White River Junction, VT, United States
White River Junction, VT, United States

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Fernandez-Real J.M.,University of Girona | Fernandez-Real J.M.,CIBER ISCIII | Mcclain D.,University of Utah | Mcclain D.,Veterans Administration Research Service | Review M.M.,Bambino Gesu Childrens Hospital and Research Institute
Diabetes Care | Year: 2015

OBJECTIVE The bidirectional relationship between iron metabolism and glucose homeostasis is increasingly recognized. Several pathways of iron metabolism are modified according to systemic glucose levels, whereas insulin action and secretion are influenced by changes in relative iron excess. We aimed to update the possible influence of iron on insulin action and secretion and vice versa. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS The mechanisms that link iron metabolism and glucose homeostasis in the main insulin-sensitive tissues and insulin-producing b-cells were revised according to their possible influence on the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D). RESULTS The mechanisms leading to dysmetabolic hyperferritinemia and hepatic overload syndrome were diverse, including diet-induced alterations in iron absorption, modulation of gluconeogenesis, heme-mediated disruption of circadian glucose rhythm, impaired hepcidin secretion and action, and reduced copper availability. Glucose metabolism in adipose tissue seems to be affected by both iron deficiency and excess through interaction with adipocyte differentiation, tissue hyperplasia and hypertrophy, release of adipokines, lipid synthesis, and lipolysis. Reduced heme synthesis and dysregulated iron uptake or export could also be contributing factors affecting glucosemetabolism in the senescentmuscle, whereas exercise is known to affect iron and glucose status. Finally, iron also seems to modulate b-cells and insulin secretion, although this has been scarcely studied. CONCLUSIONS Iron is increasingly recognized to influence glucose metabolism at multiple levels. Body iron stores should be considered as a potential target for therapy in subjects with T2D or those at risk for developing T2D. Further research is warranted. © 2015 by the American Diabetes Association.


Fellows A.,Veterans Administration Research Service | Griffin M.E.,Veterans Administration Research Service | Petrella B.L.,Veterans Administration Research Service | Zhong L.,Veterans Administration Research Service | And 6 more authors.
Molecular Biology of the Cell | Year: 2012

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a regulator of vascularization in development and is a key growth factor in tissue repair. In disease, VEGF contributes to vascularization of solid tumors and arthritic joints. This study examines the role of the mRNA-binding protein AUF1/heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein D (AUF1) in VEGF gene expression. We show that overexpression of AUF1 in mouse macrophage-like RAW-264.7 cells suppresses endogenous VEGF protein levels. To study 3′ untranslated region (UTR)-mediated regulation, we introduced the 3′ UTR of VEGF mRNA into a luciferase reporter gene. Coexpression of AUF1 represses VEGF-3′ UTR reporter expression in RAW-264.7 cells and in mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages. The C-terminus of AUF1 contains arginine-glycine-glycine (RGG) repeat motifs that are dimethylated. Deletion of the RGG domain of AUF1 eliminated the repressive effects of AUF1. Surprisingly, expression of an AUF1-RGG peptide reduced endogenous VEGF protein levels and repressed VEGF-3′ UTR reporter activity in RAW-264.7 cells. These findings demonstrate that AUF1 regulates VEGF expression, and this study identifies an RGG peptide that suppresses VEGF gene expression. © 2012 Fellows et al.


Fellows A.,Veterans Administration Research Service | Mierke D.F.,Dartmouth College | Nichols R.C.,Veterans Administration Research Service
Cytokine | Year: 2013

The macrophage is essential to the innate immune response, but also contributes to human disease by aggravating inflammation. Under severe inflammation, macrophages and other immune cells over-produce immune mediators, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The VEGF protein stimulates macrophage activation and induces macrophage migration. A natural inhibitor of VEGF, the soluble VEGF receptor (sFlt-1) is also produced by macrophages and sFlt-1 has been used clinically to block VEGF. In macrophages, we have shown that the mRNA regulatory protein AUF1/hnRNP D represses VEGF gene expression by inhibiting translation of AURE-regulated VEGF mRNA. Peptides (AUF1-RGG peptides) that are modeled on the arginine-glycine-glycine (RGG) motif in AUF1 also block VEGF expression. This report shows that the AUF1-RGG peptides reduce two other AURE-regulated genes, TNF and GLUT1. Three alternative splice variants of sFlt-1 contain AURE in their 3'UTR, and in an apparent paradox, AUF1-RGG peptides stimulate expression of these three sFlt-1 Variants. The AUF1-RGG peptides likely act by distinct mechanisms with complimentary effects to repress VEGF gene expression and over-express the endogenous VEGF blocking agent, sFlt-1. The AUF1-RGG peptides are novel reagents that reduce VEGF and other inflammatory mediators, and may be useful tools to suppress severe inflammation. © 2013 .


Fellows A.,Veterans Administration Research Service | Deng B.,University of Vermont | Mierke D.F.,Dartmouth College | Brooks Robey R.,Veterans Administration Research Service | Nichols R.C.,Veterans Administration Research Service
International Immunopharmacology | Year: 2013

Messenger RNA binding proteins control post-transcriptional gene expression of targeted mRNAs. The RGG (arginine-glycine-glycine) domain of the AUF1/hnRNP-DmRNAbinding protein is a regulatory region that is essential for protein function. The AUF1-RGG peptide, modeled on the RGG domain of AUF1, represses expression of the macrophage cytokine, VEGF. This report expands studies on the AUF1-RGG peptide and evaluates the role of posttranslational modifications of the AUF1 protein. Results show that a minimal 31-amino acid AUF1-RGG peptide that lacks poly-glutamine and nuclear localization motifs retains suppressive activity on a VEGF-3?UTR reporter. Arginine residues in RGGmotifsmay be methylated with resulting changes in protein function. Mass spectroscopy analysis was performed on AUF1 expressed in RAW-264.7 cells. In resting cells, arginines in the first and second RGG motifs aremonomethylated. Following activation with lipopolysaccharide, the arginines are dimethylated. To evaluate if the arginine residues are essential for AUF1-RGG activity, the methylatable arginines in the AUF1-3RGG peptide were mutated to lysine or alanine. The R→K and R→Amutants lack activity. We also demonstrate that PI3K/AKT inhibitors reduce VEGF gene expression. Although immunoscreening of AUF1 suggests that LPS and PI3K inhibitors alter the phosphorylation status of AUF1-p37, mass spectroscopy results show that the p37 AUF1 isoform is not phosphorylated with or without lipopolysaccharide stimulation. In summary, arginines in the RGG domain of AUF1 are methylated, and AUF1-RGG peptides may be novel reagents that reduce macrophage activation in inflammation.


Simcox J.A.,University of Utah | Mitchell T.C.,University of Utah | Gao Y.,University of Utah | Just S.F.,University of Utah | And 9 more authors.
Diabetes | Year: 2015

The circadian rhythm of the liver maintains glucose homeostasis, and disruption of this rhythm is associated with type 2 diabetes. Feeding is one factor that sets the circadian clock in peripheral tissues, but relatively little is known about the role of specific dietary components in that regard. We assessed the effects of dietary iron on circadian gluconeogenesis. Dietary iron affects circadian glucose metabolism through heme-mediated regulation of the interaction of nuclear receptor subfamily 1 group d member 1 (Rev-Erbα) with its cosuppressor nuclear receptor corepressor 1 (NCOR). Loss of regulated heme synthesis was achieved by aminolevulinic acid (ALA) treatment of mice or cultured cells to bypass the rate-limiting enzyme in hepatic heme synthesis, ALA synthase 1 (ALAS1). ALA treatment abolishes differences in hepatic glucose production and in the expression of gluconeogenic enzymes seen with variation of dietary iron. The differences among diets are also lost with inhibition of heme synthesis with isonicotinylhydrazine. Dietary iron modulates levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α), a transcriptional activator of ALAS1, to affect hepatic heme. Treatment of mice with the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine diminishes PGC-1α variation observed among the iron diets, suggesting that iron is acting through reactive oxygen species signaling. © 2015 by the American Diabetes Association.


PubMed | Veterans Administration Research Service and University of Utah
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Diabetes | Year: 2015

The circadian rhythm of the liver maintains glucose homeostasis, and disruption of this rhythm is associated with type 2 diabetes. Feeding is one factor that sets the circadian clock in peripheral tissues, but relatively little is known about the role of specific dietary components in that regard. We assessed the effects of dietary iron on circadian gluconeogenesis. Dietary iron affects circadian glucose metabolism through heme-mediated regulation of the interaction of nuclear receptor subfamily 1 group d member 1 (Rev-Erb) with its cosuppressor nuclear receptor corepressor 1 (NCOR). Loss of regulated heme synthesis was achieved by aminolevulinic acid (ALA) treatment of mice or cultured cells to bypass the rate-limiting enzyme in hepatic heme synthesis, ALA synthase 1 (ALAS1). ALA treatment abolishes differences in hepatic glucose production and in the expression of gluconeogenic enzymes seen with variation of dietary iron. The differences among diets are also lost with inhibition of heme synthesis with isonicotinylhydrazine. Dietary iron modulates levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor coactivator 1 (PGC-1), a transcriptional activator of ALAS1, to affect hepatic heme. Treatment of mice with the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine diminishes PGC-1 variation observed among the iron diets, suggesting that iron is acting through reactive oxygen species signaling.


Huang S.C.,University of California at San Diego | Huang S.C.,Rady Childrens Hospital | Lee J.K.,University of California at San Diego | Smith E.J.,University of California at San Diego | And 7 more authors.
Cancer | Year: 2011

Background: Patients with hamartomatous polyposis syndromes have increased risk for colorectal cancer (CRC). Although progression of polyps to carcinoma is observed, pathogenic mechanisms remain unknown. The authors examined whether familial hamartomatous polyps harbor defects in DNA mismatch repair (MMR), and assayed for somatic mutation of PTEN, a gene inactivated in the germline of some hamartomatous polyposis syndrome patients. Methods: Ten hamartomatous polyposis syndrome patients were genotyped for germline mutations. Epithelial and nonepithelial polyp DNA were assayed for microsatellite instability (MSI) and PTEN frameshift mutation. DNA MMR and PTEN protein expression were assessed in all polyps by immunohistochemistry. In addition, 99 MSI-high sporadic CRCs and 50 each of hMLH1-/- and hMSH3-/- cell clones were examined for PTEN frameshifts. Results: Twenty-five (58%) of 43 hamartomatous polyposis syndrome polyps demonstrated dinucleotide or greater MSI in polyp epithelium, consistent with hMSH3 deficiency. MSI domains lost hMSH3 expression, and PTEN expression was lost in polyps from germline PTEN patients; sporadic hamartomatous polyps did not show any of these findings. PTEN analysis revealed wild type exon 7 and 8 sequences suggestive of nonexistent or rare events for PTEN frameshifts; however, MSI-high sporadic CRC showed 11 (11%) of 99 frameshifts within PTEN, with 4 tumors having complete loss of PTEN expression. Subcloning hMLH1-/- and hMSH3-/- cells revealed somatic PTEN frameshifts in 4% and 12% of clones, respectively. Conclusions: Nondysplastic epithelium from hamartomatous polyposis syndrome polyps harbors hMSH3 defects, which may prime neoplastic transformation. Polyps from PTEN +/- patients lose PTEN expression, but loss is not a universal early feature of all hamartomatous polyposis syndrome. However, PTEN frameshifts can occur in hMSH3-deficient cells, suggesting that hMSH3 deficiency could drive hamartomatous polyposis syndrome tumorigenesis. © 2010 American Cancer Society.


Bera A.,Health Science University | Das F.,Health Science University | Ghosh-Choudhury N.,Veterans Administration Research Service | Ghosh-Choudhury N.,Health Science University | And 7 more authors.
Experimental Cell Research | Year: 2014

Renal cancer metastasis may result from oncogenic forces that contribute to the primary tumor. We have recently identified microRNA-21 as an oncogenic driver of renal cancer cells. The mechanism by which miR-21 controls renal cancer cell invasion is poorly understood. We show that miR-21 directly downregulates the proapoptotic protein PDCD4 to increase migration and invasion of ACHN and 786-O renal cancer cells as a result of phosphorylation/activation of Akt and IKKβ, which activate NFκB-dependent transcription. Constitutively active (CA) Akt or CA IKKβ blocks PDCD4-mediated inhibition and restores renal cancer cell migration and invasion. PDCD4 inhibits mTORC1 activity, which was reversed by CA IKKβ. Moreover, CA mTORC1 restores cell migration and invasion inhibited by PDCD4 and dominant negative IKKβ. Moreover, PDCD4 negatively regulates mTORC2-dependent Akt phosphorylation upstream of this cascade. We show that PDCD4 forms a complex with rictor, an exclusive component of mTORC2, and that this complex formation is reduced in renal cancer cells due to increased miR-21 expression resulting in enhanced phosphorylation of Akt. Thus our results identify a previously unrecognized signaling node where high miR-21 levels reduce rictor-PDCD4 interaction to increase phosphorylation of Akt and contribute to metastatic fitness of renal cancer cells. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


PubMed | Veterans Administration Research Service
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International immunopharmacology | Year: 2013

Messenger RNA binding proteins control post-transcriptional gene expression of targeted mRNAs. The RGG (arginine-glycine-glycine) domain of the AUF1/hnRNP-D mRNA binding protein is a regulatory region that is essential for protein function. The AUF1-RGG peptide, modeled on the RGG domain of AUF1, represses expression of the macrophage cytokine, VEGF. This report expands studies on the AUF1-RGG peptide and evaluates the role of post-translational modifications of the AUF1 protein. Results show that a minimal 31-amino acid AUF1-RGG peptide that lacks poly-glutamine and nuclear localization motifs retains suppressive activity on a VEGF-3UTR reporter. Arginine residues in RGG motifs may be methylated with resulting changes in protein function. Mass spectroscopy analysis was performed on AUF1 expressed in RAW-264.7 cells. In resting cells, arginines in the first and second RGG motifs are monomethylated. Following activation with lipopolysaccharide, the arginines are dimethylated. To evaluate if the arginine residues are essential for AUF1-RGG activity, the methylatable arginines in the AUF1-3RGG peptide were mutated to lysine or alanine. The RK and RA mutants lack activity. We also demonstrate that PI3K/AKT inhibitors reduce VEGF gene expression. Although immunoscreening of AUF1 suggests that LPS and PI3K inhibitors alter the phosphorylation status of AUF1-p37, mass spectroscopy results show that the p37 AUF1 isoform is not phosphorylated with or without lipopolysaccharide stimulation. In summary, arginines in the RGG domain of AUF1 are methylated, and AUF1-RGG peptides may be novel reagents that reduce macrophage activation in inflammation.


PubMed | Veterans Administration Research Service
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Cytokine | Year: 2013

The macrophage is essential to the innate immune response, but also contributes to human disease by aggravating inflammation. Under severe inflammation, macrophages and other immune cells over-produce immune mediators, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The VEGF protein stimulates macrophage activation and induces macrophage migration. A natural inhibitor of VEGF, the soluble VEGF receptor (sFlt-1) is also produced by macrophages and sFlt-1 has been used clinically to block VEGF. In macrophages, we have shown that the mRNA regulatory protein AUF1/hnRNP D represses VEGF gene expression by inhibiting translation of AURE-regulated VEGF mRNA. Peptides (AUF1-RGG peptides) that are modeled on the arginine-glycine-glycine (RGG) motif in AUF1 also block VEGF expression. This report shows that the AUF1-RGG peptides reduce two other AURE-regulated genes, TNF and GLUT1. Three alternative splice variants of sFlt-1 contain AURE in their 3UTR, and in an apparent paradox, AUF1-RGG peptides stimulate expression of these three sFlt-1 Variants. The AUF1-RGG peptides likely act by distinct mechanisms with complimentary effects to repress VEGF gene expression and over-express the endogenous VEGF blocking agent, sFlt-1. The AUF1-RGG peptides are novel reagents that reduce VEGF and other inflammatory mediators, and may be useful tools to suppress severe inflammation.

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