[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Notch signaling, cell-bound ligands activate Notch receptors on juxtaposed cells, but the relationship between ligand endocytosis, ubiquitylation and ligand-receptor interaction remains poorly understood. To study the specific role of ligand-receptor interaction, we identified a missense mutant of the Notch ligand Jagged1 (Nodder, Ndr) that failed to interact with Notch receptors, but retained a cellular distribution that was similar to wild-type Jagged1 (Jagged1(WT)) in the absence of active Notch signaling. Both Jagged1(WT) and Jagged1(Ndr) interacted with the E3 ubiquitin ligase Mind bomb, but only Jagged1(WT) showed enhanced ubiquitylation after co-culture with cells expressing Notch receptor. Cells expressing Jagged1(WT), but not Jagged1(Ndr), trans-endocytosed the Notch extracellular domain (NECD) into the ligand-expressing cell, and NECD colocalized with Jagged1(WT) in early endosomes, multivesicular bodies and lysosomes, suggesting that NECD is routed through the endocytic degradation pathway. When coexpressed in the same cell, Jagged1(Ndr) did not exert a dominant-negative effect over Jagged1(WT) in terms of receptor activation. Finally, in Jag1(Ndr/Ndr) mice, the ligand was largely accumulated at the cell surface, indicating that engagement of the Notch receptor is important for ligand internalization in vivo. In conclusion, the interaction-dead Jagged1(Ndr) ligand provides new insights into the specific role of receptor-ligand interaction in the intracellular trafficking of Notch ligands.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Disturbance of intracellular trafficking plays a major role in several neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer or Parkinson's disease. The Chediak-Higashi syndrome (CHS), a life-threatening autosomal recessive disease with frequent mutations in the LYST gene, and its animal model, the beige mouse, are both characterized by lysosomal defects with accumulation of giant lysosomes. Clinically they manifest as hypopigmentation, abnormal bleeding and increased susceptibility to infection with various degrees of involvement of the nervous system. In the course of a recessive N-ethyl-N-nitrosurea (ENU) mutagenesis screen, we identified the first murine missense mutation in the lysosomal trafficking regulator gene (Lyst(Ing3618)) located at a highly conserved position in the WD40 protein domain. Nearly all described human Lyst alleles lead to protein truncation and fatal childhood CHS. Only four different missense mutations have been reported in patients with adolescent or adult forms of CHS involving the nervous system. Interestingly, the Lyst(Ing3618) model presents with a predominant neurodegenerative phenotype with progressive degeneration and loss of Purkinje cells and lacks severe impairment of the immune system. Therefore, the Lyst(Ing3618 )allele could represent a new model for adult CHS with neurological impairment. It could also provide an important tool to elucidate the role of neuronal lysosomal trafficking in the pathophysiology of neurodegeneration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Macrophage actin-associated tyrosine phosphorylated protein (MAYP)/PSTPIP2, a PCH protein, is involved in the regulation of macrophage motility. Mutations in a closely related gene, PSTPIP1/CD2BP1, cause a dominantly inherited autoinflammatory disorder known as PAPA syndrome. A mutant mouse obtained by chemical mutagenesis exhibited an autoinflammatory disorder characterized by macrophage infiltration and inflammation, leading to osteolysis and necrosis in paws and necrosis of ears. Positional cloning of this recessive mutation, termed Lupo, identified a T to A nucleotide exchange leading to an amino acid substitution (I282N) in the sequence of MAYP. Mayp(Lp/Lp) disease was transferable by bone marrow transplantation and developed in the absence of lymphocytes. Consistent with the involvement of macrophages, lesion development could be prevented by the administration of clodronate liposomes. MAYP is expressed in monocytes/macrophages and in a Mac1+ subfraction of granulocytes. LPS stimulation increases its expression in macrophages. Because of the instability of the mutant protein, MAYP expression is reduced 3-fold in Mayp(Lp/Lp) macrophages and, on LPS stimulation, does not rise above the level of unstimulated wild-type (WT) cells. Mayp(Lp/Lp) mice expressed elevated circulating levels of several cytokines, including MCP-1; their macrophages exhibited altered cytokine production in vitro. These studies suggest that MAYP plays an anti-inflammatory role in macrophages.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A heterozygous R1101K mutation of the p150 subunit of dynactin (DCTN1) is reported in a family with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and co-occurrence of frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Two members of our kindred were affected with motor neuron disease and two with dementia in an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance. We excluded the involvement of the ALS and FTD-linked genes for copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) and tau. The R1101K sequence alteration of the DCTN1 gene may predispose subjects to ALS and FTD.
Annals of Neurology 12/2005; 58(5):777-80. · 11.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reduced Coat 2 (Rco2) is an ENU-induced mutation affecting hair follicle morphogenesis by an abnormal and protracted catagen. We describe chromosomal mapping and molecular identification of the autosomal dominant Rco2 mutation. The Rco2 critical region on mouse chromosome 11 encompasses the alopecia loci, Bareskin (Bsk), Rex-denuded (Re(den)), Recombination induced mutation 3 (Rim3), and Defolliculated (Dfl). Recently, the gasdermin (Gsdm) gene was described as predominantly expressed in skin and gastric tissues. We provide evidence for a murine-specific gene cluster consisting of Gsdm and two closely related genes which we designate as Gsdm2 and Gsdm3. We show that Gsdm3 reflects a mutation hotspot and that Gsdm3 mutations cause alopecia in Rco2, Re(den), and Bsk mice. We infer a role of Gsdm3 during the catagen to telogen transition at the end of hair follicle morphogenesis and the formation of hair follicle-associated sebaceous glands.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The authors report mutation screening of the p150 subunit of dynactin (DCTN1) and the cytoplasmic dynein heavy chain (DNCHC1) genes in 250 patients with ALS and 150 unrelated control subjects. Heterozygous missense mutations of the DCTN1 gene were detected in one apparently sporadic case of ALS (T1249I), one individual with familial ALS (M571T), two patients with familial ALS, and two unaffected relatives in the same kindred (R785W). The allelic variants of the DCTN1 gene may represent a previously unknown genomic risk factor for ALS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The vestibular system of the inner ear is responsible for the perception of motion and gravity. Key elements of this organ are otoconia, tiny biomineral particles in the utricle and the saccule. In response to gravity or linear acceleration, otoconia deflect the stereocilia of the hair cells, thus transducing kinetic movements into sensorineural action potentials. Here, we present an allelic series of mutations at the otoconia-deficient head tilt (het) locus, affecting the gene for NADPH oxidase 3 (Nox3). This series of mutations identifies for the first time a protein with a clear enzymatic function as indispensable for otoconia morphogenesis.
Genes & Development 04/2004; 18(5):486-91. · 12.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reduced coat 3 (Rco3) is a new spontaneous autosomal recessive mutation with defects in hair structure and progressive alopecia. Here we describe chromosomal mapping and molecular identification of the Rco3 mutation. The murine Rco3 locus maps to a 2-Mb interval on chromosome 15 encompassing the keratin type II gene cluster. Recently, mK6irs1 was described as a type II keratin expressed in Henle's and Huxley's layer of the murine inner root sheath. Genomic sequencing revealed a 10-bp deletion in exon 1 of mK6irs1 resulting in a frameshift after 58 amino acid residues and, therefore, the absence of 422 carboxy-terminal amino acid residues containing the complete alpha-helical rod domain. Henle's and Huxley's layers show no immunoreactivity with mK6irs1-specific antibodies and the absence of intermediate filament formation in electron microscopic images. These results indicate that the expression of functional mK6irs1 is indispensable for intermediate filament formation in the inner root sheath and highlights the importance of the keratinization of the inner root sheath in the normal formation of the hair shaft.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology 11/2003; 121(4):674-80. · 6.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Degenerative disorders of motor neurons include a range of progressive fatal diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), spinal-bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Although the causative genetic alterations are known for some cases, the molecular basis of many SMA and SBMA-like syndromes and most ALS cases is unknown. Here we show that missense point mutations in the cytoplasmic dynein heavy chain result in progressive motor neuron degeneration in heterozygous mice, and in homozygotes this is accompanied by the formation of Lewy-like inclusion bodies, thus resembling key features of human pathology. These mutations exclusively perturb neuron-specific functions of dynein.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The flood of raw information generated by large-scale data acquisition technologies in genomics, microarrays and proteomics is changing the early stages of the drug discovery process. Although many more potential drug targets are now available compared with the pre-genomics era, knowledge about the physiological context in which these targets act--information crucial to both discovery and development--is scarce. Random mutagenesis strategies in the mouse provide scalable approaches for both the gene-driven validation of candidate targets in vivo and the discovery of new physiological pathways by phenotype-driven screens.
Drug Discovery Today 01/2003; 7(23):1175-83. · 6.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The sequencing of the human genome has generated a drug discovery process that is based on sequence analysis and hypothesis-driven (inductive) prediction of gene function. This approach, which we term inductive genomics, is currently dominating the efforts of the pharmaceutical industry to identify new drug targets. According to recent studies, this sequence-driven discovery process is paradoxically increasing the average cost of drug development, thus falling short of the promise of the Human Genome Project to simplify the creation of much needed novel therapeutics. In the early stages of discovery, the flurry of new gene sequences makes it difficult to pick and prioritize the most promising product candidates for product development, as with existing technologies important decisions have to be based on circumstantial evidence that does not strongly predict therapeutic potential. This is because the physiological function of a potential target cannot be predicted by gene sequence analysis and in vitro technologies alone. In contrast, deductive genomics, or large-scale forward genetics, bridges the gap between sequence and function by providing a function-driven in vivo screen of a highly orthologous mammalian model genome for medically relevant physiological functions and drug targets. This approach allows drug discovery to move beyond the focus on sequence-driven identification of new members of classical drug-able protein families towards the biology-driven identification of innovative targets and biological pathways.
American Journal of PharmacoGenomics 02/2002; 2(4):263-71.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The high pressure neurological syndrome (HPNS), a neurological condition during elevated pressure especially in deep diving, has been simulated with experimental animals. Rats were subjected to 61 bars with slow pressure increase and one or two hours constant high pressure; subsequently the pressure was released to sea level within 20 seconds--leading to immediate oxygen depletion and death of animals--or with slow decompression rates allowing survival. In all animals, brains and partly other organs were investigated morphologically. In animals sacrificed immediately, subtle changes in different brain regions were found: symmetrical occurrence of dark neurons in the hippocampus formation, cortex and brain stem, reduced expression of tyrosin hydroxylase in the substantia nigra and enhanced expression of Bax protein in some of these regions. The dark neurons were only observed after aldehyde fixation, otherwise the brains were unaltered despite ultrarapid decrease of highly elevated pressure. In animals that were allowed to survive for different time periods, some of these subtle changes were equally noted by light and electron microscopy. Furthermore, the ventricles were enlarged, the astrocytic reaction in the hippocampus increased and some signs of the destruction of the adrenal gland were visible. We conclude, that HPNS leads to minimal changes within the nervous system. The behaviour of animals during pressure was slightly altered, the weights after the experiments reduced, but no lasting sequelae were noted. Since both in human and experimental deep diving conditions signs of psychosis were reported, this HPNS model must be considered as a tentative animal model of human psychosis.
Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology 05/2001; 53(1):45-55. · 2.62 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) play an important role in the development of restenotic lesions. However, regulation of proliferation, migration, and matrix synthesis of these cells is still poorly understood. The aim of this study was to analyze gene expression of differently stimulated bovine VSMC.
RNA was isolated from stimulated bovine VSMC after different time periods. For stimulation we used growth factors (platelet-derived growth factors PDGF-AA, PDGF-BB, basic fibroblast growth factor) and a nitric oxide donating drug (sodium nitroprusside). Gene expression of stimulated and control cells was analyzed by non-radioactive RNA fingerprinting (RNA arbitrarily primed polymerase chain reaction, RAP-PCR) and standard gel electrophoresis. Polymorphic fragments were sequenced and further characterized.
By RAP-PCR we detected changes in the RNA fingerprint pattern of stimulated cells compared with unstimulated cells. Sequences of five fragments out of 12 showed high homology to known human genes (serine-methyl-transferase, DUTT1, laminin B2, a newly cloned translational regulator (p97), and a human expressed sequence tag). For laminin B2 we could confirm an upregulation after stimulation with growth factors at 1 and 6 hours and after stimulation with SNP at 1 hour in comparison to controls. For p97 we could show a downregulation after stimulation with SNP, bFGF and PDGF-BB but not PDGF-AA.
RAP-PCR is well suited for analysis of VSMC gene expression in vitro. The laminin B2 and p97 gene are differently expressed after growth factor stimulation in bovine VSMC.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Effects of estrogen hormones on lipid peroxidation (LPO) were examined in rat brain homogenates (RBHs), hippocampal HT 22 cells, rat primary neocortical cultures, and human brain homogenates (HBHs). Dose-response curves indicated half-maximal effective concentrations (EC50) of 5.5 and 5.6 mM for iron-induced LPO in RBHs and HT 22 homogenates. Incubation of living rat primary neocortical cultures with iron resulted in an EC50 of 0.5 mM, whereas culture homogenates showed an EC50 of 1.2 mM. Estrogen hormones reduced LPO in all systems: In RBHs, estrone inhibited iron-induced LPO to 74.1 +/- 5.8% of control levels (17beta-estradiol: 71.3 +/- 0.1%) at a concentration of 10 microM. In hippocampal HT 22 cell homogenates, levels of LPO were reduced to 74.8 +/- 5.5% by estrone and to 47.8 +/- 6.2% by 17beta-estradiol. In living neocortical cultures, 17beta-estradiol decreased iron-induced LPO to 79.2 +/- 4.8% and increased the survival of cultured neuronal cells. Of the other steroid compounds tested (corticosterone, progesterone, testosterone), only progesterone decreased LPO in HT 22 cell homogenates. In HBHs, LPO was dose-dependently increased by iron concentrations from 2.7 to 6.0 mM. Incubation with estrogens resulted in a dose-dependent inhibition of LPO to 53.8 +/- 8.6% with 10 microM 17beta-estradiol, whereas estrone failed to affect iron-induced LPO to a significant extent. Nonestrogenic steroids, including hydrocortisol, did not show significant effects on LPO in HBHs.
Journal of Neurochemistry 07/1999; 72(6):2531-8. · 3.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amphetamineanalogs have emerged as popular recreational drugs of abuse. The number of reports of these substances producing severe acute toxicity and death is increasing. In 'Ecstasy' -associated deaths, focal necrosis in the liver and individual myocytic necrosis has been reported. Furthermore, serotonergic and dopaminergic neuronal cell damage has been observed in experimental amphetamine intoxication in laboratory animals. Here we demonstrate that subchronic exposure to D-amphetamine, methamphetamine, methylenedioxyamphetamine, and methylenedioxymethamphetamine ('Ecstasy') results in significant neurotoxicity in rat neocortical neurons in vitro. This neuronal cell death is accompanied by endonucleosomal DNA cleavage and differential expression of anti- and proapoptotic bcl-xL/S splice variants. In addition, we observed pronounced induction of cell stress-associated transcription factor c-jun and translation initiation inhibitor p97 after amphetamine treatment. These data support that the neurotoxic effects of different amphetamines are extended to rat neocortical neurons and that apoptotic pathways are involved in amphetamine-induced neurotoxicity.
The FASEB Journal 07/1999; 13(9):1065-72. · 5.70 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to demonstrate the relationship between microsatellite instability and other types of genomic instability, a series of 56 sporadic colorectal carcinomas was investigated by flow cytometrical ploidy analysis, oligonucleotide fingerprinting, and microsatellite polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Stabilization of the p53 gene product was analysed by immunohistochemistry and proliferative activity was determined flow cytometrically and by silver staining of nucleolar organizer regions (AgNORs). Of the 56 carcinomas, 11 (19 per cent) exhibited microsatellite instability; 33 of the cases were aneuploid (59 per cent) and 29 (52 per cent) showed alterations of the oligonucleotide fingerprints. There was a significant correlation of microsatellite instability with localization of these tumours proximal to the splenic flexure, diploid DNA content, and less frequent p53 stabilization. A solid growth pattern, mucinous differentiation, and a Crohn's-like lymphoid infiltrate were also characteristic for those tumours. The results demonstrate for the first time a significantly lower proliferative activity in tumours with microsatellite instability. Data obtained from DNA flow cytometry or from oligonucleotide fingerprinting did not correlate with such tumour characteristics. It is proposed that the use of microsatellite PCR facilitates specifically the detection of a group of colorectal cancers which may differ in pathogenesis and perhaps prognosis.
The Journal of Pathology 04/1999; 179(1):15 - 19. · 7.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HPNS (high pressure neurological syndrome) is considered to be reversible condition of the nervous system caused by elevated (atmospheric) pressure. Clinical observations and experimental findings gave rise to the belief that this syndrome at least partly functions as a model of a dopamin dependent psychosis. Morphological alterations during or after HPNS in man and animals have not been reported so far. We treated rats for three hours with an increasing pressure of helium-oxygen mixture up to 61 ATA in a pressure chamber. This pressure was subsequently maintained for one hour and then released to zero within twenty seconds. The rats died within the first three seconds of pressure release due to complete deoxygenation. Brains were immediately removed and either cooled in liquid nitrogen or fixed in formalin. In both instances the central nervous tissue was excellently preserved. In paraffin embedded formalin fixed specimens, dark neurons in different brain regions were found, especially within parts of the dentate gyrus, the CA 4 subfield of the ammons horn, in dopaminergic brainstem nuclei and in some cortical pyramidal cells. In dopaminergic cells, tyrosine hydroxylase was found to be absent in cells transformed into dark neurons. These dark neurons which have long been recognized in neuropathology, probably represent reversibly damaged neurons transformed into the dark configuration by aldehyde fixation. They may correspond to early apoptosis or they may be the consequence of cytoskeletal disruption.
Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology 01/1998; 49(6):425-32. · 2.62 Impact Factor