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  • 1
    In: Nature Communications, 2017, Vol.8
    Description: MicroRNAs (miRs) are small non-coding RNAs that post-transcriptionally control gene expression. Inhibition of miRs by antisense RNAs (antimiRs) might be a therapeutic option for many diseases, but systemic inhibition can have adverse effects. Here we show that light-activatable antimiRs efficiently and locally restricted target miR activity in vivo. We use an antimiR-92a and establish a therapeutic benefit in diabetic wound healing. AntimiR-92a is modified with photolabile protecting groups, so called 'cages'. Irradiation activates intradermally injected caged antimiR-92a without substantially affecting miR-92a expression in other organs. Light activation of caged antimiR-92a improves healing in diabetic mice to a similar extent as conventional antimiRs and derepresses the miR-92a targets Itga5 and Sirt1, thereby regulating wound cell proliferation and angiogenesis. These data show that light can be used to locally activate therapeutically active antimiRs in vivo.
    Keywords: Biology;
    ISSN: 2041-1723
    E-ISSN: 2041-1723
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Nat Commun, 2018, Vol.9(1), pp.236-236
    Description: Cutaneous wound healing is a complex process that aims to re-establish the original structure of the skin and its functions. Among other disorders, peripheral neuropathies are known to severely impair wound healing capabilities of the skin, revealing the importance of skin innervation for proper repair. Here, we report that peripheral glia are crucially involved in this process. Using a mouse model of wound healing, combined with in vivo fate mapping, we show that injury activates peripheral glia by promoting de-differentiation, cell-cycle re-entry and dissemination of the cells into the wound bed. Moreover, injury-activated glia upregulate the expression of many secreted factors previously associated with wound healing and promote myofibroblast differentiation by paracrine modulation of TGF-β signalling. Accordingly, depletion of these cells impairs epithelial proliferation and wound closure through contraction, while their expansion promotes myofibroblast formation. Thus, injury-activated glia and/or their secretome might have therapeutic potential in human wound healing disorders.
    Keywords: Article;
    ISSN: 2041-1723
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  • 3
    In: Nature Communications, 2013, Vol.4, p.1560
    Description: Aldara is a cream used for topical treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer, and is thought to act through stimulation of anti-tumour immunity. The active ingredient, imiquimod, has been shown to stimulate toll-like receptor 7. Aldara also induces psoriasis-like lesions when applied to naive murine skin, and as such is used as a mouse model for psoriasis. Here we find that in naive murine skin, Aldara induces inflammation largely independently of toll-like receptor 7. Surprisingly, inflammasome activation, keratinocyte death and interleukin 1 release also occur in response to the vehicle cream in the absence of imiquimod. We show that isostearic acid, a major component of the vehicle, promotes inflammasome activation in cultured keratinocytes, and so may contribute to the observed effects of Aldara on murine skin. Aldara therefore stimulates at least two immune pathways independently, and both imiquimod and vehicle are required for a full inflammatory response. Although it remains to be tested, it is possible that imiquimod-independent effects also contribute to the therapeutic efficacy of Aldara.
    Keywords: Biology;
    ISSN: 2041-1723
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  • 4
    In: Nature Communications, 2014, Vol.5
    Description: The Nrf2 transcription factor controls the expression of genes involved in the antioxidant defense system. Here, we identified Nrf2 as a novel regulator of desmosomes in the epidermis through the regulation of microRNAs. On Nrf2 activation, expression of miR-29a and miR-29b increases in cultured human keratinocytes and in mouse epidermis. Chromatin immunoprecipitation identified the Mir29ab1 and Mir29b2c genes as direct Nrf2 targets in keratinocytes. While binding of Nrf2 to the Mir29ab1 gene activates expression of miR-29a and -b, the Mir29b2c gene is silenced by DNA methylation. We identified desmocollin-2 (Dsc2) as a major target of Nrf2-induced miR-29s. This is functionally important, since Nrf2 activation in keratinocytes of transgenic mice causes structural alterations of epidermal desmosomes. Furthermore, the overexpression of miR-29a/b or knockdown of Dsc2 impairs the formation of hyper-adhesive desmosomes in keratinocytes, whereas Dsc2 overexpression has the opposite effect. These results demonstrate that a novel Nrf2-miR-29-Dsc2 axis controls desmosome function and cutaneous homeostasis.
    Keywords: Biology;
    ISSN: 2041-1723
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