[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A genetically encoded optogenetic system was constructed that activates mRNA translation in mammalian cells in response to light. Blue light induces the reconstitution of an RNA binding domain and a translation initiation domain, thereby activating target mRNA translation downstream of the binding sites.
Chemical Communications 08/2013; · 6.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report an optogenetic method based on Arabidopsis thaliana cryptochrome 2 for rapid and reversible protein oligomerization in response to blue light. We demonstrated its utility by photoactivating the β-catenin pathway, achieving a transcriptional response higher than that obtained with the natural ligand Wnt3a. We also demonstrated the modularity of this approach by photoactivating RhoA with high spatiotemporal resolution, thereby suggesting a previously unknown mode of activation for this Rho GTPase.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent advances in synthetic biology have created genetic tools with the potential to enhance the specificity, dynamic control, efficacy, and safety of medical treatments. Interfacing these genetic devices with human patients may thus bring about more efficient treatments or entirely new solutions to presently intractable maladies. Here we review engineered circuits with clinical potential and discuss their design, implementation, and validation.
Current opinion in chemical biology 05/2012; 16(3-4):355-61. · 8.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Arginase-II (Arg-II) reciprocally regulates nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and offsets basal myocardial contractility. Furthermore, decreased or absent myocardial NOS activity is associated with a depression in myocardial contractile reserve. We therefore hypothesized that upregulation of Arg-II might in part be responsible for depressed myocardial contractility associated with age. We studied arginase activity/expression, NOS expression, NO production in the presence and absence of the arginase inhibitor S-(2-boronoethyl)-L: -cysteine (BEC) in old (22 months) and young (3 months) rat hearts and myocytes. The spatial confinement of Arg-II and NOS was determined with immuno-electron-miocrographic (IEM) and immuno-histochemical studies. We tested the effect of BEC on the force frequency response (FFR) in myocytes, as well as NOS abundance and activity. Arginase activity and Arg-II expression was increased in old hearts (2.27 ± 0.542 vs. 0.439 ± 0.058 nmol urea/mg protein, p = 0.02). This was associated with a decrease in NO production, which was restored with BEC (4.54 ± 0.582 vs. 12.88 ± 0.432 μmol/mg, p < 0.01). IEM illustrates increased mitochondrial density in old myocytes (51.7 ± 1.8 vs. 69 ± 2.2 × 10(6)/cm(2), p < 0.01), potentially contributing to increased Arg-II abundance and activity. Immunohistochemistry revealed an organized pattern of mitochondria and Arg-II that appears disrupted in old myocytes. The FFR was significantly depressed in old myocytes (61.42 ± 16.04 vs. -5.15 ± 5.65%), while inhibition of Arg-II restored the FFR (-5.15 ± 5.65 vs. 70.98 ± 6.10%). NOS-2 is upregulated sixfold in old hearts contributing to increased production of reactive oxygen species which is attenuated with NOS-2 inhibition by 1400 W (4,735 ± 427 vs. 4,014 ± 314 RFU/min/mg protein, p = 0.005). Arg-II upregulation in aging rat hearts contributes to age-related decreased contractile function.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emerging evidence suggests that nitric oxide (NO) plays a pivotal role in the mechanism of vascular hyporesponsiveness contributing to microgravity-induced orthostatic intolerance. The cellular and enzymatic source of the NO, however, remains controversial. In addition, the time course of the endothelial-dependent contribution remains unstudied. We tested the hypotheses that the change in vasoresponsiveness seen in acute (3-day) hindlimb unweighted (HLU) animals is due to an endothelium-dependent mechanism and that endothelial-dependent attenuation in vasoreactivity is due to endothelial nitric oxide synthase (NOS-3) dependent activation. Vasoreactivity was investigated in rat aortic rings following acute HLU treatment. Dose responsiveness to norepinepherine (NE) was depressed after 3-day HLU [1,338 +/- 54 vs. 2,325 +/- 58 mg at max (NE), HLU vs. C, P < 0.001]. However, removal of the endothelium restored the vascular contractility to that of C. In addition, 1H-oxadiazole quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ), a soluble guanylyl cyclase inhibitor, restored the reduced vasoconstrictor responses to phenylephrine (PE) seen in 3-day HLU rings (1.30 +/- 0.10 vs. 0.53 +/- 0.07 g, HLU + ODQ vs. HLU, P = 0.0001). Ca(+) dependent nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity was increased, as was vascular NO products as a result of HLU. While NOS-3 expression was not increased in HLU rats, phosphorylation of NOS-3 at serine-1177 (an activator of NOS-3) was increased while phosphorylation of serine-495 (an inactivator of NOS-3) was decreased. These findings demonstrate that changes in vasoresponsiveness in the acute HLU model of microgravity are due to an upregulation of the endothelial-dependent NO/cGMP pathway through NOS phosphorylation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is increasing evidence that upregulation of arginase contributes to impaired endothelial function in aging. In this study, we demonstrate that arginase upregulation leads to endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) uncoupling and that in vivo chronic inhibition of arginase restores nitroso-redox balance, improves endothelial function, and increases vascular compliance in old rats. Arginase activity in old rats was significantly increased compared with that shown in young rats. Old rats had significantly lower nitric oxide (NO) and higher superoxide (O2(-)) production than young. Acute inhibition of both NOS, with N(G)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester, and arginase, with 2S-amino- 6-boronohexanoic acid (ABH), significantly reduced O2(-) production in old rats but not in young. In addition, the ratio of eNOS dimer to monomer in old rats was significantly decreased compared with that shown in young rats. These results suggest that eNOS was uncoupled in old rats. Although the expression of arginase 1 and eNOS was similar in young and old rats, inducible NOS (iNOS) was significantly upregulated. Furthermore, S-nitrosylation of arginase 1 was significantly elevated in old rats. These findings support our previously published finding that iNOS nitrosylates and activates arginase 1 (Santhanam et al., Circ Res 101: 692-702, 2007). Chronic arginase inhibition in old rats preserved eNOS dimer-to-monomer ratio and significantly reduced O2(-) production and enhanced endothelial-dependent vasorelaxation to ACh. In addition, ABH significantly reduced vascular stiffness in old rats. These data indicate that iNOS-dependent S-nitrosylation of arginase 1 and the increase in arginase activity lead to eNOS uncoupling, contributing to the nitroso-redox imbalance, endothelial dysfunction, and vascular stiffness observed in vascular aging. We suggest that arginase is a viable target for therapy in age-dependent vascular stiffness.
Journal of Applied Physiology 09/2009; 107(4):1249-57. · 3.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiac myocytes contain two constitutive NO synthase (NOS) isoforms with distinct spatial locations, which allows for isoform-specific regulation. One regulatory mechanism for NOS is substrate (l-arginine) bioavailability. We tested the hypothesis that arginase (Arg), which metabolizes l-arginine, constrains NOS activity in the cardiac myocyte in an isoform-specific manner. Arg activity was detected in both rat heart homogenates and isolated myocytes. Although both Arg I and II mRNA and protein were present in whole heart, Arg II alone was found in isolated myocytes. Arg inhibition with S-(2-boronoethyl)-l-cysteine (BEC) augmented Ca(2+)-dependent NOS activity and NO production in myocytes, which did not depend on extracellular l-arginine. Arg II coimmunoprecipited with NOS1 but not NOS3. Isolation of myocyte mitochondrial fractions in combination with immuno-electron microscopy demonstrates that Arg II is confined primarily to the mitochondria. Because NOS1 positively modulates myocardial contractility, we determined whether Arg inhibition would increase basal myocardial contractility. Consistent with our hypothesis, Arg inhibition increased basal contractility in isolated myocytes by a NOS-dependent mechanism. Both the Arg inhibitors N-hydroxy-nor-l-arginine and BEC dose-dependently increased basal contractility in rat myocytes, which was inhibited by both nonspecific and NOS1-specific NOS inhibitors N(G)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester and S-methyl-l-thiocitrulline, respectively. Also, BEC increased contractility in isolated myocytes from WT and NOS3 but not NOS1 knockout mice. We conclude that mitochondrial Arg II negatively regulates NOS1 activity, most likely by limiting substrate availability in its microdomain. These findings have implications for therapy in pathophysiologic states such as aging and heart failure in which myocardial NO signaling is disrupted.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2006; 103(12):4759-64. · 9.81 Impact Factor