Engineering biointerfaces to reveal collagen IV disease mechanisms

Ngandu Mpoyi, Elie (2017) Engineering biointerfaces to reveal collagen IV disease mechanisms. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Basement Membranes (BMs) are specialised extracellular matrix (ECM) structures that underlie all endothelial and epithelial cells, and provide structural support to tissues as well as influence cell behaviour and signalling. Mutations in the BMs major component collagen IV cause eye, kidney and cerebrovascular disease including intracerebral haemorrhaging (ICH). Haemorrhagic stroke accounts for 15% adult stroke and 50% paediatric stroke, and carries the worst prognosis and there are no therapeutic strategies. Mutations in the genes COL4A1/COL4A2 (collagen IV alpha chain 1 and 2) cause BM defects due to mutant protein incorporation in the BM or its absence by ER retention, and ER-stress due to intracellular accumulation of collagen IV. Despite this, the mechanism(s) of collagen IV mutations disease remain poorly characterised.
To provide novel insights into mechanisms of collagen diseases, this study investigates the effect of defined engineered biointerfaces on cell behaviour/signalling, collagen secretion in COL4A2 mutant and wild-type cells. Atomic force microscopy and spectroscopy were employed together with confocal and biochemical analyses of cells cultured on engineered synthetic polymers, poly(ethyl acrylate) and poly(methyl acrylate), coated with ECM proteins, namely laminin, collagen IV and fibronectin. This enabled us to address the hypothesis that biomaterials may alter the behaviour of COL4A2+/G702D mutant cells by overcoming some of the defects caused by the mutation and rescuing the downstream effect of the ER stress.
Of the ECM proteins that were used, only fibronectin was observed to undergo a drastic structural change depending on the substrate chemistry. On poly(ethyl acrylate), fibronectin was assembled into fibrillary networks upon adsorption, and these nanonetworks induced increased secretion of Col4a2 in COL4A2+/G702D cells than on poly(methyl acrylate) or control glass. The behaviour of the mutant cells appeared to be influenced by the underlying biointerface, increased levels of molecular chaperones and reduced ER area suggested an increased collagen IV folding capacity when the cells were cultured on the FN nanonetworks compared to the other surfaces. COL4A2+/G702D cells interacted with the adsorbed proteins and were able to mechanically translocate them. Enhanced formation of focal adhesions was also seen on FN-coated polymers, where ligand density and actin-myosin contractility accounted for the observed increase in cell adhesion strength. The stiffness of the mutant fibroblasts and of their ECMs was found to be 10 times lower than that of the wild-type cells; interestingly, mutant cells cultured on FN nanonetworks on poly(ethyl acrylate) were able to deposit a protein matrix with significantly higher Young modulus than on glass or poly(methyl acrylate). These findings suggest that biomaterials are able to influence the behaviour of these mutant cells through changes in the interfacial layer of adsorbed proteins presented to them.
Collectively, these data provide an understanding of the effect of mutations on cell characteristic and a basis of concept that material may be employed to modulate effects of mutations of collagen/ECM molecules. Understanding the mechanisms through which these surfaces trigger a change in cell response will prove valuable for the development of new therapeutic approaches to address pathologies due to collagen IV mutations. In this respect, further investigation is needed to dissect the signalling pathways involved.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Biointerfaces, collagen IV, disease mechanisms, atomic force microscopy, extracellular matrix, fibronectin.
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Funder's Name: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Supervisor's Name: Salmeron-Sanchez, Prof. Manuel, Van Agtmael, Dr, Tom and Cantini, Sr. Marco
Date of Award: 2017
Depositing User: Alastair Arthur
Unique ID: glathesis:2017-9032
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 01 May 2018 09:06
Last Modified: 02 May 2018 16:08
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