In this issue, Wang et al. report a human cellular model of Bardet-Biedl Syndrome (BBS), a ciliopathy characterized by hyperphagic obesity, using patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell–derived (iPSC-derived) hypothalamic arcuate-like neurons. Their findings indicate that BBS proteins impact energy homeostasis by regulating cilia length and neuronal morphology, and by controlling key intracellular signaling pathways, such as insulin and leptin signaling. The cover image shows iPSC-derived neurons with a mutation in BBS10A stained for the neuronal markers TUJ1 (red) and MAP2 (green), with overlapping regions shown in yellow and Draq5-stained nuclei (blue).
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Dysregulated protein degradative pathways are increasingly recognized as mediators of human disease. This mechanism may have particular relevance to desmosomal proteins that play critical structural roles in both tissue architecture and cell-cell communication as destabilization/breakdown of the desmosomal proteome is a hallmark of genetic-based desmosomal-targeted diseases, such as the cardiac disease, arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C). However, no information exists on whether there are resident proteins that regulate desmosomal proteome homeostasis. Here we uncovered a cardiac COP9 desmosomal resident protein complex, composed of subunit 6 of the COP9 signalosome (CSN6), that enzymatically restricted neddylation and targeted desmosomal proteome degradation. CSN6 binding, localization, levels and function were impacted in hearts of classic mouse and human models of ARVD/C impacted by desmosomal loss and mutations, respectively. Loss of desmosomal proteome degradation control due to CSN6 loss and human desmosomal mutations destabilizing CSN6 were also sufficient to trigger ARVD/C in mice. We identified a desmosomal resident regulatory complex that restricted desmosomal proteome degradation and disease.
Yan Liang, Robert C. Lyon, Jason Pellman, William H. Bradford, Stephan Lange, Julius Bogomolovas, Nancy D. Dalton, Yusu Gu, Marcus Bobar, Mong-Hong Lee, Tomoo Iwakuma, Vishal Nigam, Angeliki Asimaki, Melvin Scheinman, Kirk L. Peterson, Farah Sheikh
Synaptic plasticity is identified as innate to hypothalamic feeding circuits in their adaptation to the changing metabolic milieu in control of feeding and obesity. However, less is known about the regulatory principles of the dynamic changes of AgRP perikarya, a crucial region of the neuron gating excitation, and hence, feeding. Here we show that AgRP neurons activated either by food deprivation, ghrelin or chemogenetics decreased their own inhibitory tone while triggering mitochondrial adaptations in neighboring astrocytes. We found that it was the inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA, released by AgRP neurons that evoked this astrocytic response, which in turn, resulted in increased glial ensheetment of AgRP perikaryal by glial processes and increased excitability of AgRP neurons. We also identified that astrocyte-derived prostaglandin E2 directly activated, via EP2 receptors, AgRP neurons. Taken together, these observations unmasked a feedforward, self-exciting loop in AgRP neuronal control mediated by astrocytes, a mechanism directly relevant for hunger, feeding and overfeeding.
Luis Varela, Bernardo Stutz, Jae Eun Song, Jae Geun Kim, Zhong-Wu Liu, Xiao-Bing Gao, Tamas L. Horvath
T cell immunity is essential for the control of tuberculosis (TB), an important disease of the lung, and is generally studied in humans using peripheral blood cells. Mounting evidence, however, indicates that tissue resident memory T cells (Trm) are superior at controlling many pathogens, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), and can be quite different from those in circulation. Using freshly resected lung tissue, from individuals with active or previous TB, we identified distinct CD4 and CD8 Trm-like clusters within TB diseased lung tissue that were functional and enriched for IL-17 producing cells. Mtb-specific CD4 T cells producing TNF-α, IL-2 and IL-17 were highly expanded in the lung compared to matched blood samples, in which IL-17+ cells were largely absent. Strikingly, the frequency of Mtb-specific lung T cells making IL-17, but not other cytokines, inversely correlated with the plasma IL-1β levels, suggesting a potential link with disease severity. Using a human granuloma model, we showed the addition of either exogenous IL-17 or IL-2 enhanced immune control of Mtb and was associated with increased NO production. Taken together, these data support an important role for Mtb-specific Trm-like IL-17 producing cells in the immune control of Mtb in the human lung.
Paul Ogongo, Liku B. Tezera, Amanda Ardain, Shepherd Nhamoyebonde, Duran Ramsuran, Alveera Singh, Abigail Ngoepe, Farina Karim, Taryn Naidoo, Khadija Khan, Kaylesh J. Dullabh, Michael Fehlings, Boon Heng Lee, Alessandra Nardin, Cecilia S. Lindestam Arlehamn, Alessandro Sette, Samuel M. Behar, Adrie J.C. Steyn, Rajhmun Madansein, Henrik N. Kløverpris, Paul T. Elkington, Alasdair Leslie
Stimulation of TAM (TYRO3, AXL and MERTK) Receptor Tyrosine Kinases promotes tumor progression through numerous cellular mechanisms. TAM cognate ligands GAS6 and PROS1 (for TYRO3 and MERTK) are secreted by host immune cells, an interaction which may support tumor progression. Here we reveal an unexpected anti-metastatic role for myeloid-derived PROS1, directly suppressing the metastatic potential of lung and breast tumor models. Pros1 deletion in myeloid cells led to increased lung metastasis, independent of primary tumor infiltration. PROS1-cKO BMDMs led to elevated TNFα, IL-6, Nos2 and IL-10 via modulation of the Socs3-NFκB pathway. Conditioned medium from cKO BMDMs enhanced EMT, ERK, AKT and STAT3 activation within tumor cells, and promoted IL-10 dependent invasion and survival. Macrophages isolated from metastatic lungs modulated T cell proliferation and function, as well as expression of costimulatory molecules on dendritic cells in a PROS1-dependent manner. Inhibition of MERTK kinase activity blocked PROS1-mediated suppression of TNFα and IL-6, but not of IL-10. Overall, using lung and breast cancer models, we identify the PROS1-MERTK axis within BMDMs as a potent regulator of adaptive immune responses with a potential to suppress metastatic seeding, and reveal IL-10 regulation by PROS1 to deviate from that of TNFα and IL-6.
Avi Maimon, Victor Levi-Yahid, Kerem Ben-Meir, Amit Halpern, Ziv Talmi, Shivam Priya, Gabriel Mizraji, Shani Mistriel-Zerbib, Michael Berger, Michal Baniyash, Sonja Loges, Tal Burstyn-Cohen
Opioid use disorder (OUD) has become a leading cause of death in the US, yet current therapeutic strategies remain highly inadequate. To identify novel potential treatments for OUD, we screened a targeted selection of over 100 drugs using a recently developed opioid self-administration assay in zebrafish. This paradigm showed that finasteride, a steroidogenesis inhibitor approved for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia and androgenetic alopecia, reduced self-administration of multiple opioids without affecting locomotion or feeding behavior. These findings were confirmed in rats; furthermore, finasteride reduced the physical signs associated with opioid withdrawal. In rat models of neuropathic pain, finasteride did not alter the antinociceptive effect of opioids and reduced withdrawal-induced hyperalgesia. Steroidomic analyses of the brains of fish treated with finasteride revealed a significant increase in dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS). Treatment with precursors of DHEAS reduced opioid self-administration in zebrafish in a fashion akin to the effects of finasteride. These results highlight the importance of steroidogenic pathways as a rich source of therapeutic targets for OUD and point to the potential of finasteride as a new treatment option for this disorder.
Gabriel D. Bosse, Roberto Cadeddu, Gabriele Floris, Ryan D. Farero, Eva Vigato, Suhjung J. Lee, Tejia Zhang, Nilesh W. Gaikwad, Kristen A. Keefe, Paul E.M. Phillips, Marco Bortolato, Randall T. Peterson
JCI This Month is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published each month.
Cancer cells in a solid tumor are supported by vasculature, extracellular matrix, nerves, and an immunological milieu collectively known as the tumor microenvironment. Elements within the tumor microenvironment can act in a coordinated fashion to support tumor growth, immune evasion, and metastasis. In this series, reviews curated by Series Editor Andrew Ewald highlight the tumor microenvironment’s complex effects in cancer, describing its modulation of immune cells and the tumor stroma as well as its role in disseminating metastases.