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Portland, OR, United States

Simmen T.,University of Alberta | Lynes E.M.,University of Alberta | Gesson K.,University of Alberta | Thomas G.,Vollum Institute
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes | Year: 2010

The production of secretory proteins at the ER (endoplasmic reticulum) depends on a ready supply of energy and metabolites as well as the close monitoring of the chemical conditions that favor oxidative protein folding. ER oxidoreductases and chaperones fold nascent proteins into their export-competent three-dimensional structure. Interference with these protein folding enzymes leads to the accumulation of unfolded proteins within the ER lumen, causing an acute organellar stress that triggers the UPR (unfolded protein response). The UPR increases the transcription of ER chaperones commensurate with the load of newly synthesized proteins and can protect the cell from ER stress. Persistant stress, however, can force the UPR to commit cells to undergo apoptotic cell death, which requires the emptying of ER calcium stores. Conversely, a continuous ebb and flow of calcium occurs between the ER and mitochondria during resting conditions on a domain of the ER that forms close contacts with mitochondria, the MAM (mitochondria-associated membrane). On the MAM, ER folding chaperones such as calnexin and calreticulin and oxidoreductases such as ERp44, ERp57 and Ero1α regulate calcium flux from the ER through reversible, calcium and redox-dependent interactions with IP3Rs (inositol 1,4,5-trisphophate receptors) and with SERCAs (sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPases). During apoptosis progression and depending on the identity of the ER chaperone and oxidoreductase, these interactions increase or decrease, suggesting that the extent of MAM targeting of ER chaperones and oxidoreductases could shift the readout of ER-mitochondria calcium exchange from housekeeping to apoptotic. However, little is known about the cytosolic factors that mediate the on/off interactions between ER chaperones and oxidoreductases with ER calcium channels and pumps. One candidate regulator is the multi-functional molecule PACS-2 (phosphofurin acidic cluster sorting protein-2). Recent studies suggest that PACS-2 mediates localization of a mobile pool of calnexin to the MAM in addition to regulating homeostatic ER calcium signaling as well as MAM integrity. Together, these findings suggest that cytosolic, membrane and lumenal proteins combine to form a two-way switch that determines the rate of protein secretion by providing ions and metabolites and that appears to participate in the pro-apoptotic ER-mitochondria calcium transfer. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source


Lu J.,Vollum Institute | Lu J.,Chinese National Institute for the Control of Pharmaceutical and Biological Products | Maddison L.A.,Vanderbilt University | Chen W.,Vanderbilt University
Transgenic Research | Year: 2011

Site-specific recombinases catalyze recombination between specific targeting sites to delete, insert, invert, or exchange DNA with high fidelity. In addition to the widely used Cre and Flp recombinases, the phiC31 integrase system from Streptomyces phage may also be used for these genetic manipulations in eukaryotic cells. Unlike Cre and Flp, phiC31 recognizes two heterotypic sites, attB and attP, for recombination. While the phiC31 system has been recently applied in mouse and human cell lines and in Drosophila, it has not been demonstrated whether it can also catalyze efficient DNA recombination in zebrafish. Here we show that phiC31 integrase efficiently induces site-specific deletion of episomal targets as well as chromosomal targets in zebrafish embryos. Thus, the phiC31 system can be used in zebrafish for genetic manipulations, expanding the repertoire of available tools for genetic manipulation in this vertebrate model. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source


Ahuja S.,Genentech | Ahuja S.,Vollum Institute | Mukund S.,Genentech | Deng L.,Genentech | And 33 more authors.
Science | Year: 2015

Voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channels propagate action potentials in excitable cells. Accordingly, Nav channels are therapeutic targets for many cardiovascular and neurological disorders. Selective inhibitors have been challenging to design because the nine mammalian Nav channel isoforms share high sequence identity and remain recalcitrant to high-resolution structural studies.Targeting the human Nav1.7 channel involved in pain perception,we present a protein-engineering strategy that has allowed us to determine crystal structures of a novel receptor site in complex with isoform-selective antagonists. GX-936 and related inhibitors bind to the activated state of voltage-sensor domain IV (VSD4),where their anionic aryl sulfonamide warhead engages the fourth arginine gating charge on the S4 helix. By opposing VSD4 deactivation, these compounds inhibit Nav1.7 through a voltage-sensor trapping mechanism, likely by stabilizing inactivated states of the channel. Residues from the S2 and S3 helices are key determinants of isoform selectivity, and bound phospholipids implicate themembrane as a modulator of channel function and pharmacology. Our results help to elucidate the molecular basis of voltage sensing and establish structural blueprints to design selective Nav channel antagonists. Source


Parent A.-S.,University of Liege | Naveau E.,University of Liege | Gerard A.,University of Liege | Bourguignon J.-P.,University of Liege | Westbrook G.L.,Vollum Institute
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part B: Critical Reviews | Year: 2011

Sex steroids and thyroid hormones play a key role in the development of the central nervous system. The critical role of these hormonal systems may explain the sensitivity of the hypothalamus, the cerebral cortex, and the hippocampus to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC). This review examines the evidence for endocrine disruption of glial-neuronal functions in the hypothalamus, hippocampus, and cerebral cortex. Focus was placed on two well-studied EDC, the insecticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB). DDT is involved in neuroendocrine disruption of the reproductive axis, whereas polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) interact with both the thyroid hormone-and sex steroid-dependent systems and disturb the neuroendocrine control of reproduction and development of hippocampus and cortex. These results highlight the impact of EDC on the developing nervous system and the need for more research in this area. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source


Thiebes K.P.,Pape Family Pediatric Research Institute | Nam H.,Seoul National University | Cambronne X.A.,Vollum Institute | Shen R.,Vollum Institute | And 12 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2015

While microRNAs have emerged as an important component of gene regulatory networks, it remains unclear how microRNAs collaborate with transcription factors in the gene networks that determines neuronal cell fate. Here we show that in the developing spinal cord, the expression of miR-218 is directly upregulated by the Isl1-Lhx3 complex, which drives motor neuron fate. Inhibition of miR-218 suppresses the generation of motor neurons in both chick neural tube and mouse embryonic stem cells, suggesting that miR-218 plays a crucial role in motor neuron differentiation. Results from unbiased RISC-trap screens, in vivo reporter assays and overexpression studies indicated that miR-218 directly represses transcripts that promote developmental programs for interneurons. In addition, we found that miR-218 activity is required for Isl1-Lhx3 to effectively induce motor neurons and suppress interneuron fates. Together our results reveal an essential role of miR-218 as a downstream effector of the Isl1-Lhx3 complex in establishing motor neuron identity. © 2015, Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Source

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