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VacA is a secreted pore-forming toxin that induces cell vacuolation and contributes to the pathogenesis of gastric cancer and peptic ulcer disease. We observed that purified VacA has relatively little effect on the viability of AGS gastric epithelial cells, but the presence of exogenous weak bases such as ammonium chloride (NHCl) enhances the susceptibility of these cells to VacA-induced vacuolation and cell death. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that NHCl augments VacA toxicity by altering the intracellular trafficking of VacA or inhibiting intracellular VacA degradation. We observed VacA colocalization with LAMP1- and LC3-positive vesicles in both the presence and absence of NHCl, indicating that NHCl does not alter VacA trafficking to lysosomes or autophagosomes. Conversely, we found that supplemental NHCl significantly increases the intracellular stability of VacA. By conducting experiments using chemical inhibitors, stable ATG5 knockdown cell lines, and ATG16L1 knockout cells (generated using CRISPR/Cas9), we show that VacA degradation is independent of autophagy and proteasome activity but dependent on lysosomal acidification. We conclude that weak bases like ammonia, potentially generated during infection by urease and other enzymes, enhance VacA toxicity by inhibiting toxin degradation.
Copyright © 2019 American Society for Microbiology.
Annexin proteins function as Ca-dependent regulators of membrane trafficking and repair that may also modulate membrane curvature. Here, using high-resolution confocal imaging, we report that the intestine-specific annexin A13 (ANX A13) localizes to the tips of intestinal microvilli and determined the crystal structure of the ANX A13a isoform to 2.6 Å resolution. The structure revealed that the N terminus exhibits an alternative fold that converts the first two helices and the associated helix-loop-helix motif into a continuous α-helix, as stabilized by a domain-swapped dimer. We also found that the dimer is present in solution and partially occludes the membrane-binding surfaces of annexin, suggesting that dimerization may function as a means for regulating membrane binding. Accordingly, as revealed by binding and cellular localization assays, ANX A13a variants that favor a monomeric state exhibited increased membrane association relative to variants that favor the dimeric form. Together, our findings support a mechanism for how the association of the ANX A13a isoform with the membrane is regulated.
© 2019 McCulloch et al.
Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) is a highly aggressive malignancy that is characterized by resistance to chemotherapy and a poor clinical outcome. The overexpression of the receptor tyrosine kinase AXL is frequently associated with unfavorable prognosis in EAC. Although it is well documented that AXL mediates cancer cell invasion as a downstream effector of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, the precise molecular mechanism underlying this process is not completely understood. Herein, we demonstrate for the first time that AXL mediates cell invasion through the regulation of lysosomes peripheral distribution and cathepsin B secretion in EAC cell lines. Furthermore, we show that AXL-dependent peripheral distribution of lysosomes and cell invasion are mediated by extracellular acidification, which is potentiated by AXL-induced secretion of lactate through AKT-NF-κB-dependent MCT-1 regulation. Our novel mechanistic findings support future clinical studies to evaluate the therapeutic potential of the AXL inhibitor R428 (BGB324) in highly invasive EAC.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Hyperkalemia in association with metabolic acidosis that are out of proportion to changes in glomerular filtration rate defines type 4 renal tubular acidosis (RTA), the most common RTA observed, but the molecular mechanisms underlying the associated metabolic acidosis are incompletely understood. We sought to determine whether hyperkalemia directly causes metabolic acidosis and, if so, the mechanisms through which this occurs. We studied a genetic model of hyperkalemia that results from early distal convoluted tubule (DCT)-specific overexpression of constitutively active Ste20/SPS1-related proline-alanine-rich kinase (DCT-CA-SPAK). DCT-CA-SPAK mice developed hyperkalemia in association with metabolic acidosis and suppressed ammonia excretion; however, titratable acid excretion and urine pH were unchanged compared with those in wild-type mice. Abnormal ammonia excretion in DCT-CA-SPAK mice associated with decreased proximal tubule expression of the ammonia-generating enzymes phosphate-dependent glutaminase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and overexpression of the ammonia-recycling enzyme glutamine synthetase. These mice also had decreased expression of the ammonia transporter family member Rhcg and decreased apical polarization of H-ATPase in the inner stripe of the outer medullary collecting duct. Correcting the hyperkalemia by treatment with hydrochlorothiazide corrected the metabolic acidosis, increased ammonia excretion, and normalized ammoniagenic enzyme and Rhcg expression in DCT-CA-SPAK mice. In wild-type mice, induction of hyperkalemia by administration of the epithelial sodium channel blocker benzamil caused hyperkalemia and suppressed ammonia excretion. Hyperkalemia decreases proximal tubule ammonia generation and collecting duct ammonia transport, leading to impaired ammonia excretion that causes metabolic acidosis.
Copyright © 2018 by the American Society of Nephrology.
We have previously reported that the dispersion of spin-lattice relaxation rates in the rotating frame (R ) of tissue water protons at high field can be dominated by chemical exchange contributions. Ischemia in brain causes changes in tissue pH, which in turn may affect proton exchange rates. Amide proton transfer (APT, a form of chemical exchange saturation transfer) has been shown to be sensitive to chemical exchange rates and able to detect pH changes non-invasively following ischemic stroke. However, the specificity of APT to pH changes is decreased because of the influence of several other factors that affect magnetization transfer. R is less influenced by such confounding factors and thus may be more specific for detecting variations in pH. Here, we applied a spin-locking sequence to detect ischemic stroke in animal models. Although R images acquired with a single spin-locking amplitude (ω ) have previously been used to assess stroke, here we use ΔR , which is the difference in R values acquired with two different locking fields to emphasize selectively the contribution of chemical exchange effects. Numerical simulations with different exchange rates and measurements of tissue homogenates with different pH were performed to evaluate the specificity of ΔR to detect tissue acidosis. Spin-lock and APT data were acquired on five rat brains after ischemic strokes induced via middle cerebral artery occlusions. Correlations between these data were analyzed at different time points after the onset of stroke. The results show that ΔR (but not R acquired with a single ω ) was significantly correlated with APT metrics consistent with ΔR varying with pH.
Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
infection is the leading cause of hospital-acquired diarrhea and is mediated by the actions of two toxins, TcdA and TcdB. The toxins perturb host cell function through a multistep process of receptor binding, endocytosis, low pH-induced pore formation, and the translocation and delivery of an N-terminal glucosyltransferase domain that inactivates host GTPases. Infection studies with isogenic strains having defined toxin deletions have established TcdB as an important target for therapeutic development. Monoclonal antibodies that neutralize TcdB function have been shown to protect against infection in animal models and reduce recurrence in humans. Here, we report the mechanism of TcdB neutralization by PA41, a humanized monoclonal antibody capable of neutralizing TcdB from a diverse array of strains. Through a combination of structural, biochemical, and cell functional studies, involving X-ray crystallography and EM, we show that PA41 recognizes a single, highly conserved epitope on the TcdB glucosyltransferase domain and blocks productive translocation and delivery of the enzymatic cargo into the host cell. Our study reveals a unique mechanism of toxin neutralization by a monoclonal antibody, which involves targeting a process that is conserved across the large clostridial glucosylating toxins. The PA41 antibody described here provides a valuable tool for dissecting the mechanism of toxin pore formation and translocation across the endosomal membrane.
Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) is widely used as a vehicle for delivery of pharmaceutically relevant payloads. PLGA is readily fabricated as a nano- or microparticle (MP) matrix to load both hydrophobic and hydrophilic small molecular drugs as well as biomacromolecules such as nucleic acids and proteins. However, targeting such payloads to the cell cytosol is often limited by MP entrapment and degradation within acidic endolysosomes. Poly(propylacrylic acid) (PPAA) is a polyelectrolyte polymer with the membrane disruptive capability triggered at low pH. PPAA has been previously formulated in various carrier configurations to enable cytosolic payload delivery, but requires sophisticated carrier design. Taking advantage of PPAA functionality, we have incorporated PPAA into PLGA MPs as a simple polymer mixture to enhance cytosolic delivery of PLGA-encapsulated payloads. Rhodamine loaded PLGA and PPAA/PLGA blend MPs were prepared by a modified nanoprecipitation method. Incorporation of PPAA into PLGA MPs had little to no effect on the size, shape, or loading efficiency, and evidenced no toxicity in Chinese hamster ovary epithelial cells. Notably, incorporation of PPAA into PLGA MPs enabled pH-dependent membrane disruption in a hemolysis assay, and a three-fold increased endosomal escape and cytosolic delivery in dendritic cells after 2 h of MP uptake. These results demonstrate that a simple PLGA/PPAA polymer blend is readily fabricated into composite MPs, enabling cytosolic delivery of an encapsulated payload. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 106A: 1022-1033, 2018.
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Current clinical treatment of infection, the main etiological factor in the development of gastritis, gastric ulcers, and gastric carcinoma, requires a combination of at least two antibiotics and one proton pump inhibitor. However, such triple therapy suffers from progressively decreased therapeutic efficacy due to the drug resistance and undesired killing of the commensal bacteria due to poor selectivity. Here, we report the development of antimicrobial polypeptide-based monotherapy, which can specifically kill under acidic pH in the stomach while inducing minimal toxicity to commensal bacteria under physiological pH. Specifically, we designed a class of pH-sensitive, helix-coil conformation transitionable antimicrobial polypeptides (HCT-AMPs) (PGA)--(PHLG-MHH), bearing randomly distributed negatively charged glutamic acid and positively charged poly(γ-6--(methyldihexylammonium)hexyl-l-glutamate) (PHLG-MHH) residues. The HCT-AMPs showed unappreciable toxicity at physiological pH when they adopted random coiled conformation. Under acidic condition in the stomach, they transformed to the helical structure and exhibited potent antibacterial activity against , including clinically isolated drug-resistant strains. After oral gavage, the HCT-AMPs afforded comparable killing efficacy to the triple-therapy approach while inducing minimal toxicity against normal tissues and commensal bacteria, in comparison with the remarkable killing of commensal bacteria by 65% and 86% in the ileal contents and feces, respectively, following triple therapy. This strategy renders an effective approach to specifically target and kill in the stomach while not harming the commensal bacteria/normal tissues.
PURPOSE - Some X-ray contrast agents contain exchangeable protons that give rise to exchange-based effects on MRI, including chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST). However, CEST has poor specificity to explicit exchange parameters. Spin-lock sequences at high field are also sensitive to chemical exchange. Here, we evaluate whether spin-locking techniques can detect the contrast agent iohexol in vivo after intravenous administration, and their potential for measuring changes in tissue pH.
METHODS - Two metrics of contrast based on R , the spin lattice relaxation rate in the rotating frame, were derived from the behavior of R at different locking fields. Solutions containing iohexol at different concentrations and pH were used to evaluate the ability of the two metrics to quantify exchange effects. Images were also acquired from rat brains bearing tumors before and after intravenous injections of iohexol to evaluate the potential of spin-lock techniques for detecting the agent and pH variations.
RESULTS - The two metrics were found to depend separately on either agent concentration or pH. Spin-lock imaging may therefore provide specific quantification of iohexol concentration and the iohexol-water exchange rate, which reports on pH.
CONCLUSIONS - Spin-lock techniques may be used to assess the dynamics of intravenous contrast agents and detect extracellular acidification. Magn Reson Med 79:298-305, 2018. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
© 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
Caveolins mediate the formation of caveolae, which are small omega-shaped membrane invaginations involved in a variety of cellular processes. There are three caveolin isoforms, the third of which (Cav3) is expressed in smooth and skeletal muscles. Mutations in Cav3 cause a variety of human muscular diseases. In this work, we characterize the secondary structure, dynamics, and topology of the monomeric form of the full-length lipidated protein. Cav3 consists of a series of membrane-embedded or surface-associated helical elements connected by extramembrane connecting loops or disordered domains. Our results also reveal that the N-terminal domain undergoes a large scale pH-mediated topological rearrangement between soluble and membrane-anchored forms. Considering that roughly one-third of pathogenic mutations in Cav3 influence charged residues located in this domain, we hypothesize that this transition is likely to be relevant to the molecular basis of Cav3-linked diseases. These results provide insight into the structure of Cav3 and set the stage for mechanistic investigations of the effects of pathogenic mutations.
Copyright © 2016 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.