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A fiber optic probe-based Raman spectroscopy system using a single laser module with two excitation wavelengths, at 680 and 785 nm, has been developed for measuring the fingerprint and high wavenumber regions using a single detector. This system is simpler and less expensive than previously reported configurations of combined fingerprint and high wavenumber Raman systems, and its probe-based implementation facilitates numerous in vivo applications. The high wavenumber region of the Raman spectrum ranges from 2800-3800 cm-1 and contains valuable information corresponding to the molecular vibrations of proteins, lipids, and water, which is complimentary to the biochemical signatures found in the fingerprint region (800-1800 cm-1), which probes DNA, lipids, and proteins. The efficacy of the system is demonstrated by tracking changes in water content in tissue-mimicking phantoms, where Voigtian decomposition of the high wavenumber water peak revealed a correlation between the water content and type of water-tissue interactions in the samples. This dual wavelength system was then used for in vivo assessment of cervical remodeling during mouse pregnancy, a physiologic process with known changes in tissue hydration. The system shows that Raman spectroscopy is sensitive to changes in collagen content in the fingerprint region and hydration state in the high wavenumber region, which was verified using an ex vivo comparison of wet and dry weight. Simultaneous fingerprint and high wavenumber Raman spectroscopy will allow precise in vivo quantification of tissue water content in the high wavenumber region, paired with the high biochemical specificity of the fingerprint region.
Metastasis is the most lethal aspect of cancer, yet current therapeutic strategies do not target its key rate-limiting steps. We have previously shown that the entry of cancer cells into the blood stream, or intravasation, is highly dependent upon in vivo cancer cell motility, making it an attractive therapeutic target. To systemically identify genes required for tumor cell motility in an in vivo tumor microenvironment, we established a novel quantitative in vivo screening platform based on intravital imaging of human cancer metastasis in ex ovo avian embryos. Utilizing this platform to screen a genome-wide shRNA library, we identified a panel of novel genes whose function is required for productive cancer cell motility in vivo, and whose expression is closely associated with metastatic risk in human cancers. The RNAi-mediated inhibition of these gene targets resulted in a nearly total (>99.5%) block of spontaneous cancer metastasis in vivo.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW - While thinning of the cortices or trabeculae weakens bone, age-related changes in matrix composition also lower fracture resistance. This review summarizes how the organic matrix, mineral phase, and water compartments influence the mechanical behavior of bone, thereby identifying characteristics important to fracture risk.
RECENT FINDINGS - In the synthesis of the organic matrix, tropocollagen experiences various post-translational modifications that facilitate a highly organized fibril of collagen I with a preferred orientation giving bone extensibility and several toughening mechanisms. Being a ceramic, mineral is brittle but increases the strength of bone as its content within the organic matrix increases. With time, hydroxyapatite-like crystals experience carbonate substitutions, the consequence of which remains to be understood. Water participates in hydrogen bonding with organic matrix and in electrostatic attractions with mineral phase, thereby providing stability to collagen-mineral interface and ductility to bone. Clinical tools sensitive to age- and disease-related changes in matrix composition that the affect mechanical behavior of bone could potentially improve fracture risk assessment.
The COPII coat complex, which mediates secretory cargo trafficking from the endoplasmic reticulum, is a key control point for subcellular protein targeting. Because misdirected proteins cannot function, protein sorting by COPII is critical for establishing and maintaining normal cell and tissue homeostasis. Indeed, mutations in COPII genes cause a range of human pathologies, including cranio-lenticulo-sutural dysplasia (CLSD), which is characterized by collagen trafficking defects, craniofacial abnormalities, and skeletal dysmorphology. Detailed knowledge of the COPII pathway is required to understand its role in normal cell physiology and to devise new treatments for disorders in which it is disrupted. However, little is known about how vertebrates dynamically regulate COPII activity in response to developmental, metabolic, or pathological cues. Several COPII proteins are modified by O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc), a dynamic form of intracellular protein glycosylation, but the biochemical and functional effects of these modifications remain unclear. Here, we use a combination of chemical, biochemical, cellular, and genetic approaches to demonstrate that site-specific O-GlcNAcylation of COPII proteins mediates their protein-protein interactions and modulates cargo secretion. In particular, we show that individual O-GlcNAcylation sites of SEC23A, an essential COPII component, are required for its function in human cells and vertebrate development, because mutation of these sites impairs SEC23A-dependent in vivo collagen trafficking and skeletogenesis in a zebrafish model of CLSD. Our results indicate that O-GlcNAc is a conserved and critical regulatory modification in the vertebrate COPII-dependent trafficking pathway.
Cell migration in a three-dimensional matrix requires that cells either remodel the surrounding matrix fibers and/or squeeze between the fibers to move. Matrix degradation, matrix remodeling, and changes in cell shape each require cells to expend energy. While significant research has been performed to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms guiding metastatic migration, less is known about cellular energy regulation and utilization during three-dimensional cancer cell migration. Here we introduce the use of the genetically encoded fluorescent biomarkers, PercevalHR and pHRed, to quantitatively assess ATP, ADP, and pH levels in MDA-MB-231 metastatic cancer cells as a function of the local collagen microenvironment. We find that the use of the probe is an effective tool for exploring the thermodynamics of cancer cell migration and invasion. Specifically, we find that the ATP:ADP ratio increases in cells in denser matrices, where migration is impaired, and it decreases in cells in aligned collagen matrices, where migration is facilitated. When migration is pharmacologically inhibited, the ATP:ADP ratio decreases. Together, our data indicate that matrix architecture alters cellular energetics and that intracellular ATP:ADP ratio is related to the ability of cancer cells to effectively migrate.
© 2018 Zanotelli, Goldblatt, Miller, et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Wound healing is a complex process marked by highly coordinated immune fluxes into an area of tissue injury; these are required for re-establishment of normal tissue integrity. Along with this cascade of cellular players, wound healing also requires coordinated flux through a number of biochemical pathways, leading to synthesis of collagen and recycling or removal of damaged tissues. The availability of nutrients, especially amino acids, is critical for wound healing, and enteral supplementation has been intensely studied as a potential mechanism to augment wound healing-either by increasing tensile strength, decreasing healing time, or both. From a practical standpoint, although enteral nutrient supplementation may seem like a reasonable strategy to augment healing, a number of biochemical and physiologic barriers exist that limit this strategy. In this critical review, the physiology of enteral amino acid metabolism and supplementation and challenges therein are discussed in the context of splanchnic physiology and biochemistry. Additionally, a review of studies examining various methods of amino acid supplementation and the associated effects on wound outcomes are discussed.
© 2017 American Society for Nutrition.
Lysyl oxidase-like-2 (LOXL2) is an enzyme secreted into the extracellular matrix that crosslinks collagens by mediating oxidative deamination of lysine residues. Our previous work demonstrated that this enzyme crosslinks the 7S domain, a structural domain that stabilizes collagen IV scaffolds in the basement membrane. Despite its relevant role in extracellular matrix biosynthesis, little is known about the structural requirements of LOXL2 that enable collagen IV crosslinking. In this study, we demonstrate that LOXL2 is processed extracellularly by serine proteases, generating a 65-kDa form lacking the first two scavenger receptor cysteine-rich domains. Site-specific mutagenesis to prevent proteolytic processing generated a full-length enzyme that is active toward a soluble substrate, but fails to crosslink insoluble collagen IV within the extracellular matrix. In contrast, the processed form of LOXL2 binds to collagen IV and crosslinks the 7S domain. Together, our data demonstrate that proteolytic processing is an important event that allows LOXL2-mediated crosslinking of basement membrane collagen IV.
© 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Hypoxia in the embryo is a frequent cause of intra-uterine growth retardation, low birth weight, and multiple organ defects. In the kidney, this can lead to low nephron endowment, predisposing to chronic kidney disease and arterial hypertension. A key component in cellular adaptation to hypoxia is the hypoxia-inducible factor pathway, which is regulated by prolyl-4-hydroxylase domain (PHD) dioxygenases PHD1, PHD2, and PHD3. In the adult kidney, PHD oxygen sensors are differentially expressed in a cell type-dependent manner and control the production of erythropoietin in interstitial cells. However, the role of interstitial cell PHDs in renal development has not been examined. Here we used a genetic approach in mice to interrogate PHD function in FOXD1-expressing stroma during nephrogenesis. We demonstrate that PHD2 and PHD3 are essential for normal kidney development as the combined inactivation of stromal PHD2 and PHD3 resulted in renal failure that was associated with reduced kidney size, decreased numbers of glomeruli, and abnormal postnatal nephron formation. In contrast, nephrogenesis was normal in animals with individual PHD inactivation. We furthermore demonstrate that the defect in nephron formation in PHD2/PHD3 double mutants required intact hypoxia-inducible factor-2 signaling and was dependent on the extent of stromal hypoxia-inducible factor activation. Thus, hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl-4-hydroxylation in renal interstitial cells is critical for normal nephron formation.
Copyright © 2017 International Society of Nephrology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Collagen IV scaffolds assemble through an intricate pathway that begins intracellularly and is completed extracellularly. Multiple intracellular enzymes act in concert to assemble collagen IV protomers, the building blocks of collagen IV scaffolds. After being secreted from cells, protomers are activated to initiate oligomerization, forming insoluble networks that are structurally reinforced with covalent crosslinks. Within these networks, embedded binding sites along the length of the protomer lead to the "decoration" of collagen IV triple helix with numerous functional molecules. We refer to these networks as "smart" scaffolds, which as a component of the basement membrane enable the development and function of multicellular tissues in all animal phyla. In this review, we present key molecular mechanisms that drive the assembly of collagen IV smart scaffolds.
© 2017 The Protein Society.
A decline in the inherent quality of bone tissue is a † Equal contributors contributor to the age-related increase in fracture risk. Although this is well-known, the important biochemical factors of bone quality have yet to be identified using Raman spectroscopy (RS), a nondestructive, inelastic light-scattering technique. To identify potential RS predictors of fracture risk, we applied principal component analysis (PCA) to 558 Raman spectra (370-1720 cm) of human cortical bone acquired from 62 female and male donors (nine spectra each) spanning adulthood (age range = 21-101 years). Spectra were analyzed prior to R-curve, nonlinear fracture mechanics that delineate crack initiation (K) from crack growth toughness (K). The traditional νphosphate peak per amide I peak (mineral-to-matrix ratio) weakly correlated with K (r = 0.341, p = 0.0067) and overall crack growth toughness (J-int: r = 0.331, p = 0.0086). Sub-peak ratios of the amide I band that are related to the secondary structure of type 1 collagen did not correlate with the fracture toughness properties. In the full spectrum analysis, one principal component (PC5) correlated with all of the mechanical properties (K: r = - 0.467, K: r = - 0.375, and J-int: r = - 0.428; p < 0.0067). More importantly, when known predictors of fracture toughness, namely age and/or volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD), were included in general linear models as covariates, several PCs helped explain 45.0% (PC5) to 48.5% (PC7), 31.4% (PC6), and 25.8% (PC7) of the variance in K, K, and J-int, respectively. Deriving spectral features from full spectrum analysis may improve the ability of RS, a clinically viable technology, to assess fracture risk.