Publications by authors named "Wendy Kimber"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Dact1, a nutritionally regulated preadipocyte gene, controls adipogenesis by coordinating the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling network.

Diabetes 2009 Mar 10;58(3):609-19. Epub 2008 Dec 10.

Institute of Metabolic Science-Metabolic Research Laboratories and Department of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK.

Objective: Wnt signaling inhibits adipogenesis, but its regulation, physiological relevance, and molecular effectors are poorly understood. Here, we identify the Wnt modulator Dapper1/Frodo1 (Dact1) as a new preadipocyte gene involved in the regulation of murine and human adipogenesis.

Research Design And Methods: Changes in Dact1 expression were investigated in three in vitro models of adipogenesis. In vitro gain- and loss-of-function studies were used to investigate the mechanism of Dact1 action during adipogenesis. The in vivo regulation of Dact1 and Wnt/beta-catenin signaling were investigated in murine models of altered nutritional status, of pharmacological stimulation of in vivo adipogenesis, and during the development of dietary and genetic obesity.

Results: Dact1 is a preadipocyte gene that decreases during adipogenesis. However, Dact1 knockdown impairs adipogenesis through activation of the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway, and this is reversed by treatment with the secreted Wnt antagonist, secreted Frizzled-related protein 1 (Sfrp1). In contrast, constitutive Dact1 overexpression promotes adipogenesis and confers resistance to Wnt ligand-induced antiadipogenesis through increased expression of endogenous Sfrps and reduced expression of Wnts. In vivo, in white adipose tissue, Dact1 and Wnt/beta-catenin signaling also exhibit coordinated expression profiles in response to altered nutritional status, in response to pharmacological stimulation of in vivo adipogenesis, and during the development of dietary and genetic obesity.

Conclusions: Dact1 regulates adipogenesis through coordinated effects on gene expression that selectively alter intracellular and paracrine/autocrine components of the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway. These novel insights into the molecular mechanisms controlling adipose tissue plasticity provide a functional network with therapeutic potential against diseases, such as obesity and associated metabolic disorders.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/db08-1180DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2646059PMC
March 2009

Functional characterization of naturally occurring pathogenic mutations in the human leptin receptor.

Endocrinology 2008 Dec 14;149(12):6043-52. Epub 2008 Aug 14.

University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories, Institute of Metabolic Science, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge CB2 0QQ, United Kingdom.

We have recently reported the first naturally occurring missense mutations in the leptin receptor (LR) in patients with severe obesity. We have examined the molecular mechanisms by which these extracellular domain mutations disrupt LR signaling. The Ala409Glu mutant receptor is expressed at the cell surface, binds leptin normally but fails to signal to downstream pathways. A409 is present on the surface-exposed region of the Ig-like domain that forms the binding site III for interaction with leptin. This binding site does not appear to contribute to the binding affinity of leptin to its receptor but is critical for receptor activation in response to ligand binding. The Trp664Arg and His684Pro mutations are predicted to impair receptor folding. Both mutants result in a complete inability to signal to downstream pathways despite evidence for some residual cell surface expression and ligand binding. The Arg612His mutant falls in the second subdomain of the high-affinity binding site for leptin, and results in a receptor that shows evidence for intracellular retention but retains some residual signaling. These studies, which represent the first detailed characterization of the functional properties of naturally occurring missense mutations in the human LR, indicate that most such mutations affect receptor folding and expression at the cell surface rather than primarily impairing ligand binding. The exception is Ala409Glu, which interferes with the coupling of ligand binding to receptor activation. Naturally occurring mutations associated with human obesity are valuable tools with which to explore structure/function relationships within the LR.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/en.2008-0544DOI Listing
December 2008

Analysis of genetic variation in Akt2/PKB-beta in severe insulin resistance, lipodystrophy, type 2 diabetes, and related metabolic phenotypes.

Diabetes 2007 Mar;56(3):714-9

Metabolic Disease Group, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, The Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, CB10 1SA, U.K.

We previously reported a family in which a heterozygous missense mutation in Akt2 led to a dominantly inherited syndrome of insulin-resistant diabetes and partial lipodystrophy. To determine whether genetic variation in AKT2 plays a broader role in human metabolic disease, we sequenced the entire coding region and splice junctions of AKT2 in 94 unrelated patients with severe insulin resistance, 35 of whom had partial lipodystrophy. Two rare missense mutations (R208K and R467W) were identified in single individuals. However, insulin-stimulated kinase activities of these variants were indistinguishable from wild type. In two large case-control studies (total number of participants 2,200), 0 of 11 common single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) in AKT2 showed significant association with type 2 diabetes. In a quantitative trait study of 1,721 extensively phenotyped individuals from the U.K., no association was found with any relevant intermediate metabolic trait. In summary, although heterozygous loss-of- function mutations in AKT2 can cause a syndrome of severe insulin resistance and lipodystrophy in humans, such mutations are uncommon causes of these syndromes. Furthermore, genetic variation in and around the AKT2 locus is unlikely to contribute significantly to the risk of type 2 diabetes or related intermediate metabolic traits in U.K. populations.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/db06-0921DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2672155PMC
March 2007

Clinical and molecular genetic spectrum of congenital deficiency of the leptin receptor.

N Engl J Med 2007 Jan;356(3):237-47

Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, University Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Background: A single family has been described in which obesity results from a mutation in the leptin-receptor gene (LEPR), but the prevalence of such mutations in severe, early-onset obesity has not been systematically examined.

Methods: We sequenced LEPR in 300 subjects with hyperphagia and severe early-onset obesity, including 90 probands from consanguineous families, and investigated the extent to which mutations cosegregated with obesity and affected receptor function. We evaluated metabolic, endocrine, and immune function in probands and affected relatives.

Results: Of the 300 subjects, 8 (3%) had nonsense or missense LEPR mutations--7 were homozygotes, and 1 was a compound heterozygote. All missense mutations resulted in impaired receptor signaling. Affected subjects were characterized by hyperphagia, severe obesity, alterations in immune function, and delayed puberty due to hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. Serum leptin levels were within the range predicted by the elevated fat mass in these subjects. Their clinical features were less severe than those of subjects with congenital leptin deficiency.

Conclusions: The prevalence of pathogenic LEPR mutations in a cohort of subjects with severe, early-onset obesity was 3%. Circulating levels of leptin were not disproportionately elevated, suggesting that serum leptin cannot be used as a marker for leptin-receptor deficiency. Congenital leptin-receptor deficiency should be considered in the differential diagnosis in any child with hyperphagia and severe obesity in the absence of developmental delay or dysmorphism.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa063988DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2670197PMC
January 2007

Tamoxifen-induced anorexia is associated with fatty acid synthase inhibition in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus and accumulation of malonyl-CoA.

Diabetes 2006 May;55(5):1327-36

Department of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QR, U.K.

Fatty acid metabolism in the hypothalamus has recently been shown to regulate feeding. The selective estrogen receptor modulator tamoxifen (TMX) exerts a potent anorectic effect. Here, we show that the anorectic effect of TMX is associated with the accumulation of malonyl-CoA in the hypothalamus and inhibition of fatty acid synthase (FAS) expression specifically in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMN). Furthermore, we demonstrate that FAS mRNA expression is physiologically regulated by fasting and refeeding in the VMN but not in other hypothalamic nuclei. Thus, the VMN appears to be the hypothalamic site where regulation of FAS and feeding converge. Supporting the potential clinical relevance of these observations, reanalysis of a primary breast cancer prevention study showed that obese women treated with TMX gained significantly less body weight over a 6-year period than obese women given placebo. The finding that TMX can modulate appetite through alterations in FAS expression and malonyl-CoA levels suggests a link between hypothalamic sex steroid receptors, fatty acid metabolism, and feeding behavior.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/db05-1356DOI Listing
May 2006

Foxl2 disruption causes mouse ovarian failure by pervasive blockage of follicle development.

Hum Mol Genet 2004 Jun 31;13(11):1171-81. Epub 2004 Mar 31.

Laboratory of Genetics, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.

FOXL2 mutations cause gonadal dysgenesis or premature ovarian failure (POF) in women, as well as eyelid/forehead dysmorphology in both sexes (the 'blepharophimosis-ptosis-epicanthus inversus syndrome', BPES). Here we report that mice lacking Foxl2 recapitulate relevant features of human BPES: males and females are small and show distinctive craniofacial morphology with upper eyelids absent. Furthermore, in mice as in humans, sterility is confined to females. Features of Foxl2 null animals point toward a new mechanism of POF, with all major somatic cell lineages failing to develop around growing oocytes from the time of primordial follicle formation. Foxl2 disruption thus provides a model for histogenesis and reproductive competence of the ovary.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddh124DOI Listing
June 2004

Transcriptome analysis of mouse stem cells and early embryos.

PLoS Biol 2003 Dec 22;1(3):E74. Epub 2003 Dec 22.

National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Understanding and harnessing cellular potency are fundamental in biology and are also critical to the future therapeutic use of stem cells. Transcriptome analysis of these pluripotent cells is a first step towards such goals. Starting with sources that include oocytes, blastocysts, and embryonic and adult stem cells, we obtained 249,200 high-quality EST sequences and clustered them with public sequences to produce an index of approximately 30,000 total mouse genes that includes 977 previously unidentified genes. Analysis of gene expression levels by EST frequency identifies genes that characterize preimplantation embryos, embryonic stem cells, and adult stem cells, thus providing potential markers as well as clues to the functional features of these cells. Principal component analysis identified a set of 88 genes whose average expression levels decrease from oocytes to blastocysts, stem cells, postimplantation embryos, and finally to newborn tissues. This can be a first step towards a possible definition of a molecular scale of cellular potency. The sequences and cDNA clones recovered in this work provide a comprehensive resource for genes functioning in early mouse embryos and stem cells. The nonrestricted community access to the resource can accelerate a wide range of research, particularly in reproductive and regenerative medicine.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.0000074DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC300684PMC
December 2003

Detection of novel intracellular agonist responsive pools of phosphatidylinositol 3,4-bisphosphate using the TAPP1 pleckstrin homology domain in immunoelectron microscopy.

Biochem J 2004 Feb;377(Pt 3):653-63

Division of Cell Biology and Immunology, School of Life Sciences, MSI/WTB Complex, University of Dundee, Dow Street, Dundee DD1 5EH, Scotland, U.K.

PtdIns(3,4) P (2), a breakdown product of the lipid second messenger PtdIns(3,4,5) P (3), is a key signalling molecule in pathways controlling various cellular events. Cellular levels of PtdIns(3,4) P (2) are elevated upon agonist stimulation, mediating downstream signalling pathways by recruiting proteins containing specialized lipid-binding modules, such as the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. A recently identified protein, TAPP1 (tandem-PH-domain-containing protein 1), has been shown to interact in vitro with high affinity and specificity with PtdIns(3,4) P (2) through its C-terminal PH domain. In the present study, we have utilized this PH domain tagged with glutathione S-transferase (GST-TAPP1-PH) as a probe in an on-section immunoelectron microscopy labelling procedure, mapping the subcellular distribution of PtdIns(3,4) P (2). As expected, we found accumulation of PtdIns(3,4) P (2) at the plasma membrane in response to the agonists platelet-derived growth factor and hydrogen peroxide. Importantly, however, we also found agonist stimulated PtdIns(3,4) P (2) labelling of intracellular organelles, including the endoplasmic reticulum and multivesicular endosomes. Expression of the 3-phosphatase PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10) in PTEN-null U87MG cells revealed differential sensitivity of these lipid pools to the enzyme. These data suggest a role for PtdIns(3,4) P (2) in endomembrane function.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BJ20031397DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1223916PMC
February 2004

Interaction of the protein tyrosine phosphatase PTPL1 with the PtdIns(3,4)P2-binding adaptor protein TAPP1.

Biochem J 2003 Dec;376(Pt 2):525-35

MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dow Street, Dundee DD1 5EH, Scotland, UK.

It has been postulated that PtdIns(3,4) P (2), one of the immediate breakdown products of PtdIns(3,4,5) P (3), functions as a signalling molecule in insulin- and growth-factor-stimulated pathways. To date, the t andem- P H-domain-containing p rotein- 1 (TAPP1) and related TAPP2 are still the only known PH-domain-containing proteins that interact strongly and specifically with PtdIns(3,4) P (2). In this study we demonstrate that endogenously expressed TAPP1, is constitutively associated with the protein-tyrosine-phosphatase-like protein-1 (PTPL1 also known as FAP-1). We show that PTPL1 binds to TAPP1 and TAPP2, principally though its first PDZ domain [where PDZ is postsynaptic density protein ( P SD-95)/ Drosophila disc large tumour suppressor ( d lg)/tight junction protein ( Z O1)] and show that this renders PTPL1 capable of associating with PtdIns(3,4) P (2) in vitro. Our data suggest that the binding of TAPP1 to PTPL1 does not influence PTPL1 phosphatase activity, but instead functions to maintain PTPL1 in the cytoplasm. Following stimulation of cells with hydrogen peroxide to induce PtdIns(3,4) P (2) production, PTPL1, complexed to TAPP1, translocates to the plasma membrane. This study provides the first evidence that TAPP1 and PtdIns(3,4) P (2) could function to regulate the membrane localization of PTPL1. We speculate that if PTPL1 was recruited to the plasma membrane by increasing levels of PtdIns(3,4) P (2), it could trigger a negative feedback loop in which phosphoinositide-3-kinase-dependent or other signalling pathways could be switched off by the phosphatase-catalysed dephosphorylation of receptor tyrosine kinases or tyrosine phosphorylated adaptor proteins such as IRS1 or IRS2. Consistent with this notion we observed RNA-interference-mediated knock-down of TAPP1 in HEK-293 cells, enhanced activation and phosphorylation of PKB following IGF1 stimulation.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BJ20031154DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1223793PMC
December 2003

Efficacy of 2-methoxyethoxy-modified antisense oligonucleotides for the study of mouse preimplantation development.

Reprod Biomed Online 2003 Apr-May;6(3):318-22

Laboratory of Genetics, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, 333 Cassell Drive, Suite 3000, Baltimore, MD 21224-6820, USA.

The advent of microarray technology, coupled with the availability of mouse cDNA collections derived specifically from preimplantation embryos, helps to provide global gene expression profiles for the earliest stages of development. However, to determine the functions of the large numbers of genes of interest, massive systematic functional assays such as gene 'knockdown' experiments are required. As a first step, the relative suppression of blastocyst formation by differentially-modified antisense oligonucleotides to E-cadherin was assayed. The injection of 2'-methoxyethoxy (2'-MOE)-modified oligonucleotides blocked the formation of blastocysts in two-thirds of embryos, whereas the injection of either control missense 2'-MOE-oligonucleotides, or oligonucleotides with a Morpholino modification, had no significant effect on embryonic development. Thus, the 2'-MOE-modified antisense oligonucleotides are candidates for effective examination of roles of large numbers of genes during early embryological development.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s1472-6483(10)61851-2DOI Listing
December 2003

Gene expression profiling of embryo-derived stem cells reveals candidate genes associated with pluripotency and lineage specificity.

Genome Res 2002 Dec;12(12):1921-8

Laboratory of Genetics, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland, 21224-6820, USA.

Large-scale gene expression profiling was performed on embryo-derived stem cell lines to identify molecular signatures of pluripotency and lineage specificity. Analysis of pluripotent embryonic stem (ES) cells, extraembryonic-restricted trophoblast stem (TS) cells, and terminally-differentiated mouse embryo fibroblast (MEF) cells identified expression profiles unique to each cell type, as well as genes common only to ES and TS cells. Whereas most of the MEF-specific genes had been characterized previously, the majority (67%) of the ES-specific genes were novel and did not include known differentiated cell markers. Comparison with microarray data from embryonic material demonstrated that ES-specific genes were underrepresented in all stages sampled, whereas TS-specific genes included known placental markers. Investigation of four novel TS-specific genes showed trophoblast-restricted expression in cell lines and in vivo, whereas one uncharacterized ES-specific gene, Esg-1, was found to be exclusively associated with pluripotency. We suggest that pluripotency requires a set of genes not expressed in other cell types, whereas lineage-restricted stem cells, like TS cells, express genes predictive of their differentiated lineage.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gr.670002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC187571PMC
December 2002

Targeted mutagenesis of the Hira gene results in gastrulation defects and patterning abnormalities of mesoendodermal derivatives prior to early embryonic lethality.

Mol Cell Biol 2002 Apr;22(7):2318-28

Molecular Medicine Unit, Institute of Child Health, London WC1N 1EH, United Kingdom.

The Hira gene encodes a nuclear WD40 domain protein homologous to the yeast transcriptional corepressors Hir1p and Hir2p. Using targeted mutagenesis we demonstrate that Hira is essential for murine embryogenesis. Analysis of inbred 129Sv embryos carrying the null mutation revealed an initial requirement during gastrulation, with many mutant embryos having a distorted primitive streak. Mutant embryos recovered at later stages have a range of malformations with axial and paraxial mesendoderm being particularly affected, a finding consistent with the disruption of gastrulation seen earlier in development. This phenotype could be partially rescued by a CD1 genetic background, although the homozygous mutation was always lethal by embryonic day 11, with death probably resulting from abnormal placentation and failure of cardiac morphogenesis.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC133693PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mcb.22.7.2318-2328.2002DOI Listing
April 2002

Evidence that the tandem-pleckstrin-homology-domain-containing protein TAPP1 interacts with Ptd(3,4)P2 and the multi-PDZ-domain-containing protein MUPP1 in vivo.

Biochem J 2002 Feb;361(Pt 3):525-36

MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit, MSI/WTB Complex, University of Dundee, Dow Street, Dundee DD1 5EH, Scotland, UK.

PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 is an established second messenger of growth-factor and insulin-induced signalling pathways. There is increasing evidence that one of the immediate breakdown products of PtdIns(3,4,5)P3, namely PtdIns(3,4)P2, whose levels are elevated by numerous extracellular agonists, might also function as a signalling molecule. Recently, we identified two related pleckstrin-homology (PH)-domain-containing proteins, termed 'tandem-PH-domain-containing protein-1' (TAPP1) and TAPP2, which interacted in vitro with high affinity with PtdIns(3,4)P2, but did not bind PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 or other phosphoinositides. In the present study we demonstrate that stimulation of Swiss 3T3 or 293 cells with agonists that stimulate PtdIns(3,4)P2 production results in the marked translocation of TAPP1 to the plasma membrane. This recruitment is dependent on a functional PtdIns(3,4)P2-binding PH domain and is inhibited by wortmannin, a phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitor that prevents PtdIns(3,4)P2 generation. A search for proteins that interact with TAPP1 identified the multi-PDZ-containing protein termed 'MUPP1', a protein possessing 13 PDZ domains and no other known modular or catalytic domains [PDZ is postsynaptic density protein (PSD-95)/Drosophila disc large tumour suppressor (dlg)/tight junction protein (ZO1)]. We demonstrate that immunoprecipitation of endogenously expressed TAPP1 from 293-cell lysates results in the co-immunoprecipitation of endogenous MUPP1, indicating that these proteins are likely to interact with each other physiologically. We show that TAPP1 and TAPP2 interact with the 10th and 13th PDZ domain of MUPP1 through their C-terminal amino acids. The results of the present study suggest that TAPP1 and TAPP2 could function in cells as adapter proteins to recruit MUPP1, or other proteins that they may interact with, to the plasma membrane in response to signals that elevate PtdIns(3,4)P2.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1222335PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/0264-6021:3610525DOI Listing
February 2002