ResearchPad - integrins 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[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[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[Truncated Bovine Integrin Alpha-v/Beta-6 as a Universal Capture Ligand for FMD Diagnosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da6eab0ee8fa60b93c4d

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is endemic in many regions of the world and is one of the most prevalent epizootic animal diseases. FMD affects livestock, such as cattle, sheep, goats and pigs, and causes enormous economic losses due to reduced productivity and trade restrictions. Preparedness and early diagnosis are essential for effective control of FMD. Many diagnostic assays are dependent on raising high-affinity, anti-FMD virus (FMDV) serotype-specific antibodies in small animals (rabbits and guinea pigs) that give broad virus coverage. Here we show that soluble, truncated forms of bovine αvβ6 bind FMDV in an authentic RGD and divalent cation dependent interaction and can be used as the trapping reagent in a FMDV sandwich ELISA. In addition, inclusion of FLAG or His tags facilitates simple purification without the loss of virus binding. We also provide evidence that when combined with a guinea pig polyclonal serum, or serotype-specific monoclonal antibodies, the integrin can be used to detect viruses representative of all FMDV serotypes. We also show that recombinant FMDV empty capsids, with stabilising disulphide bonds, can serve as an antigen in the ELISA and can therefore replace inactivated virus antigen as a positive control for the assay. Our results demonstrate the potential use of bovine αvβ6 and FMDV empty capsids in FMD diagnostic assays.

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<![CDATA[Exo70 Subunit of the Exocyst Complex Is Involved in Adhesion-Dependent Trafficking of Caveolin-1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db15ab0ee8fa60bcce97

Caveolae are specialized domains of the plasma membrane, which play key roles in signaling, endocytosis and mechanosensing. Using total internal reflection fluorescent microscopy (TIRF-M), we observe that the exocyst subunit Exo70 forms punctuate structures at the plasma membrane and partially localizes with caveolin-1, the main component of caveolae. Upon cell detachment, we found that Exo70 accumulates with caveolin-1-positive vesicular structures. Upon cell re-adhesion, caveolin-1 traffics back to the plasma membrane in a multistep process involving microtubules and actin cytoskeleton. In addition, silencing of Exo70 redirects caveolin-1 to focal adhesions identified by markers such as α5 integrin or vinculin. Based on these findings, we conclude that Exo70 is involved in caveolin-1 recycling to the plasma membrane during re-adhesion of the cells to the substratum.

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<![CDATA[The Talin Head Domain Reinforces Integrin-Mediated Adhesion by Promoting Adhesion Complex Stability and Clustering]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da37ab0ee8fa60b86886

Talin serves an essential function during integrin-mediated adhesion in linking integrins to actin via the intracellular adhesion complex. In addition, the N-terminal head domain of talin regulates the affinity of integrins for their ECM-ligands, a process known as inside-out activation. We previously showed that in Drosophila, mutating the integrin binding site in the talin head domain resulted in weakened adhesion to the ECM. Intriguingly, subsequent studies showed that canonical inside-out activation of integrin might not take place in flies. Consistent with this, a mutation in talin that specifically blocks its ability to activate mammalian integrins does not significantly impinge on talin function during fly development. Here, we describe results suggesting that the talin head domain reinforces and stabilizes the integrin adhesion complex by promoting integrin clustering distinct from its ability to support inside-out activation. Specifically, we show that an allele of talin containing a mutation that disrupts intramolecular interactions within the talin head attenuates the assembly and reinforcement of the integrin adhesion complex. Importantly, we provide evidence that this mutation blocks integrin clustering in vivo. We propose that the talin head domain is essential for regulating integrin avidity in Drosophila and that this is crucial for integrin-mediated adhesion during animal development.

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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[Maintenance of Stem Cell Niche Integrity by a Novel Activator of Integrin Signaling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae1ab0ee8fa60bbc1c4

Stem cells depend critically on the surrounding microenvironment, or niche, for their maintenance and self-renewal. While much is known about how the niche regulates stem cell self-renewal and differentiation, mechanisms for how the niche is maintained over time are not well understood. At the apical tip of the Drosophila testes, germline stem cells (GSCs) and somatic stem cells share a common niche formed by hub cells. Here we demonstrate that a novel protein named Shriveled (Shv) is necessary for the maintenance of hub/niche integrity. Depletion of Shv protein results in age-dependent deterioration of the hub structure and loss of GSCs, whereas upregulation of Shv preserves the niche during aging. We find Shv is a secreted protein that modulates DE-cadherin levels through extracellular activation of integrin signaling. Our work identifies Shv as a novel activator of integrin signaling and suggests a new integration model in which crosstalk between integrin and DE-cadherin in niche cells promote their own preservation by maintaining the niche architecture.

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<![CDATA[rLj-RGD3, a Novel Recombinant Toxin Protein from Lampetra japonica, Protects against Cerebral Reperfusion Injury Following Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion Involving the Integrin-PI3K/Akt Pathway in Rats]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da7aab0ee8fa60b98488

Background

The RGD-toxin protein Lj-RGD3 is a naturally occurring 118 amino acid peptide that can be obtained from the salivary gland of the Lampetra japonica fish. This unique peptide contains 3 RGD (Arg-Gly-Asp) motifs in its primary structure. Lj-RGD3 is available in recombinant form (rLj-RGD3) and can be produced in large quantities using DNA recombination techniques. The pharmacology of the three RGD motif-containing peptides has not been studied. This study investigated the protective effects of rLj-RGD3, a novel polypeptide, against ischemia/reperfusion-induced damage to the brain caused by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in a rat stroke model. We also explored the mechanism by which rLj-RGD3 acts by measuring protein and mRNA expression levels, with an emphasis on the FAK and integrin-PI3K/Akt anti-apoptosis pathways.

Methods

rLj-RGD3 was obtained from the buccal secretions of Lampetra japonica using gene recombination technology. Sprague Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into the following seven groups: a sham group; a vehicle-treated (VT) group; 100.0 μg·kg-1, 50.0 μg·kg-1 and 25.0 μg·kg-1 dose rLj-RGD3 groups; and two positive controls, including 1.5 mg·kg-1 Edaravone (ED) and 100.0 μg·kg-1 Eptifibatide (EP). MCAO was induced using a model consisting of 2 h of ischemia and 24 h of reperfusion. Behavioral changes were observed in the normal and operation groups after focal cerebral ischemia/reperfusion was applied. In addition, behavioral scores were evaluated at 4 and 24 h after reperfusion. Brain infarct volumes were determined based on 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining. Pathological changes in brain tissues were observed using hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining. Moreover, neuronal apoptosis was detected using terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assays. We determined the expression levels of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase (PI3K), protein kinase B (Akt, PKB), caspase-3 and Bcl-2 in the brain using western blot analysis and RT-PCR assays. The research protocol was approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee of Dalian Medical University.

Results

The behavioral scores and cerebral infarct volumes of the rLj-RGD3 groups were markedly lower at 4 and 24 h/RF. The rLj-RGD3 protein significantly ameliorated pathological changes in the brain and reduced the number of apoptotic neurons. Furthermore, the FAK and PI3K/Akt pathways were activated. rLj-RGD3 significantly increased the expression of FAK, p-FAK and Bcl-2 proteins. In contrast, caspase-3 expression was inhibited.

Conclusion/Significance

We conclude that recombinant Lampetra japonica RGD-peptide (rLj-RGD3) exerts a protective effect against cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury in the brain. In addition, the mechanism of this protection is associated with the activation of the integrin-PI3K/Akt pathway. These results provide a theoretical foundation and an experimental basis for using RGD peptides as novel drugs for treating ischemic cerebral vascular diseases in addition to promoting the research and development of marine biotechnology drugs.

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<![CDATA[Pak1 Regulates the Orientation of Apical Polarization and Lumen Formation by Distinct Pathways]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db49ab0ee8fa60bd98df

The development of the basic architecture of branching tubules enclosing a central lumen that characterizes most epithelial organs crucially depends on the apico-basolateral polarization of epithelial cells. Signals from the extracellular matrix control the orientation of the apical surface, so that it faces the lumen interior, opposite to cell-matrix adhesion sites. This orientation of the apical surface is thought to be intrinsically linked to the formation of single lumens. We previously demonstrated in three-dimensional cyst cultures of Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells that signaling by β1 integrins regulates the orientation of the apical surface, via a mechanism that depends on the activity of the small GTPase Rac1. Here, we investigated whether the Rac1 effector Pak1 is a downstream effector in this pathway. Expression of constitutive active Pak1 phenocopies the effect of β1 integrin inhibition in that it misorients the apical surface and induces a multilumen phenotype. The misorientation of apical surfaces depends on the interaction of active Pak1 with PIX proteins and is linked to defects in basement membrane assembly. In contrast, the multilumen phenotype was independent of PIX and the basement membrane. Therefore, Pak1 likely regulates apical polarization and lumen formation by two distinct pathways.

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<![CDATA[Combination of RGD Compound and Low-Dose Paclitaxel Induces Apoptosis in Human Glioblastoma Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f9ab0ee8fa60b713b8

Background

Integrins are a family of transmembrane adhesion proteins that mediate cell adhesion and intracellular signaling. Integrin-αvβ3 is expressed on the surface of human glioblastoma cells, and can be further induced by chemical stress. The Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) motif-containing peptides are specifically bound to integrin-αvβ3, and to inhibit neovasculature underlying competition to normal extracellular matrix proteins. This study employed two types of RGD peptides, cyclic RGD (c(RGDyK)) and bi-cyclic RGD (E[c(RGDyK)]2) peptide, to human glioblastoma U87MG cells with combination of low dose Paclitaxel (PTX) pre-treatment to augment therapeutic activity for RGD peptide-induced apoptosis.

Principal Findings

Human glioblastoma U87MG cells were treated with RGD peptides in the absence or presence of initial exposure to low-dose 10 nM PTX. Results showed that integrin-αvβ3 expressing on the surface of U87MG cells was induced by 10 nM PTX pre-treatment for 12 hrs. Additionally, the U87MG cells pre-treated with PTX and followed by RGD peptides exhibited greater expression of caspases-3, -8 and -9 than those merely treated with single agent of PTX or RGD peptide. Furthermore, the caspase-3, -8 and -9 inhibitor presented significant protection against E[c(RGDyK)]2 peptide induced U87MG programmed cell death. The increased expression of PTX-induced integrin-αvβ3 was correlated with the enhanced apoptosis in U87MG cells.

Conclusions

This study provides a novel concept of targeting integrin-αvβ3 with RGD peptides in combination with low-dose PTX pre-treatment to improve efficiency in human glioblastoma treatment.

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<![CDATA[Robust Therapeutic Efficacy of Matrix Metalloproteinase-2-Cleavable Fas-1-RGD Peptide Complex in Chronic Inflammatory Arthritis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1bab0ee8fa60bce25b

Objective

Therapeutic agents that are transformable via introducing cleavable linkage by locally enriched MMP-2 within inflamed synovium would enhance therapeutic efficacy on chronic inflammatory arthritis. Transforming growth factor-β-inducible gene-h3 (βig-h3), which consists of four fas-1 domains and an Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) motif, intensifies inflammatory processes by facilitating adhesion and migration of fibroblast-like synoviocyte in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The aim of this study was to investigate whether a MMP-2-cleavable peptide complex consisting of a fas-1 domain and an RGD peptide blocks the interaction between βig-h3 and resident cells and leads to the amelioration of inflammatory arthritis.

Methods

We designed βig-h3-derivatives, including the fourth fas-1 domain truncated for H1 and H2 sequences of mouse (MFK00) and MMP-2-cleavable peptide complex (MFK902). MMP-2 selectivity was examined by treatment with a series of proteases. MFK902 efficacy was determined by the adhesion and migration assay with NIH3T3 cells in vitro and collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model using male DBA/1J mice in vivo. The mice were treated intraperitoneally with MFK902 at different dosages.

Results

MFK902 was specifically cleaved by active MMP-2 in a concentration-dependent manner, and βig-h3-mediated adhesion and migration were more effectively inhibited by MFK902, compared with RGD or MFK00 peptides. The arthritis activity of murine CIA, measured by clinical arthritis index and incidence of arthritic paws, was significantly ameliorated after treatment with all dosages of MFK902 (1, 10, and 30 mg/kg). MFK902 ameliorated histopathologic deterioration and reduced the expression of inflammatory mediators simultaneously with improvement of clinical features. In addition, a favorable safety profile of MFK902 was demonstrated in vivo.

Conclusion

The present study revealed that MMP-2-cleavable peptide complex based on βig-h3 structure is a potent and safe therapeutic agent for chronic inflammatory arthritis, thus providing reliable evidence for a MMP-2-cleavable mechanism as a tissue-targeted strategy for treatment of RA.

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<![CDATA[Integrin αDβ2 (CD11d/CD18) Is Expressed by Human Circulating and Tissue Myeloid Leukocytes and Mediates Inflammatory Signaling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da4cab0ee8fa60b8ceae

Integrin αDβ2 is the most recently identified member of the leukocyte, or β2, subfamily of integrin heterodimers. Its distribution and functions on human leukocytes have not been clearly defined and are controversial. We examined these issues and found that αDβ2 is prominently expressed by leukocytes in whole blood from healthy human subjects, including most polymorphonuclear leukocytes and monocytes. We also found that αDβ2 is displayed by leukocytes in the alveoli of uninjured and inflamed human lungs and by human monocyte-derived macrophages and dendritic cells, indicating broad myeloid expression. Using freshly-isolated human monocytes, we found that αDβ2 delivers outside-in signals to pathways that regulate cell spreading and gene expression. Screening expression analysis followed by validation of candidate transcripts demonstrated that engagement of αDβ2 induces mRNAs encoding inflammatory chemokines and cytokines and secretion of their protein products. Thus, αDβ2 is a major member of the integrin repertoire of both circulating and tissue myeloid leukocytes in humans. Its broad expression and capacity for outside-in signaling indicate that it is likely to have important functions in clinical syndromes of infection, inflammation, and tissue injury.

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<![CDATA[Perlecan Domain V Induces VEGf Secretion in Brain Endothelial Cells through Integrin α5β1 and ERK-Dependent Signaling Pathways]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9fab0ee8fa60ba52a8

Perlecan Domain V (DV) promotes brain angiogenesis by inducing VEGF release from brain endothelial cells (BECs) following stroke. In this study, we define the specific mechanism of DV interaction with the α5β1 integrin, identify the downstream signal transduction pathway, and further investigate the functional significance of resultant VEGF release. Interestingly, we found that the LG3 portion of DV, which has been suggested to possess most of DV’s angio-modulatory activity outside of the brain, binds poorly to α5β1 and induces less BEC proliferation compared to full length DV. Additionally, we implicate DV’s DGR sequence as an important element for the interaction of DV with α5β1. Furthermore, we investigated the importance of AKT and ERK signaling in DV-induced VEGF expression and secretion. We show that DV increases the phosphorylation of ERK, which leads to subsequent activation and stabilization of eIF4E and HIF-1α. Inhibition of ERK activity by U0126 suppressed DV-induced expression and secretion of VEGR in BECs. While DV was capable of phosphorylating AKT we show that AKT phosphorylation does not play a role in DV’s induction of VEGF expression or secretion using two separate inhibitors, LY294002 and Akt IV. Lastly, we demonstrate that VEGF activity is critical for DV increases in BEC proliferation, as well as angiogenesis in a BEC-neuronal co-culture system. Collectively, our findings expand our understanding of DV’s mechanism of action on BECs, and further support its potential as a novel stroke therapy.

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<![CDATA[Cell Substratum Adhesion during Early Development of Dictyostelium discoideum]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3cab0ee8fa60b88483

Vegetative and developed amoebae of Dictyostelium discoideum gain traction and move rapidly on a wide range of substrata without forming focal adhesions. We used two independent assays to quantify cell-substrate adhesion in mutants and in wild-type cells as a function of development. Using a microfluidic device that generates a range of hydrodynamic shear stress, we found that substratum adhesion decreases at least 10 fold during the first 6 hr of development of wild type cells. This result was confirmed using a single-cell assay in which cells were attached to the cantilever of an atomic force probe and allowed to adhere to untreated glass surfaces before being retracted. Both of these assays showed that the decrease in substratum adhesion was dependent on the cAMP receptor CAR1 which triggers development. Vegetative cells missing talin as the result of a mutation in talA exhibited slightly reduced adhesive properties compared to vegetative wild-type cells. In sharp contrast to wild-type cells, however, these talA mutant cells did not show further reduction of adhesion during development such that after 5 hr of development they were significantly more adhesive than developed wild type cells. In addition, both assays showed that substrate adhesion was reduced in 0 hr cells when the actin cytoskeleton was disrupted by latrunculin. Consistent with previous observations, substrate adhesion was also reduced in 0 hr cells lacking the membrane proteins SadA or SibA as the result of mutations in sadA or sibA. However, there was no difference in the adhesion properties between wild type AX3 cells and these mutant cells after 6 hr of development, suggesting that neither SibA nor SadA play an essential role in substratum adhesion during aggregation. Our results provide a quantitative framework for further studies of cell substratum adhesion in Dictyostelium.

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<![CDATA[Activation of Haem-Oxidized Soluble Guanylyl Cyclase with BAY 60-2770 in Human Platelets Lead to Overstimulation of the Cyclic GMP Signaling Pathway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da52ab0ee8fa60b8e345

Background and Aims

Nitric oxide-independent soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) activators reactivate the haem-oxidized enzyme in vascular diseases. This study was undertaken to investigate the anti-platelet mechanisms of the haem-independent sGC activator BAY 60-2770 in human washed platelets. The hypothesis that sGC oxidation potentiates the anti-platelet activities of BAY 60-2770 has been tested.

Methods

Human washed platelet aggregation and adhesion assays, as well as flow cytometry for αIIbβ3 integrin activation and Western blot for α1 and β1 sGC subunits were performed. Intracellular calcium levels were monitored in platelets loaded with a fluorogenic calcium-binding dye (FluoForte).

Results

BAY 60-2770 (0.001–10 µM) produced significant inhibition of collagen (2 µg/ml)- and thrombin (0.1 U/ml)-induced platelet aggregation that was markedly potentiated by the sGC inhibitor ODQ (10 µM). In fibrinogen-coated plates, BAY 60-2770 significantly inhibited platelet adhesion, an effect potentiated by ODQ. BAY 60-2770 increased the cGMP levels and reduced the intracellular Ca2+ levels, both of which were potentiated by ODQ. The cell-permeable cGMP analogue 8-Br-cGMP (100 µM) inhibited platelet aggregation and Ca2+ levels in an ODQ-insensitive manner. The cAMP levels remained unchanged by BAY 60-2770. Collagen- and thrombin-induced αIIbβ3 activation was markedly inhibited by BAY 60-2770 that was further inhibited by ODQ. The effects of sodium nitroprusside (3 µM) were all prevented by ODQ. Incubation with ODQ (10 µM) significantly reduced the protein levels of α1 and β1 sGC subunits, which were prevented by BAY 60-2770.

Conclusion

The inhibitory effects of BAY 60-2770 on aggregation, adhesion, intracellular Ca2+ levels and αIIbβ3 activation are all potentiated in haem-oxidizing conditions. BAY 60-2770 prevents ODQ-induced decrease in sGC protein levels. BAY 60-2770 could be of therapeutic interest in cardiovascular diseases associated with thrombotic complications.

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<![CDATA[Hypoxic Conditions Induce a Cancer-Like Phenotype in Human Breast Epithelial Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daeeab0ee8fa60bc0305

Introduction

Solid tumors are less oxygenated than their tissue of origin. Low intra-tumor oxygen levels are associated with worse outcome, increased metastatic potential and immature phenotype in breast cancer. We have reported that tumor hypoxia correlates to low differentiation status in breast cancer. Less is known about effects of hypoxia on non-malignant cells. Here we address whether hypoxia influences the differentiation stage of non-malignant breast epithelial cells and potentially have bearing on early stages of tumorigenesis.

Methods

Normal human primary breast epithelial cells and immortalized non-malignant mammary epithelial MCF-10A cells were grown in a three-dimensional overlay culture on laminin-rich extracellular matrix for up to 21 days at normoxic or hypoxic conditions. Acinar morphogenesis and expression of markers of epithelial differentiation and cell polarization were analyzed by immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry, qPCR and immunoblot.

Results

In large ductal carcinoma in situ patient-specimens, we find that epithelial cells with high HIF-1α levels and multiple cell layers away from the vasculature are immature compared to well-oxygenated cells. We show that hypoxic conditions impaired acinar morphogenesis of primary and immortalized breast epithelial cells grown ex vivo on laminin-rich matrix. Normoxic cultures formed polarized acini-like spheres with the anticipated distribution of marker proteins associated with mammary epithelial polarization e.g. α6-integrin, laminin 5 and Human Milk Fat Globule/MUC1. At hypoxia, cells were not polarized and the sub-cellular distribution pattern of the marker proteins rather resembled that reported in vivo in breast cancer. The hypoxic cells remained in a mitotic state, whereas proliferation ceased with acinar morphogenesis at normoxia. We found induced expression of the differentiation repressor ID1 in the undifferentiated hypoxic MCF-10A cell structures. Acinar morphogenesis was associated with global histone deacetylation whereas the hypoxic breast epithelial cells showed sustained global histone acetylation, which is generally associated with active transcription and an undifferentiated proliferative state.

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<![CDATA[Paxillin and Hic-5 Interaction with Vinculin Is Differentially Regulated by Rac1 and RhoA]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da35ab0ee8fa60b85d8d

Cell migration is of paramount importance to organism development and maintenance as well as multiple pathological processes, including cancer metastasis. The RhoGTPases Rac1 and RhoA are indispensable for cell migration as they regulate cell protrusion, cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions and force transduction. However, the consequences of their activity at a molecular level within the cell remain undetermined. Using a combination of FRET, FRAP and biochemical analyses we show that the interactions between the focal adhesion proteins vinculin and paxillin, as well as the closely related family member Hic-5 are spatially and reciprocally regulated by the activity of Rac1 and RhoA. Vinculin in its active conformation interacts with either paxillin or Hic-5 in adhesions in response to Rac1 and RhoA activation respectively, while inactive vinculin interacts with paxillin in the membrane following Rac1 inhibition. Additionally, Rac1 specifically regulates the dynamics of paxillin as well as its binding partner and F-actin interacting protein actopaxin (α-parvin) in adhesions. Furthermore, FRET analysis of protein:protein interactions within cell adhesions formed in 3D matrices revealed that, in contrast to 2D systems vinculin interacts preferentially with Hic-5. This study provides new insight into the complexity of cell-ECM adhesions in both 2D and 3D matrices by providing the first description of RhoGTPase-coordinated protein:protein interactions in a cellular microenvironment. These data identify discrete roles for paxillin and Hic-5 in Rac1 and RhoA-dependent cell adhesion formation and maturation; processes essential for productive cell migration.

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<![CDATA[Effects of Plectin Depletion on Keratin Network Dynamics and Organization]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadcab0ee8fa60bba058

The keratin intermediate filament cytoskeleton protects epithelial cells against various types of stress and is involved in fundamental cellular processes such as signaling, differentiation and organelle trafficking. These functions rely on the cell type-specific arrangement and plasticity of the keratin system. It has been suggested that these properties are regulated by a complex cycle of assembly and disassembly. The exact mechanisms responsible for the underlying molecular processes, however, have not been clarified. Accumulating evidence implicates the cytolinker plectin in various aspects of the keratin cycle, i.e., by acting as a stabilizing anchor at hemidesmosomal adhesion sites and the nucleus, by affecting keratin bundling and branching and by linkage of keratins to actin filament and microtubule dynamics. In the present study we tested these hypotheses. To this end, plectin was downregulated by shRNA in vulvar carcinoma-derived A431 cells. As expected, integrin β4- and BPAG-1-positive hemidesmosomal structures were strongly reduced and cytosolic actin stress fibers were increased. In addition, integrins α3 and β1 were reduced. The experiments furthermore showed that loss of plectin led to a reduction in keratin filament branch length but did not alter overall mechanical properties as assessed by indentation analyses using atomic force microscopy and by displacement analyses of cytoplasmic superparamagnetic beads using magnetic tweezers. An increase in keratin movement was observed in plectin-depleted cells as was the case in control cells lacking hemidesmosome-like structures. Yet, keratin turnover was not significantly affected. We conclude that plectin alone is not needed for keratin assembly and disassembly and that other mechanisms exist to guarantee proper keratin cycling under steady state conditions in cultured single cells.

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