Abstract: TGF-β(transforming growth factor-β) superfamily signaling mediators are important regulators of diverse physiological and pathological events. TGF-β signals are transduced by transmembrane type I and type II serine/threonine kinase receptors and their downstream effectors, the SMAD(drosophila mothers against decapentaplegic protein) proteins. Numerous studies have already demonstrated crucial regulatory roles for modification of TGF-β pathway components by poly-ubiquitination. Recently, several studies also uncovered mono-ubiquitination of SMADs as a mechanism for SMAD activation or inactivation. Mono-ubiquitination and subsequent deubiquitination of SMAD proteins accordingly play important roles in the control of TGF-β superfamily signaling. This review highlights the major pathways regulated by SMAD mono-ubiquitination.
Abstract: Vascular calcification is highly prevalent in patients with coronary artery disease and, when present, is associated with major adverse cardiovascular events, including an increased risk of cardiovascular mortality. The pathogenesis of vascular calcification is complex and is now recognized to recapitulate skeletal bone formation. Vascular smooth muscle cells (SMC) play an integral role in this process by undergoing transdifferentiation to osteoblast-like cells, elaborating calcifying matrix vesicles and secreting factors that diminish the activity of osteoclast-like cells with mineral resorbing capacity. Recent advances have identified microRNAs (miRs) as key regulators of this process by directing the complex genetic reprogramming of SMCs and the functional responses of other relevant cell types relevant for vascular calcification. This review will detail SMC and bone biology as it relates to vascular calcification and relate what is known to date regarding the regulatory role of miRs in SMC-mediated vascular calcification.
Abstract: In contrast to other Classical Transient Receptor Potential TRPC channels the function of TRPC1 as an ion channel is a matter of debate, because it is often difficult to obtain substantial functional signals over background in response to over-expression of TRPC1 alone. Along these lines, heterologously expressed TRPC1 is poorly translocated to the plasma membrane as a homotetramer and may not function on its own physiologically, but may rather be an important linker and regulator protein in heteromeric TRPC channel tetramers. However, due to the lack of specific TRPC1 antibodies able to detect native TRPC1 channels in primary cells, identification of functional TRPC1 containing heteromeric TRPC channel complexes in the plasma membrane is still challenging. Moreover, an extended TRPC1 cDNA, which was recently discovered, may seriously question results obtained in heterologous expression systems transfected with shortened cDNA versions. Therefore, this review will focus on the current status of research on TRPC1 function obtained in primary cells and a TRPC1-deficient mouse model.
Abstract: Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) subunits form a polymodal cation channel responsive to capsaicin, heat, acidity and endogenous metabolites of polyunsaturated fatty acids. While originally reported to serve as a pain and heat detector in the peripheral nervous system, TRPV1 has been implicated in the modulation of blood flow and osmoregulation but also neurotransmission, postsynaptic neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity within the central nervous system. In addition to its central role in nociception, evidence is accumulating that TRPV1 contributes to stimulus transduction and/or processing in other sensory modalities, including thermosensation, mechanotransduction and vision. For example, TRPV1, in conjunction with intrinsic cannabinoid signaling, might contribute to retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axonal transport and excitability, cytokine release from microglial cells and regulation of retinal vasculature. While excessive TRPV1 activity was proposed to induce RGC excitotoxicity, physiological TRPV1 activity might serve a neuroprotective function within the complex context of retinal endocannabinoid signaling. In this review we evaluate the current evidence for localization and function of TRPV1 channels within the mammalian retina and explore the potential interaction of this intriguing nociceptor with endogenous agonists and modulators.
Abstract: Cardiac Ca2+ cycling and signaling are closely associated with cardiac function. Changes in cellular Ca2+ homeostasis may lead to aberrant cardiac rhythm and may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of cardiac diseases, due to their exacerbation of heart failure. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play a key role in the regulation of gene expression at the post-transcriptional level and participate in regulating diverse biological processes. The emerging evidence indicates that the expression profiles of miRNAs vary among human diseases, including cardiovascular diseases. Cardiac Ca2+-handling and signaling proteins are also regulated by miRNAs. Given the relationship between cardiac Ca2+ homeostasis and signaling and miRNA, Ca2+-related miRNAs may serve as therapeutic targets during the treatment of heart failure. In this review, we summarize the knowledge currently available regarding the role of Ca2+ in cardiac function, as well as changes in Ca2+ cycling and homeostasis and the handling of these processes by miRNAs during cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury.
Abstract: It has been recognized for decades that proteins, which are encoded by our genome and produced via transcription and translation steps, are building blocks that play vital roles in almost all biological processes. Mutations identified in many protein-coding genes are linked to various human diseases. However, this “protein-centered” dogma has been challenged in recent years with the discovery that the majority of our genome is “non-coding” yet transcribed. Non-coding RNA has become the focus of “next generation” biology. Here, we review the emerging field of non-coding RNAs, including microRNAs (miRNAs) and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), and their role in cardiovascular function and disease.