Cationic Rh(II) complexes are able to catalyze the regioselective hydroamination of propargyl ureas in a 6-endo fashion. This transformation permits access to interesting substitution patterns of dihydropyrimidines which have found use as nucleotide exchange factor inhibitors.
Stargardt type 3 (STGD3) disease is a juvenile macular dystrophy caused by mutations in the ELOVL4 (Elongation of very long chain fatty acids 4) gene. Its protein product, ELOVL4, is an elongase required for the biosynthesis of very long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (VLC-PUFAs). It is unclear whether photoreceptor degeneration in STGD3 is caused by loss of VLC-PUFAs or by mutated ELOVL4 protein trafficking/aggregation. We therefore generated conditional knockout (cKO) mice with Elovl4 ablated in rods or cones and compared their phenotypes to transgenic (TG) animals that express the human STGD3-causing ELOVL4(STGD3) allele. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to assess C30-C34 VLC-PUFA and N-retinylidene-N-retinylethanolamine content; electroretinography was used to measure phototransduction and outer retinal function; electron microscopy was used for retinal ultrastructure; and the optomotor tracking response was used to test scotopic and photopic visual performance. Elovl4 transcription and biosynthesis of C30-C34 VLC-PUFAs in rod cKO and TG retinas were reduced up to 98%, whereas the content of docosahexaenoic acid was diminished in TG, but not rod cKO, retinas. Despite the near-total loss of the retinal VLC-PUFA content, rod and cone cKO animals exhibited no electrophysiological or behavioral deficits, whereas the typical rod-cone dystrophic pattern was observed in TG animals. Our data suggest that photoreceptor-specific VLC-PUFA depletion is not sufficient to induce the STGD3 phenotype, because depletion alone had little effect on photoreceptor survival, phototransduction, synaptic transmission, and visual behavior.
?-Catenin has a dual function in cells: fortifying cadherin-based adhesion at the plasma membrane and activating transcription in the nucleus. We found that in melanoma cells, WNT5A stimulated the disruption of N-cadherin and ?-catenin complexes by activating the guanosine triphosphatase adenosine diphosphate ribosylation factor 6 (ARF6). Binding of WNT5A to the Frizzled 4-LRP6 (low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 6) receptor complex activated ARF6, which liberated ?-catenin from N-cadherin, thus increasing the pool of free ?-catenin, enhancing ?-catenin-mediated transcription, and stimulating invasion. In contrast to WNT5A, the guidance cue SLIT2 and its receptor ROBO1 inhibited ARF6 activation and, accordingly, stabilized the interaction of N-cadherin with ?-catenin and reduced transcription and invasion. Thus, ARF6 integrated competing signals in melanoma cells, thereby enabling plasticity in the response to external cues. Moreover, small-molecule inhibition of ARF6 stabilized adherens junctions, blocked ?-catenin signaling and invasiveness of melanoma cells in culture, and reduced spontaneous pulmonary metastasis in mice, suggesting that targeting ARF6 may provide a means of inhibiting WNT/?-catenin signaling in cancer.
Very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (VLC-PUFA)-containing glycerophospholipids are highly enriched in the retina; however, details regarding the specific synthesis and function of these highly unusual retinal glycerophospholipids are lacking. Elongation of very long chain fatty acids-4 (ELOVL4) has been identified as a fatty acid elongase protein involved in the synthesis of VLC-PUFAs. Mutations in ELOVL4 have also been implicated in an autosomal dominant form of Stargardt disease (STGD3), a type of juvenile macular degeneration. We have generated photoreceptor-specific conditional knock-out mice and used high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) to examine and analyze the fatty acid composition of retinal membrane glycerophosphatidylcholine and glycerophosphatidylethanolamine species. We also used immunofluorescent staining and histology coupled with electrophysiological data to assess retinal morphology and visual response. The conditional knock-out mice showed a significant decrease in retinal glycerophospholipids containing VLC-PUFAs, specifically contained in the sn-1 position of glycerophosphatidylcholine, implicating the role of Elovl4 in their synthesis. Conditional knock-out mice were also found to have abnormal accumulation of lipid droplets and lipofuscin-like granules while demonstrating photoreceptor-specific abnormalities in visual response, indicating the critical role of Elovl4 for proper rod or cone photoreceptor function. Altogether, this study demonstrates the essential role of ELOVL4 in VLC-PUFA synthesis and retinal function.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the elderly. Wet AMD includes typical choroidal neovascularization (CNV) and polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV). The etiology and pathogenesis of CNV and PCV are not well understood. Genome-wide association studies have linked a multifunctional serine protease, HTRA1, to AMD. However, the precise role of HTRA1 in AMD remains elusive. By transgenically expressing human HTRA1 in mouse retinal pigment epithelium, we showed that increased HTRA1 induced cardinal features of PCV, including branching networks of choroidal vessels, polypoidal lesions, severe degeneration of the elastic laminae, and tunica media of choroidal vessels. In addition, HTRA1 mice displayed retinal pigment epithelium atrophy and photoreceptor degeneration. Senescent HTRA1 mice developed occult CNV, which likely resulted from the degradation of the elastic lamina of Bruchs membrane and up-regulation of VEGF. Our results indicate that increased HTRA1 is sufficient to cause PCV and is a significant risk factor for CNV.
Two Chinese families (XT and YT) with congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles (CFEOM) were identified. The purpose of this study was to determine if previously described Homo sapiens kinesin family member 21A (KIF21A) mutations were responsible for CFEOM in these two Chinese pedigrees.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible central vision loss worldwide. Research has linked AMD susceptibility with dysregulation of the complement cascade. Typically, complement factor H (CFH), complement factor B (CFB), complement component 2 (C2), and complement component 3 (C3) are associated with AMD. In this paper, we investigated the association between complement factor D (CFD), another factor of the complement system, and advanced AMD in a Caucasian population.
A common haplotype on 10q26 influences the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and encompasses two genes, LOC387715 and HTRA1. Recent data have suggested that loss of LOC387715, mediated by an insertion/deletion (in/del) that destabilizes its message, is causally related with the disorder. Here we show that loss of LOC387715 is insufficient to explain AMD susceptibility, since a nonsense mutation (R38X) in this gene that leads to loss of its message resides in a protective haplotype. At the same time, the common disease haplotype tagged by the in/del and rs11200638 has an effect on the transcriptional upregulation of the adjacent gene, HTRA1. These data implicate increased HTRA1 expression in the pathogenesis of AMD and highlight the importance of exploring multiple functional consequences of alleles in haplotypes that confer susceptibility to complex traits.
Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. Although a number of genetic loci have shown association or genetic linkage to monogenic forms of POAG, the identified genes and loci do not appear to have a major role in the common POAG phenotype. We seek to identify genetic loci that appear to be major risk factors for POAG in the Afro-Caribbean population of Barbados, West Indies. We performed linkage analyses in 146 multiplex families ascertained through the Barbados Family Study of Glaucoma (BFSG) and identified a strong linkage signal on chromosome 2p (logarithm of odds score = 6.64 at = 0 with marker D2S2156). We subsequently performed case-control analyses using unrelated affected individuals and unaffected controls. A set of SNPs on chromosome 2p was evaluated in two independent groups of BFSG participants, a discovery group (130 POAG cases, 65 controls) and a replication group (122 POAG cases, 65 controls), and a strong association was identified with POAG and rs12994401 in both groups (P < 3.34 E-09 and P < 1.21E-12, respectively). The associated SNPs form a common disease haplotype. In summary, we have identified a locus with a major impact on susceptibility to the common POAG phenotype in an Afro-Caribbean population in Barbados. Our approach illustrates the merit of using an isolated population enriched with common disease variants as an efficient method to identify genetic underpinning of POAG.
The innate immune response is essential for combating infectious disease. Macrophages and other cells respond to infection by releasing cytokines, such as interleukin-1? (IL-1?), which in turn activate a well-described, myeloid-differentiation factor 88 (MYD88)-mediated, nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B)-dependent transcriptional pathway that results in inflammatory-cell activation and recruitment. Endothelial cells, which usually serve as a barrier to the movement of inflammatory cells out of the blood and into tissue, are also critical mediators of the inflammatory response. Paradoxically, the cytokines vital to a successful immune defence also have disruptive effects on endothelial cell-cell interactions and can trigger degradation of barrier function and dissociation of tissue architecture. The mechanism of this barrier dissolution and its relationship to the canonical NF-?B pathway remain poorly defined. Here we show that the direct, immediate and disruptive effects of IL-1? on endothelial stability in a human in vitro cell model are NF-?B independent and are instead the result of signalling through the small GTPase ADP-ribosylation factor 6 (ARF6) and its activator ARF nucleotide binding site opener (ARNO; also known as CYTH2). Moreover, we show that ARNO binds directly to the adaptor protein MYD88, and thus propose MYD88-ARNO-ARF6 as a proximal IL-1? signalling pathway distinct from that mediated by NF-?B. Finally, we show that SecinH3, an inhibitor of ARF guanine nucleotide-exchange factors such as ARNO, enhances vascular stability and significantly improves outcomes in animal models of inflammatory arthritis and acute inflammation.
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