Science.gov

Sample records for intercellular junction assembly

  1. Flow mechanotransduction regulates traction forces, intercellular forces, and adherens junctions

    PubMed Central

    Ting, Lucas H.; Jahn, Jessica R.; Jung, Joon I.; Shuman, Benjamin R.; Feghhi, Shirin; Han, Sangyoon J.; Rodriguez, Marita L.

    2012-01-01

    Endothelial cells respond to fluid shear stress through mechanotransduction responses that affect their cytoskeleton and cell-cell contacts. Here, endothelial cells were grown as monolayers on arrays of microposts and exposed to laminar or disturbed flow to examine the relationship among traction forces, intercellular forces, and cell-cell junctions. Cells under laminar flow had traction forces that were higher than those under static conditions, whereas cells under disturbed flow had lower traction forces. The response in adhesion junction assembly matched closely with changes in traction forces since adherens junctions were larger in size for laminar flow and smaller for disturbed flow. Treating the cells with calyculin-A to increase myosin phosphorylation and traction forces caused an increase in adherens junction size, whereas Y-27362 cause a decrease in their size. Since tugging forces across cell-cell junctions can promote junctional assembly, we developed a novel approach to measure intercellular forces and found that these forces were higher for laminar flow than for static or disturbed flow. The size of adherens junctions and tight junctions matched closely with intercellular forces for these flow conditions. These results indicate that laminar flow can increase cytoskeletal tension while disturbed flow decreases cytoskeletal tension. Consequently, we found that changes in cytoskeletal tension in response to shear flow conditions can affect intercellular tension, which in turn regulates the assembly of cell-cell junctions. PMID:22447948

  2. Terbinafine inhibits gap junctional intercellular communication.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ju Yeun; Yoon, Sei Mee; Choi, Eun Ju; Lee, Jinu

    2016-09-15

    Terbinafine is an antifungal agent that selectively inhibits fungal sterol synthesis by blocking squalene epoxidase. We evaluated the effect of terbinafine on gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC). Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) and I-YFP GJIC assays revealed that terbinafine inhibits GJIC in a reversible and dose-dependent manner in FRT-Cx43 and LN215 cells. Treatment with terbinafine did not affect Cx43 phosphorylation status or intracellular Ca(2+) concentration, well-known action mechanisms of various GJIC blockers. While a structurally related chemical, naftifine, attenuated GJIC, epigallocatechin gallate, another potent squalene epoxidase inhibitor with a different structure, did not. These results suggest that terbinafine inhibits GJIC with a so far unknown mechanism of action. PMID:27487578

  3. Altered patterns of cardiac intercellular junction distribution in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

    PubMed Central

    Sepp, R.; Severs, N. J.; Gourdie, R. G.

    1996-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To examine the distribution pattern of intercellular junctions (the mechanically coupling desmosomes and the electrically coupling gap junctions) in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) hearts showing myofibre disarray. DESIGN: Samples from six necropsied hearts were studied, representing the interventricular septum and the free walls of the left and right ventricles. Immunohistochemical labelling of desmoplakin was used as a marker for desmosomes, and of connexin43 as a marker for gap junctions, in single and double stainings. The slides were examined by confocal laser scanning microscopy. RESULTS: Marked disorganisation of intercalated discs was observed in areas featuring myofibre disarray. Besides overall derangement, localised abnormalities in desmosome organisation were evident, which included: (1) the formation of abnormally enlarged megadiscs; (2) the presence of intersecting disc structures; and (3) aberrant side to side desmosomal connections. Gap junctional abnormalities included: (1) random distribution of gap junctions over the surface of myocytes, rather than localisation to intercalated discs; (2) abundant side to side gap junction connections between adjacent myocytes; and (3) formation of abnormally shaped gap junctions. Circles of myocytes continuously interconnected by gap junctions were also observed. Regions of the diseased hearts lacking myofibre disarray, and control hearts of normal patients and patients with other cardiac diseases, did not show these alterations. CONCLUSIONS: The disorganisation of the intercellular junctions associated with myofibre disarray in HCM may play an important role in the pathophysiological manifestations of the disease. The remodelling of gap junction distribution may underlie the formation of an arrhythmogenic substrate, thereby contributing to the generation and maintenance of cardiac arrhythmias associated with HCM. Images PMID:8944586

  4. Treponema pallidum Invades Intercellular Junctions of Endothelial Cell Monolayers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, D. Denee; Navab, Mahamad; Haake, David A.; Fogelman, Alan M.; Miller, James N.; Lovett, Michael A.

    1988-05-01

    The pathogenesis of syphilis reflects invasive properties of Treponema pallidum, but the actual mode of tissue invasion is unknown. We have found two in vitro parallels of treponemal invasiveness. We tested whether motile T. pallidum could invade host cells by determining the fate of radiolabeled motile organisms added to a HeLa cell monolayer; 26% of treponemes associated with the monolayer in a trypsin-resistant niche, presumably between the monolayer and the surface to which it adhered, but did not attain intracellularity. Attachment of T. pallidum to cultured human and rabbit aortic and human umbilical vein endothelial cells was 2-fold greater than to HeLa cells. We added T. pallidum to aortic endothelial cells grown on membrane filters under conditions in which tight intercellular junctions had formed. T. pallidum was able to pass through the endothelial cell monolayers without altering tight junctions, as measured by electrical resistance. In contrast, heat-killed T. pallidum and the nonpathogen Treponema phagedenis biotype Reiter failed to penetrate the monolayer. Transmission electron micrographs of sections of the monolayer showed T. pallidum in intercellular junctions. Our in vitro observations suggest that these highly motile spirochetes may leave the circulation by invading the junctions between endothelial cells.

  5. Reduction in gap junction intercellular communication promotes glioma migration.

    PubMed

    Aftab, Qurratulain; Sin, Wun-Chey; Naus, Christian C

    2015-05-10

    Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), an aggressive form of adult brain tumor, is difficult to treat due to its invasive nature. One of the molecular changes observed in GBM is a decrease in the expression of the gap junction protein Connexin43 (Cx43); however, how a reduction in Cx43 expression contributes to glioma malignancy is still unclear. In this study we examine whether a decrease in Cx43 protein expression has a role in enhanced cell migration, a key feature associated with increased tumorigenicity. We used a 3D spheroid migration model that mimics the in vivo architecture of tumor cells to quantify migration changes. We found that down-regulation of Cx43 expression in the U118 human glioma cell line increased migration by reducing cell-ECM adhesion, and changed the migration pattern from collective to single cell. In addition gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) played a more prominent role in mediating migration than the cytoplasmic interactions of the C-terminal tail. Live imaging revealed that reducing Cx43 expression enhanced relative migration by increasing the cell speed and affecting the direction of migration. Taken together our findings reveal an unexplored role of GJIC in facilitating collective migration. PMID:25926558

  6. Benzalkonium Chloride Suppresses Rabbit Corneal Endothelium Intercellular Gap Junction Communication

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhenhao; Huang, Yue; Xie, Hui; Pan, Juxin; Liu, Fanfei; Li, Xuezhi; Chen, Wensheng; Hu, Jiaoyue; Liu, Zuguo

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) plays a critical role in the maintenance of corneal endothelium homeostasis. We determined if benzalkonium chloride (BAK) alters GJIC activity in the rabbit corneal endothelium since it is commonly used as a drug preservative in ocular eyedrop preparations even though it can have cytotoxic effects. Methods Thirty-six adult New Zealand albino rabbits were randomly divided into three groups. BAK at 0.01%, 0.05%, and 0.1% was applied twice daily to one eye of each of the rabbits in one of the three groups for seven days. The contralateral untreated eyes were used as controls. Corneal endothelial morphological features were observed by in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM). Immunofluorescent staining resolved changes in gap junction integrity and localization. Western blot analysis and RT-PCR evaluated changes in levels of connexin43 (Cx43) and tight junction zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) gene and protein expression, respectively. Cx43 and ZO-1 physical interaction was detected by immunoprecipitation (IP). Primary rabbit corneal endothelial cells were cultured in Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM) containing BAK for 24 hours. The scrape-loading dye transfer technique (SLDT) was used to assess GJIC activity. Results Topical administration of BAK (0.05%, 0.1%) dose dependently disrupted corneal endothelial cell morphology, altered Cx43 and ZO-1 distribution and reduced Cx43 expression. BAK also markedly induced increases in Cx43 phosphorylation status concomitant with decreases in the Cx43-ZO-1 protein-protein interaction. These changes were associated with marked declines in GJIC activity. Conclusions The dose dependent declines in rabbit corneal endothelial GJIC activity induced by BAK are associated with less Cx43-ZO-1 interaction possibly arising from increases in Cx43 phosphorylation and declines in its protein expression. These novel changes provide additional evidence that BAK containing eyedrop preparations

  7. Spatial organization and signal transduction at intercellular junctions

    PubMed Central

    Manz, Boryana N.; Groves, Jay T.

    2013-01-01

    The coordinated organization of cell membrane receptors into diverse micrometre-scale spatial patterns is emerging as an important theme of intercellular signalling, as exemplified by immunological synapses. Key characteristics of these patterns are that they transcend direct protein–protein interactions, emerge transiently and modulate signal transduction. Such cooperativity over multiple length scales presents new and intriguing challenges for the study and ultimate understanding of cellular signalling. As a result, new experimental strategies have emerged to manipulate the spatial organization of molecules inside living cells. The resulting spatial mutations yield insights into the interweaving of the spatial, mechanical and chemical aspects of intercellular signalling. PMID:20354536

  8. Effect of sound on gap-junction-based intercellular signaling: Calcium waves under acoustic irradiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deymier, P. A.; Swinteck, N.; Runge, K.; Deymier-Black, A.; Hoying, J. B.

    2015-11-01

    We present a previously unrecognized effect of sound waves on gap-junction-based intercellular signaling such as in biological tissues composed of endothelial cells. We suggest that sound irradiation may, through temporal and spatial modulation of cell-to-cell conductance, create intercellular calcium waves with unidirectional signal propagation associated with nonconventional topologies. Nonreciprocity in calcium wave propagation induced by sound wave irradiation is demonstrated in the case of a linear and a nonlinear reaction-diffusion model. This demonstration should be applicable to other types of gap-junction-based intercellular signals, and it is thought that it should be of help in interpreting a broad range of biological phenomena associated with the beneficial therapeutic effects of sound irradiation and possibly the harmful effects of sound waves on health.

  9. Impact of Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication on MLO-Y4 Sclerostin and Soluble Factor Expression.

    PubMed

    York, S L; Sethu, P; Saunders, M M

    2016-04-01

    Bone remodeling is a continual process in which old bone is resorbed by osteoclasts and new bone is formed by osteoblasts, providing a mechanism for bones' ability to adapt to changes in its mechanical environment. While the role of osteoblasts and osteoclasts in bone remodeling is well understood, the cellular regulation of bone remodeling is unclear. One theory is that osteocytes, found within bone, play an important role in controlling the bone remodeling response. Osteocytes possess gap junctions, narrow channels that extend between nearby cells and allow communication between cells via the transfer of small molecules and ions. This work investigated the potential role of gap junctional intercellular communication in bone remodeling by exposing osteocyte-like MLO-Y4 cells to mechanical strains and quantifying the expression of soluble factors, including sclerostin, a protein closely associated with bone remodeling. The soluble factors and sclerostin expression were further examined after inhibiting gap junctional intercellular communication to study the impact of the communication. At supraphysiologic strains, the inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication led to increases in sclerostin expression relative to cells in which communication was present, indicating that the communication may play a significant role in regulating bone remodeling. PMID:26154422

  10. Intercellular Diffusion of a Fluorescent Sucrose Analog via the Septal Junctions in a Filamentous Cyanobacterium

    PubMed Central

    Nürnberg, Dennis J.; Mariscal, Vicente; Bornikoel, Jan; Nieves-Morión, Mercedes; Krauß, Norbert; Herrero, Antonia

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Many filamentous cyanobacteria produce specialized nitrogen-fixing cells called heterocysts, which are located at semiregular intervals along the filament with about 10 to 20 photosynthetic vegetative cells in between. Nitrogen fixation in these complex multicellular bacteria depends on metabolite exchange between the two cell types, with the heterocysts supplying combined-nitrogen compounds but dependent on the vegetative cells for photosynthetically produced carbon compounds. Here, we used a fluorescent tracer to probe intercellular metabolite exchange in the filamentous heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120. We show that esculin, a fluorescent sucrose analog, is incorporated by a sucrose import system into the cytoplasm of Anabaena cells. The cytoplasmic esculin is rapidly and reversibly exchanged across vegetative-vegetative and vegetative-heterocyst cell junctions. Our measurements reveal the kinetics of esculin exchange and also show that intercellular metabolic communication is lost in a significant fraction of older heterocysts. SepJ, FraC, and FraD are proteins located at the intercellular septa and are suggested to form structures analogous to gap junctions. We show that a ΔsepJ ΔfraC ΔfraD triple mutant shows an altered septum structure with thinner septa but a denser peptidoglycan layer. Intercellular diffusion of esculin and fluorescein derivatives is impaired in this mutant, which also shows a greatly reduced frequency of nanopores in the intercellular septal cross walls. These findings suggest that FraC, FraD, and SepJ are important for the formation of junctional structures that constitute the major pathway for feeding heterocysts with sucrose. PMID:25784700

  11. Chlorpromazine reduces the intercellular communication via gap junctions in mammalian cells

    SciTech Connect

    Orellana, Juan A.; Palacios-Prado, Nicolas; Saez, Juan C. . E-mail: jsaez@bio.puc.cl

    2006-06-15

    In the work presented herein, we evaluated the effect of chlorpromazine (CPZ) on gap junctions expressed by two mammalian cell types; Gn-11 cells (cell line derived from mouse LHRH neurons) and rat cortical astrocytes maintained in culture. We also attempted to elucidate possible mechanisms of action of CPZ effects on gap junctions. CPZ, in concentrations comparable with doses used to treat human diseases, was found to reduce the intercellular communication via gap junctions as evaluated with measurements of dye coupling (Lucifer yellow). In both cell types, maximal inhibition of functional gap junctions was reached within about 1 h of treatment with CPZ, an recovery was almost complete at about 5 h after CPZ wash out. In both cell types, CPZ treatment increased the phosphorylation state of connexin43 (Cx43), a gap junction protein subunit. Moreover, CPZ reduced the reactivity of Cx43 (immunofluorescence) at cell interfaces and concomitantly increased its reactivity in intracellular vesicles, suggesting an increased retrieval from and/or reduced insertion into the plasma membrane. CPZ also caused cellular retraction reducing cell-cell contacts in a reversible manner. The reduction in contact area might destabilize existing gap junctions and abrogate formation of new ones. Moreover, the CPZ-induced reduction in gap junctional communication may depend on the connexins (Cxs) forming the junctions. If Cx43 were the only connexin expressed, MAPK-dependent phosphorylation of this connexin would induce closure of gap junction channels.

  12. GLIAL ANKYRINS FACILITATE PARANODAL AXOGLIAL JUNCTION ASSEMBLY

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Kae-Jiun; Zollinger, Daniel R.; Susuki, Keiichiro; Sherman, Diane L.; Makara, Michael A.; Brophy, Peter J.; Cooper, Edward C.; Bennett, Vann; Mohler, Peter J.; Rasband, Matthew N.

    2014-01-01

    Neuron-glia interactions establish functional membrane domains along myelinated axons. These include nodes of Ranvier, paranodal axoglial junctions, and juxtaparanodes. Paranodal junctions are the largest vertebrate junctional adhesion complex, are essential for rapid saltatory conduction, and contribute to assembly and maintenance of nodes. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying paranodal junction assembly are poorly understood. Ankyrins are cytoskeletal scaffolds traditionally associated with Na+ channel clustering in neurons and important for membrane domain establishment and maintenance in many cell types. Here, we show that ankyrinB, expressed by Schwann cells, and ankyrinG, expressed by oligodendrocytes, are highly enriched at the glial side of paranodal junctions where they interact with the essential glial junctional component neurofascin 155. Conditional knockout of ankyrins in oligodendrocytes disrupts paranodal junction assembly and delays nerve conduction during early development in mice. Thus, glial ankyrins function as major scaffolds that facilitate early and efficient paranodal junction assembly in the developing central nervous system. PMID:25362471

  13. Glial ankyrins facilitate paranodal axoglial junction assembly.

    PubMed

    Chang, Kae-Jiun; Zollinger, Daniel R; Susuki, Keiichiro; Sherman, Diane L; Makara, Michael A; Brophy, Peter J; Cooper, Edward C; Bennett, Vann; Mohler, Peter J; Rasband, Matthew N

    2014-12-01

    Neuron-glia interactions establish functional membrane domains along myelinated axons. These include nodes of Ranvier, paranodal axoglial junctions and juxtaparanodes. Paranodal junctions are the largest vertebrate junctional adhesion complex, and they are essential for rapid saltatory conduction and contribute to assembly and maintenance of nodes. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying paranodal junction assembly are poorly understood. Ankyrins are cytoskeletal scaffolds traditionally associated with Na(+) channel clustering in neurons and are important for membrane domain establishment and maintenance in many cell types. Here we show that ankyrin-B, expressed by Schwann cells, and ankyrin-G, expressed by oligodendrocytes, are highly enriched at the glial side of paranodal junctions where they interact with the essential glial junctional component neurofascin 155. Conditional knockout of ankyrins in oligodendrocytes disrupts paranodal junction assembly and delays nerve conduction during early development in mice. Thus, glial ankyrins function as major scaffolds that facilitate early and efficient paranodal junction assembly in the developing CNS. PMID:25362471

  14. Kinetic Measurements Reveal Enhanced Protein-Protein Interactions at Intercellular Junctions

    PubMed Central

    Shashikanth, Nitesh; Kisting, Meridith A.; Leckband, Deborah E.

    2016-01-01

    The binding properties of adhesion proteins are typically quantified from measurements with soluble fragments, under conditions that differ radically from the confined microenvironment of membrane bound proteins in adhesion zones. Using classical cadherin as a model adhesion protein, we tested the postulate that confinement within quasi two-dimensional intercellular gaps exposes weak protein interactions that are not detected in solution binding assays. Micropipette-based measurements of cadherin-mediated, cell-cell binding kinetics identified a unique kinetic signature that reflects both adhesive (trans) bonds between cadherins on opposing cells and lateral (cis) interactions between cadherins on the same cell. In solution, proposed lateral interactions were not detected, even at high cadherin concentrations. Mutations postulated to disrupt lateral cadherin association altered the kinetic signatures, but did not affect the adhesive (trans) binding affinity. Perturbed kinetics further coincided with altered cadherin distributions at junctions, wound healing dynamics, and paracellular permeability. Intercellular binding kinetics thus revealed cadherin interactions that occur within confined, intermembrane gaps but not in solution. Findings further demonstrate the impact of these revealed interactions on the organization and function of intercellular junctions. PMID:27009566

  15. Kinetic Measurements Reveal Enhanced Protein-Protein Interactions at Intercellular Junctions.

    PubMed

    Shashikanth, Nitesh; Kisting, Meridith A; Leckband, Deborah E

    2016-01-01

    The binding properties of adhesion proteins are typically quantified from measurements with soluble fragments, under conditions that differ radically from the confined microenvironment of membrane bound proteins in adhesion zones. Using classical cadherin as a model adhesion protein, we tested the postulate that confinement within quasi two-dimensional intercellular gaps exposes weak protein interactions that are not detected in solution binding assays. Micropipette-based measurements of cadherin-mediated, cell-cell binding kinetics identified a unique kinetic signature that reflects both adhesive (trans) bonds between cadherins on opposing cells and lateral (cis) interactions between cadherins on the same cell. In solution, proposed lateral interactions were not detected, even at high cadherin concentrations. Mutations postulated to disrupt lateral cadherin association altered the kinetic signatures, but did not affect the adhesive (trans) binding affinity. Perturbed kinetics further coincided with altered cadherin distributions at junctions, wound healing dynamics, and paracellular permeability. Intercellular binding kinetics thus revealed cadherin interactions that occur within confined, intermembrane gaps but not in solution. Findings further demonstrate the impact of these revealed interactions on the organization and function of intercellular junctions. PMID:27009566

  16. tal1 Regulates the formation of intercellular junctions and the maintenance of identity in the endocardium.

    PubMed

    Schumacher, Jennifer A; Bloomekatz, Joshua; Garavito-Aguilar, Zayra V; Yelon, Deborah

    2013-11-15

    The endocardium forms the inner lining of the heart tube, where it enables blood flow and also interacts with the myocardium during the formation of valves and trabeculae. Although a number of studies have identified regulators in the morphogenesis of the myocardium, relatively little is known about the molecules that control endocardial morphogenesis. Prior work has implicated the bHLH transcription factor Tal1 in endocardial tube formation: in zebrafish embryos lacking Tal1, endocardial cells form a disorganized mass within the ventricle and do not populate the atrium. Through blastomere transplantation, we find that tal1 plays a cell-autonomous role in regulating endocardial extension, suggesting that Tal1 activity influences the behavior of individual endocardial cells. The defects in endocardial behavior in tal1-deficient embryos originate during the earliest steps of endocardial morphogenesis: tal1-deficient endocardial cells fail to generate a cohesive monolayer at the midline and instead pack tightly together into a multi-layered aggregate. Moreover, the tight junction protein ZO-1 is mislocalized in the tal1-deficient endocardium, indicating a defect in intercellular junction formation. In addition, we find that the tal1-deficient endocardium fails to maintain its identity; over time, a progressively increasing number of tal1-deficient endocardial cells initiate myocardial gene expression. However, the onset of defects in intercellular junction formation precedes the onset of ectopic myocardial gene expression in the tal1-deficient endocardium. We therefore propose a model in which Tal1 has distinct roles in regulating the formation of endocardial intercellular junctions and maintaining endocardial identity. PMID:24075907

  17. Salt-inducible kinase 1 regulates E-cadherin expression and intercellular junction stability.

    PubMed

    Eneling, Kristina; Brion, Laura; Pinto, Vanda; Pinho, Maria J; Sznajder, Jacob I; Mochizuki, Naoki; Emoto, Kazuo; Soares-da-Silva, Patricio; Bertorello, Alejandro M

    2012-08-01

    The protein kinase liver kinase B1 (LKB1) regulates cell polarity and intercellular junction stability. Also, LKB1 controls the activity of salt-inducible kinase 1 (SIK1). The role and relevance of SIK1 and its downstream effectors in linking the LKB1 signals within these processes are partially understood. We hypothesize that SIK1 may link LKB1 signals to the maintenance of epithelial junction stability by regulating E-cadherin expression. Results from our studies using a mouse lung alveolar epithelial (MLE-12) cell line or human renal proximal tubule (HK2) cell line transiently or stably lacking the expression of SIK1 (using SIK1 siRNAs or shRNAs), or with its expression abrogated (sik1(+/+) vs. sik1(-/-) mice), indicate that suppression of SIK1 (∼40%) increases the expression of the transcriptional repressors Snail2 (∼12-fold), Zeb1 (∼100%), Zeb2 (∼50%), and TWIST (∼20-fold) by activating cAMP-response element binding protein. The lack of SIK1 and activation of transcriptional repressors decreases the availability of E-cadherin (mRNA and protein expression by ∼100 and 80%, respectively) and the stability of intercellular junctions in epithelia (decreases in transepithelial resistance). Furthermore, LKB1-mediated increases in E-cadherin expression are impaired in cells where SIK1 has been disabled. We conclude that SIK1 is a key regulator of E-cadherin expression, and thereby contributes to the stability of intercellular junctions. PMID:22522110

  18. tal1 regulates the formation of intercellular junctions and the maintenance of identity in the endocardium

    PubMed Central

    Schumacher, Jennifer A.; Bloomekatz, Joshua; Garavito-Aguilar, Zayra V.; Yelon, Deborah

    2014-01-01

    The endocardium forms the inner lining of the heart tube, where it enables blood flow and also interacts with the myocardium during the formation of valves and trabeculae. Although a number of studies have identified regulators of the morphogenesis of the myocardium, relatively little is known about the molecules that control endocardial morphogenesis. Prior work has implicated the bHLH transcription factor Tal1 in endocardial tube formation: in zebrafish embryos lacking Tal1, endocardial cells form a disorganized mass within the ventricle and do not populate the atrium. Through blastomere transplantation, we find that tal1 plays a cell-autonomous role in regulating endocardial extension, suggesting that Tal1 activity influences the behavior of individual endocardial cells. The defects in endocardial behavior in tal1-deficient embryos originate during the earliest steps of endocardial morphogenesis: tal1-deficient endocardial cells fail to generate a cohesive monolayer at the midline and instead pack tightly together into a multi-layered aggregate. Moreover, the tight junction protein ZO-1 is mislocalized in the tal1-deficient endocardium, indicating a defect in intercellular junction formation. In addition, we find that the tal1-deficient endocardium fails to maintain its identity; over time, a progressively increasing number of tal1-deficient endocardial cells initiate myocardial gene expression. However, the onset of defects in intercellular junction formation precedes the onset of ectopic myocardial gene expression in the tal1-deficient endocardium. We therefore propose a model in which Tal1 has distinct roles in regulating the formation of endocardial intercellular junctions and maintaining endocardial identity. PMID:24075907

  19. Reversible Opening of Intercellular Junctions of Intestinal Epithelial and Brain Endothelial Cells With Tight Junction Modulator Peptides.

    PubMed

    Bocsik, Alexandra; Walter, Fruzsina R; Gyebrovszki, Andrea; Fülöp, Lívia; Blasig, Ingolf; Dabrowski, Sebastian; Ötvös, Ferenc; Tóth, András; Rákhely, Gábor; Veszelka, Szilvia; Vastag, Monika; Szabó-Révész, Piroska; Deli, Mária A

    2016-02-01

    The intercellular junctions restrict the free passage of hydrophilic compounds through the paracellular clefts. Reversible opening of the tight junctions of biological barriers is investigated as one of the ways to increase drug delivery to the systemic circulation or the central nervous system. Six peptides, ADT-6, HAV-6, C-CPE, 7-mer (FDFWITP, PN-78), AT-1002, and PN-159, acting on different integral membrane and linker junctional proteins were tested on Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cell line and a coculture model of the blood-brain barrier. All peptides tested in nontoxic concentrations showed a reversible tight junctions modulating effect and were effective to open the paracellular pathway for the marker molecules fluorescein and albumin. The change in the structure of cell-cell junctions was verified by immunostaining for occludin, claudin-4,-5, ZO-1, β-catenin, and E-cadherin. Expression levels of occludin and claudins were measured in both models. We could demonstrate a selectivity of C-CPE, ADT-6, and HAV-6 peptides for epithelial cells and 7-mer and AT-1002 peptides for brain endothelial cells. PN-159 was the most effective modulator of junctional permeability in both models possibly acting via claudin-1 and -5. Our results indicate that these peptides can be effectively and selectively used as potential pharmaceutical excipients to improve drug delivery across biological barriers. PMID:26869428

  20. INHIBITION OF GAP JUNCTIONAL INTERCELLULAR COMMUNICATION BY PERFLUORINATED COMPOUNDS IN RAT LIVER AND DOLPHIN KIDNEY EPITHELIAL CELL LINES IN VITRO AND SPRAGUE-DAWLEY RATS IN VIVO

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract

    Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication (GJIC) is the major pathway of intercellular signal transduction, and is, thus, important for normal cell growth and function. Recent studies have revealed a global distribution of some perfluorinated organic compounds e...

  1. Effects of different forms of chitosan on intercellular junctions of mouse fibroblasts in vitro.

    PubMed

    Uslu, B; Biltekin, B; Denir, S; Özbaş-Turan, S; Arbak, S; Akbuğa, J; Bilir, A

    2016-01-01

    Chitosan is a linear polysaccharide that has many biomedical applications. We compared the effects of chitosan, in both solution and membranous form, on intercellular adhesion of Swiss 3T3 mouse fibroblasts. Cells were grown as spheroidal cell cultures. Some control cell spheroids were cultured without chitosan and two experimental groups were cultured with chitosan. Chitosan in solution was used for one experimental group and chitosan in membranous form was used for the other. For each group, intercellular adhesion was investigated on days 5 and 10 of culture. Transmission electron microscopy revealed well-defined cellular projections that were more prominent in cells exposed to either membranous or solution forms of chitosan than to the chitosan-free control. Immunocytochemical staining of ICAM-1 and e-cadherin was used to determine the development of intercellular junctions. Compared to the weakly stained control, strong reactions were observed in both chitosan exposed groups at both 5 and 10 days. Cells were treated with 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (BrdU) and incubated with anti-BrdU primary antibody to assess proliferation. Both the solution and membranous forms of chitosan increased proliferation at both 5 and 10 days. Cellular viability was assessed using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT). The MTT assay indicated high cell viability; maximum viability was obtained with the solution form of chitosan at day 5. Chitosan exposure increased the number of intercellular junctions and showed a significant proliferative effect on 3T3 mouse fibroblasts. PMID:26523482

  2. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis zoospore secretions rapidly disturb intercellular junctions in frog skin.

    PubMed

    Brutyn, Melanie; D'Herde, Katharina; Dhaenens, Maarten; Van Rooij, Pascale; Verbrugghe, Elin; Hyatt, Alex D; Croubels, Siska; Deforce, Dieter; Ducatelle, Richard; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Martel, An; Pasmans, Frank

    2012-10-01

    Global amphibian declines are in part driven by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, causing superficial dermatomycosis with epidermal hyperplasia and hyperkeratosis in infected amphibians. The susceptibility to chytridiomycosis and the severity of epidermal lesions in amphibians with chytridiomycosis are not consistent across species or even among individuals. Severe infections cause death of the animal most likely through disturbance of ion homeostasis. The mechanism by which this superficial skin infection results in epidermal lesions has so far eluded precise definition. It was the aim of this study to unravel how B. dendrobatidis causes alterations that affect skin integrity. Exposure of Xenopus laevis skin to B. dendrobatidis zoospore supernatant using skin explants and Ussing chambers caused rapid disruption of intercellular junctions, demonstrated using histology and transmission electron microscopy. The loss of intercellular junctions led to detachment-induced cell apoptosis, or anoikis. The zoospore supernatant induced neither apoptosis nor necrosis in isolated primary keratinocytes of X. laevis. This supports the idea that the loss of cell contacts triggered apoptosis in the skin explants. Mass spectrometric analysis of the protein composition of the supernatant revealed a complex mixture, including several new virulence associated proteins, such as proteases, biofilm-associated proteins and a carotenoid ester lipase. Protease and lipase activity of the supernatant was confirmed with a protease and lipase assay. In conclusion, B. dendrobatidis zoospores produce a complex mixture of proteins that quickly disturbs epidermal intercellular junctions leading to anoikis in the anuran skin. The role of the identified proteins in this process remains to be determined. PMID:22903040

  3. Modulated gap junctional intercellular communication as a biomarker of PAH epigenetic toxicity: structure-function relationship.

    PubMed Central

    Upham, B L; Weis, L M; Trosko, J E

    1998-01-01

    Cancer is a multistage multimechanism process involving gene and/or chromosomal mutations (genotoxic events), altered gene expression at the transcriptional, translational, and post-translational levels (epigenetic events), and altered cell survival (proliferation and apoptosis or necrosis), resulting in an imbalance of the organism's homeostasis. Maintenance of the organism's homeostasis depends on the intricate coordination of genetic and metabolic events between cells via extracellular and intercellular communication mechanisms. The release of a quiescent cell, whether normal or premalignant, from the suppressing effects of communicating neighbors requires the downregulation of intercellular communication via gap junctions, thereby allowing factors that control intracellular events to exceed a critical mass necessary for the cell to either proliferate or undergo apoptosis. Therefore, determining the role an environmental pollutant must play in the multistage carcinogenic process includes mechanisms of epigenetic toxicity such as the effects of a compound on gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC). A classic example of a class of compounds in which determination of carcinogenicity focused on genotoxic events and ignored epigenetic events is polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The study of structure-activity relationships of PAHs has focused exclusively on the genotoxic and tumor-initiating properties of the compound. We report on the structure-activity relationships of two- to four-ringed PAHs on GJIC in a rat liver epithelial cell line. PAHs containing a bay or baylike region were more potent inhibitors of GJIC than the linear PAHs that do not contain these regions. These are some of the first studies of determine the epigenetic toxicity of PAHs at the epigenetic level. Images Figure 1 PMID:9703481

  4. The inner CSF–brain barrier: developmentally controlled access to the brain via intercellular junctions

    PubMed Central

    Whish, Sophie; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M.; Møllgård, Kjeld; Noor, Natassya M.; Liddelow, Shane A.; Habgood, Mark D.; Richardson, Samantha J.; Saunders, Norman R.

    2015-01-01

    In the adult the interface between the cerebrospinal fluid and the brain is lined by the ependymal cells, which are joined by gap junctions. These intercellular connections do not provide a diffusional restrain between the two compartments. However, during development this interface, initially consisting of neuroepithelial cells and later radial glial cells, is characterized by “strap” junctions, which limit the exchange of different sized molecules between cerebrospinal fluid and the brain parenchyma. Here we provide a systematic study of permeability properties of this inner cerebrospinal fluid-brain barrier during mouse development from embryonic day, E17 until adult. Results show that at fetal stages exchange across this barrier is restricted to the smallest molecules (286Da) and the diffusional restraint is progressively removed as the brain develops. By postnatal day P20, molecules the size of plasma proteins (70 kDa) diffuse freely. Transcriptomic analysis of junctional proteins present in the cerebrospinal fluid-brain interface showed expression of adherens junctional proteins, actins, cadherins and catenins changing in a development manner consistent with the observed changes in the permeability studies. Gap junction proteins were only identified in the adult as was claudin-11. Immunohistochemistry was used to localize at the cellular level some of the adherens junctional proteins of genes identified from transcriptomic analysis. N-cadherin, β - and α-catenin immunoreactivity was detected outlining the inner CSF-brain interface from E16; most of these markers were not present in the adult ependyma. Claudin-5 was present in the apical-most part of radial glial cells and in endothelial cells in embryos, but only in endothelial cells including plexus endothelial cells in adults. Claudin-11 was only immunopositive in the adult, consistent with results obtained from transcriptomic analysis. These results provide information about physiological, molecular

  5. A rapid and sensitive assay of intercellular coupling by voltage imaging of gap junction networks

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background A variety of mechanisms that govern connexin channel gating and permeability regulate coupling in gap junction networks. Mutations in connexin genes have been linked to several pathologies, including cardiovascular anomalies, peripheral neuropathy, skin disorders, cataracts and deafness. Gap junction coupling and its patho–physiological alterations are commonly assayed by microinjection experiments with fluorescent tracers, which typically require several minutes to allow dye transfer to a limited number of cells. Comparable or longer time intervals are required by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments. Paired electrophysiological recordings have excellent time resolution but provide extremely limited spatial information regarding network connectivity. Results Here, we developed a rapid and sensitive method to assay gap junction communication using a combination of single cell electrophysiology, large–scale optical recordings and a digital phase–sensitive detector to extract signals with a known frequency from Vf2.1.Cl, a novel fluorescent sensor of plasma membrane potential. Tests performed in HeLa cell cultures confirmed that suitably encoded Vf2.1.Cl signals remained confined within the network of cells visibly interconnected by fluorescently tagged gap junction channels. We used this method to visualize instantly intercellular connectivity over the whole field of view (hundreds of cells) in cochlear organotypic cultures from postnatal mice. A simple resistive network model reproduced accurately the spatial dependence of the electrical signals throughout the cellular network. Our data suggest that each pair of cochlear non−sensory cells of the lesser epithelial ridge is coupled by ~1500 gap junction channels, on average. Junctional conductance was reduced by 14% in cochlear cultures harboring the T5M mutation of connexin30, which induces a moderate hearing loss in connexin30T5M/T5M knock–in mice, and by 91% in cultures from

  6. Regulation of gap junctional intercellular communication by TCDD in HMEC and MCF-7 breast cancer cells

    SciTech Connect

    Gakhar, Gunjan Schrempp, Diane Nguyen, Thu Annelise

    2009-03-01

    Previous studies suggest that many neoplastic tissues exhibit a decrease in gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC). Many hydrocarbons and organochlorine compounds are environmental pollutants known to be carcinogenic. The effect of an organochlorine compound, TCDD, on GJIC in human breast cell lines has not been established. In the present study, we showed that TCDD causes an inhibition in the gap junctional activity in MCF-7 (breast cancer cells). In MCF-7 cells, an increase in the phosphorylated form of gap junctional protein, connexin 43 (Cx43), and PKC {alpha} was seen in the presence of TCDD. Gap junctional plaque formation was significantly decreased in MCF-7 cells in the presence of TCDD. Immunoprecipitation studies of PKC {alpha} showed that TCDD caused a significant 40% increase in the phosphorylated Cx43 in MCF-7 cells. TCDD also modulated the translocation of PKC {alpha} from the cytosol to the membrane and caused a 2-fold increase in the PKC {alpha} activity at 50 nM TCDD in MCF-7 cells. Calphostin C, an inhibitor of PKC {alpha}, showed a significant inhibition of PKC {alpha} activity in the presence of TCDD. Furthermore, TCDD also caused a decrease in the gap junctional activity and Cx43 protein in human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC). However, we observed a shift in the Cx43 plaques towards the perinuclear membrane in the presence of TCDD by confocal microscopy and Western blot. Overall, these results conclude that TCDD decreases GJIC by phosphorylating Cx43 via PKC {alpha} signaling pathway in MCF-7 cells; however, TCDD decreases the GJIC by affecting the localization of Cx43 in HMEC. These new findings elucidate the differential mode of effect of TCDD in the downregulation of GJIC in HMEC and MCF-7 cells.

  7. Loss of gap junctional intercellular communication in rat lung epithelial cells exposed to quartz particles.

    PubMed

    Ale-Agha, Niloofar; Albrecht, Catrin; Klotz, Lars-Oliver

    2009-12-01

    Chronic inhalation of quartz particles has been implicated in lung diseases including silicosis and cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate whether quartz particles affect gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) in rat lung epithelial cells (RLE-6TN). Here, we demonstrate that exposure of RLE-6TN cells to subtoxic doses of DQ12 standard quartz resulted in an up to 55% reduction of GJIC, as determined in a dye transfer assay. We show that connexin-43 (Cx43) is the major connexin responsible for intercellular communication in these lung epithelial cells and that exposure to quartz particles induces a significant internalization of Cx43. Downregulation of GJIC was attenuated by N-acetyl cysteine, suggesting the involvement of reactive oxygen species and/or cellular thiol homeostasis in the regulation of GJIC. Furthermore, an inhibitor of activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases prevented the loss of GJIC in cells exposed to DQ12 quartz, although no direct phosphorylation of Cx43 upon exposure to DQ12 was detected. PMID:19766597

  8. Intercellular calcium signaling in a gap junction-coupled cell network establishes asymmetric neuronal fates in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Schumacher, Jennifer A.; Hsieh, Yi-Wen; Chen, Shiuhwei; Pirri, Jennifer K.; Alkema, Mark J.; Li, Wen-Hong; Chang, Chieh; Chuang, Chiou-Fen

    2012-01-01

    The C. elegans left and right AWC olfactory neurons specify asymmetric subtypes, one default AWCOFF and one induced AWCON, through a stochastic, coordinated cell signaling event. Intercellular communication between AWCs and non-AWC neurons via a NSY-5 gap junction network coordinates AWC asymmetry. However, the nature of intercellular signaling across the network and how individual non-AWC cells in the network influence AWC asymmetry is not known. Here, we demonstrate that intercellular calcium signaling through the NSY-5 gap junction neural network coordinates a precise 1AWCON/1AWCOFF decision. We show that NSY-5 gap junctions in C. elegans cells mediate small molecule passage. We expressed vertebrate calcium-buffer proteins in groups of cells in the network to reduce intracellular calcium levels, thereby disrupting intercellular communication. We find that calcium in non-AWC cells of the network promotes the AWCON fate, in contrast to the autonomous role of calcium in AWCs to promote the AWCOFF fate. In addition, calcium in specific non-AWCs promotes AWCON side biases through NSY-5 gap junctions. Our results suggest a novel model in which calcium has dual roles within the NSY-5 network: autonomously promoting AWCOFF and non-autonomously promoting AWCON. PMID:23093425

  9. Modulatory Effects of Connexin-43 Expression on Gap Junction Intercellular Communications with Mast Cells and Fibroblasts

    PubMed Central

    Pistorio, Ashey L.; Ehrlich, H. Paul

    2011-01-01

    The influence of mast cells upon aberrant wound repair and excessive fibrosis has supportive evidence, but the mechanism for these mast cell activities is unclear. It is proposed that heterocellular gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) between fibroblasts and mast cells directs some fibroblast activities. An in vitro model was used employing a rodent derived peritoneal mast cell line (RMC-1) and human dermal derived fibroblasts. The influence of the expression of the gap junction channel structural protein, connexin 43 (Cx-43) on heterocellular GJIC, the expression of microtubule β-tubulin and microfilament α smooth muscle actin (SMA) were investigated. The knockdown of Cx-43 by siRNA in RMC-1 cells completely blocked GJIC between RMC-1 cells. SiRNA knockdown of Cx-43 within fibroblasts only dampened GJIC between fibroblasts. It appears Cx-43 is the only expressed connexin in RMC-1 cells. Fibroblasts express other connexins that participate in GJIC between fibroblasts in the absence of Cx-43 expression. Heterocellular GJIC between RMC-1 cells and fibroblasts transformed fibroblasts into myofibroblasts, expressing α SMA within cytoplasmic stress fibers. The knockdown of Cx-43 in RMC-1 cells increased β-tubulin expression, but its knockdown in fibroblasts reduced β-tubulin expression. Knocking down the expression of Cx-43 in fibroblasts limited α SMA expression. Cx-43 participation is critical for heterocellular GJIC between mast cells and fibroblasts, which may herald a novel direction for controlling fibrosis. PMID:21328609

  10. Destruction of the hepatocyte junction by intercellular invasion of Leptospira causes jaundice in a hamster model of Weil's disease.

    PubMed

    Miyahara, Satoshi; Saito, Mitsumasa; Kanemaru, Takaaki; Villanueva, Sharon Y A M; Gloriani, Nina G; Yoshida, Shin-ichi

    2014-08-01

    Weil's disease, the most severe form of leptospirosis, is characterized by jaundice, haemorrhage and renal failure. The mechanisms of jaundice caused by pathogenic Leptospira remain unclear. We therefore aimed to elucidate the mechanisms by integrating histopathological changes with serum biochemical abnormalities during the development of jaundice in a hamster model of Weil's disease. In this work, we obtained three-dimensional images of infected hamster livers using scanning electron microscope together with freeze-cracking and cross-cutting methods for sample preparation. The images displayed the corkscrew-shaped bacteria, which infiltrated the Disse's space, migrated between hepatocytes, detached the intercellular junctions and disrupted the bile canaliculi. Destruction of bile canaliculi coincided with the elevation of conjugated bilirubin, aspartate transaminase and alkaline phosphatase levels in serum, whereas serum alanine transaminase and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase levels increased slightly, but not significantly. We also found in ex vivo experiments that pathogenic, but not non-pathogenic leptospires, tend to adhere to the perijunctional region of hepatocyte couplets isolated from hamsters and initiate invasion of the intercellular junction within 1 h after co-incubation. Our results suggest that pathogenic leptospires invade the intercellular junctions of host hepatocytes, and this invasion contributes in the disruption of the junction. Subsequently, bile leaks from bile canaliculi and jaundice occurs immediately. Our findings revealed not only a novel pathogenicity of leptospires, but also a novel mechanism of jaundice induced by bacterial infection. PMID:24945433

  11. Destruction of the hepatocyte junction by intercellular invasion of Leptospira causes jaundice in a hamster model of Weil's disease

    PubMed Central

    Miyahara, Satoshi; Saito, Mitsumasa; Kanemaru, Takaaki; Villanueva, Sharon Y A M; Gloriani, Nina G; Yoshida, Shin-ichi

    2014-01-01

    Weil's disease, the most severe form of leptospirosis, is characterized by jaundice, haemorrhage and renal failure. The mechanisms of jaundice caused by pathogenic Leptospira remain unclear. We therefore aimed to elucidate the mechanisms by integrating histopathological changes with serum biochemical abnormalities during the development of jaundice in a hamster model of Weil's disease. In this work, we obtained three-dimensional images of infected hamster livers using scanning electron microscope together with freeze-cracking and cross-cutting methods for sample preparation. The images displayed the corkscrew-shaped bacteria, which infiltrated the Disse's space, migrated between hepatocytes, detached the intercellular junctions and disrupted the bile canaliculi. Destruction of bile canaliculi coincided with the elevation of conjugated bilirubin, aspartate transaminase and alkaline phosphatase levels in serum, whereas serum alanine transaminase and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase levels increased slightly, but not significantly. We also found in ex vivo experiments that pathogenic, but not non-pathogenic leptospires, tend to adhere to the perijunctional region of hepatocyte couplets isolated from hamsters and initiate invasion of the intercellular junction within 1 h after co-incubation. Our results suggest that pathogenic leptospires invade the intercellular junctions of host hepatocytes, and this invasion contributes in the disruption of the junction. Subsequently, bile leaks from bile canaliculi and jaundice occurs immediately. Our findings revealed not only a novel pathogenicity of leptospires, but also a novel mechanism of jaundice induced by bacterial infection. PMID:24945433

  12. Baicalein increases the cytotoxicity of cisplatin by enhancing gap junction intercellular communication.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yiwen; Wang, Qin; Zhang, Suzhi; Zhang, Yuan; Tao, Liang

    2014-07-01

    Drug resistance limits the clinical application of cisplatin, a widely used chemotherapeutic agent. Gap junction (GJ) is a channel that enhances cytotoxicity of certain chemotherapeutic agents. Baicalein is well known for its antitumor activity. This study investigated the effect of baicalein on cisplatin cytotoxicity and the relationship between this effect and the modulation of the GJ function in connexin 26 (Cx26)‑transfected HeLa cells. The sulforhodamine B (SRB) assay was used to examine the effect of baicalein on cell viability. A 'parachute' assay was used to investigate the effect of baicalein on GJ function. The effects of baicalein on cisplatin cytotoxicity and GJ function were assayed by standard colony‑forming assays. The expression of Cx26 was monitored by western blotting. It was observed that exposure of Cx26‑transfected cells to cisplatin reduced the number of colonies formed in low‑density cultures (no GJ formation) and in high‑density cultures (GJ formation), but the toxic effect was greater when cells were seeded at a high density. In the absence of connexin expression or with blockage of connexin channels however, cell density had no effect on cisplatin toxicity. Baicalein significantly enhanced cisplatin cytotoxicity, but this effect required the presence of functional GJs between the cells. In conclusion, the dependence of cisplatin toxicity on cell density is mediated by GJs. Baicalein increases cisplatin cytotoxicity through enhancing GJ intercellular communication. PMID:24736991

  13. Chemopreventive Agents Attenuate Rapid Inhibition of Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication Induced by Environmental Toxicants.

    PubMed

    Babica, Pavel; Čtveráčková, Lucie; Lenčešová, Zuzana; Trosko, James E; Upham, Brad L

    2016-07-01

    Altered gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) has been associated with chemical carcinogenesis, where both chemical tumor promoters and chemopreventive agents (CPAs) are known to conversely modulate GJIC. The aim of this study was to investigate whether attenuation of chemically inhibited GJIC represents a common outcome induced by different CPAs, which could be effectively evaluated using in vitro methods. Rat liver epithelial cells WB-F344 were pretreated with a CPA for either 30 min or 24 h, and then exposed to GJIC-inhibiting concentration of a selected tumor promoter or environmental toxicant [12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), lindane, fluoranthene, 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)ethane (DDT), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), or pentachlorophenol]. Out of nine CPAs tested, quercetin and silibinin elicited the most pronounced effects, preventing the dysregulation of GJIC by all the GJIC inhibitors, but DDT. Metformin and curcumin attenuated the effects of three GJIC inhibitors, whereas the other CPAs prevented the effects of two (diallyl sulfide, emodin) or one (indole-3-carbinol, thymoquinone) GJIC inhibitor. Significant attenuation of chemically induced inhibition of GJIC was observed in 27 (50%) out of 54 possible combinations of nine CPAs and six GJIC inhibitors. Our data demonstrate that in vitro evaluation of GJIC can be used as an effective screening tool for identification of chemicals with potential chemopreventive activity. PMID:27266532

  14. Bay or baylike regions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were potent inhibitors of Gap junctional intercellular communication.

    PubMed Central

    Weis, L M; Rummel, A M; Masten, S J; Trosko, J E; Upham, B L

    1998-01-01

    Many polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are known carcinogens, and a considerable amount of research has been devoted to predicting the tumor-initiating potential of PAHs based on chemical structure. However, there has been little research into the effects of PAHs on the epigenetic events of tumor promotion and no structural correlation has been made thereof. Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) activity was used in this study as an epigenetic biomarker to determine the structure-activity relationships of twelve different PAHs. The PAHs used were naphthalene, 1-methylnaphthalene, 2-methylnaphthalene, anthracene, 1-methylanthracene, 2-methylanthracene, 9-methylanthracene, 9, 10-dimethylanthracene, phenanthrene, fluorene, 1-methylfluorene, and fluoranthene. Results showed that PAHs containing bay or baylike regions inhibited GJIC more than did the linear PAHs. The nonnaphthalene PAHs were not cytotoxic as determined by a vital dye uptake assay, but the naphthalene compounds were cytotoxic at the higher doses, indicating that the down regulation of GJIC by these naphthalenes could be a consequence of general membrane damage. Inhibition of GJIC by all the inhibitory PAHs was reversed when the cells were refreshed with PAH-free growth medium. Inhibition of GJIC occurred within 0.5-5 min and correlated with the aqueous solubility of the PAHs. The present study revealed that there are structural determinants of epigenetic toxicity as determined by GJIC activity. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 Figure 9 Figure 10 PMID:9417772

  15. TLR2 mediates gap junctional intercellular communication through connexin-43 in intestinal epithelial barrier injury.

    PubMed

    Ey, Birgit; Eyking, Annette; Gerken, Guido; Podolsky, Daniel K; Cario, Elke

    2009-08-14

    Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) coordinates cellular functions essential for sustaining tissue homeostasis; yet its regulation in the intestine is not well understood. Here, we identify a novel physiological link between Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and GJIC through modulation of Connexin-43 (Cx43) during acute and chronic inflammatory injury of the intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) barrier. Data from in vitro studies reveal that TLR2 activation modulates Cx43 synthesis and increases GJIC via Cx43 during IEC injury. The ulcerative colitis-associated TLR2-R753Q mutant targets Cx43 for increased proteasomal degradation, impairing TLR2-mediated GJIC during intestinal epithelial wounding. In vivo studies using mucosal RNA interference show that TLR2-mediated mucosal healing depends functionally on intestinal epithelial Cx43 during acute inflammatory stress-induced damage. Mice deficient in TLR2 exhibit IEC-specific alterations in Cx43, whereas administration of a TLR2 agonist protects GJIC by blocking accumulation of Cx43 and its hyperphosphorylation at Ser368 to prevent spontaneous chronic colitis in MDR1alpha-deficient mice. Finally, adding the TLR2 agonist to three-dimensional intestinal mucosa-like cultures of human biopsies preserves intestinal epithelial Cx43 integrity and polarization ex vivo. In conclusion, Cx43 plays an important role in innate immune control of commensal-mediated intestinal epithelial wound repair. PMID:19528242

  16. Extract from the Zooxanthellate Jellyfish Cotylorhiza tuberculata Modulates Gap Junction Intercellular Communication in Human Cell Cultures

    PubMed Central

    Leone, Antonella; Lecci, Raffaella Marina; Durante, Miriana; Piraino, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    On a global scale, jellyfish populations in coastal marine ecosystems exhibit increasing trends of abundance. High-density outbreaks may directly or indirectly affect human economical and recreational activities, as well as public health. As the interest in biology of marine jellyfish grows, a number of jellyfish metabolites with healthy potential, such as anticancer or antioxidant activities, is increasingly reported. In this study, the Mediterranean “fried egg jellyfish” Cotylorhiza tuberculata (Macri, 1778) has been targeted in the search forputative valuable bioactive compounds. A medusa extract was obtained, fractionated, characterized by HPLC, GC-MS and SDS-PAGE and assayed for its biological activity on breast cancer cells (MCF-7) and human epidermal keratinocytes (HEKa). The composition of the jellyfish extract included photosynthetic pigments, valuable ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acids, and polypeptides derived either from jellyfish tissues and their algal symbionts. Extract fractions showed antioxidant activity and the ability to affect cell viability and intercellular communication mediated by gap junctions (GJIC) differentially in MCF-7and HEKa cells. A significantly higher cytotoxicity and GJIC enhancement in MCF-7 compared to HEKa cells was recorded. A putative action mechanism for the anticancer bioactivity through the modulation of GJIC has been hypothesized and its nutraceutical and pharmaceutical potential was discussed. PMID:23697954

  17. Activation of L-type calcium channels is required for gap junction-mediated intercellular calcium signaling in osteoblastic cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jorgensen, Niklas Rye; Teilmann, Stefan Cuoni; Henriksen, Zanne; Civitelli, Roberto; Sorensen, Ole Helmer; Steinberg, Thomas H.

    2003-01-01

    The propagation of mechanically induced intercellular calcium waves (ICW) among osteoblastic cells occurs both by activation of P2Y (purinergic) receptors by extracellular nucleotides, resulting in "fast" ICW, and by gap junctional communication in cells that express connexin43 (Cx43), resulting in "slow" ICW. Human osteoblastic cells transmit intercellular calcium signals by both of these mechanisms. In the current studies we have examined the mechanism of slow gap junction-dependent ICW in osteoblastic cells. In ROS rat osteoblastic cells, gap junction-dependent ICW were inhibited by removal of extracellular calcium, plasma membrane depolarization by high extracellular potassium, and the L-type voltage-operated calcium channel inhibitor, nifedipine. In contrast, all these treatments enhanced the spread of P2 receptor-mediated ICW in UMR rat osteoblastic cells. Using UMR cells transfected to express Cx43 (UMR/Cx43) we confirmed that nifedipine sensitivity of ICW required Cx43 expression. In human osteoblastic cells, gap junction-dependent ICW also required activation of L-type calcium channels and influx of extracellular calcium.

  18. The tight junction protein ZO-2 and Janus kinase 1 mediate intercellular communications in vascular smooth muscle cells

    SciTech Connect

    Tkachuk, Natalia; Tkachuk, Sergey; Patecki, Margret; Kusch, Angelika; Korenbaum, Elena; Haller, Hermann; Dumler, Inna

    2011-07-08

    Highlights: {yields} The tight junction protein ZO-2 associates with Jak1 in vascular smooth muscle cells via ZO-2 N-terminal fragment. {yields} Jak1 mediates ZO-2 tyrosine phosphorylation and ZO-2 localization to the sites of homotypic intercellular contacts. {yields} The urokinase receptor uPAR regulates ZO-2/Jak1 functional association. {yields} The ZO-2/Jak1/uPAR signaling complex is required for vascular smooth muscle cells functional network formation. -- Abstract: Recent evidence points to a multifunctional role of ZO-2, the tight junction protein of the MAGUK (membrane-associated guanylate kinase-like) family. Though ZO-2 has been found in cell types lacking tight junction structures, such as vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), little is known about ZO-2 function in these cells. We provide evidence that ZO-2 mediates specific homotypic cell-to-cell contacts between VSMC. Using mass spectrometry we found that ZO-2 is associated with the non-receptor tyrosine kinase Jak1. By generating specific ZO-2 constructs we further found that the N-terminal fragment of ZO-2 molecule is responsible for this interaction. Adenovirus-based expression of Jak1 inactive mutant demonstrated that Jak1 mediates ZO-2 tyrosine phosphorylation. By means of RNA silencing, expression of Jak1 mutant form and fluorescently labeled ZO-2 fusion protein we further specified that active Jak1, but not Jak1 inactive mutant, mediates ZO-2 localization to the sites of intercellular contacts. We identified the urokinase receptor uPAR as a pre-requisite for these cellular events. Functional requirement of the revealed signaling complex for VSMC network formation was confirmed in experiments using Matrigel and in contraction assay. Our findings imply involvement of the ZO-2 tight junction independent signaling complex containing Jak1 and uPAR in VSMC intercellular communications. This mechanism may contribute to vascular remodeling in occlusive cardiovascular diseases and in arteriogenesis.

  19. Estrogenic compounds inhibit gap junctional intercellular communication in mouse Leydig TM3 cells

    SciTech Connect

    Iwase, Yumiko . E-mail: Iwase.Yumiko@mg.m-pharma.co.jp; Fukata, Hideki . E-mail: fukata@faculty.chiba-u.jp; Mori, Chisato . E-mail: cmori@faculty.chiba-u.jp

    2006-05-01

    Some estrogenic compounds are reported to cause testicular disorders in humans and/or experimental animals by direct action on Leydig cells. In carcinogenesis and normal development, gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) plays an essential role in maintaining homeostasis. In this study, we examine the effects of diethylstilbestrol (DES, a synthetic estrogen), 17{beta}-estradiol (E{sub 2}, a natural estrogen), and genistein (GEN, a phytoestrogen) on GJIC between mouse Leydig TM3 cells using Lucifer yellow microinjection. The three compounds tested produced GJIC inhibition in the TM3 cells after 24 h. Gradually, 10 {mu}M DES began to inhibit GJIC for 24 h and this effect was observed until 72 h. On the other hand, both 20 {mu}M E{sub 2} and 25 {mu}M GEN rapidly inhibited GJIC in 6 h and 2 h, respectively. The effects continued until 24 h, but weakened by 72 h. Furthermore, a combined effect at {mu}M level between DES and E{sub 2} on GJIC inhibition was observed, but not between GEN and E{sub 2}. DES and E{sub 2} showed GJIC inhibition at low dose levels (nearly physiological estrogen levels) after 72 h, but GEN did not. DES-induced GJIC inhibition at 10 pM and 10 {mu}M was completely counteracted by ICI 182,780 (ICl), an estrogen receptor antagonist. On the other hand, the inhibitory effects on GJIC with E{sub 2} (10 pM and 20 {mu}M) and GEN (25 {mu}M) were partially blocked by ICI or calphostin C, a protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor, and were completely blocked by the combination of ICI and calphostin C. These results demonstrate that DES inhibits GJIC between Leydig cells via the estrogen receptor (ER), and that E{sub 2} and GEN inhibit GJIC via ER and PKC. These estrogenic compounds may have different individual nongenotoxic mechanism including PKC pathway on testicular carcinogenesis or development.

  20. Oxidative-Dependent Integration of Signal Transduction with Intercellular Gap Junctional Communication in the Control of Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Trosko, James E.

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Research on oxidative stress focused primarily on determining how reactive oxygen species (ROS) damage cells by indiscriminate reactions with their macromolecular machinery, particularly lipids, proteins, and DNA. However, many chronic diseases are not always a consequence of tissue necrosis, DNA, or protein damage, but rather to altered gene expression. Gene expression is highly regulated by the coordination of cell signaling systems that maintain tissue homeostasis. Therefore, much research has shifted to the understanding of how ROS reversibly control gene expression through cell signaling mechanisms. However, most research has focused on redox regulation of signal transduction within a cell, but we introduce a more comprehensive-systems biology approach to understanding oxidative signaling that includes gap junctional intercellular communication, which plays a role in coordinating gene expression between cells of a tissue needed to maintain tissue homeostasis. We propose a hypothesis that gap junctions are critical in modulating the levels of second messengers, such as low molecular weight reactive oxygen, needed in the transduction of an external signal to the nucleus in the expression of genes. Thus, any comprehensive-systems biology approach to understanding oxidative signaling must also include gap junctions, in which aberrant gap junctions have been clearly implicated in many human diseases. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 11, 297–307. PMID:18834329

  1. The B[a]P-increased intercellular communication via translocation of connexin-43 into gap junctions reduces apoptosis

    SciTech Connect

    Tekpli, X.; Rivedal, E.; Gorria, M.; Landvik, N.E.; Rissel, M.; Dimanche-Boitrel, M.-T.; Baffet, G.; Holme, J.A.; Lagadic-Gossmann, D.

    2010-01-15

    Gap junctions are channels in plasma membrane composed of proteins called connexins. These channels are organized in special domains between cells, and provide for direct gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), allowing diffusion of signalling molecules < 1 kD. GJIC regulates cell homeostasis and notably the balance between proliferation, cell cycle arrest, cell survival and apoptosis. Here, we have investigated benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) effects on GJIC and on the subcellular localization of the major protein of gap junction: connexin-43 (Cx43). Our results showed that B[a]P increased GJIC between mouse hepatoma Hepa1c1c7 cells via translocation of Cx43 from Golgi apparatus and lipid rafts into gap junction plaques. Interestingly, inhibition of GJIC by chlordane or small interference RNA directed against Cx43 enhanced B[a]P-induced apoptosis in Hepa1c1c7 cells. The increased apoptosis caused by inhibition of GJIC appeared to be mediated by ERK/MAPK pathway. It is suggested that B[a]P could induce transfer of cell survival signal or dilute cell death signal via regulation of ERK/MAPK through GJIC.

  2. The morphologic characteristics of intercellular junctions between normal human liver cells and cells from patients with extrahepatic cholestasis.

    PubMed Central

    Robenek, H.; Herwig, J.; Themann, H.

    1980-01-01

    In freeze-fracture replicas the bile canaliculi of normal human livers showed a lumen of rather constant size with parallel margins. The zonula occludens consists of a complex anastomosing network of intramembranous ridges on the P face and complementary grooves of the E face of the plasmalemma of liver parenchymal cells. The zonula occludens is usually composed of three to five ridges running parallel to the lumen of the bile canaliculus that are surrounded by a looser meshwork of variable orientation. All tight junctions observed in control replicas appeared as continuous barriers without any disruptions. Extrahepatic cholestasis produced considerable morphologic alterations in the canaliculi and tight junctions. The lumen of the canliculi enlarged, and the microvilli disappeared. Side branches, irregularities, and outpouchings of the canalicular membrane extending into the cytoplasm of the hepatocytes were frequently observed. The complexity of the branching pattern and the number of strands in the zonulae occludentes changed extensively. Junctional strands away from their usual pericanalicular location were present on the lateral surface of the plasma membrane. The altered zonulae occludents contain regions in which the strands had a fragmented appearance or were completely absent. These discontinuities in the junctional meshwork provide a direct pathway between the lumen of the bile canaliculus and the intercellular space. They strongly suggest a leakage of the canaliculosinusoidal barrier. Of further interest is the diffuse aggregation of the usually randomly distributed intramembranous particles of the P face of the plasmalemma. The aggregates consist of 10-50 individual particles. Concomitantly, the desmosomes appeared to be more numerous than normally. The number and structure of gap junctions remained unaffected. The results of this investigation are discussed in relation to those obtained after experimental bile duct ligation in rats. Images Figure 8

  3. Actin-interacting protein 1 controls assembly and permeability of intestinal epithelial apical junctions

    PubMed Central

    Baranwal, Somesh

    2015-01-01

    Adherens junctions (AJs) and tight junctions (TJs) are crucial regulators of the integrity and restitution of the intestinal epithelial barrier. The structure and function of epithelial junctions depend on their association with the cortical actin cytoskeleton that, in polarized epithelial cells, is represented by a prominent perijunctional actomyosin belt. The assembly and stability of the perijunctional cytoskeleton is controlled by constant turnover (disassembly and reassembly) of actin filaments. Actin-interacting protein (Aip) 1 is an emerging regulator of the actin cytoskeleton, playing a critical role in filament disassembly. In this study, we examined the roles of Aip1 in regulating the structure and remodeling of AJs and TJs in human intestinal epithelium. Aip1 was enriched at apical junctions in polarized human intestinal epithelial cells and normal mouse colonic mucosa. Knockdown of Aip1 by RNA interference increased the paracellular permeability of epithelial cell monolayers, decreased recruitment of AJ/TJ proteins to steady-state intercellular contacts, and attenuated junctional reassembly in a calcium-switch model. The observed defects of AJ/TJ structure and functions were accompanied by abnormal organization and dynamics of the perijunctional F-actin cytoskeleton. Moreover, loss of Aip1 impaired the apico-basal polarity of intestinal epithelial cell monolayers and inhibited formation of polarized epithelial cysts in 3-D Matrigel. Our findings demonstrate a previously unanticipated role of Aip1 in regulating the structure and remodeling of intestinal epithelial junctions and early steps of epithelial morphogenesis. PMID:25792565

  4. Subsets of ATP-sensitive potassium channel (KATP) inhibitors increase gap junctional intercellular communication in metastatic cancer cell lines independent of SUR expression

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) is a process whereby cells share molecules and nutrients with each other by physical contact through cell membrane pores. In tumor cells, GJIC is often altered, suggesting that this process may be important in the context of cancer. Certain ion chan...

  5. Reversible inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication, synchronous contraction, and synchronism of intracellular Ca2+ fluctuation in cultured neonatal rat cardiac myocytes by heptanol.

    PubMed

    Kimura, H; Oyamada, Y; Ohshika, H; Mori, M; Oyamada, M

    1995-10-01

    We analyzed by Fotonic Sensor, a fiber-optic displacement measurement instrument, the effects of heptanol on synchronized contraction of primary neonatal rat cardiac myocytes cultured at confluent density. We also examined the effect of heptanol on the changes in gap junctional intercellular communication by using the microinjection dye transfer method, and on intercellular Ca2+ fluctuation by confocal laser scanning microscopy of myocytes loaded with the fluorescent Ca2+ indicator fluo 3. In addition, we studied expression, phosphorylation, and localization of the major cardiac gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43) using immunofluorescence and Western blotting. At Day 6 of culture, numerous myocytes exhibited spontaneous, synchronous contractions, excellent dye coupling, and synchronized intracellular Ca2+ fluctuations. We treated the cells with 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0 mmol/liter heptanol. With 1.5 mmol/liter heptanol, we could not observe significant effects on spontaneous contraction of myocytes. At 3.0 mmol/liter, the highest concentration used in the current experiment, heptanol inhibited synchronous contractions and even after washing out of heptanol, synchronous contraction was not rapidly recovered. On the other hand, at the intermediate concentrations of 2.0 and 2.5 mmol/liter, heptanol reversely inhibited synchronized contraction, gap junctional intercellular communication, and synchronization of intracellular Ca2+ fluctuations in the myocytes without preventing contraction and changes of intracellular Ca2+ in individual cells. Brief exposure (5-20 min) to heptanol (2.0 mmol/liter) did not cause detectable changes in the expression, phosphorylation, or localization of Cx43, despite strong inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication. These results suggest that gap junctional intercellular communication plays an important role in synchronous intracellular Ca2+ fluctuations, which facilitate synchronized contraction of cardiac myocytes. PMID

  6. [Cryofractographic study of intercellular junctions in the populations of agar-cultivated Bordetella pertussis].

    PubMed

    Vysotskiĭ, V V; Vaisman, I Sh; Efimova, O G; Chemurzieva, N V

    1985-09-01

    The characteristic feature of replicas obtained from the freeze-fractures of B. pertussis unfixed cultures developing on casein charcoal agar for 1-7 days is the associative growth of highly polymorphic cells, ensured by the ramified system of intercellular connections (IC) formed by the derivatives of the outer layers of the cell wall. This proves that the associative location of bacterial cells, linked by numerous IC, in the preparation is not the artefact appearing in the process of their chemical fixation. In replicas obtained from the freeze-fractures of B. pertussis cultures, previously fixed with glutaraldehyde, osmic acid and uranyl acetate, oval cells with the cytoplasm having a relatively homogeneous structure and with the smoothed-out three-layer cell wall prevail. As a rule, IC are limited to the sites of direct contacts between individual cells. PMID:2866645

  7. Gap junction as an intercellular glue: Emerging roles in cancer EMT and metastasis.

    PubMed

    Mao, Xiao-Yuan; Li, Qiu-Qi; Gao, Yuan-Feng; Zhou, Hong-Hao; Liu, Zhao-Qian; Jin, Wei-Lin

    2016-10-10

    Metastasis is a common phenomenon in the progression and dissemination of cancer. It is estimated that metastasis accounts for 90% cancer-related mortality. Although the formation of tumor metastasis is relatively well understood, the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for the emergence of aggressive cancer phenotype are still elusive. Figuring out the mechanisms by which cancer cells evade from the tumor is beneficial for obtaining novel and effectively therapeutic approaches. Primary tumors are composed of various subpopulations of cells with heterogeneous metastatic characteristics and the occurrence of metastatic dissemination is mainly dependent upon the interactions between tumor and the surrounding microenvironment. Tumor microenvironment (TME) such as extracellular matrix, macrophages, fibroblasts, stem cells and endothelial cells can orchestrate events critical to tumor evolution toward metastasis. GJ serves as an important communication between tumor cells and stromal cells. Increased GJs coupling blocks metastatic potential in some cancer animal models such as breast cancer and melanoma. Besides, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is also a crucial step in the metastatic process and there are signs that GJs contribute to cell adhesion and migration (the pathological feature of EMT) in breast cancer. Therefore, we propose that GJ serves as an intercellular glue to suppress EMT and cancer metastasis. PMID:27490999

  8. Bisphosphonate osteo-necrosis of the jaws [BONJ], from defective function of oral epithelial intercellular junctions?

    PubMed

    Touyz, Louis Z G

    2015-05-01

    Bone osteonecrosis of the jaws (BONJ) is prevalent when diseases are treated with high bisphosphonate doses. The mouth is unique in that it has epithelial covered bony protuberances jutting into an infective environment. Should epithelium over these bony prominences be disrupted, abraded or ulcerated by trauma, extraction or therapy, not only will the mucosa not heal, but in vulnerable cases, where less-vital bone is present, there is development of BONJ. BONJ development is explained by BP's depleting available calcium ions from healthy functioning of epithelial gap junctions and disrupting the balance between osteogenesis and osteoclasis. PMID:25697117

  9. Modulation of Cx43 and Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication by Androstenedione in Rat Polycystic Ovary and Granulosa Cells in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Talhouk, Rabih; Tarraf, Charbel; Kobrossy, Laila; Shaito, Abdallah; Bazzi, Samer; Bazzoun, Dana; El-Sabban, Marwan

    2012-01-01

    Background Gap-junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) is implicated in physicological processes and it is vitally important for granulosa cell (GC) differentiation and oocyte growth. We investigated the expression of connexin 43 (Cx43), a gap junctional protein, in normal and androstenedione-induced polycystic ovary (PCO), the effects of androstenedione on Cx43 expression, GJIC and progesterone production in granulosa cells in vitro. Methods Isolated GCs from rat ovary were supplemented with FSH and dripped with EHS-matrix (EHS-drip) in culture media, were treated with physiological (10−7 M) or pathological (10−5 M) androstenedione concentrations to induce differentiation. Cx43 protein levels were assessed by Western blotting. Immunohistochemistry was also used to determine the localization of Cx43 in GCs and corpus luteum (CL) of controls and PCOs. Differentiation of GCs was determined by progesterone assay and Lucifer yellow dye transfer for GJIC status. The degree of significance of variations between the results was analyzed by ANOVA using SPSS (version 11.5; 2002). Results Cx43 localized in the GC layer of both the control and PCOs. Its protein levels were upregulated in PCO rat ovaries. GCs in culture with or without androstenedione had a punctate membranous distribution of Cx43. However, androstenedione increased GJIC and upregulated progesterone and Cx43 protein levels. Inhibiting GJIC by 18-α GA in androstenedione-treated GCs caused partial inhibition of progesterone production, suggesting a possible role of GJIC in mediating the action of androstenedione on GC differentiation. Conclusion This study presented a suitable culture model for polycystic ovary syndrome and showed that Cx43 and GJIC might contribute to the pathogenesis of polycystic ovary syndrome. PMID:23926521

  10. Autophagy and gap junctional intercellular communication inhibition are involved in cadmium-induced apoptosis in rat liver cells

    SciTech Connect

    Zou, Hui; Zhuo, Liling; Han, Tao; Hu, Di; Yang, Xiaokang; Wang, Yi; Yuan, Yan; Gu, Jianhong; Bian, Jianchun; Liu, Xuezhong; Liu, Zongping

    2015-04-17

    Cadmium (Cd) is known to induce hepatotoxicity, yet the underlying mechanism of how this occurs is not fully understood. In this study, Cd-induced apoptosis was demonstrated in rat liver cells (BRL 3A) with apoptotic nuclear morphological changes and a decrease in cell index (CI) in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. The role of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) and autophagy in Cd-induced apoptosis was investigated. Cd significantly induced GJIC inhibition as well as downregulation of connexin 43 (Cx43). The prototypical gap junction blocker carbenoxolone disodium (CBX) exacerbated the Cd-induced decrease in CI. Cd treatment was also found to cause autophagy, with an increase in mRNA expression of autophagy-related genes Atg-5, Atg-7, Beclin-1, and microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3) conversion from cytosolic LC3-I to membrane-bound LC3-II. The autophagic inducer rapamycin (RAP) prevented the Cd-induced CI decrease, while the autophagic inhibitor chloroquine (CQ) caused a further reduction in CI. In addition, CBX promoted Cd-induced autophagy, as well as changes in expression of Atg-5, Atg-7, Beclin-1 and LC3. CQ was found to block the Cd-induced decrease in Cx43 and GJIC inhibition, whereas RAP had opposite effect. These results demonstrate that autophagy plays a protective role during Cd-induced apoptosis in BRL 3A cells during 6 h of experiment, while autophagy exacerbates Cd-induced GJIC inhibition which has a negative effect on cellular fate. - Highlights: • GJIC and autophagy is crucial for biological processes. • Cd exposure causes GJIC inhibition and autophagy increase in BRL 3A cells. • Autophagy protects Cd induced BRL 3A cells apoptosis at an early stage. • Autophagy exacerbates Cd-induced GJIC inhibition. • GJIC plays an important role in autophagy induced cell death or survival.

  11. The effects of anthracene and methylated anthracenes on gap junctional intercellular communication in rat liver epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Upham, B L; Weis, L M; Rummel, A M; Masten, S J; Trosko, J E

    1996-12-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), many of which are known carcinogens, are derived from the pyrolysis of organic materials. A rich source of PAHs is cigarette smoke, which contains methylated anthracenes and phenanthrenes as the predominant PAHs. The tumor-promoting activity of cigarette smoke has been well documented. The down-regulation of gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) by nongenotoxic chemicals and several oncogenes has been implicated in tumor promotion. Therefore, we determined the effects of the three isomers of methylanthracene on GJIC in WB-F344 rat liver epithelial cells. Anthracene and 2-methylanthracene did not significantly inhibit GJIC, whereas anthracene methylated in the 1 or 9 position reversibly inhibited GJIC with I50 values of 22 and 36 microM, respectively. Inhibition occurred within 15 min. In conclusion, the biological effect of methylanthracene depends on the ring position of the methyl group, and these inhibitory isomers could play a potential role in tumor promotion of methylated PAH-rich mixtures such as cigarette smoke and crude oil products. PMID:8954755

  12. Effect of perfluorooctane sulfonate on viability, maturation and gap junctional intercellular communication of porcine oocytes in vitro.

    PubMed

    Domínguez, A; Salazar, Z; Arenas, E; Betancourt, M; Ducolomb, Y; González-Márquez, H; Casas, E; Teteltitla, M; Bonilla, E

    2016-09-01

    Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is a broadly used man-made surfactant whose long half-life has led to bioaccumulation. This perfluorinated compound is ubiquitous in human body fluids. PFOS concentrations as high as 26μM in plasma have been reported in occupationally exposed populations, and high levels of PFOS in human follicular fluid have been associated with subfertility. However, the effect of PFOS on the maturation of oocytes in mammals has not been reported to date. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of PFOS during oocyte maturation. Results indicate that PFOS inhibits oocyte viability (Lethal Concentration50=32μM) and maturation (inhibition of maturation50=22μM) at physiologically relevant concentrations. In order to evaluate the mechanisms of oocyte maturation inhibition by PFOS, gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) between oocytes and granulosa cells was assessed. GJIC between granulosa cells and the oocyte was significantly affected during the first 8h of maturation. However, the inhibitory effect of PFOS on GJIC was not due to an alteration on the expression of connexin genes Cx43, Cx45 and Cx60. These findings suggest that occupationally exposed populations could be at risk, and that PFOS might affect oocyte maturation by interfering the GJIC in the cumulus-oocyte complexes during the first hours of maturation. PMID:27233358

  13. Morphological transformation and effect on gap junction intercellular communication in Syrian hamster embryo cells as screening tests for carcinogens devoid of mutagenic activity.

    PubMed

    Rivedal, E; Mikalsen, S O; Sanner, T

    2000-04-01

    A large fraction of chemicals observed to cause cancer in experimental animals is devoid of mutagenic activity. It is therefore of importance to develop methods that can be used to detect and study environmental carcinogenic agents that do not interact directly with DNA. Previous studies have indicated that induction of in vitro cell transformation and inhibition of gap junction intercellular communication are endpoints that could be useful for the detection of non-genotoxic carcinogens. In the present work, 13 compounds [chlordane, Arochlor 1260, di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, 1,1,1-trichloro-2, 2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)ethane, limonene, sodium fluoride, ethionine, o-anisidine, benzoyl peroxide, o-vanadate, phenobarbital, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate and clofibrate] have been tested for their ability to induce morphological transformation and affect intercellular communication in Syrian hamster embryo cells. The substances were selected on the basis of being proven or suspected non-genotoxic carcinogens, and thus difficult to detect in short-term tests. The data show that nine of the 13 compounds induced morphological transformation, and seven of the 13 inhibited intercellular communication in hamster embryo cells. Taken together, 12 of the 13 substances either induced transformation or caused inhibition of communication. The data suggest that the combined use of morphological transformation and gap junction intercellular communication in Syrian hamster embryo cells may be beneficial when screening for non-genotoxic carcinogens. PMID:10793297

  14. Lateral assembly of N-cadherin drives tissue integrity by stabilizing adherens junctions

    PubMed Central

    Garg, S.; Fischer, S. C.; Schuman, E. M.; Stelzer, E. H. K.

    2015-01-01

    Cadherin interactions ensure the correct registry and anchorage of cells during tissue formation. Along the plasma membrane, cadherins form inter-junctional lattices via cis- and trans-dimerization. While structural studies have provided models for cadherin interactions, the molecular nature of cadherin binding in vivo remains unexplored. We undertook a multi-disciplinary approach combining live cell imaging of three-dimensional cell assemblies (spheroids) with a computational model to study the dynamics of N-cadherin interactions. Using a loss-of-function strategy, we demonstrate that each N-cadherin interface plays a distinct role in spheroid formation. We found that cis-dimerization is not a prerequisite for trans-interactions, but rather modulates trans-interfaces to ensure tissue stability. Using a model of N-cadherin junction dynamics, we show that the absence of cis-interactions results in low junction stability and loss of tissue integrity. By quantifying the binding and unbinding dynamics of the N-cadherin binding interfaces, we determined that mutating either interface results in a 10-fold increase in the dissociation constant. These findings provide new quantitative information on the steps driving cadherin intercellular adhesion and demonstrate the role of cis-interactions in junction stability. PMID:25589573

  15. Scattering form factors for self-assembled network junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, T.; Safran, S. A.; Sottmann, T.; Strey, R.

    2007-11-01

    The equilibrium microstructures in microemulsions and other self-assembled systems show complex, connected shapes such as symmetric bicontinuous spongelike structures and asymmetric bicontinuous networks formed by cylinders interconnected at junctions. In microemulsions, these cylinder network microstructures may mediate the structural transition from a spherical or globular phase to the bicontinuous microstructure. To understand the structural and statistical properties of such cylinder network microstructures as measured by scattering experiments, models are needed to extract the real-space structure from the scattering data. In this paper, we calculate the scattering functions appropriate for cylinder network microstructures. We focus on such networks that contain a high density of network junctions that connect the cylindrical elements. In this limit, the network microstructure can be regarded as an assembly of randomly oriented, closed packed network junctions (i.e., the cylinder scattering contributions are neglected). Accordingly, the scattering spectrum of the network microstructure can be calculated as the product of the junction number density, the junction form factor, which describes the scattering from the surface of a single junction, and a structure factor, which describes the local correlations of different junctions due to junction interactions (including their excluded volume). This approach is applied to analyze the scattering data from a bicontinuous microemulsion with equal volumes of water and oil. In a second approach, we included the cylinder scattering contribution in the junction form factor by calculating the scattering intensity of Y junctions to which three rods with spherical cross section are attached. The respective theoretical predictions are compared with results of neutron scattering measurements on a water-in-oil microemulsion with a connected microstructure.

  16. Gingko biloba extracts protect auditory hair cells from cisplatin-induced ototoxicity by inhibiting perturbation of gap junctional intercellular communication.

    PubMed

    Choi, S J; Kim, S W; Lee, J B; Lim, H J; Kim, Y J; Tian, C; So, H S; Park, R; Choung, Y-H

    2013-08-01

    Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) may play an important role in the hearing process. Cisplatin is an anticancer drug that causes hearing loss and Gingko biloba extracts (EGb 761) have been used as an antioxidant and enhancer for GJIC. The purpose of this study was to examine the efficiency of EGb 761 in protecting against cisplatin-induced apoptosis and disturbance of GJIC. House Ear Institute-Organ of Corti 1 auditory cells were cultured and treated with cisplatin (50 μM) and EGb (300 μg/ml) for 24h, and then analyzed by immunocytochemistry (Annexin V/propidium iodide) and Western blots. GJIC was evaluated by scrape-loading dye transfer (SLDT). Basal turn organ of Corti (oC) explants from neonatal (p3) rats were exposed to cisplatin (1-10 μM) and EGb (50-400 μg/ml). The number of intact hair cells was counted by co-labeling with phalloidin and MyoVIIa. EGb prevented cisplatin-induced apoptosis in immunostaining and decreased caspase 3 and poly-ADP-ribose polymerase bands, which were increased in cisplatin-treated cells in Western blots. EGb prevented abnormal intracellular locations of connexin (Cx) 26, 30, 31, and 43 in cells treated with cisplatin and increased quantities of Cx bands. EGb also prevented cisplatin-induced disturbance of GJIC in SLDT. In oC explants, EGb significantly prevented hair cell damage induced by cisplatin. In animal studies, EGb significantly prevented cisplatin-induced hearing loss across 16 and 32 kHz. These results show that cisplatin induces ototoxicity including hearing loss as well as down-regulation of GJIC and inhibition of Cxs in auditory cells. EGb prevents hearing loss in cisplatin-treated rats by inhibiting down-regulation of Cx expression and GJIC. The disturbance of GJIC or Cx expression may be one of the important mechanisms of cisplatin-induced ototoxicity. PMID:23583760

  17. Structural and functional changes in gap junctional intercellular communication in a rat model of overactive bladder syndrome induced by partial bladder outlet obstruction

    PubMed Central

    ZHOU, FENGHAI; LI, HAIYUAN; ZHOU, CHUAN; LV, HAIDI; MA, YULEI; WANG, YANGMIN; SONG, BO

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between connexin (Cx)43 levels and alterations in gap junctional mediation of intercellular communication in overactive bladder syndrome (OAB), and to examine the effects of connexin inhibitor on this condition. Adult female Wistar rats with OAB following partial bladder outlet obstruction (PBBO) (OAB group, n=37) and sham-operated rats (control group, n=17) were studied. The ultrastructure of the rat detrusor was observed by transmission electron microscopy and the protein expression levels of Cx43 were analyzed using western blot analysis. Furthermore, bladder detrusor cells in both groups were cultured and cells in the OAB group were randomly divided into ten groups. In nine of these groups, 18-β glycyrrhetinic acid (18β-GA) was administered at various doses and durations. All groups were compared using fluorescence redistribution after photobleaching and a laser scanning confocal microscope. Cystometry demonstrated that gap junctions were an abundant mechanism among adjacent cells, and Cx43 protein expression levels were increased in the OAB group following 6 weeks of obstruction, as compared with the control group. Mean fluorescence recovery rates in the OAB group were significantly increased, as compared with the control group (P<0.01). Mean fluorescence recovery rates were noted following 18β-GA administration. These results suggested that upregulation of Cx43 induces structural and functional alterations in gap junctional intercellular communication following PBOO, and connexin inhibitors may be a novel therapeutic strategy for the clinical treatment of OAB. PMID:27284295

  18. Suspended InAs nanowire Josephson junctions assembled via dielectrophoresis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montemurro, D.; Stornaiuolo, D.; Massarotti, D.; Ercolani, D.; Sorba, L.; Beltram, F.; Tafuri, F.; Roddaro, S.

    2015-09-01

    We present a novel technique for the realization of suspended Josephson junctions based on InAs semiconductor nanowires. The devices are assembled using a technique of drop-casting guided by dielectrophoresis, which allows one to finely align the nanostructures on top of the electrodes. The proposed architecture removes the interaction between the nanowire and the substrate which is known to influence disorder and the orientation of the Rashba vector. The relevance of this approach in view of the implementation of hybrid Josephson junctions based on semiconducting nanowires coupled with high-temperature superconductors is discussed.

  19. Suspended InAs nanowire Josephson junctions assembled via dielectrophoresis.

    PubMed

    Montemurro, D; Stornaiuolo, D; Massarotti, D; Ercolani, D; Sorba, L; Beltram, F; Tafuri, F; Roddaro, S

    2015-09-25

    We present a novel technique for the realization of suspended Josephson junctions based on InAs semiconductor nanowires. The devices are assembled using a technique of drop-casting guided by dielectrophoresis, which allows one to finely align the nanostructures on top of the electrodes. The proposed architecture removes the interaction between the nanowire and the substrate which is known to influence disorder and the orientation of the Rashba vector. The relevance of this approach in view of the implementation of hybrid Josephson junctions based on semiconducting nanowires coupled with high-temperature superconductors is discussed. PMID:26335273

  20. Alix-mediated assembly of the actomyosin–tight junction polarity complex preserves epithelial polarity and epithelial barrier

    PubMed Central

    Campos, Yvan; Qiu, Xiaohui; Gomero, Elida; Wakefield, Randall; Horner, Linda; Brutkowski, Wojciech; Han, Young-Goo; Solecki, David; Frase, Sharon; Bongiovanni, Antonella; d'Azzo, Alessandra

    2016-01-01

    Maintenance of epithelial cell polarity and epithelial barrier relies on the spatial organization of the actin cytoskeleton and proper positioning/assembly of intercellular junctions. However, how these processes are regulated is poorly understood. Here we reveal a key role for the multifunctional protein Alix in both processes. In a knockout mouse model of Alix, we identified overt structural changes in the epithelium of the choroid plexus and in the ependyma, such as asymmetrical cell shape and size, misplacement and abnormal beating of cilia, blebbing of the microvilli. These defects culminate in excessive cell extrusion, enlargement of the lateral ventricles and hydrocephalus. Mechanistically, we find that by interacting with F-actin, the Par complex and ZO-1, Alix ensures the formation and maintenance of the apically restricted actomyosin–tight junction complex. We propose that in this capacity Alix plays a role in the establishment of apical–basal polarity and in the maintenance of the epithelial barrier. PMID:27336173

  1. Alix-mediated assembly of the actomyosin-tight junction polarity complex preserves epithelial polarity and epithelial barrier.

    PubMed

    Campos, Yvan; Qiu, Xiaohui; Gomero, Elida; Wakefield, Randall; Horner, Linda; Brutkowski, Wojciech; Han, Young-Goo; Solecki, David; Frase, Sharon; Bongiovanni, Antonella; d'Azzo, Alessandra

    2016-01-01

    Maintenance of epithelial cell polarity and epithelial barrier relies on the spatial organization of the actin cytoskeleton and proper positioning/assembly of intercellular junctions. However, how these processes are regulated is poorly understood. Here we reveal a key role for the multifunctional protein Alix in both processes. In a knockout mouse model of Alix, we identified overt structural changes in the epithelium of the choroid plexus and in the ependyma, such as asymmetrical cell shape and size, misplacement and abnormal beating of cilia, blebbing of the microvilli. These defects culminate in excessive cell extrusion, enlargement of the lateral ventricles and hydrocephalus. Mechanistically, we find that by interacting with F-actin, the Par complex and ZO-1, Alix ensures the formation and maintenance of the apically restricted actomyosin-tight junction complex. We propose that in this capacity Alix plays a role in the establishment of apical-basal polarity and in the maintenance of the epithelial barrier. PMID:27336173

  2. Resveratrol induces chemosensitization to 5-fluorouracil through up-regulation of intercellular junctions, Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and apoptosis in colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Buhrmann, Constanze; Shayan, Parviz; Kraehe, Patricia; Popper, Bastian; Goel, Ajay; Shakibaei, Mehdi

    2015-11-01

    5-Fluorouracil (5-FU), a common chemotherapeutic agent used for the treatment of colorectal cancer (CRC), by itself has inadequate response rates; highlighting the need for novel and improved treatment regimens for these patients. Resveratrol, a naturally-occurring polyphenol, has been linked with chemosensitizing potential and anticancer properties; however, the underlying mechanisms for these effects remain poorly understood. The effect of resveratrol in parental CRC cell lines (HCT116, SW480) and their corresponding isogenic 5-FU-chemoresistant derived clones (HCT116R, SW480R) was examined by MTT assays, intercellular junction formation and apoptosis by electron- and immunoelectron microscopy, nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) and NF-κB regulated gene products by western blot analysis in a 3D-alginate microenvironment. Resveratrol blocked the proliferation of all four CRC cell lines and synergized the invasion inhibitory effects of 5-FU. Interestingly, resveratrol induced a transition from 5-FU-induced formation of microvilli to a planar cell surface, which was concomitant with up-regulation of desmosomes, gap- and tight junctions (claudin-2) and adhesion molecules (E-cadherin) expression in HCT116 and HCT116R cells. Further, resveratrol significantly attenuated drug resistance through inhibition of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) factors (decreased vimentin and slug, increased E-cadherin) and down-regulation of NF-κB activation and its translocation to the nucleus and abolished NF-κB-regulated gene end-products (MMP-9, caspase-3). Moreover, this suppression was mediated through inhibition of IκBα kinase and IκBα phosphorylation and degradation. Our results demonstrate that resveratrol can potentiate the anti-tumor effects of 5-FU on CRC cells by chemosensitizing them, inhibiting an EMT phenotype via up-regulation of intercellular junctions and by down-regulation of NF-κB pathway. PMID:26310874

  3. Beta-sitosterol from psyllium seed husk (Plantago ovata Forsk) restores gap junctional intercellular communication in Ha-ras transfected rat liver cells.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Yasushi; Yoshikawa, Noriko; Hiroki, Ikumi; Sato, Kenji; Ohtsuki, Kozo; Chang, Chia-Cheng; Upham, Brad L; Trosko, James E

    2005-01-01

    We purified compounds from the husks of psyllium seeds (Plantago ovata Forsk; desert Indian wheat), beginning with an ethanol extraction then followed by HP-20 and silica gel chromatography, which restored gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) in v-Ha-ras transfected rat liver epithelial WB-F344 cell line (WB-Ha-ras). GJIC was assessed by a scrape loading dye transfer assay. The active compound was identified as beta-sitosterol based on gas chromatography retention times and electron ionization mass spectroscopy (EI-MS) spectrum of authentic beta-sitosterol. Authentic beta-sitosterol restored GJIC in the tumorigenic WB-Ha-ras GJIC-deficient cells at a dose of 2.4 microM. In addition, a similar phytosterol, stigmasterol, also restored GJIC, albeit at a lower activity. beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol increased the level of connexin43 protein (Cx43) and restored phosphorylation of Cx43 to levels similar to the parental nontransfected cell line. We concluded that the restoration of intercellular communication in the GJIC-deficient, tumorigenic WB-Ha-ras cell line by the ethanol soluble fraction of psyllium seed husks is largely due to the presence of the phytosterol, beta-sitosterol. We discuss implications for dietary modulation of cancer by beta-sitosterol. PMID:15860444

  4. To build a synapse: signaling pathways in neuromuscular junction assembly

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Haitao; Xiong, Wen C.; Mei, Lin

    2010-01-01

    Synapses, as fundamental units of the neural circuitry, enable complex behaviors. The neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is a synapse type that forms between motoneurons and skeletal muscle fibers and that exhibits a high degree of subcellular specialization. Aided by genetic techniques and suitable animal models, studies in the past decade have brought significant progress in identifying NMJ components and assembly mechanisms. This review highlights recent advances in the study of NMJ development, focusing on signaling pathways that are activated by diffusible cues, which shed light on synaptogenesis in the brain and contribute to a better understanding of muscular dystrophy. PMID:20215342

  5. Connexins: a myriad of functions extending beyond assembly of gap junction channels

    PubMed Central

    Dbouk, Hashem A; Mroue, Rana M; El-Sabban, Marwan E; Talhouk, Rabih S

    2009-01-01

    Connexins constitute a large family of trans-membrane proteins that allow intercellular communication and the transfer of ions and small signaling molecules between cells. Recent studies have revealed complex translational and post-translational mechanisms that regulate connexin synthesis, maturation, membrane transport and degradation that in turn modulate gap junction intercellular communication. With the growing myriad of connexin interacting proteins, including cytoskeletal elements, junctional proteins, and enzymes, gap junctions are now perceived, not only as channels between neighboring cells, but as signaling complexes that regulate cell function and transformation. Connexins have also been shown to form functional hemichannels and have roles altogether independent of channel functions, where they exert their effects on proliferation and other aspects of life and death of the cell through mostly-undefined mechanisms. This review provides an updated overview of current knowledge of connexins and their interacting proteins, and it describes connexin modulation in disease and tumorigenesis. PMID:19284610

  6. Evolution of Microbial Quorum Sensing to Human Global Quorum Sensing: An Insight into How Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication Might Be Linked to the Global Metabolic Disease Crisis.

    PubMed

    Trosko, James E

    2016-01-01

    The first anaerobic organism extracted energy for survival and reproduction from its source of nutrients, with the genetic means to ensure protection of its individual genome but also its species survival. While it had a means to communicate with its community via simple secreted molecules ("quorum sensing"), the eventual shift to an aerobic environment led to multi-cellular metazoan organisms, with evolutionary-selected genes to form extracellular matrices, stem cells, stem cell niches, and a family of gap junction or "connexin" genes. These germinal and somatic stem cells responded to extracellular signals that triggered intra-cellular signaling to regulate specific genes out of the total genome. These extra-cellular induced intra-cellular signals also modulated gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) in order to regulate the new cellular functions of symmetrical and asymmetrical cell division, cell differentiation, modes of cell death, and senescence. Within the hierarchical and cybernetic concepts, differentiated by neurons organized in the brain of the Homo sapiens, the conscious mind led to language, abstract ideas, technology, myth-making, scientific reasoning, and moral decision-making, i.e., the creation of culture. Over thousands of years, this has created the current collision between biological and cultural evolution, leading to the global "metabolic disease" crisis. PMID:27314399

  7. Evolution of Microbial Quorum Sensing to Human Global Quorum Sensing: An Insight into How Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication Might Be Linked to the Global Metabolic Disease Crisis

    PubMed Central

    Trosko, James E.

    2016-01-01

    The first anaerobic organism extracted energy for survival and reproduction from its source of nutrients, with the genetic means to ensure protection of its individual genome but also its species survival. While it had a means to communicate with its community via simple secreted molecules (“quorum sensing”), the eventual shift to an aerobic environment led to multi-cellular metazoan organisms, with evolutionary-selected genes to form extracellular matrices, stem cells, stem cell niches, and a family of gap junction or “connexin” genes. These germinal and somatic stem cells responded to extracellular signals that triggered intra-cellular signaling to regulate specific genes out of the total genome. These extra-cellular induced intra-cellular signals also modulated gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) in order to regulate the new cellular functions of symmetrical and asymmetrical cell division, cell differentiation, modes of cell death, and senescence. Within the hierarchical and cybernetic concepts, differentiated by neurons organized in the brain of the Homo sapiens, the conscious mind led to language, abstract ideas, technology, myth-making, scientific reasoning, and moral decision–making, i.e., the creation of culture. Over thousands of years, this has created the current collision between biological and cultural evolution, leading to the global “metabolic disease” crisis. PMID:27314399

  8. ROCK activity regulates functional tight junction assembly during blastocyst formation in porcine parthenogenetic embryos

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Jeongwoo

    2016-01-01

    The Rho-associated coiled-coil-containing protein serine/threonine kinases 1 and 2 (ROCK1 and ROCK2) are Rho subfamily GTPase downstream effectors that regulate cell migration, intercellular adhesion, cell polarity, and cell proliferation by stimulating actin cytoskeleton reorganization. Inhibition of ROCK proteins affects specification of the trophectoderm (TE) and inner cell mass (ICM) lineages, compaction, and blastocyst cavitation. However, the molecules involved in blastocyst formation are not known. Here, we examined developmental competence and levels of adherens/tight junction (AJ/TJ) constituent proteins, such as CXADR, OCLN, TJP1, and CDH1, as well as expression of their respective mRNAs, after treating porcine parthenogenetic four-cell embryos with Y-27632, a specific inhibitor of ROCK, at concentrations of 0, 10, 20, 100 µM for 24 h. Following this treatment, the blastocyst development rates were 39.1, 20.7, 10.0, and 0% respectively. In embryos treated with 20 µM treatment, expression levels of CXADR, OCLN, TJP1, and CDH1 mRNA and protein molecules were significantly reduced (P < 0.05). FITC-dextran uptake assay revealed that the treatment caused an increase in TE TJ permeability. Interestingly, the majority of the four-cell and morula embryos treated with 20 µM Y-27643 for 24 h showed defective compaction and cavitation. Taken together, our results indicate that ROCK activity may differentially affect assembly of AJ/TJs as well as regulate expression of genes encoding junctional proteins. PMID:27077008

  9. Lactic acid inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication in in vitro astrocytes as measured by fluorescence recovery after laser photobleaching

    SciTech Connect

    Anders, J.J.

    1988-01-01

    Lactic acid can permeate plasma membranes, causing intracellular acidosis. Gap junctions are sensitive to pHi and can be reversibly uncoupled by weak acids. In this study, dye coupling between in vitro astrocytes, presumably mediated by gap junctions, was measured in the absence and presence of lactic acid. Fluorescence recovery after laser photobleaching (gap-FRAP analysis) was used to measure dye coupling. Astrocytes bathed in Eagle's minimum essential medium (EMEM) with lactic acid, pHo 5.5-6, showed no difference in their dye coupling (mean recovery of fluorescence 30%) when compared to control astrocytes (mean recovery of fluorescence 26%). However, 24 mM lactic acid in EMEM, pHo 4.5, decreased dye coupling (mean recovery of fluorescence 2.0%). This effect occurred within 5 min of treatment. When lactic acid-EMEM, pH 4.5, was removed from astrocytes after 30 min and the cells were incubated in EMEM for 24 hr, decreased coupling was not reversed (mean recovery 4.0%). When lactic acid-treated astrocytes were incubated in EMEM for 48 hr, the mean recovery of fluorescence increased to 15% (i.e., 42% of the recovery seen in controls). These observations suggest that brief exposure to high concentrations of lactic acid can have immediate and long-lasting effects on glial gap junctional communication. Under pathological circumstances, such a sequence could be initiated, and this might impair astrocytic control of the central nervous system microenvironment mediated by spatial buffering.

  10. AMP-activated protein kinase regulates the assembly of epithelial tight junctions.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Li; Li, Ji; Young, Lawrence H; Caplan, Michael J

    2006-11-14

    AMP activated protein kinase (AMPK), a sensor of cellular energy status in all eukaryotic cells, is activated by LKB1-dependent phosphorylation. Recent studies indicate that activated LKB1 induces polarity in epithelial cells and that this polarization is accompanied by the formation of tight junction structures. We wished to determine whether AMPK also contributes to the assembly of tight junctions in the epithelial cell polarization process. We found that AMPK is activated during calcium-induced tight junction assembly. Activation of AMPK by 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleoside facilitates tight junction assembly under conditions of normal extracellular Ca2+ concentrations and initiates tight junction assembly in the absence of Ca2+ as revealed by the relocation of zonula occludens 1, the establishment of transepithelial electrical resistance, and the paracellular flux assay. Expression of a dominant negative AMPK construct inhibits tight junction assembly in MDCK cells, and this defect in tight junction assembly can be partially ameliorated by rapamycin. These results suggest that AMPK plays a role in the regulation of tight junction assembly. PMID:17088526

  11. Reversal of the TPA-induced inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication by Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) extracts: effects on MAP kinases.

    PubMed

    Park, Jung-Ran; Park, Joon-Suk; Jo, Eun-Hye; Hwang, Jae-Woong; Kim, Sun-Jung; Ra, Jeong-Chan; Aruoma, Okezie I; Lee, Yong-Soon; Kang, Kyung-Sun

    2006-01-01

    Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) has continued to receive attention as a folk medicine with indications for the treatment of cancers and digestive diseases. The anticarcinogenic effect of Chaga mushroom extract was investigated using a model system of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) in WB-F344 normal rat liver epithelial cells. The cells were pre-incubated with Chaga mushroom extracts (5, 10, 20 microg/ml) for 24 h and this was followed by co-treatment with Chaga mushroom extracts and TPA (12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate, 10 ng/ml) for 1 h. The inhibition of GJIC by TPA (12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate), promoter of cancer, was prevented with treatment of Chaga mushroom extracts. Similarly, the increased phosphorylated ERK1/2 and p38 protein kinases were markedly reduced in Chaga mushroom extracts-treated cells. There was no change in the JNK kinase protein level, suggesting that Chaga mushroom extracts could only block the activation of ERK1/2 and p38 MAP kinase. The Chaga mushroom extracts further prevented the inhibition of GJIC through the blocking of Cx43 phosphorylation. Indeed cell-to-cell communication through gap junctional channels is a critical factor in the life and death balance of cells because GJIC has an important function in maintaining tissue homeostasis through the regulation of cell growth, differentiation, apoptosis and adaptive functions of differentiated cells. Thus Chaga mushroom may act as a natural anticancer product by preventing the inhibition of GJIC through the inactivation of ERK1/2 and p38 MAP kinase. PMID:17012771

  12. The NLRP3 Inflammasome Is a Pathogen Sensor for Invasive Entamoeba histolytica via Activation of α5β1 Integrin at the Macrophage-Amebae Intercellular Junction

    PubMed Central

    Mortimer, Leanne; Moreau, France; Cornick, Steve; Chadee, Kris

    2015-01-01

    Entamoeba histolytica (Eh) is an extracellular protozoan parasite of humans that invades the colon to cause life-threatening intestinal and extra-intestinal amebiasis. Colonized Eh is asymptomatic, however, when trophozoites adhere to host cells there is a considerable inflammatory response that is critical in the pathogenesis of amebiasis. The host and/or parasite factors that trigger the inflammatory response to invading Eh are not well understood. We recently identified that Eh adherence to macrophages induces inflammasome activation and in the present study we sought to determine the molecular events upon contact that coordinates this response. Here we report that Eh contact-dependent activation of α5β1 integrin is critical for activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Eh-macrophage contact triggered recruitment of α5β1 integrin and NLRP3 into the intercellular junction, where α5β1 integrin underwent activation by an integrin-binding cysteine protease on the parasite surface, termed EhCP5. As a result of its activation, α5β1 integrin induced ATP release into the extracellular space through opening of pannexin-1 channels that signalled through P2X7 receptors to deliver a critical co-stimulatory signal that activated the NLRP3 inflammasome. Both the cysteine protease activity and integrin-binding domain of EhCP5 were required to trigger α5β1 integrin that led to ATP release and NLRP3 inflammasome activation. These findings reveal engagement of α5β1 integrin across the parasite-host junction is a key regulatory step that initiates robust inflammatory responses to Eh. We propose that α5β1 integrin distinguishes Eh direct contact and functions with NLRP3 as pathogenicity sensor for invasive Eh infection. PMID:25955828

  13. Involvement of YAP, TAZ and HSP90 in Contact Guidance and Intercellular Junction Formation in Corneal Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Joshua T.; Tuyen, Binh C.; Rose, Brad W.; Reilly, Christopher M.; Russell, Paul; Murphy, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    The extracellular environment possesses a rich milieu of biophysical and biochemical signaling cues that are simultaneously integrated by cells and influence cellular phenotype. Yes-associated protein (YAP) and transcriptional co-activator with PDZ-binding motif (WWTR1; TAZ), two important signaling molecules of the Hippo pathway, have been recently implicated as nuclear relays of cytoskeletal changes mediated by substratum rigidity and topography. These proteins intersect with other important intracellular signaling pathways (e.g. Wnt and TGFβ). In the cornea, epithelial cells adhere to the stroma through a 3-dimensional topography-rich basement membrane, with features in the nano-submicron size-scale that are capable of profoundly modulating a wide range of fundamental cell behaviors. The influences of substratum-topography, YAP/TAZ knockdown, and HSP90 inhibition on cell morphology, YAP/TAZ localization, and the expression of TGFβ2 and CTGF, were investigated. The results demonstrate (a) that knockdown of TAZ enhances contact guidance in a YAP dependent manner, (b) that CTGF is predominantly regulated by YAP and not TAZ, and (c) that TGFβ2 is regulated by both YAP and TAZ in these cells. Additionally, inhibition of HSP90 resulted in nuclear localization and subsequent transcriptional-activation of YAP, formation of cell-cell junctions and co-localization of E-cadherin and β-catenin at adherens junctions. Results presented in this study reflect the complexities underlying the molecular relationships between the cytoskeleton, growth factors, heat shock proteins, and co-activators of transcription that impact mechanotransduction. The data reveal the importance of YAP/TAZ on the cell behaviors, and gene and protein expression. PMID:25290150

  14. Antiproliferative Action of Conjugated Linoleic Acid on Human MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells Mediated by Enhancement of Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication through Inactivation of NF-κB

    PubMed Central

    Rakib, Md. Abdur; Lee, Won Sup; Kim, Gon Sup; Han, Jae Hee; Kim, Jeong Ok

    2013-01-01

    The major conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) isomers, c9,t11-CLA and t10,c12-CLA, have anticancer effects; however, the exact mechanisms underlying these effects are unknown. Evidence suggests that reversal of reduced gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) in cancer cells inhibits cell growth and induces cell death. Hence, we determined that CLA isomers enhance GJIC in human MCF-7 breast cancer cells and investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms. The CLA isomers significantly enhanced GJIC of MCF-7 cells at 40 μM concentration, whereas CLA inhibited cell growth and induced caspase-dependent apoptosis. CLA increased connexin43 (Cx43) expression both at the transcriptional and translational levels. CLA inhibited nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activity and enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. No significant difference was observed in the efficacy of c9,t11-CLA and t10,c12-CLA. These results suggest that the anticancer effect of CLA is associated with upregulation of GJIC mediated by enhanced Cx43 expression through inactivation of NF-κB and generation of ROS in MCF-7 cells. PMID:24371460

  15. Soyasaponins prevent H₂O₂-induced inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication by scavenging reactive oxygen species in rat liver cells.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jiading; Sun, Suxia; Zha, Dingsheng; Wu, Jiguo; Mao, Limei; Deng, Hong; Chu, Xinwei; Luo, Haiji; Zha, Longying

    2014-01-01

    It appears to be more practical and effective to prevent carcinogenesis by targeting the tumor promotion stage. Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) is strongly involved in carcinogenesis, especially the tumor promotion stage. Considerable interest has been focused on the chemoprevention activities of soyasaponin (SS), which are major phytochemicals found in soybeans and soy products. However, less is known about the preventive effects of SS (especially SS with different chemical structures) against tumor promoter-induced inhibition of GJIC. We investigated the protective effects of SS-A1, SS-A2, and SS-I against hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced GJIC inhibition and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in Buffalo rat liver (BRL) cells. The present results clearly show for the first time that SS-A1, SS-A2, and SS-I prevent the H2O2-induced GJIC inhibition by scavenging ROS in BRL cells in a dose-dependent manner at the concentration range of from 25 to 100 μg/mL. Soyasaponins attenuated the H2O2-induced ROS through potentiating the activities of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase. This may be an important mechanism by which SS protects against tumor promotion. In addition, various chemical structures of SS appear to exhibit different protective abilities against GJIC inhibition. This may partly attribute to their differences in ROS-scavenging activities. PMID:25268883

  16. Red paprika (Capsicum annuum L.) and its main carotenoids, capsanthin and β-carotene, prevent hydrogen peroxide-induced inhibition of gap-junction intercellular communication.

    PubMed

    Kim, Ji-Sun; Lee, Woo-Moon; Rhee, Han Cheol; Kim, Suna

    2016-07-25

    This study was conducted to investigate the protective effect of red paprika extract (RPE) and its main carotenoids, namely, capsanthin (CST) and β-carotene (BCT), on the H2O2-induced inhibition of gap-junction intercellular communication (GJIC) in WB-F344 rat liver epithelial cells (WB cells). We found that pre-treatment with RPE, CST and BCT protected WB cells from H2O2-induced inhibition of GJIC. RPE, CST and BCT not only recovered connexin 43 (Cx43) mRNA expression but also prevented phosphorylation of Cx43 protein by H2O2 treatment. RPE attenuated the phosphorylation of ERK, p38 and JNK, whereas pre-treatment with CST and BCT only attenuated the phosphorylation of ERK and p38 and did not affect JNK in H2O2-treated WB cells. RPE, CST and BCT significantly suppressed the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in H2O2-treated cells compared to untreated WB cells. These results suggest that dietary intake of red paprika might be helpful for lowering the risk of diseases caused by oxidative stress. PMID:27154496

  17. Inhibition of gap junctional Intercellular communication in WB-F344 rat liver epithelial cells by triphenyltin chloride through MAPK and PI3-kinase pathways

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Organotin compounds (OTCs) have been widely used as stabilizers in the production of plastic, agricultural pesticides, antifoulant plaints and wood preservation. The toxicity of triphenyltin (TPT) compounds was known for their embryotoxic, neurotoxic, genotoxic and immunotoxic effects in mammals. The carcinogenicity of TPT was not well understood and few studies had discussed the effects of OTCs on gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) of cells. Method In the present study, the effects of triphenyltin chloride (TPTC) on GJIC in WB-F344 rat liver epithelial cells were evaluated, using the scrape-loading dye transfer technique. Results TPTC inhibited GJIC after a 30-min exposure in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Pre-incubation of cells with the protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor did not modify the response, but the specific MEK 1 inhibitor PD98059 and PI3K inhibitor LY294002 decreased substantially the inhibition of GJIC by TPTC. After WB-F344 cells were exposed to TPTC, phosphorylation of Cx43 increased as seen in Western blot analysis. Conclusions These results show that TPTC inhibits GJIC in WB-F344 rat liver epithelial cells by altering the Cx43 protein expression through both MAPK and PI3-kinase pathways. PMID:20591183

  18. Bystander effects of PC12 cells treated with Pb²⁺ depend on ROS-mitochondria-dependent apoptotic signaling via gap-junctional intercellular communication.

    PubMed

    Guo, Shu; Zhou, Jin; Chen, Xuemei; Yu, Yunjiang; Ren, Mingzhong; Hu, Guocheng; Liu, Yun; Zou, Fei

    2014-08-17

    The demonstration of bystander effect, which means injured cells propagate damage to neighboring cells, in whole organisms has clear implication of the potential relevance of the non-targeted response to human health. Here we show that 10 μM lead acetate, the optimum concentration for inducing apoptosis confirmed by the expression levels of Bax and Bcl-2, can also induce rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells to exert bystander effects to neighboring cells. In a novel co-culture system, GFP-PC12 (Pb(2+)) cells, which were stable transfected with EF1A-eGFP and pre-exposed with lead acetate, were co-cultured with unexposed PC12 cells at a 1:5 ratio. Parachute assays demonstrated the functional gap-junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) formed between Pb(2+)-exposed and unexposed cells. The Pb(2+)-exposed cells induced very similar effects on neighboring unexposed cells to apoptosis coincide with intracellular ROS generation and the collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm). Furthermore, carbenoxolone (CBX), a blocker of GJIC, inhibited the bystander effects. The results indicate that the Pb(2+)-induced insults propagate through GJIC between PC12 cells, while inducing the bystander cells to apoptosis via ROS-mitochondria-dependent apoptotic signaling. PMID:24960054

  19. ASSEMBLY AND CHARACTERIZATION OF 8-ARM AND 12-ARM DNA BRANCHED JUNCTIONS

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xing

    2012-01-01

    Branched DNA molecules can be assembled into objects and networks directed by sticky-ended cohesion. The connectivity of these species is limited by the number of arms flanking the branch point. To date, the only branched junctions constructed contain six or fewer arms. We report the construction of DNA branched junctions that contain either 8 or 12 double helical arms surrounding a branch point. The design of the 8-arm junction expoits the limits of a previous approach to thwart branch migration, but the design of the 12-arm junction uses a new to principle achieve this end. The 8-arm junction is stable with 16 nucleotide pairs per arm, but the 12-arm junction has been stabilized by 24 nucleotide pairs per arm. Ferguson analysis of these junctions in combination with three, four, five, and six-arm junctions indicates a linear increase in friction constant as the number of arms increases; the four-arm junction migrates anomalously at 4°C., suggesting stacking of its domains. All strands in both the 8-arm and 12-arm junctions show similar responses to hydroxyl radical autofootprinting analysis, indicating that they lack any dominant stacking structures. The stability of the 12-arm junction demonstrates that the number of arms in a junction is not limited to the case of having adjacent identical base pairs flanking the junction. The ability to construct eight-arm and twelve-arm junctions increases the number of objects, graphs and networks that can be built from branched DNA components. In principle, the stick structure corresponding to cubic close packing is now a possible target for assembly by DNA nanotechnology. PMID:17564446

  20. Junctional Adhesion Molecule A Promotes Epithelial Tight Junction Assembly to Augment Lung Barrier Function

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Leslie A.; Ward, Christina; Kwon, Mike; Mitchell, Patrick O.; Quintero, David A.; Nusrat, Asma; Parkos, Charles A.; Koval, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Epithelial barrier function is maintained by tight junction proteins that control paracellular fluid flux. Among these proteins is junctional adhesion molecule A (JAM-A), an Ig fold transmembrane protein. To assess JAM-A function in the lung, we depleted JAM-A in primary alveolar epithelial cells using shRNA. In cultured cells, loss of JAM-A caused an approximately 30% decrease in transepithelial resistance, decreased expression of the tight junction scaffold protein zonula occludens 1, and disrupted junctional localization of the structural transmembrane protein claudin-18. Consistent with findings in other organs, loss of JAM-A decreased β1 integrin expression and impaired filamentous actin formation. Using a model of mild systemic endoxotemia induced by i.p. injection of lipopolysaccharide, we report that JAM-A−/− mice showed increased susceptibility to pulmonary edema. On injury, the enhanced susceptibility of JAM-A−/− mice to edema correlated with increased, transient disruption of claudin-18, zonula occludens 1, and zonula occludens 2 localization to lung tight junctions in situ along with a delay in up-regulation of claudin-4. In contrast, wild-type mice showed no change in lung tight junction morphologic features in response to mild systemic endotoxemia. These findings support a key role of JAM-A in promoting tight junction homeostasis and lung barrier function by coordinating interactions among claudins, the tight junction scaffold, and the cytoskeleton. PMID:25438062

  1. INHIBITION OF INTERCELLULAR COMMUNICATION BETWEEN MOUSE HEPATOCYTES BY TUMOR PROMOTERS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Tumor promoters can inhibit gap junction-mediated intercellular communication in cultured cells. The authors evaluated the effects of tumor promoters on intercellular communication between B6C3F1 mouse hepatocytes in primary culture. Intercellular communication between donor and ...

  2. Regulation of connexins by the ubiquitin system: Implications for intercellular communication and cancer.

    PubMed

    Leithe, Edward

    2016-04-01

    The connexins constitute a family of integral membrane proteins that form intercellular channels, enabling adjacent cells to directly exchange ions and small molecules. The connexin channels assemble into distinct plasma membrane domains known as gap junctions. Intercellular communication via gap junctions has an important role in regulating cell growth and differentiation, as well as in maintaining tissue homeostasis. Connexin43 (Cx43), the most ubiquitously expressed connexin isoform in human tissues, has been shown to act as a tumor suppressor and is frequently downregulated during cancer development. Cx43 has a short half-life, and modulation of the Cx43 turnover rate represents an important mechanism by which the level of gap junctional intercellular communication is regulated under basal conditions. Moreover, many growth factors, oncogenes, and tumor promoters are potent inducers of Cx43 endocytosis and endolysosomal degradation, resulting in loss of gap junctions. Emerging evidence indicates that the ubiquitin system has a major role in these processes. Recent studies have shown that ubiquitination is also involved in the autophagy-mediated degradation of Cx43 in a process mediated by the proto-oncogenic E3 ubiquitin ligase NEDD4. Moreover, ubiquitination of connexins has been implicated in modulating the level of intercellular communication via gap junctions in response to oxidative stress. This review article provides an overview of our current understanding of the role of the ubiquitin system in the regulation of connexins and discusses how the malfunction of these processes may contribute to the loss of intercellular communication via gap junctions during carcinogenesis. PMID:26855059

  3. Three-dimensional podocyte-endothelial cell co-cultures: Assembly, validation, and application to drug testing and intercellular signaling studies.

    PubMed

    Li, Min; Corbelli, Alessandro; Watanabe, Shojiro; Armelloni, Silvia; Ikehata, Masami; Parazzi, Valentina; Pignatari, Chiara; Giardino, Laura; Mattinzoli, Deborah; Lazzari, Lorenza; Puliti, Aldamaria; Cellesi, Francesco; Zennaro, Cristina; Messa, Piergiorgio; Rastaldi, Maria Pia

    2016-04-30

    Proteinuria is a common symptom of glomerular diseases and is due to leakage of proteins from the glomerular filtration barrier, a three-layer structure composed by two post-mitotic highly specialized and interdependent cell populations, i.e. glomerular endothelial cells and podocytes, and the basement membrane in between. Despite enormous progresses made in the last years, pathogenesis of proteinuria remains to be completely uncovered. Studies in the field could largely benefit from an in vitro model of the glomerular filter, but such a system has proved difficult to realize. Here we describe a method to obtain and utilize a three-dimensional podocyte-endothelial co-culture which can be largely adopted by the scientific community because it does not rely on special instruments nor on the synthesis of devoted biomaterials. The device is composed by a porous membrane coated on both sides with type IV collagen. Adhesion of podocytes on the upper side of the membrane has to be preceded by VEGF-induced maturation of endothelial cells on the lower side. The co-culture can be assembled with podocyte cell lines as well as with primary podocytes, extending the use to cells derived from transgenic mice. An albumin permeability assay has been extensively validated and applied as functional readout, enabling rapid drug testing. Additionally, the bottom of the well can be populated with a third cell type, which multiplies the possibilities of analyzing more complex glomerular intercellular signaling events. In conclusion, the ease of assembly and versatility of use are the major advantages of this three-dimensional model of the glomerular filtration barrier over existing methods. The possibility to run a functional test that reliably measures albumin permeability makes the device a valid companion in several research applications ranging from drug screening to intercellular signaling studies. PMID:26924225

  4. Kinase programs spatiotemporally regulate gap junction assembly and disassembly: Effects on wound repair.

    PubMed

    Solan, Joell L; Lampe, Paul D

    2016-02-01

    Gap junctions are highly ordered plasma membrane domains that are constantly assembled, remodeled and turned over due to the short half-life of connexins, the integral membrane proteins that form gap junctions. Connexin 43 (Cx43), by far the most widely expressed connexin, is phosphorylated at multiple serine residues in the cytoplasmic, C-terminal region allowing for exquisite cellular control over gap junctional communication. This is evident during epidermal wounding where spatiotemporal changes in connexin expression occur as cells are instructed whether to die, proliferate or migrate to promote repair. Early gap junctional communication is required for initiation of keratinocyte migration, but accelerated Cx43 turnover is also critical for proper wound healing at later stages. These events are controlled via a "kinase program" where sequential phosphorylation of Cx43 leads to reductions in Cx43's half-life and significant depletion of gap junctions from the plasma membrane within several hours. The complex regulation of gap junction assembly and turnover affords several steps where intervention might speed wound healing. PMID:26706150

  5. Laminin-111 stimulates proliferation of mouse embryonic stem cells through a reduction of gap junctional intercellular communication via RhoA-mediated Cx43 phosphorylation and dissociation of Cx43/ZO-1/drebrin complex.

    PubMed

    Suh, Han Na; Kim, Mi Ok; Han, Ho Jae

    2012-07-20

    Gap junctions within extracellular matrix (ECM)-defined boundaries ensure synchronous activity between cells destined to become functional mediators that regulate cell behavior. However, the role of ECM in connexin (Cx) function in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) has not been elucidated. Therefore, we examined the role of laminin-111 in the control of Cx43 functions and related signal pathways in mESCs. ECM components (laminin-111, fibronectin, and collagen I) increased Cx43 phosphorylation and decreased Lucifer yellow (Ly) diffusion. In addition, laminin-111 increased the proliferation index through reduction of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), which was confirmed by 18α-glycyrrhetinic acid (18α-GA). Laminin-111 increased phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK)/Src and protein kinase C (PKC), which were inhibited by integrin β1 antibody (Ab) and laminin receptor-1 (LR-1) Ab, respectively. In addition, inhibition of both FAK/Src and PKC blocked Cx43 phosphorylation. Laminin-111 increased the Ras homolog gene family, member A (RhoA) activation, which was blocked by FAK/Src and PKC inhibitors, suggesting the existence of parallel pathways that merge at RhoA. Inhibition of RhoA reversed the laminin-111-induced increase of Cx43 phosphorylation and reduction of GJIC. Laminin-111 also stimulated the dissociation of Cx43/ZO-1 complex followed by disruption of Cx43/drebrin and Cx43/F-actin complexes, which were reversed by C3 (RhoA inhibitor). ZO-1 small interfering (si) RNA significantly decreased Ly diffusion. Moreover, laminin-111 decreased Cx43 labeling at the intercellular junction, whereas pretreatment with degradation inhibitors (lysosomal protease inhibitor, chloroquine; proteasome inhibitor, lactacystin) increased Cx43 expression, reversely. In conclusion, laminin-111 stimulated mESC proliferation through a reduction of GJIC via RhoA-mediated Cx43 phosphorylation and Cx43/ZO-1/drebrin complex instability-mediated Cx43 degradation

  6. Gold nanoparticle-mediated (GNOME) laser perforation: a new method for a high-throughput analysis of gap junction intercellular coupling.

    PubMed

    Begandt, Daniela; Bader, Almke; Antonopoulos, Georgios C; Schomaker, Markus; Kalies, Stefan; Meyer, Heiko; Ripken, Tammo; Ngezahayo, Anaclet

    2015-10-01

    The present report evaluates the advantages of using the gold nanoparticle-mediated laser perforation (GNOME LP) technique as a computer-controlled cell optoperforation to introduce Lucifer yellow (LY) into cells in order to analyze the gap junction coupling in cell monolayers. To permeabilize GM-7373 endothelial cells grown in a 24 multiwell plate with GNOME LP, a laser beam of 88 μm in diameter was applied in the presence of gold nanoparticles and LY. After 10 min to allow dye uptake and diffusion through gap junctions, we observed a LY-positive cell band of 179 ± 8 μm width. The presence of the gap junction channel blocker carbenoxolone during the optoperforation reduced the LY-positive band to 95 ± 6 μm. Additionally, a forskolin-related enhancement of gap junction coupling, recently found using the scrape loading technique, was also observed using GNOME LP. Further, an automatic cell imaging and a subsequent semi-automatic quantification of the images using a java-based ImageJ-plugin were performed in a high-throughput sequence. Moreover, the GNOME LP was used on cells such as RBE4 rat brain endothelial cells, which cannot be mechanically scraped as well as on three-dimensionally cultivated cells, opening the possibility to implement the GNOME LP technique for analysis of gap junction coupling in tissues. We conclude that the GNOME LP technique allows a high-throughput automated analysis of gap junction coupling in cells. Moreover this non-invasive technique could be used on monolayers that do not support mechanical scraping as well as on cells in tissue allowing an in vivo/ex vivo analysis of gap junction coupling. PMID:26310434

  7. On-chip molecular electronic plasmon sources based on self-assembled monolayer tunnel junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Wei; Wang, Tao; Chu, Hong-Son; Wu, Lin; Liu, Rongrong; Sun, Song; Phua, Wee Kee; Wang, Lejia; Tomczak, Nikodem; Nijhuis, Christian A.

    2016-04-01

    Molecular electronic control over plasmons offers a promising route for on-chip integrated molecular plasmonic devices for information processing and computing. To move beyond the currently available technologies and to miniaturize plasmonic devices, molecular electronic plasmon sources are required. Here, we report on-chip molecular electronic plasmon sources consisting of tunnel junctions based on self-assembled monolayers sandwiched between two metallic electrodes that excite localized plasmons, and surface plasmon polaritons, with tunnelling electrons. The plasmons originate from single, diffraction-limited spots within the junctions, follow power-law distributed photon statistics, and have well-defined polarization orientations. The structure of the self-assembled monolayer and the applied bias influence the observed polarization. We also show molecular electronic control of the plasmon intensity by changing the chemical structure of the molecules and by bias-selective excitation of plasmons using molecular diodes.

  8. The assembly and maintenance of epithelial junctions in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Lynch, Allison M.; Hardin, Jeff

    2010-01-01

    The epithelial tissues of the C. elegans embryo provide a “minimalist” system for examining phylogenetically conserved proteins that function in epithelial polarity and cell-cell adhesion in a multicellular organism. In this review, we provide an overview of three major molecular complexes at the apical surface of epithelial cells in the C. elegans embryo: the cadherin-catenin complex, the more basal DLG-1/AJM-1 complex, and the apical membrane domain, which shares similarities with the subapical complex in Drosophila and the PAR/aPKC complex in vertebrates. We discuss how the assembly of these complexes contributes to epithelial polarity and adhesion, proteins that act as effectors and/or regulators of each subdomain, and how these complexes functionally interact during embryonic morphogenesis. Although much remains to be clarified, significant progress has been made in recent years to clarify the role of these protein complexes in epithelial morphogenesis, and suggests that C. elegans will continue to be a fruitful system in which to elucidate functional roles for these proteins in a living embryo. PMID:19273138

  9. Specializations of intercellular junctions are associated with the presence and absence of hair cell regeneration in ears from six vertebrate classes.

    PubMed

    Burns, Joseph C; Collado, Maria Sol; Oliver, Eric R; Corwin, Jeffrey T

    2013-04-15

    Sensory hair cell losses lead to hearing and balance deficits that are permanent for mammals, but temporary for nonmammals because supporting cells in their ears give rise to replacement hair cells. In mice and humans, vestibular supporting cells grow exceptionally large circumferential F-actin belts and their junctions express E-cadherin in patterns that strongly correlate with postnatal declines in regeneration capacity. In contrast, chicken supporting cells retain thin F-actin belts throughout life and express little E-cadherin. To determine whether the junctions in chicken ears might be representative of other ears that also regenerate hair cells, we investigated inner ears from dogfish sharks, zebrafish, bullfrogs, Xenopus, turtles, and the lizard, Anolis. As in chickens, the supporting cells in adult zebrafish, Xenopus, and turtle ears retained thin circumferential F-actin belts and expressed little E-cadherin. Supporting cells in adult sharks and bullfrogs also retained thin belts, but were not tested for E-cadherin. Supporting cells in adult Anolis exhibited wide, but porous webs of F-actin and strong E-cadherin expression. Anolis supporting cells also showed some cell cycle reentry when cultured. The results reveal that the association between thin F-actin belts and low E-cadherin is shared by supporting cells in anamniotes, turtles, and birds, which all can regenerate hair cells. Divergent junctional specializations in supporting cells appear to have arisen independently in Anolis and mammals. The presence of webs of F-actin at the junctions in Anolis appears compatible with supporting cell proliferation, but the solid reinforcement of the F-actin belts in mammals is associated with its absence. PMID:23124808

  10. Equivalent circuits of a self-assembled monolayer-based tunnel junction determined by impedance spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Sangeeth, C S Suchand; Wan, Albert; Nijhuis, Christian A

    2014-08-01

    The electrical characteristics of molecular tunnel junctions are normally determined by DC methods. Using these methods it is difficult to discriminate the contribution of each component of the junctions, e.g., the molecule-electrode contacts, protective layer (if present), or the SAM, to the electrical characteristics of the junctions. Here we show that frequency-dependent AC measurements, impedance spectroscopy, make it possible to separate the contribution of each component from each other. We studied junctions that consist of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of n-alkanethiolates (S(CH2)(n-1)CH3 ≡ SC(n) with n = 8, 10, 12, or 14) of the form Ag(TS)-SC(n)//GaO(x)/EGaIn (a protective thin (~0.7 nm) layer of GaO(x) forms spontaneously on the surface of EGaIn). The impedance data were fitted to an equivalent circuit consisting of a series resistor (R(S), which includes the SAM-electrode contact resistance), the capacitance of the SAM (C(SAM)), and the resistance of the SAM (R(SAM)). A plot of R(SAM) vs n(C) yielded a tunneling decay constant β of 1.03 ± 0.04 n(C)(-1), which is similar to values determined by DC methods. The value of C(SAM) is similar to previously reported values, and R(S) (2.9-3.6 × 10(-2) Ω·cm(2)) is dominated by the SAM-top contact resistance (and not by the conductive layer of GaO(x)) and independent of n(C). Using the values of R(SAM), we estimated the resistance per molecule r as a function of n(C), which are similar to values obtained by single molecule experiments. Thus, impedance measurements give detailed information regarding the electrical characteristics of the individual components of SAM-based junctions. PMID:25036915

  11. Lymphocytes accelerate epithelial tight junction assembly: role of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK).

    PubMed

    Tang, Xiao Xiao; Chen, Hao; Yu, Sidney; Zhang, Li; Caplan, Michael J; Chan, Hsiao Chang

    2010-01-01

    The tight junctions (TJs), characteristically located at the apicolateral borders of adjacent epithelial cells, are required for the proper formation of epithelial cell polarity as well as for sustaining the mucosal barrier to the external environment. The observation that lymphocytes are recruited by epithelial cells to the sites of infection [1] suggests that they may play a role in the modulation of epithelial barrier function and thus contribute to host defense. To test the ability of lymphocytes to modulate tight junction assembly in epithelial cells, we set up a lymphocyte-epithelial cell co-culture system, in which Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells, a well-established model cell line for studying epithelial TJ assembly [2], were co-cultured with mouse lymphocytes to mimic an infection state. In a typical calcium switch experiment, the TJ assembly in co-culture was found to be accelerated compared to that in MDCK cells alone. This accelaration was found to be mediated by AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). AMPK activation was independent of changes in cellular ATP levels but it was found to be activated by the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha. Forced suppression of AMPK, either with a chemical inhibitor or by knockdown, abrogated the accelerating effect of lymphocytes on TJ formation. Similar results were also observed in a co-culture with lymphocytes and Calu-3 human airway epithelial cells, suggesting that the activation of AMPK may be a general mechanism underlying lymphocyte-accelerated TJ assembly in different epithelia. These results suggest that signals from lymphocytes, such as cytokines, facilitate TJ assembly in epithelial cells via the activation of AMPK. PMID:20808811

  12. Ser364 of connexin43 and the upregulation of gap junction assembly by cAMP

    PubMed Central

    TenBroek, Erica M.; Lampe, Paul D.; Solan, Joell L.; Reynhout, James K.; Johnson, Ross G.

    2001-01-01

    The assembly of gap junctions (GJs) is a process coordinated by growth factors, kinases, and other signaling molecules. GJ assembly can be enhanced via the elevation of cAMP and subsequent stimulation of connexon trafficking to the plasma membrane. To study the positive regulation of GJ assembly, fibroblasts derived from connexin (Cx)43 knockout (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice were transfected with WT Cx43 (WTCx43) or mutant Cx43. GJ assembly between untransfected WT fibroblasts or stably transfected WTCx43/KO fibroblasts was increased two- to fivefold by 8Br-cAMP, and this increase could be blocked by inhibition of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) or truncation of the Cx43 COOH terminus (CT). Although serine 364 (S364) of the Cx43 CT was determined to be a major site of phosphorylation, the molar ratio of Cx43 phosphorylation was not increased by 8Br-cAMP. Importantly, GJ assembly between either S364ECx43/KO or S364ECx43/WT fibroblasts was stimulated by 8Br-cAMP, but that between S364ACx43/KO or S364PCx43/KO fibroblasts was not stimulated, indicating that phosphorylation or a negative charge at S364 is required for enhancement of GJ assembly by cAMP. Furthermore, GJ assembly between S364ACx43/WT fibroblasts could be stimulated by 8Br-cAMP, but could not be between S364PCx43/WT fibroblasts. Thus, S364PCx43 interferes with enhanced GJ assembly when coexpressed with WTCx43. PMID:11756479

  13. Phosphorylation on Ser-279 and Ser-282 of connexin43 regulates endocytosis and gap junction assembly in pancreatic cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Kristen E.; Mitra, Shalini; Katoch, Parul; Kelsey, Linda S.; Johnson, Keith R.; Mehta, Parmender P.

    2013-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms regulating the assembly of connexins (Cxs) into gap junctions are poorly understood. Using human pancreatic tumor cell lines BxPC3 and Capan-1, which express Cx26 and Cx43, we show that, upon arrival at the cell surface, the assembly of Cx43 is impaired. Connexin43 fails to assemble, because it is internalized by clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Assembly is restored upon expressing a sorting-motif mutant of Cx43, which does not interact with the AP2 complex, and by expressing mutants that cannot be phosphorylated on Ser-279 and Ser-282. The mutants restore assembly by preventing clathrin-mediated endocytosis of Cx43. Our results also document that the sorting-motif mutant is assembled into gap junctions in cells in which the expression of endogenous Cx43 has been knocked down. Remarkably, Cx43 mutants that cannot be phosphorylated on Ser-279 or Ser-282 are assembled into gap junctions only when connexons are composed of Cx43 forms that can be phosphorylated on these serines and forms in which phosphorylation on these serines is abolished. Based on the subcellular fate of Cx43 in single and contacting cells, our results document that the endocytic itinerary of Cx43 is altered upon cell–cell contact, which causes Cx43 to traffic by EEA1-negative endosomes en route to lysosomes. Our results further show that gap-junctional plaques formed of a sorting motif–deficient mutant of Cx43, which is unable to be internalized by the clathrin-mediated pathway, are predominantly endocytosed in the form of annular junctions. Thus the differential phosphorylation of Cx43 on Ser-279 and Ser-282 is fine-tuned to control Cx43’s endocytosis and assembly into gap junctions. PMID:23363606

  14. Perispeckles are major assembly sites for the exon junction core complex

    PubMed Central

    Daguenet, Elisabeth; Baguet, Aurélie; Degot, Sébastien; Schmidt, Ute; Alpy, Fabien; Wendling, Corinne; Spiegelhalter, Coralie; Kessler, Pascal; Rio, Marie-Christine; Le Hir, Hervé; Bertrand, Edouard; Tomasetto, Catherine

    2012-01-01

    The exon junction complex (EJC) is loaded onto mRNAs as a consequence of splicing and regulates multiple posttranscriptional events. MLN51, Magoh, Y14, and eIF4A3 form a highly stable EJC core, but where this tetrameric complex is assembled in the cell remains unclear. Here we show that EJC factors are enriched in domains that we term perispeckles and are visible as doughnuts around nuclear speckles. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer analyses and EJC assembly mutants show that perispeckles do not store free subunits, but instead are enriched for assembled cores. At the ultrastructural level, perispeckles are distinct from interchromatin granule clusters that may function as storage sites for splicing factors and intermingle with perichromatin fibrils, where nascent RNAs and active RNA Pol II are present. These results support a model in which perispeckles are major assembly sites for the tetrameric EJC core. This subnuclear territory thus represents an intermediate region important for mRNA maturation, between transcription sites and splicing factor reservoirs and assembly sites. PMID:22419818

  15. Perispeckles are major assembly sites for the exon junction core complex.

    PubMed

    Daguenet, Elisabeth; Baguet, Aurélie; Degot, Sébastien; Schmidt, Ute; Alpy, Fabien; Wendling, Corinne; Spiegelhalter, Coralie; Kessler, Pascal; Rio, Marie-Christine; Le Hir, Hervé; Bertrand, Edouard; Tomasetto, Catherine

    2012-05-01

    The exon junction complex (EJC) is loaded onto mRNAs as a consequence of splicing and regulates multiple posttranscriptional events. MLN51, Magoh, Y14, and eIF4A3 form a highly stable EJC core, but where this tetrameric complex is assembled in the cell remains unclear. Here we show that EJC factors are enriched in domains that we term perispeckles and are visible as doughnuts around nuclear speckles. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer analyses and EJC assembly mutants show that perispeckles do not store free subunits, but instead are enriched for assembled cores. At the ultrastructural level, perispeckles are distinct from interchromatin granule clusters that may function as storage sites for splicing factors and intermingle with perichromatin fibrils, where nascent RNAs and active RNA Pol II are present. These results support a model in which perispeckles are major assembly sites for the tetrameric EJC core. This subnuclear territory thus represents an intermediate region important for mRNA maturation, between transcription sites and splicing factor reservoirs and assembly sites. PMID:22419818

  16. Molecular junctions of self-assembled monolayers with conducting polymer contacts.

    PubMed

    Neuhausen, Alexander B; Hosseini, Ali; Sulpizio, Joseph A; Chidsey, Christopher E D; Goldhaber-Gordon, David

    2012-11-27

    We present a method to fabricate individually addressable junctions of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) that builds on previous studies which have shown that soft conductive polymer top contacts virtually eliminate shorts through the SAMs. We demonstrate devices with nanoscale lateral dimensions, representing an order of magnitude reduction in device area, with high yield and relatively low device-to-device variation, improving several features of previous soft contact devices. The devices are formed in pores in an inorganic dielectric layer with features defined by e-beam lithography and dry etching. We replace the aqueous PEDOT:PSS conductive polymer used in prior devices with Aedotron P, a low-viscosity, amphiphilic polymer, allowing incorporation of self-assembled monolayers with either hydrophobic or hydrophilic termination with the same junction geometry and materials. We demonstrate the adaptability of this new design by presenting transport measurements on SAMs composed of alkanethiols with methyl, thiol, carboxyl, and azide terminations. We establish that the observed room-temperature tunnel barrier is primarily a function of monolayer thickness, independent of the terminal group's hydrophilicity. Finally, we investigate the temperature dependence of transport and show that the low-temperature behavior is based on the energy distribution of sites from which carriers can tunnel between the polymer and gold contacts, as described by a model of variable-range hopping transport in a disordered conductor. PMID:23035989

  17. Levonorgestrel Inhibits Human Endometrial Cell Proliferation through the Upregulation of Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication via the Nuclear Translocation of Ser255 Phosphorylated Cx43

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Xiaomiao; Tang, Xueliang; Ma, Tingting; Ding, Miao; Bian, Lijuan; Chen, Dongmei; Li, Yangzhi; Wang, Liangan; Zhuang, Yanyan; Xie, Meiqing; Yang, Dongzi

    2015-01-01

    Objects. To assess whether LNG exerts antiproliferation effects on human endometrial cells through changes of GJIC function and the phosphorylated Cx43. Methods. Cell proliferation and apoptosis of human endometrial stromal cells (HESCs) and glandular cells (HEGCs) treated with LNG in a dose- and time-dependent manner. GJIC change and further total Cx43 and serine 368 and 255 phosphorylated Cx43 were measured. Results. 5 × 10−5 mol/L LNG revealed a time-dependent inhibition of cell proliferation and an increase of apoptosis in both HESCs and HEGCs. Furthermore, these cells demonstrated a significant GJIC enhancement upon treatment with 5 × 10−5 mol/L for 48 hours. The effects of LNG were most noticeable in HESCs rather than in HEGCs. Associated with these changes, LNG induced a relative increase in total Cx43 in a time-dependent manner but not Ser368 phosphorylated Cx43. Moreover, laser scanning confocal microscope confirmed the increased expression of total Cx43 in the cytoplasm and, interestingly, the nuclear translocation of Ser255 phosphorylated Cx43. Conclusions. LNG likely inhibits the proliferation and promotes apoptosis in HESCs and HEGCs though an increase in gap junction permeability in vitro, which is achieved through the upregulation of Cx43 expression and the translocation of serine 255 phosphorylated Cx43 from the plasma to the nuclear compartment. PMID:26161412

  18. ADAM10 Is Involved in Cell Junction Assembly in Early Porcine Embryo Development

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Jeongwoo; Jeong, Sung-min; Choi, Inchul; Kim, Nam-Hyung

    2016-01-01

    ADAM10 (A Disintegrin and Metalloprotease domain-containing protein 10) is a cell surface protein with a unique structure possessing both potential adhesion and protease domains. However, the role of ADAM10 in preimplantation stage embryos is not clear. In this study, we examined the expression patterns and functional roles of ADAM10 in porcine parthenotes during preimplantation development. The transcription level of ADAM10 dramatically increased from the morula stage onward. Immunostaining revealed that ADAM10 was present in both the nucleus and cytoplasm in early cleavage stage embryos, and localized to the apical region of the outer cells in morula and blastocyst embryos. Knockdown (KD) of ADAM10 using double strand RNA did not alter preimplantation embryo development until morula stage, but resulted in significantly reduced development to blastocyst stage. Moreover, the KD blastocyst showed a decrease in gene expression of adherens and tight junction (AJ/TJ), and an increase in trophectoderm TJ permeability by disrupting TJ assembly. Treatment with an ADAM10 specific chemical inhibitor, GI254023X, at the morula stage also inhibited blastocyst development and led to disruption of TJ assembly. An in situ proximity ligation assay demonstrated direct interaction of ADAM10 with coxsackie virus and adenovirus receptor (CXADR), supporting the involvement of ADAM10 in TJ assembly. In conclusion, our findings strongly suggest that ADADM10 is important for blastocyst formation rather than compaction, particularly for TJ assembly and stabilization in preimplantation porcine parthenogenetic development. PMID:27043020

  19. ADAM10 Is Involved in Cell Junction Assembly in Early Porcine Embryo Development.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Jeongwoo; Jeong, Sung-min; Choi, Inchul; Kim, Nam-Hyung

    2016-01-01

    ADAM10 (A Disintegrin and Metalloprotease domain-containing protein 10) is a cell surface protein with a unique structure possessing both potential adhesion and protease domains. However, the role of ADAM10 in preimplantation stage embryos is not clear. In this study, we examined the expression patterns and functional roles of ADAM10 in porcine parthenotes during preimplantation development. The transcription level of ADAM10 dramatically increased from the morula stage onward. Immunostaining revealed that ADAM10 was present in both the nucleus and cytoplasm in early cleavage stage embryos, and localized to the apical region of the outer cells in morula and blastocyst embryos. Knockdown (KD) of ADAM10 using double strand RNA did not alter preimplantation embryo development until morula stage, but resulted in significantly reduced development to blastocyst stage. Moreover, the KD blastocyst showed a decrease in gene expression of adherens and tight junction (AJ/TJ), and an increase in trophectoderm TJ permeability by disrupting TJ assembly. Treatment with an ADAM10 specific chemical inhibitor, GI254023X, at the morula stage also inhibited blastocyst development and led to disruption of TJ assembly. An in situ proximity ligation assay demonstrated direct interaction of ADAM10 with coxsackie virus and adenovirus receptor (CXADR), supporting the involvement of ADAM10 in TJ assembly. In conclusion, our findings strongly suggest that ADADM10 is important for blastocyst formation rather than compaction, particularly for TJ assembly and stabilization in preimplantation porcine parthenogenetic development. PMID:27043020

  20. The Carboxyl Tail of Connexin32 Regulates Gap Junction Assembly in Human Prostate and Pancreatic Cancer Cells*

    PubMed Central

    Katoch, Parul; Mitra, Shalini; Ray, Anuttoma; Kelsey, Linda; Roberts, Brett J.; Wahl, James K.; Johnson, Keith R.; Mehta, Parmender P.

    2015-01-01

    Connexins, the constituent proteins of gap junctions, are transmembrane proteins. A connexin (Cx) traverses the membrane four times and has one intracellular and two extracellular loops with the amino and carboxyl termini facing the cytoplasm. The transmembrane and the extracellular loop domains are highly conserved among different Cxs, whereas the carboxyl termini, often called the cytoplasmic tails, are highly divergent. We have explored the role of the cytoplasmic tail of Cx32, a Cx expressed in polarized and differentiated cells, in regulating gap junction assembly. Our results demonstrate that compared with the full-length Cx32, the cytoplasmic tail-deleted Cx32 is assembled into small gap junctions in human pancreatic and prostatic cancer cells. Our results further document that the expression of the full-length Cx32 in cells, which express the tail-deleted Cx32, increases the size of gap junctions, whereas the expression of the tail-deleted Cx32 in cells, which express the full-length Cx32, has the opposite effect. Moreover, we show that the tail is required for the clustering of cell-cell channels and that in cells expressing the tail-deleted Cx32, the expression of cell surface-targeted cytoplasmic tail alone is sufficient to enhance the size of gap junctions. Our live-cell imaging data further demonstrate that gap junctions formed of the tail-deleted Cx32 are highly mobile compared with those formed of full-length Cx32. Our results suggest that the cytoplasmic tail of Cx32 is not required to initiate the assembly of gap junctions but for their subsequent growth and stability. Our findings suggest that the cytoplasmic tail of Cx32 may be involved in regulating the permeability of gap junctions by regulating their size. PMID:25548281

  1. Junctional actin assembly is mediated by Formin-like 2 downstream of Rac1

    PubMed Central

    Grikscheit, Katharina; Frank, Tanja; Wang, Ying

    2015-01-01

    Epithelial integrity is vitally important, and its deregulation causes early stage cancer. De novo formation of an adherens junction (AJ) between single epithelial cells requires coordinated, spatial actin dynamics, but the mechanisms steering nascent actin polymerization for cell–cell adhesion initiation are not well understood. Here we investigated real-time actin assembly during daughter cell–cell adhesion formation in human breast epithelial cells in 3D environments. We identify formin-like 2 (FMNL2) as being specifically required for actin assembly and turnover at newly formed cell–cell contacts as well as for human epithelial lumen formation. FMNL2 associates with components of the AJ complex involving Rac1 activity and the FMNL2 C terminus. Optogenetic control of Rac1 in living cells rapidly drove FMNL2 to epithelial cell–cell contact zones. Furthermore, Rac1-induced actin assembly and subsequent AJ formation critically depends on FMNL2. These data uncover FMNL2 as a driver for human epithelial AJ formation downstream of Rac1. PMID:25963818

  2. Junctional actin assembly is mediated by Formin-like 2 downstream of Rac1.

    PubMed

    Grikscheit, Katharina; Frank, Tanja; Wang, Ying; Grosse, Robert

    2015-05-11

    Epithelial integrity is vitally important, and its deregulation causes early stage cancer. De novo formation of an adherens junction (AJ) between single epithelial cells requires coordinated, spatial actin dynamics, but the mechanisms steering nascent actin polymerization for cell-cell adhesion initiation are not well understood. Here we investigated real-time actin assembly during daughter cell-cell adhesion formation in human breast epithelial cells in 3D environments. We identify formin-like 2 (FMNL2) as being specifically required for actin assembly and turnover at newly formed cell-cell contacts as well as for human epithelial lumen formation. FMNL2 associates with components of the AJ complex involving Rac1 activity and the FMNL2 C terminus. Optogenetic control of Rac1 in living cells rapidly drove FMNL2 to epithelial cell-cell contact zones. Furthermore, Rac1-induced actin assembly and subsequent AJ formation critically depends on FMNL2. These data uncover FMNL2 as a driver for human epithelial AJ formation downstream of Rac1. PMID:25963818

  3. Gap Junctions

    PubMed Central

    Nielsen, Morten Schak; Axelsen, Lene Nygaard; Sorgen, Paul L.; Verma, Vandana; Delmar, Mario; Holstein-Rathlou, Niels-Henrik

    2013-01-01

    Gap junctions are essential to the function of multicellular animals, which require a high degree of coordination between cells. In vertebrates, gap junctions comprise connexins and currently 21 connexins are known in humans. The functions of gap junctions are highly diverse and include exchange of metabolites and electrical signals between cells, as well as functions, which are apparently unrelated to intercellular communication. Given the diversity of gap junction physiology, regulation of gap junction activity is complex. The structure of the various connexins is known to some extent; and structural rearrangements and intramolecular interactions are important for regulation of channel function. Intercellular coupling is further regulated by the number and activity of channels present in gap junctional plaques. The number of connexins in cell-cell channels is regulated by controlling transcription, translation, trafficking, and degradation; and all of these processes are under strict control. Once in the membrane, channel activity is determined by the conductive properties of the connexin involved, which can be regulated by voltage and chemical gating, as well as a large number of posttranslational modifications. The aim of the present article is to review our current knowledge on the structure, regulation, function, and pharmacology of gap junctions. This will be supported by examples of how different connexins and their regulation act in concert to achieve appropriate physiological control, and how disturbances of connexin function can lead to disease. © 2012 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 2:1981-2035, 2012. PMID:23723031

  4. Discovering the Molecular Components of Intercellular Junctions—A Historical View

    PubMed Central

    Franke, Werner W.

    2009-01-01

    The organization of metazoa is based on the formation of tissues and on tissue-typical functions and these in turn are based on cell–cell connecting structures. In vertebrates, four major forms of cell junctions have been classified and the molecular composition of which has been elucidated in the past three decades: Desmosomes, which connect epithelial and some other cell types, and the almost ubiquitous adherens junctions are based on closely cis-packed glycoproteins, cadherins, which are associated head-to-head with those of the hemi-junction domain of an adjacent cell, whereas their cytoplasmic regions assemble sizable plaques of special proteins anchoring cytoskeletal filaments. In contrast, the tight junctions (TJs) and gap junctions (GJs) are formed by tetraspan proteins (claudins and occludins, or connexins) arranged head-to-head as TJ seal bands or as paracrystalline connexin channels, allowing intercellular exchange of small molecules. The by and large parallel discoveries of the junction protein families are reported. PMID:20066111

  5. Creating Sub-50 Nm Nanofluidic Junctions in PDMS Microfluidic Chip via Self-Assembly Process of Colloidal Particles.

    PubMed

    Wei, Xi; Syed, Abeer; Mao, Pan; Han, Jongyoon; Song, Yong-Ak

    2016-01-01

    Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is the prevailing building material to make microfluidic devices due to its ease of molding and bonding as well as its transparency. Due to the softness of the PDMS material, however, it is challenging to use PDMS for building nanochannels. The channels tend to collapse easily during plasma bonding. In this paper, we present an evaporation-driven self-assembly method of silica colloidal nanoparticles to create nanofluidic junctions with sub-50 nm pores between two microchannels. The pore size as well as the surface charge of the nanofluidic junction is tunable simply by changing the colloidal silica bead size and surface functionalization outside of the assembled microfluidic device in a vial before the self-assembly process. Using the self-assembly of nanoparticles with a bead size of 300 nm, 500 nm, and 900 nm, it was possible to fabricate a porous membrane with a pore size of ~45 nm, ~75 nm and ~135 nm, respectively. Under electrical potential, this nanoporous membrane initiated ion concentration polarization (ICP) acting as a cation-selective membrane to concentrate DNA by ~1,700 times within 15 min. This non-lithographic nanofabrication process opens up a new opportunity to build a tunable nanofluidic junction for the study of nanoscale transport processes of ions and molecules inside a PDMS microfluidic chip. PMID:27023724

  6. Role of redox centre in charge transport investigated by novel self-assembled conjugated polymer molecular junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zongrui; Dong, Huanli; Li, Tao; Hviid, Rune; Zou, Ye; Wei, Zhongming; Fu, Xiaolong; Wang, Erjing; Zhen, Yonggang; Nørgaard, Kasper; Laursen, Bo W.; Hu, Wenping

    2015-06-01

    Molecular electronics describes a field that seeks to implement electronic components made of molecular building blocks. To date, few studies have used conjugated polymers in molecular junctions despite the fact that they potentially transport charge more efficiently than the extensively investigated small-molecular systems. Here we report a novel type of molecular tunnelling junction exploring the use of conjugated polymers, which are self-assembled into ultrathin films in a distinguishable `planar' manner from the traditional vertically oriented small-molecule monolayers. Electrical measurements on the junctions reveal molecular-specific characteristics of the polymeric molecules in comparison with less conjugated small molecules. More significantly, we decorate redox-active functionality into polymeric backbones, demonstrating a key role of redox centre in the modulation of charge transport behaviour via energy level engineering and external stimuli, and implying the potential of employing tailor-made polymeric components as alternatives to small molecules for future molecular-scale electronics.

  7. Bottom head to shell junction assembly for a boiling water nuclear reactor

    DOEpatents

    Fife, Alex Blair; Ballas, Gary J.

    1998-01-01

    A bottom head to shell junction assembly which, in one embodiment, includes an annular forging having an integrally formed pump deck and shroud support is described. In the one embodiment, the annular forging also includes a top, cylindrical shaped end configured to be welded to one end of the pressure vessel cylindrical shell and a bottom, conical shaped end configured to be welded to the disk shaped bottom head. Reactor internal pump nozzles also are integrally formed in the annular forging. The nozzles do not include any internal or external projections. Stubs are formed in each nozzle opening to facilitate welding a pump housing to the forging. Also, an upper portion of each nozzle opening is configured to receive a portion of a diffuser coupled to a pump shaft which extends through the nozzle opening. Diffuser openings are formed in the integral pump deck to provide additional support for the pump impellers. The diffuser opening is sized so that a pump impeller can extend at least partially therethrough. The pump impeller is connected to the pump shaft which extends through the nozzle opening.

  8. Mammalian BTBD12/SLX4 assembles a Holliday junction resolvase and is required for DNA repair.

    PubMed

    Svendsen, Jennifer M; Smogorzewska, Agata; Sowa, Mathew E; O'Connell, Brenda C; Gygi, Steven P; Elledge, Stephen J; Harper, J Wade

    2009-07-10

    Structure-specific endonucleases mediate cleavage of DNA structures formed during repair of collapsed replication forks and double-strand breaks (DSBs). Here, we identify BTBD12 as the human ortholog of the budding yeast DNA repair factor Slx4p and D. melanogaster MUS312. Human SLX4 forms a multiprotein complex with the ERCC4(XPF)-ERCC1, MUS81-EME1, and SLX1 endonucleases and also associates with MSH2/MSH3 mismatch repair complex, telomere binding complex TERF2(TRF2)-TERF2IP(RAP1), the protein kinase PLK1 and the uncharacterized protein C20orf94. Depletion of SLX4 causes sensitivity to mitomycin C and camptothecin and reduces the efficiency of DSB repair in vivo. SLX4 complexes cleave 3' flap, 5' flap, and replication fork structures; yet unlike other endonucleases associated with SLX4, the SLX1-SLX4 module promotes symmetrical cleavage of static and migrating Holliday junctions (HJs), identifying SLX1-SLX4 as a HJ resolvase. Thus, SLX4 assembles a modular toolkit for repair of specific types of DNA lesions and is critical for cellular responses to replication fork failure. PMID:19596235

  9. Bottom head to shell junction assembly for a boiling water nuclear reactor

    DOEpatents

    Fife, A.B.; Ballas, G.J.

    1998-02-24

    A bottom head to shell junction assembly which, in one embodiment, includes an annular forging having an integrally formed pump deck and shroud support is described. In the one embodiment, the annular forging also includes a top, cylindrical shaped end configured to be welded to one end of the pressure vessel cylindrical shell and a bottom, conical shaped end configured to be welded to the disk shaped bottom head. Reactor internal pump nozzles also are integrally formed in the annular forging. The nozzles do not include any internal or external projections. Stubs are formed in each nozzle opening to facilitate welding a pump housing to the forging. Also, an upper portion of each nozzle opening is configured to receive a portion of a diffuser coupled to a pump shaft which extends through the nozzle opening. Diffuser openings are formed in the integral pump deck to provide additional support for the pump impellers. The diffuser opening is sized so that a pump impeller can extend at least partially therethrough. The pump impeller is connected to the pump shaft which extends through the nozzle opening. 5 figs.

  10. Crystal Phase Transformation in Self-Assembled InAs Nanowire Junctions on Patterned Si Substrates.

    PubMed

    Rieger, Torsten; Rosenbach, Daniel; Vakulov, Daniil; Heedt, Sebastian; Schäpers, Thomas; Grützmacher, Detlev; Lepsa, Mihail Ion

    2016-03-01

    We demonstrate the growth and structural characteristics of InAs nanowire junctions evidencing a transformation of the crystalline structure. The junctions are obtained without the use of catalyst particles. Morphological investigations of the junctions reveal three structures having an L-, T-, and X-shape. The formation mechanisms of these structures have been identified. The NW junctions reveal large sections of zinc blende crystal structure free of extended defects, despite the high stacking fault density obtained in individual InAs nanowires. This segment of zinc blende crystal structure in the junction is associated with a crystal phase transformation involving sets of Shockley partial dislocations; the transformation takes place solely in the crystal phase. A model is developed to demonstrate that only the zinc blende phase with the same orientation as the substrate can result in monocrystalline junctions. The suitability of the junctions to be used in nanoelectronic devices is confirmed by room-temperature electrical experiments. PMID:26881450

  11. CFTR interacts with ZO-1 to regulate tight junction assembly and epithelial differentiation through the ZONAB pathway

    PubMed Central

    Ruan, Ye Chun; Wang, Yan; Da Silva, Nicolas; Kim, Bongki; Diao, Rui Ying; Hill, Eric; Brown, Dennis; Chan, Hsiao Chang; Breton, Sylvie

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Mutations in CFTR lead to dysfunction of tubular organs, which is currently attributed to impairment of its conductive properties. We now show that CFTR regulates tight junction assembly and epithelial cell differentiation through modulation of the ZO-1–ZONAB pathway. CFTR colocalizes with ZO-1 at the tight junctions of trachea and epididymis, and is expressed before ZO-1 in Wolffian ducts. CFTR interacts with ZO-1 through the CTFR PDZ-binding domain. In a three-dimensional (3D) epithelial cell culture model, CFTR regulates tight junction assembly and is required for tubulogenesis. CFTR inhibition or knockdown reduces ZO-1 expression and induces the translocation of the transcription factor ZONAB (also known as YBX3) from tight junctions to the nucleus, followed by upregulation of the transcription of CCND1 and downregulation of ErbB2 transcription. The epididymal tubules of cftr−/− and cftrΔF508 mice have reduced ZO-1 levels, increased ZONAB nuclear expression, and decreased epithelial cell differentiation, illustrated by the reduced expression of apical AQP9 and V-ATPase. This study provides a new paradigm for the etiology of diseases associated with CFTR mutations, including cystic fibrosis. PMID:25107366

  12. CFTR interacts with ZO-1 to regulate tight junction assembly and epithelial differentiation through the ZONAB pathway.

    PubMed

    Ruan, Ye Chun; Wang, Yan; Da Silva, Nicolas; Kim, Bongki; Diao, Rui Ying; Hill, Eric; Brown, Dennis; Chan, Hsiao Chang; Breton, Sylvie

    2014-10-15

    Mutations in CFTR lead to dysfunction of tubular organs, which is currently attributed to impairment of its conductive properties. We now show that CFTR regulates tight junction assembly and epithelial cell differentiation through modulation of the ZO-1-ZONAB pathway. CFTR colocalizes with ZO-1 at the tight junctions of trachea and epididymis, and is expressed before ZO-1 in Wolffian ducts. CFTR interacts with ZO-1 through the CTFR PDZ-binding domain. In a three-dimensional (3D) epithelial cell culture model, CFTR regulates tight junction assembly and is required for tubulogenesis. CFTR inhibition or knockdown reduces ZO-1 expression and induces the translocation of the transcription factor ZONAB (also known as YBX3) from tight junctions to the nucleus, followed by upregulation of the transcription of CCND1 and downregulation of ErbB2 transcription. The epididymal tubules of cftr(-/-) and cftr(ΔF508) mice have reduced ZO-1 levels, increased ZONAB nuclear expression, and decreased epithelial cell differentiation, illustrated by the reduced expression of apical AQP9 and V-ATPase. This study provides a new paradigm for the etiology of diseases associated with CFTR mutations, including cystic fibrosis. PMID:25107366

  13. A complex of ZO-1 and the BAR-domain protein TOCA-1 regulates actin assembly at the tight junction

    PubMed Central

    Van Itallie, Christina M.; Tietgens, Amber Jean; Krystofiak, Evan; Kachar, Bechara; Anderson, James M.

    2015-01-01

    Assembly and sealing of the tight junction barrier are critically dependent on the perijunctional actin cytoskeleton, yet little is known about physical and functional links between barrier-forming proteins and actin. Here we identify a novel functional complex of the junction scaffolding protein ZO-1 and the F-BAR–domain protein TOCA-1. Using MDCK epithelial cells, we show that an alternative splice of TOCA-1 adds a PDZ-binding motif, which binds ZO-1, targeting TOCA-1 to barrier contacts. This isoform of TOCA-1 recruits the actin nucleation–promoting factor N-WASP to tight junctions. CRISPR-Cas9–mediated knockout of TOCA-1 results in increased paracellular flux and delayed recovery in a calcium switch assay. Knockout of TOCA-1 does not alter FRAP kinetics of GFP ZO-1 or occludin, but longer term (12 h) time-lapse microscopy reveals strikingly decreased tight junction membrane contact dynamics in knockout cells compared with controls. Reexpression of TOCA-1 with, but not without, the PDZ-binding motif rescues both altered flux and membrane contact dynamics. Ultrastructural analysis shows actin accumulation at the adherens junction in TOCA-1–knockout cells but unaltered freeze-fracture fibril morphology. Identification of the ZO-1/TOCA-1 complex provides novel insights into the underappreciated dependence of the barrier on the dynamic nature of cell-to-cell contacts and perijunctional actin. PMID:26063734

  14. The Extracellular Architecture of Adherens Junctions Revealed by Crystal Structures of Type I Cadherins

    SciTech Connect

    O Harrison; X Jin; S Hong; F Bahna; G Ahlsen; J Brasch; Y Wu; J Vendome; K Felsovalyi; et al.

    2011-12-31

    Adherens junctions, which play a central role in intercellular adhesion, comprise clusters of type I classical cadherins that bind via extracellular domains extended from opposing cell surfaces. We show that a molecular layer seen in crystal structures of E- and N-cadherin ectodomains reported here and in a previous C-cadherin structure corresponds to the extracellular architecture of adherens junctions. In all three ectodomain crystals, cadherins dimerize through a trans adhesive interface and are connected by a second, cis, interface. Assemblies formed by E-cadherin ectodomains coated on liposomes also appear to adopt this structure. Fluorescent imaging of junctions formed from wild-type and mutant E-cadherins in cultured cells confirm conclusions derived from structural evidence. Mutations that interfere with the trans interface ablate adhesion, whereas cis interface mutations disrupt stable junction formation. Our observations are consistent with a model for junction assembly involving strong trans and weak cis interactions localized in the ectodomain.

  15. Synaptopodin couples epithelial contractility to α-actinin-4–dependent junction maturation

    PubMed Central

    Kannan, Nivetha

    2015-01-01

    The epithelial junction experiences mechanical force exerted by endogenous actomyosin activities and from interactions with neighboring cells. We hypothesize that tension generated at cell–cell adhesive contacts contributes to the maturation and assembly of the junctional complex. To test our hypothesis, we used a hydraulic apparatus that can apply mechanical force to intercellular junction in a confluent monolayer of cells. We found that mechanical force induces α-actinin-4 and actin accumulation at the cell junction in a time- and tension-dependent manner during junction development. Intercellular tension also induces α-actinin-4–dependent recruitment of vinculin to the cell junction. In addition, we have identified a tension-sensitive upstream regulator of α-actinin-4 as synaptopodin. Synaptopodin forms a complex containing α-actinin-4 and β-catenin and interacts with myosin II, indicating that it can physically link adhesion molecules to the cellular contractile apparatus. Synaptopodin depletion prevents junctional accumulation of α-actinin-4, vinculin, and actin. Knockdown of synaptopodin and α-actinin-4 decreases the strength of cell–cell adhesion, reduces the monolayer permeability barrier, and compromises cellular contractility. Our findings underscore the complexity of junction development and implicate a control process via tension-induced sequential incorporation of junctional components. PMID:26504173

  16. Nerve impulses increase glial intercellular permeability.

    PubMed

    Marrero, H; Orkand, R K

    1996-03-01

    Coordinating the activity of neurons and their satellite glial cells requires mechanisms by which glial cells detect neuronal activity and change their properties as a result. This study monitors the intercellular diffusion of the fluorescent dye Lucifer Yellow (LY), following its injection into glial cells of the frog optic nerve, and demonstrates that nerve impulses increase the permeability of interglial gap junctions. Consequently, the spatial buffer capacity of the neuroglial cell syncytium for potassium, other ions, and small molecules will be enhanced; this may facilitate glial function in maintaining homeostasis of the neuronal microenvironment. PMID:8833199

  17. Protein-RNA Dynamics in the Central Junction Control 30S Ribosome Assembly.

    PubMed

    Baker, Kris Ann; Lamichhane, Rajan; Lamichhane, Tek; Rueda, David; Cunningham, Philip R

    2016-09-11

    Interactions between ribosomal proteins (rproteins) and ribosomal RNA (rRNA) facilitate the formation of functional ribosomes. S15 is a central domain primary binding protein that has been shown to trigger a cascade of conformational changes in 16S rRNA, forming the functional structure of the central domain. Previous biochemical and structural studies in vitro have revealed that S15 binds a three-way junction of helices 20, 21, and 22, including nucleotides 652-654 and 752-754. All junction nucleotides except 653 are highly conserved among the Bacteria. To identify functionally important motifs within the junction, we subjected nucleotides 652-654 and 752-754 to saturation mutagenesis and selected and analyzed functional mutants. Only 64 mutants with greater than 10% ribosome function in vivo were isolated. S15 overexpression complemented mutations in the junction loop in each of the partially active mutants, although mutations that produced inactive ribosomes were not complemented by overexpression of S15. Single-molecule Förster or fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) was used to study the Mg(2+)- and S15-induced conformational dynamics of selected junction mutants. Comparison of the structural dynamics of these mutants with the wild type in the presence and absence of S15 revealed specific sequence and structural motifs in the central junction that are important in ribosome function. PMID:27192112

  18. Comparative passivation effects of self-assembled mono- and multilayers on GaAs junction field effect transistors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Kangho; Lu, Gang; Facchetti, Antonio; Janes, David B.; Marks, Tobin J.

    2008-03-01

    Control of semiconductor interface state density with molecular passivation is essential for developing conduction-based biosensors. In this study, GaAs junction field effect transistors (JFETs) are fabricated and characterized before and after passivation of the GaAs surface with self-assembled mono- and multilayers. The JFETs functionalized with 1-octadecanethiol monolayers and two types of self-assembled organic nanodielectric (SAND) multilayers exhibit significantly different threshold voltage (Vth) and subthreshold slope (Ssub) characteristics versus the unpassivated devices and provide useful information on the quality of the passivation. Two-dimensional device simulations quantify the effective density of fixed surface charges and interfacial traps and argue for the importance of the type-III SAND ionic charges in enhancing GaAs JFET response characteristics.

  19. LRP6 acts as a scaffold protein in cardiac gap junction assembly

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jun; Li, Changming; Liang, Dandan; Lv, Fei; Yuan, Tianyou; The, Erlinda; Ma, Xiue; Wu, Yahan; Zhen, Lixiao; Xie, Duanyang; Wang, Shiyi; Liu, Yuan; Huang, Jian; Shi, Jingyi; Liu, Yi; Shi, Dan; Xu, Liang; Lin, Li; Peng, Luying; Cui, Jianmin; Zhu, Weidong; Chen, Yi-Han

    2016-01-01

    Low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 6 (LRP6) is a Wnt co-receptor in the canonical Wnt/β-catenin signalling. Here, we report the scaffold function of LRP6 in gap junction formation of cardiomyocytes. Cardiac LRP6 is spatially restricted to intercalated discs and binds to gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43). A deficiency in LRP6 disrupts Cx43 gap junction formation and thereby impairs the cell-to-cell coupling, which is independent of Wnt/β-catenin signalling. The defect in Cx43 gap junction resulting from LRP6 reduction is attributable to the defective traffic of de novo Cx43 proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi apparatus, leading to the lysosomal degradation of Cx43 proteins. Accordingly, the hearts of conditional cardiac-specific Lrp6-knockout mice consistently exhibit overt reduction of Cx43 gap junction plaques without any abnormality in Wnt signalling and are predisposed to lethal arrhythmias. These findings uncover a distinct role of LRP6 as a platform for intracellular protein trafficking. PMID:27250245

  20. Self-assembled and highly selective sensors based on air-bridge-structured nanowire junction arrays.

    PubMed

    Park, Won Jeong; Choi, Kyung Jin; Kim, Myung Hwa; Koo, Bon Hyeong; Lee, Jong-Lam; Baik, Jeong Min

    2013-08-14

    We describe a strategy for creating an air-bridge-structured nanowire junction array platform that capable of reliably discriminating between three gases (hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide) in air. Alternatively driven dual nanowire species of ZnO and CuO with the average diameter of ∼30 nm on a single substrate are used and decorated with metallic nanoparticles to form two-dimensional microarray, which do not need to consider the post fabrications. Each individual nanowires in the array form n-n, p-p, and p-n junctions at the micro/nanoscale on single substrate and the junctions act as electrical conducting path for carriers. The adsorption of gas molecules to the surface changes the potential barrier height formed at the junctions and the carrier transport inside the straight semiconductors, which provide the ability of a given sensor array to differentiate among the junctions. The sensors were tested for their ability to distinguish three gases (H2, CO, and NO2), which they were able to do unequivocally when the data was classified using linear discriminant analysis. PMID:23841667

  1. LRP6 acts as a scaffold protein in cardiac gap junction assembly.

    PubMed

    Li, Jun; Li, Changming; Liang, Dandan; Lv, Fei; Yuan, Tianyou; The, Erlinda; Ma, Xiue; Wu, Yahan; Zhen, Lixiao; Xie, Duanyang; Wang, Shiyi; Liu, Yuan; Huang, Jian; Shi, Jingyi; Liu, Yi; Shi, Dan; Xu, Liang; Lin, Li; Peng, Luying; Cui, Jianmin; Zhu, Weidong; Chen, Yi-Han

    2016-01-01

    Low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 6 (LRP6) is a Wnt co-receptor in the canonical Wnt/β-catenin signalling. Here, we report the scaffold function of LRP6 in gap junction formation of cardiomyocytes. Cardiac LRP6 is spatially restricted to intercalated discs and binds to gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43). A deficiency in LRP6 disrupts Cx43 gap junction formation and thereby impairs the cell-to-cell coupling, which is independent of Wnt/β-catenin signalling. The defect in Cx43 gap junction resulting from LRP6 reduction is attributable to the defective traffic of de novo Cx43 proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi apparatus, leading to the lysosomal degradation of Cx43 proteins. Accordingly, the hearts of conditional cardiac-specific Lrp6-knockout mice consistently exhibit overt reduction of Cx43 gap junction plaques without any abnormality in Wnt signalling and are predisposed to lethal arrhythmias. These findings uncover a distinct role of LRP6 as a platform for intracellular protein trafficking. PMID:27250245

  2. Connexin26 regulates assembly and maintenance of cochlear gap junction macromolecular complex for normal hearing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamiya, Kazusaku; Fukunaga, Ichiro; Hatakeyama, Kaori; Ikeda, Katsuhisa

    2015-12-01

    Hereditary deafness affects about 1 in 2000 children and GJB2 gene mutation is most frequent cause for this disease in the world. GJB2 encodes connexin26 (Cx26), a component in cochlear gap junction. Recently, we found macromolecular change of gap junction plaques with two different types of Cx26 mutation as major classification of clinical case, one is a model of dominant negative type, Cx26R75W+ and the other is conditional gene deficient mouse, Cx26f/fP0Cre as a model for insufficiency of gap junction protein [6]. Gap junction composed mainly of Cx26 and Cx30 in wild type mice formed large planar gap junction plaques (GJP). In contrast, Cx26R75W+ and Cx26f/fP0Cre showed fragmented small round GJPs around the cell border. In Cx26f/fP0Cre, some of the cells with Cx26 expression due to their cellular mosaicism showed normal large GJP with Cx26 and Cx30 only at the cell junction site between two Cx26 positive cells. These indicate that bilateral Cx26 expressions from both adjacent cells are essential for the formation of the cochlear linear GJP, and it is not compensated by other cochlear Connexins such as Connexin30. In the present study, we demonstrated a new molecular pathology in most common hereditary deafness with different types of Connexin26 mutations, and this machinery can be a new target for drag design of hereditary deafness.

  3. [Intercellular channels in animals].

    PubMed

    Panchin, Iu V

    2011-01-01

    Gap junctions are considered to serve a similar function in all multicellular animals (Metazoa). Two unrelated protein families are involved in this function: connexins, which are found only in chordates, and pannexins, which are present in the genomes of both chordates and invertebrates. Recent sequence data from different organisms show important exceptions to this simplified scheme. It looks as if Chordate lancelet has only pannexins and no connexins in its genome. New data indicate that some metazoans have neither connexins nor pannexins and use other unidentified proteins to form gap junctions. PMID:21786702

  4. Fluid shear, intercellular stress, and endothelial cell alignment

    PubMed Central

    Steward, Robert; Tambe, Dhananjay; Hardin, C. Corey; Krishnan, Ramaswamy

    2015-01-01

    Endothelial cell alignment along the direction of laminar fluid flow is widely understood to be a defining morphological feature of vascular homeostasis. While the role of associated signaling and structural events have been well studied, associated intercellular stresses under laminar fluid shear have remained ill-defined and the role of these stresses in the alignment process has remained obscure. To fill this gap, we report here the tractions as well as the complete in-plane intercellular stress fields measured within the human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) monolayer subjected to a steady laminar fluid shear of 1 Pa. Tractions, intercellular stresses, as well as their time course, heterogeneity, and anisotropy, were measured using monolayer traction microscopy and monolayer stress microscopy. Prior to application of laminar fluid flow, intercellular stresses were largely tensile but fluctuated dramatically in space and in time (317 ± 122 Pa). Within 12 h of the onset of laminar fluid flow, the intercellular stresses decreased substantially but continued to fluctuate dramatically (142 ± 84 Pa). Moreover, tractions and intercellular stresses aligned strongly and promptly (within 1 h) along the direction of fluid flow, whereas the endothelial cell body aligned less strongly and substantially more slowly (12 h). Taken together, these results reveal that steady laminar fluid flow induces prompt reduction in magnitude and alignment of tractions and intercellular stress tensor components followed by the retarded elongation and alignment of the endothelial cell body. Appreciably smaller intercellular stresses supported by cell-cell junctions logically favor smaller incidence of gap formation and thus improved barrier integrity. PMID:25652451

  5. Systems and assemblies for transferring high power laser energy through a rotating junction

    DOEpatents

    Norton, Ryan J.; McKay, Ryan P.; Fraze, Jason D.; Rinzler, Charles C.; Grubb, Daryl L.; Faircloth, Brian O.; Zediker, Mark S.

    2016-01-26

    There are provided high power laser devices and systems for transmitting a high power laser beam across a rotating assembly, including optical slip rings and optical rotational coupling assemblies. These devices can transmit the laser beam through the rotation zone in free space or within a fiber.

  6. Morse potential-based model for contacting composite rough surfaces: Application to self-assembled monolayer junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sierra-Suarez, Jonatan A.; Majumdar, Shubhaditya; McGaughey, Alan J. H.; Malen, Jonathan A.; Higgs, C. Fred

    2016-04-01

    This work formulates a rough surface contact model that accounts for adhesion through a Morse potential and plasticity through the Kogut-Etsion finite element-based approximation. Compared to the commonly used Lennard-Jones (LJ) potential, the Morse potential provides a more accurate and generalized description for modeling covalent materials and surface interactions. An extension of this contact model to describe composite layered surfaces is presented and implemented to study a self-assembled monolayer (SAM) grown on a gold substrate placed in contact with a second gold substrate. Based on a comparison with prior experimental measurements of the thermal conductance of this SAM junction [Majumdar et al., Nano Lett. 15, 2985-2991 (2015)], the more general Morse potential-based contact model provides a better prediction of the percentage contact area than an equivalent LJ potential-based model.

  7. Desmosome assembly and dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Nekrasova, Oxana; Green, Kathleen J.

    2013-01-01

    Desmosomes are intercellular junctions that anchor intermediate filaments to the plasma membrane, forming a supracellular scaffold that provides mechanical resilience to tissues. This anchoring function is accomplished by specialized members of the cadherin family and associated cytoskeletal linking proteins, which together form a highly organized membrane core flanked by mirror image cytoplasmic plaques. Due to the biochemical insolubility of desmosomes, the mechanisms that govern assembly of these components into a functional organelle remained elusive. Recently developed molecular reporters and live cell imaging approaches have provided powerful new tools to monitor this finely-tuned process in real time. Here we discuss studies that are beginning to decipher the machinery and regulation governing desmosome assembly and homeostasis in situ, and how these mechanisms are affected during disease pathogenesis. PMID:23891292

  8. Creating Sub-50 nm Nanofluidic Junctions in PDMS Microchip via Self-Assembly Process of Colloidal Silica Beads for Electrokinetic Concentration of Biomolecules

    PubMed Central

    Syed, A.; Mangano, L.; Mao, P.; Han, J.

    2014-01-01

    In this work we describe a novel and simple self-assembly of colloidal silica beads to create nanofluidic junction between two microchannels. The nanoporous membrane was used to induce ion concentration polarization inside the microchannel and this electrokinetic preconcentration system allowed rapid concentration of DNA samples by ∼1700 times and protein samples by ∼100 times within 5 minutes. PMID:25254651

  9. Structure of components of an intercellular channel complex in sporulating Bacillus subtilis

    PubMed Central

    Levdikov, Vladimir M.; Blagova, Elena V.; McFeat, Amanda; Fogg, Mark J.; Wilson, Keith S.; Wilkinson, Anthony J.

    2012-01-01

    Following asymmetric cell division during spore formation in Bacillus subtilis, a forespore expressed membrane protein SpoIIQ, interacts across an intercellular space with a mother cell-expressed membrane protein, SpoIIIAH. Their interaction can serve as a molecular “ratchet” contributing to the migration of the mother cell membrane around that of the forespore in a phagocytosis-like process termed engulfment. Upon completion of engulfment, SpoIIQ and SpoIIIAH are integral components of a recently proposed intercellular channel allowing passage from the mother cell into the forespore of factors required for late gene expression in this compartment. Here we show that the extracellular domains of SpoIIQ and SpoIIIAH form a heterodimeric complex in solution. The crystal structure of this complex reveals that SpoIIQ has a LytM-like zinc-metalloprotease fold but with an incomplete zinc coordination sphere and no metal. SpoIIIAH has an α-helical subdomain and a protruding β-sheet subdomain, which mediates interactions with SpoIIQ. SpoIIIAH has sequence and structural homology to EscJ, a type III secretion system protein that forms a 24-fold symmetric ring. Superposition of the structures of SpoIIIAH and EscJ reveals that the SpoIIIAH protomer overlaps with two adjacent protomers of EscJ, allowing us to generate a dodecameric SpoIIIAH ring by using structural homology. Following this superposition, the SpoIIQ chains also form a closed dodecameric ring abutting the SpoIIIAH ring, producing an assembly surrounding a 60 Å channel. The dimensions and organization of the proposed complex suggest it is a plausible model for the extracellular component of a gap junction-like intercellular channel. PMID:22431604

  10. Brain barriers: Crosstalk between complex tight junctions and adherens junctions

    PubMed Central

    Tietz, Silvia

    2015-01-01

    Unique intercellular junctional complexes between the central nervous system (CNS) microvascular endothelial cells and the choroid plexus epithelial cells form the endothelial blood–brain barrier (BBB) and the epithelial blood–cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCSFB), respectively. These barriers inhibit paracellular diffusion, thereby protecting the CNS from fluctuations in the blood. Studies of brain barrier integrity during development, normal physiology, and disease have focused on BBB and BCSFB tight junctions but not the corresponding endothelial and epithelial adherens junctions. The crosstalk between adherens junctions and tight junctions in maintaining barrier integrity is an understudied area that may represent a promising target for influencing brain barrier function. PMID:26008742

  11. Self-assembled molecular p/n junctions for applications in dye-sensitized solar energy conversion.

    PubMed

    Farnum, Byron H; Wee, Kyung-Ryang; Meyer, Thomas J

    2016-09-01

    The achievement of long-lived photoinduced redox separation lifetimes has long been a central goal of molecular-based solar energy conversion strategies. The longer the redox-separation lifetime, the more time available for useful work to be extracted from the absorbed photon energy. Here we describe a novel strategy for dye-sensitized solar energy applications in which redox-separated lifetimes on the order of milliseconds to seconds can be achieved based on a simple toolkit of molecular components. Specifically, molecular chromophores (C), electron acceptors (A) and electron donors (D) were self-assembled on the surfaces of mesoporous, transparent conducting indium tin oxide nanoparticle (nanoITO) electrodes to prepare both photoanode (nanoITO|-A-C-D) and photocathode (nanoITO|-D-C-A) assemblies. Nanosecond transient-absorption and steady-state photolysis measurements show that the electrodes function microscopically as molecular analogues of semiconductor p/n junctions. These results point to a new chemical strategy for dye-sensitized solar energy conversion based on molecular excited states and electron acceptors/donors on the surfaces of transparent conducting oxide nanoparticle electrodes. PMID:27554411

  12. Mitotic regulator Mis18β interacts with and specifies the centromeric assembly of molecular chaperone holliday junction recognition protein (HJURP).

    PubMed

    Wang, Jianyu; Liu, Xing; Dou, Zhen; Chen, Liang; Jiang, Hao; Fu, Chuanhai; Fu, Guosheng; Liu, Dan; Zhang, Jiancun; Zhu, Tongge; Fang, Jingwen; Zang, Jianye; Cheng, Jinke; Teng, Maikun; Ding, Xia; Yao, Xuebiao

    2014-03-21

    The centromere is essential for precise and equal segregation of the parental genome into two daughter cells during mitosis. CENP-A is a unique histone H3 variant conserved in eukaryotic centromeres. The assembly of CENP-A to the centromere is mediated by Holliday junction recognition protein (HJURP) in early G1 phase. However, it remains elusive how HJURP governs CENP-A incorporation into the centromere. Here we show that human HJURP directly binds to Mis18β, a component of the Mis18 complex conserved in the eukaryotic kingdom. A minimal region of HJURP for Mis18β binding was mapped to residues 437-460. Depletion of Mis18β by RNA interference dramatically impaired HJURP recruitment to the centromere, indicating the importance of Mis18β in HJURP loading. Interestingly, phosphorylation of HJURP by CDK1 weakens its interaction with Mis18β, consistent with the notion that assembly of CENP-A to the centromere is achieved after mitosis. Taken together, these data define a novel molecular mechanism underlying the temporal regulation of CENP-A incorporation into the centromere by accurate Mis18β-HJURP interaction. PMID:24519934

  13. Mitotic Regulator Mis18β Interacts with and Specifies the Centromeric Assembly of Molecular Chaperone Holliday Junction Recognition Protein (HJURP)*

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jianyu; Liu, Xing; Dou, Zhen; Chen, Liang; Jiang, Hao; Fu, Chuanhai; Fu, Guosheng; Liu, Dan; Zhang, Jiancun; Zhu, Tongge; Fang, Jingwen; Zang, Jianye; Cheng, Jinke; Teng, Maikun; Ding, Xia; Yao, Xuebiao

    2014-01-01

    The centromere is essential for precise and equal segregation of the parental genome into two daughter cells during mitosis. CENP-A is a unique histone H3 variant conserved in eukaryotic centromeres. The assembly of CENP-A to the centromere is mediated by Holliday junction recognition protein (HJURP) in early G1 phase. However, it remains elusive how HJURP governs CENP-A incorporation into the centromere. Here we show that human HJURP directly binds to Mis18β, a component of the Mis18 complex conserved in the eukaryotic kingdom. A minimal region of HJURP for Mis18β binding was mapped to residues 437–460. Depletion of Mis18β by RNA interference dramatically impaired HJURP recruitment to the centromere, indicating the importance of Mis18β in HJURP loading. Interestingly, phosphorylation of HJURP by CDK1 weakens its interaction with Mis18β, consistent with the notion that assembly of CENP-A to the centromere is achieved after mitosis. Taken together, these data define a novel molecular mechanism underlying the temporal regulation of CENP-A incorporation into the centromere by accurate Mis18β-HJURP interaction. PMID:24519934

  14. Optical modulation of nano-gap tunnelling junctions comprising self-assembled monolayers of hemicyanine dyes

    PubMed Central

    Pourhossein, Parisa; Vijayaraghavan, Ratheesh K.; Meskers, Stefan C. J.; Chiechi, Ryan C.

    2016-01-01

    Light-driven conductance switching in molecular tunnelling junctions that relies on photoisomerization is constrained by the limitations of kinetic traps and either by the sterics of rearranging atoms in a densely packed monolayer or the small absorbance of individual molecules. Here we demonstrate light-driven conductance gating; devices comprising monolayers of hemicyanine dyes trapped between two metallic nanowires exhibit higher conductance under irradiation than in the dark. The modulation of the tunnelling current occurs faster than the timescale of the measurement (∼1 min). We propose a mechanism in which a fraction of molecules enters an excited state that brings the conjugated portion of the monolayer into resonance with the electrodes. This mechanism is supported by calculations showing the delocalization of molecular orbitals near the Fermi energy in the excited and cationic states, but not the ground state and a reasonable change in conductance with respect to the effective barrier width. PMID:27272394

  15. Optical modulation of nano-gap tunnelling junctions comprising self-assembled monolayers of hemicyanine dyes.

    PubMed

    Pourhossein, Parisa; Vijayaraghavan, Ratheesh K; Meskers, Stefan C J; Chiechi, Ryan C

    2016-01-01

    Light-driven conductance switching in molecular tunnelling junctions that relies on photoisomerization is constrained by the limitations of kinetic traps and either by the sterics of rearranging atoms in a densely packed monolayer or the small absorbance of individual molecules. Here we demonstrate light-driven conductance gating; devices comprising monolayers of hemicyanine dyes trapped between two metallic nanowires exhibit higher conductance under irradiation than in the dark. The modulation of the tunnelling current occurs faster than the timescale of the measurement (∼1 min). We propose a mechanism in which a fraction of molecules enters an excited state that brings the conjugated portion of the monolayer into resonance with the electrodes. This mechanism is supported by calculations showing the delocalization of molecular orbitals near the Fermi energy in the excited and cationic states, but not the ground state and a reasonable change in conductance with respect to the effective barrier width. PMID:27272394

  16. Optical modulation of nano-gap tunnelling junctions comprising self-assembled monolayers of hemicyanine dyes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pourhossein, Parisa; Vijayaraghavan, Ratheesh K.; Meskers, Stefan C. J.; Chiechi, Ryan C.

    2016-06-01

    Light-driven conductance switching in molecular tunnelling junctions that relies on photoisomerization is constrained by the limitations of kinetic traps and either by the sterics of rearranging atoms in a densely packed monolayer or the small absorbance of individual molecules. Here we demonstrate light-driven conductance gating; devices comprising monolayers of hemicyanine dyes trapped between two metallic nanowires exhibit higher conductance under irradiation than in the dark. The modulation of the tunnelling current occurs faster than the timescale of the measurement (~1 min). We propose a mechanism in which a fraction of molecules enters an excited state that brings the conjugated portion of the monolayer into resonance with the electrodes. This mechanism is supported by calculations showing the delocalization of molecular orbitals near the Fermi energy in the excited and cationic states, but not the ground state and a reasonable change in conductance with respect to the effective barrier width.

  17. A Single-Level Tunnel Model to Account for Electrical Transport through Single Molecule- and Self-Assembled Monolayer-based Junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garrigues, Alvar R.; Yuan, Li; Wang, Lejia; Mucciolo, Eduardo R.; Thompon, Damien; Del Barco, Enrique; Nijhuis, Christian A.

    2016-05-01

    We present a theoretical analysis aimed at understanding electrical conduction in molecular tunnel junctions. We focus on discussing the validity of coherent versus incoherent theoretical formulations for single-level tunneling to explain experimental results obtained under a wide range of experimental conditions, including measurements in individual molecules connecting the leads of electromigrated single-electron transistors and junctions of self-assembled monolayers (SAM) of molecules sandwiched between two macroscopic contacts. We show that the restriction of transport through a single level in solid state junctions (no solvent) makes coherent and incoherent tunneling formalisms indistinguishable when only one level participates in transport. Similar to Marcus relaxation processes in wet electrochemistry, the thermal broadening of the Fermi distribution describing the electronic occupation energies in the electrodes accounts for the exponential dependence of the tunneling current on temperature. We demonstrate that a single-level tunnel model satisfactorily explains experimental results obtained in three different molecular junctions (both single-molecule and SAM-based) formed by ferrocene-based molecules. Among other things, we use the model to map the electrostatic potential profile in EGaIn-based SAM junctions in which the ferrocene unit is placed at different positions within the molecule, and we find that electrical screening gives rise to a strongly non-linear profile across the junction.

  18. A Single-Level Tunnel Model to Account for Electrical Transport through Single Molecule- and Self-Assembled Monolayer-based Junctions

    PubMed Central

    Garrigues, Alvar R.; Yuan, Li; Wang, Lejia; Mucciolo, Eduardo R.; Thompon, Damien; del Barco, Enrique; Nijhuis, Christian A.

    2016-01-01

    We present a theoretical analysis aimed at understanding electrical conduction in molecular tunnel junctions. We focus on discussing the validity of coherent versus incoherent theoretical formulations for single-level tunneling to explain experimental results obtained under a wide range of experimental conditions, including measurements in individual molecules connecting the leads of electromigrated single-electron transistors and junctions of self-assembled monolayers (SAM) of molecules sandwiched between two macroscopic contacts. We show that the restriction of transport through a single level in solid state junctions (no solvent) makes coherent and incoherent tunneling formalisms indistinguishable when only one level participates in transport. Similar to Marcus relaxation processes in wet electrochemistry, the thermal broadening of the Fermi distribution describing the electronic occupation energies in the electrodes accounts for the exponential dependence of the tunneling current on temperature. We demonstrate that a single-level tunnel model satisfactorily explains experimental results obtained in three different molecular junctions (both single-molecule and SAM-based) formed by ferrocene-based molecules. Among other things, we use the model to map the electrostatic potential profile in EGaIn-based SAM junctions in which the ferrocene unit is placed at different positions within the molecule, and we find that electrical screening gives rise to a strongly non-linear profile across the junction. PMID:27216489

  19. A Single-Level Tunnel Model to Account for Electrical Transport through Single Molecule- and Self-Assembled Monolayer-based Junctions.

    PubMed

    Garrigues, Alvar R; Yuan, Li; Wang, Lejia; Mucciolo, Eduardo R; Thompon, Damien; Del Barco, Enrique; Nijhuis, Christian A

    2016-01-01

    We present a theoretical analysis aimed at understanding electrical conduction in molecular tunnel junctions. We focus on discussing the validity of coherent versus incoherent theoretical formulations for single-level tunneling to explain experimental results obtained under a wide range of experimental conditions, including measurements in individual molecules connecting the leads of electromigrated single-electron transistors and junctions of self-assembled monolayers (SAM) of molecules sandwiched between two macroscopic contacts. We show that the restriction of transport through a single level in solid state junctions (no solvent) makes coherent and incoherent tunneling formalisms indistinguishable when only one level participates in transport. Similar to Marcus relaxation processes in wet electrochemistry, the thermal broadening of the Fermi distribution describing the electronic occupation energies in the electrodes accounts for the exponential dependence of the tunneling current on temperature. We demonstrate that a single-level tunnel model satisfactorily explains experimental results obtained in three different molecular junctions (both single-molecule and SAM-based) formed by ferrocene-based molecules. Among other things, we use the model to map the electrostatic potential profile in EGaIn-based SAM junctions in which the ferrocene unit is placed at different positions within the molecule, and we find that electrical screening gives rise to a strongly non-linear profile across the junction. PMID:27216489

  20. Local mechanical forces promote polarized junctional assembly and axis elongation in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Jessica C; Fernandez-Gonzalez, Rodrigo

    2016-01-01

    Axis elongation is a conserved process in which the head-to-tail or anterior-posterior (AP) axis of an embryo extends. In Drosophila, cellular rearrangements drive axis elongation. Cells exchange neighbours by converging into transient multicellular vertices which resolve through the assembly of new cell interfaces parallel to the AP axis. We found that new interfaces elongate in pulses correlated with periodic contractions of the surrounding cells. Inhibiting actomyosin contractility globally, or specifically in the cells around multicellular vertices, disrupted the rate and directionality of new interface assembly. Laser ablation indicated that new interfaces sustained greater tension than non-elongating ones. We developed a method to apply ectopic tension and found that increasing AP tension locally increased the elongation rate of new edges by more than twofold. Increasing dorsal-ventral tension resulted in vertex resolution perpendicular to the AP direction. We propose that local, periodic contractile forces polarize vertex resolution to drive Drosophila axis elongation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10757.001 PMID:26747941

  1. Alterations in cell cholesterol content modulate Ca(2+)-induced tight junction assembly by MDCK cells.

    PubMed

    Stankewich, M C; Francis, S A; Vu, Q U; Schneeberger, E E; Lynch, R D

    1996-08-01

    Transepithelial electrical resistance (TER), a measure of tight junction (TJ) barrier function, develops more rapidly and reaches higher values after preincubation of MDCK cells for 24 h with 2 microM Lovastatin (lova), an inhibitor of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase. While this effect was attributed to a 30% fall in cholesterol (CH), possible effects of lova on the supply of prenyl group precursors could not be excluded. In the current study, strategies were devised to examine effects on TER of agents that simultaneously lower CH and increase the flux of intermediates through the CH biosynthetic pathway. Zaragozic acid, 20 microM, an inhibitor of squalene synthase known to increase the synthesis of isoprenoids and levels of prenylated proteins, lowered cell CH by 30% after 24 h, while accelerating development of TER in the same manner as lova. TER was also enhanced, despite a 23% increase in the rate of [3H]acetate incorporation into CH, when total CH was reduced by 45% during a 2-h incubation with 2 mM methyl beta-cyclodextrin (MBCD), an agent that stimulates CH efflux from cells. The fact that the rate of TER development was diminished when cell CH content was elevated by incubation with a complex of CH and MBCD is further evidence that this sterol modulates development of the epithelial barrier. Cell associated CH derived from the complex was similar to endogenous CH with respect to its accessibility to cholesterol oxidase. Lova's effect on TER was diminished when 5 micrograms/mL of CH was added to the medium during the last 11 h of incubation with lova. PMID:8869884

  2. Structures and electrical properties of single nanoparticle junctions assembled using LaC2-encapsulating carbon nanocapsules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tezura, Manabu; Kizuka, Tokushi

    2016-07-01

    As the miniaturization of integrated circuits advances, electronics using single molecules and nanosize particles are being studied increasingly. Single nanoparticle junctions (SNPJs) consist of two electrodes sandwiching a single nanoparticle. Nanocarbons with nanospaces in their center, such as fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, and carbon nanocapsules (CNCs), are expected to be elements of advanced SNPJs. In this study, SNPJs were assembled using lanthanum dicarbide (LaC2)-encapsulating CNCs and two gold (Au) electrodes by a nanotip operation inside a high-resolution transmission electron microscope. The atomic configuration and electrical resistance of the SNPJs were investigated in situ. The results implied that the electrical resistance of the SNPJ depended on the interface structures of the contacts between the CNC and Au electrodes, i.e., the contact electrical resistance, and the greatest portion of the current through the SNPJ flowed along the outermost carbon layer of the CNC. Thus, the resistance of the SNPJs using the CNCs was demonstrated and the electrical conduction mechanism of one of the CNC was discussed in this study.

  3. Structures and electrical properties of single nanoparticle junctions assembled using LaC2-encapsulating carbon nanocapsules

    PubMed Central

    Tezura, Manabu; Kizuka, Tokushi

    2016-01-01

    As the miniaturization of integrated circuits advances, electronics using single molecules and nanosize particles are being studied increasingly. Single nanoparticle junctions (SNPJs) consist of two electrodes sandwiching a single nanoparticle. Nanocarbons with nanospaces in their center, such as fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, and carbon nanocapsules (CNCs), are expected to be elements of advanced SNPJs. In this study, SNPJs were assembled using lanthanum dicarbide (LaC2)-encapsulating CNCs and two gold (Au) electrodes by a nanotip operation inside a high-resolution transmission electron microscope. The atomic configuration and electrical resistance of the SNPJs were investigated in situ. The results implied that the electrical resistance of the SNPJ depended on the interface structures of the contacts between the CNC and Au electrodes, i.e., the contact electrical resistance, and the greatest portion of the current through the SNPJ flowed along the outermost carbon layer of the CNC. Thus, the resistance of the SNPJs using the CNCs was demonstrated and the electrical conduction mechanism of one of the CNC was discussed in this study. PMID:27412856

  4. Structures and electrical properties of single nanoparticle junctions assembled using LaC2-encapsulating carbon nanocapsules.

    PubMed

    Tezura, Manabu; Kizuka, Tokushi

    2016-01-01

    As the miniaturization of integrated circuits advances, electronics using single molecules and nanosize particles are being studied increasingly. Single nanoparticle junctions (SNPJs) consist of two electrodes sandwiching a single nanoparticle. Nanocarbons with nanospaces in their center, such as fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, and carbon nanocapsules (CNCs), are expected to be elements of advanced SNPJs. In this study, SNPJs were assembled using lanthanum dicarbide (LaC2)-encapsulating CNCs and two gold (Au) electrodes by a nanotip operation inside a high-resolution transmission electron microscope. The atomic configuration and electrical resistance of the SNPJs were investigated in situ. The results implied that the electrical resistance of the SNPJ depended on the interface structures of the contacts between the CNC and Au electrodes, i.e., the contact electrical resistance, and the greatest portion of the current through the SNPJ flowed along the outermost carbon layer of the CNC. Thus, the resistance of the SNPJs using the CNCs was demonstrated and the electrical conduction mechanism of one of the CNC was discussed in this study. PMID:27412856

  5. Precise subnanometer plasmonic junctions for SERS within gold nanoparticle assemblies using cucurbit[n]uril "glue".

    PubMed

    Taylor, Richard W; Lee, Tung-Chun; Scherman, Oren A; Esteban, Ruben; Aizpurua, Javier; Huang, Fu Min; Baumberg, Jeremy J; Mahajan, Sumeet

    2011-05-24

    Cucurbit[n]urils (CB[n]) are macrocyclic host molecules with subnanometer dimensions capable of binding to gold surfaces. Aggregation of gold nanoparticles with CB[n] produces a repeatable, fixed, and rigid interparticle separation of 0.9 nm, and thus such assemblies possess distinct and exquisitely sensitive plasmonics. Understanding the plasmonic evolution is key to their use as powerful SERS substrates. Furthermore, this unique spatial control permits fast nanoscale probing of the plasmonics of the aggregates "glued" together by CBs within different kinetic regimes using simultaneous extinction and SERS measurements. The kinetic rates determine the topology of the aggregates including the constituent structural motifs and allow the identification of discrete plasmon modes which are attributed to disordered chains of increasing lengths by theoretical simulations. The CBs directly report the near-field strength of the nanojunctions they create via their own SERS, allowing calibration of the enhancement. Owing to the unique barrel-shaped geometry of CB[n] and their ability to bind "guest" molecules, the aggregates afford a new type of in situ self-calibrated and reliable SERS substrate where molecules can be selectively trapped by the CB[n] and exposed to the nanojunction plasmonic field. Using this concept, a powerful molecular-recognition-based SERS assay is demonstrated by selective cucurbit[n]uril host-guest complexation. PMID:21488693

  6. Hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor effects on epithelia. Regulation of intercellular junctions in transformed and nontransformed cell lines, basolateral polarization of c-met receptor in transformed and natural intestinal epithelia, and induction of rapid wound repair in a transformed model epithelium.

    PubMed

    Nusrat, A; Parkos, C A; Bacarra, A E; Godowski, P J; Delp-Archer, C; Rosen, E M; Madara, J L

    1994-05-01

    Intestinal epithelial cells rest on a fibroblast sheath. Thus, factors produced by these fibroblasts may influence epithelial function in a paracrine fashion. We examined modulation of intestinal epithelial function by one such fibroblast product, scatter factor/hepatocyte growth factor (HGF/SF). This effect was studied in vitro by using model T84 intestinal epithelial cells. When applied to confluent T84 monolayers, HGF/SF attenuates transepithelial resistance to passive ion flow in a dose-dependent manner (maximum fall at 300 ng/ml, 28% control monolayer resistance, P < 0.001, ED50 of 1.2 nM), t1/2 of 20 h. This functional effect of HGF/SF and distribution of its receptor, c-met, are polarized to the basolateral membranes of T84 intestinal epithelial cells. HGF/SF effects on resistance are not attributable to altered transcellular resistance (opening of Cl- and/or basolateral K+ channels), cytotoxicity, or enhanced cell proliferation; they therefore represent specific regulation of paracellular tight junction resistance. Analysis with biochemically purified rodent HGF/SF and Madin-Darby canine kidney cells reveals that effects on paracellular tight junctions also occur in other nontransformed epithelia. Binding of HGF/SF to its receptor in T84 intestinal epithelial cells is accompanied by tyrosine phosphorylation of the receptor. Because loosening of intercellular junctions between cells could facilitate separation, spreading, and migration of epithelial cells during physiologic processes such as wound resealing, we determined the effects of HGF/SF on intestinal epithelial wound resealing using our previously published in vitro model (Nusrat, A., C. Delp, and J. L. Madara. 1992. J. Clin. Invest. 89:1501-1511). HGF/SF markedly enhanced wound closure (> 450% increase in rate, P < 0.001) by influencing the migratory and spreading response in not only cells adjoining the wound but also cells many positions removed from the wound. We thus speculate that HGF/SF may

  7. Intercellular Ca2+ waves in mechanically stimulated articular chondrocytes.

    PubMed

    D'Andrea, P; Calabrese, A; Capozzi, I; Grandolfo, M; Tonon, R; Vittur, F

    2000-01-01

    Articular cartilage is a tissue designed to withstand compression during joint movement and, in vivo, is subjected to a wide range of mechanical loading forces. Mechanosensitivity has been demonstrated to influence chondrocyte metabolism and cartilage homeostasis, but the mechanisms underlying mechanotransduction in these cells are poorly understood. In many cell types mechanical stimulation induces increases of the cytosolic Ca2+ concentration that propagates from cell to cell as an intercellular Ca2+ wave. Cell-to-cell communication through gap junctions underlies tissue co-ordination of metabolism and sensitivity to extracellular stimuli: gap junctional permeability to intracellular second messengers allows signal transduction pathways to be shared among several cells, ultimately resulting in co-ordinated tissue responses. Mechanically-induced Ca2+ signalling was investigated with digital fluorescence video imaging in primary cultures of rabbit articular chondrocytes. Mechanical stimulation of a single cell, obtained by briefly distorting the plasmamembrane with a micropipette, induced a wave of increased Ca2+ that was communicated to surrounding cells. Intercellular Ca2+ spreading was inhibited by 18 alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid, suggesting the involvement of gap junctions in signal propagation. The functional expression of gap junctions was assessed, in confluent chondrocyte cultures, by the intercellular transfer of Lucifer yellow dye in microinjection experiments while the expression of connexin 43 could be detected in Western blots. A series of pharmacological tools known to interfere with the cell calcium handling capacity were employed to investigate the mechanism of mechanically-induced Ca2+ signalling. In the absence of extracellular Ca2+ mechanical stimulation induced communicated Ca2+ waves similar to controls. Mechanical stress induced Ca2+ influx both in the stimulated chondrocyte but not in the adjacent cells, as assessed by the Mn2+ quenching

  8. Microtubule plus-end and minus-end capture at adherens junctions is involved in the assembly of apico-basal arrays in polarised epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Bellett, Gemma; Carter, Jane M; Keynton, Jennifer; Goldspink, Deborah; James, Colin; Moss, David K; Mogensen, Mette M

    2009-10-01

    Apico-basal polarisation of epithelial cells involves a dramatic reorganisation of the microtubule cytoskeleton. The classic radial array of microtubules focused on a centrally located centrosome typical of many animal cells is lost or greatly reduced and a non-centrosomal apico-basal array develops. The molecules and mechanisms responsible for the assembly and positioning of these non-centrosomal microtubules have not been fully elucidated. Using a Nocodazole induced regrowth assay in invitro culture (MDCK) and in situ epithelial (cochlear Kolliker's) cell models we establish that the apico-basal array originates from the centrosome and that the non-centrosomal microtubule minus-end anchoring sites do not contribute significantly to their nucleation. Confocal and electron microscopy revealed that an extended radial array assembles with microtubule plus-ends targeting cadheren sites at adherens junctions and EB1 and CLIP-170 co-localising with beta-catenin and dynein clusters at the junction sites. The extended radial array is likely to be a vital intermediate step in the assembly process with cortical anchored dynein providing the mechanical force required for microtubule release, translocation and capture. Ultrastructural analyses of the apico-basal arrays in fully polarised MDCK and Kolliker's cells revealed microtubule minus-end association with the most apical adherens junction (Zonula adherens). We propose that a release and capture model involving both microtubule plus- and minus-end capture at adherens junctions is responsible for the generation of non-centrosomal apico-basal arrays in most centrosome containing polarised epithelial cells. PMID:19479825

  9. Intercellular calcium waves in glial cells with bistable dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Fang; Shuai, Jianwei

    2011-04-01

    A two-dimensional model is proposed for intercellular calcium (Ca2 +) waves with Ca2 +-induced IP3 regeneration and the diffusion of IP3 through gap junctions. Many experimental observations in glial cells, i.e. responding to local mechanical stimulation, glutamate application, mechanical stimulation followed by ACh application, and glutamate followed by mechanical stimulation, are reproduced and classified by the model. We show that a glial cell model with bistable dynamics, i.e. a Ca2 + oscillation state coexisting with a fixed point, can cause a prolonged plateau of Ca2 + signals in the cells nearby the stimulated cell when the cell network responds to the local mechanical stimulation.

  10. RhoA-JNK Regulates the E-Cadherin Junctions of Human Gingival Epithelial Cells.

    PubMed

    Lee, G; Kim, H J; Kim, H-M

    2016-03-01

    The junctional epithelium (JE) is unique with regard to its wide intercellular spaces and sparsely developed intercellular junctions. Thus, knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that regulate the formation of the intercellular junctions of the junctional epithelium may be essential to understand the pathophysiology of the JE. HOK-16B cells, a normal human gingival epithelial cell line, were used to identify the molecules involved in the regulation of the formation of intercellular E-cadherin junctions between human gingival epithelial cells. Activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) disrupted the intercellular junctions through the dissociation of E-cadherin. The role of JNK in the formation of these E-cadherin junctions was further confirmed by demonstrating that JNK inhibition induced the formation of intercellular E-cadherin junctions. The upstream signaling of JNK was also examined. Activation of the small GTPase RhoA disrupted the formation of E-cadherin junctions between HOK-16B cells, which was accompanied by JNK activation. Disruption of these intercellular junctions upon RhoA activation was prevented when JNK activity was inhibited. In contrast, RhoA inactivation led to HOK-16B cell aggregation and the formation of intercellular junctions, even under conditions in which the cellular junctions were naturally disrupted by growth on a strongly adhesive surface. Furthermore, the JE of mouse molars had high JNK activity associated with low E-cadherin expression, which was reversed in the other gingival epithelia, including the sulcular epithelium. Interestingly, JNK activity was increased in cells grown on a solid surface, where cells showed higher RhoA activity than those grown on soft surfaces. Together, these results indicate that the decreased formation of intercellular E-cadherin junctions within the JE may be coupled to high JNK activity, which is activated by the upregulation of RhoA on solid tooth surfaces. PMID:26635280

  11. Melatonin modulates intercellular communication among cultured chick astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Peters, Jennifer L; Cassone, Vincent M; Zoran, Mark J

    2005-01-01

    Melatonin, a pineal neurohormone, mediates circadian and seasonal processes in birds and mammals. Diencephalic astrocytes are sites of action, at least in birds, since they express melatonin receptors and melatonin affects their metabolism. We tested whether astrocytic calcium waves are also modulated by melatonin. Calcium waves, which we found to be regulated in cultured chick glial cells by an IP(3)-dependent mechanism, were potentiated by physiological concentrations of melatonin. Melatonin also increased resting calcium levels and reduced gap junctional coupling among astrocytes, at concentrations that facilitated calcium waves. These modulatory effects were diminished by melatonin receptor blockade and pertussis toxin (PTX). Thus, melatonin induced a functional shift in the mode of intercellular communication, between junctional coupling and calcium waves, among glial cells. We suggest a mechanism where neuroglial physiology, involving GTP-binding protein signaling pathways, links rhythmic circadian outputs to pervasive neurobehavioral states. PMID:15621008

  12. Modeling intercellular interactions during carcinogenesis.

    PubMed

    Sachs, Rainer K; Chan, Michael; Hlatky, Lynn; Hahnfeldt, Philip

    2005-09-01

    By modulating the microenvironment of malignant or premalignant cells, inhibitory or stimulatory signals from nearby cells can play a key role in carcinogenesis. However, current commonly used quantitative models for induction of cancers by ionizing radiation focus on single cells and their progeny. Intercellular interactions are neglected or assumed to be confined to unidirectional radiation bystander effect signals from cells of the same tissue type. We here formulate a parsimoniously parameterized two-stage logistic (TSL) carcinogenesis model that incorporates some effects of intercellular interactions during the growth of premalignant cells. We show that for baseline tumor rates, involving no radiation apart from background radiation, this TSL model gives acceptable fits to a number of data sets. Specifically, it gives the same baseline hazard function, using the same number of adjustable parameters, as does the commonly used two-stage clonal expansion (TSCE) model, so it is automatically applicable to the many data sets on baseline cancer that have been analyzed using the TSCE model. For perturbations of baseline rates due to radiation, the models differ. We argue from epidemiological and laboratory evidence, especially results for the atomic bomb survivors, that for radiation carcinogenesis the TSL model gives results at least as realistic as the TSCE or similar models, despite involving fewer adjustable parameters in many cases. PMID:16137206

  13. Integration and Modulation of Intercellular Signaling Underlying Blood Flow Control

    PubMed Central

    Segal, Steven S.

    2015-01-01

    Vascular resistance networks control tissue blood flow in concert with regulating arterial perfusion pressure. In response to increased metabolic demand, vasodilation arising in arteriolar networks ascends to encompass proximal feed arteries. By reducing resistance upstream, ascending vasodilation (AVD) increases blood flow into the microcirculation. Once initiated [e.g., through local activation of K+ channels in endothelial cells (ECs)], hyperpolarization is conducted through gap junctions along the endothelium. Via EC projections through the internal elastic lamina, hyperpolarization spreads into the surrounding smooth muscle cells (SMCs) through myoendothelial gap junctions (MEGJs) to promote their relaxation. Intercellular signaling through electrical signal transmission (i.e., cell-to-cell conduction) can thereby coordinate vasodilation along and among the branches of microvascular resistance networks. Perivascular sympathetic nerve fibers course through the adventitia and release norepinephrine to stimulate SMCs via α-adrenoreceptors to produce contraction. In turn, SMCs can signal ECs through MEGJs to activate K+ channels and attenuate sympathetic vasoconstriction. Activation of K+ channels along the endothelium will dissipate electrical signal transmission and inhibit AVD, thereby restricting blood flow into the microcirculation while maintaining peripheral resistance and perfusion pressure. This review explores the origins and nature of intercellular signaling governing blood flow control in skeletal muscle with respect to the interplay between AVD and sympathetic innervation. Whereas these interactions are integral to physical daily activity and athletic performance, resolving the interplay between respective signaling events provides insight into how selective interventions can improve tissue perfusion and oxygen delivery during vascular disease. PMID:26368324

  14. Short-range intercellular calcium signaling in bone.

    PubMed

    Jørgensen, Niklas Rye

    2005-01-01

    The regulation of bone turnover is a complex and finely tuned process. Many factors regulate bone remodeling, including hormones, growth factors, cytokines etc. However, little is known about the signals coupling bone formation to bone resorption, and how mechanical forces are translated into biological effects in bone. Intercellular calcium waves are increases in intracellular calcium concentration in single cells, subsequently propagating to adjacent cells, and can be a possible mechanism for the coupling of bone formation to bone resorption. The aim of the present studies was to investigate whether bone cells are capable of communicating via intercellular calcium signals, and determine by which mechanisms the cells propagate the signals. First, we found that osteoblastic cells can propagate intercellular calcium transients upon mechanical stimulation, and that there are two principally different mechanisms for this propagation. One mechanism involves the secretion of a nucleotide, possibly ATP, acting in an autocrine action to purinergic P2Y2 receptors on the neighboring cells, leading to intracellular IP3 generation and subsequent release of calcium from intracellular stores. The other mechanism involves the passage of a small messenger through gap junctions to the cytoplasm of the neighboring cells, inducing depolarization of the plasma membrane with subsequent opening of membrane bound voltage-operated calcium channels. Next, we found that osteoblasts can propagate these signals to osteoclasts as well. We demonstrated that paracrine action of ATP was responsible for the wave propagation, but now the purinergic P2X7 receptor was involved. Thus, the studies demonstrate that calcium signals can be propagated not only among osteoblasts, but also between osteoblasts and osteoclasts in response to mechanical stimulation. Thus, intercellular calcium signaling can be a mechanism by which mechanical stimuli on bone are translated into biological signals in bone cells

  15. Nutrient Starvation Decreases Cx43 Levels and Limits Intercellular Communication in Primary Bovine Corneal Endothelial Cells.

    PubMed

    D'hondt, Catheleyne; Iyyathurai, Jegan; Welkenhuyzen, Kirsten; Himpens, Bernard; Leybaert, Luc; Bultynck, Geert

    2016-06-01

    Connexin (Cx) proteins form large conductance channels which function as regulators of communication between neighboring cells via gap junctions and/or hemichannels. Intercellular communication is essential to coordinate cellular responses in tissues and organs, thereby fulfilling an essential role in the spreading of signaling, survival and death processes. Connexin 43 (Cx43), a major connexin isoform in brain and heart, is rapidly turned over. Recent studies implicated that autophagy, a lysosomal degradation pathway induced upon nutrient starvation, mediates connexins, including Cx43, degradation. Here, we examined the impact of nutrient starvation on endogenous Cx43-protein levels and endogenous Cx43-driven intercellular communication in primary bovine corneal endothelial cells (BCECs). Hank's Balanced Salt Solution (HBSS) was used as a starvation condition that induces autophagic flux without impacting the survival of the BCECs. Nutrient starvation of BCECs caused a rapid decline in Cx43-protein levels, both as gap junctions and as hemichannels. The time course of the decline in Cx43-protein levels coincided with the time course of the decline in intercellular communication, assessed as intercellular Ca(2+)-wave propagation in BCECs exposed to a single-cell mechanical stimulus. The decline in Cx43-protein levels, both as gap junctions and as hemichannels, could be prevented by the addition of bafilomycin A1, a lysosomal inhibitor, during the complete nutrient starvation period. Consistent with this, bafilomycin A1 significantly alleviated the decrease in intercellular Ca(2+)-wave propagation. This study further underpins the importance of autophagy as an important degradation pathway for Cx43 proteins during periods of nutrient deprivation, thereby impacting the ability of cells to perform intercellular communication. PMID:26873723

  16. α-Catenin phosphorylation promotes intercellular adhesion through a dual-kinase mechanism.

    PubMed

    Escobar, David J; Desai, Ridhdhi; Ishiyama, Noboru; Folmsbee, Stephen S; Novak, Megan N; Flozak, Annette S; Daugherty, Rebecca L; Mo, Rigen; Nanavati, Dhaval; Sarpal, Ritu; Leckband, Deborah; Ikura, Mitsu; Tepass, Ulrich; Gottardi, Cara J

    2015-03-15

    The cadherin-catenin adhesion complex is a key contributor to epithelial tissue stability and dynamic cell movements during development and tissue renewal. How this complex is regulated to accomplish these functions is not fully understood. We identified several phosphorylation sites in mammalian αE-catenin (also known as catenin α-1) and Drosophila α-Catenin within a flexible linker located between the middle (M)-region and the carboxy-terminal actin-binding domain. We show that this phospho-linker (P-linker) is the main phosphorylated region of α-catenin in cells and is sequentially modified at casein kinase 2 and 1 consensus sites. In Drosophila, the P-linker is required for normal α-catenin function during development and collective cell migration, although no obvious defects were found in cadherin-catenin complex assembly or adherens junction formation. In mammalian cells, non-phosphorylatable forms of α-catenin showed defects in intercellular adhesion using a mechanical dispersion assay. Epithelial sheets expressing phosphomimetic forms of α-catenin showed faster and more coordinated migrations after scratch wounding. These findings suggest that phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of the α-catenin P-linker are required for normal cadherin-catenin complex function in Drosophila and mammalian cells. PMID:25653389

  17. Sec3-containing exocyst complex is required for desmosome assembly in mammalian epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Nicholas J; Yeaman, Charles

    2010-01-01

    The Exocyst is a conserved multisubunit complex involved in the docking of post-Golgi transport vesicles to sites of membrane remodeling during cellular processes such as polarization, migration, and division. In mammalian epithelial cells, Exocyst complexes are recruited to nascent sites of cell-cell contact in response to E-cadherin-mediated adhesive interactions, and this event is an important early step in the assembly of intercellular junctions. Sec3 has been hypothesized to function as a spatial landmark for the development of polarity in budding yeast, but its role in epithelial cells has not been investigated. Here, we provide evidence in support of a function for a Sec3-containing Exocyst complex in the assembly or maintenance of desmosomes, adhesive junctions that link intermediate filament networks to sites of strong intercellular adhesion. We show that Sec3 associates with a subset of Exocyst complexes that are enriched at desmosomes. Moreover, we found that membrane recruitment of Sec3 is dependent on cadherin-mediated adhesion but occurs later than that of the known Exocyst components Sec6 and Sec8 that are recruited to adherens junctions. RNA interference-mediated suppression of Sec3 expression led to specific impairment of both the morphology and function of desmosomes, without noticeable effect on adherens junctions. These results suggest that two different exocyst complexes may function in basal-lateral membrane trafficking and will enable us to better understand how exocytosis is spatially organized during development of epithelial plasma membrane domains. PMID:19889837

  18. NMII forms a contractile transcellular sarcomeric network to regulate apical cell junctions and tissue geometry.

    PubMed

    Ebrahim, Seham; Fujita, Tomoki; Millis, Bryan A; Kozin, Elliott; Ma, Xuefei; Kawamoto, Sachiyo; Baird, Michelle A; Davidson, Michael; Yonemura, Shigenobu; Hisa, Yasuo; Conti, Mary Anne; Adelstein, Robert S; Sakaguchi, Hirofumi; Kachar, Bechara

    2013-04-22

    Nonmuscle myosin II (NMII) is thought to be the master integrator of force within epithelial apical junctions, mediating epithelial tissue morphogenesis and tensional homeostasis. Mutations in NMII are associated with a number of diseases due to failures in cell-cell adhesion. However, the organization and the precise mechanism by which NMII generates and responds to tension along the intercellular junctional line are still not known. We discovered that periodic assemblies of bipolar NMII filaments interlace with perijunctional actin and α-actinin to form a continuous belt of muscle-like sarcomeric units (∼400-600 nm) around each epithelial cell. Remarkably, the sarcomeres of adjacent cells are precisely paired across the junctional line, forming an integrated, transcellular contractile network. The contraction/relaxation of paired sarcomeres concomitantly impacts changes in apical cell shape and tissue geometry. We show differential distribution of NMII isoforms across heterotypic junctions and evidence for compensation between isoforms. Our results provide a model for how NMII force generation is effected along the junctional perimeter of each cell and communicated across neighboring cells in the epithelial organization. The sarcomeric network also provides a well-defined target to investigate the multiple roles of NMII in junctional homeostasis as well as in development and disease. PMID:23562268

  19. NMII forms a contractile transcellular sarcomeric network to regulate apical cell junctions and tissue geometry

    PubMed Central

    Ebrahim, Seham; Fujita, Tomoki; Millis, Bryan A.; Kozin, Elliott; Ma, Xuefei; Kawamoto, Sachiyo; Baird, Michelle A.; Davidson, Michael; Yonemura, Shigenobu; Hisa, Yasuo; Conti, Mary Anne; Adelstein, Robert S.; Sakaguchi, Hirofumi; Kachar, Bechara

    2013-01-01

    Summary Nonmuscle myosin II (NMII) is thought to be the master integrator of force within epithelial apical junctions, mediating epithelial tissue morphogenesis and tensional homeostasis [1-3]. Mutations in NMII are associated with a number of diseases due to failures in cell-cell adhesion [4-8]. However, the organization and the precise mechanism by which NMII generates and responds to tension along the intercellular junctional line are still not known. We discovered that periodic assemblies of bipolar NMII filaments interlace with perijunctional actin and α-actinin to form a continuous belt of muscle-like sarcomeric units (~400 – 600 nm) around each epithelial cell. Remarkably, the sarcomeres of adjacent cells are precisely paired across the junctional line forming an integrated, transcellular contractile network. The contraction/relaxation of paired sarcomeres concomitantly impacts changes in apical cell shape and tissue geometry. We show differential distribution of NMII isoforms across heterotypic junctions and evidence for compensation between isoforms. Our results provide a model for how NMII force generation is effected along the junctional perimeter of each cell, and communicated across neighboring cells in the epithelial organization. The sarcomeric network also provides a well-defined target to investigate the multiple roles of NMII in junctional homeostasis as well as in development and disease. PMID:23562268

  20. Morphology-tunable assembly of periodically aligned Si nanowire and radial pn junction arrays for solar cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xiaocheng; Liang, Kun; Tay, Beng Kang; Teo, Edwin H. T.

    2012-06-01

    Large-area periodically aligned Si nanowire (PASiNW) arrays have been fabricated on Si substrates via a templated catalytic chemical etching process. The diameter, length, packing density, and even the shape of Si nanowires (SiNWs) could be precisely controlled and tuned. A local coupling redox mechanism involving the reduction of H2O2 on silver particles and the dissolution of Si is responsible for formation of SiNWs. With the as-prepared SiNWs as templates, three kinds of PASiNW radial pn junction structures were fabricated on Si substrates via a solid-state phosphorous diffusion strategy and their applications in solar cells were also explored. The PASiNW radial pn junction-based solar cell with big diameter and interspace shows the highest power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 4.10% among the three kinds of devices. Further optimization, including surface passivation and electrode contact, is still needed for the higher efficiency PASiNW radial pn junction-based solar cells in the future.

  1. Gap junctional communication modulates gene transcription by altering the recruitment of Sp1 and Sp3 to connexin-response elements in osteoblast promoters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stains, Joseph P.; Lecanda, Fernando; Screen, Joanne; Towler, Dwight A.; Civitelli, Roberto

    2003-01-01

    Loss-of-function mutations of gap junction proteins, connexins, represent a mechanism of disease in a variety of tissues. We have shown that recessive (gene deletion) or dominant (connexin45 overexpression) disruption of connexin43 function results in osteoblast dysfunction and abnormal expression of osteoblast genes, including down-regulation of osteocalcin transcription. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms of gap junction-sensitive transcriptional regulation, we systematically analyzed the rat osteocalcin promoter for sensitivity to gap junctional intercellular communication. We identified an Sp1/Sp3 containing complex that assembles on a minimal element in the -70 to -57 region of the osteocalcin promoter in a gap junction-dependent manner. This CT-rich connexin-response element is necessary and sufficient to confer gap junction sensitivity to the osteocalcin proximal promoter. Repression of osteocalcin transcription occurs as a result of displacement of the stimulatory Sp1 by the inhibitory Sp3 on the promoter when gap junctional communication is perturbed. Modulation of Sp1/Sp3 recruitment also occurs on the collagen Ialpha1 promoter and translates into gap junction-sensitive transcriptional control of collagen Ialpha1 gene expression. Thus, regulation of Sp1/Sp3 recruitment to the promoter may represent a potential general mechanism for transcriptional control of target genes by signals passing through gap junctions.

  2. Exosomes for Intramyocardial Intercellular Communication

    PubMed Central

    Cervio, Elisabetta; Moccetti, Tiziano; Vassalli, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Cross-talk between different cell types plays central roles both in cardiac homeostasis and in adaptive responses of the heart to stress. Cardiomyocytes (CMs) send biological messages to the other cell types present in the heart including endothelial cells (ECs) and fibroblasts. In turn, CMs receive messages from these cells. Recent evidence has now established that exosomes, nanosized secreted extracellular vesicles, are crucial mediators of such messages. CMs, ECs, cardiac fibroblasts, and cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) release exosomes carrying nonrandom subsets of proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids present in their cells of origin. Exosomes secreted from CMs are internalized by fibroblasts and regulate gene expression in these cells as well as in ECs. CPC-derived exosomes protect CMs against apoptosis while also stimulating angiogenesis. They are rich in cardioprotective and proangiogenic microRNAs such as miR-146, miR-210, and miR-132. When injected into infracted hearts in vivo, CPC-derived exosomes reduce infarct size and improve cardiac function. Thus, exosomes are emerging both as key mediators of intercellular communication in the heart and as therapeutic candidates for heart disease. PMID:26089917

  3. Axonal Ensheathment and Intercellular Barrier Formation in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Blauth, Kevin; Banerjee, Swati; Bhat, Manzoor A.

    2014-01-01

    Glial cells are critical players in every major aspect of nervous system development, function, and disease. Other than their traditional supportive role, glial cells perform a variety of important functions such as myelination, synapse formation and plasticity, and establishment of blood–brain and blood–nerve barriers in the nervous system. Recent studies highlight the striking functional similarities between Drosophila and vertebrate glia. In both systems, glial cells play an essential role in neural ensheathment thereby isolating the nervous system and help to create a local ionic microenvironment for conduction of nerve impulses. Here, we review the anatomical aspects and the molecular players that underlie ensheathment during different stages of nervous system development in Drosophila and how these processes lead to the organization of neuroglial junctions. We also discuss some key aspects of the invertebrate axonal ensheathment and junctional organization with that of vertebrate myelination and axon–glial interactions. Finally, we highlight the importance of intercellular junctions in barrier formation in various cellular contexts in Drosophila. We speculate that unraveling the genetic and molecular mechanisms of ensheathment across species might provide key insights into human myelin-related disorders and help in designing therapeutic interventions. PMID:20801419

  4. Control of cell-cell forces and collective cell dynamics by the intercellular adhesome

    PubMed Central

    Bazellières, Elsa; Conte, Vito; Elosegui-Artola, Alberto; Serra-Picamal, Xavier; Bintanel-Morcillo, María; Roca-Cusachs, Pere; Muñoz, José J; Sales-Pardo, Marta; Guimerà, Roger; Trepat, Xavier

    2015-01-01

    Dynamics of epithelial tissues determines key processes in development, tissue healing, and cancer invasion. These processes are critically influenced by cell-cell adhesion forces. However, the identity of the proteins that resist and transmit forces at cell-cell junctions remains unclear, and how these proteins control tissue dynamics is largely unknown. Here we provide a systematic study of the interplay between cell-cell adhesion proteins, intercellular forces, and epithelial tissue dynamics. We show that collective cellular responses to selective perturbations of the intercellular adhesome conform to three mechanical phenotypes. These phenotypes are controlled by different molecular modules and characterized by distinct relationships between cellular kinematics and intercellular forces. We show that these forces and their rates can be predicted by the concentrations of cadherins and catenins. Unexpectedly, we identified different mechanical roles for P-cadherin and E-cadherin; while P-cadherin predicts levels of intercellular force, E-cadherin predicts the rate at which intercellular force builds up. PMID:25812522

  5. Novel mutations in the LAMC2 gene in non-Herlitz junctional epidermolysis bullosa: effects on laminin-5 assembly, secretion, and deposition.

    PubMed

    Castiglia, D; Posteraro, P; Spirito, F; Pinola, M; Angelo, C; Puddu, P; Meneguzzi, G; Zambruno, G

    2001-09-01

    Laminin-5 is the major adhesion ligand of epithelial cells. Mutations in the three genes (LAMA3, LAMB3, LAMC2) encoding the laminin-5 chains cause junctional epidermolysis bullosa, a clinically and genetically heterogeneous blistering skin disease. Here, we describe a non-Herlitz junctional epidermolysis bullosa patient, compound heterozygote for two novel mutations affecting the LAMC2 gene. The mutation in the paternal allele is a de novo splice site mutation (522-1G-->A) that results in in-frame skipping of exon 4 and synthesis of a mutated gamma2 polypeptide (gamma2Delta4) carrying a 33 amino acid deletion within the N-terminal domain V. The maternal mutation is a one base pair insertion (3511insA) in the 3' terminal exon of LAMC2 resulting in a frameshift and a premature termination codon. Mutation 3511insA is predicted to lead to the synthesis of a gamma2 polypeptide (gamma2t) disrupted in its alpha-helical C-terminal structure and truncated of the last 25 amino acids. Keratinocytes isolated from the patient's skin showed a markedly decreased level of gamma2 chain mRNA and secreted scant amounts of laminin-5, which undergoes physiologic proteolytic processing. To investigate the biologic function of the laminin-5 molecules synthesized by the patient, mutant gamma2 cDNAs were transiently expressed in gamma2-null keratinocytes. Transfection of the gamma2Delta4 cDNA resulted in restoration of laminin-5 deposition onto the culture substrate, which demonstrates that the gamma2 polypeptides carrying a deletion in domain V, upstream of the gamma2 proteolytic cleavage site, are assembled into native laminin-5 that is secreted and extracellularly processed. In contrast, transfection of a mutant cDNA expressing the gamma2t chain failed to restore laminin-5 immunoreactivity, which indicates that integrity of the gamma2 C-terminal amino acid sequences is required for laminin-5 assembly. These results correlate for the first time a functional alteration in a laminin-5

  6. Septal Junctions in Filamentous Heterocyst-Forming Cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Flores, Enrique; Herrero, Antonia; Forchhammer, Karl; Maldener, Iris

    2016-02-01

    In the filaments of heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria, septal junctions that traverse the septal peptidoglycan join adjacent cells, allowing intercellular communication. Perforations in the septal peptidoglycan have been observed, and proteins involved in the formation of such perforations and putative protein components of the septal junctions have been identified, but their relationships are debated. PMID:26748968

  7. CRSBP-1/LYVE-1 ligands disrupt lymphatic intercellular adhesion by inducing tyrosine phosphorylation and internalization of VE-cadherin

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Wei-Hsien; Liu, I-Hua; Tsai, Cheng C.; Johnson, Frank E.; Huang, Shuan Shian; Huang, Jung San

    2011-01-01

    Cell-surface retention sequence (CRS) binding protein (CRSBP-1) is a membrane glycoprotein identified by its ability to bind PDGF-BB and VEGF-A via their CRS motifs (clusters of basic amino acid residues). CRSBP-1 is identical to LYVE-1 and exhibits dual ligand (CRS-containing proteins and hyaluronic acid) binding activity, suggesting the importance of CRSBP-1 ligands in lymphatic function. Here, we show that CRSBP-1 ligands induce disruption of VE-cadherin-mediated intercellular adhesion and opening of intercellular junctions in lymphatic endothelial cell (LEC) monolayers as determined by immunofluorescence microscopy and Transwell permeability assay. This occurs by interaction with CRSBP-1 in the CRSBP-1–PDGFβR–β-catenin complex, resulting in tyrosine phosphorylation of the complex, dissociation of β-catenin and p120-catenin from VE-cadherin, and internalization of VE-cadherin. Pretreatment of LECs with a PDGFβR kinase inhibitor abolishes ligand-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of VE-cadherin, halts the ligand-induced disruption of VE-cadherin intercellular adhesion and blocks the ligand-induced opening of intercellular junctions. These CRSBP-1 ligands also induce opening of lymphatic intercellular junctions that respond to PDGFβR kinase inhibitor in wild-type mice (but not in Crsbp1-null mice) as evidenced by increased transit of injected FITC–dextran and induced edema fluid from the interstitial space into lymphatic vessels. These results disclose a novel mechanism involved in the opening of lymphatic intercellular junctions. PMID:21444752

  8. Mix and match: Investigating heteromeric and heterotypic gap junction channels in model systems and native tissues

    PubMed Central

    Koval, Michael; Molina, Samuel A.; Burt, Janis M.

    2014-01-01

    This review is based in part on a roundtable discussion session: “Physiological roles for heterotypic/heteromeric channels” at the 2013 International Gap Junction Conference (IGJC 2013) in Charleston, South Carolina. It is well recognized that multiple connexins can specifically co-assemble to form mixed gap junction channels with unique properties as a means to regulate intercellular communication. Compatibility determinants for both heteromeric and heterotypic gap junction channel formation have been identified and associated with specific connexin amino acid motifs. Hetero-oligomerization is also a regulated process; differences in connexin quality control and monomer stability are likely to play integral roles to control interactions between compatible connexins. Gap junctions in oligodendrocyte:astrocyte communication and in the cardiovascular system have emerged as key systems where heterotypic and heteromeric channels have unique physiologic roles. There are several methodologies to study heteromeric and heterotypic channels that are best applied to either heterologous expression systems, native tissues or both. There remains a need to use and develop different experimental approaches in order to understand the prevalence and roles for mixed gap junction channels in human physiology. PMID:24561196

  9. Ischemic preconditioning protects against gap junctional uncoupling in cardiac myofibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Sundset, Rune; Cooper, Marie; Mikalsen, Svein-Ole; Ytrehus, Kirsti

    2004-01-01

    Ischemic preconditioning increases the heart's tolerance to a subsequent longer ischemic period. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of gap junction communication in simulated preconditioning in cultured neonatal rat cardiac myofibroblasts. Gap junctional intercellular communication was assessed by Lucifer yellow dye transfer. Preconditioning preserved intercellular coupling after prolonged ischemia. An initial reduction in coupling in response to the preconditioning stimulus was also observed. This may protect neighboring cells from damaging substances produced during subsequent regional ischemia in vivo, and may preserve gap junctional communication required for enhanced functional recovery during subsequent reperfusion. PMID:16247851

  10. Modular Nuclease-Responsive DNA Three-Way Junction-Based Dynamic Assembly of a DNA Device and Its Sensing Application.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jing; Wang, Lei; Xu, Xiaowen; Wei, Haiping; Jiang, Wei

    2016-04-01

    Here, we explored a modular strategy for rational design of nuclease-responsive three-way junctions (TWJs) and fabricated a dynamic DNA device in a "plug-and-play" fashion. First, inactivated TWJs were designed, which contained three functional domains: the inaccessible toehold and branch migration domains, the specific sites of nucleases, and the auxiliary complementary sequence. The actions of different nucleases on their specific sites in TWJs caused the close proximity of the same toehold and branch migration domains, resulting in the activation of the TWJs and the formation of a universal trigger for the subsequent dynamic assembly. Second, two hairpins (H1 and H2) were introduced, which could coexist in a metastable state, initially to act as the components for the dynamic assembly. Once the trigger initiated the opening of H1 via TWJs-driven strand displacement, the cascade hybridization of hairpins immediately switched on, resulting in the formation of the concatemers of H1/H2 complex appending numerous integrated G-quadruplexes, which were used to obtain label-free signal readout. The inherent modularity of this design allowed us to fabricate a flexible DNA dynamic device and detect multiple nucleases through altering the recognition pattern slightly. Taking uracil-DNA glycosylase and CpG methyltransferase M.SssI as models, we successfully realized the butt joint between the uracil-DNA glycosylase and M.SssI recognition events and the dynamic assembly process. Furthermore, we achieved ultrasensitive assay of nuclease activity and the inhibitor screening. The DNA device proposed here will offer an adaptive and flexible tool for clinical diagnosis and anticancer drug discovery. PMID:26943244

  11. Deficiency of transcription factor Brn4 disrupts cochlear gap junction plaques in a model of DFN3 non-syndromic deafness.

    PubMed

    Kidokoro, Yoshinobu; Karasawa, Keiko; Minowa, Osamu; Sugitani, Yoshinobu; Noda, Tetsuo; Ikeda, Katsuhisa; Kamiya, Kazusaku

    2014-01-01

    Brn4, which encodes a POU transcription factor, is the gene responsible for DFN3, an X chromosome-linked, non-syndromic type of hearing loss. Brn4-deficient mice have a low endocochlear potential (EP), hearing loss, and ultrastructural alterations in spiral ligament fibrocytes, however the molecular pathology through which Brn4 deficiency causes low EP is still unclear. Mutations in the Gjb2 and Gjb6 genes encoding the gap junction proteins connexin26 (Cx26) and connexin30 (Cx30) genes, respectively, which encode gap junction proteins and are expressed in cochlear fibrocytes and non-sensory epithelial cells (i.e., cochlear supporting cells) to maintain the proper EP, are responsible for hereditary sensorineural deafness. It has been hypothesized that the gap junction in the cochlea provides an intercellular passage by which K+ is transported to maintain the EP at the high level necessary for sensory hair cell excitation. Here we analyzed the formation of gap junction plaques in cochlear supporting cells of Brn4-deficient mice at different stages by confocal microscopy and three-dimensional graphic reconstructions. Gap junctions from control mice, which are composed mainly of Cx26 and Cx30, formed linear plaques along the cell-cell junction sites with adjacent cells. These plaques formed pentagonal or hexagonal outlines of the normal inner sulcus cells and border cells. Gap junction plaques in Brn4-deficient mice did not, however, show the normal linear structure but instead formed small spots around the cell-cell junction sites. Gap junction lengths were significantly shorter, and the level of Cx26 and Cx30 was significantly reduced in Brn4-deficient mice compared with littermate controls. Thus the Brn4 mutation affected the assembly and localization of gap junction proteins at the cell borders of cochlear supporting cells, suggesting that Brn4 substantially contributes to cochlear gap junction properties to maintain the proper EP in cochleae, similar to connexin

  12. The tight junction: a multifunctional complex.

    PubMed

    Schneeberger, Eveline E; Lynch, Robert D

    2004-06-01

    Multicellular organisms are separated from the external environment by a layer of epithelial cells whose integrity is maintained by intercellular junctional complexes composed of tight junctions, adherens junctions, and desmosomes, whereas gap junctions provide for intercellular communication. The aim of this review is to present an updated overview of recent developments in the area of tight junction biology. In a relatively short time, our knowledge of the tight junction has evolved from a relatively simple view of it being a permeability barrier in the paracellular space and a fence in the plane of the plasma membrane to one of it acting as a multicomponent, multifunctional complex that is involved in regulating numerous and diverse cell functions. A group of integral membrane proteins-occludin, claudins, and junction adhesion molecules-interact with an increasingly complex array of tight junction plaque proteins not only to regulate paracellular solute and water flux but also to integrate such diverse processes as gene transcription, tumor suppression, cell proliferation, and cell polarity. PMID:15151915

  13. Oxidative Stress, Lens Gap Junctions, and Cataracts

    PubMed Central

    Beyer, Eric C.

    2009-01-01

    Abstract The eye lens is constantly subjected to oxidative stress from radiation and other sources. The lens has several mechanisms to protect its components from oxidative stress and to maintain its redox state, including enzymatic pathways and high concentrations of ascorbate and reduced glutathione. With aging, accumulation of oxidized lens components and decreased efficiency of repair mechanisms can contribute to the development of lens opacities or cataracts. Maintenance of transparency and homeostasis of the avascular lens depend on an extensive network of gap junctions. Communication through gap junction channels allows intercellular passage of molecules (up to 1 kDa) including antioxidants. Lens gap junctions and their constituent proteins, connexins (Cx43, Cx46, and Cx50), are also subject to the effects of oxidative stress. These observations suggest that oxidative stress-induced damage to connexins (and consequent altered intercellular communication) may contribute to cataract formation. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 11, 339–353. PMID:18831679

  14. Intercellular Communication in the Adaptive Immune System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakraborty, Arup

    2004-03-01

    Higher organisms, like humans, have an adaptive immune system that can respond to pathogens that have not been encountered before. T lymphocytes (T cells) are the orchestrators of the adaptive immune response. They interact with cells, called antigen presenting cells (APC), that display molecular signatures of pathogens. Recently, video microscopy experiments have revealed that when T cells detect antigen on APC surfaces, a spatially patterned supramolecular assembly of different types of molecules forms in the junction between cell membranes. This recognition motif is implicated in information transfer between APC and T cells, and so, is labeled the immunological synapse. The observation of synapse formation sparked two broad questions: How does the synapse form? Why does the synapse form? I will describe progress made in answering these fundamental questions in biology by synergistic use of statistical mechanical theory/computation, chemical engineering principles, and genetic and biochemical experiments. The talk will also touch upon mechanisms that may underlie the extreme sensitivity with which T cells discriminate between self and non-self.

  15. Eye lens membrane junctional microdomains: a comparison between healthy and pathological cases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buzhynskyy, Nikolay; Sens, Pierre; Behar-Cohen, Francine; Scheuring, Simon

    2011-08-01

    The eye lens is a transparent tissue constituted of tightly packed fiber cells. To maintain homeostasis and transparency of the lens, the circulation of water, ions and metabolites is required. Junctional microdomains connect the lens cells and ensure both tight cell-to-cell adhesion and intercellular flow of fluids through a microcirculation system. Here, we overview membrane morphology and tissue functional requirements of the mammalian lens. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has opened up the possibility of visualizing the junctional microdomains at unprecedented submolecular resolution, revealing the supramolecular assembly of lens-specific aquaporin-0 (AQP0) and connexins (Cx). We compare the membrane protein assembly in healthy lenses with senile and diabetes-II cataract cases and novel data of the lens membranes from a congenital cataract. In the healthy case, AQP0s form characteristic square arrays confined by connexons. In the cases of senile and diabetes-II cataract patients, connexons were degraded, leading to malformation of AQP0 arrays and breakdown of the microcirculation system. In the congenital cataract, connexons are present, indicating probable non-membranous grounds for lens opacification. Further, we discuss the energetic aspects of the membrane organization in junctional microdomains. The AFM hence becomes a biomedical nano-imaging tool for the analysis of single-membrane protein supramolecular association in healthy and pathological membranes.

  16. [Gap junction and diabetic foot].

    PubMed

    Zou, Xiao-rong; Tao, Jian; Wang, Yun-kai

    2015-11-01

    Gap junctions play a critical role in electrical synchronization and exchange of small molecules between neighboring cells; connexins are a family of structurally related transmembrane proteins that assemble to form vertebrate gap junctions. Hyperglycemia changes the structure gap junction proteins and their expression, resulting in obstruction of neural regeneration, vascular function and wound healing, and also promoting vascular atherosclerosis. These pathogenic factors would cause diabetic foot ulcers. This article reviews the involvement of connexins in pathogenesis of diabetic foot. PMID:26822053

  17. Regulation of gap junction channels and hemichannels by phosphorylation and redox changes: a revision.

    PubMed

    Pogoda, Kristin; Kameritsch, Petra; Retamal, Mauricio A; Vega, José L

    2016-01-01

    Post-translational modifications of connexins play an important role in the regulation of gap junction and hemichannel permeability. The prerequisite for the formation of functional gap junction channels is the assembly of connexin proteins into hemichannels and their insertion into the membrane. Hemichannels can affect cellular processes by enabling the passage of signaling molecules between the intracellular and extracellular space. For the intercellular communication hemichannels from one cell have to dock to its counterparts on the opposing membrane of an adjacent cell to allow the transmission of signals via gap junctions from one cell to the other. The controlled opening of hemichannels and gating properties of complete gap junctions can be regulated via post-translational modifications of connexins. Not only channel gating, but also connexin trafficking and assembly into hemichannels can be affected by post-translational changes. Recent investigations have shown that connexins can be modified by phosphorylation/dephosphorylation, redox-related changes including effects of nitric oxide (NO), hydrogen sulfide (H2S) or carbon monoxide (CO), acetylation, methylation or ubiquitination. Most of the connexin isoforms are known to be phosphorylated, e.g. Cx43, one of the most studied connexin at all, has 21 reported phosphorylation sites. In this review, we provide an overview about the current knowledge and relevant research of responsible kinases, connexin phosphorylation sites and reported effects on gap junction and hemichannel regulation. Regarding the effects of oxidants we discuss the role of NO in different cell types and tissues and recent studies about modifications of connexins by CO and H2S. PMID:27229925

  18. Effects of ultraviolet radiation on intercellular communication in V79 Chinese hamster fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Bånrud, H; Mikalsen, S O; Berg, K; Moan, J

    1994-02-01

    The effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation on gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) in V79 Chinese hamster fibroblasts were studied by means of a dye transfer assay. Intercellular communication was shown to be altered by UVB (297/302 nm) and UVA (365 nm) radiation, the effect depending on the wavelength of exposure and time between irradiation and microinjection of the dye in the dye transfer assay. Exposure to 297/302 nm radiation induced a reduction in intercellular communication 6 min after exposure. Incubation of the cells post-irradiation reversed the inhibition of GJIC. From 2 to 24 h after exposure an increase in GJIC over the control cells was seen, with a maximum at 8 h post-irradiation. UVA (365 nm) radiation, on the other hand, induced an increase in the intercellular communication 6 min after irradiation. Incubation of the cells post-irradiation led to a decrease in the number of communicating cells, with a minimum seen 4 h after exposure. The reduction in communication observed after exposure to UVB and UVA was not correlated with similar modifications in the gap junction protein connexin43 as found when exposing the cells to the tumour promoter 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate. For the higher fluences of UVA, a decrease in immunorecognizable connexin43 was seen, concomitant with a markedly increased background of higher mol. wt compounds. This may be due to UVA-induced crosslinking of connexin43. No correlation was found between changes in communication induced by UV radiation and levels of cyclic AMP. PMID:8313514

  19. Patterning of wound-induced intercellular Ca2+ flashes in a developing epithelium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narciso, Cody; Wu, Qinfeng; Brodskiy, Pavel; Garston, George; Baker, Ruth; Fletcher, Alexander; Zartman, Jeremiah

    2015-10-01

    Differential mechanical force distributions are increasingly recognized to provide important feedback into the control of an organ’s final size and shape. As a second messenger that integrates and relays mechanical information to the cell, calcium ions (Ca2+) are a prime candidate for providing important information on both the overall mechanical state of the tissue and resulting behavior at the individual-cell level during development. Still, how the spatiotemporal properties of Ca2+ transients reflect the underlying mechanical characteristics of tissues is still poorly understood. Here we use an established model system of an epithelial tissue, the Drosophila wing imaginal disc, to investigate how tissue properties impact the propagation of Ca2+ transients induced by laser ablation. The resulting intercellular Ca2+ flash is found to be mediated by inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate and depends on gap junction communication. Further, we find that intercellular Ca2+ transients show spatially non-uniform characteristics across the proximal-distal axis of the larval wing imaginal disc, which exhibit a gradient in cell size and anisotropy. A computational model of Ca2+ transients is employed to identify the principle factors explaining the spatiotemporal patterning dynamics of intercellular Ca2+ flashes. The relative Ca2+ flash anisotropy is principally explained by local cell shape anisotropy. Further, Ca2+ velocities are relatively uniform throughout the wing disc, irrespective of cell size or anisotropy. This can be explained by the opposing effects of cell diameter and cell elongation on intercellular Ca2+ propagation. Thus, intercellular Ca2+ transients follow lines of mechanical tension at velocities that are largely independent of tissue heterogeneity and reflect the mechanical state of the underlying tissue.

  20. Intrinsically disordered proteins aggregate at fungal cell-to-cell channels and regulate intercellular connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Julian; Koh, Chuan Hock; Tjota, Monika; Pieuchot, Laurent; Raman, Vignesh; Chandrababu, Karthik Balakrishna; Yang, Daiwen; Wong, Limsoon; Jedd, Gregory

    2012-01-01

    Like animals and plants, multicellular fungi possess cell-to-cell channels (septal pores) that allow intercellular communication and transport. Here, using a combination of MS of Woronin body-associated proteins and a bioinformatics approach that identifies related proteins based on composition and character, we identify 17 septal pore-associated (SPA) proteins that localize to the septal pore in rings and pore-centered foci. SPA proteins are not homologous at the primary sequence level but share overall physical properties with intrinsically disordered proteins. Some SPA proteins form aggregates at the septal pore, and in vitro assembly assays suggest aggregation through a nonamyloidal mechanism involving mainly α-helical and disordered structures. SPA loss-of-function phenotypes include excessive septation, septal pore degeneration, and uncontrolled Woronin body activation. Together, our data identify the septal pore as a complex subcellular compartment and focal point for the assembly of unstructured proteins controlling diverse aspects of intercellular connectivity. PMID:22955885

  1. Intercellular redistribution of cAMP underlies selective suppression of cancer cell growth by connexin26.

    PubMed

    Chandrasekhar, Anjana; Kalmykov, Edward A; Polusani, Srikanth R; Mathis, Sandra A; Zucker, Shoshanna N; Nicholson, Bruce J

    2013-01-01

    Connexins (Cx), which constitute gap junction intercellular channels in vertebrates, have been shown to suppress transformed cell growth and tumorigenesis, but the mechanism(s) still remain largely speculative. Here, we define the molecular basis by which Cx26, but less frequently Cx43 or Cx32, selectively confer growth suppression on cancer cells. Functional intercellular coupling is shown to be required, producing partial blocks of the cell cycle due to prolonged activation of several mitogenic kinases. PKA is both necessary and sufficient for the Cx26 induced growth inhibition in low serum and the absence of anchorage. Activation of PKA was not associated with elevated cAMP levels, but appeared to result from a redistribution of cAMP throughout the cell population, eliminating the cell cycle oscillations in cAMP required for efficient cell cycle progression. Cx43 and Cx32 fail to mediate this redistribution as, unlike Cx26, these channels are closed during the G2/M phase of the cell cycle when cAMP levels peak. Comparisons of tumor cell lines indicate that this is a general pattern, with growth suppression by connexins occurring whenever cAMP oscillates with the cell cycle, and the gap junction remain open throughout the cell cycle. Thus, gap junctional coupling, in the absence of any external signals, provides a general means to limit the mitotic rate of cell populations. PMID:24312655

  2. Intercellular Redistribution of cAMP Underlies Selective Suppression of Cancer Cell Growth by Connexin26

    PubMed Central

    Polusani, Srikanth R.; Mathis, Sandra A.; Zucker, Shoshanna N.; Nicholson, Bruce J.

    2013-01-01

    Connexins (Cx), which constitute gap junction intercellular channels in vertebrates, have been shown to suppress transformed cell growth and tumorigenesis, but the mechanism(s) still remain largely speculative. Here, we define the molecular basis by which Cx26, but less frequently Cx43 or Cx32, selectively confer growth suppression on cancer cells. Functional intercellular coupling is shown to be required, producing partial blocks of the cell cycle due to prolonged activation of several mitogenic kinases. PKA is both necessary and sufficient for the Cx26 induced growth inhibition in low serum and the absence of anchorage. Activation of PKA was not associated with elevated cAMP levels, but appeared to result from a redistribution of cAMP throughout the cell population, eliminating the cell cycle oscillations in cAMP required for efficient cell cycle progression. Cx43 and Cx32 fail to mediate this redistribution as, unlike Cx26, these channels are closed during the G2/M phase of the cell cycle when cAMP levels peak. Comparisons of tumor cell lines indicate that this is a general pattern, with growth suppression by connexins occurring whenever cAMP oscillates with the cell cycle, and the gap junction remain open throughout the cell cycle. Thus, gap junctional coupling, in the absence of any external signals, provides a general means to limit the mitotic rate of cell populations. PMID:24312655

  3. Intercellular Lipid Mediators and GPCR Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Im, Dong-Soon

    2013-01-01

    G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) are the largest superfamily of receptors responsible for signaling between cells and tissues, and because they play important physiological roles in homeostasis, they are major drug targets. New technologies have been developed for the identification of new ligands, new GPCR functions, and for drug discovery purposes. In particular, intercellular lipid mediators, such as, lysophosphatidic acid and sphingosine 1-phosphate have attracted much attention for drug discovery and this has resulted in the development of fingolimod (FTY-720) and AM095. The discovery of new intercellular lipid mediators and their GPCRs are discussed from the perspective of drug development. Lipid GPCRs for lysophospholipids, including lysophosphatidylserine, lysophosphatidylinositol, lysophosphatidylcholine, free fatty acids, fatty acid derivatives, and other lipid mediators are reviewed. PMID:24404331

  4. Intercellular Stress Reconstitution from Traction Force Data

    PubMed Central

    Zimmermann, Juliane; Hayes, Ryan L.; Basan, Markus; Onuchic, José N.; Rappel, Wouter-Jan; Levine, Herbert

    2014-01-01

    Cells migrate collectively during development, wound healing, and cancer metastasis. Recently, a method has been developed to recover intercellular stress in monolayers from measured traction forces upon the substrate. To calculate stress maps in two dimensions, the cell sheet was assumed to behave like an elastic material, and it remains unclear to what extent this assumption is valid. In this study, we simulate our recently developed model for collective cell migration, and compute intercellular stress maps using the method employed in the experiments. We also compute these maps using a method that does not depend on the traction forces or material properties. The two independently obtained stress patterns agree well for the parameters we have probed and provide a verification of the validity of the experimental method. PMID:25099794

  5. Mechanically induced intercellular calcium communication in confined endothelial structures.

    PubMed

    Junkin, Michael; Lu, Yi; Long, Juexuan; Deymier, Pierre A; Hoying, James B; Wong, Pak Kin

    2013-03-01

    Calcium signaling in the diverse vascular structures is regulated by a wide range of mechanical and biochemical factors to maintain essential physiological functions of the vasculature. To properly transmit information, the intercellular calcium communication mechanism must be robust against various conditions in the cellular microenvironment. Using plasma lithography geometric confinement, we investigate mechanically induced calcium wave propagation in networks of human umbilical vein endothelial cells organized. Endothelial cell networks with confined architectures were stimulated at the single cell level, including using capacitive force probes. Calcium wave propagation in the network was observed using fluorescence calcium imaging. We show that mechanically induced calcium signaling in the endothelial networks is dynamically regulated against a wide range of probing forces and repeated stimulations. The calcium wave is able to propagate consistently in various dimensions from monolayers to individual cell chains, and in different topologies from linear patterns to cell junctions. Our results reveal that calcium signaling provides a robust mechanism for cell-cell communication in networks of endothelial cells despite the diversity of the microenvironmental inputs and complexity of vascular structures. PMID:23267827

  6. Nanotube junctions

    DOEpatents

    Crespi, Vincent Henry; Cohen, Marvin Lou; Louie, Steven Gwon; Zettl, Alexander Karlwalte

    2004-12-28

    The present invention comprises a new nanoscale metal-semiconductor, semiconductor-semiconductor, or metal-metal junction, designed by introducing topological or chemical defects in the atomic structure of the nanotube. Nanotubes comprising adjacent sections having differing electrical properties are described. These nanotubes can be constructed from combinations of carbon, boron, nitrogen and other elements. The nanotube can be designed having different indices on either side of a junction point in a continuous tube so that the electrical properties on either side of the junction vary in a useful fashion. For example, the inventive nanotube may be electrically conducting on one side of a junction and semiconducting on the other side. An example of a semiconductor-metal junction is a Schottky barrier. Alternatively, the nanotube may exhibit different semiconductor properties on either side of the junction. Nanotubes containing heterojunctions, Schottky barriers, and metal-metal junctions are useful for microcircuitry.

  7. Nanotube junctions

    DOEpatents

    Crespi, Vincent Henry; Cohen, Marvin Lou; Louie, Steven Gwon Sheng; Zettl, Alexander Karlwalter

    2003-01-01

    The present invention comprises a new nanoscale metal-semiconductor, semiconductor-semiconductor, or metal-metal junction, designed by introducing topological or chemical defects in the atomic structure of the nanotube. Nanotubes comprising adjacent sections having differing electrical properties are described. These nanotubes can be constructed from combinations of carbon, boron, nitrogen and other elements. The nanotube can be designed having different indices on either side of a junction point in a continuous tube so that the electrical properties on either side of the junction vary in a useful fashion. For example, the inventive nanotube may be electrically conducting on one side of a junction and semiconducting on the other side. An example of a semiconductor-metal junction is a Schottky barrier. Alternatively, the nanotube may exhibit different semiconductor properties on either side of the junction. Nanotubes containing heterojunctions, Schottky barriers, and metal-metal junctions are useful for microcircuitry.

  8. The Intercellular Synchronization of Ca2+ Oscillations Evaluates Cx36-Dependent Coupling

    PubMed Central

    Bavamian, Sabine; Pontes, Helena; Cancela, José; Charollais, Anne; Startchik, Sergei; Van De Ville, Dimitri; Meda, Paolo

    2012-01-01

    Connexin36 (Cx36) plays an important role in insulin secretion by controlling the intercellular synchronization of Ca2+ transients induced during stimulation. The lack of drugs acting on Cx36 channels is a major limitation in further unraveling the molecular mechanism underlying this effect. To screen for such drugs, we have developed an assay allowing for a semi-automatic, fluorimetric quantification of Ca2+ transients in large populations of MIN6 cells. Here, we show that (1) compared to control cells, MIN6 cells with reduced Cx36 expression or function showed decreased synchrony of glucose-induced Ca2+ oscillations; (2) glibenclamide, a sulphonylurea which promotes Cx36 junctions and coupling, increased the number of synchronous MIN6 cells, whereas quinine, an antimalarial drug which inhibits Cx36-dependent coupling, decreased this proportion; (3) several drugs were identified that altered the intercellular Ca2+ synchronization, cell coupling and distribution of Cx36; (4) some of them also affected insulin content. The data indicate that the intercellular synchronization of Ca2+ oscillations provides a reliable and non-invasive measurement of Cx36-dependent coupling, which is useful to identify novel drugs affecting the function of β-cells, neurons, and neuron-related cells that express Cx36. PMID:22848521

  9. Intercellular electrical communication in the heart: a new, active role for the intercalated disk.

    PubMed

    Veeraraghavan, Rengasayee; Poelzing, Steven; Gourdie, Robert G

    2014-06-01

    Cardiac conduction is the propagation of electrical excitation through the heart and is responsible for triggering individual myocytes to contract in synchrony. Canonically, this process has been thought to occur electrotonically, by means of direct flow of ions from cell to cell. The intercalated disk (ID), the site of contact between adjacent myocytes, has been viewed as a structure composed of mechanical junctions that stabilize the apposition of cell membranes and gap junctions which constitute low resistance pathways between cells. However, emerging evidence suggests a more active role for structures within the ID in mediating intercellular electrical communication by means of non-canonical ephaptic mechanisms. This review will discuss the role of the ID in the context of the canonical, electrotonic view of conduction and highlight new, emerging possibilities of its playing a more active role in ephaptic coupling between cardiac myocytes. PMID:24735129

  10. Current trends in salivary gland tight junctions.

    PubMed

    Baker, Olga J

    2016-01-01

    Tight junctions form a continuous intercellular barrier between epithelial cells that is required to separate tissue spaces and regulate selective movement of solutes across the epithelium. They are composed of strands containing integral membrane proteins (e.g., claudins, occludin and tricellulin, junctional adhesion molecules and the coxsackie adenovirus receptor). These proteins are anchored to the cytoskeleton via scaffolding proteins such as ZO-1 and ZO-2. In salivary glands, tight junctions are involved in polarized saliva secretion and barrier maintenance between the extracellular environment and the glandular lumen. This review seeks to provide an overview of what is currently known, as well as the major questions and future research directions, regarding tight junction expression, organization and function within salivary glands. PMID:27583188

  11. Dynamic gap junctional communication: a delimiting model for tissue responses.

    PubMed Central

    Christ, G J; Brink, P R; Ramanan, S V

    1994-01-01

    Gap junctions are aqueous intercellular channels formed by a diverse class of membrane-spanning proteins, known as connexins. These aqueous pores provide partial cytoplasmic continuity between cells in most tissues, and are freely permeable to a host of physiologically relevant second messenger molecules/ionic species (e.g., Ca2+, IP3, cAMP, cGMP). Despite the fact that these second messenger molecules/ionic species have been shown to alter junctional patency, there is no clear basis for understanding how dynamic and transient changes in the intracellular concentration of second messenger molecules might modulate the extent of intercellular communication among coupled cells. Thus, we have modified the tissue monolayer model of Ramanan and Brink (1990) to account for both the up-regulatory and down-regulatory effects on junctions by second messenger molecules that diffuse through gap junctions. We have chosen the vascular wall as our morphological correlate because of its anisotropy and large investment of gap junctions. The model allows us to illustrate the putative behavior of gap junctions under a variety of physiologically relevant conditions. The modeling studies demonstrated that transient alterations in intracellular second messenger concentrations are capable of producing 50-125% changes in the number of cells recruited into a functional syncytial unit, after activation of a single cell. Moreover, the model conditions required to demonstrate such physiologically relevant changes in intercellular diffusion among coupled cells are commonly observed in intact tissues and cultured cells. Images FIGURE 2 PMID:7811948

  12. Spatial organization of the extracellular matrix regulates cell–cell junction positioning

    PubMed Central

    Tseng, Qingzong; Duchemin-Pelletier, Eve; Deshiere, Alexandre; Balland, Martial; Guillou, Hervé; Filhol, Odile; Théry, Manuel

    2012-01-01

    The organization of cells into epithelium depends on cell interaction with both the extracellular matrix (ECM) and adjacent cells. The role of cell–cell adhesion in the regulation of epithelial topology is well-described. ECM is better known to promote cell migration and provide a structural scaffold for cell anchoring, but its contribution to multicellular morphogenesis is less well-understood. We developed a minimal model system to investigate how ECM affects the spatial organization of intercellular junctions. Fibronectin micropatterns were used to constrain the location of cell–ECM adhesion. We found that ECM affects the degree of stability of intercellular junction positioning and the magnitude of intra- and intercellular forces. Intercellular junctions were permanently displaced, and experienced large perpendicular tensional forces as long as they were positioned close to ECM. They remained stable solely in regions deprived of ECM, where they were submitted to lower tensional forces. The heterogeneity of the spatial organization of ECM induced anisotropic distribution of mechanical constraints in cells, which seemed to adapt their position to minimize both intra- and intercellular forces. These results uncover a morphogenetic role for ECM in the mechanical regulation of cells and intercellular junction positioning. PMID:22307605

  13. Kinetics and mechanism of intercellular ice propagation in a micropatterned tissue construct.

    PubMed Central

    Irimia, Daniel; Karlsson, Jens O M

    2002-01-01

    Understanding the effects of cell-cell interaction on intracellular ice formation (IIF) is required to design optimized protocols for cryopreservation of tissue. To determine the effects of cell-cell interactions during tissue freezing, without confounding effects from uncontrolled factors (such as time in culture, cell geometry, and cell-substrate interactions), HepG2 cells were cultured in pairs on glass coverslips micropatterned with polyethylene glycol disilane, such that each cell interacted with exactly one adjacent cell. Assuming the cell pair to be a finite state system, being either in an unfrozen state (no ice in either cell), a singlet state (IIF in one cell only), or a doublet state (IIF in both cells), the kinetics of state transitions were theoretically modeled and cryomicroscopically measured. The rate of intercellular ice propagation, estimated from the measured singlet state probability, increased in the first 24 h of culture and remained steady thereafter. In cell pairs cultured for 24 h and treated with the gap junction blocker 18beta-glycyrrhetinic acid before freezing, the intercellular ice propagation rate was lower than in untreated controls (p < 0.001), but significantly greater than zero (p < 0.0001). These results suggest that gap junctions mediate some, but not all, mechanisms of ice propagation in tissue. PMID:11916845

  14. Kinetics and mechanism of intercellular ice propagation in a micropatterned tissue construct.

    PubMed

    Irimia, Daniel; Karlsson, Jens O M

    2002-04-01

    Understanding the effects of cell-cell interaction on intracellular ice formation (IIF) is required to design optimized protocols for cryopreservation of tissue. To determine the effects of cell-cell interactions during tissue freezing, without confounding effects from uncontrolled factors (such as time in culture, cell geometry, and cell-substrate interactions), HepG2 cells were cultured in pairs on glass coverslips micropatterned with polyethylene glycol disilane, such that each cell interacted with exactly one adjacent cell. Assuming the cell pair to be a finite state system, being either in an unfrozen state (no ice in either cell), a singlet state (IIF in one cell only), or a doublet state (IIF in both cells), the kinetics of state transitions were theoretically modeled and cryomicroscopically measured. The rate of intercellular ice propagation, estimated from the measured singlet state probability, increased in the first 24 h of culture and remained steady thereafter. In cell pairs cultured for 24 h and treated with the gap junction blocker 18beta-glycyrrhetinic acid before freezing, the intercellular ice propagation rate was lower than in untreated controls (p < 0.001), but significantly greater than zero (p < 0.0001). These results suggest that gap junctions mediate some, but not all, mechanisms of ice propagation in tissue. PMID:11916845

  15. Josephson junction

    DOEpatents

    Wendt, Joel R.; Plut, Thomas A.; Martens, Jon S.

    1995-01-01

    A novel method for fabricating nanometer geometry electronic devices is described. Such Josephson junctions can be accurately and reproducibly manufactured employing photolithographic and direct write electron beam lithography techniques in combination with aqueous etchants. In particular, a method is described for manufacturing planar Josephson junctions from high temperature superconducting material.

  16. Josephson junction

    DOEpatents

    Wendt, J.R.; Plut, T.A.; Martens, J.S.

    1995-05-02

    A novel method for fabricating nanometer geometry electronic devices is described. Such Josephson junctions can be accurately and reproducibly manufactured employing photolithographic and direct write electron beam lithography techniques in combination with aqueous etchants. In particular, a method is described for manufacturing planar Josephson junctions from high temperature superconducting material. 10 figs.

  17. Bimetallic junctions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arcella, F. G.; Lessmann, G. G.; Lindberg, R. A. (Inventor)

    1977-01-01

    The formation of voids through interdiffusion in bimetallic welded structures exposed to high operating temperatures is inhibited by utilizing an alloy of the parent materials in the junction of the parent materials or by preannealing the junction at an ultrahigh temperature. These methods are also used to reduce the concentration gradient of a hardening agent.

  18. Development of schizogenous intercellular spaces in plants

    PubMed Central

    Ishizaki, Kimitsune

    2015-01-01

    Gas exchange is essential for multicellular organisms. In contrast to the circulatory systems of animals, land plants have tissues with intercellular spaces (ICSs), called aerenchyma, that are critical for efficient gas exchange. Plants form ICSs by two different mechanisms: schizogeny, where localized cell separation creates spaces; and lysogeny, where cells die to create ICSs. In schizogenous ICS formation, specific molecular mechanisms regulate the sites of cell separation and coordinate extensive reorganization of cell walls. Emerging evidence suggests the involvement of extracellular signaling, mediated by peptide ligands and leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases, in the regulation of cell wall remodeling during cell separation. Recent work on the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha has demonstrated a critical role for a plasma membrane-associated plant U-box E3 ubiquitin ligase in ICS formation. In this review, I discuss the mechanism of schizogenous ICS formation, focusing on the potential role of extracellular signaling in the regulation of cell separation. PMID:26191071

  19. Intra- and Intercellular Communication Systems in Ciliates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Görtz, H.-D.; Kuhlmann, H.-W.; Möllenbeck, M.; Tiedtke, A.; Kusch, J.; Schmidt, H. J.; Miyake, A.

    Intracellular signaling and cell-cell interactions are basic features of living organisms. Ciliated protozoa show complex mechanisms of intracellular signaling, as is demonstrated for the phagosomal pathway. Although unicellular, ciliates also communicate with other cells, for example, with invading or symbiotic micro-organisms, some of which are dwelling in the nuclei. In predator-prey interactions chemical signals (kairomones) released by certain predators induce defensive morphological or behavioral changes in the prey ciliates. In intercellular communication sensu strictu ciliate cells communicate with each other, for example, in sexual propagation. A variety of sexual signals have been found to function in preconjugant interaction. Many phenomena of cellular communication in ciliates appear to be similar to those found in multicellular organisms.

  20. Study of Gap Junctions in Human Embryonic Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Pébay, Alice; Wong, Raymond C B

    2016-01-01

    Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) has been described in different cell types including stem cells and has been involved in different biological events. GJIC is required for mouse embryonic stem cell maintenance and proliferation and various studies suggest that functional GJIC is a common characteristic of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) maintained in different culture conditions. This chapter introduces methods to study gap junctions in hESC, from expression of gap junction proteins to functional study of GJIC in hESC proliferation, apoptosis, colony growth, and pluripotency. PMID:24859928

  1. Target-Catalyzed DNA Four-Way Junctions for CRET Imaging of MicroRNA, Concatenated Logic Operations, and Self-Assembly of DNA Nanohydrogels for Targeted Drug Delivery.

    PubMed

    Bi, Sai; Xiu, Bao; Ye, Jiayan; Dong, Ying

    2015-10-21

    Here we report a target-catalyzed DNA four-way junction (DNA-4WJ) on the basis of toehold-mediated DNA strand displacement reaction (TM-SDR), which is readily applied in enzyme-free amplified chemiluminescence resonance energy transfer (CRET) imaging of microRNA. In this system, the introduction of target microRNA-let-7a (miR-let-7a) activates a cascade of assembly steps with four DNA hairpins, followed by a disassembly step in which the target microRNA is displaced and released from DNA-4WJ to catalyze the self-assembly of additional branched junctions. As a result, G-quadruplex subunit sequences and fluorophore fluorescein amidite (FAM) are encoded in DNA-4WJ in a close proximity, stimulating a CRET process in the presence of hemin/K(+) to form horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-mimicking DNAzyme that catalyzes the generation of luminol/H2O2 chemiluminescence (CL), which further transfers to FAM. The background signal is easily reduced using magnetic graphene oxide (MGO) to remove unreacted species through magnetic separation, which makes a great contribution to improve the detection sensitivity and achieves a detection limit as low as 6.9 fM microRNA-let-7a (miR-let-7a). In addition, four-input concatenated logic circuits with an automatic reset function have been successfully constructed relying on the architecture of the proposed DNA-4WJ. More importantly, DNA nanohydrogels are self-assembled using DNA-4WJs as building units after centrifugation, which are driven by liquid crystallization and dense packaging of building units. Moreover, the DNA nanohydrogels are readily functionalized by incorporating with aptamers, bioimaging agents, and drug loading sites, which thus are served as efficient nanocarriers for targeted drug delivery and cancer therapy with high loading capacity and excellent biocompatibility. PMID:26420675

  2. Drosophila wing imaginal discs respond to mechanical injury via slow InsP3R-mediated intercellular calcium waves

    PubMed Central

    Restrepo, Simon; Basler, Konrad

    2016-01-01

    Calcium signalling is a highly versatile cellular communication system that modulates basic functions such as cell contractility, essential steps of animal development such as fertilization and higher-order processes such as memory. We probed the function of calcium signalling in Drosophila wing imaginal discs through a combination of ex vivo and in vivo imaging and genetic analysis. Here we discover that wing discs display slow, long-range intercellular calcium waves (ICWs) when mechanically stressed in vivo or cultured ex vivo. These slow imaginal disc intercellular calcium waves (SIDICs) are mediated by the inositol-3-phosphate receptor, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) calcium pump SERCA and the key gap junction component Inx2. The knockdown of genes required for SIDIC formation and propagation negatively affects wing disc recovery after mechanical injury. Our results reveal a role for ICWs in wing disc homoeostasis and highlight the utility of the wing disc as a model for calcium signalling studies. PMID:27503836

  3. Drosophila wing imaginal discs respond to mechanical injury via slow InsP3R-mediated intercellular calcium waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Restrepo, Simon; Basler, Konrad

    2016-08-01

    Calcium signalling is a highly versatile cellular communication system that modulates basic functions such as cell contractility, essential steps of animal development such as fertilization and higher-order processes such as memory. We probed the function of calcium signalling in Drosophila wing imaginal discs through a combination of ex vivo and in vivo imaging and genetic analysis. Here we discover that wing discs display slow, long-range intercellular calcium waves (ICWs) when mechanically stressed in vivo or cultured ex vivo. These slow imaginal disc intercellular calcium waves (SIDICs) are mediated by the inositol-3-phosphate receptor, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) calcium pump SERCA and the key gap junction component Inx2. The knockdown of genes required for SIDIC formation and propagation negatively affects wing disc recovery after mechanical injury. Our results reveal a role for ICWs in wing disc homoeostasis and highlight the utility of the wing disc as a model for calcium signalling studies.

  4. Drosophila wing imaginal discs respond to mechanical injury via slow InsP3R-mediated intercellular calcium waves.

    PubMed

    Restrepo, Simon; Basler, Konrad

    2016-01-01

    Calcium signalling is a highly versatile cellular communication system that modulates basic functions such as cell contractility, essential steps of animal development such as fertilization and higher-order processes such as memory. We probed the function of calcium signalling in Drosophila wing imaginal discs through a combination of ex vivo and in vivo imaging and genetic analysis. Here we discover that wing discs display slow, long-range intercellular calcium waves (ICWs) when mechanically stressed in vivo or cultured ex vivo. These slow imaginal disc intercellular calcium waves (SIDICs) are mediated by the inositol-3-phosphate receptor, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) calcium pump SERCA and the key gap junction component Inx2. The knockdown of genes required for SIDIC formation and propagation negatively affects wing disc recovery after mechanical injury. Our results reveal a role for ICWs in wing disc homoeostasis and highlight the utility of the wing disc as a model for calcium signalling studies. PMID:27503836

  5. Computing Scattering Characteristics Of Waveguide Junctions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoppe, Daniel J.; Manshadi, Farzin

    1994-01-01

    Rectangular WaveGuide Junction SCATtering RWGSCAT computer program solves scattering properties of waveguide device. Modeled as assembly of rectangular waveguides of different cross sections. RWGSCAT written in FORTRAN 77.

  6. Extracellular vesicles as emerging intercellular communicasomes

    PubMed Central

    Yoon, Yae Jin; Kim, Oh Youn; Gho, Yong Song

    2014-01-01

    All living cells release extracellular vesicles having pleiotropic functions in intercellular communication. Mammalian extracellular vesicles, also known as exosomes and microvesicles, are spherical bilayered proteolipids composed of various bioactive molecules, including RNAs, DNAs, proteins, and lipids. Extracellular vesicles directly and indirectly control a diverse range of biological processes by transferring membrane proteins, signaling molecules, mRNAs, and miRNAs, and activating receptors of recipient cells. The active interaction of extracellular vesicles with other cells regulates various physiological and pathological conditions, including cancer, infectious diseases, and neurodegenerative disorders. Recent developments in high-throughput proteomics, transcriptomics, and lipidomics tools have provided ample data on the common and specific components of various types of extracellular vesicles. These studies may contribute to the understanding of the molecular mechanism involved in vesicular cargo sorting and the biogenesis of extracellular vesicles, and, further, to the identification of disease-specific biomarkers. This review focuses on the components, functions, and therapeutic and diagnostic potential of extracellular vesicles under various pathophysiological conditions. [BMB Reports 2014; 47(10): 531-539] PMID:25104400

  7. Intercellular communication lessons in heart failure.

    PubMed

    Bang, Claudia; Antoniades, Charalambos; Antonopoulos, Alexios S; Eriksson, Ulf; Franssen, Constantijn; Hamdani, Nazha; Lehmann, Lorenz; Moessinger, Christine; Mongillo, Marco; Muhl, Lars; Speer, Thimoteus; Thum, Thomas

    2015-11-01

    Cell-cell or inter-organ communication allows the exchange of information and messages, which is essential for the coordination of cell/organ functions and the maintenance of homeostasis. It has become evident that dynamic interactions of different cell types play a major role in the heart, in particular during the progression of heart failure, a leading cause of mortality worldwide. Heart failure is associated with compensatory structural and functional changes mostly in cardiomyocytes and cardiac fibroblasts, which finally lead to cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and fibrosis. Intercellular communication within the heart is mediated mostly via direct cell-cell interaction or the release of paracrine signalling mediators such as cytokines and chemokines. However, recent studies have focused on the exchange of genetic information via the packaging into vesicles as well as the crosstalk of lipids and other paracrine molecules within the heart and distant organs, such as kidney and adipose tissue, which might all contribute to the pathogenesis of heart failure. In this review, we discuss emerging communication networks and respective underlying mechanisms which could be involved in cardiovascular disease conditions and further emphasize promising therapeutic targets for drug development. PMID:26398116

  8. A stochastic two-dimensional model of intercellular Ca2+ wave spread in glia.

    PubMed

    Iacobas, Dumitru A; Suadicani, Sylvia O; Spray, David C; Scemes, Eliana

    2006-01-01

    We describe a two-dimensional stochastic model of intercellular Ca(2+) wave (ICW) spread in glia that includes contributions of external stimuli, ionotropic and metabotropic P2 receptors, exo- and ecto-nucleotidases, second messengers, and gap junctions. In this model, an initial stimulus evokes ATP and UTP release from a single cell. Agonists diffuse and are degraded both in bulk solution and at cell surfaces. Ca(2+) elevation in individual cells is determined by bound agonist concentrations s and by number and features of P2 receptors summed with that generated by IP(3) diffusing through gap junction channels. Variability of ICWs is provided by randomly distributing a predetermined density of cells in a rectangular grid and by randomly selecting within intervals values characterizing the extracellular compartment, individual cells, and interconnections with neighboring cells. Variability intervals were obtained from experiments on astrocytoma cells transfected to express individual P2 receptors and/or the gap junction protein connexin43. The simulation program (available as Supplementary Material) permits individual alteration of ICW components, allowing comparison of simulations with data from cells expressing connexin43 and/or various P2 receptor subtypes. Such modeling is expected to be useful for testing phenomenological hypotheses and in understanding consequences of alteration of system components under experimental or pathological conditions. PMID:16214872

  9. Molecular mechanisms of intercellular communication: transmembrane signaling

    SciTech Connect

    Bitensky, M.W.; George, J.S.; Siegel, H.N.; McGregor, D.M.

    1982-01-01

    This short discussion of transmembrane signaling depicts a particular class of signaling devices whose functional characteristics may well be representative of broader classes of membrane switches. These multicomponent aggregates are characterized by tight organization of interacting components which function by conformational interactions to provide sensitive, amplified, rapid, and modulated responses. It is clear that the essential role of such switches in cell-cell interactions necessitated their appearance early in the history of the development of multicellular organisms. It also seems clear that once such devices made their appearance, the conformationally interactive moieties were firmly locked into a regulatory relationship. Since modification of interacting components could perturb or interfere with the functional integrity of the whole switch, genetic drift was only permitted at the input and outflow extremes. However, the GTP binding moiety and its interacting protein domains on contiguous portions of the receptor and readout components were highly conserved. The observed stringent evolutionary conservation of the molecular features of these membrane switches thus applies primarily to the central (GTP binding) elements. An extraordinary degree of variation was permitted within the domains of signal recognition and enzymatic output. Thus, time and evolution have adapted the central logic of the regulatory algorithm to serve a great variety of cellular purposes and to recognize a great variety of chemical and physical signals. This is exemplified by the richness of the hormonal and cellular dialogues found in primates such as man. Here the wealth of intercellular communiation can support the composition and performance of symphonies and the study of cellular immunology.

  10. "Intercellular bridges" in a case of well differentiated squamous carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Michaela; Mikita, Geoffrey; Hoda, Rana S

    2016-02-01

    Intercellular bridges may aide in definitive identification of malignant cell origin, especially in squamous cell carcinoma. They are difficult to identify in routine cytologic specimens and are especially rare in smear preparations. Herein, we present images of intercellular bridges from a case of well differentiated squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus in a cytologic specimen obtained from FNA of a paraesophageal lymph node. PMID:26681399

  11. Intercellular transfer along the trichomes of the invasive terminal heterocyst forming cyanobacterium Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii CS-505.

    PubMed

    Plominsky, Álvaro M; Delherbe, Nathalie; Mandakovic, Dinka; Riquelme, Brenda; González, Karen; Bergman, Birgitta; Mariscal, Vicente; Vásquez, Mónica

    2015-03-01

    Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii CS-505 is an invasive freshwater filamentous cyanobacterium that when grown diazotrophically may develop trichomes of up to 100 vegetative cells while differentiating only two end heterocysts, the sole sites for their N2-fixation process. We examined the diazotrophic growth and intercellular transfer mechanisms in C. raciborskii CS-505. Subjecting cultures to a combined-nitrogen-free medium to elicit N2 fixation, the trichome length remained unaffected while growth rates decreased. The structures and proteins for intercellular communication showed that while a continuous periplasmic space was apparent along the trichomes, the putative septal junction sepJ gene is divided into two open reading frames and lacks several transmembrane domains unlike the situation in Anabaena, differentiating a 5-fold higher frequency of heterocysts. FRAP analyses also showed that the dyes calcein and 5-CFDA were taken up by heterocysts and vegetative cells, and that the transfer from heterocysts and 'terminal' vegetative cells showed considerably higher transfer rates than that from vegetative cells located in the middle of the trichomes. The data suggest that C. raciborskii CS-505 compensates its low-frequency heterocyst phenotype by a highly efficient transfer of the fixed nitrogen towards cells in distal parts of the trichomes (growing rapidly) while cells in central parts suffers (slow growth). PMID:25757729

  12. Intercellular calcium waves are associated with the propagation of vasomotion along arterial strips.

    PubMed

    Seppey, Dominique; Sauser, Roger; Koenigsberger, Michèle; Bény, Jean-Louis; Meister, Jean-Jacques

    2010-02-01

    Vasomotion consists of cyclic arterial diameter variations induced by synchronous contractions and relaxations of smooth muscle cells. However, the arteries do not contract simultaneously on macroscopic distances, and a propagation of the contraction can be observed. In the present study, our aim was to investigate this propagation. We stimulated endothelium-denuded rat mesenteric arterial strips with phenylephrine (PE) to obtain vasomotion and observed that the contraction waves are linked to intercellular calcium waves. A velocity of approximately 100 microm/s was measured for the two kinds of waves. To investigate the calcium wave propagation mechanisms, we used a method allowing a PE stimulation of a small area of the strip. No calcium propagation could be induced by this local stimulation when the strip was in its resting state. However, if a low PE concentration was added on the whole strip, local PE stimulations induced calcium waves, spreading over finite distances. The calcium wave velocity induced by local stimulation was identical to the velocity observed during vasomotion. This suggests that the propagation mechanisms are similar in the two cases. Using inhibitors of gap junctions and of voltage-operated calcium channels, we showed that the locally induced calcium propagation likely depends on the propagation of the smooth muscle cell depolarization. Finally, we proposed a model of the propagation mechanisms underlying these intercellular calcium waves. PMID:19966061

  13. Cell Cycle Checkpoint Proteins p21 and Hus1 Regulating Intercellular Signaling Induced By Alpha Particle Irradiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Lijun; Zhao, Ye; Wang, Jun; Hang, Haiying

    In recent years, the attentions for radiation induced bystander effects (RIBE) have been paid on the intercellular signaling events connecting the irradiated and non-irradiated cells. p21 is a member of the Cip/Kip family and plays essential roles in cell cycle progression arrest after cellular irradiation. DNA damage checkpoint protein Hus1 is a member of the Rad9-Rad1-Hus1 complex and functions as scaffold at the damage sites to facilitate the activation of downstream effectors. Using the medium trasfer method and the cells of MEF, MEF (p21-/-), MEF (p21-/-Hus1-/-) as either medium donor or receptor cells, it was found that with 5cGy alpha particle irradiation, the bystander cells showed a significant induction of -H2AX for normal MEFs (p¡0.05). However, the absence of p21 resulted in deficiency in inducing bystander effects. Further results indicated p21 affected the intercellular DNA damage signaling mainly through disrupting the production or release of the damage signals from irradiated cells. When Hus1 and p21 were both knocked out, an obvious induction of -H2AX recurred in bystander cells and the induction of -H2AX was GJIC (gap junction-mediated intercellular communication) dependent, indicating the interrelationship between p21 and Hus1 regulated the production and relay of DNA damage signals from irradiated cells to non-irradiated bystander cells.

  14. Minireview: Steroid/Nuclear Receptor-Regulated Dynamics of Occluding and Anchoring Junctions

    PubMed Central

    Kapadia, Bhumika J.

    2014-01-01

    A diverse set of physiological signals control intercellular interactions by regulating the structure and function of occluding junctions (tight junctions) and anchoring junctions (adherens junctions and desmosomes). These plasma membrane junctions are comprised of multiprotein complexes of transmembrane and cytoplasmic peripheral plasma membrane proteins. Evidence from many hormone-responsive tissues has shown that expression, modification, molecular interactions, stability, and localization of junctional complex-associated proteins can be targeted by nuclear hormone receptors and their ligands through transcriptional and nontranscriptional mechanisms. The focus of this minireview is to discuss molecular, cellular, and physiological studies that directly link nuclear receptor- and ligand-triggered signaling pathways to the regulation of occluding and anchoring junction dynamics. PMID:25203673

  15. Homotypic gap junctional communication associated with metastasis increases suppression increases with PKA kinase activity and is unaffected by P13K inhibition

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Loss of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) between cancer cells is a common characteristic of malignant transformation. This communication is mediated by connexin proteins that make up the functional units of gap junctions. Connexins are highly regulated at the protein level and phosp...

  16. Multisite electrophysiological recordings by self-assembled loose-patch-like junctions between cultured hippocampal neurons and mushroom-shaped microelectrodes

    PubMed Central

    Shmoel, Nava; Rabieh, Noha; Ojovan, Silviya M.; Erez, Hadas; Maydan, Eilon; Spira, Micha E.

    2016-01-01

    Substrate integrated planar microelectrode arrays is the “gold standard” method for millisecond-resolution, long-term, large-scale, cell-noninvasive electrophysiological recordings from mammalian neuronal networks. Nevertheless, these devices suffer from drawbacks that are solved by spike-detecting, spike-sorting and signal-averaging techniques which rely on estimated parameters that require user supervision to correct errors, merge clusters and remove outliers. Here we show that primary rat hippocampal neurons grown on micrometer sized gold mushroom-shaped microelectrodes (gMμE) functionalized simply by poly-ethylene-imine/laminin undergo self-assembly processes to form loose patch-like hybrid structures. More than 90% of the hybrids formed in this way record monophasic positive action potentials (APs). Of these, 34.5% record APs with amplitudes above 300 μV and up to 5,085 μV. This self-assembled neuron-gMμE configuration improves the recording quality as compared to planar MEA. This study characterizes and analyzes the electrophysiological signaling repertoire generated by the neurons-gMμE configuration, and discusses prospects to further improve the technology. PMID:27256971

  17. Multisite electrophysiological recordings by self-assembled loose-patch-like junctions between cultured hippocampal neurons and mushroom-shaped microelectrodes.

    PubMed

    Shmoel, Nava; Rabieh, Noha; Ojovan, Silviya M; Erez, Hadas; Maydan, Eilon; Spira, Micha E

    2016-01-01

    Substrate integrated planar microelectrode arrays is the "gold standard" method for millisecond-resolution, long-term, large-scale, cell-noninvasive electrophysiological recordings from mammalian neuronal networks. Nevertheless, these devices suffer from drawbacks that are solved by spike-detecting, spike-sorting and signal-averaging techniques which rely on estimated parameters that require user supervision to correct errors, merge clusters and remove outliers. Here we show that primary rat hippocampal neurons grown on micrometer sized gold mushroom-shaped microelectrodes (gMμE) functionalized simply by poly-ethylene-imine/laminin undergo self-assembly processes to form loose patch-like hybrid structures. More than 90% of the hybrids formed in this way record monophasic positive action potentials (APs). Of these, 34.5% record APs with amplitudes above 300 μV and up to 5,085 μV. This self-assembled neuron-gMμE configuration improves the recording quality as compared to planar MEA. This study characterizes and analyzes the electrophysiological signaling repertoire generated by the neurons-gMμE configuration, and discusses prospects to further improve the technology. PMID:27256971

  18. Regulation of Endothelial Adherens Junctions by Tyrosine Phosphorylation

    PubMed Central

    Adam, Alejandro Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Endothelial cells form a semipermeable, regulated barrier that limits the passage of fluid, small molecules, and leukocytes between the bloodstream and the surrounding tissues. The adherens junction, a major mechanism of intercellular adhesion, is comprised of transmembrane cadherins forming homotypic interactions between adjacent cells and associated cytoplasmic catenins linking the cadherins to the cytoskeleton. Inflammatory conditions promote the disassembly of the adherens junction and a loss of intercellular adhesion, creating openings or gaps in the endothelium through which small molecules diffuse and leukocytes transmigrate. Tyrosine kinase signaling has emerged as a central regulator of the inflammatory response, partly through direct phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of the adherens junction components. This review discusses the findings that support and those that argue against a direct effect of cadherin and catenin phosphorylation in the disassembly of the adherens junction. Recent findings indicate a complex interaction between kinases, phosphatases, and the adherens junction components that allow a fine regulation of the endothelial permeability to small molecules, leukocyte migration, and barrier resealing. PMID:26556953

  19. Hold on tightly, let go lightly: myosin functions at adherens junctions

    PubMed Central

    Sandquist, Joshua C.; Bement, William M.

    2016-01-01

    Adherens junctions, the sites of cadherin-dependent cell–cell adhesion, are also important for dynamic tension sensing, force transduction and signalling. Different myosin motors contribute to adherens junction assembly and versatility in distinct ways. PMID:20596044

  20. Pannexin-1 channels show distinct morphology and no gap junction characteristics in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Beckmann, Anja; Grissmer, Alexander; Krause, Elmar; Tschernig, Thomas; Meier, Carola

    2016-03-01

    Pannexins (Panx) are proteins with a similar membrane topology to connexins, the integral membrane protein of gap junctions. Panx1 channels are generally of major importance in a large number of system and cellular processes and their function has been thoroughly characterized. In contrast, little is known about channel structure and subcellular distribution. We therefore determine the subcellular localization of Panx1 channels in cultured cells and aim at the identification of channel morphology in vitro. Using freeze-fracture replica immunolabeling on EYFP-Panx1-overexpressing HEK 293 cells, large particles were identified in plasma membranes, which were immunogold-labeled using either GFP or Panx1 antibodies. There was no labeling or particles in the nuclear membranes of these cells, pointing to plasma membrane localization of Panx1-EYFP channels. The assembly of particles was irregular, this being in contrast to the regular pattern of gap junctions. The fact that no counterparts were identified on apposing cells, which would have been indicative of intercellular signaling, supported the idea of Panx1 channels within one membrane. Control cells (transfected with EYFP only, non-transfected) were devoid of both particles and immunogold labeling. Altogether, this study provides the first demonstration of Panx1 channel morphology and assembly in intact cells. The identification of Panx1 channels as large particles within the plasma membrane provides the knowledge required to enable recognition of Panx1 channels in tissues in future studies. Thus, these results open up new avenues for the detailed analysis of the subcellular localization of Panx1 and of its nearest neighbors such as purinergic receptors in vivo. PMID:26386583

  1. Remodelling of cellular excitation (reaction) and intercellular coupling (diffusion) by chronic atrial fibrillation represented by a reaction-diffusion system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Henggui; Garratt, Clifford J.; Kharche, Sanjay; Holden, Arun V.

    2009-06-01

    Human atrial tissue is an excitable system, in which myocytes are excitable elements, and cell-to-cell electrotonic interactions are via diffusive interactions of cell membrane potentials. We developed a family of excitable system models for human atrium at cellular, tissue and anatomical levels for both normal and chronic atrial fibrillation (AF) conditions. The effects of AF-induced remodelling of cell membrane ionic channels (reaction kinetics) and intercellular gap junctional coupling (diffusion) on atrial excitability, conduction of excitation waves and dynamics of re-entrant excitation waves are quantified. Both ionic channel and gap junctional coupling remodelling have rate dependent effects on atrial propagation. Membrane channel conductance remodelling allows the propagation of activity at higher rates than those sustained in normal tissue or in tissue with gap junctional remodelling alone. Membrane channel conductance remodelling is essential for the propagation of activity at rates higher than 300/min as seen in AF. Spatially heterogeneous gap junction coupling remodelling increased the risk of conduction block, an essential factor for the genesis of re-entry. In 2D and 3D anatomical models, the dynamical behaviours of re-entrant excitation waves are also altered by membrane channel modelling. This study provides insights to understand the pro-arrhythmic effects of AF-induced reaction and diffusion remodelling in atrial tissue.

  2. Switch in Gap Junction Protein Expression is Associated with Selective Changes in Junctional Permeability During Keratinocyte Differentiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brissette, Janice L.; Kumar, Nalin M.; Gilula, Norton B.; Hall, James E.; Dotto, G. Paolo

    1994-07-01

    Gap junctional communication provides a mechanism for regulating multicellular activities by allowing the exchange of small diffusible molecules between neighboring cells. The diversity of gap junction proteins may exist to form channels that have different permeability properties. We report here that induction of terminal differentiation in mouse primary keratinocytes by calcium results in a specific switch in gap junction protein expression. Expression of α_1 (connexin 43) and β_2 (connexin 26) gap junction proteins is down-modulated, whereas that of β_3 (connexin 31) and β_4 (connexin 31.1) proteins is induced. Although both proliferating and differentiating keratinocytes are electrically coupled, there are significant changes in the permeability properties of the junctions to small molecules. In parallel with the changes in gap junction protein expression during differentiation, the intercellular transfer of the small dyes neurobiotin, carboxyfluorescein, and Lucifer yellow is significantly reduced, whereas that of small metabolites, such as nucleotides and amino acids, proceeds unimpeded. Thus, a switch in gap junction protein expression in differentiating keratinocytes is accompanied by selective changes in junctional permeability that may play an important role in the coordinate control of the differentiation process.

  3. Effects of carbon nanotubes on intercellular communication and involvement of IL-1 genes.

    PubMed

    Arnoldussen, Yke Jildouw; Anmarkrud, Kristine Haugen; Skaug, Vidar; Apte, Ron N; Haugen, Aage; Zienolddiny, Shanbeh

    2016-06-01

    An increasing amount of products containing engineered nanoparticles is emerging. Among these particles are carbon nanotubes (CNTs) which are of interest for a wide range of industrial and biomedical applications. There have been raised concerns over the effects of CNTs on human health. Some types of CNTs are classified as group 2B carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. CNTs may also induce pulmonary inflammatory and fibrotic effects. By utilizing CNTs of different lengths, we investigated the role of the proinflammatory cytokine, interleukin-1 (IL-1) on gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) by using IL-1 wild-type (IL1-WT) and IL-1 knock-out (IL1-KO) cells. GJIC decreased equally in both cell types after CNT exposure. Immunofluorescence staining showed Gja1 and Gjb2 in gap junctions and hemichannels for both cell types. Gjb1 and Gjb2 expression was low in IL1-KO cells, which was confirmed by protein analysis. Gja1 was upregulated with both CNTs, whereas Gjb1 was down-regulated by CNT-2 in IL1-WT cells. Connexin mRNA expression was regulated differently by the CNTs. CNT-1 affected Gja1 and Gjb2, whereas CNT-2 had an effect on Gjb1. CNTs negatively affect GJIC through gap junctions independently of the length of CNT and IL-1 status. Furthermore, connexin gene expression was affected by IL-1 at transcriptional and translational levels. As both CNTs used in this study are cytotoxic to the cells and reduce cell survival, we suggest that CNT-induced reduction in GJIC may be important for inhibiting transfer of cell survival signals between cells. PMID:27101311

  4. PECAM-1: regulator of endothelial junctional integrity.

    PubMed

    Privratsky, Jamie R; Newman, Peter J

    2014-03-01

    PECAM-1 (also known as CD31) is a cellular adhesion and signaling receptor comprising six extracellular immunoglobulin (Ig)-like homology domains, a short transmembrane domain and a 118 amino acid cytoplasmic domain that becomes serine and tyrosine phosphorylated upon cellular activation. PECAM-1 expression is restricted to blood and vascular cells. In circulating platelets and leukocytes, PECAM-1 functions largely as an inhibitory receptor that, via regulated sequential phosphorylation of its cytoplasmic domain, limits cellular activation responses. PECAM-1 is also highly expressed at endothelial cell intercellular junctions, where it functions as a mechanosensor, as a regulator of leukocyte trafficking and in the maintenance of endothelial cell junctional integrity. In this review, we will describe (1) the functional domains of PECAM-1 and how they contribute to its barrier-enhancing properties, (2) how the physical properties of PECAM-1 influence its subcellular localization and its ability to influence endothelial cell barrier function, (3) various stimuli that initiate PECAM-1 signaling and/or function at the endothelial junction and (4) cross-talk of PECAM-1 with other junctional molecules, which can influence endothelial cell function. PMID:24435645

  5. Functional assessment of gap junctions in monolayer and three-dimensional cultures of human tendon cells using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuzma-Kuzniarska, Maria; Yapp, Clarence; Pearson-Jones, Thomas W.; Jones, Andrew K.; Hulley, Philippa A.

    2014-01-01

    Gap junction-mediated intercellular communication influences a variety of cellular activities. In tendons, gap junctions modulate collagen production, are involved in strain-induced cell death, and are involved in the response to mechanical stimulation. The aim of the present study was to investigate gap junction-mediated intercellular communication in healthy human tendon-derived cells using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP). The FRAP is a noninvasive technique that allows quantitative measurement of gap junction function in living cells. It is based on diffusion-dependent redistribution of a gap junction-permeable fluorescent dye. Using FRAP, we showed that human tenocytes form functional gap junctions in monolayer and three-dimensional (3-D) collagen I culture. Fluorescently labeled tenocytes following photobleaching rapidly reacquired the fluorescent dye from neighboring cells, while HeLa cells, which do not communicate by gap junctions, remained bleached. Furthermore, both 18 β-glycyrrhetinic acid and carbenoxolone, standard inhibitors of gap junction activity, impaired fluorescence recovery in tendon cells. In both monolayer and 3-D cultures, intercellular communication in isolated cells was significantly decreased when compared with cells forming many cell-to-cell contacts. In this study, we used FRAP as a tool to quantify and experimentally manipulate the function of gap junctions in human tenocytes in both two-dimensional (2-D) and 3-D cultures.

  6. Minireview: Regulation of Gap Junction Dynamics by Nuclear Hormone Receptors and Their Ligands

    PubMed Central

    Kapadia, Bhumika J.

    2012-01-01

    Gap junctions are plasma membrane channels comprising connexin proteins that mediate intercellular permeability and communication. The presence, composition, and function of gap junctions can be regulated by diverse sets of physiological signals. Evidence from many hormone-responsive tissues has shown that connexin expression, modification, stability, and localization can be targeted by nuclear hormone receptors and their ligands through both transcriptional and nontranscriptional mechanisms. The focus of this review is to discuss molecular, cellular, and physiological studies that directly link receptor- and ligand-triggered signaling pathways to the regulation of gap junction dynamics. PMID:22935924

  7. Capturing intercellular sugar-mediated ligand-receptor recognitions via a simple yet highly biospecific interfacial system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Zhen; Deng, Si-Si; Zang, Yi; Gu, Zhen; He, Xiao-Peng; Chen, Guo-Rong; Chen, Kaixian; James, Tony D.; Li, Jia; Long, Yi-Tao

    2013-07-01

    Intercellular ligand-receptor recognitions are crucial natural interactions that initiate a number of biological and pathological events. We present here the simple construction of a unique class of biomimetic interfaces based on a graphene-mediated self-assembly of glycosyl anthraquinones to a screen-printed electrode for the detection of transmembrane glycoprotein receptors expressed on a hepatoma cell line. We show that an electroactive interface confined with densely clustered galactosyl ligands is able to ingeniously recognize the asialoglycoprotein receptors on live Hep-G2 cells employing simple electrochemical techniques. The only facility used is a personal laptop in connection with a cheap and portable electrochemical workstation.

  8. Intercellular Protein Transfer from Thymocytes to Thymic Epithelial Cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hong-Xia; Qiu, Yu-Rong; Zhong, Xiao-Ping

    2016-01-01

    Promiscuous expression of tissue restricted antigens (TRAs) in medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) is crucial for negative selection of self-reactive T cells to establish central tolerance. Intercellular transfer of self-peptide-MHC complexes from mTECs to thymic dendritic cells (DCs) allows DCs to acquire TRAs, which in turn contributes to negative selection and regulatory T cell generation. However, mTECs are unlikely to express all TRAs, such as immunoglobulins generated only in B cells after somatic recombination, hyper-mutation, or class-switches. We report here that both mTECs and cortical TECs can efficiently acquire not only cell surface but also intracellular proteins from thymocytes. This reveals a previously unappreciated intercellular sharing of molecules from thymocytes to TECs, which may broaden the TRA inventory in mTECs for establishing a full spectrum of central tolerance. PMID:27022746

  9. Intercellular bridges are essential for human parthenogenetic cell survival.

    PubMed

    Pennarossa, Georgia; Maffei, Sara; Tettamanti, Gianluca; Congiu, Terenzio; deEguileor, Magda; Gandolfi, Fulvio; Brevini, Tiziana A L

    2015-05-01

    Parthenogenetic cells, obtained from in vitro activated mammalian oocytes, display multipolar spindles, chromosome malsegregation and a high incidence of aneuploidy, probably due to the lack of paternal contribution. Despite this, parthenogenetic cells do not show high rates of apoptosis and are able to proliferate in a way comparable to their biparental counterpart. We hypothesize that a series of adaptive mechanisms are present in parthenogenetic cells, allowing a continuous proliferation and ordinate cell differentiation both in vitro and in vivo. Here we identify the presence of intercellular bridges that contribute to the establishment of a wide communication network among human parthenogenetic cells, providing a mutual exchange of missing products. Silencing of two molecules essential for intercellular bridge formation and maintenance demonstrates the key function played by these cytoplasmic passageways that ensure normal cell functions and survival, alleviating the unbalance in cellular component composition. PMID:25700933

  10. Inter-Cellular Forces Orchestrate Contact Inhibition of Locomotion

    PubMed Central

    Davis, John R.; Luchici, Andrei; Mosis, Fuad; Thackery, James; Salazar, Jesus A.; Mao, Yanlan; Dunn, Graham A.; Betz, Timo; Miodownik, Mark; Stramer, Brian M.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Contact inhibition of locomotion (CIL) is a multifaceted process that causes many cell types to repel each other upon collision. During development, this seemingly uncoordinated reaction is a critical driver of cellular dispersion within embryonic tissues. Here, we show that Drosophila hemocytes require a precisely orchestrated CIL response for their developmental dispersal. Hemocyte collision and subsequent repulsion involves a stereotyped sequence of kinematic stages that are modulated by global changes in cytoskeletal dynamics. Tracking actin retrograde flow within hemocytes in vivo reveals synchronous reorganization of colliding actin networks through engagement of an inter-cellular adhesion. This inter-cellular actin-clutch leads to a subsequent build-up in lamellar tension, triggering the development of a transient stress fiber, which orchestrates cellular repulsion. Our findings reveal that the physical coupling of the flowing actin networks during CIL acts as a mechanotransducer, allowing cells to haptically sense each other and coordinate their behaviors. PMID:25799385

  11. Intercellular Protein Transfer from Thymocytes to Thymic Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hong-Xia; Qiu, Yu-Rong; Zhong, Xiao-Ping

    2016-01-01

    Promiscuous expression of tissue restricted antigens (TRAs) in medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) is crucial for negative selection of self-reactive T cells to establish central tolerance. Intercellular transfer of self-peptide-MHC complexes from mTECs to thymic dendritic cells (DCs) allows DCs to acquire TRAs, which in turn contributes to negative selection and regulatory T cell generation. However, mTECs are unlikely to express all TRAs, such as immunoglobulins generated only in B cells after somatic recombination, hyper-mutation, or class-switches. We report here that both mTECs and cortical TECs can efficiently acquire not only cell surface but also intracellular proteins from thymocytes. This reveals a previously unappreciated intercellular sharing of molecules from thymocytes to TECs, which may broaden the TRA inventory in mTECs for establishing a full spectrum of central tolerance. PMID:27022746

  12. Dynamics of adherens junctions in epithelial establishment, maintenance, and remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Baum, Buzz

    2011-01-01

    The epithelial cadherin (E-cadherin)–catenin complex binds to cytoskeletal components and regulatory and signaling molecules to form a mature adherens junction (AJ). This dynamic structure physically connects neighboring epithelial cells, couples intercellular adhesive contacts to the cytoskeleton, and helps define each cell’s apical–basal axis. Together these activities coordinate the form, polarity, and function of all cells in an epithelium. Several molecules regulate AJ formation and integrity, including Rho family GTPases and Par polarity proteins. However, only recently, with the development of live-cell imaging, has the extent to which E-cadherin is actively turned over at junctions begun to be appreciated. This turnover contributes to junction formation and to the maintenance of epithelial integrity during tissue homeostasis and remodeling. PMID:21422226

  13. Transfection of C6 Glioma Cells with Connexin 43 cDNA: Analysis of Expression, Intercellular Coupling, and Cell Proliferation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, D.; Caveney, S.; Kidder, G. M.; Naus, C. C. G.

    1991-03-01

    C6 glioma cells express low levels of the gap junction protein connexin 43 and its mRNA and display very weak dye coupling. When implanted into the rat cerebrum, these cells quickly give rise to a large glioma. To investigate the role of gap junctions in the tumor characteristics of these cells, we have used Lipofectin-mediated transfection to introduce a full-length cDNA encoding connexin 43. Several transfected clones were obtained that exhibited various amounts of connexin 43 mRNA transcribed from the inserted cDNA. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed an increase in the amount of connexin 43 immunoreactivity in the transfected cells, being localized at areas of intercellular contact as well as in the cytoplasm. The level of dye coupling was also assessed and found to correlate with the amount of connexin 43 mRNA. When cell proliferation was followed over several days, cells expressing the transfected cDNA grew more slowly than nontransfected cells. These transfected cells will be useful in examining the role of gap junctions in tumorigenesis.

  14. Different roles of cadherins in the assembly and structural integrity of the desmosome complex

    SciTech Connect

    Lowndes, M; Rakshit, S; Shafraz, O; Borghi, N; Harmon, R M; Green, K J; Sivasankar, S; Nelson, W J

    2014-05-15

    Adhesion between cells is established by the formation of specialized intercellular junctional complexes, such as desmosomes. Desmosomes comprise two members of the cadherin superfamily of cell adhesion proteins, desmocollin (Dsc) and desmoglein (Dsg), but their combinatorial roles in desmosome assembly is not understood. To uncouple desmosome assembly from other cell-cell adhesion complexes, we used micro-patterned substrates of Dsc2aFc and/or Dsg2Fc and collagen IV; we show that Dsc2aFc, but not Dsg2Fc, was necessary and sufficient to recruit desmosome-specific desmoplakin into desmosome puncta and produce strong adhesive binding. Single Molecule Force Spectroscopy showed that monomeric Dsc2a, but not Dsg2, formed Ca2+-dependent homophilic bonds, and that Dsg2 formed Ca2+-independent heterophilic bonds with Dsc2a. A W2A mutation in Dsc2a inhibited Ca2+-dependent homophilic binding, similar to classical cadherins, and Dsc2aW2A, but not Dsg2W2A, was excluded from desmosomes in MDCK cells. These results indicate that Dsc2a, not Dsg2, is required for desmosome assembly via homophilic Ca2+- and W2/strand swap-dependent binding, and that Dsg2 may be involved later in regulating a switch to Ca2+-independent adhesion in mature desmosomes.

  15. The lateral intercellular space as osmotic coupling compartment in isotonic transport.

    PubMed

    Larsen, E H; Willumsen, N J; Møbjerg, N; Sørensen, J N

    2009-01-01

    Solute-coupled water transport and isotonic transport are basic functions of low- and high-resistance epithelia. These functions are studied with the epithelium bathed on the two sides with physiological saline of similar composition. Hence, at transepithelial equilibrium water enters the epithelial cells from both sides, and with the reflection coefficient of tight junction being larger than that of the interspace basement membrane, all of the water leaves the epithelium through the interspace basement membrane. The common design of transporting epithelia leads to the theory that an osmotic coupling of water absorption to ion flow is energized by lateral Na(+)/K(+) pumps. We show that the theory accounts quantitatively for steady- and time dependent states of solute-coupled fluid uptake by toad skin epithelium. Our experimental results exclude definitively three alternative theories of epithelial solute-water coupling: stoichiometric coupling at the molecular level by transport proteins like SGLT1, electro-osmosis and a 'junctional fluid transfer mechanism'. Convection-diffusion out of the lateral space constitutes the fundamental problem of isotonic transport by making the emerging fluid hypertonic relative to the fluid in the lateral intercellular space. In the Na(+) recirculation theory the 'surplus of solutes' is returned to the lateral space via the cells energized by the lateral Na(+)/K(+) pumps. We show that this theory accounts quantitatively for isotonic and hypotonic transport at transepithelial osmotic equilibrium as observed in toad skin epithelium in vitro. Our conclusions are further developed for discussing their application to solute-solvent coupling in other vertebrate epithelia such as small intestine, proximal tubule of glomerular kidney and gallbladder. Evidence is discussed that the Na(+) recirculation theory is not irreconcilable with the wide range of metabolic cost of Na(+) transport observed in fluid-transporting epithelia. PMID:18983444

  16. In vivo analysis of undocked connexin43 gap junction hemichannels in ovarian granulosa cells.

    PubMed

    Tong, Dan; Li, Tony Y; Naus, Kathryn E; Bai, Donglin; Kidder, Gerald M

    2007-11-15

    Connexin43 (Cx43, encoded by Gja1) is required for ovarian follicle development in the mouse. It is strongly expressed in granulosa cells, in which it forms intercellular gap junction channels that couple the cells metabolically. However, recent evidence indicates that undocked gap junction hemichannels can also have physiological roles such as mediating the release of small messenger molecules, including ATP. In this study, the presence of undocked Cx43 hemichannels in granulosa cells was revealed by dye uptake induced either by mechanical stimulation or by the reduction of extracellular divalent cations, both of which are known triggers for hemichannel opening. ATP release was also detected, and could be abolished by connexin-channel blockers. None of these putative hemichannel-mediated activities were detected in Cx43-deficient granulosa cells. Therefore, we hypothesized that hemichannels account for the essential role of Cx43 in folliculogenesis. To test this, a Cx43 mutant lacking the conserved cysteines on the extracellular loops (cys-less Cx43), reported to form hemichannels but not intercellular channels, was retrovirally expressed in Cx43-deficient granulosa cells. The infected cells were then combined with wild-type oocytes to make reaggregated ovaries, which were grafted into host kidneys. Although re-introduction of wild-type Cx43 rescued folliculogenesis, introduction of cys-less Cx43 did not. Therefore, although Cx43 gap junction hemichannels might play a role in ovarian folliculogenesis, their contribution does not supplant the need for intercellular gap junction channels. PMID:17971414

  17. Molecular mechanisms regulating formation, trafficking and processing of annular gap junctions.

    PubMed

    Falk, Matthias M; Bell, Cheryl L; Kells Andrews, Rachael M; Murray, Sandra A

    2016-01-01

    Internalization of gap junction plaques results in the formation of annular gap junction vesicles. The factors that regulate the coordinated internalization of the gap junction plaques to form annular gap junction vesicles, and the subsequent events involved in annular gap junction processing have only relatively recently been investigated in detail. However it is becoming clear that while annular gap junction vesicles have been demonstrated to be degraded by autophagosomal and endo-lysosomal pathways, they undergo a number of additional processing events. Here, we characterize the morphology of the annular gap junction vesicle and review the current knowledge of the processes involved in their formation, fission, fusion, and degradation. In addition, we address the possibility for connexin protein recycling back to the plasma membrane to contribute to gap junction formation and intercellular communication. Information on gap junction plaque removal from the plasma membrane and the subsequent processing of annular gap junction vesicles is critical to our understanding of cell-cell communication as it relates to events regulating development, cell homeostasis, unstable proliferation of cancer cells, wound healing, changes in the ischemic heart, and many other physiological and pathological cellular phenomena. PMID:27230503

  18. Structural basis for the selective permeability of channels made of communicating junction proteins

    PubMed Central

    Ek-Vitorin, Jose F.; Burt, Janis M.

    2012-01-01

    The open state(s) of gap junction channels is evident from their permeation by small ions in response to an applied intercellular (transjunctional/transchannel) voltage gradient. That an open channel allows variable amounts of current to transit from cell-to-cell in the face of a constant intercellular voltage difference indicates channel open/closing can be complete or partial. The physiological significance of such open state options is, arguably, the main concern of junctional regulation. Because gap junctions are permeable to many substances, it is sensible to inquire whether and how each open state influences the intercellular diffusion of molecules as valuable as, but less readily detected than current-carrying ions. Presumably, structural changes perceived as shifts in channel conductivity would significantly alter the transjunctional diffusion of molecules whose limiting diameter approximates the pore’s limiting diameter. Moreover, changes in junctional permeability to some molecules might occur without evident changes in conductivity, either at macroscopic or single channel level. Open gap junction channels allow the exchange of cytoplasmic permeants between contacting cells by simple diffusion. The identity of such permeants, and the functional circumstances and consequences of their junctional exchange presently constitute the most urgent (and demanding) themes of the field. Here, we consider the necessity for regulating this exchange, the possible mechanism(s) and structural elements likely involved in such regulation, and how regulatory phenomena could be perceived as changes in chemical vs. electrical coupling; an overall reflection on our collective knowledge of junctional communication is then applied to suggest new avenues of research. PMID:22342665

  19. Inhibition of connexin43 gap junction channels by the endocrine disruptor ioxynil

    SciTech Connect

    Leithe, Edward; Kjenseth, Ane; Bruun, Jarle; Sirnes, Solveig; Rivedal, Edgar

    2010-08-15

    Gap junctions are intercellular plasma membrane domains containing channels that mediate transport of ions, metabolites and small signaling molecules between adjacent cells. Gap junctions play important roles in a variety of cellular processes, including regulation of cell growth and differentiation, maintenance of tissue homeostasis and embryogenesis. The constituents of gap junction channels are a family of trans-membrane proteins called connexins, of which the best-studied is connexin43. Connexin43 functions as a tumor suppressor protein in various tissue types and is frequently dysregulated in human cancers. The pesticide ioxynil has previously been shown to act as an endocrine disrupting chemical and has multiple effects on the thyroid axis. Furthermore, both ioxynil and its derivative ioxynil octanoate have been reported to induce tumors in animal bioassays. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the possible tumorigenic effects of these compounds are unknown. In the present study we show that ioxynil and ioxynil octanoate are strong inhibitors of connexin43 gap junction channels. Both compounds induced rapid loss of connexin43 gap junctions at the plasma membrane and increased connexin43 degradation. Ioxynil octanoate, but not ioxynil, was found to be a strong activator of ERK1/2. The compounds also had different effects on the phosphorylation status of connexin43. Taken together, the data show that ioxynil and ioxynil octanoate are potent inhibitors of intercellular communication via gap junctions.

  20. A Transient Diffusion Model Yields Unitary Gap Junctional Permeabilities from Images of Cell-to-Cell Fluorescent Dye Transfer Between Xenopus Oocytes

    PubMed Central

    Nitsche, Johannes M.; Chang, Hou-Chien; Weber, Paul A.; Nicholson, Bruce J.

    2004-01-01

    As ubiquitous conduits for intercellular transport and communication, gap junctional pores have been the subject of numerous investigations aimed at elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying permeability and selectivity. Dye transfer studies provide a broadly useful means of detecting coupling and assessing these properties. However, given evidence for selective permeability of gap junctions and some anomalous correlations between junctional electrical conductance and dye permeability by passive diffusion, the need exists to give such studies a more quantitative basis. This article develops a detailed diffusion model describing experiments (reported separately) involving transport of fluorescent dye from a “donor” region to an “acceptor” region within a pair of Xenopus oocytes coupled by gap junctions. Analysis of transport within a single oocyte is used to determine the diffusion and binding characteristics of the cellular cytoplasm. Subsequent double-cell calculations then yield the intercellular junction permeability, which is translated into a single-channel permeability using concomitant measurements of intercellular conductance, and known single-channel conductances of gap junctions made up of specific connexins, to count channels. The preceding strategy, combined with use of a graded size series of Alexa dyes, permits a determination of absolute values of gap junctional permeability as a function of dye size and connexin type. Interpretation of the results in terms of pore theory suggests significant levels of dye-pore affinity consistent with the expected order of magnitude of typical (e.g., van der Waals) intermolecular attractions. PMID:15041648

  1. Solitons in Josephson junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ustinov, A. V.

    1998-11-01

    Magnetic flux quanta in Josephson junctions, often called fluxons, in many cases behave as solitons. A review of recent experiments and modelling of fluxon dynamics in Josephson circuits is presented. Classic quasi-one-dimensional junctions, stacked junctions (Josephson superlattices), and discrete Josephson transmission lines (JTLs) are discussed. Applications of fluxon devices as high-frequency oscillators and digital circuits are also addressed.

  2. Long-range intercellular Ca2+ wave patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tabi, C. B.; Maïna, I.; Mohamadou, A.; Ekobena, H. P. F.; Kofané, T. C.

    2015-10-01

    Modulational instability is utilized to investigate intercellular Ca2+ wave propagation in an array of diffusively coupled cells. Cells are supposed to be connected via paracrine signaling, where long-range effects, due to the presence of extracellular messengers, are included. The multiple-scale expansion is used to show that the whole dynamics of Ca2+ waves, from the endoplasmic reticulum to the cytosol, can be reduced to a single differential-difference nonlinear equation whose solutions are assumed to be plane waves. Their linear stability analysis is studied, with emphasis on the impact of long-range coupling, via the range parameter s. It is shown that s, as well as the number of interacting cells, importantly modifies the features of modulational instability, as small values of s imply a strong coupling, and increasing its value rather reduces the problem to a first-neighbor one. Our theoretical findings are numerically tested, as the generic equations are fully integrated, leading to the emergence of nonlinear patterns of Ca2+ waves. Strong long-range coupling is pictured by extended trains of breather-like structures whose frequency decreases with increasing s. We also show numerically that the number of interacting cells plays on the spatio-temporal formation of Ca2+ patterns, whilst the quasi-perfect intercellular communication depends on the paracrine coupling parameter.

  3. Sticky Matrix: Adhesion Mechanism of the Staphylococcal Polysaccharide Intercellular Adhesin.

    PubMed

    Formosa-Dague, Cécile; Feuillie, Cécile; Beaussart, Audrey; Derclaye, Sylvie; Kucharíková, Soňa; Lasa, Iñigo; Van Dijck, Patrick; Dufrêne, Yves F

    2016-03-22

    The development of bacterial biofilms on surfaces leads to hospital-acquired infections that are difficult to fight. In Staphylococci, the cationic polysaccharide intercellular adhesin (PIA) forms an extracellular matrix that connects the cells together during biofilm formation, but the molecular forces involved are unknown. Here, we use advanced force nanoscopy techniques to unravel the mechanism of PIA-mediated adhesion in a clinically relevant methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strain. Nanoscale multiparametric imaging of the structure, adhesion, and elasticity of bacteria expressing PIA shows that the cells are surrounded by a soft and adhesive matrix of extracellular polymers. Cell surface softness and adhesion are dramatically reduced in mutant cells deficient for the synthesis of PIA or under unfavorable growth conditions. Single-cell force spectroscopy demonstrates that PIA promotes cell-cell adhesion via the multivalent electrostatic interaction with polyanionic teichoic acids on the S. aureus cell surface. This binding mechanism rationalizes, at the nanoscale, the well-known ability of PIA to strengthen intercellular adhesion in staphylococcal biofilms. Force nanoscopy offers promising prospects for understanding the fundamental forces in antibiotic-resistant biofilms and for designing anti-adhesion compounds targeting matrix polymers. PMID:26908275

  4. An electrostatic mechanism for Ca(2+)-mediated regulation of gap junction channels.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Brad C; Purdy, Michael D; Baker, Kent A; Acharya, Chayan; McIntire, William E; Stevens, Raymond C; Zhang, Qinghai; Harris, Andrew L; Abagyan, Ruben; Yeager, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Gap junction channels mediate intercellular signalling that is crucial in tissue development, homeostasis and pathologic states such as cardiac arrhythmias, cancer and trauma. To explore the mechanism by which Ca(2+) blocks intercellular communication during tissue injury, we determined the X-ray crystal structures of the human Cx26 gap junction channel with and without bound Ca(2+). The two structures were nearly identical, ruling out both a large-scale structural change and a local steric constriction of the pore. Ca(2+) coordination sites reside at the interfaces between adjacent subunits, near the entrance to the extracellular gap, where local, side chain conformational rearrangements enable Ca(2+)chelation. Computational analysis revealed that Ca(2+)-binding generates a positive electrostatic barrier that substantially inhibits permeation of cations such as K(+) into the pore. Our results provide structural evidence for a unique mechanism of channel regulation: ionic conduction block via an electrostatic barrier rather than steric occlusion of the channel pore. PMID:26753910

  5. An electrostatic mechanism for Ca2+-mediated regulation of gap junction channels

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Brad C.; Purdy, Michael D.; Baker, Kent A.; Acharya, Chayan; McIntire, William E.; Stevens, Raymond C.; Zhang, Qinghai; Harris, Andrew L.; Abagyan, Ruben; Yeager, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Gap junction channels mediate intercellular signalling that is crucial in tissue development, homeostasis and pathologic states such as cardiac arrhythmias, cancer and trauma. To explore the mechanism by which Ca2+ blocks intercellular communication during tissue injury, we determined the X-ray crystal structures of the human Cx26 gap junction channel with and without bound Ca2+. The two structures were nearly identical, ruling out both a large-scale structural change and a local steric constriction of the pore. Ca2+ coordination sites reside at the interfaces between adjacent subunits, near the entrance to the extracellular gap, where local, side chain conformational rearrangements enable Ca2+chelation. Computational analysis revealed that Ca2+-binding generates a positive electrostatic barrier that substantially inhibits permeation of cations such as K+ into the pore. Our results provide structural evidence for a unique mechanism of channel regulation: ionic conduction block via an electrostatic barrier rather than steric occlusion of the channel pore. PMID:26753910

  6. Molecular series-tunneling junctions.

    PubMed

    Liao, Kung-Ching; Hsu, Liang-Yan; Bowers, Carleen M; Rabitz, Herschel; Whitesides, George M

    2015-05-13

    Charge transport through junctions consisting of insulating molecular units is a quantum phenomenon that cannot be described adequately by classical circuit laws. This paper explores tunneling current densities in self-assembled monolayer (SAM)-based junctions with the structure Ag(TS)/O2C-R1-R2-H//Ga2O3/EGaIn, where Ag(TS) is template-stripped silver and EGaIn is the eutectic alloy of gallium and indium; R1 and R2 refer to two classes of insulating molecular units-(CH2)n and (C6H4)m-that are connected in series and have different tunneling decay constants in the Simmons equation. These junctions can be analyzed as a form of series-tunneling junctions based on the observation that permuting the order of R1 and R2 in the junction does not alter the overall rate of charge transport. By using the Ag/O2C interface, this system decouples the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO, which is localized on the carboxylate group) from strong interactions with the R1 and R2 units. The differences in rates of tunneling are thus determined by the electronic structure of the groups R1 and R2; these differences are not influenced by the order of R1 and R2 in the SAM. In an electrical potential model that rationalizes this observation, R1 and R2 contribute independently to the height of the barrier. This model explicitly assumes that contributions to rates of tunneling from the Ag(TS)/O2C and H//Ga2O3 interfaces are constant across the series examined. The current density of these series-tunneling junctions can be described by J(V) = J0(V) exp(-β1d1 - β2d2), where J(V) is the current density (A/cm(2)) at applied voltage V and βi and di are the parameters describing the attenuation of the tunneling current through a rectangular tunneling barrier, with width d and a height related to the attenuation factor β. PMID:25871745

  7. Major loss of junctional coupling during mitosis in early mouse embryos

    PubMed Central

    1986-01-01

    Junctional coupling was assessed during the transition from the fourth to the fifth cell cycle of mouse embryogenesis by injection of the dye carboxyfluorescein and by measurement of electrical continuity between cells. Junctional coupling, which arises de novo in early 8-cell mouse embryos, subsequently becomes reduced towards the end of the cell cycle as the blastomeres enter into mitosis. Arrest of the cell cycle in metaphase by nocodazole, an inhibitor of tubulin polymerization, reveals that cell coupling becomes undetectable at mitosis. Junctional coupling then is resumed during interphase of the 16-cell stage. Nocodazole itself has no effect on junctional coupling in interphase cells, regardless of the extent of intercellular flattening, whereas taxol, a microtubule-stabilizing agent, does reduce the extent of coupling in interphase cells. PMID:2868015

  8. Synthesis of Clostridium cellulovorans minicellulosomes by intercellular complementation

    PubMed Central

    Arai, Takamitsu; Matsuoka, Satoshi; Cho, Hee-Yeon; Yukawa, Hideaki; Inui, Masayuki; Wong, Sui-Lam; Doi, Roy H.

    2007-01-01

    The ability of two strains of bacteria to cooperate in the synthesis of an enzyme complex (a minicellulosome) was examined. Three strains of Bacillus subtilis were constructed to express Clostridium cellulovorans genes engB, xynB, and minicbpA. MiniCbpA, EngB, and XynB were synthesized and secreted into the medium by B. subtilis. When the strains with the minicbpA and engB genes or with xynB were cocultured, minicellulosomes were synthesized, consisting in one case of miniCbpA and EngB and in the second case of miniCbpA and XynB. Both minicellulosomes showed their respective enzymatic activities. We call this phenomenon “intercellular complementation.” Interesting implications concerning bacterial cooperation are suggested from these results. PMID:17244702

  9. New Systems for Studying Intercellular Interactions in Bacterial Vaginosis.

    PubMed

    Herbst-Kralovetz, Melissa M; Pyles, Richard B; Ratner, Adam J; Sycuro, Laura K; Mitchell, Caroline

    2016-08-15

    Bacterial vaginosis (BV) affects almost a quarter of US women, making it a condition of major public health relevance. Key questions remain regarding the etiology of BV, mechanisms for its association with poor reproductive health outcomes, and reasons for high rates of treatment failure. New model systems are required to answer these remaining questions, elucidate the complex host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions, and develop new, effective interventions. In this review, we cover the strengths and limitations of in vitro and in vivo model systems to study these complex intercellular interactions. Furthermore, we discuss advancements needed to maximize the translational utility of the model systems. As no single model can recapitulate all of the complex physiological and environmental conditions of the human vaginal microenvironment, we conclude that combinatorial approaches using in vitro and in vivo model systems will be required to address the remaining fundamental questions surrounding the enigma that is BV. PMID:27449872

  10. Tricellular Tight Junctions in the Inner Ear

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Tight junctions (TJs) are structures that seal the space between the epithelial cell sheets. In the inner ear, the barrier function of TJs is indispensable for the separation of the endolymphatic and perilymphatic spaces, which is essential for the generation and maintenance of the endocochlear potential (EP). TJs are formed by the intercellular binding of membrane proteins, known as claudins, and mutations in these proteins cause deafness in humans and mice. Within the epithelial cell sheet, however, a bound structure is present at the site where the corners of three cells meet (tricellular tight junctions (tTJs)), and the maintenance of the barrier function at this location cannot be explained by the claudins alone. Tricellulin and the angulin family of proteins (angulin-1/LSR, angulin-2/ILDR1, and angulin-3/ILDR2) have been identified as tTJ-associated proteins. Tricellulin and ILDR1 are localized at the tTJ and alterations in these proteins have been reported to be involved in deafness. In this review, we will present the current state of knowledge for tTJs. PMID:27195292