[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: X-linked Dystonia-Parkinsonism (XDP) is a hereditary neurodegenerative disorder involving a progressive loss of striatal medium spiny neurons. The mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration are not known, in part because there have been few cellular models available for studying the disease. The XDP haplotype consists of multiple sequence variations in a region of the X chromosome containing TAF1, a large gene with at least 38 exons, and a Multiple Transcript System, MTS, comprised of five unconventional exons. A previous study identified an XDP-specific insertion of an SVA-type retrotransposon in intron 32 of TAF1, as well as a neural-specific TAF1 isoform, N-TAF1, which showed decreased expression in post-mortem XDP brain, compared to control tissue. Here we generated XDP patient and control fibroblasts and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in order to further probe cellular defects associated with this disease. As initial validation of the model, we compared expression of TAF1 and MTS transcripts in XDP vs. control fibroblasts and iPSC-derived neural stem cells (NSCs). Compared to control cells, XDP fibroblasts exhibited decreased expression of TAF1 transcript fragments derived from exons 32-36, a region spanning the SVA insertion site. N-TAF1, which incorporates an alternative exon 34', was not expressed in fibroblasts, but was detectable in iPSC-differentiated NSCs at levels that were approximately 3-fold lower in patient cells than controls. These results support the previous findings that N-TAF1 expression is impaired in XDP, while further indicating that this aberrant transcription may occur in neural cells at relatively early stages of development that precede neurodegeneration.
Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Disease Models and Mechanisms
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
To understand the ability of gliomas to manipulate their microenvironment, we visualized the transfer of vesicles and the effects of tumor-released extracellular RNA on the phenotype of microglia in culture and in vivo.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) released from primary human glioblastoma (GBM) cells were isolated and microRNAs (miRNAs) were analyzed. Primary mouse microglia were exposed to GBM-EVs, and their uptake and effect on proliferation and levels of specific miRNAs, mRNAs, and proteins were analyzed. For in vivo analysis, mouse glioma cells were implanted in the brains of mice, and EV release and uptake by microglia and monocytes/macrophages were monitored by intravital 2-photon microscopy, immunohistochemistry, and fluorescence activated cell sorting analysis, as well as RNA and protein levels.
Microglia avidly took up GBM-EVs, leading to increased proliferation and shifting of their cytokine profile toward immune suppression. High levels of miR-451/miR-21 in GBM-EVs were transferred to microglia with a decrease in the miR-451/miR-21 target c-Myc mRNA. In in vivo analysis, we directly visualized release of EVs from glioma cells and their uptake by microglia and monocytes/macrophages in brain. Dissociated microglia and monocytes/macrophages from tumor-bearing brains revealed increased levels of miR-21 and reduced levels of c-Myc mRNA.
Intravital microscopy confirms the release of EVs from gliomas and their uptake into microglia and monocytes/macrophages within the brain. Our studies also support functional effects of GBM-released EVs following uptake into microglia, associated in part with increased miRNA levels, decreased target mRNAs, and encoded proteins, presumably as a means for the tumor to manipulate its environs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Extracellular RNAs (exRNAs) have been identified in all tested biofluids and have been associated with a variety of extracellular vesicles, ribonucleoprotein complexes and lipoprotein complexes. Much of the interest in exRNAs lies in the fact that they may serve as signalling molecules between cells, their potential to serve as biomarkers for prediction and diagnosis of disease and the possibility that exRNAs or the extracellular particles that carry them might be used for therapeutic purposes. Among the most significant bottlenecks to progress in this field is the lack of robust and standardized methods for collection and processing of biofluids, separation of different types of exRNA-containing particles and isolation and analysis of exRNAs. The Sample and Assay Standards Working Group of the Extracellular RNA Communication Consortium is a group of laboratories funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health to develop such methods. In our first joint endeavour, we held a series of conference calls and in-person meetings to survey the methods used among our members, placed them in the context of the current literature and used our findings to identify areas in which the identification of robust methodologies would promote rapid advancements in the exRNA field.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The release of extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes and microvesicles, is a phenomenon shared by many cell types
as a means of communicating with other cells and also potentially removing cell contents. The cargo of EVs includes the proteins,
lipids, nucleic acids, and membrane receptors of the cells from which they originate. EVs released into the extracellular
space can enter body fluids and potentially reach distant tissues. Once taken up by neighboring and/or distal cells, EVs can
transfer functional cargo that may alter the status of recipient cells, thereby contributing to both physiological and pathological
processes. In this article, we will focus on EV composition, mechanisms of uptake, and their biological effects on recipient
cells. We will also discuss established and recently developed methods used to study EVs, including isolation, quantification,
labeling and imaging protocols, as well as RNA analysis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are lipid membrane vesicles released by cells. They carry active biomolecules including DNA, RNA, and protein which can be transferred to recipient cells. Isolation and purification of EVs from culture cell media and biofluids is still a major challenge. The most widely used isolation method is ultracentrifugation (UC) which requires expensive equipment and only partially purifies EVs. Previously we have shown that heparin blocks EV uptake in cells, supporting a direct EV-heparin interaction. Here we show that EVs can be purified from cell culture media and human plasma using ultrafiltration (UF) followed by heparin-affinity beads. UF/heparin-purified EVs from cell culture displayed the EV marker Alix, contained a diverse RNA profile, had lower levels of protein contamination, and were functional at binding to and uptake into cells. RNA yield was similar for EVs isolated by UC. We were able to detect mRNAs in plasma samples with comparable levels to UC samples. In conclusion, we have discovered a simple, scalable, and effective method to purify EVs taking advantage of their heparin affinity.
Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Scientific Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Accurate spatiotemporal assessment of extracellular vesicle (EV) delivery and cargo RNA translation requires specific and robust live-cell imaging technologies. Here we engineer optical reporters to label multiple EV populations for visualization and tracking of tumour EV release, uptake and exchange between cell populations both in culture and in vivo. Enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) and tandem dimer Tomato (tdTomato) were fused at NH2-termini with a palmitoylation signal (PalmGFP, PalmtdTomato) for EV membrane labelling. To monitor EV-RNA cargo, transcripts encoding PalmtdTomato were tagged with MS2 RNA binding sequences and detected by co-expression of bacteriophage MS2 coat protein fused with EGFP. By multiplexing fluorescent and bioluminescent EV membrane reporters, we reveal the rapid dynamics of both EV uptake and translation of EV-delivered cargo mRNAs in cancer cells that occurred within 1-hour post-horizontal transfer between cells. These studies confirm that EV-mediated communication is dynamic and multidirectional between cells with delivery of functional mRNA.
Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Nature Communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Real-time monitoring of drug efficacy in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a major clinical problem as serial re-biopsy of primary tumours is often not a clinical option. MGMT (O(6)-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase) and APNG (alkylpurine-DNA-N-glycosylase) are key enzymes capable of repairing temozolomide-induced DNA damages and their levels in tissue are inversely related to treatment efficacy. Yet, serial clinical analysis remains difficult, and, when done, primarily relies on promoter methylation studies of tumour biopsy material at the time of initial surgery. Here we present a microfluidic chip to analyse mRNA levels of MGMT and APNG in enriched tumour exosomes obtained from blood. We show that exosomal mRNA levels of these enzymes correlate well with levels found in parental cells and that levels change considerably during treatment of seven patients. We propose that if validated on a larger cohort of patients, the method may be used to predict drug response in GBM patients.
Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Nature Communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epigenetic dysregulation in disease is increasingly studied as a potential mediator of pathophysiology. The epigenetic events are believed to occur in somatic cells, but the limited changes of DNA methylation in studies to date indicate that only subsets of the cells tested undergo epigenetic dysregulation. The recognition of this subpopulation effect indicates the need for care in design and execution of epigenome-wide association studies (EWASs), paying particular attention to confounding sources of variability. To maximize the sensitivity of the EWASs, ideally, the cell type mediating the disease should be tested, which is not always practical or ethical in human subjects. The value of using accessible cells as surrogates for the target, disease-mediating cell type has not been rigorously tested to date. In this review, participants in a workshop convened by the National Institutes of Health update EWAS design and execution guidelines to reflect new insights in the field.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) is a devastating neurological disorder caused by mutations in the ABCD1 gene that encodes a peroxisomal ATP-binding cassette transporter (ABCD1) responsible for transport of CoA-activated very long-chain fatty acids (VLCFA) into the peroxisome for degradation. We used recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 9 (rAAV9) vector for delivery of the human ABCD1 gene (ABCD1) to mouse central nervous system (CNS). In vitro, efficient delivery of ABCD1 gene was achieved in primary mixed brain glial cells from Abcd1-/- mice as well as X-ALD patient fibroblasts. Importantly, human ABCD1 localized to the peroxisome, and AAV-ABCD1 transduction showed a dose-dependent effect in reducing VLCFA. In vivo, AAV9-ABCD1 was delivered to Abcd1-/- mouse CNS by either stereotactic intracerebroventricular (ICV) or intravenous (IV) injections. Astrocytes, microglia and neurons were the major target cell types following ICV injection, while IV injection also delivered to microvascular endothelial cells and oligodendrocytes. IV injection also yielded high transduction of the adrenal gland. Importantly, IV injection of AAV9-ABCD1 reduced VLCFA in mouse brain and spinal cord. We conclude that AAV9-mediated ABCD1 gene transfer is able to reach target cells in the nervous system and adrenal gland as well as reduce VLCFA in culture and a mouse model of X-ALD.Molecular Therapy (2015); doi:10.1038/mt.2015.6.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Molecular Therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Information exchange executed by extracellular vesicles, including exosomes, is a newly described form of intercellular communication important in the development and physiology of neural systems. These vesicles can be released from cells, are packed with information including signaling proteins and both coding and regulatory RNAs, and can be taken up by target cells, thereby facilitating the transfer of multilevel information. Recent studies demonstrate their critical role in physiological processes, including nerve regeneration, synaptic function, and behavior. These vesicles also have a sinister role in the propagation of toxic amyloid proteins in neurodegenerative conditions, including prion diseases and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, in inducing neuroinflammation by exchange of information between the neurons and glia, as well as in aiding tumor progression in the brain by subversion of normal cells. This article provides a summary of topics covered in a symposium and is not meant to be a comprehensive review of the subject.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience