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The breakdown of long-lived proteins (LLPs) is associated with aging, as well as disease; however, our understanding of the molecular processes involved is still limited. Of particular relevance, cross-linked proteins are often reported in aged tissues but the mechanisms for their formation are poorly understood. In the present study, sites of protein cross-linking in human ocular lenses were characterized using proteomic techniques. In long-lived lens proteins, several sites of cross-linking were found to involve the addition of Lys to Asp or Asn residues. Using model peptides containing Asp or Asn, a mechanism was elucidated that involves a succinimide intermediate. Succinimides formed readily from Asn at neutral pH, whereas a higher rate of formation from Asp peptides was observed at more acidic pHs. Succinimides were found to be relatively stable in the absence of nucleophiles. Since racemization of Asp residues, as well as deamidation of Asn, involves a succinimide intermediate, sites of d-Asp and isoAsp in LLPs should also be considered as potential sites of protein covalent cross-linking.
© 2018 The Author(s). Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.
Cytochrome P450 46A1 (CYP46A1, cholesterol 24-hydroxylase) is the enzyme responsible for the majority of cholesterol elimination from the brain. Previously, we found that the anti-HIV drug efavirenz (EFV) can pharmacologically activate CYP46A1 in mice. Herein, we investigated whether CYP46A1 could also be activated by endogenous compounds, including major neurotransmitters. experiments with purified recombinant CYP46A1 indicated that CYP46A1 is activated by l-glutamate (l-Glu), l-aspartate, γ-aminobutyric acid, and acetylcholine, with l-Glu eliciting the highest increase (3-fold) in CYP46A1-mediated cholesterol 24-hydroxylation. We also found that l-Glu and other activating neurotransmitters bind to the same site on the CYP46A1 surface, which differs from the EFV-binding site. The other principal differences between EFV and l-Glu in CYP46A1 activation include an apparent lack of l-Glu binding to the P450 active site and different pathways of signal transduction from the allosteric site to the active site. EFV and l-Glu similarly increased the CYP46A1 , the rate of the "fast" phase of the enzyme reduction by the redox partner NADPH-cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase, and the amount of P450 reduced. Spectral titrations with cholesterol, in the presence of EFV or l-Glu, suggest that water displacement from the heme iron can be affected in activator-bound CYP46A1. Moreover, EFV and l-Glu synergistically activated CYP46A1. Collectively, our data, along with those from previous cell culture and studies by others, suggest that l-Glu-induced CYP46A1 activation is of physiological relevance.
© 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Physical exercise may provide protection against the cognitive decline and neuropathology associated with Alzheimer's disease, although the mechanisms are not clear. In the present study, APP/PSEN1 double-transgenic and wild-type mice were allowed unlimited voluntary exercise for 7months. Consistent with previous reports, wheel-running improved cognition in the double-transgenic mice. Interestingly, the average daily distance run was strongly correlated with spatial memory in the water maze in wild-type mice (r(2)=.959), but uncorrelated in transgenics (r(2)=.013). Proteomics analysis showed that sedentary transgenic mice differed significantly from sedentary wild-types with respect to proteins involved in synaptic transmission, cytoskeletal regulation, and neurogenesis. When given an opportunity to exercise, the transgenics' deficiencies in cytoskeletal regulation and neurogenesis largely normalized, but abnormal synaptic proteins did not change. In contrast, exercise enhanced proteins associated with cytoskeletal regulation, oxidative phosphorylation, and synaptic transmission in wild-type mice. Soluble and insoluble Aβ40 and Aβ42 levels were significantly decreased in both cortex and hippocampus of active transgenics, suggesting that this may have played a role in the cognitive improvement in APP/PSEN1 mice. β-secretase was significantly reduced in active APP/PSEN1 mice compared to sedentary controls, suggesting a mechanism for reduced Aβ. Taken together, these data illustrate that exercise improves memory in wild-type and APP-overexpressing mice in fundamentally different ways.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Napsin A and α-methylacyl-coenzyme A racemase (AMACR, P504S) have recently been described as being frequently expressed in clear cell carcinomas (CCC) of the gynecological tract. The present study was conducted to assess the test performance of these newer markers relative to the more traditional marker, hepatocyte nuclear factor 1β (HNF1β), in a large and histotypically diverse dataset. A total of 279 ovarian tumours in tissue microarrays were immunohistochemically assessed for the expression of Napsin A, AMACR and HNF1β. HNF1β, Napsin A and AMACR were expressed in 92%, 82% and 63% of 65 CCC, 7%, 1% and 1% of 101 serous carcinomas, 37%, 5.3% and 0% of 19 endometrioid carcinomas, 60%, 0% and 0% of 45 mucinous tumours, 100%, 0% and 0% of seven yolk sac tumours, and 0%, 16.7% and 16.7% of six steroid cell tumours NOS, respectively. All other tumours, including 18 adult-type granulosa cell tumours, eight dysgerminomas and nine other miscellaneous tumour types were negative for all three markers. Using a benchmark of ≥1% of tumour cells for positivity and CCC as the diagnostic end-point, the sensitivity, specificity, negative predictive value and positive predictive value of Napsin A expression were 0.82, 0.99, 0.94, and 0.98, respectively (odds ratio 439, p < 0.0001). Respective parameters were 0.92, 0.79, 0.97, and 0.58 (odds ratio 44, p < 0.0001) for HNF1β and 0.63, 0.99, 0.89, and 0.5 (odds ratio 112, p < 0.0001) for AMACR. The combination of any two positive markers, irrespective of the staining pattern of the third, significantly predicted the CCC histotype in every analytic scenario. In summary, HNF1β is highly sensitive but is suboptimally specific in isolation, whereas AMACR is highly specific but is suboptimally sensitive. Napsin A is specific but of intermediate sensitivity. Napsin A, AMACR and HNF1β are all viable markers of CCC that can be deployed as components of larger panels when CCC is a diagnostic consideration.
BACKGROUND - Prenatal alcohol exposure has been linked to impairment in cerebellar structure and function, including eyeblink conditioning. The deep cerebellar nuclei, which play a critical role in cerebellar-mediated learning, receive extensive inputs from brain stem and cerebellar cortex and provide the point of origin for most of the output fibers to other regions of the brain. We used in vivo (1) H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to examine effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on neurochemistry in this important cerebellar region.
METHODS - MRS data from the deep cerebellar nuclei were acquired from 37 children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure and 17 non- or minimally exposed controls from the Cape Coloured (mixed ancestry) community in Cape Town, South Africa.
RESULTS - Increased maternal alcohol consumption around time of conception was associated with lower N-Acetylaspartate (NAA) levels in the deep nuclei (r = -0.33, p < 0.05). Higher levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy were related to lower levels of the choline-containing metabolites (r = -0.37, p < 0.01), glycerophosphocholine plus phosphocholine (Cho). Alcohol consumption levels both at conception (r = 0.35, p < 0.01) and during pregnancy (r = 0.38, p < 0.01) were related to higher levels of glutamate plus glutamine (Glx). All these effects continued to be significant after controlling for potential confounders.
CONCLUSIONS - The lower NAA levels seen in relation to prenatal alcohol exposure may reflect impaired neuronal integrity in the deep cerebellar nuclei. Our finding of lower Cho points to disrupted Cho metabolism of membrane phospholipids, reflecting altered neuropil development with potentially reduced content of dendrites and synapses. The alcohol-related alterations in Glx may suggest a disruption of the glutamate-glutamine cycling involved in glutamatergic excitatory neurotransmission.
Copyright © 2014 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.
Commonly used neuroimaging approaches in humans exploit hemodynamic or metabolic indicators of brain function. However, fundamental gaps remain in our ability to relate such hemo-metabolic reactivity to neurotransmission, with recent reports providing paradoxical information regarding the relationship among basal perfusion, functional imaging contrast, and neurotransmission in awake humans. Here, sequential magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) measurements of the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA+macromolecules normalized by the complex N-acetyl aspartate-N-acetyl aspartyl glutamic acid: [GABA(+)]/[NAA-NAAG]), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements of perfusion, fractional gray-matter volume, and arterial arrival time (AAT) are recorded in human visual cortex from a controlled cohort of young adult male volunteers with neurocognitive battery-confirmed comparable cognitive capacity (3 T; n=16; age=23±3 years). Regression analyses reveal an inverse correlation between [GABA(+)]/[NAA-NAAG] and perfusion (R=-0.46; P=0.037), yet no relationship between AAT and [GABA(+)]/[NAA-NAAG] (R=-0.12; P=0.33). Perfusion measurements that do not control for AAT variations reveal reduced correlations between [GABA(+)]/[NAA-NAAG] and perfusion (R=-0.13; P=0.32). These findings largely reconcile contradictory reports between perfusion and inhibitory tone, and underscore the physiologic origins of the growing literature relating functional imaging signals, hemodynamics, and neurotransmission.
Maternal metabolism during pregnancy impacts the developing fetus, affecting offspring birth weight and adiposity. This has important implications for metabolic health later in life (e.g., offspring of mothers with pre-existing or gestational diabetes mellitus have an increased risk of metabolic disorders in childhood). To identify genetic loci associated with measures of maternal metabolism obtained during an oral glucose tolerance test at ∼28 weeks' gestation, we performed a genome-wide association study of 4,437 pregnant mothers of European (n = 1,367), Thai (n = 1,178), Afro-Caribbean (n = 1,075), and Hispanic (n = 817) ancestry, along with replication of top signals in three additional European ancestry cohorts. In addition to identifying associations with genes previously implicated with measures of glucose metabolism in nonpregnant populations, we identified two novel genome-wide significant associations: 2-h plasma glucose and HKDC1, and fasting C-peptide and BACE2. These results suggest that the genetic architecture underlying glucose metabolism may differ, in part, in pregnancy.
OBJECTIVE - There is significant evidence for a central role of inflammation in the development of Alzheimer disease (AD). Epidemiological studies indicate that chronic use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduces the risk of developing AD in healthy aging populations. As NSAIDs inhibit the enzymatic activity of the inflammatory cyclooxygenases COX-1 and COX-2, these findings suggest that downstream prostaglandin signaling pathways function in the preclinical development of AD. Here, we investigate the function of prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2) ) signaling through its EP3 receptor in the neuroinflammatory response to Aβ peptide.
METHODS - The function of PGE(2) signaling through its EP3 receptor was examined in vivo in a model of subacute neuroinflammation induced by administration of Aβ(42) peptides. Our findings were then confirmed in young adult APPSwe-PS1ΔE9 transgenic mice.
RESULTS - Deletion of the PGE(2) EP3 receptor in a model of Aβ(42) peptide-induced neuroinflammation reduced proinflammatory gene expression, cytokine production, and oxidative stress. In the APPSwe-PS1ΔE9 model of familial AD, deletion of the EP3 receptor blocked induction of proinflammatory gene and protein expression and lipid peroxidation. In addition, levels of Aβ peptides were significantly decreased, as were β-secretase and β C-terminal fragment levels, suggesting that generation of Aβ peptides may be increased as a result of proinflammatory EP3 signaling. Finally, deletion of EP3 receptor significantly reversed the decline in presynaptic proteins seen in APPSwe-PS1ΔE9 mice.
INTERPRETATION - Our findings identify the PGE(2) EP3 receptor as a novel proinflammatory, proamyloidogenic, and synaptotoxic signaling pathway, and suggest a role for COX-PGE(2) -EP3 signaling in the development of AD.
Copyright © 2012 American Neurological Association.
TTF-1 and napsin A are useful biomarkers for differentiating primary lung adenocarcinoma from metastatic tumors. Studies have shown, however, that TTF-1 and napsin A also can be expressed in extrapulmonary carcinomas, and that a small fraction of primary lung adenocarcinomas do not co-express these two markers. We attempted to determine whether a tissue-specific transcriptional factor, PAX8, can help determine primary sites of lung carcinomas. Immunohistochemical stains for PAX8, TTF-1 and napsin A were performed on 103 cases of metastatic lung carcinomas from a variety of origins and 120 cases of primary lung adenocarcinomas. Our data demonstrated that all 103 metastatic carcinomas were negative for napsin A, while 14 (13.6%; four thyroid, two endometrium, three colon, one prostate, one salivary adenoid cystic, two renal cell carcinomas, and one ovary) showed weak to strong TTF-1 nuclear staining in 5-60% of the tumor cells. All primary lung adenocarcinomas were negative for PAX8, whereas 46 (44.7%) metastatic carcinomas from the kidney (29/33), ovary (6/8), endometrium (5/5), endocervix (1/1), thyroid (4/5) and urinary tract (1/3) were positive for PAX8. Our data demonstrate that of combined use of PAX8, TTF-1 and napsin A is reliable to separate reliably lung primary from metastatic tumors.
Activating mutations in the Kras gene are commonly found in some but not all epithelial cancers. In order to understand the susceptibility of different epithelial tissues to Kras-induced tumorigenesis, we introduced one of the most common Kras mutations, Kras(G12D), broadly in epithelial tissues. We used a mouse model in which the G12D mutation is placed in the endogenous Kras locus controlled by inducible, Cre-mediated recombination in tissues expressing cytokeratin 19 including the oral cavity, GI tract, lungs, and ducts of the liver, kidney, and the pancreas. Introduction of the Kras(G12D) mutation in adult mouse tissues led to neoplastic changes in some but not all of these tissues. Notably, many hyperplasias, metaplasias and adenomas were observed in the oral cavity, stomach, colon and lungs, suggesting that exposure to products of the outside environment promotes Kras(G12D)-initiated tumorigenesis. However, environmental exposure did not consistently correlate with tumor formation, such as in the small intestine, suggesting that there are also intrinsic differences in susceptibility to Kras activation. The pancreas developed small numbers of mucinous metaplasias with characteristics of early stage pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasms (PanINs), supporting the hypothesis that pancreatic ducts have the potential to give rise pancreatic cancer.