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PDX-1 regulates transcription of genes involved in islet beta cell function and pancreas development. Islet-specific expression is controlled by 5'-flanking sequences from base pair (bp) -2917 to -1918 in transgenic experiments, which encompasses both conserved (i.e. Area I (bp -2761/-2457), Area II (bp -2153/-1923)) and non-conserved pdx-1 sequences. However, only an Area II-driven transgene is independently active in vivo, albeit in only a fraction of islet PDX-1-producing cells. Our objective was to identify the sequences within the -2917/-1918-bp region that act in conjunction with Area II to allow comprehensive expression in islet PDX-1(+) cells. In cell line-based transfection assays, only Area I effectively potentiated Area II activity. Both Area I and Area II functioned in an orientation-independent manner, whereas synergistic, enhancer-like activation was uniquely found with duplicated Area II. Chimeras of Area II and the generally active SV40 enhancer or the beta cell-specific insulin enhancer suggested that islet cell-enriched activators were necessary for Area I activation, because Area II-mediated stimulation was reduced by the SV40 enhancer and activated by the insulin enhancer. Several conserved sites within Area I were important in Area I/Area II activation, with binding at bp -2614/-2609 specifically controlled by Nkx2.2, an insulin gene regulator that is required for terminal beta cell differentiation. The ability of Area I to modulate Area II activation was also observed in vivo, as an Area I/Area II-driven transgene recapitulated the endogenous pdx-1 expression pattern in developing and adult islet cells. These results suggest that Area II is a central pdx-1 control region, whose islet cell activity is uniquely modified by Area I regulatory factors.
PGF(2alpha) is the most abundant prostaglandin detected in urine; however, its renal effects are poorly characterized. The present study cloned a PGF-prostanoid receptor (FP) from the rabbit kidney and determined the functional consequences of its activation. Nuclease protection assay showed that FP mRNA expression predominates in rabbit ovary and kidney. In situ hybridization revealed that renal FP expression predominates in the cortical collecting duct (CCD). Although FP receptor activation failed to increase intracellular Ca(2+), it potently inhibited vasopressin-stimulated osmotic water permeability (L(p), 10(-7) cm/(atm.s)) in in vitro microperfused rabbit CCDs. Inhibition of L(p) by the FP selective agonist latanoprost was additive to inhibition of vasopressin action by the EP selective agonist sulprostone. Inhibition of L(p) by latanoprost was completely blocked by pertussis toxin, consistent with a G(i)-coupled mechanism. Heterologous transfection of the rabbit FPr into HEK293 cells also showed that latanoprost inhibited cAMP generation via a pertussis toxin-sensitive mechanism but did not increase cell Ca(2+). These studies demonstrate a functional FP receptor on the basolateral membrane of rabbit CCDs. In contrast to the Ca(2+) signal transduced by other FP receptors, this renal FP receptor signals via a PT-sensitive mechanism that is not coupled to cell Ca(2+).
Injured podocytes lose differentiation markers. Therefore, the true identity of severely injured podocytes remains unverified. A transgenic mouse model equipped with a podocyte-selective injury induction system was established. After induction of podocyte injury, mice rapidly developed glomerulosclerosis, with downregulation of podocyte marker proteins. Proliferating epithelial cells accumulated within Bowman's space, as seen in collapsing glomerulosclerosis. In this study, the fate of injured podocytes was pursued. Utilizing Cre-loxP recombination, the podocyte lineage was genetically labeled with lacZ in an irreversible manner. After podocyte injury, the number of lacZ-labeled cells, which were often negative for synaptopodin, progressively declined, correlating with glomerular damage. Parietal epithelial cells, but not lacZ-labeled podocytes, avidly proliferated. The cells proliferating within Bowman's capsule and, occasionally, on the outer surface of the glomerular basement membrane were lacZ-negative. Thus, when podocytes are severely injured, proliferating parietal epithelial cells migrate onto the visceral site, thereby mimicking proliferating podocytes.
A hallmark of smooth muscle cell (SMC) phenotypic switching in atherosclerotic lesions is suppression of SMC differentiation marker gene expression. Yet little is known regarding the molecular mechanisms that control this process. Here we show that transcription of the SMC differentiation marker gene SM22alpha is reduced in atherosclerotic lesions and identify a cis regulatory element in the SM22alpha promoter required for this process. Transgenic mice carrying the SM22alpha promoter-beta-galactosidase (beta-gal) reporter transgene were crossed to apolipoprotein E (ApoE)-/- mice. Cells of the fibrous cap, intima, and underlying media showed complete loss of beta-gal activity in advanced atherosclerotic lesions. Of major significance, mutation of a G/C-rich cis element in the SM22alpha promoter prevented the decrease in SM22alpha promoter-beta-gal reporter transgene expression, including in cells that compose the fibrous cap of the lesion and in medial cells in proximity to the lesion. To begin to assess mechanisms whereby the G/C repressor element mediates suppression of SM22alpha in atherosclerosis, we tested the hypothesis that effects may be mediated by platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB-induced increases in the G/C binding transcription factor Sp1. Consistent with this hypothesis, results of studies in cultured SMCs showed that: (1) PDGF-BB increased expression of Sp1; (2) PDGF-BB and Sp1 profoundly suppressed SM22alpha promoter activity as well as smooth muscle myosin heavy chain promoter activity through mechanisms that were at least partially dependent on the G/C cis element; and (3) a short interfering RNA to Sp1 increased basal expression and attenuated PDGF-BB induced suppression of SM22alpha. Together, these results support a model whereby a G/C repressor element within the SM22alpha promoter mediates transcriptional repression of this gene within phenotypically modulated SMCs in experimental atherosclerosis and provide indirect evidence implicating PDGF-BB and Sp1 as possible mediators of these effects.
Oxygen radicals regulate many physiological processes, such as signaling, proliferation, and apoptosis, and thus play a pivotal role in pathophysiology and disease development. There are at least two thioredoxin reductase/thioredoxin/peroxiredoxin systems participating in the cellular defense against oxygen radicals. At present, relatively little is known about the contribution of individual enzymes to the redox metabolism in different cell types. To begin to address this question, we generated and characterized mice lacking functional mitochondrial thioredoxin reductase (TrxR2). Ubiquitous Cre-mediated inactivation of TrxR2 is associated with embryonic death at embryonic day 13. TrxR2(TrxR2(-/-)minus;/TrxR2(-/-)minus;) embryos are smaller and severely anemic and show increased apoptosis in the liver. The size of hematopoietic colonies cultured ex vivo is dramatically reduced. TrxR2-deficient embryonic fibroblasts are highly sensitive to endogenous oxygen radicals when glutathione synthesis is inhibited. Besides the defect in hematopoiesis, the ventricular heart wall of TrxR2(TrxR2(-/-)minus;/TrxR2(-/-)minus;) embryos is thinned and proliferation of cardiomyocytes is decreased. Cardiac tissue-restricted ablation of TrxR2 results in fatal dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition reminiscent of that in Keshan disease and Friedreich's ataxia. We conclude that TrxR2 plays a pivotal role in both hematopoiesis and heart function.
Low gene transfer rate is the most substantial hurdle in the practical application of gene therapy. One strategy to improve transfer efficiency is the use of a conditionally replicating adenovirus (CRAD) that can selectively replicate in tumor cells. We hypothesized that conventional E1-deleted adenoviruses (ad) can become replication-competent when cotransduced with a CRAD to selectively supply E1 in trans in tumors. The resulting selective production of large numbers of the E1-deleted ad within the tumor mass will increase the transduction efficiency. We used a CRAD (Delta24RGD) that produces a mutant E1 without the ability to bind retinoblastoma but retaining viral replication competence in cancer cells with a defective pRb/p16. Ad-lacZ, adenovirus-luciferase (ad-luc), and adenovirus insulin-like growth factor-1R/dominant-negative (ad-IGF-1R/dn; 482, 950) are E1-deleted replication-defective adenoviruses. The combination of CRAD and ad-lacZ increased the transduction efficiency of lacZ to 100% from 15% observed with ad-lacZ alone. Transfer of media of CRAD and ad-lacZ cotransduced cells induced the transfer of lacZ (media transferable bystander effect). Combination of CRAD and ad-IGF-1R/dn increased the production of truncated IGF-1R or soluble IGF-1R > 10 times compared with transduction with ad-IGF-1R/dn alone. Combined intratumoral injection of CRAD and ad-luc increased the luciferase expression about 70 times compared with ad-luc alone without substantial systemic spread. Combined intratumoral injection of CRAD and ad-IGF-1R/482 induced stronger growth suppression of established lung cancer xenografts than single injections. The combination of CRAD and E1-deleted ad induced tumor-specific replication of CRAD and E1-deleted ad and increased the transduction rate and therapeutic efficacy of these viruses in model tumors.
The present work reports for the first time the construction of a transgenic mouse strain with specific expression of Cre recombinase in the kidney proximal tubule. A Cre/loxP strategy was developed using sglt2 promoter to drive Cre recombinase expression in transgenic mice. The mouse sglt2 5' region consisting of the first exon, the first intron, and part of the second exon was cloned upstream of a nucleotide sequence encoding the Cre recombinase. Transgenic mice were generated by pronuclear injection, and tissue specificity of Cre expression was analyzed using reverse transcription-PCR. The iL1-sglt2-Cre mouse line scored positive for kidney transcription of Cre but not for the other tissues analyzed. Within the kidney, Cre transcripts were demonstrated to be restricted to the proximal tubule only. iL1-sglt2-Cre mice were bred with ROSA26-LacZ reporter mice that contained a loxP-flanked stop sequence upstream of the LacZ gene. X-gal staining and immunohistochemistry using specific antibodies (anti-megalin, anti-Tamm-Horsfall, anti-NaCl co-transporter, and anti-aquaporin 2) revealed that sglt2 drives Cre functional expression specifically in proximal tubules. The iL1-sglt2-Cre mouse therefore represents a powerful tool for Cre-LoxP-mediated conditional expression in the renal proximal tubule.
Notch1 is known to play a critical role in regulating fates in numerous cell types, including those of the hematopoietic lineage. Multiple defects exhibited by Notch1-deficient embryos confound the determination of Notch1 function in early hematopoietic development in vivo. To overcome this limitation, we examined the developmental potential of Notch1(-/-) embryonic stem (ES) cells by in vitro differentiation and by in vivo chimera analysis. Notch1 was found to affect primitive erythropoiesis differentially during ES cell differentiation and in vivo, and this result reflected an important difference in the regulation of Notch1 expression during ES cell differentiation relative to the developing mouse embryo. Notch1 was dispensable for the onset of definitive hematopoiesis both in vitro and in vivo in that Notch1(-/-) definitive progenitors could be detected in differentiating ES cells as well as in the yolk sac and early fetal liver of chimeric mice. Despite the fact that Notch1(-/-) cells can give rise to multiple types of definitive progenitors in early development, Notch1(-/-) cells failed to contribute to long-term definitive hematopoiesis past the early fetal liver stage in the context of a wild-type environment in chimeric mice. Thus, Notch1 is required, in a cell-autonomous manner, for the establishment of long-term, definitive hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs).
The transcription factor Pax8 is expressed in the developing thyroid gland, inner ear, kidney, and mid-hindbrain region. Pax8 mutant mice die only postnatally due to a thyroid gland defect. Here we report the generation and expression analysis of a Pax8(cre) allele. Cre recombinase activity was detected in known Pax8 expression domains of Pax8(cre/+) and Pax8(cre/cre) embryos carrying the Z/AP transgene, which expresses alkaline phosphatase only after Cre-mediated excision of lacZ sequences. Alkaline phosphatase expression was additionally detected in the adrenal gland and in the facial, vestibulocochlear, and cuneate nerves, which have so far not been associated with Pax8 expression. Our data indicate that the Pax8(cre) allele provides a novel important tool for conditional gene manipulation and lineage tracing in different Pax8 expression domains.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Angiogenesis, an essential component of a variety of physiological and pathological processes, offers attractive opportunities for therapeutic regulation. We hypothesized that matrix metalloproteinase-9 genetic deficiency (MMP-9-/-) will impair angiogenesis triggered by tissue ischemia, induced experimentally by femoral artery ligation in mice. To investigate the role of MMP-9, we performed a series of biochemical and histological analyses, including zymography, simultaneous detection of perfused capillaries, MMP-9 promoter activity, MMP-9 protein, and macrophages in MMP-9-/- and wild-type (WT) mice. We found that ischemia resulted in doubling of capillary density in WT and no change in the MMP-9-/- ischemic tissues, which translated into increased (39%) perfusion capacity only in the WT at 14 days after ligation. We also confirmed that capillaries in the MMP-9-/- presented significantly (P<0.05) less points of capillary intersections, interpreted by us as decreased branching. The combined conclusions from simultaneous localizations of MMP-9 expression, capillaries, and macrophages suggested that macrophage MMP-9 participates in capillary branching. Transplantation of WT bone marrow into the MMP-9-/-, restored capillary branching, further supporting the contribution of bone marrow-derived macrophages in supplying the necessary MMP-9. Our study indicates that angiogenesis triggered by tissue ischemia requires MMP-9, which may be involved in capillary branching, a potential novel role for this MMP that could be exploited to control angiogenesis.