Muscle-specific functional deficits and lifelongfibrosisin response to paediatric radiotherapy and tumoureliminationAbstract
BackgroundAs paediatric cancer survivors are living into adulthood, they suffer from the age-related, accelerateddecline of functional skeletal muscle tissue, termed sarcopenia. With ionizing radiation (radiotherapy) at the core ofpaediatric cancer therapies, its direct and indirect effects can have lifelong negative impacts on paediatric growthand maintenance of skeletal muscle. Utilizing our recently developed preclinical rhabdomyosarcoma mouse model,we investigated the late effects of paediatric radiation treatment on skeletal muscles from late adolescent (8 weeksold) and middle-aged (16 months old) mice.MethodsPaediatric C57BL/6J male mice (3 weeks old) were injected with rhabdomyosarcoma cells into their righthindlimbs, and then fractionated irradiation (3 × 8.2 Gy) was administered to those limbs at 4 weeks old to eliminatethe tumours. Radiation-alone and tumour-irradiated mice were assessed at either 8 weeks (3 weeks post-irradiation) or16 months (14 months post-irradiation) of age for muscle physiology, myofibre characteristics, cell loss, histopathology,fibrosis, inflammatory gene expression, andfibrotic gene expression.ResultsMice that received only paediatric radiation demonstrated reduced muscle mass (17%,P<0.001), musclephysiological function (25%,P<0.01), muscle contractile kinetics (25%,P<0.05), satellite cell number (45%,P<0.05), myofibre cross-sectional area (30%,P<0.0001), and myonuclear number (17%,P<0.001). Paediatricradiation increased inflammatory gene expression, increasedfibrotic gene expression, and induced extracellular matrixprotein deposition (fibrosis) with tumour elimination exacerbating some phenotypes. Paediatric tumour-eliminatedmice demonstrated exacerbated deficits to function (20%,P<0.05) and myofibre size (17%,P<0.001) in somemuscles as well as further increases to inflammatory andfibrotic gene expression. Examining the age-related effectsof paediatric radiotherapy in middle-aged mice, we found persistent myofibre atrophy (20%,P<0.01), myonuclearloss (18%,P<0.001), up-regulated inflammatory andfibrotic signalling, and lifelongfibrosis.ConclusionsThe results from this paediatric radiotherapy model are consistent and recapitulate the clinical and mo-lecular features of accelerated sarcopenia, musculoskeletal frailty, and radiation-inducedfibrosis experienced by paedi-atric cancer survivors. We believe that this preclinical mouse model is well poised for future mechanistic insights andtherapeutic interventions that improve the quality of life for paediatric cancer survivors.
Proteome analysis of NRF2 inhibition in melanoma reveals CD44 up-regulation and increased apoptosis resistance upon vemurafenib treatmentAbstract
Malignant melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and NRF2 has been proposed as a main regulator of tumor cell malignancy. Still the mechanisms how NRF2 is contributing to melanoma progression are incompletely understood.
Here we analyzed the effects of either NRF2 induction or depletion, and we also quantified changes on the whole cell proteome level. Our results showed that inhibition of NRF2 leads to a loss of reactive oxygen species protection, but at the same time to an induction of an epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) phenotype and an up-regulation of the stem cell marker CD44. Additionally, cells devoid of NRF2 showed increased cell viability after treatment with a MYC and a BRAF inhibitor. Importantly, survival upon vemurafenib treatment was dependent on CD44 expression. Finally, analysis of archival melanoma patient samples confirmed a vice versa relationship of NRF2 and CD44 expression. In summary, we recorded changes in the proteome after NRF2 modulation in melanoma cells.
Surprisingly, we identified that NRF2 inhibition lead to induction of an EMT phenotype and an increase in survival of cells after apoptosis induction. Therefore, we propose that it is important for future therapies targeting NRF2 to consider blocking EMT promoting pathways in order to achieve efficient tumor therapy.
The Effect of Age and Intrinsic Aerobic Exercise Capacity on the Expression of Inflammation and Remodeling Markers in Rat Achilles TendonsAbstract
Old age, adiposity, and metabolic disorders are known as risk factors for chronic tendinopathy, which is a common problem in both athletes and the general population. However, the importance of these influencing factors has not yet been well understood. This study investigated alterations in gene expression and histology of Achilles tendons of young (10 weeks) and old (100 weeks) rats bred for low (low capacity runners, LCR) and high (high capacity runners, HCR) intrinsic aerobic exercise capacity. In this rat model, LCR displayed a phenotype of reduced exercise capacity, higher body weight, and metabolic dysfunctions compared to HCR. We hypothesized that the risk factors for tendinopathy in old LCR could lead to more pronounced impairments in Achilles tendon tissue. In quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), age-related downregulation of tenocyte markers e.g., tenomodulin, genes related to matrix modeling and remodeling (e.g., collagens, elastin, biglycan, fibronectin, tenascin C) as well as transforming growth factor beta 3 (Tgfb3) have been detected. Inflammation marker cyclooxygenase 2 (Cox2) was downregulated in old rats, while microsomal prostaglandin E synthase 2 (Ptges2) was upregulated in old HCR and old LCR. In all groups, interleukin 6 (Il6), interleukin 1 beta (Il1b), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (Tnfa) showed no significant alteration. In histological evaluation, tendons of old rats had fewer and more elongated tenocyte nuclei than young rats. Even though a higher content of glycosaminoglycans, a sign of degeneration, was found in old HCR and LCR, no further signs of tendinopathy were detectable in tendons of old rats by histological evaluation. Low intrinsic aerobic exercise capacity and the associated phenotype did not show significant effects on gene expression and tendon histology. These findings indicate that aging seems to play a prominent role in molecular and structural alterations of Achilles tendon tissue and suggests that other risk factors associated with intrinsic aerobic exercise capacity are less influential in this rat model.
Knockdown and Knockout of Tissue Factor Pathway Inhibitor in ZebrafishAbstract
Tissue Factor Pathway Inhibitor (TFPI) is an anticoagulant that inhibits factor VIIa and Xa in the blood coagulation pathways.
TFPI contains three Kunitz domains, K1, K2, and K3. K1 and K2 inhibit factor VIIa and Xa, respectively. However, the regulation of TFPI is poorly studied. Since zebrafish has become an alternate model to discover novel actors in hemostasis, we hypothesized that TFPI regulation could be studied using this model. As a first step, we confirmed the presence of tfpia in zebrafish using RT-PCR. We then performed piggyback knockdowns of tfpia and found increased coagulation activity in tfpia knockdown. We then created a deletion mutation in tfpia locus using CRISPR/Cas9 method. The tfpia homozygous deletion mutants showed increased coagulation activities similar to that found in tfpia knockdown. Taken together, our data suggest that tfpia is a negative regulator for zebrafish coagulation, and silencing it leads to thrombotic phenotype. Also, the zebrafish tfpia knockout model could be used for reversing this thrombotic phenotype to identify antithrombotic novel factors by the genome-wide piggyback knockdown method.
The Impact of Melatonin Supplementation and NLRP3 Inflammasome Deletion on Age-Accompanied Cardiac DamageAbstract
To investigate the role of NLRP3 inflammasome in cardiac aging, we evaluate here morphological and ultrastructural age-related changes of cardiac muscles fibers in wild-type and NLRP3-knockout mice, as well as studying the beneficial effect of melatonin therapy. The results clarified the beginning of the cardiac sarcopenia at the age of 12 months, with hypertrophy of cardiac myocytes, increased expression of β-MHC, appearance of small necrotic fibers, decline of cadiomyocyte number, destruction of mitochondrial cristae, appearance of small-sized residual bodies, and increased apoptotic nuclei ratio. These changes were progressed in the cardiac myocytes of 24 old mice, accompanied by excessive collagen deposition, higher expressions of IL-1α, IL-6, and TNFα, complete mitochondrial vacuolation and damage, myofibrils disorganization, multivesicular bodies formation, and nuclear fragmentation. Interestingly, cardiac myocytes of NLRP3−/− mice showed less detectable age-related changes compared with WT mice. Oral melatonin therapy preserved the normal cardiomyocytes structure, restored cardiomyocytes number, and reduced β-MHC expression of cardiac hypertrophy. In addition, melatonin recovered mitochondrial architecture, reduced apoptosis and multivesicular bodies’ formation, and decreased expressions of β-MHC, IL-1α, and IL-6. Fewer cardiac sarcopenic changes and highly remarkable protective effects of melatonin treatment detected in aged cardiomyocytes of NLRP3−/− mice compared with aged WT animals, confirming implication of the NLRP3 inflammasome in cardiac aging. Thus, NLRP3 suppression and melatonin therapy may be therapeutic approaches for age-related cardiac sarcopenia.
Thyroid hormones regulate goblet cell differentiation and Fgf19-Fgfr4 signalingAbstract
Hypothyroidism is a common pathological condition that is characterized by insufficient
activity of the thyroid hormones (THs), thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), in the
whole body or in specific tissues. Hypothyroidism is associated with inadequate development
of the intestine as well as gastrointestinal diseases. We utilized a zebrafish model of
hypothyroidism in order to identify and characterize TH-modulated genes and cellular
pathways controlling intestine development. In the intestine of hypothyroid juveniles and
adults, the number of mucus-secreting goblet cells was reduced, and this phenotype could be
rescued by T3 treatment. Transcriptome profiling revealed dozens of differentially expressed
genes in the intestine of hypothyroid adults compared to controls. Notably, the expression of
genes encoding to Fgf19 and its receptor Fgfr4 was markedly increased in the intestine of
hypothyroid adults, and treatment with T3 normalized it. Blocking FGF signaling, using an
inducible dominant negative Fgfr transgenic line, rescued the number of goblet cells in
hypothyroid adults. These results show that THs inhibit the Fgf19-Fgfr4 signaling pathway,
which is associated with inhibition of goblet cell differentiation in hypothyroidism. Both the
TH and Fgf19-Fgfr4 signaling pathways can be pharmaceutical targets for the treatment of
TH-related gastrointestinal diseases
Zebrafish Blunt-Force TBI Induces Heterogenous Injury Pathologies That Mimic Human TBI and Responds with Sonic Hedgehog-Dependent Cell Proliferation across the NeuroaxisAbstract
Blunt-force traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects an increasing number of people worldwide as the range of injury severity and heterogeneity of injury pathologies have been recognized. Most current damage models utilize non-regenerative organisms, less common TBI mechanisms (penetrating, chemical, blast), and are limited in scalability of injury severity. We describe a scalable blunt-force TBI model that exhibits a wide range of human clinical pathologies and allows for the study of both injury pathology/progression and mechanisms of regenerative recovery. We modified the Marmarou weight drop model for adult zebrafish, which delivers a scalable injury spanning mild, moderate, and severe phenotypes. Following injury, zebrafish display a wide range of severity-dependent, injury-induced pathologies, including seizures, blood–brain barrier disruption, neuroinflammation, edema, vascular injury, decreased recovery rate, neuronal cell death, sensorimotor difficulties, and cognitive deficits. Injury-induced pathologies rapidly dissipate 4–7 days post-injury as robust cell proliferation is observed across the neuroaxis. In the cerebellum, proliferating nestin:GFP-positive cells originated from the cerebellar crest by 60 h post-injury, which then infiltrated into the granule cell layer and differentiated into neurons. Shh pathway genes increased in expression shortly following injury. Injection of the Shh agonist purmorphamine in undamaged fish induced a significant proliferative response, while the proliferative response was inhibited in injured fish treated with cyclopamine, a Shh antagonist. Collectively, these data demonstrate that a scalable blunt-force TBI to adult zebrafish results in many pathologies similar to human TBI, followed by recovery, and neuronal regeneration in a Shh-dependent manner.
Targeted PI3K/AKT-hyperactivation induces cell death in chronic lymphocytic leukemiaAbstract
Current therapeutic approaches for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) focus on the suppression of oncogenic kinase signaling. Here, we test the hypothesis that targeted hyperactivation of the phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate/AKT (PI3K/AKT)-signaling pathway may be leveraged to trigger CLL cell death. Though counterintuitive, our data show that genetic hyperactivation of PI3K/AKT-signaling or blocking the activity of the inhibitory phosphatase SH2-containing-inositol-5′-phosphatase-1 (SHIP1) induces acute cell death in CLL cells. Our mechanistic studies reveal that increased AKT activity upon inhibition of SHIP1 leads to increased mitochondrial respiration and causes excessive accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), resulting in cell death in CLL with immunogenic features. Our results demonstrate that CLL cells critically depend on mechanisms to fine-tune PI3K/AKT activity, allowing sustained proliferation and survival but avoid ROS-induced cell death and suggest transient SHIP1-inhibition as an unexpectedly promising concept for CLL therapy.
Mistranslation Drives Alterations in Protein Levels and the Effects of a Synonymous Variant at the Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 LocusAbstract
Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a liver‐derived hormone with pleiotropic beneficial effects on metabolism. Paradoxically, FGF21 levels are elevated in metabolic diseases. Interventions that restore metabolic homeostasis reduce FGF21. Whether abnormalities in FGF21 secretion or resistance in peripheral tissues is the initiating factor in altering FGF21 levels and function in humans is unknown. A genetic approach is used to help resolve this paradox. The authors demonstrate that the primary event in dysmetabolic phenotypes is the elevation of FGF21 secretion. The latter is regulated by translational reprogramming in a genotype‐ and context‐dependent manner. To relate the findings to tissues outcomes, the minor (A) allele of rs838133 is shown to be associated with increased hepatic inflammation in patients with metabolic associated fatty liver disease. The results here highlight a dominant role for translation of the FGF21 protein to explain variations in blood levels that is at least partially inherited. These results provide a framework for translational reprogramming of FGF21 to treat metabolic diseases.
Human Adult Fibroblast‐like Synoviocytes and Articular Chondrocytes Exhibit Prominent Overlap in Their Transcriptomic SignaturesAbstract
Fibroblast‐like synoviocytes (FLS) and articular chondrocytes (AC) derive from a common pool of embryonic precursor cells. They are currently believed to engage in largely distinct differentiation programs to build synovium and articular cartilage and maintain healthy tissues throughout life. We tested this hypothesis by deeply characterizing and comparing their transcriptomic attributes.
We profiled the transcriptomes of freshly isolated AC, synovium, primary FLS, and dermal fibroblasts from healthy adult humans using bulk RNA sequencing assays and downloaded published single‐cell RNA sequencing data from freshly isolated human FLS. We integrated all data to define cell‐specific signatures and validated findings with quantitative reverse transcription PCR of human samples and RNA hybridization of mouse joint sections.
We identified 212 AC and 168 FLS markers on the basis of exclusive or enriched expression in either cell and 294 AC/FLS markers on the basis of similar expression in both cells. AC markers included joint‐specific and pan‐cartilaginous genes. FLS and AC/FLS markers featured 37 and 55 joint‐specific genes, respectively, and 131 and 239 pan‐fibroblastic genes, respectively. These signatures included many previously unrecognized markers with potentially important joint‐specific roles. AC/FLS markers overlapped in their expression patterns among all FLS and AC subpopulations, suggesting that they fulfill joint‐specific properties in all, rather than in discrete, AC and FLS subpopulations.
This study broadens knowledge and identifies a prominent overlap of the human adult AC and FLS transcriptomic signatures. It also provides data resources to help further decipher mechanisms underlying joint homeostasis and degeneration and to improve the quality control of tissues engineered for regenerative treatments.
Mutant SF3B1 promotes AKT and NF-kB driven mammary tumorigenesisAbstract
Mutations in the core RNA splicing factor SF3B1 are prevalent in leukemias and uveal melanoma but
hotspot SF3B1 mutations are also seen in epithelial malignancies such as breast cancer. Although
hotspot mutations in SF3B1 alter hematopoietic differentiation, whether SF3B1 mutations contribute to
epithelial cancer development and progression is unknown. Here, we identify that SF3B1 mutations in
mammary epithelial and breast cancer cells induce a recurrent pattern of aberrant splicing leading to
activation of AKT and NF-kB, enhanced cell migration, and accelerated tumorigenesis. Transcriptomic
analysis of human cancer specimens, MMTV-cre Sf3b1K700E/WT mice, and isogenic mutant cell lines
identified hundreds of aberrant 3’ splice sites (3’ss) induced by mutant SF3B1. Consistently between
mouse and human tumors, mutant SF3B1 promoted aberrant splicing (dependent on aberrant
branchpoints as well as pyrimidines downstream of the cryptic 3’ss) and consequent suppression of
PPP2R5A and MAP3K7, critical negative regulators of AKT and NF-kB. Coordinate activation of NF-kB
and AKT signaling was observed in the knock-in models, leading to accelerated cell migration and
tumor development in combination with mutant PIK3CA but also hypersensitizing cells to AKT kinase
inhibitors. These data identify hotspot mutations in SF3B1 as an important contributor to breast
tumorigenesis and reveal unique vulnerabilities in cancers harboring them.
Zika virus noncoding RNA suppresses apoptosis and is required for virus transmission by mosquitoesAbstract
Flaviviruses, including Zika virus (ZIKV), utilise host mRNA degradation machinery to produce subgenomic flaviviral RNA (sfRNA). In mammalian hosts, this noncoding RNA facilitates replication and pathogenesis of flaviviruses by inhibiting IFN-signalling, whereas the function of sfRNA in mosquitoes remains largely elusive. Herein, we conduct a series of in vitro and in vivo experiments to define the role of ZIKV sfRNA in infected Aedes aegypti employing viruses deficient in production of sfRNA. We show that sfRNA-deficient viruses have reduced ability to disseminate and reach saliva, thus implicating the role for sfRNA in productive infection and transmission. We also demonstrate that production of sfRNA alters the expression of mosquito genes related to cell death pathways, and prevents apoptosis in mosquito tissues. Inhibition of apoptosis restored replication and transmission of sfRNA-deficient mutants. Hence, we propose anti-apoptotic activity of sfRNA as the mechanism defining its role in ZIKV transmission.
Liver Organoids Generated from Mice with Necrotizing Enterocolitis Have Reduced Regenerative CapacityAbstract
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is one of the most severe gastrointestinal diseases in infancy. NEC can cause metabolic derangements, multi-organ injury including severe liver damage. The mechanism leading to hepatic damage in NEC remains unclear. The aim of this study is to establish and characterize liver organoids from NEC mice.
Materials and Methods
Following ethical approval (#44032), we induced experimental NEC from postnatal day 5 (P5) to P9 using C57BL/6 mice pups. NEC was induced by gavage formula feeding, gavage lipopolysaccharide (LPS) administration, and hypoxia. Breastfed pups were used as control. On P9, NEC and control pups were sacrificed and liver tissue was harvested and organoids were generated. Organoid size was recorded daily (day 2–4) by measuring their surface area and organoid growth was calculated. RNA was extracted on day 4 after liver organoid generation.
Organoid growth rate was significantly lower in NEC liver organoids compared to control liver organoids. mRNA expression of liver progenitor cells markers of LGR5 and SOX9 was lower in NEC liver organoids compared to control liver organoids. Similarly, expression of proliferation markers of Ki67 and PCNA was lower in NEC liver organoids.
We report a novel technique to generate liver organoids during NEC. These organoids are characterized by reduced progenitor cells, reduced proliferation, and overall impaired regenerative capacity. Liver progenitor cells are important targets to prevent liver damage in NEC and promote recovery.
Lactoferrin Reduces Necrotizing Enterocolitis Severity by Upregulating Intestinal Epithelial ProliferationAbstract
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a devastating intestinal illness in premature infants characterized by severe intestinal inflammation. Despite medical interventions, NEC mortality remains alarmingly high, which necessitates improved therapies. Lactoferrin is among the most abundant proteins in human milk and has important immunomodulatory functions. While previous studies have indicated protective effects of lactoferrin against neonatal sepsis and NEC, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. We hypothesize that lactoferrin downregulates inflammation and upregulates proliferation in intestinal epithelium during NEC injury.
Materials and Methods
NEC was induced by hypoxia, gavage feeding of hyperosmolar formula and lipopolysaccharide between postnatal day P5 and P9 (n = 8). Breastfed mice were used as control (n = 7). Lactoferrin (0.3 g/kg/day) was administered once daily by gavage from P6 to P8 in both NEC (NEC + Lac; n = 9) and control mice (Cont + Lac; n = 5). Distal ileum was harvested on P9 and analyzed for disease severity, inflammation, and proliferation. Groups were compared using one-way ANOVA and t-test appropriately; p < 0.05 was considered significant.
Compared to NEC group, lactoferrin-treated NEC mice had reduced disease severity, reduced inflammation markers IL-6 and TNF-α expression and increased intestinal stem cell marker Lgr5 + expression. Lactoferrin-treated NEC mice exhibited increased nuclear β-catenin, indicating upregulated Wnt pathway, and increased Ki67 positivity, suggesting enhanced proliferation. Furthermore, lactoferrin administration to control mice did not affect intestinal inflammation as well as Lgr5 + stem cell expression and epithelial proliferation. This supports the safety of lactoferrin administration and indicates that the beneficial effects of lactoferrin are present when intestinal injury such as NEC is present.
Lactoferrin administration reduces the intestinal injury in experimental NEC by downregulating inflammation and upregulating cell proliferation. This beneficial effect of lactoferrin in stimulating cell proliferation is mediated by the Wnt pathway. This experimental study provides insights on the mechanism of action of lactoferrin in NEC and the role of lactoferrin in enteral feeding.
Nuclear‐encoded sigma factor 6 (SIG6) is involved in the block of greening response in Arabidopsis thalianaAbstract
Light is critical in the ability of plants to accumulate chlorophyll. When exposed to far‐red (FR) light and then grown in white light in the absence of sucrose, wild‐type seedlings fail to green in a response known as the FR block of greening (BOG). This response is controlled by phytochrome A through repression of protochlorophyllide reductase‐encoding (POR) genes by FR light coupled with irreversible plastid damage. Sigma (SIG) factors are nuclear‐encoded proteins that contribute to plant greening and plastid development through regulating gene transcription in chloroplasts and impacting retrograde signaling from the plastid to nucleus. SIGs are regulated by phytochromes, and the expression of some SIG factors is reduced in phytochrome mutant lines, including phyA. Given the association of phyA with the FR BOG and its regulation of SIG factors, we investigated the potential regulatory role of SIG factors in the FR BOG response.
We examined FR BOG responses in sig mutants, phytochrome‐deficient lines, and mutant lines for several phy‐associated factors. We quantified chlorophyll levels and examined expression of key BOG‐associated genes.
Among six sig mutants, only the sig6 mutant significantly accumulated chlorophyll after FR BOG treatment, similar to the phyA mutant. SIG6 appears to control protochlorophyllide accumulation by contributing to the regulation of tetrapyrrole biosynthesis associated with glutamyl‐tRNA reductase (HEMA1) function, select phytochrome‐interacting factor genes (PIF4 and PIF6), and PENTA1, which regulates PORA mRNA translation after FR exposure.
Regulation of SIG6 plays a significant role in plant responses to FR exposure during the BOG response.
Boosting Natural Killer Cell-Mediated Targeting of Sarcoma Through DNAM-1 and NKG2DAbstract
Sarcomas are malignancies of mesenchymal origin that occur in bone and soft tissues. Many are chemo- and radiotherapy resistant, thus conventional treatments fail to increase overall survival. Natural Killer (NK) cells exert anti-tumor activity upon detection of a complex array of tumor ligands, but this has not been thoroughly explored in the context of sarcoma immunotherapy. In this study, we investigated the NK cell receptor/ligand immune profile of primary human sarcoma explants. Analysis of tumors from 32 sarcoma patients identified the proliferative marker PCNA and DNAM-1 ligands CD112 and/or CD155 as commonly expressed antigens that could be efficiently targeted by genetically modified (GM) NK cells. Despite the strong expression of CD112 and CD155 on sarcoma cells, characterization of freshly dissociated sarcomas revealed a general decrease in tumor-infiltrating NK cells compared to the periphery, suggesting a defect in the endogenous NK cell response. We also applied a functional screening approach to identify relevant NK cell receptor/ligand interactions that induce efficient anti-tumor responses using a panel NK-92 cell lines GM to over-express 12 different activating receptors. Using GM NK-92 cells against primary sarcoma explants (n = 12) revealed that DNAM-1 over-expression on NK-92 cells led to efficient degranulation against all tested explants (n = 12). Additionally, NKG2D over-expression showed enhanced responses against 10 out of 12 explants. These results show that DNAM-1+ or NKG2D+ GM NK-92 cells may be an efficient approach in targeting sarcomas. The degranulation capacity of GM NK-92 cell lines was also tested against various established tumor cell lines, including neuroblastoma, Schwannoma, melanoma, myeloma, leukemia, prostate, pancreatic, colon, and lung cancer. Enhanced degranulation of DNAM-1+ or NKG2D+ GM NK-92 cells was observed against the majority of tumor cell lines tested. In conclusion, DNAM-1 or NKG2D over-expression elicited a dynamic increase in NK cell degranulation against all sarcoma explants and cancer cell lines tested, including those that failed to induce a notable response in WT NK-92 cells. These results support the broad therapeutic potential of DNAM-1+ or NKG2D+ GM NK-92 cells and GM human NK cells for the treatment of sarcomas and other malignancies.
Neutrophils are mediators of metastatic prostate cancer progression in boneAbstract
Bone metastatic prostate cancer (BM-PCa) significantly reduces overall patient survival and is currently incurable. Current standard immunotherapy showed promising results for PCa patients with metastatic, but less advanced, disease (i.e., fewer than 20 bone lesions) suggesting that PCa growth in bone contributes to response to immunotherapy. We found that: (1) PCa stimulates recruitment of neutrophils, the most abundant immune cell in bone, and (2) that neutrophils heavily infiltrate regions of prostate tumor in bone of BM-PCa patients. Based on these findings, we examined the impact of direct neutrophil–prostate cancer interactions on prostate cancer growth. Bone marrow neutrophils directly induced apoptosis of PCa in vitro and in vivo, such that neutrophil depletion in bone metastasis models enhanced BM-PCa growth. Neutrophil-mediated PCa killing was found to be mediated by suppression of STAT5, a transcription factor shown to promote PCa progression. However, as the tumor progressed in bone over time, neutrophils from late-stage bone tumors failed to elicit cytotoxic effector responses to PCa. These findings are the first to demonstrate that bone-resident neutrophils inhibit PCa and that BM-PCa are able to progress via evasion of neutrophil-mediated killing. Enhancing neutrophil cytotoxicity in bone may present a novel therapeutic option for bone metastatic prostate cancer.
Gene Expression Signatures Identify Novel Therapeutics for Metastatic Pancreatic Neuroendocrine TumorsAbstract
Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs) are uncommon malignancies noted for their propensity to metastasize and comparatively favorable prognosis. Although both the treatment options and clinical outcomes have improved in the last decades, most patients will die of metastatic disease. New systemic therapies are needed.
Tissues were obtained from 43 patients with well-differentiated pNETs undergoing surgery. Gene expression was compared between primary tumors versus liver and lymph node metastases using RNASeq. Genes that were selectively elevated at only one metastatic site were filtered out to reduce tissuespecific effects. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) and the Connectivity Map (CMap) identified drugs
likely to antagonize metastasis-specific targets. The biological activity of top identified agents was tested in vitro using two pNET cell lines (BON-1 and QGP-1).
902 genes were differentially expressed in pNET metastases compared to primary tumors, 626 of which remained in the common metastatic profile after filtering. Analysis with IPA and CMap revealed altered activity of factors involved in survival and proliferation, and identified drugs targeting those pathways, including inhibitors of mTOR, PI3K, MEK, TOP2A, PKC, NF-kB, CDK and HDAC. Inhibitors of MEK and TOP2A were consistently the most active compounds.
We employed a complementary bioinformatics approach to identify novel therapeutics for pNETs by analyzing gene expression in metastatic tumors. The potential utility of these drugs was confirmed by in vitro cytotoxicity assays, suggesting drugs targeting MEK and TOP2A may be highly efficacious against metastatic pNETs. This is a promising strategy for discovering more effective treatments for pNET patients.
Response of the Salmon Heart Transcriptome to Pancreas Disease: Differences Between High- and Low-Ranking Families for ResistanceAbstract
Pancreas disease caused by salmonid alphaviruses leads to severe losses in Atlantic salmon aquaculture. The aim of our study was to gain a better understanding of the biological differences between salmon with high and low genomic breeding values (H-gEBV and L-gEBV respectively) for pancreas disease resistance. Fish from H- and L-gEBV families were challenged by intraperitoneal injection of salmonid alphavirus or co-habitation with infected fish. Mortality was higher with co-habitation than injection, and for L- than H-gEBV. Heart for RNA-seq and histopathology was collected before challenge and at four- and ten-weeks post-challenge. Heart damage was less severe in injection-challenged H- than L-gEBV fish at week 4. Viral load was lower in H- than L-gEBV salmon after co-habitant challenge. Gene expression differences between H- and L-gEBV manifested before challenge, peaked at week 4, and moderated by week 10. At week 4, H-gEBV salmon showed lower expression of innate antiviral defence genes, stimulation of B- and T-cell immune function, and weaker stress responses. Retarded resolution of the disease explains the higher expression of immune genes in L-gEBV at week 10. Results suggest earlier mobilization of acquired immunity better protects H-gEBV salmon by accelerating clearance of the virus and resolution of the disease.
AKINβ1, a subunit of SnRK1, regulates organic acid metabolism and acts as a global modulator of genes involved in carbon, lipid, and nitrogen metabolismAbstract
The sucrose non-fermenting-1-related protein kinase 1 (SnRK1) is a highly conserved heterotrimeric protein kinase in plants. It possesses a catalytic subunit (α) and two regulatory subunits (β and γ). The effects of altered expression of AKINβ1 on carbohydrate metabolism and gene expression in leaves were investigated in an Arabidopsis T-DNA insertion mutant. The contents of key intermediates in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle of the mutant leaves were markedly reduced throughout the diurnal cycle, coupled with a decrease in measurable respiration rate. Compared with the wild type, 2485 genes and 188 genes were differentially expressed in leaves of the akinβ1 mutant in response to light and darkness, respectively. Among these, several genes exhibited very substantial decreases in expression. Notably, expression of particular isoforms of multigene families involved in malate and lipid metabolism and nitrate uptake showed decreases of 40- to 240-fold during the light period, but not during darkness. The subcellular localization of AKINβ1 and the regulatory function of N-myristoylation for this localization were investigated, showing that AKINβ1 localizes to the Golgi. A model is hypothesized to explain the effects of AKINβ1 on metabolism and gene expression in Arabidopsis.
An evolutionarily-conserved Wnt3/β-catenin/Sp5 feedback loop restricts head organizer activity in HydraAbstract
Polyps of the cnidarian Hydra maintain their adult anatomy through two developmental organizers, the head organizer located apically and the foot organizer basally. The head organizer is made of two antagonistic cross-reacting components, an activator, driving apical differentiation and an inhibitor, preventing ectopic head formation. Here we characterize the head inhibitor by comparing planarian genes down-regulated when β-catenin is silenced to Hydra genes displaying a graded apical-to-basal expression and an up-regulation during head regeneration. We identify Sp5 as a transcription factor that fulfills the head inhibitor properties: leading to a robust multiheaded phenotype when knocked-down in Hydra, acting as a transcriptional repressor of Wnt3 and positively regulated by Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Hydra and zebrafish Sp5 repress Wnt3 promoter activity while Hydra Sp5 also activates its own expression, likely via β-catenin/TCF interaction. This work identifies Sp5 as a potent feedback loop inhibitor of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, a function conserved across eumetazoan evolution.
An Hb-mediated circulating macrophage contributing to pulmonary vascular remodeling in sickle cell diseaseAbstract
Circulating macrophages recruited to the lung contribute to pulmonary vascular remodeling in various forms of pulmonary hypertension (PH). In this study we investigated a macrophage phenotype characterized by intracellular iron accumulation and expression of antioxidant (HO-1), vasoactive (ET-1), and proinflammatory (IL-6) mediators observed in the lung tissue of deceased sickle cell disease (SCD) patients with diagnosed PH. To this end, we evaluated an established rat model of group 5 PH that is simultaneously exposed to free hemoglobin (Hb) and hypobaric hypoxia (HX). Here, we tested the hypothesis that pulmonary vascular remodeling observed in human SCD with concomitant PH could be replicated and mechanistically driven in our rat model by a similar macrophage phenotype with iron accumulation and expression of a similar mixture of antioxidant (HO-1), vasoactive (ET-1), and inflammatory (IL-6) proteins. Our data suggest phenotypic similarities between pulmonary perivascular macrophages in our rat model and human SCD with PH, indicating a potentially novel maladaptive immune response to concomitant bouts of Hb and HX exposure. Moreover, by knocking out circulating macrophages with gadolinium trichloride (GdCl3), the response to combined Hb and hypobaric HX was significantly attenuated in rats, suggesting a critical role for macrophages in the exacerbation of SCD PH.
Inhibiting nucleolin reduces inflammation induced by mitochondrial DNA in cardiomyocytes exposed to hypoxia and reoxygenationAbstract
Background and purpose
Cellular debris causes sterile inflammation after myocardial infarction. Mitochondria constitute about 30 percent of the human heart. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a damage‐associated‐molecular‐pattern that induce injurious sterile inflammation. Little is known about mtDNA's inflammatory signalling pathways in cardiomyocytes and how mtDNA is internalized to associate with its putative receptor, toll‐like receptor 9 (TLR9).
We hypothesized that mtDNA can be internalized in cardiomyocytes and induce an inflammatory response. Adult mouse cardiomyocytes were exposed to hypoxia‐reoxygenation and extracellular DNA. Microscale thermophoresis was used to demonstrate binding between nucleolin and DNA.
Expression of the pro‐inflammatory cytokines IL‐1β and TNFα were upregulated by mtDNA, but not by nuclear DNA (nDNA), in cardiomyocytes exposed to hypoxia‐reoxygenation. Blocking the RNA/DNA binding protein nucleolin with midkine reduced expression of IL‐1β/TNFα and the nucleolin inhibitor AS1411 reduced interleukin‐6 release in adult mouse cardiomyocytes. mtDNA bound 10‐fold stronger than nDNA to nucleolin. In HEK293‐NF‐κB reporter cells, mtDNA induced NF‐κB activity in normoxia, while CpG‐DNA and hypoxia‐reoxygenation, synergistically induced TLR9‐dependent NF‐κB activity. Protein expression of nucleolin was found in the plasma membrane of cardiomyocytes and inhibition of nucleolin with midkine inhibited cellular uptake of CpG‐DNA. Inhibition of endocytosis did not reduce CpG‐DNA uptake in cardiomyocytes.
Conclusion and implications
mtDNA, but not nDNA, induce an inflammatory response in mouse cardiomyocytes during hypoxia‐reoxygenation. In cardiomyocytes, nucleolin is expressed on the membrane and blocking nucleolin reduce inflammation. Nucleolin might be a therapeutic target to prevent uptake of immunogenic DNA and reduce inflammation.
n-6 Linoleic Acid Induces Epigenetics Alterations Associated with Colonic Inflammation and CancerAbstract
The farnesoid-X-receptor (FXR) protects against inflammation and cancer of the colon through maintenance of intestinal bile acid (BA) homeostasis. Conversely, higher levels of BA and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) are risk factors for inflammation and cancer of the colon. In the United States, n-6 linoleic acid (LA) is the most commonly used dietary vegetable fat. Metabolism of n-6 fatty acids has been linked to a higher risk of intestinal cancer. The objectives of this study were to investigate in colonic mucosa the effects of a high-fat diet rich in LA (n-6HFD) on CpG methylation of Fxr and prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase-2 (Ptsg-2) genes, and the impact on the expression of tumor suppressor adenomatous polyposis Coli (Apc) and proliferative cyclin D1 (Ccnd1) genes. Weaned C57BL/6J male mice were fed for 6 weeks either an n-6HFD containing 44% energy (44%E) from 22% safflower oil (SO, 76% LA by weight) or a 13% energy (13%E) control diet (Control) from SO (5% by weight). Mice fed the n-6HFD had reduced (60%) Fxr promoter CpG methylation and increased (~50%) Fxr mRNA. The expression of FXR-target ileal bile acid-binding protein (Ibabp), small heterodimer protein (Shp), and anti-inflammatory peroxisome proliferator-activated-γ1 genes was increased. The n-6HFD reduced Ptgs-2 CpG methylation, increased the expression of Cox-2, and increased Apc CpG methylation in colonic mucosa. Accordingly, reduced expression of Apc was coupled to accumulation of c-JUN and Ccnd1, respectively cofactor and gene targets for the β-catenin/Wnt signaling pathway. Finally, the n-6HFD reduced the expression of histone deacetylase-1 while favoring the accumulation of acetylated histone 3. We conclude that an n-6HFD epigenetically modifies Fxr, leading to the activation of downstream factors that participate in BA homeostasis. However, epigenetic activation of Ptsg-2 coupled with silencing of Apc and accumulation of C-JUN and Ccnd1 may increase the risk of inflammation and cancer of the colon.
Nuclear and cytoplasmic WDR-23 isoforms mediate differential effects on GEN-1 and SKN-1 substratesAbstract
Maintaining a healthy cellular environment requires the constant control of proteostasis. E3 ubiquitin ligase complexes facilitate the post-translational addition of ubiquitin, which based on the quantity and specific lysine linkages, results in different outcomes. Our studies reveal the CUL4-DDB1 substrate receptor, WDR23, as both a positive and a negative regulator in cellular stress responses. These opposing roles are mediated by two distinct isoforms: WDR-23A in the cytoplasm and WDR-23B in the nucleus. C. elegans expressing only WDR-23A display activation of SKN-1 and enhanced survival to oxidative stress, whereas animals with restricted WDR-23B expression do not. Additionally, we identify GEN-1, a Holliday junction resolvase, as an evolutionarily conserved WDR-23 substrate and find that the nuclear and cytoplasmic isoforms of WDR-23 differentially affect double-strand break repair. Our results suggest that through differential ubiquitination, nuclear WDR-23B inhibits the activity of substrates, most likely by promoting protein turnover, while cytoplasmic WDR-23A performs a proteasome-independent role. Together, our results establish a cooperative role between two spatially distinct isoforms of WDR-23 in ensuring proper regulation of WDR-23 substrates.
The Expression of Thrombospondin-4 Correlates with Disease Severity in Osteoarthritic Knee CartilageAbstract
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive joint disease characterized by a continuous degradation of the cartilage extracellular matrix (ECM). The expression of the extracellular glycoprotein thrombospondin-4 (TSP-4) is known to be increased in injured tissues and involved in matrix remodeling, but its role in articular cartilage and, in particular, in OA remains elusive. In the present study, we analyzed the expression and localization of TSP-4 in healthy and OA knee cartilage by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), immunohistochemistry, and immunoblot. We found that TSP-4 protein expression is increased in OA and that expression levels correlate with OA severity. TSP-4 was not regulated at the transcriptional level but we detected changes in the anchorage of TSP-4 in the altered ECM using sequential protein extraction. We were also able to detect pentameric and fragmented TSP-4 in the serum of both healthy controls and OA patients. Here, the total protein amount was not significantly different but we identified specific degradation products that were more abundant in sera of OA patients. Future studies will reveal if these fragments have the potential to serve as OA-specific biomarkers.
Synapse Formation Activates a Transcriptional Program for Persistent Enhancement in the Bi-directional Transport of MitochondriaAbstract
Mechanisms that regulate the bi-directional transport of mitochondria in neurons for maintaining functional synaptic connections are poorly understood. Here, we show that in the pre-synaptic sensory neurons of the Aplysia gill withdrawal reflex, the formation of functional synapses leads to persistent enhancement in the flux of bi-directional mitochondrial transport. In the absence of a functional synapse, activation of cAMP signaling is sufficient to enhance bi-directional transport in sensory neurons. Furthermore, persistent enhancement in transport does not depend on NMDA and AMPA receptor signaling nor signaling from the post-synaptic neuronal cell body, but it is dependent on transcription and protein synthesis in the pre-synaptic neuron. We identified ∼4,000 differentially enriched transcripts in pre-synaptic neurons, suggesting a long-term change in the transcriptional program produced by synapse formation. These results provide insights into the regulation of bi-directional mitochondrial transport for synapse maintenance.
Attenuated Replication of Lassa Virus Vaccine Candidate ML29 in STAT-1-/- MiceAbstract
Lassa virus (LASV), a highly prevalent mammalian arenavirus endemic in West Africa, can cause Lassa fever (LF), which is responsible for thousands of deaths annually. LASV is transmitted to humans from naturally infected rodents. At present, there is not an effective vaccine nor treatment. The genetic diversity of LASV is the greatest challenge for vaccine development. The reassortant ML29 carrying the L segment from the nonpathogenic Mopeia virus (MOPV) and the S segment from LASV is a vaccine candidate under current development. ML29 demonstrated complete protection in validated animal models against a Nigerian strain from clade II, which was responsible for the worst outbreak on record in 2018. This study demonstrated that ML29 was more attenuated than MOPV in STAT1-/- mice, a small animal model of human LF and its sequelae. ML29 infection of these mice resulted in more than a thousand-fold reduction in viremia and viral load in tissues and strong LASV-specific adaptive T cell responses compared to MOPV-infected mice. Persistent infection of Vero cells with ML29 resulted in generation of interfering particles (IPs), which strongly interfered with the replication of LASV, MOPV and LCMV, the prototype of the Arenaviridae. ML29 IPs induced potent cell-mediated immunity and were fully attenuated in STAT1-/- mice. Formulation of ML29 with IPs will improve the breadth of the host’s immune responses and further contribute to development of a pan-LASV vaccine with full coverage meeting the WHO requirements.
Chromatin dynamics governed by a set of nuclear structuralproteinsAbstract
During the past three decades, the study of nuclear and chromatin organization has become ofgreat interest. The organization and dynamics of chromatin are directly responsible for manyfunctions including gene regulation, genome replication, and maintenance. In order to betterunderstand the details of these mechanisms, we need to understand the role of specific proteinsthat take part in these processes. The genome in the nucleus is organized in different lengthscales, ranging from the bead-like nucleosomes through topological associated domains up tochromosome territories. The mechanisms that maintain these structures, however, remain to befully elucidated. Previous works highlighted the significance of lamin A, an important nucleoplas-mic protein; however, there are other nuclear structural proteins that are also important forchromatin organization. Studying the organizational aspects of the nucleus is a complex task,and different methods have been developed and adopted for this purpose, including molecularand imaging methods. Here we describe the use of the live-cell imaging method and demon-strate that the dynamics of the nucleus is strongly related to its organizational mechanisms. Welabeled different genomic sites in the nucleus and measured the effect of nuclear structural pro-teins on their dynamics. We studied lamin A, BAF, Emerin, lamin B, CTCF, and Cohesin and dis-cuss how each of them affect chromatin dynamics. Our findings indicate that lamin A and BAFhave a significant effect on chromosomes dynamics, while other proteins mildly affect the typeof the diffusion while the volume of motion is not affected.
A Quantitative HILIC–MS/MS Assay of the Metabolic Response of Huh-7 Cells Exposed to 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-DioxinAbstract
A hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC)–ultra high-pressure liquid
chromatography (UHPLC) coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) method was developed and applied to profile metabolite changes in human Huh-7 cells exposed to the potent aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) ligand 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Comparisons of sensitivity (limit of detection as low as 0.01 µM) and reproducibility (84% of compounds had an interday relative standard deviation (RSD) less than 10.0%; 83% of compounds had an intraday RSD less than 15.0%) were assessed for all the metabolites. The exposure of Huh-7 cells to the hepatotoxic carcinogen TCDD at low doses (1 nM and 10 nM for 4 h and 24 h, respectively) was reflected by the disturbance of amino acid metabolism, energy metabolism (glycolysis, TCA cycle), and nucleic acid metabolism. TCDD caused a significant decrease in amino acids such as serine, alanine, and proline while promoting an increase in arginine levels with 24 h treatment. Energy metabolism intermediates such as phosphoenolpyruvate and acetyl–CoA and nucleosides such as UMP, XMP, and CMP were also markedly decreased. These results support the application of HILIC–UHPLC–MS/MS for robust and reliable analysis of the cellular response to environmentally relevant toxicants at lower doses.
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition of cancer cells using bioengineered hybrid scaffold composed of hydrogel/3D-fibrous frameworkAbstract
Cancer cells undergoing epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) acquire stem cell-like phenotype associated with malignant behaviour, chemoresistance, and relapse. Current two-dimensional (2D) in-vitro culture models of tumorigenesis are inadequate to replicate the complexity of in-vivo microenvironment. Therefore, the generation of functional three-dimensional (3D) constructs is a fundamental prerequisite to form multi-cellular tumour spheroids for studying basic pathological mechanisms. In this study, we focused on two major points (i) designing and fabrication of 3D hybrid scaffolds comprising electrospun fibers with cancer cells embedded within hydrogels, and (ii) determining the potential roles of 3D hybrid scaffolds associated with EMT in cancer progression and metastasis. Our findings revealed that 3D hybrid scaffold enhances cell proliferation and induces cancer cells to undergo EMT, as demonstrated by significant up-regulation of EMT associated transcriptional factors including Snail1, Zeb1, and Twist2; and mesenchymal markers whereas epithelial marker, E-Cadherin was downregulated. Remarkably, this induction is independent of cancer cell-type as similar results were obtained for breast cancer cells, MDA-MB-231 and gastric cancer cells, MKN74. Moreover, the hybrid scaffolds enrich aggressive cancer cells with stem cell properties. We showed that our 3D scaffolds could trigger EMT of cancer cells which could provide a useful model for studying anticancer therapeutics against metastasis.
Dominant-negative inhibition of canonical Notch signaling in trophoblast cells does not disrupt placenta formationAbstract
Proper development and function of the mammalian placenta
requires interactions between embryo-derived trophoblasts and
uterine endothelial cells to form mosaic vessels that facilitate blood
flow to a developing conceptus. Notch signaling utilizes a cell–cell
contact dependent mechanism to drive cell behaviors, such as
differentiation and invasion. In mice, Notch2 is needed for proper
placentation and embryo survival. We used transgenic mice with a
dominant-negative form of Mastermind-like1 and Cyp19-Cre and
Tpbpa-Cre drivers to inhibit canonical Notch signaling in trophoblasts.
Both Cre drivers resulted in robust placental expression of dominantnegative Mastermind-like1. All pregnancies progressed beyond
mid-gestation and morphological analyses of placentas revealed no
differences between mutants and controls. Our data suggest that
mouse placentation occurs normally despite dominant negative
inhibition of trophoblast canonical Notch signaling and that Notch2
signaling via the canonical pathway is not necessary for placentation.
Carbon metabolism modulates the efficacy of drugs targeting the cytochrome bc1:aa3 in Mycobacterium tuberculosisAbstract
The influence of carbon metabolism on oxidative phosphorylation is poorly understood in mycobacteria. M. tuberculosis expresses two respiratory terminal oxidases, the cytochrome bc1:aa3 and the cytochrome bd oxidase, which are jointly required for oxidative phosphorylation and mycobacterial viability. The essentiality of the cytochrome bc1:aa3 for optimum growth is illustrated by its vulnerability to chemical inhibition by the clinical drug candidate Q203 and several other chemical series. The cytochrome bd oxidase is not strictly essential for growth but is required to maintain bioenergetics when the function of the cytochrome bc1:aa3 is compromised. In this study, we observed that the potency of drugs targeting the cytochrome bc1:aa3 is influenced by carbon metabolism. The efficacy of Q203 and related derivatives was alleviated by glycerol supplementation. The negative effect of glycerol supplementation on Q203 potency correlated with an upregulation of the cytochrome bd oxidase-encoding cydABDC operon. Upon deletion of cydAB, the detrimental effect of glycerol on the potency of Q203 was abrogated. The same phenomenon was also observed in recent clinical isolates, but to a lesser extent compared to the laboratory-adapted strain H37Rv. This study reinforces the importance of optimizing in vitro culture conditions for drug evaluation in mycobacteria, a factor which appeared to be particularly essential for drugs targeting the cytochrome bc1:aa3 terminal oxidase.
Differential changes in bone strength of two inbred mouse strains following administration of a sclerostin-neutralizing antibody during growthAbstract
Administration of sclerostin-neutralizing antibody (Scl-Ab) treatment has been shown to elicit an anabolic bone response in growing and adult mice. Prior work characterized the response of individual mouse strains but did not establish whether the impact of Scl-Ab on whole bone strength would vary across different inbred mouse strains. Herein, we tested the hypothesis that two inbred mouse strains (A/J and C57BL/6J (B6)) will show different whole bone strength outcomes following sclerostin-neutralizing antibody (Scl-Ab) treatment during growth (4.5–8.5 weeks of age). Treated B6 femurs showed a significantly greater stiffness (S) (68.8% vs. 46.0%) and maximum load (ML) (84.7% vs. 44.8%) compared to A/J. Although treated A/J and B6 femurs showed greater cortical area (Ct.Ar) similarly relative to their controls (37.7% in A/J and 41.1% in B6), the location of new bone deposition responsible for the greater mass differed between strains and may explain the greater whole bone strength observed in treated B6 mice. A/J femurs showed periosteal expansion and endocortical infilling, while B6 femurs showed periosteal expansion. Post-yield displacement (PYD) was smaller in treated A/J femurs (-61.2%, p < 0.001) resulting in greater brittleness compared to controls; an effect not present in B6 mice. Inter-strain differences in S, ML, and PYD led to divergent changes in work-to-fracture (Work). Work was 27.2% (p = 0.366) lower in treated A/J mice and 66.2% (p < 0.001) greater in treated B6 mice relative to controls. Our data confirmed the anabolic response to Scl-Ab shown by others, and provided evidence suggesting the mechanical benefits of Scl-Ab administration may be modulated by genetic background, with intrinsic growth patterns of these mice guiding the location of new bone deposition. Whether these differential outcomes will persist in adult and elderly mice remains to be determined.
PACAP Is Lethal to Flavobacterium psychrophilum Through Either Direct Membrane Permeabilization or Indirectly, by Priming the Immune Response in Rainbow Trout MacrophagesAbstract
Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a multifunctional neuropeptide that is widely distributed in mammals and is capable of performing roles as a neurotransmitter, neuromodulator, and vasodilator. This polypeptide belongs to the glucagon/secretin superfamily, of which some members have been shown to act as antimicrobial peptides in both mammalian and aquatic organisms. In teleosts, PACAP has been demonstrated to have direct antimicrobial activity against several aquatic pathogens, yet this phenomenon has never been studied throughout a live bacterial challenge. The present study focuses on the influence of synthetic Clarias gariepinus 38 amino acid PACAP on the rainbow trout monocyte/macrophage-like cell line, RTS11, when exposed to the coldwater bacterial pathogen Flavobacterium psychrophilum. PACAP was shown to have direct antimicrobial activity on F. psychrophilum when grown in both cytophaga broth and cell culture media (L-15). Further, the ability of teleostean PACAP to permeabilize the membrane of an aquatic pathogen, F. psychrophilum, was demonstrated for the first time. The viability of RTS11 when exposed to PACAP was also observed using a trypan blue exclusion assay to determine optimal experimental doses of the antimicrobial peptide. This displayed that only concentrations higher than 0.1 μM negatively impacted RTS11 survival. Interestingly, when RTS11 was pre-treated with PACAP for 24 h before experiencing infection with live F. psychrophilum, growth of the pathogen was severely inhibited in a dose-dependent manner when compared to cells receiving no pre-treatment with the polypeptide. Relative expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, TNFα, and IL-6) and PACAP receptors (VPAC1 and PAC1) was also analyzed in RTS11 following PACAP exposure alone and in conjunction with live F. psychrophilum challenge. These qRT-PCR findings revealed that PACAP may have a synergistic effect on RTS11 immune function. The results of this study provide evidence that PACAP has immunostimulatory activity on rainbow trout immune cells as well as antimicrobial activity against aquatic bacterial pathogens such as F. psychrophilum. As there are numerous pathogens that plague the aquaculture industry, PACAP may stimulate the teleost immune system while also providing an efficacious alternative to antibiotic use.
Characterizing Cellular Responses During Oncolytic Maraba Virus InfectionAbstract
The rising demand for powerful oncolytic virotherapy agents has led to the identification of Maraba virus, one of the most potent oncolytic viruses from Rhabdoviridae family which displays high selectivity for killing malignant cells and low cytotoxicity in normal cells. Although the virus is readied to be used for clinical trials, the interactions between the virus and the host cells is still unclear. Using a newly developed interferon-sensitive mutant Maraba virus (MG1), we have identified two key regulators of global translation (4E-BP1 and eIF2α) as being involved in the regulation of protein synthesis in the infected cells. Despite the translational arrest upon viral stress, we showed an up-regulation of anti-apoptotic Bcl-xL protein that provides a survival benefit for the host cell, yet facilitates effective viral propagation. Given the fact that eIF5B canonically regulates 60S ribosome subunit end joining and is able to replace the role of eIF2 in delivering initiator tRNA to the 40S ribosome subunit upon the phosphorylation of eIF2α we have tested whether eIF5B mediates the translation of target mRNAs during MG1 infection. Our results show that the inhibition of eIF5B significantly down-regulates the level of Bcl-xL steady-state mRNA, thus indirectly attenuates viral propagation.
Age-Associated mRNA and miRNA Expression Changes in the Blood-Brain BarrierAbstract
Functional and structural age-associated changes in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) may affect the neurovascular unit and contribute to the onset and progression of age-associated neurodegenerative pathologies, including Alzheimer’s disease. The current study interrogated the RNA profile of the BBB in an ageing human autopsy brain cohort and an ageing mouse model using combined laser capture microdissection and expression profiling. Only 12 overlapping genes were altered in the same direction in the BBB of both ageing human and mouse cohorts. These included genes with roles in regulating vascular tone, tight junction protein expression and cell adhesion, all processes prone to dysregulation with advancing age. Integrated mRNA and miRNA network and pathway enrichment analysis of the datasets identified 15 overlapping miRNAs that showed altered expression. In addition to targeting genes related to DNA binding and/or autophagy, many of the miRNAs identified play a role in age-relevant processes, including BBB dysfunction and regulating the neuroinflammatory response. Future studies have the potential to develop targeted therapeutic approaches against these candidates to prevent vascular dysfunction in the ageing brain.
Effects of exercise training on inflammasome-related mediators and their associations to glucometabolic variables in patients with combined coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus: Sub-study of a randomized control trialAbstract
Adipose tissue produces pro-inflammatory mediators involved in the atherosclerotic process. We investigated whether 12-month exercise training in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and coronary artery disease would reduce circulating levels and genetic expression of mediators in the interleukin-18, Caspase-1 and NLR pyrin domain containing 3 pathways. Correlations to glucometabolic variables; fasting glucose, HbA1c, duration of diabetes, insulin, C-peptide, insulin resistance (measured by homeostatic model assessment indexes – insulin resistance) and body mass index at baseline were further assessed.
137 patients (aged 41–81 years, 17.2% female participants) were included and randomized to a 12-month exercise programme or to a control group. Fasting blood and adipose tissue samples were taken at inclusion and after 12 months.
No statistically significant difference in changes of any variable between the intervention and the control group was found. At baseline, a positive correlation between insulin and homeostatic model assessment indexes – insulin resistance, interleukin-18 expression in adipose tissue and an inverse correlation between some glucometabolic variables and leukocyte expression of NLR pyrin domain containing 3 and Caspase-1 were observed.
No significant effects of long-term exercise training were observed on the inflammasome-related mediators in our patients with combined coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The observed correlations may indicate a pro-inflammatory state in adipose tissue by overweight and a compensatory downregulation of these mediators in circulating leucocytes.
Affinity-enhanced T-cell receptors for adoptive T-cell therapy targeting MAGE-A10: strategy for selection of an optimal candidateAbstract
Circulating T-cells that have passed thymic selection generally bear T-cell receptors (TCRs) with sub-optimal affinity for cancer-associated antigens, resulting in a limited ability to detect and eliminate tumor cells. Engineering TCRs to increase their affinity for cancer targets is a promising strategy for generating T-cells with enhanced potency for adoptive immunotherapy in cancer patients. However, this manipulation also risks generating cross-reactivity to antigens expressed by normal tissue, with potentially serious consequences. Testing in animal models might not detect such cross-reactivity due to species differences in the antigenic repertoire. To mitigate the risk of off-target toxicities in future clinical trials, we therefore developed an extensive in vitro testing strategy. This approach involved systematic substitution at each position of the antigenic peptide sequence using all natural amino acids to generate a profile of peptide specificity (“X-scan”). The likelihood of off-target reactivity was investigated by searching the human proteome for sequences matching this profile, and testing against a panel of primary cell lines. Starting from a diverse panel of parental TCRs, we engineered several affinity-enhanced TCRs specific for the cancer-testis antigen MAGE-A10. Two of these TCRs had affinities and specificities which appeared to be equally optimal when tested in conventional biochemical and cellular assays. The X-scan method, however, permitted us to select the most specific and potent candidate for further pre-clinical and clinical testing.
XX sex chromosome complement promotes atherosclerosis in miceAbstract
Men and women differ in circulating lipids and coronary artery disease (CAD). While sex hormones such as estrogens decrease CAD risk, hormone replacement therapy increases risk. Biological sex is determined by sex hormones and chromosomes, but effects of sex chromosomes on circulating lipids and atherosclerosis are unknown. Here, we use mouse models to separate effects of sex chromosomes and hormones on atherosclerosis, circulating lipids and intestinal fat metabolism. We assess atherosclerosis in multiple models and experimental paradigms that distinguish effects of sex chromosomes, and male or female gonads. Pro-atherogenic lipids and atherosclerosis are greater in XX than XY mice, indicating a primary effect of sex chromosomes. Small intestine expression of enzymes involved in lipid absorption and chylomicron assembly are greater in XX male and female mice with higher intestinal lipids. Together, our results show that an XX sex chromosome complement promotes the bioavailability of dietary fat to accelerate atherosclerosis.
Oxygen and contact with human intestinal epithelium independently stimulate virulence gene expression in enteroaggregative Escherichia coliAbstract
Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) are important intestinal pathogens causing acute and persistent diarrhoeal illness worldwide. Although many putative EAEC virulence factors have been identified, their association with pathogenesis remains unclear. As environmental cues can modulate bacterial virulence, we investigated the effect of oxygen and human intestinal epithelium on EAEC virulence gene expression to determine the involvement of respective gene products in intestinal colonisation and pathogenesis. Using in vitro organ culture of human intestinal biopsies, we established the colonic epithelium as the major colonisation site of EAEC strains 042 and 17‐2. We subsequently optimised a vertical diffusion chamber system with polarised T84 colon carcinoma cells for EAEC infection and showed that oxygen induced expression of the global regulator AggR, aggregative adherence fimbriae, E. coli common pilus, EAST‐1 toxin, and dispersin in EAEC strain 042 but not in 17‐2. Furthermore, the presence of T84 epithelia stimulated additional expression of the mucinase Pic and the toxins HlyE and Pet. This induction was dependent on physical host cell contact and did not require AggR. Overall, these findings suggest that EAEC virulence in the human gut is modulated by environmental signals including oxygen and the intestinal epithelium.
Effect of conjugated linoleic acid overproducing Lactobacillus with berry pomace phenolic extracts on Campylobacter jejuni pathogenesisAbstract
Campylobacter jejuni (CJ) is one of the predominant causative agents of acute gastroenteritis in the US and other developed countries through the handling of raw chicken or the consumption of undercooked poultry and poultry products. Probiotics and their metabolites such as conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs) play a crucial role in improving host health and act as antimicrobials against enteric pathogens. Furthermore, prebiotics or prebiotic-like components such as bioactive phenolics from berry pomace can stimulate the growth of beneficial microbes including Lactobacillus casei (LC) and its metabolites, and competitively inhibit the growth of enteric bacterial pathogens. In this study, we aimed at enhancing the efficiency of antimicrobial/beneficial activities of LC and the extent of production of bioactive compounds by combining berry pomace phenolic extract (BPPE) and overproducing CLA in L. casei (LC-CLA). Under mixed culture conditions, LC-CLA in the presence of BPPE reduced the growth of CJ by more than 3 log CFU ml−1 within 48 h. The cell-free culture supernatant (CFCS) of LC-CLA in the presence of BPPE also reduced significantly the growth of CJ >3.2 log CFU ml−1 at 24 h. The interactions of CJ with cultured chicken fibroblast cells (DF-1), chicken macrophage (HD-11), and human epithelial cells (HeLa) were altered significantly. Treatments with BPPE and/or CFCS also altered the injured cell number, auto-aggregation capacity and cell surface hydrophobicity of CJ, significantly. Furthermore, combined treatments with BPPE and CFCSs of LC-CLA altered the expression of multiple virulence genes such as ciaB, cdtB, cadF, flaA, and flaB of CJ from 0.45 fold to 6.85 fold. Overall, BPPE enhanced the effect of LC-CLA in the reduction of CJ growth, survival ability, host cell–CJ interactions, and virulence gene expression. This finding indicates that a combination of BPPE and LC-CLA may be able to prevent the colonization of CJ in poultry, reduce the cross-contamination of poultry products and control poultry-borne campylobacteriosis in humans.
Dysregulation of the histone demethylase KDM6B in alcohol dependence is associated with epigenetic regulation of inflammatory signaling pathwaysAbstract
Epigenetic enzymes oversee long‐term changes in gene expression by integrating genetic and environmental cues. While there are hundreds of enzymes that control histone and DNA modifications, their potential roles in substance abuse and alcohol dependence remain underexplored. A few recent studies have suggested that epigenetic processes could underlie transcriptomic and behavioral hallmarks of alcohol addiction. In the present study, we sought to identify epigenetic enzymes in the brain that are dysregulated during protracted abstinence as a consequence of chronic and intermittent alcohol exposure. Through quantitative mRNA expression analysis of over 100 epigenetic enzymes, we identified 11 that are significantly altered in alcohol‐dependent rats compared with controls. Follow‐up studies of one of these enzymes, the histone demethylase KDM6B, showed that this enzyme exhibits region‐specific dysregulation in the prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens of alcohol‐dependent rats. KDM6B was also upregulated in the human alcoholic brain. Upregulation of KDM6B protein in alcohol‐dependent rats was accompanied by a decrease of trimethylation levels at histone H3, lysine 27 (H3K27me3), consistent with the known demethylase specificity of KDM6B. Subsequent epigenetic (chromatin immunoprecipitation [ChIP]–sequencing) analysis showed that alcohol‐induced changes in H3K27me3 were significantly enriched at genes in the IL‐6 signaling pathway, consistent with the well‐characterized role of KDM6B in modulation of inflammatory responses. Knockdown of KDM6B in cultured microglial cells diminished IL‐6 induction in response to an inflammatory stimulus. Our findings implicate a novel KDM6B‐mediated epigenetic signaling pathway integrated with inflammatory signaling pathways that are known to underlie the development of alcohol addiction.
Deletion of Sulfonylurea Receptor 2 in the Adult Myocardium Enhances Cardiac Glucose Uptake and Is CardioprotectiveAbstract
The adult myocardium relies on oxidative metabolism. In ischemic myocardium, such as the embryonic heart, glycolysis contributes more prominently as a fuel source. The sulfonylurea receptor 2 (SUR2) was previously implicated in the normal myocardial transition from glycolytic to oxidative metabolism that occurs during adaptation to postnatal life. This receptor was now selectively deleted in adult mouse myocardium resulting in protection from ischemia reperfusion injury. SUR2-deleted cardiomyocytes had enhanced glucose uptake, and SUR2 forms a complex with the major glucose transporter. These data identify the SUR2 receptor as a target to shift cardiac metabolism to protect against myocardial injury. (J Am Coll Cardiol Basic Trans Science 2019;4:251–68) © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier on behalf of the American College of Cardiology Foundation. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
The effect of chronic kidney disease on CYP2B expression and activity in male Wistar ratsAbstract
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is characterized by progressive reduction in kidney function over time. CKD affects greater than 10% of the population and its incidence is on the rise due to the growing prevalence of its risk factors. Previous studies demonstrated CKD alters nonrenal clearance of drugs in addition to reducing renal clearance. We assessed the function and expression of hepatic CYP2B enzymes using a rat model of CKD. CKD was induced in Wistar rats by supplementing their chow with adenine and confirmed through the detection of elevated uremic toxins in plasma. Liver enzymes AST and ALT were unchanged by the adenine diet. Bupropion was used as a probe substrate for hepatic CYP2B function using rat liver microsomes. The resulting metabolite, hydroxy‐bupropion, and bupropion were quantified by ultra‐performance liquid chromatography coupled to time‐of‐flight mass spectrometry. Level of mRNA and protein were determined by RT‐PCR and Western blot, respectively. The results of our study demonstrate that CYP2B1 is downregulated in a rat model of CKD. CYP2B1 mRNA level was significantly decreased (88%, P < 0.001) in CKD relative to control. Similarly, maximal enzymatic velocity (Vmax) for CYP2B was decreased by 46% in CKD relative to control (P < 0.0001). Previous studies involving patients with CKD demonstrated altered bupropion pharmacokinetics compared to control. Hence, our results suggest that these alterations may be mediated by attenuated CYP2B hepatic metabolism. This finding may partially explain the alterations in pharmacokinetics and nonrenal drug clearance frequently observed in patients with CKD.
Preoperative administration of the 5-HT4 receptor agonist prucalopride reduces intestinal inflammation and shortens postoperative ileus via cholinergic enteric neuronsAbstract
Objectives Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), most likely via enteric neurons, prevents postoperative ileus (POI) by reducing activation of alpha7 nicotinic receptor (α7nAChR) positive muscularis macrophages (mMφ) and dampening surgery-induced intestinal inflammation. Here, we evaluated if 5-HT4 receptor (5-HT4R) agonist prucalopride can mimic this effect in mice and human.
Design Using Ca2+ imaging, the effect of electrical field stimulation (EFS) and prucalopride was evaluated in situ on mMφ activation evoked by ATP in jejunal muscularis tissue. Next, preoperative and postoperative administration of prucalopride (1–5 mg/kg) was compared with that of preoperative VNS in a model of POI in wild-type and α7nAChR knockout mice. Finally, in a pilot study, patients undergoing a Whipple procedure were preoperatively treated with prucalopride (n=10), abdominal VNS (n=10) or sham/placebo (n=10) to evaluate the effect on intestinal inflammation and clinical recovery of POI.
Results EFS reduced the ATP-induced Ca2+ response of mMφ, an effect that was dampened by neurotoxins tetrodotoxin and ω-conotoxin and mimicked by prucalopride. In vivo, prucalopride administered before, but not after abdominal surgery reduced intestinal inflammation and prevented POI in wild-type, but not in α7nAChR knockout mice. In humans, preoperative administration of prucalopride, but not of VNS, decreased Il6 and Il8 expression in the muscularis externa and improved clinical recovery.
Conclusion Enteric neurons dampen mMφ activation, an effect mimicked by prucalopride. Preoperative, but not postoperative treatment with prucalopride prevents intestinal inflammation and shortens POI in both mice and human, indicating that preoperative administration of 5-HT4R agonists should be further evaluated as a treatment of POI.
ADAM17-deficiency on microglia but not on macrophages promotes phagocytosis and functional recovery after spinal cord injuryAbstract
A disintegrin and metalloproteinase 17 (ADAM17) is the major sheddase involved in the cleavage of a plethora of cytokines, cytokine receptors and growth factors, thereby playing a substantial role in inflammatory and regenerative processes after central nervous system trauma. By making use of a hypomorphic ADAM17 knockin mouse model as well as pharmacological ADAM10/ADAM17 inhibitors, we showed that ADAM17-deficiency or inhibition significantly increases clearance of apoptotic cells, promotes axon growth and improves functional recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI) in mice. Microglia-specific ADAM17-knockout (ADAM17flox+/+-Cx3Cr1 Cre+/−) mice also showed improved functional recovery similar to hypomorphic ADAM17 mice. In contrast, endothelial-specific (ADAM17flox+/+-Cdh5Pacs Cre+/−) and macrophage-specific (ADAM17flox+/+-LysM Cre+/−) ADAM17-knockout mice or bone marrow chimera with transplanted ADAM17-deficient macrophages, displayed no functional improvement compared to wild type mice. These data indicate that ADAM17 expression on microglia cells (and not on macrophages or endothelial cells) plays a detrimental role in inflammation and functional recovery after SCI.
The Laminin-α1 Chain-Derived Peptide, AG73, Binds to Syndecans on MDA-231 Breast Cancer Cells and Alters Filopodium FormationAbstract
Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer affecting women in the United States, second only to skin cancers. Although treatments have been developed to combat primary breast cancer, metastasis remains a leading cause of death. An early step of metastasis is cancer cell invasion through the basement membrane. However, this process is not yet well understood. AG73, a synthetic laminin-α1 chain peptide, plays an important role in cell adhesion and has previously been linked to migration, invasion, and metastasis. Thus, we aimed to identify the binding partner of AG73 on breast cancer cells that could mediate cancer progression. We performed adhesion assays using MCF10A, T47D, SUM1315, and MDA-231 breast cell lines and found that AG73 binds to syndecans (Sdcs) 1, 2, and 4. This interaction was inhibited when we silenced Sdcs 1 and/or 4 in MDA-231 cells, indicating the importance of these receptors in this relationship. Through actin staining, we found that silencing of Sdc 1, 2, and 4 expression in MDA-231 cells exhibits a decrease in the length and number of filopodia bound to AG73. Expression of mouse Sdcs 1, 2, and 4 in MDA-231 cells provides rescue in filopodia, and overexpression of Sdcs 1 and 2 leads to increased filopodium length and number. Our findings demonstrate an intrinsic interaction between AG73 in the tumor environment and the Sdcs on breast cancer cells in supporting tumor cell adhesion and invasion through filopodia, an important step in cancer metastasis.
Insights Into an Unexplored Component of the Mosquito Repeatome: Distribution and Variability of Viral Sequences Integrated Into the Genome of the Arboviral Vector Aedes albopictusAbstract
The Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus is an invasive mosquito and a competent vector for public-health relevant arboviruses such as Chikungunya (Alphavirus), Dengue and Zika (Flavivirus) viruses. Unexpectedly, the sequencing of the genome of this mosquito revealed an unusually high number of integrated sequences with similarities to non-retroviral RNA viruses of the Flavivirus and Rhabdovirus genera. These Non-retroviral Integrated RNA Virus Sequences (NIRVS) are enriched in piRNA clusters and coding sequences and have been proposed to constitute novel mosquito immune factors. However, given the abundance of NIRVS and their variable viral origin, their relative biological roles remain unexplored. Here we used an analytical approach that intersects computational, evolutionary and molecular methods to study the genomic landscape of mosquito NIRVS. We demonstrate that NIRVS are differentially distributed across mosquito genomes, with a core set of seemingly the oldest integrations with similarity to Rhabdoviruses. Additionally, we compare the polymorphisms of NIRVS with respect to that of fast and slow-evolving genes within the Ae. albopictus genome. Overall, NIRVS appear to be less polymorphic than slow-evolving genes, with differences depending on whether they occur in intergenic regions or in piRNA clusters. Finally, two NIRVS that map within the coding sequences of genes annotated as Rhabdovirus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and the nucleocapsid-encoding gene, respectively, are highly polymorphic and are expressed, suggesting exaptation possibly to enhance the mosquito’s antiviral responses. These results greatly advance our understanding of the complexity of the mosquito repeatome and the biology of viral integrations in mosquito genomes.
Complex Role for E‐Prostanoid 4 Receptors in HypertensionAbstract
Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is a major prostanoid with multiple actions that potentially affect blood pressure (BP). PGE2 acts through 4 distinct E‐prostanoid (EP) receptor isoforms: EP1 to EP4. The EP4 receptor (EP4R) promotes PGE2‐dependent vasodilation, but its role in the pathogenesis of hypertension is not clear.
Methods and Results
To address this issue, we studied mice after temporal‐ and cell‐specific deletion of EP4R. First, using a mouse line with loss of EP4 expression induced universally after birth, we confirm that EP4R mediates a major portion of the acute vasodilatory effects of infused PGE2. In addition, EP4 contributes to control of resting BP, which was increased by 5±1 mm Hg in animals with generalized deficiency of this receptor. We also show that EP4 is critical for limiting elevations in BP caused by high salt feeding and long‐term infusion of angiotensin II. To more precisely identify the mechanism for these actions, we generated mice in which EP4R loss is induced after birth and is limited to smooth muscle. In these mice, acute PGE2‐dependent vasodilation was attenuated, indicating that this response is mediated by EP4R in vascular smooth muscle cells. However, absence of EP4R only in this vascular compartment had a paradoxical effect of lowering resting BP, whereas the protective effect of EP4R on limiting angiotensin II–dependent hypertension was unaffected.
Taken together, our findings support a complex role for EP4R in regulation of BP and in hypertension, which appears to involve actions of the EP4R in tissues beyond vascular smooth muscle cells.
Autophagy induction and PDGFR-β knockdown by siRNA-encapsulated nanoparticles reduce chlamydia trachomatis infectionAbstract
C. trachomatis is the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection in the world. Although the infection can be easily controlled by the use of antibiotics, several reports of clinical isolates that are resistant to antibiotics have prompted us to search for alternative strategies to manage this disease. In this paper, we developed a nanoparticle formulation (PDGFR-β siRNA-PEI-PLGA-PEG NP) that can simultaneously induce autophagy in human cells and knock down PDGFR-β gene expression, an important surface binding protein for C. trachomatis, as a strategy to reduce vaginal infection of C. trachomatis. PDGFR-β siRNA-PEI-PLGA-PEG NP significantly induced autophagy in human vaginal epithelial cells (VK2/E6E7) 48 hr post treatment by improving autophagic degradation activity without causing inflammation, apoptosis or any decrease in cell viability. Beclin-1, VPS34 (markers for initiation stage of autophagy), UVRAG, TECPR-1 (markers for degradation stage of autophagy) were found to be significantly upregulated after treatment with PDGFR-β siRNA-PEI-PLGA-PEG NP. Furthermore, PDGFR-β siRNA-PEI-PLGA-PEG NP decreased PDGFR-β mRNA expression by 50% and protein expression by 43% in VK2/E6E7 cells 48 hr post treatment. Treatment of cells with PDGFR-β siRNA-PEI-PLGA-PEG NP significantly decreased the intracellular C. trachomatis and extracellular release of C. trachomatis by approximately 65% and 67%, respectively, in vitro through augmenting autophagic degradation pathways and reducing bacterial binding simultaneously.
Distinct transcriptional response of Caenorhabditis elegans to different exposure routes of perfluorooctane sulfonic acidAbstract
Although people are exposed daily to per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs), the biological consequences are poorly explored. The health risks associated with PFAS exposure are currently based on chemical analysis with a weak correlation to potential harmful effects in man and animals. In this study, we show that perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), often the most enriched PFAS in the environment, can be transferred via bacteria to higher organisms such as Caenorhabditis elegans. C. elegans nematodes were exposed to PFOS directly in buffer or by feeding on bacteria pretreated with PFOS, and this led to distinct gene expression profiles. Specifically, heavy metal and heat shock associated genes were significantly, although inversely, expressed following the different PFOS exposures. The innate immunity receptor for microbial pathogens, clec-60, was shown for the first time to be down-regulated by PFOS. This is in line with a previous study indicating that PFOS is associated with children's susceptibility to certain infectious diseases. Furthermore, bar-1, a gene associated with various cancers was highly up-regulated only when C. elegans were exposed to PFOS pretreated live bacteria. Furthermore, dead bacterial biomass had higher binding capacity for linear and isomeric PFOS than live bacteria, which correlated to the higher levels of PFOS detected in C. elegans when fed the treated E. coli, respectively. These results reveal new aspects concerning trophic chain transport of PFOS.
Noninvasive Analysis of High-Risk Driver Mutations and Gene Expression Profiles in Primary Cutaneous MelanomaAbstract
Tools that help reduce the number of surgical biopsies performed on benign lesions have the potential to improve patient care. The pigmented lesion assay (PLA) is a noninvasive tool validated against histopathology that helps rule out melanoma and the need for surgical biopsies of atypical pigmented skin lesions. Genetic information is collected using adhesive patches and the expression of two genes, LINC and PRAME, is measured. By using genetic material collected noninvasively and to further validate the PLA, somatic hotspot mutations in genes known to be drivers of early melanoma development (BRAF other than V600E, NRAS, and the TERT promoter) can also be identified. The frequency of these hotspot mutations in samples of early melanoma was 77%, which is higher than the 14% found in nonmelanoma samples (P < 0.0001). TERT promoter mutations were the most prevalent mutation type in PLA-positive melanomas; 82% of PLA-negative lesions had no mutations, and 97% of histopathologically confirmed melanomas were PLA and/or mutation positive (cohort 1, n = 103). Mutation frequencies were similar in prospectively collected real-world PLA samples (cohort 2, n = 519), in which 88% of PLA-negative samples had no mutations. Combining gene expression and mutation analyses enhances the ability to noninvasively detect early cutaneous melanoma.
Caveolin-1 regulation of Sp1 controls production of the antifibrotic protein follistatin in kidney mesangial cellsAbstract
We previously showed that caveolin-1 (cav-1), an integral membrane protein, is required for the synthesis of matrix proteins by glomerular mesangial cells (MC). In a previous study to understand how cav-1 is involved in regulating matrix production, we had identified significant upregulation of the antifibrotic protein follistatin in cav-1 knockout MC. Follistatin inhibits the profibrotic effects of several members of the transforming growth factor beta superfamily, in particular the activins. Here, we characterize the molecular mechanism through which cav-1 regulates the expression of follistatin.
Kidneys from cav-1 wild type and knockout (KO) mice were analyzed and primary cultures of MC from cav-1 wild-type and KO mice were utilized. FST promoter deletion constructs were generated to determine the region of the promoter important for mediating FST upregulation in cav-1 KO MC. siRNA-mediated down-regulation and overexpression of Sp1 in conjunction with luciferase activity assays, immunoprecipitation, western blotting and ChiP was used to assess the role of Sp1 in transcriptionally regulating FST expression. Pharmacologic kinase inhibitors and specific siRNA were used to determine the post-translational mechanism through which cav-1 affects Sp1 activity.
Our results establish that follistatin upregulation occurs at the transcript level. We identified Sp1 as the critical transcription factor regulating activation of the FST promoter in cav-1 KO MC through binding to a region within 123 bp of the transcription start site. We further determined that the lack of cav-1 increases Sp1 nuclear levels and transcriptional activity. This occurred through increased phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) activity and downstream protein kinase C (PKC) zeta-mediated phosphorylation and activation of Sp1.
These findings shed light on the transcriptional mechanism by which cav-1 represses the expression of a major antifibrotic protein, and can inform the development of novel antifibrotic treatment strategies.
Tubular NOX4 expression decreases in chronic kidney disease but does not modify fibrosis evolutionAbstract
NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4) catalyzes the formation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). NOX4 is highly expressed in the kidney, but its role in renal injury is unclear and may depend on its specific tissue localization.
We performed immunostaining with a specific anti-NOX4 antibody and measured NOX4 mRNA expression in human renal biopsies encompassing diverse renal diseases. We generated transgenic mice specifically overexpressing mouse Nox4 in renal tubular cells and subjected the animals to the unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) model of fibrosis.
In normal human kidney, NOX4 protein expression was at its highest on the basolateral side of proximal tubular cells. NOX4 expression increased in mesangial cells and podocytes in proliferative diabetic nephropathy. In tubular cells, NOX4 protein expression decreased in all types of chronic renal disease studied. This finding was substantiated by decreased NOX4 mRNA expression in the tubulo-interstitial compartment in a repository of 175 human renal biopsies. Overexpression of tubular NOX4 in mice resulted in enhanced renal production of H2O2, increased NRF2 protein expression and decreased glomerular filtration, likely via stimulation of the tubulo-glomerular feedback. Tubular NOX4 overexpression had no obvious impact on kidney morphology, apoptosis, or fibrosis at baseline. Under acute and chronic tubular injury induced by UUO, overexpression of NOX4 in tubular cells did not modify the course of the disease.
NOX4 expression was decreased in tubular cells in all types of CKD tested. Tubular NOX4 overexpression did not induce injury in the kidney, and neither modified microvascularization, nor kidney structural lesions in fibrosis.
Mitochondrial Stress-Initiated Aberrant Activation of the NLRP3 Inflammasome Regulates the Functional Deterioration of Hematopoietic Stem Cell AgingAbstract
Aging-associated defects in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) can manifest in their progeny, leading to aberrant activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in macrophages and affecting distant tissues and organismal health span. Whether the NLRP3 inflammasome is aberrantly activated in HSCs during physiological aging is unknown. We show here that SIRT2, a cytosolic NAD+-dependent deacetylase, is required for HSC maintenance and regenerative capacity at an old age by repressing the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in HSCs cell autonomously. With age, reduced SIRT2 expression and increased mitochondrial stress lead to aberrant activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in HSCs. SIRT2 overexpression, NLRP3 inactivation, or caspase 1 inactivation improves the maintenance and regenerative capacity of aged HSCs. These results suggest that mitochondrial stress-initiated aberrant activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome is a reversible driver of the functional decline of HSC aging and highlight the importance of inflammatory signaling in regulating HSC aging.
A fluorescent reporter assay of differential gene expression response to insulin in hepatocytesAbstract
Insulin regulates multiple hepatic metabolic pathways in a seemingly heterogeneous manner. To understand this heterogeneity, we hypothesized that different subpopulations of hepatocytes have different sensitivity to insulin. To test this hypothesis, we developed a fluorescent reporter in which the insulin-responsive fatty acid synthase (FAS) promoter drove expression of a time-dependent fluorescent protein (“timer”) and characterized timer expression in flow-sorted cell populations. In Hepa1c1c7 and AML12 hepatocytes, we found that different cell populations express distinct timer fluorescence following insulin treatment, consistent with cellular heterogeneity in the response to insulin. RNA measurements indicated an enrichment of forkhead box O transcription factors in cells with a greater response to insulin. Moreover, we found evidence of increased Akt activation. These data are consistent with a heterogeneous cellular response to insulin and raise the possibility that these different subpopulations underlie the peculiar pathophysiology of hepatic insulin resistance.
Sigmoidal kinetics define porcine intestinal segregation of electrogenic monosaccharide transport systems as having multiple transporter population involvementAbstract
Kinetic characterization of electrogenic sodium‐dependent transport in Ussing chambers of d‐glucose and d‐galactose demonstrated sigmoidal/Hill kinetics in the porcine jejunum and ileum, with the absence of transport in the distal colon. In the jejunum, a high‐affinity, super‐low‐capacity (Ha/sLc) kinetic system accounted for glucose transport, and a low‐affinity, low‐capacity (La/Lc) kinetic system accounted for galactose transport. In contrast, the ileum demonstrated a high‐affinity, super‐high‐capacity (Ha/sHc) glucose transport and a low‐affinity, high‐capacity (La/Hc) galactose transport systems. Jejunal glucose transport was not inhibited by dapagliflozin, but galactose transport was inhibited. Comparatively, ileal glucose and galactose transport were both sensitive to dapagliflozin. Genomic and gene expression analyses identified 10 of the 12 known SLC5A family members in the porcine jejunum, ileum, and distal colon. Dominant SGLT1 (SLC5A1) and SGLT3 (SLC5A4) expression was associated with the sigmoidal Ha/sLc glucose and La/Lc galactose transport systems in the jejunum. Comparatively, the dominant expression of SGLT1 (SLC5A1) in the ileum was only associated with Ha glucose and La galactose kinetic systems. However, the sigmoidal kinetics and overall high capacity (Hc) of transport is unlikely accounted for by SGLT1 (SLC5A1) alone. Finally, the absence of transport and lack of pharmacological inhibition in the colon was associated with the poor expression of SLC5A genes. Altogether, the results demonstrated intestinal segregation of monosaccharide transport fit different sigmoidal kinetic systems. This reveals multiple transporter populations in each system, supported by gene expression profiles and pharmacological inhibition. Overall, this work demonstrates a complexity to transporter involvement in intestinal electrogenic monosaccharide absorption systems not previously defined.
Bovine milk-derived exosomes enhance goblet cell activity and prevent the development of experimental necrotizing enterocolitisAbstract
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is characterized by intestinal injury and impaired mucin synthesis. We recently showed that breast milk exosomes from rodents promote intestinal cell viability, epithelial proliferation, and stem cell activity, but whether they also affect mucus production is unknown. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of bovine milk-derived exosomes on goblet cell expression in experimental NEC and delineate potential underlying mechanisms of action. Exosomes were isolated from bovine milk by ultracentrifugation and confirmed by Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis and through the detection of exosome membrane markers. To study the effect on mucin production, human colonic LS174T cells were cultured and exposed to exosomes. Compared to control, exosomes promoted goblet cell expression, as demonstrated by increased mucin production and relative expression levels of goblet cell expression markers trefoil factor 3 (TFF3) and mucin 2 (MUC2). In addition, exosome treatment enhanced the expression of glucose-regulated protein 94 (GRP94), the most abundant intraluminal endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone protein that aids in protein synthesis. Furthermore, experimental NEC was induced in mouse pups by hyperosmolar formula feeding, lipopolysaccharide administration and hypoxia exposure on postnatal days 5–9. Milk exosomes were given with each gavage feed. NEC was associated with ileal morphological injury and reduction in MUC2+ goblet cells and GRP94+ cells per villus. Exosome administration to NEC pups prevented these changes. This research highlights the potential novel application of milk-derived exosomes in preventing the development of NEC in high-risk infants when breast milk is not available.
Role of Norepinephrine in IL-1β-Induced Chondrocyte Dedifferentiation under PhysioxiaAbstract
As part of the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis (OA), chondrocytes lose their phenotype and become hypertrophic, or dedifferentiate, mainly driven by interleukin-1β (IL-1β). The contribution of other factors to the dedifferentiation process is not completely understood. Recent studies suggested a dose-dependent role for the sympathetic neurotransmitter norepinephrine (NE) in OA chondrocyte metabolism. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze the contribution of NE (10−8 M, 10−6 M) to human articular OA chondrocyte dedifferentiation in the absence or presence of IL-1β (0.5 ng/mL). Here, we demonstrate that OA chondrocytes express α2A-, α2C- and β2-adrenoceptors (AR) and show the characteristic shift towards a fibroblast-like shape at day 7 in physioxic monolayer culture. NE alone did not affect morphology but, in combination with IL-1β, markedly accelerated this shift. Moderate glycosaminoglycan (GAG) staining was observed in untreated and NE-treated cells, while IL-1β strongly decreased GAG deposition. IL-1β alone or in combination with NE decreased SOX9, type II collagen, COMP, and aggrecan, and induced MMP13 and ADAMTS4 gene expression, indicating an accelerated dedifferentiation. NE alone did not influence gene expression and did not modulate IL-1β-mediated effects. In conclusion, these results indicate that low-grade inflammation exerts a dominant effect on chondrocyte dedifferentiation and should be targeted early in OA therapy.
Involvement of HPV Infection in the Release of Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor in Head and Neck Squamous Cell CarcinomaAbstract
Human papilloma virus (HPV) infection has been well-established as a risk factor in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The carcinogenic effect of HPV is mainly due to the E6 and E7 oncoproteins, which inhibit the functions of p53 and pRB, respectively. These oncoproteins could also play a role in the Warburg effect, thus favoring tumor immune escape. Here, we demonstrated that the pro-inflammatory cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is expressed at higher levels in HPV-negative patients than in HPV-positive patients. However, the secretion of MIF is higher in HPV-positive human HNSCC cell lines, than in HPV-negative cell lines. In-HPV positive cells, the half inhibitory concentration (IC50) of MIF inhibitor (4-iodo-6-phenylpyrimidine (4-IPP)) is higher than that in HPV-negative cells. This result was confirmed in vitro and in vivo by the use of murine SCCVII cell lines expressing either E6 or E7, or both E6 and E7. Finally, to examine the mechanism of MIF secretion, we conducted proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) experiments, and observed that lactate production is increased in both the intracellular and conditioned media of HPV-positive cells. In conclusion, our data suggest that the stimulation of enzymes participating in the Warburg effect by E6 and E7 oncoproteins increases lactate production and hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) expression, and finally induces MIF secretion.
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Derivation and Ex Vivo Gene Correction Using a Mucopolysaccharidosis Type 1 Disease Mouse ModelAbstract
Mucopolysaccharidosis type 1 (MPS-1), also known as Hurler’s disease, is a congenital metabolic disorder caused by a mutation in the alpha-L-iduronidase (IDUA) gene, which results in the loss of lysosomal enzyme function for the degradation of glycosaminoglycans. Here, we demonstrate the proof of concept of ex vivo gene editing therapy using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) and CRISPR/Cas9 technologies with MPS-1 model mouse cell. Disease-affected iPSCs were generated from Idua knockout mouse embryonic fibroblasts, which carry a disrupting neomycin-resistant gene cassette (Neor) in exon VI of the Idua gene. Double guide RNAs were used to remove the Neor sequence, and various lengths of donor templates were used to reconstruct the exon VI sequence. A quantitative PCR-based screening method was used to identify Neor removal. The sequence restoration without any indel mutation was further confirmed by Sanger sequencing. After induced fibroblast differentiation, the gene-corrected iPSC-derived fibroblasts demonstrated Idua function equivalent to the wild-type iPSC-derived fibroblasts. The Idua-deficient cells were competent to be reprogrammed to iPSCs, and pluripotency was maintained through CRISPR/CAS9-mediated gene correction. These results support the concept of ex vivo gene editing therapy using iPSC and CRISPR/Cas9 technologies for MPS-1 patients.
TIMP Loss Activates Metalloproteinase‐TNFα‐DKK1 Axis To Compromise Wnt Signaling and Bone MassAbstract
Deregulated proteolysis invariably underlies most human diseases including bone pathologies. Metalloproteinases constitute the largest of the five protease families, and the metzincin metalloproteinases are inhibited by the four tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase called TIMPs. We hypothesized that Timp genes are essential for skeletal homeostasis. We bred individual Timp knockout mice to generate unique mouse models, the quadruple Timp null strain (QT) as well as mice harboring only a single Timp3 allele (QT3+/–). QT mice are grossly smaller and exhibit a dramatic reduction of trabeculae in long bones by μCT imaging with a corresponding increase in metalloproteinase activity. At the cellular level, Timp deficiency compromised differentiation markers, matrix deposition and mineralization in neonatal osteoblasts from calvariae, as well as the fibroblastic colony‐forming unit (CFU‐F) capacity of bone marrow–derived stromal cells. In contrast, we observed that osteoclasts were overactive in the Timp null state, consistent with the noted excessive bone resorption of QT bones. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) and immunofluorescence (IF) analyses of bone sections revealed higher Cathepsin K and RANKL signals upon Timp loss. Seeking the molecular mechanism, we identified abnormal TNFα bioactivity to be a central event in Timp‐deficient mice. Specifically, TNFα triggered induction of the Wnt signaling inhibitor Dkk1 in the osteoblasts at the mRNA and protein levels, with a simultaneous increase in RANKL. Neutralizing TNFα antibody was capable of rescuing the induction of Dkk1 as well as RANKL. Therefore, the generation of novel Timp‐deficient systems allowed us to uncover the essential and collective function of TIMP proteins in mammalian long‐bone homeostasis. Moreover, our study discovers a functional TIMP/metalloproteinase‐TNFα‐Dkk1/RANKL nexus for optimal control of the bone microenvironment, which dictates coexistence of the osteoblast and osteoclast lineages. © 2018 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
Vagus nerve stimulation dampens intestinal inflammation in a murine model of experimental food allergyAbstract
Background: The vagus nerve has emerged as an important modulator of the intesti‐ nal immune system. Its anti‐inflammatory properties have been previously shown in innate and Th1/Th17 predominant inflammatory models. To what extent the vagus nerve is of importance in Th2 inflammatory responses like food allergy is still unclear. In this study, we therefore aimed to investigate the effect of vagotomy (VGX) and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), on the development and severity of experimental food allergy. Methods: Balb/C mice were first sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA) in the presence of alum. Prior to oral challenges with OVA, mice were subjected to VGX or VNS. Disease severity was determined by assessing severity and onset of diarrhoea, OVA‐specific antibody production, mast cell number and activity, inflammatory gene expression in duodenal tissue and lamina propria immune cells by flow cytometry analysis. Results: When compared to control mice, VGX did not significantly affect the devel‐ opment and severity of the disease in our model of food allergy. VNS, on the other hand, resulted in a significant amelioration of the different inflammatory parameters assessed. This effect was independent of α7nAChR and is possibly mediated through the dampening of mast cells and increased phagocytosis of OVA by CX3CR1hi macrophages. Conclusions: These results underscore the anti‐inflammatory properties of the vagus nerve and the potential of neuro‐immune interactions in the intestine. Further insight into the underlying mechanisms could ultimately lead to novel therapeutic ap‐ proaches in the treatment of not only food allergy but also other immune‐mediated diseases.
Loss of SMYD1 Results in Perinatal Lethality via Selective Defects within Myotonic Muscle DescendantsAbstract
SET and MYND Domain 1 (SMYD1) is a cardiac and skeletal muscle-specific, histone methyl transferase that is critical for both embryonic and adult heart development and function in both mice and men. We report here that skeletal muscle-specific, myogenin (myoG)-Cre-mediated conditional knockout (CKO) of Smyd1 results in perinatal death. As early as embryonic day 12.5, Smyd1 CKOs exhibit multiple skeletal muscle defects in proliferation, morphology, and gene expression. However, all myotonic descendants are not afflicted equally. Trunk muscles are virtually ablated with excessive accumulation of brown adipose tissue (BAT), forelimb muscles are disorganized and improperly differentiated, but other muscles, such as the masseter, are normal. While expression of major myogenic regulators went unscathed, adaptive and innate immune transcription factors critical for BAT development/physiology were downregulated. Whereas classical mitochondrial BAT accumulation went unscathed following loss of SMYD1, key transcription factors, including PRDM16, UCP-1, and CIDE-a that control skeletal muscle vs. adipose fate, were downregulated. Finally, in rare adults that survive perinatal lethality, SMYD1 controls specification of some, but not all, skeletal muscle fiber-types
Nitrogen Supply Drives Senescence-Related Seed Storage Protein Expression in Rapeseed LeavesAbstract
In general, yield and fruit quality strongly rely on efficient nutrient remobilization during plant development and senescence. Transcriptome changes associated with senescence in spring oilseed rape grown under optimal nitrogen supply or mild nitrogen deficiency revealed differences in senescence and nutrient mobilization in old lower canopy leaves and younger higher canopy leaves. Having a closer look at this transcriptome analyses, we identified the major classes of seed storage proteins (SSP) to be expressed in vegetative tissue, namely leaf and stem tissue. Expression of SSPs was not only dependent on the nitrogen supply but transcripts appeared to correlate with intracellular H2O2 contents, which functions as well-known signaling molecule in developmental senescence. The abundance of SSPs in leaf material transiently progressed from the oldest leaves to the youngest. Moreover, stems also exhibited short-term production of SSPs, which hints at an interim storage function. In order to decipher whether hydrogen peroxide also functions as a signaling molecule in nitrogen deficiency-induced senescence, we analyzed hydrogen peroxide contents after complete nitrogen depletion in oilseed rape and Arabidopsis plants. In both cases, hydrogen peroxide contents were lower in nitrogen deficient plants, indicating that at least parts of the developmental senescence program appear to be suppressed under nitrogen deficiency.
Norepinephrine Inhibits Synovial Adipose Stem Cell Chondrogenesis via α2a-Adrenoceptor-Mediated ERK1/2 ActivationAbstract
In recent years, first evidences emerged that sympathetic neurotransmitters influence osteoarthritis (OA) manifestation. Joint-resident stem cells might contribute to cartilage repair, however, their chondrogenic function is reduced. The neurotransmitter norepinephrine (NE) was detected in the synovial fluid of trauma and OA patients. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyse how NE influences the chondrogenesis of synovial adipose tissue-derived stem cells (sASCs). sASCs were isolated from knee-OA patients synovia. After adrenoceptor (AR) expression analysis, proliferation and chondrogenic differentiation in presence of NE and/or α- and β-AR antagonist were investigated. Cell count, viability, chondrogenic and hypertophic gene expression, sulfated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG) and type II collagen content were determined. Key AR-dependent signaling (ERK1/2, PKA) was analyzed via western blot. sASC expressed α1A-, α1B-, α2A-, α2B-, α2C-, and β2-AR in monolayer and pellet culture. NE did not affect proliferation and viability, but 10−7 and 10−6 M NE significantly reduced sGAG and type II collagen content as well as ERK1/2 phosphorylation. These effects were fully reversed by yohimbine (α2-AR antagonist). Our study confirms the important role of NE in sASC chondrogenic function and provides new insights in OA pathophysiology. Future studies might help to develop novel therapeutic options targeting neuroendocrine pathways for OA treatment.
Decitabine attenuates nociceptive behavior in a murine model of bone cancer painAbstract
Abstract: Bone cancer metastasis is extremely painful and decreases the quality of life of the affected patients. Available pharmacological treatments are not able to sufficiently ameliorate the pain, and as patients with cancer are living longer, new treatments for pain management are needed. Decitabine (5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine), a DNA methyltransferases inhibitor, has analgesic properties in preclinical models of postsurgical and soft-tissue oral cancer pain by inducing an upregulation of endogenous opioids. In this study, we report that daily treatment with decitabine (2 [micro]g/g, intraperitoneally) attenuated nociceptive behavior in the 4T1-luc2 mouse model of bone cancer pain. We hypothesized that the analgesic mechanism of decitabine involved activation of the endogenous opioid system through demethylation and reexpression of the transcriptionally silenced endothelin B receptor gene, Ednrb. Indeed, Ednrb was hypermethylated and transcriptionally silenced in the mouse model of bone cancer pain. We demonstrated that expression of Ednrb in the cancer cells lead to release of [beta]-endorphin in the cell supernatant, which reduced the number of responsive dorsal root ganglia neurons in an opioid-dependent manner. Our study supports a role of demethylating drugs, such as decitabine, as unique pharmacological agents targeting the pain in the cancer microenvironment.
CCAAT/enhancer binding protein delta (C/EBPδ) demonstrates a dichotomous role in tumour initiation and promotion of epithelial carcinomaAbstract
CCAAT/enhancer binding protein delta (C/EBPδ,CEBPD), a gene part of the highly conserved basic-leucine zipper (b-ZIP) domain of transcriptional factors, is downregulated in 65% of high grade serous carcinomas of the ovary (HGSC). Overexpression of C/EBPδ in different tumours, such as glioblastoma and breast cancer either promotes tumour progression or inhibits growth and has low expression in normal tissue until activated by cytotoxic stressors.
Higher overall expression of C/EBPδ in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle prompted us to investigate the role of C/EBPδ in carcinogenesis. In vitro experiments were conducted in fallopian tube cell samples and cancer cell lines to investigate the role of C/EBPδ in proliferation, migration, and the epithelial to mesenchymal transition.
Expression of C/EBPδ induced premature cellular arrest and decreased soft agar colony formation. Loss of C/EBPδ in epithelial cancer cell lines did not have significant effects on proliferation, yet overexpression demonstrated downregulation of growth, similar to normal fallopian tube cells. C/EBPδ promoted a partial mesenchymal to epithelial (MET) phenotype by upregulating E-cadherin and downregulating Vimentin and N-cadherin in FTE cells and increased migratory activity, which suggests a regulatory role in the epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity of these cells.
Our findings suggest that C/EBPδ regulates the phenotype of normal fallopian tube cells by acting on downstream regulatory factors that are implicated in the development of ovarian serous carcinogenesis.
This study was funded by the CDMRP Ovarian Cancer program (W81WH-0701-0371, W81XWH-18-1-0072), the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Foundation, Foundation for Women's Cancer – The Belinda-Sue/Mary-Jane Walker Fund, Colleen's Dream Foundation and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dual Role of a C-Terminally Truncated Isoform of Large Tumor Suppressor Kinase 1 in the Regulation of Hippo Signaling and Tissue GrowthAbstract
The considerable amount of experimental evidence has defined the Hippo pathway as a tumor suppressive pathway and increased expression and/or activity of its oncogenic effectors is frequently observed in cancer. However, clinical studies have failed to attribute cancer development and progression to mutations in the pathway. In explaining this conundrum, we investigated the expression and functions of a C-terminally truncated isoform of large tumor suppressor kinase 1 (LATS1) called short LATS1 (sLATS1) in human cell lines and Drosophila. Intriguingly, through overexpression of sLATS1, we demonstrated that sLATS1 either activates or suppresses the activity of Yes-associated protein (YAP), one of the effectors of the Hippo pathway, in a cell type-specific manner. The activation is mediated through inhibition of full-length LATS1, whereas suppression of YAP is accomplished through sLATS1–YAP interaction. In HEK293T cells, the former mechanism may affect the cellular response more dominantly, whereas in U2OS cells and developing tissues in Drosophila, the latter mechanism may be solely carried out. Finally, to find the clinical relevance of this molecule, we examined the expression of sLATS1 in breast cancer patients. The transcriptome analysis showed that the ratio of sLATS1 to LATS1 was increased in tumor tissues comparing to their adjacent normal tissues.
Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) and the Proteasome Attenuates IL-1β Expression in Primary Mouse Cardiac FibroblastsAbstract
Background: IL-1β is a highly potent pro-inflammatory cytokine and its secretion is tightly regulated. Inactive pro-IL-1β is transcribed in response to innate immune receptors activating NFκB. If tissue damage occurs, danger signals released from necrotic cells, such as ATP, can activate NLRP3-inflammasomes (multiprotein complexes consisting of NLRP3, ASC, and active caspase-1) which cleaves and activates pro-IL-1β. NLRP3 activation also depends on NEK7 and mitochondrial ROS-production. Thus, IL-1β secretion may be regulated at the level of each involved component. We have previously shown that NLRP3-dependent IL-1β release can be induced in cardiac fibroblasts by pro-inflammatory stimuli. However, anti-inflammatory mechanisms targeting IL-1β release in cardiac cells have not been investigated. mTOR is a key regulator of protein metabolism, including autophagy and proteasome activity. In this study we explored whether autophagy or proteasomal degradation are regulators of NLRP3 inflammasome activation and IL-1β release from cardiac fibroblasts.
Methods and Results: Serum starvation selectively reduced LPS/ATP-induced IL-1β secretion from cardiac fibroblasts. However, no other inflammasome components, nor mitochondrial mass, were affected. The mTOR inhibitor rapamycin restored pro-IL-1β protein levels as well as LPS/ATP-induced IL-1β release from serum starved cells. However, neither serum starvation nor rapamycin induced autophagy in cardiac fibroblasts. Conversely, chloroquine and bafilomycin A (inhibitors of autophagy) and betulinic acid (a proteasome activator) effectively reduced LPS-induced pro-IL-1β protein levels. Key findings were reinvestigated in human monocyte-derived macrophages.
Conclusion: In cardiac fibroblasts, mTOR inhibition selectively favors pro-IL-1β synthesis while proteasomal degradation and not autophagy is the major catabolic anti-inflammatory mechanism for degradation of this cytokine.
The Nuclear Receptor and Clock Repressor Rev-erbα Suppresses MyogenesisAbstract
Rev-erbα is a ligand-dependent nuclear receptor and a key repressor of the molecular clock transcription network. Accumulating evidence indicate that the circadian clock machinery governs diverse biological processes in skeletal muscle, including muscle growth, repair and mass maintenance. The physiological function of Rev-erbα in myogenic regulation remains largely unknown. Here we show that Rev-erbα exerts cell-autonomous inhibitory effects on proliferation and differentiation of myogenic precursor cells, and these actions concertedly inhibit muscle regeneration in vivo. Mechanistic studies reveal Rev-erbα direct transcriptional control of two major myogenic mechanisms, proliferative pathway and the Wnt signaling cascade. Consistent with this finding, primary myoblasts lacking Rev-erbα display significantly enhanced proliferative growth and myogenic progression. Furthermore, pharmacological activation of Rev-erbα activity attenuates, whereas its inhibition by an antagonist promotes these processes. Notably, upon muscle injury, the loss-of-function of Rev-erbα in vivo augmented satellite cell proliferative expansion and regenerative progression during regeneration. Collectively, our study identifies Rev-erbα as a novel inhibitory regulator of myogenic progenitor cell properties that suppresses postnatal myogenesis. Pharmacological interventions to dampen Rev-erbα activity may have potential utilities to enhance regenerative capacity in muscle diseases.
n-6 Linoleic Acid Induces Epigenetics Alterations Associated with Colonic Inflammation and CancerAbstract
The farnesoid-X-receptor (FXR) protects against inflammation and cancer of the colon through maintenance of intestinal bile acid (BA) homeostasis. Conversely, higher levels of BA and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) are risk factors for inflammation and cancer of the colon. In the United States, n-6 linoleic acid (LA) is the most commonly used dietary vegetable fat. Metabolism of n-6 fatty acids has been linked to a higher risk of intestinal cancer. The objectives of this study were to investigate in colonic mucosa the effects of a high-fat diet rich in LA (n-6HFD) on CpG methylation of Fxr and prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase-2 (Ptsg-2) genes, and the impact on the expression of tumor suppressor adenomatous polyposis Coli (Apc) and proliferative cyclin D1 (Ccnd1) genes. Weaned C57BL/6J male mice were fed for 6 weeks either an n-6HFD containing 44% energy (44%E) from 22% safflower oil (SO, 76% LA by weight) or a 13% energy (13%E) control diet (Control) from SO (5% by weight). Mice fed the n-6HFD had reduced (60%) Fxr promoter CpG methylation and increased (~50%) Fxr mRNA. The expression of FXR-target ileal bile acid-binding protein (Ibabp), small heterodimer protein (Shp), and anti-inflammatory peroxisome proliferator-activated-γ1 genes was increased. The n-6HFD reduced Ptgs-2 CpG methylation, increased the expression of Cox-2, and increased Apc CpG methylation in colonic mucosa. Accordingly, reduced expression of Apc was coupled to accumulation of c-JUN and Ccnd1, respectively cofactor and gene targets for the β-catenin/Wnt signaling pathway. Finally, the n-6HFD reduced the expression of histone deacetylase-1 while favoring the accumulation of acetylated histone 3. We conclude that an n-6HFD epigenetically modifies Fxr, leading to the activation of downstream factors that participate in BA homeostasis. However, epigenetic activation of Ptsg-2 coupled with silencing of Apc and accumulation of C-JUN and Ccnd1 may increase the risk of inflammation and cancer of the colon.
MTA2/NuRD Regulates B Cell Development and Cooperates with OCA-B in Controlling the Pre-B to Immature B Cell TransitionAbstract
The NuRD complex contains both chromatin remodeling and histone deacetylase activities. Mice lacking the MTA2 subunit of NuRD show developmental defects in pro-B, pre-B, immature B, and marginal zone B cells, and abnormal germinal center B cell differentiation during immune responses. Mta2 inactivation also causes a derepression of Igll1 and VpreB1 genes in pre-B cells. Furthermore, MTA2/NuRD interacts directly with AIOLOS/IKAROS and shows a striking overlap with AIOLOS/IKAROS target genes in human pre-B cells, suggesting a functional inter-dependence between MTA2/NuRD and AIOLOS. Mechanistically, MTA2 deficiency in mice leads to increased H3K27 acetylation at both Igll1 and VpreB1 promoters. Gene profiling analyses also identify distinct MTA2-dependent transcription programs in pro-B and pre-B cells. In addition, we find a strong synergy between MTA2 and OCA-B in repressing Igll1 and VpreB1 at the pre-B cell stage, and in regulating both the pre-B to immature B transition and splenic B cell development.
Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 Controls Maintenance of Fungiform Papillae by Repressing Sonic Hedgehog ExpressionAbstract
How tissue patterns are formed and maintained are fundamental questions. The murine tongue epithelium, a paradigm for tissue patterning, consists of an array of specialized fungiform papillae structures that harbor taste cells. The formation of fungiform papillae is preceded by pronounced spatial changes in gene expression, in which taste cell genes such as Shh, initially diffused in lingual epithelial progenitors, become restricted to taste cells when their specification progresses. However, the requirement of spatial restriction of taste cell gene expression for patterning and formation of fungiform papillae is unknown. Here, we show that a chromatin regulator, Polycomb repressive complex (PRC) 1, is required for proper maintenance of fungiform papillae by repressing Shh and preventing ectopic SHH signaling in non-taste cells. Ablation of SHH signaling in PRC1-null non-taste cells rescues the maintenance of taste cells. Altogether, our studies exemplify how epigenetic regulation establishes spatial gene expression patterns necessary for specialized niche structures.
Exploring targets of TET2-mediated methylation reprogramming as potential discriminators of prostate cancer progressionAbstract
Global DNA methylation alterations are hallmarks of cancer. The tumor-suppressive TET enzymes, which are involved in DNA demethylation, are decreased in prostate cancer (PCa); in particular, TET2 is specifically targeted by androgen-dependent mechanisms of repression in PCa and may play a central role in carcinogenesis. Thus, the identification of key genes targeted by TET2 dysregulation may provide further insight into cancer biology.
Using a CRISPR/Cas9-derived TET2-knockout prostate cell line, and through whole-transcriptome and whole-methylome sequencing, we identified seven candidate genes—ASB2, ETNK2, MEIS2, NRG1, NTN1, NUDT10, and SRPX—exhibiting reduced expression and increased promoter methylation, a pattern characteristic of tumor suppressors. Decreased expression of these genes significantly discriminates between recurrent and non-recurrent prostate tumors from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) cohort (n = 423), and ASB2, NUDT10, and SRPX were significantly correlated with lower recurrence-free survival in patients by Kaplan-Meier analysis. ASB2, MEIS2, and SRPX also showed significantly lower expression in high-risk Gleason score 8 tumors as compared to low or intermediate risk tumors, suggesting that these genes may be particularly useful as indicators of PCa progression. Furthermore, methylation array probes in the TCGA dataset, which were proximal to the highly conserved, differentially methylated sites identified in our TET2-knockout cells, were able to significantly distinguish between matched prostate tumor and normal prostate tissues (n = 50 pairs). Except ASB2, all genes exhibited significantly increased methylation at these probes, and methylation status of at least one probe for each of these genes showed association with measures of PCa progression such as recurrence, stage, or Gleason score. Since ASB2 did not have any probes within the TET2-knockout differentially methylated region, we validated ASB2 methylation in an independent series of matched tumor-normal samples (n = 19) by methylation-specific qPCR, which revealed concordant and significant increases in promoter methylation within the TET2-knockout site.
Our study identifies seven genes governed by TET2 loss in PCa which exhibit an association between their methylation and expression status and measures of PCa progression. As differential methylation profiles and TET2 expression are associated with advanced PCa, further investigation of these specialized TET2 targets may provide important insights into patterns of carcinogenic gene dysregulation.
PDGFRα+ stromal adipocyte progenitors transition into epithelial cells during lobulo-alveologenesis in the murine mammary glandAbstract
The mammary gland experiences substantial remodeling and regeneration during development and reproductive life, facilitated by stem cells and progenitors that act in concert with physiological stimuli. While studies have focused on deciphering regenerative cells within the parenchymal epithelium, cell lineages in the stroma that may directly contribute to epithelial biology is unknown. Here we identify, in mouse, the transition of a PDGFRα+ mesenchymal cell population into mammary epithelial progenitors. In addition to being adipocyte progenitors, PDGFRα+ cells make a de novo contribution to luminal and basal epithelia during mammary morphogenesis. In the adult, this mesenchymal lineage primarily generates luminal progenitors within lobuloalveoli during sex hormone exposure or pregnancy. We identify cell migration as a key molecular event that is activated in mesenchymal progenitors in response to epithelium-derived chemoattractant. These findings demonstrate a stromal reservoir of epithelial progenitors and provide insight into cell origins and plasticity during mammary tissue growth.
Ntrk1 Promotes Resistance to PD-1 Checkpoint Blockade in Mesenchymal Kras/p53 Mutant Lung CancerAbstract
The implementation of cancer immunotherapeutics for solid tumors including lung cancers has improved clinical outcomes in a small percentage of patients. However, the majority of patients show little to no response or acquire resistance during treatment with checkpoint inhibitors delivered as a monotherapy. Therefore, identifying resistance mechanisms and novel combination therapy approaches is imperative to improve responses to immune checkpoint inhibitors. To address this, we performed an in vivo shRNA dropout screen that focused on genes encoding for FDA-approved drug targets (FDAome). We implanted epithelial and mesenchymal Kras/p53 (KP) mutant murine lung cancer cells expressing the FDAome shRNA library into syngeneic mice treated with an anti-PD-1 antibody. Sequencing for the barcoded shRNAs revealed Ntrk1 was significantly depleted from mesenchymal tumors challenged with PD-1 blockade, suggesting it provides a survival advantage to tumor cells when under immune system pressure. Our data confirmed Ntrk1 transcript levels are upregulated in tumors treated with PD-1 inhibitors. Additionally, analysis of tumor-infiltrating T cell populations revealed that Ntrk1 can promote CD8+ T cell exhaustion. Lastly, we found that Ntrk1 regulates Jak/Stat signaling to promote expression of PD-L1 on tumor cells. Together, these data suggest that Ntrk1 activates Jak/Stat signaling to regulate expression of immunosuppressive molecules including PD-L1, promoting exhaustion within the tumor microenvironment.
Development of a Cx46 Targeting Strategy for Cancer Stem CellsAbstract
Gap-junction-mediated cell-cell communication enables tumor cells to synchronize complex processes. We previously found that glioblastoma cancer stem cells (CSCs) express higher levels of the gap junction protein Cx46 compared to non-stem tumor cells (non-CSCs) and that this was necessary and sufficient for CSC maintenance. To understand the mechanism underlying this requirement, we use point mutants to disrupt specific functions of Cx46 and find that Cx46-mediated gap-junction coupling is critical for CSCs. To develop a Cx46 targeting strategy, we screen a clinically relevant small molecule library and identify clofazimine as an inhibitor of Cx46-specific cell-cell communication. Clofazimine attenuates proliferation, self-renewal, and tumor growth and synergizes with temozolomide to induce apoptosis. Although clofazimine does not cross the blood-brain barrier, the combination of clofazimine derivatives optimized for brain penetrance with standard-of-care therapies may target glioblastoma CSCs. Furthermore, these results demonstrate the importance of targeting cell-cell communication as an anti-cancer therapy.
Clinical S. aureus Isolates Vary in Their Virulence to Promote Adaptation to the HostAbstract
Staphylococcus aureus colonizes epithelial surfaces, but it can also cause severe infections.
The aim of this work was to investigate whether bacterial virulence correlates with defined
types of tissue infections. For this, we collected 10–12 clinical S. aureus strains each from
nasal colonization, and from patients with endoprosthesis infection, hematogenous osteomyelitis,
and sepsis. All strains were characterized by genotypic analysis, and by the expression of virulence
factors. The host–pathogen interaction was studied through several functional assays in osteoblast
cultures. Additionally, selected strains were tested in a murine sepsis/osteomyelitis model. We did
not find characteristic bacterial features for the defined infection types; rather, a wide range in all
strain collections regarding cytotoxicity and invasiveness was observed. Interestingly, all strains
were able to persist and to form small colony variants (SCVs). However, the low-cytotoxicity strains
survived in higher numbers, and were less efficiently cleared by the host than the highly cytotoxic
strains. In summary, our results indicate that not only destructive, but also low-cytotoxicity strains
are able to induce infections. The low-cytotoxicity strains can successfully survive, and are less
efficiently cleared from the host than the highly cytotoxic strains, which represent a source for chronic
infections. The understanding of this interplay/evolution between the host and the pathogen during
infection, with specific attention towards low-cytotoxicity isolates, will help to optimize treatment
strategies for invasive and therapy-refractory infection courses.
Heterodera glycines utilizes promiscuous spliced leaders and demonstrates a unique preference for a species-specific spliced leader over C. elegans SL1Abstract
Spliced leader trans-splicing (SLTS) plays a part in the maturation of pre-mRNAs in select species across multiple phyla but is particularly prevalent in Nematoda. The role of spliced leaders (SL) within the cell is unclear and an accurate assessment of SL occurrence within an organism is possible only after extensive sequencing data are available, which is not currently the case for many nematode species. SL discovery is further complicated by an absence of SL sequences from high-throughput sequencing results due to incomplete sequencing of the 5’-ends of transcripts during RNA-seq library preparation, known as 5′-bias. Existing datasets and novel methodology were used to identify both conserved SLs and unique hypervariable SLs within Heterodera glycines, the soybean cyst nematode. In H. glycines, twenty-one distinct SL sequences were found on 2,532 unique H. glycines transcripts. The SL sequences identified on the H. glycines transcripts demonstrated a high level of promiscuity, meaning that some transcripts produced as many as nine different individual SL-transcript combinations. Most uniquely, transcriptome analysis revealed that H. glycines is the first nematode to demonstrate a higher SL trans-splicing rate using a species-specific SL over well-conserved Caenorhabditis elegans SL-like sequences.
West Nile virus infection and interferon alpha treatment alter the spectrum and the levels of coding and noncoding host RNAs secreted in extracellular vesiclesAbstract
Background: Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are small membrane vesicles secreted by the cells that mediate
intercellular transfer of molecules and contribute to transduction of various signals. Viral infection and action
of pro-inflammatory cytokines has been shown to alter molecular composition of EV content. Transfer of
antiviral proteins by EVs is thought to contribute to the development of inflammation and antiviral state.
Altered incorporation of selected host RNAs into EVs in response to infection has also been demonstrated for
several viruses, but not for WNV. Considering the medical significance of flaviviruses and the importance of
deeper knowledge about the mechanisms of flavivirus-host interactions we assessed the ability of West Nile
virus (WNV) and type I interferon (IFN), the main cytokine regulating antiviral response to WNV, to alter the
composition of EV RNA cargo.
Results: We employed next generation sequencing to perform transcriptome-wide profiling of RNA cargo in
EVs produced by cells infected with WNV or exposed to IFN-alpha. RNA profile of EVs secreted by uninfected
cells was also determined and used as a reference. We found that WNV infection significantly changed the
levels of certain host microRNAs (miRNAs), small noncoding RNAs (sncRNAs) and mRNAs incorporated into
EVs. Treatment with IFN-alpha also altered miRNA and mRNA profiles in EV but had less profound effect on
sncRNAs. Functional classification of RNAs differentially incorporated into EVs upon infection and in response
to IFN-alpha treatment demonstrated association of enriched in EVs mRNAs and miRNAs with viral processes
and pro-inflammatory pathways. Further analysis revealed that WNV infection and IFN-alpha treatment
changed the levels of common and unique mRNAs and miRNAs in EVs and that IFN-dependent and IFNindependent processes are involved in regulation of RNA sorting into EVs during infection.
Conclusions: WNV infection and IFN-alpha treatment alter the spectrum and the levels of mRNAs, miRNAs
and sncRNAs in EVs. Differentially incorporated mRNAs and miRNAs in EVs produced in response to WNV
infection and to IFN-alpha treatment are associated with viral processes and host response to infection. WNV
infection affects composition of RNA cargo in EVs via IFN-dependent and IFN-independent mechanisms.
Resistin and adenylyl cyclase-associated protein 1 (CAP1) regulate the expression of genes related to insulin resistance in BNL CL.2 mouse liver cellsAbstract
Resistin is an adipokine produced in white adipose tissue that is thought to modulate insulin sensitivity in peripheral tissues (such as liver, skeletal muscle or adipose tissue). Human and murine resistin molecules share only about 60% sequence homology.  Contrary to humans, in which resistin is secreted mostly by macrophages, Park and Ahima 2013 resistin in rodents is produced primarily by the mature adipocytes of the white adipose tissue. Although resistin can bind to toll-like receptor 4 (TLF4) activating proinflammatory responses in human and rodents, , , , , ,  the inflammatory actions of resistin in human monocytes were found to be mediated by resistin binding to adenylyl cyclase-associated protein 1 (CAP1).  In this study, we aimed to investigate the in vitro effects of resistin on the expression of various genes related to insulin resistance in mouse liver cells. Using BNL CL.2 cells, we investigated the effect of resistin in untransfected or CAP1 siRNA-transfected cells on the expression of 84 key genes involved in insulin resistance.
Sumoylation regulates the stability and nuclease activity of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Dna2Abstract
Dna2 is an essential nuclease-helicase that acts in several distinct DNA metabolic pathways including DNA replication and recombination. To balance these functions and prevent unscheduled DNA degradation, Dna2 activities must be regulated. Here we show that Saccharomyces cerevisiae Dna2 function is controlled by sumoylation. We map the sumoylation sites to the N-terminal regulatory domain of Dna2 and show that in vitro sumoylation of recombinant Dna2 impairs its nuclease but not helicase activity. In cells, the total levels of the non-sumoylatable Dna2 variant are elevated. However, non-sumoylatable Dna2 shows impaired nuclear localization and reduced recruitment to foci upon DNA damage. Non-sumoylatable Dna2 reduces the rate of DNA end resection, as well as impedes cell growth and cell cycle progression through S phase. Taken together, these findings show that in addition to Dna2 phosphorylation described previously, Dna2 sumoylation is required for the homeostasis of the Dna2 protein function to promote genome stability.
Complement 3+ -astrocytes are highly abundant in prion diseases, but their abolishment led to an accelerated disease course and early dysregulation of microgliaAbstract
Astrogliosis and activation of microglia are hallmarks of prion diseases in humans and animals. Both were viewed to
be rather independent events in disease pathophysiology, with proinflammatory microglia considered to be the
potential neurotoxic species at late disease stages. Recent investigations have provided substantial evidence that a
proinflammatory microglial cytokine cocktail containing TNF-α, IL-1α and C1qa reprograms a subset of astrocytes to
change their expression profile and phenotype, thus becoming neurotoxic (designated as A1-astrocytes). Knockout
or antibody blockage of the three cytokines abolish formation of A1-astrocytes, therefore, this pathway is of high
therapeutic interest in neurodegenerative diseases. Since astrocyte polarization profiles have never been
investigated in prion diseases, we performed several analyses and could show that C3+
which may represent a subtype of A1-astrocytes, are highly abundant in prion disease mouse models and human
prion diseases. To investigate their impact on prion disease pathophysiology and to evaluate their potential
therapeutic targeting, we infected TNF-α, IL-1α, and C1qa Triple-KO mice (TKO-mice), which do not transit
astrocytes into A1, with prions. Although formation of C3+
-astrocytes was significantly reduced in prion infected
Triple-KO-mice, this did not affect the amount of PrPSc deposition or titers of infectious prions. Detailed
characterization of the astrocyte activation signature in thalamus tissue showed that astrocytes in prion diseases are
highly activated, showing a mixed phenotype that is distinct from other neurodegenerative diseases and were
therefore termed C3+
-PrPSc-reactive-astrocytes. Unexpectedly, Triple-KO led to a significant acceleration of prion
disease course. While pan-astrocyte and -microglia marker upregulation was unchanged compared to WT-brains,
microglial homeostatic markers were lost early in disease in TKO-mice, pointing towards important functions of
different glia cell types in prion diseases.
Experimental necrotizing enterocolitis induces neuroinflammation in the neonatal brainAbstract
Background: Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is an inflammatory gastrointestinal disease primarily affecting preterm
neonates. Neonates with NEC suffer from a degree of neurodevelopmental delay that is not explained by prematurity
alone. There is a need to understand the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental delay in NEC. In this study, we assessed
the macroscopic and microscopic changes that occur to brain cell populations in specific brain regions in a neonatal
mouse model of NEC. Moreover, we investigated the role of intestinal inflammation as part of the mechanism
responsible for the changes observed in the brain of pups with NEC.
Methods: Brains of mice were assessed for gross morphology and cerebral cortex thickness (using histology). Markers
for mature neurons, oligodendrocytes, neural progenitor cells, microglia, and astrocytes were used to quantify their cell
populations in different regions of the brain. Levels of cell apoptosis in the brain were measured by Western blotting and
immunohistochemistry. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress markers and levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (in the ileum
and brain) were measured by RT-qPCR and Western blotting. A Pearson test was used to correlate the levels of cytokines
(ELISA) in the brain and ileum and to correlate activated microglia and astrocyte populations to the severity of NEC.
Results: NEC pups had smaller brain weights, higher brain-to-body weight ratios, and thinner cortices compared to
control pups. NEC pups had increased levels of apoptosis and ER stress. In addition, NEC was associated with a
reduction in the number of neurons, oligodendrocytes, and neural progenitors in specific regions of the brain. Levels
of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the density of activated microglia and astrocytes were increased in the brain and
positively correlated with the increase in the levels pro-inflammatory cytokines in the gut and the severity of NEC
Conclusions: NEC is associated with severe changes in brain morphology, a pro-inflammatory response in the brain that
alters cell homeostasis and density of brain cell populations in specific cerebral regions. We show that the severity of
neuroinflammation is associated with the severity of NEC. Our findings suggest that early intervention during NEC may
reduce the chance of acute neuroinflammation and cerebral damage
Yin/Yang expression of CCN family members: Transforming growth factor beta 1, via ALK5/FAK/MEK, induces CCN1 and CCN2, yet suppresses CCN3, expression in human dermal fibroblastsAbstract
The role of the microenvironment in driving connective tissue disease is being increasingly appreciated. Matricellular proteins of the CCN family are signaling modifiers that are secreted by cells into the extracellular matrix microenvironment where they have profound, context-dependent effects on organ development, homeostasis and disease. Indeed, CCN proteins are emergent targets for therapeutic intervention. Recent evidence suggests that, in vivo, CCN3 has effects opposing CCN2. Moreover, when CCN3 expression is high, CCN2 expression is low. That is, they appear to be regulated in a yin/yang fashion, leading to the hypothesis that the CCN2:CCN3 ratio is important to control tissue homeostasis. To begin to test the hypothesis that alterations in CCN2:CCN3 expression might be important in skin biology in vivo, we evaluated the relative ex vivo effects of the profibrotic protein TGFbeta1 on dermal fibroblasts on protein and RNA expression of CCN3 and CCN2, as well as the related protein CCN1. We also used signal transduction inhibitors to begin to identify the signal transduction pathways controlling the ability of fibroblasts to respond to TGFbeta1. As anticipated, CCN1 and CCN2 protein and mRNA were induced by TGFbeta1 in human dermal fibroblasts. This induction was blocked by TAK1, FAK, YAP1 and MEK inhibition. Conversely, TGFbeta1 suppressed CCN3 mRNA expression in a fashion insensitive to FAK, MEK, TAK1 or YAP1 inhibition. Unexpectedly, CCN3 protein was not detected in human dermal fibroblasts basally. These data suggest that, in dermal fibroblasts, the profibrotic protein TGFbeta1 has a divergent effect on CCN3 relative to CCN2 and CCN1, both at the mRNA and protein level. Given that the major source in skin in vivo of CCN proteins are fibroblasts, our data are consistent that alterations in CCN2/CCN1: CCN3 ratios in response to profibrotic agents such as TGFbeta1 may play a role in connective tissue pathologies including fibrosis
Inhibition of heat shock protein 90 suppresses TWIST1 transcription * Authors and affiliationsAbstract
Molecular chaperone heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) is involved in oncogenic
signaling pathways including epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a key
process in tumor initiation, progression, metastasis and chemoresistance. The
molecular mechanisms underlying the involvement of HSP90 in EMT are still
under investigation. In this study, we identified a previously unrecognized role of
HSP90 in cooperating with signal transducer and activator of transcription 3
(STAT3) to regulate TWIST1 transcription in cancer cells. HSP90 inhibitor, 17-
allylamino-17 demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG) suppressed TWIST1 mRNA
expression and promoter activity in epithelial ovarian cancer, renal clear cell
cancer, and nasopharyngeal cancer cell lines. The interactions between HSP90
and transcription factors were visualized in cancer cell lines and tumor tissues
using proximity ligation assays. Our findings reveal that HSP90 promotes the
binding of STAT3 to TWIST1 promoter, leading to the transcription of TWIST1.
The inhibition of HSP90 downregulates STAT3 activity and TWIST1 transcription,
thereby suppressing EMT and potentially inhibiting tumor progression,
metastasis and chemoresistance in different types of cancers.
Crosstalk between mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitors and transforming growth factor-β signaling results in variable activation of human dermal fibroblastsAbstract
Fibroblast activation is a key step in the establishment of skin fibrosis induced by acute injury, and it is characterized by the differentiation of plastic resident tissue fibroblasts into contractile, extracellular matrix‑secreting myofibroblasts. As fibroblast activation must be regulated in vivo, fibroblasts receive signals from the surrounding environment that initiate their fibrotic program. Thus, the present study investigated the effects of mitogen‑activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways on fibroblast activation. It was demonstrated in primary human dermal fibroblasts that small molecule‑mediated inhibition of extracellular signal‑regulated kinase (ERK) and c‑Jun N‑terminal kinase (JNK) potentiated fibroblast activation, and that small molecule‑mediated inhibition of p38 antagonized fibroblast activation. ERK and JNK inhibition cooperatively enhanced fibroblast activation mediated by treatment with exogenous transforming growth factor (TGF)‑β1, and p38 inhibition antagonized ERK inhibitor‑mediated or JNK inhibitor‑mediated fibroblast activation. Transcript analysis demonstrated that ERK and JNK inhibitor‑mediated fibroblast activation was accompanied by distinct changes in the expression of TGF‑β‑associated ligands and receptors, and that p38 inhibitor‑mediated antagonism of fibroblast activation was accompanied by a distinct expression paradigm of TGF‑β‑associated genes, including upregulation of betaglycan. ERK inhibitor‑mediated and JNK inhibitor‑mediated fibroblast activation was partially antagonized by small molecule‑mediated inhibition of TGF‑β receptor (R)1, indicating that these mechanisms of fibroblast activation are partially dependent on TGF‑β/TGF‑βR signaling. These data collectively demonstrate and provide partial explanations of the varied effects and pathway dependencies of MAPK inhibitor‑mediated effects on fibroblast activation.
Characterization of the chondrogenic and osteogenic potential of male and female human muscle‐derived stem cells: Implication for stem cell therapyAbstract
People of all backgrounds are susceptible to bone and cartilage damage, and these injuries can be debilitating. Current treatments for bone and cartilage injuries are less than optimal, and we are interested in developing new approaches to treat these diseases, specifically using human muscle‐derived stem cells (hMDSCs). Our lab previously demonstrated that sex differences exist between male and female murine MDSCs; thus, this paper sought to investigate whether sex differences also exist in hMDSCs. In the present study, we characterized the chondrogenic and osteogenic sex differences of hMDSCs in vitro and in vivo. We performed in vitro osteogenic and chondrogenic differentiation using hMDSC pellet cultures. As demonstrated by microCT, histology, and immunohistochemistry, male hMDSCs were more chondrogenic and osteogenic than their female counterparts in vitro. No differences were observed based on the sex of hMDSCs in osteogenic and chondrogenic gene expression and cell surface markers. For our in vivo study, we transduced hMDSCs with lenti‐BMP2/GFP and transplanted these cells into critical‐sized calvarial defects in mice. MicroCT results revealed that male hMDSCs regenerated more bone at 2 weeks and demonstrated higher bone density at 4 and 6 weeks than female hMDSCs. Histology demonstrated that both male and female hMDSCs regenerated functional bone. Clinical relevance: These studies reinforce that stem cells isolated from male and female patients differ in function, and we should disclose the sex of cells used in future studies. Considering sex differences of hMDSCs may help to improve cell‐based therapies for autologous cell treatment of bone and cartilage damage. © 2019 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 37:1339–1349, 2019.
A highly expressed intestinal cysteine protease of Ancylostoma ceylanicum protects vaccinated hamsters from hookworm infectionAbstract
Human hookworms (Necator americanus, Ancylostoma duodenale, and Ancylostoma ceylanicum) are intestinal blood-feeding parasites that infect ~500 million people worldwide and are among the leading causes of iron-deficiency anemia in the developing world. Drugs are useful against hookworm infections, but hookworms rapidly reinfect people, and the parasites can develop drug resistance. Therefore, having a hookworm vaccine would be of tremendous benefit.
We investigated the vaccine efficacy in outbred Syrian hamsters of three A. ceylanicum hookworm antigen candidates from two classes of proteins previously identified as promising vaccine candidates. These include two intestinally-enriched, putatively secreted cathepsin B cysteine proteases (AceyCP1, AceyCPL) and one small Kunitz-type protease inhibitor (AceySKPI3). Recombinant proteins were produced in Pichia pastoris, and adsorbed to Alhydrogel. Recombinant AceyCPL (rAceyCPL)/Alhydrogel and rAceySKPI3/Alhydrogel induced high serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) titers in 8/8 vaccinates, but were not protective. rAceyCP1/Alhydrogel induced intermediate serum IgG titers in ~60% of vaccinates in two different trials. rAceyCP1 serum IgG responders had highly significantly decreased hookworm burdens, fecal egg counts and clinical pathology compared to Alhydrogel controls and nonresponders. Protection was highly correlated with rAceyCP1 serum IgG titer. Antisera from rAceyCP1 serum IgG responders, but not nonresponders or rAceyCPL/Alhydrogel vaccinates, significantly reduced adult A. ceylanicum motility in vitro. Furthermore, rAceyCP1 serum IgG responders had canonical Th2-specific recall responses (IL4, IL5, IL13) in splenocytes stimulated ex vivo.
These findings indicate that rAceyCP1 is a promising vaccine candidate and validates a genomic/transcriptomic approach to human hookworm vaccine discovery.
Early treated HIV-1 positive individuals demonstrate similar restriction factor expression profile as long-term non-progressorsAbstract
Background:A wide range of host restriction factors (RF) become upregulated upon HIV-1 infection to suppressviral infectivity and may aid viremic controlin vivo. This cross-sectional study evaluated HIV-1 RFs and depen-dency factors in HIV infected individuals with progressive or non-progressive infection, as well as in early andlate treated cohorts that exhibit different viro-immunological profiles due to differences in timing oftreatment-initiation.Methods:The expression profile ofIFIT1,MX1,APOBEC3G,SAMHD1,BST2(encoding TETHERIN),TRIM5,MX2,SLFN11,PAF1,PSIP1(encoding LEDGF/p75), andNLRX1was measured by qPCR in 104 HIV-1 positive individuals:seroconverters (SRCV;n= 19), long term non-progressors (LTNP;n= 17), viremic progressors (VP;n= 12),patients treated during seroconversion (Early treated;n= 24) or chronic infection (Late treated;n=32),andnon-infected controls.Findings:Expression levels of early treated HIV-1 positive individuals were significantly upregulated in compar-ison to late treated patients (IFIT1:p=0·0003;MX1:p= 0·008;APOBEC3G:p= 0·002;SAMHD1:p=0·0008;SLFN11:pb0·0001;BST2:pb0·0001). Similarly,SLFN11,BST2,andSAMHD1were highly expressed in LTNPs atcomparable levels as in early treated HIV-1 positive individuals. Furthermore,SLFN11andSAMHD1expressionnegatively correlated with total and integrated HIV-1 DNA levels.Interpretation:Early treatment initiation maintains initial RF elevation even after a decade of ART. Elevated ex-pression ofSLFN11,BST2,andSAMHD1in LTNP and early treated subjects implies that these RFs may be associ-ated with spontaneous virological control.
Differential neuro-immune patterns in two clinically relevant murine models of multiple sclerosisAbstract
The mechanisms driving multiple sclerosis (MS), the most common cause of non-traumatic disability in young adults, remain unknown despite extensive research. Especially puzzling are the underlying molecular processes behind the two major disease patterns of MS: relapsing-remitting and progressive. The relapsing-remitting course is exemplified by acute inflammatory attacks, whereas progressive MS is characterized by neurodegeneration on a background of mild-moderate inflammation. The molecular and cellular features differentiating the two patterns are still unclear, and the role of inflammation during progressive disease is a subject of active debate.
We performed a comprehensive analysis of the intrathecal inflammation in two clinically distinct mouse models of MS: the PLP139-151-induced relapsing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (R-EAE) and the chronic progressive, Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus-induced demyelinating disease (TMEV-IDD). Microarray technology was first used to examine global gene expression changes in the spinal cord.
Inflammation in the spinal cord was further assessed by immunohistochemical image analysis and flow cytometry. Levels of serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) immunoglobulin (Ig) isotypes and chemokines were quantitated using Luminex Multiplex technology, whereas a capture ELISA was used to measure serum and CSF albumin levels. Finally, an intrathecal Ig synthesis index was established with the ratio of CSF and serum test results corrected as a ratio of their albumin concentrations.
Microarray analysis identified an enrichment of B cell- and Ig-related genes upregulated in TMEV-IDD mice. We also demonstrated an increased level of intrathecal Ig synthesis as well as a marked infiltration of late differentiated B cells, including antibody secreting cells (ASC), in the spinal cord of TMEV-IDD, but not R-EAE mice. An intact blood-brain barrier in TMEV-IDD mice along with higher CSF levels of CXCL13, CXCL12, and CCL19 provides evidence for an intrathecal synthesis of chemokines mediating B cell localization to the central nervous system (CNS).
Overall, these findings, showing increased concentrations of intrathecally produced Igs, substantial infiltration of ASC, and the presence of B cell supporting chemokines in the CNS of TMEV-IDD mice, but not R-EAE mice, suggest a potentially important role for Igs and ASC in the chronic progressive phase of demyelinating diseases.
Targeting ubiquitin-activating enzyme induces ER stress–mediated apoptosis in B-cell lymphoma cellsAbstract
Alterations in the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) leave malignant cells in heightened cellular stress, making them susceptible to proteasome inhibition. However, given the limited efficacy of proteasome inhibitors in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), novel approaches to target the UPS are needed. Here, we show that TAK-243, the first small-molecule inhibitor of the ubiquitin activating enzyme (UAE) to enter clinical development, disrupts all ubiquitin signaling and global protein ubiquitination in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) cells, thereby inducing endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR). Activation of the ER stress response protein kinase R (PKR)–like ER kinase and phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation initiator factor 2α led to upregulation of the proapoptotic molecule C/EBP homologous protein and cell death across a panel of DLBCL cell lines independent of cell of origin. Concurrently, targeting UAE led to accumulation of Cdt1, a replication licensing factor, leading to DNA rereplication, checkpoint activation, and cell cycle arrest. MYC oncoprotein sensitized DLBCL cells to UAE inhibition; engineered expression of MYC enhanced while genetic MYC knockdown protected from TAK-243–induced apoptosis. UAE inhibition demonstrated enhanced ER stress and UPR and increased potency compared with bortezomib in DLBCL cell lines. In vivo treatment with TAK-243 restricted the growth of xenografted DLBCL tumors, accompanied by reduced cell proliferation and apoptosis. Finally, primary patient-derived DLBCL cells, including those expressing aberrant MYC, demonstrated susceptibility to UAE inhibition. In sum, targeting UAE may hold promise as a novel therapeutic approach in NHL.
Beta-2 Adrenergic and Glucocorticoid Receptor Agonists Modulate Ozone-Induced Pulmonary Protein Leakage and Inflammation in Healthy and Adrenalectomized RatsAbstract
We have shown that acute ozone inhalation activates sympathetic-adrenal-medullary and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal stress axes, and adrenalectomy (AD) inhibits ozone-induced lung injury and inflammation. Therefore, we hypothesized that stress hormone receptor agonists (β2 adrenergic-β2AR and glucocorticoid-GR) will restore the ozone injury phenotype in AD, while exacerbating effects in sham-surgery (SH) rats. Male Wistar Kyoto rats that underwent SH or AD were treated with vehicles (saline + corn oil) or β2AR agonist clenbuterol (CLEN, 0.2 mg/kg, i.p.) + GR agonist dexamethasone (DEX, 2 mg/kg, s.c.) for 1 day and immediately prior to each day of exposure to filtered air or ozone (0.8 ppm, 4 h/day for 1 or 2 days). Ozone-induced increases in PenH and peak-expiratory flow were exacerbated in CLEN+DEX-treated SH and AD rats. CLEN+DEX affected breath waveform in all rats. Ozone exposure in vehicle-treated SH rats increased bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) protein, N-acetyl glucosaminidase activity (macrophage activation), neutrophils, and lung cytokine expression while reducing circulating lymphocyte subpopulations. AD reduced these ozone effects in vehicle-treated rats. At the doses used herein, CLEN+DEX treatment reversed the protection offered by AD and exacerbated most ozone-induced lung effects while diminishing circulating lymphocytes. CLEN+DEX in air-exposed SH rats also induced marked protein leakage and reduced circulating lymphocytes but did not increase BALF neutrophils. In conclusion, circulating stress hormones and their receptors mediate ozone-induced vascular leakage and inflammatory cell trafficking to the lung. Those receiving β2AR and GR agonists for chronic pulmonary diseases, or with increased circulating stress hormones due to psychosocial stresses, might have altered sensitivity to air pollution.
Atlantic salmon post-smolts adapted for a longer time to seawater develop an effective humoral and cellular immune response against Salmonid alphavirusAbstract
Salmonid alphavirus (SAV) causes pancreas disease (PD) in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) and disease outbreaks are mainly detected after seawater transfer. The influence of the smoltification process on the immune responses, specifically the adaptive response of Atlantic salmon after SAV infection, is not fully understood. In this study, Atlantic salmon post-smolts were infected by either bath immersion (BI) or intramuscular injection (IM) with SAV subtype 3, 2 weeks (Phase A) or 9 weeks (Phase B) after seawater transfer. The transcript levels of genes related to cellular, humoral and inflammatory responses were evaluated on head kidney samples collected at 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28 days post-infection (dpi). Corresponding negative control groups (CT) were established accordingly. Significant differences were found between both phases and between the IM and BI groups. The anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 was up-regulated in Phase A at a higher level than in Phase B. High mRNA levels of the genes RIG-1, SOCS1 and STAT1 were observed in all groups except the BI-B group (BI-Phase B). Moreover, the IM-B group showed a higher regulation of genes related to cellular responses, such as CD40, MHCII, and IL-15, that indicated the activation of a strong cell-mediated immune response. CD40 mRNA levels were elevated one week earlier in the BI-B group than in the BI-A group (BI-Phase A). A significant up-regulation of IgM and IgT genes was seen in both IM groups, but the presence of neutralizing antibodies to SAV was detected only in Phase B fish at 21 and 28 dpi. In addition, we found differences in the basal levels of some of the analysed genes between non-infected control groups of both phases. Findings suggest that Atlantic salmon post-smolts adapted for a longer time to seawater before they come into contact with SAV, developed a stronger humoral and cell-mediated immune response during a SAV infection.
Neutrophils Promote Amphiregulin Production in Intestinal Epithelial Cells through TGF-β and Contribute to Intestinal HomeostasisAbstract
Neutrophils are the first responders to sites of inflammation when the intestinal epithelial barrier is breached and the gut microbiota invade. Despite current efforts in understanding the role of neutrophils in intestinal homeostasis, the complex interactions between neutrophils and intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) is still not well characterized. In this study, we demonstrated that neutrophils enhanced production of amphiregulin (AREG), a member of the EGFR ligand family, by IECs, which promoted IEC barrier function and tissue repair. Depletion of neutrophils resulted in more severe colitis in mice because of decreased AREG production by IECs upon dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) insult. Administration of AREG restored epithelial barrier function and ameliorated colitis. Furthermore, neutrophil-derived TGF-β promoted AREG production by IECs. Mechanistically, TGF-β activated MEK1/2 signaling, and inhibition of MEK1/2 abrogated TGF-β–induced AREG production by IECs. Collectively, these findings reveal that neutrophils play an important role in the maintenance of IEC barrier function and homeostasis.
Variation in the responsiveness of induced resistance against Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato by Solanum lycopersicum treated with para-aminobenzoic acidAbstract
Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) induced resistance against Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato in Solanum lycopersicum. Fertilizer application was necessary for induced resistance and only two out of eight breeding lines showed PABA-induced resistance. A comparison of gene expression between a PABA-responsive and PABA-non-responsive line showed that either the responsive line had a faster and stronger increase in expression or the responsive line showed increased expression due to PABA. Although PABA affected SA-related gene expression, changes in gene expression were not always directly related to the responsiveness to PABA. The response to PABA by SA, JA and ET-related mutants showed SA dependence. Factors, such as fertilization practices and host genotype, are important considerations in the development of PABA as a disease management product.
Comparison of inhibitory neuromuscular transmission in the Cynomolgus monkey IAS and rectum: special emphasis on differences in purinergic transmissionAbstract
Key points summary Inhibitory NMT was compared in the IAS and rectum of the Cynomolgus monkey; an animal with high gene sequence identity to humans. Nitrergic NMT was present in both muscles while purinergic NMT was limited to the rectum and VIPergic NMT to the IAS. The profile for monkey IAS more closely resembles humans than rodents. In both muscles, SK3 channels were localized to PDGFRα+ cells that were closely associated with nNOS+/VIP+ nerves. Gene expression levels of P2RY subtypes were the same in IAS and rectum while KCNN expression levels were similar. SK3 channel activation and inhibition caused greater/faster changes in contractile activity in rectum than IAS. P2Y1 receptor activation inhibited contraction in rectum while increasing contraction in the IAS. The absence of purinergic NMT in the IAS may be due to poor coupling between P2Y1 receptors and SK3 channels on PDGFRα+ cells. Abstract Inhibitory neuromuscular transmission (NMT) was compared in the internal anal sphincter (IAS) and rectum of the Cynomolgus monkey; an animal with high gene sequence identity to humans. Electrical field stimulation produced NOS-dependent contractile inhibition in both muscles whereas P2Y1-dependent purinergic NMT was restricted to rectum. An additional NOS-independent, α-Chymotrypsin-sensitive component was identified in the IAS consistent with VIPergic NMT. Microelectrode recordings revealed slow NOS-dependent inhibitory junction potentials (IJPs) in both muscles and fast P2Y1-dependent IJPs in rectum. The basis for the difference in purinergic NMT was investigated. PDGFRα+/SK3+ cells were closely aligned with nNOS+/VIP+ neurons in both muscles. Gene expression of P2RY was the same in IAS and rectum (P2RY1>>P2RY2-14) while KCNN3 expression was 32% greater in rectum. The SK channel inhibitor apamin doubled contractile activity in rectum while having minimal effect in the IAS. Contractile inhibition elicited with the SK channel agonist CyPPA was 5 times faster in rectum than the IAS. The P2Y1 receptor agonist MRS2365 inhibited contraction in rectum but increased contraction in the IAS. In conclusion, both the IAS and rectum have nitrergic NMT whereas purinergic NMT is limited to rectum and VIPergic NMT to the IAS. The profile in monkey IAS more closely resembles that of humans than rodents. The lack of purinergic NMT in the IAS cannot be attributed to the absence of PDGFRα+ cells, P2Y1 receptors or SK3 channels. Rather, it appears to be due to poor coupling between P2Y1 receptors and SK3 channels on PDGFRα+ cells. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
TIMP Loss Activates Metalloproteinase-TNFα-DKK1 Axis To Compromise Wnt Signaling and Bone MassAbstract
Deregulated proteolysis invariably underlies most human diseases including bone pathologies. Metalloproteinases constitute the largest of the five protease families, and the metzincin metalloproteinases are inhibited by the four tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase called TIMPs. We hypothesized that Timp genes are essential for skeletal homeostasis. We bred individual Timp knockout mice to generate unique mouse models, the quadruple Timp null strain (QT) as well as mice harboring only a single Timp3 allele (QT3+/–). QT mice are grossly smaller and exhibit a dramatic reduction of trabeculae in long bones by μCT imaging with a corresponding increase in metalloproteinase activity. At the cellular level, Timp deficiency compromised differentiation markers, matrix deposition and mineralization in neonatal osteoblasts from calvariae, as well as the fibroblastic colony-forming unit (CFU-F) capacity of bone marrow–derived stromal cells. In contrast, we observed that osteoclasts were overactive in the Timp null state, consistent with the noted excessive bone resorption of QT bones. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) and immunofluorescence (IF) analyses of bone sections revealed higher Cathepsin K and RANKL signals upon Timp loss. Seeking the molecular mechanism, we identified abnormal TNFα bioactivity to be a central event in Timp-deficient mice. Specifically, TNFα triggered induction of the Wnt signaling inhibitor Dkk1 in the osteoblasts at the mRNA and protein levels, with a simultaneous increase in RANKL. Neutralizing TNFα antibody was capable of rescuing the induction of Dkk1 as well as RANKL. Therefore, the generation of novel Timp-deficient systems allowed us to uncover the essential and collective function of TIMP proteins in mammalian long-bone homeostasis. Moreover, our study discovers a functional TIMP/metalloproteinase-TNFα-Dkk1/RANKL nexus for optimal control of the bone microenvironment, which dictates coexistence of the osteoblast and osteoclast lineages. © 2018 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
Genetics and expression of anthocyanin pathway genes in the major skin-pigmented Portuguese cultivar ‘Vinhão’ developing berriesAbstract
‘Vinhão’ is an autochthonous Portuguese cultivar with an intense black-bluish skin color, highly appreciated due to this feature. This study aimed to give the first insights into the genetic background that may be responsible for the skin color properties of cv. ‘Vinhão’. For this purpose, the allelic composition of MYBA1 and MYBA2 genes was investigated, along with quantification of the expression levels of structural and regulatory genes involved in the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway via qRT-PCR. The molecular characterization of MYBA1 and MYBA2 loci revealed that cv. ‘Vinhão’ is homozygous for the functional allele in both genes, corresponding to the most ancestral haplotype, which is consistent with the high colored phenotype that characterizes this cultivar. There were no differences in the DNA sequence of the MYBA1 promoter region between cv. ‘Vinhão’ and the grapevine reference genome Pinot Noir. The expression patterns of genes playing key functional roles in anthocyanin biosynthesis was analyzed in four developmental stages. The dynamics occurring throughout grape berry development revealed the involvement of these genes in the progression of key development events, mainly from veraison to mature berries. These findings provide the first molecular characterization focused on the skin color feature of cv. ‘Vinhão’ to improve our understanding of the genetics behind its intense skin pigmentation.
The latitude-dependent autoimmune disease risk genes ZMIZ1 and IRF8 regulate mononuclear phagocytic cell differentiation in response to vitamin DAbstract
Epidemiological, molecular and genetic studies have indicated high serum vitamin D levels are associated with lower risk of several autoimmune diseases. The Vitamin D Receptor (VDR) binding sites in monocytes and dendritic cells (DCs) are more common in risk genes for diseases with latitude-dependence than in risk genes for other diseases. The transcription factor genes ZMIZ1 and IRF8 - risk genes for many of these diseases - have VDR binding peaks co-incident with the risk SNPs. We show these genes are responsive to vitamin D: ZMIZ1 expression increased and IRF8 expression decreased, and this response was affected by genotype in different cell subsets. The IL10/IL12 ratio in tolerogenic DCs increased with vitamin D. These data indicate that vitamin D regulation of ZMIZ1 and IRF8 in DCs and monocytes contribute to latitude-dependent autoimmune disease risk.
Vamorolone Treatment Improves Skeletal Muscle Outcome in a Critical Illness Myopathy Rat ModelAbstract
Aim Critical illness myopathy (CIM) is a consequence of modern critical care, leading to skeletal muscle atrophy/paralysis with negative consequences for mortality/morbidity and health care costs. Glucocorticoids (GCs) have been proposed to trigger CIM. Here, we compare outcomes of two GCs, the commonly used prednisolone and the newly developed dissociative vamorolone in response to the intensive care unit (ICU) condition for 5 days, i.e., sedation, immobilization, and mechanical ventilation. Methods Rats were divided into a 0-day sham-operated control group, and three groups exposed to 5 days ICU condition during treatment with prednisolone (PRED) or vamorolone (VAM) or none of these GCs (ICU-group). Survival, body and muscle weights, cytokine concentrations, regulation of muscle contraction in single fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers, myofibrillar protein expression and protein degradation pathways were studied. Results CIM geno- and phenotypes were confirmed in the ICU group. However, VAM and PRED groups showed reduced atrophy/weakness than the ICU group, and muscle specific differences with more severe negative effects on fast-twitch muscle fibers in the PRED than the other groups. Conclusion These results show that vamorolone provides a GC intervention superior to typical GCs in improving CIM outcomes. Further, the findings do not support the notion that moderate-dose GC treatment represents a factor triggering CIM. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Peripubertal stress increases play fighting at adolescence and modulates nucleus accumbens CB1 receptor expression and mitochondrial function in the amygdalaAbstract
Play fighting is a highly rewarding behavior that helps individuals to develop social skills. Early-life stress has been shown to alter play fighting in rats and hamsters as well as to increase aggressive behaviors at adulthood. However, it is not known whether individual differences in stress-induced play fighting are related to differential developmental trajectories towards adult aggression. To address this question, we used a rat model of peripubertal stress (PPS)-induced psychopathology that involves increased aggression at adulthood. We report that, indeed, PPS leads to enhanced play fighting at adolescence. Using a stratification approach, we identify individuals with heightened levels of play fighting as the ones that show abnormal forms of aggression at adulthood. These animals showed as well a rapid habituation of their corticosterone responsiveness to repeated stressor exposure at peripuberty. They also showed a striking increase in mitochondrial function in the amygdala—but not nucleus accumbens—when tested ex vivo. Conversely, low, but not high players, displayed increased expression of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor in the nucleus accumbens shell. Our results highlight adolescence as a potential critical period in which aberrant play fighting is linked to the emergence of adult aggression. They also point at brain energy metabolism during adolescence as a possible target to prevent adult aggression.
Extracellular dsRNA induces a type I interferon response mediated via class A scavenger receptors in a novel Chinook salmon derived spleen cell lineAbstract
Despite increased global interest in Chinook salmon aquaculture, little is known of their viral immune defenses. This study describes the establishment and characterization of a continuous cell line derived from Chinook salmon spleen, CHSS, and its use in innate immune studies. Optimal growth was seen at 14–18 °C when grown in Leibovitz's L-15 media with 20% fetal bovine serum. DNA analyses confirmed that CHSS was Chinook salmon and genetically different from the only other available Chinook salmon cell line, CHSE-214. Unlike CHSE-214, CHSS could bind extracellular dsRNA, resulting in the rapid and robust expression of antiviral genes. Receptor/ligand blocking assays confirmed that class A scavenger receptors (SR-A) facilitated dsRNA binding and subsequent gene expression. Although both cell lines expressed three SR-A genes: SCARA3, SCARA4, and SCARA5, only CHSS appeared to have functional cell-surface SR-As for dsRNA. Collectively, CHSS is an excellent cell model to study dsRNA-mediated innate immunity in Chinook salmon.
Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology may not predict functional impairment in HIV: a report of two individualsAbstract
With aging of HIV populations, there is concern that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may become prevalent and difficult to distinguish from HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. To date, there are no reports documenting histologically verified Alzheimer’s neuropathology in individuals with HIV and dementia. Herein, we report two antiretroviral-treated, virally suppressed, HIV-infected individuals autopsied by the Manhattan HIV Brain Bank. Subject A presented to study at 52 years, already dependent in instrumental activities of daily living (ADLs), with severe cognitive impairment inclusive of learning and memory dysfunction. Her history was significant for educational disability and head trauma. She had rapid cognitive decline and, by death at age 59 years, was bed-bound, incontinent, and non-communicative. At autopsy, she exhibited severe AD neuropathologic change (NIA-AA score A3B3C3) and age-related tau astrogliopathy (ARTAG). She was homozygous for APOE ε3/ε3. No HIV DNA was detected in frontal lobe by nested polymerase chain reaction. Subject B was a community dwelling 81-year-old woman who experienced sudden death by pulmonary embolus. Prior to death, she was fully functional, living independently, and managing all ADLs. At autopsy, she displayed moderate amyloid and severe tau AD neuropathologic changes (A2B3C2), ARTAG, and cerebral congophilic angiopathy. She was an APOE ε3/ε4 heterozygote, and HIV DNA, but not RNA, was detected in frontal lobe, despite 20 years of therapy-induced viral suppression. We conclude that in the setting of HIV, AD neuropathology may occur with or without symptomatic cognitive dysfunction; as with seronegative individuals, there are likely to be complex factors in the generation of clinically relevant impairments.
EZH1 is an antipsychotic-sensitive epigenetic modulator of social and motivational behavior that is dysregulated in schizophreniaAbstract
With the capacity to modulate gene networks in an environmentally-sensitive manner, the role of epigenetic systems in mental disorders has come under intense investigation. Dysregulation of epigenetic effectors, including microRNAs and histone-modifying enzymes, may better explain the role of environmental risk factors and the observed heritability rate that cannot be fully attributed to known genetic risk alleles. Here, we aimed to identify novel epigenetic targets of the schizophrenia-associated microRNA 132 (miR-132).
Histone modifications were quantified by immunodetection in response to viral-mediated overexpression of miR-132 while a luminescent reporter system was used to validate targets of miR-132 in vitro. Genome-wide profiling, quantitative PCR and NanoSting were used to quantify gene expression in post-mortem human brains, neuronal cultures and prefrontal cortex (PFC) of mice chronically exposed to antipsychotics. Following viral-mediated depletion of Enhancer of Zeste 1 (EZH1) in the murine PFC, behaviors including sociability and motivation were assessed using a 3-chambered apparatus and forced-swim test, respectively.
Overexpression of miR-132 decreased global histone 3 lysine 27 tri-methylation (H3K27me3), a repressive epigenetic mark. Moreover, the polycomb-associated H3K27 methyltransferase, EZH1, is regulated by miR-132 and upregulated in the PFC of schizophrenics. Unlike its homolog EZH2, expression of EZH1 in the murine PFC decreased following chronic exposure to antipsychotics. Viral-mediated depletion of EZH1 in the mouse PFC attenuated sociability, enhanced motivational behaviors, and affected gene expression pathways related to neurotransmission and behavioral phenotypes.
EZH1 is dysregulated in schizophrenia, sensitive to antipsychotic medications, and a brain-enriched miR-132 target that controls neurobehavioral phenotypes.
A piRNA utilizes HILI and HIWI2 mediated pathway to down-regulate ferritin heavy chain 1 mRNA in human somatic cellsAbstract
The piwi interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that specifically bind to the PIWI proteins, a functional requirement. The piRNAs regulate germline development, transposons control, and gene expression. However, piRNA-mediated post-transcriptional gene regulation in human somatic cells is not well understood. We discovered a human piRNA (piR-FTH1) which has a complementary sequence in the ferritin heavy chain 1 (Fth1) mRNA. We demonstrated that expression of piR-FTH1 and Fth1 are inversely correlated in the tested tumor cell lines. We found that piR-FTH1 negatively regulates the Fth1 expression at post-transcriptional level in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells. Additionally, we confirmed that transfected piR-FTH1 knocks down the Fth1 mRNA via the HIWI2 and HILI mediated mechanism. piR-FTH1 mediated Fth1 repression also increased doxorubicin sensitivity by a remarkable 20-fold in TNBC cells. Since the current piRNA-mediated knockdowns of target mRNA are mostly reported in germ line cells, piRNA-mediated post-transcriptional gene regulation in somatic cells is rather unique in its application and mechanistically uses an alternative pathway to siRNA and miRNA. This work begins to lay the groundwork with a broader impact on treatment of various diseases that are linked to elevated levels of specific mRNAs which have a piRNA target.
Gja1 expression is regulated by cooperation between SOX8/SOX9 and cJUN transcription factors in TM4 and 15P-1 Sertoli cell linesAbstract
Within the seminiferous tubules of the testis, Gja1-encoded connexin43 plays a critical role in intercellular communication between Sertoli cells. These cells nurture, protect and stimulate the developing germ cells and spermatids. SOX transcription factors are known to play an important role in male fertility and sex determination; however, their physiological function and the identity of their target genes in postnatal Sertoli cells remain to be defined. Members of the AP-1 family have been shown to regulate Gja1 expression in myometrial and testicular cells and to physically interact with SOX members, suggesting that these transcription factors may regulate its expression within the testis. Hence, we performed co-transfections of expression plasmids encoding SOX4, SOX8, SOX9 and cJUN with different mouse Gja1 promoter/luciferase reporter constructs within TM4 and 15P-1 Sertoli cells. We showed that a functional cooperation between cJUN and SOX8 or SOX9 regulates Gja1 expression and may involve DNA regulatory elements located between -132 and -26 bp. Such synergy relies on the recruitment of cJUN to the -47 bp AP-1 DNA regulatory element of the mouse Gja1 promoter. Hence, SOX and AP-1 members cooperate to regulate Gja1 within testicular Sertoli cells. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Induction of brain Nrf2-HO-1 pathway and antinociception after different physical training paradigms in miceAbstract
Activation of the Nrf2-antioxidant response element signaling pathway is a major mechanism in the cellular defense against oxidative or electrophilic stress through conjugative reactions and by enhancing cellular antioxidant capacity. Although exercise training up-regulates antioxidant defenses system, while information regarding the intensity levels of physical exercise that acts on the cellular protection systems is limited.
The present study evaluated the effects of different durations and intensities of physical exercise on the hippocampus, cortex and hypothalamus Nrf2 and HO-1 gene expression and related protein content and the nociception thresholds in adult C57Bl male mice. Exercise training consisted of daily running on a 10-lane rodent motor-driven treadmill for either 3 or 7 weeks at three different intensities. Pain responses were evaluated after exercise and in untrained mice by Von Frey hair test and cold plate test.
This study confirmed that only vigorous and longer duration aerobic exercise increased Nrf2 protein level in the hippocampus and HO-1 protein level in the cortex and reduced pain perception. Mechanical and thermal hypoalgesia were only observed in exercise groups after 7 weeks of physical training.
The overall findings in this study confirm that only the long duration intensive forced exercise reduced inflammatory pain by induction of Nrf2/HO-1 antioxidant signaling pathway.
Cultivation of Purified Primary Purkinje Cells from Rat CerebellaAbstract
Primary neurons are difficult to cultivate because they are often part of a complex tissue, and synaptically connected to numerous other cell types. These circumstances often prevent us from unveiling molecular and metabolic mechanisms of distinct cells, as functional signals or assays cannot clearly be correlated with them due to interfering signals from other parts of the culture. We therefore present an up-to-date method for obtaining a highly purified neuronal culture of Purkinje cells. In the past, Purkinje cells were successfully isolated from young mouse cerebella, but this protocol was never adapted to other mammals. We therefore provide an updated and adjusted protocol for Purkinje cell isolation from rat instead of mouse cerebella. To purify Purkinje cells, we obtained perinatal rat cerebella, dissociated them and performed a Percoll gradient centrifugation to segregate the smaller and larger cell fractions. In a second step, we performed an immunopanning procedure to enrich only Purkinje cells from the large cell fraction. Based on former protocols, we used a different antibody for the immunopanning procedure and adjusted several aspects from the initial protocol to improve the yield and vitality of Purkinje cells. We provide RT-qPCR-based purity data obtained with this protocol and show the behaviour and the growth of these purified Purkinje cells. We provide a highly reproducible purification protocol for Purkinje cell cultures of high purity that allows functional analysis and downstream assays on living rat Purkinje cells and further morphological growth analysis in future.
Serotonin uptake is required for Rac1 activation in Kras-induced acinar-to-ductal metaplasia in the pancreasAbstract
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the primary cause of pancreatic cancer mortality, is poorly responsive to currently available interventions. Identifying new targets that drive PDAC formation and progression is critical to develop alternative therapeutic strategies to treat this lethal malignancy. Using genetic and pharmacologic approaches, we investigated in vivo and in vitro whether uptake of the monoamine serotonin is required for PDAC development. We demonstrated that pancreatic acinar cells have the ability to readily take up serotonin in a transport-mediated manner. Serotonin uptake promoted the activation of the small GTPase Ras-Related C3 Botulinum Toxin Substrate 1 (Rac1), which is required for trans-differentiation of acinar cells into acinar-to-ductal metaplasia (ADM), a key determinant in PDAC development. Consistent with the central role played by Rac1 in ADM formation, inhibition of the serotonin transporter Sert (Slc6a4) with fluoxetine reduced ADM formation both in vitro and in vivo in a cell autonomous manner. In addition, fluoxetine treatment profoundly compromised the stromal reaction and affected proliferation and lipid metabolism of malignant PDAC cells. We propose that Sert is a promising therapeutic target to counteract the early event of acinar-to-ductal metaplasia with the potential to stall initiation and progression of pancreatic carcinogenesis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Loss of IGF1R in human astrocytes alters complex I activity and support for neuronsAbstract
The insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) signalling pathways are implicated in longevity and in progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Previously, we showed that insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) and downstream signalling transcripts are reduced in astrocytes in human brain with progression of Alzheimer’s neuropathology and developed a model of IGF1 signalling impairment in human astrocytes using an IGF1R-specific monoclonal antibody, MAB391. Here, we have established a novel human astrocyte-neuron co-culture system to determine whether loss of astrocytic IGF1R affects their support for neurons. Astrocyte-neuron co-cultures were developed using human primary astrocytes and differentiated Lund Human Mesencephalic Cells (LUHMES). Neurite outgrowth assays, performed to measure astrocytic support for neurons, showed astrocytes provided contact-mediated support for neurite outgrowth. Loss of IGF1R did not affect neurite outgrowth under control conditions but when challenged with hydrogen peroxide IGF1R-impaired astrocytes were less able to protect LUHMES. To determine how loss of IGF1R affects neuronal support MAB391-treated astrocytes were FACS sorted from GFP-LUHMES and their transcriptomic profile was investigated using microarrays. Changes in transcripts involved in astrocyte energy metabolism were identified, particularly NDUFA2 and NDUFB6, which are related to complex I assembly. Loss of complex I activity in MAB391-treated astrocytes validated these findings. In conclusion, reduced IGF1 signalling in astrocytes impairs their support for neurons under conditions of stress and this is associated with defects in the mitochondrial respiratory chain in astrocytes.
NLRP3 inflammasome mediates oxidative stress-induced pancreatic islet dysfunction.Abstract
Inflammasomes are multi-protein inflammatory platforms that induce caspase-1 activation and subsequently interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18 processing. The NLRP3 inflammasome is activated by different forms of oxidative stress, and based on the central role of IL-1β in the destruction of pancreatic islets, it could be related to the development of diabetes. We therefore investigated responses in wild-type C57Bl/6 (WT), NLRP3-/- and ASC-/- mice after exposing islets to short-term hypoxia or alloxan induced islet damage. NLRP3 deficient islets compared to WT islets had preserved function ex vivo and were protected against hypoxia-induced cell death. Further, NLRP3 and ASC deficient mice were protected against oxidative stress-induced diabetes caused by repetitive low dose alloxan administration, and this was associated with reduced β-cell death and reduced macrophage infiltration. This suggests that the beneficial effect of NLRP3 inflammasome deficiency on oxidative stress-mediated β-cell damage could involve reduced macrophage infiltration and activation. To support the role of macrophage activation in alloxan-induced diabetes, we injected WT mice with liposomal clodronate which causes macrophage depletion prior to induction of a diabetic phenotype by alloxan treatment resulting in improved glucose homeostasis in WT mice. We show here that the NLRP3 inflammasome acts as a mediator of hypoxia and oxidative stress in insulin producing cells, suggesting that inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome could have beneficial effects on β-cell preservation.
Perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT), a special type of adipose tissue, closely surrounds vascular adventitia and produces numerous bioactive substances to maintain vascular homeostasis. PVAT dysfunction has a crucial role in regulating vascular remodeling, but the exact mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, we investigated whether and how obesity-induced PVAT dysfunction affected adventitia remodeling in early vascular injury stages. Mini pigs were fed a high sugar and fat diet for 6 months to induce metabolic syndrome and obesity. In the mini pigs, left carotid vascular injury was then generated using balloon dilation. Compared with normal mini pigs, obese mini pigs displayed significantly enhanced vascular injury-induced adventitial responses, evidenced by adventitia fibroblast (AF) proliferation and differentiation, and adventitia fibrosis, as well as exacerbated PVAT dysfunction characterized by increased accumulation of resident macrophages, particularly the M1 pro-inflammatory phenotype, increased expression of leptin and decreased expression of adiponectin, and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18. Primary AFs cultured in PVAT-conditioned medium from obese mini pigs also showed significantly increased proliferation and differentiation. We further revealed that activated nod-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome and its downstream products, i.e., IL-1 family members such as IL-1β and IL-18 were upregulated in the PVAT of obese mini pigs; PVAT dysfunction was also demonstrated in preadipocytes treated with palmitic acid. Finally, we showed that pretreatment with IL-1 receptor (IL-1R) antagonist or IL-1R knockdown blocked AF proliferation and differentiation in AFs cultured in PVAT-conditioned medium. These results demonstrate that obesity-induced PVAT dysfunction aggravates adventitial remodeling after early vascular injury with elevated AF proliferation and differentiation via activating the NLRP3/IL-1 signaling pathway.
MED31 involved in regulating self-renewal and adipogenesis of human mesenchymal stem cellsAbstract
Regulation of gene expression is critical for the maintenance of cell state and homeostasis. Aberrant regulation of genes can lead to unwanted cell proliferation or misdirected differentiation. Here we investigate the role of MED31, a highly conserved subunit of the Mediator complex, to determine the role this subunit plays in the maintenance of human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) state. Using siRNA-mediated knockdown of MED31 we demonstrate a decrease in self-renewal based on cell assays and monitoring of gene expression. In addition, in the absence of MED31, hMSCs also displayed a reduction in adipogenesis as evidenced by diminished lipid vesicle formation and expression of specific adipogenic markers. These data present evidence for a significant role for MED31 in maintaining adult stem cell homeostasis, thereby introducing potential novel targets for future investigation and use in better understanding stem cell behavior and adipogenesis.
The search for proteins involved in the formation of crustacean cuticular structuresAbstract
Crustacean cuticular structures are key features formed during a molt cycle. These structures are complex biomaterials comprising chitin and different mineral forms in distinct scaffold organizations. The formation of these complex biomaterials is controlled by the organic extracellular matrix including structural proteins. Since cuticular structures are formed de novo during each molt cycle, the spatial and temporal expression patterns of structural proteins are tightly linked to molt cycle events. As a model scenario, we demonstrate the molt-related pattern of expression of the gene encoding GAP65, a core structural protein involved in the formation of the cuticular structures of Cherax quadricarinatus. Based on this typical pattern of expression and using a binary-patterning approach, which is a specialized tool for the study of molt-related proteins, we revealed and characterized additional candidate proteins involved in the formation of crustacean cuticular structures. We propose that our approach be applied as a framework in the search for proteins involved in the formation of the crustacean cuticle. To stimulate research on this important aspect of structural biology, we put forward a schematic representation of the extracellular matrix and its proteins in three cuticular structures of C. quadricarinatus, the gastroliths, the mandibles, and the mineralized cuticle.
Microphysiological flux balance platform unravels the dynamics of drug induced steatosisAbstract
Drug development is currently hampered by the inability of animal experiments to accurately predict human response. While emerging organ on chip technology offers to reduce risk using microfluidic models of human tissues, the technology still mostly relies on end-point assays and biomarker measurements to assess tissue damage resulting in limited mechanistic information and difficulties to detect adverse effects occurring below the threshold of cellular damage. Here we present a sensor-integrated liver on chip array in which oxygen is monitored using two-frequency phase modulation of tissue-embedded microprobes, while glucose, lactate and temperature are measured in real time using microfluidic electrochemical sensors. Our microphysiological platform permits the calculation of dynamic changes in metabolic fluxes around central carbon metabolism, producing a unique metabolic fingerprint of the liver's response to stimuli. Using our platform, we studied the dynamics of human liver response to the epilepsy drug Valproate (Depakine™) and the antiretroviral medication Stavudine (Zerit™). Using E6/E7LOW hepatocytes, we show TC50 of 2.5 and 0.8 mM, respectively, coupled with a significant induction of steatosis in 2D and 3D cultures. Time to onset analysis showed slow progressive damage starting only 15–20 hours post-exposure. However, flux analysis showed a rapid disruption of metabolic homeostasis occurring below the threshold of cellular damage. While Valproate exposure led to a sustained 15% increase in lipogenesis followed by mitochondrial stress, Stavudine exposure showed only a transient increase in lipogenesis suggesting disruption of β-oxidation. Our data demonstrates the importance of tracking metabolic stress as a predictor of clinical outcome.
Striatal Rgs4 regulates feeding and susceptibility to diet-induced obesityAbstract
Consumption of high fat, high sugar (western) diets is a major contributor to the current high levels of obesity. Here, we used a multidisciplinary approach to gain insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying susceptibility to diet-induced obesity (DIO). Using positron emission tomography (PET), we identified the dorsal striatum as the brain area most altered in DIO-susceptible rats and molecular studies within this region highlighted regulator of G-protein signaling 4 (Rgs4) within laser-capture micro-dissected striatonigral (SN) and striatopallidal (SP) medium spiny neurons (MSNs) as playing a key role. Rgs4 is a GTPase accelerating enzyme implicated in plasticity mechanisms of SP MSNs, which are known to regulate feeding and disturbances of which are associated with obesity. Compared to DIO-resistant rats, DIO-susceptible rats exhibited increased striatal Rgs4 with mRNA expression levels enriched in SP MSNs. siRNA-mediated knockdown of striatal Rgs4 in DIO-susceptible rats decreased food intake to levels comparable to DIO-resistant animals. Finally, we demonstrated that the human Rgs4 gene locus is associated with increased body weight and obesity susceptibility phenotypes, and that overweight humans exhibit increased striatal Rgs4 protein. Our findings highlight a novel role for involvement of Rgs4 in SP MSNs in feeding and DIO-susceptibility.
Prenatal stress disrupts social behavior, cortical neurobiology and commensal microbes in adult male offspringAbstract
In utero and early neonatal exposure to maternal stress is linked with psychiatric disorders, and the underlying mechanisms are currently being elucidated. We used a prenatal stressor in pregnant mice to examine novel relationships between prenatal stress exposure, changes in the gut microbiome, and social behavior. Here, we show that males exposed to prenatal stress had a significant reduction in social behavior in adulthood, with increased corticosterone release following social interaction. Male offspring exposed to prenatal stress also had neuroinflammation, decreased oxytocin receptor, and decreased serotonin metabolism in their cortex in adulthood, which are linked to decreased social behavior. Finally, we found a significant difference in commensal microbes, including decreases in Bacteroides and Parabacteroides, in adult male offspring exposed to prenatal stress when compared to non-stressed controls. Our findings indicate that gestation is a critical window where maternal stress contributes to the development of aberrant social behaviors and alterations in cortical neurobiology, and that prenatal stress is sufficient to disrupt the male gut-brain axis into adulthood.
PTCH1 isoform 1b is the major transcript in the development of basal cell nevus syndromeAbstract
Basal cell nevus syndrome (BCNS) is an autosomal dominant disorder most commonly caused by a germline mutation in the PTCH1 gene. PTCH1 is known to have different isoforms with different functional properties and expression patterns among tissues. We detected a novel, pathogenic de novo mutation in PTCH1 isoform 1b (c.114delG) in a BCNS patient. Furthermore, we elucidated the specific expression pattern of PTCH1 isoforms in normal skin, BCC and peripheral blood by studying expression of different PTCH1 isoforms. Human skin showed expression of isoforms 1b and 1d, while peripheral blood additionally showed 1a and 1e expression. BCCs showed expression of all isoforms. Here we report a patient with a novel, isoform 1b specific mutation in PTCH1 and thereby distinguish PTCH1 isoform 1b as the major transcript in the development of BCNS.
Novel key roles for Structural maintenance of chromosome flexible domain containing 1 (Smchd1) during preimplantation mouse developmentAbstract
Structural maintenance of chromosome flexible domain containing 1 (Smchd1) is a chromatin regulatory gene for which mutations are associated with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy and arhinia. The contribution of oocyte- and zygote-expressed SMCHD1 to early development was examined in mice (Mus musculus) using an siRNA knockdown approach. Smchd1 knockdown compromised long-term embryo viability, with reduced embryo nuclear volumes at the morula stage, reduced blastocyst cell number, formation and hatching, and reduced viability to term. RNAseq analysis of Smchd1 knockdown morulae revealed aberrant increases in expression of a small number of trophectoderm-related genes and reduced expression of cell proliferation genes, including S-phase kinase-associated protein 2 (Skp2). Smchd1 expression was elevated in embryos deficient for Caudal type homeobox transcription factor 2 (Cdx2, a key regulator of trophectoderm specification), indicating that Smchd1 is normally repressed by CDX2. These results indicate that Smchd1 plays an important role in the preimplantation embryo, regulating early gene expression and contributing to long-term embryo viability. These results extend the known functions of SMCHD1 to the preimplantation period and highlight important function for maternally expressed Smchd1 mRNA and protein. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Fabrication of Plant Virus-Based Thin Films to Modulate the Osteogenic Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem CellsAbstract
Stem cells can interact and respond to the extracellular nanoscale environment. Viral nanoparticles have been utilized as building blocks to control cell growth and differentiation. By integrating stem cell research and virus nanoparticle chemistry together, a systematic analysis of the effects of nanotopography on stem cell differentiation can be accomplished. The fabrication of thin films of the viral nanoparticles is particularly valuable for such studies. Here, we describe two methods to fabricate plant virus-based thin films and procedures to study the osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells on plant virus-based substrates. The method makes use of wild-type tobacco mosaic virus (wt-TMV), RGD-modified TMV (TMV-RGD), turnip yellow mosaic virus (TYMV), cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV), turnip vein clearing virus (TVCV), and potato virus X (PVX) for development of bone tissue engineering biomaterials.
Antioxidant treatment ameliorates phenotypic features of SMC1A-mutated Cornelia de Lange syndrome in vitro and in vivoAbstract
Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) is a rare disease characterized by cognitive impairment, multisystemic alterations and premature aging. Furthermore, CdLS cells display gene expression dysregulation and genomic instability. Here, we demonstrated that treatment with antioxidant drugs, such as ascorbic acid and riboceine, reduced the level of genomic instability and extended the in vitro lifespan of CdLS cell lines. We also found that antioxidant treatment partially rescued the phenotype of a zebrafish model of CdLS. Gene expression profiling showed that antioxidant drugs caused dysregulation of gene transcription; notably, a number of genes coding for the zinc finger (ZNF)-containing Krueppel-associated box (KRAB) protein domain (KRAB-ZNF) were found to be downregulated. Taken together, these data suggest that antioxidant drugs have the potential to ameliorate the developmental phenotype of CdLS.
Functional characterization of oxazolone-induced colitis and survival improvement by vagus nerve stimulationAbstract
Background Oxazolone-induced colitis has been frequently used in literature as a model of IBD, but insights into the underlying immune response and pathological features are surprisingly still very limited. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) has proven to be effective in innate and Th1/Th17 predominant inflammatory models, including pre-clinical models of colitis, however to what extent VNS is also effective in ameliorating Th2-driven colitis remains to be studied. In the present study, we therefore further characterized the immune response in oxazolone-induced colitis and investigated the potential therapeutic effect of VNS. Methods Colitis was induced in Balb/c mice by cutaneous sensitization with 3% oxazolone followed by intracolonic administration of 1% oxazolone 7 days later. To evaluate the effect of VNS on the development of Th2-driven colitis, VNS and sham-treated mice were challenged with 1% oxazolone. Results Intracolonic oxazolone administration resulted in a severe destruction of the colonic mucosa and a rapid drop in body temperature leading to a 65% mortality rate at day 5. Severe infiltration of neutrophils and monocytes was detected 6h after oxazolone administration which was associated with a Th2-type inflammatory response. VNS significantly improved survival rate which correlated with decreased levels of HMGB1 and reduced colonic (il6 and cxcl1 mRNA) and serum cytokine levels (IL-6, TNFα and CXCL1) compared to sham treated mice. Conclusions Oxazolone-induced colitis rather represents a model of sepsis and, at best, may resemble a severe type of ulcerative colitis, associated with early and severe mucosal damage and a high mortality rate. VNS reduces colonic inflammation and improves survival in this model, supporting the anti-inflammatory properties of VNS, even in an aggressive model as oxazolone-induced colitis.
Prebiotic effects of white button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) feeding on succinate and intestinal gluconeogenesis in C57BL/6 miceAbstract
The mechanisms by which white button (WB) mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) may influence health are unclear. WB feeding (1%) resulted in changes in the composition of microbiota in conventional (CV) mice to expand a population of Prevotella that produce propionate and succinate. Microbial propionate and succinate production induced expression of genes important for intestinal gluconeogenesis (IGN) via the gut-brain neural circuit. Reduced hepatic glucose production was a metabolic benefit of IGN that was found in WB fed CV mice. In the absence of microbiota or in mice with disruptions in the ability to sense microbiota there was no WB mediated effect. WB-fed lean mice had a small but significant improvement in glucose sensitivity. WB feeding resulted in shifts in the microbiota that induced IGN and improved glucose homeostasis.
Regulated intratumoral expression of IL-12 using a RheoSwitch Therapeutic System ® (RTS ® ) gene switch as gene therapy for the treatment of gliomaAbstract
The purpose of this study was to determine if localized delivery of IL-12 encoded by a replication-incompetent adenoviral vector engineered to express IL-12 via a RheoSwitch Therapeutic System® (RTS®) gene switch (Ad-RTS-IL-12) administered intratumorally which is inducibly controlled by the oral activator veledimex is an effective approach for glioma therapy. Mice bearing 5–10-day-old intracranial GL-261 gliomas were intratumorally administered Ad-RTS-mIL-12 in which IL-12 protein expression is tightly controlled by the activator ligand, veledimex. Local tumor viral vector levels concomitant with veledimex levels, IL-12-mRNA expression, local and systemic cytokine expression, tumor and systemic flow cytometry and overall survival were studied. Ad-RTS-mIL-12+veledimex elicited a dose-related increase in tumor IL-12 mRNA and IL-12 protein and discontinuation of veledimex resulted in a return to baseline levels. These changes correlated with local immune and antitumor responses. Veledimex crossed the blood–brain barrier in both orthotopic GL-261 mice and cynomolgus monkeys. We have demonstrated that this therapy induced localized controlled production of IL-12 which correlates with an increase in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) leading to the desired biologic response of tumor growth inhibition and regression. At day 85 (study termination), 65% of the animals that received veledimex at 10 or 30 mg/m2/day were alive and tumor free. In contrast, the median survival for the other groups were: vehicle 23 days, bevacizumab 20 days, temozolomide 33 days and anti-PD-1 37 days. These findings suggest that the controlled intratumoral production of IL-12 induces local immune cell infiltration and improved survival in glioma, thereby demonstrating that this novel regulated immunotherapeutic approach may be an effective form of therapy for glioma.
Myristate-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress requires ceramide synthases 5/6 and generation of C14-ceramide in intestinal epithelial cellsAbstract
Saturated fatty acids (SFAs) have been shown to induce endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and chronic inflammatory responses, as well as alter sphingolipid metabolism. Disruptions in ER stress and sphingolipid metabolism have also been implicated in intestinal inflammation. Therefore, to elucidate the roles of SFAs in ER stress and inflammation in intestinal epithelial cells, we examined myristate (C14:0) and palmitate (C16:0). Myristate, but not palmitate, induced ER stress signaling, including activation of inositol-requiring enzyme 1 (IRE1) and X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1) signaling. Myristate significantly increased C14-ceramide levels, whereas palmitate increased several long-chain ceramides. To define the role of ceramide synthases (CerSs) in myristate-induced ER stress, we used the pharmacologic inhibitor, fumonisin B1 (FB1), and small interfering RNA (siRNA) for CerS5 and 6, the primary isoforms that are involved in C14-ceramide generation. FB1 and siRNA for CerS5 or 6 suppressed myristate-induced C14-ceramide generation and XBP1 splicing (XBP1s). Moreover, increased XBP1s induced the downstream expression of IL-6 in a CerS5/6-dependent manner. In addition, a myristate-enriched milk fat–based diet, but not a lard-based diet, increased C14-ceramide, XBP1s, and IL-6 expression in vivo. Taken together, our data suggest that myristate modulates ER stress and cytokine production in the intestinal epithelium via CerS5/6 and C14-ceramide generation.—Choi, S., Snider, J. M., Olakkengil, N., Lambert, J. M., Anderson, A. K., Ross-Evans, J. S., Cowart, L. A., Snider, A. J. Myristate-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress requires ceramide synthases 5/6 and generation of C14-ceramide in intestinal epithelial cells.
Salmon louse rhabdoviruses: Impact on louse development and transcription of selected Atlantic salmon immune genesAbstract
Recently, it has been shown that the salmon louse (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) is commonly infected by one or two vertically transmitted Lepeophtheirus salmonis rhabdoviruses (LsRVs). As shown in the present study, the viruses have limited effect on louse survival, developmental rate and fecundity. Since the LsRVs were confirmed to be present in the louse salivary glands, the salmon cutaneous immune response towards LsRV positive and negative lice was analyzed. In general, L. salmonis increased the expression of IL1β, IL8 and IL4/13A at the attachment site, in addition to the non-specific cytotoxic cell receptor protein 1 (NCCRP-1). Interestingly, LsRV free lice induced a higher skin expression of IL1β, IL8, and NCCRP-1 than the LsRV infected lice. The inflammatory response is important for louse clearance, and the present results suggest that the LsRVs can be beneficial for the louse by dampening inflammation. Further research is, however; needed to ascertain whether this is a direct modulatory effect of secreted virions, or if virus replication is altering the level of louse salivary gland proteins.
Salmon louse rhabdoviruses: Impact on louse development and transcription of selected Atlantic salmon immune genesAbstract
Recently, it has been shown that the salmon louse (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) is commonly infected by one or two vertically transmitted Lepeophtheirus salmonis rhabdoviruses (LsRVs). As shown in the present study, the viruses have limited effect on louse survival, developmental rate and fecundity. Since the LsRVs were confirmed to be present in the louse salivary glands, the salmon cutaneous immune response towards LsRV positive and negative lice was analyzed. In general, L. salmonis increased the expression of IL1β, IL8 and IL4/13A at the attachment site, in addition to the non-specific cytotoxic cell receptor protein 1 (NCCRP-1). Interestingly, LsRV free lice induced a higher skin expression of IL1β, IL8, and NCCRP-1 than the LsRV infected lice. The inflammatory response is important for louse clearance, and the present results suggest that the LsRVs can be beneficial for the louse by dampening inflammation. Further research is, however; needed to ascertain whether this is a direct modulatory effect of secreted virions, or if virus replication is altering the level of louse salivary gland proteins.
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia–Derived IL-10 Suppresses Antitumor ImmunityAbstract
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients progressively develop an immunosuppressive state. CLL patients have more plasma IL-10, an anti-inflammatory cytokine, than healthy controls. In vitro human CLL cells produce IL-10 in response to BCR cross-linking. We used the transgenic Eμ–T cell leukemia oncogene-1 (TCL1) mouse CLL model to study the role of IL-10 in CLL associated immunosuppression. Eμ-TCL mice spontaneously develop CLL because of a B cell–specific expression of the oncogene, TCL1. Eμ-TCL1 mouse CLL cells constitutively produce IL-10, which is further enhanced by BCR cross-linking, CLL-derived IL-10 did not directly affect survival of murine or human CLL cells in vitro. We tested the hypothesis that the CLL-derived IL-10 has a critical role in CLL disease in part by suppressing the host immune response to the CLL cells. In IL-10R−/− mice, wherein the host immune cells are unresponsive to IL-10–mediated suppressive effects, there was a significant reduction in CLL cell growth compared with wild type mice. IL-10 reduced the generation of effector CD4 and CD8 T cells. We also found that activation of BCR signaling regulated the production of IL-10 by both murine and human CLL cells. We identified the transcription factor, Sp1, as a novel regulator of IL-10 production by CLL cells and that it is regulated by BCR signaling via the Syk/MAPK pathway. Our results suggest that incorporation of IL-10 blocking agents may enhance current therapeutic regimens for CLL by potentiating host antitumor immune response.
Cross-talk between androgen and Wnt signaling potentially contributes to age-related skeletal muscle atrophy in ratsAbstract
We sought to determine whether age-related gastrocnemius muscle mass loss was associated with parallel decrements in androgen receptor (AR) or select Wnt signaling markers. To test this hypothesis, serum free and total testosterone (TEST) as well as gastrocnemius AR and Wnt signaling markers were analyzed in male Fischer 344 rats that were 3/6/12/18 and 24 months (mo) old (n=9 per group). Free and total TEST were greatest in 6 mo rats, and AR protein and Wnt5 protein levels linearly declined with aging. There were associations between Wnt5 protein levels and relative gastrocnemius mass (r=0.395, p=0.007) as well as AR and Wnt5 protein levels (r=0.670, p<0.001). We next tested the hypothesis that Wnt5 affects muscle fiber size by treating C2C12-derived myotubes lower (75 ng/mL) and higher (150 ng/mL) concentrations of recombinant Wnt5a protein. Both treatments increased myotube size (p<0.05) suggesting this ligand may affect muscle fiber size in vivo. We next tested if Wnt5a protein levels were androgen-modulated by examining 10 mo old male Fischer 344 rats (n=10-11 per group) that were orchiectomized and treated with testosterone-enanthate (TEST-E), trenbolone enanthate (TREN), a non-aromatizable synthetic testosterone analogue, or a vehicle (ORX only) for 4 weeks. Interestingly, TEST-E and TREN treatments increased Wnt5a protein in the androgen-sensitive levator ani/bulbocavernosus (LABC) muscle compared ORX only (p<0.05). To summarize, aromatizable and non-aromatizable androgens increase Wnt5a protein expression in skeletal muscle, age-related decrements in muscle AR may contribute Wnt5a protein decrements, and our in vitro data imply this mechanism may contribute to age-related muscle loss.
Cutting Edge: The Histone Methyltransferase G9a Is Required for Silencing of Helper T Lineage–Associated Genes in Proliferating CD8 T CellsAbstract
Helper versus cytotoxic T lineage decision in the thymus has been studied as a model for silencing of alternative lineage genes. Although the transcription factor RUNX3 is required for the initiation of Cd4 silencing in developing CD8 T cells, it is unknown how silencing of Cd4 and other helper T lineage genes is maintained. We show that the histone methyltransferase G9a is necessary for silencing helper T lineage genes in proliferating mouse CD8 T cells. Despite normal initial Cd4 downregulation, G9a-deficient CD8 T cells derepress Cd4 and other helper lineage genes during repeated division in lymphopenia or in response to tumor Ag. However, G9a was dispensable for continued silencing of those genes in CD8 T cells that respond to infection by Listeria monocytogenes. These results demonstrate that G9a facilitates maintenance of cellular identity of CD8 T cells during cell division, which is further reinforced by inflammatory signals.
Estrogens and selective estrogen receptor modulators differentially antagonize Runx2 in ST2 mesenchymal progenitor cellsAbstract
Estrogens attenuate bone turnover by inhibiting both osteoclasts and osteoblasts, in part through antagonizing Runx2. Apparently conflicting, stimulatory effects in osteoblast lineage cells, however, sway the balance between bone resorption and bone formation in favor of the latter. Consistent with this dualism, 17ß-estradiol (E2) both stimulates and inhibits Runx2 in a locus-specific manner, and here we provide evidence for such locus-specific regulation of Runx2 by E2 in vivo. We also demonstrate dual, negative and positive, regulation of Runx2-driven alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity by increasing E2 concentrations in ST2 osteoblast progenitor cells. We further compared the effects of E2 to those of the Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) raloxifene (ral) and lasofoxifene (las) and the phytoestrogen puerarin. We found that E2 at the physiological concentrations of 0.1-1 nM, as well as ral and las, but not puerarin, antagonize Runx2-driven ALP activity. At ≥10 nM, E2 and puerarin, but not ral or las, stimulate ALP relative to the activity measured at 0.1-1 nM. Contrasting the difference between E2 and SERMs in ST2 cells, they all shared a similar dose-response profile when inhibiting pre-osteoclast proliferation. That ral and las poorly mimic the locus- and concentration-dependent effects of E2 in mesenchymal progenitor cells may help explain their limited clinical efficacy.
Gastrointestinal microbiota and mucosal immune gene expression in neonatal pigs reared in a cross-fostering modelAbstract
Cross fostering is employed to equalize the number of piglet between litters ensuring colostrum intake for their survival and growth. However, little is known about the impact of cross fostering on the intestinal microbiota and mucosal immune gene expression of the neonatal pig. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of maternal microbial communities on the gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota and mucosal immune gene expression in young pigs reared in a cross-fostering model. Piglets were given high quality colostrum from birth dam or foster dam upon birth. Twenty-four piglets were randomly assigned at birth to 1 of 3 treatments according to colostrum source and postcolostral milk feeding during, as follow: treatment 1 (n = 8), received colostrum and post-colostral milk feeding from their own dam; treatment 2 (n = 8), received colostrum from foster dam and returned to their own dam for post-colostral milk feeding; and treatment 3 (n = 8), received colostrum and post-colostral milk feeding from foster dam. Genomic DNA was extracted, and the V1-V3 hypervariable region of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene was amplified and sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq platform. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis was also performed to quantify the expression of toll-like receptors (TLR) 2, TLR 4, TLR 10, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), interferon gamma (IFNγ), and interleukin (IL) 4 and IL 10. Data analysis revealed that microbial communities were varied according to the GI biogeographical location, with colon being the most diverse section. Bacterial communities in both maternal colostrum and vaginal samples were significantly associated with those present in the fecal samples of piglets. Cross-fostering did not affect bacterial communities present in the piglet GI tract. However, the mRNA expression of TLR and inflammatory cytokines changed (P < 0.05) with biogeographical location in the GI tract. Higher mRNA expression of TLR and inflammatory cytokines was observed in ileum and ileum associated lymph tissues. This study suggests an impact of colostrum and maternal microbial communities on the microbiota development and mucosal immune gene expression in the newly born piglet. This study revealed novel information about the distribution and expression patterns of TLR and inflammatory cytokines in the GI tract of the young pig. Future studies are needed to determine the role and clinical importance of the mucosal microbiota and mucosal gene expression in health, productivity, and susceptibility to the development of GI disease, in piglets.
Targeted Gene Knock Out Using Nuclease-Assisted Vector Integration: Hemi- and Homozygous Deletion of JAG1Abstract
Gene editing technologies are revolutionizing fields such as biomedicine and biotechnology by providing a simple means to manipulate the genetic makeup of essentially any organism. Gene editing tools function by introducing double-stranded breaks at targeted sites within the genome, which the host cells repair preferentially by Non-Homologous End Joining. While the technologies to introduce double-stranded breaks have been extensively optimized, this progress has not been matched by the development of methods to integrate heterologous DNA at the target sites or techniques to detect and isolate cells that harbor the desired modification. We present here a technique for rapid introduction of vectors at target sites in the genome that enables efficient isolation of successfully edited cells.
Nrf2 deletion from adipocytes, but not hepatocytes, potentiates systemic metabolic dysfunction after long-term high-fat diet-induced obesity in miceAbstract
Nrf2 is a canonical regulator of cytoprotective gene expression but evidence of its crosstalk with other pathways, including metabolic ones, is ever increasing. Pharmacologic or systemic genetic activation of the Nrf2 pathway partially protects from obesity in mice and ameliorates fasting hyperglycemia in mice and humans. However, systemic Nrf2 deletion also protected from diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance in mice. To further investigate the effect of the disruption of Nrf2 on obesity in a tissue-specific manner, we focused on adipocytes and hepatocytes with targeted deletion of Nrf2. To this end, mice with cell-specific deletion of Nrf2 in adipocytes (ANKO) or hepatocytes (HeNKO) were fed high-fat diet (HFD) for 6 months and showed similar increases in body weight and body fat content. ANKO mice showed a partially deteriorated glucose tolerance, higher fasting glucose levels and higher levels of cholesterol, and non-esterified fatty acids compared to their control counterparts. The HeNKO mice though, had lower insulin levels and trended towards improved insulin sensitivity without having any difference in liver triglyceride accumulation. This study compared for the first time two conditional Nrf2 knock-out models in adipocytes and in hepatocytes during HFD-induced obesity. None of these models could completely recapitulate the unexpected protection against obesity observed in the whole body Nrf2 knock-out mice but this study points out the differential roles that Nrf2 may play, beyond cytoprotection, in different target tissues and rather suggests systemic activation of the Nrf2 pathway as an effective means of prevention and treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Morphine-potentiated cognitive deficits correlate to suppressed hippocampal iNOS RNA expression and an absent type 1 interferon response in LP-BM5 murine AIDSAbstract
Opioid use accelerates neurocognitive impairment in HIV/AIDS patients. We assessed the effect of chronic morphine treatment and LP-BM5/murine AIDS (MAIDS) infection on cognition, cytokine production, and type 1 interferon (IFN) expression in the murine CNS. Morphine treatment decreased expression of pro-inflammatory factors (CCL5, iNOS) and reduced cognitive performance in LP-BM5-infected mice, correlating to increased hippocampal viral load and a blunted type 1 IFN response. In the striatum, morphine reduced viral load while increasing IFN-α RNA expression. Our results suggest that differentially regulated type 1 IFN responses may contribute to distinct regional outcomes in the hippocampus and striatum in LP-BM5/MAIDS.
Liver damage, proliferation, and progenitor cell markers in experimental necrotizing enterocolitisAbstract
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a disease known to cause injury to multiple organs including the liver. Liver regeneration is essential for the recovery after NEC-induced liver injury. Our aim was to investigate hepatic proliferation and progenitor cell marker expression in experimental NEC.
Following ethical approval (#32238), NEC was induced in mice by hypoxia, gavage feeding of hyperosmolar formula, and lipopolysaccharide. Breastfed pups were used as control. We analyzed serum ALT level, liver inflammatory cytokines, liver proliferation markers, and progenitor cell marker expression. Comparison was made between NEC and controls.
Serum ALT level was higher in NEC (p<0.05). The mRNA expression of inflammatory cytokines in the liver was also higher in NEC (IL6: p<0.05, TNF-α: p<0.01). Conversely, mRNA expression of proliferation markers in the liver was lower in NEC (Ki67; p<0.01, PCNA: p<0.01). LGR5 expression was also significantly decreased in NEC as demonstrated by mRNA (p<0.05) and protein (p<0.01) levels.
Inflammatory injury was present in the liver during experimental NEC. Proliferation and LGR5 expression were impaired in the NEC liver. Modulation of progenitor cell expressing LGR5 may result in stimulation of liver regeneration in NEC-induced liver injury and improved clinical outcome.
Level of evidence
Is 8% O2 more normoxic than 21% O2 for long-term in vitro cultures of human primary term cytotrophoblasts?Abstract
STUDY QUESTIONIs 8% O2 a better percentage of atmospheric oxygen for long-term cultures of human primary term cytotrophoblasts than the conventional 21% O2 traditionally used in cell culture?SUMMARY ANSWERHuman primary term cytotrophoblasts are able to differentiate into syncytiotrophoblasts under both atmospheric oxygen levels.WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADYCell culture is traditionally done under 21% O2, which is equal to a pO2 of ~160 mm Hg. Based on the pO2 measured after instauration of the blood circulation within the placenta, it has been proposed that cytotrophoblasts culture should be under 8% O2, which is equivalent to 60 mm Hg, and that this percentage should be considered as the physiological normoxia for cytotrophoblasts.STUDY, DESIGN, SIZE, DURATIONCytotrophoblasts were isolated and purified from human term placentas (n > 4). Cells were cultured under 21% O2 and 8% O2 for 12 days. Several cellular parameters were assessed on Days 2, 4, 8 and 12.PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODSPlacentas were obtained after vaginal or elective cesarean delivery from uncomplicated pregnancies at term (n ≥ 4). Cell viability was measured by a luminescent assay based on quantitation of the ATP content of living cells. Cell fusion was assessed by quantification of syncytin and e-cadherin mRNA expression by real-time PCR and determination of the fusion index by immunofluorescent microscopy. Trophoblast differentiation was assessed by measuring the expression levels of hCGβ, inhibin α subunit (InhA) and placental growth factor (PlGF) by real-time PCR and ELISA. Finally, the effect of the two oxygen levels on apoptosis and cellular oxidative stress was also investigated by quantifying caspase 3/7 activation, superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD-1) mRNA expression and H2O2 generation.MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCEThere was no difference between 21% O2 and 8% O2 on cell viability. Cell fusion seemed to be enhanced during the first 4 days when the cells were cultured under 21% O2 compared to 8% O2. The expression level of hCGβ was equivalent in both oxygen conditions, indicating that there was no difference in trophoblast differentiation. Interestingly, InhA expression was higher under 8% O2, while PlGF expression was inhibited compared to 21% O2. This latter result indicates that 8% O2 may be more hypoxic than normoxic for in vitro culture of primary term cytotrophoblast. This is further corroborated by the fact that 21% O2 did not significantly increase caspase 3/7 activities and the oxidative stress (SOD-1 mRNA expression and H2O2 generation) in our cell cultures.LARGE SCALE DATANot applicable.LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTIONThe in vitro culture of cytotrophoblasts is artificial and does not reflect the in vivo situation. The cell population is nearly 100% pure, cultured as a monolayer, and the cells bath in a chemically defined culture medium deprived of any oxygen carrier. The oxygen molecules available to the cells are passively dissolved in the medium. The gas dissolution properties of the medium and the cellular consumption rate of oxygen may allow the cells to sustain a wide range of oxygen percentages from 8% to 21%.WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGSIt is possible to culture human primary term cytotrophoblasts for at least 12 days. The O2 percentage of the air does not negatively affect in vitro cytotrophoblast differentiation. For in vitro culture of cytotrophoblasts, it is not necessary to lower the percentage of atmospheric oxygen to 8%.STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S)This work was fully supported by ‘Fetus for Life’ charity. The authors state that there is no conflict of interest to declare regarding the publication of this paper.
Effect of metformin on estrogen and progesterone receptor-positive (MCF-7) and triple-negative (MDA-MB-231) breast cancer cellsAbstract
This work aimed to investigate the effect of metformin on cellular glucose uptake and metabolism by breast cancer cells, as a mechanism contributing to its anticancer properties. Estrogen and progesterone receptor-positive (MCF-7) and triple-negative (MDA-MB-231) breast cancer cell lines were used as in vitro models of breast cancer. Short-term (26 min) exposure of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells to metformin inhibited uptake of 3H-deoxy-D-glucose (3H-DG). In contrast, long-term (24 h) exposure to metformin (5 μM–1 mM) concentration-dependently increased 3H-DG uptake in both cell lines. This effect was associated with an increase in lactate production but was not associated with changes in GLUT1 mRNA expression. Long-term exposure of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells to metformin (5 μM–1 mM) concentration-dependently reduced cell viability and culture mass and slightly increased cell proliferation rates. Combination of metformin (1 mM) with the facilitative glucose transporter (GLUT) inhibitor kaempferol (30 μM) did not change the effect of metformin on culture growth. In conclusion, short-term exposure to metformin reduces cellular glucose uptake, probably by direct inhibition of GLUT1. However, after long-term exposure to metformin, cellular uptake of glucose is significantly increased, not associated to changes in GLUT1 transcription rates. We suggest that, in the long-term, metformin induces a compensatory increase in glucose uptake in response to cellular energy depletion resulting from its inhibitory effect on mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation machinery. Metformin-induced dependence of breast cancer cells on glycolytic pathway, associated with an anticarcinogenic effect of the drug, provides a biochemical basis for the design of new therapeutic strategies.
Inflammation arising from obesity reduces taste bud abundance and inhibits renewalAbstract
Despite evidence that the ability to taste is weakened by obesity and can be rescued with weight loss intervention, few studies have investigated the molecular effects of obesity on the taste system. Taste bud cells undergo continual turnover even in adulthood, exhibiting an average life span of only a few weeks, tightly controlled by a balance of proliferation and cell death. Recent data reveal that an acute inflammation event can alter this balance. We demonstrate that chronic low-grade inflammation brought on by obesity reduces the number of taste buds in gustatory tissues of mice—and is likely the cause of taste dysfunction seen in obese populations—by upsetting this balance of renewal and cell death.
Surfactant protein A suppresses preterm delivery induced by live Escherichia coli in miceAbstract
Preterm birth accounts for the majority of neonatal morbidity and mortality in the developed world. A significant proportion of cases of spontaneous preterm labor are attributable to infections within gestational tissues. Surfactant protein A (SP-A), a collectin produced in the fetal lung and other tissues, has been shown previously in mice to suppress preterm delivery due to intrauterine (IU) instillation of sterile proinflammatory substances. Here we report a powerful antilabor effect for SP-A after IU infection with live Escherichia coli. SP-A abolished preterm birth (rate reduced from 100% to 0%) when it was administered into the uterus simultaneously with bacterial infection, reducing it by 75% when administered intravenously at the same time as IU bacterial inoculation, and by 48% when administered intravenously 4 h after IU bacterial infection. This effect on preterm delivery was accompanied by a parallel benefit on fetal survival in utero. SP-A had no effect on bacterial growth but reversed several major consequences of infection, including increased production of inflammatory mediators and a shift in macrophage polarization to the M1 phenotype. These findings suggest that exogenous SP-A has potential use to counteract infection-induced labor by reversing its proinflammatory consequences.
MCP-1 is overexpressed in triple-negative breast cancers and drives cancer invasiveness and metastasisAbstract
BackgroundTriple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive type of breast cancer that lacks ER/PR and HER2 receptors. Hence, there is urgency in developing new or novel therapeutic strategies for treatment of TNBC. Our study shows that the Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1 (MCP-1) is a marker associated with TNBC and may play a key role in TNBC disease progression.Experimental designELISA method was used to measure secreted MCP-1, and mRNA levels were determined by Real-time PCR in numerous cancer cell lines, representing various breast cancer subtypes. Cellular invasiveness was determined by Boyden chamber assay.ResultsOur data show that MCP-1 is upregulated in TNBC cell lines both transcriptionally as well as in secreted protein levels compared to ER-positive luminal cell line, MCF-7. Breast cancer patients, with Basal or Claudin-low subtypes, also showed high expression of MCP-1. MCP-1 treatment induced cell invasion in various breast cancer cell types, without affecting cell proliferation. Small molecule antagonists against Chemokine Receptor 2 (CCR2), cognate receptor for MCP-1 as well as the MAP kinase pathway inhibitor U0126 negatively affected MCP-1 induced MCF-7 cell invasion. This suggests that MCP-1-CCR2 axis may regulate invasiveness via the MAP Kinase pathway. Knocking down MCP-1 decreased cell invasion in TNBC cell line BT-549, along with downregulation of key epithelial to mesenchymal transition markers, N-cadherin and Vimentin.ConclusionOur study suggests that MCP-1 mediated pathways could be potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of TNBC, and could reduce cancer health disparities.
Involvement of organic acids and amino acids in ameliorating Ni(II) toxicity induced cell cycle dysregulation in Caulobacter crescentus: a metabolomics analysisAbstract
Nickel (Ni(II)) toxicity is addressed by many different bacteria, but bacterial responses to nickel stress are still unclear. Therefore, we studied the effect of Ni(II) toxicity on cell proliferation of α-proteobacterium Caulobacter crescentus. Next, we showed the mechanism that allows C. crescentus to survive in Ni(II) stress condition. Our results revealed that the growth of C. crescentus is severely affected when the bacterium was exposed to different Ni(II) concentrations, 0.003 mM slightly affected the growth, 0.008 mM reduced the growth by 50%, and growth was completely inhibited at 0.015 mM. It was further shown that Ni(II) toxicity induced mislocalization of major regulatory proteins such as MipZ, FtsZ, ParB, and MreB, resulting in dysregulation of the cell cycle. GC-MS metabolomics analysis of Ni(II) stressed C. crescentus showed an increased level of nine important metabolites including TCA cycle intermediates and amino acids. This indicates that changes in central carbon metabolism and nitrogen metabolism are linked with the disruption of cell division process. Addition of malic acid, citric acid, alanine, proline, and glutamine to 0.015 mM Ni(II)-treated C. crescentus restored its growth. Thus, the present work shows a protective effect of these organic acids and amino acids on Ni(II) toxicity. Metabolic stimulation through the PutA/GlnA pathway, accelerated degradation of CtrA, and Ni-chelation by organic acids or amino acids are some of the possible mechanisms suggested to be involved in enhancing C. crescentus’s tolerance. Our results shed light on the mechanism of increased Ni(II) tolerance in C. crescentus which may be useful in bioremediation strategies and synthetic biology applications such as the development of whole cell biosensor.
27-Hydroxycholesterol increases α-synuclein protein levels through proteasomal inhibition in human dopaminergic neuronsAbstract
Accumulation of the α-synuclein (α-syn) protein is a hallmark of a group of brain disorders collectively known as synucleinopathies. The mechanisms responsible for α-syn accumulation are not well understood. Several studies suggest a link between synucleinopathies and the cholesterol metabolite 27-hydroxycholesterol (27-OHC). 27-OHC is the major cholesterol metabolite in the blood that crosses the blood brain barrier, and its levels can increase following hypercholesterolemia, aging, and oxidative stress, which are all factors for increased synucleinopathy risk. In this study, we determined the extent to which 27-OHC regulates α-syn levels in human dopaminergic neurons, the cell type in which α-syn accumulates in PD, a major synucleinopathy disorder.
Transcription and microRNA Profiling of Cultured Human Tympanic Membrane Epidermal KeratinocytesAbstract
The human tympanic membrane (TM) has a thin outer epidermal layer which plays an important role in TM homeostasis and ear health. The specialised cells of the TM epidermis have a different physiology compared to normal skin epidermal keratinocytes, displaying a dynamic and constitutive migration that maintains a clear TM surface and assists in regeneration. Here, we characterise and compare molecular phenotypes in keratinocyte cultures from TM and normal skin. TM keratinocytes were isolated by enzymatic digestion and cultured in vitro. We compared global mRNA and microRNA expression of the cultured cells with that of human epidermal keratinocyte cultures. Genes with either relatively higher or lower expression were analysed further using the biostatistical tools g:Profiler and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. Approximately 500 genes were found differentially expressed. Gene ontology enrichment and Ingenuity analyses identified cellular migration and closely related biological processes to be the most significant functions of the genes highly expressed in the TM keratinocytes. The genes of low expression showed a marked difference in homeobox (HOX) genes of clusters A and C, giving the TM keratinocytes a strikingly low HOX gene expression profile. An in vitro scratch wound assay showed a more individualised cell movement in cells from the tympanic membrane than normal epidermal keratinocytes. We identified 10 microRNAs with differential expression, several of which can also be linked to regulation of cell migration and expression of HOX genes. Our data provides clues to understanding the specific physiological properties of TM keratinocytes, including candidate genes for constitutive migration, and may thus help focus further research.
Oncogenic RAC1 and NRAS drive resistance to endoplasmic reticulum stress through MEK/ERK signallingAbstract
Cancer cells are able to survive under conditions that cause endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER-stress), and can adapt to this stress by upregulating cell-survival signalling pathways and down-regulating apoptotic pathways. The cellular response to ER-stress is controlled by the unfolded protein response (UPR). Small Rho family GTPases are linked to many cell responses including cell growth and apoptosis. In this study, we investigate the function of small GTPases in cell survival under ER-stress. Using siRNA screening we identify that RAC1 promotes cell survival under ER-stress in cells with an oncogenic N92I RAC1 mutation. We uncover a novel connection between the UPR and N92I RAC1, whereby RAC1 attenuates phosphorylation of EIF2S1 under ER-stress and drives over-expression of ATF4 in basal conditions. Interestingly, the UPR connection does not drive resistance to ER-stress, as knockdown of ATF4 did not affect this. We further investigate cancer-associated kinase signalling pathways and show that RAC1 knockdown reduces the activity of AKT and ERK, and using a panel of clinically important kinase inhibitors, we uncover a role for MEK/ERK, but not AKT, in cell viability under ER-stress. A known major activator of ERK phosphorylation in cancer is oncogenic NRAS and we show that knockdown of NRAS in cells, which bear a Q61 NRAS mutation, sensitises to ER-stress. These findings highlight a novel mechanism for resistance to ER-stress through oncogenic activation of MEK/ERK signalling by small GTPases.
Atlantic salmon adapted to seawater for 9 weeks develop a robust immune response to salmonid alphavirus upon bath challengeAbstract
Pancreas disease (PD) caused by salmonid alphavirus (SAV) is the most serious viral disease in Norwegian aquaculture. Study of the immune response to SAV will aid preventative measures including vaccine development. The innate immune response was studied in Atlantic salmon infected by either bath immersion (BI) or by intra-muscular (i.m.) injection (IM) with SAV subtype 3, two and nine weeks after seawater transfer (Phases A and B respectively). Phase A results have been previously published (Moore et al., 2017) and Phase B results are presented here together with a comparison of results achieved in Phase A. There was a rapid accumulation of infected fish in the IM-B (IM Phase B) group and all fish sampled were SAV RNA positive by 7 dpi (days post infection). In contrast, only a few SAV RNA positive (infected) fish were identified at 14, 21 and 28 dpi in the BI-B (BI Phase B) group. Differences in the transcription of several immune genes were apparent when compared between the infected fish in the IM-B and BI-B groups. Transcription of the analysed genes peaked at 7 dpi in the IM-B group and at 14 dpi in the BI-B group. However, this latter finding was difficult to interpret due to the low prevalence of SAV positive fish in this group. Additionally, fish positive for SAV RNA in the BI-B group showed higher transcription of IL-1β, IFNγ and CXCL11_L1, all genes associated with the inflammatory response, compared to the IM-B group. Histopathological changes in the heart were restricted to the IM-B group, while (immune) cell filtration into the pancreas was observed in both groups. Compared to the Phase A fish that were exposed to SAV3 two weeks after seawater transfer, the Phase B fish in the current paper, showed a higher and more sustained innate immune gene transcription in response to the SAV3 infection. In addition, the basal transcription of several innate immune genes in non-infected control fish in Phase B (CT-B) was also significantly different when compared to Phase A control fish (CT-A).
Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Activity in Adipose Tissue: Isolation and Gene Expression Profile of Distinct Sub-population of Mesenchymal Stromal CellsAbstract
Thanks to their relative abundance and easier collection, adipose tissue (AT) is considered an alternative source for the isolation of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). MSCs have great therapeutic values and are thus under investigations for several clinical indications such as regenerative medicine and immunomodulation. In this work, we aimed to identify, isolate and characterize AT-MSCs based on their aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity known to be a classical feature of stem cells. FACS technology allowed to isolate two different populations of AT-MSCs according to their ALDH activity (referred as ALDH+ and ALDH−). Depending on their ALDH activity, the transcriptome analysis of both cell populations demonstrated a differential pattern of genes related to the main properties of MSCs (proliferation, response to hypoxia, angiogenesis, phenotype, stemness, multilineage, hematopoiesis, immunomodulation). Based on these profiling, both AT-MSC populations could differ in terms of biological responses and functionalities. Collectively, the use of ALDH for isolating and identifying sub-populations of MSCs with specific gene profile may represent an alternative method to provide solutions for targeted therapeutic applications.
Cancer Stem Cell Phenotypes in ER+ Breast Cancer Models are Promoted by PELP1/AIB1 ComplexesAbstract
Abstract: Proline, glutamic acid, and leucine rich protein 1 (PELP1) is overexpressed in approximately 80% of invasive breast tumors. PELP1 dynamically shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm, but is primarily nuclear in normal breast tissue. However, altered localization of PELP1 to the cytoplasm is an oncogenic event that promotes breast cancer initiation and progression. Herein, interacting partners unique to cytoplasmic PELP1 and the mechanisms by which these interactions promote oncogenic PELP1 signaling were sought. AIB1 (amplified in breast cancer 1; also known as SRC-3 or NCOA3) was identified as a novel binding partner of cytoplasmic PELP1 in both estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) and ER-negative cell lines. Cytoplasmic PELP1 expression elevated basal phosphorylation levels (i.e. activation) of AIB1 at Thr24, enhanced ALDH+ tumorsphere formation, and upregulated specific target genes independently of hormone stimulation. Direct manipulation of AIB1 levels using shRNA abrogated cytoplasmic PELP1-induced tumorsphere formation and down-regulated cytoplasmic PELP1-specific target genes. SI-2, an AIB1 inhibitor, limited the PELP1/AIB1 interaction and decreased cytoplasmic PELP1-induced tumorsphere formation. Similar results were observed in a murine-derived MMTV-AIB1 tumor cell line. Furthermore, in vivo syngeneic tumor studies revealed that PELP1 knockdown resulted in increased survival of tumor-bearing mice as compared to mice injected with control cells. Implications: These data demonstrate that cytoplasmic PELP1/AIB1 containing complexes function to promote advanced cancer phenotypes, including outgrowth of stem-like cells, associated with estrogen-independent breast cancer progression.
Adrenergic and glucocorticoid receptor antagonists reduce ozone-induced lung injury and inflammationAbstract
Recent studies showed that the circulating stress hormones, epinephrine and corticosterone/cortisol, are involved in mediating ozone-induced pulmonary effects through the activation of the sympathetic-adrenal-medullary (SAM) and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axes. Hence, we examined the role of adrenergic and glucocorticoid receptor inhibition in ozone-induced pulmonary injury and inflammation. Male 12-week old Wistar-Kyoto rats were pretreated daily for 7 days with propranolol (PROP; a non-selective β adrenergic receptor [AR] antagonist, 10 mg/kg, i.p.), mifepristone (MIFE; a glucocorticoid receptor [GR] antagonist, 30 mg/kg, s.c.), both drugs (PROP + MIFE), or respective vehicles, and then exposed to air or ozone (0.8 ppm), 4 h/d for 1 or 2 consecutive days while continuing drug treatment. Ozone exposure alone led to increased peak expiratory flow rates and enhanced pause (Penh); with greater increases by day 2. Receptors blockade minimally affected ventilation in either air- or ozone-exposed rats. Ozone exposure alone was also associated with marked increases in pulmonary vascular leakage, macrophage activation, neutrophilic inflammation and lymphopenia. Notably, PROP, MIFE and PROP + MIFE pretreatments significantly reduced ozone-induced pulmonary vascular leakage; whereas PROP or PROP + MIFE reduced neutrophilic inflammation. PROP also reduced ozone-induced increases in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) IL-6 and TNF-α proteins and/or lung Il6 and Tnfα mRNA. MIFE and PROP + MIFE pretreatments reduced ozone-induced increases in BALF N-acetyl glucosaminidase activity, and lymphopenia. We conclude that stress hormones released after ozone exposure modulate pulmonary injury and inflammatory effects through AR and GR in a receptor-specific manner. Individuals with pulmonary diseases receiving AR and GR-related therapy might experience changed sensitivity to air pollution.
Hippocampal GABAA antagonism reverses the novel object recognition deficit in sub-chronic phencyclidine-treated ratsAbstract
Abnormalities in prefrontal cortical and hippocampal GABAergic function are postulated to be major causes of the cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia (CIAS). There are conflicting views on whether diminished or enhanced GABAergic activity contributes to the deficit in short-term novel object recognition (NOR) in the sub-chronic phencyclidine (scPCP) rodent model of CIAS. This study assessed the role of GABAA signaling in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and ventral hippocampus (vHPC) in NOR in saline (scSAL)- and scPCP-treated rats.
The effects of local administration of a GABAA agonist (muscimol) into the vHPC or mPFC and an antagonist (bicuculline) or a GABAA/benzodiazepine partial agonist (bretazenil) into the vHPC on NOR in scSAL and scPCP-treated rats were determined.
In scSAL-treated rats, injection of muscimol into the vHPC, but not mPFC, induced a deficit in NOR. The scPCP-induced NOR deficit was significantly reversed by intra-vHPC bicuculline, while intra-vHPC bretazenil produced a non-significant trend for reversal (p = 0.06). scPCP treatment increased mRNA expression of GABAA γ2 in PFC and GABAA α5 and GABAA β1 in the HPC. However, GABA concentration in the PFC or HPC was not altered.
These findings indicate that the scPCP-induced NOR deficit can be rescued by reducing GABAA receptor stimulation in vHPC, indicating that increased vHPC GABAA inhibition may contribute to the scPCP-induced NOR deficit in rats. These results also indicate that excessive GABAA receptor signalling in the vHPC has a deleterious effect on NOR in normal rats.
Anti-nociceptive role of CXCL1 in a murine model of peripheral nerve injury-induced neuropathic painAbstract
Both spinal cord infiltrating CD4+ T lymphocytes and microglial CD40 contribute to the maintenance of neuropathic pain-like behaviors induced by spinal nerve L5 transection (L5Tx), a murine model of neuropathic pain. Here, we sought to investigate the involvement of multiple chemokines in microglial CD40-mediated and CD4+ T lymphocytes-mediated L5Tx-induced sensory hypersensitivity. Spinal cord chemokine expression in CD4 knockout (KO), CD40 KO, and wild type (WT) BALB/c mice was determined at the protein level via multiplex assays and at the RNA level via quantitative real-time PCR. In WT mice, L5Tx induced significant increases in CCL2, CCL3, and CCL5 expression (protein and RNA) up to day 21 post-L5Tx, while CD4 KO mice displayed blunted, predominantly non-significant, responses in these chemokines at protein levels post-L5Tx. L5Tx also induced increased expression of these chemokines in CD40 KO mice; however, the overall protein levels of these chemokines were significantly lower than that in WT mice. Further, L5Tx induced a significant increase in CXCL1 at the protein level and in CXCR2 at RNA level only in CD40 KO mice. Intrathecal administration of CXCL1 in WT mice significantly reduced L5Tx-induced mechanical hypersensitivity. CD40 KO mice also displayed higher levels of Ly6G (neutrophil marker) RNA expression in the lumbar spinal cord post-L5Tx. Altogether, our data suggest that CD4+ T lymphocytes and microglial CD40 mediate their pro-nociceptive effects in part by promoting selected chemokine responses, and more importantly, CXCL1 can play an anti-nociceptive role in peripheral nerve injury induced neuropathic pain, which is possibly mediated by infiltrating neutrophils.
Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3 Modulates Cbl-b and Constrains T Cell ActivationAbstract
The decision between T cell activation and tolerance is governed by the spatial and temporal integration of diverse molecular signals and events occurring downstream of TCR and costimulatory or coinhibitory receptor engagement. The PI3K–protein kinase B (PKB; also known as Akt) signaling pathway is a central axis in mediating proximal signaling events of TCR and CD28 engagement in T cells. Perturbation of the PI3K–PKB pathway, or the loss of negative regulators of T cell activation, such as the E3 ubiquitin ligase Cbl-b, have been reported to lead to increased susceptibility to autoimmunity. In this study, we further examined the molecular pathway linking PKB and Cbl-b in murine models. Our data show that the protein kinase GSK-3, one of the first targets identified for PKB, catalyzes two previously unreported phosphorylation events at Ser476 and Ser480 of Cbl-b. GSK-3 inactivation by PKB abrogates phosphorylation of Cbl-b at these two sites and results in reduced Cbl-b protein levels. We further show that constitutive activation of PKB in vivo results in a loss of tolerance that is mediated through the downregulation of Cbl-b. Altogether, these data indicate that the PI3K–PKB–GSK-3 pathway is a novel regulatory axis that is important for controlling the decision between T cell activation and tolerance via Cbl-b.
High-fat diet exposure, regardless of induction of obesity, is associated with altered expression of genes critical to normal ovulatory functionAbstract
We evaluated the impact of high-fat diet (HFD) on ovarian gene expression. Female 5-week-old C57BL/6J mice were fed a 60% HFD or standard chow for 10 weeks. HFD-fed mice were then separated into obese (HF-Ob) and lean (HF-Ln) based on body weight. HFD exposure led to impairment of the estrous cycle, changes in hormones affecting reproduction, and decreased primordial follicles regardless of the development of obesity. RNA-sequencing of whole ovaries identified multiple genes with altered expression after HFD, with 25 genes displaying decreased expression in both HF-Ln and HF-Ob mice compared to the chow-fed controls (q < 0.05). Several of these 25 genes are involved in normal ovarian functions, including ovulation (Edn2, Tnfaip6, Errfi1, Prkg2, and Nfil3), luteinization (Edn2), and luteolysis (Nr4a1). Taken together, elevated dietary fat intake, regardless of obesity, is associated with impaired estrous cycle, depletion of the ovarian reserve, and altered expression of genes critical to normal ovulatory function.
Shear Stress Upregulates Regeneration-Related Immediate Early Genes in Liver Progenitors in 3D ECM-like MicroenvironmentsAbstract
The role of fluid stresses in activating the hepatic stem/progenitor cell regenerative response is not well understood. This study hypothesized that immediate early genes (IEGs) with known links to liver regeneration will be upregulated in liver progenitor cells (LPCs) exposed to in vitro shear stresses on the order of those produced from elevated interstitial flow after partial hepatectomy. The objectives were: (1) to develop a shear flow chamber for application of fluid stress to LPCs in 3D culture; and (2) to determine the effects of fluid stress on IEG expression in LPCs. Two hours of shear stress exposure at ∼4 dyn/cm2 was applied to LPCs embedded individually or as 3D spheroids within a hyaluronic acid/collagen I hydrogel. Results were compared against static controls. Quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction was used to evaluate the effect of experimental treatments on gene expression. Twenty-nine genes were analyzed, including IEGs and other genes linked to liver regeneration. Four IEGs (CFOS, IP10, MKP1, ALB) and three other regeneration-related genes (WNT, VEGF, EpCAM) were significantly upregulated in LPCs in response to fluid mechanical stress. LPCs maintained an early to intermediate stage of differentiation in spheroid culture in the absence of the hydrogel, and addition of the gel initiated cholangiocyte differentiation programs which were abrogated by the onset of flow. Collectively the flow-upregulated genes fit the pattern of an LPC-mediated proliferative/regenerative response. These results suggest that fluid stresses are potentially important regulators of the LPC-mediated regeneration response in liver. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Competitive elimination and virulence property alteration of Campylobacter jejuni by genetically engineered Lactobacillus caseiAbstract
Probiotics, prebiotics, or a combination of these two referred to as synbiotics, have emerged as a promising natural and alternative approach to make the sustainable animal farming. Previously, we reported that in the presence of prebiotic like components such as peanut flour, Lactobacillus produced more metabolites and inhibited several enteric pathogens. In this study, we tested a genetically modified lactic acid-producing bacterial strain Lactobacillus casei (LC), that produced large amounts of bioactive compounds including conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), in inhibiting enteric bacterial pathogens and improving host immune systems. The genetically engineered LC strain, LC+mcra (overexpressed mcra gene in LC) effectively eliminated Campylobacter jejuni (CJ) in co-culture condition without any stimulation with prebiotic like components. LC+mcra alone inhibited the growth of CJ completely by 48 h (P < 0.05) similarly the combine effect of LC with prebiotic like component, peanut flour. Cell free culture supernatants (CFCSs) of LC+mcra was also effective in growth reduction of CJ most efficiently (p < 0.05), followed by CFCSs of LC with peanut flour (p < 0.05). In co-culture conditions, LC with peanut flour, LC+mcra and their CFCSs reduced the adherence and invasion ability of CJ to both HD-11 and HeLa cells. Physicochemical properties and gene expressions related to CJ virulence were also altered by CFCSs treatments significantly. These findings suggest, LC+mcra can be an alternative in controlling CJ infection along with other beneficial attributes of LC.
Influence of stress factors on intestinal epithelial injury and regenerationAbstract
PurposeLgr5+ intestinal epithelial stem cells (ISCs) crucial for intestinal epithelial regeneration are impaired during necrotizing enterocolitis. This study aims to investigate the influence of different stressors on intestinal epithelial injury and regeneration in vitro.MethodsIntestinal epithelial cells (IEC-18) were exposed to stressors such as lipopolysaccharide, hydrogen peroxide, and serum. Cell viability was assessed using MTT assay at 18 and 24 h. IL-6 and Lgr5 gene expressions were measured using qPCR.ResultsIEC-18 cell viability decreased 18 h following administration of lipopolysaccharide, hydrogen peroxide, and low serum concentration. However, after 24 h, the decrease in cell viability was observed only in higher, but not in lower concentrations of lipopolysaccharide and hydrogen peroxide. IL-6 expression increased in all groups compared to control. Lgr5 expression was up-regulated in cells exposed to a single stressor, but down-regulated when multiple stressors were administered.ConclusionLipopolysaccharide, hydrogen peroxide, or low serum induced IEC-18 injury. The upregulation of Lgr5 expression after exposure to a single stressor suggests that minor injury to IEC-18 induces Lgr5+ ISCs to stimulate repair. Conversely, when IEC-18 cells were exposed to multiple stressors, Lgr5 expression was reduced. We speculate that this finding is similar to what happens in NEC when multiple stressors cause impairment of intestinal epithelium regeneration.
Pegylated interferon beta in the treatment of the Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus mouse model of multiple sclerosisAbstract
We evaluated the effects of pegylated-interferonβ-1a (pegIFNβ) therapy on intrathecal antibody responses, disability progression, and viral load in the CNS in mice infected with the Theiler's virus (TMEV), an animal model of progressive disability in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The lack of a direct antiviral activity in the CNS, the absence of any effect upon the intrathecal immune response, and the failure to treat disease progression, indicate that the immunomodulatory effects of pegIFNβ-1a likely occur in the systemic circulation rather than within the CNS. These results may be relevant to the relative lack of effect of IFNβ in progressive MS relative to relapsing MS.
A phenotype combining hidradenitis suppurativa with Dowling-Degos disease caused by a founder mutation in PSENENAbstract
Dowling-Degos disease, featuring reticulate pigmentation, and familial hidradenitis suppurativa share many clinical features including autosomal dominant inheritance, flexural location and follicular defects. The co-existence of the two disorders was recently found to result from mutations in PSENEN, encoding protein presenilin enhancer gamma-secretase subunit. Here we report 4 additional families of Jewish Ashkenazi origin who presented with clinical features characteristic of both disorders. All patients were found to carry the same, heterozygous mutation in PSENEN (c.168T>G, p.Y56X). Haplotype analysis revealed that the mutation originated from a common ancestor. Dowling-Degos disease- as well as hidradenitis suppurativa-associated genes have been shown to encode important regulators of Notch signaling. Accordingly, using a reporter assay, we demonstrated decreased Notch activity in patient's keratinocytes. The present data confirm the genetic basis of the combined Dowling-Degos disease-hidradenitis suppurativa phenotype and suggest that Notch signaling may play a central role in the pathogenesis of this rare condition. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Design of Boron Nitride/Gelatin Electrospun Nanofibers for Bone Tissue EngineeringAbstract
Gelatin is a biodegradable biopolymer obtained by collagen denaturation, which shows poor mechanical properties. Hence, improving its mechanical properties is very essential towards the fabrication of efficient nontoxic material for biomedical applications. For this aim, various methods are employed using external fillers such as ceramics or bioglass. In this report, we introduce boron nitride (BN) reinforced gelatin as a new class of two dimensional biocompatible nanomaterials. The effect of the nanofiller on the mechanical behavior is analyzed. BN is efficiently exfoliated using the biopolymer gelatin as shown through Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The exfoliated BN reinforces gelatin electrospun fibers, which results in an increase in the Young’s modulus. The ESM are stable after the glutaraldehyde cross-linking and the fibrous morphology is preserved. The cross-linked gelatin/BN ESM is highly bioactive in forming bone like hydroxyapatite as shown by scanning electron microscopy. Due to their enhanced mineralization ability, the cross-linked ESM have been tested on human bone cells (HOS osteosarcoma cell line). The cell attachment, proliferation and biocompatibility results show that the ESM are nontoxic and biodegradable. The analysis of osteoblast gene expression and the measurement of alkaline phosphatase activity confirm that these materials are suitable for bone tissue engineering.
Wnt7a induces a unique phenotype of monocyte-derived macrophages with lower phagocytic capacity and differential expression of pro-and anti-inflammatory cytokinesAbstract
The variation of macrophage functions suggests the involvement of multiple signaling pathways in fine tuning their differentiation. Macrophages that originate from monocytes in the blood migrate to tissue in response to homeostatic or “danger” signals and undergo substantial morphological and functional modifications to meet the needs of the dominant signals in the microenvironment. Wnts are secreted glycoproteins that play a significant role in organ and cell differentiation, yet their impact on monocyte differentiation is not clear. In this study, we assessed the role of Wnt1 and Wnt7a on the differentiation of monocytes and the subsequent phenotype and function of monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs). We show that Wnt7a decreased the expression of CD14, CD11b, CD163 and CD206 whereas Wnt1 had no effect. Wnt7a effect on CD11b was also observed in the brain and spleen of Wnt7a -/- adult brain mouse tissue and in embryonic Wnt7a -/- tissue. Wnt7a reduced the phagocytic capacity of M-MDM and M1-like MDMs, decreased IL-10 and IL-12 secretion and increased IL-6 secretion. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that Wnt7a generates an MDM phenotype with both pro-inflammatory and alternative MDM cytokine profiles and reduced phagocytic capacity. As such, Wnt7a can have a significant impact on macrophage responses in health and disease. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
An amphipathic trans -acting phosphorothioate RNA element delivers an uncharged phosphorodiamidate morpholino sequence in mdx mouse myotubesAbstract
An efficient method for the delivery of uncharged polyA-tailed phosphorodiamidate morpholino sequences (PMO) in mammalian cells consists of employing a synthetic 8-mer amphipathic trans-acting poly-2′-O-methyluridylic thiophosphate triester element (2′-OMeUtaPS) as a transfection reagent. Unlike the dTtaPS DNA-based element, this RNA element is potent at delivering polyA-tailed PMO sequences to HeLa pLuc 705 cells or to myotube muscle cells. However, much like dTtaPS, the 2′-OMeUtaPS-mediated internalization of PMO sequences occurs through an energy-dependent mechanism; macropinocytosis appears to be the predominant endocytic pathway used for cellular uptake. The transfected PMO sequences induce alternate splicing of either the pre-mRNA encoding luciferase in HeLa pLuc 705 cells or the excision of exon 23 from the pre-mRNA encoding dystrophin in myotube muscle cells of the mdx mouse model of muscular dystrophy with an efficiency comparable to that of commercial cationic lipid reagents but without detrimental cytotoxicity.
Trichostatin A Sensitizes Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells to Enhanced NK Cell-mediated Killing by Regulating Immune-related GenesAbstract
Background/Aim: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. The ability of HCC to avoid immune detection is considered one of the main factors making it difficult to cure. Abnormal histone deacetylation is thought to be one of the mechanisms for HCC immune escape, making histone deacetylases (HDACs) attractive targets for HCC treatment. Here, we investigated the effect of trichostatin A (TSA), a highly potent HDAC inhibitor, on HCC (HepG2) gene expression and function. Materials and Methods: A genome wide-transcriptional microarray was used to identify genes regulated by TSA in HepG2 cells. Gene Ontology was used to identify pathways regulated by TSA, and these changes were confirmed by qPCR. The effect of TSA on natural killer (NK) cell-mediated killing of HCC cell lines were analyzed by both flow cytometry and LDH cytotoxicity assay. A study was also conducted in a Balb/c nude mice xenograft model to assess the anti-tumor activity of TSA. Results: TSA regulated the transcription of numerous innate immunity & tumor antigen recognition-associated genes, such as ULBP1 and RAET1G, in HCC cells. In vivo, TSA reduced tumor cell growth in an NK cell-dependent manner. In vitro, TSA treatment of HepG2 cells rendered them more susceptible to NK cell-mediated killing while increasing the expression of NKGD2 ligands, including ULBP1/2/3 and MICA/B. TSA also induced direct killing of HCC cells by stimulating apoptosis. Conclusion: TSA likely increases killing of HCC cells indirectly by increasing NK cell-directed killing and directly by increasing apoptosis.
Artemisinin permeability via Caco-2 cells increases after simulated digestion of Artemisia annua leavesAbstract
Artemisia annua has been used for > 2000 yrs to treat fever and is more recently known for producing the important antimalarial drug, artemisinin.
Aim of the study
Artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) are effective for treating malaria, but are often unavailable to those in need. Dried leaves of A. annua (DLA) have recently been studied as a cost effective alternative to traditional ACTs. DLA was shown to dramatically increase oral bioavailability compared to pure artemisinin, so more investigation into the mechanisms causing this increased bioavailability is needed.
Materials and methods
In this study, we used a simulated digestion system coupled with Caco-2 cell permeability assays to investigate the intestinal permeability of DLA compared to pure artemisinin. We also determined the effects of different phytochemicals (7 flavonoids, 3 monoterpenes, 2 phenolic acids, scopoletin and inulin) and the cytochrome P450 isoform CYP3A4 on artemisinin intestinal permeability.
Artemisinin permeability, when delivered as digested DLA, significantly increased by 37% (Papp = 8.03 × 10−5 cm s−1) compared to pure artemisinin (Papp = 5.03 × 10−5 cm s−1). However, none of the phytochemicals tested or CYP3A4 had any significant effect on the intestinal permeability of artemisinin. We also showed that essential oil derived from A. annua negatively affected the intestinal permeability of artemisinin, but only after simulated digestion. Finally, we showed that A. annua essential oil reduced the transepithelial electrical resistance of Caco-2 monolayers, but only in the presence of bile. Although also reduced by essential oils, artemisinin Papp subsequently recovered in the presence of plant matrix.
These results shed light on the mechanisms by which DLA enhances the oral bioavailability of artemisinin.
Chronic stress targets adult neurogenesis preferentially in the suprapyramidal blade of the rat dorsal dentate gyrusAbstract
The continuous generation of new neurons and glial cells in the adult hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) represents an important form of adult neuroplasticity, involved in normal brain function and behavior but also associated with the etiopathogenesis and treatment of psychiatric disorders. Despite the large number of studies addressing cell genesis along the septotemporal axis, data on the anatomical gradients of cytogenesis along the DG transverse axis is scarce, especially after exposure to stress. As such, in this study we characterized both basal proliferation and survival of adult-born neural cells along the transverse axis of the rat dorsal DG, and after stress exposure. In basal conditions, both proliferating cells and newborn neurons and glial cells were preferentially located at the subgranular zone and suprapyramidal blade. Exposure to chronic stress induced an overall decrease in the generation of adult-born neural cells and, more specifically, produced a regional-specific decrease in the survival of adult-born neurons at the suprapyramidal blade. No particular region-specific alterations were observed on surviving adult-born glial cells. This work reveals, for the first time, a distinct survival profile of adult-born neural cells, neurons and glial cells, among the transverse axis of the DG, in both basal and stress conditions. Our results unveil that adult-born neurons are preferentially located in the suprapyramidal blade and suggest a regional-specific impact of chronic stress in this blade with potential repercussions for its functional significance.
Assessment of Response of Kidney Tumors to Rapamycin and Atorvastatin in Tsc1+/− MiceAbstract
Atorvastatin is widely used to lower blood cholesterol and to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease–associated complications. Epidemiological investigations and preclinical studies suggest that statins such as atorvastatin have antitumor activity for various types of cancer. Tuberous sclerosis (TSC) is a tumor syndrome caused by TSC1 or TSC2 mutations that lead to aberrant activation of mTOR and tumor formation in multiple organs. Previous studies have demonstrated that atorvastatin selectively suppressed growth and proliferation of mouse Tsc2 null embryonic fibroblasts through inhibition of mTOR. However, atorvastatin alone did not reduce tumor burden in the liver and kidneys of Tsc2+/− mice as assessed by histological analysis, and no combination therapy of rapamycin and atorvastatin has been tried. In this study, we used T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging to track changes in tumor number and size in the kidneys of a Tsc1+/− mouse model and to assess the efficacy of rapamycin and atorvastatin alone and as a combination therapy. We found that rapamycin alone or rapamycin combined with atorvastatin significantly reduced tumor burden, while atorvastatin alone did not. Combined therapy with rapamycin and atorvastatin appeared to be more effective for treating renal tumors than rapamycin alone, but the difference was not statistically significant. We conclude that combined therapy with rapamycin and atorvastatin is unlikely to provide additional benefit over rapamycin as a single agent in the treatment of Tsc-associated renal tumors.
Variation in the response of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) breeding lines to the effects of benzo (1,2,3) thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid S-methyl ester (BTH) on systemic acquired resistance and seed germinationAbstract
Genetic variation may play a major role in how plants respond to activators of systemic acquired resistance. To examine this, the defence activator benzo(1,2,3)thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid S-methyl ester (BTH) was applied to seed of different breeding lines of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) with diverse pedigrees, and the levels of induced resistance against Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato, changes in defence gene expression and detrimental effects on seed germination and seedling emergence were measured. Two breeding lines, 7007 and 7024, were selected as non-responsive and responsive to BTH. The SAR-associated genes, SlPR1a and SlPR3b, were induced earlier or more strongly over the control prior to inoculation for line 7024 but not for line 7007. This was not observed for the ISR-related genes, SlPin2 and SlPR2b. BTH inhibition of seed germination and seedling emergence was more delayed in line 7024 than 7007. However, applying BTH as a seed or soil drip reduced the delay. Thus, greater levels of BTH response have both positive (i.e., induced resistance and expression of SAR-related gene expression) and negative (i.e., inhibition of seed germination and seedling emergence) effects and can differ significantly between genotypes. Thus, recommendations for use of induced resistance activators should include plant genotype recommendations and consider possible negative impacts of greater responsiveness.
Fibroblast Growth Factor 15 Deficiency Increases Susceptibility but does not Improves Repair to Acetaminophen-induced Liver Injury in MiceAbstract
The leading cause of acute liver failure (ALF) is hepatotoxicity from acetaminophen (APAP) overdose. However, limited options are available to treat this ALF so stimulating liver regeneration maybe a potential treatment. Our previous study has shown that fibroblast growth factor 15 (FGF15) plays a crucial role in liver regeneration, but the roles of FGF15 in liver injury and repair following APAP-overdose are unknown. In this study, treatment of FGF15 knockout (KO) male mice with APAP at 200, 250, or 300 mg/kg significantly increased the degree of liver injury compared to wild type (WT) mice. To determine the effects of FGF15 deficiency on liver repair following APAP overdose, a similar degree of liver injury was first obtained 24 hrs after treatment of WT and Fgf15 KO mice with APAP at different dosage. Fgf15 KO mice did not differ from WT mice in liver repair following similar degree of liver injury. In conclusion, we showed that FGF15 deficiency renders mice more susceptible to APAP-induced liver injury but did not seem to affect liver repair or regeneration. This study suggests that in contrast to the critical role that FGF15 plays in promoting liver regeneration following partial hepatectomy, this intestine factor is less involved in liver repair after APAP-induced liver injury.
Validation of a Targeted RNA Sequencing Assay for Kinase Fusion Detection in Solid TumorsAbstract
Kinase gene fusions are important drivers of oncogenic transformation and can be inhibited with targeted therapies. Clinical grade diagnostics using RNA sequencing to detect gene rearrangements in solid tumors are limited, and the few that are available require prior knowledge of fusion break points. To address this, we have analytically validated a targeted RNA sequencing assay (OSU-SpARKFuse) for fusion detection that interrogates complete transcripts from 93 kinase and transcription factor genes. From a total of 74 positive and 36 negative control samples, OSU-SpARKFuse had 93.3% sensitivity and 100% specificity for fusion detection. Assessment of repeatability and reproducibility revealed 96.3% and 94.4% concordance between intrarun and interrun technical replicates, respectively. Application of this assay on prospective patient samples uncovered OLFM4 as a novel RET fusion partner in a small-bowel cancer and led to the discovery of a KLK2-FGFR2 fusion in a patient with prostate cancer who subsequently underwent treatment with a pan–fibroblast growth factor receptor inhibitor. Beyond fusion detection, OSU-SpARKFuse has built-in capabilities for discovery research, including gene expression analysis, detection of single-nucleotide variants, and identification of alternative splicing events.
Chronic traumatic stress impairs memory in mice: Potential roles of acetylcholine, neuroinflammation and corticotropin releasing factor expression in the hippocampusAbstract
Chronic stress in humans can result in multiple adverse psychiatric and neurobiological outcomes, including memory deficits. These adverse outcomes can be more severe if each episode of stress is very traumatic. When compared to acute or short term stress relatively little is known about the effects of chronic traumatic stress on memory and molecular changes in hippocampus, a brain area involved in memory processing. Here we studied the effects of chronic traumatic stress in mice by exposing them to adult Long Evan rats for 28 consecutive days and subsequently analyzing behavioral outcomes and the changes in the hippocampus. Results show that stressed mice developed memory deficits when assayed with radial arm maze tasks. However, chronic traumatic stress did not induce anxiety, locomotor hyperactivity or anhedonia. In the hippocampus of stressed mice interleukin-1β protein expression was increased along with decreased corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) gene expression. Furthermore, there was a reduction in acetylcholine levels in the hippocampus of stressed mice. There were no changes in brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) or nerve growth factor (NGF) levels in the hippocampus of stressed mice. Gene expression of immediate early genes (Zif268, Arc, C-Fos) as well as glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors were also not affected by chronic stress. These data demonstrate that chronic traumatic stress followed by a recovery period might lead to development of resilience resulting in the development of selected, most vulnerable behavioral alterations and molecular changes in the hippocampus.
An inducible form of Nrf2 confers enhanced protection against acute oxidative stresses in RPE cellsAbstract
Increasing evidence suggests that overt oxidative stress within the retina plays an important role in the progression of age-related retinal decline, and in particular, in the disease age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Nuclear factor erythroid 2-like 2 (Nrf2) is a master transcription factor that upregulates numerous of antioxidant/detoxification genes. Nrf2−/− mice develop progressive retinal degeneration that includes the formation of drusen-like deposits, lipofuscin, and sub-retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) deposition of inflammatory proteins. Furthermore, strategies that promote Nrf2 activation have shown promise for the treatment of cone/rod dystrophies and other forms of retinal degeneration. Herein we explored whether utilizing a small molecule-inducible version of Nrf2 confers additional protection against oxidative stresses when compared to a constitutively expressed version of Nrf2. Stable populations of human ARPE-19 cells were generated that express either constitutive FLAG-tagged (FT) Nrf2 (FT cNrf2) or doxycycline (dox)-inducible FT Nrf2 (FT iNrf2) at low levels (∼4.5 fold vs. endogenous). Expression of either FT cNRF2 or FT iNrf2 upregulated canonical antioxidant genes (e.g., NQO1, GCLC). Both FT cNrf2 and FT iNrf2 ARPE-19 cells were protected from cigarette smoke extract-induced nitric oxide generation to similar extents. However, only FT iNrf2 cells demonstrated enhanced resistance to doxorubicin and cumene hydroperoxide-mediated increases in mitochondrial superoxide and lipid peroxidation, respectively, and did so in a dox-dependent manner. These results suggest that therapeutic approaches which conditionally control Nrf2 activity may provide additional protection against acute oxidative stresses when compared to constitutively expressed Nrf2 strategies.
A Novel Egr-1-Agrin Pathway and Potential Implications for Regulation of Synaptic Physiology and Homeostasis at the Neuromuscular JunctionAbstract
Synaptic transmission requires intricate coordination of the components involved in processing of incoming signals, formation and stabilization of synaptic machinery, neurotransmission, and in all related signaling pathways. Changes to any of these components cause synaptic imbalance and disruption of neuronal circuitry. Extensive studies at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) have greatly aided in the current understanding of synapses and served to elucidate the underlying physiology as well as associated adaptive and homeostatic processes. The heparansulfate proteoglycan agrin is a vital component of the NMJ, mediating synaptic formation and maintenance in both brain and muscle, but very little is known about direct control of its expression. Here, we investigated the relationship between agrin and transcription factor early growth response-1 (Egr-1), as Egr-1 regulates the expression of many genes involved in synaptic homeostasis and plasticity. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation, cell culture with cell lines derived from brain and muscle, and animal models, we show that Egr-1 binds to the AGRN gene locus and suppresses its expression. When compared with wild type (WT), mice deficient in Egr-1 (Egr-1-/-) display a marked increase in AGRN mRNA and agrin full-length and cleavage fragment protein levels, including the 22 kDa, C-terminal fragment in brain and muscle tissue homogenate. Because agrin is a crucial component of the NMJ, we explored possible physiological implications of the Egr-1-agrin relationship. In the diaphragm, Egr-1-/- mice display increased NMJ motor endplate density, individual area, and area of innervation. In addition to increased density, soleus NMJs also display an increase in fragmented and faint endplates in Egr-1-/- versus WT mice. Moreover, the soleus NMJ electrophysiology of Egr-1-/- mice revealed increased quantal content and motor testing showed decreased movement and limb muscle strength compared with WT. This study provides evidence for the potential involvement of a novel Egr-1-agrin pathway in synaptic homeostatic and compensatory mechanisms at the NMJ. Synaptic homeostasis is greatly affected by the process of aging. These and other data suggest that changes in Egr-1 expression may directly or indirectly promote age-related pathologies.
Short-day photoperiods affect expression of genes related to dormancy and freezing tolerance in Norway spruce seedlingsAbstract
Key MessageGene expression analysis showed that prolonged short day (SD) treatment deepened dormancy and stimulated development of freezing tolerance ofPicea abiesseedlings. Prolonged SD treatment also caused later appearance of visible buds in autumn, reduced risks for reflushing, and promoted earlier spring bud break. ContextShort day (SD) treatment of seedlings is a common practice in boreal forest tree nurseries to regulate shoot growth and prepare the seedlings for autumn planting or frozen storage. AimsThe aim of this study was to examine responses of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) to a range of SD treatments of different length and evaluate gene expression related to dormancy induction and development of freezing tolerance. MethodsThe seedlings were SD treated for 11 h a day during 7, 14, 21, or 28 days. Molecular tests were performed, and the expression profiles of dormancy and freezing tolerance-related genes were analyzed as well as determination of shoot growth, bud set, bud size, reflushing, dry matter content, and timing of spring bud break. ResultsThe 7-day SD treatment was as effective as longer SD treatments in terminating apical shoot growth. However, short (7 days) SD treatment resulted in later activation of dormancy-related genes and of genes related to freezing tolerance compared to the longer treatments which had an impact on seedling phenology. ConclusionGene expression analysis indicated an effective stimulus of dormancy-related genes when the SD treatment is prolonged for at least 1–2 weeks after shoot elongation has terminated and that seedlings thereafter are exposed to ambient outdoor climate conditions.
RNAi screen identifies essential regulators of human brain metastasis-initiating cellsAbstract
Brain metastases (BM) are the most common brain tumor in adults and are a leading cause of cancer mortality. Metastatic lesions contain subclones derived from their primary lesion, yet their functional characterization is limited by a paucity of preclinical models accurately recapitulating the metastatic cascade, emphasizing the need for a novel approach to BM and their treatment. We identified a unique subset of stem-like cells from primary human patient brain metastases, termed brain metastasis-initiating cells (BMICs). We now establish a BMIC patient-derived xenotransplantation (PDXT) model as an investigative tool to comprehensively interrogate human BM. Using both in vitro and in vivo RNA interference screens of these BMIC models, we identified SPOCK1 and TWIST2 as essential BMIC regulators. SPOCK1 in particular is a novel regulator of BMIC self-renewal, modulating tumor initiation and metastasis from the lung to the brain. A prospective cohort of primary lung cancer specimens showed that SPOCK1 was overexpressed only in patients who ultimately developed BM. Protein–protein interaction network mapping between SPOCK1 and TWIST2 identified novel pathway interactors with significant prognostic value in lung cancer patients. Of these genes, INHBA, a TGF-β ligand found mutated in lung adenocarcinoma, showed reduced expression in BMICs with knockdown of SPOCK1. In conclusion, we have developed a useful preclinical model of BM, which has served to identify novel putative BMIC regulators, presenting potential therapeutic targets that block the metastatic process, and transform a uniformly fatal systemic disease into a locally controlled and eminently more treatable one.
miR-130b directly targets Arhgap1 to drive activation of a metastatic CDC42-PAK1-AP1 positive feedback loop in Ewing sarcomaAbstract
Ewing Sarcoma (ES) is a highly aggressive bone tumor with peak incidence in the adolescent population. It has a high propensity to metastasize, which is associated with dismal survival rates of approximately 25%. To further understand mechanisms of metastasis we investigated microRNA regulatory networks in ES. Our studies focused on miR-130b due to our analysis that enhanced expression of this microRNA has clinical relevance in multiple sarcomas, including ES. Our studies provide insights into a novel positive feedback network involving the direct regulation of miR-130b and activation of downstream signaling events contributing towards sarcoma metastasis. Specifically, we demonstrated miR-130b induces proliferation, invasion, and migration in vitro and increased metastatic potential in vivo. Using microarray analysis of ES cells with differential miR-130b expression we identified alterations in downstream signaling cascades including activation of the CDC42 pathway. We identified Arhgap1, which is a negative regulator of CDC42, as a novel, direct target of miR-130b. In turn, downstream activation of PAK1 activated the JNK and AP-1 cascades and downstream transcriptional targets including IL-8, MMP1 and CCND1. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation of endogenous AP-1 in ES cells demonstrated direct binding to an upstream consensus binding site within the miR-130b promoter. Finally, small molecule inhibition of PAK1 blocked miR-130b activation of JNK and downstream AP-1 target genes, including primary miR-130b transcripts, and mir-130b oncogenic properties, thus identifying PAK1 as a novel therapeutic target for ES. Taken together, our findings identify and characterize a novel, targetable miR-130b regulatory network that promotes ES metastasis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Next Generation Sequencing to characterise the breaking of bud dormancy using a natural biostimulant in kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa)Abstract
Dormancy occurs in many woody perennials and fruit trees, and is characterised mainly by the temporal absence of growth. This strategy has an ecological role in ensuring plant survival under non-permissive growing conditions. In kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa), buds must be exposed to a certain amount of chilling to complete dormancy and achieve optimal bud break and flowering in spring. However, in warmer geographical areas bud break can be limited by insufficient winter chilling, leading to less and uneven flowering and lower productivity. Several bud break-enhancing compounds have been shown to be effective in kiwifruit, overcoming the negative effects of poor winter chilling. However, their mode of action is still largely unknown. In this work, using a molecular approach based on Next Generation Sequencing, we characterised dormancy and its breaking after the application of the biostimulant Erger®. Samples were collected at different time-points and in distinct geographical areas, namely Italy and New Zealand. Our results indicated that the effect of Erger® depends on the moment of application. Furthermore, molecular mechanisms that characterise a biostimulant treatment for bud break, irrespective of the region and seasonality, were identified. This characterisation opens new perspectives to improve bud break-enhancing compound formulations and identify their best moment of application.
The receptor tyrosine kinase AXL promotes migration and invasion in colorectal cancerAbstract
The receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) TYRO3, AXL and MERTK (TAM) have well-described oncogenic functions in a number of cancers. Notwithstanding, TAM RTKs are also potent and indispensable inhibitors of inflammation. The combined deletion of Axl and Mertk in mice enhances chronic inflammation and autoimmunity, including increased inflammation in the gut and colitis-associated cancer. On the other hand, deletion of Tyro3 increases the risk of allergic responses. Therefore, the indiscriminate inhibition of these TAM RTKs could result in undesirable immunological diseases. Here we show that AXL, but not MERTK or TYRO3 expression is enhanced in late stage colorectal cancer (CRC) and AXL expression associates with a cell migration gene signature. Silencing AXL or the inhibition of AXL kinase activity significantly inhibits tumor cell migration and invasion. These results indicate that the selective inhibition of AXL alone might confer sufficient therapeutic benefit in CRC, while preserving at least some of the beneficial, anti-inflammatory effects of MERTK and TYRO3 RTKs.
Cytokine profiling in the prefrontal cortex of Parkinson's Disease and Multiple System Atrophy patientsAbstract
Parkinson's Disease (PD) and Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) are neurodegenerative diseases characterized neuropathologically by alpha-synuclein accumulation in brain cells. This accumulation is hypothesized to contribute to constitutive neuroinflammation, and to participate in the neurodegeneration. Cytokines, which are the main inflammatory signalling molecules, have been identified in blood and cerebrospinal fluid of PD patients, but studies investigating the human brain levels are scarce. It is documented that neurotrophins, necessary for survival of brain cells and known to interact with cytokines, are altered in the basal ganglia of PD patients. In regards to MSA, no major study has investigated brain cytokine or neurotrophin protein expression.
Here, we measured protein levels of 18 cytokines (IL-2, 4–8, 10, 12, 13, 17, G-CSF, GM-CSF, IFN-γ, MCP-1, MIP-1α and 1β, TNF-α) and 5 neurotrophins (BDNF, GDNF, bFGF, PDGF-BB, VEGF) in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in brains of MSA and PD patients and control subjects. We found altered expression of IL-2, IL-13, and G-CSF, but no differences in neurotrophin levels. Further, in MSA patients we identified increased mRNA levels of GSK3β that is involved in neuroinflammatory pathways. Lastly, we identified increased expression of the neurodegenerative marker S100B, but not CRP, in PD and MSA patients, indicating local rather than systemic inflammation. Supporting this, in both diseases we observed increased MHC class II+ and CD45+ positive cells, and low numbers of infiltrating CD3+ cells. In conclusion, we identified neuroinflammatory responses in PD and MSA which seems more widespread in the brain than neurotrophic changes.
Effect of dietary polyphenols on fructose uptake by human intestinal epithelial (Caco-2) cellsAbstract
Intake of high-fructose products is associated with metabolic syndrome development. We investigated if dietary polyphenols can interfere with fructose absorption by the human intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cell line.
Acutely, several polyphenols induced a significant decrease (15–20%) in 14C-fructose uptake. Chronically, 14C-fructose uptake was also affected by polyphenols; quercetin, chrysin and apigenin (100 µM) were the most effective (±25% decrease). These compounds (100 µM) appear to interfere with both GLUT2 and GLUT5 activity; accordingly, they caused a very marked decrease in the mRNA expression levels of GLUT2 (≅90%) and GLUT5 (≅75%). The effect of these compounds on 14C-fructose uptake does not involve interference with PKC, PKA, PI3K and p38 MAPK intracellular signaling pathways.
Quercetin, apigenin and chrysin might decrease the intestinal absorption of fructose. Further studies are needed to test for their beneficial effects on metabolic syndrome.
The Absence of Laminin Alpha 4 in Male Mice Results in Enhanced Energy Expenditure and Increased Beige Subcutaneous Adipose TissueAbstract
Laminin alpha 4 (LAMA4) is located in the extracellular basement membrane that surrounds each individual adipocyte. Here we show that LAMA4 null (Lama4-/-) mice exhibit significantly higher energy expenditure relative to wild type mice at room temperature and when exposed to a cold challenge, despite similar levels of food intake and locomotor activity. The Lama4-/- mice are resistant to age- and diet-induced obesity. Expression of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) is higher in subcutaneous white adipose tissue (sWAT) of Lama4-/- mice relative to wild type animals on either a chow diet or a high-fat diet. In constrast, UCP1 expression was not increased in brown adipose tissue (BAT). Lama4-/- mice exhibit significantly improved insulin sensitivity when compared to WT mice, suggesting improved metabolic function. Overall, these data provide critical evidence for a role of the basement membrane in energy expenditure, weight gain, and systemic insulin sensitivity.
Maternal Antiviral Immunoglobulin Accumulates in Neural Tissue of Neonates To Prevent HSV Neurological DiseaseAbstract
While antibody responses to neurovirulent pathogens are critical for clearance, the extent to which antibodies access the nervous system to ameliorate infection is poorly understood. In this study on herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), we demonstrate that HSV-specific antibodies are present during HSV-1 latency in the nervous systems of both mice and humans. We show that antibody-secreting cells entered the trigeminal ganglion (TG), a key site of HSV infection, and persisted long after the establishment of latent infection. We also demonstrate the ability of passively administered IgG to enter the TG independently of infection, showing that the naive TG is accessible to antibodies. The translational implication of this finding is that human fetal neural tissue could contain HSV-specific maternally derived antibodies. Exploring this possibility, we observed HSV-specific IgG in HSV DNA-negative human fetal TG, suggesting passive transfer of maternal immunity into the prenatal nervous system. To further investigate the role of maternal antibodies in the neonatal nervous system, we established a murine model to demonstrate that maternal IgG can access and persist in neonatal TG. This maternal antibody not only prevented disseminated infection but also completely protected the neonate from neurological disease and death following HSV challenge. Maternal antibodies therefore have a potent protective role in the neonatal nervous system against HSV infection. These findings strongly support the concept that prevention of prenatal and neonatal neurotropic infections can be achieved through maternal immunization.
IMPORTANCE Herpes simplex virus 1 is a common infection of the nervous system that causes devastating neonatal disease. Using mouse and human tissue, we discovered that antiviral antibodies accumulate in neural tissue after HSV-1 infection in adults. Similarly, these antibodies pass to the offspring during pregnancy. We found that antiviral maternal antibodies can readily access neural tissue of the fetus and neonate. These maternal antibodies then protect neonatal mice against HSV-1 neurological infection and death. These results underscore the previously unappreciated role of maternal antibodies in protecting fetal and newborn nervous systems against infection. These data suggest that maternal immunization would be efficacious at preventing fetal/neonatal neurological infections.
Polyphenols and tri-terpenoids from Olea europaea L. in alleviation of enteric pathogen infections through limiting bacterial virulence and attenuating inflammationAbstract
Olea europaea L. was known associated with health benefits, however the role of single bioactive component remains to be elucidated. This study was to investigate the operational feasibility of maslinic/oleanolic acid, hydroxytyrosol, and oleuropein from olive in control and alleviation of enteric pathogen infections. Our results indicated that the growth of Lactobacillus was stimulated by maslinic/oleanolic acid up to 4% (w/v) in dose-dependent manner. Hydroxytyrosol (>0.05%) and oleuropein (>0.5%) significantly reduced Salmonella Typhimurium/EHEC within 12 h, altered their physicochemical properties, influenced host cell-pathogen interactions, and especially 0.6–6.0 folds down-regulated the virulence gene expressions. Further molecular analysis revealed that these olive compounds up-regulated anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 gene by 3.0–8.0 folds and down-regulated multiple inflammation related genes at various levels. These results suggest that polyphenols in olive may serve as potential preservatives in post-harvest food processing while tri-terpenoids may assist in modulation of gut microflora and reduction of enteric pathogen colonization.
ROS mediates interferon gamma induced phosphorylation of Src, through the Raf/ERK pathway, in MCF-7 human breast cancer cell lineAbstract
Interferon gamma (IFN-ɣ) is a pleiotropic cytokine which plays dual contrasting roles in cancer. Although IFN-ɣ has been clinically used to treat various malignancies, it was recently shown to have protumorigenic activities. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are overproduced in cancer cells, mainly due to NADPH oxidase activity, which results into several changes in signaling pathways. In this study, we examined IFN-ɣ effect on the phosphorylation levels of key signaling proteins, through ROS production, in the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7. After treatment by IFN-ɣ, results showed a significant increase in the phosphorylation of STAT1, Src, raf, AKT, ERK1/2 and p38 signaling molecules, in a time specific manner. Src and Raf were found to be involved in early stages of IFN-ɣ signaling since their phosphorylation increased very rapidly. Selective inhibition of Src-family kinases resulted in an immediate significant decrease in the phosphorylation status of Raf and ERK1/2, but not p38 and AKT. On the other hand, IFN-ɣ resulted in ROS generation, through H2O2 production, whereas pre-treatment with the ROS inhibitor NAC caused ROS inhibition and a significant decrease in the phosphorylation levels of AKT, ERK1/2, p38 and STAT1. Moreover, pretreatment with a selective NOX1 inhibitor resulted in a significant decrease of AKT phosphorylation. Finally, no direct relationship was found between ROS production and calcium mobilization. In summary, IFN-ɣ signaling in MCF-7 cell line is ROS-dependent and follows the Src/Raf/ERK pathway whereas its signaling through the AKT pathway is highly dependent on NOX1.
A Ketogenic Diet in Rodents Elicits Improved Mitochondrial Adaptations in Response to Resistance Exercise Training Compared to an Isocaloric Western DietAbstract
Purpose: Ketogenic diets (KD) can facilitate weight loss, but their effects on skeletal muscle remain equivocal. In this experiment we investigated the effects of two diets on skeletal muscle mitochondrial coupling, mitochondrial complex activity, markers of oxidative stress, and gene expression in sedentary and resistance exercised rats. Methods: Male Sprague-Dawley rats (9-10 weeks of age, 300-325 g) were fed isocaloric amounts of either a KD (17 g/day, 5.2 kcal/g, 20.2% protein, 10.3% CHO, 69.5% fat, n=16) or a Western diet (WD) (20 g/day, 4.5 kcal/g, 15.2% protein, 42.7% CHO, 42.0% fat, n=16) for 6 weeks. During these six weeks animals were either sedentary (SED, n=8 per diet group) or voluntarily exercised using resistance-loaded running wheels (EXE, n=8 per diet group). Gastrocnemius was excised and used for mitochondrial isolation and biochemical analyses. RESULTS: In the presence of a complex II substrate, the respiratory control ratio (RCR) of isolated gastrocnemius mitochondria was higher (p<0.05) in animals fed the KD compared to animals fed the WD. Complex I and IV enzyme activity was higher (p<0.05) in EXE animals regardless of diet. SOD2 protein levels and GLUT4 and PGC1α mRNA expression were higher (p<0.05) in EXE animals regardless of diet. CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that skeletal muscle mitochondrial coupling of complex II substrates is more efficient in chronically resistance trained rodents fed a KD. These findings may provide merit for further investigation, perhaps on humans.
Disinhibition of somatostatin-positive GABAergic interneurons results in an anxiolytic and antidepressant-like brain stateAbstract
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with reduced concentrations of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) that are normalized by antidepressant therapies. Moreover, depressive-like phenotypes of GABAA receptor mutant mice can be reversed by treatment with conventional antidepressants drugs, as well as by subanesthetic doses of ketamine. Thus GABAergic deficits may causally contribute to depressive disorders, while antidepressant therapies may enhance GABAergic synaptic transmission. Here we tested the hypothesis that sustained enhancement of GABAergic transmission alone is sufficient to elicit antidepressant-like behavior, using disinhibition of GABAergic interneurons. We focused on somatostatin-positive (SST+) GABAergic interneurons because of evidence that their function is compromised in MDD. To disinhibit SST+ interneurons, we inactivated the γ2 subunit gene of GABAA receptors selectively in these neurons (SSTCre:γ2f/f mice). Loss of inhibitory synaptic input resulted in increased excitability of SST+ interneurons. In turn, pyramidal cell targets of SST+ neurons showed an increased frequency of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents. The behavior of SSTCre:γ2f/f mice mimicked the effects of anxiolytic and antidepressant drugs in a number of behavioral tests, without affecting performance in a spatial learning- and memory-dependent task. Finally, brain extracts of SSTCre:γ2f/f mice showed decreased phosphorylation of the eukaryotic elongation factor eEF2, reminiscent of the effects of ketamine. Importantly, these effects occurred without altered activity of the mammalian target of rapamycin pathway nor did they involve altered expression of SST. However, they were associated with reduced Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent auto-phosphorylation of eEF2 kinase, which controls the activity of eEF2 as its single target. Thus enhancing GABAergic inhibitory synaptic inputs from SST+ interneurons to pyramidal cells and corresponding chronic reductions in the synaptic excitation:inhibition ratio represents a novel strategy for antidepressant therapies that reproduces behavioral and biochemical end points of rapidly acting antidepressants.
EGF-Induced VEGF Exerts a PI3K-Dependent Positive Feedback on ERK and AKT through VEGFR2 in Hematological In Vitro ModelsAbstract
EGFR and VEGFR pathways play major roles in solid tumor growth and progression, however, little is known about these pathways in haematological tumors. This study investigated the crosstalk between EGFR and VEGFR2 signaling in two hematological in vitro models: THP1, a human monocytic leukemia, and Raji, a Burkitt’s lymphoma, cell lines. Results showed that both cell lines express EGFR and VEGFR2 and responded to EGF stimulation by activating EGFR, triggering VEGF production and phosphorylating ERK, AKT, and p38 very early, with a peak of expression at 10–20min. Blocking EGFR using Tyrphostin resulted in inhibiting EGFR induced activation of ERK, AKT, and p38. In addition, EGF stimulation caused a significant and immediate increase, within 1min, in pVEGFR2 in both cell lines, which peaked at ~5–10 min after treatment. Selective inhibition of VEGFR2 by DMH4, anti-VEGFR2 antibody or siRNA diminished EGF-induced pAKT and pERK, indicating a positive feedback exerted by EGFR-induced VEGF. Similarly, the specific PI3K inhibitor LY294002, suppressed AKT and ERK phosphorylation showing that VEGF feedback is PI3K-dependent. On the other hand, phosphorylation of p38, initiated by EGFR and independent of VEGF feedback, was diminished using PLC inhibitor U73122. Moreover, measurement of intracellular [Ca2+] and ROS following VEGFR2 inhibition and EGF treatment proved that VEGFR2 is not implicated in EGF-induced Ca2+ release whereas it boosts EGF-induced ROS production. Furthermore, a significant decrease in pAKT, pERK and p-p38 was shown following the addition of the ROS inhibitor NAC. These results contribute to the understanding of the crosstalk between EGFR and VEGFR in haematological malignancies and their possible combined blockade in therapy.
Understanding Tamoxifen Resistance In Breast cancerAbstract
Tamoxifen is the accepted therapy for patients with estrogen receptor
α (ERα)positive breast cancer. However, clinical resistance to tamoxifen, as demonstrated by recurrence or progression on therapy, is frequent and precedes death from metastases. To improve breast cancer treatment it is vital to understand the mechanisms that result in tamoxifen resistance. The study presented in this thesis shows that concentration of tamoxifen and its metabolites, which accumulate in tumors of patients, killed breast cancer cells by inducing oxidative stress. Breast cancer cells responded to tamoxifen induced oxidation by increasing Nrf2 expression and subsequent activation of the anti-oxidant response element (ARE). This increased the transcription of anti-oxidant genes and multidrug resistance transporters. As a result, breast cancer cells are able to destroy or export toxic oxidation products leading to increased survival from tamoxifen-induced oxidative damage. These responses in cancer cells also occur in breast tumors of tamoxifen treated mice. Additionally, high levels of expression of Nrf2 and its downstream targets in breast tumors of patients at the time of diagnosis were prognostic of poor survival after tamoxifen therapy. The oxidative stress induced by tamoxifen also activated phospholipase D (PLD) and led to the up regulation of the RALBP1 (Ral-binding protein 1). Tamoxifen resistant cells also had a significant increase in both basal and stimulated PLD activity along with increased PLD1 and RALBP1 levels. The activity of PLD provides survival signals to cancer cells, whereas RALBP1 iii exports chemotherapeutic drugs. Thus both RALBP1 and PLD in concert can lead to development of an aggressive and metastatic breast cancers and also contribute to chemo-resistance. In our study, cancerous breast tissues from patients have a significantly higher expression of RALBP1 compared to normal breast tissue. Furthermore, cytotoxic chemotherapy combination offered no significant advantage in patient cohorts with high RALBP1 expression as compared to those patients receiving mono or non-cytotoxic chemotherapies. Moreover, patients with high expression of PLD1 also had poor prognostic outcomes to different treatments. Thus, overcoming adaptive responses to tamoxifen induced oxidative stress could improve the survival of breast cancer patients.
The DPYSL2 gene connects mTOR and schizophreniaAbstract
We previously reported a schizophrenia-associated polymorphic CT di-nucleotide repeat (DNR) at the 5′-untranslated repeat (UTR) of DPYSL2, which responds to mammalian target of Rapamycin (mTOR) signaling with allelic differences in reporter assays. Now using microarray analysis, we show that the DNR alleles interact differentially with specific proteins, including the mTOR-related protein HuD/ELAVL4. We confirm the differential binding to HuD and other known mTOR effectors by electrophoretic mobility shift assays. We edit HEK293 cells by CRISPR/Cas9 to carry the schizophrenia risk variant (13DNR) and observe a significant reduction of the corresponding CRMP2 isoform. These edited cells confirm the response to mTOR inhibitors and show a twofold shortening of the cellular projections. Transcriptome analysis of these modified cells by RNA-seq shows changes in 12.7% of expressed transcripts at a false discovery rate of 0.05. These transcripts are enriched in immunity-related genes, overlap significantly with those modified by the schizophrenia-associated gene, ZNF804A, and have a reverse expression signature from that seen with antipsychotic drugs. Our results support the functional importance of the DPYSL2 DNR and a role for mTOR signaling in schizophrenia.
CD133+ brain tumor-initiating cells are dependent on STAT3 signaling to drive medulloblastoma recurrenceAbstract
Medulloblastoma (MB), the most common malignant paediatric brain tumor, is currently treated using a combination of surgery, craniospinal radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Owing to MB stem cells (MBSCs), a subset of MB patients remains untreatable despite standard therapy. CD133 is used to identify MBSCs although its functional role in tumorigenesis has yet to be determined. In this work, we showed enrichment of CD133 in Group 3 MB is associated with increased rate of metastasis and poor clinical outcome. The signal transducers and activators of transcription-3 (STAT3) pathway are selectively activated in CD133+ MBSCs and promote tumorigenesis through regulation of c-MYC, a key genetic driver of Group 3 MB. We screened compound libraries for STAT3 inhibitors and treatment with the selected STAT3 inhibitors resulted in tumor size reduction in vivo. We propose that inhibition of STAT3 signaling in MBSCs may represent a potential therapeutic strategy to treat patients with recurrent MB.
Osmolality of enteral formula and severity of experimental necrotizing enterocolitisAbstract
PurposeAdministration of hyperosmolar formula is regarded as a risk factor for the development of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). However, there are limited number of reports about the relationship between formula osmolality and NEC. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of formula concentration in an experimental model of NEC.MethodsWe studied experimental NEC in C57BL/6 mice. NEC was induced by giving hypoxia, gavage administration of lipopolysaccharide and gavage formula feeding from postnatal day 5–9. We used two types of formula: (1) hyperosmolar formula (HF): 15 g Similac + 75 ml Esbilac (849 mOsm/kg); (2) diluted formula (DF): dilute hyperosmolar formula with an equal amount of water (325 mOsm/kg). Controls were fed by the mother. On postnatal day 9, the ileum was harvested and evaluated for severity of mucosal injury (hematoxylin/eosin staining) and inflammation (PCR for IL6 and TNFα mRNA expression).ResultsThe incidence of NEC was same in both HF and DF (80%). The intestinal inflammatory response was similar between HF and DF (IL6: p = 0.26, TNFα: p = 0.69).ConclusionsThis study indicates the osmolality of enteral formula does not affect incidence of experimental NEC. This experimental study provides new insights into the relationship between formula feeding and NEC.
A robust vitronectin-derived peptide for the scalable long-term expansion and neuronal differentiation of human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived neural progenitor cells (hNPCs)Abstract
Despite therapeutic advances, neurodegenerative diseases and disorders remain some of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in the United States. Therefore, cell-based therapies to replace lost or damaged neurons and supporting cells of the central nervous system (CNS) are of great therapeutic interest. To that end, human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) derived neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) and their neuronal derivatives could provide the cellular ‘raw material’ needed for regenerative medicine therapies for a variety of CNS disorders. In addition, hNPCs derived from patient-specific hPSCs could be used to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases and identify potential drug candidates. However, the scientific and clinical application of hNPCs requires the development of robust, defined, and scalable substrates for their long-term expansion and neuronal differentiation. In this study, we rationally designed a vitronectin-derived peptide (VDP) that served as an adhesive growth substrate for the long-term expansion of several hNPC lines. Moreover, VDP-coated surfaces allowed for the directed neuronal differentiation of hNPC at levels similar to cells differentiated on traditional extracellular matrix protein-based substrates. Overall, the ability of VDP to support the long-term expansion and directed neuronal differentiation of hNPCs will significantly advance the future translational application of these cells in treating injuries, disorders, and diseases of the CNS.
Replication-Independent Histone Variant H3.3 Controls Animal Lifespan through the Regulation of Pro-longevity Transcriptional ProgramsAbstract
Chromatin structure orchestrates the accessibility to the genetic material. Replication-independent histone variants control transcriptional plasticity in postmitotic cells. The life-long accumulation of these histones has been described, yet the implications on organismal aging remain elusive. Here, we study the importance of the histone variant H3.3 in Caenorhabditis elegans longevity pathways. We show that H3.3-deficient nematodes have negligible lifespan differences compared to wild-type animals. However, H3.3 is essential for the lifespan extension of C. elegans mutants in which pronounced transcriptional changes control longevity programs. Notably, H3.3 loss critically affects the expression of a very large number of genes in long-lived nematodes, resulting in transcriptional profiles similar to wild-type animals. We conclude that H3.3 positively contributes to diverse lifespan-extending signaling pathways, with potential implications on age-related processes in multicellular organisms.
The mammalian circadian system consists of a master clock in the brain that synchronizes subsidiary oscillators in peripheral tissues. The master clock maintains phase coherence in peripheral cells through systemic cues such as feeding-fasting and temperature cycles. Here, we examined the role of oxygen as a resetting cue for circadian clocks. We continuously measured oxygen levels in living animals and detected daily rhythms in tissue oxygenation. Oxygen cycles, within the physiological range, were sufficient to synchronize cellular clocks in a HIF1α-dependent manner. Furthermore, several clock genes responded to changes in oxygen levels through HIF1α. Finally, we found that a moderate reduction in oxygen levels for a short period accelerates the adaptation of wild-type but not of HIF1α-deficient mice to the new time in a jet lag protocol. We conclude that oxygen, via HIF1α activation, is a resetting cue for circadian clocks and propose oxygen modulation as therapy for jet lag.
Development of TRACER: tissue roll for analysis of cellular environment and responseAbstract
The tumour microenvironment is heterogeneous and consists of multiple cell types, variable extracellular matrix (ECM) composition, and contains cell-defined gradients of small molecules, oxygen, nutrients and waste. Emerging in vitro cell culture systems that attempt to replicate these features often fail to incorporate design strategies to facilitate efficient data collection and stratification. The tissue roll for analysis of cellular environment and response (TRACER) is a novel strategy to assemble layered, three-dimensional tumours with cell-defined, graded heterogeneous microenvironments that also facilitates cellular separation and stratification of data from different cell populations from specific microenvironments. Here we describe the materials selection and development of TRACER. We find that cellulose fibre scaffolding is an ideal support to generate tissue constructs having homogenous cell seeding and consistent properties. We explore ECM remodeling and long-term cell growth in the scaffold, and characterize the tumour microenvironment in assembled TRACERs using multiple established analysis methods. Finally, we confirm that TRACERs replicate small molecule gradients of glucose and lactate, and explore cell phenotype associated with these gradients using confocal microscopy, flow cytometry, and quantitative PCR analysis. We envision this technology will provide a platform to create complex, yet controlled tumour microenvironments that can be easily disassembled for snapshot analysis of cell phenotype and response to therapy in relation to microenvironment properties.
HOXB4 Gene Expression Is Regulated by CDX2 in Intestinal Epithelial CellsAbstract
The mammalian Caudal-related homeobox transcription factor 2 (CDX2) plays a key role in the homeobox regulatory network and is essential in regulating the expression of several homeobox (HOX) genes during embryonic development, particularly in the gut. Genome-wide CDX2 chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis and expression data from Caco2 cells also suggests a role for CDX2 in the regulation of HOXB4 gene expression in the intestinal epithelium. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate whether HOXB4 gene expression is regulated by CDX2 in the intestinal epithelium. We demonstrated binding of CDX2 to four different CDX2 binding sites in an enhancer region located upstream of the HOXB4 transcription start site. Mutations in the CDX2 binding sites reduced HOXB4 gene activity, and knock down of endogenous CDX2 expression by shRNA reduced HOXB4 gene expression. This is the first report demonstrating the CDX2 regulation of HOXB4 gene expression in the developed intestinal epithelium, indicating a possible role for HOXB4 in intestinal homeostasis.
Acquired CDK6 amplification promotes breast cancer resistance to CDK4/6 inhibitors and loss of ER signaling and dependenceAbstract
Dysregulated activation of the CDK4/6 kinases is a hallmark of most mammary-derived carcinomas. ATP-competitive inhibitors against this complex have been recently advanced in the clinic and have shown significant activity, particularly against tumors driven by the estrogen receptor (ER). However, resistance to these compounds has begun to emerge often months to years after their initiation. We investigated potential mechanisms of resistance using cell line models that are highly sensitive to this class of drugs. After prolonged exposure to the selective and potent CDK4/6 inhibitor LY2835219, clones emerged and several were found to harbor amplification of the CDK6 kinase. Amplification of CDK6 resulted in a marked increase in CDK6 expression and reduced response of the CDK4/6 target, phospho-Rb (pRb), to CDK4/6 inhibitors. Knockdown of CDK6 restored drug sensitivity, while enforced overexpression of CDK6 was sufficient to mediate drug resistance. Not only did CDK6 overexpression mediate resistance to CDK4/6 inhibitors but it also led to reduced expression of the ER and progesterone receptor (PR), and diminished responsiveness to ER antagonism. The reduced ER/PR expression after CDK4/6 inhibitor resistance was additionally observed in tumor biopsy specimens from patients treated with these drugs. Alternative mechanisms of resistance to CDK4/6 inhibitors such as loss of pRb and cyclin E1 overexpression also exhibited decreased hormone responsiveness, suggesting that the clinical paradigm of sequential endocrine-based therapy may be ineffective in some settings of acquired CDK4/6 resistance.
A novel FRET-based screen in high-throughput format to identify inhibitors of malarial and human glucose transportersAbstract
The glucose transporter PfHT is essential to the survival of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and has been shown to be a druggable target with high potential for pharmacological intervention. Identification of compounds against novel drug targets is crucial to combating resistance against current therapeutics. Here, we describe the development of a cell-based assay system readily adaptable to high-throughput screening that directly measures compound effects on PfHT-mediated glucose transport. Intracellular glucose concentrations are detected using a genetically encoded fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based glucose-sensor. This allows assessment of the ability of small molecules to inhibit glucose uptake with high accuracy (Z'-factor of >0.8), thereby eliminating the need for radiolabeled substrates. Furthermore, we have adapted this assay to counter screen PfHT hits against the human orthologues GLUT1, 2, 3 and 4. We report the identification of several hits after screening the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) Malaria Box, a library of 400 compounds known to inhibit erythrocytic development of P. falciparum. Hit compounds were characterized by determining the half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) for the uptake of radiolabeled glucose into isolated P. falciparum parasites. One of our hits, compound MMV009085, shows high potency and ortholog selectivity, thereby successfully validating our assay for anti-malarial screening.
Farnesoid X Receptor Signaling Shapes the Gut Microbiota and Controls Hepatic Lipid MetabolismAbstract
The gut microbiota modulates obesity and associated metabolic phenotypes in part through intestinal farnesoid X receptor (FXR) signaling. Glycine-β-muricholic acid (Gly-MCA), an intestinal FXR antagonist, has been reported to prevent or reverse high-fat diet (HFD)-induced and genetic obesity, insulin resistance, and fatty liver; however, the mechanism by which these phenotypes are improved is not fully understood. The current study investigated the influence of FXR activity on the gut microbiota community structure and function and its impact on hepatic lipid metabolism. Predictions about the metabolic contribution of the gut microbiota to the host were made using 16S rRNA-based PICRUSt (phylogenetic investigation of communities by reconstruction of unobserved states), then validated using 1H nuclear magnetic resonance-based metabolomics, and results were summarized by using genome-scale metabolic models. Oral Gly-MCA administration altered the gut microbial community structure, notably reducing the ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes and its PICRUSt-predicted metabolic function, including reduced production of short-chain fatty acids (substrates for hepatic gluconeogenesis and de novo lipogenesis) in the ceca of HFD-fed mice. Metabolic improvement was intestinal FXR dependent, as revealed by the lack of changes in HFD-fed intestine-specific Fxr-null (FxrΔIE) mice treated with Gly-MCA. Integrative analyses based on genome-scale metabolic models demonstrated an important link between Lactobacillus and Clostridia bile salt hydrolase activity and bacterial fermentation. Hepatic metabolite levels after Gly-MCA treatment correlated with altered levels of gut bacterial species. In conclusion, modulation of the gut microbiota by inhibition of intestinal FXR signaling alters host liver lipid metabolism and improves obesity-related metabolic dysfunction.
IMPORTANCE The farnesoid X receptor (FXR) plays an important role in mediating the dialog between the host and gut microbiota, particularly through modulation of enterohepatic circulation of bile acids. Mounting evidence suggests that genetic ablation of Fxr in the gut or gut-restricted chemical antagonism of the FXR promotes beneficial health effects, including the prevention of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in rodent models. However, questions remain unanswered, including whether modulation of FXR activity plays a role in shaping the gut microbiota community structure and function and what metabolic pathways of the gut microbiota contribute in an FXR-dependent manner to the host phenotype. In this report, new insights are gained into the metabolic contribution of the gut microbiota to the metabolic phenotypes, including establishing a link between FXR antagonism, bacterial bile salt hydrolase activity, and fermentation. Multiple approaches, including unique mouse models as well as metabolomics and genome-scale metabolic models, were employed to confirm these results.
Lack of effects of ooplasm transfer on early development of interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer bison embryosAbstract
BackgroundSuccessful development of iSCNT (interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer) embryos depends on complex interactions between ooplasmic and nuclear components, which can be compromised by genetic divergence. Transfer of ooplasm matching the genetic background of the somatic cell in iSCNT embryos is a valuable tool to study the degree of incompatibilities between nuclear and ooplasmic components. This study investigated the effects of ooplasm transfer (OT) on cattle (Bos taurus) and plains bison (Bison bison bison) embryos produced by iSCNT and supplemented with or without ooplasm from cattle or plains bison oocytes.ResultsEmbryos in all groups were analysed for developmental competence that included cleavage rates, ATP content, and expression of nuclear- and mitochondrial- encoded genes at 8–16 cell stage. Interestingly, no significant differences were observed in embryo development, ATP content, and expression of nuclear respiratory factor 2 (NRF2), mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) and mitochondrial subunit 2 of cytochrome c oxidase (mt-COX2) among groups. Thus, although OT did not result in any detrimental effects on the reconstructed embryos due to invasive manipulation, significant benefits of OT were not observed up to the 8–16 cell stage.ConclusionsThis study showed that a viable technique for OT + SCNT is possible, however, further understanding of the effects of OT on blastocyst development is necessary.
Acute Loss of Cited2 Impairs Nanog Expression and Decreases Self-Renewal of Mouse Embryonic Stem CellsAbstract
Identifying novel players of the pluripotency gene regulatory network centered on Oct4, Sox2, and Nanog as well as delineating the interactions within the complex network is key to understanding self-renewal and early cell fate commitment of embryonic stem cells (ESC). While over-expression of the transcriptional regulator Cited2 sustains ESC pluripotency, its role in ESC functions remains unclear. Here, we show that Cited2 is important for proliferation, survival, and self-renewal of mouse ESC. We position Cited2 within the pluripotency gene regulatory network by defining Nanog, Tbx3, and Klf4 as its direct targets. We also demonstrate that the defects caused by Cited2 depletion are, at least in part, rescued by Nanog constitutive expression. Finally, we demonstrate that Cited2is required for and enhances reprogramming of mouse
embryonic fibroblasts to induced pluripotent stem cells.
Hepatic apolipoprotein A-IV (apoA-IV) expression is correlated with hepatic triglyceride (TG) content in mouse models of chronic hepatosteatosis and steatosis-induced hepatic apoA-IV gene expression is regulated by nuclear transcription factor cAMP responsive element-binding protein H (CREBH) processing. To define what aspects of TG homeostasis regulates hepatic CREBH processing and apoA-IV gene expression, several mouse models of attenuated VLDL particle assembly were subjected to acute hepatosteatosis induced by an overnight fast or short-term ketogenic diet feeding. Compared with chow-fed C57BL/6 mice, fasted or ketogenic diet-fed mice displayed increased hepatic TG content, which was highly correlated (r2=0.95) with apoA-IV gene expression, and secretion of larger, TG-enriched VLDL, despite a lower rate of TG secretion and similar or reduced rate of apoB100 secretion. When VLDL particle assembly and secretion was inhibited by hepatic shRNA-induced apoB silencing or genetic or pharmacologic reduction in microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) activity, hepatic TG content increased dramatically; however, CREBH processing and apoA-IV gene expression was attenuated compared to controls. Adenovirus-mediated reconstitution of MTP expression proportionately restored CREBH processing and apoA-IV expression in liver-specific MTP knockout mice. These results reveal that hepatic TG content per se, does not regulate CREBH processing. Instead TG mobilization into the ER for nascent VLDL particle assembly activates CREBH processing and enhances apoA-IV gene expression in the setting of acute steatosis. We conclude that VLDL assembly and CREBH activation play key roles in the response to hepatic steatosis by upregulating apoA-IV and promoting assembly and secretion of larger, more TG-enriched VLDL particles.
Delayed glial clearance of degenerating axons in aged Drosophila is due to reduced PI3K/Draper activityAbstract
Advanced age is the greatest risk factor for neurodegenerative disorders, but the mechanisms that render the senescent brain vulnerable to disease are unclear. Glial immune responses provide neuroprotection in a variety of contexts. Thus, we explored how glial responses to neurodegeneration are altered with age. Here we show that glia–axon phagocytic interactions change dramatically in the aged Drosophila brain. Aged glia clear degenerating axons slowly due to low phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) signalling and, subsequently, reduced expression of the conserved phagocytic receptor Draper/MEGF10. Importantly, boosting PI3K/Draper activity in aged glia significantly reverses slow phagocytic responses. Moreover, several hours post axotomy, early hallmarks of Wallerian degeneration (WD) are delayed in aged flies. We propose that slow clearance of degenerating axons is mechanistically twofold, resulting from deferred initiation of axonal WD and reduced PI3K/Draper-dependent glial phagocytic function. Interventions that boost glial engulfment activity, however, can substantially reverse delayed clearance of damaged neuronal debris.