Publications by authors named "Dona G Isai"

3 Publications

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SPECC1L-deficient primary mouse embryonic palatal mesenchyme cells show speed and directionality defects.

Sci Rep 2021 Jan 14;11(1):1452. Epub 2021 Jan 14.

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Blvd., Kansas City, KS, 66160, USA.

Cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P) are common anomalies occurring in 1/800 live-births. Pathogenic SPECC1L variants have been identified in patients with CL/P, which signifies a primary role for SPECC1L in craniofacial development. Specc1l mutant mouse embryos exhibit delayed palatal shelf elevation accompanied by epithelial defects. We now posit that the process of palate elevation is itself abnormal in Specc1l mutants, due to defective remodeling of palatal mesenchyme. To characterize the underlying cellular defect, we studied the movement of primary mouse embryonic palatal mesenchyme (MEPM) cells using live-imaging of wound-repair assays. SPECC1L-deficient MEPM cells exhibited delayed wound-repair, however, reduced cell speed only partially accounted for this delay. Interestingly, mutant MEPM cells were also defective in coordinated cell movement. Therefore, we used open-field 2D cultures of wildtype MEPM cells to show that they indeed formed cell streams at high density, which is an important attribute of collective movement. Furthermore, activation of the PI3K-AKT pathway rescued both cell speed and guidance defects in Specc1l mutant MEPM cells. Thus, we show that live-imaging of primary MEPM cells can be used to assess mesenchymal remodeling defects during palatal shelf elevation, and identify a novel role for SPECC1L in collective movement through modulation of PI3K-AKT signaling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-81123-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7809270PMC
January 2021

Matrigel patterning reflects multicellular contractility.

PLoS Comput Biol 2019 10 25;15(10):e1007431. Epub 2019 Oct 25.

Department of Biological Physics, Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary.

Non-muscle myosin II (NMII)-induced multicellular contractility is essential for development, maintenance and remodeling of tissue morphologies. Dysregulation of the cytoskeleton can lead to birth defects or enable cancer progression. We demonstrate that the Matrigel patterning assay, widely used to characterize endothelial cells, is a highly sensitive tool to evaluate cell contractility within a soft extracellular matrix (ECM) environment. We propose a computational model to explore how cell-exerted contractile forces can tear up the cell-Matrigel composite material and gradually remodel it into a network structure. We identify measures that are characteristic for cellular contractility and can be obtained from image analysis of the recorded patterning process. The assay was calibrated by inhibition of NMII activity in A431 epithelial carcinoma cells either directly with blebbistatin or indirectly with Y27632 Rho kinase inhibitor. Using Matrigel patterning as a bioassay, we provide the first functional demonstration that overexpression of S100A4, a calcium-binding protein that is frequently overexpressed in metastatic tumors and inhibits NMIIA activity by inducing filament disassembly, effectively reduces cell contractility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1007431DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6834294PMC
October 2019

Epigenetic Priming of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiac Progenitor Cells Accelerates Cardiomyocyte Maturation.

Stem Cells 2019 07 14;37(7):910-923. Epub 2019 May 14.

Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs) exhibit a fetal phenotype that limits in vitro and therapeutic applications. Strategies to promote cardiomyocyte maturation have focused interventions on differentiated hPSC-CMs, but this study tests priming of early cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) with polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (pIC) to accelerate cardiomyocyte maturation. CPCs were differentiated from hPSCs using a monolayer differentiation protocol with defined small molecule Wnt temporal modulation, and pIC was added during the formation of early CPCs. pIC priming did not alter the expression of cell surface markers for CPCs (>80% KDR+/PDGFRα+), expression of common cardiac transcription factors, or final purity of differentiated hPSC-CMs (∼90%). However, CPC differentiation in basal medium revealed that pIC priming resulted in hPSC-CMs with enhanced maturity manifested by increased cell size, greater contractility, faster electrical upstrokes, increased oxidative metabolism, and more mature sarcomeric structure and composition. To investigate the mechanisms of CPC priming, RNAseq revealed that cardiac progenitor-stage pIC modulated early Notch signaling and cardiomyogenic transcriptional programs. Chromatin immunoprecipitation of CPCs showed that pIC treatment increased deposition of the H3K9ac activating epigenetic mark at core promoters of cardiac myofilament genes and the Notch ligand, JAG1. Inhibition of Notch signaling blocked the effects of pIC on differentiation and cardiomyocyte maturation. Furthermore, primed CPCs showed more robust formation of hPSC-CMs grafts when transplanted to the NSGW mouse kidney capsule. Overall, epigenetic modulation of CPCs with pIC accelerates cardiomyocyte maturation enabling basic research applications and potential therapeutic uses. Stem Cells 2019;37:910-923.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/stem.3021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6599574PMC
July 2019