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Severe bronchospasm refractory to β-agonists is a challenging aspect of asthma therapy, and novel therapeutics are needed. β-agonist-induced airway smooth muscle (ASM) relaxation is associated with increases in the phosphorylation of the small heat shock-related protein (HSP) 20. We hypothesized that a transducible phosphopeptide mimetic of HSP20 (P20 peptide) causes relaxation of human ASM (HASM) by interacting with target(s) downstream of the β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) pathway. The effect of the P20 peptide on ASM contractility was determined in human and porcine ASM using a muscle bath. The effect of the P20 peptide on filamentous actin dynamics and migration was examined in intact porcine ASM and cultured primary HASM cells. The efficacy of the P20 peptide in vivo on airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) was determined in an ovalbumin (OVA) sensitization and challenge murine model of allergic airway inflammation. P20 peptide caused dose-dependent relaxation of carbachol-precontracted ASM and blocked carbachol-induced contraction. The β2AR inhibitor, (±)-1-[2,3-(dihydro-7-methyl-1H-inden-4-yl)oxy]-3-[(1-methylethyl)amino]-2-butanol hydrochloride (ICI 118,551), abrogated isoproterenol but not P20 peptide-mediated relaxation. The P20 peptide decreased filamentous actin levels in intact ASM, disrupted stress fibers, and inhibited platelet-derived growth factor-induced migration of HASM cells. The P20 peptide treatment reduced methacholine-induced AHR in OVA mice without affecting the inflammatory response. These results suggest that the P20 peptide decreased airway constriction and disrupted stress fibers through regulation of the actin cytoskeleton downstream of β2AR. Thus, the P20 peptide may be a potential therapeutic for asthma refractory to β-agonists.
Suppressing anxiety and fear memory relies on bidirectional projections between the medial prefrontal cortex and the amygdala. Positive allosteric modulators of mGluR5 improve cognition in animal models of schizophrenia and retrieval of newly formed associations such as extinction of fear-conditioned behaviour. The increase in neuronal network activities of the medial prefrontal cortex is influenced by both mGluR1 and mGluR5; however, it is not well understood how they modulate network activities and downstream information processing. To map mGluR5-mediated network activity in relation to its emergence as a viable cognitive enhancer, we tested group I mGluR compounds on medial prefrontal cortex network activity via multi-electrode array neuronal spiking and whole-cell patch clamp recordings. Results indicate that mGluR5 activation promotes feed-forward inhibition that depends on recruitment of neuronal activity by carbachol-evoked up states. The rate of neuronal spiking activity under the influence of carbachol was reduced by the mGluR5 positive allosteric modulator, N-(1,3-Diphenyl-1H-pyrazolo-5-yl)-4-nitrobenzamide (VU-29), and enhanced by the mGluR5 negative allosteric modulator, 3-((2-methyl-1,3-thiazol-4-yl)ethynyl)pyridine hydrochloride (MTEP). Spontaneous inhibitory post-synaptic currents were increased upon application of carbachol and in combination with VU-29. These results emphasize a bias towards tonic mGluR5-mediated inhibition that might serve as a signal-to-noise enhancer of sensory inputs projected from associated limbic areas onto the medial prefrontal cortex neuronal microcircuit.
© The Author(s) 2014.
Release of neurotransmitters and hormones by calcium-regulated exocytosis is a fundamental cellular process that is disrupted in a variety of psychiatric, neurological, and endocrine disorders. As such, there is significant interest in targeting neurosecretion for drug and therapeutic development, efforts that will be aided by novel analytical tools and devices that provide mechanistic insight coupled with increased experimental throughput. Here, we report a simple, inexpensive, reusable, microfluidic device designed to analyze catecholamine secretion from small populations of adrenal chromaffin cells in real time, an important neuroendocrine component of the sympathetic nervous system and versatile neurosecretory model. The device is fabricated by replica molding of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) using patterned photoresist on silicon wafer as the master. Microfluidic inlet channels lead to an array of U-shaped "cell traps", each capable of immobilizing single or small groups of chromaffin cells. The bottom of the device is a glass slide with patterned thin film platinum electrodes used for electrochemical detection of catecholamines in real time. We demonstrate reliable loading of the device with small populations of chromaffin cells, and perfusion/repetitive stimulation with physiologically relevant secretagogues (carbachol, PACAP, KCl) using the microfluidic network. Evoked catecholamine secretion was reproducible over multiple rounds of stimulation, and graded as expected to different concentrations of secretagogue or removal of extracellular calcium. Overall, we show this microfluidic device can be used to implement complex stimulation paradigms and analyze the amount and kinetics of catecholamine secretion from small populations of neuroendocrine cells in real time.
TP508, a 23-amino acid RGD-containing synthetic peptide representing residues 508 to 530 of human prothrombin, mitigates the effects of endothelial dysfunction in ischaemic reperfusion injury. The objective of this study was to investigate whether TP508 binds to members of the integrin family of transmembrane receptors leading to nitric oxide synthesis. Immobilised TP508 supported adhesion of endothelial cells and alphavbeta3-expressing human embryonic kidney cells in a dose- and RGD-dependent manner. Soluble TP508 also inhibited cell adhesion to immobilised fibrinogen. The involvement of alphavbeta3 was verified with function-blocking antibodies and surface plasmon resonance studies. Adhesion of the cells to immobilised TP508 resulted in an induction of phosphorylated FAK and ERK1/2. In endothelial cells, TP508 treatment resulted in an induction of nitric oxide that could be inhibited by LM609, an alphavbeta3-specific, function-blocking monoclonal antibody. Finally, TP508 treatment of isolated rat aorta segments enhanced carbachol-induced vasorelaxation. These results suggest that TP508 elicits a potentially therapeutic effect through an RGD-dependent interaction with integrin alphavbeta3.
The group III metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) represent a family of presynaptically expressed G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) with enormous therapeutic potential; however, robust cellular assays to study their function have been difficult to develop. We present here a new assay, compatible with traditional high-throughput screening platforms, to detect activity of pharmacological ligands interacting with G(i/o)-coupled GPCRs, including the group III mGluRs 4, 7, and 8. The assay takes advantage of the ability of the Gbetagamma subunits of G(i) and G(o) heterotrimers to interact with G-protein regulated inwardly rectifying potassium channels (GIRKs), and we show here that we are able to detect the activity of multiple types of pharmacophores including agonists, antagonists, and allosteric modulators of several distinct GPCRs. Using GIRK-mediated thallium flux, we perform a side-by-side comparison of the activity of a number of commercially available compounds, some of which have not been extensively evaluated because of the previous lack of robust assays at each of the three major group III mGluRs. It is noteworthy that several compounds previously considered to be general group III mGluR antagonists have very weak activity using this assay, suggesting the possibility that these compounds may not effectively inhibit these receptors in native systems. We anticipate that the GIRK-mediated thallium flux strategy will provide a novel tool to advance the study of G(i/o)-coupled GPCR biology and promote ligand discovery and characterization.
Glucose stimulates both insulin secretion and hydrolysis of arachidonic acid (AA) esterified in membrane phospholipids of pancreatic islet beta-cells, and these processes are amplified by muscarinic agonists. Here we demonstrate that nonesterified AA regulates the biophysical activity of the pancreatic islet beta-cell-delayed rectifier channel, Kv2.1. Recordings of Kv2.1 currents from INS-1 insulinoma cells incubated with AA (5 mum) and subjected to graded degrees of depolarization exhibit a significantly shorter time-to-peak current interval than do control cells. AA causes a rapid decay and reduced peak conductance of delayed rectifier currents from INS-1 cells and from primary beta-cells isolated from mouse, rat, and human pancreatic islets. Stimulating mouse islets with AA results in a significant increase in the frequency of glucose-induced [Ca(2+)] oscillations, which is an expected effect of Kv2.1 channel blockade. Stimulation with concentrations of glucose and carbachol that accelerate hydrolysis of endogenous AA from islet phosphoplipids also results in accelerated Kv2.1 inactivation and a shorter time-to-peak current interval. Group VIA phospholipase A(2) (iPLA(2)beta) hydrolyzes beta-cell membrane phospholipids to release nonesterified fatty acids, including AA, and inhibiting iPLA(2)beta prevents the muscarinic agonist-induced accelerated Kv2.1 inactivation. Furthermore, glucose and carbachol do not significantly affect Kv2.1 inactivation in beta-cells from iPLA(2)beta(-/-) mice. Stably transfected INS-1 cells that overexpress iPLA(2)beta hydrolyze phospholipids more rapidly than control INS-1 cells and also exhibit an increase in the inactivation rate of the delayed rectifier currents. These results suggest that Kv2.1 currents could be dynamically modulated in the pancreatic islet beta-cell by phospholipase-catalyzed hydrolysis of membrane phospholipids to yield non-esterified fatty acids, such as AA, that facilitate Ca(2+) entry and insulin secretion.
Aspartyl protease inhibitors (APIs) effectively extend the length and quality of life in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients, but dose-limiting side effects such as lipodystrophy, insulin resistance, and diarrhea have limited their clinical utility. Here, we show that the API nelfinavir induces a secretory form of diarrhea in HIV-infected patients. In vitro studies demonstrate that nelfinavir potentiates muscarinic stimulation of Cl(-) secretion by T84 human intestinal cell monolayers through amplification and prolongation of an apical membrane Ca(2+)-dependent Cl(-) conductance. This stimulated ion secretion is associated with increased magnitude and duration of muscarinically induced intracellular Ca(2+) transients via activation of a long-lived, store-operated Ca(2+) entry pathway. The enhanced intracellular Ca(2+) signal is associated with uncoupling of the Cl(-) conductance from downregulatory intracellular mediators generated normally by muscarinic activation. These data show that APIs modulate Ca(2+) signaling in secretory epithelial cells and identify a novel target for treatment of clinically important API side effects.
The negative chronotropic response of the heart to parasympathetic stimulation is mediated via the interaction of M(2) muscarinic receptors, Galpha(i2) and the G-protein coupled inward rectifying K(+) channel, GIRK1. Here TGFbeta(1) is shown to decrease the expression of Galpha(i2) in cultured chick atrial cells in parallel with attenuation of the negative chronotropic response to parasympathetic stimulation. The response to the acetylcholine analogue, carbamylcholine, decreased from a 95+/-2% (+/-SEM, n=8) inhibition of beat rate in control cells to 18+/-2% (+/-SEM,n =8) in TGFbeta(1) treated cells. Data support the conclusion that TGFbeta regulation of Galpha(i2) expression was mediated via an effect on Ras. TGFbeta(1) inhibited Galpha(i2) promoter activity by 56+/-6% (+/-SEM, n=4) compared to control. A dominant activating Ras mutant reversed the effect of TGFbeta on Galpha(i2) expression and stimulated Galpha(i2) promoter activity 1.7 fold above control. A dominant negative Ras mutant mimicked the effect of TGFbeta(1) on Galpha(i2) promoter activity. TGFbeta had no effect on the ratio of GDP/GTP bound Ras, but markedly decreased the level of membrane associated Ras and increased the level of cytoplasmic Ras compared to control. Furthermore, farnesol, a precursor to farnesylpyrophosphate, the substrate for the farnesylation of Ras, not only reversed TGFbeta(1) inhibition of Ras localization to the membrane, but also reversed TGFbeta(1) inhibition of Galpha(i2)promoter activity. FTI-277, a specific inhibitor of the farnesylation of Ras, mimicked the effect of TGFbeta(1) on Ras localization and Galpha(i2) promoter activity. These data suggest a novel relationship between TGFbeta signaling, regulation of Ras function and the autonomic response of the heart.
The ATP-sensitive potassium channel is a key molecular complex for glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in pancreatic beta cells. In humans, mutations in either of the two subunits for this channel, the sulfonylurea type 1 receptor (Sur1) or Kir6.2, cause persistent hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia of infancy. We have generated and characterized Sur1 null mice. Interestingly, these animals remain euglycemic for a large portion of their life despite constant depolarization of membrane, elevated cytoplasmic free Ca(2+) concentrations, and intact sensitivity of the exocytotic machinery to Ca(2+). A comparison of glucose- and meal-stimulated insulin secretion showed that, although Sur1 null mice do not secrete insulin in response to glucose, they secrete nearly normal amounts of insulin in response to feeding. Because Sur1 null mice lack an insulin secretory response to GLP-1, even though their islets exhibit a normal rise in cAMP by GLP-1, we tested their response to cholinergic stimulation. We found that perfused Sur1 null pancreata secreted insulin in response to the cholinergic agonist carbachol in a glucose-dependent manner. Together, these findings suggest that cholinergic stimulation is one of the mechanisms that compensate for the severely impaired response to glucose and GLP-1 brought on by the absence of Sur1, thereby allowing euglycemia to be maintained.
We examined expression, function, and regulation of the cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 gene in gastric parietal cells. COX-2-specific mRNA was isolated from purified (>95%) canine gastric parietal cells in primary culture and measured by Northern blots using a human COX-2 cDNA probe. Carbachol was the most potent inducer of COX-2 gene expression. Gastrin and histamine exhibited minor stimulatory effects. Carbachol-stimulated expression was inhibited by intracellular Ca(2+) chelator 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid-AM (90%), protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor GF-109203X (48%), and p38 kinase inhibitor SB-203580 (48%). Nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB inhibitor 1-pyrrolidinecarbodithioic acid inhibited carbachol-stimulated expression by 80%. Similar results were observed in the presence of adenoviral vector Ad.dom.neg.IkappaB, which expresses a repressor of NF-kappaB. Addition of SB-203580 with Ad.dom.neg.IkappaB almost completely blocked carbachol stimulation of COX-2 gene expression. We examined the effect of carbachol on PGE(2) release by enzyme-linked immunoassay. Carbachol induced PGE(2) release. Ad.dom.neg.IkappaB, alone or with SB-203580, produced, respectively, partial (70%) and almost complete (>80%) inhibition of carbachol-stimulated PGE(2) production. Selective COX-2 inhibitor NS-398 blocked carbachol-stimulated PGE(2) release without affecting basal PGE(2) production. In contrast, indomethacin inhibited both basal and carbachol-stimulated PGE(2) release. Carbachol induces COX-2 gene expression in the parietal cells through signaling pathways that involve intracellular Ca(2+), PKC, p38 kinase, and activation of NF-kappaB. The functional significance of these effects seems to be stimulation of PGE(2) release.