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Liu T.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Kong D.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Shah B.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Ye C.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | And 7 more authors.
Neuron | Year: 2012

AgRP neuron activity drives feeding and weight gain whereas that of nearby POMC neurons does the opposite. However, the role of excitatory glutamatergic input in controlling these neurons is unknown. Toaddress this question, we generated mice lacking NMDA receptors (NMDARs) on either AgRP or POMC neurons. Deletion of NMDARs from AgRP neurons markedly reduced weight, body fat and food intake whereas deletion from POMC neurons had no effect. Activation of AgRP neurons by fasting, as assessed by c-Fos, Agrp and Npy mRNA expression, AMPA receptor-mediated EPSCs, depolarization and firing rates, required NMDARs. Furthermore, AgRP but not POMC neurons have dendritic spines and increased glutamatergic input onto AgRP neurons caused by fasting was paralleled by an increase in spines, suggesting fasting induced synaptogenesis and spinogenesis. Thus glutamatergic synaptic transmission and its modulation by NMDARs play key rolesin controlling AgRP neurons and determining the cellular and behavioral response to fasting. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Makino T.,University of Texas at Austin | Makino T.,Asubio Pharma Co. | Skretas G.,National Hellenic Research Foundation | Georgiou G.,University of Texas at Austin
Microbial Cell Factories | Year: 2011

Protein expression in Escherichia coli represents the most facile approach for the preparation of non-glycosylated proteins for analytical and preparative purposes. So far, the optimization of recombinant expression has largely remained a matter of trial and error and has relied upon varying parameters, such as expression vector, media composition, growth temperature and chaperone co-expression. Recently several new approaches for the genome-scale engineering of E. coli to enhance recombinant protein expression have been developed. These methodologies now enable the generation of optimized E. coli expression strains in a manner analogous to metabolic engineering for the synthesis of low-molecular-weight compounds. In this review, we provide an overview of strain engineering approaches useful for enhancing the expression of hard-to-produce proteins, including heterologous membrane proteins.© 2011 Makino et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Most biologically active peptide hormones, including ghrelin, undergo numerous posttranslational modifications and play many crucial roles in nature. Medium- or large-scale preparation methods are required to understand their biological functions and potential applications in life sciences and the biomedical fields. Since ghrelin has an O-acyl modification in its Ser3, recombinant expression for its production has not solely been employed thus far. In this chapter, we provide two distinct protocols for the preparation of human ghrelin: a chemical synthesis method for medium-scale (up to hundreds of milligrams) and a semisynthesis method for large-scale (more than grams) preparation. Established Fmoc chemistry for solid-phase synthesis enables the highly efficient procedure for synthesizing ghrelin in the medium scale. Semisynthesis method, the coupling of chemically synthesized O-acylated ghrelin(1-7) with recombinantly expressed ghrelin(8-28), can be applied for larger scale preparation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Makino T.,University of Texas at Austin | Makino T.,Asubio Pharma Co. | Skretas G.,University of Texas at Austin | Skretas G.,National Hellenic Research Foundation | And 3 more authors.
Metabolic Engineering | Year: 2011

The expression of IgG antibodies in Escherichia coli is of increasing interest for analytical and therapeutic applications. In this work, we describe a comprehensive and systematic approach to the development of a dicistronic expression system for enhanced IgG expression in E. coli encompassing: (i) random mutagenesis and high-throughput screening for the isolation of over-expressing strains using flow cytometry and (ii) optimization of translation initiation via the screening of libraries of synonymous codons in the 5' region of the second cistron (heavy chain). The effects of different promoters and co-expression of molecular chaperones on full-length IgG production were also investigated. The optimized system resulted in reliable expression of fully assembled IgG at yields between 1 and 4. mg/L of shake flask culture for different antibodies. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

Shah B.P.,Harvard University | Shah B.P.,Pfizer | Vong L.,Harvard University | Vong L.,Novartis | And 12 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2014

Activation of melanocortin-4 receptors (MC4Rs) restrains feeding and prevents obesity; however, the identity, location, and axonal projections of the neurons bearing MC4Rs that control feeding remain unknown. Reexpression of MC4Rs on single-minded 1 (SIM1)+neurons in mice otherwise lacking MC4Rs is sufficient to abolish hyperphagia. Thus, MC4Rs on SIM1+neurons, possibly in the paraventricular hypothalamus (PVH) and/or amygdala, regulate food intake. It is unknown, however, whether they are also necessary, a distinction required for excluding redundant sites of action. Hence, the location and nature of obesity-preventing MC4R-expressing neurons are unknown. Here, by deleting and reexpressing MC4Rs from cre-expressing neurons, establishing both necessity and sufficiency, we demonstrate that the MC4R-expressing neurons regulating feeding are SIM1+, located in the PVH, glutamatergic and not GABAergic, and do not express oxytocin, corticotropin-releasing hormone, vasopressin, or prodynorphin. Importantly, these excitatory MC4R-expressing PVH neurons are synaptically connected to neurons in the parabrachial nucleus, which relays visceral information to the forebrain. This suggests a basis for the feeding-regulating effects of MC4Rs.

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