(1/6953) An efficient intrathecal delivery of small interfering RNA to the spinal cord and peripheral neurons.

We have developed a highly effective method for in vivo gene silencing in the spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) by a cationic lipid facilitated delivery of synthetic, small interfering RNA (siRNA). A siRNA to the delta opioid receptor (DOR), or a mismatch RNA, was mixed with the transfection reagent, i-Fect (vehicle), and delivered as repeated daily bolus doses (0.5 microg to 4 microg) via implanted intrathecal catheter to the lumbar spinal cord of rats. Twenty-four hours after the last injection, rats were tested for antinociception by the DOR selective agonist, [D-Ala(2), Glu(4)]deltorphin II (DELT), or the mu opioid receptor (MOR) selective agonist, [D-Ala(2), N-Me-Phe(4), Gly-ol(5)]enkephalin (DAMGO). Pretreatment with the siRNA, but not the mismatch RNA or vehicle alone, blocked DELT antinociception dose-dependently. The latter was concomitant with a reduction in the spinal immunoreactivity and receptor density of DOR, and in DOR transcripts in the lumbar DRG and spinal dorsal horn. Neither siRNA nor mismatch RNA pretreatment altered spinal immunoreactivity of MOR or antinociception by spinal DAMGO, and had no effect on the baseline thermal nociceptive threshold. The inhibition of function and expression of DOR by siRNA was reversed by 72 hr after the last RNA injection. The uptake of fluorescence-tagged siRNA was detected in both DRG and spinal cord. The low effective dose of siRNA/i-Fect complex reflects an efficient delivery of the siRNA to peripheral and spinal neurons, produced no behavioral signs of toxicity. This delivery method may be optimized for other gene targets.  (+info)

(2/6953) RNAi-based conditional gene knockdown in mice using a U6 promoter driven vector.

RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful tool widely used for studying gene function in a number of species. We have previously developed an approach that allows conditional expression of a polymerase III promoter based small hairpin RNA (shRNA) in mice using the Cre-LoxP system. This approach uses a U6 promoter, which is inactive due to the presence of a ploxPneo cassette in the promoter; this promoter can be activated after excision of the neo gene in transgenic mice that express a Cre recombinase transgene. As a proof of principle, we have previously knocked down over 95% of Fgfr2 transcripts in mouse germlines, leading to embryonic lethality, while restricting the knockdown to the progress zone of the limb results in live animals with malformation of digits of both the forelimbs and hindlimbs. We now provide a detailed protocol, including a simplified single-step cloning procedure for vector construction. This method provides a fast yet efficient way to decipher gene functions in vivo in a tissue specific manner.  (+info)

(3/6953) Protein-tyrosine kinase activity profiling in knock down zebrafish embryos.

BACKGROUND: Protein-tyrosine kinases (PTKs) regulate virtually all biological processes. PTKs phosphorylate substrates in a sequence-specific manner and relatively short peptide sequences determine selectivity. Here, we developed new technology to determine PTK activity profiles using peptide arrays. The zebrafish is an excellent model system to investigate signaling in the whole organism, given its wealth of genetic tools, including morpholino-mediated knock down technology. We used zebrafish embryo lysates to determine PTK activity profiles, thus providing the unique opportunity to directly compare the effect of protein knock downs on PTK activity profiles on the one hand and phenotypic changes on the other. METHODOLOGY: We used multiplex arrays of 144 distinct peptides, spotted on a porous substrate, allowing the sample to be pumped up and down, optimizing reaction kinetics. Kinase reactions were performed using complex zebrafish embryo lysates or purified kinases. Peptide phosphorylation was detected by fluorescent anti-phosphotyrosine antibody binding and the porous chips allowed semi-continuous recording of the signal. We used morpholinos to knock down protein expression in the zebrafish embryos and subsequently, we determined the effects on the PTK activity profiles. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Reproducible PTK activity profiles were derived from one-day-old zebrafiish embryos. Morpholino-mediated knock downs of the Src family kinases, Fyn and Yes, induced characteristic phenotypes and distinct changes in the PTK activity profiles. Interestingly, the peptide substrates that were less phosphorylated upon Fyn and Yes knock down were preferential substrates of purified Fyn and Yes. Previously, we demonstrated that Wnt11 knock down phenocopied Fyn/Yes knock down. Interestingly, Wnt11 knock down induced similar changes in the PTK activity profile as Fyn/Yes knock down. The control Nacre/Mitfa knock down did not affect the PTK activity profile significantly. Our results indicate that the novel peptide chip technology can be used to unravel kinase signaling pathways in vivo.  (+info)

(4/6953) The N-Myc down regulated Gene1 (NDRG1) Is a Rab4a effector involved in vesicular recycling of E-cadherin.

Cell to cell adhesion is mediated by adhesion molecules present on the cell surface. Downregulation of molecules that form the adhesion complex is a characteristic of metastatic cancer cells. Downregulation of the N-myc down regulated gene1 (NDRG1) increases prostate and breast metastasis. The exact function of NDRG1 is not known. Here by using live cell confocal microscopy and in vitro reconstitution, we report that NDRG1 is involved in recycling the adhesion molecule E-cadherin thereby stabilizing it. Evidence is provided that NDRG1 recruits on recycling endosomes in the Trans Golgi network by binding to phosphotidylinositol 4-phosphate and interacts with membrane bound Rab4aGTPase. NDRG1 specifically interacts with constitutively active Rab4aQ67L mutant protein and not with GDP-bound Rab4aS22N mutant proving NDRG1 as a novel Rab4a effector. Transferrin recycling experiments reveals NDRG1 colocalizes with transferrin during the recycling phase. NDRG1 alters the kinetics of transferrin recycling in cells. NDRG1 knockdown cells show a delay in recycling transferrin, conversely NDRG1 overexpressing cells reveal an increase in rate of transferrin recycling. This novel finding of NDRG1 as a recycling protein involved with recycling of E-cadherin will aid in understanding NDRG1 role as a metastasis suppressor protein.  (+info)

(5/6953) The H19 non-coding RNA is essential for human tumor growth.

BACKGROUND: Mutations and epigenetic aberrant signaling of growth factors pathways contribute to carcinogenesis. Recent studies reveal that non-coding RNAs are controllers of gene expression. H19 is an imprinted gene that demonstrates maternal monoallelic expression without a protein product; although its expression is shut off in most tissues postnatally, it is re-activated during adult tissue regeneration and tumorigenesis. Moreover, H19 is highly expressed in liver metastasis derived from a range of carcinomas. The objective of this study is to explore the role of H19 in carcinogenesis, and to determine its identification as an anti-tumor target. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPLE FINDINGS: By controlling oxygen pressure during tumor cell growth and H19 expression levels, we investigated the role of H19 expression in vitro and in vivo in hepatocellular (HCC) and bladder carcinoma. Hypoxia upregulates the level of H19 RNA. Ablations of tumorigenicity of HCC and bladder carcinomas in vivo are seen by H19 knockdown which also significantly abrogates anchorage-independent growth after hypoxia recovery, while ectopic H19 expression enhances tumorigenic potential of carcinoma cells in vivo. Knocking-down H19 message in hypoxic stress severely diminishes p57(kip2) induction. We identified a number of potential downstream targets of H19 RNA, including angiogenin and FGF18. CONCLUSIONS: H19 RNA harbors pro-tumorigenic properties, thus the H19 gene behaves as an oncogene and may serve as a potential new target for anti-tumor therapy.  (+info)

(6/6953) Basonuclin regulates a subset of ribosomal RNA genes in HaCaT cells.

Basonuclin (Bnc1), a cell-type-specific ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene regulator, is expressed mainly in keratinocytes of stratified epithelium and gametogenic cells of testis and ovary. Previously, basonuclin was shown in vitro to interact with rRNA gene (rDNA) promoter at three highly conserved sites. Basonuclin's high affinity binding site overlaps with the binding site of a dedicated and ubiquitous Pol I transcription regulator, UBF, suggesting that their binding might interfere with each other if they bind to the same promoter. Knocking-down basonuclin in mouse oocytes eliminated approximately one quarter of RNA polymerase I (Pol I) transcription foci, without affecting the BrU incorporation of the remaining ones, suggesting that basonuclin might regulate a subset of rDNA. Here we show, via chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), that basonuclin is associated with rDNA promoters in HaCaT cells, a spontaneously established human keratinocyte line. Immunoprecipitation data suggest that basonuclin is in a complex that also contains the subunits of Pol I (RPA194, RPA116), but not UBF. Knocking-down basonuclin in HaCaT cells partially impairs the association of RPA194 to rDNA promoter, but not that of UBF. Basonuclin-deficiency also reduces the amount of 47S pre-rRNA, but this effect can be seen only after cell-proliferation related rRNA synthesis has subsided at a higher cell density. DNA sequence of basonuclin-bound rDNA promoters shows single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that differ from those associated with UBF-bound promoters, suggesting that basonuclin and UBF interact with different subsets of promoters. In conclusion, our results demonstrate basonuclin's functional association with rDNA promoters and its interaction with Pol I in vivo. Our data also suggest that basonuclin-Pol I complex transcribes a subset of rDNA.  (+info)

(7/6953) Dynamic rerouting of the carbohydrate flux is key to counteracting oxidative stress.

BACKGROUND: Eukaryotic cells have evolved various response mechanisms to counteract the deleterious consequences of oxidative stress. Among these processes, metabolic alterations seem to play an important role. RESULTS: We recently discovered that yeast cells with reduced activity of the key glycolytic enzyme triosephosphate isomerase exhibit an increased resistance to the thiol-oxidizing reagent diamide. Here we show that this phenotype is conserved in Caenorhabditis elegans and that the underlying mechanism is based on a redirection of the metabolic flux from glycolysis to the pentose phosphate pathway, altering the redox equilibrium of the cytoplasmic NADP(H) pool. Remarkably, another key glycolytic enzyme, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), is known to be inactivated in response to various oxidant treatments, and we show that this provokes a similar redirection of the metabolic flux. CONCLUSION: The naturally occurring inactivation of GAPDH functions as a metabolic switch for rerouting the carbohydrate flux to counteract oxidative stress. As a consequence, altering the homoeostasis of cytoplasmic metabolites is a fundamental mechanism for balancing the redox state of eukaryotic cells under stress conditions.  (+info)

(8/6953) Dependence of regulatory volume decrease on transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) expression in human corneal epithelial cells.