- Treatment of active lupus nephritis with the novel immunosuppressant 15-deoxyspergualin: an open-label dose escalation study (2011)
- Introduction: As the immunosuppressive potency of 15-deoxyspergualin (DSG) has been shown in the therapy of renal transplant rejection and Wegener's granulomatosis, the intention of this study was to evaluate the safety of DSG in the therapy of lupus nephritis (LN). Methods: Patients with histologically proven active LN after prior treatment with at least one immunosuppressant were treated with 0.5 mg/kg normal body weight/day DSG, injected subcutaneously for 14 days, followed by a break of one week. These cycles were repeated to a maximum of 9 times. Doses of oral corticosteroids were gradually reduced to 7.5 mg/day or lower by cycle 4. Response was measured according to a predefined decision pattern. The dose of DSG was adjusted depending on the efficacy and side effects. Results: 21 patients were included in this phase-I/II study. After the first DSG injection, one patient was excluded from the study due to renal failure. 5 patients dropped out due to adverse events or serious adverse events including fever, leukopenia, oral candidiasis, herpes zoster or pneumonia. 11/20 patients achieved partial (4) or complete responses (7), 8 were judged as treatment failures and one patient was not assessable. 12 patients completed all 9 cycles; in those patients, proteinuria decreased from 5.88g/day to 3.37g/day (P = 0.028), Selena-SLEDAI decreased from 17.6 to 11.7. In 13/20 patients, proteinuria decreased by at least 50%; in 7 patients to less than 1g/day. Conclusions: Although the number of patients was small, we could demonstrate that DSG provides a tolerably safe treatment for LN. The improvement in proteinuria encourages larger controlled trials.
- Strukturelle und funktionelle Untersuchung der p53-Familie, im Besonderen p63 (2009)
- The transcription factor p63 is part of the p53 protein family, which consists of three members, p53, p63 and p73. P63 shares structural similarity with all family members, but is associated to different biological functions than p53 or p73. While p53 is mainly linked to tumor suppression and p73 is connected with neuronal development, p63 has been connected to critical biological roles within ectodermal development and skin stem cell biology as well as supervision of the genetic stability of oocytes. Due to its gene structure p63 is expressed as at least six different isoforms, three of them containing a N-terminal transactivation domain. The isoforms that are of biological relevance both have a C-terminal inhibitory domain that negatively regulates the transcriptional activity. This inhibitory domain is supposed to contain two individual components of which one is internally binding and masking the transactivation domain while the other one can be sumoylated. To further investigate this domain a mutational analysis with the help of transactivation assays in SAOS2 cells was carried out to identify the critical amino acids within the inhibitory domain and the impact on transcriptional activity of TAp63alpha, the p63-isoform which is essential for the integrity of the female germline. The results of these experiments show that a stretch of approximately 13 amino acids seems to be important for the regulation of transcriptional activity in TAp63alpha, due to the increased transcriptional activity occurring in this region after mutation. Additional experiments showed that this mechanism is distinct from sumoylation, which seems to have only implications for the intracellular level of TAp63alpha. As a conclusion, the C-terminus of the Tap63alpha is essential for two different mechanisms, which control the transcriptional activity of the protein. Both regulatory elements are independent from each other and can now be restricted to certain amino acids. Activation of the wild type protein might take place in the identified region via post-translational modification. Furthermore an inhibition assay was carried out to test if the same region might have implications on the second biological relevant isoform deltaNp63alpha. The results show that the same amino acids which show an impact on transcriptional activity in Tap63alpha lead to a significant change in functional behaviour of deltaNp63alpha. There is a possibility that both proteins are regulated with opposite effects via the same mechanisms, based at the C-terminus of the p63alpha-isoforms. In both cases a modification of these residues could lead to a more opened conformation of the protein with consequences on promoter binding, which can be even important for deltaNp63alpha with respect to promoter squelching. Both alpha-isoforms seem to be regulated via the C-terminus and to elucidate if that is also the case for TAp63gamma a deletion analysis was carried out. The results show that there are also amino acids within the C-terminus of TAp63gamma, which have implications on the transcriptional activity of the protein. Therefore the C-terminus seems to play a major role for regulation of diverse p63 isoforms.
- APOOL is a cardiolipin-binding component of the Mitofilin/MINOS protein complex determining cristae morphology in mammalian mitochondria (2013)
- Mitochondrial cristae morphology is highly variable and altered under numerous pathological conditions. The protein complexes involved are largely unknown or only insufficiently characterized. Using complexome profiling we identified apolipoprotein O (APOO) and apolipoprotein O-like protein (APOOL) as putative components of the Mitofilin/MINOS protein complex which was recently implicated in determining cristae morphology. We show that APOOL is a mitochondrial membrane protein facing the intermembrane space. It specifically binds to cardiolipin in vitro but not to the precursor lipid phosphatidylglycerol. Overexpression of APOOL led to fragmentation of mitochondria, a reduced basal oxygen consumption rate, and altered cristae morphology. Downregulation of APOOL impaired mitochondrial respiration and caused major alterations in cristae morphology. We further show that APOOL physically interacts with several subunits of the MINOS complex, namely Mitofilin, MINOS1, and SAMM50. We conclude that APOOL is a cardiolipin-binding component of the Mitofilin/MINOS protein complex determining cristae morphology in mammalian mitochondria. Our findings further assign an intracellular role to a member of the apolipoprotein family in mammals.
- The C-terminus of p63 contains multiple regulatory elements with different functions (2010)
- The transcription factor p63 is expressed as at least six different isoforms, of which two have been assigned critical biological roles within ectodermal development and skin stem cell biology on the one hand and supervision of the genetic stability of oocytes on the other hand. These two isoforms contain a C-terminal inhibitory domain that negatively regulates their transcriptional activity. This inhibitory domain contains two individual components: one that uses an internal binding mechanism to interact with and mask the transactivation domain and one that is based on sumoylation. We have carried out an extensive alanine scanning study to identify critical regions within the inhibitory domain. These experiments show that a stretch of ~13 amino acids is crucial for the binding function. Further, investigation of transcriptional activity and the intracellular level of mutants that cannot be sumoylated suggests that sumoylation reduces the concentration of p63. We therefore propose that the inhibitory function of the C-terminal domain is in part due to direct inhibition of the transcriptional activity of the protein and in part due to indirect inhibition by controlling the concentration of p63. Keywords: p63, transcriptional regulation, auto-inhibition, sumoylation