The mTOR pathway is central to most cells. How mTOR is activated in macrophages and modulates macrophage physiology remain poorly understood. The tumor suppressor Folliculin (FLCN) is a GAP for RagC/D, a regulator of mTOR. We show here that LPS potently suppresses FLCN in macrophages, allowing nuclear translocation of the transcription factor TFE3, leading to lysosome biogenesis, cytokine production, and hypersensitivity to inflammatory signals. Nuclear TFE3 additionally activates a transcriptional RagD positive feedback loop that stimulates FLCN-independent canonical mTOR signaling to S6K and increases cellular proliferation. LPS thus simultaneously suppresses the TFE3 arm and activates the S6K arm of mTOR. In vivo, mice lacking myeloid FLCN reveal chronic macrophage activation, leading to profound histiocytic infiltration and tissue disruption, with hallmarks of human histiocytic syndromes like Erdheim-Chester Disease. Our data thus identify a critical FLCN-mTOR-TFE3 axis in myeloid cells, modulated by LPS, that balances mTOR activation and curbs innate immune responses.
Jia Li, Shogo Wada, Lehn K. Weaver, Chhanda Biswas, Edward M. Behrens, Zoltan Arany
In clinical breast cancer intervention, selection of the optimal treatment protocol based on predictive biomarkers remains an elusive goal. Here, we present a modeling tool to predict the likelihood of breast cancer response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy using patient specific tumor vasculature biomarkers. A semi-automated analysis was implemented and performed on 3990 histological images from 48 patients, with 10–208 images analyzed for each patient. We applied a histology-based model to resected primary breast cancer tumors (n = 30), and then evaluated a cohort of patients (n = 18) undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy, collecting pre- and post-treatment pathology specimens and MRI data. We found that core biopsy samples can be used with acceptable accuracy (r = 0.76) to determine histological parameters representative of the whole tissue region. Analysis of model histology parameters obtained from tumor vasculature measurements, specifically diffusion distance divided by radius of drug source (L/rb) and blood volume fraction (BVF), provides a statistically significant separation of patients obtaining a pathologic complete response (pCR) from those that do not (Student’s t-test; P < 0.05). With this model, it is feasible to evaluate primary breast tumor vasculature biomarkers in a patient specific manner, thereby allowing a precision approach to breast cancer treatment.
Terisse A. Brocato, Ursa Brown-Glaberman, Zhihui Wang, Reed G. Selwyn, Colin M. Wilson, Edward F. Wyckoff, Lesley C. Lomo, Jennifer L. Saline, Anupama Hooda-Nehra, Renata Pasqualini, Wadih Arap, C. Jeffrey Brinker, Vittorio Cristini
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is triggered mainly by mutations in genes encoding sarcomeric proteins, but a significant proportion of patients lack a genetic diagnosis. We identified a novel mutation in the ryanodine receptor 2, RyR2-P1124L, in a patient from a genotype-negative HCM cohort. The aim of this study was to determine whether RyR2-P1124L triggers functional and structural alterations in isolated RyR2 channels and whole hearts. We found that P1124L induces significant conformational changes in the SPRY2 domain of RyR2. Recombinant RyR2-P1124L channels displayed a cytosolic loss-of-function phenotype, which contrasted with a higher sensitivity to luminal [Ca2+], indicating a luminal gain-of-function. Homozygous mice for RyR2-P1124L showed mild cardiac hypertrophy, similar to the human patient. This phenotype, evident at 1 yr of age, was accompanied by an increase in the expression of calmodulin (CaM). P1124L mice also showed higher susceptibility to arrhythmia at 8 mo of age, before the onset of hypertrophy. RyR2-P1124L has a distinct cytosolic loss-of-function and a luminal gain-of-function phenotype. This bifunctionally-divergent behavior triggers arrhythmias and structural cardiac remodeling, and involves overexpression of calmodulin as a potential hypertrophic mediator. This study is relevant to continue elucidating the possible causes of genotype-negative HCM and the role of RyR2 in cardiac hypertrophy.
Francisco J. Alvarado, J. Martijn Bos, Zhiguang Yuchi, Carmen R. Valdivia, Jonathan J. Hernandez, Yan-Ting Zhao, Dawn S. Henderlong, Yan Chen, Talia R. Booher, Cherisse A. Marcou, Filip Van Petegem, Michael J. Ackerman, Hector H. Valdivia
Sarcomeric disarray is a hallmark of gene mutations in patients with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). However, it is unknown when detrimental sarcomeric changes first occur and whether they originate in the developing embryonic heart. Furthermore, Rho Kinase (ROCK) is a serine threonine protein kinase that is critical for regulating the function of several sarcomeric proteins and therefore, our aim was to determine if disruption of ROCK signalling during the earliest stages of heart development would disrupt the integrity of sarcomeres altering heart development and function. Using a mouse model in which the function of ROCK is specifically disrupted in embryonic cardiomyocytes we demonstrate a progressive cardiomyopathy that first appeared as sarcomeric disarray during cardiogenesis. This led to abnormalities in the structure of embryonic ventricular wall and compensatory cardiomyocyte hypertrophy during foetal development. This sarcomeric disruption and hypertrophy persisted throughout adult life, triggering left ventricular concentric hypertrophy with systolic dysfunction, and re-activation of foetal gene expression and cardiac fibrosis, all typical features of HCM. Taken together, our findings establish a novel mechanism for the developmental origin of the sarcomeric phenotype of HCM and suggest that variants in the ROCK genes or disruption of ROCK signalling could, in part, contribute to its pathogenesis.
Kate E. Bailey, Guy A. MacGowan, Simon Tual-Chalot, Lauren Phillips, Tim J. Mohun, Deborah J. Henderson, Helen M. Arthur, Simon D. Bamforth, Helen M. Phillips
Anthracyclines are amongst the most effective chemotherapeutics ever developed, but they produce grueling side-effects, serious adverse events and resistance often develops over time. We found that these compounds can be sequestered by secreted cellular Prion protein (PrPC), blocking their cytotoxic activity. This effect was dose-dependent using either cell line-conditioned medium or human serum as a source of PrPC. Genetic depletion of PrPC or inhibition of binding via chelation of ionic copper prevented the interaction and restored cytotoxic activity. This was more pronounced for doxorubicin than its epimer, epirubicin. Investigating the relevance to breast cancer management, we found that the levels of PRNP transcript in pre-treatment tumor biopsies stratified relapse-free survival after neoadjuvant treatment with anthracyclines, particularly amongst doxorubicin-treated patients with residual disease at surgery (p=2.8E-08). These data suggest that local sequestration could mediate treatment resistance. Consistent with this, tumor cell expression of PrPC protein correlated with poorer response to doxorubicin but not epirubicin in an independent cohort analyzed by immunohistochemistry, particularly soluble isoforms released into the extracellular environment by shedding (p=0.015). These findings have important potential clinical implications for frontline regimen decision-making. We suggest there is warranted utility for prognostic PrPC/PRNP assays to guide chemo-sensitization strategies that exploit an understanding of PrPC-anthracycline-copper ion complexes.
Adrian P. Wiegmans, Jodi M. Saunus, Sunyoung Ham, Richard J. Lobb, Jamie R. Kutasovic, Andrew J. Dalley, Mariska Miranda, Caroline Atkinson, Simote T. Foliaki, Kaltin Ferguson, Colleen Niland, Cameron N. Johnstone, Victoria Lewis, Steven Collins, Sunil R. Lakhani, Fares Al-Ejeh, Andreas Möller
Peripheral hyperinsulinemia resulting from subcutaneous insulin injection is associated with metabolic defects which include abnormal glucose metabolism. The first aim of this study was to quantify the impairments in liver and muscle glucose metabolism that occur when insulin is delivered via a peripheral vein compared to when it is given through its endogenous secretory route (the hepatic portal vein) in overnight fasted conscious dogs. The second aim was to determine if peripheral delivery of a hepato-preferential insulin analog could restore the physiologic response to insulin that occurs under meal feeding conditions. This study is the first to show that hepatic glucose uptake correlates with insulin’s direct effects on the liver under hyperinsulinemic-hyperglycemic conditions. In addition, glucose uptake was equally divided between the liver and muscle when insulin was infused into the portal vein, but when it was delivered into a peripheral vein the percentage of glucose taken up by muscle was 4-times greater than that going to the liver, with liver glucose uptake being less than half of normal. These defects could not be corrected by adjusting the dose of peripheral insulin. On the other hand, hepatic and non-hepatic glucose metabolism could be fully normalized by a hepato-preferential insulin analog.
Dale S. Edgerton, Melanie Scott, Ben Farmer, Phillip E. Williams, Peter Madsen, Thomas Kjeldsen, Christian L. Brand, Christian Fledelius, Erica Nishimura, Alan D. Cherrington
Bariatric surgeries including vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) ameliorate obesity and diabetes. Weight-loss and accompanying increases to insulin sensitivity contribute to improved glycemia after surgery, however, studies in humans also suggest weight-independent actions of bariatric procedures to lower blood glucose, possibly by improving insulin secretion. To evaluate this hypothesis, we compared VSG operated mice with pair-fed, sham-surgical controls (PF-Sham) 2 weeks after surgery. This paradigm yielded similar post-operative body weight and insulin sensitivity between VSG and calorically restricted PF-Sham animals. However, VSG improved glucose tolerance and markedly enhanced insulin secretion during oral nutrient and intraperitoneal glucose challenges compared to controls. Islets from VSG mice displayed a unique transcriptional signature enriched for genes involved in Ca2+ signaling and insulin secretion pathways. This finding suggests that bariatric surgery leads to intrinsic changes within the islet that alter function. Indeed, islets isolated from VSG mice had increased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and a left-shifted glucose sensitivity curve compared to islets from PF-Sham mice. Isolated islets from VSG animals showed corresponding increases in the pulse duration of glucose-stimulated Ca2+ oscillations. Together these findings demonstrate a weight-independent improvement in glycemic control following VSG, which is, in part, driven by improved insulin secretion and associated with substantial changes in islet gene expression. These results support a model in which β-cells play a key role in the adaptation to bariatric surgery and the improved glucose tolerance that is typical of these procedures.
Jonathan D. Douros, Jingjing Niu, Sophia M. Sdao, Trillian Gregg, Kelsey H. Fisher-Wellman, Manish S. Bharadwaj, Anthony Molina, Ramamani Arumugam, Mackenzie D. Martin, Enrico Petretto, Matthew J. Merrins, Mark A. Herman, Jenny Tong, Jonathan E. Campbell, David D'Alessio
The auto antigen (Ag)-specific regulatory T cells (Tregs) from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), i.e., PSC-Tregs, have the ability to suppress autoimmunity. PSC-Tregs can be programmed to be tissue-associated and to infiltrate into local inflamed tissues to suppress autoimmune responses after adoptive transfer. Nevertheless, the mechanisms by which the auto Ag-specific PSC-Tregs suppress the autoimmune response remain to be fully elucidated. In this study, we generated the functional auto Ag-specific Tregs from the induced PSC (iPSCs), i.e., iPSC-Tregs, and investigated the underlying mechanisms of autoimmunity suppression by these Tregs in a type 1 diabetes (T1D) murine model. A double transgenic (Tg) mouse model of T1D was established in F1 mice in which the first generation of RIP-mOVA Tg mice that were crossed with OT-I T cell receptor (TCR) Tg mice was challenged with vaccinia viruses expressing OVA (VACV-OVA). We show that adoptive transfer of OVA-specific iPSC-Tregs greatly suppressed autoimmunity in the animal model and prevented the insulin-secreting pancreatic β cells from destruction. Further, we demonstrate that the adoptive transfer significantly reduced the expression of ICAM-1 in the diabetic pancreas and inhibited the migration of pathogenic CD8+ T cells and the production of the pro-inflammatory IFN-γ in the pancreas. These results indicate that the stem cell-derived tissue-associated Tregs can robustly accumulate in the diabetic pancreas, and through down-regulating the expression of ICAM-1 in the local inflamed tissues and inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokine IFN-γ, suppress the migration and activity of the pathogenic immune cells that cause T1D.
Mohammad Haque, Fengyang Lei, Xiaofang Xiong, Jugal Kishore Das, Xingcong Ren, Deyu Fang, Shahram Salek-Ardakani, Jin-Ming Yang, Jianxun Song
Glioblastoma represent universally lethal cancers, containing stem cell-like glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs). While neural stem cells (NSCs) are usually quiescent, single-cell studies suggest that proliferating glioblastoma cells reside in the GSC population. Interrogating in silico glioma databases for epigenetic regulators that correlate with cell cycle regulation, we identified the chromatin remodeler, HELLS, as a potential target in glioblastoma. GSCs preferentially expressed HELLS compared to their differentiated tumor progeny and non-malignant brain cells. Targeting HELLS disrupted GSC proliferation, survival, and self-renewal with induction of replication stress and DNA damage. Investigating potential molecular mechanisms downstream of HELLS revealed that HELLS interacted with the core oncogenic transcription factors, E2F3 and MYC, to regulate gene expression critical to GSC proliferation and maintenance. Supporting the interaction, HELLS expression strongly correlated with targets of E2F3 and MYC transcriptional activity in glioblastoma patients. Potential clinical significance of HELLS was reinforced by improved survival of tumor-bearing mice upon targeting HELLS and poor prognosis of glioma patients with elevated HELLS expression. Collectively, targeting HELLS may permit the functional disruption of the relatively undruggable MYC and E2F3 transcription factors and serve as a novel therapeutic paradigm for glioblastoma.
Guoxin Zhang, Zhen Dong, Briana C. Prager, Leo J. Y. Kim, Qiulian Wu, Ryan C. Gimple, Xiuxing Wang, Shideng Bao, Petra Hamerlik, Jeremy N. Rich
Iron deficiency is present in approximately 50% of heart failure (HF) patients. Large multi-center trials have shown that treatment of iron deficiency with intravenous iron benefits HF patients, but the underlying mechanisms are not known. To investigate the actions of iron deficiency on the heart, mice were fed an iron-depleted diet and some received intravenous ferric carboxymaltose (FCM), an iron supplementation used clinically. Iron-deficient animals became anemic and had reduced ventricular ejection fraction measured by magnetic resonance imaging. Ca2+ signaling, a pathway linked to the contractile deficit in failing hearts, was also significantly affected. Ventricular myocytes isolated from iron-deficient animals produced smaller Ca2+ transients from an elevated diastolic baseline, but had unchanged sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+-load, trigger L-type Ca2+ current or cytoplasmic Ca2+ buffering. Reduced fractional release from the SR was due to downregulated RyR2 channels, detected at protein and message level. The constancy of diastolic SR Ca2+-load is explained by reduced RyR2 permeability in combination with right-shifted SERCA activity due dephosphorylation of its regulator phospholamban. Supplementing iron levels with FCM restored normal Ca2+ signaling and ejection fraction. Thus, two Ca2+-handling proteins previously implicated in HF become functionally impaired in iron-deficiency anemia, but their activity is rescued by intravenous iron supplementation.
Yu Jin Chung, Antao Luo, Kyung Chan Park, Aminah Loonat, Samira Lakhal-Littleton, Peter A. Robbins, Pawel Swietach
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