Carbohydrate-deficient glycoprotein syndromes (CDGS) type I are a group of genetic diseases characterized by a deficiency of N-linked protein glycosylation in the endoplasmic reticulum. The majority of these CDGS patients have phosphomannomutase (PMM) deficiency (type A). This enzyme is required for the synthesis of GDP-mannose, one of the substrates in the biosynthesis of the dolichol-linked oligosaccharide Glc3Man9GlcNAc2. This oligosaccharide serves as the donor substrate in the N-linked glycosylation process. We report on the biochemical characterization of a novel CDGS type I in fibroblasts of four related patients with normal PMM activity but a strongly reduced ability to synthesize glucosylated dolichol-linked oligosaccharide leading to accumulation of dolichol-linked Man9GlcNAc2. This deficiency in the synthesis of dolichol-linked Glc3Man9GlcNAc2 oligosaccharide explains the hypoglycosylation of serum proteins in these patients, because nonglucosylated oligosaccharides are suboptimal substrates in the protein glycosylation process, catalyzed by the oligosaccharyltransferase complex. Accordingly, the efficiency of N-linked protein glycosylation was found to be reduced in fibroblasts from these patients.
In different experimental models, retinoid has been shown to stimulate or suppress mitogenesis in cultured cells. The mechanisms underlying this seemingly paradoxical activity remain only partially understood. We have examined the ability of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), as well as a number of synthetic retinoids, either alone or in the presence of a mitogenic stimulus (i.e., endothelin), to regulate DNA synthesis and cell replication in cultured rat aortic smooth muscle cells. ATRA alone stimulates [3H]thymidine incorporation (approximately twofold) and increases cell number (approximately twofold) in these cultures but suppresses [3H]thymidine incorporation and reduces cell number in cultures treated with endothelin. The reduction in endothelin-stimulated DNA synthesis correlates closely with the ability of ATRA to inhibit endothelin-stimulated extracellular signal-regulated kinase but not c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase activity. Activation of mitogenesis, seen in the presence of ATRA alone, was independent of extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation but correlated well with increased expression of cyclin D1 mRNA and protein. Concomitant activation of the cdk inhibitor p21 led to truncation of ATRA's mitogenic activity at higher doses of ligand. Collectively, these data indicate that the role of retinoids in the regulation of mitogenesis in vascular smooth muscle is complex. Under quiescent conditions they activate mitogenesis, while in the presence of growth stimulation, as is frequently seen with vasculopathic conditions, they suppress mitogenesis. It appears that independent circuitry is involved in signaling each of these effects.
Neutrophil (PMN) dysfunction occurs in HIV infection. Leukotrienes (LT) are mediators derived from the 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) pathway that play a role in host defense and are synthesized by PMN. We investigated the synthesis of LT by PMN from HIV-infected subjects. There was a reduction (4.0+/-1.3% of control) in LT synthesis in PMN from HIV-infected compared with normal subjects. This was associated with reduced expression of 5-LO-activating protein (31.2+/-9.6% of normal), but not of 5-LO itself. Since HIV does not directly infect PMN, we considered that these effects were due to reduced release of cytokines, such as granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). We examined the effect of G-CSF treatment (300 microgram daily for 5 d) on eight HIV-infected subjects. PMN were studied in vitro before therapy (day 1) and on days 4 and 7. LTB4 synthesis was increased on day 4 of G-CSF treatment, and returned toward day 1 levels on day 7. 5-LO and 5-LO-activating protein expression were increased in parallel. As a functional correlate to this increase in PMN LT synthesis by G-CSF, we examined the effects on killing of Cryptococcus neoformans. Anticryptococcal activity of PMN from HIV-infected subjects was less than that of PMN from normal subjects. G-CSF treatment improved fungistatic activity of PMN. This increase in antifungal activity was attenuated by in vitro treatment with the LT synthesis inhibitor, MK-886. In conclusion, PMN from HIV-infected subjects demonstrate reduced 5-LO metabolism and antifungal activity in vitro, which was reversed by in vivo G-CSF therapy.
Multiple sclerosis is postulated to be a Th1-type cell-mediated autoimmune disease. We investigated cytokine profiles in patients with progressive multiple sclerosis by using intracytoplasmic staining. We found increased IL-12 production by monocytes and increased IFN-gamma production by T cells in untreated patients as compared with controls. In patients treated with methotrexate, methylprednisolone, or cyclophosphamide/methylprednisolone (CY/MP), only CY/MP treatment normalized the elevated IL-12 production. Furthermore, CY/MP-treated patients had decreased IFN-gamma and increased IL-4, IL-5, and TGF-beta expression. Patients followed prospectively before and after starting CY/MP treatment showed a gradual decrease in IL-12 and IFN-gamma production and an increase in IL-4 and IL-5. In vitro, addition of 4-hydroperoxycyclophosphamide, a metabolite of cyclophosphamide decreased IL-12 production in mononuclear cell cultures. When patients were classified as having active or stable disease, IL-12 production correlated with disease activity. In summary, our results demonstrate a Th1-type cytokine bias in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of untreated progressive MS patients that is reversed by CY/MP treatment and is associated with Th2 and TGF-beta (Th3) type responses. These findings provide a basis for immune monitoring of patients with MS and suggest that treatments that downregulate IL-12 may prove to be beneficial in progressive MS.
We evaluated the acute effects of ibuprofen and salicylic acid on cAMP-mediated Cl- secretion (Isc) in both colonic and airway epithelia. In T84 cells, ibuprofen inhibited the forskolin-dependent Isc in a concentration-dependent manner, having an apparent Ki of 142 microM. Salicylic acid inhibited Isc with an apparent Ki of 646 microM. We determined whether ibuprofen would also inhibit the forskolin-stimulated Isc in primary cultures of mouse trachea epithelia (MTE) and human bronchial epithelia (HBE). Similar to our results in T84 cells, ibuprofen (500 microM) inhibited the forskolin-induced Isc in MTEs and HBEs by 59+/-4% (n = 11) and 39+/-6% (n = 8), respectively. Nystatin was employed to selectively permeabilize the basolateral or apical membrane to determine the effect of ibuprofen on apical Cl- (ICl) and basolateral K+ (IK) currents after stimulation by forskolin. After forskolin stimulation, ibuprofen (500 microM) reduced both the ICl and IK; reducing ICl and IK by 60 and 15%, respectively. To determine whether this inhibition of ICl was due to the inhibition of CFTR, the effects of ibuprofen and salicylic acid on CFTR Cl- channels in excised, inside-out patches from L-cells were evaluated. Ibuprofen (300 microM) reduced CFTR Cl- current by 60+/-16% and this was explained by a short-lived block (approximately 1.2 ms) which causes an apparent reduction in single channel amplitude from 1.07+/-0.04 pA to 0.59+/-0.04 pA (n = 3). Similarly, salicylic acid (3 mM) reduced CFTR Cl- current by 50+/-8% with an apparent reduction in single channel amplitude from 1.08+/-0.03 pA to 0.48+/-0.06 pA (n = 4). Based on these results, we conclude that the NSAIDs ibuprofen and salicylic acid inhibit cAMP-mediated Cl- secretion in human colonic and airway epithelia via a direct inhibition of CFTR Cl- channels as well as basolateral membrane K+ channels. This may reduce their efficacy in conjunction with other therapeutic strategies designed to increase CFTR expression and/or function in secretory epithelia.
To determine whether receptor editing of Vkappa genes was involved in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the usage of Vkappa and Jkappa gene elements from individual peripheral CD19(+) B cells obtained from a patient with untreated SLE was examined. No differences in the Vkappa and Jkappa gene usage in the nonproductive gene repertoire of this SLE patient were noted compared with the distribution of genes found in normal adults. However, an increased usage of Jkappa5 segments, and a significant overrepresentation of the Vkappa1 and Vkappa4 families, especially the L15, O14/O4, and B3 genes characterized the productive Vkappa gene repertoire of the SLE patient. Furthermore, Jkappa5-containing Vkappa gene rearrangements in the productive but not the nonproductive repertoire manifested significantly fewer mutations compared with Vkappa genes recombined with Jkappa1-4. These data are consistent with the conclusion that receptor editing of Vkappa is much more apparent in this SLE patient than in normals and suggest that a deficiency in this means to counteract the emergence of autoimmunity is not an essential feature of SLE.
In this study we analyzed the expression of aquaporin-4 (AQP4) in mammalian skeletal muscle. Immunohistochemical experiments revealed that affinity-purified AQP4 antibodies stained selectively the sarcolemma of fast-twitch fibers. By immunogold electron microscopy, little or no intracellular labeling was detected. Western blot analysis showed the presence of two immunopositive bands with apparent molecular masses of 30 and 32 kD specifically present in membrane fraction of a fast-twitch rat skeletal muscle (extensor digitorum longus, EDL) and not revealed in a slow-twitch muscle (soleus). PCR Southern blot experiments resulted in a selective amplification in EDL of a 960-bp cDNA fragment encoding for the full-length rat form of AQP4. Functional experiments carried out on isolated skeletal muscle bundle fibers demonstrated that the osmotic response is faster in EDL than in soleus fibers isolated from the same rat. These results provide for the first time evidence for the expression of an aquaporin in skeletal muscle correlated to a specific fiber-type metabolism. Furthermore, we have analyzed AQP4 expression in skeletal muscle of mdx mice in which a decreased density of orthogonal arrays of particles, a typical morphological feature of AQP4, has been reported. Immunofluorescence experiments showed a marked reduction of AQP4 expression suggesting a critical role in the membrane alteration of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
In the first reported positive result from a genome scan for non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), Hanis et al. found significant evidence of linkage for NIDDM on chromosome 2q37 and named the putative disease locus NIDDM1 (Hanis et al. 1996. Nat. Genet. 13:161-166). Their total sample was comprised of 440 Mexican-American affected sib-pairs from 246 sibships. The strongest evidence for linkage was at marker D2S125 and best estimates of lambdas (risk to siblings of probands/population prevalence) using this marker were 1.37 under an additive model and 1.36 under a multiplicative model. We examined this chromosomal region using linkage analysis in a Finnish sample comprised of 709 affected sib-pairs from 472 sibships. We excluded this region in our sample (multipoint logarithm of odds score = -2) for lambdas >/= 1.37. We discuss possible reasons why linkage to 2q37 was not found and conclude that this region is unlikely to be playing a major role in NIDDM susceptibility in the Finnish Caucasian population.
The biological target for interferon (IFN)-alpha in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is unknown, but one possibility is that amplification of granulocyte-macrophage colony-forming cells (CFU-GM) is reduced. Replating CFU-GM colonies and observing secondary colony formation provides a measure of CFU-GM amplification. Amplification of CML, but not normal, CFU-GM in vitro was significantly inhibited by IFN-alpha (P = 0.02). In 5 out of 15 CML cases studied by fluorescence in situ hybridization, in vitro treatment with IFN-alpha increased the proportion of CFU-GM, which lacked BCR-ABL. The ability of patients' CFU-GM to amplify, and suppression of this ability by IFN-alpha, predicted responsiveness to IFN-alpha therapy in 86% of cases. Investigation of patients on treatment with IFN-alpha showed a threefold reduction in CFU-GM amplification in responders (P = 0.03) but no significant change in nonresponders (P = 0.8). We conclude that IFN-alpha preferentially suppresses amplification of CML CFU-GM to varying degrees. The differing in vitro sensitivities to IFN-alpha and growth kinetics of individual patients' cells could help differentiate those who will or will not benefit from treatment with IFN-alpha.
Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is the smallest and structurally simplest of all the glycerophospholipids. It occurs normally in serum and binds with high affinity to albumin, while retaining its biological activity. The effects of LPA are pleiotropic and range from mitogenesis to stress fiber formation. We show a novel role for LPA: as a macrophage survival factor with potency equivalent to serum. Administration of LPA protects macrophages from apoptosis induced by serum deprivation, and protection is equivalent to that with conventional survival factors such as macrophage colony stimulating factor. The ability of LPA to act as a survival factor is mediated by the lipid kinase phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), since LPA activated both the p85-p110 and p110gamma isoforms of PI3K and macrophage survival was blocked completely by wortmannin or LY294002, two mechanistically dissimilar inhibitors of PI3K. pp70(s6k), a downstream kinase activated by PI3K, also contributes to survival, because inhibitors of pp70(s6k), such as rapamycin, blocked macrophage survival in the presence of LPA. Modified forms of LPA and phospholipids, such as phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine, had no survival effect, thereby showing the specificity of LPA. These results show that LPA acts as a potent macrophage survival factor. Based on striking similarities between our LPA and serum data, we suggest that LPA is a major noncytokine survival factor in serum.
Leptin regulates appetite and body weight via hypothalamic targets, but it can act directly on cultured pancreatic islets to regulate their fat metabolism. To obtain in vivo evidence that leptin may act peripherally as well as centrally, we compared the effect of adenovirally induced hyperleptinemia on food intake, body weight, and islet fat content in ventromedial hypothalamic-lesioned (VMHL) rats, sham-lesioned (SL) controls, and Zucker Diabetic Fatty (ZDF) rats in which the leptin receptor is mutated. Infusion with recombinant adenovirus containing the rat leptin cDNA increased plasma leptin by approximately 20 ng/ml in VMHL and ZDF rats but had no effect on their food intake, body weight, or fat tissue weight. Caloric matching of hyperphagic VMHL rats to SL controls did not reduce their resistance to hyperleptinemia. Whereas prediabetic ZDF rats had a fourfold elevation in islet fat, in VMHL rats islet fat was normal and none of them became diabetic. Isolated islets from ZDF rats were completely resistant to the lipopenic action of leptin, while VMHL islets exhibited 50% of the normal response; caloric matching of VMHL rats to SL controls increased leptin responsiveness of their islets to 92% of controls. We conclude that leptin regulation of adipocyte fat requires an intact VMH but that islet fat content is regulated independently of the VMH.
A soluble monomeric form of Alzheimer's amyloid-beta (1-40) peptide (sAbeta1-40) is present in the circulation and could contribute to neurotoxicity if it crosses the brain capillary endothelium, which comprises the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in vivo. This study characterizes endothelial binding and transcytosis of a synthetic peptide homologous to human sAbeta1-40 using an in vitro model of human BBB. 125I-sAbeta1-40 binding to the brain microvascular endothelial cell monolayer was time dependent, polarized to the apical side, and saturable with high- and low-affinity dissociation constants of 7.8+/-1.2 and 52.8+/-6.2 nM, respectively. Binding of 125I-sAbeta1-40 was inhibited by anti-RAGE (receptor for advanced glycation end products) antibody (63%) and by acetylated low density lipoproteins (33%). Consistent with these data, transfected cultured cells overexpressing RAGE or macrophage scavenger receptor (SR), type A, displayed binding and internalization of 125I-sAbeta1-40. The internalized peptide remains intact > 94%. Transcytosis of 125I-sAbeta1-40 was time and temperature dependent, asymmetrical from the apical to basolateral side, saturable with a Michaelis constant of 45+/-9 nM, and partially sensitive to RAGE blockade (36%) but not to SR blockade. We conclude that RAGE and SR mediate binding of sAbeta1-40 at the apical side of human BBB, and that RAGE is also involved in sAbeta1-40 transcytosis.
We examined the ability of an equivalent increase in circulating glucose concentrations to inhibit endogenous glucose production (EGP) and to stimulate glucose metabolism in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2). Somatostatin was infused in the presence of basal replacements of glucoregulatory hormones and plasma glucose was maintained either at 90 or 180 mg/dl. Overnight low-dose insulin was used to normalize the plasma glucose levels in DM2 before initiation of the study protocol. In the presence of identical and constant plasma insulin, glucagon, and growth hormone concentrations, a doubling of the plasma glucose levels inhibited EGP by 42% and stimulated peripheral glucose uptake by 69% in nondiabetic subjects. However, the same increment in the plasma glucose concentrations failed to lower EGP, and stimulated glucose uptake by only 49% in patients with DM2. The rate of glucose infusion required to maintain the same hyperglycemic plateau was 58% lower in DM2 than in nondiabetic individuals. Despite diminished rates of total glucose uptake during hyperglycemia, the ability of glucose per se (at basal insulin) to stimulate whole body glycogen synthesis (glucose uptake minus glycolysis) was comparable in DM2 and in nondiabetic subjects. To examine the mechanisms responsible for the lack of inhibition of EGP by hyperglycemia in DM2 we also assessed the rates of total glucose output (TGO), i.e., flux through glucose-6-phosphatase, and the rate of glucose cycling in a subgroup of the study subjects. In the nondiabetic group, hyperglycemia inhibited TGO by 35%, while glucose cycling did not change significantly. In DM2, neither TGO or glucose cycling was affected by hyperglycemia. The lack of increase in glucose cycling in the face of a doubling in circulating glucose concentrations suggested that hyperglycemia at basal insulin inhibits glucose-6-phosphatase activity in vivo. Conversely, the lack of increase in glucose cycling in the presence of hyperglycemia and unchanged TGO suggest that the increase in the plasma glucose concentration failed to enhance the flux through glucokinase in DM2. In summary, both lack of inhibition of EGP and diminished stimulation of glucose uptake contribute to impaired glucose effectiveness in DM2. The abilities of glucose at basal insulin to both increase the flux through glucokinase and to inhibit the flux through glucose-6-phosphatase are impaired in DM2. Conversely, glycogen synthesis is exquisitely sensitive to changes in plasma glucose in patients with DM2.
The SmD1 protein is a specific target for the autoantibody response in SLE. To further analyze this reactivity epitope, mapping was performed with cellulose-bound 13-mer peptides overlapping 10 amino acids (aa). In this initial approach, 4 out of 15 SLE sera recognized more than five overlapping peptides of the SmD1 C-terminus. Therefore, longer oligopeptides of up to 37 aa of this region were generated and probed for as antigens by ELISA. For the SmD1 aa 83-119 polypeptide, there was a striking increase of reactivity with 70.0% positive reactions out of 167 SLE sera. In contrast, 105 healthy control sera were negative, and only 8.3% of sera from patients with other inflammatory diseases (n = 267) exhibited a response, which was of low level only. The anti-SmD183-119 reactivity was significantly higher in anti-dsDNA antibody positive vs. negative sera (P < 0.001) and correlated with disease activity. Four of five human monoclonal anti-dsDNA antibodies also reacted with SmD183-119. The specificity for SmD1 was demonstrated by inhibition experiments and immunization of rabbits with SmD183-119 inducing SmD1-specific antibodies. In conclusion, the SmD183-119 peptide was demonstrated to be an important and highly specific target of the autoimmune response in SLE. The high sensitivity of this ELISA probably depends on a conformational epitope, which appears not to be accessible in the full-size SmD1 protein.
Effects of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)(7-36)amide on fasted and fed motility in the rat small intestine were investigated in relation to its dependence on nitric oxide (NO), insulin, and somatostatin. Small bowel electromyography was performed using bipolar electrodes implanted 15, 25, and 35 cm distal to pylorus, and transit was studied with a radioactive marker. In the fasted state, GLP-1 (5-20 pmol kg-1min-1), reaching physiological plasma levels, prolonged the migrating myoelectric complex (MMC) cycle length along with slowed transit. This effect was antagonized by exendin(9-39)amide. The NO synthase inhibitor Nomega-nitro- L-arginine (L-NNA) also blocked the response to GLP-1, whereas L-arginine restored the response. Insulin (80-200 pmol kg-1min-1) induced irregular spiking, whereas somatostatin (100-500 pmol kg-1min-1) increased the MMC cycle length, independently of NO. In the fed state, GLP-1 (20-40 pmol kg-1min-1) reduced motility, an inhibition unaffected by L-NNA, whereas motility was stimulated by exendin(9-39)amide. Infusion of GLP-1 (20-100 pmol kg-1min-1) did not affect plasma insulin, but somatostatin was increased. In conclusion, GLP-1 seems to inhibit small bowel motility directly via the GLP-1 receptor. Inhibition of fasting motility is dependent of NO and not mediated via insulin or somatostatin, whereas inhibition of fed motility is independent of NO.
Paraneoplastic pemphigus (PNP) is an autoimmune blistering disease that occurs in association with underlying neoplasms. Patients with PNP develop characteristic IgG autoantibodies directed against multiple antigens, most of which have been identified as cytoplasmic proteins of the plakin family (desmoplakin I, II, BPAG1, envoplakin, and periplakin). This study identified cell surface target antigens of PNP. We focused on desmoglein (Dsg) 3 and Dsg1, the autoantigens of pemphigus vulgaris and pemphigus foliaceus. ELISA using baculovirus-expressed recombinant Dsgs (rDsg3, rDsg1) has revealed that 25 out of 25 PNP sera tested were positive against Dsg3 and 16 of 25 were positive against Dsg1. All of 12 PNP sera tested immunoprecipitated Dsg3. Removal of anti-Dsg3 autoantibodies by immunoadsorption was sufficient to eliminate the ability of PNP sera to induce cutaneous blisters in neonatal mice in vivo. Furthermore, anti-Dsg3-specific antibodies that were affinity purified from PNP sera were proven to be pathogenic and caused blisters in neonatal mice. These findings indicate that Dsg3 and Dsg1 are the cell surface target antigens in PNP and that IgG autoantibodies against Dsg3 in PNP sera play a pathogenic role in inducing loss of cell adhesion of keratinocytes and causing blister formation.
This study determined whether retinal degeneration during diabetes includes retinal neural cell apoptosis. Image analysis of retinal sections from streptozotocin (STZ) diabetic rats after 7.5 months of STZ diabetes identified 22% and 14% reductions in the thickness of the inner plexiform and inner nuclear layers, respectively (P < 0. 001). The number of surviving ganglion cells was also reduced by 10% compared to controls (P < 0.001). In situ end labeling of DNA terminal dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) identified a 10-fold increase in the frequency of retinal apoptosis in whole-mounted rat retinas after 1, 3, 6, and 12 months of diabetes (P < 0.001, P < 0. 001, P < 0.01, and P < 0.01, respectively). Most TUNEL-positive cells were not associated with blood vessels and did not colocalize with the endothelial cell-specific antigen, von Willebrand factor. Insulin implants significantly reduced the number of TUNEL-positive cells (P < 0.05). The number of TUNEL-positive cells was also increased in retinas from humans with diabetes. These data indicate that retinal neural cell death occurs early in diabetes. This is the first quantitative report of an increase in neural cell apoptosis in the retina during diabetes, and indicates that neurodegeneration is an important component of diabetic retinopathy.
The high concentration of foreign antigen in the lumen of the gastrointestinal tract is separated from the underlying lymphocytes by a single cell layer of polarized epithelium. Intestinal epithelial cells can express HLA class II antigens and may function as antigen-presenting cells to CD4(+) T cells within the intestinal mucosa. Using tetanus toxoid specific and HLA-DR-restricted T lymphocytes, we show that polarized intestinal epithelial cells directed to express HLA-DR molecules are able to initiate class II processing only after internalization of antigen from their apical surface. Coexpression of the class II transactivator CIITA in these cells, which stimulates highly efficient class II processing without the characteristic decline in barrier function seen in polarized monolayers treated with the proinflammatory cytokine gamma-IFN, facilitates antigen processing from the basolateral surface. In both cases, peptide presentation to T cells via class II molecules was restricted to the basolateral surface. These data indicate a highly polarized functional architecture for antigen processing and presentation by intestinal epithelial cells, and suggest that the functional outcome of antigen processing by the intestinal epithelium is both dependent on the cellular surface at which the foreign antigen is internalized and by the underlying degree of mucosal inflammation.
HIV-1 uses CD4 and chemokine receptors as cofactors for cellular entry. The viral envelope transmembrane protein gp41 is thought to participate in viral fusion with CD4(+) cells. We investigated whether gp41 interacts with chemokine receptors on human monocytes by testing its effect on the capacity of cells to respond to chemokine stimulation. Monocytes preincubated with gp41 of the MN strain showed markedly reduced binding, calcium mobilization, and chemotaxis in response to a variety of chemokines as well as to the bacterial peptide fMLP. This generalized inhibition of monocyte activation by chemoattractants required the presence of CD4, since the effect of gp41 was only observed in CD4(+) monocytes and in HEK293 cells cotransfected with chemokine receptors and an intact CD4, but not a CD4 lacking its cytoplasmic domain. Confocal microscopy showed that gp41 caused internalization of CXCR4 in HEK293 cells provided they were also cotransfected with intact CD4. In addition, pretreatment of monocytes with protein kinase C inhibitors partially reversed the inhibitory effect of gp41. Thus, gp41, which had not previously been implicated as interacting with HIV-1 fusion cofactors, downregulates chemoattractant receptors on monocytes by a CD4-dependent pathway.
The effects of the vacuolating toxin (VacA) released by pathogenic strains of Helicobacter pylori on several polarized epithelial monolayers were investigated. Trans-epithelial electric resistance (TER) of monolayers formed by canine kidney MDCK I, human gut T84, and murine mammary gland epH4, was lowered by acid-activated VacA. Independent of the cell type and of the starting TER value, VacA reduced it to a minimal value of 1,000-1,300 Omega x cm2. TER decrease was paralleled by a three- to fourfold increase of [14C]-mannitol (molecular weight 182.2) and a twofold increase of [14C]-sucrose (molecular weight 342.3) transmonolayer flux. On the contrary, transmembrane flux of the proinflammatory model tripeptide [14C]-N-formyl-Met-Leu-Phe (molecular weight 437.6), of [3H]-inuline (molecular weight 5,000) and of HRP (molecular weight 47,000) did not change. These data indicate that VacA increases paracellular epithelial permeability to molecules with molecular weight < 350-440. Accordingly, the epithelial permeability of Fe3+ and Ni2+ ions, essential for H. pylori survival in vivo, was also increased by VacA. High-resolution immunofluorescence and SDS-PAGE analysis failed to reveal alterations of junctional proteins ZO-1, occludin, cingulin, and E-cadherin. It is proposed that induction by VacA of a selective permeabilization of the epithelial paracellular route to low molecular weight molecules and ions may serve to supply nutrients, which favor H. pylori growth in vivo.
The cDNAs of a putative growth factor-bound (Grb) 7 signal transduction molecule and Grb7V novel splice variant were isolated from an invasive human esophageal carcinoma. Although both Grb7 isoforms share homology with the Mig-10 cell migration gene, the Grb7V isoform lacks 88 base pairs in the C terminus; the resultant frame shift leads to substitution of an SH2 domain with a short hydrophobic sequence. The wild-type Grb7 protein, but not the Grb7V isoform, is rapidly tyrosyl phosphorylated in response to EGF stimulation in esophageal carcinoma cells. Analysis of human esophageal tumor tissues and regional lymph nodes with metastases revealed that Grb7V was expressed in 40% of Grb7-positive esophageal carcinomas. More importantly, Grb7V expression was enhanced after metastatic spread to lymph nodes as compared to the original tumor tissues. Finally, transfection of an antisense Grb7 RNA expression construct lowered endogenous Grb7 protein levels and suppressed the invasive phenotype exhibited by esophageal carcinoma cells. These findings suggest that Grb7 isoforms are involved in cell invasion and metastatic progression of human esophageal carcinomas.
Mesangial cells play an important role in maintaining a structure and function of the glomerulus and in the pathogenesis of glomerular diseases. To identify a specific gene expressed in human mesangial cells, we used a rapid large-scale DNA sequencing and computerized data processing to compare the transcripts in cultured human mesangial cells with various different cells and organs. Using this novel approach, we discovered a new mesangium-predominant gene termed "megsin." We obtained a full-length cDNA clone of megsin, which coded for a novel 380-amino acid protein. Amino acid homology search revealed that megsin belonged to the serpin (serine protease inhibitor) superfamily. The amino acid sequences in the reactive loop site of megsin showed characteristic features of functional serpins. Northern blot and reverse-transcribed PCR analyses of various tissues and cells demonstrated that megsin was predominantly expressed in human mesangial cells. In situ hybridization studies showed the megsin expression in the mesangium of normal glomeruli, while it increased in the expanded mesangium of glomeruli from patients with IgA nephropathy with the degree of mesangial proliferation. Here we report a new human mesangium-predominant gene that may function as an inhibitory serpin in normal and abnormal biological processes of glomerulus.
The diversity of cellular and tissue functions within organs requires that local communication circuits control distinct populations of cells. Recently, we reported that cardiac myocytes regulate the expression of both von Willebrand factor (vWF) and a transgene with elements of the vWF promoter in a subpopulation of cardiac microvascular endothelial cells (J. Cell Biol. 138:1117). The present study explores this communication. Histological examination of the cardiac microvasculature revealed colocalization of the vWF transgene with the PDGF alpha-receptor. Transcript analysis demonstrated that in vitro cardiac microvascular endothelial cells constitutively express PDGF-A, but not B. Cardiac myocytes induced endothelial expression of PDGF-B, resulting in PDGF-AB. Protein measurement and transcript analysis revealed that PDGF-AB, but not PDGF-AA, induced endothelial expression of vWF and its transgene. Antibody neutralization of PDGF-AB blocked the myocyte-mediated induction. Immunostaining demonstrated that vWF induction is confined to PDGF alpha-receptor-positive endothelial cells. Similar experiments revealed that the PDGF-AB/alpha-receptor communication also induces expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and Flk-1, critical components of angiogenesis. The existence of this communication pathway was confirmed in vivo. Injection of PDGF-AB neutralizing antibody into the amniotic fluid surrounding murine embryos extinguished expression of the transgene. In summary, these studies suggest that environmental induction of PDGF-AB/alpha-receptor interaction is central to the regulation of cardiac microvascular endothelial cell hemostatic and angiogenic activity.
Humans and mice with deficiency of the alpha2 subunit of the basement membrane protein laminin-2/merosin suffer from merosin-deficient congenital muscular dystrophy (MCMD). We have expressed a human laminin alpha2 chain transgene under the regulation of a muscle-specific creatine kinase promoter in mice with complete or partial deficiency of merosin. The transgene restores the synthesis and localization of merosin in skeletal muscle, and greatly improves muscle morphology and integrity and the health and longevity of the mice. However, the transgenic mice share with the nontransgenic dystrophic mice a progressive lameness of hind legs, suggestive of a nerve defect. These results indicate that the absence of merosin in tissues other than the muscle, such as nervous tissue, is a critical component of MCMD. Future gene therapies of human MCMD, and perhaps of other forms of muscular dystrophy, may require restoration of the defective gene product in multiple tissues.
The present study analyzed peripheral blood B cell populations separated by IgD and CD27 expression in six males with X-linked hyper-IgM syndrome (XHIM). Costimulation of mononuclear cells from most of the patients induced no to low levels of class switching from IgM to IgG and IgA with Staphylococcus aureus Cowan strain (SAC) plus IL-2 or anti-CD40 mAb (anti-CD40) plus IL-10. Measurable levels of IgE were secreted in some of the patients after stimulation with anti-CD40 plus IL-4. Costimulation with SAC plus IL-2 plus anti-CD40 plus IL-10 yielded secretion of significant levels of IgG in addition to IgM, but not IgA. The most striking finding was that peripheral blood B cells from all of the six patients were composed of only IgD+ CD27(-) and IgD+ CD27(+) B cells; IgD- CD27(+) memory B cells were greatly decreased. IgD+ CD27(+) B cells from an XHIM patient produced IgM predominantly. Our data indicate that the low response of IgG production in XHIM patients is due to reduced numbers of IgD- CD27(+) memory B cells. However, the IgG production can be induced by stimulation of immunoglobulin receptors and CD40 in cooperation with such cytokines as IL-2 and IL-10 in vitro.
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