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Microtubules in animal cells assemble (nucleate) from both the centrosome and the cis-Golgi cisternae. A-kinase anchor protein 350 kDa (AKAP350A, also called AKAP450/CG-NAP/AKAP9) is a large scaffolding protein located at both the centrosome and Golgi apparatus. Previous findings have suggested that AKAP350 is important for microtubule dynamics at both locations, but how this scaffolding protein assembles microtubule nucleation machinery is unclear. Here, we found that overexpression of the C-terminal third of AKAP350A, enhanced GFP-AKAP350A(2691-3907), induces the formation of multiple microtubule-nucleation centers (MTNCs). Nevertheless, these induced MTNCs lacked "true" centriole proteins, such as Cep135. Mapping analysis with AKAP350A truncations demonstrated that AKAP350A contains discrete regions responsible for promoting or inhibiting the formation of multiple MTNCs. Moreover, GFP-AKAP350A(2691-3907) recruited several pericentriolar proteins to MTNCs, including γ-tubulin, pericentrin, Cep68, Cep170, and Cdk5RAP2. Proteomic analysis indicated that Cdk5RAP2 and Cep170 both interact with the microtubule nucleation-promoting region of AKAP350A, whereas Cep68 interacts with the distal C-terminal AKAP350A region. Yeast two-hybrid assays established a direct interaction of Cep170 with AKAP350A. Super-resolution and deconvolution microscopy analyses were performed to define the association of AKAP350A with centrosomes, and these studies disclosed that AKAP350A spans the bridge between centrioles, co-localizing with rootletin and Cep68 in the linker region. siRNA-mediated depletion of AKAP350A caused displacement of both Cep68 and Cep170 from the centrosome. These results suggest that AKAP350A acts as a scaffold for factors involved in microtubule nucleation at the centrosome and coordinates the assembly of protein complexes associating with the intercentriolar bridge.
The advent of fluorescent proteins (FPs) for genetic labeling of molecules and cells has revolutionized fluorescence microscopy. Genetic manipulations have created a vast array of bright and stable FPs spanning blue to red spectral regions. Common to autofluorescent FPs is their tight β-barrel structure, which provides the rigidity and chemical environment needed for effectual fluorescence. Despite the common structure, each FP has unique properties. Thus, there is no single 'best' FP for every circumstance, and each FP has advantages and disadvantages. To guide decisions about which FP is right for a given application, we have quantitatively characterized the brightness, photostability, pH stability and monomeric properties of more than 40 FPs to enable straightforward and direct comparison between them. We focus on popular and/or top-performing FPs in each spectral region.
Proteomics studies have identified Ste20-related proline/alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) and oxidative stress response 1 (OSR1) in exosomes isolated from body fluids such as blood, saliva, and urine. Because proteomics studies likely overestimate the number of exosome proteins, we sought to confirm and extend this observation using traditional biochemical and cell biology methods. We utilized HEK293 cells in culture to verify the packaging of these Ste20 kinases in exosomes. Using a series of centrifugation and filtration steps of conditioned culture medium isolated from HEK293 cells, we isolated nanovesicles in the range of 40-100 nm. We show that these small vesicles express the tetraspanin protein CD63 and lack endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi markers, consistent with these being exosomes. We show by Western blot and immunogold analyses that these exosomes express SPAK, OSR1, and Na-K-Cl cotransporter 1 (NKCC1). We show that exosomes are not only secreted by cells, but also accumulated by adjacent cells. Indeed, exposing cultured cells to exosomes produced by other cells expressing a fluorescently labeled kinase resulted in the kinase finding its way into the cytoplasm of these cells, consistent with the idea of exosomes serving as cell-to-cell communication vessels. Similarly, coculturing cells expressing different fluorescently tagged proteins resulted in the exchange of proteins between cells. In addition, we show that both SPAK and OSR1 kinases entering cells through exosomes are preferentially expressed at the plasma membrane and that the kinases in exosomes are functional and maintain NKCC1 in a phosphorylated state.
Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.
A widely accepted paradigm in the field of cancer biology is that solid tumors are uni-ancestral being derived from a single founder and its descendants. However, data have been steadily accruing that indicate early tumors in mice and humans can have a multi-ancestral origin in which an initiated primogenitor facilitates the transformation of neighboring co-genitors. We developed a new mouse model that permits the determination of clonal architecture of intestinal tumors in vivo and ex vivo, have validated this model, and then used it to assess the clonal architecture of adenomas, intramucosal carcinomas, and invasive adenocarcinomas of the intestine. The percentage of multi-ancestral tumors did not significantly change as tumors progressed from adenomas with low-grade dysplasia [40/65 (62%)], to adenomas with high-grade dysplasia [21/37 (57%)], to intramucosal carcinomas [10/23 (43%]), to invasive adenocarcinomas [13/19 (68%)], indicating that the clone arising from the primogenitor continues to coexist with clones arising from co-genitors. Moreover, neoplastic cells from distinct clones within a multi-ancestral adenocarcinoma have even been observed to simultaneously invade into the underlying musculature [2/15 (13%)]. Thus, intratumoral heterogeneity arising early in tumor formation persists throughout tumorigenesis.
In the nearly two decades since the popularization of green fluorescent protein (GFP), fluorescent protein-based methodologies have revolutionized molecular and cell biology, allowing us to literally see biological processes as never before. Naturally, this revolution has extended to virology in general, and to the study of alpha herpesviruses in particular. In this review, we provide a compendium of reported fluorescent protein fusions to herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and pseudorabies virus (PRV) structural proteins, discuss the underappreciated challenges of fluorescent protein-based approaches in the context of a replicating virus, and describe general strategies and best practices for creating new fluorescent fusions. We compare fluorescent protein methods to alternative approaches, and review two instructive examples of the caveats associated with fluorescent protein fusions, including describing several improved fluorescent capsid fusions in PRV. Finally, we present our future perspectives on the types of powerful experiments these tools now offer.
The ability of cells to adhere and sense differences in tissue stiffness is crucial for organ development and function. The central mechanisms by which adherent cells detect extracellular matrix compliance, however, are still unknown. Using two single-molecule-calibrated biosensors that allow the analysis of a previously inaccessible but physiologically highly relevant force regime in cells, we demonstrate that the integrin activator talin establishes mechanical linkages following cell adhesion, which are indispensable for cells to probe tissue stiffness. Talin linkages are exposed to a range of piconewton forces and bear, on average, 7-10 pN during cell adhesion depending on their association with F-actin and vinculin. Disruption of talin's mechanical engagement does not impair integrin activation and initial cell adhesion but prevents focal adhesion reinforcement and thus extracellular rigidity sensing. Intriguingly, talin mechanics are isoform specific so that expression of either talin-1 or talin-2 modulates extracellular rigidity sensing.
There are two major stem cell populations in the intestinal crypt region that express either Bmi1 or Lgr5; however, it has been shown that other populations in the crypt can regain stemness. In this study, we demonstrate that the transcription factor NK2 homeobox 2 (Nkx2.2) is expressed in enteroendocrine cells located in the villus and crypt of the intestinal epithelium and is coexpressed with the stem cell markers Bmi1 and Lgr5 in a subset of crypt cells. To determine whether Nkx2.2-expressing enteroendocrine cells display cellular plasticity and stem cell potential, we performed genetic lineage tracing of the Nkx2.2-expressing population using Nkx2.2(Cre/+);R26RTomato mice. These studies demonstrated that Nkx2.2+ cells are able to give rise to all intestinal epithelial cell types in basal conditions. The proliferative capacity of Nkx2.2-expressing cells was also demonstrated in vitro using crypt organoid cultures. Injuring the intestine with irradiation, systemic inflammation, and colitis did not enhance the lineage potential of Nkx2.2-expressing cells. These findings demonstrate that a rare mature enteroendocrine cell subpopulation that is demarcated by Nkx2.2 expression display stem cell properties during normal intestinal epithelial homeostasis, but is not easily activated upon injury.
Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.
Transgenic mouse lines are essential tools for understanding the connectivity, physiology and function of neuronal circuits, including those in the retina. This report compares transgene expression in the retina of a tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-red fluorescent protein (RFP) mouse line with three catecholamine-related Cre recombinase mouse lines [TH-bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-, TH-, and dopamine transporter (DAT)-Cre] that were crossed with a ROSA26-tdTomato reporter line. Retinas were evaluated and immunostained with commonly used antibodies including those directed to TH, GABA and glycine to characterize the RFP or tdTomato fluorescent-labeled amacrine cells, and an antibody directed to RNA-binding protein with multiple splicing to identify ganglion cells. In TH-RFP retinas, types 1 and 2 dopamine (DA) amacrine cells were identified by their characteristic cellular morphology and type 1 DA cells by their expression of TH immunoreactivity. In the TH-BAC-, TH-, and DAT-tdTomato retinas, less than 1%, ∼ 6%, and 0%, respectively, of the fluorescent cells were the expected type 1 DA amacrine cells. Instead, in the TH-BAC-tdTomato retinas, fluorescently labeled AII amacrine cells were predominant, with some medium diameter ganglion cells. In TH-tdTomato retinas, fluorescence was in multiple neurochemical amacrine cell types, including four types of polyaxonal amacrine cells. In DAT-tdTomato retinas, fluorescence was in GABA immunoreactive amacrine cells, including two types of bistratified and two types of monostratified amacrine cells. Although each of the Cre lines was generated with the intent to specifically label DA cells, our findings show a cellular diversity in Cre expression in the adult retina and indicate the importance of careful characterization of transgene labeling patterns. These mouse lines with their distinctive cellular labeling patterns will be useful tools for future studies of retinal function and visual processing.
Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Insulin resistance creates an environment that promotes β-cell failure and development of diabetes. Understanding the events that lead from insulin resistance to diabetes is necessary for development of effective preventional and interventional strategies, and model systems that reflect the pathophysiology of disease progression are an important component toward this end. We have confirmed that insulin enhances glucose uptake in zebrafish skeletal muscle and have developed a zebrafish model of skeletal muscle insulin resistance using a dominant-negative IGF-IR. These zebrafish exhibit blunted insulin signaling and glucose uptake in the skeletal muscle, confirming insulin resistance. In young animals, we observed an increase in the number of β-cells and normal glucose tolerance that was indicative of compensation for insulin resistance. In older animals, the β-cell mass was reduced to that of control with the appearance of impaired glucose clearance but no elevation in fasting blood glucose. Combined with overnutrition, the insulin-resistant animals have an increased fasting blood glucose compared with the control animals, demonstrating that the β-cells in the insulin-resistant fish are in a vulnerable state. The relatively slow progression from insulin resistance to glucose intolerance in this model system has the potential in the future to test cooperating genes or metabolic conditions that may accelerate the development of diabetes and provide new therapeutic targets.
Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.
Caveolin-1 (Cav1) is the primary scaffolding protein of caveolae, flask-shaped invaginations of the plasma membrane thought to function in endocytosis, mechanotransduction, signaling and lipid homeostasis. A significant amount of our current knowledge about caveolins and caveolae is derived from studies of transiently overexpressed, C-terminally tagged caveolin proteins. However, how different tags affect the behavior of ectopically expressed Cav1 is still largely unknown. To address this question, we performed a comparative analysis of the subcellular distribution, oligomerization state and detergent resistance of transiently overexpressed Cav1 labeled with three different C-terminal tags (EGFP, mCherry and myc). We show that addition of fluorescent protein tags enhances the aggregation and/or degradation of both wild-type Cav1 and an oligomerization defective P132L mutant. Strikingly, complexes formed by overexpressed Cav1 fusion proteins excluded endogenous Cav1 and Cav2, and the properties of native caveolins were largely preserved even when abnormal aggregates were present in cells. These findings suggest that differences in tagging strategies may be a source of variation in previously published studies of Cav1 and that overexpressed Cav1 may exert functional effects outside of caveolae. They also highlight the need for a critical re-evaluation of current knowledge based on transient overexpression of tagged Cav1.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.