Demgenski, Janine

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Death Receptor Interactions With the Mitochondrial Cell Death Pathway During Immune Cell-, Drug- and Toxin-Induced Liver Damage

2019, Spinnenhirn, Valentina, Demgenski, Janine, Brunner, Thomas

Due to its extensive vascularization and physiological function as a filter and storage organ, the liver is constantly exposed to infectious and tumorigenic threat, as well as damaging actions of xenobiotics. Detoxification reactions are essential for the excretion of harmful substances, but harbor also the risk of “side effects” leading to dangerous metabolites of otherwise harmless substances, a well known effect during paracetamol overdose. These drugs can have detrimental effects, which often involves the induction of sterile inflammation and activation of the immune system. Therefore, the role of certain immune cells and their effector molecules in the regulation of drug-induced liver damage are of special interest. Hepatocytes are type II cells, and death receptor (DR)-induced cell death (CD) requires amplification via the mitochondrial pathway. However, this important role of the mitochondria and associated CD-regulating signaling complexes appears to be not restricted to DR signaling, but to extend to drug-induced activation of mitochondrial CD pathways. We here discuss the role of members of the TNF family, with a focus on TRAIL, and their interactions with the Bcl-2 family in the crosstalk between the extrinsic and intrinsic CD pathway during xenobiotic-induced liver damage.


Analyzing structure–function relationships of artificial and cancer-associated PARP1 variants by reconstituting TALEN-generated HeLa PARP1 knock-out cells

2016-12-01, Rank, Lisa, Veith, Sebastian, Gwosch, Eva, Demgenski, Janine, Ganz, Magdalena, Vogel, Christopher, Fischbach, Arthur, Buerger, Stefanie, Fischer, Jan M.F., Zubel, Tabea, Stier, Anna, Renner, Christina, Schmalz, Michael, Beneke, Sascha, Gröttrup, Marcus, Bürkle, Alexander, Ferrando-May, Elisa, Mangerich, Aswin

Genotoxic stress activates PARP1, resulting in the post-translational modification of proteins with poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR). We genetically deleted PARP1 in one of the most widely used human cell systems, i.e. HeLa cells, via TALEN-mediated gene targeting. After comprehensive characterization of these cells during genotoxic stress, we analyzed structure–function relationships of PARP1 by reconstituting PARP1 KO cells with a series of PARP1 variants. Firstly, we verified that the PARP1\E988K mutant exhibits mono-ADP-ribosylation activity and we demonstrate that the PARP1\L713F mutant is constitutively active in cells. Secondly, both mutants exhibit distinct recruitment kinetics to sites of laser-induced DNA damage, which can potentially be attributed to non-covalent PARP1–PAR interaction via several PAR binding motifs. Thirdly, both mutants had distinct functional consequences in cellular patho-physiology, i.e. PARP1\L713F expression triggered apoptosis, whereas PARP1\E988K reconstitution caused a DNA-damage-induced G2 arrest. Importantly, both effects could be rescued by PARP inhibitor treatment, indicating distinct cellular consequences of constitutive PARylation and mono(ADP-ribosyl)ation. Finally, we demonstrate that the cancer-associated PARP1 SNP variant (V762A) as well as a newly identified inherited PARP1 mutation (F304L\V762A) present in a patient with pediatric colorectal carcinoma exhibit altered biochemical and cellular properties, thereby potentially supporting human carcinogenesis. Together, we establish a novel cellular model for PARylation research, by revealing strong structure–function relationships of natural and artificial PARP1 variants.


Role of Bim and Kinases in the Synergistic Induction of Cell Death by TRAIL and Chemotherapy

2019, Demgenski, Janine


Inhibitor of Apoptosis Protein-1 Regulates Tumor Necrosis Factor-mediated Destruction of Intestinal Epithelial Cells

2017-03, Grabinger, Thomas, Bode, Konstantin J., Demgenski, Janine, Seitz, Carina, Delgado, M. Eugenia, Kostadinova, Feodora, Reinhold, Cindy, Etemadi, Nima, Hauck, Christof R., Brunner, Thomas

Background and aims

Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a cytokine that promotes inflammation and contributes to pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases. Unlike other cells and tissues, intestinal epithelial cells undergo rapid cell death upon exposure to TNF, by unclear mechanisms. We investigated the roles of inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) in the regulation of TNF-induced cell death in the intestinal epithelium of mice and intestinal organoids.


RNA from cell lines and tissues and analyzed by quantitative PCR, protein levels were analyzed by immunoblot assays. BIRC2 (also called cIAP1) was expressed upon induction from lentiviral vectors in young adult mouse colon (YAMC) cells. YAMC cells, the mouse colon carcinoma cell line MC38, the mouse macrophage cell line RAW 264.7, or mouse and human organoids were incubated with Smac-mimetic compound LCL161 or recombinant TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TNFSF12) along with TNF, and cell death was quantified. C57BL/6 mice with disruption of Xiap,Birc2 (encodes cIAP1), Birc3 (encodes cIAP2), Tnfrsf1a, or Tnfrsf1b (Tnfrsf1a and b encode TNF receptors) were injected with TNF or saline (control); liver and intestinal tissues were collected and analyzed for apoptosis induction by cleaved caspase 3 immunohistochemistry. We also measured levels of TNF and alanine aminotransferase in serum from mice.


YAMC cells, and mouse and human intestinal organoids, died rapidly in response to TNF. YAMC and intestinal crypts expressed lower levels of XIAP, cIAP1, cIAP2, and cFLIP than liver tissue. Smac-mimetics reduced levels of cIAP1 and XIAP in MC38 and YAMC cells, and Smac-mimetics and TWEAK increased TNF-induced cell death in YAMC cells and organoids—most likely by sequestering and degrading cIAP1. Injection of TNF greatly increased levels of cell death in intestinal tissue of cIAP1-null mice, compared to wild-type C57BL/6 mice, cIAP2-null mice, or XIAP-null mice. Excessive TNF-induced cell death in the intestinal epithelium was mediated TNF receptor 1.


In a study of mouse and human cell lines, organoids, and tissues, we found cIAP1 to be required for regulation of TNF-induced intestinal epithelial cell death and survival. These findings have important implications for the pathogenesis of TNF-mediated enteropathies and chronic inflammatory diseases of the intestine.