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Phospho-p44/42 MAPK (Erk1/2) (Thr202/Tyr204) antibody

RRID:AB_2315112

Antibody ID

AB_2315112

Target Antigen

p44 / 42 MAPK, phospho (Thr202 / Tyr204) human, mouse, rat, hamster, monkey, mink, d melanogaster, zebrafish, bovine, dog, pig, s cerevisiae

Proper Citation

(Cell Signaling Technology Cat# 4370, RRID:AB_2315112)

Clonality

monoclonal antibody

Comments

Applications: W, IP, IHC-P, IF-IC, F. Consolidation on 9/2016: AB_2297462, AB_10234795.

Clone ID

D13.14.4E

Host Organism

rabbit

Vendor

Cell Signaling Technology

Cat Num

4370 also 4370L, 4370S, 4370P, 4370T

Publications that use this research resource

Bi-allelic Loss of CDKN2A Initiates Melanoma Invasion via BRN2 Activation.

  • Zeng H
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2018 Jul 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

Loss of the CDKN2A tumor suppressor is associated with melanoma metastasis, but the mechanisms connecting the phenomena are unknown. Using CRISPR-Cas9 to engineer a cellular model of melanoma initiation from primary human melanocytes, we discovered that a lineage-restricted transcription factor, BRN2, is downstream of CDKN2A and directly regulated by E2F1. In a cohort of melanocytic tumors that capture distinct progression stages, we observed that CDKN2A loss coincides with both the onset of invasive behavior and increased BRN2 expression. Loss of the CDKN2A protein product p16INK4A permitted metastatic dissemination of human melanoma lines in mice, a phenotype rescued by inhibition of BRN2. These results demonstrate a mechanism by which CDKN2A suppresses the initiation of melanoma invasion through inhibition of BRN2.

Funding information:
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - N01-AR-1-2256(United States)

Highly multiplexed immunofluorescence imaging of human tissues and tumors using t-CyCIF and conventional optical microscopes.

  • Lin JR
  • Elife
  • 2018 Jul 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

The architecture of normal and diseased tissues strongly influences the development and progression of disease as well as responsiveness and resistance to therapy. We describe a tissue-based cyclic immunofluorescence (t-CyCIF) method for highly multiplexed immuno-fluorescence imaging of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) specimens mounted on glass slides, the most widely used specimens for histopathological diagnosis of cancer and other diseases. t-CyCIF generates up to 60-plex images using an iterative process (a cycle) in which conventional low-plex fluorescence images are repeatedly collected from the same sample and then assembled into a high dimensional representation. t-CyCIF requires no specialized instruments or reagents and is compatible with super-resolution imaging; we demonstrate its application to quantifying signal transduction cascades, tumor antigens and immune markers in diverse tissues and tumors. The simplicity and adaptability of t-CyCIF makes it an effective method for pre-clinical and clinical research and a natural complement to single-cell genomics.

Funding information:
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - BB/G006474/2(United Kingdom)
  • Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center - Claudia Adams Barr Program()
  • Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center - GI SPORE Developmental Research Project Award()
  • National Institutes of Health - K08CA222663()
  • National Institutes of Health - P50GM107618()
  • National Institutes of Health - R41-CA224503()
  • National Institutes of Health - U54HL127365()

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)

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)

Luminance Changes Drive Directional Startle through a Thalamic Pathway.

  • Heap LAL
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Jun 28

Literature context:


Abstract:

Looming visual stimuli result in escape responses that are conserved from insects to humans. Despite their importance for survival, the circuits mediating visual startle have only recently been explored in vertebrates. Here we show that the zebrafish thalamus is a luminance detector critical to visual escape. Thalamic projection neurons deliver dim-specific information to the optic tectum, and ablations of these projections disrupt normal tectal responses to looms. Without this information, larvae are less likely to escape from dark looming stimuli and lose the ability to escape away from the source of the loom. Remarkably, when paired with an isoluminant loom stimulus to the opposite eye, dimming is sufficient to increase startle probability and to reverse the direction of the escape so that it is toward the loom. We suggest that bilateral comparisons of luminance, relayed from the thalamus to the tectum, facilitate escape responses and are essential for their directionality.

Funding information:
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - BBS/E/B/000C0407(United Kingdom)

The Balance of PI3K and ERK Signaling Is Dysregulated in Prolactinoma and Modulated by Dopamine.

  • Roof AK
  • Endocrinology
  • 2018 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Prolactin-secreting adenomas, or prolactinomas, cause hypogonadism, osteoporosis, and infertility. Although dopamine agonists (DAs) are used clinically to treat prolactinoma and reduce prolactin secretion via cAMP inhibition, the precise mechanism by which DAs inhibit lactotrope proliferation has not been defined. In this study, we report that phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signals through AKT and mTOR to drive proliferation of pituitary somatolactotrope GH4T2 cells. We demonstrate that the DA cabergoline reduces activity of the mTOR effector s6K and diminishes GH4T2 cell proliferation primarily via activation of the long isoform of the dopamine D2 receptor (D2R). Dysfunctional D2R-mediated signaling and/or downregulated D2R expression is thought be the primary mechanism of DA resistance, which is observed in 10% to 20% of prolactinoma tumors. Dopamine-mediated D2R activation results in ERK stimulation and PI3K inhibition, suggesting that these two pathways act in an inverse manner to maintain lactotrope homeostasis. In this study, we found that ERK1/2-mediated prolactin transcription is inhibited by PI3K/CDK4-driven cell cycle progression, emphasizing that the ERK and PI3K signaling pathways oppose one another in lactotrope cells under homeostatic conditions. Lastly, we show that both ERK1/2 and AKT are activated in prolactinoma, demonstrating that the balance of ERK and AKT is dysregulated in human prolactinoma. Our findings reveal a potential use for dual pharmacological inhibitors of ERK and AKT as an alternative treatment strategy for DA-resistant prolactinomas.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY020889-02(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)

Cancer Cells Co-opt the Neuronal Redox-Sensing Channel TRPA1 to Promote Oxidative-Stress Tolerance.

  • Takahashi N
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2018 Jun 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cancer cell survival is dependent on oxidative-stress defenses against reactive oxygen species (ROS) that accumulate during tumorigenesis. Here, we show a non-canonical oxidative-stress defense mechanism through TRPA1, a neuronal redox-sensing Ca2+-influx channel. In TRPA1-enriched breast and lung cancer spheroids, TRPA1 is critical for survival of inner cells that exhibit ROS accumulation. Moreover, TRPA1 promotes resistance to ROS-producing chemotherapies, and TRPA1 inhibition suppresses xenograft tumor growth and enhances chemosensitivity. TRPA1 does not affect redox status but upregulates Ca2+-dependent anti-apoptotic pathways. NRF2, an oxidant-defense transcription factor, directly controls TRPA1 expression, thus providing an orthogonal mechanism for protection against oxidative stress together with canonical ROS-neutralizing mechanisms. These findings reveal an oxidative-stress defense program involving TRPA1 that could be exploited for targeted cancer therapies.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - C06 RR030414(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)

Maternal separation stress reduced prenatal-ethanol-induced increase in exploratory behaviour and extracellular signal-regulated kinase activity.

  • Swart PC
  • Behav. Brain Res.
  • 2018 Jun 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

In an attempt to better represent the aetiology of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and the associated psychological deficits, prenatal-ethanol exposure was followed by maternal separation in a rat model in order to account for the effects of early-life adversities in addition to in utero alcohol exposure. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and glycogen synthase kinase 3-β (GSK3β) are converging points for many signalling cascades and have been implicated in models of FASD and models of early-life stress. Therefore, these kinases may also contribute to the behavioural changes observed after the combination of both developmental insults. In this study, ethanol-dams voluntarily consumed a 0.066% saccharin-sweetened 10% ethanol (EtOH) solution for 10 days prior to pregnancy and throughout gestation while control-dams had ad libitumaccess to a 0.066% saccharin (sacc) solution. Whole litters were randomly assigned to undergo maternal separation (MS) for 3 h/day from P2 to P14 while the remaining litters were left undisturbed (nMS). This resulted in 4 experimental groups: control (sacc + nMS), MS (sacc + MS), EtOH (EtOH + nMS) and EtOH + MS. Throughout development, EtOH-rats weighed less than control rats. However, subsequent maternal separation stress caused EtOH + MS-rats to weigh more than EtOH-rats. In adulthood both MS- and EtOH-rats were hyperactive but the combination produced activity levels similar to that of control rats. All treated animals (MS-, EtOH- and EtOH + MS-rats) demonstrated a negative affective state shown by increased number and duration of 22 kHz ultrasonic vocalizations compared to control rats. Prenatal-ethanol exposure increased the P-GSK3β/GSK3β ratio in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and maternal separation decreased the P-GSK3β/GSK3β ratio in the dorsal hippocampus (DH) of adult rats. However, maternal separation stress decreased the effect of prenatal-ethanol exposure on the P-ERK/ERK ratio in the PFC and DH and reduced prenatal-ethanol-induced hyperactivity. Therefore, indicating a significant interaction between prenatal-ethanol exposure and early-life stress on behaviour and the brain and may implicate P-ERK1/2 signalling in exploratory behaviour.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI048562-07(United States)

Behavioral and cellular dopamine D1 and D3 receptor-mediated synergy: Implications for L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia.

  • Lanza K
  • Neuropharmacology
  • 2018 Jun 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Individually, D1 and D3 dopamine receptors (D1R and D3R, respectively) have been implicated in L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia (LID). Of late, direct D1R-D3R interactions have been linked to LID yet remain enigmatic. Therefore, the current research sought to characterize consequences of putative D1R-D3R interactions in dyskinesia expression and in LID-associated downstream cellular signaling. To do so, adult male Sprague-Dawley hemi-parkinsonian rats were given daily L-DOPA (6 mg/kg; s.c.) for 2 weeks to establish stable LID, as measured via the abnormal voluntary movements (AIMs) scale. Thereafter, rats underwent dose-response AIMs testing for the D1R agonist SKF38393 (0, 0.3, 1.0, 3.0 mg/kg) and the D3R agonist, PD128907 (0, 0.1, 0.3, 1.0 mg/kg). Each agonist dose-dependently induced dyskinesia, implicating individual receptor involvement. More importantly, when threshold doses were co-administered, rats displayed synergistic exacerbation of dyskinesia. Interestingly, this observation was not mirrored in general locomotor behaviors, highlighting a potentially dyskinesia-specific effect. To illuminate the mechanisms by which D1R-D3R co-stimulation led to in vivo synergy, levels of striatal phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (pERK1/2) were quantified after administration of SKF38393 and/or PD128907. Combined agonist treatment synergistically drove striatal pERK1/2 expression. Together, these results support the presence of a functional, synergistic interaction between D1R and D3R that manifests both behaviorally and biochemically to drive dyskinesia in hemi-parkinsonian rats.

Funding information:
  • NIDCR NIH HHS - T90DE021985(United States)

Epithelial Sodium Channel Regulates Adult Neural Stem Cell Proliferation in a Flow-Dependent Manner.

  • Petrik D
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2018 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

One hallmark of adult neurogenesis is its adaptability to environmental influences. Here, we uncovered the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) as a key regulator of adult neurogenesis as its deletion in neural stem cells (NSCs) and their progeny in the murine subependymal zone (SEZ) strongly impairs their proliferation and neurogenic output in the olfactory bulb. Importantly, alteration of fluid flow promotes proliferation of SEZ cells in an ENaC-dependent manner, eliciting sodium and calcium signals that regulate proliferation via calcium-release-activated channels and phosphorylation of ERK. Flow-induced calcium signals are restricted to NSCs in contact with the ventricular fluid, thereby providing a highly specific mechanism to regulate NSC behavior at this special interface with the cerebrospinal fluid. Thus, ENaC plays a central role in regulating adult neurogenesis, and among multiple modes of ENaC function, flow-induced changes in sodium signals are critical for NSC biology.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - ZIA CP005803-15(United States)

Encoding Growth Factor Identity in the Temporal Dynamics of FOXO3 under the Combinatorial Control of ERK and AKT Kinases.

  • Sampattavanich S
  • Cell Syst
  • 2018 Jun 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

Extracellular growth factors signal to transcription factors via a limited number of cytoplasmic kinase cascades. It remains unclear how such cascades encode ligand identities and concentrations. In this paper, we use live-cell imaging and statistical modeling to study FOXO3, a transcription factor regulating diverse aspects of cellular physiology that is under combinatorial control. We show that FOXO3 nuclear-to-cytosolic translocation has two temporally distinct phases varying in magnitude with growth factor identity and cell type. These phases comprise synchronous translocation soon after ligand addition followed by an extended back-and-forth shuttling; this shuttling is pulsatile and does not have a characteristic frequency, unlike a simple oscillator. Early and late dynamics are differentially regulated by Akt and ERK and have low mutual information, potentially allowing the two phases to encode different information. In cancer cells in which ERK and Akt are dysregulated by oncogenic mutation, the diversity of states is lower.

Funding information:
  • British Heart Foundation - RG/11/17/29256(United Kingdom)
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - U54 HL127365()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - P50 GM107618()

A Novel Role for Lymphotactin (XCL1) Signaling in the Nervous System: XCL1 Acts via its Receptor XCR1 to Increase Trigeminal Neuronal Excitability.

  • Bird EV
  • Neuroscience
  • 2018 May 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Chemokines are known to have a role in the nervous system, influencing a range of processes including the development of chronic pain. To date there are very few studies describing the functions of the chemokine lymphotactin (XCL1) or its receptor (XCR1) in the nervous system. We investigated the role of the XCL1-XCR1 axis in nociceptive processing, using a combination of immunohistochemical, pharmacological and electrophysiological techniques. Expression of XCR1 in the rat mental nerve was elevated 3 days following chronic constriction injury (CCI), compared with 11 days post-CCI and sham controls. XCR1 co-existed with neuronal marker PGP9.5, leukocyte common antigen CD45 and Schwann cell marker S-100. In the trigeminal root and white matter of the brainstem, XCR1-positive cells co-expressed the oligodendrocyte marker Olig2. In trigeminal subnucleus caudalis (Vc), XCR1 immunoreactivity was present in the outer laminae and was colocalized with vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGlut2), but not calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) or isolectin B4 (IB4). Incubation of brainstem slices with XCL1 induced activation of c-Fos, ERK and p38 in the superficial layers of Vc, and enhanced levels of intrinsic excitability. These effects were blocked by the XCR1 antagonist viral CC chemokine macrophage inhibitory protein-II (vMIP-II). This study has identified for the first time a role for XCL1-XCR1 in nociceptive processing, demonstrating upregulation of XCR1 at nerve injury sites and identifying XCL1 as a modulator of central excitability and signaling via XCR1 in Vc, a key area for modulation of orofacial pain, thus indicating XCR1 as a potential target for novel analgesics.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - 87834(United Kingdom)

Multi-stage Differentiation Defines Melanoma Subtypes with Differential Vulnerability to Drug-Induced Iron-Dependent Oxidative Stress.

  • Tsoi J
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2018 May 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

Malignant transformation can result in melanoma cells that resemble different stages of their embryonic development. Our gene expression analysis of human melanoma cell lines and patient tumors revealed that melanoma follows a two-dimensional differentiation trajectory that can be subclassified into four progressive subtypes. This differentiation model is associated with subtype-specific sensitivity to iron-dependent oxidative stress and cell death known as ferroptosis. Receptor tyrosine kinase-mediated resistance to mitogen-activated protein kinase targeted therapies and activation of the inflammatory signaling associated with immune therapy involves transitions along this differentiation trajectory, which lead to increased sensitivity to ferroptosis. Therefore, ferroptosis-inducing drugs present an orthogonal therapeutic approach to target the differentiation plasticity of melanoma cells to increase the efficacy of targeted and immune therapies.

Funding information:
  • BLRD VA - IK2 BX001559(United States)
  • NCATS NIH HHS - UL1 TR000124()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R21 CA169993()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM008042()

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)

Salmonella Typhi Colonization Provokes Extensive Transcriptional Changes Aimed at Evading Host Mucosal Immune Defense During Early Infection of Human Intestinal Tissue.

  • Nickerson KP
  • EBioMedicine
  • 2018 May 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Commensal microorganisms influence a variety of host functions in the gut, including immune response, glucose homeostasis, metabolic pathways and oxidative stress, among others. This study describes how Salmonella Typhi, the pathogen responsible for typhoid fever, uses similar strategies to escape immune defense responses and survive within its human host. To elucidate the early mechanisms of typhoid fever, we performed studies using healthy human intestinal tissue samples and "mini-guts," organoids grown from intestinal tissue taken from biopsy specimens. We analyzed gene expression changes in human intestinal specimens and bacterial cells both separately and after colonization. Our results showed mechanistic strategies that S. Typhi uses to rearrange the cellular machinery of the host cytoskeleton to successfully invade the intestinal epithelium, promote polarized cytokine release and evade immune system activation by downregulating genes involved in antigen sampling and presentation during infection. This work adds novel information regarding S. Typhi infection pathogenesis in humans, by replicating work shown in traditional cell models, and providing new data that can be applied to future vaccine development strategies.

Funding information:
  • NIDCR NIH HHS - R01 DE010389(United States)
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P30 DK040561()

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()

FFAR4 is involved in regulation of neurotensin release from neuroendocrine cells and male C57BL/6 mice.

  • Li J
  • Endocrinology
  • 2018 May 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

NT, a 13-amino acid peptide, is predominantly released from enteroendocrine cells of the small bowel in response to fat ingestion. Free fatty acid receptors, FFAR1 and FFAR4, regulate secretion of gut hormones and insulin. Here, we show that docosahexaenoic acid, a long-chain fatty acid, has the most dramatic effect on NT release. FFAR1 agonists slightly whereas FFAR4 agonists dramaticly stimulate and amplify NT secretion. Double knockdown of FFAR1 and FFAR4 decreases, but overexpression of FFAR4 but not FFAR1 increases, NT release. Administration of cpdA, the FFAR4 agonist, but not TAK-875, a selective FFAR1 agonist, increases plasma NT and further increases olive oil-stimulated plasma NT levels. Inhibition of MEK/ERK1/2 decreased FA-stimulated NT release but increased AMPK phosphorylation. In contrast, inhibition of AMPK further increased NT secretion and ERK1/2 phosphorylation mediated by FFAR1 or 4. Our results indicate that FFAR4 plays more critical role vs. FFAR1 in mediation of fat-regulated NT release and an inhibitory crosstalk between MEK/ERK1/2 and AMPK in the control of NT release downstream of FFAR1/4.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R44 HD057744(United States)

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()

Different Neuronal Activity Patterns Induce Different Gene Expression Programs.

  • Tyssowski KM
  • Neuron
  • 2018 May 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

A vast number of different neuronal activity patterns could each induce a different set of activity-regulated genes. Mapping this coupling between activity pattern and gene induction would allow inference of a neuron's activity-pattern history from its gene expression and improve our understanding of activity-pattern-dependent synaptic plasticity. In genome-scale experiments comparing brief and sustained activity patterns, we reveal that activity-duration history can be inferred from gene expression profiles. Brief activity selectively induces a small subset of the activity-regulated gene program that corresponds to the first of three temporal waves of genes induced by sustained activity. Induction of these first-wave genes is mechanistically distinct from that of the later waves because it requires MAPK/ERK signaling but does not require de novo translation. Thus, the same mechanisms that establish the multi-wave temporal structure of gene induction also enable different gene sets to be induced by different activity durations.

Funding information:
  • Cancer Research UK - C20691/A11834(United Kingdom)

A Hierarchical, Data-Driven Approach to Modeling Single-Cell Populations Predicts Latent Causes of Cell-To-Cell Variability.

  • Loos C
  • Cell Syst
  • 2018 May 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

All biological systems exhibit cell-to-cell variability. Frameworks exist for understanding how stochastic fluctuations and transient differences in cell state contribute to experimentally observable variations in cellular responses. However, current methods do not allow identification of the sources of variability between and within stable subpopulations of cells. We present a data-driven modeling framework for the analysis of populations comprising heterogeneous subpopulations. Our approach combines mixture modeling with frameworks for distribution approximation, facilitating the integration of multiple single-cell datasets and the detection of causal differences between and within subpopulations. The computational efficiency of our framework allows hundreds of competing hypotheses to be compared. We initially validate our method using simulated data with an understood ground truth, then we analyze data collected using quantitative single-cell microscopy of cultured sensory neurons involved in pain initiation. This approach allows us to quantify the relative contribution of neuronal subpopulations, culture conditions, and expression levels of signaling proteins to the observed cell-to-cell variability in NGF/TrkA-initiated Erk1/2 signaling.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI024157(United States)

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()

Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator S42 Suppresses Prostate Cancer Cell Proliferation.

  • Kawanami T
  • Endocrinology
  • 2018 Apr 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

We previously identified the selective androgen receptor (AR) modulator S42, which does not stimulate prostate growth but has a beneficial effect on lipid metabolism. In the prostate cancer (PC) cell line LNCaP, S42 did not induce AR transactivation but antagonized 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT)‒induced AR activation. Next, we investigated whether S42 suppresses the growth of PC cell lines. Basal growth of LNCaP cells was significantly suppressed by treatment with S42 compared with vehicle, as determined by cell counting and 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine assays. The suppressive effect of S42 on cell growth was evident in the AR-positive PC cells LNCaP and 22Rv1 and was slightly observed even in the AR-negative PC-3 cells. However, S42 did not induce apoptosis as determined by the terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling assay. S42 had an even greater suppressive effect on DHT-dependent LNCaP cell proliferation than on basal proliferation (P < 0.05). DHT treatment increased the expression of phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), a major signaling molecule for PC proliferation, and this was significantly inhibited by S42. DHT also significantly upregulated AR, insulinlike growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R), and insulin receptor (IR)-β protein levels, which were similarly reduced by S42 treatment. Importantly, S42 administration to mice attenuated the growth of LNCaP tumors and reduced tumor expression of the prostate-specific antigen, P504S, Ki67, and phosphorylated ERK-MAPK. These data suggest that S42 attenuates LNCaP tumor growth not by inducing apoptosis but by inhibiting the expression of proliferation-related receptors, including IGF-1R, IR, and AR, and by suppressing ERK-MAPK activation. S42 may thus be a feasible candidate for PC treatment.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - P01 HL32262-25(United States)

Angiogenin/Ribonuclease 5 Is an EGFR Ligand and a Serum Biomarker for Erlotinib Sensitivity in Pancreatic Cancer.

  • Wang YN
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2018 Apr 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

Pancreatic ribonuclease (RNase) is a secreted enzyme critical for host defense. We discover an intrinsic RNase function, serving as a ligand for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a member of receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK), in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). The closely related bovine RNase A and human RNase 5 (angiogenin [ANG]) can trigger oncogenic transformation independently of their catalytic activities via direct association with EGFR. Notably, high plasma ANG level in PDAC patients is positively associated with response to EGFR inhibitor erlotinib treatment. These results identify a role of ANG as a serum biomarker that may be used to stratify patients for EGFR-targeted therapies, and offer insights into the ligand-receptor relationship between RNase and RTK families.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA016672()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA211615()
  • NCI NIH HHS - T32 CA186892()
  • NCI NIH HHS - U01 CA201777()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM098294(United States)

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)

Human Pancreatic Tumor Organoids Reveal Loss of Stem Cell Niche Factor Dependence during Disease Progression.

  • Seino T
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2018 Mar 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Despite recent efforts to dissect the inter-tumor heterogeneity of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) by determining prognosis-predictive gene expression signatures for specific subtypes, their functional differences remain elusive. Here, we established a pancreatic tumor organoid library encompassing 39 patient-derived PDACs and identified 3 functional subtypes based on their stem cell niche factor dependencies on Wnt and R-spondin. A Wnt-non-producing subtype required Wnt from cancer-associated fibroblasts, whereas a Wnt-producing subtype autonomously secreted Wnt ligands and an R-spondin-independent subtype grew in the absence of Wnt and R-spondin. Transcriptome analysis of PDAC organoids revealed gene-expression signatures that associated Wnt niche subtypes with GATA6-dependent gene expression subtypes, which were functionally supported by genetic perturbation of GATA6. Furthermore, CRISPR-Cas9-based genome editing of PDAC driver genes (KRAS, CDKN2A, SMAD4, and TP53) demonstrated non-genetic acquisition of Wnt niche independence during pancreas tumorigenesis. Collectively, our results reveal functional heterogeneity of Wnt niche independency in PDAC that is non-genetically formed through tumor progression.

Microenvironment-Mediated Mechanisms of Resistance to HER2 Inhibitors Differ between HER2+ Breast Cancer Subtypes.

  • Watson SS
  • Cell Syst
  • 2018 Mar 28

Literature context:


Abstract:

Extrinsic signals are implicated in breast cancer resistance to HER2-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). To examine how microenvironmental signals influence resistance, we monitored TKI-treated breast cancer cell lines grown on microenvironment microarrays composed of printed extracellular matrix proteins supplemented with soluble proteins. We tested ∼2,500 combinations of 56 soluble and 46 matrix microenvironmental proteins on basal-like HER2+ (HER2E) or luminal-like HER2+ (L-HER2+) cells treated with the TKIs lapatinib or neratinib. In HER2E cells, hepatocyte growth factor, a ligand for MET, induced resistance that could be reversed with crizotinib, an inhibitor of MET. In L-HER2+ cells, neuregulin1-β1 (NRG1β), a ligand for HER3, induced resistance that could be reversed with pertuzumab, an inhibitor of HER2-HER3 heterodimerization. The subtype-specific responses were also observed in 3D cultures and murine xenografts. These results, along with bioinformatic pathway analysis and siRNA knockdown experiments, suggest different mechanisms of resistance specific to each HER2+ subtype: MET signaling for HER2E and HER2-HER3 heterodimerization for L-HER2+ cells.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - (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)

TrkB-mediated activation of the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/Akt cascade reduces the damage inflicted by oxygen-glucose deprivation in area CA3 of the rat hippocampus.

  • Tecuatl C
  • Eur. J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Feb 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

The selective vulnerability of hippocampal area CA1 to ischemia-induced injury is a well-known phenomenon. However, the cellular mechanisms that confer resistance to area CA3 against ischemic damage remain elusive. Here, we show that oxygen-glucose deprivation-reperfusion (OGD-RP), an in vitro model that mimic the pathological conditions of the ischemic stroke, increases the phosphorylation level of tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) in area CA3. Slices preincubated with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) or 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF) exhibited reduced depression of the electrical activity triggered by OGD-RP. Consistently, blockade of TrkB suppressed the resistance of area CA3 to OGD-RP. The protective effect of TrkB activation was limited to area CA3, as OGD-RP caused permanent suppression of CA1 responses. At the cellular level, TrkB activation leads to phosphorylation of the accessory proteins SHC and Gab as well as the serine/threonine kinase Akt, members of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt (PI-3-K/Akt) pathway, a cascade involved in cell survival. Hence, acute slices pretreated with the Akt antagonist MK2206 in combination with BDNF lost the capability to resist the damage inflicted with OGD-RP. Consistently, with these results, CA3 pyramidal cells exhibited reduced propidium iodide uptake and caspase-3 activity in slices pretreated with BDNF and exposed to OGD-RP. We propose that PI-3-K/Akt downstream activation mediated by TrkB represents an endogenous mechanism responsible for the resistance of area CA3 to ischemic damage.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM 052880(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM044842()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM066018()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS037459()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R56 NS037459()

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)

Mechanical Forces Program the Orientation of Cell Division during Airway Tube Morphogenesis.

  • Tang Z
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2018 Feb 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Oriented cell division plays a key role in controlling organogenesis. The mechanisms for regulating division orientation at the whole-organ level are only starting to become understood. By combining 3D time-lapse imaging, mouse genetics, and mathematical modeling, we find that global orientation of cell division is the result of a combination of two types of spindles with distinct spindle dynamic behaviors in the developing airway epithelium. Fixed spindles follow the classic long-axis rule and establish their division orientation before metaphase. In contrast, rotating spindles do not strictly follow the long-axis rule and determine their division orientation during metaphase. By using both a cell-based mechanical model and stretching-lung-explant experiments, we showed that mechanical force can function as a regulatory signal in maintaining the stable ratio between fixed spindles and rotating spindles. Our findings demonstrate that mechanical forces, cell geometry, and oriented cell division function together in a highly coordinated manner to ensure normal airway tube morphogenesis.

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.

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)

Cooperative Epigenetic Remodeling by TET2 Loss and NRAS Mutation Drives Myeloid Transformation and MEK Inhibitor Sensitivity.

  • Kunimoto H
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2018 Jan 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mutations in epigenetic modifiers and signaling factors often co-occur in myeloid malignancies, including TET2 and NRAS mutations. Concurrent Tet2 loss and NrasG12D expression in hematopoietic cells induced myeloid transformation, with a fully penetrant, lethal chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML), which was serially transplantable. Tet2 loss and Nras mutation cooperatively led to decrease in negative regulators of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation, including Spry2, thereby causing synergistic activation of MAPK signaling by epigenetic silencing. Tet2/Nras double-mutant leukemia showed preferential sensitivity to MAPK kinase (MEK) inhibition in both mouse model and patient samples. These data provide insights into how epigenetic and signaling mutations cooperate in myeloid transformation and provide a rationale for mechanism-based therapy in CMML patients with these high-risk genetic lesions.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - K08 CA169055()
  • NCI NIH HHS - K08 CA181507()
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA008748()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA173636()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA198089()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R35 CA197594()
  • NCI NIH HHS - T32 CA009156(United States)
  • NIH HHS - U54 OD020355()

Crk proteins transduce FGF signaling to promote lens fiber cell elongation.

  • Collins TN
  • Elife
  • 2018 Jan 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

Specific cell shapes are fundamental to the organization and function of multicellular organisms. Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) signaling induces the elongation of lens fiber cells during vertebrate lens development. Nonetheless, exactly how this extracellular FGF signal is transmitted to the cytoskeletal network has previously not been determined. Here, we show that the Crk family of adaptor proteins, Crk and Crkl, are required for mouse lens morphogenesis but not differentiation. Genetic ablation and epistasis experiments demonstrated that Crk and Crkl play overlapping roles downstream of FGF signaling in order to regulate lens fiber cell elongation. Upon FGF stimulation, Crk proteins were found to interact with Frs2, Shp2 and Grb2. The loss of Crk proteins was partially compensated for by the activation of Ras and Rac signaling. These results reveal that Crk proteins are important partners of the Frs2/Shp2/Grb2 complex in mediating FGF signaling, specifically promoting cell shape changes.

Funding information:
  • National Eye Institute - 5P30EY019007()
  • National Eye Institute - EY017061()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R21-CA102733(United States)
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY017061()
  • Research to Prevent Blindness - Jules and Doris Stein professorship()

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()

Methylglyoxal Requires AC1 and TRPA1 to Produce Pain and Spinal Neuron Activation.

  • Griggs RB
  • Front Neurosci
  • 2017 Dec 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

Methylglyoxal (MG) is a metabolite of glucose that may contribute to peripheral neuropathy and pain in diabetic patients. MG increases intracellular calcium in sensory neurons and produces behavioral nociception via the cation channel transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1). However, rigorous characterization of an animal model of methylglyoxal-evoked pain is needed, including testing whether methylglyoxal promotes negative pain affect. Furthermore, it remains unknown whether methylglyoxal is sufficient to activate neurons in the spinal cord dorsal horn, whether this requires TRPA1, and if the calcium-sensitive adenylyl cyclase 1 isoform (AC1) contributes to MG-evoked pain. We administered intraplantar methylglyoxal and then evaluated immunohistochemical phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (p-ERK) and multiple pain-like behaviors in wild-type rats and mice and after disruption of either TRPA1 or AC1. Methylglyoxal produced conditioned place avoidance (CPA) (a measure of affective pain), dose-dependent licking and lifting nociceptive behaviors, hyperalgesia to heat and mechanical stimulation, and p-ERK in the spinal cord dorsal horn. TRPA1 knockout or intrathecal administration of a TRPA1 antagonist (HC030031) attenuated methylglyoxal-evoked p-ERK, nociception, and hyperalgesia. AC1 knockout abolished hyperalgesia but not nociceptive behaviors. These results indicate that intraplantar administration of methylglyoxal recapitulates multiple signs of painful diabetic neuropathy found in animal models of or patients with diabetes, including the activation of spinal nociresponsive neurons and the potential involvement of a TRPA1-AC1 sensitization mechanism. We conclude that administration of MG is a valuable model for investigating both peripheral and central components of a MG-TRPA1-AC1 pathway that contribute to painful diabetic neuropathy.

Funding information:
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA037621()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM101180(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - F31 NS083292()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS045954()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS062306()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - T32 NS077889()

IL-1β Inhibits Connexin 43 and Disrupts Decidualization of Human Endometrial Stromal Cells Through ERK1/2 and p38 MAP Kinase.

  • Yu J
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Inflammation can interfere with endometrial receptivity. We examined how interleukin 1β (IL-1β) affects expression of the uterine gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43), which is known to be critical for embryonic implantation. We used an in vitro model of human endometrial stromal cells (ESCs), Western blotting, and a combination of validated, selective kinase inhibitors to evaluate five canonical IL-1β signaling pathways. Cx43 and two other markers of ESC differentiation (prolactin and VEGF) were inhibited predominantly via IL-1β-activated ERK1/2 and p38 MAP kinase cascades. The findings were corroborated using small interfering RNA to silence critical genes in either pathway. By contrast, upregulation of endogenous pro-IL-1α and pro-IL-1β following recombinant IL-1β treatment was mediated via the Jun N-terminal kinase pathway. The clinicopharmacological significance of our findings is that multiple signaling cascades may need to be neutralized to reverse deleterious effects of IL-1β on human endometrial function.

Funding information:
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - BB/J014699/1(United Kingdom)

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.

Region-Specific Suppression of Hypothalamic Responses to Insulin To Adapt to Elevated Maternal Insulin Secretion During Pregnancy.

  • Ladyman SR
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

As part of the adaptation of maternal glucose regulation during pregnancy to ensure glucose provision to the fetus, maternal insulin concentrations become elevated. However, increased central actions of insulin, such as suppression of appetite, would be maladaptive during pregnancy. We hypothesized that central nervous system targets of insulin become less responsive during pregnancy to prevent overstimulation by the increased circulating insulin concentrations. To test this hypothesis, we have measured insulin-induced phosphorylation of Akt (pAkt) in specific hypothalamic nuclei as an index of hypothalamic insulin responsiveness. Despite higher endogenous insulin concentrations following feeding, arcuate nucleus pAkt levels were significantly lower in the pregnant group compared with the nonpregnant group. In response to an intracerebroventricular injection of insulin, insulin-induced pAkt was significantly reduced in the arcuate nucleus and ventromedial nucleus of pregnant rats compared with nonpregnant rats. Similar levels of insulin receptor β and PTEN, a negative regulator of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt pathway, were detected in hypothalamic areas of nonpregnant and pregnant rats. In the ventromedial nucleus, however, levels of phosphorylated PTEN were significantly lower in pregnancy, suggesting that reduced inactivation of PTEN may contribute to the attenuated insulin signaling in this area during pregnancy. In conclusion, these results demonstrate region-specific changes in responsiveness to insulin in the hypothalamus during pregnancy that may represent an adaptive response to minimize the impact of elevated circulating insulin on the maternal brain.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - NS052671(United States)

Synthetic Lethality of Combined Bcl-2 Inhibition and p53 Activation in AML: Mechanisms and Superior Antileukemic Efficacy.

  • Pan R
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2017 Dec 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Evasion of apoptosis is a hallmark of cancer. Bcl-2 and p53 represent two important nodes in apoptosis signaling pathways. We find that concomitant p53 activation and Bcl-2 inhibition overcome apoptosis resistance and markedly prolong survival in three mouse models of resistant acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Mechanistically, p53 activation negatively regulates the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway and activates GSK3 to modulate Mcl-1 phosphorylation and promote its degradation, thus overcoming AML resistance to Bcl-2 inhibition. Moreover, Bcl-2 inhibition reciprocally overcomes apoptosis resistance to p53 activation by switching cellular response from G1 arrest to apoptosis. The efficacy, together with the mechanistic findings, reveals the potential of simultaneously targeting these two apoptosis regulators and provides a rational basis for clinical testing of this therapeutic approach.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - MC_U120061476(United Kingdom)
  • NCI NIH HHS - P01 CA055164()
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA016672()

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.

Tumor-Suppressor Inactivation of GDF11 Occurs by Precursor Sequestration in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer.

  • Bajikar SS
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2017 Nov 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive and heterogeneous carcinoma in which various tumor-suppressor genes are lost by mutation, deletion, or silencing. Here we report a tumor-suppressive mode of action for growth-differentiation factor 11 (GDF11) and an unusual mechanism of its inactivation in TNBC. GDF11 promotes an epithelial, anti-invasive phenotype in 3D triple-negative cultures and intraductal xenografts by sustaining expression of E-cadherin and inhibitor of differentiation 2 (ID2). Surprisingly, clinical TNBCs retain the GDF11 locus and expression of the protein itself. GDF11 bioactivity is instead lost because of deficiencies in its convertase, proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 5 (PCSK5), causing inactive GDF11 precursor to accumulate intracellularly. PCSK5 reconstitution mobilizes the latent TNBC reservoir of GDF11 in vitro and suppresses triple-negative mammary cancer metastasis to the lung of syngeneic hosts. Intracellular GDF11 retention adds to the concept of tumor-suppressor inactivation and reveals a cell-biological vulnerability for TNBCs lacking therapeutically actionable mutations.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC011184(United States)

Early ethanol exposure and vinpocetine treatment alter learning- and memory-related proteins in the rat hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.

  • Swart PC
  • J. Neurosci. Res.
  • 2017 Nov 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

This study investigates the effects of early exposure to ethanol on cognitive function and neural plasticity-related proteins in the rat brain. Sprague-Dawley rats were administered 12% ethanol solution (4 g/kg/day i.p.) or saline from P4 to P9. Vinpocetine, a phosphodiesterase type 1 inhibitor, was tested to determine whether it could reverse any changes induced by early ethanol exposure. Hence, from P25 to P31, ethanol-exposed male rats were injected with vinpocetine (20 mg/kg/day i.p.) or vehicle (DMSO) prior to undergoing behavioral testing in the open field and Morris water maze (MWM) tests. Ethanol exposure did not adversely affect spatial memory in the MWM. A key finding in this study was a significant ethanol-induced change in the function of the phosphorylated extracellular signal-related kinase (P-ERK) signaling pathway in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and dorsal hippocampus (DH) of rats that did not display overt behavioral deficits. The P-ERK/ERK ratio was decreased in the PFC and increased in the DH of ethanol-exposed rats compared with controls. Rats that received vinpocetine in addition to ethanol did not display any behavioral changes but did show alterations in neural plasticity-related proteins. Mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase was increased, whereas brain-derived neurotrophic factor was decreased, in the PFC of vinpocetine-treated ethanol-exposed rats, and phosphorylated-glycogen synthase kinase β and synaptophysin were increased in the DH of these rats. This study provides insight into the long-term effects of early ethanol exposure and its interaction with vinpocetine in the rat brain. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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)

Mouse Cutaneous Melanoma Induced by Mutant BRaf Arises from Expansion and Dedifferentiation of Mature Pigmented Melanocytes.

  • Köhler C
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2017 Nov 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

To identify the cells at the origin of melanoma, we combined single-cell lineage-tracing and transcriptomics approaches with time-lapse imaging. A mouse model that recapitulates key histopathological features of human melanomagenesis was created by inducing a BRafV600E-driven melanomagenic program in tail interfollicular melanocytes. Most targeted mature, melanin-producing melanocytes expanded clonally within the epidermis before losing their differentiated features through transcriptional reprogramming and eventually invading the dermis. Tumors did not form within interscales, which contain both mature and dormant amelanotic melanocytes. The hair follicle bulge, which contains melanocyte stem cells, was also refractory to melanomagenesis. These studies identify varying tumor susceptibilities within the melanocytic lineage, highlighting pigment-producing cells as the melanoma cell of origin, and indicate that regional variation in tumor predisposition is dictated by microenvironmental cues rather than intrinsic differences in cellular origin. Critically, this work provides in vivo evidence that differentiated somatic cells can be reprogrammed into cancer initiating cells.

Systems Phytohormone Responses to Mitochondrial Proteotoxic Stress.

  • Wang X
  • Mol. Cell
  • 2017 Nov 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mitochondrial function is controlled by two separate genomes. This feature makes mitochondria prone to proteotoxic stress when a stoichiometric imbalance occurs in the protein complexes that perform oxidative phosphorylation, which consist of both nuclear- and mitochondrial-encoded proteins. Such a proteotoxic stress is known to induce the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) in animals. It is unknown whether UPRmt occurs in plants. Here, we induced a mitonuclear protein imbalance in Arabidopsis through chemical or genetic interference. Mitochondrial proteotoxic stress activated a plant-specific UPRmt and impaired plant growth and development. The plant UPRmt pathway is triggered by a transient oxidative burst, activating MAPK and hormonal (involving ethylene and auxin) signaling, which are all geared to repair proteostasis. This also establishes phytohormones as bona fide plant mitokines. Our data ascertain that mitochondrial protein quality control pathways, such as the UPRmt, are conserved in plants and that hormone signaling is an essential mediator that regulates mitochondrial proteostasis.

Reactive Neutrophil Responses Dependent on the Receptor Tyrosine Kinase c-MET Limit Cancer Immunotherapy.

  • Glodde N
  • Immunity
  • 2017 Oct 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Inhibitors of the receptor tyrosine kinase c-MET are currently used in the clinic to target oncogenic signaling in tumor cells. We found that concomitant c-MET inhibition promoted adoptive T cell transfer and checkpoint immunotherapies in murine cancer models by increasing effector T cell infiltration in tumors. This therapeutic effect was independent of tumor cell-intrinsic c-MET dependence. Mechanistically, c-MET inhibition impaired the reactive mobilization and recruitment of neutrophils into tumors and draining lymph nodes in response to cytotoxic immunotherapies. In the absence of c-MET inhibition, neutrophils recruited to T cell-inflamed microenvironments rapidly acquired immunosuppressive properties, restraining T cell expansion and effector functions. In cancer patients, high serum levels of the c-MET ligand HGF correlated with increasing neutrophil counts and poor responses to checkpoint blockade therapies. Our findings reveal a role for the HGF/c-MET pathway in neutrophil recruitment and function and suggest that c-MET inhibitor co-treatment may improve responses to cancer immunotherapy in settings beyond c-MET-dependent tumors.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - 2-U54-AI-057153(United States)

Heme Binding Biguanides Target Cytochrome P450-Dependent Cancer Cell Mitochondria.

  • Guo Z
  • Cell Chem Biol
  • 2017 Oct 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

The mechanisms by which cancer cell-intrinsic CYP monooxygenases promote tumor progression are largely unknown. CYP3A4 was unexpectedly associated with breast cancer mitochondria and synthesized arachidonic acid (AA)-derived epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs), which promoted the electron transport chain/respiration and inhibited AMPKα. CYP3A4 knockdown activated AMPKα, promoted autophagy, and prevented mammary tumor formation. The diabetes drug metformin inhibited CYP3A4-mediated EET biosynthesis and depleted cancer cell-intrinsic EETs. Metformin bound to the active-site heme of CYP3A4 in a co-crystal structure, establishing CYP3A4 as a biguanide target. Structure-based design led to discovery of N1-hexyl-N5-benzyl-biguanide (HBB), which bound to the CYP3A4 heme with higher affinity than metformin. HBB potently and specifically inhibited CYP3A4 AA epoxygenase activity. HBB also inhibited growth of established ER+ mammary tumors and suppressed intratumoral mTOR. CYP3A4 AA epoxygenase inhibition by biguanides thus demonstrates convergence between eicosanoid activity in mitochondria and biguanide action in cancer, opening a new avenue for cancer drug discovery.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - F31 CA177119()
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA016520()
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA077598()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA113570()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA157971()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R25 HL088728()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - U01 HL117664()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P01 DK038226()
  • NIEHS NIH HHS - P30 ES013508()
  • NIEHS NIH HHS - R01 ES025767()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM037922()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM057353()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM110790()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R35 GM118030()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R35 GM118145()

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 profile of auditory-responsive neurons in the larval zebrafish brain.

  • Vanwalleghem G
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Oct 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Many features of auditory processing are conserved among vertebrates, but the degree to which these pathways are established at early stages is not well explored. In this study, we have observed single cell activity throughout the brains of larval zebrafish with the goal of identifying the cellular responses, brain regions, and brain-wide pathways through which these larvae perceive and process auditory stimuli. Using GCaMP and selective plane illumination microscopy, we find strong responses to auditory tones ranging from 100 Hz to 400 Hz. We also identify different categories of auditory neuron with distinct frequency response profiles. Auditory responses occur in the medial octavolateral nucleus, the torus semicircularis, the medial hindbrain, and the thalamus, and the flow of information among these regions resembles the pathways described in adult fish and mammals. The details of these patterns, however, indicate that auditory processing is still rudimentary in larvae. The range of frequencies detected is small, and while different neurons have distinct response profiles, most are sensitive to multiple frequencies, and distinct categories show substantial overlap in their responses. Likewise, while there are signs of nascent spatial representations of frequency in the larval brain, this only faintly resembles the clear tonotopy seen in adult fish and mammals. Overall, our results show that many fundamental properties of the auditory system are established early in development, and suggest that zebrafish will provide a good model in which to study the development and refinement of these pathways.

Biphasic Regulation of p38 MAPK by Serotonin Contributes to the Efficacy of Stimulus Protocols That Induce Long-Term Synaptic Facilitation.

  • Zhang Y
  • eNeuro
  • 2017 Oct 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

The MAPK isoforms ERK and p38 MAPK are believed to play opposing roles in long-term synaptic facilitation (LTF) induced by serotonin (5-HT) in Aplysia. To fully understand their roles, however, it is necessary to consider the dynamics of ERK and p38 MAPK activation. Previous studies determined that activation of ERK occurred ∼45 min after a 5-min pulse of 5-HT treatment. The dynamics of p38 MAPK activation following 5-HT are yet to be elucidated. Here, the activity of p38 MAPK was examined at different times after 5-HT, and the interaction between the ERK and p38 MAPK pathways was investigated. A 5-min pulse of 5-HT induced a transient inhibition of p38 MAPK, followed by a delayed activation between 25 and 45 min. This activation was blocked by a MAPK kinase inhibitor, suggesting that similar pathways are involved in activation of ERK and p38 MAPK. ERK activity decreased shortly after the activation of p38 MAPK. A p38 MAPK inhibitor blocked this decrease in ERK activity, suggesting a causal relationship. The p38 MAPK activity ∼45 min after different stimulus protocols was also characterized. These data were incorporated into a computational model for the induction of LTF. Simulations and empirical data suggest that p38 MAPK, together with ERK, contributes to the efficacy of spaced stimulus protocols to induce LTF, a correlate of long-term memory (LTM). For example, decreased p38 MAPK activity ∼45 min after the first of two sensitizing stimuli might be an important determinant of an optimal interstimulus interval (ISI) for LTF induction.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS073974()

Ubiquilin1 promotes antigen-receptor mediated proliferation by eliminating mislocalized mitochondrial proteins.

  • Whiteley AM
  • Elife
  • 2017 Sep 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Ubiquilins (Ubqlns) are a family of ubiquitin receptors that promote the delivery of hydrophobic and aggregated ubiquitinated proteins to the proteasome for degradation. We carried out a proteomic analysis of a B cell lymphoma-derived cell line, BJAB, that requires UBQLN1 for survival to identify UBQLN1 client proteins. When UBQLN1 expression was acutely inhibited, 120 mitochondrial proteins were enriched in the cytoplasm, suggesting that the accumulation of mitochondrial client proteins in the absence of UBQLN1 is cytostatic. Using a Ubqln1-/- mouse strain, we found that B cell receptor (BCR) ligation of Ubqln1-/- B cells led to a defect in cell cycle entry. As in BJAB cells, mitochondrial proteins accumulated in BCR-stimulated cells, leading to protein synthesis inhibition and cell cycle block. Thus, UBQLN1 plays an important role in clearing mislocalized mitochondrial proteins upon cell stimulation, and its absence leads to suppression of protein synthesis and cell cycle arrest.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - K01 DK098285()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS078279(United States)

Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor neddylation is regulated by a desmosomal-COP9 (Constitutive Photomorphogenesis 9) signalosome complex.

  • Najor NA
  • Elife
  • 2017 Sep 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cell junctions are scaffolds that integrate mechanical and chemical signaling. We previously showed that a desmosomal cadherin promotes keratinocyte differentiation in an adhesion-independent manner by dampening Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) activity. Here we identify a potential mechanism by which desmosomes assist the de-neddylating COP9 signalosome (CSN) in attenuating EGFR through an association between the Cops3 subunit of the CSN and desmosomal components, Desmoglein1 (Dsg1) and Desmoplakin (Dp), to promote epidermal differentiation. Silencing CSN or desmosome components shifts the balance of EGFR modifications from ubiquitination to neddylation, inhibiting EGFR dynamics in response to an acute ligand stimulus. A reciprocal relationship between loss of Dsg1 and neddylated EGFR was observed in a carcinoma model, consistent with a role in sustaining EGFR activity during tumor progression. Identification of this previously unrecognized function of the CSN in regulating EGFR neddylation has broad-reaching implications for understanding how homeostasis is achieved in regenerating epithelia.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA060553()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA122151()
  • NEI NIH HHS - EY020826(United States)
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - F32 AR066465()
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - P30 AR057216()
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - R01 AR041836()
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - R37 AR043380()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM008061()

Combinatorial Signal Perception in the BMP Pathway.

  • Antebi YE
  • Cell
  • 2017 Sep 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

The bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway comprises multiple ligands and receptors that interact promiscuously with one another and typically appear in combinations. This feature is often explained in terms of redundancy and regulatory flexibility, but it has remained unclear what signal-processing capabilities it provides. Here, we show that the BMP pathway processes multi-ligand inputs using a specific repertoire of computations, including ratiometric sensing, balance detection, and imbalance detection. These computations operate on the relative levels of different ligands and can arise directly from competitive receptor-ligand interactions. Furthermore, cells can select different computations to perform on the same ligand combination through expression of alternative sets of receptor variants. These results provide a direct signal-processing role for promiscuous receptor-ligand interactions and establish operational principles for quantitatively controlling cells with BMP ligands. Similar principles could apply to other promiscuous signaling pathways.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R01 HD075335()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM008042()

Focal Adhesion- and IGF1R-Dependent Survival and Migratory Pathways Mediate Tumor Resistance to mTORC1/2 Inhibition.

  • Yoon SO
  • Mol. Cell
  • 2017 Aug 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

Aberrant signaling by the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) contributes to the devastating features of cancer cells. Thus, mTOR is a critical therapeutic target and catalytic inhibitors are being investigated as anti-cancer drugs. Although mTOR inhibitors initially block cell proliferation, cell viability and migration in some cancer cells are quickly restored. Despite sustained inhibition of mTORC1/2 signaling, Akt, a kinase regulating cell survival and migration, regains phosphorylation at its regulatory sites. Mechanistically, mTORC1/2 inhibition promotes reorganization of integrin/focal adhesion kinase-mediated adhesomes, induction of IGFR/IR-dependent PI3K activation, and Akt phosphorylation via an integrin/FAK/IGFR-dependent process. This resistance mechanism contributes to xenograft tumor cell growth, which is prevented with mTOR plus IGFR inhibitors, supporting this combination as a therapeutic approach for cancers.

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.

CycD/Cdk4 and Discontinuities in Dpp Signaling Activate TORC1 in the Drosophila Wing Disc.

  • Romero-Pozuelo J
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2017 Aug 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

The molecular mechanisms regulating animal tissue size during development are unclear. This question has been extensively studied in the Drosophila wing disc. Although cell growth is regulated by the kinase TORC1, no readout exists to visualize TORC1 activity in situ in Drosophila. Both the cell cycle and the morphogen Dpp are linked to tissue growth, but whether they regulate TORC1 activity is not known. We develop here an anti-phospho-dRpS6 antibody that detects TORC1 activity in situ. We find, unexpectedly, that TORC1 activity in the wing disc is patchy. This is caused by elevated TORC1 activity at the cell cycle G1/S transition due to CycD/Cdk4 phosphorylating TSC1/2. We find that TORC1 is also activated independently of CycD/Cdk4 when cells with different levels of Dpp signaling or Brinker protein are juxtaposed. We thereby characterize the spatial distribution of TORC1 activity in a developing organ.

Histone Hypervariants H2A.Z.1 and H2A.Z.2 Play Independent and Context-Specific Roles in Neuronal Activity-Induced Transcription of Arc/Arg3.1 and Other Immediate Early Genes.

  • Dunn CJ
  • eNeuro
  • 2017 Aug 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

The histone variant H2A.Z is an essential and conserved regulator of eukaryotic gene transcription. However, the exact role of this histone in the transcriptional process remains perplexing. In vertebrates, H2A.Z has two hypervariants, H2A.Z.1 and H2A.Z.2, that have almost identical sequences except for three amino acid residues. Due to such similarity, functional specificity of these hypervariants in neurobiological processes, if any, remain largely unknown. In this study with dissociated rat cortical neurons, we asked if H2A.Z hypervariants have distinct functions in regulating basal and activity-induced gene transcription. Hypervariant-specific RNAi and microarray analyses revealed that H2A.Z.1 and H2A.Z.2 regulate basal expression of largely nonoverlapping gene sets, including genes that code for several synaptic proteins. In response to neuronal activity, rapid transcription of our model gene Arc is impaired by depletion of H2A.Z.2, but not H2A.Z.1. This impairment is partially rescued by codepletion of the H2A.Z chaperone, ANP32E. In contrast, under a different context (after 48 h of tetrodotoxin, TTX), rapid transcription of Arc is impaired by depletion of either hypervariant. Such context-dependent roles of H2A.Z hypervariants, as revealed by our multiplexed gene expression assays, are also evident with several other immediate early genes, where regulatory roles of these hypervariants vary from gene to gene under different conditions. Together, our data suggest that H2A.Z hypervariants have context-specific roles that complement each other to mediate activity-induced neuronal gene transcription.

Hypothalamic AMPK-ER Stress-JNK1 Axis Mediates the Central Actions of Thyroid Hormones on Energy Balance.

  • Martínez-Sánchez N
  • Cell Metab.
  • 2017 Jul 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Thyroid hormones (THs) act in the brain to modulate energy balance. We show that central triiodothyronine (T3) regulates de novo lipogenesis in liver and lipid oxidation in brown adipose tissue (BAT) through the parasympathetic (PSNS) and sympathetic nervous system (SNS), respectively. Central T3 promotes hepatic lipogenesis with parallel stimulation of the thermogenic program in BAT. The action of T3 depends on AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-induced regulation of two signaling pathways in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH): decreased ceramide-induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, which promotes BAT thermogenesis, and increased c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation, which controls hepatic lipid metabolism. Of note, ablation of AMPKα1 in steroidogenic factor 1 (SF1) neurons of the VMH fully recapitulated the effect of central T3, pointing to this population in mediating the effect of central THs on metabolism. Overall, these findings uncover the underlying pathways through which central T3 modulates peripheral metabolism.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 DK107220()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK112698()
  • Wellcome Trust - P01 HL084207()

Mechanisms of Paradoxical Activation of AMPK by the Kinase Inhibitors SU6656 and Sorafenib.

  • Ross FA
  • Cell Chem Biol
  • 2017 Jul 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

SU6656, a Src kinase inhibitor, was reported to increase fat oxidation and reduce body weight in mice, with proposed mechanisms involving AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation via inhibition of phosphorylation of either LKB1 or AMPK by the Src kinase, Fyn. However, we report that AMPK activation by SU6656 is independent of Src kinases or tyrosine phosphorylation of LKB1 or AMPK and is not due to decreased cellular energy status or binding at the ADaM site on AMPK. SU6656 is a potent AMPK inhibitor, yet binding at the catalytic site paradoxically promotes phosphorylation of Thr172 by LKB1. This would enhance phosphorylation of downstream targets provided the lifetime of Thr172 phosphorylation was sufficient to allow dissociation of the inhibitor and subsequent catalysis prior to its dephosphorylation. By contrast, sorafenib, a kinase inhibitor in clinical use, activates AMPK indirectly by inhibiting mitochondrial metabolism and increasing cellular AMP:ADP and/or ADP:ATP ratios.

Kupffer Cell-Derived Tnf Triggers Cholangiocellular Tumorigenesis through JNK due to Chronic Mitochondrial Dysfunction and ROS.

  • Yuan D
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2017 Jun 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is a highly malignant, heterogeneous cancer with poor treatment options. We found that mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress trigger a niche favoring cholangiocellular overgrowth and tumorigenesis. Liver damage, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and paracrine tumor necrosis factor (Tnf) from Kupffer cells caused JNK-mediated cholangiocellular proliferation and oncogenic transformation. Anti-oxidant treatment, Kupffer cell depletion, Tnfr1 deletion, or JNK inhibition reduced cholangiocellular pre-neoplastic lesions. Liver-specific JNK1/2 deletion led to tumor reduction and enhanced survival in Akt/Notch- or p53/Kras-induced ICC models. In human ICC, high Tnf expression near ICC lesions, cholangiocellular JNK-phosphorylation, and ROS accumulation in surrounding hepatocytes are present. Thus, Kupffer cell-derived Tnf favors cholangiocellular proliferation/differentiation and carcinogenesis. Targeting the ROS/Tnf/JNK axis may provide opportunities for ICC therapy.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK107220()

Blockade of Sphingosine 1-Phosphate Receptor 2 Signaling Attenuates High-Fat Diet-Induced Adipocyte Hypertrophy and Systemic Glucose Intolerance in Mice.

  • Kitada Y
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 Jun 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) is known to regulate insulin resistance in hepatocytes, skeletal muscle cells, and pancreatic β-cells. Among its 5 cognate receptors (S1pr1-S1pr5), S1P seems to counteract insulin signaling and confer insulin resistance via S1pr2 in these cells. S1P may also regulate insulin resistance in adipocytes, but the S1pr subtype(s) involved remains unknown. Here, we investigated systemic glucose/insulin tolerance and phenotypes of epididymal adipocytes in high-fat diet (HFD)-fed wild-type and S1pr2-deficient (S1pr2(-/-)) mice. Adult S1pr2(-/-) mice displayed smaller body/epididymal fat tissue weights, but the differences became negligible after 4 weeks with HFD. However, HFD-fed S1pr2(-/-) mice displayed better scores in glucose/insulin tolerance tests and had smaller epididymal adipocytes that expressed higher levels of proliferating cell nuclear antigen than wild-type mice. Next, proliferation/differentiation of 3T3-L1 and 3T3-F442A preadipocytes were examined in the presence of various S1pr antagonists: JTE-013 (S1pr2 antagonist), VPC-23019 (S1pr1/S1pr3 antagonist), and CYM-50358 (S1pr4 antagonist). S1P or JTE-013 treatment of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes potently activated their proliferation and Erk phosphorylation, whereas VPC-23019 inhibited both of these processes, and CYM-50358 had no effects. In contrast, S1P or JTE-013 treatment inhibited adipogenic differentiation of 3T3-F442A preadipocytes, whereas VPC-23019 activated it. The small interfering RNA knockdown of S1pr2 promoted proliferation and inhibited differentiation of 3T3-F442A preadipocytes, whereas that of S1pr1 acted oppositely. Moreover, oral JTE-013 administration improved glucose tolerance/insulin sensitivity in ob/ob mice. Taken together, S1pr2 blockade induced proliferation but suppressed differentiation of (pre)adipocytes both in vivo and in vitro, highlighting a novel therapeutic approach for obesity/type 2 diabetes.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL133166(United States)

RasGRP3 Mediates MAPK Pathway Activation in GNAQ Mutant Uveal Melanoma.

  • Chen X
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2017 May 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Constitutive activation of Gαq signaling by mutations in GNAQ or GNA11 occurs in over 80% of uveal melanomas (UMs) and activates MAPK. Protein kinase C (PKC) has been implicated as a link, but the mechanistic details remained unclear. We identified PKC δ and ɛ as required and sufficient to activate MAPK in GNAQ mutant melanomas. MAPK activation depends on Ras and is caused by RasGRP3, which is significantly and selectively overexpressed in response to GNAQ/11 mutation in UM. RasGRP3 activation occurs via PKC δ- and ɛ-dependent phosphorylation and PKC-independent, DAG-mediated membrane recruitment, possibly explaining the limited effect of PKC inhibitors to durably suppress MAPK in UM. The findings nominate RasGRP3 as a therapeutic target for cancers driven by oncogenic GNAQ/11.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA142873()
  • NCI NIH HHS - U54 CA143874()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - P01 AI091580()

Discovery of Stromal Regulatory Networks that Suppress Ras-Sensitized Epithelial Cell Proliferation.

  • Liu H
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2017 May 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mesodermal cells signal to neighboring epithelial cells to modulate their proliferation in both normal and disease states. We adapted a Caenorhabditis elegans organogenesis model to enable a genome-wide mesodermal-specific RNAi screen and discovered 39 factors in mesodermal cells that suppress the proliferation of adjacent Ras pathway-sensitized epithelial cells. These candidates encode components of protein complexes and signaling pathways that converge on the control of chromatin dynamics, cytoplasmic polyadenylation, and translation. Stromal fibroblast-specific deletion of mouse orthologs of several candidates resulted in the hyper-proliferation of mammary gland epithelium. Furthermore, a 33-gene signature of human orthologs was selectively enriched in the tumor stroma of breast cancer patients, and depletion of these factors from normal human breast fibroblasts increased proliferation of co-cultured breast cancer cells. This cross-species approach identified unanticipated regulatory networks in mesodermal cells with growth-suppressive function, exposing the conserved and selective nature of mesodermal-epithelial communication in development and cancer.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P01 CA097189()
  • NCI NIH HHS - T32 CA106196()
  • NIH HHS - P40 OD010440()

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)

An Adenosine Receptor for Olfaction in Fish.

  • Wakisaka N
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2017 May 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Nucleotides released from food sources into environmental water are supposed to act as feeding cues for many fish species. However, it remains unknown how fish can sensitively detect those nucleotides. Here we discover a novel olfactory mechanism for ATP sensing in zebrafish. Upon entering into the nostril, ATP is efficiently converted into adenosine through enzymatic reactions of two ecto-nucleotidases expressed in the olfactory epithelium. Adenosine subsequently activates a small population of olfactory sensory neurons expressing a novel adenosine receptor A2c that is unique to fishes and amphibians. The information is then transmitted to a single glomerulus in the olfactory bulb and further to four regions in higher olfactory centers. These results provide conclusive evidence for a sophisticated enzyme-linked receptor mechanism underlying detection of ATP as a food-derived attractive odorant linking to foraging behavior that is crucial and common to aquatic lower vertebrates.

Insulin Signaling Regulates the FoxM1/PLK1/CENP-A Pathway to Promote Adaptive Pancreatic β Cell Proliferation.

  • Shirakawa J
  • Cell Metab.
  • 2017 Apr 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Investigation of cell-cycle kinetics in mammalian pancreatic β cells has mostly focused on transition from the quiescent (G0) to G1 phase. Here, we report that centromere protein A (CENP-A), which is required for chromosome segregation during the M-phase, is necessary for adaptive β cell proliferation. Receptor-mediated insulin signaling promotes DNA-binding activity of FoxM1 to regulate expression of CENP-A and polo-like kinase-1 (PLK1) by modulating cyclin-dependent kinase-1/2. CENP-A deposition at the centromere is augmented by PLK1 to promote mitosis, while knocking down CENP-A limits β cell proliferation and survival. CENP-A deficiency in β cells leads to impaired adaptive proliferation in response to pregnancy, acute and chronic insulin resistance, and aging in mice. Insulin-stimulated CENP-A/PLK1 protein expression is blunted in islets from patients with type 2 diabetes. These data implicate the insulin-FoxM1/PLK1/CENP-A pathway-regulated mitotic cell-cycle progression as an essential component in the β cell adaptation to delay and/or prevent progression to diabetes.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P30 DK036836()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK055523()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK067536()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK103215()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - UC4 DK104167()

ARPP-16 Is a Striatal-Enriched Inhibitor of Protein Phosphatase 2A Regulated by Microtubule-Associated Serine/Threonine Kinase 3 (Mast 3 Kinase).

  • Andrade EC
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Mar 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

ARPP-16 (cAMP-regulated phospho-protein of molecular weight 16 kDa) is one of several small acid-soluble proteins highly expressed in medium spiny neurons of striatum that are phosphorylated in response to dopamine acting via D1 receptor/protein kinase A (PKA) signaling. We show here that ARPP-16 is also phosphorylated in vitro and in vivo by microtubule-associated serine/threonine kinase 3 (MAST3 kinase), an enzyme of previously unknown function that is enriched in striatum. We find that ARPP-16 interacts directly with the scaffolding A subunit of the serine/threonine protein phosphatase, PP2A, and that phosphorylation of ARPP-16 at Ser46 by MAST3 kinase converts the protein into a selective inhibitor of B55α- and B56δ-containing heterotrimeric forms of PP2A. Ser46 of ARPP-16 is phosphorylated to a high basal stoichiometry in striatum, suggestive of basal inhibition of PP2A in striatal neurons. In support of this hypothesis, conditional knock-out of ARPP-16 in CaMKIIα::cre/floxed ARPP-16/19 mice results in dephosphorylation of a subset of PP2A substrates including phospho-Thr75-DARPP-32, phospho-T308-Akt, and phospho-T202/Y204-ERK. Conditional knock-out of ARPP-16/19 is associated with increased motivation measured on a progressive ratio schedule of food reinforcement, yet an attenuated locomotor response to acute cocaine. Our previous studies have shown that ARPP-16 is phosphorylated at Ser88 by PKA. Activation of PKA in striatal slices leads to phosphorylation of Ser88, and this is accompanied by marked dephosphorylation of Ser46. Together, these studies suggest that phospho-Ser46-ARPP-16 acts to basally control PP2A in striatal medium spiny neurons but that dopamine acting via PKA inactivates ARPP-16 leading to selective potentiation of PP2A signaling.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT We describe a novel mechanism of signal transduction enriched in medium spiny neurons of striatum that likely mediates effects of the neurotransmitter dopamine acting on these cells. We find that the protein ARPP-16, which is highly expressed in striatal medium spiny neurons, acts as a selective inhibitor of certain forms of the serine/threonine protein phosphatase, PP2A, when phosphorylated by the kinase, MAST3. Under basal conditions, ARPP-16 is phosphorylated by MAST3 to a very high stoichiometry. However, the actions of MAST3 are antagonized by dopamine and cAMP-regulated signaling leading to disinhibition of ARPP-16 and increased PP2A action.

Funding information:
  • NCATS NIH HHS - UL1 TR001863()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - P30 DA018343()

Iterative Modeling Reveals Evidence of Sequential Transcriptional Control Mechanisms.

  • Cheng CS
  • Cell Syst
  • 2017 Mar 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Combinatorial control of gene expression is presumed to be mediated by molecular interactions between coincident transcription factors (TFs). While information on the genome-wide locations of TFs is available, the genes they regulate and whether they function combinatorially often remain open questions. Here, we developed a mechanistic, rather than statistical, modeling approach to elucidate TF control logic from gene expression data. Applying this approach to hundreds of genes in 85 datasets measuring the transcriptional responses of murine fibroblasts and macrophages to cytokines and pathogens, we found that stimulus-responsive TFs generally function sequentially in logical OR gates or singly. Logical AND gates were found between NF-κB-responsive mRNA synthesis and MAPKp38-responsive control of mRNA half-life, but not between temporally coincident TFs. Our analyses identified the functional target genes of each of the pathogen-responsive TFs and prompt a revision of the conceptual underpinnings of combinatorial control of gene expression to include sequentially acting molecular mechanisms that govern mRNA synthesis and decay.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI127864()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - U01 AI124319()
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - P50 AR063020()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM117134()

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()

An Hdac1/Rpd3-Poised Circuit Balances Continual Self-Renewal and Rapid Restriction of Developmental Potential during Asymmetric Stem Cell Division.

  • Janssens DH
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2017 Feb 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

How the developmental potential of differentiating stem cell progeny becomes rapidly and stably restricted following asymmetric stem cell division is unclear. In the fly larval brain, earmuff (erm) uniquely functions to restrict the developmental potential of intermediate neural progenitors (INPs) generated by asymmetrically dividing neural stem cells (neuroblasts). Here we demonstrate that the histone deacetylase Hdac1/Rpd3 functions together with self-renewal transcriptional repressors to maintain the erm immature INP enhancer in an inactive but poised state in neuroblasts. Within 2 hr of immature INP birth, downregulation of repressor activities alleviates Rpd3-mediated repression on the erm enhancer, enabling acetylation of multiple histone proteins and activating Erm expression. Erm restricts the developmental potential in immature INPs by repressing genes encoding neuroblast transcriptional activators. We propose that poising the fast-activating enhancers of master regulators of differentiation through continual histone deacetylation in stem cells enables self-renewal and rapid restriction of developmental potential following asymmetric division.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM092818()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM111694()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM007315()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS077914()

Pierced Lasso Topology Controls Function in Leptin.

  • Haglund E
  • J Phys Chem B
  • 2017 Feb 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Protein engineering is a powerful tool in drug design and therapeutics, where disulphide bridges are commonly introduced to stabilize proteins. However, these bonds also introduce covalent loops, which are often neglected. These loops may entrap the protein backbone on opposite sides, leading to a "knotted" topology, forming a so-called Pierced Lasso (PL). In this elegant system, the "knot" is held together with a single disulphide bridge where part of the polypeptide chain is threaded through. The size and position of these covalent loops can be manipulated through protein design in vitro, whereas nature uses polymorphism to switch the PL topology. The PL protein leptin shows genetic modification of an N-terminal residue, adding a third cysteine to the same sequence. In an effort to understand the mechanism of threading of these diverse topologies, we designed three loop variants to mimic the polymorphic sequence. This adds elegance to the system under study, as it allows the generation of three possible covalent loops; they are the original wild-type C-terminal loop protein, the fully circularized unthreaded protein, and the N-terminal loop protein, responsible for different lasso topologies. The size of the loop changes the threading mechanism from a slipknotting to a plugging mechanism, with increasing loop size. Interestingly, the ground state of the native protein structure is largely unaffected, but biological assays show that the activity is maximized by properly controlled dynamics in the threaded state. A threaded topology with proper conformational dynamics is important for receptor interaction and activation of the signaling pathways in vivo.

Mutant KRAS Enhances Tumor Cell Fitness by Upregulating Stress Granules.

  • Grabocka E
  • Cell
  • 2016 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

There is growing evidence that stress-coping mechanisms represent tumor cell vulnerabilities that may function as therapeutically beneficial targets. Recent work has delineated an integrated stress adaptation mechanism that is characterized by the formation of cytoplasmic mRNA and protein foci, termed stress granules (SGs). Here, we demonstrate that SGs are markedly elevated in mutant KRAS cells following exposure to stress-inducing stimuli. The upregulation of SGs by mutant KRAS is dependent on the production of the signaling lipid molecule 15-deoxy-delta 12,14 prostaglandin J2 (15-d-PGJ2) and confers cytoprotection against stress stimuli and chemotherapeutic agents. The secretion of 15-d-PGJ2 by mutant KRAS cells is sufficient to enhance SG formation and stress resistance in cancer cells that are wild-type for KRAS. Our findings identify a mutant KRAS-dependent cell non-autonomous mechanism that may afford the establishment of a stress-resistant niche that encompasses different tumor subclones. These results should inform the design of strategies to eradicate tumor cell communities.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - F32 CA139922()
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA016087()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA055360()

Loss of the HVEM Tumor Suppressor in Lymphoma and Restoration by Modified CAR-T Cells.

  • Boice M
  • Cell
  • 2016 Oct 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

The HVEM (TNFRSF14) receptor gene is among the most frequently mutated genes in germinal center lymphomas. We report that loss of HVEM leads to cell-autonomous activation of B cell proliferation and drives the development of GC lymphomas in vivo. HVEM-deficient lymphoma B cells also induce a tumor-supportive microenvironment marked by exacerbated lymphoid stroma activation and increased recruitment of T follicular helper (TFH) cells. These changes result from the disruption of inhibitory cell-cell interactions between the HVEM and BTLA (B and T lymphocyte attenuator) receptors. Accordingly, administration of the HVEM ectodomain protein (solHVEM(P37-V202)) binds BTLA and restores tumor suppression. To deliver solHVEM to lymphomas in vivo, we engineered CD19-targeted chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells that produce solHVEM locally and continuously. These modified CAR-T cells show enhanced therapeutic activity against xenografted lymphomas. Hence, the HVEM-BTLA axis opposes lymphoma development, and our study illustrates the use of CAR-T cells as "micro-pharmacies" able to deliver an anti-cancer protein.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - T32 MH019983(United States)

Feeding State Modulates Behavioral Choice and Processing of Prey Stimuli in the Zebrafish Tectum.

  • Filosa A
  • Neuron
  • 2016 May 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Animals use the sense of vision to scan their environment, respond to threats, and locate food sources. The neural computations underlying the selection of a particular behavior, such as escape or approach, require flexibility to balance potential costs and benefits for survival. For example, avoiding novel visual objects reduces predation risk but negatively affects foraging success. Zebrafish larvae approach small, moving objects ("prey") and avoid large, looming objects ("predators"). We found that this binary classification of objects by size is strongly influenced by feeding state. Hunger shifts behavioral decisions from avoidance to approach and recruits additional prey-responsive neurons in the tectum, the main visual processing center. Both behavior and tectal function are modulated by signals from the hypothalamic-pituitary-interrenal axis and the serotonergic system. Our study has revealed a neuroendocrine mechanism that modulates the perception of food and the willingness to take risks in foraging decisions.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM007250(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - 1 ZIA NS003119 05(United States)

Dynamin Is Required for GnRH Signaling to L-Type Calcium Channels and Activation of ERK.

  • Edwards BS
  • Endocrinology
  • 2016 Feb 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

We have shown that GnRH-mediated engagement of the cytoskeleton induces cell movement and is necessary for ERK activation. It also has previously been established that a dominant negative form of the mechano-GTPase dynamin (K44A) attenuates GnRH activation of ERK. At present, it is not clear at what level these cellular events might be linked. To explore this, we used live cell imaging in the gonadotrope-derived αT3-1 cell line to determine that dynamin-green fluorescent protein accumulated in GnRH-induced lamellipodia and plasma membrane protrusions. Coincident with translocation of dynamin-green fluorescent protein to the plasma membrane, we demonstrated that dynamin colocalizes with the actin cytoskeleton and the actin binding protein, cortactin at the leading edge of the plasma membrane. We next wanted to assess the physiological significance of these findings by inhibiting dynamin GTPase activity using dynasore. We find that dynasore suppresses activation of ERK, but not c-Jun N-terminal kinase, after exposure to GnRH agonist. Furthermore, exposure of αT3-1 cells to dynasore inhibited GnRH-induced cyto-architectural rearrangements. Recently it has been discovered that GnRH induced Ca(2+) influx via the L-type Ca(2+) channels requires an intact cytoskeleton to mediate ERK phosphorylation. Interestingly, not only does dynasore attenuate GnRH-mediated actin reorganization, it also suppresses Ca(2+) influx through L-type Ca(2+) channels visualized in living cells using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. Collectively, our data suggest that GnRH-induced membrane remodeling events are mediated in part by the association of dynamin and cortactin engaging the actin cytoskeleton, which then regulates Ca(2+) influx via L-type channels to facilitate ERK phosphorylation.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - T32 HL110952(United States)

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)

Voluntary Exercise Improves Estrous Cyclicity in Prenatally Androgenized Female Mice Despite Programming Decreased Voluntary Exercise: Implications for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

  • Homa LD
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Dec 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Prenatal androgen (PNA) exposure in mice produces a phenotype resembling lean polycystic ovary syndrome. We studied effects of voluntary exercise on metabolic and reproductive parameters in PNA vs vehicle (VEH)-treated mice. Mice (8 wk of age) were housed individually and estrous cycles monitored. At 10 weeks of age, mice were divided into groups (PNA, PNA-run, VEH, VEH-run, n = 8-9/group); those in the running groups received wheels allowing voluntary running. Unexpectedly, PNA mice ran less distance than VEH mice; ovariectomy eliminated this difference. In ovary-intact mice, there was no difference in glucose tolerance, lower limb muscle fiber types, weight, or body composition among groups after 16 weeks of running, although some mitochondrial proteins were mildly up-regulated by exercise in PNA mice. Before running, estrous cycles in PNA mice were disrupted with most days in diestrus. There was no change in cycles during weeks 1-6 of running (10-15 wk of age). In contrast, from weeks 11 to 16 of running, cycles in PNA mice improved with more days in proestrus and estrus and fewer in diestrus. PNA programs reduced voluntary exercise, perhaps mediated in part by ovarian secretions. Exercise without weight loss improved estrous cycles, which if translated could be important for fertility in and counseling of lean women with polycystic ovary syndrome.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY020578(United States)

Anatomical evidence that the uninjured adjacent L4 nerve plays a significant role in the development of peripheral neuropathic pain after L5 spinal nerve ligation in rats.

  • Shehab S
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Rats develop hyperalgesia and allodynia in the hind paw after L5 spinal nerve ligation. Phosphorylated extracellular regulated kinase (pERK) was used as a pain marker to investigate the potential role of adjacent uninjured L4 nerve in the development of heat hyperalgesia after L5 nerve injury. Left L5 nerve was ligated and sectioned in rats. Three days later, rats were randomly assigned to five groups; each had both hind paws immersed in water at different temperatures (no heat, 37, 42, 47, and 52 °C) under sevoflurane anesthesia for 2 minutes. Five minutes after stimulation the rats were sacrificed and sections of L3-L6 spinal segments were stained immunocytochemically with pERK antibody. pERK immunoreactivity, which is not detectable in the normal spinal cord, was discernible in neurons (not glia) of the superficial dorsal horn after noxious heat stimuli. pERK-positive neurons clearly overlapped in laminae I-II with normal unmyelinated and thin myelinated afferents labeled with calcitonin gene-related peptide and isolectin B4, and injured unmyelinated afferents labeled with vasoactive intestinal polypeptide. There was a linear increase in pERK immunoreactivity on both sides with an increase in temperature. Importantly, the number of positive pERK neurons was significantly higher in the ipsilateral side of L4 spinal segment, which receives innervation from uninjured L4 nerve, compared with the contralateral control side, which receives both uninjured L4 and L5 spinal nerves. The data demonstrate that the uninjured L4 nerve plays an important role in the development of heat hyperalgesia at the spinal cord level after L5 nerve injury.

Central Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 Browns White Fat via Sympathetic Action in Male Mice.

  • Douris N
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Jul 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) has multiple metabolic actions, including the induction of browning in white adipose tissue. Although FGF21 stimulated browning results from a direct interaction between FGF21 and the adipocyte, browning is typically associated with activation of the sympathetic nervous system through cold exposure. We tested the hypothesis that FGF21 can act via the brain, to increase sympathetic activity and induce browning, independent of cell-autonomous actions. We administered FGF21 into the central nervous system via lateral ventricle infusion into male mice and found that the central treatment increased norepinephrine turnover in target tissues that include the inguinal white adipose tissue and brown adipose tissue. Central FGF21 stimulated browning as assessed by histology, expression of uncoupling protein 1, and the induction of gene expression associated with browning. These effects were markedly attenuated when mice were treated with a β-blocker. Additionally, neither centrally nor peripherally administered FGF21 initiated browning in mice lacking β-adrenoceptors, demonstrating that an intact adrenergic system is necessary for FGF21 action. These data indicate that FGF21 can signal in the brain to activate the sympathetic nervous system and induce adipose tissue thermogenesis.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS042225(United States)

Systematic analysis of BRAF(V600E) melanomas reveals a role for JNK/c-Jun pathway in adaptive resistance to drug-induced apoptosis.

  • Fallahi-Sichani M
  • Mol. Syst. Biol.
  • 2015 Mar 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

Drugs that inhibit RAF/MEK signaling, such as vemurafenib, elicit profound but often temporary anti-tumor responses in patients with BRAF(V) (600E) melanoma. Adaptive responses to RAF/MEK inhibition occur on a timescale of hours to days, involve homeostatic responses that reactivate MAP kinase signaling and compensatory mitogenic pathways, and attenuate the anti-tumor effects of RAF/MEK inhibitors. We profile adaptive responses across a panel of melanoma cell lines using multiplex biochemical measurement, single-cell assays, and statistical modeling and show that adaptation involves at least six signaling cascades that act to reduce drug potency (IC50) and maximal effect (i.e., Emax ≪ 1). Among these cascades, we identify a role for JNK/c-Jun signaling in vemurafenib adaptation and show that RAF and JNK inhibitors synergize in cell killing. This arises because JNK inhibition prevents a subset of cells in a cycling population from becoming quiescent upon vemurafenib treatment, thereby reducing drug Emax. Our findings demonstrate the breadth and diversity of adaptive responses to RAF/MEK inhibition and a means to identify which steps in a signaling cascade are most predictive of phenotypic response.

Leptin normalizes photic synchronization in male ob/ob mice, via indirect effects on the suprachiasmatic nucleus.

  • Grosbellet E
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Mar 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mounting evidence indicates a strong link between metabolic diseases and circadian dysfunctions. The metabolic hormone leptin, substantially increased in dietary obesity, displays chronobiotic properties. Here we investigated whether leptin is involved in the alteration of timing associated with obesity, via direct or indirect effects on the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the site of the master clock. Photic synchronization was studied in obese ob/ob mice (deficient in leptin), either injected or not with high doses of recombinant murine leptin (5 mg/kg). This was performed first at a behavioral level, by shifting the light-dark cycle and inducing phase shifts by 30-minute light pulses and then at molecular levels (c-FOS and P-ERK1/2). Moreover, to characterize the targets mediating the chronomodulatory effects of leptin, we studied the induction of phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (P-STAT3) in the SCN and in different structures projecting to the SCN, including the medial hypothalamus. Ob/ob mice showed altered photic synchronization, including augmented light-induced phase delays. Acute leptin treatment normalized the photic responses of the SCN at both the behavioral and molecular levels (decrease of light-induced c-FOS). Leptin-induced P-STAT3 was modulated by light in the arcuate nucleus and both the ventromedial and dorsomedial hypothalamic nuclei, whereas its expression was independent of the presence of leptin in the SCN. These results suggest an indirect action of leptin on the SCN, possibly mediated by the medial hypothalamus. Taken together, these results highlight a central role of leptin in the relationship between metabolic disturbances and circadian disruptions.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01DC009236(United States)

Registered report: Tumour micro-environment elicits innate resistance to RAF inhibitors through HGF secretion.

  • Blum D
  • Elife
  • 2014 Dec 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

The Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology seeks to address growing concerns about reproducibility in scientific research by conducting replications of 50 papers in the field of cancer biology published between 2010 and 2012. This Registered Report describes the proposed replication plan of key experiments from "Tumour micro-environment elicits innate resistance to RAF inhibitors through HGF secretion" by Straussman and colleagues, published in Nature in 2012 (Straussman et al., 2012). The key experiments being replicated in this study are from Figure 2A, C, and D (and Supplemental Figure 11) and Figure 4C (and Supplemental Figure 19) (Straussman et al., 2012). Figure 2 demonstrates resistance to drug sensitivity conferred by co-culture with some stromal cell lines and identifies the secreted factor responsible as HGF. In Figure 4, Straussman and colleagues show that blocking the HGF receptor MET abrogates HGF’s rescue of drug sensitivity. The Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology is a collaboration between the Center for Open Science and Science Exchange, and the results of the replications will be published by eLife.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R03 NS071442(United States)

Identification and characterization of membrane androgen receptors in the ZIP9 zinc transporter subfamily: II. Role of human ZIP9 in testosterone-induced prostate and breast cancer cell apoptosis.

  • Thomas P
  • Endocrinology
  • 2014 Nov 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Recently, we discovered a cDNA in teleost ovarian follicle cells belonging to the zinc transporter ZIP9 subfamily (SLC39A9) encoding a protein with characteristics of a membrane androgen receptor (mAR). Here, we demonstrate that human ZIP9 expressed in MDA-MB-468 breast cancer cells and stably overexpressed in human prostate cancer PC-3 cells (PC-3-ZIP9) also displays the ligand binding and signaling characteristics of a specific, high-affinity mAR. Testosterone treatment of MDA-MB-468 and PC-3-ZIP9 cells caused activation of G proteins and second messenger pathways as well as increases in intracellular free zinc concentrations that were accompanied by induction of apoptosis. [1,2,6,7-(3)H]-testosterone binding and these responses were abrogated in MDA-MB-468 cells after ZIP9 small interfering RNA (siRNA) treatment and absent in PC-3 cells transfected with empty vector, confirming that ZIP9 functions as an mAR. Testosterone treatment caused up-regulation of proapoptotic genes Bax (Bcl-2-associated X protein), p53 (tumor protein p53), and JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinases) in both cell lines and increased expression of Bax, Caspase 3, and cytochrome C proteins. Treatment with a zinc chelator or a MAPK inhibitor blocked testosterone-induced increases in Bax, p53, and JNK mRNA expression. The results suggest that both androgen signaling and zinc transporter functions of ZIP9 mediate testosterone promotion of apoptosis. ZIP9 is widely expressed in human tissues and up-regulated in malignant breast and prostate tissues, suggesting that it is a potential therapeutic target for treating breast and prostate cancers. These results provide the first evidence for a mechanism mediated by a single protein through which steroid and zinc signaling pathways interact to regulate physiological functions in mammalian cells.

Funding information:
  • NIDA NIH HHS - DA021801(United States)

Ghrelin induces leptin resistance by activation of suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 expression in male rats: implications in satiety regulation.

  • Heldsinger A
  • Endocrinology
  • 2014 Oct 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

The anorexigenic adipocyte-derived hormone leptin and the orexigenic hormone ghrelin act in opposition to regulate feeding behavior via the vagal afferent pathways. The mechanisms by which ghrelin exerts its inhibitory effects on leptin are unknown. We hypothesized that ghrelin activates the exchange protein activated by cAMP (Epac), inducing increased SOCS3 expression, which negatively affects leptin signal transduction and neuronal firing in nodose ganglia (NG) neurons. We showed that 91 ± 3% of leptin receptor (LRb) -bearing neurons contained ghrelin receptors (GHS-R1a) and that ghrelin significantly inhibited leptin-stimulated STAT3 phosphorylation in rat NG neurons. Studies of the signaling cascades used by ghrelin showed that ghrelin caused a significant increase in Epac and suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) expression in cultured rat NG neurons. Transient transfection of cultured NG neurons to silence SOCS3 and Epac genes reversed the inhibitory effects of ghrelin on leptin-stimulated STAT3 phosphorylation. Patch-clamp studies and recordings of single neuronal discharges of vagal primary afferent neurons showed that ghrelin markedly inhibited leptin-stimulated neuronal firing, an action abolished by silencing SOCS3 expression in NG. Plasma ghrelin levels increased significantly during fasting. This was accompanied by enhanced SOCS3 expression in the NG and prevented by treatment with a ghrelin antagonist. Feeding studies showed that silencing SOCS3 expression in the NG reduced food intake evoked by endogenous leptin. We conclude that ghrelin exerts its inhibitory effects on leptin-stimulated neuronal firing by increasing SOCS3 expression. The SOCS3 signaling pathway plays a pivotal role in ghrelin's inhibitory effect on STAT3 phosphorylation, neuronal firing, and feeding behavior.

Funding information:
  • NIH HHS - R019963/OD010965(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)

ROS1 signaling regulates epithelial differentiation in the epididymis.

  • Jun HJ
  • Endocrinology
  • 2014 Sep 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

The initial segment (IS) of the epididymis plays an essential role in male fertility. The IS epithelium is undifferentiated and nonfunctional at birth. Prior to puberty, the epithelium undergoes differentiation that leads to the formation of a fully functional organ. However, the mechanistic details of this program are not well understood. To explore this further, we used genetic engineering to create a kinase dead allele of the ROS1 receptor tyrosine kinase in mice and studied the effects of ROS1 tyrosine kinase activity on the differentiation of the IS epithelium. We show that the expression and activation of ROS1 coincides with the onset of differentiation and is exclusively located in the IS of the maturing and adult mouse epididymides. Here we demonstrate that the differentiation of the IS is dependent on the kinase activity of ROS1 and its downstream effector MEK1/2-ERK1/2 signaling axis. Using genetic engineering, we show that germ line ablation of ROS1 kinase activity leads to a failure of the IS epithelium to differentiate, and as a consequence sperm maturation and infertility were dramatically perturbed. Pharmacological inhibition of ROS1 kinase activity in the developing epididymis, however, only delayed differentiation transiently and did not result in infertility. Our results demonstrate that ROS1 kinase activity and the ensuing MEK1/2-ERK1/2 signaling are necessary for the postnatal development of the IS epithelium and that a sustained ablation of ROS1 kinase activity within the critical window of terminal differentiation abrogate the function of the epididymis and leads to sterility.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA142543(United States)

Leptin deficiency in rats results in hyperinsulinemia and impaired glucose homeostasis.

  • D'souza AM
  • Endocrinology
  • 2014 Apr 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

Leptin, an adipocyte-derived hormone, has well-established anorexigenic effects but is also able to regulate glucose homeostasis independent of body weight. Until recently, the ob/ob mouse was the only animal model of global leptin deficiency. Here we report the effects of leptin deficiency on glucose homeostasis in male and female leptin knockout (KO) rats. Leptin KO rats developed obesity by 6 to 7 weeks of age, and lipid mass was increased by more than 2-fold compared with that of wild-type (WT) littermates at 18 weeks of age. Hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance were evident in both males and females and were sustained with aging. Male KO rats experienced transient mild fasting hyperglycemia between 14 and 25 weeks of age, but thereafter fasting glucose levels were comparable to those of WT littermates up to 36 weeks of age. Fasting glucose levels of female KO rats were similar to those of WT littermates. Male KO rats exhibited a 3-fold increase in the proportion of β-cell area relative to total pancreas at 36 weeks of age. Islets from 12-week-old KO rats secreted more insulin when stimulated than islets from WT littermates. Leptin replacement via miniosmotic pump (100 μg/d) reduced food intake, attenuated weight gain, normalized glucose tolerance, and improved glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity. Together, these data demonstrate that the absence of leptin in rats recapitulates some of the phenotype previously observed in ob/ob mice including development of hyperinsulinemia, obesity, and insulin resistance.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R21 EY023714(United States)

Endothelin-1 stimulates resistin gene expression.

  • Tang YC
  • Endocrinology
  • 2014 Mar 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Resistin and endothelin (ET)-1 have been reported to inhibit adipogenesis and regulate adipocyte insulin resistance, respectively. Although both hormones interact with each other, the exact signaling pathway of ET-1 to act on resistin gene expression is still unknown. Using 3T3-L1 adipocytes, we investigated the signaling pathways involved in ET-1-stimulated resistin gene expression. The up-regulation of resistin mRNA expression by ET-1 depends on concentration and timing. The concentration of ET-1 that increased resistin mRNA levels by 100%-250% was approximately 100 nM for a range of 0.25-12 hours of treatment. Treatment with actinomycin D blocked ET-1-increased resistin mRNA levels, suggesting that the effect of ET-1 requires new mRNA synthesis. Treatment with an inhibitor of the ET type-A receptor, such as N-[1-Formyl-N-[N-[(hexahydro-1H-azepin-1-yl)carbonyl]-L-leucyl]-D-tryptophyl]-D-tryptophan (BQ610), but not with the ET type-B receptor antagonist N-[(cis-2,6-Dimethyl-1-piperidinyl)carbonyl]-4-methyl-L-leucyl-1-(methoxycarbonyl)-D-tryptophyl-D-norleucine (BQ788), blocked ET-1, increased the levels of resistin mRNA, and phosphorylated levels of downstream signaling molecules, such as ERK1/2, c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs), protein kinase B (AKT), and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). Moreover, pretreatment of specific inhibitors of either ERK1/2 (1,4-diamino-2,3-dicyano-1,4-bis[2-aminophenylthio]butadiene [U0126] and 2-(2-amino-3-methoxyphenyl)-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one [PD98059], two inhibitors of MEK1), JNKs (SP600125), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT (LY294002 and Wortmannin), or Janus kinase 2 (JAK2)/STAT3 ((E)-2-Cyano-3-(3,4-dihydrophenyl)-N-(phenylmethyl)-2-propenamide, AG490) prevented ET-1-increased levels of resistin mRNA and reduced the ET-1-stimulated phosphorylation of ERK1/2, JNKs, AKT, and STAT3, respectively. However, the p38 kinase antagonist 4-[5-(4-Fluorophenyl)-2-[4-(methylsulfonyl)phenyl]-1H-imidazol-4-yl]pyridine (SB203580) did not alter the effect of ET-1. These results imply that ET type-A receptor, ERK1/2, JNKs, AKT, and JAK2, but not ET type-B receptor or p38, are necessary for the ET-1 stimulation of resistin gene expression. In vivo observations that ET-1 increased resistin mRNA and protein levels in sc and epididymal adipose tissues support the in vitro findings.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - HL107147(United States)
  • NICHD NIH HHS - U54 HD029990(United States)

Role of cortactin in dynamic actin remodeling events in gonadotrope cells.

  • Navratil AM
  • Endocrinology
  • 2014 Feb 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

GnRH induces marked activation of the actin cytoskeleton in gonadotropes; however, the physiological consequences and cellular mechanisms responsible have yet to be fully elucidated. The current studies focus on the actin scaffolding protein cortactin. Using the gonadotrope-derived αT3-1 cell line, we found that cortactin is phosphorylated at Y(421), S(405), and S(418) in a time-dependent manner in response to the GnRH agonist buserelin (GnRHa). GnRHa induced translocation of cortactin to the leading edge of the plasma membrane where it colocalizes with actin and actin-related protein 3 (Arp3). Incubation of αT3-1 cells with the c-src inhibitor phosphoprotein phosphatase 1, blocked tyrosine phosphorylation of cortactin, reduced cortactin association with Arp3, and blunted actin reorganization in response to GnRHa. Additionally, we used RNA silencing strategies to knock down cortactin in αT3-1 cells. Knockdown of cortactin blocked the ability of αT3-1 cells to generate filopodia, lamellipodia, and membrane ruffles in response to GnRHa. We show that lamellipodia and filopodia are capable of LHβ mobilization in primary pituitary culture after GnRHa treatment, and disruption of these structures using jasplakinolide reduces LH secretion. Collectively, our findings suggest that after GnRHa activation, src activity leads to tyrosine phosphorylation of cortactin, which facilitates its association with Arp3 to engage the actin cytoskeleton. The reorganization of actin by cortactin potentially underlies GnRHa-induced secretory events within αT3-1 cells.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - S10 RR027696(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)

TGF-β superfamily member Nodal stimulates human β-cell proliferation while maintaining cellular viability.

  • Boerner BP
  • Endocrinology
  • 2013 Nov 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

In an effort to expand human islets and enhance allogeneic islet transplant for the treatment of type 1 diabetes, identifying signaling pathways that stimulate human β-cell proliferation is paramount. TGF-β superfamily members, in particular activin-A, are likely involved in islet development and may contribute to β-cell proliferation. Nodal, another TGF-β member, is present in both embryonic and adult rodent islets. Nodal, along with its coreceptor, Cripto, are pro-proliferative factors in certain cell types. Although Nodal stimulates apoptosis of rat insulinoma cells (INS-1), Nodal and Cripto signaling have not been studied in the context of human islets. The current study investigated the effects of Nodal and Cripto on human β-cell proliferation, differentiation, and viability. In the human pancreas and isolated human islets, we observed Nodal mRNA and protein expression, with protein expression observed in β and α-cells. Cripto expression was absent from human islets. Furthermore, in cultured human islets, exogenous Nodal stimulated modest β-cell proliferation and inhibited α-cell proliferation with no effect on cellular viability, apoptosis, or differentiation. Nodal stimulated the phosphorylation of mothers against decapentaplegic (SMAD)-2, with no effect on AKT or MAPK signaling, suggesting phosphorylated SMAD signaling was involved in β-cell proliferation. Cripto had no effect on human islet cell proliferation, differentiation, or viability. In conclusion, Nodal stimulates human β-cell proliferation while maintaining cellular viability. Nodal signaling warrants further exploration to better understand and enhance human β-cell proliferative capacity.

Funding information:
  • NIBIB NIH HHS - P41 EB015896(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)

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)

Sprouting of colonic afferent central terminals and increased spinal mitogen-activated protein kinase expression in a mouse model of chronic visceral hypersensitivity.

  • Harrington AM
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Jul 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Visceral pain following infection or inflammation is a major clinical problem. Although we have knowledge of how peripheral endings of colonic afferents change in disease, their central projections have been overlooked. With neuroanatomical tracing and colorectal distension (CRD), we sought to identify colonic afferent central terminals (CACTs), the dorsal horn (DH) neurons activated by colonic stimuli in the thoracolumbar (T10-L1) DH, and determine how they are altered by postinflammatory chronic colonic mechanical hypersensitivity. Retrograde tracing from the colon identified CACTs in the DH, whereas immunohistochemistry for phosphorylated MAP kinase ERK 1/2 (pERK) identified DH neurons activated by CRD (80 mmHg). In healthy mice, CACTs were located primarily in DH laminae I (LI) and V (LV) and projected down middle and lateral DH collateral pathways. CRD evoked pERK immunoreactivity in DH neurons, the majority of which were located in LI and LV, the same regions as CACTs. In postinflammatory mice, CACTs were significantly increased in T12-L1 compared with healthy mice. Although CACTs remained abundant in LI, they were more widespread and were now present in deeper laminae. After CRD, significantly more DH neurons were pERK-IR postinflammation (T12-L1), with abundant expression in LI and deeper laminae. In both healthy and postinflammatory mice, many pERK neurons were in close apposition to CACTs, suggesting that colonic afferents can stimulate specific DH neurons in response to noxious CRD. Overall, we demonstrate that CACT density and the number of responsive DH neurons in the spinal cord increase postinflammation, which may facilitate aberrant central representation of colonic nociceptive signaling following chronic peripheral hypersensitivity.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY011261(United States)