Publications by authors named "Ilkka Miinalainen"

58 Publications

Characterization of nucleic acids from extracellular vesicle-enriched human sweat.

BMC Genomics 2021 Jun 9;22(1):425. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Disease Networks Research Unit, Laboratory of Developmental Biology, Kvantum Institute, Infotech Oulu, University of Oulu, 90014 University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.

Background: The human sweat is a mixture of secretions from three types of glands: eccrine, apocrine, and sebaceous. Eccrine glands open directly on the skin surface and produce high amounts of water-based fluid in response to heat, emotion, and physical activity, whereas the other glands produce oily fluids and waxy sebum. While most body fluids have been shown to contain nucleic acids, both as ribonucleoprotein complexes and associated with extracellular vesicles (EVs), these have not been investigated in sweat. In this study we aimed to explore and characterize the nucleic acids associated with sweat particles.

Results: We used next generation sequencing (NGS) to characterize DNA and RNA in pooled and individual samples of EV-enriched sweat collected from volunteers performing rigorous exercise. In all sequenced samples, we identified DNA originating from all human chromosomes, but only the mitochondrial chromosome was highly represented with 100% coverage. Most of the DNA mapped to unannotated regions of the human genome with some regions highly represented in all samples. Approximately 5 % of the reads were found to map to other genomes: including bacteria (83%), archaea (3%), and virus (13%), identified bacteria species were consistent with those commonly colonizing the human upper body and arm skin. Small RNA-seq from EV-enriched pooled sweat RNA resulted in 74% of the trimmed reads mapped to the human genome, with 29% corresponding to unannotated regions. Over 70% of the RNA reads mapping to an annotated region were tRNA, while misc. RNA (18,5%), protein coding RNA (5%) and miRNA (1,85%) were much less represented. RNA-seq from individually processed EV-enriched sweat collection generally resulted in fewer percentage of reads mapping to the human genome (7-45%), with 50-60% of those reads mapping to unannotated region of the genome and 30-55% being tRNAs, and lower percentage of reads being rRNA, LincRNA, misc. RNA, and protein coding RNA.

Conclusions: Our data demonstrates that sweat, as all other body fluids, contains a wealth of nucleic acids, including DNA and RNA of human and microbial origin, opening a possibility to investigate sweat as a source for biomarkers for specific health parameters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-021-07733-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8188706PMC
June 2021

Testis-Specific Thioredoxins TXNDC2, TXNDC3, and TXNDC6 Are Expressed in Both Testicular and Systemic DLBCL and Correlate with Clinical Disease Presentation.

Oxid Med Cell Longev 2021 1;2021:8026941. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, University of Oulu, Finland.

DLBCL is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma with a substantial group of patients suffering a poor prognosis. Therefore more specific markers are required for better understanding of disease biology and treatment. This study demonstrates that testis-specific antioxidant enzymes TXNDC2, TXNDC3, and TXNDC6 alongside oxidative stress marker 8-OHdG are expressed in both testicular and systemic DLBCL, and their presence or absence has correlations with clinical risk factors such as the number of extranodal effusion, the appearance of B-symptoms, and treatment response. Biopsy samples were collected from 28 systemic and 21 testicular male DLBCL patients. The samples were histostained with TXNDC2, TXNDC3, TXNDC6, and 8-OHdG, then graded by a hematopathologist blinded to clinical data. Immunoelectron microscopy was used as a second method to confirm the reliability of the acquired immunohistochemistry data. The absence of nuclear TXNDC2 expression in testicular DLBCL cells correlated with worse primary treatment response, cytoplasmic TXNDC3 expression in testicular and systemic DLBCL associated with lower frequency of B-symptoms, and TXNDC6 expression in cytoplasm in systemic DLBCL had a clinical significance with higher LD levels suggesting a role in the biological nature of these lymphomas. Overall, TXNDC3 cytoplasmic expression is correlated with a more positive outcome in both testicular and systemic DLBCL, while TXNDC6 cytoplasmic expression is associated with a negative outcome in systemic DLBCL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/8026941DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7870302PMC
May 2021

Transmembrane Prolyl 4-Hydroxylase is a Novel Regulator of Calcium Signaling in Astrocytes.

eNeuro 2021 Jan-Feb;8(1). Epub 2021 Jan 8.

Oulu Center for Cell-Matrix Research, Biocenter Oulu and Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu 90014, Finland

Prolyl 4-hydroxylases (P4Hs) have vital roles in regulating collagen synthesis and hypoxia response. A transmembrane P4H (P4H-TM) is a recently identified member of the family. Biallelic loss of function P4H-TM mutations cause a severe autosomal recessive intellectual disability syndrome in humans, but functions of P4H-TM are essentially unknown at cellular level. Our microarray data on mouse cortexes where P4H-TM is abundantly expressed indicated expression changes in genes involved in calcium signaling and expression of several calcium sequestering ATPases was upregulated in primary mouse astrocytes. Cytosolic and intraorganellar calcium imaging of cells revealed that receptor-operated calcium entry (ROCE) and store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) and calcium re-uptake by mitochondria were compromised. HIF1, but not HIF2, was found to be a key mediator of the P4H-TM effect on calcium signaling. Furthermore, total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) imaging showed that calcium agonist-induced gliotransmission was attenuated in astrocytes. This phenotype was accompanied by redistribution of mitochondria from distal processes to central parts of the cell body and decreased intracellular ATP content. Our data show that P4H-TM is a novel regulator of calcium dynamics and gliotransmission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/ENEURO.0253-20.2020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7814479PMC
June 2021

The Amino-Terminal Oligomerization Domain of Angiopoietin-2 Affects Vascular Remodeling, Mammary Gland Tumor Growth, and Lung Metastasis in Mice.

Cancer Res 2021 01 9;81(1):129-143. Epub 2020 Oct 9.

Oulu Center for Cell-Matrix Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.

Angiopoietin-2 (ANGPT2) is a context-dependent TIE2 agonistic or antagonistic ligand that induces diverse responses in cancer. Blocking ANGPT2 provides a promising strategy for inhibiting tumor growth and metastasis, yet variable effects of targeting ANGPT2 have complicated drug development. ANGPT2 is a naturally occurring, lower oligomeric protein isoform whose expression is increased in cancer. Here, we use a knock-in mouse line (mice expressing Angpt2), a genetic model for breast cancer and metastasis (MMTV-), a syngeneic melanoma lung colonization model (B16F10), and orthotopic injection of E0771 breast cancer cells to show that alternative forms increase the diversity of Angpt2 function. In a mouse retina model of angiogenesis, expression of Angpt2 caused impaired venous development, suggesting enhanced function as a competitive antagonist for Tie2. In mammary gland tumor models, Angpt2 differentially affected primary tumor growth and vascularization; these varying effects were associated with Angpt2 protein localization in the endothelium or in the stromal extracellular matrix as well as the frequency of Tie2-positive tumor blood vessels. In the presence of metastatic cells, Angpt2 promoted destabilization of pulmonary vasculature and lung metastasis. , ANGPT2 was susceptible to proteolytical cleavage, resulting in a monomeric ligand (ANGPT2) that inhibited ANGPT1- or ANGPT4-induced TIE2 activation but did not bind to alternative ANGPT2 receptor α5β1 integrin. Collectively, these data reveal novel roles for the ANGPT2 N-terminal domain in blood vessel remodeling, tumor growth, metastasis, integrin binding, and proteolytic regulation. SIGNIFICANCE: This study identifies the role of the N-terminal oligomerization domain of angiopoietin-2 in vascular remodeling and lung metastasis and provides new insights into mechanisms underlying the versatile functions of angiopoietin-2 in cancer..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-1904DOI Listing
January 2021

Feasibility of Mechanical Extrusion to Coat Nanoparticles with Extracellular Vesicle Membranes.

Cells 2020 07 29;9(8). Epub 2020 Jul 29.

Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research, Department of Human Structure and Repair, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.

Biomimetic functionalization to confer stealth and targeting properties to nanoparticles is a field of intense study. Extracellular vesicles (EV), sub-micron delivery vehicles for intercellular communication, have unique characteristics for drug delivery. We investigated the top-down functionalization of gold nanoparticles with extracellular vesicle membranes, including both lipids and associated membrane proteins, through mechanical extrusion. EV surface-exposed membrane proteins were confirmed to help avoid unwanted elimination by macrophages, while improving autologous uptake. EV membrane morphology, protein composition and orientation were found to be unaffected by mechanical extrusion. We implemented complementary EV characterization methods, including transmission- and immune-electron microscopy, and nanoparticle tracking analysis, to verify membrane coating, size and zeta potential of the EV membrane-cloaked nanoparticles. While successful EV membrane coating of the gold nanoparticles resulted in lower macrophage uptake, low yield was found to be a significant downside of the extrusion approach. Our data incentivize more research to leverage EV membrane biomimicking as a unique drug delivery approach in the near future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells9081797DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7464356PMC
July 2020

Erbb4 regulates the oocyte microenvironment during folliculogenesis.

Hum Mol Genet 2020 10;29(17):2813-2830

Organogenesis Laboratory, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders leading to infertility in women affecting reproductive, endocrine and metabolic systems. Recent genomewide association studies on PCOS cohorts revealed a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the ERBB4 receptor tyrosine kinase 4 gene, but its role in ovary development or during folliculogenesis remains poorly understood. Since no genetic animal models mimicking all PCOS reproductive features are available, we conditionally deleted Erbb4 in murine granulosa cells (GCs) under the control of Amh promoter. While we have demonstrated that Erbb4 deletion displayed aberrant ovarian function by affecting the reproductive function (asynchronous oestrous cycle leading to few ovulations and subfertility) and metabolic function (obesity), their ovaries also present severe structural and functional abnormalities (impaired oocyte development). Hormone analysis revealed an up-regulation of serum luteinizing hormone, hyperandrogenism, increased production of ovarian and circulating anti-Müllerian hormone. Our data implicate that Erbb4 deletion in GCs leads to defective intercellular junctions between the GCs and oocytes, causing changes in the expression of genes regulating the local microenvironment of the follicles. In vitro culture assays reducing the level of Erbb4 via shRNAs confirm that Erbb4 is essential for regulating Amh level. In conclusion, our results indicate a functional role for Erbb4 in the ovary, especially during folliculogenesis and its reduced expression plays an important role in reproductive pathophysiology, such as PCOS development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddaa161DOI Listing
October 2020

Lack of collagen XVIII leads to lipodystrophy and perturbs hepatic glucose and lipid homeostasis.

J Physiol 2020 08 15;598(16):3373-3393. Epub 2020 Jun 15.

Oulu Center for Cell-Matrix Research, Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.

Key Points: Extracellular matrix is highly remodelled in obesity and associates with the development of metabolic disorders, such as insulin resistance. Previously, we have shown that the lack of specific collagen XVIII isoforms impairs adipocyte differentiation in mice. Here, we show that mice lacking the medium and long isoforms of collagen XVIII develop insulin resistance and glucose intolerance and show elevated serum triglycerides and fat accumulation in the liver. We report that collagen XVIII-deficient mice have increased heat production at low temperatures. These results reveal a new role for collagen XVIII in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism, and they expand the understanding of the development of metabolic disorders.

Abstract: Liver and adipose tissues play important roles in the regulation of systemic glucose and lipid metabolism. Extracellular matrix synthesis and remodelling are significantly altered in these tissues in obesity and type 2 diabetes. Collagen XVIII is a ubiquitous extracellular matrix component, and it occurs in three isoforms which differ in terms of molecular size, domain structure and tissue distribution. We recently showed that, in mice, the lack of collagen XVIII, and especially its medium and long isoforms, leads to reduced adiposity and dyslipidaemia. To address the metabolic consequences of these intriguing observations, we assessed whole-body glucose homeostasis in mice challenged with a high-fat diet and in normal physiological conditions. We observed that, in the high caloric diet, the overall adiposity was decreased by 30%, serum triglyceride values were threefold higher and the steatotic area in liver was twofold larger in collagen XVIII knockout mice compared with controls. We demonstrated that mice lacking either all three collagen XVIII isoforms, or specifically, the medium and long isoforms develop insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. Furthermore, we found that ablation of collagen XVIII leads to increased heat production in low temperatures and to reduction of the high blood triglyceride levels of the knockout mice to the level of wild-type mice. Our data indicate that collagen XVIII plays a role in the regulation of glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity and lipid homeostasis, principally through its ability to regulate the expansion of the adipose tissue. These findings advance the understanding of metabolic disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/JP279559DOI Listing
August 2020

Squid sucker teeth and cocoons of a terrestrial flatworm: amino acid content of two nano-structurally identical tissues in phylogenetically unrelated taxa.

Zoology (Jena) 2020 06 14;140:125798. Epub 2020 Apr 14.

Biocenter Microscopy Service, University of Oulu, Aapistie 5, SF- 90220, Oulu, Finland.

An extraordinary micro-structural similarity between squid sucker teeth and the egg shell of a terrestrial planarian worm has been reported, but to date only the amino acid content of the squid sucker tooth has been available. This prompted us to analyse the amino acid content of the planarian egg shell. Although both share an absence of detectable chitin and metal ions and both possess relatively high amounts of the amino acids GLY and HIS, the planarian egg shell is considerably richer in GLU, LYS and ASP. Most dramatic was the difference in TYR, which was the second most abundant amino acid in the squid, but hardly featured at all in the planarian egg shell. In the light of these new findings the different functional roles that the structures in question play in the lives of the two taxa are discussed. An EDS-analysis revealed clear C, N, and O peaks and additional very small peaks less than 0.1w% suggesting the presence of one or both S and Cl.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.zool.2020.125798DOI Listing
June 2020

Unravelling the proteomic landscape of extracellular vesicles in prostate cancer by density-based fractionation of urine.

J Extracell Vesicles 2020 11;9(1):1736935. Epub 2020 Mar 11.

Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research, Department of Human Structure and Repair, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Extracellular vesicles (EV) are increasingly being recognized as important vehicles of intercellular communication and promising diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in cancer. Despite this enormous clinical potential, the plethora of methods to separate EV from biofluids, providing material of highly variable purity, and lacking knowledge regarding methodological repeatability pose a barrier to clinical translation. Urine is considered an ideal proximal fluid for the study of EV in urological cancers due to its direct contact with the urogenital system. We demonstrate that density-based fractionation of urine by bottom-up Optiprep density gradient centrifugation separates EV and soluble proteins with high specificity and repeatability. Mass spectrometry-based proteomic analysis of urinary EV (uEV) in men with benign and malignant prostate disease allowed us to significantly expand the known human uEV proteome with high specificity and identifies a unique biological profile in prostate cancer not uncovered by the analysis of soluble proteins. In addition, profiling the proteome of EV separated from prostate tumour conditioned medium and matched uEV confirms the specificity of the identified uEV proteome for prostate cancer. Finally, a comparative proteomic analysis with uEV from patients with bladder and renal cancer provided additional evidence of the selective enrichment of protein signatures in uEV reflecting their respective cancer tissues of origin. In conclusion, this study identifies hundreds of previously undetected proteins in uEV of prostate cancer patients and provides a powerful toolbox to map uEV content and contaminants ultimately allowing biomarker discovery in urological cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20013078.2020.1736935DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7144211PMC
March 2020

Effect of bioactive glass air-abrasion on the wettability and osteoblast proliferation on sandblasted and acid-etched titanium surfaces.

Eur J Oral Sci 2020 04 10;128(2):160-169. Epub 2020 Mar 10.

Department of Prosthetic Dentistry and Stomatognathic Physiology, Institute of Dentistry, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the hydrophilicity, surface free energy, and proliferation and viability of human osteoblast-like MC3T3-E1 cells on sandblasted and acid-etched titanium surfaces after air-abrasion with 45S5 bioactive glass, zinc-containing bioactive glass, or inert glass. Sandblasted and acid-etched titanium discs were subjected to air-abrasion with 45S5 bioactive glass, experimental bioactive glass (Zn4), or inert glass. Water contact angles and surface free energy were evaluated. The surfaces were studied with preosteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells. Air-abrasion with either type of glass significantly enhanced the hydrophilicity and surface free energy of the sandblasted and acid-etched titanium discs. The MC3T3-E1 cell number was higher for substrates air-abraded with Zn4 bioactive glass and similar to that observed on borosilicate coverslips (controls). Confocal laser scanning microscopy images showed that MC3T3-E1 cells did not spread as extensively on the sandblasted and acid-etched and bioactive glass-abraded surfaces as they did on control surfaces. However, for 45S5- and Zn4-treated samples, the cells spread most at the 24 h time point and changed their morphology to more spindle-like when cultured further. Air-abrasion with bioactive glass and inert glass was shown to have a significant effect on the wettability and surface free energy of the surfaces under investigation. Osteoblast cell proliferation on sandblasted and acid-etched titanium discs was enhanced by air-abrasion with 45S5 bioactive glass and experimental Zn4 bioactive glass compared with air-abrasion with inert glass or no air-abrasion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eos.12683DOI Listing
April 2020

The critical effects of matrices on cultured carcinoma cells: Human tumor-derived matrix promotes cell invasive properties.

Exp Cell Res 2020 04 1;389(1):111885. Epub 2020 Feb 1.

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, Clinicum, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland; Translational Immunology Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland; Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland; Medical Research Centre, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland; Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

The interaction between squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cells and the tumor microenvironment (TME) plays a major role in cancer progression. Therefore, understanding the TME is essential for the development of cancer therapies. We used four (primary and metastatic) head and neck (HN) SCC cell lines and cultured them on top of or within 5 matrices (mouse sarcoma-derived Matrigel®, rat collagen, human leiomyoma-derived Myogel, human fibronectin and human fibrin). We performed several assays to study the effects of these matrices on the HNSCC behavior, such as proliferation, migration, and invasion, as well as cell morphology, and molecular gene profile. Carcinoma cells exhibited different growth patterns depending on the matrix. While fibrin enhanced the proliferation of all the cell lines, collagen did not. The effects of the matrices on cancer cell migration were cell line dependent. Carcinoma cells in Myogel-collagen invaded faster in scratch wound invasion assay. On the other hand, in the spheroid invasion assay, three out of four cell lines invaded faster in Myogel-fibrin. These matrices significantly affected hundreds of genes and a number of pathways, but the effects were cell line dependent. The matrix type played a major role in HNSCC cell phenotype. The effects of the ECMs were either constant, or cell line dependent. Based on these results, we suggest to select the most suitable matrix, which provides the closest condition to the in vivo TME, in order to get reliable results in in vitro experiments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yexcr.2020.111885DOI Listing
April 2020

Localization of transmembrane mucin MUC1 on the apical surface of oral mucosal cells.

Ultrastruct Pathol 2019 2;43(4-5):184-189. Epub 2019 Nov 2.

Institute of Dentistry, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Campus, Kuopio, Finland.

The purpose of the present study was to demonstrate the localization of transmembrane mucin MUC1 on the outer layer of oral mucosal cells and the involvement of apical cell surface microplicae (MPL) in bioadhesion of MUC1. Tissue samples of six healthy subjects were obtained. First, the presence of MUC1 was examined with an immunohistochemical method using a monoclonal MUC1 antigen called HFMG1. Second, the localization of MUC1 was examined with immuno-scanning electron microscopy. Immunohistochemically, high intense staining for MUC1 (antigen HFMG1) was detected in the epithelial superficial layers. In the superficial layer, intense MUC1 expression was seen predominantly on the apical cell surface. On the apical epithelial cells, MUC1 was associated predominantly with MPL towards the oral cavity. The novelty of the results of the present study is that MPL serves a harbor of MUC1 in superficial epithelial cells towards the oral cavity. It is speculated that the transmembrane MUC1 is one component of the "oral mucosal barrier complex" representing a signaling pathway between saliva and mucosal cells.: MUC1: mucin1; MAM: membrane-anchored mucin; OMBC: oral mucosal barrier complex; LM: light microscopy; TEM: transmission electron microscopy; SEM: scanning electron microscopy; iSEM: immuno-scanning electron microscopy; MPL: microplicae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01913123.2019.1687630DOI Listing
April 2020

and are required for the maintenance of multipotency in the Müllerian duct mesenchyme.

Development 2019 10 18;146(20). Epub 2019 Oct 18.

Département de Biomédecine Vétérinaire, Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, St-Hyacinthe, Québec, J2S 7C6, Canada

WNT signaling plays essential roles in the development and function of the female reproductive tract. Although crosstalk with the Hippo pathway is a key regulator of WNT signaling, whether Hippo itself plays a role in female reproductive biology remains largely unknown. Here, we show that conditional deletion of the key Hippo kinases and in mouse Müllerian duct mesenchyme cells caused them to adopt the myofibroblast cell fate, resulting in profound reproductive tract developmental defects and sterility. Myofibroblast differentiation was attributed to increased YAP and TAZ expression (but not to altered WNT signaling), leading to the direct transcriptional upregulation of and the activation of the myofibroblast genetic program. Müllerian duct mesenchyme cells also became myofibroblasts in male mutant embryos, which impeded the development of the male reproductive tract and resulted in cryptorchidism. The inactivation of in differentiated uterine stromal cells did not compromise their ability to decidualize, suggesting that Hippo is dispensable during implantation. We conclude that Hippo signaling is required to suppress the myofibroblast genetic program and maintain multipotency in Müllerian mesenchyme cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dev.180430DOI Listing
October 2019

Mitochondrial 2,4-dienoyl-CoA reductase (Decr) deficiency and impairment of thermogenesis in mouse brown adipose tissue.

Sci Rep 2019 08 19;9(1):12038. Epub 2019 Aug 19.

Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.

A large number of studies have demonstrated significance of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for human health. However, many aspects on signals translating PUFA-sensing into body homeostasis have remained enigmatic. To shed light on PUFA physiology, we have generated a mouse line defective in mitochondrial dienoyl-CoA reductase (Decr), which is a key enzyme required for β-oxidation of PUFAs. Previously, we have shown that these mice, whose oxidation of saturated fatty acid is intact but break-down of unsaturated fatty acids is blunted, develop severe hypoglycemia during metabolic stresses and fatal hypothermia upon acute cold challenge. In the current work, indirect calorimetry and thermography suggested that cold intolerance of Decr mice is due to failure in maintaining appropriate heat production at least partly due to failure of brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis. Magnetic resonance imaging, electron microscopy, mass spectrometry and biochemical analysis showed attenuation in activation of lipolysis despite of functional NE-signaling and inappropriate expression of genes contributing to thermogenesis in iBAT when the Decr mice were exposed to cold. We hypothesize that the failure in turning on BAT thermogenesis occurs due to accumulation of unsaturated long-chain fatty acids or their metabolites in Decr mice BAT suppressing down-stream propagation of NE-signaling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-48562-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6700156PMC
August 2019

The generation and use of recombinant extracellular vesicles as biological reference material.

Nat Commun 2019 07 23;10(1):3288. Epub 2019 Jul 23.

Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research, Department of Human Structure and Repair, Ghent University, Ghent, 9000, Belgium.

Recent years have seen an increase of extracellular vesicle (EV) research geared towards biological understanding, diagnostics and therapy. However, EV data interpretation remains challenging owing to complexity of biofluids and technical variation introduced during sample preparation and analysis. To understand and mitigate these limitations, we generated trackable recombinant EV (rEV) as a biological reference material. Employing complementary characterization methods, we demonstrate that rEV are stable and bear physical and biochemical traits characteristic of sample EV. Furthermore, rEV can be quantified using fluorescence-, RNA- and protein-based technologies available in routine laboratories. Spiking rEV in biofluids allows recovery efficiencies of commonly implemented EV separation methods to be identified, intra-method and inter-user variability induced by sample handling to be defined, and to normalize and improve sensitivity of EV enumerations. We anticipate that rEV will aid EV-based sample preparation and analysis, data normalization, method development and instrument calibration in various research and biomedical applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-11182-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6650486PMC
July 2019

Collagen XIII-derived ectodomain regulates bone angiogenesis and intracortical remodeling.

Matrix Biol 2019 10 17;83:6-25. Epub 2019 Jun 17.

Oulu Center for Cell-Matrix Research and Biocenter Oulu, Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, P.O. Box 5400, FIN-90014, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland. Electronic address:

Osteoporosis is the most common degenerative bone disease that occurs when the balance of bone production and resorption is perturbed. Loss of bone mass or alteration in its quality leads to significant weakening of the bones and subsequently to higher fracture risk. Collagen XIII (ColXIII) is a conserved transmembrane protein expressed in many mesenchymal tissues. Here we show that ColXIII is a regulator of bone remodeling niche. In this study, we found that ColXIII expression is significantly upregulated in osteoporotic patients. In view of that, we studied bone homeostasis in ColXIII-overexpressing mice (Col13a1) up to 72 weeks of age and observed a cortical bone overgrowth followed by a drastic bone loss, together with increased bone vascularization. Moreover, our results demonstrate that the ColXIII-derived ectodomain enhances angiogenesis through β1-integrins and the JNK pathway. Consequently, these data suggest that ColXIII has a role in age-dependent cortical bone deterioration with possible implications for osteoporosis and fracture risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.matbio.2019.06.005DOI Listing
October 2019

The Pro-Oncogenic Adaptor CIN85 Acts as an Inhibitory Binding Partner of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor Prolyl Hydroxylase 2.

Cancer Res 2019 08 29;79(16):4042-4056. Epub 2019 May 29.

Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine and Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.

The EGFR adaptor protein, CIN85, has been shown to promote breast cancer malignancy and hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) stability. However, the mechanisms underlying cancer promotion remain ill defined. Here we show that CIN85 is a novel binding partner of the main HIF-prolyl hydroxylase, PHD2, but not of PHD1 or PHD3. Mechanistically, the N-terminal SRC homology 3 domains of CIN85 interacted with the proline-arginine-rich region within the N-terminus of PHD2, thereby inhibiting PHD2 activity and HIF degradation. This activity is essential , as specific loss of the CIN85-PHD2 interaction in CRISPR/Cas9-edited cells affected growth and migration properties, as well as tumor growth in mice. Overall, we discovered a previously unrecognized tumor growth checkpoint that is regulated by CIN85-PHD2 and uncovered an essential survival function in tumor cells by linking growth factor adaptors with hypoxia signaling. SIGNIFICANCE: This study provides unprecedented evidence for an oxygen-independent mechanism of PHD2 regulation that has important implications in cancer cell survival. GRAPHICAL ABSTRACT: http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/canres/79/16/4042/F1.large.jpg.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-18-3852DOI Listing
August 2019

Correct expression and localization of collagen XIII are crucial for the normal formation and function of the neuromuscular system.

Eur J Neurosci 2019 06 8;49(11):1491-1511. Epub 2019 Feb 8.

Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Center for Cell-Matrix Research, Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.

Transmembrane collagen XIII has been linked to maturation of the musculoskeletal system. Its absence in mice (Col13a1 ) results in impaired neuromuscular junction (NMJ) differentiation and function, while transgenic overexpression (Col13a1 ) leads to abnormally high bone mass. Similarly, loss-of-function mutations in COL13A1 in humans produce muscle weakness, decreased motor synapse function and mild dysmorphic skeletal features. Here, analysis of the exogenous overexpression of collagen XIII in various muscles revealed highly increased transcript and protein levels, especially in the diaphragm. Unexpectedly, the main location of exogenous collagen XIII in the muscle was extrasynaptic, in fibroblast-like cells, while some motor synapses were devoid of collagen XIII, possibly due to a dominant negative effect. Concomitantly, phenotypical changes in the NMJs of the Col13a1 mice partly resembled those previously observed in Col13a1 mice. Namely, the overall increase in collagen XIII expression in the muscle produced both pre- and postsynaptic abnormalities at the NMJ, especially in the diaphragm. We discovered delayed and compromised acetylcholine receptor (AChR) clustering, axonal neurofilament aggregation, patchy acetylcholine vesicle (AChV) accumulation, disrupted adhesion of the nerve and muscle, Schwann cell invagination and altered evoked synaptic function. Furthermore, the patterns of the nerve trunks and AChR clusters in the diaphragm were broader in the adult muscles, and already prenatally in the Col13a1 mice, suggesting collagen XIII involvement in the development of the neuromuscular system. Overall, these results confirm the role of collagen XIII at the neuromuscular synapses and highlight the importance of its correct expression and localization for motor synapse formation and function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejn.14346DOI Listing
June 2019

Angiopoietin-4-dependent venous maturation and fluid drainage in the peripheral retina.

Elife 2018 11 16;7. Epub 2018 Nov 16.

Oulu Center for Cell-Matrix Research, Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.

The maintenance of fluid homeostasis is necessary for function of the neural retina; however, little is known about the significance of potential fluid management mechanisms. Here, we investigated angiopoietin-4 (Angpt4, also known as Ang3), a poorly characterized ligand for endothelial receptor tyrosine kinase Tie2, in mouse retina model. By using genetic reporter, fate mapping, and in situ hybridization, we found expression in a specific sub-population of astrocytes at the site where venous morphogenesis occurs and that lower oxygen tension, which distinguishes peripheral and venous locations, enhances Angpt4 expression. Correlating with its spatiotemporal expression, deletion of resulted in defective venous development causing impaired venous drainage and defects in neuronal cells. In vitro characterization of angiopoietin-4 proteins revealed both ligand-specific and redundant functions among the angiopoietins. Our study identifies Angpt4 as the first growth factor for venous-specific development and its importance in venous remodeling, retinal fluid clearance and neuronal function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.37776DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6239434PMC
November 2018

Impaired Mitochondrial Fatty Acid Synthesis Leads to Neurodegeneration in Mice.

J Neurosci 2018 11 28;38(45):9781-9800. Epub 2018 Sep 28.

Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine,

There has been a growing interest toward mitochondrial fatty acid synthesis (mtFAS) since the recent discovery of a neurodegenerative human disorder termed MEPAN (mitochondrial enoyl reductase protein associated neurodegeneration), which is caused by mutations in the mitochondrial enoyl-CoA/ACP (acyl carrier protein) reductase (MECR) carrying out the last step of mtFAS. We show here that MECR protein is highly expressed in mouse Purkinje cells (PCs). To elucidate mtFAS function in neural tissue, here, we generated a mouse line with a PC-specific knock-out (KO) of , leading to inactivation of mtFAS confined to this cell type. Both sexes were studied. The mitochondria in KO PCs displayed abnormal morphology, loss of protein lipoylation, and reduced respiratory chain enzymatic activities by the time these mice were 6 months of age, followed by nearly complete loss of PCs by 9 months of age. These animals exhibited balancing difficulties ∼7 months of age and ataxic symptoms were evident from 8-9 months of age on. Our data show that impairment of mtFAS results in functional and ultrastructural changes in mitochondria followed by death of PCs, mimicking aspects of the clinical phenotype. This KO mouse represents a new model for impaired mitochondrial lipid metabolism and cerebellar ataxia with a distinct and well trackable cellular phenotype. This mouse model will allow the future investigation of the feasibility of metabolite supplementation approaches toward the prevention of neurodegeneration due to dysfunctional mtFAS. We have recently reported a novel neurodegenerative disorder in humans termed MEPAN (mitochondrial enoyl reductase protein associated neurodegeneration) (Heimer et al., 2016). The cause of neuron degeneration in MEPAN patients is the dysfunction of the highly conserved mitochondrial fatty acid synthesis (mtFAS) pathway due to mutations in MECR, encoding mitochondrial 2-enoyl-CoA/ACP reductase. The report presented here describes the analysis of the first mouse model suffering from mtFAS-defect-induced neurodegenerative changes due to specific disruption of the gene in Purkinje cells. Our work sheds a light on the mechanisms of neurodegeneration caused by mtFAS deficiency and provides a test bed for future treatment approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3514-17.2018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6595986PMC
November 2018

Biallelic mutations in human NHLRC2 enhance myofibroblast differentiation in FINCA disease.

Hum Mol Genet 2018 12;27(24):4288-4302

PEDEGO Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.

The development of tissue fibrosis is complex and at the present time, not fully understood. Fibrosis, neurodegeneration and cerebral angiomatosis (FINCA disease) have been described in patients with mutations in NHL repeat-containing protein 2 (NHLRC2). However, the molecular functions of NHLRC2 are uncharacterized. Herein, we identified putative interacting partners for NHLRC2 using proximity-labeling mass spectrometry. We also investigated the function of NHLRC2 using immortalized cells cultured from skin biopsies of FINCA patients and normal fibroblasts with NHLRC2 knock-down and NHLRC2 overexpressing gene modifications. Transmission electron microscopy analysis of immortalized cell cultures from three FINCA patients demonstrated multilamellar bodies and distinctly organized vimentin filaments. Additionally, two of three cultures derived from patient skin biopsies contained cells that exhibited features characteristic of myofibroblasts. Altogether, the data presented in this study show for the first time that NHLRC2 is involved in cellular organization through regulation of the cytoskeleton and vesicle transport. We conclude that compound heterozygous p.Asp148Tyr and p.Arg201GlyfsTer6 mutations in NHLRC2 lead to severe tissue fibrosis in humans by enhancing the differentiation of fibroblasts to myofibroblasts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddy298DOI Listing
December 2018

Dynamic MAPK/ERK Activity Sustains Nephron Progenitors through Niche Regulation and Primes Precursors for Differentiation.

Stem Cell Reports 2018 10 13;11(4):912-928. Epub 2018 Sep 13.

HiLIFE and Medicum, University of Helsinki, Helsinki FIN-00014, Finland; GM-Unit, LAC/ HiLIFE, and Medicum, University of Helsinki, Helsinki FIN-00014, Finland. Electronic address:

The in vivo niche and basic cellular properties of nephron progenitors are poorly described. Here we studied the cellular organization and function of the MAPK/ERK pathway in nephron progenitors. Live-imaging of ERK activity by a Förster resonance energy transfer biosensor revealed a dynamic activation pattern in progenitors, whereas differentiating precursors exhibited sustained activity. Genetic experiments demonstrate that MAPK/ERK activity controls the thickness, coherence, and integrity of the nephron progenitor niche. Molecularly, MAPK/ERK activity regulates niche organization and communication with extracellular matrix through PAX2 and ITGA8, and is needed for CITED1 expression denoting undifferentiated status. MAPK/ERK activation in nephron precursors propels differentiation by priming cells for distal and proximal fates induced by the Wnt and Notch pathways. Thus, our results demonstrate a mechanism through which MAPK/ERK activity controls both progenitor maintenance and differentiation by regulating a distinct set of targets, which maintain the biomechanical milieu of tissue-residing progenitors and prime precursors for nephrogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stemcr.2018.08.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6178244PMC
October 2018

Targeting β1-integrin inhibits vascular leakage in endotoxemia.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018 07 25;115(28):E6467-E6476. Epub 2018 Jun 25.

Translational Cancer Biology Program, Research Programs Unit, Biomedicum Helsinki, University of Helsinki, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland;

Loss of endothelial integrity promotes capillary leakage in numerous diseases, including sepsis, but there are no effective therapies for preserving endothelial barrier function. Angiopoietin-2 (ANGPT2) is a context-dependent regulator of vascular leakage that signals via both endothelial TEK receptor tyrosine kinase (TIE2) and integrins. Here, we show that antibodies against β1-integrin decrease LPS-induced vascular leakage in murine endotoxemia, as either a preventative or an intervention therapy. β1-integrin inhibiting antibodies bound to the vascular endothelium in vivo improved the integrity of endothelial cell-cell junctions and protected mice from endotoxemia-associated cardiac failure, without affecting endothelial inflammation, serum proinflammatory cytokine levels, or TIE receptor signaling. Moreover, conditional deletion of a single allele of endothelial β1-integrin protected mice from LPS-induced vascular leakage. In endothelial monolayers, the inflammatory agents thrombin, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and IL-1β decreased junctional vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin and induced actin stress fibers via β1- and α5-integrins and ANGPT2. Additionally, β1-integrin inhibiting antibodies prevented inflammation-induced endothelial cell contractility and monolayer permeability. Mechanistically, the inflammatory agents stimulated ANGPT2-dependent translocation of α5β1-integrin into tensin-1-positive fibrillar adhesions, which destabilized the endothelial monolayer. Thus, β1-integrin promotes endothelial barrier disruption during inflammation, and targeting β1-integrin signaling could serve as a novel means of blocking pathological vascular leak.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1722317115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6048499PMC
July 2018

NHLRC2 variants identified in patients with fibrosis, neurodegeneration, and cerebral angiomatosis (FINCA): characterisation of a novel cerebropulmonary disease.

Acta Neuropathol 2018 05 8;135(5):727-742. Epub 2018 Feb 8.

PEDEGO Research Unit and Medical Research Center Oulu, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, PO Box 5000, 90014, Oulu, Finland.

A novel multi-organ disease that is fatal in early childhood was identified in three patients from two non-consanguineous families. These children were born asymptomatic but at the age of 2 months they manifested progressive multi-organ symptoms resembling no previously known disease. The main clinical features included progressive cerebropulmonary symptoms, malabsorption, progressive growth failure, recurrent infections, chronic haemolytic anaemia and transient liver dysfunction. In the affected children, neuropathology revealed increased angiomatosis-like leptomeningeal, cortical and superficial white matter vascularisation and congestion, vacuolar degeneration and myelin loss in white matter, as well as neuronal degeneration. Interstitial fibrosis and previously undescribed granuloma-like lesions were observed in the lungs. Hepatomegaly, steatosis and collagen accumulation were detected in the liver. A whole-exome sequencing of the two unrelated families with the affected children revealed the transmission of two heterozygous variants in the NHL repeat-containing protein 2 (NHLRC2); an amino acid substitution p.Asp148Tyr and a frameshift 2-bp deletion p.Arg201GlyfsTer6. NHLRC2 is highly conserved and expressed in multiple organs and its function is unknown. It contains a thioredoxin-like domain; however, an insulin turbidity assay on human recombinant NHLRC2 showed no thioredoxin activity. In patient-derived fibroblasts, NHLRC2 levels were low, and only p.Asp148Tyr was expressed. Therefore, the allele with the frameshift deletion is likely non-functional. Development of the Nhlrc2 null mouse strain stalled before the morula stage. Morpholino knockdown of nhlrc2 in zebrafish embryos affected the integrity of cells in the midbrain region. This is the first description of a fatal, early-onset disease; we have named it FINCA disease based on the combination of pathological features that include fibrosis, neurodegeneration, and cerebral angiomatosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-018-1817-zDOI Listing
May 2018

HNF1B controls epithelial organization and cell polarity during ureteric bud branching and collecting duct morphogenesis.

Development 2017 12 20;144(24):4704-4719. Epub 2017 Nov 20.

Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Université Paris 06, IBPS - UMR7622, F-75005 Paris, France

Kidney development depends crucially on proper ureteric bud branching giving rise to the entire collecting duct system. The transcription factor HNF1B is required for the early steps of ureteric bud branching, yet the molecular and cellular events regulated by HNF1B are poorly understood. We report that specific removal of from the ureteric bud leads to defective cell-cell contacts and apicobasal polarity during the early branching events. High-resolution imaging combined with a membranous fluorescent reporter strategy show decreased mutant cell rearrangements during mitosis-associated cell dispersal and severe epithelial disorganization. Molecular analysis reveals downregulation of Gdnf-Ret pathway components and suggests that HNF1B acts both upstream and downstream of Ret signaling by directly regulating and Subsequently, deletion leads to massively mispatterned ureteric tree network, defective collecting duct differentiation and disrupted tissue architecture, which leads to cystogenesis. Consistently, mRNA-seq analysis shows that the most impacted genes encode intrinsic cell-membrane components with transporter activity. Our study uncovers a fundamental and recurring role of HNF1B in epithelial organization during early ureteric bud branching and in further patterning and differentiation of the collecting duct system in mouse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dev.154336DOI Listing
December 2017

Diazoxide Attenuates Ischemic Myocardial Injury in a Porcine Model.

Heart Surg Forum 2017 08 25;20(4):E153-E161. Epub 2017 Aug 25.

Research Unit of Surgery, Anesthesia and Intensive Care, University of Oulu and Medical Research Center, Oulu, Finland.

Background: We hypothesized that diazoxide, a mitochondrial ATP-sensitive potassium channel opener, has cardioprotective effects during acute myocardial ischemia. Diazoxide is suggested to act through protein kinase Cε (PKCε) activation.

Methods: Twelve piglets were randomly assigned to receive intravenous infusion of diazoxide (3.5 mg/kg) with solvent or only solvent (6 animals per group) before cardiac ischemia. Myocardial ischemia was induced by occluding the left circumflex artery (LCX) for 40 minutes. The reperfusion and follow-up period lasted for three hours. Throughout the experiment hemodynamic measurements and blood samples were collected, and after the follow-up period the hearts were harvested for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) as well as histopathological and immunohistochemical analyses.

Results: TEM showed less ischemic damage on a cellular level in the diazoxide group (P = .004) than in the control group. Creatinine kinase MB levels (Pt*g = .030) were lower, and oxygen consumption (Pt*g = .037) and delivery (Pg = .038) were higher in the diazoxide group compared to the controls.

Conclusion: Diazoxide preserves myocardial cellular structure and cellular function, and thus it may have benefits in treating ischemic myocardial injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1532/hsf.1790DOI Listing
August 2017

Confounding factors of ultrafiltration and protein analysis in extracellular vesicle research.

Sci Rep 2017 06 2;7(1):2704. Epub 2017 Jun 2.

Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research, Department of Radiation Oncology and Experimental Cancer Research, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Identification and validation of extracellular vesicle (EV)-associated biomarkers requires robust isolation and characterization protocols. We assessed the impact of some commonly implemented pre-analytical, analytical and post-analytical variables in EV research. Centrifugal filters with different membrane types and pore sizes are used to reduce large volume biofluids prior to EV isolation or to concentrate EVs. We compared five commonly reported filters for their efficiency when using plasma, urine and EV-spiked PBS. Regenerated cellulose membranes with pore size of 10 kDa recovered EVs the most efficient. Less than 40% recovery was achieved with other filters. Next, we analyzed the effect of the type of protein assays to measure EV protein in colorimetric and fluorometric kits. The fluorometric assay Qubit measured low concentration EV and BSA samples the most accurately with the lowest variation among technical and biological replicates. Lastly, we quantified Optiprep remnants in EV samples from density gradient ultracentrifugation and demonstrate that size-exclusion chromatography efficiently removes Optiprep from EVs. In conclusion, choice of centrifugal filters and protein assays confound EV analysis and should be carefully considered to increase efficiency towards biomarker discovery. SEC-based removal of Optiprep remnants from EVs can be considered for downstream applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-02599-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5457435PMC
June 2017

S-nitrosation of calpains is associated with cardioprotection in myocardial I/R injury.

Nitric Oxide 2017 Jul 6;67:68-74. Epub 2017 Apr 6.

University Hospital Essen, Medical Faculty, West German Heart and Vascular Center, Department of Cardiology and Angiology, Hufelandstr. 55, 45147 Essen, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Myocardial infarction remains the single leading cause of death worldwide. Upon reperfusion of occluded arteries, deleterious cellular mediators particularly located at the mitochondria level can be activated, thus limiting the outcome in patients. This may lead to the so-called ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Calpains are cysteine proteases and mediators of caspase-independent cell death. Recently, they have emerged as central transmitters of cellular injury in several cardiac pathologies e.g. hypertrophy and acute I/R injury.

Methods: Here we investigated the role of cardiac calpains in acute I/R in relation to mitochondrial integrity and whether calpains can be effectively inhibited by posttranslational modification by S-nitrosation. Taking advantage of the a cardiomyocyte cell line (HL1), we determined S-nitrosation by the Biotin-switch approach, cell viability and intracellular calcium concentration after simulated ischemia and reoxygenation - all in dependence of supplementation with nitrite, which is known as an 'hypoxic nitric oxide (NO) donor'. Likewise, using an in vivo I/R model, calpain S-nitrosation, calpain activity and myocardial I/R injury were characterized in vivo.

Results: Nitrite administration resulted in an increased S-nitrosation of calpains, and this was associated with an improved cell-survival. No impact was detected on calcium levels. In line with these in vitro experiments, nitrite initiated calpain S-nitrosation in vivo and caused an infarct sparing effect in an in vivo myocardial I/R model. Using electron microscopy in combination with immuno-gold labeling we determined that calpain 10 increased, while calpain 2 decreased in the course of I/R. Nitrite, in turn, prevented an I/R induced increase of calpains 10 at mitochondria and reduced levels of calpain 1.

Conclusion: Lethal myocardial injury remains a key aspect of myocardial I/R. We show that calpains, as key players in caspase-independent apoptosis, increasingly locate at mitochondria following I/R. Inhibitory post-translational modification by S-nitrosation of calpains reduces deleterious calpain activity in murine cardiomyocytes and in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.niox.2017.04.003DOI Listing
July 2017

Collagen XIII secures pre- and postsynaptic integrity of the neuromuscular synapse.

Hum Mol Genet 2017 06;26(11):2076-2090

Center for Cell-Matrix Research, Biocenter Oulu, Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Oulu, PO Box 5400, 90014 University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.

Both transmembrane and extracellular cues, one of which is collagen XIII, regulate the formation and function of the neuromuscular synapse, and their absence results in myasthenia. We show that the phenotypical changes in collagen XIII knock-out mice are milder than symptoms in human patients, but the Col13a1-/- mice recapitulate major muscle findings of congenital myasthenic syndrome type 19 and serve as a disease model. In the lack of collagen XIII neuromuscular synapses do not reach full size, alignment, complexity and function resulting in reduced muscle strength. Collagen XIII is particularly important for the preterminal integrity, and when absent, destabilization of the motor nerves results in muscle regeneration and in atrophy especially in the case of slow muscle fibers. Collagen XIII was found to affect synaptic integrity through binding the ColQ tail of acetylcholine esterase. Although collagen XIII is a muscle-bound transmembrane molecule, it also undergoes ectodomain shedding to become a synaptic basal lamina component. We investigated the two forms' roles by novel Col13a1tm/tm mice in which ectodomain shedding is impaired. While postsynaptic maturation, terminal branching and neurotransmission was exaggerated in the Col13a1tm/tm mice, the transmembrane form's presence sufficed to prevent defects in transsynaptic adhesion, Schwann cell invagination/retraction, vesicle accumulation and acetylcholine receptor clustering and acetylcholinesterase dispersion seen in the Col13a1-/- mice, pointing to the transmembrane form as the major conductor of collagen XIII effects. Altogether, collagen XIII secures postsynaptic, synaptic and presynaptic integrity, and it is required for gaining and maintaining normal size, complexity and functional capacity of the neuromuscular synapse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddx101DOI Listing
June 2017
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