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Sun X.,University of British Columbia | Sun X.,Shandong University | Wu Y.,University of British Columbia | Chen B.,University of British Columbia | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2011

Individuals with Down syndrome (DS) will inevitably develop Alzheimer disease (AD) neuropathology sometime after middle age, which may be attributable to genes triplicated in individuals with DS. The characteristics of AD neuropathology include neuritic plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and neuronal loss in various brain regions. The mechanism underlying neurodegeneration in AD and DS remains elusive. Regulator of calcineurin 1 (RCAN1) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of DS. Our data show that RCAN1 expression is elevated in the cortex of DS and AD patients. RCAN1 expression can be activated by the stress hormone dexamethasone. A functional glucocorticoid response element was identified in the RCAN1 isoform 1 (RCAN1-1) promoter region, which is able to mediate the up-regulation of RCAN1 expression. Here we show that overexpression of RCAN1-1 in primary neurons activates caspase-9 and caspase-3 and subsequently induces neuronal apoptosis. Furthermore, we found that the neurotoxicity of RCAN1-1 is inhibited by knock-out of caspase-3 in caspase-3-/- neurons. Our study provides a novel mechanism by which RCAN1 functions as a mediator of stress- and Aβ-induced neuronal death, and overexpression of RCAN1 due to an extra copy of the RCAN1 gene on chromosome 21 contributes to AD pathogenesis in DS. © 2011 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

Hatakeyama S.,Hirosaki University | Kyan A.,Hirosaki University | Yamamoto H.,Hirosaki University | Okamoto A.,Hirosaki University | And 10 more authors.
International Journal of Cancer | Year: 2010

We studied orchiectomy specimens from 130 patients immuhistochemically with testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT) using anticore 2 N- acetylglucosaminyltransferase-1 (C2GnT-1) antibody. The incidence of C2GnT-1 positivity in stage I disease (29.5%, 21/71) was significantly lower than that in higher stages (84.7%, 50/59) (P < 0.001, χ2 test). This significant difference was also found when the cases were divided into seminoma and NSGCT according to histopathological classification. Kaplan-Meier plots and the log rank test showed that in the patients with stage I seminoma, C2GnT-1-positive cases had a higher risk for recurrence (P < 0.001). This was also the case with the patients with stage I NSGCT (P < 0.001). To determine whether C2GnT-1 promotes aggressive behavior of cancer cells, a C2GnT-1-negative human TGCT cell line, JKT-1, was stably transfected with a mammalian expression vector containing C2GnT-1 cDNA. In vitro assays revealed that JKT-1-C2 cells are more invasive than mock transfectants, although there are no differences in proliferation activity. When orthotopically inoculated into athymic nude mice, JKT-1-C2 cells produced larger testicular tumors extending to the retroperitoneum with mesenteric metastasis, while mock transfectants produced small tumors without metastasis (P < 0.01, Mann-Whitney's U-test). When injected via the tail vein, JKT-1-C2 cells produced a number of metastatic lung foci. In contrast, mock transfectants produced a small number of nodules (p < 0.01, Mann-Whitney's U-test). These results strongly suggest that C2GnT-1 enhances the metastatic potential of TGCT and may be a reliable biomarker for aggressive potential of TGCT. © 2009 UICC.

Srinivas R.,Indian Institute of Chemical Technology | Srinivas R.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Karmali P.P.,Indian Institute of Chemical Technology | Karmali P.P.,Burnham Institute | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2010

Mannosylated cationic vectors have been previously used for delivering DNA vaccines to antigen presenting cells (APCs) via mannose receptors expressed on the cell surface of APCs. Here we show that cationic amphiphiles containing mannose-mimicking quinic acid and shikimic acid headgroups deliver genes to APCs via mannose receptor. Cationic amphiphile with shikimic acid headgroup was more efficacious than its mannosyl counterpart in combating mouse tumor growth by dendritic cell (the most professional APC) based genetic immunization. © 2010 American Chemical Society.

Xiang Z.,University of Florida | Proneth B.,University of Florida | Dirain M.L.,University of Florida | Litherland S.A.,Burnham Institute | Haskell-Luevano C.,University of Florida
Biochemistry | Year: 2010

The melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) is a G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that is expressed in the central nervous system and has a role in regulating feeding behavior, obesity, energy homeostasis, male erectile response, and blood pressure. Since the report of the MC4R knockout mouse in 1997, the field has been searching for links between this genetic biomarker and human obesity and type 2 diabetes. More then 80 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been identified from human patients, both obese and nonobese controls. Many significant studies have been performed examining the pharmacological characteristics of these hMC4R SNPs in attempts to identify a molecular defects/insights that might link a genetic factor to the obese phenotype observed in patients possessing these mutations. Our laboratory has previously reported the pharmacological characterization of 40 of these polymorphic hMC4 receptors with multiple endogenous and synthetic ligands. The goal of the current study is to perform a similar comprehensive side-by-side characterization of 30 additional human hMC4R with single nucleotide polymorphisms using multiple endogenous agonists [α-, β-, and γ2-melanocyte stimulating hormones (MSH) and adrenocorticotropin (ACTH)], the antagonist agouti-related protein hAGRP(87?132), and synthetic agonists [NDP-MSH, MTII, and the tetrapeptide Ac-His-dPhe-Arg-Trp-NH2 (JRH887-9)]. These in vitro data, in some cases, provide a putative molecular link between dysfunctional hMC4Rs and human obesity. These 30 hMC4R SNPs include R7H, R18H, R18L, S36Y, P48S, V50M, F51L, E61K, I69T, D90N, S94R, G98R, I121T, A154D, Y157S, W174C, G181D, F202L, A219 V, I226T, G231S, G238D, N240S, C271R, S295P, P299L, E308K, I317V, L325F, and 750DelGA. All but the N240S hMC4R were identified in obese patients. Additionally, we have characterized a double I102T/V103I hMC4R. In addition to the pharmacological characterization, the hMC4R variants were evaluated for cell surface expression by flow cytometry. The F51L, I69T, and A219V hMC4Rs possessed full agonist activity and significantly decreased endogenous agonist ligand potency. At the E61K, D90N, Y157S, and C271R hMC4Rs, all agonist ligands examined were only partially efficacious in generating a maximal signaling response (partial agonists) and possessed significantly decreased endogenous agonist ligand potency. Only the A219V, G238D, and S295P hMC4Rs possessed significantly decreased AGRP(87?132) antagonist potency. These data provide new information for use in GPCR computational development as well as insights into MC4R structure ad function. © 2010 American Chemical Society.

Hetherington J.,University College London | Hetherington J.,AMEE UK Ltd. | Sumner T.,University College London | Sumner T.,Institute for Animal Health | And 13 more authors.
Journal of the Royal Society Interface | Year: 2012

A computational model of the glucagon/insulin-driven liver glucohomeostasis function, focusing on the buffering of glucose into glycogen, has been developed. The model exemplifies an 'engineering' approach to modelling in systems biology, and was produced by linking together seven component models of separate aspects of the physiology. The component models use a variety of modelling paradigms and degrees of simplification. Model parameters were determined by an iterative hybrid of fitting to high-scale physiological data, and determination from small-scale in vitro experiments or molecular biological techniques. The component models were not originally designed for inclusion within such a composite model, but were integrated, with modification, using our published modelling software and computational frameworks. This approach facilitates the development of large and complex composite models, although, inevitably, some compromises must be made when composing the individual models. Composite models of this form have not previously been demonstrated. © 2011 The Royal Society.

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