FMP Publications

Our publications are recorded in a searchable database since 2010, updates will be added regularly.

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Amino-terminal fragment of C-type natriuretic peptide precursor and C-type natriuretic peptide do not correlate in patients with Chagas disease: role for neutral endopeptidase
Wang(*), Y., Moreira Mda(*), C., Heringer-Walther(*), S., Schultheiss(*), H. P., Siems, W. E., Wessel(*), N.; Walther(*), T.
Journal of cardiovascular pharmacology, 55:62-66

Tags: Biochemical Neurobiology (Siems)

Abstract: Atrial and B-type natriuretic peptides (ANP and BNP), but not C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), have been identified to be diagnostic and prognostic markers in Chagas disease (CD). Although ANP and BNP excessively rise in patients with CD, increase in CNP is just minor. Our study aimed to investigate the mechanisms leading to CNP insensitivity to heart failure (HF) stimuli. Amino-terminal fragment of CNP precursor (NT-proCNP) and activity of neutral endopeptidase (NEP) were quantified to monitor CNP generation and degradation, respectively. Blood samples were collected from patients with CD and control healthy subjects. NT-proCNP concentrations were significantly lower in patients with CD without systolic dysfunction compared with healthy subjects. Despite a trend toward increase with rising heart failure clinical severity, it was significantly correlated with left ventricular ejection fraction and other echocardiographic parameters. As shown for CNP before, NT-proCNP could not predict mortality and heart transplant. Importantly, it had no statistical correlation with CNP. Additionally, NEP activity was significantly increased in New York Heart Association III and IV patients with HF but was positively correlated with CNP concentration. Our data demonstrates that generation of CNP is not enhanced under HF condition like CD. Thus, CNP rise by severe HF is caused by its less degradation that is independent of NEP activity.

Plasma ACE2 activity is an independent prognostic marker in Chagas' disease and equally potent as BNP
Wang(*), Y., Moreira Mda(*), C., Heringer-Walther(*), S., Ebermann(*), L., Schultheiss(*), H. P., Wessel(*), N., Siems, W. E.; Walther(*), T.
Journal of cardiac failure, 16:157-163

Tags: Biochemical Neurobiology (Siems)

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) 2 is a novel homologue of ACE. It metabolizes angiotensin (Ang)II to Ang-(1-7). This study aims to investigate the diagnostic and prognostic potency of circulating ACE2 activity in patients with heart failure (HF) from Chagas' disease (CD). METHODS AND RESULTS: Blood samples were obtained from 111 CD patients and 40 age- and gender-matched healthy subjects. The CD patients were further subdivided according to their New York Heart Association classification. ACE2 activity was significantly increased in CD patients with HF, but not in patients without systolic dysfunction. Moreover, plasma ACE2 activity was significantly correlated with their clinical severity and echocardiographic parameters. Importantly, the potency of circulating ACE2 activity in CD patients was equally potent as that of B-type natriuretic peptide to predict cardiac death and heart transplant. Most importantly, patients with both parameters elevated were on a 5-fold higher risk to reach an endpoint than patients with increase in only 1 of the 2 parameters. CONCLUSIONS: Determination of ACE2 activity may provide a new and important diagnostic and prognostic marker for patients with CD. ACE2 activity and BNP concentration have additive predictive value and may be used in combination to offer a new dimension of prediction in HF.

Effects of ACE2 inhibition in the post-myocardial infarction heart
Kim(*), M. A., Yang(*), D., Kida(*), K., Molotkova(*), N., Yeo(*), S. J., Varki(*), N., Iwata(*), M., Dalton(*), N. D., Peterson(*), K. L., Siems, W. E., Walther(*), T., Cowling(*), R. T., Kjekshus(*), J.; Greenberg(*), B.
Journal of cardiac failure, 16:777-785

Tags: Biochemical Neurobiology (Siems)

Abstract: BACKGROUND: There is evidence that angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is cardioprotective. To assess this in the post-myocardial infarction (MI) heart, we treated adult male Sprague-Dawley rats with either placebo (PL) or C16, a selective ACE2 inhibitor, after permanent coronary artery ligation or sham operation. METHODS AND RESULTS: Coronary artery ligation resulting in MI between 25% to 50% of the left ventricular (LV) circumference caused substantial cardiac remodeling. Daily C16 administration from postoperative days 2 to 28 at a dose that inhibited myocardial ACE2 activity was associated with a significant increase in MI size and reduction in LV % fractional shortening. Treatment with C16 did not significantly affect post-MI increases in LV end-diastolic dimension but did inhibit increases in wall thickness and fibrosis in non-infarcted LV. On postoperative day 7, C16 had no significant effect on the increased level of apoptosis in the infarct and border zones nor did it significantly affect capillary density surrounding the MI. It did, however, significantly reduce the number of c-kit(+) cells in the border region. CONCLUSIONS: These findings support the notion that ACE2 exerts cardioprotective effects by preserving jeopardized cardiomyocytes in the border zone. The reduction in hypertrophy and fibrosis with C16, however, suggests that ACE2 activity has diverse effects on post-MI remodeling.

Renal ACE2 expression and activity is unaltered during established hypertension in adult SHRSP and TGR(mREN2)27
Kamilic(*), J., Hamming(*), I., Kreutz(*), R., Bolbrinker(*), J., Siems, W. E., Nassar(*), I., Sluimer(*), J. C., Walther(*), T., Navis(*), G. J.; van Goor(*), H.
Hypertens Res, 33:123-128

Tags: Biochemical Neurobiology (Siems)

Abstract: Differential renal expression of a homolog of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), that is, ACE2, has been implicated as a genetic basis of polygenetic hypertension in the stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rat model. However, data on the role of ACE2 in hypertension are still inconclusive. Therefore, we analyzed kidney ACE2 mRNA, ACE2 protein and ACE2 enzyme activities in the adult polygenetic stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHRSP) and the monogenetic TGR(mREN2)27 rat models, in comparison with their normotensive reference strains, Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) and Spraque-Dawley (SD) rats, respectively. Kidney ACE2 mRNA was studied using quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR) in cortex and medulla, whereas protein expression was scored semiquantitatively in detail in different renal structures using immunohistochemistry. Furthermore, total renal tissue ACE2 activity was measured using a fluorimetric assay that was specified by the ACE2 inhibitor DX600. In SHRSP and homozygous TGR(mREN2)27 rats with established hypertension, kidney ACE2 mRNA, protein and tissue ACE2 activities were not different from their respective WKY and SD reference strain, respectively. In addition, when we looked at renal localization, we found ACE2 protein to be predominantly present in glomeruli and endothelium with weak staining in distal and negative staining in proximal tubuli. Thus, our data challenge previous work that implicates ACE2 as a candidate gene for hypertension in SHRSP by reporting a significant reduction of ACE2 in the kidneys of SHRSP. Taken together, renal ACE2 is not altered in the SHRSP and TGR(mREN2)27 genetic rat models with established hypertension. Hypertension Research (2010) 33, 123-128; doi: 10.1038/hr.2009.191; published online 20 November 2009

New function for an old enzyme: NEP deficient mice develop late-onset obesity
Becker, M., Siems, W. E., Kluge(*), R., Gembardt(*), F., Schultheiss(*), H. P., Schirner(*), M.; Walther(*), T.
Plos One, 5

Tags: Biochemical Neurobiology (Siems)

Abstract: BACKGROUND: According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there is a pandemic of obesity with approximately 300 million people being obese. Typically, human obesity has a polygenetic causation. Neutral endopeptidase (NEP), also known as neprilysin, is considered to be one of the key enzymes in the metabolism of many active peptide hormones. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: An incidental observation in NEP-deficient mice was a late-onset excessive gain in body weight exclusively from a ubiquitous accumulation of fat tissue. In accord with polygenetic human obesity, mice were characterized by deregulation of lipid metabolism, higher blood glucose levels, with impaired glucose tolerance. The key role of NEP in determining body mass was confirmed by the use of the NEP inhibitor candoxatril in wild-type mice that increased body weight due to increased food intake. This is a peripheral and not a central NEP action on the switch for appetite control, since candoxatril cannot cross the blood-brain barrier. Furthermore, we demonstrated that inhibition of NEP in mice with cachexia delayed rapid body weight loss. Thus, lack in NEP activity, genetically or pharmacologically, leads to a gain in body fat. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In the present study, we have identified NEP to be a crucial player in the development of obesity. NEP-deficient mice start to become obese under a normocaloric diet in an age of 6-7 months and thus are an ideal model for the typical human late-onset obesity. Therefore, the described obesity model is an ideal tool for research on development, molecular mechanisms, diagnosis, and therapy of the pandemic obesity.

A new phenotype of nongoitrous and nonautoimmune hyperthyroidism caused by a heterozygous thyrotropin receptor mutation in transmembrane helix 6
Winkler(*), F., Kleinau, G., Tarnow(*), P., Rediger(*), A., Grohmann(*), L., Gaetjens(*), I., Krause, G., L'Allemand(*), D., Grüters(*), A., Krude(*), H.; Biebermann(*), H.
The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 95:3605-3610

Tags: Structural Bioinformatics and Protein Design (Krause, G.)

Abstract: CONTEXT: Activating mutations in the TSHR gene were found in patients suffering from nonautoimmune hyperthyroidism. In the past, it was assumed that thyroid hyperplasia is due to constitutive activation of the Gs/adenylyl cyclase signaling pathway; however, the physiological role of the Gq/11 pathway in this context remains unclear. OBJECTIVE: In this study, we investigated molecular details of the TSHR in a patient with nonautoimmune and nongoitrous hyperthyroidism. RESULTS: We detected a heterozygous mutation in exon 10 of the TSHR gene leading to an exchange of a cysteine residue for tryptophan at amino acid position 636 in transmembrane helix 6. Functional characterization of the mutant receptor revealed a slight reduction of the cell surface expression and TSH induced cAMP accumulation compared to the wild type. Additional observations included a constitutive activation of the Gs-mediated signaling pathway and a simultaneous nearly complete loss-of-function for the Gq/11 pathway after bovine TSH stimulation. Studies on TSHR models suggest significant changes of important amino acid interactions and the overall helix arrangement caused by mutation C636W. CONCLUSION: We report a patient in whom a TSHR mutation leads to nonautoimmune hyperthyroidism due to a mutation that constitutively activates the Gs signaling pathway but additionally completely inhibits the Gq/11 pathway. The absence of goiter in the patient suggests that the Gq/11 pathway is related to thyroid growth and that different signaling pathways are mediated and regulated by TSH. These functional data could be confirmed by reproducible findings of two siblings with a constitutive activation for both pathways.

Genetic defects, thyroid growth and malfunctions of the TSHR in pediatric patients
Biebermann(*), H., Winkler(*), F.; Kleinau, G.
Front Biosci-Landmrk, 15:913-933

Tags: Structural Bioinformatics and Protein Design (Krause, G.)

Abstract: Naturally occurring activating and inactivating mutations of the thyrotropin receptor (TSHR) were found as a molecular cause of diseases in patients suffering from non-autoimmune hyperthyroidism and syndromes of thyrotropin resistance, respectively. These mutations are mostly functionally characterized in vitro and therefore, they represent an excellent tool to study structure-function relationships of this G-protein-coupled receptor. In this review, we summarize published germline mutations of the TSHR with focus on 1) the phenotype of (pediatric) patients, 2) potential genotype/phenotype correlations, 3) structural implications for receptor activation and inactivation, 4) the impact on thyroid growth, and 5) finally on aspects of TSHR dimerization. In conclusion, this comprehensive analysis of medical and biological data opens an avenue to understand genetic defects and malfunctions of the TSHR in molecular detail and in their entirety. This knowledge is important to refine our insights in non-autoimmune diseases caused by defects of the TSHR gene and it might help to develop pharmacological means for compensation of uncontrolled thyroid growth.

Bidirectional binding of invariant chain peptides to an MHC class II molecule
Günther, S., Schlundt, A., Sticht, J., Roske(*), Y., Heinemann(*), U., Wiesmüller(*), K. H., Jung(*), G., Falk(*), K., Rötzschke(*), O.; Freund, C.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 107:22219-22224

Tags: Protein Engineering (Freund)

Abstract: T-cell recognition of peptides bound to MHC class II (MHCII) molecules is a central event in cell-mediated adaptive immunity. The current paradigm holds that prebound class II-associated invariant chain peptides (CLIP) and all subsequent antigens maintain a canonical orientation in the MHCII binding groove. Here we provide evidence for MHCII-bound CLIP inversion. NMR spectroscopy demonstrates that the interconversion from the canonical to the inverse alignment is a dynamic process, and X-ray crystallography shows that conserved MHC residues form a hydrogen bond network with the peptide backbone in both orientations. The natural catalyst HLA-DM accelerates peptide reorientation and the exchange of either canonically or inversely bound CLIP against antigenic peptide. Thus, noncanonical MHC-CLIP displays the hallmarks of a structurally and functionally intact antigen-presenting complex.

Cellular uptake and biological activity of peptide nucleic acids conjugated with peptides with and without cell-penetrating ability
Turner, Y., Wallukat(*), G., Säälik, P., Wiesner, B., Pritz, S.; Oehlke, J.
J Pept Sci, 16:71-80

Tags: Peptide-Lipid-Interaction/ Peptide Transport (Dathe/Oehlke), Cellular Imaging (Wiesner)

Abstract: A 12-mer peptide nucleic acid (PNA) directed against the nociceptin/orphanin FQ receptor mRNA was disulfide bridged with various peptides without and with cell-penetrating features. The cellular uptake and the antisense activity of these conjugates were assessed in parallel. Quantitation of the internalized PNA was performed by using an approach based on capillary electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence detection (CE-LIF). This approach enabled a selective assessment of the PNA moiety liberated from the conjugate in the reducing intracellular environment, thus avoiding bias of the results by surface adsorption. The biological activity of the conjugates was studied by an assay based on the downregulation of the nociceptin/orphanin FQ receptor in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (CM). Comparable cellular uptake was found for all conjugates and for the naked PNA, irrespective of the cell-penetrating properties of the peptide components. All conjugates exhibited a comparable biological activity in the 100 nM range. The naked PNA also exhibited extensive antisense activity, which, however, proved about five times lower than that of the conjugates. The found results suggest cellular uptake and the bioactivity of PNA-peptide conjugates to be not primarily related to the cell-penetrating ability of their peptide components. Likewise from these results it can be inferred that the superior bioactivity of the PNA-peptide conjugates in comparison with that of naked PNA rely on as yet unknown factors rather than on higher membrane permeability. Several hints point to the resistance against cellular export and the aggregation propensity combined with the endocytosis rate to be candidates for such factors.

Structural basis of oligomerization in septin-like GTPase of immunity-associated protein 2 (GIMAP2)
Schwefel(*), D., Fröhlich(*), C., Eichhorst, J., Wiesner, B., Behlke(*), J., Aravind(*), L.; Daumke(*), O.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 107:20299-20304

Tags: Cellular Imaging (Wiesner)

Abstract: GTPases of immunity-associated proteins (GIMAPs) are a distinctive family of GTPases, which control apoptosis in lymphocytes and play a central role in lymphocyte maturation and lymphocyte-associated diseases. To explore their function and mechanism, we determined crystal structures of a representative member, GIMAP2, in different nucleotide-loading and oligomerization states. Nucleotide-free and GDP-bound GIMAP2 were monomeric and revealed a guanine nucleotide-binding domain of the TRAFAC (translation factor associated) class with a unique amphipathic helix alpha7 packing against switch II. In the absence of alpha7 and the presence of GTP, GIMAP2 oligomerized via two distinct interfaces in the crystal. GTP-induced stabilization of switch I mediates dimerization across the nucleotide-binding site, which also involves the GIMAP specificity motif and the nucleotide base. Structural rearrangements in switch II appear to induce the release of alpha7 allowing oligomerization to proceed via a second interface. The unique architecture of the linear oligomer was confirmed by mutagenesis. Furthermore, we showed a function for the GIMAP2 oligomer at the surface of lipid droplets. Although earlier studies indicated that GIMAPs are related to the septins, the current structure also revealed a strikingly similar nucleotide coordination and dimerization mode as in the dynamin GTPase. Based on this, we reexamined the relationships of the septin- and dynamin-like GTPases and demonstrate that these are likely to have emerged from a common membrane-associated dimerizing ancestor. This ancestral property appears to be critical for the role of GIMAPs as nucleotide-regulated scaffolds on intracellular membranes.

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Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie im Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FMP)
Campus Berlin-Buch
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13125 Berlin, Germany
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