Biglycan: a multivalent proteoglycan providing structure and signals
Madalina V. Nastase
Marian F. Young
- 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.
Plasticity of histamine H3 receptor expression and binding in the vestibular nuclei after labyrinthectomy in rat
Adrian F. Lozada
Antti A. Aarnisalo
- Background: In rat, deafferentation of one labyrinth (unilateral labyrinthectomy) results in a characteristic syndrome of ocular and motor postural disorders (e.g., barrel rotation, circling behavior, and spontaneous nystagmus). Behavioral recovery (e.g., diminished symptoms), encompassing 1 week after unilateral labyrinthectomy, has been termed vestibular compensation. Evidence suggesting that the histamine H3 receptor plays a key role in vestibular compensation comes from studies indicating that betahistine, a histamine-like drug that acts as both a partial histamine H1 receptor agonist and an H3 receptor antagonist, can accelerate the process of vestibular compensation. Results: Expression levels for histamine H3 receptor (total) as well as three isoforms which display variable lengths of the third intracellular loop of the receptor were analyzed using in situ hybridization on brain sections containing the rat medial vestibular nucleus after unilateral labyrinthectomy. We compared these expression levels to H3 receptor binding densities. Total H3 receptor mRNA levels (detected by oligo probe H3X) as well as mRNA levels of the three receptor isoforms studied (detected by oligo probes H3A, H3B, and H3C) showed a pattern of increase, which was bilaterally significant at 24 h post-lesion for both H3X and H3C, followed by significant bilateral decreases in medial vestibular nuclei occurring 48 h (H3X and H3B) and 1 week post-lesion (H3A, H3B, and H3C). Expression levels of H3B was an exception to the forementioned pattern with significant decreases already detected at 24 h post-lesion. Coinciding with the decreasing trends in H3 receptor mRNA levels was an observed increase in H3 receptor binding densities occurring in the ipsilateral medial vestibular nuclei 48 h post-lesion. Conclusion: Progressive recovery of the resting discharge of the deafferentated medial vestibular nuclei neurons results in functional restoration of the static postural and occulomotor deficits, usually occurring within a time frame of 48 hours in rats. Our data suggests that the H3 receptor may be an essential part of pre-synaptic mechanisms required for reestablishing resting activities 48 h after unilateral labyrinthectomy.
Molecular methods for genomic analyses of variant PML-RARA or other RARA-related chromosomal translocations in acute promyelocytic leukemia
Min Jin Kim
John Jeongseok Yang
Tae Sung Park
- TO THE EDITOR: We read an interesting paper by Palta et al. in a recent issue of the Korean Journal of Hematology titled, "ZBTB16-RARA variant of acute promyelocytic leukemia with tuberculosis: a case report and review of literature" . We would like to add some comments to their article and suggest additional molecular methods to confirm variant translocations in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL)....
The role of cGMP and PKG-I in spinal nociceptive processing
- First paragraph (this article has no abstract) Persistent stimulation of nociceptors results in sensitization of nociceptive sensory neurons, which is associated with hyperalgesia and allodynia. The release of NO and subsequent synthesis of cGMP in the spinal cord are involved in this process. cGMP-dependent protein kinase I (PKG-I) has been suggested to act as a downstream target of cGMP, but its exact role in nociception hadn't been characterized yet. To further evaluate the NO/cGMP/PKG-I pathway in nociception we assessed the effects of PKG-I inhibiton and activaton in the rat formalin assay and analyzed the nociceptive behavior of PKG-I-/- mice. Open access article.
Do non-genomically encoded fusion transcripts cause recurrent chromosomal translocations?
- We among others have recently demonstrated that normal cells produce “fusion mRNAs”. These fusion mRNAs do not derive from rearranged genomic loci, but rather they are derived from “early-terminated transcripts” (ETTs). Premature transcriptional termination takes place in intronic sequences that belong to “breakpoint cluster regions”. One important property of ETTs is that they exhibit an unsaturated splice donor site. This results in: (1) splicing to “cryptic exons” present in the final intron; (2) Splicing to another transcript of the same gene (intragenic trans-splicing), resulting in “exon repetitions”; (3) splicing to a transcript of another gene (intergenic trans-splicing), leading to “non-genomically encoded fusion transcripts” (NGEFTs). These NGEFTs bear the potential risk to influence DNA repair processes, since they share identical nucleotides with their DNA of origin, and thus, could be used as “guidance RNA” for DNA repair processes. Here, we present experimental data about four other genes. Three of them are associated with hemato-malignancies (ETV6, NUP98 and RUNX1), while one is associated with solid tumors (EWSR1). Our results demonstrate that all genes investigated so far (MLL, AF4, AF9, ENL, ELL, ETV6, NUP98, RUNX1 and EWSR1) display ETTs and produce transpliced mRNA species, indicating that this is a genuine property of translocating genes.
Activation of Rac-1 and RhoA Contributes to Podocyte Injury in Chronic Kidney Disease
Ralf Peter Louis Brandes
- 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.
CD20 and CD19 targeted vectors induce minimal activation of resting B
Christian J. Buchholz
- B lymphocytes are an important cell population of the immune system. However, until recently it was not possible to transduce resting B lymphocytes with retro- or lentiviral vectors, making them unsusceptible for genetic manipulations by these vectors. Lately, we demonstrated that lentiviral vectors pseudotyped with modified measles virus (MV) glycoproteins hemagglutinin, responsible for receptor recognition, and fusion protein were able to overcome this transduction block. They use either the natural MV receptors, CD46 and signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM), for cell entry (MV-LV) or the vector particles were further modified to selectively enter via the CD20 molecule, which is exclusively expressed on B lymphocytes (CD20-LV). It has been shown previously that transduction by MV-LV does not induce B lymphocyte activation. However, if this is also true for CD20-LV is still unknown. Here, we generated a vector specific for another B lymphocyte marker, CD19, and compared its ability to transduce resting B lymphocytes with CD20-LV. The vector (CD19ds-LV) was able to stably transduce unstimulated B lymphocytes, albeit with a reduced efficiency of about 10% compared to CD20-LV, which transduced about 30% of the cells. Since CD20 as well as CD19 are closely linked to the B lymphocyte activation pathway, we investigated if engagement of CD20 or CD19 molecules by the vector particles induces activating stimuli in resting B lymphocytes. Although, activation of B lymphocytes often involves calcium influx, we did not detect elevated calcium levels. However, the activation marker CD71 was substantially up-regulated upon CD20-LV transduction and most importantly, B lymphocytes transduced with CD20-LV or CD19ds-LV entered the G1b phase of cell cycle, whereas untransduced or MV-LV transduced B lymphocytes remained in G0. Hence, CD20 and CD19 targeting vectors induce activating stimuli in resting B lymphocytes, which most likely renders them susceptible for lentiviral vector transduction.
"Wir brauchen den Vergleich mit anderen Forschungseinrichtungen nicht zu scheuen"
"Gentherapie kann mehr als eine Nischentherapie für seltene Krankheiten werden"
Mitochondriale Dysfunktion bei Alzheimer-Demenz : das Zusammenspiel von Hirnalterung und genetischen Risikofaktoren
Gunter P. Eckert
Walter E. Müller
- Typische neuropathologische Befunde bei der Alzheimer-Demenz (AD) sind die Bildung von Beta-Amyloid-Plaques, die Akkumulation von intrazellulären neurofibrillären Bündeln (Tangles) und ein ausgeprägter Verlust der Nervenzellen im Gehirn (siehe Estifanos Ghebremedhin und Thomas Deller »Risikofaktoren der Alzheimer-Krankheit. Was verraten uns die Gene?«, Seite 90). Insbesondere die Anhäufung von Beta-Amyloid-Peptid (Aß) scheint eine zentrale Rolle in der in der in der Pathogenese zu spielen und kausal für den Zelluntergang verantwortlich zu sein. Befunde unserer Arbeitsgruppe deuten darauf hin, das Aß zu mitochondrialer Dysfunktion in den Nervenzellen führt. Wir untersuchen die Kaskade der Mechanismen, die von der Bildung von Aß über mitochondriale Dysfunktion letztlich zu Synapsenverlust und Zelltod führen, mithilfe von Zelllinien und Mäusestämmen mit Alzheimer-typischen Merkmalen. Ziel ist, einen Angriffspunkt für die medikamentöse Behandlung der Alzheimer-Demenz zu finden. Als vielversprechend hat sich die Wirkung von Statinen erwiesen, die als Cholesterinhemmer eingesetzt werden. ...