Glycobiology and Extracellular Matrices
- The extracellular matrix is a master regulator of tissue homeostasis in health and disease. Here we examined how the small, leucine-rich, extracellular matrix proteoglycan decorin regulates cardiomyocyte metabolism during fasting in vivo. First, we validated in Dcn−/− mice that decorin plays an essential role in autophagy induced by fasting. High-throughput metabolomics analyses of cardiac tissue in Dcn−/− mice subjected to fasting revealed striking differences in the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway resulting in aberrant cardiac O-β-N-acetylglycosylation as compared with WT mice.
- We previously discovered that systemic delivery of decorin for treatment of breast carcinoma xenografts induces paternally expressed gene 3 (Peg3), an imprinted gene encoding a zinc finger transcription factor postulated to function as a tumor suppressor. Here we found that de novo expression of Peg3 increased Beclin 1 promoter activity and protein expression. This process required the full-length Peg3 as truncated mutants lacking either the N-terminal SCAN domain or the zinc fingers failed to translocate to the nucleus and promote Beclin 1 transcription.
- Endorepellin, the C-terminal domain of perlecan, is an angiostatic molecule that acts as a potent inducer of autophagy via its interaction with VEGFR2. In this study, we examined the effect of endorepellin on endothelial cells using atomic force microscopy. Soluble endorepellin caused morphological and biophysical changes such as an increase in cell surface roughness and cell height. Surprisingly, these changes were not accompanied by alterations in the endothelial cell elastic modulus. We discovered that endorepellin-induced autophagic flux led to co-localization of mammalian target of rapamycin with LC3-positive autophagosomes.