Tuberculosis kills nearly 2 million people annually, and current approaches to tuberculosis control are expensive, have limited efficacy, and are vulnerable to being overcome by extensively drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Determination of the genome sequence of M. tuberculosis has revolutionized tuberculosis research, contributed to major advances in the understanding of the evolution and pathogenesis of M. tuberculosis, and facilitated development of new diagnostic tests with increased specificity for tuberculosis. In this review, we describe some of the major progress in tuberculosis research that has resulted from knowledge of the genome sequence and note some of the problems that remain unsolved.
Joel D. Ernst, Giraldina Trevejo-Nuñez, Niaz Banaiee
Recently, the small protein α hemoglobin–stabilizing protein (AHSP) was identified and found to specifically bind α-globin, stabilize its structure, and limit the toxic effects of excess α-globin, which are manifest in the inherited blood disorder β thalassemia. In this issue of the JCI, Yu, Weiss, and colleagues show that AHSP is also critical to the formation and stabilization of normal amounts of hemoglobin, even when α-globin is deficient, indicating unique and previously unidentified roles for this molecule (see the related article beginning on page 1856).
Muscular dystrophies are often caused by mutations in cytoskeletal proteins that render cells more susceptible to strain-induced injury in mechanically active tissues such as skeletal or cardiac muscle. In this issue of the JCI, Han et al. report that dysferlin participates in membrane resealing in cardiomyocytes and that exercise results in increased membrane damage and disturbed cardiac function in dysferlin-deficient mice (see the related article beginning on page 1805). Thus, in addition to repetitive membrane damage, inadequate membrane repair may participate in the pathogenesis of muscular dystrophies and cardiomyopathies.
Jan Lammerding, Richard T. Lee
The genetic and epigenetic events underlying cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) have been actively studied; however, no resulting preventative or therapeutic strategies have successfully targeted this lesion, apart from surgery. In this issue of the JCI, two novel regulators of SCC pathogenesis are introduced, gain-of-function mutations in the p53 gene, reported by Caulin et al., and chemokine sequestration by the D6 receptor, reported by Nibbs et al. (see the related articles beginning on pages 1884 and 1893, respectively). These studies provide new twists and insights into the development of this potentially lethal disease.
David M. Owens
Hepcidin is a peptide hormone secreted by the liver that plays a central role in the regulation of iron homeostasis. Increased hepcidin levels result in anemia while decreased expression is the causative feature in most primary iron overload diseases. Mutations in hemochromatosis type 2 (HFE2), which encodes the protein hemojuvelin (HJV), result in the absence of hepcidin and an early-onset form of iron overload disease. HJV is a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) coreceptor and HJV mutants have impaired BMP signaling. In this issue of the JCI, Babitt and colleagues show that BMPs are autocrine hormones that induce hepcidin expression (see the related article beginning on page 1933). Administration of a recombinant, soluble form of HJV decreased hepcidin expression and increased serum iron levels by mobilizing iron from splenic stores. These results demonstrate that recombinant HJV may be a useful therapeutic agent for treatment of the anemia of chronic disease, a disorder resulting from high levels of hepcidin expression.
Ivana De Domenico, Diane M. Ward, Jerry Kaplan
Mutations in Ca2+-handling proteins in the heart have been linked to exercise-induced sudden cardiac death. The best characterized of these have been mutations in the cardiac Ca2+ release channel known as the ryanodine receptor type 2 (RyR2). RyR2 mutations cause “leaky” channels, resulting in diastolic Ca2+ leak from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) that can trigger fatal cardiac arrhythmias during stress. In this issue of the JCI, Song et al. show that mutations in the SR Ca2+-binding protein calsequestrin 2 (CASQ2) in mice result not only in reduced CASQ2 expression but also in a surprising, compensatory elevation in expression of both the Ca2+-binding protein calreticulin and RyR2, culminating in premature Ca2+ release from cardiac myocytes and stress-induced arrhythmia (see the related article beginning on page 1814). In the context of these findings and other recent reports studying CASQ2 mutations, we discuss how CASQ2 influences the properties of Ca2+-dependent regulation of RyR2 and how this contributes to cardiac arrhythmogenesis.
Sandor Györke, Brian M. Hagen, Dmitry Terentyev, W. Jonathan Lederer
Glaucoma, a progressive optic neuropathy due to retinal ganglion cell (RGC) degeneration, is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness. Although glaucoma is often associated with elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), IOP elevation is not detected in a significant subset of glaucomas, such as normal tension glaucoma (NTG). Moreover, in some glaucoma patients, significant IOP reduction does not prevent progression of the disease. Thus, understanding IOP-independent mechanisms of RGC loss is important. Here, we show that mice deficient in the glutamate transporters GLAST or EAAC1 demonstrate spontaneous RGC and optic nerve degeneration without elevated IOP. In GLAST-deficient mice, the glutathione level in Müller glia was decreased; administration of glutamate receptor blocker prevented RGC loss. In EAAC1-deficient mice, RGCs were more vulnerable to oxidative stress. These findings suggest that glutamate transporters are necessary both to prevent excitotoxic retinal damage and to synthesize glutathione, a major cellular antioxidant and tripeptide of glutamate, cysteine, and glycine. We believe these mice are the first animal models of NTG that offer a powerful system for investigating mechanisms of neurodegeneration in NTG and developing therapies directed at IOP-independent mechanisms of RGC loss.
Takayuki Harada, Chikako Harada, Kazuaki Nakamura, Hun-Meng A. Quah, Akinori Okumura, Kazuhiko Namekata, Tadashiro Saeki, Makoto Aihara, Hiroshi Yoshida, Akira Mitani, Kohichi Tanaka
Grb2-associated binder (Gab) family of scaffolding adaptor proteins coordinate signaling cascades downstream of growth factor and cytokine receptors. In the heart, among EGF family members, neuregulin-1β (NRG-1β, a paracrine factor produced from endothelium) induced remarkable tyrosine phosphorylation of Gab1 and Gab2 via erythroblastic leukemia viral oncogene (ErbB) receptors. We examined the role of Gab family proteins in NRG-1β/ErbB-mediated signal in the heart by creating cardiomyocyte-specific Gab1/Gab2 double knockout mice (DKO mice). Although DKO mice were viable, they exhibited marked ventricular dilatation and reduced contractility with aging. DKO mice showed high mortality after birth because of heart failure. In addition, we noticed remarkable endocardial fibroelastosis and increase of abnormally dilated vessels in the ventricles of DKO mice. NRG-1β induced activation of both ERK and AKT in the hearts of control mice but not in those of DKO mice. Using DNA microarray analysis, we found that stimulation with NRG-1β upregulated expression of an endothelium-stabilizing factor, angiopoietin 1, in the hearts of control mice but not in those of DKO mice, which accounted for the pathological abnormalities in the DKO hearts. Taken together, our observations indicated that in the NRG-1β/ErbB signaling, Gab1 and Gab2 of the myocardium are essential for both maintenance of myocardial function and stabilization of cardiac capillary and endocardial endothelium in the postnatal heart.
Yoshikazu Nakaoka, Keigo Nishida, Masahiro Narimatsu, Atsunori Kamiya, Takashi Minami, Hirofumi Sawa, Katsuya Okawa, Yasushi Fujio, Tatsuya Koyama, Makiko Maeda, Manami Sone, Satoru Yamasaki, Yuji Arai, Gou Young Koh, Tatsuhiko Kodama, Hisao Hirota, Kinya Otsu, Toshio Hirano, Naoki Mochizuki
Cardiac hypertrophy is a major predictor of heart failure and a prevalent disorder with high mortality. Little is known, however, regarding mechanisms governing the transition from stable cardiac hypertrophy to decompensated heart failure. Here, we tested the role of autophagy, a conserved pathway mediating bulk degradation of long-lived proteins and cellular organelles that can lead to cell death. To quantify autophagic activity, we engineered a line of “autophagy reporter” mice and confirmed that cardiomyocyte autophagy can be induced by short-term nutrient deprivation in vivo. Pressure overload induced by aortic banding induced heart failure and greatly increased cardiac autophagy. Load-induced autophagic activity peaked at 48 hours and remained significantly elevated for at least 3 weeks. In addition, autophagic activity was not spatially homogeneous but rather was seen at particularly high levels in basal septum. Heterozygous disruption of the gene coding for Beclin 1, a protein required for early autophagosome formation, decreased cardiomyocyte autophagy and diminished pathological remodeling induced by severe pressure stress. Conversely, Beclin 1 overexpression heightened autophagic activity and accentuated pathological remodeling. Taken together, these findings implicate autophagy in the pathogenesis of load-induced heart failure and suggest it may be a target for novel therapeutic intervention.
Hongxin Zhu, Paul Tannous, Janet L. Johnstone, Yongli Kong, John M. Shelton, James A. Richardson, Vien Le, Beth Levine, Beverly A. Rothermel, Joseph A. Hill
The anterior heart field (AHF), which contributes to the outflow tract and right ventricle of the heart, is defined in part by expression of the LIM homeobox transcription factor Isl-1. The importance of Isl-1–positive cells in cardiac development and homeostasis is underscored by the finding that these cells are required for cardiac development and act as cardiac stem/progenitor cells within the postnatal heart. However, the molecular pathways regulating these cells’ expansion and differentiation are poorly understood. We show that Isl-1–positive AHF progenitor cells in mice were responsive to Wnt/β-catenin signaling, and these responsive cells contributed to the outflow tract and right ventricle of the heart. Loss of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the AHF caused defective outflow tract and right ventricular development with a decrease in Isl-1–positive progenitors and loss of FGF signaling. Conversely, Wnt gain of function in these cells led to expansion of Isl-1–positive progenitors with a concomitant increase in FGF signaling through activation of a specific set of FGF ligands including FGF3, FGF10, FGF16, and FGF20. These data reveal what we believe to be a novel Wnt-FGF signaling axis required for expansion of Isl-1–positive AHF progenitors and suggest future therapies to increase the number and function of these cells for cardiac regeneration.
Ethan David Cohen, Zhishan Wang, John J. Lepore, Min Min Lu, Makoto M. Taketo, Douglas J. Epstein, Edward E. Morrisey
Dilated cardiomyopathy is a life-threatening syndrome that can arise from a myriad of causes, but predisposition toward this malady is inherited in many cases. A number of inherited forms of dilated cardiomyopathy arise from mutations in genes that encode proteins involved in linking the cytoskeleton to the extracellular matrix, and disruption of this link renders the cell membrane more susceptible to injury. Membrane repair is an important cellular mechanism that animal cells have developed to survive membrane disruption. We have previously shown that dysferlin deficiency leads to defective membrane resealing in skeletal muscle and muscle necrosis; however, the function of dysferlin in the heart remains to be determined. Here, we demonstrate that dysferlin is also involved in cardiomyocyte membrane repair and that dysferlin deficiency leads to cardiomyopathy. In particular, stress exercise disturbs left ventricular function in dysferlin-null mice and increases Evans blue dye uptake in dysferlin-deficient cardiomyocytes. Furthermore, a combined deficiency of dystrophin and dysferlin leads to early onset cardiomyopathy. Our results suggest that dysferlin-mediated membrane repair is important for maintaining membrane integrity of cardiomyocytes, particularly under conditions of mechanical stress. Thus, our study establishes what we believe is a novel mechanism underlying the cardiomyopathy that results from a defective membrane repair in the absence of dysferlin.
Renzhi Han, Dimple Bansal, Katsuya Miyake, Viviane P. Muniz, Robert M. Weiss, Paul L. McNeil, Kevin P. Campbell
Catecholamine-induced polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) is a familial disorder caused by cardiac ryanodine receptor type 2 (RyR2) or calsequestrin 2 (CASQ2) gene mutations. To define how CASQ2 mutations cause CPVT, we produced and studied mice carrying a human D307H missense mutation (CASQ307/307) or a CASQ2-null mutation (CASQΔE9/ΔE9). Both CASQ2 mutations caused identical consequences. Young mutant mice had structurally normal hearts but stress-induced ventricular arrhythmias; aging produced cardiac hypertrophy and reduced contractile function. Mutant myocytes had reduced CASQ2 and increased calreticulin and RyR2 (with normal phosphorylated proportions) but unchanged calstabin levels, as well as reduced total sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+, prolonged Ca2+ release, and delayed Ca2+ reuptake. Stress further diminished Ca2+ transients, elevated cytosolic Ca2+, and triggered frequent, spontaneous SR Ca2+ release. Treatment with Mg2+, a RyR2 inhibitor, normalized myocyte Ca2+ cycling and decreased CPVT in mutant mice, indicating RyR2 dysfunction was critical to mutant CASQ2 pathophysiology. We conclude that CPVT-causing CASQ2 missense mutations function as null alleles. In the absence of CASQ2, calreticulin, a fetal Ca2+-binding protein normally downregulated at birth, remains a prominent SR component. Adaptive changes to CASQ2 deficiency (increased posttranscriptional expression of calreticulin and RyR2) maintained electrical-mechanical coupling, but increased RyR2 leakiness, a paradoxical response further exacerbated by stress. The central role of RyR2 dysfunction in CASQ2 deficiency unifies the pathophysiologic mechanism underlying CPVT due to RyR2 or CASQ2 mutations and suggests a therapeutic approach for these inherited cardiac arrhythmias.
Lei Song, Ronny Alcalai, Michael Arad, Cordula M. Wolf, Okan Toka, David A. Conner, Charles I. Berul, Michael Eldar, Christine E. Seidman, J.G. Seidman
Immunophilin FKBP52 serves as a cochaperone to govern normal progesterone (P4) receptor (PR) function. Using Fkbp52–/– mice, we show intriguing aspects of uterine P4/PR signaling during pregnancy. Implantation failure is the major phenotype found in these null females, which is conserved on both C57BL6/129 and CD1 backgrounds. However, P4 supplementation rescued implantation and subsequent decidualization in CD1, but not C57BL6/129, null females. Surprisingly, experimentally induced decidualization in the absence of blastocysts failed in Fkbp52–/– mice on either background even with P4 supplementation, suggesting that embryonic signals complement uterine signaling for this event. Another interesting finding was that while P4 at higher than normal pregnancy levels conferred PR signaling sufficient for implantation in CD1 null females, these levels were inefficient in maintaining pregnancy to full term. However, elevating P4 levels further restored PR signaling to a level optimal for successful term pregnancy with normal litter size. Collectively, the results show that the indispensability of FKBP52 in uterine P4/PR signaling is a function of genetic disparity and is pregnancy stage specific. Since there is evidence for a correlation between P4 supplementation and reduced risks of P4-resistant recurrent miscarriages and remission of endometriosis, these findings have clinical implications for genetically diverse populations of women.
Susanne Tranguch, Haibin Wang, Takiko Daikoku, Huirong Xie, David F. Smith, Sudhansu K. Dey
NOD mice with knockout of both native insulin genes and a mutated proinsulin transgene, alanine at position B16 in preproinsulin (B16:A-dKO mice), do not develop diabetes. Transplantation of NOD islets, but not bone marrow, expressing native insulin sequences (tyrosine at position B16) into B16:A-dKO mice rapidly restored development of insulin autoantibodies (IAAs) and insulitis, despite the recipients’ pancreatic islets lacking native insulin sequences. Splenocytes from B16:A-dKO mice that received native insulin–positive islets induced diabetes when transferred into wild-type NOD/SCID or B16:A-dKO NOD/SCID mice. Splenocytes from mice immunized with native insulin B chain amino acids 9–23 (insulin B:9–23) peptide in CFA induced rapid diabetes upon transfer only in recipients expressing the native insulin B:9–23 sequence in their pancreata. Additionally, CD4+ T cells from B16:A-dKO mice immunized with native insulin B:9–23 peptide promoted IAAs in NOD/SCID mice. These results indicate that the provision of native insulin B:9–23 sequences is sufficient to prime anti-insulin autoimmunity and that subsequent transfer of diabetes following peptide immunization requires native insulin B:9–23 expression in islets. Our findings demonstrate dependence on B16 alanine versus tyrosine of insulin B:9–23 for both the initial priming and the effector phase of NOD anti-islet autoimmunity.
Maki Nakayama, Joshua N. Beilke, Jean M. Jasinski, Masakazu Kobayashi, Dongmei Miao, Marcella Li, Marilyne G. Coulombe, Edwin Liu, John F. Elliott, Ronald G. Gill, George S. Eisenbarth
Tumor radioresponsiveness depends on endothelial cell death, which leads in turn to tumor hypoxia. Radiation-induced hypoxia was recently shown to trigger tumor radioresistance by activating angiogenesis through hypoxia-inducible factor 1–regulated (HIF-1–regulated) cytokines. We show here that combining targeted radioiodide therapy with angiogenic inhibitors, such as canstatin, enhances direct tumor cell apoptosis, thereby overcoming radio-induced HIF-1–dependent tumor survival pathways in vitro and in vivo. We found that following dual therapy, HIF-1α increases the activity of the canstatin-induced αvβ5 signaling tumor apoptotic pathway and concomitantly abrogates mitotic checkpoint and tetraploidy triggered by radiation. Apoptosis in conjunction with mitotic catastrophe leads to lethal tumor damage. We discovered that HIF-1 displays a radiosensitizing activity that is highly dependent on treatment modalities by regulating key apoptotic molecular pathways. Our findings therefore support a crucial role for angiogenesis inhibitors in shifting the fate of radiation-induced HIF-1α activity from hypoxia-induced tumor radioresistance to hypoxia-induced tumor apoptosis. This study provides a basis for developing new biology-based clinically relevant strategies to improve the efficacy of radiation oncology, using HIF-1 as an ally for cancer therapy.
Claire Magnon, Paule Opolon, Marcel Ricard, Elisabeth Connault, Patrice Ardouin, Ariane Galaup, Didier Métivier, Jean-Michel Bidart, Stéphane Germain, Michel Perricaudet, Martin Schlumberger
Erythrocyte precursors produce abundant α- and β-globin proteins, which assemble with each other to form hemoglobin A (HbA), the major blood oxygen carrier. αHb-stabilizing protein (AHSP) binds free α subunits reversibly to maintain their structure and limit their ability to generate reactive oxygen species. Accordingly, loss of AHSP aggravates the toxicity of excessive free α-globin caused by β-globin gene disruption in mice. Surprisingly, we found that AHSP also has important functions when free α-globin is limited. Thus, compound mutants lacking both Ahsp and 1 of 4 α-globin genes (genotype Ahsp–/–α-globin*α/αα) exhibited more severe anemia and Hb instability than mice with either mutation alone. In vitro, recombinant AHSP promoted folding of newly translated α-globin, enhanced its refolding after denaturation, and facilitated its incorporation into HbA. Moreover, in erythroid precursors, newly formed free α-globin was destabilized by loss of AHSP. Therefore, in addition to its previously defined role in detoxification of excess α-globin, AHSP also acts as a molecular chaperone to stabilize nascent α-globin for HbA assembly. Our findings illustrate what we believe to be a novel adaptive mechanism by which a specialized cell coordinates high-level production of a multisubunit protein and protects against various synthetic imbalances.
Xiang Yu, Yi Kong, Louis C. Dore, Osheiza Abdulmalik, Anne M. Katein, Suiping Zhou, John K. Choi, David Gell, Joel P. Mackay, Andrew J. Gow, Mitchell J. Weiss
Although a causal role of genetic alterations in human cancer is well established, it is still unclear whether dietary fat can modulate cancer risk in a predisposed population. Epidemiological studies suggest that diets rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids reduce cancer incidence. To determine the influence of fatty acids on prostate cancer risk in animals with a defined genetic lesion, we used prostate-specific Pten-knockout mice, an immune-competent, orthotopic prostate cancer model, and diets with defined polyunsaturated fatty acid levels. We found that omega-3 fatty acids reduced prostate tumor growth, slowed histopathological progression, and increased survival, whereas omega-6 fatty acids had opposite effects. Introducing an omega-3 desaturase, which converts omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, into the Pten-knockout mice reduced tumor growth similarly to the omega-3 diet. Tumors from mice on the omega-3 diet had lower proportions of phosphorylated Bad and higher apoptotic indexes compared with those from mice on omega-6 diet. Knockdown of Bad eliminated omega-3–induced cell death, and introduction of exogenous Bad restored the sensitivity to omega-3 fatty acids. Our data suggest that modulation of prostate cancer development by polyunsaturated fatty acids is mediated in part through Bad-dependent apoptosis. This study highlights the importance of gene-diet interactions in prostate cancer.
Isabelle M. Berquin, Younong Min, Ruping Wu, Jiansheng Wu, Donna Perry, J. Mark Cline, Mike J. Thomas, Todd Thornburg, George Kulik, Adrienne Smith, Iris J. Edwards, Ralph D’Agostino Jr., Hao Zhang, Hong Wu, Jing X. Kang, Yong Q. Chen
We have developed an integrated, multidisciplinary methodology, termed systems pathology, to generate highly accurate predictive tools for complex diseases, using prostate cancer for the prototype. To predict the recurrence of prostate cancer following radical prostatectomy, defined by rising serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA), we used machine learning to develop a model based on clinicopathologic variables, histologic tumor characteristics, and cell type–specific quantification of biomarkers. The initial study was based on a cohort of 323 patients and identified that high levels of the androgen receptor, as detected by immunohistochemistry, were associated with a reduced time to PSA recurrence. The model predicted recurrence with high accuracy, as indicated by a concordance index in the validation set of 0.82, sensitivity of 96%, and specificity of 72%. We extended this approach, employing quantitative multiplex immunofluorescence, on an expanded cohort of 682 patients. The model again predicted PSA recurrence with high accuracy, concordance index being 0.77, sensitivity of 77% and specificity of 72%. The androgen receptor was selected, along with 5 clinicopathologic features (seminal vesicle invasion, biopsy Gleason score, extracapsular extension, preoperative PSA, and dominant prostatectomy Gleason grade) as well as 2 histologic features (texture of epithelial nuclei and cytoplasm in tumor only regions). This robust platform has broad applications in patient diagnosis, treatment management, and prognostication.
Carlos Cordon-Cardo, Angeliki Kotsianti, David A. Verbel, Mikhail Teverovskiy, Paola Capodieci, Stefan Hamann, Yusuf Jeffers, Mark Clayton, Faysal Elkhettabi, Faisal M. Khan, Marina Sapir, Valentina Bayer-Zubek, Yevgen Vengrenyuk, Stephen Fogarsi, Olivier Saidi, Victor E. Reuter, Howard I. Scher, Michael W. Kattan, Fernando J. Bianco Jr., Thomas M. Wheeler, Gustavo E. Ayala, Peter T. Scardino, Michael J. Donovan
A subset of CC chemokines, acting through CC chemokine receptors (CCRs) 1 to 5, is instrumental in shaping inflammatory responses. Recently, we and others have demonstrated that the atypical chemokine receptor D6 actively sequesters and destroys many of these proinflammatory CC chemokines. This is critical for effective resolution of inflammation in vivo. Inflammation can be protumorigenic, and proinflammatory CC chemokines have been linked with various aspects of cancer biology, yet there is scant evidence supporting a critical role for these molecules in de novo tumor formation. Here, we show that D6-deficient mice have increased susceptibility to cutaneous tumor development in response to chemical carcinogenesis protocols and, remarkably, that D6 deletion is sufficient to make resistant mouse strains susceptible to invasive squamous cell carcinoma. Conversely, transgenic D6 expression in keratinocytes dampens cutaneous inflammation and can confer considerable protection from tumor formation in susceptible backgrounds. Tumor susceptibility consistently correlated with the level of recruitment of T cells and mast cells, cell types known to support the development of skin tumors in mice. These data demonstrate the importance of proinflammatory CC chemokines in de novo tumorigenesis and reveal chemokine sequestration by D6 to be a novel and effective method of tumor suppression.
Robert J.B. Nibbs, Derek S. Gilchrist, Vicky King, Antonio Ferra, Steve Forrow, Keith D. Hunter, Gerard J. Graham
Mutations in ras and p53 are the most prevalent mutations found in human nonmelanoma skin cancers. Although some p53 mutations cause a loss of function, most result in expression of altered forms of p53, which may exhibit gain-of-function properties. Therefore, understanding the consequences of acquiring p53 gain-of-function versus loss-of-function mutations is critical for the generation of effective therapies for tumors harboring p53 mutations. Here we describe an inducible mouse model in which skin tumor formation is initiated by activation of an endogenous K-rasG12D allele. Using this model we compared the consequences of activating the p53 gain-of-function mutation p53R172H and of deleting the p53 gene. Activation of the p53R172H allele resulted in increased skin tumor formation, accelerated tumor progression, and induction of metastasis compared with deletion of p53. Consistent with these observations, the p53R172H tumors exhibited aneuploidy associated with centrosome amplification, which may underlie the mechanism by which p53R172H exerts its oncogenic properties. These results clearly demonstrate that p53 gain-of-function mutations confer poorer prognosis than loss of p53 during skin carcinogenesis and have important implications for the future design of therapies for tumors that exhibit p53 gain-of-function mutations.
Carlos Caulin, Thao Nguyen, Gene A. Lang, Thea M. Goepfert, Bill R. Brinkley, Wei-Wen Cai, Guillermina Lozano, Dennis R. Roop
Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) enhances protection against tumors and infections, but GM-CSF–deficient mice develop inflammatory disease. Here we show that GM-CSF is required for the expression of milk fat globule EGF 8 (MFG-E8) in antigen-presenting cells, and that MFG-E8–mediated uptake of apoptotic cells is a key determinant of GM-CSF–triggered tolerance and immunity. Upon exposure to apoptotic cells, GM-CSF–deficient antigen-presenting cells (APCs) produce an altered cytokine profile that results in decreased Tregs and increased Th1 cells, whereas concurrent ablation of IFN-γ promotes Th17 cells. In wild-type mice, MFG-E8 attenuates the vaccination activity of GM-CSF–secreting tumor cells through Treg induction, whereas a dominant-negative MFG-E8 mutant potentiates GM-CSF–stimulated tumor destruction through Treg inhibition. These findings clarify the immunoregulatory effects of apoptotic cells and suggest new therapeutic strategies to modulate CD4+ T cell subsets in cancer and autoimmunity.
Masahisa Jinushi, Yukoh Nakazaki, Michael Dougan, Daniel R. Carrasco, Martin Mihm, Glenn Dranoff
The role of the renin-angiotensin system has been investigated by overexpression or inactivation of its different genes in animals. However, there is no data concerning the effect of the constitutive activation of any component of the system. A knockin mouse model has been constructed with a gain-of-function mutant of the Ang II receptor, type 1A (AT1A), associating a constitutively activating mutation (N111S) with a C-terminal deletion, which impairs receptor internalization and desensitization. In vivo consequences of this mutant receptor expression in homozygous mice recapitulate its in vitro characteristics: the pressor response is more sensitive to Ang II and longer lasting. These mice present with a moderate (~20 mmHg) and stable increase in BP. They also develop early and progressive renal fibrosis and cardiac fibrosis and diastolic dysfunction. However, there was no overt cardiac hypertrophy. The hormonal parameters (low-renin and inappropriately normal aldosterone productions) mimic those of low-renin human hypertension. This new model reveals that a constitutive activation of AT1A leads to cardiac and renal fibrosis in spite of a modest effect on BP and will be useful for investigating the role of Ang II in target organs in a model similar to some forms of human hypertension.
Sandrine Billet, Sabine Bardin, Sonia Verp, Véronique Baudrie, Annie Michaud, Sophie Conchon, Martine Muffat-Joly, Brigitte Escoubet, Evelyne Souil, Ghislaine Hamard, Kenneth E. Bernstein, Jean Marie Gasc, Jean-Luc Elghozi, Pierre Corvol, Eric Clauser
Iron is essential for many biological processes, including oxygen delivery, and its supply is tightly regulated. Hepcidin, a small peptide synthesized in the liver, is a key regulator of iron absorption and homeostasis in mammals. Hepcidin production is increased by iron overload and decreased by anemia and hypoxia; but the molecular mechanisms that govern the hepcidin response to these stimuli are not known. Here we establish that the von Hippel–Lindau/hypoxia-inducible transcription factor (VHL/HIF) pathway is an essential link between iron homeostasis and hepcidin regulation in vivo. Through coordinate downregulation of hepcidin and upregulation of erythropoietin and ferroportin, the VHL-HIF pathway mobilizes iron to support erythrocyte production.
Carole Peyssonnaux, Annelies S. Zinkernagel, Reto A. Schuepbach, Erinn Rankin, Sophie Vaulont, Volker H. Haase, Victor Nizet, Randall S. Johnson
Systemic iron balance is regulated by hepcidin, a peptide hormone secreted by the liver. By decreasing cell surface expression of the iron exporter ferroportin, hepcidin decreases iron absorption from the intestine and iron release from reticuloendothelial stores. Hepcidin excess has been implicated in the pathogenesis of anemia of chronic disease, while hepcidin deficiency has a key role in the pathogenesis of the iron overload disorder hemochromatosis. We have recently shown that hemojuvelin is a coreceptor for bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling and that BMP signaling positively regulates hepcidin expression in liver cells in vitro. Here we show that BMP-2 administration increases hepcidin expression and decreases serum iron levels in vivo. We also show that soluble hemojuvelin (HJV.Fc) selectively inhibits BMP induction of hepcidin expression in vitro and that administration of HJV.Fc decreases hepcidin expression, increases ferroportin expression, mobilizes splenic iron stores, and increases serum iron levels in vivo. These data support a role for modulators of the BMP signaling pathway in treating diseases of iron overload and anemia of chronic disease.
Jodie L. Babitt, Franklin W. Huang, Yin Xia, Yisrael Sidis, Nancy C. Andrews, Herbert Y. Lin
Cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1) is one of the most important detoxification enzymes due to its broad substrate specificity and wide distribution throughout the body. On the other hand, CYP1A1 can also produce highly carcinogenic intermediate metabolites through oxidation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. We describe what we believe to be a novel regulatory system for whole-body CYP1A1 expression by a factor originating in the gut. A mutant mouse was generated in which the arylhydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (Arnt) gene is disrupted predominantly in the gut epithelium. Surprisingly, CYP1A1 mRNA expression and enzymatic activities were markedly elevated in almost all non-gut tissues in this mouse line. The induction was even observed in early-stage embryos in pregnant mutant females. Interestingly, the upregulation was CYP1A1 selective and lost upon administration of a synthetic purified diet. Moreover, the increase was recovered by addition of the natural phytochemical indole-3-carbinol to the purified diet. These results suggest that an Arnt-dependent pathway in gut has an important role in regulation of the metabolism of dietary CYP1A1 inducers and whole-body CYP1A1 expression. This machinery might be involved in naturally occurring carcinogenic processes and/or other numerous biological responses mediated by CYP1A1 activity.
Shinji Ito, Chi Chen, Junko Satoh, SunHee Yim, Frank J. Gonzalez
Endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR) and thrombomodulin (TM) are expressed at high levels in the resting microvasculature and convert protein C (PC) into its activated form, which is a potent anticoagulant and antiinflammatory molecule. Here we provide evidence that in Crohn disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), the 2 major forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), there was loss of expression of endothelial EPCR and TM, which in turns caused impairment of PC activation by the inflamed mucosal microvasculature. In isolated human intestinal endothelial cells, administration of recombinant activated PC had a potent antiinflammatory effect, as demonstrated by downregulated cytokine-dependent cell adhesion molecule expression and chemokine production as well as inhibited leukocyte adhesion. In vivo, administration of activated PC was therapeutically effective in ameliorating experimental colitis as evidenced by reduced weight loss, disease activity index, and histological colitis scores as well as inhibited leukocyte adhesion to the inflamed intestinal vessels. The results suggest that the PC pathway represents a new system crucially involved in governing intestinal homeostasis mediated by the mucosal microvasculature. Restoring the PC pathway may represent a new therapeutic approach to suppress intestinal inflammation in IBD.
Franco Scaldaferri, Miquel Sans, Stefania Vetrano, Cristina Graziani, Raimondo De Cristofaro, Bruce Gerlitz, Alessandro Repici, Vincenzo Arena, Alberto Malesci, Julian Panes, Brian W. Grinnell, Silvio Danese
NO plays critical roles in vascular function. We show that modulation of the eNOS serine 1179 (S1179) phosphorylation site affects vascular reactivity and determines stroke size in vivo. Transgenic mice expressing only a phosphomimetic (S1179D) form of eNOS show greater vascular reactivity, develop less severe strokes, and have improved cerebral blood flow in a middle cerebral artery occlusion model than mice expressing an unphosphorylatable (S1179A) form. These results provide a molecular mechanism by which multiple diverse cardiovascular risks, such as diabetes and obesity, may be centrally integrated by eNOS phosphorylation in vivo to influence blood flow and cardiovascular disease. They also demonstrate the in vivo relevance of posttranslational modification of eNOS in vascular function.
Dmitriy N. Atochin, Annie Wang, Victor W.T. Liu, Jeffrey D. Critchlow, Ana Paula V. Dantas, Robin Looft-Wilson, Takahisa Murata, Salvatore Salomone, Hwa Kyoung Shin, Cenk Ayata, Michael A. Moskowitz, Thomas Michel, William C. Sessa, Paul L. Huang
Niemann-Pick C1–like 1 (NPC1L1) is required for cholesterol absorption. Intestinal NPC1L1 appears to be a target of ezetimibe, a cholesterol absorption inhibitor that effectively lowers plasma LDL-cholesterol in humans. However, human liver also expresses NPC1L1. Hepatic function of NPC1L1 was previously unknown, but we recently discovered that NPC1L1 localizes to the canalicular membrane of primate hepatocytes and that NPC1L1 facilitates cholesterol uptake in hepatoma cells. Based upon these findings, we hypothesized that hepatic NPC1L1 allows the retention of biliary cholesterol by hepatocytes and that ezetimibe disrupts hepatic function of NPC1L1. To test this hypothesis, transgenic mice expressing human NPC1L1 in hepatocytes (L1-Tg mice) were created. Hepatic overexpression of NPC1L1 resulted in a 10- to 20-fold decrease in biliary cholesterol concentration, but not phospholipid and bile acid concentrations. This decrease was associated with a 30%–60% increase in plasma cholesterol, mainly because of the accumulation of apoE-rich HDL. Biliary and plasma cholesterol concentrations in these animals were virtually returned to normal with ezetimibe treatment. These findings suggest that in humans, ezetimibe may reduce plasma cholesterol by inhibiting NPC1L1 function in both intestine and liver, and hepatic NPC1L1 may have evolved to protect the body from excessive biliary loss of cholesterol.
Ryan E. Temel, Weiqing Tang, Yinyan Ma, Lawrence L. Rudel, Mark C. Willingham, Yiannis A. Ioannou, Joanna P. Davies, Lisa-Mari Nilsson, Liqing Yu
Proinflammatory agents trypsin and mast cell tryptase cleave and activate PAR2, which is expressed on sensory nerves to cause neurogenic inflammation. Transient receptor potential A1 (TRPA1) is an excitatory ion channel on primary sensory nerves of pain pathway. Here, we show that a functional interaction of PAR2 and TRPA1 in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons could contribute to the sensation of inflammatory pain. Frequent colocalization of TRPA1 with PAR2 was found in rat DRG neurons. PAR2 activation increased the TRPA1 currents evoked by its agonists in HEK293 cells transfected with TRPA1, as well as DRG neurons. Application of phospholipase C (PLC) inhibitors or phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) suppressed this potentiation. Decrease of plasma membrane PIP2 levels through antibody sequestration or PLC-mediated hydrolysis mimicked the potentiating effects of PAR2 activation at the cellular level. Thus, the increased TRPA1 sensitivity may have been due to activation of PLC, which releases the inhibition of TRPA1 from plasma membrane PIP2. These results identify for the first time to our knowledge a sensitization mechanism of TRPA1 and a novel mechanism through which trypsin or tryptase released in response to tissue inflammation might trigger the sensation of pain by TRPA1 activation.
Yi Dai, Shenglan Wang, Makoto Tominaga, Satoshi Yamamoto, Tetsuo Fukuoka, Tomohiro Higashi, Kimiko Kobayashi, Koichi Obata, Hiroki Yamanaka, Koichi Noguchi
Neutrophils contain antimicrobial peptides with antituberculous activity, but their contribution to immune resistance to tuberculosis (TB) infection has not been previously investigated to our knowledge. We determined differential white cell counts in peripheral blood of 189 adults who had come into contact with patients diagnosed with active TB in London, United Kingdom, and evaluated them for evidence of TB infection and capacity to restrict mycobacterial growth in whole-blood assays. Risk of TB infection was inversely and independently associated with peripheral blood neutrophil count in contacts of patients diagnosed with pulmonary TB. The ability of whole blood to restrict growth of Mycobacterium bovis bacille Calmette Guérin and Mycobacterium tuberculosis was impaired 7.3- and 3.1-fold, respectively, by neutrophil depletion. In microbiological media, human neutrophil peptides (HNPs) 1–3 killed M. tuberculosis. The neutrophil peptides cathelicidin LL-37 and lipocalin 2 restricted growth of the organism, the latter in an iron-dependent manner. Black African participants had lower neutrophil counts and lower circulating concentrations of HNP1–3 and lipocalin 2 than south Asian and white participants. Neutrophils contribute substantially to innate resistance to TB infection, an activity associated with their antimicrobial peptides. Elucidation of the regulation of neutrophil antimicrobial peptides could facilitate prevention and treatment of TB.
Adrian R. Martineau, Sandra M. Newton, Katalin A. Wilkinson, Beate Kampmann, Bridget M. Hall, Niga Nawroly, Geoffrey E. Packe, Robert N. Davidson, Christopher J. Griffiths, Robert J. Wilkinson
Insulin resistance is a major factor in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and is strongly associated with obesity. Increased concentrations of intracellular fatty acid metabolites have been postulated to interfere with insulin signaling by activation of a serine kinase cascade involving PKCθ in skeletal muscle. Uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3) has been postulated to dissipate the mitochondrial proton gradient and cause metabolic inefficiency. We therefore hypothesized that overexpression of UCP3 in skeletal muscle might protect against fat-induced insulin resistance in muscle by conversion of intramyocellular fat into thermal energy. Wild-type mice fed a high-fat diet were markedly insulin resistant, a result of defects in insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle and hepatic insulin resistance. Insulin resistance in these tissues was associated with reduced insulin-stimulated insulin receptor substrate 1– (IRS-1–) and IRS-2–associated PI3K activity in muscle and liver, respectively. In contrast, UCP3-overexpressing mice were completely protected against fat-induced defects in insulin signaling and action in these tissues. Furthermore, these changes were associated with a lower membrane-to-cytosolic ratio of diacylglycerol and reduced PKCθ activity in whole-body fat–matched UCP3 transgenic mice. These results suggest that increasing mitochondrial uncoupling in skeletal muscle may be an excellent therapeutic target for type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Cheol Soo Choi, Jonathan J. Fillmore, Jason K. Kim, Zhen-Xiang Liu, Sheene Kim, Emily F. Collier, Ameya Kulkarni, Alberto Distefano, Yu-Jin Hwang, Mario Kahn, Yan Chen, Chunli Yu, Irene K. Moore, Richard M. Reznick, Takamasa Higashimori, Gerald I. Shulman
Apart from potential roles in anti-tumor surveillance, the TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) has important regulatory functions in the host immune response. We studied antiinflammatory effects of endogenous and recombinant TRAIL (rTRAIL) in experimental meningitis. Following intrathecal application of pneumococcal cell wall, a TLR2 ligand, we found prolonged inflammation, augmented clinical impairment, and increased apoptosis in the hippocampus of TRAIL–/– mice. Administration of rTRAIL into the subarachnoid space of TRAIL–/– mice or reconstitution of hematopoiesis with wild-type bone marrow cells reversed these effects, suggesting an autoregulatory role of TRAIL within the infiltrating leukocyte population. Importantly, intrathecal application of rTRAIL in wild-type mice with meningitis also decreased inflammation and apoptosis. Moreover, patients suffering from bacterial meningitis showed increased intrathecal synthesis of TRAIL. Our findings provide what we believe is the first evidence that TRAIL may act as a negative regulator of acute CNS inflammation. The ability of TRAIL to modify inflammatory responses and to reduce neuronal cell death in meningitis suggests that it may be used as a novel antiinflammatory agent in invasive infections.
Olaf Hoffmann, Josef Priller, Timour Prozorovski, Ulf Schulze-Topphoff, Nevena Baeva, Jan D. Lunemann, Orhan Aktas, Cordula Mahrhofer, Sarah Stricker, Frauke Zipp, Joerg R. Weber
Jeffrey J. Ross, Zhigang Hong, Ben Willenbring, Lepeng Zeng, Brett Isenberg, Eu Han Lee, Morayma Reyes, Susan A. Keirstead, E. Kenneth Weir, Robert T. Tranquillo, Catherine M. Verfaillie