Groundbreaking research published by BIO5 scientists and their collaborators


PubMed Articles

Search form

Thyroid hormone, specifically thyroxine, alters cytoskeletal organization in astrocytes by modulating actin polymerization and, in turn, regulates the turnover of the short-lived membrane protein, type II iodothyronine 5'-deiodinase. In the absence of thyroxine, approximately 35% of the total cellular actin is depolymerized, and greater than 90% of the deiodinase is found in the plasma membrane and not associated with the cytoskeleton. Addition of thyroxine promotes actin polymerization and decreases the depolymerized actin to approximately 10% of the total actin pool, induces binding of the deiodinase to F-actin, and promotes rapid internalization of the enzyme. These data provide direct evidence that the actin cytoskeleton participates in the inactivation pathway of the deiodinase by translocating this short-lived plasma membrane protein to an internal membrane pool.

Hexokinase isozyme I is proposed to be associated with mitochondria in vivo. Moreover, it has been suggested that this association is modulated in coordination with changes in cell metabolic state. To test these hypotheses, we analyzed the subcellular distribution of hexokinase relative to mitochondria in paraformaldehyde-fixed astrocytes using immunocytochemistry and quantitative three-dimensional confocal microscopy. Analysis of the extent of colocalization between hexokinase and mitochondria revealed that approximately 70% of cellular hexokinase is associated with mitochondria under basal metabolic conditions. In contrast to the immunocytochemical studies, between 15 to 40% of cellular hexokinase was found to be associated with mitochondria after fractionation of astrocyte cultures depending on the exact fractionation conditions. The discrepancy between fractionation studies and those based on imaging of distributions in fixed cells indicates the usefulness of using techniques that can evaluate the distributions of "cytosolic" enzymes in cells whose subcellular ultrastructure is not severely disrupted. To determine if hexokinase distribution is modulated in concert with changes in cell metabolism, the localization of hexokinase with mitochondria was evaluated after inhibition of glucose metabolism with 2-deoxyglucose. After incubation with 2-deoxyglucose there was an approximate 35% decrease in the amount of hexokinase associated with mitochondria. These findings support the hypothesis that hexokinase is bound to mitochondria in rat brain astrocytes in vivo, and that this association is sensitive to cell metabolic state.

Mammalian cells generally regulate their intracellular pH (pHi) via collaboration between Na(+)-H+ exchanger and HCO3- transport. In addition, a number of normal mammalian cells have been identified that express H(+)-adenosinetriphosphatases (ATPases) in their plasma membranes. Because tumor cells often maintain a high pHi, we hypothesized that they might functionally express H(+)-ATPases in their plasma membranes. In the first phase of the present study, we screened 19 normal and tumorigenic human cell lines for the presence of plasmalemmal H(+)-ATPase activity using bafilomycin A1 to inhibit V-type H(+)-ATPase and Sch-28080 to inhibit P-type H(+)-K(+)-ATPase. Bafilomycin A1 decreased pHi in the six tumor cell lines with the highest resting pHi in the absence of HCO3-. Sch-28080 did not affect pHi in any of the human cells. Simultaneous measurement of pH in the cytoplasm and in the endosomes/lysosomes localized the activity of bafilomycin to the plasma membrane in three cell lines. In the second phase of this study, these three cell lines were shown to recover from NH4(+)-induced acid loads in the absence of Na+. This recovery was inhibited by N-ethylmaleimide, bafilomycin A1, and ATP depletion and was not significantly affected by vanadate, Sch-28080, or hexamethyl amiloride. These results indicate that a vacuolar type H(+)-ATPase is expressed in the plasma membrane of some tumor cells.

Fluorescent probes offer insight into the highly localized and rapid molecular events that underlie cell function. However, methods are required that can efficiently transform the limited signals from such probes into high-resolution images. An algorithm has now been developed that produces highly accurate images of fluorescent probe distribution inside cells with minimal light exposure and a conventional light microscope. This method provides resolution nearly four times greater than that currently available from any fluorescence microscope and was used to study several biological problems.

No abstract given.

NHE8 is a newly identified NHE isoform expressed in rat intestine. To date, the kinetic characteristics and the intestinal segmental distribution of this NHE isoform have not been studied. This current work was performed to determine the gene expression pattern of the NHE8 transporter along the gastrointestinal tract, as well as its affinity for Na(+), H(+), and sensitivity to known NHE inhibitors HOE694 and S3226. NHE8 was differentially expressed along the GI tract. Higher NHE8 expression was seen in stomach, duodenum, and ascending colon in human, while higher NHE8 expression was seen in jejunum, ileum and colon in adult mouse. Moreover, the expression level of NHE8 is much higher in the stomach and jejunum in young mice compared with adult mice. To evaluate the functional characterictics of NHE8, the pH indicator SNARF-4 was used to monitor the rate of intra-cellular pH (pH(i)) recovery after an NH(4)Cl induced acid load in NHE8 cDNA transfected PS120 cells. The NHE8 cDNA transfected cells exhibited a sodium-dependent proton exchanger activity having a Km for pH(i) of approximately pH 6.5, and a Km for sodium of approximately 23 mM. Low concentration of HOE694 (1 microM) had no effect on NHE8 activity, while high concentration (10 microM) significantly reduced NHE8 activity. In the presence of 80 microM S3226, the NHE8 activity was also inhibited significantly. In conclusion, our work suggests that NHE8 is expressed along the gastrointestinal tract and NHE8 is a functional Na(+)/H(+) exchanger with kinetic characteristics that differ from other apically expressed NHE isoforms.

Mutations in BEST1, encoding Bestrophin-1 (Best1), cause Best vitelliform macular dystrophy (BVMD) and other inherited retinal degenerative diseases. Best1 is an integral membrane protein localized to the basolateral plasma membrane of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Data from numerous in vitro and in vivo models have demonstrated that Best1 regulates intracellular Ca(2+) levels. Although it is known from in vitro and crystal structure data that Best1 is also a calcium-activated anion channel, evidence for Best1 functioning as a channel in human RPE is lacking. To assess Best1-associated channel activity in the RPE, we examined the transepithelial electrical properties of fetal human RPE (fhRPE) cells, which express endogenous Best1.

Using adenovirus-mediated gene transfer, we overexpressed Best1 and the BVMD mutant Best1(W93C) in fhRPE cells and assessed resting transepithelial potential (TEP), transepithelial resistance, short circuit current (Isc), and intracellular Ca(2+) levels. Cl(-) currents were directly measured in transfected HEK293 cells using whole-cell patch clamp.

Best1(W93C) showed ablated Cl(-) currents and, when co-expressed, suppressed the channel activity of Best1 in HEK293 cells. In fhRPE, overexpression of Best1 increased TEP and Isc, while Best1(W93C) diminished TEP and Isc. Substitution of Cl(-) in the bath media resulted in a significant reduction of Isc in monolayers overexpressing Best1, but no significant Isc change in monolayers expressing Best1(W93C). We removed Ca(2+) as a limit on transepithelial electrical properties by treating cells with ionomycin, and found that changes in Isc and TEP for monolayers expressing Best1 were absent in monolayers expressing Best1(W93C). Similarly, inhibition of calcium-activated anion channels with niflumic acid reduced both Isc and TEP of control and Best1 monolayers, but did not notably affect Best1(W93C) monolayers. Stimulation with extracellular ATP induced an increase in TEP in control monolayers that was greater than that observed in those expressing Best1(W93C). Examination of [Ca(2+)]i following ATP stimulation demonstrated that the expression of Best1(W93C) impaired intracellular Ca(2+) signaling.

These data indicate that Best1 activity strongly influences electrophysiology and Ca(2+) signaling in RPE cells, and that a common BVMD mutation disrupts both of these parameters. Our findings support the hypothesis that Best1 functions as an anion channel in human RPE.

Poliovirus RNA and proteins are synthesized in association with distinct membranous structures that were separated by means of Isopycnic centrifugation of cytoplasmic extracts in discontinuous sucrose-density gradients. Viral RNA is replicated in a structure that contains rapidly labeled replicative intermediate RNA and viral RNA polymerase associated with the smooth membrane fraction. In sucrose gradients this viral RNA replication complex is distributed at densities in the range of 1.12 to 1.18 grams per cubic centimeter. Viral proteins are synthesized on polyribosomes bound to membranes and sediment with polyribosomes at densities of less than 1.25 grams per cubic centimeter.

No abstract given.

The scarcity of human cadaveric pancreata limits large-scale application of islet transplantation for patients with diabetes. Islets isolated from pathogen-free pigs provide an economical and abundant alternative source assuming immunologic barriers are appropriate. Membrane receptors involved in insulin secretion that also have potential as imaging targets were investigated in isolated porcine islets. Quantitative (q)PCR revealed that porcine islets express mRNA transcripts for sulfonylurea receptor 1 (Sur1), inward rectifying potassium channel (Kir6.2, associated with Sur1), glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (GLP1R), and adrenergic receptor alpha 2A (ADRα2A). Receptor function was assessed in static incubations with stimulatory glucose concentrations, and in the presence of receptor agonists. Glibenclamide, an anti-diabetic sulfonylurea, and exendin-4, a GLP-1 mimetic, potentiated glucose-stimulated insulin secretion >2-fold. Conversely, epinephrine maximally reduced insulin secretion 72 ± 9% (P < 0.05) and had a half maximal inhibitory concentration of 60 nm in porcine islets (95% confidence interval of 45-830 nm). The epinephrine action was inhibited by the ADRα2A antagonist yohimbine. Our findings demonstrate that porcine islets express and are responsive to both stimulatory and inhibitory membrane localized receptors, which can be used as imaging targets after transplantation or to modify insulin secretion.

Melanocortin receptors can be used as biomarkers to detect and possibly treat melanoma. To these ends, molecules bearing one, two, or three copies of the weakly binding ligand MSH(4) were attached to scaffolds based on phloroglucinol, tripropargylamine, and 1,4,7-triazacyclononane by means of the copper-assisted azide-alkyne cyclization. This synthetic design allows rapid assembly of multivalent molecules. The bioactivities of these compounds were evaluated using a competitive binding assay that employed human embryonic kidney cells engineered to overexpress the melanocortin 4 receptor. The divalent molecules exhibited 10- to 30-fold higher levels of inhibition when compared to the corresponding monovalent molecules, consistent with divalent binding. The trivalent molecules were only statistically (∼2-fold) better than the divalent molecules, still consistent with divalent binding but inconsistent with trivalent binding. Possible reasons for these behaviors and planned refinements of the multivalent constructs targeting melanocortin receptors based on these scaffolds are discussed.

Hypoxic niches in solid tumors harbor therapy-resistant cells. Hypoxia-activated prodrugs (HAPs) have been designed to overcome this resistance and, to date, have begun to show clinical efficacy. However, clinical HAPs activity could be improved. In this study, we sought to identify non-pharmacological methods to acutely exacerbate tumor hypoxia to increase TH-302 activity in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) tumor models.

Three human PDAC cell lines with varying sensitivity to TH-302 (Hs766t > MiaPaCa-2 > SU.86.86) were used to establish PDAC xenograft models. PDAC cells were metabolically profiled in vitro and in vivo using the Seahorse XF system and hyperpolarized (13)C pyruvate MRI, respectively, in addition to quantitative immunohistochemistry. The effect of exogenous pyruvate on tumor oxygenation was determined using electroparamagnetic resonance (EPR) oxygen imaging. Hs766t and MiaPaCa-2 cells exhibited a glycolytic phenotype in comparison to TH-302 resistant line SU.86.86. Supporting this observation is a higher lactate/pyruvate ratio in Hs766t and MiaPaCa xenografts as observed during hyperpolarized pyruvate MRI studies in vivo. Coincidentally, response to exogenous pyruvate both in vitro (Seahorse oxygen consumption) and in vivo (EPR oxygen imaging) was greatest in Hs766t and MiaPaCa models, possibly due to a higher mitochondrial reserve capacity. Changes in oxygen consumption and in vivo hypoxic status to pyruvate were limited in the SU.86.86 model. Combination therapy of pyruvate plus TH-302 in vivo significantly decreased tumor growth and increased survival in the MiaPaCa model and improved survival in Hs766t tumors.

Using metabolic profiling, functional imaging, and computational modeling, we show improved TH-302 activity by transiently increasing tumor hypoxia metabolically with exogenous pyruvate. Additionally, this work identified a set of biomarkers that may be used clinically to predict which tumors will be most responsive to pyruvate + TH-302 combination therapy. The results of this study support the concept that acute increases in tumor hypoxia can be beneficial for improving the clinical efficacy of HAPs and can positively impact the future treatment of PDAC and other cancers.

The synthesis, characterization, and use of Eu-DTPA-PEGO-Trp-Nle-Asp-Phe-NH2 (Eu-DTPA-PEGO-CCK4), a luminescent probe targeted to cholecystokinin 2 receptor (CCK2R, aka CCKBR), are described. The probe was prepared by solid phase synthesis. A Kd value of 17±2nM was determined by means of saturation binding assays using HEK-293 cells that overexpress CCK2R. The probe was then used in competitive binding assays against Ac-CCK4 and three new trivalent CCK4 compounds. Repeatable and reproducible binding assay results were obtained. Given its ease of synthesis, purification, receptor binding properties, and utility in competitive binding assays, Eu-DTPA-PEGO-CCK4 could become a standard tool for high-throughput screening of compounds in development targeted to cholecystokinin receptors.

The spatial organization of the genome within the eukaryotic nucleus is a dynamic process that plays a central role in cellular processes such as gene expression, DNA replication, and chromosome segregation. Condensins are conserved multi-subunit protein complexes that contribute to chromosome organization by regulating chromosome compaction and homolog pairing. Previous work in our lab has shown that the Cap-H2 subunit of condensin II physically and genetically interacts with the Drosophila homolog of human MORF4-related gene on chromosome 15 (MRG15). Like Cap-H2, Mrg15 is required for interphase chromosome compaction and homolog pairing. However, the mechanism by which Mrg15 and Cap-H2 cooperate to maintain interphase chromatin organization remains unclear. Here we show that Cap-H2 localizes to interband regions on polytene chromosomes and co-localizes with Mrg15 at regions of active transcription across the genome. We show that co-localization of Cap-H2 on polytene chromosomes is partially dependent on Mrg15. We have identified a binding motif within Cap-H2 that is essential for its interaction with Mrg15, and have found that mutation of this motif results in loss of localization of Cap-H2 on polytene chromosomes and results in partial suppression of Cap-H2-mediated compaction and homolog unpairing. Our data are consistent with a model in which Mrg15 acts as a loading factor to facilitate Cap-H2 binding to chromatin and mediate changes in chromatin organization.

The spatial organization of chromosomes within interphase nuclei is important for gene expression and epigenetic inheritance. Although the extent of physical interaction between chromosomes and their degree of compaction varies during development and between different cell-types, it is unclear how regulation of chromosome interactions and compaction relate to spatial organization of genomes. Drosophila is an excellent model system for studying chromosomal interactions including homolog pairing. Recent work has shown that condensin II governs both interphase chromosome compaction and homolog pairing and condensin II activity is controlled by the turnover of its regulatory subunit Cap-H2. Specifically, Cap-H2 is a target of the SCFSlimb E3 ubiquitin-ligase which down-regulates Cap-H2 in order to maintain homologous chromosome pairing, chromosome length and proper nuclear organization. Here, we identify Casein Kinase I alpha (CK1α) as an additional negative-regulator of Cap-H2. CK1α-depletion stabilizes Cap-H2 protein and results in an accumulation of Cap-H2 on chromosomes. Similar to Slimb mutation, CK1α depletion in cultured cells, larval salivary gland, and nurse cells results in several condensin II-dependent phenotypes including dispersal of centromeres, interphase chromosome compaction, and chromosome unpairing. Moreover, CK1α loss-of-function mutations dominantly suppress condensin II mutant phenotypes in vivo. Thus, CK1α facilitates Cap-H2 destruction and modulates nuclear organization by attenuating chromatin localized Cap-H2 protein.

Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) reduces skeletal muscle mass in fetuses and offspring. Our objective was to determine whether myoblast dysfunction due to intrinsic cellular deficiencies or serum factors reduces myofibre hypertrophy in IUGR fetal sheep. At 134 days, IUGR fetuses weighed 67% less (P < 0.05) than controls and had smaller (P < 0.05) carcasses and semitendinosus myofibre areas. IUGR semitendinosus muscles had similar percentages of pax7-positive nuclei and pax7 mRNA but lower (P < 0.05) percentages of myogenin-positive nuclei (7 ± 2% and 13 ± 2%), less myoD and myogenin mRNA, and fewer (P < 0.05) proliferating myoblasts (PNCA-positive-pax7-positive) than controls (44 ± 2% vs. 52 ± 1%). Primary myoblasts were isolated from hindlimb muscles, and after 3 days in growth media (20% fetal bovine serum, FBS), myoblasts from IUGR fetuses had 34% fewer (P < 0.05) myoD-positive cells than controls and replicated 20% less (P < 0.05) during a 2 h BrdU pulse. IUGR myoblasts also replicated less (P < 0.05) than controls during a BrdU pulse after 3 days in media containing 10% control or IUGR fetal sheep serum (FSS). Both myoblast types replicated less (P < 0.05) with IUGR FSS-supplemented media compared to control FSS-supplemented media. In differentiation-promoting media (2% FBS), IUGR and control myoblasts had similar percentages of myogenin-positive nuclei after 5 days and formed similar-sized myotubes after 7 days. We conclude that intrinsic cellular deficiencies in IUGR myoblasts and factors in IUGR serum diminish myoblast proliferation and myofibre size in IUGR fetuses, but intrinsic myoblast deficiencies do not affect differentiation. Furthermore, the persistent reduction in IUGR myoblast replication shows adaptive deficiencies that explain poor muscle growth in IUGR newborn offspring.

Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) are paracrine hormones that mediate communication between pancreatic islet endothelial cells (ECs) and β-cells. Our objective was to determine the impact of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) on pancreatic vascularity and paracrine signaling between the EC and β-cell. Vessel density was less in IUGR pancreata than in controls. HGF concentrations were also lower in islet EC-conditioned media (ECCM) from IUGR, and islets incubated with control islet ECCM responded by increasing insulin content, which was absent with IUGR ECCM. The effect of ECCM on islet insulin content was blocked with an inhibitory anti-HGF antibody. The HGF receptor was not different between control and IUGR islets, but VEGFA was lower and the high-affinity VEGF receptor was higher in IUGR islets and ECs, respectively. These findings show that paracrine actions from ECs increase islet insulin content, and in IUGR ECs, secretion of HGF was diminished. Given the potential feed-forward regulation of β-cell VEGFA and islet EC HGF, these two growth factors are highly integrated in normal pancreatic islet development, and this regulation is decreased in IUGR fetuses, resulting in lower pancreatic islet insulin concentrations and insulin secretion.

Placental insufficiency is associated with fetal hypoglycemia, hypoxemia, and elevated plasma norepinephrine (NE) that become increasingly pronounced throughout the third trimester and contribute to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). This study evaluated the effect of fetal adrenal demedullation (AD) on growth and pancreatic endocrine cell mass. Placental insufficiency-induced IUGR was created by exposing pregnant ewes to elevated ambient temperatures during mid-gestation. Treatment groups consisted of control and IUGR fetuses with either surgical sham or AD at 98 days gestational age (dGA; term = 147 dGA), a time-point that precedes IUGR. Samples were collected at 134 dGA. IUGR-sham fetuses were hypoxemic, hypoglycemic, and hypoinsulinemic, and values were similar in IUGR-AD fetuses. Plasma NE concentrations were ~5-fold greater in IUGR-sham compared to control-sham, control-AD, and IUGR-AD fetuses. IUGR-sham and IUGR-AD fetuses weighed less than controls. Compared to IUGR-sham fetuses, IUGR-AD fetuses weighed more and asymmetrical organ growth was absent. Pancreatic β-cell mass and α-cell mass were lower in both IUGR-sham and IUGR-AD fetuses compared to controls, however, pancreatic endocrine cell mass relative to fetal mass was lower in IUGR-AD fetuses. These findings indicate that NE, independently of hypoxemia, hypoglycemia and hypoinsulinemia, influence growth and asymmetry of growth but not pancreatic endocrine cell mass in IUGR fetuses.

β Cell specificity for a heterobivalent ligand composed of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) linked to yohimbine (GLP-1/Yhb) was evaluated to determine its utility as a noninvasive imaging agent.

Competition binding assays were performed on βTC3 cells and isolated rat islets. Immunostaining for insulin was used to co-localized intravenously injected Cy5-labeled GLP-1/Yhb in β cells of Sprague-Dawley rats. Rats were intravenously injected with In-111-labeled GLP-1/Yhb to determine clearance rates and tissue biodistribution. Tissue-specific binding was confirmed by competition with pre-administration of unlabeled GLP-1/Yhb and in Streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

In βTC3 cells, high affinity binding of GLP-1/Yhb required interactions with both receptors because monovalent competition or receptor knockdown with RNAi lowered specificity and avidity of the heterobivalent ligand. Binding specificity for isolated islets was 2.6-fold greater than that of acinar tissue or islets pre-incubated with excess unlabeled GLP-1/Yhb. Immunofluorescent localization of Cy5-labeled GLP-1/Yhb was restricted to pancreatic islets. Within 30 min, ~90 % of the In-111-labeled GLP-1/Yhb was cleared from blood. Tissue-specific accumulation of radiolabeled ligand was apparent in the pancreas, but not in other tissues within the abdominal imaging field. Pancreas specificity was lost in Streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

The GLP-1/Yhb exhibits high specificity for β cells, rapid blood clearance rates, and low non-specific uptake by other tissues within the abdominal imaging field. These characteristics of GLP-1/Yhb are desirable for application to β cell imaging in vivo and provide a basis for developing additional multivalent β cell-specific targeting agents to aid in the management of type 1 diabetes.

Plk4 (Polo-like kinase 4) and its binding partner Asterless (Asl) are essential, conserved centriole assembly factors that induce centriole amplification when overexpressed. Previous studies found that Asl acts as a scaffolding protein; its N terminus binds Plk4's tandem Polo box cassette (PB1-PB2) and targets Plk4 to centrioles to initiate centriole duplication. However, how Asl overexpression drives centriole amplification is unknown. In this paper, we investigated the Asl-Plk4 interaction in Drosophila melanogaster cells. Surprisingly, the N-terminal region of Asl is not required for centriole duplication, but a previously unidentified Plk4-binding domain in the C terminus is required. Mechanistic analyses of the different Asl regions revealed that they act uniquely during the cell cycle: the Asl N terminus promotes Plk4 homodimerization and autophosphorylation during interphase, whereas the Asl C terminus stabilizes Plk4 during mitosis. Therefore, Asl affects Plk4 in multiple ways to regulate centriole duplication. Asl not only targets Plk4 to centrioles but also modulates Plk4 stability and activity, explaining the ability of overexpressed Asl to drive centriole amplification.