49 research outputs found

    A Systematic Approach to Assess the Activity and Classification of PCSK9 Variants

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    Background: Gain of function (GOF) mutations of PCSK9 cause autosomal dominant familial hypercholesterolemia as they reduce the abundance of LDL receptor (LDLR) more efficiently than wild-type PCSK9. In contrast, PCSK9 loss of function (LOF) variants are associated with a hypocholesterolemic phenotype. Dozens of PCSK9 variants have been reported, but most remain of unknown significance since their characterization has not been conducted. Objective: Our aim was to make the most comprehensive assessment of PCSK9 variants and to determine the simplest approach for the classification of these variants. Methods: The expression, maturation, secretion, and activity of nine well-established PCSK9 variants were assessed in transiently transfected HEK293 cells by Western blot and flow cytometry. Their extracellular activities were determined in HepG2 cells incubated with the purified recombinant PCSK9 variants. Their binding affinities toward the LDLR were determined by solid-phase immunoassay. Results: LDLR expression increased when cells were transfected with LOF variants and reduced when cells were transfected with GOF variants compared with wild-type PCSK9. Extracellular activities measurements yielded exactly similar results. GOF and LOF variants had increased, respectively reduced, affinities for the LDLR compared with wild-type PCSK9 with the exception of one GOF variant (R218S) that showed complete resistance to inactivation by furin. All variants were expressed at similar levels and underwent normal maturation and secretion patterns except for two LOF and two GOF mutants. Conclusions: We propose that transient transfections of HEK293 cells with a plasmid encoding a PCSK9 variant followed by LDLR expression assessment by flow cytometry is sufficient to reliably determine its GOF or LOF status. More refined experiments should only be used to determine the underlying mechanism(s) at hand.This work was supported by the Basque Government (Grupos Consolidados IT-1264-19). GL is supported by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (Paris, France) Program Grant CHOPIN (CHolesterol Personalized Innovation) ANR-16-RHUS-0007 and Project Grant KRINGLE2 ANR-20-CE14-0009 as well as by La Fondation De France (FDF-00096274). U.G-G. was supported by Fundaci√≥n Biof√≠sica Bizkaia. A.B.-V. was supported by Programa de especializaci√≥n de Personal Investigador Doctor en la UPV/EHU (2019) 2019-2020. A.L.-S. was supported by a grant PIF (2019‚Äď2020), Gobierno Vasco, and partially supported by Fundaci√≥n Biof√≠sica Bizkaia. KC and AKJ received a scholarship from the European Union (European Regional Development Fund INTERREG V) and the R√©gion R√©union (Saint-Denis, R√©union, France)

    Pathophysiology of Atherosclerosis

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    Atherosclerosis is the main risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Atherosclerosis is initiated by endothelium activation and, followed by a cascade of events (accumulation of lipids, fibrous elements, and calcification), triggers the vessel narrowing and activation of inflammatory pathways. The resultant atheroma plaque, along with these processes, results in cardiovascular complications. This review focuses on the different stages of atherosclerosis development, ranging from endothelial dysfunction to plaque rupture. In addition, the post-transcriptional regulation and modulation of atheroma plaque by microRNAs and lncRNAs, the role of microbiota, and the importance of sex as a crucial risk factor in atherosclerosis are covered here in order to provide a global view of the disease.This work was supported by the Basque Government (Grupos Consolidados IT-1264-19). A.B.-V. was supported by Programa de especializaci√≥n de Personal Investigador Doctor en la UPV/EHU (2019) 2019/2020; U.G-G. was supported by Margarita Salas Grant; and S.J. and A.L-S were supported by a grant PIF (2017‚Äď2018) and PIF (2019‚Äď2020) Gobierno Vasco, respectively

    Pathophysiology of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

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    Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM), one of the most common metabolic disorders, is caused by a combination of two primary factors: defective insulin secretion by pancreatic ő≤-cells and the inability of insulin-sensitive tissues to respond appropriately to insulin. Because insulin release and activity are essential processes for glucose homeostasis, the molecular mechanisms involved in the synthesis and release of insulin, as well as in its detection are tightly regulated. Defects in any of the mechanisms involved in these processes can lead to a metabolic imbalance responsible for the development of the disease. This review analyzes the key aspects of T2DM, as well as the molecular mechanisms and pathways implicated in insulin metabolism leading to T2DM and insulin resistance. For that purpose, we summarize the data gathered up until now, focusing especially on insulin synthesis, insulin release, insulin sensing and on the downstream effects on individual insulin-sensitive organs. The review also covers the pathological conditions perpetuating T2DM such as nutritional factors, physical activity, gut dysbiosis and metabolic memory. Additionally, because T2DM is associated with accelerated atherosclerosis development, we review here some of the molecular mechanisms that link T2DM and insulin resistance (IR) as well as cardiovascular risk as one of the most important complications in T2DM.This work was supported by the Basque Government (Grupos Consolidados IT-1264-19). U.G-G. was supported by Fundaci√≥n Biof√≠sica Bizkaia. A.B.-V. was supported by Programa de especializaci.n de Personal Investigador Doctor en la UPV/EHU (2019) 2019‚Äď2020. S.J. and A.L-S. were supported by a grant PIF (2017‚Äď2018) and (2019‚Äď2020), Gobierno Vasco, respectively. A.L.-S. was partially supported by Fundaci√≥n Biof√≠sica Bizkaia

    Statin Treatment-Induced Development of Type 2 Diabetes: From Clinical Evidence to Mechanistic Insights

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    Statins are the gold-standard treatment for the prevention of primary and secondary cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Despite the safety and relative tolerability of statins, observational studies, clinical trials and meta-analyses indicate an increased risk of developing new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) after long-term statin treatment. It has been shown that statins can impair insulin sensitivity and secretion by pancreatic ő≤-cells and increase insulin resistance in peripheral tissues. The mechanisms involved in these processes include, among others, impaired Ca2+ signaling in pancreatic ő≤-cells, down-regulation of GLUT-4 in adipocytes and compromised insulin signaling. In addition, it has also been described that statins‚Äô impact on epigenetics may also contribute to statin-induced T2DM via differential expression of microRNAs. This review focuses on the evidence and mechanisms by which statin therapy is associated with the development of T2DM. This review describes the multifactorial combination of effects that most likely contributes to the diabetogenic effects of statins. Clinically, these findings should encourage clinicians to consider diabetes monitoring in patients receiving statin therapy in order to ensure early diagnosis and appropriate management.This work was supported by the Basque Government (Grupos Consolidados IT-1264-19). U.G.-G. was supported by Fundaci√≥n Biof√≠sica Bizkaia. A.B.-V. was supported by Programa de especializaci√≥n de Personal Investigador Doctor en la UPV/EHU (2019) 2019‚Äď2020. S.J. and A.L.-S. were supported by a grant PIF (2017‚Äď2018) and (2019‚Äď2020), Gobierno Vasco, respectively. A.L.-S. was partially supported by Fundaci√≥n Biof√≠sica Bizkaia

    Cholesterol Efflux Efficiency of Reconstituted HDL Is Affected by Nanoparticle Lipid Composition

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    Cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of mortality worldwide is primarily caused by atherosclerosis, which is promoted by the accumulation of low-density lipoproteins into the intima of large arteries. Multiple nanoparticles mimicking natural HDL (rHDL) have been designed to remove cholesterol excess in CVD therapy. The goal of this investigation was to assess the cholesterol efflux efficiency of rHDLs with different lipid compositions, mimicking different maturation stages of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) occurring in vivo. Methods: the cholesterol efflux activity of soybean PC (Soy-PC), 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC), DPPC:Chol:1-palmitoyl-2-hydroxy-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (LysoPC) and DPPC:18:2 cholesteryl ester (CE):LysoPC rHDLs was determined in several cell models to investigate the contribution of lipid composition to the effectiveness of cholesterol removal. Results: DPPC rHDLs are the most efficient particles, inducing cholesterol efflux in all cellular models and in all conditions the effect was potentiated when the ABCA1 transporter was upregulated. Conclusions: DPPC rHDLs, which resemble nascent HDL, are the most effective particles in inducing cholesterol efflux due to the higher physical binding affinity of cholesterol to the saturated long-chain-length phospholipids and the favored cholesterol transfer from a highly positively curved bilayer, to an accepting planar bilayer such as DPPC rHDLs. The physicochemical characteristics of rHDLs should be taken into consideration to design more efficient nanoparticles to promote cholesterol efflux.This work was supported by the Basque Government (Grupos Consolidados IT-1264-19). U.G.-G. was supported by Fundaci√≥n Biof√≠sica Bizkaia. A.B.-V. was supported by Programa de especializaci√≥n de Personal Investigador Doctor en la UPV/EHU (2019) 2019‚Äď2020. S.J.-B. and A.L.-S. were supported by a grant PIF (2017‚Äď2018) and (2019‚Äď2020), Gobierno Vasco, respectively. A.L.-S. was partially supported by Fundaci√≥n Biof√≠sica Bizkaia

    Validation of LDLr Activity as a Tool to Improve Genetic Diagnosis of Familial Hypercholesterolemia: A Retrospective on Functional Characterization of LDLr Variants

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    Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by high blood-cholesterol levels mostly caused by mutations in the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLr). With a prevalence as high as 1/200 in some populations, genetic screening for pathogenic LDLr mutations is a cost-effective approach in families classified as definite' or probable' FH and can help to early diagnosis. However, with over 2000 LDLr variants identified, distinguishing pathogenic mutations from benign mutations is a long-standing challenge in the field. In 1998, the World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted the importance of improving the diagnosis and prognosis of FH patients thus, identifying LDLr pathogenic variants is a longstanding challenge to provide an accurate genetic diagnosis and personalized treatments. In recent years, accessible methodologies have been developed to assess LDLr activity in vitro, providing experimental reproducibility between laboratories all over the world that ensures rigorous analysis of all functional studies. In this review we present a broad spectrum of functionally characterized missense LDLr variants identified in patients with FH, which is mandatory for a definite diagnosis of FH.This work was supported by ELKARTEK 2016 and and the Basque Government (Grupos Consolidados IT849-13). A.B.-V. and S.J. were supported by a grant PIF (2014-2015) and (2018-2021), Gobierno Vasco respectively

    Functional Characterization of p.(Arg160Gln) PCSK9 Variant Accidentally Found in a Hypercholesterolemic Subject

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    Familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) is an autosomal dominant dyslipidaemia, characterised by elevated LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) levels in the blood. Three main genes are involved in FH diagnosis: LDL receptor (LDLr), Apolipoprotein B (APOB) and Protein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) with genetic mutations that led to reduced plasma LDL-C clearance. To date, several PCSK9 gain-of-function (GOF) variants causing FH have been described based on their increased ability to degrade LDLr. On the other hand, mutations that reduce the activity of PCSK9 on LDLr degradation have been described as loss-of-function (LOF) variants. It is therefore important to functionally characterise PCSK9 variants in order to support the genetic diagnosis of FH. The aim of this work is to functionally characterise the p.(Arg160Gln) PCSK9 variant found in a subject suspected to have FH. Different techniques have been combined to determine efficiency of the autocatalytic cleavage, protein expression, effect of the variant on LDLr activity and affinity of the PCSK9 variant for the LDLr. Expression and processing of the p.(Arg160Gln) variant had a result similar to that of WT PCSK9. The effect of p.(Arg160Gln) PCSK9 on LDLr activity is lower than WT PCSK9, with higher values of LDL internalisation (13%) and p.(Arg160Gln) PCSK9 affinity for the LDLr is lower than WT, EC50 8.6 ¬Ī 0.8 and 25.9 ¬Ī 0.7, respectively. The p.(Arg160Gln) PCSK9 variant is a LOF PCSK9 whose loss of activity is caused by a displacement of the PCSK9 P‚Äô helix, which reduces the stability of the LDLr-PCSK9 complex.This research was funded by Grupos Consolidados Gobierno Vasco 2021, grant number IT1720-22. A.L.-S. was supported by a grant PIF (2019‚Äď2020), Gobierno Vasco and partially supported by Fundaci√≥n Biof√≠sica Bizkaia. S.J-B. was supported by a Margarita Salas Grant 2022 from the University of the Basque Country

    Replacement of Cysteine at Position 46 in the First Cysteine-Rich Repeat of the LDL Receptor

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    Background and aims Pathogenic mutations in the Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor gene (LDLR) cause Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH), one of the most common genetic disorders with a prevalence as high as 1 in 200 in some populations. FH is an autosomal dominant disorder of lipoprotein metabolism characterized by high blood cholesterol levels, deposits of cholesterol in peripheral tissues such as tendon xanthomas and accelerated atherosclerosis. To date, 2500 LDLRvariants have been identified in the LDLR gene; however, only a minority of them have been experimentally characterized and proven to be pathogenic. Here we investigated the role of Cys46 located in the first repeat of the LDL receptor binding domain in recognition of apolipoproteins. Methods Activity of the p.(Cys46Gly) LDLR variant was assessed by immunoblotting and flow cytometry in CHO-/d/A7 expressing the receptor variant. Affinity of p.(Cys46Gly) for LDL and VLDL was determined by solid-phase immunoassays and in silico analysis was used to predict mutation effects. Results and conclusion Functional characterization of p.(Cys46Gly) LDLRvariant showed impaired LDL and VLDL binding and uptake activity. Consistent with this, solid-phase immunoassays showed the p. (Cys46Gly) LDLR variant has decreased binding affinity for apolipoproteins. These results indicate the important role of Cys46 in LDL receptor activity and highlight the role of LR1 in LDLr activity modulation. This study reinforces the significance of in vitro functional characterization of LDL receptor activity in developing an accurate approach to FH genetic diagnosis. This is of particular importance because it enables clinicians to tailor personalized treatments for patients' mutation profile.Progenika Biopharma SA, is an Spanish biotech company founded in 2000 with headquarters in Derio, Bizkaia (SPAIN). Progenika Biopharma SA did not play a role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript and only provided financial support in the form of authors' salaries to M.S. and L.P. This work was supported by Gobernio Vasco, ELKARTEK BIOGUNE 2015 (Codigo KK-2015/0000089) and Basque Government (Grupos Consolidados IT849-13). A. B-V. was supported by a grant (PIF 2014/2015) Eusko Jaurlaritza and S.J. was supported by grant (PIF 2018/2019) Eusko Jaurlaritza. The funders did not have any additional role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript

    Towards a new generation of non-cytotoxic shape memory thermoplastic polyurethanes for biomedical applications

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    In recent decades, the technology of polymeric materials used in biomedical applications has been greatly improved, replacing the metals that had been used until now. This change has not only meant an improvement in the cost of the raw material and in its processing, but it is also due to the fact that there are applications, such as stents, where the material is required to have a certain flexibility, both during the surgical intervention and during the healing or conditioning the tissue in which the intervention is performed. In this type of application, the so-called shape memory polymers (SMPs) are very interesting, but for this, they must meet the condition of being biocompatible. In this work, new polyurethane materials have been designed in which, in addition to shape memory prevailing, adequate cell proliferation values are obtained for possible use in biomedical applications. Furthermore, during the synthesis, in order to avoid undesired and toxics subproducts, instead of the typical aromatic diisocyanates, an aliphatic 1,6-hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) has been selected. Moreover, neither solvents nor catalysts were used, which makes eco-friendly synthesis suitable for scaling at an industrial level. Finally, castor oil (CO) has been used as one of the main synthesis reagents, which is an abundant compound obtained from biological sources. For all this, it can be concluded that the polymers described here have a wide range of application possibilities (biomedicine, food packaging…), and are highly interesting to preserve our Planet.Authors would like to acknowledge the Basque Government funding within the ELKARTEK 2020 AVANSITE (KK-2020/00019). Also, authors gratefully acknowledge funding from the University of the Basque Country (GIU20/075). The authors thank for technical and human support provided by SGIker (UPV/EHU/ ERDF, EU)

    Kukutxeztula: "gainditutako" gaitz baten itzulera

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    Arnasbideetako infekzioek heriotza tasa altuak eragiten dituzte munduan, COVID-19 birusa izanik azken urteetako adibiderik argiena. Hala ere, ez da libre dabilen patogeno bakarra eta berrikuspen honetan Bordetella pertussis bakterio patogenoak eragindako kukutxeztulaz arituko gara. Kukutxeztula arnasbideen infekzio larri eta kutsakorra da, bertako jariakinekin edota listu tantekin kontaktua izatean transmititzen dena. Helduetan arrisku berezirik ez duten sintomak eragiten dituen arren (etengabeko eztul gertakariak, arnasteko zailtasuna edota sukarra, besteak beste), heriotza eragin dezake urte batetik beherako haurretan batez ere. Kukutxeztula fase goiztiar batean gainditu ez duten gaixoek bigarren mailako pneumonia bezalako konplikazioak garatu ditzakete, horixe izaten delarik kukutxeztulaz hiltzen diren gehienen arrazoi nagusia. Lehen txertoa garatu zenetik kontrolpean zegoela uste izan den arren, kalte handiak eragin ditu garapen bidean dauden herrialdeetan batez ere. Herrialde garatuetan ere badu bere inpaktua, eta 2011tik gaur arte Ipar Amerikan eta mendebaldeko Europan epidemia egoera zabaldu da. Berrikuspen honetan kukutxeztulari buruzko informazioaren eguneratze bat aurkezten da, B. pertussisek erabiltzen dituen hainbat mekanismo infekziosotan arreta jarriz. Mekanismo hauen oinarri molekularra ulertzeak lagundu dezake zeluletan gertatzen diren beste hainbat prozesuren ulerkeran, gaixotasunaren aurkako sendagai berrien garapenean edota biologia molekularreko tresna berrien garapenean.; Respiratory infections cause high mortality rates throughout the world, being the COVID-19 virus the clearest example in recent years. However, there are other several pathogens not fully controlled and in this review we will focus on whooping cough, the sickness caused by the pathogenic bacterium Bordetella pertussis.Whooping cough is a severe and contagious respiratory infection that is transmitted by coming into contact with local secretions or with saliva drops. Despite the symptoms are not of special risks for adults (continuous episodes of cough, difficulty breathing or fever), it can cause death especially in children younger than one year of age. Patients who have not overcome cough at an early stage may develop complications such as secondary pneumonia, which is the main cause of most who die with whooping cough. Although since the development of the first vaccine it has been considered to be under control, whooping cough has caused significant damage especially in developing countries. Surprisingly, it has also an impact on developed countries and since 2011 the epidemic has spread in North America and Western Europe. This review presents an update on whooping cough, focusing on the different infective mechanisms used by B.pertussis. Understanding of the molecular basis of these mechanisms may contribute to the understanding of other cellular processes, the development of new anti-disease drugs or the development of new molecular biology instruments
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