Adaptation of the islet β-cell insulin secretory response to changing insulin demand is critical for blood glucose homeostasis, yet the mechanisms underlying this adaptation are unknown. Here, we have shown that nutrient-stimulated histone acetylation plays a key role in adapting insulin secretion through regulation of genes involved in β-cell nutrient sensing and metabolism. Nutrient regulation of the epigenome occurred at sites occupied by the chromatin-modifying enzyme Lysine-specific demethylase 1 (Lsd1) in islets. β-cell-specific deletion of Lsd1 led to insulin hypersecretion, aberrant expression of nutrient response genes, and histone hyperacetylation. Islets from mice adapted to chronically increased insulin demand exhibited shared epigenetic and transcriptional changes. Moreover, we found that genetic variants associated with type 2 diabetes were enriched at LSD1-bound sites in human islets, suggesting that interpretation of nutrient signals is genetically determined and clinically relevant. Overall, these studies revealed that adaptive insulin secretion involves Lsd1-mediated coupling of nutrient state to regulation of the islet epigenome.
Matthew Wortham, Fenfen Liu, Austin R. Harrington, Johanna Y. Fleischman, Martina Wallace, Francesca Mulas, Medhavi Mallick, Nicholas K. Vinckier, Benjamin R. Cross, Joshua Chiou, Nisha A. Patel, Yinghui Sui, Carolyn McGrail, Yesl Jun, Gaowei Wang, Ulupi S. Jhala, Roland Schüle, Orian S. Shirihai, Mark O. Huising, Kyle J. Gaulton, Christian M. Metallo, Maike Sander
YunZu Michele Wang, Cynthia B. Taggart, John F. Huber, Stella M. Davies, David F. Smith, John B. Hogenesch, Christopher E. Dandoy
Obesity is a risk factor for neurodegenerative disease associated with cognitive dysfunction, including Alzheimer’s disease. Low-grade inflammation is common in obesity, but the mechanism between inflammation and cognitive impairment in obesity is unclear. Accumulative evidence shows that quinolinic acid (QA), a neuroinflammatory neurotoxin, is involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative processes. We investigated the role of QA in obesity-induced cognitive impairment and the beneficial effect of butyrate in counteracting impairments of cognition, neural morphology, and signaling. We show that in human obesity, there was a negative relationship between serum QA levels and cognitive function and decreased cortical gray matter. Diet-induced obese mice had increased QA levels in the cortex associated with cognitive impairment. At single-cell resolution, we confirmed that QA impaired neurons, altered the dendritic spine’s intracellular signal, and reduced brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels. Using Caenorhabditis elegans models, QA induced dopaminergic and glutamatergic neuron lesions. Importantly, the gut microbiota metabolite butyrate was able to counteract those alterations, including cognitive impairment, neuronal spine loss, and BDNF reduction in both in vivo and in vitro studies. Finally, we show that butyrate prevented QA-induced BDNF reductions by epigenetic enhancement of H3K18ac at BDNF promoters. These findings suggest that increased QA is associated with cognitive decline in obesity and that butyrate alleviates neurodegeneration.
Xing Ge, Mingxuan Zheng, Minmin Hu, Xiaoli Fang, Deqin Geng, Sha Liu, Li Wang, Jun Zhang, Li Guan, Peng Zheng, Yuanyi Xie, Wei Pan, Menglu Zhou, Limian Zhou, Renxian Tang, Kuiyang Zheng, Yinghua Yu, Xu-Feng Huang
Glucose homeostasis can be improved after bariatric surgery that alters bile flow and stimulate gut hormone secretion, in particular FGF15/19. FGFR1 expression in AGRP expressing cells is required for bile acids's ability to improve glucose control. We show that the mouse Agrp gene has 3 promoter/enhancer regions that direct transcription of each of their own AGRP transcripts. One of these Agrp promoters/enhancers, Agrp B, is regulated by bile acids. We generated an Agrp B knock-in FLP/knockout allele. AGRP B expressing cells are found in endocrine cells the pars tuberalis (PT) and co-expressDAGLB (an endocannabinoid biosynthetic enzyme), distinct from PT thyrotropes. AGRP B expression is also found in the folliculostellate cells of the pituitary's anterior lobe. Mice without AGRP B are protected from high fat feeding induced glucose intolerance but not excess weight gain. Chemogenetic inhibition of AGRP B cells improves glucose tolerance by enhancing glucose stimulated insulin secretion. Inhibition of the AGRP B cells also caused weight loss. The improved glucose tolerance and reduced body weight persisted up to 6 weeks after cessation of the DREADD mediated inhibition, suggesting the presence of a biological switch for glucose homeostasis that is regulated by long term stability of food availability.
Shun-Mei Liu, Bruno Ifebi, Fred Johnson III, Alison Xu, Jacquelin Ho, Yunlei Yang, Gary J. Schwartz, Young-Hwan Jo, Streamson Chua
The non-essential amino acid asparagine can only be synthesized de novo by the enzymatic activity of asparagine synthetase (ASNS). While ASNS and asparagine have been implicated in the response to numerous metabolic stressors in cultured cells, the in vivo relevance of this enzyme in stress-related pathways remains unexplored. Here, we found ASNS to be expressed in pericentral hepatocytes, a population of hepatic cells specialized in xenobiotic detoxification. ASNS expression was strongly enhanced in two models of acute liver injury: carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) and acetaminophen (APAP). We found that mice with hepatocyte-specific Asns deletion (Asnshep-/-) were more prone to pericentral liver damage than their control (Asnshep+/+) littermates after toxin exposure. This phenotype could be reverted by intravenous administration of asparagine. Unexpectedly, the stress-induced upregulation of ASNS involved an ATF4-independent, non-canonical pathway mediated by the nuclear receptor, liver receptor homolog 1 (LRH-1; NR5A2). Altogether, our data indicate that the induction of the asparagine-producing enzyme ASNS acts as an adaptive mechanism to constrain the necrotic wave that follows toxin administration and provide proof of concept that intravenous delivery of asparagine can dampen hepatotoxin-induced pericentral hepatocellular death.
Yu Sun, Hadrien Demagny, Adrien Faure, Francesca Pontanari, Antoine Jalil, Nadia Bresciani, Ece Yildiz, Melanie Korbelius, Alessia Perino, Kristina Schoonjans
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is caused by insufficient insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells. To identify candidates contributing to T2D pathophysiology, we studied human pancreatic islets from ~300 individuals. We found 395 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in islets from individuals with T2D, including, to our knowledge, novel (OPRD1, PAX5, TET1) and previously identified (CHL1, GLRA1, IAPP) candidates. A third of the identified islet expression changes may predispose to diabetes, as they associated with HbA1c in individuals not previously diagnosed with T2D. Most DEGs were expressed in human β-cells based on single-cell RNA-sequencing data. Additionally, DEGs displayed alterations in open chromatin and associated with T2D-SNPs. Mouse knock-out strains demonstrated that T2D-associated candidates regulate glucose homeostasis and body composition in vivo. Functional validation showed that mimicking T2D-associated changes for OPRD1, PAX5, and SLC2A2 impaired insulin secretion. Impairments in Pax5-overexpressing β-cells were due to severe mitochondrial dysfunction. Finally, we discovered PAX5 as a potential transcriptional regulator of many T2D-associated DEGs in human islets. Overall, we identified molecular alterations in human pancreatic islets contributing to β-cell dysfunction in T2D pathophysiology.
Karl Bacos, Alexander Perfilyev, Alexandros Karagiannopoulos, Elaine Cowan, Jones K. Ofori, Ludivine Bertonnier-Brouty, Tina Rönn, Andreas Lindqvist, Cheng Luan, Sabrina Ruhrmann, Mtakai Ngara, Åsa Nilsson, Sevda Gheibi, Claire L. Lyons, Jens O. Lagerstedt, Mohammad Barghouth, Jonathan L.S. Esguerra, Petr Volkov, Malin Fex, Hindrik Mulder, Nils Wierup, Ulrika Krus, Isabella Artner, Lena Eliasson, Rashmi B. Prasad, Luis Rodrigo Cataldo, Charlotte Ling
The molecular mechanisms of sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors (SGLT2i) remain incompletely understood. Single-cell RNA sequencing and morphometric data were collected from research kidney biopsies donated by young persons with type 2 diabetes (T2D), aged 12-21 years, and healthy controls (HC). Participants with T2D were obese, had higher estimated glomerular filtration rates, mesangial and glomerular volumes than HC. Ten T2D participants had been prescribed SGLT2i (T2Di(+)) and 6 not (T2Di(-)). Transcriptional profiles showed SGLT2 expression exclusively in the proximal tubular (PT) cluster with highest expression in T2Di(-). However, transcriptional alterations with SGLT2i treatment were seen across nephron segments, particularly in the distal nephron. SGLT2i treatment was associated with suppression of transcripts in the glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, tricarboxylic acid cycle pathways in PT, but enhanced in thick ascending limb. Transcripts in the energy sensitive mammalian target of rapamycin complex1 (mTORC1) signaling pathway returned towards HC levels in all tubular segments in T2Di(+), consistent with a diabetes mouse model treated with SGLT2i. Decreased levels of phosphorylated S6 protein in proximal and distal tubules in T2Di(+) confirmed changes in mTORC1 pathway activity. We propose that SGLT2i treatment benefits the kidneys by mitigating diabetes-induced metabolic perturbations via suppression of mTORC1 signaling in kidney tubules.
Jennifer A. Schaub, Fadhl M. AlAkwaa, Phillip J. McCown, Abhijit S. Naik, Viji Nair, Sean Eddy, Rajasree Menon, Edgar A. Otto, Dawit Demeke, John Hartman, Damian Fermin, Christopher O'Connor, Lalita Subramanian, Markus Bitzer, Roger Harned, Patricia Ladd, Laura Pyle, Subramaniam Pennathur, Ken Inoki, Jeffrey B. Hodgin, Frank C. Brosius, Robert G. Nelson, Matthias Kretzler, Petter Bjornstad
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is a polygenic disorder with few risk variants showing robust replication in large-scale genome-wide association studies. To understand the role of DNA methylation, it is important to have the prevailing genomic view to distinguish key sequence elements that influence gene expression. This is particularly challenging for DN because genome wide methylation patterns are poorly defined. While methylation is known to alter gene expression the importance of this causal relationship is obscured by array-based technologies since coverage outside promoter regions is low. To overcome these challenges, we performed methylation sequencing using leukocytes derived from participants of the Finnish Diabetic Nephropathy (FinnDiane) type 1 diabetes (T1D) study (n=39) that was subsequently replicated in a larger validation cohort (n=296). Gene body related regions made up >60% of the methylation differences and emphasised the importance of methylation sequencing. We observe differentially methylated genes associated with DN (DDN) in three independent T1D registries originating from Denmark (n=445), Hong Kong (n=107) and Thailand (n=130). Reduced DNA methylation at CTCF and Pol2B sites were tightly connected with DN pathways that include insulin signalling, lipid metabolism and fibrosis. To define the pathophysiological significance of these population findings, methylation indices were assessed in human renal cells such as podocytes and proximal convoluted tubules. The expression of core genes was associated with reduced methylation, elevated CTCF and Pol2B binding and the activation of insulin signalling phosphoproteins in hyperglycaemic cells. These experimental observations also closely parallel methylation-mediated regulation in human macrophage and vascular endothelial cells.
Ishant Khurana, Harikrishnan Kaipananickal, Scott Maxwell, Sørine Birkelund, Anna Syreeni, Carol Forsblom, Jun Okabe, Mark Ziemann, Antony Kaspi, Haloom Rafehi, Anne Jørgensen, Keith Al-Hasani, Merlin C. Thomas, Guozhi Jiang, Andrea O.Y. Luk, Heung Man Lee, Yu Huang, Yotsapon Thewjitcharoen, Soontaree Nakasatien, Thep Himathongkam, Christopher Fogarty, Rachel Njeim, Assaad Eid, Tine Willum Hansen, Nete Tofte, Evy Connie Ottesen, Ronald C.W. Ma, Juliana C.N. Chan, Mark Emmanuel Cooper, Peter Rossing, Per-Henrik Groop, Assam El-Osta
Insulin and IGF-1 receptors (IR/IGF1R) are highly homologous and share similar signaling systems, but each has a unique physiological role, with IR primarily regulating metabolic homeostasis and IGF1R regulating mitogenic control and growth. Here, we showed that replacement of a single amino acid at position 973, just distal to the NPEY motif in the intracellular juxtamembrane region, from leucine, which is highly-conserved in IRs, to phenylalanine, the highly-conserved homologous residue in IGF1Rs, resulted in decreased IRS-1-PI3K-Akt-mTORC1 signaling and increased of Shc-Gab1-MAPK-cell cycle signaling. As a result, cells expressing L973F-IR exhibited decreased insulin-induced glucose uptake, increased cell growth and impaired receptor internalization. Mice with knockin of the L973F-IR showed similar alterations in signaling in vivo, and this leaded to decreased insulin sensitivity, a modest increase in growth and decreased weight gain when challenged with high-fat diet. Thus, leucine973 in the juxtamembrane region of the IR acts as a crucial residue differentiating IR signaling from IGF1R signaling.
Hirofumi Nagao, Weikang Cai, Bruna Brasil Brandão, Nicolai J. Wewer Albrechtsen, Martin Steger, Arijeet K. Gattu, Hui Pan, Jonathan M. Dreyfuss, F. Thomas Wunderlich, Matthias Mann, C. Ronald Kahn
Leptin exerts its biological actions by activating LepRb. LepRb signaling impairment and leptin resistance are believed to cause obesity. Transcription factor Slug (also known as Snai2) recruits epigenetic modifiers and regulates gene expression by an epigenetic mechanism; however, its epigenetic action has not been explored in leptin resistance. Here, we uncover a pro-obesity function of neuronal Slug. Hypothalamic Slug was upregulated in obese mice. LepRb cell-specific Slug knockout (SlugΔLepRb) mice were resistant to diet-induced obesity, type 2 diabetes, and liver steatosis, accompanied by decreased food intake and increased fat thermogenesis. Leptin stimulated hypothalamic Stat3 phosphorylation and weight loss to a significantly higher level in SlugΔLepRb than in Slugf/f mice even before their body weight divergence. Conversely, hypothalamic LepRb neuron-specific overexpression of Slug, mediated by AAV-DIO-Slug transduction, induced leptin resistance, obesity, and metabolic disorders in mice on a chow diet. At the genomic level, Slug bound to and repressed the LepRb promoter, thereby inhibiting LepRb transcription. Consistently, Slug deficiency decreased LepRb promoter histone 3 lysine-27 methylations, repressive epigenetic marks, and increased LepRb mRNA levels in the hypothalamus. Collectively, these results unravel a previously-unrecognized hypothalamic neuronal Slug/epigenetic reprogramming/leptin resistance axis that promotes energy imbalance, obesity, and metabolic disease.
Min-Hyun Kim, Yuan Li, Qiantao Zheng, Lin Jiang, Martin G. Myers, Wen-Shu Wu, Liangyou Rui