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Monoclonal Anti-beta-Actin antibody produced in mouse

RRID:AB_476697

Antibody ID

AB_476697

Target Antigen

beta-Actin antibody produced in mouse guinea pig, feline, bovine, rabbit, sheep, canine, mouse, rat, zebrafish/fish, c elegans/worm, human, porcine, canine, guinea pig, rabbit, bovine, chicken, rat, sheep, wide range, carp, drosophila, hirudo medicinalis, cat, human, mouse, pig

Proper Citation

(Sigma-Aldrich Cat# A2228, RRID:AB_476697)

Clonality

monoclonal antibody

Comments

Vendor recommendations: IgG2a microarray: suitable, immunoblotting: 0.5-1 mug/mL

Vendor

Sigma-Aldrich

Cat Num

A2228

Publications that use this research resource

Heterogeneity of Cell Surface Glutamate and GABA Receptor Expression in Shank and CNTN4 Autism Mouse Models.

  • Heise C
  • Front Mol Neurosci
  • 2018 Jul 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a large set of neurodevelopmental disorders, which have in common both repetitive behavior and abnormalities in social interactions and communication. Interestingly, most forms of ASD have a strong genetic contribution. However, the molecular underpinnings of this disorder remain elusive. The SHANK3 gene (and to a lesser degree SHANK2) which encode for the postsynaptic density (PSD) proteins SHANK3/SHANK2 and the CONTACTIN 4 gene which encodes for the neuronal glycoprotein CONTACTIN4 (CNTN4) exhibit mutated variants which are associated with ASD. Like many of the other genes associated with ASD, both SHANKs and CNTN4 affect synapse formation and function and are therefore related to the proper development and signaling capability of excitatory and inhibitory neuronal networks in the adult mammal brain. In this study, we used mutant/knock-out mice of Shank2 (Shank2-/-), Shank3 (Shank3αβ-/-), and Cntn4 (Cntn4-/-) as ASD-models to explore whether these mice share a molecular signature in glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic transmission in ASD-related brain regions. Using a biotinylation assay and subsequent western blotting we focused our analysis on cell surface expression of several ionotropic glutamate and GABA receptor subunits: GluA1, GluA2, and GluN1 were analyzed for excitatory synaptic transmission, and the α1 subunit of the GABAA receptor was analyzed for inhibitory synaptic transmission. We found that both Shank2-/- and Shank3αβ-/- mice exhibit reduced levels of several cell surface glutamate receptors in the analyzed brain regions-especially in the striatum and thalamus-when compared to wildtype controls. Interestingly, even though Cntn4-/- mice also show reduced levels of some cell surface glutamate receptors in the cortex and hippocampus, increased levels of cell surface glutamate receptors were found in the striatum. Moreover, Cntn4-/- mice do not only show brain region-specific alterations in cell surface glutamate receptors but also a downregulation of cell surface GABA receptors in several of the analyzed brain regions. The results of this study suggest that even though mutations in defined genes can be associated with ASD this does not necessarily result in a common molecular phenotype in surface expression of glutamatergic and GABAergic receptor subunits in defined brain regions.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - AG010770-18A1(United States)

Involvement of aquaporin-4 in laminin-enhanced process formation of mouse astrocytes in 2D culture: Roles of dystroglycan and α-syntrophin in aquaporin-4 expression.

  • Sato J
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2018 Jul 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

In the central nervous system, astrocytes extend endfoot processes to ensheath synapses and microvessels. However, the mechanisms underlying this astrocytic process extension remain unclear. A limitation of the use of 2D cultured astrocytes for such studies is that they display a flat, epithelioid morphology, with no or very few processes, which is markedly different from the stellate morphology observed in vivo. In the present study, we obtained 2D cultured astrocytes with a rich complexity of processes using differentiation of neurospheres in vitro. Using these process-bearing astrocytes, we showed that laminin, an extracellular matrix molecule abundant in perivascular sites, efficiently induced process formation and branching. Specifically, the numbers of the first- and second-order branch processes and the maximal process length of astrocytes were increased when cultured on laminin, compared with when they were cultured on poly-L-ornithine or type IV collagen. Knockdown of dystroglycan or α-syntrophin, constituent proteins of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex that provides a link between laminin and the cytoskeleton, using small interference RNAs inhibited astrocyte process formation and branching, and downregulated expression of the water channel aquaporin-4 (AQP4). Direct knockdown and a specific inhibitor of AQP4 also inhibited, whereas overexpression of AQP4 enhanced astrocyte process formation and branching. Knockdown of AQP4 decreased phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) that is critically implicated in actin remodeling. Collectively, these results indicate that the laminin-dystroglycan-α-syntrophin-AQP4 axis is important for process formation and branching of 2D cultured astrocytes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL095799(United States)

Dissecting the role of the CRMP2-neurofibromin complex on pain behaviors.

  • Moutal A
  • Pain
  • 2018 Jun 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a genetic disorder linked to inactivating mutations or a homozygous deletion of the Nf1 gene, is characterized by tumorigenesis, cognitive dysfunction, seizures, migraine, and pain. Omic studies on human NF1 tissues identified an increase in the expression of collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2), a cytosolic protein reported to regulate the trafficking and activity of presynaptic N-type voltage-gated calcium (Cav2.2) channels. Because neurofibromin, the protein product of the Nf1 gene, binds to and inhibits CRMP2, the neurofibromin-CRMP2 signaling cascade will likely affect Ca channel activity and regulate nociceptive neurotransmission and in vivo responses to noxious stimulation. Here, we investigated the function of neurofibromin-CRMP2 interaction on Cav2.2. Mapping of >275 peptides between neurofibromin and CRMP2 identified a 15-amino acid CRMP2-derived peptide that, when fused to the tat transduction domain of HIV-1, inhibited Ca influx in dorsal root ganglion neurons. This peptide mimics the negative regulation of CRMP2 activity by neurofibromin. Neurons treated with tat-CRMP2/neurofibromin regulating peptide 1 (t-CNRP1) exhibited a decreased Cav2.2 membrane localization, and uncoupling of neurofibromin-CRMP2 and CRMP2-Cav2.2 interactions. Proteomic analysis of a nanodisc-solubilized membrane protein library identified syntaxin 1A as a novel CRMP2-binding protein whose interaction with CRMP2 was strengthened in neurofibromin-depleted cells and reduced by t-CNRP1. Stimulus-evoked release of calcitonin gene-related peptide from lumbar spinal cord slices was inhibited by t-CNRP1. Intrathecal administration of t-CNRP1 was antinociceptive in experimental models of inflammatory, postsurgical, and neuropathic pain. Our results demonstrate the utility of t-CNRP1 to inhibit CRMP2 protein-protein interactions for the potential treatment of pain.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - 1R01 HD042201(United States)

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

  • Sampattavanich S
  • Cell Syst
  • 2018 Jun 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

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

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

TLQP Peptides in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Possible Blood Biomarkers with a Neuroprotective Role.

  • Brancia C
  • Neuroscience
  • 2018 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

While the VGF-derived TLQP peptides have been shown to prevent neuronal apoptosis, and to act on synaptic strengthening, their involvement in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) remains unclarified. We studied human ALS patients' plasma (taken at early to late disease stages) and primary fibroblast cultures (patients vs controls), in parallel with SOD1-G93A transgenic mice (taken at pre-, early- and late symptomatic stages) and the mouse motor neuron cell line (NSC-34) treated with Sodium Arsenite (SA) to induce oxidative stress. TLQP peptides were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, in parallel with gel chromatography characterization, while their localization was studied by immunohistochemistry. In controls, TLQP peptides, including forms compatible with TLQP-21 and 62, were revealed in plasma and spinal cord motor neurons, as well as in fibroblasts and NSC-34 cells. TLQP peptides were reduced in ALS patients' plasma starting in the early disease stage (14% of controls) and remaining so at the late stage (16% of controls). In mice, a comparable pattern of reduction was shown (vs wild type), in both plasma and spinal cord already in the pre-symptomatic phase (about 26% and 70%, respectively). Similarly, the levels of TLQP peptides were reduced in ALS fibroblasts (31% of controls) and in the NSC-34 treated with Sodium Arsenite (53% of decrease), however, the exogeneous TLQP-21 improved cell viability (SA-treated cells with TLQP-21, vs SA-treated cells only: about 83% vs. 75%). Hence, TLQP peptides, reduced upon oxidative stress, are suggested as blood biomarkers, while TLQP-21 exerts a neuroprotective activity.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA094160(United States)

Heterochromatin-Encoded Satellite RNAs Induce Breast Cancer.

  • Zhu Q
  • Mol. Cell
  • 2018 Jun 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

Heterochromatic repetitive satellite RNAs are extensively transcribed in a variety of human cancers, including BRCA1 mutant breast cancer. Aberrant expression of satellite RNAs in cultured cells induces the DNA damage response, activates cell cycle checkpoints, and causes defects in chromosome segregation. However, the mechanism by which satellite RNA expression leads to genomic instability is not well understood. Here we provide evidence that increased levels of satellite RNAs in mammary glands induce tumor formation in mice. Using mass spectrometry, we further show that genomic instability induced by satellite RNAs occurs through interactions with BRCA1-associated protein networks required for the stabilization of DNA replication forks. Additionally, de-stabilized replication forks likely promote the formation of RNA-DNA hybrids in cells expressing satellite RNAs. These studies lay the foundation for developing novel therapeutic strategies that block the effects of non-coding satellite RNAs in cancer cells.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA080100()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI015066(United States)

A Modular Organization of LRR Protein-Mediated Synaptic Adhesion Defines Synapse Identity.

  • Schroeder A
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Jun 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

Pyramidal neurons express rich repertoires of leucine-rich repeat (LRR)-containing adhesion molecules with similar synaptogenic activity in culture. The in vivo relevance of this molecular diversity is unclear. We show that hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons express multiple synaptogenic LRR proteins that differentially distribute to the major excitatory inputs on their apical dendrites. At Schaffer collateral (SC) inputs, FLRT2, LRRTM1, and Slitrk1 are postsynaptically localized and differentially regulate synaptic structure and function. FLRT2 controls spine density, whereas LRRTM1 and Slitrk1 exert opposing effects on synaptic vesicle distribution at the active zone. All LRR proteins differentially affect synaptic transmission, and their combinatorial loss results in a cumulative phenotype. At temporoammonic (TA) inputs, LRRTM1 is absent; FLRT2 similarly controls functional synapse number, whereas Slitrk1 function diverges to regulate postsynaptic AMPA receptor density. Thus, LRR proteins differentially control synaptic architecture and function and act in input-specific combinations and a context-dependent manner to specify synaptic properties.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - DK72473(United States)

The Microglial Innate Immune Receptor TREM2 Is Required for Synapse Elimination and Normal Brain Connectivity.

  • Filipello F
  • Immunity
  • 2018 May 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) is a microglial innate immune receptor associated with a lethal form of early, progressive dementia, Nasu-Hakola disease, and with an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. Microglial defects in phagocytosis of toxic aggregates or apoptotic membranes were proposed to be at the origin of the pathological processes in the presence of Trem2 inactivating mutations. Here, we show that TREM2 is essential for microglia-mediated synaptic refinement during the early stages of brain development. The absence of Trem2 resulted in impaired synapse elimination, accompanied by enhanced excitatory neurotransmission and reduced long-range functional connectivity. Trem2-/- mice displayed repetitive behavior and altered sociability. TREM2 protein levels were also negatively correlated with the severity of symptoms in humans affected by autism. These data unveil the role of TREM2 in neuronal circuit sculpting and provide the evidence for the receptor's involvement in neurodevelopmental diseases.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - CA156700(United States)

The Orphan G Protein-coupled Receptor 75 Signaling is Activated by the Chemokine CCL5.

  • Dedoni S
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2018 May 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

The chemokine CCL5 prevents neuronal cell death mediated both by amyloid β, as well as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) viral proteins gp120 and Tat. Because CCL5 binds to CCR5, CCR3 and/or CCR1 receptors, it is unclear which of these receptors plays a role in neuroprotection. Indeed, CCL5 also has neuroprotective activity in cells lacking these receptors. CCL5 may bind to a G protein-coupled receptor 75 (GPR75), which encodes for a 540 amino-acid orphan receptor of the Gqα family. In this study, we have used SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells to characterize whether CCL5 could activate a Gq signaling through GPR75. Both qPCR and flow cytometry show that these cells express GPR75 but do not express CCR5, CCR3 or CCR1 receptors. SY-SY5Y cells were then used to examine CCL5-mediated signaling. We report that CCL5 promotes a time- and concentration-dependent phosphorylation of protein kinase B (AKT), glycogen synthase kinase 3β and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2. Specific antagonists of CCR5, CCR3 and CCR1 did not prevent CCL5 from increasing phosphorylated AKT or ERK. Moreover, CCL5 promotes a time-dependent internalization of GPR75. Lastly, knocking down GPR75 expression by a CRISPR-Cas9 approach inhibited the ability of CCL5 to activate pERK in SH-SY5Y cells. Therefore, we propose that GPR75 is a novel receptor for CCL5 that could explain some of the pharmacological action of this chemokine. These findings may help in the development of small molecule GPR75 agonists that mimic CCL5. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R15GM055885(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R21 NS089446()

Combined Human Genome-wide RNAi and Metabolite Analyses Identify IMPDH as a Host-Directed Target against Chlamydia Infection.

  • Rother M
  • Cell Host Microbe
  • 2018 May 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

Chlamydia trachomatis (Ctr) accounts for >130 million human infections annually. Since chronic Ctr infections are extremely difficult to treat, there is an urgent need for more effective therapeutics. As an obligate intracellular bacterium, Ctr strictly depends on the functional contribution of the host cell. Here, we combined a human genome-wide RNA interference screen with metabolic profiling to obtain detailed understanding of changes in the infected cell and identify druggable pathways essential for Ctr growth. We demonstrate that Ctr shifts the host metabolism toward aerobic glycolysis, consistent with increased biomass requirement. We identify key regulator complexes of glucose and nucleotide metabolism that govern Ctr infection processes. Pharmacological targeting of inosine-5'-monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH), the rate-limiting enzyme in guanine nucleotide biosynthesis, efficiently inhibits Ctr growth both in vitro and in vivo. These results highlight the potency of genome-scale functional screening for the discovery of drug targets against bacterial infections.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - 094879(United Kingdom)

SRPKIN-1: A Covalent SRPK1/2 Inhibitor that Potently Converts VEGF from Pro-angiogenic to Anti-angiogenic Isoform.

  • Hatcher JM
  • Cell Chem Biol
  • 2018 Apr 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

The SRPK family of kinases regulates pre-mRNA splicing by phosphorylating serine/arginine (SR)-rich splicing factors, signals splicing control in response to extracellular stimuli, and contributes to tumorigenesis, suggesting that these splicing kinases are potential therapeutic targets. Here, we report the development of the first irreversible SRPK inhibitor, SRPKIN-1, which is also the first kinase inhibitor that forms a covalent bond with a tyrosine phenol group in the ATP-binding pocket. Kinome-wide profiling demonstrates its selectivity for SRPK1/2, and SRPKIN-1 attenuates SR protein phosphorylation at submicromolar concentrations. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a known target for SRPK-regulated splicing and, relative to the first-generation SRPK inhibitor SRPIN340 or small interfering RNA-mediated SRPK knockdown, SRPKIN-1 is more potent in converting the pro-angiogenic VEGF-A165a to the anti-angiogenic VEGF-A165b isoform and in blocking laser-induced neovascularization in a murine retinal model. These findings encourage further development of SRPK inhibitors for treatment of age-related macular degeneration.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01-GM043778(United States)

TREM2 Is a Receptor for β-Amyloid that Mediates Microglial Function.

  • Zhao Y
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Mar 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mutations in triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) have been linked to increased Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk. Neurobiological functions of TREM2 and its pathophysiological ligands remain elusive. Here we found that TREM2 directly binds to β-amyloid (Aβ) oligomers with nanomolar affinity, whereas AD-associated TREM2 mutations reduce Aβ binding. TREM2 deficiency impairs Aβ degradation in primary microglial culture and mouse brain. Aβ-induced microglial depolarization, K+ inward current induction, cytokine expression and secretion, migration, proliferation, apoptosis, and morphological changes are dependent on TREM2. In addition, TREM2 interaction with its signaling adaptor DAP12 is enhanced by Aβ, regulating downstream phosphorylation of SYK and GSK3β. Our data demonstrate TREM2 as a microglial Aβ receptor transducing physiological and AD-related pathological effects associated with Aβ.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - 1R01EY019101(United States)
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG021173()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG038710()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG044420()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R21 AG048519()
  • NIA NIH HHS - RF1 AG056114()
  • NIA NIH HHS - RF1 AG056130()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS046673()

Tumor-Repopulating Cells Induce PD-1 Expression in CD8+ T Cells by Transferring Kynurenine and AhR Activation.

  • Liu Y
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2018 Mar 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

Despite the clinical successes fostered by immune checkpoint inhibitors, mechanisms underlying PD-1 upregulation in tumor-infiltrating T cells remain an enigma. Here, we show that tumor-repopulating cells (TRCs) drive PD-1 upregulation in CD8+ T cells through a transcellular kynurenine (Kyn)-aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) pathway. Interferon-γ produced by CD8+ T cells stimulates release of high levels of Kyn produced by TRCs, which is transferred into adjacent CD8+ T cells via the transporters SLC7A8 and PAT4. Kyn induces and activates AhR and thereby upregulates PD-1 expression. This Kyn-AhR pathway is confirmed in both tumor-bearing mice and cancer patients and its blockade enhances antitumor adoptive T cell therapy efficacy. Thus, we uncovered a mechanism of PD-1 upregulation with potential tumor immunotherapeutic applications.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - F32 DK076443(United States)

Exposure to far-infrared ray attenuates methamphetamine-induced impairment in recognition memory through inhibition of protein kinase C δ in male mice: Comparison with the antipsychotic clozapine.

  • Mai HN
  • J. Neurosci. Res.
  • 2018 Feb 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

We have previously demonstrated that repeated treatment with methamphetamine (MA) results in a recognition memory impairment via upregulation of protein kinase C (PKC) δ and downregulation of the glutathione peroxidase-1 (GPx-1)-dependent antioxidant system. We also demonstrated that far-infrared ray (FIR) attenuates acute restraint stress via induction of the GPx-1 gene. Herein, we investigated whether exposure to FIR modulates MA-induced recognition memory impairment in male mice, and whether cognitive potentials mediated by FIR require modulation of the PKCδ gene, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2, and glutathione-dependent system. Repeated treatment with MA significantly increased PKCδ expression and its phosphorylation out of PKC isoenzymes (i.e., PKCα, PKCβI, PKCβII, PKCζ, and PKCδ expression) in the prefrontal cortex of mice. Exposure to FIR significantly attenuated MA-induced increase in phospho-PKCδ and decrease in phospho-ERK 1/2. In addition, FIR further facilitated the nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)-dependent glutathione synthetic system. Moreover, L-buthionine-(S, R)-sulfoximine, an inhibitor of glutathione synthesis, counteracted the FIR-mediated phospho-ERK 1/2 induction and memory-enhancing activity against MA insult. More important, positive effects of FIR are comparable to those of genetic depletion of PKCδ or the antipsychotic clozapine. Our results indicate that FIR protects against MA-induced memory impairment via activations of the Nrf2-dependent glutathione synthetic system, and ERK 1/2 signaling by inhibition of the PKCδ gene.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32-GM007288(United States)

The Augmented R-Loop Is a Unifying Mechanism for Myelodysplastic Syndromes Induced by High-Risk Splicing Factor Mutations.

  • Chen L
  • Mol. Cell
  • 2018 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mutations in several general pre-mRNA splicing factors have been linked to myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs) and solid tumors. These mutations have generally been assumed to cause disease by the resultant splicing defects, but different mutations appear to induce distinct splicing defects, raising the possibility that an alternative common mechanism is involved. Here we report a chain of events triggered by multiple splicing factor mutations, especially high-risk alleles in SRSF2 and U2AF1, including elevated R-loops, replication stress, and activation of the ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related protein (ATR)-Chk1 pathway. We further demonstrate that enhanced R-loops, opposite to the expectation from gained RNA binding with mutant SRSF2, result from impaired transcription pause release because the mutant protein loses its ability to extract the RNA polymerase II (Pol II) C-terminal domain (CTD) kinase-the positive transcription elongation factor complex (P-TEFb)-from the 7SK complex. Enhanced R-loops are linked to compromised proliferation of bone-marrow-derived blood progenitors, which can be partially rescued by RNase H overexpression, suggesting a direct contribution of augmented R-loops to the MDS phenotype.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM65115(United States)

The PLAG1-GDH1 Axis Promotes Anoikis Resistance and Tumor Metastasis through CamKK2-AMPK Signaling in LKB1-Deficient Lung Cancer.

  • Jin L
  • Mol. Cell
  • 2018 Jan 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Loss of LKB1 is associated with increased metastasis and poor prognosis in lung cancer, but the development of targeted agents is in its infancy. Here we report that a glutaminolytic enzyme, glutamate dehydrogenase 1 (GDH1), upregulated upon detachment via pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 (PLAG1), provides anti-anoikis and pro-metastatic signals in LKB1-deficient lung cancer. Mechanistically, the GDH1 product α-KG activates CamKK2 by enhancing its substrate AMPK binding, which contributes to energy production that confers anoikis resistance. The effect of GDH1 on AMPK is evident in LKB1-deficient lung cancer, where AMPK activation predominantly depends on CamKK2. Targeting GDH1 with R162 attenuated tumor metastasis in patient-derived xenograft model and correlation studies in lung cancer patients further validated the clinical relevance of our finding. Our study provides insight into the molecular mechanism by which GDH1-mediated metabolic reprogramming of glutaminolysis mediates lung cancer metastasis and offers a therapeutic strategy for patients with LKB1-deficient lung cancer.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA175316()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA188652()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA207768()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - U54 AI057168(United States)

Male Brown Fat-Specific Double Knockout of IGFIR/IR: Atrophy, Mitochondrial Fission Failure, Impaired Thermogenesis, and Obesity.

  • Viana-Huete V
  • Endocrinology
  • 2018 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

It is unknown how the lack of insulin receptor (IR)/insulinlike growth factor I receptor (IGFIR) in a tissue-specific manner affects brown fat development and mitochondrial integrity and function, as well as its effect on the redistribution of the adipose organ and the metabolic status. To address this important issue, we developed IR/IGFIR double-knockout (DKO) in a brown adipose tissue-specific manner. Lack of those receptors caused severe brown fat atrophy, enhanced beige cell clusters in inguinal fat; loss of mitochondrial mass; mitochondrial damage related to cristae disruption; and the loss of proteins involved in autophagosome formation, mitophagy, mitochondrial quality control, and dynamics and thermogenesis. More important, DKO mice showed an impaired thermogenesis upon cold exposure, based on a failure in the mitochondrial fission mechanisms and a much lower uncoupling protein 1 transcription rate and content. As a result, DKO mice under normal conditions showed an obesity susceptibility, revealed by increased body fat mass and insulin resistance. Upon consumption of a high-fat diet, DKO mice displayed frank obesity, as shown by increased body weight, increased adiposity, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, and hypertriglyceridemia, all consistent with a metabolic syndrome. Collectively, our data suggest a cause-and-effect relationship between failure in brown fat thermogenesis and increased adiposity and obesity.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P30 DK036836()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK031036()

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

  • Gwinn DM
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2018 Jan 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

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

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

USP7-Specific Inhibitors Target and Modify the Enzyme's Active Site via Distinct Chemical Mechanisms.

  • Pozhidaeva A
  • Cell Chem Biol
  • 2017 Dec 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

USP7 is a deubiquitinating enzyme that plays a pivotal role in multiple oncogenic pathways and therefore is a desirable target for new anti-cancer therapies. However, the lack of structural information about the USP7-inhibitor interactions has been a critical gap in the development of potent inhibitors. USP7 is unique among USPs in that its active site is catalytically incompetent, and is postulated to rearrange into a productive conformation only upon binding to ubiquitin. Surprisingly, we found that ubiquitin alone does not induce an active conformation in solution. Using a combination of nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry, computational modeling, and cell-based assays, we found that DUB inhibitors P22077 and P50429 covalently modify the catalytic cysteine of USP7 and induce a conformational switch in the enzyme associated with active site rearrangement. This work represents the first experimental insights into USP7 activation and inhibition and provides a structural basis for rational development of potent anti-cancer therapeutics.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - F30 HL095280(United States)

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

  • Pan R
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2017 Dec 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

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

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

ApoE4 Accelerates Early Seeding of Amyloid Pathology.

  • Liu CC
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Dec 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Accumulation and aggregation of amyloid-β (Aβ) in the brain is an initiating step in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The ε4 allele of apolipoprotein E (apoE) gene is the strongest genetic risk factor for late-onset AD. Although there is strong evidence showing that apoE4 enhances amyloid pathology, it is not clear what the critical stage(s) is during amyloid development in which apoE4 has the strongest impact. Using apoE inducible mouse models, we show that increased expression of astrocytic apoE4, but not apoE3, during the seeding stage of amyloid development enhanced amyloid deposition and neuritic dystrophy in amyloid model mice. ApoE4, but not apoE3, significantly increased brain Aβ half-life measured by in vivo microdialysis. Furthermore, apoE4 expression increased whereas apoE3 reduced amyloid-related gliosis in the mouse brains. Together, our results demonstrate that apoE4 has the greatest impact on amyloid during the seeding stage, likely by perturbing Aβ clearance and enhancing Aβ aggregation.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA087546(United States)
  • NIA NIH HHS - P50 AG016574()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG027924()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG046205()
  • NIA NIH HHS - RF1 AG051504()
  • NIA NIH HHS - RF1 AG056130()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P01 NS074969()

Shank Proteins Differentially Regulate Synaptic Transmission.

  • Shi R
  • eNeuro
  • 2017 Dec 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Shank proteins, one of the principal scaffolds in the postsynaptic density (PSD) of the glutamatergic synapses, have been associated with autism spectrum disorders and neuropsychiatric diseases. However, it is not known whether different Shank family proteins have distinct functions in regulating synaptic transmission, and how they differ from other scaffold proteins in this aspect. Here, we investigate the role of Shanks in regulating glutamatergic synaptic transmission at rat hippocampal SC-CA1 synapses, using lentivirus-mediated knockdown and molecular replacement combined with dual whole-cell patch clamp in hippocampal slice culture. In line with previous findings regarding PSD-MAGUK scaffold manipulation, we found that loss of scaffold proteins via knockdown of Shank1 or Shank2, but not Shank3, led to a reduction of the number but not the unitary response of AMPAR-containing synapses. Only when both Shank1 and Shank2 were knocked down, were both the number and the unitary response of active synapses reduced. This reduction was accompanied by a decrease in NMDAR-mediated synaptic response, indicating more profound deficits in synaptic transmission. Molecular replacement with Shank2 and Shank3c rescued the synaptic transmission to the basal level, and the intact sterile α-motif (SAM) of Shank proteins is required for maintaining glutamatergic synaptic transmission. We also found that altered neural activity did not influence the effect of Shank1 or Shank2 knockdown on AMPAR synaptic transmission, in direct contrast to the activity dependence of the effect of PSD-95 knockdown, revealing differential interaction between activity-dependent signaling and scaffold protein families in regulating synaptic AMPAR function.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA008748(United States)

A role for autophagy in long-term spatial memory formation in male rodents.

  • Hylin MJ
  • J. Neurosci. Res.
  • 2017 Dec 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

A hallmark of long-term memory formation is the requirement for protein synthesis. Administration of protein synthesis inhibitors impairs long-term memory formation without influencing short-term memory. Rapamycin is a specific inhibitor of target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1) that has been shown to block protein synthesis and impair long-term memory. In addition to regulating protein synthesis, TORC1 also phosphorylates Unc-51-like autophagy activating kinase-1 (Ulk-1) to suppress autophagy. As autophagy can be activated by rapamycin (and rapamycin inhibits long-term memory), our aim was to test the hypothesis that autophagy inhibitors would enhance long-term memory. To examine if learning alters autophagosome number, we used male reporter mice carrying the GFP-LC3 transgene. Using these mice, we observed that training in the Morris water maze task increases the number of autophagosomes, a finding contrary to our expectations. For learning and memory studies, male Long Evans rats were used due to their relatively larger size (compared to mice), making it easier to perform intrahippocampal infusions in awake, moving animals. When the autophagy inhibitors 3-methyladenine (3-MA) or Spautin-1 were administered bilaterally into the hippocampii prior to training in the Morris water maze task, the drugs did not alter learning. In contrast, when memory was tested 24 hours later by a probe trial, significant impairments were observed. In addition, intrahippocampal infusion of an autophagy activator peptide (TAT-Beclin-1) improved long-term memory. These results indicate that autophagy is not necessary for learning, but is required for long-term memory formation.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - NF-SI-0611-10163(United Kingdom)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS087149()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS090935()

Simultaneous use of erythropoietin and LFM-A13 as a new therapeutic approach for colorectal cancer.

  • Tankiewicz-Kwedlo A
  • Br. J. Pharmacol.
  • 2017 Nov 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk) is a non-receptor tyrosine kinase involved in the activation of signalling pathways responsible for cell maturation and viability. Btk has previously been reported to be overexpressed in colon cancers. This kind of cancer is often accompanied by anaemia, which is treated with an erythropoietin supplement. The goal of the present study was to assess the effects of combination therapy with erythropoietin β (Epo) and LFM-A13 (Btk inhibitor) on colon cancer in in vitro and in vivo models. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: DLD-1 and HT-29 human colon adenocarcinoma cells were cultured with Epo and LFM-A13. Cell number and viability, and mRNA and protein levels of Epo receptors, Btk and Akt were assessed. Nude mice were inoculated with adenocarcinoma cells and treated with Epo and LFM-A13. KEY RESULTS: The combination of Epo and LFM-A13 mostly exerted a synergistic inhibitory effect on colon cancer cell growth. The therapeutic scheme used effectively killed the cancer cells and attenuated the Btk signalling pathways. Epo + LFM-A13 also prevented the normal process of microtubule assembly during mitosis by down-regulating the expression of Polo-like kinase 1. The combination of Epo and LFM-A13 significantly reduced the growth rate of tumour cells, while it showed high safety profile, inducing no nephrotoxicity, hepatotoxicity or changes in the haematological parameters. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS: Epo significantly enhances the antitumour activity of LFM-A13, indicating that a combination of Epo and LFM-A13 has potential as an effective therapeutic approach for patients with colorectal cancer.

ESRP1 Mutations Cause Hearing Loss due to Defects in Alternative Splicing that Disrupt Cochlear Development.

  • Rohacek AM
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2017 Nov 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Alternative splicing contributes to gene expression dynamics in many tissues, yet its role in auditory development remains unclear. We performed whole-exome sequencing in individuals with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) and identified pathogenic mutations in Epithelial Splicing-Regulatory Protein 1 (ESRP1). Patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells showed alternative splicing defects that were restored upon repair of an ESRP1 mutant allele. To determine how ESRP1 mutations cause hearing loss, we evaluated Esrp1-/- mouse embryos and uncovered alterations in cochlear morphogenesis, auditory hair cell differentiation, and cell fate specification. Transcriptome analysis revealed impaired expression and splicing of genes with essential roles in cochlea development and auditory function. Aberrant splicing of Fgfr2 blocked stria vascularis formation due to erroneous ligand usage, which was corrected by reducing Fgf9 gene dosage. These findings implicate mutations in ESRP1 as a cause of SNHL and demonstrate the complex interplay between alternative splicing, inner ear development, and auditory function.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - U01 HG006546()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG046544()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - F31 DC014647()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC006254()
  • NIDCR NIH HHS - R01 DE024749()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM008216()

Thiamine deficiency activates hypoxia inducible factor-1α to facilitate pro-apoptotic responses in mouse primary astrocytes.

  • Zera K
  • PLoS ONE
  • 2017 Oct 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

Thiamine is an essential enzyme cofactor required for proper metabolic function and maintenance of metabolism and energy production in the brain. In developed countries, thiamine deficiency (TD) is most often manifested following chronic alcohol consumption leading to impaired mitochondrial function, oxidative stress, inflammation and excitotoxicity. These biochemical lesions result in apoptotic cell death in both neurons and astrocytes. Comparable histological injuries in patients with hypoxia/ischemia and TD have been described in the thalamus and mammillary bodies, suggesting a congruency between the cellular responses to these stresses. Consistent with hypoxia/ischemia, TD stabilizes and activates Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1α (HIF-1α) under physiological oxygen levels. However, the role of TD-induced HIF-1α in neurological injury is currently unknown. Using Western blot analysis and RT-PCR, we have demonstrated that TD induces HIF-1α expression and activity in primary mouse astrocytes. We observed a time-dependent increase in mRNA and protein expression of the pro-apoptotic and pro-inflammatory HIF-1α target genes MCP1, BNIP3, Nix and Noxa during TD. We also observed apoptotic cell death in TD as demonstrated by PI/Annexin V staining, TUNEL assay, and Cell Death ELISA. Pharmacological inhibition of HIF-1α activity using YC1 and thiamine repletion both reduced expression of pro-apoptotic HIF-1α target genes and apoptotic cell death in TD. These results demonstrate that induction of HIF-1α mediated transcriptional up-regulation of pro-apoptotic/inflammatory signaling contributes to astrocyte cell death during thiamine deficiency.

RAN Translation Regulated by Muscleblind Proteins in Myotonic Dystrophy Type 2.

  • Zu T
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Sep 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

Several microsatellite-expansion diseases are characterized by the accumulation of RNA foci and RAN proteins, raising the possibility of a mechanistic connection. We explored this question using myotonic dystrophy type 2, a multisystemic disease thought to be primarily caused by RNA gain-of-function effects. We demonstrate that the DM2 CCTG⋅CAGG expansion expresses sense and antisense tetrapeptide poly-(LPAC) and poly-(QAGR) RAN proteins, respectively. In DM2 autopsy brains, LPAC is found in neurons, astrocytes, and glia in gray matter, and antisense QAGR proteins accumulate within white matter. LPAC and QAGR proteins are toxic to cells independent of RNA gain of function. RNA foci and nuclear sequestration of CCUG transcripts by MBNL1 is inversely correlated with LPAC expression. These data suggest a model that involves nuclear retention of expansion RNAs by RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and an acute phase in which expansion RNAs exceed RBP sequestration capacity, are exported to the cytoplasm, and undergo RAN translation. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Prosapip1-Dependent Synaptic Adaptations in the Nucleus Accumbens Drive Alcohol Intake, Seeking, and Reward.

  • Laguesse S
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Sep 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), a transducer of local dendritic translation, participates in learning and memory processes as well as in mechanisms underlying alcohol-drinking behaviors. Using an unbiased RNA-seq approach, we identified Prosapip1 as a novel downstream target of mTORC1 whose translation and consequent synaptic protein expression are increased in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of mice excessively consuming alcohol. We demonstrate that alcohol-dependent increases in Prosapip1 levels promote the formation of actin filaments, leading to changes in dendritic spine morphology of NAc medium spiny neurons (MSNs). We further demonstrate that Prosapip1 is required for alcohol-dependent synaptic localization of GluA2 lacking AMPA receptors in NAc shell MSNs. Finally, we present data implicating Prosapip1 in mechanisms underlying alcohol self-administration and reward. Together, these data suggest that Prosapip1 in the NAc is a molecular transducer of structural and synaptic alterations that drive and/or maintain excessive alcohol use.

Apolipoprotein E4 Impairs Neuronal Insulin Signaling by Trapping Insulin Receptor in the Endosomes.

  • Zhao N
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Sep 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

Diabetes and impaired brain insulin signaling are linked to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The association between diabetes and AD-associated amyloid pathology is stronger among carriers of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 gene allele, the strongest genetic risk factor for late-onset AD. Here we report that apoE4 impairs neuronal insulin signaling in human apoE-targeted replacement (TR) mice in an age-dependent manner. High-fat diet (HFD) accelerates these effects in apoE4-TR mice at middle age. In primary neurons, apoE4 interacts with insulin receptor and impairs its trafficking by trapping it in the endosomes, leading to impaired insulin signaling and insulin-stimulated mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis. In aging brains, the increased apoE4 aggregation and compromised endosomal function further exacerbate the inhibitory effects of apoE4 on insulin signaling and related functions. Together, our study provides novel mechanistic insights into the pathogenic mechanisms of apoE4 and insulin resistance in AD.

Funding information:
  • NIA NIH HHS - P50 AG016574()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG027924()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG035355()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG046205()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R37 AG027924()
  • NIA NIH HHS - RF1 AG051504()

ApoE4-associated phospholipid dysregulation contributes to development of Tau hyper-phosphorylation after traumatic brain injury.

  • Cao J
  • Sci Rep
  • 2017 Sep 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

The apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4) genotype combines with traumatic brain injury (TBI) to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease (AD). However, the underlying mechanism(s) is not well-understood. We found that after exposure to repetitive blast-induced TBI, phosphoinositol biphosphate (PIP2) levels in hippocampal regions of young ApoE3 mice were elevated and associated with reduction in expression of a PIP2 degrading enzyme, synaptojanin 1 (synj1). In contrast, hippocampal PIP2 levels in ApoE4 mice did not increase after blast TBI. Following blast TBI, phospho-Tau (pTau) levels were unchanged in ApoE3 mice, whereas in ApoE4 mice, levels of pTau were significantly increased. To determine the causal relationship between changes in pTau and PIP2/synj1 levels after TBI, we tested if down-regulation of synj1 prevented blast-induced Tau hyper-phosphorylation. Knockdown of synj1 decreased pTau levels in vitro, and abolished blast-induced elevation of pTau in vivo. Blast TBI increased glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3β activities in ApoE4 mice, and synj1 knockdown inhibited GSK3β phosphorylation of Tau. Together, these data suggest that ApoE proteins regulate brain phospholipid homeostasis in response to TBI and that the ApoE4 isoform is dysfunctional in this process. Down-regulation of synj1 rescues blast-induced phospholipid dysregulation and prevents development of Tau hyper-phosphorylation in ApoE4 carriers.

Funding information:
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG048923()
  • NIA NIH HHS - RF1 AG054014()
  • RRD VA - I21 RX001558()

p75 neurotrophin receptor interacts with and promotes BACE1 localization in endosomes aggravating amyloidogenesis.

  • Saadipour K
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2017 Sep 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a progressive deposition of amyloid beta (Aβ) and dysregulation of neurotrophic signaling, causing synaptic dysfunction, loss of memory, and cell death. The expression of p75 neurotrophin receptor is elevated in the brain of AD patients, suggesting its involvement in this disease. However, the exact mechanism of its action is not yet clear. Here, we show that p75 interacts with beta-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme-1 (BACE1), and this interaction is enhanced in the presence of Aβ. Our results suggest that the colocalization of BACE1 and amyloid precursor protein (APP) is increased in the presence of both Aβ and p75 in cortical neurons. In addition, the localization of APP and BACE1 in early endosomes is increased in the presence of Aβ and p75. An increased phosphorylation of APP-Thr668 and BACE1-Ser498 by c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in the presence of Aβ and p75 could be responsible for this localization. In conclusion, our study proposes a potential involvement in amyloidogenesis for p75, which may represent a future therapeutic target for AD. Cover Image for this Issue: doi. 10.1111/jnc.14163.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM089662(United States)

Neutralizing Antibody Responses to Viral Infections Are Linked to the Non-classical MHC Class II Gene H2-Ob.

  • Denzin LK
  • Immunity
  • 2017 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Select humans and animals control persistent viral infections via adaptive immune responses that include production of neutralizing antibodies. The precise genetic basis for the control remains enigmatic. Here, we report positional cloning of the gene responsible for production of retrovirus-neutralizing antibodies in mice of the I/LnJ strain. It encodes the beta subunit of the non-classical major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II)-like molecule H2-O, a negative regulator of antigen presentation. The recessive and functionally null I/LnJ H2-Ob allele supported the production of virus-neutralizing antibodies independently of the classical MHC haplotype. Subsequent bioinformatics and functional analyses of the human H2-Ob homolog, HLA-DOB, revealed both loss- and gain-of-function alleles, which could affect the ability of their carriers to control infections with human hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) viruses. Thus, understanding of the previously unappreciated role of H2-O (HLA-DO) in immunity to infections may suggest new approaches in achieving neutralizing immunity to viruses.

Funding information:
  • NCATS NIH HHS - UL1 TR000430()
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA014599()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA134667()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI061484()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI117535()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - T32 AI007090()

Systematic Identification of MCU Modulators by Orthogonal Interspecies Chemical Screening.

  • Arduino DM
  • Mol. Cell
  • 2017 Aug 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

The mitochondrial calcium uniporter complex is essential for calcium (Ca2+) uptake into mitochondria of all mammalian tissues, where it regulates bioenergetics, cell death, and Ca2+ signal transduction. Despite its involvement in several human diseases, we currently lack pharmacological agents for targeting uniporter activity. Here we introduce a high-throughput assay that selects for human MCU-specific small-molecule modulators in primary drug screens. Using isolated yeast mitochondria, reconstituted with human MCU, its essential regulator EMRE, and aequorin, and exploiting a D-lactate- and mannitol/sucrose-based bioenergetic shunt that greatly minimizes false-positive hits, we identify mitoxantrone out of more than 600 clinically approved drugs as a direct selective inhibitor of human MCU. We validate mitoxantrone in orthogonal mammalian cell-based assays, demonstrating that our screening approach is an effective and robust tool for MCU-specific drug discovery and, more generally, for the identification of compounds that target mitochondrial functions.

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

Drosophila CRY Entrains Clocks in Body Tissues to Light and Maintains Passive Membrane Properties in a Non-clock Body Tissue Independent of Light.

  • Agrawal P
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2017 Aug 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Circadian (∼24 hr) clocks regulate daily rhythms in physiology, metabolism, and behavior via cell-autonomous transcriptional feedback loops. In Drosophila, the blue-light photoreceptor CRYPTOCHROME (CRY) synchronizes these feedback loops to light:dark cycles by binding to and degrading TIMELESS (TIM) protein. CRY also acts independently of TIM in Drosophila to alter potassium channel conductance in arousal neurons after light exposure, and in many animals CRY acts independently of light to repress rhythmic transcription. CRY expression has been characterized in the Drosophila brain and eyes, but not in peripheral clock and non-clock tissues in the body. To investigate CRY expression and function in body tissues, we generated a GFP-tagged-cry transgene that rescues light-induced behavioral phase resetting in cry03 mutant flies and sensitively reports GFP-CRY expression. In bodies, CRY is detected in clock-containing tissues including Malpighian tubules, where it mediates both light-dependent TIM degradation and clock function. In larval salivary glands, which lack clock function but are amenable to electrophysiological recording, CRY prevents membrane input resistance from falling to low levels in a light-independent manner. The ability of CRY to maintain high input resistance in these non-excitable cells also requires the K+ channel subunits Hyperkinetic, Shaker, and ether-a-go-go. These findings for the first time define CRY expression in Drosophila peripheral tissues and reveal that CRY acts together with K+ channels to maintain passive membrane properties in a non-clock-containing peripheral tissue independent of light.

Transcription Factor CREM Mediates High Glucose Response in Cardiomyocytes and in a Male Mouse Model of Prolonged Hyperglycemia.

  • Barbati SA
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 Jul 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

This study aims at investigating the epigenetic landscape of cardiomyocytes exposed to elevated glucose levels. High glucose (30 mM) for 72 hours determined some epigenetic changes in mouse HL-1 and rat differentiated H9C2 cardiomyocytes including upregulation of class I and III histone deacetylase protein levels and activity, inhibition of histone acetylase p300 activity, increase in histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation, and reduction in H3 lysine 9 acetylation. Gene expression analysis focused on cardiotoxicity revealed that high glucose induced markers associated with tissue damage, fibrosis, and cardiac remodeling such as Nexilin (NEXN), versican, cyclic adenosine 5'-monophosphate-responsive element modulator (CREM), and adrenoceptor α2A (ADRA2). Notably, the transcription factor CREM was found to be important in the regulation of cardiotoxicity-associated genes as assessed by specific small interfering RNA and chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments. In CD1 mice, made hyperglycemic by streptozotoicin (STZ) injection, cardiac structural alterations were evident at 6 months after STZ treatment and were associated with a significant increase of H3 lysine 27 trimethylation and reduction of H3 lysine 9 acetylation. Consistently, NEXN, CREM, and ADRA2 expression was significantly induced at the RNA and protein levels. Confocal microscopy analysis of NEXN localization showed this protein irregularly distributed along the sarcomeres in the heart of hyperglycemic mice. This evidence suggested a structural alteration of cardiac Z-disk with potential consequences on contractility. In conclusion, high glucose may alter the epigenetic landscape of cardiac cells. Sildenafil, restoring guanosine 3', 5'-cyclic monophosphate levels, counteracted the increase of CREM and NEXN, providing a protective effect in the presence of hyperglycemia.

Alleviation of Neuropathology by Inhibition of Monoacylglycerol Lipase in APP Transgenic Mice Lacking CB2 Receptors.

  • Zhang J
  • Mol. Neurobiol.
  • 2017 Jul 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Inhibition of monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), the primary enzyme that hydrolyzes the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in the brain, produces profound anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects and improves synaptic and cognitive functions in animal models of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects produced by inhibition of 2-AG metabolism are still not clear. The cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2R) has been thought to be a therapeutic target for AD. Here, we provide evidence, however, that CB2R does not play a role in ameliorating AD neuropathology produced by inactivation of MAGL in 5XFAD APP transgenic mice, an animal model of AD. We observed that expression of APP and β-secretase as well as production of total Aβ and Aβ42 were significantly reduced in APP transgenic mice lacking CB2R (TG-CB2-KO) treated with JZL184, a selective and potent inhibitor for MAGL. Inactivation of MAGL also alleviated neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration in TG-CB2-KO mice. Importantly, TG-CB2-KO mice treated with JZL184 still exhibited improvements in spatial learning and memory. In addition, MAGL inhibition prevented deterioration in expression of important synaptic proteins in TG-CB2-KO mice. Our results suggest that CB2R is not required in ameliorating neuropathology and preventing cognitive decline by inhibition of 2-AG metabolism in AD model animals.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS076815()

Transient acidosis while retrieving a fear-related memory enhances its lability.

  • Du J
  • Elife
  • 2017 Jun 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

Attenuating the strength of fearful memories could benefit people disabled by memories of past trauma. Pavlovian conditioning experiments indicate that a retrieval cue can return a conditioned aversive memory to a labile state. However, means to enhance retrieval and render a memory more labile are unknown. We hypothesized that augmenting synaptic signaling during retrieval would increase memory lability. To enhance synaptic transmission, mice inhaled CO2 to induce an acidosis and activate acid sensing ion channels. Transient acidification increased the retrieval-induced lability of an aversive memory. The labile memory could then be weakened by an extinction protocol or strengthened by reconditioning. Coupling CO2 inhalation to retrieval increased activation of amygdala neurons bearing the memory trace and increased the synaptic exchange from Ca2+-impermeable to Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors. The results suggest that transient acidosis during retrieval renders the memory of an aversive event more labile and suggest a strategy to modify debilitating memories.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH085724()

RS9, a novel Nrf2 activator, attenuates light-induced death of cells of photoreceptor cells and Müller glia cells.

  • Inoue Y
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2017 Jun 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

The retina is highly sensitive to oxidative stress because of its high consumption of oxygen associated with the phototransductional processes. Recent findings have suggested that oxidative stress is involved in the pathology of age-related macular degeneration, a progressive degeneration of the central retina. A well-known environmental risk factor is light exposure, as excessive and continuous light exposure can damage photoreceptors. Nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a transcriptional factor that controls antioxidative responses and phase 2 enzymes. Thus, we hypothesized that RS9, a specific activator of Nrf2, decreases light-induced retinal cell death in vivo and in vitro. Nrf2 was detected in the nucleus of the 661W cells exposed to RS9 and also after light exposure, and the Nrf2-antioxidant response element binding was increased in 661W cells after exposure to RS9. Consequentially, the expression of the phase 2 enzyme's mRNAs of Ho-1, Nqo-1, and Gclm genes was increased in 661W cells after exposure to RS9. Furthermore, RS9 decreased the light-induced death of 661W cells (2500 lux, 24 h), and also reduced the functional damages and the histological degeneration of the nuclei in the outer nuclear layer or the retina in the in vivo studies (8000 lux, 3 h). Heme oxygenase-1 was increased after light exposure, and Nrf2 was translocated into the nucleus after light exposure in vivo. Silencing of Ho-1 reduced the protective effects of RS9 against light-induced death of 661W cells. These findings indicate that RS9 has therapeutic potential for retinal diseases that are aggravated by light exposure.

Free Fatty Acid Receptor 4 (GPR120) Stimulates Bone Formation and Suppresses Bone Resorption in the Presence of Elevated n-3 Fatty Acid Levels.

  • Ahn SH
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 Jun 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Free fatty acid receptor 4 (FFA4) has been reported to be a receptor for n-3 fatty acids (FAs). Although n-3 FAs are beneficial for bone health, a role of FFA4 in bone metabolism has been rarely investigated. We noted that FFA4 was more abundantly expressed in both mature osteoclasts and osteoblasts than their respective precursors and that it was activated by docosahexaenoic acid. FFA4 knockout (Ffar4(-/-)) and wild-type mice exhibited similar bone masses when fed a normal diet. Because fat-1 transgenic (fat-1(Tg+)) mice endogenously converting n-6 to n-3 FAs contain high n-3 FA levels, we crossed Ffar4(-/-) and fat-1(Tg+) mice over two generations to generate four genotypes of mice littermates: Ffar4(+/+);fat-1(Tg-), Ffar4(+/+);fat-1(Tg+), Ffar4(-/-);fat-1(Tg-), and Ffar4(-/-);fat-1(Tg+). Female and male littermates were included in ovariectomy- and high-fat diet-induced bone loss models, respectively. Female fat-1(Tg+) mice decreased bone loss after ovariectomy both by promoting osteoblastic bone formation and inhibiting osteoclastic bone resorption than their wild-type littermates, only when they had the Ffar4(+/+) background, but not the Ffar4(-/-) background. In a high-fat diet-fed model, male fat-1(Tg+) mice had higher bone mass resulting from stimulated bone formation and reduced bone resorption than their wild-type littermates, only when they had the Ffar4(+/+) background, but not the Ffar4(-/-) background. In vitro studies supported the role of FFA4 as n-3 FA receptor in bone metabolism. In conclusion, FFA4 is a dual-acting factor that increases osteoblastic bone formation and decreases osteoclastic bone resorption, suggesting that it may be an ideal target for modulating metabolic bone diseases.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - F32 DC000210(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM007315(United States)

Chromosome Mis-segregation Generates Cell-Cycle-Arrested Cells with Complex Karyotypes that Are Eliminated by the Immune System.

  • Santaguida S
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2017 Jun 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Aneuploidy, a state of karyotype imbalance, is a hallmark of cancer. Changes in chromosome copy number have been proposed to drive disease by modulating the dosage of cancer driver genes and by promoting cancer genome evolution. Given the potential of cells with abnormal karyotypes to become cancerous, do pathways that limit the prevalence of such cells exist? By investigating the immediate consequences of aneuploidy on cell physiology, we identified mechanisms that eliminate aneuploid cells. We find that chromosome mis-segregation leads to further genomic instability that ultimately causes cell-cycle arrest. We further show that cells with complex karyotypes exhibit features of senescence and produce pro-inflammatory signals that promote their clearance by the immune system. We propose that cells with abnormal karyotypes generate a signal for their own elimination that may serve as a means for cancer cell immunosurveillance.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA206157()
  • NCI NIH HHS - T32 CA067754()
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R01 HD085866()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM056800()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM062207()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM074215()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM098815()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R35 GM118066()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM007753()

Blood-Brain Barrier Permeability Is Regulated by Lipid Transport-Dependent Suppression of Caveolae-Mediated Transcytosis.

  • Andreone BJ
  • Neuron
  • 2017 May 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) provides a constant homeostatic brain environment that is essential for proper neural function. An unusually low rate of vesicular transport (transcytosis) has been identified as one of the two unique properties of CNS endothelial cells, relative to peripheral endothelial cells, that maintain the restrictive quality of the BBB. However, it is not known how this low rate of transcytosis is achieved. Here we provide a mechanism whereby the regulation of CNS endothelial cell lipid composition specifically inhibits the caveolae-mediated transcytotic route readily used in the periphery. An unbiased lipidomic analysis reveals significant differences in endothelial cell lipid signatures from the CNS and periphery, which underlie a suppression of caveolae vesicle formation and trafficking in brain endothelial cells. Furthermore, lipids transported by Mfsd2a establish a unique lipid environment that inhibits caveolae vesicle formation in CNS endothelial cells to suppress transcytosis and ensure BBB integrity.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - DP1 NS092473()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - F31 NS090669()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R35 NS097344()

RhoD Inhibits RhoC-ROCK-Dependent Cell Contraction via PAK6.

  • Durkin CH
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2017 May 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

RhoA-mediated regulation of myosin-II activity in the actin cortex controls the ability of cells to contract and bleb during a variety of cellular processes, including cell migration and division. Cell contraction and blebbing also frequently occur as part of the cytopathic effect seen during many different viral infections. We now demonstrate that the vaccinia virus protein F11, which localizes to the plasma membrane, is required for ROCK-mediated cell contraction from 2 hr post infection. Curiously, F11-induced cell contraction is dependent on RhoC and not RhoA signaling to ROCK. Moreover, RhoC-driven cell contraction depends on the upstream inhibition of RhoD signaling by F11. This inhibition prevents RhoD from regulating its downstream effector Pak6, alleviating the suppression of RhoC by the kinase. Our observations with vaccinia have now demonstrated that RhoD recruits Pak6 to the plasma membrane to antagonize RhoC signaling during cell contraction and blebbing.

O2⋅- and H2O2-Mediated Disruption of Fe Metabolism Causes the Differential Susceptibility of NSCLC and GBM Cancer Cells to Pharmacological Ascorbate.

  • Schoenfeld JD
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2017 Apr 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Pharmacological ascorbate has been proposed as a potential anti-cancer agent when combined with radiation and chemotherapy. The anti-cancer effects of ascorbate are hypothesized to involve the autoxidation of ascorbate leading to increased steady-state levels of H2O2; however, the mechanism(s) for cancer cell-selective toxicity remain unknown. The current study shows that alterations in cancer cell mitochondrial oxidative metabolism resulting in increased levels of O2⋅- and H2O2 are capable of disrupting intracellular iron metabolism, thereby selectively sensitizing non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and glioblastoma (GBM) cells to ascorbate through pro-oxidant chemistry involving redox-active labile iron and H2O2. In addition, preclinical studies and clinical trials demonstrate the feasibility, selective toxicity, tolerability, and potential efficacy of pharmacological ascorbate in GBM and NSCLC therapy.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA086862()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA169046()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA182804()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA184051()
  • NCI NIH HHS - T32 CA078586()
  • NCI NIH HHS - U01 CA140206()
  • NCI NIH HHS - U01 CA166800()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM007337()

p27Kip1 promotes invadopodia turnover and invasion through the regulation of the PAK1/Cortactin pathway.

  • Jeannot P
  • Elife
  • 2017 Mar 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

p27Kip1 (p27) is a cyclin-CDK inhibitor and negative regulator of cell proliferation. p27 also controls other cellular processes including migration and cytoplasmic p27 can act as an oncogene. Furthermore, cytoplasmic p27 promotes invasion and metastasis, in part by promoting epithelial to mesenchymal transition. Herein, we find that p27 promotes cell invasion by binding to and regulating the activity of Cortactin, a critical regulator of invadopodia formation. p27 localizes to invadopodia and limits their number and activity. p27 promotes the interaction of Cortactin with PAK1. In turn, PAK1 promotes invadopodia turnover by phosphorylating Cortactin, and expression of Cortactin mutants for PAK-targeted sites abolishes p27's effect on invadopodia dynamics. Thus, in absence of p27, cells exhibit increased invadopodia stability due to impaired PAK1-Cortactin interaction, but their invasive capacity is reduced compared to wild-type cells. Overall, we find that p27 directly promotes cell invasion by facilitating invadopodia turnover via the Rac1/PAK1/Cortactin pathway.

NPTX2 and cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer's Disease.

  • Xiao MF
  • Elife
  • 2017 Mar 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

Memory loss in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is attributed to pervasive weakening and loss of synapses. Here, we present findings supporting a special role for excitatory synapses connecting pyramidal neurons of the hippocampus and cortex with fast-spiking parvalbumin (PV) interneurons that control network excitability and rhythmicity. Excitatory synapses on PV interneurons are dependent on the AMPA receptor subunit GluA4, which is regulated by presynaptic expression of the synaptogenic immediate early gene NPTX2 by pyramidal neurons. In a mouse model of AD amyloidosis, Nptx2-/- results in reduced GluA4 expression, disrupted rhythmicity, and increased pyramidal neuron excitability. Postmortem human AD cortex shows profound reductions of NPTX2 and coordinate reductions of GluA4. NPTX2 in human CSF is reduced in subjects with AD and shows robust correlations with cognitive performance and hippocampal volume. These findings implicate failure of adaptive control of pyramidal neuron-PV circuits as a pathophysiological mechanism contributing to cognitive failure in AD.

Funding information:
  • NIA NIH HHS - P50 AG005131()
  • NIA NIH HHS - P50 AG005146()
  • NIMH NIH HHS - P50 MH100024()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R35 NS097966()

Hierarchical CRMP2 posttranslational modifications control NaV1.7 function.

  • Dustrude ET
  • Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
  • 2016 Dec 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

Voltage-gated sodium channels are crucial determinants of neuronal excitability and signaling. Trafficking of the voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.7 is dysregulated in neuropathic pain. We identify a trafficking program for NaV1.7 driven by hierarchical interactions with posttranslationally modified versions of the binding partner collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2). The binding described between CRMP2 and NaV1.7 was enhanced by conjugation of CRMP2 with small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) and further controlled by the phosphorylation status of CRMP2. We determined that CRMP2 SUMOylation is enhanced by prior phosphorylation by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 and antagonized by Fyn phosphorylation. As a consequence of CRMP2 loss of SUMOylation and binding to NaV1.7, the channel displays decreased membrane localization and current density, and reduces neuronal excitability. Preventing CRMP2 SUMOylation with a SUMO-impaired CRMP2-K374A mutant triggered NaV1.7 internalization in a clathrin-dependent manner involving the E3 ubiquitin ligase Nedd4-2 (neural precursor cell expressed developmentally down-regulated protein 4) and endocytosis adaptor proteins Numb and epidermal growth factor receptor pathway substrate 15. Collectively, our work shows that diverse modifications of CRMP2 cross-talk to control NaV1.7 activity and illustrate a general principle for regulation of NaV1.7.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS034783(United States)

Computationally designed high specificity inhibitors delineate the roles of BCL2 family proteins in cancer.

  • Berger S
  • Elife
  • 2016 Nov 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Many cancers overexpress one or more of the six human pro-survival BCL2 family proteins to evade apoptosis. To determine which BCL2 protein or proteins block apoptosis in different cancers, we computationally designed three-helix bundle protein inhibitors specific for each BCL2 pro-survival protein. Following in vitro optimization, each inhibitor binds its target with high picomolar to low nanomolar affinity and at least 300-fold specificity. Expression of the designed inhibitors in human cancer cell lines revealed unique dependencies on BCL2 proteins for survival which could not be inferred from other BCL2 profiling methods. Our results show that designed inhibitors can be generated for each member of a closely-knit protein family to probe the importance of specific protein-protein interactions in complex biological processes.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R21 DK106584(United States)

Epigenetic Activation of WNT5A Drives Glioblastoma Stem Cell Differentiation and Invasive Growth.

  • Hu B
  • Cell
  • 2016 Nov 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) are implicated in tumor neovascularization, invasiveness, and therapeutic resistance. To illuminate mechanisms governing these hallmark features, we developed a de novo glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) model derived from immortalized human neural stem/progenitor cells (hNSCs) to enable precise system-level comparisons of pre-malignant and oncogene-induced malignant states of NSCs. Integrated transcriptomic and epigenomic analyses uncovered a PAX6/DLX5 transcriptional program driving WNT5A-mediated GSC differentiation into endothelial-like cells (GdECs). GdECs recruit existing endothelial cells to promote peritumoral satellite lesions, which serve as a niche supporting the growth of invasive glioma cells away from the primary tumor. Clinical data reveal higher WNT5A and GdECs expression in peritumoral and recurrent GBMs relative to matched intratumoral and primary GBMs, respectively, supporting WNT5A-mediated GSC differentiation and invasive growth in disease recurrence. Thus, the PAX6/DLX5-WNT5A axis governs the diffuse spread of glioma cells throughout the brain parenchyma, contributing to the lethality of GBM.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R56 NS094589(United States)

In vivo inhibition of miR-155 significantly alters post-stroke inflammatory response.

  • Pena-Philippides JC
  • J Neuroinflammation
  • 2016 Nov 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

BACKGROUND: MicroRNA miR-155 is implicated in modulation of the inflammatory processes in various pathological conditions. In our previous studies, we demonstrated that in vivo inhibition of miR-155 promotes functional recovery after mouse experimental stroke. In the present study, we explored if this beneficial effect is associated with miR-155 inhibition-induced alterations in post-stroke inflammatory response. METHODS: Intravenous injections of a specific miR-155 inhibitor were initiated at 48 h after mouse distal middle cerebral artery occlusion (dMCAO). Temporal changes in the expression of cytokines and key molecules associated with cytokine signaling were assessed at 7, 14, and 21 days after dMCAO, using mouse cytokine gene and protein arrays and Western blot analyses. Electron and immunofluorescence confocal microscopy techniques were used to evaluate the ultrastructural changes, as well as altered expression of specific phenotypic markers, at different time points after dMCAO. RESULTS: In the inhibitor-injected mice (inhibitor group), there was a significant decrease in CCL12 and CXCL3 cytokine expression at 7 days and significantly increased levels of major cytokines IL-10, IL-4, IL-6, MIP-1α, IL-5, and IL-17 at 14 days after dMCAO. These temporal changes correlated with altered expression of miR-155 target proteins SOCS-1, SHIP-1, and C/EBP-β and phosphorylation levels of cytokine signaling regulator STAT-3. Electron microscopy showed decreased number of phagocytically active peri-vascular microglia/macrophages in the inhibitor samples. Immunofluorescence and Western blot of these samples demonstrated that expression of leukocyte/ macrophage marker CD45 and phagocytosis marker CD68 was reduced at 7 days, and in contrast, significantly increased at 14 days after dMCAO, as compared to controls. CONCLUSIONS: Based on our findings, we propose that in vivo miR-155 inhibition following mouse stroke significantly alters the time course of the expression of major cytokines and inflammation-associated molecules, which could influence inflammation process and tissue repair after experimental cerebral ischemia.

Evidence for Pro-angiogenic Functions of VEGF-Ax.

  • Xin H
  • Cell
  • 2016 Sep 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

The VEGF-A isoforms play a crucial role in vascular development, and the VEGF signaling pathway is a clinically validated therapeutic target for several pathological conditions. Alternative mRNA splicing leads to the generation of multiple VEGF-A isoforms, including VEGF165. A recent study reported the presence of another isoform, VEGF-Ax, arising from programmed readthrough translation. Compared to VEGF165, VEGF-Ax has a 22-amino-acid extension in the COOH terminus and has been reported to function as a negative regulator of VEGF signaling in endothelial cells, with potent anti-angiogenic effects. Here, we show that, contrary to the earlier report, VEGF-Ax stimulates endothelial cell mitogenesis, angiogenesis, as well as vascular permeability. Accordingly, VEGF-Ax induces phosphorylation of key tyrosine residues in VEGFR-2. Notably, VEGF-Ax was less potent than VEGF165, consistent with its impaired binding to the VEGF co-receptor neuropilin-1.

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.

Selective Localization of Shanks to VGLUT1-Positive Excitatory Synapses in the Mouse Hippocampus.

  • Heise C
  • Front Cell Neurosci
  • 2016 May 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Members of the Shank family of multidomain proteins (Shank1, Shank2, and Shank3) are core components of the postsynaptic density (PSD) of excitatory synapses. At synaptic sites Shanks serve as scaffolding molecules that cluster neurotransmitter receptors as well as cell adhesion molecules attaching them to the actin cytoskeleton. In this study we investigated the synapse specific localization of Shank1-3 and focused on well-defined synaptic contacts within the hippocampal formation. We found that all three family members are present only at VGLUT1-positive synapses, which is particularly visible at mossy fiber contacts. No costaining was found at VGLUT2-positive contacts indicating that the molecular organization of VGLUT2-associated PSDs diverges from classical VGLUT1-positive excitatory contacts in the hippocampus. In light of SHANK mutations in neuropsychiatric disorders, this study indicates which glutamatergic networks within the hippocampus will be primarily affected by shankopathies.

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

Micro-RNA-30a regulates ischemia-induced cell death by targeting heat shock protein HSPA5 in primary cultured cortical neurons and mouse brain after stroke.

  • Wang P
  • J. Neurosci. Res.
  • 2015 Nov 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Micro-RNAs (miRs) have emerged as key gene regulators in many diseases, including stroke. We recently reported that miR-30a protects N2A cells against ischemic injury, in part through enhancing beclin 1-mediated autophagy. The present study explores further the involvement of miR-30a in ischemia-induced apoptosis and its possible mechanisms in primary cortical neurons and stroked mouse brain. We demonstrate that miR-30a level is significantly decreased in cortical neurons after 1-hr oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD)/24-hr reoxygenation. Overexpression of miR-30a aggravated the OGD-induced neuronal cell death, whereas inhibition of miR-30a attenuated necrosis and apoptosis as determined by 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-di-phenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide, lactate dehydrogenase, TUNEL, and cleaved caspase-3. The amount of HSPA5 protein, which is predicted to be a putative target of miR-30a by TargetScan, could be reduced by pre-miR-30a, whereas it was increased by anti-miR-30a. Furthermore, the luciferase reporter assay confirmed that miR-30a directly binds to the predicted 3'-UTR target sites of the hspa5 gene. The cell injury regulated by miR-30a in OGD-treated cells could be aggravated by HSPA5 siRNA. We also observed an interaction of HSPA5 and caspase-12 by coimmunoprecipitation and speculate that HSPA5 might be involved in endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced apoptosis. In vivo, reduced miR-30a increased the HSPA5 level and attenuated ischemic brain infarction in focal ischemia-stroked mice. Downregulation of miR-30a could prevent neural ischemic injury through upregulating HSPA5 protein expression, and decreased ER stress-induced apoptosis might be one of the mechanisms underlying HSPA5-mediated neuroprotection.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC014728(United States)

Revisiting PC1/3 Mutants: Dominant-Negative Effect of Endoplasmic Reticulum-Retained Mutants.

  • Blanco EH
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Oct 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Prohormone convertase 1/3 (PC1/3), encoded by the gene PCSK1, is critical for peptide hormone synthesis. An increasing number of studies have shown that inactivating mutations in PCSK1 are correlated with endocrine pathologies ranging from intestinal dysfunction to morbid obesity, whereas the common nonsynonymous polymorphisms rs6232 (N221D) and rs6234-rs6235 (Q665E-S690T) are highly associated with obesity risk. In this report, we revisited the biochemical and cellular properties of PC1/3 variants in the context of a wild-type PC1/3 background instead of the S357G hypermorph background used for all previous studies. In the wild-type background the PC1/3 N221D variant exhibited 30% lower enzymatic activity in a fluorogenic assay than wild-type PC1/3; this inhibition was greater than that detected in an equivalent experiment using the PC1/3 S357G background. A PC1/3 variant with the linked carboxyl-terminal polymorphisms Q665E-S690T did not show this difference. We also analyzed the biochemical properties of 2 PC1/3 mutants, G209R and G593R, which are retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and studied their effects on wild-type PC1/3. The expression of ER-retained mutants induced ER stress markers and also resulted in dominant-negative blockade of wild-type PC1/3 prodomain cleavage and decreased expression of wild-type PC1/3, suggesting facilitation of the entry of wild-type protein to a degradative proteasomal pathway. Dominant-negative effects of PC1/3 mutations on the expression and maturation of wild-type protein, with consequential effects on PC1/3 availability, add a new element which must be considered in population and clinical studies of this gene.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - MH67121(United States)

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

  • Liu X
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Jul 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

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

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

The insulin-like factor 3 (INSL3)-receptor (RXFP2) network functions as a germ cell survival/anti-apoptotic factor in boar testes.

  • Sagata D
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Apr 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Relaxin-like factor, commonly known as insulin-like factor (INSL3), is essential for testis descent during fetal development; however, its function in the adult testis is still being elucidated. The study aimed to identify a relaxin family peptide receptor 2 (RXFP2)-specific antibody suitable for immunological approaches, analyze which testicular germ cell types express RXFP2, and clarify its expression dynamics in the boar testis. In addition, the function of INSL3-RXFP2 signaling on the germ cells was explored by neutralizing INSL3 using long-term active immunization. Samples were collected from Duroc boars, and a commercially available RXFP2-specific antibody directed against the human RXFP2 endodomain was identified by characterizing its specificity in HEK-293 cells expressing mouse RXFP2, and by demonstrating the suitability for analyzing RXFP2 expression in porcine tissues. RXFP2 mRNA and protein were both localized mainly in meiotic and post-meiotic germ cells, but not in Leydig cells. Functional RXFP2, which enables INSL3 to bind, was detected as an ∼85-kDa band, which increased in intensity from the pubertal stage onward. Interestingly, INSL3 immunization significantly reduced testis weight and induced a 4-fold increase in the frequency of apoptotic germ cells, which was associated with the up-regulation of pro-apoptotic caspase-3 (CASP3) and BAX, and the down-regulation of anti-apoptotic XIAP and BCL2, and a substantial reduction in sperm concentration. These results revealed that RXFP2 was expressed in boar meiotic and post-meiotic germ cells, where INSL3 neutralization led to increased germ cell apoptosis and reduced sperm output, suggesting that INSL3 acts as a survival/anti-apoptotic factor in maintaining sperm production.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM008042(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - NS-20561(United States)

Synaptic and cognitive improvements by inhibition of 2-AG metabolism are through upregulation of microRNA-188-3p in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

  • Zhang J
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2014 Nov 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Abnormal accumulation of β-amyloid (Aβ) is the major neuropathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the mechanisms underlying aberrant Aβ formation in AD remain unclear. We showed previously that inhibition of monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), the primary enzyme that metabolizes the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in the brain, robustly reduces Aβ by inhibiting β-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1), a key enzyme responsible for Aβ formation. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for suppression of BACE1 by inhibition of 2-AG metabolism are largely unknown. We demonstrate here that expression of the noncoding small RNA miR-188-3p that targets BACE1 was significantly downregulated both in the brains of AD humans and APP transgenic (TG) mice, a mouse model of AD. The downregulated miR-188-3p expression was restored by MAGL inhibition. Overexpression of miR-188-3p in the hippocampus reduced BACE1, Aβ, and neuroinflammation and prevented deteriorations in hippocampal basal synaptic transmission, long-term potentiation, spatial learning, and memory in TG mice. 2-AG-induced suppression of BACE1 was prevented by miR-188-3p loss of function. Moreover, miR-188-3p expression was upregulated by 2-AG or peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) agonists and suppressed by PPARγ antagonism or NF-κB activation. Reducing Aβ and neuroinflammation by MAGL inhibition was occluded by PPARγ antagonism. In addition, BACE1 suppression by 2-AG and PPARγ activation was eliminated by knockdown of NF-κB. Our study provides a novel molecular mechanism underlying improved synaptic and cognitive function in TG mice by 2-AG signaling, which upregulates miR-188-3p expression through PPARγ and NF-κB signaling pathway, resulting in suppressions of BACE1 expression and Aβ formation.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - U54 CA193419(United States)

DYRK1A-mediated phosphorylation of GluN2A at Ser(1048) regulates the surface expression and channel activity of GluN1/GluN2A receptors.

  • Grau C
  • Front Cell Neurosci
  • 2014 Nov 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptors (NMDARs) play a pivotal role in neural development and synaptic plasticity, as well as in neurological disease. Since NMDARs exert their function at the cell surface, their density in the plasma membrane is finely tuned by a plethora of molecules that regulate their production, trafficking, docking and internalization in response to external stimuli. In addition to transcriptional regulation, the density of NMDARs is also influenced by post-translational mechanisms like phosphorylation, a modification that also affects their biophysical properties. We previously described the increased surface expression of GluN1/GluN2A receptors in transgenic mice overexpressing the Dual specificity tyrosine-phosphorylation-regulated kinase 1A (DYRK1A), suggesting that DYRK1A regulates NMDARs. Here we have further investigated whether the density and activity of NMDARs were modulated by DYRK1A phosphorylation. Accordingly, we show that endogenous DYRK1A is recruited to GluN2A-containing NMDARs in the adult mouse brain, and we identify a DYRK1A phosphorylation site at Ser(1048) of GluN2A, within its intracellular C-terminal domain. Mechanistically, the DYRK1A-dependent phosphorylation of GluN2A at Ser(1048) hinders the internalization of GluN1/GluN2A, causing an increase of surface GluN1/GluN2A in heterologous systems, as well as in primary cortical neurons. Furthermore, GluN2A phosphorylation at Ser(1048) increases the current density and potentiates the gating of GluN1/GluN2A receptors. We conclude that DYRK1A is a direct regulator of NMDA receptors and we propose a novel mechanism for the control of NMDAR activity in neurons.

The vitamin D receptor (VDR) is expressed in skeletal muscle of male mice and modulates 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) uptake in myofibers.

  • Girgis CM
  • Endocrinology
  • 2014 Sep 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a range of muscle disorders, including myalgia, muscle weakness, and falls. In humans, polymorphisms of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene are associated with variations in muscle strength, and in mice, genetic ablation of VDR results in muscle fiber atrophy and motor deficits. However, mechanisms by which VDR regulates muscle function and morphology remain unclear. A crucial question is whether VDR is expressed in skeletal muscle and directly alters muscle physiology. Using PCR, Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry (VDR-D6 antibody), we detected VDR in murine quadriceps muscle. Detection by Western blotting was dependent on the use of hyperosmolar lysis buffer. Levels of VDR in muscle were low compared with duodenum and dropped progressively with age. Two in vitro models, C2C12 and primary myotubes, displayed dose- and time-dependent increases in expression of both VDR and its target gene CYP24A1 after 1,25(OH)2D (1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D) treatment. Primary myotubes also expressed functional CYP27B1 as demonstrated by luciferase reporter studies, supporting an autoregulatory vitamin D-endocrine system in muscle. Myofibers isolated from mice retained tritiated 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, and this increased after 3 hours of pretreatment with 1,25(OH)2D (0.1 nM). No such response was seen in myofibers from VDR knockout mice. In summary, VDR is expressed in skeletal muscle, and vitamin D regulates gene expression and modulates ligand-dependent uptake of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 in primary myofibers.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - MOP-81387(Canada)
  • European Research Council - 283871(International)

Induction of PGF2α synthesis by cortisol through GR dependent induction of CBR1 in human amnion fibroblasts.

  • Guo C
  • Endocrinology
  • 2014 Aug 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Abundant evidence indicates a pivotal role of prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) in human parturition. Both the fetal and maternal sides of the fetal membranes synthesize PGF2α. In addition to the synthesis of PGF2α from PGH2 by PGF synthase (PGFS), PGF2α can also be converted from PGE2 by carbonyl reductase 1 (CBR1). Here, we showed that there was concurrent increased production of cortisol and PGF2α in association with the elevation of CBR1 in human amnion obtained at term with labor versus term without labor. In cultured primary human amnion fibroblasts, cortisol (0.01-1μM) increased PGF2α production in a concentration-dependent manner, in parallel with elevation of CBR1 levels. Either siRNA-mediated knockdown of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression or GR antagonist RU486 attenuated the induction of CBR1 by cortisol. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) showed an increased enrichment of both GR and RNA polymerase II to CBR1 promoter. Knockdown of CBR1 expression with siRNA or inhibition of CBR1 activity with rutin decreased both basal and cortisol-stimulated PGF2α production in human amnion fibroblasts. In conclusion, CBR1 may play a critical role in PGF2α synthesis in human amnion fibroblasts, and cortisol promotes the conversion of PGE2 into PGF2α via GR-mediated induction of CBR1 in human amnion fibroblasts. This stimulatory effect of cortisol on CBR1 expression may partly explain the concurrent increases of cortisol and PGF2α in human amnion tissue with labor, and these findings may account for the increased production of PGF2α in the fetal membranes prior to the onset of labor.

Funding information:
  • NCATS NIH HHS - UL1 TR001079(United States)

Vitamin D signaling regulates proliferation, differentiation, and myotube size in C2C12 skeletal muscle cells.

  • Girgis CM
  • Endocrinology
  • 2014 Feb 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to a range of muscle disorders including myalgia, muscle weakness, and falls. Humans with severe vitamin D deficiency and mice with transgenic vitamin D receptor (VDR) ablation have muscle fiber atrophy. However, molecular mechanisms by which vitamin D influences muscle function and fiber size remain unclear. A central question is whether VDR is expressed in skeletal muscle and is able to regulate transcription at this site. To address this, we examined key molecular and morphologic changes in C2C12 cells treated with 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)(2)D). As well as stimulating VDR expression, 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)(2)D dose-dependently increased expression of the classic vitamin D target cytochrome P450, family 24, subfamily A, polypeptide 1 (CYP24A1), demonstrating the presence of an autoregulatory vitamin D-endocrine system in these cells. Luciferase reporter studies demonstrated that cytochrome P450, family 27, subfamily B, polypeptide 1 (CYP27B1) was functional in these cells. Both 25OHD and 1,25(OH)(2)D altered C2C12 proliferation and differentiation. These effects were related to the increased expression of genes involved in G(0)/G(1) arrest (retinoblastoma protein [Rb], 1.3-fold; ATM, 1.5-fold, both P < .05), downregulation of mRNAs involved in G(1)/S transition, including myc and cyclin-D1 (0.7- and 0.8-fold, both P < .05) and reduced phosphorylation of Rb protein (0.3-fold, P < .005). After serum depletion, 1,25(OH)(2)D (100nM) suppressed myotube formation with decreased mRNAs for key myogenic regulatory factors (myogenin, 0.5-fold; myf5, 0.4-fold, P < .005) but led to a 1.8-fold increase in cross-sectional size of individual myotubes associated with markedly decreased myostatin expression (0.2-fold, P < .005). These data show that vitamin D signaling alters gene expression in C2C12 cells, with effects on proliferation, differentiation, and myotube size.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P30 DK079637(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R37 GM065859(United States)

A 5'-flanking region of gonadotropin-regulated testicular RNA helicase (GRTH/DDX25) gene directs its cell-specific androgen-regulated gene expression in testicular germ cells.

  • Kavarthapu R
  • Endocrinology
  • 2013 Jun 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Gonadotropin-regulated testicular RNA helicase (GRTH/Ddx25) is a posttranscriptional regulator of genes that are essential for spermatid elongation and completion of spermatogenesis. It also prevents Leydig cells (LCs) from gonadotropin overstimulation of androgen production. In transgenic (Tg) mice carrying deletions of the GRTH 5'-flanking regions, we previously demonstrated that the -1085 bp to ATG contains the elements for basal and androgen-induced LC-specific expression. No expression in germ cells (GCs) was found with sequences extended up to -3.6 kb. To define regulatory regions of GRTH required for expression in GC, Tg mice were generated with 5'-flanking sequence 6.4 kb (6.4 Kb-Tg) and/or deletion using green fluorescent protein (GFP) as reporter gene in the present study. GFP was expressed in all lines. Immunohistochemistry analysis showed that 6.4 Kb-Tg directed GFP expression in both GCs and LCs. Deletion of the sequence -205 bp to -3.6 kb (6.4 Kb/del-Tg) directs GFP expression only in meiotic and haploid GCs. This indicated that the distal region -6.4 kb/-3.6 kb is required for GRTH cell-specific expression in GC. Also, it inhibits the expression of GRTH in LC directed by the 205-bp promoter, an effect that is neutralized by the -3.6-kb/-205-bp sequence. Androgen receptor antagonist, flutamide treatment prevents GFP/GRTH expression in Tg lines, demonstrating in vivo direct and indirect effects of endogenous androgen on LCs and GCs, respectively. Our studies have generated and characterized Tg lines that can be used to define requirements for cell-specific expression of the GRTH gene and to further advance our knowledge on the regulation of GRTH by androgen in GCs.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS064577(United States)