A growing number of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged as vital metabolic regulators. However, most human lncRNAs are non-conserved and highly tissue-specific, vastly limiting our ability to identify human lncRNA metabolic regulators (hLMRs). In this study, we establish a pipeline to identify putative hLMRs that are metabolically sensitive, disease-relevant, and population applicable. We first progressively processed multilevel human transcriptome data to select liver lncRNAs that exhibit highly dynamic expression in the general population, show differential expression in a nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) population, and response to dietary intervention in a small NAFLD cohort. We then experimentally demonstrated the responsiveness of selected hepatic lncRNAs to defined metabolic milieus in a liver-specific humanized mouse model. Furthermore, by extracting a concise list of protein-coding genes that are persistently correlated with lncRNAs in general and NAFLD populations, we predicted the specific function for each hLMR. Using gain- and loss-of-function approaches in humanized mice as well as ectopic expression in conventional mice, we validated the regulatory role of one non-conserved hLMR in cholesterol metabolism by coordinating with an RNA-binding protein, PTBP1, to modulate the transcription of cholesterol synthesis genes. Our work overcome the heterogeneity intrinsic to human data to enable the efficient identification and functional definition of disease-relevant human lncRNAs in metabolic homeostasis.
Xiangbo Ruan, Ping Li, Yonghe Ma, Chengfei Jiang, Yi Chen, Yu Shi, Nikhil Gupta, Fayaz Seifuddin, Mehdi Pirooznia, Yasuyuki Ohnishi, Nao Yoneda, Megumi Nishiwaki, Gabrijela Dumbovic, John L. Rinn, Yuichiro Higuchi, Kenji Kawai, Hiroshi Suemizu, Haiming Cao
Mutations in the core RNA splicing factor SF3B1 are prevalent in leukemias and uveal melanoma but hotspot SF3B1 mutations are also seen in epithelial malignancies such as breast cancer. Although hotspot mutations in SF3B1 alter hematopoietic differentiation, whether SF3B1 mutations contribute to epithelial cancer development and progression is unknown. Here, we identify that SF3B1 mutations in mammary epithelial and breast cancer cells induce a recurrent pattern of aberrant splicing leading to activation of AKT and NF-kB, enhanced cell migration, and accelerated tumorigenesis. Transcriptomic analysis of human cancer specimens, MMTV-cre Sf3b1K700E/WT mice, and isogenic mutant cell lines identified hundreds of aberrant 3’ splice sites (3’ss) induced by mutant SF3B1. Consistently between mouse and human tumors, mutant SF3B1 promoted aberrant splicing (dependent on aberrant branchpoints as well as pyrimidines downstream of the cryptic 3’ss) and consequent suppression of PPP2R5A and MAP3K7, critical negative regulators of AKT and NF-kB. Coordinate activation of NF-kB and AKT signaling was observed in the knock-in models, leading to accelerated cell migration and tumor development in combination with mutant PIK3CA but also hypersensitizing cells to AKT kinase inhibitors. These data identify hotspot mutations in SF3B1 as an important contributor to breast tumorigenesis and reveal unique vulnerabilities in cancers harboring them.
Bo Liu, Zhaoqi Liu, Sisi Chen, Michelle Ki, Caroline Erickson, Jorge S. Reis-Filho, Benjamin H. Durham, Qing Chang, Elisa de Stanchina, Yiwei Sun, Raul Rabadan, Omar Abdel-Wahab, Sarat Chandarlapaty
Obesity occurs when energy expenditure is outweighed by energy intake. Tuberal hypothalamic nuclei, including the arcuate nucleus (ARC), ventromedial nucleus (VMH), and dorsomedial nucleus (DMH), control for food intake and energy expenditure. Here we reported that, contrary to females, male mice lacking circadian nuclear receptors REV-ERB alpha and beta in the tuberal hypothalamus (HDKO) gained excessive weight on an obesogenic high fat diet due to both decreased energy expenditure and increased food intake during the light phase. Moreover, rebound food intake after fasting was markedly increased in HDKO mice. Integrative transcriptomic and cistromic analyses revealed that such disruption in feeding behavior was due to perturbed REV-ERB-dependent leptin signaling in the ARC. Indeed, in vivo leptin sensitivity was impaired in HDKO mice on an obesogenic diet in a diurnal manner. Thus, REV-ERBs play a crucial role in hypothalamic control of food intake and diurnal leptin sensitivity in diet-induced obesity.
Marine Adlanmerini, Hoang C. B. Nguyen, Brianna M. Krusen, Clare W. Teng, Caroline E. Geisler, Lindsey C. Peed, Bryce J. Carpenter, Matthew R. Hayes, Mitchell A. Lazar
Dysfunction of primary cilia is related to dyshomeostasis, leading to a wide range of disorders. The ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) is known to regulate several homeostatic processes, but those modulated specifically by VMH-primary cilia are not yet known. In this study, we identify VMH-primary cilia as an important organelle that maintains energy and skeletal homeostasis by modulating the autonomic nervous system. We established loss-of-function models of primary cilia in the VMH by either targeting IFT88 (IFT88 KOSF-1) using steroidogenic factor 1-Cre (SF1-Cre) or injecting an adeno-associated virus Cre (AAV-Cre) directly into the VMH. Functional impairments of VMH-primary cilia were linked to decreased sympathetic activation and central leptin resistance, which led to marked obesity and bone density accrual. Obesity was caused by hyperphagia, decreased energy expenditure, and blunted brown fat function, as well as associated with insulin and leptin resistance. The effect of bone density accrual was independent from obesity, as it was caused by the decreased sympathetic tone resulting in increased osteoblastic and decreased osteoclastic activities in the IFT88 KOSF-1 and VMH-primary cilia knock-down mice. Overall, our current study identifies VMH-primary cilia as a critical hypothalamic organelle that maintains energy and skeletal homeostasis.
Ji Su Sun, Dong Joo Yang, Ann W. Kinyua, Seul Gi Yoon, Je Kyung Seong, Juwon Kim, Seok Jun Moon, Dong Min Shin, Yun-Hee Choi, Ki Woo Kim
Protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor type 2 (PTPN2) recently emerged as a promising cancer immunotherapy target. We set to investigate the functional role of PTPN2 in the pathogenesis of human colorectal carcinoma (CRC) as its role in immune-silent solid tumors is poorly understood. We demonstrate that in human CRC, increased PTPN2 expression and activity correlated with disease progression and decreased immune responses in tumor tissues. Particularly, stage II and III tumors displayed enhanced PTPN2 protein expression in tumor-infiltrating T-cells and increased PTPN2 levels negatively correlated with PD1, CTLA4, STAT1 and granzyme A. In vivo, T-cell and dendritic cell-specific PTPN2 deletion reduced tumor burden in several CRC models by promoting CD44+ effector/memory T-cells, as well as CD8+ T-cell infiltration and cytotoxicity into the tumor. In direct relevance to CRC treatment, T-cell-specific PTPN2 deletion potentiated anti-PD-1 efficacy and induced anti-tumor memory formation upon tumor re-challenge in vivo. Our data suggest a role for PTPN2 in suppressing anti-tumor immunity and promoting tumor development in CRC patients. Our in vivo results uncover PTPN2 as a key player in controlling immunogenicity of CRC, with the strong potential to be exploited to promote cancer immunotherapy.
Egle Katkeviciute, Larissa Hering, Ana Montalban-Arques, Philipp Busenhart, Marlene Schwarzfischer, Roberto Manzini, Javier Conde, Kirstin Atrott, Silvia Lang, Gerhard Rogler, Elisabeth Naschberger, Vera S. Schellerer, Michael Stürzl, Andreas Rickenbacher, Matthias Turina, Achim Weber, Sebastian Leibl, Gabriel E. Leventhal, Mitchell Levesque, Onur Boyman, Michael Scharl, Marianne R. Spalinger
Dysfunction of immune and vascular systems has been implicated in aging and Alzheimer’s disease; however, their interrelatedness remains poorly understood. The complement pathway is a well-established regulator of innate immunity in the brain. Here, we report robust age-dependent increases in vascular inflammation, peripheral lymphocyte infiltration, and blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability. These phenotypes were subdued by global inactivation and by endothelial-specific ablation of C3ar1. Using an in vitro model of the BBB, we identify intracellular Ca2+ as a downstream effector of C3a-C3aR signaling and a functional mediator of VE-cadherins junction and barrier integrity. Endothelial C3ar1 inactivation also dampened microglia reactivity and improved hippocampal and cortical volumes in the aging brain, demonstrating a crosstalk between brain vasculature dysfunction and immune cell activation and neurodegeneration. Further, prominent C3aR-dependent vascular inflammation is also observed in a tau transgenic mouse model. Our studies suggest that heightened C3a-C3aR signaling through endothelial cells promotes vascular inflammation and BBB dysfunction and contribute to overall neuroinflammation in aging and neurodegenerative disease.
Nicholas E. Propson, Ethan R. Roy, Alexandra Litvinchuk, Jorg Köhl, Hui Zheng
Protection of the brain from viral infections involves the type I interferon (IFN-I) system, defects in which renders humans susceptible to herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE). However, excessive cerebral IFN-I levels leads to pathologies, suggesting the need for tight regulation of responses. Based on data from mouse models, human HSE cases, and primary cell culture systems, we here show that microglia and other immune cells undergo apoptosis in the HSV-1-infected brain through a mechanism dependent on the cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) - stimulator of interferon genes (STING) pathway, but independent of IFN-I. HSV-1 infection of microglia induced cGAS-dependent apoptosis at high viral doses, while lower viral doses led to IFN-I responses. Importantly, inhibition of caspase activity prevented microglial cell death and augmented IFN-I responses. Accordingly, HSV-1-infected organotypic brain slices, or mice treated with caspase inhibitor, exhibited lower viral load and improved outcome of infection. Collectively, we identify an activation-induced apoptosis program in brain immune cells which down-modulates local immune responses.
Line S. Reinert, Ahmad S. Rashidi, Diana N. Tran, Georgios Katzilieris-Petras, Astrid K. Hvidt, Mette Gohr, Stefanie Fruhwürth, Chiranjeevi Bodda, Martin K. Thomsen, Mikkel H. Vendelbo, Ahmad Raza Khan, Brian Hansen, Petra Bergström, Lotta Agholme, Trine H. Mogensen, Maria H. Christensen, Jens R. Nyengaard, Ganes C. Sen, Henrik Zetterberg, Georges M.G.M. Verjans, Soren R. Paluden
Immune evasion is a pivotal event in tumor progression. To eliminate human cancer cells, current immune checkpoint therapy is set to boost the CD8+ T cell-mediated cytotoxicity. However, this action is eventually dependent on the efficient recognition of tumor-specific antigens via T cell receptors. One primary mechanism by which tumor cells evade immune surveillance is to downregulate their antigen presentation. Little progress has been made towards harnessing potential therapeutic targets for enhancing antigen presentation on the tumor cell. Here, we identified MAL2 as a key player that determines the turnover of the antigen-loaded MHC-I complex and reduces the antigen presentation on tumor cells. MAL2 promotes the endocytosis of tumor antigens via direct interaction with the MHC-I complex and endosome-associated RAB proteins. In preclinical models, depletion of MAL2 in breast tumor cells profoundly enhanced the cytotoxicity of tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells and suppressed breast tumor growth, suggesting that MAL2 is a potential therapeutic target for breast cancer immunotherapy.
Yuanzhang Fang, Lifei Wang, Changlin Wan, Yifan Sun, Kevin Van der Jeught, Zhuolong Zhou, Tianhan Dong, Ka Man So, Tao Yu, Yujing Li, Haniyeh Eyvani, Austyn Colter, Edward Dong, Sha Cao, Jin Wang, Bryan P. Schneider, George Sandusky, Yunlong Liu, Chi Zhang, Xiongbin Lu, Xinna Zhang
Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) kills more children than any other type of brain tumor. Despite clinical trials testing many chemotherapeutic agents, palliative radiotherapy remains the standard treatment. Here, we utilized Cre/loxP technology to show that deleting Ataxia telangiectasia mutated (Atm) in primary mouse models of DIPG can enhance tumor radiosensitivity. Genetic deletion of Atm improved survival of mice with p53 deficient but not p53 wild-type gliomas following radiotherapy. Similar to patients with DIPG, mice with p53 wild-type tumors had improved survival after radiotherapy independent of Atm deletion. Primary p53 wild-type tumor cell lines induced proapoptotic genes after radiation and repressed the NRF2 target, NAD(P)H quinone dehydrogenase 1 (Nqo1). Tumors lacking p53 and Ink4a/Arf expressed the highest level of Nqo1 and were most resistant to radiation, but deletion of Atm enhanced the radiation response. These results suggest that tumor genotype may determine whether inhibition of ATM during radiotherapy will be an effective clinical approach to treat DIPGs.
Katherine Deland, Bryce F. Starr, Joshua S. Mercer, Jovita Byemerwa, Donna M. Crabtree, Nerissa T. Williams, Lixia Luo, Yan Ma, Mark Chen, Oren J. Becher, David G Kirsch
The aorta and the large conductive arteries are immunoprivileged tissues and are protected against inflammatory attack. A breakdown of the immunoprivilege leads to autoimmune vasculitis, such as giant cell arteritis (GCA), in which CD8+ T regulatory (Treg) cells fail to contain CD4+ T cells and macrophages, resulting in the formation of tissue-destructive granulomatous lesions. Here, we report that the molecular defect of malfunctioning CD8+ Treg cells lies in aberrant NOTCH4 signaling that deviates endosomal trafficking and minimizes exosome production. By transcriptionally controlling the profile of RAB GTPases, NOTCH4 signaling restricted membrane translocation and vesicular secretion of the enzyme NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2). Specifically, NOTCH4hiCD8+ Treg cells increased RAB5A and RAB11A expression and suppressed RAB7A, culminating in the accumulation of early and recycling endosomes and trapping of NOX2 in an intracellular, non-secretory compartment. RAB7AloCD8+ Treg cells failed in the surface translocation and the exosomal release of NOX2. NOTCH4hi RAB5Ahi RAB7Alo RAB11Ahi CD8+ Treg cells left adaptive immunity unopposed, enabling a breakdown in tissue tolerance and aggressive vessel wall inflammation. Inhibiting NOTCH4 signaling corrected the defect and protected arteries from inflammatory insult. The study implicates NOTCH4-dependent transcriptional control of RAB proteins and intracellular vesicle trafficking in autoimmune disease and in vascular inflammation.
Ke Jin, Zhenke Wen, Bowen Wu, Hui Zhang, Jingtao Qiu, Yanan Wang, Kenneth J. Warrington, Gerald Berry, Jörg J. Goronzy, Cornelia M. Weyand
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