Parrish-Novak J et al. (NOV 2000)
Nature 408 6808 57--63
Interleukin 21 and its receptor are involved in NK cell expansion and regulation of lymphocyte function.
Cytokines are important in the regulation of haematopoiesis and immune responses, and can influence lymphocyte development. Here we have identified a class I cytokine receptor that is selectively expressed in lymphoid tissues and is capable of signal transduction. The full-length receptor was expressed in BaF3 cells, which created a functional assay for ligand detection and cloning. Conditioned media from activated human CD3+ T cells supported proliferation of the assay cell line. We constructed a complementary DNA expression library from activated human CD3+ T cells, and identified a cytokine with a four-helix-bundle structure using functional cloning. This cytokine is most closely related to IL2 and IL15, and has been designated IL21 with the receptor designated IL21 R. In vitro assays suggest that IL21 has a role in the proliferation and maturation of natural killer (NK) cell populations from bone marrow, in the proliferation of mature B-cell populations co-stimulated with anti-CD40, and in the proliferation of T cells co-stimulated with anti-CD3.
Yamashita J et al. (NOV 2000)
Nature 408 6808 92--6
Flk1-positive cells derived from embryonic stem cells serve as vascular progenitors.
Interaction between endothelial cells and mural cells (pericytes and vascular smooth muscle) is essential for vascular development and maintenance. Endothelial cells arise from Flk1-expressing (Flk1+) mesoderm cells, whereas mural cells are believed to derive from mesoderm, neural crest or epicardial cells and migrate to form the vessel wall. Difficulty in preparing pure populations of these lineages has hampered dissection of the mechanisms underlying vascular formation. Here we show that Flk1+ cells derived from embryonic stem cells can differentiate into both endothelial and mural cells and can reproduce the vascular organization process. Vascular endothelial growth factor promotes endothelial cell differentiation, whereas mural cells are induced by platelet-derived growth factor-BB. Vascular cells derived from Flk1+ cells can organize into vessel-like structures consisting of endothelial tubes supported by mural cells in three-dimensional culture. Injection of Flk1+ cells into chick embryos showed that they can incorporate as endothelial and mural cells and contribute to the developing vasculature in vivo. Our findings indicate that Flk1+ cells can act as 'vascular progenitor cells' to form mature vessels and thus offer potential for tissue engineering of the vascular system.
ES-Cult™ Fetal Bovine Serum for Maintenance
CD-1 Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts, Day E12.5
CD-1 Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts, Day E14.5
Neomycin-Resistant Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts, Day E13.5
Hygromycin-Resistant Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts, Day E13.5
Puromycin-Resistant Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts, Day E13.5
Genes coding evolutionary novel anti-carbohydrate antibodies: studies on anti-Gal production in alpha 1,3galactosyltransferase knock out mice.
This study analyzes the gene repertoire coding for antibodies to an evolutionary novel immunogenic carbohydrate antigen in mice. The alpha-gal epitope (Gal alpha 1-3Gal beta 1-4GlcNAc-R) is an autoantigen, abundantly expressed in wild type mice, but absent in alpha 1,3galactosyltransferase knock-out (KO) mice, where it can induce the production of the anti-Gal antibody. Hybridoma clones secreting anti-Gal were isolated from different mice and their immunoglobulin genes were analyzed. All anti-Gal clones were found to be encoded by the heavy chain gene VH22.1 and light chain gene VK5.1. Moreover, one 'forbidden' anti-Gal clone, produced in a wild type mouse, was also encoded by VH 22.1 and VK 5.1. The genes coding for the different anti-Gal clones were found to contain somatic mutations and different CDR3 domains. These data imply that a highly restricted gene usage combined with junctional diversity and somatic mutations can generate new antibodies that have not been produced in the course of the evolution of a species.
ClonaCell™-HY Hybridoma Kit
Furumai R et al. (JAN 2001)
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 98 1 87--92
Potent histone deacetylase inhibitors built from trichostatin A and cyclic tetrapeptide antibiotics including trapoxin.
Trichostatin A (TSA) and trapoxin (TPX) are potent inhibitors of histone deacetylases (HDACs). TSA is proposed to block the catalytic reaction by chelating a zinc ion in the active-site pocket through its hydroxamic acid group. On the other hand, the epoxyketone is suggested to be the functional group of TPX capable of alkylating the enzyme. We synthesized a novel TPX analogue containing a hydroxamic acid instead of the epoxyketone. The hybrid compound cyclic hydroxamic acid-containing peptide (CHAP) 1 inhibited HDAC1 at low nanomolar concentrations. The HDAC1 inhibition by CHAP1 was reversible as it was by TSA, in contrast to the irreversible inhibition by TPX. CHAP with an aliphatic chain length of five, which corresponded to that of acetylated lysine, was stronger than those with other lengths. These results suggest that TPX is a substrate mimic and that the replacement of the epoxyketone with the hydroxamic acid converted TPX to an inhibitor chelating the zinc like TSA. Interestingly, HDAC6, but not HDAC1 or HDAC4, was resistant to TPX and CHAP1, whereas TSA inhibited these HDACs to a similar extent. HDAC6 inhibition by TPX at a high concentration was reversible, probably because HDAC6 is not alkylated by TPX. We further synthesized the counterparts of all known naturally occurring cyclic tetrapeptides containing the epoxyketone. HDAC1 was highly sensitive to all these CHAPs much more than HDAC6, indicating that the structure of the cyclic tetrapeptide framework affects the target enzyme specificity. These results suggest that CHAP is a unique lead to develop isoform-specific HDAC inhibitors.
Montecino-Rodriguez E et al. (JAN 2001)
Nature immunology 2 1 83--8
Bipotential B-macrophage progenitors are present in adult bone marrow.
According to the current model of adult hematopoiesis, differentiation of pluripotential hematopoietic stem cells into common myeloid- and lymphoid-committed progenitors establishes an early separation between the myeloid and lymphoid lineages. This report describes a rare and previously unidentified CD45R-CD19+ B cell progenitor population in postnatal bone marrow that can also generate macrophages. In addition to the definition of this B-lineage intermediate, the data indicate that a developmental relationship between the B and macrophage lineages is retained during postnatal hematopoiesis.
Dovey HF et al. (JAN 2001)
Journal of neurochemistry 76 1 173--81
Functional gamma-secretase inhibitors reduce beta-amyloid peptide levels in brain.
Converging lines of evidence implicate the beta-amyloid peptide (Ass) as causative in Alzheimer's disease. We describe a novel class of compounds that reduce A beta production by functionally inhibiting gamma-secretase, the activity responsible for the carboxy-terminal cleavage required for A beta production. These molecules are active in both 293 HEK cells and neuronal cultures, and exert their effect upon A beta production without affecting protein secretion, most notably in the secreted forms of the amyloid precursor protein (APP). Oral administration of one of these compounds, N-[N-(3,5-difluorophenacetyl)-L-alanyl]-S-phenylglycine t-butyl ester, to mice transgenic for human APP(V717F) reduces brain levels of Ass in a dose-dependent manner within 3 h. These studies represent the first demonstration of a reduction of brain A beta in vivo. Development of such novel functional gamma-secretase inhibitors will enable a clinical examination of the A beta hypothesis that Ass peptide drives the neuropathology observed in Alzheimer's disease.
Molecular basis of transdifferentiation of pancreas to liver.
The appearance of hepatic foci in the pancreas has been described in animal experiments and in human pathology. Here we show that pancreatic cells can be converted into hepatocytes by treatment with a synthetic glucocorticoid, dexamethasone. This occurs both in a pancreatic cell line, AR42J-B13, and in organ cultures of pancreatic buds from mouse embryos. We have established several features of the mechanism behind this transdifferentiation. We show that a proportion of the hepatocytes arises directly from differentiated exocrine-like cells, with no intervening cell division. This conversion is associated with induction of the transcription factor C/EBPbeta and the activation of differentiated hepatic products. Transfection of C/EBPbeta into the cells can provoke transdifferentiation; conversely, a dominant-negative form of C/EBPbeta can inhibit the process. These results indicate that C/EBPbeta is a key component that distinguishes the liver and pancreatic programmes of differentiation.
Geiger JN et al. (FEB 2001)
Blood 97 4 901--10
mDYRK3 kinase is expressed selectively in late erythroid progenitor cells and attenuates colony-forming unit-erythroid development.
DYRKs are a new subfamily of dual-specificity kinases that was originally discovered on the basis of homology to Yak1, an inhibitor of cell cycle progression in yeast. At present, mDYRK-3 and mDYRK-2 have been cloned, and mDYRK-3 has been characterized with respect to kinase activity, expression among tissues and hematopoietic cells, and possible function during erythropoiesis. In sequence, mDYRK-3 diverges markedly in noncatalytic domains from mDYRK-2 and mDYRK-1a, but is 91.3% identical overall to hDYRK-3. Catalytically, mDYRK-3 readily phosphorylated myelin basic protein (but not histone 2B) and also appeared to autophosphorylate in vitro. Expression of mDYRK-1a, mDYRK-2, and mDYRK-3 was high in testes, but unlike mDYRK1a and mDYRK 2, mDYRK-3 was not expressed at appreciable levels in other tissues examined. Among hematopoietic cells, however, mDYRK-3 expression was selectively elevated in erythroid cell lines and primary pro-erythroid cells. In developmentally synchronized erythroid progenitor cells, expression peaked sharply following exposure to erythropoietin plus stem cell factor (SCF) (but not SCF alone), and in situ hybridizations of sectioned embryos revealed selective expression of mDYRK-3 in fetal liver. Interestingly, antisense oligonucleotides to mDYRK-3 were shown to significantly and specifically enhance colony-forming unit-erythroid colony formation. Thus, it is proposed that mDYRK-3 kinase functions as a lineage-restricted, stage-specific suppressor of red cell development. (Blood. 2001;97:901-910)
MegaCult™-C Complete Kit with Cytokines
Dunford JE et al. ( 2001)
The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics 296 2 235--242
Structure-activity relationships for inhibition of farnesyl diphosphate synthase in vitro and inhibition of bone resorption in vivo by nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates.
It has long been known that small changes to the structure of the R(2) side chain of nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates can dramatically affect their potency for inhibiting bone resorption in vitro and in vivo, although the reason for these differences in antiresorptive potency have not been explained at the level of a pharmacological target. Recently, several nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates were found to inhibit osteoclast-mediated bone resorption in vitro by inhibiting farnesyl diphosphate synthase, thereby preventing protein prenylation in osteoclasts. In this study, we examined the potency of a wider range of nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates, including the highly potent, heterocycle-containing zoledronic acid and minodronate (YM-529). We found a clear correlation between the ability to inhibit farnesyl diphosphate synthase in vitro, to inhibit protein prenylation in cell-free extracts and in purified osteoclasts in vitro, and to inhibit bone resorption in vivo. The activity of recombinant human farnesyl diphosphate synthase was inhibited at concentrations textgreater or = 1 nM zoledronic acid or minodronate, the order of potency (zoledronic acid approximately equal to minodronate textgreater risedronate textgreater ibandronate textgreater incadronate textgreater alendronate textgreater pamidronate) closely matching the order of antiresorptive potency. Furthermore, minor changes to the structure of the R(2) side chain of heterocycle-containing bisphosphonates, giving rise to less potent inhibitors of bone resorption in vivo, also caused a reduction in potency up to approximately 300-fold for inhibition of farnesyl diphosphate synthase in vitro. These data indicate that farnesyl diphosphate synthase is the major pharmacological target of these drugs in vivo, and that small changes to the structure of the R(2) side chain alter antiresorptive potency by affecting the ability to inhibit farnesyl diphosphate synthase.
Bruserud O et al. (DEC 2000)
Journal of hematotherapy & stem cell research 9 6 923--32
In vitro culture of human acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) cells in serum-free media: studies of native AML blasts and AML cell lines.
The functional characteristics were compared for acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) cells (native blasts and AML cell lines) cultured in three serum-free media (X-vivo 10, X-vivo 15, [Bio-Whitacker, Walkersville, MD] and StemSpan [Stem Cell Technologies, Vancouver, BC, Canada]) and in medium containing 10% inactivated fetal calf serum (FCS). For native AML blasts the following functions were compared: (1) autonomous and cytokine-dependent proliferation; (2) frequency of clonogenic cell; and (3) constitutive cytokine secretion. AML blast proliferation differed between patients independent of the culture medium used, and clonogenic cells were maintained after in vitro culture in all media. In contrast, constitutive cytokine secretion was higher for cells cultured in StemSpan and FCS-containing medium than for cells cultured in the X-vivo media. Native AML blasts incubated in StemSpan also showed a low frequency of apoptotic cells. The three serum-free media could also be used for long-term expansion of well-characterized AML cell lines, but the optimal medium for cell expansion and cytokine secretion differed between cell lines. We conclude that standardized serum-free culture conditions can be used for in vitro studies of native AML blasts and AML cell lines.
Izard J et al. (FEB 2001)
Journal of Bacteriology 183 3 1078--84
Cytoplasmic filament-deficient mutant of Treponema denticola has pleiotropic defects
In Treponema denticola, a ribbon-like structure of cytoplasmic filaments spans the cytoplasm at all stages of the cell division process. Insertional inactivation was used as a first step to determine the function of the cytoplasmic filaments. A suicide plasmid was constructed that contained part of cfpA and a nonpolar erythromycin resistance cassette (ermF and ermAM) inserted near the beginning of the gene. The plasmid was electroporated into T. denticola, and double- crossover recombinants which had the chromosomal copy of cfpA insertionally inactivated were selected. Immunoblotting and electron microscopy confirmed the lack of cytoplasmic filaments. The mutant was further analyzed by dark-field microscopy to determine cell morphology and by the binding of two fluorescent dyes to DNA to assess the distribution of cellular nucleic acids. The cytoplasmic filament protein-deficient mutant exhibited pleiotropic defects, including highly condensed chromosomal DNA, compared to the homogeneous distribution of the DNA throughout the cytoplasm in a wild-type cell. Moreover, chains of cells are formed by the cytoplasmic filament- deficient mutant, and those cells show reduced spreading in agarose, which may be due to the abnormal cell length. The chains of cells and the highly condensed chromosomal DNA suggest that the cytoplasmic filaments may be involved in chromosome structure, segregation, or the cell division process in Treponema.
ClonaCell™-HY Hybridoma Kit
Turner AJ et al. (MAR 2001)
BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology 23 3 261--9
The neprilysin (NEP) family of zinc metalloendopeptidases: genomics and function.
Neprilysin (NEP), a thermolysin-like zinc metalloendopeptidase, plays an important role in turning off peptide signalling events at the cell surface. It is involved in the metabolism of a number of regulatory peptides of the mammalian nervous, cardiovascular, inflammatory and immune systems. Examples include enkephalins, tachykinins, natriuretic and chemotactic peptides. NEP is an integral plasma membrane ectopeptidase of the M13 family of zinc peptidases. Other related mammalian NEP-like enzymes include the endothelin-converting enzymes (ECE-1 and ECE-2), KELL and PEX. A number of novel mammalian homologues of NEP have also recently been described. NEP family members are potential therapeutic targets, for example in cardiovascular and inflammatory disorders, and potent and selective inhibitors such as phosphoramidon have contributed to understanding enzyme function. Inhibitor design should be facilitated by the recent three-dimensional structural solution of the NEP-phosphoramidon complex. For several of the family members, however, a well-defined physiological function or substrate is lacking. Knowledge of the complete genomes of Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster allows the full complement of NEP-like activities to be analysed in a single organism. These model organisms also provide convenient systems for examining cell-specific expression, developmental and functional roles of this peptidase family, and reveal the power of functional genomics.