Mechanisms of GDF-5 action during skeletal development.
Mutations in GDF-5, a member of the TGF-beta superfamily, result in the autosomal recessive syndromes brachypod (bp) in mice and Hunter-Thompson and Grebe-type chondrodysplasias in humans. These syndromes are all characterised by the shortening of the appendicular skeleton and loss or abnormal development of some joints. To investigate how GDF-5 controls skeletogenesis, we overexpressed GDF-5 during chick limb development using the retrovirus, RCASBP. This resulted in up to a 37.5% increase in length of the skeletal elements, which was predominantly due to an increase in the number of chondrocytes. By injecting virus at different stages of development, we show that GDF-5 can increase both the size of the early cartilage condensation and the later developing skeletal element. Using in vitro micromass cultures as a model system to study the early steps of chondrogenesis, we show that GDF-5 increases chondrogenesis in a dose-dependent manner. We did not detect changes in proliferation. However, cell suspension cultures showed that GDF-5 might act at these stages by increasing cell adhesion, a critical determinant of early chondrogenesis. In contrast, pulse labelling experiments of GDF-5-infected limbs showed that at later stages of skeletal development GDF-5 can increase proliferation of chondrocytes. Thus, here we show two mechanisms of how GDF-5 may control different stages of skeletogenesis. Finally, our data show that levels of GDF-5 expression/activity are important in controlling the size of skeletal elements and provides a possible explanation for the variation in the severity of skeletal defects resulting from mutations in GDF-5. (+info
Analysis of the stimulation-inhibition paradox exhibited by lymphocytes exposed to concanavalin A.
High doses of Concanavalin A (Con A), which normally inhibit T-lymphocyte stimulation as measured by increases in DNA synthesis, cause these lymphocytes to become committed to mitogenesis while also generating a dominant but reversible negative growth signal. The observed response to the stimulatory signal as measured by the rate of commitment to enter the S phase (i.e., the rate at which the stimulation becomes lectin independent) increases with lectin concentration even in the inhibitory range. The generation of this positive signal is prevented by treating the cells with colchicine. Cells that have become committed but are also simultaneously blocked from entering the S phase by the high doses of Con A can begin synthesizing DNA if the lectin is released by adding a competitive inhibitor of binding. Experiments done in agarose cultures in which lymphocytes are kept from contact with each other suggest that the reversible inhibitory signal is mediated by structures in the individual cells rather than as a result of agglutination. Continuously dividing cells of the lymphoid line P388 are also individually and reversibly inhibited by Con A. These findings are considered in terms of the relation of the inhibitory signal to the microtubular components of cell surface modulating assemblies made up of submembranous arrays of microtubules, microfilaments, and associated proteins. (+info
The pro-phenoloxidase of coleopteran insect, Tenebrio molitor, larvae was activated during cell clump/cell adhesion of insect cellular defense reactions.
To characterize the proteins involved in cell clump/cell adhesion of insect cellular defense reactions, we induced the cell clump/cell adhesion reaction in vitro with the hemolymph of larvae of the coleopteran insect, Tenebrio molitor. The 72 kDa protein was specifically enriched in the residues of cell clump/cell adhesion and was purified to homogeneity. A cDNA clone for the 72 kDa protein was isolated. We found that the 72 kDa protein was an activated phenoloxidase from Tenebrio pro-phenoloxidase. We suggest that activated phenoloxidase is involved in the cell clump/cell adhesion reaction as well as in the synthesis of melanin. (+info
Distinct functions of alpha3 and alpha(v) integrin receptors in neuronal migration and laminar organization of the cerebral cortex.
Changes in specific cell-cell recognition and adhesion interactions between neurons and radial glial cells regulate neuronal migration as well as the establishment of distinct layers in the developing cerebral cortex. Here, we show that alpha3beta1 integrin is necessary for neuron-glial recognition during neuronal migration and that alpha(v) integrins provide optimal levels of the basic neuron-glial adhesion needed to maintain neuronal migration on radial glial fibers. A gliophilic-to-neurophilic switch in the adhesive preference of developing cortical neurons occurs following the loss of alpha3beta1 integrin function. Furthermore, the targeted mutation of the alpha3 integrin gene results in abnormal layering of the cerebral cortex. These results suggest that alpha3beta1 and alpha(v) integrins regulate distinct aspects of neuronal migration and neuron-glial interactions during corticogenesis. (+info
Multiple developmental roles for CRAC, a cytosolic regulator of adenylyl cyclase.
Receptor-mediated activation of adenylyl cyclase (ACA) in Dictyostelium requires CRAC protein. Upon translocation to the membrane, this pleckstrin homology (PH) domain protein stimulates ACA and thereby mediates developmental aggregation. CRAC may also have roles later in development since CRAC-null cells can respond to chemotactic signals and participate in developmental aggregation when admixed with wild-type cells, but they do not complete development within such chimeras. To test whether the role of CRAC in postaggregative development is related to the activation of ACA, chemotactic aggregation was bypassed in CRAC-null cells by activating the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA). While such strains formed mounds, they did not complete fruiting body morphogenesis or form spores. Expression of CRAC in the prespore cells of these strains rescued sporulation and fruiting body formation. This later function of CRAC does not appear to require its PH domain since the C-terminal portion of the protein (CRAC-DeltaPH) can substitute for full-length CRAC in promoting spore cell formation and morphogenesis. No detectable ACA activation was observed in any of the CRAC-null strains rescued by PKA activation and expression of CRAC-DeltaPH. Finally, we found that the development of CRAC-null ACA-null double mutants could be rescued by the activation of PKA together with the expression of CRAC-DeltaPH. Thus, there appears to be a required function for CRAC in postaggregative development that is independent of its previously described function in the ACA activation pathway. (+info
Origin of the integrin-mediated signal transduction. Functional studies with cell cultures from the sponge Suberites domuncula.
Sponges (phylum Porifera) represent the phylogenetically oldest metazoan animals. Recently, from the marine sponge Geodia cydonium a first cDNA encoding a putative integrin receptor molecule was isolated. In the present study basic functional experiments have been conducted to test the hypothesis that in sponges integrin polypeptides also function as adhesion molecules and as outside-in signaling molecules. The sponge Suberites domuncula has been used for the experiments because from this sponge only has a cell culture been established. Here we report that aggregation factor (AF)-mediated cell-cell adhesion is blocked by the RGDS peptide which is known to interact with beta integrin. Both RGDS and AF were found to stimulate DNA synthesis within 24 h. The beta subunit of the integrin receptor was cloned from S. domuncula; the estimated 91-kDa molecule comprises the characteristic signatures. Evolutionary conservation of the beta integrin was assessed by comparison with corresponding beta integrin subunits from evolutionary higher metazoan taxa. Addition of RGDS or of AF to isolated cells of S. domuncula causes a rapid (within 1-2 min) increase in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration which is further augmented in the presence of Ca2+. Furthermore, incubation of the cells with RGDS or AF causes an activation of the GTP-binding protein Ras. In addition it is shown that after a prolonged incubation of the cells with RGDS and AF the expression of the genes coding for Ras and for calmodulin is upregulated. These results suggest that the integrin receptor functions in the sponge system not only as adhesion molecule but also as a molecule involved in outside-in signaling. (+info
E-cadherin mediates aggregation-dependent survival of prostate and mammary epithelial cells through the retinoblastoma cell cycle control pathway.
E-cadherin and the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor (Rb) are traditionally associated with diverse regulatory aspects of cell growth and differentiation. However, we have discovered new evidence, which suggests that these proteins are functionally linked in a physiologic pathway required for cell survival and programmed cell death. Pharmacological activation of protein kinase C (PKC) or inducible overexpression and activation of the alpha isozyme of PKC (PKCalpha) resulted in approximately 60% apoptosis of mammary and prostate epithelial cells. Interestingly, the surviving cells had undergone dramatic aggregation concurrent with increased E-cadherin expression. When aggregation was inhibited by the addition of an E-cadherin-blocking antibody, apoptosis increased synergistically. We hypothesized that survival of the aggregated population was associated with contact-inhibited growth and that apoptosis might result from aberrant growth regulatory signals in non-aggregated, cycling cells. This hypothesis was confirmed by experiments that demonstrated that E-cadherin-dependent aggregation resulted in Rb-mediated G1 arrest and survival. Immunoblot analysis and flow cytometry revealed that hypophosphorylated Rb was present in non-aggregated, S phase cultures concurrent with synergistic cell death. We have also determined that the loss of membrane E-cadherin and subsequent hypophosphorylation of Rb in luminal epithelial cells preceded apoptosis induced by castration. These findings provide compelling evidence that suggests that E-cadherin-mediated aggregation results in Rb activation and G1 arrest that is critical for survival of prostate and mammary epithelial cells. These data also indicate that Rb can initiate a fatal growth signal conflict in non-aggregated, cycling cells when the protein is hypophosphorylated as these epithelial cells enter S phase. (+info
Differential responses to CD40 ligation among Burkitt lymphoma lines that are uniformly responsive to Epstein-Barr virus latent membrane protein 1.
Ligation of CD40 on the surface of B cells induces multiple phenotypic effects, many of which are mimicked by the EBV latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) through its interaction with downstream components of the CD40 signaling pathway. Because the effects of LMP1 have been most closely studied in human Burkitt Lymphoma (BL) cell lines retaining a tumor biopsy-like phenotype in vitro, we have examined the response of a panel of such lines to CD40 ligation. Two distinct patterns of response were observed that were unrelated to the surface level of CD40 or to the EBV genome status of the lines. Following exposure to either CD40-specific mAbs or the soluble trimeric ligand (sCD40L), high responder (HR) lines showed rapid aggregation, activation of NF-kappa B, up-regulation of cell surface markers ICAM-1/CD54 and Fas/CD95, and growth inhibition. Aggregation was seen at lower doses than those required to elicit the other effects. By contrast, low responder (LR) lines showed no detectable response to CD40 mAbs, while their responses to sCD40L were limited to activation of NF-kappa B and up-regulation of CD95 only. However, in transfection experiments, LMP1 uniformly induced the full spectrum of phenotypic effects in both HR and LR lines. We conclude that some BL cell lines show a highly restricted response to CD40 ligation but remain fully susceptible to LMP1. (+info