Involvement of MAPK signaling molecules and Runx2 in the NELL1-induced osteoblastic differentiation.
ABSTRACT NELL1 is an extracellular protein inducing osteogenic differentiation and bone formation of osteoblastic cells. To elucidate the intracellular signaling cascade evoked by NELL1, we have shown that NELL1 protein transiently activates the MAPK signaling cascade, induces the phosphorylation of Runx2, and promotes the rapid intracellular accumulation of Tyr-phosphorylated proteins. Unlike BMP2, NELL1 protein does not activate the Smad signaling cascade. These findings suggest that upon binding to a specific receptor NELL1 transduces an osteogenic signal through activation of certain Tyr-kinases associated with the Ras-MAPK cascade, and finally leads to the osteogenic differentiation.
Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 10/2006; 21(9):1331-8. · 6.37 Impact Factor
Article: Direct-test PCR for detection of meningococcal DNA and its serogroup characterization: standardization and adaptation for use in a public health laboratory.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A direct PCR test (DT-PCR) was established to detect Neisseria meningitidis DNA in clinical samples from patients with suspected bacterial meningitis. Specific primers for the 16S rDNA of N. meningitidis were designed to amplify a 600 bp DNA fragment. One hundred and ninety-three clinical samples were analysed, corresponding to 114 samples from patients diagnosed as positive and 79 as negative for infection by N. meningitidis using conventional methods (culture, latex agglutination and counterimmunoelectrophoresis). These samples were submitted to PCR by two different clinical sample preparation approaches (with and without DNA extraction and purification) and submitted to different PCR protocols to improve the results. In agarose gel detection, the sensitivity value for DT-PCR was 88.5 % and, using dot-blot DNA detection, the sensitivity increased to 96.4 %. The detection limit for meningococcus in cerebrospinal fluid was 2x10(2) c.f.u. ml(-1). Serogroup prediction was done using a multiplex PCR protocol and the sensitivity was 83 % for agarose gel DNA detection and 96.4 % using dot-blot DNA detection.Journal of Medical Microbiology 10/2003; 52(Pt 9):793-9. · 2.50 Impact Factor
Article: Nell1-deficient mice have reduced expression of extracellular matrix proteins causing cranial and vertebral defects.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The mammalian Nell1 gene encodes a protein kinase C-beta1 (PKC-beta1) binding protein that belongs to a new class of cell-signaling molecules controlling cell growth and differentiation. Over-expression of Nell1 in the developing cranial sutures in both human and mouse induces craniosynostosis, the premature fusion of the growing cranial bone fronts. Here, we report the generation, positional cloning and characterization of Nell1(6R), a recessive, neonatal-lethal point mutation in the mouse Nell1 gene, induced by N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea. Nell1(6R) has a T-->A base change that converts a codon for cysteine into a premature stop codon [Cys(502)Ter], resulting in severe truncation of the predicted protein product and marked reduction in steady-state levels of the transcript. In addition to the expected alteration of cranial morphology, Nell1(6R) mutants manifest skeletal defects in the vertebral column and ribcage, revealing a hitherto undefined role for Nell1 in signal transduction in endochondral ossification. Real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR assays of 219 genes showed an association between the loss of Nell1 function and reduced expression of genes for extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins critical for chondrogenesis and osteogenesis. Several affected genes are involved in the human cartilage disorder Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and other disorders associated with spinal curvature anomalies. Nell1(6R) mutant mice are a new tool for elucidating basic mechanisms in osteoblast and chrondrocyte differentiation in the developing skull and vertebral column and understanding how perturbations in the production of ECM proteins can lead to anomalies in these structures.Human Molecular Genetics 05/2006; 15(8):1329-41. · 7.64 Impact Factor