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Casanovas G.,University of Heidelberg | Casanovas G.,Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit | Casanovas G.,European Molecular Biology Laboratory | Spasic M.V.,University of Heidelberg | And 7 more authors.
Haematologica | Year: 2013

In conditions of increased erythropoiesis, expression of hepcidin, the master regulator of systemic iron homeostasis, is decreased to allow for the release of iron into the blood stream from duodenal enterocytes and macrophages. It has been suggested that hepcidin suppression is controlled by growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15), a member of the transforming growth factor-β superfamily of cytokines that is secreted from developing erythroblasts. In this study, we analyzed iron-related parameters in mice deficient for GDF15 under steady-state conditions and in response to increased erythropoietic activity induced by blood loss. We demonstrate that GDF15 suppresses the hepatic mRNA expression of some BMP/TGFβ target genes but not of hepcidin, and show that GDF15 is not required to balance iron homeostasis in response to blood loss. © 2013 Ferrata Storti Foundation. Source

Lodrini M.,German Cancer Research Center | Oehme I.,German Cancer Research Center | Schroeder C.,German Cancer Research Center | Milde T.,German Cancer Research Center | And 16 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2013

MYCN is a master regulator controlling many processes necessary for tumor cell survival. Here, we unravel a microRNA network that causes tumor suppressive effects in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cells. In profiling studies, histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor treatment most strongly induced miR-183. Enforced miR-183 expression triggered apoptosis, and inhibited anchorage-independent colony formation in vitro and xenograft growth in mice. Furthermore, the mechanism of miR-183 induction was found to contribute to the cell death phenotype induced by HDAC inhibitors. Experiments to identify the HDAC(s) involved in miR-183 transcriptional regulation showed that HDAC2 depletion induced miR-183. HDAC2 overexpression reduced miR-183 levels and counteracted the induction caused by HDAC2 depletion or HDAC inhibitor treatment. MYCN was found to recruit HDAC2 in the same complexes to the miR-183 promoter, and HDAC2 depletion enhanced promoter-associated histone H4 pan-acetylation, suggesting epigenetic changes preceded transcriptional activation. These data reveal miR-183 tumor suppressive properties in neuroblastoma that are jointly repressed by MYCN and HDAC2, and suggest a novel way to bypass MYCN function. © 2013 The Author(s) 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. Source

Kox C.,University of Heidelberg | Kox C.,Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit | Kox C.,European Molecular Biology Laboratory | Stanulla M.,University of Kiel | And 12 more authors.
Leukemia | Year: 2010

Precursor T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) remains an important challenge in pediatric oncology. Because of the particularly poor prognosis of relapses, it is vital to identify molecular risk factors allowing early and effective treatment stratification. Activating NOTCH1 mutations signify a favorable prognosis in patients treated on ALL-BFM protocols. We have now tested if NOTCH pathway activation at different steps has similar clinical effects and if multiple mutations in this pathway function synergistically. Analysis of a validation set of 151 T-ALL patients and of the total cohort of 301 patients confirms the low relapse rate generally and the overall favorable effect of activating NOTCH1 mutations. Subgroup analysis shows that the NOTCH1 effect in ALL-BFM is restricted to patients with rapid early treatment response. Inactivation of the ubiquitin ligase FBXW7 is associated with rapid early treatment response and synergizes with NOTCH1 receptor activation. However, the effect of FBXW7 inactivation is separable from NOTCH1 activation by not synergizing with NOTCH1 mutations in predicting favorable long-term outcome, which can probably be explained by the interaction of FBXW7 with other clients. Finally, the comparison with other European protocols suggests that the NOTCH effect is treatment dependent generally and may depend on the intensity of central nervous system-directed therapy specifically. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved. Source

Konvalinka J.,Gilead Sciences | Konvalinka J.,Charles University | Krausslich H.-G.,University of Heidelberg | Krausslich H.-G.,Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit | And 2 more authors.
Virology | Year: 2015

Proteolytic processing of viral polyproteins is essential for retrovirus infectivity. Retroviral proteases (PR) become activated during or after assembly of the immature, non-infectious virion. They cleave viral polyproteins at specific sites, inducing major structural rearrangements termed maturation. Maturation converts retroviral enzymes into their functional form, transforms the immature shell into a metastable state primed for early replication events, and enhances viral entry competence. Not only cleavage at all PR recognition sites, but also an ordered sequence of cleavages is crucial. Proteolysis is tightly regulated, but the triggering mechanisms and kinetics and pathway of morphological transitions remain enigmatic.Here, we outline PR structures and substrate specificities focusing on HIV PR as a therapeutic target. We discuss design and clinical success of HIV PR inhibitors, as well as resistance development towards these drugs. Finally, we summarize data elucidating the role of proteolysis in maturation and highlight unsolved questions regarding retroviral maturation. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. Source

Guida C.,University of Heidelberg | Guida C.,European Molecular Biology Laboratory | Altamura S.,University of Heidelberg | Altamura S.,Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit | And 8 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2015

Regulation of iron metabolism and innate immunity are tightly interlinked. The acute phase response to infection and inflammation induces alterations in iron homeostasis that reduce iron supplies to pathogens. The iron hormone hepcidin is activated by such stimuli causing degradation of the iron exporter ferroportin and reduced iron release from macrophages, suggesting that hepcidin is the crucial effector of inflammatory hypoferremia. Here, we report the discovery of an acute inflammatory condition that is mediated by Toll-like receptors 2 and 6 (TLR2 and TLR6) and which induces hypoferremia in mice injected with TLR ligands. Stimulation of TLR2/TLR6 triggers profound decreases in ferroportin messenger RNA and protein expression in bone marrow-derived macrophages, liver, and spleen of mice without changing hepcidin expression. Furthermore, C326S ferroportin mutant mice with a disrupted hepcidin/ferroportin regulatory circuitry respond to injection of the TLR2/6 ligands FSL1 or PAM3CSK4 by ferroportin downregulation and a reduction of serum iron levels. Our findings challenge the prevailing role of hepcidin in hypoferremia and suggest that rapid hepcidin-independent ferroportin downregulation in the major sites of iron recyclingmay represent a first-line response to restrict iron access for numerous pathogens. © 2015 by The American Society of Hematology. Source

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