Marshall E. Bloom
A set of lung diseases share the tendency for the development of progressive fibrosis ultimately leading to respiratory failure. This review examines the common pathogenetic features of these disorders in light of recent observations in both humans and animal models of disease, which reveal important pathways of lung matrix remodeling.
Harold A. Chapman
Mammalian aging occurs in part because of a decline in the restorative capacity of tissue stem cells. These self-renewing cells are rendered malignant by a small number of oncogenic mutations, and overlapping tumor suppressor mechanisms (e.g., p16INK4a-Rb, ARF-p53, and the telomere) have evolved to ward against this possibility. These beneficial antitumor pathways, however, appear also to limit the stem cell life span, thereby contributing to aging.
Norman E. Sharpless, Ronald A. DePinho
Damage to DNA, the prime target of anticancer therapy, triggers programmed cellular responses. In addition to apoptosis, therapy-mediated premature senescence has been identified as another drug-responsive program that impacts the outcome of cancer therapy. Here, we discuss whether induction of senescence is a beneficial or, rather, a detrimental consequence of the therapeutic intervention.
Pascal Kahlem, Bernd Dörken, Clemens A. Schmitt
Stem cells generate the differentiated cell types within many organs throughout the lifespan of an organism and are thus ultimately responsible for the longevity of multicellular organisms. Therefore, senescence of stem cells must be prevented. Bmi1 is required for the maintenance of adult stem cells in some tissues partly because it represses genes that induce cellular senescence and cell death.
In-Kyung Park, Sean J. Morrison, Michael F. Clarke
Excess collagen deposition occurs in pulmonary fibrosis. A new study suggests that collagen overproduction may originate from cells derived from bone marrow precursors rather than parenchymal lung fibroblasts .
Sarah E. Dunsmore, Steven D. Shapiro
Conserved pairs of CBS sequence motifs (named after cystathionine β-synthase) found in a wide variety of proteins associate to form Bateman domains. A new study establishes that Bateman domains bind adenosyl compounds and regulate IMP dehydrogenase, CBS, chloride channels, and AMP-activated protein kinase. This discovery reveals how mutations in CBS sequences in these proteins cause hereditary diseases and provides a rich vista of conceptual opportunities for therapies in energy metabolism, obesity, diabetes, cancer, antivirals, and immunosuppression.
Bruce E. Kemp
The family of neurodegenerative diseases known as hereditary spastic parapareses have diverse genetic loci, yet there is a remarkable convergence in the neuropathologic and neurologic phenotype. A report describing the construction of a transgenic mouse with a deletion of a nuclear-encoded mitochondrial protein involved in the regulation of oxidative phosphorylation suggests that this family of diseases may reflect activation of a final common pathway involving synaptic dysfunction that progresses to destruction of the presynaptic nerve terminal and axon .
Harris A. Gelbard
VEGF is crucial for metaphyseal bone vascularization. In contrast, the angiogenic factors required for vascularization of epiphyseal cartilage are unknown, although this represents a developmentally and clinically important aspect of bone growth. The
Christa Maes, Ingrid Stockmans, Karen Moermans, Riet Van Looveren, Nico Smets, Peter Carmeliet, Roger Bouillon, Geert Carmeliet
Mice containing a disruption of the Hexb gene have provided a useful model system for the study of the human lysosomal storage disorder known as Sandhoff disease (SD). Hexb–/– mice rapidly develop a progressive neurologic disease of ganglioside GM2 and GA2 storage. Our study revealed that the disease states in this model are associated with the appearance of antiganglioside autoantibodies. Both elevation of serum antiganglioside autoantibodies and IgG deposition to CNS neurons were found in the advanced stages of the disease in Hexb–/– mice; serum transfer from these mice showed IgG binding to neurons. To determine the role of these autoantibodies, the Fc receptor γ gene (FcRγ) was additionally disrupted in Hexb–/– mice, as it plays a key role in immune complex–mediated autoimmune diseases. Clinical symptoms were improved and life spans were extended in the Hexb–/–FcRγ–/– mice; the number of apoptotic cells was also decreased. The level of ganglioside accumulation, however, did not change. IgG deposition was also confirmed in the brain of an autopsied SD patient. Taken together, these findings suggest that the production of autoantibodies plays an important role in the pathogenesis of neuropathy in SD and therefore provides a target for novel therapies.
Akira Yamaguchi, Kayoko Katsuyama, Kiyotaka Nagahama, Toshiyuki Takai, Ichiro Aoki, Shoji Yamanaka
Insulin promotes both metabolism and growth. However, it is unclear whether insulin-dependent growth is merely a result of its metabolic actions. Targeted ablation of insulin receptor (Insr) has not clarified this issue, because of early postnatal lethality. To examine this question, we generated mice with variable cellular mosaicism for null Insr alleles. Insr ablation in approximately 80% of cells caused extreme growth retardation, lipoatrophy, and hypoglycemia, a clinical constellation that resembles the human syndrome of leprechaunism. Insr ablation in 98% of cells, while resulting in similar growth retardation and lipoatrophy, caused diabetes without β-cell hyperplasia. The growth retardation was associated with a greater than 60-fold increase in the expression of hepatic insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1. These findings indicate that insulin regulates growth independently of metabolism and that the number of insulin receptors is an important determinant of the specificity of insulin action.
Tadahiro Kitamura, Yukari Kitamura, Jun Nakae, Antonio Giordano, Saverio Cinti, C. Ronald Kahn, Argiris Efstratiadis, Domenico Accili
Outer surface protein C (OspC) is a differentially expressed major surface lipoprotein of Borrelia burgdorferi. ospC is swiftly upregulated when spirochetes leave the Ixodes scapularis tick gut, migrate to the salivary gland, and exit the arthropod vector. Here we show that OspC strongly binds to the tick salivary gland, suggesting a role for OspC in spirochete adherence to this tissue. In vivo studies using a murine model of Lyme borreliosis showed that while OspC F(ab)2 fragments did not influence either the viability of spirochetes or ospC gene expression, they did interfere with B. burgdorferi invasion of tick salivary glands. We then generated ospC knockout spirochetes in an infectious clone of B. burgdorferi and examined them within the vector. OspC-deficient or wild-type spirochetes persisted equally within the gut of unfed ticks and multiplied during the tick engorgement; however, unlike wild-type B. burgdorferi, the mutants were unable to invade salivary glands. Salivary gland colonization of OspC-deficient spirochetes was completely restored when this mutant was complemented in trans with a plasmid harboring the wild-type ospC gene. These studies conclusively demonstrate the importance of OspC in the invasion of tick salivary glands by B. burgdorferi, a critical step in the transmission of spirochetes from the arthropod vector to the mammalian host.
Utpal Pal, Xiaofeng Yang, Manchuan Chen, Linda K. Bockenstedt, John F. Anderson, Richard A. Flavell, Michael V. Norgard, Erol Fikrig
In several neurodegenerative diseases, axonal degeneration occurs before neuronal death and contributes significantly to patients’ disability. Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) is a genetically heterogeneous condition characterized by selective degeneration of axons of the corticospinal tracts and fasciculus gracilis. HSP may therefore be considered an exemplary disease to study the local programs mediating axonal degeneration. We have developed a mouse model for autosomal recessive HSP due to mutations in the SPG7 gene encoding the mitochondrial ATPase paraplegin. Paraplegin-deficient mice are affected by a distal axonopathy of spinal and peripheral axons, characterized by axonal swelling and degeneration. We found that mitochondrial morphological abnormalities occurred in synaptic terminals and in distal regions of axons long before the first signs of swelling and degeneration and correlated with onset of motor impairment during a rotarod test. Axonal swellings occur through massive accumulation of organelles and neurofilaments, suggesting impairment of anterograde axonal transport. Retrograde axonal transport is delayed in symptomatic mice. We speculate that local failure of mitochondrial function may affect axonal transport and cause axonal degeneration. Our data suggest that a timely therapeutic intervention may prevent the loss of axons.
Fatima Ferreirinha, Angelo Quattrini, Marinella Pirozzi, Valentina Valsecchi, Giorgia Dina, Vania Broccoli, Alberto Auricchio, Fiorella Piemonte, Giulia Tozzi, Laura Gaeta, Giorgio Casari, Andrea Ballabio, Elena I. Rugarli
The origin of fibroblasts in pulmonary fibrosis is assumed to be intrapulmonary, but their extrapulmonary origin and especially derivation from bone marrow (BM) progenitor cells has not been ruled out. To examine this possibility directly, adult mice were durably engrafted with BM isolated from transgenic mice expressing enhanced GFP. Induction of pulmonary fibrosis in such chimera mice by endotracheal bleomycin (BLM) injection caused large numbers of GFP+ cells to appear in active fibrotic lesions, while only a few GFP+ cells could be identified in control lungs. Flow-cytometric analysis of lung cells confirmed the BLM-induced increase in GFP+ cells in chimera mice and revealed a significant increase in GFP+ cells that also express type I collagen. GFP+ lung fibroblasts isolated from chimera mice expressed collagen and telomerase reverse transcriptase but not α-smooth muscle actin. Treatment of isolated GFP+ fibroblasts with TGF-β failed to induce myofibroblast differentiation. Cultured lung fibroblasts expressed the chemokine receptors CXCR4 and CCR7 and responded chemotactically to their cognate ligands, stromal cell–derived factor-1α and secondary lymphoid chemokine, respectively. Thus the collagen-producing lung fibroblasts in pulmonary fibrosis can also be derived from BM progenitor cells.
Naozumi Hashimoto, Hong Jin, Tianju Liu, Stephen W. Chensue, Sem H. Phan
The principal effect of TGF-β1 on mesenchymal cells is its stimulation of ECM synthesis. Previous reports indicated the significance of the autocrine TGF-β loop in the pathogenesis of scleroderma. In this study, we focused on Smad7 and Smurfs, principal molecules in the negative regulation of TGF-β signaling, to further understand the autocrine TGF-β loop in scleroderma. Scleroderma fibroblasts exhibited increased Smad7 levels compared with normal fibroblasts in vivo and in vitro. Smad7 constitutively formed a complex with the TGF-β receptors, and the inhibitory effect of Smad7 on the promoter activity of human α2(I) collagen and 3TP-lux was completely impaired in scleroderma fibroblasts. Furthermore, the protein stability of TGF-β receptor type I was significantly increased in scleroderma fibroblasts compared with normal fibroblasts. There was no significant difference in Smurf1 and Smurf2 levels between normal and scleroderma fibroblasts, and the transiently overexpressed Smurf1 and/or Smurf2 did not affect TGF-β receptor type I protein levels in scleroderma fibroblasts. These results indicate that the impaired Smad7-Smurf–mediated inhibitory effect on TGF-β signaling might contribute to maintaining the autocrine TGF-β loop in scleroderma fibroblasts. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a disturbed negative regulation of TGF-β signaling in fibrotic disorders.
Yoshihide Asano, Hironobu Ihn, Kenichi Yamane, Masahide Kubo, Kunihiko Tamaki
We produced and analyzed mice deficient for Na/Ca exchanger 3 (NCX3), a protein that mediates cellular Ca2+ efflux (forward mode) or Ca2+ influx (reverse mode) and thus controls intracellular Ca2+ concentration. NCX3-deficient mice (Ncx3–/–) present a skeletal muscle fiber necrosis and a defective neuromuscular transmission, reflecting the absence of NCX3 in the sarcolemma of the muscle fibers and at the neuromuscular junction. The defective neuromuscular transmission is characterized by the presence of electromyographic abnormalities, including low compound muscle action potential amplitude, a decremental response at low-frequency nerve stimulation, an incremental response, and a prominent postexercise facilitation at high-frequency nerve stimulation, as well as neuromuscular blocks. The analysis of quantal transmitter release in Ncx3–/– neuromuscular junctions revealed an important facilitation superimposed on the depression of synaptic responses and an elevated delayed release during high-frequency nerve stimulation. It is suggested that Ca2+ entering nerve terminals is cleared relatively slowly in the absence of NCX3, thereby enhancing residual Ca2+ and evoked and delayed quantal transmitter release during repetitive nerve stimulation. Our findings indicate that NCX3 plays an important role in vivo in the control of Ca2+ concentrations in the skeletal muscle fibers and at the neuromuscular junction.
Sophie Sokolow, Mario Manto, Philippe Gailly, Jordi Molgó, Clarisse Vandebrouck, Jean-Marie Vanderwinden, Andre Herchuelz, Stéphane Schurmans
CBS domains are defined as sequence motifs that occur in several different proteins in all kingdoms of life. Although thought to be regulatory, their exact functions have been unknown. However, their importance was underlined by findings that mutations in conserved residues within them cause a variety of human hereditary diseases, including (with the gene mutated in parentheses): Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (γ2 subunit of AMP-activated protein kinase); retinitis pigmentosa (IMP dehydrogenase-1); congenital myotonia, idiopathic generalized epilepsy, hypercalciuric nephrolithiasis, and classic Bartter syndrome (CLC chloride channel family members); and homocystinuria (cystathionine β-synthase). AMP-activated protein kinase is a sensor of cellular energy status that is activated by AMP and inhibited by ATP, but the location of the regulatory nucleotide-binding sites (which are prime targets for drugs to treat obesity and diabetes) was not characterized. We now show that tandem pairs of CBS domains from AMP-activated protein kinase, IMP dehydrogenase-2, the chloride channel CLC2, and cystathionine β-synthase bind AMP, ATP, or S-adenosyl methionine,while mutations that cause hereditary diseases impair this binding. This shows that tandem pairs of CBS domains act, in most cases, as sensors of cellular energy status and, as such, represent a newly identified class of binding domain for adenosine derivatives.
John W. Scott, Simon A. Hawley, Kevin A. Green, Miliea Anis, Greg Stewart, Gillian A. Scullion, David G. Norman, D. Grahame Hardie
Cellular acquisition of folate is mediated by folate receptors (FRs) in many malignant and normal human cells. Although FRs are upregulated in folate deficiency and downregulated following folate repletion, the mechanistic basis for this relationship is unclear. Previously we demonstrated that interaction of an 18-base cis-element in the 5′-untranslated region of FR mRNA and a cystolic trans-factor (heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein E1 [hnRNP E1]) is critical for FR synthesis. However, the molecular mechanisms controlling this interaction, especially within the context of FR regulation and folate status, have remained obscure. Human cervical carcinoma cells exhibited progressively increasing upregulation of FRs after shifting of folate-replete cells to low-folate media, without a proportionate rise in FR mRNA or rise in hnRNP E1. Translational FR upregulation was accompanied by a progressive accumulation of the metabolite homocysteine within cultured cells, which stimulated interaction of the FR mRNA cis-element and hnRNP E1 as well as FR biosynthesis in a dose-dependent manner. Abrupt reversal of folate deficiency also led to a rapid parallel reduction in homocysteine and FR biosynthesis to levels observed in folate-replete cells. Collectively, these results suggest that homocysteine is the key modulator of translational upregulation of FRs and establishes the linkage between perturbed folate metabolism and coordinated upregulation of FRs.
Aśok C. Antony, Ying-Sheng Tang, Rehana A. Khan, Mangatt P. Biju, Xiangli Xiao, Qing-Jun Li, Xin-Lai Sun, Hiremagalur N. Jayaram, Sally P. Stabler
The neurohypophyseal peptide [Arg8]-vasopressin (AVP) exerts major physiological actions through three distinct receptor isoforms designated V1a, V1b, and V2. Among these three subtypes, the vasopressin V1b receptor is specifically expressed in pituitary corticotrophs and mediates the stimulatory effect of vasopressin on ACTH release. To investigate the functional roles of V1b receptor subtypes in vivo, gene targeting was used to create a mouse model lacking the V1b receptor gene (V1bR–/–). Under resting conditions, circulating concentrations of ACTH and corticosterone were lower in V1bR–/– mice compared with WT mice (V1bR+/+). The normal increase in circulating ACTH levels in response to exogenous administration of AVP was impaired in V1bR–/– mice, while corticotropin-releasing hormone–stimulated ACTH release in the V1bR–/– mice was not significantly different from that in the V1bR+/+ mice. AVP-induced ACTH release from primary cultured pituitary cells in V1bR–/– mice was also blunted. Furthermore, the increase in ACTH after a forced swim stress was significantly suppressed in V1bR–/– mice. Our results clearly demonstrate that the V1b receptor plays a crucial role in regulating hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity. It does this by maintaining ACTH and corticosterone levels, not only under stress but also under basal conditions.
Akito Tanoue, Shuji Ito, Kenji Honda, Sayuri Oshikawa, Yoko Kitagawa, Taka-aki Koshimizu, Toyoki Mori, Gozoh Tsujimoto
CD4+CD25+ regulatory T (Treg) cells suppress naive T cell responses, prevent autoimmunity, and delay allograft rejection. It is not known, however, whether Treg cells suppress allograft rejection mediated by memory T cells, as the latter mount faster and stronger immune responses than their naive counterparts. Here we show that antigen-induced, but not naive, Treg cells suppress allograft rejection mediated by memory CD8+ T cells. Suppression was allospecific, as Treg cells induced by third-party antigens did not delay allograft rejection. In vivo and in vitro analyses revealed that the apoptosis of allospecific memory CD8+ T cells is significantly increased in the presence of antigen-induced Treg cells, while their proliferation remains unaffected. Importantly, neither suppression of allograft rejection nor enhanced apoptosis of memory CD8+ T cells was observed when Treg cells lacked CD30 or when CD30 ligand–CD30 interaction was blocked with anti–CD30 ligand Ab. This study therefore provides direct evidence that pathogenic memory T cells are amenable to suppression in an antigen-specific manner and identifies CD30 as a molecule that is critical for the regulation of memory T cell responses.
Zhenhua Dai, Qi Li, Yinong Wang, Ge Gao, Lonnette S. Diggs, George Tellides, Fadi G. Lakkis