Barry Starcher

University of Texas at Tyler, Tyler, Texas, United States

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Publications (149)697.25 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Conventional bioreactors are used to enhance extracellular matrix production and mechanical strength of tissue engineered vessels (TEVs) by applying circumferential strain, which is uniaxial stretching. However, the resulting TEVs still suffer from inadequate mechanical properties, where rupture strengths and compliance values are still very different from native arteries. The biomechanical milieu of native arteries consists of both circumferential and axial loading. Therefore, to better simulate the physiological stresses acting on native arteries, we built a novel bioreactor system to enable biaxial stretching of engineered arteries during culture. This new bioreactor system allows for independent control of circumferential and axial stretching parameters, such as displacement and beat rate. The assembly and setup processes for this biaxial bioreactor system are reliable, with a success rate greater than 75% for completion of long-term sterile culture. This bioreactor also supports side-by-side assessments of TEVs that are cultured under three types of mechanical conditions (static, uniaxial, and biaxial), all within the same biochemical environment. Using this bioreactor, we examined the impact of biaxial stretching on arterial wall remodeling of TEVs. Biaxial TEVs developed the greatest wall thickness as compared with static and uniaxial TEVs. Unlike uniaxial loading, biaxial loading led to undulated collagen fibers that are commonly found in native arteries. More importantly, the biaxial TEVs developed the most mature elastin in the extracellular matrix, both qualitatively and quantitatively. The presence of mature extracellular elastin, along with the undulated collagen fibers, may contribute the observed vascular compliance in the biaxial TEVs. The current work shows that biaxial stretching is a novel and promising means to improve TEV generation. Furthermore, this novel system allows us to optimize biomechanical conditioning by unraveling the interrelationships among the applied mechanical stress, the resulting ECM properties, and the mechanics of TEVs.
    Tissue Engineering Part C Methods 02/2015; 21(8). DOI:10.1089/ten.TEC.2014.0287 · 4.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Elastin plays a pivotal role in lung development. We therefore queried if elastin haplo-insufficient newborn mice (Eln(+/-)) would exhibit abnormal lung structure and function related to modified extracellular matrix (ECM) composition. As mechanical ventilation (MV) has been linked to dysregulated elastic fiber formation in the newborn lung, we also asked if elastin haplo-insufficiency would accentuate lung growth arrest seen after prolonged MV of neonatal mice. We studied 5d-old wild-type (Eln(+/+)) and Eln(+/-) littermates at baseline, and after MV with air for 8-24h. Lungs of unventilated Eln(+/-) mice contained ~50% less elastin and ~100% more collagen-1 and lysyl oxidase compared to Eln(+/+) pups. Eln(+/-) lungs contained fewer capillaries than Eln(+/+) lungs, without discernible differences in alveolar structure. In response to MV, lung tropoelastin and elastase activity increased in Eln(+/+) neonates, whereas tropoelastin decreased and elastase activity was unchanged in Eln(+/-) mice. Fibrillin-1 protein increased in lungs of both groups during MV, more in Eln(+/-) than in Eln(+/+) pups. In both groups, MV caused capillary loss, with larger and fewer alveoli compared with unventilated controls. Respiratory system elastance, which was less in unventilated Eln(+/-) compared to Eln(+/+) mice, was similar in both groups after MV. These results suggest that elastin haplo-insufficiency adversely impacts pulmonary angiogenesis, and that MV dysregulates elastic fiber integrity, with further loss of lung capillaries, lung growth arrest, and impaired respiratory function in both Eln(+/+) and Eln(+/-) mice. Paucity of lung capillaries in Eln(+/-) newborns might help explain subsequent development of pulmonary hypertension previously reported in adult Eln(+/-) mice. Copyright © 2014, American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology.
    AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 12/2014; 308(5):ajplung.00278.2014. DOI:10.1152/ajplung.00278.2014 · 4.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: At physiologic pressures, elastic fibers constrain artery diameter. Local treatment of atherosclerotic arteries with PRT-201, a recombinant type I elastase, could result in fragmentation and removal of elastin fibers and increased vessel diameter. To investigate the use of PRT-201 as a treatment for human atherosclerotic arteries. Arteries were harvested from donor legs amputated due to severe peripheral artery disease or from recently deceased persons who donated their bodies to science. Three- to four-centimeter artery segments were studied on a perfusion myograph to obtain baseline diameter data. After treatment with PRT-201 3.6 mg/mL or saline for 30 minutes myography was repeated. PRT-201 treatment resulted in an increase in vessel diameter across a range of transmural pressures. Average anterior tibial artery diameter increased by 0.78 ± 0.21 mm (27% ± 12%), whereas average posterior tibial artery diameter increased by 0.58 ± 0.30 mm (21% ± 11%), both P < 0.001. Elastin content as measured by desmosine radioimmunoassay was reduced by approximately 50%, P < 0.001. The results suggest that PRT-201 treatment of atherosclerotic peripheral arteries in patients could increase artery diameter, and thus luminal area, possibly alleviating some of the symptoms of peripheral artery disease.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology 12/2014; 64(6):530-5. DOI:10.1097/FJC.0000000000000149 · 2.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tissue-engineered small-diameter vascular grafts have been developed as a promising alternative to native veins or arteries for replacement therapy. However, there is still a crucial need to improve the current approaches to render the tissue-engineered blood vessels more favorable for clinical applications. A completely biological blood vessel (3-mm inner diameter) was constructed by culturing a 50:50 mixture of bovine smooth muscle cells with neonatal human dermal fibroblasts in fibrin gels. After 30 days of culture under pulsatile stretching, the engineered blood vessels demonstrated an average burst pressure of 913.3 ± 150.1 mmHg (n=6), a suture retention (53.3 ± 15.4g) that is suitable for implantation, and a compliance (3.1 ± 2.5 %/100 mmHg) that is comparable to native vessels. These engineered grafts contained circumferentially aligned collagen fibers, microfibrils and elastic fibers, and differentiated smooth muscle cells, mimicking a native artery. These promising mechanical and biochemical properties were achieved in a very short culture time of 30 days, suggesting the potential of co-culturing of smooth muscle cells with fibroblasts in fibrin gels to generate functional small-diameter vascular grafts for vascular reconstruction surgery.
    Tissue Engineering Part A 12/2013; 20(9-10). DOI:10.1089/ten.TEA.2013.0263 · 4.64 Impact Factor
  • Barry Starcher · Edward Sauter · Coty Ho
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Desmosine, a crosslinking amino acid unique to elastin, was investigated as a possible biomarker for cancer. Twenty-eight normal controls, median age 67, had a median value for urine desmosine of 43.5 picomoles desmosine/mg creatinine. The median for 19 untreated cancer subjects of similar age was significantly higher (175 picomoles desmosine/mg creatinine, p<0.001). Urine desmosine levels in 55 subjects currently receiving chemotherapy, as well as 67 individuals who had survived cancer and were currently clinically disease free, were not significantly different from controls. Our findings indicate that elastin is being turned over in malignant solid tumors, releasing significantly elevated levels of desmosine in the urine.
    Connective tissue research 07/2013; 54(4-5). DOI:10.3109/03008207.2013.820723 · 1.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease is characterized by structural changes and remodeling in airway architecture and lung parenchyma. Neutrophilic inflammation and infection lead to injury and breakdown of airway matrix constituents, including elastin. The non-invasive measurement of urinary desmosine (UDes), a breakdown product of elastin, may be reflective of ongoing lung injury and may serve as a biomarker of active short-term damage during pulmonary exacerbation. Our objectives were to measure desmosine in the urine of CF patients hospitalized for treatment of a pulmonary exacerbation and to explore the correlation between desmosine concentration and other markers of clinical improvement, including lung function and inflammatory mediators. Urine and blood samples plus lung function measurements were collected at up to three points during hospitalization for treatment of a CF pulmonary exacerbation. We used a repeated measures model, adjusted for age and time between measurements, to compare log transformed urine desmosine concentrations across multiple time points and to correlate those concentrations with related clinical variables. Change in UDes concentration was investigated using a statistical model that incorporated normalization factors to account for variations in urinary concentration. Desmosine was measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA) in 155 spot urine samples from 53 CF patients hospitalized for 63 pulmonary exacerbations (range of results: 0-235 pmol Des/ml). Specific gravity (SG) adjusted UDes concentration decreased significantly during admission for CF pulmonary exacerbation, P < 0.01 (average length of stay = 11 days). No correlation was observed between UDes concentration and lung function or inflammatory markers. UDes decreased significantly following treatment for an acute pulmonary exacerbation and may be a useful biomarker of short-term injury to the CF lung. Further investigation is needed to evaluate the utility of UDes concentration in the long-term progression of CF lung disease.
    Pediatric Pulmonology 09/2012; 47(9):856-63. DOI:10.1002/ppul.22525 · 2.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Williams-Beuren Syndrome (WBS) and Supravalvular Aortic Stenosis (SVAS) are genetic syndromes marked by the propensity to develop severe vascular stenoses. Vascular lesions in both syndromes are caused by haploinsufficiency of the elastin gene. We used these distinct genetic syndromes as models to evaluate the feasibility of using engineered zinc finger protein transcription factors (ZFPs) to achieve compensatory expression of haploinsufficient genes by inducing augmented expression from the remaining wild-type allele. Targeting the elastin gene, we show that transcriptional activation by engineered ZFPs can increase elastin expression in wild-type cells, induce compensatory expression from the wild-type allele in both WBS and SVAS cells, induce expression of the major elastin splice variants, and recapitulate their natural stoichiometry. Further, we establish that transcriptional activation of the mutant allele in SVAS does not overcome nonsense-mediated decay and thus ZFP-mediated transcriptional activation is not likely to induce production of a mutant protein, a crucial consideration. Finally, we show in bioengineered blood vessels that ZFP-mediated induction of elastin expression is capable of stimulating functional elastogenesis. These findings have significant implications for WBS and SVAS, and establish that haploinsufficiency can be overcome by targeted transcriptional activation without inducing protein expression from the mutant allele.
    Human gene therapy 08/2012; 23(11). DOI:10.1089/hum.2011.201 · 3.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mechanical ventilation (MV) with O(2)-rich gas (MV-O(2)) offers life-saving treatment for newborn infants with respiratory failure, but it also can promote lung injury, which in neonates translates to defective alveolar formation and disordered lung elastin, a key determinant of lung growth and repair. Prior studies in preterm sheep and neonatal mice showed that MV-O(2) stimulated lung elastase activity, causing degradation and remodeling of matrix elastin. These changes yielded an inflammatory response, with TGF-β activation, scattered elastic fibers, and increased apoptosis, culminating in defective alveolar septation and arrested lung growth. To see whether sustained inhibition of elastase activity would prevent these adverse pulmonary effects of MV-O(2), we did studies comparing wild-type (WT) and mutant neonatal mice genetically modified to express in their vascular endothelium the human serine elastase inhibitor elafin (Eexp). Five-day-old WT and Eexp mice received MV with 40% O(2) (MV-O(2)) for 24-36 h. WT and Eexp controls breathed 40% O(2) without MV. MV-O(2) increased lung elastase and MMP-9 activity, resulting in elastin degradation (urine desmosine doubled), TGF-β activation (pSmad-2 increased 6-fold), apoptosis (cleaved-caspase-3 increased 10-fold), and inflammation (NF-κB activation, influx of neutrophils and monocytes) in lungs of WT vs. unventilated controls. These changes were blocked or blunted during MV-O(2) of Eexp mice. Scattered lung elastin and emphysematous alveoli observed in WT mice after 36 h of MV-O(2) were attenuated in Eexp mice. Both WT and Eexp mice showed defective VEGF signaling (decreased lung VEGF-R2 protein) and loss of pulmonary microvessels after lengthy MV-O(2), suggesting that elafin's beneficial effects during MV-O(2) derived primarily from preserving matrix elastin and suppressing lung inflammation, thereby enabling alveolar formation during MV-O(2). These results suggest that degradation and remodeling of lung elastin can contribute to defective lung growth in response to MV-O(2) and might be targeted therapeutically to prevent ventilator-induced neonatal lung injury.
    AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 06/2012; 303(3):L215-27. DOI:10.1152/ajplung.00405.2011 · 4.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Increased expression of tumor suppressor protein p53 and of plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1 is associated with cigarette smoke (CS) exposure-induced lung epithelial injury. p53 induces PAI-1 through mRNA stabilization in lung epithelial cells. However, it is unclear how this process affects lung epithelial damage. Here, we show that CS induces p53 and PAI-1 expression and apoptosis in cultured Beas2B and primary alveolar type (AT)II cells. CS exposure augmented binding of p53 protein with PAI-1 mRNA. Inhibition of p53 from binding to PAI-1 mRNA through expression of p53-binding 70 nt PAI-1 mRNA 3'UTR sequences suppressed CS-induced PAI-1 expression. Treatment of Beas2B cells with caveolin-1 scaffolding domain peptide (CSP) suppressed p53 expression and p53-PAI-1 mRNA interaction. These changes were associated with parallel inhibition of CS-induced PAI-1 expression and apoptosis in Beas2B cells. Wild-type mice exposed to passive CS likewise show augmented p53 and PAI-1 with parallel induction of ATII cell apoptosis, whereas mice deficient for p53 or PAI-1 expression resisted apoptosis of ATII cells. CSP suppressed CS-induced ATII cell apoptosis in wild-type mice and abrogated p53-PAI-1 mRNA interaction with parallel inhibition of p53 and PAI-1 expression. The protection against ATII cell apoptosis by CSP involves inhibition of passive CS-induced proapoptotic Bax and Bak expression and restoration of the prosurvival proteins Bcl-X(L). These observations demonstrate that inhibition of p53 binding to PAI-1 mRNA 3'UTR attenuates CS-induced ATII cell apoptosis. This presents a novel link between p53-mediated PAI-1 expression and CS-induced ATII cell apoptosis.
    American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 05/2012; 47(4):474-83. DOI:10.1165/rcmb.2011-0390OC · 3.99 Impact Factor
  • American Thoracic Society 2012 International Conference, May 18-23, 2012 • San Francisco, California; 05/2012
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    ABSTRACT: Alveolar type II (ATII) cell apoptosis and depressed fibrinolysis that promotes alveolar fibrin deposition are associated with acute lung injury (ALI) and the development of pulmonary fibrosis (PF). We therefore sought to determine whether p53-mediated inhibition of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and induction of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) contribute to ATII cell apoptosis that precedes the development of PF. We also sought to determine whether caveolin-1 scaffolding domain peptide (CSP) reverses these changes to protect against ALI and PF. Tissues as well as isolated ATII cells from the lungs of wild-type (WT) mice with BLM injury show increased apoptosis, p53, and PAI-1, and reciprocal suppression of uPA and uPA receptor (uPAR) protein expression. Treatment of WT mice with CSP reverses these effects and protects ATII cells against bleomycin (BLM)-induced apoptosis whereas CSP fails to attenuate ATII cell apoptosis or decrease p53 or PAI-1 in uPA-deficient mice. These mice demonstrate more severe PF. Thus p53 is increased and inhibits expression of uPA and uPAR while increasing PAI-1, changes that promote ATII cell apoptosis in mice with BLM-induced ALI. We show that CSP, an intervention targeting this pathway, protects the lung epithelium from apoptosis and prevents PF in BLM-induced lung injury via uPA-mediated inhibition of p53 and PAI-1.
    AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 12/2011; 302(5):L463-73. DOI:10.1152/ajplung.00099.2011 · 4.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Age-related arterial alterations affecting cells, matrix and biomolecules are the main culprit for initiation and progression of cardiovascular disease. The objective of this study is to gain further insights into the complex mechanism of elastic tissue ageing in human aortic blood vessels. One hundred and nineteen human aortic tissue samples were collected from adult patients (101 males, 18 females; age 40-86 years) undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting. Overall extracellular matrix architecture was examined by multiphoton laser scanning microscopy and histology. Matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9, corresponding tissue inhibitors 1 and 2 as well as desmosine were determined. mRNA levels of tropoelastin were assessed by quantitative RT-PCR. Age-related destruction of the vascular elastic laminas as well as a loss of interlamina cross-links were observed by laser scanning microscopy. These results were confirmed by histology indicating increasing interlamina gaps. There were no significant differences in matrix turnover or desmosine content. A steady decrease in tropoelastin mRNA by about 50% per 10 years of age increase was observed. Our findings indicate that ageing is accompanied by a destruction of the elastic vascular structure. However, tropoelastin expression analysis suggests that elastogenesis occurs throughout life with constantly decreasing levels.
    Journal of Vascular Research 11/2011; 49(1):77-86. DOI:10.1159/000331278 · 2.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective-The goal of this study was to determine whether antagonizing microRNA (miR)-29 enhances elastin (ELN) levels in cells and tissues lacking ELN. Methods and Results-miR-29 mimics reduced ELN levels in fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells, whereas miR-29 inhibition increased ELN levels. Antagonism of miR-29 also increased ELN levels in cells from patients haploinsufficient for ELN and in bioengineered human vessels. Conclusion-miR-29 antagonism may promote increased ELN levels during conditions of ELN deficiencies. (Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2012; 32: 756-759.)
    Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 11/2011; 32(3):756-9. DOI:10.1161/ATVBAHA.111.238113 · 6.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mechanical ventilation with O₂-rich gas (MV-O₂) offers life-saving treatment for respiratory failure, but also promotes lung injury. We previously reported that MV-O2 of newborn mice increased lung elastase activity, causing elastin degradation and redistribution of elastic fibers from septal tips to alveolar walls. These changes were associated with transforming growth factor (TGF)-β activation and increased apoptosis leading to defective alveolarization and lung growth arrest, as seen in neonatal chronic lung disease. To determine if intratracheal treatment of newborn mice with the serine elastase inhibitor elafin would prevent MV-O₂-induced lung elastin degradation and the ensuing cascade of events causing lung growth arrest. Five-day-old mice were treated via tracheotomy with recombinant human elafin or vehicle (lactated-Ringer solution), followed by MV with 40% O₂ for 8-24 hours; control animals breathed 40% O₂ without MV. At study's end, lungs were harvested to assess key variables noted below. MV-O₂ of vehicle-treated pups increased lung elastase and matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity when compared with unventilated control animals, causing elastin degradation (urine desmosine doubled), TGF-β activation (pSmad-2 tripled), and apoptosis (cleaved-caspase-3 increased 10-fold). Quantitative lung histology showed larger and fewer alveoli, greater inflammation, and scattered elastic fibers. Elafin blocked these MV-O₂-induced changes. Intratracheal elafin, by blocking lung protease activity, prevented MV-O₂-induced elastin degradation, TGF-β activation, apoptosis, and dispersion of matrix elastin, and attenuated lung structural abnormalities noted in vehicle-treated mice after 24 hours of MV-O₂. These findings suggest that elastin breakdown contributes to defective lung growth in response to MV-O₂ and might be targeted therapeutically to prevent MV-O₂-induced lung injury.
    American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 05/2011; 184(5):537-46. DOI:10.1164/rccm.201012-2010OC · 13.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a common condition affecting almost half of women over the age of 50. The molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying this condition, however, remain poorly understood. Here we have reported that fibulin-5, an integrin-binding matricellular protein that is essential for elastic fiber assembly, regulated the activity of MMP-9 to maintain integrity of the vaginal wall and prevented development of POP. In murine vaginal stromal cells, fibulin-5 inhibited the β1 integrin-dependent, fibronectin-mediated upregulation of MMP-9. Mice in which the integrin-binding motif was mutated to an integrin-disrupting motif (Fbln5RGE/RGE) exhibited upregulation of MMP-9 in vaginal tissues. In contrast to fibulin-5 knockouts (Fbln5-/-), Fbln5RGE/RGE mice were able to form intact elastic fibers and did not exhibit POP. However, treatment of mice with β-aminopropionitrile (BAPN), an inhibitor of matrix cross-linking enzymes, induced subclinical POP. Conversely, deletion of Mmp9 in Fbln5-/- mice significantly attenuated POP by increasing elastic fiber density and improving collagen fibrils. Vaginal tissue samples from pre- and postmenopausal women with POP also displayed significantly increased levels of MMP-9. These results suggest that POP is an acquired disorder of extracellular matrix and that therapies targeting matrix proteases may be successful for preventing or ameliorating POP in women.
    The Journal of clinical investigation 05/2011; 121(5):2048-59. DOI:10.1172/JCI45636 · 13.22 Impact Factor
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    American Thoracic Society 2011 International Conference, May 13-18, 2011 • Denver Colorado; 05/2011
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    ABSTRACT: Fibrillin-1, the major component of extracellular microfibrils that associate with insoluble elastin in elastic fibres, is mainly synthesized during development and postnatal growth and is believed to guide elastogenesis. Mutations in the fibrillin-1 gene cause Marfan syndrome, a multisystem disorder characterized by aortic aneurysms and dissections. The recent finding that early deficiency of elastin modifies vascular ageing has raised the possibility that fibrillin-1 deficiency could also contribute to late-onset pathology of vascular remodelling. To address this question, we examined cardiovascular function in 3-week-old, 6-month-old, and 24-month-old mice that are heterozygous for a hypomorphic structural mutation of fibrillin-1 (Fbn1{+/mgΔ} mice). Our results indicate that Fbn1{+/mgΔ} mice, particularly those that are 24 months old, are slightly more hypotensive than wild-type littermates. Additionally, aneurysm and aortic insufficiency were more frequently observed in ageing Fbn1{+/mgΔ}$ mice than in the wild-type counterparts. We also noted substantial fragmentation and decreased number of elastic lamellae in the aortic wall of Fbn1{+/mgΔ} mice, which were correlated with an increase in aortic stiffness, a decrease in vasoreactivity, altered expression of elastic fibre-related genes, including fibrillin-1 and elastin, and a decrease in the relative ratio between tissue elastin and collagen. Collectively, our findings suggest that the heterozygous mgΔ mutation accelerates some aspects of vascular ageing and eventually leads to aortic manifestations resembling those of Marfan syndrome. Importantly, our data also indicate that vascular abnormalities in Fbn1{+/mgΔ} mice are opposite to those induced by elastin haploinsufficiency during ageing that affect blood pressure, vascular dimensions, and number of elastic lamellae.
    The Journal of Pathology 05/2011; 224(1):33-44. DOI:10.1002/path.2840 · 7.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Elastic fibers are extracellular structures that provide stretch and recoil properties of tissues, such as lungs, arteries, and skin. Elastin is the predominant component of elastic fibers. Tropoelastin (TE), the precursor of elastin, is synthesized mainly during late fetal and early postnatal stages. The turnover of elastin in normal adult tissues is minimal. However, in several pathological conditions often associated with inflammation and oxidative stress, elastogenesis is re-initiated, but newly synthesized elastic fibers appear abnormal. We sought to determine the effects of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) on the assembly of TE into elastic fibers. Immunoblot analyses showed that TE is oxidatively and nitrosatively modified by peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)) and hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and by activated monocytes and macrophages via release of ONOO(-) and HOCl. In an in vitro elastic fiber assembly model, oxidatively modified TE was unable to form elastic fibers. Oxidation of TE enhanced coacervation, an early step in elastic fiber assembly, but reduced cross-linking and interactions with other proteins required for elastic fiber assembly, including fibulin-4, fibulin-5, and fibrillin-2. These findings establish that ROS/RNS can modify TE and that these modifications affect the assembly of elastic fibers. Thus, we speculate that oxidative stress may contribute to the abnormal structure and function of elastic fibers in pathological conditions.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2010; 285(48):37396-404. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M110.126789 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this prospective observational study was to determine if urine desmosine levels, a marker of lung injury, increase in response to the periopreative insults of anterior and posterior spine surgery. Desmosine, a stable breakdown product of elastin, has been proposed as a surrogate marker of lung injury in patients with COPD, tobacco use, and ARDS. We recently evaluated this marker in patients undergoing knee surgery, but the utility of desmosine as a marker of lung injury in patients undergoing spine surgery remains unstudied. In this study, we enrolled ten consecutive patients, who underwent anterior/posterior spine surgery. Patient demographics and perioperative data were recorded. Urine samples were collected at baseline, 1 day, and 3 days postoperatively and analyzed for levels of desmosine using a previously validated radioimmunoassay. Desmosine levels were 35.9 ± 18.2 pmol/mg creatinine at baseline, 38.7 ± 11 pmol/mg creatinine on postoperative day 1, and 70.5 ± 49.1 pmol/mg creatinine on postoperative day 3, respectively. Desmosine/creatinine ratios measured on day 3 postoperatively were significantly elevated compared to levels at baseline, and represented a 96.3% increase. No difference was seen between levels at baseline and day 1 postoperatively. In conclusion, we were able to show a significant increase in urine desmosine levels associated with anterior/posterior spine surgery. In the context of previous studies, our findings suggest that desmosine may be a marker of lung injury in this setting. However, further research is warranted for validation and correlation of desmosine levels to clinical markers and various degrees of lung injury.
    HSS Journal 09/2010; 6(2):160-3. DOI:10.1007/s11420-010-9158-z
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    ABSTRACT: Heterozygous elastin gene mutations cause autosomal dominant cutis laxa associated with emphysema and aortic aneurysms. To investigate the molecular mechanisms leading to cutis laxa in vivo, we generated transgenic mice by pronuclear injection of minigenes encoding normal human tropoelastin (WT) or tropoelastin with a cutis laxa mutation (CL). Three independent founder lines of CL mice showed emphysematous pulmonary airspace enlargement. No consistent dermatological or cardiovascular pathologies were observed. One CL and one WT line were selected for detailed studies. Both mutant and control transgenic animals showed elastin deposition into pulmonary elastic fibers, indicated by increased desmosine levels in the lung and by colocalization of transgenic and endogenous elastin by immunostaining. CL mice showed increased static lung compliance and decreased stiffness of lung tissue. In addition, markers of transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) signaling and the unfolded protein response (UPR) were elevated together with increased apoptosis in the lungs of CL animals. We conclude that the synthesis of mutant elastin in CL activates multiple downstream disease pathways by triggering a UPR, altered mechanical signaling, increased release of TGFβ and apoptosis. We propose that the combined effects of these processes lead to the development of an emphysematous pulmonary phenotype in CL.
    Matrix biology: journal of the International Society for Matrix Biology 09/2010; 29(7):621-8. DOI:10.1016/j.matbio.2010.06.005 · 5.07 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

5k Citations
697.25 Total Impact Points


  • 1996–2014
    • University of Texas at Tyler
      • Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
      Tyler, Texas, United States
  • 1985–2013
    • University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler
      Tyler, Texas, United States
  • 2007
    • Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    • Hoshi University
      • Department of Clinical Chemistry
      Shinagawa, Tōkyō, Japan
    • Northwestern University
      Evanston, Illinois, United States
  • 2006
    • Washington University in St. Louis
      • Department of Cell Biology and Physiology
      San Luis, Missouri, United States
  • 2005
    • Autonomous University of Barcelona
      Cerdanyola del Vallès, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2004
    • Clemson University
      • Department of Bioengineering
      Clemson, SC, United States
  • 1997
    • Barnes Jewish Hospital
      • Department of Dermatology
      San Luis, Missouri, United States
  • 1995
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      North Carolina, United States
  • 1992
    • University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
      Miami, Florida, United States
    • Georgia Health Sciences University
      • Department of Oral Biology
      Augusta, Georgia, United States