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Oudit G.Y.,University of Alberta | Penninger J.M.,Institute of Molecular Biotechnology
Current Heart Failure Reports | Year: 2011

Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a monocarboxypeptidase that metabolizes several peptides, including the degradation of angiotensin (Ang) II, a peptide with vasoconstrictive/proliferative effects, to generate Ang 1-7, which exerts vasodilatory/antiproliferative actions by acting through its receptor Mas. ACE2 is a multifunctional enzyme, and its actions on other vasoactive peptides, including the apelin-13 and apelin-17 peptides, also can contribute to its cardiovascular effects. The classical pathway of the renin-angiotensin system involving the ACE-Ang II-Ang II type-1 receptor axis is antagonized by the second arm constituted by the ACE2/Ang 1-7/Mas receptor axis. Loss of ACE2 enhances the adverse pathological remodeling susceptibility to pressure overload and myocardial infarction. Human recombinant ACE2 also is a negative regulator of Ang II-induced myocardial hypertrophy, fibrosis, and diastolic dysfunction and suppresses pressure overload-induced heart failure. Due to its characteristics, the ACE2/Ang 1-7/Mas axis may represent new possibilities for developing novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of hypertension and heart failure. This review summarizes the beneficial effects of ACE2 in heart disease and the potential use of human recombinant ACE2 as a novel therapy for heart failure. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011.

Bulut-Karslioglu A.,Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics | Perrera V.,Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics | Perrera V.,Research Institute of Molecular Pathology | Scaranaro M.,Research Institute of Molecular Pathology | And 15 more authors.
Nature Structural and Molecular Biology | Year: 2012

Heterochromatin is important for genome integrity and stabilization of gene-expression programs. We have identified the transcription factors Pax3 and Pax9 as redundant regulators of mouse heterochromatin, as they repress RNA output from major satellite repeats by associating with DNA within pericentric heterochromatin. Simultaneous depletion of Pax3 and Pax9 resulted in dramatic derepression of major satellite transcripts, persistent impairment of heterochromatic marks and defects in chromosome segregation. Genome-wide analyses of methylated histone H3 at Lys9 showed enrichment at intergenic major satellite repeats only when these sequences retained intact binding sites for Pax and other transcription factors. Additionally, bioinformatic interrogation of all histone methyltransferase Suv39h-dependent heterochromatic repeat regions in the mouse genome revealed a high concordance with the presence of transcription factor binding sites. These data define a general model in which reiterated arrangement of transcription factor binding sites within repeat sequences is an intrinsic mechanism of the formation of heterochromatin. © 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Hasanovic A.,University of Vienna | Winkler R.,University of Vienna | Resch G.P.,Institute of Molecular Biotechnology | Valenta C.,University of Vienna
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics | Year: 2011

The stratum corneum (SC), top layer of the epidermis, is comprised mostly of lipids that are responsible for the permeability properties of the SC and which protect the body from external agents. Changes in these skin microconstituents can be understood by instrumental methods such as attenuated total reflectance Fourier-transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy. The present work shows that different types of analyzed skin, dermatomed abdominal porcine skin, pig ear skin, and human heat separated skin, influenced both the shape and the intensity of recorded spectra. The typical FTIR spectral bands of the conformation of the lipid aliphatic chains in the skin samples were altered after treatment with pure DPPC liposomes and chitosan (CS) coated DPPC liposomes, but not with aqueous CS-solution. The conformational change could be the reason for the variable permeability of the skin. This was confirmed by tape stripping on pig ear skin (imitating in vivo studies): the amount of aciclovir penetrating from polymer coated and polymer free liposomes was significantly higher under the skin surface in comparison with the aqueous CS-solution. Moreover, the addition of the polymer to liposomes induced a higher skin penetration than pure liposomes. One explanation might be the CS's stronger adhesion to the skin. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Lienert F.,Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research | Mohn F.,Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research | Mohn F.,Institute of Molecular Biotechnology | Tiwari V.K.,Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research | And 5 more authors.
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2011

Cellular differentiation entails reprogramming of the transcriptome from a pluripotent to a unipotent fate. This process was suggested to coincide with a global increase of repressive heterochromatin, which results in a reduction of transcriptional plasticity and potential. Here we report the dynamics of the transcriptome and an abundant heterochromatic histone modification, dimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 9 (H3K9me2), during neuronal differentiation of embryonic stem cells. In contrast to the prevailing model, we find H3K9me2 to occupy over 50% of chromosomal regions already in stem cells. Marked are most genomic regions that are devoid of transcription and a subgroup of histone modifications. Importantly, no global increase occurs during differentiation, but discrete local changes of H3K9me2 particularly at genic regions can be detected. Mirroring the cell fate change, many genes show altered expression upon differentiation. Quantitative sequencing of transcripts demonstrates however that the total number of active genes is equal between stem cells and several tested differentiated cell types. Together, these findings reveal high prevalence of a heterochromatic mark in stem cells and challenge the model of low abundance of epigenetic repression and resulting global basal level transcription in stem cells. This suggests that cellular differentiation entails local rather than global changes in epigenetic repression and transcriptional activity. © 2011 Lienert et al.

Metze S.,University of Bern | Herzog V.A.,University of Bern | Herzog V.A.,Institute of Molecular Biotechnology | Ruepp M.-D.,University of Bern | Muhlemann O.,University of Bern
RNA | Year: 2013

Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a eukaryotic post-transcriptional gene regulation mechanism that eliminates mRNAs with the termination codon (TC) located in an unfavorable environment for efficient translation termination. The best-studied NMD-targeted mRNAs contain premature termination codons (PTCs); however, NMD regulates even many physiological mRNAs. An exon-junction complex (EJC) located downstream from a TC acts as an NMD-enhancing signal, but is not generally required for NMD. Here, we compared these "EJC-enhanced" and "EJC-independent" modes of NMD with regard to their requirement for seven known NMD factors in human cells using two well-characterized NMD reporter genes (immunoglobulin μ and β-Globin) with or without an intron downstream from the PTC. We show that both NMD modes depend on UPF1 and SMG1, but detected transcript-specific differences with respect to the requirement for UPF2 and UPF3b, consistent with previously reported UPF2- and UPF3-independent branches of NMD. In addition and contrary to expectation, a higher sensitivity of EJC-independent NMD to reduced UPF2 and UPF3b concentrations was observed. Our data further revealed a redundancy of the endo- and exonucleolytic mRNA degradation pathways in both modes of NMD. Moreover, the relative contributions of both decay pathways differed between the reporters, with PTC-containing immunoglobulin μ transcripts being preferentially subjected to SMG6-mediated endonucleolytic cleavage, whereas β-Globin transcripts were predominantly degraded by the SMG5/SMG7-dependent pathway. Overall, the surprising heterogeneity observed with only two NMD reporter pairs suggests the existence of several mechanistically distinct branches of NMD in human cells. © 2013; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the RNA Society.

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