388 research outputs found

    Tiny dancers: the integrin–growth factor nexus in angiogenic signaling

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    A vital step in growth factor–driven angiogenesis is the coordinated engagement of endothelial integrins with the extracellular matrix. The molecular mechanisms that partner growth factors and integrins are being elucidated, revealing an intricate interaction of surface receptors and their signaling pathways

    The role of BMPs in endothelial cell function and dysfunction

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    The bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) family of proteins has a multitude of roles throughout the body. In embryonic development, BMPs promote endothelial specification and subsequent venous differentiation. The BMP pathway also plays important roles in the adult vascular endothelium, promoting angiogenesis and mediating shear and oxidative stress. The canonical BMP pathway functions through the Smad transcription factors; however, other intracellular signaling cascades can be activated, and receptor complexes beyond the traditional type I and type II receptors add additional layers of regulation. Dysregulated BMP signaling has been linked to vascular diseases, including pulmonary hypertension and atherosclerosis. This review addresses recent advances in the roles of BMP signaling in the endothelium and how BMPs affect endothelial dysfunction and human disease

    Cooperation of a ubiquitin domain protein and an E3 ubiquitin ligase during chaperone/proteasome coupling

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    Background: Molecular chaperones recognize nonnative proteins and orchestrate cellular folding processes in conjunction with regulatory cofactors. However, not every attempt to fold a protein is successful, and misfolded proteins can be directed to the cellular degradation machinery for destruction. Molecular mechanisms underlying the cooperation of molecular chaperones with the degradation machinery remain largely enigmatic so far. Results: By characterizing the chaperone cofactors BAG-1 and CHIP, we gained insight into the cooperation of the molecular chaperones Hsc70 and Hsp70 with the ubiquitin/proteasome system, a major system for protein degradation in eukaryotic cells. The cofactor CHIP acts as a ubiquitin ligase in the ubiquitination of chaperone substrates such as the raf-1 protein kinase and the glucocorticoid hormone receptor. During targeting of signaling molecules to the proteasome, CHIP may cooperate with BAG-1, a ubiquitin domain protein previously shown to act as a coupling factor between Hsc/Hsp70 and the proteasome. BAG-1 directly interacts with CHIP; it accepts substrates from Hsc/Hsp70 and presents associated proteins to the CHIP ubiquitin conjugation machinery. Consequently, BAG-1 promotes CHIP-induced degradation of the glucocorticoid hormone receptor in vivo. Conclusions: The ubiquitin domain protein BAG-1 and the CHIP ubiquitin ligase can cooperate to shift the activity of the Hsc/Hsp70 chaperone system from protein folding to degradation. The chaperone cofactors thus act as key regulators to influence protein quality control

    Assessing Needs among Cancer Survivors in Georgia

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    Development of the Endothelium: An Emphasis on Heterogeneity

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    The endothelium is composed of specialized epithelial cells that line the vasculature, the lymph vessels, and the heart. These endothelial cells are characterized by their stratification and are connected via intercellular junctions that confer specific permeability. Although all endothelium acts as a barrier, considerable heterogeneity exists among different organs and even within vessels. During development, the endothelial cells are specified before they migrate to their final destination, and then they commit to an arterial or venous fate. From the venous endothelial cell population, a subset of cells is further specified as lymphatic endothelium. The endothelium can be highly permeable, as in the lymph vessels, or impenetrable, as in the blood-brain barrier. These differences arise during development and are orchestrated through a series of signaling pathways. This review details how endothelial cells arise and are directed to their specific fate, specifically targeting what differentiates endothelial populations

    Abciximab‐Associated Thrombocytopenia After Previous Tirofiban‐Related Thrombocytopenia

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    Peer Reviewedhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/90080/1/phco.26.3.423.pd

    Hold Me Tight: Role of the Heat Shock Protein Family of Chaperones in Cardiac Disease

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    During the development of cardiac hypertrophy, heart failure, and ischemia reperfusion challenge, the heart accumulates misfolded proteins as a result of cellular stresses.1,–,4 Although the compensatory increases in chaperones/cochaperones work to prevent misfolding, refold denatured proteins, and/or target them for degradation, this system can become overwhelmed, leading to worsening of cardiac function. In fact, recent studies have demonstrated experimentally that increasing the burden of misfolded proteins in the heart can contribute to the development of cardiac dysfunction.5 In this review, we discuss the role of heat shock proteins (HSPs) in common cardiac diseases, including cardiac hypertrophy, heart failure, and ischemia/reperfusion injury. Furthermore, we delineate the many specific mechanisms by which these chaperones, cochaperones, and heat shock factor (HSF) transcription factors have been found to be cardioprotective in experimental models. Lastly, we review recent studies involving drugs that are being developed (and currently used) to increase the expression (and presumably function) of chaperone/cochaperone systems that may be applicable to the treatment of common cardiac diseases and familial cardiac diseases with a pathogenesis that includes a major component of misfolded proteins (eg, desminopathies). There are several general families of molecular chaperones in the cytoplasm of mammalian cells, including HSP90, HSP70, chaperonin containing TCP1 (CCT; also called TCP1-ring complex [TRiC]), and small HSP (sHSP) family proteins (the Figure, A). Members of the HSP90 family of chaperones are the most abundant chaperones located in the cytosol. They form dimers consisting of HSP90α and HSP90β subunits and are inducible with stress, although they also are quite abundant without stress.8,9 HSP90 assists many proteins involved with signal transduction, including >40 kinases and many steroid hormone receptors, with a supporting role in conformational changes involved in ATP hydrolysis.10,11 The HSP70 chaperone family consists of

    Evaluating age-associated phenotypes in a mouse model of protein dyshomeostasis

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    Proteotoxicity caused by an imbalanced protein quality control surveillance system is believed to contribute to the phenotypes associated with aging as well as many neurodegenerative diseases. Understanding and monitoring the impact of proteotoxicity in these processes offers researchers keen insight into the biology of aging, as well as other conditions that share similar pathological etiologies. In this methods review we present various technical approaches that can be used to calculate and characterize the phenotypes associated with aging that are linked to increased proteotoxicity. Methods such as the measurement of oligomer protein expression and the capacity of proteasome function are useful tools in observing both aging phenotypes and neurodegenerative diseases, both of which share the phenomenon of impaired protein homeostasis

    A Novel Ex vivo Culture Method for the Embryonic Mouse Heart

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    Developmental studies in the mouse are hampered by the inaccessibility of the embryo during gestation. Thus, protocols to isolate and culture individual organs of interest are essential to provide a method of both visualizing changes in development and allowing novel treatment strategies. To promote the long-term culture of the embryonic heart at late stages of gestation, we developed a protocol in which the excised heart is cultured in a semi-solid, dilute Matrigel. This substrate provides enough support to maintain the three-dimensional structure but is flexible enough to allow continued contraction. In brief, hearts are excised from the embryo and placed in a mixture of cold Matrigel diluted 1:1 with growth medium. After the diluted Matrigel solidifies, growth medium is added to the culture dish. Hearts excised as late as embryonic day 16.5 were viable for four days post-dissection. Analysis of the coronary plexus shows that this method does not disrupt coronary vascular development. Thus, we present a novel method for long-term culture of embryonic hearts

    Isolation of Embryonic Ventricular Endothelial Cells

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    Cell culture has greatly enhanced our ability to assess individual populations of cells under myriad culture conditions. While immortalized cell lines offer significant advantages for their ease of use, these cell lines are unavailable for all potential cell types. By isolating primary cells from a specific region of interest, particularly from a transgenic mouse, more nuanced studies can be performed. The basic technique involves dissecting the organ or partial organ of interest (e.g. the heart or a specific region of the heart) and dissociating the organ to single cells. These cells are then incubated with magnetic beads conjugated to an antibody that recognizes the cell type of interest. The cells of interest can then be isolated with the use of a magnet, with a short trypsin incubation dissociating the cells from the beads. These isolated cells can then be cultured and analyzed as desired. This technique was originally designed for adult mouse organs but can be easily scaled down for use with embryonic organs, as demonstrated herein. Because our interest is in the developing coronary vasculature, we wanted to study this population of cells during specific embryonic stages. Thus, the original protocol had to be modified to be compatible with the small size of the embryonic ventricles and the low potential yield of endothelial cells at these developmental stages. Utilizing this scaled-down approach, we have assessed coronary plexus remodeling in transgenic embryonic ventricular endothelial cells