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Whalen, K, Reitzel AM, Hamdoun A.  2012.  Actin polymerization controls the activation of multidrug efflux at fertilization by translocation and fine-scale positioning of ABCB1 on microvilli. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 23:3663-3672.   10.1091/mbc.E12-06-0438   AbstractWebsite

Fertilization changes the structure and function of the cell surface. In sea urchins, these changes include polymerization of cortical actin and a coincident, switch-like increase in the activity of the multidrug efflux transporter ABCB1a. However, it is not clear how cortical reorganization leads to changes in membrane transport physiology. In this study, we used three-dimensional superresolution fluorescence microscopy to resolve the fine-scale movements of the transporter along polymerizing actin filaments, and we show that efflux activity is established after ABCB1a translocates to the tips of the microvilli. Inhibition of actin polymerization or bundle formation prevents tip localization, resulting in the patching of ABCB1a at the cell surface and decreased efflux activity. In contrast, enhanced actin polymerization promotes tip localization. Finally, interference with Rab11, a regulator of apical recycling, inhibits activation of efflux activity in embryos. Together our results show that actin-mediated, short-range traffic and positioning of transporters at the cell surface regulates multidrug efflux activity and highlight the multifaceted roles of microvilli in the spatial distribution of membrane proteins.

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Swartz, SZ, Reich AM, Oulhen N, Raz T, Milos PM, Campanale JP, Hamdoun A, Wessel GM.  2014.  Deadenylase depletion protects inherited mRNAs in primordial germ cells. Development. 141:3134-3142.   10.1242/dev.110395   AbstractWebsite

A crucial event in animal development is the specification of primordial germ cells (PGCs), which become the stem cells that create sperm and eggs. How PGCs are created provides a valuable paradigm for understanding stem cells in general. We find that the PGCs of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus exhibit broad transcriptional repression, yet enrichment for a set of inherited mRNAs. Enrichment of several germline determinants in the PGCs requires the RNA-binding protein Nanos to target the transcript that encodes CNOT6, a deadenylase, for degradation in the PGCs, thereby creating a stable environment for RNA. Misexpression of CNOT6 in the PGCs results in their failure to retain Seawi transcripts and Vasa protein. Conversely, broad knockdown of CNOT6 expands the domain of Seawi RNA as well as exogenous reporters. Thus, Nanos-dependent spatially restricted CNOT6 differential expression is used to selectively localize germline RNAs to the PGCs. Our findings support a 'time capsule' model of germline determination, whereby the PGCs are insulated from differentiation by retaining the molecular characteristics of the totipotent egg and early embryo.

Smital, T, Luckenbach T, Sauerborn R, Hamdoun AM, Vega RL, Epel D.  2004.  Emerging contaminants--pesticides, PPCPs, microbial degradation products and natural substances as inhibitors of multixenobiotic defense in aquatic organisms. Mutation research. 552:101-17.   10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2004.06.006   Abstract

The environmental presence of chemosensitizers or inhibitors of the multixenobiotic resistance (MXR) defense system in aquatic organisms could cause increase in intracellular accumulation and toxic effects of other xenobiotics normally effluxed by MXR transport proteins (P-glycoprotein (P-gps), MRPs). MXR inhibition with concomitant detrimental effects has been shown in several studies with aquatic organisms exposed to both model MXR inhibitors and environmental pollutants. The presence of MXR inhibitors has been demonstrated in environmental samples from polluted locations at concentrations that could abolish P-gp transport activity. However, it is not clear whether the inhibition observed after exposure to environmental samples is a result of saturation of MXR transport proteins by numerous substrates present in polluted waters or results from the presence of powerful MXR inhibitors. And are potent environmental MXR inhibitors natural or man-made chemicals? As a consequence of these uncertainties, no official action has been taken to monitor and control the release and presence of MXR inhibitors into aquatic environments. In this paper we present our new results addressing these critical questions. Ecotoxicological significance of MXR inhibition was supported in in vivo studies that demonstrated an increase in the production of mutagenic metabolites by mussels and an increase in the number of sea urchin embryos with apoptotic cells after exposure to model MXR inhibitors. We also demonstrated that MXR inhibitors are present among both conventional and emerging man-made pollutants: some pesticides and synthetic musk fragrances show extremely high MXR inhibitory potential at environmentally relevant concentrations. In addition, we emphasized the biological transformation of crude oil hydrocarbons into MXR inhibitors by oil-degrading bacteria, and the risk potentially caused by powerful natural MXR inhibitors produced by invasive species.

Shipp, LE, Hill RZ, Moy GW, Gokirmak T, Hamdoun A.  2015.  ABCC5 is required for cAMP-mediated hindgut invagination in sea urchin embryos. Development. 142:3537-3548.   10.1242/dev.126144   AbstractWebsite

ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are evolutionarily conserved proteins that pump diverse substrates across membranes. Many are known to efflux signaling molecules and are extensively expressed during development. However, the role of transporters in moving extracellular signals that regulate embryogenesis is largely unexplored. Here, we show that a mesodermal ABCC (MRP) transporter is necessary for endodermal gut morphogenesis in sea urchin embryos. This transporter, Sp-ABCC5a (C5a), is expressed in pigment cells and their precursors, which are a subset of the non-skeletogenic mesoderm (NSM) cells. C5a expression depends on Delta/Notch signaling from skeletogenic mesoderm and is downstream of Gcm in the aboral NSM gene regulatory network. Long-term imaging of development reveals that C5a knockdown embryos gastrulate, but similar to 90% develop a prolapse of the hindgut by the late prism stage (similar to 8 h after C5a protein expression normally peaks). Since C5a orthologs efflux cyclic nucleotides, and cAMP-dependent protein kinase (Sp-CAPK/PKA) is expressed in pigment cells, we examined whether C5a could be involved in gastrulation through cAMP transport. Consistent with this hypothesis, membrane-permeable pCPT-cAMP rescues the prolapse phenotype in C5a knockdown embryos, and causes archenteron hyper-invagination in control embryos. In addition, the cAMP-producing enzyme soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC) is expressed in pigment cells, and its inhibition impairs gastrulation. Together, our data support a model in which C5a transports sAC-derived cAMP from pigment cells to control late invagination of the hindgut. Little is known about the ancestral functions of ABCC5/MRP5 transporters, and this study reveals a novel role for these proteins in mesoderm-endoderm signaling during embryogenesis.

Shipp, LE, Hamdoun A.  2012.  ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter expression and localization in sea urchin development. Developmental Dynamics. 241:1111-1124.   10.1002/dvdy.23786   AbstractWebsite

Background: ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are membrane proteins that regulate intracellular concentrations of myriad compounds and ions. There are >100 ABC transporter predictions in the Strongylocentrotus purpuratus genome, including 40 annotated ABCB, ABCC, and ABCG multidrug efflux transporters. Despite the importance of multidrug transporters for protection and signaling, their expression patterns have not been characterized in deuterostome embryos. Results: Sea urchin embryos expressed 20 ABCB, ABCC, and ABCG transporter genes in the first 58 hr of development, from unfertilized egg to early prism. We quantified transcripts of ABCB1a, ABCB4a, ABCC1, ABCC5a, ABCC9a, and ABCG2b, and found that ABCB1a mRNA was 10100 times more abundant than other transporter mRNAs. In situ hybridization showed ABCB1a was expressed ubiquitously in embryos, while ABCC5a was restricted to secondary mesenchyme cells and their precursors. Fluorescent protein fusions showed localization of ABCB1a on apical cell surfaces, and ABCC5a on basolateral surfaces. Conclusions: Embryos use many ABC transporters with predicted functions in cell signaling, lysosomal and mitochondrial homeostasis, potassium channel regulation, pigmentation, and xenobiotic efflux. Detailed characterization of ABCB1a and ABCC5a revealed that they have different temporal and spatial gene expression profiles and protein localization patterns that correlate to their predicted functions in protection and development, respectively. Developmental Dynamics 241:11111124, 2012. (c) 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Sea Urchin Genome Sequencing Consortium.  2006.  Research article - The genome of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. Science. 314:941-952.   10.1126/science.1133609   AbstractWebsite

We report the sequence and analysis of the 814-megabase genome of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, a model for developmental and systems biology. The sequencing strategy combined whole-genome shotgun and bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) sequences. This use of BAC clones, aided by a pooling strategy, overcame difficulties associated with high heterozygosity of the genome. The genome encodes about 23,300 genes, including many previously thought to be vertebrate innovations or known only outside the deuterostomes. This echinoderm genome provides an evolutionary outgroup for the chordates and yields insights into the evolution of deuterostomes.

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Roepke, TA, Hamdoun AM, Cherr GN.  2006.  Increase in multidrug transport activity is associated with oocyte maturation in sea stars. Development Growth & Differentiation. 48:559-573.   10.1111/j.1440-169x.2006.00893.x   AbstractWebsite

In this study, we report on the presence of efflux transporter activity before oocyte maturation in sea stars and its upregulation after maturation. This activity is similar to the multidrug resistance (MDR) activity mediated by ATP binding cassette (ABC) efflux transporters. In sea star oocytes the efflux activity, as measured by exclusion of calcein-am, increased two-fold 3 h post-maturation. Experiments using specific and non-specific dyes and inhibitors demonstrated that the increase in transporter activity involves an ABCB protein, P-glycoprotein (P-gp), and an ABCC protein similar to the MDR-associated protein (MRP)-like transporters. Western blots using an antibody directed against mammalian P-gp recognized a 45 kDa protein in sea star oocytes that increased in abundance during maturation. An antibody directed against sea urchin ABCC proteins (MRP) recognized three proteins in immature oocytes and two in mature oocytes. Experiments using inhibitors suggest that translation and microtubule function are both required for post-maturation increases in transporter activity. Immunolabeling revealed translocation of stored ABCB proteins to the plasma cell membrane during maturation, and this translocation coincided with increased transport activity. These MDR transporters serve protective roles in oocytes and eggs, as demonstrated by sensitization of the oocytes to the maturation inhibitor, vinblastine, by MRP and PGP-specific transporter inhibitors.

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Patel, S, Ramakrishnan L, Rahman T, Hamdoun A, Marchant JS, Taylor CW, Brailoiu E.  2011.  The endo-lysosomal system as an NAADP-sensitive acidic Ca(2+) store: Role for the two-pore channels. Cell Calcium. 50:157-167.   10.1016/j.ceca.2011.03.011   AbstractWebsite

Accumulating evidence suggests that the endo-lysosomal system provides a substantial store of Ca(2+) that is tapped by the Ca(2+)-mobilizing messenger, NAADP. In this article, we review evidence that NAADP-mediated Ca(2+) release from this acidic Ca(2+) store proceeds through activation of the newly described two-pore channels (TPCs). We discuss recent advances in defining the sub-cellular targeting, topology and biophysics of TPCs. We also discuss physiological roles and the evolution of this ubiquitous ion channel family. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Nicklisch, SCT, Bonito LT, Sandin S, Hamdoun A.  2017.  Geographic differences in persistent organic pollutant levels of yellowfin tuna. Environ Health Perspect. 125:067014.   10.1289/ehp518   Abstract

BACKGROUND: Fish are a source of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the human diet. Although species, trophic level, and means of production are typically considered in predicting fish pollutant load, and thus recommendations of consumption, capture location is usually not accounted for. OBJECTIVES: Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) are harvested from across the world's oceans and are widely consumed. Here, we determined geographic variation in the overall mass, concentration, and composition of POPs in yellowfin and examined the differences in levels of several POP congeners of potential relevance to human health. METHODS: We sampled dorsal muscle of 117 yellowfin tuna from 12 locations worldwide, and measured POP levels using combined liquid or gas chromatography and mass spectrometry according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standard procedures. RESULTS: POP levels varied significantly among sites, more than 36-fold on a mass basis. Individual fish levels ranged from 0.16 to wet weight and lipid-normalized concentrations from . Levels of 10 congeners that interfere with the cellular defense protein P-glycoprotein, termed transporter interfering compounds (TICs), ranged from 0.05 to wet weight and from in tuna lipid. Levels of TICs, and their individual congeners, were strongly associated with the overall POP load. Risk-based analysis of several carcinogenic POPs indicated that the fish with the highest levels of these potentially harmful compounds were clustered at specific geographic locations. CONCLUSIONS: Capture location is an important consideration when assessing the level and risk of human exposure to POPs through ingestion of wild fish.

Nicklisch, SCT, Bonito LT, Sandin S, Hamdoun A.  2017.  Mercury levels of yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) are associated with capture location. Environmental Pollution. 229:87-93.   10.1016/j.envpol.2017.05.070   AbstractWebsite

Mercury is a toxic compound to which humans are exposed by consumption of fish. Current fish consumption advisories focus on minimizing the risk posed by the species that are most likely to have high levels of mercury. Less accounted for is the variation within species, and the potential role of the geographic origin of a fish in determining its mercury level. Here we surveyed the mercury levels in 117 yellowfin tuna caught from 12 different locations worldwide. Our results indicated significant variation in yellowfin tuna methylmercury load, with levels that ranged from 0.03 to 0.82 mu g/g wet weight across individual fish. Mean mercury levels were only weakly associated with fish size (R-2 < 0.1461) or lipid content (R-2 < 0.00007) but varied significantly, by a factor of 8, between sites. The results indicate that the geographic origin of fish can govern mercury load, and argue for better traceability of fish to improve the accuracy of exposure risk predictions. (C)2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Nicklisch, SCT, Rees SD, McGrath AP, Gökirmak T, Bonito LT, Vermeer LM, Cregger C, Loewen G, Sandin S, Chang G, Hamdoun A.  2016.  Global marine pollutants inhibit P-glycoprotein: Environmental levels, inhibitory effects, and cocrystal structure. Science Advances. 2   10.1126/sciadv.1600001   Abstract

The world’s oceans are a global reservoir of persistent organic pollutants to which humans and other animals are exposed. Although it is well known that these pollutants are potentially hazardous to human and environmental health, their impacts remain incompletely understood. We examined how persistent organic pollutants interact with the drug efflux transporter P-glycoprotein (P-gp), an evolutionarily conserved defense protein that is essential for protection against environmental toxicants. We identified specific congeners of organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers that inhibit mouse and human P-gp, and determined their environmental levels in yellowfin tuna from the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, we solved the cocrystal structure of P-gp bound to one of these inhibitory pollutants, PBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ether)–100, providing the first view of pollutant binding to a drug transporter. The results demonstrate the potential for specific binding and inhibition of mammalian P-gp by ubiquitous congeners of persistent organic pollutants present in fish and other foods, and argue for further consideration of transporter inhibition in the assessment of the risk of exposure to these chemicals.

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Mascuch, SJ, Boudreau PD, Carland TM, Pierce NT, Olson J, Hensler ME, Choi H, Campanale J, Hamdoun A, Nizet V, Gerwick WH, Gaasterland T, Gerwick L.  2018.  Marine natural product honaucin A attenuates inflammation by activating the Nrf2-ARE pathway. Journal of Natural Products. 81:506-514.   10.1021/acs.jnatprod.7b00734   AbstractWebsite

The cyanobacterial marine natural product honaucin A inhibits mammalian innate inflammation in vitro and in vivo. To decipher its mechanism of action, RNA sequencing was used to evaluate differences in gene expression of cultured macrophages following honaucin A treatment. This analysis led to the hypothesis that honaucin A exerts its anti-inflammatory activity through activation of the cytoprotective nuclear erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)-antioxidant response element/electrophile response element (ARE/EpRE) signaling pathway. Activation of this pathway by honaucin A in cultured human MCF7 cells was confirmed using an Nrf2 luciferase reporter assay. In vitro alkylation experiments with the natural product and N-acetyl-L-cysteine suggest that honaucin A activates this pathway through covalent interaction with the sulfhydryl residues of the cytosolic repressor protein Keapl. Honaucin A presents a potential therapeutic lead for diseases with an inflammatory component modulated by Nrf2-ARE.

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Hamdoun, AM, Griffin FJ, Cherr GN.  2002.  Tolerance to biodegraded crude oil in marine invertebrate embryos and larvae is associated with expression of a multixenobiotic resistance transporter. Aquatic Toxicology. 61:127-140.   10.1016/s0166-445x(02)00050-4   AbstractWebsite

The toxicity of water-soluble fractions of biodegraded crude oil (BWSF) to embryos and larvae of two marine invertebrates, the white sea urchin (Lytechinus anamesus) and the fat innkeeper (Urechis caupo), was studied. Santa Barbara Channel crude oil was artificially weathered and subjected to biodegradation using a mixed microbe culture obtained from natural oil seep sites. The degradation culture inoculated with seep sediment microbes accumulated 43.7 mug/l water-soluble hydrocarbons. In contrast water-soluble fractions from the non-degraded cultures (NWSF) only accumulated 3.05 mug/l. BWSF proved deleterious to Lytechinus embryo development at low concentrations (EC50 = 0.33 mg/l) but was essentially non-toxic to Urechis embryos/larvae up to 3.0 mg/l. An established mechanism for handling of a wide array of xenobiotics in Urechis embryos is the multixenobiotoic resistance transporter multixenobiotic response (MXR, also known as multidrug resistance, MDR). This mechanism is primarily mediated by ATP-dependent, efflux pumps that extrude a wide array of xenobiotic compounds. In this study, we show that Lytechinus larvae do not appear to express MXR efflux. protein nor MXR mediated dye efflux capacity. In contrast, BWSF acts as a competitive inhibitor of MXR transport-mediated dye efflux in Urechis larvae. These results suggest that MXR may be an important mechanism for extrusion of the by-products of crude oil degradation by microbes, and that the level of its expression may determine the susceptibility of organisms to degraded oil hydrocarbons. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Hamdoun, AM, Cheney DP, Cherr GN.  2003.  Phenotypic plasticity of HSP70 and HSP70 gene expression in the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas): Implications for thermal limits and induction of thermal tolerance. Biological Bulletin. 205:160-169.   10.2307/1543236   AbstractWebsite

Pacific oysters, Crassostrea gigas, living at a range of tidal heights, routinely encounter large seasonal fluctuations in temperature. We demonstrate that the thermal limits of oysters are relatively plastic, and that these limits are correlated with changes in the expression of one family of heat-shock proteins (HSP70). Oysters were cultured in the intertidal zone, at two tidal heights, and monitored for changes in expression of cognate (HSC) and inducible (HSP) heat-shock proteins during the progression from spring through winter. We found that the "control" levels (i.e., prior to laboratory heat shock) of HSC77 and HSC72 are positively correlated with increases in ambient temperature and were significantly higher in August than in January. The elevated level of HSCs during the summer was associated with moderate, 2-3 degreesC, increases in the upper thermal limits for survival. We measured concomitant increases in the threshold temperatures (T-on) required for induction of HSP70. Total hsp70 mRNA expression reflected the seasonal changes in the expression of inducible but not cognate members of the HSP70 family of proteins. A potential cost of increased T-on in the summer is that there was no extension of the upper thermal limits for survival (i.e., induction of thermotolerance) after sublethal heat shock at temperatures that were sufficient to induce thermotolerance during the winter months.

Hamdoun, A, Epel D.  2007.  Embryo stability and vulnerability in an always changing world. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 104:1745-1750.   10.1073/pnas.0610108104   AbstractWebsite

Contrary to the view that embryos and larvae are the most fragile stages of life, development is stable under real-world conditions. Early cleavage embryos are prepared for environmental vagaries by having high levels of cellular defenses already present in the egg before fertilization. Later in development, adaptive responses to the environment either buffer stress or produce alternative developmental phenotypes. These buffers, defenses, and alternative pathways set physiological limits for development under expected conditions; teratology occurs when embryos encounter unexpected environmental changes and when stress exceeds these limits. Of concern is that rapid anthropogenic changes to the environment are beyond the range of these protective mechanisms.

Hamdoun, AM, Cherr GN, Roepke TA, Epel D.  2004.  Activation of multidrug efflux transporter activity at fertilization in sea urchin embryos (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus). Developmental Biology. 276:452-462.   10.1016/j.ydbio.2004.09.013   AbstractWebsite

This study presents functional and molecular evidence for acquisition of multidrug transporter-mediated efflux activity as a consequence of fertilization in the sea urchin. Sea urchin eggs and embryos express low levels of efflux transporter genes with homology to the multidrug resistance associated protein (mrp) and permeability glycoprotein (p-gp) families of ABC transporters. The corresponding efflux activity is low in unfertilized eggs but is dramatically upregulated within 25 min of fertilization; the expression of this activity does not involve de novo gene expression and is insensitive to inhibitors of transcription and translation indicating activation of pre-existing transporter protein. Our study, using specific inhibitors of efflux transporters, indicates that the major activity is from one or more mrp-like transporters. The expression of activity at fertilization requires microfilaments, suggesting that the transporters are in vesicles and moved to the surface after fertilization. Pharmacological inhibition of mrp-mediated efflux activity with MK571 sensitizes embryos to the toxic compound vinblastine, confirming that one role for the efflux transport activity is embryo protection from xenobiotics. In addition, inhibition of mrp activity with MK571 alone retards mitosis indicating that mrp-like activity may also be required for early cell divisions. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Gordon, WE, Espinoza JA, Leerberg DM, Yelon D, Hamdoun A.  2019.  Xenobiotic transporter activity in zebrafish embryo ionocytes. Aquatic Toxicology. 212:88-97.   10.1016/j.aquatox.2019.04.013   AbstractWebsite

Ionocytes are specialized cells in the epidermis of embryonic zebrafish (Danio rerio) that play important roles in ion homeostasis and have functional similarities to mammalian renal cells. Here, we examined whether these cells might also share another functional similarity with renal cells, which is the presence of efflux transporter activities useful for elimination of toxic small molecules. Xenobiotic transporters (XTs), including the ATP-Binding Cassette (ABC) family, are a major defense mechanism against diffusible toxic molecules in aquatic embryos, including zebrafish, but their activity in the ionocytes has not previously been studied. Using fluorescent small molecule substrates of XT, we observed that specific populations of ionocytes uptake and efflux fluorescent small molecules in a manner consistent with active transport. We specifically identified a P-gp/ABCB1 inhibitor-sensitive efflux activity in the H+-ATPase-rich (HR) ionocytes, and show that these cells exhibit enriched expression of the ABCB gene, abcb5. The results extend our understanding of the functional significance of zebrafish ionocytes and indicate that these cells could play an important role in protection of the fish embryo from harmful small molecules.

Goldstone, JV, Hamdoun A, Cole BJ, Howard-Ashby M, Nebert DW, Scally M, Dean M, Epel D, Hahn ME, Stegeman JJ.  2006.  The chemical defensome: Environmental sensing and response genes in the Strongylocentrotus purpuratus genome. Developmental Biology. 300:366-384.   10.1016/j.ydbio.2006.08.066   AbstractWebsite

Metazoan genomes contain large numbers of genes that participate in responses to environmental stressors. We surveyed the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus genome for homologs of gene families thought to protect against chemical stressors; these genes collectively comprise the 'chemical defensome.' Chemical defense genes include cytochromes P450 and other oxidases, various conjugating enzymes, ATP-dependent efflux transporters, oxidative detoxification proteins, and transcription factors that regulate these genes. Together such genes account for more than 400 genes in the sea urchin genome. The transcription factors include homologs of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, hypoxia-inducible factor, nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2, heat shock factor, and nuclear hormone receptors, which regulate stress-response genes in vertebrates. Some defense gene families, including the ABCC, the UGT, and the CYP families, have undergone expansion in the urchin relative to other deuterostome genomes, whereas the stress sensor gene families do not show such expansion. More than half of the defense genes are expressed during embryonic or larval life stages, indicating their importance during development. This genome-wide survey of chemical defense genes in the sea urchin reveals evolutionary conservation of this network combined with lineage-specific diversification that together suggest the importance of these chemical stress sensing and response mechanisms in early deuterostomes. These results should facilitate future studies on the evolution of chemical defense gene networks and the role of these networks in protecting embryos from chemical stress during development. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Gokirmak, T, Shipp LE, Campanale JP, Nicklisch SCT, Hamdoun A.  2014.  Transport in technicolor: Mapping ATP-binding cassette transporters in sea urchin embryos. Molecular Reproduction and Development. 81:778-793.   10.1002/mrd.22357   AbstractWebsite

One quarter of eukaryotic genes encode membrane proteins. These include nearly 1,000 transporters that translocate nutrients, signaling molecules, and xenobiotics across membranes. While it is well appreciated that membrane transport is critical for development, the specific roles of many transporters have remained cryptic, in part because of their abundance and the diversity of their substrates. Multidrug resistance ATP-binding cassette (ABC) efflux transporters are one example of cryptic membrane proteins. Although most organisms utilize these ABC transporters during embryonic development, many of these transporters have broad substrate specificity, and their developmental functions remain incompletely understood. Here, we review advances in our understanding of ABC transporters in sea urchin embryos, and methods developed to spatially and temporally map these proteins. These studies reveal that multifunctional transporters are required for signaling, homeostasis, and protection of the embryo, and shed light on how they are integrated into ancestral developmental pathways recapitulated in disease. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 81: 778-793, 2014. (c) 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Gokirmak, T, Campanale JP, Reitzel AM, Shipp LE, Moy GW, Hamdoun A.  2016.  Functional diversification of sea urchin ABCC1 (MRP1) by alternative splicing. American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology. 310:C911-C920.   10.1152/ajpcell.00029.2016   AbstractWebsite

The multidrug resistance protein (MRP) family encodes a diverse repertoire of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters with multiple roles in development, disease, and homeostasis. Understanding MRP evolution is central to unraveling their roles in these diverse processes. Sea urchins occupy an important phylogenetic position for understanding the evolution of vertebrate proteins and have been an important invertebrate model system for study of ABC transporters. We used phylogenetic analyses to examine the evolution of MRP transporters and functional approaches to identify functional forms of sea urchin MRP1 (also known as SpABCC1). SpABCC1, the only MRP homolog in sea urchins, is co-orthologous to human MRP1, MRP3, and MRP6 (ABCC1, ABCC3, and ABCC6) transporters. However, efflux assays revealed that alternative splicing of exon 22, a region critical for substrate interactions, could diversify functions of sea urchin MRP1. Phylogenetic comparisons also indicate that while MRP1, MRP3, and MRP6 transporters potentially arose from a single transporter in basal deuterostomes, alternative splicing appears to have been the major mode of functional diversification in invertebrates, while duplication may have served a more important role in vertebrates. These results provide a deeper understanding of the evolutionary origins of MRP transporters and the potential mechanisms used to diversify their functions in different groups of animals.

Gokirmak, T, Campanale JP, Shipp LE, Moy GW, Tao HC, Hamdoun A.  2012.  Localization and Substrate Selectivity of Sea Urchin Multidrug (MDR) Efflux Transporters. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 287:43876-43883.   10.1074/jbc.M112.424879   AbstractWebsite

In this study, we cloned, expressed and functionally characterized Stronglycentrotus purpuratus (Sp) ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters. This screen identified three multidrug resistance (MDR) transporters with functional homology to the major types of MDR transporters found in humans. When overexpressed in embryos, the apical transporters Sp-ABCB1a, ABCB4a, and ABCG2a can account for as much as 87% of the observed efflux activity, providing a robust assay for their substrate selectivity. Using this assay, we found that sea urchin MDR transporters export canonical MDR susbtrates such as calcein-AM, bodipy-verapamil, bodipy-vinblastine, and mitoxantrone. In addition, we characterized the impact of nonconservative substitutions in the primary sequences of drug binding domains of sea urchin versus murine ABCB1 by mutation of Sp-ABCB1a and treatment of embryos with stereoisomeric cyclic peptide inhibitors (QZ59 compounds). The results indicated that two substitutions in transmembrane helix 6 reverse stereoselectivity of Sp-ABCB1a for QZ59 enantiomers compared with mouse ABCB1a. This suggests that subtle changes in the primary sequence of transporter drug binding domains could fine-tune substrate specificity through evolution.

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Epel, D, Cole B, Hamdoun A, Thurber RV.  2006.  The sea urchin embryo as a model for studying efflux transporters: Roles and energy cost. Marine Environmental Research. 62:S1-S4.   10.1016/j.marenvres.2006.04.062   AbstractWebsite

We describe the use of the sea urchin as a model for studying efflux transporters and estimating energy cost for the cytotoxin protective system provided by these transporters. The unfertilized egg has low transport activity, which increases to a new steady state shortly after fertilization. Activity results from p-glycoprotein (p-gp) and MRP type transporters which protect the embryo from cytotoxic drugs that can disrupt cell division or induce apoptosis. The energy cost is estimated from a novel use of calcein-AM as a substrate; keeping 0.25 mu M substrate levels out of the cell utilizes only 0.023% of steady state respiration. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Epel, D, Luckenbach T, Stevenson CN, Macmanus-Spencer LA, Hamdoun A, Smital T.  2008.  Efflux transporters: Newly appreciated roles in protection against pollutants. Environmental Science & Technology. 42:3914-3920.   10.1021/es087187v   AbstractWebsite
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Cole, BJ, Hamdoun A, Epel D.  2013.  Cost, effectiveness and environmental relevance of multidrug transporters in sea urchin embryos. Journal of Experimental Biology. 216:3896-3905.   10.1242/jeb.090522   AbstractWebsite

ATP-binding cassette transporters protect cells via efflux of xenobiotics and endogenous byproducts of detoxification. While the cost of this ATP-dependent extrusion is known at the molecular level, i.e. the ATP used for each efflux event, the overall cost to a cell or organism of operating this defense is unclear, especially as the cost of efflux changes depending on environmental conditions. During prolonged exposure to xenobiotics, multidrug transporter activity could be costly and ineffective because effluxed substrate molecules are not modified in the process and could thus undergo repeated cycles of efflux and re-entry. Here we use embryos of the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, as a model to determine transport costs and benefits under environmentally relevant xenobiotic concentrations. Strikingly, our results show that efflux transporter activity costs less than 0.2% of total ATP usage, as a proportion of oxygen consumption. The benefits of transport, defined as the reduction in substrate accumulation due to transporter activity, depended largely, but not entirely, on the rate of passive flux of each substrate across the plasma membrane. One of the substrates tested exhibited rapid membrane permeation coupled with high rates of efflux, thus inducing rapid and futile cycles of efflux followed by re-entry of the substrate. This combination significantly reduced transporter effectiveness as a defense and increased costs even at relatively low substrate concentrations. Despite these effects with certain substrates, our results show that efflux transporters are a remarkably effective and low-cost first line of defense against exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of xenobiotics.