Timme-Laragy Alicia R.

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Alicia R.

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  • Preprint
    Nrf2 and Nrf2-related proteins in development and developmental toxicity : insights from studies in zebrafish (Danio rerio)
    ( 2015-06-15) Hahn, Mark E. ; Timme-Laragy, Alicia R. ; Karchner, Sibel I. ; Stegeman, John J.
    Oxidative stress is an important mechanism of chemical toxicity, contributing to developmental toxicity and teratogenesis as well as to cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and diabetic embryopathy. Developing animals are especially sensitive to effects of chemicals that disrupt the balance of processes generating reactive species and oxidative stress, and those anti-oxidant defenses that protect against oxidative stress. The expression and inducibility of anti-oxidant defenses through activation of NFE2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and related proteins is an essential process affecting the susceptibility to oxidants, but the complex interactions of Nrf2 in determining embryonic response to oxidants and oxidative stress are only beginning to be understood. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an established model in developmental biology and now also in developmental toxicology and redox signaling. Here we review the regulation of genes involved in protection against oxidative stress in developing vertebrates, with a focus on Nrf2 and related cap’n’collar (CNC)-basic-leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factors. Vertebrate animals including zebrafish share Nfe2, Nrf1, Nrf2, and Nrf3 as well as a core set of genes that respond to oxidative stress, contributing to the value of zebrafish as a model system with which to investigate the mechanisms involved in regulation of redox signaling and the response to oxidative stress during embryolarval development. Moreover, studies in zebrafish have revealed nrf and keap1 gene duplications that provide an opportunity to dissect multiple functions of vertebrate NRF genes, including multiple sensing mechanisms involved in chemical-specific effects.
  • Article
    Biological effects of 6-formylindolo[3,2-b]carbazole (FICZ) in vivo are enhanced by loss of CYP1A function in an Ahr2-dependent manner
    (Elsevier, 2016-04-22) Wincent, Emma ; Kubota, Akira ; Timme-Laragy, Alicia R. ; Jonsson, Maria E. ; Hahn, Mark E. ; Stegeman, John J.
    6-Formylindolo[3,2-b]carbazole (FICZ) is a potent aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) agonist that is efficiently metabolized by AHR-regulated cytochrome P4501 enzymes. FICZ is a proposed physiological AHR ligand that induces its own degradation as part of a regulatory negative feedback loop. In vitro studies in cells show that CYP1 inhibition in the presence of FICZ results in enhanced AHR activation, suggesting that FICZ accumulates in the cell when its metabolism is blocked. We used zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos to investigate the in vivo effects of FICZ when CYP1A is knocked down or inhibited. Embryos were injected with morpholino antisense oligonucleotides targeting CYP1A (CYP1A-MO), Ahr2, or a combination of both. FICZ exposure of non-injected embryos or embryos injected with control morpholino had little effect. In CYP1A-MO-injected embryos, however, FICZ dramatically increased mortality, incidence and severity of pericardial edema and circulation failure, reduced hatching frequency, blocked swim bladder inflation, and strongly potentiated expression of Ahr2-regulated genes. These effects were substantially reduced in embryos with a combined knockdown of Ahr2 and CYP1A, indicating that the toxicity was mediated at least partly by Ahr2. Co-exposure to the CYP1 inhibitor alpha-naphthoflavone (αNF) and FICZ had similar effects as the combination of CYP1A-MO and FICZ. HPLC analysis of FICZ-exposed embryos showed increased levels of FICZ after concomitant CYP1A-MO injection or αNF co-exposure. Together, these results show that a functioning CYP1/AHR feedback loop is crucial for regulation of AHR signaling by a potential physiological ligand in vivo and further highlights the role of CYP1 enzymes in regulating biological effects of FICZ.
  • Article
    Developmental expression of the Nfe2-related factor (Nrf) transcription factor family in the zebrafish, Danio rerio
    (Public Library of Science, 2013-10-24) Williams, Larissa M. ; Timme-Laragy, Alicia R. ; Goldstone, Jared V. ; McArthur, Andrew G. ; Stegeman, John J. ; Smolowitz, Roxanna M. ; Hahn, Mark E.
    Transcription factors in the CNC-bZIP family (NFE2, NRF1, NRF2 and NRF3) regulate genes with a wide range of functions in response to both physiological and exogenous signals, including those indicating changes in cellular redox status. Given their role in helping to maintain cellular homeostasis, it is imperative to understand the expression, regulation, and function of CNC-bZIP genes during embryonic development. We explored the expression and function of six nrf genes (nfe2, nrf1a, nrf1b, nrf2a, nrf2b, and nrf3) using zebrafish embryos as a model system. Analysis by microarray and quantitative RT-PCR showed that genes in the nrf family were expressed throughout development from oocytes to larvae. The spatial expression of nrf3 suggested a role in regulating the development of the brain, brachia and pectoral fins. Knock-down by morpholino anti-sense oligonucleotides suggested that none of the genes were necessary for embryonic viability, but nfe2 was required for proper cellular organization in the pneumatic duct and subsequent swim bladder function, as well as for proper formation of the otic vesicles. nrf genes were induced by the oxidant tert-butylhydroperoxide, and some of this response was regulated through family members Nrf2a and Nrf2b. Our results provide a foundation for understanding the role of nrf genes in normal development and in regulating the response to oxidative stress in vertebrate embryos.
  • Preprint
    Regulation of Ahr signaling by Nrf2 during development : effects of Nrf2a deficiency on PCB126 embryotoxicity in zebrafish (Danio rerio)
    ( 2015-06) Rousseau, Michelle E. ; Sant, Karilyn E. ; Borden, Linnea R. ; Franks, Diana G. ; Hahn, Mark E. ; Timme-Laragy, Alicia R.
    The embryotoxicity of co-planar PCBs is regulated by the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (Ahr), and has been reported to involve oxidative stress. Ahr participates in crosstalk with another transcription factor, Nfe2l2, or Nrf2. Nrf2 binds to antioxidant response elements to regulate the adaptive response to oxidative stress. To explore aspects of the crosstalk between Nrf2 and Ahr and its impact on development, we used zebrafish (Danio rerio) with a mutated DNA binding domain in Nrf2a (nrf2afh318/fh318), rendering these embryos more sensitive to oxidative stress. Embryos were exposed to 2 nM or 5 nM PCB126 at 24 hours post fertilization (prim-5 stage of pharyngula) and examined for gene expression and morphology at 4 days post fertilization (dpf; protruding –mouth stage). Nrf2a mutant eleutheroembryos were more sensitive to PCB126 toxicity at 4 dpf, and in the absence of treatment also displayed some subtle developmental differences from wildtype embryos, including delayed inflation of the swim bladder and smaller yolk sacs. We used qPCR to measure changes in expression of the nrf gene family, keap1a, keap1b, the ahr gene family, and known target genes. cyp1a induction by PCB126 was enhanced in the Nrf2a mutants (156-fold in wildtypes vs. 228-fold in mutants exposed to 5 nM). Decreased expression of heme oxygenase (decycling) 1 (hmox1) in the Nrf2a mutants was accompanied by increased nrf2b expression. Target genes of Nrf2a and AhR2, NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (nqo1) and glutathione S-transferase, alpha-like (gsta1), showed a 2-5-fold increase in expression in the Nrf2a mutants as compared to wildtype. This study elucidates the interaction between two important transcription factor pathways in the developmental toxicity of co-planar PCBs.
  • Preprint
    Glutathione redox dynamics and expression of glutathione-related genes in the developing embryo
    ( 2013-06) Timme-Laragy, Alicia R. ; Goldstone, Jared V. ; Imhoff, Barry R. ; Stegeman, John J. ; Hahn, Mark E. ; Hansen, Jason M.
    Embryonic development involves dramatic changes in cell proliferation and differentiation that must be highly coordinated and tightly regulated. Cellular redox balance is critical for cell fate decisions, but it is susceptible to disruption by endogenous and exogenous sources of oxidative stress. The most abundant endogenous non-protein antioxidant defense molecule is the tri-peptide glutathione (ϒ-glutamylcysteinylglycine, GSH), but the ontogeny of GSH concentration and redox state during early life stages is poorly understood. Here, we describe the GSH redox dynamics during embryonic and early larval development (0-5 days post-fertilization) in the zebrafish (Danio rerio), a model vertebrate embryo. We measured reduced and oxidized glutathione (GSH, GSSG) using HPLC, and calculated the whole embryo total glutathione (GSHT) concentrations and redox potentials (Eh) over 0-120 hours of zebrafish development (including mature oocytes, fertilization, mid-blastula transition, gastrulation, somitogenesis, pharyngula, pre-hatch embryos, and hatched eleutheroembryos). GSHT concentration doubled between 12 hours post fertilization (hpf) and hatching. The GSH Eh increased, becoming more oxidizing during the first 12 h, and then oscillated around -190 mV through organogenesis, followed by a rapid change, associated with hatching, to a more negative (more reducing) Eh (-220 mV). After hatching, Eh stabilized and remained steady through 120 hpf. The dynamic changes in GSH redox status and concentration defined discrete windows of development: primary organogenesis, organ differentiation, and larval growth. We identified the set of zebrafish genes involved in the synthesis, utilization, and recycling of GSH, including several novel paralogs, and measured how expression of these genes changes during development. Ontogenic changes in the expression of GSH-related genes support the hypothesis that GSH redox state is tightly regulated early in development. This study provides a foundation for understanding the redox regulation of developmental signaling and investigating the effects of oxidative stress during embryogenesis.
  • Preprint
    Antioxidant responses and NRF2 in synergistic developmental toxicity of PAHs in zebrafish
    ( 2008-12) Timme-Laragy, Alicia R. ; Van Tiem, Lindsey A. ; Linney, Elwood A. ; Di Giulio, Richard T.
    Early piscine life-stages are sensitive to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure, which can cause pericardial effusion and craniofacial malformations. We previously reported that certain combinations of PAHs cause synergistic developmental toxicity, as observed with co-exposure to the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) agonist β-naphthoflavone (BNF) and cytochrome P4501A inhibitor α-naphthoflavone (ANF). Herein, we hypothesized that oxidative stress is a component of this toxicity. We examined induction of antioxidant genes in zebrafish embryos (Danio rerio) exposed to BNF or ANF individually, a BNF+ANF combination, and a pro-oxidant positive control, tert-butylhydroperoxide (tBOOH). We measured total glutathione, and attempted to modulate deformities using the glutathione synthesis inhibitor buthionine sulfoxamine (BSO) and increase glutathione pools with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC). In addition, we used a morpholino to knockdown expression of the antioxidant response element transcription factor NRF2 to determine if this would alter gene expression or increase deformity severity. BNF+ANF co-exposure significantly increased expressions of superoxide dismutase1 and2, glutathione peroxidase 1, pi class glutathione-s-transferase, and glutamate cysteine-ligase to a greater extent than tBOOH, BNF, or ANF alone. BSO pretreatment decreased some glutathione levels, but did not worsen deformities, nor did NAC diminish toxicity. Knockdown of NRF2 increased mortality following tBOOH challenge, prevented significant upregulation of antioxidant genes following both tBOOH and BNF+ANF exposures, and exacerbated BNF+ANF‐related deformities. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that antioxidant responses are a component of PAH synergistic developmental toxicity, and that NRF2 is protective against prooxidant and PAH challenges during development.
  • Article
    The role of Nrf1 and Nrf2 in the regulation of glutathione and redox dynamics in the developing zebrafish embryo
    (Elsevier, 2017-05-30) Sant, Karilyn E. ; Hansen, Jason M. ; Williams, Larissa M. ; Tran, Nancy L. ; Goldstone, Jared V. ; Stegeman, John J. ; Hahn, Mark E. ; Timme-Laragy, Alicia R.
    Redox signaling is important for embryogenesis, guiding pathways that govern processes crucial for embryo patterning, including cell polarization, proliferation, and apoptosis. Exposure to pro-oxidants during this period can be deleterious, resulting in altered physiology, teratogenesis, later-life diseases, or lethality. We previously reported that the glutathione antioxidant defense system becomes increasingly robust, including a doubling of total glutathione and dynamic shifts in the glutathione redox potential at specific stages during embryonic development in the zebrafish, Danio rerio. However, the mechanisms underlying these changes are unclear, as is the effectiveness of the glutathione system in ameliorating oxidative insults to the embryo at different stages. Here, we examine how the glutathione system responds to the model pro-oxidants tert-butylhydroperoxide and tert-butylhydroquinone at different developmental stages, and the role of Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf) proteins in regulating developmental glutathione redox status. Embryos became increasingly sensitive to pro-oxidants after 72 h post-fertilization (hpf), after which the duration of the recovery period for the glutathione redox potential was increased. To determine whether the doubling of glutathione or the dynamic changes in glutathione redox potential are mediated by zebrafish paralogs of Nrf transcription factors, morpholino oligonucleotides were used to knock down translation of Nrf1 and Nrf2 (nrf1a, nrf1b, nrf2a, nrf2b). Knockdown of Nrf1a or Nrf1b perturbed glutathione redox state until 72 hpf. Knockdown of Nrf2 paralogs also perturbed glutathione redox state but did not significantly affect the response of glutathione to pro-oxidants. Nrf1b morphants had decreased gene expression of glutathione synthesis enzymes, while hsp70 increased in Nrf2b morphants. This work demonstrates that despite having a more robust glutathione system, embryos become more sensitive to oxidative stress later in development, and that neither Nrf1 nor Nrf2 alone appear to be essential for the response and recovery of glutathione to oxidative insults.
  • Article
    The transcriptional response to oxidative stress during vertebrate development : effects of tert-butylhydroquinone and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin
    (Public Library of Science, 2014-11-17) Hahn, Mark E. ; McArthur, Andrew G. ; Karchner, Sibel I. ; Franks, Diana G. ; Jenny, Matthew J. ; Timme-Laragy, Alicia R. ; Stegeman, John J. ; Woodin, Bruce R. ; Cipriano, Michael J. ; Linney, Elwood A.
    Oxidative stress is an important mechanism of chemical toxicity, contributing to teratogenesis and to cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Developing animals may be especially sensitive to chemicals causing oxidative stress. The developmental expression and inducibility of anti-oxidant defenses through activation of NF-E2-related factor 2 (NRF2) affect susceptibility to oxidants, but the embryonic response to oxidants is not well understood. To assess the response to chemically mediated oxidative stress and how it may vary during development, zebrafish embryos, eleutheroembryos, or larvae at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 days post fertilization (dpf) were exposed to DMSO (0.1%), tert-butylhydroquinone (tBHQ; 10 µM) or 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD; 2 nM) for 6 hr. Transcript abundance was assessed by real-time qRT-PCR and microarray. qRT-PCR showed strong (4- to 5-fold) induction of gstp1 by tBHQ as early as 1 dpf. tBHQ also induced gclc (2 dpf), but not sod1, nqo1, or cyp1a. TCDD induced cyp1a but none of the other genes. Microarray analysis showed that 1477 probes were significantly different among the DMSO-, tBHQ-, and TCDD-treated eleutheroembryos at 4 dpf. There was substantial overlap between genes induced in developing zebrafish and a set of marker genes induced by oxidative stress in mammals. Genes induced by tBHQ in 4-dpf zebrafish included those involved in glutathione synthesis and utilization, signal transduction, and DNA damage/stress response. The strong induction of hsp70 determined by microarray was confirmed by qRT-PCR and by use of transgenic zebrafish expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) under control of the hsp70 promoter. Genes strongly down-regulated by tBHQ included mitfa, providing a molecular explanation for the loss of pigmentation in tBHQ-exposed embryos. These data show that zebrafish embryos are responsive to oxidative stress as early as 1 dpf, that responsiveness varies with development in a gene-specific manner, and that the oxidative stress response is substantially conserved in vertebrate animals.