Christian Herzog

Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, Washington, Washington, D.C., United States

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Publications (9)38.86 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Meprin A, composed of α and β subunits, is a membrane-bound metalloproteinase in renal proximal tubules. Meprin A plays an important role in tubular epithelial cell injury during acute kidney injury (AKI). The present study demonstrated that during ischemia-reperfusion -induced AKI meprin A was shed from proximal tubule membranes, as evident from its redistribution toward the basolateral side, proteolytic processing in the membranes, and excretion in the urine. To identify the proteolytic enzyme responsible for shedding of meprin A we generated stable HEK cell lines expressing meprin β alone and both meprin α and meprin β for the expression of meprin A. Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) and ionomycin (IM) stimulated ectodomain shedding of meprin β and meprin A. Among the inhibitors of various proteases, the broad-spectrum inhibitor of the ADAM family of proteases, TAPI-1, was most effective in preventing constitutive, PMA-, and IM-stimulated shedding of meprin β and meprin A in the medium of both transfectants. The use of differential inhibitors for ADAM10 and ADAM17 indicated that ADAM10 inhibition is sufficient to block shedding. In agreement with these results, small interfering RNA to ADAM10 but not to ADAM9 or ADAM17 inhibited meprin β and meprin A shedding. Furthermore, overexpression of ADAM10 resulted in enhanced shedding of meprin β from both transfectants. Our studies demonstrate that ADAM10 is the major ADAM metalloproteinase responsible for the constitutive and stimulated shedding of meprin β and meprin A. These studies further suggest that inhibiting ADAM 10 activity could be of therapeutic benefit in AKI.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2014; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Members of the caspase family of proteases are evolutionarily conserved cysteine proteases that play a crucial role as the central executioners of the apoptotic pathway. Since the discovery of caspases, many methods have been developed to detect their activation and are widely used in basic and clinical studies. In a mouse tissue, caspase activation can be monitored by cleavage of caspase-specific synthetic substrates and by detecting cleaved caspase by western blot analysis of the tissue extract. In tissue sections, active caspase can be detected by immunostaining using specific antibodies to the active caspase. In addition, among the myriads of caspase-specific substrates known so far, cleaved fragments produced by caspases from the substrates such as PARP, lamin A, and cytokeratin-18 can be monitored in tissue sections by immunostaining as well as western blots of tissue extracts. In general, more than one method should be used to ascertain detection of activation of caspases in a mouse tissue.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2014; 1133:141-54. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Meprin A, comprised of α and β subunits, is a membrane-associated neutral metalloendoprotease that belongs to the astacin family of zinc endopeptidases. It was first discovered as an azocasein and benzoyl-L-tyrosyl-p-aminobenzoic acid hydrolase in the brush-border membranes of proximal tubules and intestines. Meprin isoforms are now found to be widely distributed in various organs (kidney, intestines, leukocytes, skin, bladder, and a variety of cancer cells) and are capable of hydrolyzing and processing a large number of substrates including extracellular matrix proteins, cytokines, adherens junction proteins, hormones, bioactive peptides, and cell surface proteins. The ability of meprin A to cleave various substrates sheds new light on the functional properties of this enzyme including matrix remodeling, inflammation, and cell-cell and cell-matrix processes. Following ischemia-reperfusion (IR)- and cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury (AKI), meprin A is redistributed toward the basolateral plasma membrane and the cleaved form of meprin A is excreted in the urine. These studies suggest that altered localization and shedding of meprin A in places other than the apical membranes may be deleterious in vivo in acute tubular injury. These studies also provide new insight on the importance of a sheddase involved in the release of membrane-associated meprin A under pathological conditions. Meprin A is injurious to the kidney during AKI, as meprin A-knockout mice and meprin inhibition provide protective roles and improve renal function. Meprin A, therefore, plays an important role in AKI and potentially is a unique target for therapeutic intervention during AKI.
    AJP Renal Physiology 02/2013; · 4.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cisplatin injury to renal tubular epithelial cells (RTEC) is accompanied by autophagy and caspase activation. However, autophagy gradually decreases during the course of cisplatin injury. The role of autophagy and the mechanism of its decrease during cisplatin injury are not well understood. This study demonstrated that autophagy proteins beclin-1, Atg5, and Atg12 were cleaved and degraded during the course of cisplatin injury in RTEC and the kidney. zVAD-fmk, a widely used pancaspase inhibitor, blocked cleavage of autophagy proteins suggesting that zVAD-fmk would promote the autophagy pathway. Unexpectedly, zVAD-fmk blocked clearance of the autophagosomal cargo, indicating lysosomal dysfunction. zVAD-fmk markedly inhibited cisplatin-induced lysosomal cathepsin B and calpain activities and therefore impaired autophagic flux. In a mouse model of cisplatin nephrotoxicity, zVAD-fmk impaired autophagic flux by blocking autophagosomal clearance as revealed by accumulation of key autophagic substrates p62 and LC3-II. Furthermore, zVAD-fmk worsened cisplatin-induced renal dysfunction. Chloroquine, a lysomotropic agent that is known to impair autophagic flux, also exacerbated cisplatin-induced decline in renal function. These findings demonstrate that impaired autophagic flux induced by zVAD-fmk or a lysomotropic agent worsened renal function in cisplatin acute kidney injury (AKI) and support a protective role of autophagy in AKI. These studies also highlight that the widely used antiapoptotic agent zVAD-fmk may be contraindicated as a therapeutic agent for preserving renal function in AKI.
    AJP Renal Physiology 08/2012; 303(8):F1239-50. · 4.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sepsis-induced acute kidney injury occurs in 20% to 50% of septic patients and nearly doubles the mortality rate of sepsis. Because treatment in the septic patient is usually begun only after the onset of symptoms, therapy that is effective even when delayed would have the greatest impact on patient survival. The metalloproteinase meprin A, an oligomeric complex made of α- and β-subunits, is highly expressed at the brush-border membranes of the kidney and capable of degrading numerous substrates including extracellular matrix proteins and cytokines. The goal of the present study was to compare the therapeutic potential of actinonin, an inhibitor of meprin A, when administered before and after the onset of sepsis. Mice were treated with actinonin at 30 min before or 7 h after induction of sepsis by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). Intravital videomicroscopy was used to image renal peritubular capillary perfusion and reactive nitrogen species. Actinonin treatment 30 min before CLP reduced IL-1β levels and prevented the fall in renal capillary perfusion at 7 and 18 h. Actinonin also prevented the fall in renal capillary perfusion even when administered at 7 h after CLP. In addition, even late administration of actinonin preserved renal morphology and lowered blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine concentrations. These data suggest that agents such as actinonin should be evaluated further as possible therapeutic agents because targeting both the early systemic and later organ-damaging effects of sepsis should have the highest likelihood of success.
    Shock (Augusta, Ga.) 02/2011; 35(2):141-7. · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We demonstrate the effect of proteasome inhibitors in mitochondrial release of apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) in cisplatin-exposed renal tubular epithelial cells (LLC-PK(1) cells) and in a model of cisplatin nephrotoxicity. Immunofluorescence and subcellular fractionation studies revealed cisplatin-induced translocation of AIF from the mitochondria to nucleus. Mcl-1, a pro-survival member of the Bcl-2 family, is rapidly eliminated on exposure of renal cells to cisplatin. Proteasome inhibitors PS-341 and MG-132 blocked cisplatin-induced Mcl-1 depletion and markedly prevented mitochondrial release of AIF. PS-341 and MG132 also blocked cisplatin-induced activation of executioner caspases and apoptosis. These studies suggest that proteasome inhibitors prevent cisplatin-induced caspase-dependent and -independent pathways. Overexpression of Mcl-1 was effective in blocking cisplatin-induced cytochrome c and AIF release from the mitochondria. Downregulation of Mcl-1 by small interfering RNA promoted Bax activation and cytochrome c and AIF release, suggesting that cisplatin-induced Mcl-1 depletion and associated Bax activation are involved in the release of AIF. Expression of AIF protein in the mouse was highest in the kidney compared to the heart, brain, intestine, liver, lung, muscle, and spleen. In an in vivo model of cisplatin nephrotoxicity, proteasome inhibitor MG-132 prevented mitochondrial release of AIF and markedly attenuated acute kidney injury as assessed by renal function and histology. These studies provide evidence for the first time that the proteasome inhibitors prevent cisplatin-induced mitochondrial release of AIF, provide cellular protection, and markedly ameliorate cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury. Thus, AIF is an important therapeutic target in cisplatin nephrotoxicity and cisplatin-induced depletion of Mcl-1 is an important pathway involved in AIF release.
    Biochemical pharmacology 09/2009; 79(2):137-46. · 4.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present study demonstrates that both oligomeric metalloendopeptidase meprin A purified from kidney cortex and recombinant meprin alpha are capable of generating biologically active IL-1beta from its precursor pro-IL-1beta. Amino-acid sequencing analysis reveals that meprin A and meprin alpha cleave pro-IL-1beta at the His(115)-Asp(116) bond, which is one amino acid N-terminal to the caspase-1 cleavage site and five amino acids C-terminal to the meprin beta site. The biological activity of the pro-IL-1beta cleaved product produced by meprin A, determined by proliferative response of helper T-cells, was 3-fold higher to that of the IL-1beta product produced by meprin beta or caspase-1. In a mouse model of sepsis induced by cecal ligation puncture that results in elevated levels of serum IL-1beta, meprin inhibitor actinonin significantly reduces levels of serum IL-1beta. Meprin A and meprin alpha may therefore play a critical role in the production of active IL-1beta during inflammation and tissue injury.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 02/2009; 379(4):904-8. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: One of the major side effects of cisplatin chemotherapy is toxic acute kidney injury due to preferential accumulation of cisplatin in renal proximal tubule epithelial cells and the subsequent injury to these cells. Apoptosis is known as a major mechanism of cisplatin-induced cell death in renal tubular cells. We have also recently demonstrated that autophagy induction is an immediate response of renal tubular epithelial cell exposure to cisplatin. Inhibition of cisplatin-induced autophagy blocks the formation of autophagosomes and enhances cisplatin-induced caspase-3, -6, and -7 activation, nuclear fragmentation and apoptosis. The switch from autophagy to apoptosis by autophagic inhibitors suggests that autophagy induction was responsible for a pre-apoptotic lag phase observed on exposure of renal tubular cells to cisplatin. Our studies provide evidence that autophagy induction in response to cisplatin mounts an adaptive response that suppresses and delays apoptosis. The beneficial effect of autophagy has a potential clinical significance in minimizing or preventing cisplatin nephrotoxicity.
    Autophagy 01/2008; 4(5):710-2. · 12.04 Impact Factor
  • Christian Herzog, Gur P Kaushal, Randy S Haun
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    ABSTRACT: Interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) is a proinflammatory cytokine that is synthesized as an inactive precursor molecule that must be proteolytically processed to generate the biologically active form. Maturation of the precursor is primarily performed by caspase-1, an intracellular cysteine protease; however, processing by other proteases has been described. Meprins are cell surface and secreted metalloproteases expressed by renal and intestinal brush-border membranes, leukocytes, and cancer cells. In this study we show that purified recombinant meprin B can process the interleukin-1beta precursor to a biologically active form. Amino-terminal sequencing and mass spectrometry analysis of the product of digestion by activated meprin B determined that proteolytic cleavage resulted in an additional six amino acids relative to the site utilized by caspase-1. The biological activity of the meprin B-cleaved cytokine was confirmed by measuring the proliferative response of helper T-cells. These results suggest that meprin may play an important role in activation of this proinflammatory cytokine in various pathophysiological conditions.
    Cytokine 10/2005; 31(5):394-403. · 2.52 Impact Factor