We describe a highly disabling congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS) associated with rapidly decaying, low-amplitude synaptic currents, and trace its cause to a valine to leucine mutation in the signature cystine loop (cys-loop) of the AChR α subunit. The recently solved crystal structure of an ACh-binding protein places the cys-loop at the junction between the extracellular ligand-binding and transmembrane domains where it may couple agonist binding to channel gating. We therefore analyzed the kinetics of ACh-induced single-channel currents to identify elementary steps in the receptor activation mechanism altered by the αV132L mutation. The analysis reveals that αV132L markedly impairs ACh binding to receptors in the resting closed state, decreasing binding affinity for the second binding step 30-fold, but attenuates gating efficiency only about twofold. By contrast, mutation of the equivalent valine residue in the δ subunit impairs channel gating approximately fourfold with little effect on ACh binding, while corresponding mutations in the β and ε subunits are without effect. The unique functional contribution of the α subunit cys-loop likely owes to its direct connection via a β strand to αW149 at the center of the ligand-binding domain. The overall findings reveal functional asymmetry between cys-loops of the different AChR subunits in contributing to ACh binding and channel gating.
Xin-Ming Shen, Kinji Ohno, Akira Tsujino, Joan M. Brengman, Monique Gingold, Steven M. Sine, Andrew G. Engel
Extracellular nucleotides are important regulators of epithelial ion transport. Here we investigated nucleotide-mediated effects on colonic NaCl secretion and the signal transduction mechanisms involved. Basolateral UDP induced a sustained activation of Cl– secretion, which was completely inhibited by 293B, a specific inhibitor of cAMP-stimulated basolateral KCNQ1/KCNE3 K+ channels. We therefore speculated that a basolateral P2Y6 receptor could increase cAMP. Indeed UDP elevated cAMP in isolated crypts. We identified an epithelial P2Y6 receptor using crypt [Ca2+]i measurements, RT-PCR, and immunohistochemistry. To investigate whether the rat P2Y6elevates cAMP, we coexpressed the P2Y1 or P2Y6 receptor together with the cAMP-regulated cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) Cl– channel in Xenopus oocytes. A two-electrode voltage clamp was used to monitor nucleotide-induced Cl– currents. In oocytes expressing the P2Y1 receptor, ATP transiently activated the endogenous Ca2+-activated Cl– current, but not CFTR. In contrast, in oocytes expressing the P2Y6receptor, UDP transiently activated the Ca2+-activated Cl– current and subsequently CFTR. CFTR Cl– currents were identified by their halide conductance sequence. In summary we find a basolateral P2Y6 receptor in colonic epithelial cells stimulating sustained NaCl secretion by way of a synergistic increase of [Ca2+]i and cAMP. In support of these data P2Y6 receptor stimulation differentially activates CFTR in Xenopus oocytes.
Michael Köttgen, Thomas Löffler, Christoph Jacobi, Roland Nitschke, Hermann Pavenstädt, Rainer Schreiber, Sebastian Frische, Søren Nielsen, Jens Leipziger
Hydroxyurea treatment of patients with sickle-cell disease increases fetal hemoglobin (HbF), which reduces hemoglobin S polymerization and clinical complications. Despite its use in the treatment of myeloproliferative diseases for over 30 years, its mechanism of action remains uncertain. Recent studies have demonstrated that hydroxyurea generates the nitric oxide (NO) radical in vivo, and we therefore hypothesized that NO-donor properties might determine the hemoglobin phenotype. We treated both K562 erythroleukemic cells and human erythroid progenitor cells with S-nitrosocysteine (CysNO), an NO donor, and found similar dose- and time-dependent induction of γ-globin mRNA and HbF protein as we observed with hydroxyurea. Both hydroxyurea and CysNO increased cGMP levels, and the guanylyl cyclase inhibitors ODQ, NS 2028, and LY 83,538 abolished both the hydroxyurea- and CysNO-induced γ-globin expression. These data provide strong evidence for an NO-derived mechanism for HbF induction by hydroxyurea and suggest possibilities for therapies based on NO-releasing or -potentiating agents.
Vladan P. Cokic, Reginald D. Smith, Bojana B. Beleslin-Cokic, Joyce M. Njoroge, Jeffery L. Miller, Mark T. Gladwin, Alan N. Schechter
Prolactin is a peptide hormone produced by the anterior pituitary gland that is critical in lactation. Prolactin can also be produced by lymphocytes, and both B and T cells express prolactin receptors. These findings have suggested that prolactin has immunomodulatory functions. Studies in spontaneously autoimmune hosts have demonstrated a role for prolactin in augmenting autoreactivity. We chose to analyze prolactin effects on anti-DNA B cells in nonspontaneously autoimmune female BALB/c mice transgenic for the heavy chain of an anti-DNA antibody. Treatment with prolactin for 4 weeks induced a lupus-like phenotype with an increased number of transgene-expressing B cells, elevated serum anti-DNA antibody titers, and glomerular immunoglobulin deposits. Prolactin caused a decrease in the population of transitional B cells and an increase in mature follicular and marginal zone B cells. The DNA-reactive B cells had a follicular cell phenotype. Anti-DNA hybridomas demonstrated that prolactin alters selection of the naive B cell repertoire. The expansion and activation of anti-DNA B cells in prolactin-treated R4A-γ2b BALB/c mice was dependent on the presence of CD4+ T cells. Finally, treatment with prolactin was unable to break tolerance in R4A-γ2b transgenic C57Bl/6 mice, suggesting that responsiveness of the immune system to prolactin is genetically determined.
Elena Peeva, Daniel Michael, James Cleary, Jeffrey Rice, Xian Chen, Betty Diamond
Th2 cells are generated from naive CD4 T cells upon T cell receptor (TCR) recognition of antigen and IL-4 stimulation and play crucial roles in humoral immunity against infectious microorganisms and the pathogenesis of allergic and autoimmune diseases. A tyrosine phosphatase, SHP-1, that contains src homology 2 (SH2) domains is recognized as a negative regulator for various intracellular signaling molecules, including those downstream of the TCR and the IL-4 receptor. Here we assessed the role of SHP-1 in Th1/Th2 cell differentiation and in the development of Th2-dependent allergic airway inflammation by using a natural SHP-1 mutant, the motheaten mouse. CD4 T cells appear to develop normally in the heterozygous motheaten (me/+) thymus even though they express decreased amounts of SHP-1 (about one-third the level of wild-type thymus). The me/+ naive splenic CD4 T cells showed enhanced activation by IL-4 receptor–mediated signaling but only marginal enhancement of TCR-mediated signaling. Interestingly, the generation of Th2 cells was increased and specific cytokine production of mast cells was enhanced in me/+ mice. In an OVA-induced allergic airway inflammation model, eosinophilic inflammation, mucus hyperproduction, and airway hyperresponsiveness were enhanced in me/+ mice. Thus, SHP-1 may have a role as a negative regulator in the development of allergic responses, such as allergic asthma.
Tohru Kamata, Masakatsu Yamashita, Motoko Kimura, Kaoru Murata, Masamichi Inami, Chiori Shimizu, Kaoru Sugaya, Chrong-Reen Wang, Masaru Taniguchi, Toshinori Nakayama
Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs induce proteins that inhibit phospholipase A2 (PLA2), including uteroglobin and lipocortin-1 (annexin I). Uteroglobin and lipocortin-1 retain several conserved sequences. Based on these sequences, several nonapeptides (antiflammins) were synthesized. These nonapeptides were shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in vitro and in vivo, possibly by inhibiting PLA2. Subsequent research showed that PLA2 is activated by transglutaminase 2 (TGase 2). We hypothesize here that TGase 2 inhibitors may increase the anti-inflammatory efficacy of inhibiting PLA2 activity. To test this theory, we constructed recombinant peptides containing sequences from pro-elafin (for inhibition of TGase 2), and from lipocortin-1, lipocortin-5, and uteroglobin (for inhibition of PLA2). The recombinant peptides, which had dual inhibitory effects on purified TGase 2 and PLA2, reversed the inflammation of allergic conjunctivitis to ragweed in a guinea pig model. The present work suggests that novel recombinant peptides may be safe and effective agents for the treatment of various inflammatory diseases.
Joonhong Sohn, Tae-Im Kim, Young-Hee Yoon, Joo-Yong Kim, Soo-Youl Kim
Acute liver failure caused by viral hepatitis or toxic damage involves both apoptotic and necrotic pathways. IGF binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1), a hepatocyte-derived secreted protein, is required for normal liver regeneration. To determine whether IGFBP-1 could prevent liver injury that entails direct stimulation of hepatocyte apoptosis, IGFBP-1–/– mice, IGFBP-1+/+ mice, and mice pretreated with Ab’s against IGFBP-1 were treated with a normally sublethal dose of Fas agonist. IGFBP-1 deficiency was associated with massive hepatocyte apoptosis and caspase activation within 3 hours of Fas agonist treatment, which could be corrected by pretreatment with IGFBP-1. IGFBP-1–deficient livers had enhanced signaling via the integrin receptor at early times (0.5 to 1 hour) after Fas agonist treatment accompanied by elevated activated matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), a known target of fibronectin signaling and activator of TGF-β. Within 3 hours of Fas agonist treatment, elevated expression of active TGF-β1, a hepatocyte apoptogen, was observed in IGFBP-1–deficient livers that correlated with the appearance of the apoptotic process. Both MMP-9 and TGF-β1 expression were suppressed by IGFBP-1 treatment, supporting their role in the apoptotic process. IGFBP-1–/– mice also displayed increased injury in a toxic hepatic injury model caused by CCl4. These findings indicate that IGFBP-1 functions as a critical hepatic survival factor in the liver by reducing the level of proapoptotic signals.
Julia I. Leu, Mary Ann S. Crissey, Rebecca Taub
Using physiological, pharmacological, and gene disruption approaches, we demonstrate that proteinase-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) plays a pivotal role in mediating chronic inflammation. Using an adjuvant monoarthritis model of chronic inflammation, joint swelling was substantially inhibited in PAR-2–deficient mice, being reduced by more than fourfold compared with wild-type mice, with virtually no histological evidence of joint damage. Mice heterozygous for PAR-2 gene disruption showed an intermediate phenotype. PAR-2 expression, normally limited to endothelial cells in small arterioles, was substantially upregulated 2 weeks after induction of inflammation, both in synovium and in other periarticular tissues. PAR-2 agonists showed potent proinflammatory effects as intra-articular injection of ASKH95, a novel synthetic PAR-2 agonist, induced prolonged joint swelling and synovial hyperemia. Given the absence of the chronic inflammatory response in the PAR-2–deficient mice, our findings demonstrate a key role for PAR-2 in mediating chronic inflammation, thereby identifying a novel and important therapeutic target for the management of chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
William R. Ferrell, John C. Lockhart, Elizabeth B. Kelso, Lynette Dunning, Robin Plevin, Stephen E. Meek, Andrew J.H. Smith, Gary D. Hunter, John S. McLean, Frances McGarry, Robert Ramage, Lu Jiang, Toru Kanke, Junichi Kawagoe
John A. Belperio, Michael P. Keane, Marie D. Burdick, Vedang Londhe, Ying Ying Xue, Kewang Li, Roderick J. Phillips, Robert M. Strieter
Dimitri Lodygin, Antje Menssen, Heiko Hermeking
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