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Cell replacement using stem cells is a promising therapeutic approach to treat degenerative motor neuron (MN) disorders, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal cord injury. Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are a desirable cell source for autologous cell replacement therapy to treat nervous system injury due to their(More)
Autophagy-related 1 (Atg1)/Unc-51-like protein kinases (ULKs) are evolutionarily conserved proteins that play critical physiological roles in controlling autophagy, cell growth and neurodevelopment. RB1-inducible coiled-coil 1 (RB1CC1), also known as PTK2/FAK family-interacting protein of 200 kDa (FIP200) is a recently discovered binding partner of ULK1.(More)
Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are considered a desirable cell source for autologous cell transplantation therapy to treat nervous system injury due to their ability to differentiate into specific cell types and render the tissue microenvironment more favorable for tissue repair by secreting various growth factors. To potentiate(More)
Chronic activation of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) and p70 S6 kinase (S6K) in response to hypernutrition contributes to obesity-associated metabolic pathologies, including hepatosteatosis and insulin resistance. Sestrins are stress-inducible proteins that activate AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and suppress mTORC1-S6K activity, but(More)
Autophagy deregulation during obesity contributes to the pathogenesis of diverse metabolic disorders. However, without understanding the molecular mechanism of obesity interference in autophagy, development of therapeutic strategies for correcting such defects in obese individuals is challenging. Here we show that a chronic increase of the cytosolic calcium(More)
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have demonstrated a measurable therapeutic effect following transplantation into animal models of spinal cord injury. However, the mechanism(s) by which transplanted cells promote nerve regeneration and/or functional recovery remains indeterminate. Several studies have suggested that MSCs promote tissue repair via secretion of(More)
Sestrins are stress-inducible metabolic regulators that suppress a wide range of age- and obesity-associated pathologies, many of which are due to mTORC1 overactivation. Upon various stresses, the Sestrins inhibit mTORC1 activity through an indirect mechanism that is still unclear. GATORs are recently identified protein complexes that regulate the activity(More)
Upon prolonged endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, cells attenuate protein translation to prevent accumulation of unfolded proteins. Here we show that Sestrin2 is critical for this process. Sestrin2 expression is induced by an ER stress-activated transcription factor CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein beta (c/EBPβ). Once induced, Sestrin2 halts protein synthesis(More)
Uncoupling protein 1 (Ucp1), which is localized in the mitochondrial inner membrane of mammalian brown adipose tissue (BAT), generates heat by uncoupling oxidative phosphorylation. Upon cold exposure or nutritional abundance, sympathetic neurons stimulate BAT to express Ucp1 to induce energy dissipation and thermogenesis. Accordingly, increased Ucp1(More)
Neurotrophin receptors utilize specific adaptor proteins to activate signaling pathways involved in various neuronal functions, such as neurite outgrowth and cytoskeletal remodeling. The Ankyrin-Repeat Rich Membrane Spanning (ARMS)/kinase D-interacting substrate-220 kDa (Kidins220) serves as a unique downstream adaptor protein of Trk receptor tyrosine(More)