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  • MinireviewOctober 31, 2016

    7 53 1983
    Abstract

    Abstract : Plants have become physiologically adapted to a seasonally shifting environment by evolving many sensory mechanisms. Seasonal flowering is a good example of adaptation to local environmental demands and is crucial for maximizing reproductive fitness. Photoperiod and temperature are major environmental stimuli that control flowering through expression of a floral inducer, FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) protein. Recent discoveries made using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana have shown that the functions of photoreceptors are essential for the timing of FT gene induction, via modulation of the transcriptional activator CONSTANS (CO) at transcriptional and posttranslational levels in response to seasonal variations. The activation of FT transcription by the fine-tuned CO protein enables plants to switch from vegetative growth to flowering under inductive environmental conditions. The present review briefly summarizes our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which the information of environmental stimuli is sensed and transduced to trigger FT induction in leaves.

  • MinireviewOctober 31, 2016

    2 46 1995

    Genetic Variations Leading to Familial Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    Kae Won Cho, Jongsung Lee, and Youngjo Kim

    Mol. Cells 2016; 39(10): 722-727 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2016.0061
    Abstract

    Abstract : Cardiomyopathy is a major cause of death worldwide. Based on pathohistological abnormalities and clinical manifestation, cardiomyopathies are categorized into several groups: hypertrophic, dilated, restricted, arrhythmogenic right ventricular, and unclassified. Dilated cardiomyopathy, which is characterized by dilation of the left ventricle and systolic dysfunction, is the most severe and prevalent form of cardiomyopathy and usually requires heart transplantation. Its etiology remains unclear. Recent genetic studies of single gene mutations have provided significant insights into the complex processes of cardiac dysfunction. To date, over 40 genes have been demonstrated to contribute to dilated cardiomyopathy. With advances in genetic screening techniques, novel genes associated with this disease are continuously being identified. The respective gene products can be classified into several functional groups such as sarcomere proteins, structural proteins, ion channels, and nuclear envelope proteins. Nuclear envelope proteins are emerging as potential molecular targets in dilated cardiomyopathy. Because they are not directly associated with contractile force generation and transmission, the molecular pathways through which these proteins cause cardiac muscle disorder remain unclear. However, nuclear envelope proteins are involved in many essential cellular processes. Therefore, integrating apparently distinct cellular processes is of great interest in elucidating the etiology of dilated cardiomyopathy. In this mini review, we summarize the genetic factors associated with dilated cardiomyopathy and discuss their cellular functions.

  • ArticleOctober 31, 2016

    8 43 884

    Gene Profiles in a Smoke-Induced COPD Mouse Lung Model Following Treatment with Mesenchymal Stem Cells

    You-Sun Kim, Nurdan Kokturk, Ji-Young Kim, Sei Won Lee, Jaeyun Lim, Soo Jin Choi, Wonil Oh, and Yeon-Mok Oh

    Mol. Cells 2016; 39(10): 728-733 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2016.0095
    Abstract

    Abstract : Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) effectively reduce airway inflammation and regenerate the alveolus in cigarette- and elastase-induced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) animal models. The effects of stem cells are thought to be paracrine and immune-modulatory because very few stem cells remain in the lung one day after their systemic injection, which has been demonstrated previously. In this report, we analyzed the gene expression profiles to compare mouse lungs with chronic exposure to cigarette smoke with non-exposed lungs. Gene expression profiling was also conducted in a mouse lung tissue with chronic exposure to cigarette smoke following the systemic injection of human cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hCB-MSCs). Globally, 834 genes were differentially expressed after systemic injection of hCB-MSCs. Seven and 21 genes, respectively, were up-and downregulated on days 1, 4, and 14 after HCB-MSC injection. The Hbb and Hba, genes with oxygen transport and antioxidant functions, were increased on days 1 and 14. A serine protease inhibitor was also increased at a similar time point after injection of hCB-MSCs. Gene Ontology analysis indicated that the levels of genes related to immune responses, metabolic processes, and blood vessel development were altered, indicating host responses after hCB-MSC injection. These gene expression changes suggest that MSCs induce a regeneration mechanism against COPD induced by cigarette smoke. These analyses provide basic data for understanding the regeneration mechanisms promoted by hCB-MSCs in cigarette smoke-induced COPD.

  • ArticleOctober 31, 2016

    23 150 2663
    Abstract

    Abstract : Granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) has a role in inducing emergency hematopoiesis upon exposure to inflammatory stimuli. Although GM-CSF generated murine bone marrow derived cells have been widely used as macrophages or dendritic cells in research, the exact characteristics of each cell population have not yet been defined. Here we discriminated GM-CSF grown bone marrow derived macrophages (GM-BMMs) from dendritic cells (GM-BMDCs) in several criteria. After C57BL/6J mice bone marrow cell culture for 7 days with GM-CSF supplementation, two main populations were observed in the attached cells based on MHCII and F4/80 marker expressions. GM-BMMs had MHCIIlowF4/80high as well as CD11c+CD11bhighCD80?CD64+MerTK+ phenotypes. In contrast, GM-BMDCs had MHCIIhighF4/80low and CD11chighCD8α? CD11b+CD80+CD64?MerTKlow phenotypes. Interestingly, the GM-BMM population increased but GM-BMDCs decreased in a GM-CSF dose-dependent manner. Functionally, GM-BMMs showed extremely high phagocytic abilities and produced higher IL-10 upon LPS stimulation. GM-BMDCs, however, could not phagocytose as well, but were efficient at producing TNFα, IL-1β, IL-12p70 and IL-6 as well as inducing T cell proliferation. Finally, whole transcriptome analysis revealed that GM-BMMs and GM-BMDCs are overlap with in vivo resident macrophages and dendritic cells, respectively. Taken together, our study shows the heterogeneicity of GM-CSF derived cell populations, and specifically characterizes GM-CSF derived macrophages compared to dendritic cells.

  • ArticleOctober 31, 2016

    13 25 866
    Abstract

    Abstract : The cancer chemo-preventive effects of equol have been demonstrated for a wide variety of experimental tumours. In a previous study, we found that equol inhibited proliferation and induced apoptotic death of human gastric cancer MGC-803 cells. However, the mechanisms underlying equol-mediated apoptosis have not been well understood. In the present study, the dual AO (acridine orange)/EB (ethidium bromide) fluorescent assay, the comet assay, MTS, western blotting and flow cytometric assays were performed to further investigate the pro-apoptotic effect of equol and its associated mechanisms in MGC-803 cells. The results demonstrated that equol induced an apoptotic nuclear morphology revealed by AO/EB staining, the presence of a comet tail, the cleavage of caspase-3 and PARP and the depletion of cIAP1, indicating its pro-apoptotic effect. In addition, equol-induced apoptosis involves the mitochondria-dependent cell-death pathway, evidenced by the depolarization of the mitochondrial membrane potential, the cleavage of caspase-9 and the depletion of Bcl-xL and full-length Bid. Moreover, treating MGC-803 cells with equol induced the sustained activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), and inhibiting ERK by U0126, a MEK/ERK pathway inhibitor, significantly attenuated the equol-induced cell apoptosis. These results suggest that equol induces mitochondria-dependent apoptosis in human gastric cancer MGC-803 cells via the sustained activation of the ERK1/2 pathway. Therefore, equol may be a novel candidate for the chemoprevention and therapy of gastric cancer.

  • ArticleOctober 31, 2016

    36 70 1519

    Innate Color Preference of Zebrafish and Its Use in Behavioral Analyses

    Jong-Su Park, Jae-Ho Ryu, Tae-Ik Choi, Young-Ki Bae, Suman Lee, Hae Jin Kang, and Cheol-Hee Kim

    Mol. Cells 2016; 39(10): 750-755 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2016.0173
    Abstract

    Abstract : Although innate color preference of motile organisms may provide clues to behavioral biases, it has remained a longstanding question. In this study, we investigated innate color preference of zebrafish larvae. A cross maze with different color sleeves around each arm was used for the color preference test (R; red, G; green, B; blue, Y; yellow). The findings showed that 5 dpf zebrafish larvae preferred blue over other colors (B > R > G > Y). To study innate color recognition further, tyrosinase mutants were generated using CRISPR/Cas9 system. As a model for oculocutaneous albinism (OCA) and color vision impairment, tyrosinase mutants demonstrated diminished color sensation, indicated mainly by hypopigmentation of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Due to its relative simplicity and ease, color preference screening using zebrafish larvae is suitable for high-throughput screening applications. This system may potentially be applied to the analysis of drug effects on larval behavior or the detection of sensory deficits in neurological disorder models, such as autism-related disorders, using mutant larvae generated by the CRISPR/Cas9 technique.

  • ArticleOctober 31, 2016

    4 22 542
    Abstract

    Abstract : We have identified 88 interactor candidates for human growth hormone (GH) by the yeast two-hybrid assay. Among those, we focused our efforts on carboxypeptidase E (CPE), which has been thought to play a key role in sorting prohormones, such as pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), to regulated secretory vesicles. We found that CPE co-localizes with and interacts with GH in AtT20 pituitary cells. Downregulation of CPE led to decreased levels of GH secretion, consistent with involvement of CPE in GH sorting/secretion. Our binding assay in vitro with bacterially expressed proteins suggested that GH directly interacts with CPE but in a manner different from POMC.

  • ArticleOctober 31, 2016

    2 42 743

    MICAL-like Regulates Fasciclin II Membrane Cycling and Synaptic Development

    Minyeop Nahm, Sunyoung Park, Jihye Lee, and Seungbok Lee

    Mol. Cells 2016; 39(10): 762-767 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2016.0203
    Abstract

    Abstract : Fasciclin II (FasII), the Drosophila ortholog of neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), plays a critical role in synaptic stabilization and plasticity. Although this molecule undergoes constitutive cycling at the synaptic membrane, how its membrane trafficking is regulated to ensure proper synaptic development remains poorly understood. In a genetic screen, we recovered a mutation in Drosophila mical-like that displays an increase in bouton numbers and a decrease in FasII levels at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Similar phenotypes were induced by presynaptic, but not postsynaptic, knockdown of mical-like expression. FasII trafficking assays revealed that the recycling of internalized FasII molecules to the cell surface was significantly impaired in mical-like-knockdown cells. Importantly, this defect correlated with an enhancement of endosomal sorting of FasII to the lysosomal degradation pathway. Similarly, synaptic vesicle exocytosis was also impaired in mical-like mutants. Together, our results identify Mical-like as a novel regulator of synaptic growth and FasII endocytic recycling.

  • ArticleOctober 31, 2016

    5 41 914

    Optimized Methods for the Isolation of Arabidopsis Female Central Cells and Their Nuclei

    Kyunghyuk Park, Jennifer M. Frost, Adam James Adair, Dong Min Kim, Hyein Yun, Janie S. Brooks, Robert L. Fischer, and Yeonhee Choi

    Mol. Cells 2016; 39(10): 768-775 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2016.0209
    Abstract

    Abstract : The Arabidopsis female gametophyte contains seven cells with eight haploid nuclei buried within layers of sporophytic tissue. Following double fertilization, the egg and central cells of the gametophyte develop into the embryo and endosperm of the seed, respectively. The epigenetic status of the central cell has long presented an enigma due both to its inaccessibility, and the fascinating epigenome of the endosperm, thought to have been inherited from the central cell following activity of the DEMETER demethylase enzyme, prior to fertilization. Here, we present for the first time, a method to isolate pure populations of Arabidopsis central cell nuclei. Utilizing a protocol designed to isolate leaf mesophyll protoplasts, we systematically optimized each step in order to efficiently separate central cells from the female gametophyte. We use initial manual pistil dissection followed by the derivation of central cell protoplasts, during which process the central cell emerges from the micropylar pole of the embryo sac. Then, we use a modified version of the Isolation of Nuclei TAgged in specific Cell Types (INTACT) protocol to purify central cell nuclei, resulting in a purity of 75?90% and a yield sufficient to undertake downstream molecular analyses. We find that the process is highly dependent on the health of the original plant tissue used, and the efficiency of protoplasting solution infiltration into the gametophyte. By isolating pure central cell populations, we have enabled elucidation of the physiology of this rare cell type, which in the future will provide novel insights into Arabidopsis reproduction.

Mol. Cells
Nov 30, 2021 Vol.44 No.11
COVER PICTURE
3D quantitative images of the vesicular structure and the nucleolus using label free optical diffraction tomography (Kim et al., pp. 851-860).

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