SUMOylation emerged as the inducer for the sorting of bioactive molecules into extracellular vesicles (EVs) triggering lymphangiogenesis, further driving tumor lymph node (LN) metastasis, but the precise mechanisms remain largely unclear. Herein, we identified that bladder cancer (BCa) cell-secreted EVs mediated the intercellular communication with human lymphatic endothelial cells (HLECs) through the transmission of a long noncoding RNA ELNAT1, and promoted lymphangiogenesis and LN metastasis in a SUMOylation-dependent manner in both cultured BCa cell lines and mouse models. Mechanistically, ELNAT1 induced UBC9 overexpression to catalyze the SUMOylation of hnRNPA1 at lysine-113 residue, which mediated the recognition of ELNAT1 by endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) and facilitated their packaging into EVs. EV-mediated ELNAT1 was specifically transmitted into HLECs and epigenetically activated SOX18 transcription to induce lymphangiogenesis. Importantly, blocking the SUMOylation of tumor by downregulating UBC9 expression markedly reduced lymphatic metastasis in EV-mediated ELNAT1-treated BCa in vivo. Clinically, EV-mediated ELNAT1 was correlated with LN metastasis and poor prognosis of patients with BCa. These findings highlight a molecular mechanism that EV-mediated ELNAT1/UBC9/SOX18 regulatory axis promotes the lymphangiogenesis and LN metastasis of BCa in a SUMOylation-dependent manner, and implicate ELNAT1 as an attractive therapeutic target for LN metastatic BCa.
Changhao Chen, Hanhao Zheng, Yuming Luo, Yao Kong, Mingjie An, Yuting Li, Wang He, Bowen Gao, Yue Zhao, Hao Huang, Jian Huang, Tianxin Lin
Efferocytosis, the process through which apoptotic cells (ACs) are cleared through actin-mediated engulfment by macrophages, prevents secondary necrosis, suppresses inflammation, and promotes resolution. Impaired efferocytosis drives the formation of clinically dangerous necrotic atherosclerotic plaques, the underlying etiology of coronary artery disease (CAD). An intron of the gene encoding PHACTR1 contains a common variant rs9349379 (A > G) associated with CAD. As PHACTR1 is an actin-binding protein, we reasoned that if the rs9349379 risk allele G causes lower PHACTR1 expression in macrophages, it might link the risk-allele to CAD via impaired efferocytosis. We show here that rs9349379-G/G was associated with lower levels of PHACTR1 and impaired efferocytosis in human monocyte-derived macrophages and human atherosclerotic lesional macrophages compared with rs9349379-A/A. Silencing PHACTR1 in human and mouse macrophages compromised AC engulfment, and mice in which hematopoietic Phactr1 was genetically targeted in Western diet-fed Ldlr-/- mice showed impaired lesional efferocytosis, increased plaque necrosis, and thinner fibrous caps—all signs of vulnerable plaques in humans. Mechanistically, PHACTR1 prevented dephosphorylation of myosin light chain (MLC), which was necessary for AC engulfment. In summary, rs9349379-G lowers PHACTR1, which, by lowering phospho-MLC, compromised efferocytosis. Thus, rs9349379-G may contribute to CAD risk, at least in part, by impairing atherosclerotic lesional macrophage efferocytosis.
Canan Kasikara, Maaike Schilperoort, Brennan D. Gerlach, Chenyi Xue, Xiaobo Wang, Ze Zheng, George Kuriakose, Bernhard Dorweiler, Hanrui Zhang, Gabrielle Fredman, Danish Saleheen, Muredach P Reilly, Ira Tabas
Cx43, a major cardiac connexin, forms precursor hemichannels that accrue at the intercalated disc to assemble as gap junctions. While gap junctions are crucial for electrical conduction in the heart, little is known on potential roles of hemichannels. Recent evidence suggests that inhibiting Cx43 hemichannel opening with Gap19 has antiarrhythmic effects. Here, we used multiple electrophysiology, imaging and super-resolution techniques to understand and define the conditions underlying Cx43 hemichannel activation in ventricular cardiomyocytes, their contribution to diastolic Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum, and their impact on electrical stability. We showed that Cx43 hemichannels are activated during diastolic Ca2+ release in single ventricular cardiomyocytes and cardiomyocyte cell pairs from mouse and pig. This activation involved Cx43 hemichannel Ca2+ entry and coupling to Ca2+ release microdomains at the intercalated disc resulting in enhanced Ca2+ dynamics. Hemichannel opening furthermore contributed to delayed afterdepolarizations and triggered action potentials. In single cardiomyocytes, cardiomyocyte cell pairs and arterially perfused tissue wedges from failing human hearts, increased hemichannel activity contributed to electrical instability as compared to non-failing rejected donor hearts. We conclude that microdomain coupling between Cx43 hemichannels and Ca2+ release is a novel, targetable, mechanism of cardiac arrhythmogenesis in heart failure.
Maarten A.J. De Smet, Alessio Lissoni, Timur Nezlobinsky, Nan Wang, Eef Dries, Marta Pérez-Hernández, Xianming Lin, Matthew Amoni, Tim Vervliet, Katja Witschas, Eli Rothenberg, Geert Bultynck, Rainer Schulz, Alexander V. Panfilov, Mario Delmar, Karin R. Sipido, Luc Leybaert
Podocytes are key to kidney glomerular filtration barrier by forming slit diaphragm between interdigitating foot processes; however, molecular details and functional importance of protein folding and degradation in the ER remain unknown. Here we show that SEL1L-HRD1 protein complex of endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation (ERAD) is required for slit diaphragm formation and glomerular filtration function. SEL1L-HRD1 ERAD is highly expressed in podocytes of both mouse and human kidneys. Mice with podocyte-specific Sel1L deficiency develop podocytopathy and severe congenital nephrotic syndrome shortly after weaning with impaired slit diaphragm, and die prematurely with a median life span of ~3 months. Mechanistically, we show that nephrin, a type-1 membrane protein causally linked to congenital nephrotic syndrome, is an endogenous ERAD substrate. ERAD deficiency attenuates the maturation of nascent nephrin, leading to its retention in the ER. Lastly, we show that various autosomal-recessive nephrin disease mutants are highly unstable and degraded by Sel1L-Hrd1 ERAD, which attenuates the pathogenicity of the mutants towards the wildtype allele. Hence, this study uncovers a critical role of Sel1L-Hrd1 ERAD in glomerular filtration barrier function and provides new insights into the pathogenesis associated with autosomal recessive disease mutants.
Sei Yoshida, Xiaoqiong Wei, Gensheng Zhang, Christopher L. O’Connor, Mauricio Torres, Zhangsen Zhou, Liangguang Lin, Rajasree Menon, Xiaoxi Xu, Wenyue Zheng, Yi Xiong, Edgar A. Otto, Chih-Hang Anthony Tang, Rui Hua, Rakesh Verma, Hiroyuki Mori, Yang Zhang, Chih-Chi Andrew Hu, Ming Liu, Puneet Garg, Jeffrey B. Hodgin, Shengyi Sun, Markus Bitzer, Ling Qi
Intratumor heterogeneity is an important mediator of poor outcomes in many cancers, including breast cancer. Genetic subclones frequently contribute to this heterogeneity, however their growth dynamics and interactions remain poorly understood. PIK3CA and HER2 alterations are known to co-exist in breast and other cancers. Herein, we present data that describe the ability of oncogenic PIK3CA mutant cells to induce the proliferation of quiescent HER2 mutant cells through a cell-contact mediated mechanism. Interestingly, the HER2 cells proliferated to become the major subclone over PIK3CA counterparts both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, this phenotype was observed in both hormone receptor positive and negative cell lines, and was dependent on the expression of fibronectin from mutant PIK3CA cells. Analysis of human tumors demonstrated similar HER2:PIK3CA clonal dynamics and fibronectin expression. Our study provides insights into non-random subclonal architecture of heterogenous tumors, which may aid understanding of tumor evolution and future strategies for personalized medicine.
Swathi Karthikeyan, Ian G. Waters, Lauren Dennison, David Chu, Joshua Donaldson, Dong Ho Shin, D. Marc Rosen, Paula I. Gonzalez-Ericsson, Violeta Sanchez, Melinda E. Sanders, Morgan V. Pantone, Riley E. Bergman, Brad A. Davidson, Sarah C. Reed, Daniel J. Zabransky, Karen Cravero, Kelly Kyker-Snowman, Berry Button, Hong Yuen Wong, Paula J. Hurley, Sarah Croessmann, Ben Park
Germline mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) genes considerably increase breast and ovarian cancer risk. Given that tumors with these mutations have elevated genomic instability, they exhibit relative vulnerability to certain chemotherapies and targeted treatments based on poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibition. However, the molecular mechanisms that influence cancer risk and therapeutic benefit or resistance remain only partially understood. BRCA1 and BRCA2 have also been implicated in the suppression of R-loops, triple-stranded nucleic acid structures composed of a DNA:RNA hybrid and a displaced ssDNA strand. Here, we report that loss of RNF168, an E3 ubiquitin ligase and DNA double-strand break (DSB) responder, remarkably protected Brca1-mutant mice against mammary tumorigenesis. We demonstrate that RNF168 deficiency resulted in accumulation of R-loops in BRCA1/2-mutant breast and ovarian cancer cells, leading to DSBs, senescence, and subsequent cell death. Using interactome assays, we identified RNF168 interaction with DHX9, a helicase involved in the resolution and removal of R-loops. Mechanistically, RNF168 directly ubiquitylated DHX9 to facilitate its recruitment to R-loop–prone genomic loci. Consequently, loss of RNF168 impaired DHX9 recruitment to R-loops, thereby abrogating its ability to resolve R-loops. The data presented in this study highlight a dependence of BRCA1/2-defective tumors on factors that suppress R-loops and reveal a fundamental RNF168-mediated molecular mechanism that governs cancer development and vulnerability.
Parasvi S. Patel, Karan Joshua Abraham, Kiran Kumar Naidu Guturi, Marie-Jo Halaby, Zahra Khan, Luis Palomero, Brandon Ho, Shili Duan, Jonathan St-Germain, Arash Algouneh, Francesca Mateo, Samah El Ghamrasni, Haithem Barbour, Daniel R. Barnes, Jonathan Beesley, Otto Sanchez, Hal K. Berman, Grant W. Brown, El Bachir Affar, Georgia Chenevix-Trench, Antonis C. Antoniou, Cheryl H. Arrowsmith, Brian Raught, Miquel Angel Pujana, Karim Mekhail, Anne Hakem, Razqallah Hakem
T cell–mediated responses are dependent on their secretion of key effector molecules. However, the critical molecular determinants of the secretion of these proteins are largely undefined. Here, we demonstrate that T cell activation increases trafficking via the ER-to-Golgi pathway. To study the functional role of this pathway, we generated mice with a T cell–specific deletion in SEC23B, a core subunit of coat protein complex II (COPII). We found that SEC23B critically regulated the T cell secretome following activation. SEC23B-deficient T cells exhibited a proliferative defect and reduced effector functions in vitro, as well as in experimental models of allogeneic and xenogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in vivo. However, T cells derived from 3 patients with congenital dyserythropoietic anemia II (CDAII), which results from Sec23b mutation, did not exhibit a similar phenotype. Mechanistic studies demonstrated that unlike murine KO T cells, T cells from patients with CDAII harbor increased levels of the closely related paralog, SEC23A. In vivo rescue of murine KO by expression of Sec23a from the Sec23b genomic locus restored T cell functions. Together, our data demonstrate a critical role for the COPII pathway, with evidence for functional overlap in vivo between SEC23 paralogs in the regulation of T cell immunity in both mice and humans.
Stephanie Kim, Rami Khoriaty, Lu Li, Madison McClune, Theodosia A. Kalfa, Julia Wu, Daniel Peltier, Hideaki Fujiwara, Yaping Sun, Katherine Oravecz-Wilson, Richard A. King, David Ginsburg, Pavan Reddy
Renal fibrosis, a common pathological manifestation of virtually all types of chronic kidney diseases (CKD), often results in diffuse kidney scarring and predisposes to end-stage renal disease. Currently, there is no effective therapy against renal fibrosis. Recently, our laboratory identified an ER-resident protein, thioredoxin domain containing 5 (TXNDC5), as a critical mediator of cardiac fibrosis. Transcriptome analyses of renal biopsy specimens from CKD patients revealed marked TXNDC5 upregulation in fibrotic kidneys, suggesting a potential role of TXNDC5 in renal fibrosis. Employing multiple fluorescent reporter mouse lines, we showed that TXNDC5 was specifically upregulated in collagen-secreting fibroblasts in fibrotic mouse kidneys. In addition, we showed that TXNDC5 was required for TGFβ1-induced fibrogenic responses in human kidney fibroblasts (HKF), whereas TXNDC5 over-expression was sufficient to promote HKF activation, proliferation and collagen production. Mechanistically, we showed that TXNDC5, transcriptionally controlled by ATF6-dependent ER stress pathway, mediates its pro-fibrogenic effects by enforcing TGFβ signaling activity through post-translational stabilization and upregulation of type I TGFβ receptor in kidney fibroblasts. Using a tamoxifen-inducible, fibroblast-specific Txndc5 knockout mouse line, we demonstrated that deletion of Txndc5 in kidney fibroblasts mitigated the progression of established kidney fibrosis, suggesting the therapeutic potential of TXNDC5 targeting for renal fibrosis and CKD.
Yen-Ting Chen, Pei-Yu Jhao, Chen-Ting Hung, Yueh-Feng Wu, Sung-Jan Lin, Wen-Chih Chiang, Shuei-Liong Lin, Kai-Chien Yang
Mutations affecting mitochondrial coenzyme Q (CoQ) biosynthesis lead to kidney failure due to selective loss of podocytes, essential cells of the kidney filter. Curiously, neighboring tubular epithelial cells are spared early in disease, despite higher mitochondrial content. We sought to illuminate non-canonical, cell-specific roles for CoQ, independent of the electron transport chain (ETC). Here we demonstrate that CoQ depletion caused by Pdss2 enzyme deficiency in podocytes results in perturbations in polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) metabolism and the Braf/Mapk pathway, rather than ETC dysfunction. Single nucleus RNA sequencing from kidneys of Pdss2kd/kd mice with nephrotic syndrome and global CoQ-deficiency identified a podocyte-specific perturbation of the Braf/Mapk pathway. Treatment with GDC-0879, a Braf/Mapk-targeting compound ameliorated kidney disease in Pdss2kd/kd mice. Mechanistic studies in Pdss2-depleted podocytes revealed a previously unknown perturbation in PUFA metabolism that was confirmed in vivo. Gpx4, an enzyme that protects against PUFA-mediated lipid peroxidation, was elevated in disease and restored after GDC-0879 treatment. We demonstrate broader human disease relevance by uncovering patterns of GPX4 and Braf/Mapk pathway gene expression in tissue from patients with kidney diseases. Our studies reveal ETC-independent roles for CoQ in podocytes and point to Braf/Mapk as a candidate pathway for the treatment of kidney diseases.
Eriene-Heidi Sidhom, Choah Kim, Maria Kost-Alimova, May Theng Ting, Keith Keller, Julian Avila-Pacheco, Andrew J.B. Watts, Katherine A. Vernon, Jamie L. Marshall, Estefanía Reyes-Bricio, Matthew Racette, Nicolas Wieder, Giulio Kleiner, Elizabeth J. Grinkevich, Fei Chen, Astrid Weins, Clary B. Clish, Jillian L. Shaw, Catarina M. Quinzii, Anna Greka
Slow-cycling/dormant cancer cells (SCCs) have pivotal roles in driving cancer relapse and drug resistance. A mechanistic explanation for cancer cell dormancy and therapeutic strategies targeting SCCs are necessary to improve patient prognosis, but are limited because of technical challenges to obtaining SCCs. Here, by applying proliferation-sensitive dyes and chemotherapeutics to non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines and patient-derived xenografts, we identified a distinct SCC subpopulation that resembled SCCs in patient tumors. These SCCs displayed major dormancy-like phenotypes and high survival capacity under hostile microenvironments through transcriptional upregulation of regulator of G protein signaling 2 (RGS2). Database analysis revealed RGS2 as a biomarker of retarded proliferation and poor prognosis in NSCLC. We showed that RGS2 caused prolonged translational arrest in SCCs through persistent eukaryotic initiation factor 2 (eIF2α) phosphorylation via proteasome-mediated degradation of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4). Translational activation through RGS2 antagonism or the use of phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors, including sildenafil (Viagra), promoted ER stress–induced apoptosis in SCCs in vitro and in vivo under stressed conditions, such as those induced by chemotherapy. Our results suggest that a low-dose chemotherapy and translation-instigating pharmacological intervention in combination is an effective strategy to prevent tumor progression in NSCLC patients after rigorous chemotherapy.
Jaebeom Cho, Hye-Young Min, Ho Jin Lee, Seung Yeob Hyun, Jeong Yeon Sim, Myungkyung Noh, Su Jung Hwang, Shin-Hyung Park, Hye-Jin Boo, Hyo-Jong Lee, Sungyoul Hong, Rang-Woon Park, Young Kee Shin, Mien-Chie Hung, Ho-Young Lee
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