Cellular identity in metazoan organisms is frequently established through lineage-specifying transcription factors, which control their own expression through transcriptional positive feedback, while antagonizing the developmental networks of competing lineages. Here, we have uncovered a distinct positive feedback loop that arises from the reciprocal stabilization of the tyrosine kinase ABL and the transcriptional coactivator TAZ. Moreover, we determined that this loop is required for osteoblast differentiation and embryonic skeletal formation. ABL potentiated the assembly and activation of the RUNX2-TAZ master transcription factor complex that is required for osteoblastogenesis, while antagonizing PPARγ-mediated adipogenesis. ABL also enhanced TAZ nuclear localization and the formation of the TAZ-TEAD complex that is required for osteoblast expansion. Last, we have provided genetic data showing that regulation of the ABL-TAZ amplification loop lies downstream of the adaptor protein 3BP2, which is mutated in the craniofacial dysmorphia syndrome cherubism. Our study demonstrates an interplay between ABL and TAZ that controls the mesenchymal maturation program toward the osteoblast lineage and is mechanistically distinct from the established model of lineage-specific maturation.
Yoshinori Matsumoto, Jose La Rose, Oliver A. Kent, Melany J. Wagner, Masahiro Narimatsu, Aaron D. Levy, Mitchell H. Omar, Jiefei Tong, Jonathan R. Krieger, Emily Riggs, Yaryna Storozhuk, Julia Pasquale, Manuela Ventura, Behzad Yeganeh, Martin Post, Michael F. Moran, Marc D. Grynpas, Jeffrey L. Wrana, Giulio Superti-Furga, Anthony J. Koleske, Ann Marie Pendergast, Robert Rottapel
Eccrine sweat glands are essential for sweating and thermoregulation in humans. Loss-of-function mutations in the Ca2+ release–activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channel genes
Axel R. Concepcion, Martin Vaeth, Larry E. Wagner II, Miriam Eckstein, Lee Hecht, Jun Yang, David Crottes, Maximilian Seidl, Hyosup P. Shin, Carl Weidinger, Scott Cameron, Stuart E. Turvey, Thomas Issekutz, Isabelle Meyts, Rodrigo S. Lacruz, Mario Cuk, David I. Yule, Stefan Feske
The intratumoral microenvironment, or stroma, is of major importance in the pathobiology of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA), and specific conditions in the stroma may promote increased cancer aggressiveness. We hypothesized that this heterogeneous and evolving compartment drastically influences tumor cell abilities, which in turn influences PDA aggressiveness through crosstalk that is mediated by extracellular vesicles (EVs). Here, we have analyzed the PDA proteomic stromal signature and identified a contribution of the annexin A6/LDL receptor-related protein 1/thrombospondin 1 (ANXA6/LRP1/TSP1) complex in tumor cell crosstalk. Formation of the ANXA6/LRP1/TSP1 complex was restricted to cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) and required physiopathologic culture conditions that improved tumor cell survival and migration. Increased PDA aggressiveness was dependent on tumor cell–mediated uptake of CAF-derived ANXA6+ EVs carrying the ANXA6/LRP1/TSP1 complex. Depletion of ANXA6 in CAFs impaired complex formation and subsequently impaired PDA and metastasis occurrence, while injection of CAF-derived ANXA6+ EVs enhanced tumorigenesis. We found that the presence of ANXA6+ EVs in serum was restricted to PDA patients and represents a potential biomarker for PDA grade. These findings suggest that CAF–tumor cell crosstalk supported by ANXA6+ EVs is predictive of PDA aggressiveness, highlighting a therapeutic target and potential biomarker for PDA.
Julie Leca, Sébastien Martinez, Sophie Lac, Jérémy Nigri, Véronique Secq, Marion Rubis, Christian Bressy, Arnauld Sergé, Marie-Noelle Lavaut, Nelson Dusetti, Céline Loncle, Julie Roques, Daniel Pietrasz, Corinne Bousquet, Stéphane Garcia, Samuel Granjeaud, Mehdi Ouaissi, Jean Baptiste Bachet, Christine Brun, Juan L. Iovanna, Pascale Zimmermann, Sophie Vasseur, Richard Tomasini
Oncogenic mutations drive anabolic metabolism, creating a dependency on nutrient influx through transporters, receptors, and macropinocytosis. While sphingolipids suppress tumor growth by downregulating nutrient transporters, macropinocytosis and autophagy still provide cancer cells with fuel. Therapeutics that simultaneously disrupt these parallel nutrient access pathways have potential as powerful starvation agents. Here, we describe a water-soluble, orally bioavailable synthetic sphingolipid, SH-BC-893, that triggers nutrient transporter internalization and also blocks lysosome-dependent nutrient generation pathways. SH-BC-893 activated protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), leading to mislocalization of the lipid kinase PIKfyve. The concomitant mislocalization of the PIKfyve product PI(3,5)P2 triggered cytosolic vacuolation and blocked lysosomal fusion reactions essential for LDL, autophagosome, and macropinosome degradation. By simultaneously limiting access to both extracellular and intracellular nutrients, SH-BC-893 selectively killed cells expressing an activated form of the anabolic oncogene
Seong M. Kim, Saurabh G. Roy, Bin Chen, Tiffany M. Nguyen, Ryan J. McMonigle, Alison N. McCracken, Yanling Zhang, Satoshi Kofuji, Jue Hou, Elizabeth Selwan, Brendan T. Finicle, Tricia T. Nguyen, Archna Ravi, Manuel U. Ramirez, Tim Wiher, Garret G. Guenther, Mari Kono, Atsuo T. Sasaki, Lois S. Weisman, Eric O. Potma, Bruce J. Tromberg, Robert A. Edwards, Stephen Hanessian, Aimee L. Edinger
The canonical atrial myocyte (AM) is characterized by sparse transverse tubule (TT) invaginations and slow intracellular Ca2+ propagation but exhibits rapid contractile activation that is susceptible to loss of function during hypertrophic remodeling. Here, we have identified a membrane structure and Ca2+-signaling complex that may enhance the speed of atrial contraction independently of phospholamban regulation. This axial couplon was observed in human and mouse atria and is composed of voluminous axial tubules (ATs) with extensive junctions to the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) that include ryanodine receptor 2 (RyR2) clusters. In mouse AM, AT structures triggered Ca2+ release from the SR approximately 2 times faster at the AM center than at the surface. Rapid Ca2+ release correlated with colocalization of highly phosphorylated RyR2 clusters at AT-SR junctions and earlier, more rapid shortening of central sarcomeres. In contrast, mice expressing phosphorylation-incompetent RyR2 displayed depressed AM sarcomere shortening and reduced in vivo atrial contractile function. Moreover, left atrial hypertrophy led to AT proliferation, with a marked increase in the highly phosphorylated RyR2-pS2808 cluster fraction, thereby maintaining cytosolic Ca2+ signaling despite decreases in RyR2 cluster density and RyR2 protein expression. AT couplon “super-hubs” thus underlie faster excitation-contraction coupling in health as well as hypertrophic compensatory adaptation and represent a structural and metabolic mechanism that may contribute to contractile dysfunction and arrhythmias.
Sören Brandenburg, Tobias Kohl, George S.B. Williams, Konstantin Gusev, Eva Wagner, Eva A. Rog-Zielinska, Elke Hebisch, Miroslav Dura, Michael Didié, Michael Gotthardt, Viacheslav O. Nikolaev, Gerd Hasenfuss, Peter Kohl, Christopher W. Ward, W. Jonathan Lederer, Stephan E. Lehnart
Genomic studies have linked mTORC1 pathway–activating mutations with exceptional response to treatment with allosteric inhibitors of mTORC1 called rapalogs. Rapalogs are approved for selected cancer types, including kidney and breast cancers. Here, we used sequencing data from 22 human kidney cancer cases to identify the activating mechanisms conferred by mTOR mutations observed in human cancers and advance precision therapeutics. mTOR mutations that clustered in focal adhesion kinase targeting domain (FAT) and kinase domains enhanced mTORC1 kinase activity, decreased nutrient reliance, and increased cell size. We identified 3 distinct mechanisms of hyperactivation, including reduced binding to DEP domain–containing MTOR-interacting protein (DEPTOR), resistance to regulatory associated protein of mTOR–mediated (RAPTOR-mediated) suppression, and altered kinase kinetics. Of the 28 mTOR double mutants, activating mutations could be divided into 6 complementation groups, resulting in synergistic Rag- and Ras homolog enriched in brain–independent (RHEB-independent) mTORC1 activation. mTOR mutants were resistant to DNA damage–inducible transcript 1–mediated (REDD1-mediated) inhibition, confirming that activating mutations can bypass the negative feedback pathway formed between HIF1 and mTORC1 in the absence of von Hippel–Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor expression. Moreover, VHL-deficient cells that expressed activating mTOR mutants grew tumors that were sensitive to rapamycin treatment. These data may explain the high incidence of mTOR mutations observed in clear cell kidney cancer, where VHL loss and HIF activation is pathognomonic. Our study provides mechanistic and therapeutic insights concerning mTOR mutations in human diseases.
Jianing Xu, Can G. Pham, Steven K. Albanese, Yiyu Dong, Toshinao Oyama, Chung-Han Lee, Vanessa Rodrik-Outmezguine, Zhan Yao, Song Han, David Chen, Daniel L. Parton, John D. Chodera, Neal Rosen, Emily H. Cheng, James J. Hsieh
Heterozygous germline mutations in breast cancer 1 (
Rinske Drost, Kiranjit K. Dhillon, Hanneke van der Gulden, Ingrid van der Heijden, Inger Brandsma, Cristina Cruz, Dafni Chondronasiou, Marta Castroviejo-Bermejo, Ute Boon, Eva Schut, Eline van der Burg, Ellen Wientjens, Mark Pieterse, Christiaan Klijn, Sjoerd Klarenbeek, Fabricio Loayza-Puch, Ran Elkon, Liesbeth van Deemter, Sven Rottenberg, Marieke van de Ven, Dick H.W. Dekkers, Jeroen A.A. Demmers, Dik C. van Gent, Reuven Agami, Judith Balmaña, Violeta Serra, Toshiyasu Taniguchi, Peter Bouwman, Jos Jonkers
Progressive tissue fibrosis is a major cause of the morbidity and mortality associated with repeated epithelial injuries and accumulation of myofibroblasts. Successful treatment options are limited by an incomplete understanding of the molecular mechanisms that regulate myofibroblast accumulation. Here, we employed in vivo lineage tracing and real-time gene expression transgenic reporting methods to analyze the early embryonic transcription factor T-box gene 4 (TBX4), and determined that TBX4-lineage mesenchymal progenitors are the predominant source of myofibroblasts in injured adult lung. In a murine model, ablation of TBX4-expressing cells or disruption of TBX4 signaling attenuated lung fibrosis after bleomycin-induced injury. Furthermore, TBX4 regulated hyaluronan synthase 2 production to enable fibroblast invasion of matrix both in murine models and in fibroblasts from patients with severe pulmonary fibrosis. These data identify TBX4 as a mesenchymal transcription factor that drives accumulation of myofibroblasts and the development of lung fibrosis. Targeting TBX4 and downstream factors that regulate fibroblast invasiveness could lead to therapeutic approaches in lung fibrosis.
Ting Xie, Jiurong Liang, Ningshan Liu, Caijuan Huan, Yanli Zhang, Weijia Liu, Maya Kumar, Rui Xiao, Jeanine D’Armiento, Daniel Metzger, Pierre Chambon, Virginia E. Papaioannou, Barry R. Stripp, Dianhua Jiang, Paul W. Noble
Dickkopf1 (DKK1) is a secretory protein that antagonizes oncogenic Wnt signaling by binding to the Wnt coreceptor low-density lipoprotein receptor–related protein 6 (LRP6). DKK1 may also regulate its own signaling to promote cancer cell proliferation, but the mechanism is not understood. Here, we identified cytoskeleton-associated protein 4 (CKAP4) as a DKK1 receptor and evaluated CKAP4-mediated DKK1 signaling in cancer cell proliferation. We determined that DKK1 binds CKAP4 and LRP6 with similar affinity but interacts with these 2 receptors with different cysteine-rich domains. DKK1 induced internalization of CKAP4 in a clathrin-dependent manner, further supporting CKAP4 as a receptor for DKK1. DKK1/CKAP4 signaling activated AKT by forming a complex between the proline-rich domain of CKAP4 and the Src homology 3 domain of PI3K, resulting in proliferation of normal cells and cancer cells. Expression of DKK1 and CKAP4 was frequent in tumor lesions of human pancreatic and lung cancers, and simultaneous expression of both proteins in patient tumors was negatively correlated with prognosis and relapse-free survival. An anti-CKAP4 antibody blocked the binding of DKK1 to CKAP4, suppressed AKT activity in a human cancer cell line, and attenuated xenograft tumor formation in immunodeficient mice. Together, our results suggest that CKAP4 is a potential therapeutic target for cancers that express both DKK1 and CKAP4.
Hirokazu Kimura, Katsumi Fumoto, Kensaku Shojima, Satoshi Nojima, Yoshihito Osugi, Hideo Tomihara, Hidetoshi Eguchi, Yasushi Shintani, Hiroko Endo, Masahiro Inoue, Yuichiro Doki, Meinoshin Okumura, Eiichi Morii, Akira Kikuchi
Nerves enable cancer progression, as cancers have been shown to extend along nerves through the process of perineural invasion, which carries a poor prognosis. Furthermore, the innervation of some cancers promotes growth and metastases. It remains unclear, however, how nerves mechanistically contribute to cancer progression. Here, we demonstrated that Schwann cells promote cancer invasion through direct cancer cell contact. Histological evaluation of murine and human cancer specimens with perineural invasion uncovered a subpopulation of Schwann cells that associates with cancer cells. Coculture of cancer cells with dorsal root ganglion extracts revealed that Schwann cells direct cancer cells to migrate toward nerves and promote invasion in a contact-dependent manner. Upon contact, Schwann cells induced the formation of cancer cell protrusions in their direction and intercalated between the cancer cells, leading to cancer cell dispersion. The formation of these processes was dependent on Schwann cell expression of neural cell adhesion molecule 1 (NCAM1) and ultimately promoted perineural invasion. Moreover, NCAM1-deficient mice showed decreased neural invasion and less paralysis. Such Schwann cell behavior reflects normal Schwann cell programs that are typically activated in nerve repair but are instead exploited by cancer cells to promote perineural invasion and cancer progression.
Sylvie Deborde, Tatiana Omelchenko, Anna Lyubchik, Yi Zhou, Shizhi He, William F. McNamara, Natalya Chernichenko, Sei-Young Lee, Fernando Barajas, Chun-Hao Chen, Richard L. Bakst, Efsevia Vakiani, Shuangba He, Alan Hall, Richard J. Wong
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