Chemoresistance in cancer is linked to a subset of cancer cells termed “cancer stem cells” (CSCs), and in particular, those expressing the CD44 variant appear to represent a more aggressive disease phenotype. Herein, we demonstrate that CD44v6 represents a CSC population with increased resistance to chemotherapeutic agents, and its high expression is frequently associated with poor overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). CD44v6+ cells showed elevated resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs and significantly high tumor initiation capacity. Inhibition of CD44v6 resulted in the attenuation of self-renewal capacity and resensitization to chemotherapeutic agents. Of note, miRNA profiling of CD44v6+ spheroid-derived CSCs identified a unique panel of miRNAs indicative of high self-renewal capacity. In particular, miR-1246 was overexpressed in CD44v6+ cells, and associated with poor OS and DFS in CRC patients. We demonstrate that CD44v6+ CSCs induced chemoresistance and enhance tumorigenicity in CRC cells, and this was in part orchestrated by a distinct panel of miRNAs with dysregulated profiles. These findings suggest that specific miRNAs could serve as therapeutic targets as well as promising prognostic biomarkers in patients with colorectal neoplasia.
Shusuke Toden, Shigeyasu Kunitoshi, Jacob Cardenas, Jinghua Gu, Elizabeth Hutchins, Kendall Van Keuren-Jensen, Hiroyuki Uetake, Yuji Toiyama, Ajay Goel
GPR55, a lipid-sensing receptor, is implicated in cell cycle control, malignant cell mobilization, and tissue invasion in cancer. However, a physiological role for GPR55 is virtually unknown for any tissue type. Here, we localize GPR55 to self-renewing ductal epithelial cells and their terminally differentiated progeny in both human and mouse salivary glands. Moreover, we find GPR55 expression downregulated in salivary gland mucoepidermoid carcinomas and GPR55 reinstatement by antitumor irradiation, suggesting that GPR55 controls renegade proliferation. Indeed, GPR55 antagonism increases cell proliferation and function determination in quasiphysiological systems. In addition, Gpr55–/– mice present ~50% enlarged submandibular glands with many more granulated ducts, as well as disordered endoplasmic reticuli and with glycoprotein content. Next, we hypothesized that GPR55 could also modulate salivation and glycoprotein content by entraining differentiated excretory progeny. Accordingly, GPR55 activation facilitated glycoprotein release by itself, inducing low-amplitude Ca2+ oscillations, as well as enhancing acetylcholine-induced Ca2+ responses. Topical application of GPR55 agonists, which are ineffective in Gpr55–/– mice, into adult rodent submandibular glands increased salivation and saliva glycoprotein content. Overall, we propose that GPR55 signaling in epithelial cells ensures both the life-long renewal of ductal cells and the continuous availability of saliva and glycoproteins for oral health and food intake.
Solomiia Korchynska, Mirjam I. Lutz, Erzsébet Borók, Johannes Pammer, Valentina Cinquina, Nataliya Fedirko, Andrew J. Irving, Ken Mackie, Tibor Harkany, Erik Keimpema
The circadian clock network is an evolutionally conserved system involved in the regulation of metabolic homeostasis; however, its impacts on skeletal metabolism remain largely unknown. We herein demonstrated that circadian clock network in the intestines plays pivotal roles in skeletal metabolism such that the lack of Bmal1 gene in the intestines (Bmal1Int-/- mice) caused bone loss with bone resorption being activated and bone formation suppressed. Mechanistically, Clock interaction with Vitamin D receptor (Vdr) accelerated its binding to VDR response element by enhancing histone acetylation in a circadian-dependent manner, and this was lost in Bmal1Int-/- mice because nuclear translocation of Clock required the presence of Bmal1. Accordingly, the rhythmic expression of Vdr-target genes involved in transcellular calcium (Ca) absorption was created, and this was not observed in Bmal1Int-/- mice. As a result, transcellular Ca absorption was impaired and bone resorption was activated in Bmal1Int-/- mice. Additionally, sympathetic tone, the activation of which suppresses bone formation, was elevated through afferent vagal nerves in Bmal1Int-/- mice, the blockade of which partially recovered bone loss by increasing bone formation and suppressing bone resorption in Bmal1Int-/- mice. These results demonstrate that the intestinal circadian system regulates skeletal bone homeostasis.
Masanobu Kawai, Saori Kinoshita, Miwa Yamazaki, Keiko Yamamoto, Clifford J. Rosen, Shigeki Shimba, Keiichi Ozono, Toshimi Michigami
Polypropylene meshes that are commonly used for inguinal hernia repair may trigger granulomatous foreign body reactions. Here, we show that asymptomatic patients display mesh-associated inflammatory granulomas long after surgery, which are dominated by monocyte-derived macrophages expressing high levels of inflammatory activation markers. In mice, mesh implantation by the onlay technique induced rapid and strong myeloid cell accumulation, without substantial attenuation for up to 90 days. Myeloid cells segregated into distinct macrophage subsets with separate spatial distribution, activation profiles, and functional properties, showing a stable inflammatory phenotype in the tissue surrounding the biomaterial and a mixed, wound-healing phenotype in the surrounding stromal tissue. Protein mass spectrometry confirmed the inflammatory nature of the foreign body reaction, as characterized by cytokines, complement activation, and matrix-modulating factors. Moreover, immunoglobulin deposition increased over time around the implant, arguing for humoral immune responses in association with the cell-driven inflammation. Intravital multiphoton microscopy revealed a high motility and continuous recruitment of myeloid cells, which is partly dependent on the chemokine receptor CCR2. CCR2-dependent macrophages are particular drivers of fibroblast proliferation. Thus, our work functionally characterizes myeloid cell–dependent inflammation following mesh implantation, thereby providing insights into the dynamics and mechanisms of foreign body reactions to implanted biomaterials.
Felix Heymann, Klaus-Thilo von Trotha, Christian Preisinger, Petra Lynen-Jansen, Anjali A. Roeth, Melanie Geiger, Lukas Jonathan Geisler, Anna Katharina Frank, Joachim Conze, Tom Luedde, Christian Trautwein, Marcel Binnebösel, Ulf P. Neumann, Frank Tacke
Diarrhea is a major side effect of ErbB receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in cancer chemotherapy. Here, we show that the primary mechanism of ErbB TKI diarrhea is activation of basolateral membrane potassium (K+) channels and apical membrane chloride (Cl-) channels in intestinal epithelia, and demonstrate the efficacy of channel blockers in a rat model of TKI diarrhea. Short-circuit current in colonic epithelial cells showed that the TKIs gefitinib, lapatinib and afatinib do not affect basal secretion, but amplify carbachol-stimulated secretion by 2 to 3 fold. Mechanistic studies with the second-generation TKI afatinib showed that the amplifying effect on Cl- secretion was Ca2+ and cAMP independent, blocked by CFTR and K+ channel inhibitors, and involved the EGF receptor binding and ERK signaling. Afatinib-amplified activation of basolateral K+ and apical Cl- channels was demonstrated by selective membrane permeabilization, ion substitution and channel inhibitors. Rats administered afatinib orally at 60 mg/kg/day developed diarrhea with increased stool water from ~60% to >80%, which was reduced by up to 75% the K+ channel inhibitors clotrimazole or senicapoc, or the CFTR inhibitor (R)-BPO-27. These results indicate a mechanism for TKI diarrhea involving K+ and Cl- channel activation, and support the therapeutic efficacy of channel inhibitors.
Tianying Duan, Onur Cil, Jay R. Thiagarajah, Alan S Verkman
Molecular mechanisms that control leukocyte migration across the vascular endothelium (transendothelial migration; TEndoM) have been extensively characterized in vivo, but details of leukocyte transepithelial migration (TEpM) and its dysregulation (a pathologic feature of many mucosal diseases) are missing due to the lack of suitable animal models. Here, we describe a murine model that utilizes a vascularized proximal colonic segment (pcLoop) and enables quantitative studies of leukocyte trafficking across colonic epithelium. Consistent with previous in vitro studies, intraluminal injection of antibodies against integrin CD11b/CD18 reduced recruitment of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) into the lumen of pcLoops, and it increased subepithelial accumulation of PMN. We extended studies using the pcLoop to determine contributions of Junctional Adhesion Molecule-A (JAM-A, or F11R) in PMN TEpM and confirmed that mice with total loss of JAM-A or mice with intestinal epithelial selective loss of JAM-A had increased colonic permeability. Furthermore, there was reduced PMN migration into the colonic lumen that paralleled subepithelial accumulation of PMN in global-KO mice, as well as in intestinal epithelial-targeted JAM-A–deficient mice. These findings highlight a potentially novel role for JAM-A in regulating PMN TEpM in vivo and demonstrate utility of this model for identifying receptors that may be targeted in vivo to reduce pathologic intestinal inflammation.
Sven Flemming, Anny-Claude Luissint, Asma Nusrat, Charles A. Parkos
Intestinal epithelial barrier repair is vital for remission in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Extracellular adenosine signaling has been implicated in promoting restoration of epithelial barrier function. Currently, no clinically approved agents target this pathway. Adenosine signaling is terminated by uptake from the extracellular space via equilibrative nucleoside transporters (ENTs). We hypothesized that ENT inhibition could dampen intestinal inflammation. Initial studies demonstrated transcriptional repression of ENT1 and ENT2 in IBD biopsies or in murine IBD models. Subsequent studies in mice with global Ent1 or Ent2 deletion revealed selective protection of Ent2–/– mice. Elevated intestinal adenosine levels in conjunction with abolished protection following pharmacologic blockade of A2B adenosine receptors implicate adenosine signaling as the mechanism of gut protection in Ent2–/– mice. Additional studies in mice with tissue-specific deletion of Ent2 uncovered epithelial Ent2 as the target. Moreover, intestinal protection provided by a selective Ent2 inhibitor was abolished in mice with epithelium-specific deletion of Ent2 or the A2B adenosine receptor. Taken together, these findings indicate that increased mucosal A2B signaling following repression or deletion of epithelial Ent2 coordinates the resolution of intestinal inflammation. This study suggests the presence of a targetable purinergic network within the intestinal epithelium designed to limit tissue inflammation.
Carol M. Aherne, Colm B. Collins, Caroline R. Rapp, Kristine E. Olli, Loni Perrenoud, Paul Jedlicka, Jessica L. Bowser, Tingting W. Mills, Harry Karmouty-Quintana, Michael R. Blackburn, Holger K. Eltzschig
BACKGROUND. Crohn’s disease (CD) is highly heterogeneous, due in large part to variability in cellular processes that underlie the natural history of CD, thereby confounding effective therapy. There is a critical need to advance understanding of the cellular mechanisms that drive CD heterogeneity. METHODS. We performed small RNA sequencing of adult colon tissue from CD and NIBD controls. Colonic epithelial cells and immune cells were isolated from colonic tissues, and microRNA-31 (miR-31) expression was measured. miR-31 expression was measured in colonoid cultures generated from controls and patients with CD. We performed small RNA-sequencing of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded colon and ileum biopsies from treatment-naive pediatric patients with CD and controls and collected data on disease features and outcomes. RESULTS. Small RNA-sequencing and microRNA profiling in the colon revealed 2 distinct molecular subtypes, each with different clinical associations. Notably, we found that miR-31 expression was a driver of these 2 subtypes and, further, that miR-31 expression was particularly pronounced in epithelial cells. Colonoids revealed that miR-31 expression differences are preserved in this ex vivo system. In adult patients, low colonic miR-31 expression levels at the time of surgery were associated with worse disease outcome as measured by need for an end ileostomy and recurrence of disease in the neoterminal ileum. In pediatric patients, lower miR-31 expression at the time of diagnosis was associated with future development of fibrostenotic ileal CD requiring surgery CONCLUSIONS. These findings represent an important step forward in designing more effective clinical trials and developing personalized CD therapies. FUNDING. This work was supported by CCF Career Development Award (SZS), R01-ES024983 from NIEHS (SZS and TSF), 1R01DK104828-01A1 from NIDDK (SZS and TSF), P01-DK094779-01A1 from NIDDK (SZS), P30-DK034987 from NIDDK (SZS), 1-16-ACE-47 ADA Pathway Award (PS), UNC Nutrition Obesity Research Center Pilot & Feasibility Grant P30DK056350 (PS), CCF PRO-KIIDS NETWORK (SZS and PS), UNC CGIBD T32 Training Grant from NIDDK (JBB), T32 Training Grant (5T32GM007092-42) from NIGMS (MH), and SHARE from the Helmsley Trust (SZS). The UNC Translational Pathology Laboratory is supported, in part, by grants from the National Cancer Institute (3P30CA016086) and the UNC University Cancer Research Fund (UCRF) (PS).
Benjamin P. Keith, Jasmine B. Barrow, Takahiko Toyonaga, Nevzat Kazgan, Michelle Hoffner O’Connor, Neil D. Shah, Matthew S. Schaner, Elisabeth A. Wolber, Omar K. Trad, Greg R. Gipson, Wendy A. Pitman, Matthew Kanke, Shruti J. Saxena, Nicole Chaumont, Timothy S. Sadiq, Mark J. Koruda, Paul A. Cotney, Nancy Allbritton, Dimitri G. Trembath, Francisco Sylvester, Terrence S. Furey, Praveen Sethupathy, Shehzad Z. Sheikh
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients suffer from chronic abdominal pain and extraintestinal comorbidities, including overactive bladder (OAB) and interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome (IC-PBS). Mechanistic understanding of the cause and time course of these comorbid symptoms is lacking, as are clinical treatments. Here, we report that colitis triggers hypersensitivity of colonic afferents, neuroplasticity of spinal cord circuits, and chronic abdominal pain, which persists after inflammation. Subsequently, and in the absence of bladder pathology, colonic hypersensitivity induces persistent hypersensitivity of bladder afferent pathways, resulting in bladder-voiding dysfunction, indicative of OAB/IC-PBS. Daily administration of linaclotide, a guanylate cyclase-C (GC-C) agonist that is restricted to and acts within the gastrointestinal tract, reverses colonic afferent hypersensitivity, reverses neuroplasticity-induced alterations in spinal circuitry, and alleviates chronic abdominal pain in mice. Intriguingly, daily linaclotide administration also reverses persistent bladder afferent hypersensitivity to mechanical and chemical stimuli and restores normal bladder voiding. Linaclotide itself does not inhibit bladder afferents, rather normalization of bladder function by daily linaclotide treatment occurs via indirect inhibition of bladder afferents via reduced nociceptive signaling from the colon. These data support the concepts that cross-organ sensitization underlies the development and maintenance of visceral comorbidities, while pharmaceutical treatments that inhibit colonic afferents may also improve urological symptoms through common sensory pathways.
Luke Grundy, Andrea M. Harrington, Joel Castro, Sonia Garcia-Caraballo, Annemie Deiteren, Jessica Maddern, Grigori Y. Rychkov, Pei Ge, Stefanie Peters, Robert Feil, Paul Miller, Andre Ghetti, Gerhard Hannig, Caroline B. Kurtz, Inmaculada Silos-Santiago, Stuart M. Brierley
Colon cancer is a devastating illness that is associated with gut inflammation. Here, we explored the possible role of lipin-1, a phosphatidic acid phosphatase, in the development of colitis-associated tumorigenesis. Azoxymethane and dextran sodium sulfate–treated (DSS-treated) animals deficient in lipin-1 harbored fewer tumors and carcinomas than WT animals due to decreased cellular proliferation, lower expression of antiapoptotic and protumorigenic factors, and a reduced infiltration of macrophages in colon tumors. They also displayed increased resistance to DSS-induced colitis by producing less proinflammatory cytokines and experiencing less immune infiltration. Lipin-1–deficient macrophages from the colon were less activated and displayed lower phosphatidic acid phosphatase activity than WT macrophages isolated from DSS-treated animals. Transference of WT macrophages into lipin-1–deficient animals was sufficient to increase colitis burden. Furthermore, treatment of lipin-1–deficient mice with IL-23 exacerbated colon inflammation. Analysis of human databases from colon cancer and ulcerative colitis patients showed that lipin-1 expression is increased in those disorders and correlates with the expression of the proinflammatory markers CXCL1 and CXCL2. And finally, clinically, LPIN1 expression had prognostic value in inflammatory and stem-cell subtypes of colon cancers. Collectively, these data demonstrate that lipin-1 is a critical regulator of intestinal inflammation and inflammation-driven colon cancer development.
Clara Meana, Ginesa García-Rostán, Lucía Peña, Gema Lordén, África Cubero, Antonio Orduña, Balázs Győrffy, Jesús Balsinde, María A. Balboa
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