Publications by authors named "Frank S French"

34 Publications

Mechanism of androgen receptor corepression by CKβBP2/CRIF1, a multifunctional transcription factor coregulator expressed in prostate cancer.

Mol Cell Endocrinol 2014 Jan 5;382(1):302-313. Epub 2013 Oct 5.

Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina, School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC, United States; Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC, United States. Electronic address:

The transcription factor coregulator Casein kinase IIβ-binding protein 2 or CR6-interacting factor 1 (CKβBP2/CRIF1) binds the androgen receptor (AR) in prostate cancer cells and in response to dihydrotestosterone localizes with AR on the prostate-specific antigen gene enhancer, but does not bind DNA suggesting CKβBP2/CRIF1 localization in chromatin is determined by AR. In this study we show also that CKβBP2/CRIF1 inhibits wild-type AR and AR N-terminal transcriptional activity, binds to the AR C-terminal region, inhibits interaction of the AR N- and C-terminal domains (N/C interaction) and competes with p160 coactivator binding to the AR C-terminal domain, suggesting CKβBP2/CRIF1 interferes with AR activation functions 1 and 2. CKβBP2/CRIF1 is expressed mainly in stromal cells of benign prostatic hyperplasia and in stroma and epithelium of prostate cancer. CKβBP2/CRIF1 protein is increased in epithelium of androgen-dependent prostate cancer compared to benign prostatic hyperplasia and decreased slightly in castration recurrent epithelium compared to androgen-dependent prostate cancer. The multifunctional CKβBP2/CRIF1 is a STAT3 interacting protein and reported to be a coactivator of STAT3. CKβBP2/CRIF1 is expressed with STAT3 in prostate cancer where STAT3 may help to offset the AR repressor effect of CKβBP2/CRIF1 and allow AR regulation of prostate cancer growth.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mce.2013.09.036DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3880566PMC
January 2014

Cloning and primary characterizations of rLcn9, a new member of epididymal lipocalins in rat.

Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai) 2012 Oct;44(10):876-85

Shanghai Key Laboratory of Molecular Andrology, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.

Lipocalins are a structurally conserved and diversely functional family of proteins that are of potential importance in epididymis functions. The rat Lcn9 gene was cloned by in silico methods and genome walking based on homology to the rhesus monkey epididymal ESC513 and its polyclonal antisera were prepared. The rat Lcn9 gene is located on chromosome 3p13 spanning 7 exons, contains 2.3 kb and encodes 179 amino acids with a 17-amino acid signal peptide. Northern blot, western blot, and immunohistochemical staining analysis revealed that rat Lcn9 was a novel epididymis-specific gene, expressed selectively in the proximal caput region, influenced by luminal fluid testicular factors. Moreover, Lcn9 protein was modified by N-glycosylation and bound on the postacrosomal domain of caput sperm. In conclusion, the rat Lcn9 exhibited tissue-, region-, and temporal-specific expression patterns and its expression was regulated by luminal testicular factors. Its potential roles in sperm maturation are discussed.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/abbs/gms072DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3459353PMC
October 2012

Androgen receptor exon 1 mutation causes androgen insensitivity by creating phosphorylation site and inhibiting melanoma antigen-A11 activation of NH2- and carboxyl-terminal interaction-dependent transactivation.

J Biol Chem 2012 Mar 13;287(14):10905-15. Epub 2012 Feb 13.

Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7500, USA.

Naturally occurring germ line mutations in the X-linked human androgen receptor (AR) gene cause incomplete masculinization of the external genitalia by disrupting AR function in males with androgen insensitivity syndrome. Almost all AR missense mutations that cause androgen insensitivity syndrome are located in the highly structured DNA and ligand binding domains. In this report we investigate the functional defect associated with an AR exon 1 missense mutation, R405S, that caused partial androgen insensitivity. The 46,XX heterozygous maternal carrier had a wild-type Arg-405 CGC allele but transmitted an AGC mutant allele coding for Ser-405. At birth, the 46,XY proband had a bifid scrotum, hypospadias, and micropenis consistent with clinical stage 3 partial androgen insensitivity. Androgen-dependent transcriptional activity of AR-R405S expressed in CV1 cells was less than wild-type AR and refractory in androgen-dependent AR NH(2)- and carboxyl interaction transcription assays that depend on the coregulator effects of melanoma antigen-A11. This mutation created a Ser-405 phosphorylation site evident by the gel migration of an AR-R405S NH(2)-terminal fragment as a double band that converted to the wild-type single band after treatment with λ-phosphatase. Detrimental effects of the R405S mutation were related to the proximity of the AR WXXLF motif (433)WHTLF(437) required for melanoma antigen-A11 and p300 to stimulate transcriptional activity associated with the AR NH(2)- and carboxyl-terminal interaction. We conclude that the coregulator effects of melanoma antigen-A11 on the AR NH(2)- and carboxyl-terminal interaction amplify the androgen-dependent transcriptional response to p300 required for normal human male sex development in utero.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M111.336081DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3322816PMC
March 2012

Research resource: Genome-wide mapping of in vivo androgen receptor binding sites in mouse epididymis.

Mol Endocrinol 2010 Dec 13;24(12):2392-405. Epub 2010 Oct 13.

Shanghai Key Laboratory for Molecular Andrology, State Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, The Graduate School, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.

Epididymal function depends on androgen signaling through the androgen receptor (AR), although most of the direct AR target genes in epididymis remain unknown. Here we globally mapped the AR binding regions in mouse caput epididymis in which AR is highly expressed. Chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing indicated that AR bound selectively to 19,377 DNA regions, the majority of which were intergenic and intronic. Motif analysis showed that 94% of the AR binding regions harbored consensus androgen response elements enriched with multiple binding motifs that included nuclear factor 1 and activator protein 2 sites consistent with combinatorial regulation. Unexpectedly, AR binding regions showed limited conservation across species, regardless of whether the metric for conservation was based on local sequence similarity or the presence of consensus androgen response elements. Further analysis suggested the AR target genes are involved in diverse biological themes that include lipid metabolism and sperm maturation. Potential novel mechanisms of AR regulation were revealed at individual genes such as cysteine-rich secretory protein 1. The composite studies provide new insights into AR regulation under physiological conditions and a global resource of AR binding sites in a normal androgen-responsive tissue.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/me.2010-0226DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2999474PMC
December 2010

14-3-3{eta} Amplifies Androgen Receptor Actions in Prostate Cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2009 Dec;15(24):7571-7581

Authors' Affiliations: Departments of Pediatrics (Laboratories for Reproductive Biology), Surgery (Division of Urology) and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Biochemistry and Biophysics, and Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Department of Urologic Oncology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and Department of Urology, University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biotechnology, Buffalo, New York; and Department of Pharmacology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.

PURPOSE: Androgen receptor abundance and androgen receptor-regulated gene expression in castration-recurrent prostate cancer are indicative of androgen receptor activation in the absence of testicular androgen. Androgen receptor transactivation of target genes in castration-recurrent prostate cancer occurs in part through mitogen signaling that amplifies the actions of androgen receptor and its coregulators. Herein we report on the role of 14-3-3eta in androgen receptor action. Experimental Design and RESULTS: Androgen receptor and 14-3-3eta colocalized in COS cell nuclei with and without androgen, and 14-3-3eta promoted androgen receptor nuclear localization in the absence of androgen. 14-3-3eta interacted with androgen receptor in cell-free binding and coimmunoprecipitation assays. In the recurrent human prostate cancer cell line, CWR-R1, native endogenous androgen receptor transcriptional activation was stimulated by 14-3-3eta at low dihydrotestosterone concentrations and was increased by epidermal growth factor. Moreover, the dihydrotestosterone- and epidermal growth factor-dependent increase in androgen receptor transactivation was inhibited by a dominant negative 14-3-3eta. In the CWR22 prostate cancer xenograft model, 14-3-3eta expression was increased by androgen, suggesting a feed-forward mechanism that potentiates both 14-3-3eta and androgen receptor actions. 14-3-3eta mRNA and protein decreased following castration of tumor-bearing mice and increased in tumors of castrate mice after treatment with testosterone. CWR22 tumors that recurred 5 months after castration contained 14-3-3eta levels similar to the androgen-stimulated tumors removed before castration. In a human prostate tissue microarray of clinical specimens, 14-3-3eta localized with androgen receptor in nuclei, and the similar amounts expressed in castration-recurrent prostate cancer, androgen-stimulated prostate cancer, and benign prostatic hyperplasia were consistent with androgen receptor activation in recurrent prostate cancer. CONCLUSION: 14-3-3eta enhances androgen- and mitogen-induced androgen receptor transcriptional activity in castration-recurrent prostate cancer. (Clin Cancer Res 2009;15(24):7571-81).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-08-1976DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2795092PMC
December 2009

Identification of Toll-like receptors in the rat (Rattus norvegicus): messenger RNA expression in the male reproductive tract under conditions of androgen variation.

Am J Reprod Immunol 2009 Oct 24;62(4):243-52. Epub 2009 Aug 24.

Department of Animal Sciences, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India.

Problem: Although the majority of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are reported in many species, some of them are not yet described in the rat. Further, factors that govern Tlr expression in the male reproductive tract have received little attention. We attempt to identify and characterize Tlrs in the rat and determine the expression profile under conditions that affect male reproductive tract gene expression.

Method Of Study: Rat Tlr5, Tlr10, and Tlr11 transcript sequences were submitted to GenBank and in silico characterization carried out using bioinformatics tools. RT-PCR analyses using gene specific primers for rat Tlr1-13 were carried out with RNA isolated from reproductive tract tissues of various experimental groups.

Results: Tlr5, Tlr10, and Tlr11 identified in this study share features that are characteristic of the known TLRs. Abundant Tlr expression was observed in the male reproductive tract of adult and developing rats. Further, Tlr expression was also observed in the epididymides of androgen ablated rats.

Conclusion: Tlr5, Tlr10, and Tlr11 are ubiquitously expressed in the rat. Tlrs seem to be expressed during male reproductive tract development and under conditions of androgen ablation, suggesting the preparedness of the male reproductive tract to detect an infection under all conditions of androgen status.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0897.2009.00732.xDOI Listing
October 2009

Novel partners of SPAG11B isoform D in the human male reproductive tract.

Biol Reprod 2009 Oct 17;81(4):647-56. Epub 2009 Jun 17.

Departments of Pediatrics and Cell and Developmental Biology, Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.

Human sperm-associated antigen 11 (SPAG11) is closely related to beta-defensins in structure, expression, and function. Like the beta-defensins, SPAG11 proteins are predominantly expressed in the male reproductive tract, where their best-known major roles are in innate host defense and reproduction. Although several hypotheses have emerged to describe the evolution of beta-defensin and SPAG11 multifunctionality, few describe these multiple functions in terms of defensin interactions with specific proteins. To gain insight into the protein interaction potentials of SPAG11 and the signaling pathways that SPAG11 may influence, we used a yeast two-hybrid screening of a human testis-epididymis library. The results reveal human SPAG11B isoform D (SPAG11B/D) interactions with tryptase alpha/beta 1 (TPSAB1), tetraspanin 7 (TSPAN7), and attractin (ATRN). These interactions were confirmed by coimmunoprecipitation and glutathione S-transferase affinity matrix binding. SPAG11B/D and the three interacting proteins are expressed in the proximal epididymis, and all function in immunity and fertility pathways. We analyzed the functional consequences of SPAG11B/D interaction with TPSAB1 and showed that SPAG11B/D is both a substrate and a potent inhibitor of TPSAB1 activity. Furthermore, we show that (like SPAG11B/D) TSPAN7 and ATRN are associated with spermatozoa.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.109.077545DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2754882PMC
October 2009

Site-specific androgen receptor serine phosphorylation linked to epidermal growth factor-dependent growth of castration-recurrent prostate cancer.

J Biol Chem 2008 Jul 29;283(30):20989-1001. Epub 2008 May 29.

Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.

The androgen receptor (AR) is required for prostate cancer development and contributes to tumor progression after remission in response to androgen deprivation therapy. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) increases AR transcriptional activity at low levels of androgen in the CWR-R1 prostate cancer cell line derived from the castration-recurrent CWR22 prostate cancer xenograft. Here we report that knockdown of AR decreases EGF stimulation of prostate cancer cell growth and demonstrate a mechanistic link between EGF and AR signaling. The EGF-induced increase in AR transcriptional activity is dependent on phosphorylation at mitogen-activated protein kinase consensus site Ser-515 in the AR NH(2)-terminal region and at protein kinase C consensus site Ser-578 in the AR DNA binding domain. Phosphorylation at these sites alters the nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling of AR and AR interaction with the Ku-70/80 regulatory subunits of DNA-dependent protein kinase. Abolishing AR Ser-578 phosphorylation by introducing an S578A mutation eliminates the AR transcriptional response to EGF and increases both AR binding of Ku-70/80 and nuclear retention of AR in association with hyperphosphorylation of AR Ser-515. The results support a model in which AR transcriptional activity increases castration-recurrent prostate cancer cell growth in response to EGF by site-specific serine phosphorylation that regulates nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling through interactions with the Ku-70/80 regulatory complex.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M802392200DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2475695PMC
July 2008

Hormone control and expression of androgen receptor coregulator MAGE-11 in human endometrium during the window of receptivity to embryo implantation.

Mol Hum Reprod 2008 Feb 29;14(2):107-16. Epub 2007 Nov 29.

Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.

The androgen receptor (AR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor of the male and female reproductive tracts whose activity is modulated by coregulator binding. We recently identified melanoma antigen gene protein-11 (MAGE-11) of the MAGEA gene family that functions as an AR coregulator by binding the AR N-terminal FXXLF motif. Here we report that MAGE-11 is expressed in a temporal fashion in endometrium of normally cycling women. Highest levels of MAGE-11 mRNA and protein occur in the mid-secretory stage, coincident with the window of uterine receptivity to embryo implantation. Studies in human endometrial cell lines together with the hormone profile of the menstrual cycle and pattern of estrogen receptor-alpha expression in cycling endometrium suggest the rise in MAGE-11 mRNA results from down-regulation by estradiol during the proliferative phase and up-regulation by cyclic AMP signaling in the early and mid-secretory stage. In agreement with its coregulatory function, MAGE-11 localizes with AR in glandular epithelial cell nuclei in the mid-secretory stage. The increase in AR protein in the mid-secretory endometrium without an increase in AR mRNA suggests MAGE-11 stabilizes AR in glandular epithelial cell nuclei. This was supported by expression studies at low androgen levels indicating AR stabilization by MAGE-11 dependent on the AR N-terminal transactivation domain. The results suggest that MAGE-11 functions as a coregulator that increases AR transcriptional activity during the establishment of uterine receptivity in the human female.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molehr/gam080DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2701302PMC
February 2008

Characterization and functions of beta defensins in the epididymis.

Asian J Androl 2007 Jul;9(4):453-62

Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 USA.

The epididymal beta-defensins have evolved by repeated gene duplication and divergence to encode a family of proteins that provide direct protection against pathogens and also support the male reproductive tract in its primary function. Male tract defensins also facilitate recovery from pathogen attack. The beta-defensins possess ancient conserved sequence and structural features widespread in multi-cellular organisms, suggesting fundamental roles in species survival. Primate SPAG11, the functional fusion of two ancestrally independent beta-defensin genes, produces a large family of alternatively spliced transcripts that are expressed according to tissue-specific and species-specific constraints. The complexity of SPAG11 varies in different branches of mammalian evolution. Interactions of human SPAG11D with host proteins indicate involvement in multiple signaling pathways.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-7262.2007.00298.xDOI Listing
July 2007

Comparative genomic analysis of a mammalian beta-defensin gene cluster.

Physiol Genomics 2007 Aug 24;30(3):213-22. Epub 2007 Apr 24.

Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.

Comparative genomic analyses have yielded valuable insights into conserved and divergent aspects of gene function, regulation, and evolution. Herein, we describe the characterization of a mouse beta-defensin gene cluster locus on chromosome 2F6. In addition, we present the evolutionary analysis of this cluster and its human, rhesus, and rat orthologs. Expression analysis in mouse revealed the occurrence of defensin cluster transcripts in multiple tissues, with the highest abundance in the urogenital tract. Molecular evolutionary analysis suggests that this cluster originated by a series of duplication events, and by positive selection occurring even after the rodent-primate split. In addition, the constraints analysis showed higher positive selection in rodents than in primates, especially distal to the six-cysteine array. Positive selection in the evolution of these defensins may relate not only to the evolving enhancement of ancestral host defense but also to functional innovations in reproduction. The multiplicity of defensins and their preferential overexpression in the urogenital tract indicate that defensins function in the protection and maintenance of fertility.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/physiolgenomics.00263.2006DOI Listing
August 2007

Novel aspects of the sperm-associated antigen 11 (SPAG11) gene organization and expression in cattle (Bos taurus).

Biol Reprod 2007 Jun 7;76(6):1103-16. Epub 2007 Mar 7.

Section of Experimental Endocrinology, Department of Pharmacology, Universidade Federal de São Paulo-Escola Paulista de Medicina, Rua 03 de Maio 100, Vila Clementino, São Paulo (SP) 04044-020, Brazil.

Beta-defensins are small cationic peptides exhibiting broad spectrum antimicrobial properties. In humans, many beta-defensin genes are located within a cluster on chromosome 8p23. The sperm associated antigen 11 (SPAG11) gene is contained in this cluster and is unusual among the human beta-defensins due to its complex genomic structure and mRNA splicing pattern. Here we report the genomic organization of the Bos taurus SPAG11 gene located on chromosome 27q1.2, within a cluster of beta-defensin genes. The exon structures of the fused bovine SPAG11 gene and of the mosaic transcripts initiated at both A and B promoters were established, including identification of novel exons and transcripts not previously found in primate or rodent. Evolutionary analysis against primate, rodent, canine, and porcine orthologs was performed. In adult bulls SPAG11C, SPAG11E, and SPAG11U mRNAs were detected predominantly in the male reproductive tract, while SPAG11D transcript was detected in reproductive and nonreproductive tissues and SPAG11V and SPAG11W mRNAs were confined to testis. Differential expression of all six transcripts was observed in tissues from fetal and adult bulls, suggesting that similar mRNA splicing mechanisms govern SPAG11 gene expression during pre- and postnatal development. Immunolocalization of SPAG11C and SPAG11D/E was demonstrated in the epithelium of the epididymis and testis, and SPAG11D in association with epididymal spermatozoa. Recombinant full-length SPAG11D protein was strongly antibacterial, while the SPAG11E C-terminal peptide that contains the beta-defensin motif in its structure was somewhat less potent. Taken together, the results suggest that SPAG11 isoforms perform both immune and reproductive functions in cattle.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.106.059626DOI Listing
June 2007

RNase9, an androgen-dependent member of the RNase A family, is specifically expressed in the rat epididymis.

Biol Reprod 2007 Jan 27;76(1):63-73. Epub 2006 Sep 27.

Shanghai Key Laboratory for Molecular Andrology, State Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology.

Members of the RNase superfamily participate in a diverse array of biological processes, including RNA degradation, antipathogen activities, angiogenesis, and digestion. In the present study, we cloned the rat RNase9 gene by in silico methods and genome walking based on homology to the Macaca mulatta (rhesus monkey) epididymal RNase9. The gene is located on chromosome 15p14, spanning two exons, and is clustered with other members of the RNase A superfamily. It contains 1279 bp and encodes 182 amino acids, including a 24-amino acid signal peptide, and it has unique features known from other RNases. Unlike those other members, the rat RNase9 mRNA was specifically expressed in the epididymis, especially in the caput and corpus, and exhibited an androgen-dependent expression pattern but was downregulated in an epididymitis animal model. The RNASE9 was expressed in a principal cell-specific pattern. Interestingly, most of the principal cells in the caput expressed the RNASE9; however, in the distal caput, the principal cells showed a checkerboard-like pattern of immunoreactivity. We also observed that the RNASE9 was bound on the acrosomal domain of sperm. Its potential roles in sperm maturation are discussed.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.106.054635DOI Listing
January 2007

Identification, cloning and functional characterization of novel sperm associated antigen 11 (SPAG11) isoforms in the rat.

Reprod Biol Endocrinol 2006 Apr 28;4:23. Epub 2006 Apr 28.

Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7500, USA.

Background: Sperm binding proteins and their C-terminal peptides of the Sperm Associated Antigen 11 (SPAG11) family were found to play an important role in epididymal innate immunity in addition to their role in sperm maturation. However, the expression of Spag11 transcripts in rodents is not well documented.

Methods: Computational analysis was employed to identify novel Spag11 isoforms in the rat. RT-PCR analyses were carried out on RNAs isolated from the male reproductive tract tissues of rat using gene specific primers for Spag11c and Spag11t. The identities of PCR products were confirmed by sequencing. Tissue distribution, developmental expression and androgen regulation of Spag11t and Spag11c were studied using RT-PCR. The antimicrobial activities of recombinant Spag11t and Spag11c were tested against E coli in a colony forming unit assay.

Results: In this study, we identified two novel Spag11 transcripts, namely, Spag11t and Spag11c derived from the long arm of chromosome 16 in the rat (Rattus norvegicus), using both in silico and molecular biology approaches. Spag11c is expressed in all three regions of the epididymis, in testis and in ovary but is absent from the seminal vesicle. Spag11t expression is confined to the caput and it is not expressed in the testis, seminal vesicle or ovary. Age dependent expression of Spag11t and Spag11c was observed in the epididymides of rats (10-60 day old). Their expression was found to be most abundant in the adult rat (60 day) suggesting roles in mature reproductive function. Further, both Spag11t and Spag11c expression was down regulated in castrated rat epididymides and the expression was maintained in the testosterone replaced castrated rats. SPAG11C is a potent antibacterial agent. SPAG11T also displayed bactericidal capacity although weaker than SPAG11C and SPAG11E.

Conclusion: The abundant expression of Spag11t and Spag11c in the male reproductive tract suggests an important role in male reproductive tract immunity. Their expression is developmentally regulated and androgen dependent. Characterization of novel SPAG11 isoforms will contribute to our understanding of the role of epididymal proteins in sperm maturation and innate immunity.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1477-7827-4-23DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1524968PMC
April 2006

Identification, cloning and functional characterization of novel beta-defensins in the rat (Rattus norvegicus).

Reprod Biol Endocrinol 2006 Feb 4;4. Epub 2006 Feb 4.

Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.

Background: Beta-defensins are small cationic peptides that exhibit broad spectrum antimicrobial properties. The majority of beta-defensins identified in humans are predominantly expressed in the male reproductive tract and have roles in non-immunological processes such as sperm maturation and capacitation. Characterization of novel defensins in the male reproductive tract can lead to increased understanding of their dual roles in immunity and sperm maturation.

Methods: In silico rat genomic analyses were used to identify novel beta-defensins related to human defensins 118-123. RNAs isolated from male reproductive tract tissues of rat were reverse transcribed and PCR amplified using gene specific primers for defensins. PCR products were sequenced to confirm their identity. RT-PCR analysis was performed to analyze the tissue distribution, developmental expression and androgen regulation of these defensins. Recombinant defensins were tested against E. coli in a colony forming unit assay to analyze their antimicrobial activities.

Results: Novel beta-defensins, Defb21, Defb24, Defb27, Defb30 and Defb36 were identified in the rat male reproductive tract. Defb30 and Defb36 were the most restricted in expression, whereas the others were expressed in a variety of tissues including the female reproductive tract. Early onset of defensin expression was observed in the epididymides of 10-60 day old rats. Defb21-Defb36 expression in castrated rats was down regulated and maintained at normal levels in testosterone supplemented animals. DEFB24 and DEFB30 proteins showed potent dose and time dependent antibacterial activity.

Conclusion: Rat Defb21, Defb24, Defb27, Defb30 and Defb36 are abundantly expressed in the male reproductive tract where they most likely protect against microbial invasion. They are developmentally regulated and androgen is required for full expression in the adult epididymis.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1477-7827-4-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1420305PMC
February 2006

Genome-wide profiling of segmental-regulated transcriptomes in human epididymis using oligo microarray.

Mol Cell Endocrinol 2006 May 18;250(1-2):169-77. Epub 2006 Jan 18.

State Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.

Sperm maturation during passage through the epididymis depends on regionalized gene expression which maintains the progressively changing environment within the epididymal tubule. Towards defining the genes that drive the sequential maturation of spermatozoa, we profiled regionally regulated gene expression pattern in the epididymis of a fertile young male donor using Affymetrix human genome U133 plus 2.0 microarray representing approximately the whole human genome. Over 15000 transcripts, almost one-third of the total on the array were identified in whole epididymis. Among them, 65% were detected in all three regions of the epididymis, 410 or 2.6% were present only in one region and the remaining 32.4% were distributed in two regions. Region-specific transcripts observed in caput (264), corpus (61) and cauda (81) epididymides were further classified as empirically determined reported genes or ESTs. This study revealed for the first time, the expression in human epididymis of a number of region-specific genes. The original data will be made publicly available on the Shanghai Science and Technology Database (http://www.scbit.org/human_epididymis_transcriptomes).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mce.2005.12.041DOI Listing
May 2006

Antimicrobial actions of human and macaque sperm associated antigen (SPAG) 11 isoforms: influence of the N-terminal peptide.

Mol Cell Biochem 2006 Mar 13;284(1-2):25-37. Epub 2006 Jan 13.

Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 27599-7500, USA.

In addition to their role in sperm maturation, recent evidence has indicated that epididymal proteins have a role in male reproductive tract innate immunity. Herein we demonstrate that human and macaque epididymal protein isoforms in the SPAG (sperm associated antigen) 11 family, full length SPAG11C, K and L exhibit potent antibacterial activity against E. coli. Analysis of activities of the N- and C-terminal domains revealed that the human N-terminal peptide is bactericidal, while the C-terminal domains that contain the defensin-like 6 cysteine array in SPAG11C and partial arrays in SPAG11K and SPAG11L, lack antibacterial activity. The N-terminal peptide does not appear to contain all the determinants of activity since full-length human SPAG11C is more active than the isolated N-terminal peptide and since sulfhydryl reduction and alkylation, which would affect primarily the C-terminal peptides, completely abolished activities of the whole proteins. These results suggest that the structure conferred by the disulfide bonds in human SPAG11C contributes to the antibacterial activity of the whole molecule. The activities of the N-terminal peptide and of full length human SPAG11C were somewhat reduced in increasing NaCl concentrations. In contrast, the antibacterial activities of full length macaque SPAG11C, K and L were unaffected by the presence of NaCl suggesting a mechanism in the macaque that is less dependent upon electrostatic interactions. SPAG11C, K and L disrupted E. coli membranes but had no effect on erythrocyte membranes. Inhibition of E. coli RNA, DNA and protein synthesis by nonlethal concentrations of SPAG11 isoforms indicated an additional mechanism of bacterial killing.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11010-005-9009-2DOI Listing
March 2006

Probing the functional link between androgen receptor coactivator and ligand-binding sites in prostate cancer and androgen insensitivity.

J Biol Chem 2006 Mar 19;281(10):6648-63. Epub 2005 Dec 19.

Laboratory for Reproductive Biology, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Pediatrics, Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.

The androgen receptor (AR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor required for male sex development and virilization and contributes to prostate cancer initiation and progression. High affinity androgen binding triggers conformational changes required for AR transactivation. Here we characterized naturally occurring AR gene mutations in the region of activation function 2 (AF2) that decrease or increase AR transcriptional activity by altering the region bounded by AF2 and the ligand binding pocket without affecting equilibrium androgen binding affinity. In the androgen insensitivity syndrome, germ line AR mutations increase the androgen dissociation rate and reduce AR FXXLF motif binding and the recruitment of steroid receptor coactivator (SRC)/p160 coactivator LXXLL motifs. In prostate cancer, somatic AR mutations in AF2 or near the bound ligand slow androgen dissociation and increase AR stabilization and coactivator recruitment. Crystal structures of the AR ligand binding domain bound to R1881 and FXXLF or LXXLL motif peptide indicate the mutations are proximal to the AF2 bound peptide, adjacent to the ligand pocket, or in a putative ligand gateway. The results suggest a bidirectional structural relay between bound ligand and coactivator that establishes AR functional potency in vivo.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M511738200DOI Listing
March 2006

Heregulin-induced activation of HER2 and HER3 increases androgen receptor transactivation and CWR-R1 human recurrent prostate cancer cell growth.

Clin Cancer Res 2005 Mar;11(5):1704-12

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Purpose: The androgen receptor (AR) is a ligand-dependent transcription factor that mediates gene expression and growth of normal and malignant prostate cells. In prostate tumors that recur after androgen withdrawal, the AR is highly expressed and transcriptionally active in the absence of testicular androgens. In these "androgen-independent" tumors, alternative means of AR activation have been invoked, including regulation by growth factors and their receptors in prostate cancer recurrence.

Experimental Design And Results: In this report, we show that HER receptor tyrosine kinases 1 through 4 are expressed in the CWR-R1 recurrent prostate cancer cell line; their stimulation by epidermal growth factor (EGF) and heregulin activates downstream signaling, including mitogen-activated protein kinase and phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase and Akt pathways. We show that heregulin activates HER2 and HER3 and increases androgen-dependent AR transactivation of reporter genes in CWR-R1 cells. Tyrosine phosphorylation of HER2 and HER3, AR transactivation, and cell proliferation induced by heregulin were more potently inhibited by the EGFR/HER2 dual tyrosine kinase inhibitor GW572016 (lapatinib) than the EGFR-specific inhibitor ZD1839 (gefitinib). Basal proliferation in the absence of growth factors was also inhibited by GW572016 to a greater extent than ZD1839, suggesting that low level HER2/HER3 activation perhaps by an autocrine pathway contributes to the proliferation signal.

Conclusions: These data indicate that heregulin signaling through HER2 and HER3 increases AR transactivation and alters growth in a recurrent prostate cancer cell line. Therefore, inhibition of low-level HER2 signaling may be a potential novel therapeutic strategy in prostate cancer.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-04-1158DOI Listing
March 2005

Partial androgen insensitivity with phenotypic variation caused by androgen receptor mutations that disrupt activation function 2 and the NH(2)- and carboxyl-terminal interaction.

Mech Ageing Dev 2004 Oct-Nov;125(10-11):683-95

Department of Pediatrics, Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7500, USA.

Partial androgen insensitivity with sex phenotype variation in two unrelated families was associated with missense mutations in the androgen receptor (AR) gene that disrupted the AR NH(2)-terminal/carboxy terminal interaction. Each mutation caused a single amino acid change within the region of the ligand-binding domain that forms activation function 2 (AF2). In one family, the mutation I737T was in alpha helix 4 and in the other F725L was between helices 3 and 4. Neither mutation altered androgen binding as determined by assays of mutant AR in the patient's cultured genital skin fibroblasts or of recombinant mutant receptors transfected into COS cells. In transient cotransfection assays in CV1 cells, transactivation with the AR mutants at low concentrations of DHT was reduced several fold compared with wild-type AR but increased at higher concentrations. Defects in NH(2)-terminal/carboxy terminal interactions were identified in mammalian two hybrid assays. In similar assays, there was reduced binding of the p160 coactivators TIF2/SRC2 and SRC1 to the mutant AR ligand binding domains (LBD). In the family with AR I737T, sex phenotype varied from severely defective masculinization in the proband to a maternal great uncle whose only manifestation of AIS was severe gynecomastia. He was fertile and passed the mutation to two daughters. The proband of the F725L family was also incompletely masculinized but was raised as a male while his half-sibling by a different father was affected more severely and reared as a female. These studies indicate that the function of an AR AF2 mutant in male development can vary greatly depending on the genetic background.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mad.2004.08.007DOI Listing
May 2005

Antimicrobial actions of the human epididymis 2 (HE2) protein isoforms, HE2alpha, HE2beta1 and HE2beta2.

Reprod Biol Endocrinol 2004 Aug 24;2:61. Epub 2004 Aug 24.

Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7500, USA.

Background: The HE2 gene encodes a group of isoforms with similarities to the antimicrobial beta-defensins. We demonstrated earlier that the antimicrobial activity of HE2 proteins and peptides is salt resistant and structure dependent and involves permeabilization of bacterial membranes. In this study, we further characterize the antimicrobial properties of HE2 peptides in terms of the structural changes induced in E. coli and the inhibition of macromolecular synthesis.

Methods: E. coli treated with 50 microg/ml of HE2alpha, HE2beta1 or HE2beta2 peptides for 30 and 60 min were visualized using transmission and scanning electron microscopy to investigate the impact of these peptides on bacterial internal and external structure. The effects of HE2alpha, HE2beta1 and HE2beta2 on E. coli macromolecular synthesis was assayed by incubating the bacteria with 2, 10 and 25 microg/ml of the individual peptides for 0-60 min and measuring the incorporation of the radioactive precursors [methyl-3H]thymidine, [5-3H]uridine and L-[4,5-3H(N)]leucine into DNA, RNA and protein. Statistical analyses using Student's t-test were performed using Sigma Plot software. Values shown are Mean +/- S.D.

Results: E. coli treated with HE2alpha, HE2beta1 and HE2beta2 peptides as visualized by transmission electron microscopy showed extensive damage characterized by membrane blebbing, thickening of the membrane, highly granulated cytoplasm and appearance of vacuoles in contrast to the smooth and continuous membrane structure of the untreated bacteria. Similarly, bacteria observed by scanning electron microscopy after treating with HE2alpha, HE2beta1 or HE2beta2 peptides exhibited membrane blebbing and wrinkling, leakage of cellular contents, especially at the dividing septa, and external accumulation of fibrous materials. In addition, HE2alpha, HE2beta1 and HE2beta2 peptides inhibited E. coli DNA, RNA and protein synthesis.

Conclusions: The morphological changes observed in E. coli treated with epididymal HE2 peptides provide further evidence for their membrane dependent mechanism of antibacterial action. HE2 C-terminal peptides can inhibit E. coli macromolecular synthesis, suggesting an additional mechanism of bacterial killing supplementary to membrane permeabilization.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1477-7827-2-61DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC516789PMC
August 2004

Antimicrobial activity of human EPPIN, an androgen-regulated, sperm-bound protein with a whey acidic protein motif.

Biol Reprod 2004 Nov 30;71(5):1484-90. Epub 2004 Jun 30.

Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7500, USA.

The role of epididymal sperm-binding proteins in reproductive tract immunity is now well recognized in addition to their role in sperm maturation. Spermatozoa acquire forward motility and fertilizing ability during their passage through the epididymis, where they acquire a wide variety of proteins belonging to different classes. Previously, we demonstrated that EPPIN (epididymal protease inhibitor), an androgen-regulated, sperm-binding protein containing protease-inhibitory motifs, is expressed specifically in the testis and epididymis. In the present study, we investigated the antibacterial activity of EPPIN against Escherichia coli and the mechanism of antimicrobial action. EPPIN exhibited dose- and time-dependent antibacterial activity that was relatively insensitive to salt. However, EPPIN lost its antibacterial activity completely on reduction and alkylation of its cysteines, indicating the importance of disulfide bonds for its activity. EPPIN permeabilized the outer and inner membranes of E. coli, which is consistent with its ability to induce striking morphological alterations of E. coli membranes as shown by scanning electron microscopy. EPPIN did not cause disruption of eukaryotic membranes in the rat erythrocyte hemolytic assay. The present results indicate that EPPIN has a role in the innate immune system of human epididymis.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.104.031567DOI Listing
November 2004

Differential expression and antibacterial activity of epididymis protein 2 isoforms in the male reproductive tract of human and rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta).

Biol Reprod 2004 Nov 30;71(5):1453-60. Epub 2004 Jun 30.

Section of Experimental Endocrinology, Department of Pharmacology, Universidade Federal de São Paulo--Escola Paulista de Medicina, Rua 03 de maio 100, INFAR, Vila Clementino, São Paulo, SP 04044-020, Brazil.

The epididymis protein 2 (EP2) gene, the fusion of two ancestral beta-defensin genes, is highly expressed in the epididymis and subject to species-specific regulation at the levels of promoter selection, transcription, and mRNA splicing. EP2 mRNA expression is also androgen dependent, and at least two of the secreted proteins bind spermatozoa. Alternative splicing produces more than 17 different EP2 mRNA variants. In this article, the expression of EP2 variants was profiled in different tissues from the human and rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) male reproductive tract using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Different EP2 mRNA variants were identified not only in human and rhesus testis and epididymis but also in the novel sites, seminal vesicle and prostate. Immunolocalization of EP2 protein in epithelial cells from rhesus and human seminal vesicle demonstrated that EP2 transcripts are translated in these tissues. In addition, two novel splicing variants, named EP2R and EP2S, were discovered. EP2C was the only splice variant expressed in all tissues tested from rhesus monkey. However, expression was not detected in human testis or seminal vesicle. For the first time, bactericidal function was demonstrated for EP2C, EP2K, and EP2L. Taken together, the results indicate that EP2 expression is more widespread in the male reproductive tract than realized previously. Whereas the activity of every EP2 variant tested thus far is antibacterial, further investigation may reveal additional physiological roles for EP2 peptides in the primate male reproductive tract.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.104.031740DOI Listing
November 2004

The androgen-regulated epididymal sperm-binding protein, human beta-defensin 118 (DEFB118) (formerly ESC42), is an antimicrobial beta-defensin.

Endocrinology 2004 Jul 19;145(7):3165-73. Epub 2004 Mar 19.

Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, CB 7500, Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7500, USA.

Spermatozoa bind a variety of proteins as they pass through the proximal regions of the epididymis, where they acquire forward motility and fertilizing ability. Recent evidence indicates that certain epididymis-specific secretory proteins that bind sperm have antibacterial activity and may function as part of the innate immune system. We reported earlier that ESC42, now designated human beta-defensin 118 (DEFB118), is a sperm-binding protein. In this study, we demonstrate that DEFB118 has potent antibacterial activity that is dose, time, and structure dependent. Incubation of Escherichia coli for 60 min with 10 microg/ml DEFB118 reduced bacterial survival to 20% of the control, and 25 microg/ml reduced survival to 5% of the control. DEFB118 concentrations of 50 and 100 microg/ml further reduced survival to less than 2 and 1%, respectively. A biphasic effect of salt concentration on the antibacterial activity of DEFB118 was observed. Reduction of disulfide bonds and alkylation of cysteines resulted in the complete loss of antibacterial activity. DEFB118 caused rapid permeabilization of both outer and inner membranes of E. coli and striking morphological alterations in the bacterial surfaces visible by scanning electron microscopy consistent with a membrane-disruptive mechanism of bacterial killing. In contrast, eukaryotic cell membranes were not permeabilized by DEFB118, as indicated by the rat erythrocyte hemolytic assay. Studies on DEFB118 inhibition of macromolecular synthesis and membrane permeability in E. coli were consistent with a primary effect at the cell membrane level. DEFB118 may contribute to epididymal innate immunity and protect the sperm against attack by microorganisms in the male and female reproductive tracts.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/en.2003-1698DOI Listing
July 2004

The androgen axis in recurrent prostate cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2004 Jan;10(2):440-8

Department of Surgery, Division of Urology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of North Carolina-Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.

Purpose: Prostate cancer that recurs during androgen deprivation therapy is referred to as androgen-independent. High levels of expression of androgen receptor and androgen receptor-regulated genes in recurrent prostate cancer suggest a role for androgen receptor and its ligands in prostate cancer recurrence.

Experimental Design: Recurrent prostate cancer specimens from 22 men whose prostate cancer recurred locally during androgen deprivation therapy and benign prostate specimens from 48 men who had received no prior treatment were studied. Androgen receptor expression was measured using monoclonal antibody and automated digital video image analysis. Tissue androgens were measured using radioimmunoassay.

Results: Epithelial nuclei androgen receptor immunostaining in recurrent prostate cancer (mean optical density, 0.284 +/- SD 0.115 and percentage positive nuclei, 83.7 +/- 11.6) was similar to benign prostate (mean optical density, 0.315 +/- 0.044 and percentage positive nuclei, 77.3 +/- 13.0). Tissue levels of testosterone were similar in recurrent prostate cancer (2.78 +/- 2.34 pmol/g tissue) and benign prostate (3.26 +/- 2.66 pmol/g tissue). Tissue levels of dihydrotestosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, and androstenedione were lower (Wilcoxon, P = 0.0000068, 0.00093, and 0.0089, respectively) in recurrent prostate cancer than in benign prostate, and mean dihydrotestosterone levels, although reduced, remained 1.45 nM. Androgen receptor activation in recurrent prostate cancer was suggested by the androgen-regulated gene product, prostate-specific antigen, at 8.80 +/- 10.80 nmol/g tissue.

Conclusions: Testosterone and dihydrotestosterone occur in recurrent prostate cancer tissue at levels sufficient to activate androgen receptor. Novel therapies for recurrent prostate cancer should target androgen receptor directly and prevent the formation of androgens within prostate cancer tissue.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.ccr-1146-03DOI Listing
January 2004

Epidermal growth factor increases coactivation of the androgen receptor in recurrent prostate cancer.

J Biol Chem 2004 Feb 8;279(8):7119-30. Epub 2003 Dec 8.

Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599-7500, USA.

Growth of normal and neoplastic prostate is mediated by the androgen receptor (AR), a ligand-dependent transcription factor activated by high affinity androgen binding. The AR is highly expressed in recurrent prostate cancer cells that proliferate despite reduced circulating androgen. In this report, we show that epidermal growth factor (EGF) increases androgen-dependent AR transactivation in the recurrent prostate cancer cell line CWR-R1 through a mechanism that involves a post-transcriptional increase in the p160 coactivator transcriptional intermediary factor 2/glucocorticoid receptor interacting protein 1 (TIF2/GRIP1). Site-specific mutagenesis and selective MAPK inhibitors linked the EGF-induced increase in AR transactivation to phosphorylation of TIF2/GRIP1. EGF signaling increased the coimmunoprecipitation of TIF2 and AR. AR transactivation and its stimulation by EGF were reduced by small interfering RNA inhibition of TIF2/GRIP1 expression. The data indicate that EGF signaling through MAPK increases TIF2/GRIP1 coactivation of AR transactivation in recurrent prostate cancer.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M307649200DOI Listing
February 2004

LCN6, a novel human epididymal lipocalin.

Reprod Biol Endocrinol 2003 Nov 14;1:112. Epub 2003 Nov 14.

Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.

Background: The lipocalin (LCN) family of structurally conserved hydrophobic ligand binding proteins is represented in all major taxonomic groups from prokaryotes to primates. The importance of lipocalins in reproduction and the similarity to known epididymal lipocalins prompted us to characterize the novel human epididymal LCN6.

Methods And Results: LCN6 cDNA was identified by database analysis in a comprehensive human library sequencing program. Macaca mulatta (rhesus monkey) cDNA was obtained from an epididymis cDNA library and is 93% homologous to the human. The gene is located on chromosome 9q34 adjacent LCN8 and LCN5. LCN6 amino acid sequence is most closely related to LCN5, but the LCN6 beta-barrel structure is best modeled on mouse major urinary protein 1, a pheromone binding protein. Northern blot analysis of RNAs isolated from 25 human tissues revealed predominant expression of a 1.0 kb mRNA in the epididymis. No other transcript was detected except for weak expression of a larger hybridizing mRNA in urinary bladder. Northern hybridization analysis of LCN6 mRNA expression in sham-operated, castrated and testosterone replaced rhesus monkeys suggests mRNA levels are little affected 6 days after castration. Immunohistochemical staining revealed that LCN6 protein is abundant in the caput epithelium and lumen. Immunofluorescent staining of human spermatozoa shows LCN6 located on the head and tail of spermatozoa with the highest concentration of LCN6 on the post-acrosomal region of the head, where it appeared aggregated into large patches.

Conclusions: LCN6 is a novel lipocalin closely related to Lcn5 and Lcn8 and these three genes are likely products of gene duplication events that predate rodent-primate divergence. Predominant expression in the epididymis and location on sperm surface are consistent with a role for LCN6 in male fertility.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1477-7827-1-112DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC293424PMC
November 2003

Characterization of mouse Eppin and a gene cluster of similar protease inhibitors on mouse chromosome 2.

Gene 2003 Jul;312:125-34

Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, 206 Taylor Hall, CB# 7090, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7090, USA.

We have recently described a novel gene on human chromosome 20q 12-13.2 called Eppin (Epididymal protease inhibitor) that expresses three mRNAs encoding two isoforms of a cysteine-rich protein containing both Kunitz-type and WAP-type (four disulfide core) consensus sequences (Richardson et al., 2001). To further our studies on Eppin, we have cloned, sequenced and characterized mouse Eppin and report that it lies within a 200 Kb cluster of putative Eppin-like genes on mouse chromosome 2. Analysis of the homologies between the genes in the human and mouse Eppin clusters indicates that the first part of the cluster immediately surrounding Eppin represents a conserved linkage because the order of homologous genes is conserved. Sequencing of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) products confirmed the expression of five of these novel Eppin-like genes in the mouse, which include the mouse homologue of HE-4. These genes are characterized by having either one or both of the Kunitz-type and WAP-type consensus sequences. Additional RT-PCR experiments revealed that expression of some of the Eppin-like genes is restricted to epididymis and testis while others are expressed in several somatic tissues. Northern blot analysis of 22 different mouse tissues identified Eppin transcripts only in the epididymis and testis. Immunostaining of Eppin with anti-recombinant mouse Eppin demonstrated Eppin predominantly on the postacrosomal region of mouse spermatozoa, in Sertoli cells, Leydig cells, and round spermatids in the testis, and in the principal cells of the cauda epididymidis epithelium. Eppin is first expressed by Sertoli cells of 12-day-old mice and subsequently in round spermatids, which is consistent with androgen regulation. Our results demonstrate that mouse chromosome 2 contains a conserved linkage of Eppin-like protease inhibitor genes that are expressed in the epididymis.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0378-1119(03)00608-5DOI Listing
July 2003

Antibacterial properties of the sperm-binding proteins and peptides of human epididymis 2 (HE2) family; salt sensitivity, structural dependence and their interaction with outer and cytoplasmic membranes of Escherichia coli.

Biochem J 2003 Jun;372(Pt 2):473-83

Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599-7500, USA.

During passage through the epididymis, sperm interact with secreted epididymal proteins that promote maturation, including the acquisition of motility and fertilization competence. Viewed previously as distinct from sperm maturation, host defence capabilities are now recognized functions of the human epididymis 2 (HE2) family of sperm-binding proteins. We analysed the potent dose and time-dependent bactericidal activity of recombinant HE2alpha, HE2beta1 and HE2beta2 and found that the full-length proteins (10 microg/ml or approximately 1 microM) caused more than a 50% decrease in Escherichia coli colony forming units within 15 min. By contrast, human beta-defensin-1, at a similar concentration, required more than 90 min to exhibit similar antibacterial activity. The epididymis-specific lipocalin, LCN6, failed to kill bacteria. Higher concentrations (25-100 microg/ml) of HE2 proteins and a longer duration of treatment resulted in near total inhibition of bacterial growth. The C-terminal peptides of HE2alpha, HEbeta1 and HEbeta2 proteins exhibited antibacterial activity similar to their full-length counterparts, indicating that the antibacterial activity of HE2 proteins resides in these C-terminal regions. Antibacterial activities of HE2 proteins and peptides were slightly inhibited by NaCl concentrations of up to 150 mM, while human beta-defensin-1 activity was nearly eliminated. Reduction and alkylation of disulphide bonds in HE2 proteins and their C-terminal peptides abolished their antibacterial activity. Consistent with the ability to kill bacteria, full-length HE2 proteins and C-terminal peptides caused rapid dose-dependent permeabilization of outer and cytoplasmic E. coli membranes. A much longer exposure time was required for human beta-defensin-1-mediated permeabilization of membranes, suggesting a possible difference in mode of action compared with the HE2 antibacterial peptides.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BJ20030225DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1223422PMC
June 2003

Host defense proteins of the male reproductive tract.

J Androl 2002 Sep-Oct;23(5):585-97

Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.

View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
February 2003