Prox1 regulates the notch1-mediated inhibition of neurogenesis
Panagiotis K. Politis
- Activation of Notch1 signaling in neural progenitor cells (NPCs) induces self-renewal and inhibits neurogenesis. Upon neuronal differentiation, NPCs overcome this inhibition, express proneural genes to induce Notch ligands, and activate Notch1 in neighboring NPCs. The molecular mechanism that coordinates Notch1 inactivation with initiation of neurogenesis remains elusive. Here, we provide evidence that Prox1, a transcription repressor and downstream target of proneural genes, counteracts Notch1 signaling via direct suppression of Notch1 gene expression. By expression studies in the developing spinal cord of chick and mouse embryo, we showed that Prox1 is limited to neuronal precursors residing between the Notch1+ NPCs and post-mitotic neurons. Physiological levels of Prox1 in this tissue are sufficient to allow binding at Notch1 promoter and they are critical for proper Notch1 transcriptional regulation in vivo. Gain-of-function studies in the chick neural tube and mouse NPCs suggest that Prox1-mediated suppression of Notch1 relieves its inhibition on neurogenesis and allows NPCs to exit the cell cycle and differentiate. Moreover, loss-of-function in the chick neural tube shows that Prox1 is necessary for suppression of Notch1 outside the ventricular zone, inhibition of active Notch signaling, down-regulation of NPC markers, and completion of neuronal differentiation program. Together these data suggest that Prox1 inhibits Notch1 gene expression to control the balance between NPC self-renewal and neuronal differentiation.
RAF kinase activity regulates neuroepithelial cell proliferation and neuronal progenitor cell differentiation during early inner ear development
Maria Rodriguez Aburto
Ulf Rüdiger Rapp
- Background: Early inner ear development requires the strict regulation of cell proliferation, survival, migration and differentiation, coordinated by the concerted action of extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Deregulation of these processes is associated with embryonic malformations and deafness. We have shown that insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) plays a key role in embryonic and postnatal otic development by triggering the activation of intracellular lipid and protein kinases. RAF kinases are serine/threonine kinases that regulate the highly conserved RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK signaling cascade involved in transducing the signals from extracellular growth factors to the nucleus. However, the regulation of RAF kinase activity by growth factors during development is complex and still not fully understood.
Methodology/Principal Findings: By using a combination of qRT-PCR, Western blotting, immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization, we show that C-RAF and B-RAF are expressed during the early development of the chicken inner ear in specific spatiotemporal patterns. Moreover, later in development B-RAF expression is associated to hair cells in the sensory patches. Experiments in ex vivo cultures of otic vesicle explants demonstrate that the influence of IGF-I on proliferation but not survival depends on RAF kinase activating the MEK-ERK phosphorylation cascade. With the specific RAF inhibitor Sorafenib, we show that blocking RAF activity in organotypic cultures increases apoptosis and diminishes the rate of cell proliferation in the otic epithelia, as well as severely impairing neurogenesis of the acoustic-vestibular ganglion (AVG) and neuron maturation.
Conclusions/Significance: We conclude that RAF kinase activity is essential to establish the balance between cell proliferation and death in neuroepithelial otic precursors, and for otic neuron differentiation and axonal growth at the AVG.
The C-terminus of p63 contains multiple regulatory elements with different functions
Wesley E. Straub
Tobias Alexander Weber
Horng Der Ou
- The transcription factor p63 is expressed as at least six different isoforms, of which two have been assigned critical biological roles within ectodermal development and skin stem cell biology on the one hand and supervision of the genetic stability of oocytes on the other hand. These two isoforms contain a C-terminal inhibitory domain that negatively regulates their transcriptional activity. This inhibitory domain contains two individual components: one that uses an internal binding mechanism to interact with and mask the transactivation domain and one that is based on sumoylation. We have carried out an extensive alanine scanning study to identify critical regions within the inhibitory domain. These experiments show that a stretch of ~13 amino acids is crucial for the binding function. Further, investigation of transcriptional activity and the intracellular level of mutants that cannot be sumoylated suggests that sumoylation reduces the concentration of p63. We therefore propose that the inhibitory function of the C-terminal domain is in part due to direct inhibition of the transcriptional activity of the protein and in part due to indirect inhibition by controlling the concentration of p63. Keywords: p63, transcriptional regulation, auto-inhibition, sumoylation
Neuromuscular development of Aeolidiella stephanieae Valdez, 2005 (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Nudibranchia)
- Background: Studies on the development of the nervous system and the musculature of invertebrates have become more sophisticated and numerous within the last decade and have proven to provide new insights into the evolutionary history of organisms. In order to provide new morphogenetic data on opisthobranch gastropods we investigated the neuromuscular development in the nudibranch Aeolidiella stephanieae Valdez, 2005 using immunocytochemistry as well as F-actin labelling in conjunction with confocal laser scanning microscopy (cLSM). Results: The ontogenetic development of Aeolidiella stephanieae can be subdivided into 8 stages, each recognisable by characteristic morphological and behavioural features as well as specific characters of the nervous system and the muscular system, respectively. The larval nervous system of A. stephanieae includes an apical organ, developing central ganglia, and peripheral neurons associated with the velum, foot and posterior, visceral part of the larva. The first serotonergic and FMRFamidergic neural structures appear in the apical organ that exhibits an array of three sensory, flask-shaped and two non-sensory, round neurons, which altogether disappear prior to metamorphosis. The postmetamorphic central nervous system (CNS) becomes concentrated, and the rhinophoral ganglia develop together with the anlage of the future rhinophores whereas oral tentacle ganglia are not found. The myogenesis in A. stephanieae begins with the larval retractor muscle followed by the accessory larval retractor muscle, the velar or prototroch muscles and the pedal retractors that all together degenerate during metamorphosis, and the adult muscle complex forms de novo. Conclusions: Aeolidiella stephanieae comprises features of the larval and postmetamorphic nervous as well as muscular system that represent the ground plan of the Mollusca or even the Trochozoa (e. g. presence of the prototrochal or velar muscle ring). On the one hand, A. stephanieae shows some features shared by all nudibranchs like the postmetamorphic condensation of the CNS, the possession of rhinophoral ganglia and the lack of oral tentacle ganglia as well as the de novo formation of the adult muscle complex. On the other hand, the structure and arrangement of the serotonergic apical organ is similar to other caenogastropod and opisthobranch gastropods supporting their sister group relationship.
Differentiation of the brain vasculature : the answer came blowing by the Wnt
Karl H. Plate
- Vascularization of the vertebrate brain takes place during embryonic development from a preformed perineural vascular plexus. As a consequence of the intimate contact with neuroectodermal cells the vessels, which are entering the brain exclusively via sprouting angiogenesis, acquire and maintain unique barrier properties known as the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The endothelial BBB depends upon the close association of endothelial cells with pericytes, astrocytes, neurons and microglia, which are summarized in the term neuro-vascular unit. Although it is known since decades that the CNS tissue provides the cues for BBB induction and differentiation in endothelial cells, the molecular mechanism remained obscure. Only recently, the canonical Wnt/beta-catenin pathway and the Wnt7a/7b growth factors have been implicated in brain angiogenesis on the one hand and in BBB induction on the other. This breakthrough in understanding the differentiation of the brain vasculature prompted us to review these findings embedded in the emerging concepts of Wnt signaling in the vasculature. In particular, interactions with other pathways that are crucial for vascular development such as VEGF, Notch, angiopoietins and Sonic hedgehog are discussed. Finally, we considered the potential role of the Wnt pathway in vascular brain pathologies in which BBB function is hampered, as for example in glioma, stroke and Alzheimer's disease.
Synchronization of dissipative dynamical systems driven by non-Gaussian Lévy noises
Peter E. Kloeden
- Dynamical systems driven by Gaussian noises have been considered extensively in modeling, simulation, and theory. However, complex systems in engineering and science are often subject to non-Gaussian fluctuations or uncertainties. A coupled dynamical system under a class of Lévy noises is considered. After discussing cocycle property, stationary orbits, and random attractors, a synchronization phenomenon is shown to occur, when the drift terms of the coupled system satisfy certain dissipativity and integrability conditions. The synchronization result implies that coupled dynamical systems share a dynamical feature in some asymptotic sense.
Identification and functional characterisation of Complement Regulator Acquiring Surface Protein-1 of serum resistant Borrelia garinii OspA serotype 4
Nathalie D. van Burgel
Tim J. Schuijt
Peter F. Zipfel
Alje P. van Dam
- Background: B. burgdorferi sensu lato (sl) is the etiological agent of Lyme borreliosis in humans. Spirochetes have adapted themselves to the human immune system in many distinct ways. One important immune escape mechanism for evading complement activation is the binding of complement regulators Factor H (CFH) or Factor H-like protein1 (FHL-1) to Complement Regulator-Acquiring Surface Proteins (CRASPs). Results: We demonstrate that B. garinii OspA serotype (ST4) PBi resist complement-mediated killing by binding of FHL-1. To identify the primary ligands of FHL-1 four CspA orthologs from B. garinii ST4 PBi were cloned and tested for binding to human CFH and FHL-1. Orthologs BGA66 and BGA71 were found to be able to bind both complement regulators but with different intensities. In addition, all CspA orthologs were tested for binding to mammalian and avian CFH. Distinct orthologs were able to bind to CFH of different animal origins. Conclusions: B. garinii ST4 PBi is able to evade complement killing and can bind FHL-1 to membrane expressed proteins. Recombinant proteins BGA66 can bind FHL-1 and human CFH, while BGA71 can bind only FHL-1. All recombinant CspA orthologs from B. garinii ST4 PBi can bind CFH from different animal origins. This partly explains the wide variety of animals that can be infected by B. garinii.
ADAM10 is expressed in human podocytes and found in urinary vesicles of patients with glomerular kidney diseases
Mohamed Sadek Abdel-Bakky
Ingeborg A. Hauser
Josef Martin Pfeilschifter
- Background: The importance of the Notch signaling in the development of glomerular diseases has been recently described. Therefore we analyzed in podocytes the expression and activity of ADAM10, one important component of the Notch signaling complex. Methods: By Western blot, immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry analysis we characterized the expression of ADAM10 in human podocytes, human urine and human renal tissue. Results: We present evidence, that differentiated human podocytes possessed increased amounts of mature ADAM10 and released elevated levels of L1 adhesion molecule, one well known substrate of ADAM10. By using specific siRNA and metalloproteinase inhibitors we demonstrate that ADAM10 is involved in the cleavage of L1 in human podocytes. Injury of podocytes enhanced the ADAM10 mediated cleavage of L1. In addition, we detected ADAM10 in urinary podocytes from patients with kidney diseases and in tissue sections of normal human kidney. Finally, we found elevated levels of ADAM10 in urinary vesicles of patients with glomerular kidney diseases. Conclusions: The activity of ADAM10 in human podocytes may play an important role in the development of glomerular kidney diseases.
Decreased HIV diversity after allogeneic stem cell transplantation of an HIV-1 infected patient : a case report
Ignacio G. Bravo
Barbara S. Schnierle
- The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) coreceptor use and viral evolution were analyzed in blood samples from an HIV-1 infected patient undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT). Coreceptor use was predicted in silico from sequence data obtained from the third variable loop region of the viral envelope gene with two software tools. Viral diversity and evolution was evaluated on the same samples by Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood methods. In addition, phenotypic analysis was done by comparison of viral growth in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and in a CCR5 (R5)-deficient T-cell line which was controlled by a reporter assay confirming viral tropism. In silico coreceptor predictions did not match experimental determinations that showed a consistent R5 tropism. Anti-HIV directed antibodies could be detected before and after the SCT. These preexisting antibodies did not prevent viral rebound after the interruption of antiretroviral therapy during the SCT. Eventually, transplantation and readministration of anti-retroviral drugs lead to sustained increase in CD4 counts and decreased viral load to undetectable levels. Unexpectedly, viral diversity decreased after successful SCT. Our data evidence that only R5-tropic virus was found in the patient before and after transplantation. Therefore, blocking CCR5 receptor during stem cell transplantation might have had beneficial effects and this might apply to more patients undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Furthermore, we revealed a scenario of HIV-1 dynamic different from the commonly described ones. Analysis of viral evolution shows the decrease of viral diversity even during episodes with bursts in viral load.
On the setting of environmental noise and the performance of population dynamical models
Crispin M. Mutshinda
Robert B. O'Hara
- Background: Environmental noise is ubiquitous in population growth processes, with a well acknowledged potential to affect populations regardless of their sizes. It therefore deserves consideration in population dynamics modelling. The usual approach to incorporating noise into population dynamical models is to make some model parameter(s) (typically the growth rate, the carrying capacity, or both) stochastic and responsive to environment fluctuations. It is however still unclear whether including noise in one or/and another parameter makes a difference to the model performance. Here we investigated this issue with a focus on model fit and predictive accuracy. To do this, we developed three population dynamical models of the Ricker type with the noise included in the growth rate (Model 1), in the carrying capacity (Model 2), and in both (Model 3). We generated several population time series under each model, and used a Bayesian approach to fit the three models to the simulated data. We then compared the model performances in fitting to the data and in forecasting future observations. Results: When the mean intrinsic growth rate, r, in the data was low, the three models had roughly comparable performances, irrespective of the true model and the level of noise. As r increased, Models 1 performed best on data generated from it, and Model 3 tended to perform best on data generated from either Models 2 or Model 3. Model 2 was uniformly outcompeted by the other two models, regardless of the true model and the level of noise. The correlation between the deviance information criterion (DIC) and the mean square error (MSE) used respectively as measure of fit and predictive accuracy was broadly positive. Conclusion: Our results suggested that the way environmental noise is incorporated into a population dynamical model may profoundly affect its performance. Overall, we found that including noise in one or/and another parameter does not matter as long as the mean intrinsic growth rate, r, is low. As r increased, however, the three models performed differently. Models 1 and 3 broadly outperformed Model 2, the first having the advantage of being simple and more computationally tractable. A comforting result emerging from our analysis is the broad positive correlation between MSEs and DICs, suggesting that the latter may also be informative about the predictive performance of a model.