Open AccessReview
Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Metabolic Disorders
Cells 2018, 7(6), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7060063 -
Abstract
Metabolic disorders have become among the most serious threats to human health, leading to severe chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as cardiovascular diseases. Interestingly, despite the fact that each of these diseases has
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Metabolic disorders have become among the most serious threats to human health, leading to severe chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as cardiovascular diseases. Interestingly, despite the fact that each of these diseases has different physiological and clinical symptoms, they appear to share certain pathological traits such as intracellular stress and inflammation induced by metabolic disturbance stemmed from over nutrition frequently aggravated by a modern, sedentary life style. These modern ways of living inundate cells and organs with saturating levels of sugar and fat, leading to glycotoxicity and lipotoxicity that induce intracellular stress signaling ranging from oxidative to ER stress response to cope with the metabolic insults (Mukherjee, et al., 2015). In this review, we discuss the roles played by cellular stress and its responses in shaping metabolic disorders. We have summarized here current mechanistic insights explaining the pathogenesis of these disorders. These are followed by a discussion of the latest therapies targeting the stress response pathways. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Role of the TRPM4 Channel in Cardiovascular Physiology and Pathophysiology
Cells 2018, 7(6), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7060062 -
Abstract
The transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily M member 4 (TRPM4) channel influences calcium homeostasis during many physiological activities such as insulin secretion, immune response, respiratory reaction, and cerebral vasoconstriction. This calcium-activated, monovalent, selective cation channel also plays a key role in cardiovascular
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The transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily M member 4 (TRPM4) channel influences calcium homeostasis during many physiological activities such as insulin secretion, immune response, respiratory reaction, and cerebral vasoconstriction. This calcium-activated, monovalent, selective cation channel also plays a key role in cardiovascular pathophysiology; for example, a mutation in the TRPM4 channel leads to cardiac conduction disease. Recently, it has been suggested that the TRPM4 channel is also involved in the development of cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury, which causes myocardial infarction. In the present review, we discuss the physiological function of the TRPM4 channel, and assess its role in cardiovascular pathophysiology. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Expression Profiling of the Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid (TRPV) Channels 1, 2, 3 and 4 in Mucosal Epithelium of Human Ulcerative Colitis
Cells 2018, 7(6), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7060061 -
Abstract
The Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) family of selective and non-selective ion channels is well represented throughout the mammalian gastrointestinal track. Several members of the Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid (TRPV) subfamily have been identified in contributing to modulation of mobility, secretion and sensitivity of
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The Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) family of selective and non-selective ion channels is well represented throughout the mammalian gastrointestinal track. Several members of the Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid (TRPV) subfamily have been identified in contributing to modulation of mobility, secretion and sensitivity of the human intestine. Previous studies have focused on the detection of TRPV mRNA levels in colon tissue of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) whereas little information exists regarding TRPV channel expression in the colonic epithelium. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression levels of TRPV1, TRPV2, TRPV3 and TRPV4 in mucosa epithelial cells of colonic biopsies from patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) in comparison to colonic resections from non-IBD patients (control group). Immunohistochemistry, using specific antibodies and quantitative analyses of TRPV-immunostained epithelial cells, was performed in semi-serial sections of the samples. TRPV1 expression was significantly decreased whereas TRPV4 expression was significantly increased in the colonic epithelium of UC patients compared to patients in the control group (p < 0.05). No significant difference for TRPV2 and TRPV3 expression levels between UC and control specimens was detected (p > 0.05). There was no correlation between TRPV channel expression and the clinical features of the disease (p > 0.05). Further investigation is needed to clarify the role of TRPV channels in human bowel inflammatory response. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Real-Time Imaging of Retinal Ganglion Cell Apoptosis
Cells 2018, 7(6), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7060060 -
Abstract
Monitoring real-time apoptosis in-vivo is an unmet need of neurodegeneration science, both in clinical and research settings. For patients, earlier diagnosis before the onset of symptoms provides a window of time in which to instigate treatment. For researchers, being able to objectively monitor
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Monitoring real-time apoptosis in-vivo is an unmet need of neurodegeneration science, both in clinical and research settings. For patients, earlier diagnosis before the onset of symptoms provides a window of time in which to instigate treatment. For researchers, being able to objectively monitor the rates of underlying degenerative processes at a cellular level provides a biomarker with which to test novel therapeutics. The DARC (Detection of Apoptosing Retinal Cells) project has developed a minimally invasive method using fluorescent annexin A5 to detect rates of apoptosis in retinal ganglion cells, the key pathological process in glaucoma. Numerous animal studies have used DARC to show efficacy of novel, pressure-independent treatment strategies in models of glaucoma and other conditions where retinal apoptosis is reported, including Alzheimer’s disease. This may forge exciting new links in the clinical science of treating both cognitive and visual decline. Human trials are now underway, successfully demonstrating the safety and efficacy of the technique to differentiate patients with progressive neurodegeneration from healthy individuals. We review the current perspectives on retinal ganglion cell apoptosis, the way in which this can be imaged, and the exciting advantages that these future methods hold in store. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Unconventional Secretion and Intercellular Transfer of Mutant Huntingtin
Cells 2018, 7(6), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7060059 -
Abstract
The mechanism of intercellular transmission of pathological agents in neurodegenerative diseases has received much recent attention. Huntington’s disease (HD) is caused by a monogenic mutation in the gene encoding Huntingtin (HTT). Mutant HTT (mHTT) harbors a CAG repeat extension which encodes an abnormally
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The mechanism of intercellular transmission of pathological agents in neurodegenerative diseases has received much recent attention. Huntington’s disease (HD) is caused by a monogenic mutation in the gene encoding Huntingtin (HTT). Mutant HTT (mHTT) harbors a CAG repeat extension which encodes an abnormally long polyglutamine (polyQ) repeat at HTT’s N-terminus. Neuronal pathology in HD is largely due to the toxic gain-of-function by mHTT and its proteolytic products, which forms both nuclear and cytoplasmic aggregates that perturb nuclear gene transcription, RNA splicing and transport as well cellular membrane dynamics. The neuropathological effects of mHTT have been conventionally thought to be cell-autonomous in nature. Recent findings have, however, indicated that mHTT could be secreted by neurons, or transmitted from one neuronal cell to another via different modes of unconventional secretion, as well as via tunneling nanotubes (TNTs). These modes of transmission allow the intercellular spread of mHTT and its aggregates, thus plausibly promoting neuropathology within proximal neuronal populations and between neurons that are connected within neural circuits. Here, the various possible modes for mHTT’s neuronal cell exit and intercellular transmission are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Notch and PARP Pathways’ Inhibition in Leukemic Cells
Cells 2018, 7(6), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7060058 -
Abstract
Differentiation of blood cells is one of the most complex processes in the body. It is regulated by the action of transcription factors in time and space which creates a specific signaling network. In the hematopoietic signaling system, Notch is one of the
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Differentiation of blood cells is one of the most complex processes in the body. It is regulated by the action of transcription factors in time and space which creates a specific signaling network. In the hematopoietic signaling system, Notch is one of the main regulators of lymphocyte development. The aim of this study was to get insight into the regulation of Notch signalization and the influence of poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP) activity on this process in three leukemia cell lines obtained from B and T cells. PARP1 is an enzyme involved in posttranslational protein modification and chromatin structure changes. B and T leukemia cells were treated with Notch and PARP inhibitors, alone or in combination, for a prolonged period. The cells did not show cell proliferation arrest or apoptosis. Analysis of gene and protein expression set involved in Notch and PARP pathways revealed increase in JAGGED1 expression after PARP1 inhibition in B cell lines and changes in Ikaros family members in both B and T cell lines after γ-secretase inhibition. These data indicate that Notch and PARP inhibition, although not inducing differentiation in leukemia cells, induce changes in signaling circuits and chromatin modelling factors. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperProtocol
A Caspase-3 Reporter for Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging of Single-Cell Apoptosis
Cells 2018, 7(6), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7060057 -
Abstract
Fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) is a powerful imaging modality used to gather fluorescent reporter data independent of intracellular reporter intensity or imaging depth. We applied this technique to image real-time activation of a reporter for the proteolytic enzyme, caspase-3, in response to apoptotic
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Fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) is a powerful imaging modality used to gather fluorescent reporter data independent of intracellular reporter intensity or imaging depth. We applied this technique to image real-time activation of a reporter for the proteolytic enzyme, caspase-3, in response to apoptotic cell death. This caspase-3 reporter activity provides valuable insight into cancer cell responsiveness to therapy and overall viability at a single-cell scale. Cleavage of a aspartate-glutamate-valine-aspartate (DEVD) linkage sequence alters Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) within the reporter, affecting its lifetime. Cellular apoptosis was quantified in multiple environments ranging from 2D flat and 3D spheroid cell culture systems to in vivo murine mammary tumor xenografts. We evaluated cell-by-cell apoptotic responses to multiple pharmacological and genetic methods of interest involved in cancer cell death. Within this article, we describe methods for measuring caspase-3 activation at single-cell resolution in various complex environments using FLIM. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Unfolding the Endoplasmic Reticulum of a Social Amoeba: Dictyostelium discoideum as a New Model for the Study of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress
Cells 2018, 7(6), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7060056 -
Abstract
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a membranous network with an intricate dynamic architecture necessary for various essential cellular processes. Nearly one third of the proteins trafficking through the secretory pathway are folded and matured in the ER. Additionally, it acts as calcium storage,
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The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a membranous network with an intricate dynamic architecture necessary for various essential cellular processes. Nearly one third of the proteins trafficking through the secretory pathway are folded and matured in the ER. Additionally, it acts as calcium storage, and it is a main source for lipid biosynthesis. The ER is highly connected with other organelles through regions of membrane apposition that allow organelle remodeling, as well as lipid and calcium traffic. Cells are under constant changes due to metabolic requirements and environmental conditions that challenge the ER network’s maintenance. The unfolded protein response (UPR) is a signaling pathway that restores homeostasis of this intracellular compartment upon ER stress conditions by reducing the load of proteins, and by increasing the processes of protein folding and degradation. Significant progress on the study of the mechanisms that restore ER homeostasis was achieved using model organisms such as yeast, Arabidopsis, and mammalian cells. In this review, we address the current knowledge on ER architecture and ER stress response in Dictyostelium discoideum. This social amoeba alternates between unicellular and multicellular phases and is recognized as a valuable biomedical model organism and an alternative to yeast, particularly for the presence of traits conserved in animal cells that were lost in fungi. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Nanopipettes as Monitoring Probes for the Single Living Cell: State of the Art and Future Directions in Molecular Biology
Cells 2018, 7(6), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7060055 -
Abstract
Examining the behavior of a single cell within its natural environment is valuable for understanding both the biological processes that control the function of cells and how injury or disease lead to pathological change of their function. Single-cell analysis can reveal information regarding
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Examining the behavior of a single cell within its natural environment is valuable for understanding both the biological processes that control the function of cells and how injury or disease lead to pathological change of their function. Single-cell analysis can reveal information regarding the causes of genetic changes, and it can contribute to studies on the molecular basis of cell transformation and proliferation. By contrast, whole tissue biopsies can only yield information on a statistical average of several processes occurring in a population of different cells. Electrowetting within a nanopipette provides a nanobiopsy platform for the extraction of cellular material from single living cells. Additionally, functionalized nanopipette sensing probes can differentiate analytes based on their size, shape or charge density, making the technology uniquely suited to sensing changes in single-cell dynamics. In this review, we highlight the potential of nanopipette technology as a non-destructive analytical tool to monitor single living cells, with particular attention to integration into applications in molecular biology. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Tensor Decomposition-Based Unsupervised Feature Extraction Can Identify the Universal Nature of Sequence-Nonspecific Off-Target Regulation of mRNA Mediated by MicroRNA Transfection
Cells 2018, 7(6), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7060054 -
Abstract
MicroRNA (miRNA) transfection is known to degrade target mRNAs and to decrease mRNA expression. In contrast to the notion that most of the gene expression alterations caused by miRNA transfection involve downregulation, they often involve both up- and downregulation; this phenomenon is thought
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MicroRNA (miRNA) transfection is known to degrade target mRNAs and to decrease mRNA expression. In contrast to the notion that most of the gene expression alterations caused by miRNA transfection involve downregulation, they often involve both up- and downregulation; this phenomenon is thought to be, at least partially, mediated by sequence-nonspecific off-target effects. In this study, I used tensor decomposition-based unsupervised feature extraction to identify genes whose expression is likely to be altered by miRNA transfection. These gene sets turned out to largely overlap with one another regardless of the type of miRNA or cell lines used in the experiments. These gene sets also overlap with the gene set associated with altered expression induced by a Dicer knockout. This result suggests that the off-target effect is at least as important as the canonical function of miRNAs that suppress translation. The off-target effect is also suggested to consist of competition for the protein machinery between transfected miRNAs and miRNAs in the cell. Because the identified genes are enriched in various biological terms, these genes are likely to play critical roles in diverse biological processes. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Nutrient-Sensing Hexosamine Biosynthetic Pathway as the Hub of Cancer Metabolic Rewiring
Cells 2018, 7(6), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7060053 -
Abstract
Alterations in glucose and glutamine utilizing pathways and in fatty acid metabolism are currently considered the most significant and prevalent metabolic changes observed in almost all types of tumors. Glucose, glutamine and fatty acids are the substrates for the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway (HBP).
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Alterations in glucose and glutamine utilizing pathways and in fatty acid metabolism are currently considered the most significant and prevalent metabolic changes observed in almost all types of tumors. Glucose, glutamine and fatty acids are the substrates for the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway (HBP). This metabolic pathway generates the “sensing molecule” UDP-N-Acetylglucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc). UDP-GlcNAc is the substrate for the enzymes involved in protein N- and O-glycosylation, two important post-translational modifications (PTMs) identified in several proteins localized in the extracellular space, on the cell membrane and in the cytoplasm, nucleus and mitochondria. Since protein glycosylation controls several key aspects of cell physiology, aberrant protein glycosylation has been associated with different human diseases, including cancer. Here we review recent evidence indicating the tight association between the HBP flux and cell metabolism, with particular emphasis on the post-transcriptional and transcriptional mechanisms regulated by the HBP that may cause the metabolic rewiring observed in cancer. We describe the implications of both protein O- and N-glycosylation in cancer cell metabolism and bioenergetics; focusing our attention on the effect of these PTMs on nutrient transport and on the transcriptional regulation and function of cancer-specific metabolic pathways. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Remarkable Progress with Small-Molecule Modulation of TRPC1/4/5 Channels: Implications for Understanding the Channels in Health and Disease
Cells 2018, 7(6), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7060052 -
Abstract
Proteins of the TRPC family can form many homo- and heterotetrameric cation channels permeable to Na+, K+ and Ca2+. In this review, we focus on channels formed by the isoforms TRPC1, TRPC4 and TRPC5. We review evidence for
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Proteins of the TRPC family can form many homo- and heterotetrameric cation channels permeable to Na+, K+ and Ca2+. In this review, we focus on channels formed by the isoforms TRPC1, TRPC4 and TRPC5. We review evidence for the formation of different TRPC1/4/5 tetramers, give an overview of recently developed small-molecule TRPC1/4/5 activators and inhibitors, highlight examples of biological roles of TRPC1/4/5 channels in different tissues and pathologies, and discuss how high-quality chemical probes of TRPC1/4/5 modulators can be used to understand the involvement of TRPC1/4/5 channels in physiological and pathophysiological processes. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Fluorescent, Bioluminescent, and Optogenetic Approaches to Study Excitable Physiology in the Single Cardiomyocyte
Cells 2018, 7(6), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7060051 -
Abstract
This review briefly summarizes the single cell application of classical chemical dyes used to visualize cardiomyocyte physiology and their undesirable toxicities which have the potential to confound experimental observations. We will discuss, in detail, the more recent iterative development of fluorescent and bioluminescent
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This review briefly summarizes the single cell application of classical chemical dyes used to visualize cardiomyocyte physiology and their undesirable toxicities which have the potential to confound experimental observations. We will discuss, in detail, the more recent iterative development of fluorescent and bioluminescent protein-based indicators and their emerging application to cardiomyocytes. We will discuss the integration of optical control strategies (optogenetics) to augment the standard imaging approach. This will be done in the context of potential applications, and barriers, of these technologies to disease modelling, drug toxicity, and drug discovery efforts at the single-cell scale. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
B Cells and B Cell Blasts Withstand Cryopreservation While Retaining Their Functionality for Producing Antibody
Cells 2018, 7(6), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7060050 -
Abstract
In individuals who have once developed humoral immunity to an infectious/foreign antigen, the antibodies present in their body can mediate instant protection when the antigen re-enters. Such antigen-specific antibodies can be readily detected in the serum. Long term humoral immunity is, however, also
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In individuals who have once developed humoral immunity to an infectious/foreign antigen, the antibodies present in their body can mediate instant protection when the antigen re-enters. Such antigen-specific antibodies can be readily detected in the serum. Long term humoral immunity is, however, also critically dependent on the ability of memory B cells to engage in a secondary antibody response upon re-exposure to the antigen. Antibody molecules in the body are short lived, having a half-life of weeks, while memory B cells have a life span of decades. Therefore, the presence of serum antibodies is not always a reliable indicator of B cell memory and comprehensive monitoring of humoral immunity requires that both serum antibodies and memory B cells be assessed. The prevailing view is that resting memory B cells and B cell blasts in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) cannot be cryopreserved without losing their antibody secreting function, and regulated high throughput immune monitoring of B cell immunity is therefore confined to—and largely limited by—the need to test freshly isolated PBMC. Using optimized protocols for freezing and thawing of PBMC, and four color ImmunoSpot® analysis for the simultaneous detection of all immunoglobulin classes/subclasses we show here that both resting memory B cells and B cell blasts retain their ability to secrete antibody after thawing, and thus demonstrate the feasibility of B cell immune monitoring using cryopreserved PBMC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Modulators of Proteostasis: RNAi Screen of Chromosome I in a Heat Stress Paradigm in C. elegans
Cells 2018, 7(6), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7060049 -
Abstract
Proteostasis is of vital importance for cellular function and it is challenged upon exposure to acute or chronic insults during neurodegeneration and aging. The proteostasis network is relevant for the maintenance of proteome integrity and mainly comprises molecular chaperones and two degradation pathways,
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Proteostasis is of vital importance for cellular function and it is challenged upon exposure to acute or chronic insults during neurodegeneration and aging. The proteostasis network is relevant for the maintenance of proteome integrity and mainly comprises molecular chaperones and two degradation pathways, namely, autophagy and the ubiquitin proteasome system. This network is characterized by an impressive functional interrelation and complexity, and occasionally novel factors are discovered that modulate proteostasis. Here, we present an RNAi screen in C. elegans, which aimed to identify modulators of proteostasis in a heat stress paradigm. The screen comprised genes that are located on chromosome I of the nematode and has identified 185 genetic modifiers, whose knockdown has enhanced the misfolding of a reporter protein upon temperature increase. Subsequently, we evaluated the effect of a distinct number of the identified candidates in an additional C. elegans model strain, which expresses the aggregation-prone PolyQ35::YFP protein. Moreover, we annotated the human orthologs of the identified proteins and analyzed their enrichment in functional clusters and, as appropriate, their association with human neuropathologies. The achieved data collection includes several factors that have already been functionally associated with the proteostasis network, which highlights the potential of this heat stress-based proteostasis screen in order to detect novel modulators of proteome integrity. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Technology and Cardiomyocyte Generation: Progress and Clinical Applications
Cells 2018, 7(6), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7060048 -
Abstract
Human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are reprogrammed cells that have hallmarks similar to embryonic stem cells including the capacity of self-renewal and differentiation into cardiac myocytes. The improvements in reprogramming and differentiating methods achieved in the past 10 years widened the use of
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Human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are reprogrammed cells that have hallmarks similar to embryonic stem cells including the capacity of self-renewal and differentiation into cardiac myocytes. The improvements in reprogramming and differentiating methods achieved in the past 10 years widened the use of hiPSCs, especially in cardiac research. hiPSC-derived cardiac myocytes (CMs) recapitulate phenotypic differences caused by genetic variations, making them attractive human disease models and useful tools for drug discovery and toxicology testing. In addition, hiPSCs can be used as sources of cells for cardiac regeneration in animal models. Here, we review the advances in the genetic and epigenetic control of cardiomyogenesis that underlies the significant improvement of the induced reprogramming of somatic cells to CMs; the methods used to improve scalability of throughput assays for functional screening and drug testing in vitro; the phenotypic characteristics of hiPSCs-derived CMs and their ability to rescue injured CMs through paracrine effects; we also cover the novel approaches in tissue engineering for hiPSC-derived cardiac tissue generation, and finally, their immunological features and the potential use in biomedical applications. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Experimental Methods for Studying Cellular Heme Signaling
Cells 2018, 7(6), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7060047 -
Abstract
The study of heme is important to our understanding of cellular bioenergetics, especially in cancer cells. The function of heme as a prosthetic group in proteins such as cytochromes is now well-documented. Less is known, however, about its role as a regulator of
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The study of heme is important to our understanding of cellular bioenergetics, especially in cancer cells. The function of heme as a prosthetic group in proteins such as cytochromes is now well-documented. Less is known, however, about its role as a regulator of metabolic and energetic pathways. This is due in part to some inherent difficulties in studying heme. Due to its slightly amphiphilic nature, heme is a “sticky” molecule which can easily bind non-specifically to proteins. In addition, heme tends to dimerize, oxidize, and aggregate in purely aqueous solutions; therefore, there are constraints on buffer composition and concentrations. Despite these difficulties, our knowledge of heme’s regulatory role continues to grow. This review sums up the latest methods used to study reversible heme binding. Heme-regulated proteins will also be reviewed, as well as a system for imaging the cellular localization of heme. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Mitochondrial Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorders Associated with Short-Chain Enoyl-CoA Hydratase (ECHS1) Deficiency
Cells 2018, 7(6), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7060046 -
Abstract
Mitochondrial fatty acid β-oxidation (FAO) is the primary pathway for fatty acid metabolism in humans, performing a key role in liver, heart and skeletal muscle energy homeostasis. FAO is particularly important during times of fasting when glucose supply is limited, providing energy for
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Mitochondrial fatty acid β-oxidation (FAO) is the primary pathway for fatty acid metabolism in humans, performing a key role in liver, heart and skeletal muscle energy homeostasis. FAO is particularly important during times of fasting when glucose supply is limited, providing energy for many organs and tissues, including the heart, liver and brain. Deficiencies in FAO can cause life-threatening metabolic disorders in early childhood that present with liver dysfunction, hypoglycemia, dilated hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and Reye-like Syndrome. Alternatively, FAO defects can also cause ‘milder’ adult-onset disease with exercise-induced myopathy and rhabdomyolysis. Short-chain enoyl-CoA hydratase (ECHS1) is a key FAO enzyme involved in the metabolism of fatty acyl-CoA esters. ECHS1 deficiency (ECHS1D) also causes human disease; however, the clinical manifestation is unlike most other FAO disorders. ECHS1D patients commonly present with Leigh syndrome, a lethal form of subacute necrotizing encephalomyelopathy traditionally associated with defects in oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). In this article, we review the clinical, biochemical and genetic features of the ESHS1D patients described to date, and discuss the significance of the secondary OXPHOS defects associated with ECHS1D and their contribution to overall disease pathogenesis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Direct Detection of T- and B-Memory Lymphocytes by ImmunoSpot® Assays Reveals HCMV Exposure that Serum Antibodies Fail to Identify
Cells 2018, 7(5), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7050045 -
Abstract
It is essential to identify donors who have not been infected with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) in order to avoid transmission of HCMV to recipients of blood transfusions or organ transplants. In the present study, we tested the reliability of seronegativity as an indicator
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It is essential to identify donors who have not been infected with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) in order to avoid transmission of HCMV to recipients of blood transfusions or organ transplants. In the present study, we tested the reliability of seronegativity as an indicator for the lack of HCMV exposure in healthy human blood donors. Eighty-two HCMV seronegative individuals were identified, and their peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were tested in ImmunoSpot® assays for the presence of HCMV-specific T- and B-memory lymphocytes. Eighty-two percent (67 of 82) of these HCMV seronegative individuals featured at least one memory cell that was lineage specific for HCMV, with the majority of these subjects possessing CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, as well as B cells, providing three independent lines of evidence for having developed immunity to HCMV. Only 15 of these 82 donors (18%) showed neither T- nor B-cell memory to HCMV, consistent with immunological naïveté to the virus. The data suggest that measurements of serum antibodies frequently fail to reveal HCMV exposure in humans, which may be better identified by direct detection of HCMV-specific memory lymphocytes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
OGT (O-GlcNAc Transferase) Selectively Modifies Multiple Residues Unique to Lamin A
Cells 2018, 7(5), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7050044 -
Abstract
The LMNA gene encodes lamins A and C with key roles in nuclear structure, signaling, gene regulation, and genome integrity. Mutations in LMNA cause over 12 diseases (‘laminopathies’). Lamins A and C are identical for their first 566 residues. However, they form separate
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The LMNA gene encodes lamins A and C with key roles in nuclear structure, signaling, gene regulation, and genome integrity. Mutations in LMNA cause over 12 diseases (‘laminopathies’). Lamins A and C are identical for their first 566 residues. However, they form separate filaments in vivo, with apparently distinct roles. We report that lamin A is β-O-linked N-acetylglucosamine-(O-GlcNAc)-modified in human hepatoma (Huh7) cells and in mouse liver. In vitro assays with purified O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) enzyme showed robust O-GlcNAcylation of recombinant mature lamin A tails (residues 385–646), with no detectable modification of lamin B1, lamin C, or ‘progerin’ (Δ50) tails. Using mass spectrometry, we identified 11 O-GlcNAc sites in a ‘sweet spot’ unique to lamin A, with up to seven sugars per peptide. Most sites were unpredicted by current algorithms. Double-mutant (S612A/T643A) lamin A tails were still robustly O-GlcNAc-modified at seven sites. By contrast, O-GlcNAcylation was undetectable on tails bearing deletion Δ50, which causes Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome, and greatly reduced by deletion Δ35. We conclude that residues deleted in progeria are required for substrate recognition and/or modification by OGT in vitro. Interestingly, deletion Δ35, which does not remove the majority of identified O-GlcNAc sites, does remove potential OGT-association motifs (lamin A residues 622–625 and 639–645) homologous to that in mouse Tet1. These biochemical results are significant because they identify a novel molecular pathway that may profoundly influence lamin A function. The hypothesis that lamin A is selectively regulated by OGT warrants future testing in vivo, along with two predictions: genetic variants may contribute to disease by perturbing OGT-dependent regulation, and nutrient or other stresses might cause OGT to misregulate wildtype lamin A. Full article
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