ResearchPad - extracellular-matrix 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[A mathematical model coupling polarity signaling to cell adhesion explains diverse cell migration patterns]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be0154

Protrusion and retraction of lamellipodia are common features of eukaryotic cell motility. As a cell migrates through its extracellular matrix (ECM), lamellipod growth increases cell-ECM contact area and enhances engagement of integrin receptors, locally amplifying ECM input to internal signaling cascades. In contrast, contraction of lamellipodia results in reduced integrin engagement that dampens the level of ECM-induced signaling. These changes in cell shape are both influenced by, and feed back onto ECM signaling. Motivated by experimental observations on melanoma cells lines (1205Lu and SBcl2) migrating on fibronectin (FN) coated topographic substrates (anisotropic post-density arrays), we probe this interplay between intracellular and ECM signaling. Experimentally, cells exhibited one of three lamellipodial dynamics: persistently polarized, random, or oscillatory, with competing lamellipodia oscillating out of phase (Park et al., 2017). Pharmacological treatments, changes in FN density, and substrate topography all affected the fraction of cells exhibiting these behaviours. We use these observations as constraints to test a sequence of hypotheses for how intracellular (GTPase) and ECM signaling jointly regulate lamellipodial dynamics. The models encoding these hypotheses are predicated on mutually antagonistic Rac-Rho signaling, Rac-mediated protrusion (via activation of Arp2/3 actin nucleation) and Rho-mediated contraction (via ROCK phosphorylation of myosin light chain), which are coupled to ECM signaling that is modulated by protrusion/contraction. By testing each model against experimental observations, we identify how the signaling layers interact to generate the diverse range of cell behaviors, and how various molecular perturbations and changes in ECM signaling modulate the fraction of cells exhibiting each. We identify several factors that play distinct but critical roles in generating the observed dynamic: (1) competition between lamellipodia for shared pools of Rac and Rho, (2) activation of RhoA by ECM signaling, and (3) feedback from lamellipodial growth or contraction to cell-ECM contact area and therefore to the ECM signaling level.

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<![CDATA[Reduction of osteoarthritis severity in the temporomandibular joint of rabbits treated with chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N10336f10-2066-4958-9182-9e228dac929f

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that causes substantial changes in joint tissues, such as cartilage degeneration and subchondral bone sclerosis. Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine are commonly used products for the symptomatic treatment of osteoarthritis. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of these products when used as structure-modifying drugs on the progression of osteoarthritis in the rabbit temporomandibular joint. Thirty-six New Zealand rabbits were divided into 3 groups (n = 12/group): control (no disease); osteoarthritis (disease induction); and treatment (disease induction and administration of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine). Osteoarthritis was induced by intra-articular injection of monosodium iodoacetate. Animals were killed at 30 and 90 days after initiation of therapy. The treatment was effective in reducing disease severity, with late effects and changes in the concentration of glycosaminoglycans in the articular disc. The results indicate that chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine may have a structure-modifying effect on the tissues of rabbit temporomandibular joints altered by osteoarthritis.

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<![CDATA[Activity-dependent switches between dynamic regimes of extracellular matrix expression]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ndfacbadd-d1b4-4759-ab64-7c15dc34928b

Experimental studies highlight the important role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in the regulation of neuronal excitability and synaptic connectivity in the nervous system. In its turn, the neural ECM is formed in an activity-dependent manner. Its maturation closes the so-called critical period of neural development, stabilizing the efficient configurations of neural networks in the brain. ECM is locally remodeled by proteases secreted and activated in an activity-dependent manner into the extracellular space and this process is important for physiological synaptic plasticity. We ask if ECM remodeling may be exaggerated under pathological conditions and enable activity-dependent switches between different regimes of ECM expression. We consider an analytical model based on known mechanisms of interaction between neuronal activity and expression of ECM, ECM receptors and ECM degrading proteases. We demonstrate that either inhibitory or excitatory influence of ECM on neuronal activity may lead to the bistability of ECM expression, so two stable stationary states are observed. Noteworthy, only in the case when ECM has predominant inhibitory influence on neurons, the bistability is dependent on the activity of proteases. Excitatory ECM-neuron feedback influences may also result in spontaneous oscillations of ECM expression, which may coexist with a stable stationary state. Thus, ECM-neuronal interactions support switches between distinct dynamic regimes of ECM expression, possibly representing transitions into disease states associated with remodeling of brain ECM.

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<![CDATA[Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis associated POC5 mutation impairs cell cycle, cilia length and centrosome protein interactions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8accc4d5eed0c48498ff55

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) is a spinal deformity that affects approximately 3 percent of human adolescents. Although the etiology and molecular basis of AIS is unclear, several genes such as POC5 have been identified as possible causes of the condition. In order to understand the role of POC5 in the pathogenesis of AIS, we investigated the subcellular localization of POC5 in cilia of cells over-expressing either the wild type (wt) or an AIS-related POC5 variant POC5A429V. Mutation of POC5 was found to alter its subcellular localization and to induce ciliary retraction. Furthermore, we observed an impaired cell-cycle progression with the accumulation of cells in the S-phase in cells expressing POC5A429V. Using immunoprecipitation coupled to mass spectrometry, we identified specific protein interaction partners of POC5, most of which were components of cilia and cytoskeleton. Several of these interactions were altered upon mutation of POC5. Altogether, our results demonstrate major cellular alterations, disturbances in centrosome protein interactions and cilia retraction in cells expressing an AIS-related POC5 mutation. Our study suggests that defects in centrosomes and cilia may underlie AIS pathogenesis.

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<![CDATA[Matrix Metalloproteinases in COPD and atherosclerosis with emphasis on the effects of smoking]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c785018d5eed0c484007c7f

Background

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP´s) are known biomarkers of atherosclerosis. MMP´s are also involved in the pathophysiological processes underlying chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Cigarette smoking plays an important role in both disease states and is also known to affect the concentration and activity of MMP´s systemically. Unfortunately, the epidemiological data concerning the value of MMP´s as biomarkers of COPD and atherosclerosis with special regards to smoking habits are limited.

Methods

450 middle-aged subjects with records of smoking habits and tobacco consumption were examined with comprehensive spirometry, carotid ultrasound examination and biomarker analysis of MMP-1, -3, -7, -10 and -12. Due to missing data 33 subjects were excluded.

Results

The remaining 417 participants were divided into 4 different groups. Group I (n = 157, no plaque and no COPD), group II (n = 136, plaque but no COPD), group III (n = 43, COPD but no plaque) and group IV (n = 81, plaque and COPD). Serum levels of MMP-1,-7,-10-12 were significantly influenced by smoking, and MMP-1, -3, -7 and-12 were elevated in subjects with COPD and carotid plaque. This remained statistically significant for MMP-1 and-12 after adjusting for traditional risk factors.

Conclusion

COPD and concomitant plaque in the carotid artery were associated with elevated levels of MMP-1 and -MMP-12 even when adjusting for risk factors. Further studies are needed to elucidate if these two MMP´s could be useful as biomarkers in a clinical setting. Smoking was associated with increased serum levels of MMP´s (except for MMP-3) and should be taken into account when interpreting serum MMP results.

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<![CDATA[Computational and experimental analysis of bioactive peptide linear motifs in the integrin adhesome]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d60ed5eed0c4840314e3

Therapeutic modulation of protein interactions is challenging, but short linear motifs (SLiMs) represent potential targets. Focal adhesions play a central role in adhesion by linking cells to the extracellular matrix. Integrins are central to this process, and many other intracellular proteins are components of the integrin adhesome. We applied a peptide network targeting approach to explore the intracellular modulation of integrin function in platelets. Firstly, we computed a platelet-relevant integrin adhesome, inferred via homology of known platelet proteins to adhesome components. We then computationally selected peptides from the set of platelet integrin adhesome cytoplasmic and membrane adjacent protein-protein interfaces. Motifs of interest in the intracellular component of the platelet integrin adhesome were identified using a predictor of SLiMs based on analysis of protein primary amino acid sequences (SLiMPred), a predictor of strongly conserved motifs within disordered protein regions (SLiMPrints), and information from the literature regarding protein interactions in the complex. We then synthesized peptides incorporating these motifs combined with cell penetrating factors (tat peptide and palmitylation for cytoplasmic and membrane proteins respectively). We tested for the platelet activating effects of the peptides, as well as their abilities to inhibit activation. Bioactivity testing revealed a number of peptides that modulated platelet function, including those derived from α-actinin (ACTN1) and syndecan (SDC4), binding to vinculin and syntenin respectively. Both chimeric peptide experiments and peptide combination experiments failed to identify strong effects, perhaps characterizing the adhesome as relatively robust against within-adhesome synergistic perturbation. We investigated in more detail peptides targeting vinculin. Combined experimental and computational evidence suggested a model in which the positively charged tat-derived cell penetrating part of the peptide contributes to bioactivity via stabilizing charge interactions with a region of the ACTN1 negatively charged surface. We conclude that some interactions in the integrin adhesome appear to be capable of modulation by short peptides, and may aid in the identification and characterization of target sites within the complex that may be useful for therapeutic modulation.

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<![CDATA[The peptidoglycan and biofilm matrix of Staphylococcus epidermidis undergo structural changes when exposed to human platelets]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e669d5eed0c484ef3082

Staphylococcus epidermidis is a bacterium frequently isolated from contaminated platelet concentrates (PCs), a blood product used to treat bleeding disorders in transfusion patients. PCs offer an accidental niche for colonization of S. epidermidis by forming biofilms and thus avoiding clearance by immune factors present in this milieu. Using biochemical and microscopy techniques, we investigated the structural changes of the peptidoglycan (PG) and the biofilm matrix of S. epidermidis biofilms formed in whole-blood derived PCs compared to biofilms grown in glucose-supplemented trypticase soy broth (TSBg). Both, the PG and the biofilm matrix are primary mechanisms of defense against environmental stress. Here we show that in PCs, the S. epidermidis biofilm matrix is mainly of a proteinaceous nature with extracellular DNA, in contrast to the predominant polysaccharide nature of the biofilm matrix formed in TSBg cultures. PG profile studies demonstrated that the PG of biofilm cells remodels during PC storage displaying fewer muropeptides variants than those observed in TSBg. The PG muropeptides contain two chemical modifications (amidation and O-acetylation) previously associated with resistance to antimicrobial agents by other staphylococci. Our study highlights two key structural features of S. epidermidis that are remodeled when exposed to human platelets and could be used as targets to reduce septic transfusions events.

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<![CDATA[Matrix metalloprotease-1 inhibits and disrupts Enterococcus faecalis biofilms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c42436bd5eed0c4845e0123

Enterococcus faecalis is a major opportunistic pathogen that readily forms protective biofilms leading to chronic infections. Biofilms protect bacteria from detergent solutions, antimicrobial agents, environmental stress, and effectively make bacteria 10 to 1000-fold more resistant to antibiotic treatment. Extracellular proteins and polysaccharides are primary components of biofilms and play a key role in cell survival, microbial persistence, cellular interaction, and maturation of E. faecalis biofilms. Degradation of biofilm components by mammalian proteases is an effective antibiofilm strategy because proteases are known to degrade bacterial proteins leading to bacterial cell lysis and growth inhibition. Here, we show that human matrix metalloprotease-1 inhibits and disrupts E. faecalis biofilms. MMPs are cell-secreted zinc- and calcium-dependent proteases that degrade and regulate various structural components of the extracellular matrix. Human MMP1 is known to degrade type-1 collagen and can also cleave a wide range of substrates. We found that recombinant human MMP1 significantly inhibited and disrupted biofilms of vancomycin sensitive and vancomycin resistant E. faecalis strains. The mechanism of antibiofilm activity is speculated to be linked with bacterial growth inhibition and degradation of biofilm matrix proteins by MMP1. These findings suggest that human MMP1 can potentially be used as a potent antibiofilm agent against E. faecalis biofilms.

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<![CDATA[Site-specific HNK-1 epitope on alternatively spliced fibronectin type-III repeats in tenascin-C promotes neurite outgrowth of hippocampal neurons through contactin-1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f81fd5eed0c48438711e

The human natural killer-1 (HNK-1) carbohydrate epitope, composed of a unique sulfated trisaccharide (HSO3–3GlcAβ1–3Galβ1–4GlcNAc-R), is highly expressed during brain development and regulates higher brain function. However, it remains unclear which glycoprotein carries the HNK-1 epitope in the embryonic brain and the functional role it plays. Here, we showed that one of the major HNK-1 carrier proteins in the embryonic brain is tenascin-C (TNC), an extracellular matrix protein that regulates neurite outgrowth by interacting with the GPI-anchored protein contactin-1 (CNTN). Because the alternatively spliced fibronectin type-III (FNIII) repeats in TNC give rise to many isoforms and affect neuronal function, we evaluated neurite outgrowth of primary hippocampal neurons on purified recombinant FNIII repeats with or without the HNK-1 epitope as a substrate. We found that the presence of the HNK-1 epitope on the C domain of TNC promoted neurite outgrowth, and that this signal was mediated by CNTN, which is an HNK-1-expressing neuronal receptor. The neurite-promoting activity of the HNK-1 epitope on TNC required neuronal HNK-1 expression, which was defective in neurons lacking the glucuronyltransferases GlcAT-P and GlcAT-S. These results suggest that the HNK-1 epitope is a key modifier of TNC and CNTN in the regulation of embryonic brain development.

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<![CDATA[Computational characterization of the peptidome in transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP)-deficient cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478ca9d5eed0c484bd3c18

The transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP) is a key element of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I antigen processing and presentation pathway. Nonfunctional TAP complexes impair the translocation of cytosol-derived proteolytic peptides to the endoplasmic reticulum lumen. This drastic reduction in the available peptide repertoire leads to a significant decrease in MHC class I cell surface expression. Using mass spectrometry, different studies have analyzed the cellular MHC class I ligandome from TAP-deficient cells, but the analysis of the parental proteins, the source of these ligands, still deserves an in-depth analysis. In the present report, several bioinformatics protocols were applied to investigate the nature of parental proteins for the previously identified TAP-independent MHC class I ligands. Antigen processing in TAP-deficient cells mainly focused on small, abundant or highly integral transmembrane proteins of the cellular proteome. This process involved abundant proteins of the central RNA metabolism. In addition, TAP-independent ligands were preferentially cleaved from the N- and C-terminal ends with respect to the central regions of the parental proteins. The abundance of glycine, proline and aromatic residues in the C-terminal sequences from TAP-independently processed proteins allows the accessibility and specificity required for the proteolytic activities that generates the TAP-independent ligandome. This limited proteolytic activity towards a set of preferred proteins in a TAP-negative environment would therefore suffice to promote the survival of TAP-deficient individuals.

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<![CDATA[Conserved function of the matriptase-prostasin proteolytic cascade during epithelial morphogenesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3667fed5eed0c4841a6cb3

Extracellular matrix (ECM) assembly and remodelling is critical during development and organ morphogenesis. Dysregulation of ECM is implicated in many pathogenic conditions, including cancer. The type II transmembrane serine protease matriptase and the serine protease prostasin are key factors in a proteolytic cascade that regulates epithelial ECM differentiation during development in vertebrates. Here, we show by rescue experiments that the Drosophila proteases Notopleural (Np) and Tracheal-prostasin (Tpr) are functional homologues of matriptase and prostasin, respectively. Np mediates morphogenesis and remodelling of apical ECM during tracheal system development and is essential for maintenance of the transepithelial barrier function. Both Np and Tpr degrade the zona pellucida-domain (ZP-domain) protein Dumpy, a component of the transient tracheal apical ECM. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Tpr zymogen and the ZP domain of the ECM protein Piopio are cleaved by Np and matriptase in vitro. Our data indicate that the evolutionarily conserved ZP domain, present in many ECM proteins of vertebrates and invertebrates, is a novel target of the conserved matriptase-prostasin proteolytic cascade.

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<![CDATA[Suppression of angiotensin II-induced pathological changes in heart and kidney by the caveolin-1 scaffolding domain peptide]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c269747d5eed0c48470f1b0

Dysregulation of the renin-angiotensin system leads to systemic hypertension and maladaptive fibrosis in various organs. We showed recently that myocardial fibrosis and the loss of cardiac function in mice with transverse aortic constriction (TAC) could be averted by treatment with the caveolin-1 scaffolding domain (CSD) peptide. Here, we used angiotensin II (AngII) infusion (2.1 mg/kg/day for 2 wk) in mice as a second model to confirm and extend our observations on the beneficial effects of CSD on heart and kidney disease. AngII caused cardiac hypertrophy (increased heart weight to body weight ratio (HW/BW) and cardiomyocyte cross-sectional area); fibrosis in heart and kidney (increased levels of collagen I and heat shock protein-47 (HSP47)); and vascular leakage (increased levels of IgG in heart and kidney). Echocardiograms of AngII-infused mice showed increased left ventricular posterior wall thickness (pWTh) and isovolumic relaxation time (IVRT), and decreased ejection fraction (EF), stroke volume (SV), and cardiac output (CO). CSD treatment (i.p. injections, 50 μg/mouse/day) of AngII-infused mice significantly suppressed all of these pathological changes in fibrosis, hypertrophy, vascular leakage, and ventricular function. AngII infusion increased β1 and β3 integrin levels and activated Pyk2 in both heart and kidney. These changes were also suppressed by CSD. Finally, bone marrow cell (BMC) isolated from AngII-infused mice showed hyper-migration toward SDF1. When AngII-infused mice were treated with CSD, BMC migration was reduced to the basal level observed in cells from control mice. Importantly, CSD did not affect the AngII-induced increase in blood pressure (BP), indicating that the beneficial effects of CSD were not mediated via normalization of BP. These results strongly indicate that CSD suppresses AngII-induced pathological changes in mice, suggesting that CSD can be developed as a treatment for patients with hypertension and pressure overload-induced heart failure.

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<![CDATA[Intramembrane ionic protein–lipid interaction regulates integrin structure and function]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bf5cbf0d5eed0c484a80df8

Protein transmembrane domains (TMDs) are generally hydrophobic, but our bioinformatics analysis shows that many TMDs contain basic residues at terminal regions. Physiological functions of these membrane-snorkeling basic residues are largely unclear. Here, we show that a membrane-snorkeling Lys residue in integrin αLβ2 (also known as lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 [LFA-1]) regulates transmembrane heterodimer formation and integrin adhesion through ionic interplay with acidic phospholipids and calcium ions (Ca2+) in T cells. The amino group of the conserved Lys ionically interacts with the phosphate group of acidic phospholipids to stabilize αLβ2 transmembrane association, thus keeping the integrin at low-affinity conformation. Intracellular Ca2+ uses its charge to directly disrupt this ionic interaction, leading to the transmembrane separation and the subsequent extracellular domain extension to increase adhesion activity. This Ca2+-mediated regulation is independent on the canonical Ca2+ signaling or integrin inside-out signaling. Our work therefore showcases the importance of intramembrane ionic protein–lipid interaction and provides a new mechanism of integrin activation.

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<![CDATA[Serum biomarkers of collagen turnover as potential diagnostic tools in diffuse systemic sclerosis: A cross-sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ed760d5eed0c484f1400f

Background

Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is characterized by excessive fibrosis throughout the body. This leads to the release of extracellular matrix (ECM) fragments into circulation, where they may be quantified as biomarkers. The objectives were to investigate levels of ECM turnover biomarkers and the diagnostic power of these.

Methods

Diffuse SSc patients (n = 40) fulfilling the ACR/EULAR 2013 classification criteria and asymptomatic controls were included. Patients were divided into early (<2 years of symptoms; n = 20) and late (>10 years of symptoms; n = 20) diffuse SSc. Biomarkers of type I (C1M), III (C3A, C3M), IV (C4M), V (C5M) and VI (C6M) collagen degradation and type I (PRO-C1), II (PRO-C2), III (PRO-C3), IV (PRO-C4), V (PRO-C5) and VI (PRO-C6) collagen formation were measured in serum.

Repeated measures ANOVA was used to test for differences in biomarker levels and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) was used to investigate the ability of the biomarkers to separate groups.

Results

In early diffuse SSc, formation biomarkers of type III, IV, V and VI collagen were significantly increased compared to asymptomatic controls (p<0.0001). Moreover, in early diffuse SSc formation biomarkers of type III, V and VI collagen were significantly increased compared to late diffuse SSc (p = 0.0006, 0.003 and 0.004, respectively). Type I (p<0.0001), III (C3M: p = 0.001, and C3A: p = 0.02), IV (p<0.0001) and VI (p<0.0001) collagen degradation biomarkers significantly increased in early diffuse SSc compared to controls. C4M, C6M, PRO-C4, PRO-C5 and PRO-C6 had an AUC of >0.85 when assessing asymptomatic controls vs. diffuse SSc. Biomarkers of type VI collagen (PRO-C6 and C6M) turnover had the best separation with an AUC’s of >0.90.

Conclusion

Formation biomarkers of ECM turnover were shown to be significantly different between asymptomatic controls and diffuse SSc. This pilot study suggest that serological biomarkers of the ECM turnover is potentially applicable in SSc.

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<![CDATA[Mycoplasmas are no exception to extracellular vesicles release: Revisiting old concepts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0841ebd5eed0c484fcb27d

Release of extracellular vesicles (EV) by Gram-negative and positive bacteria is being frequently reported. EV are nano-sized, membrane-derived, non-self-replicating, spherical structures shed into the extracellular environment that could play a role in bacteria-host interactions. Evidence of EV production in bacteria belonging to the class Mollicutes, which are wall-less, is mainly restricted to the genus Acholeplasma and is scanty for the Mycoplasma genus that comprises major human and animal pathogens. Here EV release by six Mycoplasma (sub)species of clinical importance was investigated. EV were obtained under nutritional stress conditions, purified by ultracentrifugation and observed by electron microscopy. The membrane proteins of EV from three different species were further identified by mass spectrometry as a preliminary approach to determining their potential role in host-pathogen interactions. EV were shown to be released by all six (sub)species although their quantities and sizes (30–220 nm) were very variable. EV purification was complicated by the minute size of viable mycoplasmal cells. The proteins of EV-membranes from three (sub)species included major components of host-pathogen interactions, suggesting that EV could contribute to make the host-pathogen interplay more complex. The process behind EV release has yet to be deciphered, although several observations demonstrated their active release from the plasma membrane of living cells. This work shed new light on old concepts of “elementary bodies” and “not-cell bound antigens”.

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<![CDATA[Mda-9/Syntenin Is Expressed in Uveal Melanoma and Correlates with Metastatic Progression]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab4ab0ee8fa60bac4bc

Uveal melanoma is an aggressive cancer that metastasizes to the liver in about half of the patients, with a high lethality rate. Identification of patients at high risk of metastases may provide indication for a frequent follow-up for early detection of metastases and treatment. The analysis of the gene expression profiles of primary human uveal melanomas showed high expression of SDCBP gene (encoding for syndecan-binding protein-1 or mda-9/syntenin), which appeared higher in patients with recurrence, whereas expression of syndecans was lower and unrelated to progression. Moreover, we found that high expression of SDCBP gene was related to metastatic progression in two additional independent datasets of uveal melanoma patients. More importantly, immunohistochemistry showed that high expression of mda-9/syntenin protein in primary tumors was significantly related to metastatic recurrence in our cohort of patients. Mda-9/syntenin expression was confirmed by RT-PCR, immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry in cultured uveal melanoma cells or primary tumors. Interestingly, mda-9/syntenin showed both cytoplasmic and nuclear localization in cell lines and in a fraction of patients, suggesting its possible involvement in nuclear functions. A pseudo-metastatic model of uveal melanoma to the liver was developed in NOD/SCID/IL2Rγ null mice and the study of mda-9/syntenin expression in primary and metastatic lesions revealed higher mda-9/syntenin in metastases. The inhibition of SDCBP expression by siRNA impaired the ability of uveal melanoma cells to migrate in a wound–healing assay. Moreover, silencing of SDCBP in mda-9/syntenin-high uveal melanoma cells inhibited the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-triggered invasion of matrigel membranes and inhibited the activation of FAK, AKT and Src. Conversely syntenin overexpression in mda-9/syntenin-low uveal melanoma cells mediated opposite effects. These results suggest that mda-9/syntenin is involved in uveal melanoma progression and that it warrants further investigation as a candidate molecular marker of metastases and a potential therapeutic target.

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<![CDATA[Role of UBIAD1 in Intracellular Cholesterol Metabolism and Vascular Cell Calcification]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da92ab0ee8fa60ba0674

Vascular calcification is an important risk factor associated with mortality among patients with chronic kidney disease. Intracellular cholesterol metabolism is involved in the process of vascular cell calcification. In this study, we investigated the role of UbiA prenyltransferase domain containing 1 (UBIAD1) in intracellular cholesterol metabolism and vascular cell calcification, and identified its subcellular location. Primary human umbilical vein smooth muscle cells (HUVSMCs) were incubated with either growth medium (1.4 mmol/L Pi) or calcification medium (CM) (3.0 mmol/L Pi). Under treatment with CM, HUVSMCs were further incubated with exogenous cholesterol, or menaquinone-4, a product of UBIAD1. The plasmid and small interfering RNA were transfected in HUVSMCs to alter the expression of UBIAD1. Matrix calcium quantitation, alkaline phosphatase activity, intracellular cholesterol level and menaquinone-4 level were measured. The expression of several genes involved in cholesterol metabolism were analyzed. Using an anti-UBIAD1 antibody, an endoplasmic reticulum marker and a Golgi marker, the subcellular location of UBIAD1 in HUVSMCs was analyzed. CM increased matrix calcium, alkaline phosphatase activity and intracellular cholesterol level, and reduced UBIAD1 expression and menaquinone-4 level. Addition of cholesterol contributed to increased matrix calcification and alkaline phosphatase activity in a dose-dependent manner. Elevated expression of UBIAD1 or menaquinone-4 in HUVSMCs treated with CM significantly reduced intracellular cholesterol level, matrix calcification and alkaline phosphatase activity, but increased menaquinone-4 level. Elevated expression of UBIAD1 or menaquinone-4 reduced the gene expression of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-2, and increased gene expression of ATP binding cassette transporters A1, which are in charge of cholesterol synthesis and efflux. UBIAD1 co-localized with the endoplasmic reticulum marker and the Golgi marker in HUVSMCs. In conclusion, high intracellular cholesterol content contributes to phosphate-induced vascular cell differentiation and calcification. UBIAD1 or menaquinone-4 could decrease vascular cell differentiation and calcification, probably via its potent role of inversely modulating cellular cholesterol.

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<![CDATA[Down Regulation of a Matrix Degrading Cysteine Protease Cathepsin L, by Acetaldehyde: Role of C/EBPα]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3aab0ee8fa60bd45ce

Background

The imbalance between extra cellular matrix (ECM) synthesis and degradation is critical aspect of various hepatic pathologies including alcohol induced liver fibrosis. This study was carried out to investigate the effect of acetaldehyde on expression of an extra cellular matrix degrading protease cathepsin L (CTSL) in HepG2 cells.

Methodology and Results

We measured the enzymatic activity, protein and, mRNA levels of CTSL in acetaldehyde treated and untreated cells. The binding of CAAT enhancer binding protein α (C/EBP α) to CTSL promoter and its key role in the transcription from this promoter and conferring responsiveness to acetaldehyde was established by site directed mutagenesis, electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA), chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays and siRNA technology. Acetaldehyde treatment significantly decreased CTSL activity and protein levels in HepG2 cells. A similar decrease in the mRNA levels and promoter activity was also observed. This decrease by acetaldehyde was attributed to the fall in the liver enriched transcription factor C/EBP α levels and it's binding to the CTSL promoter. Mutagenesis of C/EBP α binding motifs revealed the key role of this factor in CTSL transcription as well as conferring responsiveness to acetaldehyde. The siRNA mediated silencing of the C/EBP α expression mimicked the effect of acetaldehyde on CTSL levels and its promoter activity. It also abolished the responsiveness of this promoter to acetaldehyde.

Conclusion

Acetaldehyde down regulates the C/EBP α mediated CTSL expression in hepatic cell lines. The decreased expression of CTSL may at least in part contribute to ECM deposition in liver which is a hallmark of alcoholic liver fibrosis.

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<![CDATA[Promotion of Spinal Cord Regeneration by Neural Stem Cell-Secreted Trimerized Cell Adhesion Molecule L1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da80ab0ee8fa60b9a687

The L1 cell adhesion molecule promotes neurite outgrowth and neuronal survival in homophilic and heterophilic interactions and enhances neurite outgrowth and neuronal survival homophilically, i.e. by self binding. We investigated whether exploitation of homophilic and possibly also heterophilic mechanisms of neural stem cells overexpressing the full-length transmembrane L1 and a secreted trimer engineered to express its extracellular domain would be more beneficial for functional recovery of the compression injured spinal cord of adult mice than stem cells overexpressing only full-length L1 or the parental, non-engineered cells. Here we report that stem cells expressing trimeric and full-length L1 are indeed more efficient in promoting locomotor recovery when compared to stem cells overexpressing only full-length L1 or the parental stem cells. The trimer expressing stem cells were also more efficient in reducing glial scar volume and expression of chondroitin sulfates and the chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan NG2. They were also more efficient in enhancing regrowth/sprouting and/or preservation of serotonergic axons, and remyelination and/or myelin sparing. Moreover, degeneration/dying back of corticospinal cord axons was prevented more by the trimer expressing stem cells. These results encourage the view that stem cells engineered to drive the beneficial functions of L1 via homophilic and heterophilic interactions are functionally optimized and may thus be of therapeutic value.

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