Prostate cancer is associated with dysregulated gene expression, but how the chromatin landscape influences RNA Polymerase II (RNA Pol II) and transcriptional output remains unclear. In this issue of the JCI, Ramanand, Chen, Yuan, and colleagues mapped the RNA Pol II/chromatin interaction of healthy or cancerous prostate cell lines. The researchers used a modified paired-end tag sequencing technique to immunoprecipitate chromatin from crosslinked cells. They revealed thousands of protein-DNA and DNA-DNA interactions. This study highlights the importance of genome structure and transcriptional dysregulation in prostate cancer. The cover image ‘Burst of Passion II’ by artist Ken Bonner exemplifies the coordinated and dynamic nature of transcriptional machinery. Image credit: Ken Bonner.
Yasmin L. Hurd
Wen-Chao Song, Garret A. FitzGerald
Leonard Angka, Marisa Market, Michele Ardolino, Rebecca C. Auer
The signals maintaining quiescence of the reproductive endocrine axis during childhood before its reawakening at puberty had been enigmatic. Studies in patients with abnormal puberty have illuminated the identity of the signals; kisspeptin has emerged as a major stimulator of puberty, and makorin RING finger protein 3 (MKRN3) as an inhibitory signal that prevents premature initiation of puberty. In this issue of the JCI, Abreu et al. investigated the mechanism by which MKRN3 regulates pubertal onset. The authors found that a reduction in MKRN3 alleviated the constraint on kisspeptin-expressing neurons to allow pubertal initiation, a phenomenon observed across species, including nonhuman primates. Further, the ubiquitinase activity of MKRN3 required its RING finger domain, in order to repress the promoter activity of genes encoding kisspeptin and neurokinin B. These data advance our understanding of the regulation of kisspeptin-expressing neurons by MKRN3 to initiate puberty.
Ali Abbara, Waljit S. Dhillo
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a central nervous system (CNS) inflammatory autoimmune disease caused by antibodies against aquaporin-4 (AQP4) expressed on astrocytes. Binding of AQP4-specific antibodies (NMO-IgG) triggers activation of the complement cascade, which is responsible for astrocyte loss and secondary demyelination. Although the role for the cytolytic complement proteins in astrocyte destruction in NMO is well established, little is known regarding the initial phase of astrocyte injury. In this issue of the JCI, Chen and colleagues evaluated the precytolytic phase when NMO-IgG binds astrocytes in vivo in the absence of exogenous complement. NMO-IgG alone caused astrocyte activation and AQP4 loss. Surprisingly, microglia, CNS-resident innate immune cells that produce endogenous complement, were required for clinical manifestations of disease, a finding that suggests microglia may serve as a therapeutic target in NMO.
Zahra Moinfar, Scott S. Zamvil
The lymph node (LN) is an intriguing site not only for inducing protective effector immunity but also for inducing tolerance against peripherally encountered antigens such as tissue-specific self-antigens that are regionally drained and through draining lymph nodes (DLNs). The dual functions of DLNs in immunity are attributable at least in part to fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs), which are a major population of the nonhematopoietic compartment in the LN. In this issue of the JCI, Li, Zhao, and colleagues investigated DLNs in the transplantation setting. The authors demonstrated that, following skin transplantation, the donor mast cell–mediated senescence in FRCs was associated with collagen 1 deposition in DLNs. Systemic administration to mice of FRCs that were expanded ex vivo decreased DLN fibrosis and strengthened the effect of anti-CD40L in prolonging heart allograft survival. These data implicate the DLN as a target for immunomodulatory therapy of transplant rejection.
Zhaoli Sun, James Burdick
Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory condition of the arteries that has profound incidence and increasing prevalence. Although endothelial cells detect changes in blood flow, how endothelial activation contributes to atherogenic inflammation is not well understood. In this issue of the JCI, Alfaidi et al. used mouse models to explore flow-induced endothelial activation. The authors revealed a role for Nck1 and a specific activator of the innate immune response, the downstream interleukin receptor–associated kinase-1 (IRAK-1) in NF-κB–mediated inflammation and atherosclerosis susceptibility. These results link disturbed blood flow to NF-κB–mediated inflammation, which promotes atherosclerosis, and provide Nck1 as a potential target for the treatment of atherosclerosis.
Mary Wines-Samuelson, Sayantani Chowdhury, Bradford C. Berk
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP), the most common form of rod-cone dystrophy, is caused by greater than 3100 mutations in more than 71 genes, many of which are preferentially expressed in rod photoreceptors. Cone death generally follows rod loss regardless of the underlying pathogenic mutation. Preventing the secondary loss of cone photoreceptors would preserve central visual acuity and substantially improve patients’ quality of life. In this issue of the JCI, Wang et al. demonstrate that adeno-associated virus–mediated overexpression of TGF-β1 promoted cone survival and function in 3 distinct RP models with rod-specific mutations. TGF-β1 induces microglia to metabolically tune from a glycolytic phenotype (M1) to an oxidative phenotype (M2), which associates with neuroprotection and the antiinflammatory ecosystem. Consolidating the results of this study with our current understanding of how TGF-β1 regulates microglia polarization, we highlight cell-specific metabolome reprogramming as a promising non–gene-specific therapeutic avenue for inherited retinal degenerations.
Salvatore Caruso, Joseph Ryu, Peter M.J. Quinn, Stephen H. Tsang
Despite recent advances in understanding chronic inflammation remission, global analyses have not been explored to systematically discover genes or pathways underlying the resolution dynamics of chronic inflammatory diseases. Here, we performed time-course gene expression profiling of mouse synovial tissues along progression and resolution of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) and identified genes associated with inflammation resolution. Through network analysis of these genes, we predicted 3 key secretory factors responsible for the resolution of CIA: Itgb1, Rps3, and Ywhaz. These factors were predominantly expressed by Tregs and antiinflammatory M2 macrophages, suppressing production of proinflammatory cytokines. In particular, Ywhaz was elevated in the sera of mice with arthritis resolution and in the urine of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with good therapeutic responses. Moreover, adenovirus-mediated transfer of the Ywhaz gene to the affected joints substantially inhibited arthritis progression in mice with CIA and suppressed expression of proinflammatory cytokines in joint tissues, lymph nodes, and spleens, suggesting Ywhaz is an excellent target for RA therapy. Therefore, our comprehensive analysis of dynamic synovial transcriptomes provides previously unidentified antiarthritic genes, Itgb1, Rps3, and Ywhaz, which can serve as molecular markers to predict disease remission, as well as therapeutic targets for chronic inflammatory arthritis.
Jin-Sun Kong, Ji-Hwan Park, Seung-Ah Yoo, Ki-Myo Kim, Yeung-Jin Bae, Yune-Jung Park, Chul-Soo Cho, Daehee Hwang, Wan-Uk Kim
Transcriptional dysregulation is a hallmark of prostate cancer (PCa). We mapped the RNA polymerase II–associated (RNA Pol II–associated) chromatin interactions in normal prostate cells and PCa cells. We discovered thousands of enhancer-promoter, enhancer-enhancer, as well as promoter-promoter chromatin interactions. These transcriptional hubs operate within the framework set by structural proteins — CTCF and cohesins — and are regulated by the cooperative action of master transcription factors, such as the androgen receptor (AR) and FOXA1. By combining analyses from metastatic castration-resistant PCa (mCRPC) specimens, we show that AR locus amplification contributes to the transcriptional upregulation of the AR gene by increasing the total number of chromatin interaction modules comprising the AR gene and its distal enhancer. We deconvoluted the transcription control modules of several PCa genes, notably the biomarker KLK3, lineage-restricted genes (KRT8, KRT18, HOXB13, FOXA1, ZBTB16), the drug target EZH2, and the oncogene MYC. By integrating clinical PCa data, we defined a germline-somatic interplay between the PCa risk allele rs684232 and the somatically acquired TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusion in the transcriptional regulation of multiple target genes — VPS53, FAM57A, and GEMIN4. Our studies implicate changes in genome organization as a critical determinant of aberrant transcriptional regulation in PCa.
Susmita G. Ramanand, Yong Chen, Jiapei Yuan, Kelly Daescu, Maryou B.K. Lambros, Kathleen E. Houlahan, Suzanne Carreira, Wei Yuan, GuemHee Baek, Adam Sharp, Alec Paschalis, Mohammed Kanchwala, Yunpeng Gao, Adam Aslam, Nida Safdar, Xiaowei Zhan, Ganesh V. Raj, Chao Xing, Paul C. Boutros, Johann de Bono, Michael Q. Zhang, Ram S. Mani
Ligand-dependent activation of Hedgehog (Hh) signaling in cancer occurs without mutations in canonical pathway genes. Consequently, the genetic basis of Hh pathway activation in adult solid tumors, such as small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), is unknown. Here we show that combined inactivation of Trp53 and Rb1, a defining genetic feature of SCLC, leads to hypersensitivity to Hh ligand in vitro, and during neural tube development in vivo. This response is associated with the aberrant formation of primary cilia, an organelle essential for canonical Hh signaling through smoothened, a transmembrane protein targeted by small-molecule Hh inhibitors. We further show that loss of both Trp53 and Rb1 disables transcription of genes in the autophagic machinery necessary for the degradation of primary cilia. In turn, we also demonstrate a requirement for Kif3a, a gene essential for the formation of primary cilia, in a mouse model of SCLC induced by conditional deletion of both Trp53 and Rb1 in the adult airway. Our results provide a mechanistic framework for therapeutic targeting of ligand-dependent Hh signaling in human cancers with somatic mutations in both TP53 and RB1.
Catherine R. Cochrane, Vijesh Vaghjiani, Anette Szczepny, W. Samantha N. Jayasekara, Alvaro Gonzalez-Rajal, Kazu Kikuchi, Geoffrey W. McCaughan, Andrew Burgess, Daniel J. Gough, D. Neil Watkins, Jason E. Cain
The microbiome provides resistance to infection. However, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. We demonstrate that colonization with the intestinal bacterium Clostridium scindens protects from Entamoeba histolytica colitis via innate immunity. Introduction of C. scindens into the gut microbiota epigenetically altered and expanded bone marrow granulocyte-monocyte progenitors (GMPs) and resulted in increased intestinal neutrophils with subsequent challenge with E. histolytica. Introduction of C. scindens alone was sufficient to expand GMPs in gnotobiotic mice. Adoptive transfer of bone marrow from C. scindens–colonized mice into naive mice protected against amebic colitis and increased intestinal neutrophils. Children without E. histolytica diarrhea also had a higher abundance of Lachnoclostridia. Lachnoclostridia C. scindens can metabolize the bile salt cholate, so we measured deoxycholate and discovered that it was increased in the sera of C. scindens–colonized specific pathogen–free and gnotobiotic mice, as well as in children protected from amebiasis. Administration of deoxycholate alone increased GMPs and provided protection from amebiasis. We elucidated a mechanism by which C. scindens and the microbially metabolized bile salt deoxycholic acid alter hematopoietic precursors and provide innate protection from later infection with E. histolytica.
Stacey L. Burgess, Jhansi L. Leslie, Jashim Uddin, David N. Oakland, Carol Gilchrist, G. Brett Moreau, Koji Watanabe, Mahmoud Saleh, Morgan Simpson, Brandon A. Thompson, David T. Auble, Stephen D. Turner, Natasa Giallourou, Jonathan Swann, Zhen Pu, Jennie Z. Ma, Rashidul Haque, William A. Petri Jr.
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a severe inflammatory autoimmune CNS disorder triggered by binding of an IgG autoantibody to the aquaporin 4 (AQP4) water channel on astrocytes. Activation of cytolytic complement has been implicated as the major effector of tissue destruction that secondarily involves myelin. We investigated early precytolytic events in the evolving pathophysiology of NMO in mice by continuously infusing IgG (NMO patient serum–derived or AQP4-specific mouse monoclonal), without exogenous complement, into the spinal subarachnoid space. Motor impairment and sublytic NMO-compatible immunopathology were IgG dose dependent, AQP4 dependent, and, unexpectedly, microglia dependent. In vivo spinal cord imaging revealed a striking physical interaction between microglia and astrocytes that required signaling from astrocytes by the C3a fragment of their upregulated complement C3 protein. Astrocytes remained viable but lost AQP4. Previously unappreciated crosstalk between astrocytes and microglia involving early-activated CNS-intrinsic complement components and microglial C3a receptor signaling appears to be a critical driver of the precytolytic phase in the evolving NMO lesion, including initial motor impairment. Our results indicate that microglia merit consideration as a potential target for NMO therapeutic intervention.
Tingjun Chen, Vanda A. Lennon, Yong U. Liu, Dale B. Bosco, Yujiao Li, Min-Hee Yi, Jia Zhu, Shihui Wei, Long-Jun Wu
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is difficult to detect, carries a poor prognosis, and is one of few cancers with an increasing yearly incidence. Molecular defects in complement factor H (CFH), a critical regulatory protein of the complement alternative pathway (AP), are typically associated with inflammatory diseases of the eye and kidney. Little is known regarding the role of CFH in controlling complement activation within the liver. While studying aging CFH-deficient (fH–/–) mice, we observed spontaneous hepatic tumor formation in more than 50% of aged fH–/– males. Examination of fH–/– livers (3–24 months) for evidence of complement-mediated inflammation revealed widespread deposition of complement-activation fragments throughout the sinusoids, elevated transaminase levels, increased hepatic CD8+ and F4/80+ cells, overexpression of hepatic mRNA associated with inflammatory signaling pathways, steatosis, and increased collagen deposition. Immunostaining of human HCC biopsies revealed extensive deposition of complement fragments within the tumors. Investigating the Cancer Genome Atlas also revealed that increased CFH mRNA expression is associated with improved survival in patients with HCC, whereas mutations are associated with worse survival. These results indicate that CFH is critical for controlling complement activation in the liver, and in its absence, AP activation leads to chronic inflammation and promotes hepatic carcinogenesis.
Jennifer Laskowski, Brandon Renner, Matthew C. Pickering, Natalie J. Serkova, Peter M. Smith-Jones, Eric T. Clambey, Raphael A. Nemenoff, Joshua M. Thurman
Fowler syndrome is a rare autosomal recessive brain vascular disorder caused by mutation in FLVCR2 in humans. The disease occurs during a critical period of brain vascular development, is characterized by glomeruloid vasculopathy and hydrocephalus, and is almost invariably prenatally fatal. Here, we sought to gain insights into the process of brain vascularization and the pathogenesis of Fowler syndrome by inactivating Flvcr2 in mice. We showed that Flvcr2 was necessary for angiogenic sprouting in the brain, but surprisingly dispensable for maintaining the blood-brain barrier. Endothelial cells lacking Flvcr2 had altered expression of angiogenic factors, failed to adopt tip cell properties, and displayed reduced sprouting, leading to vascular malformations similar to those seen in humans with Fowler syndrome. Brain hypovascularization was associated with hypoxia and tissue infarction, ultimately causing hydrocephalus and death of mutant animals. Strikingly, despite severe vascular anomalies and brain tissue infarction, the blood-brain barrier was maintained in Flvcr2 mutant mice. Our Fowler syndrome model therefore defined the pathobiology of this disease and provided new insights into brain angiogenesis by showing uncoupling of vessel morphogenesis and blood-brain barrier formation.
Nicolas Santander, Carlos O. Lizama, Eman Meky, Gabriel L. McKinsey, Bongnam Jung, Dean Sheppard, Christer Betsholtz, Thomas D. Arnold
Haploinsufficiency of factors governing genome stability underlies hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. One significant pathway that is disabled as a result is homologous recombination repair (HRR). With the aim of identifying new candidate genes, we examined early-onset breast cancer patients negative for BRCA1 and BRCA2 pathogenic variants. Here, we focused on CtIP (RBBP8 gene), which mediates HRR through the end resection of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Notably, these patients exhibited a number of rare germline RBBP8 variants. Functional analysis revealed that these variants did not affect DNA DSB end resection efficiency. However, expression of a subset of variants led to deleterious nucleolytic degradation of stalled DNA replication forks in a manner similar to that of cells lacking BRCA1 or BRCA2. In contrast to BRCA1 and BRCA2, CtIP deficiency promoted the helicase-driven destabilization of RAD51 nucleofilaments at damaged DNA replication forks. Taken together, our work identifies CtIP as a critical regulator of DNA replication fork integrity, which, when compromised, may predispose to the development of early-onset breast cancer.
Reihaneh Zarrizi, Martin R. Higgs, Karolin Voßgröne, Maria Rossing, Birgitte Bertelsen, Muthiah Bose, Arne Nedergaard Kousholt, Heike Rösner, the COMPLEXO Network, Bent Ejlertsen, Grant S. Stewart, Finn Cilius Nielsen, Claus S. Sørensen
Several missense mutations in the orphan transporter FLVCR2 have been reported in Fowler syndrome. Affected subjects exhibit signs of severe neurological defects. We identified the mouse ortholog Mfsd7c as a gene expressed in the blood-brain barrier. Here, we report the characterizations of Mfsd7c-KO mice and compare these characterizations to phenotypic findings in humans with biallelic FLVCR2 mutations. Global KO of Mfsd7c in mice resulted in late-gestation lethality, likely due to CNS phenotypes. We found that the angiogenic growth of CNS blood vessels in the brain of Mfsd7c-KO embryos was inhibited in cortical ventricular zones and ganglionic eminences. Vascular tips were dilated and fused, resulting in glomeruloid vessels. Nonetheless, CNS blood vessels were intact, without hemorrhage. Both embryos and humans with biallelic FLVCR2 mutations exhibited reduced cerebral cortical layers, enlargement of the cerebral ventricles, and microcephaly. Transcriptomic analysis of Mfsd7cK-KO embryonic brains revealed upregulation of genes involved in glycolysis and angiogenesis. The Mfsd7c-KO brain exhibited hypoxia and neuronal cell death. Our results indicate that MFSD7c is required for the normal growth of CNS blood vessels and that ablation of this gene results in microcephaly-associated vasculopathy in mice and humans.
Pazhanichamy Kalailingam, Kai Qi Wang, Xiu Ru Toh, Toan Q. Nguyen, Madhuvanthi Chandrakanthan, Zafrul Hasan, Clair Habib, Aharon Schif, Francesca Clementina Radio, Bruno Dallapiccola, Karin Weiss, Long N. Nguyen
BACKGROUND Given the heightened tolerance to self-starvation in anorexia nervosa (AN), a hypothalamic dysregulation of energy and glucose homeostasis has been hypothesized. Therefore, we investigated whether hypothalamic reactivity to glucose metabolism is impaired in AN.METHODS Twenty-four participants with AN, 28 normal-weight participants, and 24 healthy participants with obesity underwent 2 MRI sessions in a single-blind, randomized, case-controlled crossover study. We used an intragastric infusion of glucose and water to bypass the cephalic phase of food intake. The responsivity of the hypothalamus and the crosstalk of the hypothalamus with reward-related brain regions were investigated using high-resolution MRI.RESULTS Normal-weight control participants displayed the expected glucose-induced deactivation of hypothalamic activation, whereas patients with AN and participants with obesity showed blunted hypothalamic reactivity. Furthermore, patients with AN displayed blunted reactivity in the nucleus accumbens and amygdala. Compared with the normal-weight participants and control participants with obesity, the patients with AN failed to show functional connectivity between the hypothalamus and the reward-related brain regions during water infusion relative to glucose infusion. Finally, the patients with AN displayed typical baseline levels of peripheral appetite hormones during a negative energy balance.CONCLUSION These results indicate that blunted hypothalamic glucose reactivity might be related to the pathophysiology of AN. This study provides insights for future research, as it is an extended perspective of the traditional primary nonhomeostatic understanding of the disease.FUNDING This study was supported by a grant from the DFG (SI 2087/2-1).
Joe J. Simon, Marion A. Stopyra, Esther Mönning, Sebastian Sailer, Nora Lavandier, Lars P. Kihm, Martin Bendszus, Hubert Preissl, Wolfgang Herzog, Hans-Christoph Friederich
Diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are associated with vascular complications and impaired nitric oxide (NO) production. Furthermore, increased β-site amyloid precursor protein–cleaving (APP-cleaving) enzyme 1 (BACE1), APP, and β-amyloid (Aβ) are linked with vascular disease development and increased BACE1 and Aβ accompany hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia. However, the causal relationship between obesity and diabetes, increased Aβ, and vascular dysfunction is unclear. We report that diet-induced obesity (DIO) in mice increased plasma and vascular Aβ42 that correlated with decreased NO bioavailability, endothelial dysfunction, and increased blood pressure. Genetic or pharmacological reduction of BACE1 activity and Aβ42 prevented and reversed, respectively, these outcomes. In contrast, expression of human mutant APP in mice or Aβ42 infusion into control diet–fed mice to mimic obese levels impaired NO production, vascular relaxation, and raised blood pressure. In humans, increased plasma Aβ42 correlated with diabetes and endothelial dysfunction. Mechanistically, higher Aβ42 reduced endothelial NO synthase (eNOS), cyclic GMP (cGMP), and protein kinase G (PKG) activity independently of diet, whereas endothelin-1 was increased by diet and Aβ42. Lowering Aβ42 reversed the DIO deficit in the eNOS/cGMP/PKG pathway and decreased endothelin-1. Our findings suggest that BACE1 inhibitors may have therapeutic value in the treatment of vascular disease associated with diabetes.
Paul J. Meakin, Bethany M. Coull, Zofia Tuharska, Christopher McCaffery, Ioannis Akoumianakis, Charalambos Antoniades, Jane Brown, Kathryn J. Griffin, Fiona Platt, Claire H. Ozber, Nadira Y. Yuldasheva, Natallia Makava, Anna Skromna, Alan Prescott, Alison D. McNeilly, Moneeza Siddiqui, Colin N.A. Palmer, Faisel Khan, Michael L.J. Ashford
Lysosomal enzymes are synthesized in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and transferred to the Golgi complex by interaction with the Batten disease protein CLN8 (ceroid lipofuscinosis, neuronal, 8). Here we investigated the relationship of this pathway with CLN6, an ER-associated protein of unknown function that is defective in a different Batten disease subtype. Experiments focused on protein interaction and trafficking identified CLN6 as an obligate component of a CLN6-CLN8 complex (herein referred to as EGRESS: ER-to-Golgi relaying of enzymes of the lysosomal system), which recruits lysosomal enzymes at the ER to promote their Golgi transfer. Mutagenesis experiments showed that the second luminal loop of CLN6 is required for the interaction of CLN6 with the enzymes but dispensable for interaction with CLN8. In vitro and in vivo studies showed that CLN6 deficiency results in inefficient ER export of lysosomal enzymes and diminished levels of the enzymes at the lysosome. Mice lacking both CLN6 and CLN8 did not display aggravated pathology compared with the single deficiencies, indicating that the EGRESS complex works as a functional unit. These results identify CLN6 and the EGRESS complex as key players in lysosome biogenesis and shed light on the molecular etiology of Batten disease caused by defects in CLN6.
Lakshya Bajaj, Jaiprakash Sharma, Alberto di Ronza, Pengcheng Zhang, Aiden Eblimit, Rituraj Pal, Dany Roman, John R. Collette, Clarissa Booth, Kevin T. Chang, Richard N. Sifers, Sung Y. Jung, Jill M. Weimer, Rui Chen, Randy W. Schekman, Marco Sardiello
Mothers living near high-traffic roads before or during pregnancy are more likely to have children with asthma. Mechanisms are unknown. Using a mouse model, here we showed that maternal exposure to diesel exhaust particles (DEP) predisposed offspring to allergic airway disease (AAD, murine counterpart of human asthma) through programming of their NK cells; predisposition to AAD did not develop in DEP pups that lacked NK cells and was induced in normal pups receiving NK cells from WT DEP pups. DEP NK cells expressed GATA3 and cosecreted IL-13 and the killer protease granzyme B in response to allergen challenge. Extracellular granzyme B did not kill, but instead stimulated protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) to cooperate with IL-13 in the induction of IL-25 in airway epithelial cells. Through loss-of-function and reconstitution experiments in pups, we showed that NK cells and granzyme B were required for IL-25 induction and activation of the type 2 immune response and that IL-25 mediated NK cell effects on type 2 response and AAD. Finally, experiments using human cord blood and airway epithelial cells suggested that DEP might induce an identical pathway in humans. Collectively, we describe an NK cell–dependent endotype of AAD that emerged in early life as a result of maternal exposure to DEP.
Qian Qian, Bidisha Paul Chowdhury, Zehua Sun, Jerica Lenberg, Rafeul Alam, Eric Vivier, Magdalena M. Gorska
Aging is associated with a high prevalence of hypertension due to elevated susceptibility of BP to dietary salt, but its mechanism is unknown. Serum levels of Klotho, an anti-aging factor, decline with age. We found that high salt (HS) increased BP in aged mice and young heterozygous Klotho-knockout mice and was associated with increased vascular expression of Wnt5a and p-MYPT1, which indicate RhoA activity. Not only the Wnt inhibitor LGK974 and the Wnt5a antagonist Box5 but Klotho supplementation inhibits HS-induced BP elevation, similarly to the Rho kinase inhibitor fasudil, associated with reduced p-MYPT1 expression in both groups of mice. In cultured vascular smooth muscle cells, Wnt5a and angiotensin II (Ang II) increased p-MYPT1 expression but knockdown of Wnt5a with siRNA abolished Ang II–induced upregulation of p-MYPT1, indicating that Wnt5a is indispensable for Ang II–induced Rho/ROCK activation. Notably, Klotho inhibited Wnt5a- and Ang II–induced upregulation of p-MYPT1. Consistently, Klotho supplementation ameliorated HS-induced augmentation of reduced renal blood flow (RBF) response to intra-arterial infusion of Ang II and the thromboxane A2 analog U46619, which activated RhoA in both groups of mice and were associated with the inhibition of BP elevation, suggesting that abnormal response of RBF to Ang II contributes to HS-induced BP elevation. Thus, Klotho deficiency underlies aging-associated salt-sensitive hypertension through vascular non-canonical Wnt5a/RhoA activation.
Wakako Kawarazaki, Risuke Mizuno, Mitsuhiro Nishimoto, Nobuhiro Ayuzawa, Daigoro Hirohama, Kohei Ueda, Fumiko Kawakami-Mori, Shigeyoshi Oba, Takeshi Marumo, Toshiro Fujita
There are more than 7000 described rare diseases, most lacking specific treatment. Autosomal-dominant hyper-IgE syndrome (AD-HIES, also known as Job’s syndrome) is caused by mutations in STAT3. These patients present with immunodeficiency accompanied by severe nonimmunological features, including skeletal, connective tissue, and vascular abnormalities, poor postinfection lung healing, and subsequent pulmonary failure. No specific therapies are available for these abnormalities. Here, we investigated underlying mechanisms in order to identify therapeutic targets. Histological analysis of skin wounds demonstrated delayed granulation tissue formation and vascularization during skin-wound healing in AD-HIES patients. Global gene expression analysis in AD-HIES patient skin fibroblasts identified deficiencies in a STAT3-controlled transcriptional network regulating extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling and angiogenesis, with hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) being a major contributor. Consistent with this, histological analysis of skin wounds and coronary arteries from AD-HIES patients showed decreased HIF-1α expression and revealed abnormal organization of the ECM and altered formation of the coronary vasa vasorum. Disease modeling using cell culture and mouse models of angiogenesis and wound healing confirmed these predicted deficiencies and demonstrated therapeutic benefit of HIF-1α–stabilizing drugs. The study provides mechanistic insights into AD-HIES pathophysiology and suggests potential treatment options for this rare disease.
Natalia I. Dmitrieva, Avram D. Walts, Dai Phuong Nguyen, Alex Grubb, Xue Zhang, Xujing Wang, Xianfeng Ping, Hui Jin, Zhen Yu, Zu-Xi Yu, Dan Yang, Robin Schwartzbeck, Clifton L. Dalgard, Beth A. Kozel, Mark D. Levin, Russell H. Knutsen, Delong Liu, Joshua D. Milner, Diego B. López, Michael P. O’Connell, Chyi-Chia Richard Lee, Ian A. Myles, Amy P. Hsu, Alexandra F. Freeman, Steven M. Holland, Guibin Chen, Manfred Boehm
Although the immune response within draining lymph nodes (DLNs) has been studied for decades, how their stromal compartment contributes to this process remains to be fully explored. Here, we show that donor mast cells were prominent activators of collagen I deposition by fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs) in DLNs shortly following transplantation. Serial analysis of the DLN indicated that the LN stroma did not return to its baseline microarchitecture following organ rejection and that the DLN contained significant fibrosis following repetitive organ transplants. Using several FRC conditional-knockout mice, we show that induction of senescence in the FRCs of the DLN resulted in massive production of collagen I and a proinflammatory milieu within the DLN. Stimulation of herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM) on FRCs by its ligand LIGHT contributed chiefly to the induction of senescence in FRCs and overproduction of collagen I. Systemic administration of ex vivo–expanded FRCs to mice decreased DLN fibrosis and strengthened the effect of anti-CD40L in prolonging heart allograft survival. These data demonstrate that the transformation of FRCs into proinflammatory myofibroblasts is critically important for the maintenance of a proinflammatory milieu within a fibrotic DLN.
Xiaofei Li, Jing Zhao, Vivek Kasinath, Mayuko Uehara, Liwei Jiang, Naima Banouni, Martina M. McGrath, Takaharu Ichimura, Paolo Fiorina, Dario R. Lemos, Su Ryon Shin, Carl F. Ware, Jonathan S. Bromberg, Reza Abdi
Characterization of the key cellular targets contributing to sustained microglial activation in neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease (PD), and optimal modulation of these targets can provide potential treatments to halt disease progression. Here, we demonstrated that microglial Kv1.3, a voltage-gated potassium channel, was transcriptionally upregulated in response to aggregated α-synuclein (αSynAgg) stimulation in primary microglial cultures and animal models of PD, as well as in postmortem human PD brains. Patch-clamp electrophysiological studies confirmed that the observed Kv1.3 upregulation translated to increased Kv1.3 channel activity. The kinase Fyn, a risk factor for PD, modulated transcriptional upregulation and posttranslational modification of microglial Kv1.3. Multiple state-of-the-art analyses, including Duolink proximity ligation assay imaging, revealed that Fyn directly bound to Kv1.3 and posttranslationally modified its channel activity. Furthermore, we demonstrated the functional relevance of Kv1.3 in augmenting the neuroinflammatory response by using Kv1.3-KO primary microglia and the Kv1.3-specific small-molecule inhibitor PAP-1, thus highlighting the importance of Kv1.3 in neuroinflammation. Administration of PAP-1 significantly inhibited neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation in multiple animal models of PD. Collectively, our results imply that Fyn-dependent regulation of Kv1.3 channels plays an obligatory role in accentuating the neuroinflammatory response in PD and identify Kv1.3 as a potential therapeutic target for PD.
Souvarish Sarkar, Hai M. Nguyen, Emir Malovic, Jie Luo, Monica Langley, Bharathi N. Palanisamy, Neeraj Singh, Sireesha Manne, Matthew Neal, Michelle Gabrielle, Ahmed Abdalla, Poojya Anantharam, Dharmin Rokad, Nikhil Panicker, Vikrant Singh, Muhammet Ay, Adhithiya Charli, Dilshan Harischandra, Lee-Way Jin, Huajun Jin, Srikant Rangaraju, Vellareddy Anantharam, Heike Wulff, Anumantha G. Kanthasamy
Molecular mechanisms governing the development of the mammalian cochlea, the hearing organ, remain largely unknown. Through genome sequencing in 3 subjects from 2 families with nonsyndromic cochlear aplasia, we identified homozygous 221-kb and 338-kb deletions in a noncoding region on chromosome 8 with an approximately 200-kb overlapping section. Genomic location of the overlapping deleted region started from approximately 350 kb downstream of GDF6, which codes for growth and differentiation factor 6. Otic lineage cells differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells derived from an affected individual showed reduced expression of GDF6 compared with control cells. Knockout of Gdf6 in a mouse model resulted in cochlear aplasia, closely resembling the human phenotype. We conclude that GDF6 plays a necessary role in early cochlear development controlled by cis-regulatory elements located within an approximately 500-kb region of the genome in humans and that its disruption leads to deafness due to cochlear aplasia.
Guney Bademci, Clemer Abad, Filiz B. Cengiz, Serhat Seyhan, Armagan Incesulu, Shengru Guo, Suat Fitoz, Emine Ikbal Atli, Nicholas C. Gosstola, Selma Demir, Brett M. Colbert, Gozde Cosar Seyhan, Claire J. Sineni, Duygu Duman, Hakan Gurkan, Cynthia C. Morton, Derek M. Dykxhoorn, Katherina Walz, Mustafa Tekin
Gasdermin D (GSDMD) induces pyroptosis via the pore-forming activity of its N-terminal domain, cleaved by activated caspases associated with the release of IL-1β. Here, we report a nonpyroptotic role of full-length GSDMD in guiding the release of IL-1β–containing small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) from intestinal epithelial cells (IECs). In response to caspase-8 inflammasome activation, GSDMD, chaperoned by Cdc37/Hsp90, recruits the E3 ligase, NEDD4, to catalyze polyubiquitination of pro–IL-1β, serving as a signal for cargo loading into secretory vesicles. GSDMD and IL-1β colocalize with the exosome markers CD63 and ALIX intracellularly, and GSDMD and NEDD4 are required for release of CD63+ sEVs containing IL-1β, GSDMD, NEDD4, and caspase-8. Importantly, increased expression of epithelial-derived GSDMD is observed both in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and those with experimental colitis. While GSDMD-dependent release of IL-1β–containing sEVs is detected in cultured colonic explants from colitic mice, GSDMD deficiency substantially attenuates disease severity, implicating GSDMD-mediated release of IL-1β sEVs in the pathogenesis of intestinal inflammation, such as that observed in IBD.
Katarzyna Bulek, Junjie Zhao, Yun Liao, Nitish Rana, Daniele Corridoni, Agne Antanaviciute, Xing Chen, Han Wang, Wen Qian, William A. Miller-Little, Shadi Swaidani, Fangqiang Tang, Belinda B. Willard, Keith McCrae, Zizhen Kang, George R. Dubyak, Fabio Cominelli, Alison Simmons, Theresa T. Pizarro, Xiaoxia Li
Aberrant, neovascular retinal blood vessel growth is a vision-threatening complication in ischemic retinal diseases. It is driven by retinal hypoxia frequently caused by capillary nonperfusion and endothelial cell (EC) loss. We investigated the role of EC apoptosis in this process using a mouse model of ischemic retinopathy, in which vessel closure and EC apoptosis cause capillary regression and retinal ischemia followed by neovascularization. Protecting ECs from apoptosis in this model did not prevent capillary closure or retinal ischemia. Nonetheless, it prevented the clearance of ECs from closed capillaries, delaying vessel regression and allowing ECs to persist in clusters throughout the ischemic zone. In response to hypoxia, these preserved ECs underwent a vessel sprouting response and rapidly reassembled into a functional vascular network. This alleviated retinal hypoxia, preventing subsequent pathogenic neovascularization. Vessel reassembly was not limited by VEGFA neutralization, suggesting it was not dependent on the excess VEGFA produced by the ischemic retina. Neutralization of ANG2 did not prevent vessel reassembly, but did impair subsequent angiogenic expansion of the reassembled vessels. Blockade of EC apoptosis may promote ischemic tissue revascularization by preserving ECs within ischemic tissue that retain the capacity to reassemble a functional network and rapidly restore blood supply.
Zoe L. Grant, Lachlan Whitehead, Vickie H.Y. Wong, Zheng He, Richard Y. Yan, Abigail R. Miles, Andrew V. Benest, David O. Bates, Claudia Prahst, Katie Bentley, Bang V. Bui, Robert C.A. Symons, Leigh Coultas
Nearly all breast cancer deaths result from metastatic disease. Despite this, the genomic events that drive metastatic recurrence are poorly understood. We performed whole-exome and shallow whole-genome sequencing to identify genes and pathways preferentially mutated or copy-number altered in metastases compared with the paired primary tumors from which they arose. Seven genes were preferentially mutated in metastases — MYLK, PEAK1, SLC2A4RG, EVC2, XIRP2, PALB2, and ESR1 — 5 of which are not significantly mutated in any type of human primary cancer. Four regions were preferentially copy-number altered: loss of STK11 and CDKN2A/B, as well as gain of PTK6 and the membrane-bound progesterone receptor, PAQR8. PAQR8 gain was mutually exclusive with mutations in the nuclear estrogen and progesterone receptors, suggesting a role in treatment resistance. Several pathways were preferentially mutated or altered in metastases, including mTOR, CDK/RB, cAMP/PKA, WNT, HKMT, and focal adhesion. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed that metastases preferentially inactivate pRB, upregulate the mTORC1 and WNT signaling pathways, and exhibit nuclear localization of activated PKA. Our findings identify multiple therapeutic targets in metastatic recurrence that are not significantly mutated in primary cancers, implicate membrane progesterone signaling and nuclear PKA in metastatic recurrence, and provide genomic bases for the efficacy of mTORC1, CDK4/6, and PARP inhibitors in metastatic breast cancer.
Matt R. Paul, Tien-chi Pan, Dhruv K. Pant, Natalie N.C. Shih, Yan Chen, Kyra L. Harvey, Aaron Solomon, David Lieberman, Jennifer J.D. Morrissette, Danielle Soucier-Ernst, Noah G. Goodman, S. William Stavropoulos, Kara N. Maxwell, Candace Clark, George K. Belka, Michael Feldman, Angela DeMichele, Lewis A. Chodosh
Understanding tumor resistance to T cell immunotherapies is critical to improve patient outcomes. Our study revealed a role for transcriptional suppression of the tumor-intrinsic HLA class I (HLA-I) antigen processing and presentation machinery (APM) in therapy resistance. Low HLA-I APM mRNA levels in melanoma metastases before immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) correlated with nonresponsiveness to therapy and poor clinical outcome. Patient-derived melanoma cells with silenced HLA-I APM escaped recognition by autologous CD8+ T cells. However, targeted activation of the innate immunoreceptor RIG-I initiated de novo HLA-I APM transcription, thereby overcoming T cell resistance. Antigen presentation was restored in interferon-sensitive (IFN-sensitive) but also immunoedited IFN-resistant melanoma models through RIG-I–dependent stimulation of an IFN-independent salvage pathway involving IRF1 and IRF3. Likewise, enhanced HLA-I APM expression was detected in RIG-Ihi (DDX58hi) melanoma biopsies, correlating with improved patient survival. Induction of HLA-I APM by RIG-I synergized with antibodies blocking PD-1 and TIGIT inhibitory checkpoints in boosting the antitumor T cell activity of ICB nonresponders. Overall, the herein-identified IFN-independent effect of RIG-I on tumor antigen presentation and T cell recognition proposes innate immunoreceptor targeting as a strategy to overcome intrinsic T cell resistance of IFN-sensitive and IFN-resistant melanomas and improve clinical outcomes in immunotherapy.
Lina Such, Fang Zhao, Derek Liu, Beatrice Thier, Vu Thuy Khanh Le-Trilling, Antje Sucker, Christoph Coch, Natalia Pieper, Sebastian Howe, Hilal Bhat, Halime Kalkavan, Cathrin Ritter, Robin Brinkhaus, Selma Ugurel, Johannes Köster, Ulrike Seifert, Ulf Dittmer, Martin Schuler, Karl S. Lang, Thomas A. Kufer, Gunther Hartmann, Jürgen C. Becker, Susanne Horn, Soldano Ferrone, David Liu, Eliezer M. Van Allen, Dirk Schadendorf, Klaus Griewank, Mirko Trilling, Annette Paschen
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming a major health issue as obesity increases around the world. We studied the effect of a circadian locomotor output cycles kaput (CLOCK) mutant (ClkΔ19/Δ19) protein on hepatic lipid metabolism in C57BL/6 Clkwt/wt and apolipoprotein E–deficient (Apoe−/−) mice. Both ClkΔ19/Δ19 and ClkΔ19/Δ19 Apoe−/− mice developed a full spectrum of liver diseases (steatosis, steatohepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma) recognized in human NAFLD when challenged with a Western diet, lipopolysaccharide, or CoCl2. We identified induction of CD36 and hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) proteins as contributing factors for NAFLD. Mechanistic studies showed that WT CLOCK protein interacted with the E-box enhancer elements in the promoters of the proline hydroxylase domain (PHD) proteins to increase expression. In ClkΔ19/Δ19 mice, PHD levels were low, and HIF1α protein levels were increased. When its levels were high, HIF1α interacted with the Cd36 promoter to augment expression and enhance fatty acid uptake. Thus, these studies establish a regulatory link among circadian rhythms, hypoxia response, fatty acid uptake, and NAFLD. The mouse models described here may be useful for further mechanistic studies in the progression of liver diseases and in the discovery of drugs for the treatment of these disorders.
Xiaoyue Pan, Joyce Queiroz, M. Mahmood Hussain
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is one of the most aggressive cancers and is highly resistant to current treatments. ESCC harbors a subpopulation of cells exhibiting cancer stem-like cell (CSC) properties that contribute to therapeutic resistance including radioresistance, but the molecular mechanisms in ESCC CSCs are currently unknown. Here, we report that ribosomal S6 protein kinase 4 (RSK4) plays a pivotal role in promoting CSC properties and radioresistance in ESCC. RSK4 was highly expressed in ESCC CSCs and associated with radioresistance and poor survival in patients with ESCC. RSK4 was found to be a direct downstream transcriptional target of ΔNp63α, the main p63 isoform, which is frequently amplified in ESCC. RSK4 activated the β-catenin signaling pathway through direct phosphorylation of GSK-3β at Ser9. Pharmacologic inhibition of RSK4 effectively reduced CSC properties and improved radiosensitivity in both nude mouse and patient-derived xenograft models. Collectively, our results strongly suggest that the ΔNp63α/RSK4/GSK-3β axis plays a key role in driving CSC properties and radioresistance in ESCC, indicating that RSK4 is a promising therapeutic target for ESCC treatment.
Ming-Yang Li, Lin-Ni Fan, Dong-Hui Han, Zhou Yu, Jing Ma, Yi-Xiong Liu, Pei-Feng Li, Dan-Hui Zhao, Jia Chai, Lei Jiang, Shi-Liang Li, Juan-Juan Xiao, Qiu-Hong Duan, Jing Ye, Mei Shi, Yong-Zhan Nie, Kai-Chun Wu, Dezhong Joshua Liao, Yu Shi, Yan Wang, Qing-Guo Yan, Shuang-Ping Guo, Xiu-Wu Bian, Feng Zhu, Jian Zhang, Zhe Wang
Type 2 diabetes is clinically associated with progressive necroinflammation and fibrosis in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) accumulate during prolonged hyperglycemia, but the mechanistic pathways that lead to accelerated liver fibrosis have not been well defined. In this study, we show that the AGEs clearance receptor AGER1 was downregulated in patients with NASH and diabetes and in our NASH models, whereas the proinflammatory receptor RAGE was induced. These findings were associated with necroinflammatory, fibrogenic, and pro-oxidant activity via the NADPH oxidase 4. Inhibition of AGEs or RAGE deletion in hepatocytes in vivo reversed these effects. We demonstrate that dysregulation of NRF2 by neddylation of cullin 3 was linked to AGER1 downregulation and that induction of NRF2 using an adeno-associated virus–mediated approach in hepatocytes in vivo reversed AGER1 downregulation, lowered the level of AGEs, and improved proinflammatory and fibrogenic responses in mice on a high AGEs diet. In patients with NASH and diabetes or insulin resistance, low AGER1 levels were associated with hepatocyte ballooning degeneration and ductular reaction. Collectively, prolonged exposure to AGEs in the liver promotes an AGER1/RAGE imbalance and consequent redox, inflammatory, and fibrogenic activity in NASH.
Ali Dehnad, Weiguo Fan, Joy X. Jiang, Sarah R. Fish, Yuan Li, Suvarthi Das, Gergely Mozes, Kimberly A. Wong, Kristin A. Olson, Gregory W. Charville, Mohammed Ali, Natalie J. Török
Although the Canakinumab Anti-Inflammatory Thrombosis Outcomes Study (CANTOS) established the role of treating inflammation in atherosclerosis, our understanding of endothelial activation at atherosclerosis-prone sites remains limited. Disturbed flow at atheroprone regions primes plaque inflammation by enhancing endothelial NF-κB signaling. Herein, we demonstrate a role for the Nck adaptor proteins in disturbed flow–induced endothelial activation. Although highly similar, only Nck1 deletion, but not Nck2 deletion, limited flow-induced NF-κB activation and proinflammatory gene expression. Nck1-knockout mice showed reduced endothelial activation and inflammation in both models, disturbed flow– and high fat diet–induced atherosclerosis, whereas Nck2 deletion did not. Bone marrow chimeras confirmed that vascular Nck1, but not hematopoietic Nck1, mediated this effect. Domain-swap experiments and point mutations identified the Nck1 SH2 domain and the first SH3 domain as critical for flow-induced endothelial activation. We further characterized Nck1’s proinflammatory role by identifying interleukin 1 type I receptor kinase-1 (IRAK-1) as a Nck1-selective binding partner, demonstrating that IRAK-1 activation by disturbed flow required Nck1 in vitro and in vivo, showing endothelial Nck1 and IRAK-1 staining in early human atherosclerosis, and demonstrating that disturbed flow–induced endothelial activation required IRAK-1. Taken together, our data reveal a hitherto unknown link between Nck1 and IRAK-1 in atherogenic inflammation.
Mabruka Alfaidi, Christina H. Acosta, Dongdong Wang, James G. Traylor, A. Wayne Orr
Fibrinolysis is initiated by tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) and inhibited by plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1). In obese humans, plasma PAI-1 and tPA proteins are increased, but PAI-1 dominates, leading to reduced fibrinolysis and thrombosis. To understand tPA–PAI-1 regulation in obesity, we focused on hepatocytes, a functionally important source of tPA and PAI-1 that sense obesity-induced metabolic stress. We showed that obese mice, like humans, had reduced fibrinolysis and increased plasma PAI-1 and tPA, due largely to their increased hepatocyte expression. A decrease in the PAI-1 (SERPINE1) gene corepressor Rev-Erbα increased PAI-1, which then increased the tPA gene PLAT via a PAI-1/LRP1/PKA/p-CREB1 pathway. This pathway was partially counterbalanced by increased DACH1, a PLAT-negative regulator. We focused on the PAI-1/PLAT pathway, which mitigates the reduction in fibrinolysis in obesity. Thus, silencing hepatocyte PAI-1, CREB1, or tPA in obese mice lowered plasma tPA and further impaired fibrinolysis. The PAI-1/PLAT pathway was present in primary human hepatocytes, and associations among PAI-1, tPA, and PLAT in livers from obese and lean humans were consistent with these findings. Knowledge of PAI-1 and tPA regulation in hepatocytes in obesity may suggest therapeutic strategies for improving fibrinolysis and lowering the risk of thrombosis in this setting.
Ze Zheng, Keiko Nakamura, Shana Gershbaum, Xiaobo Wang, Sherry Thomas, Marc Bessler, Beth Schrope, Abraham Krikhely, Rui-Ming Liu, Lale Ozcan, José A. López, Ira Tabas
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a genetically heterogenous group of eye diseases in which initial degeneration of rods triggers secondary degeneration of cones, leading to significant loss of daylight, color, and high-acuity vision. Gene complementation with adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors is one strategy to treat RP. Its implementation faces substantial challenges, however; for example, the tremendous number of loci with causal mutations. Gene therapy targeting secondary cone degeneration is an alternative approach that could provide a much-needed generic treatment for many patients with RP. Here, we show that microglia are required for the upregulation of potentially neurotoxic inflammatory factors during cone degeneration in RP, creating conditions that might contribute to cone dysfunction and death. To ameliorate the effects of such factors, we used AAV vectors to express isoforms of the antiinflammatory cytokine transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β). AAV-mediated delivery of TGF-β1 rescued degenerating cones in 3 mouse models of RP carrying different pathogenic mutations. Treatment with TGF-β1 protected vision, as measured by 2 behavioral assays, and could be pharmacologically disrupted by either depleting microglia or blocking the TGF-β receptors. Our results suggest that TGF-β1 may be broadly beneficial for patients with cone degeneration, and potentially other forms of neurodegeneration, through a pathway dependent upon microglia.
Sean K. Wang, Yunlu Xue, Constance L. Cepko
BACKGROUND Bariatric surgeries are the most effective treatments for successful and sustained weight loss, but individuals vary in treatment response. Understanding the neurobiological and behavioral mechanisms accounting for this variation could lead to the development of personalized therapeutic approaches and improve treatment outcomes. The primary objectives of this study were to investigate changes in taste preferences and taste-induced brain responses after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) and to identify potential taste-related predictors of weight loss.METHODS Females, ages 18 to 55, with a body mass index greater than or equal to 35 kg/m2, and approved for bariatric surgery at the Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery were recruited for participation. Demographics, anthropometrics, liking ratings, and neural responses to varying concentrations of sucrose plus fat mixtures were assessed before and after surgery via visual analog scales and functional MRI.RESULTS Bariatric surgery produced decreases in liking for sucrose-sweetened mixtures. Greater preference for sucrose-sweetened mixtures before surgery was associated with greater weight loss in RYGB, but not VSG. In the RYGB group only, individuals who showed lower taste-induced activation in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) before surgery and greater changes in taste-induced VTA activation 2 weeks following surgery experienced increased weight loss.CONCLUSION The anatomical and/or metabolic changes associated with RYGB may more effectively “reset” the neural processing of reward stimuli, thereby rescuing the blunted activation in the mesolimbic pathway found in patients with obesity. Further, these findings suggest that RYGB may be particularly effective in patients with a preference for sweet foods.FUNDING NIH K23DK100559 and Dalio Philanthropies.
Kimberly R. Smith, Afroditi Papantoni, Maria G. Veldhuizen, Vidyulata Kamath, Civonnia Harris, Timothy H. Moran, Susan Carnell, Kimberley E. Steele
Posttranslational modifications are a common feature of proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases including prion protein (PrPC), tau, and α-synuclein. Alternative self-propagating protein states or strains give rise to different disease phenotypes and display strain-specific subsets of posttranslational modifications. The relationships between strain-specific structure, posttranslational modifications, and disease phenotype are poorly understood. We previously reported that among hundreds of PrPC sialoglycoforms expressed by a cell, individual prion strains recruited PrPC molecules selectively, according to the sialylation status of their N-linked glycans. Here we report that transmission of a prion strain to a new host is accompanied by a dramatic shift in the selectivity of recruitment of PrPC sialoglycoforms, giving rise to a self-propagating scrapie isoform (PrPSc) with a unique sialoglycoform signature and disease phenotype. The newly emerged strain has the shortest incubation time to disease and is characterized by colocalization of PrPSc with microglia and a very profound proinflammatory response, features that are linked to a unique sialoglycoform composition of PrPSc. The current work provides experimental support for the hypothesis that strain-specific patterns of PrPSc sialoglycoforms formed as a result of selective recruitment dictate strain-specific disease phenotypes. This work suggests a causative relationship between a strain-specific structure, posttranslational modifications, and disease phenotype.
Natallia Makarava, Jennifer Chen-Yu Chang, Kara Molesworth, Ilia V. Baskakov
Esophageal atresia (EA/TEF) is a common congenital abnormality present in 1 of 4000 births. Here we show that atretic esophagi lack Noggin (NOG) expression, resulting in immature esophagus that contains respiratory glands. Moreover, when using mouse esophageal organoid units (EOUs) or tracheal organoid units (TOUs) as a model of foregut development and differentiation in vitro, NOG determines whether foregut progenitors differentiate toward esophageal or tracheal epithelium. These results indicate that NOG is a critical regulator of cell fate decisions between esophageal and pulmonary morphogenesis, and its lack of expression results in EA/TEF.
Carolina Pinzon-Guzman, Sreedhara Sangadala, Katherine M. Riera, Evgenya Y. Popova, Elizabeth Manning, Won Jae Huh, Matthew S. Alexander, Julia S. Shelton, Scott D. Boden, James R. Goldenring
Patients with common variable immunodeficiency associated with autoimmune cytopenia (CVID+AIC) generate few isotype-switched B cells with severely decreased frequencies of somatic hypermutations (SHMs), but their underlying molecular defects remain poorly characterized. We identified a CVID+AIC patient who displays a rare homozygous missense M466V mutation in β-catenin–like protein 1 (CTNNBL1). Because CTNNBL1 binds activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) that catalyzes SHM, we tested AID interactions with the CTNNBL1 M466V variant. We found that the M466V mutation interfered with the association of CTNNBL1 with AID, resulting in decreased AID in the nuclei of patient EBV-transformed B cell lines and of CTNNBL1 466V/V Ramos B cells engineered to express only CTNNBL1 M466V using CRISPR/Cas9 technology. As a consequence, the scarce IgG+ memory B cells from the CTNNBL1 466V/V patient showed a low SHM frequency that averaged 6.7 mutations compared with about 18 mutations per clone in healthy-donor counterparts. In addition, CTNNBL1 466V/V Ramos B cells displayed a decreased incidence of SHM that was reduced by half compared with parental WT Ramos B cells, demonstrating that the CTNNBL1 M466V mutation is responsible for defective SHM induction. We conclude that CTNNBL1 plays an important role in regulating AID-dependent antibody diversification in humans.
Marcel Kuhny, Lisa R. Forbes, Elif Çakan, Andrea Vega-Loza, Valentyna Kostiuk, Ravi K. Dinesh, Salomé Glauzy, Asbjorg Stray-Pedersen, Ashley E. Pezzi, I. Celine Hanson, Alexander Vargas-Hernandez, Mina LuQuing Xu, Zeynep H. Coban-Akdemir, Shalini N. Jhangiani, Donna M. Muzny, Richard A. Gibbs, James R. Lupski, Ivan K. Chinn, David G. Schatz, Jordan S. Orange, Eric Meffre
Joubert syndrome (JBTS) is a recessive neurodevelopmental ciliopathy characterized by a pathognomonic hindbrain malformation. All known JBTS genes encode proteins involved in the structure or function of primary cilia, ubiquitous antenna-like organelles essential for cellular signal transduction. Here, we used the recently identified JBTS-associated protein armadillo repeat motif–containing 9 (ARMC9) in tandem-affinity purification and yeast 2-hybrid screens to identify a ciliary module whose dysfunction underlies JBTS. In addition to the known JBTS-associated proteins CEP104 and CSPP1, we identified coiled-coil domain containing 66 (CCDC66) and TOG array regulator of axonemal microtubules 1 (TOGARAM1) as ARMC9 interaction partners. We found that TOGARAM1 variants cause JBTS and disrupt TOGARAM1 interaction with ARMC9. Using a combination of protein interaction analyses, characterization of patient-derived fibroblasts, and analysis of CRISPR/Cas9-engineered zebrafish and hTERT-RPE1 cells, we demonstrated that dysfunction of ARMC9 or TOGARAM1 resulted in short cilia with decreased axonemal acetylation and polyglutamylation, but relatively intact transition zone function. Aberrant serum-induced ciliary resorption and cold-induced depolymerization in ARMC9 and TOGARAM1 patient cell lines suggest a role for this new JBTS-associated protein module in ciliary stability.
Brooke L. Latour, Julie C. Van De Weghe, Tamara D.S. Rusterholz, Stef J.F. Letteboer, Arianna Gomez, Ranad Shaheen, Matthias Gesemann, Arezou Karamzade, Mostafa Asadollahi, Miguel Barroso-Gil, Manali Chitre, Megan E. Grout, Jeroen van Reeuwijk, Sylvia E.C. van Beersum, Caitlin V. Miller, Jennifer C. Dempsey, Heba Morsy, University of Washington Center for Mendelian Genomics, Michael J. Bamshad, Genomics England Research Consortium, Deborah A. Nickerson, Stephan C.F. Neuhauss, Karsten Boldt, Marius Ueffing, Mohammad Keramatipour, John A. Sayer, Fowzan S. Alkuraya, Ruxandra Bachmann-Gagescu, Ronald Roepman, Dan Doherty
Idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIM) involve chronic inflammation of skeletal muscle and subsequent muscle degeneration due to an uncontrolled autoimmune response; however, the mechanisms leading to pathogenesis are not well understood. A compromised sarcolemmal repair process could promote an aberrant exposure of intramuscular antigens with the subsequent initiation of an inflammatory response that contributes to IIM. Using an adoptive transfer mouse model of IIM, we show that sarcolemmal repair is significantly compromised in distal skeletal muscle in the absence of inflammation. We identified autoantibodies against TRIM72 (also known as MG53), a muscle-enriched membrane repair protein, in IIM patient sera and in our mouse model of IIM by ELISA. We found that patient sera with elevated levels of TRIM72 autoantibodies suppress sarcolemmal resealing in healthy skeletal muscle, and depletion of TRIM72 antibodies from these same serum samples rescues sarcolemmal repair capacity. Autoantibodies targeting TRIM72 lead to skeletal muscle fibers with compromised membrane barrier function, providing a continuous source of autoantigens to promote autoimmunity and further amplifying humoral responses. These findings reveal a potential pathogenic mechanism that acts as a feedback loop contributing to the progression of IIM.
Kevin E. McElhanon, Nicholas Young, Jeffrey Hampton, Brian J. Paleo, Thomas A. Kwiatkowski, Eric X Beck, Ana Capati, Kyle Jablonski, Travis Gurney, Miguel A. Lopez Perez, Rohit Aggarwal, Chester V. Oddis, Wael N. Jarjour, Noah Weisleder
Despite the widespread use of antibiotics, bacterial pneumonias in donors strongly predispose to the fatal syndrome of primary graft dysfunction (PGD) following lung transplantation. We report that bacterial endotoxin persists in human donor lungs after pathogen is cleared with antibiotics and is associated with neutrophil infiltration and PGD. In mouse models, depletion of tissue-resident alveolar macrophages (TRAMs) attenuated neutrophil recruitment in response to endotoxin as shown by compartmental staining and intravital imaging. Bone marrow chimeric mice revealed that neutrophils were recruited by TRAM through activation of TLR4 in a MyD88-dependent manner. Intriguingly, low levels of endotoxin, insufficient to cause donor lung injury, promoted TRAM-dependent production of CXCL2, increased neutrophil recruitment, and led to PGD, which was independent of donor NCMs. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) increased in human donor lungs starting from the warm-ischemia phase and were associated with increased transcription and translocation to the plasma membrane of TLR4 in donor TRAMs. Consistently, scavenging ROS or inhibiting their production to prevent TLR4 transcription/translocation or blockade of TLR4 or coreceptor CD14 on donor TRAMs prevented neutrophil recruitment in response to endotoxin and ameliorated PGD. Our studies demonstrate that residual endotoxin after successful treatment of donor bacterial pneumonia promotes PGD through ischemia/reperfusion-primed donor TRAMs.
Mahzad Akbarpour, Emilia Lecuona, Stephen F. Chiu, Qiang Wu, Melissa Querrey, Ramiro Fernandez, Félix L. Núñez-Santana, Haiying Sun, Sowmya Ravi, Chitaru Kurihara, James M. Walter, Nikita Joshi, Ziyou Ren, Scott C. Roberts, Alan Hauser, Daniel Kreisel, Wenjun Li, Navdeep S. Chandel, Alexander V. Misharin, Thalachallour Mohanakumar, G.R. Scott Budinger, Ankit Bharat
Dominant mutations in the HSP70 cochaperone DNAJB6 cause a late-onset muscle disease termed limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type D1 (LGMDD1), which is characterized by protein aggregation and vacuolar myopathology. Disease mutations reside within the G/F domain of DNAJB6, but the molecular mechanisms underlying dysfunction are not well understood. Using yeast, cell culture, and mouse models of LGMDD1, we found that the toxicity associated with disease-associated DNAJB6 required its interaction with HSP70 and that abrogating this interaction genetically or with small molecules was protective. In skeletal muscle, DNAJB6 localizes to the Z-disc with HSP70. Whereas HSP70 normally diffused rapidly between the Z-disc and sarcoplasm, the rate of diffusion of HSP70 in LGMDD1 mouse muscle was diminished, probably because it had an unusual affinity for the Z-disc and mutant DNAJB6. Treating LGMDD1 mice with a small-molecule inhibitor of the DNAJ-HSP70 complex remobilized HSP70, improved strength, and corrected myopathology. These data support a model in which LGMDD1 mutations in DNAJB6 are a gain-of-function disease that is, counterintuitively, mediated via HSP70 binding. Thus, therapeutic approaches targeting HSP70-DNAJB6 may be effective in treating this inherited muscular dystrophy.
Rocio Bengoechea, Andrew R. Findlay, Ankan K. Bhadra, Hao Shao, Kevin C. Stein, Sara K. Pittman, Jil A.W. Daw, Jason E. Gestwicki, Heather L. True, Conrad C. Weihl
The identification of loss-of-function mutations in MKRN3 in patients with central precocious puberty in association with the decrease in MKRN3 expression in the medial basal hypothalamus of mice before the initiation of reproductive maturation suggests that MKRN3 is acting as a brake on gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion during childhood. In the current study, we investigated the mechanism by which MKRN3 prevents premature manifestation of the pubertal process. We showed that, as in mice, MKRN3 expression is high in the hypothalamus of rats and nonhuman primates early in life, decreases as puberty approaches, and is independent of sex steroid hormones. We demonstrated that Mkrn3 is expressed in Kiss1 neurons of the mouse hypothalamic arcuate nucleus and that MKRN3 repressed promoter activity of human KISS1 and TAC3, 2 key stimulators of GnRH secretion. We further showed that MKRN3 has ubiquitinase activity, that this activity is reduced by MKRN3 mutations affecting the RING finger domain, and that these mutations compromised the ability of MKRN3 to repress KISS1 and TAC3 promoter activity. These results indicate that MKRN3 acts to prevent puberty initiation, at least in part, by repressing KISS1 and TAC3 transcription and that this action may involve an MKRN3-directed ubiquitination-mediated mechanism.
Ana Paula Abreu, Carlos A. Toro, Yong Bhum Song, Victor M. Navarro, Martha A. Bosch, Aysegul Eren, Joy N. Liang, Rona S. Carroll, Ana Claudia Latronico, Oline K. Rønnekleiv, Carlos F. Aylwin, Alejandro Lomniczi, Sergio Ojeda, Ursula B. Kaiser
The transcription factor ISL1 is expressed in pituitary gland stem cells and the thyrotrope and gonadotrope lineages. Pituitary-specific Isl1 deletion causes hypopituitarism with increased stem cell apoptosis, reduced differentiation of thyrotropes and gonadotropes, and reduced body size. Conditional Isl1 deletion causes development of multiple Rathke’s cleft-like cysts, with 100% penetrance. Foxa1 and Foxj1 are abnormally expressed in the pituitary gland and associated with a ciliogenic gene-expression program in the cysts. We confirmed expression of FOXA1, FOXJ1, and stem cell markers in human Rathke’s cleft cyst tissue, but not craniopharyngiomas, which suggests these transcription factors are useful, pathological markers for diagnosis of Rathke’s cleft cysts. These studies support a model whereby expression of ISL1 in pituitary progenitors drives differentiation into thyrotropes and gonadotropes and without it, activation of FOXA1 and FOXJ1 permits development of an oral epithelial cell fate with mucinous cysts. This pituitary-specific Isl1 mouse knockout sheds light on the etiology of Rathke’s cleft cysts and the role of ISL1 in normal pituitary development.
Michelle L. Brinkmeier, Hironori Bando, Adriana C. Camarano, Shingo Fujio, Koji Yoshimoto, Flávio S.J. de Souza, Sally A. Camper