[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously identified the Arabidopsis thaliana–derived decapeptide OSIP108, which increases tolerance of plants and yeast cells to oxidative stress. As excess copper (Cu) is known to induce oxidative stress and apoptosis, and is characteristic for the human pathology Wilson disease, we investigated the effect of OSIP108 on Cu-induced toxicity in yeast. We found that OSIP108 increased yeast viability in presence of toxic Cu concentrations, and decreased the prevalence of Cu-induced apoptotic markers. Next, we translated these results to the human hepatoma HepG2 cell line, demonstrating anti-apoptotic activity of OSIP108 in this cell line. In addition, we found that OSIP108 did not affect intracellular Cu levels in HepG2 cells, but preserved HepG2 mitochondrial ultrastructure. As Cu is known to induce acid sphingomyelinase activity of HepG2 cells, we performed a sphingolipidomic analysis of OSIP108-treated HepG2 cells. We demonstrated that OSIP108 decreased the levels of several sphingoid bases and ceramide species. Moreover, exogenous addition of the sphingoid base dihydrosphingosine abolished the protective effect of OSIP108 against Cu-induced cell death in yeast. These findings indicate the potential of OSIP108 to prevent Cu-induced apoptosis, possibly via its effects on sphingolipid homeostasis.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Cell Research 01/2014; · 4.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Wilson disease (WD) is caused by accumulation of excess copper (Cu) due to a mutation in the gene encoding the liver Cu transporter ATP7B, and is characterized by acute liver failure or cirrhosis and neuronal cell death. We investigated the effect of OSIP108, a plant derived decapeptide that prevents Cu-induced apoptosis in yeast and human cells, on Cu-induced toxicity in various mammalian in vitro models relevant for WD and in a Cu-toxicity zebrafish larvae model applicable to WD.
The effect of OSIP108 was evaluated on viability of various cell lines in presence of excess Cu, on liver morphology of a Cu-treated zebrafish larvae strain that expresses a fluorescent reporter in hepatocytes, and on oxidative stress levels in wild type AB zebrafish larvae.
OSIP108 increased viability of Cu-treated CHO cells transgenically expressing ATP7B and the common WD-causing mutant ATP7BH1069Q, but also viability of Cu-treated human glioblastoma U87 cells. Aberrancies in liver morphology of Cu-treated zebrafish larvae were observed, which were further confirmed as Cu-induced hepatotoxicity by liver histology. Injections of OSIP108 into Cu-treated zebrafish larvae significantly increased the amount of larvae with normal liver morphology, and decreased Cu-induced production of reactive oxygen species.
OSIP108 prevents Cu-induced toxicity in in vitro models and in a Cu-toxicity zebrafish larvae model applicable to WD.
All the above data indicate the potential of OSIP108 as a drug lead for further development as a novel WD treatment.
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 01/2014; · 3.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common form of muscular dystrophies affecting approximately 1:3500 male live births. Deletion of the dystrophin gene accounts for approximately 65% of mutations, duplications occur in 6–10% while the remaining 20–30% are point mutations, small deletion/insertions, or splicing mutations.
To study non-deletion mutations in a sample of Egyptian patients with DMD as most previous studies focused on deletion mutations.
Patients and methods
The study included 25 patients with DMD from 18 different families from the genetics clinic, Children’s Hospital, Ain Shams University. Diagnosis was made based on typical clinical findings, high CPK and EMG result. Molecular analysis included Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) followed by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) to those patients with no deletion by PCR. Direct sequencing of the whole dystrophin gene was done to those patients who had no deletion or duplication by the previous 2 methods.
Non-deletion mutation included duplications (5 families (27.8%)) which are higher than previously reported and point mutation (c.583C>T) in only one family. Deletion mutations were found in 9 families (50%) and no mutation found in 3 families (16.7%). Interestingly, 60% of the duplications were located in the distal region of the dystrophin gene. A frame shift mutation was identified in most patients (93%) except one with duplication of exons 50–51 who had an unexpected severe disease with an early age of onset. Also, an intragenic deletion involving the 5′ end of the dystrophin gene (deletion of muscle protomor and exon 1) was found in another patient with severe disease without cardiac involvement.
The relative higher frequency of duplication mutations in Egyptian patients with DMD may indicate that MLPA and not PCR should be preferred for molecular testing of Egyptian patients with DMD.
Egyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics 01/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wilson disease (WD) is an autosomal recessive disorder resulting from mutations in the ATP7B gene, with over 600 mutations described. Identification of mutations has made genetic diagnosis of WD feasible in many countries. The heterogeneity of ATP7B mutants is, however, yet to be identified in the Indian population. We analyzed the mutational pattern of WD in a large region of Western India. We studied patients (n = 52) for ATP7B gene mutations in a cohort of families with WD and also in first-degree relatives (n = 126). All 21 exon-intron boundaries of the WD gene were amplified and directly sequenced. We identified 36 different disease-causing mutations (31 exonic and five intronic splice site variants). Fourteen novel mutations were identified. Exons 2, 8, 13, 14, and 18 accounted for the majority of mutations (86.4%). A previously recognized mutation, p.C271*, and the novel mutation p.E122fs, were the most common mutations with allelic frequencies of 20.2% and 10.6%, respectively. Frequent homozygous mutations (58.9%) and disease severity assessments allowed analysis of genotype-phenotype correlations. Our study significantly adds to the emerging data from other parts of India suggesting that p.C271* may be the most frequent mutation across India, and may harbor a moderate to severely disabling phenotype with limited variability.
Annals of Human Genetics 04/2013; · 2.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common problem with a wide variety of phenotypes. While its pathogenesis is still not fully understood, several risk factors for disease progression have been identified. Therefore, defining adequate animal models may serve to unreveal the pathogenesis in NAFLD. We studied Lewis and Sprague-Dawley rats of both genders (n = 6) fed standard (Std) or high-fat (HF) diet for three weeks. Disease stage was assessed by haematoxylin-eosin, Azan Heidenheim and Oil-Red staining, apoptosis by single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) detection and liver regeneration by Ki-67 staining. Serum markers of liver injury and lipid metabolism including adipocytokines were analysed. Livers of both strains and genders fed with HF diet demonstrated evidence of steatosis. Lewis rats developed microvesicular steatosis whereas Sprague-Dawley rats presented macrovesicular steatosis accompanied by pronounced fibrosis. Female gender of both strains was associated with lower steatosis grade and higher proliferation rate (P < 0.05). Gender-specific differences were most prominent in Lewis rats on a HF diet, where females showed lower alkaline phosphatase, cholesterol, triglyceride and leptin levels and a more favourable low-density lipoprotein/high-density lipoprotein ratio than males (P < 0.05). Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis was performed to demonstrate changes in expression of various genes important for liver regeneration, fibrosis and steatosis. HF diet induced downregulation of proangiogenic genes such as vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 and 2 (P < 0.05) in males was not present in females. In conclusion, strain and gender served major roles in disease progression. These differences should be considered when designing studies and may offer new ways to advance therapeutic strategies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: AIM: To investigate the impact of dietary copper given at different time points on the onset of fulminant hepatitis.
METHODS: The Long-Evans cinnamon (LEC) rat model of Wilson’s disease (WD) was used to study the impact of high dietary copper (hCu) on the induction of fulminant hepatitis at early or late time points of life.
High Cu diet was started in rat pups or in adults (month 5) for three months. Animals that received reduced dietary copper (rCu) throughout their lifetime served as a control. Hepatitis-associated serum markers (alanine aminotransferase, aspartate transaminase, bilirubin) were analyzed in animal groups receiving hCu or rCu. Liver copper content and liver histology were revealed at sacrifice. A set of 5 marker genes previously found to be affected in injured liver and which are related to angiogenesis (Vegfa ), fat metabolism (Srebf1 ), extracellular matrix (Timp1 ), oxidative stress (Hmox1 ), and the cell cycle (Cdkn1a ) were analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction.
RESULTS: Regardless of the time point when hCu was started, LEC rats (35/36) developed fulminant hepatitis and died. Animals receiving rCu (36/36) remained healthy, did not develop hepatitis, and survived long term without symptoms of overt disease, although liver copper accumulated in adult animals (477 ± 75 μg/g). With regard to start of hCu, onset of fulminant hepatitis was significantly (P < 0.001) earlier in adults (35 ± 9 d) that showed pre-accumulation of liver copper as compared to the pup group (77 ± 15 d). Hepatitis-associated serum markers, liver copper and liver histology, as well as gene expression, were affected in LEC rats receiving hCu. However, except for early and rapid onset of hepatitis, biochemical and molecular markers were similar at the early and late time points of disease.
CONCLUSION: Rapid onset of fulminant hepatitis in asymptomatic LEC rats with elevated liver copper suggests that there is a critical threshold of liver copper which is important to trigger the course of WD.
World Journal of Gastroenterology 10/2012; · 2.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: MicroRNA-122 (miR-122) has recently been shown to represent a novel biomarker of liver disease. However, the presence of serum miR-122 after liver injury was mostly studied at singular time points. The course of serum miR-122 was determined at consecutive time points during the onset of disease. METHODS: Fulminant hepatitis was induced by a high-copper diet in Long-Evans Cinnamon (LEC) rats that were used as models for Wilson's disease (WD). Levels of serum miR-122, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), bilirubin, and liver histology were determined. RESULTS: Toxic copper given to isolated hepatocytes induced release of miR-122 into the tissue culture medium. Levels of serum miR-122 were highly elevated (21.9 ± 5) in LEC rats after high-copper diet in fulminant hepatitis, whereas healthy rats showed low (<0.6) baseline levels of miR-122. Levels of miR-122 in the serum of LEC rats after high-copper diet continuously increased for about 4 weeks prior to the onset of fulminant hepatitis. In most of the animals (77.8%), significantly increased levels of miR-122 were detected about 2 weeks (13.7 ± 2 days) earlier as compared to hepatitis-associated serum markers ALT, AST, and bilirubin. Analysis of miR-122 in survivors after cell-based therapy of WD demonstrated a rapid decrease of miR-122 levels following hepatocyte transplantation. miR-122 expression in the serum was normalized to baseline levels in most of the (4/5) survivors. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that longitudinal analysis of miR-122 allows detection of severe liver disease at an early stage and might be excellently suited to monitor therapy, at least when severe liver disease can be restored as observed after cell-based therapy of WD. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12072-012-9348-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Hepatology International 10/2012; 6(4):770-777. · 2.64 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The outcome of consecutive hepatocyte transplants was explored in a rat model of Wilson's disease before the onset of fulminant hepatitis without preconditioning regimens. Rats received a high-copper diet in order to induce a rapid induction of liver failure. Sham-operated rats (15/15) developed jaundice and fulminant hepatitis, and they died within 4 weeks of first transplantation. Despite the continuation of a high dietary copper challenge, long-term survival was observed for a notable proportion of the transplanted animals (7/18). All survivors displayed normalized levels of hepatitis-associated serum markers and ceruloplasmin oxidase activity by posttransplant days 50 and 98, respectively. The liver copper concentrations, the liver histology, and the expression of marker genes were significantly restored within 4 months of transplantation in comparison with the control group. The high expression of a copper transporter gene (ATPase Cu++ transporting beta polypeptide) in the livers of the survivors indicated a high rate of repopulation by donor hepatocytes. Our data suggest that repeated cell transplantation can overcome the limitations of a single therapy session in rats with severe hepatic disease by functionally restoring the host liver without preconditioning.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The regeneration capacity of cirrhotic livers might be affected by angiotensin-1 (AT1) receptors located on hepatic stellate cells (HSC). The effect of AT1 receptor blockade on microcirculation, fibrosis and liver regeneration was investigated.
In 112 Lewis rats, cirrhosis was induced by repetitive intraperitoneal injections of CCl(4) . Six hours, 3, 7 and 14 days after partial hepatectomy or sham operation, rats were sacrificed for analysis. Animals were treated with either vehicle or 5 mg/kg body weight losartan pre-operatively and once daily after surgery by gavage. Microcirculation and portal vein flow were investigated at 6 h. The degree of cirrhosis was assessed by Azan Heidenhein staining, activation of HSC by desmin staining, apoptosis by ssDNA detection and liver regeneration by Ki-67 staining. Changes in expression of various genes important for liver regeneration and fibrosis were analysed at 6 h and 3 days. Haemodynamic parameters and liver enzymes were monitored.
Losartan treatment increased sinusoidal diameter, sinusoidal blood flow and portal vein flow after partial hepatectomy (P<0.05), but not after sham operation. AT1 receptor blockade resulted in increased apoptosis early after resection. HSC activation was reduced and after 7 days, a significantly lower degree of cirrhosis in resected animals was observed. Losartan increased the proliferation of hepatocytes at late time-points and of non-parenchymal cells early after partial hepatectomy (P<0.05). Tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α was significantly upregulated at 6 h and stem cell growth factor (SCF) was downregulated at 3 days (P<0.05).
Losartan increased hepatic blood flow, reduced HSC activation and liver fibrosis, but interfered with hepatocyte proliferation after partial hepatectomy in cirrhotic livers.
Liver international: official journal of the International Association for the Study of the Liver 05/2011; 31(5):642-55. · 3.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wilson's disease (WD) is characterized by accumulation of high levels of copper in liver due to malfunction of copper transporter ATP7B which is central for copper homeostasis. Here we report for the first time that mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) derived from bone marrow express detectable levels of ATP7B. The role of ATP7B overexpression for MSC survival and selection in high copper was investigated. Hepatoma cell line HepG2 that has a high intrinsic expression of ATP7B served as a control. Using retroviral vector a significant higher expression level of ATP7B could be achieved in MSCs. Whereas copper treatment resulted in cell death in untransduced MSCs, viability assays demonstrated a unique copper resistance of ATP7B overexpressing MSCs that outcompeted HepG2. In long-term cell culture stable transgene expression for up to 9weeks was shown for ATP7B overexpressing MSCs which rapidly overgrew untransduced cells. Our findings suggest that ATP7B overexpression provides an important selection advantage to MSCs in high copper microenvironments, and may represent novel cell transplants for therapy of WD.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 03/2010; 395(3):307-11. · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Disease progression and clinical diagnostics of a number of hereditable metabolic diseases are determined by organ involvement in disturbed deposition of certain molecules. Current clinical imaging is unable to visualize this maldistribution with sufficient specificity and sensitivity, such as in Wilson's disease. The quest for understanding cellular Cu distribution in these patients requires element- and molecule-specific images with nanometer-scale spatial resolution. We have used a new cryo-mass spectrometric instrument with an integrated cryosectioning chamber for preparation and analysis of frozen hydrated samples of Wilson's disease tissue. With laser post-ionization secondary neutral mass spectrometry (laser-SNMS), we were able to image Cu and other intrinsic elements and molecules in less than 1 mg of frozen hydrated liver tissue from a murine model of Wilson's disease. A 40-50 times higher Cu concentration was measured in the disease tissue as compared to the control mouse. Furthermore, major histomorphological changes were observed using this advanced nano-science tool. The results showed that the combination of in-vacuum cryosectioning and cryo-laser-SNMS technologies is particularly well suited for identifying specific cell structures and imaging trace element concentrations with subcellular resolution and upper-parts-per-billion sensitivity in biological samples. This technology can provide a novel diagnostic tool for clinical applications in various diseases involving trace elements.
Biological Mass Spectrometry 09/2009; 44(10):1417-22. · 3.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: For effective immunotherapy, maintaining the frequency and cytotoxic potential of effector cells is critical. In this context costimulation via the CD70/CD27 pathway has been proven essential. CD70 has been reported to be expressed to varying degrees on malignant B cells. However, in B cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common childhood malignancy, the role of CD70 in stimulation of antileukemic T cell responses has so far not been delineated. Herein we demonstrate that in B cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia expression of CD70 is low but can be induced upon blast activation via CD40. Both CD70 and CD80/CD86 up-regulated on CD40-stimulated blasts contribute to primary stimulation of T cell proliferation and cytokine production in an additive manner. These two signals also cooperate in the prevention of T cell anergy. In contrast to blockade of CD70 during the effector phase, inhibition of CD70-mediated costimulation during generation of antileukemic T cells prevents effector cell proliferation and reduces their cytotoxic capacity. Modulation of the CD70/CD27 pathway may thus represent a novel therapeutic approach for augmenting magnitude and quality of the antileukemic response in B cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
The Journal of Immunology 02/2009; 182(1):718-25. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The remarkable capacity of the liver to regenerate after injury and the prospects of organ self-renewal have attracted much interest in the understanding and modulation of the underlying molecular events. We investigated the effect of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor rapamycin (RAPA) on liver by correlating intravital microscopy, immunohistochemistry, and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction in a rat model of 2/3 hepatectomy. RAPA significantly retarded proliferation of hepatocytes, endothelial cells, and hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) mostly between days 2 and 4 after hepatectomy and downregulated major cytokines and growth factors (tumor necrosis factor alpha, hepatocyte growth factor, platelet-derived growth factor, platelet-derived growth factor receptor, insulin-like growth factor-1, transforming growth factor beta 1) important for liver regeneration. These effects were almost absent at later time points. RAPA also had a transient, but broad effect on angiogenesis, and impaired sinusoidal density as well as mRNA levels of vascular endothelial growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2, and angiopoietin-1. Activation of HSC was also transiently suppressed as observed by smooth muscle protein 1 alpha protein expression and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 mRNA levels. The rate of apoptosis in liver was significantly increased by RAPA between day 3 and day 7. The effect of RAPA on liver repair, angiogenesis, and HSC activation is confined to the phase of active cell proliferation. This transient effect might allow further exploration of mTOR inhibitors in clinical situations that involve liver regeneration, and seems to have implications beyond immunosuppression.
Archiv für Pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und für Klinische Medicin 06/2008; 452(5):545-57. · 2.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: For leukemia vaccine generation, high-efficiency gene transfer is required to express immunomodulatory molecules that stimulate potent antileukemic immune responses. In this context, herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1)-derived vectors have proven to be a promising tool for genetic modification of lymphoblastic leukemia cells. Yet, vector-associated viral protein expression might inadvertently modulate vaccine efficacy facilitating both immune evasion and immune stimulation. To explore the issue of immune-stimulation versus immune-suppression in immature lymphoblastic leukemia cells, two types of HSV-1 amplicon vectors, helper virus-dependent and helper virus-free that express the immunomodulatory molecules CD70 and IL-2, were compared with regard to their vector-associated immunomodulatory potential. We first established that lymphoblastic cell lines and primary acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells express HSV receptor genes. Lymphoblastic cell lines were transduced with high efficiency, and in primary ALL cells high gene transfer rates of 47+/-15 and 42+/-14% were obtained with helper virus-dependent and -free HSV-1 amplicon vectors, respectively. The efficacy of the two amplicon vectors to induce antineoplastic responses was assessed in a vaccine setting in mice with pre-existing highly malignant lymphoblastic disease. Treatment of mice with vaccine cells transgenically expressing CD70+IL2 significantly suppressed lymphoblastic cell proliferation and improved survival. Of note, when helper virus-dependent HSV-1 amplicon vectors were used for vaccine preparation, the high immunogenic potential of the vector itself, in the absence of transgenic CD70+IL2 expression, seemed to be sufficient to mediate protection comparable to the antineoplastic response achieved by expression of immunomodulatory molecules. Thus for vaccine generation in B lymphoblastic leukemia, the immunogenic potential of HSV-1 helper virus-dependent amplicon vectors does provide additional benefit to the high transduction efficiency of HSV-1-derived vectors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Marrow stromal cells (MSCs) inhibit allogeneic T-cell responses, yet the molecular mechanism mediating this immunosuppressive effect of MSCs remains controversial. Recently, expression of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), which is induced by interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and catalyzes the conversion from tryptophan to kynurenine, has been identified as a T-cell inhibitory effector pathway in professional antigen-presenting cells. Here we show that human MSCs express IDO protein and exhibit functional IDO activity upon stimulation with IFN-gamma. MSCs inhibit allogeneic T-cell responses in mixed lymphocyte reactions (MLRs). Concomitantly, IDO activity resulting in tryptophan depletion and kynurenine production is detected in MSC/MLR coculture supernatants. Addition of tryptophan significantly restores allogeneic T-cell proliferation, thus identifying IDO-mediated tryptophan catabolism as a novel T-cell inhibitory effector mechanism in human MSCs. As IDO-mediated T-cell inhibition depends on MSC activation, modulation of IDO activity might alter the immunosuppressive properties of MSCs in different therapeutic applications.