Conformational alteration in glycan induces phospholipase Cβ1 activation and angiogenesis
Background In endothelial cells, phospholipase C (PLC) β1-activated Ca2+ is a crucial second messenger for the signaling pathways governing angiogenesis. PLCβ1 is inactivated by complexing with an intracellular protein called translin-associated factor X (TRAX). This study demonstrates specific interactions between Globo H ceramide (GHCer) and TRAX, which highlight a new angiogenic control through PLCβ1 activation. Methods Globo-series glycosphingolipids (GSLs), including GHCer and stage-specific embryonic antigen-3 ceramide (SSEA3Cer), were analyzed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Biacore for their binding with TRAX. Angiogenic activities of GSLs in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were evaluated. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation was used to study conformations of GSLs and their molecular interactions with TRAX. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) analysis of HUVECs by confocal microscopy was used to validate the release of PLCβ1 from TRAX. Furthermore, the in vivo angiogenic activity of extracellular vesicles (EVs) containing GHCer was confirmed using subcutaneous Matrigel plug assay in mice. Results The results of ELISA and Biacore analysis showed a stable complex between recombinant TRAX and synthetic GHCer with KD of 40.9 nM. In contrast, SSEA3Cer lacking a fucose residue of GHCer at the terminal showed ~ 1000-fold decrease in the binding affinity. These results were consistent with their angiogenic activities in HUVECs. The MD simulation indicated that TRAX interacted with the glycan moiety of GHCer at amino acid Q223, Q219, L142, S141, and E216. At equilibrium the stable complex maintained 4.6 ± 1.3 H-bonds. TRAX containing double mutations with Q223A and Q219A lost its ability to interact with GHCer in both MD simulation and Biacore assays. Removal of the terminal fucose from GHCer to become SSEA3Cer resulted in decreased H-bonding to 1.2 ± 1.0 by the MD simulation. Such specific H-bonding was due to the conformational alteration in the whole glycan which was affected by the presence or absence of the fucose moiety. In addition, ELISA, Biacore, and in-cell FRET assays confirmed the competition between GHCer and PLCβ1 for binding to TRAX. Furthermore, the Matrigel plug assay showed robust vessel formation in the plug containing tumor-secreted EVs or synthetic GHCer, but not in the plug with SSEA3Cer. The FRET analysis also indicated the disruption of colocalization of TRAX and PLCβ1 in cells by GHCer derived from EVs. Conclusions Overall, the fucose residue in GHCer dictated the glycan conformation for its complexing with TRAX to release TRAX-sequestered PLCβ1, leading to Ca2+ mobilization in endothelial cells and enhancing angiogenesis in tumor microenvironments.
Phospholipid fatty acid remodeling and carbonylated protein increase in extracellular vesicles released by airway epithelial cells exposed to cigarette smoke extract
Cigarette smoke (CS) represents one of the most relevant environmental risk factors for several chronic pathologies. Tissue damage caused by CS exposure is mediated, at least in part, by oxidative stress induced by its toxic and pro-oxidant components. Evidence demonstrates that extracellular vesicles (EVs) released by various cell types exposed to CS extract (CSE) are characterized by altered biochemical cargo and gained pathological properties. In the present study, we evaluated the content of oxidized proteins and phospholipid fatty acid profiles of EVs released by human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells treated with CSE. This specific molecular characterization has hitherto not been performed. After confirmation that CSE reduces viability of BEAS-2B cells and elevates intracellular ROS levels, in a dose-dependent manner, we demonstrated that 24 h exposure at 1% CSE, a concentration that only slight modifies cell viability but increases ROS levels, was able to increase carbonylated protein levels in cells and released EVs. The release of oxidatively modified proteins via EVs might represent a mechanism used by cells to remove toxic proteins in order to avoid their intracellular overloading. Moreover, 1% CSE induced only few changes in the fatty acid asset in BEAS-2B cell membrane phospholipids, whereas several rearrangements were observed in EVs released by CSE-treated cells. The impact of changes in acyl chain composition of CSE-EVs accounted for the increased saturation levels of phospholipids, a membrane parameter that might influence EV stability, uptake and, at least in part, EV-mediated biological effects. The present in vitro study adds new information concerning the biochemical composition of CSE-related EVs, useful to predict their biological effects on target cells. Furthermore, the information regarding the presence of oxidized proteins and the specific membrane features of CSE-related EVs can be useful to define the utilization of circulating EVs as marker for diagnosing of CS-induced lung damage and/or CS-related diseases.
A portable elliptical dichroism spectrometer targeting secondary structural features of tumorous protein for pancreatic cancer detection
Stereochemical analysis is essential for understanding the complex function of biomolecules. Various direct and indirect approaches can be used to explore the allosteric configuration. However, the size, cost, and delicate nature of these systems limit their biomedical usage. Here, we constructed elliptical dichroism (ED) spectrometer for biomedical applications, whose performance is validated by experiment and theoretical simulation (Jones/Mueller calculus and time-dependent density-functional theory). Instead of complicated control of circular polarization, ED spectrometer adopted the absorbance of left- and right-oriented elliptically polarized light. With a simplified design, we demonstrated the potential of ED spectrometry as an alternative for secondary structural analysis of biomolecules, their conformation and chirality. It not only provides a portable, low-cost alternative to the sophisticated instruments currently used for structural analysis of biomolecules but also provides superior translational features: low sample consumption(200μl), easy operation, and multiple working modes, for noninvasive cancer detection.
Endosomal escape of nucleic acids from extracellular vesicles mediates functional therapeutic delivery
Extracellular vesicles hold great promise as a drug delivery platform for RNA-based therapeutics. However, there is a lack of experimental evidence for the intracellular trafficking of nucleic acid cargos, specifically, whether they are capable of escaping from the endolysosomal confinement in the recipient cells to be released into the cytosol and hence, interact with their cytoplasmic targets. Here, we demonstrated how red blood cell-derived extracellular vesicles (RBCEVs) release their therapeutic RNA/DNA cargos at specific intracellular compartments characteristic of late endosomes and lysosomes. The released cargos were functional and capable of knocking down genes of interest in recipient cells, resulting in tumor suppression in vitro and in an acute myeloid leukemia murine model without causing significant toxicity. Notably, surface functionalization of RBCEVs with an anti-human CXCR4 antibody facilitated their specific uptake by CXCR4+ leukemic cells, leading to enhanced gene silencing efficiency. Our results provide insights into the cellular uptake mechanisms and endosomal escape routes of nucleic acid cargos delivered by RBCEVs which have important implications for further improvements of the RBCEV-based delivery system.