References of "PLoS ONE"
     in
Bookmark and Share    
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailAnalysing the role of UVB-induced translational inhibition and PP2Ac deactivation in NF-kappaB signalling using a minimal mathematical model.
Witt, Johannes; Konrath, Fabian; Sawodny, Oliver et al

in PLoS ONE (2012), 7(7), 40274

Activation of nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) by interleukin-1beta (IL-1) usually results in an anti-apoptotic activity that is rapidly terminated by a negative feedback loop involving NF-kappaB ... [more ▼]

Activation of nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) by interleukin-1beta (IL-1) usually results in an anti-apoptotic activity that is rapidly terminated by a negative feedback loop involving NF-kappaB dependent resynthesis of its own inhibitor IkappaBalpha. However, apoptosis induced by ultraviolet B radiation (UVB) is not attenuated, but significantly enhanced by co-stimulation with IL-1 in human epithelial cells. Under these conditions NF-kappaB remains constitutively active and turns into a pro-apoptotic factor by selectively repressing anti-apoptotic genes. Two different mechanisms have been separately proposed to explain UV-induced lack of IkappaBalpha recurrence: global translational inhibition as well as deactivation of the Ser/Thr phosphatase PP2Ac. Using mathematical modelling, we show that the systems behaviour requires a combination of both mechanisms, and we quantify their contribution in different settings. A mathematical model including both mechanisms is developed and fitted to various experimental data sets. A comparison of the model results and predictions with model variants lacking one of the mechanisms shows that both mechanisms are present in our experimental setting. The model is successfully validated by the prediction of independent data. Weak constitutive IKKbeta phosphorylation is shown to be a decisive process in IkappaBalpha degradation induced by UVB stimulation alone, but irrelevant for (co-)stimulations with IL-1. In silico knockout experiments show that translational inhibition is predominantly responsible for lack of IkappaBalpha recurrence following IL-1+UVB stimulation. In case of UVB stimulation alone, cooperation of both processes causes the observed decrease of IkappaBalpha. This shows that the processes leading to activation of transcription factor NF-kappaB upon stimulation with ultraviolet B radiation with and without interleukin-1 costimulation are more complex than previously thought, involving both a cross talk of UVB induced translational inhibition and PP2Ac deactivation. The importance of each of the mechanisms depends on the specific cellular setting. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 66 (4 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailContextualization procedure and modeling of monocyte specific TLR signaling.
Aurich, Maike Kathrin UL; Thiele, Ines UL

in PLoS ONE (2012), 7(12), 49978

Innate immunity is the first line of defense against invasion of pathogens. Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling is involved in a variety of human diseases extending far beyond immune system-related ... [more ▼]

Innate immunity is the first line of defense against invasion of pathogens. Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling is involved in a variety of human diseases extending far beyond immune system-related diseases, affecting a number of different tissues and cell-types. Computational models often do not account for cell-type specific differences in signaling networks. Investigation of these differences and its phenotypic implications could increase understanding of cell signaling and processes such as inflammation. The wealth of knowledge for TLR signaling has been recently summarized in a stoichiometric signaling network applicable for constraint-based modeling and analysis (COBRA). COBRA methods have been applied to investigate tissue-specific metabolism using omics data integration. Comparable approaches have not been conducted using signaling networks. In this study, we present ihsTLRv2, an updated TLR signaling network accounting for the association of 314 genes with 558 network reactions. We present a mapping procedure for transcriptomic data onto signaling networks and demonstrate the generation of a monocyte-specific TLR network. The generated monocyte network is characterized through expression of a specific set of isozymes rather than reduction of pathway contents. While further tailoring the network to a specific stimulation condition, we observed that the quantitative changes in gene expression due to LPS stimulation affected the tightly connected set of genes. Differential expression influenced about one third of the entire TLR signaling network, in particular, NF-kappaB activation. Thus, a cell-type and condition-specific signaling network can provide functional insight into signaling cascades. Furthermore, we demonstrate the energy dependence of TLR signaling pathways in monocytes. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 123 (7 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailA systems biology approach to drug targets in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm.
Sigurdsson, Gunnar; Fleming, Ronan MT UL; Heinken, Almut Katrin UL et al

in PLoS ONE (2012), 7(4), 34337

Antibiotic resistance is an increasing problem in the health care system and we are in a constant race with evolving bacteria. Biofilm-associated growth is thought to play a key role in bacterial ... [more ▼]

Antibiotic resistance is an increasing problem in the health care system and we are in a constant race with evolving bacteria. Biofilm-associated growth is thought to play a key role in bacterial adaptability and antibiotic resistance. We employed a systems biology approach to identify candidate drug targets for biofilm-associated bacteria by imitating specific microenvironments found in microbial communities associated with biofilm formation. A previously reconstructed metabolic model of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) was used to study the effect of gene deletion on bacterial growth in planktonic and biofilm-like environmental conditions. A set of 26 genes essential in both conditions was identified. Moreover, these genes have no homology with any human gene. While none of these genes were essential in only one of the conditions, we found condition-dependent genes, which could be used to slow growth specifically in biofilm-associated PA. Furthermore, we performed a double gene deletion study and obtained 17 combinations consisting of 21 different genes, which were conditionally essential. While most of the difference in double essential gene sets could be explained by different medium composition found in biofilm-like and planktonic conditions, we observed a clear effect of changes in oxygen availability on the growth performance. Eight gene pairs were found to be synthetic lethal in oxygen-limited conditions. These gene sets may serve as novel metabolic drug targets to combat particularly biofilm-associated PA. Taken together, this study demonstrates that metabolic modeling of human pathogens can be used to identify oxygen-sensitive drug targets and thus, that this systems biology approach represents a powerful tool to identify novel candidate antibiotic targets. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 184 (8 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailEffects of subthalamic nucleus stimulation on emotional prosody comprehension in Parkinson's disease.
Bruck, Carolin; Wildgruber, Dirk; Kreifelts, Benjamin et al

in PloS one (2011), 6(4), 19140

BACKGROUND: Although impaired decoding of emotional prosody has frequently been associated with Parkinson's disease (PD), to date only few reports have sought to explore the effect of Parkinson's ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Although impaired decoding of emotional prosody has frequently been associated with Parkinson's disease (PD), to date only few reports have sought to explore the effect of Parkinson's treatment on disturbances of prosody decoding. In particular, little is known about how surgical treatment approaches such as high frequency deep brain stimulation (DBS) affect emotional speech perception in patients with PD. Accordingly, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of subthalamic nucleus (STN) stimulation on prosody processing. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To this end the performance of 13 PD patients on three tasks requiring the decoding of emotional speech was assessed and subsequently compared to the performance of healthy control individuals. To delineate the effect of STN-DBS, all patients were tested with stimulators turned on as well as with stimulators turned off. Results revealed that irrespective of whether assessments were made "on" or "off" stimulation, patients' performance was less accurate as compared to healthy control participants on all tasks employed in this study. However, while accuracy appeared to be unaffected by stimulator status, a facilitation of reactions specific to highly conflicting emotional stimulus material (i.e. stimulus material presenting contradicting emotional messages on a verbal and non-verbal prosodic level) was observed during "on" stimulation assessments. CONCLUSION: In sum, presented results suggest that the processing of emotional speech is indeed modulated by STN-DBS. Observed alterations might, on the one hand, reflect a more efficient processing of highly conflicting stimulus material following DBS. However, on the other hand, given the lack of an improvement in accuracy, increased impulsivity associated with STN stimulation needs to be taken into consideration. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 120 (2 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailStress strengthens memory of first impressions of others' positive personality traits
Lass-Hennemann, J.; Kuehl, L. K.; Schulz, André UL et al

in PLoS ONE (2011), 6(1), 16389-16389

Detailed reference viewed: 84 (0 UL)
Peer Reviewed
See detailBioenergetic consequences of PINK1 mutations in Parkinson disease.
Abramov, Andrey Yurevich; Gegg, Matthew; Grünewald, Anne UL et al

in PloS one (2011), 6(10), 25622

BACKGROUND: Mutations of the gene for PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) are a cause of familial Parkinson's disease (PD). PINK1 protein has been localised to mitochondria and PINK1 gene knockout models ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Mutations of the gene for PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) are a cause of familial Parkinson's disease (PD). PINK1 protein has been localised to mitochondria and PINK1 gene knockout models exhibit abnormal mitochondrial function. The purpose of this study was to determine whether cells derived from PD patients with a range of PINK1 mutations demonstrate similar defects of mitochondrial function, whether the nature and severity of the abnormalities vary between mutations and correlate with clinical features. METHODOLOGY: We investigated mitochondrial bioenergetics in live fibroblasts from PINK1 mutation patients using single cell techniques. We found that fibroblasts from PINK1 mutation patients had significant defects of bioenergetics including reduced mitochondrial membrane potential, altered redox state, a respiratory deficiency that was determined by substrate availability, and enhanced sensitivity to calcium stimulation and associated mitochondrial permeability pore opening. There was an increase in the basal rate of free radical production in the mutant cells. The pattern and severity of abnormality varied between different mutations, and the less severe defects in these cells were associated with later age of onset of PD. CONCLUSIONS: The results provide insight into the molecular pathology of PINK1 mutations in PD and also confirm the critical role of substrate availability in determining the biochemical phenotype--thereby offering the potential for novel therapeutic strategies to circumvent these abnormalities. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 67 (2 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailEffect of the topology and delayed interactions in neuronal networks synchronization.
Perez, Toni; Garcia, Guadalupe Clara UL; Eguiluz, Victor M. et al

in PloS one (2011), 6(5), 19900

As important as the intrinsic properties of an individual nervous cell stands the network of neurons in which it is embedded and by virtue of which it acquires great part of its responsiveness and ... [more ▼]

As important as the intrinsic properties of an individual nervous cell stands the network of neurons in which it is embedded and by virtue of which it acquires great part of its responsiveness and functionality. In this study we have explored how the topological properties and conduction delays of several classes of neural networks affect the capacity of their constituent cells to establish well-defined temporal relations among firing of their action potentials. This ability of a population of neurons to produce and maintain a millisecond-precise coordinated firing (either evoked by external stimuli or internally generated) is central to neural codes exploiting precise spike timing for the representation and communication of information. Our results, based on extensive simulations of conductance-based type of neurons in an oscillatory regime, indicate that only certain topologies of networks allow for a coordinated firing at a local and long-range scale simultaneously. Besides network architecture, axonal conduction delays are also observed to be another important factor in the generation of coherent spiking. We report that such communication latencies not only set the phase difference between the oscillatory activity of remote neural populations but determine whether the interconnected cells can set in any coherent firing at all. In this context, we have also investigated how the balance between the network synchronizing effects and the dispersive drift caused by inhomogeneities in natural firing frequencies across neurons is resolved. Finally, we show that the observed roles of conduction delays and frequency dispersion are not particular to canonical networks but experimentally measured anatomical networks such as the macaque cortical network can display the same type of behavior. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 77 (3 UL)
Peer Reviewed
See detailMutations in PINK1 and Parkin impair ubiquitination of Mitofusins in human fibroblasts.
Rakovic, Aleksandar; Grünewald, Anne UL; Kottwitz, Jan et al

in PloS one (2011), 6(3), 16746

PINK1 and Parkin mutations cause recessive Parkinson's disease (PD). In Drosophila and SH-SY5Y cells, Parkin is recruited by PINK1 to damaged mitochondria, where it ubiquitinates Mitofusins and ... [more ▼]

PINK1 and Parkin mutations cause recessive Parkinson's disease (PD). In Drosophila and SH-SY5Y cells, Parkin is recruited by PINK1 to damaged mitochondria, where it ubiquitinates Mitofusins and consequently promotes mitochondrial fission and mitophagy.Here, we investigated the impact of mutations in endogenous PINK1 and Parkin on the ubiquitination of mitochondrial fusion and fission factors and the mitochondrial network structure. Treating control fibroblasts with mitochondrial membrane potential (Deltapsi) inhibitors or H(2)O(2) resulted in ubiquitination of Mfn1/2 but not of OPA1 or Fis1. Ubiquitination of Mitofusins through the PINK1/Parkin pathway was observed within 1 h of treatment. Upon combined inhibition of Deltapsi and the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS), no ubiquitination of Mitofusins was detected. Regarding morphological changes, we observed a trend towards increased mitochondrial branching in PD patient cells upon mitochondrial stress.For the first time in PD patient-derived cells, we demonstrate that mutations in PINK1 and Parkin impair ubiquitination of Mitofusins. In the presence of UPS inhibitors, ubiquitinated Mitofusin is deubiquitinated by the UPS but not degraded, suggesting that the UPS is involved in Mitofusin degradation. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 76 (1 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailThe interplay between protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase activity and insulin-like signaling to extend lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans
Khare, Shilpi; Linster, Carole UL; Clarke, Steven G.

in PLoS ONE (2011), 6(6), 20850

The protein L-isoaspartyl-O-methyltransferase functions to initiate the repair of isomerized aspartyl and asparaginyl residues that spontaneously accumulate with age in a variety of organisms ... [more ▼]

The protein L-isoaspartyl-O-methyltransferase functions to initiate the repair of isomerized aspartyl and asparaginyl residues that spontaneously accumulate with age in a variety of organisms. Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes lacking the pcm-1 gene encoding this enzyme display a normal lifespan and phenotype under standard laboratory growth conditions. However, significant defects in development, egg laying, dauer survival, and autophagy have been observed in pcm-1 mutant nematodes when deprived of food and when exposed to oxidative stress. Interestingly, overexpression of this repair enzyme in both Drosophila and C. elegans extends adult lifespan under thermal stress. In this work, we show the involvement of the insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 signaling (IIS) pathway in PCM-1-dependent lifespan extension in C. elegans. We demonstrate that reducing the levels of the DAF-16 downstream transcriptional effector of the IIS pathway by RNA interference reduces the lifespan extension resulting from PCM-1 overexpression. Using quantitative real-time PCR analysis, we show the up-regulation of DAF-16-dependent stress response genes in the PCM-1 overexpressor animals compared to wild-type and pcm-1 mutant nematodes under mild thermal stress conditions. Additionally, similar to other long-lived C. elegans mutants in the IIS pathway, including daf-2 and age-1 mutants, PCM-1 overexpressor adult animals display increased resistance to severe thermal stress, whereas pcm-1 mutant animals survive less long under these conditions. Although we observe a higher accumulation of damaged proteins in pcm-1 mutant nematodes, the basal level of isoaspartyl residues detected in wild-type animals was not reduced by PCM-1 overexpression. Our results support a signaling role for the protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase in lifespan extension that involves the IIS pathway, but that may be independent of its function in overall protein repair. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 89 (1 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailTime-Resolved Expression Profiling of the Nuclear Receptor Superfamily in Human Adipogenesis
Lahnalampi, Mari; Heinäniemi, Merja UL; Sinkkonen, Lasse UL et al

in PLoS ONE (2010), 5(9),

Background: The differentiation of fibroblast-like pre-adipocytes to lipid-loaded adipocytes is regulated by a network of transcription factors, the most prominent one being the nuclear receptor ... [more ▼]

Background: The differentiation of fibroblast-like pre-adipocytes to lipid-loaded adipocytes is regulated by a network of transcription factors, the most prominent one being the nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) gamma. However, many of the other 47 members of the nuclear receptor superfamily have an impact on adipogenesis, which in human cells has not been investigated in detail. Methodology/Principal Findings: We analyzed by quantitative PCR all human nuclear receptors at multiple time points during differentiation of SGBS pre-adipocytes. The earliest effect was the down-regulation of the genes RARG, PPARD, REVERBA, REV-ERBB, VDR and GR followed by the up-regulation of PPARG, LXRA and AR. These observations are supported with data from 3T3-L1 mouse pre-adipocytes and primary human adipocytes. Investigation of the effects of the individual differentiation mix components in short-term treatments and of their omission from the full mix showed that the expression levels of the early-regulated nuclear receptor genes were most affected by the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) ligand cortisol and the phosophodiesterase inhibitor IBMX. Interestingly, the effects of both compounds converged to repress the genes PPARD, REV-ERBA, REV-ERBB, VDR and GR, whereas cortisol and IBMX showed antagonistic interaction for PPARG, LXRA and AR causing a time lag in their up-regulation. We hypothesize that the well-known auto-repression of GR fine-tunes the detected early responses. Consistently, chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments showed that GR association increased on the transcription start sites of the genes RARG, REV-ERBB, VDR and GR. Conclusions/Significance: Adipocyte differentiation is a process, in which many members of the nuclear receptor superfamily change their mRNA expression. The actions of cortisol and IBMX converged to repress several nuclear receptors early in differentiation, while up-regulation of other nuclear receptor genes showed a time lag due to antagonisms of the signals. Our results place GR and its ligand cortisol as central regulatory factors controlling early regulatory events in human adipogenesis that precedes the regulation of the later events by PPARG. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 106 (1 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailDicer is associated with ribosomal DNA chromatin in mammalian cells
Sinkkonen, Lasse UL; Hugenschmidt, Tabea; Filipowicz, Witold et al

in PLoS ONE (2010), 5(8), 1-2

BACKGROUND: RNA silencing is a common term for pathways utilizing small RNAs as sequence-specific guides to repress gene expression. Components of the RNA silencing machinery are involved in different ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: RNA silencing is a common term for pathways utilizing small RNAs as sequence-specific guides to repress gene expression. Components of the RNA silencing machinery are involved in different aspects of chromatin function in numerous organisms. However, association of RNA silencing with chromatin in mammalian cells remains unclear. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Immunostaining of mitotic chromosomes with antibodies visualizing either endogenous or ectopically expressed Dicer in mammalian cells revealed association of the protein with ribosomal DNA (rDNA) repeats. Chromatin immunoprecipitations and bisulfite sequencing experiments indicated that Dicer is associated with transcribed regions of both active and silenced genes in rDNA arrays of interphase chromosomes. Metabolic labeling of the mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells lacking Dicer did not reveal apparent defect in rRNA biogenesis though pre-rRNA synthesis in these cells was decreased, likely as a consequence of their slower growth caused by the loss of miRNAs. We analyzed in detail chromatin structure of rDNA but did not find any epigenetic changes at rDNA loci in Dicer(-/-) ES cells. Instead, we found that rDNA methylation is rather low in primary tissues, contrasting with rDNA methylation patterns in transformed cell lines. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: We found that Dicer, a key component of RNA silencing pathways, can be detected in association with rDNA chromatin in mammalian cells. The role of this particular localization of Dicer is not readily apparent since the enzyme is associated with rDNA genes regardless of their transcriptional activity. However, localization of Dicer to the transcribed region suggests that transcription may contribute to the Dicer deposition at rDNA chromatin. We hypothesize that Dicer functions in maintaining integrity of rDNA arrays. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 81 (3 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailInference of surface membrane factors of HIV-1 infection through functional interaction networks.
Ertaylan, Gökhan UL; Jaeger, S.; van Dijk, D. et al

in PLoS ONE (2010), 5(10), 1-2

Background: HIV infection affects the populations of T helper cells, dendritic cells and macrophages. Moreover, it has a serious impact on the central nervous system. It is yet not clear whether this list ... [more ▼]

Background: HIV infection affects the populations of T helper cells, dendritic cells and macrophages. Moreover, it has a serious impact on the central nervous system. It is yet not clear whether this list is complete and why specifically those cell types are affected. To address this question, we have developed a method to identify cellular surface proteins that permit, mediate or enhance HIV infection in different cell/tissue types in HIV-infected individuals. Receptors associated with HIV infection share common functions and domains and are involved in similar cellular processes. These properties are exploited by bioinformatics techniques to predict novel cell surface proteins that potentially interact with HIV. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We compiled a set of surface membrane proteins (SMP) that are known to interact with HIV. This set is extended by proteins that have direct interaction and share functional similarity. This resulted in a comprehensive network around the initial SMP set. Using network centrality analysis we predict novel surface membrane factors from the annotated network. We identify 21 surface membrane factors, among which three have confirmed functions in HIV infection, seven have been identified by at least two other studies, and eleven are novel predictions and thus excellent targets for experimental investigation. CONCLUSIONS: Determining to what extent HIV can interact with human SMPs is an important step towards understanding patient specific disease progression. Using various bioinformatics techniques, we generate a set of surface membrane factors that constitutes a well-founded starting point for experimental testing of cell/tissue susceptibility of different HIV strains as well as for cohort studies evaluating patient specific disease progression. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 96 (2 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailDefective Lamin A-Rb Signaling in Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome and Reversal by Farnesyltransferase Inhibition
Marji, Jackleen; O'Donoghue, Sean I.; McClintock, Dayle et al

in PLoS ONE (2010), 5(6),

Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS) is a rare premature aging disorder caused by a de novo heterozygous point mutation G608G (GGC>GGT) within exon 11 of LMNA gene encoding A-type nuclear lamins ... [more ▼]

Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS) is a rare premature aging disorder caused by a de novo heterozygous point mutation G608G (GGC>GGT) within exon 11 of LMNA gene encoding A-type nuclear lamins. This mutation elicits an internal deletion of 50 amino acids in the carboxyl-terminus of prelamin A. The truncated protein, progerin, retains a farnesylated cysteine at its carboxyl terminus, a modification involved in HGPS pathogenesis. Inhibition of protein farnesylation has been shown to improve abnormal nuclear morphology and phenotype in cellular and animal models of HGPS. We analyzed global gene expression changes in fibroblasts from human subjects with HGPS and found that a lamin A-Rb signaling network is a major defective regulatory axis. Treatment of fibroblasts with a protein farnesyltransferase inhibitor reversed the gene expression defects. Our study identifies Rb as a key factor in HGPS pathogenesis and suggests that its modulation could ameliorate premature aging and possibly complications of physiological aging. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 103 (2 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailReduced basal autophagy and impaired mitochondrial dynamics due to loss of Parkinson's disease-associated protein DJ-1.
Krebiehl, Guido; Ruckerbauer, Sabine; Burbulla, Lena F. et al

in PloS one (2010), 5(2), 9367

BACKGROUND: Mitochondrial dysfunction and degradation takes a central role in current paradigms of neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD). Loss of DJ-1 function is a rare cause of familial PD ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Mitochondrial dysfunction and degradation takes a central role in current paradigms of neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD). Loss of DJ-1 function is a rare cause of familial PD. Although a critical role of DJ-1 in oxidative stress response and mitochondrial function has been recognized, the effects on mitochondrial dynamics and downstream consequences remain to be determined. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using DJ-1 loss of function cellular models from knockout (KO) mice and human carriers of the E64D mutation in the DJ-1 gene we define a novel role of DJ-1 in the integrity of both cellular organelles, mitochondria and lysosomes. We show that loss of DJ-1 caused impaired mitochondrial respiration, increased intramitochondrial reactive oxygen species, reduced mitochondrial membrane potential and characteristic alterations of mitochondrial shape as shown by quantitative morphology. Importantly, ultrastructural imaging and subsequent detailed lysosomal activity analyses revealed reduced basal autophagic degradation and the accumulation of defective mitochondria in DJ-1 KO cells, that was linked with decreased levels of phospho-activated ERK2. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We show that loss of DJ-1 leads to impaired autophagy and accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria that under physiological conditions would be compensated via lysosomal clearance. Our study provides evidence for a critical role of DJ-1 in mitochondrial homeostasis by connecting basal autophagy and mitochondrial integrity in Parkinson's disease. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 159 (6 UL)
Peer Reviewed
See detailMutant Parkin impairs mitochondrial function and morphology in human fibroblasts.
Grünewald, Anne UL; Voges, Lisa; Rakovic, Aleksandar et al

in PloS one (2010), 5(9), 12962

BACKGROUND: Mutations in Parkin are the most common cause of autosomal recessive Parkinson disease (PD). The mitochondrially localized E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase Parkin has been reported to be involved ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Mutations in Parkin are the most common cause of autosomal recessive Parkinson disease (PD). The mitochondrially localized E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase Parkin has been reported to be involved in respiratory chain function and mitochondrial dynamics. More recent publications also described a link between Parkin and mitophagy. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we investigated the impact of Parkin mutations on mitochondrial function and morphology in a human cellular model. Fibroblasts were obtained from three members of an Italian PD family with two mutations in Parkin (homozygous c.1072delT, homozygous delEx7, compound-heterozygous c.1072delT/delEx7), as well as from two relatives without mutations. Furthermore, three unrelated compound-heterozygous patients (delEx3-4/duplEx7-12, delEx4/c.924C>T and delEx1/c.924C>T) and three unrelated age-matched controls were included. Fibroblasts were cultured under basal or paraquat-induced oxidative stress conditions. ATP synthesis rates and cellular levels were detected luminometrically. Activities of complexes I-IV and citrate synthase were measured spectrophotometrically in mitochondrial preparations or cell lysates. The mitochondrial membrane potential was measured with 5,5',6,6'-tetrachloro-1,1',3,3'-tetraethylbenzimidazolylcarbocyanine iodide. Oxidative stress levels were investigated with the OxyBlot technique. The mitochondrial network was investigated immunocytochemically and the degree of branching was determined with image processing methods. We observed a decrease in the production and overall concentration of ATP coinciding with increased mitochondrial mass in Parkin-mutant fibroblasts. After an oxidative insult, the membrane potential decreased in patient cells but not in controls. We further determined higher levels of oxidized proteins in the mutants both under basal and stress conditions. The degree of mitochondrial network branching was comparable in mutants and controls under basal conditions and decreased to a similar extent under paraquat-induced stress. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that Parkin mutations cause abnormal mitochondrial function and morphology in non-neuronal human cells. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 85 (2 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailQuantitative kinetic study of the actin-bundling protein L-plastin and of its impact on actin turn-over.
Al Tanoury, Ziad; Schaffner-Reckinger, Elisabeth UL; Halavatyi, Aliaksandr UL et al

in PloS one (2010), 5(2), 9210

BACKGROUND: Initially detected in leukocytes and cancer cells derived from solid tissues, L-plastin/fimbrin belongs to a large family of actin crosslinkers and is considered as a marker for many cancers ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Initially detected in leukocytes and cancer cells derived from solid tissues, L-plastin/fimbrin belongs to a large family of actin crosslinkers and is considered as a marker for many cancers. Phosphorylation of L-plastin on residue Ser5 increases its F-actin binding activity and is required for L-plastin-mediated cell invasion. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To study the kinetics of L-plastin and the impact of L-plastin Ser5 phosphorylation on L-plastin dynamics and actin turn-over in live cells, simian Vero cells were transfected with GFP-coupled WT-L-plastin, Ser5 substitution variants (S5/A, S5/E) or actin and analyzed by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP). FRAP data were explored by mathematical modeling to estimate steady-state reaction parameters. We demonstrate that in Vero cell focal adhesions L-plastin undergoes rapid cycles of association/dissociation following a two-binding-state model. Phosphorylation of L-plastin increased its association rates by two-fold, whereas dissociation rates were unaffected. Importantly, L-plastin affected actin turn-over by decreasing the actin dissociation rate by four-fold, increasing thereby the amount of F-actin in the focal adhesions, all these effects being promoted by Ser5 phosphorylation. In MCF-7 breast carcinoma cells, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) treatment induced L-plastin translocation to de novo actin polymerization sites in ruffling membranes and spike-like structures and highly increased its Ser5 phosphorylation. Both inhibition studies and siRNA knock-down of PKC isozymes pointed to the involvement of the novel PKC-delta isozyme in the PMA-elicited signaling pathway leading to L-plastin Ser5 phosphorylation. Furthermore, the L-plastin contribution to actin dynamics regulation was substantiated by its association with a protein complex comprising cortactin, which is known to be involved in this process. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Altogether these findings quantitatively demonstrate for the first time that L-plastin contributes to the fine-tuning of actin turn-over, an activity which is regulated by Ser5 phosphorylation promoting its high affinity binding to the cytoskeleton. In carcinoma cells, PKC-delta signaling pathways appear to link L-plastin phosphorylation to actin polymerization and invasion. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 160 (10 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailIdentification of novel inhibitors of dietary lipid absorption using zebrafish.
Clifton, Justin D.; Lucumi Moreno, Edinson UL; Myers, Michael C. et al

in PloS one (2010), 5(8), 12386

Pharmacological inhibition of dietary lipid absorption induces favorable changes in serum lipoprotein levels in patients that are at risk for cardiovascular disease and is considered an adjuvant or ... [more ▼]

Pharmacological inhibition of dietary lipid absorption induces favorable changes in serum lipoprotein levels in patients that are at risk for cardiovascular disease and is considered an adjuvant or alternative treatment with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins). Here we demonstrate the feasibility of identifying novel inhibitors of intestinal lipid absorption using the zebrafish system. A pilot screen of an unbiased chemical library identified novel compounds that inhibited processing of fluorescent lipid analogues in live zebrafish larvae. Secondary assays identified those compounds suitable for testing in mammals and provided insight into mechanism of action, which for several compounds could be distinguished from ezetimibe, a drug used to inhibit cholesterol absorption in humans that broadly inhibited lipid absorption in zebrafish larvae. These findings support the utility of zebrafish screening assays to identify novel compounds that target complex physiological processes. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 138 (1 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailMetaproteomics Provides Functional Insight into Activated Sludge Wastewater Treatment
Wilmes, Paul UL; Wexler, Margaret; Bond, Philip L.

in PLoS ONE (2008), 3(3), 1-2

Background: Through identification of highly expressed proteins from a mixed culture activated sludge system this study provides functional evidence of microbial transformations important for enhanced ... [more ▼]

Background: Through identification of highly expressed proteins from a mixed culture activated sludge system this study provides functional evidence of microbial transformations important for enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR). Methodology/Principal Findings: A laboratory-scale sequencing batch reactor was successfully operated for different levels of EBPR, removing around 25, 40 and 55 mg/l P. The microbial communities were dominated by the uncultured polyphosphate-accumulating organism "Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis''. When EBPR failed, the sludge was dominated by tetrad-forming alpha-Proteobacteria. Representative and reproducible 2D gel protein separations were obtained for all sludge samples. 638 protein spots were matched across gels generated from the phosphate removing sludges. 111 of these were excised and 46 proteins were identified using recently available sludge metagenomic sequences. Many of these closely match proteins from "Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis'' and could be directly linked to the EBPR process. They included enzymes involved in energy generation, polyhydroxyalkanoate synthesis, glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, glycogen synthesis, glyoxylate/TCA cycle, fatty acid beta oxidation, fatty acid synthesis and phosphate transport. Several proteins involved in cellular stress response were detected. Conclusions/Significance: Importantly, this study provides direct evidence linking the metabolic activities of "Accumulibacter'' to the chemical transformations observed in EBPR. Finally, the results are discussed in relation to current EBPR metabolic models. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 133 (5 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailRecombinant interleukin-24 lacks apoptosis-inducing properties in melanoma cells
Kreis, Stephanie UL; Philippidou, Demetra UL; Margue, Christiane UL et al

in PLoS ONE (2007), 2(12), 1300

IL-24, also known as melanoma differentiation antigen 7 (mda-7), is a member of the IL-10 family of cytokines and is mainly produced by Th(2) cells as well as by activated monocytes. Binding of IL-24 to ... [more ▼]

IL-24, also known as melanoma differentiation antigen 7 (mda-7), is a member of the IL-10 family of cytokines and is mainly produced by Th(2) cells as well as by activated monocytes. Binding of IL-24 to either of its two possible heterodimeric receptors IL-20R1/IL-20R2 and IL-22R/IL-20R2 activates STAT3 and/or STAT1 in target tissues such as lung, testis, ovary, keratinocytes and skin. To date, the physiological properties of IL-24 are still not well understood but available data suggest that IL-24 affects epidermal functions by increasing proliferation of dermal cells. In stark contrast to its "normal" and physiological behaviour, IL-24 has been reported to selectively and efficiently kill a vast variety of cancer cells, especially melanoma cells, independent of receptor expression and Jak-STAT signalling. These intriguing properties have led to the development of adenovirally-expressed IL-24, which is currently being evaluated in clinical trials. Using three different methods, we have analysed a large panel of melanoma cell lines with respect to IL-24 and IL-24 receptor expression and found that none of the investigated cell lines expressed sufficient amounts of functional receptor pairs and therefore did not react to IL-24 stimulation with Jak/STAT activation. Results for three cell lines contrasted with previous studies, which reported presence of IL-24 receptors and activation of STAT3 following IL-24 stimulation. Furthermore, evaluating four different sources and modes of IL-24 administration (commercial recombinant IL-24, bacterially expressed GST-IL-24 fusion protein, IL-24 produced from transfected Hek cells, transiently over-expressed IL-24) no induction or increase in cell death was detected when compared to appropriate control treatments. Thus, we conclude that the cytokine IL-24 itself has no cancer-specific apoptosis-inducing properties in melanoma cells. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 86 (5 UL)