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Map Kinase, p44/42, Erk1/Erk2 antibody

RRID:AB_390779

Antibody ID

AB_390779

Target Antigen

Monoclonal antibody is produced by immunizing animals with a synthetic peptide corresponding to residues near the C-terminus of rat p44 MAP kinase.

Proper Citation

(Cell Signaling Technology Cat# 4695, RRID:AB_390779)

Clonality

monoclonal antibody

Comments

Applications: W, IP, IHC-P, IF-IC, F. Consolidation on 7/2016: AB_10831042. Info: Used By NYUIHC-973.

Clone ID

[137F5]

Host Organism

rabbit

Vendor

Cell Signaling Technology

Cat Num

4695 also 4695P

Publications that use this research resource

Hepatic deletion of p110α and p85α results in insulin resistance despite sustained IRS1-associated phosphatidylinositol kinase activity.

  • Chaudhari A
  • F1000Res
  • 2018 Jul 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

Background: Class IA phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase (PI3K) is an integral mediator of insulin signaling. The p110 catalytic and p85 regulatory subunits of PI3K are the products of separate genes, and while they come together to make the active heterodimer, they have opposing roles in insulin signaling and action. Deletion of hepatic p110α results in an impaired insulin signal and severe insulin resistance, whereas deletion of hepatic p85α results in improved insulin sensitivity due to sustained levels of phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate. Here, we created mice with combined hepatic deletion of p110α and p85α (L-DKO) to study the impact on insulin signaling and whole body glucose homeostasis. Methods: Six-week old male flox control and L-DKO mice were studied over a period of 18 weeks, during which weight and glucose levels were monitored, and glucose tolerance tests, insulin tolerance test and pyruvate tolerance test were performed. Fasting insulin, insulin signaling mediators, PI3K activity and insulin receptor substrate (IRS)1-associated phosphatidylinositol kinase activity were examined at 10 weeks. Liver, muscle and white adipose tissue weight was recorded at 10 weeks and 25 weeks. Results: The L-DKO mice showed a blunted insulin signal downstream of PI3K, developed markedly impaired glucose tolerance, hyperinsulinemia and had decreased liver and adipose tissue weights. Surprisingly, however, these mice displayed normal hepatic glucose production, normal insulin tolerance, and intact IRS1-associated phosphatidylinositol kinase activity without compensatory upregulated signaling of other classes of PI3K. Conclusions: The data demonstrate an unexpectedly overall mild metabolic phenotype of the L-DKO mice, suggesting that lipid kinases other than PI3Ks might partially compensate for the loss of p110α/p85α by signaling through other nodes than Akt/Protein Kinase B.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM084279(United States)

Evidence of altered depression and dementia-related proteins in the brains of young rats after ovariectomy.

  • Fang YY
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2018 Jun 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Menopause, a risk factor for brain dysfunction in women, is characterized by neuropsychological symptoms including depression and dementia, which are closely related to alterations in different brain regions after menopause. However, little is known about the variability of pathophysiologic changes associated with menopause in the brain. Here, we observed that menopause in rats induced by bilateral ovariectomy (OVX) showed depressive and dementia-related behaviors along with neuronal loss in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), hippocampus (HIP), hypothalamus (HYP) and amygdala (AMY) by Nissl staining. Meanwhile, by immunohistochemical staining, increased microglia in the HIP and AMY and increased astrocytes in the PFC, HYP and AMY were shown. By using quantitative proteomics, we identified 146 differentially expressed proteins in the brains of OVX rats, e.g., 20 in the PFC, 41 in the HIP, 17 in the HYP and 79 in the AMY, and performed further detection by Western blotting. A link between neuronal loss and apoptosis was suggested, as evidenced by increases in adenylate kinase 2 (AK2), B-cell lymphoma 2 associated X (Bax), cleaved caspase-3 and phosphorylated p53 and decreases in Huntingtin-interacting protein K (HYPK), hexokinase (HK), and phosphorylated B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), and apoptosis might be triggered by endoplasmic reticulum stress (probed by increased glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78), cleaved caspase-12, phosphorylated protein kinase R (PKR)-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK), inositol-requiring enzyme-1 (IRE-1) and activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6)) and mitochondrial dysfunction (probed by increased cytochrome c and cleaved caspase-3 and decreased sideroflexin-1 (SFXN1) and NADH dehydrogenase (ubiquinone) 1 α subcomplex 11 (NDUFA11)). Activation of autophagy was also indicated by increased autophagy-related 7 (ATG7), γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor-associated protein-like 2 (GABARAPL2) and oxysterol-binding protein-related protein 1 (ORP1) and confirmed by increased microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3II/I), autophagy-related 5 (ATG5), and Beclin1 in the HIP and AMY. In the AMY, which is important in emotion, higher GABA transporter 3 (GAT3) and lower vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VgluT1) levels indicated an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission, and the increased calretinin and decreased calbindin levels suggested an adjustment of GABAergic transmission after OVX. In addition, cytoskeletal abnormalities including tau hyperphosphorylation, dysregulated Ca²+ signals and glutamic synaptic impairments were observed in the brains of OVX rats. Collectively, our study showed the changes in different brain regions related to depression and dementia during menopause. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - 1K08AI097238-01(United States)

Acid Suspends the Circadian Clock in Hypoxia through Inhibition of mTOR.

  • Walton ZE
  • Cell
  • 2018 Jun 28

Literature context:


Abstract:

Recent reports indicate that hypoxia influences the circadian clock through the transcriptional activities of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) at clock genes. Unexpectedly, we uncover a profound disruption of the circadian clock and diurnal transcriptome when hypoxic cells are permitted to acidify to recapitulate the tumor microenvironment. Buffering against acidification or inhibiting lactic acid production fully rescues circadian oscillation. Acidification of several human and murine cell lines, as well as primary murine T cells, suppresses mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling, a key regulator of translation in response to metabolic status. We find that acid drives peripheral redistribution of normally perinuclear lysosomes away from perinuclear RHEB, thereby inhibiting the activity of lysosome-bound mTOR. Restoring mTORC1 signaling and the translation it governs rescues clock oscillation. Our findings thus reveal a model in which acid produced during the cellular metabolic response to hypoxia suppresses the circadian clock through diminished translation of clock constituents.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - L30 RR020478(United States)

EF24 (a Curcumin Analog) and ZSTK474 Emphasize the Effect of Cabozantinib in Medullary Thyroid Cancer.

  • Bertazza L
  • Endocrinology
  • 2018 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

XL184 is a small-molecule kinase inhibitor recently included in first-line systemic therapy for patients with advanced, progressive medullary thyroid cancer (MTC). EF24 is a curcumin analog with a high bioavailability, and ZSTK474 is an inhibitor of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling pathway. We investigated the effect of these compounds, alone and in combination, in two rearranged during transfection (RET)-mutated TT and MZ-CRC-1 MTC cell lines and in six mostly RET wild-type human MTC primary cultures. Low IC50 values demonstrated the efficacy of the drugs, whereas the combination index revealed an important synergistic effect of combinations of XL184 + ZSTK474 and XL184 + EF24. Cell-cycle changes and the induction of apoptosis or necrosis were modulated by single compounds or combinations thereof. Both XL184 and EF24, alone or combined, were effective in reducing calcitonin secretion. Western blot and in-cell Western analysis showed that the compounds prompted a decrease in general reactivity to phosphorylated antibodies. Our data confirm XL184 alone as the reference drug for RET-mutated MTC, but we also demonstrated that EF24 alone is effective in inhibiting MTC cell viability. We tested the combinations XL184 + ZSTK474 and XL184 + EF24 too, finding that they act synergistically, irrespective of RET mutation status.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - P20RR16455-07(United States)

A Potent and Specific CD38 Inhibitor Ameliorates Age-Related Metabolic Dysfunction by Reversing Tissue NAD+ Decline.

  • Tarragó MG
  • Cell Metab.
  • 2018 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Aging is characterized by the development of metabolic dysfunction and frailty. Recent studies show that a reduction in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a key factor for the development of age-associated metabolic decline. We recently demonstrated that the NADase CD38 has a central role in age-related NAD+ decline. Here we show that a highly potent and specific thiazoloquin(az)olin(on)e CD38 inhibitor, 78c, reverses age-related NAD+ decline and improves several physiological and metabolic parameters of aging, including glucose tolerance, muscle function, exercise capacity, and cardiac function in mouse models of natural and accelerated aging. The physiological effects of 78c depend on tissue NAD+ levels and were reversed by inhibition of NAD+ synthesis. 78c increased NAD+ levels, resulting in activation of pro-longevity and health span-related factors, including sirtuins, AMPK, and PARPs. Furthermore, in animals treated with 78c we observed inhibition of pathways that negatively affect health span, such as mTOR-S6K and ERK, and attenuation of telomere-associated DNA damage, a marker of cellular aging. Together, our results detail a novel pharmacological strategy for prevention and/or reversal of age-related NAD+ decline and subsequent metabolic dysfunction.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - N01-HV-28186(United States)

Overcoming Resistance to Targeted Anticancer Therapies through Small-Molecule-Mediated MEK Degradation.

  • Peh J
  • Cell Chem Biol
  • 2018 May 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

The discovery of mutant or fusion kinases that drive oncogenesis, and the subsequent approval of specific inhibitors for these enzymes, has been instrumental in the management of some cancers. However, acquired resistance remains a significant problem in the clinic, limiting the long-term effectiveness of most of these drugs. Here we demonstrate a general strategy to overcome this resistance through drug-induced MEK cleavage (via direct procaspase-3 activation) combined with targeted kinase inhibition. This combination effect is shown to be general across diverse tumor histologies (melanoma, lung cancer, and leukemia) and driver mutations (mutant BRAF or EGFR, fusion kinases EML4-ALK and BCR-ABL). Caspase-3-mediated degradation of MEK kinases results in sustained pathway inhibition and substantially delayed or eliminated resistance in cancer cells in a manner far superior to combinations with MEK inhibitors. These data suggest the generality of drug-mediated MEK kinase cleavage as a therapeutic strategy to prevent resistance to targeted anticancer therapies.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA120439()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01-AI043356(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM070421()

Unbiased Combinatorial Screening Identifies a Bispecific IgG1 that Potently Inhibits HER3 Signaling via HER2-Guided Ligand Blockade.

  • Geuijen CAW
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2018 May 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

HER2-driven cancers require phosphatidylinositide-3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling through HER3 to promote tumor growth and survival. The therapeutic benefit of HER2-targeting agents, which depend on PI3K/Akt inhibition, can be overcome by hyperactivation of the heregulin (HRG)/HER3 pathway. Here we describe an unbiased phenotypic combinatorial screening approach to identify a bispecific immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) antibody against HER2 and HER3. In tumor models resistant to HER2-targeting agents, the bispecific IgG1 potently inhibits the HRG/HER3 pathway and downstream PI3K/Akt signaling via a "dock & block" mechanism. This bispecific IgG1 is a potentially effective therapy for breast cancer and other tumors with hyperactivated HRG/HER3 signaling.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - (United Kingdom)

Long chain n-3 fatty acids attenuate oncogenic KRas-driven proliferation by altering plasma membrane nanoscale proteolipid composition.

  • Fuentes NR
  • Cancer Res.
  • 2018 May 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

Ras signaling originates from transient nanoscale compartmentalized regions of the plasma membrane composed of specific proteins and lipids. The highly specific lipid composition of these nanodomains, termed nanoclusters, facilitates effector recruitment and therefore influences signal transduction. This suggests that Ras nanocluster proteolipid composition could represent a novel target for future chemoprevention interventions. There is evidence that consumption of fish oil containing long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5Δ5,8,11,14,17) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6Δ4,7,10,13,16,19) may reduce colon cancer risk in humans, yet the mechanism underlying this effect is unknown. Here we demonstrate that dietary n-3 PUFA reduce the lateral segregation of cholesterol-dependent and -independent nanoclusters, suppressing phosphatidic acid-dependent oncogenic KRas effector interactions, via their physical incorporation into plasma membrane phospholipids. This results in attenuation of oncogenic Ras-driven colonic hyperproliferation in both Drosophila and murine models. These findings demonstrate the unique properties of dietary n-3 PUFA in the shaping of Ras nanoscale proteolipid complexes and support the emerging role of plasma membrane-targeted therapies.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA161026-01(United States)
  • NCI NIH HHS - R35 CA197707()
  • NIEHS NIH HHS - P30 ES023512()

Spred1 Safeguards Hematopoietic Homeostasis against Diet-Induced Systemic Stress.

  • Tadokoro Y
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2018 May 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

Stem cell self-renewal is critical for tissue homeostasis, and its dysregulation can lead to organ failure or tumorigenesis. While obesity can induce varied abnormalities in bone marrow components, it is unclear how diet might affect hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) self-renewal. Here, we show that Spred1, a negative regulator of RAS-MAPK signaling, safeguards HSC homeostasis in animals fed a high-fat diet (HFD). Under steady-state conditions, Spred1 negatively regulates HSC self-renewal and fitness, in part through Rho kinase activity. Spred1 deficiency mitigates HSC failure induced by infection mimetics and prolongs HSC lifespan, but it does not initiate leukemogenesis due to compensatory upregulation of Spred2. In contrast, HFD induces ERK hyperactivation and aberrant self-renewal in Spred1-deficient HSCs, resulting in functional HSC failure, severe anemia, and myeloproliferative neoplasm-like disease. HFD-induced hematopoietic abnormalities are mediated partly through alterations to the gut microbiota. Together, these findings reveal that diet-induced stress disrupts fine-tuning of Spred1-mediated signals to govern HSC homeostasis.

Funding information:
  • Arthritis Research UK - 17522(United Kingdom)

High-intensity treadmill running impairs cognitive behavior and hippocampal synaptic plasticity of rats via activation of inflammatory response.

  • Sun LN
  • J. Neurosci. Res.
  • 2018 Apr 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Although appropriate exercise is beneficial for enhancing brain functions, high-intensity exercise (HIE)-induced cognitive dysfunction is causing more and more concerns nowadays. In the present study, we observed the effects of high-intensity treadmill running on the spatial learning of the adult Sprague Dawley male rats in Y-maze (n = 16 per group), and investigated its possible electrophysiological and molecular mechanisms by examining in vivo hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), central inflammatory responses, and JNK/p38/ERK signal pathway. The Y-maze active avoidance test showed that high-intensity treadmill running impaired spatial learning ability of rats, with increased error times and prolonged training time in recognizing safety condition. Associated with the cognitive dysfunction, the induction and maintenance of hippocampal LTP were also impaired by the HIE. Furthermore, accompanied by elevated levels of inflammatory factors IL-1β, TNF-α, and iNOS, overactivation of microglia and astrocytes was also found in the CA1 region of hippocampus in the excessive exercise group, indicating an inflammatory response induced by HIE. In addition, Western blot assay showed that the phosphorylation of JNK/p38/ERK proteins was enhanced in the exercise group. These results suggest that exercise stress-induced neuronal inflammatory responses in the hippocampus are associated with HIE-induced cognitive deficits, which may be involved in the upregulation of the JNK/p38/ERK pathway. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Active Protection: Learning-Activated Raf/MAPK Activity Protects Labile Memory from Rac1-Independent Forgetting.

  • Zhang X
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Apr 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Active forgetting explains the intrinsic instability of a labile memory lasting for hours. However, how such memory maintains stability against unwanted disruption is not completely understood. Here, we report a learning-activated active protection mechanism that enables labile memory to resist disruptive sensory experiences in Drosophila. Aversive olfactory conditioning activates mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) transiently in the mushroom-body γ lobe, where labile-aversive memory is stored. This increased MAPK activity significantly prolongs labile memory retention and enhances its resistance to disruption induced by heat shock, electric shock, or odor reactivation. Such experience-induced forgetting cannot be prevented by inhibition of Rac1 activity. Instead, protection of Rac1-independent forgetting correlates with non-muscle myosin II activity and persistence of learning-induced presynaptic structural changes. Increased Raf/MAPK activity, together with suppressed Rac1 activity, completely blocks labile memory decay. Thus, learning not only leads to memory formation, but also activates active protection and active forgetting to regulate the formed memory.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA107349-03(United States)

Catch-Up Growth in Zebrafish Embryo Requires Neural Crest Cells Sustained by Irs1 Signaling.

  • Kamei H
  • Endocrinology
  • 2018 Apr 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Most animals display retarded growth in adverse conditions; however, upon the removal of unfavorable factors, they often show quick growth restoration, which is known as "catch-up" growth. In zebrafish embryos, hypoxia causes growth arrest, but subsequent reoxygenation induces catch-up growth. Here, we report the role of insulin receptor substrate (Irs)1-mediated insulin/insulinlike growth factor signaling (IIS) and the involvement of stem cells in catch-up growth in reoxygenated zebrafish embryos. Disturbed irs1 expression attenuated IIS, resulting in greater inhibition in catch-up growth than in normal growth and forced IIS activation‒restored catch-up growth. The irs1 knockdown induced noticeable cell death in neural crest cells (NCCs; multipotent stem cells) under hypoxia, and the pharmacological/genetic ablation of NCCs hindered catch-up growth. Furthermore, inhibition of the apoptotic pathway by pan-caspase inhibition or forced activation of Akt signaling in irs1 knocked-down embryos blocked NCC cell death and rescued catch-up growth. Our data indicate that this multipotent stem cell is indispensable for embryonic catch-up growth and that Irs1-mediated IIS is a prerequisite for its survival under severe adverse environments such as prolonged hypoxia.

Sustained activation of ERK1/2 MAPK in Schwann cells causes corneal neurofibroma.

  • Bargagna-Mohan P
  • J. Neurosci. Res.
  • 2018 Apr 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Recent studies have shown that constitutive activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) in Schwann cells (SCs) increases myelin thickness in transgenic mice. In this secondary analysis, we report that these transgenic mice develop a postnatal corneal neurofibroma with the loss of corneal transparency by age six months. We show that expansion of non-myelinating SCs, under the control of activated ERK1/2, also drive myofibroblast differentiation that derives from both SC precursors and resident corneal keratocytes. Further, these mice also harbor activated mast cells in the central cornea, which contributes to pathological corneal neovascularization and fibrosis. This breach of corneal avascularity and immune status is associated with the growth of the tumor pannus, resulting in a corneal stroma that is nearly four times its normal size. In corneas with advanced disease, some axons became ectopically myelinated, and the disruption of Remak bundles is evident. To determine whether myofibroblast differentiation was linked to vimentin, we examined the levels and phosphorylation status of this fibrotic biomarker. Concomitant with the early upregulation of vimentin, a serine 38-phosphorylated isoform of vimentin (pSer38vim) increased in SCs, which was attributed primarily to the soluble fraction of protein-not the cytoskeletal portion. However, the overexpressed pSer38vim became predominantly cytoskeletal with the growth of the corneal tumor. Our findings demonstrate an unrecognized function of ERK1/2 in the maintenance of corneal homeostasis, wherein its over-activation in SCs promotes corneal neurofibromas. This study is also the first report of a genetically engineered mouse that spontaneously develops a corneal tumor.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY016782()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS038878()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R21 NS081948()

Mechanism of Allosteric Coupling into and through the Plasma Membrane by EGFR.

  • Sinclair JKL
  • Cell Chem Biol
  • 2018 Apr 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) interacts through its extracellular domain with seven different growth factors. These factors induce different structures within the cytoplasmic juxtamembrane (JM) segment of the dimeric receptor and propagate different growth factor-dependent signals to the cell interior. How this process occurs is unknown. Here we apply diverse experimental and computational tools to show that growth factor identity is encoded by the EGFR transmembrane (TM) helix into discrete helix dimer populations that differ in both cross-location and cross-angle. Helix dimers with smaller cross-angles at multiple cross locations are decoded to induce an EGF-type coiled coil in the adjacent JM, whereas helix dimers with larger cross-angles at fewer cross locations induce the TGF-α-type coiled coil. We propose an updated model for how conformational coupling across multiple EGFR domains results in growth factor-specific information transfer, and demonstrate that this model applies to both EGFR and the related receptor ErbB2.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - K22AI071011(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM083257()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM008283()

Clotrimazole is effective for the regression of endometriotic implants in a Wistar rat experimental model of endometriosis.

  • Machado DE
  • Mol. Cell. Endocrinol.
  • 2018 Apr 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

The present work aimed to evaluate molecular, angiogenic and inflammatory changes induced by clotrimazole (CTZ) on endometriosis lesions. For this, thirty female Wistar rats with surgically implanted autologous endometrium were treated with CTZ or vehicle (200 mg/kg) via esophageal gavage for 15 consecutive days. CTZ treatment significantly decreased the growth and the size of the implants, and histological examination indicated regression and atrophy, with no toxicity to the animals. The levels of the angiogenic markers VEGF and VEGFR-2 were significantly decreased in CTZ group. The treatment also promotes a reduction on PGE2 and TNF-α levels. All these effects involve the amelioration of ERK1/2, Akt, AMPK and PERK signaling upon CTZ treatment. In conclusion, CTZ promoted an overall amelioration of endometriosis in a rat model due to the anti-angiogenic properties of the drug. Therefore, our results support the proposal of a clinical trial using CTZ for the treatment of endometriosis.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - K08 HL097085(United States)

Systematic Functional Annotation of Somatic Mutations in Cancer.

  • Ng PK
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2018 Mar 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

The functional impact of the vast majority of cancer somatic mutations remains unknown, representing a critical knowledge gap for implementing precision oncology. Here, we report the development of a moderate-throughput functional genomic platform consisting of efficient mutant generation, sensitive viability assays using two growth factor-dependent cell models, and functional proteomic profiling of signaling effects for select aberrations. We apply the platform to annotate >1,000 genomic aberrations, including gene amplifications, point mutations, indels, and gene fusions, potentially doubling the number of driver mutations characterized in clinically actionable genes. Further, the platform is sufficiently sensitive to identify weak drivers. Our data are accessible through a user-friendly, public data portal. Our study will facilitate biomarker discovery, prediction algorithm improvement, and drug development.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA016672()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - HL-090775(United States)

Unveiling the Role of Ecto-5'-Nucleotidase/CD73 in Astrocyte Migration by Using Pharmacological Tools.

  • Adzic M
  • Front Pharmacol
  • 2018 Mar 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

CD73 is a bifunctional glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored membrane protein which functions as ecto-5'-nucleotidase and a membrane receptor for extracellular matrix protein (ECM). A large body of evidence demonstrates a critical involvement of altered purine metabolism and particularly, increased expression of CD73 in a number of human disorders, including cancer and immunodeficiency. Massive up-regulation of CD73 was also found in reactive astrocytes in several experimental models of human neuropathologies. In all the pathological contexts studied so far, the increased expression of CD73 has been associated with the altered ability of cells to adhere and/or migrate. Thus, we hypothesized that increased expression of CD73 in reactive astrocytes has a role in the process of astrocyte adhesion and migration. In the present study, the involvement of CD73 in astrocyte migration was investigated in the scratch wound assay (SW), using primary astrocyte culture prepared from neonatal rat cortex. The cultures were treated with one of the following pharmacological inhibitors which preferentially target individual functions of CD73: (a) α,β-methylene ADP (APCP), which inhibits the catalytic activity of CD73 (b) polyclonal anti-CD73 antibodies, which bind to the internal epitope of CD73 molecule and mask their surface exposure and (c) small interfering CD73-RNA (siCD73), which silences the expression of CD73 gene. It was concluded that approaches that reduce surface expression of CD73 increase migration velocity and promote wound closure in the scratch wound assay, while inhibition of the enzyme activity by APCP induces redistribution of CD73 molecules at the cell surface, thus indirectly affecting cell adhesion and migration. Application of anti-CD73 antibodies induces a decrease in CD73 activity and membrane expression, through CD73 molecules shedding and their release to the culture media. In addition, all applied pharmacological inhibitors differentially affect other aspects of astrocyte function in vitro, including reduced cell proliferation, altered expression of adenosine receptors and increased expression of ERK1/2. Altogether these data imply that CD73 participates in cell adhesion/migration and transmits extracellular signals through interactions with ECM.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - CA11867(United States)

Nuclear Receptor Nur77 Facilitates Melanoma Cell Survival under Metabolic Stress by Protecting Fatty Acid Oxidation.

  • Li XX
  • Mol. Cell
  • 2018 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Fatty acid oxidation (FAO) is crucial for cells to overcome metabolic stress by providing ATP and NADPH. However, the mechanism by which FAO is regulated in tumors remains elusive. Here we show that Nur77 is required for the metabolic adaptation of melanoma cells by protecting FAO. Glucose deprivation activates ERK2 to phosphorylate and induce Nur77 translocation to the mitochondria, where Nur77 binds to TPβ, a rate-limiting enzyme in FAO. Although TPβ activity is normally inhibited by oxidation under glucose deprivation, the Nur77-TPβ association results in Nur77 self-sacrifice to protect TPβ from oxidation. FAO is therefore able to maintain NADPH and ATP levels and prevent ROS increase and cell death. The Nur77-TPβ interaction further promotes melanoma metastasis by facilitating circulating melanoma cell survival. This study demonstrates a novel regulatory function of Nur77 with linkage of the FAO-NADPH-ROS pathway during metabolic stress, suggesting Nur77 as a potential therapeutic target in melanoma.

Funding information:
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - R01 AR052785(United States)

B Cell Receptor and CD40 Signaling Are Rewired for Synergistic Induction of the c-Myc Transcription Factor in Germinal Center B Cells.

  • Luo W
  • Immunity
  • 2018 Feb 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Positive selection of germinal center (GC) B cells is driven by B cell receptor (BCR) affinity and requires help from follicular T helper cells. The transcription factors c-Myc and Foxo1 are critical for GC B cell selection and survival. However, how different affinity-related signaling events control these transcription factors in a manner that links to selection is unknown. Here we showed that GC B cells reprogram CD40 and BCR signaling to transduce via NF-κB and Foxo1, respectively, whereas naive B cells propagate both signals downstream of either receptor. Although either BCR or CD40 ligation induced c-Myc in naive B cells, both signals were required to highly induce c-Myc, a critical mediator of GC B cell survival and cell cycle reentry. Thus, GC B cells rewire their signaling to enhance selection stringency via a requirement for both antigen receptor- and T cell-mediated signals to induce mediators of positive selection.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01MH091115(United States)

KRAS Dimerization Impacts MEK Inhibitor Sensitivity and Oncogenic Activity of Mutant KRAS.

  • Ambrogio C
  • Cell
  • 2018 Feb 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

The mechanism by which the wild-type KRAS allele imparts a growth inhibitory effect to oncogenic KRAS in various cancers, including lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD), is poorly understood. Here, using a genetically inducible model of KRAS loss of heterozygosity (LOH), we show that KRAS dimerization mediates wild-type KRAS-dependent fitness of human and murine KRAS mutant LUAD tumor cells and underlies resistance to MEK inhibition. These effects are abrogated when wild-type KRAS is replaced by KRASD154Q, a mutant that disrupts dimerization at the α4-α5 KRAS dimer interface without changing other fundamental biochemical properties of KRAS, both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, dimerization has a critical role in the oncogenic activity of mutant KRAS. Our studies provide mechanistic and biological insights into the role of KRAS dimerization and highlight a role for disruption of dimerization as a therapeutic strategy for KRAS mutant cancers.

β2 Adrenergic-Neurotrophin Feedforward Loop Promotes Pancreatic Cancer.

  • Renz BW
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2018 Jan 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Catecholamines stimulate epithelial proliferation, but the role of sympathetic nerve signaling in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is poorly understood. Catecholamines promoted ADRB2-dependent PDAC development, nerve growth factor (NGF) secretion, and pancreatic nerve density. Pancreatic Ngf overexpression accelerated tumor development in LSL-Kras+/G12D;Pdx1-Cre (KC) mice. ADRB2 blockade together with gemcitabine reduced NGF expression and nerve density, and increased survival of LSL-Kras+/G12D;LSL-Trp53+/R172H;Pdx1-Cre (KPC) mice. Therapy with a Trk inhibitor together with gemcitabine also increased survival of KPC mice. Analysis of PDAC patient cohorts revealed a correlation between brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression, nerve density, and increased survival of patients on nonselective β-blockers. These findings suggest that catecholamines drive a feedforward loop, whereby upregulation of neurotrophins increases sympathetic innervation and local norepinephrine accumulation.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA013696()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R35 CA210088()
  • NCRR NIH HHS - S10 RR025686()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - DK053904(United States)

Notch Signaling Regulates Differentiation and Steroidogenesis in Female Mouse Ovarian Granulosa Cells.

  • Prasasya RD
  • Endocrinology
  • 2018 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The Notch pathway is a highly conserved juxtacrine signaling mechanism that is important for many cellular processes during development, including differentiation and proliferation. Although Notch is important during ovarian follicle formation and early development, its functions during the gonadotropin-dependent stages of follicle development are largely unexplored. We observed positive regulation of Notch activity and expression of Notch ligands and receptors following activation of the luteinizing hormone-receptor in prepubertal mouse ovary. JAG1, the most abundantly expressed Notch ligand in mouse ovary, revealed a striking shift in localization from oocytes to somatic cells following hormone stimulation. Using primary cultures of granulosa cells, we investigated the functions of Jag1 using small interfering RNA knockdown. The loss of JAG1 led to suppression of granulosa cell differentiation as marked by reduced expression of enzymes and factors involved in steroid biosynthesis, and in steroid secretion. Jag1 knockdown also resulted in enhanced cell proliferation. These phenotypes were replicated, although less robustly, following knockdown of the obligate canonical Notch transcription factor RBPJ. Intracellular signaling analysis revealed increased activation of the mitogenic phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B and mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathways following Notch knockdown, with a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase inhibitor blocking the enhanced proliferation observed in Jag1 knockdown granulosa cells. Activation of YB-1, a known regulator of granulosa cell differentiation genes, was suppressed by Jag1 knockdown. Overall, this study reveals a role of Notch signaling in promoting the differentiation of preovulatory granulosa cells, adding to the diverse functions of Notch in the mammalian ovary.

Funding information:
  • NIA NIH HHS - R56 AG016379(United States)
  • NICHD NIH HHS - P01 HD021921(United States)
  • NICHD NIH HHS - P50 HD028934(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM008061(United States)

Targeting KRAS Mutant Cancers with a Covalent G12C-Specific Inhibitor.

  • Janes MR
  • Cell
  • 2018 Jan 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

KRASG12C was recently identified to be potentially druggable by allele-specific covalent targeting of Cys-12 in vicinity to an inducible allosteric switch II pocket (S-IIP). Success of this approach requires active cycling of KRASG12C between its active-GTP and inactive-GDP conformations as accessibility of the S-IIP is restricted only to the GDP-bound state. This strategy proved feasible for inhibiting mutant KRAS in vitro; however, it is uncertain whether this approach would translate to in vivo. Here, we describe structure-based design and identification of ARS-1620, a covalent compound with high potency and selectivity for KRASG12C. ARS-1620 achieves rapid and sustained in vivo target occupancy to induce tumor regression. We use ARS-1620 to dissect oncogenic KRAS dependency and demonstrate that monolayer culture formats significantly underestimate KRAS dependency in vivo. This study provides in vivo evidence that mutant KRAS can be selectively targeted and reveals ARS-1620 as representing a new generation of KRASG12C-specific inhibitors with promising therapeutic potential.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01-CA093678(United States)

Natural Killer Cells Control Tumor Growth by Sensing a Growth Factor.

  • Barrow AD
  • Cell
  • 2018 Jan 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Many tumors produce platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-DD, which promotes cellular proliferation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, stromal reaction, and angiogenesis through autocrine and paracrine PDGFRβ signaling. By screening a secretome library, we found that the human immunoreceptor NKp44, encoded by NCR2 and expressed on natural killer (NK) cells and innate lymphoid cells, recognizes PDGF-DD. PDGF-DD engagement of NKp44 triggered NK cell secretion of interferon gamma (IFN)-γ and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) that induced tumor cell growth arrest. A distinctive transcriptional signature of PDGF-DD-induced cytokines and the downregulation of tumor cell-cycle genes correlated with NCR2 expression and greater survival in glioblastoma. NKp44 expression in mouse NK cells controlled the dissemination of tumors expressing PDGF-DD more effectively than control mice, an effect enhanced by blockade of the inhibitory receptor CD96 or CpG-oligonucleotide treatment. Thus, while cancer cell production of PDGF-DD supports tumor growth and stromal reaction, it concomitantly activates innate immune responses to tumor expansion.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - ZIA DK043403-11(United States)

Oncogenic KRAS Regulates Amino Acid Homeostasis and Asparagine Biosynthesis via ATF4 and Alters Sensitivity to L-Asparaginase.

  • Gwinn DM
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2018 Jan 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

KRAS is a regulator of the nutrient stress response in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Induction of the ATF4 pathway during nutrient depletion requires AKT and NRF2 downstream of KRAS. The tumor suppressor KEAP1 strongly influences the outcome of activation of this pathway during nutrient stress; loss of KEAP1 in KRAS mutant cells leads to apoptosis. Through ATF4 regulation, KRAS alters amino acid uptake and asparagine biosynthesis. The ATF4 target asparagine synthetase (ASNS) contributes to apoptotic suppression, protein biosynthesis, and mTORC1 activation. Inhibition of AKT suppressed ASNS expression and, combined with depletion of extracellular asparagine, decreased tumor growth. Therefore, KRAS is important for the cellular response to nutrient stress, and ASNS represents a promising therapeutic target in KRAS mutant NSCLC.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - (United States)
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA129562()
  • NCI NIH HHS - T32 CA009302()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS089868()

Role of the GM1 ganglioside oligosaccharide portion in the TrkA-dependent neurite sprouting in neuroblastoma cells.

  • Chiricozzi E
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2017 Dec 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

GM1 ganglioside (II3 NeuAc-Gg4 Cer) is known to promote neurite formation in neuroblastoma cells by activating TrkA-MAPK pathway. The molecular mechanism by which GM1 is involved in the neurodifferentiation process is still unknown, however, in vitro and in vivo evidences have suggested that the oligosaccharide portion of this ganglioside could be involved. Here, we report that, similarly to the entire GM1 molecule, its oligosaccharide II3 NeuAc-Gg4, rather than its ceramide (Cer) portion is responsible for the neurodifferentiation process by augmenting neurite elongation and increasing the neurofilament protein expression in murine neuroblastoma cells, Neuro2a. Conversely, asialo-GM1, GM2 and GM3 oligosaccharides are not effective in neurite elongation on Neuro2a cells, whereas the effect exerted by the Fuc-GM1 oligosaccharide (IV2 αFucII3 Neu5Ac-Gg4 ) is similar to that exerted by GM1 oligosaccharide. The neurotrophic properties of GM1 oligosaccharide are exerted by activating the TrkA receptor and the following phosphorylation cascade. By photolabeling experiments performed with a nitrophenylazide containing GM1 oligosaccharide, labeled with tritium, we showed a direct interaction between the GM1 oligosaccharide and the extracellular domain of TrkA receptor. Moreover, molecular docking analyses confirmed that GM1 oligosaccharide binds the TrkA-nerve growth factor complex leading to a binding free energy of approx. -11.5 kcal/mol, acting as a bridge able to increase and stabilize the TrkA-nerve growth factor molecular interactions.

EPA blocks TNF-α-induced inhibition of sugar uptake in Caco-2 cells via GPR120 and AMPK.

  • Castilla-Madrigal R
  • J. Cell. Physiol.
  • 2017 Dec 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

The aim of the present work was to investigate in Caco-2 cells whether eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, could block the inhibitory effect of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) on sugar transport, and identify the intracellular signaling pathways involved. After pre-incubation of the Caco-2 cells with TNF-α and EPA for 1 hr, EPA prevented the inhibitory effect of the cytokine on α-methyl-d-glucose (αMG) uptake (15 min) and on SGLT1 expression at the brush border membrane, measured by Western blot. The ERK1/2 inhibitor PD98059 and the AMPK activator AICAR also prevented the inhibitory effect of TNF-α on both αMG uptake and SGLT1 expression. Interestingly, the AMPK inhibitor, Compound C, abolished the ability of EPA to prevent TNF-α-induced reduction of sugar uptake and transporter expression. The GPR120 antagonist, AH7614, also blocked the preventive effect of EPA on TNF-α-induced decrease of αMG uptake and AMPK phosphorylation. In summary, TNF-α inhibits αMG uptake by decreasing SGLT1 expression in the brush border membrane through the activation of ERK1/2 pathway. EPA prevents the inhibitory effect of TNF-α through the involvement of GPR120 and AMPK activation.

TGF-β contamination of purified recombinant GDF15.

  • Olsen OE
  • PLoS ONE
  • 2017 Dec 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Purified recombinant proteins for use in biomedical research are invaluable to investigate protein function. However, purity varies in protein batches made in mammalian expression systems, such as CHO-cells or HEK293-cells. This study points to caution while investigating effects of proteins related to the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β superfamily. TGF-β itself is a very potent cytokine and has effects on cells in the femtomolar range. Thus, even very small amounts of contaminating TGF-β in purified protein batches may influence the experimental results given that receptors for TGF-β are present. When we attempted to characterize possible receptors for the TGF-β superfamily ligand GDF15, striking similarities between GDF15-induced activities and known TGF-β activities were found. However, differences between batches of GDF15 were a concern and finally led us to the conclusion that the measured effects were caused by TGF-β and not by GDF15. Our results emphasize that purified recombinant proteins must be used with caution and warrant proper controls. Notably, some conclusions made about GDF15 in already published papers may not be supported by the results shown. Awareness about this issue in the scientific community may prevent spreading of false positive results.

Funding information:
  • NIH HHS - R24-OD-011199(United States)

Propagating Wave of ERK Activation Orients Collective Cell Migration.

  • Aoki K
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2017 Nov 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

The biophysical framework of collective cell migration has been extensively investigated in recent years; however, it remains elusive how chemical inputs from neighboring cells are integrated to coordinate the collective movement. Here, we provide evidence that propagation waves of extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) mitogen-activated protein kinase activation determine the direction of the collective cell migration. A wound-healing assay of Mardin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) epithelial cells revealed two distinct types of ERK activation wave, a "tidal wave" from the wound, and a self-organized "spontaneous wave" in regions distant from the wound. In both cases, MDCK cells collectively migrated against the direction of the ERK activation wave. The inhibition of ERK activation propagation suppressed collective cell migration. An ERK activation wave spatiotemporally controlled actomyosin contraction and cell density. Furthermore, an optogenetic ERK activation wave reproduced the collective cell migration. These data provide new mechanistic insight into how cells sense the direction of collective cell migration.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM074917(United States)

Phosphofructokinase-P Modulates P44/42 MAPK Levels in HeLa Cells.

  • Cardim Pires TR
  • J. Cell. Biochem.
  • 2017 Nov 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

It is known that interfering with glycolysis leads to profound modification of cancer cell proliferation. However, energy production is not the major reason for this correlation. Here, using HeLa cells as a model for cancer, we demonstrate that phosphofructokinase-P (PFK-P), which is overexpressed in diverse types of cancer including HeLa cells, modulates expression of P44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). Silencing of PFK-P did not alter HeLa cell viability or energy production, including the glycolytic rate. On the other hand, silencing of PFK-P induced the downregulation of p44/42 MAPK, augmenting the sensitivity of HeLa cells to different drugs. Conversely, overexpression of PFK-P promotes the upregulation of p44/42 MAPK, making the cells more resistant to the drugs. These results indicate that overexpression of PFK-P by cancer cells is related to activation of survival pathways via upregulation of MAPK and suggest PFK-P as a promising target for cancer therapy. J. Cell. Biochem. 118: 1216-1226, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R21 EY023061(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM078585(United States)

Pharmacological targeting of GSK-3 and NRF2 provides neuroprotection in a preclinical model of tauopathy.

  • Cuadrado A
  • Redox Biol
  • 2017 Nov 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Tauopathies are a group of neurodegenerative disorders where TAU protein is presented as aggregates or is abnormally phosphorylated, leading to alterations of axonal transport, neuronal death and neuroinflammation. Currently, there is no treatment to slow progression of these diseases. Here, we have investigated whether dimethyl fumarate (DMF), an inducer of the transcription factor NRF2, could mitigate tauopathy in a mouse model. The signaling pathways modulated by DMF were also studied in mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEFs) from wild type or KEAP1-deficient mice. The effect of DMF on neurodegeneration, astrocyte and microglial activation was examined in Nrf2+/+ and Nrf2-/- mice stereotaxically injected in the right hippocampus with an adeno-associated vector expressing human TAUP301L and treated daily with DMF (100mg/kg, i.g) during three weeks. DMF induces the NRF2 transcriptional through a mechanism that involves KEAP1 but also PI3K/AKT/GSK-3-dependent pathways. DMF modulates GSK-3β activity in mouse hippocampi. Furthermore, DMF modulates TAU phosphorylation, neuronal impairment measured by calbindin-D28K and BDNF expression, and inflammatory processes involved in astrogliosis, microgliosis and pro-inflammatory cytokines production. This study reveals neuroprotective effects of DMF beyond disruption of the KEAP1/NRF2 axis by inhibiting GSK3 in a mouse model of tauopathy. Our results support repurposing of this drug for treatment of these diseases.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - P20 RR16462(United States)

GLUL Promotes Cell Proliferation in Breast Cancer.

  • Wang Y
  • J. Cell. Biochem.
  • 2017 Nov 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Glutamate-ammonia ligase (GLUL) belongs to the glutamine synthetase family. It catalyzes the synthesis of glutamine from glutamate and ammonia in an ATP-dependent reaction. Here, we found higher expression of GLUL in the breast cancer patients was associated with larger tumor size and higher level of HER2 expression. In addition, GLUL was heterogeneously expressed in various breast cancer cells. The mRNA and protein expression levels of GLUL in SK-BR-3 cells were obviously higher than that in the other types of breast cancer cells. Results showed GLUL knockdown in SK-BR-3 cells could significantly decrease the proliferation ability. Furthermore, GLUL knockdown markedly inhibited the p38 MAPK and ERK1/ERK2 signaling pathways in SK-BR-3 cells. Thus, GLUL may represent a novel target for selectively inhibiting p38 MAPK and ERK1/ERK2 signaling pathways and the proliferation potential of breast cancer cells. J. Cell. Biochem. 118: 2018-2025, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY004067(United States)

IL-1β Upregulates StAR and Progesterone Production Through the ERK1/2- and p38-Mediated CREB Signaling Pathways in Human Granulosa-Lutein Cells.

  • Dang X
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 Oct 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β (IL-1β) may be involved in several ovulation-associated events, such as protease synthesis, prostaglandin production, and steroidogenesis in granulosa cells. However, the exact effect of IL-1β on progesterone synthesis in granulosa cells and the underlying mechanism remain unclear. By using cultured granulosa-lutein cells collected from women undergoing in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection, we found that IL-1β upregulated steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) expression and progesterone synthesis in granulosa-lutein cells, which was comparable with luteinizing hormone effect and could be abolished by an IL-1 receptor antagonist. Moreover, IL-1β activated the phosphorylation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element-binding protein (CREB), and knockdown of CREB attenuated the induction of StAR expression and progesterone synthesis by IL-1β in granulosa-lutein cells. Furthermore, IL-1β activated the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 and p38 pathways and inhibition of the ERK1/2 and p38 pathways attenuated the IL-1β-induced phosphorylation of CREB, StAR expression, and progesterone synthesis in granulosa-lutein cells. In conclusion, IL-1β could upregulate StAR expression and stimulate progesterone biosynthesis through increase in CREB phosphorylation via activating the ERK1/2 and p38 pathways in human granulosa-lutein cells.

A Ketogenic Diet Extends Longevity and Healthspan in Adult Mice.

  • Roberts MN
  • Cell Metab.
  • 2017 Sep 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Calorie restriction, without malnutrition, has been shown to increase lifespan and is associated with a shift away from glycolysis toward beta-oxidation. The objective of this study was to mimic this metabolic shift using low-carbohydrate diets and to determine the influence of these diets on longevity and healthspan in mice. C57BL/6 mice were assigned to a ketogenic, low-carbohydrate, or control diet at 12 months of age and were either allowed to live their natural lifespan or tested for physiological function after 1 or 14 months of dietary intervention. The ketogenic diet (KD) significantly increased median lifespan and survival compared to controls. In aged mice, only those consuming a KD displayed preservation of physiological function. The KD increased protein acetylation levels and regulated mTORC1 signaling in a tissue-dependent manner. This study demonstrates that a KD extends longevity and healthspan in mice.

Funding information:
  • NIA NIH HHS - P01 AG025532()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - U24 DK092993()

Stimulus-evoked ERK-dependent phosphorylation of activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc) regulates its neuronal subcellular localization.

  • Nikolaienko O
  • Neuroscience
  • 2017 Sep 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

Activity-regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein (Arc) is implicated as a master regulator of long-term synaptic plasticity and memory formation in mammalian brain. Arc acts at synapses and within the nucleus, but the mechanisms controlling Arc localization and function are little known. As Arc transcription and translation are regulated by extracellularsignal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling, we asked whether Arc protein itself is phosphorylated by ERK. GST-fused Arc of rat origin was able to pull down endogenous ERK2 from rat hippocampal lysates. Using a peptide array, we show that ERK binds a non-canonical docking (D) motif in the C-terminal domain of Arc, and this interaction is abolished by phosphorylation of Tyr309. Activated ERK2 phosphorylated bacterially expressed Arc in vitro at all five predicted sites, as confirmed by phospho-specific protein staining and LC-MS/MS analysis. In neuroblastoma cells expressing epitope tagged-Arc, we demonstrate ERK-dependent phosphorylation of Arc in response to activation of muscarinic cholinergic receptors with carbachol. Using phosphosite-specific antibodies, this stimulus-evoked phosphorylation was shown to occur on Ser206 located within the central hinge region of Arc. In cultured hippocampal neurons expressing phosphomutant Arc under control of the activity-dependent promoter, we show that Ser206 phosphorylation regulates the nuclear:cytosolic localization of Arc. Thus, the neuronal activity-induced phosphomimic exhibits enhanced cytosolic localization relative to phosphodeficient and wild-type Arc. Furthermore, enhanced Ser206 phosphorylation of endogenous Arc was detected in the dentate gyrus cytoskeletal fraction after induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) in live rats. Taken together, this work demonstrates stimulus-evoked ERK-dependent phosphorylation and regulation of Arc protein.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - (United States)

Potent and Selective Covalent Quinazoline Inhibitors of KRAS G12C.

  • Zeng M
  • Cell Chem Biol
  • 2017 Aug 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Targeted covalent small molecules have shown promise for cancers driven by KRAS G12C. Allosteric compounds that access an inducible pocket formed by movement of a dynamic structural element in KRAS, switch II, have been reported, but these compounds require further optimization to enable their advancement into clinical development. We demonstrate that covalent quinazoline-based switch II pocket (SIIP) compounds effectively suppress GTP loading of KRAS G12C, MAPK phosphorylation, and the growth of cancer cells harboring G12C. Notably we find that adding an amide substituent to the quinazoline scaffold allows additional interactions with KRAS G12C, and remarkably increases the labeling efficiency, potency, and selectivity of KRAS G12C inhibitors. Structural studies using X-ray crystallography reveal a new conformation of SIIP and key interactions made by substituents located at the quinazoline 2-, 4-, and 7-positions. Optimized lead compounds in the quinazoline series selectively inhibit KRAS G12C-dependent signaling and cancer cell growth at sub-micromolar concentrations.

Modulation of Autophagy by BDNF Underlies Synaptic Plasticity.

  • Nikoletopoulou V
  • Cell Metab.
  • 2017 Jul 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Autophagy is crucial for neuronal integrity. Loss of key autophagic components leads to progressive neurodegeneration and structural defects in pre- and postsynaptic morphologies. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating autophagy in the brain remain elusive. Similarly, while it is widely accepted that protein turnover is required for synaptic plasticity, the contribution of autophagy to the degradation of synaptic proteins is unknown. Here, we report that BDNF signaling via the tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) and the phosphatidylinositol-3' kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway suppresses autophagy in vivo. In addition, we demonstrate that suppression of autophagy is required for BDNF-induced synaptic plasticity and for memory enhancement under conditions of nutritional stress. Finally, we identify three key remodelers of postsynaptic densities as cargo of autophagy. Our results establish autophagy as a pivotal component of BDNF signaling, which is essential for BDNF-induced synaptic plasticity. This molecular mechanism underlies behavioral adaptations that increase fitness in times of scarcity.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK094141(United States)
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - U24 DK093000(United States)

Short-Chain Fatty Acid Acetate Stimulates Adipogenesis and Mitochondrial Biogenesis via GPR43 in Brown Adipocytes.

  • Hu J
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 Jun 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Short-chain fatty acids play crucial roles in a range of physiological functions. However, the effects of short-chain fatty acids on brown adipose tissue have not been fully investigated. We examined the role of acetate, a short-chain fatty acid formed by fermentation in the gut, in the regulation of brown adipocyte metabolism. Our results show that acetate up-regulates adipocyte protein 2, peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α, and uncoupling protein-1 expression and affects the morphological changes of brown adipocytes during adipogenesis. Moreover, an increase in mitochondrial biogenesis was observed after acetate treatment. Acetate also elicited the activation of ERK and cAMP response element-binding protein, and these responses were sensitive to G(i/o)-type G protein inactivator, Gβγ-subunit inhibitor, phospholipase C inhibitor, and MAPK kinase inhibitor, indicating a role for the G(i/o)βγ/phospholipase C/protein kinase C/MAPK kinase signaling pathway in these responses. These effects of acetate were mimicked by treatment with 4-chloro-α-(1-methylethyl)-N-2-thiazolylbenzeneacetamide, a synthetic G protein-coupled receptor 43 (GPR43) agonist and were impaired in GPR43 knockdown cells. Taken together, our results indicate that acetate may have important physiological roles in brown adipocytes through the activation of GPR43.

Funding information:
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01AG033605(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R35 GM118110(United States)

Cardiac-Specific Disruption of GH Receptor Alters Glucose Homeostasis While Maintaining Normal Cardiac Performance in Adult Male Mice.

  • Jara A
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 Jun 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

GH is considered necessary for the proper development and maintenance of several tissues, including the heart. Studies conducted in both GH receptor null and bovine GH transgenic mice have demonstrated specific cardiac structural and functional changes. In each of these mouse lines, however, GH-induced signaling is altered systemically, being decreased in GH receptor null mice and increased in bovine GH transgenic mice. Therefore, to clarify the direct effects GH has on cardiac tissue, we developed a tamoxifen-inducible, cardiac-specific GHR disrupted (iC-GHRKO) mouse line. Cardiac GH receptor was disrupted in 4-month-old iC-GHRKO mice to avoid developmental effects due to perinatal GHR gene disruption. Surprisingly, iC-GHRKO mice showed no difference vs controls in baseline or postdobutamine stress test echocardiography measurements, nor did iC-GHRKO mice show differences in longitudinal systolic blood pressure measurements. Interestingly, iC-GHRKO mice had decreased fat mass and improved insulin sensitivity at 6.5 months of age. By 12.5 months of age, however, iC-GHRKO mice no longer had significant decreases in fat mass and had developed glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. Furthermore, investigation via immunoblot analysis demonstrated that iC-GHRKO mice had appreciably decreased insulin stimulated Akt phosphorylation, specifically in heart and liver, but not in epididymal white adipose tissue. These changes were accompanied by a decrease in circulating IGF-1 levels in 12.5-month-old iC-GHRKO mice. These data indicate that whereas the disruption of cardiomyocyte GH-induced signaling in adult mice does not affect cardiac function, it does play a role in systemic glucose homeostasis, in part through modulation of circulating IGF-1.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - EY026065(United States)

Developmental Programming: Insulin Sensitizer Prevents the GnRH-Stimulated LH Hypersecretion in a Sheep Model of PCOS.

  • Cardoso RC
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 May 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

Prenatal testosterone (T) treatment recapitulates the reproductive and metabolic phenotypes of polycystic ovary syndrome in female sheep. At the neuroendocrine level, prenatal T treatment results in disrupted steroid feedback on gonadotropin release, increased pituitary sensitivity to GnRH, and subsequent LH hypersecretion. Because prenatal T-treated sheep manifest functional hyperandrogenism and hyperinsulinemia, gonadal steroids and/or insulin may play a role in programming and/or maintaining these neuroendocrine defects. Here, we investigated the effects of prenatal and postnatal treatments with an androgen antagonist (flutamide [F]) or an insulin sensitizer (rosiglitazone [R]) on GnRH-stimulated LH secretion in prenatal T-treated sheep. As expected, prenatal T treatment increased the pituitary responsiveness to GnRH leading to LH hypersecretion. Neither prenatal interventions nor postnatal F treatment normalized the GnRH-stimulated LH secretion. Conversely, postnatal R treatment completely normalized the GnRH-stimulated LH secretion. At the tissue level, gestational T increased pituitary LHβ, androgen receptor, and insulin receptor-β, whereas it reduced estrogen receptor (ER)α protein levels. Although postnatal F normalized pituitary androgen receptor and insulin receptor-β, it failed to prevent an increase in LHβ expression. Contrarily, postnatal R treatment restored ERα and partially normalized LHβ pituitary levels. Immunohistochemical findings confirmed changes in pituitary ERα expression to be specific to gonadotropes. In conclusion, these findings indicate that increased pituitary responsiveness to GnRH in prenatal T-treated sheep is likely a function of reduced peripheral insulin sensitivity. Moreover, results suggest that restoration of ERα levels in the pituitary may be one mechanism by which R prevents GnRH-stimulated LH hypersecretion in this sheep model of polycystic ovary syndrome-like phenotype.

Funding information:
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - AR061933(United States)

Inhibition of Hematopoietic Cell Kinase Activity Suppresses Myeloid Cell-Mediated Colon Cancer Progression.

  • Poh AR
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2017 Apr 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Aberrant activation of the SRC family kinase hematopoietic cell kinase (HCK) triggers hematological malignancies as a tumor cell-intrinsic oncogene. Here we find that high HCK levels correlate with reduced survival of colorectal cancer patients. Likewise, increased Hck activity in mice promotes the growth of endogenous colonic malignancies and of human colorectal cancer cell xenografts. Furthermore, tumor-associated macrophages of the corresponding tumors show a pronounced alternatively activated endotype, which occurs independently of mature lymphocytes or of Stat6-dependent Th2 cytokine signaling. Accordingly, pharmacological inhibition or genetic reduction of Hck activity suppresses alternative activation of tumor-associated macrophages and the growth of colon cancer xenografts. Thus, Hck may serve as a promising therapeutic target for solid malignancies.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI065495()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI068150()

Soluble cpg15 from Astrocytes Ameliorates Neurite Outgrowth Recovery of Hippocampal Neurons after Mouse Cerebral Ischemia.

  • Zhao JJ
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Feb 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

The present study focuses on the function of cpg15, a neurotrophic factor, in ischemic neuronal recovery using transient global cerebral ischemic (TGI) mouse model and oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD)-treated primary cultured cells. The results showed that expression of cpg15 proteins in astrocytes, predominantly the soluble form, was significantly increased in mouse hippocampus after TGI and in the cultured astrocytes after OGD. Addition of the medium from the cpg15-overexpressed astrocytic culture into the OGD-treated hippocampal neuronal cultures reduces the neuronal injury, whereas the recovery of neurite outgrowths of OGD-injured neurons was prevented when cpg15 in the OGD-treated astrocytes was knocked down, or the OGD-treated-astrocytic medium was immunoadsorbed by cpg15 antibody. Furthermore, lentivirus-delivered knockdown of cpg15 expression in mouse hippocampal astrocytes diminishes the dendritic branches and exacerbates injury of neurons in CA1 region after TGI. In addition, treatment with inhibitors of MEK1/2, PI3K, and TrkA decreases, whereas overexpression of p-CREB, but not dp-CREB, increases the expression of cpg15 in U118 or primary cultured astrocytes. Also, it is observed that the Flag-tagged soluble cpg15 from the astrocytes transfected with Flag-tagged cpg15-expressing plasmids adheres to the surface of neuronal bodies and the neurites. In conclusion, our results suggest that the soluble cpg15 from astrocytes induced by ischemia could ameliorate the recovery of the ischemic-injured hippocampal neurons via adhering to the surface of neurons. The upregulated expression of cpg15 in astrocytes may be activated via MAPK and PI3K signal pathways, and regulation of CREB phosphorylation.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neuronal plasticity plays a crucial role in the amelioration of neurological recovery of ischemic injured brain, which remains a challenge for clinic treatment of cerebral ischemia. cpg15 as a synaptic plasticity-related factor may participate in promoting the recovery process; however, the underlying mechanisms are still largely unknown. The objective of this study is to reveal the function and mechanism of neuronal-specific cpg15 expressed in astrocytes after ischemia induction, in promoting the recovery of injured neurons. Our findings provided new mechanistic insight into the neurological recovery, which might help develop novel therapeutic options for cerebral ischemia via astrocytic-targeting interference of gene expression.

Crosstalk between CLCb/Dyn1-Mediated Adaptive Clathrin-Mediated Endocytosis and Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Signaling Increases Metastasis.

  • Chen PH
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2017 Feb 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Signaling receptors are internalized and regulated by clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME). Two clathrin light chain isoforms, CLCa and CLCb, are integral components of the endocytic machinery whose differential functions remain unknown. We report that CLCb is specifically upregulated in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells and is associated with poor patient prognosis. Engineered single CLCb-expressing NSCLC cells, as well as "switched" cells that predominantly express CLCb, exhibit increased rates of CME and altered clathrin-coated pit dynamics. This "adaptive CME" resulted from upregulation of dynamin-1 (Dyn1) and its activation through a positive feedback loop involving enhanced epidermal growth factor (EGF)-dependent Akt/GSK3β phosphorylation. CLCb/Dyn1-dependent adaptive CME selectively altered EGF receptor trafficking, enhanced cell migration in vitro, and increased the metastatic efficiency of NSCLC cells in vivo. We define molecular mechanisms for adaptive CME in cancer cells and a role for the reciprocal crosstalk between signaling and CME in cancer progression.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM042455()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM073165()

EGFR Induces E2F1-Mediated Corticotroph Tumorigenesis.

  • Araki T
  • J Endocr Soc
  • 2017 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), expressed in adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH)-secreting pituitary adenomas causing Cushing disease, regulates ACTH production and corticotroph proliferation. To elucidate the utility of EGFR as a therapeutic target for Cushing disease, we generated transgenic (Tg) mice with corticotroph-specific human EGFR expression (corti-EGFR-Tg) using a newly constructed corticotroph-specific promoter. Pituitary-specific EGFR expression was observed by 2.5 months, and aggressive ACTH-secreting pituitary adenomas with features of Crooke's cells developed by 8 months with 65% penetrance observed. Features consistent with the Cushing phenotype included elevated plasma ACTH and corticosterone levels, increased body weight, glucose intolerance, and enlarged adrenal cortex. Gefitinib, an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor, suppressed tumor POMC expression and downstream EGFR tumor signaling, and ACTH and corticosterone levels were attenuated by 80% and 78%, respectively. Both E2F1 and phosphorylated Ser-337 E2F1 were increased in corti-EGFR-Tg mice and also colocalized with human POMC (hPOMC) in human pituitary corticotroph tumor samples. EGFR inhibition reversed E2F1 activity in vivo, whereas E2F1 inhibition suppressed POMC and ACTH in cultured human pituitary tumor cells. The corti-EGFR-Tg phenotype recapitulates ACTH-secreting pituitary adenomas and Cushing disease, validating the relevance of EGFR to corticotroph tumorigenesis. E2F1 is identified as a promising corticotroph-specific target for ACTH-dependent Cushing disease.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - (Canada)

ApoE2, ApoE3, and ApoE4 Differentially Stimulate APP Transcription and Aβ Secretion.

  • Huang YA
  • Cell
  • 2017 Jan 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

Human apolipoprotein E (ApoE) apolipoprotein is primarily expressed in three isoforms (ApoE2, ApoE3, and ApoE4) that differ only by two residues. ApoE4 constitutes the most important genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD), ApoE3 is neutral, and ApoE2 is protective. How ApoE isoforms influence AD pathogenesis, however, remains unclear. Using ES-cell-derived human neurons, we show that ApoE secreted by glia stimulates neuronal Aβ production with an ApoE4 > ApoE3 > ApoE2 potency rank order. We demonstrate that ApoE binding to ApoE receptors activates dual leucine-zipper kinase (DLK), a MAP-kinase kinase kinase that then activates MKK7 and ERK1/2 MAP kinases. Activated ERK1/2 induces cFos phosphorylation, stimulating the transcription factor AP-1, which in turn enhances transcription of amyloid-β precursor protein (APP) and thereby increases amyloid-β levels. This molecular mechanism also regulates APP transcription in mice in vivo. Our data describe a novel signal transduction pathway in neurons whereby ApoE activates a non-canonical MAP kinase cascade that enhances APP transcription and amyloid-β synthesis.

Funding information:
  • NIA NIH HHS - RF1 AG048131()

Targeting mutant RAS in patient-derived colorectal cancer organoids by combinatorial drug screening.

  • Verissimo CS
  • Elife
  • 2016 Nov 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Colorectal cancer (CRC) organoids can be derived from almost all CRC patients and therefore capture the genetic diversity of this disease. We assembled a panel of CRC organoids carrying either wild-type or mutant RAS, as well as normal organoids and tumor organoids with a CRISPR-introduced oncogenic KRAS mutation. Using this panel, we evaluated RAS pathway inhibitors and drug combinations that are currently in clinical trial for RAS mutant cancers. Presence of mutant RAS correlated strongly with resistance to these targeted therapies. This was observed in tumorigenic as well as in normal organoids. Moreover, dual inhibition of the EGFR-MEK-ERK pathway in RAS mutant organoids induced a transient cell-cycle arrest rather than cell death. In vivo drug response of xenotransplanted RAS mutant organoids confirmed this growth arrest upon pan-HER/MEK combination therapy. Altogether, our studies demonstrate the potential of patient-derived CRC organoid libraries in evaluating inhibitors and drug combinations in a preclinical setting.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - MH-095972(United States)

eIF4A inactivates TORC1 in response to amino acid starvation.

  • Tsokanos FF
  • EMBO J.
  • 2016 May 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Amino acids regulate TOR complex 1 (TORC1) via two counteracting mechanisms, one activating and one inactivating. The presence of amino acids causes TORC1 recruitment to lysosomes where TORC1 is activated by binding Rheb. How the absence of amino acids inactivates TORC1 is less well understood. Amino acid starvation recruits the TSC1/TSC2 complex to the vicinity of TORC1 to inhibit Rheb; however, the upstream mechanisms regulating TSC2 are not known. We identify here the eIF4A-containing eIF4F translation initiation complex as an upstream regulator of TSC2 in response to amino acid withdrawal in Drosophila We find that TORC1 and translation preinitiation complexes bind each other. Cells lacking eIF4F components retain elevated TORC1 activity upon amino acid removal. This effect is specific for eIF4F and not a general consequence of blocked translation. This study identifies specific components of the translation machinery as important mediators of TORC1 inactivation upon amino acid removal.

Embryonic Poly(A)-Binding Protein (EPAB) Is Required for Granulosa Cell EGF Signaling and Cumulus Expansion in Female Mice.

  • Yang CR
  • Endocrinology
  • 2016 Jan 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

Embryonic poly(A)-binding protein (EPAB) is the predominant poly(A)-binding protein in Xenopus, mouse, and human oocytes and early embryos before zygotic genome activation. EPAB is required for translational activation of maternally stored mRNAs in the oocyte and Epab(-/-) female mice are infertile due to impaired oocyte maturation, cumulus expansion, and ovulation. The aim of this study was to characterize the mechanism of follicular somatic cell dysfunction in Epab(-/-) mice. Using a coculture system of oocytectomized cumulus oophorus complexes (OOXs) with denuded oocytes, we found that when wild-type OOXs were cocultured with Epab(-/-) oocytes, or when Epab(-/-) OOXs were cocultured with WT oocytes, cumulus expansion failed to occur in response to epidermal growth factor (EGF). This finding suggests that oocytes and cumulus cells (CCs) from Epab(-/-) mice fail to send and receive the necessary signals required for cumulus expansion. The abnormalities in Epab(-/-) CCs are not due to lower expression of the oocyte-derived factors growth differentiation factor 9 or bone morphogenetic protein 15, because Epab(-/-) oocytes express these proteins at comparable levels with WT. Epab(-/-) granulosa cells (GCs) exhibit decreased levels of phosphorylated MEK1/2, ERK1/2, and p90 ribosomal S6 kinase in response to lutenizing hormone and EGF treatment, as well as decreased phosphorylation of the EGF receptor. In conclusion, EPAB, which is oocyte specific, is required for the ability of CCs and GCs to become responsive to LH and EGF signaling. These results emphasize the importance of oocyte-somatic communication for GC and CC function.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R21 NS081467(United States)

Type 2 Iodothyronine Deiodinase Activity Is Required for Rapid Stimulation of PI3K by Thyroxine in Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells.

  • Aoki T
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Nov 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Thyroid hormones (THs) exert a number of physiological effects on the cardiovascular system. Some of the nongenomic actions of T3 are achieved by cross coupling the TH receptor (TR) with the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase Akt (Akt) pathway. We observed that both T3 and T4 rapidly stimulated Akt phosphorylation and Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (Rac1) activation, which resulted in cell migration, in a PI3K-dependent manner in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). We identified the expression of type 2 iodothyronine deiodinase (D2), which converts T4 to T3, and TRα1 in HUVECs. D2 activity was significantly stimulated by (Bu)2cAMP in HUVECs. The blockade of D2 activity through transfection of small interfering RNA (siRNA) specific to D2 as well as by addition of iopanoic acid, a potent D2 inhibitor, abolished Akt phosphorylation, Rac activation, and cell migration induced by T4 but not by T3. The inhibition of TRα1 expression by the transfection of siRNA for TRα1 canceled Akt phosphorylation, Rac activation, and cell migration induced by T3 and T4. These findings suggest that conversion of T4 to T3 by D2 is required for TRα1/PI3K-mediated nongenomic actions of T4 in HUVECs, including stimulation of Akt phosphorylation and Rac activation, which result in cell migration.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - U54 CA151881(United States)

Brown Adipose Tissue Transplantation Reverses Obesity in Ob/Ob Mice.

  • Liu X
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Jul 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Increasing evidence indicates that brown adipose tissue (BAT) transplantation enhances whole-body energy metabolism in a mouse model of diet-induced obesity. However, it remains unclear whether BAT also has such beneficial effects on genetically obese mice. To address this issue, we transplanted BAT from C57/BL6 mice into the dorsal subcutaneous region of age- and sex-matched leptin deficient Ob/Ob mice. Interestingly, BAT transplantation led to a significant reduction of body weight gain with increased oxygen consumption and decreased total body fat mass, resulting in improvement of insulin resistance and liver steatosis. In addition, BAT transplantation increased the level of circulating adiponectin, whereas it reduced the levels of circulating free T3 and T4, which regulate thyroid hormone sensitivity in peripheral tissues. BAT transplantation also increased β3-adrenergic receptor and fatty acid oxidation related gene expression in subcutaneous and epididymal (EP) white adipose tissue. Accordingly, BAT transplantation increased whole-body thermogenesis. Taken together our results demonstrate that BAT transplantation may reduce obesity and its related diseases by activating endogenous BAT.

Funding information:
  • NIBIB NIH HHS - R01EB8009(United States)
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK035254(United States)

Mechanisms involved in glucocorticoid induction of pituitary GH expression during embryonic development.

  • Ellestad LE
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Mar 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Glucocorticoid hormones are involved in functional differentiation of GH-producing somatotrophs. Glucocorticoid treatment prematurely induces GH expression in mammals and birds in a process requiring protein synthesis and Rat sarcoma (Ras) signaling. The objective of this study was to investigate mechanisms through which glucocorticoids initiate GH expression during embryogenesis, taking advantage of the unique properties of chicken embryos as a developmental model. We determined that stimulation of GH expression occurred through transcriptional activation of GH, rather than enhancement of mRNA stability, and this process requires histone deacetylase activity. Through pharmacological inhibition, we identified the ERK1/2 pathway as a likely downstream Ras effector necessary for glucocorticoid stimulation of GH. However, we also found that chronic activation of ERK1/2 activity with a constitutively active mutant or stimulatory ligand reduced initiation of GH expression by glucocorticoid treatment. Corticosterone treatment of cultured embryonic pituitary cells increased ERK1/2 activity in an apparent cyclical manner, with a rapid increase within 5 minutes, followed by a reduction to near-basal levels at 3 hours, and a subsequent increase again at 6 hours. Therefore, we conclude that ERK1/2 signaling must be strictly controlled for maximal glucocorticoid induction of GH to occur. These results are the first in any species to demonstrate that Ras- and ERK1/2-mediated transcriptional events requiring histone deacetylase activity are involved in glucocorticoid induction of pituitary GH during embryonic development. This report increases our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying glucocorticoid recruitment of somatotrophs during embryogenesis and should provide insight into glucocorticoid-induced developmental changes in other tissues and cell types.

Funding information:
  • NIBIB NIH HHS - U01 EB021236(United States)

Circulating PGRN is significantly associated with systemic insulin sensitivity and autophagic activity in metabolic syndrome.

  • Li H
  • Endocrinology
  • 2014 Sep 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Progranulin (PGRN) is a secreted protein that has recently emerged as an important regulatory adipokine of glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. We report here that serum PGRN concentrations were significantly higher in patients with metabolic syndrome (MS) than in subjects without MS and correlated positively with body mass index, waist circumference, fasting insulin, fasting plasma glucose, glycated hemoglobin A1c, triglyceride, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, and were inversely related to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and homeostasis model assessment of β cell function. Subgroup analysis in 32 subjects showed that elevated expression levels of PGRN were positively correlated with increased autophagy markers LC3 and Atg7 proteins in omental adipose tissue of subjects with MS. Consistent with these findings, the enhanced PGRN levels were also observed in multiple insulin-resistant cellular models, whereas PGRN-deficient adipocytes were more susceptible to insulin action and refractory to tunicamycin-induced autophagic disorders. PGRN remarkably attenuated insulin sensitivity, increased autophagic activity, and triggered endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in cultured human adipocytes, whereas these effects were nullified by reduction of ER stress with phenylbutyric acid chemical chaperone treatment. In addition, PGRN-induced ER stress and impaired insulin sensitivity were improved in TNFR1(-/-) cells, indicating a causative role of TNF receptor in the action of PGRN. Collectively, our findings suggest that circulating PGRN is significantly associated with systemic insulin sensitivity and autophagic activity in adipose tissue and support the notion that PGRN functions as a potential link between chronic inflammation and insulin resistance.

Funding information:
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - R01 AR057759(United States)

Protein kinase C (PKC) increases TACE/ADAM17 enzyme activity in porcine ovarian somatic cells, which is essential for granulosa cell luteinization and oocyte maturation.

  • Yamashita Y
  • Endocrinology
  • 2014 Mar 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

During in vitro maturation of porcine cumulus cell-oocyte complexes and in vitro luteinization of porcine granulosa cells, FSH induces the expression of the protease TNFα-converting enzyme/A disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain 17 (TACE/ADAM17) and the epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like factors, which activate the EGF receptor (EGFR)-MAPK3/1 pathway in both cumulus and granulosa cells. FSH is known to activate not only protein kinase A and p38MAPK pathways in both cell types but also activates protein kinase C (PKC). Because PKC-induced association of cellular-Sarcoma (c-Src) and TACE/ADAM17 is required for TACE/ADAM17 enzyme activation in some cancer cells, we hypothesized that PKC and c-Src impact TACE/ADAM17-mediated activation of EGFR signaling pathway in porcine granulosa and cumulus cells. When granulosa cells or cumulus cell-oocyte complexes were cultured with FSH, PKC activity and c-Src phosphorylation increased and were associated with increased TACE/ADAM17 enzyme activity. The PKC inhibitor calphostin C (CalC) and the c-Src inhibitor (4 amino 5 (4 chlorophenyl) 7 (t butyl)pyrazolo[3,4 d]pyrimidine [PP2]) suppressed TACE/ADAM17 enzyme activity, whereas these inhibitors did not affect Tace/Adam17 mRNA expression. Immunoprecipitation analysis showed that FSH mediated the association of c-Src with TACE/ADAM17 via a PKC-dependent mechanism. Either CalC or PP2 suppressed EGFR downstream signaling pathway (MAPK3/1) in these ovarian cell types and reduced cumulus expansion, meiotic maturation of oocytes, and progesterone production. The negative effects were overcome by the addition of amphiregulin. Collectively, these results indicate that activation of TACE/ADAM17 via a PKC-induced c-Src-dependent manner mediates proteolytic activation of the EGF-like factors that are involved in the induction of granulosa cell differentiation, cumulus expansion, and meiotic maturation of porcine oocytes in vitro.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - 5-T32EY013360-13(United States)

Implication of the Tpl2 kinase in inflammatory changes and insulin resistance induced by the interaction between adipocytes and macrophages.

  • Ceppo F
  • Endocrinology
  • 2014 Mar 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Adipose tissue inflammation is associated with the development of insulin resistance. In obese adipose tissue, lipopolysaccharides (LPSs) and saturated fatty acids trigger inflammatory factors that mediate a paracrine loop between adipocytes and macrophages. However, the inflammatory signaling proteins underlying this cross talk remain to be identified. The mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase tumor progression locus 2 (Tpl2) is activated by inflammatory stimuli, including LPS, and its expression is up-regulated in obese adipose tissue, but its role in the interaction between adipocytes and macrophages remains ill-defined. To assess the implication of Tpl2 in the cross talk between these 2 cell types, we used coculture system and conditioned medium (CM) from macrophages. Pharmacological inhibition of Tpl2 in the coculture markedly reduced lipolysis and cytokine production and prevented the decrease in adipocyte insulin signaling. Tpl2 knockdown in cocultured adipocytes reduced lipolysis but had a weak effect on cytokine production and did not prevent the alteration of insulin signaling. By contrast, Tpl2 silencing in cocultured macrophages resulted in a marked inhibition of cytokine production and prevented the alteration of adipocyte insulin signaling. Further, when Tpl2 was inhibited in LPS-activated macrophages, the produced CM did not alter adipocyte insulin signaling and did not induce an inflammatory response in adipocytes. By contrast, Tpl2 silencing in adipocytes did not prevent the deleterious effects of a CM from LPS-activated macrophages. Together, these data establish that Tpl2, mainly in macrophages, is involved in the cross talk between adipocytes and macrophages that promotes inflammatory changes and alteration of insulin signaling in adipocytes.

Funding information:
  • RRD VA - I01 RX002133(United States)

Bisphenol A promotes human prostate stem-progenitor cell self-renewal and increases in vivo carcinogenesis in human prostate epithelium.

  • Prins GS
  • Endocrinology
  • 2014 Mar 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Previous studies in rodent models have shown that early-life exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) reprograms the prostate and enhances its susceptibility to hormonal carcinogenesis with aging. To determine whether the human prostate is similarly sensitive to BPA, the current study used human prostate epithelial stem-like cells cultured from prostates of young, disease-free donors. Similar to estradiol-17β (E2), BPA increased stem-progenitor cell self-renewal and expression of stem-related genes in a dose-dependent manner. Further, 10 nM BPA and E2 possessed equimolar membrane-initiated signaling with robust induction of p-Akt and p-Erk at 15 minutes. To assess in vivo carcinogenicity, human prostate stem-progenitor cells combined with rat mesenchyme were grown as renal grafts in nude mice, forming normal human prostate epithelium at 1 month. Developmental BPA exposure was achieved through oral administration of 100 or 250 μg BPA/kg body weight to hosts for 2 weeks after grafting, producing free BPA levels of 0.39 and 1.35 ng/mL serum, respectively. Carcinogenesis was driven by testosterone plus E2 treatment for 2 to 4 months to model rising E2 levels in aging men. The incidence of high-grade prostate intraepithelial neoplasia and adenocarcinoma markedly increased from 13% in oil-fed controls to 33% to 36% in grafts exposed in vivo to BPA (P < .05). Continuous developmental BPA exposure through in vitro (200 nM) plus in vivo (250 μg/kg body weight) treatments increased high-grade prostate intraepithelial neoplasia/cancer incidence to 45% (P < .01). Together, the present findings demonstrate that human prostate stem-progenitor cells are direct BPA targets and that developmental exposure to BPA at low doses increases hormone-dependent cancer risk in the human prostate epithelium.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - 5R01NS066072(United States)

Molecular mechanisms underlying the rapid arrhythmogenic action of bisphenol A in female rat hearts.

  • Gao X
  • Endocrinology
  • 2013 Dec 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Previously we showed that bisphenol A (BPA), an environmental estrogenic endocrine disruptor, rapidly altered Ca(2+) handling and promoted arrhythmias in female rat hearts. The underlying molecular mechanism was not known. Here we examined the cardiac-specific signaling mechanism mediating the rapid impact of low-dose BPA in female rat ventricular myocytes. We showed that protein kinase A (PKA) and Ca(2+)/CaM-dependent protein kinase II (CAMKII) signaling pathways are the two major pathways activated by BPA. Exposure to 1 nM BPA rapidly increased production of cAMP and rapidly but transiently increased the phosphorylation of the ryanodine receptors by PKA but not by CAMKII. BPA also rapidly increased the phosphorylation of phospholamban (PLN), a key regulator protein of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) reuptake, by CAMKII but not PKA. The increase in CAMKII phosphorylation of PLN was mediated by phospholipase C and inositol trisphosphate receptor-mediated Ca(2+) release, likely from the endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) storage. These two pathways are likely localized, impacting only their respective target proteins. The rapid impacts of BPA on ryanodine receptors and PLN phosphorylation were mediated by estrogen receptor-β but not estrogen receptor-α. BPA's rapid signaling in cardiac myocytes did not involve activation of ERK1/2. Functional analysis showed that PKA but not CAMKII activation contributed to BPA-induced sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) leak, and both PKA and CAMKII were necessary contributors to the stimulatory effect of BPA on arrhythmogenesis. These results provide mechanistic insight into BPA's rapid proarrhythmic actions in female cardiac myocytes and contribute to the assessment of the consequence and potential cardiac toxicity of BPA exposure.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS078041(United States)

Maternal obesity enhances white adipose tissue differentiation and alters genome-scale DNA methylation in male rat offspring.

  • Borengasser SJ
  • Endocrinology
  • 2013 Nov 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

The risk of obesity (OB) in adulthood is strongly influenced by maternal body composition. Here we examined the hypothesis that maternal OB influences white adipose tissue (WAT) transcriptome and increases propensity for adipogenesis in the offspring, prior to the development of OB, using an established model of long-term metabolic programming. Employing an overfeeding-based rat model, in which exposure to OB is limited to preconception and gestation alone, we conducted global transcriptomic profiling in WAT, and gene/protein expression analysis of lipogenic and adipogenic pathways and examined adipogenic differentiation of WAT stromal-vascular cells ex vivo. Using reduced representation bisulfite sequencing we also evaluated genome-scale changes in DNA methylation in offspring WAT. Maternal OB led to extensive changes in expression of genes (± 1.8-fold, P ≤ .05), revealing a distinct up-regulation of lipogenic pathways in WAT. mRNA expression of a battery of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1-regulated genes was increased in OB-dam offspring, which were confirmed by immunoblotting. In conjunction with lipogenic gene expression, OB-dam offspring showed increased glucose transporter-4 mRNA/protein expression and greater AKT phosphorylation following acute insulin challenge, suggesting sensitization of insulin signaling in WAT. Offspring of OB dams also exhibited increased in vivo expression of adipogenic regulators (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ, CCAAT enhancer binding protein α [C/EBP-α] and C/EBP-β), associated with greater ex vivo differentiation of WAT stromal-vascular cells. These transcriptomic changes were associated with alterations in DNA methylation of CpG sites and CGI shores, proximal to developmentally important genes, including key pro-adipogenic factors (Zfp423 and C/EBP-β). Our findings strongly suggest that the maternal OB in utero alters adipocyte commitment and differentiation via epigenetic mechanisms.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - HD058056(United States)

Epidermal growth factor receptor signaling-dependent calcium elevation in cumulus cells is required for NPR2 inhibition and meiotic resumption in mouse oocytes.

  • Wang Y
  • Endocrinology
  • 2013 Sep 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

In preovulatory ovarian follicles, the oocyte is maintained in meiotic prophase arrest by natriuretic peptide precursor C (NPPC) and its receptor natriuretic peptide receptor 2 (NPR2). LH treatment results in the decrease of NPR2 guanylyl cyclase activity that promotes resumption of meiosis. We investigated the regulatory mechanism of LH-activated epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor signaling on NPR2 function. Cumulus cell-oocyte complex is cultured in the medium with 30 nM NPPC to prevent oocyte spontaneous maturation. In this system, EGF could stimulate oocyte meiotic resumption after 4 hours of incubation. Further study showed that EGF elevated intracellular calcium concentrations of cumulus cells and decreased cGMP levels in cumulus cells and oocytes, and calcium-elevating reagents ionomycin and sphingosine-1-phosphate mimicked the effects of EGF on oocyte maturation and cGMP levels. EGF-mediated cGMP levels and meiotic resumption could be reversed by EGF receptor inhibitor AG1478 and the calcium chelator bis-(o-aminophenoxy)-ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid, tetra(acetoxymethyl)-ester. EGF also decreased the expression of Npr2 mRNA in cumulus cells, which may not be involved in meiotic resumption, because the block of NPR2 protein de novo synthesis by cycloheximide had no effect on NPPC and EGF-mediated oocyte maturation. However, EGF had no effect on oocyte maturation when meiotic arrest was maintained in the present of cGMP analog 8-bromoadenosine-cGMP. These results suggest that EGF receptor signaling induces meiotic resumption by elevating calcium concentrations of cumulus cells to decrease NPR2 guanylyl cyclase activity.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - U54 CA143874(United States)

Integrated effects of leptin in the forebrain and hindbrain of male rats.

  • Desai BN
  • Endocrinology
  • 2013 Aug 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Leptin receptors (ObRs) in the forebrain and hindbrain have been independently recognized as important mediators of leptin responses. It is unclear how leptin activity in these areas is integrated. We tested whether both forebrain and hindbrain ObRs have to be activated simultaneously to change energy balance and to maintain metabolic homeostasis. Previous studies used acute leptin injections in either the third ventricle (1-5 μg) or the fourth ventricle (3-10 μg); here we used 12-day infusions of low doses of leptin in one or both ventricles (0.1 μg/24 h in third, 0.6 μg/24 h in fourth). Male Sprague Dawley rats were fitted with third and fourth ventricle cannulas, and saline or leptin was infused from Alzet pumps for 6 or 12 days. Rats that received leptin into only the third or the fourth ventricle were not different from controls that received saline in both ventricles. By contrast, rats with low-dose leptin infusions into both the third and fourth ventricle showed a dramatic 60% reduction in food intake that was reversed on day 6, a 20% weight loss that stabilized on day 6, and a 50% decrease in body fat at day 12 despite the correction of food intake. They displayed normal activity and maintained energy expenditure despite weight loss, indicating inappropriately high thermogenesis that coincided with increased signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) phosphorylation in the brainstem. Altogether, these findings show that with low doses of leptin, chronic activation of both hypothalamic and brainstem ObRs is required to reduce body fat.

Funding information:
  • NIAAA NIH HHS - R01 AA017413(United States)

Free fatty acids induce Lhb mRNA but suppress Fshb mRNA in pituitary LβT2 gonadotropes and diet-induced obesity reduces FSH levels in male mice and disrupts the proestrous LH/FSH surge in female mice.

  • Sharma S
  • Endocrinology
  • 2013 Jun 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Female obesity is associated with insulin resistance, hyperandrogenemia, and reproductive dysfunction. We hypothesized that elevated free fatty acids (FFAs) might directly modulate pituitary gonadotropin production. FFAs caused a time- and dose-dependent increase in phosphorylation of the MAPKs p38MAPK, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)-1/2, and ERK1/2 in LβT2 gonadotrope cells. Furthermore, FFAs up-regulated Lhb mRNA expression acutely, an effect that was blocked by JNK inhibition, but suppressed Fshb mRNA expression, an effect that was independent of MAPK signaling. FFAs enhanced the activation of the MAPKs in the presence of GnRH, although the cotreatment did not alter Lhb induction but did eliminate the GnRH induction of Fshb. FFAs also suppressed activin-induced Fshb expression. Knockdown experiments showed that the FFA effect on the inflammatory kinases p38MAPK and JNK and on Lhb, but not Fshb, mRNA expression is mediated via toll-like receptor-2 and toll-like receptor-4 and was mimicked by lipopolysaccharide stimulation. In vivo, male C57BL/6 mice on a high-fat diet showed reduced FSH levels consistent with the suppression of Fshb seen in vitro. Histological analysis of the testes showed an increased number of abnormal seminiferous tubules. Female mice on a high-fat diet lacked the expected proestrus LH and FSH surge and exhibited an increase in the number of days at estrus and a reduced number of days at proestrus, and ovaries had significantly fewer corpora lutea. Taken together, our findings suggest that lipid excess can lead to reproductive defects in both male and female mice.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - 1R01NS071956-01A1(United States)

RANTES has a potential to play a neuroprotective role in an autocrine/paracrine manner after ischemic stroke.

  • Tokami H
  • Brain Res.
  • 2013 Jun 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

Regulated upon Activation, Normal T-cell Expressed, and Secreted (RANTES) is a well-known pro-inflammatory chemokine and its role in ischemic stroke remains controversial. We examined the significance of RANTES in ischemic stroke and aimed to elucidate the direct effect of RANTES on neurons. Plasma concentrations of major C-C chemokines, including RANTES, and neurotrophic factors were examined in 171 ischemic stroke patients and age- and gender- matched healthy subjects. Plasma concentrations of RANTES at day 0 after onset were significantly elevated in stroke patients, compared with controls, and were highly correlated with those of BDNF, EGF, and VEGF. In a mouse middle cerebral artery occlusion model (MCAO), plasma RANTES was significantly elevated and the expression of RANTES was markedly upregulated in neurons particularly in peri-infarct areas. The expression of CCR3 and CCR5, receptors for RANTES, was also induced in neurons, while another receptor, CCR1, was observed in vascular cells, in peri-infarct areas after MCAO. We examined the effects of RANTES on differentiated PC12 cells, a model of neuronal cells. Treatment with RANTES induced the activation of Akt and Erk1/2, and attenuated the cleavage of caspase-3 in the cells. RANTES increased the expression of BDNF, EGF, and VEGF in the cells. Moreover, RANTES maintained the number of cells under serum free conditions. The RANTES-mediated upregulation of neurotrophic factors and cell survival were significantly attenuated by the inhibition of Akt or Erk1/2. Taken together, RANTES is an interesting chemokine that is produced from neurons after ischemic stroke and has the potential to protect neurons directly or indirectly through the production of neurotrophic factors in peri-infarct areas.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - 5R01DK069983-02(United States)