Browsing by Subject "HEPARAN-SULFATE"

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  • Lindholm, Päivi; Saarma, Mart (2022)
    Midbrain dopamine neurons deteriorate in Parkinson's disease (PD) that is a progressive neurodegenerative movement disorder. No cure is available that would stop the dopaminergic decline or restore function of injured neurons in PD. Neurotrophic factors (NTFs), e.g., glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) are small, secreted proteins that promote neuron survival during mammalian development and regulate adult neuronal plasticity, and they are studied as potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. However, results from clinical trials of GDNF and related NTF neurturin (NRTN) in PD have been modest so far. In this review, we focus on cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF), an unconventional neurotrophic protein. CDNF delivered to the brain parenchyma protects and restores dopamine neurons in animal models of PD. In a recent Phase I-II clinical trial CDNF was found safe and well tolerated. CDNF deletion in mice led to age-dependent functional changes in the brain dopaminergic system and loss of enteric neurons resulting in slower gastrointestinal motility. These defects in Cdnf(-/-) mice intriguingly resemble deficiencies observed in early stage PD. Different from classical NTFs, CDNF can function both as an extracellular trophic factor and as an intracellular, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) luminal protein that protects neurons and other cell types against ER stress. Similarly to the homologous mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF), CDNF is able to regulate ER stress-induced unfolded protein response (UPR) signaling and promote protein homeostasis in the ER. Since ER stress is thought to be one of the pathophysiological mechanisms contributing to the dopaminergic degeneration in PD, CDNF, and its small-molecule derivatives that are under development may provide useful tools for experimental medicine and future therapies for the treatment of PD and other neurodegenerative protein-misfolding diseases.
  • 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.
  • Runeberg-Roos, Pia; Penn, Richard D. (2020)
    The last decade has been a frustrating time for investigators who had envisioned major advances in the treatment of Parkinson's disease using neurotrophic factors. The first trials of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor for treating Parkinson's disease were very promising. Later blinded control trials were disappointing, not reaching the predetermined outcomes for improvement in motor function. Consideration of the problems in the studies as well as the biology of the neurotrophins used can potentially lead to more effective therapies. Parkinson's disease presents a multitude of opportunities for the cell biologist wanting to understand its pathology and to find possible new avenues for treatment.
  • Rauvala, Heikki; Paveliev, Mikhail; Kuja-Panula, Juha; Kulesskaya, Natalia (2017)
    The current dogma in neural regeneration research implies that chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) inhibit plasticity and regeneration in the adult central nervous system (CNS). We argue that the role of the CSPGs can be reversed from inhibition to activation by developmentally expressed CSPG-binding factors. Heparin-binding growth-associated molecule (HB-GAM; also designated as pleiotrophin) has been studied as a candidate molecule that might modulate the role of CSPG matrices in plasticity and regeneration. Studies in vitro show that in the presence of soluble HB-GAM chondroitin sulfate (CS) chains of CSPGs display an enhancing effect on neurite outgrowth. Based on the in vitro studies, we suggest a model according to which the HB-GAM/CS complex binds to the neuron surface receptor glypican-2, which induces neurite growth. Furthermore, HB-GAM masks the CS binding sites of the neurite outgrowth inhibiting receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase sigma (PTP sigma), which may contribute to the HB-GAM-induced regenerative effect. In vivo studies using two-photon imaging after local HB-GAM injection into prick-injury of the cerebral cortex reveal regeneration of dendrites that has not been previously demonstrated after injuries of the mammalian nervous system. In the spinal cord, two-photon imaging displays HB-GAM-induced axonal regeneration. Studies on the HB-GAM/CS mechanism in vitro and in vivo are expected to pave the way for drug development for injuries of brain and spinal cord.
  • Bleck, Dennis; Ma, Li; Erdene-Bymbadoo, Lkham; Brinks, Ralph; Schneider, Matthias; Tian, Li; Pongratz, Georg (2019)
    In recent years, the role of sympathetic nervous fibers in chronic inflammation has become increasingly evident. At the onset of inflammation, sympathetic activity is increased in the affected tissue. However, sympathetic fibers are largely absent from chronically inflamed tissue. Apparently, there is a very dynamic relationship between sympathetic innervation and the immune system in areas of inflammation, and hence a rapid and easy method for quantification of nerve fiber density of target organs is of great value to answer potential research questions. Currently, nervous fiber densities are either determined by tedious manual counting, which is not suitable for high throughput approaches, or by expensive automated processes relying on specialized software and high-end microscopy equipment. Usually, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) is used as the marker for sympathetic fibers. In order to overcome the current quantification bottleneck with a cost-efficient alternative, an automated process was established and compared to the classic manual approach of counting TH-positive sympathetic fibers. Since TH is not exclusively expressed on sympathetic fibers, but also in a number of catecholamine-producing cells, a prerequisite for automated determination of fiber densities is to reliably distinct between cells and fibers. Therefore, an additional staining using peripherin exclusively expressed in nervous fibers as a secondary marker was established. Using this novel approach, we studied the spleens from a syndecan-3 knockout (SDC3KO) mouse line, and demonstrated equal results on SNS fiber density for both manual and automated counts (Manual counts: wildtype: 22.57 +/- 11.72 fibers per mm2; ko: 31.95 +/- 18.85 fibers per mm2; p = 0.05; Automated counts: wildtype: 31.6 +/- 18.98 fibers per mm2; ko: 45.49 +/- 19.65 fibers per mm2; p = 0.02). In conclusion, this new and simple method can be used as a high-throughput approach to reliably and quickly estimate SNS nerve fiber density in target tissues.
  • Loeven, Markus A.; Rops, Angelique L.; Lehtinen, Markus J.; van Kuppevelt, Toin H.; Daha, Mohamed R.; Smith, Richard J.; Bakker, Marinka; Berden, Jo H.; Rabelink, Ton J.; Jokiranta, T. Sakari; van der Vlag, Johan (2016)
    Complement factor H (FH) inhibits complement activation and interacts with glomerular endothelium via its complement control protein domains 19 and 20, which also recognize heparan sulfate (HS). Abnormalities in FH are associated with the renal diseases atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome and dense deposit disease and the ocular disease age-related macular degeneration. Although FH systemically controls complement activation, clinical phenotypes selectively manifest in kidneys and eyes, suggesting the presence of tissue-specific determinants of disease development. Recent results imply the importance of tissue-specifically expressed, sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), like HS, in determining FH binding to and activity on host tissues. Therefore, we investigated which GAGs mediate human FH and recombinant human FH complement control proteins domains 19 and 20 (FH19-20) binding to mouse glomerular endothelial cells (mGEnCs) in ELISA. Furthermore, we evaluated the functional defects of FH19-20 mutants during complement activation by measuring C3b deposition on mGEnCs using flow cytometry. FH and FH19-20 bound dose-dependently to mGEnCs and TNF- treatment increased binding of both proteins, whereas heparinase digestion and competition with heparin/HS inhibited binding. Furthermore, 2-O-, and 6-O-, but not N-desulfation of heparin, significantly increased the inhibitory effect on FH19-20 binding to mGEnCs. Compared with wild type FH19-20, atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome-associated mutants were less able to compete with FH in normal human serum during complement activation on mGEnCs, confirming their potential glomerular pathogenicity. In conclusion, our study shows that FH and FH19-20 binding to glomerular endothelial cells is differentially mediated by HS but not other GAGs. Furthermore, we describe a novel, patient serum-independent competition assay for pathogenicity screening of FH19-20 mutants.
  • Kohli, Shrey; Shahzad, Khurrum; Jouppila, Annukka; Holthöfer, Harry; Isermann, Berend; Lassila, Riitta (2022)
    Hemostasis, thrombosis, and inflammation are tightly interconnected processes which may give rise to thrombo-inflammation, involved in infectious and non-infectious acute and chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Traditionally, due to its hemostatic role, blood coagulation is isolated from the inflammation, and its critical contribution in the progressing CVD is underrated, until the full occlusion of a critical vessel occurs. Underlying vascular injury exposes extracellular matrix to deposit platelets and inflammatory cells. Platelets being key effector cells, bridge all the three key processes (hemostasis, thrombosis, and inflammation) associated with thrombo-inflammation. Under physiological conditions, platelets remain in an inert state despite the proximity to the endothelium and other cells which are decorated with glycosaminoglycan (GAG)-rich glycocalyx (GAGs). A pathological insult to the endothelium results in an imbalanced blood coagulation system hallmarked by increased thrombin generation due to losses of anticoagulant and cytoprotective mechanisms, i.e., the endothelial GAGs enhancing antithrombin, tissue factor pathway-inhibitor (TFPI) and thrombomodulin-protein C system. Moreover, the loss of GAGs promotes the release of mediators, such as von Willebrand factor (VWF), platelet factor 4 (PF4), and P-selectin, both locally on vascular surfaces and to circulation, further enhancing the adhesion of platelets to the affected sites. Platelet-neutrophil interaction and formation of neutrophil extracellular traps foster thrombo-inflammatory mechanisms exacerbating the cardiovascular disease course. Therefore, therapies which not only target the clotting mechanisms but simultaneously or independently convey potent cytoprotective effects hemming the inflammatory mechanisms are expected to provide clinical benefits. In this regard, we review the cytoprotective protease activated protein C (aPC) and its strong anti-inflammatory effects thereby preventing the ensuing thrombotic complications in CVD. Furthermore, restoring GAG-like vasculo-protection, such as providing heparin-proteoglycan mimetics to improve regulation of platelet and coagulation activity and to suppress of endothelial perturbance and leukocyte-derived pro-inflammatory cytokines, may provide a path to alleviate thrombo-inflammatory disorders in the future. The vascular tissue-modeled heparin proteoglycan mimic, antiplatelet and anticoagulant compound (APAC), dual antiplatelet and anticoagulant, is an injury-targeting and locally acting arterial antithrombotic which downplays collagen- and thrombin-induced and complement-induced activation and protects from organ injury.
  • Pulkkinen, Lauri I. A.; Butcher, Sarah J.; Anastasina, Maria (2018)
    Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is a growing health concern. It causes a severe disease that can lead to permanent neurological complications or death and the incidence of TBEV infections is constantly rising. Our understanding of TBEV's structure lags behind that of other flaviviruses, but has advanced recently with the publication of a high-resolution structure of the TBEV virion. The gaps in our knowledge include: aspects of receptor binding, replication and virus assembly. Furthermore, TBEV has mostly been studied in mammalian systems, even though the virus' interaction with its tick hosts is a central part of its life cycle. Elucidating these aspects of TBEV biology are crucial for the development of TBEV antivirals, as well as the improvement of diagnostics. In this review, we summarise the current structural knowledge on TBEV, bringing attention to the current gaps in our understanding, and propose further research that is needed to truly understand the structural-functional relationship of the virus and its hosts.