[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Isocitrate dehydrogenase-1 (Idh1) is an important metabolic enzyme that produces NADPH by converting isocitrate to α-ketoglutarate. Idh1 is known to reduce reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced in cells by treatment with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in vitro. Here, we used Idh1-deficient knockout (Idh1 KO) mice to investigate the role of Idh1 in antioxidant defense in vivo. Idh1 KO mice showed heightened susceptibility to death induced by LPS and exhibited increased serum levels of inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6. The serum of LPS-injected Idh1 KO mice also contained elevated levels of AST, a marker of inflammatory liver damage. Furthermore, after LPS injection, livers of Idh1 KO mice showed histological evidence of elevated oxidative DNA damage compared with livers of wild-type (WT) mice. Idh1 KO livers showed a faster and more pronounced oxidative stress than WT livers. In line with that, Idh1 KO hepatocytes showed higher ROS levels and an increase in the NADP(+)/NADPH ratio when compared with hepatocytes isolated from WT mice. These results suggest that Idh1 has a physiological function in protecting cells from oxidative stress by regulating the intracellular NADP(+)/NADPH ratio. Our findings suggest that stimulation of Idh1 activity may be an effective therapeutic strategy for reducing oxidative stress during inflammatory responses, including the early stages of septic shock.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 17 April 2015; doi:10.1038/cdd.2015.38.
Cell Death and Differentiation 04/2015; DOI:10.1038/cdd.2015.38 · 8.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Controversy over the role of antioxidants in cancer has persisted for decades. Here, we demonstrate that synthesis of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH), driven by GCLM, is required for cancer initiation. Genetic loss of Gclm prevents a tumor's ability to drive malignant transformation. Intriguingly, these findings can be replicated using an inhibitor of GSH synthesis, but only if delivered prior to cancer onset, suggesting that at later stages of tumor progression GSH becomes dispensable potentially due to compensation from alternative antioxidant pathways. Remarkably, combined inhibition of GSH and thioredoxin antioxidant pathways leads to a synergistic cancer cell death in vitro and in vivo, demonstrating the importance of these two antioxidants to tumor progression and as potential targets for therapeutic intervention.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: S.A and Z.H. contributed equally to this work.
UV radiation resistance-associated gene (UVRAG) encodes a tumor suppressor with putative roles in autophagy, endocytic trafficking, and DNA damage repair but its in vivo role in T cells is unknown. Because conditional homozygous deletion of Uvrag in mice results in early embryonic lethality, we generated T-cell-specific UVRAG-deficient mice that lacked UVRAG expression specifically in T cells. This loss of UVRAG led to defects in peripheral homeostasis that could not be explained by the increased sensitivity to cell death and impaired proliferation observed for other autophagy-related gene knockout mice. Instead, UVRAG-deficient T-cells exhibited normal mitochondrial clearance and activation-induced autophagy, suggesting that UVRAG has an autophagy-independent role that is critical for peripheral naive T-cell homeostatic proliferation. In vivo, T-cell-specific loss of UVRAG dampened CD8+ T-cell responses to LCMV infection in mice, delayed viral clearance, and impaired memory T-cell generation. Our data provide novel insights into the control of autophagy in T cells and identify UVRAG as a new regulator of naïve peripheral T-cell homeostasis.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2015; DOI:10.1073/pnas.1423588112 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The repair and regeneration of airway epithelium is important for maintaining homeostasis of the respiratory system. XB130 is an adaptor protein involved in the regulation of cell proliferation, survival and migration. In the human trachea, XB130 is expressed on the apical site of ciliated epithelial cells. We hypothesize that XB130 may play a role in epithelial repair and regeneration after injury. Xb130 knockout (KO) mice were generated, and a mouse isogenic tracheal transplantation model was used. Adult Xb130 KO mice did not show any significant anatomical and physiological phenotypes in comparison with their wild type (WT) littermates. The tracheal epithelium in Xb130 KO mice, however, was significantly thicker than that in WT mice. Severe ischemic epithelial injury was observed immediately after the tracheal transplantation, which was followed by epithelial cell flattening, proliferation and differentiation. No significant differences were observed in terms of initial airway injury and apoptosis. However, at Day 10 after transplantation, the epithelial layer was significantly thicker in Xb130 KO mice, and associated with greater proliferative (Ki67+) and basal (CK5+) cells, as well as thickening of the connective tissue and fibroblast layer between the epithelium and tracheal cartilages. These results suggest that XB130 is involved in the regulation of airway epithelial differentiation, especially during airway repair after injury.
PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10):e108952. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0108952 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little is known about how mammalian cells maintain cell size homeostasis. We conducted a novel genetic screen to identify cell-size-controlling genes and isolated Largen, the product of a gene (PRR16) that increased cell size upon overexpression in human cells. In vitro evidence indicated that Largen preferentially stimulates the translation of specific subsets of mRNAs, including those encoding proteins affecting mitochondrial functions. The involvement of Largen in mitochondrial respiration was consistent with the increased mitochondrial mass and greater ATP production in Largen-overexpressing cells. Furthermore, Largen overexpression led to increased cell size in vivo, as revealed by analyses of conditional Largen transgenic mice. Our results establish Largen as an important link between mRNA translation, mitochondrial functions, and the control of mammalian cell size.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in the tumor suppressor BRCA1 predispose women to breast and ovarian cancers. The mechanism underlying the tissue-specific nature of BRCA1's tumor suppression is obscure. We previously showed that the antioxidant pathway regulated by the transcription factor NRF2 is defective in BRCA1-deficient cells. Reactivation of NRF2 through silencing of its negative regulator KEAP1 permitted the survival of BRCA1-null cells. Here we show that estrogen (E2) increases the expression of NRF2-dependent antioxidant genes in various E2-responsive cell types. Like NRF2 accumulation triggered by oxidative stress, E2-induced NRF2 accumulation depends on phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-AKT activation. Pretreatment of mammary epithelial cells (MECs) with the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor BKM120 abolishes the capacity of E2 to increase NRF2 protein and transcriptional activity. In vivo the survival defect of BRCA1-deficient MECs is rescued by the rise in E2 levels associated with pregnancy. Furthermore, exogenous E2 administration stimulates the growth of BRCA1-deficient mammary tumors in the fat pads of male mice. Our work elucidates the basis of the tissue specificity of BRCA1-related tumor predisposition, and explains why oophorectomy significantly reduces breast cancer risk and recurrence in women carrying BRCA1 mutations.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2014; 111(12). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1324136111 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The generation of viable sperm proceeds through a series of coordinated steps, including germ cell self-renewal, meiotic recombination, and terminal differentiation into functional spermatozoa. The p53 family of transcription factors, including p53, p63, and p73, are critical for many physiological processes, including female fertility, but little is known about their functions in spermatogenesis. Here, we report that deficiency of the TAp73 isoform, but not p53 or ΔNp73, results in male infertility because of severe impairment of spermatogenesis. Mice lacking TAp73 exhibited increased DNA damage and cell death in spermatogonia, disorganized apical ectoplasmic specialization, malformed spermatids, and marked hyperspermia. We demonstrated that TAp73 regulates the mRNA levels of crucial genes involved in germ stem/progenitor cells (CDKN2B), spermatid maturation/spermiogenesis (metalloproteinase and serine proteinase inhibitors), and steroidogenesis (CYP21A2 and progesterone receptor). These alterations of testicular histology and gene expression patterns were specific to TAp73 null mice and not features of mice lacking p53. Our work provides previously unidentified in vivo evidence that TAp73 has a unique role in spermatogenesis that ensures the maintenance of mitotic cells and normal spermiogenesis. These results may have implications for the diagnosis and management of human male infertility.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2014; 111(5). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1323416111 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress plays an important role in cancer development and treatment. Recent data implicate the tumor suppressor BRCA1 in regulating oxidative stress, but the molecular mechanism and the impact in BRCA1-associated tumorigenesis remain unclear. Here, we show that BRCA1 regulates Nrf2-dependent antioxidant signaling by physically interacting with Nrf2 and promoting its stability and activation. BRCA1-deficient mouse primary mammary epithelial cells show low expression of Nrf2-regulated antioxidant enzymes and accumulate reactive oxygen species (ROS) that impair survival in vivo. Increased Nrf2 activation rescues survival and ROS levels in BRCA1-null cells. Interestingly, 53BP1 inactivation, which has been shown to alleviate several defects associated with BRCA1 loss, rescues survival of BRCA1-null cells without restoring ROS levels. We demonstrate that estrogen treatment partially restores Nrf2 levels in the absence of BRCA1. Our data suggest that Nrf2-regulated antioxidant response plays a crucial role in controlling survival downstream of BRCA1 loss. The ability of estrogen to induce Nrf2 posits an involvement of an estrogen-Nrf2 connection in BRCA1 tumor suppression. Lastly, BRCA1-mutated tumors retain a defective antioxidant response that increases the sensitivity to oxidative stress. In conclusion, the role of BRCA1 in regulating Nrf2 activity suggests important implications for both the etiology and treatment of BRCA1-related cancers.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 07/2013; DOI:10.1084/jem.20121337 · 12.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is the most common solid tumor and the second most common cause of death in women. Despite a large body of literature and progress in breast cancer research, many molecular aspects of this complex disease are still poorly understood, hindering the design of specific and effective therapeutic strategies. To identify the molecules important in breast cancer progression and metastasis, we tested the in vivo effects of inhibiting the functions of various kinases and genes involved in the regulation/modulation of the cytoskeleton by downregulating them in mouse PyMT mammary tumor cells and human breast cancer cell lines. These kinases and cytoskeletal regulators were selected based on their prognostic values for breast cancer patient survival. PyMT tumor cells, in which a selected gene was stably knocked down were injected into the tail veins of mice, and the formation of tumors in the lungs was monitored. One of the several genes found to be important for tumor growth in the lungs was NIMA-related kinases 2 (Nek2), a cell cycle-related protein kinase. Furthermore, Nek2 was also important for tumor growth in the mammary fat pad. In various human breast cancer cell lines, Nek2 knockdown induced aneuploidy and cell cycle arrest that led to cell death. Significantly, the breast cancer cell line most sensitive to Nek2 depletion was of the triple negative breast cancer subtype. Our data indicate that Nek2 has a pivotal role in breast cancer growth at primary and secondary sites, and thus may be an attractive and novel therapeutic target for this disease.Oncogene advance online publication, 27 May 2013; doi:10.1038/onc.2013.183.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumorigenesis results from dysregulation of oncogenes and tumor suppressors that influence cellular proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and/or senescence. Many gene products involved in these processes are substrates of the E3 ubiquitin ligase Mule/Huwe1/Arf-BP1 (Mule), but whether Mule acts as an oncogene or tumor suppressor in vivo remains controversial. We generated K14Cre;Mule(flox/flox(y)) (Mule kKO) mice and subjected them to DMBA/PMA-induced skin carcinogenesis, which depends on oncogenic Ras signaling. Mule deficiency resulted in increased penetrance, number, and severity of skin tumors, which could be reversed by concomitant genetic knockout of c-Myc but not by knockout of p53 or p19Arf. Notably, in the absence of Mule, c-Myc/Miz1 transcriptional complexes accumulated, and levels of p21CDKN1A (p21) and p15INK4B (p15) were down-regulated. In vitro, Mule-deficient primary keratinocytes exhibited increased proliferation that could be reversed by Miz1 knockdown. Transfer of Mule-deficient transformed cells to nude mice resulted in enhanced tumor growth that again could be abrogated by Miz1 knockdown. Our data demonstrate in vivo that Mule suppresses Ras-mediated tumorigenesis by preventing an accumulation of c-Myc/Miz1 complexes that mediates p21 and p15 down-regulation.
Genes & development 05/2013; 27(10):1101-1114. DOI:10.1101/gad.214577.113 · 10.80 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is well known that protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) that become oxidized due to exposure to reactive oxygen species (ROS) undergo a conformational change and are inactivated. However, whether PTPs can actively regulate ROS levels in order to prevent PTP inhibition has yet to be investigated. Here, we demonstrate that PTP non-receptor type 12 (PTPN12) protects cells against aberrant ROS accumulation and death induced by oxidative stress. Murine embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) deficient in PTPN12 underwent increased ROS-induced apoptosis under conditions of antioxidant depletion. Cells lacking PTPN12 also showed defective activation of FOXO1/3a, transcription factors required for the upregulation of several antioxidant genes. PTPN12-mediated regulation of ROS appeared to be mediated by phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1 (PDK1), which was hyperstimulated in the absence of PTPN12. As tight regulation of ROS to sustain survival is a key feature of cancer cells, we examined PTPN12 levels in tumors from a cohort of breast cancer patients. Patients whose tumors showed high levels of PTPN12 transcripts had a significantly poorer prognosis. Analysis of tissues from patients with various breast cancer subtypes revealed that more triple-negative breast cancers, the most aggressive breast cancer subtype, showed high PTPN12 expression than any other subtype. Furthermore, both human breast cancer cells and mouse mammary epithelial tumor cells engineered to lack PTPN12 exhibited reduced tumorigenic and metastatic potential in vivo that correlated with their elevated ROS levels. The involvement of PTPN12 in the antioxidant response of breast cancer cells suggests that PTPN12 may represent a novel therapeutic target for this disease.Oncogene advance online publication, 25 February 2013; doi:10.1038/onc.2013.24.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rapid activation of immune responses is necessary for antibacterial defense, but excessive immune activation can result in life-threatening septic shock. Understanding how these processes are balanced may provide novel therapeutic potential in treating inflammatory disease. Fc receptors are crucial for innate immune activation. However, the role of the putative Fc receptor for IgM, known as Toso/Faim3, has to this point been unclear. In this study, we generated Toso-deficient mice and used them to uncover a critical regulatory function of Toso in innate immune activation. Development of innate immune cells was intact in the absence of Toso, but Toso-deficient neutrophils exhibited more reactive oxygen species production and reduced phagocytosis of pathogens compared with controls. Cytokine production was also decreased in Toso(-/-) mice compared with WT animals, rendering them resistant to septic shock induced by lipopolysaccharide. However, Toso(-/-) mice also displayed limited cytokine production after infection with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes that was correlated with elevated presence of Listeria throughout the body. Accordingly, Toso(-/-) mice succumbed to infections of L. monocytogenes, whereas WT mice successfully eliminated the infection. Taken together, our data reveal Toso to be a unique regulator of innate immune responses during bacterial infection and septic shock.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2013; 110(7). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1222264110 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The E3 ligase ARIH2 has an unusual structure and mechanism of elongating ubiquitin chains. To understand its physiological role, we generated gene-targeted mice deficient in ARIH2. ARIH2 deficiency resulted in the embryonic death of C57BL/6 mice. On a mixed genetic background, the lethality was attenuated, with some mice surviving beyond weaning and then succumbing to an aggressive multiorgan inflammatory response. We found that in dendritic cells (DCs), ARIH2 caused degradation of the inhibitor IκBβ in the nucleus, which abrogated its ability to sequester, protect and transcriptionally coactivate the transcription factor subunit p65 in the nucleus. Loss of ARIH2 caused dysregulated activation of the transcription factor NF-κB in DCs, which led to lethal activation of the immune system in ARIH2-sufficent mice reconstituted with ARIH2-deficient hematopoietic stem cells. Our data have therapeutic implications for targeting ARIH2 function.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Flotillin microdomains, specialized lipid raft domains in cell membranes, serve as physical platforms for many different molecules important in crucial intracellular signaling pathways. Flotillin-2 (Flot2), together with flotillin-1, is a marker for lipid raft microdomains distinct from caveolar lipid rafts, and has been implicated in the progression of cancer and metastasis formation. Based largely on studies in xenograft models, flotillin-2 has been implicated in the progression of multiple types of human tumors, including breast cancer. In our studies, we identified flotillin-2 as highly amplified in a high-throughput comparative genomic hybridization screen of human breast cancer cell lines and breast tumor samples. Short hairpin RNA-mediated reduction of flotillin-2 protein levels significantly reduced the tumorigenicity and metastatic capability of a human breast cancer cell line in vivo. We generated mice deficient for flotillin-2 and also found a reduction of flotillin-1 protein levels and complete absence of flotillin-specific membrane microdomains in these mice. To examine the role of Flot2 in mammary tumorigenesis and lung metastasis, we used an in vivo molecular genetics approach, crossing a well-characterized transgenic mouse model of breast cancer, the MMTV-PyMT (mouse mammary tumor virus-polyoma middle T antigen) mouse, with gene-targeted Flot2(-/-) mice. Flotillin-2 deficiency lead to a striking reduction in the number of lung metastasis observed, but had no influence on primary tumor formation in this model. Our results indicate, using a novel in vivo animal model approach, that Flot2 is an important regulator of mammary tumor-derived lung metastasis.Oncogene advance online publication, 12 November 2012; doi:10.1038/onc.2012.499.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Isocitrate dehydrogenase-1 (IDH1) R132 mutations occur in glioma, but their physiological significance is unknown. Here we describe the generation and characterization of brain-specific Idh1 R132H conditional knock-in (KI) mice. Idh1 mutation results in hemorrhage and perinatal lethality. Surprisingly, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) are attenuated in Idh1-KI brain cells despite an apparent increase in the NADP(+)/NADPH ratio. Idh1-KI cells also show high levels of D-2-hydroxyglutarate (D2HG) that are associated with inhibited prolyl-hydroxylation of hypoxia-inducible transcription factor-1α (Hif1α) and up-regulated Hif1α target gene transcription. Intriguingly, D2HG also blocks prolyl-hydroxylation of collagen, causing a defect in collagen protein maturation. An endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response induced by the accumulation of immature collagens may account for the embryonic lethality of these mutants. Importantly, D2HG-mediated impairment of collagen maturation also led to basement membrane (BM) aberrations that could play a part in glioma progression. Our study presents strong in vivo evidence that the D2HG produced by the mutant Idh1 enzyme is responsible for the above effects.
Genes & development 08/2012; 26(18):2038-49. DOI:10.1101/gad.198200.112 · 10.80 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain-containing 3 (Tim-3) is an inhibitory receptor that is expressed on exhausted T cells during infection with HIV-1 and hepatitis C virus. By contrast, Tim-3 expression and function are defective in multiple human autoimmune diseases. However, the molecular mechanisms modulating Tim-3 function are not well understood. Here we show that human leukocyte antigen B (HLA-B)-associated transcript 3 (Bat3) binds to, and represses the function of, Tim-3. Bat3 protects T helper type 1 (T(H)1) cells from galectin-9-mediated cell death and promotes both proliferation and proinflammatory cytokine production. Bat3-deficient T cells have elevated expression of exhaustion-associated molecules such as Tim-3, Lag3, Prdm1 and Pbx3, and Bat3 knockdown in myelin-antigen-specific CD4(+) T cells markedly inhibits the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis while promoting the expansion of a dysfunctional Tim-3(hi), interferon-γ (IFN-γ)(lo)CD4(+) cell population. Furthermore, expression of Bat3 is reduced in exhausted Tim-3(+) T cells from mouse tumors and HIV-1-infected individuals. These data indicate that Bat3 acts as an inhibitor of Tim-3-dependent exhaustion and cell death. Bat3 may thus represent a viable therapeutic target in autoimmune disorders, chronic infections and cancers.
Nature medicine 08/2012; 18(9). DOI:10.1038/nm.2871 · 27.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in the IDH1 and IDH2 genes encoding isocitrate dehydrogenases are frequently found in human glioblastomas and cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukaemias (AML). These alterations are gain-of-function mutations in that they drive the synthesis of the ‘oncometabolite’ R-2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG). It remains unclear how IDH1 and IDH2 mutations modify myeloid cell development and promote leukaemogenesis. Here we report the characterization of conditional knock-in (KI) mice in which the most common IDH1 mutation, IDH1(R132H), is inserted into the endogenous murine Idh1 locus and is expressed in all haematopoietic cells (Vav-KI mice) or specifically in cells of the myeloid lineage (LysM-KI mice). These mutants show increased numbers of early haematopoietic progenitors and develop splenomegaly and anaemia with extramedullary haematopoiesis, suggesting a dysfunctional bone marrow niche. Furthermore, LysM-KI cells have hypermethylated histones and changes to DNA methylation similar to those observed in human IDH1- or IDH2-mutant AML. To our knowledge, our study is the first to describe the generation and characterization of conditional IDH1(R132H)-KI mice, and also the first report to demonstrate the induction of a leukaemic DNA methylation signature in a mouse model. Our report thus sheds light on the mechanistic links between IDH1 mutation and human AML.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Innate immune responses are vital for pathogen defense but can result in septic shock when excessive. A key mediator of septic shock is tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), which is shed from the plasma membrane after cleavage by the TNFα convertase (TACE). We report that the rhomboid family member iRhom2 interacted with TACE and regulated TNFα shedding. iRhom2 was critical for TACE maturation and trafficking to the cell surface in hematopoietic cells. Gene-targeted iRhom2-deficient mice showed reduced serum TNFα in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and could survive a lethal LPS dose. Furthermore, iRhom2-deficient mice failed to control the replication of Listeria monocytogenes. Our study has identified iRhom2 as a regulator of innate immunity that may be an important target for modulating sepsis and pathogen defense.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The highly conserved ANP32 proteins are proposed to function in a broad array of physiological activities through molecular mechanisms as diverse as phosphatase inhibition, chromatin regulation, caspase activation, and intracellular transport. On the basis of previous analyses of mice bearing targeted mutations of Anp32a or Anp32e, there has been speculation that all ANP32 proteins play redundant roles and are dispensable for normal development. However, more recent work has suggested that ANP32B may in fact have functions that are not shared by other ANP32 family members. Here we report that ANP32B expression is associated with a poor prognosis in human breast cancer, consistent with the increased levels of Anp32b mRNA present in proliferating wild-type (WT) murine embryonic fibroblasts and stimulated WT B and T lymphocytes. Moreover, we show that, contrary to previous assumptions, Anp32b is very important for murine embryogenesis. In a mixed genetic background, ANP32B-deficient mice displayed a partially penetrant perinatal lethality that became fully penetrant in a pure C57BL/6 background. Surviving ANP32B-deficient mice showed reduced viability due to variable defects in various organ systems. Study of compound mutants lacking ANP32A, ANP32B, and/or ANP32E revealed previously hidden roles for ANP32A in mouse development that became apparent only in the complete absence of ANP32B. Our data demonstrate a hierarchy of importance for the mammalian Anp32 genes, with Anp32b being the most critical for normal development.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2011; 108(25):10243-8. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1106211108 · 9.67 Impact Factor