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Biomaterial substrates composed of semi-aligned electrospun fibers are attractive supports for the regeneration of connective tissues because the fibers are durable under cyclic tensile loads and can guide cell adhesion, orientation, and gene expression. Previous studies on supported electrospun substrates have shown that both fiber diameter and mechanical deformation can independently influence cell morphology and gene expression. However, no studies have examined the effect of mechanical deformation and fiber diameter on unsupported meshes. Semi-aligned large (1.75 μm) and small (0.60 μm) diameter fiber meshes were prepared from degradable elastomeric poly(esterurethane urea) (PEUUR) meshes and characterized by tensile testing and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Next, unsupported meshes were aligned between custom grips (with the stretch axis oriented parallel to axis of fiber alignment), seeded with C3H10T1/2 cells, and subjected to a static load (50 mN, adjusted daily), a cyclic load (4% strain at 0.25 Hz for 30 min, followed by a static tensile loading of 50 mN, daily), or no load. After 3 days of mechanical stimulation, confocal imaging was used to characterize cell shape, while measurements of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) content and messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression were used to characterize cell retention on unsupported meshes and expression of the connective tissue phenotype. Mechanical testing confirmed that these materials deform elastically to at least 10%. Cells adhered to unsupported meshes under all conditions and aligned with the direction of fiber orientation. Application of static and cyclic loads increased cell alignment. Cell density and mRNA expression of connective tissue proteins were not statistically different between experimental groups. However, on large diameter fiber meshes, static loading slightly elevated tenomodulin expression relative to the no load group, and tenascin-C and tenomodulin expression relative to the cyclic load group. These results demonstrate the feasibility of maintaining cell adhesion and alignment on semi-aligned fibrous elastomeric substrates under different mechanical conditions. The study confirms that cell morphology is sensitive to the mechanical environment and suggests that expression of select connective tissue genes may be enhanced on large diameter fiber meshes under static tensile loads.
Using a Drosophila whole-genome transgenic RNAi screen for glycogenes regulating synapse function, we have identified two protein α-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferases (pgant3 and pgant35A) that regulate synaptic O-linked glycosylation (GalNAcα1-O-S/T). Loss of either pgant alone elevates presynaptic/postsynaptic molecular assembly and evoked neurotransmission strength, but synapses appear restored to normal in double mutants. Likewise, activity-dependent facilitation, augmentation, and posttetanic potentiation are all suppressively impaired in pgant mutants. In non-neuronal contexts, pgant function regulates integrin signaling, and we show here that the synaptic Position Specific 2 (αPS2) integrin receptor and transmembrane tenascin ligand are both suppressively downregulated in pgant mutants. Channelrhodopsin-driven activity rapidly (<1 min) drives integrin signaling in wild-type synapses but is suppressively abolished in pgant mutants. Optogenetic stimulation in pgant mutants alters presynaptic vesicle trafficking and postsynaptic pocket size during the perturbed integrin signaling underlying synaptic plasticity defects. Critically, acute blockade of integrin signaling acts synergistically with pgant mutants to eliminate all activity-dependent synaptic plasticity.
Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3413047-19$15.00/0.
Renal medullary interstitial cells (RMIC) are specialized fibroblast-like cells that exert important functions in maintaining body fluid homeostasis and systemic blood pressure. Here, we generated a RMIC specific tenascin-C promoter driven inducible CreER2 knockin mouse line with an EGFP reporter. Similar as endogenous tenascin-C expression, the reporter EGFP expression in the tenascin-C-CreER2(+/-) mice was observed in the inner medulla of the kidney, and co-localized with COX2 but not with AQP2 or AQP1, suggesting selective expression in RMICs. After recombination (tenascin-C-CreER2(+/-)/ROSA26-lacZ(+/-) mice + tamoxifen), β-gal activity was restricted to the cells in the inner medulla of the kidney, and didn't co-localize with AQP2, consistent with selective Cre recombinase activity in RMICs. Cre activity was not obvious in other major organs or without tamoxifen treatment. This inducible RMIC specific Cre mouse line should therefore provide a novel tool to manipulate genes of interest in RMICs.
Tenascin-C (TN-C) expression and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity are induced within remodeling pulmonary arteries (PAs), where they promote cell growth. Because pulmonary vascular disease in children with congenital heart defects is commonly associated with changes in pulmonary hemodynamics, we hypothesized that changes in pulmonary blood flow regulate TN-C and MMPs. To test this, we ligated the left PAs of neonatal pigs. After 12 wk, we evaluated the levels of TN-C and MMPs in control and ligated lung tissue. Modifying pulmonary hemodynamics increased TN-C mRNA and protein expression, MMP activity, and the DNA-binding activity of Egr-1, a transcription factor that has been shown to activate TN-C expression. To link MMP-mediated remodeling of the extracellular matrix to increased TN-C expression and Egr-1 activity, porcine PA smooth muscle cells were cultivated either on denatured type I collagen, which supported TN-C expression and Egr-1 activity, or on native collagen, which had the opposite effect. These data provide a framework for understanding how changes in pulmonary blood flow in the neonate modify the tissue microenvironment and cell behavior.
Tenascin-X (TN-X) is an extracellular matrix protein whose absence results in an alteration of the mechanical properties of connective tissue. To understand the mechanisms of integration of TN-X in the extracellular matrix, overlay blot assays were performed on skin extracts. A 100 kDa molecule interacting with TN-X was identified by this method and this interaction was abolished when the extract was digested by chondroitinase. By solid-phase assays, we showed that dermatan sulfate chains of decorin bind to the heparin-binding site included within the fibronectin-type III domains 10 and 11 of TN-X. We thus postulate that the association of TN-X with collagen fibrils is mediated by decorin and contributes to the integrity of the extracellular network.
Tenascin-X is known as a heparin-binding molecule, but the localization of the heparin-binding site has not been investigated until now. We show here that, unlike tenascin-C, the recombinant fibrinogen-like domain of tenascin-X is not involved in heparin binding. On the other hand, the two contiguous fibronectin type III repeats b10 and b11 have a predicted positive charge at physiological pH, hence a set of recombinant proteins comprising these domains was tested for interaction with heparin. Using solid phase assays and affinity chromatography, we found that interaction with heparin was conformational and involved both domains 10 and 11. Construction of a three-dimensional model of domains 10 and 11 led us to predict exposed residues that were then submitted to site-directed mutagenesis. In this way, we identified the basic residues within each domain that are crucial for this interaction. Blocking experiments using antibodies against domain 10 were performed to test the efficiency of this site within intact tenascin-X. Binding was significantly reduced, arguing for the activity of a heparin-binding site involving domains 10 and 11 in the whole molecule. Finally, the biological significance of this site was tested by cell adhesion studies. Heparan sulfate cell surface receptors are able to interact with proteins bearing domains 10 and 11, suggesting that tenascin-X may activate different signals to regulate cell behavior.
Tenascin is a glycoprotein of the extracellular matrix and is mainly expressed in association with a high proliferative and migratory activity. This characteristic has made it a successfully used target molecule in the treatment of glioblastoma. An application of anti-tenascin therapy concept in squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (HNSCC) mainly depends on the expression pattern of tenascin in a tumor type. In the present study, we analyzed the messenger (m) RNA and protein expression of tenascin in HNSCC tumors when compared to normal mucosa and determined its cellular localization and correlation with various clinical parameters, including tumor staging. In native tissue tenascin protein was localized in the entire extracellular matrix surrounding the tumor. Normal mucosa showed only a weak and interrupted basement membrane staining. In situ hybridization revealed a very faint tenascin mRNA signal in basal cells of normal mucosa and a strong signal in tumor cells. This tumor cell-specific expression of tenascin was confirmed at the protein level in HNSCC cultures. However, there was no correlation of tenascin expression with tumor staging or tumor cell proliferation. Our data clearly show that tenascin is selectively expressed in HNSCC and therefore could be useful for a therapeutic intervention in these tumors.
Adhesive properties of tenascin-X (TN-X) were investigated using TN-X purified from bovine skin and recombinant proteins encompassing the RGD sequence located within the tenth fibronectin type-III domain, and the fibrinogen-like domain. Osteosarcoma (MG63) and bladder carcinoma cells (ECV304) cells were shown to adhere to purified TN-X, but did not spread and did not assemble actin stress fibers. Both cell types adhered to recombinant proteins harboring the contiguous fibronectin type-III domains 9 and 10 (FNX 9-10) but not to the FNX 10 domain alone. This adhesion to FNX 9-10 was shown to be mediated by alphavbeta3 integrin, was inhibited by RGD peptides and was strongly reduced in proteins mutated within the RGD site. As antibodies against alphavbeta3 integrin had no effects on cell adhesion to purified TN-X, we suggest that the RGD sequence is masked in intact TN-X. Cell attachment to the recombinant TN-X fibrinogen domain (FbgX) and to purified TN-X was greater for MG63 than for ECV304 cells. A beta1-containing integrin was shown to be involved in MG63 cell attachment to FbgX and to purified TN-X. Although the existence of other cell interaction sites is likely in this huge molecule, these similar patterns of adhesion and inhibition suggest that the fibrinogen domain might be a dominant site in the whole molecule.
The primary structure of flexilin, an extracellular matrix glycoprotein previously identified in bovine tissues (Lethias, C., Descollonges, Y., Boutillon, M.-M., and Garrone, R. (1996) Matrix Biol. 15, 11-19) was determined by cDNA cloning. The deduced amino acid sequence (4135 residues) reveals that this protein is composed of a succession of peptide motifs characteristic of the tenascin family: an amino-terminal domain containing cysteine residues and heptads of hydrophobic amino acids, 18.5 epidermal growth factor-like repeats, 30 fibronectin type III-like (FNIII) domains, and a carboxyl-terminal fibrinogen-like motif. Sequence analysis indicated that this protein is the bovine orthologue of human tenascin-X. By rotary shadowing, bovine tenascin-X was identified as monomers with a flexible aspect, which are ended by a globule. More FNIII motifs were characterized in the bovine protein than in human tenascin-X. The main difference between the human and bovine tenascin-X is found in the arrangement of the three classes of highly similar FNIII repeat types in the central region of tenascin-X. The bovine FNIII motif b10 exhibits an RGD putative cell attachment site. The functional role of this sequence is corroborated by cell adhesion on purified tenascin-X, which is inhibited by RGD peptides. Moreover, we demonstrate that this RGD site is conserved at the same location in the human molecule.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - The role of cell adhesion molecules in colonic organogenesis remains poorly understood. This study examined the expression of alpha-integrin subunits and extracellular matrix ligands during human colonic development.
METHODS - Standard immunohistochemistry was used to characterize extracellular matrix and alpha-integrin subunit expression during development.
RESULTS - At 9 weeks, type-IV collagen and laminin were present underlying epithelium, around vascular structures, and surrounding inner circular muscle layer fibers. Fibronectin was uniformly expressed in the mesenchyme. Tenascin distribution was restricted to the presumptive muscle layer and, later, to the villus core and muscularis mucosae. The 9-week epithelium expressed alpha 2, alpha 3, alpha 5, and alpha 8, and, by 11 weeks, alpha 9. alpha 3, alpha 6, and alpha 8 expression was accentuated at the basal membrane. During transition from pseudostratified to simple columnar epithelium, a vertical alpha 2 gradient formed. Mesenchymal cells expressed alpha 5 and alpha 8 by 9 weeks. The developing muscularis (propria and mucosae) showed accentuated alpha 5 expression. By 16 weeks, alpha 8 expression localized to the muscularis mucosae and villus core. Mesenchymal vascular elements stained strongly with anti-alpha 2 and alpha 6 by 9 weeks.
CONCLUSIONS - These observations show the complexity and overlap of adhesive receptor expression and ligands during development and reveal early cell commitment to the formation of specific structures.