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Goat anti-Mouse IgG (H+L) Cross-Adsorbed Secondary Antibody, Alexa Fluor 488

RRID:AB_2534069

Antibody ID

AB_2534069

Target Antigen

IgG (H+L) mouse

Proper Citation

(Thermo Fisher Scientific Cat# A-11001, RRID:AB_2534069)

Clonality

polyclonal antibody

Comments

Applications: Flow (1-10 µg/mL), IF (1 µg/mL), ICC (1 µg/mL)

Host Organism

goat

Vendor

Thermo Fisher Scientific Go To Vendor

Cat Num

A-11001 also A11001, A 11001

Publications that use this research resource

Generation and characterization of human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) lines from an Alzheimer's disease (ASUi001-A) and non-demented control (ASUi002-A) patient homozygous for the Apolipoprotein e4 (APOE4) risk variant.

  • Brookhouser N
  • Stem Cell Res
  • 2018 Jul 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

Although the majority of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients are labeled sporadic, multiple genetic risk variants have been identified, the most powerful and prevalent of which is the e4 variant of the Apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene. Here, we generated human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) lines from the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of a clinically diagnosed AD patient [ASUi001-A] and a non-demented control (NDC) patient [ASUi002-A] homozygous for the APOE4 risk allele. These hiPSCs maintained their original genotype, expressed pluripotency markers, exhibited a normal karyotype, and demonstrated the ability to differentiate into cells representative of the three germ layers.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - MOP-84341(Canada)

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)

Targeting Phosphopeptide Recognition by the Human BRCA1 Tandem BRCT Domain to Interrupt BRCA1-Dependent Signaling.

  • Periasamy J
  • Cell Chem Biol
  • 2018 Jun 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Intracellular signals triggered by DNA breakage flow through proteins containing BRCT (BRCA1 C-terminal) domains. This family, comprising 23 conserved phosphopeptide-binding modules in man, is inaccessible to small-molecule chemical inhibitors. Here, we develop Bractoppin, a drug-like inhibitor of phosphopeptide recognition by the human BRCA1 tandem (t)BRCT domain, which selectively inhibits substrate binding with nanomolar potency in vitro. Structure-activity exploration suggests that Bractoppin engages BRCA1 tBRCT residues recognizing pSer in the consensus motif, pSer-Pro-Thr-Phe, plus an abutting hydrophobic pocket that is distinct in structurally related BRCT domains, conferring selectivity. In cells, Bractoppin inhibits substrate recognition detected by Förster resonance energy transfer, and diminishes BRCA1 recruitment to DNA breaks, in turn suppressing damage-induced G2 arrest and assembly of the recombinase, RAD51. But damage-induced MDC1 recruitment, single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) generation, and TOPBP1 recruitment remain unaffected. Thus, an inhibitor of phosphopeptide recognition selectively interrupts BRCA1 tBRCT-dependent signals evoked by DNA damage.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - HL110349(United States)

Selective Loss of PARG Restores PARylation and Counteracts PARP Inhibitor-Mediated Synthetic Lethality.

  • Gogola E
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2018 Jun 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Inhibitors of poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) polymerase (PARPi) have recently entered the clinic for the treatment of homologous recombination (HR)-deficient cancers. Despite the success of this approach, drug resistance is a clinical hurdle, and we poorly understand how cancer cells escape the deadly effects of PARPi without restoring the HR pathway. By combining genetic screens with multi-omics analysis of matched PARPi-sensitive and -resistant Brca2-mutated mouse mammary tumors, we identified loss of PAR glycohydrolase (PARG) as a major resistance mechanism. We also found the presence of PARG-negative clones in a subset of human serous ovarian and triple-negative breast cancers. PARG depletion restores PAR formation and partially rescues PARP1 signaling. Importantly, PARG inactivation exposes vulnerabilities that can be exploited therapeutically.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM061835(United States)

TALE factors use two distinct functional modes to control an essential zebrafish gene expression program.

  • Ladam F
  • Elife
  • 2018 Jun 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

TALE factors are broadly expressed embryonically and known to function in complexes with transcription factors (TFs) like Hox proteins at gastrula/segmentation stages, but it is unclear if such generally expressed factors act by the same mechanism throughout embryogenesis. We identify a TALE-dependent gene regulatory network (GRN) required for anterior development and detect TALE occupancy associated with this GRN throughout embryogenesis. At blastula stages, we uncover a novel functional mode for TALE factors, where they occupy genomic DECA motifs with nearby NF-Y sites. We demonstrate that TALE and NF-Y form complexes and regulate chromatin state at genes of this GRN. At segmentation stages, GRN-associated TALE occupancy expands to include HEXA motifs near PBX:HOX sites. Hence, TALE factors control a key GRN, but utilize distinct DNA motifs and protein partners at different stages - a strategy that may also explain their oncogenic potential and may be employed by other broadly expressed TFs.

Funding information:
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - BB/N00907X/1()
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke - NS38183()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM084465(United States)

Evidence for neurogenesis in the medial cortex of the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius.

  • McDonald RP
  • Sci Rep
  • 2018 Jun 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Although lizards are often described as having robust neurogenic abilities, only a handful of the more than 6300 species have been explored. Here, we provide the first evidence of homeostatic neurogenesis in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius). We focused our study on the medial cortex, homologue of the mammalian hippocampal formation. Using immunostaining, we identified proliferating pools of neural stem/progenitor cells within the sulcus septomedialis, the pseudostratified ventricular zone adjacent to the medial cortex. Consistent with their identification as radial glia, these cells expressed SOX2, glial fibrillary acidic protein, and Vimentin, and demonstrated a radial morphology. Using a 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine cell tracking strategy, we determined that neuroblast migration from the ventricular zone to the medial cortex takes ~30-days, and that newly generated neuronal cells survived for at least 140-days. We also found that cell proliferation within the medial cortex was not significantly altered following rupture of the tail spinal cord (as a result of the naturally evolved process of caudal autotomy). We conclude that the sulcus septomedialis of the leopard gecko demonstrates all the hallmarks of a neurogenic niche.

Funding information:
  • Gouvernement du Canada | Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Conseil de Recherches en Sciences Naturell - 400358()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA97063(United States)

The Bicarbonate Transporter SLC4A7 Plays a Key Role in Macrophage Phagosome Acidification.

  • Sedlyarov V
  • Cell Host Microbe
  • 2018 Jun 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

Macrophages represent the first line of immune defense against pathogens, and phagosome acidification is a necessary step in pathogen clearance. Here, we identified the bicarbonate transporter SLC4A7, which is strongly induced upon macrophage differentiation, as critical for phagosome acidification. Loss of SLC4A7 reduced acidification of phagocytosed beads or bacteria and impaired the intracellular microbicidal capacity in human macrophage cell lines. The phenotype was rescued by wild-type SLC4A7, but not by SLC4A7 mutants, affecting transport capacity or cell surface localization. Loss of SLC4A7 resulted in increased cytoplasmic acidification during phagocytosis, suggesting that SLC4A7-mediated, bicarbonate-driven maintenance of cytoplasmic pH is necessary for phagosome acidification. Altogether, we identify SLC4A7 and bicarbonate-driven cytoplasmic pH homeostasis as an important element of phagocytosis and the associated microbicidal functions in macrophages.

Funding information:
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG012689(United States)

The Epigenetic State of PRDM16-Regulated Enhancers in Radial Glia Controls Cortical Neuron Position.

  • Baizabal JM
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Jun 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

The epigenetic landscape is dynamically remodeled during neurogenesis. However, it is not understood how chromatin modifications in neural stem cells instruct the formation of complex structures in the brain. We report that the histone methyltransferase PRDM16 is required in radial glia to regulate lineage-autonomous and stage-specific gene expression programs that control number and position of upper layer cortical projection neurons. PRDM16 regulates the epigenetic state of transcriptional enhancers to activate genes involved in intermediate progenitor cell production and repress genes involved in cell migration. The histone methyltransferase domain of PRDM16 is necessary in radial glia to promote cortical neuron migration through transcriptional silencing. We show that repression of the gene encoding the E3 ubiquitin ligase PDZRN3 by PRDM16 determines the position of upper layer neurons. These findings provide insights into how epigenetic control of transcriptional enhancers in radial glial determines the organization of the mammalian cerebral cortex.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA109038-04(United States)

Generation of the Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome type 2 patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell line (IAIi001-A) carrying the EP300 exon 23 stop mutation c.3829A > T, p.(Lys1277*).

  • Alari V
  • Stem Cell Res
  • 2018 Jun 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome (RSTS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by growth retardation, skeletal anomalies and intellectual disability, caused by heterozygous mutation in either the CREBBP (RSTS1) or EP300 (RSTS2) genes. We generated an induced pluripotent stem cell line from an RSTS2 patient's blood mononuclear cells by Sendai virus non integrative reprogramming method. The iPSC line (IAIi001RSTS2-65-A) displayed iPSC morphology, expressed pluripotency markers, possessed trilineage differentiation potential and was stable by karyotyping. Mutation and western blot analyses demonstrated in IAIi001RSTS2-65-A the patient's specific non sense mutation in exon 23 c.3829A > T, p.(Lys 1277*) and showed reduced quantity of wild type p300 protein.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI052447(United States)

Altering cortical input unmasks synaptic phenotypes in the YAC128 cortico-striatal co-culture model of Huntington disease.

  • Schmidt ME
  • BMC Biol.
  • 2018 Jun 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Huntington disease (HD) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder caused by a CAG expansion in the huntingtin (HTT) gene, leading to selective and progressive neuronal death predominantly in the striatum. Mutant HTT expression causes dysfunctional cortico-striatal (CS) transmission, loss of CS synapses, and striatal medium spiny neuron (MSN) dendritic spine instability prior to neuronal death. Co-culturing cortical and striatal neurons in vitro promotes the formation of functional CS synapses and is a widely used approach to elucidate pathogenic mechanisms of HD and to validate potential synapto-protective therapies. A number of relevant in vivo synaptic phenotypes from the YAC128 HD mouse model, which expresses full-length transgenic human mutant HTT, are recapitulated in CS co-culture by 21 days in vitro (DIV). However, striatal spine loss, which occurs in HD patients and in vivo animal models, has been observed in YAC128 CS co-culture in some studies but not in others, leading to difficulties in reproducing and interpreting results. Here, we investigated whether differences in the relative proportion of cortical and striatal neurons alter YAC128 synaptic phenotypes in this model. RESULTS: YAC128 MSNs in 1:1 CS co-culture exhibited impaired dendritic length and complexity compared to wild-type, whereas reducing cortical input using a 1:3 CS ratio revealed a dramatic loss of YAC128 MSN dendritic spines. Chimeric experiments determined that this spine instability was primarily cell autonomous, depending largely on mutant HTT expression in striatal neurons. Moreover, we found that spontaneous electrophysiological MSN activity correlated closely with overall dendritic length, with no differences observed between genotypes in 1:3 co-cultures despite significant YAC128 spine loss. Finally, limiting cortical input with a 1:3 CS ratio impaired the basal survival of YAC128 neurons at DIV21, and this was partially selective for dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein 32-positive MSNs. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings reconcile previous discordant reports of spine loss in this model, and improve the utility and reliability of the CS co-culture for the development of novel therapeutic strategies for HD.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - FDN-143210()
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - FDN-154278()
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - MOP-84438()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - HL095590(United States)

Calcium-activated Chloride Channel Regulator 1 (CLCA1) Controls Mucus Expansion in Colon by Proteolytic Activity.

  • Nyström EEL
  • EBioMedicine
  • 2018 Jun 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Many epithelial surfaces of the body are covered with protective mucus, and disrupted mucus homeostasis is coupled to diseases such as ulcerative colitis, helminth infection, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive lung disease. However, little is known how a balanced mucus system is maintained. By investigating the involvement of proteases in colonic mucus dynamics we identified metalloprotease activity to be a key contributor to mucus expansion. The effect was mediated by calcium-activated chloride channel regulator 1 (CLCA1) as application of recombinant CLCA1 on intestinal mucus in freshly dissected tissue resulted in increased mucus thickness independently of ion and mucus secretion, but dependent on its metallohydrolase activity. Further, CLCA1 modulated mucus dynamics in both human and mouse, and knock-out of CLCA1 in mice was compensated for by cysteine proteases. Our results suggest that CLCA1 is involved in intestinal mucus homeostasis by facilitating processing and removal of mucus to prevent stagnation. In light of our findings, we suggest future studies to investigate if upregulation of CLCA1 in diseases associated with mucus accumulation could facilitate removal of mucus in an attempt to maintain homeostasis.

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

Generation of gene-corrected iPSC line from Parkinson's disease patient iPSC line with alpha-SNCA A53T mutation.

  • Lee SY
  • Stem Cell Res
  • 2018 Jun 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common age-related neurodegenerative disorder. PD can result from a mutation of alpha-synuclein (α-SNCA), such as α-SNCA A53T. Using episomal vectors, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) were generated from skin fibroblasts with the α-SNCA A53T mutation. A huge bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) harboring the normal α-SNCA gene successfully corrected the α-SNCA A53T-mutant iPSCs. Melting curve analysis for allelic composition indicated that the BAC DNA was precisely targeted to the α-SNCA A53T mutation allele, without random integration. The corrected PD-iPSCs displayed the normal karyotype and pluripotency, with the capability to differentiate to any cell type.

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

Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycan Sulfation Regulates Uterine Differentiation and Signaling During Embryo Implantation.

  • Yin Y
  • Endocrinology
  • 2018 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

To prepare for embryo implantation, the uterus must undergo a series of reciprocal interactions between the uterine epithelium and the underlying stroma, which are orchestrated by ovarian hormones. During this process, multiple signaling pathways are activated to direct cell proliferation and differentiation, which render the uterus receptive to the implanting blastocysts. One important modulator of these signaling pathways is the cell surface and extracellular matrix macromolecules, heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs). HSPGs play crucial roles in signal transduction by regulating morphogen transport and ligand binding. In this study, we examine the role of HSPG sulfation in regulating uterine receptivity by conditionally deleting the N-deacetylase/N-sulfotransferase (NDST) 1 gene (Ndst1) in the mouse uterus using the Pgr-Cre driver, on an Ndst2- and Ndst3-null genetic background. Although development of the female reproductive tract and subsequent ovarian function appear normal in Ndst triple-knockout females, they are infertile due to implantation defects. Embryo attachment appears to occur but the uterine epithelium at the site of implantation persists rather than disintegrates in the mutant. Uterine epithelial cells continued to proliferate past day 4 of pregnancy, accompanied by elevated Fgf2 and Fgf9 expression, whereas uterine stroma failed to undergo decidualization, as evidenced by lack of Bmp2 induction. Despite normal Indian hedgehog expression, transcripts of Ptch1 and Gli1, both components as well as targets of the hedgehog (Hh) pathway, were detected only in the subepithelial stroma, indicating altered Hh signaling in the mutant uterus. Taken together, these data implicate an essential role for HSPGs in modulating signal transduction during mouse implantation.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - CA031760(United States)

CALHM3 Is Essential for Rapid Ion Channel-Mediated Purinergic Neurotransmission of GPCR-Mediated Tastes.

  • Ma Z
  • Neuron
  • 2018 May 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Binding of sweet, umami, and bitter tastants to G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in apical membranes of type II taste bud cells (TBCs) triggers action potentials that activate a voltage-gated nonselective ion channel to release ATP to gustatory nerves mediating taste perception. Although calcium homeostasis modulator 1 (CALHM1) is necessary for ATP release, the molecular identification of the channel complex that provides the conductive ATP-release mechanism suitable for action potential-dependent neurotransmission remains to be determined. Here we show that CALHM3 interacts with CALHM1 as a pore-forming subunit in a CALHM1/CALHM3 hexameric channel, endowing it with fast voltage-activated gating identical to that of the ATP-release channel in vivo. Calhm3 is co-expressed with Calhm1 exclusively in type II TBCs, and its genetic deletion abolishes taste-evoked ATP release from taste buds and GPCR-mediated taste perception. Thus, CALHM3, together with CALHM1, is essential to form the fast voltage-gated ATP-release channel in type II TBCs required for GPCR-mediated tastes.

Funding information:
  • European Research Council - 233417(International)

SOD1 Phosphorylation by mTORC1 Couples Nutrient Sensing and Redox Regulation.

  • Tsang CK
  • Mol. Cell
  • 2018 May 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

Nutrients are not only organic compounds fueling bioenergetics and biosynthesis, but also key chemical signals controlling growth and metabolism. Nutrients enormously impact the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which play essential roles in normal physiology and diseases. How nutrient signaling is integrated with redox regulation is an interesting, but not fully understood, question. Herein, we report that superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) is a conserved component of the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) nutrient signaling. mTORC1 regulates SOD1 activity through reversible phosphorylation at S39 in yeast and T40 in humans in response to nutrients, which moderates ROS level and prevents oxidative DNA damage. We further show that SOD1 activation enhances cancer cell survival and tumor formation in the ischemic tumor microenvironment and protects against the chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin. Collectively, these findings identify a conserved mechanism by which eukaryotes dynamically regulate redox homeostasis in response to changing nutrient conditions.

Funding information:
  • Austrian Science Fund FWF - P 21643(Austria)

A C9orf72 ALS/FTD Ortholog Acts in Endolysosomal Degradation and Lysosomal Homeostasis.

  • Corrionero A
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2018 May 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

The most common genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is the expansion of a hexanucleotide repeat in a non-coding region of the gene C9orf72. We report that loss-of-function mutations in alfa-1, the Caenorhabditis elegans ortholog of C9orf72, cause a novel phenotypic defect: endocytosed yolk is abnormally released into the extra-embryonic space, resulting in refractile "blobs." The alfa-1 blob phenotype is partially rescued by the expression of the human C9orf72 protein, demonstrating that C9orf72 and alfa-1 function similarly. We show that alfa-1 and R144.5, which we identified from a genetic screen for mutants with the blob phenotype and renamed smcr-8, act in the degradation of endolysosomal content and subsequent lysosome reformation. The alfa-1 abnormality in lysosomal reformation results in a general dysregulation in lysosomal homeostasis, leading to defective degradation of phagosomal and autophagosomal contents. We suggest that, like alfa-1, C9orf72 functions in the degradation of endocytosed material and in the maintenance of lysosomal homeostasis. This previously undescribed function of C9orf72 explains a variety of disparate observations concerning the effects of mutations in C9orf72 and its homologs, including the abnormal accumulation of lysosomes and defective fusion of lysosomes to phagosomes. We suggest that aspects of the pathogenic and clinical features of ALS/FTD caused by C9orf72 mutations, such as altered immune responses, aggregation of autophagy targets, and excessive neuronal excitation, result from a reduction in C9orf72 gene function and consequent abnormalities in lysosomal degradation.

Funding information:
  • NIA NIH HHS - RC2 AG036559(United States)

Interrogation of Mammalian Protein Complex Structure, Function, and Membership Using Genome-Scale Fitness Screens.

  • Pan J
  • Cell Syst
  • 2018 May 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

Protein complexes are assemblies of subunits that have co-evolved to execute one or many coordinated functions in the cellular environment. Functional annotation of mammalian protein complexes is critical to understanding biological processes, as well as disease mechanisms. Here, we used genetic co-essentiality derived from genome-scale RNAi- and CRISPR-Cas9-based fitness screens performed across hundreds of human cancer cell lines to assign measures of functional similarity. From these measures, we systematically built and characterized functional similarity networks that recapitulate known structural and functional features of well-studied protein complexes and resolve novel functional modules within complexes lacking structural resolution, such as the mammalian SWI/SNF complex. Finally, by integrating functional networks with large protein-protein interaction networks, we discovered novel protein complexes involving recently evolved genes of unknown function. Taken together, these findings demonstrate the utility of genetic perturbation screens alone, and in combination with large-scale biophysical data, to enhance our understanding of mammalian protein complexes in normal and disease states.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - U01 CA176058()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - U24 DK 58768-01A1(United States)

Derivation of an induced pluripotent stem cell line (MUSIi004-A) from dermal fibroblasts of a 48-year-old spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 patient.

  • Ritthaphai A
  • Stem Cell Res
  • 2018 May 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Dermal fibroblasts were obtained from a 48-year-old female patient with spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3). Fibroblasts were reprogrammed by nucleofection with episomal plasmids, carrying L-MYC, LIN28, OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, EBNA-1 and shRNA against p53. The SCA3 patient-specific iPSC line, MUSIi004-A, was characterized by immunofluorescence staining to verify the expression of pluripotent markers. The iPSC line exhibited an ability to differentiate into three germ layers by embryoid body (EB) formation. Karyotypic analysis of the MUSIi004-A line was normal. The mutant allele was still present in the iPSC line. This iPSC line represents a useful tool for studying neurodegeneration in SCA3.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R56 CA098369(United States)

Establishment of an integration-free induced pluripotent stem cell line (MUSIi005-A) from exfoliated renal epithelial cells.

  • Boonkaew B
  • Stem Cell Res
  • 2018 May 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) were generated from exfoliated renal epithelial cells isolated from a urine sample of a 31-year-old healthy woman. Epithelial cells were characterized for the expression of E-cadherin and reprogrammed using non-integrating Sendai viral vectors. The urine-derived iPSC line (designated as MUSIi005-A) was karyotypically normal, expressed pluripotent markers, differentiated into cells of three embryonic germ layers, and showed no viral and transgene expressions at passage 29. Our protocol offers a non-invasive and efficient approach for iPSC generation from patients with genetic or acquired disorders.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM51426(United States)

Generation of two isogenic human induced pluripotent stem cell lines from a 15 year-old female patient with MERRF syndrome and A8344G mutation of mitochondrial DNA.

  • Chou SJ
  • Stem Cell Res
  • 2018 May 28

Literature context:


Abstract:

MERRF syndrome is predominantly caused by A8344G mutation in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), affecting MT-TK gene, which impairs the mitochondrial electron transport chain function. Here, we report the generation of two isogenic induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines, TVGH-iPSC-MRF-Mlow and TVGH-iPSC-MRF-Mhigh, from the skin fibroblasts of a female MERRF patient harboring mtDNA A8344G mutation by using retrovirus transduction system. Both cell lines share the same genetic background except containing different proportions of mtDNA with the A8344G mutation. Both cell lines exhibited the pluripotency and capacity to differentiate into three germ layers.

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

Generation of a human induced pluripotent stem cell line from a patient with a rare A673T variant in amyloid precursor protein gene that reduces the risk for Alzheimer's disease.

  • Lehtonen Š
  • Stem Cell Res
  • 2018 May 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

An amyloid precursor protein (APP) A673T mutation was found to be protective against Alzheimer's disease (AD) and cognitive decline in the Icelandic population and to associate with decreased levels of plasma β-amyloid in a Finnish population-based cohort. Human fibroblasts from a Finnish male individual carrying the protective mutation were used to generate integration-free induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSCs) line by Sendai virus technology. The iPSC line retained the mutation and expressed pluripotency markers, had a normal karyotype and differentiated into all three germ layers.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - CA131967(United States)

A homozygous loss-of-function CAMK2A mutation causes growth delay, frequent seizures and severe intellectual disability.

  • Chia PH
  • Elife
  • 2018 May 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CAMK2) plays fundamental roles in synaptic plasticity that underlies learning and memory. Here, we describe a new recessive neurodevelopmental syndrome with global developmental delay, seizures and intellectual disability. Using linkage analysis and exome sequencing, we found that this disease maps to chromosome 5q31.1-q34 and is caused by a biallelic germline mutation in CAMK2A. The missense mutation, p.His477Tyr is located in the CAMK2A association domain that is critical for its function and localization. Biochemically, the p.His477Tyr mutant is defective in self-oligomerization and unable to assemble into the multimeric holoenzyme.In vivo, CAMK2AH477Y failed to rescue neuronal defects in C. elegans lacking unc-43, the ortholog of human CAMK2A. In vitro, neurons derived from patient iPSCs displayed profound synaptic defects. Together, our data demonstrate that a recessive germline mutation in CAMK2A leads to neurodevelopmental defects in humans and suggest that dysfunctional CAMK2 paralogs may contribute to other neurological disorders.

Funding information:
  • Agency for Science, Technology and Research - GODAFIT Strategic Positioning Fund()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM080399(United States)

Schaffer Collateral Inputs to CA1 Excitatory and Inhibitory Neurons Follow Different Connectivity Rules.

  • Kwon O
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 May 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neural circuits, governed by a complex interplay between excitatory and inhibitory neurons, are the substrate for information processing, and the organization of synaptic connectivity in neural network is an important determinant of circuit function. Here, we analyzed the fine structure of connectivity in hippocampal CA1 excitatory and inhibitory neurons innervated by Schaffer collaterals (SCs) using mGRASP in male mice. Our previous study revealed spatially structured synaptic connectivity between CA3 and CA1 pyramidal cells (PCs). Surprisingly, parvalbumin-positive interneurons (PVs) showed a significantly more random pattern spatial structure. Notably, application of Peters' rule for synapse prediction by random overlap between axons and dendrites enhanced structured connectivity in PCs, but, by contrast, made the connectivity pattern in PVs more random. In addition, PCs in a deep sublayer of striatum pyramidale appeared more highly structured than PCs in superficial layers, and little or no sublayer specificity was found in PVs. Our results show that CA1 excitatory PCs and inhibitory PVs innervated by the same SC inputs follow different connectivity rules. The different organizations of fine scale structured connectivity in hippocampal excitatory and inhibitory neurons provide important insights into the development and functions of neural networks.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Understanding how neural circuits generate behavior is one of the central goals of neuroscience. An important component of this endeavor is the mapping of fine-scale connection patterns that underlie, and help us infer, signal processing in the brain. Here, using our recently developed synapse detection technology (mGRASP and neuTube), we provide detailed profiles of synaptic connectivity in excitatory (CA1 pyramidal) and inhibitory (CA1 parvalbumin-positive) neurons innervated by the same presynaptic inputs (CA3 Schaffer collaterals). Our results reveal that these two types of CA1 neurons follow different connectivity patterns. Our new evidence for differently structured connectivity at a fine scale in hippocampal excitatory and inhibitory neurons provides a better understanding of hippocampal networks and will guide theoretical and experimental studies.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - G0800784(United Kingdom)

Blood-derived integration-free iPS cell line UKBi011-A from a diagnosed male Alzheimer's disease patient with APOE ɛ4/ɛ4 genotype.

  • Peitz M
  • Stem Cell Res
  • 2018 May 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is most the frequent neurodegenerative disease, and the APOE ε4 allele is the most prominent risk factor for late-onset AD. Here, we present an iPSC line generated from peripheral blood cells of a male AD patient employing Sendai virus vectors encoding the transcription factors OCT4, SOX2, KLF4 and c-MYC. The characterized iPSC line expresses typical human pluripotency markers and shows differentiation into all three germ layers, complete reprogramming vector clearance, a normal SNP genotype and maintenance of the APOE ε4/ε4 allele.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM084089(United States)

A Cas9 transgenic Plasmodium yoelii parasite for efficient gene editing.

  • Qian P
  • Mol. Biochem. Parasitol.
  • 2018 Apr 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

The RNA-guided endonuclease Cas9 has applied as an efficient gene-editing method in malaria parasite Plasmodium. However, the size (4.2 kb) of the commonly used Cas9 from Streptococcus pyogenes (SpCas9) limits its utility for genome editing in the parasites only introduced with cas9 plasmid. To establish the endogenous and constitutive expression of Cas9 protein in the rodent malaria parasite P. yoelii, we replaced the coding region of an endogenous gene sera1 with the intact SpCas9 coding sequence using the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing method, generating the cas9-knockin parasite (PyCas9ki) of the rodent malaria parasite P. yoelii. The resulted PyCas9ki parasite displays normal progression during the whole life cycle and possesses the Cas9 protein expression in asexual blood stage. By introducing the plasmid (pYCs) containing only sgRNA and homologous template elements, we successfully achieved both deletion and tagging modifications for different endogenous genes in the genome of PyCas9ki parasite. This cas9-knockin PyCas9ki parasite provides a new platform facilitating gene functions study in the rodent malaria parasite P. yoelii.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - AI087879(United States)

Autologous iPSC-Based Vaccines Elicit Anti-tumor Responses In Vivo.

  • Kooreman NG
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2018 Apr 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cancer cells and embryonic tissues share a number of cellular and molecular properties, suggesting that induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) may be harnessed to elicit anti-tumor responses in cancer vaccines. RNA sequencing revealed that human and murine iPSCs express tumor-associated antigens, and we show here a proof of principle for using irradiated iPSCs in autologous anti-tumor vaccines. In a prophylactic setting, iPSC vaccines prevent tumor growth in syngeneic murine breast cancer, mesothelioma, and melanoma models. As an adjuvant, the iPSC vaccine inhibited melanoma recurrence at the resection site and reduced metastatic tumor load, which was associated with fewer Th17 cells and increased CD11b+GR1hi myeloid cells. Adoptive transfer of T cells isolated from vaccine-treated tumor-bearing mice inhibited tumor growth in unvaccinated recipients, indicating that the iPSC vaccine promotes an antigen-specific anti-tumor T cell response. Our data suggest an easy, generalizable strategy for multiple types of cancer that could prove highly valuable in clinical immunotherapy.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P01 CA055164(United States)
  • NIBIB NIH HHS - T32 EB009035()

Switch of Mitochondrial Superoxide Dismutase into a Prooxidant Peroxidase in Manganese-Deficient Cells and Mice.

  • Ganini D
  • Cell Chem Biol
  • 2018 Apr 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Superoxide radical anion (O2⋅‒) and other reactive oxygen species are constantly produced during respiration. In mitochondria, the dismutation of O2⋅‒ is accelerated by the mitochondrial superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2), an enzyme that has been traditionally associated with antioxidant protection. However, increases in SOD2 expression promote oxidative stress, indicating that there may be a prooxidant role for SOD2. Here we show that SOD2, which normally binds manganese, can incorporate iron and generate an alternative isoform with peroxidase activity. The switch from manganese to iron allows FeSOD2 to utilize H2O2 to promote oxidative stress. We found that FeSOD2 is formed in cultured cells and in vivo. FeSOD2 causes mitochondrial dysfunction and higher levels of oxidative stress in cultured cells and in vivo. We show that formation of FeSOD2 converts an antioxidant defense into a prooxidant peroxidase that leads to cellular changes seen in multiple human diseases.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - 287512(Canada)

Immunohistochemical Procedures for Characterizing the Retinal Expression Patterns of Cre Driver Mouse Lines.

  • Lu Q
  • Methods Mol. Biol.
  • 2018 Apr 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

The retina is a thin neural tissue sitting on the backside of the eye, composed of light-sensing cells, interneurons, and output ganglion neurons. The latter send electrical signals to higher visual centers in the brain. Transgenic mouse lines are becoming one of the most valuable mammalian animal models for the study of visual signal processing within the retina. Especially, the generation of Cre recombinase transgenic mouse lines provides a powerful tool for genetic manipulation. A key step for the utilization of transgenic lines is the characterization of their transgene expression patterns in the retina. Here we describe a standard protocol for characterizing the expression pattern of the Cre recombinase or fluorescent proteins in the retina with an immunohistochemical approach.

An Integrated Genome-wide CRISPRa Approach to Functionalize lncRNAs in Drug Resistance.

  • Bester AC
  • Cell
  • 2018 Apr 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Resistance to chemotherapy plays a significant role in cancer mortality. To identify genetic units affecting sensitivity to cytarabine, the mainstay of treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), we developed a comprehensive and integrated genome-wide platform based on a dual protein-coding and non-coding integrated CRISPRa screening (DICaS). Putative resistance genes were initially identified using pharmacogenetic data from 760 human pan-cancer cell lines. Subsequently, genome scale functional characterization of both coding and long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) genes by CRISPR activation was performed. For lncRNA functional assessment, we developed a CRISPR activation of lncRNA (CaLR) strategy, targeting 14,701 lncRNA genes. Computational and functional analysis identified novel cell-cycle, survival/apoptosis, and cancer signaling genes. Furthermore, transcriptional activation of the GAS6-AS2 lncRNA, identified in our analysis, leads to hyperactivation of the GAS6/TAM pathway, a resistance mechanism in multiple cancers including AML. Thus, DICaS represents a novel and powerful approach to identify integrated coding and non-coding pathways of therapeutic relevance.

Funding information:
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - AR49737(United States)

Protein tyrosine phosphatase σ regulates autoimmune encephalomyelitis development.

  • Ohtake Y
  • Brain Behav. Immun.
  • 2018 Apr 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) play essential roles in regulating signaling events in multiple cells by tyrosine dephosphorylation. One of them, PTPσ, appears important in regulating function of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC). Here we report that PTPσ deletion in knockout mice and inhibition with a selective antagonist peptide exacerbated symptoms of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) by enhancing axon and myelin damage in the spinal cord. PTPσ-/- mice displayed pro-inflammatory profiles in the spinal cord and lymphoid organs following MOG peptide immunization. PTPσ deletion promoted a pro-inflammatory phenotype in conventional DCs and directly regulated differentiation of CD4+ T cells. It also facilitated infiltration of T lymphocytes, activation of macrophages in the CNS and development of EAE. Therefore, PTPσ is a key negative regulator in EAE initiation and progression, which acts by regulating functions of DCs, T cells, and other immune cells. PTPσ may become an important molecular target for treating autoimmune disorders.

Generation of the human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) line PSMi002-A from a patient affected by the Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome and carrier of two compound heterozygous mutations on the KCNQ1 gene.

  • Mura M
  • Stem Cell Res
  • 2018 Apr 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

We report the generation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) from dermal fibroblasts of a female patient carrier of the two compound heterozygous mutations c.568 C>T p.R190W (maternal allele), and c.1781 G>A p.R594Q (paternal allele) on the KCNQ1 gene, causing Jervell and Lange-Nielsen Syndrome (JLNS). To obtain hiPSCs, we used the classical approach of the four retroviruses each encoding for a reprogramming factor OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, cMYC. The obtained hiPSC clones display pluripotent stem cell characteristics, and differentiate into spontaneously beating cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs).

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P30 DK019525(United States)

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

  • Sinclair JKL
  • Cell Chem Biol
  • 2018 Apr 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

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

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

Blockade of sustained tumor necrosis factor in a transgenic model of progressive autoimmune encephalomyelitis limits oligodendrocyte apoptosis and promotes oligodendrocyte maturation.

  • Valentin-Torres A
  • J Neuroinflammation
  • 2018 Apr 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is associated with several neurodegenerative disorders including multiple sclerosis (MS). Although TNF-targeted therapies have been largely unsuccessful in MS, recent preclinical data suggests selective soluble TNF inhibition can promote remyelination. This has renewed interest in regulation of TNF signaling in demyelinating disease, especially given the limited treatment options for progressive MS. Using a mouse model of progressive MS, this study evaluates the effects of sustained TNF on oligodendrocyte (OLG) apoptosis and OLG precursor cell (OPC) differentiation. METHODS: Induction of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in transgenic mice expressing a dominant-negative interferon-γ receptor under the human glial fibrillary acidic protein promoter (GFAPγR1Δ) causes severe non-remitting disease associated with sustained TNF. Therapeutic effects in GFAPγR1Δ mice treated with anti-TNF compared to control antibody during acute EAE were evaluated by assessing demyelinating lesion size, remyelination, OLG apoptosis, and OPC differentiation. RESULTS: More severe and enlarged demyelinating lesions in GFAPγR1Δ compared to wild-type (WT) mice were associated with increased OLG apoptosis and reduced differentiated CC1+Olig2+ OLG within lesions, as well as impaired upregulation of TNF receptor-2, suggesting impaired OPC differentiation. TNF blockade during acute EAE in GFAPγR1Δ both limited OLG apoptosis and enhanced OPC differentiation consistent with reduced lesion size and clinical recovery. TNF neutralization further limited increasing endothelin-1 (ET-1) expression in astrocytes and myeloid cells noted in lesions during disease progression in GFAPγR1Δ mice, supporting inhibitory effects of ET-1 on OPC maturation. CONCLUSION: Our data implicate that IFNγ signaling to astrocytes is essential to limit a detrimental positive feedback loop of TNF and ET-1 production, which increases OLG apoptosis and impairs OPC differentiation. Interference of this cycle by TNF blockade promotes repair independent of TNFR2 and supports selective TNF targeting to mitigate progressive forms of MS.

Funding information:
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - 233376(United Kingdom)
  • Cancer Center Support - P30CA014089()
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society - RG4007B5()

The Chlamydia muridarum plasmid revisited : new insights into growth kinetics.

  • Skilton RJ
  • Wellcome Open Res
  • 2018 Apr 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Background: Research in chlamydial genetics is challenging because of its obligate intracellular developmental cycle. In vivo systems exist that allow studies of different aspects of basic biology of chlamydiae, the murine Chlamydia muridarum model is one of great importance and thus an essential research tool. C. muridarum carries a plasmid that has a role in virulence.  Our aim was to compare and contrast the C. muridarum plasmid-free phenotype with that of a chromosomally isogenic plasmid-bearing strain, through the inclusion phase of the developmental cycle. Methods: We measured infectivity for plasmid bearing and plasmid-cured C. muridarum by inclusion forming assays in McCoy cells and in parallel bacterial chromosome replication by quantitative PCR, throughout the developmental cycle. In addition to these studies, we have carefully monitored chlamydial inclusion formation by confocal microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. A new E.coli/chlamydial shuttle vector (pNigg::GFP) was constructed using standard cloning technology and used to transform C. muridarum for further phenotypic studies. Results: We have advanced the definition of the chlamydial phenotype away from the simple static observation of mature inclusions and redefined the C. muridarum plasmid-based phenotype on growth profile and inclusion morphology. Our observations on the growth properties of plasmid-cured C. muridarum challenge the established interpretations, especially with regard to inclusion growth kinetics. Introduction of the shuttle plasmid pNigg::GFP into plasmid-cured C. muridarum restored the wild-type plasmid-bearing phenotype and confirmed that loss of the plasmid was the sole cause for the changes in growth and chromosomal replication. Conclusions: Accurate growth curves and sampling at multiple time points throughout the developmental cycle is necessary to define plasmid phenotypes.  There are subtle but important (previously unnoticed) differences in the overall growth profile of plasmid-bearing and plasmid-free C. muridarum.  We have proven that the differences described are solely due to the plasmid pNigg.

Funding information:
  • European Research Council - 233270(International)

Mitochondria Bound to Lipid Droplets Have Unique Bioenergetics, Composition, and Dynamics that Support Lipid Droplet Expansion.

  • Benador IY
  • Cell Metab.
  • 2018 Apr 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mitochondria associate with lipid droplets (LDs) in fat-oxidizing tissues, but the functional role of these peridroplet mitochondria (PDM) is unknown. Microscopic observation of interscapular brown adipose tissue reveals that PDM have unique protein composition and cristae structure and remain adherent to the LD in the tissue homogenate. We developed an approach to isolate PDM based on their adherence to LDs. Comparison of purified PDM to cytoplasmic mitochondria reveals that (1) PDM have increased pyruvate oxidation, electron transport, and ATP synthesis capacities; (2) PDM have reduced β-oxidation capacity and depart from LDs upon activation of brown adipose tissue thermogenesis and β-oxidation; (3) PDM support LD expansion as Perilipin5-induced recruitment of mitochondria to LDs increases ATP synthase-dependent triacylglyceride synthesis; and (4) PDM maintain a distinct protein composition due to uniquely low fusion-fission dynamics. We conclude that PDM represent a segregated mitochondrial population with unique structure and function that supports triacylglyceride synthesis.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - CA118116(United States)

Generation of the human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) line PSMi003-A from a patient affected by an autosomal recessive form of Long QT Syndrome type 1.

  • Mura M
  • Stem Cell Res
  • 2018 Apr 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

We generated human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) from dermal fibroblasts of a 51years old female patient homozygous for the mutation c.535 G>A p.G179S on the KCNQ1 gene, causing a severe form of autosomal recessive Long QT Syndrome type 1 (AR-LQT1), not associated with deafness. The hiPSCs, generated using four retroviruses each encoding for a reprogramming factor OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, cMYC, are pluripotent and can differentiate into spontaneously beating cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs).

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - K22 CA130984(United States)

27-Hydroxycholesterol increases α-synuclein protein levels through proteasomal inhibition in human dopaminergic neurons.

  • Schommer J
  • BMC Neurosci
  • 2018 Apr 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Accumulation of the α-synuclein (α-syn) protein is a hallmark of a group of brain disorders collectively known as synucleinopathies. The mechanisms responsible for α-syn accumulation are not well understood. Several studies suggest a link between synucleinopathies and the cholesterol metabolite 27-hydroxycholesterol (27-OHC). 27-OHC is the major cholesterol metabolite in the blood that crosses the blood brain barrier, and its levels can increase following hypercholesterolemia, aging, and oxidative stress, which are all factors for increased synucleinopathy risk. In this study, we determined the extent to which 27-OHC regulates α-syn levels in human dopaminergic neurons, the cell type in which α-syn accumulates in PD, a major synucleinopathy disorder. RESULTS: Our results show that 27-OHC significantly increases the protein levels, not the mRNA expression of α-syn. The effects of 27-OHC appear to be independent of an action through liver X receptors (LXR), its cognate receptors, as the LXR agonist, GW3965, or the LXR antagonist ECHS did not affect α-syn protein or mRNA levels. Furthermore, our data strongly suggest that the 27-OHC-induced increase in α-syn protein levels emanates from inhibition of the proteasomal degradation of this protein and a decrease in the heat shock protein 70 (HSP70). CONCLUSIONS: Identifying 27-OHC as a factor that can increase α-syn levels and the inhibition of the proteasomal function and reduction in HSP70 levels as potential cellular mechanisms involved in regulation of α-syn. This may help in targeting the correct degradation of α-syn as a potential avenue to preclude α-syn accumulation.

Funding information:
  • National Institute on Aging - R01AG045264()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG045264()
  • NIBIB NIH HHS - P41-EB013598(United States)

An Attractive Reelin Gradient Establishes Synaptic Lamination in the Vertebrate Visual System.

  • Di Donato V
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Mar 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

A conserved organizational and functional principle of neural networks is the segregation of axon-dendritic synaptic connections into laminae. Here we report that targeting of synaptic laminae by retinal ganglion cell (RGC) arbors in the vertebrate visual system is regulated by a signaling system relying on target-derived Reelin and VLDLR/Dab1a on the projecting neurons. Furthermore, we find that Reelin is distributed as a gradient on the target tissue and stabilized by heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) in the extracellular matrix (ECM). Through genetic manipulations, we show that this Reelin gradient is important for laminar targeting and that it is attractive for RGC axons. Finally, we suggest a comprehensive model of synaptic lamina formation in which attractive Reelin counter-balances repulsive Slit1, thereby guiding RGC axons toward single synaptic laminae. We establish a mechanism that may represent a general principle for neural network assembly in vertebrate species and across different brain areas.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - AI091977(United States)

Local Somatodendritic Translation and Hyperphosphorylation of Tau Protein Triggered by AMPA and NMDA Receptor Stimulation.

  • Kobayashi S
  • EBioMedicine
  • 2018 Mar 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

Tau is a major component of the neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) that represent a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although generally considered an axonal protein, Tau is found in the somato-dendritic compartment of degenerating neurons and this redistribution is thought to be a trigger of neurodegeneration in AD. Here, we show the presence of tau mRNA in a dendritic ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex that includes Ca2+-calmodulin dependent protein kinase (CaMK)IIα mRNA and that is translated locally in response to glutamate stimulation. Further, we show that Tau mRNA is a component of mRNP granules that contain RNA-binding proteins, and that it interacts with Myosin Va, a postsynaptic motor protein; these findings suggest that tau mRNA is transported into dendritic spines. We also report that tau mRNA localized in the somato-dendritic component of primary hippocampal cells and that a sub-toxic concentration of glutamate enhances local translation and hyperphosphorylation of tau, effects that are blocked by the gluatamatergic antagonists MK801 and NBQX. These data thus demonstrate that alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA) and N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) stimulation redistributes tau to the somato-dendritic region of neurons where it may trigger neurodegeneration.

Dopamine receptors in the rat entopeduncular nucleus.

  • Lavian H
  • Brain Struct Funct
  • 2018 Mar 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

Dopamine is critical for the normal functioning of the basal ganglia, modulating both input and output nuclei of this system. The distribution and function of each of the five dopamine receptor subtypes have been studied extensively in the striatum. However, the role of extrastriatal dopamine receptors in basal ganglia information processing is less clear. Here, we studied the anatomical distribution of dopamine receptors in one of the output nuclei of the rodent basal ganglia, the entopeduncular nucleus (EP). The presence of all dopamine receptor subtypes was verified in the EP using immunostaining. We detected co-localization of dopamine receptors with VGAT, which suggests presynaptic expression on GABAergic terminals. D1R and D2R were strongly colocalized with VGAT, whereas DR3-5 showed only sparse co-localization. We further labeled striatal or pallidal neurons with GFP and showed that only D1 receptors were co-localized with striatal terminals, while only D2R and D3R were co-localized with pallidal terminals. Dopamine receptors were also strongly co-localized with MAP2, indicating postsynaptic expression. Overall, these findings suggest that the dopaminergic system modulates activity in the EP both directly via postsynaptic receptors, and indirectly via GABAergic synapses stemming from the direct and indirect pathways.

Funding information:
  • Israel Science Foundation - 138/15()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R24 DK064400(United States)
  • Paul Feder foundation - N/A()

Teriflunomide promotes oligodendroglial differentiation and myelination.

  • Göttle P
  • J Neuroinflammation
  • 2018 Mar 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neuroinflammatory autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS) which in most cases initially presents with episodes of transient functional deficits (relapsing-remitting MS; RRMS) and eventually develops into a secondary progressive form (SPMS). Aside from neuroimmunological activities, MS is also characterized by neurodegenerative and regenerative processes. The latter involve the restoration of myelin sheaths-electrically insulating structures which are the primary targets of autoimmune attacks. Spontaneous endogenous remyelination takes place even in the adult CNS and is primarily mediated by activation, recruitment, and differentiation of resident oligodendroglial precursor cells (OPCs). However, the overall efficiency of remyelination is limited and further declines with disease duration and progression. From a therapeutic standpoint, it is therefore key to understand how oligodendroglial maturation can be modulated pharmacologically. Teriflunomide has been approved as a first-line treatment for RRMS in the USA and the European Union. As the active metabolite of leflunomide, an established disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug, it mainly acts via an inhibition of de novo pyrimidine synthesis exerting a cytostatic effect on proliferating B and T cells. METHODS: We investigated teriflunomide-dependent effects on primary rat oligodendroglial homeostasis, proliferation, and differentiation related to cellular processes important for myelin repair hence CNS regeneration in vitro. To this end, several cellular parameters, including specific oligodendroglial maturation markers, in vitro myelination, and p53 family member signaling, were examined by means of gene/protein expression analyses. The rate of myelination was determined using neuron-oligodendrocyte co-cultures. RESULTS: Low teriflunomide concentrations resulted in cell cycle exit while higher doses led to decreased cell survival. Short-term teriflunomide pulses can efficiently promote oligodendroglial cell differentiation suggesting that young, immature cells could benefit from such stimulation. In vitro myelination can be boosted by means of an early stimulation window with teriflunomide. p73 signaling is functionally involved in promoting OPC differentiation and myelination. CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate a critical window of opportunity during which regenerative oligodendroglial activities including myelination of CNS axons can be stimulated by teriflunomide.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA108773(United States)

Generation of a human iPSC line by mRNA reprogramming.

  • Artero Castro A
  • Stem Cell Res
  • 2018 Mar 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

The human iPSC cell line, derived from foreskin fibroblasts was generated by non-integrative, non-viral reprogramming technology using OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, LIN28, c-MYC mRNAs.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - G116/122(United Kingdom)

SLFN11 Blocks Stressed Replication Forks Independently of ATR.

  • Murai J
  • Mol. Cell
  • 2018 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

SLFN11 sensitizes cancer cells to a broad range of DNA-targeted therapies. Here we show that, in response to replication stress induced by camptothecin, SLFN11 tightly binds chromatin at stressed replication foci via RPA1 together with the replication helicase subunit MCM3. Unlike ATR, SLFN11 neither interferes with the loading of CDC45 and PCNA nor inhibits the initiation of DNA replication but selectively blocks fork progression while inducing chromatin opening across replication initiation sites. The ATPase domain of SLFN11 is required for chromatin opening, replication block, and cell death but not for the tight binding of SLFN11 to chromatin. Replication stress by the CHK1 inhibitor Prexasertib also recruits SLFN11 to nascent replicating DNA together with CDC45 and PCNA. We conclude that SLFN11 is recruited to stressed replication forks carrying extended RPA filaments where it blocks replication by changing chromatin structure across replication sites.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - CA132630(United States)

Tumor initiating cells induce Cxcr4-mediated infiltration of pro-tumoral macrophages into the brain.

  • Chia K
  • Elife
  • 2018 Feb 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

It is now clear that microglia and macrophages are present in brain tumors, but whether or how they affect initiation and development of tumors is not known. Exploiting the advantages of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) model, we showed that macrophages and microglia respond immediately upon oncogene activation in the brain. Overexpression of human AKT1 within neural cells of larval zebrafish led to a significant increase in the macrophage and microglia populations. By using a combination of transgenic and mutant zebrafish lines, we showed that this increase was caused by the infiltration of peripheral macrophages into the brain mediated via Sdf1b-Cxcr4b signaling. Intriguingly, confocal live imaging reveals highly dynamic interactions between macrophages/microglia and pre-neoplastic cells, which do not result in phagocytosis of pre-neoplastic cells. Finally, depletion of macrophages and microglia resulted in a significant reduction of oncogenic cell proliferation. Thus, macrophages and microglia show tumor promoting functions already during the earliest stages of the developing tumor microenvironment.

Funding information:
  • Cancer Research UK - Career Establishment Award, C49916/A17494()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01AI052237(United States)

Analysis of 14-3-3 isoforms expressed in photoreceptors.

  • Inamdar SM
  • Exp. Eye Res.
  • 2018 Feb 28

Literature context:


Abstract:

The 14-3-3 family of proteins has undergone considerable expansion in higher eukaryotes with humans and mice expressing seven isoforms (β, ε, η, γ, θ, ζ, and σ) from seven distinct genes (YWHAB, YWAHE, YWHAH, YWHAG, YWHAQ, YWHAZ, and SFN). Growing evidence indicates that while highly conserved, these isoforms are not entirely functionally redundant as they exhibit unique tissue expression profiles, subcellular localization, and biochemical functions. A key limitation in our understanding of 14-3-3 biology lies in our limited knowledge of cell-type specific 14-3-3 expression. Here we provide a characterization of 14-3-3 expression in whole retina and isolated rod photoreceptors using reverse-transcriptase digital droplet PCR. We find that all 14-3-3 genes with the exception of SFN are expressed in mouse retina with YWHAQ and YWHAE being the most highly expressed. Rod photoreceptors are enriched in YWHAE (14-3-3 ε). Immunohistochemistry revealed that 14-3-3 ε and 14-3-3 ζ exhibit unique distributions in photoreceptors with 14-3-3 ε restricted to the inner segment and 14-3-3 ζ localized to the outer segment. Our data demonstrates that, in the retina, 14-3-3 isoforms likely serve specific functions as they exhibit unique expression levels and cell-type specificity. As such, future investigations into 14-3-3 function in rod photoreceptors should be centered on 14-3-3 ε and 14-3-3 ζ, depending on the subcellular region of question.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - P30 EY025580()
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY020542()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL073945(United States)

The Response of Prostate Smooth Muscle Cells to Testosterone Is Determined by the Subcellular Distribution of the Androgen Receptor.

  • Peinetti N
  • Endocrinology
  • 2018 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Androgen signaling in prostate smooth muscle cells (pSMCs) is critical for the maintenance of prostate homeostasis, the alterations of which are a central aspect in the development of pathological conditions. Testosterone can act through the classic androgen receptor (AR) in the cytoplasm, eliciting genomic signaling, or through different types of receptors located at the plasma membrane for nongenomic signaling. We aimed to find evidence of nongenomic testosterone-signaling mechanisms in pSMCs and their participation in cell proliferation, differentiation, and the modulation of the response to lipopolysaccharide. We demonstrated that pSMCs can respond to testosterone by a rapid activation of ERK1/2 and Akt. Furthermore, a pool of ARs localized at the cell surface of pSMCs is responsible for a nongenomic testosterone-induced increase in cell proliferation. Through membrane receptor stimulation, testosterone favors a muscle phenotype, indicated by an increase in smooth muscle markers. We also showed that the anti-inflammatory effects of testosterone, capable of attenuating lipopolysaccharide-induced proinflammatory actions, are promoted only by receptors located inside the cell. We postulate that testosterone might perform prohomeostatic effects through intracellular-initiated mechanisms by modulating cell proliferation and inflammation, whereas some pathological, hyperproliferative actions would be induced by membrane-initiated nongenomic signaling in pSMCs.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - ZIA AG000741-09(United States)

Juxtanodin in retinal pigment epithelial cells: Expression and biological activities in regulating cell morphology and actin cytoskeleton organization.

  • Liang F
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Juxtanodin (JN, also known as ermin) was initially identified as an actin cytoskeleton-related oligodendroglial protein in the rat central nervous system. It was subsequently also found in the rat olfactory neuroepithelium, especially at the apical junctional belt of the sustentacular cells. We further examined JN expression and functional roles in the retina using fluorescence histochemistry, confocal microscopy, immuno-electron microscopy, molecular biology, and cell culture. Prominent JN expression was found in the photoreceptor-supporting retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), especially in a zone corresponding to the apices of RPE cells, at the roots of the RPE microvilli, and at the base of RPE cells next to the Bruch's membrane. Partial co-localization of JN immunoreactivity with F-actin (labeled with phalloidin) was observed at the apices and bases of RPE cells. No JN was detected in other cell types of the retina. In cultured human RPE cell line ARPE-19, expression of extrinsic JN up-regulated formation of actin cytoskeleton stress fibers, caused redistribution of more F-actin fibers to the cell periphery, and promoted spreading/enlargement of transfected cells. These findings suggest possible roles of JN in RPE molecular transport, phagocytosis and formation of outer blood-retinal barrier, or possible involvement of JN expression perturbations in pathogenesis of such retinal disorders as proliferative vitreoretinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.

High-Density Proximity Mapping Reveals the Subcellular Organization of mRNA-Associated Granules and Bodies.

  • Youn JY
  • Mol. Cell
  • 2018 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

mRNA processing, transport, translation, and ultimately degradation involve a series of dedicated protein complexes that often assemble into large membraneless structures such as stress granules (SGs) and processing bodies (PBs). Here, systematic in vivo proximity-dependent biotinylation (BioID) analysis of 119 human proteins associated with different aspects of mRNA biology uncovers 7424 unique proximity interactions with 1,792 proteins. Classical bait-prey analysis reveals connections of hundreds of proteins to distinct mRNA-associated processes or complexes, including the splicing and transcriptional elongation machineries (protein phosphatase 4) and the CCR4-NOT deadenylase complex (CEP85, RNF219, and KIAA0355). Analysis of correlated patterns between endogenous preys uncovers the spatial organization of RNA regulatory structures and enables the definition of 144 core components of SGs and PBs. We report preexisting contacts between most core SG proteins under normal growth conditions and demonstrate that several core SG proteins (UBAP2L, CSDE1, and PRRC2C) are critical for the formation of microscopically visible SGs.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - DK071041(United States)

The TIA1 RNA-Binding Protein Family Regulates EIF2AK2-Mediated Stress Response and Cell Cycle Progression.

  • Meyer C
  • Mol. Cell
  • 2018 Feb 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

TIA1 and TIAL1 encode a family of U-rich element mRNA-binding proteins ubiquitously expressed and conserved in metazoans. Using PAR-CLIP, we determined that both proteins bind target sites with identical specificity in 3' UTRs and introns proximal to 5' as well as 3' splice sites. Double knockout (DKO) of TIA1 and TIAL1 increased target mRNA abundance proportional to the number of binding sites and also caused accumulation of aberrantly spliced mRNAs, most of which are subject to nonsense-mediated decay. Loss of PRKRA by mis-splicing triggered the activation of the double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-activated protein kinase EIF2AK2/PKR and stress granule formation. Ectopic expression of PRKRA cDNA or knockout of EIF2AK2 in DKO cells rescued this phenotype. Perturbation of maturation and/or stability of additional targets further compromised cell cycle progression. Our study reveals the essential contributions of the TIA1 protein family to the fidelity of mRNA maturation, translation, and RNA-stress-sensing pathways in human cells.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - R01 GM104962()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK068429(United States)

Lentivirus-mediated expression of human secreted amyloid precursor protein-alpha prevents development of memory and plasticity deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

  • Tan VTY
  • Mol Brain
  • 2018 Feb 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease driven in large part by accumulated deposits in the brain of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) cleavage product amyloid-β peptide (Aβ). However, AD is also characterised by reductions in secreted amyloid precursor protein-alpha (sAPPα), an alternative cleavage product of APP. In contrast to the neurotoxicity of accumulated Αβ, sAPPα has many neuroprotective and neurotrophic properties. Increasing sAPPα levels has the potential to serve as a therapeutic treatment that mitigates the effects of Aβ and rescue cognitive function. Here we tested the hypothesis that lentivirus-mediated expression of a human sAPPα construct in a mouse model of AD (APPswe/PS1dE9), begun before the onset of plaque pathology, could prevent later behavioural and electrophysiological deficits. Male mice were given bilateral intra-hippocampal injections at 4 months of age and tested 8-10 months later. Transgenic mice expressing sAPPα performed significantly better than untreated littermates in all aspects of the spatial water maze task. Expression of sAPPα also resulted in partial rescue of long-term potentiation (LTP), tested in vitro. These improvements occurred in the absence of changes in amyloid pathology. Supporting these findings on LTP, lentiviral-mediated expression of sAPPα for 3 months from 10 months of age, or acute sAPPα treatment in hippocampal slices from 18 to 20 months old transgenic mice, completely reversed the deficits in LTP. Together these findings suggest that sAPPα has wide potential to act as either a preventative or restorative therapeutic treatment in AD by mitigating the effects of Aβ toxicity and enhancing cognitive reserve.

Funding information:
  • Health Research Council of New Zealand - 10-170()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM028301-28(United States)

Intestinal Epithelial Cell Autophagy Is Required to Protect against TNF-Induced Apoptosis during Chronic Colitis in Mice.

  • Pott J
  • Cell Host Microbe
  • 2018 Feb 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

Genome-wide association studies have linked polymorphisms in the autophagy gene ATG16L1 with susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, the cell-type-specific effects of autophagy on the regulation of chronic intestinal inflammation have not been investigated. Here, we assessed the effect of myeloid-specific or intestinal epithelial cell (IEC)-specific deletion of Atg16l1 on chronic colitis triggered by the intestinal opportunistic pathogen Helicobacter hepaticus in mice. Although Atg16l1 deficiency in myeloid cells had little effect on disease, mice selectively lacking Atg16l1 in IECs (Atg16l1VC) developed severely exacerbated pathology, accompanied by elevated pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion and increased IEC apoptosis. Using ex vivo IEC organoids, we demonstrate that autophagy intrinsically controls TNF-induced apoptosis and in vivo blockade of TNF attenuated the exacerbated pathology in Atg16l1VC mice. These findings suggest that the IBD susceptibility gene ATG16L1 and the process of autophagy within the epithelium control inflammation-induced apoptosis and barrier integrity to limit chronic intestinal inflammation.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - MR/K011898/1()
  • NLM NIH HHS - R01 LM010022(United States)

Intrinsic Immunity Shapes Viral Resistance of Stem Cells.

  • Wu X
  • Cell
  • 2018 Jan 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Stem cells are highly resistant to viral infection compared to their differentiated progeny; however, the mechanism is mysterious. Here, we analyzed gene expression in mammalian stem cells and cells at various stages of differentiation. We find that, conserved across species, stem cells express a subset of genes previously classified as interferon (IFN) stimulated genes (ISGs) but that expression is intrinsic, as stem cells are refractory to interferon. This intrinsic ISG expression varies in a cell-type-specific manner, and many ISGs decrease upon differentiation, at which time cells become IFN responsive, allowing induction of a broad spectrum of ISGs by IFN signaling. Importantly, we show that intrinsically expressed ISGs protect stem cells against viral infection. We demonstrate the in vivo importance of intrinsic ISG expression for protecting stem cells and their differentiation potential during viral infection. These findings have intriguing implications for understanding stem cell biology and the evolution of pathogen resistance.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI091707()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - U19 AI111825()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK100810()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS046789-09S1(United States)

Ca2+ -dependent down-regulation of human histamine H1 receptors in Chinese hamster ovary cells.

  • Hishinuma S
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2018 Jan 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Gq/11 protein-coupled human histamine H1 receptors in Chinese hamster ovary cells stimulated with histamine undergo clathrin-dependent endocytosis followed by proteasome/lysosome-mediated down-regulation. In this study, we evaluated the effects of a sustained increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentrations induced by a receptor-bypassed stimulation with ionomycin, a Ca2+ ionophore, on the endocytosis and down-regulation of H1 receptors in Chinese hamster ovary cells. All cellular and cell-surface H1 receptors were detected by the binding of [3 H]mepyramine to intact cells sensitive to the hydrophobic and hydrophilic H1 receptor ligands, mepyramine and pirdonium, respectively. The pretreatment of cells with ionomycin markedly reduced the mepyramine- and pirdonium-sensitive binding sites of [3 H]mepyramine, which were completely abrogated by the deprivation of extracellular Ca2+ and partially by a ubiquitin-activating enzyme inhibitor (UBEI-41), but were not affected by inhibitors of calmodulin (W-7 or calmidazolium) and protein kinase C (chelerythrine or GF109203X). These ionomycin-induced changes were also not affected by inhibitors of receptor endocytosis via clathrin (hypertonic sucrose) and caveolae/lipid rafts (filipin or nystatin) or by inhibitors of lysosomes (E-64, leupeptin, chloroquine, or NH4 Cl), proteasomes (lactacystin or MG-132), and a Ca2+ -dependent non-lysosomal cysteine protease (calpain) (MDL28170). Since H1 receptors were normally detected by confocal immunofluorescence microscopy with an antibody against H1 receptors, even after the ionomycin treatment, H1 receptors appeared to exist in a form to which [3 H]mepyramine was unable to bind. These results suggest that H1 receptors are apparently down-regulated by a sustained increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentrations with no process of endocytosis and lysosomal/proteasomal degradation of receptors.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - G117/563(United Kingdom)

SMC1α Substitutes for Many Meiotic Functions of SMC1β but Cannot Protect Telomeres from Damage.

  • Biswas U
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2018 Jan 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

The cohesin complex is built upon the SMC1/SMC3 heterodimer, and mammalian meiocytes feature two variants of SMC1 named SMC1α and SMC1β. It is unclear why these two SMC1 variants have evolved. To determine unique versus redundant functions of SMC1β, we asked which of the known functions of SMC1β can be fulfilled by SMC1α. Smc1α was expressed under control of the Smc1β promoter in either wild-type or SMC1β-deficient mice. No effect was seen in the former. However, several major phenotypes of SMC1β-deficient spermatocytes were rescued by SMC1α. We observed extended development before apoptosis and restoration of axial element and synaptonemal complex lengths, chromosome synapsis, sex body formation, processing of DNA double-strand breaks, and formation of MLH1 recombination foci. This supports the concept that the quantity rather than the specific quality of cohesin complexes is decisive for meiotic chromosome architecture. It also suggests plasticity in complex composition, because to replace SMC1β in many functions, SMC1α has to more extensively associate with other cohesins. The cells did not complete meiosis but died to the latest at the pachytene-to-diplotene transition. Telomere aberrations known from Smc1β-/- mice persisted, and DNA damage response and repair proteins accumulated there regardless of expression of SMC1α. Thus, whereas SMC1α can substitute for SMC1β in many functions, the protection of telomere integrity requires SMC1β.

Funding information:
  • NIEHS NIH HHS - P42ES004705(United States)

CCPG1 Is a Non-canonical Autophagy Cargo Receptor Essential for ER-Phagy and Pancreatic ER Proteostasis.

  • Smith MD
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2018 Jan 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mechanisms of selective autophagy of the ER, known as ER-phagy, require molecular delineation, particularly in vivo. It is unclear how these events control ER proteostasis and cellular health. Here, we identify cell-cycle progression gene 1 (CCPG1), an ER-resident protein with no known physiological role, as a non-canonical cargo receptor that directly binds to core autophagy proteins via an LIR motif to mammalian ATG8 proteins and, independently and via a discrete motif, to FIP200. These interactions facilitate ER-phagy. The CCPG1 gene is inducible by the unfolded protein response and thus directly links ER stress to ER-phagy. In vivo, CCPG1 protects against ER luminal protein aggregation and consequent unfolded protein response hyperactivation and tissue injury of the exocrine pancreas. Thus, via identification of this autophagy protein, we describe an unexpected molecular mechanism of ER-phagy and provide evidence that this may be physiologically relevant in ER luminal proteostasis.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - T32 HD068256(United States)

Bridging pro-inflammatory signals, synaptic transmission and protection in spinal explants in vitro.

  • Medelin M
  • Mol Brain
  • 2018 Jan 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Multiple sclerosis is characterized by tissue atrophy involving the brain and the spinal cord, where reactive inflammation contributes to the neurodegenerative processes. Recently, the presence of synapse alterations induced by the inflammatory responses was suggested by experimental and clinical observations, in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis mouse model and in patients, respectively. Further knowledge on the interplay between pro-inflammatory agents, neuroglia and synaptic dysfunction is crucial to the design of unconventional protective molecules. Here we report the effects, on spinal cord circuits, of a cytokine cocktail that partly mimics the signature of T lymphocytes sub population Th1. In embryonic mouse spinal organ-cultures, containing neuronal cells and neuroglia, cytokines induced inflammatory responses accompanied by a significant increase in spontaneous synaptic activity. We suggest that cytokines specifically altered signal integration in spinal networks by speeding the decay of GABAA responses. This hypothesis is supported by the finding that synapse protection by a non-peptidic NGF mimetic molecule prevented both the changes in the time course of GABA events and in network activity that were left unchanged by the cytokine production from astrocytes and microglia present in the cultured tissue. In conclusion, we developed an important tool for the study of synaptic alterations induced by inflammation, that takes into account the role of neuronal and not neuronal resident cells.

Funding information:
  • FP7-NMP - 604263()
  • NIEHS NIH HHS - R21ES020010(United States)
  • PRIN-MIUR - n. 2012MYESZW()

Context-dependent deposition and regulation of mRNAs in P-bodies.

  • Wang C
  • Elife
  • 2018 Jan 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cells respond to stress by remodeling their transcriptome through transcription and degradation. Xrn1p-dependent degradation in P-bodies is the most prevalent decay pathway, yet, P-bodies may facilitate not only decay, but also act as a storage compartment. However, which and how mRNAs are selected into different degradation pathways and what determines the fate of any given mRNA in P-bodies remain largely unknown. We devised a new method to identify both common and stress-specific mRNA subsets associated with P-bodies. mRNAs targeted for degradation to P-bodies, decayed with different kinetics. Moreover, the localization of a specific set of mRNAs to P-bodies under glucose deprivation was obligatory to prevent decay. Depending on its client mRNA, the RNA-binding protein Puf5p either promoted or inhibited decay. Furthermore, the Puf5p-dependent storage of a subset of mRNAs in P-bodies under glucose starvation may be beneficial with respect to chronological lifespan.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - DK089016(United States)

Direct In Vivo Reprogramming with Sendai Virus Vectors Improves Cardiac Function after Myocardial Infarction.

  • Miyamoto K
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2018 Jan 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Direct cardiac reprogramming holds great promise for regenerative medicine. We previously generated directly reprogrammed induced cardiomyocyte-like cells (iCMs) by overexpression of Gata4, Mef2c, and Tbx5 (GMT) using retrovirus vectors. However, integrating vectors pose risks associated with insertional mutagenesis and disruption of gene expression and are inefficient. Here, we show that Sendai virus (SeV) vectors expressing cardiac reprogramming factors efficiently and rapidly reprogram both mouse and human fibroblasts into integration-free iCMs via robust transgene expression. SeV-GMT generated 100-fold more beating iCMs than retroviral-GMT and shortened the duration to induce beating cells from 30 to 10 days in mouse fibroblasts. In vivo lineage tracing revealed that the gene transfer of SeV-GMT was more efficient than retroviral-GMT in reprogramming resident cardiac fibroblasts into iCMs in mouse infarct hearts. Moreover, SeV-GMT improved cardiac function and reduced fibrosis after myocardial infarction. Thus, efficient, non-integrating SeV vectors may serve as a powerful system for cardiac regeneration.

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

Color Processing in the Early Visual System of Drosophila.

  • Schnaitmann C
  • Cell
  • 2018 Jan 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Color vision extracts spectral information by comparing signals from photoreceptors with different visual pigments. Such comparisons are encoded by color-opponent neurons that are excited at one wavelength and inhibited at another. Here, we examine the circuit implementation of color-opponent processing in the Drosophila visual system by combining two-photon calcium imaging with genetic dissection of visual circuits. We report that color-opponent processing of UVshort/blue and UVlong/green is already implemented in R7/R8 inner photoreceptor terminals of "pale" and "yellow" ommatidia, respectively. R7 and R8 photoreceptors of the same type of ommatidia mutually inhibit each other directly via HisCl1 histamine receptors and receive additional feedback inhibition that requires the second histamine receptor Ort. Color-opponent processing at the first visual synapse represents an unexpected commonality between Drosophila and vertebrates; however, the differences in the molecular and cellular implementation suggest that the same principles evolved independently.

Nuclear, Cytosolic, and Surface-Localized Poly(A)-Binding Proteins of Plasmodium yoelii.

  • Minns AM
  • mSphere
  • 2018 Jan 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

Malaria is a devastating illness that causes approximately 500,000 deaths annually. The malaria-causing parasite (Plasmodium genus) uses the process of translational repression to regulate its growth, development, and transmission. As poly(A)-binding proteins (PABP) have been identified as critical components of RNA metabolism and translational repression in model eukaryotes and in Plasmodium, we have identified and investigated two PABPs in Plasmodium yoelii, PyPABP1 and PyPABP2. In contrast to most single-celled eukaryotes, Plasmodium closely resembles metazoans and encodes both a nuclear PABP and a cytosolic PABP; here, we provide multiple lines of evidence in support of this observation. The conserved domain architectures of PyPABP1 and PyPABP2 resemble those of yeast and metazoans, while multiple independent binding assays demonstrated their ability to bind very strongly and specifically to poly(A) sequences. Interestingly, we also observed that purified PyPABP1 forms homopolymeric chains despite exhaustive RNase treatment in vitro. Finally, we show by indirect immunofluorescence assays (IFAs) that PyPABP1 and PyPABP2 are cytoplasm- and nucleus-associated PABPs during the blood stages of the life cycle. Surprisingly, however, PyPABP1 was instead observed to also be localized on the surface of transmitted salivary gland sporozoites and to be deposited in trails when parasites glide on a substrate. This is the third RNA-binding protein verified to be found on the sporozoite surface, and the data may point to an unappreciated RNA-centered interface between the host and parasite. IMPORTANCE Malaria remains one of the great global health problems. The parasite that causes malaria (Plasmodium genus) relies upon exquisite control of its transmission between vertebrate hosts and mosquitoes. One crucial way that it does so is by proactively producing mRNAs needed to establish the new infection but by silencing and storing them until they are needed. One key protein in this process of translational repression in model eukaryotes is poly(A)-binding protein (PABP). Here we have shown that Plasmodium yoelii utilizes both a nuclear PABP and a cytosolic PABP, both of which bind specifically to polyadenylated RNA sequences. Moreover, we find that the cytosolic PABP forms chains in vitro, consistent with its appreciated role in coating the poly(A) tails of mRNA. Finally, we have also verified that, surprisingly, the cytosolic PABP is found on the surface of Plasmodium sporozoites. Taking the data together, we propose that Plasmodium utilizes a more metazoan-like strategy for RNA metabolism using specialized PABPs.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - (United States)
  • NIAID NIH HHS - K22 AI101039()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI123341()
  • NIH HHS - S10 OD011986()

Natural Parasite Exposure Induces Protective Human Anti-Malarial Antibodies.

  • Triller G
  • Immunity
  • 2017 Dec 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Antibodies against the NANP repeat of circumsporozoite protein (CSP), the major surface antigen of Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) sporozoites, can protect from malaria in animal models but protective humoral immunity is difficult to induce in humans. Here we cloned and characterized rare affinity-matured human NANP-reactive memory B cell antibodies elicited by natural Pf exposure that potently inhibited parasite transmission and development in vivo. We unveiled the molecular details of antibody binding to two distinct protective epitopes within the NANP repeat. NANP repeat recognition was largely mediated by germline encoded and immunoglobulin (Ig) heavy-chain complementarity determining region 3 (HCDR3) residues, whereas affinity maturation contributed predominantly to stabilizing the antigen-binding site conformation. Combined, our findings illustrate the power of exploring human anti-CSP antibody responses to develop tools for malaria control in the mammalian and the mosquito vector and provide a molecular basis for the structure-based design of next-generation CSP malaria vaccines.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - F32 AI114113()
  • NIEHS NIH HHS - 5R01 ES010807(United States)

A mechanism of cohesin-dependent loop extrusion organizes zygotic genome architecture.

  • Gassler J
  • EMBO J.
  • 2017 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Fertilization triggers assembly of higher-order chromatin structure from a condensed maternal and a naïve paternal genome to generate a totipotent embryo. Chromatin loops and domains have been detected in mouse zygotes by single-nucleus Hi-C (snHi-C), but not bulk Hi-C. It is therefore unclear when and how embryonic chromatin conformations are assembled. Here, we investigated whether a mechanism of cohesin-dependent loop extrusion generates higher-order chromatin structures within the one-cell embryo. Using snHi-C of mouse knockout embryos, we demonstrate that the zygotic genome folds into loops and domains that critically depend on Scc1-cohesin and that are regulated in size and linear density by Wapl. Remarkably, we discovered distinct effects on maternal and paternal chromatin loop sizes, likely reflecting differences in loop extrusion dynamics and epigenetic reprogramming. Dynamic polymer models of chromosomes reproduce changes in snHi-C, suggesting a mechanism where cohesin locally compacts chromatin by active loop extrusion, whose processivity is controlled by Wapl. Our simulations and experimental data provide evidence that cohesin-dependent loop extrusion organizes mammalian genomes over multiple scales from the one-cell embryo onward.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - R01 GM114190()
  • NCI NIH HHS - N01-CN-15102(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - U54 DK107980()
  • Wellcome Trust - MC_PC_U127527202()

Generation of a PXR reporter human induced pluripotent stem cell line (PXR-mCherry hiPSC) using the CRISPR/Cas9 system.

  • Kim H
  • Stem Cell Res
  • 2017 Dec 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Pregnane X receptor (PXR) is a key nuclear receptor that mediates drug metabolism and stimulates hepatocyte proliferation. However, the lack of PXR expression in human pluripotent stem cell-derived hepatocytes limits their application for drug screening and toxicity testing. Here, we generated a PXR-mCherry reporter human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) line using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. PXR-mCherry hiPSCs were pluripotent and had differentiation potential and a normal karyotype. This cell line is an important tool for identifying factors that increase PXR-mediated drug metabolism and hepatocyte proliferation.

Funding information:
  • NIH HHS - P40 OD 010961(United States)

Intra-arterial transplantation of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hBMMSCs) improves behavioral deficits and alters gene expression in rodent stroke model.

  • Vibhuti
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2017 Dec 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Stroke is a multi-factorial polygenic disease and is a major cause of death and adult disability. Administration of bone marrow stem cells protects ischemic rat brain by facilitating recovery of neurological functions. But the molecular mechanism of stem cells action and their effect on gene expression is not well explored. In this study, we have transplanted 1 × 106 human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hBMMSCs) in middle cerebral artery occluded (MCAo) adult male Wistar rats through intracarotid artery route at 24 h after surgery. Motor behavioral tests (rotarod and open field) were performed to assess the changes in motor functions at day 0 and day1, 4, 8 and 14. The expression of studied genes at mRNA and protein level was quantified by using Q-PCR and western blotting, respectively. Further, we have assessed the methylation pattern of promoter of these genes by using methylation-specific PCR. Data were analyzed statistically and correlated. A significant improvement in behavioral deficits was observed in stem cells treated group after 14th day post stroke. Significantly (p < 0.05) increased mRNA and protein levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor and ANP genes in hBMMSCs treated group along with decrease in methylation level at their promoter was observed. On the other hand, significantly decreased mRNA and protein level of TSP1 and WNK1 in hBMMSCs treated group was observed. In conclusion, hBMMSCs administration significantly improves the behavioral deficits by improving motor and locomotor coordination. The promoter of TSP1 and WNK1 genes was found to be hyper-methylated in hBMMSCs group resulting in their decreased expression while the promoter of ANP and brain derived neurotrophic factor was found to be hypo-methylated. This study might shed a light on how hBMMSCs affect the gene expression by modulating methylation status.

Repair of UV-Induced DNA Damage Independent of Nucleotide Excision Repair Is Masked by MUTYH.

  • Mazouzi A
  • Mol. Cell
  • 2017 Nov 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

DNA lesions caused by UV damage are thought to be repaired solely by the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway in human cells. Patients carrying mutations within genes functioning in this pathway display a range of pathologies, including an increased susceptibility to cancer, premature aging, and neurological defects. There are currently no curative therapies available. Here we performed a high-throughput chemical screen for agents that could alleviate the cellular sensitivity of NER-deficient cells to UV-induced DNA damage. This led to the identification of the clinically approved anti-diabetic drug acetohexamide, which promoted clearance of UV-induced DNA damage without the accumulation of chromosomal aberrations, hence promoting cellular survival. Acetohexamide exerted this protective function by antagonizing expression of the DNA glycosylase, MUTYH. Together, our data reveal the existence of an NER-independent mechanism to remove UV-induced DNA damage and prevent cell death.

Linking EPCR-Binding PfEMP1 to Brain Swelling in Pediatric Cerebral Malaria.

  • Kessler A
  • Cell Host Microbe
  • 2017 Nov 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Brain swelling is a major predictor of mortality in pediatric cerebral malaria (CM). However, the mechanisms leading to swelling remain poorly defined. Here, we combined neuroimaging, parasite transcript profiling, and laboratory blood profiles to develop machine-learning models of malarial retinopathy and brain swelling. We found that parasite var transcripts encoding endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR)-binding domains, in combination with high parasite biomass and low platelet levels, are strong indicators of CM cases with malarial retinopathy. Swelling cases presented low platelet levels and increased transcript abundance of parasite PfEMP1 DC8 and group A EPCR-binding domains. Remarkably, the dominant transcript in 50% of swelling cases encoded PfEMP1 group A CIDRα1.7 domains. Furthermore, a recombinant CIDRα1.7 domain from a pediatric CM brain autopsy inhibited the barrier-protective properties of EPCR in human brain endothelial cells in vitro. Together, these findings suggest a detrimental role for EPCR-binding CIDRα1 domains in brain swelling.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL130488()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI034969()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI114766()

Age-related alterations in histone deacetylase expression in Purkinje neurons of ethanol-fed rats.

  • Khurana A
  • Brain Res.
  • 2017 Nov 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Ethanol and age-induced pathologies of the Purkinje neuron (PN) may result from histone deacetylases (HDACs), enzymes which repress transcription through coiling of the DNA. The purposes of this study were to investigate expression patterns of Class 1 and IIa HDACs in PN and the effects of aging and alcohol on the density of HDACs and histone acetylation in PN. Ninety, eight month old rats (30/diet) were fed a liquid ethanol, liquid control, or rat chow diet for 10, 20, or 40weeks (30/treatment duration). Double immunocytochemical labeling on tissue sections from these rats used antibodies against HDAC isoforms or acetylated histones, and calbindin, a marker for PN. Fluorescent intensities were also measured. Results showed a significant age but not an alcohol-related decrease in the densities of HDACs 2, 3, and 7. In contrast, there were age related-increases in the densities of phosphorylated form of HDAC (4, 5, 7) PN and in PN nuclei expressing HDAC 7. There were also a trend towards ethanol-induced inhibition of acetylation as the density of AH2b PN nuclei and AH3 and AH2b fluorescent intensity was significantly lower in the EF compared to the PF rats. This study presents unique data concerning which HDACs are commonly expressed in PN and indicates that aging rather than lengthy alcohol expression alters expression of the HDACs studied here. These results also suggest that lengthy ethanol consumption may inhibit histone deacetylation in PN.

Conformational Change in the Ligand-Binding Pocket via a KISS1R Mutation (P147L) Leads to Isolated Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Deficiency.

  • Shimizu K
  • J Endocr Soc
  • 2017 Oct 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Context: Kisspeptin receptor (KISS1R) is expressed in hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons and responsible for pubertal onset and reproductive functions. KISS1R mutations remain a rare cause of congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (CHH). Objective: The aim of this study was to identify the genetic cause of CHH in a patient and to functionally characterize a KISS1R mutation. Design: The patient was a 47-year-old Japanese man whose parents were first cousins. He lacked secondary sexual characteristics owing to normosmic CHH. Exon segments for the KISS1R gene in this patient were screened for mutations. Functional analyses were performed using HEK293 cells expressing KISS1R mutants. Molecular dynamics simulations were performed to compare the ligand-KISS1R mutant complex with those of wild-type KISS1R variants. Results: A homozygous mutation (c.440C>T, p.P147L) in KISS1R was identified. The P147L mutation did not affect either receptor expression level or subcellular localization in the recombinant expression system. Intracellular calcium measurements and cellular dielectric spectroscopy demonstrated that the P147L mutation impaired receptor function to an extent more severe than that of a previously reported L148S mutation. A receptor-ligand binding assay showed the P147L mutation causes a substantial loss of ligand-binding affinity. Molecular dynamics simulations revealed the P147L mutation decreases the contact surface area of the ligand-receptor complex in an expanded ligand-binding pocket. Conclusion: We identified a loss-of-function mutation in KISS1R associated with CHH. Our results demonstrated that the P147L mutation causes a severe phenotype and functional impairment resulting from the loss of ligand-binding affinity due to an expanded ligand-binding pocket.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - 097726(United Kingdom)

Mitochondrial Fission Promotes the Continued Clearance of Apoptotic Cells by Macrophages.

  • Wang Y
  • Cell
  • 2017 Oct 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Clearance of apoptotic cells (ACs) by phagocytes (efferocytosis) prevents post-apoptotic necrosis and dampens inflammation. Defective efferocytosis drives important diseases, including atherosclerosis. For efficient efferocytosis, phagocytes must be able to internalize multiple ACs. We show here that uptake of multiple ACs by macrophages requires dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1)-mediated mitochondrial fission, which is triggered by AC uptake. When mitochondrial fission is disabled, AC-induced increase in cytosolic calcium is blunted owing to mitochondrial calcium sequestration, and calcium-dependent phagosome formation around secondarily encountered ACs is impaired. These defects can be corrected by silencing the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU). Mice lacking myeloid Drp1 showed defective efferocytosis and its pathologic consequences in the thymus after dexamethasone treatment and in advanced atherosclerotic lesions in fat-fed Ldlr-/- mice. Thus, mitochondrial fission in response to AC uptake is a critical process that enables macrophages to clear multiple ACs and to avoid the pathologic consequences of defective efferocytosis in vivo.

Gonadal Hormone-Dependent Sexual Differentiation of a Female-Biased Sexually Dimorphic Cell Group in the Principal Nucleus of the Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis in Mice.

  • Morishita M
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 Oct 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

We recently reported a female-biased sexually dimorphic area in the mouse brain in the boundary region between the preoptic area and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST). We reexamined this area and found that it is a ventral part of the principal nucleus of the BNST (BNSTp). The BNSTp is a male-biased sexually dimorphic nucleus, but the ventral part of the BNSTp (BNSTpv) exhibits female-biased sex differences in volume and neuron number. The volume and neuron number of the BNSTpv were increased in males by neonatal orchiectomy and decreased in females by treatment with testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, or estradiol within 5 days after birth. Sex differences in the volume and neuron number of the BNSTpv emerged before puberty. These sex differences became prominent in adulthood with increasing volume in females and loss of neurons in males during the pubertal/adolescent period. Prepubertal orchiectomy did not affect the BNSTpv, although prepubertal ovariectomy reduced the volume increase and induced loss of neurons in the female BNSTpv. In contrast, the volume and neuron number of male-biased sexually dimorphic nuclei that are composed of mainly calbindin neurons and are located in the preoptic area and BNST were decreased by prepubertal orchiectomy but not affected by prepubertal ovariectomy. Testicular testosterone during the postnatal period may defeminize the BNSTpv via binding directly to the androgen receptor and indirectly to the estrogen receptor after aromatization, although defeminization may proceed independently of testicular hormones in the pubertal/adolescent period. Ovarian hormones may act to feminize the BNSTpv during the pubertal/adolescent period.

Combined Treatment With Environmental Enrichment and (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate Ameliorates Learning Deficits and Hippocampal Alterations in a Mouse Model of Down Syndrome.

  • Catuara-Solarz S
  • eNeuro
  • 2017 Oct 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

Intellectual disability in Down syndrome (DS) is accompanied by altered neuro-architecture, deficient synaptic plasticity, and excitation-inhibition imbalance in critical brain regions for learning and memory. Recently, we have demonstrated beneficial effects of a combined treatment with green tea extract containing (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and cognitive stimulation in young adult DS individuals. Although we could reproduce the cognitive-enhancing effects in mouse models, the underlying mechanisms of these beneficial effects are unknown. Here, we explored the effects of a combined therapy with environmental enrichment (EE) and EGCG in the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS at young age. Our results show that combined EE-EGCG treatment improved corticohippocampal-dependent learning and memory. Cognitive improvements were accompanied by a rescue of cornu ammonis 1 (CA1) dendritic spine density and a normalization of the proportion of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic markers in CA1 and dentate gyrus.

Cell-Cycle Position of Single MYC-Driven Cancer Cells Dictates Their Susceptibility to a Chemotherapeutic Drug.

  • Ryl T
  • Cell Syst
  • 2017 Sep 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

While many tumors initially respond to chemotherapy, regrowth of surviving cells compromises treatment efficacy in the long term. The cell-biological basis of this regrowth is not understood. Here, we characterize the response of individual, patient-derived neuroblastoma cells driven by the prominent oncogene MYC to the first-line chemotherapy, doxorubicin. Combining live-cell imaging, cell-cycle-resolved transcriptomics, and mathematical modeling, we demonstrate that a cell's treatment response is dictated by its expression level of MYC and its cell-cycle position prior to treatment. All low-MYC cells enter therapy-induced senescence. High-MYC cells, by contrast, disable their cell-cycle checkpoints, forcing renewed proliferation despite treatment-induced DNA damage. After treatment, the viability of high-MYC cells depends on their cell-cycle position during treatment: newborn cells promptly halt in G1 phase, repair DNA damage, and form re-growing clones; all other cells show protracted DNA repair and ultimately die. These findings demonstrate that fast-proliferating tumor cells may resist cytotoxic treatment non-genetically, by arresting within a favorable window of the cell cycle.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - 087377(United Kingdom)

Identification of GPC2 as an Oncoprotein and Candidate Immunotherapeutic Target in High-Risk Neuroblastoma.

  • Bosse KR
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2017 Sep 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

We developed an RNA-sequencing-based pipeline to discover differentially expressed cell-surface molecules in neuroblastoma that meet criteria for optimal immunotherapeutic target safety and efficacy. Here, we show that GPC2 is a strong candidate immunotherapeutic target in this childhood cancer. We demonstrate high GPC2 expression in neuroblastoma due to MYCN transcriptional activation and/or somatic gain of the GPC2 locus. We confirm GPC2 to be highly expressed on most neuroblastomas, but not detectable at appreciable levels in normal childhood tissues. In addition, we demonstrate that GPC2 is required for neuroblastoma proliferation. Finally, we develop a GPC2-directed antibody-drug conjugate that is potently cytotoxic to GPC2-expressing neuroblastoma cells. Collectively, these findings validate GPC2 as a non-mutated neuroblastoma oncoprotein and candidate immunotherapeutic target.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - T32 CA009615()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM008638()

Hormonal Signaling Cascade during an Early-Adult Critical Period Required for Courtship Memory Retention in Drosophila.

  • Lee SS
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2017 Sep 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Formation and expression of memories are critical for context-dependent decision making. In Drosophila, a courting male rejected by a mated female subsequently courts less avidly when paired with a virgin female, a behavioral modification attributed to "courtship memory." Here we show the critical role of hormonal state for maintenance of courtship memory. Ecdysis-triggering hormone (ETH) is essential for courtship memory through regulation of juvenile hormone (JH) levels in adult males. Reduction of JH levels via silencing of ETH signaling genes impairs short-term courtship memory, a phenotype rescuable by the JH analog methoprene. JH-deficit-induced memory impairment involves rapid decay rather than failure of memory acquisition. A critical period governs memory performance during the first 3 days of adulthood. Using sex-peptide-expressing "pseudo-mated" trainers, we find that robust courtship memory elicited in the absence of aversive chemical mating cues also is dependent on ETH-JH signaling. Finally, we find that JH acts through dopaminergic neurons and conclude that an ETH-JH-dopamine signaling cascade is required during a critical period for promotion of social-context-dependent memory.

Developmental changes in trak-mediated mitochondrial transport in neurons.

  • Loss O
  • Mol. Cell. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Sep 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Previous studies established that the kinesin adaptor proteins, TRAK1 and TRAK2, play an important role in mitochondrial transport in neurons. They link mitochondria to kinesin motor proteins via a TRAK acceptor protein in the mitochondrial outer membrane, the Rho GTPase, Miro. TRAKs also associate with enzyme, O-linked N-acetylglucosamine transferase (OGT), to form a quaternary, mitochondrial trafficking complex. A recent report suggested that TRAK1 preferentially controls mitochondrial transport in axons of hippocampal neurons whereas TRAK2 controls mitochondrial transport in dendrites. However, it is not clear whether the function of any of these proteins is exclusive to axons or dendrites and if their mechanisms of action are conserved between different neuronal populations and also, during maturation. Here, a comparative study was carried out into TRAK-mediated mitochondrial mobility in axons and dendrites of hippocampal and cortical neurons during maturation in vitro using a shRNA gene knockdown approach. It was found that in mature hippocampal and cortical neurons, TRAK1 predominantly mediates axonal mitochondrial transport whereas dendritic transport is mediated via TRAK2. In young, maturing neurons, TRAK1 and TRAK2 contribute similarly in mitochondrial transport in both axons and dendrites in both neuronal types. These findings demonstrate maturation regulation of mitochondrial transport which is conserved between at least two distinct neuronal subtypes.

Parvalbumin-positive interneurons mediate neocortical-hippocampal interactions that are necessary for memory consolidation.

  • Xia F
  • Elife
  • 2017 Sep 29

Literature context:


Abstract:

Following learning, increased coupling between spindle oscillations in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and ripple oscillations in the hippocampus is thought to underlie memory consolidation. However, whether learning-induced increases in ripple-spindle coupling are necessary for successful memory consolidation has not been tested directly. In order to decouple ripple-spindle oscillations, here we chemogenetically inhibited parvalbumin-positive (PV+) interneurons, since their activity is important for regulating the timing of spiking activity during oscillations. We found that contextual fear conditioning increased ripple-spindle coupling in mice. However, inhibition of PV+ cells in either CA1 or mPFC eliminated this learning-induced increase in ripple-spindle coupling without affecting ripple or spindle incidence. Consistent with the hypothesized importance of ripple-spindle coupling in memory consolidation, post-training inhibition of PV+ cells disrupted contextual fear memory consolidation. These results indicate that successful memory consolidation requires coherent hippocampal-neocortical communication mediated by PV+ cells.

Replication Fork Slowing and Reversal upon DNA Damage Require PCNA Polyubiquitination and ZRANB3 DNA Translocase Activity.

  • Vujanovic M
  • Mol. Cell
  • 2017 Sep 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

DNA damage tolerance during eukaryotic replication is orchestrated by PCNA ubiquitination. While monoubiquitination activates mutagenic translesion synthesis, polyubiquitination activates an error-free pathway, elusive in mammals, enabling damage bypass by template switching. Fork reversal is driven in vitro by multiple enzymes, including the DNA translocase ZRANB3, shown to bind polyubiquitinated PCNA. However, whether this interaction promotes fork remodeling and template switching in vivo was unknown. Here we show that damage-induced fork reversal in mammalian cells requires PCNA ubiquitination, UBC13, and K63-linked polyubiquitin chains, previously involved in error-free damage tolerance. Fork reversal in vivo also requires ZRANB3 translocase activity and its interaction with polyubiquitinated PCNA, pinpointing ZRANB3 as a key effector of error-free DNA damage tolerance. Mutations affecting fork reversal also induced unrestrained fork progression and chromosomal breakage, suggesting fork remodeling as a global fork slowing and protection mechanism. Targeting these fork protection systems represents a promising strategy to potentiate cancer chemotherapy.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA197774()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM116616()

RING Finger Protein 38 Is a Neuronal Protein in the Brain of Nile Tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus.

  • Cham KL
  • Front Neuroanat
  • 2017 Sep 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Really interesting new gene (RING) finger protein is a type of zinc-binding motif found in a large family of functionally distinct proteins. RING finger proteins are involved in diverse cellular processes including apoptosis, DNA repair, cell cycle, signal transduction, tumour suppressor, vesicular transport, and peroxisomal biogenesis. RING finger protein 38 (RNF38) is a member of the family whose functions remain unknown. To gain insight into the putative effects of RNF38 in the central nervous system, we localised its expression. The aim of this study was to identify the neuroanatomical location(s) of rnf38 mRNA and its peptide, determine the type of RNF38-expressing cells, and measure rnf38 gene expression in the brain of male tilapia. The distributions of rnf38 mRNA and its peptide were visualised using in situ hybridisation with digoxigenin-labelled RNA antisense and immunocytochemistry, respectively. Both were identically distributed throughout the brain, including the telencephalon, preoptic area, optic tectum, hypothalamus, cerebellum, and the hindbrain. Double-labelling immunocytochemistry for RNF38 and the neuronal marker HuC/D showed that most but not all RNF38 protein was expressed in neuronal nuclei. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction showed the highest level of rnf38 mRNA in the midbrain, followed by the preoptic area, cerebellum, optic tectum, telencephalon, hindbrain and hypothalamus. These findings reveal a differential spatial pattern of RNF38 in the tilapia brain, suggesting that it has potentially diverse functions related to neuronal activity.

WNT/β-Catenin Pathway and Epigenetic Mechanisms Regulate the Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome and Schizophrenia Risk Gene TCF4.

  • Hennig KM
  • Mol Neuropsychiatry
  • 2017 Sep 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Genetic variation within the transcription factor TCF4 locus can cause the intellectual disability and developmental disorder Pitt-Hopkins syndrome (PTHS), whereas single-nucleotide polymorphisms within noncoding regions are associated with schizophrenia. These genetic findings position TCF4 as a link between transcription and cognition; however, the neurobiology of TCF4 remains poorly understood. Here, we quantitated multiple distinct TCF4 transcript levels in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neural progenitors and differentiated neurons, and PTHS patient fibroblasts. We identify two classes of pharmacological treatments that regulate TCF4 expression: WNT pathway activation and inhibition of class I histone deacetylases. In PTHS fibroblasts, both of these perturbations upregulate a subset of TCF4 transcripts. Finally, using chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing in conjunction with genome-wide transcriptome analysis, we identified TCF4 target genes that may mediate the effect of TCF4 loss on neuroplasticity. Our studies identify new pharmacological assays, tools, and targets for the development of therapeutics for cognitive disorders.

Stable Positioning of Unc13 Restricts Synaptic Vesicle Fusion to Defined Release Sites to Promote Synchronous Neurotransmission.

  • Reddy-Alla S
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Sep 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neural information processing depends on precisely timed, Ca2+-activated synaptic vesicle exocytosis from release sites within active zones (AZs), but molecular details are unknown. Here, we identify that the (M)Unc13-family member Unc13A generates release sites and show the physiological relevance of their restrictive AZ targeting. Super-resolution and intravital imaging of Drosophila neuromuscular junctions revealed that (unlike the other release factors Unc18 and Syntaxin-1A) Unc13A was stably and precisely positioned at AZs. Local Unc13A levels predicted single AZ activity. Different Unc13A portions selectively affected release site number, position, and functionality. An N-terminal fragment stably localized to AZs, displaced endogenous Unc13A, and reduced the number of release sites, while a C-terminal fragment generated excessive sites at atypical locations, resulting in reduced and delayed evoked transmission that displayed excessive facilitation. Thus, release site generation by the Unc13A C terminus and their specific AZ localization via the N terminus ensure efficient transmission and prevent ectopic, temporally imprecise release.

Sengers Syndrome-Associated Mitochondrial Acylglycerol Kinase Is a Subunit of the Human TIM22 Protein Import Complex.

  • Kang Y
  • Mol. Cell
  • 2017 Aug 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

Acylglycerol kinase (AGK) is a mitochondrial lipid kinase that catalyzes the phosphorylation of monoacylglycerol and diacylglycerol to lysophosphatidic acid and phosphatidic acid, respectively. Mutations in AGK cause Sengers syndrome, which is characterized by congenital cataracts, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, skeletal myopathy, exercise intolerance, and lactic acidosis. Here we identified AGK as a subunit of the mitochondrial TIM22 protein import complex. We show that AGK functions in a kinase-independent manner to maintain the integrity of the TIM22 complex, where it facilitates the import and assembly of mitochondrial carrier proteins. Mitochondria isolated from Sengers syndrome patient cells and tissues show a destabilized TIM22 complex and defects in the biogenesis of carrier substrates. Consistent with this phenotype, we observe perturbations in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle in cells lacking AGK. Our identification of AGK as a bona fide subunit of TIM22 provides an exciting and unexpected link between mitochondrial protein import and Sengers syndrome.

Sonic hedgehog signalling mediates astrocyte crosstalk with neurons to confer neuroprotection.

  • Ugbode CI
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2017 Aug 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

Sonic hedgehog (SHH) is a glycoprotein associated with development that is also expressed in the adult CNS and released after brain injury. Since the SHH receptors patched homolog-1 and Smoothened are highly expressed on astrocytes, we hypothesized that SHH regulates astrocyte function. Primary mouse cortical astrocytes derived from embryonic Swiss mouse cortices, were treated with two chemically distinct agonists of the SHH pathway, which caused astrocytes to elongate and proliferate. These changes are accompanied by decreases in the major astrocyte glutamate transporter-1 and the astrocyte intermediate filament protein glial fibrillary acidic protein. Multisite electrophysiological recordings revealed that the SHH agonist, smoothened agonist suppressed neuronal firing in astrocyte-neuron co-cultures and this was abolished by the astrocyte metabolic inhibitor ethylfluoroacetate, revealing that SHH stimulation of metabolically active astrocytes influences neuronal firing. Using three-dimensional co-culture, MAP2 western blotting and immunohistochemistry, we show that SHH-stimulated astrocytes protect neurons from kainate-induced cell death. Altogether the results show that SHH regulation of astrocyte function represents an endogenous neuroprotective mechanism.

Neuronal Depolarization Drives Increased Dopamine Synaptic Vesicle Loading via VGLUT.

  • Aguilar JI
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Aug 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

The ability of presynaptic dopamine terminals to tune neurotransmitter release to meet the demands of neuronal activity is critical to neurotransmission. Although vesicle content has been assumed to be static, in vitro data increasingly suggest that cell activity modulates vesicle content. Here, we use a coordinated genetic, pharmacological, and imaging approach in Drosophila to study the presynaptic machinery responsible for these vesicular processes in vivo. We show that cell depolarization increases synaptic vesicle dopamine content prior to release via vesicular hyperacidification. This depolarization-induced hyperacidification is mediated by the vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT). Remarkably, both depolarization-induced dopamine vesicle hyperacidification and its dependence on VGLUT2 are seen in ventral midbrain dopamine neurons in the mouse. Together, these data suggest that in response to depolarization, dopamine vesicles utilize a cascade of vesicular transporters to dynamically increase the vesicular pH gradient, thereby increasing dopamine vesicle content.

Mechano-dependent signaling by Latrophilin/CIRL quenches cAMP in proprioceptive neurons.

  • Scholz N
  • Elife
  • 2017 Aug 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Adhesion-type G protein-coupled receptors (aGPCRs), a large molecule family with over 30 members in humans, operate in organ development, brain function and govern immunological responses. Correspondingly, this receptor family is linked to a multitude of diverse human diseases. aGPCRs have been suggested to possess mechanosensory properties, though their mechanism of action is fully unknown. Here we show that the Drosophila aGPCR Latrophilin/dCIRL acts in mechanosensory neurons by modulating ionotropic receptor currents, the initiating step of cellular mechanosensation. This process depends on the length of the extended ectodomain and the tethered agonist of the receptor, but not on its autoproteolysis, a characteristic biochemical feature of the aGPCR family. Intracellularly, dCIRL quenches cAMP levels upon mechanical activation thereby specifically increasing the mechanosensitivity of neurons. These results provide direct evidence that the aGPCR dCIRL acts as a molecular sensor and signal transducer that detects and converts mechanical stimuli into a metabotropic response.

Input-Timing-Dependent Plasticity in the Hippocampal CA2 Region and Its Potential Role in Social Memory.

  • Leroy F
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Aug 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

Input-timing-dependent plasticity (ITDP) is a circuit-based synaptic learning rule by which paired activation of entorhinal cortical (EC) and Schaffer collateral (SC) inputs to hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons (PNs) produces a long-term enhancement of SC excitation. We now find that paired stimulation of EC and SC inputs also induces ITDP of SC excitation of CA2 PNs. However, whereas CA1 ITDP results from long-term depression of feedforward inhibition (iLTD) as a result of activation of CB1 endocannabinoid receptors on cholecystokinin-expressing interneurons, CA2 ITDP results from iLTD through activation of δ-opioid receptors on parvalbumin-expressing interneurons. Furthermore, whereas CA1 ITDP has been previously linked to enhanced specificity of contextual memory, we find that CA2 ITDP is associated with enhanced social memory. Thus, ITDP may provide a general synaptic learning rule for distinct forms of hippocampal-dependent memory mediated by distinct hippocampal regions.

A novel role for Ets4 in axis specification and cell migration in the spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum.

  • Pechmann M
  • Elife
  • 2017 Aug 29

Literature context:


Abstract:

Organizers play important roles during the embryonic development of many animals. The most famous example is the Spemann organizer that sets up embryonic axes in amphibian embryos. In spiders, a group of BMP secreting mesenchymal cells (the cumulus) functions as an organizer of the dorsoventral axis. Similar to experiments performed with the Spemann organizer, transplantation of the cumulus is able to induce a secondary axis in spiders. Despite the importance of this structure, it is unknown which factors are needed to activate cumulus specific gene expression. To address this question, we performed a transcriptomic analysis of early embryonic development in the spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum. Through this work, we found that the transcription factor Pt-Ets4 is needed for cumulus integrity, dorsoventral patterning and for the activation of Pt-hunchback and Pt-twist expression. Furthermore, ectopic expression of Pt-Ets4 is sufficient to induce cell delamination and migration by inducing a mesoderm-like cell fate.

Transcription-Replication Conflict Orientation Modulates R-Loop Levels and Activates Distinct DNA Damage Responses.

  • Hamperl S
  • Cell
  • 2017 Aug 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Conflicts between transcription and replication are a potent source of DNA damage. Co-transcriptional R-loops could aggravate such conflicts by creating an additional barrier to replication fork progression. Here, we use a defined episomal system to investigate how conflict orientation and R-loop formation influence genome stability in human cells. R-loops, but not normal transcription complexes, induce DNA breaks and orientation-specific DNA damage responses during conflicts with replication forks. Unexpectedly, the replisome acts as an orientation-dependent regulator of R-loop levels, reducing R-loops in the co-directional (CD) orientation but promoting their formation in the head-on (HO) orientation. Replication stress and deregulated origin firing increase the number of HO collisions leading to genome-destabilizing R-loops. Our findings connect DNA replication to R-loop homeostasis and suggest a mechanistic basis for genome instability resulting from deregulated DNA replication, observed in cancer and other disease states.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM119334()

A Circuit Node that Integrates Convergent Input from Neuromodulatory and Social Behavior-Promoting Neurons to Control Aggression in Drosophila.

  • Watanabe K
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Aug 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

Diffuse neuromodulatory systems such as norepinephrine (NE) control brain-wide states such as arousal, but whether they control complex social behaviors more specifically is not clear. Octopamine (OA), the insect homolog of NE, is known to promote both arousal and aggression. We have performed a systematic, unbiased screen to identify OA receptor-expressing neurons (OARNs) that control aggression in Drosophila. Our results uncover a tiny population of male-specific aSP2 neurons that mediate a specific influence of OA on aggression, independent of any effect on arousal. Unexpectedly, these neurons receive convergent input from OA neurons and P1 neurons, a population of FruM+ neurons that promotes male courtship behavior. Behavioral epistasis experiments suggest that aSP2 neurons may constitute an integration node at which OAergic neuromodulation can bias the output of P1 neurons to favor aggression over inter-male courtship. These results have potential implications for thinking about the role of related neuromodulatory systems in mammals.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - MH084020(United States)

Neuromuscular adaptability of male and female rats to muscle unloading.

  • Deschenes MR
  • J. Neurosci. Res.
  • 2017 Aug 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Previously, it has been shown that following muscle unloading, males and females experience different maladaptations in neuromuscular function. As a follow-up, the present investigation sought to determine if male and female neuromuscular systems demonstrated similar, or disparate morphological adaptations to muscle unloading. Twenty young adult male, and 20 young adult female rats were randomly assigned to one of two treatment protocols: muscle unloading, or control conditions. Following the 2-week intervention period, immunofluorescent procedures were used to quantify pre- and post-synaptic features of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), and to assess myofiber profiles (size and fiber type composition) of the soleus, plantaris, and EDL muscles. A 2-way ANOVA with main effects for sex and treatment was then used to identify statistically significant (p ≤ .05) differences among structural parameters. Analysis of NMJs showed a consistent lack of differences between males and females. Overall, NMJs were also found to be resistant to the effects of unloading. When examining myofiber profiles, however, male myofibers were revealed to be significantly larger than female ones in each of the muscles examined. Unloading resulted in significant myofiber atrophy only in the primarily weight-bearing soleus muscle. Only the EDL showed unloading-induced differences in myofiber type distribution (Type II → I). These data indicate that different components of the neuromuscular system (NMJs, myofibers) respond uniquely to unloading, and that sex affects myofiber type profiles, but not NMJs. Moreover, it appears that only muscles that have their habitual activity patterns disturbed by unloading (i.e., the soleus, adapt to that intervention).

Mapping Load-Bearing in the Mammalian Spindle Reveals Local Kinetochore Fiber Anchorage that Provides Mechanical Isolation and Redundancy.

  • Elting MW
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2017 Jul 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

Active forces generated at kinetochores move chromosomes, and the dynamic spindle must robustly anchor kinetochore fibers (k-fibers) to bear this load. The mammalian spindle bears the load of chromosome movement far from poles, but we do not know where and how-physically and molecularly-this load distributes across the spindle. In part, this is because probing spindle mechanics in live cells is difficult. Yet answering this question is key to understanding how the spindle generates and responds to force and performs its diverse mechanical functions. Here, we map load-bearing across the mammalian spindle in space-time and dissect local anchorage mechanics and mechanism. To do so, we laser-ablate single k-fibers at different spindle locations and in different molecular backgrounds and quantify the immediate relaxation of chromosomes, k-fibers, and microtubule speckles. We find that load redistribution is locally confined in all directions: along the first 3-4 μm from kinetochores, scaling with k-fiber length, and laterally within ∼2 μm of k-fiber sides, without detectable load sharing between neighboring k-fibers. A phenomenological model suggests that dense, transient crosslinks to the spindle along k-fibers bear the load of chromosome movement but that these connections do not limit the timescale of spindle reorganization. The microtubule crosslinker NuMA is needed for the local load-bearing observed, whereas Eg5 and PRC1 are not detectably required, suggesting specialization in mechanical function. Together, the data and model suggest that NuMA-mediated crosslinks locally bear load, providing mechanical isolation and redundancy while allowing spindle fluidity. These features are well suited to support robust chromosome segregation.

Vaccine Mediated Protection Against Zika Virus-Induced Congenital Disease.

  • Richner JM
  • Cell
  • 2017 Jul 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

The emergence of Zika virus (ZIKV) and its association with congenital malformations has prompted the rapid development of vaccines. Although efficacy with multiple viral vaccine platforms has been established in animals, no study has addressed protection during pregnancy. We tested in mice two vaccine platforms, a lipid nanoparticle-encapsulated modified mRNA vaccine encoding ZIKV prM and E genes and a live-attenuated ZIKV strain encoding an NS1 protein without glycosylation, for their ability to protect against transmission to the fetus. Vaccinated dams challenged with a heterologous ZIKV strain at embryo day 6 (E6) and evaluated at E13 showed markedly diminished levels of viral RNA in maternal, placental, and fetal tissues, which resulted in protection against placental damage and fetal demise. As modified mRNA and live-attenuated vaccine platforms can restrict in utero transmission of ZIKV in mice, their further development in humans to prevent congenital ZIKV syndrome is warranted.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - P01 AI106695()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI073755()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI104972()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R24 AI120942()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - T32 AI007172()
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R01 HD091218()

Subthalamic Nucleus Deep Brain Stimulation Employs trkB Signaling for Neuroprotection and Functional Restoration.

  • Fischer DL
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Jul 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is the most common neurosurgical treatment for Parkinson's disease motor symptoms. In preclinical models, STN DBS provides neuroprotection for substantia nigra (SN) dopamine neurons and increases BDNF in the nigrostriatal system and primary motor cortex. However, whether BDNF signaling in the SN participates in the neuroprotective effects of DBS remains unknown. We demonstrate that STN DBS in male rats activates signaling downstream of tropomyosin receptor kinase type B (trkB), namely, phosphorylation of Akt and ribosomal protein S6, in SN neurons. Long-term trkB blockade abolished STN DBS-mediated neuroprotection of SN neurons following progressive 6-hydroxydopamine lesion and was associated with decreased phosphorylated ribosomal protein S6 immunoreactivity. Acute trkB blockade in rats with stable nigrostriatal denervation attenuated the forelimb akinesia improvement normally induced by STN DBS. These results suggest that STN DBS increases BDNF-trkB signaling to contribute to the neuroprotective and symptomatic efficacy of STN DBS.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (STN DBS) is increasingly used in mid- to late-stage Parkinson's disease (PD) but with an incomplete knowledge of its molecular mechanisms. STN DBS is neuroprotective against neurotoxicants in animal models and increases BDNF. This study is the first to show that BDNF signaling through the cognate tropomyosin receptor kinase type B (trkB) receptor occurs in substantia nigra pars compacta neurons and is required for neuroprotection. In addition, blockade of trkB unexpectedly reduced the functional benefit of STN DBS on a short timescale that is inconsistent with canonical trkB signaling pathways, suggesting a noncanonical role for trkB in STN DBS-mediated behavioral effects. Together, these data implicate trkB signaling in the symptomatic efficacy and disease-modifying potential of STN DBS.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P50 NS058830()

Hypoxia-Sensitive COMMD1 Integrates Signaling and Cellular Metabolism in Human Macrophages and Suppresses Osteoclastogenesis.

  • Murata K
  • Immunity
  • 2017 Jul 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Hypoxia augments inflammatory responses and osteoclastogenesis by incompletely understood mechanisms. We identified COMMD1 as a cell-intrinsic negative regulator of osteoclastogenesis that is suppressed by hypoxia. In human macrophages, COMMD1 restrained induction of NF-κB signaling and a transcription factor E2F1-dependent metabolic pathway by the cytokine RANKL. Downregulation of COMMD1 protein expression by hypoxia augmented RANKL-induced expression of inflammatory and E2F1 target genes and downstream osteoclastogenesis. E2F1 targets included glycolysis and metabolic genes including CKB that enabled cells to meet metabolic demands in challenging environments, as well as inflammatory cytokine-driven target genes. Expression quantitative trait locus analysis linked increased COMMD1 expression with decreased bone erosion in rheumatoid arthritis. Myeloid deletion of Commd1 resulted in increased osteoclastogenesis in arthritis and inflammatory osteolysis models. These results identify COMMD1 and an E2F-metabolic pathway as key regulators of osteoclastogenic responses under pathological inflammatory conditions and provide a mechanism by which hypoxia augments inflammation and bone destruction.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI044938()
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - R00 AR061430()
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - R01 AR050401()
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - R01 AR069562()
  • NIDCR NIH HHS - R01 DE019420()

Warts Signaling Controls Organ and Body Growth through Regulation of Ecdysone.

  • Moeller ME
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2017 Jun 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Coordination of growth between individual organs and the whole body is essential during development to produce adults with appropriate size and proportions [1, 2]. How local organ-intrinsic signals and nutrient-dependent systemic factors are integrated to generate correctly proportioned organisms under different environmental conditions is poorly understood. In Drosophila, Hippo/Warts signaling functions intrinsically to regulate tissue growth and organ size [3, 4], whereas systemic growth is controlled via antagonistic interactions of the steroid hormone ecdysone and nutrient-dependent insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) (insulin) signaling [2, 5]. The interplay between insulin and ecdysone signaling regulates systemic growth and controls organismal size. Here, we show that Warts (Wts; LATS1/2) signaling regulates systemic growth in Drosophila by activating basal ecdysone production, which negatively regulates body growth. Further, we provide evidence that Wts mediates effects of insulin and the neuropeptide prothoracicotropic hormone (PTTH) on regulation of ecdysone production through Yorkie (Yki; YAP/TAZ) and the microRNA bantam (ban). Thus, Wts couples insulin signaling with ecdysone production to adjust systemic growth in response to nutritional conditions during development. Inhibition of Wts activity in the ecdysone-producing cells non-autonomously slows the growth of the developing imaginal-disc tissues while simultaneously leading to overgrowth of the animal. This indicates that ecdysone, while restricting overall body growth, is limiting for growth of certain organs. Our data show that, in addition to its well-known intrinsic role in restricting organ growth, Wts/Yki/ban signaling also controls growth systemically by regulating ecdysone production, a mechanism that we propose controls growth between tissues and organismal size in response to nutrient availability.

Gli1+ Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Are a Key Driver of Bone Marrow Fibrosis and an Important Cellular Therapeutic Target.

  • Schneider RK
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2017 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Bone marrow fibrosis (BMF) develops in various hematological and non-hematological conditions and is a central pathological feature of myelofibrosis. Effective cell-targeted therapeutics are needed, but the cellular origin of BMF remains elusive. Here, we show using genetic fate tracing in two murine models of BMF that Gli1+ mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are recruited from the endosteal and perivascular niche to become fibrosis-driving myofibroblasts in the bone marrow. Genetic ablation of Gli1+ cells abolished BMF and rescued bone marrow failure. Pharmacological targeting of Gli proteins with GANT61 inhibited Gli1+ cell expansion and myofibroblast differentiation and attenuated fibrosis severity. The same pathway is also active in human BMF, and Gli1 expression in BMF significantly correlates with the severity of the disease. In addition, GANT61 treatment reduced the myofibroblastic phenotype of human MSCs isolated from patients with BMF, suggesting that targeting of Gli proteins could be a relevant therapeutic strategy.

Caloric Restriction Paradoxically Increases Adiposity in Mice With Genetically Reduced Insulin.

  • Dionne DA
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 Jun 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Antiadiposity effects of caloric restriction (CR) are associated with reduced insulin/IGF-1 signaling, but it is unclear whether the effects of CR would be additive to genetically reducing circulating insulin. To address this question, we examined female Ins1(+/-):Ins2(-/-) mice and Ins1(+/+):Ins2(-/-) littermate controls on either an ad libitum or 60% CR diet. Although Igf1 levels declined as expected, CR was unable to reduce plasma insulin levels in either genotype below their ad libitum-fed littermate controls. In fact, 53-week-old Ins1(+/-):Ins2(-/-) mice exhibited a paradoxical increase in circulating insulin in the CR group compared with the ad libitum-fed Ins1(+/-):Ins2(-/-) mice. Regardless of insulin gene dosage, CR mice had lower fasting glucose and improved glucose tolerance. Although body mass and lean mass predictably fell after CR initiation, we observed a significant and unexpected increase in fat mass in the CR Ins1(+/-):Ins2(-/-) mice. Specifically, inguinal fat was significantly increased by CR at 66 weeks and 106 weeks. By 106 weeks, brown adipose tissue mass was also significantly increased by CR in both Ins1(+/-):Ins2(-/-) and Ins1(+/+):Ins2(-/-) mice. Interestingly, we observed a clear whitening of brown adipose tissue in the CR groups. Mice in the CR group had altered daily energy expenditure and respiratory exchange ratio circadian rhythms in both genotypes. Multiplexed analysis of circulating hormones revealed that CR was associated with increased fasting and fed levels of the obesogenic hormone, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide. Collectively these data demonstrate CR has paradoxical effects on adipose tissue growth in the context of genetically reduced insulin.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - P50 MH090963(United States)

LARP1 functions as a molecular switch for mTORC1-mediated translation of an essential class of mRNAs.

  • Hong S
  • Elife
  • 2017 Jun 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

The RNA binding protein, LARP1, has been proposed to function downstream of mTORC1 to regulate the translation of 5'TOP mRNAs such as those encoding ribosome proteins (RP). However, the roles of LARP1 in the translation of 5'TOP mRNAs are controversial and its regulatory roles in mTORC1-mediated translation remain unclear. Here we show that LARP1 is a direct substrate of mTORC1 and Akt/S6K1. Deep sequencing of LARP1-bound mRNAs reveal that non-phosphorylated LARP1 interacts with both 5' and 3'UTRs of RP mRNAs and inhibits their translation. Importantly, phosphorylation of LARP1 by mTORC1 and Akt/S6K1 dissociates it from 5'UTRs and relieves its inhibitory activity on RP mRNA translation. Concomitantly, phosphorylated LARP1 scaffolds mTORC1 on the 3'UTRs of translationally-competent RP mRNAs to facilitate mTORC1-dependent induction of translation initiation. Thus, in response to cellular mTOR activity, LARP1 serves as a phosphorylation-sensitive molecular switch for turning off or on RP mRNA translation and subsequent ribosome biogenesis.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK083491()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM088565()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM110019()

Astrocyte Transforming Growth Factor Beta 1 Protects Synapses against Aβ Oligomers in Alzheimer's Disease Model.

  • Diniz LP
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Jun 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by progressive cognitive decline, increasingly attributed to neuronal dysfunction induced by amyloid-β oligomers (AβOs). Although the impact of AβOs on neurons has been extensively studied, only recently have the possible effects of AβOs on astrocytes begun to be investigated. Given the key roles of astrocytes in synapse formation, plasticity, and function, we sought to investigate the impact of AβOs on astrocytes, and to determine whether this impact is related to the deleterious actions of AβOs on synapses. We found that AβOs interact with astrocytes, cause astrocyte activation and trigger abnormal generation of reactive oxygen species, which is accompanied by impairment of astrocyte neuroprotective potential in vitro We further show that both murine and human astrocyte conditioned media (CM) increase synapse density, reduce AβOs binding, and prevent AβO-induced synapse loss in cultured hippocampal neurons. Both a neutralizing anti-transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) antibody and siRNA-mediated knockdown of TGF-β1, previously identified as an important synaptogenic factor secreted by astrocytes, abrogated the protective action of astrocyte CM against AβO-induced synapse loss. Notably, TGF-β1 prevented hippocampal dendritic spine loss and memory impairment in mice that received an intracerebroventricular infusion of AβOs. Results suggest that astrocyte-derived TGF-β1 is part of an endogenous mechanism that protects synapses against AβOs. By demonstrating that AβOs decrease astrocyte ability to protect synapses, our results unravel a new mechanism underlying the synaptotoxic action of AβOs in AD.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Alzheimer's disease is characterized by progressive cognitive decline, mainly attributed to synaptotoxicity of the amyloid-β oligomers (AβOs). Here, we investigated the impact of AβOs in astrocytes, a less known subject. We show that astrocytes prevent synapse loss induced by AβOs, via production of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1). We found that AβOs trigger morphological and functional alterations in astrocytes, and impair their neuroprotective potential. Notably, TGF-β1 reduced hippocampal dendritic spine loss and memory impairment in mice that received intracerebroventricular infusions of AβOs. Our results describe a new mechanism underlying the toxicity of AβOs and indicate novel therapeutic targets for Alzheimer's disease, mainly focused on TGF-β1 and astrocytes.

Hec1 Tail Phosphorylation Differentially Regulates Mammalian Kinetochore Coupling to Polymerizing and Depolymerizing Microtubules.

  • Long AF
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2017 Jun 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

The kinetochore links chromosomes to dynamic spindle microtubules and drives both chromosome congression and segregation. To do so, the kinetochore must hold on to depolymerizing and polymerizing microtubules. At metaphase, one sister kinetochore couples to depolymerizing microtubules, pulling its sister along polymerizing microtubules [1, 2]. Distinct kinetochore-microtubule interfaces mediate these behaviors: active interfaces transduce microtubule depolymerization into mechanical work, and passive interfaces generate friction as the kinetochore moves along microtubules [3, 4]. Despite a growing understanding of the molecular components that mediate kinetochore binding [5-7], we do not know how kinetochores physically interact with polymerizing versus depolymerizing microtubule bundles, and whether they use the same mechanisms and regulation to do so. To address this question, we focus on the mechanical role of the essential load-bearing protein Hec1 [8-11] in mammalian cells. Hec1's affinity for microtubules is regulated by Aurora B phosphorylation on its N-terminal tail [12-15], but its role at the interface with polymerizing versus depolymerizing microtubules remains unclear. Here we use laser ablation to trigger cellular pulling on mutant kinetochores and decouple sisters in vivo, and thereby separately probe Hec1's role on polymerizing versus depolymerizing microtubules. We show that Hec1 tail phosphorylation tunes friction along polymerizing microtubules and yet does not compromise the kinetochore's ability to grip depolymerizing microtubules. Together, the data suggest that kinetochore regulation has differential effects on engagement with growing and shrinking microtubules. Through this mechanism, the kinetochore can modulate its grip on microtubules over mitosis and yet retain its ability to couple to microtubules powering chromosome movement.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - DP2 GM119177()

Specialized photoreceptor composition in the raptor fovea.

  • Mitkus M
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Jun 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The retinae of many bird species contain a depression with high photoreceptor density known as the fovea. Many species of raptors have two foveae, a deep central fovea and a shallower temporal fovea. Birds have six types of photoreceptors: rods, active in dim light, double cones that are thought to mediate achromatic discrimination, and four types of single cones mediating color vision. To maximize visual acuity, the fovea should only contain photoreceptors contributing to high-resolution vision. Interestingly, it has been suggested that raptors might lack double cones in the fovea. We used transmission electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry to evaluate this claim in five raptor species: the common buzzard (Buteo buteo), the honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus), the Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), the red kite (Milvus milvus), and the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). We found that all species, except the Eurasian sparrowhawk, lack double cones in the center of the central fovea. The size of the double cone-free zone differed between species. Only the common buzzard had a double cone-free zone in the temporal fovea. In three species, we examined opsin expression in the central fovea and found evidence that rod opsin positive cells were absent and violet-sensitive cone and green-sensitive cone opsin positive cells were present. We conclude that not only double cones, but also single cones may contribute to high-resolution vision in birds, and that raptors may in fact possess high-resolution tetrachromatic vision in the central fovea.

PPARγ Links BMP2 and TGFβ1 Pathways in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells, Regulating Cell Proliferation and Glucose Metabolism.

  • Calvier L
  • Cell Metab.
  • 2017 May 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

BMP2 and TGFβ1 are functional antagonists of pathological remodeling in the arteries, heart, and lung; however, the mechanisms in VSMCs, and their disturbance in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), are unclear. We found a pro-proliferative TGFβ1-Stat3-FoxO1 axis in VSMCs, and PPARγ as inhibitory regulator of TGFβ1-Stat3-FoxO1 and TGFβ1-Smad3/4, by physically interacting with Stat3 and Smad3. TGFβ1 induces fibrosis-related genes and miR-130a/301b, suppressing PPARγ. Conversely, PPARγ inhibits TGFβ1-induced mitochondrial activation and VSMC proliferation, and regulates two glucose metabolism-related enzymes, platelet isoform of phosphofructokinase (PFKP, a PPARγ target, via miR-331-5p) and protein phosphatase 1 regulatory subunit 3G (PPP1R3G, a Smad3 target). PPARγ knockdown/deletion in VSMCs activates TGFβ1 signaling. The PPARγ agonist pioglitazone reverses PAH and inhibits the TGFβ1-Stat3-FoxO1 axis in TGFβ1-overexpressing mice. We identified PPARγ as a missing link between BMP2 and TGFβ1 pathways in VSMCs. PPARγ activation can be beneficial in TGFβ1-associated diseases, such as PAH, parenchymal lung diseases, and Marfan's syndrome.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R55 DK061935(United States)
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R21 MH098506(United States)

Molecular Phenotyping Combines Molecular Information, Biological Relevance, and Patient Data to Improve Productivity of Early Drug Discovery.

  • Drawnel FM
  • Cell Chem Biol
  • 2017 May 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Today, novel therapeutics are identified in an environment which is intrinsically different from the clinical context in which they are ultimately evaluated. Using molecular phenotyping and an in vitro model of diabetic cardiomyopathy, we show that by quantifying pathway reporter gene expression, molecular phenotyping can cluster compounds based on pathway profiles and dissect associations between pathway activities and disease phenotypes simultaneously. Molecular phenotyping was applicable to compounds with a range of binding specificities and triaged false positives derived from high-content screening assays. The technique identified a class of calcium-signaling modulators that can reverse disease-regulated pathways and phenotypes, which was validated by structurally distinct compounds of relevant classes. Our results advocate for application of molecular phenotyping in early drug discovery, promoting biological relevance as a key selection criterion early in the drug development cascade.

Ciliomotor circuitry underlying whole-body coordination of ciliary activity in the Platynereis larva.

  • Verasztó C
  • Elife
  • 2017 May 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

Ciliated surfaces harbouring synchronously beating cilia can generate fluid flow or drive locomotion. In ciliary swimmers, ciliary beating, arrests, and changes in beat frequency are often coordinated across extended or discontinuous surfaces. To understand how such coordination is achieved, we studied the ciliated larvae of Platynereis dumerilii, a marine annelid. Platynereis larvae have segmental multiciliated cells that regularly display spontaneous coordinated ciliary arrests. We used whole-body connectomics, activity imaging, transgenesis, and neuron ablation to characterize the ciliomotor circuitry. We identified cholinergic, serotonergic, and catecholaminergic ciliomotor neurons. The synchronous rhythmic activation of cholinergic cells drives the coordinated arrests of all cilia. The serotonergic cells are active when cilia are beating. Serotonin inhibits the cholinergic rhythm, and increases ciliary beat frequency. Based on their connectivity and alternating activity, the catecholaminergic cells may generate the rhythm. The ciliomotor circuitry thus constitutes a stop-and-go pacemaker system for the whole-body coordination of ciliary locomotion.

Mechanism of Ska Recruitment by Ndc80 Complexes to Kinetochores.

  • Janczyk PŁ
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2017 May 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Yeast use the ring-shaped Dam1 complex to slide down depolymerizing microtubules to move chromosomes, but current models suggest that other eukaryotes do not have a sliding ring. We visualized Ndc80 and Ska complexes on microtubules by electron microscopic tomography to identify the structure of the human kinetochore-microtubule attachment. Ndc80 recruits the Ska complex so that the V shape of the Ska dimer interacts along protofilaments. We identify a mutant of the Ndc80 tail that is deficient in Ska recruitment to kinetochores and in orienting Ska along protofilaments in vitro. This mutant Ndc80 binds microtubules with normal affinity but is deficient in clustering along protofilaments. We propose that Ska is recruited to kinetochores by clusters of Ndc80 proteins and that our structure of Ndc80 and Ska complexes on microtubules suggests a mechanism for metazoan kinetochores to couple the depolymerization of microtubules to power the movement of chromosomes.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - MT-15563(Canada)
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01DK081750(United States)

Mutant Huntingtin Disrupts the Nuclear Pore Complex.

  • Grima JC
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Apr 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by an expanded CAG repeat in the Huntingtin (HTT) gene. The mechanism(s) by which mutant HTT (mHTT) causes disease is unclear. Nucleocytoplasmic transport, the trafficking of macromolecules between the nucleus and cytoplasm, is tightly regulated by nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) made up of nucleoporins (NUPs). Previous studies offered clues that mHTT may disrupt nucleocytoplasmic transport and a mutation of an NUP can cause HD-like pathology. Therefore, we evaluated the NPC and nucleocytoplasmic transport in multiple models of HD, including mouse and fly models, neurons transfected with mHTT, HD iPSC-derived neurons, and human HD brain regions. These studies revealed severe mislocalization and aggregation of NUPs and defective nucleocytoplasmic transport. HD repeat-associated non-ATG (RAN) translation proteins also disrupted nucleocytoplasmic transport. Additionally, overexpression of NUPs and treatment with drugs that prevent aberrant NUP biology also mitigated this transport defect and neurotoxicity, providing future novel therapy targets.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS082338()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS085207()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS090390()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS094239()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - U54 NS091046()

Regulation of Thalamic and Cortical Network Synchrony by Scn8a.

  • Makinson CD
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Mar 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) mutations cause severe epilepsies marked by intermittent, pathological hypersynchronous brain states. Here we present two mechanisms that help to explain how mutations in one VGSC gene, Scn8a, contribute to two distinct seizure phenotypes: (1) hypoexcitation of cortical circuits leading to convulsive seizure resistance, and (2) hyperexcitation of thalamocortical circuits leading to non-convulsive absence epilepsy. We found that loss of Scn8a leads to altered RT cell intrinsic excitability and a failure in recurrent RT synaptic inhibition. We propose that these deficits cooperate to enhance thalamocortical network synchrony and generate pathological oscillations. To our knowledge, this finding is the first clear demonstration of a pathological state tied to disruption of the RT-RT synapse. Our observation that loss of a single gene in the thalamus of an adult wild-type animal is sufficient to cause spike-wave discharges is striking and represents an example of absence epilepsy of thalamic origin.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS034774()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS048336()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS065187()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS072221()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS090911()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - T32 NS007280()

Intrastriatally Infused Exogenous CDNF Is Endocytosed and Retrogradely Transported to Substantia Nigra.

  • Mätlik K
  • eNeuro
  • 2017 Mar 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) protects the nigrostriatal dopaminergic (DA) neurons in rodent models of Parkinson's disease and restores DA circuitry when delivered after these neurons have begun to degenerate. These DA neurons have been suggested to transport striatal CDNF retrogradely to the substantia nigra (SN). However, in cultured cells the binding and internalization of extracellular CDNF has not been reported. The first aim of this study was to examine the cellular localization and pharmacokinetic properties of recombinant human CDNF (rhCDNF) protein after its infusion into rat brain parenchyma. Second, we aimed to study whether the transport of rhCDNF from the striatum to the SN results from its retrograde transport via DA neurons or from its anterograde transport via striatal GABAergic projection neurons. We show that after intrastriatal infusion, rhCDNF diffuses rapidly and broadly, and is cleared with a half-life of 5.5 h. Confocal microscopy analysis of brain sections at 2 and 6 h after infusion of rhCDNF revealed its widespread unspecific internalization by cortical and striatal neurons, exhibiting different patterns of subcellular rhCDNF distribution. Electron microscopy analysis showed that rhCDNF is present inside the endosomes and multivesicular bodies. In addition, we present data that after intrastriatal infusion the rhCDNF found in the SN is almost exclusively localized to the DA neurons, thus showing that it is retrogradely transported.

Glucocorticoids Induce Bone and Muscle Atrophy by Tissue-Specific Mechanisms Upstream of E3 Ubiquitin Ligases.

  • Sato AY
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 Mar 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Glucocorticoid excess, either endogenous with diseases of the adrenal gland, stress, or aging or when administered for immunosuppression, induces bone and muscle loss, leading to osteopenia and sarcopenia. Muscle weakness increases the propensity for falling, which, combined with the lower bone mass, increases the fracture risk. The mechanisms underlying glucocorticoid-induced bone and muscle atrophy are not completely understood. We have demonstrated that the loss of bone and muscle mass, decreased bone formation, and reduced muscle strength, hallmarks of glucocorticoid excess, are accompanied by upregulation in both tissues in vivo of the atrophy-related genes atrogin1, MuRF1, and MUSA1. These are E3 ubiquitin ligases traditionally considered muscle-specific. Glucocorticoids also upregulated atrophy genes in cultured osteoblastic/osteocytic cells, in ex vivo bone organ cultures, and in muscle organ cultures and C2C12 myoblasts/myotubes. Furthermore, glucocorticoids markedly increased the expression of components of the Notch signaling pathway in muscle in vivo, ex vivo, and in vitro. In contrast, glucocorticoids did not increase Notch signaling in bone or bone cells. Moreover, the increased expression of atrophy-related genes in muscle, but not in bone, and the decreased myotube diameter induced by glucocorticoids were prevented by inhibiting Notch signaling. Thus, glucocorticoids activate different mechanisms in bone and muscle that upregulate atrophy-related genes. However, the role of these genes in the effects of glucocorticoids in bone is unknown. Nevertheless, these findings advance our knowledge of the mechanism of action of glucocorticoids in the musculoskeletal system and provide the basis for novel therapies to prevent glucocorticoid-induced atrophy of bone and muscle.

Funding information:
  • BLRD VA - I01 BX002104()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA122596()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - T35 HL110854()
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - R01 AR059357()
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - T32 AR065971()

Hallmarks of Alzheimer's Disease in Stem-Cell-Derived Human Neurons Transplanted into Mouse Brain.

  • Espuny-Camacho I
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Mar 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) provide a unique entry to study species-specific aspects of human disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, in vitro culture of neurons deprives them of their natural environment. Here we transplanted human PSC-derived cortical neuronal precursors into the brain of a murine AD model. Human neurons differentiate and integrate into the brain, express 3R/4R Tau splice forms, show abnormal phosphorylation and conformational Tau changes, and undergo neurodegeneration. Remarkably, cell death was dissociated from tangle formation in this natural 3D model of AD. Using genome-wide expression analysis, we observed upregulation of genes involved in myelination and downregulation of genes related to memory and cognition, synaptic transmission, and neuron projection. This novel chimeric model for AD displays human-specific pathological features and allows the analysis of different genetic backgrounds and mutations during the course of the disease.

Synaptic Activity Drives a Genomic Program That Promotes a Neuronal Warburg Effect.

  • Bas-Orth C
  • J. Biol. Chem.
  • 2017 Mar 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

Synaptic activity drives changes in gene expression to promote long lasting adaptations of neuronal structure and function. One example of such an adaptive response is the buildup of acquired neuroprotection, a synaptic activity- and gene transcription-mediated increase in the resistance of neurons against harmful conditions. A hallmark of acquired neuroprotection is the stabilization of mitochondrial structure and function. We therefore re-examined previously identified sets of synaptic activity-regulated genes to identify genes that are directly linked to mitochondrial function. In mouse and rat primary hippocampal cultures, synaptic activity caused an up-regulation of glycolytic genes and a concomitant down-regulation of genes required for oxidative phosphorylation, mitochondrial biogenesis, and maintenance. Changes in metabolic gene expression were induced by action potential bursting, but not by glutamate bath application activating extrasynaptic NMDA receptors. The specific and coordinate pattern of gene expression changes suggested that synaptic activity promotes a shift of neuronal energy metabolism from oxidative phosphorylation toward aerobic glycolysis, also known as the Warburg effect. The ability of neurons to up-regulate glycolysis has, however, been debated. We therefore used FACS sorting to show that, in mixed neuron glia co-cultures, activity-dependent regulation of metabolic gene expression occurred in neurons. Changes in gene expression were accompanied by changes in the phosphorylation-dependent regulation of the key metabolic enzyme, pyruvate dehydrogenase. Finally, increased synaptic activity caused an increase in the ratio of l-lactate production to oxygen consumption in primary hippocampal cultures. Based on these data we suggest the existence of a synaptic activity-mediated neuronal Warburg effect that may promote mitochondrial homeostasis and neuroprotection.

Recent Zika Virus Isolates Induce Premature Differentiation of Neural Progenitors in Human Brain Organoids.

  • Gabriel E
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2017 Mar 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

The recent Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic is associated with microcephaly in newborns. Although the connection between ZIKV and neurodevelopmental defects is widely recognized, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here we show that two recently isolated strains of ZIKV, an American strain from an infected fetal brain (FB-GWUH-2016) and a closely-related Asian strain (H/PF/2013), productively infect human iPSC-derived brain organoids. Both of these strains readily target to and replicate in proliferating ventricular zone (VZ) apical progenitors. The main phenotypic effect was premature differentiation of neural progenitors associated with centrosome perturbation, even during early stages of infection, leading to progenitor depletion, disruption of the VZ, impaired neurogenesis, and cortical thinning. The infection pattern and cellular outcome differ from those seen with the extensively passaged ZIKV strain MR766. The structural changes we see after infection with these more recently isolated viral strains closely resemble those seen in ZIKV-associated microcephaly.

Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis Occurs on Multiple Timescales and Is Mediated by Formin-Dependent Actin Assembly.

  • Soykan T
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Feb 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neurotransmission is based on the exocytic fusion of synaptic vesicles (SVs) followed by endocytic membrane retrieval and the reformation of SVs. Recent data suggest that at physiological temperature SVs are internalized via clathrin-independent ultrafast endocytosis (UFE) within hundreds of milliseconds, while other studies have postulated a key role for clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) of SV proteins on a timescale of seconds to tens of seconds. Here we demonstrate using cultured hippocampal neurons as a model that at physiological temperature SV endocytosis occurs on several timescales from less than a second to several seconds, yet, is largely independent of clathrin. Clathrin-independent endocytosis (CIE) of SV membranes is mediated by actin-nucleating formins such as mDia1, which are required for the formation of presynaptic endosome-like vacuoles from which SVs reform. Our results resolve previous discrepancies in the field and suggest that SV membranes are predominantly retrieved via CIE mediated by formin-dependent actin assembly.

Leaky Gate Model: Intensity-Dependent Coding of Pain and Itch in the Spinal Cord.

  • Sun S
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Feb 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Coding of itch versus pain has been heatedly debated for decades. However, the current coding theories (labeled line, intensity, and selectivity theory) cannot accommodate all experimental observations. Here we identified a subset of spinal interneurons, labeled by gastrin-releasing peptide (Grp), that receive direct synaptic input from both pain and itch primary sensory neurons. When activated, these Grp+ neurons generated rarely seen, simultaneous robust pain and itch responses that were intensity dependent. Accordingly, we propose a "leaky gate" model in which Grp+ neurons transmit both itch and weak pain signals; however, upon strong painful stimuli, the recruitment of endogenous opioids works to close this gate, reducing overwhelming pain generated by parallel pathways. Consistent with our model, loss of these Grp+ neurons increased pain responses while itch was decreased. Our new model serves as an example of non-monotonic coding in the spinal cord and better explains observations in human psychophysical studies.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY024704()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI125743()
  • NIDCR NIH HHS - R01 DE022750()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS054791()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS070814()

Transcription without XPB Establishes a Unified Helicase-Independent Mechanism of Promoter Opening in Eukaryotic Gene Expression.

  • Alekseev S
  • Mol. Cell
  • 2017 Feb 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Transcription starts with the assembly of pre-initiation complexes on promoters followed by their opening. Current models suggest that class II gene transcription requires ATP and the TFIIH XPB subunit to open a promoter. Here, we observe that XPB depletion surprisingly leaves transcription virtually intact. In contrast, inhibition of XPB ATPase activity affects transcription, revealing that mRNA expression paradoxically accommodates the absence of XPB while being sensitive to the inhibition of its ATPase activity. The XPB-depleted TFIIH complex is recruited to active promoters and contributes to transcription. We finally demonstrate that the XPB ATPase activity is only used to relieve a transcription initiation block imposed by XPB itself. In the absence of this block, transcription initiation can take place without XPB ATPase activity. These results suggest that a helicase is dispensable for mRNA transcription, thereby unifying the mechanism of promoter DNA opening for the three eukaryotic RNA polymerases.

Angiotensin-II-induced Muscle Wasting is Mediated by 25-Hydroxycholesterol via GSK3β Signaling Pathway.

  • Shen C
  • EBioMedicine
  • 2017 Feb 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

While angiotensin II (ang II) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiac cachexia (CC), the molecules that mediate ang II's wasting effect have not been identified. It is known TNF-α level is increased in patients with CC, and TNF-α release is triggered by ang II. We therefore hypothesized that ang II induced muscle wasting is mediated by TNF-α. Ang II infusion led to skeletal muscle wasting in wild type (WT) but not in TNF alpha type 1 receptor knockout (TNFR1KO) mice, suggesting that ang II induced muscle loss is mediated by TNF-α through its type 1 receptor. Microarray analysis identified cholesterol 25-hydroxylase (Ch25h) as the down stream target of TNF-α. Intraperitoneal injection of 25-hydroxycholesterol (25-OHC), the product of Ch25h, resulted in muscle loss in C57BL/6 mice, accompanied by increased expression of atrogin-1, MuRF1 and suppression of IGF-1/Akt signaling pathway. The identification of 25-OHC as an inducer of muscle wasting has implications for the development of specific treatment strategies in preventing muscle loss.

Suppression of C9orf72 RNA repeat-induced neurotoxicity by the ALS-associated RNA-binding protein Zfp106.

  • Celona B
  • Elife
  • 2017 Jan 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Expanded GGGGCC repeats in the first intron of the C9orf72 gene represent the most common cause of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but the mechanisms underlying repeat-induced disease remain incompletely resolved. One proposed gain-of-function mechanism is that repeat-containing RNA forms aggregates that sequester RNA binding proteins, leading to altered RNA metabolism in motor neurons. Here, we identify the zinc finger protein Zfp106 as a specific GGGGCC RNA repeat-binding protein, and using affinity purification-mass spectrometry, we show that Zfp106 interacts with multiple other RNA binding proteins, including the ALS-associated factors TDP-43 and FUS. We also show that Zfp106 knockout mice develop severe motor neuron degeneration, which can be suppressed by transgenic restoration of Zfp106 specifically in motor neurons. Finally, we show that Zfp106 potently suppresses neurotoxicity in a Drosophila model of C9orf72 ALS. Thus, these studies identify Zfp106 as an RNA binding protein with important implications for ALS.

Funding information:
  • BLRD VA - I01 BX001108()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - P01 HL089707()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL064658()
  • NIA NIH HHS - P01 AG019724()
  • NIA NIH HHS - P50 AG023501()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS098516()
  • RRD VA - I01 RX002133()

Gut Microbiota Regulate Motor Deficits and Neuroinflammation in a Model of Parkinson's Disease.

  • Sampson TR
  • Cell
  • 2016 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The intestinal microbiota influence neurodevelopment, modulate behavior, and contribute to neurological disorders. However, a functional link between gut bacteria and neurodegenerative diseases remains unexplored. Synucleinopathies are characterized by aggregation of the protein α-synuclein (αSyn), often resulting in motor dysfunction as exemplified by Parkinson's disease (PD). Using mice that overexpress αSyn, we report herein that gut microbiota are required for motor deficits, microglia activation, and αSyn pathology. Antibiotic treatment ameliorates, while microbial re-colonization promotes, pathophysiology in adult animals, suggesting that postnatal signaling between the gut and the brain modulates disease. Indeed, oral administration of specific microbial metabolites to germ-free mice promotes neuroinflammation and motor symptoms. Remarkably, colonization of αSyn-overexpressing mice with microbiota from PD-affected patients enhances physical impairments compared to microbiota transplants from healthy human donors. These findings reveal that gut bacteria regulate movement disorders in mice and suggest that alterations in the human microbiome represent a risk factor for PD.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA060553(United States)

Satb2 determines miRNA expression and long-term memory in the adult central nervous system.

  • Jaitner C
  • Elife
  • 2016 Nov 29

Literature context:


Abstract:

SATB2 is a risk locus for schizophrenia and encodes a DNA-binding protein that regulates higher-order chromatin configuration. In the adult brain Satb2 is almost exclusively expressed in pyramidal neurons of two brain regions important for memory formation, the cerebral cortex and the CA1-hippocampal field. Here we show that Satb2 is required for key hippocampal functions since deletion of Satb2 from the adult mouse forebrain prevents the stabilization of synaptic long-term potentiation and markedly impairs long-term fear and object discrimination memory. At the molecular level, we find that synaptic activity and BDNF up-regulate Satb2, which itself binds to the promoters of coding and non-coding genes. Satb2 controls the hippocampal levels of a large cohort of miRNAs, many of which are implicated in synaptic plasticity and memory formation. Together, our findings demonstrate that Satb2 is critically involved in long-term plasticity processes in the adult forebrain that underlie the consolidation and stabilization of context-linked memory.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - R24RR024790(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R15 NS087606(United States)

Transarterial regional hypothermia provides robust neuroprotection in a rat model of permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion with transient collateral hypoperfusion.

  • Kurisu K
  • Brain Res.
  • 2016 Nov 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The robust neuroprotective effects of transarterial regional hypothermia have been demonstrated in the typical transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) model, but have not yet been tested in other ischemic stroke models, even though clinical ischemic conditions are diverse. In order to clarify these effects in a different ischemic stroke model, we employed a rat model of permanent MCAO (pMCAO) with transient collateral hypoperfusion (tCHP), which was achieved by direct MCA ligation through craniotomy and 1-h bilateral common carotid artery occlusion at the beginning of pMCAO. The infusion of 20ml/kg of 4°C cold saline (CS) or 37°C warm saline (WS) into the ipsilateral internal carotid artery (ICA) was performed for 15min in intra- or post-tCHP. Neurological scores, infarct/edema volumes, and neuronal apoptosis and reactive gliosis were compared between the CS and WS groups and a non-infusion control group after 48h of reperfusion. Although brain temperatures were only reduced by 2-3°C for 15min, the CS group had significantly better neurological scores, smaller infarct/edema volumes, and less penumbral neuronal apoptosis and reactive gliosis than the control and WS groups. The post-tCHP CS group exhibited prominent neuroprotective effects, even though infarct volumes and neuronal apoptosis were reduced less than those in the intra-tCHP CS group. In conclusion, we demonstrated the neuroprotective effects of transarterial regional hypothermia in an ischemic model of pMCAO with tCHP. Even though MCAO is persistent, cold infusion via the ICA is neuroprotective for the penumbra, suggesting the wider therapeutic application of this therapy.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - U54 HL127365(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - 8P41GM103540(United States)

Reduction of Nuak1 Decreases Tau and Reverses Phenotypes in a Tauopathy Mouse Model.

  • Lasagna-Reeves CA
  • Neuron
  • 2016 Oct 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Many neurodegenerative proteinopathies share a common pathogenic mechanism: the abnormal accumulation of disease-related proteins. As growing evidence indicates that reducing the steady-state levels of disease-causing proteins mitigates neurodegeneration in animal models, we developed a strategy to screen for genes that decrease the levels of tau, whose accumulation contributes to the pathology of both Alzheimer disease (AD) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Integrating parallel cell-based and Drosophila genetic screens, we discovered that tau levels are regulated by Nuak1, an AMPK-related kinase. Nuak1 stabilizes tau by phosphorylation specifically at Ser356. Inhibition of Nuak1 in fruit flies suppressed neurodegeneration in tau-expressing Drosophila, and Nuak1 haploinsufficiency rescued the phenotypes of a tauopathy mouse model. These results demonstrate that decreasing total tau levels is a valid strategy for mitigating tau-related neurodegeneration and reveal Nuak1 to be a novel therapeutic entry point for tauopathies.

Myofiber-specific TEAD1 overexpression drives satellite cell hyperplasia and counters pathological effects of dystrophin deficiency.

  • Southard S
  • Elife
  • 2016 Oct 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

When unperturbed, somatic stem cells are poised to affect immediate tissue restoration upon trauma. Yet, little is known regarding the mechanistic basis controlling initial and homeostatic 'scaling' of stem cell pool sizes relative to their target tissues for effective regeneration. Here, we show that TEAD1-expressing skeletal muscle of transgenic mice features a dramatic hyperplasia of muscle stem cells (i.e. satellite cells, SCs) but surprisingly without affecting muscle tissue size. Super-numeral SCs attain a 'normal' quiescent state, accelerate regeneration, and maintain regenerative capacity over several injury-induced regeneration bouts. In dystrophic muscle, the TEAD1 transgene also ameliorated the pathology. We further demonstrate that hyperplastic SCs accumulate non-cell-autonomously via signal(s) from the TEAD1-expressing myofiber, suggesting that myofiber-specific TEAD1 overexpression activates a physiological signaling pathway(s) that determines initial and homeostatic SC pool size. We propose that TEAD1 and its downstream effectors are medically relevant targets for enhancing muscle regeneration and ameliorating muscle pathology.

Hippocampal neurogenesis enhancers promote forgetting of remote fear memory after hippocampal reactivation by retrieval.

  • Ishikawa R
  • Elife
  • 2016 Sep 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

Forgetting of recent fear memory is promoted by treatment with memantine (MEM), which increases hippocampal neurogenesis. The approaches for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) using rodent models have focused on the extinction and reconsolidation of recent, but not remote, memories. Here we show that, following prolonged re-exposure to the conditioning context, enhancers of hippocampal neurogenesis, including MEM, promote forgetting of remote contextual fear memory. However, these interventions are ineffective following shorter re-exposures. Importantly, we find that long, but not short re-exposures activate gene expression in the hippocampus and induce hippocampus-dependent reconsolidation of remote contextual fear memory. Furthermore, remote memory retrieval becomes hippocampus-dependent after the long-time recall, suggesting that remote fear memory returns to a hippocampus dependent state after the long-time recall, thereby allowing enhanced forgetting by increased hippocampal neurogenesis. Forgetting of traumatic memory may contribute to the development of PTSD treatment.

Proteomic Analysis of Unbounded Cellular Compartments: Synaptic Clefts.

  • Loh KH
  • Cell
  • 2016 Aug 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cellular compartments that cannot be biochemically isolated are challenging to characterize. Here we demonstrate the proteomic characterization of the synaptic clefts that exist at both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Normal brain function relies on the careful balance of these opposing neural connections, and understanding how this balance is achieved relies on knowledge of their protein compositions. Using a spatially restricted enzymatic tagging strategy, we mapped the proteomes of two of the most common excitatory and inhibitory synaptic clefts in living neurons. These proteomes reveal dozens of synaptic candidates and assign numerous known synaptic proteins to a specific cleft type. The molecular differentiation of each cleft allowed us to identify Mdga2 as a potential specificity factor influencing Neuroligin-2's recruitment of presynaptic neurotransmitters at inhibitory synapses.

Tim29 is a novel subunit of the human TIM22 translocase and is involved in complex assembly and stability.

  • Kang Y
  • Elife
  • 2016 Aug 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

The TIM22 complex mediates the import of hydrophobic carrier proteins into the mitochondrial inner membrane. While the TIM22 machinery has been well characterised in yeast, the human complex remains poorly characterised. Here, we identify Tim29 (C19orf52) as a novel, metazoan-specific subunit of the human TIM22 complex. The protein is integrated into the mitochondrial inner membrane with it's C-terminus exposed to the intermembrane space. Tim29 is required for the stability of the TIM22 complex and functions in the assembly of hTim22. Furthermore, Tim29 contacts the Translocase of the Outer Mitochondrial Membrane, TOM complex, enabling a mechanism for transport of hydrophobic carrier substrates across the aqueous intermembrane space. Identification of Tim29 highlights the significance of analysing mitochondrial import systems across phylogenetic boundaries, which can reveal novel components and mechanisms in higher organisms.

Synaptic circuitry of identified neurons in the antennal lobe of Drosophila melanogaster.

  • Rybak J
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Jun 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

In Drosophila melanogaster olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) establish synapses with projection neurons (PNs) and local interneurons within antennal lobe (AL) glomeruli. Substantial knowledge regarding this circuitry has been obtained by functional studies, whereas ultrastructural evidence of synaptic contacts is scarce. To fill this gap, we studied serial sections of three glomeruli using electron microscopy. Ectopic expression of a membrane-bound peroxidase allowed us to map synaptic sites along PN dendrites. Our data prove for the first time that each of the three major types of AL neurons is both pre- and postsynaptic to the other two types, as previously indicated by functional studies. PN dendrites carry a large proportion of output synapses, with approximately one output per every three input synapses. Detailed reconstructions of PN dendrites showed that these synapses are distributed unevenly, with input and output sites partially segregated along a proximal-distal gradient and the thinnest branches carrying solely input synapses. Moreover, our data indicate synapse clustering, as we found evidence of dendritic tiling of PN dendrites. PN output synapses exhibited T-shaped presynaptic densities, mostly arranged as tetrads. In contrast, output synapses from putative OSNs showed elongated presynaptic densities in which the T-bar platform was supported by several pedestals and contacted as many as 20 postsynaptic profiles. We also discovered synaptic contacts between the putative OSNs. The average synaptic density in the glomerular neuropil was about two synapses/µm(3) . These results are discussed with regard to current models of olfactory glomerular microcircuits across species.

Neomycin damage and regeneration of hair cells in both mechanoreceptor and electroreceptor lateral line organs of the larval Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii).

  • Fan C
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The lateral line found in some amphibians and fishes has two distinctive classes of sensory organs: mechanoreceptors (neuromasts) and electroreceptors (ampullary organs). Hair cells in neuromasts can be damaged by aminoglycoside antibiotics and they will regenerate rapidly afterward. Aminoglycoside sensitivity and the capacity for regeneration have not been investigated in ampullary organs. We treated Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii) larvae with neomycin and observed loss and regeneration of sensory hair cells in both organs by labeling with DASPEI and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The numbers of sensory hair cells in both organs were reduced to the lowest levels at 6 hours posttreatment (hpt). New sensory hair cells began to appear at 12 hpt and were regenerated completely in 7 days. To reveal the possible mechanism for ampullary hair cell regeneration, we analyzed cell proliferation and the expression of neural placodal gene eya1 during regeneration. Both cell proliferation and eya1 expression were concentrated in peripheral mantle cells and both increased to the highest level at 12 hpt, which is consistent with the time course for regeneration of the ampullary hair cells. Furthermore, we used Texas Red-conjugated gentamicin in an uptake assay following pretreatment with a cation channel blocker (amiloride) and found that entry of the antibiotic was suppressed in both organs. Together, our results indicate that ampullary hair cells in Siberian sturgeon larvae can be damaged by neomycin exposure and they can regenerate rapidly. We suggest that the mechanisms for aminoglycoside uptake and hair cell regeneration are conserved for mechanoreceptors and electroreceptors. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:1443-1456, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Isolation and Characterization of Fetal Leydig Progenitor Cells of Male Mice.

  • Inoue M
  • Endocrinology
  • 2016 Mar 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

Fetal and adult Leydig cells develop in mammalian prenatal and postnatal testes, respectively. In mice, fetal Leydig cells (FLCs) emerge in the interstitial space of the testis at embryonic day 12.5 and thereafter increase in number, possibly through differentiation from progenitor cells. However, the progenitor cells have not yet been identified. Previously, we established transgenic mice in which FLCs are labeled strongly with enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). Interestingly, fluorescence-activated cell sorting provided us with weakly EGFP-labeled cells as well as strongly EGFP-labeled FLCs. In vitro reconstruction of fetal testes demonstrated that weakly EGFP-labeled cells contain FLC progenitors. Transcriptome from the 2 cell populations revealed, as expected, marked differences in the expression of genes required for growth factor/receptor signaling and steroidogenesis. In addition, genes for energy metabolisms such as glycolytic pathways and the citrate cycle were activated in strongly EGFP-labeled cells, suggesting that metabolism is activated during FLC differentiation.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - MOP-111003(Canada)

Diversity of Reporter Expression Patterns in Transgenic Mouse Lines Targeting Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone-Expressing Neurons.

  • Chen Y
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Dec 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Transgenic mice, including lines targeting corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF or CRH), have been extensively employed to study stress neurobiology. These powerful tools are poised to revolutionize our understanding of the localization and connectivity of CRH-expressing neurons, and the crucial roles of CRH in normal and pathological conditions. Accurate interpretation of studies using cell type-specific transgenic mice vitally depends on congruence between expression of the endogenous peptide and reporter. If reporter expression does not faithfully reproduce native gene expression, then effects of manipulating unintentionally targeted cells may be misattributed. Here, we studied CRH and reporter expression patterns in 3 adult transgenic mice: Crh-IRES-Cre;Ai14 (tdTomato mouse), Crfp3.0CreGFP, and Crh-GFP BAC. We employed the CRH antiserum generated by Vale after validating its specificity using CRH-null mice. We focused the analyses on stress-salient regions, including hypothalamus, amygdala, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, and hippocampus. Expression patterns of endogenous CRH were consistent among wild-type and transgenic mice. In tdTomato mice, most CRH-expressing neurons coexpressed the reporter, yet the reporter identified a few non-CRH-expressing pyramidal-like cells in hippocampal CA1 and CA3. In Crfp3.0CreGFP mice, coexpression of CRH and the reporter was found in central amygdala and, less commonly, in other evaluated regions. In Crh-GFP BAC mice, the large majority of neurons expressed either CRH or reporter, with little overlap. These data highlight significant diversity in concordant expression of reporter and endogenous CRH among 3 available transgenic mice. These findings should be instrumental in interpreting important scientific findings emerging from the use of these potent neurobiological tools.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - NS041218(United States)

Morphology, innervation, and peripheral sensory cells of the siphon of aplysia californica.

  • Carrigan ID
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Nov 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The siphon of Aplysia californica has several functions, including involvement in respiration, excretion, and defensive inking. It also provides sensory input for defensive withdrawals that have been studied extensively to examine mechanisms that underlie learning. To better understand the neuronal bases of these functions, we used immunohistochemistry to catalogue peripheral cell types and innervation of the siphon in stage 12 juveniles (chosen to allow observation of tissues in whole-mounts). We found that the siphon nerve splits into three major branches, leading ultimately to a two-part FMRFamide-immunoreactive plexus and an apparently separate tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive plexus. Putative sensory neurons included four distinct types of tubulin-immunoreactive bipolar cells (one likely also tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive) that bore ciliated dendrites penetrating the epithelium. A fifth bipolar neuron type (tubulin- and FMRFamide-immunoreactive) occurred deeper in the tissue, associated with part of the FMRFamide-immunoreactive plexus. Our observations emphasize the structural complexity of the peripheral nervous system of the siphon, and the importance of direct tests of the various components to better understand the functioning of the entire organ, including its role in defensive withdrawal responses.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - T32 EY024234(United States)

Cerebellar Premotor Output Neurons Collateralize to Innervate the Cerebellar Cortex.

  • Houck BD
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Oct 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Motor commands computed by the cerebellum are hypothesized to use corollary discharge, or copies of outgoing commands, to accelerate motor corrections. Identifying sources of corollary discharge, therefore, is critical for testing this hypothesis. Here we verified that the pathway from the cerebellar nuclei to the cerebellar cortex in mice includes collaterals of cerebellar premotor output neurons, mapped this collateral pathway, and identified its postsynaptic targets. Following bidirectional tracer injections into a distal target of the cerebellar nuclei, the ventrolateral thalamus, we observed retrogradely labeled somata in the cerebellar nuclei and mossy fiber terminals in the cerebellar granule layer, consistent with collateral branching. Corroborating these observations, bidirectional tracer injections into the cerebellar cortex retrogradely labeled somata in the cerebellar nuclei and boutons in the ventrolateral thalamus. To test whether nuclear output neurons projecting to the red nucleus also collateralize to the cerebellar cortex, we used a Cre-dependent viral approach, avoiding potential confounds of direct red nucleus-to-cerebellum projections. Injections of a Cre-dependent GFP-expressing virus into Ntsr1-Cre mice, which express Cre selectively in the cerebellar nuclei, retrogradely labeled somata in the interposed nucleus, and putative collateral branches terminating as mossy fibers in the cerebellar cortex. Postsynaptic targets of all labeled mossy fiber terminals were identified using immunohistochemical Golgi cell markers and electron microscopic profiles of granule cells, indicating that the collaterals of nuclear output neurons contact both Golgi and granule cells. These results clarify the organization of a subset of nucleocortical projections that constitute an experimentally accessible corollary discharge pathway within the cerebellum.

Osteocalcin Effect on Human β-Cells Mass and Function.

  • Sabek OM
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Sep 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

The osteoblast-specific hormone osteocalcin (OC) was found to regulate glucose metabolism, fat mass, and β-cell proliferation in mice. Here, we investigate the effect of decarboxylated OC (D-OC) on human β-cell function and mass in culture and in vivo using a Nonobese diabetic-severe combined immunodeficiency mouse model. We found that D-OC at dose ranges from 1.0 to 15 ng/mL significantly augmented insulin content and enhanced human β-cell proliferation of cultured human islets. This was paralleled by increased expression of sulfonylurea receptor protein; a marker of β-cell differentiation and a component of the insulin-secretory apparatus. Moreover, in a Nonobese diabetic-severe combined immunodeficiency mouse model, systemic administration of D-OC at 4.5-ng/h significantly augmented production of human insulin and C-peptide from the grafted human islets. Finally, histological staining of the human islet grafts showed that the improvement in the β-cell function was attributable to an increase in β-cell mass as a result of β-cell proliferation indicated by MKI67 staining together with the increased β-cell number and decreased α-cell number data obtained using laser scanning cytometry. Our data for the first time show D-OC-enhanced β-cell function in human islets and support future exploitation of D-OC-mediated β-cell regulation for developing useful clinical treatments for patients with diabetes.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - NS025044(United States)
  • Wellcome Trust - WT088357/Z/09/Z(United Kingdom)

Estrogen Replacement Therapy in Ovariectomized Nonpregnant Ewes Stimulates Uterine Artery Hydrogen Sulfide Biosynthesis by Selectively Up-Regulating Cystathionine β-Synthase Expression.

  • Lechuga TJ
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Jun 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Estrogens dramatically dilate numerous vascular beds with the greatest response in the uterus. Endogenous hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a potent vasodilator and proangiogenic second messenger, which is synthesized from L-cysteine by cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) and cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE). We hypothesized that estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) selectively stimulates H2S biosynthesis in uterine artery (UA) and other systemic arteries. Intact and endothelium-denuded UA, mesenteric artery (MA), and carotid artery (CA) were obtained from ovariectomized nonpregnant ewes (n = 5/group) receiving vehicle or estradiol-17β replacement therapy (ERT). Total RNA and protein were extracted for measuring CBS and CSE, and H2S production was determined by the methylene blue assay. Paraffin-embedded UA rings were used to localize CBS and CSE proteins by immunofluorescence microscopy. ERT significantly stimulated CBS mRNA and protein without altering CSE mRNA or protein in intact and denuded UA. Quantitative immunofluorescence microscopic analyses showed CBS and CSE protein localization in endothelium and smooth muscle and confirmed that ERT stimulated CBS but not CSE protein expression in UA endothelium and smooth muscle. ERT also stimulated CBS, but not CSE, mRNA and protein expression in intact and denuded MA but not CA in ovariectomized ewes. Concomitantly, ERT stimulated UA and MA but not CA H2S production. ERT-stimulated UA H2S production was completely blocked by a specific CBS but not CSE inhibitor. Thus, ERT selectively stimulates UA and MA but not CA H2S biosynthesis by specifically up-regulating CBS expression, implicating a role of H2S in estrogen-induced vasodilation and postmenopausal women's health.

Funding information:
  • European Research Council - MC_UU_12022/6(International)

Digital in vivo 3D atlas of the antennal lobe of Drosophila melanogaster.

  • Grabe V
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Feb 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

As a model for primary olfactory perception, the antennal lobe (AL) of Drosophila melanogaster is among the most thoroughly investigated and well-understood neuronal structures. Most studies investigating the functional properties and neuronal wiring of the AL are conducted in vivo, although so far the AL morphology has been mainly analyzed in vitro. Identifying the morphological subunits of the AL-the olfactory glomeruli-is usually done using in vitro AL atlases. However, the dissection and fixation procedure causes not only strong volumetric but also geometrical modifications; the result is unpredictable dislocation and a distortion of the AL glomeruli between the in vitro and in vivo brains. Hence, to characterize these artifacts, which are caused by in vitro processing, and to reliably identify glomeruli for in vivo applications, we generated a transgenic fly that expresses the red fluorescent protein DsRed directly fused to the presynaptic protein n-synaptobrevin, under the control of the pan-neuronal promotor elav to label the neuropil in the live animal. Using this fly line, we generated a digital 3D atlas of the live Drosophila AL; this atlas, the first of its kind, provides an excellent geometric match for in vivo studies. We verified the identity of 63% of AL glomeruli by mapping the projections of 34 GAL4-lines of individual chemosensory receptor genes. Moreover, we characterized the innervation patterns of the two most frequently used GAL4-lines in olfactory research: Orco- and GH146-GAL4. The new in vivo AL atlas will be accessible online to the neuroscience community.