NELL-1 is a secreted, osteogenic protein first discovered to control ossification of the cranial skeleton. Recently, NELL-1 has been implicated in bone maintenance. However, the cellular determinants of NELL-1’s bone-forming effects are still unknown. Here, recombinant human NELL-1 (rhNELL-1) implantation was examined in a clinically relevant nonhuman primate lumbar spinal fusion model. Prolonged rhNELL-1 protein release was achieved using an apatite-coated β-tricalcium phosphate carrier, resulting in a local influx of stem cell antigen-1–positive (Sca-1+) mesenchymal progenitor cells (MPCs), and complete osseous fusion across all samples (100% spinal fusion rate). Murine studies revealed that
Aaron W. James, Jia Shen, Rebecca Tsuei, Alan Nguyen, Kevork Khadarian, Carolyn A. Meyers, Hsin Chuan Pan, Weiming Li, Jin H. Kwak, Greg Asatrian, Cymbeline T. Culiat, Min Lee, Kang Ting, Xinli Zhang, Chia Soo
Microglia play a critical role in the development and homeostasis of the CNS. While mobilization of microglia is critical for a number of pathologies, understanding of the mechanisms of their migration in vivo is limited and often based on similarities to macrophages. Kindlin3 deficiency as well as Kindlin3 mutations of integrin-binding sites abolish both integrin inside-out and outside-in signaling in microglia, thereby resulting in severe deficiencies in cell adhesion, polarization, and migration in vitro, which are similar to the defects observed in macrophages. In contrast, while Kindlin3 mutations impaired macrophage mobilization in vivo, they had no effect either on the population of microglia in the CNS during development or on mobilization of microglia and subsequent microgliosis in a model of multiple sclerosis. At the same time, acute microglial response to laser-induced injury was impaired by the lack of Kindlin3-integrin interactions. Based on 2-photon imaging of microglia in the brain, Kindlin3 is required for elongation of microglial processes toward the injury site and formation of phagosomes in response to brain injury. Thus, while Kindlin3 deficiency in human subjects is not expected to diminish the presence of microglia within CNS, it might delay the recovery process after injury, thereby exacerbating its complications.
Julia Meller, Zhihong Chen, Tejasvi Dudiki, Rebecca M. Cull, Rakhilya Murtazina, Saswat K. Bal, Elzbieta Pluskota, Samantha Stefl, Edward F. Plow, Bruce D. Trapp, Tatiana V. Byzova
Pulmonary function is dependent upon the precise regulation of alveolar surfactant. Alterations in pulmonary surfactant concentrations or function impair ventilation and cause tissue injury. Identification of the molecular pathways that sense and regulate endogenous alveolar surfactant concentrations, coupled with the ability to pharmacologically modulate them both positively and negatively, would be a major therapeutic advance for patients with acute and chronic lung diseases caused by disruption of surfactant homeostasis. The orphan adhesion GPCR GPR116 (also known as Adgrf5) is a critical regulator of alveolar surfactant concentrations. Here, we show that human and mouse GPR116 control surfactant secretion and reuptake in alveolar type II (AT2) cells by regulating guanine nucleotide–binding domain α q and 11 (Gq/11) signaling. Synthetic peptides derived from the ectodomain of GPR116 activated Gq/11-dependent inositol phosphate conversion, calcium mobilization, and cortical F-actin stabilization to inhibit surfactant secretion. AT2 cell–specific deletion of Gnaq and Gna11 phenocopied the accumulation of surfactant observed in Gpr116–/– mice. These data provide proof of concept that GPR116 is a plausible therapeutic target to modulate endogenous alveolar surfactant pools to treat pulmonary diseases associated with surfactant dysfunction.
Kari Brown, Alyssa Filuta, Marie-Gabrielle Ludwig, Klaus Seuwen, Julian Jaros, Solange Vidal, Kavisha Arora, Anjaparavanda P. Naren, Kathirvel Kandasamy, Kaushik Parthasarathi, Stefan Offermanns, Robert J. Mason, William E. Miller, Jeffrey A. Whitsett, James P. Bridges
Psychiatric patients treated with lithium (Li+) may develop nephrogenic diabetes insipidus (NDI). Although the etiology of Li+-induced NDI (Li-NDI) is poorly understood, it occurs partially due to reduced aquaporin-2 (AQP2) expression in the kidney collecting ducts. A mechanism postulated for this is that Li+ inhibits adenylyl cyclase (AC) activity, leading to decreased cAMP, reduced AQP2 abundance, and less membrane targeting. We hypothesized that Li-NDI would not develop in mice lacking AC6. Whole-body AC6 knockout (AC6–/–) mice and potentially novel connecting tubule/principal cell–specific AC6 knockout (AC6loxloxCre) mice had approximately 50% lower urine osmolality and doubled water intake under baseline conditions compared with controls. Dietary Li+ administration increased water intake and reduced urine osmolality in control, AC6–/–, and AC6loxloxCre mice. Consistent with AC6–/– mice, medullary AQP2 and pS256-AQP2 abundances were lower in AC6loxloxCre mice compared with controls under standard conditions, and levels were further reduced after Li+ administration. AC6loxloxCre and control mice had a similar increase in the numbers of proliferating cell nuclear antigen–positive cells in response to Li+. However, AC6loxloxCre mice had a higher number of H+-ATPase B1 subunit–positive cells under standard conditions and after Li+ administration. Collectively, AC6 has a minor role in Li-NDI development but may be important for determining the intercalated cell–to–principal cell ratio.
Søren Brandt Poulsen, Tina Bøgelund Kristensen, Heddwen L. Brooks, Donald E. Kohan, Timo Rieg, Robert A. Fenton
Loss-of-function mutations in stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1) impair the activation of Ca2+ release–activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channels and store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE), resulting in a disease syndrome called CRAC channelopathy that is characterized by severe dental enamel defects. The cause of these enamel defects has remained unclear given a lack of animal models. We generated
Miriam Eckstein, Martin Vaeth, Cinzia Fornai, Manikandan Vinu, Timothy G. Bromage, Meerim K. Nurbaeva, Jessica L. Sorge, Paulo G. Coelho, Youssef Idaghdour, Stefan Feske, Rodrigo S. Lacruz
Loss of LKB1 activity is prevalent in
Melissa Gilbert-Ross, Jessica Konen, Junghui Koo, John Shupe, Brian S. Robinson, Walter Guy Wiles IV, Chunzi Huang, W. David Martin, Madhusmita Behera, Geoffrey H. Smith, Charles E. Hill, Michael R. Rossi, Gabriel L. Sica, Manali Rupji, Zhengjia Chen, Jeanne Kowalski, Andrea L. Kasinski, Suresh S. Ramalingam, Haian Fu, Fadlo R. Khuri, Wei Zhou, Adam I. Marcus
The leucine rich repeat containing protein 8A (LRRC8A), or SWELL1, is an essential component of the volume-regulated anion channel (VRAC) that is activated by cell swelling and ionic strength. We report here for the first time to our knowledge its expression in a primary cell culture of nodose ganglia neurons and its localization in the soma, neurites, and neuronal membrane. We show that this neuronal VRAC/SWELL1 senses low external pH (pHo) in addition to hypoosmolarity. A robust sustained chloride current is seen in 77% of isolated nodose neurons following brief exposures to extracellular acid pH. Its activation involves proton efflux, intracellular alkalinity, and an increase in NOX-derived H2O2. The molecular identity of both the hypoosmolarity-induced and acid pHo–conditioned VRAC as LRRC8A (SWELL1) was confirmed by Cre-flox–mediated KO, shRNA-mediated knockdown, and CRISPR/Cas9-mediated LRRC8A deletion in HEK cells and in primary nodose neuronal cultures. Activation of VRAC by low pHo reduces neuronal injury during simulated ischemia and N-methyl-D-aspartate–induced (NMDA-induced) apoptosis. These results identify the VRAC (LRRC8A) as a dual sensor of hypoosmolarity and low pHo in vagal afferent neurons and define the mechanisms of its activation and its neuroprotective potential.
Runping Wang, Yongjun Lu, Susheel Gunasekar, Yanhui Zhang, Christopher J. Benson, Mark W. Chapleau, Rajan Sah, François M. Abboud
ice and humans lacking the caveolae component polymerase I transcription release factor (PTRF, also known as cavin-1) exhibit lipo- and muscular dystrophy. Here we describe the molecular features underlying the muscle phenotype for PTRF/cavin-1 null mice. These animals had a decreased ability to exercise, and exhibited muscle hypertrophy with increased muscle fiber size and muscle mass due, in part, to constitutive activation of the Akt pathway. Their muscles were fibrotic and exhibited impaired membrane integrity accompanied by an apparent compensatory activation of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex along with elevated expression of proteins involved in muscle repair function.
Shi-Ying Ding, Libin Liu, Paul F. Pilch
Mitophagy occurs during ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) and limits oxidative stress and injury. Mitochondrial turnover was assessed in patients undergoing cardiac surgery involving cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). Paired biopsies of right atrial appendage before initiation and after weaning from CPB were processed for protein analysis, mitochondrial DNA/nuclear DNA ratio (mtDNA:nucDNA ratio), mtDNA damage, mRNA, and polysome profiling. Mitophagy in the post-CPB samples was evidenced by decreased levels of mitophagy adapters NDP52 and optineurin in whole tissue lysate, decreased Opa1 long form, and translocation of Parkin to the mitochondrial fraction. PCR analysis of mtDNA comparing amplification of short vs. long segments of mtDNA revealed increased damage following cardiac surgery. Surprisingly, a marked increase in several mitochondria-specific protein markers and mtDNA:nucDNA ratio was observed, consistent with increased mitochondrial biogenesis. mRNA analysis suggested that mitochondrial biogenesis was traniscription independent and likely driven by increased translation of existing mRNAs. These findings demonstrate in humans that both mitophagy and mitochondrial biogenesis occur during cardiac surgery involving CPB. We suggest that mitophagy is balanced by mitochondrial biogenesis during I/R stress experienced during surgery. Mitigating mtDNA damage and elucidating mechanisms regulating mitochondrial turnover will lead to interventions to improve outcome after I/R in the setting of heart disease.
Allen M. Andres, Kyle C. Tucker, Amandine Thomas, David J.R. Taylor, David Sengstock, Salik M. Jahania, Reza Dabir, Somayeh Pourpirali, Jamelle A. Brown, David G. Westbrook, Scott W. Ballinger, Robert M. Mentzer Jr., Roberta A. Gottlieb
Pathogen-specific polyfunctional T cell responses have been associated with favorable clinical outcomes, but it is not known whether molecular differences exist between polyfunctional and monofunctional cytokine-producing T cells. Here, we report that polyfunctional CD4+ T cells induced during
Julie G. Burel, Simon H. Apte, Penny L. Groves, James S. McCarthy, Denise L. Doolan
Amphetamine (AMPH) or methamphetamine (METH) abuse can cause oxidative damage and is a risk factor for diseases including pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Pulmonary artery endothelial cells (PAECs) from AMPH-associated-PAH patients show DNA damage as judged by γH2AX foci and DNA comet tails. We therefore hypothesized that AMPH induces DNA damage and vascular pathology by interfering with normal adaptation to an environmental perturbation causing oxidative stress. Consistent with this, we found that AMPH alone does not cause DNA damage in normoxic PAECs, but greatly amplifies DNA damage in hypoxic PAECs. The mechanism involves AMPH activation of protein phosphatase 2A, which potentiates inhibition of Akt. This increases sirtuin 1, causing deacetylation and degradation of HIF1α, thereby impairing its transcriptional activity, resulting in a reduction in pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 and impaired cytochrome
Pin-I Chen, Aiqin Cao, Kazuya Miyagawa, Nancy F. Tojais, Jan K. Hennigs, Caiyun G. Li, Nathaly M. Sweeney, Audrey S. Inglis, Lingli Wang, Dan Li, Matthew Ye, Brian J. Feldman, Marlene Rabinovitch
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a common heart disease with a prevalence of 1 in 500 in the general population. Several mutations in genes encoding cardiac proteins have been found in HCM patients, but these changes do not predict occurrence or prognosis and the molecular mechanisms underlying HCM remain largely elusive. Here we show that cardiac expression of vacuolar protein sorting 34 (Vps34) is reduced in a subset of HCM patients. In a mouse model, muscle-specific loss of Vps34 led to HCM-like manifestations and sudden death. Vps34-deficient hearts exhibited abnormal histopathologies, including myofibrillar disarray and aggregates containing αB-crystallin (CryAB). These features result from a block in the ESCRT-mediated proteolysis that normally degrades K63-polyubiquitinated CryAB. CryAB deposition was also found in myocardial specimens from a subset of HCM patients whose hearts showed decreased Vps34. Our results identify disruption of the previously unknown Vps34-CryAB axis as a potentially novel etiology of HCM.
Hirotaka Kimura, Satoshi Eguchi, Junko Sasaki, Keiji Kuba, Hiroki Nakanishi, Shunsuke Takasuga, Masakazu Yamazaki, Akiteru Goto, Hiroyuki Watanabe, Hiroshi Itoh, Yumiko Imai, Akira Suzuki, Noboru Mizushima, Takehiko Sasaki
Current therapies to treat non–small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) have proven ineffective owing to transient, variable, and incomplete responses. Here we show that ABL kinases, ABL1 and ABL2, promote metastasis of lung cancer cells harboring EGFR or KRAS mutations. Inactivation of ABL kinases suppresses NSCLC metastasis to brain and bone, and other organs. ABL kinases are required for expression of prometastasis genes. Notably, ABL1 and ABL2 depletion impairs extravasation of lung adenocarcinoma cells into the lung parenchyma. We found that ABL-mediated activation of the TAZ and β-catenin transcriptional coactivators is required for NSCLC metastasis. ABL kinases activate TAZ and β-catenin by decreasing their interaction with the β-TrCP ubiquitin ligase, leading to increased protein stability. High-level expression of
Jing Jin Gu, Clay Rouse, Xia Xu, Jun Wang, Mark W. Onaitis, Ann Marie Pendergast
Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a progressive lung disease that primarily affects young women. Genetic evidence suggests that LAM cells bearing
Chenggang Li, Na Li, Xiaolei Liu, Erik Y. Zhang, Yang Sun, Kouhei Masuda, Jing Li, Julia Sun, Tasha Morrison, Xiangke Li, Yuanguang Chen, Jiang Wang, Nagla A. Karim, Yi Zhang, John Blenis, Mauricio J. Reginato, Elizabeth P. Henske, Jane J. Yu
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disease and one of the leading inherited causes of infant mortality. SMA results from insufficient levels of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein, and studies in animal models of the disease have shown that increasing SMN protein levels ameliorates the disease phenotype. Our group previously identified and optimized a new series of small molecules, with good potency and toxicity profiles and reasonable pharmacokinetics, that were able to increase SMN protein levels in SMA patient–derived cells. We show here that ML372, a representative of this series, almost doubles the half-life of residual SMN protein expressed from the SMN2 locus by blocking its ubiquitination and subsequent degradation by the proteasome. ML372 increased SMN protein levels in muscle, spinal cord, and brain tissue of SMA mice. Importantly, ML372 treatment improved the righting reflex and extended survival of a severe mouse model of SMA. These results demonstrate that slowing SMN degradation by selectively inhibiting its ubiquitination can improve the motor phenotype and lifespan of SMA model mice.
Mahlet B. Abera, Jingbo Xiao, Jonathan Nofziger, Steve Titus, Noel Southall, Wei Zheng, Kasey E. Moritz, Marc Ferrer, Jonathan J. Cherry, Elliot J. Androphy, Amy Wang, Xin Xu, Christopher Austin, Kenneth H. Fischbeck, Juan J. Marugan, Barrington G. Burnett
Bcl-2–associated athanogene 3 (BAG3) is an evolutionarily conserved protein expressed at high levels in the heart and the vasculature and in many cancers. While altered BAG3 expression has been associated with cardiac dysfunction, its role in ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) is unknown. To test the hypothesis that BAG3 protects the heart from reperfusion injury, in vivo cardiac function was measured in hearts infected with either recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 9–expressing (rAAV9-expressing) BAG3 or GFP and subjected to I/R. To elucidate molecular mechanisms by which BAG3 protects against I/R injury, neonatal mouse ventricular cardiomyocytes (NMVCs) in which BAG3 levels were modified by adenovirus expressing (Ad-expressing) BAG3 or siBAG3 were exposed to hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R). H/R significantly reduced NMVC BAG3 levels, which were associated with enhanced expression of apoptosis markers, decreased expression of autophagy markers, and reduced autophagy flux. The deleterious effects of H/R on apoptosis and autophagy were recapitulated by knockdown of BAG3 with Ad-siBAG3 and were rescued by Ad-BAG3. In vivo, treatment of mice with rAAV9-BAG3 prior to I/R significantly decreased infarct size and improved left ventricular function when compared with mice receiving rAAV9-GFP and improved markers of autophagy and apoptosis. These findings suggest that BAG3 may provide a therapeutic target in patients undergoing reperfusion after myocardial infarction.
Feifei Su, Valerie D. Myers, Tijana Knezevic, JuFang Wang, Erhe Gao, Muniswamy Madesh, Farzaneh G. Tahrir, Manish K. Gupta, Jennifer Gordon, Joseph Rabinowitz, Frederick V. Ramsey, Douglas G. Tilley, Kamel Khalili, Joseph Y. Cheung, Arthur M. Feldman
Loss of functional pancreatic β cells is a hallmark of both type 1 and 2 diabetes. Identifying the pathways that promote β cell proliferation and/or block β cell apoptosis is a potential strategy for diabetes therapy. The transcriptional coactivator Yes-associated protein (YAP), a major downstream effector of the Hippo signaling pathway, is a key regulator of organ size and tissue homeostasis by modulating cell proliferation and apoptosis. YAP is not expressed in mature primary human and mouse β cells. We aimed to identify whether reexpression of a constitutively active form of YAP promotes β cell proliferation/survival. Overexpression of YAP remarkably induced β cell proliferation in isolated human islets, while β cell function and functional identity genes were fully preserved. The transcription factor forkhead box M1 (FOXM1) was upregulated upon YAP overexpression and necessary for YAP-dependent β cell proliferation. YAP overexpression protected β cells from apoptosis triggered by multiple diabetic conditions. The small redox proteins thioredoxin-1 and thioredoxin-2 (Trx1/2) were upregulated by YAP; disruption of the Trx system revealed that Trx1/2 was required for the antiapoptotic action of YAP in insulin-producing β cells. Our data show the robust proproliferative and antiapoptotic function of YAP in pancreatic β cells. YAP reconstitution may represent a disease-modifying approach to restore a functional β cell mass in diabetes.
Ting Yuan, Sahar Rafizadeh, Zahra Azizi, Blaz Lupse, Kanaka Durga Devi Gorrepati, Sushil Awal, Jose Oberholzer, Kathrin Maedler, Amin Ardestani
The small intestine has an underappreciated role as a lipid storage organ. Under conditions of high dietary fat intake, enterocytes can minimize the extent of postprandial lipemia by storing newly absorbed dietary fat in cytoplasmic lipid droplets. Lipid droplets can be subsequently mobilized for the production of chylomicrons. The mechanisms that regulate this process are poorly understood. We report here that the milk protein Mfge8 regulates hydrolysis of cytoplasmic lipid droplets in enterocytes after interacting with the αvβ3 and αvβ5 integrins. Mice deficient in Mfge8 or the αvβ3 and αvβ5 integrins accumulate excess cytoplasmic lipid droplets after a fat challenge. Mechanistically, interruption of the Mfge8-integrin axis leads to impaired enterocyte intracellular triglyceride hydrolase activity in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, Mfge8 increases triglyceride hydrolase activity through a PI3 kinase/mTORC2–dependent signaling pathway. These data identify a key role for Mfge8 and the αvβ3 and αvβ5 integrins in regulating enterocyte lipid processing.
Amin Khalifeh-Soltani, Deepti Gupta, Arnold Ha, Jahangir Iqbal, Mahmood Hussain, Michael J. Podolsky, Kamran Atabai
Adipose tissue is a key endocrine organ that governs systemic homeostasis. PPARγ is a master regulator of adipose tissue signaling that plays an essential role in insulin sensitivity, making it an important therapeutic target. The selective PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone (RSG) has been used to treat diabetes. However, adverse cardiovascular effects have seriously hindered its clinical application. Experimental models have revealed that PPARγ activation increases cardiac hypertrophy. RSG stimulates cardiac hypertrophy and oxidative stress in cardiomyocyte-specific PPARγ knockout mice, implying that RSG might stimulate cardiac hypertrophy independently of cardiomyocyte PPARγ. However, candidate cell types responsible for RSG-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy remain unexplored. Utilizing cocultures of adipocytes and cardiomyocytes, we found that stimulation of PPARγ signaling in adipocytes increased miR-200a expression and secretion. Delivery of miR-200a in adipocyte-derived exosomes to cardiomyocytes resulted in decreased TSC1 and subsequent mTOR activation, leading to cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Treatment with an antagomir to miR-200a blunted this hypertrophic response in cardiomyocytes. In vivo, specific ablation of PPARγ in adipocytes was sufficient to blunt hypertrophy induced by RSG treatment. By delineating mechanisms by which RSG elicits cardiac hypertrophy, we have identified pathways that mediate the crosstalk between adipocytes and cardiomyocytes to regulate cardiac remodeling.
Xi Fang, Matthew J. Stroud, Kunfu Ouyang, Li Fang, Jianlin Zhang, Nancy D. Dalton, Yusu Gu, Tongbin Wu, Kirk L. Peterson, Hsien-Da Huang, Ju Chen, Nanping Wang
Emerging knowledge indicates the difficulty in categorizing unusual cystic fibrosis (CF) mutations, with regard to both pathogenic mechanism and theratype. As case in point, we present data concerning P67L mutation of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), a defect carried by a small number of individuals with CF and sometimes attributed to a channel conductance abnormality. Findings from our laboratory and others establish that P67L causes protein misfolding, disrupts maturation, confers gating defects, is thermally stable, and exhibits near normal conductance. These results provide one framework by which rare CF alleles such as P67L can be more comprehensively profiled vis-à-vis molecular pathogenesis. We also demonstrate that emerging CF treatments — ivacaftor and lumacaftor — can mediate pronounced pharmacologic activation of P67L CFTR. Infrequent CF alleles are often improperly characterized, in part, due to the small numbers of patients involved. Moreover, access to new personalized treatments among patients with ultra-orphan genotypes has been limited by difficulty arranging phase III clinical trials, and off-label prescribing has been impaired by high drug cost and difficulty arranging third party reimbursement. Rare CFTR mutations such as P67L are emblematic of the challenges to “precision” medicine, including use of the best available mechanistic knowledge to treat patients with unusual forms of disease.
Carleen M. Sabusap, Wei Wang, Carmel M. McNicholas, W. Joon Chung, Lianwu Fu, Hui Wen, Marina Mazur, Kevin L. Kirk, James F. Collawn, Jeong S. Hong, Eric J. Sorscher
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