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      α -Enolase, a Multifunctional Protein: Its Role on Pathophysiological Situations


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          α -Enolase is a key glycolytic enzyme in the cytoplasm of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and is considered a multifunctional protein. α -enolase is expressed on the surface of several cell types, where it acts as a plasminogen receptor, concentrating proteolytic plasmin activity on the cell surface. In addition to glycolytic enzyme and plasminogen receptor functions, α -Enolase appears to have other cellular functions and subcellular localizations that are distinct from its well-established function in glycolysis. Furthermore, differential expression of α -enolase has been related to several pathologies, such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, among others. We have identified α -enolase as a plasminogen receptor in several cell types. In particular, we have analyzed its role in myogenesis, as an example of extracellular remodelling process. We have shown that α -enolase is expressed on the cell surface of differentiating myocytes, and that inhibitors of α -enolase/plasminogen binding block myogenic fusion in vitro and skeletal muscle regeneration in mice. α -Enolase could be considered as a marker of pathological stress in a high number of diseases, performing several of its multiple functions, mainly as plasminogen receptor. This paper is focused on the multiple roles of the α -enolase/plasminogen axis, related to several pathologies.

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          Apoptosis in the failing human heart.

          Loss of myocytes is an important mechanism in the development of cardiac failure of either ischemic or nonischemic origin. However, whether programmed cell death (apoptosis) is implicated in the terminal stages of heart failure is not known. We therefore studied the magnitude of myocyte apoptosis in patients with intractable congestive heart failure. Myocardial samples were obtained from the hearts of 36 patients who underwent cardiac transplantation and from the hearts of 3 patients who died soon after myocardial infarction. Samples from 11 normal hearts were used as controls. Apoptosis was evaluated histochemically, biochemically, and by a combination of histochemical analysis and confocal microscopy. The expression of two proto-oncogenes that influence apoptosis, BCL2 and BAX, was also determined. Heart failure was characterized morphologically by a 232-fold increase in myocyte apoptosis and biochemically by DNA laddering (an indicator of apoptosis). The histochemical demonstration of DNA-strand breaks in myocyte nuclei was coupled with the documentation of chromatin condensation and fragmentation by confocal microscopy. All these findings reflect apoptosis of myocytes. The percentage of myocytes labeled with BCL2 (which protects cells against apoptosis) was 1.8 times as high in the hearts of patients with cardiac failure as in the normal hearts, whereas labeling with BAX (which promotes apoptosis) remained constant. The near doubling of the expression of BCL2 in the cardiac tissue of patients with heart failure was confirmed by Western blotting. Programmed death of myocytes occurs in the decompensated human heart in spite of the enhanced expression of BCL2; this phenomenon may contribute to the progression of cardiac dysfunction.
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            Multifunctional alpha-enolase: its role in diseases.

            V Pancholi (2001)
            Enolase, a key glycolytic enzyme, belongs to a novel class of surface proteins which do not possess classical machinery for surface transport, yet through an unknown mechanism are transported on the cell surface. Enolase is a multifunctional protein, and its ability to serve as a plasminogen receptor on the surface of a variety of hematopoetic, epithelial and endothelial cells suggests that it may play an important role in the intravascular and pericellular fibrinolytic system. Its role in systemic and invasive autoimmune disorders was recognized only very recently. In addition to this property, its ability to function as a heat-shock protein and to bind cytoskeletal and chromatin structures indicate that enolase may play a crucial role in transcription and a variety of pathophysiological processes.
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              Multifaceted roles of glycolytic enzymes.

              Although glycolysis is a biochemical pathway that evolved under ancient anaerobic terrestrial conditions, recent studies have provided evidence that some glycolytic enzymes are more complicated, multifaceted proteins rather than simple components of the glycolytic pathway. These glycolytic enzymes have acquired additional non-glycolytic functions in transcriptional regulation [hexokinase (HK)-2, lactate dehydrogenase A, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPD) and enolase 1], stimulation of cell motility (glucose-6-phosphate isomerase) and the regulation of apoptosis (glucokinase, HK and GAPD). The existence of multifaceted roles of glycolytic proteins suggests that links between metabolic sensors and transcription are established directly through enzymes that participate in metabolism. These roles further underscore the need to consider the non-enzymatic functions of enzymes in proteomic studies of cells and tissues.

                Author and article information

                J Biomed Biotechnol
                J. Biomed. Biotechnol
                Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                14 October 2012
                : 2012
                : 156795
                Biological Clues of the Invasive and Metastatic Phenotype Research Group, (IDIBELL) Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques de Bellvitge, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, 08908 Barcelona, Spain
                Author notes
                *Roser López-Alemany: rlopez@ 123456idibell.cat

                Academic Editor: Lindsey A. Miles

                Copyright © 2012 Àngels Díaz-Ramos et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 15 May 2012
                : 25 June 2012
                Review Article

                Molecular medicine
                Molecular medicine


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