The polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) consists of core subunits SUZ12, EED, RBBP4/7, and EZH1/2 and is responsible for mono-, di-, and tri-methylation of lysine 27 on histone H3. Whereas two distinct forms exist, PRC2.1 (containing one polycomb-like protein) and PRC2.2 (containing AEBP2 and JARID2), little is known about their differential functions. Here, we report the discovery of a family of vertebrate-specific PRC2.1 proteins, "PRC2 associated LCOR isoform 1" (PALI1) and PALI2, encoded by the LCOR and LCORL gene loci, respectively. PALI1 promotes PRC2 methyltransferase activity in vitro and in vivo and is essential for mouse development. Pali1 and Aebp2 define mutually exclusive, antagonistic PRC2 subtypes that exhibit divergent H3K27-tri-methylation activities. The balance of these PRC2.1/PRC2.2 activities is required for the appropriate regulation of polycomb target genes during differentiation. PALI1/2 potentially link polycombs with transcriptional co-repressors in the regulation of cellular identity during development and in cancer.
The α-synuclein protein exists in vivo in a variety of covalently modified and aggregated forms associated with Parkinson's disease (PD) pathology. However, the specific proteoform structures involved with neuropathological disease mechanisms are not clearly defined. Since α-synuclein plays a role in presynaptic neurotransmitter release, an in vitro enzyme-based assay was developed to measure glutamate release from mouse forebrain synaptoneurosomes (SNs) enriched in synaptic endings. Glutamate measurements utilizing SNs from various mouse genotypes (WT, over-expressers, knock-outs) suggested a concentration dependence of α-synuclein on calcium/depolarization-dependent presynaptic glutamate release from forebrain terminals. In vitro reconstitution experiments with recombinant human α-synuclein proteoforms including monomers and aggregated forms (fibrils, oligomers) produced further evidence of this functional impact. Notably, brief exogenous applications of fibrillated forms of α-synuclein enhanced SN glutamate release but monomeric forms did not, suggesting preferential membrane penetration and toxicity by the aggregated forms. However, when applied to brain tissue sections just prior to homogenization, both monomeric and fibrillated forms stimulated glutamate release. Immuno-gold and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) detected exogenous fibrillated α-synuclein associated with numerous SN membranous structures including synaptic terminals. Western blots and immuno-gold TEM were consistent with SN internalization of α-synuclein. Additional studies revealed no evidence of gross disruption of SN membrane integrity or glutamate transporter function by exogenous α-synuclein. Overall excitotoxicity, due to enhanced glutamate release in the face of either overexpressed monomeric α-synuclein or extrasynaptic exposure to fibrillated α-synuclein, should be considered as a potential neuropathological pathway during the progression of PD and other synucleinopathies. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Hemodynamic forces regulate vascular functions. Disturbed flow (DF) occurs in arterial bifurcations and curvatures, activates endothelial cells (ECs), and results in vascular inflammation and ultimately atherosclerosis. However, how DF alters EC metabolism, and whether resulting metabolic changes induce EC activation, is unknown. Using transcriptomics and bioenergetic analysis, we discovered that DF induces glycolysis and reduces mitochondrial respiratory capacity in human aortic ECs. DF-induced metabolic reprogramming required hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), downstream of NAD(P)H oxidase-4 (NOX4)-derived reactive oxygen species (ROS). HIF-1α increased glycolytic enzymes and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase-1 (PDK-1), which reduces mitochondrial respiratory capacity. Swine aortic arch endothelia exhibited elevated ROS, NOX4, HIF-1α, and glycolytic enzyme and PDK1 expression, suggesting that DF leads to metabolic reprogramming in vivo. Inhibition of glycolysis reduced inflammation suggesting a causal relationship between flow-induced metabolic changes and EC activation. These findings highlight a previously uncharacterized role for flow-induced metabolic reprogramming and inflammation in ECs.