- miRNA let-7e Modulates the Wnt Pathway and Early Nephrogenic Markers in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation (2013)
- This study indicates that embryonic stem cells [ESCs] cultured with retinoic acid and activin A significantly upregulate the miRNA let-7e. This specific miRNA modulates the Wnt pathway and the expression of early nephrogenic markers under these differentiation conditions. The differentiation markers WT1, Pax2 and Wnt4 were downregulated when miRNA let-7e was silenced, thus indicating the role of miRNA let-7e in the differentiation process. PKCβ, GSK3β phosphorylation (GSK3βP) and β-catenin expression was reduced in differentiated cells and reversed by miRNA let-7e silencing. Addition of a PKCβ inhibitor to the miRNA let-7e silenced cells abolished let-7e-derived effects in differentiation markers, and reversed the increase in GSK3βP and β-catenin, thus indicating that miRNA let-7e is involved in differentiation via the modulation of GSK3β phosphorylation and β-catenin production.
- Hypoxic transcription gene profiles under the modulation of nitric oxide in nuclear run on-microarray and proteomics (2009)
- Background: Microarray analysis still remains a powerful tool to identify new components of the transcriptosome and it has helped to increase the knowledge of targets triggered by stress conditions such as hypoxia and nitric oxide. However, analysis of transcriptional regulatory events remain elusive due to the contribution of altered mRNA stability to gene expression patterns, as well as changes in the half-life of mRNAs, which influence mRNA expression levels and their turn over rates. To circumvent these problems, we have focused on the analysis of newly transcribed (nascent) mRNAs by nuclear run on (NRO), followed by microarray analysis. Result: We identified 188 genes that were significantly regulated by hypoxia, 81 genes were affected by nitric oxide, and 292 genes were induced by the co-treatment of macrophages with both NO and hypoxia. Fourteen genes (Bnip3, Ddit4, Vegfa, Trib3, Atf3, Cdkn1a, Scd1, D4Ertd765e, Sesn2, Son, Nnt, Lst1, Hps6 and Fxyd5) were common to hypoxia and/or nitric oxide treatments, but with different levels of expression. We observed that 166 transcripts were regulated only when cells were co-treated with hypoxia and NO but not with either treatment alone, pointing to the importance of a crosstalk between hypoxia and NO. In addition, both array and proteomics data supported a consistent repression of hypoxia regulated targets by NO. Conclusion: By eliminating the interference of steady state mRNA in gene expression profiling, we increased the sensitivity of mRNA analysis and identified previously unknown hypoxia-induced targets. Gene analysis profiling corroborated the interplay between NO- and hypoxia-induced signalling.
- Erioflorin stabilizes the tumor suppressor Pdcd4 by inhibiting its interaction with the E3-ligase β-TrCP1 (2012)
- Loss of the tumor suppressor Pdcd4 was reported for various tumor entities and proposed as a prognostic marker in tumorigenesis. We previously characterized decreased Pdcd4 protein stability in response to mitogenic stimuli, which resulted from p70S6K1-dependent protein phosphorylation, β-TrCP1-mediated ubiquitination, and proteasomal destruction. Following high-throughput screening of natural product extract libraries using a luciferase-based reporter assay to monitor phosphorylation-dependent proteasomal degradation of the tumor suppressor Pdcd4, we succeeded in showing that a crude extract from Eriophyllum lanatum stabilized Pdcd4 from TPA-induced degradation. Erioflorin was identified as the active component and inhibited not only degradation of the Pdcd4-luciferase-based reporter but also of endogenous Pdcd4 at low micromolar concentrations. Mechanistically, erioflorin interfered with the interaction between the E3-ubiquitin ligase β-TrCP1 and Pdcd4 in cell culture and in in vitro binding assays, consequently decreasing ubiquitination and degradation of Pdcd4. Interestingly, while erioflorin stabilized additional β-TrCP-targets (such as IκBα and β-catenin), it did not prevent the degradation of targets of other E3-ubiquitin ligases such as p21 (a Skp2-target) and HIF-1α (a pVHL-target), implying selectivity for β-TrCP. Moreover, erioflorin inhibited the tumor-associated activity of known Pdcd4- and IκBα-regulated αtranscription factors, that is, AP-1 and NF-κB, altered cell cycle progression and suppressed proliferation of various cancer cell lines. Our studies succeeded in identifying erioflorin as a novel Pdcd4 stabilizer that inhibits the interaction of Pdcd4 with the E3-ubiquitin ligase β-TrCP1. Inhibition of E3-ligase/target-protein interactions may offer the possibility to target degradation of specific proteins only as compared to general proteasome inhibition.
- 5-Lipoxygenase contributes to PPAR [gamma] activation in macrophages in response to apoptotic cells (2012)
- Background: One hallmark contributing to immune suppression during the late phase of sepsis is macrophage polarization to an anti-inflammatory phenotype upon contact with apoptotic cells (AC). Taking the important role of the nuclear receptor PPARγ for this phenotype switch into consideration, it remains elusive how AC activate PPARγ in macrophages. Therefore, we were interested to characterize the underlying principle. Methods: Apoptosis was induced by treatment of Jurkat T cells for 3 hours with 0.5 μg/ml staurosporine. Necrotic cells (NC) were prepared by heating cells for 20 minutes to 65°C. PPARγ activation was followed by stably transducing RAW264.7 macrophages with a vector encoding the red fluorescent protein mRuby after PPARγ binding to 4 × PPRE sites downstream of the reporter gene sequence. This readout was established by treatment with the PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone (1 μM) and AC (5:1). Twenty-four hours after stimulation, mRuby expression was analysed by fluorescence microscopy. Lipid rafts of AC, NC, as well as living cells (LC) were enriched by sucrose gradient centrifugation. Fractions were analysed for lipid raft-associated marker proteins. Lipid rafts were incubated with transduced RAW264.7 macrophages as described above. 5-Lipoxygenase (5-LO) involvement was verified by pharmacological inhibition (MK-866, 1 μM) and overexpression. Results: Assuming that the molecule responsible for PPARγ activation in macrophages is localized in the cell membrane of AC, most probably associated to lipid rafts, we isolated lipid rafts from AC, NC and LC. Mass spectrometric analysis of lipid rafts of AC showed the expression of 5-LO, whereas lipid rafts of LC did not. Moreover, incubating macrophages with lipid rafts of AC induced mRuby expression. In contrast, lipid rafts of NC and LC did not. To verify the involvement of 5-LO in activating PPARγ in macrophages, Jurkat T cells were incubated for 30 minutes with the 5-LO inhibitor MK-866 (1 μM) before apoptosis induction. In line with our hypothesis, these AC did not induce mRuby expression. Finally, although living Jurkat T cells overexpressing 5-LO did not activate PPARγ in macrophages, mRuby expression was significantly increased when AC were generated from 5-LO overexpressing compared with wild-type Jurkat cells. Conclusion: Our results suggest that induction of apoptosis activates 5-LO, localizing to lipid rafts, necessary for PPARγ activation in macrophages. Therefore, it will be challenging to determine whether 5-LO activity in AC, generated from other cell types, correlates with PPARγ activation, contributing to an immune-suppressed phenotype in macrophages.
- LPS-induced Pellino3 degradation is mediated by p62-dependent autophagy (2012)
- Background: In macrophages Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) is activated in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and induces proinflammatory cytokine expression . Therefore, mechanisms terminating proinflammatory gene expression are important. Autophagy plays a central role in controlling innate immune responses by lysosomal degradation of signaling proteins, thus contributing to the resolution of inflammation . Autophagic proteins like p62 directly interact with molecules involved in the TLR4-signaling pathway, but a correlation with the IRAK E3 ligase and scaffold protein Pellino3 remains obscure [3,4]. Hence, we are interested in elucidating the function of Pellino3 to prove our hypothesis that it is a key regulator in the TLR4-signaling cascade . Methods: We used the cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) mouse model causing polymicrobial sepsis to analyze Pellino3 protein and mRNA expression. Furthermore, we induced endotoxemia in RAW264.7 mouse macrophages by LPS treatment to verify in vivo experiments. Lentiviral Pellino3 knockdown in RAW264.7 macrophages was used for cytokine measurements at mRNA level. To analyze potential Pellino3 binding partners in TLR4-signaling by mass spectrometry (MS), we overexpressed FLAG-tagged Pellino3 in RAW264.7 macrophages, treated cells for 3, 6 and 24 hours with LPS and immunoprecipitated Pellino3 via its FLAG-tag. To consider Pellino3 degradation as a result of p62-mediated autophagy, we transiently knocked down p62 by siRNA in RAW264.7 macrophages and also pharmacologically blocked LPS-induced autophagy by Bafilomycin A1. Results: We demonstrated Pellino3 protein degradation in primary CD11b+ splenocytes after 24 hours following CLP operation and confirmed this in RAW264.7 macrophages after 24-hour LPS stimulation. Knockdown of Pellino3 attenuates proinflammatory cytokines, for example IL-6 mRNA, after 6 hours of LPS. Furthermore, we found by MS and verifying immunoprecipitation experiments that p62 is a Pellino3 binding partner, thus targeting Pellino3 for degradation. In line, both p62 knockdown and Bafilomycin A1 treatment prevent Pellino3 degradation, supporting an autophagic mechanism. Conclusion: Our observations highlight a regulatory role of Pellino3 on TLR4 signaling. Thus, antagonism of Pellino3 in the hyperinflammatory phase of sepsis may counteract the cytokine storm. Furthermore, stabilization of Pellino3 by inhibition of autophagy in the hypoinflammatory phase of sepsis may improve immunity. In consideration of these two conflictive sepsis phases, modulation of Pellino3 may provide a new strategy for the development of a therapy approach in sepsis.
- Attenuated NOX2 expression impairs ROS production during the hypoinflammatory phase of sepsis (2012)
- Background: The multicomponent phagocytic NADPH oxidase produces reactive oxygen species (ROS) after activation by microorganisms or inflammatory mediators . In the hypoinflammatory phase of sepsis, macrophages are alternatively activated by contact with apoptotic cells or their secretion products. This inhibits NADPH oxidase and leads to attenuated ROS production  and furthermore contributes among others to a hyporeactive host defense. Due to this immune paralysis, sepsis patients suffer from recurrent and secondary infections . We focused on the catalytic subunit of NADPH oxidase, the transmembrane protein NOX2 . We assume that after induction of sepsis the expression of NOX2 is reduced and hence ROS production is decreased. Methods: We induced polymicrobial sepsis in mice by cecal ligation and puncture. The ability of peritoneal macrophages (PMs) to produce ROS was determined by FACS via hydroethidine assay. NOX2 expression of PMs was determined by western blot and qPCR. To elucidate the mechanism causing mRNA destabilization, we performed in vitro experiments using J774 macrophages. To obtain an alternatively activated phenotype, macrophages were stimulated with conditioned medium from apoptotic T cells (CM). By luciferase assays we figured out a 3'UTR-dependent regulation of NOX2 mRNA stability. Assuming that a protein is involved in the mRNA degradation, we performed a RNA pulldown with biotinylated NOX2-3'UTR constructs followed by mass spectrometry. We verified the role of SYNCRIP by siRNA approach. Additionally, we overexpressed NOX2 in J774 cells and analyzed the ROS production (w/wo CM treatment) by FACS. Results: We found an impaired expression of NOX2 at RNA and protein level along with decreased ROS production after induction of sepsis in mice as well as stimulating J774 macrophages with CM of apoptotic T cells. This is due to a time-dependent NOX2 mRNA degradation depending on SYNCRIP, a RNA-binding protein, which stabilizes NOX2 mRNA through binding to its 3'UTR under normal conditions. In line, knockdown of SYNCRIP also decreases NOX2 mRNA expression. We assume that a CM-dependent modification or degradation of SYNCRIP prevents its stabilizing function. As the overexpression of NOX2 restores ROS production of CM-treated J774 cells, we assume that NOX2 expression is crucial for maintaining NADPH activity during the hypoinflammatory phase of sepsis. Conclusion: Our data imply a regulatory impact of SYNCRIP on NOX2 stability during the late phase of sepsis. Therefore, further understanding of the regulation of NADPH oxidase could lead to the design of a therapy to reconstitute NADPH oxidase function, finally improving immune function in sepsis patients.
- Kinetic characterization of selective peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor gamma modulators in vitro (2012)
- Background: The ligand-activated transcription factor, peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), has been shown to play an essential role in immunosuppression during sepsis. PPARγ is upregulated in T cells of septic patients, sensitizing these cells to PPARγ-dependent apoptosis and thus contributing to T-cell depletion [1,2]. In the polymicrobial cecum ligation and puncture (CLP) sepsis model in mice, both T-cell-specific gene knockout (Lck-Cre PPARγfl/fl) and systemic pharmacological PPARγ antagonism by GW9662 improved survival . Because GW9662 was only effective when applied 3 hours after CLP, we were interested to extend this time frame. For this reason we characterized the kinetics of SPPARγMs when administered before or in combination with the agonist thiazolidinedione, rosiglitazone. Methods: A PPARγ-dependent transactivation assay was used in HEK293T cells. It is based on the vector pFA-PPARγ-LBD-GAL4-DBD encoding the hybrid protein PPARγ-LBD-GAL4-DBD and the reporter vector pFR-Luc, carrying a GAL4-responsive element in front of the Firefly luciferase gene. These two vectors were co-transfected, in combination with a control vector encoding Renilla luciferase (pRL-CMV) to normalize Firefly luciferase activity for transfection efficiency. Following transfection, cells were incubated with the SPPARγMs F-MOC and MCC-555 and the PPARγ antagonist GW9662 for different times (2 to 48 hours) and at increasing doses (0.01 to 10 μM), with or without rosiglitazone (0.01 to 10 μM). Transactivation was analyzed using a 96-well plate format. Results: Rosiglitazone transactivated PPARγ in a time-dependent and dose-dependent manner, the response gradually increasing to a maximum at 48 hours with 10 μM. Low concentrations (0.01 to 0.1 μM) of SPPARγMs F-MOC and MCC-555 and the PPARγ antagonist GW9662 all exerted dose-independent antagonistic effects at an early incubation time point (2 hours). From 10 hours onwards, MCC-555 and GW9662, given alone, both exerted PPARγ agonistic effects, MCC-555 in parallel to responses to rosiglitazone, but GW9662 with characteristics of partial antagonism. F-MOC showed no dose-dependent effect at any concentration at later time points. Only GW9662 (1 to 10 μM) was able to inhibit rosiglitazone (0.1 to 1 μM)-induced PPARγ transactivation after 10 hours. Conclusion: Our kinetic analysis reveals clear differences in the modulatory characteristics of PPARγ inhibitors, with previously unreported early inhibitory effects and late agonistic or partial agonistic activity. New SPPARγMs with extended inhibitory activity may prove useful in the therapy of sepsis.
- T-cell-specific peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma depletion inhibits T-cell apoptosis and improves survival of septic mice via an IL-2-dependent mechanism (2009)
- Poster presentation: from Sepsis 2009 Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 11-14 November 2009 Introduction Immune paralysis with massive T-cell apoptosis is a central pathogenic event during sepsis and correlates with septic patient mortality. Previous observations implied a crucial role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) during T-cell apoptosis. Methods To elucidate mechanisms of PPARgamma-induced T-cell depletion, we used an endotoxin model as well as the caecal ligation and puncture sepsis model to imitate septic conditions in wild-type versus conditional PPARgamma knockout (KO) mice. Results PPARgamma KO mice showed a marked survival advantage compared with control mice. Their T cells were substantially protected against sepsis-induced death and showed a significantly higher expression of the pro-survival factor IL-2. Since PPARgamma is described to repress nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) transactivation and concomitant IL-2 expression, we propose inhibition of NFAT as the underlying mechanism allowing T-cell apoptosis. Corroborating our hypothesis, we observed up-regulation of the pro-apoptotic protein BIM and downregulation of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 in control mice, which are downstream effector proteins of IL-2 receptor signaling. Application of a neutralizing anti-IL-2 antibody reversed the pro-survival effect of PPARgamma-deficient T cells and confirmed IL-2-dependent apoptosis during sepsis. Conclusion Apparently antagonizing PPARgamma in T cells might improve their survival during sepsis, which concomitantly enhances defence mechanisms and possibly provokes an increased survival of septic patients.
- miR-127 Protects Proximal Tubule Cells against Ischemia/Reperfusion: Identification of Kinesin Family Member 3B as miR-127 Target (2012)
- Ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) is at the basis of renal transplantation and acute kidney injury. Molecular mechanisms underlying proximal tubule response to I/R will allow the identification of new therapeutic targets for both clinical settings. microRNAs have emerged as crucial and tight regulators of the cellular response to insults including hypoxia. Here, we have identified several miRNAs involved in the response of the proximal tubule cell to I/R. Microarrays and RT-PCR analysis of proximal tubule cells submitted to I/R mimicking conditions in vitro demonstrated that miR-127 is induced during ischemia and also during reperfusion. miR-127 is also modulated in a rat model of renal I/R. Interference approaches demonstrated that ischemic induction of miR-127 is mediated by Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1alpha (HIF-1α) stabilization. Moreover, miR-127 is involved in cell-matrix and cell-cell adhesion maintenance, since overexpression of miR-127 maintains focal adhesion complex assembly and the integrity of tight junctions. miR-127 also regulates intracellular trafficking since miR-127 interference promotes dextran-FITC uptake. In fact, we have identified the Kinesin Family Member 3B (KIF3B), involved in cell trafficking, as a target of miR-127 in rat proximal tubule cells. In summary, we have described a novel role of miR-127 in cell adhesion and its regulation by HIF-1α. We also identified for the first time KIF3B as a miR-127 target. Both, miR-127 and KIF3B appear as key mediators of proximal epithelial tubule cell response to I/R with potential al application in renal ischemic damage management.