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Huttenrauch M.,University Hospital Freiburg | Baches S.,Heinrich Group | Gerth J.,University Hospital Freiburg | Gerth J.,University of Bonn | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2015

The deposition of amyloid-β (Aβ) is one of the major neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the case of sporadic AD, an imbalance in Aβ in production and clearance seems to be the reason for an enhanced Aβ accumulation. Besides a systematic clearance through the blood-brain barrier, Aβ is cleared from the brain by Aβ-degrading enzymes. The metalloprotease neprilysin (NEP) is an important Aβ-degrading enzyme as shown by numerous in vitro, in vivo and reverse genetics studies. 5XFAD mice represent an early-onset AD mouse model which develops plaque pathology starting with 2 months of age in addition to robust behavioral deficits at later time points. By crossing 5XFAD mice with homozygous NEP-knock-out mice (NEP-/-), we show that hemizygous NEP deficiency aggravates the behavioral and neuropathological phenotype of 5XFAD mice. We found that 5XFAD mice per se showed strongly decreased NEP expression levels compared to wildtype mice, which was aggravated by NEP reduction. 5XFAD/NEP+/- mice demonstrated impairment in spatial working memory and increased astrocytosis in all studied brain areas, in addition to an overall increased level of soluble Aβ42 as well as region-specific increases in extracellular Aβ deposition. Surprisingly, in young mice, a more abundant cortical Aβ plaque pathology was observed in 5XFAD compared to 5XFAD/NEP+/- mice. Additionally, young 5XFAD/NEP+/- as well as hemi- and homozygous NEP knockout mice showed elevated levels of endothelin-converting enzyme 1 (ECE1), suggesting a mutual regulation of ECE1 and NEP at young ages. The present data indicate that NEP mainly degrades soluble Aβ peptides, which confirms previous observations. Increased ECE1 levels correlated well with the strongly reduced extracellular plaque load in young 5XFAD/NEP+/- mice and might suggest a reciprocal effect between ECE and NEP activities in Aβ degradation. © 2015 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved. Source

Liebner S.,Heinrich Group | Plate K.,Heinrich Group
Journal of Angiogenesis Research | Year: 2010

Vascularization of the vertebrate brain takes place during embryonic development from a preformed perineural vascular plexus. As a consequence of the intimate contact with neuroectodermal cells the vessels, which are entering the brain exclusively via sprouting angiogenesis, acquire and maintain unique barrier properties known as the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The endothelial BBB depends upon the close association of endothelial cells with pericytes, astrocytes, neurons and microglia, which are summarized in the term neuro-vascular unit. Although it is known since decades that the CNS tissue provides the cues for BBB induction and differentiation in endothelial cells, the molecular mechanism remained obscure. Only recently, the canonical Wnt/-catenin pathway and the Wnt7a/7b growth factors have been implicated in brain angiogenesis on the one hand and in BBB induction on the other. This breakthrough in understanding the differentiation of the brain vasculature prompted us to review these findings embedded in the emerging concepts of Wnt signaling in the vasculature. In particular, interactions with other pathways that are crucial for vascular development such as VEGF, Notch, angiopoietins and Sonic hedgehog are discussed. Finally, we considered the potential role of the Wnt pathway in vascular brain pathologies in which BBB function is hampered, as for example in glioma, stroke and Alzheimer's disease. © 2010 Liebner and Plate; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Liebmann J.,Heinrich Group | Born M.,Philips | Kolb-Bachofen V.,Heinrich Group
Journal of Investigative Dermatology | Year: 2010

Sunlight influences the physiology of the human skin in beneficial as well as harmful ways, as has been shown for UV light. However, little is known about the effects of other wavelengths of solar irradiation. In this study we irradiated human keratinocytes and skin-derived endothelial cells with light-emitting-diode devices of distinct wavelengths to study the effects on cell physiology. We found that light at wavelengths of 632-940 nm has no effect, but irradiation with blue light at 412-426 nm exerts toxic effects at high fluences. Light at 453 nm is nontoxic up to a fluence of 500 J/cm 2. At nontoxic fluences, blue light reduces proliferation dose dependently by up to 50%, which is attributable to differentiation induction as shown by an increase of differentiation markers. Experiments with BSA demonstrate that blue-light irradiation up to 453 nm photolytically generates nitric oxide (NO) from nitrosated proteins, which is known to initiate differentiation in skin cells. Our data provide evidence for a molecular mechanism by which blue light may be effective in treating hyperproliferative skin conditions by reducing proliferation due to the induction of differentiation. We observed a photolytic release of NO from nitrosated proteins, indicating that they are light acceptors and signal transducers up to a wavelength of 453 nm. © 2010 The Society for Investigative Dermatology. Source

Gunther T.,Heinrich Group | Schreiner S.,Heinrich Pette Institute | Dobner T.,Heinrich Pette Institute | Tessmer U.,Heinrich Group | Grundhoff A.,Heinrich Group
PLoS Pathogens | Year: 2014

We have previously demonstrated that acquisition of intricate patterns of activating (H3K4me3, H3K9/K14ac) and repressive (H3K27me3) histone modifications is a hallmark of KSHV latency establishment. The precise molecular mechanisms that shape the latent histone modification landscape, however, remain unknown. Promyelocytic leukemia nuclear bodies (PML-NB), also called nuclear domain 10 (ND10), have emerged as mediators of innate immune responses that can limit viral gene expression via chromatin based mechanisms. Consequently, although ND10 functions thus far have been almost exclusively investigated in models of productive herpesvirus infection, it has been proposed that they also may contribute to the establishment of viral latency. Here, we report the first systematic study of the role of ND10 during KSHV latency establishment, and link alterations in the subcellular distribution of ND10 components to a temporal analysis of histone modification acquisition and host cell gene expression during the early infection phase. Our study demonstrates that KSHV infection results in a transient interferon response that leads to induction of the ND10 components PML and Sp100, but that repression by ND10 bodies is unlikely to contribute to KSHV latency establishment. Instead, we uncover an unexpected role for soluble Sp100 protein, which is efficiently and permanently relocalized from nucleoplasmic and chromatin-associated fractions into the insoluble matrix. We show that LANA expression is sufficient to induce Sp100 relocalization, likely via mediating SUMOylation of Sp100. Furthermore, we demonstrate that depletion of soluble Sp100 occurs precisely when repressive H3K27me3 marks first accumulate on viral genomes, and that knock-down of Sp100 (but not PML or Daxx) facilitates H3K27me3 acquisition. Collectively, our data support a model in which non-ND10 resident Sp100 acts as a negative regulator of polycomb repressive complex-2 (PRC2) recruitment, and suggest that KSHV may actively escape ND10 silencing mechanisms to promote establishment of latent chromatin. © 2014 Günther et al. Source

Kersting A.R.,University of Munster | Kersting A.R.,Heinrich Group | Mizrachi E.,University of Pretoria | Bornberg-Bauer E.,University of Munster | Myburg A.A.,University of Pretoria
New Phytologist | Year: 2015

Eucalyptus is a pivotal genus within the rosid order Myrtales with distinct geographic history and adaptations. Comparative analysis of protein domain evolution in the newly sequenced Eucalyptus grandis genome and other rosid lineages sheds light on the adaptive mechanisms integral to the success of this genus of woody perennials. We reconstructed the ancestral domain content to elucidate the gain, loss and expansion of protein domains and domain arrangements in Eucalyptus in the context of rosid phylogeny. We used functional gene ontology (GO) annotation of genes to investigate the possible biological and evolutionary consequences of protein domain expansion. We found that protein modulation within the angiosperms occurred primarily on the level of expansion of certain domains and arrangements. Using RNA-Seq data from E. grandis, we showed that domain expansions have contributed to tissue-specific expression of tandemly duplicated genes. Our results indicate that tandem duplication of genes, a key feature of the Eucalyptus genome, has played an important role in the expansion of domains, particularly in proteins related to the specialization of reproduction and biotic and abiotic interactions affecting root and floral biology, and that tissue-specific expression of proteins with expanded domains has facilitated subfunctionalization in domain families. © 2014 New Phytologist Trust. Source

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