Publications by authors named "Jeremy C Lee"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The relaxin receptor (RXFP1) utilizes hydrophobic moieties on a signaling surface of its N-terminal low density lipoprotein class A module to mediate receptor activation.

J Biol Chem 2013 Sep 7;288(39):28138-51. Epub 2013 Aug 7.

From the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and Florey Department of Neuroscience and Mental Health.

The peptide hormone relaxin is showing potential as a treatment for acute heart failure. Although it is known that relaxin mediates its actions through the G protein-coupled receptor relaxin family peptide receptor 1 (RXFP1), little is known about the molecular mechanisms by which relaxin binding results in receptor activation. Previous studies have highlighted that the unique N-terminal low density lipoprotein class A (LDLa) module of RXFP1 is essential for receptor activation, and it has been hypothesized that this module is the true "ligand" of the receptor that directs the conformational changes necessary for G protein coupling. In this study, we confirmed that an RXFP1 receptor lacking the LDLa module binds ligand normally but cannot signal through any characterized G protein-coupled receptor signaling pathway. Furthermore, we comprehensively examined the contributions of amino acids in the LDLa module to RXFP1 activity using both gain-of-function and loss-of-function mutational analysis together with NMR structural analysis of recombinant LDLa modules. Gain-of-function studies with an inactive RXFP1 chimera containing the LDLa module of the human LDL receptor (LB2) demonstrated two key N-terminal regions of the module that were able to rescue receptor signaling. Loss-of-function mutations of residues in these regions demonstrated that Leu-7, Tyr-9, and Lys-17 all contributed to the ability of the LDLa module to drive receptor activation, and judicious amino acid substitutions suggested this involves hydrophobic interactions. Our results demonstrate that these key residues contribute to interactions driving the active receptor conformation, providing further evidence of a unique mode of G protein-coupled receptor activation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M113.499640DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3784725PMC
September 2013

Characterization of a Drosophila Alzheimer's disease model: pharmacological rescue of cognitive defects.

PLoS One 2011 6;6(6):e20799. Epub 2011 Jun 6.

Department of Biology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

Transgenic models of Alzheimer's disease (AD) have made significant contributions to our understanding of AD pathogenesis, and are useful tools in the development of potential therapeutics. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, provides a genetically tractable, powerful system to study the biochemical, genetic, environmental, and behavioral aspects of complex human diseases, including AD. In an effort to model AD, we over-expressed human APP and BACE genes in the Drosophila central nervous system. Biochemical, neuroanatomical, and behavioral analyses indicate that these flies exhibit aspects of clinical AD neuropathology and symptomology. These include the generation of Aβ(40) and Aβ(42), the presence of amyloid aggregates, dramatic neuroanatomical changes, defects in motor reflex behavior, and defects in memory. In addition, these flies exhibit external morphological abnormalities. Treatment with a γ-secretase inhibitor suppressed these phenotypes. Further, all of these phenotypes are present within the first few days of adult fly life. Taken together these data demonstrate that this transgenic AD model can serve as a powerful tool for the identification of AD therapeutic interventions.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0020799PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3108982PMC
September 2011

MicroRNAs can regulate human APP levels.

Mol Neurodegener 2008 Aug 6;3:10. Epub 2008 Aug 6.

Department of Bioscience & Biotechnology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

A number of studies have shown that increased APP levels, resulting from either a genomic locus duplication or alteration in APP regulatory sequences, can lead to development of early-onset dementias, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Therefore, understanding how APP levels are regulated could provide valuable insight into the genetic basis of AD and illuminate novel therapeutic avenues for AD. Here we test the hypothesis that APP protein levels can be regulated by miRNAs, evolutionarily conserved small noncoding RNA molecules that play an important role in regulating gene expression. Utilizing human cell lines, we demonstrate that miRNAs hsa-mir-106a and hsa-mir-520c bind to their predicted target sequences in the APP 3'UTR and negatively regulate reporter gene expression. Over-expression of these miRNAs, but not control miRNAs, results in translational repression of APP mRNA and significantly reduces APP protein levels. These results are the first to demonstrate that levels of human APP can be regulated by miRNAs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1750-1326-3-10DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2529281PMC
August 2008

An AICD-based functional screen to identify APP metabolism regulators.

Mol Neurodegener 2007 Aug 24;2:15. Epub 2007 Aug 24.

Department of Bioscience & Biotechnology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Background: A central event in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the regulated intramembraneous proteolysis of the beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP), to generate the beta-amyloid (Abeta) peptide and the APP intracellular domain (AICD). Abeta is the major component of amyloid plaques and AICD displays transcriptional activation properties. We have taken advantage of AICD transactivation properties to develop a genetic screen to identify regulators of APP metabolism. This screen relies on an APP-Gal4 fusion protein, which upon normal proteolysis, produces AICD-Gal4. Production of AICD-Gal4 induces Gal4-UAS driven luciferase expression. Therefore, when regulators of APP metabolism are modulated, luciferase expression is altered.

Results: To validate this experimental approach we modulated alpha-, beta-, and gamma-secretase levels and activities. Changes in AICD-Gal4 levels as measured by Western blot analysis were strongly and significantly correlated to the observed changes in AICD-Gal4 mediated luciferase activity. To determine if a known regulator of APP trafficking/maturation and Presenilin1 endoproteolysis could be detected using the AICD-Gal4 mediated luciferase assay, we knocked-down Ubiquilin 1 and observed decreased luciferase activity. We confirmed that Ubiquilin 1 modulated AICD-Gal4 levels by Western blot analysis and also observed that Ubiquilin 1 modulated total APP levels, the ratio of mature to immature APP, as well as PS1 endoproteolysis.

Conclusion: Taken together, we have shown that this screen can identify known APP metabolism regulators that control proteolysis, intracellular trafficking, maturation and levels of APP and its proteolytic products. We demonstrate for the first time that Ubiquilin 1 regulates APP metabolism in the human neuroblastoma cell line, SH-SY5Y.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1750-1326-2-15DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2071909PMC
August 2007