The histochemical detection of β-galactosidase enzymatic activity at pH 6.0 (β-gal-pH6) is a widely used biomarker of cellular senescence in aging tissues. This histochemical assay also detects the presence of programmed cell senescence during specific time windows in degenerating structures of vertebrate embryos. However, it has recently been shown that this enzymatic activity is also enhanced in subpopulations of differentiating neurons in the developing central nervous system in vertebrates. The present study addressed the histochemical detection of β-gal-pH6 enzymatic activity in the developing postnatal olfactory epithelium in the mouse. This activity was detected in the intermediate layer of the olfactory epithelium. As development progressed, the band of β-gal-pH6 labeling in this layer increased in width. Immunohistochemistry and lectin histochemistry showed the β-gal-pH6 staining to be strongly correlated with the immunolabeling of the olfactory marker protein (OMP) that identifies mature olfactory sensory neurons. The cell somata of a subpopulation of differentiated olfactory neurons that were recognized with the Dolichos biflorus agglutinin (DBA) were always located inside this band of β-gal-pH6 staining. However, the β-gal-pH6 histochemical signal was always absent from the apical region where the cytokeratin-8 positive supporting cells were located. Furthermore, no β-gal-pH6 staining was found in the basal region of the olfactory epithelium where PCNA/pHisH3 immunoreactive proliferating progenitor cells, GAP43 positive immature neurons, and cytokeratin-5 positive horizontal basal cells were located. Therefore, β-gal-pH6 seems to be linked to neuronal differentiation and cannot be regarded as a biomarker of cellular senescence during olfactory epithelium development in mice.
Autosomal recessive spastic ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay (ARSACS) is a neurodegenerative disorder commonly diagnosed in infants and characterized by progressive cerebellar ataxia, spasticity, motor sensory neuropathy and axonal demyelination. ARSACS is caused by mutations in the SACS gene that lead to truncated or defective forms of the 520 kDa multidomain protein, sacsin. Sacsin function is exclusively studied on neuronal cells, where it regulates mitochondrial network organization and facilitates the normal polymerization of neuronal intermediate filaments (i.e., neurofilaments and vimentin). Here, we show that sacsin is also highly expressed in astrocytes, C6 rat glioma cells and N9 mouse microglia. Sacsin knockout in C6 cells (C6Sacs−/−) induced the accumulation of the glial intermediate filaments glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), nestin and vimentin in the juxtanuclear area, and a concomitant depletion of mitochondria. C6Sacs−/− cells showed impaired responses to oxidative challenges (Rotenone) and inflammatory stimuli (Interleukin-6). GFAP aggregation is also associated with other neurodegenerative conditions diagnosed in infants, such as Alexander disease or Giant Axonal Neuropathy. Our results, and the similarities between these disorders, reinforce the possible connection between ARSACS and intermediate filament-associated diseases and point to a potential role of glia in ARSACS pathology.
Doxorubicin (Dox) is an anthracycline chemotherapeutic agent used to treat breast, leukemia, and lymphoma malignancies. However, cardiotoxicity and inherent acquired resistance are major drawbacks, limiting its clinical application. We have previously shown that cyclic peptide [WR]9 containing alternate tryptophan (W) and arginine (R) residues acts as an efficient molecular transporter. An amphiphilic cyclic peptide containing a lysine (K) residue and alternative W and R was conjugated through a free side chain amino group with Dox via a glutarate linker to afford [(WR)8WKβA]-Dox conjugate. Antiproliferative assays were performed in different cancer cell lines using the conjugate and the corresponding physical mixture of the peptide and Dox to evaluate the effectiveness of synthesized conjugate compared to the parent drug alone. [(WR)8WKβA]-Dox conjugate showed higher antiproliferative activity at 10 µM and 5 µM than Dox alone at 5 μM. The conjugate inhibited the cell viability of ovarian adenocarcinoma (SK-OV-3) by 59% and the triple-negative breast cancer cells MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 by 71% and 77%, respectively, at a concentration of 5 μM after 72 h of incubation. In contrast, Dox inhibited the proliferation of SK-OV-3, MDA-MB-231, and MCF-7 by 35%, 63%, and 57%, respectively. Furthermore, [(WR)8WKβA]-Dox conjugate (5 µM) inhibited the cell viability of Dox-resistant cells (MES-SA/MX2) by 92%, while the viability of cells incubated with free Dox was only 15% at 5 μM. Confocal microscopy images confirmed the ability of both Dox conjugate and the physical mixture of the peptide with the drug to deliver Dox through an endocytosis-independent pathway, as the uptake was not inhibited in the presence of endocytosis inhibitors. The stability of Dox conjugate was observed at different time intervals using analytical HPLC when the conjugate was incubated with 25% human serum. Half-life (t1/2) for [(WR)8WKβA]-Dox conjugate was (∼6 h), and more than 80% of the conjugate was degraded at 12 h. The release of free Dox was assessed intracellularly using the CCRF-CEM cell line. The experiment demonstrated that approximately 100% of free Dox was released from the conjugate intracellularly within 72 h. These data confirm the ability of the cyclic cell-penetrating peptide containing tryptophan and arginine residues as an efficient tool for delivery of Dox and for overcoming resistance to it.
To address which mitochondria-related nuclear differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and related pathways are altered during human oocyte maturation, single-cell analysis was performed in three oocyte states: in vivo matured (M-IVO), in vitro matured (M-IVT), and failed to mature in vitro (IM-IVT). There were 691 DEGs and 16 mitochondria-related DEGs in the comparison of M-IVT vs. IM-IVT oocytes, and 2281 DEGs and 160 mitochondria-related DEGs in the comparison of M-IVT vs. M-IVO oocytes, respectively. The GO and KEGG analyses showed that most of them were involved in pathways such as oxidative phosphorylation, pyruvate metabolism, peroxisome, and amino acid metabolism, i.e., valine, leucine, isoleucine, glycine, serine, and threonine metabolism or degradation. During the progress of oocyte maturation, the metabolic pathway, which derives the main source of ATP, shifted from glucose metabolism to pyruvate and fatty acid oxidation in order to maintain a low level of damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Although the immature oocytes could be cultured to a mature stage by an in vitro technique (IVM), there were still some differences in mitochondria-related regulations, which showed that the mitochondria were regulated by nuclear genes to compensate for their developmental needs. Meanwhile, the results indicated that the current IVM culture medium should be optimized to compensate for the special need for further development according to this disclosure, as it was a latent strategy to improve the effectiveness of the IVM procedure.
(1) The need for efficient ways of recording and presenting multicolour immunohistochemistry images in a pioneering laboratory developing new techniques motivated a move away from photography to electronic and ultimately digital photomicroscopy. (2) Initially broadcast quality analogue cameras were used in the absence of practical digital cameras. This allowed the development of digital image processing, storage and presentation. (3) As early adopters of digital cameras, their advantages and limitations were recognised in implementation. (4) The adoption of immunofluorescence for multiprobe detection prompted further developments, particularly a critical approach to probe colocalization. (5) Subsequently, whole-slide scanning was implemented, greatly enhancing histology for diagnosis, research and teaching.
To elucidate the currently unknown mechanisms responsible for the diverse biological aspects between two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) cultured 3T3-L1 preadipocytes, RNA-sequencing analyses were performed. During a 7-day culture period, 2D- and 3D-cultured 3T3-L1 cells were subjected to lipid staining by BODIPY, qPCR for adipogenesis related genes, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (Pparγ), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha (Cebpa), Ap2 (fatty acid-binding protein 4; Fabp4), leptin, and AdipoQ (adiponectin), and RNA-sequencing analysis. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were detected by next-generation RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and validated by a quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (qRT–PCR). Bioinformatic analyses were performed on DEGs using a Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analysis and an Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). Significant spontaneous adipogenesis was observed in 3D 3T3-L1 spheroids, but not in 2D-cultured cells. The mRNA expression of Pparγ, Cebpa, and Ap2 among the five genes tested were significantly higher in 3D spheroids than in 2D-cultured cells, thus providing support for this conclusion. RNA analysis demonstrated that a total of 826 upregulated and 725 downregulated genes were identified as DEGs. GO enrichment analysis and IPA found 50 possible upstream regulators, and among these, 6 regulators—transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1), signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), interleukin 6 (IL6), angiotensinogen (AGT), FOS, and MYC—were, in fact, significantly upregulated. Further analyses of these regulators by causal networks of the top 14 predicted diseases and functions networks (IPA network score indicated more than 30), suggesting that STAT3 was the most critical upstream regulator. The findings presented herein suggest that STAT3 has a critical role in regulating the unique biological properties of 3D spheroids that are produced from 3T3-L1 preadipocytes.
Cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) is pivotal in hepatotoxicity induced by alcohol abuse and different xenobiotics. In this setting, CYP2E1 generates reactive metabolites inducing oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and cell death. In addition, this enzyme appears to play a role in the progression of obesity-related fatty liver to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Indeed, increased CYP2E1 activity in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is deemed to induce reactive oxygen species overproduction, which in turn triggers oxidative stress, necroinflammation and fibrosis. In 1997, Avadhani’s group reported for the first time the presence of CYP2E1 in rat liver mitochondria, and subsequent investigations by other groups confirmed that mitochondrial CYP2E1 (mtCYP2E1) could be found in different experimental models. In this review, we first recall the main features of CYP2E1 including its role in the biotransformation of endogenous and exogenous molecules, the regulation of its expression and activity and its involvement in different liver diseases. Then, we present the current knowledge on the physiological role of mtCYP2E1, its contribution to xenobiotic biotransformation as well as the mechanism and regulation of CYP2E1 targeting to mitochondria. Finally, we discuss experimental investigations suggesting that mtCYP2E1 could have a role in alcohol-associated liver disease, xenobiotic-induced hepatotoxicity and NAFLD.
Multiple myeloma (MM) is the second most common hematologic malignancy, which is characterized by clonal proliferation of neoplastic plasma cells in the bone marrow. This microenvironment is characterized by low oxygen levels (1–6% O2), known as hypoxia. For MM cells, hypoxia is a physiologic feature that has been described to promote an aggressive phenotype and to confer drug resistance. However, studies on hypoxia are scarce and show little conformity. Here, we analyzed the mRNA expression of previously determined hypoxia markers to define the temporal adaptation of MM cells to chronic hypoxia. Subsequent analyses of the global proteome in MM cells and the stromal cell line HS-5 revealed hypoxia-dependent regulation of proteins, which directly or indirectly upregulate glycolysis. In addition, chronic hypoxia led to MM-specific regulation of nine distinct proteins. One of these proteins is the cysteine protease legumain (LGMN), the depletion of which led to a significant growth disadvantage of MM cell lines that is enhanced under hypoxia. Thus, herein, we report a methodologic strategy to examine MM cells under physiologic hypoxic conditions in vitro and to decipher and study previously masked hypoxia-specific therapeutic targets such as the cysteine protease LGMN.
Diacylglycerol pyrophosphate (DGPP) is an anionic phospholipid formed in plants, yeast, and parasites under multiple stress stimuli. It is synthesized by the phosphorylation action of phosphatidic acid (PA) kinase on phosphatidic acid, a signaling lipid with multifunctional properties. PA functions in the membrane through the interaction of its negatively charged phosphomonoester headgroup with positively charged proteins and ions. DGPP, like PA, can interact electrostatically via the electrostatic-hydrogen bond switch mechanism but differs from PA in its overall charge and shape. The formation of DGPP from PA alters the physicochemical properties as well as the structural dynamics of the membrane. This potentially impacts the molecular and ionic binding of cationic proteins and ions with the DGPP enriched membrane. However, the results of these important interactions in the stress response and in DGPP’s overall intracellular function is unknown. Here, using 31P MAS NMR, we analyze the effect of the interaction of low DGPP concentrations in model membranes with the peptides KALP23 and WALP23, which are flanked by positively charged Lysine and neutral Tryptophan residues, respectively. Our results show a significant effect of KALP23 on the charge of DGPP as compared to WALP23. There was, however, no significant effect on the charge of the phosphomonoester of DGPP due to the interaction with positively charged lipids, dioleoyl trimethylammonium propane (DOTAP) and dioleoyl ethyl-phosphatidylcholine (EtPC). Divalent calcium and magnesium cations induce deprotonation of the DGPP headgroup but showed no noticeable differences on DGPP’s charge. Our results lead to a novel model for DGPP—protein interaction.
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by chronic hyperglycemia associated with impaired insulin action and secretion. Although the heritability of type 2 diabetes is high, the environment, including blood components, could play a major role in the development of the disease. Amongst environmental effects, epitranscriptomic modifications have been recently shown to affect gene expression and glucose homeostasis. The epitranscriptome is characterized by reversible chemical changes in RNA, with one of the most prevalent being the m6A methylation of RNA. Since pancreatic β cells fine tune glucose levels and play a major role in type 2 diabetes physiopathology, we hypothesized that the environment, through variations in blood glucose or blood free fatty acid concentrations, could induce changes in m6A methylation of RNAs in pancreatic β cells. Here we observe a significant decrease in m6A methylation upon high glucose concentration, both in mice and human islets, associated with altered expression levels of m6A demethylases. In addition, the use of siRNA and/or specific inhibitors against selected m6A enzymes demonstrate that these enzymes modulate the expression of genes involved in pancreatic β-cell identity and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Our data suggest that environmental variations, such as glucose, control m6A methylation in pancreatic β cells, playing a key role in the control of gene expression and pancreatic β-cell functions. Our results highlight novel causes and new mechanisms potentially involved in type 2 diabetes physiopathology and may contribute to a better understanding of the etiology of this disease.