Flowchart: Preparation: PCSK9



Text Box: PCSK9                                                     





Text Box: LDLR                                                      

Text Box: apoB 

Text Box: LDLC                                                          




The Cellular Trafficking of the Secretory Proprotein Convertase PCSK9 and Its Dependence on the LDLR.

·     Nassoury N, Blasiole DA, Tebon Oler A, Benjannet S, Hamelin J, Poupon V, McPherson PS, Attie AD, Prat A, Seidah NG.

Laboratory of Biochemical Neuroendocrinology, Clinical Research Institute of Montreal, 110 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2W 1R7.

Mutations in the proprotein convertase PCSK9 gene are associated with autosomal dominant familial hyper- or hypocholesterolemia. These phenotypes are caused by a gain or loss of function of proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin 9 (PCSK9) to elicit the degradation of the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) protein. Herein, we asked whether the subcellular localization of wild-type PCSK9 or mutants of PCSK9 and the LDLR would provide insight into the mechanism of PCSK9-dependent LDLR degradation. We show that the LDLR is the dominant partner in regulating the cellular trafficking of PCSK9. In cells lacking the LDLR, PCSK9 localized in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In cells expressing the LDLR, PCSK9 sorted to post-ER compartments (i.e. endosomes in cell lines and Golgi apparatus in primary hepatocytes), where it colocalized with the LDLR. In cell lines, PCSK9 also colocalized with the LDLR at the cell surface, requiring the presence of the C-terminal Cys/His-rich domain of PCSK9. We provide evidence that PCSK9 promotes the degradation of the LDLR by an endocytic mechanism, as small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of the clathrin heavy chain reduced the functional activity of PCSK9. We also compared the subcellular localization of natural mutants of PCSK9 with that of the wild-type enzyme in human hepatic (HuH7) cells. Whereas the mutants associated with hypercholesterolemia (S127R, F216L and R218S) localized to endosomes/lysosomes, those associated with hypocholesterolemia did not reach this compartment. We conclude that the sorting of PCSK9 to the cell surface and endosomes is required for PCSK9 to fully promote LDLR degradation and that retention in the ER prevents this activity. Mutations that affect this transport can lead to hyper- or hypocholesterolemia.

PMID: 17461796 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Ann Endocrinol (Paris). 2007 Mar 26; [Epub ahead of print]Click here to read  Links

[After the LDL receptor and apolipoprotein B, autosomal dominant hypercholesterolemia reveals its third protagonist: PCSK9.]

[Article in French]

·     Abifadel M, Rabes JP, Boileau C, Varret M.

Inserm, U781, Paris, France; APHP, hopital Necker-Enfants malades, 149, rue de Sevres, 75743 Paris, France; faculte de medecine, universite Paris-V, Paris, France; Faculte de pharmacie, universite Saint-Joseph, BP 11, 5076 Beyrouth, Liban.

The genes encoding the low-density lipoproteins receptor and its ligand apolipoprotein B, have been the only two genes classically implicated in autosomal dominant hypercholesterolemia. We have identified in 2003, the third gene implicated in this disease: PCSK9 (Proprotein Convertase Subtilin Kexin 9). Several mutations (p.S127R, p.F216L, p.D374Y...) of this gene have been reported to cause hypercholesterolemia by a gain of function leading to a reduction of LDL receptor levels. Other variations of PCSK9 are conversely associated with hypocholesterolemia particularly the non-sense p.Y142X and p.C679X mutations found in 2% of black Americans and associated with a decrease of LDL levels and coronary heart diseases. PCSK9 substrates and exact role have not been elucidated yet, but it seems that PCSK9 is definitely a major actor in cholesterol homeostasis. PCSK9 inhibitors might constitute new therapeutic targets that would decrease plasma LDL cholesterol levels and be synergistic with statin drugs.

PMID: 17391637 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher

Atherosclerosis. 2007 Feb 20; [Epub ahead of print]Click here to read  Links

Genetic variants in PCSK9 in the Japanese population: Rare genetic variants in PCSK9 might collectively contribute to plasma LDL cholesterol levels in the general population.

·     Miyake Y, Kimura R, Kokubo Y, Okayama A, Tomoike H, Yamamura T, Miyata T.

Department of Etiology and Pathophysiology, National Cardiovascular Center Research Institute, 5-7-1 Fujishirodai, Suita, Osaka 565-8565, Japan.

The aim of this study was to investigate whether plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels in the general population are influenced by rare sequence variations in the PCSK9 gene. We sequenced the promoter and coding regions of the PCSK9 gene in individuals from the general population (n=3655) with the lowest (n=78) and highest (n=96) LDL-C levels and in individuals taking antihypercholesterolemia medication (n=96). We identified 33 sequence variants in the PCSK9 gene among which 24 were specific for Japanese. Statistical analysis showed that one missense mutation, R93C, was associated with low LDL-C levels. The other variants had no association with LDL-C levels or the numbers of individuals with the variants were too small for statistical analysis. A comparison of the numbers of individuals with nonsynonymous mutations between the low LDL-C and high LDL-C/treatment groups found that four missense mutations and one nonsense mutation were identified only in the low LDL-C group and six missense mutations were identified only in the high LDL-C/treatment group. As we have analyzed groups at opposite ends of the LDL-C spectrum, it is likely that some of these nonsynonymous mutations may be associated with either low or high LDL-C in the Japanese population. Based on the extremely high frequencies of the nonsynonymous mutations in PCSK9 compared with those of LDLR or apoB-100, PCSK9 mutations could be important factors that cumulatively influence plasma LDL-C levels in the general population.

PMID: 17316651 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]





































Chronic Immune Therapy Induces a Progressive Increase in Intratumoral T Suppressor Activity and a Concurrent Loss of Tumor-Specific CD8+ T Effectors in her-2/neu Transgenic Mice Bearing Advanced Spontaneous Tumors.

Nair RE, Kilinc MO, Jones SA, Egilmez NK.

James Graham Brown Cancer Center and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40202.

A single intratumoral injection of IL-12 and GM-CSF-encapsulated microspheres induces the complete regression of advanced spontaneous tumors in her-2/neu transgenic mice. However, tumor regression in this model is transient and long-term cure is not achieved due to recurrence. Posttherapy molecular analysis of immune activation/suppression markers within the tumor microenvironment demonstrated a dramatic up-regulation of IFN-gamma and a concomitant down-regulation of Forkhead/winged-helix protein 3 (Foxp3), TGFbeta, and IL-10 expression. Therapy-induced reversion of immune suppression was transient since all three markers of suppression recovered rapidly and surpassed pretherapy levels by day 7 after treatment, resulting in tumor resurgence. Repeated treatment enhanced short-term tumor regression, but did not augment long-term survival. Serial long-term analysis demonstrated that although chronic stimulation enhanced the IFN-gamma response, this was countered by a parallel increase in Foxp3, TGFbeta, and IL-10 expression. Analysis of tumor-infiltrating T lymphocyte populations showed that the expression of Foxp3 and IL-10 was associated with CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells. Repeated treatment resulted in a progressive increase in tumor-infiltrating CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) T suppressor cells establishing their role in long-term neutralization of antitumor activity. Analysis of tumor-infiltrating CD8(+) T cells demonstrated that although treatment enhanced IFN-gamma production, antitumor cytotoxicity was diminished. Monitoring of CD8(+) T cells that specifically recognized a dominant MHC class I her-2/neu peptide showed a dramatic increase in tetramer-specific CD8(+) T cells after the first treatment; however, continuous therapy resulted in the loss of this population. These results demonstrate that both enhanced suppressor activity and deletion of tumor-specific T cells are responsible for the progressive loss of efficacy that is associated with chronic immune therapy.

PMID: 16751376 [PubMed - in process]


Lab Invest. 2006 May 15; [Epub ahead of print]

Related Articles, Links

Click here to read 
UBD, a downstream element of FOXP3, allows the identification of LGALS3, a new marker of human regulatory T cells.

Ocklenburg F, Moharregh-Khiabani D, Geffers R, Janke V, Pfoertner S, Garritsen H, Groebe L, Klempnauer J, Dittmar KE, Weiss S, Buer J, Probst-Kepper M.

1Junior Research Group for Xenotransplantation, Department of Visceral and Transplant Surgery,
Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

Here, we report the identification of the ubiquitin-like gene UBD as a downstream element of FOXP3 in human activated regulatory CD4(+)CD25(hi) T cells (T(reg)). Retroviral transduction of UBD in human allo-reactive effector CD4(+) T helper (T(h)) cells upregulates CD25 and mediates downregulation of IL4 and IL5 expression similar to overexpression of FOXP3. Moreover, UBD impairs T(h) cell proliferation without upregulation of FOXP3 and impairs calcium mobilization. In the presence of ionomycin, overexpression of UBD in T(h) cells leads to the induction of IL1R2 that resemble FOXP3-transduced T(h) cells and naturally derived T(reg) cells. A comparison of the transcriptome of FOXP3- and UBD-transduced T(h) cells with T(reg) cells allowed the identification of the gene LGALS3. However, high levels of LGALS3 protein expression were observed only in human CD4(+)CD25(hi) derived T(reg) cells and FOXP3-transduced T(h) cells, whereas little was induced in UBD-transduced T(h) cells. Thus, UBD contributes to the anergic phenotype of human regulatory T cells and acts downstream in FOXP3 induced regulatory signaling pathways, including regulation of LGALS3 expression. High levels of LGALS3 expression represent a FOXP3-signature of human antigen-stimulated CD4(+)CD25(hi) derived regulatory T cells.Laboratory Investigation advance online publication, 15 May 2006; doi:10.1038/labinvest.3700432.

PMID: 16702978 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]































J Bone Miner Res. 2006 Jun;21(6):946-55.

Related Articles, Links

Click here to read 
Fibroblast growth factor-2 is an immediate-early gene induced by mechanical stress in osteogenic cells.

Li CF, Hughes-Fulford M.

Laboratory of Cell Growth, Northern California Institute for Research and Education, San Francisco, California, USA.

Fifteen minutes of physiological MS induces FGF-2 in osteogenic cells. Here, we show that MS induced proliferation in both MC3T3-E1 and BMOp cells isolated from Fgf2(+/+) mice; Fgf2(-/-) BMOp cells required exogenous FGF-2 for a normal proliferation response. The induction of fgf-2 is mediated by PKA and ERK pathways. INTRODUCTION: Mechanical stress (MS) induces gene expression and proliferation of osteogenic MC3T3-E1 cells. We have previously shown that physiological levels of MS in MC3T3-E1 cells causes extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 phosphorylation. Here we evaluate the induction and importance of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) for MS-induced proliferation. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We characterized the MS induction of fgf-2 using a 15-minute pulse of 120 mustrain and studied the stability of fgf-2 message using actinomycin D. Bone marrow stromal cells (BMOp) isolated from Fgf2(-/-) and Fgf2(+/+) mice were used to study the importance of FGF-2 in MS-induced proliferation. RESULTS: We found that the induction of fgf-2 by MS is dependent on both protein kinase A (PKA) and ERK pathways. MS transiently induces fgf-2 within 30 minutes. FGF-2 receptor (FGFR2) was also significantly increased within 1 h. All three isoforms of FGF-2 (24, 22, and 18 kDa) were significantly increased by MS. The MS-mediated increase of fgf-2 mRNA was caused by new synthesis and not stabilization. Pretreatment of MC3T3-E1 cells with cycloheximide showed that the induction of fgf-2 did not require new protein synthesis. Pretreating MC3T3-E1 cells with the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/ERK kinase 1/2 (MEK1/2) inhibitor, U0126, or H-89, a PKA inhibitor, significantly inhibited the induction of fgf-2, showing that mechanical induction of fgf-2 is dependent on ERK and PKA signaling pathways. The downstream consequence of a single 15-minute stress pulse was a 3.5-fold increase in cell number in MC3T3-E1 compared with growth in nonstressed control cells. In studies using bone marrow osteoprogenitor cells (BMOp) isolated from Fgf2(+/+)and Fgf2(-/-) mice, we found that FGF-2 was necessary for a full proliferative response to MS. CONCLUSIONS: These studies show that FGF-2 is an immediate-early gene induced by MS, and its expression is mediated by both the PKA and MAPK signal transduction pathways. FGF-2 was required for a full proliferative response.

PMID: 16753025 [PubMed - in process]