ResearchPad - extracellular-matrix-proteins https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Graphene-based 2D constructs for enhanced fibroblast support]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15755 Complex skin wounds have always been a significant health and economic problem worldwide due to their elusive and sometimes poor or non-healing conditions. If not well-treated, such wounds may lead to amputation, infections, cancer, or even death. Thus, there is a need to efficiently generate multifunctional skin grafts that address a wide range of skin conditions, including non-healing wounds, and enable the regeneration of new skin tissue. Here, we propose studying pristine graphene and two of its oxygen-functionalized derivatives—high and low-oxygen graphene films—as potential substrates for skin cell proliferation and differentiation. Using BJ cells (human foreskin-derived fibroblasts) to represent basic skin cells, we show that the changes in surface properties of pristine graphene due to oxygen functionalization do not seem to statistically impact the normal proliferation and maturation of skin cells. Our results indicate that the pristine and oxidized graphenes presented relatively low cytotoxicity to BJ fibroblasts and, in fact, support their growth and bioactivity. Therefore, these graphene films could potentially be integrated into more complex skin regenerative systems to support skin regeneration. Because graphene’s surface can be relatively easily functionalized with various chemical groups, this finding presents a major opportunity for the development of various composite materials that can act as active components in regenerative applications such as skin regeneration.

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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[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[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[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[Insights into the Utility of the Focal Adhesion Scaffolding Proteins in the Anaerobic Fungus Orpinomyces sp. C1A]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad3ab0ee8fa60bb7154

Focal adhesions (FAs) are large eukaryotic multiprotein complexes that are present in all metazoan cells and function as stable sites of tight adhesion between the extracellular matrix (ECM) and the cell’s cytoskeleton. FAs consist of anchor membrane protein (integrins), scaffolding proteins (e.g. α-actinin, talin, paxillin, and vinculin), signaling proteins of the IPP complex (e.g. integrin-linked kinase, α-parvin, and PINCH), and signaling kinases (e.g. focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and Src kinase). While genes encoding complete focal adhesion machineries are present in genomes of all multicellular Metazoa; incomplete machineries were identified in the genomes of multiple non-metazoan unicellular Holozoa, basal fungal lineages, and amoebozoan representatives. Since a complete FA machinery is required for functioning, the putative role, if any, of these incomplete FA machineries is currently unclear. We sought to examine the expression patterns of FA-associated genes in the anaerobic basal fungal isolate Orpinomyces sp. strain C1A under different growth conditions and at different developmental stages. Strain C1A lacks clear homologues of integrin, and the two signaling kinases FAK and Src, but encodes for all scaffolding proteins, and the IPP complex proteins. We developed a protocol for synchronizing growth of C1A cultures, allowing for the collection and mRNA extraction from flagellated spores, encysted germinating spores, active zoosporangia, and late inactive sporangia of strain C1A. We demonstrate that the genes encoding the FA scaffolding proteins α-actinin, talin, paxillin, and vinculin are indeed transcribed under all growth conditions, and at all developmental stages of growth. Further, analysis of the observed transcriptional patterns suggests the putative involvement of these components in alternative non-adhesion-specific functions, such as hyphal tip growth during germination and flagellar assembly during zoosporogenesis. Based on these results, we propose putative alternative functions for such proteins in the anaerobic gut fungi. Our results highlight the presumed diverse functionalities of FA scaffolding proteins in basal fungi.

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<![CDATA[Macromolecular Crowding Directs Extracellular Matrix Organization and Mesenchymal Stem Cell Behavior]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da06ab0ee8fa60b75e08

Microenvironments of biological cells are dominated in vivo by macromolecular crowding and resultant excluded volume effects. This feature is absent in dilute in vitro cell culture. Here, we induced macromolecular crowding in vitro by using synthetic macromolecular globules of nm-scale radius at physiological levels of fractional volume occupancy. We quantified the impact of induced crowding on the extracellular and intracellular protein organization of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) via immunocytochemistry, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and AFM-enabled nanoindentation. Macromolecular crowding in extracellular culture media directly induced supramolecular assembly and alignment of extracellular matrix proteins deposited by cells, which in turn increased alignment of the intracellular actin cytoskeleton. The resulting cell-matrix reciprocity further affected adhesion, proliferation, and migration behavior of MSCs. Macromolecular crowding can thus aid the design of more physiologically relevant in vitro studies and devices for MSCs and other cells, by increasing the fidelity between materials synthesized by cells in vivo and in vitro.

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<![CDATA[Mechanism of Heparin Acceleration of Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteases-1 (TIMP-1) Degradation by the Human Neutrophil Elastase]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db18ab0ee8fa60bcd9ca

Heparin has been shown to regulate human neutrophil elastase (HNE) activity. We have assessed the regulatory effect of heparin on Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteases-1 [TIMP-1] hydrolysis by HNE employing the recombinant form of TIMP-1 and correlated FRET-peptides comprising the TIMP-1 cleavage site. Heparin accelerates 2.5-fold TIMP-1 hydrolysis by HNE. The kinetic parameters of this reaction were monitored with the aid of a FRET-peptide substrate that mimics the TIMP-1 cleavage site in pre-steady-state conditionsby using a stopped-flow fluorescence system. The hydrolysis of the FRET-peptide substrate by HNE exhibits a pre-steady-state burst phase followed by a linear, steady-state pseudo-first-order reaction. The HNE acylation step (k2 = 21±1 s−1) was much higher than the HNE deacylation step (k3 = 0.57±0.05 s−1). The presence of heparin induces a dramatic effect in the pre-steady-state behavior of HNE. Heparin induces transient lag phase kinetics in HNE cleavage of the FRET-peptide substrate. The pre-steady-state analysis revealed that heparin affects all steps of the reaction through enhancing the ES complex concentration, increasing k1 2.4-fold and reducing k−1 3.1-fold. Heparin also promotes a 7.8-fold decrease in the k2 value, whereas the k3 value in the presence of heparin was increased 58-fold. These results clearly show that heparin binding accelerates deacylation and slows down acylation. Heparin shifts the HNE pH activity profile to the right, allowing HNE to be active at alkaline pH. Molecular docking and kinetic analysis suggest that heparin induces conformational changes in HNE structure. Here, we are showing for the first time that heparin is able to accelerate the hydrolysis of TIMP-1 by HNE. The degradation of TIMP-1is associated to important physiopathological states involving excessive activation of MMPs.

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<![CDATA[Human Papillomavirus Up-Regulates MMP-2 and MMP-9 Expression and Activity by Inducing Interleukin-8 in Lung Adenocarcinomas]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3fab0ee8fa60bd604f

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is associated with non-smoking female lung cancer. Our previous report demonstrated that HPV 16 promotes lung tumor cell progression by up-regulating interleukin-17 (IL-17). IL-17 and its downstream signaling mediator, interleukin-8 (IL-8), have been implicated to modulate a variety of pro-angiogenic factors and play important roles in tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. Accordingly, we hypothesized that HPV infection may potentiate tumorigenic and metastatic characteristics of the infected cells through IL-8. The goal of the present study was to determine whether HPV infection in lung adenocarcinoma cells can promote the expression of IL-8 and metalloproteinases (MMPs) to make the transformed cells equipped with angiogenic and metastatic characteristics. The expression of IL-8 and MMPs in HPV 16 E6-transfected H1299 cells was analyzed to examine the hypothesis. HPV 16 E6 up-regulates pro-angiogenic MMP-2 and MMP-9 through inducing IL-8 expression in lung cancer cells. The results indicate that, in addition to cell proliferation-related machinery, HPV infection promotes the expression and activities of angiogenic and metastatic molecules in lung adenocarcinoma cells. The cytokines induced by HPV infection may work together to confer the malignant and tumorigenic potentials on the infected cells by promoting machineries of growth, angiogenic and metastatic characteristics.

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<![CDATA[Transcriptomic Changes Associated with Pregnancy in a Marsupial, the Gray Short-Tailed Opossum Monodelphis domestica]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da24ab0ee8fa60b802fd

Live birth has emerged as a reproductive strategy many times across vertebrate evolution; however, mammals account for the majority of viviparous vertebrates. Marsupials are a mammalian lineage that last shared a common ancestor with eutherians (placental mammals) over 148 million years ago. Marsupials are noted for giving birth to highly altricial young after a short gestation, and represent humans’ most distant viviparous mammalian relatives. Here we ask what insight can be gained into the evolution of viviparity in mammals specifically and vertebrates in general by analyzing the global uterine transcriptome in a marsupial. Transcriptome analyses were performed using NextGen sequencing of uterine RNA samples from the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica. Samples were collected from late stage pregnant, virgin, and non-pregnant experienced breeders. Three different algorithms were used to determine differential expression, and results were confirmed by quantitative PCR. Over 900 opossum gene transcripts were found to be significantly more abundant in the pregnant uterus than non-pregnant, and over 1400 less so. Most with increased abundance were genes related to metabolism, immune systems processes, and transport. This is the first study to characterize the transcriptomic differences between pregnant, non-pregnant breeders, and virgin marsupial uteruses and helps to establish a set of pregnancy-associated genes in the opossum. These observations allowed for comparative analyses of the differentially transcribed genes with other mammalian and non-mammalian viviparous species, revealing similarities in pregnancy related gene expression over 300 million years of amniote evolution.

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<![CDATA[HMGB1 Attenuates Cardiac Remodelling in the Failing Heart via Enhanced Cardiac Regeneration and miR-206-Mediated Inhibition of TIMP-3]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da6aab0ee8fa60b92b6c

Aims

HMGB1 injection into the mouse heart, acutely after myocardial infarction (MI), improves left ventricular (LV) function and prevents remodeling. Here, we examined the effect of HMGB1 in chronically failing hearts.

Methods and Results

Adult C57 BL16 female mice underwent coronary artery ligation; three weeks later 200 ng HMGB1 or denatured HMGB1 (control) were injected in the peri-infarcted region of mouse failing hearts. Four weeks after treatment, both echocardiography and hemodynamics demonstrated a significant improvement in LV function in HMGB1-treated mice. Further, HMGB1-treated mice exhibited a ∼23% reduction in LV volume, a ∼48% increase in infarcted wall thickness and a ∼14% reduction in collagen deposition. HMGB1 induced cardiac regeneration and, within the infarcted region, it was found a ∼2-fold increase in c-kit+ cell number, a ∼13-fold increase in newly formed myocytes and a ∼2-fold increase in arteriole length density. HMGB1 also enhanced MMP2 and MMP9 activity and decreased TIMP-3 levels. Importantly, miR-206 expression 3 days after HMGB1 treatment was 4-5-fold higher than in control hearts and 20–25 fold higher that in sham operated hearts. HMGB1 ability to increase miR-206 was confirmed in vitro, in cardiac fibroblasts. TIMP3 was identified as a potential miR-206 target by TargetScan prediction analysis; further, in cultured cardiac fibroblasts, miR-206 gain- and loss-of-function studies and luciferase reporter assays showed that TIMP3 is a direct target of miR-206.

Conclusions

HMGB1 injected into chronically failing hearts enhanced LV function and attenuated LV remodelling; these effects were associated with cardiac regeneration, increased collagenolytic activity, miR-206 overexpression and miR-206 -mediated inhibition of TIMP-3.

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<![CDATA[SPARC Regulates Transforming Growth Factor Beta Induced (TGFBI) Extracellular Matrix Deposition and Paclitaxel Response in Ovarian Cancer Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f4ab0ee8fa60b6fb15

TGFBI has been shown to sensitize ovarian cancer cells to the cytotoxic effects of paclitaxel via an integrin receptor-mediated mechanism that modulates microtubule stability. Herein, we determine that TGFBI localizes within organized fibrillar structures in mesothelial-derived ECM. We determined that suppression of SPARC expression by shRNA decreased the deposition of TGFBI in mesothelial-derived ECM, without affecting its overall protein expression or secretion. Conversely, overexpression of SPARC increased TGFBI deposition. A SPARC-YFP fusion construct expressed by the Met5a cell line co-localized with TGFBI in the cell-derived ECM. Interestingly, in vitro produced SPARC was capable of precipitating TGFBI from cell lysates dependent on an intact SPARC carboxy-terminus with in vitro binding assays verifying a direct interaction. The last 37 amino acids of SPARC were shown to be required for the TGFBI interaction while expression of a SPARC-YFP construct lacking this region (aa 1–256) did not interact and co-localize with TGFBI in the ECM. Furthermore, ovarian cancer cells have a reduced motility and decreased response to the chemotherapeutic agent paclitaxel when plated on ECM derived from mesothelial cells lacking SPARC compared to control mesothelial-derived ECM. In conclusion, SPARC regulates the fibrillar ECM deposition of TGFBI through a novel interaction, subsequently influencing cancer cell behavior.

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<![CDATA[Age-Related Adaptation of Bone-PDL-Tooth Complex: Rattus-Norvegicus as a Model System]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9ffab0ee8fa60b7366e

Functional loads on an organ induce tissue adaptations by converting mechanical energy into chemical energy at a cell-level. The transducing capacity of cells alters physico-chemical properties of tissues, developing a positive feedback commonly recognized as the form-function relationship. In this study, organ and tissue adaptations were mapped in the bone-tooth complex by identifying and correlating biomolecular expressions to physico-chemical properties in rats from 1.5 to 15 months. However, future research using hard and soft chow over relevant age groups would decouple the function related effects from aging affects. Progressive curvature in the distal root with increased root resorption was observed using micro X-ray computed tomography. Resorption was correlated to the increased activity of multinucleated osteoclasts on the distal side of the molars until 6 months using tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP). Interestingly, mononucleated TRAP positive cells within PDL vasculature were observed in older rats. Higher levels of glycosaminoglycans were identified at PDL-bone and PDL-cementum entheses using alcian blue stain. Decreasing biochemical gradients from coronal to apical zones, specifically biomolecules that can induce osteogenic (biglycan) and fibrogenic (fibromodulin, decorin) phenotypes, and PDL-specific negative regulator of mineralization (asporin) were observed using immunohistochemistry. Heterogeneous distribution of Ca and P in alveolar bone, and relatively lower contents at the entheses, were observed using energy dispersive X-ray analysis. No correlation between age and microhardness of alveolar bone (0.7±0.1 to 0.9±0.2 GPa) and cementum (0.6±0.1 to 0.8±0.3 GPa) was observed using a microindenter. However, hardness of cementum and alveolar bone at any given age were significantly different (P<0.05). These observations should be taken into account as baseline parameters, during development (1.5 to 4 months), growth (4 to 10 months), followed by a senescent phase (10 to 15 months), from which deviations due to experimentally induced perturbations can be effectively investigated.

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<![CDATA[Absence of TolC Impairs Biofilm Formation in Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae by Reducing Initial Attachment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab0ab0ee8fa60bab109

Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae is the etiologic agent of porcine contagious pleuropneumonia, a major cause of economic loss in swine industry worldwide. TolC, the key component of multidrug efflux pumps and type I secretion systems, has been well-studied as an exit duct for numerous substances in many Gram-negative bacteria. By contrast, little is known on the role of TolC in biofilm formation. In this study, a ΔtolC mutant was used to examine the importance of TolC in biofilm formation of A. pleuropneumoniae. Surface attachment assays demonstrated the essential role of TolC in initial attachment of biofilm cells. The loss of TolC function altered surface hydrophobicity, and resulted in greatly reduced autoaggregation in ΔtolC. Using both enzymatic treatments and confocal microscopy, biofilm composition and architecture were characterized. When compared against the wild-type strain, the poly-β-1, 6-N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (PGA), an important biofilm matrix component of A. pleuropneumoniae, was significantly reduced at the initial attachment stage in ΔtolC. These results were confirmed by mRNA level using quantitative RT-PCR. Additionally, defective secretion systems in ΔtolC may also contribute to the deficiency in biofilm formation. Taken together, the current study demonstrated the importance of TolC in the initial biofilm formation stage in A. pleuropneumoniae. These findings could have important clinical implications in developing new treatments against biofilm-related infections by A. pleuropneumoniae.

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<![CDATA[Transcriptional Profiling of Chondrodysplasia Growth Plate Cartilage Reveals Adaptive ER-Stress Networks That Allow Survival but Disrupt Hypertrophy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da70ab0ee8fa60b94a85

Metaphyseal chondrodysplasia, Schmid type (MCDS) is characterized by mild short stature and growth plate hypertrophic zone expansion, and caused by collagen X mutations. We recently demonstrated the central importance of ER stress in the pathology of MCDS by recapitulating the disease phenotype by expressing misfolding forms of collagen X (Schmid) or thyroglobulin (Cog) in the hypertrophic zone. Here we characterize the Schmid and Cog ER stress signaling networks by transcriptional profiling of microdissected mutant and wildtype hypertrophic zones. Both models displayed similar unfolded protein responses (UPRs), involving activation of canonical ER stress sensors and upregulation of their downstream targets, including molecular chaperones, foldases, and ER-associated degradation machinery. Also upregulated were the emerging UPR regulators Wfs1 and Syvn1, recently identified UPR components including Armet and Creld2, and genes not previously implicated in ER stress such as Steap1 and Fgf21. Despite upregulation of the Chop/Cebpb pathway, apoptosis was not increased in mutant hypertrophic zones. Ultrastructural analysis of mutant growth plates revealed ER stress and disrupted chondrocyte maturation throughout mutant hypertrophic zones. This disruption was defined by profiling the expression of wildtype growth plate zone gene signatures in the mutant hypertrophic zones. Hypertrophic zone gene upregulation and proliferative zone gene downregulation were both inhibited in Schmid hypertrophic zones, resulting in the persistence of a proliferative chondrocyte-like expression profile in ER-stressed Schmid chondrocytes. Our findings provide a transcriptional map of two chondrocyte UPR gene networks in vivo, and define the consequences of UPR activation for the adaptation, differentiation, and survival of chondrocytes experiencing ER stress during hypertrophy. Thus they provide important insights into ER stress signaling and its impact on cartilage pathophysiology.

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<![CDATA[Evidence That a Laminin-Like Insect Protein Mediates Early Events in the Interaction of a Phytoparasite with Its Vector's Salivary Gland]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d4ab0ee8fa60b6522c

Phytomonas species are plant parasites of the family Trypanosomatidae, which are transmitted by phytophagous insects. Some Phytomonas species cause major agricultural damages. The hemipteran Oncopeltus fasciatus is natural and experimental host for several species of trypanosomatids, including Phytomonas spp. The invasion of the insect vectors' salivary glands is one of the most important events for the life cycle of Phytomonas species. In the present study, we show the binding of Phytomonas serpens at the external face of O. fasciatus salivary glands by means of scanning electron microscopy and the in vitro interaction of living parasites with total proteins from the salivary glands in ligand blotting assays. This binding occurs primarily through an interaction with a 130 kDa salivary gland protein. The mass spectrometry of the trypsin-digest of this protein matched 23% of human laminin-5 β3 chain precursor sequence by 16 digested peptides. A protein sequence search through the transcriptome of O. fasciatus embryo showed a partial sequence with 51% similarity to human laminin β3 subunit. Anti-human laminin-5 β3 chain polyclonal antibodies recognized the 130 kDa protein by immunoblotting. The association of parasites with the salivary glands was strongly inhibited by human laminin-5, by the purified 130 kDa insect protein, and by polyclonal antibodies raised against the human laminin-5 β3 chain. This is the first report demonstrating that a laminin-like molecule from the salivary gland of O. fasciatus acts as a receptor for Phytomonas binding. The results presented in this investigation are important findings that will support further studies that aim at developing new approaches to prevent the transmission of Phytomonas species from insects to plants and vice-versa.

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<![CDATA[Cardiac Kallikrein-Kinin System Is Upregulated in Chronic Volume Overload and Mediates an Inflammatory Induced Collagen Loss]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f7ab0ee8fa60b709fe

Background

The clinical problem of a “pure volume overload” as in isolated mitral or aortic regurgitation currently has no documented medical therapy that attenuates collagen loss and the resultant left ventricular (LV) dilatation and failure. Here, we identify a potential mechanism related to upregulation of the kallikrein-kinin system in the volume overload of aortocaval fistula (ACF) in the rat.

Methodology/Principal Findings

LV interstitial fluid (ISF) collection, hemodynamics, and echocardiography were performed in age-matched shams and 4 and 15 wk ACF rats. ACF rats had LV dilatation and a 2-fold increase in LV end-diastolic pressure, along with increases in LV ISF bradykinin, myocardial kallikrein and bradykinin type-2 receptor (BK2R) mRNA expression. Mast cell numbers were increased and interstitial collagen was decreased at 4 and 15 wk ACF, despite increases in LV ACE and chymase activities. Treatment with the kallikrein inhibitor aprotinin preserved interstitial collagen, prevented the increase in mast cells, and improved LV systolic function at 4 wk ACF. To establish a cause and effect between ISF bradykinin and mast cell-mediated collagen loss, direct LV interstitial bradykinin infusion in vivo for 24 hrs produced a 2-fold increase in mast cell numbers and a 30% decrease in interstitial collagen, which were prevented by BK2R antagonist. To further connect myocardial stretch with cellular kallikrein-kinin system upregulation, 24 hrs cyclic stretch of adult cardiomyocytes and fibroblasts produced increased kallikrein, BK2R mRNA expressions, bradykinin protein and gelatinase activity, which were all decreased by the kallikrein inhibitor-aprotinin.

Conclusions/Significance

A pure volume overload is associated with upregulation of the kallikrein-kinin system and ISF bradykinin, which mediates mast cell infiltration, extracellular matrix loss, and LV dysfunction–all of which are improved by kallikrein inhibition. The current investigation provides important new insights into future potential medical therapies for the volume overload of aortic and mitral regurgitation.

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