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  • Johns, Scott C.; Yin, Xin; Jeltsch, Michael; Bishop, Joseph R.; Schuksz, Manuela; El Ghazal, Roland; Wilcox-Adelman, Sarah A.; Alitalo, Kari; Fuster, Mark M. (2016)
    Rationale: Lymphatic vessel growth is mediated by major prolymphangiogenic factors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-C) and VEGF-D, among other endothelial effectors. Heparan sulfate is a linear polysaccharide expressed on proteoglycan core proteins on cell membranes and matrix, playing roles in angiogenesis, although little is known about any function(s) in lymphatic remodeling in vivo. Objective: To explore the genetic basis and mechanisms, whereby heparan sulfate proteoglycans mediate pathological lymphatic remodeling. Methods and Results: Lymphatic endothelial deficiency in the major heparan sulfate biosynthetic enzyme N-deacetylase/N-sulfotransferase-1 (Ndst1; involved in glycan-chain sulfation) was associated with reduced lymphangiogenesis in pathological models, including spontaneous neoplasia. Mouse mutants demonstrated tumor-associated lymphatic vessels with apoptotic nuclei. Mutant lymphatic endothelia demonstrated impaired mitogen (Erk) and survival (Akt) pathway signaling and reduced VEGF-C-mediated protection from starvation-induced apoptosis. Lymphatic endothelial-specific Ndst1 deficiency (in Ndst1(f/f)Prox1(+/CreERT2) mice) was sufficient to inhibit VEGF-C-dependent lymphangiogenesis. Lymphatic heparan sulfate deficiency reduced phosphorylation of the major lymphatic growth receptor VEGF receptor-3 in response to multiple VEGF-C species. Syndecan-4 was the dominantly expressed heparan sulfate proteoglycan in mouse lymphatic endothelia, and pathological lymphangiogenesis was impaired in Sdc4((-/-)) mice. On the lymphatic cell surface, VEGF-C induced robust association between syndecan-4 and VEGF receptor-3, which was sensitive to glycan disruption. Moreover, VEGF receptor-3 mitogen and survival signaling was reduced in the setting of Ndst1 or Sdc4 deficiency. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate the genetic importance of heparan sulfate and the major lymphatic proteoglycan syndecan-4 in pathological lymphatic remodeling. This may introduce novel future strategies to alter pathological lymphatic-vascular remodeling.
  • Adiels, Martin; Mardinoglu, Adil; Taskinen, Marja-Riitta; Boren, Jan (2015)
    To develop novel strategies for prevention and treatment of dyslipidemia, it is essential to understand the pathophysiology of dyslipoproteinemia in humans. Lipoprotein metabolism is a complex system in which abnormal concentrations of various lipoprotein particles can result from alterations in their rates of production, conversion, and/or catabolism. Traditional methods that measure plasma lipoprotein concentrations only provide static estimates of lipoprotein metabolism and hence limited mechanistic information. By contrast, the use of tracers labeled with stable isotopes and mathematical modeling, provides us with a powerful tool for probing lipid and lipoprotein kinetics in vivo and furthering our understanding of the pathogenesis of dyslipoproteinemia.
  • Brunello, Cecilia A.; Merezhko, Maria; Uronen, Riikka-Liisa; Huttunen, Henri J. (2020)
    Accumulation of misfolded and aggregated forms of tau protein in the brain is a neuropathological hallmark of tauopathies, such as Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Tau aggregates have the ability to transfer from one cell to another and to induce templated misfolding and aggregation of healthy tau molecules in previously healthy cells, thereby propagating tau pathology across different brain areas in a prion-like manner. The molecular mechanisms involved in cell-to-cell transfer of tau aggregates are diverse, not mutually exclusive and only partially understood. Intracellular accumulation of misfolded tau induces several mechanisms that aim to reduce the cellular burden of aggregated proteins and also promote secretion of tau aggregates. However, tau may also be released from cells physiologically unrelated to protein aggregation. Tau secretion involves multiple vesicular and non-vesicle-mediated pathways, including secretion directly through the plasma membrane. Consequently, extracellular tau can be found in various forms, both as a free protein and in vesicles, such as exosomes and ectosomes. Once in the extracellular space, tau aggregates can be internalized by neighboring cells, both neurons and glial cells, via endocytic, pinocytic and phagocytic mechanisms. Importantly, accumulating evidence suggests that prion-like propagation of misfolding protein pathology could provide a general mechanism for disease progression in tauopathies and other related neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we review the recent literature on cellular mechanisms involved in cell-to-cell transfer of tau, with a particular focus in tau secretion.
  • Chronopoulos, Antonios; Thorpe, Stephen D.; Cortes, Ernesto; Lachowski, Dariusz; Rice, Alistair J.; Mykuliak, Vasyl V.; Rog, Tomasz; Lee, David A.; Hytönen, Vesa P.; Hernandez, Armando E. del Rio (2020)
    A mechanism of cell response to localized tension shows that syndecan-4 synergizes with EGFR to elicit a mechanosignalling cascade that leads to adaptive cell stiffening through PI3K/kindlin-2 mediated integrin activation. Extensive research over the past decades has identified integrins to be the primary transmembrane receptors that enable cells to respond to external mechanical cues. We reveal here a mechanism whereby syndecan-4 tunes cell mechanics in response to localized tension via a coordinated mechanochemical signalling response that involves activation of two other receptors: epidermal growth factor receptor and beta 1 integrin. Tension on syndecan-4 induces cell-wide activation of the kindlin-2/beta 1 integrin/RhoA axis in a PI3K-dependent manner. Furthermore, syndecan-4-mediated tension at the cell-extracellular matrix interface is required for yes-associated protein activation. Extracellular tension on syndecan-4 triggers a conformational change in the cytoplasmic domain, the variable region of which is indispensable for the mechanical adaptation to force, facilitating the assembly of a syndecan-4/alpha-actinin/F-actin molecular scaffold at the bead adhesion. This mechanotransduction pathway for syndecan-4 should have immediate implications for the broader field of mechanobiology.
  • Merezhko, Maria; Uronen, Riikka-Liisa; Huttunen, Henri J. (2020)
    The progressive accumulation and spread of misfolded tau protein in the nervous system is the hallmark of tauopathies, progressive neurodegenerative diseases with only symptomatic treatments available. A growing body of evidence suggests that spreading of tau pathology can occurviacell-to-cell transfer involving secretion and internalization of pathological forms of tau protein followed by templated misfolding of normal tau in recipient cells. Several studies have addressed the cell biological mechanisms of tau secretion. It now appears that instead of a single mechanism, cells can secrete tauviathree coexisting pathways: (1) translocation through the plasma membrane; (2) membranous organelles-based secretion; and (3) ectosomal shedding. The relative importance of these pathways in the secretion of normal and pathological tau is still elusive, though. Moreover, glial cells contribute to tau propagation, and the involvement of different cell types, as well as different secretion pathways, complicates the understanding of prion-like propagation of tauopathy. One of the important regulators of tau secretion in neuronal activity, but its mechanistic connection to tau secretion remains unclear and may involve all three secretion pathways of tau. This review article summarizes recent advancements in the field of tau secretion with an emphasis on cell biological aspects of the secretion process and discusses the role of neuronal activity and glial cells in the spread of pathological forms of tau.