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  • Kovalchuk, Andriy; Raffaello, Tommaso; Jaber, Emad; Keriö, Susanna; Ghimire, Rajendra; Lorenz, W. Walter; Dean, Jeffrey F. D.; Holopainen, Jarmo K.; Asiegbu, Fred O. (2015)
    Background: During their lifetime, conifer trees are exposed to numerous herbivorous insects. To protect themselves against pests, trees have developed a broad repertoire of protective mechanisms. Many of the plant's defence reactions are activated upon an insect attack, and the underlying regulatory mechanisms are not entirely understood yet, in particular in conifer trees. Here, we present the results of our studies on the transcriptional response and the volatile compounds production of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) upon the large pine weevil (Hylobius abietis) feeding. Results: Transcriptional response of Scots pine to the weevil attack was investigated using a novel customised 36.4 K Pinus taeda microarray. The weevil feeding caused large-scale changes in the pine transcriptome. In total, 774 genes were significantly up-regulated more than 4-fold (p = 0.05), whereas 64 genes were significantly down-regulated more than 4-fold. Among the up-regulated genes, we could identify genes involved in signal perception, signalling pathways, transcriptional regulation, plant hormone homeostasis, secondary metabolism and defence responses. The weevil feeding on stem bark of pine significantly increased the total emission of volatile organic compounds from the undamaged stem bark area. The emission levels of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes were also increased. Interestingly, we could not observe any correlation between the increased production of the terpenoid compounds and expression levels of the terpene synthase-encoding genes. Conclusions: The obtained data provide an important insight into the transcriptional response of conifer trees to insect herbivory and illustrate the massive changes in the host transcriptome upon insect attacks. Moreover, many of the induced pathways are common between conifers and angiosperms. The presented results are the first ones obtained by the use of a microarray platform with an extended coverage of pine transcriptome (36.4 K cDNA elements). The platform will further facilitate the identification of resistance markers with the direct relevance for conifer tree breeding.
  • Nurkhametova, Dilyara; Kudryavtsev, Igor; Guselnikova, Valeriia; Serebryakova, Maria; Giniatullina, Raisa R.; Wojciechowski, Sara; Tore, Fatma; Rizvanov, Albert; Koistinaho, Jari; Malm, Tarja; Giniatullin, Rashid (2019)
    Extracellular ATP activates inflammasome and triggers the release of multiple cytokines in various immune cells, a process primarily mediated by P2X7 receptors. However, the expression and functional properties of P2X7 receptors in native mast cells in tissues such as meninges where migraine pain originates from have not been explored. Here we report a novel model of murine cultured meningeal mast cells and using these, as well as easily accessible peritoneal mast cells, studied the mechanisms of ATP-mediated mast cell activation. We show that ATP induced a time and dose-dependent activation of peritoneal mast cells as analyzed by the uptake of organic dye YO-PRO1 as well as 4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI). Both YO-PRO1 and DAPI uptake in mast cells was mediated by the P2X7 subtype of ATP receptors as demonstrated by the inhibitory effect of P2X7 antagonist A839977. Consistent with this, significant YO-PRO1 uptake was promoted by the P2X7 agonist 2',3'-O-(benzoyl-4-benzoyl)-ATP (BzATP). Extracellular ATP-induced degranulation of native and cultured meningeal mast cells was shown with Toluidine Blue staining. Taken together, these data demonstrate the important contribution of P2X7 receptors to ATP-driven activation of mast cells, suggesting these purinergic mechanisms as potential triggers of neuroinflammation and pain sensitization in migraine.
  • Gotoh-Saito, Saki; Abe, Takayuki; Furukawa, Yoichi; Oda, Shingo; Yokoi, Tsuyoshi; Finel, Moshe; Hatakeyama, Masahiko; Fukami, Tatsuki; Nakajima, Miki (2019)
    UDP-Glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 2A3 belongs to a UGT superfamily of phase II drug-metabolizing enzymes that catalyzes the glucuronidation of many endobiotics and xenobiotics. Previous studies have demonstrated that UGT2A3 is expressed in the human liver, small intestine, and kidney at the mRNA level; however, its protein expression has not been determined. Evaluation of the protein expression of UGT2A3 would be useful to determine its role at the tissue level. In this study, we prepared a specific antibody against human UGT2A3 and evaluated the relative expression of UGT2A3 in the human liver, small intestine, and kidney. Western blot analysis indicated that this antibody is specific to UGT2A3 because it did not cross-react with other human UGT isoforms or rodent UGTs. UGT2A3 expression in the human small intestine was higher than that in the liver and kidney. Via treatment with endoglycosidase, it was clearly demonstrated that UGT2A3 was N-glycosylated. UGT2A3 protein levels were significantly correlated with UGT2A3 mRNA levels in a panel of 28 human liver samples (r = 0.64, p <0.001). In conclusion, we successfully prepared a specific antibody against UGT2A3. This antibody would be useful to evaluate the physiological, pharmacological, and toxicological roles of UGT2A3 in human tissues. (C) 2019 The Japanese Society for the Study of Xenobiotics. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Ruokolainen, Satu; Ng, Yan Peng; Broholm, Suvi K.; Albert, Victor A.; Elomaa, Paula; Teeri, Teemu H. (2010)
  • Kovalchuk, Andriy; Zeng, Zhen; Ghimire, Rajendra P.; Kivimäenpää, Minna; Raffaello, Tommaso; Liu, Mengxia; Mukrimin, Mukrimin; Kasanen, Risto Aarne Olavi; Sun, Hui; Julkunen-Tiitto, Riitta; Holopainen, Jarmo K.; Asiegbu, Frederick Obioma (2019)
    BackgroundRoot and butt rot of conifer trees caused by fungi belonging to the Heterobasidion annosum species complex is one of the most economically important fungal diseases in commercial conifer plantations throughout the Northern hemisphere. We investigated the interactions between Heterobasidion fungi and their host by conducting dual RNA-seq and chemical analysis on Norway spruce trees naturally infected by Heterobasidion spp. We analyzed host and pathogen transcriptome and phenolic and terpenoid contents of the spruce trees.ResultsPresented results emphasize the role of the phenylpropanoid and flavonoid pathways in the chemical defense of Norway spruce trees. Accumulation of lignans was observed in trees displaying symptoms of wood decay. A number of candidate genes with a predicted role in the higher level regulation of spruce defense responses were identified. Our data indicate a possible role of abscisic acid (ABA) signaling in the spruce defense against Heterobasidion infection. Fungal transcripts corresponding to genes encoding carbohydrate- and lignin-degrading enzymes, secondary metabolism genes and effector-like genes were expressed during the host colonization.ConclusionsOur results provide additional insight into defense strategies employed by Norway spruce trees against Heterobasidion infection. The potential applications of the identified candidate genes as markers for higher resistance against root and butt rot deserve further evaluation.
  • Wendt, Frank R.; Sajantila, Antti; Moura-Neto, Rodrigo S.; Woerner, August E.; Budowle, Bruce (2018)
    CYP2D6 is a critical pharmacogenetic target, and polymorphisms in the gene region are commonly used to infer enzyme activity score and predict resulting metabolizer phenotype: poor, intermediate, extensive/normal, or ultrarapid which can be useful in determining cause and/or manner of death in some autopsies. Current genotyping approaches are incapable of identifying novel and/or rare variants, so CYP2D6 star allele definitions are limited to polymorphisms known a priori. While useful for most predictions, recent studies using massively parallel sequencing data have identified additional polymorphisms in CYP2D6 that are predicted to alter enzyme function but are not considered in current star allele nomenclature. The 1000 Genomes Project data were used to produce full-gene haplotypes, describe their distribution in super-populations, and predict enzyme activity scores. Full-gene haplotypes generated lower activity scores than current approaches due to inclusion of additional damaging polymorphisms in the star allele. These findings are critical for clinical implementation of metabolizer phenotype prediction because a fraction of the population may be incorrectly considered normal metabolizers but actually may be poor or intermediate metabolizers.
  • Harborne, Steven P. D.; Strauss, Jannik; Boakes, Jessica C.; Wright, Danielle L.; Henderson, James G.; Boivineau, Jacques; Jaakola, Veli-Pekka; Goldman, Adrian (2020)
    Identifying stabilising variants of membrane protein targets is often required for structure determination. Our new computational pipeline, the Integral Membrane Protein Stability Selector (IMPROvER) provides a rational approach to variant selection by employing three independent approaches: deep-sequence, model-based and data-driven. In silico tests using known stability data, and in vitro tests using three membrane protein targets with 7, 11 and 16 transmembrane helices provided measures of success. In vitro, individual approaches alone all identified stabilising variants at a rate better than expected by random selection. Low numbers of overlapping predictions between approaches meant a greater success rate was achieved (fourfold better than random) when approaches were combined and selections restricted to the highest ranked sites. The mix of information IMPROvER uses can be extracted for any helical membrane protein. We have developed the first general-purpose tool for selecting stabilising variants of alpha -helical membrane proteins, increasing efficiency and reducing workload. IMPROvER can be accessed at
  • Teikari, Jonna; Vicentini Popin, Rafael; Hou, Shengwei; Wahlsten, Matti; Hess, Wolfgang R.; Sivonen, Kaarina (2019)
    The Baltic Sea is a shallow basin of brackish water in which the spatial salinity gradient is one of the most important factors contributing to species distribution. The Baltic Sea is infamous for its annual cyanobacterial blooms comprised of Nodularia spumigena, Aphanizomenon spp., and Dolichospermum spp. that cause harm, especially for recreational users. To broaden our knowledge of the cyanobacterial adaptation strategies for brackish water environments, we sequenced the entire genome of Dolichospermum sp. UHCC 0315, a species occurring not only in freshwater environments but also in brackish water. Comparative genomics analyses revealed a close association with Dolichospermum sp. UHCC 0090 isolated from a lake in Finland. The genome closure of Dolichospermum sp. UHCC 0315 unraveled a mixture of two subtypes in the original culture, and subtypes exhibited distinct buoyancy phenotypes. Salinity less than 3 g L−1 NaCl enabled proper growth of Dolichospermum sp. UHCC 0315, whereas growth was arrested at moderate salinity (6 g L−1 NaCl). The concentrations of toxins, microcystins, increased at moderate salinity, whereas RNA sequencing data implied that Dolichospermum remodeled its primary metabolism in unfavorable high salinity. Based on our results, the predicted salinity decrease in the Baltic Sea may favor toxic blooms of Dolichospermum spp.
  • Hellinen, Laura; Sato, Kazuki; Reinisalo, Mika; Kidron, Heidi; Rilla, Kirsi; Tachikawa, Masanori; Uchida, Yasuo; Terasaki, Tetsuya; Urtti, Arto (2019)
    PURPOSE. Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) limits the xenobiotic entry from the systemic blood stream to the eye. RPE surface transporters can be important in ocular drug distribution, but it has been unclear whether they are expressed on the apical, basal, or both cellular surfaces. In this paper, we provide quantitative comparison of apical and basolateral RPE surface proteomes. METHODS. We separated the apical and basolateral membranes of differentiated human fetal RPE (hfRPE) cells by combining apical membrane peeling and sucrose density gradient centrifugation. The membrane fractions were analyzed with quantitative targeted absolute proteomics (QTAP) and sequential window acquisition of all theoretical fragment ion spectra mass spectrometry (SWATH-MS) to reveal the membrane protein localization on the RPE cell surfaces. We quantitated 15 transporters in unfractionated RPE cells and scaled their expression to tissue level. RESULTS. Several proteins involved in visual cycle, cell adhesion, and ion and nutrient transport were expressed on the hfRPE plasma membranes. Most drug transporters showed similar abundance on both RPE surfaces, whereas large neutral amino acids transporter 1 (LAT1), p-glycoprotein (P-gp), and monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1) showed modest apical enrichment. Many solute carriers (SLC) that are potential prodrug targets were present on both cellular surfaces, whereas putative sodium-coupled neutral amino acid transporter 7 (SNAT7) and riboflavin transporter (RFT3) were enriched on the basolateral and sodium- and chloride-dependent neutral and basic amino acid transporter (ATB(0+)) on the apical membrane. CONCLUSIONS. Comprehensive quantitative information of the RPE surface proteomes was reported for the first time. The scientific community can use the data to further increase understanding of the RPE functions. In addition, we provide insights for transporter protein localization in the human RPE and the significance for ocular pharmacokinetics.
  • Guo, Zufeng; Hong, Sam Y.; Wang, Jingxin; Rehan, Shahid; Liu, Wukun; Peng, Hanjing; Das, Manisha; Li, Wei; Bhat, Shridhar; Peiffer, Brandon; Ullman, Brett R.; Tse, Chung-Ming; Tarmakova, Zlatina; Schiene-Fischer, Cordelia; Fischer, Gunter; Coe, Imogen; Paavilainen, Ville O.; Sun, Zhaoli; Liu, Jun O. (2019)
    Rapamycin and FK506 are macrocyclic natural products with an extraordinary mode of action, in which they form binary complexes with FK506-binding protein (FKBP) through a shared FKBP-binding domain before forming ternary complexes with their respective targets, mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) and calcineurin, respectively. Inspired by this, we sought to build a rapamycin-like macromolecule library to target new cellular proteins by replacing the effector domain of rapamycin with a combinatorial library of oligopeptides. We developed a robust macrocyclization method using ring-closing metathesis and synthesized a 45,000-compound library of hybrid macrocycles (named rapafucins) using optimized FKBP-binding domains. Screening of the rapafucin library in human cells led to the discovery of rapadocin, an inhibitor of nucleoside uptake. Rapadocin is a potent, isoform-specific and FKBP-dependent inhibitor of the equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 and is efficacious in an animal model of kidney ischaemia reperfusion injury. Together, these results demonstrate that rapafucins are a new class of chemical probes and drug leads that can expand the repertoire of protein targets well beyond mTOR and calcineurin.
  • Thompson, Kyle; Majd, Homa; Dallabona, Christina; Reinson, Karit; King, Martin S.; Alston, Charlotte L.; He, Langping; Lodi, Tiziana; Jones, Simon A.; Fattal-Valevski, Aviva; Fraenkel, Nitay D.; Saada, Ann; Haham, Alon; Isohanni, Pirjo; Vara, Roshni; Barbosa, Ines A.; Simpson, Michael A.; Deshpande, Charu; Puusepp, Sanna; Bonnen, Penelope E.; Rodenburg, Richard J.; Suomalainen, Anu; Ounap, Katrin; Elpeleg, Orly; Ferrero, Ileana; McFarland, Robert; Kunji, Edmund R. S.; Taylor, Robert W. (2016)
    Mutations in SLC25A4 encoding the mitochondrial ADP/ATP carrier AAC1 are well-recognized causes of mitochondrial disease. Several heterozygous SLC25A4 mutations cause adult-onset autosomal-dominant progressive external ophthalmoplegia associated with multiple mitochondrial DNA deletions, whereas recessive SLC25A4 mutations cause childhood-onset mitochondrial myopathy and cardiomyopathy. Here, we describe the identification by whole-exome sequencing of seven probands harboring dominant, de novo SLC25A4 mutations. All affected individuals presented at birth, were ventilator dependent and, where tested, revealed severe combined mitochondria' respiratory chain deficiencies associated with a marked loss of mitochondria' DNA copy number in skeletal muscle. Strikingly, an identical c.239G>A (p.Arg80His) mutation was present in four of the seven subjects, and the other three case subjects harbored the same c.703C>G (p.Arg235Gly) mutation. Analysis of skeletal muscle revealed a marked decrease of AAC1 protein levels and loss of respiratory chain complexes containing mitochondria' DNA-encoded subunits. We show that both recombinant AAC1 mutant proteins are severely impaired in ADP/ATP transport, affecting most likely the substrate binding and mechanics of the carrier, respectively. This highly reduced capacity for transport probably affects mitochondria' DNA maintenance and in turn respiration, causing a severe energy crisis. The confirmation of the pathogenicity of these de novo SLC25A4 mutations highlights a third distinct clinical phenotype associated with mutation of this gene and demonstrates that early-onset mitochondria' disease can be caused by recurrent de novo mutations, which has significant implications for the application and analysis of whole-exome sequencing data in mitochondrial disease.
  • Olsen, Rikke K. J.; Konarikova, Eliska; Giancaspero, Teresa A.; Mosegaard, Signe; Boczonadi, Veronika; Matakovic, Lavinija; Veauville-Merllie, Alice; Terrile, Caterina; Schwarzmayr, Thomas; Haack, Tobias B.; Auranen, Mari; Leone, Piero; Galluccio, Michele; Imbard, Apolline; Gutierrez-Rios, Purificacion; Palmfeldt, Johan; Graf, Elisabeth; Vianey-Saban, Christine; Oppenheim, Marcus; Schiff, Manuel; Pichard, Samia; Rigal, Odile; Pyle, Angela; Chinnery, Patrick F.; Konstantopoulou, Vassiliki; Moslinger, Dorothea; Feichtinger, Rene G.; Talim, Beril; Topaloglu, Haluk; Coskun, Turgay; Gucer, Safak; Botta, Annalisa; Pegoraro, Elena; Malena, Adriana; Vergani, Lodovica; Mazza, Daniela; Zollino, Marcella; Ghezzi, Daniele; Acquaviva, Cecile; Tyni, Tiina; Boneh, Avihu; Meitinger, Thomas; Strom, Tim M.; Gregersen, Niels; Mayr, Johannes A.; Horvath, Rita; Barile, Maria; Prokisch, Holger (2016)
    Multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiencies (MADDs) are a heterogeneous group of metabolic disorders with combined respiratory-chain deficiency and a neuromuscular phenotype. Despite recent advances in understanding the genetic basis of MADD, a number of cases remain unexplained. Here, we report clinically relevant variants in FLAD1, which encodes FAD synthase (FADS), as the cause of MADD and respiratory-chain dysfunction in nine individuals recruited from metabolic centers in six countries. In most individuals, we identified biallelic frameshift variants in the molybdopterin binding (MPTb) domain, located upstream of the FADS domain. Inasmuch as FADS is essential for cellular supply of FAD cofactors, the finding of biallelic frameshift variants was unexpected. Using RNA sequencing analysis combined with protein mass spectrometry, we discovered FLAD1 isoforms, which only encode the FADS domain. The existence of these isoforms might explain why affected individuals with biallelic FLAD1 frameshift variants still harbor substantial FADS activity. Another group of individuals with a milder phenotype responsive to riboflavin were shown to have single amino acid changes in the FADS domain. When produced in E. coli, these mutant FADS proteins resulted in impaired but detectable FADS activity; for one of the variant proteins, the addition of FAD significantly improved protein stability, arguing for a chaperone-like action similar to what has been reported in other riboflavin-responsive inborn errors of metabolism. In conclusion, our studies identify FLAD1 variants as a cause of potentially treatable inborn errors of metabolism manifesting with MADD and shed light on the mechanisms by which FADS ensures cellular FAD homeostasis.