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  • MinireviewApril 30, 2014

    208 252 2475

    The Role of Macrophage Polarization in Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases

    Adam C. Labonte, Annie-Carole Tosello-Trampont, and Young S. Hahn

    Mol. Cells 2014; 37(4): 275-285 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2014.2374
    Abstract

    Abstract : Macrophages, found in circulating blood as well as integrated into several tissues and organs throughout the body, represent an important first line of defense against disease and a necessary component of healthy tissue homeostasis. Additionally, macrophages that arise from the differentiation of monocytes recruited from the blood to inflamed tissues play a central role in regulating local inflammation. Studies of macrophage activation in the last decade or so have revealed that these cells adopt a staggering range of phenotypes that are finely tuned responses to a variety of different stimuli, and that the resulting subsets of activated macrophages play critical roles in both progression and resolution of disease. This review summarizes the current understanding of the contributions of differentially polarized macrophages to various infectious and inflammatory diseases and the ongoing effort to develop novel therapies that target this key aspect of macrophage biology.

  • MinireviewApril 30, 2014

    15 79 1254

    Mechanisms Underlying Plk1 Polo-Box Domain-Mediated Biological Processes and Their Physiological Significance

    Kyung S. Lee, Jung-Eun Park, Young Hwi Kang, Tae-Sung Kim, and Jeong K. Bang

    Mol. Cells 2014; 37(4): 286-294 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2014.0002
    Abstract

    Abstract : Mammalian polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) has been studied intensively as a key regulator of various cell cycle events that are critical for proper M-phase progression. The polo-box domain (PBD) present in Plk1’s C-terminal non-catalytic region has been shown to play a central role in targeting the N-terminal kinase domain of Plk1 to specific subcellular locations. Subsequent studies reveal that PBD binds to a phosphorylated motif generated by one of the two mechanisms - self-priming by Plk1 itself or non-self-priming by a Pro-directed kinase, such as Cdc2. Here, we comparatively review the differences in the biochemical steps of these mechanisms and discuss their physiological significance. Considering the diverse functions of Plk1 during the cell cycle, a better understanding of how the catalytic activity of Plk1 functions in concert with its cis-acting PBD and how this coordinated process is intricately regulated to promote Plk1 functions will be important for providing new insights into different mechanisms underlying various Plk1-mediated biological events that occur at the multiple stages of the cell cycle.

  • Research ArticleApril 30, 2014

    45 106 1184

    SIFamide and SIFamide Receptor Define a Novel Neuropeptide Signaling to Promote Sleep in Drosophila

    Sangjin Park, Jun Young Sonn, Yangkyun Oh, Chunghun Lim, and Joonho Choe

    Mol. Cells 2014; 37(4): 295-301 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2014.2371
    Abstract

    Abstract : SIFamide receptor (SIFR) is a Drosophila G protein-coupled receptor for the neuropeptide SIFamide (SIFa). Although the sequence and spatial expression of SIFa are evolutionarily conserved among insect species, the physiological function of SIFa/SIFR signaling remains elusive. Here, we provide genetic evidence that SIFa and SIFR promote sleep in Drosophila. Either genetic ablation of SIFa-expressing neurons in the pars intercerebralis (PI) or pan-neuronal depletion of SIFa expression shortened baseline sleep and reduced sleep-bout length, suggesting that it caused sleep fragmentation. Consistently, RNA interference-mediated knockdown of SIFR expression caused short sleep phenotypes as observed in SIFa-ablated or depleted flies. Using a panel of neuron-specific Gal4 drivers, we further mapped SIFR effects to subsets of PI neurons. Taken together, these results reveal a novel physiological role of the neuropeptide SIFa/SIFR pathway to regulate sleep through sleep-promoting neural circuits in the PI of adult fly brains.

  • Research ArticleApril 30, 2014

    7 72 6735

    Disruption of the Myostatin Gene in Porcine Primary Fibroblasts and Embryos Using Zinc-Finger Nucleases

    Xian-Ju Huang, Hong-Xiao Zhang, Huili Wang, Kai Xiong, Ling Qin, and Honglin Liu

    Mol. Cells 2014; 37(4): 302-306 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2014.2209
    Abstract

    Abstract : Myostatin represses muscle growth by negatively regulating the number and size of muscle fibers. Myostatin loss-of-function can result in the double-muscling phenotype and increased muscle mass. Thus, knockout of myostatin gene could improve the quality of meat from mammals. In the present study, zinc finger nucleases, a useful tool for generating gene knockout animals, were designed to target exon 1 of the myostatin gene. The designed ZFNs were introduced into porcine primary fibroblasts and early implantation embryos via electroporation and microinjection, respectively. Mutations around the ZFNs target site were detected in both primary fibroblasts and blastocysts. The proportion of mutant fibroblast cells and blastocyst was 4.81% and 5.31%, respectively. Thus, ZFNs can be used to knockout myostatin in porcine primary fibroblasts and early implantation embryos.

  • Research ArticleApril 30, 2014

    1 62 359
    Abstract

    Abstract : Cell migration requires a defined cell polarity which is formed by diverse cytoskeletal components differentially localized to the poles of cells to extracellular signals. Rap-GAP3 transiently and rapidly translocates to the cell cortex in response to chemoattractant stimulation and localizes to the leading edge of migrating cells. Here, we examined localization of truncated RapGAP3 proteins and found that the I/LWEQ domain in the central region of RapGAP3 was sufficient for posterior localization in migrating cells, as opposed to leading-edge localization of full-length Rap-GAP3. All truncated proteins accumulated at the leading edge of migrating cells exhibited clear translocation to the cell cortex in response to stimulation, whereas proteins localized to the posterior in migrating cells displayed no translocation to the cortex. The I/LWEQ domain appears to passively accumulate at the posterior region in migrating cells due to exclusion from the extended front region in response to chemoattractant stimulation rather than actively being localized to the back of cells. Our results suggest that posterior localization of the I/LWEQ domain of RapGAP3 is likely related to F-actin, which has probably different properties compared to newly formed F-actin at the leading edge of migrating cells, at the lateral and posterior regions of the cell.

  • Research ArticleApril 30, 2014

    18 103 597

    Inhibition of Cell Proliferation and Migration by miR-509-3p That Targets CDK2, Rac1, and PIK3C2A

    Sena Yoon, Eunji Han, Young-Chul Choi, Honghwan Kee, Yongsu Jeong, Jaeseung Yoon, and Kwanghee Baek

    Mol. Cells 2014; 37(4): 314-321 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2014.2360
    Abstract

    Abstract : CDK2 is a key regulator of cell cycle progression. In this study, we screened for miRNAs targeting CDK2 using a luciferase-3′-untranslated region reporter assay. Among 11 hit miRNAs, miR-509-3p reduced CDK2 protein levels and significantly inhibited cancer cell growth. Microarray, Western blotting, and luciferase reporter analyses revealed additional targets of miR-509-3p, including Rac1 and PIK3C2A. Overexpression of miR-509-3p induced G1 cell-cycle arrest and inhibited colony formation and migration. RNAi experiments indicated that the growth-inhibitory effects of miR-509-3p may occur through down-regulation of CDK2, Rac1, and PIK3C2A. Targeting of multiple growth regulatory genes by miR-509-3p may contribute to effective anti-cancer therapy.

  • Research ArticleApril 30, 2014

    9 85 474
    Abstract

    Abstract : N-acetylglucosamine kinase (GlcNAc kinase or NAGK; EC 2.7.1.59) is highly expressed and plays a critical role in the development of dendrites in brain neurons. In this study, the authors conducted structure-function analysis to verify the previously proposed 3D model structure of GlcNAc/ATP-bound NAGK. Three point NAGK mutants with different substrate binding capacities and reaction velocities were produced. Wild-type (WT) NAGK showed strong substrate preference for GlcNAc. Conversion of Cys143, which does not make direct hydrogen bonds with GlcNAc, to Ser (i.e., C143S) had the least affect on the enzymatic activity of NAGK. Conversion of Asn36, which plays a role in domain closure by making a hydrogen bond with GlcNAc, to Ala (i.e., N36A) mildly reduced NAGK enzyme activity. Conversion of Asp107, which makes hydrogen bonds with GlcNAc and would act as a proton acceptor during nucleophilic attack on the γ-phosphate of ATP, to Ala (i.e., D107A), caused a total loss in enzyme activity. The over-expression of EGFP-tagged WT or any of the mutant NAGKs in rat hippocampal neurons (DIV 5-9) increased dendritic architectural complexity. Finally, the overexpression of the small, but not of the large, domain of NAGK resulted in dendrite degeneration. Our data show the effect of structure on the functional aspects of NAGK, and in particular, that the small domain of NAGK, and not its NAGK kinase activity, plays a critical role in the upregulation of dendritogenesis.

  • Research ArticleApril 30, 2014

    12 76 790

    Thymosin Beta4 Regulates Cardiac Valve Formation Via Endothelial-Mesenchymal Transformation in Zebrafish Embryos

    Sun-Hye Shin, Sangkyu Lee, Jong-Sup Bae, Jun-Goo Jee, Hee-Jae Cha, and You Mie Lee

    Mol. Cells 2014; 37(4): 330-336 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2014.0003
    Abstract

    Abstract : Thymosin beta4 (TB4) has multiple functions in cellular response in processes as diverse as embryonic organ development and the pathogeneses of disease, especially those associated with cardiac coronary vessels. However, the specific roles played by TB4 during heart valve development in vertebrates are largely unknown. Here, we identified a novel function of TB4 in endothelialmesenchymal transformation (EMT) in cardiac valve endocardial cushions in zebrafish. The expressions of thymosin family members in developing zebrafish embryos were determined by whole mount in situ hybridization. Of the thymosin family members only zTB4 was expressed in the developing heart region. Cardiac valve development at 48 h post fertilization was defected in zebrafish TB4 (zTB4) morpholino-injected embryos (morphants). In zTB4 morphants, abnormal linear heart tube development was observed. The expressions of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) 4, notch1b, and hyaluronic acid synthase (HAS) 2 genes were also markedly reduced in atrio-ventricular canal (AVC). Endocardial cells in the AVC region were stained with anti-Zn5 antibody reactive against Dm-grasp (an EMT marker) to observe EMT in developing cardiac valves in zTB4 morphants. EMT marker expression in valve endothelial cells was confirmed after transfection with TB4 siRNA in the presence of transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) by RT-PCR and immunofluorescent assay. Zn5-positive endocardial AVC cells were not observed in zTB4 morphants, and knockdown of TB4 suppressed TGF-β-induced EMT in ovine valve endothelial cells. Taken together, our results demonstrate that TB4 plays a pivotal role in cardiac valve formation by increasing EMT.

  • Research ArticleApril 30, 2014

    7 77 536
    Abstract

    Abstract : Adipose-derived stem cells represent a type of mesenchymal stem cells with the attendant capacity to self-renew and differentiate into multiple cell lineages. We have performed a microarray-based gene expression profiling of osteogenic differentiation and found that the transcription factor Sox11 is down-regulated during the process. Functional assays demonstrate that down-regulation of Sox11 is required for an efficient differentiation. Furthermore, results from forced expression of constitutively-active and dominant-negative derivatives of Sox11 indicate that Sox11 functions as a transcriptional activator in inhibiting osteogenesis. Sox11 thus represents a novel regulator of osteogenesis whose expression and activity can be potentially manipulated for controlled differentiation.

  • Research ArticleApril 30, 2014

    18 55 644

    Astrogliosis Is a Possible Player in Preventing Delayed Neuronal Death

    Hey-Kyeong Jeong, Kyung-Min Ji, Kyoung-Jin Min, Insup Choi, Dong-Joo Choi, Ilo Jou, and Eun-Hye Joe

    Mol. Cells 2014; 37(4): 345-355 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2014.0046
    Abstract

    Abstract : Mitigating secondary delayed neuronal injury has been a therapeutic strategy for minimizing neurological symptoms after several types of brain injury. Interestingly, secondary neuronal loss appeared to be closely related to functional loss and/or death of astrocytes. In the brain damage induced by agonists of two glutamate receptors, N-ethyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) and kainic acid (KA), NMDA induced neuronal death within 3 h, but did not increase further thereafter. However, in the KA-injected brain, neuronal death was not obviously detectable even at injection sites at 3 h, but extensively increased to encompass the entire hemisphere at 7 days. Brain inflammation, a possible cause of secondary neuronal damage, showed little differences between the two models. Importantly, however, astrocyte behavior was completely different. In the NMDA-injected cortex, the loss of glial fibrillary acidic protein-expressing (GFAP+) astrocytes was confined to the injection site until 7 days after the injection, and astrocytes around the damage sites showed extensive gliosis and appeared to isolate the damage sites. In contrast, in the KA-injected brain, GFAP+ astrocytes, like neurons, slowly, but progressively, disappeared across the entire hemisphere. Other markers of astrocytes, including S100β, glutamate transporter EAAT2, the potassium channel Kir4.1 and glutamine synthase, showed patterns similar to that of GFAP in both NMDA- and KA-injected cortexes. More importantly, astrocyte disappearance and/or functional loss preceded neuronal death in the KA-injected brain. Taken together, these results suggest that loss of astrocyte support to neurons may be a critical cause of delayed neuronal death in the injured brain.

Mol. Cells
Dec 31, 2021 Vol.44 No.12
COVER PICTURE
Structure of the fly peripheral neurons in the fly head. Flies have basic sensory organs including eyes for vision, antennae and maxillary palps for olfaction, and proboscis (magenta) for gustation which can be labelled with monoclonal antibody 22C10. The figure is a 3D reconstructed image with 30 slices of confocal sections with 3 μm interval. It shows that the proboscis is required for sensing attractive carboxylic acids such as glycolic acid, citric acid, and lactic acid (Shrestha and Lee, pp. 900-910).

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