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Chen D.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Li S.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Singh R.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Singh R.,Texas Tech University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Cell Science | Year: 2012

Cardiac development requires interplay between the regulation of gene expression and the assembly of functional sarcomeric proteins. We report that UNC-45b recessive loss-of-function mutations in C3H and C57BL/6 inbred mouse strains cause arrest of cardiac morphogenesis at the formation of right heart structures and failure of contractile function. Wild-type C3H and C57BL/6 embryos at the same stage, E9.5, form actively contracting right and left atria and ventricles. The known interactions of UNC-45b as a molecular chaperone are consistent with diminished accumulation of the sarcomeric myosins, but not their mRNAs, and the resulting decreased contraction of homozygous mutant embryonic hearts. The novel finding that GATA4 accumulation is similarly decreased at the protein but not mRNA levels is also consistent with the function of UNC-45b as a chaperone. The mRNAs of known downstream targets of GATA4 during secondary cardiac field development, the cardiogenic factors Hand1, Hand2 and Nkx-2.5, are also decreased, consistent with the reduced GATA4 protein accumulation. Direct binding studies show that the UNC-45b chaperone forms physical complexes with both the alpha and beta cardiac myosins and the cardiogenic transcription factor GATA4. Co-expression of UNC-45b with GATA4 led to enhanced transcription from GATA promoters in nai{dotless}̈ve cells. These novel results suggest that the heart-specific UNC-45b isoform functions as a molecular chaperone mediating contractile function of the sarcomere and gene expression in cardiac development. © 2012. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. Source

Hellvard A.,University of Bergen | Hellvard A.,Gothenburg University | Maresz K.,Jagiellonian University | Schilling S.,Probiodrug | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2013

Background. Septic arthritis is a severe and rapidly debilitating disease mainly caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Here, we assess the antiarthritic efficiency of glutaminyl cyclase (QC) inhibitors.Methods. Mice were inoculated with an arthritogenic amount of S. aureus intravenously or by local administration into the knee joint. Animals were treated with QC inhibitors (PBD155 and PQ529) via chow during the experiment. QC and isoQC knockout mice were also analyzed for arthritis symptoms after local administration of bacteria.Results. Both QC inhibitors significantly delayed the onset of clinical signs of arthritis, and inhibitors significantly decreased weight loss in treated animals. Following intraarticular injection of S. aureus, PBD155-treated mice had lower levels of synovitis and bone erosion, as well as less myeloperoxidase in synovial tissue. Fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis revealed that PBD155 treatment affected the expression pattern of adhesion molecules, preventing the upregulation of cells expressing CD11b/CD18. Conclusion. The compounds investigated here represent a novel class of small molecular antiarthritic inhibitors. In our studies, they exerted strong antiinflammatory actions, and therefore they might be suited for disease-modifying treatment of infectious arthritis. © 2012 The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. Source

Rathkolb B.,Gene Center | Rathkolb B.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Klempt M.,Gene Center | Sabrautzki S.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | And 21 more authors.
BioMetals | Year: 2015

Iron is essential for numerous cellular processes. For diagnostic purposes iron-related parameters in patients are assessed by clinical chemical blood analysis including the analysis of ferritin, transferrin and iron levels. Here, we retrospectively evaluated the use of these parameters in the phenotype-driven Munich N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea mouse mutagenesis project for the generation of novel animal models for human diseases. The clinical chemical blood analysis was carried out on more than 10,700 G1 and G3 offspring of chemically mutagenized inbred C3H mice to detect dominant and recessive mutations leading to deviations in the plasma levels of iron-related plasma parameters. We identified animals consistently exhibiting altered plasma ferritin or transferrin values. Transmission of the phenotypic deviations to the subsequent generations led to the successful establishment of three mutant lines with increased plasma ferritin levels. For two of these lines the causative mutations were identified in the Fth1gene and the Ireb2 gene, respectively. Thus, novel mouse models for the functional analysis of iron homeostasis were established by a phenotype-driven screen for mutant mice. © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source

Lu P.,University of Iowa | Hankel I.L.,University of Iowa | Knisz J.,University of Iowa | Marquardt A.,Ingenium Pharmaceuticals | And 13 more authors.
Journal of Experimental Medicine | Year: 2010

A recessive mutation named Justy was found that abolishes B lymphopoiesis but does not impair other major aspects of hematopoiesis. Transplantation experiments showed that homozygosity for Justy prevented hematopoietic progenitors from generating B cells but did not affect the ability of bone marrow stroma to support B lymphopoiesis. In bone marrow from mutant mice, common lymphoid progenitors and pre-pro-B cells appeared normal, but cells at subsequent stages of B lymphopoiesis were dramatically reduced in number. Under culture conditions that promoted B lymphopoiesis, mutant pre-pro-B cells remained alive and began expressing the B cell marker CD19 but failed to proliferate. In contrast, these cells were able to generate myeloid or T/NK precursors. Genetic and molecular analysis demonstrated that Justy is a point mutation within the Gon4-like (Gon4l) gene, which encodes a protein with homology to transcriptional regulators. This mutation was found to disrupt Gon4l pre-mRNA splicing and dramatically reduce expression of wild-type Gon4l RNA and protein. Consistent with a role for Gon4l in transcriptional regulation, the levels of RNA encoding C/EBPα and PU.1 were abnormally high in mutant B cell progenitors. Our findings indicate that the Gon4l protein is required for B lymphopoiesis and may function to regulate gene expression during this process. © 2010 Lu et al. Source

Aigner B.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Rathkolb B.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Klempt M.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Wagner S.,Helmholtz Center Munich | And 7 more authors.
Mammalian Genome | Year: 2011

Research on hematological disorders relies on suitable animal models. We retrospectively evaluated the use of the hematological parameters hematocrit (HCT), hemoglobin (HGB), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), red blood cell count (RBC), white blood cell count (WBC), and platelet count (PLT) in the phenotype-driven Munich N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) mouse mutagenesis project as parameters for the generation of novel animal models for human diseases. The analysis was carried out on more than 16,000 G1 and G3 offspring of chemically mutagenized inbred C3H mice to detect dominant and recessive mutations leading to deviations in the levels of the chosen parameters. Identification of animals exhibiting altered values and transmission of the phenotypic deviations to the subsequent generations led to the successful establishment of mutant lines for the parameters MCV, RBC, and PLT. Analysis of the causative mutation was started in selected lines, thereby revealing a novel mutation in the transferrin receptor gene (Tfrc) in one line. Thus, novel phenotype-driven mouse models were established to analyze the genetic components of hematological disorders. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Source

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