Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling consists of an array of successively acting kinases. The extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) are major components of the greater MAPK cascade that transduce growth factor signaling at the cell membrane. Here we investigated ERK1/2 signaling in skeletal muscle homeostasis and disease. Using mouse genetics, we observed that the muscle-specific expression of a constitutively active MEK1 mutant promotes greater ERK1/2 signaling that mediates fiber-type switching to a slow, oxidative phenotype with type I myosin heavy chain expression. Using a conditional and temporally regulated Cre strategy as well as Mapk1 (ERK2) and Mapk3 (ERK1) genetically targeted mice, MEK1-ERK2 signaling was shown to underlie this fast-to-slow fiber type switching in adult skeletal muscle as well as during development. Physiologic assessment of these activated MEK1-ERK1/2 mice showed enhanced metabolic activity and oxygen consumption with greater muscle fatigue resistance. Moreover, induction of MEK1-ERK1/2 signaling increased dystrophin and utrophin protein expression in a mouse model of limb-girdle muscle dystrophy and protected myofibers from damage. In summary, sustained MEK1-ERK1/2 activity in skeletal muscle produces a fast-to-slow fiber-type switch that protects from muscular dystrophy, suggesting a therapeutic approach to enhance the metabolic effectiveness of muscle and protect from dystrophic disease.
Justin G. Boyer, Vikram Prasad, Taejeong Song, Donghoon Lee, Xing Fu, Kelly M. Grimes, Michelle A. Sargent, Sakthivel Sadayappan, Jeffery D. Molkentin
A vast body of literature has established GRK2 as a key player in the development and progression of heart failure. Inhibition of GRK2 improves cardiac function post injury in numerous animal models. In recent years, discovery of several non-canonical GRK2 targets has expanded our view of this kinase. Here, we describe the novel and exciting finding that cardiac GRK2 activity can regulate whole body metabolism. Transgenic mice with cardiac-specific expression of a peptide inhibitor of GRK2 (TgβARKct) display an enhanced obesogenic phenotype when fed a high fat diet (HFD). In contrast, mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of GRK2 (TgGRK2) show resistance to HFD induced obesity. White adipose tissue (WAT) mass was significantly enhanced in HFD fed TgβARKct mice. Furthermore, regulators of adipose differentiation were differentially regulated in WAT from mice with gain or loss of GRK2 function. Using complex metabolomics we found that cardiac GRK2 signaling altered myocardial BCAA and endocannabinoid metabolism and modulated circulating BCAA and endocannabinoid metabolite profiles on a HFD, and one of the BCAA metabolites identified here enhances adipocyte differentiation in vitro. Taken together, these results suggest that metabolic changes in the heart due to GRK2 signaling on a HFD control whole body metabolism.
Benjamin P. Woodall, Kenneth S. Gresham, Meryl A. Woodall, Mesele-Christina Valenti, Alessandro Cannavo, Jessica Pfleger, J. Kurt Chuprun, Konstantinos Drosatos, Walter J. Koch
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is characterized by an activating mutation in KRAS. Direct inhibition of KRAS through pharmacological means remains a challenge; however, targeting key KRAS effectors has therapeutic potential. We investigated the contribution of TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1), a critical downstream effector of mutant active KRAS, to PDA progression. We report that TBK1 supports the growth and metastasis of KRAS-mutant PDA by driving an epithelial plasticity program in tumor cells that enhances invasive and metastatic capacity. Further, we identify that the receptor tyrosine kinase Axl induces TBK1 activity in a Ras-RalB-dependent manner. These findings demonstrate that TBK1 is central to an Axl-driven epithelial-mesenchymal transition in KRAS-mutant PDA and suggest that interruption of the Axl-TBK1 signaling cascade above or below KRAS has potential therapeutic efficacy in this recalcitrant disease.
Victoria H. Cruz, Emily N. Arner, Wenting Du, Alberto E. Bremauntz, Rolf A. Brekken
The prefrontal cortex controls food reward seeking and ingestion, playing important roles in directing attention, regulating motivation towards reward pursuit, and the assignment of reward salience and value. The cell types that mediate these behavioral functions, however, are not well described. We report here that optogenetic activation of vasoactive peptide expressing (VIP) interneurons in both the infralimbic (IL) and prelimbic (PL) divisions of the medial prefrontal cortex in mice is sufficient to reduce acute, binge-like intake of high calorie palatable food in the absence of any effect on low calorie rodent chow intake in the sated animal. In addition, we discovered that the behavioral mechanisms associated with these changes in feeding differed between animals that underwent either IL or PL VIPergic stimulation. While IL VIP neurons showed the ability to reduce palatable food intake, this effect was dependent upon the novelty and relative value of the food source. In addition, IL VIP neuron activation significantly reduced novel object- and novel social investigative behavior. Activation of PL VIP neurons, however, produced a reduction in high calorie palatable food intake that was independent of food novelty. Neither IL nor PL VIP excitation changed motivation to obtain food reward. Our data show how neurochemically-defined populations of cortical interneurons can regulate specific aspects of food reward-driven behavior, resulting in a selective reduction in intake of highly valued food.
Brandon A. Newmyer, Ciarra M. Whindleton, Peter M. Klein, Mark P. Beenhakker, Marieke K. Jones, Michael M. Scott
Dysregulation of the JAK/STAT signaling pathway is associated with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and its mouse model, Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE). Suppressors Of Cytokine Signaling (SOCS) negatively regulate the JAK/STAT pathway. We previously reported a severe, brain-targeted, atypical form of EAE in mice lacking Socs3 in myeloid cells (Socs3ΔLysM), which is associated with cerebellar neutrophil infiltration. There is emerging evidence that neutrophils are detrimental in the pathology of MS/EAE, however, their exact function is unclear. Here we demonstrate that neutrophils from the cerebellum of Socs3ΔLysM mice show a hyper-activated phenotype with excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) at the peak of EAE. Neutralization of ROS in vivo delayed the onset and reduced severity of atypical EAE. Mechanistically, Socs3-deficient neutrophils exhibit enhanced STAT3 activation, a hyper-activated phenotype in response to G-CSF, and upon G-CSF priming, increased ROS production. Neutralization of G-CSF in vivo significantly reduced the incidence and severity of the atypical EAE phenotype. Overall, our work elucidates that hypersensitivity of G-CSF/STAT3 signaling in Socs3ΔLysM mice leads to atypical EAE by enhanced neutrophil activation and increased oxidative stress, which may explain the detrimental role of G-CSF in MS patients.
Zhaoqi Yan, Wei Yang, Luke Parkitny, Sara A. Gibson, Kevin S. Lee, Forrest Collins, Jessy S. Deshane, Wayne Cheng, Amy S. Weinmann, Hairong Wei, Hongwei Qin, Etty N. Benveniste
Humoral immunity is important in limiting clinical disease in malaria, yet the longitudinal B cell response to infection remains unclear. We performed a 1-year prospective study in patients treated for acute P. falciparum malaria for the first time, or with previous exposure to the disease. Using an unbiased exploratory approach with mass cytometry, followed by targeted flow cytometry, we found that ~80% of mature B cells that proliferated in response to acute infection expressed CD11c. Only ~40% of CD11c+ B cells displayed an atypical B cell phenotype, with the remaining cells primarily made up of activated- and resting memory B cells. The CD11c+ B cells expanded rapidly following infection, with previous exposure to malaria resulting in a significantly larger increase compared to individuals with primary infection. This was attributed to an expansion of switched CD11c+ B cells that was absent in primary infected individuals. The rate of contraction of the CD11c+ B cell compartment was independent of previous exposure to malaria and displayed a slow decay with a half-life of ~300 days. Collectively, these results identify CD11c as a marker of B cells responding to malaria and further highlight differences in primary- and secondary B cell responses during infection.
Christopher Sundling, Caroline Rönnberg, Victor Yman, Muhammad Asghar, Peter Jahnmatz, Tadepally Lakshmikanth, Yang Chen, Jaromir Mikes, Mattias N. Forsell, Klara Sondén, Adnane Achour, Petter Brodin, Kristina E.M. Persson, Anna Färnert
Human antibody-secreting cells (ASC) triggered by immunization are globally recognized as CD19loCD38hiCD27hi. Yet, different vaccines give rise to antibody responses of different longevity, suggesting ASC populations are heterogeneous. We define circulating ASC heterogeneity in vaccine responses using multi-color flow cytometry, morphology, VH repertoire, and RNA transcriptome analysis. We also tested differential survival using a novel human cell-free system that mimics the bone-marrow (BM) microniche. In peripheral blood, we identified three CD19pos and two CD19neg ASC subsets. All subsets contributed to the vaccine-specific responses and were characterized by in vivo proliferation and activation. VH repertoire demonstrated strong oligoclonality with extensive interconnectivity among the five subsets and switched memory B cells. Transcriptome analysis showed separation of CD19pos and CD19neg subsets that included pathways such as cell cycle, hypoxia, TNFA, and unfolded protein response (UPR). They also demonstrated similar long-term in vitro survival after 48 days. In summary, vaccine-induced ASC with different surface markers (CD19 and CD138) derive from shared proliferative precursors yet express distinctive transcriptomes. Equal survival indicates that all ASC compartments are endowed with long-lived potential. Accordingly, in vivo survival of peripheral long-lived plasma cells may be determined in part by their homing and residence in the BM microniche.
Swetha Garimilla, Doan C. Nguyen, Jessica L. Halliley, Christopher Tipton, Alexander F. Rosenberg, Christopher F. Fucile, Celia L. Saney, Shuya Kyu, Denise Kaminski, Yu Qian, Richard H. Scheuermann, Greg Gibson, Inaki Sanz, F. Eun-Hyung Lee
Following injury, leukocytes are released from hematopoietic organs and migrate to the site of damage to regulate tissue inflammation and repair, however leukocytes lacking β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) expression have marked impairments in these processes. β-blockade is a common strategy for the treatment of many cardiovascular etiologies, therefore the objective of our study was to assess the impact of prior β-blocker treatment on baseline leukocyte parameters and their responsiveness to acute injury. In a temporal and βAR isoform-dependent manner, chronic β-blocker infusion increased splenic vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) expression and leukocyte accumulation (monocytes/macrophages, mast cells and neutrophils) and decreased chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) expression, migration of bone marrow cells (BMC) and peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL), as well as infiltration into the heart following acute cardiac injury. Further, CCR2 expression and migratory responsiveness was significantly reduced in the PBL of patients receiving β-blocker therapy compared to β-blocker-naïve patients. These results highlight the ability of chronic β-blocker treatment to alter baseline leukocyte characteristics that decrease their responsiveness to acute injury and suggest that prior β-blockade may act to reduce the severity of innate immune responses.
Laurel A. Grisanti, Claudio de Lucia, Toby P. Thomas, Aron Stark, John T. Strony, Valerie D. Myers, Remus Berretta, Daohai Yu, Celestino Sardu, Raffaele Marfella, Erhe Gao, Steven R. Houser, Walter J. Koch, Eman A. Hamad, Douglas G. Tilley
Skeletal muscle weakness in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) adds to their impaired working abilities and reduced quality of life. However, little molecular insight is available on muscle weakness associated with RA. Oxidative stress has been implicated in the disease pathogenesis of RA. Here we show that oxidative post-translational modifications of the contractile machinery targeted to actin result in impaired actin polymerization and reduced force production. Using mass spectrometry, we identified the actin residues targeted by oxidative 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT) or malondialdehyde adduct (MDA) modifications in weakened skeletal muscle from mice with arthritis and patients afflicted by RA. The residues were primarily located to three distinct regions positioned at matching surface areas of the skeletal muscle actin molecule from arthritis mice and RA patients. Moreover, molecular dynamic simulations revealed that these areas, here coined “hotspots”, are important for the stability of the actin molecule and its capacity to generate filaments and interact with myosin. Together, these data demonstrate how oxidative modifications on actin promote muscle weakness in RA patients and provide novel leads for targeted therapeutic treatment to improve muscle function.
Maarten M. Steinz, Malin Persson, Bejan Aresh, Karl Olsson, Arthur J. Cheng, Emma Ahlstrand, Mats Lilja, Tommy R. Lundberg, Eric Rullman, Kristina Ängeby Möller, Katalin Sandor, Sofia Ajeganova, Takashi Yamada, Nicole Beard, Björn C.G. Karlsson, Pasi Tavi, Ellinor Kenne, Camilla I. Svensson, Dilson E. Rassier, Roger Karlsson, Ran Friedman, Thomas Gustafsson, Johanna T. Lanner
Tregs require IL-2 signaling for signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5)-mediated induction of Foxp3. While phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is a negative regulator of IL-2 production in effector T cells and Tregs do not produce IL-2, it is not known whether PP2A controls IL-2 signaling in Tregs. To address the role of PP2A in IL-2 signaling in Tregs we studied mice engineered to lack PP2A in all Foxp3-expressing cells. We report that PP2A is required to enable Foxp3 expression and to maintain sufficient numbers of Tregs in the thymus. We show for the first time that PP2A prevents the selective loss of surface IL-2Rβ and preserves IL-2R signaling potency in Tregs. The loss of IL-2Rβ in thymus- and spleen-derived Tregs that lack PP2A is due to increased sheddase activity. Pan-sheddase or selective A disintegrin and metalloproteinase 10 (ADAM10) inhibition, like forced expression of IL-2Rβ in PP2A-deficient Tregs restored IL-2Rβ expression and signaling. Thus, PP2A restrains the sheddase activity of ADAM10 in Treg cells to prevent the cleavage of IL-2Rβ from the cell surface to enable competent IL-2R signaling which is essential for Tregs development and homeostasis.
Amir Sharabi, Hao Li, Isaac R. Kasper, Wenliang Pan, Esra Meidan, Maria G. Tsokos, Vaishali R. Moulton, George C. Tsokos
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