The neuregulin-I/ErbB signaling system in development and disease.
ABSTRACT Neuregulins (NRGs) comprise a large family of EGF-like signaling molecules involved in cell-cell communication during development and disease. The neuregulin family of ligands has four members: NRG1, NRG2, NRG3, and NRG4. Relatively little is known about the biological functions of the NRG2, 3, and 4 proteins. In contrast, the NRG1 proteins have been demonstrated to play important roles during the development of the nervous system, heart, and mammary glands. For example, NRG1 has essential functions in the development of neural crest cells and some of their major derivatives, like Schwann cells and sympathetic neurons. NRG1 controls the trabeculation of the myocardial musculature and the ductal differentiation of the mammary epithelium. Moreover, there is emerging evidence for the involvement of NRG signals in the development and function of several other organ systems, and in human disease, including breast cancer and schizophrenia. Many different isoforms of the Neuregulin-1 gene are synthesized. Such isoforms differ in their tissue-specific expression patterns and their biological activities, thereby contributing to the great diversity of the in vivo functions of NRG1. Neuregulins transmit their signals to target cells by interacting with transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptors of the ErbB family. This family includes four members, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R, ErbB1, ErbB2, ErbB3, and ErbB4). Receptor-ligand interaction induces the heterodimerization of receptor monomers, which in turn results in the activation of intracellular signaling cascades and the induction of cellular responses including proliferation, migration, differentiation, and survival or apoptosis. In vivo, functional NRG1 receptors are heterodimers composed of ErbB2 with either an ErbB3, or ErbB4 molecule. The tissue-specific distribution of the different receptor types further contributes to the diversity and specificity of the biological functions of this signaling pathway. It is a typical feature of the Neuregulin-1/ErbB signaling pathway to control sequential steps during the development of a particular organ system. For example, this pathway functions in early precursor proliferation, maturation, as well as in the myelination of Schwann cells. The systematic analysis of genetic models that have been established by the help of conventional as well as conditional gene targeting strategies in mice was instrumental for the uncovering of the multitude of biological functions of this signaling system. In this review the basic biology of the Neuregulin-1/ErbB system and how it relates to the in vivo functions were discussed with special emphasis to transgenic techniques in mice.
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ABSTRACT: The neuregulin1/ErbB system plays an important role in Schwann cell behavior both in normal and pathological conditions. Upon investigation of the expression of the neuregulin1/ErbB system in vitro, we explored the possibility to manipulate the system in order to increase the migration of Schwann cells, that play a fundamental role in the peripheral nerve regeneration. Comparison of primary cells and stable cell lines shows that both primary olfactory bulb ensheathing cells and a corresponding cell line express ErbB1-ErbB2 and neuregulin1, and that both primary Schwann cells and a corresponding cell line express ErbB2-ErbB3, while only primary Schwann cells express neuregulin1. To interfere with the neuregulin1/ErbB system, the soluble extracellular domain of the neuregulin1 receptor ErbB4 (ecto-ErbB4) was expressed in vitro in the neuregulin1 expressing cell line, and an unexpected increase in cell motility was observed. In vitro experiments suggest that the back signaling mediated by the transmembrane neuregulin1 plays a role in the migratory activity induced by ecto-ErbB4. These results indicate that ecto-ErbB4 could be used in vivo as a tool to manipulate the neuregulin1/ErbB system.BioMed Research International 08/2014; 2014:310215. DOI:10.1155/2014/310215 · 2.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Exposure to inorganic arsenic (iAs) early in life is associated with adverse health effects in infants, children, and adults, and yet the biological mechanisms that underlie these effects are understudied. The objective of this research was to examine the proteomic shifts associated with prenatal iAs exposure using cord blood samples isolated from 50 newborns from Gómez Palacio, Mexico. Levels of iAs in maternal drinking water (DW-iAs) and the sum of iAs and iAs metabolites in maternal urine (U-tAs) were determined. Cord blood samples representing varying iAs exposure levels during the prenatal period (DW-iAs ranging from <1 to 236 μg As/L) were analyzed for altered expression of proteins associated with U-tAs using a high throughput, antibody-based method. A total of 111 proteins were identified that had a significant association between protein level in newborn cord blood and maternal U-tAs. Many of these proteins are regulated by tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and are enriched in functionality related to immune/inflammatory response and cellular development/proliferation. Inter-individual differences in proteomic response were observed in which 30 newborns were "activators," displaying a positive relationship between protein expression and maternal U-tAs. For 20 "repressor" newborns, a negative relationship between protein expression level and maternal U-tAs was observed. The activator/repressor status was significantly associated with maternal U-tAs and head circumference in newborn males. These results may provide a critical groundwork for understanding the diverse health effects associated with prenatal arsenic exposure and highlight inter-individual responses to arsenic that likely influence susceptibility to adverse health outcomes.Toxicological Sciences 03/2014; DOI:10.1093/toxsci/kfu053 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Gene expression signatures relating mammary stem cell populations to breast cancers have focused on adult tissue. Here, we identify, isolate, and characterize the fetal mammary stem cell (fMaSC) state since the invasive and proliferative processes of mammogenesis resemble phases of cancer progression. fMaSC frequency peaks late in embryogenesis, enabling more extensive stem cell purification than achieved with adult tissue. fMaSCs are self-renewing, multipotent, and coexpress multiple mammary lineage markers. Gene expression, transplantation, and in vitro analyses reveal putative autocrine and paracrine regulatory mechanisms, including ErbB and FGF signaling pathways impinging on fMaSC growth. Expression profiles from fMaSCs and associated stroma exhibit significant similarities to basal-like and Her2+ intrinsic breast cancer subtypes. Our results reveal links between development and cancer and provide resources to identify new candidates for diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy.Cell stem cell 02/2012; 10(2):183-97. DOI:10.1016/j.stem.2011.12.018 · 22.15 Impact Factor