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  • MinireviewNovember 30, 2014

    91 621 2951
    Abstract

    Abstract : Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is clinically characterized with progressive memory loss and cognitive decline. Synaptic dysfunction is an early pathological feature that occurs prior to neurodegeneration and memory dysfunction. Mounting evidence suggests that aggregation of amyloid-β (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated tau leads to synaptic deficits and neurodegeneration, thereby to memory loss. Among the established genetic risk factors for AD, the ?4 allele of apolipoprotein E (APOE) is the strongest genetic risk factor. We and others previously demonstrated that apoE regulates Aβ aggregation and clearance in an isoform-dependent manner. While the effect of apoE on Aβ may explain how apoE isoforms differentially affect AD pathogenesis, there are also other underexplored pathogenic mechanisms. They include differential effects of apoE on cerebral energy metabolism, neuroinflammation, neurovascular function, neurogenesis, and synaptic plasticity. ApoE is a major carrier of cholesterols that are required for neuronal activity and injury repair in the brain. Although there are a few conflicting findings and the underlying mechanism is still unclear, several lines of studies demonstrated that apoE4 leads to synaptic deficits and impairment in long-term potentiation, memory and cognition. In this review, we summarize current understanding of apoE function in the brain, with a particular emphasis on its role in synaptic plasticity and the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms, involving low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1), syndecan, and LRP8/ApoER2.

  • MinireviewNovember 30, 2014

    35 321 1716

    Cholesteryl Ester Transfer Protein (CETP) Deficiency and CETP Inhibitors

    Hiroshi Mabuchi, Atsushi Nohara, and Akihiro Inazu

    Mol. Cells 2014; 37(11): 777-784 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2014.0265
    Abstract

    Abstract : Epidemiologic studies have shown that low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is a strong risk factor, whilst high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) reduces the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Therefore, strategies to manage dyslipidemia in an effort to prevent or treat CHD have primarily attempted at decreasing LDL-C and raising HDL-C levels. Cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) mediates the exchange of cholesteryl ester for triglycerides between HDL and VLDL and LDL. We have published the first report indicating that a group of Japanese patients who were lacking CETP had extremely high HDL-C levels, low LDL-C levels and a low incidence of CHD. Animal studies, as well as clinical and epidemiologic evidences, have suggested that inhibition of CETP provides an effective strategy to raise HDL-C and reduce LDL-C levels. Four CETP inhibitors have substantially increased HDL-C levels in dyslipidemic patients. This review will discuss the current status and future prospects of CETP inhibitors in the treatment of CHD. At present anacetrapib by Merck and evacetrapib by Eli Lilly are under development. By 100mg of anacetrapib HDL-C increased by 138%, and LDL-C decreased by 40%. Evacetrapib 500 mg also showed dramatic 132% increase of HDL-C, while LDL-C decreased by 40%. If larger, long-term, randomized, clinical end point trials could corroborate other findings in reducing atherosclerosis, CETP inhibitors could have a significant impact in the management of dyslipidemic CHD patients. Inhibition of CETP synthesis by antisense oligonucleotide or small molecules will produce more similar conditions to human CETP deficiency and may be effective in reducing atherosclerosis and cardiovascular events. We are expecting the final data of prospective clinical trials by CETP inhibitors in 2015.

  • Research ArticleNovember 30, 2014

    21 508 916

    Overexpression of Rcan1-1L Inhibits Hypoxia-Induced Cell Apoptosis through Induction of Mitophagy

    Lijun Sun, Yuewen Hao, Rui An, Haixun Li, Cong Xi, and Guohong Shen

    Mol. Cells 2014; 37(11): 785-794 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2014.0103
    Abstract

    Abstract : Mitophagy, a cellular process that selectively targets dysfunctional mitochondria for degradation, is currently a hot topic in research into the pathogenesis and treatment of many human diseases. Considering that hypoxia causes mitochondrial dysfunction, which results in cell death, we speculated that selective activation of mitophagy might promote cell survival under hypoxic conditions. In the present study, we introduced the Regulator of calcineurin 1-1L (Rcan1-1L) to initiate the mitophagy pathway and aimed to evaluate the effect of Rcan1-1L-induced mitophagy on cell survival under hypoxic conditions. Recombinant adenovirus vectors carrying Rcan1-1L were transfected into human umbilical vein endothelial cells and human adult cardiac myocytes. Using the 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide MTT assay and Trypan blue exclusion assay, Rcan1-1L overexpression was found to markedly reverse cell growth inhibition induced by hypoxia. Additionally, Rcan1-1L overexpression inhibited cell apoptosis under hypoxic conditions, as detected by annexin V-fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)/propidium iodide (PI) apoptosis assay. Meanwhile, the mitochondria-mediated cell apoptotic pathway was inhibited by Rcan1-1L. In contrast, knockdown of Rcan1-1L accelerated hypoxia-induced cell apoptosis. Moreover, Rcan1-1L overexpression significantly reduced mitochondrial mass, decreased depolarized mitochondria, and downregulated ATP and reactive oxygen species production. We further delineated that the loss of mitochondrial mass was due to the activation of mitophagy induced by Rcan1-1L. Rcan1-1L overexpression activated autophagy flux and promoted translocation of the specific mitophagy receptor Parkin into mitochondria from the cytosol, whereas inhibition of autophagy flux resulted in the accumulation of Parkin-loaded mitochondria. Finally, we demonstrated that mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening was significantly increased by Rcan1-1L overexpression, which suggested that Rcan1-1L might evoke mitophagy through regulating mitochondrial permeability transition pores. Taken together, we provide evidence that Rcan1-1L overexpression induces mitophagy, which in turn contributes to cell survival under hypoxic conditions, revealing for the first time that Rcan1-1L-induced mitophagy may be used for cardioprotection.

  • Research ArticleNovember 30, 2014

    49 482 1165
    Abstract

    Abstract : To withstand ever-changing environmental stresses, plants are equipped with phytohormone-mediated stress resistance mechanisms. Salt stress triggers abscisic acid (ABA) signaling, which enhances stress tolerance at the expense of growth. ABA is thought to inhibit the action of growth-promoting hormones, including brassinosteroids (BRs). However, the regulatory mechanisms that coordinate ABA and BR activity remain to be discovered. We noticed that ABA-treated seedlings exhibited small, round leaves and short roots, a phenotype that is characteristic of the BR signaling mutant, brassinosteroid insensitive1-9 (bri1-9). To identify genes that are antagonistically regulated by ABA and BRs, we examined published Arabidopsis microarray data sets. Of the list of genes identified, those upregulated by ABA but downregulated by BRs were enriched with a BRRE motif in their promoter sequences. After validating the microarray data using quantitative RT-PCR, we focused on RD26, which is induced by salt stress. Histochemical analysis of transgenic Arabidopsis plants expressing RD26pro:GUS revealed that the induction of GUS expression after NaCl treatment was suppressed by co-treatment with BRs, but enhanced by co-treatment with propiconazole, a BR biosynthetic inhibitor. Similarly, treatment with bikinin, an inhibitor of BIN2 kinase, not only inhibited RD26 expression, but also reduced the survival rate of the plant following exposure to salt stress. Our results suggest that ABA and BRs act antagonistically on their target genes at or after the BIN2 step in BR signaling pathways, and suggest a mechanism by which plants fine-tune their growth, particularly when stress responses and growth compete for resources.

  • Research ArticleNovember 30, 2014

    3 169 545

    Protease-Activated Receptor 2 Activation Inhibits N-Type Ca2+ Currents in Rat Peripheral Sympathetic Neurons

    Young-Hwan Kim, Duck-Sun Ahn, Myeong Ok Kim, Ji-Hyun Joeng, and Seungsoo Chung

    Mol. Cells 2014; 37(11): 804-811 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2014.0167
    Abstract

    Abstract : The protease-activated receptor (PAR)-2 is highly expressed in endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells. It plays a crucial role in regulating blood pressure via the modulation of peripheral vascular tone. Although several mechanisms have been suggested to explain PAR-2-induced hypotension, the precise mechanism remains to be elucidated. To investigate this possibility, we investigated the effects of PAR-2 activation on N-type Ca2+ currents (ICa-N) in isolated neurons of the celiac ganglion (CG), which is involved in the sympathetic regulation of mesenteric artery vascular tone. PAR-2 agonists irreversibly diminished voltage-gated Ca2+ currents (ICa), measured using the patch-clamp method, in rat CG neurons, whereas thrombin had little effect on ICa. This PAR-2-induced inhibition was almost completely prevented by ω-CgTx, a potent N-type Ca2+ channel blocker, suggesting the involvement of N-type Ca2+ channels in PAR-2-induced inhibition. In addition, PAR-2 agonists inhibited ICa?N in a voltage-independent manner in rat CG neurons. Moreover, PAR-2 agonists reduced action potential (AP) firing frequency as measured using the current-clamp method in rat CG neurons. This inhibition of AP firing induced by PAR-2 agonists was almost completely prevented by ω-CgTx, indicating that PAR-2 activation may regulate the membrane excitability of peripheral sympathetic neurons through modulation of N-type Ca2+ channels. In conclusion, the present findings demonstrate that the activation of PAR-2 suppresses peripheral sympathetic outflow by modulating N-type Ca2+ channel activity, which appears to be involved in PAR-2-induced hypotension, in peripheral sympathetic nerve terminals.

  • Research ArticleNovember 30, 2014

    30 365 964

    The Role of Kif4A in Doxorubicin-Induced Apoptosis in Breast Cancer Cells

    Hui Wang, Changqing Lu, Qing Li, Jun Xie, Tongbing Chen, Yan Tan, Changping Wu, and Jingting Jiang

    Mol. Cells 2014; 37(11): 812-818 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2014.0210
    Abstract

    Abstract : This study was to investigate the mechanism and role of Kif4A in doxorubicin-induced apoptosis in breast cancer. Using two human breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 (with wild-type p53) and MDA-MB-231 (with mutant p53), we quantitated the expression levels of kinesin super-family protein 4A (Kif4A) and poly (ADP-ribose) Polymerase-1 (PARP-1) by Western blot after doxorubicin treatment and examined the apoptosis by flow cytometry after treatment with doxorubicin and PARP-1 inhibitor, 3-Aminobenzamide (3-ABA). Our results showed that doxorubicin treatment could induce the apoptosis of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells, the down-regulation of Kif4A and upregulation of poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR). The activity of PARP-1 or PARP-1 activation was significantly elevated by doxorubicin treatment in dose- and time-dependent manners (P < 0.05), while doxorubicin treatment only slightly elevated the level of cleaved fragments of PARP-1 (P > 0.05). We further demonstrated that overexpression of Kif4A could reduce the level of PAR and significantly increase apoptosis. The effect of doxorubicin on apoptosis was more profound in MCF-7 cells compared with MDA-MB-231 cells (P < 0.05). Taken together, our results suggest that the novel role of Kif4A in doxorubicin-induced apoptosis in breast cancer cells is achieved by inhibiting the activity of PARP-1.

  • Research ArticleNovember 30, 2014

    9 294 465
    Abstract

    Abstract : Protein modifications of recombinant pharmaceuticals have been observed both in vitro and in vivo. These modifications may result in lower efficacy, as well as bioavailability changes and antigenicity among the protein pharmaceuticals. Therefore, the contents of modification should be monitored for the quality and efficacy of protein pharmaceuticals. The interface of EPO and its receptor was visualized, and potential amino acids interacting on the interface were also listed. Two different types of modifications on the interface were identified in the preparation of rHu-EPO BRP. A UPLC/Q-TOF MS method was used to evaluate the modification at those variants. The modification of the oxidized variant was localized on the Met54 and the deamidated variants were localized on the Asn47 and Asn147. The extent of oxidation at Met54 was 3.0% and those of deamidation at Asn47 and Asn147 were 2.9% and 4.8%, respectively.

  • Research ArticleNovember 30, 2014

    10 302 632
    Abstract

    Abstract : The balance between bone formation by osteoblasts and destruction of mineralized bone matrix by osteoclasts is important for bone homeostasis. The increase of osteoclast differentiation by RANKL induces bone diseases such as osteoporosis. Recent studies have shown that insulin is one of main factors mediating the cross-talk between bone remodeling and energy metabolism. However, the systemic examination of insulin-induced differential gene expression profiles in osteoclasts has not been extensively studied. Here, we investigated the global effects of insulin on osteoclast precursors at the level of gene transcription by microarray analysis. The number of genes that were up-regulated by ≥ 1.5 fold after insulin treatment for 6 h, 12 h, or 24 h was 76, 73, and 39; and 96, 83, and 54 genes were down-regulated, respectively. The genes were classified by 20 biological processes or 24 molecular functions and the number of genes involved in ‘development processes’ and ‘cell proliferation and differentiation’ was 25 and 18, respectively, including Inhba, Socs, Plk3, Tnfsf4, and Plk1. The microarray results of these genes were verified by real-time RT-PCR analysis. We also compared the effects of insulin and RANKL on the expression of these genes. Most genes had a very similar pattern of expressions in insulin- and RANKL-treated cells. Interestingly, Tnfsf4 and Inhba genes were affected by insulin but not by RANKL. Taken together, these results suggest a potential role for insulin in osteoclast biology, thus contributing to the understanding of the pathogenesis and development of therapeutics for numerous bone and metabolic diseases.

  • Research ArticleNovember 30, 2014

    11 396 961

    Characterization of a Novel DWD Protein that Participates in Heat Stress Response in Arabidopsis

    Soon-Hee Kim, Joon-Hyun Lee, Kyoung-In Seo, Boyeong Ryu, Yongju Sung, Taijoon Chung, Xing Wang Deng, and Jae-Hoon Lee

    Mol. Cells 2014; 37(11): 833-840 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2014.0224
    Abstract

    Abstract : Cullin4-RING ubiquitin ligase (CRL4) is a family of multi-subunit E3 ligases. To investigate the possible involvement of CRL4 in heat stress response, we screened T-DNA insertion mutants of putative CRL4 substrate receptors that exhibited altered patterns in response to heat stress. One of the mutants exhibited heat stress tolerance and was named heat stress tolerant DWD1 (htd1). Introduction of HTD1 gene into htd1-1 led to recovery of heat sensitivity to the wild type level, confirming that the decrease of HTD1 transcripts resulted in heat tolerance. Therefore, HTD1 plays a negative role in thermotolerance in Arabidopsis. Additionally, HTD1 directly interacted with DDB1a in yeast two-hybrid assays and associated with DDB1b in vivo, supporting that it could be a part of a CRL4 complex. Various heat-inducible genes such as HSP14.7, HSP21, At2g03020 and WRKY28 were hyper-induced in htd1-1, indicating that HTD1 could function as a negative regulator for the expression of such genes and that these genes might contribute to thermotolerance of htd1-1, at least in part. HTD1 was associated with HSP90-1, a crucial regulator of thermotolerance, in vivo, even though the decrease of HTD1 did not affect the accumulation pattern of HSP90-1 in Arabidopsis. These findings indicate that a negative role of HTD1 in thermotolerance might be achieved through its association with HSP90-1, possibly by disturbing the action of HSP90-1, not by the degradation of HSP90-1. This study will serve as an important step toward understanding of the functional connection between CRL4-mediated processes and plant heat stress signaling.

Mol. Cells
Nov 30, 2022 Vol.45 No.11
COVER PICTURE
Naive (cyan) and axotomized (magenta) retinal ganglion cell axons in Xenopus tropicalis (Choi et al., pp. 846-854).

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