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Gerding D.N.,Loyola University Chicago | Johnson S.,Loyola University Chicago | Rupnik M.,Institute of Public Health Maribor | Aktories K.,Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
Gut microbes | Year: 2014

Binary toxin (CDT) is frequently observed in Clostridium difficile strains associated with increased severity of C. difficile infection (CDI). CDT belongs to the family of binary ADP-ribosylating toxins consisting of two separate toxin components: CDTa, the enzymatic ADP-ribosyltransferase which modifies actin, and CDTb which binds to host cells and translocates CDTa into the cytosol. CDTb is activated by serine proteases and binds to lipolysis stimulated lipoprotein receptor. ADP-ribosylation induces depolymerization of the actin cytoskeleton. Toxin-induced actin depolymerization also produces microtubule-based membrane protrusions which form a network on epithelial cells and increase bacterial adherence. Multiple clinical studies indicate an association between binary toxin genes in C. difficile and increased 30-d CDI mortality independent of PCR ribotype. Further studies including measures of binary toxin in stool, analyses of CDI mortality caused by CDT-producing strains, and examination of the relationship of CDT expression to TcdA and TcdB toxin variants and PCR ribotypes are needed. Source


Schmid E.,Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology | Neef S.,University of Regensburg | Berlin C.,Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology | Tomasovic A.,Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology | And 31 more authors.
Nature Medicine | Year: 2015

In heart failure therapy, it is generally assumed that attempts to produce a long-term increase in cardiac contractile force are almost always accompanied by structural and functional damage. Here we show that modest overexpression of the Raf kinase inhibitor protein (RKIP), encoded by Pebp1 in mice, produces a well-tolerated, persistent increase in cardiac contractility that is mediated by the β 1 -adrenoceptor (β 1 AR). This result is unexpected, as β 1 AR activation, a major driver of cardiac contractility, usually has long-term adverse effects. RKIP overexpression achieves this tolerance via simultaneous activation of the β 2 AR subtype. Analogously, RKIP deficiency exaggerates pressure overload-induced cardiac failure. We find that RKIP expression is upregulated in mouse and human heart failure, indicative of an adaptive role for RKIP. Pebp1 gene transfer in a mouse model of heart failure has beneficial effects, suggesting a new therapeutic strategy for heart failure therapy. © 2015 Nature America, Inc. Source


Bock K.W.,Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
Biochemical Pharmacology | Year: 2016

UDP-glycosyltransferases (UGTs) are major phase II enzymes of a detoxification system evolved in all kingdoms of life. Lipophilic endobiotics such as hormones and xenobiotics including phytoalexins and drugs are conjugated by vertebrates mainly with glucuronic acid, by invertebrates and plants mainly with glucose. Plant-herbivore arms-race has been the major driving force for evolution of large UGT and other enzyme superfamilies. The UGT superfamily is defined by a common protein structure and signature sequence of 44 amino acids responsible for binding the UDP moiety of the sugar donor. Plants developed toxic phytoalexins stored as glucosides. Upon herbivore attack these conjugates are converted to highly reactive compounds. In turn, animals developed large families of UGTs in their intestine and liver to detoxify these phytoalexins. Interestingly, phytoalexins, exemplified by quercetin glucuronides and glucosinolate-derived isocyanates, are known insect attractant pigments in plants, and antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and chemopreventive compounds of humans. It is to be anticipated that phytochemicals may provide a rich source in beneficial drugs. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source


Bock K.W.,Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
Biochemical Pharmacology | Year: 2016

Target cells and molecular targets responsible for dioxin-mediated chloracne, the hallmark of dioxin toxicity, are reviewed. The dioxin TCDD accumulates in sebum, and thereby persistently activates the Ah receptor (AhR), expressed in bipotential stem/progenitor cells of the sebaceous gland. AhR operates in cooperation with other transcription factors including c-Myc, Blimp1 and ß-Catenin/TCF: c-Myc stimulates exit of stem cells from quiescence to proliferating sebocyte progenitors; Blimp1 is a major c-Myc repressor, and ß-Catenin/TCF represses sebaceous gland differentiation and stimulates differentiation to interfollicular epidermis. TCDD has been demonstrated to induce Blimp1 expression in the sebocyte stem/progenitor cell line SZ95, leading to sebocyte apoptosis and proliferation of interfollicular epidermis cells. These findings explain observations in TCDD-poisoned individuals, and identify target cells and molecular targets of dioxin-mediated chloracne. They clearly demonstrate that the AhR operates in a cell context-dependent manner, and provide hints to homeostatic functions of AhR in stem/progenitor cells. © 2016. Source


Belge G.,University of Bremen | Radtke A.,University of Bremen | Radtke A.,University of Lubeck | Meyer A.,University of Bremen | And 11 more authors.
Histology and Histopathology | Year: 2011

The high mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2) gene is proposed to regulate the genes involved in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). One form of EMT is endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EndMT). We analyzed the expression profile of the HMGA2 gene in different human aortic diseases. Aortic specimens were collected from 51 patients, including 19 with acute aortic dissection, 26 with aortic aneurysm, two with Marfan syndrome and four aortic valves. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was carried out for HMGA2 and immunohistochemical analyses were performed for HMGA2, SNAI1, Vimentin, CD34, MKI-67 and TGFB1. The expression of let-7d microRNA, which is assumed to play a role in the regulation of HMGA2, was also quantified. The level of HMGA2 gene expression was significantly higher in acute aortic dissection compared with all the other samples (193.1 vs. 8.1 fold normalized to calibrator, P<0.001). The immunohistochemical investigation showed that HMGA2, SNAI1, and Vimentin proteins were mainly detected in the endothelial cells of the vasa vasorum. The HMGA2 gene is upregulated in acute aortic dissection. This is the first report describing a link between HMGA2 and acute aortic dissection. The HMGA2, SNAI1 and Vimentin proteins were mainly detected in the endothelium of the vasa vasorum. It seems that HMGA2 overexpression in acute aortic dissection occurs in a let-7d-independent manner and is associated with EndMT of the vasa vasorum. Source

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