The role of PI3K and Hippo signaling in chronic pancreatitis (CP) pathogenesis is unclear. Therefore, we assessed the involvement of these pathways in CP by examining the PI3K and Hippo signaling components PTEN and SAV1, respectively. We observed significant decreases in pancreatic PTEN and SAV1 levels in 2 murine CP models: repeated caerulein injection and pancreatic ductal ligation. Additionally, pancreas-specific deletion of Pten and Sav1 (DKO) induced CP in mice. Pancreatic connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) was markedly upregulated in both CP models and DKO mice, and pancreatic CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha (CEBPA) expression was downregulated in the CP models. Interestingly, in pancreatic acinar cells (PACs), CEBPA knockdown reduced PTEN and SAV1 and increased CTGF levels in vitro. Furthermore, CEBPA knockdown in PACs induced acinar-to-ductal metaplasia and activation of cocultured macrophages and pancreatic stellate cells. These results were mitigated by CTGF inhibition. CP in DKO mice was also ameliorated by Ctgf gene deletion, and caerulein-induced CP was alleviated by antibody-mediated CTGF neutralization. Finally, we observed significantly decreased PTEN, SAV1, and CEBPA and increased CTGF levels in human CP tissues compared to nonpancreatitis tissues. Taken together, our results indicate that dysregulation of PI3K and Hippo signaling induces CP via CTGF upregulation.
Takeshi Tamura, Takahiro Kodama, Katsuhiko Sato, Kazuhiro Murai, Teppei Yoshioka, Minoru Shigekawa, Ryoko Yamada, Hayato Hikita, Ryotaro Sakamori, Hirofumi Akita, Hidetoshi Eguchi, Randy L. Johnson, Hideki Yokoi, Masashi Mukoyama, Tomohide Tatsumi, Tetsuo Takehara
Rapidly growing tumors often experience hypoxia and nutrient (e.g., glucose) deficiency because of poor vascularization. Tumor cells respond to the cytotoxic effects of such stresses by inducing molecular adaptations that promote clonal selection of a more malignant tumor-initiating cell phenotype, especially in the innermost tumor regions. Here, we report a regulatory mechanism involving fucosylation by which glucose restriction promotes cancer stemness to drive drug resistance and tumor recurrence. Using hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) as a model, we showed that restricted glucose availability enhanced the PERK-eIF2α-ATF4 signaling axis to drive fucosyltransferase-1 (FUT1) transcription via direct binding of ATF4 to the FUT1 promoter. FUT1 overexpression is a poor prognostic indicator for HCC. FUT1 inhibition could mitigate tumor initiation, self-renewal and drug resistance. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that CD147, ICAM-1, EGFR and EPHA2 are glycoprotein targets of FUT1, where such fucosylation would consequently converge on deregulated AKT-mTOR-4EBP1 signaling to drive cancer stemness. Treatment with an α-(1,2)-fucosylation inhibitor sensitized HCC tumors to sorafenib, a first-line molecular targeted drug used for advanced HCC patients, and reduced the tumor-initiating subset. FUT1 overexpression and/or CD147, ICAM-1, EGFR and EPHA2 fucosylation may be good prognostic markers and therapeutic targets for cancer patients.
Jane H.C. Loong, Tin-Lok Wong, Man Tong, Rakesh Sharma, Lei Zhou, Kai-Yu Ng, Hua-Jian Yu, Chi Han Li, Kwan Man, Chung-Mau Lo, Xin-Yuan Guan, Terence K. Lee, Jing-Ping Yun, Stephanie Kwai Yee Ma
Hepatic ischemia and reperfusion (IR) injury contributes to the morbidity and mortality associated with liver transplantation. microRNAs (miRNAs) constitute a family of noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the posttranslational level through the repression of specific target genes. Here, we hypothesized that miRNAs could be targeted to enhance hepatic ischemia tolerance. A miRNA screen in a murine model of hepatic IR injury pointed us toward the liver-specific miRNA miR122. Subsequent studies in mice with hepatocyte-specific deletion of miR122 (miR122loxP/loxP Alb-Cre+ mice) during hepatic ischemia and reperfusion revealed exacerbated liver injury. Transcriptional studies implicated hypoxia-inducible factor–1α (HIF1α) in the induction of miR122 and identified the oxygen-sensing prolyl hydroxylase domain 1 (PHD1) as a miR122 target. Further studies indicated that HIF1α-dependent induction of miR122 participated in a feed-forward pathway for liver protection via the enhancement of hepatic HIF responses through PHD1 repression. Moreover, pharmacologic studies utilizing nanoparticle-mediated miR122 overexpression demonstrated attenuated liver injury. Finally, proof-of-principle studies in patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation showed elevated miR122 levels in conjunction with the repression of PHD1 in post-ischemic liver biopsies. Taken together, the present findings provide molecular insight into the functional role of miR122 in enhancing hepatic ischemia tolerance and suggest the potential utility of pharmacologic interventions targeting miR122 to dampen hepatic injury during liver transplantation.
Cynthia Ju, Meng Wang, Eunyoung Tak, Boyun Kim, Christoph Emontzpohl, Yang Yang, Xiaoyi Yuan, Huban Kutay, Yafen Liang, David R. Hall, Wasim A. Dar, J. Steve Bynon, Peter Carmeliet, Kalpana Ghoshal, Holger K. Eltzschig
A primordial gut-epithelial innate defense response is the release of hydrogen peroxide by dual NADPH oxidase (DUOX). In inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a condition characterized by an imbalanced gut microbiota-immune homeostasis, DUOX2 isoenzyme is the highest induced gene. Performing multi-omic analyses using 2,872 human participants of a wellness program, we detected a substantial burden of rare protein-altering DUOX2 gene variants of unknown physiologic significance (155 unique variants with allele frequency < 1%; 12.9% carrier rate). We identified a significant association between these rare loss-of-function variants and increased plasma levels of interleukin-17C (FDR=2.6e-5), which is induced also in mucosal biopsies of IBD patients. DUOX2 deficient mice replicated increased IL17C induction in the intestine, with outlier high Il17c expression linked to the mucosal expansion of specific Proteobacteria pathobionts. Integrated microbiota/host gene expression analyses in IBD patients corroborated IL17C as a marker for epithelial activation by gram-negative bacteria. Finally, the impact of DUOX2 variants on IL17C induction provided a rationale for variant stratification in case-control studies that substantiated DUOX2 as an IBD risk gene (pooled OR = 1.54 [95% CI 1.09-2.18]; P = 7.1e-4). Thus, our study identifies an association of deleterious DUOX2 variants with a preclinical hallmark of disturbed microbiota-immune homeostasis that appears to precede the manifestation of IBD.
Helmut Grasberger, Andrew T. Magis, Elisa Sheng, Matthew P. Conomos, Min Zhang, Lea S. Garzotto, Guoqing Hou, Shrinivas Bishu, Hiroko Nagao-Kitamoto, Mohamad El-Zataari, Sho Kitamoto, Nobuhiko Kamada, Ryan Stidham, Yasutada Akiba, Jonathan Kaunitz, Yael Haberman, Subra Kugathasan, Lee A. Denson, Gilbert S. Omenn, John Y. Kao
Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil reduce triglyceride levels in mammals, yet the mechanisms underlying this effect have not been fully clarified despite the clinical use of omega-3 ethyl esters to treat severe hypertriglyceridemia and reduce cardiovascular disease risk in humans. Here we identified in bile a class of hypotriglyceridemic omega-3 fatty acid-derived N-acyl taurines (NATs) that, after dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, increased to concentrations similar to those of steroidal bile acids. The biliary docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) containing NAT, C22:6 NAT, was increased in human and mouse plasma after dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and potently inhibited intestinal triacylglycerol hydrolysis and lipid absorption. Supporting this observation, genetic elevation of endogenous NAT levels in mice impaired lipid absorption, while selective augmentation of C22:6 NAT levels protected against hypertriglyceridemia and fatty liver. When administered pharmacologically, C22:6 NAT accumulated in bile and reduced high fat diet-induced, but not sucrose-induced, hepatic lipid accumulation in mice, suggesting that C22:6 NAT was a negative feedback mediator that limited excess intestinal lipid absorption. Thus, biliary omega-3 NATs may contribute to the hypotriglyceridemic mechanism of action of fish oil and could influence the design of more potent omega-3 fatty acid-based therapeutics.
Trisha J. Grevengoed, Samuel A. J. Trammell, Jens S. Svenningsen, Mikhail Makarov, Thomas Svava Nielsen, Jens C. B. Jacobsen, Philip C. Calder, Marie E. Migaud, Benjamin Cravatt, Matthew P. Gillum
Hirschsprung disease (HSCR) is the most frequent developmental anomaly of the enteric nervous system with an incidence of 1/5000 live births. Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (CIPO) is less frequent and classified as neurogenic or myogenic. Isolated HSCR has an oligogenic inheritance with RET as the major disease-causing gene, while CIPO is genetically heterogeneous, caused by mutations in smooth muscle-specific genes. Here, we describe a series of patients with developmental disorders including gastrointestinal dysmotility, and investigate the underlying molecular bases. Trio-exome sequencing led to the identification of biallelic variants in ERBB3 and ERBB2 in eight individuals variably associating HSCR, CIPO, peripheral neuropathy and arthrogryposis. Thorough gut histology revealed aganglionosis, hypoganglionosis and intestinal smooth muscle abnormalities. The cell-type-specific ErbB3 and ErbB2 function was further analysed in mouse single-cell RNA sequencing data and in a conditional ErbB3-deficient mouse model, revealing a primary role for ERBB3 in enteric progenitors. The consequences of the identified variants were evaluated using RT-qPCR on patient-derived fibroblasts or immunoblot assays on Neuro-2a cells overexpressing either wild-type or mutant proteins, revealing either decreased expression or altered phosphorylation of the mutant receptors. Our results demonstrate that dysregulation of ERBB3 or ERBB2 leads to a broad spectrum of developmental anomalies including intestinal dysmotility.
Thuy-Linh Le, Louise Galmiche, Jonathan Levy, Pim Suwannarat, Debby M.E.I. Hellebrekers, Khomgrit Morarach, Franck Boismoreau, Tom E.J. Theunissen, Mathilde Lefebvre, Anna Pelet, Jelena Martinovic, Antoinette Gelot, Fabien Guimiot, Amanda Calleroz, Cyril Gitiaux, Marie Hully, Olivier Goulet, Christophe Chardot, Severine Drunat, Yline Capri, Christine Bole-Feysot, Patrick Nitschke, Sandra Whalen, Linda Mouthon, Holly E. Babcock, Robert Hofstra, Irenaeus F.M. de Coo, Anne-Claude Tabet, Thierry J. Molina, Boris Keren, Alice S. Brooks, Hubert J.M. Smeets, Ulrika Marklund, Christopher T. Gordon, Stanislas Lyonnet, Jeanne Amiel, Nadège Bondurand
Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are enriched at barrier surfaces, including the gastrointestinal tract. While most studies have focused on the balance between pathogenic group 1 ILCs (ILC1s) and protective ILC3s in maintaining gut homeostasis and during chronic intestinal inflammation, such as Crohn’s disease (CD), less is known regarding ILC2s. Using an established murine model of CD-like ileitis, i.e., SAMP1/YitFc (SAMP) strain, we showed that ILC2s, compared to ILC1s and ILC3s, were increased within draining mesenteric lymph nodes and ilea of SAMP vs. AKR (parental control) mice early, during the onset of disease. Gut-derived ILC2s from Crohn’s patients vs. healthy controls were also increased and expand, similar to ILC1s, in greater proportion compared to ILC3s. Importantly, we report that the intracellular bacterial-sensing protein, nucleotide-binding oligomerization domaining-containing protein-2, encoded by NOD2, the first and strongest susceptibility gene identified for CD, promoted ILC2 expansion, which was dramatically reduced in SAMP lacking NOD2 and SAMP raised under germ-free conditions. Furthermore, these effects occurred through a mechanism involving the IL-33/ST2 ligand-receptor pair. Collectively, our results indicate a functional link between NOD2 and ILC2s, regulated by the IL-33/ST2 axis, that mechanistically may contribute to early events leading to CD pathogenesis.
Carlo De Salvo, Kristine-Ann Buela, Brecht Creyns, Daniele Corridoni, Nitish Rana, Hannah L. Wargo, Chiara Cominelli, Peter G. Delaney, Fabio Cominelli, Alexander Rodriguez-Palacios, Séverine Vermeire, Theresa T. Pizarro
Chronic pancreatitis affects over 250,000 people in the US and millions worldwide. It is associated with chronic debilitating pain, pancreatic exocrine failure, high-risk of pancreatic cancer, and usually progresses to diabetes. Treatment options are limited and ineffective. We developed a new potential therapy, wherein a pancreatic ductal infusion of 1-2% acetic acid in mice and non-human primates resulted in a non-regenerative, near-complete ablation of the exocrine pancreas, with complete preservation of the islets. Pancreatic ductal infusion of acetic acid in a mouse model of chronic pancreatitis led to resolution of chronic inflammation and pancreatitis-associated pain. Furthermore, acetic acid-treated animals showed improved glucose tolerance and insulin secretion. The loss of exocrine tissue in this procedure would not typically require further management in patients with chronic pancreatitis because they usually have pancreatic exocrine failure requiring dietary enzyme supplements. Thus, this procedure, which should be readily translatable to humans through an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), may offer a potential innovative non-surgical therapy for chronic pancreatitis that relieves pain and prevents the progression of pancreatic diabetes.
Mohamed Saleh, Kartikeya Sharma, Ranjeet S. Kalsi, Joseph C. Fusco, Anuradha Sehrawat, Jami L. Saloman, Ping Guo, Ting Zhang, Nada Mohamed, Yan Wang, Krishna Prasadan, George Gittes
As the interface between the gut microbiota and the mucosal immune system, there has been great interest in the maintenance of colonic epithelial integrity through mitochondrial oxidation of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid produced by the gut microbiota. Herein, we showed that the intestinal epithelium can also oxidize long-chain fatty acids, and that luminally-delivered acylcarnitines in bile can be consumed via apical absorption by the intestinal epithelium resulting in mitochondrial oxidation. Finally, intestinal inflammation led to mitochondrial dysfunction in the apical domain of the surface epithelium that may reduce the consumption of fatty acids, contributing to higher concentrations of fecal acylcarnitines in murine Citrobacter rodentium-induced colitis and human inflammatory bowel disease. These results emphasized the importance of both the gut microbiota and the liver in the delivery of energy substrates for mitochondrial metabolism by the intestinal epithelium.
Sarah A. Smith, Sayaka A. Ogawa, Lillian Chau, Kelly A. Whelan, Kathryn E. Hamilton, Jie Chen, Lu Tan, Eric Z. Chen, Sue Keilbaugh, Franz Fogt, Meenakshi Bewtra, Jonathan Braun, Ramnik J. Xavier, Clary B. Clish, Barry Slaff, Aalim M. Weljie, Frederic D. Bushman, James D. Lewis, Hongzhe Li, Stephen R. Master, Michael J. Bennett, Hiroshi Nakagawa, Gary D. Wu
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