Synaptopodin is the founding member of a novel class of proline-rich actin-associated proteins highly expressed in telencephalic dendrites and renal podocytes. Synaptopodin-deficient (synpo–/–) mice lack the dendritic spine apparatus and display impaired activity-dependent long-term synaptic plasticity. In contrast, the ultrastructure of podocytes in synpo–/– mice is normal. Here we show that synpo–/– mice display impaired recovery from protamine sulfate–induced podocyte foot process (FP) effacement and LPS-induced nephrotic syndrome. Similarly, synpo–/– podocytes show impaired actin filament reformation in vitro. We further demonstrate that synaptopodin exists in 3 isoforms, neuronal Synpo-short (685 AA), renal Synpo-long (903 AA), and Synpo-T (181 AA). The C terminus of Synpo-long is identical to that of Synpo-T. All 3 isoforms specifically interact with α-actinin and elongate α-actinin–induced actin filaments. synpo–/– mice lack Synpo-short and Synpo-long expression but show an upregulation of Synpo-T protein expression in podocytes, though not in the brain. Gene silencing of Synpo-T abrogates stress-fiber formation in synpo–/– podocytes, demonstrating that Synpo-T serves as a backup for Synpo-long in synpo–/– podocytes. In concert, synaptopodin regulates the actin-bundling activity of α-actinin in highly dynamic cell compartments, such as podocyte FPs and the dendritic spine apparatus.
Katsuhiko Asanuma, Kwanghee Kim, Jun Oh, Laura Giardino, Sophie Chabanis, Christian Faul, Jochen Reiser, Peter Mundel
The monomeric small GTPase Rab27a is specifically localized on both secretory granules and lysosome-related organelles. Although natural mutations of the Rab27a gene in human Griscelli syndrome and in ashen mice cause partial albinism and immunodeficiency reflecting the dysfunction of lysosome-related organelles, phenotypes resulting from the defective exocytosis of secretory granules have not been reported. To explore the roles of Rab27a in secretory granules, we analyzed insulin secretion profiles in ashen mice. Ashen mice showed glucose intolerance after a glucose load without signs of insulin resistance in peripheral tissues or insulin deficiency in the pancreas. Insulin secretion from isolated islets was decreased specifically in response to high glucose concentrations but not other nonphysiological secretagogues such as high K+ concentrations, forskolin, or phorbol ester. Neither the intracellular Ca2+ concentration nor the dynamics of fusion pore opening after glucose stimulation were altered. There were, however, marked reductions in the exocytosis from insulin granules predocked on the plasma membrane and in the replenishment of docked granules during glucose stimulation. These results provide the first genetic evidence to our knowledge for the role of Rab27a in the exocytosis of secretory granules and suggest that the Rab27a/effector system mediates glucose-specific signals for the exocytosis of insulin granules in pancreatic β cells.
Kazuo Kasai, Mica Ohara-Imaizumi, Noriko Takahashi, Shin Mizutani, Shengli Zhao, Toshiteru Kikuta, Haruo Kasai, Shinya Nagamatsu, Hiroshi Gomi, Tetsuro Izumi
The present study examines the role of Pyk2 in acid regulation of sodium/hydrogen exchanger 3 (NHE3) activity in OKP cells, a kidney proximal tubule epithelial cell line. Incubation of OKP cells in acid media caused a transient increase in Pyk2 phosphorylation that peaked at 30 seconds and increased Pyk2/c-Src binding at 90 seconds. Pyk2 isolated by immunoprecipitation and studied in a cell-free system was activated and phosphorylated at acidic pH. Acid activation of Pyk2 (a) was specific for Pyk2 in that acid did not activate focal adhesion kinase, (b) required calcium, and (c) was associated with increased affinity for ATP. Transfection of OKP cells with dominant-negative pyk2K457A or small interfering pyk2 duplex RNA blocked acid activation of NHE3, while neither had an effect on glucocorticoid activation of NHE3. In addition, pyk2K457A blocked acid activation of c-Src kinase, which is also required for acid regulation of NHE3. The present results demonstrate that Pyk2 is directly activated by acidic pH and that Pyk2 activation is required for acid activation of c-Src kinase and NHE3. Given that partially purified Pyk2 can be activated by acid in a cell-free system, Pyk2 may serve as the pH sensor that initiates the acid-regulated signaling cascade involved in NHE3 regulation.
Shaoying Li, Soichiro Sato, Xiaojing Yang, Patricia A. Preisig, Robert J. Alpern
TNF plays a pathogenic role in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), which are characterized by altered cytokine production and increased intestinal epithelial cell apoptosis. In vitro studies suggest that kinase suppressor of Ras-1 (KSR1) is an essential regulatory kinase for TNF-stimulated survival pathways in intestinal epithelial cell lines. Here we use a KSR1-deficient mouse model to study the role of KSR1 in regulating intestinal cell fate during cytokine-mediated inflammation. We show that KSR1 and its target signaling pathways are activated in inflamed colon mucosa. Loss of KSR1 increases susceptibility to chronic colitis and TNF-induced apoptosis in the intestinal epithelial cell. Furthermore, disruption of KSR1 expression enhances TNF-induced apoptosis in mouse colon epithelial cells and is associated with a failure to activate antiapoptotic signals including Raf-1/MEK/ERK, NF-κB, and Akt/protein kinase B. These effects are reversed by WT, but not kinase-inactive, KSR1. We conclude that KSR1 has an essential protective role in the intestinal epithelial cell during inflammation through activation of cell survival pathways.
Fang Yan, Sutha K. John, Guinn Wilson, David S. Jones, M. Kay Washington, D. Brent Polk
Mucosal epithelial cells are uniquely equipped to maintain barrier function even under adverse conditions. Previous studies have implicated hypoxia in mucosal tissue damage resulting from both acute and chronic inflammation. Given the importance of the transcriptional regulator hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) for adaptive hypoxia responses, we hypothesized that HIF-1 may serve as a barrier-protective element during mucosal inflammation. Initial studies of hapten-based murine colitis revealed extensive mucosal hypoxia and concomitant HIF-1 activation during colitis. To study this in more detail, we generated 2 mouse lines with intestinal epithelium–targeted expression of either mutant Hif1a (inability to form HIF-1) or mutant von Hippel-Lindau gene (Vhlh; constitutively active HIF-1). Studies of colitis in these mice revealed that decreased HIF-1 expression correlated with more severe clinical symptoms (mortality, weight loss, colon length), while increased HIF levels were protective in these parameters. Furthermore, colons with constitutive activation of HIF displayed increased expression levels of HIF-1–regulated barrier-protective genes (multidrug resistance gene-1, intestinal trefoil factor, CD73), resulting in attenuated loss of barrier during colitis in vivo. Taken together, these studies provide insight into tissue microenvironmental changes during model inflammatory bowel disease and identify HIF-1 as a critical factor for barrier protection during mucosal insult.
Jörn Karhausen, Glenn T. Furuta, John E. Tomaszewski, Randall S. Johnson, Sean P. Colgan, Volker H. Haase
Previous reports have identified a circulating pool of CD45+ collagen I+ CXCR4+ (CD45+Col I+CXCR4+) cells, termed fibrocytes, that traffic to areas of fibrosis. No studies have demonstrated that these cells actually contribute to fibrosis, however. Pulmonary fibrosis was originally thought to be mediated solely by resident lung fibroblasts. Here we show that a population of human CD45+Col I+CXCR4+ circulating fibrocytes migrates in response to CXCL12 and traffics to the lungs in a murine model of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. Next, we demonstrated that murine CD45+Col I+CXCR4+ fibrocytes also traffic to the lungs in response to a bleomycin challenge. Maximal intrapulmonary recruitment of CD45+Col I+CXCR4+ fibrocytes directly correlated with increased collagen deposition in the lungs. Treatment of bleomycin-exposed animals with specific neutralizing anti-CXCL12 Ab’s inhibited intrapulmonary recruitment of CD45+Col I+CXCR4+ circulating fibrocytes and attenuated lung fibrosis. Thus, our results demonstrate, we believe for the first time, that circulating fibrocytes contribute to the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis.
Roderick J. Phillips, Marie D. Burdick, Kurt Hong, Marin A. Lutz, Lynne A. Murray, Ying Ying Xue, John A. Belperio, Michael P. Keane, Robert M. Strieter
Environmental stresses converge on the mitochondria that can trigger or inhibit cell death. Excitable, postmitotic cells, in response to sublethal noxious stress, engage mechanisms that afford protection from subsequent insults. We show that reoxygenation after prolonged hypoxia reduces the reactive oxygen species (ROS) threshold for the mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) in cardiomyocytes and that cell survival is steeply negatively correlated with the fraction of depolarized mitochondria. Cell protection that exhibits a memory (preconditioning) results from triggered mitochondrial swelling that causes enhanced substrate oxidation and ROS production, leading to redox activation of PKC, which inhibits glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β). Alternatively, receptor tyrosine kinase or certain G protein–coupled receptor activation elicits cell protection (without mitochondrial swelling or durable memory) by inhibiting GSK-3β, via protein kinase B/Akt and mTOR/p70s6k pathways, PKC pathways, or protein kinase A pathways. The convergence of these pathways via inhibition of GSK-3β on the end effector, the permeability transition pore complex, to limit MPT induction is the general mechanism of cardiomyocyte protection.
Magdalena Juhaszova, Dmitry B. Zorov, Suhn-Hee Kim, Salvatore Pepe, Qin Fu, Kenneth W. Fishbein, Bruce D. Ziman, Su Wang, Kirsti Ytrehus, Christopher L. Antos, Eric N. Olson, Steven J. Sollott
Isoprenylcysteine carboxyl methyltransferase (Icmt) methylates the carboxyl-terminal isoprenylcysteine of CAAX proteins (e.g., Ras and Rho proteins). In the case of the Ras proteins, carboxyl methylation is important for targeting of the proteins to the plasma membrane. We hypothesized that a knockout of Icmt would reduce the ability of cells to be transformed by K-Ras. Fibroblasts harboring a floxed Icmt allele and expressing activated K-Ras (K-Ras-Icmtflx/flx) were treated with Cre-adenovirus, producing K-Ras-IcmtΔ/Δ fibroblasts. Inactivation of Icmt inhibited cell growth and K-Ras–induced oncogenic transformation, both in soft agar assays and in a nude mice model. The inactivation of Icmt did not affect growth factor–stimulated phosphorylation of Erk1/2 or Akt1. However, levels of RhoA were greatly reduced as a consequence of accelerated protein turnover. In addition, there was a large Ras/Erk1/2-dependent increase in p21Cip1, which was probably a consequence of the reduced levels of RhoA. Deletion of p21Cip1 restored the ability of K-Ras-IcmtΔ/Δ fibroblasts to grow in soft agar. The effect of inactivating Icmt was not limited to the inhibition of K-Ras–induced transformation: inactivation of Icmt blocked transformation by an oncogenic form of B-Raf (V599E). These studies identify Icmt as a potential target for reducing the growth of K-Ras– and B-Raf–induced malignancies.
Martin O. Bergo, Bryant J. Gavino, Christine Hong, Anne P. Beigneux, Martin McMahon, Patrick J. Casey, Stephen G. Young
Mutations in the lamin A/C gene (LMNA) cause a variety of human diseases including Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy, dilated cardiomyopathy, and Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. The tissue-specific effects of lamin mutations are unclear, in part because the function of lamin A/C is incompletely defined, but the many muscle-specific phenotypes suggest that defective lamin A/C could increase cellular mechanical sensitivity. To investigate the role of lamin A/C in mechanotransduction, we subjected lamin A/C–deficient mouse embryo fibroblasts to mechanical strain and measured nuclear mechanical properties and strain-induced signaling. We found that Lmna–/– cells have increased nuclear deformation, defective mechanotransduction, and impaired viability under mechanical strain. NF-κB–regulated transcription in response to mechanical or cytokine stimulation was attenuated in Lmna–/– cells despite increased transcription factor binding. Lamin A/C deficiency is thus associated with both defective nuclear mechanics and impaired mechanically activated gene transcription. These findings suggest that the tissue-specific effects of lamin A/C mutations observed in the laminopathies may arise from varying degrees of impaired nuclear mechanics and transcriptional activation.
Jan Lammerding, P. Christian Schulze, Tomosaburo Takahashi, Serguei Kozlov, Teresa Sullivan, Roger D. Kamm, Colin L. Stewart, Richard T. Lee
The origin of fibroblasts in pulmonary fibrosis is assumed to be intrapulmonary, but their extrapulmonary origin and especially derivation from bone marrow (BM) progenitor cells has not been ruled out. To examine this possibility directly, adult mice were durably engrafted with BM isolated from transgenic mice expressing enhanced GFP. Induction of pulmonary fibrosis in such chimera mice by endotracheal bleomycin (BLM) injection caused large numbers of GFP+ cells to appear in active fibrotic lesions, while only a few GFP+ cells could be identified in control lungs. Flow-cytometric analysis of lung cells confirmed the BLM-induced increase in GFP+ cells in chimera mice and revealed a significant increase in GFP+ cells that also express type I collagen. GFP+ lung fibroblasts isolated from chimera mice expressed collagen and telomerase reverse transcriptase but not α-smooth muscle actin. Treatment of isolated GFP+ fibroblasts with TGF-β failed to induce myofibroblast differentiation. Cultured lung fibroblasts expressed the chemokine receptors CXCR4 and CCR7 and responded chemotactically to their cognate ligands, stromal cell–derived factor-1α and secondary lymphoid chemokine, respectively. Thus the collagen-producing lung fibroblasts in pulmonary fibrosis can also be derived from BM progenitor cells.
Naozumi Hashimoto, Hong Jin, Tianju Liu, Stephen W. Chensue, Sem H. Phan
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