[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BTB-kelch proteins can elicit diverse biological functions but very little is known about the physiological role of these proteins in vivo. Kelch-like protein 6 (KLHL6) is a BTB-kelch protein with a lymphoid tissue-restricted expression pattern. In the B-lymphocyte lineage, KLHL6 is expressed throughout ontogeny, and KLHL6 expression is strongly upregulated in germinal center (GC) B cells. To analyze the role of KLHL6 in vivo, we have generated mouse mutants of KLHL6. Development of pro- and pre-B cells was normal but numbers of subsequent stages, transitional 1 and 2, and mature B cells were reduced in KLHL6-deficient mice. The antigen-dependent GC reaction was blunted (smaller GCs, reduced B-cell expansion, and reduced memory antibody response) in the absence of KLHL6. Comparison of mutants with global loss of KLHL6 to mutants lacking KLHL6 specifically in B cells demonstrated a B-cell-intrinsic requirement for KLHL6 expression. Finally, B-cell antigen receptor (BCR) cross-linking was less sensitive in KLHL6-deficient B cells compared to wild-type B cells as measured by proliferation, Ca2+ response, and activation of phospholipase Cgamma2. Our results strongly point to a role for KLHL6 in BCR signal transduction and formation of the full germinal center response.
Molecular and Cellular Biology 11/2005; 25(19):8531-40. · 5.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial cells are structurally and functionally heterogeneous. However, the molecular basis of this heterogeneity remains poorly defined. We used subtractive and differential screening to identify genes that exhibit heterogeneous expression patterns among vascular endothelial cells. One such gene is cellular retinol binding protein III (CRBP-III/Rbp7). Analysis of the lacZ knockin line for this gene (CRBP-III:lacZ) revealed a novel organ-specific vascular endothelial expression pattern. LacZ was expressed in vascular endothelial cells in heart, skeletal muscle, adipose tissues, thymus, and salivary gland. However, it was not detected in other tissues such as brain, liver, and lung. Furthermore, the expression within each organ was primarily restricted to small capillary endothelial cells, but could not be detected in larger vessels. This organ-specific vascular endothelial expression of CRPB:lacZ is relatively resistant to the changes of organ microenvironment. However, the level of expression can be modified by vitamin A deficiency. Therefore, our results provide novel molecular evidence for the heterogeneity of vascular endothelial cells.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Junctional adhesion molecule-A (JAM-A) is a transmembrane adhesive protein expressed at endothelial junctions and in leukocytes. In the present work, we found that DCs also express JAM-A. To evaluate the biological relevance of this observation, Jam-A(-/-) mice were generated and the functional behavior of DCs in vitro and in vivo was studied. In vitro, Jam-A(-/-) DCs showed a selective increase in random motility and in the capacity to transmigrate across lymphatic endothelial cells. In vivo, Jam-A(-/-) mice showed enhanced DC migration to lymph nodes, which was not observed in mice with endothelium-restricted deficiency of the protein. Furthermore, increased DC migration to lymph nodes was associated with enhanced contact hypersensitivity (CHS). Adoptive transfer experiments showed that JAM-A-deficient DCs elicited increased CHS in Jam-A(+/+) mice, further supporting the concept of a DC-specific effect. Thus, we identified here a novel, non-redundant role of JAM-A in controlling DC motility, trafficking to lymph nodes, and activation of specific immunity.
Journal of Clinical Investigation 10/2004; 114(5):729-38. · 12.81 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: "Protein-trap" is a method that allows epitope-tagging of endogenous proteins. This method allows for the identification of endogenously expressed proteins that exhibit specific localization of interest. This method has been recently reported for its application in the study of Drosophila development by using a relatively large epitope, green-fluorescent-protein (GFP).
Herein, we report a new "protein-trap" vector for mammalian cells. This new method utilizes a much smaller epitope-tag and also allows for drug-selection prior to the epitope-tagging. Pre-selection by drug resulted in the highly efficient protein-trapping frequency.
The "protein-trap" method based on this new vector is expected to serve as a complimentary approach to the previously reported GFP-based method.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vascular development is a complex process. In the past decade, significant advances have been made in the understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying vascular system development. Most recently, a model describing a signaling pathway that governs the differentiation of arteries and veins has emerged. Furthermore, the idea that angiogenesis of arteries and veins are coordinately but also differentially regulated has been proposed based on several pieces of molecular evidence. This article discusses the historical background leading to these most recent discoveries of signaling pathways that dictate arterial-venous formation and proposes a model that describes how arterial and venous systems are specified and established. The article also discusses future perspectives of this exciting area of vascular development in concluding remarks.
Current Opinion in Hematology 04/2003; 10(2):131-5. · 4.11 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Flk1 is one of the specific cell surface receptors for vascular endothelial growth factor and one of the most specific markers highlighting the earliest stage of hematopoietic and vascular lineages. However, recent new evidence suggests that these Flk1(+) mesodermal progenitor cells also contribute to muscle lineages. All evidence is based on the experiments using in vitro differentiation and in vivo transplantation systems. Although this approach revealed a differentiation potential range of Flk1(+) cells that is wider than previously expected, it fails to determine whether Flk1(+) cells contribute to muscle lineage as part of the normal developmental process. To obtain direct evidence for the fate of Flk1(+) cells in development, we used a knock-in mouse line where Cre is expressed in Flk1(+) cells. Studies with these Cre lines provide direct evidence that Flk1(+) cells are progenitors for muscles, in addition to hematopoietic and vascular endothelial cells.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a transgenic mouse line in which Akt/protein kinase B (PKB) pathway can be activated in an inducible manner in defined cell types. In this transgenic mouse line, Cre expression allows the expression of a tamoxifen-activatable form of Akt/PKB in a defined cell type. Subsequent injection of tamoxifen triggers the transient activation of Akt/PKB in mice. Thus, this transgenic line allows the transient activation of Akt/PKB pathway in a predefined cell type. We expect that this transgenic system will provide a unique tool to study the roles of Akt/PKB pathway in mice.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple classes of factors contribute to angiogenesis. In past years, the primary focus has been to understand the functions of individual classes of angiogenic factors. However, few studies have focused on the combinatorial roles of multiple classes of factors in angiogenesis. In this report, we have investigated the in vivo angiogenic processes regulated by two major classes of angiogenic factors, the angiopoietins and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Here we show that angiopoietin-1, a factor previously considered to be proangiogenic, can offset VEGF-induced angiogenesis in vivo. We also provide direct in vivo evidence for the synergistic effect of angiopoietin-2 and VEGF on the induction of angiogenesis. Furthermore, we show that these two classes of factors control the ratio of arterial and venous blood vessel types during angiogenesis. We believe that our study is a step toward understanding how multiple classes of factors harmonize angiogenesis and blood vessel types.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2002; 99(12):8219-24. · 9.74 Impact Factor