[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stress conditions generated throughout pancreatic islet processing initiate the activation of pro-inflammatory pathways and beta-cell destruction. Our goal is to identify relevant and preferably beta-specific markers to assess the activation of beta-cell stress and apoptotic mechanisms, and therefore the general quality of the islet preparation prior to transplantation. Protein expression and activation were analyzed by Western blotting and kinase assays. ATP measurements were performed by a luminescence-based assay. Oxygen consumption rate (OCR) was measured based on standard protocols using fiber optic sensors. Total RNA was used for gene expression analyzes. Our results indicate that pancreas digestion initiates a potent stress response in the islets by activating two stress kinases, c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) and p38. JNK1 protein levels remained unchanged between different islet preparations and following culture. In contrast, levels of JNK3 increased after islet culture, but varied markedly, with a subset of preparations bearing low JNK3 expression. The observed changes in JNK3 protein content strongly correlated with OCR measurements as determined by the Spearman's rank correlation coefficient rho [Formula: see text] in the matching islet samples, while inversely correlating with c-fos mRNA expression [Formula: see text]. In conclusion, pancreas digestion recruits JNK and p38 kinases that are known to participate to beta-cell apoptosis. Concomitantly, the islet isolation alters JNK3 and c-fos expression, both strongly correlating with OCR. Thus, a comparative analysis of JNK3 and c-fos expression before and after culture may provide for novel markers to assess islet quality prior to transplantation. JNK3 has the advantage over all other proposed markers to be islet-specific, and thus to provide for a marker independent of non-beta cell contamination.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(7):e99796. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current tools for analgesia are often only partially successful, thus investigations of new targets for pain therapy stimulate great interest. Consequent to peripheral nerve injury, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activity in cells of the dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) and spinal cord is involved in triggering neuropathic pain. However, the relative contribution of distinct JNK isoforms is unclear. Using knockout mice for single isoforms, and blockade of JNK activity by a peptide inhibitor, we have used behavioral tests to analyze the contribution of JNK in the development of neuropathic pain after unilateral sciatic nerve transection. In addition, immunohistochemical labelling for the growth associated protein (GAP)-43 and Calcitonin Gene Related Peptide (CGRP) in DRGs was used to relate injury related compensatory growth to altered sensory function.
Peripheral nerve injury produced pain-related behavior on the ipsilateral hindpaw, accompanied by an increase in the percentage of GAP43-immunoreactive (IR) neurons and a decrease in the percentage of CGRP-IR neurons in the lumbar DRGs. The JNK inhibitor, D-JNKI-1, successfully modulated the effects of the sciatic nerve transection. The onset of neuropathic pain was not prevented by the deletion of a single JNK isoform, leading us to conclude that all JNK isoforms collectively contribute to maintain neuropathy. Autotomy behavior, typically induced by sciatic nerve axotomy, was absent in both the JNK1 and JNK3 knockout mice.
JNK signaling plays an important role in regulating pain threshold: the inhibition of all of the JNK isoforms prevents the onset of neuropathic pain, while the deletion of a single splice JNK isoform mitigates established sensory abnormalities. JNK inactivation also has an effect on axonal sprouting following peripheral nerve injury.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have recently shown that silencing of the brain/islet specific c-Jun N-terminal Kinase3 (JNK3) isoform enhances both basal and cytokine-induced beta-cell apoptosis, whereas silencing of JNK1 or JNK2 has opposite effects. While it is known that JNK1 or JNK2 may promote apoptosis by inhibiting the activity of the pro-survival Akt pathway, the effect of JNK3 on Akt has not been documented. This study aims to determine the involvement of individual JNKs and specifically JNK3 in the regulation of the Akt signaling pathway in insulin-secreting cells. JNK3 silencing strongly decreases Insulin Receptor Substrate 2 (IRS2) protein expression, and blocks Akt2 but not Akt1 activation by insulin, while the silencing of JNK1 or JNK2 activates both Akt1 and Akt2. Concomitantly, the silencing of JNK1 or JNK2, but not of JNK3, potently phosphorylates the glycogen synthase kinase3 (GSK3β). JNK3 silencing also decreases the activity of the transcription factor Forkhead BoxO3A (FoxO3A) that is known to control IRS2 expression, in addition to increasing c-Jun levels that are known to inhibit insulin gene expression. In conclusion, we propose that JNK1/2 on one hand and JNK3 on the other hand, have opposite effects on insulin-signaling in insulin-secreting cells; JNK3 protects beta-cells from apoptosis and dysfunction mainly through maintenance of a normal IRS2 to Akt2 signaling pathway. It seems that JNK3 mediates its effects mainly at the transcriptional level, while JNK1 or JNK2 appear to mediate their pro-apoptotic effect in the cytoplasm.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(5):e35997. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kainic acid (KA) induced seizures provokes an extensive neuronal degeneration initiated by c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) as central mediators of excitotoxicity. However, the actions of their individual isoforms in cellular organelles including mitochondria remain to be elucidated. Here, we have studied the activation of JNK1, JNK2 and JNK3 and their activators, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MKK) 4/7, in brain mitochondria, cytosolic and nuclear fractions after KA seizures. In the mitochondrial fraction, KA significantly increased the presence of JNK1, JNK3 and MKK4 and stimulated their phosphorylation i.e. activation. The pro-apoptotic proteins, Bim and Bax were induced and, consequently, the ratio Bcl-2-Bax decreased. These changes were paralleled by the release of cytochrome c and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose)-polymerase (PARP). The JNK peptide inhibitor, D-JNKI-1 (XG-102) reversed these pathological events in the mitochondria and almost completely abolished cytochrome c release and PARP cleavage. Importantly, JNK3, but not JNK1 or JNK2, was associated with Bim in mitochondria and D-JNKI-1 prevented the formation of this apoptotic complex. Apart from of the attenuation of c-Jun phosphorylation in the nucleus, D-JNKI-1 did not affect the level of JNK3 isoform in the nuclear and cytosolic fractions. These findings provide novel insights into the mode of action of individual JNK isoforms in cell organelles and points to the JNK3 pool in mitochondria as a target of the JNK inhibitor D-JNKI-1 to confer neuroprotection.
Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 12/2011; 49(3):300-10. · 3.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inhibition of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway by the TAT-coupled peptide XG-102 (formerly D- JNKI1) induces strong neuroprotection in ischemic stroke in rodents. We investigated the effect of JNK inhibition in intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).
Three hours after induction of ICH by intrastriatal collagenase injection in mice, the animals received an intravenous injection of 100 microg/kg of XG-102. The neurological outcome was assessed daily and the mice were sacrificed at 6 h, 1, 2 or 5 days after ICH.
XG-102 administration significantly improved the neurological outcome at 1 day (p < 0.01). The lesion volume was significantly decreased after 2 days (29 +/- 11 vs. 39 +/- 5 mm(3) in vehicle-treated animals, p < 0.05). There was also a decreased hemispheric swelling (14 +/- 13 vs. 26 +/- 9% in vehicle-treated animals, p < 0.05) correlating with increased aquaporin 4 expression.
XG-102 attenuates cerebral edema in ICH and functional impairment at early time points. The beneficial effects observed with XG-102 in ICH, as well as in ischemic stroke, open the possibility to rapidly treat stroke patients before imaging, thereby saving precious time.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retinal excitotoxicity is associated with retinal ischemia, and with glaucomatous and traumatic optic neuropathy. The present study investigates the role of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation in NMDA-mediated retinal excitotoxicity and determines whether neuroprotection can be obtained with the JNK pathway inhibitor, D-form of JNK-inhibitor 1 (D-JNKI-1). Young adult rats received intravitreal injections of 20 nmol NMDA, which caused extensive neuronal death in the inner nuclear and ganglion cell layers. This excitotoxicity was associated with strong activation of calpain, as revealed by fodrin cleavage, and of JNK. The cell-permeable peptide D-JNKI-1 was used to inhibit JNK. Within 40 min of its intravitreal injection, FITC-labeled D-JNKI-1 spread through the retinal ganglion cell layer into the inner nuclear layer and interfered with the NMDA-induced phosphorylation of JNK. Injections of unlabeled D-JNKI-1 gave unprecedentedly strong neuroprotection against cell death in both layers, lasting for at least 10 days. The NMDA-induced calpain-specific fodrin cleavage was likewise strongly inhibited by D-JNKI-1. Moreover the electroretinogram was partially preserved by D-JNKI-1. Thus, the JNK pathway is involved in NMDA-mediated retinal excitotoxicity and JNK inhibition by D-JNKI-1 provides strong neuroprotection as shown morphologically, biochemically and physiologically.
Journal of Neurochemistry 03/2010; 113(5):1307-18. · 3.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic injections of kainic acid (KA) cause epileptic seizures with delayed neuronal damage in the limbic system, particularly in the hippocampus. KA excitotoxicity activates complex signal transduction events that trigger apoptotic cell death. The c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway plays an important role in cell death, and the peptide D-JNKI1, a competitive JNK inhibitor, is a potent neuroprotective agent. To analyse the role of JNK and the effects of D-JNKI1 administration on excitotoxic neuronal death, we induced epileptic seizures by intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of KA in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats; a group of rats received i.p. D-JNKI1 2 h after KA. KA caused massive cell death in the hippocampus: in Nissl-stained sections, stereological counts showed a significant decrease in neuronal density in all CA fields, both at 1 and 5 days after seizures, which was partially prevented by D-JNKI1 treatment. These results were confirmed by counts of degenerating neurons in CA3 in FluoroJade B-stained sections. Seizure activity also induced marked gliosis as observed with glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunohistochemistry. We also analysed c-Jun activation as a target of JNK and central transcriptional effector in the adult rat brain following KA injection. Phospho-c-Jun immunoreactivity was absent in the hippocampus of untreated animals, whereas strong nuclear neuronal labeling could be observed, starting from 3 h after KA administration, in microtubule-associated protein-2-positive neurons but not in GFAP-positive astrocytes. D-JNKI1 treatment also reduced the positivity for phospho-c-Jun in the hippocampus, thus confirming the specificity of the peptide in blocking JNK. Therefore, JNK is a promising target for blocking seizure-induced cell death.
European Journal of Neuroscience 03/2010; 31(7):1261-72. · 3.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The c-Jun-N-terminal kinase signaling pathway (JNK) is highly activated during ischemia and plays an important role in apoptosis and inflammation. We have previously demonstrated that D-JNKI1, a specific JNK inhibitor, is strongly neuroprotective in animal models of stroke. We presently evaluated if D-JNKI1 modulates post-ischemic inflammation such as the activation and accumulation of microglial cells. Outbred CD1 mice were subjected to 45 min middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo). D-JNKI1 (0.1 mg/kg) or vehicle (saline) was administered intravenously 3 h after MCAo onset. Lesion size at 48 h was significantly reduced, from 28.2+/-8.5 mm(3) (n=7) to 13.9+/-6.2 mm(3) in the treated group (n=6). Activation of the JNK pathway (phosphorylation of c-Jun) was observed in neurons as well as in Isolectin B4 positive microglia. We quantified activated microglia (CD11b) by measuring the average intensity of CD11b labelling (infra-red emission) within the ischemic tissue. No significant difference was found between groups. Cerebral ischemia was modelled in vitro by subjecting rat organotypic hippocampal slice cultures to oxygen (5%) and glucose deprivation for 30 min. In vitro, D-JNKI1 was found predominantly in NeuN positive neurons of the CA1 region and in few Isolectin B4 positive microglia. Furthermore, 48 h after OGD, microglia were activated whereas resting microglia were found in controls and in D-JNKI1-treated slices. Our study shows that D-JNKI1 reduces the infarct volume 48 h after transient MCAo and does not act on the activation and accumulation of microglia at this time point. In contrast, in vitro data show an indirect effect of D-JNKI1 on the modulation of microglial activation.
Brain Behavior and Immunity 11/2009; 24(5):800-11. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Both hyperbaric oxygenation (HBO) and inhibition of the c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) by the peptide inhibitor XG-102 (D-JNKI-1) are efficient protective strategies against ischaemia-induced neurodegeneration. The present study investigated whether the combination of HBO and JNK inhibitor, XG-102, provides additive neuroprotection against cerebral ischaemia.
Rat middle cerebral artery was occluded (MCAO) for 90 min. XG-102 [2 mg/kg, intraperitoneally] or HBO (3 ATA, 60 min) was applied 3 h after the onset of MCAO. For the combination treatment, HBO was started 10 min after the injection of XG-102. Twenty-four hours after MCAO, the infarct area, the neurological score and the immunohistochemistry staining in brain slices for cleaved-PARP, transferase-mediated biotinylated UTP nick end labelling, c-Jun and phosphorylated (activated) c-Jun were observed.
XG-102 or HBO alone reduced the total infarct area by 43% and 63%, respectively. The combination diminished total infarct area by 78%, improved the neurological function and reduced brain oedema. Co-application of HBO and XG-102 also significantly reduced the cleavage of PARP, by 96% and 91% in cortical penumbra and ischaemic core, respectively. Moreover, cotreatment significantly attenuated the number of cells labelled with transferase-mediated biotinylated UTP nick end labelling and phosphorylated c-Jun.
Our study demonstrates that HBO reinforces the efficiency of neuroprotective drugs such as XG-102 and vice versa. Both treatments, physical HBO and pharmacological XG-102, are already in phase I/II studies and promising strategies for clinical use.
Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology 10/2009; 36(3):211-24. · 4.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In insulin-secreting cells, activation of the c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway triggers apoptosis. Whereas JNK1 and JNK2 are ubiquitously produced, JNK3 has been described exclusively in neurons. This report aims to characterise the expression and role in apoptosis of the three JNK isoforms in insulin-secreting cells exposed to cytokines.
Sections of human and mouse pancreases were used for immunohistochemistry studies with isoform-specific anti-JNK antibodies. Human, pig, mouse and rat pancreatic islets were isolated by enzymatic digestion and RNA or protein extracts were prepared. RNA and protein levels were determined by quantitative RT-PCR and western blotting respectively, using JNK-isoform-specific primers and isoform-specific antibodies; activities of the three JNK isoforms were determined by kinase assays following quantitative immunoprecipitation/depletion of JNK3. JNK silencing was performed with small interfering RNAs and apoptotic rates were determined in INS-1E cells by scoring cells displaying pycnotic nuclei.
JNK3 and JNK2 mRNAs are the predominant isoforms expressed in human pancreatic islets. JNK3 is nuclear while JNK2 is also cytoplasmic. In INS-1E cells, JNK3 knockdown increases c-Jun levels and caspase-3 cleavage and sensitises cells to cytokine-induced apoptosis; in contrast, JNK1 or JNK2 knockdown is protective.
In insulin-secreting cells, JNK3 plays an active role in preserving pancreatic beta cell mass from cytokine attacks. The specific localisation of JNK3 in the nucleus, its recruitment by cytokines, and its effects on key transcription factors such as c-Jun, indicate that JNK3 is certainly an important player in the transcriptional control of genes expressed in insulin-secreting cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) is a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activated by stress-signals and involved in many different diseases. Previous results proved the powerful effect of the cell permeable peptide inhibitor d-JNKI1 (d-retro-inverso form of c-Jun N-terminal kinase-inhibitor) against neuronal death in CNS diseases, but the precise features of this neuroprotection remain unclear. We here performed cell-free and in vitro experiments for a deeper characterization of d-JNKI1 features in physiological conditions. This peptide works by preventing JNK interaction with its c-Jun N-terminal kinase-binding domain (JBD) dependent targets. We here focused on the two JNK upstream MAPKKs, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 4 (MKK4) and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 7 (MKK7), because they contain a JBD homology domain. We proved that d-JNKI1 prevents MKK4 and MKK7 activity in cell-free and in vitro experiments: these MAPKK could be considered not only activators but also substrates of JNK. This means that d-JNKI1 can interrupt downstream but also upstream events along the JNK cascade, highlighting a new remarkable feature of this peptide. We also showed the lack of any direct effect of the peptide on p38, MEK1, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) in cell free, while in rat primary cortical neurons JNK inhibition activates the MEK1-ERK-Ets1/c-Fos cascade. JNK inhibition induces a compensatory effect and leads to ERK activation via MEK1, resulting in an activation of the survival pathway-(MEK1/ERK) as a consequence of the death pathway-(JNK) inhibition. This study should hold as an important step to clarify the strong neuroprotective effect of d-JNKI1.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: XG-102 (formerly D-JNKI1), a TAT-coupled dextrogyre peptide which selectively inhibits the c-Jun N-terminal kinase, is a powerful neuroprotectant in mouse models of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) with delayed intracerebroventricular injection. We aimed to determine whether this neuroprotection could also be achieved by intravenous injection of XG-102, which is a more feasible approach for future use in stroke patients. We also tested the compatibility of the compound with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA), commonly used for intravenous thrombolysis and known to enhance excitotoxicity.
Male ICR-CD1 mice were subjected to a 30-min-suture MCAo. XG-102 was injected intravenously in a single dose, 6 h after ischemia. Hippocampal slice cultures were subjected to oxygen (5%) and glucose (1 mM) deprivation for 30 min. rtPA was added after ischemia and before XG-102 administration, both in vitro and in vivo.
The lowest intravenous dose achieving neuroprotection was 0.0003 mg/kg, which reduced the infarct volume after 48 h from 62 +/- 19 mm(3) (n = 18) for the vehicle-treated group to 18 +/- 9 mm(3) (n = 5, p < 0.01). The behavioral outcome was also significantly improved at two doses. Addition of rtPA after ischemia enhanced the ischemic damage both in vitro and in vivo, but XG-102 was still able to induce a significant neuroprotection.
A single intravenous administration of XG-102 several hours after ischemia induces a powerful neuroprotection. XG-102 protects from ischemic damage in the presence of rtPA. The feasibility of systemic administration of this promising compound and its compatibility with rtPA are important steps for its development as a drug candidate in ischemic stroke.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whether the response of the fetal heart to ischemia-reperfusion is associated with activation of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway is not known. In contrast, involvement of the sarcolemmal L-type Ca2+ channel (LCC) and the mitochondrial KATP (mitoKATP) channel has been established. This work aimed at investigating the profile of JNK activity during anoxia-reoxygenation and its modulation by LCC and mitoK(ATP) channel. Hearts isolated from 4-day-old chick embryos were submitted to anoxia (30 min) and reoxygenation (60 min). Using the kinase assay method, the profile of JNK activity in the ventricle was determined every 10 min throughout anoxia-reoxygenation. Effects on JNK activity of the LCC blocker verapamil (10 nM), the mitoK(ATP) channel opener diazoxide (50 microM) and the blocker 5-hydroxydecanoate (5-HD, 500 microM), the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter (MCU) inhibitor Ru360 (10 microM), and the antioxidant N-(2-mercaptopropionyl) glycine (MPG, 1 mM) were determined. In untreated hearts, JNK activity was increased by 40% during anoxia and peaked fivefold relative to basal level after 30-40 min reoxygenation. This peak value was reduced by half by diazoxide and was tripled by 5-HD. Furthermore, the 5-HD-mediated stimulation of JNK activity during reoxygenation was abolished by diazoxide, verapamil or Ru360. MPG had no effect on JNK activity, whatever the conditions. None of the tested pharmacological agents altered JNK activity under basal normoxic conditions. Thus, in the embryonic heart, JNK activity exhibits a characteristic pattern during anoxia and reoxygenation and the respective open-state of LCC, MCU and mitoKATP channel can be a major determinant of JNK activity in a ROS-independent manner.
Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 07/2008; 313(1-2):133-8. · 2.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: c-Jun N-terminal kinases (SAPK/JNKs) are activated by inflammatory cytokines, and JNK signaling is involved in insulin resistance and beta-cell secretory function and survival. Chronic high glucose concentrations and leptin induce interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) secretion from pancreatic islets, an event that is possibly causal in promoting beta-cell dysfunction and death. The present study provides evidence that chronically elevated concentrations of leptin and glucose induce beta-cell apoptosis through activation of the JNK pathway in human islets and in insulinoma (INS 832/13) cells. JNK inhibition by the dominant inhibitor JNK-binding domain of IB1/JIP-1 (JNKi) reduced JNK activity and apoptosis induced by leptin and glucose. Exposure of human islets to leptin and high glucose concentrations leads to a decrease of glucose-induced insulin secretion, which was partly restored by JNKi. We detected an interplay between the JNK cascade and the caspase 1/IL-1beta-converting enzyme in human islets. The caspase 1 gene, which contains a potential activating protein-1 binding site, was up-regulated in pancreatic sections and in isolated islets from type 2 diabetic patients. Similarly, cultured human islets exposed to high glucose- and leptin-induced caspase 1 and JNK inhibition prevented this up-regulation. Therefore, JNK inhibition may protect beta-cells from the deleterious effects of high glucose and leptin in diabetes.
The FASEB Journal 07/2008; 22(6):1905-13. · 5.70 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The c-Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway has been shown to play an important role in excitotoxic neuronal death and several studies have demonstrated a neuroprotective effect of D-JNKi, a peptide inhibitor of JNK, in various models of cerebral ischemia. We have now investigated the effect of D-JNKi in a model of transient focal cerebral ischemia (90 min) induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) in adult male rats. D-JNKi (0.1 mg/kg), significantly decreased the volume of infarct, 3 days after cerebral ischemia. Sensorimotor and cognitive deficits were then evaluated over a period of 6 or 10 days after ischemia and infarct volumes were measured after behavioral testing. In behavioral studies, D-JNKi improved the general state of the animals as demonstrated by the attenuation of body weight loss and improvement in neurological score, as compared with animals receiving the vehicle. Moreover, D-JNKi decreased sensorimotor deficits in the adhesive removal test and improved cognitive function in the object recognition test. In contrast, D-JNKi did not significantly affect the infarct volume at day 6 and at day 10. This study shows that D-JNKi can improve functional recovery after transient focal cerebral ischemia in the rat and therefore supports the use of this molecule as a potential therapy for stroke.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway plays a critical role in ischemic brain injury. The d-retro-inverso form of c-Jun N-terminal kinase-inhibitor (D-JNKI1), a cell-permeable inhibitor of JNK, powerfully reduces neuronal death induced by permanent and transient ischemia, even when administered 6 h after the ischemic insult, offering a clinically relevant window. We investigated the JNK molecular cascade activation in rat cerebral ischemia and the effects of D-JNKI1 on this cascade. c-Jun activation starts after 3 h after ischemia and peaks at 6 h in the ischemic core and in the penumbra at 1 h and at 6 h respectively. The 6 h c-Jun activation peak correlates well with that of P-JNK. We also examined the activation of the two direct JNK activators, MAP kinase kinase 4 (MKK4) and MAP kinase kinase 7 (MKK7). MKK4 showed the same time course as JNK in both core and penumbra, reaching peak activation at 6 h. MKK7 did not show any significant increase of phosphorylation in either core or penumbra. D-JNKI1 markedly prevented the increase of P-c-Jun in both core and penumbra and powerfully inhibited caspase-3 activation in the core. These results confirm that targeting the JNK cascade using the TAT cell-penetrating peptide offers a promising therapeutic approach for ischemia, raising hopes for human neuroprotection, and elucidates the molecular pathways leading to and following JNK activation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have explored the threshold of tolerance of three unrelated cell types to treatments with potential cytoprotective peptides bound to Tat(48-57) and Antp(43-58) cell-permeable peptide carriers. Both Tat(48-57) and Antp(43-58) are well known for their good efficacy at crossing membranes of different cell types, their overall low toxicity, and their absence of leakage once internalised. Here, we show that concentrations of up to 100 microM of Tat(48-57) were essentially harmless in all cells tested, whereas Antp(43-58) was significantly more toxic. Moreover, all peptides bound to Tat(48-57) and Antp(43-58) triggered significant and length-dependent cytotoxicity when used at concentrations above 10 microM in all but one cell types (208F rat fibroblasts), irrespective of the sequence of the cargo. Absence of cytotoxicity in 208F fibroblasts correlated with poor intracellular peptide uptake, as monitored by confocal laser scanning fluorescence microscopy. Our data further suggest that the onset of cytotoxicity correlates with the activation of two intracellular stress signalling pathways, namely those involving JNK, and to a lesser extent p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases. These responses are of particular concern for cells that are especially sensitive to the activation of stress kinases. Collectively, these results indicate that in order to avoid unwanted and unspecific cytotoxicity, effector molecules bound to Tat(48-57) should be designed with the shortest possible sequence and the highest possible affinity for their binding partners or targets, so that concentrations below 10 microM can be successfully applied to cells without harm. Considering that cytotoxicity associated to Tat(48-57)- and Antp(43-58) bound peptide conjugates was not restricted to a particular type of cells, our data provide a general framework for the design of cell-penetrating peptides that may apply to broader uses of intracellular peptide and drug delivery.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 10/2007; 1768(9):2222-34. · 4.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The protocols used for the preparation of human pancreatic islets immediately induce a sustained and massive activation of the c-Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK). JNK, which participates in apoptosis of insulin-secreting cells, is activated by mechanical stresses, as well as by exposure to pro-inflammatory cytokines. Here, we investigated whether the delivery of a protease-resistant JNK inhibitory peptide (D-JNKI) through a protein transduction system during pancreatic digestion might impair JNK signalling throughout the transplantation procedure.
Rat pancreases were treated with D-JNKI through the pancreatic duct and cells then isolated by enzymatic digestion. Protein extracts were prepared to determine JNK activity by kinase assays and total RNA was extracted to measure gene expressions by a Light-Cycler technique. Cell apoptosis rate was determined by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labelling (TUNEL) assay and by scoring cells displaying pycnotic nuclei.
Our data establish that the peptide transduction system used here efficiently transfects islets, allowing for stable in vivo (up to 2 days) transfection of human islets transplanted under the kidney capsule. Further, D-JNKI decreases intracellular JNK signalling during isolation and following cytokine exposure in both human and rat islets, as measured by kinase assays and reduced c-fos expression; D-JNKI also confers protection against apoptosis induced during the rat islet preparation and subsequent to IL-1beta exposure.
JNK signalling participates in islet isolation- and IL-1beta-induced apoptosis in rat islets. Furthermore, the system we used might be more generally applicable for the persistent blockage (several days) of pro-apoptotic pathways in the transplanted islets; this days-long protection might potentially be an absolute prerequisite to help transplanted islets better survive the first wave of the non-specific inflammatory attack.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Viral encephalitis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, yet there is no proven efficacious therapy for most viral infections of the central nervous system (CNS). Many of the viruses that cause encephalitis induce apoptosis and activate c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) following infection. We have previously shown that reovirus infection of epithelial cell lines activates JNK-dependent apoptosis. We now show that reovirus infection resulted in activation of JNK and caspase-3 in the CNS. Treatment of reovirus-infected mice with a cell-permeating peptide that competitively inhibits JNK activity resulted in significantly prolonged survival of intracerebrally infected mice following an otherwise lethal challenge with T3D (100 x 50% lethal dose). Protection correlated with reduced CNS injury, reduced neuronal apoptosis, and reduced c-Jun activation without altering the viral titer or viral antigen distribution. Given the efficacy of the inhibitor in protecting mice from viral encephalitis, JNK inhibition represents a promising and novel treatment strategy for viral encephalitis.
Journal of Virology 08/2007; 81(13):6984-92. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neomycin ototoxicity and electrode insertion trauma both involve activation of the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK)/c-Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) cell death signal cascade. This article discusses mechanisms of cell death on a cell biology level (e.g. necrosis and apoptosis) and proposes the blocking of JNK signaling as a therapeutic approach for preventing the development of a permanent hearing loss that can be initiated by either neomycin ototoxicity or electrode insertion trauma. Blocking of JNK molecules incorporates the use of a peptide inhibitor (i.e. D-JNKI-1), which is specific for all three isoforms of JNK and has been demonstrated to prevent loss of hearing following either electrode insertion trauma or loss of both hearing and hair cells following exposure to an ototoxic level of neomycin. We present previously unpublished results that control for the effect of perfusate washout of aminoglycoside antibiotic by perfusion of the scala tympani with an inactive form of D-JNKI-1 peptide, i.e. JNKI-1(mut) peptide, which was not presented in the original J. Neurosci. article that tested locally delivered D-JNKI-1 peptide against both noise- and neomycin-induced hearing loss (i.e. Wang, J., Van De Water, T.R., Bonny, C., de Ribaupierre, F., Puel, J.L., Zine, A. 2003a. A peptide inhibitor of c-Jun N-terminal kinase protects against both aminoglycoside and acoustic trauma-induced auditory hair cell death and hearing loss. J. Neurosci. 23, 8596-8607). D-JNKI-1 is a cell permeable peptide that blocks JNK signaling at the level of the three JNK molecular isoforms, which when blocked prevents the increases in hearing thresholds and the loss of auditory hair cells. This unique therapeutic approach may have clinical application for preventing: (1) hearing loss caused by neomycin ototoxicity; and (2) the progressive component of electrode insertion trauma-induced hearing loss.
Hearing Research 05/2007; 226(1-2):168-77. · 2.54 Impact Factor