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Ortiz, Cristina, Klein, Sabine, Reul, Winfried H., Magdaleno, Fernando, Gröschl, Stefanie, Dietrich, Peter, Schierwagen, Robert, Uschner, Frank E., Torres, Sandra, Hieber, Christoph, Meier, Caroline, Kraus, Nico, Tyc, Olaf, Brol, Maximilian, Zeuzem, Stefan, Welsch, Christoph, Poglitsch, Marco, Hellerbrand, Claus, Alfonso-Prieto, Mercedes, Mira, Fabio, Keller, Ulrich auf dem, Tetzner, Anja, Moore, Andrew, Walther, Thomas, Trebicka, Jonel, (2023). Neprilysin-dependent neuropeptide Y cleavage in the liver promotes fibrosis by blocking NPY-receptor 1 Cell Reports 42, 112059

Development of liver fibrosis is paralleled by contraction of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), the main profibrotic hepatic cells. Yet, little is known about the interplay of neprilysin (NEP) and its substrate neuropeptide Y (NPY), a potent enhancer of contraction, in liver fibrosis. We demonstrate that HSCs are the source of NEP. Importantly, NPY originates majorly from the splanchnic region and is cleaved by NEP in order to terminate contraction. Interestingly, NEP deficiency (Nep-/-) showed less fibrosis but portal hypertension upon liver injury in two different fibrosis models in mice. We demonstrate the incremental benefit of Nep-/- in addition to AT1R blocker (ARB) or ACE inhibitors for fibrosis and portal hypertension. Finally, oral administration of Entresto, a combination of ARB and NEP inhibitor, decreased hepatic fibrosis and portal pressure in mice. These results provide a mechanistic rationale for translation of NEP-AT1R-blockade in human liver fibrosis and portal hypertension.Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

JTD Keywords: activation, cirrhosis, cirrhotic rats, cp: cell biology, expression, hepatic stellate cell, identification, inhibition, mechanisms, modulation, neprilysin, neuropeptide y, neuropeptide y receptor 1, portal hypertension, portal-hypertension, web server, Renin-angiotensin system


Roca, C, Avalos-Padilla, Y, Prieto-Simon, B, Iglesias, V, Ramirez, M, Imperial, S, Fernandez-Busquets, X, (2022). Selection of an Aptamer against the Enzyme 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate Reductoisomerase from Plasmodium falciparum Pharmaceutics 14, 2515

The methyl erythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway of isoprenoid biosynthesis is essential for malaria parasites and also for several human pathogenic bacteria, thus representing an interesting target for future antimalarials and antibiotics and for diagnostic strategies. We have developed a DNA aptamer (D10) against Plasmodium falciparum 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate reductoisomerase (DXR), the second enzyme of this metabolic route. D10 binds in vitro to recombinant DXR from P. falciparum and Escherichia coli, showing at 10 mu M a ca. 50% inhibition of the bacterial enzyme. In silico docking analysis indicates that D10 associates with DXR in solvent-exposed regions outside the active center pocket. According to fluorescence confocal microscopy data, this aptamer specifically targets in P. falciparum in vitro cultures the apicoplast organelle where the MEP pathway is localized and is, therefore, a highly specific marker of red blood cells parasitized by Plasmodium vs. naive erythrocytes. D10 is also selective for the detection of MEP+ bacteria (e.g., E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) vs. those lacking DXR (e.g., Enterococcus faecalis). Based on these results, we discuss the potential of DNA aptamers in the development of ligands that can outcompete the performance of the well-established antibody technology for future therapeutic and diagnostic approaches.

JTD Keywords: 1-deoxy-d-xylulose-5-phosphate reductoisomerase, dna aptamers, plasmodium, 1-deoxy-d-xylulose-5-phosphate reductoisomerase, Apicoplast, Dna aptamers, Drug targets, Evolution, Inhibitors, Isoprenoid biosynthesis, Malaria, Methyl erythritol phosphate pathway, Pathway, Plasmodium, Protein-protein, Web server


Phuyal, S, Djaerff, E, Le Roux, AL, Baker, MJ, Fankhauser, D, Mahdizadeh, SJ, Reiterer, V, Parizadeh, A, Felder, E, Kahlhofer, JC, Teis, D, Kazanietz, MG, Geley, S, Eriksson, L, Roca-Cusachs, P, Farhan, H, (2022). Mechanical strain stimulates COPII-dependent secretory trafficking via Rac1 Embo Journal 41, e110596

Cells are constantly exposed to various chemical and physical stimuli. While much has been learned about the biochemical factors that regulate secretory trafficking from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), much less is known about whether and how this trafficking is subject to regulation by mechanical signals. Here, we show that subjecting cells to mechanical strain both induces the formation of ER exit sites (ERES) and accelerates ER-to-Golgi trafficking. We found that cells with impaired ERES function were less capable of expanding their surface area when placed under mechanical stress and were more prone to develop plasma membrane defects when subjected to stretching. Thus, coupling of ERES function to mechanotransduction appears to confer resistance of cells to mechanical stress. Furthermore, we show that the coupling of mechanotransduction to ERES formation was mediated via a previously unappreciated ER-localized pool of the small GTPase Rac1. Mechanistically, we show that Rac1 interacts with the small GTPase Sar1 to drive budding of COPII carriers and stimulates ER-to-Golgi transport. This interaction therefore represents an unprecedented link between mechanical strain and export from the ER.© 2022 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license.

JTD Keywords: cells, copii, docking, endoplasmic reticulum, endoplasmic-reticulum, er, gtpase, mechanobiology, proliferation, protein, reticulum exit sites, web server, Copii, Fast interaction refinement, Mechanobiology