Eva L. Feldman
Eugene J. Barrett
John F. Leite, Nivalda Rodrigues-Pinguet, Henry A. Lester
W. Timothy Garvey
Signaling by hormones and neurotransmitters that activate G protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs) maintains blood pressure within the normal range despite large changes in cardiac output that can occur within seconds. This implies that blood pressure regulation requires precise kinetic control of GPCR signaling. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed mice deficient in RGS2, a GTPase-activating protein that greatly accelerates the deactivation rate of heterotrimeric G proteins in vitro. Both rgs2+/– and rgs2–/– mice exhibited a strong hypertensive phenotype, renovascular abnormalities, persistent constriction of the resistance vasculature, and prolonged response of the vasculature to vasoconstrictors in vivo. Analysis of P2Y receptor–mediated Ca2+ signaling in vascular smooth muscle cells in vitro indicated that loss of RGS2 increased agonist potency and efficacy and slowed the kinetics of signal termination. These results establish that abnormally prolonged signaling by G protein–coupled vasoconstrictor receptors can contribute to the onset of hypertension, and they suggest that genetic defects affecting the function or expression of RGS2 may be novel risk factors for development of hypertension in humans.
Scott P. Heximer, Russell H. Knutsen, Xiaoguang Sun, Kevin M. Kaltenbronn, Man-Hee Rhee, Ning Peng, Antonio Oliveira-dos-Santos, Josef M. Penninger, Anthony J. Muslin, Thomas H. Steinberg, J. Michael Wyss, Robert P. Mecham, Kendall J. Blumer
Preadipocyte factor-1 (Pref-1) is a transmembrane protein highly expressed in preadipocytes. Pref-1 expression is, however, completely abolished in adipocytes. The extracellular domain of Pref-1 undergoes two proteolytic cleavage events that generate 50 and 25 kDa soluble products. To understand the function of Pref-1, we generated transgenic mice that express the full ectodomain corresponding to the large cleavage product of Pref-1 fused to human immunoglobulin-γ constant region. Mice expressing the Pref-1/hFc transgene in adipose tissue, driven by the adipocyte fatty acid–binding protein (aP2, also known as aFABP) promoter, showed a substantial decrease in total fat pad weight. Moreover, adipose tissue from transgenic mice showed reduced expression of adipocyte markers and adipocyte-secreted factors, including leptin and adiponectin, whereas the preadipocyte marker Pref-1 was increased. Pref-1 transgenic mice with a substantial, but not complete, loss of adipose tissue exhibited hypertriglyceridemia, impaired glucose tolerance, and decreased insulin sensitivity. Mice expressing the Pref-1/hFc transgene exclusively in liver under the control of the albumin promoter also showed a decrease in adipose mass and adipocyte marker expression, suggesting an endocrine mode of action of Pref-1. These findings demonstrate the inhibition of adipogenesis by Pref-1 in vivo and the resulting impairment of adipocyte function that leads to the development of metabolic abnormalities.
Kichoon Lee, Josep A. Villena, Yang Soo Moon, Kee-Hong Kim, Sunjoo Lee, Chulho Kang, Hei Sook Sul
We and others have suggested that insulin predominantly acts indirectly to inhibit hepatic glucose production (HGP) via suppression of gluconeogenic precursors, FFAs, and glucagon. To test that hypothesis, we performed high-dose hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps using [3-3H]-glucose in liver-specific insulin receptor knockout (LIRKO) mice, LIRKO mice treated with streptozotocin (LIRKO+STZ), and controls. In LIRKO mice, fasted glucose was normal, but insulin levels were elevated tenfold. STZ treatment reduced insulinemia by 60% with resulting hyperglycemia. Interestingly, basal HGP was similar in all three groups. During the clamp, HGP was suppressed by 82 ± 17% in controls, but was not suppressed in either LIRKO or LIRKO+STZ mice. Glucose infusion and utilization were impaired (∼50%) in LIRKO and LIRKO+STZ mice versus controls. Insulin suppressed FFAs similarly in all groups (∼46%). Glucagon was not significantly suppressed during the clamp. Thus, in LIRKO mice, (a) high-dose insulin fails to suppress HGP indicating that both direct and indirect effects of insulin require an intact insulin-signaling pathway in the liver; (b) primary hepatic insulin resistance leads to hyperinsulinemia and secondary extrahepatic insulin resistance; and (c) lowering insulin levels with STZ tended to improve extrahepatic insulin sensitivity but failed to reveal the previously postulated indirect role of insulin in suppressing HGP.
Simon J. Fisher, C. Ronald Kahn
Enteroviral infections of the heart are among the most commonly identified causes of acute myocarditis in children and adults and have been implicated in dilated cardiomyopathy. Although there is considerable information regarding the cellular immune response in myocarditis, little is known about innate signaling mechanisms within the infected cardiac myocyte that contribute to the host defense against viral infection. Here we show the essential role of Janus kinase (JAK) signaling in cardiac myocyte antiviral defense and a negative role of an intrinsic JAK inhibitor, the suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS), in the early disease process. Cardiac myocyte–specific transgenic expression of SOCS1 inhibited enterovirus-induced signaling of JAK and the signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT), with accompanying increases in viral replication, cardiomyopathy, and mortality in coxsackievirus-infected mice. Furthermore, the inhibition of SOCS in the cardiac myocyte through adeno-associated virus–mediated (AAV-mediated) expression of a dominant-negative SOCS1 increased the myocyte resistance to the acute cardiac injury caused by enteroviral infection. These results indicate that strategies directed at inhibition of SOCS in the heart and perhaps other organs can augment the host-cell antiviral system, thus preventing viral-mediated end-organ damage during the early stages of infection.
Hideo Yasukawa, Toshitaka Yajima, Hervé Duplain, Mitsuo Iwatate, Masakuni Kido, Masahiko Hoshijima, Matthew D. Weitzman, Tomoyuki Nakamura, Sarah Woodard, Dingding Xiong, Akihiko Yoshimura, Kenneth R. Chien, Kirk U. Knowlton
Phosphocreatine (PCr) resynthesis rate following intense anoxic contraction can be used as a sensitive index of in vivo mitochondrial function. We examined the effect of a diet-induced increase in uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3) expression on postexercise PCr resynthesis in skeletal muscle. Nine healthy male volunteers undertook 20 one-legged maximal voluntary contractions with limb blood flow occluded to deplete muscle PCr stores. Exercise was performed following 7 days consumption of low-fat (LF) or high-fat (HF) diets. Immediately following exercise, blood flow was reinstated, and muscle was sampled after 20, 60, and 120 seconds of recovery. Mitochondrial coupling was assessed by determining the rate of PCr resynthesis during recovery. The HF diet increased UCP3 protein content by approximately 44% compared with the LF diet. However, this HF diet–induced increase in UCP3 expression was not associated with any changes in the rate of muscle PCr resynthesis during conditions of maximal flux through oxidative phosphorylation. Muscle acetylcarnitine, free-creatine, and lactate concentrations during recovery were unaffected by the HF diet. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that increasing muscle UCP3 expression does not diminish the rate of PCr resynthesis, allowing us to conclude that the primary role of UCP3 in humans is not uncoupling.
Matthijs K.C. Hesselink, Paul L. Greenhaff, Dimitru Constantin-Teodosiu, Eric Hultman, Wim H.M. Saris, Robby Nieuwlaat, Gert Schaart, Esther Kornips, Patrick Schrauwen
SPARC, a 32-kDa glycoprotein, participates in the regulation of morphogenesis and cellular differentiation through its modulation of cell-matrix interactions. Major functions defined for SPARC in vitro are de-adhesion and antiproliferation. In vivo, SPARC is restricted in its expression to remodeling tissues, including pathologies such as cancer. However, the function of endogenous SPARC in tumor growth and progression is not known. Here, we report that implanted tumors grew more rapidly in mice lacking SPARC. We observed that tumors grown in SPARC null mice showed alterations in the production and organization of ECM components and a decrease in the infiltration of macrophages. However, there was no change in the levels of angiogenic growth factors in comparison to tumors grown in wild-type mice, although there was a statistically significant difference in total vascular area. Whereas SPARC did inhibit the growth of tumor cells in vitro, it did not have a demonstrable effect on the proliferation or apoptosis of tumor cells in vivo. These data indicate that host-derived SPARC is important for the appropriate organization of the ECM in response to implanted tumors and highlight the importance of the ECM in regulating tumor growth.
Rolf A. Brekken, Pauli Puolakkainen, David C. Graves, Gail Workman, Sharon R. Lubkin, E. Helene Sage
We describe a highly disabling congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS) associated with rapidly decaying, low-amplitude synaptic currents, and trace its cause to a valine to leucine mutation in the signature cystine loop (cys-loop) of the AChR α subunit. The recently solved crystal structure of an ACh-binding protein places the cys-loop at the junction between the extracellular ligand-binding and transmembrane domains where it may couple agonist binding to channel gating. We therefore analyzed the kinetics of ACh-induced single-channel currents to identify elementary steps in the receptor activation mechanism altered by the αV132L mutation. The analysis reveals that αV132L markedly impairs ACh binding to receptors in the resting closed state, decreasing binding affinity for the second binding step 30-fold, but attenuates gating efficiency only about twofold. By contrast, mutation of the equivalent valine residue in the δ subunit impairs channel gating approximately fourfold with little effect on ACh binding, while corresponding mutations in the β and ε subunits are without effect. The unique functional contribution of the α subunit cys-loop likely owes to its direct connection via a β strand to αW149 at the center of the ligand-binding domain. The overall findings reveal functional asymmetry between cys-loops of the different AChR subunits in contributing to ACh binding and channel gating.
Xin-Ming Shen, Kinji Ohno, Akira Tsujino, Joan M. Brengman, Monique Gingold, Steven M. Sine, Andrew G. Engel
Hedgehog proteins modulate development and patterning of the embryonic nervous system. As expression of desert hedgehog and the hedgehog receptor, patched-1, persist in the postnatal and adult peripheral nerves, the hedgehog pathway may have a role in maturation and maintenance of the peripheral nervous system in normal and disease states. We measured desert hedgehog expression in the peripheral nerve of maturing diabetic rats and found that diabetes caused a significant reduction in desert hedgehog mRNA. Treating diabetic rats with a sonic hedgehog–IgG fusion protein fully restored motor- and sensory-nerve conduction velocities and maintained the axonal caliber of large myelinated fibers. Diabetes-induced deficits in retrograde transport of nerve growth factor and sciatic-nerve levels of calcitonin gene–related product and neuropeptide Y were also ameliorated by treatment with the sonic hedgehog–IgG fusion protein, as was thermal hypoalgesia in the paw. These studies implicate disruption of normal hedgehog function in the etiology of diabetes-induced peripheral-nerve dysfunction and indicate that delivery of exogenous hedgehog proteins may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy.
Nigel A. Calcutt, Karen L. Allendoerfer, Andrew P. Mizisin, Alicia Middlemas, Jason D. Freshwater, Monica Burgers, Rigel Ranciato, Jean-Dominique Delcroix, Frederick R. Taylor, Renee Shapiro, Kathy Strauch, Henryk Dudek, Thomas M. Engber, Alphonse Galdes, Lee L. Rubin, David R. Tomlinson
Renal tubulointerstitial injury is characterized by inflammatory cell infiltrate; however, the stimuli for leukocyte recruitment are not fully understood. IL-8 is a potent chemokine produced by proximal tubular epithelial cells (PTECs). Whether nephrotic proteins stimulate tubular IL-8 expression remains unknown. Acute exposure of human PTECs to albumin induced IL-8 gene and protein expression time- and dose-dependently. Apical albumin predominantly stimulated basolateral IL-8 secretion. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay demonstrated nuclear translocation of NF-κB, and the p65/p50 subunits were activated. NF-κB activation and IL-8 secretion were attenuated by the NF-κB inhibitors pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate and cell-permeable peptide. Albumin upregulated intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, while exogenous H2O2 stimulated NF-κB translocation and IL-8 secretion. Albumin-induced ROS generation, NF-κB activation, and IL-8 secretion were endocytosis- and PKC-dependent as these downstream events were abrogated by the PI3K inhibitors LY294002 and wortmannin, and the PKC inhibitors GF109203X and staurosporin, respectively. In vivo, IL-8 mRNA expression was localized by in situ hybridization to the proximal tubules in nephrotic kidney tissues. The intensity of IL-8 immunostaining was higher in nephrotic than non-nephrotic subjects. In conclusion, albumin is a strong stimulus for tubular IL-8 expression, which occurs via NF-κB–dependent pathways through PKC activation and ROS generation.
Sydney Tang, Joseph C.K. Leung, Katsushige Abe, Kwok Wah Chan, Loretta Y.Y. Chan, Tak Mao Chan, Kar Neng Lai
Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a malignancy of unknown pathogenesis. The malignant Hodgkin and Reed/Sternberg (HRS) cells derive from germinal center B cells (or rarely, T cells) but have a heterogeneous and largely uncharacterized phenotype. Using microarrays, we compared the gene expression profile of four HL cell lines with profiles of the main B cell subsets and B cell non-HLs to find out whether HRS cells, despite their described heterogeneity, show a distinct gene expression, to study their relationship to other normal and malignant B cells, and to identify genes aberrantly or overexpressed by HRS cells. The HL lines indeed clustered as a distinct entity, irrespective of their B or T cell derivation, and their gene expression was most similar to that of EBV-transformed B cells and cell lines derived from diffuse large cell lymphomas showing features of in vitro–activated B cells. Twenty-seven genes, most of which were previously unknown to be expressed by HRS cells, showed aberrant expression specifically in these cells, e.g., the transcription factors GATA-3, ABF1, EAR3, and Nrf3. For five genes, expression in primary HRS cells was confirmed. The newly identified HL-specific genes may play important roles in the pathogenesis of HL, potentially represent novel diagnostic markers, and can be considered for therapeutic targeting.
Ralf Küppers, Ulf Klein, Ines Schwering, Verena Distler, Andreas Bräuninger, Giorgio Cattoretti, Yuhai Tu, Gustavo A. Stolovitzky, Andrea Califano, Martin-Leo Hansmann, Riccardo Dalla-Favera
Studies in human systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) suggest a possible role for histone deacetylases (HDACs) in skewed gene expression and disease pathogenesis. We used the MRL-lpr/lpr murine model of lupus to demonstrate that HDACs play a key role in the heightened levels of both Th1 and Th2 cytokine expression that contribute to disease. The availability of specific HDAC inhibitors (HDIs) such as trichostatin A (TSA) and suberonylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) permits the study of the role of HDACs in gene regulation. Our results indicate that HDIs downregulate IL-12, IFN-γ, IL-6, and IL-10 mRNA and protein levels in MRL-lpr/lpr splenocytes. This effect on gene transcription is associated with an increased accumulation of acetylated histones H3 and H4 in total cellular chromatin. To elucidate the in vivo effects of TSA on lupuslike disease, we treated MRL-lpr/lpr mice with TSA (0.5 mg/kg/d) for 5 weeks. Compared with vehicle-treated control mice, TSA-treated mice exhibited a significant reduction in proteinuria, glomerulonephritis, and spleen weight. Taken together, these findings suggest that increased expression of HDACs leading to an altered state of histone acetylation may be of pathologic significance in MRL-lpr/lpr mice. In addition, TSA or other HDIs may have therapeutic benefit in the treatment of SLE.
Nilamadhab Mishra, Christopher M. Reilly, Doris R. Brown, Phil Ruiz, Gary S. Gilkeson
Stat3 is the most pleiotropic member of the signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) family of transcription factors and mediates pivotal responses for the cytokine family. In resting cells, STATs, including Stat3, reside largely in the cytoplasm. Upon cytokine stimulation, they rapidly translocate to the nucleus, where they promote the expression of target genes. During the subsequent period of signal decay they are re-exported back to the cytoplasm in preparation for the next round of signaling. This process of nuclear export can be blocked by the fungal toxin leptomycin B (LMB). In contrast to what appears to be the case for Stat1, LMB treatment not only blocks the poststimulation export of Stat3 from the nucleus back to the cytoplasm, but also promotes the nuclear accumulation of Stat3 in resting cells. Remarkably, the LMB-dependent nuclear accumulation of Stat3 in resting cells is independent of tyrosine phosphorylation, highlighting the existence of a “basal” signaling pathway. Subsequent studies identified three nuclear export signal (NES) elements. Two of these elements, Stat3306–318 and Stat3404–414, corresponded to those recently identified in Stat1, and a third, Stat3524–535, is novel. Stat3306–318 appears to be important in the rapid nuclear export seen after stimulation (poststimulation export), whereas the Stat3404–414 and Stat3524–535 play a more important role in regulating basal nuclear export. In summary, these studies indicate that the process of Stat3 nuclear export is dependent on multiple NES elements.
Samita Bhattacharya, Christian Schindler