Vascular calcification (VC) is concomitant with atherosclerosis, yet it remains uncertain why rupture-prone high-risk plaques do not typically show extensive calcification. Intraplaque hemorrhage (IPH) deposits erythrocyte-derived cholesterol enlarging the necrotic core and promoting the high-risk plaque development. Pro-atherogenic CD163+ alternative macrophages engulf hemoglobin-haptoglobin (HH) complexes at IPH sites. However, their role in VC has never been examined. Here we show, in human arteries, the distribution of CD163+ macrophages correlates inversely with VC. In vitro experiments using vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) cultured with HH-exposed human macrophages supernatant (M(Hb)) reduced calcification, while arteries from ApoE-/-CD163-/- mice showed greater VC. M(Hb) supernatant-exposed VSMC showed activated NFκB, while blocking NFκB attenuated the anti-calcific effect of M(Hb) on VSMCs. CD163+ macrophages altered VC through NFκB-induced transcription of hyaluronan synthase (HAS), an enzyme which catalyzes the formation of the extracellular matrix glycosaminoglycan, hyaluronan, within VSMCs. M(Hb) supernatants enhanced HAS production in VSMC, while knocking-down HAS attenuated its anti-calcific effect. NFκB blockade in ApoE-/- mice reduced hyaluronan and increased VC. In human arteries, hyaluronan/HAS were increased in areas of CD163+ macrophage presence. Our findings highlight an important mechanism by which CD163+ macrophages inhibit VC through NFκB-induced HAS augmentation and thus promote the high-risk plaques development.
Atsushi Sakamoto, Rika Kawakami, Masayuki Mori, Liang Guo, Ka Hyun Paek, Jose Verdezoto Mosquera, Anne Cornelissen, Saikat Kumar B. Ghosh, Kenji Kawai, Takao Konishi, Raquel Fernandez, Daniela T. Fuller, Weili Xu, Aimee E. Vozenilek, Yu Sato, Hiroyuki Jinnouchi, Sho Torii, Adam W. Turner, Hirokuni Akahori, Salome Kuntz, Craig C. Weinkauf, Parker J. Lee, Robert Kutys, Kathryn Harris, Alfred Lawrence Killey, Christina M. Mayhew, Matthew Ellis, Leah M. Weinstein, Neel V. Gadhoke, Roma Dhingra, Jeremy Ullman, Endale Armelle Dikongue Emene, Maria E. Romero, Frank D. Kolodgie, Clint L. Miller, Renu Virmani, Aloke V. Finn
Persistent symptoms and radiographic abnormalities suggestive of failed lung repair are among the most common symptoms in patients with COVID-19 after hospital discharge. In mechanically ventilated patients with ARDS secondary to SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia, low tidal volumes to reduce ventilator-induced lung injury necessarily elevate blood CO2 levels, often leading to hypercapnia. The role of hypercapnia on lung repair after injury is not completely understood. Here, using a mouse model of hypercapnia exposure, cell lineage-tracing, spatial transcriptomics and 3D-cultures, we show that hypercapnia limits β-catenin signaling in AT2 cells, leading to their reduced proliferative capacity. Hypercapnia alters expression of major Wnts in PDGFRα+-fibroblasts from those maintaining AT2 progenitor activity towards those that antagonize β-catenin signaling thereby limiting progenitor function. Constitutive activation of β-catenin signaling in AT2 cells or treatment of organoid cultures with recombinant WNT3A protein bypasses the inhibitory effects of hypercapnia. Inhibition of AT2 proliferation in hypercapnic patients may contribute to impaired lung repair after injury, preventing sealing of the epithelial barrier, increasing lung flooding, ventilator dependency and mortality.
Laura A. Dada, Lynn C. Welch, Natalia D. Magnani, Ziyou Ren, Hyebin Han, Patricia L. Brazee, Diego Celli, Annette S. Flozak, Anthea Weng, Mariana Maciel Herrerias, Vitalii Kryvenko, István Vadász, Constance E. Runyan, Hiam Abdala-Valencia, Masahiko Shigemura, S. Marina Casalino-Matsuda, Alexander V. Misharin, G.R. Scott Budinger, Cara J. Gottardi, Jacob I. Sznajder
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is characterized by chronic bacterial infections leading to progressive bronchiectasis and respiratory failure. Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) is the predominant opportunistic pathogen infecting the CF airways. The guanine nucleotide exchange factor Vav3 plays a critical role in Pa adhesion to the CF airways by inducing luminal fibronectin deposition that favors bacteria trapping. Here we report that Vav3 overexpression in CF is caused by upregulation of the mRNA-stabilizing protein HuR. We found that HuR accumulates in the cytoplasm of CF airway epithelial cells, binds to and stabilizes Vav3 mRNA. Interestingly, disruption of HuR-Vav3 mRNA interaction improved the CF epithelial integrity, inhibited the formation of the fibronectin-made bacterial docking platforms and prevented Pa adhesion to the CF airway epithelium. These findings indicate that targeting HuR represents a promising anti-adhesive approach in CF to prevent initial stages of Pa infection in a context of emergence of multidrug resistant pathogens.
Mehdi Badaoui, Cyril Sobolewski, Alexandre Luscher, Marc Bacchetta, Thilo Köhler, Christian van Delden, Michelangelo Foti, Marc Chanson
Most overweight individuals do not develop diabetes due to compensatory islet responses to restore glucose homeostasis. Therefore, regulatory pathways that promote β-cell compensation are potential targets for treatment of diabetes. The melastatin transient receptor potential 7 protein (TRPM7), harboring a cation channel and a serine/threonine kinase, has been implicated in controlling cell growth and proliferation. Here, we report that selective deletion of Trpm7 in β-cells disrupts insulin secretion and leads to progressive glucose intolerance. We indicate that the diminished insulinotropic response in β-cell-specific Trpm7 knockout mice is caused by decreased insulin production due to an impaired enzymatic activity of this protein. Accordingly, high-fat fed mice with a genetic loss of TRPM7 kinase activity (Trpm7R/R) display a marked glucose intolerance accompanied by hyperglycemia. These detrimental glucoregulatory effects are engendered by reduced compensatory β-cell responses due to mitigated AKT/ERK signaling. Collectively, our data identify TRPM7 kinase as a novel regulator of insulin synthesis, β-cell dynamics, and glucose homeostasis under obesogenic diet.
Noushafarin Khajavi, Andreas Beck, Klea Ricku, Philipp Beyerle, Katharina Jacob, Sabrina F. Syamsul, Anouar Belkacemi, Peter S. Reinach, Pascale C.F. Schreier, Houssein Salah, Tanja Popp, Aaron Novikoff, Andreas Breit, Vladimir Chubanov, Timo D. Müller, Susanna Zierler, Thomas Gudermann
In the progression phase of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) the normal alveolar structure of the lung is lost and replaced by remodeled fibrotic tissue and by bronchiolized cystic airspaces. Although these are characteristic features of IPF, knowledge of specific interactions between these pathological processes is limited. Here, the interaction of lung epithelial and lung mesenchymal cells was investigated in a co–culture model of human primary airway epithelial cells (EC) and lung fibroblasts (FB). Single–cell RNA sequencing (sc–RNA–seq) revealed that the starting EC population was heterogenous and enriched for cells with a basal cell signature. Furthermore, fractions of the initial EC and FB cell populations adopted distinct pro–fibrotic cell differentiation states upon co-cultivation, resembling specific cell populations that were previously identified in lungs of IPF patients. Transcriptomic analysis revealed active nuclear factor NF–kappa–B (NF–κB) signaling early in the co–cultured EC and FB cells and the identified NF–κB expression signatures were also found in “HAS1 High FB” and “PLIN2+ FB” populations from IPF patient lungs. Pharmacological blockade of NF–κB signaling attenuated specific phenotypic changes of EC and prevented FB–mediated interleukin–6 (IL6), interleukin–8 (IL–8) and C–X–C motif chemokine ligand 6 (CXCL6) cytokine secretion, as well as collagen alpha–1(I) chain (COL1A1) and alpha–smooth muscle actin (α–SMA) accumulation. Thus, we identified NF–κB as a potential mediator, linking epithelial pathobiology with fibrogenesis.
Patrick Sieber, Anny Schäfer, Raphael Lieberherr, Silvia L Caimi, Urs Lüthi, Jesper Ryge, Jan H. Bergmann, Francois Le Goff, Manuel Stritt, Peter Blattmann, Bérengère Renault, Patrick Rammelt, Bruno Sempere, Diego Freti, Rolf Studer, Eric S. White, Magdalena Birker-Robaczewska, Maxime Boucher, Oliver Nayler
NK cell deficiencies (NKD) are a type of primary immune deficiency in which the major immunologic abnormality affects NK cell number, maturity, or function. Since NK cells contribute to immune defense against virally infected cells, patients with NKD experience higher susceptibility to chronic, recurrent, and fatal viral infections. An individual with recurrent viral infections and mild hypogammaglobulinemia was identified to have an X-linked damaging variant in the transcription factor gene ELF4. The variant does not decrease expression but disrupts ELF4 protein interactions and DNA binding, reducing transcriptional activation of target genes and selectively impairing ELF4 function. Corroborating previous murine models of ELF4 deficiency (Elf4–/–) and using a knockdown human NK cell line, we determined that ELF4 is necessary for normal NK cell development, terminal maturation, and function. Through characterization of the NK cells of the proband, expression of the proband’s variant in Elf4–/– mouse hematopoietic precursor cells, and a human in vitro NK cell maturation model, we established this ELF4 variant as a potentially novel cause of NKD.
Sandra Andrea Salinas, Emily M. Mace, Matilde I. Conte, Chun Shik Park, Yu Li, Joshua I. Rosario-Sepulveda, Sanjana Mahapatra, Emily K. Moore, Evelyn R. Hernandez, Ivan K. Chinn, Abigail E. Reed, Barclay J. Lee, Alexander Frumovitz, Richard A. Gibbs, Jennifer E. Posey, Lisa R. Forbes Satter, Akaluck Thatayatikom, Eric J. Allenspach, Theodore G. Wensel, James R. Lupski, H. Daniel Lacorazza, Jordan S. Orange
Mitochondria are dynamic organelles responsible for energy production and many processes central to cellular function. Alterations in mitochondrial function is associated with human fibrotic lung diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Pulmonary fibrosis is characterized by stiffening of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Fibroblasts migrate in the direction of greater stiffness, a phenomenon termed durotaxis. The mechanically guided fibroblast migration could be a crucial step in the progression of lung fibrosis. In this study, we identified mitochondria as an important mechanotransducer at the intersection between extracellular mechanical signals and durotactic lung fibroblast migration. Primary human lung fibroblasts sense increasing matrix stiffness with a change of mitochondrial dynamics in favor of mitochondrial fission and increased production of ATP. Mitochondria polarize in the direction of a physiologically relevant stiffness gradient, with conspicuous localization to the leading edge, primarily lamellipodia and filopodia, of migrating lung fibroblasts. Matrix stiffness-regulated mitochondrial fission and durotactic lung fibroblast migration are mediated by a DRP1/MFF-dependent pathway. Importantly, we found that the DRP1/MFF pathway is activated in fibrotic lung myofibroblasts in both human IPF and bleomycin-induced mouse lung fibrosis. Our findings suggest that energy-producing mitochondria need to be sectioned via fission and repositioned in durotactic lung fibroblasts to meet the higher energy demand. This represents a new mechanism through which mitochondria may contribute to the progression of fibrotic lung diseases. Inhibition of durotactic migration of lung fibroblasts may play an important role in preventing the progression of IPF.
Ting Guo, Chun-sun Jiang, Shan-Zhong Yang, Yi Zhu, Chao He, A. Brent Carter, Veena B. Antony, Hong Peng, Yong Zhou
Progressive fibrosis and maladaptive organ repair result in significant morbidity and millions of premature deaths annually. Senescent cells accumulate with aging and after injury and are implicated in organ fibrosis, but the mechanisms by which senescence influences repair are poorly understood. Using 2 murine models of injury and repair, we show that obstructive injury generated senescent epithelia, which persisted after resolution of the original injury, promoted ongoing fibrosis, and impeded adaptive repair. Depletion of senescent cells with ABT-263 reduced fibrosis in reversed ureteric obstruction and after renal ischemia/reperfusion injury. We validated these findings in humans, showing that senescence and fibrosis persisted after relieved renal obstruction. We next characterized senescent epithelia in murine renal injury using single-cell RNA-Seq. We extended our classification to human kidney and liver disease and identified conserved profibrotic proteins, which we validated in vitro and in human disease. We demonstrated that increased levels of protein disulfide isomerase family A member 3 (PDIA3) augmented TGF-β–mediated fibroblast activation. Inhibition of PDIA3 in vivo significantly reduced kidney fibrosis during ongoing renal injury and as such represented a new potential therapeutic pathway. Analysis of the signaling pathways of senescent epithelia connected senescence to organ fibrosis, permitting rational design of antifibrotic therapies.
Eoin D. O’Sullivan, Katie J. Mylonas, Rachel Bell, Cyril Carvalho, David P. Baird, Carolynn Cairns, Kevin M. Gallagher, Ross Campbell, Marie Docherty, Alexander Laird, Neil C. Henderson, Tamir Chandra, Kristina Kirschner, Bryan Conway, Gry H. Dihazi, Michael Zeisberg, Jeremy Hughes, Laura Denby, Hassan Dihazi, David A. Ferenbach
Human NK cell deficiency (NKD) is a primary immunodeficiency in which the main clinically relevant immunological defect involves missing or dysfunctional NK cells. Here, we describe a familial NKD case in which 2 siblings had a substantive NKD and neutropenia in the absence of other immune system abnormalities. Exome sequencing identified compound heterozygous variants in Go-Ichi-Ni-San (GINS) complex subunit 4 (GINS4, also known as SLD5), an essential component of the human replicative helicase, which we demonstrate to have a damaging impact upon the expression and assembly of the GINS complex. Cells derived from affected individuals and a GINS4-knockdown cell line demonstrate delayed cell cycle progression, without signs of improper DNA synthesis or increased replication stress. By modeling partial GINS4 depletion in differentiating NK cells in vitro, we demonstrate the causal relationship between the genotype and the NK cell phenotype, as well as a cell-intrinsic defect in NK cell development. Thus, biallelic partial loss-of-function mutations in GINS4 define a potentially novel disease-causing gene underlying NKD with neutropenia. Together with the previously described mutations in other helicase genes causing NKD, and with the mild defects observed in other human cells, these variants underscore the importance of this pathway in NK cell biology.
Matilde I. Conte, M. Cecilia Poli, Angelo Taglialatela, Giuseppe Leuzzi, Ivan K. Chinn, Sandra A. Salinas, Emma Rey-Jurado, Nixa Olivares, Liz Veramendi-Espinoza, Alberto Ciccia, James R. Lupski, Juan Carlos Aldave Becerra, Emily M. Mace, Jordan S. Orange
One of the least-investigated areas of brain pathology research is glycosylation, which is a critical regulator of cell surface protein structure and function. β-Galactoside α2,6-sialyltransferase (ST6GAL1) is the primary enzyme that α2,6 sialylates N-glycosylated proteins destined for the plasma membrane or secretion, thereby modulating cell signaling and behavior. We demonstrate a potentially novel, protumorigenic role for α2,6 sialylation and ST6GAL1 in the deadly brain tumor glioblastoma (GBM). GBM cells with high α2,6 sialylation exhibited increased in vitro growth and self-renewal capacity and decreased mouse survival when orthotopically injected. α2,6 Sialylation was regulated by ST6GAL1 in GBM, and ST6GAL1 was elevated in brain tumor-initiating cells (BTICs). Knockdown of ST6GAL1 in BTICs decreased in vitro growth, self-renewal capacity, and tumorigenic potential. ST6GAL1 regulates levels of the known BTIC regulators PDGF Receptor β (PDGFRB), Activated Leukocyte Cell Adhesion Molecule, and Neuropilin, which were confirmed to bind to a lectin-recognizing α2,6 sialic acid. Loss of ST6GAL1 was confirmed to decrease PDGFRB α2,6 sialylation, total protein levels, and the induction of phosphorylation by PDGF-BB. Thus, ST6GAL1-mediated α2,6 sialylation of a select subset of cell surface receptors, including PDGFRB, increases GBM growth.
Sajina GC, Kaysaw Tuy, Lucas Rickenbacker, Robert Jones, Asmi Chakraborty, C. Ryan Miller, Elizabeth A. Beierle, Vidya Sagar Hanumanthu, Anh N. Tran, James A. Mobley, Susan L. Bellis, Anita B. Hjelmeland
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