Johanna Myllyharju

University of Oulu, Uleoborg, Oulu, Finland

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Publications (113)536.36 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Obesity is a major public health problem predisposing subjects to metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Specific prolyl 4-hydroxylases (P4Hs) regulate the stability of the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF), a potent governor of metabolism, isoenzyme 2 being the main regulator. We investigated here whether HIF-P4H-2 inhibition could be used to treat obesity and its consequences. Hif-p4h-2-deficient mice, whether fed normal chow or a high-fat diet, had less adipose tissue, smaller adipocytes and less adipose tissue inflammation than their littermates. They also had improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. The mRNA levels of the HIF-1 targets glucose transporters, glycolytic enzymes and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase-1 were increased in their tissues, while acetyl-CoA concentration was decreased. The hepatic mRNA level of the HIF-2 target insulin receptor substrate-2 was higher, while those of two key enzymes of fatty acid synthesis were lowered. Serum cholesterol levels and de novo lipid synthesis were decreased and the mice were protected against hepatic steatosis. Oral administration of a HIF-P4H inhibitor, FG-4497, to wild-type mice with a metabolic dysfunction phenocopied these beneficial effects. HIF-P4H-2 inhibition may be a novel therapy that not only protects against the development of obesity and its consequences but also reverses these conditions.
    Diabetes 05/2014; · 7.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We identified six patients presenting with a strikingly similar clinical phenotype of profound syndromic intellectual disability of unknown etiology. All patients lived in the same village. Extensive genealogical work revealed that the healthy parents of the patients were all distantly related to a common ancestor from the 17th century, suggesting autosomal recessive inheritance. In addition to intellectual disability, the clinical features included hypotonia, strabismus, difficulty to fix the eyes to an object, planovalgus in the feet, mild contractures in elbow joints, interphalangeal joint hypermobility and coarse facial features that develop gradually during childhood. The clinical phenotype did not fit any known syndrome. Genome-wide SNP genotyping of the patients and genetic mapping revealed the longest shared homozygosity at 3p22.1-3p21.1 encompassing 11.5Mb, with no other credible candidate loci emerging. Single point parametric linkage analysis showed logarithm of the odds score of 11 for the homozygous region, thus identifying a novel intellectual disability predisposition locus. Whole-genome sequencing of one affected individual pinpointed three genes with potentially protein damaging homozygous sequence changes within the predisposition locus: transketolase (TKT), prolyl 4-hydroxylase transmembrane (P4HTM), and ubiquitin specific peptidase 4 (USP4). The changes were found in heterozygous form with 0.3-0.7% allele frequencies in 402 whole-genome sequenced controls from the north-east of Finland. No homozygotes were found in this nor additional control data sets. Our study facilitates clinical and molecular diagnosis of patients with this novel autosomal recessive intellectual disability syndrome. However, further studies are needed to unambiguously identify the underlying genetic defect.
    European Journal of Medical Genetics. 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Collagen prolyl 4-hydroxylase (C-P4H) catalyzes the proline hydroxylation of procollagen, an essential modification in the maturation of collagens. C-P4H consists of two catalytic α subunits and two protein disulfide isomerase β subunits. The assembly of these subunits is unknown. The α subunit contains an N domain (1-143), a peptide-substrate-binding-domain (PSB, 144-244) and a catalytic domain (245-517). Here, we report the dimeric structure of the N-terminal region (1-244) of the α subunit. It is shown that the N domain has an important role in the assembly of the C-P4H tetramer, by forming an extended four-helix bundle that includes an antiparallel coiled-coil dimerization motif between the two α subunits. Complexes of this construct with a C-P4H inhibitor and substrate show the mode of peptide-binding to the PSB domain. Both peptides adopt a poly-(L)-proline-type-II helix conformation and bind in a curved, asymmetric groove lined by conserved tyrosines and an Arg-Asp salt bridge.
    Structure 10/2013; · 5.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Small molecule inhibition of HIF-P4Hs is being explored for treatment of anemia. Previous studies suggest that HIF-P4H-2 inhibition may also protect heart from ischemic insult. Hif-p4h-2(gt/gt) mice, which have 76-93% knock-down of Hif-p4h-2 mRNA in endothelial cells, fibroblasts and cardiomyocytes, and normoxic stabilization of Hif-α, were subjected to ligation of left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD). Hif-p4h-2 deficiency resulted in increased survival, better preserved left ventricular (LV) systolic function and smaller infarct size. Surprisingly, a significantly larger area of LV remained perfused in Hif-p4h-2(gt/gt) hearts during LAD ligation compared to wild-type. However, no difference was observed in collateral vessels, while the size of capillaries, but not their number, was significantly increased in Hif-p4h-2(gt/gt) hearts relative to wild type. Hif-p4h-2(gt/gt) mice showed increased cardiac expression of endothelial Hif target genes Tie-2, Apelin, APJ and eNOS, and increased serum nitric oxide concentrations. Remarkably, blockage of Tie-2 signaling was sufficient to normalize cardiac apelin and APJ expression, and resulted in reversal of the enlarged capillary phenotype and ischemic cardioprotection in Hif-p4h-2(gt/gt) hearts. Activation of the hypoxia response by HIF-P4H-2 inhibition in endothelial cells appears a major determinant of ischemic cardioprotection and justifies exploration of systemic small molecular HIF-P4H-2 inhibitors for ischemic heart disease.
    Molecular and cellular biology 06/2013; · 6.06 Impact Factor
  • Johanna Myllyharju
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    ABSTRACT: A decrease in oxygenation is a life-threatening situation for most organisms. An evolutionarily conserved efficient and rapid hypoxia response mechanism activated by a hypoxia-inducible transcription factor (HIF) is present in animals ranging from the simplest multicellular phylum Placozoa to humans. In humans, HIF induces the expression of more than 100 genes that are required to increase oxygen delivery and to reduce oxygen consumption. As its name indicates HIF is found at protein level only in hypoxic cells, whereas in normoxia it is degraded by the proteasome pathway. Prolyl 4-hydroxylases, enzymes that require oxygen in their reaction, are the cellular oxygen sensors regulating the stability of HIF. In normoxia, 4-hydroxyproline residues formed in the α subunit of HIF by these enzymes lead to its ubiquitination by the Von Hippel Lindau E3 ubiquitin ligase and immediate destruction in proteasomes thus preventing the formation of a functional HIF αβ dimer. Prolyl 4-hydroxylation is inhibited in hypoxia, facilitating formation of the HIF dimer and activation of its target genes, such as those for erythropoietin and vascular endothelial growth factor. This review starts with a summary of the molecular and catalytic properties and individual functions of the four HIF prolyl 4-hydroxylase isoenzymes. Induction of the hypoxia response via inhibition of the HIF prolyl 4-hydroxylases may provide a novel therapeutic target in the treatment of hypoxia associated diseases. The current status of studies aiming at such therapeutic approaches is introduced in the final part of this review. Acta Physiologica © 2013 Scandinavian Physiological Society.
    Acta Physiologica 03/2013; · 4.38 Impact Factor
  • Johanna Myllyharju, Peppi Koivunen
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Hypoxia-inducible transcription factor (HIF), an αβ dimer, is the key inducer of hypoxia responsive genes that operate both during normal development and pathological processes in association with decreased oxygen availability. The products of HIF target genes function in e.g. hematopoesis, angiogenesis, iron transport, glucose utilization, resistance to oxidative stress, cell proliferation, survival and apoptosis, extracellular matrix homeostasis, and tumorigenesis and metastasis. HIF is accumulated in hypoxia, whereas it is rapidly degraded in normoxic cells. The oxygen sensing mechanism behind this phenomenon is provided by HIF prolyl 4-hydroxylases (HIF-P4Hs, commonly known as PHDs and EglNs) that require oxygen in their reaction. In normoxia two prolines in the oxygen-dependent degradation domain of the HIFα subunit become hydroxylated by the HIF-P4Hs. The 4-hydroxyproline residues formed serve as recognition sites for the von Hippel-Lindau E3 ubiquitin ligase complex, and result in subsequent ubiquitination and instant proteasomal degradation of HIFα in normoxia. The HIF-P4H reaction is inhibited in hypoxia, HIFα evades degradation and forms a functional dimer with HIFβ leading to activation of the HIF target genes. The central role of HIF-P4Hs in the regulation of the hypoxia response pathway has provided an attractive possibility as a drug candidate for treatment of e.g. severe anemias and ischemic conditions and several companies are currently carrying out clinical studies on the use of HIF-P4H inhibitors to treat anemia in patients suffering from a kidney disease. Therefore, it is important to understand the effects of individual HIF-P4H isoenzymes on the hypoxia response and potential other pathways in vivo. Common and specific functions of the HIF-P4H isoenzymes are discussed in this review based on available data from cell biological studies and gene-modified animals.
    Biological Chemistry 01/2013; · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Collagen prolyl 4-hydroxylases (C-P4H) are required for formation of extracellular matrices in higher eukaryotes. These enzymes convert proline residues within the repeat regions of collagen polypeptides to 4-hydroxyproline, a modification essential for the stability of the triple helix. C-P4Hs are most often oligomeric complexes, with enzymatic activity contributed by the α subunits, and the β subunits formed by protein disulfide isomerase (PDI). Here we characterise this enzyme class in the important human parasitic nematode Brugia malayi. All potential C-P4H subunits were identified by detailed bioinformatic analysis of sequence databases, function was investigated both by RNAi in the parasite and heterologous expression in Caenorhabditis elegans, while biochemical activity and complex formation were examined via co-expression in insect cells. Simultaneous RNAi of two B. malayi C-P4H α subunit-like genes resulted in a striking, highly penetrant body morphology phenotype in parasite larvae. This was replicated by single RNAi of a B. malayi C-P4H β subunit-like PDI. Surprisingly however, the B. malayi proteins were not capable of rescuing a C. elegans α subunit mutant, whereas the human enzymes could. In contrast, the B. malayi PDI did functionally complement the lethal phenotype of a C. elegans β subunit mutant. Comparison of recombinant and parasite derived material indicates that enzymatic activity may be dependent on a non-reducible, inter-subunit cross-link, present only in the parasite. We therefore demonstrate that C-P4H activity is essential for development of B. malayi and uncover a novel parasite-specific feature of these collagen biosynthetic enzymes that may be exploited in future parasite control.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2012; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: AIM: To establish whether eliminating Lysyl oxidase (LOX) gene would affect dentine formation. METHODOLOGY: Newborn wild-type (wt) and homo- and heterozygous LOX knock-out (Lox(-/-) and Lox(+/-) , respectively) mice were used to study developing tooth morphology and dentine formation. Collagen aggregation in the developing dentine was examined histochemically with picrosirius red (PSR) staining followed by polarized microscopy. Because Lox(-/-) die at birth, adult wt and Lox(+/-) mouse tooth morphologies were examined with FESEM. Human odontoblasts and pulp tissue were used to study the expression of LOX and its isoenzymes with Affymetrix cDNA microarray. RESULTS: No differences between Lox(-/-) , Lox(+/-) and wt mice developing tooth morphology were seen by light microscopy. Histochemically, however, teeth in wt mice demonstrated yellow-orange and orange-red polarization colours with PSR staining, indicating thick and more densely packed collagen fibres, whilst in Lox(-/-) and Lox(+/-) mice, most of the polarization colours were green to green-yellow, indicating thinner, less aggregated collagen fibres. Fully developed teeth did not show any differences between Lox(+/-) and wt mice with FESEM. Human odontoblasts expressed LOX and three of four of its isoenzymes. CONCLUSIONS: The data indicate that LOX is not essential in dentinogenesis, even though LOX deletion may affect dentine matrix collagen thickness and packing. The absence of functional LOX may be compensated by LOX isoenzymes.
    International Endodontic Journal 10/2012; · 2.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An endoplasmic reticulum transmembrane prolyl 4-hydroxylase (P4H-TM) is able to hydroxylate the α subunit of the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) in vitro and in cultured cells, but nothing is known about its roles in mammalian erythropoiesis. We studied such roles here by administering a HIF-P4H inhibitor, FG-4497, to P4h-tm(-/-) mice. This caused larger increases in serum Epo concentration and kidney but not liver Hif-1α and Hif-2α protein and Epo mRNA levels than in wild-type mice, while the liver Hepcidin mRNA level was lower in the P4h-tm(-/-) mice than in the wild-type. Similar, but not identical, differences were also seen between FG-4497-treated Hif-p4h-2 hypomorphic (Hif-p4h-2(gt/gt)) and Hif-p4h-3(-/-) mice versus wild-type mice. FG-4497 administration increased hemoglobin and hematocrit values similarly in the P4h-tm(-/-) and wild-type mice, but caused higher increases in both values in the Hif-p4h-2(gt/gt) mice and in hematocrit value in the Hif-p4h-3(-/-) mice than in the wild-type. Hif-p4h-2(gt/gt)/P4h-tm(-/-) double gene-modified mice nevertheless had increased hemoglobin and hematocrit values without any FG-4497 administration, although no such abnormalities were seen in the Hif-p4h-2(gt/gt) or P4h-tm(-/-) mice. Our data thus indicate that P4H-TM plays a role in the regulation of EPO production, hepcidin expression, and erythropoiesis.
    Blood 09/2012; 120(16):3336-44. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) are the master regulators of hypoxia-responsive genes. They play a critical role in the survival, development and differentiation of chondrocytes in the avascular hypoxic fetal growth plate, which is rich in extracellular matrix (ECM) and in its main component, collagens. Several genes involved in the synthesis, maintenance and degradation of ECM are regulated by HIFs. Collagen prolyl 4-hydroxylases (C-P4Hs) are key enzymes in collagen synthesis, as the resulting 4-hydroxyprolines are necessary for the stability of all collagen molecules. The vertebrate C-P4Hs are α(2)β](2) tetramers with three isoforms of the catalytic α subunit, yielding C-P4Hs of types I-III. C-P4H-I is the main form in most cells, but C-P4H-II is the major form in chondrocytes. We postulated here that post-translational modification of collagens, particularly 4-hydroxylation of proline residues, could be one of the modalities by which HIF regulates the adaptive responses of chondrocytes in fetal growth plates. To address this hypothesis, we used primary epiphyseal growth plate chondrocytes isolated from newborn mice with conditionally inactivated genes for HIF-1α, HIF-2α or the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) protein. The data obtained showed that C-P4H α(I) and α(II) mRNA levels were increased in hypoxic chondrocytes in a manner dependent on HIF-1 but not on HIF-2. Furthermore, the increases in the C-P4H mRNA levels were associated with both increased amounts of the C-P4H tetramers and augmented C-P4H activity in hypoxia. The hypoxia-inducibility of the C-P4H isoenzymes is thus likely to ensure sufficient C-P4H activity for collagen synthesis occurring in chondrocytes in a hypoxic environment.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2012; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autosomal-recessive high-grade axial myopia was diagnosed in Bedouin Israeli consanguineous kindred. Some affected individuals also had variable expressivity of early-onset cataracts, peripheral vitreo-retinal degeneration, and secondary sight loss due to severe retinal detachments. Through genome-wide linkage analysis, the disease-associated gene was mapped to ∼1.7 Mb on chromosome 3q28 (the maximum LOD score was 11.5 at θ = 0 for marker D3S1314). Sequencing of the entire coding regions and intron-exon boundaries of the six genes within the defined locus identified a single mutation (c.1523G>T) in exon 10 of LEPREL1, encoding prolyl 3-hydroxylase 2 (P3H2), a 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase that hydroxylates collagens. The mutation affects a glycine that is conserved within P3H isozymes. Analysis of wild-type and p.Gly508Val (c.1523G>T) mutant recombinant P3H2 polypeptides expressed in insect cells showed that the mutation led to complete inactivation of P3H2.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 09/2011; 89(3):438-45. · 11.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The lysyl oxidase gene (LOX) inhibits Ras signaling in transformed fibroblasts and breast cancer cells. Its activity was mapped to the 162-amino-acid propeptide domain (LOX-PP) of the lysyl oxidase precursor protein. LOX-PP inhibits Erk signaling, motility, and tumor formation in a breast cancer xenograft model; however, its mechanism of action is largely unknown. Here, a copurification-mass spectrometry approach was taken using ectopically expressed LOX-PP in HEK293T cells and the heat shock/chaperone protein Hsp70 identified. Hsp70 interaction with LOX-PP was confirmed using coimmunoprecipitation of intracellularly and bacterially expressed and endogenous proteins. The interaction was mapped to the Hsp70 peptide-binding domain and to LOX-PP amino acids 26 to 100. LOX-PP association reduced Hsp70 chaperone activities of protein refolding and survival after heat shock. LOX-PP interacted with the Hsp70 chaperoned protein c-Raf. With the use of ectopic expression of LOX-PP wild-type and deletion proteins, small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown, and Lox(-/-) mouse embryo fibroblasts, LOX-PP interaction with c-Raf was shown to decrease downstream activation of MEK and NF-κB, migration, and anchorage-independent growth and reduce its mitochondrial localization. Thus, the interaction of LOX-PP with Hsp70 and c-Raf inhibits a critical intermediate in Ras-induced MEK signaling and plays an important role in the function of this tumor suppressor.
    Molecular and cellular biology 07/2011; 31(13):2683-95. · 6.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Histone methylations are important chromatin marks that regulate gene expression, genomic stability, DNA repair, and genomic imprinting. Histone demethylases are the most recent family of histone-modifying enzymes discovered. Here, we report the characterization of a small-molecule inhibitor of Jumonji C domain-containing histone demethylases. The inhibitor derives from a structure-based design and preferentially inhibits the subfamily of trimethyl lysine demethylases. Its methyl ester prodrug, methylstat, selectively inhibits Jumonji C domain-containing his-tone demethylases in cells and may be a useful small-molecule probe of chromatin and its role in epigenetics.
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 06/2011; 133(24):9451-6. · 10.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The hypoxia-inducible transcription factor (HIF) controls (in an oxygen-dependent manner) the expression of a large number of genes whose products are involved in the response of cells to hypoxia. HIF is an αβ dimer that binds to hypoxia response elements (HREs) in its target genes. Human HIF-α has three isoforms, HIF-1α, HIF-2α and HIF-3α, of which the roles of HIF-3α are largely unknown, although it is usually regarded as a negative regulator of HIF-1α and HIF-2α. The human HIF-3α locus is subject to extensive alternative splicing, leading to at least seven variants. We analyzed here the effects of the long variants and the short variant HIF-3α4 on the hypoxia response. All these variants were found to interact with HIF-β, HIF-1α and HIF-2α. The long HIF-3α variants were localized in the nucleus in hypoxia, while HIF-3α4 was cytoplasmic. Interaction of the HIF-3α variants with HIF-1α inhibited the nuclear translocation of both. None of the long HIF-3α variants was capable of efficient induction of an HRE reporter in overexpression experiments, but instead inhibited the transcriptional activation of the reporter by HIF-1 and HIF-2. Unexpectedly, siRNA knock-down of the endogenous HIF-3α variants led to downregulation of certain HIF target genes, while overexpression of individual long HIF-3α variants upregulated certain HIF target genes in a variant and target gene-specific manner under conditions in which HIF-β was not a limiting factor. These data indicate that the HIF-3α variants may have more versatile and specific roles in the regulation of the hypoxia response than previously anticipated.
    Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 04/2011; 68(23):3885-901. · 5.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prolyl 4-hydroxylases (P4Hs) catalyze the hydroxylation of collagens and hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-α subunits. We studied the zebrafish homologue of the recently characterized human transmembrane P4H (P4H-TM) that can hydroxylate HIF-α, but not collagens, in vitro and influence HIF-α levels in cellulo. The zebrafish P4H-TM mRNA had its highest expression in the eye and brain and lower levels in other tissues, including the kidney. Morpholino knockdown of P4H-TM in embryos resulted in a reduction in the size of the eye and head and morphological alterations in the head from 2 days postfertilization onward. In addition, pericardial edema, regarded as a sign of kidney dysfunction, developed from 3 days postfertilization onward. The phenotype was dependent on the P4H-TM catalytic activity because similar results were obtained with morpholinos targeting either translation initiation or catalytic residues of the enzyme. Structural and functional analyses of the morphant pronephric kidneys revealed fragmented glomerular basement membranes (BMs), disorganized podocyte foot processes, and severely compromised pronephric kidney function leading to proteinuria. The opacity of the eye lens was increased due to the presence of extra nuclei and deposits, and the structure of the lens capsule BM was altered. Our data suggest that P4H-TM catalytic activity is required for the proper development of the glomerular and lens capsule BMs. Many HIF target genes were induced in the P4H-TM-deficient morphants, but the observed phenotype is not likely to be mediated at least solely via the HIF pathway, and thus P4H-TM probably has additional, as yet unknown, substrates.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2010; 285(53):42023-42032. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prolyl 4-hydroxylases (P4Hs) catalyze the proline hydroxylation, a major post-translational modification, of hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins. Two carnation petal P4H cDNAs, (Dianthus caryophyllus prolyl 4-hydroxylase) DcP4H1 and DcP4H2, were identified and characterized at the gene expression and biochemical level in order to investigate their role in flower senescence. Both mRNAs showed similar patterns of expression with stable transcript abundance during senescence progression and differential tissue-specific expression with DcP4H1 and DcP4H2 strongly expressed in ovaries and stems, respectively. Recombinant DcP4H1 and DcP4H2 proteins were produced and their catalytic properties were determined. Pyridine 2,4-dicarboxylate (PDCA) was identified as a potent inhibitor of the in vitro enzyme activity of both P4Hs and used to determine whether inhibition of proline hydroxylation in petals is involved in senescence progression of cut carnation flowers. PDCA suppressed the climacteric ethylene production indicating a strong correlation between the inhibition of DcP4H1 and DcP4H2 activity in vitro by PDCA and the suppression of climacteric ethylene production in cut carnation flowers.
    Physiologia Plantarum 10/2010; 140(2):199-207. · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prolyl 4-hydroxylases (P4Hs) catalyze the hydroxylation of collagens and hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-α subunits. We studied the zebrafish homologue of the recently characterized human transmembrane P4H (P4H-TM) that can hydroxylate HIF-α, but not collagens, in vitro and influence HIF-α levels in cellulo. The zebrafish P4H-TM mRNA had its highest expression in the eye and brain and lower levels in other tissues, including the kidney. Morpholino knockdown of P4H-TM in embryos resulted in a reduction in the size of the eye and head and morphological alterations in the head from 2 days postfertilization onward. In addition, pericardial edema, regarded as a sign of kidney dysfunction, developed from 3 days postfertilization onward. The phenotype was dependent on the P4H-TM catalytic activity because similar results were obtained with morpholinos targeting either translation initiation or catalytic residues of the enzyme. Structural and functional analyses of the morphant pronephric kidneys revealed fragmented glomerular basement membranes (BMs), disorganized podocyte foot processes, and severely compromised pronephric kidney function leading to proteinuria. The opacity of the eye lens was increased due to the presence of extra nuclei and deposits, and the structure of the lens capsule BM was altered. Our data suggest that P4H-TM catalytic activity is required for the proper development of the glomerular and lens capsule BMs. Many HIF target genes were induced in the P4H-TM-deficient morphants, but the observed phenotype is not likely to be mediated at least solely via the HIF pathway, and thus P4H-TM probably has additional, as yet unknown, substrates.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2010; 285(53):42023-32. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The discoidin domain receptors, DDR1 and DDR2 are cell surface receptor tyrosine kinases that are activated by triple-helical collagen. While normal DDR signalling regulates fundamental cellular processes, aberrant DDR signalling is associated with several human diseases. We previously identified GVMGFO (O is hydroxyproline) as a major DDR2 binding site in collagens I-III, and located two additional DDR2 binding sites in collagen II. Here we extend these studies to the homologous DDR1 and the identification of DDR binding sites on collagen III. Using sets of overlapping triple-helical peptides, the Collagen II and Collagen III Toolkits, we located several DDR2 binding sites on both collagens. The interaction of DDR1 with Toolkit peptides was more restricted, with DDR1 mainly binding to peptides containing the GVMGFO motif. Triple-helical peptides containing the GVMGFO motif induced DDR1 transmembrane signalling, and DDR1 binding and receptor activation occurred with the same amino acid requirements as previously defined for DDR2. While both DDRs exhibit the same specificity for binding the GVMGFO motif, which is present only in fibrillar collagens, the two receptors display distinct preferences for certain non-fibrillar collagens, with the basement membrane collagen IV being exclusively recognised by DDR1. Based on our recent crystal structure of a DDR2-collagen complex, we designed mutations to identify the molecular determinants for DDR1 binding to collagen IV. By replacing five amino acids in DDR2 with the corresponding DDR1 residues we were able to create a DDR2 construct that could function as a collagen IV receptor.
    Matrix biology: journal of the International Society for Matrix Biology 10/2010; 30(1):16-26. · 3.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The hypoxia-inducible transcription factors (HIFs) play a central role in the response of cells to hypoxia. HIFs are alphabeta dimers, the human alpha subunit having three isoforms. HIF-3alpha is unique among the HIF-alpha isoforms in that its gene is subject to extensive alternative splicing. Database analyses have predicted the generation of six HIF-3alpha splice variants that utilize three alternative transcription initiation sites. None of these variants is likely to act as an efficient transcription factor, but some of them have been reported to inhibit HIF-1 and HIF-2 functions. We analyzed here for the first time in detail whether these six variants are indeed generated in various human tissues and cell lines. We identified four novel variants, named here HIF-3alpha7 to HIF-3alpha10, whereas we obtained no evidence for the predicted HIF-3alpha3 and HIF-3alpha5. Distinct differences in the expression patterns of the variants were found between human tissues, the levels being particularly low in many cancer cell lines. Hypoxia upregulated transcription from all three alternative HIF-3alpha promoters. siRNA experiments showed that this induction is mediated specifically by HIF-1 and not by HIF-2. The tissue-specific differences in the expression patterns and levels of the HIF-3alpha variants can be expected to modulate the hypoxia response of various tissues and cell types to different extents during development and in pathological situations. A further level of regulation is brought about by the fact that the levels of the HIF-3alpha transcripts themselves are regulated by hypoxia and by changes in HIF-1 levels.
    The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology 04/2010; 42(7):1189-200. · 4.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) has a pivotal role in oxygen homeostasis and cardioprotection mediated by ischemic preconditioning. Its stability is regulated by HIF prolyl 4-hydroxylases (HIF-P4Hs), the inhibition of which is regarded as a promising strategy for treating diseases such as anemia and ischemia. We generated a viable Hif-p4h-2 hypomorph mouse line (Hif-p4h-2(gt/gt)) that expresses decreased amounts of wild-type Hif-p4h-2 mRNA: 8% in the heart; 15% in the skeletal muscle; 34-47% in the kidney, spleen, lung, and bladder; 60% in the brain; and 85% in the liver. These mice have no polycythemia and show no signs of the dilated cardiomyopathy or hyperactive angiogenesis observed in mice with broad spectrum conditional Hif-p4h-2 inactivation. We focused here on the effects of chronic Hif-p4h-2 deficiency in the heart. Hif-1 and Hif-2 were stabilized, and the mRNA levels of glucose transporter-1, several enzymes of glycolysis, pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1, angiopoietin-2, and adrenomedullin were increased in the Hif-p4h-2(gt/gt) hearts. When isolated Hif-p4h-2(gt/gt) hearts were subjected to ischemia-reperfusion, the recovery of mechanical function and coronary flow rate was significantly better than in wild type, while cumulative release of lactate dehydrogenase reflecting the infarct size was reduced. The preischemic amount of lactate was increased, and the ischemic versus preischemic [CrP]/[Cr] and [ATP] remained at higher levels in Hif-p4h-2(gt/gt) hearts, indicating enhanced glycolysis and an improved cellular energy state. Our data suggest that chronic stabilization of Hif-1alpha and Hif-2alpha by genetic knockdown of Hif-p4h-2 promotes cardioprotection by induction of many genes involved in glucose metabolism, cardiac function, and blood pressure.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2010; 285(18):13646-57. · 4.65 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
536.36 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1996–2014
    • University of Oulu
      • Department of Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Uleoborg, Oulu, Finland
  • 2007–2012
    • University of Glasgow
      • School of Veterinary Medicine
      Glasgow, SCT, United Kingdom
  • 2011
    • University of Massachusetts Boston
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2003
    • Anderson College
      Anderson, Indiana, United States
  • 1999
    • Institute of Molecular Biology
      Mayence, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany