Browsing by Subject "TGF-BETA"

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  • Bhutta, Mahmood F.; Lambie, Jane; Hobson, Lindsey; Goel, Anuj; Hafren, Lena; Einarsdottir, Elisabet; Mattila, Petri S.; Farrall, Martin; Brown, Steve; Burton, Martin J. (2017)
    Chronic otitis media with effusion (COME) is the most common cause of hearing loss in children, and known to have high heritability. Mutant mouse models have identified Fbxo11, Evi1, Tgif1, and Nisch as potential risk loci. We recruited children aged 10 and under undergoing surgical treatment for COME from 35 hospitals in the UK, and their nuclear family. We performed association testing with the loci FBXO11, EVI1, TGIF1 and NISCH and sought to replicate significant results in a case-control cohort from Finland. We tested 1296 families (3828 individuals), and found strength of association with the T allele at rs881835 (p = 0.006, OR 1.39) and the G allele at rs1962914 (p = 0.007, OR 1.58) at TGIF1, and the A allele at rs10490302 (p = 0.016, OR 1.17) and the G allele at rs2537742 (p = 0.038, OR 1.16) at FBXO11. Results were not replicated. This study supports smaller studies that have also suggested association of otitis media with polymorphism at FBX011, but this is the first study to report association with the locus TGIF1. Both FBX011 and TGIF1 are involved in TGF-beta signalling, suggesting this pathway may be important in the transition from acute to chronic middle ear inflammation, and a potential molecular target.
  • Heby, Margareta; Karnevi, Emelie; Elebro, Jacob; Nodin, Björn; Eberhard, Jakob; Saukkonen, Kapo; Hagström, Jaana; Mustonen, Harri; Seppänen, Hanna; Haglund, Caj; Jirstrom, Karin; Larsson, Anna H. (2020)
    The outcome of periampullary adenocarcinomas remains poor with few treatment options. Podocalyxin-like protein (PODXL) is an anti-adhesive protein, the high expression of which has been shown to confer a poor prognosis in numerous malignancies. A correlation and adverse prognostic synergy between PODXL and the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been observed in colorectal cancer. Here, we investigated whether this also applies to periampullary adenocarcinomas. We analyzed the immunohistochemical expression of PODXL and EGFR in tissue microarrays with tumors from two patient cohorts; (Cohort 1, n=175) and (Cohort 2, n=189). The effect of TGF-beta -induced expression and siRNA-mediated knockdown of PODXL and EGFR, were investigated in pancreatic cancer cells (PANC-1) in vitro. We found a correlation between PODXL and EGFR in these cancers, and a synergistic adverse effect on survival. Furthermore, silencing PODXL in pancreatic cancer cells resulted in the down-regulation of EGFR, but not vice versa. Consequently, these findings suggest a functional link between PODXL and EGFR, and the potential combined utility as biomarkers possibly improving patient stratification. Further studies examining the mechanistic basis underlying these observations may open new avenues of targeted treatment options for subsets of patients affected by these particularly aggressive cancers.
  • Long, Qiang; Liu, Zehua; Shao, Qianwen; Shi, Hongpeng; Huang, Shixing; Jiang, Chenyu; Qian, Bei; Zhong, Yiming; He, Xiaojun; Xiang, Xiaogang; Yang, Yang; Li, Bing; Yan, Xiaoxiang; Zhao, Qiang; Wei, Xiaoli; Santos, Helder A.; Ye, Xiaofeng (2022)
    Fibrotic diseases remain a substantial health burden with few therapeutic approaches. A hallmark of fibrosis is the aberrant activation and accumulation of myofibroblasts, which is caused by excessive profibrotic cytokines. Conventional anticytokine therapies fail to undergo clinical trials, as simply blocking a single or several antifibrotic cytokines cannot abrogate the profibrotic microenvironment. Here, biomimetic nanoparticles based on autologous skin fibroblasts are customized as decoys to neutralize multiple fibroblast-targeted cytokines. By fusing the skin fibroblast membrane onto poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid cores, these nanoparticles, termed fibroblast membrane-camouflaged nanoparticles (FNPs), are shown to effectively scavenge various profibrotic cytokines, including transforming growth factor-beta, interleukin (IL)-11, IL-13, and IL-17, thereby modulating the profibrotic microenvironment. FNPs are sequentially prepared into multiple formulations for different administration routines. As a proof-of-concept, in three independent animal models with various organ fibrosis (lung fibrosis, liver fibrosis, and heart fibrosis), FNPs effectively reduce the accumulation of myofibroblasts, and the formation of fibrotic tissue, concomitantly restoring organ function and indicating that FNPs are a potential broad-spectrum therapy for fibrosis management.
  • Strippoli, Raffaele; Loureiro, Jesus; Moreno, Vanessa; Benedicto, Ignacio; Perez Lozano, Maria Luisa; Barreiro, Olga; Pellinen, Teijo; Minguet, Susana; Foronda, Miguel; Teresa Osteso, Maria; Calvo, Enrique; Vazquez, Jesus; Lopez Cabrera, Manuel; Angel del Pozo, Miguel (2015)
  • Magnussen, Synnove Norvoll; Hadler-Olsen, Elin; Costea, Daniela Elena; Berg, Eli; Jacobsen, Cristiane Cavalcanti; Mortensen, Bente; Salo, Tuula; Martinez-Zubiaurre, Inigo; Winberg, Jan-Olof; Uhlin-Hansen, Lars; Svineng, Gunbjorg (2017)
    Background: Urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) receptor (uPAR) is up-regulated at the invasive tumour front of human oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), indicating a role for uPAR in tumour progression. We previously observed elevated expression of uPAR at the tumour-stroma interface in a mouse model for OSCC, which was associated with increased proteolytic activity. The tumour microenvironment regulated uPAR expression, as well as its glycosylation and cleavage. Both full-length- and cleaved uPAR (uPAR (II-III)) are involved in highly regulated processes such as cell signalling, proliferation, migration, stem cell mobilization and invasion. The aim of the current study was to analyse tumour associated factors and their effect on uPAR cleavage, and the potential implications for cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Methods: Mouse uPAR was stably overexpressed in the mouse OSCC cell line AT84. The ratio of full-length versus cleaved uPAR as analysed by Western blotting and its regulation was assessed by addition of different protease inhibitors and transforming growth factor - beta 1 (TGF-beta 1). The role of uPAR cleavage in cell proliferation and migration was analysed using real- time cell analysis and invasion was assessed using the myoma invasion model. Results: We found that when uPAR was overexpressed a proportion of the receptor was cleaved, thus the cells presented both full-length uPAR and uPAR (II-III). Cleavage was mainly performed by serine proteases and urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) in particular. When the OSCC cells were stimulated with TGF-beta 1, the production of the uPA inhibitor PAI-1 was increased, resulting in a reduction of uPAR cleavage. By inhibiting cleavage of uPAR, cell migration was reduced, and by inhibiting uPA activity, invasion was reduced. We could also show that medium containing soluble uPAR (suPAR), and cleaved soluble uPAR (suPAR (II-III)), induced migration in OSCC cells with low endogenous levels of uPAR. Conclusions: These results show that soluble factors in the tumour microenvironment, such as TGF-beta 1, PAI-1 and uPA, can influence the ratio of full length and uPAR (II-III) and thereby potentially effect cell migration and invasion. Resolving how uPAR cleavage is controlled is therefore vital for understanding how OSCC progresses and potentially provides new targets for therapy.
  • Kerola, Anna; Lohi, Jouko; Heikkilä, Päivi; Mutanen, Annika; Jalanko, Hannu; Pakarinen, Mikko P. (2019)
    Background: Pathogenesis of progressive liver fibrosis in biliary atresia after successful portoenterostomy remains unclear. We related hepatic expression of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) superfamily cytokines to histologic liver injury after successful portoenterostomy. Methods: Enrolled in our study were 28 patients with biliary atresia who had liver biopsies obtained during and after successful portoenterostomy, which normalized serum bilirubin ( Results: After median follow-up of 3.0 years, histologic cholestasis resolved, whereas fibrosis had progressed only in isolated biliary atresia. Liver protein expression of transforming growth factor beta 1 and connective tissue growth factor (P Conclusion: These findings support a central role of transforming growth factor beta superfamily in mediating continuing liver fibrogenesis after successful portoenterostomy. Transforming growth factor beta pathway cytokines responded divergently to clearance of jaundice, which was reflected by differential progression of fibrosis between syndromic and isolated patients. (C) 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Moquin, Alexandre; Ji, Jeff; Neibert, Kevin; Winnik, Francoise M.; Maysinger, Dusica (2018)
    Polymersomes are attractive nanocarriers for hydrophilic and lipophilic drugs; they are more stable than liposomes, tunable, and relatively easy to prepare. The copolymer composition and molar mass are critical features that determine the physicochemical properties of the polymersomes including the rate of drug release. We used the triblockcopolymer, poly(2-methyl-2-oxazoline)-block-poly-(dimethysiloxane)-block-poly(2-methyl-2-oxazoline) (PIVIOXA-PDIVIS-PMOXA), to form amphipathic polymersomes capable of loading proteins and small hydrophobic agents. The selected agents were unstable neurotrophins (nerve growth factor and brain -derived neurotrophic factor), a large protein CD109, and the fluorescent drug curcumin. We prepared, characterized, and tested polymersomes loaded with selected agents in 2D and 3D biological models. Curcumin-loaded and rhodamine-bound PMOXA-PDMS-PMOXA polymersomes were used to visualize them inside cells. NMethyl-D-aspartate receptor (NNIDAR) agonists and antagonists were also covalently attached to the surface of polymersomes for targeting neurons. Labeled and unlabeled polymersomes with or without loaded agents were characterized using dynamic light scattering (DLS), UV-vis fluorescence spectroscopy, and asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation (AF(4)). Polymersomes were imaged and tested for biological activity in human and murine fibroblasts, murine macrophages, primary murine dorsal root ganglia, and murine hippocampal cultures. Polymersomes were rapidly internalized and there was a clear intracellular co-localization of the fluorescent drug (curcumin) with the fluorescent rhodamine-labeled polymersomes. Polymersomes containing CD109, a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored protein, promoted cell migration in the model of wound healing. Nerve growth factor-loaded polymersomes effectively enhanced neurite outgrowth in dissociated and explanted dorsal root ganglia. Brain -derived neurotrophic factor increased dendritic spine density in serum-deprived hippocampal slice cultures. NMDAR agonist-and antagomst-functionalized polymersomes targeted selectively neurons over filial cells in mixed cultures. Collectively, the study reveals the successful incorporation into polymersomes of biologically active trophic factors and small hydrophilic agents that retain their biological activity in vitro, as demonstrated in selected central and peripheral tissue models.
  • Niemela, Tytti Maaria; Tulamo, Riitta-Mari; Uriel Carmona, Jorge; Lopez, Catalina (2019)
    Background: Inflammatory and degenerative activity inside the joint can be studied in vivo by analysis of synovial fluid biomarkers. In addition to pro-inflammatory mediators, several anabolic and anti-inflammatory substances are produced during the disease process. They counteract the catabolic effects of the pro-inflammatory cytokines and thus diminish the cartilage damage. The response of synovial fluid biomarkers after intra-articular hyaluronan injection, alone or in combination with other substances, has been examined only in a few equine studies. The effects of hyaluronan on some pro-inflammatory mediators, such as prostaglandin E-2, have been documented but especially the effects on synovial fluid anti-inflammatory mediators are less studied. In animal models hyaluronan has been demonstrated to reduce pain via protecting nociceptive nerve endings and by blocking pain receptor channels. However, the results obtained for pain-relief of human osteoarthritis are contradictory. The aim of the study was to measure the synovial fluid IL-1ra, PDGF-BB, TGF-beta(1) and TNF-alpha concentrations before and after surgically induced cartilage defect, and following intra-articular hyaluronan injection in horses. Eight Standardbred horses underwent bilateral arthroscopic surgeries of their intercarpal joints under general anaesthesia, and cartilage defect was created on the dorsal edge of the third carpal bone of one randomly selected intercarpal joint of each horse. Five days post-surgery, one randomly selected intercarpal joint was injected intra-articular with 3 mL HA (20 mg/mL). Results: Operation type had no significant effect on the synovial fluid IL-1ra, PDGF-BB, TGF-beta(1) and TNF-alpha concentrations but compared with baseline, synovial fluid IL-1ra and TNF-alpha concentrations increased. Intra-articular hyaluronan had no significant effect on the biomarker concentrations but a trend of mild improvement in the clinical signs of intra-articular inflammation was seen. Conclusions: Creation of the cartilage defect and sham-operation lead to an increase of synovial fluid IL-1ra and TNF-alpha concentrations but changes in concentrations of anabolic growth factors TGF-beta(1) and PDGF-BB could not be documented 5 days after the arthroscopy. Intra-articular hyaluronan was well tolerated. Further research is needed to document possible treatment effects of intra-articular hyaluronan on the synovial fluid biomarkers of inflammation and cartilage metabolism.
  • Alkasalias, Twana; Moyano-Galceran, Lidia; Arsenian-Henriksson, Marie; Lehti, Kaisa (2018)
    Tumorigenesis is a complex process involving dynamic interactions between malignant cells and their surrounding stroma, including both the cellular and acellular components. Within the stroma, fibroblasts represent not only a predominant cell type, but also a major source of the acellular tissue microenvironment comprising the extracellular matrix (ECM) and soluble factors. Normal fibroblasts can exert diverse suppressive functions against cancer initiating and metastatic cells via direct cell-cell contact, paracrine signaling by soluble factors, and ECM integrity. The loss of such suppressive functions is an inherent step in tumor progression. A tumor cell-induced switch of normal fibroblasts into cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), in turn, triggers a range of pro-tumorigenic signals accompanied by distraction of the normal tissue architecture, thus creating an optimal niche for cancer cells to grow extensively. To further support tumor progression and metastasis, CAFs secrete factors such as ECM remodeling enzymes that further modify the tumor microenvironment in combination with the altered adhesive forces and cell-cell interactions. These paradoxical tumor suppressive and promoting actions of fibroblasts are the focus of this review, highlighting the heterogenic molecular properties of both normal and cancer-associated fibroblasts, as well as their main mechanisms of action, including the emerging impact on immunomodulation and different therapy responses.
  • Kovac, Bianca; Makela, Tomi P.; Vallenius, Tea (2018)
    The controlled formation and stabilization of E-cadherin-based adhesions is vital for epithelial integrity. This requires co-operation between the E-cadherin-based adhesions and the associated actin cytoskeleton. In cancer, this co-operation often fails, predisposing cells to migration through molecular mechanisms that have only been partially characterized. Here, we demonstrate that the actin filament cross-linker alpha-actinin-1 is frequently increased in human breast cancer. In mammary epithelial cells, the increased alpha-actinin-1 levels promote cell migration and induce disorganized acini-like structures in Matrigel. This is accompanied by a major reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton and the associated E-cadherin-based adhesions. Increased expression of alpha-actinin-1 is particularly noted in basal-like breast cancer cell lines, and in breast cancer patients it associates with poor prognosis in basal-like subtypes. Downregulation of alpha-actinin-1 in E-cadherin expressing basal-like breast cancer cells demonstrate that alpha-actinin-1-assembled actin fibers destabilize E-cadherin-based adhesions. Taken together, these results indicate that increased alpha-actinin-1 expression destabilizes E-cadherin-based adhesions, which is likely to promote the migratory potential of breast cancer cells. Furthermore, our results identify alpha-actinin-1 as a candidate prognostic biomarker in basal-like breast cancer.
  • Bufalino, Andreia; Cervigne, Nilva K.; de Oliveira, Carine Ervolino; Fonseca, Felipe Paiva; Rodrigues, Priscila Campioni; Soares Macedo, Carolina Carneiro; Sobral, Lays Martin; Miguel, Marcia Costa; Lopes, Marcio Ajudarte; Paes Leme, Adriana Franco; Lambert, Daniel W.; Salo, Tuula A.; Kowalski, Luiz Paulo; Graner, Edgard; Coletta, Ricardo D. (2015)
    Deregulated expression of activin A is reported in several tumors, but its biological functions in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) are unknown. Here, we investigate whether activin A can play a causal role in OSCCs. Activin A expression was assessed by qPCR and immunohistochemistry in OSCC tissues. Low activin A-expressing cells were treated with recombinant activin A and assessed for apoptosis, proliferation, adhesion, migration, invasion and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Those phenotypes were also evaluated in high activin A-expressing cells treated with follistatin (an activin A antagonist) or stably expressing shRNA targeting activin A. Transfections of microRNA mimics were performed to determine whether the overexpression of activin A is regulated by miR-143/miR-145 cluster. Activin A was overexpressed in OSCCs in comparison with normal oral mucosa, and high activin A levels were significantly associated with lymph node metastasis, tumor differentiation and poor survival. High activin A levels promoted multiple properties associated with malignant transformation, including decreased apoptosis and increased proliferation, migration, invasion and EMT. Both miR-143 and miR-145 were markedly downregulated in OSCC cell lines and in clinical specimens, and inversely correlated to activin A levels. Forced expression of miR-143 and miR-145 in OSCC cells significantly decreased the expression of activin A. Overexpression of activin A in OSCCs, which is controlled by downregulation of miR-143/miR-145 cluster, regulates apoptosis, proliferation and invasiveness, and it is clinically correlated with lymph node metastasis and poor survival.
  • Amankwah, Ernest K.; Wang, Qinggang; Schildkraut, Joellen M.; Tsai, Ya-Yu; Ramus, Susan J.; Fridley, Brooke L.; Beesley, Jonathan; Johnatty, Sharon E.; Webb, Penelope M.; Chenevix-Trench, Georgia; Dale, Laura C.; Lambrechts, Diether; Amant, Frederic; Despierre, Evelyn; Vergote, Ignace; Gayther, Simon A.; Gentry-Maharaj, Aleksandra; Menon, Usha; Chang-Claude, Jenny; Wang-Gohrke, Shan; Anton-Culver, Hoda; Ziogas, Argyrios; Doerk, Thilo; Duerst, Matthias; Antonenkova, Natalia; Bogdanova, Natalia; Brown, Robert; Flanagan, James M.; Kaye, Stanley B.; Paul, James; Butzow, Ralf; Nevanlinna, Heli; Campbell, Ian; Eccles, Diana M.; Karlan, Beth Y.; Gross, Jenny; Walsh, Christine; Pharoah, Paul D. P.; Song, Honglin; Kjaer, Susanne Kruger; Hogdall, Estrid; Hogdall, Claus; Lundvall, Lene; Nedergaard, Lotte; Kiemeney, Lambertus A. L. M.; Massuger, Leon F. A. G.; van Altena, Anne M.; Vermeulen, Sita H. H. M.; Le, Nhu D.; Brooks-Wilson, Angela; Australian Ovarian Canc Study Grp (2011)
  • Acheva, Anna; Haghdoost, Siamak; Sollazzo, Alice; Launonen, Virpi; Kämäräinen, Meerit (2019)
    The aim of the study was to investigate the role of a microenvironment in the induction of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) as a sign of early stages of carcinogenesis in human lung epithelial cell lines after protracted low-dose rate gamma-radiation exposures. BEAS-2B and HBEC-3KT lung cell lines were irradiated with low-dose rate gamma-rays (Cs-137, 1.4 or 14 mGy/h) to 0.1 or 1 Gy with or without adding TGF-beta. TGF-beta-treated samples were applied as positive EMT controls and tested in parallel to find out if the radiation has a potentiating effect on the EMT induction. To evaluate the effect of the stromal component, the epithelial cells were irradiated in cocultures with stromal MRC-9 lung fibroblasts. On day 3 post treatment, the EMT markers: alpha-SMA, vimentin, fibronectin, and E-cadherin, were analyzed. The oxidative stress levels were evaluated by 8-oxo-dG analysis in both epithelial and fibroblast cells. The protracted exposure to low Linear Energy Transfer (LET) radiation at the total absorbed dose of 1 Gy was able to induce changes suggestive of EMT. The results show that the presence of the stromal component and its signaling (TGF-beta) in the cocultures enhances the EMT. Radiation had a minor cumulative effect on the TGF-beta-induced EMT with both doses. The oxidative stress levels were higher than the background in both epithelial and stromal cells post chronic irradiation (0.1 and 1 Gy); as for the BEAS-2B cell line, the increase was statistically significant. We suggest that the induction of EMT in bronchial epithelial cells by radiation requires more than single acute exposure and the presence of stromal component might enhance the effect through free radical production and accumulation.
  • Jaumotte, Juliann D.; Saarma, Mart; Zigmond, Michael J. (2021)
    Parkinson's disease is associated with the loss of dopamine (DA) neurons in ventral mesencephalon. We have previously reported that no single neurotrophic factor we tested protected DA neurons from the dopaminergic toxin 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) in dissociated cultures isolated from the P0 rat substantia nigra, but that a combination of five neurotrophic factors was protective. We now report that cerebral DA neurotrophic factor (CDNF) and a variant of neurturin (NRTN), N4, were also not protective when provided alone but were protective when added together. In cultures isolated from the substantia nigra, MPP+ (10 mu M) decreased tyrosine hydroxylase-positive cells to 41.7 +/- 5.4% of vehicle control. Although treatment of cultures with 100 ng/ml of either CDNF or N4 individually before and after toxin exposure did not significantly increase survival in MPP+-treated cultures, when the two trophic factors were added together at 100 ng/ml each, survival of cells was increased 28.2 +/- 6.1% above the effect of MPP+ alone. In cultures isolated from the ventral tegmental area, another DA rich area, a higher dose of MPP+ (1 mM) was required to produce an EC50 in TH-positive cells but, as in the substantia nigra, only the combination of CDNF and N4 (100 ng/ml each) was successful at increasing the survival of these cells compared to MPP+ alone (by 22.5 +/- 3.5%). These data support previous findings that CDNF and N4 may be of therapeutic value for treatment of PD, but suggest that they may need to be administered together.
  • Sonnenblick, Amir; Salmon-Divon, Mali; Salgado, Roberto; Dvash, Efrat; Pondé, Noam; Zahavi, Tamar; Salmon, Asher; Loibl, Sibylle; Denkert, Carsten; Joensuu, Heikki; Ameye, Lieveke; Van den Eynden, Gert; Kellokumpu-Lehtinen, Pirkko-Liisa; Azaria, Amos; Loi, Sherene; Michiels, Stefan; Richard, Francois; Sotiriou, Christos (2020)
    We investigated the value of reactive stroma as a predictor for trastuzumab resistance in patients with early HER2-positive breast cancer receiving adjuvant therapy. The pathological reactive stroma and the mRNA gene signatures that reflect reactive stroma in 209 HER2-positive breast cancer samples from the FinHer adjuvant trial were evaluated. Levels of stromal gene signatures were determined as a continuous parameter, and pathological reactive stromal findings were defined as stromal predominant breast cancer (SPBC; >= 50% stromal) and correlated with distant disease-free survival. Gene signatures associated with reactive stroma in HER2-positive early breast cancer (N = 209) were significantly associated with trastuzumab resistance in estrogen receptor (ER)-negative tumors (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.27 p interaction = 0.014 [DCN], HR = 1.58, p interaction = 0.027 [PLAU], HR = 1.71, p interaction = 0.019 [HER2STROMA, novel HER2 stromal signature]), but not in ER-positive tumors (HR = 0.73 p interaction = 0.47 [DCN], HR = 0.71, p interaction = 0.73 [PLAU], HR = 0.84; p interaction = 0.36 [HER2STROMA]). Pathological evaluation of HER2-positive/ER-negative tumors suggested an association between SPBC and trastuzumab resistance. Reactive stroma did not correlate with tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), and the expected benefit from trastuzumab in patients with high levels of TILs was pronounced only in tumors with low stromal reactivity (SPBC
  • Acosta, Alicia Jurado; Rysä, Jaana; Szabo, Zoltan; Moilanen, Anne-Mari; Komati, Hiba; Nemer, Mona; Ruskoaho, Heikki (2017)
    The phenylephrine-induced complex-1 (PEX1) transcription factor, also known as zinc-finger protein 260 (Zfp260), is an effector of endothelin-1 and alpha(1)-adrenergic signaling in cardiac hypertrophy. However, the role of PEX1 in transcriptional regulation of myocardial remodeling remains largely unknown. In the present study, we used PEX1 gain- and loss-of-function to examine the effects of PEX1 on left ventricular remodeling. Adenoviral constructs expressing PEX1, antisense PEX1, or LacZ were delivered by local injection into the anterior wall of the left ventricle in Sprague-Dawley rats. PEX1 overexpression led to induction of hypertrophic gene program and increased fibrosis. In agreement with this, the expression of genes involved in the fibrotic process, such as collagens I and III, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), fibronectin-1, transforming growth factor beta-1 and connective tissue growth factor, were significantly up-regulated following PEX1 overexpression, whereas silencing of PEX1 significantly inhibited the expression of pro-fibrotic genes and increased left ventricular ejection fraction and fractional shortening. In vitro luciferase reporter assays showed that PEX1 regulates the expression of MMP-9 by activating promoter. Furthermore, PEX1 gain- and loss-of-function experiments in rat neonatal cardiac fibroblasts and myocytes revealed that MMP-9 gene expression was affected by PEX1 predominantly in fibroblasts. Our results indicate that PEX1 is involved in regulating cardiac fibrosis and extracellular matrix turnover, particularly fibroblasts being responsible for the fibrosis-associated changes in gene expression. Furthermore, PEX1 activation of the MMP-9 promoter triggers the pro-fibrotic response directed by PEX1.
  • Anthoni, M.; Fyhrquist-Vanni, N.; Wolff, H.; Alenius, H.; Lauerma, A. (2008)
    Background Transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta is an important modulator of immune functions and cellular responses, such as differentiation, proliferation, migration and apoptosis. The Smad proteins, which are intracellular TGF-beta signal transducers, mediate most actions of TGF-beta. Objectives This study examines the role of Smad3 in a murine model of contact hypersensitivity (CHS). Methods The CHS response to oxazolone was studied in Smad3-deficient mice. The ear swelling response was measured and skin biopsies from oxazolone-sensitized skin areas were obtained for RNA isolation, immunohistochemical analyses and histology. Ear draining lymph nodes were collected for RNA isolation and proliferation tests. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to quantify mRNA expression of cytokines, chemokines and transcription factors. Results The expression of proinflammatory [interleukin (IL)-1 beta, tumour necrosis factor-alpha, IL-6], Th2 (IL-4) and Th17 type cytokines (IL-17), as well as regulatory components (TGF-beta, Foxp3) increased significantly at the mRNA level in the skin of oxazolone-treated Smad3-/- mice when compared with wild-type controls. The expression of the Th1 type cytokine IFN-gamma and the chemokines CXCL9 and CXCL10 was, however, unaffected by the lack of Smad3. The number of neutrophils and expression of the chemokines CCL3 and CXCL5, which are both involved in neutrophil recruitment, were increased in mice lacking Smad3. Also Th2 type chemokines CCL24, CCL3 and CXCL5 were increased in the skin of Smad3-/- mice compared with wild-type mice. In the lymph nodes, mRNA of IL-1 beta and IL-17, but not IL-4, TGF-beta or Foxp3, was increased in Smad3-/- mice during the CHS response. Conclusions The lack of intact TGF-beta signalling via Smad3 results in an increased proinflammatory, Th2 and Th17 type response in the skin, as well as increased expression of regulatory elements such as TGF-beta and Foxp3. Understanding the role of Smad3 in the CHS response may offer treatment and prevention strategies in this often disabling disease.
  • Kelloniemi, Annina; Aro, Jani; Näpänkangas, Juha; Koivisto, Elina; Mustonen, Erja; Ruskoaho, Heikki; Rysä, Jaana (2015)
    Background: The transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta is one of the key mediators in cardiac remodelling occurring after myocardial infarction (MI) and in hypertensive heart disease. The TGF-beta-stimulated clone 22 (TSC-22) is a leucine zipper protein expressed in many tissues and possessing various transcription-modulating activities. However, its function in the heart remains unknown. Methods: The aim of the present study was to characterize cardiac TSC-22 expression in vivo in cardiac remodelling and in myocytes in vitro. In addition, we used TSC-22 gene transfer in order to examine the effects of TSC-22 on cardiac gene expression and function. Results: We found that TSC-22 is rapidly up-regulated by multiple hypertrophic stimuli, and in post-MI remodelling both TSC-22 mRNA and protein levels were up-regulated (4.1-fold, P <0.001 and 3.0-fold, P <0.05, respectively) already on day 1. We observed that both losartan and metoprolol treatments reduced left ventricular TSC-22 gene expression. Finally, TSC-22 overexpression by local intramyocardial adenovirus-mediated gene delivery showed that TSC-22 appears to have a role in regulating collagen type III alpha 1 gene expression in the heart. Conclusions: These results demonstrate that TSC-22 expression is induced in response to cardiac overload. Moreover, our data suggests that, by regulating collagen expression in the heart in vivo, TSC-22 could be a potential target for fibrosis-preventing therapies.
  • Ikkala, Kaisa; Stratoulias, Vassilis; Michon, Frederic (2022)
    The cornea, transparent and outermost structure of camera-type eyes, is prone to environmental challenges, but has remarkable wound healing capabilities which enables to preserve vision. The manner in which cell plasticity impacts wound healing remains to be determined. In this study, we report rapid wound closure after zebrafish corneal epithelium abrasion. Furthermore, by investigating the cellular and molecular events taking place during corneal epithelial closure, we show the induction of a bilateral response to a unilateral wound. Our transcriptomic results, together with our TGF-beta receptor inhibition experiments, demonstrate conclusively the crucial role of TGF-beta signaling in corneal wound healing. Finally, our results on Pax6 expression and bilateral wound healing, demonstrate the decisive impact of epithelial cell plasticity on the pace of healing. Altogether, our study describes terminally differentiated cell competencies in the healing of an injured cornea. These findings will enhance the translation of research on cell plasticity to organ regeneration.