[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background/aims:
Lipid metabolic disarray in the liver of young and adult mice offspring is induced by saturated fatty acids (SFA) but prevented by α-linolenic acid (ALA, 18:3 x03C9;-3) in the maternal diet during pregnancy and lactation. The aim of the present study was to analyze the impact of maternal dietary ALA compared to an SFA diet on the liver gene expression in the newborn offspring.
C57Bl6/J dams were fed with diets normal in calories but rich in ALA or SFA before mating and during pregnancy. Pups were sacrificed at birth and liver parameters were assessed. Gene expression was characterized by microarray analysis and validated by real-time quantitative PCR.
ALA, compared to SFA, in maternal diets during pregnancy increased polyunsaturated fatty acids, while it differentially modified fatty acid desaturase activities in offspring liver. Overall, 474 and 662 genes from the liver of newborn pups were differentially regulated by ALA and SFA compared to control diet (p < 0.05; fold change 2), respectively. Notably, Per3 was upregulated by ALA, whereas it was downregulated by SFA, compared to control diet.
ALA- and SFA-enriched diets differentially affect the gene expression pattern in the offspring's liver. ALA, in particular, upregulates genes associated with low adiposity.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP), essential for brain formation, is a frequent autism spectrum disorder (ASD)-mutated gene. ADNP associates with microtubule end-binding proteins (EBs) through its SxIP motif, to regulate dendritic spine formation and brain plasticity. Here, we reveal SKIP, a novel four-amino-acid peptide representing an EB-binding site, as a replacement therapy in an outbred Adnp-deficient mouse model. We discovered, for the first time, axonal transport deficits in Adnp(+/-) mice (measured by manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging), with significant male-female differences. RNA sequencing evaluations showed major age, sex and genotype differences. Function enrichment and focus on major gene expression changes further implicated channel/transporter function and the cytoskeleton. In particular, a significant maturation change (1 month-five months) was observed in beta1 tubulin (Tubb1) mRNA, only in Adnp(+/+) males, and sex-dependent increase in calcium channel mRNA (Cacna1e) in Adnp(+/+) males compared with females. At the protein level, the Adnp(+/-) mice exhibited impaired hippocampal expression of the calcium channel (voltage-dependent calcium channel, Cacnb1) as well as other key ASD-linked genes including the serotonin transporter (Slc6a4), and the autophagy regulator, BECN1 (Beclin1), in a sex-dependent manner. Intranasal SKIP treatment normalized social memory in 8- to 9-month-old Adnp(+/-)-treated mice to placebo-control levels, while protecting axonal transport and ameliorating changes in ASD-like gene expression. The control, all d-amino analog D-SKIP, did not mimic SKIP activity. SKIP presents a novel prototype for potential ASD drug development, a prevalent unmet medical need.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 19 January 2016; doi:10.1038/mp.2015.208.
No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Molecular Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A large number of human diseases are caused by nonsense mutations. These mutations result in premature protein termination and the expression of truncated, usually nonfunctional products. A promising therapeutic strategy for patients suffering from premature termination codon (PTC)-mediated disorders is to suppress the nonsense mutation and restore the expression of the affected protein. Such a suppression approach using specific antibiotics and other read-through promoting agents has been shown to suppress PTCs and restore the production of several important proteins. Here, we report the establishment of a novel, rapid, and very efficient method for screening stop-codon read-through agents. We also show that, in both mammalian cells and in a transgenic mouse model, distinct members of the macrolide antibiotic family can induce read-through of disease-causing stop codons leading to re-expression of several key proteins and to reduced disease phenotypes. Taken together, our results may help in the identification and characterization of well-needed customized pharmaceutical PTC suppression agents.
Establishment of a flow cytometry-based reporter assay to identify nonsense mutation read-through agents.
Macrolide antibiotics can induce read-through of disease-causing stop codons.
Macrolide-induced protein restoration can alleviate disease-like phenotypes.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Molecular Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Learning of novel information, including novel taste, requires activation of neuromodulatory transmission mediated, for example, by the muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) in relevant brain structures. In addition, drugs enhancing the function of mAChRs are used to treat memory impairment and decline. However, the mechanisms underlying these effects are poorly understood. Here, using quantitative RT-PCR in Wistar Hola rats, we found quinone reductase 2 (QR2) to be expressed in the cortex in an mAChR-dependent manner. QR2 mRNA expression in the insular cortex is inversely correlated with mAChR activation both endogenously, after novel taste learning, and exogenously, after pharmacological manipulation of the muscarinic transmission. Moreover, reducing QR2 expression levels through lentiviral shRNA vectors or activity via inhibitors is sufficient to enhance long-term memories. We also show here that, in patients with Alzheimer's disease, QR2 is overexpressed in the cortex. It is suggested that QR2 expression in the cortex is a removable limiting factor of memory formation and thus serves as a new target to enhance cognitive function and delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BRCA1 mutation is associated with carcinogenesis, especially of breast tissue. Telomere maintenance is crucial for malignant transformation. Being a part of the DNA repair machinery, BRCA1 may be implicated in telomere biology. We explored the role of BRCA1 in telomere maintenance in lymphocytes of BRCA1/2 mutation carriers and in in vitro system by knocking down its expression in non-malignant breast epithelial cells.The results in both systems were similar. BRCA1/2 mutation caused perturbation of telomere homeostasis, shortening of the single stranded telomere overhang and increased the intercellular telomere length variability as well as the number of telomere free chromosomal ends and telomeric circles. These changes resulted in an increased DNA damage status. Telomerase activity, inducibility and expression remained unchanged. BRCA1 mutation resulted also in changes in the binding of shelterin proteins to telomeres. DNMT-1 levels were markedly reduced both in the carriers and in in vitro system. The methylation pattern of the sub-telomeric regions in carriers suggested hypomethylation in chromosome 10. The expression of a distinct set of genes was also changed, some of which may relate to pre-disposition to malignancy.These results show that BRCA gene products have a role in telomere length homeostasis. It is plausible that these perturbations contribute to malignant transformation in BRCA mutants.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In-vitro expansion of functional adult human β-cells is an attractive approach for generating insulin-producing cells for transplantation. However, human islet cell expansion in culture results in loss of β-cell phenotype and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). This process activates expression of ZEB1 and ZEB2, two members of the zinc-finger homeobox family of E-cadherin repressors, which play key roles in EMT. Downregulation of ZEB1 using shRNA in expanded β-cell-derived (BCD) cells induced mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET), β-cell gene expression, and proliferation attenuation. In addition, inhibition of ZEB1 expression potentiated redifferentiation induced by a combination of soluble factors, as judged by an improved response to glucose stimulation and a 3-fold increase in the fraction of C-peptide-positive cells to 60% of BCD cells. Furthermore, ZEB1 shRNA led to increased insulin secretion in cells transplanted in vivo. Our findings suggest that the effects of ZEB1 inhibition are mediated by attenuation of the miR-200c target genes SOX6 and SOX2. These findings, which were reproducible in cells derived from multiple human donors, emphasize the key role of ZEB1 in EMT in cultured BCD cells and support the value of ZEB1 inhibition for BCD cell redifferentiation and generation of functional human β-like cells for cell therapy of diabetes.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Scientific Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dysfunction of the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) results in degeneration of photoreceptors and vision loss and is correlated with common blinding disorders in humans. Although many protein-coding genes are known to be expressed in RPE and are important for its development and maintenance, virtually nothing is known about the in vivo roles of non-coding transcripts. The expression patterns of microRNAs (miRNAs) have been analyzed in a variety of ocular tissues, and a few were implicated to play role in RPE based on studies in cell lines. Here, through RPE-specific conditional mutagenesis of Dicer1 or Dgcr8 in mice, the importance of miRNAs for RPE differentiation was uncovered. miRNAs were found to be dispensable for maintaining RPE fate and survival, and yet they are essential for the acquisition of important RPE properties such as the expression of genes involved in the visual cycle pathway, pigmentation and cell adhesion. Importantly, miRNAs of the RPE are required for maturation of adjacent photoreceptors, specifically for the morphogenesis of the outer segments. The alterations in the miRNA and mRNA profiles in the Dicer1-deficient RPE point to a key role of miR-204 in regulation of the RPE differentiation program in vivo and uncover the importance of additional novel RPE miRNAs. This study reveals the combined regulatory activity of miRNAs that is required for RPE differentiation and for the development of the adjacent neuroretina.
No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Journal of Cell Science
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Molecular mechanisms that regulate lung repair vs. progressive scarring in pulmonary fibrosis remain elusive. Interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 are pro-fibrotic cytokines that share common receptor chains including IL-13 receptor (R) α1 and are key pharmacological targets in fibrotic diseases. However, the roles of IL-13Rα1 in mediating lung injury/repair are unclear. We report dysregulated levels of IL-13 receptors in the lungs of bleomycin-treated mice and to some extent in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients. Transcriptional profiling demonstrated an epithelial cell-associated gene signature that was homeostatically dependent on IL-13Rα1 expression. IL-13Rα1 regulated a striking array of genes in the lung following bleomycin administration and Il13ra1 deficiency resulted in exacerbated bleomycin-induced disease. Increased pathology in bleomycin-treated Il13ra1(-/-) mice was due to IL-13Rα1 expression in structural and hematopoietic cells but not due to increased responsiveness to IL-17, IL-4, IL-13, increased IL-13Rα2 or type 1 IL-4R signaling. These data highlight underappreciated protective roles for IL-13Rα1 in lung injury and homeostasis.Mucosal Immunology advance online publication, 8 July 2015; doi:10.1038/mi.2015.56.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alopecia-Neurological defects-Endocrinopathy (ANE) syndrome is a rare inherited hair disorder, which was shown to result from decreased expression of the RNA binding motif protein 28 (RBM28). In the present study, we attempted to delineate the role of RBM28 in hair biology. First, we sought to obtain evidence for the direct involvement of RBM28 in hair growth. When RBM28 was down-regulated in human hair follicle (HF) organ cultures, we observed catagen induction and HF growth arrest, indicating that RBM28 is necessary for normal hair growth. We also aimed at identifying molecular targets of RBM28. Given that an RBM28 homolog was recently found to regulate miRNA biogenesis in C. elegans and given the known pivotal importance of miRNAs for proper hair follicle development, we studied global miRNA expression profile in cells knocked down for RBM28. This analysis revealed that RBM28 controls the expression of miR-203. miR-203 was found to regulate in turn TP63, encoding the transcription factor p63, which is critical for hair morphogenesis. In conclusion, RBM28 contributes to HF growth regulation through modulation of miR-203 and p63 activity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
No preview · Article · May 2015 · Experimental Dermatology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic syndromes involving both brain and eye abnormalities are numerous and include syndromes such as Warburg micro syndrome, Kaufman oculocerebrofacial syndrome, Cerebro-oculo-facio-skeletal syndrome, Kahrizi syndrome and others. Using exome sequencing, we have been able to identify homozygous mutation p.(Tyr39Cys) in MED25 as the cause of a syndrome characterized by eye, brain, cardiac and palatal abnormalities as well as growth retardation, microcephaly and severe intellectual disability in seven patients from four unrelated families, all originating from the same village. The protein encoded by MED25 belongs to Mediator complex or MED complex, which is an evolutionary conserved multi-subunit RNA polymerase II transcriptional regulator complex. The MED25 point mutation is located in the von Willebrand factor type A (MED25 VWA) domain which is responsible for MED25 recruitment into the Mediator complex; co-immunoprecipitation experiment demonstrated that this mutation dramatically impairs MED25 interaction with the Mediator complex in mammalian cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Placental factors, progesterone included, facilitate breast cancer cell line (BCCL) motility and thus may contribute to the advanced breast cancer found during pregnancy. Cancer and placental implantations are similar; the last is accompanied by extravillous trophoblast cell invasion and autophagy which are interlinked. We aimed to analyze the effect of first trimester human placenta on BCCL autophagy. BCCLs (MCF-7/T47D) were cultured with placental explants (60 h) or placental supernatants (24 h). Following cultures, BCCLs were sorted out for RNA/protein extraction. RNA served for microarray/qPCR (BNIP3) and protein for Western blot (HIF1α, LC3BII) analyses. Inhibitors were added to the placenta-MCF-7 coculture or placental supernatants (autophagy inhibitor-3MA, progesterone receptor (PR) inhibitor-RU486, and HIF1α inhibitor-Vitexin) in order to evaluate their effects on BCCL motility and LC3BII/HIF1α expression. LC3BII (an autophagy marker) expression was elevated in BCCLs following placental explant coculture and exposure to placental supernatants. The autophagy inhibitor (3MA) repressed the placenta-induced MCF-7/T47D migration, establishing a connection between BCCL autophagy and migration. Microarray analysis of MCF-7 following placenta-MCF-7 coculture showed that "HIF1α pathway," a known autophagy facilitator, was significantly manipulated. Indeed, placental factors elevated HIF1α and its target BNIP3 in the BCCLs, verifying array results. Lastly, PR inhibitor reduced HIF1α expression and both PR and HIF1α inhibitors reduced MCF-7 LC3BII expression and motility, suggesting involvement of the PR-HIF1α axis in the autophagy process. Placental factors induced BCCL autophagy that is interlinked to their motility. This suggests that autophagy-related molecules may serve as targets for therapy in pregnancy-associated breast cancer.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Accumulating data indicate translation plays a role in cancer biology, particularly its rate limiting stage of initiation. Despite this evolving recognition, the function and importance of specific translation initiation factors is unresolved. The eukaryotic translation initiation complex eIF4F consists of eIF4E and eIF4G at a 1:1 ratio. Although it is expected that they display interdependent functions, several publications suggest independent mechanisms.
This study is the first to directly assess the relative contribution of eIF4F components to the expressed cellular proteome, transcription factors, microRNAs, and phenotype in a malignancy known for extensive protein synthesis-multiple myeloma (MM). Previously, we have shown that eIF4E/eIF4GI attenuation (siRNA/Avastin) deleteriously affected MM cells' fate and reduced levels of eIF4E/eIF4GI established targets. Here, we demonstrated that eIF4E/eIF4GI indeed have individual influences on cell proteome. We used an objective, high throughput assay of mRNA microarrays to examine the significance of eIF4E/eIF4GI silencing to several cellular facets such as transcription factors, microRNAs and phenotype. We showed different imprints for eIF4E and eIF4GI in all assayed aspects. These results promote our understanding of the relative contribution and importance of eIF4E and eIF4GI to the malignant phenotype and shed light on their function in eIF4F translation initiation complex.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The recent finding of activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP) as a protein decreased in serum of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) compared to controls, alongside with the discovery of ADNP mutations in autism and coupled with the original description of cancer mutations, ignited an interest for a comparative analysis of ADNP with other AD/autism/cancer-associated genes. We strive toward a better understanding of the molecular structure of key players in psychiatric/neurodegenerative diseases including autism, schizophrenia, and AD. This article includes data mining and bioinformatics analysis on the ADNP gene and protein, in addition to other related genes, with emphasis on recent literature. ADNP is discovered here as unique to chordata with specific autism mutations different from cancer-associated mutation. Furthermore, ADNP exhibits similarities to other cancer/autism-associated genes. We suggest that key genes, which shape and maintain our brain and are prone to mutations and are by in large unique to chordata. Furthermore, these brain-controlling genes, like ADNP, are linked to cell growth and differentiation, and under different stress conditions may mutate or exhibit expression changes leading to cancer propagation. Better understanding of these genes could lead to better therapeutics.
No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Macrophages are heterogeneous cells, which possess pleotropic effector and immunoregulatory functions. The phenotypic diversity of macrophages is best exemplified by the ability of IL-4 or IL-13, two key cytokines in asthma to promote macrophages into a suppressive/anti-inflammatory phenotype (e.g. alternatively activated or M2) whereas exposure to IFN-γ followed by microbial trigger renders macrophages pro-inflammatory (e.g. classically activated or M1). Intriguingly, only limited data exists regarding the expression of miRNA in M2 macrophages. Objective: To define the miRNA profile of M2 and M1 macrophages. Methods: Bone marrow-derived macrophages were activated to classically and alternatively activated states using IL-4, IL-13 or IFN-γ followed by E. Coli stimulation. Thereafter, an unbiased miRNA "mining" approach was utilized and the expression of several miRNAs was validated following in-vitro and in-vivo macrophage activation (qPCR). miR-511 over-expression was performed followed by global transcriptional and bioinformatic analyses. Results: We report unique miRNA expression profiles in M2 and M1 macrophages involving multiple miRNAs. Among these miRNAs we establish that miR-511 is increased in macrophages following IL-4- and IL-13-stimulation and decreased in M1 macrophages both in-vitro and in-vivo. Increased miR-511 expression was sufficient to induce marked transcriptional changes in macrophages. Interestingly, bioinformatics analyses revealed that miR-511 altered the expression of gene products that are associated with hallmark alternatively activated macrophage functions such as cellular proliferation, wound healing responses and inflammation. Conclusions: Our data establish miR-511 as a bona fide M2-associated miRNA. These data may have significant implications in asthma where the expression of IL-4 and IL-13 are highly increased.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of Asthma