Christine Chaponnier

University of Geneva, Genève, Geneva, Switzerland

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Publications (107)648.88 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Trans-differentiation of epithelial cells into mesenchymal cells and myofibroblasts plays an important role in tumor progression and tissue fibrosis. Such epithelial plasticity is accompanied by dramatic reorganizations of the actin cytoskeleton, although mechanisms underlying cytoskeletal effects on epithelial trans-differentiation remain poorly understood. In the present study, we observed that selective siRNA-mediated knock-down of γ-cytoplasmic actin (γ-CYA), but not β-cytoplasmic actin, induced epithelial to myofibroblast transition (EMyT) of different epithelial cells. The EMyT manifested by increased expression of α-smooth muscle actin, and other contractile proteins, along with inhibition of genes responsible for cell proliferation. Induction of EMyT in γ-CYA-depleted cells depended on activation of serum response factor and its cofactors, myocardial related transcriptional factors A and B. Loss of γ-CYA stimulated formin-mediated actin polymerization and activation of Rho GTPase, which appear to be essential for EMyT induction. Our findings demonstrate a previously unanticipated, unique role of γ-CYA in regulating epithelial phenotype and suppression of EMyT that may be essential for cell differentiation and tissue fibrosis.
    Molecular Biology of the Cell 08/2014; 25(20). DOI:10.1091/mbc.E14-03-0815 · 4.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the human actin depolymerizing factor cofilin2 result in an autosomal dominant form of nemaline myopathy. Here we report on the targeted ablation of murine cofilin2, which leads to a severe skeletal muscle specific phenotype within the first two weeks after birth. Apart from skeletal muscle, cofilin2 is also expressed in heart and CNS, however the pathology was restricted to skeletal muscle. The two close family members of cofilin2 - ADF and cofilin1 - were co-expressed in muscle, but unable to compensate for the loss of cofilin2. While primary myofibril assembly and muscle development were unaffected in cofilin2 mutant mice, progressive muscle degeneration was observed between postnatal days 3 and 7. Muscle pathology was characterized by sarcoplasmic protein aggregates, fiber size disproportion, mitochondrial abnormalities and internal nuclei. The observed muscle pathology differed from nemaline myopathy, but showed combined features of actin-associated myopathy and myofibrillar myopathy. In cofilin2 mutant mice, the postnatal expression pattern and turnover of sarcomeric α-actin isoforms were altered. Levels of smooth muscle α-actin were increased and remained high in developing muscles, suggesting that cofilin2 plays a crucial role during the exchange of α-actin isoforms during the early postnatal remodeling of the sarcomere.
    European journal of cell biology 05/2014; 93(5-6). DOI:10.1016/j.ejcb.2014.01.007 · 3.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In higher vertebrates, smooth muscle (SM) contains two tissue-specific actin isoforms: α-SMA and γ-SMA, which predominate in vascular and visceral SM, respectively. Whether α-SMA has been extensively studied and recognized for its contractile activity in SM and SM-like cells such as myofibroblasts, myoepithelial and myoid cells, the distribution and role of γ-SMA remained largely unknown. We developed a new specific monoclonal antibody against γ-SMA and confirmed that γ-SMA predominates in the visceral system and is minor in the vascular system, although more expressed in highly compliant veins than in stiff arteries. Contrary to α-SMA, γ-SMA is absent from myofibroblasts in vitro, and in fibrotic diseases in vivo. We raised the hypothesis that, whereas α-SMA is responsible for the "contractile" activity, γ-SMA would be involved in the "compliance" of SM and SM-like cells. Several models support this hypothesis, namely veins vs. arteries and the physiological modifications occurring in the uterus and mammary glands during pregnancy and lactation. Our results suggest that, in addition to enteric smooth muscles, γ-SMA is expressed in all the tissues submitted to an important dilation including veins, gravid uterus, and lactating mammary glands. The hypothesis of two complementary mechanical roles for the two SMA isoforms is sustained by their different intracellular distributions and by functional assays.
    European journal of cell biology 07/2013; 92(6-7). DOI:10.1016/j.ejcb.2013.06.002 · 3.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in ACTA2, encoding the smooth muscle cell (SMC)-specific isoform of α- actin (α-SMA) cause thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections and occlusive vascular diseases, including early onset coronary artery disease and stroke. We have shown that occlusive arterial lesions in patients with heterozygous ACTA2 missense mutations show increased numbers of medial or neointimal SMCs. The contribution of SMC hyperplasia to these vascular diseases and the pathways responsible for linking disruption of α-SMA filaments to hyperplasia are unknown. Here, we show that loss of Acta2 in mice recapitulates the SMC hyperplasia observed in ACTA2 mutant SMCs and determine the cellular pathways responsible for SMC hyperplasia. Acta2(-/-) mice showed increased neointimal formation following vascular injury in vivo, and SMCs explanted from these mice demonstrated increased proliferation and migration. Loss of α-SMA induced hyperplasia through focal adhesion (FA) rearrangement, focal adhesion kinase activation, re-localization of p53 from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, and increased expression and ligand-independent activation of platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta (Pdgfr-β). Disruption of α-SMA in wild type SMCs also induced similar cellular changes. Imatinib mesylate inhibited Pdgfr-β activation and Acta2(-/-) SMC proliferation in vitro and neointimal formation with vascular injury in vivo. Loss of α-SMA leads to SMC hyperplasia in vivo and in vitro through a mechanism involving FAK, p53, and Pdgfr-β, supporting the hypothesis that SMC hyperplasia contributes to occlusive lesions in patients with ACTA2 missense mutations.
    Human Molecular Genetics 04/2013; DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddt167 · 6.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Elevated endothelial microparticle (MP) levels are observed in numerous diseases, increasingly supporting roles as effectors and valuable markers of vascular dysfunction. While a contractile role for the actin cytoskeleton has been implicated in vesiculation, i.e., MP production, the precise interactions and mechanisms of its constituents, β- and γ-cytoplasmic actins, is unknown. Human cerebral microvascular endothelial cells were stimulated with known agonists, and vesiculation development was monitored by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and flow cytometry. These data in combination provide new insight into the kinetics, patterns of vesiculating cell recruitment, and degrees of response specific to stimuli. Reorganization of β- and γ-actins, F-actin, vinculin, and talin accompanied significant MP release. β-Actin redistribution into basal stress fibers following stimulation was associated with increased apically situated actin-rich particulate structures, which in turn directly correlated with electron-lucent membrane protrusions observed by SEM. Y-27632 Rho-kinase inhibition abolished basal β-actin fiber formation, minimizing apically associated actin-rich structures, significantly reducing membrane protrusions and MP release to near basal levels. Cytoskeletal protein expression and distribution varied between MPs and mother cells, as determined by Western blot. These data strongly suggest that β-actin plays an active facilitative role in agonist-induced protuberance formation, through mechanical interactions with newly described actin-rich structures.-Latham, S. L., Chaponnier, C., Dugina, V., Couraud, P.-O., Grau, G. E. R., Combes, V. Cooperation between β- and γ-cytoplasmic actins in the mechanical regulation of endothelial microparticle formation.
    The FASEB Journal 11/2012; 27(2). DOI:10.1096/fj.12-216531 · 5.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant cell transformation requires changes in the ability of cells to migrate. The disruption of actin cytoskeleton and intercellular adhesions is an important component of the acquisition of invasive properties in epithelial malignancies. The invasive ability of carcinoma cells is associated with reduced expression of adhesion junction molecules and increased expression of mesenchymal markers, frequently referred to as epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Standard features of the EMT program in cancer cells include fibroblastic phenotype, downregulation of the epithelial marker E-cadherin, induction of Snail-family transcription factors, as well as expression of mesenchymal proteins. We compared the epithelial and mesenchymal marker profiles of nonmalignant HaCaT keratinocytes to the corresponding profiles of cervical carcinoma cell lines C-33A, SiHa, and CaSki. The characteristics of the EMT appeared to be more developed in SiHa and CaSki cervical cancer cells. Further activation of the EMT program in cancer cells was induced by epidermal growth factor. Decreased epithelial marker E-cadherin in CaSki cells was accompanied by increased mesenchymal markers N-cadherin and vimentin. Downregulated expression of E-cadherin in SiHa and CaSki cells was associated with increased expression of Snail transcription factor. Our goal was to study actin reorganization in the EMT process in cell cultures and in tissue. We found that β-cytoplasmic actin structures are disorganized in the cervical cancer cells. The expression of β-cytoplasmic actin was downregulated.
    Biochemistry (Moscow) 11/2012; 77(11):1266-76. DOI:10.1134/S0006297912110053 · 1.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Association with the actin cytoskeleton is critical for normal architecture and dynamics of epithelial tight junctions (TJs) and adherens junctions (AJs). Epithelial cells express β-cytoplasmic (β-CYA) and γ-cytoplasmic (γ-CYA) actins, which have different cellular localization and functions. This study elucidates the roles of cytoplasmic actins in regulating structure and remodeling of AJs and TJs in model intestinal epithelia. Immunofluorescence labeling and latrunculin B treatment reveal affiliation of dynamic β-CYA filaments with newly assembled and mature AJs, whereas an apical γ-CYA pool is composed of stable perijunctional bundles and rapidly turning-over nonjunctional filaments. The functional effects of cytoplasmic actins on epithelial junctions are examined by using isoform-specific small interfering RNAs and cell-permeable inhibitory peptides. These experiments demonstrate unique roles of β-CYA and γ-CYA in regulating the steady-state integrity of AJs and TJs, respectively. Furthermore, β-CYA is selectively involved in establishment of apicobasal cell polarity. Both actin isoforms are essential for normal barrier function of epithelial monolayers, rapid AJ/TJ reassembly, and formation of three-dimensional cysts. Cytoplasmic actin isoforms play unique roles in regulating structure and permeability of epithelial junctions.
    Molecular biology of the cell 08/2012; 23(18):3542-53. DOI:10.1091/mbc.E12-02-0162 · 5.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Emerging evidence suggests that both adult cardiac cell and the cardiac stem/progenitor cell (CSPC) compartments are involved in the patho-physiology of diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM). We evaluated whether early administration of Resveratrol, a natural antioxidant polyphenolic compound, in addition to improving cardiomyocyte function, exerts a protective role on (i) the progenitor cell pool, and (ii) the myocardial environment and its impact on CSPCs, positively interfering with the onset of DCM phenotype. Adult Wistar rats (n = 128) with streptozotocin-induced type-1 diabetes were either untreated (D group; n = 54) or subjected to administration of trans-Resveratrol (i.p. injection: 2.5 mg/Kg/day; DR group; n = 64). Twenty-five rats constituted the control group (C). After 1, 3 or 8 weeks of hyperglycemia, we evaluated cardiac hemodynamic performance, and cardiomyocyte contractile properties and intracellular calcium dynamics. Myocardial remodeling and tissue inflammation were also assessed by morphometry, immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting. Eventually, the impact of the diabetic "milieu" on CSPC turnover was analyzed in co-cultures of healthy CSPCs and cardiomyocytes isolated from D and DR diabetic hearts. In untreated animals, cardiac function was maintained during the first 3 weeks of hyperglycemia, although a definite ventricular remodeling was already present, mainly characterized by a marked loss of CSPCs and adult cardiac cells. Relevant signs of ventricular dysfunction appeared after 8 weeks of diabetes, and included: 1) a significant reduction in ±dP/dt in comparison with C group, 2) a prolongation of isovolumic contraction/relaxation times, 3) an impaired contraction of isolated cardiomyocytes associated with altered intracellular calcium dynamics. Resveratrol administration reduced atrial CSPC loss, succeeded in preserving the functional abilities of CSPCs and mature cardiac cells, improved cardiac environment by reducing inflammatory state and decreased unfavorable ventricular remodeling of the diabetic heart, leading to a marked recovery of ventricular function. These findings indicate that RSV can constitute an adjuvant therapeutic option in DCM prevention.
    PLoS ONE 06/2012; 7(6):e39836. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0039836 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cell migration plays a crucial role in numerous cellular functions, and alterations in the regulation of cell migration are required for invasive transformation of a tumor cell. While the mechanistic process of actin-based migration has been well documented, little is known as to the specific function of the nonmuscle actin isoforms in mammalian cells. Here, we present a comprehensive examination of γ-actin's role in cell migration using an RNAi approach. The partial suppression of γ-actin expression in SH-EP neuroblastoma cells resulted in a significant decrease in wound healing and transwell migration. Similarly, the knockdown of γ-actin significantly reduced speed of motility and severely affected the cell's ability to explore, which was, in part, due to a loss of cell polarity. Moreover, there was a significant increase in the size and number of paxillin-containing focal adhesions, coupled with a significant decrease in phosphorylated paxillin in γ-actin-knockdown cells. In addition, there was a significant increase in the phosphorylation of cofilin and myosin regulatory light chain, suggesting an overactivated Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) signaling pathway in γ-actin-knockdown cells. The alterations in the phosphorylation of paxillin and myosin regulatory light chain were unique to γ-actin and not β-actin knockdown. Inhibition of the ROCK pathway with the inhibitor Y-27632 restored the ability of γ-actin-knockdown cells to migrate. This study demonstrates γ-actin as a potential upstream regulator of ROCK mediated cell migration.
    The FASEB Journal 09/2011; 25(12):4423-33. DOI:10.1096/fj.11-185447 · 5.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In mammals, female meiosis consists of two asymmetric cell divisions, which generate a large haploid oocyte and two small polar bodies. Asymmetric partitioning of the cytoplasm results from migration of the meiotic spindle toward the cortex and requires actin filaments. However, the subcellular localization and the role of the existing two cytoplasmic actin (CYA) isoforms, beta and gamma, have not been characterized. We show that beta- and gamma-CYA are differentially distributed in the maturing oocyte from late metaphase I as well as in preimplantation embryos. Gamma-CYA is preferentially enriched in oocyte cortices and is absent from all cell-cell contact areas from metaphase II until the blastocyst stage. Beta-CYA is enriched in contractile structures, at cytokinesis, at cell-cell contacts, and around the forming blastocoel. Alteration of beta- or gamma-CYA function by isoform-specific antibody microinjection suggests that gamma-CYA holds a major and specific role in the establishment and/or maintenance of asymmetry in meiosis I and in the maintenance of overall cortical integrity. In contrast, beta- and gamma-CYA, together, appear to participate in the formation and the cortical anchorage of the second meiotic spindle in waiting for fertilization. Finally, differences in gamma-CYA expression are amongst the earliest markers of cell fate determination in development.
    Biology of Reproduction 07/2011; 85(5):1025-39. DOI:10.1095/biolreprod.111.091736 · 3.45 Impact Factor
  • Biology of Reproduction 07/2011; · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tropomyosin (Tm) is known to be an important gatekeeper of actin function. Tm isoforms are encoded by four genes, and each gene produces several variants by alternative splicing, which have been proposed to play roles in motility, proliferation, and apoptosis. Smooth muscle studies have focused on gizzard smooth muscle, where a heterodimer of Tm from the α-gene (Tmsm-α) and from the β-gene (Tmsm-β) is associated with contractile filaments. In this study we examined Tm in differentiated mammalian vascular smooth muscle (dVSM). Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC MS/MS) analysis and Western blot screening with variant-specific antibodies revealed that at least five different Tm proteins are expressed in this tissue: Tm6 (Tmsm-α) and Tm2 from the α-gene, Tm1 (Tmsm-β) from the β-gene, Tm5NM1 from the γ-gene, and Tm4 from the δ-gene. Tm6 is by far most abundant in dVSM followed by Tm1, Tm2, Tm5NM1, and Tm4. Coimmunoprecipitation and coimmunofluorescence studies demonstrate that Tm1 and Tm6 coassociate with different actin isoforms and display different intracellular localizations. Using an antibody specific for cytoplasmic γ-actin, we report here the presence of a γ-actin cortical cytoskeleton in dVSM cells. Tm1 colocalizes with cortical cytoplasmic γ-actin and coprecipitates with γ-actin. Tm6, on the other hand, is located on contractile bundles. These data indicate that Tm1 and Tm6 do not form a classical heterodimer in dVSM but rather describe different functional cellular compartments.
    AJP Cell Physiology 02/2011; 300(6):C1356-65. DOI:10.1152/ajpcell.00450.2010 · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cytoplasmic actins have been found interacting with viral proteins and identified in virus particles. We analyzed by confocal microscopy the cytoplasmic β- and γ-actin patterns during the course of Sendai virus infections in polarized cells. We observed a spectacular remodeling of the β-cytoplasmic actin which correlated with productive viral multiplication. Conversely, suppression of M during the course of a productive infection resulted in the decrease of particle production and the absence of β-actin remodeling. As concomitant suppression of β- and γ-actins resulted as well in reduction of virus particle production, we propose that Sendai virus specifically induces actin remodeling in order to promote efficient virion production. Beta- and γ-cytoplasmic actin recruitment could substitute for that of the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) mobilized by other enveloped viruses but apparently not used by Sendai virus.
    Virology 11/2010; 410(1):7-16. DOI:10.1016/j.virol.2010.10.003 · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using newly generated monoclonal antibodies, we have compared the distribution of beta- and gamma-cytoplasmic actin in fibroblastic and epithelial cells, in which they play crucial roles during various key cellular processes. Whereas beta-actin is preferentially localized in stress fibers, circular bundles and at cell-cell contacts, suggesting a role in cell attachment and contraction, gamma-actin displays a more versatile organization, according to cell activities. In moving cells, gamma-actin is mainly organized as a meshwork in cortical and lamellipodial structures, suggesting a role in cell motility; in stationary cells, gamma-actin is also recruited into stress fibers. beta-actin-depleted cells become highly spread, display broad protrusions and reduce their stress-fiber content; by contrast, gamma-actin-depleted cells acquire a contractile phenotype with thick actin bundles and shrinked lamellar and lamellipodial structures. Moreover, beta- and gamma-actin depleted fibroblasts exhibit distinct changes in motility compared with their controls, suggesting a specific role for each isoform in cell locomotion. Our results reveal new aspects of beta- and gamma-actin organization that support their functional diversity.
    Journal of Cell Science 09/2009; 122(Pt 16):2980-8. DOI:10.1242/jcs.041970 · 5.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Differentiation of foetal cardiomyocytes is accompanied by sequential actin isoform expression, i.e. down-regulation of the 'embryonic' alpha smooth muscle actin, followed by an up-regulation of alpha skeletal actin (alphaSKA) and a final predominant expression of alpha cardiac actin (alphaCA). Our objective was to detect whether re-expression of alphaSKA occurred during cardiomyocyte dedifferentiation, a phenomenon that has been observed in different pathologies characterized by myocardial dysfunction. Immunohistochemistry of alphaCA, alphaSKA and cardiotin was performed on left ventricle biopsies from human patients after coronary bypass surgery. Furthermore, actin isoform expression was investigated in left ventricle samples of rabbit hearts suffering from pressure- and volume-overload and in adult rabbit ventricular cardiomyocytes during dedifferentiation in vitro. Atrial goat samples up to 16 weeks of sustained atrial fibrillation (AF) were studied ultrastructurally and were immunostained for alphaCA and alphaSKA. Up-regulation of alphaSKA was observed in human ventricular cardiomyocytes showing down-regulation of alphaCA and cardiotin. A patchy re-expression pattern of alphaSKA was observed in rabbit left ventricular tissue subjected to pressure- and volume-overload. Dedifferentiating cardiomyocytes in vitro revealed a degradation of the contractile apparatus and local re-expression of alphaSKA. Comparable alphaSKA staining patterns were found in several areas of atrial goat tissue during 16 weeks of AF together with a progressive glycogen accumulation at the same time intervals. The expression of alphaSKA in adult dedifferentiating cardiomyocytes, in combination with PAS-positive glycogen and decreased cardiotin expression, offers an additional tool in the evaluation of myocardial dysfunction and indicates major changes in the contractile properties of these cells.
    Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine 06/2009; 13(5):896-908. DOI:10.1111/j.1582-4934.2008.00523.x · 3.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the adult heart, cardiac muscle comprises the working myocardium and the conduction system (CS). The latter includes the sinoatrial node (SAN), the internodal tract or bundle (IB), the atrioventricular node (AVN), the atrioventricular bundle (AVB), the bundle branches (BB) and the peripheral Purkinje fibers (PF). Most of the information concerning the phenotypic features of CS tissue derives from the characterization of avian and rodent developing hearts; data concerning the expression of actin isoforms in adult CS cardiomyocytes are scarce. Using specific antibodies, we investigated the distribution of alpha-skeletal (alpha-SKA), alpha-cardiac (alpha-CA), alpha-smooth muscle (alpha-SMA) actin isoforms and other muscle-typical proteins in the CS of human and rat hearts at different ages. SAN and IB cardiomyocytes were characterized by the presence of alpha-SMA, alpha-CA, calponin and caldesmon, whereas alpha-SKA and vimentin were absent. Double immunofluorescence demonstrated the co-localisation of alpha-SMA and alpha-CA in I-bands of SAN cardiomyocytes. AVN, AVB, BB and PF cardiomyocytes were alpha-SMA, calponin, caldesmon and vimentin negative, and alpha-CA and alpha-SKA positive. No substantial differences in actin isoform distribution were observed in human and rat hearts, except for the presence of isolated subendocardial alpha-SMA positive cardiomyocytes co-expressing alpha-CA in the ventricular septum of the rat. Aging did not influence CS cardiomyocyte actin isoform expression profile. These findings support the concept that cardiomyocytes of SAN retain the phenotype of a developing myogenic cell throughout the entire life span.
    Differentiation 05/2009; 77(4):360-8. DOI:10.1016/j.diff.2008.12.002 · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In a rat model of long-lasting pressure-overload hypertrophy, we investigated whether changes in the relative expression of myocardial actin isoforms are among the early signs of ventricular mechanical dysfunction before the transition toward decompensation. Forty-four rats with infrarenal aortic banding (AC rats) were studied. Hemodynamic parameters were measured 1 mo (AC(1) group; n = 20) or 2 mo (AC(2); n = 24) after aortic ligature. Then subgroups of AC(1) and AC(2) left ventricles (LV) were used to evaluate 1) LV anatomy and fibrosis (morphometry), 2) expression levels (immunoblotting) and spatial distribution (immunohistochemistry) of alpha-skeletal actin (alpha-SKA), alpha-cardiac actin (alpha-CA), and alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA), and 3) cell mechanics and calcium transients in enzimatically isolated myocytes. Although the two AC groups exhibited a comparable degree of hypertrophy (+30% in LV mass; +20% in myocyte surface) and a similar increase in the amount of fibrosis compared with control animals (C group; n = 22), a worsening of LV mechanical performance was observed only in AC(2) rats at both organ and cellular levels. Conversely, AC(1) rats exhibited enhanced LV contractility and preserved cellular contractile behavior associated with increased calcium transients. Alpha-SKA expression was upregulated (+60%) in AC(1). In AC(2) ventricles, prolonged hypertension also induced a significant increase in alpha-SMA expression, mainly at the level of arterial vessels. No significant differences among groups were observed in alpha-CA expression. Our findings suggest that alpha-SKA expression regulation and wall remodeling of coronary arterioles participate in the development of impaired kinetics of contraction and relaxation in prolonged hypertension before the occurrence of marked histopathologic changes.
    AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology 03/2009; 296(5):H1625-32. DOI:10.1152/ajpheart.01057.2008 · 4.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Discoglossus pictus egg has a specific site of sperm-egg interaction, the dimple, which has a well-defined cytoskeleton. We studied whether there are cytoskeletal and cytoskeleton-related proteins typically involved in the polarization of plasma membrane proteins. The identity and the localization of the molecules cross-reacting with antispectrin, antifodrin and antiankyrin antiobodies were investigated by immunofluoresecence and immunoblotting of the proteins of the dimple (D) and of the rest of the egg (dimple-less-egg; DLE). Two polypeptides of about 254-and 246-kD were detected in the D and DLE, and localized in the egg cortex. A third molecule, weakly cross-reacting with antispectrin and antifodrin, was found in the subcortical cytoplasm. The 246-kD polypeptide was labile in samples prepared for SDS-PAGE; a mild prefixation of eggs prevented its dispersion. Mild fixation was also needed to retain antispectrin reactivity in cryostat sections of the DLE cortex, while this is not necessary in D. A molecule of about 204-kD, cross-reacting with antiankyrin, was detected in the cortex of the whole egg. These data and the finding that the concentrations of both the 254-kD polypeptide and ankyrin are about 12-fold higher in D than in the DLE, suggest that, in D, spectrin has a specific organization.
    Embryologia 07/2008; 35(2):161 - 171. DOI:10.1111/j.1440-169X.1993.00161.x · 2.18 Impact Factor
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    Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 06/2007; 42(6). DOI:10.1016/j.yjmcc.2007.03.274 · 5.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We reported that smooth muscle cell (SMC) populations isolated from normal porcine coronary artery media exhibit distinct phenotypes: spindle-shaped (S) and rhomboid (R). R-SMCs are recovered in higher proportion from stent-induced intimal thickening compared with media suggesting that they participate in intimal thickening formation. Our aim was to identify a marker of R-SMCs in vitro and to explore its possible expression in vivo. S- and R-SMC protein extracts were compared by means of 2-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis followed by tandem mass spectrometry. S100A4 was found to be predominantly expressed in R-SMC extracts. Using a monoclonal S100A4 antibody we confirmed that S100A4 is highly expressed by R-SMCs and hardly detectable in S-SMCs. S100A4 was colocalized with alpha-smooth muscle actin in stress fibers of several quiescent cells and upregulated during migration. PDGF-BB, FGF-2 or coculture with endothelial cells, which modulate S-SMCs to a R-phenotype, increased S100A4 expression in both S- and R-SMCs. Silencing of S100A4 mRNA in R-SMCs decreased cell proliferation, suggesting a functional role for this protein. In vivo S100A4 was absent in normal porcine coronary artery media, but highly expressed by SMCs of stent-induced intimal thickening. In humans, S100A4 was barely detectable in coronary artery media and markedly expressed in SMCs of atheromatous and restenotic coronary artery lesions. Our results indicate that S100A4 is a marker of porcine R-SMCs in vitro and of intimal SMCs during intimal thickening development. It is also a marker of a large population of human atheromatous and restenotic SMCs. Clarifying S100A4 function might be useful to understand the evolution of atherosclerotic and restenotic processes.
    Circulation Research 05/2007; 100(7):1055-62. DOI:10.1161/01.RES.0000262654.84810.6c · 11.09 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

7k Citations
648.88 Total Impact Points


  • 1975–2014
    • University of Geneva
      • Department of Pathology and Immunology (PATIM)
      Genève, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 2012
    • French Institute of Health and Medical Research
      • Cochin Institute
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2007
    • Medical University of South Carolina
      Charleston, South Carolina, United States
    • Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
    • Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
      Torrance, California, United States
    • Universidad del País Vasco / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea
      • Cellular Biology and Histology
      Leioa, Basque Country, Spain
  • 1985–2007
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Medicine
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2005
    • Lomonosov Moscow State University
      Moskva, Moscow, Russia
    • Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2
      • Groupe de Recherche pour l'Etude du Foie
      Burdeos, Aquitaine, France
  • 2001
    • Moscow State Forest University
      Mytishi, Moskovskaya, Russia
  • 1995
    • Ghent University
      Gand, Flemish, Belgium
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
      Berkeley, CA, United States
  • 1990–1994
    • Centre universitaire romand de médecine légale Lausanne - Genève (CURML)
      Genève, Geneva, Switzerland
    • University of Alabama at Birmingham
      • Department of Pediatrics
      Birmingham, AL, United States
  • 1993
    • University Hospital of Lausanne
      Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland
  • 1991
    • University of Dundee
      Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 1987
    • Massachusetts General Hospital
      • Department of Medicine
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States