ResearchPad - nuclear-staining https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Mutations in <i>SPATA13/ASEF2</i> cause primary angle closure glaucoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15764 Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness globally. Angle closure glaucoma accounts for 50% of all glaucoma blindness impacting quality of life and burden on health services. A number of variations in DNA appear to influence the risk of the disease. However, the biological mechanism underlying this important disease remains unclear. In this paper, we report the identification and functional characterisation of the first gene, mutation in which causes primary angle closure glaucoma in a seven generation Caucasian family. We have identified other variants in the same gene in another family and individuals with the disease. This gene is involved in cell division and is highly expressed in parts of the eye affected by the disease. Mutations in this gene appear to affect important enzyme activity involved in cell division. Identification of the disease-causing role of mutations in this gene helps to further the understanding of glaucoma aetiology and identifies potential therapeutic targets for disease management.

]]>
<![CDATA[SYGL-1 and LST-1 link niche signaling to PUF RNA repression for stem cell maintenance in Caenorhabditis elegans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5ab4e873463d7e0cbd0422dd

Central questions in regenerative biology include how stem cells are maintained and how they transition from self-renewal to differentiation. Germline stem cells (GSCs) in Caeno-rhabditis elegans provide a tractable in vivo model to address these questions. In this system, Notch signaling and PUF RNA binding proteins, FBF-1 and FBF-2 (collectively FBF), maintain a pool of GSCs in a naïve state. An open question has been how Notch signaling modulates FBF activity to promote stem cell self-renewal. Here we report that two Notch targets, SYGL-1 and LST-1, link niche signaling to FBF. We find that SYGL-1 and LST-1 proteins are cytoplasmic and normally restricted to the GSC pool region. Increasing the distribution of SYGL-1 expands the pool correspondingly, and vast overexpression of either SYGL-1 or LST-1 generates a germline tumor. Thus, SYGL-1 and LST-1 are each sufficient to drive “stemness” and their spatial restriction prevents tumor formation. Importantly, SYGL-1 and LST-1 can only drive tumor formation when FBF is present. Moreover, both proteins interact physically with FBF, and both are required to repress a signature FBF mRNA target. Together, our results support a model in which SYGL-1 and LST-1 form a repressive complex with FBF that is crucial for stem cell maintenance. We further propose that progression from a naïve stem cell state to a state primed for differentiation relies on loss of SYGL-1 and LST-1, which in turn relieves FBF target RNAs from repression. Broadly, our results provide new insights into the link between niche signaling and a downstream RNA regulatory network and how this circuitry governs the balance between self-renewal and differentiation.

]]>
<![CDATA[Observation and quantification of the morphological effect of trypan blue rupturing dead or dying cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nce15bf32-82da-4cd0-8031-f3eea4581b61

Trypan blue has long been the gold standard for staining dead cell to determine cell viability. The dye is excluded from membrane-intact live cells, but can enter and concentrate in membrane-compromised dead cells, rendering the cells dark blue. Over the years, there has been an understanding that trypan blue is inaccurate for cell viability under 80% without scientific support. We previously showed that trypan blue can alter the morphology of dead cells to a diffuse shape, which can lead to over-estimation of viability. Here, we investigate the origin of the dim and diffuse objects after trypan blue staining. Utilizing image and video acquisition, we show real-time transformation of cells into diffuse objects when stained with trypan blue. The same phenomenon was not observed when staining cells with propidium iodide. We also demonstrate the co-localization of trypan blue and propidium iodide, confirming these diffuse objects as cells that contain nuclei. The videos clearly show immediate cell rupturing after trypan blue contact. The formation of these diffuse objects was monitored and counted over time as cells die outside of the incubator. We hypothesize and demonstrate that rapid water influx may have caused the cells to rupture and disappear. Since some dead cells disappear after trypan blue staining, the total can be under-counted, leading to over-estimation of cell viability. This inaccuracy could affect the outcomes of cellular therapies, which require accurate measurements of immune cells that will be infused back into patients.

]]>
<![CDATA[Aqueous extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa inhibits pedestal induction by enteropathogenic E. coli and promotes bacterial filamentation in vitro]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c197bd5eed0c484b4d750

Diarrheic diseases account for the annual death of approximately 1.9 million children under the age of 5 years, and it is a major cause of work absenteeism in developed countries. As diarrheagenic bacteria, enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) attach to cells in the small intestine, causing local disappearance of microvilli and inducing the formation of actin-rich pedestals that disrupt the intestinal barrier and help EPEC adhere to and infect intestinal cells. Antibiotics and other bioactive compounds can often be found by analyzing traditional medicines. Here a crude aqueous extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa, which typically grows in subtropical and tropical areas and is a popular medicinal tisane in many countries, was analyzed for antibacterial activity against EPEC. In standard microdilution assays, the extract showed a minimum inhibitory concentration of 6.5 mg/ml against EPEC growth. Time-kill kinetics assays demonstrated significant 24 h bactericidal activity at 25 mg/ml. The extract is able to impede pedestal induction. Not only did the extract inhibit preformed pedestals but it prevented pedestal induction as well. Remarkably, it also promoted the formation of EPEC filaments, as observed with other antibiotics. Our results in vitro support the potential of Hibiscus sabdariffa as an antimicrobial agent against EPEC.

]]>
<![CDATA[Identification of Merkel cells associated with neurons in engineered skin substitutes after grafting to full thickness wounds]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823d9d5eed0c484639153

Engineered skin substitutes (ESS), prepared using primary human fibroblasts and keratinocytes with a biopolymer scaffold, were shown to provide stable closure of excised burns, but relatively little is known about innervation of ESS after grafting. This study investigated innervation of ESS and, specifically, whether Merkel cells are present in healed grafts. Merkel cells are specialized neuroendocrine cells required for fine touch sensation in skin. We discovered cells positive for keratin 20 (KRT20), a general marker for Merkel cells, in the basal epidermis of ESS after transplantation to mice, suggesting the presence of Merkel cells. Cells expressing KRT20 were not observed in ESS in vitro. However, widely separated KRT20-positive cells were observed in basal epidermis of ESS by 2 weeks after grafting. By 4 weeks, these cells increased in number and expressed keratins 18 and 19, additional Merkel cells markers. Putative Merkel cell numbers increased further between weeks 6 and 14; their densities varied widely and no specific pattern of organization was observed, similar to Merkel cell localization in human skin. KRT20-positive cells co-expressed epidermal markers E-cadherin and keratin 15, suggesting derivation from the epidermal lineage, and neuroendocrine markers synaptophysin and chromogranin A, consistent with their identification as Merkel cells. By 4 weeks after grafting, some Merkel cells in engineered skin were associated with immature afferents expressing neurofilament-medium. By 8 weeks, Merkel cells were complexed with more mature neurons expressing neurofilament-heavy. Positive staining for human leukocyte antigen demonstrated that the Merkel cells in ESS were derived from grafted human cells. The results identify, for the first time, Merkel cell-neurite complexes in engineered skin in vivo. This suggests that fine touch sensation may be restored in ESS after grafting, although this must be confirmed with future functional studies.

]]>
<![CDATA[The value of diffusion kurtosis imaging in assessing mismatch repair gene expression of rectal carcinoma: Preliminary findings]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8d4d5eed0c48496f200

Purpose

To determine the correlation between the parameters of MR diffusion kurtosis imaging (MR-DKI) and mismatch repair gene expression (MMR) for rectal carcinomas.

Materials and methods

Data from 80 patients with rectal carcinoma were analyzed in this prospective study. High-resolution T2WI and DKI (b = 0, 800 and 1600 s/mm2, respectively) were performed. Mean kurtosis (MK) and mean diffusivity (MD) from DKI were measured. MMR-positive expression and HER-2 expression were classified into two groups. For comparison between different grades, the Mann-Whitney U test, receiver operating characteristic curve, and Spearman’s correlation analysis were used for statistical analyses.

Results

The MK values in identifying positive MMR expressions (MLH1, MSH2, and MSH6) were more reliable than the MD values (rs value: 0.772 vs. 0.448, 0.733 vs. 0.499, and 0.828 vs. 0.633 respectively, P<0.01). Receiver operating curve analysis showed that the performances of the MK values were better than those of the MD values (z = 2.835, 2.000, and 2.827, respectively, P<0.05), while the performances of the MK and MD-MK values were not statistically significant (z = 0.808, 1.557, and 0.596, respectively, P>0.05). Similarly, MK values were better than MD values in identifying HER2 expression (z = 2.795, P<0.05).

Conclusions

MK derived from DKI demonstrated a greater correlation than MD with MMR expression. It also showed better performance in differentiating between high- and low-grade positive MMR expression and HER2 expression. Thus, DKI may be valuable for the prognoses and evaluation of non-invasive therapies.

]]>
<![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.

]]>
<![CDATA[Fluorescent labelling of membrane fatty acid transporter CD36 (SR-B2) in the extracellular loop]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c521873d5eed0c484798546

Context

Upon palmitate oversupply, membrane fatty acid-transporter CD36 (SR-B2) permanently translocates from endosomal storage to the sarcolemma, inducing lipotoxicity. CD36 translocation results from endosomal alkalinisation elicited by palmitate-induced disattachment of the cytoplasmic V1-subcomplex from the membrane-integrated V0-subcomplex of vacuolar-type H+-ATPase.

Objective

Develop a CD36 fluorescent labeling technique as initial step towards live cell imaging.

Methods

Three human CD36 (hCD36) mutants were constructed via insertion of a tetracysteine motif at different positions within the extracellular domain. Constructs were lentivirally transduced for subsequent CD36 labeling with fluorescein-arsenical hairpin-binder (FlAsH). Cell imaging was combined with V0/V1 immunostaining and Western blotting.

Results

Transduction of hCD36-wildtype and mutants yielded corresponding proteins in HL-1 cardiomyocytes. Tetracysteine mutant-2 (hCD36-TC2) showed similar fatty acid uptake to wildtype. FlAsH staining revealed a speckled pattern reminiscent of endosomes. We found decreased V1 co-localization with CD36 upon high-palmitate culturing. Conversely, V0 consistently co-localized with CD36.

Conclusion

hCD36-TC2 is a possible candidate for application of biarsenical dyes in live imaging studies pending further investigation. Our data is compatible with V0/V1 disassembly in high-palmitate-treated cells.

]]>
<![CDATA[MEKK3 coordinates with FBW7 to regulate WDR62 stability and neurogenesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c23f305d5eed0c484049ed6

Mutations of WD repeat domain 62 (WDR62) lead to autosomal recessive primary microcephaly (MCPH), and down-regulation of WDR62 expression causes the loss of neural progenitor cells (NPCs). However, how WDR62 is regulated and hence controls neurogenesis and brain size remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 3 (MEKK3) forms a complex with WDR62 to promote c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling synergistically in the control of neurogenesis. The deletion of Mekk3, Wdr62, or Jnk1 resulted in phenocopied defects, including premature NPC differentiation. We further showed that WDR62 protein is positively regulated by MEKK3 and JNK1 in the developing brain and that the defects of wdr62 deficiency can be rescued by the transgenic expression of JNK1. Meanwhile, WDR62 is also negatively regulated by T1053 phosphorylation, leading to the recruitment of F-box and WD repeat domain-containing protein 7 (FBW7) and proteasomal degradation. Our findings demonstrate that the coordinated reciprocal and bidirectional regulation among MEKK3, FBW7, WDR62, and JNK1, is required for fine-tuned JNK signaling for the control of balanced NPC self-renewal and differentiation during cortical development.

]]>
<![CDATA[Meiosis-specific prophase-like pathway controls cleavage-independent release of cohesin by Wapl phosphorylation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c37b7a0d5eed0c48449070e

Sister chromatid cohesion on chromosome arms is essential for the segregation of homologous chromosomes during meiosis I while it is dispensable for sister chromatid separation during mitosis. It was assumed that, unlike the situation in mitosis, chromosome arms retain cohesion prior to onset of anaphase-I. Paradoxically, reduced immunostaining signals of meiosis-specific cohesin, including the kleisin Rec8, were observed on chromosomes during late prophase-I of budding yeast. This decrease is seen in the absence of Rec8 cleavage and depends on condensin-mediated recruitment of Polo-like kinase (PLK/Cdc5). In this study, we confirmed that this release indeed accompanies the dissociation of acetylated Smc3 as well as Rec8 from meiotic chromosomes during late prophase-I. This release requires, in addition to PLK, the cohesin regulator, Wapl (Rad61/Wpl1 in yeast), and Dbf4-dependent Cdc7 kinase (DDK). Meiosis-specific phosphorylation of Rad61/Wpl1 and Rec8 by PLK and DDK collaboratively promote this release. This process is similar to the vertebrate “prophase” pathway for cohesin release during G2 phase and pro-metaphase. In yeast, meiotic cohesin release coincides with PLK-dependent compaction of chromosomes in late meiotic prophase-I. We suggest that yeast uses this highly regulated cleavage-independent pathway to remove cohesin during late prophase-I to facilitate morphogenesis of condensed metaphase-I chromosomes.

]]>
<![CDATA[A software tool for the quantification of metastatic colony growth dynamics and size distributions in vitro and in vivo]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c2e7fd5d5eed0c48451b9a6

The majority of cancer-related deaths are due to metastasis, hence improved methods to biologically and computationally model metastasis are required. Computational models rely on robust data that is machine-readable. The current methods used to model metastasis in mice involve generating primary tumors by injecting human cells into immune-compromised mice, or by examining genetically engineered mice that are pre-disposed to tumor development and that eventually metastasize. The degree of metastasis can be measured using flow cytometry, bioluminescence imaging, quantitative PCR, and/or by manually counting individual lesions from metastatic tissue sections. The aforementioned methods are time-consuming and do not provide information on size distribution or spatial localization of individual metastatic lesions. In this work, we describe and provide a MATLAB script for an image-processing based method designed to obtain quantitative data from tissue sections comprised of multiple subpopulations of disseminated cells localized at metastatic sites in vivo. We further show that this method can be easily adapted for high throughput imaging of live or fixed cells in vitro under a multitude of conditions in order to assess clonal fitness and evolution. The inherent variation in mouse studies, increasing complexity in experimental design which incorporate fate-mapping of individual cells, result in the need for a large cohort of mice to generate a robust dataset. High-throughput imaging techniques such as the one that we describe will enhance the data that can be used as input for the development of computational models aimed at modeling the metastatic process.

]]>
<![CDATA[Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) reduces hepatocyte growth factor-induced migration of hepatocellular carcinoma cells via S1P receptor 2]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1c0ac7d5eed0c484426a8d

A bioactive lipid, sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), acts extracellularly as a potent mediator, and is implicated in the progression of various cancers including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). S1P exerts its functions by binding to five types of specific receptors, S1P receptor 1 (S1PR1), S1PR2, S1PR3, S1PR4 and S1PR5 on the plasma membrane. However, the exact roles of S1P and each S1PR in HCC cells remain to be clarified. In the present study, we investigated the effect of S1P on the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-induced migration of human HCC-derived HuH7 cells, and the involvement of each S1PR. S1P dose-dependently reduced the HGF-induced migration of HuH7 cells. We found that all S1PRs exist in the HuH7 cells. Among each selective agonist for five S1PRs, CYM5520, a selective S1PR2 agonist, significantly suppressed the HGF-induced HuH7 cell migration whereas selective agonists for S1PR1, S1PR3, S1PR4 or S1PR5 failed to affect the migration. The reduction of the HGF-induced migration by S1P was markedly reversed by treatment of JTE013, a selective antagonist for S1PR2, and S1PR2- siRNA. These results strongly suggest that S1P reduces the HGF-induced HCC cell migration via S1PR2. Our findings may provide a novel potential of S1PR2 to therapeutic strategy for metastasis of HCC.

]]>
<![CDATA[Tox_(R)CNN: Deep learning-based nuclei profiling tool for drug toxicity screening]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ae429d5eed0c48458907f

Toxicity is an important factor in failed drug development, and its efficient identification and prediction is a major challenge in drug discovery. We have explored the potential of microscopy images of fluorescently labeled nuclei for the prediction of toxicity based on nucleus pattern recognition. Deep learning algorithms obtain abstract representations of images through an automated process, allowing them to efficiently classify complex patterns, and have become the state-of-the art in machine learning for computer vision. Here, deep convolutional neural networks (CNN) were trained to predict toxicity from images of DAPI-stained cells pre-treated with a set of drugs with differing toxicity mechanisms. Different cropping strategies were used for training CNN models, the nuclei-cropping-based Tox_CNN model outperformed other models classifying cells according to health status. Tox_CNN allowed automated extraction of feature maps that clustered compounds according to mechanism of action. Moreover, fully automated region-based CNNs (RCNN) were implemented to detect and classify nuclei, providing per-cell toxicity prediction from raw screening images. We validated both Tox_(R)CNN models for detection of pre-lethal toxicity from nuclei images, which proved to be more sensitive and have broader specificity than established toxicity readouts. These models predicted toxicity of drugs with mechanisms of action other than those they had been trained for and were successfully transferred to other cell assays. The Tox_(R)CNN models thus provide robust, sensitive, and cost-effective tools for in vitro screening of drug-induced toxicity. These models can be adopted for compound prioritization in drug screening campaigns, and could thereby increase the efficiency of drug discovery.

]]>
<![CDATA[Characterization of longitudinal canal tissue in the acorn barnacle Amphibalanus amphitrite]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1813bed5eed0c484775b26

The morphology and composition of tissue located within parietal shell canals of the barnacle Amphibalanus amphitrite are described. Longitudinal canal tissue nearly spans the length of side shell plates, terminating near the leading edge of the specimen basis in proximity to female reproductive tissue located throughout the peripheral sub-mantle region, i.e. mantle parenchyma. Microscopic examination of stained longitudinal canal sections reveal the presence of cell nuclei as well as an abundance of micron-sized spheroids staining positive for basic residues and lipids. Spheroids with the same staining profile are present extensively in ovarioles, particularly within oocytes which are readily identifiable at various developmental stages. Mass spectrometry analysis of longitudinal canal tissue compared to tissue collected from the mantle parenchyma reveals a nearly 50% overlap of the protein profile with the greatest number of sequence matches to vitellogenin, a glycolipoprotein playing a key role in vitellogenesis–yolk formation in developing oocytes. The morphological similarity and proximity to female reproductive tissue, combined with mass spectrometry of the two tissues, provides compelling evidence that one of several possible functions of longitudinal canal tissue is supporting the female reproductive system of A. amphitrite, thus expanding the understanding of the growth and development of this sessile marine organism.

]]>
<![CDATA[The molecular connection of histopathological heterogeneity in hepatocellular carcinoma: A role of Wnt and Hedgehog signaling pathways]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1028bcd5eed0c484247f87

Background

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is leading cause of cancer-related mortality and is categorized among the most common malignancies around the world. It is a heterogeneous tumor, which shows significant degree of histopathological heterogeneity. Despite the apparent histopathological diversity there has been very little distinct correlation between histopathological features and molecular aberrations particularly when it comes to the expression level of Wnt and Hh pathway molecules. The role of Wnt and Hh pathways in relation to HCC behavior viz. histopathological heterogeneity and aggressiveness is not known. Determining the sequential molecular changes and associated histopathological characteristic during HCC initiation, promotion, and progression would probably lead to a better treatment and prognosis.

Methods

N-Nitrosodiethylamine (DEN) induced HCC model in male Wistar rats were established to study the expression level of Wnt and Hh pathway molecules during different stages of hepatocarcinogenesis. Their expression levels were checked at mRNA and protein levels at initiation, promotion, and progression stages of HCC. The expression levels of Wnt and Hh pathway molecules were correlated with biospecimens of HCC patients of different stages.

Results

In the present study we identified the comprehensive change in the expression pattern of Wnt and Hh pathway molecules in DEN induced rodent hepatocarcinogenesis model. Our results demonstrate that β-catenin /CTNNB1 plays important role in tumor initiation and promotion by stimulating tumor cell proliferation. The activated Wnt signaling in early stage of HCC is associated with well-differentiated histological pattern. The Hh activity although activated during the initiation stage but is significantly increased during the early promotion stage of hepatocarcinogenesis. The increased activity of both Wnt & Hh pathways during promotion stage is associated with moderately-differentiated histological pattern and was simultaneously linked with an increased expression of MMP9. Furthermore, our data demonstrated that during the progression stage Wnt pathway is modestly down-regulated but the Hh pathway activity sustained which in turn is associated with aggressive and invasive phenotype and poorly-differentiated histopathology.

Conclusion

Our data uncovers the grade related expression of Wnt and Hh pathway molecules and the potential utility of these molecular signatures in daily clinical practice is to decide best therapy according to patients characteristic. Additionally, our data offer insight into the interaction between Wnt and Hh pathways which triggers HCC development and progression.

]]>
<![CDATA[Alpha7 acetylcholine receptor autoantibodies are rare in sera of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cf6bd5eed0c4849145a3

The α7 acetylcholine receptor (AChR) has been linked with the onset of psychotic symptoms and we hypothesized therefore that it might also be an autoimmune target. Here, we describe a new radioimmunoassay (RIA) using iodine 125-labelled α-bungarotoxin and membrane extract from transfected HEK293 cells expressing human α7 AChR. This RIA was used to analyze sera pertaining to a cohort of 711 subjects, comprising 368 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, 140 with bipolar disorder, 58 individuals diagnosed of other mental disorders, and 118 healthy comparison subjects. We identified one patient whose serum tested positive although with very low levels (0.2 nM) for α7 AChR-specific antibodies by RIA. Three out of 711 sera contained antibodies against iodine 125-labelled α-bungarotoxin, because they precipitated with it in the absence of α7 AChR. This first evidence suggests that autoantibodies against α7 AChR are absent or very rare in these clinical groups.

]]>
<![CDATA[Deletion of exchange proteins directly activated by cAMP (Epac) causes defects in hippocampal signaling in female mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b6945ba463d7e3867f4aca4

Previous studies demonstrate essential roles for the exchange proteins directly activated by cAMP 1 and 2 (Epac1 and Epac2; here collectively referred to as Epac) in the brain. In the hippocampus, Epac contributes to the control of neuronal growth and differentiation and has been implicated in memory and learning as well as in anxiety and depression. In the present study we address the hypothesis that Epac affects hippocampal cellular responses to acute restraint stress. Stress causes activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis, and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) signaling is essential for proper feedback regulation of the stress response, both in the brain and along the HPA axis. In the hippocampus, GR expression is regulated by cAMP and the brain enriched micro RNA miR-124. Epac has been associated with miR-124 expression in hippocampal neurons, but not in regulation of GR. We report that hippocampal expression of Epac1 and Epac2 increased in response to acute stress in female wild type mice. In female mice genetically deleted for Epac, nuclear translocation of GR in response to restraint stress was significantly delayed, and moreover, miR-124 expression was decreased in these mice. Male mice lacking Epac also showed abnormalities in miR-124 expression, but the phenotype was less profound than in females. Serum corticosterone levels were slightly altered immediately after stress in both male and female mice deleted for Epac. The presented data indicate that Epac1 and Epac2 are involved in controlling cellular responses to acute stress in the mouse hippocampus and provide novel insights into the underlying transcriptional and signaling networks. Interestingly, we observe sex specific differences when Epac is deleted. As the incidence and prevalence of stress-related diseases are higher in women than in men, the Epac knockout models might serve as genetic tools to further elucidate the cellular mechanisms underlying differences between male and female with regard to regulation of stress.

]]>
<![CDATA[Therapeutic potential of CPI-613 for targeting tumorous mitochondrial energy metabolism and inhibiting autophagy in clear cell sarcoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b28b8b3463d7e14181b1865

Clear cell sarcoma (CCS) is an aggressive type of soft tissue tumor that is associated with high rates of metastasis. In the present study, we found that CPI-613, which targets tumorous mitochondrial energy metabolism, induced autophagosome formation followed by lysosome fusion in HS-MM CCS cells in vitro. Interestingly, CPI-613 along with chloroquine, which inhibits the fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes, significantly induced necrosis of HS-MM CCS cell growth in vitro. Subsequently, we established a murine orthotropic metastatic model of CCS and evaluated the putative suppressive effect of a combination of CPI-613 and chloroquine on CCS progression. Injection of HS-MM into the aponeuroses of the thigh, the most frequently affected site in CCS, resulted in massive metastasis in SCID-beige mice. By contrast, intraperitoneal administration of CPI-613 (25 mg/kg) and chloroquine (50 mg/kg), two days a week for two weeks, significantly decreased tumor growth at the injection site and abolished metastasis. The present results imply the inhibitory effects of a combination of CPI-613 and chloroquine on the progression of CCS.

]]>
<![CDATA[Plasmodium falciparum dipeptidyl aminopeptidase 3 activity is important for efficient erythrocyte invasion by the malaria parasite]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b079d4b463d7e75962e790d

Parasite egress from infected erythrocytes and invasion of new red blood cells are essential processes for the exponential asexual replication of the malaria parasite. These two tightly coordinated events take place in less than a minute and are in part regulated and mediated by proteases. Dipeptidyl aminopeptidases (DPAPs) are papain-fold cysteine proteases that cleave dipeptides from the N-terminus of protein substrates. DPAP3 was previously suggested to play an essential role in parasite egress. However, little is known about its enzymatic activity, intracellular localization, or biological function. In this study, we recombinantly expressed DPAP3 and demonstrate that it has indeed dipeptidyl aminopeptidase activity, but contrary to previously studied DPAPs, removal of its internal prodomain is not required for activation. By combining super resolution microscopy, time-lapse fluorescence microscopy, and immunoelectron microscopy, we show that Plasmodium falciparum DPAP3 localizes to apical organelles that are closely associated with the neck of the rhoptries, and from which DPAP3 is secreted immediately before parasite egress. Using a conditional knockout approach coupled to complementation studies with wild type or mutant DPAP3, we show that DPAP3 activity is important for parasite proliferation and critical for efficient red blood cell invasion. We also demonstrate that DPAP3 does not play a role in parasite egress, and that the block in egress phenotype previously reported for DPAP3 inhibitors is due to off target or toxicity effects. Finally, using a flow cytometry assay to differentiate intracellular parasites from extracellular parasites attached to the erythrocyte surface, we show that DPAP3 is involved in the initial attachment of parasites to the red blood cell surface. Overall, this study establishes the presence of a DPAP3-dependent invasion pathway in malaria parasites.

]]>
<![CDATA[Hey1- and p53-dependent TrkC proapoptotic activity controls neuroblastoma growth]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b04166f463d7e0b28e418aa

The neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) receptor tropomyosin receptor kinase C (TrkC/NTRK3) has been described as a dependence receptor and, as such, triggers apoptosis in the absence of its ligand NT-3. This proapoptotic activity has been proposed to confer a tumor suppressor activity to this classic tyrosine kinase receptor (RTK). By investigating interacting partners that might facilitate TrkC-induced cell death, we have identified the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor Hey1 and importin-α3 (karyopherin alpha 4 [KPNA4]) as direct interactors of TrkC intracellular domain, and we show that Hey1 is required for TrkC-induced apoptosis. We propose here that the cleaved proapoptotic portion of TrkC intracellular domain (called TrkC killer-fragment [TrkC-KF]) is translocated to the nucleus by importins and interacts there with Hey1. We also demonstrate that Hey1 and TrkC-KF transcriptionally silence mouse double minute 2 homolog (MDM2), thus contributing to p53 stabilization. p53 transcriptionally regulates the expression of TrkC-KF cytoplasmic and mitochondrial interactors cofactor of breast cancer 1 (COBRA1) and B cell lymphoma 2–associated X (BAX), which will subsequently trigger the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis. Of interest, TrkC was proposed to constrain tumor progression in neuroblastoma (NB), and we demonstrate in an avian model that TrkC tumor suppressor activity requires Hey1 and p53.

]]>