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Noristani H.N.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Sabourin J.C.,University of the Basque Country | Gerber Y.N.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Gerber Y.N.,University of the Basque Country | And 7 more authors.
Molecular Neurodegeneration | Year: 2015

Background: There is growing evidence that microglia are key players in the pathological process of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It is suggested that microglia have a dual role in motoneurone degeneration through the release of both neuroprotective and neurotoxic factors. Results: To identify candidate genes that may be involved in ALS pathology we have analysed at early symptomatic age (P90), the molecular signature of microglia from the lumbar region of the spinal cord of hSOD1G93A mice, the most widely used animal model of ALS. We first identified unique hSOD1G93A microglia transcriptomic profile that, in addition to more classical processes such as chemotaxis and immune response, pointed toward the potential involvement of the tumour suppressor gene breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 (Brca1). Secondly, comparison with our previous data on hSOD1G93A motoneurone gene profile substantiated the putative contribution of Brca1 in ALS. Finally, we established that Brca1 protein is specifically expressed in human spinal microglia and is up-regulated in ALS patients. Conclusions: Overall, our data provide new insights into the pathogenic concept of a non-cell-autonomous disease and the involvement of microglia in ALS. Importantly, the identification of Brca1 as a novel microglial marker and as possible contributor in both human and animal model of ALS may represent a valid therapeutic target. Moreover, our data points toward novel research strategies such as investigating the role of oncogenic proteins in neurodegenerative diseases. © 2015 Noristani et al.

Campa V.M.,Cell Biology and Stem Cells Unit | Kypta R.M.,Cell Biology and Stem Cells Unit | Kypta R.M.,Imperial College London
Biology Direct | Year: 2011

Results: Taking advantage of gene silencing technology, we examined the specificity of several commercially available anti-phosphorylated GSK-3 antibodies. We show that antibodies raised to peptides containing the phosphorylated Ser21/9 epitope crossreact with unidentified antigens that are highly expressed by mitotic cells and that mainly localise to spindle poles. In addition, two antibodies raised to peptides containing the phosphorylated Tyr279/216 epitope recognise an unidentified protein at focal contacts, and a third antibody recognises a protein found in Ki-67-positive cell nuclei. While the phosphorylated Ser9/21 GSK-3 antibodies also recognise other proteins whose levels increase in mitotic cells in western blots, the phosphorylated Tyr279/216 antibodies appear to be specific in western blotting. However, we cannot rule out the posssibility that they recognise very large or very small proteins that might not be detected using a standard western blotting approach.Conclusions: Our findings indicate that care should be taken when examining the subcellular localisation of active or inactive GSK-3 and, furthermore, suggest that the role of GSK-3 phosphorylation in some cellular processes be reassessed.Reviewers: Dr. David Kaplan, Dr. Robert Murphy and Dr. Cara Gottardi (nominated by Dr Avinash Bhandoola.). © 2011 Campa and Kypta ; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Simoes B.M.,Cell Biology and Stem Cells Unit | Vivanco M.D.,Cell Biology and Stem Cells Unit
Future Oncology | Year: 2011

The identification and characterization of normal and breast cancer stem cells have provided a new vision of breast tumorigenesis. Cancer stem cells may be responsible for breast tumor initiation, progression and development of resistance to therapy. Most breast cancers express the estrogen receptor, and several studies have linked long-term estrogen exposure to enhanced breast cancer risk; however, estrogen receptor-positive tumors usually present a better prognosis than estrogen receptor-negative ones. The finding that estrogen reduces the pool of human breast stem cells may explain the more differentiated phenotype observed in estrogen receptor-positive tumors. In this article, our current understanding of the complex role of estrogen in human breast stem cells is discussed in the context of breast malignancy. © 2011 Future Medicine Ltd.

Serra-Perez A.,Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona IIBB | Planas A.M.,Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona IIBB | Nunez-O'Mara A.,Cell Biology and Stem Cells Unit | Berra E.,Cell Biology and Stem Cells Unit | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2010

Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) is a heterodimeric transcription factor that activates the cellular response to hypoxia. The HIF1α subunit is constantly synthesized and degraded under normoxia, but degradation is rapidly inhibited when oxygen levels drop. Oxygen-dependent hydroxylation by prolyl-4-hydroxylases (PHD) mediates HIF1α proteasome degradation. Brain ischemia limits the availability not only of oxygen but also of glucose. We hypothesized that this circumstance could have a modulating effect on HIF. We assessed the separate involvement of oxygen and glucose in HIF1α regulation in differentiated neuroblastoma cells subjected to ischemia. We report higher transcriptional activity and HIF1α expression under oxygen deprivation in the presence of glucose (OD), than in its absence (oxygen and glucose deprivation, OGD). Unexpectedly, HIF1α was not degraded at reoxygenation after an episode of OGD. This was not due to impairment of proteasome function, but was associated with lower HIF1α hydroxylation. Krebs cycle metabolites fumarate and succinate are known inhibitors of PHD, while α-ketoglutarate is a co-substrate of the reaction. Lack of HIF1α degradation in the presence of oxygen was accompanied by a very low α-ketoglutarate/fumarate ratio. Furthermore, treatment with a fumarate analogue prevented HIF1α degradation under normoxia. In all, our data suggest that postischemic metabolic alterations in Krebs cycle metabolites impair HIF1α degradation in the presence of oxygen by decreasing its hydroxylation, and highlight the involvement of metabolic pathways in HIF1α regulation besides the well known effects of oxygen. © 2010 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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