, a bio/informatics shared resource is still "open for business" - Visit the CDS website
The publication data currently available has been vetted by Vanderbilt faculty, staff, administrators and trainees. The data itself is retrieved directly from NCBI's PubMed and is automatically updated on a weekly basis to ensure accuracy and completeness.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
During embryogenesis, the epicardium undergoes proliferation, migration, and differentiation into several cardiac cell types which contribute to the coronary vessels. This process requires epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and directed cellular invasion. The Type III Transforming Growth Factor-beta Receptor (TGFβR3) is required for epicardial cell invasion and coronary vessel development. Using primary epicardial cells derived from Tgfbr3(+/+) and Tgfbr3(-/-) mouse embryos, high-molecular weight hyaluronan (HMWHA) stimulated cellular invasion and filamentous (f-actin) polymerization are detected in Tgfbr3(+/+) cells, but not in Tgfbr3(-/-) cells. Furthermore, HMWHA-stimulated cellular invasion and f-actin polymerization in Tgfbr3(+/+) epicardial cells are dependent on Src kinase. Src activation in HMWHA-stimulated Tgfbr3(-/-) epicardial cells is not detected in response to HMWHA. RhoA and Rac1 also fail to activate in response to HMWHA in Tgfbr3(-/-) cells. These events coincide with defective f-actin formation and deficient cellular invasion. Finally, a T841A activating substitution in TGFβR3 drives ligand-independent Src activation. Collectively, these data define a TGFβR3-Src-RhoA/Rac1 pathway that is essential for hyaluronan-directed cell invasion in epicardial cells.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of endocardial cells is a critical initial step in the formation of heart valves. The collagen gel in vitro model has provided significant information on the role of growth factors regulating EMT but has not permitted investigation of mechanical factors. Therefore we sought to develop a system to probe the effects of mechanical inputs on endocardial EMT by incorporating hyaluronic acid (HA), the primary component of endocardial cushions in developing heart valves, into the gel assay. This was achieved using a combination collagen and crosslinkable methacrylated HA hydrogel (Coll-MeHA). Avian atrioventricular canal explants on Coll-MeHA gels showed increased numbers of transformed cells. Analysis of the mechanical properties of Coll-MeHA gels shows that stiffness does not directly affect EMT. Hydrogel deformation from the beating myocardium of explants directly led to higher levels of regional gel deformation and larger average strain magnitudes associated with invaded cells on Coll-MeHA gels. Inhibition of this contraction reduced EMT on all gel types, although to a lesser extent on Coll-MeHA gels. Using the system we have developed, which permits the manipulation of mechanical factors, we have demonstrated that active mechanical forces play a role in the regulation of endocardial EMT.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber) displays exceptional longevity, with a maximum lifespan exceeding 30 years. This is the longest reported lifespan for a rodent species and is especially striking considering the small body mass of the naked mole rat. In comparison, a similarly sized house mouse has a maximum lifespan of 4 years. In addition to their longevity, naked mole rats show an unusual resistance to cancer. Multi-year observations of large naked mole-rat colonies did not detect a single incidence of cancer. Here we identify a mechanism responsible for the naked mole rat's cancer resistance. We found that naked mole-rat fibroblasts secrete extremely high-molecular-mass hyaluronan (HA), which is over five times larger than human or mouse HA. This high-molecular-mass HA accumulates abundantly in naked mole-rat tissues owing to the decreased activity of HA-degrading enzymes and a unique sequence of hyaluronan synthase 2 (HAS2). Furthermore, the naked mole-rat cells are more sensitive to HA signalling, as they have a higher affinity to HA compared with mouse or human cells. Perturbation of the signalling pathways sufficient for malignant transformation of mouse fibroblasts fails to transform naked mole-rat cells. However, once high-molecular-mass HA is removed by either knocking down HAS2 or overexpressing the HA-degrading enzyme, HYAL2, naked mole-rat cells become susceptible to malignant transformation and readily form tumours in mice. We speculate that naked mole rats have evolved a higher concentration of HA in the skin to provide skin elasticity needed for life in underground tunnels. This trait may have then been co-opted to provide cancer resistance and longevity to this species.
Interferon regulatory factor 6 (IRF6) encodes a highly conserved helix-turn-helix DNA binding protein and is a member of the interferon regulatory family of DNA transcription factors. Mutations in IRF6 lead to isolated and syndromic forms of cleft lip and palate, most notably Van der Woude syndrome (VWS) and Popliteal Ptyerigium Syndrome (PPS). Mice lacking both copies of Irf6 have severe limb, skin, palatal and esophageal abnormalities, due to significantly altered and delayed epithelial development. However, a recent report showed that MCS9.7, an enhancer near Irf6, is active in the tongue, suggesting that Irf6 may also be expressed in the tongue. Indeed, we detected Irf6 staining in the mesoderm-derived muscle during development of the tongue. Dual labeling experiments demonstrated that Irf6 was expressed only in the Myf5+ cell lineage, which originates from the segmental paraxial mesoderm and gives rise to the muscles of the tongue. Fate mapping of the segmental paraxial mesoderm cells revealed a cell-autonomous Irf6 function with reduced and poorly organized Myf5+ cell lineage in the tongue. Molecular analyses showed that the Irf6-/- embryos had aberrant cytoskeletal formation of the segmental paraxial mesoderm in the tongue. Fate mapping of the cranial neural crest cells revealed non-cell-autonomous Irf6 function with the loss of the inter-molar eminence. Loss of Irf6 function altered Bmp2, Bmp4, Shh, and Fgf10 signaling suggesting that these genes are involved in Irf6 signaling. Based on these data, Irf6 plays important cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous roles in muscular differentiation and cytoskeletal formation in the tongue.
Increased deposition of specific extracellular matrix (ECM) components is a characteristic of insulin-resistant skeletal muscle. Hyaluronan (HA) is a major constituent of the ECM. The hypotheses that 1) HA content is increased in the ECM of insulin-resistant skeletal muscle and 2) reduction of HA in the muscle ECM by long-acting pegylated human recombinant PH20 hyaluronidase (PEGPH20) reverses high-fat (HF) diet-induced muscle insulin resistance were tested. We show that muscle HA was increased in HF diet-induced obese (DIO) mice and that treatment of PEGPH20, which dose-dependently reduced HA in muscle ECM, decreased fat mass, adipocyte size, and hepatic and muscle insulin resistance in DIO mice at 10 mg/kg. Reduced muscle insulin resistance was associated with increased insulin signaling, muscle vascularization, and percent cardiac output to muscle rather than insulin sensitization of muscle per se. Dose-response studies revealed that PEGPH20 dose-dependently increased insulin sensitivity in DIO mice with a minimally effective dose of 0.01 mg/kg. PEGPH20 at doses of 0.1 and 1 mg/kg reduced muscle HA to levels seen in chow-fed mice, decreased fat mass, and increased muscle glucose uptake. These findings suggest that ECM HA is a target for treatment of insulin resistance.
Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signal, mediated by the Gli family of transcription factors, plays an essential role in the growth and patterning of the limb. Through analysis of the early limb bud transcriptome, we identified a posteriorly-enriched gene, Hyaluronic Acid Synthase 2 (Has2), which encodes a key enzyme for the synthesis of hyaluronan (HA), as a direct target of Gli transcriptional regulation during early mouse limb development. Has2 expression in the limb bud is lost in Shh null and expanded anteriorly in Gli3 mutants. We identified an ∼3kb Has2 promoter fragment that contains two strong Gli-binding consensus sequences, and mutation of either site abrogated the ability of Gli1 to activate Has2 promoter in a cell-based assay. Additionally, this promoter fragment is sufficient to direct expression of a reporter gene in the posterior limb mesenchyme. Chromatin immunoprecipitation of DNA-Gli3 protein complexes from limb buds indicated that Gli3 strongly binds to the Has2 promoter region, suggesting that Has2 is a direct transcriptional target of the Shh signaling pathway. We also showed that Has2 conditional mutant (Has2cko) hindlimbs display digit-specific patterning defects with longitudinally shifted phalangeal joints and impaired chondrogenesis. Has2cko limbs show less capacity for mesenchymal condensation with mislocalized distributions of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs), aggrecan and link protein. Has2cko limb phenotype displays striking resemblance to mutants with defective chondroitin sulfation suggesting tight developmental control of HA on CSPG function. Together, our study identifies Has2 as a novel downstream target of Shh signaling required for joint patterning and chondrogenesis.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Injectable scaffolds present compelling opportunities for wound repair and regeneration because of their ability to fill irregularly shaped defects and deliver biologics such as growth factors. In this study, we investigated the properties of injectable polyurethane (PUR) biocomposite scaffolds and their application in cutaneous wound repair using a rat excisional model. The scaffolds have a minimal reaction exotherm and clinically relevant working and setting times. Moreover, the biocomposites have mechanical and thermal properties consistent with rubbery elastomers. In the rat excisional wound model, injection of settable biocomposite scaffolds stented the wounds at early time points, resulting in a regenerative rather than a scarring phenotype at later time points. Measurements of wound length and thickness revealed that the treated wounds were less contracted at day 7 compared to blank wounds. Analysis of cell proliferation and apoptosis showed that the scaffolds were biocompatible and supported tissue ingrowth. Myofibroblast formation and collagen fiber organization provided evidence that the scaffolds have a positive effect on extracellular matrix remodeling by disrupting the formation of an aligned matrix under elevated tension. In summary, we have developed an injectable biodegradable PUR biocomposite scaffold that enhances cutaneous wound healing in a rat model.
Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS - Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) demonstrates beneficial properties in the treatment of aged vocal folds. However, the optimal concentration of HGF remains unknown. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of HGF concentration on treatment of the aged rat vocal fold.
STUDY DESIGN - Prospective animal study.
METHODS - Seventy-five rats were studied. The rats were divided into five groups and received serial injections of HGF in 10 μL of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) at the following concentrations: 10 ng/10 μL, 50 ng/10 μL, 100 ng/10 μL, 200 ng/10 μL, or control (PBS only). Alcian blue staining was performed to investigate hyaluronan (HA), and immunohistochemistry was performed to investigate collagen type I and III. Gene expression of hyaluronic acid synthase (HAS)-1, -2, matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-2, -9, and procollagen I and III were also investigated using real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
RESULTS - Histologic analyses revealed increased HA and decreased collagen type I in rats receiving injections of HGF at 100 ng/10 μL. Results were supported by RT-PCR revealing upregulated expression of HAS-2, decreased expression of procollagen I, and a significant increase of MMP-9 mRNA in rats receiving HGF at 100 ng/10 μL.
CONCLUSIONS - We report the first in vivo concentration study of HGF for treatment of the aged vocal fold. Results revealed desirable biochemical effects of HGF at 100 ng/10 μL. These data will be used to provide immediate direction to programmatic efforts aimed at examining future applications of HGF for treatment of the aged vocal fold.
Copyright © 2011 The American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Inc.
In the developing heart, the epicardium is a major source of progenitor cells that contribute to the formation of the coronary vessel system. These epicardial progenitors give rise to the different cellular components of the coronary vasculature by undergoing a number of morphological and physiological changes collectively known as epithelial to mesenchymal transformation (EMT). However, the specific signaling mechanisms that regulate epicardial EMT are yet to be delineated. In this study we investigated the role of TGFβ2 and hyaluronan (HA) during epicardial EMT and how signals from these two molecules are integrated during this important process. Here we show that TGFβ2 induces MEKK3 activation, which in turn promotes ERK1/2 and ERK5 phosphorylation. TGFβ2 also increases Has2 expression and subsequent HA production. Nevertheless, inhibition of MEKK3 kinase activity, silencing of ERK5 or pharmacological disruption of ERK1/2 activation significantly abrogates this response. Thus, TGFβ2 promotes Has2 expression and HA production through a MEKK3/ERK1/2/5-dependent cascade. Furthermore, TGFβ2 is able to induce epicardial cell invasion and differentiation but not proliferation. However, inhibition of MEKK3-dependent pathways, degradation of HA by hyaluronidases or blockade of CD44, significantly impairs the biological response to TGFβ2. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that TGFβ2 activation of MEKK3/ERK1/2/5 signaling modulates Has2 expression and HA production leading to the induction of EMT events. This is an important and novel mechanism showing how TGFβ2 and HA signals are integrated to regulate changes in epicardial cell behavior.
Published by Elsevier Inc.
Intrinsic stem cells (SC) participate in tissue remodeling and regeneration in various diseases and following toxic insults. Failure of tissue regeneration is in part attributed to lack of SC protection from toxic stress of noxious stimuli, thus prompting intense research efforts to develop strategies for SC protection and functional preservation for in vivo delivery. One strategy is creation of artificial SC niches in an attempt to mimic the requirements of endogenous SC niches by generating scaffolds with properties of extracellular matrix. Here, we investigated the use of hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogels as an artificial SC niche and examined regenerative capabilities of encapsulated embryonic endothelial progenitor cells (eEPC) in three different in vivo models. Hydrogel-encapsulated eEPC demonstrated improved resistance to toxic insult (adriamycin) in vitro, thus prompting in vivo studies. Implantation of HA hydrogels containing eEPC to mice with adriamycin nephropathy or renal ischemia resulted in eEPC mobilization to injured kidneys (and to a lesser extent to the spleen) and improvement of renal function, which was equal or superior to adoptively transferred EPC by intravenous infusion. In mice with hindlimb ischemia, EPC encapsulated in HA hydrogels dramatically accelerated the recovery of collateral circulation with the efficacy superior to intravenous infusion of EPC. In conclusion, HA hydrogels protect eEPC against adriamycin cytotoxicity and implantation of eEPC encapsulated in HA hydrogels supports renal regeneration in ischemic and cytotoxic (adriamycin) nephropathy and neovascularization of ischemic hindlimb, thus establishing their functional competence and superior capabilities to deliver stem cells stored in and released from this bioartificial niche.