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Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a deadly disease with no cure. Alternate conversion of angiotensin II (AngII) to angiotensin-(1-7) (Ang-(1-7)) by angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) resulting in Mas receptor (Mas1) activation improves rodent models of PAH. Effects of recombinant human (rh) ACE2 in human PAH are unknown. Our objective was to determine the effects of rhACE2 in PAH.We defined the molecular effects of Mas1 activation using porcine pulmonary arteries, measured AngII/Ang-(1-7) levels in human PAH and conducted a phase IIa, open-label pilot study of a single infusion of rhACE2 (GSK2586881, 0.2 or 0.4 mg·kg intravenously).Superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) and inflammatory gene expression were identified as markers of Mas1 activation. After confirming reduced plasma ACE2 activity in human PAH, five patients were enrolled in the trial. GSK2586881 was well tolerated with significant improvement in cardiac output and pulmonary vascular resistance. GSK2586881 infusion was associated with reduced plasma markers of inflammation within 2-4 h and increased SOD2 plasma protein at 2 weeks.PAH is characterised by reduced ACE2 activity. Augmentation of ACE2 in a pilot study was well tolerated, associated with improved pulmonary haemodynamics and reduced markers of oxidant and inflammatory mediators. Targeting this pathway may be beneficial in human PAH.
Copyright ©ERS 2018.
This study reports the synthesis and testing of a family of rhodamine pro-fluorophores and an enzyme capable of converting pro-fluorophores to Rhodamine 110. We prepared a library of simple N,N'-diacyl rhodamines and investigated porcine liver esterase (PLE) as an enzyme to activate rhodamine-based pro-fluorophores. A PLE-expressing cell line generated an increase in fluorescence rapidly upon pro-fluorophore addition demonstrating the rhodamine pro-fluorophores are readily taken up and fluorescent upon PLE-mediated release. Rhodamine pro-fluorophore amides trifluoroacetamide (TFAm) and proponamide (PAm) appeared to be the best substrates using a cell-based assay using PLE expressing HEK293. Our pro-fluorophore series showed diffusion into live cells and resisted endogenous hydrolysis. The use of our engineered cell line containing the exogenous enzyme PLE demonstrated the rigorousness of amide masking when compared to cells not containing PLE. This simple and selective pro-fluorophore rhodamine pair with PLE offers the potential to be used in vitro and in vivo fluorescence based assays.
© 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Standard harvest and preparation of human saphenous vein (HSV) for autologous coronary and peripheral arterial bypass procedures is associated with injury and increased oxidative stress that negatively affect graft performance. In this study we investigated the global metabolomic profiles of HSV before (unprepared; UP) and after standard vein graft preparation (AP). AP-HSV showed impaired vasomotor function that was associated with increased oxidative stress, phospholipid hydrolysis and energy depletion that are characteristic of mechanical and chemical injury. A porcine model (PSV) was utilized to validate these metabolomic changes in HSV and to determine the efficacy of an improved preparation technique (OP) using pressure-regulated distension, a non-toxic vein marker, and graft storage in buffered PlasmaLyte solution in limiting metabolic decompensation due to graft preparation. Deficits in vasomotor function and metabolic signature observed in AP-PSV could be largely mitigated with the OP procedure. These findings suggest that simple strategies aimed at reducing injury during graft harvest and preparation represents a straightforward and viable strategy to preserve conduit function and possibly improve graft patency.
Studies of regulatory activity and gene expression have revealed an intriguing dichotomy: There is substantial turnover in the regulatory activity of orthologous sequences between species; however, the expression level of orthologous genes is largely conserved. Understanding how distal regulatory elements, for example, enhancers, evolve and function is critical, as alterations in gene expression levels can drive the development of both complex disease and functional divergence between species. In this study, we investigated determinants of the conservation of regulatory enhancer activity for orthologous sequences across mammalian evolution. Using liver enhancers identified from genome-wide histone modification profiles in ten diverse mammalian species, we compared orthologous sequences that exhibited regulatory activity in all species (conserved-activity enhancers) to shared sequences active only in a single species (species-specific-activity enhancers). Conserved-activity enhancers have greater regulatory potential than species-specific-activity enhancers, as quantified by both the density and diversity of transcription factor binding motifs. Consistent with their greater regulatory potential, conserved-activity enhancers have greater regulatory activity in humans than species-specific-activity enhancers: They are active across more cellular contexts, and they regulate more genes than species-specific-activity enhancers. Furthermore, the genes regulated by conserved-activity enhancers are expressed in more tissues and are less tolerant of loss-of-function mutations than those targeted by species-specific-activity enhancers. These consistent results across various stages of gene regulation demonstrate that conserved-activity enhancers are more pleiotropic than their species-specific-activity counterparts. This suggests that pleiotropy is associated with the conservation of regulatory across mammalian evolution.
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.
OBJECTIVES - Unregulated intraoperative distension of human saphenous vein (SV) graft leads to supraphysiologic luminal pressures and causes acute physiologic and cellular injury to the conduit. The effect of distension on tissue viscoelasticity, a biophysical property critical to a successful graft, is not well described. In this investigation, we quantify the loss of viscoelasticity in SV deformed by distension and compare the results to tissue distended in a pressure-controlled fashion.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - Unmanipulated porcine SV was used as a control or distended without regulation and distended with an in-line pressure release valve (PRV). Rings were cut from these tissues and suspended on a muscle bath. Force versus time tracings of tissue constricted with KCl (110 mM) and relaxed with sodium nitroprusside (SNP) were fit to the Hill model of viscoelasticity, using mean absolute error (MAE) and r-goodness of fit as measures of conformity.
RESULTS - One-way ANOVA analysis demonstrated that, in tissue distended manually, the MAE was significantly greater and the r-goodness of fit was significantly lower than both undistended tissues and tissues distended with a PRV (p<0.05) in KCl-induced vasoconstriction and SNP-induced vasodilation.
CONCLUSIONS - Unregulated manual distension of SV graft causes loss of viscoelasticity and such loss may be mitigated with the use of an in-line PRV.
BACKGROUND - Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (CA) is a prevalent medical crisis resulting in severe injury to the heart and brain and an overall survival of less than 10%. Mitochondrial dysfunction is predicted to be a key determinant of poor outcomes following prolonged CA. However, the onset and severity of mitochondrial dysfunction during CA and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is not fully understood. Ischemic postconditioning (IPC), controlled pauses during the initiation of CPR, has been shown to improve cardiac function and neurologically favorable outcomes after 15min of CA. We tested the hypothesis that mitochondrial dysfunction develops during prolonged CA and can be rescued with IPC during CPR (IPC-CPR).
METHODS - A total of 63 swine were randomized to no ischemia (Naïve), 19min of ventricular fibrillation (VF) CA without CPR (Untreated VF), or 15min of CA with 4min of reperfusion with either standard CPR (S-CPR) or IPC-CPR. Mitochondria were isolated from the heart and brain to quantify respiration, rate of ATP synthesis, and calcium retention capacity (CRC). Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production was quantified from fresh frozen heart and brain tissue.
RESULTS - Compared to Naïve, Untreated VF induced cardiac and brain ROS overproduction concurrent with decreased mitochondrial respiratory coupling and CRC, as well as decreased cardiac ATP synthesis. Compared to Untreated VF, S-CPR attenuated brain ROS overproduction but had no other effect on mitochondrial function in the heart or brain. Compared to Untreated VF, IPC-CPR improved cardiac mitochondrial respiratory coupling and rate of ATP synthesis, and decreased ROS overproduction in the heart and brain.
CONCLUSIONS - Fifteen minutes of VF CA results in diminished mitochondrial respiration, ATP synthesis, CRC, and increased ROS production in the heart and brain. IPC-CPR attenuates cardiac mitochondrial dysfunction caused by prolonged VF CA after only 4min of reperfusion, suggesting that IPC-CPR is an effective intervention to reduce cardiac injury. However, reperfusion with both CPR methods had limited effect on mitochondrial function in the brain, emphasizing an important physiological divergence in post-arrest recovery between those two vital organs.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Transporting epithelial cells interact with the luminal environment using a tightly packed array of microvilli known as the brush border. During intestinal epithelial differentiation, microvillar packing and organization are driven by cadherin-dependent adhesion complexes that localize to the distal tips of microvilli, where they drive physical interactions between neighboring protrusions. Although enrichment of the "intermicrovillar adhesion complex" (IMAC) at distal tips is required for proper function, the mechanism driving tip accumulation of these factors remains unclear. Here, we report that the actin-based motor myosin-7b (Myo7b) promotes the accumulation of IMAC components at microvillar tips. Myo7b is highly enriched at the tips of microvilli in both kidney and intestinal brush borders, and loss of Myo7b in differentiating intestinal epithelial cells disrupts intermicrovillar adhesion and, thus, brush border assembly. Analysis of cells lacking Myo7b revealed that IMAC components and the resulting intermicrovillar adhesion links are mislocalized along the microvillar axis rather than enriched at the distal tips. We also found that Myo7b motor domains are capable of supporting tip-directed transport. However, motor activity is supplemented by other passive targeting mechanisms that together drive highly efficient IMAC accumulation at the tips. These findings illuminate the molecular basis of IMAC enrichment at microvillar tips and hold important implications for understanding apical morphogenesis in transporting and sensory epithelial tissues.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
DNA nanostructures have become an important and powerful tool for studying protein function over the last 5 years. One of the challenges, though, has been the development of universal methods for patterning protein complexes on DNA nanostructures. Herein, we present a new approach for labeling DNA nanostructures by functionalizing them with a GFP nanobody. We demonstrate the ability to precisely control protein attachment via our nanobody linker using two enzymatic model systems, namely adenylyl cyclase activity and myosin motility. Finally, we test the power of this attachment method by patterning unpurified, endogenously expressed Arp2/3 protein complex from cell lysate. By bridging DNA nanostructures with a fluorescent protein ubiquitous throughout cell and developmental biology and protein biochemistry, this approach significantly streamlines the application of DNA nanostructures as a programmable scaffold in biological studies.
© 2016 The Protein Society.
PURPOSE - To quantify protein changes in the morphologically distinct remodeling zone (RZ) and adjacent regions of the human lens outer cortex using spatially directed quantitative proteomics.
METHODS - Lightly fixed human lens sections were deparaffinized and membranes labeled with fluorescent wheat germ agglutinin (WGA-TRITC). Morphology directed laser capture microdissection (LCM) was used to isolate tissue from four distinct regions of human lens outer cortex: differentiating zone (DF), RZ, transition zone (TZ), and inner cortex (IC). Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) of the plasma membrane fraction from three lenses (21-, 22-, and 27-year) revealed changes in major cytoskeletal proteins including vimentin, filensin, and phakinin. Peptides from proteins of interest were quantified using multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mass spectrometry and isotopically-labeled internal peptide standards.
RESULTS - Results revealed an intermediate filament switch from vimentin to beaded filament proteins filensin and phakinin that occurred at the RZ. Several other cytoskeletal proteins showed significant changes between regions, while most crystallins remained unchanged. Targeted proteomics provided accurate, absolute quantification of these proteins and confirmed vimentin, periplakin, and periaxin decrease from the DF to the IC, while filensin, phakinin, and brain acid soluble protein 1 (BASP1) increase significantly at the RZ.
CONCLUSIONS - Mass spectrometry-compatible fixation and morphology directed laser capture enabled proteomic analysis of narrow regions in the human lens outer cortex. Results reveal dramatic cytoskeletal protein changes associated with the RZ, suggesting that one role of these proteins is in membrane deformation and/or the establishment of ball and socket joints in the human RZ.
PURPOSE - To quantify regional changes of conventional outflow caused by ab interno trabeculectomy (AIT).
METHODS - Gonioscopic, plasma-mediated AIT was established in enucleated pig eyes. We developed a program to automatically quantify outflow changes (R, package eye-canalogram, github.com) using a fluorescent tracer reperfusion technique. Trabecular meshwork (TM) ablation was demonstrated with fluorescent spheres in six eyes before formal outflow quantification with two-dye reperfusion canalograms in six additional eyes. Eyes were perfused with a central, intracameral needle at 15 mm Hg. Canalograms and histology were correlated for each eye.
RESULTS - The pig eye provided a model with high similarity to AIT in human patients. Histology indicated ablation of TM and unroofing of most Schlemm's canal segments. Spheres highlighted additional circumferential and radial outflow beyond the immediate area of ablation. Differential canalograms showed that AIT caused an increase of outflow of 17 ± 5-fold inferonasally, 14 ± 3-fold superonasally, and also an increase in the opposite quadrants with a 2 ± 1-fold increase superotemporally, and 3 ± 3 inferotemporally. Perilimbal specific flow image analysis showed an accelerated nasal filling with an additional perilimbal flow direction into adjacent quadrants.
CONCLUSIONS - A quantitative, differential canalography technique was developed that allows us to quantify supraphysiological outflow enhancement by AIT.