1,978 research outputs found

    Dynamin- and Rab5-Dependent Endocytosis of a Ca<sup>2+</sup>-Activated K<sup>+</sup> Channel, KCa2.3

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    Regulation of the number of ion channels at the plasma membrane is a critical component of the physiological response. We recently demonstrated that the Ca2+-activated K+ channel, KCa2.3 is rapidly endocytosed and enters a Rab35- and EPI64C-dependent recycling compartment. Herein, we addressed the early endocytic steps of KCa2.3 using a combination of fluorescence and biotinylation techniques. We demonstrate that KCa2.3 is localized to caveolin-rich domains of the plasma membrane using fluorescence co-localization, transmission electron microscopy and co-immunoprecipitation (co-IP). Further, in cells lacking caveolin-1, we observed an accumulation of KCa2.3 at the plasma membrane as well as a decreased rate of endocytosis, as assessed by biotinylation. We also demonstrate that KCa2.3 and dynamin II are co-localized following endocytosis as well as demonstrating they are associated by co-IP. Further, expression of K44A dynamin II resulted in a 2-fold increase in plasma membrane KCa2.3 as well as a 3-fold inhibition of endocytosis. Finally, we evaluated the role of Rab5 in the endocytosis of KCa2.3. We demonstrate that expression of a dominant active Rab5 (Q79L) results in the accumulation of newly endocytosed KCa2.3 on to the membrane of the Rab5-induced vacuoles. We confirmed this co-localization by co-IP; demonstrating that KCa2.3 and Rab5 are associated. As expected, if Rab5 is required for the endocytosis of KCa2.3, expression of a dominant negative Rab5 (S34N) resulted in an approximate 2-fold accumulation of KCa2.3 at the plasma membrane. This was confirmed by siRNA-mediated knockdown of Rab5. Expression of the dominant negative Rab5 also resulted in a decreased rate of KCa2.3 endocytosis. These results demonstrate that KCa2.3 is localized to a caveolin-rich domain within the plasma membrane and is endocytosed in a dynamin- and Rab5-dependent manner prior to entering the Rab35/EPI64C recycling compartment and returning to the plasma membrane. © 2012 Gao et al

    Automated imaging system for fast quantitation of neurons, cell morphology and neurite morphometry in vivo and in vitro

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    ProducciĂłn CientĂ­ficaQuantitation of neurons using stereologic approaches reduces bias and systematic error, but is time-consuming and labor-intensive. Accurate methods for quantifying neurons in vitro are lacking; conventional methodologies are limited in reliability and application. The morphological properties of the soma and neurites are a key aspect of neuronal phenotype and function, but the assays commonly used in such evaluations are beset with several methodological drawbacks. Herein we describe automated techniques to quantify the number and morphology of neurons (or any cell type, e.g., astrocytes) and their processes with high speed and accuracy. Neuronal quantification from brain tissue using a motorized stage system yielded results that were statistically comparable to those generated by stereology. The approach was then adapted for in vitro neuron and neurite outgrowth quantification. To determine the utility of our methods, rotenone was used as a neurotoxicant leading to morphological changes in neurons and cell death, astrocytic activation, and loss of neurites. Importantly, our technique counted about 8 times as many neurons in less than 5-10% of the time taken by manual stereological analysis

    Generation of FGF reporter transgenic zebrafish and their utility in chemical screens

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Fibroblast Growth Factors (FGFs) represent a large family of secreted proteins that are required for proper development and physiological processes. Mutations in mouse and zebrafish FGFs result in abnormal embryogenesis and lethality. A key to understanding the precise role for these factors is to determine their spatial and temporal activity during embryogenesis.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Expression of <it>Dual Specificity Phosphatase 6 </it>(<it>dusp6</it>, also known as <it>Mkp3</it>) is controlled by FGF signalling throughout development. The <it>Dusp6 </it>promoter was isolated from zebrafish and used to drive expression of destabilized green fluorescent protein (<it>d2EGFP</it>) in transgenic embryos (<it>Tg(Dusp6:d2EGFP)</it>). Expression of d2EGFP is initiated as early as 4 hours post-fertilization (hpf) within the future dorsal region of the embryo, where <it>fgf3 </it>and <it>fgf8 </it>are initially expressed. At later stages, d2EGFP is detected within structures that correlate with the expression of <it>Fgf </it>ligands and their receptors. This includes the mid-hindbrain boundary (MHB), pharyngeal endoderm, otic vesicle, hindbrain, and Kupffer's vesicle. The expression of d2EGFP is under the control of FGF signalling as treatment with FGF Receptor (FGFR) inhibitors results in the suppression of d2EGFP expression. In a pilot screen of commercially available small molecules we have evaluated the effectiveness of the transgenic lines to identify specific FGF inhibitors within the class of indolinones. These compounds were counter screened with the transgenic line <it>Tg(Fli1:EGFP)</it><sup><it>y</it>1</sup>, that serves as an indirect read-out for Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) signalling in order to determine the specificity between related receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). From these assays it is possible to determine the specificity of these indolinones towards specific RTK signalling pathways. This has enabled the identification of compounds that can block specifically the VEGFR or the FGFR signalling pathway.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>The generation of transgenic reporter zebrafish lines has allowed direct visualization of FGF signalling within the developing embryo. These FGF reporter transgenic lines provide a tool to screen for specific compounds that can distinguish between two conserved members of the RTK family.</p

    Peptides as potent antimicrobials tethered to a solid surface: Implications for medical devices

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    Medical devices are an integral part of therapeutic management; despite their importance, they carry a significant risk of microbial infection. Bacterial attachment to a medical device is established by a single, multiplying organism, leading to subsequent biofilm formation. To date, no preventative measures have impacted the incidence of device-related infection. We report the bidirectional covalent coupling of an engineered cationic antimicrobial peptide (eCAP), WLBU2, to various biological surfaces is accomplished. These surfaces included (i) a carbohydrate-based gel matrix, (ii) a complex polymeric plastic bead, and (iii) a silica-calcium phosphate nanocomposite associated with bone reconstruction. WLBU2-conjugated surfaces are shown to retain potent antimicrobial activity related to bacterial surface adhesion. This study provides proof of principle that covalently coating laboratory and bone-regenerating materials with eCAPs has the potential for decreasing infection rates of implanted devices. These findings have important consequences to the patient management component of our current health care technology

    Single molecule analysis reveals monomeric XPA bends DNA and undergoes episodic linear diffusion during damage search

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    Nucleotide excision repair (NER) removes a wide range of DNA lesions, including UV-induced photoproducts and bulky base adducts. XPA is an essential protein in eukaryotic NER, although reports about its stoichiometry and role in damage recognition are controversial. Here, by PeakForce Tapping atomic force microscopy, we show that human XPA binds and bends DNA by similar to 60 degrees as a monomer. Furthermore, we observe XPA specificity for the helix-distorting base adduct N-(2'-deoxyguanosin-8-yl)-2-acetylaminofluorene over non-damaged dsDNA. Moreover, single molecule fluorescence microscopy reveals that DNA-bound XPA exhibits multiple modes of linear diffusion between paused phases. The presence of DNA damage increases the frequency of pausing. Truncated XPA, lacking the intrinsically disordered N- and C-termini, loses specificity for DNA lesions and shows less pausing on damaged DNA. Our data are consistent with a working model in which monomeric XPA bends DNA, displays episodic phases of linear diffusion along DNA, and pauses in response to DNA damage. It is not fully understood how XPA interacts with a DNA lesion during nucleotide excision repair. Here, the authors use single molecule analysis to study XPA-DNA interactions, including the DNA bend angle, protein stoichiometry, and diffusive properties during damage search

    High Resolution Imaging of Vascular Function in Zebrafish

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    Rationale: The role of the endothelium in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease is an emerging field of study, necessitating the development of appropriate model systems and methodologies to investigate the multifaceted nature of endothelial dysfunction including disturbed barrier function and impaired vascular reactivity. Objective: We aimed to develop and test an optimized high-speed imaging platform to obtain quantitative real-time measures of blood flow, vessel diameter and endothelial barrier function in order to assess vascular function in live vertebrate models. Methods and Results: We used a combination of cutting-edge optical imaging techniques, including high-speed, camera-based imaging (up to 1000 frames/second), and 3D confocal methods to collect real time metrics of vascular performance and assess the dynamic response to the thromboxane A2 (TXA2) analogue, U-46619 (1 μM), in transgenic zebrafish larvae. Data obtained in 3 and 5 day post-fertilization larvae show that these methods are capable of imaging blood flow in a large (1 mm) segment of the vessel of interest over many cardiac cycles, with sufficient speed and sensitivity such that the trajectories of individual erythrocytes can be resolved in real time. Further, we are able to map changes in the three dimensional sizes of vessels and assess barrier function by visualizing the continuity of the endothelial layer combined with measurements of extravasation of fluorescent microspheres. Conclusions: We propose that this system-based microscopic approach can be used to combine measures of physiologic function with molecular behavior in zebrafish models of human vascular disease. © 2012 Watkins et al

    Fatty acid nitroalkenes ameliorate glucose intolerance and pulmonary hypertension in high-fat diet-induced obesity

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    Aims Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, with the incidence of these disorders becoming epidemic. Pathogenic responses to obesity have been ascribed to adipose tissue (AT) dysfunction that promotes bioactive mediator secretion from visceral AT and the initiation of pro-inflammatory events that induce oxidative stress and tissue dysfunction. Current understanding supports that suppressing pro-inflammatory and oxidative events promotes improved metabolic and cardiovascular function. In this regard, electrophilic nitro-fatty acids display pleiotropic anti-inflammatory signalling actions. Methods and results It was hypothesized that high-fat diet (HFD)-induced inflammatory and metabolic responses, manifested by loss of glucose tolerance and vascular dysfunction, would be attenuated by systemic administration of nitrooctadecenoic acid (OA-NO2). Male C57BL/6j mice subjected to a HFD for 20 weeks displayed increased adiposity, fasting glucose, and insulin levels, which led to glucose intolerance and pulmonary hypertension, characterized by increased right ventricular (RV) end-systolic pressure (RVESP) and pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR). This was associated with increased lung xanthine oxidoreductase (XO) activity, macrophage infiltration, and enhanced expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic pressure remained unaltered, indicating that the HFD produces pulmonary vascular remodelling, rather than LV dysfunction and pulmonary venous hypertension. Administration of OA-NO2 for the final 6.5 weeks of HFD improved glucose tolerance and significantly attenuated HFD-induced RVESP, PVR, RV hypertrophy, lung XO activity, oxidative stress, and pro-inflammatory pulmonary cytokine levels. Conclusions These observations support that the pleiotropic signalling actions of electrophilic fatty acids represent a therapeutic strategy for limiting the complex pathogenic responses instigated by obesity.Fil: Kelley, Eric E.. University of Pittsburgh; Estados UnidosFil: Baust, Jeff. University of Pittsburgh; Estados UnidosFil: Bonacci, Gustavo Roberto. University of Pittsburgh; Estados Unidos. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones CientĂ­ficas y TĂ©cnicas. Centro CientĂ­fico TecnolĂłgico CĂłrdoba. Centro de Investigaciones en BioquĂ­mica ClĂ­nica e InmunologĂ­a; ArgentinaFil: Golin Bisello, Franca. University of Pittsburgh; Estados UnidosFil: Devlin, Jason E.. University of Pittsburgh; Estados UnidosFil: Croix, Claudette M. St.. University of Pittsburgh; Estados UnidosFil: Watkins, Simon C.. University of Pittsburgh; Estados UnidosFil: Gor, Sonia. University of Pittsburgh; Estados UnidosFil: Cantu Medellin, Nadiezhda. University of Pittsburgh; Estados UnidosFil: Weidert, Eric R.. University of Pittsburgh; Estados UnidosFil: Frisbee,Jefferson C.. University of Virginia; Estados UnidosFil: Gladwin, Mark T.. University of Pittsburgh; Estados UnidosFil: Champion, Hunter C.. University of Pittsburgh; Estados UnidosFil: Freeman, Bruce A.. University of Pittsburgh; Estados UnidosFil: Khoo, Nicholas K.H.. University of Pittsburgh; Estados Unido
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