Alan D. Salama, Giuseppe Remuzzi, William E. Harmon, Mohamed H. Sayegh
Ann Marie Schmidt, Shi Du Yan, Shi Fang Yan, David M. Stern
Valerie A. Fadok, Donna L. Bratton, Peter M. Henson
RANK, the receptor activator of NF-κB, and its ligand RANKL (initially termed TRANCE, also termed ODF and OPGL), are a TNF superfamily receptor-ligand pair that govern the development and function of osteoclasts, lymphoid tissue, and mammary epithelium. While TNF family cytokines share a common structural scaffold, individual receptor-ligand pairs associate with high specificity. Given the low level of amino acid conservation among members of the TNF superfamily, the means by which these molecules achieve specificity cannot be completely understood without knowledge of their three-dimensional structures. To determine the elements of RANKL that mediate RANK activation, we have crystallized the ectodomain of murine RANKL and solved its structure to a resolution of 2.6 Å. RANKL self-associates as a homotrimer with four unique surface loops that distinguish it from other TNF family cytokines. Mutagenesis of selected residues in these loops significantly modulates RANK activation, as evidenced by in vitro osteoclastogenesis, thereby establishing their necessity in mediating the biological activities of RANKL. Such structural determinants of RANKL-RANK specificity may be of relevance in the pharmacologic design of compounds to ameliorate osteopenic disorders of bone.
Jonathan Lam, Christopher A. Nelson, F. Patrick Ross, Steven L. Teitelbaum, Daved H. Fremont
We have constructed a replication-deficient adenovirus encoding a nonphosphorylatable Thr34→Ala mutant of the apoptosis inhibitor survivin (pAd-T34A) to target tumor cell viability in vitro and in vivo. Infection with pAd-T34A caused spontaneous apoptosis in cell lines of breast, cervical, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancer. In contrast, pAd-T34A did not affect cell viability of proliferating normal human cells, including fibroblasts, endothelium, or smooth muscle cells. Infection of tumor cells with pAd-T34A resulted in cytochrome c release from mitochondria, cleavage of approximately 46-kDa upstream caspase-9, processing of caspase-3 to the active subunits of approximately 17 and 19 kDa, and increased caspase-3 catalytic activity. When compared with chemotherapeutic regimens, pAd-T34A was as effective as taxol and considerably more effective than adriamycin in induction of tumor cell apoptosis and enhanced taxol-induced cell death. In three xenograft breast cancer models in immunodeficient mice, pAd-T34A suppressed de novo tumor formation, inhibited by approximately 40% the growth of established tumors, and reduced intraperitoneal tumor dissemination. Tumors injected with pAd-T34A exhibited loss of proliferating cells and massive apoptosis by in situ internucleosomal DNA fragmentation. These data suggest that adenoviral targeting of the survivin pathway may provide a novel approach for selective cancer gene therapy.
Mehdi Mesri, Nathan R. Wall, Jia Li, Richard W. Kim, Dario C. Altieri
The inhibitor of apoptosis protein survivin has been implicated in both cell cycle control and apoptosis resistance. To discriminate between these different roles, we used transgenic expression of survivin in the skin as a model for cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Transgenic mice expressing survivin under the control of a keratin-14 promoter developed normally, without histologic abnormalities of the skin or hair, epidermal hyperplasia, or developmental abnormalities of basal or suprabasal epidermis. Keratinocyte proliferation assessed under basal conditions, or after ultraviolet-B (UVB) irradiation, or phorbol ester stimulation was unchanged in survivin transgenic mice. In contrast, survivin expression inhibited UVB-induced apoptosis in vitro and in vivo (i.e., sunburn cell formation), whereas it did not affect Fas-induced cell death. When crossed with p53 knockout mice, transgenic expression of survivin in a p53+/– background substituted for the loss of a second p53 allele and further inhibited UVB-induced apoptosis. These data provide the first in vivo evidence that survivin inhibits apoptosis and suggest that this pathway may oppose the elimination of cancerous cells by p53.
Douglas Grossman, Paul J. Kim, Olivier P. Blanc-Brude, Douglas E. Brash, Simona Tognin, Pier Carlo Marchisio, Dario C. Altieri
PPARγ is a ligand-activated transcription factor and functions as a heterodimer with a retinoid X receptor (RXR). Supraphysiological activation of PPARγ by thiazolidinediones can reduce insulin resistance and hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes, but these drugs can also cause weight gain. Quite unexpectedly, a moderate reduction of PPARγ activity observed in heterozygous PPARγ-deficient mice or the Pro12Ala polymorphism in human PPARγ, has been shown to prevent insulin resistance and obesity induced by a high-fat diet. In this study, we investigated whether functional antagonism toward PPARγ/RXR could be used to treat obesity and type 2 diabetes. We show herein that an RXR antagonist and a PPARγ antagonist decrease triglyceride (TG) content in white adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, and liver. These inhibitors potentiated leptin’s effects and increased fatty acid combustion and energy dissipation, thereby ameliorating HF diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. Paradoxically, treatment of heterozygous PPARγ-deficient mice with an RXR antagonist or a PPARγ antagonist depletes white adipose tissue and markedly decreases leptin levels and energy dissipation, which increases TG content in skeletal muscle and the liver, thereby leading to the re-emergence of insulin resistance. Our data suggested that appropriate functional antagonism of PPARγ/RXR may be a logical approach to protection against obesity and related diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
Toshimasa Yamauchi, Hironori Waki, Junji Kamon, Koji Murakami, Kiyoto Motojima, Kajuro Komeda, Hiroshi Miki, Naoto Kubota, Yasuo Terauchi, Atsuko Tsuchida, Nobuyo Tsuboyama-Kasaoka, Naoko Yamauchi, Tomohiro Ide, Wataru Hori, Shigeaki Kato, Masashi Fukayama, Yasuo Akanuma, Osamu Ezaki, Akiko Itai, Ryozo Nagai, Satoshi Kimura, Kazuyuki Tobe, Hiroyuki Kagechika, Koichi Shudo, Takashi Kadowaki
Pancreatic β cells are the source of insulin, which directly lowers blood glucose levels in the body. Our analyses of α1D gene-knockout (α1D–/–) mice show that the L-type calcium channel, α1D, is required for proper β cell generation in the postnatal pancreas. Knockout mice were characteristically slightly smaller than their littermates and exhibited hypoinsulinemia and glucose intolerance. However, isolated α1D–/– islets persisted in glucose sensing and insulin secretion, with compensatory overexpression of another L-type channel gene, α1C. Histologically, newborn α1D–/– mice had an equivalent number of islets to wild-type mice. In contrast, adult α1D–/– mice showed a decrease in the number and size of islets, compared with littermate wild-type mice due to a decrease in β cell generation. TUNEL staining showed that there was no increase in cell death in α1D–/– islets, and a 5-bromo-2′ deoxyuridine-labeling (BrdU-labeling) assay illustrated significant reduction in the proliferation rate of β cells in α1D–/– islets.
Yoon Namkung, Nataliya Skrypnyk, Myung-Jin Jeong, Taehoon Lee, Myung-Shik Lee, Hyung-Lae Kim, Hemin Chin, Pann-Ghill Suh, Sung-Sook Kim, Hee-Sup Shin
We demonstrated recently that coupling factor 6, an essential component of the energy-transducing stalk of mitochondrial ATP synthase, suppresses the synthesis of prostacyclin in vascular endothelial cells. Here, we tested the hypothesis that coupling factor 6 is present on the cell surface and is involved in the regulation of systemic circulation. This peptide is present on the surface of CRL-2222 vascular endothelial cells and is released by these cells into the medium. In vivo, the peptide circulates in the vascular system of the rat, and its gene expression and plasma concentration are higher in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) than in normotensive controls. Elevation of blood pressure with norepinephrine did not affect the plasma concentration of coupling factor 6. Intravenous injection of recombinant peptide increased blood pressure, apparently by suppressing prostacyclin synthesis, whereas a specific Ab to coupling factor 6 decreased systemic blood pressure concomitantly with an increase in plasma prostacyclin. Interestingly, the antibody’s hypotensive effect could be abolished by treating with the cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin. These findings indicate that mitochondrial coupling factor 6 functions as a potent endogenous vasoconstrictor in the fashion of a circulating hormone and may suggest a new mechanism for hypertension.
Tomohiro Osanai, Makoto Tanaka, Takaatsu Kamada, Takao Nakano, Koki Takahashi, Satoko Okada, Kenichi Sirato, Koji Magota, Shiho Kodama, Ken Okumura
Atherosclerosis causes most acute coronary syndromes and strokes. The pathogenesis of atherosclerosis includes recruitment of inflammatory cells to the vessel wall and activation of vascular cells. CD44 is an adhesion protein expressed on inflammatory and vascular cells. CD44 supports the adhesion of activated lymphocytes to endothelium and smooth muscle cells. Furthermore, ligation of CD44 induces activation of both inflammatory and vascular cells. To assess the potential contribution of CD44 to atherosclerosis, we bred CD44-null mice to atherosclerosis-prone apoE-deficient mice. We found a 50–70% reduction in aortic lesions in CD44-null mice compared with CD44 heterozygote and wild-type littermates. We demonstrate that CD44 promotes the recruitment of macrophages to atherosclerotic lesions. Furthermore, we show that CD44 is required for phenotypic dedifferentiation of medial smooth muscle cells to the “synthetic” state as measured by expression of VCAM-1. Finally, we demonstrate that hyaluronan, the principal ligand for CD44, is upregulated in atherosclerotic lesions of apoE-deficient mice and that the low-molecular-weight proinflammatory forms of hyaluronan stimulate VCAM-1 expression and proliferation of cultured primary aortic smooth muscle cells, whereas high-molecular-weight forms of hyaluronan inhibit smooth muscle cell proliferation. We conclude that CD44 plays a critical role in the progression of atherosclerosis through multiple mechanisms.
Carolyn A. Cuff, Devashish Kothapalli, Ijeoma Azonobi, Sam Chun, Yuanming Zhang, Richard Belkin, Christine Yeh, Anthony Secreto, Richard K. Assoian, Daniel J. Rader, Ellen Puré
The potential of the paired Ig-like receptors of activating (PIR-A) and inhibitory (PIR-B) types for modifying an IgE antibody–mediated allergic response was evaluated in mouse bone marrow–derived mast cells. Although mast cells produced both PIR-A and PIR-B, PIR-B was found to be preferentially expressed on the cell surface, where it was constitutively tyrosine phosphorylated and associated with intracellular SHP-1 protein tyrosine phosphatase. PIR-B coligation with the IgE receptor (FcεRI) inhibited IgE-mediated mast cell activation and release of serotonin. Surprisingly, the inhibitory activity of PIR-B was unimpaired in SHP-1–deficient mast cells. A third functional tyrosine-based inhibitory motif, one that fails to bind the SHP-1, SHP-2, and SHIP phosphatases, was identified in parallel studies of FcεRI-bearing rat basophilic leukemia (RBL) cells transfected with constructs having mutations in the PIR-B cytoplasmic region. These results define the preferential expression of the PIR-B molecules on mast cells and an inhibitory potential that can be mediated via a SHP-1–independent pathway.
Takahiro Uehara, Mathieu Bléry, Dong-Won Kang, Ching-Cheng Chen, Le Hong Ho, G. Larry Gartland, Fu-Tong Liu, Eric Vivier, Max D. Cooper, Hiromi Kubagawa
5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) released from enterochromaffin cells activates secretory and peristaltic reflexes necessary for lubrication and propulsion of intestinal luminal contents. The aim of this study was to identify mechanosensitive intracellular signaling pathways that regulate 5-HT release. Human carcinoid BON cells displayed 5-HT immunoreactivity associated with granules dispersed throughout the cells or at the borders. Mechanical stimulation by rotational shaking released 5-HT from BON cells or from guinea pig jejunum during neural blockade with tetrodotoxin. In streptolysin O–permeabilized cells, guanosine 5′-O- (2-thiodiphosphate) (GDP-β-S) and a synthetic peptide derived from the COOH terminus of Gαq abolished mechanically evoked 5-HT release, while the NH2-terminal peptide did not. An antisense phosphorothioated oligonucleotide targeted to a unique sequence of Gαq abolished mechanically evoked 5-HT release and reduced Gαq protein levels without affecting the expression of Gα11. Depletion and chelation of extracellular calcium did not alter mechanically evoked 5-HT release, whereas depletion of intracellular calcium stores by thapsigargin and chelation of intracellular calcium by 1,2-bis (o-Aminophenoxy) ethane-N,N,N′,N′-tetraacetic acid tetra (acetoxymethyl) ester (BAPTA-AM) reduced 5-HT release. Mechanically evoked 5-HT release was inhibited by somatostatin-14 in a concentration-dependent manner. The results suggest that mechanical stimulation of enterochromaffin-derived BON cells directly or indirectly stimulates a G protein–coupled receptor that activates Gαq, mobilizes intracellular calcium, and causes 5-HT release.
Minsoo Kim, Najma H. Javed, Jun-Ge Yu, Fievos Christofi, Helen J. Cooke
The study of human B cell tolerance has been hampered by difficulties in identifying a sizable population of autoreactive B lymphocytes whose fate could be readily determined. Hypothesizing that B cells expressing intrinsically autoreactive antibodies encoded by the VH4-34 heavy chain gene (VH4-34 cells) represent such a population, we tracked VH4-34 cells in healthy individuals. Here, we show that naive VH4-34 cells are positively selected and mostly restricted to the follicular mantle zone. Subsequently, these cells are largely excluded from the germinal centers and underrepresented in the memory compartment. In healthy donors but not in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), these cells are prevented from differentiating into antibody-producing plasma cells. This blockade can be overcome ex vivo using cultures of naive and memory VH4-34 cells in the presence of CD70, IL-2, and IL-10. VH4-34 cells may therefore represent an experimentally useful surrogate for autoantibody transgenes and should prove valuable in studying human B cell tolerance in a physiological, polyclonal environment. Our initial results suggest that both positive and negative selection processes participate in the maintenance of tolerance in autoreactive human B cells at multiple checkpoints throughout B cell differentiation and that at least some censoring mechanisms are faulty in SLE.
Aimee E. Pugh-Bernard, Gregg J. Silverman, Amedeo J. Cappione, Michael E. Villano, Daniel H. Ryan, Richard A. Insel, Iñaki Sanz
Cells with a verapamil-sensitive ability to efflux Hoechst 33342 (termed side population [SP] cells) have been identified in adult marrow from several species including humans and in several tissues from adult mice. In mice, the SP phenotype appears to be a common feature of stem cells, but human SP cells have been less well characterized. We show here, for the first time to our knowledge, that SP cells are present in the second-trimester human fetal liver. They include all of the transplantable human hematopoietic stem cell activity detectable in NOD/SCID mice and also certain other, more differentiated hematopoietic cell types. Notably, the stem cell activity was confined to the CD34+CD38– SP+ population, and isolation of these cells gave an approximately tenfold enrichment of transplantable stem cells. This subset was not, however, coenriched in hematopoietic progenitors detectable by either short- or long-term in vitro assays, indicating most of these to be distinct from transplantable stem cells. These findings suggest that the SP phenotype is an important and distinguishing property of human hematopoietic stem cells and that early in ontogeny they express CD34.
Naoyuki Uchida, Tomoaki Fujisaki, Allen C. Eaves, Connie J. Eaves
Energy balance and insulin action are tightly coregulated. Leptin regulates energy intake and expenditure partly by modulation of the melanocortin pathway in the hypothalamus. Here we demonstrate potent effects of the melanocortin pathway on insulin action and body distribution of adiposity. Conscious rats received week-long infusions of either a melanocortin receptor agonist, α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), or antagonist, SHU9119, in the third cerebral ventricle while food intake was maintained constant in each group. α-MSH decreased intra-abdominal fat and markedly enhanced the actions of insulin on both glucose uptake and production, while SHU9119 exerted opposite effects. Our findings elucidate a neuroendocrine network that is likely to play a central role in the coupling of energy intake and insulin action.
Silvana Obici, Zhaohui Feng, Jianzhen Tan, LiSen Liu, George Karkanias, Luciano Rossetti