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  • 1
    Keywords: adhering junctions, AREA-COMPOSITA, ASTROCYTES, BLOOD-BRAIN-BARRIER, CELLS, DOMAINS, endothelial cel
    Abstract: The genes encoding transmembrane glycoproteins of the cadherin family, i.e., the Ca2+-dependent cell-cell adhesion molecules, are typically expressed in cell-type- or cell-lineage-specific patterns. One of them, vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin, is widely considered to be specific for vascular endothelia in which it is either the sole or the predominant cadherin, often co-existing with N-cadherin. This specificity of VE-cadherin for vascular endothelial cells is important not only in blood and lymph vessel biology and medicine, but also for cell-type-based diagnoses, notably those of metastatic tumors. Surprisingly, however, we have recently noted the frequent synthesis, surface exposure, and junction assembly of VE-cadherin in certain other cells, in which this glycoprotein is clustered into adherens junctions (AJs), either alone or in combination with N-cadherin and/or cadherin-11. Such cells include mammalian astrocytes and glioma, probably mostly astrocytoma cells growing in culture, and a specific subtype of astrocytoma in situ. Moreover, VE-cadherin synthesis and AJ assembly, plus the regional clustering of such AJs in certain domains, are not clonally fixed but can appear again and again in cells of the progeny of cloned homogeneous-appearing individual cells, thus resulting in clonal cell colonies that are often heterogeneous in their cadherin junction patterns. We discuss the constitutive presence of VE-cadherin in some non-endothelial cells with respect to certain architectural features and possible physiological and pathogenic functions of the cells, and in comparison with recent reports of VE-cadherin-positive melanomas
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 19002500
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  • 2
    Keywords: BIOLOGY, Blood-testis (Sertoli cell) barrier, CELL, CELLS, CELL-SELECTIVE KNOCKOUT, claudins, DEFECT
    Abstract: One of the major roles of Sertoli cells is to establish the blood-testis (Sertoli cell) barrier (BTB), which is permanently assembled and disassembled to accommodate the translocation of leptotene spermatocytes from the basal into the adluminal compartment of the seminiferous epithelium and to guarantee completion of meiosis and spermiogenesis. Recently, we have demonstrated spermatogenesis to be arrested before spermatid elongation in Gnpat-null mice with selective deficiency of ether lipids (ELs) whose functions are poorly understood. In this study, we have focused on the spatio-temporal expression of several BTB tight-junctional proteins in the first wave of spermatogenesis to obtain insights into the physiological role of ELs during BTB establishment and dynamics. Our data confirm the transient existence of Russell's intermediate or translocation compartment delineated by two separate claudin-3-positive luminal and basal tight junctions and reveal that EL deficiency blocks BTB remodeling. This block is associated with (1) downregulation and mistargeting of claudin-3 and (2) impaired BTB disassembly resulting in deficient sealing of the intermediate compartment as shown by increased BTB permeability to biotin. These results suggest that ELs are essential for cyclic BTB dynamics ensuring the sluice mechanism for leptotene translocation into the adluminal compartment
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 19495798
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  • 3
  • 4
    Keywords: CELLS ; EXPRESSION ; PROTEIN ; PROTEINS ; EPITHELIA ; KERATINOCYTES ; IDENTIFICATION ; MERKEL CELLS ; MELANOMA-CELLS ; ADHERENS JUNCTIONS ; plakophilin-2 ; Asymmetric junctions ; CONTACTS ; CYTOKERATIN ; Heterotypic junctions ; HUMAN-FETAL SKIN
    Abstract: Merkel cells (MCs) are special neuroendocrine epithelial cells that occur as individual cells or as cell groups within the confinements of a major epithelium formed and dominated by other epithelial cells. In the epidermis and some of its appendages MCs are mostly located in the basal cell layer, occasionally also in suprabasal layers and generally occur in linear arrays in outer root sheath cell layers of hair follicles. As MCs are connected to the adjacent keratinocytes by a series of adhering junctions (AJs), of which the desmosomes are the most prominent, these junctions represent heterotypic cell-cell connections, i.e. a kind of structure not yet elucidated in molecular terms. Therefore, we have studied these AJs in order to examine the molecular composition of the desmosomal halves. Using light- and electron-microscopic immunolocalization and keratin 20 as the MC-specific cell type marker we show that the plaques of the MC half of the desmosomes specifically and constitutively contain plakophilin Pkp2. This protein, however, is absent in the keratinocyte half of such heterotypic desmosomes which instead contains Pkp1 and/or Pkp3. We discuss the developmental, tissue-architectonic and functional importance of such asymmetric junctions in normal physiology as well as in diseases, in particular in the formation of distant tumor cell metastasis.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 22006253
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  • 5
    Keywords: TISSUE
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 22215211
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  • 6
    Keywords: p53 ; CANCER-CELLS ; COLON-CANCER ; MASS-SPECTROMETRY ; GEL-ELECTROPHORESIS ; HUMAN SMALL-INTESTINE ; LIPID-METABOLISM ; LIPOTOXICITY ; ACYL-COA SYNTHETASE-5 ; FATTY-ACID REGULATION
    Abstract: Acyl-CoA synthetase 5 (ACSL5), a mitochondrially localized enzyme, catalyzes the synthesis of long-chain fatty acid thioesters and is physiologically involved in pro-apoptotic sensing of enterocytes. The aim of the present study is to identify an ACSL5-dependent regulation of mitochondrially expressed proteins and the characterization of related pathways in normal and diseased human intestinal mucosa. Proteomics of isolated mitochondria from ACSL5 transfectants and CaCo2 controls were performed. ACSL5-dependent protein synthesis was verified with quantitative reverse transcription plus the polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting, short-interfering-RNA-mediated gene silencing and additional cell culture experiments. Lipid changes were analyzed with tandem mass spectrometry. ACSL5-related pathways were characterized in normal mucosa and sporadic adenocarcinomas of the human intestine. In CaCo2 cells transfected with ACSL5, mortalin (HSPA9) was about two-fold increased in mitochondria, whereas cytoplasmic mortalin levels were unchanged. Disturbance of acyl-CoA/sphingolipid metabolism, induced by ACSL5 over-expression, was characterized as crucial. ACSL5-related over-expression of mitochondrial mortalin was found in HEK293 and Lovo (wild-type TP53 [tumor protein p53]) and CaCo2 (p53-negative; TP53 mutated) cells but not in Colo320DM cells (mutated TP53). In normal human intestinal mucosa, an increasing gradient of both ACSL5 and mortalin from bottom to top was observed, whereas p53 (wild-type TP53) decreased. In sporadic intestinal adenocarcinomas with strong p53 immunostaining (mutated TP53), ACSL5-related mortalin expression was heterogeneous. ACSL5-induced mitochondrial mortalin expression is assumed to be a stress response to ACSL5-related changes in lipid metabolism and is regulated by the TP53 status. Uncoupling of ACSL5 and mitochondrial mortalin by mutated TP53 could be important in colorectal carcinogenesis.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24770931
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  • 7
    Keywords: DESMOSOMAL PLAQUE PROTEINS ; ADHERENS JUNCTIONS ; N-CADHERIN ; SERTOLI-CELL ; POSTNATAL-DEVELOPMENT ; MALE CONTRACEPTIVE DEVELOPMENT ; RAT TESTIS ; ECTOPLASMIC SPECIALIZATION ; BARRIER DYNAMICS ; CYTOSKELETAL PROTEINS
    Abstract: The seminiferous tubules and the excurrent ducts of the mammalian testis are physiologically separated from the mesenchymal tissues and the blood and lymph system by a special structural barrier to paracellular translocations of molecules and particles: the "blood-testis barrier", formed by junctions connecting Sertoli cells with each other and with spermatogonial cells. In combined biochemical as well as light and electron microscopical studies we systematically determine the molecules located in the adhering junctions of adult mammalian (human, bovine, porcine, murine, i.e., rat and mouse) testis. We show that the seminiferous epithelium does not contain desmosomes, or "desmosome-like" junctions, nor any of the desmosome-specific marker molecules and that the adhering junctions of tubules and ductules are fundamentally different. While the ductules contain classical epithelial cell layers with E-cadherin-based adherens junctions (AJs) and typical desmosomes, the Sertoli cells of the tubules lack desmosomes and "desmosome-like" junctions but are connected by morphologically different forms of AJs. These junctions are based on N-cadherin anchored in cytoplasmic plaques, which in some subforms appear thick and dense but in other subforms contain only scarce and loosely arranged plaque structures formed by alpha- and beta-catenin, proteins p120, p0071 and plakoglobin, together with a member of the striatin family and also, in rodents, the proteins ZO-1 and myozap. These N-cadherin-based AJs also include two novel types of junctions: the "areae adhaerentes", i.e., variously-sized, often very large cell-cell contacts and small sieve-plate-like AJs perforated by cytoplasm-to-cytoplasm channels of 5-7 nm internal diameter ("cribelliform junctions"). We emphasize the unique character of this epithelium that totally lacks major epithelial marker molecules and structures such as keratin filaments and desmosomal elements as well as EpCAM- and PERP-containing junctions. We also discuss the nature, development and possible functions of these junctions.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24907851
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  • 8
    Keywords: CELLS ; GENE-TRANSFER ; MOUSE MODEL ; DEFICIENT MICE ; ENZYME REPLACEMENT THERAPY ; ALPHA-GALACTOSIDASE-A ; SUBSTRATE REDUCTION THERAPY ; TYPE-1 GAUCHER-DISEASE ; GLOBOTRIAOSYLCERAMIDE ; ISOGLOBOTRIHEXOSYLCERAMIDE
    Abstract: Fabry disease is a monogenic X-linked lysosomal storage disease caused by alpha-galactosidase A (alphaGalA) deficiency. Enzyme replacement therapy through administration of the missing alphaGalA is currently the only accepted therapeutic option. However, this treatment is connected to high costs, has ill-defined indication criteria and its efficacy is controversially discussed. Our aim was to explore the possibility of a novel targeted substrate reduction therapy for Fabry disease. Owing to the fact that alphaGalA-deficient humans and mice accumulate the same glycosphingolipids (i.e. globosides, galabiosylceramide and isoglobosides), alphaGalA-deficient mice were crossed with mice deficient in enzymes synthesizing these classes of glycosphingolipids (i.e. globotrihexosylceramide and isoglobotrihexosylceramide synthase, respectively). Functional heart and kidney tests were performed together with an extensive biochemical analysis of urine and serum in aged mice. Lysosomal storage was assessed by thin layer chromatography and electron microscopy. We showed that depletion of globosides was sufficient to fully abolish the storage of glycosphingolipids in heart, kidney and liver and was paralleled by a complete restoration of lysosomal morphology in these organs. In contrast, in dorsal root ganglia, a depletion of both globosides and isoglobosides was necessary to fully counteract the lysosomal storage. The deficiency in globosides and/or isoglobosides did not cause any adverse effects. We conclude that substrate reduction therapy through inhibition of the synthesis of globosides and isoglobosides represents a valuable therapeutic option for Fabry disease, all the more as globosides and isoglobosides seem to be dispensable.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24992926
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  • 9
    Keywords: RIGHT-VENTRICULAR CARDIOMYOPATHY ; DESMOPLAKIN-CONTAINING JUNCTIONS ; adhering junctions ; INTERCALATED DISC ; HEART-MUSCLE CELLS ; AREA-COMPOSITA ; PROTEIN PHOSPHATASE 2A ; ARRHYTHMOGENIC CARDIOMYOPATHY ; CALMODULIN-BINDING PROTEIN ; SODIUM CURRENT DEFICIT
    Abstract: Proteins of the striatin family (striatins 1-4; sizes ranging from 90 to 110 kDa on SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis) are highly homologous in their amino acid sequences but can differ in their cell-type-specific gene expression patterns and biological functions. In various cell types, we have found one, two or three polypeptides of this evolutionarily old and nearly ubiquitous family of proteins known to serve as scaffold proteins for diverse protein complexes. Light and electron microscopic immunolocalization methods have revealed striatins in mammalian cell-cell adherens junctions (AJs). In simple epithelia, we have localized striatins as constitutive components of the plaques of the subapical zonulae adhaerentes of cells, including intestinal, glandular, ductal and urothelial cells and hepatocytes. Striatins colocalize with E-cadherin or E-N-cadherin heterodimers and with the plaque proteins alpha- and beta-catenin, p120 and p0071. In some epithelia and carcinomas and in cultured cells derived therefrom, striatins are also seen in lateral AJs. In stratified epithelia and in corresponding squamous cell carcinomas, striatins can be found in plaques of some forms of tessellate junctions. Moreover, striatins are major plaque proteins of composite junctions (CJs; areae compositae) in the intercalated disks connecting cardiomyocytes, colocalizing with other CJ molecules, including plectin and ankyrin-G. We discuss the "multimodulator" scaffold roles of striatins in the initiation and regulation of the formation of various complex particles and structures. We propose that striatins are included in the diagnostic candidate list of proteins that, in the CJs of human hearts, can occur in mutated forms in the pathogeneses of hereditary cardiomyopathies, as seen in some types of genetically determined heart damage in boxer dogs.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25501894
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  • 10
    Keywords: brain ; CELLS ; ENDOTHELIAL-CELLS ; EXPRESSION ; IN-VITRO ; CELL ; Germany ; human ; MODEL ; VITRO ; GENE ; GENES ; PROTEIN ; cell line ; TISSUE ; MARKER ; BIOLOGY ; E7 ; immunohistochemistry ; resistance ; CELL-LINE ; LINE ; human papillomavirus ; E6 ; HUMAN-PAPILLOMAVIRUS ; MORPHOLOGY ; BARRIER FUNCTION ; TIGHT JUNCTIONS ; CONJUGATE EXPORT PUMP ; MRP2 ; ORIGIN ; RE ; TRANSFECTION ; P-GLYCOPROTEIN ; blood-brain barrier ; human brain ; ENDOTHELIAL-CELL ; brain capillary endothelial cell ; ATP-BINDING ; BLOOD-BRAIN ; ABC-TRANSPORTERS ; DRUG EFFLUX TRANSPORTERS ; endothelial markers
    Abstract: Primary human brain capillary endothelial cells (hBCECs) are available only in small quantities and have a short life span in vitro; this restricts their use as in vitro model for the blood-brain barrier (BBB). To overcome these limitations, we have established an immortalized hBCEC line (NKIM-6) by transfection with pLXSN16-E6E7, which encodes the human papillomavirus type 16 E6 and E7 genes. The cell line exhibits an extended life span in vitro and retains its characteristic endothelial morphology, endothelial markers, and physiology. Likewise, as demonstrated by immunohistochemistry and reverse transcription/polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), NKIM-6 cells express BBB markers, and the lack of glial, neuronal, and epithelial markers confirms their endothelial origin. Moreover, with quantitative RT-PCR, we have been able to demonstrate that several ATP-binding cassette-transporters are expressed in NKIM-6 cells with a conserved expression order compared with primary hBCECs. Our results suggest that this cell line might be suitable as in vitro model for several aspects of the BBB
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 17180596
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