Males and females differ in body composition and fat distribution. Using a mouse model that segregates gonadal sex (ovaries and testes) from chromosomal sex (XX and XY), we showed that XX chromosome complement in combination with a high-fat diet led to enhanced weight gain in the presence of male or female gonads. We identified the genomic dosage of Kdm5c, an X chromosome gene that escapes X-chromosome inactivation, as a determinant of the X chromosome effect on adiposity. Modulating Kdm5c gene dosage in XX female mice to levels that are normally present in males reduced body weight, fat content, and food intake to a similar degree as altering the entire X chromosome dosage. In cultured preadipocytes, the levels of KDM5C histone demethylase influenced chromatin accessibility (ATAC-seq), gene expression (RNA-seq), and adipocyte differentiation. Both in vitro and in vivo, Kdm5c dosage influenced gene expression involved in extracellular matrix remodeling, which is critical for adipocyte differentiation and adipose tissue expansion. In humans, adipose tissue KDM5C mRNA levels and KDM5C genetic variants were associated with body mass. These studies demonstrate that the sex-dependent dosage of Kdm5c contributes to male/female differences in adipocyte biology, and highlight X-escape genes as a critical component of female physiology.
Jenny C. Link, Carrie B. Wiese, Xuqi Chen, Rozeta Avetisyan, Emilio Ronquillo, Feiyang Ma, Xiuqing Guo, Jie Yao, Matthew Allison, Yii-Der I. Chen, Jerome I. Rotter, Julia S. El-Sayed Moustafa, Kerrin S. Small, Shigeki Iwase, Matteo Pellegrini, Laurent Vergnes, Arthur P. Arnold, Karen Reue
While cancer is commonly perceived as a disease of dedifferentiation, the hallmark of early stage prostate cancer is paradoxically the loss of more plastic basal cells and the abnormal proliferation of more differentiated secretory luminal cells. However, the mechanism of prostate cancer pro-luminal differentiation is largely unknown. Through integrating analysis of the transcription factors (TFs) from 806 human prostate cancers, we have identified that ERG highly correlated with prostate cancer luminal subtyping. ERG overexpression in luminal epithelial cells inhibits its normal plasticity to transdifferentiate into basal lineage and ERG supersedes PTEN-loss which favors basal differentiation. ERG knock-out disrupted prostate cell luminal differentiation, whereas AR knock-out had no such effects. Trp63 is a known master regulator of prostate basal lineage. Through analysis of 3D chromatin architecture, we found that ERG binds and inhibits the enhancer activity and chromatin looping of a Trp63 distal enhancer, thereby silencing its gene expression. Specific deletion of the distal ERG binding site resulted in the loss of ERG-mediated inhibition of basal differentiation. Thus, ERG orchestrates chromatin interactions and regulates prostate cell lineage toward pro-luminal program, as its fundamental role on lineage differentiation in prostate cancer initiation.
Fei Li, Qiuyue Yuan, Wei Di, Xinyi Xia, Zhuang Liu, Ninghui Mao, Lin Li, Chunfeng Li, Juan He, Yunguang Li, Wangxin Guo, Xiaoyu Zhang, Yiqin Zhu, Rebiguli Aji, Shangqian Wang, Xinyuan Tong, Hongbin Ji, Ping Chi, Brett Carver, Yong Wang, Yu Chen, Dong Gao
Pathologic lymphatic remodeling in lymphedema evolves during periods of tissue inflammation and hypoxia through poorly defined processes. In human and mouse lymphedema, there is a significant increase of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1α, but a reduction of HIF-2α protein expression in lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs). We questioned whether dysregulated expression of these transcription factors contributes to disease pathogenesis and found that LEC-specific deletion of Hif-2α exacerbated lymphedema pathology. Even without lymphatic vascular injury, the loss of LEC-specific Hif-2α caused anatomic pathology and a functional decline in fetal and adult mice. These findings suggest that HIF-2α is an important mediator of lymphatic health. HIF-2α promoted protective phosphorylated TIE2 (p-TIE2) signaling in LECs, a process also replicated by upregulating TIE2 signaling through adenovirus-mediated angiopoietin-1 (Angpt1) gene therapy. Our study suggests that HIF-2α normally promotes healthy lymphatic homeostasis and raises the exciting possibility that restoring HIF-2α pathways in lymphedema could mitigate long-term pathology and disability.
Xinguo Jiang, Wen Tian, Eric J. Granucci, Allen B. Tu, Dongeon Kim, Petra Dahms, Shravani Pasupneti, Gongyong Peng, Yesl Kim, Amber H. Lim, F. Hernan Espinoza, Matthew Cribb, J. Brandon Dixon, Stanley G. Rockson, Gregg L. Semenza, Mark R. Nicolls
Cells sense extracellular environment and mechanical stimuli and translate these signals into intracellular responses through mechanotransduction and alters cell maintenance, proliferation, and differentiation. Here we use a mouse model of trauma induced heterotopic ossification (HO) to examine how cell-extrinsic forces impact MPC fate. After injury, single cell (sc) RNA sequencing of the injury site reveals an early increase in MPC genes associated with pathways of cell adhesion and ECM-receptor interactions, and MPC trajectories to cartilage and bone. Immunostaining uncovers active mechanotransduction after injury with increased focal adhesion kinase signaling and nuclear translocation of transcriptional co-activator TAZ, inhibition of which mitigates HO. Similarly, joint immobilization decreases mechanotransductive signaling, and completely inhibits HO. Joint immobilization decreases collagen alignment and increases adipogenesis. Further, scRNA sequencing of the HO site after injury with or without immobilization identifies gene signatures in mobile MPCs correlating with osteogenesis, while signatures from immobile MPCs with adipogenesis. scATAC-seq in these same MPCs confirm that in mobile MPCs, chromatin regions around osteogenic genes are open, while in immobile MPCs, regions around adipogenic genes are open. Together these data suggest that joint immobilization after injury results in decreased ECM alignment, altered MPC mechanotransduction, and changes in genomic architecture favoring adipogenesis over osteogenesis, resulting in decreased formation of HO.
Amanda K. Huber, Nicole Patel, Chase A. Pagani, Simone Marini, Karthik Padmanabhan, Daniel L. Matera, Mohamed Said, Charles Hwang, Ginny Ching-Yun Hsu, Andrea A. Poli, Amy L. Strong, Noelle D. Visser, Joseph A. Greenstein, Reagan Nelson, Shuli Li, Michael T. Longaker, Yi Tang, Stephen J. Weiss, Brendon M. Baker, Aaron W. James, Benjamin Levi
To improve the clinical outcome of adoptive NK cell therapy in patients with solid tumors, NK cells need to persist within the tumor microenvironment (TME) in which the abundance of reactive oxygen species (ROS) could dampen anti-tumor immune responses. In the present study, we demonstrated that IL-15 primed NK cells acquire resistance against oxidative stress through thioredoxin system activated by mTOR. Mechanistically, the activation of thioredoxin showed dependence on localization of thioredoxin-interacting protein. For the first time, we showed that NK cells residing in the tumor core expressed higher thiol density which could aid to protect other lymphocytes against ROS within the TME. Furthermore, the prognostic value of IL15 and NK cell gene signature in tumors may be influenced by tobacco smoking history in NSCLC patients. Collectively, the levels of reducing antioxidants in NK cells may not only predict for better tumor penetrance but even potentially response to immune therapy.
Ying Yang, Shi Yong Neo, Ziqing Chen, Weiyingqi Cui, Yi Chen, Min Guo, Yongfang Wang, Haiyan Xu, Annina Kurzay, Evren Alici, Lars Holmgren, Felix Haglund, Kai Wang, Andreas Lundqvist
Drivers of sporadic benign pituitary adenoma growth are largely unknown. Whole exome sequencing of 159 prospectively resected pituitary adenomas showed somatic copy number alteration (SCNA) rather than mutation is a hallmark of hormone-secreting adenomas and that SCNA correlate with adenoma phenotype. Using single-gene SCNA pathway analysis, we observed cAMP and Fanconi anemia DNA damage repair pathways both affected by SCNA in growth hormone (GH)-secreting somatotroph adenomas. As somatotroph differentiation and GH secretion is dependent on cAMP activation and we previously showed DNA damage, aneuploidy, and senescence in somatotroph adenomas, we studied links between cAMP signaling and DNA damage. Stimulation of cAMP in C57Bl/6 mouse primary pituitary cultures using forskolin or long-acting GH releasing hormone (GHRH) analogue increased GH production and DNA damage measured by phosphorylated H2AX and Comet assay. Octreotide, a somatostatin receptor ligand that targets somatotroph adenoma GH secretion in patients with acromegaly, inhibited cAMP and GH and reversed DNA damage induction. In vivo long-acting GHRH treatment also induced mouse pituitary DNA damage. We conclude that cAMP, which induces somatotroph proliferation and GH secretion, may concomitantly induce DNA damage, potentially linking hormone hypersecretion to SCNA and genome instability. These results elucidating somatotroph adenoma pathophysiology identify pathways for treatment targeting.
Anat Ben-Shlomo, Nan Deng, Evelyn Ding, Masaaki Yamamoto, Adam Mamelak, Vera Chesnokova, Artak Labadzhyan, Shlomo Melmed
Chronic inflammation is deeply involved in various human disorders, such as cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and metabolic disorders. Induction of epigenetic alterations, especially aberrant DNA methylation, is one of the major mechanisms, but how it is induced is still unclear. Here, we found that expression of TET genes, methylation erasers, was down-regulated in inflamed mouse and human tissues, and that this was caused by up-regulation of TET-targeting miRNAs, such as MIR20A, MIR26B, and MIR29C, likely due to activation of NF-kB signaling, downstream of IL-1b and TNF-a. However, TET knockdown induced only mild aberrant methylation. Nitric oxide (NO), produced by NOS2, enhanced enzymatic activity of DNMTs, methylation writers, and NO exposure induced minimal aberrant methylation. In contrast, a combination of TET knockdown and NO exposure synergistically induced aberrant methylation, involving genomic regions not methylated by either alone. The results showed that a vicious combination of TET repression, due to NF-kB activation, and DNMT activation, due to NO production, is responsible for aberrant methylation induction in human tissues.
Hideyuki Takeshima, Tohru Niwa, Satoshi Yamashita, Takeji Takamura-Enya, Naoko Iida, Mika Wakabayashi, Sohachi Nanjo, Masanobu Abe, Toshiro Sugiyama, Young-Joon Kim, Toshikazu Ushijima
Tissue factor (TF) is the primary initiator of blood coagulation in vivo and the only blood coagulation factor for which a human genetic defect has not been described. As there are no routine clinical assays that capture the contribution of endogenous TF to coagulation initiation, the extent to which reduced TF activity contributes to unexplained bleeding is unknown. Using whole genome sequencing, we identified a heterozygous frameshift variant (p.Ser117HisfsTer10) in F3, the gene encoding TF, causing premature termination of TF ("TFshort") in a woman with unexplained bleeding. Routine hematological laboratory evaluation of the proposita was normal. CRISPR-edited human induced pluripotent stem cells recapitulating the variant were differentiated into vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells that demonstrated haploinsufficiency of TF. The variant F3 transcript is eliminated by nonsense-mediated decay. Neither overexpression nor addition of exogenous recombinant TFshort inhibited factor Xa or thrombin generation, excluding a dominant negative mechanism. F3+/- mice provide an animal model of TF haploinsufficiency and exhibited prolonged bleeding times, impaired thrombus formation, and reduced survival following major injury. Heterozygous TF deficiency is present in at least 1 in 25,000 individuals and could limit coagulation initiation in undiagnosed individuals with abnormal bleeding but a normal routine laboratory evaluation.
Sol Schulman, Emale El-Darzi, Mary HC Florido, Max Friesen, Glenn Merrill-Skoloff, Marisa A. Brake, Calvin R. Schuster, Lin Lin, Randal J. Westrick, Chad A. Cowan, Robert Flaumenhaft, NIHR BioResource, Willem H. Ouwehand, Kathelijne Peerlinck, Kathleen Freson, Ernest Turro, Bruce Furie
During hemolysis, macrophages in the liver phagocytose damaged erythrocytes to prevent the toxic effects of cell-free hemoglobin and heme. It remains unclear how this homeostatic process modulates phagocyte functions in inflammatory diseases. Using a genetic mouse model of spherocytosis and single-cell RNA sequencing, we found that erythrophagocytosis skewed liver macrophages into a unique anti-inflammatory phenotype that we defined as Marcohigh/Hmoxhigh/MHC-class IIlow erythrophagocytes. This phenotype transformation profoundly mitigated disease expression in a model of an anti-CD40-induced hyperinflammatory syndrome with necrotic hepatitis and in a non-alcoholic steatohepatitis model, representing two macrophage-driven sterile inflammatory diseases. We reproduced the anti-inflammatory erythrophagocyte transformation in vitro by heme-exposure of mouse and human macrophages, yielding a distinctive transcriptional signature that segregated heme-polarized from M1- and M2-polarized cells. Mapping transposase-accessible chromatin in single cells by sequencing (scATAC-seq) defined the transcription factor NFE2L2/NRF2 as a critical driver of erythrophagocytes, and Nfe2l2/Nrf2-deficiency restored heme-suppressed inflammation. Our findings point to a pathway that regulates macrophage functions to link erythrocyte homeostasis with innate immunity.
Marc Pfefferlé, Giada Ingoglia, Christian A. Schaer, Ayla Yalamanoglu, Raphael M. Buzzi, Irina L. Dubach, Ge Tan, Emilio Y. López-Cano, Nadja Schulthess, Kerstin Hansen, Rok Humar, Dominik J. Schaer, Florence Vallelian
Immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) has revolutionized cancer therapeutics. Desmoplastic malignancies such as cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) have an abundant tumor immune microenvironment (TIME). However, to date ICB monotherapy in such malignancies has been ineffective. Herein, we identify that tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are the primary source of PD-L1 in human and murine CCA. In a murine model of CCA, recruited PD-L1+ TAMs facilitate CCA progression. However, TAM blockade failed to decrease tumor progression due to a compensatory emergence of granulocytic-myeloid-derived suppressor cells (G-MDSCs) that mediated immune escape by impairing T-cell response. Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) of murine tumor G-MDSCs highlighted a novel ApoE G-MDSC subset enriched with TAM blockade; further analysis of a human scRNA-seq dataset demonstrated the presence of a similar G-MDSC subset in human CCA. Finally, dual inhibition of TAMs and G-MDSCs potentiated ICB. In summary, our findings highlight the therapeutic potential of coupling ICB with immunotherapies targeting immunosuppressive myeloid cells in CCA.
Emilien Loeuillard, Jingchun Yang, EeeLN Buckarma, Juan Wang, Yuanhang Liu, Caitlin B. Conboy, Kevin D. Pavelko, Ying Li, Daniel O'Brien, Chen Wang, Rondell P. Graham, Rory L. Smoot, Haidong Dong, Sumera Rizvi
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