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
Acute respiratory distress syndrome is an often fatal disease that develops after acute lung injury and trauma. How released tissue damage signals, or alarmins, orchestrate early inflammatory events is poorly understood. Herein we reveal that IL-33, an alarmin sequestered in the lung epithelium, is required to limit inflammation after injury due to an unappreciated capacity to mediate Foxp3+ Treg control of local cytokines and myeloid populations. Specifically, Il33–/– mice are more susceptible to lung damage-associated morbidity and mortality that is typified by augmented levels of the proinflammatory cytokines and Ly6Chi monocytes in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Local delivery of IL-33 at the time of injury is protective, but requires the presence of Treg cells. IL-33 stimulates both mouse and human Treg to secrete IL-13. Using Foxp3Cre x Il4/Il13fl/fl mice, we show that Treg expression of IL-13 is required to prevent mortality after acute lung injury by controlling local levels of G-CSF, IL-6, and MCP-1 and inhibiting accumulation of Ly6Chi monocytes. Our study identifies a new regulatory mechanism involving IL-33 and Treg secretion of IL-13 in response to tissue damage that is instrumental in limiting local inflammatory responses and may shape the myeloid compartment after lung injury.
Quan Liu, Gaelen K. Dwyer, Yifei Zhao, Huihua Li, Lisa R. Mathews, Anish Bhaswanth Chakka, Uma R. Chandran, Jake A. Demetris, John F. Alcorn, Keven M. Robinson, Luis A. Ortiz, Bruce Pitt, Angus W. Thomson, Ming-Hui Fan, Timothy R. Billiar, Heth R. Turnquist
Heart failure (HF) is associated in humans and mice with increased circulating levels of CXCL9 and CXCL10, chemokine ligands of the CXCR3 receptor, predominantly expressed on CD4+ T helper type 1 (Th1) cells. Chemokine engagement of receptors is required for T cell integrin activation and recruitment to sites of inflammation. Th1 cells drive adverse cardiac remodeling in pressure overload induced cardiac dysfunction, and mice lacking the integrin ligand ICAM-1 show defective T cell recruitment to the heart. Here, we show that CXCR3+ T cells infiltrate the heart in humans and mice with pressure overload induced cardiac dysfunction. Genetic deletion of CXCR3 disrupts CD4+ T cell heart infiltration and prevents adverse cardiac remodeling. We demonstrate that cardiac myeloid cells that include resident and infiltrated macrophages, and cardiac fibroblasts are the source of CXCL9 and CXCL10; which, mechanistically promote Th1 cell adhesion to ICAM-1 under shear conditions in a CXCR3-dependent manner. Our findings identify a previously unrecognized role for CXCR3 in Th1 cell recruitment into the heart in pressure overload induced cardiac dysfunction.
Njabulo Ngwenyama, Ane M. Salvador, Francisco Velázquez, Tania Nevers, Alexander Levy, Mark J. Aronovitz, Andrew D. Luster, Gordon S. Huggins, Pilar Alcaide
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