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Porto, Portugal

Barros R.,IPATIMUP | Da Costa L.T.,IPATIMUP | Da Costa L.T.,University of Evora | Pinto-de-Sousa J.,Hospital S. Joao | And 7 more authors.

Background and aims: Intestinal metaplasia (IM) is a gastric preneoplastic lesion that appears following Helicobacter pylori infection and confers an increased risk for development of cancer. It is induced by gastric expression of the intestine-specific transcription factor CDX2. The regulatory mechanisms involved in triggering and maintaining gastric CDX2 expression have not been fully elucidated. The Cdx2+/- mouse develops intestinal polyps with gastric differentiation and total loss of Cdx2 expression in the absence of structural loss of the second allele, suggesting a regulatory defect. This putative haplo-insufficiency, together with the apparent stability of IM, led to the hypothesis that CDX2 regulates its own expression through an autoregulatory loop in both contexts. Methods: Gastrointestinal cell lines were co-transfected with wild-type or mutated Cdx2 promoter constructs and CDX2 expression vector for luciferase assays. Transfection experiments were also used to assess endogenous CDX2 autoregulation, evaluated by RT-PCR, qPCR and western blotting. Chromatin immunoprecipitation was performed in a cell line, mouse ileum and human IM. Results: CDX2 binds to and transactivates its own promoter and positively regulates its expression in gastrointestinal human carcinoma cell lines. Furthermore, CDX2 is bound to its promoter in the mouse ileum and in human gastric IM, providing a major contribution to understanding the relevance of this autoregulatory pathway in vivo. Conclusion: The results of this study demonstrate another layer of complexity in CDX2 regulation by an effective autoregulatory loop which may have a major impact on the stability of human IM, possibly resulting in the inevitable progression of the gastric carcinogenesis pathway. Source

Nogueira C.,National Institute of Health | Barros J.,Hospital Santo Antonio | Barros J.,Abel Salazar Biomedical Sciences Institute | Sa M.J.,Hospital Sao Joao | And 13 more authors.

Complex III of the mitochondrial respiratory chain (CIII) catalyzes transfer of electrons from reduced coenzyme Q to cytochrome c. Low biochemical activity of CIII is not a frequent etiology in disorders of oxidative metabolism and is genetically heterogeneous. Recently, mutations in the human tetratricopeptide 19 gene (TTC19) have been involved in the etiology of CIII deficiency through impaired assembly of the holocomplex. We investigated a consanguineous Portuguese family where four siblings had reduced enzymatic activity of CIII in muscle and harbored a novel homozygous mutation in TTC19. The clinical phenotype in the four sibs was consistent with severe olivo-ponto-cerebellar atrophy, although their age at onset differed slightly. Interestingly, three patients also presented progressive psychosis. The mutation resulted in almost complete absence of TTC19 protein, defective assembly of CIII in muscle, and enhanced production of reactive oxygen species in cultured skin fibroblasts. Our findings add to the array of mutations in TTC19, corroborate the notion of genotype/phenotype variability in mitochondrial encephalomyopathies even within a single family, and indicate that psychiatric manifestations are a further presentation of low CIII. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Aggarwal S.,Nizams Institute of Medical Sciences | Aggarwal S.,DNA Diagnostics Center | Coutinho M.F.,DNA Diagnostics Center | Dalal A.B.,DNA Diagnostics Center | And 3 more authors.

We report a neonate who was diagnosed as a case of skeletal dysplasia during pregnancy, and was subsequently diagnosed as a case of MLII alpha/beta on the basis of clinical and radiological findings and molecular testing of the parents. A novel GNPTAB mutation c.1701delC [p.F566L. fsX5] was identified in the father. The case reiterates the severe prenatal phenotype of MLII alpha/beta which mimics skeletal dysplasia and illustrates the utility of molecular genetic analysis in confirmation of diagnosis and subsequent genetic counselling. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

De Pace R.,University of Hamburg | Coutinho M.F.,Research and Development Unit | Koch-Nolte F.,University of Hamburg | Haag F.,University of Hamburg | And 4 more authors.
Human Mutation

Mucolipidosis (ML) II and MLIII alpha/beta are two pediatric lysosomal storage disorders caused by mutations in the GNPTAB gene, which encodes an α/β-subunit precursor protein of GlcNAc-1-phosphotransferase. Considerable variations in the onset and severity of the clinical phenotype in these diseases are observed. We report here on expression studies of two missense mutations c.242G>T (p.Trp81Leu) and c.2956C>T (p.Arg986Cys) and two frameshift mutations c.3503_3504delTC (p.Leu1168GlnfsX5) and c.3145insC (p.Gly1049ArgfsX16) present in severely affected MLII patients, as well as two missense mutations c.1196C>T (p.Ser399Phe) and c.3707A>T (p.Lys1236Met) reported in more mild affected individuals. We generated a novel α-subunit-specific monoclonal antibody, allowing the analysis of the expression, subcellular localization, and proteolytic activation of wild-type and mutant α/β-subunit precursor proteins by Western blotting and immunofluorescence microscopy. In general, we found that both missense and frameshift mutations that are associated with a severe clinical phenotype cause retention of the encoded protein in the endoplasmic reticulum and failure to cleave the α/β-subunit precursor protein are associated with a severe clinical phenotype with the exception of p.Ser399Phe found in MLIII alpha/beta. Our data provide new insights into structural requirements for localization and activity of GlcNAc-1-phosphotransferase that may help to explain the clinical phenotype of MLII patients. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Coutinho M.F.,Research and Development Unit | Prata M.J.,IPATIMUP | Alves S.,Research and Development Unit
Molecular Genetics and Metabolism

Lysosomal hydrolases have long been known to be responsible for the degradation of different substrates in the cell. These acid hydrolases are synthesized in the rough endoplasmic reticulum and transported through the Golgi apparatus to the trans-Golgi network (TGN). From there, they are delivered to endosomal/lysosomal compartments, where they finally become active due to the acidic pH characteristic of the lysosomal compartment. The majority of the enzymes leave the TGN after modification with mannose-6-phosphate (M6P) residues, which are specifically recognized by M6P receptors (MPRs), ensuring their transport to the endosomal/lysosomal system.Although M6P receptors play a major role in the intracellular transport of newly synthesized lysosomal enzymes in mammalian cells, several lines of evidence suggest the existence of alternative processes of lysosomal targeting. Among them, the two that are mediated by the M6P alternative receptors, lysosomal integral membrane protein (LIMP-2) and sortilin, have gained unequivocal support. LIMP-2 was shown to be implicated in the delivery of beta-glucocerebrosidase (GCase) to the lysosomes, whereas sortilin has been suggested to be a multifunctional receptor capable of binding several different ligands, including neurotensin and receptor-associated protein (RAP), and of targeting several proteins to the lysosome, including sphingolipid activator proteins (prosaposin and GM2 activator protein), acid sphingomyelinase and cathepsins D and H.Here, we review the current knowledge on these two proteins: their discovery, study, structural features and cellular function, with special attention to their role as alternative receptors to lysosomal trafficking. Recent studies associating both LIMP2 and sortilin to disease are also extensively reviewed. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. Source

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