Cells from yeast to humans activate unconventional mRNA splicing when unfolded proteins accumulate in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) under ER stress conditions. The substrate of this splicing in mammalian cells is XBP1 mRNA, which encodes the unfolded protein response (UPR)-specific transcription factor XBP1. The C-terminal region of XBP1 is switched as a result of the splicing. Thus, unspliced and spliced mRNAs produce pXBP1(U) of 261 aa and pXBP1(S) of 376 aa, respectively, with the N-terminal region containing the DNA-binding domain shared. As the pXBP1(S)-specific C-terminal region functions as an activation domain, pXBP1(S) can activate transcription efficiently. We recently found that pXBP1(U) shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm, owing to the presence of a nuclear exclusion signal in the pXBP1(U)-specific C-terminal region, in marked contrast to the exclusively nuclear localization of pXBP1(S). pXBP1(U) can associate with pXBP1(S), and pXBP1(U)-pXBP1(S) complex is rapidly degraded by the proteasome. Two other transcription factors are activated in response to ER stress, namely ATF6 and ATF4. ATF6 is a UPR-specific transcription factor, whereas ATF4 is activated by not only ER stress but also various other stimuli. In this study, we show that pXBP1(U) targets the active form of ATF6 but not ATF4 for destruction by the proteasome via direct association. This enhanced degradation is mediated by the degradation domain located at the pXBP1(U)-specific C-terminal end. We conclude that pXBP1(U) functions as a negative regulator of the UPR-specific transcription factors ATF6 and pXBP1(S).
Recently, SJL/J mice have been used as an animal model in studies of dysferlinopathy, a spectrum of muscle diseases caused by defects in dysferlin protein. In this study we irradiated muscle fibers isolated from skeletal muscle of SJL/J mice with heavy-ion microbeam, and the ultrastructural changes were observed by electron microscopy. The plasma membrane of heavy-ion beam irradiated areas showed irregular protrusions and invaginations. Disruption of sarcomeric structures and the enhancement of autophagy were also observed. In addition, many vesicles of varying size and shape were seen to be accumulated just beneath the plasma membrane. This finding further supports the recent hypothesis that dysferlin functions as a membrane fusion protein in the wound healing system of plasma membrane, and that the defect in dysferlin causes insufficient membrane fusion resulting in accumulation of vesicles.
Purpose: To find a new molecule that affects p53-dependent radiosensitivity. Methods and Materials: A mouse sarcoma cell line, QRsP(p53+/+), was used. From this cell line, we established a radiosensitive clone and a radioresistant one. Colony assay, p53 gene transfer, a luciferase assay for p53 and p21, animal transplantation experiment, and DNA array analyses were performed. Results: Microarray showed marked reduction of a transcription factor, ATF5, both in vitro and in vivo for the radiosensitive clone. Interestingly, flow cytometric analysis demonstrated marked apoptosis for the radiosensitive clone by p53 cloned adenovirus infection. Luciferase reporter assay revealed that ATF5 suppressed the transactivational activity of p53 and p63. By ATF5 gene transfer, the radiosensitive clone regained resistance to both ionizing-radiation and Ad-p53 infection-induced cell death. Surprisingly, time-lapse cell migration observation revealed greater cell motility for ATF5-transfected radiosensitive clone. Conclusions: It seems likely that ATF5 is a potent repressor of p53 and elevated expression of ATF5 in a tumor may relate to enhanced malignant phenotypes, such as radioresistance or greater cell motility.
Hemangioblasts are common progenitors of hematopoietic and angiogenic cells, which have been demonstrated in the mouse to possess a unique cell surface marker, podocalyxin-like protein 1 (PCLP1) (Hara, T. et al., Immunity, 11: 567–578. 1999). In this study, we prepared a novel monoclonal antibody against human PCLP1 (hPCLP1) and attempted to isolate human hematopoietic progenitor cells from umbilical cord blood and peripheral blood using nano-sized bacterial magnetic particles (BacMPs) coupled with the anti-hPCLP1 antibody. Flow cytometric analysis demonstrated that the purity of separated hPCLP1-positive cells from peripheral blood was approximately 95% whereas peripheral blood mononuclear cells contained only 0.1% PCLP1+ cells. Umbilical cord blood was demonstrated to be a better source for PCLP1+ cells than peripheral blood. These results suggest that the separation of human PCLP1+ cells using BacMPs with anti-hPCLP1 were extremely effective and may be useful as a means to prepare human hematopoietic progenitor cells.
An important consideration in the design of multigene delivery technology is the availability of suitable vectors to introduce multiple genes stably and stoichiometrically into living cells and co-express these genes efficiently. As a promising system for this purpose, we developed multi-cDNA expression constructs harboring two to three tandemly situated cDNAs in a single plasmid. The utility of this vector system is amplified by combining it with the φC31 recombinase system which mediates site-specific integration of the genes into naturally occurring chromosomal sequences. By analyzing 55 φC31-mediated integration events with five different constructs, each carrying one, two or three tandem cDNA expression cassettes, we identified 39 pseudo attP sites in the HeLaS3 chromosomes. All these sites share a common motif containing an inverted repeat and showing a similarity to the native φC31 attP. The 36 integration events represented 27 different pseudo attP sites, suggesting the possibility of duplicate integration of the multigene expression plasmids into different genomic loci in a single cell. We demonstrated successive introduction of two different multi-cDNA expression plasmids into definite chromosomal pseudo attP sites, attaining integration of four cDNAs of known genomic constitution at precise genomic loci of a single HeLaS3 cell. The expression levels of these several transgenes were enhanced and made equally stable and robust by inserting the cHS4 insulator between genes.
Spermatogenesis in Drosophila commences with cell division of germline stem cells (GSCs) to produce male germline cells at the tip of the testis. However, molecular mechanisms inducing division of male GSCs have not been reported. Insulin-like peptides are known to play an essential role in stimulation of proliferation and growth of somatic cells, and it has recently been reported that such peptides promote cell division in female Drosophila GSCs. However, their effects on male germline cells have not been characterized. We found that inhibition of insulin production and insulin signaling mutations resulted in decreased numbers of germline cells in Drosophila testes. GSC numbers were maintained in young mutant males, with a gradual decrease in abundance of GSCs with age. Furthermore, in mutants, fewer germline cysts originated from GSCs and a lower frequency of GSC division was seen. Insulin signaling was found to promote cell cycle progression of the male GSCs at the G2/M phase. The cell volume of spermatocytes increases up to 25 times before initiation of meiosis in Drosophila. We examined whether insulin signaling extrinsically induces the greatest cell growth in Drosophila diploid cells and found that spermatocyte growth was affected in mutants. The results indicate that in addition to its function in somatic cells, insulin signaling plays an essential role in cell proliferation and growth during male Drosophila gametogenesis and that sperm production is regulated by hormonal control via insulin-like peptides.