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Transforming growth factors (TGFs) were discovered as activities that were secreted by cancer cells, and later by normal cells, and had the ability to phenotypically and reversibly transform immortalized fibroblasts. TGF-β distinguished itself from TGF-α because it did not bind to the same epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor as TGF-α and, therefore, acted through different cell-surface receptors and signaling mediators. This review summarizes the discovery of TGF-β, the early developments in its molecular and biological characterization with its many biological activities in different cell and tissue contexts and its roles in disease, the realization that there is a family of secreted TGF-β-related proteins with many differentiation functions in development and activities in normal cell and tissue physiology, and the subsequent identification and characterization of the receptors and effectors that mediate TGF-β family signaling responses.
Copyright © 2016 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.
SVIP (small p97/VCP-interacting protein) was initially identified as one of many cofactors regulating the valosin containing protein (VCP), an AAA+ ATPase involved in endoplasmic-reticulum-associated protein degradation (ERAD). Our previous study showed that SVIP is expressed exclusively in the nervous system. In the present study, SVIP and VCP were seen to be co-localized in neuronal cell bodies. Interestingly, we also observed that SVIP co-localizes with myelin basic protein (MBP) in compact myelin, where VCP was absent. Furthermore, using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopic measurements, we determined that SVIP is an intrinsically disordered protein (IDP). However, upon binding to the surface of membranes containing a net negative charge, the helical content of SVIP increases dramatically. These findings provide structural insight into interactions between SVIP and myelin membranes.
Published by Elsevier Inc.
The purpose of the present study was to partially phenotype male and female rats from generations 8-10 (G8-G10) that had been selectively bred to possess low (LVR) vs. high voluntary running (HVR) behavior. Over the first 6 days with wheels, 34-day-old G8 male and female LVRs ran shorter distances (P < 0.001), spent less time running (P < 0.001), and ran slower (P < 0.001) than their G8 male and female HVR counterparts, respectively. HVR and LVR lines consumed similar amounts of standard chow with or without wheels. No inherent difference existed in PGC-1α mRNA in the plantaris and soleus muscles of LVR and HVR nonrunners, although G8 LVR rats inherently possessed less NADH-positive superficial plantaris fibers compared with G8 HVR rats. While day 28 body mass tended to be greater in both sexes of G9-G10 LVR nonrunners vs. G9-G10 HVR nonrunners (P = 0.06), body fat percentage was similar between lines. G9-G10 HVRs had fat mass loss after 6 days of running compared with their prerunning values, while LVR did not lose or gain fat mass during the 6-day voluntary running period. RNA deep sequencing efforts in the nucleus accumbens showed only eight transcripts to be >1.5-fold differentially expressed between lines in HVR and LVR nonrunners. Interestingly, HVRs presented less Oprd1 mRNA, which ties in to potential differences in dopaminergic signaling between lines. This unique animal model provides further evidence as to how exercise may be mechanistically regulated.
Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) is a powerful, versatile, and widely accessible tool to monitor molecular dynamics in living cells that can be performed using modern confocal microscopes. Although the basic principles of FRAP are simple, quantitative FRAP analysis requires careful experimental design, data collection, and analysis. In this unit, we discuss the theoretical basis for confocal FRAP, followed by step-by-step protocols for FRAP data acquisition using a laser-scanning confocal microscope for (1) measuring the diffusion of a membrane protein, (2) measuring the diffusion of a soluble protein, and (3) analysis of intracellular trafficking. Finally, data analysis procedures are discussed, and an equation for determining the diffusion coefficient of a molecular species undergoing pure diffusion is presented.
© 2012 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
BACKGROUND - Cancer genome sequencing efforts recently identified EPHA3, which encodes the EPHA3 receptor tyrosine kinase, as one of the most frequently mutated genes in lung cancer. Although receptor tyrosine kinase mutations often drive oncogenic conversion and tumorigenesis, the oncogenic potential of the EPHA3 mutations in lung cancer remains unknown.
METHODS - We used immunoprecipitation, western blotting, and kinase assays to determine the activity and signaling of mutant EPHA3 receptors. A mutation-associated gene signature was generated from one large dataset, mapped to another training dataset with survival information, and tested in a third independent dataset. EPHA3 expression levels were determined by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in paired normal-tumor clinical specimens and by immunohistochemistry in human lung cancer tissue microarrays. We assessed tumor growth in vivo using A549 and H1299 human lung carcinoma cell xenografts in mice (n = 7-8 mice per group). Tumor cell proliferation was measured by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation and apoptosis by multiple assays. All P values are from two-sided tests.
RESULTS - At least two cancer-associated EPHA3 somatic mutations functioned as dominant inhibitors of the normal (wild type) EPHA3 protein. An EPHA3 mutation-associated gene signature that was associated with poor patient survival was identified. Moreover, EPHA3 gene copy numbers and/or expression levels were decreased in tumors from large cohorts of patients with lung cancer (eg, the gene was deleted in 157 of 371 [42%] primary lung adenocarcinomas). Reexpression of wild-type EPHA3 in human lung cancer lines increased apoptosis by suppression of AKT activation in vitro and inhibited the growth of tumor xenografts (eg, for H1299 cells, mean tumor volume with wild-type EPHA3 = 437.4 mm(3) vs control = 774.7 mm(3), P < .001). Tumor-suppressive effects of wild-type EPHA3 could be overridden in trans by dominant negative EPHA3 somatic mutations discovered in patients with lung cancer.
CONCLUSION - Cancer-associated EPHA3 mutations attenuate the tumor-suppressive effects of normal EPHA3 in lung cancer.
Obesity is a chronic condition involving the excessive accumulation of adipose tissue that adversely affects all systems in the body. The aim of the present study was to employ an unbiased, genome-wide assessment of transcript abundance in order to identify common gene expression pathways within insulin-sensitive tissues in response to dietary-induced diabetes. Following 20 weeks of chow or high-fat feeding (60% kcal), age-matched mice underwent a euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp to assess insulin sensitivity. High-fat-fed animals were obese and highly insulin resistant, disposing of ∼75% less glucose compared with their chow-fed counterparts. Tissues were collected, and gene expression was examined by microarray in 4 tissues known to exhibit obesity-related metabolic disturbances: white adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, liver, and heart. A total of 463 genes were differentially expressed between diets. Analysis of individual tissues showed skeletal muscle to exhibit the largest number of differentially expressed genes (191) in response to high-fat feeding, followed by adipose tissue (169), liver (115), and heart (65). Analyses revealed that the response of individual genes to obesity is distinct and largely tissue specific, with less than 10% of transcripts being shared among tissues. Although transcripts are largely tissue specific, a systems approach shows numerous commonly activated pathways, including those involved in signal transduction, inflammation, oxidative stress, substrate transport, and metabolism. This suggests a coordinated attempt by tissues to limit metabolic perturbations occurring in early-stage obesity. Many identified genes were associated with a variety of disorders, thereby serving as potential links between obesity and its related health risks.
Repeated exposure to cocaine induces neuroadaptations which contribute to the rewarding properties of cocaine. Using cocaine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) as an animal model of reward, earlier studies have shown that sigma (σ) receptor ligands can attenuate the acquisition, expression and reactivation of CPP. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms that are associated with these changes are not yet understood. In the present study, CM156, a novel antagonist with high selectivity and affinity for σ receptors was used to attenuate the expression of cocaine-induced CPP in mice. Immediately following the behavioral evaluations, mouse brain tissues were collected and alterations in gene expression in half brain samples were profiled by cDNA microarray analysis. Microarray data was analyzed by three distinct normalization methods and four genes were consistently found to be upregulated by cocaine when compared to saline controls. Each of these gene changes were found by more than one normalization method to be reversed by at least one dose of CM156. Quantitative real time PCR confirmed that a single administration of CM156 was able to reverse the cocaine-induced increases in three of these four genes: metastasis associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (malat1), tyrosine 3-monooxygenase/tryptophan 5-monooxygenase activation protein (ywhaz), and transthyretin (ttr). These genes are involved in processes related to neuroplasticity and RNA editing. The data presented herein provides evidence that pharmacological intervention with a putative σ receptor antagonist reverses alterations in gene expression that are associated with cocaine-induced reward.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Genetic variation in the transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 6 (IRF6) causes and contributes risk for oral clefting disorders. We hypothesized that genes regulated by IRF6 are also involved in oral clefting disorders. We used five criteria to identify potential IRF6 target genes; differential gene expression in skin taken from wild-type and Irf6-deficient murine embryos, localization to the Van der Woude syndrome 2 (VWS2) locus at 1p36-1p32, overlapping expression with Irf6, presence of a conserved predicted-binding site in the promoter region, and a mutant murine phenotype that was similar to the Irf6 mutant mouse. Previously, we observed altered expression for 573 genes; 13 were located in the murine region syntenic to the VWS2 locus. Two of these genes, Wdr65 and Stratifin, met 4 of 5 criteria. Wdr65 was a novel gene that encoded a predicted protein of 1,250 amino acids with two WD domains. As potential targets for Irf6 regulation, we hypothesized that disease-causing mutations will be found in WDR65 and Stratifin in individuals with VWS or VWS-like syndromes. We identified a potentially etiologic missense mutation in WDR65 in a person with VWS who does not have an exonic mutation in IRF6. The expression and mutation data were consistent with the hypothesis that WDR65 was a novel gene involved in oral clefting.
Functional analyses of candidate Heliothis virescens pheromone odorant receptors (HvORs) were conducted using heterologous expression in Xenopus oocytes. HvOR6 was found to be highly tuned to Z9-14:Ald, while HvOR13, HvOR14 and HvOR16 showed specificity for Z11-16:Ald, Z11-16:OAc and Z11-16:OH, respectively. HvOR15, which had been considered a candidate receptor for Z9-14:Ald did not respond to any of the pheromone compounds tested, nor to 50 other general odorants. Thus, while HvOR15 is specifically expressed in H. virescens male antennae, its role in pheromone reception remains unknown. Based on our results and previous research we can now assign pheromone receptors in H. virescens males to each of the critical H. virescens agonistic pheromone compounds and two antagonistic compounds produced by heterospecific females.
© 2010 The Authors. Insect Molecular Biology © 2010 The Royal Entomological Society.
BACKGROUND - Lysozymes are enzymes that lyse bacterial cell walls, an activity widely used for host defense but also modified in some instances for digestion. The biochemical and evolutionary changes between these different functional forms has been well-studied in the c-type lysozymes of vertebrates, but less so in the i-type lysozymes prevalent in most invertebrate animals. Some bivalve molluscs possess both defensive and digestive lysozymes.
RESULTS - We report a third lysozyme from the oyster Crassostrea virginica, cv-lysozyme 3. The chemical properties of cv-lysozyme 3 (including molecular weight, isoelectric point, basic amino acid residue number, and predicted protease cutting sites) suggest it represents a transitional form between lysozymes used for digestion and immunity. The cv-lysozyme 3 protein inhibited the growth of bacteria (consistent with a defensive function), but semi-quantitative RT-PCR suggested the gene was expressed mainly in digestive glands. Purified cv-lysozyme 3 expressed maximum muramidase activity within a range of pH (7.0 and 8.0) and ionic strength (I = 0.005-0.01) unfavorable for either cv-lysozyme 1 or cv-lysozyme 2 activities. The topology of a phylogenetic analysis of cv-lysozyme 3 cDNA (full length 663 bp, encoding an open reading frame of 187 amino acids) is also consistent with a transitional condition, as cv-lysozyme 3 falls at the base of a monophyletic clade of bivalve lysozymes identified from digestive glands. Rates of nonsynonymous substitution are significantly high at the base of this clade, consistent with an episode of positive selection associated with the functional transition from defense to digestion.
CONCLUSION - The pattern of molecular evolution accompanying the shift from defensive to digestive function in the i-type lysozymes of bivalves parallels those seen for c-type lysozymes in mammals and suggests that the lysozyme paralogs that enhance the range of physiological conditions for lysozyme activity may provide stepping stones between defensive and digestive forms.