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Showing papers in "FEBS Journal in 2011"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This minireview critically evaluates the role of MMPs in relation to cancer progression, and highlights the challenges, as well as future prospects, for the design, development and efficacy of M MPIs.
Abstract: Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) consist of a multigene family of zinc-dependent extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling endopeptidases implicated in pathological processes, such as carcinogenesis. In this regard, their activity plays a pivotal role in tumor growth and the multistep processes of invasion and metastasis, including proteolytic degradation of ECM, alteration of the cell-cell and cell-ECM interactions, migration and angiogenesis. The underlying premise of the current minireview is that MMPs are able to proteolytically process substrates in the extracellular milieu and, in so doing, promote tumor progression. However, certain members of the MMP family exert contradicting roles at different stages during cancer progression, depending among other factors on the tumor stage, tumor site, enzyme localization and substrate profile. MMPs are therefore amenable to therapeutic intervention by synthetic and natural inhibitors, providing perspectives for future studies. Multiple therapeutic agents, called matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors (MMPIs) have been developed to target MMPs, attempting to control their enzymatic activity. Even though clinical trials with these compounds do not show the expected results in most cases, the field of MMPIs is ongoing. This minireview critically evaluates the role of MMPs in relation to cancer progression, and highlights the challenges, as well as future prospects, for the design, development and efficacy of MMPIs.

1,373 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The present minireview details recent discoveries involving the epigenetics–miRNA regulatory circuit, suggesting possible biological insights into gene‐regulatory mechanisms that may underlie a variety of diseases.
Abstract: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) comprise species of short noncoding RNA that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally. Recent studies have demonstrated that epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation and histone modification, not only regulate the expression of protein-encoding genes, but also miRNAs, such as let-7a, miR-9, miR-34a, miR-124, miR-137, miR-148 and miR-203. Conversely, another subset of miRNAs controls the expression of important epigenetic regulators, including DNA methyltransferases, histone deacetylases and polycomb group genes. This complicated network of feedback between miRNAs and epigenetic pathways appears to form an epigenetics-miRNA regulatory circuit, and to organize the whole gene expression profile. When this regulatory circuit is disrupted, normal physiological functions are interfered with, contributing to various disease processes. The present minireview details recent discoveries involving the epigenetics-miRNA regulatory circuit, suggesting possible biological insights into gene-regulatory mechanisms that may underlie a variety of diseases.

575 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The potential involvement of CD44 variants (CD44v4-v7 and CD44v6-v9) in tumor progression has been confirmed for many tumor types in numerous clinical studies as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: It is becoming increasingly clear that signals generated in tumor microenvironments are crucial to tumor cell behavior, such as survival, progression and metastasis. The establishment of these malignant behaviors requires that tumor cells acquire novel adhesion and migration properties to detach from their original sites and to localize to distant organs. CD44, an adhesion/homing molecule, is a major receptor for the glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan, which is one of the major components of the tumor extracellular matrix. CD44, a multistructural and multifunctional molecule, detects changes in extracellular matrix components, and thus is well positioned to provide appropriate responses to changes in the microenvironment, i.e. engagement in cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions, cell trafficking, lymph node homing and the presentation of growth factors/cytokines/chemokines to co-ordinate signaling events that enable the cell responses that change in the tissue environment. The potential involvement of CD44 variants (CD44v), especially CD44v4-v7 and CD44v6-v9, in tumor progression has been confirmed for many tumor types in numerous clinical studies. The downregulation of the standard CD44 isoform (CD44s) in colon cancer is postulated to result in increased tumorigenicity. CD44v-specific functions could be caused by their higher binding affinity than CD44s for hyaluronan. Alternatively, CD44v-specific functions could be caused by differences in associating molecules, which may bind selectively to the CD44v exon. This minireview summarizes how the interaction between hyaluronan and CD44v can serve as a potential target for cancer therapy, in particular how silencing CD44v can target multiple metastatic tumors.

407 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Bcl‐2 and Bcl‐xL, the well‐characterized apoptosis guards, appear to be important factors in autophagy, inhibiting Beclin 1‐mediated autophagic activity by binding to Becl in addition to cooperating with Atg5 or Ca2+ to regulate bothAutophagy and apoptosis.
Abstract: Autophagy and apoptosis play important roles in the development, cellular homeostasis and, especially, oncogenesis of mammals. They may be triggered by common upstream signals, resulting in combined autophagy and apoptosis. In other instances, they may be mutually exclusive. Recent studies have suggested possible molecular mechanisms for crosstalk between autophagy and apoptosis. Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, the well-characterized apoptosis guards, appear to be important factors in autophagy, inhibiting Beclin 1-mediated autophagy by binding to Beclin 1. In addition, Beclin 1, Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL can cooperate with Atg5 or Ca(2+) to regulate both autophagy and apoptosis. Thus, Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL represent a molecular link between autophagy and apoptosis. Here, we discuss the possible roles of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL in apoptosis and autophagy, and the crosstalk between them.

369 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Knowledge about regulation of MMP activity is essential for understanding various physiological processes and pathogenesis of diseases, as well as for the development of new MMP targeting drugs.
Abstract: The activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) is regulated at several levels, including enzyme activation, inhibition, complex formation and compartmentalization. Regulation at the transcriptional level is also important, although this is not a subject of the present minireview. Most MMPs are secreted and have their function in the extracellular environment. This is also the case for the membrane-type MMPs (MT-MMPs). MMPs are also found inside cells, both in the nucleus, cytosol and organelles. The role of intracellular located MMPs is still poorly understood, although recent studies have unraveled some of their functions. The localization, activation and activity of MMPs are regulated by their interactions with other proteins, proteoglycan core proteins and/or their glycosaminoglycan chains, as well as other molecules. Complexes formed between MMPs and various molecules may also include interactions with noncatalytic sites. Such exosites are regions involved in substrate processing, localized outside the active site, and are potential binding sites of specific MMP inhibitors. Knowledge about regulation of MMP activity is essential for understanding various physiological processes and pathogenesis of diseases, as well as for the development of new MMP targeting drugs.

356 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is concluded that mitochondrial oxidative stress mediated through Drp1 and Mfn2 causes an imbalance in mitochondrial fission–fusion, resulting in mitochondrial fragmentation, which contributes to mitochondrial and cell dysfunction.
Abstract: Mitochondria are dynamic organelles that undergo continual fusion and fission to maintain their morphology and functions, but the mechanism involved is still not clear. Here, we investigated the effect of mitochondrial oxidative stress triggered by high-fluence low-power laser irradiation (HF-LPLI) on mitochondrial dynamics in human lung adenocarcinoma cells (ASTC-a-1) and African green monkey SV40-transformed kidney fibroblast cells (COS-7). Upon HF-LPLI-triggered oxidative stress, mitochondria displayed a fragmented structure, which was abolished by exposure to dehydroascorbic acid, a reactive oxygen species scavenger, indicating that oxidative stress can induce mitochondrial fragmentation. Further study revealed that HF-LPLI caused mitochondrial fragmentation by inhibiting fusion and enhancing fission. Mitochondrial translocation of the profission protein dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) was observed following HF-LPLI, demonstrating apoptosis-related activation of Drp1. Notably, overexpression of Drp1 increased mitochondrial fragmentation and promoted HF-LPLI-induced apoptosis through promoting cytochrome c release and caspase-9 activation, whereas overexpression of mitofusin 2 (Mfn2), a profusion protein, caused the opposite effects. Also, neither Drp1 overexpression nor Mfn2 overexpression affected mitochondrial reactive oxygen species generation, mitochondrial depolarization, or Bax activation. We conclude that mitochondrial oxidative stress mediated through Drp1 and Mfn2 causes an imbalance in mitochondrial fission–fusion, resulting in mitochondrial fragmentation, which contributes to mitochondrial and cell dysfunction.

337 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Oligomeric Aβ has been observed to bind more avidly to membranes and cause greater permeation than fibrillar Aβ, which has implications with respect to understanding the causes of Alzheimer’s disease.
Abstract: Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and its pathological hallmarks include the loss of neurones through cell death, as well as the accumulation of amyloid fibres in the form of extracellular neuritic plaques. Amyloid fibrils are composed of the amyloid-β peptide (Aβ), which is known to assemble to form ‘toxic’ oligomers that may be central to disease pathology. Aβ is produced by cleavage from the amyloid precursor protein within the transmembrane region, and the cleaved peptide may retain some membrane affinity. It has been shown that Aβ is capable of specifically binding to phospholipid membranes with a relatively high affinity, and that modulation of the composition of the membrane can alter both membrane–amyloid interactions and toxicity. Various biomimetic membrane models have been used (e.g. lipid vesicles in solution and tethered lipid bilayers) to examine the binding and interactions between Aβ and the membrane surfaces, as well as the resulting permeation. Oligomeric Aβ has been observed to bind more avidly to membranes and cause greater permeation than fibrillar Aβ. We review some of the recent advances in studying Aβ–membrane interactions and discuss their implications with respect to understanding the causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

329 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This review specifically discusses the tissue‐specific metabolism of natriuretic peptides and their degradation by neprilysin, insulin‐degrading enzyme, and natriUREtic peptide receptor‐C.
Abstract: Atrial natriuretic peptide, B-type natriuretic peptide and C-type natriuretic peptide constitute a family of three structurally related, but genetically distinct, signaling molecules that regulate the cardiovascular, skeletal, nervous, reproductive and other systems by activating transmembrane guanylyl cyclases and elevating intracellular cGMP concentrations. This review broadly discusses the general characteristics of natriuretic peptides and their cognate signaling receptors, and then specifically discusses the tissue-specific metabolism of natriuretic peptides and their degradation by neprilysin, insulin-degrading enzyme, and natriuretic peptide receptor-C.

309 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The current biochemical and physiological knowledge of MRP1–MRP9 in cancer chemotherapy and human genetic disease is summarized and the mutations in MRP2/ABCC2 leading to conjugated hyperbilirubinemia (Dubin–Johnson syndrome) and in MRp6/ ABCC6 leading to the connective tissue disorder Pseudoxanthoma elasticum are discussed.
Abstract: The ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are a superfamily of membrane proteins that are best known for their ability to transport a wide variety of exogenous and endogenous substances across membranes against a concentration gradient via ATP hydrolysis. There are seven subfamilies of human ABC transporters, one of the largest being the ‘C’ subfamily (gene symbol ABCC). Nine ABCC subfamily members, the so-called Multidrug Resistance Proteins (MRPs) 1-9, have been implicated in mediating multidrug resistance in tumor cells to varying degrees as the efflux extrude chemotherapeutic compounds (or their metabolites) from malignant cells. Some of the MRPs are also known to either influence drug disposition in normal tissues or modulate the elimination of drugs (or their metabolites) via hepatobiliary or renal excretory pathways. In addition, the cellular efflux of physiologically important organic anions such as leukotriene C4 and cAMP is mediated by one or more of the MRPs. Finally, mutations in several MRPs are associated with human genetic disorders. In this review article, the current biochemical and physiological knowledge of MRP1-MRP9 in cancer chemotherapy and human genetic disease is summarized. The mutations in MRP2/ABCC2 leading to conjugated hyperbilirubinemia (Dubin-Johnson syndrome) and in MRP6/ABCC6 leading to the connective tissue disorder Pseudoxanthoma elasticum are also discussed.

249 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This review summarizes the current understanding of PE, its intoxication pathway, and the ongoing efforts to convert this toxin into a treatment for cancer.
Abstract: Pseudomonas exotoxin A (PE) is a highly toxic protein secreted by the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The modular structure and corresponding mechanism of action of PE make it amenable to extensive modifications that can redirect its potent cytotoxicity from disease to a therapeutic function. In combination with a variety of artificial targeting elements, such as receptor ligands and antibody fragments, PE becomes a selective agent for the elimination of specific cell populations. This review summarizes our current understanding of PE, its intoxication pathway, and the ongoing efforts to convert this toxin into a treatment for cancer.

239 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The known details of TNFR1‐induced IKK activation are summed up, arising contradictions are addressed and possible explanations resolving the apparent discrepancies are discussed.
Abstract: The molecular mechanisms underlying activation of the IκB kinase (IKK) complex are presumably best understood in the context of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor-1 (TNFR1) signaling. In fact, it seems that most, if not all, proteins relevant for this process have been identified and extensive biochemical and genetic data are available for the role of these factors in TNF-induced IKK activation. There is evidence that protein modification–independent assembly of a core TNFR1 signaling complex containing TNFR1-associated death domain, receptor interacting kinase 1, TNF receptor-associated factor 2 and cellular inhibitor of apoptosis protein 1 and 2 starts a chain of nondegrading ubiquitination events that culminate in the recruitment and activation of IKK complex-stimulating kinases and the IKK complex itself. Here, we sum up the known details of TNFR1-induced IKK activation, address arising contradictions and discuss possible explanations resolving the apparent discrepancies.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Some known signaling factors and the kinetics that are involved in the receptor cross‐talk between TNFR1 and TNFR2 are the topic of this review.
Abstract: Extensive research has been performed to unravel the mechanistic signaling pathways mediated by tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFR1), by contrast there is limited knowledge on cellular signaling upon activation of TNFR2. Recently published data have revealed that these two receptors not only function independently, but also can influence each other via cross-talk between the different signaling pathways initiated by TNFR1 and TNFR2 stimulation. Furthermore, the complexity of this cross-talk is also dependent on the different signaling kinetics between TNFR1 and TNFR2, by which a delicate balance between cell survival and apoptosis can be maintained. Some known signaling factors and the kinetics that are involved in the receptor cross-talk between TNFR1 and TNFR2 are the topic of this review.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A study of 374 flavin‐dependent proteins analyzed with regard to their function, structure and distribution among 22 archaeal, eubacterial, protozoan and eukaryotic genomes appears that some species depend heavily on flavIn‐dependent oxidoreductases for degradation or biosynthesis, whereas others have minimized their flavoprotein arsenal.
Abstract: Riboflavin (vitamin B2) serves as the precursor for FMN and FAD in almost all organisms that utilize the redox-active isoalloxazine ring system as a coenzyme in enzymatic reactions. The role of flavin, however, is not limited to redox processes, as ∼ 10% of flavin-dependent enzymes catalyze nonredox reactions. Moreover, the flavin cofactor is also widely used as a signaling and sensing molecule in biological processes such as phototropism and nitrogen fixation. Here, we present a study of 374 flavin-dependent proteins analyzed with regard to their function, structure and distribution among 22 archaeal, eubacterial, protozoan and eukaryotic genomes. More than 90% of flavin-dependent enzymes are oxidoreductases, and the remaining enzymes are classified as transferases (4.3%), lyases (2.9%), isomerases (1.4%) and ligases (0.4%). The majority of enzymes utilize FAD (75%) rather than FMN (25%), and bind the cofactor noncovalently (90%). High-resolution structures are available for about half of the flavoproteins. FAD-containing proteins predominantly bind the cofactor in a Rossmann fold (∼ 50%), whereas FMN-containing proteins preferably adopt a (βα)8-(TIM)-barrel-like or flavodoxin-like fold. The number of genes encoding flavin-dependent proteins varies greatly in the genomes analyzed, and covers a range from ∼ 0.1% to 3.5% of the predicted genes. It appears that some species depend heavily on flavin-dependent oxidoreductases for degradation or biosynthesis, whereas others have minimized their flavoprotein arsenal. An understanding of ‘flavin-intensive’ lifestyles, such as in the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis, may result in valuable new intervention strategies that target either riboflavin biosynthesis or uptake.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Recent progress is reviewed aiming to characterize the CagA‐dependent and CAgA‐independent signalling capabilities of the T4SS, which include the induction of membrane dynamics, disruption of cell–cell junctions and actin‐cytoskeletal rearrangements, as well as pro‐inflammatory, cell cycle‐related and anti‐apoptotic transcriptional responses.
Abstract: Helicobacter pylori is a very successful human-specific bacterium worldwide. Infections of the stomach with this pathogen can induce pathologies, including chronic gastritis, peptic ulcers and even gastric cancer. Highly virulent H. pylori strains encode the cytotoxin-associated gene (cag)-pathogenicity island, which expresses a type IV secretion system (T4SS). This T4SS forms a syringe-like pilus structure for the injection of virulence factors such as the CagA effector protein into host target cells. This is achieved by a number of T4SS proteins, including CagI, CagL, CagY and CagA, which by itself binds the host cell integrin member β(1) followed by delivery of CagA across the host cell membrane. A role of CagA interaction with phosphatidylserine has also been shown to be important for the injection process. After delivery, CagA becomes phosphorylated by oncogenic tyrosine kinases and mimics a host cell factor for the activation or inactivation of some specific intracellular signalling pathways. We review recent progress aiming to characterize the CagA-dependent and CagA-independent signalling capabilities of the T4SS, which include the induction of membrane dynamics, disruption of cell-cell junctions and actin-cytoskeletal rearrangements, as well as pro-inflammatory, cell cycle-related and anti-apoptotic transcriptional responses. The contribution of these signalling pathways to pathogenesis during H. pylori infections is discussed.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Recent information on the biochemical, proteomics and immunological characterization of ENOA, particularly its ability to trigger a specific humoral and cellular immune response can pave the way for effective new therapeutic and diagnostic strategies to counteract the growth of the most aggressive human disease.
Abstract: α-enolase (ENOA) is a metabolic enzyme involved in the synthesis of pyruvate. It also acts as a plasminogen receptor and thus mediates activation of plasmin and extracellular matrix degradation. In tumor cells, EΝΟΑ is upregulated and supports anaerobic proliferation (Warburg effect), it is expressed at the cell surface, where it promotes cancer invasion, and is subjected to a specific array of post-translational modifications, namely acetylation, methylation and phosphorylation. Both ENOA overexpression and its post-translational modifications could be of diagnostic and prognostic value in cancer. This review will discuss recent information on the biochemical, proteomics and immunological characterization of ENOA, particularly its ability to trigger a specific humoral and cellular immune response. In our opinion, this information can pave the way for effective new therapeutic and diagnostic strategies to counteract the growth of the most aggressive human disease.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The present review discusses two of the major classes of mammalian antimicrobial peptides: the defensins and the cathelicidins and focuses on their structures, their main modes of action and their regulation.
Abstract: Antimicrobial peptides are present in all walks of life, from plants to animals, and they are considered to be endogenous antibiotics. In general, antimicrobial peptides are determinants of the composition of the microbiota and they function to fend off microbes and prevent infections. Antimicrobial peptides eliminate micro-organisms through disruption of their cell membranes. Their importance in human immunity, and in health as well as disease, has only recently been appreciated. The present review provides an introduction to the field of antimicrobial peptides in general and discusses two of the major classes of mammalian antimicrobial peptides: the defensins and the cathelicidins. The review focuses on their structures, their main modes of action and their regulation.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This minireview focuses on recent developments in the research of potassium transport in plants with a strong focus on voltage‐gated potassium channels.
Abstract: Potassium (K(+) ) is the most abundant inorganic cation in plant cells. Unlike animals, plants lack sodium/potassium exchangers. Instead, plant cells have developed unique transport systems for K(+) accumulation and release. An essential role in potassium uptake and efflux is played by potassium channels. Since the first molecular characterization of K(+) channels from Arabidopsis thaliana in 1992, a large number of studies on plant potassium channels have been conducted. Potassium channels are considered to be one of the best characterized class of membrane proteins in plants. Nevertheless, knowledge on plant potassium channels is still incomplete. This minireview focuses on recent developments in the research of potassium transport in plants with a strong focus on voltage-gated potassium channels.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The structures of inhibitor–enzyme complexes provide ideal platforms for the design of potent inhibitors which are useful in the development of prototypes and lead compounds with potential therapeutic applications.
Abstract: Snake venoms are cocktails of enzymes and non-enzymatic proteins used for both the immobilization and digestion of prey. The most common snake venom enzymes include acetylcholinesterases, l-amino acid oxidases, serine proteinases, metalloproteinases and phospholipases A(2) . Higher catalytic efficiency, thermal stability and resistance to proteolysis make these enzymes attractive models for biochemists, enzymologists and structural biologists. Here, we review the structures of these enzymes and describe their structure-based mechanisms of catalysis and inhibition. Some of the enzymes exist as protein complexes in the venom. Thus we also discuss the functional role of non-enzymatic subunits and the pharmacological effects of such protein complexes. The structures of inhibitor-enzyme complexes provide ideal platforms for the design of potent inhibitors which are useful in the development of prototypes and lead compounds with potential therapeutic applications.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinase 1A (DYRK1A) gene was found to play a significant role in developmental brain defects and in early onset neurodegeneration.
Abstract: Recent studies indicate that the dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinase 1A (DYRK1A) gene, which is located on chromosome 21q22.2 and is overexpressed in Down syndrome (DS), may play a significant role in developmental brain defects and in early onset neurodegeneration, neuronal loss and dementia in DS. The identification of hundreds of genes deregulated by DYRK1A overexpression and numerous cytosolic, cytoskeletal and nuclear proteins, including transcription factors, phosphorylated by DYRK1A, indicates that DYRK1A overexpression is central for the deregulation of multiple pathways in the developing and aging DS brain, with structural and functional alterations including mental retardation and dementia. DYRK1A overexpression in DS brains may contribute to early onset neurofibrillary degeneration directly through hyperphosphorylation of tau and indirectly through phosphorylation of alternative splicing factor, leading to an imbalance between 3R-tau and 4R-tau. The several-fold increases in the number of DYRK1A-positive and 3R-tau-positive neurofibrillary tangles in DS support this hypothesis. Moreover, the enhanced phosphorylation of amyloid precursor protein by overexpressed DYRK1A facilitates amyloidogenic amyloid precursor protein cleavage elevating Aβ40 and 42 levels, and leading to brain β-amyloidosis. Therefore, inhibiting DYRK1A activity in DS may serve to counteract the phenotypic effects of its overexpression and is a potential method of treatment of developmental defects and the prevention of age-associated neurodegeneration, including Alzheimer-type pathology.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The significance of the mitochondrial GST pool, particularly the mechanism and significance of dual targeting of GSTA4‐4 under in’vitro and in vivo conditions, is highlighted.
Abstract: Glutathione (GSH) conjugating enzymes, glutathione S-transferases (GSTs), are present in different subcellular compartments including cytosol, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, nucleus and plasma membrane. The regulation and function of GSTs have implications in cell growth, oxidative stress as well as disease progression and prevention. Of the several mitochondria localized forms, GSTK (GST kappa) is mitochondria-specific since it contains N-terminal canonical and cleavable mitochondria targeting signals. Other forms like GST alpha, mu and pi purified from mitochondria are similar to the cytosolic molecular forms or ‘echoproteins’. Altered GST expression has been implicated in hepatic, cardiac and neurological diseases. Mitochondria-specific GSTK has also been implicated in obesity, diabetes and related metabolic disorders. Studies have shown that silencing the GSTA4 (GST alpha) gene resulted in mitochondrial dysfunction, as was also seen in GSTA4 null mice, which could contribute to insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes. This review highlights the significance of the mitochondrial GST pool, particularly the mechanism and significance of dual targeting of GSTA4-4 under in vitro and in vivo conditions. GSTA4-4 is targeted in the mitochondria by activation of the internal cryptic signal present at the C-terminus of the protein by protein-kinase-dependent phosphorylation and cytosolic heat shock protein (Hsp70) chaperone. Mitochondrial GST pi, on the other hand, has been shown to have two uncleaved cryptic signals rich in positively charged amino acids at the N-terminal region. Both physiological and pathophysiological implications of GST translocation to mitochondria are discussed in the review.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The structure, function and regulation of the AMPK/SNF1/SnRK1 kinases are focused on and several fundamental issues still await to be clarified.
Abstract: All life forms on earth require a continuous input and monitoring of carbon and energy supplies. The AMP-activated kinase (AMPK)/sucrose nonfermenting1 (SNF1)/Snf1-related kinase1 (SnRK1) protein kinases are evolutionarily conserved metabolic sensors found in all eukaryotic organisms from simple unicellular fungi (yeast SNF1) to animals (AMPK) and plants (SnRK1). Activated by starvation and energy-depleting stress conditions, they enable energy homeostasis and survival by up-regulating energy-conserving and energy-producing catabolic processes, and by limiting energy-consuming anabolic metabolism. In addition, they control normal growth and development as well as metabolic homeostasis at the organismal level. As such, the AMPK/SNF1/SnRK1 kinases act in concert with other central signaling components to control carbohydrate uptake and metabolism, fatty acid and lipid biosynthesis and the storage of carbon energy reserves. Moreover, they have a tremendous impact on developmental processes that are triggered by environmental changes such as nutrient depletion or stress. Although intensive research by many groups has partly unveiled the factors that regulate AMPK/SNF1/SnRK1 kinase activity as well as the pathways and substrates they control, several fundamental issues still await to be clarified. In this review, we will highlight these issues and focus on the structure, function and regulation of the AMPK/SNF1/SnRK1 kinases.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The current knowledge about the initial self‐activation of DYRK1A by tyrosine autophosphorylation is reviewed and it is proposed that this mechanism presents an ancestral feature of the CMGC group of kinases.
Abstract: Dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinase 1A (DYRK1A) is a protein kinase with diverse functions in neuronal development and adult brain physiology. Higher than normal levels of DYRK1A are associated with the pathology of neurodegenerative diseases and have been implicated in some neurobiological alterations of Down syndrome, such as mental retardation. It is therefore important to understand the molecular mechanisms that control the activity of DYRK1A. Here we review the current knowledge about the initial self-activation of DYRK1A by tyrosine autophosphorylation and propose that this mechanism presents an ancestral feature of the CMGC group of kinases. However, tyrosine phosphorylation does not appear to regulate the enzymatic activity of DYRK1A. Control of DYRK1A may take place on the level of gene expression, interaction with regulatory proteins and regulated nuclear translocation. Finally, we compare the properties of small molecule inhibitors that target DYRK1A and evaluate their potential application and limitations. The β-carboline alkaloid harmine is currently the most selective and potent inhibitor of DYRK1A and has proven very useful in cellular assays.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this review, some recent data is highlighted on the transcriptional regulation of hyaluronan synthase (Has1–3) expression and on the post‐transcriptional control ofhyaluronans synthase activity, which, in close association with the supply of the UDP‐sugar substrates of hy aluronan synthesase, adjust the rate of hyAluronan synthesis.
Abstract: Hyaluronan, a ubiquitous high-molecular-mass glycinoglycan on cell surfaces and in extracellular matrices, has a number of specific signaling functions in cell–cell communication. Changes in its content, molecular mass and turnover rate are crucial for cell proliferation, migration and apoptosis, processes that control tissue remodeling during embryonic development, inflammation, injury and cancer. To maintain tissue homeostasis, the synthesis of hyaluronan must therefore be tightly controlled. In this review, we highlight some recent data on the transcriptional regulation of hyaluronan synthase (Has1–3) expression and on the post-transcriptional control of hyaluronan synthase activity, which, in close association with the supply of the UDP-sugar substrates of hyaluronan synthase, adjust the rate of hyaluronan synthesis.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: How MNB/DYRK1A fulfils several sequential roles in neuronal development and the molecular mechanisms possibly underlying these functions and some research directions that may help to clarify the mechanisms and functions in the developing brain are discussed.
Abstract: MNB/DYRK1A is a member of the dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinase (DYRK) family that has been strongly conserved across evolution. There are substantial data implicating MNB/DYRK1A in brain development and adult brain function, as well as in neurodegeneration and Down syndrome pathologies. Here we review our current understanding of the neurodevelopmental activity of MNB/DYRK1A. We discuss how MNB/DYRK1A fulfils several sequential roles in neuronal development and the molecular mechanisms possibly underlying these functions. We also summarize the evidence behind the hypotheses to explain how the imbalance in MNB/DYRK1A gene dosage might be implicated in the neurodevelopmental alterations associated with Down syndrome. Finally, we highlight some research directions that may help to clarify the mechanisms and functions of MNB/DYRK1A signalling in the developing brain.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In the present minireview, the current relevant findings on the role of miRNAs in cardiac diseases are updated and the target genes of these mi RNAs are summarized.
Abstract: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small noncoding RNAs that have gained status as important regulators of gene expression. Recent studies have demonstrated that miRNAs are aberrantly expressed in the cardiovascular system under some pathological conditions. Gain- and loss-of-function studies using in vitro and in vivo models have revealed distinct roles for specific miRNAs in cardiovascular development and physiological function. The implications of miRNAs in cardiovascular disease have recently been recognized, representing the most rapidly evolving research field. In the present minireview, the current relevant findings on the role of miRNAs in cardiac diseases are updated and the target genes of these miRNAs are summarized.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Glyphosate (N-phosphonomethyl-glycine) is the most widely used herbicide in the world: glyphosate-based formulations exhibit broad-spectrum herbicidal activity with minimal human and environmental toxicity as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: Glyphosate (N-phosphonomethyl-glycine) is the most widely used herbicide in the world: glyphosate-based formulations exhibit broad-spectrum herbicidal activity with minimal human and environmental toxicity. The extraordinary success of this simple, small molecule is mainly attributable to the high specificity of glyphosate for the plant enzyme enolpyruvyl shikimate-3-phosphate synthase in the shikimate pathway, leading to the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids. Starting in 1996, transgenic glyphosate-resistant plants were introduced, thus allowing application of the herbicide to the crop (post-emergence) to remove emerged weeds without crop damage. This review focuses on mechanisms of resistance to glyphosate as obtained through natural diversity, the gene-shuffling approach to molecular evolution, and a rational, structure-based approach to protein engineering. In addition, we offer a rationale for the means by which the modifications made have had their intended effect.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: DNA fragmentation and protein phosphorylation are discussed, focusing on caspase and serine/threonine protein phosphatase activation.
Abstract: DNA fragmentation is a hallmark of apoptosis that is induced by apoptotic stimuli in various cell types Apoptotic signal pathways, which eventually cause DNA fragmentation, are largely mediated by the family of cysteinyl aspartate-specific protease caspases Caspases mediate apoptotic signal transduction by cleavage of apoptosis-implicated proteins and the caspases themselves In the process of caspase activation, reversible protein phosphorylation plays an important role The activation of various proteins is regulated by phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, both upstream and downstream of caspase activation Many kinases/phosphatases are involved in the control of cell survival and death, including the mitogen-activated protein kinase signal transduction pathways Reversible protein phosphorylation is involved in the widespread regulation of cellular signal transduction and apoptotic processes Therefore, phosphatase/kinase inhibitors are commonly used as apoptosis inducers/inhibitors Whether protein phosphorylation induces apoptosis depends on many factors, such as the type of phosphorylated protein, the degree of activation and the influence of other proteins Phosphorylation signaling pathways are intricately interrelated; it was previously shown that either induction or inhibition of phosphorylation causes cell death Determination of the relationship between protein and phosphorylation helps to reveal how apoptosis is regulated Here we discuss DNA fragmentation and protein phosphorylation, focusing on caspase and serine/threonine protein phosphatase activation

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The current state of knowledge in this area of FA ω‐oxidation is described with special emphasis on Refsum disease and X‐linked adrenoleukodystrophy.
Abstract: Fatty acids (FAs) can be degraded via different mechanisms including α-, β- and ω-oxidation In humans, a range of different genetic diseases has been identified in which either mitochondrial FA β-oxidation, peroxisomal FA β-oxidation or FA α-oxidation is impaired Treatment options for most of these disorders are limited This has prompted us to study FA ω-oxidation as a rescue pathway for these disorders, based on the notion that if the ω-oxidation of specific FAs could be upregulated one could reduce the accumulation of these FAs and the subsequent detrimental effects in the different groups of disorders In this minireview, we describe our current state of knowledge in this area with special emphasis on Refsum disease and X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The research performed so far has shown that the structural diversity of oxylipins produced by fungi is high and that the enzymes involved inOxylipin metabolism are diverse and often exhibit unusual catalytic activities.
Abstract: In nearly every living organism, metabolites derived from lipid peroxidation, the so-called oxylipins, are involved in regulating developmental processes as well as environmental responses. Among these bioactive lipids, the mammalian and plant oxylipins are the best characterized, and much information about their physiological role and biosynthetic pathways has accumulated during recent years. Although the occurrence of oxylipins and enzymes involved in their biosynthesis has been studied for nearly three decades, knowledge about fungal oxylipins is still scarce as compared with the situation in plants and mammals. However, the research performed so far has shown that the structural diversity of oxylipins produced by fungi is high and, furthermore, that the enzymes involved in oxylipin metabolism are diverse and often exhibit unusual catalytic activities. The aim of this review is to present a synopsis of the oxylipins identified so far in fungi and the enzymes involved in their biosynthesis.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A significant body of evidence accumulated over the last decade reveals multiple and complex activities of this protein on the cell surface and in the extracellular matrix (ECM), including its role in the regulation of cell–ECM interactions and outside‐in signaling by several types of transmembrane receptors.
Abstract: Tissue transglutaminase (TG2) is a ubiquitously expressed member of the transglutaminase family of Ca(2+)-dependent crosslinking enzymes. Unlike other family members, TG2 is a multifunctional protein, which has several other well documented enzymatic and non-enzymatic functions. A significant body of evidence accumulated over the last decade reveals multiple and complex activities of this protein on the cell surface and in the extracellular matrix (ECM), including its role in the regulation of cell-ECM interactions and outside-in signaling by several types of transmembrane receptors. Moreover, recent findings indicate a dynamic regulation of the levels and functions of extracellular TG2 by several complementary mechanisms. This review summarizes and assesses recent research into the emerging functions and regulation of extracellular TG2.