- Mitochondrial TERT enhances mitochondria functions in vivo by protecting mitochondrial DNA integrity from oxidative damage : meeting abstract (2009)
- Mitochondria are essential for respiration and oxidative phosphorylation. Mitochondrial dysfunction due to aging processes is involved in pathologies and pathogenesis of a series of cardiovascular disorders. New results accumulate showing that the enzyme telomerase with its catalytic subunit telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) has a beneficial effect on heart functions. The benefit of short-term running of mice for heart function is dependent on TERT expression. TERT can translocate into the mitochondria and mitochondrial TERT (mtTERT) is protective against stress induced stimuli and binds to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Because mtDNA is highly susceptible to damage produced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) which are generated in close proximity to the respiratory chain, the aim of this study was to determine the functions of mtTERT in vivo and in vitro. Therefore, mitochondria from hearts of adult, 2nd generation TERT-deficient mice (TERT -/-) and wt littermates were isolated and state 3 respiration was measured. Strikingly mitochondria from TERT -/- revealed a significantly lower state 3 respiration (TERTwt: 987 +/- 72 pmol/s*mg vs. TERT-/-: 774 +/- 38 pmol/s*mg, p < 0.05, n = 5). These results demonstrated that TERT -/- mice have a so far undiscovered heart phenotype. In contrast mitochondria isolated from liver tissues did not show any differences. To get further insights in the molecular mechanisms, we reduced endogenous TERT levels by shRNA and measured mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS). mtROS were increased after ablation of TERT (scrambled: 4.98 +/- 1.1% gated vs. shTERT: 2.03 +/- 0.7% gated, p < 0.05, n = 4). We next determined mtDNA deletions, which are caused by mtROS. Semiquantitative realtime PCR of mtDNA deletions revealed that mtTERT protects mtDNA from oxidative damage. To analyze whether mitochondrial integrity is required to protect from apoptosis, vectors with mitochondrially targeted TERT (mitoTERT) and wildtype TERT (wtTERT) were transfected and apoptosis was measured. mitoTERT showed the most prominent protective effect on H2O2 induced apoptosis. In conclusion, mtTERT has a protective role in mitochondria by importantly contributing to mtDNA integrity and thereby enhancing respiration capacity of the heart.
- Downregulation of ETS rescues diabetes-induced reduction of endothelial progenitor cells (2009)
- Background Transplantation of vasculogenic progenitor cells (VPC) improves neovascularization after ischemia. However, patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus show a reduced VPC number and impaired functional activity. Previously, we demonstrated that p38 kinase inhibition prevents the negative effects of glucose on VPC number by increasing proliferation and differentiation towards the endothelial lineage in vitro. Moreover, the functional capacity of progenitor cells is reduced in a mouse model of metabolic syndrome including type 2 diabetes (Leprdb) in vivo. Findings The aim of this study was to elucidate the underlying signalling mechanisms in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, we performed DNA-protein binding arrays in the bone marrow of mice with metabolic syndrome, in blood-derived progenitor cells of diabetic patients as well as in VPC ex vivo treated with high levels of glucose. The transcriptional activation of ETS transcription factors was increased in all samples analyzed. Downregulation of ETS1 expression by siRNA abrogated the reduction of VPC number induced by high-glucose treatment. In addition, we observed a concomitant suppression of the non-endothelial ETS-target genes matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) and CD115 upon short term lentiviral delivery of ETS-specific shRNAs. Long term inhibition of ETS expression by lentiviral infection increased the number of cells with the endothelial markers CD144 and CD105. Conclusion These data demonstrate that diabetes leads to dysregulated activation of ETS, which blocks the functional activity of progenitor cells and their commitment towards the endothelial cell lineage.
- Wnt5a increases cardiac gene expressions of cultured human circulating progenitor cells via a PKC delta activation (2009)
- Background: Wnt signaling controls the balance between stem cell proliferation and differentiation and body patterning throughout development. Previous data demonstrated that non-canonical Wnts (Wnt5a, Wnt11) increased cardiac gene expression of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) and bone marrow-derived stem cells cultured in vitro. Since previous studies suggested a contribution of the protein kinase C (PKC) family to the Wnt5a-induced signalling, we investigated which PKC isoforms are activated by non-canonical Wnt5a in human EPC. Methodology/Principal Findings: Immunoblot experiments demonstrated that Wnt5a selectively activated the novel PKC isoform, PKC delta, as evidenced by phosphorylation and translocation. In contrast, the classical Ca2+-dependent PKC isoforms, PKC alpha and beta2, and one of the other novel PKC isoforms, PKC epsilon, were not activated by Wnt5a. The PKC delta inhibitor rottlerin significantly blocked co-culture-induced cardiac differentiation in vitro, whereas inhibitors directed against the classical Ca2+-dependent PKC isoforms or a PKC epsilon-inhibitory peptide did not block cardiac differentiation. In accordance, EPC derived from PKC delta heterozygous mice exhibited a significant reduction of Wnt5a-induced cardiac gene expression compared to wild type mice derived EPC. Conclusions/Significance: These data indicate that Wnt5a enhances cardiac gene expressions of EPC via an activation of PKC delta.