP-apoE3 mice at both ages. These results indicate that the effects of apoE4 on dendrite arborization, spine density, and spine morphology depend critically on its cellular source, with neuronal apoE4 having more detrimental effects than astrocytic apoE4.
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A versatile mass spectrometry-based method to both identify kinase client-relationships and characterize signaling network topology.
J. Proteome Res.
PUBLISHED: 01-15-2013
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While more than a thousand protein kinases (PK) have been identified in the Arabidopsis thaliana genome, relatively little progress has been made toward identifying their individual client proteins. Herein we describe the use of a mass spectrometry-based in vitro phosphorylation strategy, termed Kinase Client assay (KiC assay), to study a targeted-aspect of signaling. A synthetic peptide library comprising 377 in vivo phosphorylation sequences from developing seed was screened using 71 recombinant A. thaliana PK. Among the initial results, we identified 23 proteins as putative clients of 17 PK. In one instance protein phosphatase inhibitor-2 (AtPPI-2) was phosphorylated at multiple-sites by three distinct PK, casein kinase1-like 10, AME3, and a Ser PK-like protein. To confirm this result, full-length recombinant AtPPI-2 was reconstituted with each of these PK. The results confirmed multiple distinct phosphorylation sites within this protein. Biochemical analyses indicate that AtPPI-2 inhibits type 1 protein phosphatase (TOPP) activity, and that the phosphorylated forms of AtPPI-2 are more potent inhibitors. Structural modeling revealed that phosphorylation of AtPPI-2 induces conformational changes that modulate TOPP binding.
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Protective effect of FGF21 on type 1 diabetes-induced testicular apoptotic cell death probably via both mitochondrial- and endoplasmic reticulum stress-dependent pathways in the mouse model.
Toxicol. Lett.
PUBLISHED: 01-09-2013
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Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a novel member identified and was reported to express predominantly in pancreas, liver and adipose tissue, and relatively less in other organs, such as the testis. However, the role of FGF21 in the testis has never been addressed. The present study examined FGF21 expression at mRNA level by real-time RT-PCR assay in the testis of fasting and non-fasting mice or mice with type 1 diabetes that was induced with streptozotocin. We also examined the effect of Fgf21 gene deletion or supplementation of the exogenous FGF21 on the testicular apoptotic cell death spontaneously or induced by type 1 diabetes in FGF21 knockout (FGF21-KO) mice. Deletion of Fgf21 gene does not affect testicular cell proliferation, but significantly increases the spontaneous incidence of testicular TUNEL positive cells with increases in the Bax/Bcl2 expression ratio and apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) expression. Diabetes induced significant increases in testicular TUNEL positive cells, Bax/Bcl2 expression ratio, AIF expression, CHOP and cleaved caspase-12 expression, and oxidative damage, but did not change the expression of cleaved caspase-3 and caspase-8. Deletion of Fgf21 gene also significantly enhances diabetes-induced TUNEL positive cells along with the increased expression of Bax/Bcl2 ratio, AIF, CHOP, cleaved caspase-12, and oxidative damage, which was significantly prevented by the supplementation of exogenous FGF21. These results suggest that Fgf21 gene may involve in maintaining normal spermatogenesis and also protect the germ cells from diabetes-induced apoptotic cell death probably via the prevention of diabetes-induced oxidative damage.
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Small molecule structure correctors abolish detrimental effects of apolipoprotein E4 in cultured neurons.
J. Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 12-12-2011
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Apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4), the major genetic risk factor for late onset Alzheimer disease, assumes a pathological conformation, intramolecular domain interaction. ApoE4 domain interaction mediates the detrimental effects of apoE4, including decreased mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 levels, reduced mitochondrial motility, and reduced neurite outgrowth in vitro. Mutant apoE4 (apoE4-R61T) lacks domain interaction, behaves like apoE3, and does not cause detrimental effects. To identify small molecules that inhibit domain interaction (i.e. structure correctors) and reverse the apoE4 detrimental effects, we established a high throughput cell-based FRET primary assay that determines apoE4 domain interaction and secondary cell- and function-based assays. Screening a ChemBridge library with the FRET assay identified CB9032258 (a phthalazinone derivative), which inhibits domain interaction in neuronal cells. In secondary functional assays, CB9032258 restored mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 levels and rescued impairments of mitochondrial motility and neurite outgrowth in apoE4-expressing neuronal cells. These benefits were apoE4-specific and dose-dependent. Modifying CB9032258 yielded well defined structure-activity relationships and more active compounds with enhanced potencies in the FRET assay (IC(50) of 23 and 116 nm, respectively). These compounds efficiently restored functional activities of apoE4-expressing cells in secondary assays. An EPR binding assay showed that the apoE4 structure correction resulted from direct interaction of a phthalazinone. With these data, a six-feature pharmacophore model was constructed for future drug design. Our results serve as a proof of concept that pharmacological intervention with apoE4 structure correctors negates apoE4 detrimental effects in neuronal cells and could be further developed as an Alzheimer disease therapeutic.
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A validated high-performance liquid chromatographic method with diode-array detection for the estimation of xyloketal B in rat plasma.
J. Chromatogr. B Analyt. Technol. Biomed. Life Sci.
PUBLISHED: 07-30-2011
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A sensitive and specific HPLC-UV method was developed and validated for the determination of xyloketal B in rat plasma. Following liquid-liquid extraction, the separation was performed using an isocratic mobile phase of methanol-acetonitrile-water (30/30/40, v/v/v) on a Phenomenex C(18) column (4.6mm×250mm, 5?m). The eluent was monitored at 220nm and at a flow rate of 0.8mlmin(-1). A linear curve over the concentration range of 1-128?g/ml (r>0.999) was established. The LLOQ of the method was 1?g/ml. Good precision and accuracy at concentrations of 2.5, 25 and 100?g/ml were obtained. The recovery of xyloketal B in plasma was >87.91%. The validated method was found to be specific, precise and accurate in the study. The analytic method was satisfactorily applied to perform preclinical pharmacokinetic study of xyloketal B in rat plasma.
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Roles of apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4) in the pathogenesis of Alzheimers disease: lessons from ApoE mouse models.
Biochem. Soc. Trans.
PUBLISHED: 07-27-2011
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ApoE4 (apolipoprotein E4) is the major known genetic risk factor for AD (Alzheimers disease). In most clinical studies, apoE4 carriers account for 65-80% of all AD cases, highlighting the importance of apoE4 in AD pathogenesis. Emerging data suggest that apoE4, with its multiple cellular origins and multiple structural and biophysical properties, contributes to AD in multiple ways either independently or in combination with other factors, such as A? (amyloid ?-peptide) and tau. Many apoE mouse models have been established to study the mechanisms underlying the pathogenic actions of apoE4. These include transgenic mice expressing different apoE isoforms in neurons or astrocytes, those expressing neurotoxic apoE4 fragments in neurons and human apoE isoform knock-in mice. Since apoE is expressed in different types of cells, including astrocytes and neurons, and in brains under diverse physiological and/or pathophysiological conditions, these apoE mouse models provide unique tools to study the cellular source-dependent roles of apoE isoforms in neurobiology and in the pathogenesis of AD. They also provide useful tools for discovery and development of drugs targeting apoE4s detrimental effects.
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Dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase and cAMP are associated with cadmium-mediated Leydig cell damage.
Toxicol. Lett.
PUBLISHED: 04-13-2011
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Cadmium (Cd) directly inhibits testosterone production in Leydig cells, but its mechanism is still unclear. To further explore the signaling pathway of Cd-mediated toxicity to Leydig cells, various concentrations of Cd were cultured with R2C cells for 24h, and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE)-based proteomics profiling was used to analyze the change of protein expressions. Cd caused a concentration-dependent inhibition of cell viability with IC(25), IC(50) and IC(75) of 2.42×10(-5)M, 4.83×10(-5)M and 7.39×10(-5)M, respectively. Cd significantly reduced progesterone production and mitochondrial membrane potential (??(m)) in a concentration-dependent manner. 2DE-based proteomics showed 34 protein spots with altered expression by 2-folds or more, and dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase (DLD) was the hub in the network of these altered proteins. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Western blotting showed that Cd downregulated the expression of DLD. Cd also decreased intracellular levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). The results suggest that DLD and cAMP may be key elements related to Cd toxicity to Leydig cells.
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Large-scale expression, purification, and glucose uptake activity of recombinant human FGF21 in Escherichia coli.
Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 04-12-2011
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As a novel important regulator of glucose and lipid metabolism homeostasis, human fibroblast growth factor 21 (hFGF21) has become a potential drug candidate for the treatment of metabolic diseases including obesity, and type 2 diabetes, as well as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. To improve the production of recombinant hFGF21 to meet the increasing demand in clinical applications, an artificial gene encoding its mature peptide sequence was constructed, cloned into vector pET-3c and then expressed in Escherichia coli Origami B (DE3). Under optimal conditions in a 50-L fermentor, the average bacterial yield and the soluble expression level of recombinant hFGF21 of six batches attained 1750 ± 185 g and 32 ± 1.5%, respectively. The target protein was purified by the combination of nickel-nitrilotriacetic acid affinity chromatography and Sephadex S-100 resin. 5% (w/v) trehalose solution was able to prevent rhFGF21 from degradation effectively. The purity of rhFGF21 was higher than 97%, and the yield was 213 ± 17 mg/L. The preliminary biochemical characterization of rhFGF21 was confirmed using Western blot and peptide map finger analysis. Based on the glucose oxidase-peroxidase assay, the EC50 of glucose uptake activity of the purified rhFGF21 was 22.1 nM.
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Identification of potential biomarkers for predicting acute dermal irritation by proteomic analysis.
J Appl Toxicol
PUBLISHED: 04-06-2011
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In vitro alternative tests aiming at replacing the traditional animal test for predicting the irritant potential of chemicals have been developed, but the assessment parameters or endpoints are still not sufficient for analysis. To discover novel endpoints for skin irritation responses, a proteomics approach was used to analyze the protein expression in human keratinocytes exposed to sodium lauryl sulfate in the present study. Among the 20 identified proteins with altered expression, small heat shock protein 27 (HSP27) and superoxide dismutase [Cu-Zn] were down-regulated while cofilin-1 was up-regulated significantly in response to the chemical challenge. Keratinocytes were exposed to acid and basic chemicals for further validation of the proteins. HSP27 displayed the most significant alteration both in mRNA and protein levels, accompanied by nuclear translocation. The irritation also induced an increased production of interleukin-1? in keratinocytes. These findings suggest that these proteins may be combinational biomarkers or additional endpoints for skin hazard assessment. Further investigation into the protein alterations would be helpful for the mechanistic understanding of skin irritation.
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Structure-dependent impairment of intracellular apolipoprotein E4 trafficking and its detrimental effects are rescued by small-molecule structure correctors.
J. Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 03-18-2011
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Apolipoprotein (apo) E4 is the major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer disease (AD) and likely contributes to neuropathology through various pathways. Here we report that the intracellular trafficking of apoE4 is impaired in Neuro-2a cells and primary neurons, as shown by measuring fluorescence recovery after photobleaching. In Neuro-2a cells, more apoE4 than apoE3 molecules remained immobilized in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the Golgi apparatus, and the lateral motility of apoE4 was significantly lower in the Golgi apparatus (but not in the ER) than that of apoE3. Likewise, the immobile fraction was larger, and the lateral motility was lower for apoE4 than apoE3 in mouse primary hippocampal neurons. ApoE4 with the R61T mutation, which abolishes apoE4 domain interaction, was less immobilized, and its lateral motility was comparable with that of apoE3. The trafficking impairment of apoE4 was also rescued by disrupting domain interaction with the small-molecule structure correctors GIND25 and PH002. PH002 also rescued apoE4-induced impairments of neurite outgrowth in Neuro-2a cells and dendritic spine development in primary neurons. ApoE4 did not affect trafficking of amyloid precursor protein, another AD-related protein, through the secretory pathway. Thus, domain interaction renders more newly synthesized apoE4 molecules immobile and slows their trafficking along the secretory pathway. Correcting the pathological structure of apoE4 by disrupting domain interaction is a potential therapeutic approach to treat or prevent AD related to apoE4.
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Functional divergence among silkworm antimicrobial peptide paralogs by the activities of recombinant proteins and the induced expression profiles.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 02-25-2011
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Antimicrobial peptides are small-molecule proteins that are usually encoded by multiple-gene families. They play crucial roles in the innate immune response, but reports on the functional divergence of antimicrobial peptide gene families are rare. In this study, 14 paralogs of antimicrobial peptides belonging to cecropin, moricin and gloverin families were recombinantly expressed in pET expression systems. By antimicrobial activity tests, peptides representing paralogs in the same family of cecropin and moricin families, displayed remarkable differences against 10 tested bacteria. The evolutionary rates were relatively fast in the two families, which presented obvious functional divergence among paralogs of each family. Four peptides of gloverin family had similar antimicrobial spectrum and activity against tested bacteria. The gloverin family showed similar antimicrobial function and slow evolutionary rates. By induced transcriptional activity, genes encoding active antimicrobial peptides were upregulated at obviously different levels when silkworm pupae were infected by three types of microbes. Association analysis of antimicrobial activities and induced transcriptional activities indicated that the antimicrobial activities might be positively correlated with induced transcriptional activities in the cecropin and moricin families. These results suggest that representative BmcecB6, BmcecD and Bmmor as the major effector genes have broad antimicrobial spectrum, strong antimicrobial activity and high microbe-induced expression among each family and maybe play crucial roles in eliminating microbial infection.
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C-terminal-truncated apolipoprotein (apo) E4 inefficiently clears amyloid-beta (Abeta) and acts in concert with Abeta to elicit neuronal and behavioral deficits in mice.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 02-22-2011
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Apolipoprotein (apo) E4 is the major known genetic risk factor for Alzheimers disease (AD). We have shown in vitro and in vivo that apoE4 preferentially undergoes aberrant cleavage in neurons, yielding neurotoxic C-terminal-truncated fragments. To study the effect of these fragments on amyloid-? (A?) clearance/deposition and their potential synergy with A? in eliciting neuronal and behavioral deficits, we cross-bred transgenic mice expressing apoE3, apoE4, or apoE4(?272-299) with mice expressing human amyloid protein precursor (APP) harboring familial AD mutations (hAPP(FAD)). At 6-8 mo of age, hAPP(FAD) mice expressing apoE3 or apoE4 had lower levels of hippocampal A? (94% and 89%, respectively) and less A? deposition (89% and 87%) than hAPP(FAD) mice without apoE, whereas hAPP(FAD) mice expressing mouse apoE had higher A? levels. Thus, human apoE stimulates A? clearance, but mouse apoE does not. Expression of apoE4(?272-299) reduced total A? levels by only 63% and A? deposition by 46% compared with hAPP(FAD) mice without apoE. Unlike apoE3 and apoE4, the C-terminal-truncated apoE4 bound poorly with A? peptides, leading to decreased A? clearance and increased A? deposition. Despite their lower levels of A? and A? deposition, hAPP(FAD)/apoE4(?272-299) mice accumulated pathogenic A? oligomers and displayed neuronal and behavioral deficits similar to or more severe than those in hAPP(FAD) mice. Thus, the C-terminal-truncated apoE4 fragment inefficiently clears A? peptides and acts in concert with low levels of A? to elicit neuronal and behavioral deficits in mice.
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Kynurenine 3-monooxygenase inhibition in blood ameliorates neurodegeneration.
Cell
PUBLISHED: 01-18-2011
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Metabolites in the kynurenine pathway, generated by tryptophan degradation, are thought to play an important role in neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimers and Huntingtons diseases. In these disorders, glutamate receptor-mediated excitotoxicity and free radical formation have been correlated with decreased levels of the neuroprotective metabolite kynurenic acid. Here, we describe the synthesis and characterization of JM6, a small-molecule prodrug inhibitor of kynurenine 3-monooxygenase (KMO). Chronic oral administration of JM6 inhibits KMO in the blood, increasing kynurenic acid levels and reducing extracellular glutamate in the brain. In a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimers disease, JM6 prevents spatial memory deficits, anxiety-related behavior, and synaptic loss. JM6 also extends life span, prevents synaptic loss, and decreases microglial activation in a mouse model of Huntingtons disease. These findings support a critical link between tryptophan metabolism in the blood and neurodegeneration, and they provide a foundation for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
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Preparation and characterisation of bFGF-encapsulated liposomes and evaluation of wound-healing activities in the rat.
Burns
PUBLISHED: 01-18-2011
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The basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) has a very short half-life in vivo, and this limits its therapeutic value for frequent administration. Liposome technology was used to improve the stability of bFGF and to prolong its effects in vivo.
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Apolipoprotein E4 domain interaction mediates detrimental effects on mitochondria and is a potential therapeutic target for Alzheimer disease.
J. Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 11-30-2010
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Apolipoprotein (apo) E4 is the major genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD). ApoE4 assumes a pathological conformation through an intramolecular interaction mediated by Arg-61 in the amino-terminal domain and Glu-255 in the carboxyl-terminal domain, referred to as apoE4 domain interaction. Because AD is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, we examined the effect of apoE4 domain interaction on mitochondrial respiratory function. Steady-state amounts of mitochondrial respiratory complexes were examined in neurons cultured from brain cortices of neuron-specific enolase promoter-driven apoE3 (NSE-apoE3) or apoE4 (NSE-apoE4) transgenic mice. All subunits of mitochondrial respiratory complexes assessed were significantly lower in NSE-apoE4 neurons compared with NSE-apoE3 neurons. However, no significant differences in levels of mitochondrial complexes were detected between astrocytes expressing different apoE isoforms driven by the glial fibrillary acidic protein promoter, leading to our conclusion that the effect of apoE4 is neuron specific. In neuroblastoma Neuro-2A (N2A) cells, apoE4 expression reduced the levels of mitochondrial respiratory complexes I, IV, and V. Complex IV enzymatic activity was also decreased, lowering mitochondrial respiratory capacity. Mutant apoE4 (apoE4-Thr-61) lacking domain interaction did not induce mitochondrial dysfunction in N2A cells, indicating that the effect is specific to apoE4-expressing cells and dependent on domain interaction. Consistent with this finding, treatment of apoE4-expressing N2A cells with a small molecule that disrupts apoE4 domain interaction restored mitochondrial respiratory complex IV levels. These results suggest that pharmacological intervention with small molecules that disrupt apoE4 domain interaction is a potential therapeutic approach for apoE4-carrying AD subjects.
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Comparison of bacterial diversity in wheat bran and in the gut of larvae and newly emerged adult of Musca domestica (Diptera: Muscidae) by use of ethidium monoazide reveals bacterial colonization.
J. Econ. Entomol.
PUBLISHED: 11-11-2010
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The objective of the current study is to investigate the bacterial colonization within the gut of the house fly, Musca domestica L. (Diptera: Muscidae), at the larval stage and the bacterial community of the gut of the house fly at the newly emerged adult stage. After using ethidium monoazide to inhibit recovery of nucleic acids from dead bacteria, three polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-amplified 16S rDNA libraries from wheat bran, larvae, and newly emerged adults was constructed, analyzed, and compared. In total, 24, 11, and four phylotypes in the 16S rDNA libraries of wheat bran and the gut of larvae and adults, respectively, were found and assigned to three phylogenetic phyla of the domain Bacteria: Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. In the wheat bran library, 76% of the total number of sequences were affiliated to the genera Pseudomonas, Halomonas, Providencia, and Ignatzschineria. The three genera Morganella (79.05%), Providencia (8.78%), and Ignatzschineria (9.46%) dominated the library of the larval gut. Compared with the wheat bran library, the relative abundance of Morganella morganii (Winslow) was significantly higher (79.05 versus 0.8%), whereas that of Ignatzschineria larvae and of Providencia spp. was similar. These results demonstrate that M. morganii, Providencia spp., and I. larvae colonized the gut of the house fly larvae. Live bacteria of M. morganii, Providencia spp., and Proteus spp. were found in the gut of newly emerged adults. Therefore, the bacteria M. morganii and Providencia spp. colonized the larval gut could survive in the gut from larval metamorphosis to adult eclosion of the house fly.
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Apolipoprotein E4 causes age- and Tau-dependent impairment of GABAergic interneurons, leading to learning and memory deficits in mice.
J. Neurosci.
PUBLISHED: 10-15-2010
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Apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4) is the major genetic risk factor for Alzheimers disease. However, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. We found that female apoE4 knock-in (KI) mice had an age-dependent decrease in hilar GABAergic interneurons that correlated with the extent of learning and memory deficits, as determined in the Morris water maze, in aged mice. Treating apoE4-KI mice with daily peritoneal injections of the GABA(A) receptor potentiator pentobarbital at 20 mg/kg for 4 weeks rescued the learning and memory deficits. In neurotoxic apoE4 fragment transgenic mice, hilar GABAergic interneuron loss was even more pronounced and also correlated with the extent of learning and memory deficits. Neurodegeneration and tauopathy occurred earliest in hilar interneurons in apoE4 fragment transgenic mice; eliminating endogenous Tau prevented hilar GABAergic interneuron loss and the learning and memory deficits. The GABA(A) receptor antagonist picrotoxin abolished this rescue, while pentobarbital rescued learning deficits in the presence of endogenous Tau. Thus, apoE4 causes age- and Tau-dependent impairment of hilar GABAergic interneurons, leading to learning and memory deficits in mice. Consequently, reducing Tau and enhancing GABA signaling are potential strategies to treat or prevent apoE4-related Alzheimers disease.
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Cellular source of apolipoprotein E4 determines neuronal susceptibility to excitotoxic injury in transgenic mice.
Am. J. Pathol.
PUBLISHED: 07-01-2010
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The lipid transport protein apolipoprotein E (apoE) is abundantly expressed in the brain. Its main isoforms in humans are apoE2, apoE3, and apoE4. ApoE4 is the major known genetic risk factor for Alzheimers disease and also contributes to the pathogenesis of various other neurological conditions. In the central nervous system, apoE is synthesized by glial cells and neurons, but it is unclear whether the cellular source affects its biological activities. To address this issue, we induced excitotoxic injury by systemic kainic acid injection in transgenic Apoe knockout mice expressing human apoE isoforms in astrocytes or neurons. Regardless of its cellular source, apoE3 expression protected neuronal synapses and dendrites against the excitotoxicity seen in apoE-deficient mice. Astrocyte-derived apoE4, which has previously been shown to have detrimental effects in vitro, was as excitoprotective as apoE3 in vivo. In contrast, neuronal expression of apoE4 was not protective and resulted in loss of cortical neurons after excitotoxic challenge, indicating that neuronal apoE4 promotes excitotoxic cell death. Thus, an imbalance between astrocytic (excitoprotective) and neuronal (neurotoxic) apoE4 expression may increase susceptibility to diverse neurological diseases involving excitotoxic mechanisms.
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Mechanisms linking apolipoprotein E isoforms with cardiovascular and neurological diseases.
Curr. Opin. Lipidol.
PUBLISHED: 06-10-2010
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The purpose of this review is to provide insights into recent advances in mechanisms linking apolipoprotein (apo) E isoforms to cardiovascular and neurological diseases.
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Spatial and temporal extinction dynamics in a freshwater cetacean.
Proc. Biol. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 05-19-2010
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Geographical range contraction is a fundamental ecological characteristic of species population decline, but relatively little investigation has been conducted into general trends in the dynamic properties of range collapse. The Yangtze River dolphin or baiji (Lipotes vexillifer), probably the first large mammal species to have become extinct in over 50 years, was believed to have experienced major range collapse during its decline through progressive large-scale range contraction and fragmentation. This range-collapse model is challenged by a new dataset of 406 baiji last-sighting records collected from across the baijis historical range during an interview survey of Yangtze fishing communities. Although baiji regional abundance may have varied across its range, analyses of the extensive new sighting series provide comprehensive evidence that baiji population decline was not associated with any major contraction in geographical range across the middle-lower Yangtze drainage, even in the decade immediately before probable global extinction of the species. Extinction risk in baiji was therefore seemingly not related to evidence of range collapse. Baiji apparently underwent large-scale periodic and seasonal movements across their range, and we propose that range contraction and fragmentation may not be general biogeographic characteristics for declining populations of mobile species in connected landscapes.
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Isolation of a novel basic FGF-binding peptide with potent antiangiogenetic activity.
J. Cell. Mol. Med.
PUBLISHED: 04-24-2010
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Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), which plays an important role in tumour angiogenesis and progression, provides a potential target for cancer therapy. Here we screened a phage display heptapeptide library with bFGF and identified 11 specific bFGF-binding phage clones. Two of these clones had identical sequence and the corresponding peptide (referred to as P7) showed high homology to the immunoglobulin-like (Ig-like) domain III (D3) of high-affinity bFGF receptors, FGFR1 (IIIc) and FGFR2 (IIIc). The P7 peptide and its corresponding motif in D3 of FGFRs both carried negative charges and shared similar hydrophobic profiles. Functional analysis demonstrated that synthetic P7 peptides mediate strong inhibition of bFGF-induced cell proliferation and neovascularization. Our results demonstrate that the P7 peptide is a potent bFGF antagonist with strong antiangiogenetic activity, and might have therapeutic potential in cancer therapy.
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Abeta-independent roles of apolipoprotein E4 in the pathogenesis of Alzheimers disease.
Trends Mol Med
PUBLISHED: 03-12-2010
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Human apolipoprotein (APO) E has three common isoforms that differentially affect lipid and neuronal homeostasis. APOE4, the major known genetic risk factor for Alzheimers disease (AD), increases the occurrence and lowers the age of onset of AD. APOE4 carriers account for 65-80% of all AD cases, highlighting the importance of APOE4 in AD pathogenesis. Emerging data suggest that APOE4 contributes to AD through various pathways, some of which are dependent on amyloid-beta (Abeta). Although these Abeta-dependent roles of APOE4 have been widely studied, APOE4 has detrimental effects on neurons independent of Abeta: aberrant proteolysis of APOE4 generates neurotoxic fragments, stimulates Tau phosphorylation, which disrupts the cytoskeleton, and impairs mitochondrial function.
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High-level expression and purification of soluble recombinant FGF21 protein by SUMO fusion in Escherichia coli.
BMC Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 02-17-2010
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Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a promising drug candidate to combat metabolic diseases. However, high-level expression and purification of recombinant FGF21 (rFGF21) in Escherichia coli (E. coli) is difficult because rFGF21 forms inclusion bodies in the bacteria making it difficult to purify and obtain high concentrations of bioactive rFGF21. To overcome this problem, we fused the FGF21 with SUMO (Small ubiquitin-related modifier) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and expressed the fused gene in E. coli BL21(DE3).
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SUGAR-INSENSITIVE3, a RING E3 ligase, is a new player in plant sugar response.
Plant Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 02-10-2010
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Sugars, such as sucrose and glucose, have been implicated in the regulation of diverse developmental events in plants and other organisms. We isolated an Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) mutant, sugar-insensitive3 (sis3), that is resistant to the inhibitory effects of high concentrations of exogenous glucose and sucrose on early seedling development. In contrast to wild-type plants, sis3 mutants develop green, expanded cotyledons and true leaves when sown on medium containing high concentrations (e.g. 270 mm) of sucrose. Unlike some other sugar response mutants, sis3 exhibits wild-type responses to the inhibitory effects of abscisic acid and paclobutrazol, a gibberellic acid biosynthesis inhibitor, on seed germination. Map-based cloning revealed that SIS3 encodes a RING finger protein. Complementation of the sis3-2 mutant with a genomic SIS3 clone restored sugar sensitivity of sis3-2, confirming the identity of the SIS3 gene. Biochemical analyses demonstrated that SIS3 is functional in an in vitro ubiquitination assay and that the RING motif is sufficient for its activity. Our results indicate that SIS3 encodes a ubiquitin E3 ligase that is a positive regulator of sugar signaling during early seedling development.
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A quantitative mass spectrometry-based approach for identifying protein kinase clients and quantifying kinase activity.
Anal. Biochem.
PUBLISHED: 02-01-2010
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The Homo sapiens and Arabidopsis thaliana genomes are believed to encode more than 500 and 1000 protein kinases, respectively. Despite this abundance, few bona fide kinase-client relationships have been described in detail. Here we describe a quantitative mass spectrometry (MS)-based approach for identifying kinase-client proteins. During method development, we used the dedicated kinase pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK) for the in vitro assays. As kinase substrate, we used synthetic peptide cocktails and, in the process, demonstrated that the assay is both sensitive and specific. The method is also useful for characterizing protein kinase-substrate kinetics once the peptide substrate is detected. Applying a label-free spectral counting method, the activity of PDK was determined using the peptide substrate YHGH(292)SMSDPGSTYR derived from the pyruvate dehydrogenase E1alpha subunit sequence. The utility of spectral counting was further validated by studying the negative effect of Met oxidation on peptide phosphorylation. We also measured the activity of the unrelated calcium-dependent protein kinase 3 (CPK3), demonstrating the utility of the method in protein kinase screening applications.
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Curcumin derivatives inhibit testicular 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 3.
Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett.
PUBLISHED: 01-10-2010
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Non-steroidal compounds that inhibit 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase isoform 3 (17beta-HSD3), an enzyme catalyzing the final step in testosterone biosynthesis in Leydig cells, are under development for male contraceptive or treatment of androgen dependent diseases including prostate cancer. A series of curcumin analogues with more stable chemical structures were compared to curcumin as inhibitors of 17beta-HSD3 in rat intact Leydig cells as well as rat and human testis microsomes.
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Heavy metals chromium and neodymium reduced phosphorylation level of heat shock protein 27 in human keratinocytes.
Toxicol In Vitro
PUBLISHED: 01-09-2010
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Heavy metals may exert their acute and chronic effects on the human skin through stress signals. In the present study, 2DE-based proteomics was used to analyze the protein expression in human keratinocytes exposed to heavy metals, chromium and neodymium, and 10 proteins with altered expression were identified. Among these proteins, small heat shock protein 27 (HSP27) was up-regulated significantly and the up-regulation was validated by Western blot and immunofluorescence. In addition, the mRNA expression level of HSP27 markedly increased as detected by quantitative PCR. More interestingly, the ratio of phosphorylated HSP27 and total HSP27 significantly decreased in keratinocytes treated with the heavy metals. These findings suggested that heavy metals reduced the phosphorylation level of HSP27, and that the ratio of p-HSP27 and HSP27 may represent a potential marker or additional endpoint for the hazard assessment of skin irritation caused by chemical products.
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Rapidly shifting baselines in Yangtze fishing communities and local memory of extinct species.
Conserv. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 01-07-2010
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Local ecological knowledge can provide a unique source of data for conservation, especially in efforts to investigate the status of rare or possibly extinct species, but it is unlikely to remain constant over time. Loss of perspective about past ecological conditions caused by lack of communication between generations may create "shifting baseline syndrome," in which younger generations are less aware of local species diversity or abundance in the recent past. This phenomenon has been widely discussed, but has rarely been examined quantitatively. We present new evidence of shifting baselines in local perception of regional species declines and on the duration of "community memory" of extinct species on the basis of extensive interviews with fishers in communities across the middle-lower Yangtze basin. Many Yangtze species have experienced major declines in recent decades, and the Yangtze River dolphin or baiji (Lipotes vexillifer) and Yangtze paddlefish (Psephurus gladius) may have become extinct during the 21(st) century. Although informants across all age classes were strongly aware of the Yangtze ecosystems escalating resource depletion and environmental degradation, older informants were more likely to recognize declines in two commercially important fish species, Reeves shad (Tenualosa reevesii) and Yangtze pufferfish (Takifugu fasciatus), and to have encountered baiji and paddlefish in the past. Age was also a strong predictor of whether informants had even heard of baiji or paddlefish, with younger informants being substantially less likely to recognize either species. A marked decrease in local knowledge about the Yangtze freshwater megafauna matched the time of major population declines of these species from the 1970s onwards, and paddlefish were already unknown to over 70% of all informants below the age of 40 and to those who first started fishing after 1995. This rapid rate of cultural baseline shift suggests that once even megafaunal species cease to be encountered on a fairly regular basis, they are rapidly forgotten by local communities.
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Regulation of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 and 2 by IGF-1 in mice.
Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun.
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2010
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Two isoforms of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11beta-HSD1 and 11beta-HSD2) play an important role in regulation of glucocorticoid corticosterone (CORT, the active form in rodents) by the interconversion between CORT and 11-dehydrocorticosterone (11DHC, the biologically inert form). 11beta-HSD1 is an NADP+/NADPH-dependent oxidoreductase which is mainly expressed in liver and kidney, while 11beta-HSD2 is an NAD+-dependent oxidase which is predominantly expressed in kidney. The regulation of 11beta-HSD1 and 11beta-HSD2 mRNA (Hsd11b1 and Hsd11b2) levels and their activities by IGF-1 was performed in liver, kidney, and testis of IGF-1 knockout male mice. Real-time PCR showed that Hsd11b1 in liver was decreased while Hsd11b2 mRNA level was decreased in kidney of IGF-1 null mice. 11beta-HSD1 and 11beta-HSD2 activities fluctuated with the changes of their respective Hsd11b1 or Hsd11b2 mRNA levels. In conclusion, IGF-I tissue-specifically regulates Hsd11b1 and Hsd11b2 expression.
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GABAergic interneuron dysfunction impairs hippocampal neurogenesis in adult apolipoprotein E4 knockin mice.
Cell Stem Cell
PUBLISHED: 09-25-2009
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Apolipoprotein (apo) E, a polymorphic protein with three isoforms (apoE2, apoE3, and apoE4), is essential for lipid homeostasis. Carriers of apoE4 are at higher risk for developing Alzheimers disease. We have investigated adult neurogenesis in mice with knockout (KO) for apoE or with knockin (KI) alleles for human apoE3 or apoE4, and we report that neurogenesis is reduced in both apoE-KO and apoE4-KI mice. In apoE-KO mice, increased BMP signaling promoted glial differentiation at the expense of neurogenesis. In contrast, in apoE4-KI mice, presynaptic GABAergic input-mediated maturation of newborn neurons was diminished. Tau phosphorylation, an Alzheimers disease characteristic, and levels of neurotoxic apoE fragments were both elevated in apoE4-KI hippocampal neurons concomitant with decreased GABAergic interneuron survival. Potentiating GABAergic signaling restored neuronal maturation and neurogenesis in apoE4-KI mice to normal levels. These findings suggest that GABAergic signaling can be targeted to mitigate the deleterious effects of apoE4 on neurogenesis.
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Expression and purification of human keratinocyte growth factor 2 by fusion with SUMO.
Mol. Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 08-27-2009
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Small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) fusion system has been shown to be efficient for enhancing expression and preventing degradation of the target protein. We showed herein that SUMO fusion to human keratinocyte growth factor 2 (hKGF-2) gene was feasible and it significantly enhanced protein expression and its efficiency. The fusion DNA fragment composed of SUMO gene, which was fused to hexahistidine tag, and hKGF-2 gene was amplified by PCR and inserted into the expression vector pET28a to construct the recombinant plasmid, pET28a-SUMO-hKGF-2. The plasmid was then transformed into Escherichia coli Rosetta(TM)2(DE3), and the recombinant fusion protein SUMO-hKGF-2 was expressed at 30 degrees C for 6 h, with the induction of IPTG at the final concentration of 0.4 mM. The expression level of the fusion protein was up to 30% of the total cellular protein. The fusion protein was purified by Ni-NTA affinity chromatography. After desalting by Sephadex G-25 size exclusion chromatography, the hexahistidine-SUMO-hKGF-2 was digested by SUMO proteases. The recombinant hKGF-2 was purified again with Ni-NTA column and the purity was about 95% with a total yield of 13.9 mg/l culture. The result of mitogenicity assay suggests that the recombinant hKGF-2 can significantly promote the proliferation of normal rat kidney epithelial (NRK-52E) cells.
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Bioactive TGF-beta can associate with lipoproteins and is enriched in those containing apolipoprotein E3.
J. Neurochem.
PUBLISHED: 06-15-2009
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Transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) has central functions in development, tissue maintenance, and repair and has been implicated in major diseases. We discovered that TGF-beta1 contains several amphipathic helices and hydrophobic domains similar to apolipoprotein E (apoE), a protein involved in lipoprotein metabolism. Indeed, TGF-beta1 associates with lipoproteins isolated from human plasma, cultured liver cells, or astrocytes, and its bioactivity was highest in high-density lipoprotein preparations. Importantly, lipoproteins containing the apoE3 isoform had higher TGF-beta levels and bioactivity than those containing apoE4, a major genetic risk factor for atherosclerosis and Alzheimers disease. Because TGF-beta1 can be protective in these diseases an association with apoE3 may be beneficial. Association of TGF-beta with different types of lipoproteins may facilitate its diffusion, regulate signaling, and offer additional specificity for this important growth factor.
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Apolipoprotein E: structure determines function, from atherosclerosis to Alzheimers disease to AIDS.
J. Lipid Res.
PUBLISHED: 06-06-2009
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Apolipoprotein (apo) E has roles beyond lipoprotein metabolism. The detrimental effects of apoE4 in cardiovascular, neurological, and infectious diseases correlate with its structural features (e.g., domain interaction) that distinguish it from apoE3 and apoE2. Structure/function studies revealed that apoE2 is severely defective in LDL receptor binding because of a structural difference that alters the receptor binding region and helped unravel the mechanism of type III hyperlipoproteinemia. ApoE4 is the major genetic risk factor for Alzheimers disease and sets the stage for neuropathological disorders precipitated by genetic, metabolic, and environmental stressors. ApoE also influences susceptibility to parasitic, bacterial, and viral infections. In HIV-positive patients, apoE4 homozygosity hastens progression to AIDS and death and increases susceptibility to opportunistic infections. The next phase in our understanding of apoE will be characterized by clinical intervention to prevent or reverse the detrimental effects of apoE4 by modulating its structure or blocking the pathological processes it mediates.
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Cell-penetrating peptide TAT-mediated delivery of acidic FGF to retina and protection against ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats.
J. Cell. Mol. Med.
PUBLISHED: 05-11-2009
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The development of non-invasive ocular drug delivery systems is of practical importance in the treatment of retinal disease. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of transactivator of transcription protein transduction domain (TAT-PTD, TAT(49-57)) as a vehicle to deliver acidic FGF (aFGF) to retina in rats. TAT-conjugated aFGF-His (TAT-aFGF-His) exhibited efficient penetration into the retina following topical administration to the ocular surface. Immunochemical staining with anti-His revealed that TAT-aFGF-His proteins were readily found in the retina (mainly in the ganglion cell layer) at 30 min. and remained detectable for at least 8 hrs after administration. In contrast, His(+) proteins were undetectable in the retina after topical administration of aFGF-His, indicating that aFGF-His cannot penetrate the ocular barrier. Furthermore, TAT-aFGF-His, but not aFGF-His, mediated significant protection against retinal ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury. After IR injury, retina from TAT-aFGF-His-treated rats showed better-maintained inner retinal layer structure, reduced apoptosis of retinal ganglion cells and improved retinal function compared to those treated with aFGF-His or PBS. These results indicate that conjugation of TAT to aFGF-His can markedly improve the ability of aFGF-His to penetrate the ocular barrier without impairing its biological function. Thus, TAT(49-57) provides a potential vehicle for efficient drug delivery in the treatment of retinal disease.
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Large-scale production of biologically active human keratinocyte growth factor-2.
Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 03-21-2009
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A rapid and efficient expression and purification system has been developed for large-scale production of biologically active recombinant human keratinocyte growth factor-2 (rhKGF-2). The gene encoding human KGF-2 was cloned into the expression vector pET3c and transformed into Escherichia coli BL21(DE3)/pLys S. Under optimal conditions in a 30-l fermentor, the average bacterial yield and the average expression level of rhKGF-2 of three batches were up to 732 g and 32%, respectively. The recombinant protein was purified by cation exchange and heparin-affinity chromatography. One hundred and sixty five milligrams of pure rhKGF-2 was achieved per liter culture. A preliminary biochemical characterization of purified rhKGF-2 was performed by Western blotting and mitogenic activity analysis, and the results demonstrated that purified rhKGF-2 could react with anti-human KGF-2 antibody and stimulate the proliferation of HaCat cells.
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Expression and Purification of glutathione transferase-small ubiquitin-related modifier-metallothionein fusion protein and its neuronal and hepatic protection against D-galactose-induced oxidative damage in mouse model.
J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther.
PUBLISHED: 02-10-2009
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The present study aimed to produce and pathophysiologically evaluate the metallothionein (MT) fusion protein. A recombinant plasmid containing DNA segment coding the pET-glutathione transferase (GST)-small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO)-MT fusion protein was inserted into Escherichia coli for expression. The expression level of the fusion protein was very high, reaching to 38.4% of the total supernatant proteins from the organism. Subsequent filtration through glutathione Sepharose 4B gel and Sephadex G-25 yielded an MT fusion protein with purity more than 95%. When exposed to metals, E. coli containing the GST-SUMO-MT fusion protein showed an increased accumulation of Cd(2+), Zn(2+), or Cu(2+) at approximately 4.2, 4.0, or 1.6 times higher, respectively, than those containing the control protein. Administration of GST-SUMO-MT to mice that were also treated with D-galactose to induce neuronal and hepatic damage showed a significant improvement of animal learning and memory capacity, which was depressed in mice treated by D-galactose alone. Administration of MT fusion protein also prevented D-galactose-increased malondialdehyde contents and histopathological changes in the brain and liver. Furthermore, supplement of the fusion protein significantly prevented D-galactose-increased nitric oxide contents and -decreased superoxide dismutase activity in the brain, liver, and serum. The fusion protein was also able to prevent ionizing radiation-induced DNA damage of the mouse thymus. The present study indicates that GST-SUMO-MT has a normal metal binding feature and also significantly protects the multiple tissues against oxidative damage in vivo caused by chronic exposure to D-galactose and by ionizing radiation. Therefore, GST-SUMO-MT may be a potential candidate to be developed for the clinical application.
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Apolipoprotein E4 causes age- and sex-dependent impairments of hilar GABAergic interneurons and learning and memory deficits in mice.
PLoS ONE
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Apolipoprotein (apo) E4 is the major genetic risk factor for Alzheimers disease (AD). ApoE4 has sex-dependent effects, whereby the risk of developing AD is higher in apoE4-expressing females than males. However, the mechanism underlying the sex difference, in relation to apoE4, is unknown. Previous findings indicate that apoE4 causes age-dependent impairments of hilar GABAergic interneurons in female mice, leading to learning and memory deficits. Here, we investigate whether the detrimental effects of apoE4 on hilar GABAergic interneurons are sex-dependent using apoE knock-in (KI) mice across different ages. We found that in female apoE-KI mice, there was an age-dependent depletion of hilar GABAergic interneurons, whereby GAD67- or somatostatin-positive--but not NPY- or parvalbumin-positive-interneuron loss was exacerbated by apoE4. Loss of these neuronal populations was correlated with the severity of spatial learning deficits at 16 months of age in female apoE4-KI mice; however, this effect was not observed in female apoE3-KI mice. In contrast, we found an increase in the numbers of hilar GABAergic interneurons with advancing age in male apoE-KI mice, regardless of apoE genotype. Moreover, male apoE-KI mice showed a consistent ratio of hilar inhibitory GABAergic interneurons to excitatory mossy cells approximating 1.5 that is independent of apoE genotype and age, whereas female apoE-KI mice exhibited an age-dependent decrease in this ratio, which was exacerbated by apoE4. Interestingly, there are no apoE genotype effects on GABAergic interneurons in the CA1 and CA3 subregions of the hippocampus as well as the entorhinal and auditory cortexes. These findings suggest that the sex-dependent effects of apoE4 on developing AD is in part attributable to inherent sex-based differences in the numbers of hilar GABAergic interneurons, which is further modulated by apoE genotype.
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Apolipoprotein e sets the stage: response to injury triggers neuropathology.
Neuron
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Apolipoprotein (apo) E4 is the major genetic risk factor for Alzheimers disease and is associated with poor clinical outcome following traumatic brain injury and other neuropathological disorders. Protein instability and an isoform-specific apoE property called domain interaction are responsible for these neuropathological effects. ApoE4 is the most neurotoxic isoform and can induce neuropathology through various cellular pathways. Neuronal damage or stress induces apoE synthesis as part of the repair response; however, when apoE4 is expressed in neurons, its unique conformation makes it susceptible to proteolysis, resulting in the generation of neurotoxic fragments. These fragments cause pathological mitochondrial dysfunction and cytoskeletal alterations. Here, we review data supporting the hypothesis that apoE4 (> apoE3 > apoE2) has direct neurotoxic effects and highlight studies showing that blocking domain interaction reverses these detrimental effects.
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Haplotype diversity and population structure in cultivated and wild barley evaluated for Fusarium head blight responses.
Theor. Appl. Genet.
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Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a threat to barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) production in many parts of the world. A number of barley accessions with partial resistance have been reported and used in mapping experiments to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with FHB resistance. Here, we present a set of barley germplasm that exhibits FHB resistance identified through screening a global collection of 23,255 wild (Hordeum vulgare ssp. spontaneum) and cultivated (Hordeum vulgare ssp. vulgare) accessions. Seventy-eight accessions were classified as resistant or moderately resistant. The collection of FHB resistant accessions consists of 5, 27, 46 of winter, wild and spring barley, respectively. The population structure and genetic relationships of the germplasm were investigated with 1,727 Diversity Array Technology (DArT) markers. Multiple clustering analyses suggest the presence of four subpopulations. Within cultivated barley, substructure is largely centered on spike morphology and growth habit. Analysis of molecular variance indicated highly significant genetic variance among clusters and within clusters, suggesting that the FHB resistant sources have broad genetic diversity. The haplotype diversity was characterized with DArT markers associated with the four FHB QTLs on chromosome 2H bin8, 10 and 13 and 6H bin7. In general, the wild barley accessions had distinct haplotypes from those of cultivated barley. The haplotype of the resistant source Chevron was the most prevalent in all four QTL regions, followed by those of the resistant sources Fredrickson and CIho4196. These resistant QTL haplotypes were rare in the susceptible cultivars and accessions grown in the upper Midwest USA. Some two- and six-rowed accessions were identified with high FHB resistance, but contained distinct haplotypes at FHB QTLs from known resistance sources. These germplasm warrant further genetic studies and possible incorporation into barley breeding programs.
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Arf4 determines dentate gyrus-mediated pattern separation by regulating dendritic spine development.
PLoS ONE
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The ability to distinguish between similar experiences is a critical feature of episodic memory and is primarily regulated by the dentate gyrus (DG) region of the hippocampus. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying such pattern separation tasks are poorly understood. We report a novel role for the small GTPase ADP ribosylation factor 4 (Arf4) in controlling pattern separation by regulating dendritic spine development. Arf4(+/-) mice at 4-5 months of age display severe impairments in a pattern separation task, as well as significant dendritic spine loss and smaller miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents (mEPSCs) in granule cells of the DG. Arf4 knockdown also decreases spine density in primary neurons, whereas Arf4 overexpression promotes spine development. A constitutively active form of Arf4, Arf4-Q71L, promotes spine density to an even greater extent than wildtype Arf4, whereas the inactive Arf4-T31N mutant does not increase spine density relative to controls. Arf4s effects on spine development are regulated by ASAP1, a GTPase-activating protein that modulates Arf4 GTPase activity. ASAP1 overexpression decreases spine density, and this effect is partially rescued by concomitant overexpression of wildtype Arf4 or Arf4-Q71L. In addition, Arf4 overexpression rescues spine loss in primary neurons from an Alzheimers disease-related apolipoprotein (apo) E4 mouse model. Our findings suggest that Arf4 is a critical modulator of DG-mediated pattern separation by regulating dendritic spine development.
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Small-molecule structure correctors target abnormal protein structure and function: structure corrector rescue of apolipoprotein E4-associated neuropathology.
J. Med. Chem.
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An attractive strategy to treat proteinopathies (diseases caused by malformed or misfolded proteins) is to restore protein function by inducing proper three-dimensional structure. We hypothesized that this approach would be effective in reversing the detrimental effects of apolipoprotein (apo) E4, the major allele that significantly increases the risk of developing Alzheimers disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. ApoE4s detrimental effects result from its altered protein conformation ("domain interaction"), making it highly susceptible to proteolytic cleavage and the generation of neurotoxic fragments. Here, we review apoE structure and function and how apoE4 causes neurotoxicity, and describe the identification of potent small-molecule-based "structure correctors" that induce proper apoE4 folding. SAR studies identified a series of small molecules that significantly reduced apoE4s neurotoxic effects in cultured neurons and a series that reduced apoE4 fragment levels in vivo, providing proof-of-concept for our approach. Structure-corrector-based therapies could prove to be highly effective for the treatment of many protein-misfolding diseases.
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Construction and characterization of a recombinant human beta defensin 2 fusion protein targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor: in vitro study.
Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol.
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The HER2/neu proto-oncogene encodes a 185-kDa trans-membrane glycoprotein kinase with extensive homology to the epidermal growth factor receptor and plays a key role in the transformation and growth of malignant tumors. To date, two antibody drugs targeting HER2/neu have been developed successfully. In order to reduce the cost and the time of clinical treatment, we produced a fusion protein composed of human beta defensin 2 (hBD2) and anti-HER2/neu single-chain variable fragment (scFv 4D5), which is capable of specifically targeting, significantly inhibiting, and promptly killing HER2/neu-positive cancer cells. The recombinant protein was expressed in Escherichia coli using the small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) as the molecular chaperone, and the optimal expression level reached to 40.2 % of the total supernatant protein. After purifying by Ni-NTA affinity chromatography, the fusion protein was cleaved with a SUMO-specific protease to obtain hBD2-4D5, which was further purified by Ni-NTA affinity chromatography. The purity of hBD2-4D5 was higher than 95 %, and the yield was 19?±?2 mg/L in flask fermentation. The cell number count and flow cytometry results showed that hBD2-4D5 exerted cytotoxic and anti-proliferative effects on HER2/neu-positive breast cancer cell line, SKBR-3. The results of scanning electron microscope and transmission electron microscope observation indicated that hBD2-4D5 could induce intracellular ultrastructure changes and cell necrosis by disrupting the cell membrane. Immunofluorescence analysis showed that hBD2-4D5 could bind to SKBR-3 cells and further be internalized into the cytoplasm. Moreover, hBD2-4D5 could also mediate apoptosis of SKBR-3 cells by up-regulating the ratio of Bax to Bcl-2.
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Overview on the recent study of antimicrobial peptides: origins, functions, relative mechanisms and application.
Peptides
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Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), which are produced by several species including insects, other animals, micro-organisms and synthesis, are a critical component of the natural defense system. With the growing problem of pathogenic organisms resistant to conventional antibiotics, especially with the emergence of NDM-1, there is increased interest in the pharmacological application of AMPs. They can protect against a broad array of infectious agents, such as bacteria, fungi, parasite, virus and cancer cells. AMPs have a very good future in the application in pharmaceuticals industry and food additive. This review focuses on the AMPs from different origins in these recent years, and discusses their various functions and relative mechanisms of action. It will provide some detailed files for clinical research of pharmaceuticals industry and food additive in application.
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Hilar GABAergic interneuron activity controls spatial learning and memory retrieval.
PLoS ONE
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Although extensive research has demonstrated the importance of excitatory granule neurons in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus in normal learning and memory and in the pathogenesis of amnesia in Alzheimers disease (AD), the role of hilar GABAergic inhibitory interneurons, which control the granule neuron activity, remains unclear.
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Direct reprogramming of mouse and human fibroblasts into multipotent neural stem cells with a single factor.
Cell Stem Cell
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The generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and induced neuronal cells (iNCs) from somatic cells provides new avenues for basic research and potential transplantation therapies for neurological diseases. However, clinical applications must consider the risk of tumor formation by iPSCs and the inability of iNCs to self-renew in culture. Here we report the generation of induced neural stem cells (iNSCs) from mouse and human fibroblasts by direct reprogramming with a single factor, Sox2. iNSCs express NSC markers and resemble wild-type NSCs in their morphology, self-renewal, ability to form neurospheres, and gene expression profiles. Cloned iNSCs differentiate into several types of mature neurons, as well as astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, indicating multipotency. Implanted iNSCs can survive and integrate in mouse brains and, unlike iPSC-derived NSCs, do not generate tumors. Thus, self-renewable and multipotent iNSCs without tumorigenic potential can be generated directly from fibroblasts by reprogramming.
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KiC assay: a quantitative mass spectrometry-based approach for kinase client screening and activity analysis [corrected].
Methods Mol. Biol.
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Protein phosphorylation is one of the most important posttranslational modifications (PTMs) involved in the transduction of cellular signals. The number of kinases in eukaryotic genomes ranges from several hundred to over one thousand. And with rapidly evolving mass spectrometry (MS)-based approaches, thousands to tens of thousands of phosphorylation sites (phosphosites) have been reported from various eukaryotic organisms, from man to plants. In this relative context, few bona fide kinase-client relationships have been identified to date. To merge the gap between these phosphosites and the cognate kinases that beget these events, comparable large-scale methodologies are required. We describe in detail a MS-based method for identifying kinase-client interactions and quantifying kinase activity. We term this novel Kinase-Client assay, the KiC assay. The KiC assay relies upon the fact that substrate specificities of many kinases are largely determined by primary amino acid sequence or phosphorylation motifs, which consist of key amino acids surrounding the phosphorylation sites. The workflow for detecting kinase-substrate interactions includes four major steps: (1) preparation of purified kinases and synthetic peptide library, (2) in vitro kinase peptide library assay, (3) liquid chromatography (LC)-tandem MS (MS/MS) analysis, and (4) data processing and interpretation. Kinase activity is quantified with the KiC assay by monitoring spectral counts of phosphorylated and unphosphorylated peptides as the readout from LC-tandem mass spectrometry. The KiC assay can be applied as a discovery assay to screen kinases against a synthetic peptide library to find kinase-client relationships or as a targeted assay to characterize kinase kinetics.
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ApoE and TDP-43 neuropathology in two siblings with familial FTLD-motor neuron disease.
Neurocase
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Frontotemporal lobar degeneration with motor neuron disease (FTLD-MND) is characterized by neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions containing TDP-43. Apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4), derived from the apoE ?4 allele, enhances brain atrophy in FTLD through unknown mechanisms. Here, we studied two siblings with C9ORF72-linked familial FTLD-MND, an apoE ?4 homozygote and an apoE ?3 homozygote. The apoE ?4 homozygote had more cognitive-behavioral symptoms, fronto-insulo-temporal atrophy, and apoE fragments and aggregates in the anterior cingulate cortex. ApoE formed complexes with TDP-43 that were more abundant in the apoE ?4 homozygote. Although differences seen in a sibling pair could arise due to chance, these findings raise the possibility that apoE4 exacerbates brain pathology in FTLD through formation of neurotoxic apoE fragments and interactions with TDP-43.
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Reducing human apolipoprotein E levels attenuates age-dependent A? accumulation in mutant human amyloid precursor protein transgenic mice.
J. Neurosci.
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Apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4) plays a major role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimers disease. Brain amyloid-? (A?) accumulation depends on age and apoE isoforms (apoE4 > apoE3) both in humans and in transgenic mouse models. Brain apoE levels are also isoform dependent, but in the opposite direction (apoE4 < apoE3). Thus, one prevailing hypothesis is to increase brain apoE expression to reduce A? levels. To test this hypothesis, we generated mutant human amyloid precursor protein transgenic mice expressing one or two copies of the human APOE3 or APOE4 gene that was knocked in and flanked by LoxP sites. We report that reducing apoE3 or apoE4 expression by 50% in 6-month-old mice results in efficient A? clearance and does not increase A? accumulation. However, 12-month-old mice with one copy of the human APOE gene had significantly reduced A? levels and plaque loads compared with mice with two copies, regardless of which human apoE isoform was expressed, suggesting a gene dose-dependent effect of apoE on A? accumulation in aged mice. Additionally, 12-month-old mice expressing one or two copies of the human APOE4 gene had significantly higher levels of A? accumulation and plaque loads than age-matched mice expressing one or two copies of the human APOE3 gene, suggesting an isoform-dependent effect of apoE on A? accumulation in aged mice. Moreover, Cre-mediated APOE4 gene excision in hippocampal astrocytes significantly reduced insoluble A? in adult mice. Thus, reducing, rather than increasing, apoE expression is an attractive approach to lowering brain A? levels.
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Alzheimer mechanisms and therapeutic strategies.
Cell
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There are still no effective treatments to prevent, halt, or reverse Alzheimers disease, but research advances over the past three decades could change this gloomy picture. Genetic studies demonstrate that the disease has multiple causes. Interdisciplinary approaches combining biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, and transgenic modeling have revealed some of its molecular mechanisms. Progress in chemistry, radiology, and systems biology is beginning to provide useful biomarkers, and the emergence of personalized medicine is poised to transform pharmaceutical development and clinical trials. However, investigative and drug development efforts should be diversified to fully address the multifactoriality of the disease.
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SIS8, a putative mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase, regulates sugar resistant seedling development in Arabidopsis.
Plant J.
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Sugar signaling pathways have been evolutionarily conserved among eukaryotes and are postulated to help regulate plant growth, development and responses to environmental cues. Forward genetic screens have identified sugar signaling or response mutants. Here we report the identification and characterization of Arabidopsis thaliana sugar insensitive8 (sis8) mutants, which display a sugar resistant seedling development phenotype. Unlike many other sugar insensitive mutants, sis8 mutants exhibit wild-type responses to the inhibitory effects of abscisic acid and paclobutrazol (an inhibitor of gibberellin biosynthesis) on seed germination. Positional cloning of the SIS8 gene revealed that it encodes a putative mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase (MAPKKK, At1g73660). SIS8 mRNA is expressed ubiquitously among Arabidopsis organs. A UDP-glucosyltransferase, UGT72E1 (At3g50740), was identified as a SIS8 interacting partner based on a yeast two-hybrid screen and in planta bimolecular fluorescence complementation. Both SIS8-YFP and UGT72E1-YFP fusion proteins localize to the nucleus when transiently expressed in tobacco leaf cells. T-DNA insertions in At3g50740 cause a sugar-insensitive phenotype. These results indicate that SIS8, a putative MAPKKK, is a regulator of sugar response in Arabidopsis and interacts with a UDP-glucosyltransferase in the nucleus. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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