ResearchPad - cytoskeleton https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Functional and structural consequences of epithelial cell invasion by <i>Bordetella pertussis</i> adenylate cyclase toxin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7693 Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whopping cough, produces an adenylate cyclase toxin (CyaA) that plays a key role in the host colonization by targeting innate immune cells which express CD11b/CD18, the cellular receptor of CyaA. CyaA is also able to invade non-phagocytic cells, via a unique entry pathway consisting in a direct translocation of its catalytic domain across the cytoplasmic membrane of the cells. Within the cells, CyaA is activated by calmodulin to produce high levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and alter cellular physiology. In this study, we explored the effects of CyaA toxin on the cellular and molecular structure remodeling of A549 alveolar epithelial cells. Using classical imaging techniques, biochemical and functional tests, as well as advanced cell mechanics method, we quantify the structural and functional consequences of the massive increase of intracellular cyclic AMP induced by the toxin: cell shape rounding associated to adhesion weakening process, actin structure remodeling for the cortical and dense components, increase in cytoskeleton stiffness, and inhibition of migration and repair. We also show that, at low concentrations (0.5 nM), CyaA could significantly impair the migration and wound healing capacities of the intoxicated alveolar epithelial cells. As such concentrations might be reached locally during B. pertussis infection, our results suggest that the CyaA, beyond its major role in disabling innate immune cells, might also contribute to the local alteration of the epithelial barrier of the respiratory tract, a hallmark of pertussis.

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<![CDATA[Aspirin-triggered resolvin D1 attenuates PDGF-induced vascular smooth muscle cell migration via the cyclic adenosine monophosphate/protein kinase A (cAMP/PKA) pathway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc0e7

Background and objectives

Resolvin D1 (RvD1) is a specialized pro-resolving lipid mediator that has been previously shown to attenuate vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) migration, a key process in the development of intimal hyperplasia. We sought to investigate the role of the cAMP/PKA pathway in mediating the effects of the aspirin-triggered epimer 17R-RvD1 (AT-RvD1) on VSMC migration.

Methods

VSMCs were harvested from human saphenous veins. VSMCs were analyzed for intracellular cAMP levels and PKA activity after exposure to AT-RvD1. Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-induced migration and cytoskeletal changes in VSMCs were observed through scratch, Transwell, and cell shape assays in the presence or absence of a PKA inhibitor (Rp-8-Br-cAMP). Further investigation of the pathways involved in AT-RvD1 signaling was performed by measuring Rac1 activity, vasodilator stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) phosphorylation and paxillin translocation. Finally, we examined the role of RvD1 receptors (GPR32 and ALX/FPR2) in AT-RvD1 induced effects on VSMC migration and PKA activity.

Results

Treatment with AT-RvD1 induced a significant increase in cAMP levels and PKA activity in VSMCs at 5 minutes and 30 minutes, respectively. AT-RvD1 attenuated PDGF-induced VSMC migration and cytoskeletal rearrangements. These effects were attenuated by the PKA inhibitor Rp-8-Br-cAMP, suggesting cAMP/PKA involvement. Treatment of VSMC with AT-RvD1 inhibited PDGF-stimulated Rac1 activity, increased VASP phosphorylation, and attenuated paxillin localization to focal adhesions; these effects were negated by the addition of Rp-8-Br-cAMP. The effects of AT-RvD1 on VSMC migration and PKA activity were attenuated by blocking ALX/FPR2, suggesting an important role of this G-protein coupled receptor.

Conclusions

Our results suggest that AT-RvD1 attenuates PDGF-induced VSMC migration via ALX/FPR2 and cAMP/PKA. Interference with Rac1, VASP and paxillin function appear to mediate the downstream effects of AT-RvD1 on VSMC migration.

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<![CDATA[Podocyte RNA sequencing reveals Wnt- and ECM-associated genes as central in FSGS]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nff231b2e-f2d8-47eb-acf2-c510faf35a1a

Loss of podocyte differentiation can cause nephrotic-range proteinuria and Focal and Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). As specific therapy is still lacking, FSGS frequently progresses to end-stage renal disease. The exact molecular mechanisms of FSGS and gene expression changes in podocytes are complex and widely unknown as marker changes have mostly been assessed on the glomerular level. To gain a better insight, we isolated podocytes of miR-193a overexpressing mice, which suffer from FSGS due to suppression of the podocyte master regulator Wt1. We characterised the podocytic gene expression changes by RNAseq and identified many novel candidate genes not linked to FSGS so far. This included strong upregulation of the receptor tyrosine kinase EphA6 and a massive dysregulation of circadian genes including the loss of the transcriptional activator Arntl. By comparison with podocyte-specific changes in other FSGS models we found a shared dysregulation of genes associated with the Wnt signaling cascade, while classical podocyte-specific genes appeared widely unaltered. An overlap with gene expression screens from human FSGS patients revealed a strong enrichment in genes associated with extra-cellular matrix (ECM) and metabolism. Our data suggest that FSGS progression might frequently depend on pathways that are often overlooked when considering podocyte homeostasis.

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<![CDATA[Active diffusion in oocytes nonspecifically centers large objects during prophase I and meiosis I]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N4153e3ca-0915-4794-8be5-900f680acbfe

Nucleus centering in mouse oocytes depends on a gradient of actin-positive vesicle persistence. Modeling coupled to 3D simulations and experimental testing of predictions coming from the simulations demonstrate that this gradient nonspecifically centers large objects during prophase I and meiosis I in oocytes.

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<![CDATA[Multivalent electrostatic microtubule interactions of synthetic peptides are sufficient to mimic advanced MAP-like behavior]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N91fd81db-e423-42f8-8ef1-2b6d88048460

Microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) are a functionally highly diverse class of proteins that help to adjust the shape and function of the microtubule cytoskeleton in space and time. For this purpose, MAPs structurally support microtubules, modulate their dynamic instability, or regulate the activity of associated molecular motors. The microtubule-binding domains of MAPs are structurally divergent, but often depend on electrostatic interactions with the negatively charged surface of the microtubule. This suggests that the surface exposure of positive charges rather than a certain structural fold is sufficient for a protein to associate with microtubules. Consistently, positively charged artificial objects have been shown to associate with microtubules and to diffuse along their lattice. Natural MAPs, however, show a more sophisticated functionality beyond lattice-diffusion. Here, we asked whether basic electrostatic interactions are sufficient to also support advanced MAP functionality. To test this hypothesis, we studied simple positively charged peptide sequences for the occurrence of typical MAP-like behavior. We found that a multivalent peptide construct featuring four lysine-alanine heptarepeats (starPEG-(KA7)4)—but not its monovalent KA7-subunits—show advanced, biologically relevant MAP-like behavior: starPEG-(KA7)4 binds microtubules in the low nanomolar range, diffuses along their lattice with the ability to switch between intersecting microtubules, and tracks depolymerizing microtubule ends. Further, starPEG-(KA7)4 promotes microtubule nucleation and growth, mediates depolymerization coupled pulling at plus ends, and bundles microtubules without significantly interfering with other proteins on the microtubule lattice (as exemplified by the motor kinesin-1). Our results show that positive charges and multivalency are sufficient to mimic advanced MAP-like behavior.

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<![CDATA[Septin 2/6/7 complexes tune microtubule plus-end growth and EB1 binding in a concentration- and filament-dependent manner]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N2810cc8a-f6da-4cd5-a108-3966c5b51165

Septins (SEPTs) are filamentous guanosine-5′-triphosphate (GTP)-binding proteins, which affect microtubule (MT)-dependent functions including membrane trafficking and cell division, but their precise role in MT dynamics is poorly understood. Here, in vitro reconstitution of MT dynamics with SEPT2/6/7, the minimal subunits of septin heteromers, shows that SEPT2/6/7 has a biphasic concentration-dependent effect on MT growth. Lower concentrations of SEPT2/6/7 enhance MT plus-end growth and elongation, while higher and intermediate concentrations inhibit and pause plus-end growth, respectively. We show that SEPT2/6/7 has a modest preference for GTP- over guanosine diphosphate (GDP)-bound MT lattice and competes with end-binding protein 1 (EB1) for binding to guanosine 5′-O-[γ-thio]triphosphate (GTPγS)-stabilized MTs, which mimic the EB1-preferred GDP-Pi state of polymerized tubulin. Strikingly, SEPT2/6/7 triggers EB1 dissociation from plus-end tips in cis by binding to the MT lattice and in trans when MT plus ends collide with SEPT2/6/7 filaments. At these intersections, SEPT2/6/7 filaments were more potent barriers than actin filaments in pausing MT growth and dissociating EB1 in vitro and in live cells. These data demonstrate that SEPT2/6/7 complexes and filaments can directly impact MT plus-end growth and the tracking of plus end–binding proteins and thereby may facilitate the capture of MT plus ends at intracellular sites of septin enrichment.

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<![CDATA[Actin and myosin dynamics are independent during Drosophila embryonic wound repair]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N88b9edb6-5956-4134-a25c-125ffc34ff96

Collective cell movements play a central role in embryonic development, tissue repair, and metastatic disease. Cell movements are often coordinated by supracellular networks formed by the cytoskeletal protein actin and the molecular motor nonmuscle myosin II. During wound closure in the embryonic epidermis, the cells around the wound migrate collectively into the damaged region. In Drosophila embryos, mechanical tension stabilizes myosin at the wound edge, facilitating the assembly of a supracellular myosin cable around the wound that coordinates cell migration. Here, we show that actin is also stabilized at the wound edge. However, loss of tension or myosin activity does not affect the dynamics of actin at the wound margin. Conversely, pharmacological stabilization of actin does not affect myosin levels or dynamics around the wound. Together, our data suggest that actin and myosin are independently regulated during embryonic wound closure, thus conferring robustness to the embryonic wound healing response.

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<![CDATA[Effects of the microtubule nucleator Mto1 on chromosomal movement, DNA repair, and sister chromatid cohesion in fission yeast]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N33c3655f-db5c-410e-ac2d-815b50e62d4b

Although the function of microtubules (MTs) in chromosomal segregation during mitosis is well characterized, much less is known about the role of MTs in chromosomal functions during interphase. In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, dynamic cytoplasmic MT bundles move chromosomes in an oscillatory manner during interphase via linkages through the nuclear envelope (NE) at the spindle pole body (SPB) and other sites. Mto1 is a cytoplasmic factor that mediates the nucleation and attachment of cytoplasmic MTs to the nucleus. Here, we test the function of these cytoplasmic MTs and Mto1 on DNA repair and recombination during interphase. We find that mto1Δ cells exhibit defects in DNA repair and homologous recombination (HR) and abnormal DNA repair factory dynamics. In these cells, sister chromatids are not properly paired, and binding of Rad21 cohesin subunit along chromosomal arms is reduced. Our findings suggest a model in which cytoplasmic MTs and Mto1 facilitate efficient DNA repair and HR by promoting dynamic chromosomal organization and cohesion in the nucleus.

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<![CDATA[Brush border protocadherin CDHR2 promotes the elongation and maximized packing of microvilli in vivo]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c973a29d5eed0c484965143

Transporting epithelial cells optimize their morphology for solute uptake by building an apical specialization: a dense array of microvilli that serves to increase membrane surface area. In the intestinal tract, individual cells build thousands of microvilli, which pack tightly to form the brush border. Recent studies implicate adhesion molecule CDHR2 in the regulation of microvillar packing via the formation of adhesion complexes between the tips of adjacent protrusions. To gain insight on how CDHR2 contributes to brush border morphogenesis and enterocyte function under native in vivo conditions, we generated mice lacking CDHR2 expression in the intestinal tract. Although CDHR2 knockout (KO) mice are viable, body weight trends lower and careful examination of tissue, cell, and brush border morphology revealed several perturbations that likely contribute to reduced functional capacity of KO intestine. In the absence of CDHR2, microvilli are significantly shorter, and exhibit disordered packing and a 30% decrease in packing density. These structural perturbations are linked to decreased levels of key solute processing and transporting factors in the brush border. Thus, CDHR2 functions to elongate microvilli and maximize their numbers on the apical surface, which together serve to increase the functional capacity of enterocyte.

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<![CDATA[The ARP2/3 complex prevents excessive formin activity during cytokinesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c973a2bd5eed0c484965180

Cytokinesis completes cell division by constriction of an actomyosin contractile ring that separates the two daughter cells. Here we use the early Caenorhabditis elegans embryo to explore how the actin filament network in the ring and the surrounding cortex is regulated by the single cytokinesis formin CYK-1 and the ARP2/3 complex, which nucleate nonbranched and branched filaments, respectively. We show that CYK-1 and the ARP2/3 complex are the predominant F-actin nucleators responsible for generating distinct cortical F-actin architectures and that depletion of either nucleator affects the kinetics of cytokinesis. CYK-1 is critical for normal F-actin levels in the contractile ring, and acute inhibition of CYK-1 after furrow ingression slows ring constriction rate, suggesting that CYK-1 activity is required throughout ring constriction. Surprisingly, although the ARP2/3 complex does not localize in the contractile ring, depletion of the ARP2 subunit or treatment with ARP2/3 complex inhibitor delays contractile ring formation and constriction. We present evidence that the delays are due to an excess in formin-nucleated cortical F-actin, suggesting that the ARP2/3 complex negatively regulates CYK-1 activity. We conclude that the kinetics of cytokinesis are modulated by interplay between the two major actin filament nucleators.

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<![CDATA[Comprehensive analysis of formin localization in Xenopus epithelial cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c973a27d5eed0c484965119

Reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton is crucial for cellular processes, including cytokinesis and cell–cell junction remodeling. Formins are conserved processive actin-polymerizing machines that regulate actin dynamics by nucleating, elongating, and bundling linear actin filaments. Because the formin family is large, with at least 15 members in vertebrates, there have not been any comprehensive studies examining formin localization and function within a common cell type. Here, we characterized the localization of all 15 formins in epithelial cells of Xenopus laevis gastrula-stage embryos. Dia1 and Dia2 localized to tight junctions, while Fhod1 and Fhod3 localized to adherens junctions. Only Dia3 strongly localized at the cytokinetic contractile ring. The Diaphanous inhibitory domain–dimerization domain (DID-DD) region of Dia1 was sufficient for Dia1 localization, and overexpression of a Dia1 DID-DD fragment competitively removed Dia1 and Dia2 from cell–cell junctions. In Dia1 DID-DD–overexpressing cells, Dia1 and Dia2 were mislocalized to the contractile ring, and cells exhibited increased cytokinesis failure. This work provides a comprehensive analysis of the localization of all 15 vertebrate formins in epithelial cells and suggests that misregulated formin localization results in epithelial cytokinesis failure.

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<![CDATA[The responses of lungs and adjacent lymph nodes in responding to Yersinia pestis infection: A transcriptomic study using a non-human primate model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c78500ed5eed0c484007bfd

Initiation of treatment during the pre-symptomatic phase of Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis) infection is particularly critical. The rapid proliferation of Y. pestis typically couples with the manifestation of common flu-like early symptoms that often misguides the medical intervention. Our study used African green monkeys (AGM) that did not exhibit clear clinical symptoms for nearly two days after intranasal challenge with Y. pestis and succumbed within a day after showing the first signs of clinical symptoms. The lung, and mediastinal and submandibular lymph nodes (LN) accumulated significant Y. pestis colonization immediately after the intranasal challenge. Hence, organ-specific molecular investigations are deemed to be the key to elucidating mechanisms of the initial host response. Our previous study focused on the whole blood of AGM, and we found early perturbations in the ubiquitin-microtubule-mediated host defense. Altered expression of the genes present in ubiquitin and microtubule networks indicated an early suppression of these networks in the submandibular lymph nodes. In concert, the upstream toll-like receptor signaling and downstream NFκB signaling were inhibited at the multi-omics level. The inflammatory response was suppressed in the lungs, submandibular lymph nodes and mediastinal lymph nodes. We posited a causal chain of molecular mechanisms that indicated Y. pestis was probably able to impair host-mediated proteolysis activities and evade autophagosome capture by dysregulating both ubiquitin and microtubule networks in submandibular lymph nodes. Targeting these networks in a submandibular LN-specific and time-resolved fashion could be essential for development of the next generation therapeutics for pneumonic plague.

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<![CDATA[Application of the fluctuation theorem for noninvasive force measurement in living neuronal axons]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c7a9cced5eed0c48431f5cc

Although its importance is recently widely accepted, force measurement has been difficult in living biological systems, mainly due to the lack of the versatile noninvasive force measurement methods. The fluctuation theorem, which represents the thermodynamic properties of small fluctuating nonequilibrium systems, has been applied to the analysis of the thermodynamic properties of motor proteins in vitro. Here we extend it to the axonal transport (displacement) of endosomes. The distribution of the displacement fluctuation had three or four distinct peaks around multiples of a unit value, which the fluctuation theorem can convert into the drag force exerted on the endosomes. The results demonstrated that a single cargo vesicle is conveyed by one to three or four units of force production.

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<![CDATA[Vgsc-interacting proteins are genetically associated with pyrethroid resistance in Aedes aegypti]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59feaed5eed0c4841352e6

Association mapping of factors that condition pyrethroid resistance in Aedes aegypti has consistently identified genes in multiple functional groups. Toward better understanding of the mechanisms involved, we examined high throughput sequencing data (HTS) from two Aedes aegypti aegypti collections from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico treated with either permethrin or deltamethrin. Exome capture enrichment for coding regions and the AaegL5 annotation were used to identify genes statistically associated with resistance. The frequencies of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were compared between resistant and susceptible mosquito pools using a contingency χ2 analysis. The -log102 p value) was calculated at each SNP site, with a weighted average determined from all sites in each gene. Genes with -log102 p value) ≥ 4.0 and present among all 3 treatment groups were subjected to gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA). We found that several functional groups were enriched compared to all coding genes. These categories were transport, signal transduction and metabolism, in order from highest to lowest statistical significance. Strikingly, 21 genes with demonstrated association to synaptic function were identified. In the high association group (n = 1,053 genes), several genes were identified that also genetically or physically interact with the voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC). These genes were eg., CHARLATAN (CHL), a transcriptional regulator, several ankyrin-domain proteins, PUMILIO (PUM), a translational repressor, and NEDD4 (E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase). There were 13 genes that ranked among the top 10%: these included VGSC; CINGULIN, a predicted neuronal gap junction protein, and the aedine ortholog of NERVY (NVY), a transcriptional regulator. Silencing of CHL and NVY followed by standard permethrin bottle bioassays validated their association with permethrin resistance. Importantly, VGSC levels were also reduced about 50% in chl- or nvy-dsRNA treated mosquitoes. These results are consistent with the contribution of a variety of neuronal pathways to pyrethroid resistance in Ae. aegypti.

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<![CDATA[The type III intermediate filament vimentin regulates organelle distribution and modulates autophagy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52e2d5eed0c4842bd1ca

The cytoskeletal protein vimentin plays a key role in positioning of organelles within the cytosol and has been linked to the regulation of numerous cellular processes including autophagy, however, how vimentin regulates autophagy remains relatively unexplored. Here we report that inhibition of vimentin using the steroidal lactone Withaferin A (WFA) causes vimentin to aggregate, and this is associated with the relocalisation of organelles including autophagosomes and lysosomes from the cytosol to a juxtanuclear location. Vimentin inhibition causes autophagosomes to accumulate, and we demonstrate this results from modulation of mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTORC1) activity, and disruption of autophagosome-lysosome fusion. We suggest that vimentin plays a physiological role in autophagosome and lysosome positioning, thus identifying vimentin as a key factor in the regulation of mTORC1 and autophagy.

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<![CDATA[Tetrahymena RIB72A and RIB72B are microtubule inner proteins in the ciliary doublet microtubules]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6715b2d5eed0c484f1b7d1

Doublet and triplet microtubules are essential and highly stable core structures of centrioles, basal bodies, cilia, and flagella. In contrast to dynamic cytoplasmic micro­tubules, their luminal surface is coated with regularly arranged microtubule inner proteins (MIPs). However, the protein composition and biological function(s) of MIPs remain poorly understood. Using genetic, biochemical, and imaging techniques, we identified Tetrahymena RIB72A and RIB72B proteins as ciliary MIPs. Fluorescence imaging of tagged RIB72A and RIB72B showed that both proteins colocalize to Tetrahymena cilia and basal bodies but assemble independently. Cryoelectron tomography of RIB72A and/or RIB72B knockout strains revealed major structural defects in the ciliary A-tubule involving MIP1, MIP4, and MIP6 structures. The defects of individual mutants were complementary in the double mutant. All mutants had reduced swimming speed and ciliary beat frequencies, and high-speed video imaging revealed abnormal highly curved cilia during power stroke. Our results show that RIB72A and RIB72B are crucial for the structural assembly of ciliary A-tubule MIPs and are important for proper ciliary motility.

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<![CDATA[Quantitative analysis of F-actin alterations in adherent human mesenchymal stem cells: Influence of slow-freezing and vitrification-based cryopreservation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c64490fd5eed0c484c2f524

Cryopreservation is an essential tool to meet the increasing demand for stem cells in medical applications. To ensure maintenance of cell function upon thawing, the preservation of the actin cytoskeleton is crucial, but so far there is little quantitative data on the influence of cryopreservation on cytoskeletal structures. For this reason, our study aims to quantitatively describe cryopreservation induced alterations to F-actin in adherent human mesenchymal stem cells, as a basic model for biomedical applications. Here we have characterised the actin cytoskeleton on single-cell level by calculating the circular standard deviation of filament orientation, F-actin content, and average filament length. Cryo-induced alterations of these parameters in identical cells pre and post cryopreservation provide the basis of our investigation. Differences between the impact of slow-freezing and vitrification are qualitatively analyzed and highlighted. Our analysis is supported by live cryo imaging of the actin cytoskeleton via two photon microscopy. We found similar actin alterations in slow-frozen and vitrified cells including buckling of actin filaments, reduction of F-actin content and filament shortening. These alterations indicate limited functionality of the respective cells. However, there are substantial differences in the frequency and time dependence of F-actin disruptions among the applied cryopreservation strategies; immediately after thawing, cytoskeletal structures show least disruption after slow freezing at a rate of 1°C/min. As post-thaw recovery progresses, the ratio of cells with actin disruptions increases, particularly in slow frozen cells. After 120 min of recovery the proportion of cells with an intact actin cytoskeleton is higher in vitrified than in slow frozen cells. Freezing at 10°C/min is associated with a high ratio of impaired cells throughout the post-thawing culture.

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<![CDATA[Role of tau N-terminal motif in the secretion of human tau by End Binding proteins]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c48cd5eed0c4845e88c1

For unknown reasons, humans appear to be particular susceptible to developing tau pathology leading to neurodegeneration. Transgenic mice are still undoubtedly the most popular and extensively used animal models for studying Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies. While these murine models generally overexpress human tau in the mouse brain or specific brain regions, there are differences between endogenous mouse tau and human tau protein. Among them, a main difference between human and mouse tau is the presence of a short motif spanning residues 18 to 28 in the human tau protein that is missing in murine tau, and which could be at least partially responsible for that different susceptibility across species. Here we report novel data using affinity chromatography analysis indicating that the sequence containing human tau residues 18 to 28 acts a binding motif for End Binding proteins and that this interaction could facilitate tau secretion to the extracellular space.

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<![CDATA[CPn0572, the C. pneumoniae ortholog of TarP, reorganizes the actin cytoskeleton via a newly identified F-actin binding domain and recruitment of vinculin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f797d5eed0c48438643a

Chlamydia pneumoniae is one of the two major species of the Chlamydiaceae family that have a profound effect on human health. C. pneumoniae is linked to a number of severe acute and chronic diseases of the upper and lower respiratory tract including pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis and infection by the pathogen might play a role in lung cancer. Following adhesion, Chlamydiae secrete effector proteins into the host cytoplasm that modulate the actin cytoskeleton facilitating internalization and infection. Members of the conserved TarP protein family comprise such effector proteins that polymerize actin, and in the case of the C. trachomatis TarP protein, has been shown to play a critical role in pathogenesis. In a previous study, we demonstrated that, upon bacterial invasion, the C. pneumoniae TarP family member CPn0572 is secreted into the host cytoplasm and recruits and associates with actin via an actin-binding domain conserved in TarP proteins. We have now extended our analysis of CPn0572 and found that the CPn0572 actin binding and modulating capability is more complex. With the help of the fission yeast system, a second actin modulating domain was identified independent of the actin binding domain. Microscopic analysis of HEp-2 cells expressing different CPn0572 deletion variants mapped this domain to the C-terminal part of the protein as CPn0572536-755 binds F-actin in vitro and colocalizes with aberrantly thickened actin cables in vivo. Finally, microscopic and bioinformatic analysis revealed the existence of a vinculin binding sequence in CPn0572. Our findings contribute to the understanding of the function of the TarP family and underscore the existence of several actin binding domains and a vinculin binding site for host actin modulation.

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<![CDATA[Combined proteomic and metabolomic analyses of cerebrospinal fluid from mice with ischemic stroke reveals the effects of a Buyang Huanwu decoction in neurodegenerative disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c90d5eed0c484bd31e6

Ischemic stroke is one of the most common causes of death worldwide and is a major cause of acquired disability in adults. However, there is still a need for an effective drug for its treatment. Buyang Huanwu decoction (BHD), a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) prescription, has long been used clinically to aid neurological recovery after stroke. To establish potential clinical indicators of BHD efficacy in stroke treatment and prognosis, we conducted a combined proteomic and metabolomic analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples in a mouse stroke model. CSF samples were obtained from male mice with acute ischemic stroke induced by middle cerebral ischemic/reperfusion (CI/R) injury, some of which were then treated with BHD. Label-free quantitative proteomics was conducted using nano-LC-MS/MS on an LTQ Orbitrap mass and metabolomic analysis was performed using nanoprobe NMR and UHPLC-QTOF-MS. The results showed that several proteins and metabolites were present at significantly different concentrations in the CSF samples from mice with CI/R alone and those treated with BHD. These belonged to pathways related to energy demand, inflammatory signaling, cytoskeletal regulation, Wnt signaling, and neuroprotection against neurodegenerative diseases. In conclusion, our in silico data suggest that BHD treatment is not only protective but can also ameliorate defects in pathways affected by neurological disorders. These data shed light on the mechanism whereby BHD may be effective in the treatment and prevention of stroke-related neurodegenerative disease.

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