JunB is essential for mammalian placentation.
Lack of JunB, an immediate early gene product and member of the AP-1 transcription factor family causes embryonic lethality between E8.5 and E10.0. Although mutant embryos are severely retarded in growth and development, cellular proliferation is apparently not impaired. Retardation and embryonic death are caused by the inability of JunB-deficient embryos to establish proper vascular interactions with the maternal circulation due to multiple defects in extra-embryonic tissues. The onset of the phenotypic defects correlates well with high expression of junB in wild-type extra-embryonic tissues. In trophoblasts, the lack of JunB causes a deregulation of proliferin, matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) gene expression, resulting in a defective neovascularization of the decidua. As a result of downregulation of the VEGF-receptor 1 (flt-1), blood vessels in the yolk sac mesoderm appeared dilated. Mutant embryos which escape these initial defects finally die from a non-vascularized placental labyrinth. Injection of junB-/- embryonic stem (ES) cells into tetraploid wild-type blastocysts resulted in a partial rescue, in which the ES cell-derived fetuses were no longer growth retarded and displayed a normal placental labyrinth. Therefore, JunB appears to be involved in multiple signaling pathways regulating genes involved in the establishment of a proper feto-maternal circulatory system. (+info)
C/EBPalpha regulates generation of C/EBPbeta isoforms through activation of specific proteolytic cleavage.
C/EBPalpha and C/EBPbeta are intronless genes that can produce several N-terminally truncated isoforms through the process of alternative translation initiation at downstream AUG codons. C/EBPbeta has been reported to produce four isoforms: full-length 38-kDa C/EBPbeta, 35-kDa LAP (liver-enriched transcriptional activator protein), 21-kDa LIP (liver-enriched transcriptional inhibitory protein), and a 14-kDa isoform. In this report, we investigated the mechanisms by which C/EBPbeta isoforms are generated in the liver and in cultured cells. Using an in vitro translation system, we found that LIP can be generated by two mechanisms: alternative translation and a novel mechanism-specific proteolytic cleavage of full-length C/EBPbeta. Studies of mice in which the C/EBPalpha gene had been deleted (C/EBPalpha-/-) showed that the regulation of C/EBPbeta proteolysis is dependent on C/EBPalpha. The induction of C/EBPalpha in cultured cells leads to induced cleavage of C/EBPbeta to generate the LIP isoform. We characterized the cleavage activity in mouse liver extracts and found that the proteolytic cleavage activity is specific to prenatal and newborn livers, is sensitive to chymostatin, and is completely abolished in C/EBPalpha-/- animals. The lack of cleavage activity in the livers of C/EBPalpha-/- mice correlates with the decreased levels of LIP in the livers of these animals. Analysis of LIP production during liver regeneration showed that, in this system, the transient induction of LIP is dependent on the third AUG codon and most likely involves translational control. We propose that there are two mechanisms by which C/EBPbeta isoforms might be generated in the liver and in cultured cells: one that is determined by translation and a second that involves C/EBPalpha-dependent, specific proteolytic cleavage of full-length C/EBPbeta. The latter mechanism implicates C/EBPalpha in the regulation of posttranslational generation of the dominant negative C/EBPbeta isoform, LIP. (+info)
Postnatal growth failure, short life span, and early onset of cellular senescence and subsequent immortalization in mice lacking the xeroderma pigmentosum group G gene.
The xeroderma pigmentosum group G (XP-G) gene (XPG) encodes a structure-specific DNA endonuclease that functions in nucleotide excision repair (NER). XP-G patients show various symptoms, ranging from mild cutaneous abnormalities to severe dermatological impairments. In some cases, patients exhibit growth failure and life-shortening and neurological dysfunctions, which are characteristics of Cockayne syndrome (CS). The known XPG protein function as the 3' nuclease in NER, however, cannot explain the development of CS in certain XP-G patients. To gain an insight into the functions of the XPG protein, we have generated and examined mice lacking xpg (the mouse counterpart of the human XPG gene) alleles. The xpg-deficient mice exhibited postnatal growth failure and underwent premature death. Since XPA-deficient mice, which are totally defective in NER, do not show such symptoms, our data indicate that XPG performs an additional function(s) besides its role in NER. Our in vitro studies showed that primary embryonic fibroblasts isolated from the xpg-deficient mice underwent premature senescence and exhibited the early onset of immortalization and accumulation of p53. (+info)
Induction of the tumor suppressor protein p53 restricts cellular proliferation. Since actively growing cells require the ongoing synthesis of ribosomal RNA to sustain cellular biosynthesis, we studied the effect of p53 on ribosomal gene transcription by RNA polymerase I (Pol I). We have measured rDNA transcriptional activity in different cell lines which either lack or overexpress p53 and demonstrate that wild-type but not mutant p53 inhibits cellular pre-rRNA synthesis. Conversely, pre-rRNA levels are elevated both in cells which express mutant p53 and in fibroblasts from p53 knock-out mice. Transient transfection assays with a set of rDNA deletion mutants demonstrate that intergenic spacer sequences are dispensable and the minimal rDNA promoter is sufficient for p53-mediated repression of Pol I transcription. However, in a cell-free transcription system, recombinant p53 does not inhibit rDNA transcription, indicating that p53 does not directly interfere with the basal Pol I transcriptional machinery. Thus, repression of Pol I transcription by p53 may be a consequence of p53-induced growth arrest. (+info)
Prolonged eosinophil accumulation in allergic lung interstitium of ICAM-2 deficient mice results in extended hyperresponsiveness.
ICAM-2-deficient mice exhibit prolonged accumulation of eosinophils in lung interstitium concomitant with a delayed increase in eosinophil numbers in the airway lumen during the development of allergic lung inflammation. The ICAM-2-dependent increased and prolonged accumulation of eosinophils in lung interstitium results in prolonged, heightened airway hyperresponsiveness. These findings reveal an essential role for ICAM-2 in the development of the inflammatory and respiratory components of allergic lung disease. This phenotype is caused by the lack of ICAM-2 expression on non-hematopoietic cells. ICAM-2 deficiency on endothelial cells causes reduced eosinophil transmigration in vitro. ICAM-2 is not essential for lymphocyte homing or the development of leukocytes, with the exception of megakaryocyte progenitors, which are significantly reduced. (+info)
Phenotype of mice and macrophages deficient in both phagocyte oxidase and inducible nitric oxide synthase.
The two genetically established antimicrobial mechanisms of macrophages are production of reactive oxygen intermediates by phagocyte oxidase (phox) and reactive nitrogen intermediates by inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS2). Mice doubly deficient in both enzymes (gp91(phox-/-)/NOS2(-/-)) formed massive abscesses containing commensal organisms, mostly enteric bacteria, even when reared under specific pathogen-free conditions with antibiotics. Neither parental strain showed such infections. Thus, phox and NOS2 appear to compensate for each other's deficiency in providing resistance to indigenous bacteria, and no other pathway does so fully. Macrophages from gp91(phox-/-)/NOS2(-/-) mice could not kill virulent Listeria. Their killing of S. typhimurium, E. coli, and attenuated Listeria was markedly diminished but demonstrable, establishing the existence of a mechanism of macrophage antibacterial activity independent of phox and NOS2. (+info)
Enhanced Th1 activity and development of chronic enterocolitis in mice devoid of Stat3 in macrophages and neutrophils.
We have generated mice with a cell type-specific disruption of the Stat3 gene in macrophages and neutrophils. The mutant mice are highly susceptible to endotoxin shock with increased production of inflammatory cytokines such as TNF alpha, IL-1, IFN gamma, and IL-6. Endotoxin-induced production of inflammatory cytokines is augmented because the suppressive effects of IL-10 on inflammatory cytokine production from macrophages and neutrophils are completely abolished. The mice show a polarized immune response toward the Th1 type and develop chronic enterocolitis with age. Taken together, Stat3 plays a critical role in deactivation of macrophages and neutrophils mainly exerted by IL-10. (+info)
Thymic selection by a single MHC/peptide ligand: autoreactive T cells are low-affinity cells.
In H2-M- mice, the presence of a single peptide, CLIP, bound to MHC class II molecules generates a diverse repertoire of CD4+ cells. In these mice, typical self-peptides are not bound to class II molecules, with the result that a very high proportion of H2-M- CD4+ cells are responsive to the various peptides displayed on normal MHC-compatible APC. We show here, however, that such "self" reactivity is controlled by low-affinity CD4+ cells. These cells give spectacularly high proliferative responses but are virtually unreactive in certain other assays, e.g., skin graft rejection; responses to MHC alloantigens, by contrast, are intense in all assays. Possible explanations for why thymic selection directed to a single peptide curtails self specificity without affecting alloreactivity are discussed. (+info)