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Winston-Salem, NC, United States

Long D.L.,Section of Molecular Medicine | Ulici V.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Chubinskaya S.,Rush University Medical Center | Loeser R.F.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Osteoarthritis and Cartilage | Year: 2015

Objective: We determined if the epidermal growth factor receptor ligand HB-EGF is produced in cartilage and if it regulates chondrocyte anabolic or catabolic activity. Methods: HB-EGF expression was measured by quantitative PCR using RNA isolated from mouse knee joint tissues and from normal and osteoarthritis (OA) human chondrocytes. Immunohistochemistry was performed on normal and OA human cartilage and meniscus sections. Cultured chondrocytes were treated with fibronectin fragments (FN-f) as a catabolic stimulus and osteogenic protein 1 (OP-1) as an anabolic stimulus. Effects of HB-EGF on cell signaling were analyzed by immunoblotting of selected signaling proteins. MMP-13 was measured in conditioned media, proteoglycan synthesis was measured by sulfate incorporation, and matrix gene expression by quantitative PCR. Results: HB-EGF expression was increased in 12-month old mice at 8 weeks after surgery to induce OA and increased amounts of HB-EGF were noted in human articular cartilage from OA knees. FN-f stimulated chondrocyte HB-EGF expression and HB-EGF stimulated chondrocyte MMP-13 production. However, HB-EGF was not required for FN-f stimulation of MMP-13 production. HB-EGF activated the ERK and p38 MAP kinases and stimulated phosphorylation of Smad1 at an inhibitory serine site which was associated with inhibition of OP-1 mediated proteoglycan synthesis and reduced aggrecan (ACAN) but not COL2A1 expression. Conclusion: HB-EGF is a new factor identified in OA cartilage that promotes chondrocyte catabolic activity while inhibiting anabolic activity suggesting it could contribute to the catabolic-anabolic imbalance seen in OA cartilage. © 2015 Osteoarthritis Research Society International. Source


Long D.L.,Section of Molecular Medicine | Ulici V.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Chubinskaya S.,Rush University Medical Center | Loeser R.F.,Section of Molecular Medicine | Loeser R.F.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Osteoarthritis and Cartilage | Year: 2015

Objective: We determined if the epidermal growth factor receptor ligand HB-EGF is produced in cartilage and if it regulates chondrocyte anabolic or catabolic activity. Methods: HB-EGF expression was measured by quantitative PCR using RNA isolated from mouse knee joint tissues and from normal and osteoarthritis (OA) human chondrocytes. Immunohistochemistry was performed on normal and OA human cartilage and meniscus sections. Cultured chondrocytes were treated with fibronectin fragments (FN-f) as a catabolic stimulus and osteogenic protein 1 (OP-1) as an anabolic stimulus. Effects of HB-EGF on cell signaling were analyzed by immunoblotting of selected signaling proteins. MMP-13 was measured in conditioned media, proteoglycan synthesis was measured by sulfate incorporation, and matrix gene expression by quantitative PCR. Results: HB-EGF expression was increased in 12-month old mice at 8 weeks after surgery to induce OA and increased amounts of HB-EGF were noted in human articular cartilage from OA knees. FN-f stimulated chondrocyte HB-EGF expression and HB-EGF stimulated chondrocyte MMP-13 production. However, HB-EGF was not required for FN-f stimulation of MMP-13 production. HB-EGF activated the ERK and p38 MAP kinases and stimulated phosphorylation of Smad1 at an inhibitory serine site which was associated with inhibition of OP-1 mediated proteoglycan synthesis and reduced aggrecan (ACAN) but not COL2A1 expression. Conclusion: HB-EGF is a new factor identified in OA cartilage that promotes chondrocyte catabolic activity while inhibiting anabolic activity suggesting it could contribute to the catabolic-anabolic imbalance seen in OA cartilage. © 2015 Osteoarthritis Research Society International. Source


Liang B.,Section of Molecular Medicine | Wang S.,Section of Molecular Medicine | Wang Q.,Section of Molecular Medicine | Zhang W.,Section of Molecular Medicine | And 5 more authors.
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology | Year: 2013

Objective-The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) plays a critical role in ensuring proper folding of newly synthesized proteins. Aberrant ER stress is reported to play a causal role in cardiovascular diseases. However, the effects of ER stress on vascular smooth muscle contractility and blood pressure remain unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate whether aberrant ER stress causes abnormal vasoconstriction and consequent high blood pressure in mice. Methods and Results-ER stress markers, vascular smooth muscle contractility, and blood pressure were monitored in mice. Incubation of isolated aortic rings with tunicamycin or MG132, 2 structurally unrelated ER stress inducers, significantly increased both phenylephrine-induced vasoconstriction and the phosphorylation of myosin light chain (Thr18/Ser19), both of which were abrogated by pretreatment with chemical chaperones or 5-Aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleotide and metformin, 2 potent activators for the AMP-activated protein kinase. Consistently, administration of tauroursodeoxycholic acid or 4-phenyl butyric acid, 2 structurally unrelated chemical chaperones, in AMP-activated protein kinase-α2 knockout mice lowered blood pressure and abolished abnormal vasoconstrictor response of AMP-activated protein kinase-α2 knockout mice to phenylephrine. Consistently, tunicamycin (0.01 μg/g per day) infusion markedly increased both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, both of which were ablated by coadministration of 4-phenyl butyric acid. Furthermore, 4-phenyl butyric acid or tauroursodeoxycholic acid, which suppressed angiotensin II infusion-induced ER stress markers in vivo, markedly lowered blood pressure in angiotensin II-infused mice in vivo. Conclusion-We conclude that ER stress increases vascular smooth muscle contractility resulting in high blood pressure, and AMP-activated protein kinase activation mitigates high blood pressure through the suppression of ER stress in vivo. © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc. Source


Pollard R.D.,Section of Molecular Medicine | Blesso C.N.,University of Connecticut | Zabalawi M.,Section of Molecular Medicine | Fulp B.,Section of Molecular Medicine | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2015

Studies in human populations have shown a significant correlation between procollagen C-endopeptidase enhancer protein 2 (PCPE2) single nucleotide polymorphisms and plasma HDL cholesterol concentrations. PCPE2, a 52-kDa glycoprotein located in the extracellular matrix, enhances the cleavage of C-terminal procollagen by bone morphogenetic protein 1 (BMP1). Our studies here focused on investigating the basis for the elevated concentration of enlarged plasma HDL in PCPE2-deficient mice to determine whether they protected against diet-induced atherosclerosis. PCPE2-deficient mice were crossed with LDL receptor-deficient mice to obtain LDLr-/-, PCPE2-/- mice, which had elevated HDL levels compared with LDLr-/- mice with similar LDL concentrations. We found that LDLr-/-, PCPE2-/- mice had significantly more neutral lipid and CD68+ infiltration in the aortic root than LDLr-/- mice. Surprisingly, in light of their elevated HDL levels, the extent of aortic lipid deposition in LDLr-/-, PCPE2-/- mice was similar to that reported for LDLr-/-, apoA-I-/- mice, which lack any apoA-I/HDL. Furthermore, LDLr-/-, PCPE2-/- mice had reduced HDL apoA-I fractional clearance and macrophage to fecal reverse cholesterol transport rates compared with LDLr-/- mice, despite a 2-fold increase in liver SR-BI expression. PCPE2 was shown to enhance SR-BI function by increasing the rate of HDL-associated cholesteryl ester uptake, possibly by optimizing SR-BI localization and/or conformation. We conclude that PCPE2 is atheroprotective and an important component of the reverse cholesterol transport HDL system. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. Source


Okon I.S.,Georgia State University | Ding Y.,Georgia State University | Coughlan K.A.,Section of Molecular Medicine | Wang Q.,Section of Molecular Medicine | And 3 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2016

Neuropilin-1 (NRP-1) has emerged as an important driver of tumor-promoting phenotypes of human malignancies. However, incomplete knowledge exists as to how this single-pass transmembrane receptor mediates pleiotropic tumor-promoting functions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate NRP-1 expression and metastatic properties in 94 endometrial cancer and matching serum specimens and in a lung cancer cell line. We found that NRP-1 expression significantly correlated with increased tumoral expression of vascular endothelial growth factor 2 (VEGFR2) and serum levels of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and cell growth-stimulating factor (C-GSF). Tumoral NRP-1 also was positively associated with expression of NEDD9, a pro-metastatic protein. In the highly metastatic lung cancer cell line (H1792), stable LKB1 depletion caused increased migration in vitro and accentuated NRP-1 and NEDD9 expression in vivo. Our findings demonstrate that perturbed expression of these targets correlate with metastatic potential of endometrial and lung tumors, providing clinically-relevant biomarker applications for diagnostic and therapeutic targeting. Source

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