Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

Levels of cyclin D bound to CDK4 that together activate genes involved in G1/S transition and inactivate cell cycle inhibitors via posttranslational modification. Primary corneal endothelial cells readily enter cellular (replicative) senescence, a process that limits cell division [35,36], and has been attributed to the activation of p53-target genes and upregulation of p21CIP1 and p16INK4 [37]. Replicative senescence of HCEn in vitro is highly dependent on donor age, with cells from older donors undergoing cell cycle arrest at earlier passages and expressing higher levels of p16INK4 and p21CIP1 [38]. In our study, HCEnC-21 and HCEnC-21T exhibited p16INK4 levels similar to those of primary cells, while cyclin D and CDK4 synthesis was upregulated, indicating that these factors are crucial in bypassing control mechanisms of cellular senescence, while maintaining an endothelial phenotype. Since the life span of HCEnC-21 and HCEnC-21T cells was extended without overexpression of oncogenes (such as HPV E6/E7 or SV40 large T antigen), the cells maintained baseline synthesis of p53 and readily upregulated phospho-p53 during oxidative stress, indicating the presence of pathways that control normal cellular stress response. This is advantageous for the study of molecular mechanisms of endothelial diseases such as Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy, which is one of the major causes for corneal transplantation in the elderly population and is caused by p53-dependent apoptosis of HCEn [11]. The disadvantage of our approach is that reliance on hTERT immortalization of a specific GNE 390 subpopulation of corneal endothelial cells might, in turn, diminish the likelihood ofFigure 3. Synthesis of cyclin D, CDK4, p16INK4 and p53 in HCEnC-21 and HCEnC-21T. (A) Analysis of p53 functionality. Oxidative stress was induced in confluent monolayers of HCEnC-21 and HCEnC-21T cells using 50 mM tert-Butyl-hydroperoxide for 1 hr. Cell extracts were then separated by SDS-PAGE and immunoblotted with antibodies against p53, phospho-p53 (serine-15), and b-actin. P53 was detected in extracts of both HCEnC-21 and HCEnC-21T and levels of phospho-p53 (activated p53) were increased upon induction of oxidative stress. E: earlier passages ,25. L: later passages .45. (B) Synthesis of G1 phase regulatory proteins. Cell extracts were run on SDS-polyacrylamide gels and immunoblotted with antibodies against cyclin D, CDK4, p16INK4 and b-actin. No changes in p16INK4 protein levels were detected. Cyclin D and CDK4 levels were increased in both, HCEnC-21 and HCEnC-21T compared to 21M. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051427.gComparison with stromal fibroblasts supports the distinct corneal endothelial expression profile of HCEnC-21 and HCEnC-21T cells.Functional Characterization of Barrier Integrity and Ion Pump FunctionThe corneal endothelial cell-cell junctions are known to form a “leaky” barrier, which allows paracellular nutrient diffusion into the cornea. In order to measure the barrier integrity of HCEnC-21 and HCEnC-21T cells, transendothelial resistance (TER) was determined. HCEn has been shown to establish a TER of 15?5 V*cm2 in vitro [33]. Figure 6A depicts the TER GDC-0941 measured in HCEnC-21 and HCEnC-21T cells over the course of 4.5 wk. After a steep initial increase during the first 10 days, TER gradually increased for the next 3 wk. After 3? wk, peak TER values measured between 15?8 V*cm2. No significant differences were detected between HCEnC-21 and HCEnC-21T, as well as between earlier.Levels of cyclin D bound to CDK4 that together activate genes involved in G1/S transition and inactivate cell cycle inhibitors via posttranslational modification. Primary corneal endothelial cells readily enter cellular (replicative) senescence, a process that limits cell division [35,36], and has been attributed to the activation of p53-target genes and upregulation of p21CIP1 and p16INK4 [37]. Replicative senescence of HCEn in vitro is highly dependent on donor age, with cells from older donors undergoing cell cycle arrest at earlier passages and expressing higher levels of p16INK4 and p21CIP1 [38]. In our study, HCEnC-21 and HCEnC-21T exhibited p16INK4 levels similar to those of primary cells, while cyclin D and CDK4 synthesis was upregulated, indicating that these factors are crucial in bypassing control mechanisms of cellular senescence, while maintaining an endothelial phenotype. Since the life span of HCEnC-21 and HCEnC-21T cells was extended without overexpression of oncogenes (such as HPV E6/E7 or SV40 large T antigen), the cells maintained baseline synthesis of p53 and readily upregulated phospho-p53 during oxidative stress, indicating the presence of pathways that control normal cellular stress response. This is advantageous for the study of molecular mechanisms of endothelial diseases such as Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy, which is one of the major causes for corneal transplantation in the elderly population and is caused by p53-dependent apoptosis of HCEn [11]. The disadvantage of our approach is that reliance on hTERT immortalization of a specific subpopulation of corneal endothelial cells might, in turn, diminish the likelihood ofFigure 3. Synthesis of cyclin D, CDK4, p16INK4 and p53 in HCEnC-21 and HCEnC-21T. (A) Analysis of p53 functionality. Oxidative stress was induced in confluent monolayers of HCEnC-21 and HCEnC-21T cells using 50 mM tert-Butyl-hydroperoxide for 1 hr. Cell extracts were then separated by SDS-PAGE and immunoblotted with antibodies against p53, phospho-p53 (serine-15), and b-actin. P53 was detected in extracts of both HCEnC-21 and HCEnC-21T and levels of phospho-p53 (activated p53) were increased upon induction of oxidative stress. E: earlier passages ,25. L: later passages .45. (B) Synthesis of G1 phase regulatory proteins. Cell extracts were run on SDS-polyacrylamide gels and immunoblotted with antibodies against cyclin D, CDK4, p16INK4 and b-actin. No changes in p16INK4 protein levels were detected. Cyclin D and CDK4 levels were increased in both, HCEnC-21 and HCEnC-21T compared to 21M. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051427.gComparison with stromal fibroblasts supports the distinct corneal endothelial expression profile of HCEnC-21 and HCEnC-21T cells.Functional Characterization of Barrier Integrity and Ion Pump FunctionThe corneal endothelial cell-cell junctions are known to form a “leaky” barrier, which allows paracellular nutrient diffusion into the cornea. In order to measure the barrier integrity of HCEnC-21 and HCEnC-21T cells, transendothelial resistance (TER) was determined. HCEn has been shown to establish a TER of 15?5 V*cm2 in vitro [33]. Figure 6A depicts the TER measured in HCEnC-21 and HCEnC-21T cells over the course of 4.5 wk. After a steep initial increase during the first 10 days, TER gradually increased for the next 3 wk. After 3? wk, peak TER values measured between 15?8 V*cm2. No significant differences were detected between HCEnC-21 and HCEnC-21T, as well as between earlier.