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Gros G.,Zentrum Physiologie | Wittenberg B.A.,Yeshiva University | Jue T.,University of California at Davis
Journal of Experimental Biology | Year: 2010

Myoglobin, a mobile carrier of oxygen, is without a doubt an important player central to the physiological function of heart and skeletal muscle. Recently, researchers have surmounted technical challenges to measure Mb diffusion in the living cell. Their observations have stimulated a discussion about the relative contribution made by Mb-facilitated diffusion to the total oxygen flux. The calculation of the relative contribution, however, depends upon assumptions, the cell model and cell architecture, cell bioenergetics, oxygen supply and demand. The analysis suggests that important differences can be observed whether steady-state or transient conditions are considered. This article reviews the current evidence underlying the evaluation of the biophysical parameters of myoglobin-facilitated oxygen diffusion in cells, specifically the intracellular concentration of myoglobin, the intracellular diffusion coefficient of myoglobin and the intracellular myoglobin oxygen saturation. The review considers the role of myoglobin in oxygen transport in vertebrate heart and skeletal muscle, in the diving seal during apnea as well as the role of the analogous leghemoglobin of plants. The possible role of myoglobin in intracellular fatty acid transport is addressed. Finally, the recent measurements of myoglobin diffusion inside muscle cells are discussed in terms of their implications for cytoarchitecture and microviscosity in these cells and the identification of intracellular impediments to the diffusion of proteins inside cells. The recent experimental data then help to refine our understanding of Mb function and establish a basis for future investigation.


Al-Samir S.,Zentrum Physiologie | Papadopoulos S.,Universitatsklinikum Cologne | Scheibe R.J.,Institute For Physiologische Chemie | Meissner J.D.,Zentrum Physiologie | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Physiology | Year: 2013

We have investigated the previously published 'metabolon hypothesis' postulating that a close association of the anion exchanger 1 (AE1) and cytosolic carbonic anhydrase II (CAII) exists that greatly increases the transport activity of AE1. We study whether there is a physical association of and direct functional interaction between CAII and AE1 in the native human red cell and in tsA201 cells coexpressing heterologous fluorescent fusion proteins CAII-CyPet and YPet-AE1. In these doubly transfected tsA201 cells, YPet-AE1 is clearly associated with the cell membrane, whereas CAII-CyPet is homogeneously distributed throughout the cell in a cytoplasmic pattern. Förster resonance energy transfer measurements fail to detect close proximity of YPet-AE1 and CAII-CyPet. The absence of an association of AE1 and CAII is supported by immunoprecipitation experiments using Flag-antibody against Flag-tagged AE1 expressed in tsA201 cells, which does not co-precipitate native CAII but co-precipitates coexpressed ankyrin. Both the CAII and the AE1 fusion proteins are fully functional in tsA201 cells as judged by CA activity and by cellular HCO3 - permeability sensitive to inhibition by 4,4′-Diisothiocyano-2,2′-stilbenedisulfonic acid. Expression of the non-catalytic CAII mutant V143Y leads to a drastic reduction of endogenous CAII and to a corresponding reduction of total intracellular CA activity. Overexpression of an N-terminally truncated CAII lacking the proposed site of interaction with the C-terminal cytoplasmic tail of AE1 substantially increases intracellular CA activity, as does overexpression of wild-type CAII. These variously co-transfected tsA201 cells exhibit a positive correlation between cellular and intracellular CA activity. The relationship reflects that expected from changes in cytoplasmic CA activity improving substrate supply to or removal from AE1, without requirement for a CAII-AE1 metabolon involving physical interaction. A functional contribution of the hypothesized CAII-AE1 metabolon to erythroid AE1-mediated HCO3 - transport was further tested in normal red cells and red cells from CAII-deficient patients that retain substantial CA activity associated with the erythroid CAI protein lacking the proposed AE1-binding sequence. Erythroid was indistinguishable in these two cell types, providing no support for the proposed functional importance of the physical interaction of CAII and AE1. A theoretical model predicts that homogeneous cytoplasmic distribution of CAII is more favourable for cellular transport of HCO3 - and CO2 than is association of CAII with the cytoplasmic surface of the plasma membrane. This is due to the fact that the relatively slow intracellular transport of H+ makes it most efficient to place the CA in the vicinity of the haemoglobin molecules, which are homogeneously distributed over the cytoplasm. © 2013 The Authors.


Itel F.,University of Basel | Al-Samir S.,Zentrum Physiologie | Oberg F.,Gothenburg University | Chami M.,University of Basel | And 7 more authors.
FASEB Journal | Year: 2012

Recent observations that some membrane proteins act as gas channels seem surprising in view of the classical concept that membranes generally are highly permeable to gases. Here, we study the gas permeability of membranes for the case of CO2, using a previously established mass spectrometric technique. We first show that biological membranes lacking protein gas channels but containing normal amounts of cholesterol (30-50 mol% of total lipid), e.g., MDCK and tsA201 cells, in fact possess an unexpectedly low CO2 permeability (PCO2) of ∼0.01 cm/s, which is 2 orders of magnitude lower than the PCO2 of pure planar phospholipid bilayers (∼1 cm/s). Phospholipid vesicles enriched with similar amounts of cholesterol also exhibit PCO2 ≈ 0.01 cm/s, identifying cholesterol as the major determinant of membrane PCO2. This is confirmed by the demonstration that MDCK cells depleted of or enriched with membrane cholesterol show dramatic increases or decreases in PCO2, respectively. We demonstrate, furthermore, that reconstitution of human AQP-1 into cholesterol-containing vesicles, as well as expression of human AQP-1 in MDCK cells, leads to drastic increases in PCO2, indicating that gas channels are of high functional significance for gas transfer across membranes of low intrinsic gas permeability. © FASEB.


Boron W.F.,Case Western Reserve University | Endeward V.,Zentrum Physiologie | Gros G.,Zentrum Physiologie | Musa-Aziz R.,Case Western Reserve University | Pohl P.,Johannes Kepler University
ChemPhysChem | Year: 2011

The past dozen years has seen a series of papers that come to the conclusion that CO2 passes through certain aquaporins and Rhesus proteins. The past three years has seen another series of papers that come to the conclusion that protein channels could not make a meaningful contribution to overall CO2 membrane permeability because of a combination of: 1) a high CO2 permeability of membrane lipids and 2) large unstirred layers, which would render their CO2 resistance much higher than that of a biological membrane. Is this also true for a membrane crowded with proteins? This comment summarizes the current status of the debate. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Saari S.,University of Tampere | Hilvo M.,University of Tampere | Hilvo M.,VTT Technical Research Center of Finland | Pan P.,University of Tampere | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background: Carbonic anhydrases (CAs) are key enzymes for physiological pH regulation, including the process of urine acidification. Previous studies have identified seven cytosolic or membrane-bound CA isozymes in the kidney. Recently, we showed by in situ hybridization that the mRNA for the most novel CA isozyme, CA XV, is present in the renal cortex. CA XV is a unique isozyme among mammalian CAs, because it has become a pseudogene in primates even though expressed in several other species. Methodology/Principal Findings: In the present study, we raised a polyclonal antibody against recombinant mouse CA XV that was produced in a baculovirus/insect cell expression system, and the antibody was used for immunohistochemical analysis in different mouse tissues. Positive immunoreactions were found only in the kidney, where the enzyme showed a very limited distribution pattern. Parallel immunostaining experiments with several other anti-CA sera indicated that CA XV is mainly expressed in the thick ascending limb of Henle and collecting ducts, and the reactions were most prominent in the cortex and outer medulla. Conclusion/Significance: Although other studies have proposed a role for CA XV in cell proliferation, its tightly limited distribution may point to a specialized function in the regulation of acid-base homeostasis. © 2010 Saari et al.


Hanke N.,Zentrum Physiologie | Kubis H.-P.,Bangor University | Scheibe R.J.,Institute For Physiologische Chemie | Berthold-Losleben M.,Zentrum Physiologie | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology | Year: 2010

We have studied the mechanism by which a previously described primary muscle culture growing on microcarriers predominantly expresses fast myosin heavy chain (MHC) IId/x. We have measured MHC IId/x mRNA and protein levels, mRNA of MHC I and markers of muscle metabolism, insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 and mechano-growth factor (MGF) transcripts, indicators of the activation of the Akt-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) axis, the p38-, ERK1/2-, and JNK-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP) kinase pathways, and of protein phosphatase PP2A, and we have assessed the involvement of integrin. By placing the culture flasks on a rotary shaker, we induce a continuous motion of the culture medium in which the carrier-myotube aggregates are suspended. This motion exerts passive forces on the myotubes that are decisive for the predominance of MHC II expression. These forces act via integrin, which transduces the mechanical signal into activation of PP2A and of p38 MAP-Kinase. The latter presumably is directly responsible for a drastic upregulation of MHC IId/x, whereas MHC I and metabolic markers remain unaffected. At the same time, despite an elevated level of IGF-1 transcription under passive forces, the IGF-1 receptor-Akt-mTOR axis is switched off as evident from the lack of an effect of inhibition of the IGF-1 receptor and from the PP2A-mediated low degree of phosphorylation of Akt and 4E-BP1. Similarly, the ERK1/2- and JNK-MAP kinase pathways are repressed. We conclude that passive stretch exerted on the myotubes by the rotary fluid motion induces a rather selective upregulation of fast MHC II, which goes along with a mild muscle hypertrophy as judged from the amount of protein per cell and is caused by p38 MAP kinase activity elevated via integrin sensing. The direct link between passive stretch and MHC II expression constitutes a novel mechanism, which is expected to become effective physiologically under passive stretch and eccentric contractions of skeletal muscles. Copyright © 2010 the American Physiological Society.


PubMed | Zentrum Physiologie, Harvard University and Institute For Molekularbiologie
Type: | Journal: Nature communications | Year: 2015

Skeletal muscle is composed of both slow-twitch oxidative myofibers and fast-twitch glycolytic myofibers that differentially impact muscle metabolism, function and eventually whole-body physiology. Here we show that the mesodermal transcription factor T-box 15 (Tbx15) is highly and specifically expressed in glycolytic myofibers. Ablation of Tbx15 in vivo leads to a decrease in muscle size due to a decrease in the number of glycolytic fibres, associated with a small increase in the number of oxidative fibres. This shift in fibre composition results in muscles with slower myofiber contraction and relaxation, and also decreases whole-body oxygen consumption, reduces spontaneous activity, increases adiposity and glucose intolerance. Mechanistically, ablation of Tbx15 leads to activation of AMPK signalling and a decrease in Igf2 expression. Thus, Tbx15 is one of a limited number of transcription factors to be identified with a critical role in regulating glycolytic fibre identity and muscle metabolism.


Endeward V.,Zentrum Physiologie | Al-Samir S.,Zentrum Physiologie | Itel F.,University of Basel | Gros G.,Zentrum Physiologie
Frontiers in Physiology | Year: 2014

We review briefly how the thinking about the permeation of gases, especially CO2, across cell and artificial lipid membranes has evolved during the last 100 years. We then describe how the recent finding of a drastic effect of cholesterol on CO2 permeability of both biological and artificial membranes fundamentally alters the long-standing idea that CO2-as well as other gases-permeates all membranes with great ease. This requires revision of the widely accepted paradigm that membranes never offer a serious diffusion resistance to CO2 or other gases. Earlier observations of "CO2-impermeable membranes" can now be explained by the high cholesterol content of some membranes. Thus, cholesterol is a membrane component that nature can use to adapt membrane CO2 permeability to the functional needs of the cell. Since cholesterol serves many other cellular functions, it cannot be reduced indefinitely. We show, however, that cells that possess a high metabolic rate and/or a high rate of O2 and CO2 exchange, do require very high CO2 permeabilities that may not be achievable merely by reduction of membrane cholesterol. The article then discusses the alternative possibility of raising the CO2 permeability of a membrane by incorporating protein CO2 channels. The highly controversial issue of gas and CO2 channels is systematically and critically reviewed. It is concluded that a majority of the results considered to be reliable, is in favor of the concept of existence and functional relevance of protein gas channels. The effect of intracellular carbonic anhydrase, which has recently been proposed as an alternative mechanism to a membrane CO2 channel, is analysed quantitatively and the idea considered untenable. After a brief review of the knowledge on permeation of O2 and NO through membranes, we present a summary of the 18O method used to measure the CO2 permeability of membranes and discuss quantitatively critical questions that may be addressed to this method. © 2014 Endeward, Al-Samir, Itel and Gros.


Endeward V.,Zentrum Physiologie
Journal of Applied Physiology | Year: 2012

A mathematical model describing facilitation of O 2 diffusion by the diffusion of myoglobin and hemoglobin is presented. The equations are solved numerically by a finite-difference method for the conditions as they prevail in cardiac and skeletal muscle and in red cells without major simplifications. It is demonstrated that, in the range of intracellular diffusion distances, the degree of facilitation is limited by the rate of the chemical reaction between myglobin or hemoglobin and O 2. The results are presented in the form of relationships between the degree of facilitation and the length of the diffusion path on the basis of the known kinetics of the oxygenation- deoxygenation reactions. It is concluded that the limitation by reaction kinetics reduces the maximally possible facilitated oxygen diffusion in cardiomyoctes by ∼50% and in skeletal muscle fibers by ∼ 20%. For human red blood cells, a reduction of facilitated O 2 diffusion by 36% is obtained in agreement with previous reports. This indicates that, especially in cardiomyocytes and red cells, chemical equilibrium between myoglobin or hemoglobin and O 2 is far from being established, an assumption that previously has often been made. Although the "O 2 transport function" of myoglobin in cardiac muscle cells thus is severely limited by the chemical reaction kinetics, and to a lesser extent also in skeletal muscle, it is noteworthy that the speed of release of O 2 from MbO 2, the "storage function," is not limited by the reaction kinetics under physiological conditions. Copyright © 2012 the American Physiological Society.


Endeward V.,Zentrum Physiologie | Gros G.,Zentrum Physiologie | Jurgens K.D.,Zentrum Physiologie
Cardiovascular Research | Year: 2010

Aims The mechanisms by which the left ventricular wall escapes anoxia during the systolic phase of low blood perfusion are investigated, especially the role of myoglobin (Mb), which can (i) store oxygen and (ii) facilitate intracellular oxygen transport. The quantitative role of these two Mb functions is studied in the maximally working human heart. Methods and resultsBecause discrimination between Mb functions has not been achieved experimentally, we use a Krogh cylinder model here. At a heart rate of 200 beats/min and a 1:1 ratio of diastole/systole, the systole lasts for 150 ms. The basic model assumption is that, with mobile Mb, the oxygen stored in the end-diastolic left ventricle wall exactly meets the demand during the 150 ms of systolic cessation of blood flow. The coronary blood flow necessary to achieve this agrees with literature data. By considering Mb immobile or setting its concentration to zero, respectively, we find that, depending on Mb concentration, Mb-facilitated O2 transport maintains O2 supply to the left ventricle wall during 22-34 of the 150 ms, while Mb storage function accounts for a further 12-17 ms. When Mb is completely absent, anoxia begins to develop after 116-99 ms. Conclusion While Mb plays no significant role during diastole, it supplies O2 to the left ventricular wall for ≤50 ms of the 150 ms systole, whereas capillary haemoglobin is responsible for approximately 80 ms. Slight increases in haemoglobin concentration, blood flow, or capillary density can compensate the absence of Mb, a finding which agrees well with the observations using Mb knockout mice. © 2010 The Author.

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