Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) is strikingly upregulated in many types of cancer, and there is great interest in applying inhibitors of HIF as anticancer therapeutics. The most advanced of these are small molecules that target the HIF-2 isoform through binding the PAS-B domain of HIF-2α. These molecules are undergoing clinical trials with promising results in renal and other cancers where HIF-2 is considered to be driving growth. Nevertheless, a central question remains as to whether such inhibitors affect physiological responses to hypoxia at relevant doses. Here, we show that pharmacological HIF-2α inhibition with PT2385, at doses similar to those reported to inhibit tumor growth, rapidly impaired ventilatory responses to hypoxia, abrogating both ventilatory acclimatization and carotid body cell proliferative responses to sustained hypoxia. Mice carrying a HIF-2α PAS-B S305M mutation that disrupts PT2385 binding, but not dimerization with HIF-1β, did not respond to PT2385, indicating that these effects are on-target. Furthermore, the finding of a hypomorphic ventilatory phenotype in untreated HIF-2α S305M mutant mice suggests a function for the HIF-2α PAS-B domain beyond heterodimerization with HIF-1β. Although PT2385 was well tolerated, the findings indicate the need for caution in patients who are dependent on hypoxic ventilatory drive.
Xiaotong Cheng, Maria Prange-Barczynska, James W. Fielding, Minghao Zhang, Alana L. Burrell, Joanna D.C.C. Lima, Luise Eckardt, Isobel L.A. Argles, Christopher W. Pugh, Keith J. Buckler, Peter A. Robbins, Emma J. Hodson, Richard K. Bruick, Lucy M. Collinson, Fraydoon Rastinejad, Tammie Bishop, Peter J. Ratcliffe
Lipid-rich myelin forms electrically insulating, axon-wrapping multilayers that are essential for neural function, and mature myelin is traditionally considered metabolically inert. Surprisingly, we discovered that mature myelin lipids undergo rapid turnover, and quaking (Qki) is a major regulator of myelin lipid homeostasis. Oligodendrocyte-specific Qki depletion, without affecting oligodendrocyte survival, resulted in rapid demyelination, within 1 week, and gradually neurological deficits in adult mice. Myelin lipids, especially the monounsaturated fatty acids and very-long-chain fatty acids, were dramatically reduced by Qki depletion, whereas the major myelin proteins remained intact, and the demyelinating phenotypes of Qki-depleted mice were alleviated by a high-fat diet. Mechanistically, Qki serves as a coactivator of the PPARβ-RXRα complex, which controls the transcription of lipid-metabolism genes, particularly those involved in fatty acid desaturation and elongation. Treatment of Qki-depleted mice with PPARβ/RXR agonists significantly alleviated neurological disability and extended survival durations. Furthermore, a subset of lesions from patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis were characterized by preferential reductions in myelin lipid contents, activities of various lipid metabolism pathways, and expression level of QKI-5 in human oligodendrocytes. Together, our results demonstrate that continuous lipid synthesis is indispensable for mature myelin maintenance and highlight an underappreciated role of lipid metabolism in demyelinating diseases.
Xin Zhou, Chenxi He, Jiangong Ren, Congxin Dai, Sharon R. Stevens, Qianghu Wang, Daniel Zamler, Takashi Shingu, Liang Yuan, Chythra R. Chandregowda, Yunfei Wang, Visweswaran Ravikumar, Arvind U.K. Rao, Feng Zhou, Hongwu Zheng, Matthew N. Rasband, Yiwen Chen, Fei Lan, Amy B. Heimberger, Benjamin M. Segal, Jian Hu
Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) affects at least 10% of newborns globally and leads to the development of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). Despite its high incidence, there is no consensus on the implications of PAE on metabolic disease risk in adults. Here, we describe a cohort of adults with FASDs that had an increased incidence of metabolic abnormalities, including type 2 diabetes, low HDL, high triglycerides, and female-specific overweight and obesity. Using a zebrafish model for PAE, we performed population studies to elucidate the metabolic disease seen in the clinical cohort. Embryonic alcohol exposure (EAE) in male zebrafish increased the propensity for diet-induced obesity and fasting hyperglycemia in adulthood. We identified several consequences of EAE that may contribute to these phenotypes, including a reduction in adult locomotor activity, alterations in visceral adipose tissue and hepatic development, and persistent diet-responsive transcriptional changes. Taken together, our findings define metabolic vulnerabilities due to EAE and provide evidence that behavioral changes and primary organ dysfunction contribute to resultant metabolic abnormalities.
Olivia Weeks, Gabriel D. Bossé, Isaac M. Oderberg, Sebastian Akle, Yariv Houvras, Paul J. Wrighton, Kyle LaBella, Isabelle Iversen, Sahar Tavakoli, Isaac Adatto, Arkadi Schwartz, Daan Kloosterman, Allison Tsomides, Michael E. Charness, Randall T. Peterson, Matthew L. Steinhauser, Pouneh K. Fazeli, Wolfram Goessling
Although Western diet and dysbiosis are the most prominent environmental factors associated with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), the corresponding host factors and cellular mechanisms remain poorly defined. Here we report that the TSC1/mTOR pathway in the gut epithelium represents a metabolic and innate immune checkpoint for intestinal dysfunction and inflammation. mTOR hyperactivation triggered by Western diet or Tsc1 ablation led to epithelium necroptosis, barrier disruption, and predisposition to dextran sulfate sodium–induced colitis and inflammation-associated colon cancer. Mechanistically, our results uncovered a critical role for TSC1/mTOR in restraining the expression and activation of RIPK3 in the gut epithelium through TRIM11-mediated ubiquitination and autophagy-dependent degradation. Notably, microbiota depletion by antibiotics or gnotobiotics attenuated RIPK3 expression and activation, thereby alleviating epithelial necroptosis and colitis driven by mTOR hyperactivation. mTOR primarily impinged on RIPK3 to potentiate necroptosis induced by TNF and by microbial pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), and hyperactive mTOR and aberrant necroptosis were intertwined in human IBDs. Together, our data reveal a previously unsuspected link between the Western diet, microbiota, and necroptosis and identify the mTOR/RIPK3/necroptosis axis as a driving force for intestinal inflammation and cancer.
Yadong Xie, Yifan Zhao, Lei Shi, Wei Li, Kun Chen, Min Li, Xia Chen, Haiwei Zhang, Tiantian Li, Yu Matsuzawa-Ishimoto, Xiaomin Yao, Dianhui Shao, Zunfu Ke, Jian Li, Yan Chen, Xiaoming Zhang, Jun Cui, Shuzhong Cui, Qibin Leng, Ken Cadwell, Xiaoxia Li, Hong Wei, Haibing Zhang, Huabin Li, Hui Xiao
Despite the effective clinical use of steroids for the treatment of Diamond Blackfan anemia (DBA), the mechanisms through which glucocorticoids regulate human erythropoiesis remain poorly understood. We report that the sensitivity of erythroid differentiation to dexamethasone is dependent on the developmental origin of human CD34+ progenitor cells, specifically increasing the expansion of CD34+ progenitors from peripheral blood (PB) but not cord blood (CB). Dexamethasone treatment of erythroid-differentiated PB, but not CB, CD34+ progenitors resulted in the expansion of a newly defined CD34+CD36+CD71hiCD105med immature colony-forming unit–erythroid (CFU-E) population. Furthermore, proteomics analyses revealed the induction of distinct proteins in dexamethasone-treated PB and CB erythroid progenitors. Dexamethasone treatment of PB progenitors resulted in the specific upregulation of p57Kip2, a Cip/Kip cyclin–dependent kinase inhibitor, and we identified this induction as critical; shRNA-mediated downregulation of p57Kip2, but not the related p27Kip1, significantly attenuated the impact of dexamethasone on erythroid differentiation and inhibited the expansion of the immature CFU-E subset. Notably, in the context of DBA, we found that steroid resistance was associated with dysregulated p57Kip2 expression. Altogether, these data identify a unique glucocorticoid-responsive human erythroid progenitor and provide new insights into glucocorticoid-based therapeutic strategies for the treatment of patients with DBA.
Ryan J. Ashley, Hongxia Yan, Nan Wang, John Hale, Brian M. Dulmovits, Julien Papoin, Meagan E. Olive, Namrata D. Udeshi, Steven A. Carr, Adrianna Vlachos, Jeffrey M. Lipton, Lydie Da Costa, Christopher Hillyer, Sandrina Kinet, Naomi Naomi Taylor, Narla Mohandas, Anupama Narla, Lionel Blanc
Cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease is characterized by an inflammatory response that can lead to terminal respiratory failure. The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is mutated in CF, and we hypothesized that dysfunctional CFTR in platelets, which are key participants in immune responses, is a central determinant of CF inflammation. We found that deletion of CFTR in platelets produced exaggerated acute lung inflammation and platelet activation after intratracheal LPS or Pseudomonas aeruginosa challenge. CFTR loss of function in mouse or human platelets resulted in agonist-induced hyperactivation and increased calcium entry into platelets. Inhibition of the transient receptor potential cation channel 6 (TRPC6) reduced platelet activation and calcium flux, and reduced lung injury in CF mice after intratracheal LPS or Pseudomonas aeruginosa challenge. CF subjects receiving CFTR modulator therapy showed partial restoration of CFTR function in platelets, which may be a convenient approach to monitoring biological responses to CFTR modulators. We conclude that CFTR dysfunction in platelets produces aberrant TRPC6-dependent platelet activation, which is a major driver of CF lung inflammation and impaired bacterial clearance. Platelets and TRPC6 are what we believe to be novel therapeutic targets in the treatment of CF lung disease.
Guadalupe Ortiz-Muñoz, Michelle A. Yu, Emma Lefrançais, Beñat Mallavia, Colin Valet, Jennifer J. Tian, Serena Ranucci, Kristin M. Wang, Zhe Liu, Nicholas Kwaan, Diana Dawson, Mary Ellen Kleinhenz, Fadi T. Khasawneh, Peter M. Haggie, Alan S. Verkman, Mark R. Looney
After trauma, regeneration of adult CNS axons is abortive, causing devastating neurologic deficits. Despite progress in rehabilitative care, there is no effective treatment that stimulates axonal growth following injury. Using models with different regenerative capacities, followed by gain- and loss-of-function analysis, we identified profilin 1 (Pfn1) as a coordinator of actin and microtubules (MTs), powering axonal growth and regeneration. In growth cones, Pfn1 increased actin retrograde flow, MT growth speed, and invasion of filopodia by MTs, orchestrating cytoskeletal dynamics toward axonal growth. In vitro, active Pfn1 promoted MT growth in a formin-dependent manner, whereas localization of MTs to growth cone filopodia was facilitated by direct MT binding and interaction with formins. In vivo, Pfn1 ablation limited regeneration of growth-competent axons after sciatic nerve and spinal cord injury. Adeno-associated viral (AAV) delivery of constitutively active Pfn1 to rodents promoted axonal regeneration, neuromuscular junction maturation, and functional recovery of injured sciatic nerves, and increased the ability of regenerating axons to penetrate the inhibitory spinal cord glial scar. Thus, we identify Pfn1 as an important regulator of axonal regeneration and suggest that AAV-mediated delivery of constitutively active Pfn1, together with the identification of modulators of Pfn1 activity, should be considered to treat the injured nervous system.
Rita Pinto-Costa, Sara C. Sousa, Sérgio C. Leite, Joana Nogueira-Rodrigues, Tiago Ferreira da Silva, Diana Machado, Joana Marques, Ana Catarina Costa, Márcia A. Liz, Francesca Bartolini, Pedro Brites, Mercedes Costell, Reinhard Fässler, Mónica M. Sousa
Macrophages have been linked to tumor initiation, progression, metastasis, and treatment resistance. However, the transcriptional regulation of macrophages driving the protumor function remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that the transcription factor c-Maf is a critical controller for immunosuppressive macrophage polarization and function in cancer. c-Maf controls many M2-related genes and has direct binding sites within a conserved noncoding sequence of the Csf-1r gene and promotes M2-like macrophage–mediated T cell suppression and tumor progression. c-Maf also serves as a metabolic checkpoint regulating the TCA cycle and UDP-GlcNAc biosynthesis, thus promoting M2-like macrophage polarization and activation. Additionally, c-Maf is highly expressed in tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and regulates TAM immunosuppressive function. Deletion of c-Maf specifically in myeloid cells results in reduced tumor burden with enhanced antitumor T cell immunity. Inhibition of c-Maf partly overcomes resistance to anti–PD-1 therapy in a subcutaneous LLC tumor model. Similarly, c-Maf is expressed in human M2 and tumor-infiltrating macrophages/monocytes as well as circulating monocytes of human non–small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) patients and critically regulates their immunosuppressive activity. The natural compound β-glucan downregulates c-Maf expression on macrophages, leading to enhanced antitumor immunity in mice. These findings establish a paradigm for immunosuppressive macrophage polarization and transcriptional regulation by c-Maf and suggest that c-Maf is a potential target for effective tumor immunotherapy.
Min Liu, Zan Tong, Chuanlin Ding, Fengling Luo, Shouzhen Wu, Caijun Wu, Sabrin Albeituni, Liqing He, Xiaoling Hu, David Tieri, Eric C. Rouchka, Michito Hamada, Satoru Takahashi, Andrew A. Gibb, Goetz Kloecker, Huang-ge Zhang, Michael Bousamra II, Bradford G. Hill, Xiang Zhang, Jun Yan
Severe alcoholic hepatitis (SAH) is a deadly liver disease without an effective medical therapy. Although SAH mortality is known to correlate with hepatic accumulation of immature liver cells, why this occurs and how it causes death are unclear. Here, we demonstrate that expression of epithelial splicing regulatory protein 2 (ESRP2), an RNA-splicing factor that maintains the nonproliferative, mature phenotype of adult hepatocytes, was suppressed in both human SAH and various mouse models of SAH in parallel with the severity of alcohol consumption and liver damage. Inflammatory cytokines released by excessive alcohol ingestion reprogrammed adult hepatocytes into proliferative, fetal-like cells by suppressing ESRP2. Sustained loss of ESRP2 permitted reemergence of a fetal RNA-splicing program that attenuates the Hippo signaling pathway and thus allows fetal transcriptional regulators to accumulate in adult liver. We further showed that depleting ESRP2 in mice exacerbated alcohol-induced steatohepatitis, enabling surviving hepatocytes to shed adult hepatocyte functions and become more regenerative, but threatening overall survival by populating the liver with functionally immature hepatocytes. Our findings revealed a mechanism that explains why liver failure develops in patients with the clinical syndrome of SAH, suggesting that recovery from SAH might be improved by limiting adult-to-fetal reprogramming in hepatocytes.
Jeongeun Hyun, Zhaoli Sun, Ali Reza Ahmadi, Sushant Bangru, Ullas V. Chembazhi, Kuo Du, Tianyi Chen, Hidekazu Tsukamoto, Ivan Rusyn, Auinash Kalsotra, Anna Mae Diehl
Inherited retinal degenerations (IRDs) are characterized by the progressive loss of photoreceptors and represent one of the most prevalent causes of blindness among working-age populations. Cyclic nucleotide dysregulation is a common pathological feature linked to numerous forms of IRD, yet the precise mechanisms through which this contributes to photoreceptor death remain elusive. Here we demonstrate that cAMP induced upregulation of the dependence receptor neogenin in the retina. Neogenin levels were also elevated in both human and murine degenerating photoreceptors. We found that overexpressing neogenin in mouse photoreceptors was sufficient to induce cell death, whereas silencing neogenin in degenerating murine photoreceptors promoted survival, thus identifying a pro-death signal in IRDs. A possible treatment strategy is modeled whereby peptide neutralization of neogenin in Rd1, Rd10, and Rho P23H–knockin mice promotes rod and cone survival and rescues visual function as measured by light-evoked retinal ganglion cell recordings, scotopic/photopic electroretinogram recordings, and visual acuity tests. These results expose neogenin as a critical link between cAMP and photoreceptor death, and identify a druggable target for the treatment of retinal degeneration.
Jason Charish, Alireza P. Shabanzadeh, Danian Chen, Patrick Mehlen, Santhosh Sethuramanujam, Hidekiyo Harada, Vera L. Bonilha, Gautam Awatramani, Rod Bremner, Philippe P. Monnier
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