Browsing by Subject "RECEPTOR"

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  • Lesnikova, Angelina; Casarotto, Plinio; Fred, Senem Merve; Voipio, Mikko; Winkel, Frederike; Stenizeig, Anna; Antila, Hanna; Umemori, Juzoh; Biojone, Caroline; Castrén, Eero (2021)
    Perineuronal nets (PNNs) are an extracellular matrix structure rich in chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs), which preferentially encase parvalbumin-containing (PV+) interneurons. PNNs restrict cortical network plasticity but the molecular mechanisms involved are unclear. We found that reactivation of ocular dominance plasticity in the adult visual cortex induced by chondroitinase ABC (chABC)-mediated PNN removal requires intact signaling by the neurotrophin receptor TRKB in PV+ neurons. Additionally, we demonstrate that chABC increases TRKB phosphorylation (pTRKB), while PNN component aggrecan attenuates brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-induced pTRKB in cortical neurons in culture. We further found that protein tyrosine phosphatase sigma (PTP sigma, PTPRS), receptor for CSPGs, interacts with TRKB and restricts TRKB phosphorylation. PTP sigma deletion increases phosphorylation of TRKB in vitro and in vivo in male and female mice, and juvenile-like plasticity is retained in the visual cortex of adult PTP sigma-deficient mice (PTP sigma(+/-)). The antidepressant drug fluoxetine, which is known to promote TRKB phosphorylation and reopen critical period-like plasticity in the adult brain, disrupts the interaction between TRKB and PTP sigma by binding to the transmembrane domain of TRKB. We propose that both chABC and fluoxetine reopen critical period-like plasticity in the adult visual cortex by promoting TRKB signaling in PV+ neurons through inhibition of TRKB dephosphorylation by the PTP sigma-CSPG complex.
  • Turconi, Giorgio; Kopra, Jaakko; Võikar, Vootele; Kulesskaya, Natalia; Vilenius, Carolina; Piepponen, T. Petteri; Andressoo, Jaan-Olle (2020)
    Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) supports function and survival of dopamine neurons that degenerate in Parkinson's disease (PD). Ectopic delivery of GDNF in clinical trials to treat PD is safe but lacks significant therapeutic effect. In pre-clinical models, ectopic GDNF is effective but causes adverse effects, including downregulation of tyrosine hydroxylase, only a transient boost in dopamine metabolism, aberrant neuronal sprouting, and hyperactivity. Hindering development of GDNF mimetic increased signaling via GDNF receptor RET by activating mutations results in cancer. Safe and effective mode of action must be defined first in animal models to develop successful GDNF-based therapies. Previously we showed that about a 2-fold increase in endogenous GDNF expression is safe and results in increased motor and dopaminergic function and protection in a PD model in young animals. Recently, similar results were reported using a novel Gdnf mRNA-targeting strategy. Next, it is important to establish the safety of a long-term increase in endogenous GDNF expression. We report behavioral, dopamine system, and cancer analysis of five cohorts of aged mice with a 2-fold increase in endogenous GDNF. We found a sustained increase in dopamine levels, improvement in motor learning, and no side effects or cancer. These results support the rationale for further development of endogenous GDNF-based treatments and GDNF mimetic.
  • Piltonen, Terhi T.; Giacobini, Paolo; Edvinsson, Asa; Hustad, Steinar; Lager, Susanne; Morin-Papunen, Laure; Tapanainen, Juha S.; Sundström-Poromaa, Inger; Arffman, Riikka K. (2019)
    Objective: To investigate plasma antimullerian hormone (AMH) concentration and its relation to steroid hormone levels in pregnant women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and controls at term. Design: Case-control study. Setting: University-affiliated hospital. Patient(s): A total of 74 pregnant women at term: 25 women with PCOS (aged 31.6 +/- 3.9 years [mean +/- standard deviation], body mass index 24.0 +/- 3.9 kg/m2, mean gestational length 279 +/- 9 days) and 49 controls (aged 31.7 +/- 3.3 years, body mass index 24.0 +/- 3.3 kg/m2, mean gestational length 281 +/- 9 days). Intervention(s): None. Main Outcome Measure(s): Plasma AMH and steroid hormone levels. Result(s): Antimullerian hormone, T, and androstenedione levels were higher in women with PCOS at term compared with controls, whereas estrogen and P levels were similar. The differences were pronounced in women carrying a female fetus. Testosterone and AMH levels correlated positively in both groups, but E2 levels only in women with PCOS. Conclusion(s): Pregnant women with PCOS present with elevated AMH and androgen levels even at term, suggesting a hormonal imbalance during PCOS pregnancy. Differences were detected especially in pregnancies with a female fetus, raising the question of whether female pregnancies are more susceptible to AMH and steroid hormone actions. (C) Copyright (C) 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
  • Farkkila, Anniina; Zauli, Giorgio; Haltia, Ulla-Maija; Pihlajoki, Marjut; Unkila-Kallio, Leila; Secchiero, Paola; Heikinheimo, Markku (2016)
    Targeted treatments are needed for advanced adult-type granulosa cell tumors (AGCTs). We set out to assess tumor tissue and circulating levels of TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), a promising anti-cancer cytokine, in patients affected by AGCT. We analyzed tissue expression of TRAIL in 127 AGCTs using immunohistochemistry or RT-PCR. Soluble TRAIL was measured by means of ELISA from 141 AGCT patient serum samples, as well as the conditioned media of 15 AGCT patient-derived primary cell cultures, and the KGN cell line. Tissue and serum TRAIL levels were analyzed in relationship with clinical parameters, and serum estradiol, FSH, and LH levels. We found that AGCT samples expressed TRAIL mRNA and protein at levels comparable to normal granulosa cells. AGCT cells did not release soluble TRAIL. TRAIL protein levels were decreased in tumors over 10 cm in diameter (p = 0.04). Consistently, circulating TRAIL levels correlated negatively to tumor dimension (p = 0.01). Circulating TRAIL levels negatively associated with serum estradiol levels. In multiple regression analysis, tumor size was an independent factor contributing to the decreased levels of soluble TRAIL in AGCT patients. AGCTs associate with significantly decreased tumor tissue and serum TRAIL levels in patients with a large tumor mass. These findings encourage further study of agonistic TRAIL treatments in patients with advanced or recurrent AGCT.
  • Petersen, Anders Ø.; Julienne, Hanna; Hyötyläinen, Tuulia; Sen, Partho; Fan, Yong; Pedersen, Helle Krogh; Jäntti, Sirkku; Hansen, Tue H.; Nielsen, Trine; Jørgensen, Torben; Hansen, Torben; Myers, Pernille Neve; Nielsen, H. Bjørn; Ehrlich, S. Dusko; Orešič, Matej; Pedersen, Oluf (2021)
    Knowledge about in vivo effects of human circulating C-6 hydroxylated bile acids (BAs), also called muricholic acids, is sparse. It is unsettled if the gut microbiome might contribute to their biosynthesis. Here, we measured a range of serum BAs and related them to markers of human metabolic health and the gut microbiome. We examined 283 non-obese and obese Danish adults from the MetaHit study. Fasting concentrations of serum BAs were quantified using ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass-spectrometry. The gut microbiome was characterized with shotgun metagenomic sequencing and genome-scale metabolic modeling. We find that tauro- and glycohyocholic acid correlated inversely with body mass index (P = 4.1e-03, P = 1.9e-05, respectively), waist circumference (P = 0.017, P = 1.1e-04, respectively), body fat percentage (P = 2.5e-03, P = 2.3e-06, respectively), insulin resistance (P = 0.051, P = 4.6e-4, respectively), fasting concentrations of triglycerides (P = 0.06, P = 9.2e-4, respectively) and leptin (P = 0.067, P = 9.2e-4). Tauro- and glycohyocholic acids, and tauro-a-muricholic acid were directly linked with a distinct gut microbial community primarily composed of Clostridia species (P = 0.037, P = 0.013, P = 0.027, respectively). We conclude that serum conjugated C-6-hydroxylated BAs associate with measures of human metabolic health and gut communities of Clostridia species. The findings merit preclinical interventions and human feasibility studies to explore the therapeutic potential of these BAs in obesity and type 2 diabetes.
  • Hasan, Amal; Kochumon, Shihab; Al-Ozairi, Ebaa; Tuomilehto, Jaakko; Al-Mulla, Fahd; Ahmad, Rasheed (2020)
    Purpose: The suppression of tumorigenicity 2 (ST2) has two main splice variants including a membrane bound (ST2) form, which activates the myeloid differentiation primary response 88 (MyD88)/nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappa B) signaling pathway, and a secreted soluble form (sST2), which acts as a decoy receptor for ST2 ligand, interleukin (IL)-33. The IL-33/ST2 axis is protective against obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes (T2D). In humans, adipose tissue IL-33 displays distinct correlation profiles with glycated hemoglobin, ST2, and other immunometabolic mediators, depending on the glycemic health of the individuals. We determined whether adipose tissue ST2 displays distinct correlation profiles with immunometabolic mediators and whether ST2 and/or IL-33 are correlated with intracellular signaling molecules. Patients and Methods: A total of 91 adults with normal glycemia, prediabetes, and T2D were included. After measuring their anthropometric and biochemical parameters, subcutaneous adipose tissues were isolated and mRNA expression of biomarkers was measured. Results: In individuals with normal glycemia, adipose tissue ST2 was directly correlated with chemokine (C-C motif) ligand (CCL)-2, CCL5, IL-12, fibrinogen-like protein 2 (FGL2) and interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-4, but inversely correlated with cytochrome C oxidase subunit 7A1. IL-33 and ST2 were directly correlated with tumor necrosis factor receptorassociated factor 6 (TRAF6), NF-kappa B, and nuclear factor of activated T-cells 5 (NFAT5). In individuals with prediabetes, ST2 was inversely correlated with IL-5, whereas IL-33 but not ST2 was directly correlated with MyD88 and NF-kappa B. In individuals with T2D, ST2 was directly correlated with CCL2, IL-1 beta, and IRF5. IL-33 and ST2 were directly correlated with MyD88, TRAF6, and NF-kappa B. Conclusion: Adipose tissue ST2 and IL-33 show different correlation profiles with various immunometabolic biomarkers depending on the metabolic state of the individuals. Therefore, targeting the IL-33/ST2 axis might form the basis for novel therapies to combat metabolic disorders.
  • Skledar, Darja Gramec; Trontelj, Jurij; Troberg, Johanna; Tomašič, Tihomir; Zega, Anamarija; Finel, Moshe; Mašič, Lucija Peterlin (2019)
    Bisphenol AF (BPAF) is in the body mainly metabolized to the corresponding bisphenol AF glucuronide (BPAF-G). While BPAF-G is not commercially available, enzyme-assisted synthesis of BPAF-G using the human recombinant enzyme UGT2A1, purification of BPAF-G by solid phase extraction and semi-preparative HPLC and chemical characterization of BPAF-G by NMR and LC-MS/MS were performed and are described here. Furthermore, BPAF glucuronidation kinetics with the UGT enzymes that showed the highest glucuronidation activity in previous studies (i.e hepatic UGTs 1A3, 2B7, and 2B17, intestinal UGT 1A10 and UGT 2A1 that is present in airways) was performed and data is presented. Hepatic enzymes exhibited high affinities toward BPAF, while extrahepatic UGTs 2A1 and 1A10 showed the high v(max), values (3.3 and 3.0 nmol/min/mg, respectively). To understand molecular interactions of BPA, BPAF and BPAF-G with ligand biding sites of several nuclear receptors, molecular modeling was performed and data on the binding modes of BPAF, BPA, and BPAF-G in the ligand-binding sites of nuclear receptors are presented. This article is related to "Endocrine activities and adipogenic effects of bisphenol AF and its main metabolite" (Skledar et al., 2019). (C) 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.
  • Mazina, Olga; Allikalt, Anni; Tapanainen, Juha S.; Salumets, Andres; Rinken, Ago (2017)
    Determination of biological activity of gonadotropin hormones is essential in reproductive medicine and pharmaceutical manufacturing of the hormonal preparations. The aim of the study was to adopt a G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR)-mediated signal transduction pathway based assay for quantification of biological activity of gonadotropins. We focussed on studying human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), as these hormones are widely used in clinical practice. Receptor-specific changes in cellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP, second messenger in GPCR signalling) were monitored by a Forster resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensor protein (T)Epac(VV) in living cells upon activation of the relevant gonadotropin receptor. The BacMam gene delivery system was used for biosensor protein expression in target cells. In the developed assay only biologically active hormones initiated GPCR-mediated cellular signalling. High assay sensitivities were achieved for detection of hCG (limit of detection, LOD: 5 pM) and FSH (LOD: 100 pM). Even the smallscale conformational changes caused by thermal inactivation and reducing the biological activity of the hormones were registered. In conclusion, the proposed assay is suitable for quantification of biological activity of gonadotropins and is a good alternative to antibody- and animal-testing-based assays used in pharmaceutical industry and clinical research.
  • Lautaoja, Juulia H.; Pekkala, Satu; Pasternack, Arja; Laitinen, Mika; Ritvos, Olli; Hulmi, Juha J. (2020)
    Alongside in vivo models, a simpler and more mechanistic approach is required to study the effects of myostatin on skeletal muscle because myostatin is an important negative regulator of muscle size. In this study, myostatin was administered to murine (C2C12) and human (CHQ) myoblasts and myotubes. Canonical and noncanonical signaling downstream to myostatin, related ligands, and their receptor were analyzed. The effects of tumorkines were analyzed after coculture of C2C12 and colon cancer-C26 cells. The effects of myostatin on canonical and noncanonical signaling were strongly reduced in C2C12 cells after differentiation. This may be explained by increased follistatin, an endogenous blocker of myostatin and altered expression of activin receptor ligands. In contrast, CHQ cells were equally responsive to myostatin, and follistatin remained unaltered. Both myostatin administration and the coculture stimulated pathways associated with inflammation, especially in C2C12 cells. In conclusion, the effects of myostatin on intracellular signaling may be cell line- or organism-specific, and C2C12 myotubes seem to be a nonoptimal in vitro model for investigating the effects of myostatin on canonical and noncanonical signaling in skeletal muscle. This may be due to altered expression of activin receptor ligands and their regulators during muscle cell differentiation.
  • Jensen, Christina T.; Ahsberg, Josefine; Sommarin, Mikael N. E.; Strid, Tobias; Somasundaram, Rajesh; Okuyama, Kazuki; Ungerback, Jonas; Kupari, Jussi; Airaksinen, Matti S.; Lang, Stefan; Bryder, David; Soneji, Shamit; Karlsson, Goran; Sigvardsson, Mikael (2018)
    To understand the developmental trajectories in early lymphocyte differentiation, we identified differentially expressed surface markers on lineage-negative lymphoid progenitors (LPs). Single-cell polymerase chain reaction experiments allowed us to link surface marker expression to that of lineage-associated transcription factors (TFs) and identify GFRA2 and BST1 as markers of early B cells. Functional analyses in vitro and in vivo as well as single-cell gene expression analyses supported that surface expression of these proteins defined distinct subpopulations that include cells from both the classical common LPs (CLPs) and Fraction A compartments. The formation of the GFRA2-expressing stages of development depended on the TF EBF1, critical both for the activation of stage-specific target genes and modulation of the epigenetic landscape. Our data show that consecutive expression of Ly6D, GFRA2, and BST1 defines a developmental trajectory linking the CLP to the CD19(+) progenitor compartment.
  • Al-Samadi, Ahmed; Moossavi, Shirin; Salem, Abdelhakim; Sotoudeh, Masoud; Tuovinen, Sarianna M.; Konttinen, Yrjo T.; Salo, Tuula; Bishehsari, Faraz (2016)
    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancers in both genders. Even though interleukin (IL)-17A was shown to play an important role in intestinal tumourigenesis and CRC, other IL-17 family members were not studied well. We therefore studied the expression of IL-17 cytokine family members in CRC. Ten healthy colons and ten CRC mucosa were immunostained for IL-17B, IL-17C, IL-17E, and IL-17F, and their receptors IL-17RA, IL-17RB, and IL-17RC. Double immunofluorescence staining of the CRC mucosa was done for IL-17B with markers of neutrophils, endothelial cells, macrophages, T cells, mast cells, or fibroblasts. While IL-17B was increased in CRC with a strong presence both in the epithelial and stromal compartments, IL-17C showed different expression depending on the grade of differentiation and IL-17E remained unchanged. In contrast, IL-17F was decreased in CRC compared to healthy control. Colon epithelial cells stained positive for IL-17RA, IL-17RB, and IL-17RC in both healthy control and CRC. Neutrophils were the main source of IL-17B in the stroma. IL-17 family members demonstrated distinct expression patterns in CRC, suggesting a differential role exerted by each member in colon carcinogenesis.
  • Danne, Reinis; Poojari, Chetan; Martinez-Seara, Hector; Rissanen, Sami; Lolicato, Fabio; Rog, Tomasz; Vattulainen, Ilpo (2017)
    Carbohydrates constitute a structurally and functionally diverse group of biological molecules and macromolecules. In cells they are involved in, e.g., energy storage, signaling, and cellcell recognition. All of these phenomena take place in atomistic scales, thus atomistic simulation would be the method of choice to explore how carbohydrates function. However, the progress in the field is limited by the lack of appropriate tools for preparing carbohydrate structures and related topology files for the simulation models. Here we present tools that fill this gap. Applications where the tools discussed in this paper are particularly useful include, among others, the preparation of structures for glycolipids, nanocellulose, and glycans linked to glycoproteins. The molecular structures and simulation files generated by the tools are compatible with GROMACS.
  • Peuss, Robert; Wensing, Kristina U.; Woestmann, Luisa; Eggert, Hendrik; Milutinovic, Barbara; Sroka, Marlene G. U.; Scharsack, Jörn P.; Kurtz, Joachim; Armitage, Sophie A. O. (2016)
    Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule 1 (Dscam1) has wide-reaching and vital neuronal functions although the role it plays in insect and crustacean immunity is less well understood. In this study, we combine different approaches to understand the roles that Dscam1 plays in fitness-related contexts in two model insect species. Contrary to our expectations, we found no short-term modulation of Dscam1 gene expression after haemocoelic or oral bacterial exposure in Tribolium castaneum, or after haemocoelic bacterial exposure in Drosophila melanogaster. Furthermore, RNAi-mediated Dscam1 knockdown and subsequent bacterial exposure did not reduce T. castaneum survival. However, Dscam1 knockdown in larvae resulted in adult locomotion defects, as well as dramatically reduced fecundity in males and females. We suggest that Dscam1 does not always play a straightforward role in immunity, but strongly influences behaviour and fecundity. This study takes a step towards understanding more about the role of this intriguing gene from different phenotypic perspectives.
  • Heiniö, Camilla; Sorsa, Suvi; Siurala, Mikko; Grönberg-Vähä-Koskela, Susanna; Havunen, Riikka; Haavisto, Elina; Koski, Anniina; Hemminki, Otto; Zafar, Sadia; Cervera-Carrascon, Victor; Munaro, Eleonora; Kanerva, Anna; Hemminki, Akseli (2019)
    After the discovery and characterization of the adenovirus in the 1950s, this prevalent cause of the common cold and other usually mild diseases has been modified and utilized in biomedicine in several ways. To date, adenoviruses are the most frequently used vectors and therapeutic (e.g., oncolytic) agents with a number of beneficial features. They infect both dividing and nondividing cells, enable high-level, transient protein expression, and are easy to amplify to high concentrations. As an important and versatile research tool, it is of essence to understand the limits and advantages that genetic modification of adenovirus vectors may entail. Therefore, a retrospective analysis was performed of adenoviral gene therapy constructs produced in the same laboratory with similar methods. The aim was to assess the impact of various modifications on the physical and functional titer of the virus. It was found that genome size (designed within "the 105% golden rule") did not significantly affect the physical titer of the adenovirus preparations, regardless of the type of transgene (e.g., immunostimulatory vs. other), number of engineered changes, and size of the mutated virus genome. One statistically significant exception was noted, however. Chimeric adenoviruses (5/3) had a slightly lower physical titer compared to Ad5-based viruses, although a trend for the opposite was true for functional titers. Thus, 5/3 chimeric viruses may in fact be appealing from a safety versus efficacy viewpoint. Armed viruses had lower functional and physical titers than unarmed viruses, while five genomic modifications started to decrease functional titer. Importantly, even highly modified armed viruses generally had good titers compatible with clinical testing. In summary, this paper shows the plasticity of adenovirus for various vector, oncolytic, and armed oncolytic uses. These results inform future generations of adenovirus-based drugs for human use. This information is directly transferable to academic laboratories and the biomedical industry involved in vector design and production optimization.
  • Honkanen, Hanne-Kaisa; Izzi, Valerio; Petaisto, Tiina; Holopainen, Tanja; Harjunen, Vanessa; Pihlajaniemi, Taina; Alitalo, Kari; Heljasvaara, Ritva (2016)
    Vascular endothelial growth factor D (VEGF-D) promotes the lymph node metastasis of cancer by inducing the growth of lymphatic vasculature, but its specific roles in tumorigenesis have not been elucidated. We monitored the effects of VEGF-D in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) by subjecting transgenic mice overexpressing VEGF-D in the skin (K14-mVEGF-D) and VEGF-D knockout mice to a chemical skin carcinogenesis protocol involving 7,12-dimethylbenz[a] anthracene and 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate treatments. In K14-mVEGF-Dmice, tumor lymphangiogenesis was significantly increased and the frequency of lymph node metastasis was elevated in comparison with controls. Most notably, the papillomas regressed more often in K14-mVEGF-D mice than in littermate controls, resulting in a delay in tumor incidence and a remarkable reduction in the total tumor number. Skin tumor growth and metastasis were not obviously affected in the absence of VEGF-D; however, the knockout mice showed a trend for reduced lymphangiogenesis in skin tumors and in the untreated skin. Interestingly, K14-mVEGF-D mice showed an altered immune response in skin tumors. This consisted of the reduced accumulation of macrophages, mast cells, and CD4(+) T-cells and an increase of cytotoxic CD8(+) T-cells. Cytokine profiling by flow cytometry and quantitative real time PCR revealed that elevated VEGF-D expression results in an attenuated Th2 response and promotes M1/Th1 and Th17 polarization in the early stage of skin carcinogenesis, leading to an anti-tumoral immune environment and the regression of primary tumors. Our data suggest that VEGF-D may be beneficial in early-stage tumors since it suppresses the pro-tumorigenic inflammation, while at later stages VEGF-D-induced tumor lymphatics provide a route for metastasis.
  • Casey, Ruth T.; Valk, Gerlof D.; Schalin-Jäntti, Camilla; Grossman, Ashley B.; Thakker, Rajesh V. (2020)
    In viral pandemics, most specifically Covid-19, many patients with neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs), including phaeochromocytomas, paragangliomas and medullary thyroid carcinoma, may develop Covid-19 in a mild or severe form, or be concerned about the influence of viral infection relative to their anti-tumoral therapy. In general, newly presenting patients should be assessed, and patients recently receiving chemotherapy, targeted therapy or radionuclide therapy, or showing tumour growth, should be closely followed. For previously diagnosed patients, who have indolent disease, some delay in routine follow-up or treatment may not be problematic. However, patients developing acute secretory syndromes due to functional neuroendocrine neoplasms (such as of the pancreas, intestine or lung), phaeochromocytomas and paragangliomas, will require prompt treatment. Patients with life-threatening Covid-19-related symptoms should be urgently treated and long-term anti-tumoral treatments may be temporarily delayed. In patients with especially aggressive NENs, a careful judgement should be made regarding the severity of any Covid-19 illness, tumour grade, and the immunosuppressant effects of any planned chemotherapy, immunotherapy (e.g. interferon-alpha), targeted therapy or related treatment. In other cases, especially patients with completely resected NENs, or who are under surveillance for a genetic disorder, a telephone or delayed consultation may be in order, balancing the risk of a delay against that of the possible development of Covid-19.
  • Kivelä, Riikka; Hemanthakumar, Karthik Amudhala; Vaparanta, Katri; Robciuc, Marius; Izumiya, Yasuhiro; Kidoya, Hiroyasu; Takakura, Nobuyuki; Peng, Xuyang; Sawyer, Douglas B.; Elenius, Klaus; Walsh, Kenneth; Alitalo, Kari (2019)
    Background: Heart failure, which is a major global health problem, is often preceded by pathological cardiac hypertrophy. The expansion of the cardiac vasculature, to maintain adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients, is a key determinant of whether the heart grows in a physiological compensated manner or a pathological decompensated manner. Bidirectional endothelial cell (EC)-cardiomyocyte (CMC) cross talk via cardiokine and angiocrine signaling plays an essential role in the regulation of cardiac growth and homeostasis. Currently, the mechanisms involved in the EC-CMC interaction are not fully understood, and very little is known about the EC-derived signals involved. Understanding how an excess of angiogenesis induces cardiac hypertrophy and how ECs regulate CMC homeostasis could provide novel therapeutic targets for heart failure. Methods: Genetic mouse models were used to delete vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors, adeno-associated viral vectors to transduce the myocardium, and pharmacological inhibitors to block VEGF and ErbB signaling in vivo. Cell culture experiments were used for mechanistic studies, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction, microarrays, ELISA, and immunohistochemistry were used to analyze the cardiac phenotypes. Results: Both EC deletion of VEGF receptor (VEGFR)-1 and adeno-associated viral vector-mediated delivery of the VEGFR1-specific ligands VEGF-B or placental growth factor into the myocardium increased the coronary vasculature and induced CMC hypertrophy in adult mice. The resulting cardiac hypertrophy was physiological, as indicated by preserved cardiac function and exercise capacity and lack of pathological gene activation. These changes were mediated by increased VEGF signaling via endothelial VEGFR2, because the effects of VEGF-B and placental growth factor on both angiogenesis and CMC growth were fully inhibited by treatment with antibodies blocking VEGFR2 or by endothelial deletion of VEGFR2. To identify activated pathways downstream of VEGFR2, whole-genome transcriptomics and secretome analyses were performed, and the Notch and ErbB pathways were shown to be involved in transducing signals for EC-CMC cross talk in response to angiogenesis. Pharmacological or genetic blocking of ErbB signaling also inhibited part of the VEGF-B-induced effects in the heart. Conclusions: This study reveals that cross talk between the EC VEGFR2 and CMC ErbB signaling pathways coordinates CMC hypertrophy with angiogenesis, contributing to physiological cardiac growth.
  • Lahtela, Elisa; Kankainen, Matti; Sinisalo, Juha; Selroos, Olof; Lokki, Marja-Liisa (2019)
    Many sarcoidosis-associating immunological genes have been shown to be shared between other immune-mediated diseases. In Finnish sarcoidosis patients, good prognosis subjects more commonly have HLA-DRB1*03:01 and/or HLA-DRB1*04:01-DPB1*04:01 haplotype, but no marker for persistent disease have been found. The objective was to further pinpoint genetic differences between prognosis subgroups in relation to the HLA markers. Whole-exome sequencing was conducted for 72 patients selected based on disease activity (resolved disease, n = 36; persistent disease, n = 36). Both groups were further divided by the HLA markers (one/both markers, n = 18; neither of the markers, n = 18). The Finnish exome data from the Genome Aggregation Database was used as a control population in the WES sample. Statistical analyses included single-variant analysis for common variants and gene level analysis for rare variants. We attempted to replicate associated variants in 181 Finnish sarcoidosis patients and 150 controls. An association was found in chromosome 1p36.21 (AADACL3 and C1orf158), which has recently been associated with sarcoidosis in another WES study. In our study, variations in these genes were associated with resolved disease (AADACL3, p = 0.0001 and p = 0.0003; C1orf158, p = 7.03E-05). Another interesting chromosomal region also peaked, Leucocyte Receptor Complex in 19q13.42, but the association diminished in the replication sample. In conclusion, this WES study supports the previously found association in the region 1p36.21. Furthermore, a novel to sarcoidosis region was found, but additional studies are warranted to verify this association.
  • Pemmari, Toini; Ivanova, Larisa; May, Ulrike; Lingasamy, Prakash; Tobi, Allan; Pasternack, Anja; Prince, Stuart; Ritvos, Olli; Makkapati, Shreya; Teesalu, Tambet; Cairo, Mitchell S.; Järvinen, Tero A. H.; Liao, Yanling (2020)
    Systemic skin-selective therapeutics would be a major advancement in the treatment of diseases affecting the entire skin, such as recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB), which is caused by mutations in the COL7A1 gene and manifests in transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta)-driven fibrosis and malignant transformation. Homing peptides containing a C-terminal R/KXXR/K motif (C-end rule [CendR] sequence) activate an extravasation and tissue penetration pathway for tumor-specific drug delivery. We have previously described a homing peptide CRKDKC (CRK) that contains a cryptic CendR motif and homes to angiogenic blood vessels in wounds and tumors, but it cannot penetrate cells or tissues. In this study, we demonstrate that removal of the cysteine from CRK to expose the CendR sequence confers the peptide novel ability to home to normal skin. Fusion of the truncated CRK (tCRK) peptide to the C terminus of an extracellular matrix protein de-corin (DCN), a natural TGF-beta inhibitor, resulted in a skin-homing therapeutic molecule (DCN-tCRK). Systemic DCN-tCRK administration in RDEB mice led to inhibition of TGF-beta signaling in the skin and significant improvement in the survival of RDEB mice. These results suggest that DCN-tCRK has the potential to be utilized as a novel therapeutic compound for the treatment of dermatological diseases such as RDEB.
  • Aints, Alar; Mölder, Signe; Salumets, Andres (2019)
    Endometriosis is a benign chronic condition characterized by the existence of endometrial-like stroma and glandular tissue in extrauterine locations. The molecular mechanisms of its pathogenesis have not been elucidated. We have studied the role of EXTL3 (exostosin-like 3) in endometriosis and found that it is expressed in endometrial tissue as well as endometriosis lesions. We have found that serum from endometriosis patients contains a factor or factors, which interact with EXTL3 resulting in strongly increased colony formation in regenerating cell culture. We also found increased anti-EXTL3 antibodies in endometriosis patients' sera. EXTL3 is an N-acetyl glucosamine (GlcNAc) transferase, performing a key step in heparan sulfate (HS) glucosaminoglycan synthesis. Many viruses replicate in regenerating epithelial cells and use HS as a receptor for cell entry. We measured antibody titres to viruses, which use HS as a receptor for cell entry, and found rarely increased titres for these viruses in endometriosis sera, whereas titres to viruses using other receptors were equally distributed in study groups. The data indicate that perturbation of HS metabolism is associated with endometriosis.