BBA - Molecular Cell Research (v.1863, #1)

Specificity protein 4 (Sp4) transcriptionally regulates inhibitory GABAergic receptors in neurons by Bindu Nair; Kaid Johar; Anusha Priya; Margaret T.T. Wong-Riley (1-9).
Previous studies in our laboratory have shown that the neuron-specific specificity protein 4 (Sp4) transcriptionally regulates many excitatory neurotransmitter receptor subunit genes, such as those for GluN1, GluN2A, and GluN2B of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors and Gria2 of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors. It also regulates Atp1a1 and Atp1b1 subunit genes of Na+/K+-ATPase, a major energy-consuming enzyme, as well as all 13 subunits of cytochrome c oxidase (COX), an important energy-generating enzyme. Thus, there is a tight coupling between energy consumption, energy production, and excitatory neuronal activity at the transcriptional level in neurons. The question is whether inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors are also regulated by Sp4. In the present study, we tested our hypothesis that Sp4 regulates receptor subunit genes of a major inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA, specifically GABAA receptors. By means of multiple approaches, including in silico analysis, electrophoretic mobility shift and supershift assays, real-time quantitative PCR, chromatin immunoprecipitation, promoter mutational analysis, over-expression and shRNA of Sp4, functional assays, and western blots, we found that Sp4 functionally regulates the transcription of Gabra1 (GABAA α1) and Gabra2 (GABAA α2), but not Gabra3 (GABAA α3) subunit genes. The binding sites of Sp4 are conserved among rats, humans, and mice. Thus, our results substantiate our hypothesis that Sp4 plays a key role in regulating the transcription of GABAA receptor subunit genes. They also indicate that Sp4 is in a position to transcriptionally regulate the balance between excitatory and inhibitory neurochemical expressions in neurons.
Keywords: Gene regulation; Sp4; GABAA receptors; Gabra1; Gabra2; Gabra3;

Identification of a redox-modulatory interaction between selenoprotein W and 14-3-3 protein by Yeong Ha Jeon; Kwan Young Ko; Jea Hwang Lee; Ki Jun Park; Jun Ki Jang; Ick Young Kim (10-18).
Selenoprotein W (SelW) contains a selenocysteine (Sec, U) in a conserved CXXU motif corresponding to the CXXC redox motif of thioredoxin, suggesting a putative redox function of SelW. We have previously reported that the binding of 14-3-3 protein to its target proteins, including CDC25B, Rictor and TAZ, is inhibited by the interaction of 14-3-3 protein with SelW. However, the binding mechanism is unclear. In this study, we sought to determine the binding site of SelW to understand the regulatory mechanism of the interaction between SelW and 14-3-3 and its biological effects. Phosphorylated Ser(pS) or Thr(pT) residues in RSXpSXP or RXXXp(S/T)XP motifs are well-known common 14-3-3-binding sites, but Thr41, Ser59, and T69 of SelW, which are computationally predicted to serve are phosphorylation sites, were neither phosphorylation sites nor sites involved in the interaction. A mutant SelW in which Sec13 is changed to Ser (U13S) was unable to interact with 14-3-3 protein and thus did not inhibit the interaction of 14-3-3 to other target proteins. However, other Cys mutants of SelW(C10S, C33S and C37S) normally interacted with 14-3-3 protein. The interaction of SelW to 14-3-3 protein was enhanced by diamide or H2O2 and decreased by dithiothreitol (DTT). Taken together, these findings demonstrate that the Sec of SelW is involved in its interaction with 14-3-3 protein and that this interaction is increased under oxidative stress conditions. Thus, SelW may have a regulatory function in redox cell signaling by interacting with 14-3-3 protein.
Keywords: Selenoproteins; SelW; Selenocysteine; 14-3-3;

ABCG2 is one of three human ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporters involved in the export from cells of a chemically and structurally diverse range of compounds. This multidrug efflux capability, together with a broad tissue distribution in the body, means that ABCG2 exerts a range of effects on normal physiology such as kidney urate transport, as well as contributing towards the pharmacokinetic profiles of many exogenous drugs. The primary sequence of ABCG2 contains only half the number of domains required for a functioning ABC transporter and so it must oligomerise in order to function, yet its oligomeric state in intact cell membranes remains uncharacterized. We have analysed ABCG2 in living cell membranes using a combination of fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, photon counting histogram analysis, and stepwise photobleaching to demonstrate a predominantly tetrameric structure for ABCG2 in the presence or absence of transport substrates. These results provide the essential basis for exploring pharmacological manipulation of oligomeric state as a strategy to modulate ABCG2 activity in future selective therapeutics.Display Omitted
Keywords: ABCG2; Oligomerisation; Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy; Photon counting histogram; Total internal reflection fluorescence; Stepwise photobleaching;

The homeostasis of magnesium (Mg2 +), an abundant divalent cation indispensable for many biological processes including mitochondrial functions, is underexplored. In yeast, the mitochondrial Mg2 + homeostasis is accurately controlled through the combined effects of importers, Mrs2 and Lpe10, and an exporter, Mme1. However, little is known about this Mg2 + homeostatic process in multicellular organisms. Here, we identified the first mitochondrial Mg2 + transporter in Drosophila, the orthologue of yeast Mme1, dMme1, by homologous comparison and functional complementation. dMme1 can mediate the exportation of mitochondrial Mg2 + when heterologously expressed in yeast. Altering the expression of dMme1, although only resulting in about a 10% change in mitochondrial Mg2 + levels in either direction, led to a significant survival reduction in Drosophila. Furthermore, the reduced survival resulting from dMme1 expression changes could be completely rescued by feeding the dMME1-RNAi flies Mg2 +-restricted food or the dMME1-over-expressing flies the Mg2 +-supplemented diet. Our studies therefore identified the first Drosophila mitochondrial Mg2 + exporter, which is involved in the precise control of mitochondrial Mg2 + homeostasis to ensure an optimal state for survival.
Keywords: CG3476; dMME1; Drosophila melanogaster; Mitochondrial Mg2 + exporter; Mme1; Yeast;

DNA damage-induced apoptosis suppressor (DDIAS), a novel target of NFATc1, is associated with cisplatin resistance in lung cancer by Joo-Young Im; Kang-Woo Lee; Kyoung-Jae Won; Bo-Kyung Kim; Hyun Seung Ban; Sung-Hoon Yoon; Young-Ju Lee; Young-Joo Kim; Kyung-Bin Song; Misun Won (40-49).
In a previous study, we reported that DNA damage induced apoptosis suppressor (DDIAS; hNoxin), a human homolog of mouse Noxin, functions as an anti-apoptotic protein in response to DNA repair. Here we reveal that DDIAS is a target gene of nuclear factor of activated T cells 2 (NFATc1) and is associated with cisplatin resistance in lung cancer cells. In the DDIAS promoter analysis, we found that NFATc1 activated the transcription of DDIAS through binding to NFAT consensus sequences in the DDIAS promoter. In addition, tissue array immunostaining revealed a correlation between DDIAS and NFATc1 expression in human lung tumors. NFATc1 knockdown or treatment with the NFAT inhibitor cyclosporine A induced apoptosis and led to growth inhibition of lung cancer cells, indicating the functional relevance of both the proteins. In contrast, DDIAS overexpression overcame this NFATc1 knockdown-induced growth inhibition, supporting the cancer-specific role of DDIAS as a target gene of NFATc1. NFATc1 or DDIAS inhibition clearly enhanced apoptosis induced by cisplatin in NCI-H1703 and A549 cells. Conversely, DDIAS overexpression rescued NCI-H1703 cells from cisplatin-mediated cell death and caspase-3/7 activation. These results suggest that NFATc1-induced DDIAS expression contributes to cisplatin resistance, and targeting DDIAS or NFATc1 impairs the mechanism regulating cisplatin resistance in lung cancer cells. Taken together, DDIAS is a target of NFATc1 and is associated with cisplatin resistance in lung cancer cells.
Keywords: Lung cancer; NFATc1; DDIAS; Transcription; Apoptosis; Cisplatin resistance;

The NLRP3 inflammasome, an intracellular multi-protein complex controlling the maturation of cytokine interleukin-1β, plays an important role in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory cascades. Recently, the production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS) in macrophages stimulated with LPS has been suggested to act as a trigger during the process of NLRP3 inflammasome activation that can be blocked by some mitochondria-targeted antioxidants. Known as a ROS scavenger, molecular hydrogen (H2) has been shown to possess therapeutic benefit on LPS-induced inflammatory damage in many animal experiments. Due to the unique molecular structure, H2 can easily target the mitochondria, suggesting that H2 is a potential antagonist of mtROS-dependent NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Here we have showed that, in mouse macrophages, H2 exhibited substantial inhibitory activity against LPS-initiated NLRP3 inflammasome activation by scavenging mtROS. Moreover, the elimination of mtROS by H2 resultantly inhibited mtROS-mediated NLRP3 deubiquitination, a non-transcriptional priming signal of NLRP3 in response to the stimulation of LPS. Additionally, the removal of mtROS by H2 reduced the generation of oxidized mitochondrial DNA and consequently decreased its binding to NLRP3, thereby inhibiting the NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Our findings have, for the first time, revealed the novel mechanism underlying the inhibitory effect of molecular hydrogen on LPS-caused NLRP3 inflammasome activation, highlighting the promising application of this new antioxidant in the treatment of LPS-associated inflammatory pathological damage.Display Omitted
Keywords: Molecular hydrogen; NLRP3 inflammasome; Lipopolysaccharide; Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species; Deubiquitination; Mitochondrial DNA;

Hyperspectral imaging uses spectral and spatial image information for target detection and classification. In this work hyperspectral autofluorescence imaging was applied to patient olfactory neurosphere-derived cells, a cell model of a human metabolic disease MELAS (mitochondrial myopathy, encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, stroke-like syndrome). By using an endogenous source of contrast subtle metabolic variations have been detected between living cells in their full morphological context which made it possible to distinguish healthy from diseased cells before and after therapy. Cellular maps of native fluorophores, flavins, bound and free NADH and retinoids unveiled subtle metabolic signatures and helped uncover significant cell subpopulations, in particular a subpopulation with compromised mitochondrial function. Taken together, our results demonstrate that multispectral spectral imaging provides a new non-invasive method to investigate neurodegenerative and other disease models, and it paves the way for novel cellular characterisation in health, disease and during treatment, with proper account of intrinsic cellular heterogeneity.
Keywords: Molecular analysis; Neurodegenerative disorders; MELAS; Metabolic imaging; Hyperspectral;

Coordinate regulation of microenvironmental stimuli and role of methylation in bone metastasis from breast carcinoma by Emanuela Matteucci; Paola Maroni; Andrea Disanza; Paola Bendinelli; Maria Alfonsina Desiderio (64-76).
The pathogenesis of bone metastasis is unclear, and much focus in metastatic biology and therapy relays on epigenetic alterations. Since DNA-methyltransferase blockade with 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (dAza) counteracts tumour growth, here we utilized dAza to clarify whether molecular events undergoing epigenetic control were critical for bone metastatization. In particular, we investigated the patterns of secreted-protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) and of Endothelin 1, affected by DNA methyltransferases in tumours, with the hypothesis that in bone metastasis a coordinate function of SPARC and Endothelin 1, if any occurs, was orchestrated by DNA methylation. To this purpose, we prepared a xenograft model with the clone 1833, derived from human-MDA-MB231 cells, and dAza administration slowed-down metastasis outgrowth. This seemed consequent to the reductions of SPARC and Endothelin 1 at invasive front and in the bone marrow, mostly due to loss of Twist. In the metastasis bulk Snail, partly reduced by dAza, might sustain Endothelin 1-SPARC cooperativity. Both SPARC and Endothelin 1 underwent post-translational control by miRNAs, a molecular mechanism that might explain the in vivo data. Ectopic miR29a reduced SPARC expression also under long-term dAza exposure, while Endothelin 1 down-regulation occurred in the presence of endogenous-miR98 expression. Notably, dAza effects differed depending on in vivo and in vitro conditions. In 1833 cells exposed to 30-days dAza, SPARC-protein level was practically unaffected, while Endothelin 1 induction depended on the 3′-UTR functionality. The blockade of methyltransferases leading to SPARC reduction in vivo, might represent a promising strategy to hamper early steps of the metastatic process affecting the osteogenic niche.
Keywords: Bone metastasis; SPARC; Methylation; Endothelin 1; Microenvironment stimuli;

Agonist-induced changes in RalA activities allows the prediction of the endocytosis of G protein-coupled receptors by Mei Zheng; Xiaohan Zhang; Shuohan Guo; Xiaowei Zhang; Chengchun Min; Seung Hoon Cheon; Min-Ho Oak; Young Ran Kim; Kyeong-Man Kim (77-90).
GTP binding proteins are classified into two families: heterotrimeric large G proteins which are composed of three subunits, and one subunit of small G proteins. Roles of small G proteins in the intracellular trafficking of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) were studied. Among various small G proteins tested, GTP-bound form (G23V) of RalA inhibited the internalization of dopamine D2 receptor independently of the previously reported downstream effectors of RalA, such as Ral-binding protein 1 and PLD. With high affinity for GRK2, active RalA inhibited the GPCR endocytosis by sequestering the GRK2 from receptors. When it was tested for several GPCRs including an endogenous GPCR, lysophosphatidic acid receptor 1, agonist-induced conversion of GTP-bound to GDP-bound RalA, which presumably releases the sequestered GRK2, was observed selectively with the GPCRs which have tendency to undergo endocytosis. Conversion of RalA from active to inactive state occurred by translocation of RGL, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor, from the plasma membrane to cytosol as a complex with Gβγ. These results suggest that agonist-induced Gβγ-mediated conversion of RalA from the GTP-bound form to the GDP-bound form could be a mechanism to facilitate agonist-induced internalization of GPCRs.Display Omitted
Keywords: Epsin; Angiotensin; LPA; β-Arrestin; β-Adrenoceptor;

Evolution and structural organization of the mitochondrial contact site (MICOS) complex and the mitochondrial intermembrane space bridging (MIB) complex by Martijn A. Huynen; Mareike Mühlmeister; Katherina Gotthardt; Sergio Guerrero-Castillo; Ulrich Brandt (91-101).
We have analyzed the distribution of mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system (MICOS) complex proteins and mitochondrial intermembrane space bridging complex (MIB) proteins over (sub)complexes and over species. The MICOS proteins are associated with the formation and maintenance of mitochondrial cristae. Indeed, the presence of MICOS genes in genomes correlates well with the presence of cristae: all cristae containing species have at least one MICOS gene and cristae-less species have none. Mic10 is the most widespread MICOS gene, while Mic60 appears be the oldest one, as it originates in the ancestors of mitochondria, the proteobacteria. In proteobacteria the gene occurs in clusters with genes involved in heme synthesis while the protein has been observed in intracellular membranes of the alphaproteobacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides. In contrast, Mic23 and Mic27 appear to be the youngest MICOS proteins, as they only occur in opisthokonts. The remaining MICOS proteins, Mic10, Mic19, Mic25 and Mic12, the latter we show to be orthologous to human C19orf70/QIL1, trace back to the root of the eukaryotes. Of the remaining MIB proteins, also DNAJC11 shows a high correlation with the presence of cristae. In mitochondrial protein complexome profiles, the MIB complex occurs as a defined complex and as separate subcomplexes, potentially reflecting various assembly stages. We find three main forms of the complex: A) The MICOS complex, containing all the MICOS proteins, B) a membrane bridging subcomplex, containing in addition SAMM50, MTX2 and the previously uncharacterized MTX3, and C) the complete MIB complex containing in addition DNAJC11 and MTX1.
Keywords: MICOS; MIB; C19orf70; HemX; Complexome profiling; Metaxin 3;

Phosphorylation and isoform use in p120-catenin during development and tumorigenesis by Ji Yeon Hong; Il-Hoan Oh; Pierre D. McCrea (102-114).
P120-catenin is essential to vertebrate development, modulating cadherin and small-GTPase functions, and growing evidence points also to roles in the nucleus. A complexity in addressing p120-catenin's functions is its many isoforms, including optional splicing events, alternative points of translational initiation, and secondary modifications. In this review, we focus upon how choices in the initiation of protein translation, or the earlier splicing of the RNA transcript, relates to primary sequences that harbor established or putative regulatory phosphorylation sites. While certain p120 phosphorylation events arise via known kinases/phosphatases and have defined outcomes, in most cases the functional consequences are still to be established.In this review, we provide examples of p120-isoforms as they relate to phosphorylation events, and thereby to isoform dependent protein–protein associations and downstream functions. We also provide a view of upstream pathways that determine p120's phosphorylation state, and that have an impact upon development and disease. Because other members of the p120 subfamily undergo similar processing and phosphorylation, as well as related catenins of the plakophilin subfamily, what is learned regarding p120 will by extension have wide relevance in vertebrates.
Keywords: Structure-function; Kinases; Phosphatases; Cadherins; Small-GTPases (RhoA; Rac1); Wnt signaling; Nuclear signaling; Development; Cancer;

Whirlin increases TRPV1 channel expression and cellular stability by Maria Grazia Ciardo; Amparo Andrés-Bordería; Natalia Cuesta; Pierluigi Valente; María Camprubí-Robles; Jun Yang; Rosa Planells-Cases; Antonio Ferrer-Montiel (115-127).
The expression and function of TRPV1 are influenced by its interaction with cellular proteins. Here, we identify Whirlin, a cytoskeletal PDZ-scaffold protein implicated in hearing, vision and mechanosensory transduction, as an interacting partner of TRPV1. Whirlin associates with TRPV1 in cell lines and in primary cultures of rat nociceptors. Whirlin is expressed in 55% of mouse sensory C-fibers, including peptidergic and non-peptidergic nociceptors, and co-localizes with TRPV1 in 70% of them. Heterologous expression of Whirlin increased TRPV1 protein expression and trafficking to the plasma membrane, and promoted receptor clustering. Silencing Whirlin expression with siRNA or blocking protein translation resulted in a concomitant degradation of TRPV1 that could be prevented by inhibiting the proteasome. The degradation kinetics of TRPV1 upon arresting protein translation mirrored that of Whirlin in cells co-expressing both proteins, suggesting a parallel degradation mechanism. Noteworthy, Whirlin expression significantly reduced TRPV1 degradation induced by prolonged exposure to capsaicin. Thus, our findings indicate that Whirlin and TRPV1 are associated in a subset of nociceptors and that TRPV1 protein stability is increased through the interaction with the cytoskeletal scaffold protein. Our results suggest that the Whirlin–TRPV1 complex may represent a novel molecular target and its pharmacological disruption might be a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of peripheral TRPV1-mediated disorders.
Keywords: Nociception; Thermosensory; PDZ; Synapsis; Cytoskeleton; Pain;

FoxO1 mediates TGF-beta1-dependent cardiac myofibroblast differentiation by Raúl Vivar; Claudio Humeres; Claudia Muñoz; Pía Boza; Samir Bolivar; Felipe Tapia; Sergio Lavandero; Mario Chiong; Guillermo Diaz-Araya (128-138).
Cardiac fibroblast differentiation to myofibroblast is a crucial process in the development of cardiac fibrosis and is tightly dependent on transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1). The transcription factor forkhead box O1 (FoxO1) regulates many cell functions, including cell death by apoptosis, proliferation, and differentiation. However, several aspects of this process remain unclear, including the role of FoxO1 in cardiac fibroblast differentiation and the regulation of FoxO1 by TGF-β1. Here, we report that TGF-β1 stimulates FoxO1 expression, promoting its dephosphorylation, nuclear localization and transcriptional activity in cultured cardiac fibroblasts. TGF-β1 also increases differentiation markers such as α-smooth muscle actin, connective tissue growth factor, and pro-collagen I, whereas it decreases cardiac fibroblast proliferation triggered by fetal bovine serum. TGF-β1 also increases levels of p21waf/cip-cycle inhibiting factor protein, a cytostatic factor promoting cell cycle arrest and cardiac fibroblast differentiation. In addition, TGF-β1 increases cardiac fibroblast contractile capacity as assessed by collagen gel contraction assay. The effect of TGF-β1 on cardiac fibroblast differentiation was prevented by FoxO1 down-regulation and enhanced by FoxO1 overexpression. Thus, our findings reveal that FoxO1 is regulated by TGF-β1 and plays a critical role in cardiac fibroblast differentiation. We propose that FoxO1 is an attractive new target for anti-fibrotic therapy.
Keywords: TGF-β1; FoxO1; Cardiac fibroblast; Myofibroblast, cell differentiation;

Evaluation of the activity and substrate specificity of the human SENP family of SUMO proteases by Andreia V. Mendes; Cláudia P. Grou; Jorge E. Azevedo; Manuel P. Pinto (139-147).
Protein modification with the small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) is a reversible process regulating many central biological pathways. The reversibility of SUMOylation is ensured by SUMO proteases many of which belong to the sentrin/SUMO-specific protease (SENP) family. In recent years, many advances have been made in allocating SENPs to specific biological pathways. However, due to difficulties in obtaining recombinant full-length active SENPs for thorough enzymatic characterization, our knowledge on these proteases is still limited. In this work, we used in vitro synthesized full-length human SENPs to perform a side-by-side comparison of their activities and substrate specificities. ProSUMO1/2/3, RanGAP1–SUMO1/2/3 and polySUMO2/3 chains were used as substrates in these analyses. We found that SENP1 is by far the most versatile and active SENP whereas SENP3 stands out as the least active of these enzymes. Finally, a comparison between the activities of full-length SENPs and their catalytic domains suggests that in some cases their non-catalytic regions influence their activity.Display Omitted
Keywords: Sentrin/SUMO-specific proteases; SENPs; SUMO; SUMO precursors; RanGAP1; PolySUMO chains;

Saccharomyces cerevisiae glycerol phosphate dehydrogenase 1 (Gpd1) and nicotinamidase (Pnc1) are two stress-induced enzymes. Both enzymes are predominantly localised to peroxisomes at normal growth conditions, but were reported to localise to the cytosol and nucleus upon exposure of cells to stress. Import of both proteins into peroxisomes depends on the peroxisomal targeting signal 2 (PTS2) receptor Pex7. Gpd1 contains a PTS2, however, Pnc1 lacks this sequence.Here we show that Pnc1 physically interacts with Gpd1, which is required for piggy-back import of Pnc1 into peroxisomes. Quantitative fluorescence microscopy analyses revealed that the levels of both proteins increased in peroxisomes and in the cytosol upon exposure of cells to stress. However, upon exposure of cells to stress we also observed enhanced cytosolic levels of the control PTS2 protein thiolase, when produced under control of the GPD1 promoter. This suggests that these conditions cause a partial defect in PTS2 protein import, probably because the PTS2 import pathway is easily saturated.
Keywords: Peroxisome; Matrix protein import; Piggy-back import; Glycerol phosphate dehydrogenase; Nicotinamidase; Saccharomyces cerevisiae;

Characterization of the cell-free DNA released by cultured cancer cells by Abel Jacobus Bronkhorst; Johannes F. Wentzel; Janine Aucamp; Etresia van Dyk; Lissinda du Plessis; Piet J. Pretorius (157-165).
The most prominent factor that delays the translation of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) analyses to clinical practice is the lack of knowledge regarding its origin and composition. The elucidation of the former is complicated by the seemingly random fluctuation of quantitative and qualitative characteristics of cfDNA in the blood of healthy and diseased individuals. Besides methodological discrepancies, this could be ascribed to a web of cellular responses to various environmental cues and stressors. Since all cells release cfDNA, it follows that the cfDNA in the blood of cancer patients is not only representative of tumor derived DNA, but also of DNA released by healthy cells under different conditions. Additionally, cfDNA released by malignant cells is not necessarily just aberrant, but likely includes non-mutated chromosomal DNA fragments. This may cause false positive/negative results. Although many have acknowledged that this is a major problem, few have addressed it. We propose that many of the current stumbling blocks encountered in in vivo cfDNA studies can be partially circumvented by in vitro models. Accordingly, the purpose of this work was to evaluate the release of cfDNA from cultured cells and to gauge its potential use for elucidating the nature of cfDNA. Results suggest that the occurrence of cfDNA is not a consequence of apoptosis or necrosis, but primarily a result of actively secreted DNA, perhaps in association with a protein complex. This study demonstrates the potential of in vitro cell culture models to obtain useful information about the phenomenon of cfDNA.
Keywords: Cell-free DNA (cfDNA); Apoptosis; Necrosis; Osteosarcoma; Flow cytometry;

Notch1 endocytosis is induced by ligand and is required for signal transduction by G. Chapman; J.A. Major; K. Iyer; A.C. James; S.E. Pursglove; J.L.M. Moreau; S.L. Dunwoodie (166-177).
The Notch signalling pathway is widely utilised during embryogenesis in situations where cell–cell interactions are important for cell fate specification and differentiation. DSL ligand endocytosis into the ligand-expressing cell is an important aspect of Notch signalling because it is thought to supply the force needed to separate the Notch heterodimer to initiate signal transduction. A functional role for receptor endocytosis during Notch signal transduction is more controversial. Here we have used live-cell imaging to examine trafficking of the Notch1 receptor in response to ligand binding. Contact with cells expressing ligands induced internalisation and intracellular trafficking of Notch1. Notch1 endocytosis was accompanied by transendocytosis of ligand into the Notch1-expressing signal-receiving cell. Ligand caused Notch1 endocytosis into SARA-positive endosomes in a manner dependent on clathrin and dynamin function. Moreover, inhibition of endocytosis in the receptor-expressing cell impaired ligand-induced Notch1 signalling. Our findings resolve conflicting observations from mammalian and Drosophila studies by demonstrating that ligand-dependent activation of Notch1 signalling requires receptor endocytosis. Endocytosis of Notch1 may provide a force on the ligand:receptor complex that is important for potent signal transduction.
Keywords: Notch signaling; Endocytosis; Vesicle trafficking; SARA;