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Environmental exposure to manganese (Mn) leads to a neurodegenerative disease that has shared clinical characteristics with Parkinson's disease (PD). Mn-induced neurotoxicity is time- and dose-dependent, due in part to oxidative stress. We ascertained the molecular targets involved in Mn-induced neurodegeneration using astrocyte culture as: (1) Astrocytes are vital for information processing within the brain, (2) their redox potential is essential in mitigating reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, and (3) they are targeted early in the course of Mn toxicity. We first tested protein levels of Mn superoxide dismutase -2 (SOD-2) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx-1) as surrogates of astrocytic oxidative stress response. We assessed levels of the forkhead winged-helix transcription factor O (FoxO) in response to Mn exposure. FoxO is highly regulated by the insulin-signaling pathway. FoxO mediates cellular responses to toxic stress and modulates adaptive responses. We hypothesized that FoxO is fundamental in mediating oxidative stress response upon Mn treatment, and may be a biomarker of Mn-induced neurodegeneration. Our results indicate that 100 or 500 µM of MnCl2 led to increased levels of FoxO (dephosphorylated and phosphorylated) compared with control cells (P<0.01). p-FoxO disappeared from the cytosol upon Mn exposure. Pre-treatment of cultured cells with (R)-(-)-2-oxothiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid (OTC), a cysteine analog rescued the cytosolic FoxO. At these concentrations, MAPK phosphorylation, in particular p38 and ERK, and PPAR gamma coactivator-1 (PGC-1) levels were increased, while AKT phosphorylation remained unchanged. FoxO phosphorylation level was markedly reduced with the use of SB203580 (a p38 MAPK inhibitor) and PD98059 (an ERK inhibitor). We conclude that FoxO phosphorylation after Mn exposure occurs in parallel with, and independent of the insulin-signaling pathway. FoxO levels and its translocation into the nucleus are part of early events compensating for Mn-induced neurotoxicity and may serve as valuable targets for neuroprotection in the setting of Mn-induced neurodegeneration.
During blood coagulation, the protease factor XIa (fXIa) activates factor IX (fIX). We describe a new mechanism for this process. FIX is cleaved initially after Arg(145) to form fIXα, and then after Arg(180) to form the protease fIXaβ. FIXα is released from fXIa, and must rebind for cleavage after Arg(180) to occur. Catalytic efficiency of cleavage after Arg(180) is 7-fold greater than for cleavage after Arg(145), limiting fIXα accumulation. FXIa contains four apple domains (A1-A4) and a catalytic domain. Exosite(s) on fXIa are required for fIX binding, however, there is lack of consensus on their location(s), with sites on the A2, A3, and catalytic domains described. Replacing the A3 domain with the prekallikrein A3 domain increases K(m) for fIX cleavage after Arg(145) and Arg(180) 25- and ≥ 90-fold, respectively, and markedly decreases k(cat) for cleavage after Arg(180). Similar results were obtained with the isolated fXIa catalytic domain, or fXIa in the absence of Ca(2+). Forms of fXIa lacking the A3 domain exhibit 15-fold lower catalytic efficiency for cleavage after Arg(180) than for cleavage after Arg(145), resulting in fIXα accumulation. Replacing the A2 domain does not affect fIX activation. The results demonstrate that fXIa activates fIX by an exosite- and Ca(2+)-mediated release-rebind mechanism in which efficiency of the second cleavage is enhanced by conformational changes resulting from the first cleavage. Initial binding of fIX and fIXα requires an exosite on the fXIa A3 domain, but not the A2 or catalytic domain.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients have a higher incidence of oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction, and cardiovascular disease than uninfected individuals. Recent reports have demonstrated that viral proteins upregulate reactive oxygen species, which may contribute to elevated cardiovascular risk in HIV-1 patients. In this study we employed an HIV-1 transgenic rat model to investigate the physiological effects of viral protein expression on the vasculature. Markers of oxidative stress in wild-type and HIV-1 transgenic rats were measured using electron spin resonance, fluorescence microscopy, and various molecular techniques. Relaxation studies were completed on isolated aortic rings, and mRNA and protein were collected to measure changes in expression of nitric oxide (NO) and superoxide sources. HIV-1 transgenic rats displayed significantly less NO-hemoglobin, serum nitrite, serum S-nitrosothiols, aortic tissue NO, and impaired endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation than wild-type rats. NO reduction was not attributed to differences in endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) protein expression, eNOS-Ser1177 phosphorylation, or tetrahydrobiopterin availability. Aortas from HIV-1 transgenic rats had higher levels of superoxide and 3-nitrotyrosine but did not differ in expression of superoxide-generating sources NADPH oxidase or xanthine oxidase. However, transgenic aortas displayed decreased superoxide dismutase and glutathione. Administering the glutathione precursor procysteine decreased superoxide, restored aortic NO levels and NO-hemoglobin, and improved endothelium-dependent relaxation in HIV-1 transgenic rats. These results show that HIV-1 protein expression decreases NO and causes endothelial dysfunction. Diminished antioxidant capacity increases vascular superoxide levels, which reduce NO bioavailability and promote peroxynitrite generation. Restoring glutathione levels reverses HIV-1 protein-mediated effects on superoxide, NO, and vasorelaxation.
We previously showed that leptin inhibits bone formation by an undefined mechanism. Here, we show that hypothalamic leptin-dependent antiosteogenic and anorexigenic networks differ, and that the peripheral mediators of leptin antiosteogenic function appear to be neuronal. Neuropeptides mediating leptin anorexigenic function do not affect bone formation. Leptin deficiency results in low sympathetic tone, and genetic or pharmacological ablation of adrenergic signaling leads to a leptin-resistant high bone mass. beta-adrenergic receptors on osteoblasts regulate their proliferation, and a beta-adrenergic agonist decreases bone mass in leptin-deficient and wild-type mice while a beta-adrenergic antagonist increases bone mass in wild-type and ovariectomized mice. None of these manipulations affects body weight. This study demonstrates a leptin-dependent neuronal regulation of bone formation with potential therapeutic implications for osteoporosis.
OBJECTIVE - To determine the levels of glutathione and cysteine in patients with ARDS and examine the effect of treatment with N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and L-2-oxothiazolidine-4-carboxylate (Procysteine; Clintec Technologies Inc; Chicago [OTZ]) on these levels and on common physiologic abnormalities, and organ dysfunction associated with ARDS.
DESIGN - Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, prospective clinical trial.
SETTING - ICUs in five clinical centers in the United States and Canada.
PATIENTS - Patients meeting a predetermined definition of ARDS and requiring mechanical ventilation.
INTERVENTION - Standard care for ARDS and I.V. infusion, every 8 h for 10 days, of one of the following: NAC (70 mg/kg, n=14), OTZ (63 mg/kg, n=17), or placebo (n=15).
MAIN RESULTS - Both antioxidants effectively repleted RBC glutathione gradually over the 10-day treatment period (47% and 49% increases from baseline values for NAC and OTZ, respectively). There was no difference in mortality among groups (placebo, 40%; NAC, 36%; OTZ, 35%). However, the number of days of acute lung injury was decreased and there was also a significant increase in cardiac index in both treatment groups (NAC/OTZ [+]14%; placebo [-]6%).
CONCLUSIONS - Our findings suggest that repletion of glutathione may safely be accomplished with NAC or OTZ in patients with acute lung injury/ARDS. Such treatment may shorten the duration of acute lung injury, but larger studies are needed to confirm this.
Coagulation factor XI is activated in vitro by factor XIIa in the presence of high molecular weight kininogen (HMWK) and a negatively charged surface. Factor XII deficiency is not associated with bleeding, which suggests that another mechanism for factor XI activation exists in vivo. A revised model of coagulation is proposed in which factor XI is activated by thrombin. In the absence of cofactors, thrombin is more effective (kcat/Km = 1.6 x 10(5)) than factor XIIa (1.7 x 10(4)) in activating factor XI. Dextran sulfate enhances activation of factor XI by thrombin 2000-fold; part of this effect is due to autoactivation of factor XI by activated factor XI.