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.
Development of novel ligands influencing neurotransmission in the central nervous system
Britta Caroline Sasse
- The development of novel drugs targeting GPCRs is of particular interest since modulation of subfamilies of this receptor class highly influences neurotransmission in the central nervous system. This study has focused on the development of ligands for the dopamine D3 receptor. The receptor belongs to the dopamine D2-like family among the biogenic amine binding GPCRs. The dopamine D3 receptor is involved in neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and drug addiction. Due to its close structural similarity to the dopamine D2 receptor subtype, it is still a challenge to identify and further optimize new leads. Therefore an in vitro screening assay, which also allows elucidating comprehensive structure-affinity relationships, is required. In this investigation the implementation and evaluation of radioligand binding assays for human dopamine D2S and dopamine D3 receptors and for the related aminergic human histamine H1 receptor stably expressed in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells has been performed. Saturation binding experiments with [³H]spiperone at dopamine D2S and D3 receptors and with [³H]mepyramine at histamine H1 receptors were carried out. The determined equilibrium dissociation constant of radioligands (Kd) and the total number of specific binding sites (Bmax) of the receptor membrane preparations were in good agreement with reference data. Inhibition constants (Ki) of reference ligands obtained in radioligand competition binding experiments at dopamine hD2S, hD3 and histamine H1 receptors validated the reliability and reproducibility of the assay. In order to discriminate agonists from antagonists, a GTP shift assay has been investigated for dopamine D2S and D3 receptors. In competition binding studies at dopamine D2S receptors the high- and low affinity state in the absence of the GTP analogue Gpp(NH)p has been recognized for the agonists pramipexole and the seleno analogue 54. In the presence of Gpp(NH)p a decrease in affinity, referred to as “GTP shift”, has been revealed for agonists at dopamine D2S and D3 receptors. An effect of Gpp(NH)p on dopamine D2S receptor binding has not been observed for the antagonists ST 198 and BP 897, while a reverse “GTP shift” has been noticed at the dopamine D3 receptor. For the development of novel ligands with high affinity and selectivity for dopamine D3 receptors, investigation in refined structure-affinity relationships (SAR) of analogues of the lead BP 897 has been performed. Replacement of the naphthalen-2-carboxamide of BP 897 by aryl amide residues (1 - 4) had a clear influence on affinity binding and selectivity for dopamine D3 receptors. Introduction of the benzo[b]thiophen-2-carboxamide (1) has markedly improved binding with subnanomolar affinity and enhanced selectivity for dopamine D3 receptors. Exchanging the aryl substituted basic alkanamine residue of 1 by a 1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline moiety (6) emphasized the benefit of the 4-(2-methoxyphenyl) piperazine residue of BP 897 regarding dopamine D2 and D3 receptor affinities. The change of particular elements of BP 897 and the rearrangement of the amide functionality resulted in inverse amide compounds with new chemical properties. Moderate affinity binding data, as obtained for the isoindol-1-carbonyl compound 11, suggest that inverse amides provide a worthwhile new lead structure with a novel structural scaffold. A hybrid approach combining privileged scaffolds of histamine H1 receptor antagonists and fragments of dopamine D3 receptor-preferring ligands, related to BP 897and analogues has been investigated. Various benzhydrylpiperazine derivatives and related structures have shown moderate to high affinities for dopamine D3 receptors with the impressive enhancement of the cinnamide substituted bamipine-related hybrid 39, exhibiting the highest affinity and selectivity for dopamine D3 receptors. Improved affinity profiles of structural modified histamine H1 receptor antagonists for dopamine D2 and D3 receptors and a refined SAR has been achieved. A SAR of derivatives of the dopamine agonist pramipexole and the related etrabamine has been studied. The propargyl substituted etrabamine derivative 61 demonstrated highest affinity and selectivity. The ligand attracts attention since neuroprotective properties have been reported for the propargyl functionality. Further development resulted in the most promising compound 64, a cinnamide derivative with 4-fluoro substitution on the phenyl ring. Subnanomolar affinity and remarkable selectivity for dopamine D3 receptors has aroused particular interest in this ligand due to its development potential as a radioligand for PET studies. Radioligand binding studies in combination with virtual screening and different classification techniques of chemoinformatic methods resulted in further elucidation of SAR. New leads with novel chemical scaffolds have been found in the bicycle[2.2.1]heptane derivative 95 and the benzhydrylidene substituted pyrrolidindione 112 and can be further optimized by chemical modifications. The outcome of the studies provides the development of various novel high affine and dopamine D3 receptor selective ligands. Modifications of lead structures or application of chemoinformatic tools in combination with radioligand competition binding assays have resulted in new leads with different chemical scaffolds. Furthermore, a comprehensive insight into structure-affinity relationships of ligands at dopamine D3 receptors has been revealed. This refined SAR is valuable to develop more affine and selective drug candidates with a designed pharmacological receptor profile.
Mechanistic impact of the Swedish app-mutation and caspase-3 cleaved c-terminal presenilin fragment in the neurotoxic effects of beta-amyloid
Celio Azinheiro Marques
- Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disorder world wide, causing presenile dementia and death of millions of people. During AD damage and massive loss of brain cells occur. Alzheimer’s disease is genetically heterogeneous and may therefore represent a common phenotype that results from various genetic and environmental influences and risk factors. In approximately 10% of patients, changes of the genetic information were detected (gene mutations). In these cases, Alzheimer’s disease is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait (familial Alzheimer’s disease, FAD). In rare cases of familial Alzheimer’s disease (about 1-3%), mutations have been detected in genes on chromosomes 14 and 1 (encoding for Presenilin 1 and 2, respectively), and on chromosome 21 encoding for the amyloid precursor protein (APP), which is responsible for the release of the cell-damaging protein amyloid-beta (ß-amyloid, Aß). Familial forms of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease are rare; however, their importance extends far beyond their frequency, because they allow to identify some of the critical pathogenetic pathways of the disease. All familial Alzheimer mutations share a common feature: they lead to an enhanced production of the Aß, which is the major constituent of senile plaques in brains of AD patients. New data indicates that Aß promotes neuronal degeneration. Therefore, one aim of these thesis was to elucidate the neurotoxic biochemical pathways induced by Aß, investigating the effect of the FAD Swedish APP double mutation (APPsw) on oxidative stress-induced cell death mechanisms. This mutation results in a three- to sixfold increased Aß production compared to wild-type APP (APPwt). As cell models, the neuronal PC12 (rat pheochromocytoma) and the HEK (human embryonic kidney 293) cell lines were used, which have been transfected with human wiltyp APP or human APP containing the Swedish double mutation. The used cell models offer two important advantages. First, compared to experiments using high concentrations of Aß at micromolar levels applied extracellularly to cells, PC12 APPsw cells secret low Aß levels similar to the situation in FAD brains. Thus, this cell model represents a very suitable approach to elucidate the AD-specific cell death pathways mimicking physiological conditions. Second, these two cell lines (PC12 and HEK APPwt and APPsw) with different production levels of Aß may additionally allow to study dose-dependent effects of Aß. The here obtained results provide evidence for the enhanced cell vulnerability caused by the Swedish APP mutation and elucidate the cell death mechanism probably initiated by intracellulary produced Aß. Here it seems likely that increased production of Aß at physiological levels primes APPsw PC12 cells to undergo cell death only after additional stress, while chronic high levels in HEK cells already lead to enhanced basal apoptotic levels. Crucial effects of the Swedish APP mutation include the impairments of cellular energy metabolism affecting mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP levels as well as the additional activation of caspase 2, caspase 8 and JNK in response to oxidative stress. Thereby ,the following model can be proposed: PC12 cells harboring the Swedish APP mutation have a reduced energy metabolism compared to APPwt or control cells. However, this effect does not leads to enhanced basal apoptotic levels of cultured cells. An exposure of PC12 cells to oxidative stress leads to mitochondrial dysfunction, e.g., decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential and depletion in ATP. The consequence is the activation of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway releasing cytochrome c and Smac resulting in the activation of caspase 9. This effect is amplified by the overexpression of APP, since both APPsw and APPwt PC12 cells show enhanced cytochrome c and Smac release as well as enhanced caspase 9 activity as vector transfected control. In APPsw PC12 cells a parallel pathway is additionally emphased. Due to reduced ATP levels or enhanced Aß production JNK is activated. Furthermore, the extrinsic apoptotic pathway is enhanced, since caspase 8 and caspase 2 activation was clearly enhanced by the Swedish APP mutation. Both pathways may then converge by activating the effector enzyme, caspase 3, and the execution of cell death. In addition, caspase independent effects also needs to be considered. One possibility could be the implication of AIF since AIF expression was found to be induced by the Swedish APP mutation. In APPsw HEK cells high chronic Aß levels leads to enhanced apoptotic levels, reduce mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP levels even under basal conditions. Summarizing, a hypothetical sequence of events is proposed linking FAD, Aß production, JNK-activation, mitochondrial dysfunction with caspase pathway and neuronal loss for our cell model. The brain has a high metabolic rate and is exposured to gradually rising levels of oxidative stress during life. In Swedish FAD patients the levels of oxidative stress are increased in the temporal inferior cortex. This study using a cell model mimicking the in vivo situation in AD brains indicates that probably both, increased Aß production and the gradual rise of oxidative stress throughout life converge at a final common pathway of an increased vulnerability of neurons to apoptotic cell death from FAD patients. Presenilin (PS) 1 is an aspartyl protease, involved in the gamma-secretase mediated proteolysis of Amyloid-ß-protein (Aß), the major constituent of senile plaques in brains of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. Recent studies have suggested an additional role for presenilin proteins in apoptotic cell death observed in AD. Since PS 1 is proteolytic cleaved by caspase 3, it has been prosposed that the resulting C-terminal fragment of PS1 (PSCas) could play a role in signal transduction during apoptosis. Moreover, it was shown that mutant presenilins causing early-onset of familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD) may render cells vulnerable to apoptosis. The mechanism by which PS1 regulates apoptotic cell death is yet not understood. Therefore one aim of our present study was to clarify the involvement of PS1 in the proteolytic cascade of apoptosis and if the cleavage of PS1 by caspase 3 has an regulatory function. Here it is demonstrated that both, PS1 and PS1Cas lead to a reduced vulnerability of PC12 and Jurkat cells to different apoptotic stimuli. However a mutation at the caspase 3 recognition site (D345A/ PSmut), which inhibits cleavage of PS1 by caspase 3, show no differences in the effect of PS1 or PSCas towards apoptotic stimuli. This suggest that proteolysis of PS1 by caspase 3 is not a determinant, but only a secondary effect during apoptosis. Since several FAD mutation distributed through the whole PS1 gene lead to enhanced apoptosis, an abolishment of the antiapoptotic effect of PS1 might contribute to the massive neurodegeneration in early age of FAD patients. Here, the regulate properties of PS1 in apoptosis may not be through an caspase 3 dependent cleavage and generation of PSCas, but rather through interaction of PS1 with other proteins involved in apoptosis.
Oxidative stress during aging and in Alzheimer's disease : a comparative study of oxidative damage and antioxidant enzymatic activities in mouse models and human brain tissue
- The hypothesis that oxidative stress plays a role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) was tested by studying oxidative damage, acitvities of antioxidant enzymes and levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in several models. To this end, mouse models transgenic for mutant presenilin (PS1M146L) as well as mutant amyloid precursor protein (APP) and human post mortem brain tissue from sporadic AD patients and age-matched controls were studied. Aging leads to an upregulation of antioxidant enzyme activities of Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (Cu/Zn-SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione reductase (GR) in brains from C57BL/6J mice. Simultaneously, levels of lipid peroxidation products malondialdehyde MDA and 4-hydroxynonenal HNE were reduced. Additionally, pronounced gender effects were observed, as female mice display better protection against oxidative damage due to higher activity of GPx. Hence, antioxidant enzymes provide an important contribution to the protection against oxidative damage. In PS1M146L transgenic mice oxidative damage was only detectable in 19-22 months old mice, arguing for an additive effect of aging and the PS1 mutation. Both HNE levels in brain tissue as well as mitochondrial and cytosolic levels of ROS in splenic lymphocytes were increased in PS1M146L mice. Antioxidant defences were unaltered. In PDGF-APP and PDGF-APP/PS1 trangenic mice no changes in any of the parameters studied were observed in any age group. In contrast, Thy1-APP transgenic mice display oxidative damage as assessed by increased HNE levels. Reduced activity of Cu/Zn-SOD may explain this observation. Additionally, gender modified this effect, as female APP transgenic mice display higher b-secretase cleavage of APP and simultaneously increased HNE levels and reduced Cu/Zn-SOD activity earlier than male mice, i.e. from an age of 3 months and before the formation of Ab plaques. Reduced Cu/Zn-SOD activity was also found in another APP transgenic mouse model, in APP23 mice. In post mortem brain tissue from sporadic AD patients activities of Cu/Zn-SOD and GPx were however increased, and changes were most pronounced in temporal cortex. Simultaneously, levels of HNE but not MDA were elevated. Additionally, in vitro stimulation of lipid peroxidation led to increased MDA formation in samples from AD patients, indicating that increased activity of Cu/Zn-SOD and GPx are insufficient to protect against oxidative damage. Furthermore, the observed changes were subject to a gender effect, as samples from female AD patients showed increased activities of Cu/Zn-SOD and GPx as well as increased HNE levels, indicating that brain tissue from females is more sensitive towards oxidative damage. Levels of soluble Ab1-40 were positively correlated with with MDA levels and activities of Cu/Zn-SOD and GPx. Additionally, levels of lipid peroxidation products MDA and HNE are gene-dose-dependently modulated by the Apolipoprotein E4 allele, the most important genetic risk factor for AD known so far. While MDA levels were negatively correlated with MMSE scores, a measure for cognitive function, HNE levels were highest in AD patients with moderate cognitive impairment. Hence, increased HNE levels may play an important role in neurodegenerative events at an early disease stage. In summary, oxidative damage, as assessed by increased HNE levels, could be detected in sporadic AD patients and in different transgenic mouse models. The results of this thesis therefore support the further research of pharmacological targets aiming at augmentation of antioxidant defences for therapy or prophylaxis of Alzheimer’s disease.
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)....
Drug target 5-lipoxygenase : a link between cellular enzyme regulation and molecular pharmacology
- Leukotriene (LT) sind bioaktive Lipidmediatoren, die in einer Vielzahl von Entzündungskrankheiten wie z.B. Asthma, Psoriasis, Arthritis oder allergische Rhinitis involviert sind. Des Weiteren spielen LT in der Pathogenese von Erkrankungen wie Krebs, Osteoarthritis oder Atherosklerose eine Rolle. Die 5-Lipoxygenase (5-LO) ist das Enzym, das für die Bildung von LT verantwortlich ist. Aufgrund der physiologischen Eigenschaften der LT, ist die Entwicklung von potentiellen Arzneistoffen, welche die 5-LO als Zielstruktur besitzen, von erheblichem Interesse. Die Aktivität der 5-LO wird in vitro durch Ca2+, ATP, Phosphatidylcholin und Lipidhydroperoxide (LOOH) und durch die p38-abhängige MK-2/3 5-LO bestimmt. Inhibitorstudien weisen darauf hin, dass der MEK1/2-Signalweg ebenfalls in vivo an der 5-LO Aktivierung beteiligt ist. Hauptziel dieser Arbeit war es zu untersuchen, welche Rolle der MEK1/2-Signalweg bei der Aktivierung der 5-LO besitzt und welchen Einfluss der 5-LO Aktivierungsweg auf die Wirksamkeit potentieller Inhibitoren hat. „In gel kinase“ und „In vitro kinase“ Untersuchungen zeigten, dass die 5-LO ein Substrat für die Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) und MK-2/3 darstellt. Der Zusatz von mehrfach ungesättigten Fettsäuren (UFA), wie AA oder Ölsäure, verstärkte den Phosphorylierungsgrad der 5-LO sowohl durch ERK1/2 als auch durch MK-2/3. Die genannten Kinasen sind demnach auch für die 5-LO Aktivierung durch natürliche Stimuli verantwortlich, die den zellulären Ca2+-Spiegel kaum beeinflussen. Daraus ist ersichtlich, dass die Phosphorylierung der 5-LO durch ERK1/2 und/oder MK-2/3 einen alternativen Aktivierungsmechanismus neben Ca2+ darstellt. Ursprünglich wurden Nonredox-5-LO-Inhibitoren als kompetitive Wirkstoffe entwickelt, die mit AA um die Bindung an die katalytische Domäne der 5-LO konkurrieren. Vertreter dieser Inhibitoren, wie ZM230487 und L-739,010, zeigen eine potente Hemmung der LT-Biosynthese in verschiedenen Testsystemen. Sie scheiterten jedoch in klinischen Studien. In dieser Arbeit konnten wir zeigen, dass die Wirksamkeit dieser Inhibitoren vom Aktivierungsweg der 5-LO abhängig ist. Verglichen mit 5-LO Aktivität, die durch den unphysiologischen Stimulus Ca2+-Ionophor induziert wird, erfordert die Hemmung zellstress-induzierter Aktivität eine 10- bis 100-fach höhere Konzentration der Nonredox-5-LO-Inhibitoren. Die nicht-phosphorylierbare 5-LO Mutante (Ser271Ala/Ser663Ala) war wesentlich sensitiver gegenüber Nonredox-Inhibitoren als der Wildtyp, wenn das Enzym durch 5-LO Kinasen aktiviert wurde. Somit zeigen diese Ergebnisse, dass, im Gegensatz zu Ca2+, die 5-LO Aktivierung mittels Phosphorylierung die Wirksamkeit der Nonredox-Inhibitoren deutlich verringert. Des Weiteren wurde das pharmakologische Profil des neuen 5-LO Inhibitors CJ-13,610 mittels verschiedener in vitro-Testsysteme charakterisiert. In intakten PMNL, die durch Ca2+-Ionophor stimuliert wurden, hemmte die Substanz die 5-LO Produktbildung mit einem IC50 von 70 nM. Durch Zugabe von exogener AA, wird die Wirkung vermindert und der IC50 des Inhibitors steigt an. Dies deutet auf eine kompetitive Wirkweise hin. Wie die bekannten Nonredox-Inhibitoren, verliert auch CJ-13,610 seine Wirkung bei erhöhtem zellulärem Peroxidspiegel. Der Inhibitor CJ-13,610 zeigt jedoch keine Abhängigkeit vom Aktivierungsweg der 5-LO. Grundsätzlich ist es also von fundamentaler Bedeutung bei der Entwicklung von neuen Arzneistoffen, die zellulären Zusammenhänge, insbesondere die Regulierung der Aktivität von Enzymen, zu kennen. Wie in dieser Arbeit gezeigt, hat die Phosphorylierung der 5-LO einen starken Einfluss auf die Regulation der 5-LO Aktivität und eine elementare Wirkung auf die Hemmung des Enzyms durch verschiedene Wirkstoffe.
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.