JoVE Logo
Faculty Resource Center

Sign In

Summary

Abstract

Introduction

Protocol

Representative Results

Discussion

Acknowledgements

Materials

References

Biochemistry

Visualization and Quantification of TGFβ/BMP/SMAD Signaling under Different Fluid Shear Stress Conditions using Proximity-Ligation-Assay

Published: September 14th, 2021

DOI:

10.3791/62608

1Institute for Chemistry and Biochemistry, Freie Universität Berlin, 2International Max-Planck Research School for Biology and Computation

Here, we establish a protocol to simultaneously visualize and analyze multiple SMAD complexes using proximity ligation assay (PLA) in endothelial cells exposed to pathological and physiological fluid shear stress conditions.

Transforming Growth Factor β (TGFβ)/Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) signaling is tightly regulated and balanced during the development and homeostasis of the vasculature system Therefore, deregulation in this signaling pathway results in severe vascular pathologies, such as pulmonary artery hypertension, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, and atherosclerosis. Endothelial cells (ECs), as the innermost layer of blood vessels, are constantly exposed to fluid shear stress (SS). Abnormal patterns of fluid SS have been shown to enhance TGFβ/BMP signaling, which, together with other stimuli, induce atherogenesis. In relation to this, atheroprone, low laminar SS was found to enhance TGFβ/BMP signaling while atheroprotective, high laminar SS, diminishes this signaling. To efficiently analyze the activation of these pathways, we designed a workflow to investigate the formation of transcription factor complexes under low laminar SS and high laminar SS conditions using a commercially available pneumatic pump system and proximity ligation assay (PLA).

Active TGFβ/BMP-signaling requires the formation of trimeric SMAD complexes consisting of two regulatory SMADs (R-SMAD); SMAD2/3 and SMAD1/5/8 for TGFβ and BMP signaling, respectively) with a common mediator SMAD (co-SMAD; SMAD4). Using PLA targeting different subunits of the trimeric SMAD-complex, i.e., either R-SMAD/co-SMAD or R-SMAD/R-SMAD, the formation of active SMAD transcription factor complexes can be measured quantitatively and spatially using fluorescence microscopy.

The usage of flow slides with 6 small parallel channels, that can be connected in series, allows for the investigation of the transcription factor complex formation and inclusion of necessary controls.

The workflow explained here can be easily adapted for studies targeting the proximity of SMADs to other transcription factors or to transcription factor complexes other than SMADs, in different fluid SS conditions. The workflow presented here shows a quick and effective way to study the fluid SS induced TGFβ/BMP signaling in ECs, both quantitatively and spatially.

Proteins of the transforming growth factors beta (TGFβ) superfamily are pleiotropic cytokines with a variety of members, including TGFβs, bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), and Activins1,2. Ligand binding induces the formation of receptor oligomers leading to the phosphorylation and, thereby, activation of cytosolic regulatory SMAD (R-SMAD). Depending on the sub-family of ligands, different R-SMADs are activated1,2. While TGFβs and Activins mainly induce phosphorylation of SMAD2/3, BMPs induce SMAD1/5/8 phosphorylation. However, there a....

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

1. Cell culture and fluid shear stress exposure

NOTE: Human umbilical vein ECs (HUVECs) were used as an example to study SS induced interaction of SMADs. The protocol described below can be applied to every SS responsive cell type.

  1. Coat 6-channel slide with 0.1% porcine skin gelatin in PBS for 30 min at 37 °C.
  2. Seed HUVECs in pre-coated 6-channel slides at a density of 2.5 x 106 cells per mL in 30 µL of M199 full medium.
    NOTE: For further inform.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

We have previously used PLA to detect interactions of different SMAD proteins3 and analyzed shear stress induced changes in SMAD phosphorylation28.

Here, both methods were combined with the protocol described above. HUVECs were subjected to shear stress of 1 dyn/cm2 and 30 dyn/cm2 and analyzed for interactions of SMAD transcription factors. We show that, when compared to the high shear stress (30 dyn/cm2), the low.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

The PLA based protocol described here offers an efficient way to determine close proximity of two proteins (e.g., their direct interaction) in ECs exposed to shear stress with quantitative and spatial resolution. By using flow slides with multiple parallel channels, several different protein interactions can be examined at the same time in cells under identical mechanical conditions. In contrast, custom-build flow chamber systems often make use of a single channel that is built around a glass coverslip, which would allow.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

We thank Dr. Maria Reichenbach and Dr. Christian Hiepen for their support on the flow-set up system and Eleanor Fox and Yunyun Xiao for critically reading the manuscript. P-L.M. was funded by the international Max Planck Research School IMPRS-Biology and Computation (IMPRS-BAC). PK received funding by the DFG-SFB1444. Figure 1 was created using BioRender.

....

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

Name Company Catalog Number Comments
µ-Slide VI 0.4 ibidi 80606 6-channel slide
Ammonium Chloride Carl Roth K298.1 Quenching
Bovine Serum Albumin Carl Roth 8076.4 Blocking
DAPI Sigma Aldrich/ Merck D9542 Stain DNA/Nuclei
DPBS PAN Biotech P04-53500 PBS
Duolink In Situ Detection Reagents Green Sigma Aldrich/ Merck DUO92014 PLA kit containing Ligase, ligation buffer, polymerase and amplification buffer (with green labeled oligonucleotides)
Duolink In Situ PLA Probe Anti-Mouse MINUS Sigma Aldrich/ Merck DUO92004 MINUS probe
Duolink In Situ PLA Probe Anti-Rabbit PLUS Sigma Aldrich/ Merck DUO92002 PLUS probe
Duolink In Situ Wash Buffers, Fluorescence Sigma Aldrich/ Merck DUO82049 PLA wash buffers A and B
Endothelial Cell Growth Supplement Corning supplement for medium (ECGS)
Fetal calf Serum supplement for medium
FIJI Image Analysis software
Formaldehyde solution 4% buffered KLINIPATH/VWR VWRK4186.BO1 PFA
Full medium M199 basal medium +20 % FCS +1 % P/S + 2 nM L-Glu +  25 µg/mL Hep +   50 µg/mL ECGS
Gelatin from porcine skin, Type A Sigma Aldrich G2500 Use 0.1% in PBS for coating of flow channels
GraphPad Prism v.7 GarphPad Statistical Program used for the Plots and statistical calculations
Heparin sodium salt from porcine intestinal mucosa Sigma Aldrich H4784-250MG supplement for medium (Hep)
HUVECs
ibidi Mounting Medium ibidi 50001 Liquid mounting medium
ibidi Pump System ibidi 10902 pneumatic pump
Leica TCS SP8 Leica confocal microscope
L-Glutamin 200mM PAN Biotech P04-80100 supplement for medium (L-Glu)
Medium 199 Sigma Aldrich M2154 Base medium
mouse anti- SMAD1 Antibody Abcam ab53745 Suited for PLA
mouse anti- SMAD2/3 Antibody BD Bioscience 610843 Not suited for PLA in combination with CST 9515
mousee anti- SMAD4 Antibody Sanata Cruz Biotechnology sc-7966 Suited for PLA
Penicillin 10.000U/ml /Streptomycin 10mg/ml PAN Biotech P06-07100 supplement for medium (P/S)
Perfusion Set WHITE ibidi 10963 Tubings used for 1 dyn/cm2
Perfusion Set YELLOW and GREEN ibidi 10964 Tubings used for 30 dyn/cm2
rabbit anti- phospho SMAD1/5 Antibody Cell Signaling Technologies 9516 Suited for PLA
rabbit anti- SMAD2/3 XP Antibody Cell Signaling Technologies 8685 Suited for PLA
rabbit anti- SMAD4 Antibody Cell Signaling Technologies 9515 Not suited for PLA in combination with BD 610843
Serial Connector for µ-Slides ibidi 10830 serial connection tubes
Triton X-100 Carl Roth 6683.1 Permeabilization

  1. Yadin, D., Knaus, P., Mueller, T. D. Structural insights into BMP receptors: Specificity, activation and inhibition. Cytokine and Growth Factor Reviews. 27, 13-34 (2016).
  2. Sieber, C., Kopf, J., Hiepen, C., Knaus, P. Recent advances in BMP receptor signaling. Cytokine and Growth Factor Reviews. 20 (5-6), 343-355 (2009).
  3. Hiepen, C., et al. BMPR2 acts as a gatekeeper to protect endothelial cells from increased TGFβ responses and altered cell mechanics. PLoS Biology. 17 (12), 3000557 (2019).
  4. Hildebrandt, S., et al. ActivinA induced SMAD1/5 Signaling in an iPSC derived EC model of Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP) can be rescued by the drug candidate saracatinib. Stem Cell Reviews and Reports. , (2021).
  5. Goumans, M. J., et al. Balancing the activation state of the endothelium via two distinct TGF-beta type I receptors. The EMBO Journal. 21 (7), 1743-1753 (2002).
  6. Goumans, M. J., et al. Activin receptor-like kinase (ALK)1 is an antagonistic mediator of lateral TGFbeta/ALK5 signaling. Molecular Cell. 12 (4), 817-828 (2003).
  7. Daly, A. C., Randall, R. A., Hill, C. S. Transforming growth factor beta-induced Smad1/5 phosphorylation in epithelial cells is mediated by novel receptor complexes and is essential for anchorage-independent growth. Molecular and Cellular Biology. 28 (22), 6889-6902 (2008).
  8. Ramachandran, A., et al. TGF-β uses a novel mode of receptor activation to phosphorylate SMAD1/5 and induce epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. eLife. 7, 31756 (2018).
  9. Flanders, K. C., et al. Brightfield proximity ligation assay reveals both canonical and mixed transforming growth factor-β/bone morphogenetic protein Smad signaling complexes in tissue sections. The Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry : The Official Journal of The Histochemistry Society. 62 (12), 846-863 (2014).
  10. Miyazono, K., Maeda, S., Imamura, T., Dijke, P. T., Heldin, C. -. H. . Smad Signal Transduction: Smads in Proliferation, Differentiation and Disease. , 277-293 (2006).
  11. Goumans, M. J., Zwijsen, A., Ten Dijke, P., Bailly, S. Bone morphogenetic proteins in vascular homeostasis and disease. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology. 10 (2), 031989 (2018).
  12. Cai, J., Pardali, E., Sánchez-Duffhues, G., ten Dijke, P. BMP signaling in vascular diseases. FEBS Letters. 586 (14), 1993-2002 (2012).
  13. Cunha, S. I., Magnusson, P. U., Dejana, E., Lampugnani, M. G. Deregulated TGF-β/BMP signaling in vascular malformations. Circulation research. 121 (8), 981-999 (2017).
  14. MacCarrick, G., et al. Loeys-Dietz syndrome: a primer for diagnosis and management. Genetics in Medicine : An Official Journal of the American College of Medical Genetics. 16 (8), 576-587 (2014).
  15. Baeyens, N., Bandyopadhyay, C., Coon, B. G., Yun, S., Schwartz, M. A. Endothelial fluid shear stress sensing in vascular health and disease. The Journal of Clinical Investigation. 126 (3), 821-828 (2016).
  16. Min, E., et al. Activation of Smad 2/3 signaling by low shear stress mediates artery inward remodeling. bioRxiv. , 691980 (2019).
  17. Zhou, J., et al. BMP receptor-integrin interaction mediates responses of vascular endothelial Smad1/5 and proliferation to disturbed flow. Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis. 11 (4), 741-755 (2013).
  18. Zhou, J., et al. Force-specific activation of Smad1/5 regulates vascular endothelial cell cycle progression in response to disturbed flow. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 109 (20), 7770-7775 (2012).
  19. van Dijk, R. A., et al. Visualizing TGF-β and BMP signaling in human atherosclerosis: A histological evaluation based on Smad activation. Histology and Histopathology. 27 (3), 387-396 (2012).
  20. Derwall, M., et al. Inhibition of bone morphogenetic protein signaling reduces vascular calcification and atherosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 32 (3), 613-622 (2012).
  21. Fredriksson, S., et al. Protein detection using proximity-dependent DNA ligation assays. Nature Biotechnology. 20 (5), 473-477 (2002).
  22. Söderberg, O., et al. Direct observation of individual endogenous protein complexes in situ by proximity ligation. Nature Methods. 3 (12), 995-1000 (2006).
  23. Alam, M. S. Proximity Ligation Assay (PLA). Current Protocols in Immunology. 123 (1), 58 (2018).
  24. Application Note 03: Growing Cells in µ-Channels. ibidi Available from: https://ibidi.com/img/cms/support/AN/AN03_Growing_cells.pdf (2012)
  25. Application Note 13: HUVECs under perfusion. ibidi Available from: https://ibidi.com/img/cms/support/AN/AN13_HUVECs_under_perfusion.pdf (2019)
  26. ibidi. Application Note 31: Instructions µ-Slide VI 0.4. ibidi. , (2013).
  27. Schindelin, J., et al. Fiji: an open-source platform for biological-image analysis. Nature Methods. 9 (7), 676-682 (2012).
  28. Reichenbach, M., et al. Differential impact of fluid shear stress and YAP/TAZ on BMP/TGF-β induced osteogenic target genes. Advanced Biology. 5 (2), 2000051 (2021).
  29. Hiepen, C., Mendez, P. L., Knaus, P. It takes two to tango: Endothelial TGFβ/BMP signaling crosstalk with mechanobiology. Cells. 9 (9), 1965 (2020).

This article has been published

Video Coming Soon

JoVE Logo

Privacy

Terms of Use

Policies

Research

Education

ABOUT JoVE

Copyright © 2024 MyJoVE Corporation. All rights reserved