95 research outputs found

    BACE1: More than just a β‐secretase

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    β-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme-1 (BACE1) research has historically focused on its actions as the β-secretase responsible for the production of β-amyloid beta, observed in Alzheimer's disease. Although the greatest expression of BACE1 is found in the brain, BACE1 mRNA and protein is also found in many cell types including pancreatic β-cells, adipocytes, hepatocytes, and vascular cells. Pathologically elevated BACE1 expression in these cells has been implicated in the development of metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. In this review, we examine key questions surrounding the BACE1 literature, including how is BACE1 regulated and how dysregulation may occur in disease, and understand how BACE1 regulates metabolism via cleavage of a myriad of substrates. The phenotype of the BACE1 knockout mice models, including reduced weight gain, increased energy expenditure, and enhanced leptin signaling, proposes a physiological role of BACE1 in regulating energy metabolism and homeostasis. Taken together with the weight loss observed with BACE1 inhibitors in clinical trials, these data highlight a novel role for BACE1 in regulation of metabolic physiology. Finally, this review aims to examine the possibility that BACE1 inhibitors could provide a innovative treatment for obesity and its comorbidities

    PTPRD and DCC Are Novel BACE1 Substrates Differentially Expressed in Alzheimer’s Disease: A Data Mining and Bioinformatics Study

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    The β-site Amyloid precursor protein Cleaving Enzyme 1 (BACE1) is an extensively studied therapeutic target for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), owing to its role in the production of neurotoxic amyloid beta (Aβ) peptides. However, despite numerous BACE1 inhibitors entering clinical trials, none have successfully improved AD pathogenesis, despite effectively lowering Aβ concentrations. This can, in part, be attributed to an incomplete understanding of BACE1, including its physiological functions and substrate specificity. We propose that BACE1 has additional important physiological functions, mediated through substrates still to be identified. Thus, to address this, we computationally analysed a list of 533 BACE1 dependent proteins, identified from the literature, for potential BACE1 substrates, and compared them against proteins differentially expressed in AD. We identified 15 novel BACE1 substrates that were specifically altered in AD. To confirm our analysis, we validated Protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type D (PTPRD) and Netrin receptor DCC (DCC) using Western blotting. These findings shed light on the BACE1 inhibitor failings and could enable the design of substrate-specific inhibitors to target alternative BACE1 substrates. Further-more, it gives us a greater understanding of the roles of BACE1 and its dysfunction in AD

    Endothelial Cell Fibrin Gel Angiogenesis Bead Assay.

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    The fibrin gel angiogenesis bead assay provides a controlled in vitro setting for observing endothelial angiogenic sprouting in response to modified variables. Endothelial cells are coated onto microcarriers and embedded into a fibrin clot containing necessary growth factors. Following a 24-h incubation, endothelial sprouts are imaged using a light microscope. This method is useful for rapidly and affordably investigating the effects of genetic or chemical manipulation to endothelial function

    Translational animal models for Alzheimer's disease: An Alzheimer's Association Business Consortium Think Tank

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    Over 5 million Americans and 50 million individuals worldwide are living with Alzheimer\u27s disease (AD). The progressive dementia associated with AD currently has no cure. Although clinical trials in patients are ultimately required to find safe and effective drugs, animal models of AD permit the integration of brain pathologies with learning and memory deficits that are the first step in developing these new drugs. The purpose of the Alzheimer\u27s Association Business Consortium Think Tank meeting was to address the unmet need to improve the discovery and successful development of Alzheimer\u27s therapies. We hypothesize that positive responses to new therapies observed in validated models of AD will provide predictive evidence for positive responses to these same therapies in AD patients. To achieve this goal, we convened a meeting of experts to explore the current state of AD animal models, identify knowledge gaps, and recommend actions for development of next-generation models with better predictability. Among our findings, we all recognize that models reflecting only single aspects of AD pathogenesis do not mimic AD. Models or combinations of new models are needed that incorporate genetics with environmental interactions, timing of disease development, heterogeneous mechanisms and pathways, comorbidities, and other pathologies that lead to AD and related dementias. Selection of the best models requires us to address the following: (1) which animal species, strains, and genetic backgrounds are most appropriate; (2) which models permit efficient use throughout the drug development pipeline; (3) the translatability of behavioral-cognitive assays from animals to patients; and (4) how to match potential AD therapeutics with particular models. Best practice guidelines to improve reproducibility also need to be developed for consistent use of these models in different research settings. To enhance translational predictability, we discuss a multi-model evaluation strategy to de-risk the successful transition of pre-clinical drug assets to the clinic

    Non-canonical Keap1-independent activation of Nrf2 in astrocytes by mild oxidative stress

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    The transcription factor Nrf2 is a stress-responsive master regulator of antioxidant, detoxification and proteostasis genes. In astrocytes, Nrf2-dependent gene expression drives cell-autonomous cytoprotection and also non-cell-autonomous protection of nearby neurons, and can ameliorate pathology in several acute and chronic neurological disorders associated with oxidative stress. However, the value of astrocytic Nrf2 as a therapeutic target depends in part on whether Nrf2 activation by disease-associated oxidative stress occludes the effect of any Nrf2-activating drug. Nrf2 activation classically involves the inhibition of interactions between Nrf2's Neh2 domain and Keap1, which directs Nrf2 degradation. Keap1 inhibition is mediated by the modification of cysteine residues on Keap1, and can be triggered by electrophilic small molecules such as tBHQ. Here we show that astrocytic Nrf2 activation by oxidative stress involves Keap1-independent non-canonical signaling. Keap1 deficiency elevates basal Nrf2 target gene expression in astrocytes and occludes the effects of tBHQ, oxidative stress still induced strong Nrf2-dependent gene expression in Keap1-deficient astrocytes. Moreover, while tBHQ prevented protein degradation mediated via Nrf2's Neh2 domain, oxidative stress did not, consistent with a Keap1-independent mechanism. Moreover the effects of oxidative stress and tBHQ on Nrf2 target gene expression are additive, not occlusive. Mechanistically, oxidative stress enhances the transactivation potential of Nrf2's Neh5 domain in a manner dependent on its Cys-191 residue. Thus, astrocytic Nrf2 activation by oxidative stress involves Keap1-independent non-canonical signaling, meaning that further Nrf2 activation by Keap1-inhibiting drugs may be a viable therapeutic strategy

    Bone gain following loading is site-specifically enhanced by prior and concurrent disuse in aged male mice

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    The primary aim of osteoanabolic therapies is to strategically increase bone mass in skeletal regions likely to experience high strains. In the young healthy skeleton, this is primarily achieved by bone's adaptation to loading. This adaptation appears to fail with age, resulting in osteoporosis and fractures. We previously demonstrated that prior and concurrent disuse enhances bone gain following loading in old female mice. Here, we applied site specificity micro-computed tomography analysis to map regional differences in bone anabolic responses to axial loading of the tibia between young (19-week-old) and aged (19-month-old), male and female mice. Loading increased bone mass specifically in the proximal tibia in both sexes and ages. Young female mice gained more cortical bone than young males in specific regions of the tibia. However, these site-specific sex differences were lost with age such that bone gain following loading was not significantly different between old males and females. To test whether disuse enhances functional adaption in old male mice as it does in females, old males were subjected to sciatic neurectomy or sham surgery, and loading was initiated four days after surgery. Disuse augmented tibial cortical bone gain in response to loading in old males, but only in regions which were load-responsive in the young. Prior and concurrent disuse also increased loading-induced trabecular thickening in the proximal tibia of old males. Understanding how diminished background loading rejuvenates the osteogenic loading response in the old may improve osteogenic exercise regimes and lead to novel osteoanabolic therapies

    Regulatory small and long noncoding RNAs in brite/brown adipose tissue.

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    Brite/brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a thermogenic tissue able to dissipate energy via non-shivering thermogenesis. It is naturally activated by cold and has been demonstrated to increase thermogenic capacity, elevate energy expenditure, and to ultimately contribute to fat mass reduction. Thus, it emerges as novel therapeutic concept for pharmacological intervention in obesity and other metabolic disorders. Therefore, the comprehensive understanding of the regulatory network in thermogenic adipocytes is in demand.The surprising findings that (1) all human protein-coding genes make up not more than 2% of our genome, (2) organismal complexity goes well along with the percentage of nonprotein-coding sequences, and that (3) three quarters of our genome are pervasively transcribed, provide evidence that noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) are not junk, but a significant and even predominant part of our transcriptome representing a treasure chest worth retrieving regulatory determinants in biological processes and diseases.In this chapter, the impact of regulatory small and long ncRNAs (lncRNAs) in particular microRNAs and lncRNAs on BAT formation and metabolic function and their involvement in physiological and pathological conditions has been reviewed

    Brain tumor acidification using drugs simultaneously targeting multiple pH regulatory mechanisms

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    © 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. Introduction: Non-invasively distinguishing aggressive from non-aggressive brain tumors is an important clinical challenge. Intracellular pH (pHi) regulation is essential for normal cell function and is normally maintained within a narrow range. Cancer cells are characterized by a reversed intracellular to extracellular pH gradient, compared to healthy cells, that is maintained by several distinct mechanisms. Previous studies have demonstrated acute pH modulation in glioblastoma detectable by chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) after blocking individual pH regulatory mechanisms. The purpose of the current study was to simultaneously block five pH regulatory mechanisms while also providing glucose as an energy substrate. We hypothesized that this approach would increase the acute pH modulation effect allowing the identification of aggressive cancer. Methods: Using a 9.4 T MRI scanner, CEST spectra were acquired sensitive to pHi using amine/amide concentration independent detection (AACID). Twelve mice were scanned approximately 11 ± 1 days after implanting 105 U87 human glioblastoma multiforme cells in the brain, before and after intraperitoneal injection of a combination of five drugs (quercetin, cariporide, dichloroacetate, acetazolamide, and pantoprazole) with and without glucose. Results: Two hours after combination drug injection there was a significant 0.1 ± 0.03 increase in tumor AACID value corresponding to a 0.4 decrease in pHi. After injecting the drug combination with glucose the AACID value increased by 0.18 ± 0.03 corresponding to a 0.72 decrease in pHi. AACID values were also slightly increased in contralateral tissue. Conclusions: The combined drug treatment with glucose produced a large acute CEST MRI contrast indicating tumor acidification, which could be used to help localize brain cancer and monitor tumor response to chemotherapy
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