Cystic fibrosis–related (CF-related) diabetes (CFRD) is an increasingly common and devastating comorbidity of CF, affecting approximately 35% of adults with CF. However, the underlying causes of CFRD are unclear. Here, we examined cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) islet expression and whether the CFTR participates in islet endocrine cell function using murine models of β cell CFTR deletion and normal and CF human pancreas and islets. Specific deletion of CFTR from murine β cells did not affect β cell function. In human islets, CFTR mRNA was minimally expressed, and CFTR protein and electrical activity were not detected. Isolated CF/CFRD islets demonstrated appropriate insulin and glucagon secretion, with few changes in key islet-regulatory transcripts. Furthermore, approximately 65% of β cell area was lost in CF donors, compounded by pancreatic remodeling and immune infiltration of the islet. These results indicate that CFRD is caused by β cell loss and intraislet inflammation in the setting of a complex pleiotropic disease and not by intrinsic islet dysfunction from CFTR mutation.
Nathaniel J. Hart, Radhika Aramandla, Gregory Poffenberger, Cody Fayolle, Ariel H. Thames, Austin Bautista, Aliya F. Spigelman, Jenny Aurielle B. Babon, Megan E. DeNicola, Prasanna K. Dadi, William S. Bush, Appakalai N. Balamurugan, Marcela Brissova, Chunhua Dai, Nripesh Prasad, Rita Bottino, David A. Jacobson, Mitchell L. Drumm, Sally C. Kent, Patrick E. MacDonald, Alvin C. Powers
Adiponectin, an adipocyte-derived circulating protein, accumulates in vasculature, heart, and skeletal muscles through interaction with a unique glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored cadherin, T-cadherin. Recent studies have demonstrated that such accumulation is essential for adiponectin-mediated cardiovascular protection. Here, we demonstrate that the adiponectin/T-cadherin system enhances exosome biogenesis and secretion, leading to the decrease of cellular ceramides. Adiponectin accumulated inside multivesicular bodies, the site of exosome generation, in cultured cells and in vivo aorta, and also in exosomes in conditioned media and in blood, together with T-cadherin. The systemic level of exosomes in blood was significantly affected by adiponectin or T-cadherin in vivo. Adiponectin increased exosome biogenesis from the cells, dependently on T-cadherin, but not on AdipoR1 or AdipoR2. Such enhancement of exosome release accompanied the reduction of cellular ceramides through ceramide efflux in exosomes. Consistently, the ceramide reduction by adiponectin was found in aortas of WT mice treated with angiotensin II, but not in T-cadherin–knockout mice. Our findings provide insights into adiponectin/T-cadherin–mediated organ protection through exosome biogenesis and secretion.
Yoshinari Obata, Shunbun Kita, Yoshihisa Koyama, Shiro Fukuda, Hiroaki Takeda, Masatomo Takahashi, Yuya Fujishima, Hirofumi Nagao, Shigeki Masuda, Yoshimitsu Tanaka, Yuto Nakamura, Hitoshi Nishizawa, Tohru Funahashi, Barbara Ranscht, Yoshihiro Izumi, Takeshi Bamba, Eiichiro Fukusaki, Rikinari Hanayama, Shoichi Shimada, Norikazu Maeda, Iichiro Shimomura
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) stems from mutations in sarcomeric proteins that elicit distinct biophysical sequelae, which in turn may yield radically different intracellular signaling and molecular pathologic profiles. These signaling events remain largely unaddressed by clinical trials that have selected patients based on clinical HCM diagnosis, irrespective of genotype. In this study, we determined how two mouse models of HCM differ, with respect to cellular/mitochondrial function and molecular biosignatures, at an early stage of disease. We show that hearts from young R92W-TnT and R403Q-αMyHC mutation–bearing mice differ in their transcriptome, miRNome, intracellular redox environment, mitochondrial antioxidant defense mechanisms, and susceptibility to mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening. Pathway analysis of mRNA-sequencing data and microRNA profiles indicate that R92W-TnT mutants exhibit a biosignature consistent with activation of profibrotic TGF-β signaling. Our results suggest that the oxidative environment and mitochondrial impairment in young R92W-TnT mice promote activation of TGF-β signaling that foreshadows a pernicious phenotype in young individuals. Of the two mutations, R92W-TnT is more likely to benefit from anti–TGF-β signaling effects conferred by angiotensin receptor blockers and may be responsive to mitochondrial antioxidant strategies in the early stage of disease. Molecular and functional profiling may therefore serve as aids to guide precision therapy for HCM.
Styliani Vakrou, Ryuya Fukunaga, D. Brian Foster, Lars Sorensen, Yamin Liu, Yufan Guan, Kirubel Woldemichael, Roberto Pineda-Reyes, Ting Liu, Jill C. Tardiff, Leslie A. Leinwand, Carlo G. Tocchetti, Theodore P. Abraham, Brian O’Rourke, Miguel A. Aon, M. Roselle Abraham
Hippo/YAP signaling plays pleiotropic roles in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation during organogenesis and tissue repair. Herein we demonstrate increased YAP activity in respiratory epithelial cells in lungs of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a common, lethal form of interstitial lung disease (ILD). Immunofluorescence staining in IPF epithelial cells demonstrated increased nuclear YAP and loss of MST1/2. Bioinformatic analyses of epithelial cell RNA profiles predicted increased activity of YAP and increased canonical mTOR/PI3K/AKT signaling in IPF. Phospho-S6 (p-S6) and p-PTEN were increased in IPF epithelial cells, consistent with activation of mTOR signaling. Expression of YAP (S127A), a constitutively active form of YAP, in human bronchial epithelial cells (HBEC3s) increased p-S6 and p-PI3K, cell proliferation and migration, processes that were inhibited by the YAP-TEAD inhibitor verteporfin. Activation of p-S6 was required for enhancing and stabilizing YAP, and the p-S6 inhibitor temsirolimus blocked nuclear YAP localization and suppressed expression of YAP target genes CTGF, AXL, and AJUBA (JUB). YAP and mTOR/p-S6 signaling pathways interact to induce cell proliferation and migration, and inhibit epithelial cell differentiation that may contribute to the pathogenesis of IPF.
Jason J. Gokey, Anusha Sridharan, Yan Xu, Jenna Green, Gianni Carraro, Barry R. Stripp, Anne-Karina T. Perl, Jeffrey A. Whitsett
Premature infants are at high risk for developing bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), characterized by chronic inflammation and inhibition of lung development, which we have recently identified as being modulated by microRNAs (miRNAs) and alterations in the airway microbiome. Exosomes and exosomal miRNAs may regulate cell differentiation and tissue and organ development. We discovered that tracheal aspirates from infants with severe BPD had increased numbers of, but smaller, exosomes compared with term controls. Similarly, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from hyperoxia-exposed mice (an animal model of BPD) and supernatants from hyperoxia-exposed human bronchial epithelial cells (in vitro model of BPD) had increased exosomes compared with air controls. Next, in a prospective cohort study of tracheal aspirates obtained at birth from extremely preterm infants, utilizing independent discovery and validation cohorts, we identified unbiased exosomal miRNA signatures predictive of severe BPD. The strongest signal of reduced miR-876-3p in BPD-susceptible compared with BPD-resistant infants was confirmed in the animal model and in vitro models of BPD. In addition, based on our recent discovery of increased Proteobacteria in the airway microbiome being associated with BPD, we developed potentially novel in vivo and in vitro models for BPD combining Proteobacterial LPS and hyperoxia exposure. Addition of LPS led to a larger reduction in exosomal miR 876-3p in both hyperoxia and normoxia compared with hyperoxia alone, thus indicating a potential mechanism by which alterations in microbiota can suppress miR 876-3p. Gain of function of miR 876-3p improved the alveolar architecture in the in vivo BPD model, demonstrating a causal link between miR 876-3p and BPD. In summary, we provide evidence for the strong predictive biomarker potential of miR 876-3p in severe BPD. We also provide insights on the pathogenesis of neonatal lung disease, as modulated by hyperoxia and microbial product–induced changes in exosomal miRNA 876-3p, which could be targeted for future therapeutic development.
Charitharth Vivek Lal, Nelida Olave, Colm Travers, Gabriel Rezonzew, Kalsang Dolma, Alexandra Simpson, Brian Halloran, Zubair Aghai, Pragnya Das, Nirmal Sharma, Xin Xu, Kristopher Genschmer, Derek Russell, Tomasz Szul, Nengjun Yi, J. Edwin Blalock, Amit Gaggar, Vineet Bhandari, Namasivayam Ambalavanan
Loss-of-function mutations in genes encoding contractile proteins have been observed in thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA). To gain insight into the contribution of contractile protein deficiency in the pathogenesis of TAA, we examined human aneurysm samples. We found multiple contractile gene products deficient in TAA samples, and in particular, expression of SM22α was inversely correlated with aneurysm size. SM22α-deficient mice demonstrated pregnancy-induced aortic dissection, and SM22α deficiency worsened aortic aneurysm in Fbn1C1039G/+ (Marfan) mice, validating this gene product as a TAA effector. We found that repression of SM22α was enforced by increased activity of the methyltransferase EZH2. TGF-β effectors such as SMAD3 were excluded from binding SM22α-encoding chromatin (TAGLN) in TAA samples, while treatment with the EZH2 inhibitor GSK343 improved cytoskeletal architecture and restored SM22α expression. Finally, inhibition of EZH2 improved aortic performance in Fbn1C1039G/+ mice, in association with restoration of contractile protein expression (including SM22α). Together, these data inform our understanding of contractile protein deficiency in TAA and support the pursuit of chromatin modifying factors as therapeutic targets in aortic disease.
Christian L. Lino Cardenas, Chase W. Kessinger, Carolyn MacDonald, Arminder S. Jassar, Eric M. Isselbacher, Farouc A. Jaffer, Mark E. Lindsay
In multiple sclerosis (MS), a demyelinating inflammatory disease of the CNS, and its animal model (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; EAE), circulating immune cells gain access to the CNS across the blood-brain barrier to cause inflammation, myelin destruction, and neuronal damage. Here, we discovered that calnexin, an ER chaperone, is highly abundant in human brain endothelial cells of MS patients. Conversely, mice lacking calnexin exhibited resistance to EAE induction, no evidence of immune cell infiltration into the CNS, and no induction of inflammation markers within the CNS. Furthermore, calnexin deficiency in mice did not alter the development or function of the immune system. Instead, the loss of calnexin led to a defect in brain endothelial cell function that resulted in reduced T cell trafficking across the blood-brain barrier. These findings identify calnexin in brain endothelial cells as a potentially novel target for developing strategies aimed at managing or preventing the pathogenic cascade that drives neuroinflammation and destruction of the myelin sheath in MS.
Joanna Jung, Paul Eggleton, Alison Robinson, Jessica Wang, Nick Gutowski, Janet Holley, Jia Newcombe, Elzbieta Dudek, Amber M. Paul, Douglas Zochodne, Allison Kraus, Christopher Power, Luis B. Agellon, Marek Michalak
Traditional pulmonary therapies for cystic fibrosis (CF) target the downstream effects of CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) dysfunction (the cause of CF). Use of one such therapy, β-adrenergic bronchodilators (such as albuterol), is nearly universal for airway clearance. Conversely, novel modulator therapies restore function to select mutant CFTR proteins, offering a disease-modifying treatment. Recent trials of modulators targeting F508del-CFTR, the most common CFTR mutation, suggest that chronic β-agonist use may undermine clinical modulator benefits. We therefore sought to understand the impact of chronic or excess β-agonist exposure on CFTR activation in human airway epithelium. The present studies demonstrate a greater than 60% reduction in both wild-type and modulator-corrected F508del-CFTR activation following chronic exposure to short- and long-acting β-agonists. This reduction was due to reduced cellular generation of cAMP downstream of the β-2 adrenergic receptor–G protein complex. Our results point towards a posttranscriptional reduction in adenylyl cyclase function as the mechanism of impaired CFTR activation produced by prolonged β-agonist exposure. β-Agonist–induced CFTR dysfunction was sufficient to abrogate VX809/VX770 modulation of F508del-CFTR in vitro. Understanding the clinical relevance of our observations is critical for CF patients using these drugs, and for investigators to inform future CFTR modulator drug trials.
John J. Brewington, Jessica Backstrom, Amanda Feldman, Elizabeth L. Kramer, Jessica D. Moncivaiz, Alicia J. Ostmann, Xiaoting Zhu, L. Jason Lu, John P. Clancy
Renal fibrosis is a common pathogenic response to injury in chronic kidney disease (CKD). The receptor-interacting protein kinase-3 (RIPK3), a regulator of necroptosis, has been implicated in disease pathogenesis. In mice subjected to unilateral ureteral obstruction–induced (UUO-induced) or adenine diet–induced (AD-induced) renal fibrosis, models of progressive kidney fibrosis, we demonstrate increased kidney expression of RIPK3. Mice genetically deficient in RIPK3 displayed decreased kidney fibrosis and improved kidney function relative to WT mice when challenged with UUO or AD. In contrast, mice genetically deficient in mixed-lineage kinase domain-like protein (MLKL), a downstream RIPK3 target, were not protected from UUO-induced kidney fibrosis. We demonstrate a pathway by which RIPK3 promotes fibrogenesis through the AKT-dependent activation of ATP citrate lyase (ACL). Genetic or chemical inhibition of RIPK3 suppressed the phosphorylation of AKT and ACL in response to TGF-β1 in fibroblasts. Inhibition of AKT or ACL suppressed TGF-β1–dependent extracellular matrix production and myofibroblast differentiation in fibroblasts. Pharmacological inhibition of ACL suppressed UUO-induced kidney fibrosis. RIPK3 expression was highly regulated in human CKD kidney. In conclusion, we identify a pathway by which RIPK3 promotes kidney fibrosis independently of MLKL-dependent necroptosis as a promising therapeutic target in CKD.
Mitsuru Imamura, Jong-Seok Moon, Kuei-Pin Chung, Kiichi Nakahira, Thangamani Muthukumar, Roman Shingarev, Stefan W. Ryter, Augustine M.K. Choi, Mary E. Choi
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can give rise to both adipocytes and osteoblasts, but the molecular mechanisms underlying MSC fate determination remain poorly understood. IκB kinase β (IKKβ), a central coordinator of inflammation and immune responses through activation of NF-κB, has been implicated as a critical molecular link between obesity and metabolic disorders. Here, we show that IKKβ can reciprocally regulate adipocyte and osteoblast differentiation of murine and human MSCs through an NF-κB–independent mechanism. IKKβ is a β-catenin kinase that phosphorylates the conserved degron motif of β-catenin to prime it for β-TrCP–mediated ubiquitination and degradation, thereby increasing adipogenesis and inhibiting osteogenesis in MSCs. Animal studies demonstrated that deficiency of IKKβ in BM mesenchymal stromal cells increased bone mass and decreased BM adipocyte formation in adult mice. In humans, IKKβ expression in adipose tissue was also positively associated with increased adiposity and elevated β-catenin phosphorylation. These findings suggest IKKβ as a key molecular switch that regulates MSC fate, and they provide potentially novel mechanistic insights into the understanding of the cross-regulation between the evolutionarily conserved IKKβ and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways. The IKKβ-Wnt axis we uncovered may also have important implications for development, homeostasis, and disease pathogenesis.
Yipeng Sui, Zun Liu, Se-Hyung Park, Sean E. Thatcher, Beibei Zhu, Joseph P. Fernandez, Henrik Molina, Philip A. Kern, Changcheng Zhou
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