Hamilton Center for Kidney Research

Hamilton, Canada

Hamilton Center for Kidney Research

Hamilton, Canada
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Kolb P.S.,McMaster University | Kolb P.S.,Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health | Ayaub E.A.,McMaster University | Ayaub E.A.,Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health | And 10 more authors.
International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology | Year: 2015

Recently, there has been an increasing amount of literature published on the effects of 4-phenylbutyric acid (4-PBA) in various biological systems. 4-PBA is currently used clinically to treat urea cycle disorders under the trade name Buphenyl. Recent studies however have explored 4-PBA in the context of a low weight molecular weight chemical chaperone. Its properties as a chemical chaperone prevent misfolded protein aggregation and alleviate endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. As the ER is responsible for folding proteins targeted for use in membranes or secreted out of the cell, failure of maintaining adequate ER homeostasis may lead to protein misfolding and subsequent cell and organ pathology. Accumulation of misfolded proteins within the ER activates the unfolded protein response (UPR), a molecular repair response. The activation of the UPR aims to restore ER and cellular proteostasis by regulating the rate of synthesis of newly formed proteins as well as initiating molecular programs aimed to help fold or degrade misfolded proteins. If proteostasis is not restored, the UPR may initiate pro-apoptotic pathways. It is suggested that 4-PBA may help fold proteins in the ER, attenuating the activation of the UPR, and thus potentially alleviating various pathologies. This review discusses the biomedical research exploring the potential therapeutic effects of 4-PBA in various in vitro and in vivo model systems and clinical trials, while also commenting on the possible mechanisms of action. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Wong N.,McMaster University | Wong N.,Father Sean oSullivan Research Center | Wong N.,Hamilton Center for Kidney Research | De Melo J.,McMaster University | And 5 more authors.
International Journal of Cell Biology | Year: 2013

Aerobic glycolysis is the dominant metabolic pathway utilized by cancer cells, owing to its ability to divert glucose metabolites from ATP production towards the synthesis of cellular building blocks (nucleotides, amino acids, and lipids) to meet the demands of proliferation. The M2 isoform of pyruvate kinase (PKM2) catalyzes the final and also a rate-limiting reaction in the glycolytic pathway. In the PK family, PKM2 is subjected to a complex regulation by both oncogenes and tumour suppressors, which allows for a fine-tone regulation of PKM2 activity. The less active form of PKM2 drives glucose through the route of aerobic glycolysis, while active PKM2 directs glucose towards oxidative metabolism. Additionally, PKM2 possesses protein tyrosine kinase activity and plays a role in modulating gene expression and thereby contributing to tumorigenesis. We will discuss our current understanding of PKM2's regulation and its many contributions to tumorigenesis. © 2013 Nicholas Wong et al.


Fullerton M.D.,McMaster University | Ford R.J.,McMaster University | McGregor C.P.,University of Ottawa | LeBlond N.D.,University of Ottawa | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Lipid Research | Year: 2015

Atherosclerosis stems from imbalances in lipid metabolism and leads to maladaptive inflammatory responses. The AMP-activated protein kinase (Ampk) is a highly conserved serine/threonine kinase that regulates many aspects of lipid and energy metabolism, although its specific role in controlling macrophage cholesterol homeostasis remains unclear. We sought to address this question by testing the effects of direct Ampk activators in primary bone marrow-derived macrophages from Ampk β1-deficient (β1-/-) mice. Macrophages from Ampk β1-/- mice had enhanced lipogenic capacity and diminished cholesterol efflux, although cholesterol uptake was unaffected. Direct activation of Ampk β1 via salicylate (the unacetylated form of aspirin) or A-769662 (a small molecule activator), decreased the synthesis of FAs and sterols in WT but not Ampk β1-/- macrophages. In lipid-laden macrophages, Ampk activation decreased cholesterol content (foam cell formation) and increased cholesterol efflux to HDL and apoA-I, effects that occurred in an Ampk β1-dependent manner. Increased cholesterol efflux was also associated with increased gene expression of the ATP binding cassette transporters, Abcg1 and Abca1. Moreover, in vivo reverse cholesterol transport was suppressed in mice that received Ampk β1-/- macrophages compared with the WT control. Our data highlight the therapeutic potential of targeting macrophage Ampk with new or existing drugs for the possible reduction in foam cell formation during the early stages of atherosclerosis. Copyright © 2015 by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.


Basseri S.,McMaster University | Basseri S.,Hamilton Center for Kidney Research | Lhotak S.,Hamilton Center for Kidney Research | Fullerton M.D.,McMaster University | And 9 more authors.
Diabetes | Year: 2013

Regulation of energy metabolism is critical for the prevention of obesity, diabetes, and hepatic steatosis. Here, we report an important role for the pleckstrin homology-related domain family member, T-cell death-associated gene 51 (TDAG51), in the regulation of energy metabolism. TDAG51 expression was examined during adipocyte differentiation. Adipogenic potential of preadipocytes with knockdown or absence of TDAG51 was assessed. Weight gain, insulin sensitivity, metabolic rate, and liver lipid content were also compared between TDAG51-deficient (TDAG51-/-) and wild-type mice. In addition to its relatively high expression in liver, TDAG51 was also present in white adipose tissue (WAT). TDAG51 was downregulated during adipogenesis, and TDAG51 -/- preadipocytes exhibited greater lipogenic potential. TDAG51 -/- mice fed a chow diet exhibited greater body and WAT mass, had reduced energy expenditure, displayed matureonset insulin resistance (IR), and were predisposed to hepatic steatosis. TDAG51-/- mice had increased hepatic triglycerides and SREBP-1 target gene expression. Furthermore, TDAG51 expression was inversely correlated with fatty liver in multiple mouse models of hepatic steatosis. Taken together, our findings suggest that TDAG51 is involved in energy homeostasis at least in part by regulating lipogenesis in liver and WAT, and hence, may constitute a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of obesity and IR. © 2013 by the American Diabetes Association.


Yan J.,McMaster University | Yan J.,Father Sean ullivan Research Center | Yan J.,Hamilton Center for Kidney Research | De Melo J.,McMaster University | And 7 more authors.
British Journal of Cancer | Year: 2014

Background:Accumulating evidence demonstrates high levels of aldehyde dehydrogense (ALDH) activity in human cancer types, in part, because of its association with cancer stem cells. Whereas ALDH1A1 and ALDH7A1 isoforms were reported to associate with prostate tumorigenesis, whether other ALDH isoforms are associated with prostate cancer (PC) remains unclear.Methods:ALDH3A1 expression was analysed in various PC cell lines. Xenograft tumours and 54 primary and metastatic PC tumours were stained using immunohistochemistry for ALDH3A1 expression.Results:In comparison with the non-stem counterparts, a robust upregulation of ALDH3A1 was observed in DU145-derived PC stem cells (PCSCs). As DU145 PCSCs produced xenograft tumours with more advanced features compared with those derived from DU145 cells, higher levels of ALDH3A1 were detected in the former; a dramatic elevation of ALDH3A1 occurred in DU145 cell-derived lung metastasis compared with local xenograft tumours. Furthermore, while ALDH3A1 was not observed in prostate glands, ALDH3A1 was clearly present in PIN, and further increased in carcinomas. In comparison with the paired local carcinomas, ALDH3A1 was upregulated in lymph node metastatic tumours; the presence of ALDH3A1 in bone metastatic PC was also demonstrated.Conclusions:We report here the association of ALDH3A1 with PC progression. © 2014 Cancer Research UK.


Wei J.,McMaster University | Wei J.,Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health | Rahman S.,McMaster University | Rahman S.,Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health | And 7 more authors.
Chest | Year: 2013

The pathogenesis of chronic lung disorders is poorly understood but is often thought to arise because of repeated injuries derived from exposure to exogenous or endogenous stress factors. Protein-misfolding events have been observed in a variety of genetic and nongenetic chronic lung disorders and may contribute to both the initiation and the progression of lung disease through endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR). Evidence indicates that exposure to common lung irritants such as cigarette smoke, environmental pollutants, and infectious viral or bacterial agents can induce ER stress and protein misfolding. Although the UPR is thought to be a molecular mechanism involved in the repair and restoration of protein homeostasis or "proteostasis," prolonged activation of the UPR may lead to compromised cellular functions, cellular transformation, or cell death. Here, we review literature that associates protein-misfolding events with ER stress and UPR activation and discuss how this basic molecular repair mechanism may contribute to the initiation and progression of various genetic and nongenetic chronic lung diseases. © 2013 American College of Chest Physicians.

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