Publications (15)72.24 Total impact
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously demonstrated that βA3/A1-crystallin, a member of the β/γ-crystallin superfamily, is expressed in the astrocytes and retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells of the eye. In order to understand the physiological functions of βA3/A1-crystallin in RPE cells, we generated conditional knockout (cKO) mice where Cryba1, the gene encoding βA3/A1-crystallin, is deleted specifically from the RPE using the Cre-loxP system. By utilizing the cKO model, we have shown that this protein is required by RPE cells for proper lysosomal degradation of photoreceptor outer segments (OS) that have been internalized in phagosomes and also for the proper functioning of the autophagy process. We also reported that βA3/A1-crystallin is trafficked to lysosomes, where it regulates endolysosomal acidification by modulating the activity of the lysosomal V-ATPase complex. Our results show that the V-ATPase activity in cKO RPE is significantly lower than WT RPE. Since, V-ATPase is important for regulating lysosomal pH, we noticed that endolysosomal pH was higher in the cKO cells compared to the WT cells. Increased lysosomal pH in cKO RPE is also associated with reduced Cathepsin D activity. Cathepsin D is a major lysosomal aspartic protease involved in the degradation of the OS and hence we believe that reduced proteolytic activity contributes to impaired degradation of OS in the cKO RPE. Reduced lysosomal activity in the cKO RPE also contributes to the incomplete degradation of the autophagosomes. Our results also suggest that βA3/A1-crystallin regulates V-ATPase activity by binding to the V0 subunit of the V-ATPase complex. Taken together, these results suggest a novel mechanism by which βA3/A1-crystallin regulates lysosomal function by modulating the activity of V-ATPase.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) is critically important to retinal homeostasis, in part due to its very active processes of phagocytosis and autophagy. Both of these processes depend upon the normal functioning of lysosomes, organelles which must fuse with (auto)phagosomes to deliver the hydrolases that effect degradation of cargo. It has become clear that signaling through mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1), is very important in the regulation of lysosomal function. This signaling pathway is becoming a target for therapeutic intervention in diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), where lysosomal function is defective. In addition, our laboratory has been studying animal models in which the gene (Cryba1) for βA3/A1-crystallin is deficient. These animals exhibit impaired lysosomal clearance in the RPE and pathological signs that are similar to some of those seen in AMD patients. The data demonstrate that βA3/A1-crystallin localizes to lysosomes in the RPE and that it is a binding partner of V-ATPase, the proton pump that acidifies the lysosomal lumen. This suggests that βA3/A1-crystallin may also be a potential target for therapeutic intervention in AMD. In this review, we focus on effector molecules that impact the lysosomal-autophagic pathway in RPE cells. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Persistent fetal vasculature (PFV) is a human disease in which the fetal vasculature of the eye fails to regress normally. The fetal, or hyaloid, vasculature nourishes the lens and retina during ocular development, subsequently regressing after formation of the retinal vessels. PFV causes serious congenital pathologies and is responsible for as much as 5% of blindness in the United States. The causes of PFV are poorly understood, however there are a number of animal models in which aspects of the disease are present. One such model results from mutation or elimination of the gene (Cryba1) encoding βA3/A1-crystallin. In this review we focus on the possible mechanisms whereby loss of functional βA3/A1-crystallin might lead to PFV. Cryba1 is abundantly expressed in the lens, but is also expressed in certain other ocular cells, including astrocytes. In animal models lacking βA3/A1-crystallin, astrocyte numbers are increased and they migrate abnormally from the retina to ensheath the persistent hyaloid artery. Evidence is presented that the absence of functional βA3/A1-crystallin causes failure of the normal acidification of endolysosomal compartments in the astrocytes, leading to impairment of certain critical signaling pathways, including mTOR and Notch/STAT3. The findings suggest that impaired endolysosomal signaling in ocular astrocytes can cause PFV disease, by adversely affecting the vascular remodeling processes essential to ocular development, including regression of the fetal vasculature. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Crystallin Biochemistry in Health and Disease. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously reported that in the Nuc1 rat, which has a spontaneous mutation in Cryba1 (the gene encoding βA3/A1-crystallin), astrocytes exhibit decreased Notch signaling, leading to reduced promoter activity for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Interestingly, in both Nuc1 astrocytes and in wild type astrocytes following knockdown of Cryba1, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion is decreased. This has led us to explore signaling mediators that could be regulated by βA3/A1-crystallin to modulate both GFAP and VEGF. Several studies have shown that the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is involved in the co-regulation of GFAP and VEGF. We show that STAT3 and βA3/A1-crystallin may co-regulate each other in astrocytes. Such co-regulation would create a positive feedback circuit; i.e., in the cytosol of astrocytes, βA3/A1-crystallin is necessary for the phosphorylation of STAT3, which then dimerizes and translocates to the nucleus to form DNA-binding complexes, activating transcription of Cryba1. This stoichiometric co-regulation of STAT3 and Cryba1 could potentiate expression of GFAP and secretion of VEGF, both of which are essential for maintaining astrocyte and blood vessel homeostasis in the retina. Consistent with this idea, Cryba1 knockout mice exhibit an abnormal astrocyte pattern and defective remodeling of retinal vessels.
Dataset: Supplementary Material[Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Data S1 Experimental methods. Fig. S1 Quantitative reverse transcriptase (qRT) PCR using Taqman expression probes shows that lipocalin-2 message is significantly increased in the old cKO mice compared to age matched floxed controls (*P ≤ 0.05). Fig. S2 Left panel shows western blot for GFAP in RPE from wild type and LCN2-KO mice at 2 months and 9 months of age. Fig. S3 Left panel shows western blot for CCL2 in RPE from 2 month and 9 month old wild type and LCN2-KO mice.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although chronic inflammation is believed to contribute to the pathology of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), knowledge regarding the events that elicit the change from para-inflammation to chronic inflammation in the pathogenesis of AMD is lacking. We propose here that lipocalin-2 (LCN2), a mammalian innate immunity protein that is trafficked to the lysosomes, may contribute to this process. It accumulates significantly with age in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells of Cryba1 conditional knockout (cKO) mice, but not in control mice. We have recently shown that these mice, which lack βA3/A1-crystallin specifically in RPE, have defective lysosomal clearance. The age-related increase in LCN2 in the cKO mice is accompanied by increases in chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2), reactive gliosis, and immune cell infiltration. LCN2 may contribute to induction of a chronic inflammatory response in this mouse model with AMD-like pathology.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glutamate-induced elevation in intracellular Ca2+ has been implicated in excitotoxic cell death. Neurons respond to increased glutamate levels by activating an extracellular proteolytic cascade involving the components of the plasmin-plasminogen system. AnxA2 is a Ca2+-dependent phospholipid binding protein and serves as an extracellular proteolytic center by recruiting the tissue plasminogen activator and plasminogen and mediating the localized generation of plasmin. Ratiometric Ca2+ imaging and time-lapse confocal microscopy demonstrated glutamate-induced Ca2+ influx. We showed that glutamate translocated both endogenous and AnxA2-GFP to the cell surface in a process dependent on the activity of the NMDA receptor. Glutamate-induced translocation of AnxA2 is dependent on the phosphorylation of tyrosine 23 at the N terminus, and mutation of tyrosine 23 to a non-phosphomimetic variant inhibits the translocation process. The cell surface-translocated AnxA2 forms an active plasmin-generating complex, and this activity can be neutralized by a hexapeptide directed against the N terminus. These results suggest an involvement of AnxA2 in potentiating glutamate-induced cell death processes.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In phagocytic cells, including the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), acidic compartments of the endolysosomal system are regulators of both phagocytosis and autophagy, thereby helping to maintain cellular homeostasis. The acidification of the endolysosomal system is modulated by a proton pump, the V-ATPase, but the mechanisms that direct the activity of the V-ATPase remain elusive. We found that in RPE cells, CRYBA1/βA3/A1-crystallin, a lens protein also expressed in RPE, is localized to lysosomes, where it regulates endolysosomal acidification by modulating the V-ATPase, thereby controlling both phagocytosis and autophagy. We demonstrated that CRYBA1 coimmunoprecipitates with the ATP6V0A1/V 0-ATPase a1 subunit. Interestingly, in mice when Cryba1 (the gene encoding both the βA3- and βA1-crystallin forms) is knocked out specifically in RPE, V-ATPase activity is decreased and lysosomal pH is elevated, while cathepsin D (CTSD) activity is decreased. Fundus photographs of these Cryba1 conditional knockout (cKO) mice showed scattered lesions by 4 months of age that increased in older mice, with accumulation of lipid-droplets as determined by immunohistochemistry. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of cryba1 cKO mice revealed vacuole-like structures with partially degraded cellular organelles, undigested photoreceptor outer segments and accumulation of autophagosomes. Further, following autophagy induction both in vivo and in vitro, phospho-AKT and phosphor-RPTOR/Raptor decrease, while pMTOR increases in RPE cells, inhibiting autophagy and AKT-MTORC1 signaling. Impaired lysosomal clearance in the RPE of the cryba1 cKO mice also resulted in abnormalities in retinal function that increased with age, as demonstrated by electroretinography. Our findings suggest that loss of CRYBA1 causes lysosomal dysregulation leading to the impairment of both autophagy and phagocytosis.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In phagocytic cells, the endolysosomal system is a crucial regulator of both phagocytosis and autophagy, thereby helping to maintain cellular homeostasis. Prime examples of this are retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) cells, which are not only among the most actively phagocytic cells, continuously phagocytosing shed photoreceptor outer segments (OS), but also are post-mitotic cells having high metabolic activity and a high rate of autophagy. For proper RPE function, and to ensure the functional integrity of the neural retina, both phagocytosis and autophagy need to be in balance. We show that in the RPE, bA3/A1-crystallin is required for normal lysosomal-mediated waste removal. Our studies suggest that bA3/A1-crystallin acts via the AMPK-mTORC1 signaling pathway. Based on our findings, we postulate that loss of bA3/A1-crystallin inhibits these signaling pathways, leading to a defect in the V-ATPase-mediated acidification of the lysosomal machinery. Since bA3/A1-crystallin has been reported to be present in human drusen and a possible role for lysosomes in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has been suggested, it is possible that perturbation of normal phagocytosis/autophagy in RPE could cause some manifestations of AMD.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Astrocytes migrate from the optic nerve into the inner retina, forming a template upon which retinal vessels develop. In the Nuc1 rat, mutation in the gene encoding βA3/A1-crystallin disrupts both Notch signalling in astrocytes and formation of the astrocyte template. Here we show that loss of βA3/A1-crystallin in astrocytes does not impede Notch ligand binding or extracellular cleavages. However, it affects vacuolar-type proton ATPase (V-ATPase) activity, thereby compromising acidification of the endolysosomal compartments, leading to reduced γ-secretase-mediated processing and release of the Notch intracellular domain (NICD). Lysosomal-mediated degradation of Notch is also impaired. These defects decrease the level of NICD in the nucleus, inhibiting the expression of Notch target genes. Overexpression of βA3/A1-crystallin in those same astrocytes restored V-ATPase activity and normal endolysosomal acidification, thereby increasing the levels of γ-secretase to facilitate optimal Notch signalling. We postulate that βA3/A1-crystallin is essential for normal endolysosomal acidification, and thereby, normal activation of Notch signalling in astrocytes.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nuc1 is a spontaneous rat mutant resulting from a mutation in the Cryba1 gene, coding for βA3/A1-crystallin. Our earlier studies with Nuc1 provided novel evidence that astrocytes, which express βA3/A1-crystallin, have a pivotal role in retinal remodeling. The role of astrocytes in the retina is only beginning to be explored. One of the limitations in the field is the lack of appropriate animal models to better investigate the function of astrocytes in retinal health and disease. We have now established transgenic mice that overexpress the Nuc1 mutant form of Cryba1, specifically in astrocytes. Astrocytes in wild type mice show normal compact stellate structure, producing a honeycomb-like network. In contrast, in transgenics over-expressing the mutant (Nuc1) Cryba1 in astrocytes, bundle-like structures with abnormal patterns and morphology were observed. In the nerve fiber layer of the transgenic mice, an additional layer of astrocytes adjacent to the vitreous is evident. This abnormal organization of astrocytes affects both the superficial and deep retinal vascular density and remodeling. Fluorescein angiography showed increased venous dilation and tortuosity of branches in the transgenic retina, as compared to wild type. Moreover, there appear to be fewer interactions between astrocytes and endothelial cells in the transgenic retina than in normal mouse retina. Further, astrocytes overexpressing the mutant βA3/A1-crystallin migrate into the vitreous, and ensheath the hyaloid artery, in a manner similar to that seen in the Nuc1 rat. Together, these data demonstrate that developmental abnormalities of astrocytes can affect the normal remodeling process of both fetal and retinal vessels of the eye and that βA3/A1-crystallin is essential for normal astrocyte function in the retina.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During eye development, apoptosis is vital to the maturation of highly specialized structures such as the lens and retina. Several forms of apoptosis have been described, including anoikis, a form of apoptosis triggered by inadequate or inappropriate cell-matrix contacts. The anoikis regulators, Bit1 (Bcl-2 inhibitor of transcription-1) and protein kinase-D (PKD), are expressed in developing lens when the organelles are present in lens fibers, but are downregulated as active denucleation is initiated. We have previously shown that in rats with a spontaneous mutation in the Cryba1 gene, coding for βA3/A1-crystallin, normal denucleation of lens fibers is inhibited. In rats with this mutation (Nuc1), both Bit1 and PKD remain abnormally high in lens fiber cells. To determine whether βA3/A1-crystallin has a role in anoikis, we induced anoikis in vitro and conducted mechanistic studies on astrocytes, cells known to express βA3/A1-crystallin. The expression pattern of Bit1 in retina correlates temporally with the development of astrocytes. Our data also indicate that loss of βA3/A1-crystallin in astrocytes results in a failure of Bit1 to be trafficked to the Golgi, thereby suppressing anoikis. This loss of βA3/A1-crystallin also induces insulin-like growth factor-II, which increases cell survival and growth by modulating the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT/mTOR and extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathways. We propose that βA3/A1-crystallin is a novel regulator of both life and death decisions in ocular astrocytes.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Annexin A2 (AnxA2), a Ca2+-dependent phospholipid-binding protein, is known to associate with the plasma membrane and the endosomal system. Within the plasma membrane, AnxA2 associates in a Ca2+dependent manner with cholesterol-rich lipid raft microdomains. Here, we show that the association of AnxA2 with the lipid rafts is influenced not only by intracellular levels of Ca2+ but also by N-terminal phosphorylation at tyrosine 23. Binding of AnxA2 to the lipid rafts is followed by the transport along the endocytic pathway to be associated with the intralumenal vesicles of the multivesicular endosomes. AnxA2-containing multivesicular endosomes fuse directly with the plasma membrane resulting in the release of the intralumenal vesicles into the extracellular environment, which facilitates the exogenous transfer of AnxA2 from one cell to another. Treatment with Ca2+ ionophore triggers the association of AnxA2 with the specialized microdomains in the exosomal membrane that possess raft-like characteristics. Phosphorylation at Tyr-23 is also important for the localization of AnxA2 to the exosomal membranes. These results suggest that AnxA2 is trafficked from the plasma membrane rafts and is selectively incorporated into the lumenal membranes of the endosomes to escape the endosomal degradation pathway. The Ca2+-dependent exosomal transport constitutes a novel pathway of extracellular transport of AnxA2.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Extracellular proteolysis is an indispensable requirement for the formation of new blood vessels during neovascularization and is implicated in the generation of several angiogenic regulatory molecules. Anti-proteolytic agents have become attractive therapeutic strategies in diseases associated with excessive neovascularization. Annexin A2 (AnxA2) is an endothelial cell-surface receptor for the generation of active proteolytic factors, such as plasmin. Here, we show that AnxA2 is abundantly expressed in the neovascular tufts in a murine model of neovascularization. Exposure to hypoxic conditions results in elevation of AnxA2 and tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) in human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (RMVECs). We show that the hexapeptide competitive inhibitor LCKLSL, which targets the N-terminal tPA-binding site of AnxA2, binds efficiently to cell-surface AnxA2 compared with binding of the control peptide LGKLSL. Treatment with the competitive peptide inhibits the generation of plasmin and suppresses the VEGF-induced activity of tPA under hypoxic conditions. Application of the competitive peptide in two in vivo models of angiogenesis demonstrated suppression of the angiogenic responses, which was also associated with significant changes in the vascular sprouting. These results suggest that AnxA2-mediated plasmin generation is an important event in angiogenesis and is inhibited by a specific competitive peptide that inhibits the binding of tPA to AnxA2.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Annexin A2 (AnxA2) is a multifunctional Ca(2+)-dependent phospholipid-binding protein, and its overexpression is implicated in malignant transformation of several cancers. In prostate cancer, however, the expression of AnxA2 is lost in prostate intraepithelial neoplasia and reappears in the high-grade tumors, suggesting a complex regulation of AnxA2 in the prostate microenvironment. Since a majority of the biological functions of AnxA2 are mediated by its interaction with other proteins, we performed a yeast two-hybrid assay to search for novel interactors of AnxA2. Our studies revealed that signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (STAT6), a member of the STAT family of transcription factors, is a binding partner of AnxA2. We confirmed AnxA2-STAT6 interaction by in vitro co-immunoprecipitation and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) studies and demonstrated that AnxA2 interacts with phosphorylated STAT6. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay revealed that AnxA2 is associated with the STAT6 DNA-binding complex, and luciferase reporter assays demonstrated that AnxA2 upregulates the activity of STAT6. Upon interleukin-4 treatment, AnxA2 stabilizes the cytosolic levels of phosphorylated STAT6 and promotes its nuclear entry. These findings suggest that AnxA2-STAT6 interactions could have potential implications in prostate cancer progression. This report is the first to demonstrate the interaction of AnxA2 with STAT6 and suggests a possible mechanism by which AnxA2 contributes to the metastatic processes of prostate cancer.
University of North Texas HSC at Fort Worth
Fort Worth, Texas, United States
- • Department of Biomedical Sciences
- • Department of Molecular Biology and Immunology