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Neff F.,Institute of Pathology | Neff F.,Institute of Experimental Genetics | Flores-Dominguez D.,German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases | Ryan D.P.,German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases | And 53 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Investigation

Aging is a major risk factor for a large number of disorders and functional impairments. Therapeutic targeting of the aging process may therefore represent an innovative strategy in the quest for novel and broadly effective treatments against age-related diseases. The recent report of lifespan extension in mice treated with the FDA-approved mTOR inhibitor rapamycin represented the first demonstration of pharmacological extension of maximal lifespan in mammals. Longevity effects of rapamycin may, however, be due to rapamycin's effects on specific life-limiting pathologies, such as cancers, and it remains unclear if this compound actually slows the rate of aging in mammals. Here, we present results from a comprehensive, large-scale assessment of a wide range of structural and functional aging phenotypes, which we performed to determine whether rapamycin slows the rate of aging in male C57BL/6J mice. While rapamycin did extend lifespan, it ameliorated few studied aging phenotypes. A subset of aging traits appeared to be rescued by rapamycin. Rapamycin, however, had similar effects on many of these traits in young animals, indicating that these effects were not due to a modulation of aging, but rather related to aging-independent drug effects. Therefore, our data largely dissociate rapamycin's longevity effects from effects on aging itself. Source

Dahlhoff M.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Pfister S.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Blutke A.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Rozman J.,Helmholtz Center Munich | And 13 more authors.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease

Vulnerability of the fetus upon maternal obesity can potentially occur during all developmental phases. We aimed at elaborating longer-term health outcomes of fetal overnutrition during the earliest stages of development. We utilized Naval Medical Research Institute (NMRI) mice to induce pre-conceptional and gestational obesity and followed offspring outcomes in the absence of any postnatal obesogenic influences. Male adult offspring developed overweight, insulin resistance, hyperleptinemia, hyperuricemia and hepatic steatosis; all these features were not observed in females. Instead, they showed impaired fasting glucose and a reduced fat mass and adipocyte size. Influences of the interaction of maternal diet. *. sex concerned offspring genes involved in fatty liver disease, lipid droplet size regulation and fat mass expansion. These data suggest that a peri-conceptional obesogenic exposure is sufficient to shape offspring gene expression patterns and health outcomes in a sex- and organ-specific manner, indicating varying developmental vulnerabilities between sexes towards metabolic disease in response to maternal overnutrition. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

Venit T.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Venit T.,Charles University | Dzijak R.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Kalendova A.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | And 18 more authors.

Background:Nuclear myosin I (NM1) is a nuclear isoform of the well-known "cytoplasmic" Myosin 1c protein (Myo1c). Located on the 11th chromosome in mice, NM1 results from an alternative start of transcription of the Myo1c gene adding an extra 16 amino acids at the N-terminus. Previous studies revealed its roles in RNA Polymerase I and RNA Polymerase II transcription, chromatin remodeling, and chromosomal movements. Its nuclear localization signal is localized in the middle of the molecule and therefore directs both Myosin 1c isoforms to the nucleus.Methodology/Principal Findings:In order to trace specific functions of the NM1 isoform, we generated mice lacking the NM1 start codon without affecting the cytoplasmic Myo1c protein. Mutant mice were analyzed in a comprehensive phenotypic screen in cooperation with the German Mouse Clinic. Strikingly, no obvious phenotype related to previously described functions has been observed. However, we found minor changes in bone mineral density and the number and size of red blood cells in knock-out mice, which are most probably not related to previously described functions of NM1 in the nucleus. In Myo1c/NM1 depleted U2OS cells, the level of Pol I transcription was restored by overexpression of shRNA-resistant mouse Myo1c. Moreover, we found Myo1c interacting with Pol II. The ratio between Myo1c and NM1 proteins were similar in the nucleus and deletion of NM1 did not cause any compensatory overexpression of Myo1c protein.Conclusion/Significance:We observed that Myo1c can replace NM1 in its nuclear functions. Amount of both proteins is nearly equal and NM1 knock-out does not cause any compensatory overexpression of Myo1c. We therefore suggest that both isoforms can substitute each other in nuclear processes. © 2013 Venit et al. Source

Albrecht E.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Waldenberger M.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Krumsiek J.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Evans A.M.,Metabolon | And 25 more authors.

Serum urate, the final breakdown product of purine metabolism, is causally involved in the pathogenesis of gout, and implicated in cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Serum urate levels highly differ between men and women; however the underlying biological processes in its regulation are still not completely understood and are assumed to result from a complex interplay between genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors. In order to describe the metabolic vicinity of serum urate, we analyzed 355 metabolites in 1,764 individuals of the population-based KORA F4 study and constructed a metabolite network around serum urate using Gaussian Graphical Modeling in a hypothesis-free approach. We subsequently investigated the effect of sex and urate lowering medication on all 38 metabolites assigned to the network. Within the resulting network three main clusters could be detected around urate, including the well-known pathway of purine metabolism, as well as several dipeptides, a group of essential amino acids, and a group of steroids. Of the 38 assigned metabolites, 25 showed strong differences between sexes. Association with uricostatic medication intake was not only confined to purine metabolism but seen for seven metabolites within the network. Our findings highlight pathways that are important in the regulation of serum urate and suggest that dipeptides, amino acids, and steroid hormones are playing a role in its regulation. The findings might have an impact on the development of specific targets in the treatment and prevention of hyperuricemia. © 2013 The Author(s). Source

Diener S.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Bayer S.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Bayer S.,TU Munich | Sabrautzki S.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | And 23 more authors.
Mammalian Genome

We performed exome sequencing for mutation discovery of an ENU (N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea)-derived mouse model characterized by significant elevated plasma alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities in female and male mutant mice, originally named BAP014 (bone screen alkaline phosphatase #14). We identified a novel loss-of-function mutation within the Fam46a (family with sequence similarity 46, member A) gene (NM_001160378.1:c.469G>T, NP_001153850.1:p.Glu157*). Heterozygous mice of this mouse line (renamed Fam46aE157*Mhda) had significantly high ALP activities and apparently no other differences in morphology compared to wild-type mice. In contrast, homozygous Fam46aE157*Mhda mice showed severe morphological and skeletal abnormalities including short stature along with limb, rib, pelvis, and skull deformities with minimal trabecular bone and reduced cortical bone thickness in long bones. ALP activities of homozygous mutants were almost two-fold higher than in heterozygous mice. Fam46a is weakly expressed in most adult and embryonic tissues with a strong expression in mineralized tissues as calvaria and femur. The FAM46A protein is computationally predicted as a new member of the superfamily of nucleotidyltransferase fold proteins, but little is known about its function. Fam46aE157*Mhda mice are the first mouse model for a mutation within the Fam46a gene. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media New York Source

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