Pulmonary surfactant is a lipoprotein complex lining the alveolar surface to decrease the surface tension and facilitate inspiration. Surfactant deficiency is often seen in premature infants and in children and adults with respiratory distress syndrome. Mechanical stretch of alveolar type 2 epithelial (AT2) cells during lung expansion is the primary physiological factor that stimulates surfactant secretion; however, it is unclear whether there is a mechanosensor dedicated to this process. Here, we show that loss of the mechanosensitive channels TMEM63A and TMEM63B (TMEM63A/B) resulted in atelectasis and respiratory failure in mice due to a deficit of surfactant secretion. TMEM63A/B were predominantly localized at the limiting membrane of the lamellar body (LB), a lysosome-related organelle that stores pulmonary surfactant and ATP in AT2 cells. Activation of TMEM63A/B channels during cell stretch facilitated the release of surfactant and ATP from LBs fused with the plasma membrane. The released ATP evoked Ca2+ signaling in AT2 cells and potentiated exocytic fusion of more LBs. Our study uncovered a vital physiological function of TMEM63 mechanosensitive channels in preparing the lungs for the first breath at birth and maintaining respiration throughout life.
Gui-Lan Chen, Jing-Yi Li, Xin Chen, Jia-Wei Liu, Qian Zhang, Jie-Yu Liu, Jing Wen, Na Wang, Ming Lei, Jun-Peng Wei, Li Yi, Jia-Jia Li, Yu-Peng Ling, He-Qiang Yi, Zhenying Hu, Jingjing Duan, Jin Zhang, Bo Zeng
The ability to fight or flee from a threat relies on an acute adrenergic surge that augments cardiac output, which is dependent on increased cardiac contractility and heart rate. This cardiac response depends on β-adrenergic–initiated reversal of the small RGK G protein Rad–mediated inhibition of voltage-gated calcium channels (CaV) acting through the Cavβ subunit. Here, we investigate how Rad couples phosphorylation to augmented Ca2+ influx and increased cardiac contraction. We show that reversal required phosphorylation of Ser272 and Ser300 within Rad’s polybasic, hydrophobic C-terminal domain (CTD). Phosphorylation of Ser25 and Ser38 in Rad’s N-terminal domain (NTD) alone was ineffective. Phosphorylation of Ser272 and Ser300 or the addition of 4 Asp residues to the CTD reduced Rad’s association with the negatively charged, cytoplasmic plasmalemmal surface and with CaVβ, even in the absence of CaVα, measured here by FRET. Addition of a posttranslationally prenylated CAAX motif to Rad’s C-terminus, which constitutively tethers Rad to the membrane, prevented the physiological and biochemical effects of both phosphorylation and Asp substitution. Thus, dissociation of Rad from the sarcolemma, and consequently from CaVβ, is sufficient for sympathetic upregulation of Ca2+ currents.
Arianne Papa, Pedro J. del Rivero Morfin, Bi-Xing Chen, Lin Yang, Alexander N. Katchman, Sergey I. Zakharov, Guoxia Liu, Michael S. Bohnen, Vivian Zheng, Moshe Katz, Suraj Subramaniam, Joel A. Hirsch, Sharon Weiss, Nathan Dascal, Arthur Karlin, Geoffrey S. Pitt, Henry M. Colecraft, Manu Ben-Johny, Steven O. Marx
Early-life seizures (ELSs) can cause permanent cognitive deficits and network hyperexcitability, but it is unclear whether ELSs induce persistent changes in specific neuronal populations and whether these changes can be targeted to mitigate network dysfunction. We used the targeted recombination of activated populations (TRAP) approach to genetically label neurons activated by kainate-induced ELSs in immature mice. The ELS-TRAPed neurons were mainly found in hippocampal CA1, remained uniquely susceptible to reactivation by later-life seizures, and displayed sustained enhancement in α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor–mediated (AMPAR-mediated) excitatory synaptic transmission and inward rectification. ELS-TRAPed neurons, but not non-TRAPed surrounding neurons, exhibited enduring decreases in Gria2 mRNA, responsible for encoding the GluA2 subunit of the AMPARs. This was paralleled by decreased synaptic GluA2 protein expression and heightened phosphorylated GluA2 at Ser880 in dendrites, indicative of GluA2 internalization. Consistent with increased GluA2-lacking AMPARs, ELS-TRAPed neurons showed premature silent synapse depletion, impaired long-term potentiation, and impaired long-term depression. In vivo postseizure treatment with IEM-1460, an inhibitor of GluA2-lacking AMPARs, markedly mitigated ELS-induced changes in TRAPed neurons. These findings show that enduring modifications of AMPARs occur in a subpopulation of ELS-activated neurons, contributing to synaptic dysplasticity and network hyperexcitability, but are reversible with early IEM-1460 intervention.
Bo Xing, Aaron J. Barbour, Joseph Vithayathil, Xiaofan Li, Sierra Dutko, Jessica Fawcett-Patel, Eunjoo Lancaster, Delia M. Talos, Frances E. Jensen
Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), a web-like structure of cytosolic and granule proteins assembled on decondensed chromatin, kill pathogens and cause tissue damage in diseases. Whether NETs can kill cancer cells is unexplored. Here, we report that a combination of glutaminase inhibitor CB-839 and 5-FU inhibited the growth of PIK3CA-mutant colorectal cancers (CRCs) in xenograft, syngeneic, and genetically engineered mouse models in part through NETs. Disruption of NETs by either DNase I treatment or depletion of neutrophils in CRCs attenuated the efficacy of the drug combination. Moreover, NETs were present in tumor biopsies from patients treated with the drug combination in a phase II clinical trial. Increased NET levels in tumors were associated with longer progression-free survival. Mechanistically, the drug combination induced the expression of IL-8 preferentially in PIK3CA-mutant CRCs to attract neutrophils into the tumors. Further, the drug combination increased the levels of ROS in neutrophils, thereby inducing NETs. Cathepsin G (CTSG), a serine protease localized in NETs, entered CRC cells through the RAGE cell surface protein. The internalized CTSG cleaved 14-3-3 proteins, released BAX, and triggered apoptosis in CRC cells. Thus, our studies illuminate a previously unrecognized mechanism by which chemotherapy-induced NETs kill cancer cells.
Yamu Li, Sulin Wu, Yiqing Zhao, Trang Dinh, Dongxu Jiang, J. Eva Selfridge, George Myers, Yuxiang Wang, Xuan Zhao, Suzanne Tomchuck, George Dubyak, Richard T. Lee, Bassam Estfan, Marc Shapiro, Suneel Kamath, Amr Mohamed, Stanley Ching-Cheng Huang, Alex Y. Huang, Ronald Conlon, Smitha Krishnamurthi, Jennifer Eads, Joseph E. Willis, Alok A. Khorana, David Bajor, Zhenghe Wang
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disease caused by a polyglutamine expansion in the ataxin-3 (ATXN3) gene. No effective treatment is available for this disorder, other than symptom-directed approaches. Bile acids have shown therapeutic efficacy in neurodegenerative disease models. Here, we pinpointed tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) as an efficient therapeutic, improving the motor and neuropathological phenotype of SCA3 nematode and mouse models. Surprisingly, transcriptomic and functional in vivo data showed that TUDCA acts in neuronal tissue through the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), but independently of its canonical receptor, the farnesoid X receptor (FXR). TUDCA was predicted to bind to the GR, in a similar fashion to corticosteroid molecules. GR levels were decreased in disease-affected brain regions, likely due to increased protein degradation as a consequence of ATXN3 dysfunction being restored by TUDCA treatment. Analysis of a SCA3 clinical cohort showed intriguing correlations between the peripheral expression of GR and the predicted age at disease onset in presymptomatic subjects and FKBP5 expression with disease progression, suggesting this pathway as a potential source of biomarkers for future study. We have established a novel in vivo mechanism for the neuroprotective effects of TUDCA in SCA3 and propose this readily available drug for clinical trials in SCA3 patients.
Sara Duarte-Silva, Jorge Diogo Da Silva, Daniela Monteiro-Fernandes, Marta Daniela Costa, Andreia Neves-Carvalho, Mafalda Raposo, Carina Soares-Cunha, Joana S. Correia, Gonçalo Nogueira-Goncalves, Henrique S. Fernandes, Stephanie Oliveira, Ana Rita Ferreira-Fernandes, Fernando Rodrigues, Joana Pereira-Sousa, Daniela Vilasboas-Campos, Sara Guerreiro, Jonas Campos, Liliana Meireles-Costa, Cecilia M.P. Rodrigues, Stephanie Cabantous, Sergio F. Sousa, Manuela Lima, Andreia Teixeira-Castro, Patricia Maciel
Patients with chronic inflammatory disorders such as psoriasis have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and elevated levels of LL37, a cathelicidin host defense peptide that has both antimicrobial and proinflammatory properties. To explore whether LL37 could contribute to the risk of heart disease, we examined its effects on lipoprotein metabolism and show that LL37 enhanced LDL uptake in macrophages through the LDL receptor (LDLR), scavenger receptor class B member 1 (SR-B1), and CD36. This interaction led to increased cytosolic cholesterol in macrophages and changes in expression of lipid metabolism genes consistent with increased cholesterol uptake. Structure-function analysis and synchrotron small-angle x-ray scattering showed structural determinants of the LL37-LDL complex that underlie its ability to bind its receptors and promote uptake. This function of LDL uptake is unique to cathelicidins from humans and some primates and was not observed with cathelicidins from mice or rabbits. Notably, Apoe–/– mice expressing LL37 developed larger atheroma plaques than did control mice, and a positive correlation between plasma LL37 and oxidized phospholipid on apolipoprotein B (OxPL-apoB) levels was observed in individuals with cardiovascular disease. These findings provide evidence that LDL uptake can be increased via interaction with LL37 and may explain the increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with chronic inflammatory disorders.
Yoshiyuki Nakamura, Nikhil N. Kulkarni, Toshiya Takahashi, Haleh Alimohamadi, Tatsuya Dokoshi, Edward Liu, Michael Shia, Tomofumi Numata, Elizabeth W.C. Luo, Adrian F. Gombart, Xiaohong Yang, Patrick Secrest, Philip L.S.M. Gordts, Sotirios Tsimikas, Gerard C.L. Wong, Richard L. Gallo
Metastasized colorectal cancer (CRC) is associated with a poor prognosis and rapid disease progression. Besides hepatic metastasis, peritoneal carcinomatosis is the major cause of death in Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) stage IV CRC patients. Insights into differential site-specific reconstitution of tumor cells and the corresponding tumor microenvironment are still missing. Here, we analyzed the transcriptome of single cells derived from murine multivisceral CRC and delineated the intermetastatic cellular heterogeneity regarding tumor epithelium, stroma, and immune cells. Interestingly, we found an intercellular site-specific network of cancer-associated fibroblasts and tumor epithelium during peritoneal metastasis as well as an autologous feed-forward loop in cancer stem cells. We furthermore deciphered a metastatic dysfunctional adaptive immunity by a loss of B cell–dependent antigen presentation and consecutive effector T cell exhaustion. Furthermore, we demonstrated major similarities of this murine metastatic CRC model with human disease and — based on the results of our analysis — provided an auspicious site-specific immunomodulatory treatment approach for stage IV CRC by intraperitoneal checkpoint inhibition.
Christopher Berlin, Bernhard Mauerer, Pierre Cauchy, Jost Luenstedt, Roman Sankowski, Lisa Marx, Reinhild Feuerstein, Luisa Schaefer, Florian R. Greten, Marina Pesic, Olaf Groß, Marco Prinz, Naomi Ruehl, Laura Miketiuk, Dominik Jauch, Claudia Laessle, Andreas Jud, Esther A. Biesel, Hannes Neeff, Stefan Fichtner-Feigl, Philipp A. Holzner, Rebecca Kesselring
Two coding variants of apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1), called G1 and G2, explain much of the excess risk of kidney disease in African Americans. While various cytotoxic phenotypes have been reported in experimental models, the proximal mechanism by which G1 and G2 cause kidney disease is poorly understood. Here, we leveraged 3 experimental models and a recently reported small molecule blocker of APOL1 protein, VX-147, to identify the upstream mechanism of G1-induced cytotoxicity. In HEK293 cells, we demonstrated that G1-mediated Na+ import/K+ efflux triggered activation of GPCR/IP3–mediated calcium release from the ER, impaired mitochondrial ATP production, and impaired translation, which were all reversed by VX-147. In human urine-derived podocyte-like epithelial cells (HUPECs), we demonstrated that G1 caused cytotoxicity that was again reversible by VX-147. Finally, in podocytes isolated from APOL1 G1 transgenic mice, we showed that IFN-γ–mediated induction of G1 caused K+ efflux, activation of GPCR/IP3 signaling, and inhibition of translation, podocyte injury, and proteinuria, all reversed by VX-147. Together, these results establish APOL1-mediated Na+/K+ transport as the proximal driver of APOL1-mediated kidney disease.
Somenath Datta, Brett M. Antonio, Nathan H. Zahler, Jonathan W. Theile, Doug Krafte, Hengtao Zhang, Paul B. Rosenberg, Alec B. Chaves, Deborah M. Muoio, Guofang Zhang, Daniel Silas, Guojie Li, Karen Soldano, Sarah Nystrom, Davis Ferreira, Sara E. Miller, James R. Bain, Michael J. Muehlbauer, Olga Ilkayeva, Thomas C. Becker, Hans-Ewald Hohmeier, Christopher B. Newgard, Opeyemi A. Olabisi
Converging studies demonstrate the dysfunction of the dopaminergic neurons following chronic opioid administration. However, the therapeutic strategies targeting opioid-responsive dopaminergic ensembles that contribute to the development of opioid withdrawal remain to be elucidated. Here, we used the neuronal activity-dependent Tet-Off system to label dopaminergic ensembles in response to initial morphine exposure (Mor-Ens) in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Fiber optic photometry recording and transcriptome analysis revealed downregulated spontaneous activity and dysregulated mitochondrial respiratory, ultrastructure, and oxidoreductase signal pathways after chronic morphine administration in these dopaminergic ensembles. Mitochondrial fragmentation and the decreased mitochondrial fusion gene mitofusin 1 (Mfn1) were found in these ensembles after prolonged opioid withdrawal. Restoration of Mfn1 in the dopaminergic Mor-Ens attenuated excessive oxidative stress and the development of opioid withdrawal. Administration of Mdivi-1, a mitochondrial fission inhibitor, ameliorated the mitochondrial fragmentation and maladaptation of the neuronal plasticity in these Mor-Ens, accompanied by attenuated development of opioid withdrawal after chronic morphine administration, without affecting the analgesic effect of morphine. These findings highlighted the plastic architecture of mitochondria as a potential therapeutic target for opioid analgesic-induced substance use disorders.
Changyou Jiang, Han Huang, Xiao Yang, Qiumin Le, Xing Liu, Lan Ma, Feifei Wang
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) encompasses a disease continuum from simple steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). However, there are currently no approved pharmacotherapies for NAFLD, although several drugs are in advanced stages of clinical development. Because of the complex pathophysiology and heterogeneity of NAFLD, the identification of potential therapeutic targets is clinically important. Here, we demonstrated that tripartite motif 56 (TRIM56) protein abundance was markedly downregulated in the livers of individuals with NAFLD and of mice fed a high-fat diet. Hepatocyte-specific ablation of TRIM56 exacerbated the progression of NAFLD, while hepatic TRIM56 overexpression suppressed it. Integrative analyses of interactome and transcriptome profiling revealed a pivotal role of TRIM56 in lipid metabolism and identified the lipogenesis factor fatty acid synthase (FASN) as a direct binding partner of TRIM56. TRIM56 directly interacted with FASN and triggered its K48-linked ubiquitination–dependent degradation. Finally, using artificial intelligence–based virtual screening, we discovered an orally bioavailable small-molecule inhibitor of FASN (named FASstatin) that potentiates TRIM56-mediated FASN ubiquitination. Therapeutic administration of FASstatin improved NAFLD and NASH pathologies in mice with an optimal safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics profile. Our findings provide proof of concept that targeting the TRIM56/FASN axis in hepatocytes may offer potential therapeutic avenues to treat NAFLD.
Suowen Xu, Xiumei Wu, Sichen Wang, Mengyun Xu, Tingyu Fang, Xiaoxuan Ma, Meijie Chen, Jiajun Fu, Juan Guo, Song Tian, Tian Tian, Xu Cheng, Hailong Yang, Junjie Zhou, Zhenya Wang, Yanjun Yin, Wen Xu, Fen Xu, Jinhua Yan, Zhihua Wang, Sihui Luo, Xiao-Jing Zhang, Yan-Xiao Ji, Jianping Weng
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