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Open access publications by University of Delaware faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute.

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    Matrix Degradability Contributes to the Development of Salivary Gland Progenitor Cells with Secretory Functions
    (ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 2023-07-12) Metkari, Apoorva S.; Fowler, Eric W.; Witt, Robert L.; Jia, Xinqiao
    Synthetic matrices that are cytocompatible, cell adhesive, and cell responsive are needed for the engineering of implantable, secretory salivary gland constructs to treat radiation induced xerostomia or dry mouth. Here, taking advantage of the bioorthogonality of the Michael-type addition reaction, hydrogels with comparable stiffness but varying degrees of degradability (100% degradable, 100DEG; 50% degradable, 50DEG; and nondegradable, 0DEG) by cell-secreted matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) were synthesized using thiolated HA (HA-SH), maleimide (MI)-conjugated integrin-binding peptide (RGD-MI), and MI-functionalized peptide cross-linkers that are protease degradable (GIW-bisMI) or nondegradable (GIQ-bisMI). Organized multicellular structures developed readily in all hydrogels from dispersed primary human salivary gland stem cells (hS/PCs). As the matrix became progressively degradable, cells proliferated more readily, and the multicellular structures became larger, less spherical, and more lobular. Immunocytochemical analysis showed positive staining for stem/progenitor cell markers CD44 and keratin 5 (K5) in all three types of cultures and positive staining for the acinar marker α-amylase under 50DEG and 100DEG conditions. Quantitatively at the mRNA level, the expression levels of key stem/progenitor markers KIT, KRT5, and ETV4/5 were significantly increased in the degradable gels as compared to the nondegradable counterparts. Western blot analyses revealed that imparting matrix degradation led to >3.8-fold increase in KIT expression by day 15. The MMP-degradable hydrogels also promoted the development of a secretary phenotype, as evidenced by the upregulation of acinar markers α-amylase (AMY), aquaporin-5 (AQP5), and sodium-potassium chloride cotransporter 1 (SLC12A2). Collectively, we show that cell-mediated matrix remodeling is necessary for the development of regenerative pro-acinar progenitor cells from hS/PCs.
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    RNA degradome analysis reveals DNE1 endoribonuclease is required for the turnover of diverse mRNA substrates in Arabidopsis
    (The Plant Cell, 2023-04-20) Nagarajan, Vinay K.; Stuart, Catherine J.; DiBattista, Anna T.; Accerbi, Monica; Caplan, Jeffrey L.; Green, Pamela J.
    In plants, cytoplasmic mRNA decay is critical for posttranscriptionally controlling gene expression and for maintaining cellular RNA homeostasis. Arabidopsis DCP1-ASSOCIATED NYN ENDORIBONUCLEASE 1 (DNE1) is a cytoplasmic mRNA decay factor that interacts with proteins involved in mRNA decapping and nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). There is limited information on the functional role of DNE1 in RNA turnover, and the identities of its endogenous targets are unknown. In this study, we utilized RNA degradome approaches to globally investigate DNE1 substrates. Monophosphorylated 5′ ends, produced by DNE1, should accumulate in mutants lacking the cytoplasmic exoribonuclease XRN4, but be absent from DNE1 and XRN4 double mutants. In seedlings, we identified over 200 such transcripts, most of which reflect cleavage within coding regions. While most DNE1 targets were NMD-insensitive, some were upstream ORF (uORF)-containing and NMD-sensitive transcripts, indicating that this endoribonuclease is required for turnover of a diverse set of mRNAs. Transgenic plants expressing DNE1 cDNA with an active-site mutation in the endoribonuclease domain abolished the in planta cleavage of transcripts, demonstrating that DNE1 endoribonuclease activity is required for cleavage. Our work provides key insights into the identity of DNE1 substrates and enhances our understanding of DNE1-mediated mRNA decay.
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    Limiting Mrs2-dependent mitochondrial Mg2+ uptake induces metabolic programming in prolonged dietary stress
    (Cell Reports, 2023-03-28) Madaris, Travis R.; Venkatesan, Manigandan; Maity, Soumya; Stein, Miriam C.; Vishnu, Neelanjan; Venkateswaran, Mridula K.; Davis, James G.; Ramachandran, Karthik; Uthayabalan, Sukanthathulse; Allen, Cristel; Osidele, Ayodeji; Stanley, Kristen; Bigham, Nicholas P.; Bakewell, Terry M.; Narkunan, Melanie; Le, Amy; Karanam, Varsha; Li, Kang; Mhapankar, Aum; Norton, Luke; Ross, Jean; Aslam, M. Imran; Reeves, W. Brian; Singh, Brij B.; Caplan, Jeffrey; Wilson, Justin J.; Stathopulos, Peter B.; Baur, Joseph A.; Madesh, Muniswamy
    Highlights: • Mitochondrial Mg2+ channel Mrs2 rheostats MCU Ca2+ signals to maintain bioenergetic circuit • DNL precursor and cellular Mg2+ chelator citrate curbs HIF1α signal and oxidative metabolism • Lowering mMg2+ mitigates prolonged dietary-stress-induced obesity and metabolic syndrome • Mrs2 channel blocker CPACC reduces lipid accumulation and promotes browning and weight loss Summary The most abundant cellular divalent cations, Mg2+ (mM) and Ca2+ (nM-μM), antagonistically regulate divergent metabolic pathways with several orders of magnitude affinity preference, but the physiological significance of this competition remains elusive. In mice consuming a Western diet, genetic ablation of the mitochondrial Mg2+ channel Mrs2 prevents weight gain, enhances mitochondrial activity, decreases fat accumulation in the liver, and causes prominent browning of white adipose. Mrs2 deficiency restrains citrate efflux from the mitochondria, making it unavailable to support de novo lipogenesis. As citrate is an endogenous Mg2+ chelator, this may represent an adaptive response to a perceived deficit of the cation. Transcriptional profiling of liver and white adipose reveals higher expression of genes involved in glycolysis, β-oxidation, thermogenesis, and HIF-1α-targets, in Mrs2−/− mice that are further enhanced under Western-diet-associated metabolic stress. Thus, lowering mMg2+ promotes metabolism and dampens diet-induced obesity and metabolic syndrome. Graphical abstract Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2023.112155
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    Costs of parthenogenesis on growth and longevity in ex situ zebra sharks Stegostoma tigrinum
    (Endangered Species Research, 2023-02-16) Adams, Lance; Lyons, Kady; Monday, Janet; Larkin, Elizabeth; Wyffels, Jennifer
    The zebra shark Stegostoma tigrinum, a popular aquarium fish, is an endangered species that is known to readily reproduce both sexually and through facultative parthenogenesis while in human care. Artificial insemination trials that took place between 2011 and 2013 resulted in the hatching of 2 sexually produced (herein heterozygotes) and 10 parthenogenetic sharks that allowed for a retrospective comparison of growth, feeding and longevity between offspring produced from 2 distinct reproductive modes. Parthenogenetic offspring were generally smaller at hatch than their heterozygous counterparts and, after the first several months post-hatch, failed to increase in mass and length at the same rate as heterozygotes. Parthenogenetic offspring exhibited non-normal swimming behaviors such as spiraling, spy hopping and head standing, which may have been correlated with a gradual decline in the ability of some sharks to properly suction feed. Median lifespan for the parthenotes was 1.05 yr (range: 0.27-6.64 yr); one of the heterozygotes lived to 2.37 yr of age, and the other was alive at the time of this writing in August 2022 and had reached reproductive maturity. By contrast, the 2 longest surviving parthenotes perished just prior to reaching sexual maturity (~5.5 and ~6.5 yr). Parthenogenesis has been documented among ex situ S. tigrinum maintained in aquariums across the globe, and this study demonstrates substantial negative costs to fitness in parthenogenetic offspring compared with their heterozygous siblings. The reduced fitness of parthenotes has implications for managing populations in human care as well as for in situ conservation efforts.
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    Transcriptomic Signature of the Simulated Microgravity Response in Caenorhabditis elegans and Comparison to Spaceflight Experiments
    (Cells, 2023-01-10) Çelen, İrem; Jayasinghe, Aroshan; Doh, Jung H.; Sabanayagam, Chandran R.
    Given the growing interest in human exploration of space, it is crucial to identify the effects of space conditions on biological processes. Here, we analyze the transcriptomic response of Caenorhabditis elegans to simulated microgravity and observe the maintained transcriptomic response after returning to ground conditions for four, eight, and twelve days. We show that 75% of the simulated microgravity-induced changes on gene expression persist after returning to ground conditions for four days while most of these changes are reverted after twelve days. Our results from integrative RNA-seq and mass spectrometry analyses suggest that simulated microgravity affects longevity-regulating insulin/IGF-1 and sphingolipid signaling pathways. Finally, we identified 118 genes that are commonly differentially expressed in simulated microgravity- and space-exposed worms. Overall, this work provides insight into the effect of microgravity on biological systems during and after exposure.
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