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X Fang, R Palanivel, X Zhou, Y Liu, A Xu, Y Wang, and G Sweeney

Adiponectin has been shown to regulate glucose and fatty acid uptake and metabolism in skeletal muscle. Here we investigated the role of the recently cloned adiponectin receptor (AdipoR) isoforms in mediating effects of both globular (gAd) and full-length (fAd) adiponectin, and their regulation by hyperglycemia (25 mM, 20 h) and hyperinsulinemia (100 nM, 20 h). We used L6 rat skeletal muscle cells, which were found to express both AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 mRNA in a ratio of over 6:1 respectively. Hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia both decreased AdipoR1 receptor expression by approximately 50%, while the latter induced an increase of approximately threefold in AdipoR2 expression. The ability of gAd to increase GLUT4 myc translocation, glucose uptake, fatty acid uptake and oxidation, as well as AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) phosphorylation, was decreased by both hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia. Interestingly, hyperinsulinemia induced the ability of fAd to elicit fatty acid uptake and enhanced fatty acid oxidation in response to fAd. In summary, our results suggest that both hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia cause gAd resistance in rat skeletal muscle cells. However, hyperinsulinemia induces a switch toward increased fAd sensitivity in these cells.

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Sarah X Zhang, Joshua J Wang, Guoquan Gao, Kyoungmin Parke, and Jian-xing Ma

It has been shown that the balance between vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a major angiogenic stimulator, and pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), a potent angiogenic inhibitor, is critical for the regulation of vascular permeability and angiogenesis. However, the regulation of the balance is largely unclear. The present study demonstrated that there is a reciprocal interaction between VEGF and PEDF in the retina. PEDF significantly decreased VEGF expression in both retinal capillary endothelial cells (RCEC) and Müller cells. This PEDF effect was confirmed in the retina of rats with oxygen-induced retinopathy. Silencing of the PEDF gene by siRNA in Müller cells resulted in a significant upregulation of VEGF expression at both the RNA and protein levels, suggesting that PEDF is an endogenous negative regulator of VEGF. The further study of the mechanism showed that PEDF inhibited hypoxia-induced increases in VEGF promoter activity, HIF-1 nuclear translocation and mitogen activated protein kinase phosphorylation. These results suggest that PEDF inhibits VEGF expression at the transcriptional level. In addition, PEDF effectively inhibited VEGF binding to RCEC. Moreover, in vitro receptor-binding assay demonstrated that PEDF competed with VEGF for binding to VEGF receptor 2, which may represent a new mechanism for PEDF activity. On the other hand, VEGF significantly downregulated PEDF expression in RCEC, but not in retinal Müller cells, suggesting a VEGF receptor-mediated process. These results suggest that the reciprocal regulation between VEGF and PEDF may play a role in angiogenic control. The decrease in PEDF levels in the retina is at least partially responsible for the increase in VEGF expression and subsequent vascular leakage and neovascularization in diabetes.

Free access

Shen Gao, Hua Wang, Peng Lee, Jonathan Melamed, Caihong X Li, Fahao Zhang, Hong Wu, Liran Zhou, and Zhengxin Wang

Androgen receptor (AR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that mediates the action of androgens and is essential for the growth, function, and cell differentiation of the prostate gland. Here, we demonstrated that the prostate apoptosis response factor-4 (par-4) functions as a novel AR coactivator. Par-4 physically interacted with the DNA-binding domain of AR, enhanced AR interaction with DNA, and increased AR-dependent transcription. Par-4 enhanced the c-FLIP promoter activity and was recruited on to the c-FLIP gene in the presence of androgens, and the dominant-negative par-4 decreased c-FLIP expression. These results suggest that, in addition to its proapoptotic function, par-4 acts as a novel transcription cofactor for AR to target c-FLIP gene expression. In addition, we demonstrated that loss of c-FLIP expression was essential for castration-induced apoptosis in the prostate gland and that enhanced c-FLIP expression was associated with prostate cancer progression to the androgen-resistant stage. Our data shed light on a transcription-mediated mechanism for the effects of the AR pathway on cell survival and apoptosis.

Free access

Sarah X Zhang, Joshua J Wang, Azar Dashti, Kenneth Wilson, Ming-Hui Zou, Luke Szweda, Jian-Xing Ma, and Timothy J Lyons

Oxidized and/or glycated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) may mediate capillary injury in diabetic retinopathy. The mechanisms may involve pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidant effects on retinal capillary pericytes. In this study, these effects, and the protective effects of pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), were defined in a primary human pericyte model. Human retinal pericytes were exposed to 100 μg/ml native LDL (N-LDL) or heavily oxidized glycated LDL (HOG-LDL) with or without PEDF at 10–160 nM for 24 h. To assess pro-inflammatory effects, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) secretion was measured by ELISA, and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation was detected by immunocytochemistry. Oxidative stress was determined by measuring intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), peroxynitrite (ONOO) formation, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression, and nitric oxide (NO) production. The results showed that MCP-1 was significantly increased by HOG-LDL, and the effect was attenuated by PEDF in a dose-dependent manner. PEDF also attenuated the HOG-LDL-induced NF-κB activation, suggesting that the inhibitory effect of PEDF on MCP-1 was at least partially through the blockade of NF-κB activation. Further studies demonstrated that HOG-LDL, but not N-LDL, significantly increased ONOO formation, NO production, and iNOS expression. These changes were also alleviated by PEDF. Moreover, PEDF significantly ameliorated HOG-LDL-induced ROS generation through up-regulation of superoxide dismutase 1 expression. Taken together, these results demonstrate pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidant effects of HOG-LDL on retinal pericytes, which were effectively ameliorated by PEDF. Suppressing MCP-1 production and thus inhibiting macrophage recruitment may represent a new mechanism for the salutary effect of PEDF in diabetic retinopathy and warrants more studies in future.

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J A Hansen, L H Hansen, X Wang, J J Kopchick, F Gouilleux, B Groner, J H Nielsen, A Møldrup, E D Galsgaard, and N Billestrup


Stimulation of GH receptors leads to rapid activation of Jak2 kinase and subsequent tyrosine phosphorylation of the GH receptor. Three specific tyrosines located in the C-terminal domain of the GH receptor have been identified as being involved in GH-stimulated transcription of the Spi 2·1 promoter. Mutated GH receptors lacking all but one of these three tyrosines are able to mediate a transcriptional response when transiently transfected into CHO cells together with a Spi 2·1 promoter/luciferase construct. Similarly, these GH receptors were found to be able to mediate activation of Stat5 DNA-binding activity, whereas the GH receptor mutant lacking all intracellular tyrosines was not. Synthetic tyrosine phosphorylated peptides corresponding to the GH receptor sequence around the three tyrosines inhibited Stat5 DNA-binding activity while their non-phosphorylated counterparts were ineffective. Tyrosine phosphorylated GST-GH receptor fusion proteins specifically bound to Stat5 in extracts from COS 7 cells transfected with Stat5 cDNA. This binding could be inhibited by tyrosine phosphorylated peptides derived from the GH receptor. This study thus demonstrated that specific GH receptor tyrosine residues, in their phosphorylated state, are involved in transcriptional signaling by directly interacting with Stat5.