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Single particle tracking (SPT) experiments have provided the scientific community with invaluable single-molecule information about the dynamic regulation of individual receptors, transporters, kinases, lipids, and molecular motors. SPT is an alternative to ensemble averaging approaches, where heterogeneous modes of motion might be lost. Quantum dots (QDs) are excellent probes for SPT experiments due to their photostability, high brightness, and size-dependent, narrow emission spectra. In a typical QD-based SPT experiment, QDs are bound to the target of interest and imaged for seconds to minutes via fluorescence video microscopy. Single QD spots in individual frames are then linked to form trajectories that are analyzed to determine their mean square displacement, diffusion coefficient, confinement index, and instantaneous velocity. This chapter describes a generalizable protocol for the single particle tracking of membrane neurotransmitter transporters on cell membranes with either unmodified extracellular antibody probes and secondary antibody-conjugated quantum dots or biotinylated extracellular antibody probes and streptavidin-conjugated quantum dots in primary neuronal cultures. The neuronal cell culture, the biotinylation protocol and the quantum dot labeling procedures, as well as basic data analysis are discussed.
The construction of tissue microarrays (TMAs) with cores from a large number of paraffin-embedded tissues (donors) into a single paraffin block (recipient) is an effective method of analyzing samples from many patient specimens simultaneously. For the TMA to be successful, the cores within it must capture the correct histologic areas from the donor blocks (technical accuracy) and maintain concordance with the tissue of origin (analytical accuracy). This can be particularly challenging for tissues with small histological features such as small islands of carcinoma in situ (CIS), thin layers of normal urothelial lining of the bladder, or cancers that exhibit intratumor heterogeneity. In an effort to create a comprehensive TMA of a bladder cancer patient cohort that accurately represents the tumor heterogeneity and captures the small features of normal and CIS, we determined how core size (0.6 vs 1.0 mm) impacted the technical and analytical accuracy of the TMA. The larger 1.0 mm core exhibited better technical accuracy for all tissue types at 80.9% (normal), 94.2% (tumor), and 71.4% (CIS) compared with 58.6%, 85.9%, and 63.8% for 0.6 mm cores. Although the 1.0 mm core provided better tissue capture, increasing the number of replicates from two to three allowed with the 0.6 mm core compensated for this reduced technical accuracy. However, quantitative image analysis of proliferation using both Ki67+ immunofluorescence counts and manual mitotic counts demonstrated that the 1.0 mm core size also exhibited significantly greater analytical accuracy (P=0.004 and 0.035, respectively, r=0.979 and 0.669, respectively). Ultimately, our findings demonstrate that capturing two or more 1.0 mm cores for TMA construction provides superior technical and analytical accuracy over the smaller 0.6 mm cores, especially for tissues harboring small histological features or substantial heterogeneity.
Clostridium difficile infection affects a significant number of hospitalized patients in the United States. Two homologous exotoxins, TcdA and TcdB, are the major virulence factors in C. difficile pathogenesis. The toxins are glucosyltransferases that inactivate Rho family-GTPases to disrupt host cellular function and cause fluid secretion, inflammation, and cell death. Toxicity depends on receptor binding and subsequent endocytosis. TcdB has been shown to enter cells by clathrin-dependent endocytosis, but the mechanism of TcdA uptake is still unclear. Here, we utilize a combination of RNAi-based knockdown, pharmacological inhibition, and cell imaging approaches to investigate the endocytic mechanism(s) that contribute to TcdA uptake and subsequent cytopathic and cytotoxic effects. We show that TcdA uptake and cellular intoxication is dynamin-dependent but does not involve clathrin- or caveolae-mediated endocytosis. Confocal microscopy using fluorescently labeled TcdA shows significant colocalization of the toxin with PACSIN2-positive structures in cells during entry. Disruption of PACSIN2 function by RNAi-based knockdown approaches inhibits TcdA uptake and toxin-induced downstream effects in cells indicating that TcdA entry is PACSIN2-dependent. We conclude that TcdA and TcdB utilize distinct endocytic mechanisms to intoxicate host cells.
Basement membranes (BMs) are specialized extracellular scaffolds that influence behaviors of cells in epithelial, endothelial, muscle, nervous, and fat tissues. Throughout development and in response to injury or disease, BMs are fine-tuned with specific protein compositions, ultrastructure, and localization. These features are modulated through implements of the BM toolkit that is comprised of collagen IV, laminin, perlecan, and nidogen. Two additional proteins, peroxidasin and Goodpasture antigen-binding protein (GPBP), have recently emerged as potential members of the toolkit. In the present study, we sought to determine whether peroxidasin and GPBP undergo dynamic regulation in the assembly of uterine tissue BMs in early pregnancy as a tractable model for dynamic adult BMs. We explored these proteins in the context of collagen IV and laminin that are known to extensively change for decidualization. Electron microscopic analyses revealed: 1) a smooth continuous layer of BM in between the epithelial and stromal layers of the preimplantation endometrium; and 2) interrupted, uneven, and progressively thickened BM within the pericellular space of the postimplantation decidua. Quantification of mRNA levels by qPCR showed changes in expression levels that were complemented by immunofluorescence localization of peroxidasin, GPBP, collagen IV, and laminin. Novel BM-associated and subcellular spatiotemporal localization patterns of the four components suggest both collective pericellular functions and distinct functions in the uterus during reprogramming for embryo implantation.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - Evaluation of [F]fluoromisonidazole ([F]FMISO)-positron emission tomography (PET) imaging as a metric for evaluating early response to trastuzumab therapy with histological validation in a murine model of HER2+ breast cancer.
PROCEDURES - Mice with BT474, HER2+ tumors, were imaged with [F]FMISO-PET during trastuzumab therapy. Pimonidazole staining was used to confirm hypoxia from imaging.
RESULTS - [F]FMISO-PET indicated significant decreases in hypoxia beginning on day 3 (P < 0.01) prior to changes in tumor size. These results were confirmed with pimonidazole staining on day 7 (P < 0.01); additionally, there was a significant positive linear correlation between histology and PET imaging (r = 0.85).
CONCLUSIONS - [F]FMISO-PET is a clinically relevant modality which provides the opportunity to (1) predict response to HER2+ therapy before changes in tumor size and (2) identify decreases in hypoxia which has the potential to guide subsequent therapy.
A functional complex consisting of androgen receptor (AR) and forkhead box A1 (FOXA1) proteins supports prostatic development, differentiation, and disease. In addition, the interaction of FOXA1 with cofactors such as nuclear factor I (NFI) family members modulates AR target gene expression. However, the global role of specific NFI family members has yet to be described in the prostate. In these studies, chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by DNA sequencing in androgen-dependent LNCaP prostate cancer cells demonstrated that 64.3% of NFIB binding sites are associated with AR and FOXA1 binding sites. Interrogation of published data revealed that genes associated with NFIB binding sites are predominantly induced after dihydrotestosterone treatment of LNCaP cells, whereas NFIB knockdown studies demonstrated that loss of NFIB drives increased AR expression and superinduction of a subset of AR target genes. Notably, genes bound by NFIB only are associated with cell division and cell cycle. To define the role of NFIB in vivo, mouse Nfib knockout prostatic tissue was rescued via renal capsule engraftment. Loss of Nfib expression resulted in prostatic hyperplasia, which did not resolve in response to castration, and an expansion of an intermediate cell population in a small subset of grafts. In human benign prostatic hyperplasia, luminal NFIB loss correlated with more severe disease. Finally, some areas of intermediate cell expansion were also associated with NFIB loss. Taken together, these results show a fundamental role for NFIB as a coregulator of AR action in the prostate and in controlling prostatic hyperplasia.
The extracellular matrix protein fibronectin (FN) contributes to the structural integrity of tissues as well as the adhesive and migratory functions of cells. While FN is abundantly expressed in adult tissues, the expression of several alternatively spliced FN isoforms is restricted to embryonic development, tissue remodeling and cancer. These FN isoforms, designated ED-A and ED-B, are frequently expressed by cancer cells, tumor-associated fibroblasts and newly forming blood vessels. Using a highly sensitive collagen-based indirect ELISA, we evaluated the correlation of urinary ED-A and ED-B at time of cystectomy with overall survival in patients with high-grade bladder cancer (BCa). Detectable levels of total FN as well as ED-A and ED-B were found in urine from 85, 73 and 51 % of BCa patients, respectively. The presence of urinary ED-A was a significant independent predictor of 2-year overall survival (OS) after adjusting for age, tumor stage, lymph node stage, and urinary creatinine by multivariable Logistic Regression (p = 0.029, OR = 4.26, 95 % CI 1.16-15.71) and improved accuracy by 3.6 %. Furthermore, detection of ED-A in the urine was a significant discriminator of survival specifically in BCa patients with negative lymph node status (Log-Rank, p = 0.006; HR = 5.78, 95 % CI 1.39-24.13). Lastly, multivariable Cox proportional hazards analysis revealed that urinary ED-A was an independent prognostic indicator of 5-year OS rate for patients with BCa (p = 0.04, HR = 2.20, 95 % CI 1.04-4.69). Together, these data suggest that cancer-derived, alternatively spliced FN isoforms can act as prognostic indicators and that additional studies are warranted to assess the clinical utility of ED-A in BCa.
TGFβ signaling has been implicated in the metaplasia from squamous epithelia to Barrett's esophagus and, ultimately, esophageal adenocarcinoma. The role of the family member Activin A in Barrett's tumorigenesis is less well established. As tumorigenesis is influenced by factors in the tumor microenvironment, such as fibroblasts and the extracellular matrix, we aimed to determine if epithelial cell-derived Activin affects initiation and progression differently than Activin signaling stimulation from a mimicked stromal source. Using Barrett's esophagus cells, CPB, and the esophageal adenocarcinoma cell lines OE33 and FLO-1, we showed that Activin reduces colony formation only in CPB cells. Epithelial cell overexpression of Activin increased cell migration and invasion in Boyden chamber assays in CPB and FLO-1 cells, which exhibited mesenchymal features such as the expression of the CD44 standard form, vimentin, and MT1-MMP. When grown in organotypic reconstructs, OE33 cells expressed E-cadherin and Keratin 8. As mesenchymal characteristics have been associated with the acquisition of stem cell-like features, we analyzed the expression and localization of SOX9, showing nuclear localization of SOX9 in esophageal CPB and FLO-1 cells.In conclusion, we show a role for autocrine Activin signaling in the regulation of colony formation, cell migration and invasion in Barrett's tumorigenesis.
Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) promotes atherosclerosis by increasing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels through degradation of hepatic LDL receptor (LDLR). Studies have described the systemic effects of PCSK9 on atherosclerosis, but whether PCSK9 has local and direct effects on the plaque is unknown. To study the local effect of human PCSK9 (hPCSK9) on atherosclerotic lesion composition, independently of changes in serum cholesterol levels, we generated chimeric mice expressing hPCSK9 exclusively from macrophages, using marrow from hPCSK9 transgenic (hPCSK9tg) mice transplanted into apoE(-/-) and LDLR(-/-) mice, which were then placed on a high-fat diet (HFD) for 8 weeks. We further characterized the effect of hPCSK9 expression on the inflammatory responses in the spleen and by mouse peritoneal macrophages (MPM) in vitro. We found that MPMs from transgenic mice express both murine (m) Pcsk9 and hPCSK9 and that the latter reduces macrophage LDLR and LRP1 surface levels. We detected hPCSK9 in the serum of mice transplanted with hPCSK9tg marrow, but did not influence lipid levels or atherosclerotic lesion size. However, marrow-derived PCSK9 progressively accumulated in lesions of apoE(-/-) recipient mice, while increasing the infiltration of Ly6C(hi) inflammatory monocytes by 32% compared with controls. Expression of hPCSK9 also increased CD11b- and Ly6C(hi) -positive cell numbers in spleens of apoE(-/-) mice. In vitro, expression of hPCSK9 in LPS-stimulated macrophages increased mRNA levels of the pro-inflammatory markers Tnf and Il1b (40% and 45%, respectively) and suppressed those of the anti-inflammatory markers Il10 and Arg1 (30% and 44%, respectively). All PCSK9 effects were LDLR-dependent, as PCSK9 protein was not detected in lesions of LDLR(-/-) recipient mice and did not affect macrophage or splenocyte inflammation. In conclusion, PCSK9 directly increases atherosclerotic lesion inflammation in an LDLR-dependent but cholesterol-independent mechanism, suggesting that therapeutic PCSK9 inhibition may have vascular benefits secondary to LDL reduction.
Copyright © 2015 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Directed delivery of EGF receptor (EGFR) ligands to the apical or basolateral surface is a crucial regulatory step in the initiation of EGFR signaling in polarized epithelial cells. Herein, we show that the EGFR ligand betacellulin (BTC) is preferentially sorted to the basolateral surface of polarized MDCK cells. By using sequential truncations and site-directed mutagenesis within the BTC cytoplasmic domain, combined with selective cell-surface biotinylation and immunofluorescence, we have uncovered a monoleucine-based basolateral-sorting motif (EExxxL, specifically (156)EEMETL(161)). Disruption of this sorting motif led to equivalent apical and basolateral localization of BTC. Unlike other EGFR ligands, BTC mistrafficking induced formation of lateral lumens in polarized MDCK cells, and this process was significantly attenuated by inhibition of EGFR. Additionally, expression of a cancer-associated somatic BTC mutation (E156K) led to BTC mistrafficking and induced lateral lumens in MDCK cells. Overexpression of BTC, especially mistrafficking forms, increased the growth of MDCK cells. These results uncover a unique role for BTC mistrafficking in promoting epithelial reorganization.
© 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.