- Biglycan: a multivalent proteoglycan providing structure and signals (2012)
- Research over the past few years has provided fascinating results indicating that biglycan, besides being a ubiquitous structural component of the extracellular matrix (ECM), may act as a signaling molecule. Proteolytically released from the ECM, biglycan acts as a danger signal signifying tissue stress or injury. As a ligand of innate immunity receptors and activator of the inflammasome, biglycan stimulates multifunctional proinflammatory signaling linking the innate to the adaptive immune response. By clustering several types of receptors on the cell surface and orchestrating their downstream signaling events, biglycan is capable to autonomously trigger sterile inflammation and to potentiate the inflammatory response to microbial invasion. Besides operating in a broad biological context, biglycan also displays tissue-specific affinities to certain receptors and structural components, thereby playing a crucial role in bone formation, muscle integrity, and synapse stability at the neuromuscular junction. This review attempts to provide a concise summary of recent data regarding the involvement of biglycan in the regulation of inflammation and the musculoskeletal system, pointing out both a signaling and a structural role for this proteoglycan. The potential of biglycan as a novel therapeutic target or agent for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and skeletal muscular dystrophies is also addressed.
- Inhibition of the soluble epoxide hydrolase promotes albuminuria in mice with progressive renal disease (2010)
- Epoxyeicotrienoic acids (EETs) are cytochrome P450-dependent anti-hypertensive and anti-inflammatory derivatives of arachidonic acid, which are highly abundant in the kidney and considered reno-protective. EETs are degraded by the enzyme soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) and sEH inhibitors are considered treatment for chronic renal failure (CRF). We determined whether sEH inhibition attenuates the progression of CRF in the 5/6-nephrectomy model (5/6-Nx) in mice. 5/6-Nx mice were treated with a placebo, an ACE-inhibitor (Ramipril, 40 mg/kg), the sEH-inhibitor cAUCB or the CYP-inhibitor fenbendazole for 8 weeks. 5/6-Nx induced hypertension, albuminuria, glomerulosclerosis and tubulo-interstitial damage and these effects were attenuated by Ramipril. In contrast, cAUCB failed to lower the blood pressure and albuminuria was more severe as compared to placebo. Plasma EET-levels were doubled in 5/6 Nx-mice as compared to sham mice receiving placebo. Renal sEH expression was attenuated in 5/6-Nx mice but cAUCB in these animals still further increased the EET-level. cAUCB also increased 5-HETE and 15-HETE, which derive from peroxidation or lipoxygenases. Similar to cAUCB, CYP450 inhibition increased HETEs and promoted albuminuria. Thus, sEH-inhibition failed to elicit protective effects in the 5/6-Nx model and showed a tendency to aggravate the disease. These effects might be consequence of a shift of arachidonic acid metabolism into the lipoxygenase pathway.
- Nephronectin regulates atrioventricular canal differentiation via Bmp4-Has2 signaling in zebrafish (2011)
- The extracellular matrix is crucial for organogenesis. It is a complex and dynamic component that regulates cell behavior by modulating the activity, bioavailability and presentation of growth factors to cell surface receptors. Here, we determined the role of the extracellular matrix protein Nephronectin (Npnt) in heart development using the zebrafish model system. The vertebrate heart is formed as a linear tube in which myocardium and endocardium are separated by a layer of extracellular matrix termed the cardiac jelly. During heart development, the cardiac jelly swells at the atrioventricular (AV) canal, which precedes valve formation. Here, we show that Npnt expression correlates with this process. Morpholino-mediated knockdown of Npnt prevents proper valve leaflet formation and trabeculation and results in greater than 85% lethality at 7 days post-fertilization. The earliest observed phenotype is an extended tube-like structure at the AV boundary. In addition, the expression of myocardial genes involved in cardiac valve formation (cspg2, fibulin 1, tbx2b, bmp4) is expanded and endocardial cells along the extended tube-like structure exhibit characteristics of AV cells (has2, notch1b and Alcam expression, cuboidal cell shape). Inhibition of has2 in npnt morphants rescues the endocardial, but not the myocardial, expansion. By contrast, reduction of BMP signaling in npnt morphants reduces the ectopic expression of myocardial and endocardial AV markers. Taken together, our results identify Npnt as a novel upstream regulator of Bmp4-Has2 signaling that plays a crucial role in AV canal differentiation.
- Decorin Protein Core Affects the Global Gene Expression Profile of the Tumor Microenvironment in a Triple-Negative Orthotopic Breast Carcinoma Xenograft Model (2012)
- Decorin, a member of the small leucine-rich proteoglycan gene family, exists and functions wholly within the tumor microenvironment to suppress tumorigenesis by directly targeting and antagonizing multiple receptor tyrosine kinases, such as the EGFR and Met. This leads to potent and sustained signal attenuation, growth arrest, and angiostasis. We thus sought to evaluate the tumoricidal benefits of systemic decorin on a triple-negative orthotopic breast carcinoma xenograft model. To this end, we employed a novel high-density mixed expression array capable of differentiating and simultaneously measuring gene signatures of both Mus musculus (stromal) and Homo sapiens (epithelial) tissue origins. We found that decorin protein core modulated the differential expression of 374 genes within the stromal compartment of the tumor xenograft. Further, our top gene ontology classes strongly suggests an unexpected and preferential role for decorin protein core to inhibit genes necessary for immunomodulatory responses while simultaneously inducing expression of those possessing cellular adhesion and tumor suppressive gene properties. Rigorous verification of the top scoring candidates led to the discovery of three genes heretofore unlinked to malignant breast cancer that were reproducibly found to be induced in several models of tumor stroma. Collectively, our data provide highly novel and unexpected stromal gene signatures as a direct function of systemic administration of decorin protein core and reveals a fundamental basis of action for decorin to modulate the tumor stroma as a biological mechanism for the ascribed anti-tumorigenic properties.
- Activation of Rac-1 and RhoA Contributes to Podocyte Injury in Chronic Kidney Disease (2013)
- Rho-family GTPases like RhoA and Rac-1 are potent regulators of cellular signaling that control gene expression, migration and inflammation. Activation of Rho-GTPases has been linked to podocyte dysfunction, a feature of chronic kidney diseases (CKD). We investigated the effect of Rac-1 and Rho kinase (ROCK) inhibition on progressive renal failure in mice and studied the underlying mechanisms in podocytes. SV129 mice were subjected to 5/6-nephrectomy which resulted in arterial hypertension and albuminuria. Subgroups of animals were treated with the Rac-1 inhibitor EHT1846, the ROCK inhibitor SAR407899 and the ACE inhibitor Ramipril. Only Ramipril reduced hypertension. In contrast, all inhibitors markedly attenuated albumin excretion as well as glomerular and tubulo-interstitial damage. The combination of SAR407899 and Ramipril was more effective in preventing albuminuria than Ramipril alone. To study the involved mechanisms, podocytes were cultured from SV129 mice and exposed to static stretch in the Flexcell device. This activated RhoA and Rac-1 and led via TGFβ to apoptosis and a switch of the cells into a more mesenchymal phenotype, as evident from loss of WT-1 and nephrin and induction of α-SMA and fibronectin expression. Rac-1 and ROCK inhibition as well as blockade of TGFβ dramatically attenuated all these responses. This suggests that Rac-1 and RhoA are mediators of podocyte dysfunction in CKD. Inhibition of Rho-GTPases may be a novel approach for the treatment of CKD.
- CXCL16 and oxLDL are induced in the onset of diabetic nephropathy (2009)
- Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is a major cause of end-stage renal failure worldwide. Oxidative stress has been reported to be a major culprit of the disease and increased oxidized low density lipoprotein (oxLDL) immune complexes were found in patients with DN. In this study we present evidence, that CXCL16 is the main receptor in human podocytes mediating the uptake of oxLDL. In contrast, in primary tubular cells CD36 was mainly involved in the uptake of oxLDL. We further demonstrate that oxLDL down-regulated α3-integrin expression and increased the production of fibronectin in human podocytes. In addition, oxLDL uptake induced the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in human podocytes. Inhibition of oxLDL uptake by CXCL16 blocking antibodies abrogated the fibronectin and ROS production and restored α3 integrin expression in human podocytes. Furthermore we present evidence that hyperglycaemic conditions increased CXCL16 and reduced ADAM10 expression in podocytes. Importantly, in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice an early induction of CXCL16 was accompanied by higher levels of oxLDL. Finally immunofluorescence analysis in biopsies of patients with DN revealed increased glomerular CXCL16 expression, which was paralleled by high levels of oxLDL. In summary, regulation of CXCL16, ADAM10 and oxLDL expression may be an early event in the onset of DN and therefore all three proteins may represent potential new targets for diagnosis and therapeutic intervention in DN.
- The matricellular functions of small leucine-rich proteoglycans (SLRPs) (2009)
- The small leucine-rich proteoglycans (SLRPs) are biologically active components of the extracellular matrix (ECM), consisting of a protein core with leucine rich-repeat (LRR) motifs covalently linked to glycosaminoglycan (GAG) side chains. The diversity in composition resulting from the various combinations of protein cores substituted with one or more GAG chains along with their pericellular localization enables SLRPs to interact with a host of different cell surface receptors, cytokines, growth factors, and other ECM components, leading to modulation of cellular functions. SLRPs are capable of binding to: (i) different types of collagens, thereby regulating fibril assembly, organization, and degradation; (ii) Toll-like receptors (TLRs), complement C1q, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα), regulating innate immunity and inflammation; (iii) epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R), insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-IR), and c-Met, influencing cellular proliferation, survival, adhesion, migration, tumor growth and metastasis as well as synthesis of other ECM components; (iv) low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP-1) and TGF-β, modulating cytokine activity and fibrogenesis; and (v) growth factors such as bone morphogenic protein (BMP-4) and Wnt-I-induced secreted protein-1 (WISP-1), controlling cell proliferation and differentiation. Thus, the ability of SLRPs, as ECM components, to directly or indirectly regulate cell-matrix crosstalk, resulting in the modulation of various biological processes, aptly qualifies these compounds as matricellular proteins.