[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although chronic inflammation is believed to contribute to the pathology of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), knowledge regarding the events that elicit the change from para-inflammation to chronic inflammation in the pathogenesis of AMD is lacking. We propose here that lipocalin-2 (LCN2), a mammalian innate immunity protein that is trafficked to the lysosomes, may contribute to this process. It accumulates significantly with age in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells of Cryba1 conditional knockout (cKO) mice, but not in control mice. We have recently shown that these mice, which lack βA3/A1-crystallin specifically in RPE, have defective lysosomal clearance. The age-related increase in LCN2 in the cKO mice is accompanied by increases in chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2), reactive gliosis, and immune cell infiltration. LCN2 may contribute to induction of a chronic inflammatory response in this mouse model with AMD-like pathology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glutamate-induced elevation in intracellular Ca2+ has been implicated in excitotoxic cell death. Neurons respond to increased glutamate levels by activating an extracellular proteolytic cascade involving the components of the plasmin-plasminogen system.AnxA2 is a Ca2+-dependent phospholipid binding protein and serves as an extracellular proteolytic center by recruiting tissue plasminogen activator and plasminogen, and mediating localized generation of plasmin. Ratiometric Ca2+ imaging and time lapse confocal microscopy demonstrated glutamate-induced Ca2+ influx. We showed that glutamate translocated both endogenous and AnxA2-GFP to the cell surface in a process dependent on the activity of the NMDA receptor. Glutamate-induced translocation of AnxA2 is dependent on the phosphorylation of tyrosine 23 at the N-terminus and mutation of tyrosine 23 to a non-phosphomimetic variant inhibits the translocation process. The cell surface translocated AnxA2 forms an active plasmin-generating complex and this activity can be neutralized by a hexapeptide directed against the N-terminus. These results suggest an involvement of AnxA2 in potentiating glutamate-induced cell death processes.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2014; · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In phagocytic cells, including the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), acidic compartments of the endolysosomal system are regulators of both phagocytosis and autophagy, thereby helping to maintain cellular homeostasis. The acidification of the endolysosomal system is modulated by a proton pump, the V-ATPase, but the mechanisms that direct the activity of the V-ATPase remain elusive. We found that in RPE cells, CRYBA1/βA3/A1-crystallin, a lens protein also expressed in RPE, is localized to lysosomes, where it regulates endolysosomal acidification by modulating the V-ATPase, thereby controlling both phagocytosis and autophagy. We demonstrated that CRYBA1 coimmunoprecipitates with the ATP6V0A1/V 0-ATPase a1 subunit. Interestingly, in mice when Cryba1 (the gene encoding both the βA3- and βA1-crystallin forms) is knocked out specifically in RPE, V-ATPase activity is decreased and lysosomal pH is elevated, while cathepsin D (CTSD) activity is decreased. Fundus photographs of these Cryba1 conditional knockout (cKO) mice showed scattered lesions by 4 months of age that increased in older mice, with accumulation of lipid-droplets as determined by immunohistochemistry. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of cryba1 cKO mice revealed vacuole-like structures with partially degraded cellular organelles, undigested photoreceptor outer segments and accumulation of autophagosomes. Further, following autophagy induction both in vivo and in vitro, phospho-AKT and phosphor-RPTOR/Raptor decrease, while pMTOR increases in RPE cells, inhibiting autophagy and AKT-MTORC1 signaling. Impaired lysosomal clearance in the RPE of the cryba1 cKO mice also resulted in abnormalities in retinal function that increased with age, as demonstrated by electroretinography. Our findings suggest that loss of CRYBA1 causes lysosomal dysregulation leading to the impairment of both autophagy and phagocytosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In phagocytic cells, the endolysosomal system is a crucial regulator of both phagocytosis and autophagy, thereby helping to maintain cellular homeostasis. Prime examples of this are retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) cells, which are not only among the most actively phagocytic cells, continuously phagocytosing shed photoreceptor outer segments (OS), but also are post-mitotic cells having high metabolic activity and a high rate of autophagy. For proper RPE function, and to ensure the functional integrity of the neural retina, both phagocytosis and autophagy need to be in balance. We show that in the RPE, bA3/A1-crystallin is required for normal lysosomal-mediated waste removal. Our studies suggest that bA3/A1-crystallin acts via the AMPK-mTORC1 signaling pathway. Based on our findings, we postulate that loss of bA3/A1-crystallin inhibits these signaling pathways, leading to a defect in the V-ATPase-mediated acidification of the lysosomal machinery. Since bA3/A1-crystallin has been reported to be present in human drusen and a possible role for lysosomes in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has been suggested, it is possible that perturbation of normal phagocytosis/autophagy in RPE could cause some manifestations of AMD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Astrocytes migrate from the optic nerve into the inner retina, forming a template upon which retinal vessels develop. In the Nuc1 rat, mutation in the gene encoding βA3/A1-crystallin disrupts both Notch signalling in astrocytes and formation of the astrocyte template. Here we show that loss of βA3/A1-crystallin in astrocytes does not impede Notch ligand binding or extracellular cleavages. However, it affects vacuolar-type proton ATPase (V-ATPase) activity, thereby compromising acidification of the endolysosomal compartments, leading to reduced γ-secretase-mediated processing and release of the Notch intracellular domain (NICD). Lysosomal-mediated degradation of Notch is also impaired. These defects decrease the level of NICD in the nucleus, inhibiting the expression of Notch target genes. Overexpression of βA3/A1-crystallin in those same astrocytes restored V-ATPase activity and normal endolysosomal acidification, thereby increasing the levels of γ-secretase to facilitate optimal Notch signalling. We postulate that βA3/A1-crystallin is essential for normal endolysosomal acidification, and thereby, normal activation of Notch signalling in astrocytes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nuc1 is a spontaneous rat mutant resulting from a mutation in the Cryba1 gene, coding for βA3/A1-crystallin. Our earlier studies with Nuc1 provided novel evidence that astrocytes, which express βA3/A1-crystallin, have a pivotal role in retinal remodeling. The role of astrocytes in the retina is only beginning to be explored. One of the limitations in the field is the lack of appropriate animal models to better investigate the function of astrocytes in retinal health and disease. We have now established transgenic mice that overexpress the Nuc1 mutant form of Cryba1, specifically in astrocytes. Astrocytes in wild type mice show normal compact stellate structure, producing a honeycomb-like network. In contrast, in transgenics over-expressing the mutant (Nuc1) Cryba1 in astrocytes, bundle-like structures with abnormal patterns and morphology were observed. In the nerve fiber layer of the transgenic mice, an additional layer of astrocytes adjacent to the vitreous is evident. This abnormal organization of astrocytes affects both the superficial and deep retinal vascular density and remodeling. Fluorescein angiography showed increased venous dilation and tortuosity of branches in the transgenic retina, as compared to wild type. Moreover, there appear to be fewer interactions between astrocytes and endothelial cells in the transgenic retina than in normal mouse retina. Further, astrocytes overexpressing the mutant βA3/A1-crystallin migrate into the vitreous, and ensheath the hyaloid artery, in a manner similar to that seen in the Nuc1 rat. Together, these data demonstrate that developmental abnormalities of astrocytes can affect the normal remodeling process of both fetal and retinal vessels of the eye and that βA3/A1-crystallin is essential for normal astrocyte function in the retina.
Transgenic Research 03/2012; 21(5):1033-42. · 2.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Annexin A2 (AnxA2), a Ca(2+)-dependent phospholipid-binding protein, is known to associate with the plasma membrane and the endosomal system. Within the plasma membrane, AnxA2 associates in a Ca(2+) dependent manner with cholesterol-rich lipid raft microdomains. Here, we show that the association of AnxA2 with the lipid rafts is influenced not only by intracellular levels of Ca(2+) but also by N-terminal phosphorylation at tyrosine 23. Binding of AnxA2 to the lipid rafts is followed by the transport along the endocytic pathway to be associated with the intralumenal vesicles of the multivesicular endosomes. AnxA2-containing multivesicular endosomes fuse directly with the plasma membrane resulting in the release of the intralumenal vesicles into the extracellular environment, which facilitates the exogenous transfer of AnxA2 from one cell to another. Treatment with Ca(2+) ionophore triggers the association of AnxA2 with the specialized microdomains in the exosomal membrane that possess raft-like characteristics. Phosphorylation at Tyr-23 is also important for the localization of AnxA2 to the exosomal membranes. These results suggest that AnxA2 is trafficked from the plasma membrane rafts and is selectively incorporated into the lumenal membranes of the endosomes to escape the endosomal degradation pathway. The Ca(2+)-dependent exosomal transport constitutes a novel pathway of extracellular transport of AnxA2.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2011; 286(35):30911-25. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Extracellular proteolysis is an indispensable requirement for the formation of new blood vessels during neovascularization and is implicated in the generation of several angiogenic regulatory molecules. Anti-proteolytic agents have become attractive therapeutic strategies in diseases associated with excessive neovascularization. Annexin A2 (AnxA2) is an endothelial cell-surface receptor for the generation of active proteolytic factors, such as plasmin. Here, we show that AnxA2 is abundantly expressed in the neovascular tufts in a murine model of neovascularization. Exposure to hypoxic conditions results in elevation of AnxA2 and tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) in human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (RMVECs). We show that the hexapeptide competitive inhibitor LCKLSL, which targets the N-terminal tPA-binding site of AnxA2, binds efficiently to cell-surface AnxA2 compared with binding of the control peptide LGKLSL. Treatment with the competitive peptide inhibits the generation of plasmin and suppresses the VEGF-induced activity of tPA under hypoxic conditions. Application of the competitive peptide in two in vivo models of angiogenesis demonstrated suppression of the angiogenic responses, which was also associated with significant changes in the vascular sprouting. These results suggest that AnxA2-mediated plasmin generation is an important event in angiogenesis and is inhibited by a specific competitive peptide that inhibits the binding of tPA to AnxA2.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During eye development, apoptosis is vital to the maturation of highly specialized structures such as the lens and retina. Several forms of apoptosis have been described, including anoikis, a form of apoptosis triggered by inadequate or inappropriate cell-matrix contacts. The anoikis regulators, Bit1 (Bcl-2 inhibitor of transcription-1) and protein kinase-D (PKD), are expressed in developing lens when the organelles are present in lens fibers, but are downregulated as active denucleation is initiated. We have previously shown that in rats with a spontaneous mutation in the Cryba1 gene, coding for βA3/A1-crystallin, normal denucleation of lens fibers is inhibited. In rats with this mutation (Nuc1), both Bit1 and PKD remain abnormally high in lens fiber cells. To determine whether βA3/A1-crystallin has a role in anoikis, we induced anoikis in vitro and conducted mechanistic studies on astrocytes, cells known to express βA3/A1-crystallin. The expression pattern of Bit1 in retina correlates temporally with the development of astrocytes. Our data also indicate that loss of βA3/A1-crystallin in astrocytes results in a failure of Bit1 to be trafficked to the Golgi, thereby suppressing anoikis. This loss of βA3/A1-crystallin also induces insulin-like growth factor-II, which increases cell survival and growth by modulating the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT/mTOR and extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathways. We propose that βA3/A1-crystallin is a novel regulator of both life and death decisions in ocular astrocytes.
Cell Death & Disease 01/2011; 2:e217. · 6.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Annexin A2 (AnxA2) is a multifunctional Ca(2+)-dependent phospholipid-binding protein, and its overexpression is implicated in malignant transformation of several cancers. In prostate cancer, however, the expression of AnxA2 is lost in prostate intraepithelial neoplasia and reappears in the high-grade tumors, suggesting a complex regulation of AnxA2 in the prostate microenvironment. Since a majority of the biological functions of AnxA2 are mediated by its interaction with other proteins, we performed a yeast two-hybrid assay to search for novel interactors of AnxA2. Our studies revealed that signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (STAT6), a member of the STAT family of transcription factors, is a binding partner of AnxA2. We confirmed AnxA2-STAT6 interaction by in vitro co-immunoprecipitation and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) studies and demonstrated that AnxA2 interacts with phosphorylated STAT6. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay revealed that AnxA2 is associated with the STAT6 DNA-binding complex, and luciferase reporter assays demonstrated that AnxA2 upregulates the activity of STAT6. Upon interleukin-4 treatment, AnxA2 stabilizes the cytosolic levels of phosphorylated STAT6 and promotes its nuclear entry. These findings suggest that AnxA2-STAT6 interactions could have potential implications in prostate cancer progression. This report is the first to demonstrate the interaction of AnxA2 with STAT6 and suggests a possible mechanism by which AnxA2 contributes to the metastatic processes of prostate cancer.