Cells2014, 3(4), 1131-1158; doi:10.3390/cells3041131 - published 10 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is a significant human pathogen that infects a large portion of the human population. Cells deploy a variety of defenses to limit the extent to which the virus can replicate. One such factor is the promyelocytic leukemia (PML) protein, the nucleating and organizing factor of nuclear domain 10 (ND10). PML responds to a number of stimuli and is implicated in intrinsic and innate cellular antiviral defenses against HSV-1. While the role of PML in a number of cellular pathways is controlled by post-translational modifications, the effects of phosphorylation on its antiviral activity toward HSV-1 have been largely unexplored. Consequently, we mapped phosphorylation sites on PML, mutated these and other known phosphorylation sites on PML isoform I (PML-I), and examined their effects on a number of PML’s activities. Our results show that phosphorylation at most sites on PML-I is dispensable for the formation of ND10s and colocalization between PML-I and the HSV-1 regulatory protein, ICP0, which antagonizes PML-I function. However, inhibiting phosphorylation at sites near the SUMO-interaction motif (SIM) of PML-I impairs its ability to respond to HSV-1 infection. Overall, our data suggest that PML phosphorylation regulates its antiviral activity against HSV-1.
Cells2014, 3(4), 1116-1130; doi:10.3390/cells3041116 - published 27 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The involvement of T-helper (Th)1, Th17 and Th22 cell subsets, in immunity, as well as in pathological inflammatory reactions, makes it important to determine their relative proportion. A triple FluoroSpot detecting the hallmark cytokines of Th1 (IFN-γ), Th17 (IL-17A) and Th22 (IL-22) was developed and evaluated using human peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy donors incubated with tetanus toxoid, Candida albicans extract, mycobacterial purified protein derivative or medium only. Antigen stimulation yielded mainly cells secreting IFN-γ, IL-17A or IL-22 alone but lower proportions of double-secreting cells were also found; triple-secreting cells were rare. The response to C. albicans contrasted in that higher proportions of IL-17A single secreting as well as co-secreting cells, in particular IL-17A/IL-22, were found. The FluoroSpot analysis correlated well with single cytokine ELISpot assays ran in parallel and the methods displayed a comparable sensitivity. The results demonstrate the functionality of the FluoroSpot assay for simultaneous analysis of distinct Th1, Th17, Th22 as well as intermediate cell populations. The method provides a mean for a simple and rapid analysis of the involvement of these cells in immunity and disease.
Cells2014, 3(4), 1102-1115; doi:10.3390/cells3041102 - published 27 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: ELISpot is one of the most commonly used immune monitoring assays, which allows the functional assessment of the immune system at the single cell level. With its outstanding sensitivity and ease of performance, the assay has recently advanced from the mere single function cell analysis to multifunctional analysis by implementing detection reagents that are labeled with fluorophores (FluoroSpot), allowing the detection of secretion patterns of two or more analytes in a single well. However, the automated evaluation of such assays presents various challenges for image analysis. Here we dissect the technical and methodological requirements for a reliable analysis of FluoroSpot assays, introduce important quality control measures and provide advice for proper interpretation of results obtained by automated imaging systems.
Cells2014, 3(4), 1089-1101; doi:10.3390/cells3041089 - published 27 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily M member 7 (TRPM7) is a bi-functional protein comprising a TRP ion channel segment linked to an α-type protein kinase domain. Genetic inactivation of TRPM7 revealed its central role in magnesium metabolism, cell motility, proliferation and differentiation. TRPM7 is associated with anoxic neuronal death, cardiac fibrosis and tumor progression highlighting TRPM7 as a new drug target. Recently, several laboratories have independently identified pharmacological compounds inhibiting or activating the TRPM7 channel. The recently found TRPM7 modulators were used as new experimental tools to unravel cellular functions of the TRPM7 channel. Here, we provide a concise overview of this emerging field.
Cells2014, 3(4), 1027-1088; doi:10.3390/cells3041027 - published 12 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Modification by Lys63-linked ubiquitin (UbK63) chains is the second most abundant form of ubiquitylation. In addition to their role in DNA repair or kinase activation, UbK63 chains interfere with multiple steps of intracellular trafficking. UbK63 chains decorate many plasma membrane proteins, providing a signal that is often, but not always, required for their internalization. In yeast, plants, worms and mammals, this same modification appears to be critical for efficient sorting to multivesicular bodies and subsequent lysosomal degradation. UbK63 chains are also one of the modifications involved in various forms of autophagy (mitophagy, xenophagy, or aggrephagy). Here, in the context of trafficking, we report recent structural studies investigating UbK63 chains assembly by various E2/E3 pairs, disassembly by deubiquitylases, and specifically recognition as sorting signals by receptors carrying Ub-binding domains, often acting in tandem. In addition, we address emerging and unanticipated roles of UbK63 chains in various recycling pathways that function by activating nucleators required for actin polymerization, as well as in the transient recruitment of signaling molecules at the plasma or ER membrane. In this review, we describe recent advances that converge to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the wealth of trafficking functions of UbK63 chains.
Abstract: microRNAs are post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression that have been shown to be central players in the establishment of cellular programs, often acting as switches that control the choice between proliferation and differentiation during development and in adult tissues. The heart develops from two small patches of cells in the mesoderm, the heart fields, which originate the different cardiac cell types, including cardiomyocytes, vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells. These progenitors proliferate and differentiate to establish a highly connected three-dimensional structure, involving a robust succession of gene expression programs strongly influenced by microRNAs. Although the mammalian heart has conventionally been viewed as a post-mitotic organ, cardiac cells have recently been shown to display some regenerative potential, which is nonetheless insufficient to regenerate heart lesions, in contrast with other vertebrates like the zebrafish. Both the proliferation of adult cardiac stem cells and the ability of cardiomyocytes to re-enter the cell cycle have been proposed to sustain these regenerative processes. Here we review the role of microRNAs in the control of stem cell and cardiomyocyte dependent cardiac regeneration processes, and discuss potential applications for the treatment of cardiac injury.