Multiple convergent lines of evidence implicate both α-synuclein (encoded by
Alevtina D. Zharikov ... J. Timothy Greenamyre, Edward A. Burton
Estrogen receptor–negative (ER-negative) breast cancers are extremely aggressive and associated with poor prognosis. In particular, effective treatment strategies are limited for patients diagnosed with triple receptor–negative breast cancer (TNBC), which also carries the worst prognosis of all forms of breast cancer; therefore, extensive studies have focused on the identification of molecularly targeted therapies for this tumor subtype. Here, we sought to identify molecular targets that are capable of suppressing tumorigenesis in TNBCs. Specifically, we found that death-associated protein kinase 1 (DAPK1) is essential for growth of p53-mutant cancers, which account for over 80% of TNBCs. Depletion or inhibition of DAPK1 suppressed growth of p53-mutant but not p53-WT breast cancer cells. Moreover, DAPK1 inhibition limited growth of other p53-mutant cancers, including pancreatic and ovarian cancers. DAPK1 mediated the disruption of the TSC1/TSC2 complex, resulting in activation of the mTOR pathway. Our studies demonstrated that high DAPK1 expression causes increased cancer cell growth and enhanced signaling through the mTOR/S6K pathway; evaluation of multiple breast cancer patient data sets revealed that high DAPK1 expression associates with worse outcomes in individuals with p53-mutant cancers. Together, our data support targeting DAPK1 as a potential therapeutic strategy for p53-mutant cancers.
Jing Zhao ... Gordon B. Mills, Powel H. Brown
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease are at increased risk for colon cancer due to augmented oxidative stress. These patients also have compromised antioxidant defenses as the result of nutritional deficiencies. The micronutrient selenium is essential for selenoprotein production and is transported from the liver to target tissues via selenoprotein P (SEPP1). Target tissues also produce SEPP1, which is thought to possess an endogenous antioxidant function. Here, we have shown that mice with
Caitlyn W. Barrett ... Raymond F. Burk, Christopher S. Williams
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a worldwide heath problem that is characterized by insulin resistance and the eventual loss of β cell function. As recent studies have shown that loss of ribosomal protein (RP) S6 kinase 1 (S6K1) increases systemic insulin sensitivity, S6K1 inhibitors are being pursued as potential agents for improving insulin resistance. Here we found that S6K1 deficiency in mice also leads to decreased β cell growth, intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), and impaired placental development. IUGR is a common complication of human pregnancy that limits the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the developing fetus, leading to diminished embryonic β cell growth and the onset of T2DM later in life. However, restoration of placental development and the rescue of IUGR by tetraploid embryo complementation did not restore β cell size or insulin levels in
Sung Hee Um ... George Thomas, Sara C. Kozma
Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are characterized by the clonal expansion of one or more myeloid cell lineage. In most cases, proliferation of the malignant clone is ascribed to defined genetic alterations. MPNs are also associated with aberrant expression and activity of multiple cytokines; however, the mechanisms by which these cytokines contribute to disease pathogenesis are poorly understood. Here, we reveal a non-redundant role for steady-state IL-33 in supporting dysregulated myelopoiesis in a murine model of MPN. Genetic ablation of the IL-33 signaling pathway was sufficient and necessary to restore normal hematopoiesis and abrogate MPN-like disease in animals lacking the inositol phosphatase SHIP. Stromal cell–derived IL-33 stimulated the secretion of cytokines and growth factors by myeloid and non-hematopoietic cells of the BM, resulting in myeloproliferation in SHIP-deficient animals. Additionally, in the transgenic JAK2V617F model, the onset of MPN was delayed in animals lacking IL-33 in radio-resistant cells. In human BM, we detected increased numbers of IL-33–expressing cells, specifically in biopsies from MPN patients. Exogenous IL-33 promoted cytokine production and colony formation by primary CD34+ MPN stem/progenitor cells from patients. Moreover, IL-33 improved the survival of JAK2V617F-positive cell lines. Together, these data indicate a central role for IL-33 signaling in the pathogenesis of MPNs.
Lukas F. Mager ... Bruce Beutler, Philippe Krebs
Lisa M. Rice ... Robert W. Simms, Robert Lafyatis
The integrated stress response (ISR) is a critical mediator of cancer cell survival, and targeting the ISR inhibits tumor progression. Here, we have shown that activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4), a master transcriptional effector of the ISR, protects transformed cells against anoikis — a specialized form of apoptosis — following matrix detachment and also contributes to tumor metastatic properties. Upon loss of attachment, ATF4 activated a coordinated program of cytoprotective autophagy and antioxidant responses, including induced expression of the major antioxidant enzyme heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1). HO-1 upregulation was the result of simultaneous activation of ATF4 and the transcription factor NRF2, which converged on the
Souvik Dey ... J. Alan Diehl, Constantinos Koumenis
Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) carries a 50% mortality rate. The extravasated erythrocytes that surround the brain contain heme, which, when released from damaged red blood cells, functions as a potent danger molecule that induces sterile tissue injury and organ dysfunction. Free heme is metabolized by heme oxygenase (HO), resulting in the generation of carbon monoxide (CO), a bioactive gas with potent immunomodulatory capabilities. Here, using a murine model of SAH, we demonstrated that expression of the inducible HO isoform (HO-1, encoded by
Nils Schallner ... Leo E. Otterbein, Khalid A. Hanafy
The precise mechanisms that lead to parturition are incompletely defined. Surfactant protein-A (SP-A), which is secreted by fetal lungs into amniotic fluid (AF) near term, likely provides a signal for parturition; however, SP-A–deficient mice have only a relatively modest delay (~12 hours) in parturition, suggesting additional factors. Here, we evaluated the contribution of steroid receptor coactivators 1 and 2 (SRC-1 and SRC-2), which upregulate SP-A transcription, to the parturition process. As mice lacking both SRC-1 and SRC-2 die at birth due to respiratory distress, we crossed double-heterozygous males and females. Parturition was severely delayed (~38 hours) in heterozygous dams harboring SRC-1/-2–deficient embryos. These mothers exhibited decreased myometrial NF-κB activation, PGF2α, and expression of contraction-associated genes; impaired luteolysis; and elevated circulating progesterone. These manifestations also occurred in WT females bearing SRC-1/-2 double-deficient embryos, indicating that a fetal-specific defect delayed labor. SP-A, as well as the enzyme lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase-1 (LPCAT1), required for synthesis of surfactant dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine, and the proinflammatory glycerophospholipid platelet-activating factor (PAF) were markedly reduced in SRC-1/-2–deficient fetal lungs near term. Injection of PAF or SP-A into AF at 17.5 days post coitum enhanced uterine NF-κB activation and contractile gene expression, promoted luteolysis, and rescued delayed parturition in SRC-1/-2–deficient embryo-bearing dams. These findings reveal that fetal lungs produce signals to initiate labor when mature and that SRC-1/-2–dependent production of SP-A and PAF is crucial for this process.
Lu Gao ... Bert W. O’Malley, Carole R. Mendelson
T cell proliferation is critical for immune responses; however, the molecular mechanisms that mediate the proliferative response are poorly understood. MicroRNAs (miRs) regulate various molecular processes, including development and function of the immune system. Here, utilizing multiple complementary genetic and molecular approaches, we investigated the contribution of a hematopoietic-specific miR, miR-142, in regulating T cell responses. T cell development was not affected in animals with a targeted deletion of
Yaping Sun ... Thomas Saunders, Pavan Reddy
Increasing evidence indicates that the gut microbiota can be altered to ameliorate or prevent disease states, and engineering the gut microbiota to therapeutically modulate host metabolism is an emerging goal of microbiome research. In the intestine, bacterial urease converts host-derived urea to ammonia and carbon dioxide, contributing to hyperammonemia-associated neurotoxicity and encephalopathy in patients with liver disease. Here, we engineered murine gut microbiota to reduce urease activity. Animals were depleted of their preexisting gut microbiota and then inoculated with altered Schaedler flora (ASF), a defined consortium of 8 bacteria with minimal urease gene content. This protocol resulted in establishment of a persistent new community that promoted a long-term reduction in fecal urease activity and ammonia production. Moreover, in a murine model of hepatic injury, ASF transplantation was associated with decreased morbidity and mortality. These results provide proof of concept that inoculation of a prepared host with a defined gut microbiota can lead to durable metabolic changes with therapeutic utility.
Ting-Chin David Shen ... Frederic D. Bushman, Gary D. Wu
In mammals, the outflow tract (OFT) of the developing heart septates into the base of the pulmonary artery and aorta to guide deoxygenated right ventricular blood into the lungs and oxygenated left ventricular blood into the systemic circulation. Accordingly, defective OFT septation is a life-threatening condition that can occur in both syndromic and nonsyndromic congenital heart disease. Even though studies of genetic mouse models have previously revealed a requirement for VEGF-A, the class 3 semaphorin SEMA3C, and their shared receptor neuropilin 1 (NRP1) in OFT development, the precise mechanism by which these proteins orchestrate OFT septation is not yet understood. Here, we have analyzed a complementary set of ligand-specific and tissue-specific mouse mutants to show that neural crest–derived SEMA3C activates NRP1 in the OFT endothelium. Explant assays combined with gene-expression studies and lineage tracing further demonstrated that this signaling pathway promotes an endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition that supplies cells to the endocardial cushions and repositions cardiac neural crest cells (NCCs) within the OFT, 2 processes that are essential for septal bridge formation. These findings elucidate a mechanism by which NCCs cooperate with endothelial cells in the developing OFT to enable the postnatal separation of the pulmonary and systemic circulation.
Alice Plein ... Peter J. Scambler, Christiana Ruhrberg
Pancreatic β cells secrete insulin in response to postprandial increases in glucose levels to prevent hyperglycemia and inhibit insulin secretion under fasting conditions to protect against hypoglycemia. β cells lack this functional capability at birth and acquire glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) during neonatal life. Here, we have shown that during postnatal life, the de novo DNA methyltransferase DNMT3A initiates a metabolic program by repressing key genes, thereby enabling the coupling of insulin secretion to glucose levels. In a murine model, β cell–specific deletion of
Sangeeta Dhawan ... Aleksey Matveyenko, Anil Bhushan
Macrophages clear millions of apoptotic cells daily and, during this process, take up large quantities of cholesterol. The membrane transporter ABCA1 is a key player in cholesterol efflux from macrophages and has been shown via human genetic studies to provide protection against cardiovascular disease. How the apoptotic cell clearance process is linked to macrophage ABCA1 expression is not known. Here, we identified a plasma membrane–initiated signaling pathway that drives a rapid upregulation of
Aaron M. Fond, Chang Sup Lee, Ira G. Schulman, Robert S. Kiss, Kodi S. Ravichandran
Ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of heart failure. Both clinical trials and experimental animal studies demonstrate that chronic hypoxia can induce contractile dysfunction even before substantial ventricular damage, implicating a direct role of oxygen in the regulation of cardiac contractile function. Prolyl hydroxylase domain (PHD) proteins are well recognized as oxygen sensors and mediate a wide variety of cellular events by hydroxylating a growing list of protein substrates. Both PHD2 and PHD3 are highly expressed in the heart, yet their functional roles in modulating contractile function remain incompletely understood. Here, we report that combined deletion of
Liang Xie ... Gerhard Meissner, Cam Patterson
Therapeutic strategies that target disease-associated transcripts are being developed for a variety of neurodegenerative syndromes. Protein levels change as a function of their half-life, a property that critically influences the timing and application of therapeutics. In addition, both protein kinetics and concentration may play important roles in neurodegeneration; therefore, it is essential to understand in vivo protein kinetics, including half-life. Here, we applied a stable isotope-labeling technique in combination with mass spectrometric detection and determined the in vivo kinetics of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), mutation of which causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Application of this method to human SOD1-expressing rats demonstrated that SOD1 is a long-lived protein, with a similar half-life in both the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) and the CNS. Additionally, in these animals, the half-life of SOD1 was longest in the CNS when compared with other tissues. Evaluation of this method in human subjects demonstrated successful incorporation of the isotope label in the CSF and confirmed that SOD1 is a long-lived protein in the CSF of healthy individuals. Together, the results of this study provide important insight into SOD1 kinetics and support application of this technique to the design and implementation of clinical trials that target long-lived CNS proteins.
Matthew J. Crisp ... Randall J. Bateman, Timothy M. Miller
Estrogen receptor–α (ERα) activity in the brain prevents obesity in both males and females. However, the ERα-expressing neural populations that regulate body weight remain to be fully elucidated. Here we showed that single-minded–1 (SIM1) neurons in the medial amygdala (MeA) express abundant levels of ERα. Specific deletion of the gene encoding ERα (
Pingwen Xu ... Qingchun Tong, Yong Xu
Emixustat is a visual cycle modulator that has entered clinical trials as a treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This molecule has been proposed to inhibit the visual cycle isomerase RPE65, thereby slowing regeneration of 11-
Jianye Zhang ... Gregory P. Tochtrop, Krzysztof Palczewski
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a severe autoimmune disease that is associated with increased circulating apoptotic cell autoantigens (AC-Ags) as well as increased type I IFN signaling. Here, we describe a pathogenic mechanism in which follicular translocation of marginal zone (MZ) B cells in the spleens of BXD2 lupus mice disrupts marginal zone macrophages (MZMs), which normally clear AC debris and prevent follicular entry of AC-Ags. Phagocytosis of ACs by splenic MZMs required the megakaryoblastic leukemia 1 (MKL1) transcriptional coactivator–mediated mechanosensing pathway, which was maintained by MZ B cells through expression of membrane lymphotoxin-α1β2 (mLT). Specifically, type I IFN–induced follicular shuttling of mLT-expressing MZ B cells disengaged interactions between these MZ B cells and LTβ receptor–expressing MZMs, thereby downregulating MKL1 in MZMs. Loss of MKL1 expression in MZMs led to defective F-actin polymerization, inability to clear ACs, and, eventually, MZM dissipation. Aggregation of plasmacytoid DCs in the splenic perifollicular region, follicular translocation of MZ B cells, and loss of MKL1 and MZMs were also observed in an additional murine lupus model and in the spleens of patients with SLE. Collectively, the results suggest that lupus might be interrupted by strategies that maintain or enhance mechanosensing signaling in the MZM barrier to prevent follicular entry of AC-Ags.
Hao Li ... Hui-Chen Hsu, John D. Mountz
The generation of potent opioid analgesics that lack the side effects of traditional opioids may be possible by targeting truncated splice variants of the μ-opioid receptor. μ-Opioids act through GPCRs that are generated from the
Zhigang Lu, Jin Xu, Grace C. Rossi, Susruta Majumdar, Gavril W. Pasternak, Ying-Xian Pan
The selective pressure that drives antigenic changes in influenza viruses is thought to originate from the human immune response. Here, we have characterized the B cell repertoire from a previously vaccinated donor whose serum had reduced neutralizing activity against the recently evolved clade 6B H1N1pdm09 viruses. While the response was markedly polyclonal, 88% of clones failed to recognize clade 6B viruses; however, the ability to neutralize A/USSR/90/1977 influenza, to which the donor would have been exposed in childhood, was retained. In vitro selection of virus variants with representative monoclonal antibodies revealed that a single amino acid replacement at residue K163 in the Sa antigenic site, which is characteristic of the clade 6B viruses, was responsible for resistance to neutralization by multiple monoclonal antibodies and the donor serum. The K163 residue lies in a part of a conserved surface that is common to the hemagglutinins of the 1977 and 2009 H1N1 viruses. Vaccination with the 2009 hemagglutinin induced an antibody response tightly focused on this common surface that is capable of selecting current antigenic drift variants in H1N1pdm09 influenza viruses. Moreover, amino acid replacement at K163 was not highlighted by standard ferret antisera. Human monoclonal antibodies may be a useful adjunct to ferret antisera for detecting antigenic drift in influenza viruses.
Kuan-Ying A. Huang ... Rodney S. Daniels, Alain R. Townsend
Marie Bleakley ... Stanley R. Riddell, Warren D. Shlomchik
Strategies aimed at invoking synaptic plasticity have therapeutic potential for several neurological conditions. The human retinal synaptic disease X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS) is characterized by impaired visual signal transmission through the retina and progressive visual acuity loss, and mice lacking retinoschisin (RS1) recapitulate human disease. Here, we demonstrate that restoration of RS1 via retina-specific delivery of adeno-associated virus type 8-
Jingxing Ou ... Wei Li, Paul A. Sieving
Current stem cell–based strategies for tissue regeneration involve ex vivo manipulation of these cells to confer features of the desired progenitor population. Recently, the concept that endogenous stem/progenitor cells could be used for regenerating tissues has emerged as a promising approach that potentially overcomes the obstacles related to cell transplantation. Here we applied this strategy for the regeneration of injured tendons in a rat model. First, we identified a rare fraction of tendon cells that was positive for the known tendon stem cell marker CD146 and exhibited clonogenic capacity, as well as multilineage differentiation ability. These tendon-resident CD146+ stem/progenitor cells were selectively enriched by connective tissue growth factor delivery (CTGF delivery) in the early phase of tendon healing, followed by tenogenic differentiation in the later phase. The time-controlled proliferation and differentiation of CD146+ stem/progenitor cells by CTGF delivery successfully led to tendon regeneration with densely aligned collagen fibers, normal level of cellularity, and functional restoration. Using siRNA knockdown to evaluate factors involved in tendon generation, we demonstrated that the FAK/ERK1/2 signaling pathway regulates CTGF-induced proliferation and differentiation of CD146+ stem/progenitor cells. Together, our findings support the use of endogenous stem/progenitor cells as a strategy for tendon regeneration without cell transplantation and suggest this approach warrants exploration in other tissues.
Chang H. Lee, Francis Y. Lee, Solaiman Tarafder, Kristy Kao, Yena Jun, Guodong Yang, Jeremy J. Mao
Despite the wide availability of antiretroviral drugs, more than 250,000 infants are vertically infected with HIV-1 annually, emphasizing the need for additional interventions to eliminate pediatric HIV-1 infections. Here, we aimed to define humoral immune correlates of risk of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV-1, including responses associated with protection in the RV144 vaccine trial. Eighty-three untreated, HIV-1–transmitting mothers and 165 propensity score–matched nontransmitting mothers were selected from the Women and Infants Transmission Study (WITS) of US nonbreastfeeding, HIV-1–infected mothers. In a multivariable logistic regression model, the magnitude of the maternal IgG responses specific for the third variable loop (V3) of the HIV-1 envelope was predictive of a reduced risk of MTCT. Neutralizing Ab responses against easy-to-neutralize (tier 1) HIV-1 strains also predicted a reduced risk of peripartum transmission in secondary analyses. Moreover, recombinant maternal V3–specific IgG mAbs mediated neutralization of autologous HIV-1 isolates. Thus, common V3-specific Ab responses in maternal plasma predicted a reduced risk of MTCT and mediated autologous virus neutralization, suggesting that boosting these maternal Ab responses may further reduce HIV-1 MTCT.
Sallie R. Permar ... Feng Gao, Barton F. Haynes
μ-Opioid agonists mediate their analgesic effect through GPCRs that are generated via alternate splicing of the
Michael J. Iadarola, Matthew R. Sapio, Andrew J. Mannes
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a multisystem autoimmune disease with a broad spectrum of clinical presentations involving multiple organ systems. An abnormal response to self-antigens is thought to drive the development of SLE; however, the factors that underlie this dysfunction are not clear. In this issue of the
Claudia Mauri, Madhvi Menon
Pancreatic β cells support glucose homeostasis with great precision by matching insulin release to the metabolic needs of the moment. Previous gene-expression analysis indicates that adult β cells not only produce cell-specific proteins, but also repress a small set of housekeeping genes — such as those encoding lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA), solute transporter MCT1, and hexokinase 1 (HK1) — that would otherwise interfere with normal β cell function. In this issue of the JCI, Dhawan et al. elucidate a molecular mechanism involved in β cell–specific repression of
Multiple processes are capable of activating the onset of parturition; however, the specific contributions of the mother and the fetus to this process are not fully understood. In this issue of the
Erin L. Reinl, Sarah K. England
Synaptic disorganization is a prominent feature of many neurological diseases of the CNS, including Parkinson’s disease, intellectual development disorders, and autism. Although synaptic plasticity is critical for learning and memory, it is unclear whether this innate property helps restore synaptic function in disease once the primary cause of disease is abrogated. An answer to this question may come from a recent investigation in X-linked retinoschisis, a currently untreatable retinopathy. In this issue of the
Timm Schubert, Bernd Wissinger
Activation of estrogen receptor α (ERα) in the brain prevents obesity as the result of increased energy expenditure and decreased food intake. While ERα is present on several neural populations, it is not clear how different regions of the brain mediate the weight-regulating effects of ERα activation. In this issue of the
Chia Li, Michael J. Krashes
JCI Impact is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published in each month's issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
The cover image shows an embryonic day-13.5 mouse heart immunostained for endothelial surfaces (endomucin, red) and nonendothelial cells (false-colored in cyan). On page 2661, Plein et al. report a mechanism by which cardiac neural crest cells signal to the vascular endothelium to orchestrate remodeling of the cardiac outflow tract.
JCI Impact is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published in each month's issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Autoimmune disease encompasses a diverse group of over 80 chronic disorders. Each of these diseases has distinct clinical manifestations that are due to the differences in the cells and organ systems involved; however, these diseases are universally characterized by a loss of self-tolerance, resulting in autoreactive immune cells, autoantibodies, and elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines. Reviews in this series examine mechanisms underlying autoimmunity, including failure of B cell tolerance checkpoints, the generation of autoantibodies, cytokine dysregulation, aberrant T cell signaling, and the loss of immune suppressive cells and functions. They also explore the influence of genetic background, environment, microRNAs, and sex-specific factors on the loss of immune homeostasis.