Macrophage activation, i.e., the classical M1 and the alternative M2, plays a critical role in many pathophysiological processes, such as inflammation and tissue injury and repair. Although the regulation of macrophage activation has been under extensive investigations, there is little knowledge about the role of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in the event. In this study, we found that lncRNA Malat1 expression is distinctly regulated in differentially activated macrophages in that it is upregulated in LPS-, whereas downregulated in IL-4-treated cells. Malat1 knockdown attenuates LPS induced M1 macrophage activation. In contrast, Malat1 knockdown enhanced IL-4 activated M2 differentiation as well as macrophage pro-fibrotic phenotype. Mechanistically, Malat1 knockdown led to decreased expression of Clec16a, of which silencing phenocopied the regulatory effect of Malat1 on M1 activation. Interestingly, Malat1 knockdown promoted IL-4 induction of mitochondrial pyruvate carriers (MPCs) and their mediation of glucose derived oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos), which was crucial to the Malat1 regulation of M2 differentiation and pro-fibrotic phenotype. Furthermore, mice with either global or conditional myeloid knockout of Malat1 demonstrated diminished LPS induced systemic and pulmonary inflammation and injury. Conversely, these mice developed more severe bleomycin induced lung fibrosis, accompanied by alveolar macrophages displaying augmented M2 and pro-fibrotic phenotype. In summary, we have identified a previously unrecognized role of Malat1 in regulation of macrophage polarization. Our data demonstrate that Malat1 is involved in pulmonary pathogeneses in association with aberrant macrophage activation.
Huachun Cui, Sami Banerjee, Sijia Guo, Na Xie, Jing Ge, Dingyuan Jiang, Martin Zörnig, Victor J. Thannickal, Gang Liu
The lymphatic system plays crucial roles in tissue homeostasis, lipid absorption and immune cell trafficking. While lymphatic valves ensure unidirectional lymph flows, the flow itself controls lymphatic valve formation. Here, we demonstrate that a mechanically activated ion channel Piezo1 senses oscillating shear stress (OSS), and incorporates the signal into the genetic program controlling lymphatic valve development and maintenance. Time-controlled deletion of Piezo1 using a pan-endothelial Cre driver (Cdh5(PAC)-CreERT2) or lymphatic-specific Cre driver (Prox1-CreERT2) equally inhibited lymphatic valve formation in newborn mouse. Furthermore, Piezo1 deletion in adult lymphatics caused substantial lymphatic valve degeneration. Piezo1 knockdown in cultured lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) largely abrogated the OSS-induced upregulation of the lymphatic valve-signature genes. Conversely, ectopic Piezo1 overexpression upregulated the lymphatic valve genes in the absence of OSS. Remarkably, activation of Piezo1 using a chemical agonist Yoda1 not only accelerated lymphatic valve formation in animals, but also triggered upregulation of some lymphatic valve genes in cultured LECs without exposure to OSS. In summary, our studies together demonstrate that Piezo1 is the force sensor in the mechanotransduction pathway controlling lymphatic valve development and maintenance, and Piezo1 activation is a potential novel therapeutic strategy for congenital and surgery-associated lymphedema.
Dongwon Choi, Eunkyung Park, Eunson Jung, Boksik Cha, Somin Lee, James Yu, Paul M. Kim, Sunju Lee, Yeo Jin Hong, Chester J. Koh, Chang-Won Cho, Yifan Wu, Noo Li Jeon, Alex K. Wong, Laura Shin, S. Ram Kumar, Ivan Bermejo-Moreno, R. Sathish Srinivasan, Il-Taeg Cho, Young-Kwon Hong
Current clinical methods for the evaluation of lymphatic vessel function, crucial for early diagnosis and evaluation of treatment-response of several pathological conditions, in particular of post-surgical lymphedema, are based on complex and mainly qualitative imaging techniques. To address this unmet medical need, we established a simple strategy for the painless and quantitative assessment of cutaneous lymphatic function. We prepared a lymphatic-specific tracer formulation, consisting of the clinically approved near-infrared fluorescent dye, indocyanine green, and the solubilizing surfactant Kolliphor HS15. The tracer is non-invasively delivered to the dermal layer of the skin using MicronJet600TM hollow microneedles, and the fluorescence signal decay at the injection site is measured over time using a custom-made, portable detection device. The decay rate of fluorescence signal in the skin was used as a direct measure of lymphatic vessel drainage function. With this new method, we could quantify impaired lymphatic clearance in transgenic mice lacking dermal lymphatics and distinguish distinct lymphatic clearance patterns in pigs in different body locations and under manual stimulus. Overall, this method has the potential for becoming a non-invasive and quantitative clinical “office-test” for lymphatic function assessment.
Anna K. Polomska, Steven T. Proulx, Davide Brambilla, Daniel Fehr, Mathias Bonmarin, Simon Brändli, Mirko Meboldt, Christian Steuer, Tsvetina Vasileva, Nils Reinke, Jean-Christophe Leroux, Michael Detmar
RNA binding proteins represent an emerging class of proteins with a role in cardiac dysfunction. We show that activation of the RNA binding protein Human antigen R (HuR) is increased in the failing human heart. To determine the functional role of HuR in pathological cardiac hypertrophy, we created an inducible cardiomyocyte-specific HuR deletion mouse, and showed that HuR deletion reduces left ventricular hypertrophy, dilation, and fibrosis while preserving cardiac function in a transverse aortic constriction (TAC) model of pressure-overload-induced hypertrophy. Assessment of HuR-dependent changes in global gene expression suggests that the mechanistic basis for this protection occurs through a reduction in fibrotic signaling, specifically through a reduction in transforming growth factor beta (Tgfb) expression. Finally, pharmacological inhibition of HuR at a clinically relevant time point following the initial development of pathological hypertrophy post-TAC also yielded a significant reduction in pathological progression, as marked by a reduction in hypertrophy, dilation, and fibrosis, and preserved function. In summary, this study demonstrates a functional role for HuR in the progression of pressure overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy and establishes HuR inhibition as a viable therapeutic approach for pathological cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.
Lisa C. Green, Sarah R. Anthony, Samuel Slone, Lindsey Lanzillotta, Michelle L. Nieman, Xiaoqing Wu, Nathan Robbins, Shannon M. Jones, Sudeshna Roy, A. Phillip Owens III, Jeffrey Aube, Liang Xu, John N. Lorenz, Burns C. Blaxall, Jack Rubinstein, Joshua B. Benoit, Michael Tranter
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
The angiopoietin (Ang)-Tie2 signaling pathway is essential for maintaining vascular homeostasis and its dysregulation is associated with several diseases. Interactions between Tie2 and α5β1 integrin have emerged as part of this control; however, the mechanism is incompletely understood. AXT107, a collagen IV-derived peptide, has strong anti-permeability activity and has enabled the elucidation of this previously undetermined mechanism. Previously, AXT107 was shown to inhibit VEGFR2 and other growth factor signaling via receptor tyrosine kinase association with specific integrins. AXT107 disrupts α5β1 and stimulates the relocation of Tie2 and α5 to cell junctions. In the presence of Ang2 and AXT107, junctional Tie2 is activated, downstream survival signals are upregulated, F-actin is rearranged to strengthen junctions, and, as a result, endothelial junctional permeability is reduced. These data suggest that α5β1 sequesters Tie2 in non-junctional locations in endothelial cell membranes and that AXT107-induced disruption of α5β1 promotes clustering of Tie2 at junctions and converts Ang2 into a strong agonist, similar to responses observed when Ang1 levels greatly exceed those of Ang2. The potentiation of Tie2 activation by Ang2 even extended in to mouse models in which AXT107 induced Tie2 phosphorylation in a model of hypoxia and inhibited vascular leakage in an Ang2-overexpression transgenic model and an LPS-induced inflammation model. Since Ang2 levels are very high in ischemic diseases, such as diabetic macular edema, neovascular age-related macular degeneration, uveitis, and cancer, targeting α5β1 with AXT107 provides a novel and potentially more effective approach to treat these diseases.
Adam C. Mirando, Jikui Shen, Raquel Lima e Silva, Zenny Chu, Nicholas Sass, Valeria E. Lorenc, Jordan J. Green, Peter A. Campochiaro, Aleksander S. Popel, Niranjan B. Pandey
Abnormal activation of neddylation modification and dysregulated energy metabolism are frequently seen in many types of cancer cells. Whether and how neddylation modification affects cellular metabolism remains largely unknown. Here we showed that MLN4924, a small molecule inhibitor of neddylation modification, induces mitochondrial fission-to-fusion conversion in breast cancer cells via inhibiting ubiquitylation and degradation of fusion-promoting protein mitofusin (MFN1) by SCFβ-TrCP E3 ligase and blocking the mitochondrial translocation of fusion-inhibiting protein DRP1. Importantly, MLN4924-induced mitochondrial fusion is independent of cell cycle progression, but confers cellular survival. The Mass-Spectrometry-based metabolic profiling and mitochondrial functional assays reveal that MLN4924 inhibits TCA cycle, but promotes mitochondrial OXPHOS. MLN4924 also increases glycolysis by activating PKM2 via promoting its tetramerization. Biologically, MLN4924 coupled with OXPHOS inhibitor metformin, or glycolysis inhibitor shikonin, significantly inhibits cancer cell growth both in vitro and in vivo. Together, our study links neddylation modification and energy metabolism, and provides sound strategies for effective combinational cancer therapies.
Qiyin Zhou, Hua Li, Yuanyuan Li, Mingjia Tan, Shaohua Fan, Cong Cao, Feilong Meng, Ling Zhu, Lili Zhao, Min-Xin Guan, Hongchuan Jin, Yi Sun
Allergic eosinophilic asthma is a chronic condition causing airway remodeling resulting in lung dysfunction. We observed that expression of Sirtuin 2 (Sirt2), a histone deacetylase, regulates the recruitment of eosinophils after sensitization and challenge with a triple-antigen: dust mite, ragweed and Aspergillus fumigatus (DRA). Our data demonstrate that IL-4 regulates the expression of Sirt2 isoform 3/5. Pharmacological inhibition of Sirt2 by AGK2 resulted in diminished cellular recruitment, decreased CCL17/TARC, and reduced goblet cell hyperplasia. YM1 and Fizz1 expression was reduced in AGK2-treated, IL-4-stimulated lung macrophages in vitro as well as in lung macrophages from AGK2-DRA challenged mice. Conversely, overexpression of Sirt2 resulted in increased cellular recruitment, CCL17 production, and goblet cell hyperplasia following DRA challenge. Sirt2 isoform 3/5 was upregulated in primary human alveolar macrophages following IL-4 and AGK2 treatment resulted in reduced CCL17 and markers of alternative activation. These gain-of-function and loss-of-function studies indicate that Sirt2 could be developed as a treatment for eosinophilic asthma.
Yong Gyu Lee, Brenda F. Reader, Derrick Herman, Adam Streicher, Joshua A. Englert, Mathias Ziegler, Sangwoon Chung, Manjula Karpurapu, Gye Young Park, John W. Christman, Megan N. Ballinger
Evidence has emerged that the failing heart increases utilization of ketone bodies. We sought to determine whether this fuel shift is adaptive. Mice rendered incapable of oxidizing the ketone body 3-hydroxybutyrate (3OHB) in heart exhibited worsened heart failure in response to fasting or a pressure overload/ischemic insult compared to wild-type controls. Increased delivery of 3OHB ameliorated pathologic cardiac remodeling and dysfunction in mice and in a canine pacing model of progressive heart failure. 3OHB was shown to enhance bioenergetic thermodynamics of isolated mitochondria in the context of limiting levels of fatty acids. These results indicate that the heart utilizes 3OHB as a metabolic stress defense and suggest that strategies aimed at increasing ketone delivery to the heart could prove useful in the treatment of heart failure.
Julie L. Horton, Michael T. Davidson, Clara Kurishima, Rick B. Vega, Jeffery C. Powers, Timothy R. Matsuura, Christopher Petucci, E. Douglas Lewandowski, Peter A. Crawford, Deborah M. Muoio, Fabio A. Recchia, Daniel P. Kelly
Background: Protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) is a thiol isomerase secreted by vascular cells that is required for thrombus formation. Quercetin flavonoids inhibit PDI activity and block platelet accumulation and fibrin generation at the site of a vascular injury in mouse models but the clinical effect of targeting extracellular PDI in humans has not been studied. Methods: We conducted a multi-center phase 2 trial of sequential dosing cohorts to evaluate the efficacy of targeting PDI with isoquercetin to reduce hypercoagulability in cancer patients at high risk for thrombosis. Patients received isoquercetin at 500 mg (cohort A, N=28) or 1000 mg (cohort B, N=29) daily for 56 days with laboratory assays performed at baseline and end-of-study, along with bilateral lower extremity compression ultrasound. The primary efficacy endpoint was a reduction in D-dimer and the primary clinical endpoint included pulmonary embolism or proximal deep vein thrombosis. Results: The administration of isoquercetin 1000 mg decreased D-dimer plasma concentrations by a median of -21.9% (P=0.0002). There were no primary VTE events or major hemorrhages observed in either cohort. Isoquercetin increased PDI inhibitory activity in plasma (37.0% in cohort A, N=25, P<0.001; 73.3% in cohort B, N=22, P<0.001, respectively). Corroborating the antithrombotic efficacy, we also observed a significant decrease in platelet-dependent thrombin generation (cohort A median decrease -31.1%, P=0.007; cohort B median decrease -57.2%, P=0.004) and circulating soluble P-selectin at the 1000 mg isoquercetin dose (median decrease -57.9%, P<0.0001). Conclusions: Isoquercetin represents first-in-class inhibitor of PDI demonstrating efficacy in improving markers of coagulation in advanced cancer patients. Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02195232
Jeffrey I. Zwicker, Benjamin L. Schlechter, Jack D. Stopa, Howard Liebman, Anita Aggarwal, Maneka Puligandla, Thomas Caughey, Kenneth A. Bauer, Nancy Kuemmerle, Ellice Wong, Ted Wun, Marilyn McLaughlin, Manuel Hidalgo, Donna Neuberg, Bruce Furie, Robert Flaumenhaft
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