The survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein is a major component of the pre-mRNA splicing machinery and is required for RNA metabolism. Although SMN has been considered a fundamental gene for the central nervous system, due to its relationship with neuromuscular diseases, such as spinal muscular atrophy, recent studies have also revealed the requirement of SMN in non-neuronal cells in the peripheral regions. Here, we report that the fibro-adipogenic progenitor subpopulation expressing Dpp4 (Dpp4+ FAPs) is required for the neuromuscular system. Furthermore, we also reveal that BRCA1-associated protein-1 (Bap1) is crucial for the stabilization of SMN in FAPs by preventing its ubiquitination-dependent degradation. Inactivation of Bap1 in FAPs decreased SMN levels and accompanied degeneration of the neuromuscular junction, leading to loss of motor neurons and muscle atrophy. Overexpression of the ubiquitination-resistant SMN variant, SMNK186R, in Bap1-null FAPs completely prevented neuromuscular degeneration. In addition, transplantation of Dpp4+ FAPs, but not Dpp4– FAPs, completely rescued neuromuscular defects. Our data reveal the crucial role of Bap1-mediated SMN stabilization in Dpp4+ FAPs for the neuromuscular system and provide the possibility of cell-based therapeutics to treat neuromuscular diseases.
Ji-Hoon Kim, Jong-Seol Kang, Kyusang Yoo, Jinguk Jeong, Inkuk Park, Jong Ho Park, Joonwoo Rhee, Shin Jeon, Young-Woo Jo, Sang-Hyeon Hann, Minji Seo, Seungtae Moon, Soo-Jong Um, Rho Hyun Seong, Young-Yun Kong
The eukaryotic CDC45/MCM2-7/GINS (CMG) helicase unwinds the DNA double helix during DNA replication. The GINS subcomplex is required for helicase activity and is, therefore, essential for DNA replication and cell viability. Here, we report the identification of 7 individuals from 5 unrelated families presenting with a Meier-Gorlin syndrome–like (MGS-like) phenotype associated with hypomorphic variants of GINS3, a gene not previously associated with this syndrome. We found that MGS-associated GINS3 variants affecting aspartic acid 24 (D24) compromised cell proliferation and caused accumulation of cells in S phase. These variants shortened the protein half-life, altered key protein interactions at the replisome, and negatively influenced DNA replication fork progression. Yeast expressing MGS-associated variants of PSF3 (the yeast GINS3 ortholog) also displayed impaired growth, S phase progression defects, and decreased Psf3 protein stability. We further showed that mouse embryos homozygous for a D24 variant presented intrauterine growth retardation and did not survive to birth, and that fibroblasts derived from these embryos displayed accelerated cellular senescence. Taken together, our findings implicate GINS3 in the pathogenesis of MGS and support the notion that hypomorphic variants identified in this gene impaired cell and organismal growth by compromising DNA replication.
Mary E. McQuaid, Kashif Ahmed, Stephanie Tran, Justine Rousseau, Ranad Shaheen, Kristin D. Kernohan, Kyoko E. Yuki, Prerna Grover, Ema S. Dreseris, Sameen Ahmed, Lucie Dupuis, Jennifer Stimec, Mary Shago, Zuhair N. Al-Hassnan, Roch Tremblay, Philipp G. Maass, Michael D. Wilson, Eyal Grunebaum, Kym M. Boycott, François-Michel Boisvert, Sateesh Maddirevula, Eissa A. Faqeih, Fahad Almanjomi, Zaheer Ullah Khan, Fowzan S. Alkuraya, Philippe M. Campeau, Peter Kannu, Eric I. Campos, Hugo Wurtele
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) results in an increase in the number of hormone-secreting enteroendocrine cells (EECs) in the intestinal epithelium, however the mechanism remains unclear. Notably, the beneficial effects of VSG are lost in a mouse model lacking the nuclear bile acid receptor, farnesoid X receptor (FXR). FXR is a nuclear transcription factor that has been shown to regulate intestinal stem cell (ISC) function in cancer models. Therefore, we hypothesized that the VSG-induced increase in EECs is due to changes in intestinal differentiation driven by an increase in bile acid signaling through FXR. To test this, we performed VSG in mice that express eGFP in ISC/progenitor cells and performed RNA-seq on GFP-positive cells sorted from the intestinal epithelia. We also assessed changes in EEC number (marked by GLP-1) in mouse intestinal organoids following treatment with bile acids, an FXR agonist, and a FXR antagonist. RNA-seq of ISCs revealed that bile acids receptors are expressed in ISCs and that VSG explicitly alters expression of several genes that regulate EEC differentiation. Mouse intestinal organoids treated with bile acids and two different FXR agonists increased GLP-1-positive cell numbers, and administration of an FXR antagonist blocked these effects. Taken together, these data indicate that VSG drives ISC fate towards EEC differentiation through bile acid signaling.
Ki-Suk Kim, Bailey C.E. Peck, Yu-Han Hung, Kieran Koch-Laskowski, Landon Wood, Priya H. Dedhia, Jason R. Spence, Randy J. Seeley, Praveen Sethupathy, Darleen A. Sandoval
Aberrant epithelial differentiation and regeneration contribute to colon pathologies including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colitis-associated cancer (CAC). MTG16 (CBFA2T3) is a transcriptional corepressor expressed in the colonic epithelium. MTG16 deficiency in mice exacerbates colitis and increases tumor burden in CAC, though the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we identified MTG16 as a central mediator of epithelial differentiation, promoting goblet and restraining enteroendocrine cell development in homeostasis and enabling regeneration following dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis. Transcriptomic analyses implicated increased E box-binding transcription factor (E protein) activity in MTG16-deficient colon crypts. Using a novel mouse model with a point mutation that attenuates MTG16:E protein interactions (Mtg16P209T), we established that MTG16 exerts control over colonic epithelial differentiation and regeneration by repressing E protein-mediated transcription. Mimicking murine colitis, MTG16 expression was increased in biopsies from patients with active IBD compared to unaffected controls. Finally, uncoupling MTG16:E protein interactions partially phenocopied the enhanced tumorigenicity of Mtg16-/- colon in the azoxymethane(AOM)/DSS-induced model of CAC, indicating that MTG16 protects from tumorigenesis through additional mechanisms. Collectively, our results demonstrate that MTG16, via its repression of E protein targets, is a key regulator of cell fate decisions during colon homeostasis, colitis, and cancer.
Rachel E. Brown, Justin Jacobse, Shruti A. Anant, Koral M. Blunt, Bob Chen, Paige N. Vega, Chase T. Jones, Jennifer M. Pilat, Frank Revetta, Aidan H. Gorby, Kristy R. Stengel, Yash A. Choksi, Kimmo Palin, M. Blanca Piazuelo, Mary K. Washington, Ken S. Lau, Jeremy A. Goettel, Scott W. Hiebert, Sarah P. Short, Christopher S. Williams
PRDM1 encodes B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein 1 (BLIMP1), also known as a master regulator of T-cell homeostasis. We observed a negative relationship between Blimp-1 and IL-21 based on our previous data that Blimp-1 overexpression in T cells suppresses autoimmune diabetes while Blimp-1 deficient T cells contribute to colitis in NOD mice. Reanalysis of published datasets also reveals an inverse correlation between PRDM1 and IL21 in Crohn’s disease. Here, we illustrate that Blimp-1 represses IL-21 by reducing chromatin accessibility and evicting an IL-21 activator c-Maf from the Il21 promoter. Moreover, IL-21-accelerated autoimmune diabetogenesis in small ubiquitin-like modifier-defective c-Maf transgenic mice can be overridden by Blimp-1 overexpression-mediated reduction in permissive chromatin structures at Il21 promoter. An autoregulatory feedback loop to harness IL-21 expression is unveiled by the evidence that addition of IL-21 induces time-dependent Blimp-1 expression and subsequently enriches its binding to the Il21 promoter to suppress IL-21 overproduction. Furthermore, intervention of this feedback loop by IL-21 blockade, IL-21R.Fc administration or IL-21 receptor deletion, attenuates Blimp-1 deficiency-mediated colitis and reinforces the circuit between Blimp-1 and IL-21 in the regulation of autoimmunity. We highlight the translation of Blimp-1-based epigenetic and transcriptomic profiles applicable to a personalized medicine approach in autoimmune diseases.
Yu-Wen Liu, Shin-Huei Fu, Ming-Wei Chien, Chao-Yuan Hsu, Ming-Hong Lin, Jia-Ling Dong, Rita Jui-Hsien Lu, Yi-Jing Lee, Pao-Yang Chen, Chih-Hung Wang, Huey-Kang Sytwu
COVID-19 infection causes collapse of glomerular capillaries and loss of podocytes, terminating in a severe kidney disease called COVID-19 associated nephropathy (COVAN). The underlying mechanism of COVAN is unknown. We hypothesized that cytokines induced by COVID-19 trigger expression of pathogenic APOL1 via JAK-STAT signaling, resulting in podocyte loss and COVAN phenotype. Here, based on nine biopsy-proven COVAN cases, we demonstrated for the first time that APOL1 protein is abundantly expressed in podocytes and glomerular endothelial cells (GECs) of COVAN kidneys but not in controls. Moreover, a majority (77.8%) of COVAN patients carried two APOL1 risk alleles. We showed that recombinant cytokines induced by SARS-CoV-2 act synergistically to drive APOL1 expression through the JAK-STAT pathway in primary human podocytes, GECs, and kidney micro-organoids derived from a carrier of two APOL1 risk alleles but was blocked by JAK1/2-inhibitor, baricitinib. We demonstrated for the first time that cytokine-induced JAK-STAT-APOL1 signaling reduced the viability of kidney organoid podocytes but was rescued by baricitinib. Together, our results support the conclusion that COVID-19-induced cytokines are sufficient to drive COVAN-associated podocytopathy via JAK-STAT-APOL1 signaling and that JAK-inhibitor could block this pathogenic process. These findings suggest that JAK-inhibitors may have therapeutic benefits for managing cytokine-induced APOL1-mediated podocytopathy.
Sarah E. Nystrom, Guojie Li, Somenath Datta, Karen Soldano, Daniel Silas, Astrid Weins, Gentzon Hall, David B. Thomas, Opeyemi A. Olabisi
Systemic therapies for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remain unsatisfactory. Clinical prognosis is particularly poor for tumor subtypes with activating aberrations in the MYC pathway creating an urgent need for novel therapeutic targets. To unbiasedly find novel MYC-associated epigenetic dependencies, we conducted a drug screen in pancreatic cancer cell lines. Here, we found protein arginine N-methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5) inhibitors to trigger a MYC-associated dependency. In human and murine PDACs, a robust connection of MYC and PRMT5 was detected. By the use of gain- and loss-of-function models, we confirm the increased efficacy of PRMT5 inhibitors in MYC deregulated PDACs. Although inhibition of PRMT5 is inducing DNA-damage and arresting PDAC cells in the G2/M-phase of the cell cycle, apoptotic cell death was executed predominantly in cells with high MYC expression. Experiments in primary patient-derived PDAC models demonstrated the existence of a highly PRMT5 inhibitor sensitive subtype. Our work suggests developing PRMT5 inhibitor-based therapies for PDAC.
Felix Orben, Katharina Lankes, Christian Schneeweis, Zonera Hassan, Hannah Jakubowsky, Lukas Krauß, Fabio Boniolo, Carolin Schneider, Arlett P.G. Schäfer, Janine Murr, Christoph Schlag, Bo Kong, Rupert Öllinger, Chengdong Wang, Georg Beyer, Ujjwal Mukund Mahajan, Yonggan Xue, Julia Mayerle, Roland M. Schmid, Bernhard Kuster, Roland Rad, Christian J. Braun, Matthias Wirth, Maximilian Reichert, Dieter Saur, Günter Schneider
HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) predicts risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), but the factors regulating HDL are incompletely understood. Emerging data link CVD risk to decreased HDL-C in 8% of the world population and 40% of East Asians who carry an SNP of aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) rs671, responsible for alcohol flushing syndrome; however, the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. We found significantly decreased HDL-C with increased hepatosteatosis in ALDH2-KO (AKO), ALDH2/LDLR–double KO (ALKO), and ALDH2 rs671–knock-in (KI) mice after consumption of a Western diet. Metabolomics identified ADP-ribose as the most significantly increased metabolites in the ALKO mouse liver. Moreover, ALDH2 interacted with poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) and attenuated PARP1 nuclear translocation to downregulate poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation of liver X receptor α (LXRα), leading to an upregulation of ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) and HDL biogenesis. Conversely, AKO or ALKO mice exhibited lower HDL-C with ABCA1 downregulation due to increased nuclear PARP1 and upregulation of LXRα poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation. Consistently, PARP1 inhibition rescued ALDH2 deficiency–induced fatty liver and elevated HDL-C in AKO mice. Interestingly, KI mouse or human liver tissues showed ABCA1 downregulation with increased nuclear PARP1 and LXRα poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation. Our study uncovered a key role of ALDH2 in HDL biogenesis through the LXRα/PARP1/ABCA1 axis, highlighting a potential therapeutic strategy in CVD.
Luxiao Li, Shanshan Zhong, Rui Li, Ningning Liang, Lili Zhang, Shen Xia, Xiaodong Xu, Xin Chen, Shiting Chen, Yongzhen Tao, Huiyong Yin
Platelet homeostasis is dependent on a tight regulation of both platelet production and clearance. The small GTPase Rap1 mediates platelet adhesion and hemostatic plug formation. However, Rap1 signaling is also critical for platelet homeostasis as both Rap1 deficiency and uninhibited Rap1 signaling lead to marked thrombocytopenia in mice. Here we investigated the mechanism by which deficiency in Rasa3, a critical negative regulator of Rap1, causes macrothrombocytopenia in mice. Despite marked morphological and ultrastructural abnormalities, megakaryocytes in hypomorphic Rasa3hlb/hlb or Rasa3-/- mice demonstrated robust proplatelet formation in vivo, suggesting that defective thrombopoiesis is not the main cause of thrombocytopenia. Rather, we observed that Rasa3hlb/hlb platelets become trapped in the spleen marginal zone/red pulp interface, with evidence of platelet phagocytosis by macrophages. Clearance of mutant platelets was also observed in the liver, especially in splenectomized mice. Platelet count and platelet lifespan in Rasa3 mutant mice were restored by genetic or pharmacological approaches to inhibit the Rap1/Talin1/αIIbβ3 integrin axis. A similar pattern of splenic clearance was observed in mice injected with anti-αIIbβ3 but not anti-GPIbα platelet-depleting antibodies. In summary, we describe a novel, integrin-based mechanism of platelet clearance that could be critical for our understanding of select inherited and acquired thrombocytopenias.
Robert H Lee, Dorsaf Ghalloussi, Gabriel L. Harousseau, Joseph P. Kenny, Patrick A. Kramer, Fabienne Proamer, Bernhard Nieswandt, Matthew J. Flick, Christian Gachet, Caterina Casari, Anita Eckly, Wolfgang Bergmeier
Parturition is a well-orchestrated process characterized by increased uterine contractility, cervical ripening, and activation of the chorioamniotic membranes; yet, the transition from a quiescent to a contractile myometrium heralds the onset of labor. However, the cellular underpinnings of human parturition in the uterine tissues are still poorly understood. Herein, we performed a comprehensive study of the human myometrium during spontaneous term labor using single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-Seq). First, we established a single-cell atlas of the human myometrium and unraveled the cell type–specific transcriptomic activity modulated during labor. Major cell types included distinct subsets of smooth muscle cells, monocytes/macrophages, stromal cells, and endothelial cells, all of which communicated and participated in immune (e.g., inflammation) and nonimmune (e.g., contraction) processes associated with labor. Furthermore, integrating scRNA-Seq and microarray data with deconvolution of bulk gene expression highlighted the contribution of smooth muscle cells to labor-associated contractility and inflammatory processes. Last, myometrium-derived single-cell signatures can be quantified in the maternal whole-blood transcriptome throughout pregnancy and are enriched in women in labor, providing a potential means of noninvasively monitoring pregnancy and its complications. Together, our findings provide insights into the contributions of specific myometrial cell types to the biological processes that take place during term parturition.
Roger Pique-Regi, Roberto Romero, Valeria Garcia-Flores, Azam Peyvandipour, Adi L. Tarca, Errile Pusod, Jose Galaz, Derek Miller, Gaurav Bhatti, Robert Para, Tomi Kanninen, Ola Hadaya, Carmen Paredes, Kenichiro Motomura, Jeffrey R. Johnson, Eunjung Jung, Chaur-Dong Hsu, Stanley M. Berry, Nardhy Gomez-Lopez
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