BBA - Molecular Basis of Disease (v.1842, #2)

Wild type and mutant amyloid precursor proteins influence downstream effects of proteasome and autophagy inhibition by Valentina Cecarini; Laura Bonfili; Massimiliano Cuccioloni; Matteo Mozzicafreddo; Giacomo Rossi; Jeffrey N. Keller; Mauro Angeletti; Anna Maria Eleuteri (127-134).
Cells rely on complementary proteolytic pathways including the ubiquitin–proteasome system and autophagy to maintain proper protein degradation. There is known to be considerable interplay between them, whereby the loss of one clearance system results in compensatory changes in other proteolytic pathways of the cell. Disturbances in proteolysis are known to occur in Alzheimer's disease, and potentially contribute to neurophysiological and neurodegenerative processes. Currently, few data are available on how the presence of wild type and mutant amyloid precursor protein (APPwt and APPmut) potentially alters the reciprocal interplay between the different intracellular proteolytic pathways. This study used human SH-SY5Y neuronal cell lines, and SH-SY5Y transfected with either APPwt or APPmut (valine-to-glycine substitution at position 717), in order to explore if the presence of APPwt or APPmut altered the downstream effects of pharmacological proteasome or autophagy inhibition. The occurrence of APPwt or APPmut was observed to disturb proteasome or autophagy activities upon treatment with proteasome inhibitors or authophagy inhibitors. Interestingly, APPwt and APPmut expression was observed to significantly and robustly enhance the induction in cathepsin B following the administration of an established proteasome inhibitor. The presence of APPwt and APPmut also significantly reduced the elevation in ubiquitinated proteins following proteasome inhibitor treatments. Our data strongly suggest that APP is able to affect the downstream effects of protease inhibition in neural cells including enhancement of cathepsin B activity, with these changes in cathepsin B significantly and inversely related to the levels of ubiquitinated protein.
Keywords: Amyloid precursor protein; Cathepsin B; Ubiquitin–proteasome system; Autophagy;

Suppression of tumorigenesis in mitochondrial NADP+-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase knock-out mice by Seontae Kim; Sung Youl Kim; Hyeong Jun Ku; Yong Hyun Jeon; Ho Won Lee; Jaetae Lee; Taeg Kyu Kwon; Kwon Moo Park; Jeen-Woo Park (135-143).
The tumor host microenvironment is increasingly viewed as an important contributor to tumor growth and suppression. Cellular oxidative stress resulting from high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) contributes to various processes involved in the development and progress of malignant tumors including carcinogenesis, aberrant growth, metastasis, and angiogenesis. In this regard, the stroma induces oxidative stress in adjacent tumor cells, and this in turn causes several changes in tumor cells including modulation of the redox status, inhibition of cell proliferation, and induction of apoptotic or necrotic cell death. Because the levels of ROS are determined by a balance between ROS generation and ROS detoxification, disruption of this system will result in increased or decreased ROS level. Recently, we demonstrated that the control of mitochondrial redox balance and cellular defense against oxidative damage is one of the primary functions of mitochondrial NADP+-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH2) that supplies NADPH for antioxidant systems. To explore the interactions between tumor cells and the host, we evaluated tumorigenesis between IDH2-deficient (knock-out) and wild-type mice in which B16F10 melanoma cells had been implanted. Suppression of B16F10 cell tumorigenesis was reproducibly observed in the IDH2-deficient mice along with significant elevation of oxidative stress in both the tumor and the stroma. In addition, the expression of angiogenesis markers was significantly down-regulated in both the tumor and the stroma of the IDH2-deficient mice. These results support the hypothesis that redox status-associated changes in the host environment of tumor-bearing mice may contribute to cancer progression.
Keywords: Antioxidant enzyme; Knockout mice; Tumorigenesis; Redox status; Host microenvironment;

Antiviral signaling protein MITA acts as a tumor suppressor in breast cancer by regulating NF-κB induced cell death by Khyati Bhatelia; Aru Singh; Dhanendra Tomar; Kritarth Singh; Lakshmi Sripada; Megha Chagtoo; Paresh Prajapati; Rochika Singh; Madan M. Godbole; Rajesh Singh (144-153).
Emerging evidences suggest that chronic inflammation is one of the major causes of tumorigenesis. The role of inflammation in regulation of breast cancer progression is not well established. Recently Mediator of IRF3 Activation (MITA) protein has been identified that regulates NF-κB and IFN pathways. Role of MITA in the context of inflammation and cancer progression has not been investigated. In the current report, we studied the role of MITA in the regulation of cross talk between cell death and inflammation in breast cancer cells. The expression of MITA was significantly lower on in estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast cancer cells than ER negative cells. Similarly, it was significantly down regulated in tumor tissue as compared to the normal tissue. The overexpression of MITA in MCF-7 and T47D decreases the cell proliferation and increases the cell death by activation of caspases. MITA positively regulates NF-κB transcription factor, which is essential for MITA induced cell death. The activation of NF-κB induces TNF-α production which further sensitizes MITA induced cell death by activation of death receptor pathway through capsase-8. MITA expression decreases the colony forming units and migration ability of MCF-7 cells. Thus, our finding suggests that MITA acts as a tumor suppressor which is down regulated during tumorigenesis providing survival advantage to tumor cell.
Keywords: MITA; Tumor suppressor gene; NF-κB; Breast cancer;

The Stress-response protein prostate-associated gene 4, interacts with c-Jun and potentiates its transactivation by Krithika Rajagopalan; Ruoyi Qiu; Steven M. Mooney; Shweta Rao; Takumi Shiraishi; Elizabeth Sacho; Hongying Huang; Ellen Shapiro; Keith R. Weninger; Prakash Kulkarni (154-163).
The Cancer/Testis Antigen (CTA), Prostate-associated Gene 4 (PAGE4), is a stress-response protein that is upregulated in prostate cancer (PCa) especially in precursor lesions that result from inflammatory stress. In cells under stress, translocation of PAGE4 to mitochondria increases while production of reactive oxygen species decreases. Furthermore, PAGE4 is also upregulated in human fetal prostate, underscoring its potential role in development. However, the proteins that interact with PAGE4 and the mechanisms underlying its pleiotropic functions in prostatic development and disease remain unknown. Here, we identified c-Jun as a PAGE4 interacting partner. We show that both PAGE4 and c-Jun are overexpressed in the human fetal prostate; and in cell-based assays, PAGE4 robustly potentiates c-Jun transactivation. Single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer experiments indicate that upon binding to c-Jun, PAGE4 undergoes conformational changes. However, no interaction is observed in presence of BSA or unilamellar vesicles containing the mitochondrial inner membrane diphosphatidylglycerol lipid marker cardiolipin. Together, our data indicate that PAGE4 specifically interacts with c-Jun and that, conformational dynamics may account for its observed pleiotropic functions. To our knowledge, this is the first report demonstrating crosstalk between a CTA and a proto-oncogene. Disrupting PAGE4/c-Jun interactions using small molecules may represent a novel therapeutic strategy for PCa.
Keywords: PAGE4; Cancer/Testis Antigen; c-Jun; smFRET; Prostate cancer; Intrinsically disordered protein;

Pro-inflammatory cytokines downregulate Hsp27 and cause apoptosis of human retinal capillary endothelial cells by Rooban B. Nahomi; Allison Palmer; Katelyn M. Green; Patrice E. Fort; Ram H. Nagaraj (164-174).
The formation of acellular capillaries in the retina, a hallmark feature of diabetic retinopathy, is caused by apoptosis of endothelial cells and pericytes. The biochemical mechanism of such apoptosis remains unclear. Small heat shock proteins play an important role in the regulation of apoptosis. In the diabetic retina, pro-inflammatory cytokines are upregulated. In this study, we investigated the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines on small heat shock protein 27 (Hsp27) in human retinal endothelial cells (HREC). In HREC cultured in the presence of cytokine mixtures (CM), a significant downregulation of Hsp27 at the protein and mRNA level occurred, with no effect on HSF-1, the transcription factor for Hsp27. The presence of high glucose (25 mM) amplified the effects of cytokines on Hsp27. CM activated indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) and enhanced the production of kynurenine and ROS. An inhibitor of IDO, 1-methyl tryptophan (MT), inhibited the effects of CM on Hsp27. CM also upregulated NOS2 and, consequently, nitric oxide (NO). A NOS inhibitor, L-NAME, and a ROS scavenger blocked the CM-mediated Hsp27 downregulation. While a NO donor in the culture medium did not decrease the Hsp27 content, a peroxynitrite donor and exogenous peroxynitrite did. The cytokines and high glucose-induced apoptosis of HREC were inhibited by MT and L-NAME. Downregulation of Hsp27 by a siRNA treatment promoted apoptosis in HREC. Together, these data suggest that pro-inflammatory cytokines induce the formation of ROS and NO, which, through the formation of peroxynitrite, reduce the Hsp27 content and bring about apoptosis of retinal capillary endothelial cells.
Keywords: Hsp27; Retinal endothelial cell; Cytokine; ROS; Apoptosis;

Classical NF-κB activation impairs skeletal muscle oxidative phenotype by reducing IKK-α expression by A.H.V. Remels; H.R. Gosker; R.C. Langen; M. Polkey; P. Sliwinski; J. Galdiz; B. van den Borst; N.A. Pansters; A.M.W.J. Schols (175-185).
Background: Loss of quadriceps muscle oxidative phenotype (OXPHEN) is an evident and debilitating feature of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We recently demonstrated involvement of the inflammatory classical NF-κB pathway in inflammation-induced impairments in muscle OXPHEN. The exact underlying mechanisms however are unclear. Interestingly, IκB kinase α (IKK-α: a key kinase in the alternative NF-κB pathway) was recently identified as a novel positive regulator of skeletal muscle OXPHEN. We hypothesised that inflammation-induced classical NF-κB activation contributes to loss of muscle OXPHEN in COPD by reducing IKK-α expression.Methods: Classical NF-κB signalling was activated (molecularly or by tumour necrosis factor α: TNF-α) in cultured myotubes and the impact on muscle OXPHEN and IKK-α levels was investigated. Moreover, the alternative NF-κB pathway was modulated to investigate the impact on muscle OXPHEN in absence or presence of an inflammatory stimulus. As a proof of concept, quadriceps muscle biopsies of COPD patients and healthy controls were analysed for expression levels of IKK-α, OXPHEN markers and TNF-α.Results: IKK-α knock-down in cultured myotubes decreased expression of OXPHEN markers and key OXPHEN regulators. Moreover, classical NF-κB activation (both by TNF-α and IKK-β over-expression) reduced IKK-α levels and IKK-α over-expression prevented TNF-α-induced impairments in muscle OXPHEN. Importantly, muscle IKK-α protein abundance and OXPHEN was reduced in COPD patients compared to controls, which was more pronounced in patients with increased muscle TNF-α mRNA levels.Conclusion: Classical NF-κB activation impairs skeletal muscle OXPHEN by reducing IKK-α expression. TNF-α-induced reductions in muscle IKK-α may accelerate muscle OXPHEN deterioration in COPD.
Keywords: Skeletal muscle; Oxidative metabolism; Classical NF-κB; IKK-α; TNF-α;

Elevated tissue omega-3 fatty acid status prevents age-related glucose intolerance in fat-1 transgenic mice by Talita Romanatto; Jarlei Fiamoncini; Bin Wang; Rui Curi; Jing X. Kang (186-191).
The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of elevated tissue omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) status on age-related glucose intolerance utilizing the fat-1 transgenic mouse model, which can endogenously synthesize n-3 PUFA from omega-6 (n-6) PUFA. Fat-1 and wild-type mice, maintained on the same dietary regime of a 10% corn oil diet, were tested at two different ages (2 months old and 8 months old) for various glucose homeostasis parameters and related gene expression. The older wild-type mice exhibited significantly increased levels of blood insulin, fasting blood glucose, liver triglycerides, and glucose intolerance, compared to the younger mice, indicating an age-related impairment of glucose homeostasis. In contrast, these age-related changes in glucose metabolism were largely prevented in the older fat-1 mice. Compared to the older wild-type mice, the older fat-1 mice also displayed a lower capacity for gluconeogenesis, as measured by pyruvate tolerance testing (PTT) and hepatic gene expression of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and glucose 6 phosphatase (G6Pase). Furthermore, the older fat-1 mice showed a significant decrease in body weight, epididymal fat mass, inflammatory activity (NFκ-B and p-IκB expression), and hepatic lipogenesis (acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) and fatty acid synthase (FAS) expression), as well as increased peroxisomal activity (70-kDa peroxisomal membrane protein (PMP70) and acyl-CoA oxidase1 (ACOX1) expression). Altogether, the older fat-1 mice exhibit improved glucose homeostasis in comparison to the older wild-type mice. These findings support the beneficial effects of elevated tissue n-3 fatty acid status in the prevention and treatment of age-related chronic metabolic diseases.
Keywords: Glucose homeostasis; Aging; Omega-3 fatty acid; Lipogenesis; Gluconeogenesis; Inflammation;

Modulation in the expression of SHP-1, SHP-2 and PTP1B due to the inhibition of MAPKs, cAMP and neutrophils early on in the development of cerulein-induced acute pancreatitis in rats by Violeta García-Hernández; Nancy Sarmiento; Carmen Sánchez-Bernal; Laura Matellán; José J. Calvo; Jesús Sánchez-Yagüe (192-201).
The protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) SHP-1, SHP-2 and PTP1B are overexpressed early on during the development of cerulein -induced acute pancreatitis (AP) in rats, and their levels can be modulated by some species of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), the intracellular levels of cAMP and by general leukocyte infiltration, the latter at least for SHP-2 and PTP1B. In this study we show that cerulein treatment activates extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) but not p38 MAPK during the early phase of cerulein-induced AP (2 h after the first injection of cerulein). Therefore, by using the MAPK inhibitors SP600125 (a specific JNK inhibitor) and PD98059 (a specific ERK inhibitor), we have unmasked the particular MAPK that underlies the modulation of the expression levels of these PTPs. JNK would act by preventing SHP-1 protein expression from increasing beyond a certain level. ERK 1/2 was the main MAPK involved in the increase in SHP-2 protein expression due to cerulein. JNK negatively modulated the SH2-domain containing PTPs. Both MAPKs played a role in the increase in PTP1B protein expression due to cerulein. Finally, by using the white blood cell inhibitors vinblastine sulfate, gadolinium chloride and FK506 (tacrolimus), we show that the macrophage activity or T-lymphocytes does not modulate the expression of any of the PTPs, although neutrophil infiltration was found to be a regulator of SHP-2 and PTP1B protein expression due to cerulein.
Keywords: Experimental acute pancreatitis; SHP-1; SHP-2; PTP1B; MAPK inhibition; Infiltration inhibition;

Circulating microparticles from obstructive sleep apnea syndrome patients induce endothelin-mediated angiogenesis by Simon Tual-Chalot; Frédéric Gagnadoux; Wojciech Trzepizur; Pascaline Priou; Ramaroson Andriantsitohaina; M. Carmen Martinez (202-207).
Microparticles are deemed true biomarkers and vectors of biological information between cells. Depending on their origin, the composition of microparticles varies and the subsequent message transported by them, such as proteins, mRNA, or miRNA, can differ. In obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), circulating microparticles are associated with endothelial dysfunction by reducing endothelial-derived nitric oxide production. Here, we have analyzed the potential role of circulating microparticles from OSAS patients on the regulation of angiogenesis and the involved pathway. VEGF content carried by circulating microparticles from OSAS patients was increased when compared with microparticles from non-OSAS patients. Circulating microparticles from OSAS patients induced an increase of angiogenesis that was abolished in the presence of the antagonist of endothelin-1 receptor type B. In addition, endothelin-1 secretion was increased in human endothelial cells treated by OSAS microparticles. We highlight that circulating microparticles from OSAS patients can modify the secretome of endothelial cells leading to angiogenesis.
Keywords: Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome; Microparticle; Endothelin-1; Angiogenesis; Human endothelial cell;

Molecular and bioenergetic differences between cells with African versus European inherited mitochondrial DNA haplogroups: Implications for population susceptibility to diseases by M. Cristina Kenney; Marilyn Chwa; Shari R. Atilano; Payam Falatoonzadeh; Claudio Ramirez; Deepika Malik; Mohamed Tarek; Javier Cáceres del Carpio; Anthony B. Nesburn; David S. Boyer; Baruch D. Kuppermann; Marquis P. Vawter; S. Michal Jazwinski; Michael V. Miceli; Douglas C. Wallace; Nitin Udar (208-219).
The geographic origins of populations can be identified by their maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups. This study compared human cybrids (cytoplasmic hybrids), which are cell lines with identical nuclei but mitochondria from different individuals with mtDNA from either the H haplogroup or L haplogroup backgrounds. The most common European haplogroup is H while individuals of maternal African origin are of the L haplogroup. Despite lower mtDNA copy numbers, L cybrids had higher expression levels for nine mtDNA-encoded respiratory complex genes, decreased ATP (adenosine triphosphate) turnover rates and lower levels of reactive oxygen species production, parameters which are consistent with more efficient oxidative phosphorylation. Surprisingly, GeneChip arrays showed that the L and H cybrids had major differences in expression of genes of the canonical complement system (5 genes), dermatan/chondroitin sulfate biosynthesis (5 genes) and CCR3 (chemokine, CC motif, receptor 3) signaling (9 genes). Quantitative nuclear gene expression studies confirmed that L cybrids had (a) lower expression levels of complement pathway and innate immunity genes and (b) increased levels of inflammation-related signaling genes, which are critical in human diseases. Our data support the hypothesis that mtDNA haplogroups representing populations from different geographic origins may play a role in differential susceptibilities to diseases.
Keywords: Mitochondrion; Complement activation; Innate immunity; Haplogroup; Cybrid; Retina;

Inhibition of ERK-DLP1 signaling and mitochondrial division alleviates mitochondrial dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease cybrid cell by Xueqi Gan; Shengbin Huang; Long Wu; Yongfu Wang; Gang Hu; Guangyue Li; Hongju Zhang; Haiyang Yu; Russell Howard Swerdlow; John Xi Chen; Shirley ShiDu Yan (220-231).
Mitochondrial dysfunction is an early pathological feature of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The underlying mechanisms and strategies to repair it remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate for the first time the direct consequences and potential mechanisms of mitochondrial functional defects associated with abnormal mitochondrial dynamics in AD. Using cytoplasmic hybrid (cybrid) neurons with incorporated platelet mitochondria from AD and age-matched non-AD human subjects into mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)-depleted neuronal cells, we observed that AD cybrid cells had significant changes in morphology and function; such changes associate with altered expression and distribution of dynamin-like protein (DLP1) and mitofusin 2 (Mfn2). Treatment with antioxidant protects against AD mitochondria-induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation and mitochondrial fission-fusion imbalances. Notably, inhibition of ERK activation not only attenuates aberrant mitochondrial morphology and function but also restores the mitochondrial fission and fusion balance. These effects suggest a role of oxidative stress-mediated ERK signal transduction in modulation of mitochondrial fission and fusion events. Further, blockade of the mitochondrial fission protein DLP1 by a genetic manipulation with a dominant negative DLP1 (DLP1 K38A ), its expression with siRNA-DLP1, or inhibition of mitochondrial division with mdivi-1 attenuates mitochondrial functional defects observed in AD cybrid cells. Our results provide new insights into mitochondrial dysfunction resulting from changes in the ERK-fission/fusion (DLP1) machinery and signaling pathway. The protective effect of mdivi-1 and inhibition of ERK signaling on maintenance of normal mitochondrial structure and function holds promise as a potential novel therapeutic strategy for AD.
Keywords: Mitochondrial fission and fusion; Alzheimer's disease; Cybrid cells; ERK; DLP1;

Growth/differentiation factor 1 alleviates pressure overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy and dysfunction by Yan Zhang; Xiao-Fei Zhang; Lu Gao; Yu Liu; Ding-Sheng Jiang; Ke Chen; Qinglin Yang; Guo-Chang Fan; Xiao-Dong Zhang; Congxin Huang (232-244).
Pathological cardiac hypertrophy is a major risk factor for developing heart failure, the leading cause of death in the world. Growth/differentiation factor 1 (GDF1), a transforming growth factor-β family member, is a regulator of cell growth and differentiation in both embryonic and adult tissues. Evidence from human and animal studies suggests that GDF1 may play an important role in cardiac physiology and pathology. However, a critical role for GDF1 in cardiac remodelling has not been investigated. Here, we performed gain-of-function and loss-of-function studies using cardiac-specific GDF1 knockout mice and transgenic mice to determine the role of GDF1 in pathological cardiac hypertrophy, which was induced by aortic banding (AB). The extent of cardiac hypertrophy was evaluated by echocardiographic, hemodynamic, pathological, and molecular analyses. Our results demonstrated that cardiac specific GDF1 overexpression in the heart markedly attenuated cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis, and cardiac dysfunction, whereas loss of GDF1 in cardiomyocytes exaggerated the pathological cardiac hypertrophy and dysfunction in response to pressure overload. Mechanistically, we revealed that the cardioprotective effect of GDF1 on cardiac remodeling was associated with the inhibition of the MEK–ERK1/2 and Smad signaling cascades. Collectively, our data suggest that GDF1 plays a protective role in cardiac remodeling via the negative regulation of the MEK–ERK1/2 and Smad signaling pathways.
Keywords: Cardiac hypertrophy; Fibrosis; GDF1; ERK1/2; Smad;

Sirtuin1 and autophagy protect cells from fluoride-induced cell stress by Maiko Suzuki; John D. Bartlett (245-255).
Sirtuin1 (SIRT1) is a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+)-dependent deacetylase functioning in the regulation of metabolism, cell survival and organismal lifespan. Active SIRT1 regulates autophagy during cell stress, including calorie restriction, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and oxidative stress. Previously, we reported that fluoride induces ER-stress in ameloblasts responsible for enamel formation, suggesting that ER-stress plays a role in dental fluorosis. However, the molecular mechanism of how cells respond to fluoride-induced cell stress is unclear. Here, we demonstrate that fluoride activates SIRT1 and initiates autophagy to protect cells from fluoride exposure. Fluoride treatment of ameloblast-derived cells (LS8) significantly increased Sirt1 expression and induced SIRT1 phosphorylation resulting in the augmentation of SIRT1 deacetylase activity. To demonstrate that fluoride exposure initiates autophagy, we characterized the expression of autophagy related genes (Atg); Atg5, Atg7 and Atg8/LC3 and showed that both their transcript and protein levels were significantly increased following fluoride treatment. To confirm that SIRT1 plays a protective role in fluoride toxicity, we used resveratrol (RES) to augment SIRT1 activity in fluoride treated LS8 cells. RES increased autophagy, inhibited apoptosis, and decreased fluoride cytotoxicity. Rats treated with fluoride (0, 50, 100 and 125 ppm) in drinking water for 6 weeks had significantly elevated expression levels of Sirt1, Atg5, Atg7 and Atg8/LC3 in their maturation stage enamel organs. Increased protein levels of p-SIRT1, ATG5 and ATG8/LC3 were present in fluoride-treated rat maturation stage ameloblasts. Therefore, the SIRT1/autophagy pathway may play a critical role as a protective response to help prevent dental fluorosis.
Keywords: Sirt1; Autophagy; Fluoride; Enamel; Ameloblast; Dental fluorosis;

The successful roll-out of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has extended life expectancy and enhanced the overall well-being of HIV-positive individuals. There are, however, increased concerns regarding HAART-mediated metabolic derangements and its potential risk for cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in the long-term. Here certain classes of antiretroviral drugs such as the HIV protease inhibitors (PIs) are strongly implicated in this process. This article largely focuses on the direct PI-linked development of cardio-metabolic complications, and reviews the inter-linked roles of oxidative stress and the ubiquitin–proteasome system (UPS) as key mediators driving this process. It is proposed that PIs trigger reactive oxygen species (ROS) production that leads to serious downstream consequences such as cell death, impaired mitochondrial function, and UPS dysregulation. Moreover, we advocate that HIV PIs may also directly lower myocardial UPS function. The attenuation of cardiac UPS can initiate transcriptional changes that contribute to perturbed lipid metabolism, thereby fueling a pro-atherogenic milieu. It may also directly alter ionic channels and interfere with electrical signaling in the myocardium. Therefore HIV PI-induced ROS together with a dysfunctional UPS elicit detrimental effects on the cardiovascular system that will eventually result in the onset of heart diseases. Thus while HIV PIs substantially improve life expectancy and quality of life in HIV-positive patients, its longer-term side-effects on the cardiovascular system should lead to a) greater clinical awareness regarding its benefit–harm paradigm, and b) the development and evaluation of novel co-treatment strategies.
Keywords: HIV-AIDS; Antiretroviral treatment; Metabolic dysfunction; Oxidative stress; Ubiquitin–proteasome system; Cardiovascular disease;

Mutations of cytochrome c identified in patients with thrombocytopenia THC4 affect both apoptosis and cellular bioenergetics by Daniela De Rocco; Cristina Cerqua; Paola Goffrini; Giovanna Russo; Annalisa Pastore; Francesca Meloni; Elena Nicchia; Carlos T. Moraes; Alessandro Pecci; Leonardo Salviati; Anna Savoia (269-274).
Inherited thrombocytopenias are heterogeneous diseases caused by at least 20 genes playing different role in the processes of megakaryopoiesis and platelet production. Some forms, such as thrombocytopenia 4 (THC4), are very rare and not well characterized. THC4 is an autosomal dominant mild thrombocytopenia described in only one large family from New Zealand and due to a mutation (G41S) of the somatic isoform of the cytochrome c (CYCS) gene. We report a novel CYCS mutation (Y48H) in patients from an Italian family. Similar to individuals carrying G41S, they have platelets of normal size and morphology, which are only partially reduced in number, but no prolonged bleeding episodes. In order to determine the pathogenetic consequences of Y48H, we studied the effects of the two CYCS mutations in yeast and mouse cellular models. In both cases, we found reduction of respiratory level and increased apoptotic rate, supporting the pathogenetic role of CYCS in thrombocytopenia.
Keywords: Cytochrome c; Apoptosis; Cellular bioenergetics; Thrombocytopenia THC4;

Adipocyte-derived factors impair insulin signaling in differentiated human vascular smooth muscle cells via the upregulation of miR-143 by Marcel Blumensatt; Nina Wronkowitz; Claudia Wiza; Andrea Cramer; Heidi Mueller; Martijn J. Rabelink; Rob C. Hoeben; Juergen Eckel; Henrike Sell; D. Margriet Ouwens (275-283).
Cardiovascular complications are common in patients with type 2 diabetes. Adipokines have been implicated in the induction of proliferative and pro-atherogenic alterations in human vascular smooth muscle cells (hVSMC). Other reports demonstrated the importance of the miRNA cluster miR-143/145 in the regulation of VSMC homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. Here we investigated whether the detrimental effects of adipokines on hVSMC function could be ascribed to alterations in miR-143/145 expression. The exposure of hVSMC to conditioned media (CM) from primary human subcutaneous adipocytes increased the expression of smooth muscle α-actin (SMA), and the miR-143/145 cluster, but markedly impaired the insulin-mediated phosphorylation of Akt and its substrate endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). Furthermore, CM promoted the phosphorylation of SMAD2 and p38, which have both been linked to miR-143/145 induction. Accordingly, the induction of miR-143/145 as well as the inhibition of insulin-mediated Akt- and eNOS-phosphorylation was prevented when hVSMC were treated with pharmacological inhibitors for Alk-4/5/7 and p38 before the addition of CM. The transfection of hVSMC with precursor miR-143, but not with precursor miR-145, resulted in impaired insulin-mediated phosphorylation of Akt and eNOS. This inhibition of insulin signaling by CM and miR-143 is associated with a reduction in the expression of the oxysterol-binding protein-related protein 8 (ORP8). Finally, the knock-down of ORP8 resulted in impaired insulin-mediated phosphorylation of Akt in hVSMC. Thus, the detrimental effects of adipocyte-derived conditioned media on insulin action in primary hVSMC can be ascribed to the Alk- and p38-dependent induction of miR-143 and subsequent downregulation of ORP8.Display Omitted
Keywords: Vascular smooth muscle cells; Insulin signaling; p38; Adipokines; miRNA;

Endothelial LGALS9 splice variant expression in endothelial cell biology and angiogenesis by Roy Heusschen; Iris A. Schulkens; Judy van Beijnum; Arjan W. Griffioen; Victor L. Thijssen (284-292).
Galectins are carbohydrate binding proteins with versatile functions in tumor progression. Galectin-9, encoded by LGALS9, has been associated with metastasis and immunosuppression. We previously reported on regulation of LGALS9 expression during endothelial cell activation. Here, we show increased galectin-9 protein levels in the endothelium of different tumors, including carcinomas of the lung, liver, breast and kidney. Endothelial cells were found to express five LGALS9 splice variants, two of which have not been reported before. Splicing was found to be confined to exons 5, 6 and 10. Transfection of human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC) with galectin-9∆5, a specific LGALS9 splice variant, induced a small but significant increase of proliferation, while migration was not affected by any LGALS9 splice variant. Application of recombinant galectin-9∆5 protein dose-dependently reduced proliferation and migration of HMEC as well as human umbilical vein endothelial cells in vitro. Enhanced sprouting and migration of human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) towards a galectin-9∆5 gradient were observed. Interestingly, galectin-9∆5 was found to induce a small inhibitory effect on angiogenesis in vivo. Collectively, these data show that endothelial cells regulate the expression and splicing of LGALS9 during angiogenesis. The function of the dominant splice variant, i.e. galectin-9∆5, in endothelial cell biology depends on the concentration and environmental context in which it is presented to the cells.
Keywords: Galectin; Vasculature; Cancer; Blood vessel;

Endogenous NAMPT dampens chemokine expression and apoptotic responses in stressed tubular cells by Alberto Benito-Martin; Alvaro C. Ucero; María Concepción Izquierdo; Beatriz Santamaria; Belén Picatoste; Susana Carrasco; Oscar Lorenzo; Marta Ruiz-Ortega; Jesus Egido; Alberto Ortiz (293-303).
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is the most common cause of end-stage renal disease and identification of new therapeutic targets is needed. Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) is both an extracellular and intracellular protein. Circulating NAMPT is increased in diabetics and in chronic kidney disease patients. The role of NAMPT in renal cell biology is poorly understood. NAMPT mRNA and protein were increased in the kidneys of rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Immunohistochemistry localized NAMPT to glomerular and tubular cells in diabetic rats. The inflammatory cytokine TNFα increased NAMPT mRNA, protein and NAD production in cultured kidney human tubular cells. Exogenous NAMPT increased the mRNA expression of chemokines MCP-1 and RANTES. The NAMPT enzymatic activity inhibitor FK866 prevented these effects. By contrast, FK866 boosted TNFα-induced expression of MCP-1 and RANTES mRNA and endogenous NAMPT targeting by siRNA also had a proinflammatory effect. Furthermore, FK866 promoted tubular cell apoptosis in an inflammatory milieu containing the cytokines TNFα/IFNγ. In an inflammatory environment FK866 promoted tubular cell expression of the lethal cytokine TRAIL. These data are consistent with a role of endogenous NAMPT activity as an adaptive, protective response to an inflammatory milieu that differs from the proinflammatory activity of exogenous NAMPT. Thus, disruption of endogenous NAMPT function in stressed cells promotes tubular cell death and chemokine expression. This information may be relevant for the design of novel therapeutic strategies in DN.
Keywords: Diabetes; NAMPT; Apoptosis; Inflammation; Kidney;

Peri-conceptional obesogenic exposure induces sex-specific programming of disease susceptibilities in adult mouse offspring by M. Dahlhoff; S. Pfister; A. Blutke; J. Rozman; M. Klingenspor; M.J. Deutsch; B. Rathkolb; B. Fink; M. Gimpfl; M. Hrabě de Angelis; A.A. Roscher; E. Wolf; R. Ensenauer (304-317).
Vulnerability of the fetus upon maternal obesity can potentially occur during all developmental phases. We aimed at elaborating longer-term health outcomes of fetal overnutrition during the earliest stages of development. We utilized Naval Medical Research Institute (NMRI) mice to induce pre-conceptional and gestational obesity and followed offspring outcomes in the absence of any postnatal obesogenic influences. Male adult offspring developed overweight, insulin resistance, hyperleptinemia, hyperuricemia and hepatic steatosis; all these features were not observed in females. Instead, they showed impaired fasting glucose and a reduced fat mass and adipocyte size. Influences of the interaction of maternal diet ∗ sex concerned offspring genes involved in fatty liver disease, lipid droplet size regulation and fat mass expansion. These data suggest that a peri-conceptional obesogenic exposure is sufficient to shape offspring gene expression patterns and health outcomes in a sex- and organ-specific manner, indicating varying developmental vulnerabilities between sexes towards metabolic disease in response to maternal overnutrition.
Keywords: Obesity; Peri-conceptional; Pregnancy; Offspring; Programming; Sex-specificity;

Tissue-type plasminogen activator is not necessary for platelet-derived growth factor-c activation by Kimberly J. Riehle; Melissa M. Johnson; Fredrik Johansson; Renay L. Bauer; Brian J. Hayes; Debra G. Gilbertson; Aaron C. Haran; Nelson Fausto; Jean S. Campbell (318-325).
Platelet-derived growth factors (PDGFs) are critical for development; their over-expression is associated with fibrogenesis. Full-length PDGF-C is secreted as an inactive dimer, requiring cleavage to allow receptor binding. Previous studies indicate that tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) is the specific protease that performs this cleavage; in vivo confirmation is lacking. We demonstrate that primary hepatocytes from tpa KO mice produce less cleaved active PDGF-CC than do wild type hepatocytes, suggesting that tPA is critical for in vitro activation of this growth factor. We developed mice that over-express full-length human PDGF-C in the liver; these mice develop progressive liver fibrosis. To test whether tPA is important for cleavage and activation of PDGF-C in vivo, we intercrossed PDGF-C transgenic (Tg) and tpa knock-out (KO) mice, anticipating that lack of tPA would result in decreased fibrosis due to lack of hPDGF-C cleavage. To measure levels of cleaved, dimerized PDGF-CC in sera, we developed an ELISA that specifically detects cleaved PDGF-CC. We report that the absence of tpa does not affect the phenotype of `PDGF-C Tg mice. PDGF-C Tg mice lacking tPA have high serum levels of cleaved growth factor, significant liver fibrosis, and gene expression alterations similar to those of PDGF-C Tg mice with intact tPA. Furthermore, urokinase plasminogen activator and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 expression are increased in PDGF-C Tg; tpa KO mice. Our ELISA data suggest a difference between in vitro and in vivo activation of this growth factor, and our mouse model confirms that multiple proteases cleave and activate PDGF-C in vivo.
Keywords: Platelet-derived growth factor; Plasminogen activator; Liver fibrosis;

AIRE (for autoimmune regulator) is a multidomain protein that performs a fundamental function in the thymus and possibly in the secondary lymphoid organs: the regulation, especially in the sense of activation, of the process of gene transcription in cell lines deputed to the presentation of self-antigens to the maturing T lymphocytes. The apoptosis of the elements bearing T-cell receptors with critical affinity for the exhibited self-antigens prevents the escape of autoreactive clones and represents a simple and efficient mechanism of deletional self-tolerance. However, AIRE action relies on an articulated complex of biophysical and biochemical properties, in most cases attributable to single subspecialized domains. Here a thorough review of the matter is presented, with a privileged look at the pathogenic changes of AIRE that interfere with such properties and lead to the impairment in its chief function.
Keywords: Autoimmune polyendocrinopathies; Self-tolerance; Transcription factors; Protein conformation; Post-translational protein processing;