Neuregulins (NRGs) are emerging as an important family of signaling ligands that regulate glucose and lipid homeostasis. NRG1 lowers blood glucose levels in obese mice, whereas the brown fat–enriched secreted factor NRG4 protects mice from high-fat diet–induced insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis. However, the therapeutic potential of NRGs remains elusive, given the poor plasma half-life of the native ligands. Here, we engineered a fusion protein using human NRG1 and the Fc domain of human IgG1 (NRG1-Fc) that exhibited extended half-life in circulation and improved potency in receptor signaling. We evaluated its efficacy in improving metabolic parameters and dissected the mechanisms of action. NRG1-Fc treatment triggered potent AKT activation in the liver, lowered blood glucose, improved insulin sensitivity, and suppressed food intake in obese mice. NRG1-Fc acted as a potent secretagogue for the metabolic hormone FGF21; however, the latter was largely dispensable for its metabolic effects. NRG1-Fc directly targeted the hypothalamic POMC neurons to promote membrane depolarization and increase firing rate. Together, NRG1-Fc exhibits improved pharmacokinetic properties and exerts metabolic benefits through dual inhibition of hepatic gluconeogenesis and caloric intake.
Peng Zhang, Henry Kuang, Yanlin He, Sharon O. Idiga, Siming Li, Zhimin Chen, Zhao Yang, Xing Cai, Kezhong Zhang, Matthew J. Potthoff, Yong Xu, Jiandie D. Lin
Autoimmune-mediated destruction of pancreatic islet β cells results in type 1 diabetes (T1D). Serum islet autoantibodies usually develop in genetically susceptible individuals in early childhood before T1D onset, with multiple islet autoantibodies predicting diabetes development. However, most at-risk children remain islet-antibody negative, and no test currently identifies those likely to seroconvert. We sought a genomic signature predicting seroconversion risk by integrating longitudinal peripheral blood gene expression profiles collected in high-risk children included in the BABYDIET and DIPP cohorts, of whom 50 seroconverted. Subjects were followed for 10 years to determine time of seroconversion. Any cohort effect and the time of seroconversion were corrected to uncover genes differentially expressed (DE) in seroconverting children. Gene expression signatures associated with seroconversion were evident during the first year of life, with 67 DE genes identified in seroconverting children relative to those remaining antibody negative. These genes contribute to T cell–, DC-, and B cell–related immune responses. Near-birth expression of ADCY9, PTCH1, MEX3B, IL15RA, ZNF714, TENM1, and PLEKHA5, along with HLA risk score predicted seroconversion (AUC 0.85). The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway linked DE genes and T1D susceptibility genes. Therefore, a gene expression signature in infancy predicts risk of seroconversion. Ubiquitination may play a mechanistic role in diabetes progression.
Ahmed M. Mehdi, Emma E. Hamilton-Williams, Alexandre Cristino, Anette Ziegler, Ezio Bonifacio, Kim-Anh Le Cao, Mark Harris, Ranjeny Thomas
Progressive chronic kidney diseases (CKDs) are on the rise worldwide. However, the sequence of events resulting in CKD progression remain poorly understood. Animal models of CKD exploring these issues are confounded by systemic toxicities or surgical interventions to acutely induce kidney injury. Here we report the generation of a CKD mouse model through the inducible podocyte-specific ablation of an essential endogenous molecule, the chromatin structure regulator CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF), which leads to rapid podocyte loss (iCTCFpod–/–). As a consequence, iCTCFpod–/– mice develop severe progressive albuminuria, hyperlipidemia, hypoalbuminemia, and impairment of renal function, and die within 8–10 weeks. CKD progression in iCTCFpod–/– mice leads to high serum phosphate and elevations in fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) and parathyroid hormone that rapidly cause bone mineralization defects, increased bone resorption, and bone loss. Dissection of the timeline leading to glomerular pathology in this CKD model led to the surprising observation that podocyte ablation and the resulting glomerular filter destruction is sufficient to drive progressive CKD and osteodystrophy in the absence of interstitial fibrosis. This work introduces an animal model with significant advantages for the study of CKD progression, and it highlights the need for podocyte-protective strategies for future kidney therapeutics.
Marta Christov, Abbe R. Clark, Braden Corbin, Samy Hakroush, Eugene P. Rhee, Hiroaki Saito, Dan Brooks, Eric Hesse, Mary Bouxsein, Niels Galjart, Ji Yong Jung, Peter Mundel, Harald Jüppner, Astrid Weins, Anna Greka
BACKGROUND. Accumulation of diacylglycerol (DAG) and sphingolipids is thought to promote skeletal muscle insulin resistance by altering cellular signaling specific to their location. However,the subcellular localization of bioactive lipids in human skeletal muscle is largely unknown. METHODS. We evaluated subcellular localization of skeletal muscle DAGs and sphingolipids in lean individuals (n = 15), endurance-trained athletes (n = 16), and obese men and women with (n = 12) and without type 2 diabetes (n = 15). Muscle biopsies were fractionated into sarcolemmal, cytosolic, mitochondrial/ER, and nuclear compartments. Lipids were measured using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, and insulin sensitivity was measured using hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. RESULTS. Sarcolemmal 1,2-DAGs were not significantly related to insulin sensitivity. Sarcolemmal ceramides were inversely related to insulin sensitivity, with a significant relationship found for the C18:0 species. Sarcolemmal sphingomyelins were also inversely related to insulin sensitivity, with the strongest relationships found for the C18:1, C18:0, and C18:2 species. In the mitochondrial/ER and nuclear fractions, 1,2-DAGs were positively related to, while ceramides were inversely related to, insulin sensitivity. Cytosolic lipids as well as 1,3-DAG, dihydroceramides, and glucosylceramides in any compartment were not related to insulin sensitivity. All sphingolipids but only specific DAGs administered to isolated mitochondria decreased mitochondrial state 3 respiration. CONCLUSION. These data reveal previously unknown differences in subcellular localization of skeletal muscle DAGs and sphingolipids that relate to whole-body insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial function in humans. These data suggest that whole-cell concentrations of lipids obscure meaningful differences in compartmentalization and suggest that subcellular localization of lipids should be considered when developing therapeutic interventions to treat insulin resistance. FUNDING. National Institutes of Health General Clinical Research Center (RR-00036), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) (R01DK089170), NIDDK (T32 DK07658), and Colorado Nutrition Obesity Research Center (P30DK048520).
Leigh Perreault, Sean A. Newsom, Allison Strauss, Anna Kerege, Darcy E. Kahn, Kathleen A. Harrison, Janet K. Snell-Bergeon, Travis Nemkov, Angelo D’Alessandro, Matthew R. Jackman, Paul S. MacLean, Bryan C. Bergman
The adrenal cortex undergoes remodeling during fetal and postnatal life. How zona reticularis emerges in the postnatal gland to support adrenarche, a process whereby higher primates increase prepubertal androgen secretion, is unknown. Using cell-fate mapping and gene deletion studies in mice, we show that activation of PKA has no effect on the fetal cortex, while it accelerates regeneration of the adult cortex, triggers zona fasciculata differentiation that is subsequently converted into a functional reticularis-like zone, and drives hypersecretion syndromes. Remarkably, PKA effects are influenced by sex. Indeed, testicular androgens increase WNT signaling that antagonizes PKA, leading to slower adrenocortical cell turnover and delayed phenotype whereas gonadectomy sensitizes males to hypercorticism and reticularis-like formation. Thus, reticularis results from ultimate centripetal conversion of adult cortex under the combined effects of PKA and cell turnover that dictate organ size. We show that PKA-induced progenitor recruitment is sexually dimorphic and may provide a paradigm for overrepresentation of women in adrenal diseases.
Typhanie Dumontet, Isabelle Sahut-Barnola, Amandine Septier, Nathanaëlle Montanier, Ingrid Plotton, Florence Roucher-Boulez, Véronique Ducros, Anne-Marie Lefrançois-Martinez, Jean-Christophe Pointud, Mohamad Zubair, Ken-Ichirou Morohashi, David T. Breault, Pierre Val, Antoine Martinez
Hypoglycemia is commonly associated with insulin therapy, limiting both its safety and efficacy. The concept of modifying insulin to render its glucose-responsive release from an injection depot (of an insulin complexed exogenously with a recombinant lectin) was proposed approximately 4 decades ago but has been challenging to achieve. Data presented here demonstrate that mannosylated insulin analogs can undergo an additional route of clearance as result of their interaction with endogenous mannose receptor (MR), and this can occur in a glucose-dependent fashion, with increased binding to MR at low glucose. Yet, these analogs retain capacity for binding to the insulin receptor (IR). When the blood glucose level is elevated, as in individuals with diabetes mellitus, MR binding diminishes due to glucose competition, leading to reduced MR-mediated clearance and increased partitioning for IR binding and consequent glucose lowering. These studies demonstrate that a glucose-dependent locus of insulin clearance and, hence, insulin action can be achieved by targeting MR and IR concurrently.
Ruojing Yang, Margaret Wu, Songnian Lin, Ravi P. Nargund, Xinghai Li, Theresa Kelly, Lin Yan, Ge Dai, Ying Qian, Qing Dallas-yang, Paul A. Fischer, Yan Cui, Xiaolan Shen, Pei Huo, Danqing Dennis Feng, Mark D. Erion, David E. Kelley, James Mu
BACKGROUND. In type 1 diabetes (T1D), adjuvant treatment with inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), which dilate the efferent arteriole, is associated with prevention of progressive albuminuria and renal dysfunction. Uncertainty still exists as to why some individuals with long-standing T1D develop diabetic kidney disease (DKD) while others do not (DKD resistors). We hypothesized that those with DKD would be distinguished from DKD resistors by the presence of RAAS activation. METHODS. Renal and systemic hemodynamic function was measured before and after exogenous RAAS stimulation by intravenous infusion of angiotensin II (ANGII) in 75 patients with prolonged T1D durations and in equal numbers of nondiabetic controls. The primary outcome was change in renal vascular resistance (RVR) in response to RAAS stimulation, a measure of endogenous RAAS activation. RESULTS. Those with DKD had less change in RVR following exogenous RAAS stimulation compared with DKD resistors or controls (19%, 29%, 31%, P = 0.008, DKD vs. DKD resistors), reflecting exaggerated endogenous renal RAAS activation. All T1D participants had similar changes in renal efferent arteroilar resistance (9% vs. 13%, P = 0.37) irrespective of DKD status, which reflected less change versus controls (20%, P = 0.03). In contrast, those with DKD exhibited comparatively less change in afferent arteriolar vascular resistance compared with DKD resistors or controls (33%, 48%, 48%, P = 0.031, DKD vs. DKD resistors), indicating higher endogenous RAAS activity. CONCLUSION. In long-standing T1D, the intrarenal RAAS is exaggerated in DKD, which unexpectedly predominates at the afferent rather than the efferent arteriole, stimulating vasoconstriction. FUNDING. JDRF operating grant 17-2013-312.
Julie A. Lovshin, Geneviève Boulet, Yuliya Lytvyn, Leif E. Lovblom, Petter Bjornstad, Mohammed A. Farooqi, Vesta Lai, Leslie Cham, Josephine Tse, Andrej Orszag, Daniel Scarr, Alanna Weisman, Hillary A. Keenan, Michael H. Brent, Narinder Paul, Vera Bril, Bruce A. Perkins, David Z.I. Cherney
Compared with persons of European descent (ED), persons of African descent (AD) have lower aldosterone (ALDO) levels, with the assumption being that the increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk associated with AD is not related to ALDO. However, the appropriateness of the ALDO levels for the volume status in AD is unclear. We hypothesized that, even though ALDO levels are lower in AD, they are inappropriately increased, and therefore, ALDO could mediate the increased CVD in AD. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed data from HyperPATH — 1,788 individuals from the total cohort and 765 restricted to ED-to-AD in a 2:1 match and genotyped for the endothelin-1 gene (EDN1). Linear regression analyses with adjustments were performed. In the total and restricted cohorts, PRA, ALDO, and urinary potassium levels were significantly lower in AD. However, in the AD group, greater ALDO dysregulation was present as evidenced by higher ALDO/plasma renin activity (PRA) ratios (ARR) and sodium-modulated ALDO suppression-to-stimulation indices. Furthermore, EDN1 minor allele carriers had significantly greater ARRs than noncarriers but only in the AD group. ARR levels were modulated by a significant interaction between EDN1 and AD. Thus, EDN1 variants may identify particularly susceptible ADs who will be responsive to treatment targeting ALDO-dependent pathways (e.g., mineralocorticoid-receptor antagonists).
Jia W. Tan, Tina Gupta, Worapaka Manosroi, Tham M. Yao, Paul N. Hopkins, Jonathan S. Williams, Gail K. Adler, Jose R. Romero, Gordon H. Williams
Primary and secondary hypertension are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death worldwide. Elevated secretion of aldosterone resulting from primary aldosteronism (PA) is a key driver of secondary hypertension. Here, we report an unexpected role for the ubiquitin ligase Siah1 in adrenal gland development and PA. Siah1a–/– mice exhibit altered adrenal gland morphology, as reflected by a diminished X-zone, enlarged medulla, and dysregulated zonation of the glomerulosa as well as increased aldosterone levels and aldosterone target gene expression and reduced plasma potassium levels. Genes involved in catecholamine biosynthesis and cAMP signaling are upregulated in the adrenal glands of Siah1a–/– mice, while genes related to retinoic acid signaling and cholesterol biosynthesis are downregulated. Loss of Siah1 leads to increased expression of the Siah1 substrate PIAS1, an E3 SUMO protein ligase implicated in the suppression of LXR, a key regulator of cholesterol levels in the adrenal gland. In addition, SIAH1 sequence variants were identified in patients with PA; such variants impaired SIAH1 ubiquitin ligase activity, resulting in elevated PIAS1 expression. These data identify a role for the Siah1-PIAS1 axis in adrenal gland organization and function and point to possible therapeutic targets for hyperaldosteronism.
Marzia Scortegagna, Annabel Berthon, Nikolaos Settas, Andreas Giannakou, Guillermina Garcia, Jian-Liang Li, Brian James, Robert C. Liddington, José G. Vilches-Moure, Constantine A. Stratakis, Ze’ev A. Ronai
The secretion of insulin and glucagon from the pancreas and the incretin hormones glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP) from the gastrointestinal tract is essential for glucose homeostasis. Several novel treatment strategies for type 2 diabetes (T2D) mimic GLP-1 actions or inhibit incretin degradation (DPP4 inhibitors), but none is thus far aimed at increasing the secretion of endogenous incretins. In order to identify new potential therapeutic targets for treatment of T2D, we performed a meta-analysis of a GWAS and an exome-wide association study of circulating insulin, glucagon, GIP, and GLP-1 concentrations measured during an oral glucose tolerance test in up to 7,828 individuals. We identified 6 genome-wide significant functional loci associated with plasma incretin concentrations in or near the SLC5A1 (encoding SGLT1), GIPR, ABO, GLP2R, F13A1, and HOXD1 genes and studied the effect of these variants on mRNA expression in pancreatic islet and on metabolic phenotypes. Immunohistochemistry showed expression of GIPR, ABO, and HOXD1 in human enteroendocrine cells and expression of ABO in pancreatic islets, supporting a role in hormone secretion. This study thus provides candidate genes and insight into mechanisms by which secretion and breakdown of GIP and GLP-1 are regulated.
Peter Almgren, Andreas Lindqvist, Ulrika Krus, Liisa Hakaste, Emilia Ottosson-Laakso, Olof Asplund, Emily Sonestedt, Rashmi B. Prasad, Esa Laurila, Marju Orho-Melander, Olle Melander, Tiinamaija Tuomi, Jens Juul Holst, Peter M. Nilsson, Nils Wierup, Leif Groop, Emma Ahlqvist
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