Vijaya Ramesh

Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Are you Vijaya Ramesh?

Claim your profile

Publications (101)584.43 Total impact

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We examined the potential benefit of gene therapy in a mouse model of tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) in which there is embryonic loss of Tsc1 (hamartin) in brain neurons. An adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector (serotype rh8) expressing a tagged form of hamartin was injected into the cerebral ventricles of newborn pups with the genotype Tsc1(cc) (homozygous for a conditional floxed Tsc1 allele) SynI-cre+, in which Tsc1 is lost selectively in neurons starting at embryonic day 12. Vector-treated Tsc1(cc)SynIcre(+) mice showed a marked improvement in survival from a mean of 22days in non-injected mice to 52days in AAV hamartin vector-injected mice, with improved weight gain and motor behavior in the latter. Pathologic studies showed normalization of neuron size and a decrease in markers of mTOR activation in treated as compared to untreated mutant littermates. Hence, we show that gene replacement in the brain is an effective therapeutic approach in this mouse model of TSC1. Our strategy for gene therapy has the advantages that therapy can be achieved from a single application, as compared to repeated treatment with drugs, and that AAV vectors have been found to have minimal to no toxicity in clinical trials for other neurologic conditions. Although there are many additional issues to be addressed, our studies support gene therapy as a useful approach in TSC patients. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Neurobiology of Disease 05/2015; 82. DOI:10.1016/j.nbd.2015.04.018 · 5.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The neurofibromatoses (NF) are autosomal dominant genetic disorders that encompass the rare diseases NF1, NF2, and schwannomatosis. The NFs affect more people worldwide than Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Huntington's disease combined. NF1 and NF2 are caused by mutations of known tumor suppressor genes (NF1 and NF2, respectively). For schwannomatosis, although mutations in SMARCB1 were identified in a subpopulation of schwannomatosis patients, additional causative gene mutations are still to be discovered. Individuals with NF1 may demonstrate manifestations in multiple organ systems, including tumors of the nervous system, learning disabilities, and physical disfigurement. NF2 ultimately can cause deafness, cranial nerve deficits, and additional severe morbidities caused by tumors of the nervous system. Unmanageable pain is a key finding in patients with schwannomatosis. Although today there is no marketed treatment for NF-related tumors, a significant number of clinical trials have become available. In addition, significant preclinical efforts have led to a more rational selection of potential drug candidates for NF trials. An important element in fueling this progress is the sharing of knowledge. For over 20 years the Children's Tumor Foundation has convened an annual NF Conference, bringing together NF professionals to share novel findings, ideas, and build collaborations. The 2012 NF Conference held in New Orleans hosted over 350 NF researchers and clinicians. This article provides a synthesis of the highlights presented at the conference and as such, is a "state-of-the-field" for NF research in 2012. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 01/2014; DOI:10.1002/ajmg.a.36312 · 2.05 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is reported in 30 to 60% of patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) but shared genetic mechanisms that exist between TSC-associated ASD and idiopathic ASD have yet to be determined. Through the small G-protein Rheb, the TSC proteins, hamartin and tuberin, negatively regulate mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling. It is well established that mTORC1 plays a pivotal role in neuronal translation and connectivity, so dysregulation of mTORC1 signaling could be a common feature in many ASDs. Pam, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, binds to TSC proteins and regulates mTORC1 signaling in the CNS, and the FBXO45-Pam ubiquitin ligase complex plays an essential role in neurodevelopment by regulating synapse formation and growth. Since mounting evidence has established autism as a disorder of the synapses, we tested whether rare genetic variants in TSC1, TSC2, MYCBP2, RHEB and FBXO45, genes that regulate mTORC1 signaling and/or play a role in synapse development and function, contribute to the pathogenesis of idiopathic ASD. METHODS: Exons and splice junctions of TSC1, TSC2, MYCBP2, RHEB and FBXO45 were resequenced for 300 ASD trios from the Simons Simplex Collection (SSC) using a pooled PCR amplification and next-generation sequencing strategy, targeted to the discovery of deleterious coding variation. These detected, potentially functional, variants were confirmed by Sanger sequencing of the individual samples comprising the pools in which they were identified. RESULTS: We identified a total of 23 missense variants in MYCBP2, TSC1 and TSC2. These variants exhibited a near equal distribution between the proband and parental pools, with no statistical excess in ASD cases (P > 0.05). All proband variants were inherited. No putative deleterious variants were confirmed in RHEB and FBXO45. Three intronic variants, identified as potential splice defects in MYCBP2 did not show aberrant splicing upon RNA assay. Overall, we did not find an over-representation of ASD causal variants in the genes studied to support them as contributors to autism susceptibility. CONCLUSIONS: We did not observe an enrichment of rare functional variants in TSC1 and TSC2 genes in our sample set of 300 trios.
    Molecular Autism 03/2013; 4(1):5. DOI:10.1186/2040-2392-4-5 · 5.49 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pam and its homologs (the PHR protein family) are large E3 ubiquitin ligases that function to regulate synapse formation and growth in mammals, zebrafish, Drosophila, and Caenorhabditis elegans. Phr1-deficient mouse models (Phr1(Δ8,9) and Phr1(Magellan), with deletions in the N-terminal putative guanine exchange factor region and the C-terminal ubiquitin ligase region, respectively) exhibit axon guidance/outgrowth defects and striking defects of major axon tracts in the CNS. Our earlier studies identified Pam to be associated with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) proteins, ubiquitinating TSC2 and regulating mammalian/mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling. Here, we examine the potential involvement of the TSC/mTOR complex 1(mTORC1) signaling pathway in Phr1-deficient mouse models. We observed attenuation of mTORC1 signaling in the brains of both Phr1(Δ8,9) and Phr1(Magellan) mouse models. Our results establish that Pam regulates TSC/mTOR signaling in vitro and in vivo through two distinct domains. To further address whether Pam regulates mTORC1 through two functionally independent domains, we undertook heterozygous mutant crossing between Phr1(Δ8,9) and Phr1(Magellan) mice to generate a compound heterozygous model to determine whether these two domains can complement each other. mTORC1 signaling was not attenuated in the brains of double mutants (Phr1(Δ8,9/Mag)), confirming that Pam displays dual regulation of the mTORC1 pathway through two functional domains. Our results also suggest that although dysregulation of mTORC1 signaling may be responsible for the corpus callosum defects, other neurodevelopmental defects observed with Phr1 deficiency are independent of mTORC1 signaling. The ubiquitin ligase complex containing Pam-Fbxo45 likely targets additional synaptic and axonal proteins, which may explain the overlapping neurodevelopmental defects observed in Phr1 and Fbxo45 deficiency.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2012; 287(36):30063-72. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M112.353987 · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Inactivating mutations in the neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) tumor suppressor gene results in the development of schwannomas and meningiomas. Using NF2-deficient meningioma cells and tumors, together with the normal cellular counterparts that meningiomas derive, arachnoid cells, we identified merlin as a novel negative regulator of mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1). We now show that merlin positively regulates the kinase activity of mTORC2, a second functionally distinct mTOR complex, and that downstream phosphorylation of mTORC2 substrates, including Akt, is reduced upon acute merlin deficiency in cells. In response to general growth factor stimulation, Akt signaling is attenuated in merlin RNA interference-suppressed human arachnoid and Schwann cells by mechanisms mediated by hyperactive mTORC1 and impaired mTORC2. Moreover, Akt signaling is impaired differentially in a cell type-dependent manner in response to distinct growth factor stimuli. However, contrary to activation of mTORC1, the attenuated mTORC2 signaling profiles exhibited by normal arachnoid and Schwann cells in response to acute merlin loss were not consistently reflected in NF2-deficient meningiomas and schwannomas, suggesting additional genetic events may have been acquired in tumors after initial merlin loss. This finding contrasts with another benign tumor disorder, tuberous sclerosis complex, which exhibits attenuated mTORC2 signaling profiles in both cells and tumors. Finally, we examined rapamycin, as well as the mTOR kinase inhibitor, Torin1, targeting both mTOR complexes to identify the most efficacious class of compounds for blocking mTOR-mediated signaling and proliferation in merlin-deficient meningioma cells. These studies may ultimately aid in the development of suitable therapeutics for NF2-associated tumors.
    Molecular Cancer Research 03/2012; 10(5):649-59. DOI:10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-11-0425-T · 4.50 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The neurofibromatoses (NF) encompass the rare diseases NF1, NF2, and schwannomatosis. The NFs affect 100,000 Americans; over 2 million persons worldwide; and are caused by mutation of tumor suppressor genes. Individuals with NF1 in particular may develop tumors anywhere in the nervous system; additional manifestations can include learning disabilities, bone dysplasia, cardiovascular defects, unmanageable pain, and physical disfigurement. Ultimately, the NFs can cause blindness, deafness, severe morbidity, and increased mortality and NF1 includes a risk of malignant cancer. Today there is no treatment for the NFs (other than symptomatic); however, research efforts to understand these genetic conditions have made tremendous strides in the past few years. Progress is being made on all fronts, from discovery studies-understanding the molecular signaling deficits that cause the manifestations of NF-to the growth of preclinical drug screening initiatives and the emergence of a number of clinical trials. An important element in fuelling this progress is the sharing of knowledge, and to this end, for over 20 years the Children's Tumor Foundation has convened an annual NF Conference, bringing together NF professionals to share ideas and build collaborations. The 2010 NF Conference held in Baltimore, MD June 5-8, 2010 hosted over 300 NF researchers and clinicians. This paper provides a synthesis of the highlights presented at the Conference and as such, is a "state-of-the-field" for NF research in 2010.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 02/2011; 155A(2):307-21. DOI:10.1002/ajmg.a.33804 · 2.05 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: The co-occurrence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) has been recognized for many years. TSC involves two genes, TSC1 and TSC2, which function together to inhibit mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) signaling. mTOR signaling plays an essential role in neural plasticity, and activation of mTOR signaling is known to result in rapid synthesis of a diverse array of neuronal proteins which may have implications for synapse strength. Therefore, aberrant regulation of mTOR signaling in neurons is a potential common cause for deficits associated with TSC as well as ASD. Objectives: To investigate whether inherited variations in mTOR pathway genes may also be associated with genetic risk for ASD, we chose a candidate gene approach focusing on 7 genes known or suspected to be involved in aberrant regulation of mTOR signaling: TSC1, TSC2, FKBP1A, NF1, PTEN, RHEB and MYCBP2. Methods: The association study included 3006 individuals from 743 Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) families comprising 1177 ASD affected cases, as well as 1385 parents and 444 siblings who were either unaffected or had no phenotypic information. A total of 140 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning the candidate genes (including 7 rare variants in PTEN) were chosen using pairwise tagging and an R2 threshold of 0.8 in HAPMAP. SNPs were genotyped with Sequenom, and Transmission Disequilibrium Test (TDT) was carried out using PLINK. The deletion event in PTEN was initially detected by specific Mendelian errors in neighboring SNPs, and was later confirmed by real-time quantitative PCR, cloning and sequencing. Results: Association analysis revealed no significant association of the 7 candidate mTOR pathway genes with ASD. However, an anomalous allele pattern of two adjacent SNPs in intron 1 of PTEN was identified in 21 AGRE families, which could be explained with the hypothetical occurrence of a deletion event. Direct sequencing of the two PTEN SNPs excluded the possibility of simple genotyping error, and quantitative PCR detected a ~50% decreased allele dosage, further strengthening evidence for the PTEN deletion. This is finally confirmed with cloning and sequencing. The PTEN deletion spans 898 bp in intron1, ending at 59 bp upstream of exon2. Conclusions: An identical deletion of 898 bp in intron 1 of PTEN was found in a subset of ASD families. There was no record in these families of Cowden’s Syndrome, characterized by hamartomatous growths, or a variety of other cancers in which mutations in the PTEN tumor suppressor are implicated. However exclusion of some clinical records in the dataset cannot be ruled out. In addition to a role as a key regulator of the mTOR signaling pathway, PTEN has been implicated in ASD or autistic-like phenotypes in both humans and mouse models. As a next step, it is critical to investigate whether this deletion is associated with ASD, and whether it affects PTEN mRNA expression or processing. If confirmed, these results will break new ground for understanding the pathogenesis of a subset of ASD.
    International Meeting for Autism Research 2010; 05/2010
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The NF Conference is the largest annual gathering of researchers and clinicians focused on neurofibromatosis and has been convened by the Children's Tumor Foundation for over 20 years. The 2009 NF Conference was held in Portland, Oregon from June 13 to June 16, 2009 and co-chaired by Kathryn North from the University of Sydney and The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, Australia; and Joseph Kissil from the Wistar Institute, Philadelphia. The Conference included 80 platform presentations in 9 sessions over 4 days; over 100 abstracts presented as posters; and three Keynote presentations. To date, there have been tremendous advances in basic research in the pathogenesis of neurofibromatosis, and more recently in progress toward identifying effective drug therapies and the commencement of neurofibromatosis clinical trials. The NF Conference attendees have significantly increased (doubling from 140 in 2005 to 280 attending in 2009) with a significant increase in attendance of physicians and clinical researchers. Correspondingly the NF Conference scope has expanded to include translational research, clinical trials and clinical management issues while retaining a core of basic research. These themes are reflected in the highlights from the 2009 NF Conference presented here.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 02/2010; 152A(2):269-83. DOI:10.1002/ajmg.a.33189 · 2.05 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Meningiomas may occur either as familial tumors in two distinct disorders, familial multiple meningioma and neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2), or sporadically, as either single or multiple tumors in individuals with no family history. Meningiomas in NF2 and approximately 60% of sporadic meningiomas involve inactivation of the NF2 locus, encoding the tumor suppressor merlin on chromosome 22q. This study was undertaken to establish whether genomic profiling could distinguish familial multiple meningiomas from sporadic solitary and sporadic multiple meningiomas. We compared 73 meningiomas presenting as sporadic solitary (64), sporadic multiple (5) and familial multiple (4) tumors using genomic profiling by array comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH). Sporadic solitary meningiomas revealed genomic rearrangements consistent with at least two mechanisms of tumor initiation, as unsupervised cluster analysis readily distinguished tumors with chromosome 22 deletion (associated with loss of the NF2 tumor suppressor) from those without chromosome 22 deletion. Whereas sporadic meningiomas without chromosome 22 loss exhibited fewer chromosomal imbalance events overall, tumors with chromosome 22 deletion further clustered into two major groups that largely, though not perfectly, matched with their benign (WHO Grade I) or advanced (WHO Grades II and III) histological grade, with the latter exhibiting a significantly greater degree of genomic imbalance (P < 0.001). Sporadic multiple meningiomas showed a frequency of genomic imbalance events comparable to the atypical grade solitary tumors. By contrast, familial multiple meningiomas displayed no imbalances, supporting a distinct mechanism for the origin for these tumors. Genomic profiling can provide an unbiased adjunct to traditional meningioma classification and provides a basis for exploring the different genetic underpinnings of tumor initiation and progression. Most importantly, the striking difference observed between sporadic and familial multiple meningiomas indicates that genomic profiling can provide valuable information for differential diagnosis of subjects with multiple meningiomas and for considering the risk for tumor occurrence in their family members.
    BMC Medical Genomics 07/2009; 2:42. DOI:10.1186/1755-8794-2-42 · 3.91 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Inactivating mutations of the neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) gene, NF2, result predominantly in benign neurological tumors, schwannomas and meningiomas, in humans; however, mutations in murine Nf2 lead to a broad spectrum of cancerous tumors. The tumor-suppressive function of the NF2 protein, merlin, a membrane-cytoskeleton linker, remains unclear. Here, we identify the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) as a novel mediator of merlin's tumor suppressor activity. Merlin-deficient human meningioma cells and merlin knockdown arachnoidal cells, the nonneoplastic cell counterparts of meningiomas, exhibit rapamycin-sensitive constitutive mTORC1 activation and increased growth. NF2 patient tumors and Nf2-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts demonstrate elevated mTORC1 signaling. Conversely, the exogenous expression of wild-type merlin isoforms, but not a patient-derived L64P mutant, suppresses mTORC1 signaling. Merlin does not regulate mTORC1 via the established mechanism of phosphoinositide 3-kinase-Akt or mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase-mediated TSC2 inactivation and may instead regulate TSC/mTOR signaling in a novel fashion. In conclusion, the deregulation of mTORC1 activation underlies the aberrant growth and proliferation of NF2-associated tumors and may restrain the growth of these lesions through negative feedback mechanisms, suggesting that rapamycin in combination with phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitors may be therapeutic for NF2.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 06/2009; 29(15):4250-61. DOI:10.1128/MCB.01581-08 · 5.04 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Chordomas are rare, malignant bone neoplasms in which the pathogenic mechanisms remain unknown. Interestingly, tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is the only syndrome in which the incidence of chordomas has been described. We previously reported the pathogenic role of the TSC genes in TSC-associated chordomas. In this study, we investigated whether aberrant TSC/mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling pathway is associated with sporadic chordomas. We assessed the status of mTORC1 signaling in primary tumors/cell lines of sacral chordomas and further examined upstream of mTORC1 signaling, including the PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome ten) tumor suppressor. We also tested the efficacy of the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin on signaling and growth of chordoma cell lines. Sporadic sacral chordoma tumors and cell lines examined commonly displayed hyperactivated Akt and mTORC1 signaling. Strikingly, expression of PTEN, a negative regulator of mTORC1 signaling, was not detected or significantly reduced in chordoma-derived cell lines and primary tumors. Furthermore, rapamycin inhibited mTORC1 activation and suppressed proliferation of chordoma-derived cell line. Our results suggest that loss of PTEN as well as other genetic alterations that result in constitutive activation of Akt/mTORC1 signaling may contribute to the development of sporadic chordomas. More importantly, a combination of Akt and mTORC1 inhibition may provide clinical benefits to chordoma patients.
    Clinical Cancer Research 04/2009; 15(6):1940-6. DOI:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-08-2364 · 8.19 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Tuberous sclerosis is a single-gene disorder caused by heterozygous mutations in the TSC1 (9q34) or TSC2 (16p13.3) gene and is frequently associated with mental retardation, autism and epilepsy. Even individuals with tuberous sclerosis and a normal intelligence quotient (approximately 50%) are commonly affected with specific neuropsychological problems, including long-term and working memory deficits. Here we report that mice with a heterozygous, inactivating mutation in the Tsc2 gene (Tsc2(+/-) mice) show deficits in learning and memory. Cognitive deficits in Tsc2(+/-) mice emerged in the absence of neuropathology and seizures, demonstrating that other disease mechanisms are involved. We show that hyperactive hippocampal mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling led to abnormal long-term potentiation in the CA1 region of the hippocampus and consequently to deficits in hippocampal-dependent learning. These deficits included impairments in two spatial learning tasks and in contextual discrimination. Notably, we show that a brief treatment with the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin in adult mice rescues not only the synaptic plasticity, but also the behavioral deficits in this animal model of tuberous sclerosis. The results presented here reveal a biological basis for some of the cognitive deficits associated with tuberous sclerosis, and they show that treatment with mTOR antagonists ameliorates cognitive dysfunction in a mouse model of this disorder.
    Nature medicine 07/2008; 14(8):843-8. DOI:10.1038/nm1788 · 28.05 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The tumor suppressor tuberin, encoded by the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) gene TSC2, negatively regulates the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, which plays a key role in the control of cell growth and proliferation. In addition to naturally occurring mutations, several kinases including Akt, RSK1, and ERK are known to phosphorylate and inactivate tuberin. We demonstrate a novel mechanism of tuberin inactivation through ubiquitination by Pam, a putative RING finger-containing E3 ubiquitin (Ub) ligase in mammalian cells. We show that Pam associates with E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes, and tuberin can be ubiquitinated by Pam through its RING finger domain. Tuberin ubiquitination is independent of its phosphorylation by Akt, RSK1, and ERK kinases. Pam is also self-ubiquitinated through its RING finger domain. Moreover, the TSC1 protein hamartin, which forms a heterodimer with tuberin, protects tuberin from ubiquitination by Pam. However, TSC1 fails to protect a disease-associated missense mutant of TSC2 from ubiquitination by Pam. Furthermore, Pam knockdown by RNA interference (RNAi) in rat primary neurons elevates the level of tuberin, and subsequently inhibits the mTOR pathway. Our results provide novel evidence that Pam can function as an E3 Ub ligase toward tuberin and regulate mTOR signaling, suggesting that Pam can in turn regulate cell growth and proliferation as well as neuronal function through the TSC/mTOR pathway in mammalian cells.
    Cellular Signalling 07/2008; 20(6):1084-91. DOI:10.1016/j.cellsig.2008.01.020 · 4.47 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Water and solute transport across the plasma membrane of cells is a crucial biological function that is mediated mainly by aquaporins and aquaglyceroporins. The regulation of these membrane proteins is still incompletely understood. Using the male reproductive tract as a model system in which water and glycerol transport are critical for the establishment of fertility, we now report a novel pathway for the regulation of aquaporin 9 (AQP9) permeability. AQP9 is the major aquaglyceroporin of the epididymis, liver, and peripheral leukocytes, and its COOH-terminal portion contains a putative PDZ binding motif (SVIM). Here we show that NHERF1, cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), and AQP9 co-localize in the apical membrane of principal cells of the epididymis and the vas deferens, and that both NHERF1 and CFTR co-immunoprecipitate with AQP9. Overlay assays revealed that AQP9 binds to both the PDZ1 and PDZ2 domains of NHERF1, with an apparently higher affinity for PDZ1 versus PDZ2. Pull-down assays showed that the AQP9 COOH-terminal SVIM motif is essential for interaction with NHERF1. Functional assays on isolated tubules perfused in vitro showed a high permeability of the apical membrane to glycerol, which is inhibited by the AQP9 inhibitor, phloretin, and is markedly activated by cAMP. The CFTR inhibitors DPC, GlyH-101 and CFTRinh-172 all significantly reduced the cAMP-activated glycerol-induced cell swelling. We propose that CFTR is an important regulator of AQP9 and that the interaction between AQP9, NHERF1, and CFTR may facilitate the activation of AQP9 by cAMP.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2008; 283(5):2986-96. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M704678200 · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Meningiomas, common tumors arising from arachnoidal cells of the meninges, may occur sporadically, or in association with the inherited disorder, neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2). Most sporadic meningiomas result from NF2 inactivation, resulting in loss of tumor suppressor merlin, implicated in regulating membrane-cytoskeletal organization. To investigate merlin function in an authentic target cell type for NF2 tumor formation, we established primary cultures from genetically-matched meningioma and normal arachnoidal tissues. Our studies revealed novel and distinct cell biological and biochemical properties unique to merlin-deficient meningioma cells compared to merlin-expressing arachnoidal and meningioma cells, and other NF2-deficient cell types. Merlin-deficient meningioma cells displayed cytoskeletal and cell contact defects, altered cell morphology and growth properties, most notably cell senescence, implicating the activation of senescence pathways in limiting benign meningioma growth. Merlin suppression by RNAi in arachnoidal cells replicated merlin-deficient meningioma features, thus establishing these cell systems as disease-relevant models for studying NF2 tumorigenesis.
    Neurobiology of Disease 03/2008; 29(2):278-92. DOI:10.1016/j.nbd.2007.09.002 · 5.20 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Magicin, a protein that we isolated earlier as an interactor of the neurofibromatosis 2 protein merlin, was independently identified as MED28, a subunit of the mammalian Mediator complex. Mediator complex is an evolutionarily conserved transcriptional cofactor, which plays an essential role in positive and negative gene regulation. Distinct Mediator subunit composition is thought to contribute to gene regulation specificity based on the interaction of specific subunits with subsets of transcription factors. Here we report that down-regulation of Med28 expression in NIH3T3 cells results in a significant induction of several genes associated with smooth muscle cell (SMC) differentiation. Conversely, overexpression of MED28 represses expression of SMC genes, in concordance with our knockdown data. More importantly, multipotent mesenchymal-derived murine precursors can transdifferentiate into SMCs when Med28 is down-regulated. Our data also show that Med28 functions as a negative regulator of SMC differentiation in concert with other Mediator subunits including Med6, Med8, and Med18 within the Mediator head module. Our results provide strong evidence that MED28 may function as a scaffolding protein by maintaining the stability of a submodule within the head module and that components of this submodule act together in a gene regulatory program to suppress SMC differentiation. The results presented here demonstrate for the first time that the mammalian Mediator subunit MED28 functions as a repressor of SMC differentiation, which could have implications for disorders associated with abnormalities in SMC growth and differentiation, including atherosclerosis, asthma, hypertension, and smooth muscle tumors.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2007; 282(44):32152-7. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M706592200 · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We recently identified a novel actin cytoskeleton-associated protein magicin, for merlin and Grb2 interacting cytoskeletal protein. To unravel the cellular functions of magicin, we used a yeast two-hybrid system and identified Fyn tyrosine kinase as a specific binding partner for magicin. Fyn phosphorylates magicin in vitro. In addition to Fyn, Src and Lck also interact with magicin. Upon stimulation with anti-CD3 antibody, magicin is phosphorylated in the T lymphocyte leukemia Jurkat cell line. Magicin phosphorylation is not observed in an Lck-deficient line, J.CaM1.6, indicating that Lck is the major Src family kinase for phosphorylating magicin in Jurkat cells. Employing site-directed mutagenesis along with in vitro kinase assays, we found that Y64 of magicin is phosphorylated by Lck creating a SH2-Grb2 binding motif. Magicin has also been identified as a Mediator subunit (MED28) in the nucleus involved in transcriptional regulation, therefore we propose that magicin may serve as a multi-faceted adaptor/scaffold to relay cellular signaling to the cytoskeleton and from the cytoskeleton to the nucleus.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 10/2006; 348(3):826-31. DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2006.07.126 · 2.28 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We recently identified Pam (for protein associated with c-Myc), as a binding partner for the tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) protein tuberin in brain. The highly conserved Pam homologs in Drosophila and C. elegans are neuron-specific proteins that regulate synaptic growth. The Pam gene contains 83 exons and encodes a 4,641-amino-acid polypeptide with a predicted molecular weight of approximately 510 kDa. In a previous study, we demonstrated that Pam is expressed as two forms, approximately 450 kDa in rat embryonic and a approximately 350 kDa in rat adult brain. Here we have extended that work to show the approximately 450 kDa form is expressed in rat embryonic kidney, heart, and lung and in rat cell lines, and the approximately 350 kDa form is expressed in adult rat tissues as well as in human and mouse brain and human and mouse cell lines. To understand the size difference, we investigated alternative splicing of Pam in brain and detected six isoforms in the Myc-binding region resulting from splicing of exon 53, and three new exons, 52A, 56, and 56A. We also demonstrate that the presence of exon 52A in Pam significantly enhances binding to Myc, suggesting functional importance of this alternative splicing. The presence of Pam in many cellular compartments, its spliced variants, as well as its multiple binding partners, including tuberin, make it a complex, yet intriguing protein in the nervous system.
    Journal of Neuroscience Research 02/2006; 83(2):222-32. DOI:10.1002/jnr.20723 · 2.73 Impact Factor
  • American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics 01/2006; 141B(7):683-824. · 3.27 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

5k Citations
584.43 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1992–2015
    • Massachusetts General Hospital
      • • Center for Human Genetic Research
      • • Department of Neurology
      • • Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1994–2011
    • Harvard University
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1992–2010
    • Harvard Medical School
      • • Department of Neurology
      • • Department of Genetics
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2001
    • Albert Einstein College of Medicine
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 1999
    • Medical Neurogenetics
      Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  • 1998
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States