[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proteases and protease inhibitors play key roles in most physiological processes, including cell migration, cell signaling, and cell surface and tissue remodeling. Among these, the matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs) pathway is one of the most efficient biosynthetic pathways for controlling the activation of enzymes responsible for protein degradation. This also indicates the association of MMPs with the maturation of spermatozoa. In an attempt to investigate the effect of MMP activation and inhibitors in cultures with various hormones during sperm capacitation, we examined and monitored the localization and expression of MMPs (MMP-2 and MMP-9), tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMP-2 and TIMP-3), as well as their expression profiles. Matured spermatozoa were collected from cultures with follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and Lutalyse at 1 h, 6 h, 18 h, and 24 h. ELISA detected the expression of MMP-2, MMP-9, TIMP-2, and TIMP-3 in all culture media, regardless of medium type (FSH-supplemented fertilization Brackett-Oliphant medium (FFBO), LH-supplemented FBO (LFBO), or Lutalyse-supplemented FBO (LuFBO)). TIMP-2 and TIMP-3 expression patterns decreased in LFBO and LuFBO. MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity in FBO and FFBO progressively increased from 1 h to 24 h but was not detected in LFBO and LuFBO. The localization and expression of TIMP-2 and TIMP-3 in sperm heads was also measured by immunofluorescence analysis. However, MMPs were not detected in the sperm heads. MMP and TIMP expression patterns differed according to the effect of various hormones. These findings suggest that MMPs have a role in sperm viability during capacitation. In conjunction with hormones, MMPs play a role in maintaining capacitation and fertilization by controlling extracellular matrix inhibitors of sperm.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Asian Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Targeted degradation of proteins through ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis is an important control mechanism in various cellular processes. The process of ubiquitin conjugation is achieved by three enzyme complexes, among which the ubiquitin ligase complex (E3) is in charge of substrate specificity. The SCF (SKP1-CUL1-F-box) family portrays the largest and the most characterized member of the E3 ligases. For each SCF complex, the ubiquitination target is recognized by the F-box protein subunit, which interacts with the substrate through a unique C-terminal domain. We have characterized a novel F-box protein CFL-1 that represents a single LRR-type F-box (FBXL) in the Caenorhabditis elegans genome. CFL-1 is highly homologous to FBXL20 and FBXL2 of mammals, which are known to regulate synaptic vesicle release and cell cycle, respectively. A green fluorescence protein (GFP)-reporter gene fused to the cfl-1 promoter showed restricted expression around the amphid and the anus. Modulation of CFL-1 activity by RNAi affected the time interval between defecations. RNAi-treated worms also exhibited reduced tendency to form dauer when exposed to daumone. The potential involvement of CFL-1 in the control of defecation and pheromone response adds to the ever expanding list of cellular processes controlled by ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis in C. elegans. We suggest that CFL-1, as a single LRR-type F-box protein in C. elegans, may portray a prototype gene exerting diverse functions that are allocated among multiple FBXLs in higher organisms.
No preview · Article · Aug 2012 · Animal cells and systems the official publication of the Zoological Society of Korea
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dimeric human erythropoietin (dHuEPO) peptides are reported to exhibit significantly higher biological activity than the monomeric form of recombinant EPO. The objective of this study was to produce transgenic (tg) mice expressing dHuEPO and to investigate the characteristics of these mice.
A dHuEPO-expressing vector under the control of the goat beta-casein promoter, which produced a dimer of human EPO molecules linked by a 2-amino acid peptide linker (Asp-Ile), was constructed and injected into 1-cell fertilized embryos by microinjection. Mice were screened using genomic DNA samples obtained from tail biopsies. Blood samples were obtained by heart puncture using heparinized tubes, and hematologic parameters were assessed. Using the microarray analysis tool, we analyzed differences in gene expression in the spleens of tg and control mice.
A high rate of spontaneous abortion or death of the offspring was observed in the recipients of dHuEPO embryos. We obtained 3 founder lines (#4, #11, and #47) of tg mice expressing the dHuEPO gene. However, only one founder line showed stable germline integration and transmission, subsequently establishing the only transgenic line (#11). We obtained 2 F1 mice and 3 F2 mice from line #11. The dHuEPO protein could not be obtained because of repeated spontaneous abortions in the tg mice. Tg mice exhibited symptoms such as short lifespan and abnormal blood composition. The red blood cell count, white blood cell count, and hematocrit levels in the tg mice were remarkably higher than those in the control mice. The spleens of the tg mice (F1 and F2 females) were 11- and -21-fold larger than those of the control mice. Microarray analysis revealed 2,672 spleen-derived candidate genes; more genes were downregulated than upregulated (849/764). Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) were used for validating the results of the microarray analysis of mRNA expression.
In conclusion, dHuEPO tg mice caused excessive erythrocytosis that led to abnormal blood composition, short lifespan, and abnormal splenomegaly. Further, we identified 2,672 genes associated with splenomegaly by microarray analysis. These results could be useful in the development of dHuEPO-producing tg animals.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aldo-keto reductase family 1 member C1 (AKR1C1) belongs to a superfamily of NADPH-dependent reductases that convert a wide range of substrates, including carbohydrates, steroid hormones, and endogenous prostaglandins. The 20 alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (20 alpha-HSD) is a member of AKR family. The aims of this study were to determine its expression in the ovary and uterus endometrium during the estrous cycle and pregnancy.
Rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) experiments were performed to obtain the 5' and 3' ends of the porcine 20 alpha-HSD cDNA. Reverse-transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR), real-time PCR, northern blot analysis, and western blot analysis were performed to examine the expression of porcine 20 alpha-HSD. Immunohistochemical analysis was also performed to determine the localization in the ovary.
The porcine 20 alpha-HSD cDNA is 957 bp in length and encodes a protein of 319 amino acids. The cloned cDNA was virtually the same as the porcine AKR1C1 gene (337 amino acids) reported recently, and only differed in the C-terminal region (the AKR1C1 gene has a longer C-terminal region than our sequence). The 20 alpha-HSD gene (from now on referred to as AKR1C1) cloned in this paper encodes a deletion of 4 amino acids, compared with the C-terminal region of AKR1C1 genes from other animals. Porcine AKR1C1 mRNA was expressed on day 5, 10, 12, 15 of the cycle and 0-60 of pregnancy in the ovary. The mRNA was also specifically detected in the uterine endometrium on day 30 of pregnancy. Western blot analysis indicated that the pattern of AKR1C1 protein in the ovary during the estrous cycle and uterus during early pregnancy was similar to that of AKR1C1 mRNA expression. The recombinant protein produced in CHO cells was detected at approximately 37 kDa. Immunohistochemical analysis also revealed that pig AKR1C1 protein was localized in the large luteal cells in the early stages of the estrous cycle and before parturition.
Our study demonstrated that AKR1C1 mRNA and protein are coordinately expressed in the luteal cell of ovary throughout the estrous cycle and in the uterus on day 30 of pregnancy. Thus, the porcine AKR1C1 gene might control important mechanisms during the estrous cycle.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2011 · Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The enzyme 20α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (20α-HSD) catalyzes the conversion of progesterone to its inactive form, 20α-hydroxyprogesterone. This enzyme plays a critical role in the regulation of luteal function in female mammals. In this study, we conducted the characterization and functional analyses of bovine 20α-HSD from placental and ovarian tissues. The nucleotide sequence of bovine 20α-HSD showed significant homology to that of goats (96%), humans (84%), rabbits (83%), and mice (81%). The mRNA levels increased gradually throughout the estrous cycle, the highest being in the corpus luteum (CL) 1 stage. Northern blot analysis revealed a 1.2 kb mRNA in the bovine placental and ovarian tissues. An antibody specific to bovine 20α-HSD was generated in a rabbit immunized with the purified, recombinant protein. Recombinant 20α-HSD protein produced in mammalian cells had a molecular weight of ∼37 kDa. Bacterially expressed bovine 20α-HSD protein showed enzymatic activity. The expression pattern of the 20α-HSD protein in the pre-parturition placenta and the CL1 stage of the estrous cycle was similar to the level of 20α-HSD mRNA expression. Immunohistochemical analysis also revealed that bovine 20α-HSD protein was intensively localized in the large luteal cells during the late estrous cycle.