W Hunziker

DSM Nutritional Products, Aargau, Switzerland

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Publications (42)182.35 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Carotenoids are currently investigated regarding their potential to lower the risk of chronic disease and to combat vitamin A deficiency in humans. These plant-derived compounds must be cleaved and metabolically converted by intrinsic carotenoid oxygenases to support the panoply of vitamin A-dependent physiological processes. Two different carotenoid-cleaving enzymes were identified in mammals, the classical carotenoid-15,15'-oxygenase (CMO1) and a putative carotenoid-9',10'-oxygenase (CMO2). To analyze the role of CMO1 in mammalian physiology, here we disrupted the corresponding gene by targeted homologous recombination in mice. On a diet providing beta-carotene as major vitamin A precursor, vitamin A levels fell dramatically in several tissues examined. Instead, this mouse mutant accumulated the provitamin in large quantities (e.g. as seen by an orange coloring of adipose tissues). Besides impairments in beta-carotene metabolism, CMO1 deficiency more generally interfered with lipid homeostasis. Even on a vitamin A-sufficient chow, CMO1(-/-) mice developed a fatty liver and displayed altered serum lipid levels with elevated serum unesterified fatty acids. Additionally, this mouse mutant was more susceptible to high fat diet-induced impairments in fatty acid metabolism. Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis revealed that the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma-regulated marker genes related to adipogenesis was elevated in visceral adipose tissues. Thus, our study identifies CMO1 as the key enzyme for vitamin A production and provides evidence for a role of carotenoids as more general regulators of lipid metabolism.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2007 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Beta-carotene (betaC) supplementation in smokers was unexpectedly associated with increased incidence of lung cancer versus smoking alone. We performed a study in A/J mice to explore possible betaC/cigarette smoke (CS) interactions potentially influencing lung cancer risk in smokers. A/J mice received a diet containing 120 or 600 ppm betaC for six weeks, and exposed to mainstream CS (140 mg total suspended particulates/m(3)) during the last two weeks. Lung transcriptomics analysis revealed that CS induced drug metabolism, oxidative stress, extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation, inflammation markers, and apoptosis. betaC reduced CS-induced inflammation markers and ECM degradation. betaC modulated the CS effect on apoptosis without a clear pro- or anti-apoptotic trend. betaC alone induced only minor changes of gene expression. In conclusion, betaC/CS interactions caused gene regulations in lungs. CS was the main effector. The gene regulations overall did not indicate that betaC exacerbated CS effects. Dose-dependency of betaC effects was minor and not detectable by genome-wide data mining.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2007 · Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
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    ABSTRACT: High dose beta-carotene supplementation of smokers was associated with increased lung cancer risk in two intervention trials. It was proposed that generation of apocarotenals in smoke-exposed lungs impaired retinoic acid (RA) signaling, leading to squamous metaplasia and cell proliferation. To test this, we compared RA target gene regulation by retinoids, apocarotenals or beta-carotene by transcriptomics in BEAS-2B cells cultured to promote squamous differentiation. Retinoids, beta-carotene as well as apocarotenals induced known RA target genes. Retinoids upregulated involucrin, indicating that retinoids did not rescue BEAS-2B cells from squamous differentiation. Muc5AC, a marker for mucous differentiation, was transiently induced. beta-Carotene and apocarotenals less strongly induced involucrin and did not induce muc5AC. In summary, apocarotenals or beta-carotene upregulated RA target genes suggesting promotion, not inhibition, of RA signaling in BEAS-2B cells. Furthermore, apocarotenals and beta-carotene regulated gene expression independently of RA signaling. Squamous differentiation is not unequivocally linked to RA deficiency in BEAS-2B cells.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2006 · Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
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    ABSTRACT: UVA exposure causes skin photoaging by singlet oxygen (1O 2)-mediated induction of matrix metalloproteases (MMPs). We assessed whether β-carotene, a carotenoid known as 1O2 quencher and retinoic acid (RA) precursor, interferes with UVA-induced gene regulation and prevents UVA-induced gene regulation in HaCaT human keratinocytes. HaCaT cells accumulated β-carotene in a time- and dose-dependent manner. UVA irradiation massively reduced the cellular β-carotene contents. β-Carotene suppressed UVA induction of MMP-1, MMP-3, and MMP-10-three major MMPs involved in photoaging. HaCaT cells produced weak retinoid activity from β-carotene, as demonstrated by mild up-regulation of retinoid receptor RARβ and activation of an RARE-dependent reporter gene. Of the 568 UVA-regulated genes, β-carotene reduced the UVA effect for 143, enhanced it for 180, and did not interact with UVA for 245 genes. The pathways regulated β-carotene in interaction with UVA were characterized by genes involved in growth factor signaling, stress response, apoptosis, cell cycle, extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation, tanning, and inflammation. In conclusion, β-carotene at physiological concentrations interacted with UVA effects by multiple mechanisms that included, but were not restricted to, 1O2 quenching. With our results, we provide a mechanistic basis for the long-known and clinically established photoprotective effects of β-carotene in human skin.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2006 · Pure and Applied Chemistry

  • No preview · Article · Sep 2005 · Journal of Nutrition
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    ABSTRACT: Epidemiological evidence links consumption of lycopene, the red carotenoid of tomato, to reduced prostate cancer risk. We investigated the effect of lycopene in normal prostate tissue to gain insight into the mechanisms, by which lycopene can contribute to primary prostate cancer prevention. We supplemented young rats with 200 ppm lycopene for up to 8 wk, measured the uptake into individual prostate lobes, and analyzed lycopene-induced gene regulations in dorsal and lateral lobes after 8 wk of supplementation. Lycopene accumulated in all four prostate lobes over time, with all-trans lycopene being the predominant isoform. The lateral lobe showed a significantly higher total lycopene content than the other prostate lobes. Transcriptomics analysis revealed that lycopene treatment mildly but significantly reduced gene expression of androgen-metabolizing enzymes and androgen targets. Moreover, local expression of IGF-I was decreased in the lateral lobe. Lycopene also consistently reduced transcript levels of proinflammatory cytokines, immunoglobulins, and immunoglobulin receptors in the lateral lobe. This indicates that lycopene reduced inflammatory signals in the lateral prostate lobe. In summary, we show for the first time that lycopene reduced local prostatic androgen signaling, IGF-I expression, and basal inflammatory signals in normal prostate tissue. All of these mechanisms can contribute to the epidemiologically observed prostate cancer risk reduction by lycopene.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2005 · The FASEB Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Ultraviolet light A (UVA) exposure is thought to cause skin aging mainly by singlet oxygen ((1)O(2))-dependent pathways. Using microarrays, we assessed whether pre-treatment with the (1)O(2) quencher beta-carotene (betaC; 1.5 microM) prevents UVA-induced gene regulation in HaCaT human keratinocytes. Downregulation of growth factor signaling, moderate induction of proinflammatory genes, upregulation of immediate early genes including apoptotic regulators and suppression of cell cycle genes were hallmarks of the UVA effect. Of the 568 UVA-regulated genes, betaC reduced the UVA effect for 143, enhanced it for 180, and did not interact with UVA for 245 genes. The different interaction modes imply that betaC/UVA interaction involved multiple mechanisms. In unirradiated keratinocytes, gene regulations suggest that betaC reduced stress signals and extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation, and promoted keratinocyte differentiation. In irradiated cells, expression profiles indicate that betaC inhibited UVA-induced ECM degradation, and enhanced UVA induction of tanning-associated protease-activated receptor 2. Combination of betaC-promoted keratinocyte differentiation with the cellular "UV response" caused synergistic induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. In conclusion, betaC at physiological concentrations interacted with UVA effects in keratinocytes by mechanisms that included, but were not restricted to (1)O(2) quenching. The retinoid effect of betaC was minor, indicating that the betaC effects reported here were predominantly mediated through vitamin A-independent pathways.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2005 · Journal of Investigative Dermatology
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    ABSTRACT: The recent discovery that vitamin E (VE) regulates gene activity at the transcriptional level indicates that VE may exert part of its biological effects by mechanisms which may be independent of its well-recognised antioxidant function. The objective of this study was the identification of hepatic vitamin E-sensitive genes and examination of the effects of VE on their corresponding biological endpoints. Two groups of male rats were randomly assigned to either a VE-sufficient diet or to a control diet deficient in VE for 290 days. High-density oligonucleotide microarrays comprising over 7000 genes were used to assess the transcriptional response of the liver. Differential gene expression was monitored over a period of 9 months, at four different time-points, and rats were individually profiled. This experimental strategy identified several VE-sensitive genes, which were chronically altered by dietary VE. VE supplementation down-regulated scavenger receptor CD36, coagulation factor IX and 5-alpha-steroid reductase type 1 mRNA levels while hepatic gamma glutamyl-cysteinyl synthetase was significantly up-regulated. Measurement of the corresponding biological endpoints such as activated partial thromboplastin time, plasma dihydrotestosterone and hepatic glutathione substantiated the gene chip data which indicated that dietary VE plays an important role in a range of metabolic processes within the liver.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2004 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
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    ABSTRACT: Beta,beta-carotene 15,15'-dioxygenase cleaves beta,beta-carotene into two molecules of retinal, and is the key enzyme in the metabolism of beta,beta-carotene to vitamin A. The enzyme has been known for more than 40 years, yet all attempts to purify the protein to homogeneity have failed. Recently, the successful cloning and sequencing of an enzyme with beta,beta-carotene 15,15'-dioxygenase activity from chicken, as well as from Drosophila, has been reported. Here, we describe in detail our attempt to enrich the chicken beta,beta-carotene 15,15'-dioxygenase to such an extent as to allow determination of partial amino acid sequences, which were then used to design degenerate oligonucleotides. Screening of a chicken duodenal expression library yielded a full-length clone containing a coding sequence of 1578 bp. Functional expression in Escherichia coli and in eukaryotic cell lines confirmed that we had cloned the first vertebrate dioxygenase that cleaves beta,beta-carotene at the central 15,15'-double bond. By performing a sequence homology search, the cDNA sequence of the mouse homologue was found as an expressed sequence tag (EST) in the gene bank. At the amino-acid level, the degree of homology between the chicken and mouse sequences is 81%. Thus beta,beta-carotene 15,15'-dioxygenase can be considered as being an enzyme that is evolutionarily rather well conserved. We established the expression pattern of beta,beta-carotene 15,15'-dioxygenase in chicken and mouse tissues with a combination of Northern blots and in situ hybridization. The mRNA for beta,beta-carotene 15,15'-dioxygenase was localized primarily in duodenal villi, as well as in liver and in tubular structures of lung and kidney. These new findings demonstrate that beta,beta-carotene 15,15'-dioxygenase is also expressed in epithelial structures, where it serves to provide the tissue-specific vitamin A supply.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2001 · Biochemical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: beta,beta -Carotene 15,15'-dioxygenase cleaves beta,beta -carotene into two molecules of retinal, and is the key enzyme in the metabolism of beta,beta -carotene to vitamin A. The enzyme has been known for more than 40 years, yet all attempts to purify the protein to homogeneity have failed. Recently, the successful cloning and sequencing of an enzyme with beta,beta -carotene 15,15'-dioxygenase activity from chicken, as well as from Drosophila, has been reported. Here, we describe in detail our attempt to enrich the chicken beta,beta -carotene 15,15'-dioxygenase to such an extent,as to allow determination of partial amino acid sequences, which were then used to design degenerate oligonucleotides. Screening of a chicken duodenal expression library yielded a full-length clone containing a coding sequence of 1578 bp. Functional expression in Escherichia coli and in eukaryotic cell lines confirmed that we had cloned the first vertebrate dioxygenase that cleaves beta,beta -carotene at the central 15,15'-double bond. By performing a sequence homology search, the cDNA sequence of the mouse homologue was found as an expressed sequence tag (EST) in the gene bank. At the amino-acid level, the degree of homology between the chicken and mouse sequences is 81%. Thus beta,beta -carotene 15,15'-dioxygenase can be considered as being an enzyme that is evolutionarily rather well conserved. We established the expression pattern of beta,beta -carotene 15,15'-dioxygenase in chicken and mouse tissues with a combination of Northern blots and in situ hybridization. The mRNA for beta,beta -carotene 15,15'-dioxygenase was localized primarily in duodenal villi, as well as in liver and in tubular structures of lung and kidney. These new findings demonstrate that beta,beta -carotene 15,15'-dioxygenase is also expressed in epithelial structures, where it serves to provide the tissue-specific vitamin A supply.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2001 · Biochemical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: The effects of tetanus duration on the relaxation rate of extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and flexor digitorum brevis (FDB) muscles were studied in normal (wild-type, WT) and parvalbumin-deficient (PVKO) mice, at 20 C. In EDL of PVKO, the relaxation rate was low and unaffected by tetanus duration (< 3.2 s). In contrast, the relaxation rate of WT muscles decreased when tetanus duration increased from 0.2 to 3.2 s. In WT muscles, fast relaxation recovered as the rest interval increased. Specific effect of parvalbumin was asserted by calculating the difference in relaxation rate between WT and PVKO muscles. For EDL, the rate constant of relaxation slowing was 1.10 s-1 of tetanization; the rate constant of relaxation recovery was 0.05 s-1 of rest. In FDB, the effects of tetanus duration on WT and PVKO muscles were qualitatively similar to those observed in EDL. Relaxation slowing as tetanus duration increases, reflects the progressive saturation of parvalbumin by Ca2+, while recovery as rest interval increases reflects the return to Ca2+-free parvalbumin. At all tetanus durations, relaxation rate still remained slightly faster in WT muscles. This suggested that parvalbumin facilitates calcium traffic from myofibrils to the SR. No difference was found between WT and PVKO muscles for: (i) the expression of the fast isoforms of myosin heavy chains, (ii) the force-velocity relationship and maximal shortening velocity and (iii) the Ca2+-activated ATPase activity from isolated preparations of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR).
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2000 · The Journal of Physiology
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    ABSTRACT: beta,beta-Carotene 15,15'-dioxygenase cleaves beta-carotene into two molecules of retinal and is therefore the key enzyme in beta-carotene metabolism to vitamin A. In the present study, it was possible to enrich the chicken beta,beta-carotene 15,15'-dioxygenase to such an extent that partial amino acid sequence information could be obtained to design degenerate oligonucleotides. With RT-PCR a cDNA fragment could be obtained and used subsequently in a radioactive screening of a chicken duodenal expression library. We cloned the first eukaryotic beta,beta-carotene 15,15'-dioxygenase which symmetrically cleaves beta-carotene at the 15,15'-double bond.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2000 · Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
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    ABSTRACT: The second messenger Ca2+ is known to act in a broad spectrum of fundamental cell processes, including modifications of cell shape and motility, through the intermediary of intracellular calcium-binding proteins. The possible impact of the lack of the intracellular soluble Ca2+-binding proteins parvalbumin (PV) and calbindin D-28 k (CB) was tested on spine morphology and topology in Purkinje cell dendrites of genetically modified mice. Three different genotypes were studied, i.e. PV or CB single knock-out (PV-/-, CB-/-) and PV and CB double knock-out mice (PV-/-CB-/-). Purkinje cells were microinjected with Lucifer Yellow and terminal dendrites scanned at high resolution with a confocal laser microscope followed by three-dimensional (3-D) reconstruction. The absence of PV had no significant effect on spine morphology, whereas the absence of CB resulted in a slight increase of various spine parameters, most notably spine length. In double knock-out mice, the absence of both PV and CB entailed a doubling of spine length, an increase in spine volume and spine surface, a higher spine density along the dendrites, as well as a more clustered spine distribution. In all three genotypes, a reduction in the number of stubby spines was observed compared with wild-type animals. These results suggest a morphological compensation for the lack of the soluble calcium buffers in the cytoplasm of Purkinje cell dendritic spines. The increase in various spine parameters, particularly volume, may counteract the lack of the calcium buffers, such as to adjust Ca2+-transients at the transitional zone between spines and dendrites.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2000 · European Journal of Neuroscience
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    Full-text · Article · Jan 2000

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2000
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    ABSTRACT: Calbindin D28k, a member of the troponin C superfamily of calcium-binding proteins, contains six putative EF hand domains but binds only four calcium-atoms: one at a binding site of very high affinity and three calcium-atoms at binding sites of lower affinity. The high-affinity site could be located within domain I while domains III, IV, and V bind calcium less tightly. The recombinant protein construct calb I-II (residues 1-93) comprising the first two EF hands affords a unique opportunity to study a pair of EF hands with one site binding calcium tightly and the second site empty. A series of heteronuclear 2D, 3D and 4D high-resolution NMR experiments were applied to calb I-II, and led to the complete assignment of the 1H, 13C and 15N resonances. The secondary structure of the protein was deduced from the size of the 3JHN-Halpha coupling constants, the chemical shift indices of 1Etaalpha, 13Calpha, 13C' and 13Cbeta nuclei and from an analysis of backbone NOEs observed in 3D and 4D NOESY spectra. Four major alpha-helices are identified: Ala13-Phe23, Gly33-Ala50, Leu54-Asp63, Val76-Leu90, while residues Ala2-Leu6 form a fifth, flexible helical segment. Two short beta-strands (Tyr30-Glu32, Lys72-Gly74) are found preceding helices B and D and are arranged in an anti-parallel interaction. Based on these data a structural model of calb I-II was constructed that shows that the construct adopts a tertiary structure related to other well-described calcium-binding proteins of the EF-hand family. Surprisingly, the protein forms a homodimer in solution, as was shown by its NMR characterization, size-exclusion chromatography and analytical ultra-centrifugation studies.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 1999 · European Journal of Biochemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Calbindin D28k, a member of the troponin C superfamily of calcium-binding proteins, contains six putative EF hand domains but binds only four calcium-atoms: one at a binding site of very high affinity and three calcium-atoms at binding sites of lower affinity. The high-affinity site could be located within domain I while domains III, IV, and V bind calcium less tightly. The recombinant protein construct calb I-II (residues 1–93) comprising the first two EF hands affords a unique opportunity to study a pair of EF hands with one site binding calcium tightly and the second site empty. A series of heteronuclear 2D, 3D and 4D high-resolution NMR experiments were applied to calb I-II, and led to the complete assignment of the 1H, 13C and 15N resonances. The secondary structure of the protein was deduced from the size of the 3JHN-Hα coupling constants, the chemical shift indices of 1Ηα, 13Cα, 13C′ and 13Cβ nuclei and from an analysis of backbone NOEs observed in 3D and 4D NOESY spectra. Four major α-helices are identified: Ala13–Phe23, Gly33–Ala50, Leu54–Asp63, Val76–Leu90, while residues Ala2–Leu6 form a fifth, flexible helical segment. Two short β-strands (Tyr30–Glu32, Lys72–Gly74) are found preceding helices B and D and are arranged in an anti-parallel interaction. Based on these data a structural model of calb I-II was constructed that shows that the construct adopts a tertiary structure related to other well-described calcium-binding proteins of the EF-hand family. Surprisingly, the protein forms a homodimer in solution, as was shown by its NMR characterization, size-exclusion chromatography and analytical ultra-centrifugation studies.
    Full-text · Article · May 1999
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    ABSTRACT: The calcium-binding protein parvalbumin (PV) occurs at high concentrations in fast-contracting vertebrate muscle fibers. Its putative role in facilitating the rapid relaxation of mammalian fast-twitch muscle fibers by acting as a temporary buffer for Ca2+ is still controversial. We generated knockout mice for PV (PV -/-) and compared the Ca2+ transients and the dynamics of contraction of their muscles with those from heterozygous (PV +/-) and wild-type (WT) mice. In the muscles of PV-deficient mice, the decay of intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) after 20-ms stimulation was slower compared with WT mice and led to a prolongation of the time required to attain peak twitch tension and to an extension of the half-relaxation time. The integral [Ca2+]i in muscle fibers of PV -/- mice was higher and consequently the force generated during a single twitch was approximately 40% greater than in PV +/- and WT animals. Acceleration of the contraction-relaxation cycle of fast-twitch muscle fibers by PV may confer an advantage in the performance of rapid, phasic movements.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 1999 · The American journal of physiology
  • B Schwaller · A Villa · IV Tetko · W Hunziker · P Tandon · DC Silveira · MR Celio

    No preview · Article · Jan 1998 · European Journal of Neuroscience
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    ABSTRACT: An alternatively spliced mRNA for the calcium-binding protein calretinin (CR) is present in the colon adenocarcinoma cell line WiDr. As a consequence of a frame shift, the resulting protein, calretinin-22k (CR-22k), consists of the first 178 amino acids of calretinin followed by a carboxy-terminal peptide of 14 amino acids that is not present in full-length calretinin. Antibodies specific for this C-terminal region have been generated by 2 different methods. A peptide corresponding to the specific C-terminal region of CR-22k was either chemically synthesized and coupled to a carrier protein or was expressed in Escherichia coli as a carboxyterminal fusion to a carrier protein applying recombinant techniques. Both antisera produced in rabbits were tested in Western blots and immuno-histochemical experiments. The antisera recognized human recombinant CR-22k overexpressed in E. coli, but not fulllength calretinin and stained fixed WiDr cells. The presence of CR-22k was also confirmed in the colon cell lines CO115/3 in which mRNA coding for CR-22k mRNA coding for CR-22k mRNA is present as well as in the lines COLO205 and LS-180, all of which also express full-length calretinin. Although the intracellular distribution of CR-22k and CR are similar as evidenced by immunohistochemical stainings, CR-22k is preferentially localized in the nucleus in the cell lines LS-180 and Co115/3 suggesting potentially different roles for the two proteins.
    No preview · Article · Aug 1996 · Cell Calcium

Publication Stats

3k Citations
182.35 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2005-2006
    • DSM Nutritional Products
      Aargau, Switzerland
  • 2001
    • Universität Basel
      Bâle, Basel-City, Switzerland
  • 1995
    • Université de Fribourg
      • Department of Medicine
      Freiburg, Fribourg, Switzerland
  • 1990-1991
    • University of Zurich
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 1988
    • Mayo Clinic - Rochester
      Рочестер, Minnesota, United States