Cell Reports

Published by Elsevier (Cell Press)
Print ISSN: 2211-1247
Natural killer (NK) cells mediate innate immune responses against hazardous cells and are particularly important for the control of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). NKG2D is a key NK activating receptor that recognizes a family of stress-induced ligands, including MICA, MICB, and ULBP1-6. Notably, most of these ligands are targeted by HCMV proteins and a miRNA to prevent the killing of infected cells by NK cells. A particular highly prevalent MICA allele, MICA(∗)008, is considered to be an HCMV-resistant "escape variant" that confers advantage to human NK cells in recognizing infected cells. However, here we show that HCMV uses its viral glycoprotein US9 to specifically target MICA(∗)008 and thus escapes NKG2D attack. The finding that HCMV evolved a protein dedicated to countering a single host allele illustrates the dynamic co-evolution of host and pathogen. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Caspase-11 is a highly inducible caspase that controls both inflammatory responses and cell death. Caspase-11 controls interleukin 1β (IL-1β) secretion by potentiating caspase-1 activation and induces caspase-1-independent pyroptosis downstream of noncanonical NLRP3 inflammasome activators such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and Gram-negative bacteria. However, we still know very little about the downstream mechanism of caspase-11 in regulating inflammation because the known substrates of caspase-11 are only other caspases. Here, we identify the cationic channel subunit transient receptor potential channel 1 (TRPC1) as a substrate of caspase-11. TRPC1 deficiency increases the secretion of IL-1β without modulating caspase-1 cleavage or cell death in cultured macrophages. Consistently, trpc1(-/-) mice show higher IL-1β secretion in the sepsis model of intraperitoneal LPS injection. Altogether, our data suggest that caspase-11 modulates the cationic channel composition of the cell and thus regulates the unconventional secretion pathway in a manner independent of caspase-1.
The accelerated cell death 11 (acd11) mutant of Arabidopsis provides a genetic model for studying immune response activation and localized cellular suicide that halt pathogen spread during infection in plants. Here, we elucidate ACD11 structure and function and show that acd11 disruption dramatically alters the in vivo balance of sphingolipid mediators that regulate eukaryotic-programmed cell death. In acd11 mutants, normally low ceramide-1-phosphate (C1P) levels become elevated, but the relatively abundant cell death inducer phytoceramide rises acutely. ACD11 exhibits selective intermembrane transfer of C1P and phyto-C1P. Crystal structures establish C1P binding via a surface-localized, phosphate headgroup recognition center connected to an interior hydrophobic pocket that adaptively ensheaths lipid chains via a cleft-like gating mechanism. Point mutation mapping confirms functional involvement of binding site residues. A π helix (π bulge) near the lipid binding cleft distinguishes apo-ACD11 from other GLTP folds. The global two-layer, α-helically dominated, "sandwich" topology displaying C1P-selective binding identifies ACD11 as the plant prototype of a GLTP fold subfamily.
To elucidate the structural basis of the mechanism of microtubule depolymerization by kinesin-13s, we analyzed complexes of tubulin and the Drosophila melanogaster kinesin-13 KLP10A by electron microscopy (EM) and fluorescence polarization microscopy. We report a nanometer-resolution (1.1 nm) cryo-EM three-dimensional structure of the KLP10A head domain (KLP10AHD) bound to curved tubulin. We found that binding of KLP10AHD induces a distinct tubulin configuration with displacement (shear) between tubulin subunits in addition to curvature. In this configuration, the kinesin-binding site differs from that in straight tubulin, providing an explanation for the distinct interaction modes of kinesin-13s with the microtubule lattice or its ends. The KLP10AHD-tubulin interface comprises three areas of interaction, suggesting a crossbow-type tubulin-bending mechanism. These areas include the kinesin-13 family conserved KVD residues, and as predicted from the crossbow model, mutating these residues changes the orientation and mobility of KLP10AHDs interacting with the microtubule.
HFD Enhanced the Expression of IL-13 in Adipocytes (A) Expression of inflammatory mediators in epididymal adipose tissues of HFD-fed C57BL/6J mice (n = 7-8 per group). (B and C) IL-4 and IL-13 expression in epididymal adipose tissues of normal chow (NC) and high-fat (HF) diet-fed C57BL/6J mice (n = 7-8 per group). (D) IL-13 level in plasma of HFD-fed C57BL/6J mice (n = 8-10 per group). (E) Expression of inflammatory cytokines in omental adipose tissues of lean and obese humans. (F) IL-13 expression in omental adipose tissue of lean and obese humans (lean: BMI = 24.9 ± 1.3, n = 5; obese: BMI = 45.4 ± 2.1, n = 11). (G and H) IL-13 and IL-4 expression in SVF and ACF of NCD-and HFD-fed mice (n = 4-6 per group). All data are the mean ± SEM, *p < 0.005 compared with NC, **p < 0.035 compared with lean. 
IL-1b and TNF-a Induced the Expression of IL-13 in Adipocytes, and HFD-Induced IL-13 Expression in Adipocytes Was Diminished in Adipocyte-Specific IKKb Knockout Mice (A) TNF-a and IL-1b-induced IL-13 expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Cytokines (20 ng/ml except IL-1b [10 ng/ml]) were treated for 1 or 6 hr (n = 4-6 per group). (B and C) FFA and endotoxin did not induce IL-13 expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes (n = 4). FFA (1 mM palmitate and BSA adduct) and endotoxin LPS (50 ng/ml) were treated for 6 hr. (D and E) TNF-a and IL-1b-induced synergistic expression of IL-13 in 3T3-L1 adipocytes (n = 4-8 per group). Cytokines were treated for 6 hr. All data are the mean ± SEM, *p < 0.0007 compared with control (Ctrl), **p < 0.0003 compared with IL-1b. (F) IKKb expression in WT and Ad-IKKbKO (KO) mice. NCD-fed mice (5-7 weeks old) were used. (G) Food intake and energy expenditure (EE) of WT and Ad-IKKbKO (KO) mice after NCD or HFD feeding for 12-14 weeks (n = 4-6 per group). (H) IL-13 expression in epididymal adipose tissues of HFD-fed WT (WT-HF) and Ad-IKKbKO (KO-HF) mice (n = 5-7 per group). (I) IL-13 expression in ACF prepared from HFD-fed WT and Ad-IKKbKO (n = 5-7 per group). All data are the mean ± SEM, *p < 0.004 compared with NC, **p < 0.0034 compared with WT-HF, ***p < 0.0001 compared with WT ACF-HF. 
Exogenous IL-13 Administration Diminished the Inflammation in Adipose Tissue of Adipocyte-Specific IKKb Knockout Mice (A and B) Body weight, fat mass, and IL-13 expression in epididymal adipose tissues of HFDfed WT and Ad-IKKbKO (KO) mice with exogenous IL-13 administration (n = 6-8 per group). sAT, subcutaneous adipose tissue; eAT, epididymal adipose tissue. (C) Exogenous IL-13 administration suppressed inflammatory responses in epididymal adipose tissues of HFD-fed WT and Ad-IKKbKO (KO) mice (n = 6-8 per group). All data are the mean ± SEM, *p < 0.0054 compared with WT without IL-13, **p < 0.024 compared with KO without IL-13. (D and E) Glucose and insulin tolerance test in HFD-fed Ad-IKKbKO mice with IL-13 administration (n = 4-6 per group). All data are the mean ± SEM, *p < 0.021 and **p < 0.05 compared to KOHF-IL13. (F) Schematic model of the pathway responsible for HFD-induced IL-13 expression in adipocytes as a feedback pathway to limit the inflammatory response. 
Adipose tissue inflammation is one pathway shown to mediate insulin resistance in obese humans and rodents. Obesity induces dynamic cellular changes in adipose tissue to increase proinflammatory cytokines and diminish anti-inflammatory cytokines. However, we have found that anti-inflammatory interleukin-13 (IL-13) is unexpectedly induced in adipose tissue of obese humans and high-fat diet (HFD)-fed mice, and the source of IL-13 is primarily the adipocyte. Moreover, HFD-induced proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and IL-1β mediate IL-13 production in adipocytes in an IKKβ-dependent manner. In contrast, adipocyte-specific IKKβ-deficient mice show diminished IL-13 expression and enhanced inflammation after HFD feeding, resulting in a worsening of the insulin-resistant state. Together these data demonstrate that although IKKβ activates the expression of proinflammatory mediators, in adipocytes, IKKβ signaling also induces the expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-13, which plays a unique protective role by limiting adipose tissue inflammation and insulin resistance. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Members of the 18 glycosyl hydrolase (GH 18) gene family have been conserved over species and time and are dysregulated in inflammatory, infectious, remodeling, and neoplastic disorders. This is particularly striking for the prototypic chitinase-like protein chitinase 3-like 1 (Chi3l1), which plays a critical role in antipathogen responses where it augments bacterial killing while stimulating disease tolerance by controlling cell death, inflammation, and remodeling. However, receptors that mediate the effects of GH 18 moieties have not been defined. Here, we demonstrate that Chi3l1 binds to interleukin-13 receptor α2 (IL-13Rα2) and that Chi3l1, IL-13Rα2, and IL-13 are in a multimeric complex. We also demonstrate that Chi3l1 activates macrophage mitogen-activated protein kinase, protein kinase B/AKT, and Wnt/β-catenin signaling and regulates oxidant injury, apoptosis, pyroptosis, inflammasome activation, antibacterial responses, melanoma metastasis, and TGF-β1 production via IL-13Rα2-dependent mechanisms. Thus, IL-13Rα2 is a GH 18 receptor that plays a critical role in Chi3l1 effector responses.
Oxidative damage and mitochondrial dysfunction are implicated in aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington's disease (HD). Many naturally occurring antioxidants have been tested for their ability to correct for deleterious effects of reactive oxygen species, but often they lack specificity, are tissue variable, and have marginal efficacy in human clinical trials. To increase specificity and efficacy, we have designed a synthetic antioxidant, XJB-5-131, to target mitochondria. We demonstrate in a mouse model of HD that XJB-5-131 has remarkably beneficial effects. XJB-5-131 reduces oxidative damage to mitochondrial DNA, maintains mitochondrial DNA copy number, suppresses motor decline and weight loss, enhances neuronal survival, and improves mitochondrial function. The findings poise XJB-5-131 as a promising therapeutic compound.
Malignant gliomas are the most aggressive forms of brain tumors, associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Recurrence and tumorigenesis are attributed to a subpopulation of tumor-initiating glioma stem cells (GSCs) that are intrinsically resistant to therapy. Initiation and progression of gliomas have been linked to alterations in microRNA expression. Here, we report the identification of microRNA-138 (miR-138) as a molecular signature of GSCs and demonstrate a vital role for miR-138 in promoting growth and survival of bona fide tumor-initiating cells with self-renewal potential. Sequence-specific functional inhibition of miR-138 prevents tumorsphere formation in vitro and impedes tumorigenesis in vivo. We delineate the components of the miR-138 regulatory network by loss-of-function analysis to identify specific regulators of apoptosis. Finally, the higher expression of miR-138 in GSCs compared to non-neoplastic tissue and association with tumor recurrence and survival highlights the clinical significance of miR-138 as a prognostic biomarker and a therapeutic target for treatment of malignant gliomas.
Class-switch DNA recombination (CSR) is central to the antibody response, in that it changes the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) constant region, thereby diversifying biological effector functions of antibodies. The activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID)-centered CSR machinery excises and rejoins DNA between an upstream (donor) and a downstream (acceptor) S region, which precede the respective constant region DNA. AID is stabilized on S regions by 14-3-3 adaptors. These adaptors display a high affinity for 5'-AGCT-3' repeats, which recur in all S regions. However, how 14-3-3, AID, and the CSR machinery target exclusively the donor and acceptor S regions is poorly understood. Here, we show that histone methyltransferases and acetyltransferases are induced by CD40 or Toll-like receptor signaling and catalyze H3K4me3 and H3K9ac/K14ac histone modifications, which are enriched in S regions but do not specify the S region targets of CSR. By contrast, the combinatorial H3K9acS10ph modification specifically marks the S regions set to recombine and directly recruits 14-3-3 adaptors for AID stabilization there. Inhibition of the enzymatic activity of GCN5 and PCAF histone acetyltransferases reduces H3K9acS10ph in S regions, 14-3-3 and AID stabilization, and CSR. Thus, H3K9acS10ph is a histone code that is "written" specifically in S regions and is "read" by 14-3-3 adaptors to target AID for CSR as an important biological outcome.
An increased understanding of antitumor immunity is necessary for improving cell-based immunotherapies against human cancers. Here, we investigated the roles of two immune system-expressed microRNAs (miRNAs), miR-155 and miR-146a, in the regulation of antitumor immune responses. Our results indicate that miR-155 promotes and miR-146a inhibits interferon γ (IFNγ) responses by T cells and reduces solid tumor growth in vivo. Using a double-knockout (DKO) mouse strain deficient in both miR-155 and miR-146a, we have also identified an epistatic relationship between these two miRNAs. DKO mice had defective T cell responses and tumor growth phenotypes similar to miR-155(-/-) mice. Further analysis of the T cell compartment revealed that miR-155 modulates IFNγ expression through a mechanism involving repression of Ship1. Our work reveals critical roles for miRNAs in the reciprocal regulation of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell-mediated antitumor immunity and demonstrates the dominant nature of miR-155 during its promotion of immune responses.
Expression Profiling of Mature miRNAs in Human Fibroblasts following Infection by Type I (RH) versus Type II (ME49) Strains 
Suppression of miR-146a Expression Is Mediated by Type I ROP16 (A) Immunoblotting detection of phosphoSTAT3(Y705) in nuclear cell lysates of HFF cells left uninfected (u.i.) or infected (24 hr) with the indicated strains. Toxofilin (parasite-specific) level is shown as loading control. (B and C) qRT-PCR analysis of miR-146a levels in HFF cells left uninfected (u.i) or infected with (B) type I or (C) type II Drop16 strains versus their parental strains. microRNA expression levels were normalized by RNU24 levels. Mean values and SDs from three independent experiments are shown. (D) qRT-PCR analysis of miR-146a and miR-155 levels in HFF cells left uninfected (u.i) or infected with wild-type type II strain PruA7 or PruA7 ectopically expressing a type I allele of ROP16. microRNA expression levels were normalized by RNU24 levels. Mean values and SDs from six independent experiments are shown. (E) qRT-PCR analysis of miR-146a, described in Figure 3D, was repeated during a 24 hr Toxoplasma infection time course. Mean values and SDs from two independent experiments are shown. See also Figure S4. 
Evidence for a Typical microRNA Fingerprint in Cyst-Containing Brains of Mice Chronically Infected by Type II Toxoplasma Strains (A) qRT-PCR analysis of selected microRNA levels in whole brains of Swiss mice left uninfected (n = 14 mice) or chronically infected (6-10 weeks postinfection) by 30-80 cysts of type II (ME49) strain (n = 14 mice) by intraperitoneal route. miRNA expression levels were expressed as normalized values using U6 snRNA as the endogenous control. Mean values and SDs from three independent experiments are shown. (B) Parasite burden and miRNAs expression were determined in wild-type Swiss mice intraperitoneally infected with a dose of 10 6 ME49 tachyzoites. Parasites were enumerated by qPCR in the serum and from brain homogenates by qPCR at the indicated times after infection. The expression of the aforementioned microRNA was assessed in the brain using qRT-PCR. miRNA expression levels were expressed as normalized values using U6 snRNA as the endogenous control. Mean values and SDs from two animals in each group are shown. (C) miRNA expression levels were assessed by qRT-PCR in brains of Swiss mice chronically infected by a type III (CTG) or a type II (ME49) Toxoplasma strains (10 5 tachyzoites by intraperitoneal route). miRNA expression levels were expressed as normalized values using U6 snRNA as the endogenous control. Mean values and SDs from six to eight animals in each group are shown. (D) Serological status by western blot analysis of mice left uninfected or infected as mentioned in Figure 4C. (E) Parasite burden in the brain of infected Swiss mice (six to eight animals/group) described above. Toxoplasma DNA PCR assay was performed with brain tissue sampled from mice at 7 weeks postinfection. *Significantly different (p < 0.05, Student's t test). See also Figure S5.
miR-146a Expression Affects the Control of Toxoplasma In Vivo (A and B) Chronic cyst burden and microRNA expression were assessed in Swiss mice left uninfected or infected by the parental strain ME49 (n = 11) and F1 I 3 II progeny strains SF18 (n = 13) and SF28 (n = 8) using 10 5 tachyzoites and intraperitoneal route. (A) qRT-PCR analysis of miR146a and miR-155 levels were assessed in mice brains. microRNA expression levels were normalized by U6 snRNA levels. Mean values and SDs from eight to 13 animals in each group are shown. (B) Cysts were enumerated by microscopy. *, **Significantly different (p < 0.05, Student's t test). (C) C57BL/6 or C57BL/6 miR-146a À/À mice were intraperitoneally infected with a dose of 5 3 10 2 tachyzoites of PruA7 or PruA7+ROP16-I. Survival was monitored. Significance was tested using logrank (Mantel-Cox) test and Peto & Peto modification of the Gehan-Wilcoxon test, *p = 8.13 3 10 À6 and **p = 4.31 3 10 À5 when compared to BL6 WT infected by PruA7 WT parasite strain. (D) qRT-PCR analysis of miR-146a levels were assessed in the brain of C57BL/6 WT and miR146a À/À mice infected with PruA7 or PruA7+ ROP16-I and compared to those of uninfected C57BL/6 WT mice. miRNA expression levels were expressed as normalized values using miR-U6 as the endogenous control. Mean values and SDs from three independent experiments are shown. (E) Peritoneal lavage fluid and serum were collected on day 4 after infection of C57BL/6 or C57BL/6 miR146a À/À mice that had received an intraperitoneal (i.p.) dose of 10 3 PruA7 tachyzoites. Concentrations of IFN-g were determined by ELISA. Data shown are means ± SD with n = 3 individual mice per mice genotype. Error bars represent SD from one experiment. *Significantly different from WT (p < 0.05, Student's t test). (F) WT and miR-146 À/À C57BL/6 mice were i.p. infected with 10 3 PruA7 tachyzoites. Parasites were enumerated using recovered i.p. contents at day 4 postinfection. Data shown are means ± SD (from three mice per mouse genotype). *Significantly different from WT (p < 0.05, Student's t test). See also Figure S5. 
microRNAs were recently found to be regulators of the host response to infection by apicomplexan parasites. In this study, we identified two immunomodulatory microRNAs, miR-146a and miR-155, that were coinduced in the brains of mice challenged with Toxoplasma in a strain-specific manner. These microRNAs define a characteristic fingerprint for infection by type II strains, which are the most prevalent cause of human toxoplasmosis in Europe and North America. Using forward genetics, we showed that strain-specific differences in miR-146a modulation were in part mediated by the rhoptry kinase, ROP16. Remarkably, we found that miR-146a deficiency led to better control of parasite burden in the gut and most likely of early parasite dissemination in the brain tissue, resulting in the long-term survival of mice.
Monocytes serve as a central defense system against infection and injury but can also promote pathological inflammatory responses. Considering the evidence that monocytes exist in at least two subsets committed to divergent functions, we investigated whether distinct factors regulate the balance between monocyte subset responses in vivo. We identified a microRNA (miRNA), miR-146a, which is differentially regulated both in mouse (Ly-6C(hi)/Ly-6C(lo)) and human (CD14(hi)/CD14(lo)CD16(+)) monocyte subsets. The single miRNA controlled the amplitude of the Ly-6C(hi) monocyte response during inflammatory challenge whereas it did not affect Ly-6C(lo) cells. miR-146a-mediated regulation was cell-intrinsic and depended on Relb, a member of the noncanonical NF-κB/Rel family, which we identified as a direct miR-146a target. These observations not only provide mechanistic insights into the molecular events that regulate responses mediated by committed monocyte precursor populations but also identify targets for manipulating Ly-6C(hi) monocyte responses while sparing Ly-6Clo monocyte activity.
Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells are often undesired targets of chemotherapies, leading to hematopoietic suppression requiring careful clinical management. Whether microRNAs control hematopoietic injury response is largely unknown. We report an in vivo gain-of-function screen and the identification of miR-150 as an inhibitor of hematopoietic recovery upon 5-fluorouracil-induced injury. Utilizing a bone marrow transplant model with a barcoded microRNA library, we screened for barcode abundance in peripheral blood of recipient mice before and after 5-fluorouracil treatment. Overexpression of screen-candidate miR-150 resulted in significantly slowed recovery rates across major blood lineages, with associated impairment of bone marrow clonogenic potential. Conversely, platelets and myeloid cells from miR-150 null marrow recovered faster after 5-fluorouracil treatment. Heterozygous knockout of c-myb, a conserved target of miR-150, partially phenocopied miR-150-forced expression. Our data highlight the role of microRNAs in controlling hematopoietic injury response and demonstrate the power of in vivo functional screens for studying microRNAs in normal tissue physiology.
Endogenous molecules generated upon pathogen invasion or tissue damage serve as danger signals that activate host defense; however, their precise immunological role remains unclear. Tenascin-C is an extracellular matrix glycoprotein that is specifically induced upon injury and infection. Here, we show that its expression is required to generate an effective immune response to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) during experimental sepsis in vivo. Tenascin-C enables macrophage translation of proinflammatory cytokines upon LPS activation of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and suppresses the synthesis of anti-inflammatory cytokines. It mediates posttranscriptional control of a specific subset of inflammatory mediators via induction of the microRNA miR-155. Thus, tenascin-C plays a key role in regulating the inflammatory axis during pathogenic activation of TLR signaling.
Neuronal migration is essential for nervous system development in all organisms and is regulated in the nematode, C. elegans, by signaling pathways that are conserved in humans. Here, we demonstrate that the insulin/IGF-1-PI3K signaling pathway modulates the activity of the DAF-16/FOXO transcription factor to regulate the anterior migrations of the hermaphrodite-specific neurons (HSNs) during embryogenesis of C. elegans. When signaling is reduced, DAF-16 is activated and promotes migration; conversely, when signaling is enhanced, DAF-16 is inactivated, and migration is inhibited. We show that DAF-16 acts nonautonomously in the hypodermis to promote HSN migration. Furthermore, we identify PAK-1, a p21-activated kinase, as a downstream mediator of insulin/IGF-1-DAF-16 signaling in the nonautonomous control of HSN migration. Because a FOXO-Pak1 pathway was recently shown to regulate mammalian neuronal polarity, our findings indicate that the roles of FOXO and Pak1 in neuronal migration are most likely conserved from C. elegans to higher organisms.
In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) signaling (IIS) reduction hyperactivates the transcription factors DAF-16 and heat shock factor 1 (HSF-1), creating long-lived, stress-resistant worms that are protected from proteotoxicity. How DAF-16 executes its distinct functions in response to IIS reduction is largely obscure. Here, we report that NHL-1, a member of the TRIM-NHL protein family, acts in chemosensory neurons to promote stress resistance in distal tissues by DAF-16 activation but is dispensable for the activation of HSF-1. The expression of nhl-1 is regulated by the IIS, defining a neuronal regulatory circuit that controls the organismal stress response. The knockdown of nhl-1 protects nematodes that express the Alzheimer-disease-associated Aβ peptide from proteotoxicity but has no effect on lifespan. Our findings indicate that DAF-16- and HSF-1-regulated heat-responsive mechanisms are differentially controlled by neurons and show that one neuronal protein can be involved in the activation of different stress responses in remote tissues. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans each carry a single representative of the Forkhead box O (FoxO) family of transcription factors, dFOXO and DAF-16, respectively. Both are required for lifespan extension by reduced insulin/Igf signaling, and their activation in key tissues can extend lifespan. Aging of these tissues may limit lifespan. Alternatively, FoxOs may promote longevity cell nonautonomously by signaling to themselves (FoxO to FoxO) or other factors (FoxO to other) in distal tissues. Here, we show that activation of dFOXO and DAF-16 in the gut/fat body does not require dfoxo/daf-16 elsewhere to extend lifespan. Rather, in Drosophila, activation of dFOXO in the gut/fat body or in neuroendocrine cells acts on other organs to promote healthy aging by signaling to other, as-yet-unidentified factors. Whereas FoxO-to-FoxO signaling appears to be required for metabolic homeostasis, our results pinpoint FoxO-to-other signaling as an important mechanism through which localized FoxO activity ameliorates aging.
The t(8;21) and inv(16) chromosomal aberrations generate the oncoproteins AML1-ETO (A-E) and CBFβ-SMMHC (C-S). The role of these oncoproteins in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) etiology has been well studied. Conversely, the function of native RUNX1 in promoting A-E- and C-S-mediated leukemias has remained elusive. We show that wild-type RUNX1 is required for the survival of t(8;21)-Kasumi-1 and inv(16)-ME-1 leukemic cells. RUNX1 knockdown in Kasumi-1 cells (Kasumi-1(RX1-KD)) attenuates the cell-cycle mitotic checkpoint, leading to apoptosis, whereas knockdown of A-E in Kasumi-1(RX1-KD) rescues these cells. Mechanistically, a delicate RUNX1/A-E balance involving competition for common genomic sites that regulate RUNX1/A-E targets sustains the malignant cell phenotype. The broad medical significance of this leukemic cell addiction to native RUNX1 is underscored by clinical data showing that an active RUNX1 allele is usually preserved in both t(8;21) or inv(16) AML patients, whereas RUNX1 is frequently inactivated in other forms of leukemia. Thus, RUNX1 and its mitotic control targets are potential candidates for new therapeutic approaches.
A deletion on human chromosome 16p11.2 is associated with autism spectrum disorders. We deleted the syntenic region on mouse chromosome 7F3. MRI and high-throughput single-cell transcriptomics revealed anatomical and cellular abnormalities, particularly in cortex and striatum of juvenile mutant mice (16p11(+/-)). We found elevated numbers of striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) expressing the dopamine D2 receptor (Drd2(+)) and fewer dopamine-sensitive (Drd1(+)) neurons in deep layers of cortex. Electrophysiological recordings of Drd2(+) MSN revealed synaptic defects, suggesting abnormal basal ganglia circuitry function in 16p11(+/-) mice. This is further supported by behavioral experiments showing hyperactivity, circling, and deficits in movement control. Strikingly, 16p11(+/-) mice showed a complete lack of habituation reminiscent of what is observed in some autistic individuals. Our findings unveil a fundamental role of genes affected by the 16p11.2 deletion in establishing the basal ganglia circuitry and provide insights in the pathophysiology of autism.
Interleukin-23 (IL-23) is essential for the differentiation of pathogenic effector T helper 17 (Th17) cells, but its role in memory Th17 cell responses is unclear. Using the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model, we report that memory Th17 cells rapidly expanded in response to rechallenge and migrated to the CNS in high numbers, resulting in earlier onset and increased severity of clinical disease. Memory Th17 cells were generated from IL-17(+) and RORγt(+) precursors, and the stability of the Th17 cell phenotype depended on the amount of time allowed for the primary response. IL-23 was required for this enhanced recall response. IL-23 receptor blockade did not directly impact IL-17 production, but did impair the subsequent proliferation and generation of effectors coexpressing the Th1 cell-specific transcription factor T-bet. In addition, many genes required for cell-cycle progression were downregulated in Th17 cells that lacked IL-23 signaling, showing that a major mechanism for IL-23 in primary and memory Th17 cell responses operates via regulation of proliferation-associated pathways.
Axonal degeneration arises as a consequence of neuronal injury and is a common hallmark of a number of neurodegenerative diseases. However, the genetic causes and the cellular mechanisms that trigger this process are still largely unknown. Based on forward genetic screening in C. elegans, we have identified the α-tubulin acetyltransferase gene mec-17 as causing spontaneous, adult-onset, and progressive axonal degeneration. Loss of MEC-17 leads to microtubule instability, a reduction in mitochondrial number, and disrupted axonal transport, with altered distribution of both mitochondria and synaptic components. Furthermore, mec-17-mediated axonal degeneration occurs independently from its acetyltransferase domain; is enhanced by mutation of coel-1, a tubulin-associated molecule; and correlates with the animal's body length. This study therefore identifies a critical role for the conserved microtubule-associated protein MEC-17 in preserving axon integrity and preventing axonal degeneration.
During development of the embryonic neocortex, tightly regulated expansion of neural stem cells (NSCs) and their transition to intermediate progenitors (IPs) are critical for normal cortical formation and function. Molecular mechanisms that regulate NSC expansion and transition remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the microRNA (miRNA) miR-17-92 cluster is required for maintaining proper populations of cortical radial glial cells (RGCs) and IPs through repression of Pten and Tbr2 protein. Knockout of miR-17-92 and its paralogs specifically in the developing neocortex restricts NSC proliferation, suppresses RGC expansion, and promotes transition of RGCs to IPs. Moreover, Pten and Tbr2 protectors specifically block silencing activities of endogenous miR-17-92 and control proper numbers of RGCs and IPs in vivo. Our results demonstrate a critical role for miRNAs in promoting NSC proliferation and modulating the cell-fate decision of generating distinct neural progenitors in the developing neocortex.
The process of cancer immunoediting generates a repertoire of cancer cells that can persist in immune-competent hosts. In its most complex form, this process begins with the elimination of highly immunogenic unedited tumor cells followed by the escape of less immunogenic edited cells. Although edited tumors can release immunosuppressive factors, it is unknown whether unedited tumors produce cytokines that enhance antitumor function. Utilizing gene microarray analysis, we found the cytokine interleukin 17D (IL-17D) was highly expressed in certain unedited tumors but not in edited mouse tumor cell lines. Moreover, forced expression of IL-17D in edited tumor cells induced rejection by stimulating MCP-1 production from tumor endothelial cells, leading to the recruitment of natural killer (NK) cells. NK cells promoted M1 macrophage development and adaptive immune responses. IL-17D expression was also decreased in certain high-grade and metastatic human tumors, suggesting that it can be targeted for tumor immune therapy.
Human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) lines exhibit repeated patterns of genetic variation, which can alter in vitro properties as well as suitability for clinical use. We examined associations between copy-number variations (CNVs) on chromosome 17 and hPSC mesodiencephalic dopaminergic (mDA) differentiation. Among 24 hPSC lines, two karyotypically normal lines, BG03 and CT3, and BG01V2, with trisomy 17, exhibited amplification of the WNT3/WNT9B region and rapid mDA differentiation. In hPSC lines with amplified WNT3/WNT9B, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) signaling through mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/ERK amplifies canonical WNT signaling by phosphorylating LRP6, resulting in enhanced undifferentiated proliferation. When bFGF is absent, noncanonical WNT signaling becomes dominant due to upregulation of SIAH2, enhancing JNK signaling and promoting loss of pluripotency. When bFGF is present during mDA differentiation, stabilization of canonical WNT signaling causes upregulation of LMX1A and mDA induction. Therefore, CNVs in 17q21.31, a "hot spot" for genetic variation, have multiple and complex effects on hPSC cellular phenotype. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Molecular motors are fundamental to neuronal morphogenesis and function. However, the extent to which molecular motors are involved in higher brain functions remains largely unknown. In this study, we show that mice deficient in the kinesin family motor protein KIF13A (Kif13a(-/-) mice) exhibit elevated anxiety-related behavioral phenotypes, probably because of a reduction in 5HT(1A) receptor (5HT(1A)R) transport. The cell-surface expression level of the 5HT(1A)R was reduced in KIF13A-knockdown neuroblastoma cells and Kif13a(-/-) hippocampal neurons. Biochemical analysis showed that the forkhead-associated (FHA) domain of KIF13A and an intracellular loop of the 5HT(1A)R are the interface between the motor and cargo vesicles. A minimotor consisting of the motor and FHA domains is able to transport 5HT(1A)R-carrying organelles in in vitro reconstitution assays. Collectively, our results suggest a role for this molecular motor in anxiety control.
Various tumors metastasize via lymph vessels and lymph nodes to distant organs. Even though tumors are hypoxic, the mechanisms of how hypoxia regulates lymphangiogenesis remain poorly characterized. Here, we show that hypoxia reduced vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) transcription and cap-dependent translation via the upregulation of hypophosphorylated 4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1). However, initiation of VEGF-C translation was induced by hypoxia through an internal ribosome entry site (IRES)-dependent mechanism. IRES-dependent VEGF-C translation was independent of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) signaling. Notably, the VEGF-C IRES activity was higher in metastasizing tumor cells in lymph nodes than in primary tumors, most likely because lymph vessels in these lymph nodes were severely hypoxic. Overall, this transcription-independent but translation-dependent upregulation of VEGF-C in hypoxia stimulates lymphangiogenesis in tumors and lymph nodes and may contribute to lymphatic metastasis.
PGC-1α plays a central role in hepatic gluconeogenesis and has been implicated in the onset of type 2 diabetes. Acetylation is an important posttranslational modification for regulating the transcriptional activity of PGC-1α. Here, we show that PCAF is a pivotal acetyltransferase for acetylating PGC-1α in both fasted and diabetic states. PCAF acetylates two lysine residues K328 and K450 in PGC-1α, which subsequently triggers its proteasomal degradation and suppresses its transcriptional activity. Adenoviral-mediated expression of PCAF in the obese mouse liver greatly represses gluconeogenic enzyme activation and glucose production and improves glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. Moreover, liver-specific knockdown of PCAF stimulates PGC-1α activity, resulting in an increase in blood glucose and hepatic glucose output. Our results suggest that PCAF might be a potential pharmacological target for developing agents against metabolic disorders associated with hyperglycemia, such as obesity and diabetes. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Adhesion between neurexin-1β (Nrx1β) and neuroligin-1 (Nlg1) induces early recruitment of the postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD-95) scaffold; however, the associated signaling mechanisms are unknown. To dissociate the effects of ligand binding and receptor multimerization, we compared conditions in which Nlg1 in neurons was bound to Nrx1β or nonactivating HA antibodies. Time-lapse imaging, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, and single-particle tracking demonstrated that in addition to aggregating Nlg1, Nrx1β binding stimulates the interaction between Nlg1 and PSD-95. Phosphotyrosine immunoblots and pull-down of gephyrin by Nlg1 peptides in vitro showed that Nlg1 can be phosphorylated at a unique tyrosine (Y782), preventing gephyrin binding. Expression of Nlg1 point mutants in neurons indicated that Y782 phosphorylation controls the preferential binding of Nlg1 to PSD-95 versus gephyrin, and accordingly the formation of inhibitory and excitatory synapses. We propose that ligand-induced changes in the Nlg1 phosphotyrosine level control the balance between excitatory and inhibitory scaffold assembly during synapse formation and stabilization.
To date, estrogen is the only known endogenous estrogen receptor (ER) ligand that promotes ER+ breast tumor growth. We report that the cholesterol metabolite 27-hydroxycholesterol (27HC) stimulates MCF-7 cell xenograft growth in mice. More importantly, in ER+ breast cancer patients, 27HC content in normal breast tissue is increased compared to that in cancer-free controls, and tumor 27HC content is further elevated. Increased tumor 27HC is correlated with diminished expression of CYP7B1, the 27HC metabolizing enzyme, and reduced expression of CYP7B1 in tumors is associated with poorer patient survival. Moreover, 27HC is produced by MCF-7 cells, and it stimulates cell-autonomous, ER-dependent, and GDNF-RET-dependent cell proliferation. Thus, 27HC is a locally modulated, nonaromatized ER ligand that promotes ER+ breast tumor growth.
Patients with Down syndrome (DS) invariably develop Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology in their 40s. We have recently found that overexpression of a chromosome 21-encoded microRNA-155 results in decreased levels of the membrane trafficking component, SNX27, diminishing glutamate receptor recycling and thereby impairing synaptic functions in DS. Here, we report a function of SNX27 in regulating β-amyloid (Aβ) generation by modulating γ-secretase activity. Downregulation of SNX27 using RNAi increased Aβ production, whereas overexpression of full-length SNX27, but not SNX27ΔPDZ, reversed the RNAi-mediated Aβ elevation. Moreover, genetic deletion of Snx27 promoted Aβ production and neuronal loss, whereas overexpression of SNX27 using an adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector reduced hippocampal Aβ levels in a transgenic AD mouse model. SNX27 associates with the γ-secretase complex subunit presenilin 1; this interaction dissociates the γ-secretase complex, thus decreasing its proteolytic activity. Our study establishes a molecular mechanism for Aβ-dependent pathogenesis in both DS and AD. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The miR-294 and miR-302 microRNAs promote the abbreviated G1 phase of the embryonic stem cell (ESC) cell cycle and suppress differentiation induced by let-7. Here, we evaluated the role of the retinoblastoma (Rb) family proteins in these settings. Under normal growth conditions, miR-294 promoted the rapid G1-S transition independent of the Rb family. In contrast, miR-294 suppressed the further accumulation of cells in G1 in response to nutrient deprivation and cell-cell contact in an Rb-dependent fashion. We uncovered five additional miRNAs (miR-26a, miR-99b, miR-193, miR-199a-5p, and miR-218) that silenced ESC self-renewal in the absence of other miRNAs, all of which were antagonized by miR-294 and miR-302. Four of the six differentiation-inducing miRNAs induced an Rb-dependent G1 accumulation. However, all six still silenced self-renewal in the absence of the Rb proteins. These results show that the miR-294/miR-302 family acts through Rb-dependent and -independent pathways to regulate the G1 restriction point and the silencing of self-renewal, respectively.
Extensive axonal pruning and neuronal cell death are critical events for the development of the nervous system. Like neuronal cell death, axonal elimination occurs in discrete steps; however, the regulators of these processes remain mostly elusive. Here, we identify the kinesin superfamily protein 2A (KIF2A) as a key executor of microtubule disassembly and axonal breakdown during axonal pruning. Knockdown of Kif2a, but not other microtubule depolymerization or severing proteins, protects axonal microtubules from disassembly upon trophic deprivation. We further confirmed and extended this result to demonstrate that the entire degeneration process is delayed in neurons from the Kif2a knockout mice. Finally, we show that the Kif2a-null mice exhibit normal sensory axon patterning early during development, but abnormal target hyperinnervation later on, as they compete for limited skin-derived trophic support. Overall, these findings reveal a central regulatory mechanism of axonal pruning during development.
MyD88, the intracellular adaptor of most TLRs, mediates either proinflammatory or immunosuppressive signaling that contributes to chronic inflammation-associated diseases. Although gene-specific chromatin modifications regulate inflammation, the role of MyD88 signaling in establishing such epigenetic landscapes under different inflammatory states remains elusive. Using quantitative proteomics to enumerate the inflammation-phenotypic constituents of the MyD88 interactome, we found that in endotoxin-tolerant macrophages, protein phosphatase 2A catalytic subunit α (PP2Ac) enhances its association with MyD88 and is constitutively activated. Knockdown of PP2Ac prevents suppression of proinflammatory genes and resistance to apoptosis. Through site-specific dephosphorylation, constitutively active PP2Ac disrupts the signal-promoting TLR4-MyD88 complex and broadly suppresses the activities of multiple proinflammatory/proapoptotic pathways as well, shifting proinflammatory MyD88 signaling to a prosurvival mode. Constitutively active PP2Ac translocated with MyD88 into the nuclei of tolerant macrophages establishes the immunosuppressive pattern of chromatin modifications and represses chromatin remodeling to selectively silence proinflammatory genes, coordinating the MyD88-dependent inflammation control at both signaling and epigenetic levels under endotoxin-tolerant conditions.
The TORC1 and PKA protein kinases are central elements of signaling networks that regulate eukaryotic cell proliferation in response to growth factors and/or nutrients. In yeast, attenuation of signaling by these kinases following nitrogen and/or carbon limitation activates the protein kinase Rim15, which orchestrates the initiation of a reversible cellular quiescence program to ensure normal chronological life span. The molecular elements linking Rim15 to distal readouts including the expression of Msn2/4- and Gis1-dependent genes involve the endosulfines Igo1/2. Here, we show that Rim15, analogous to the greatwall kinase in Xenopus, phosphorylates endosulfines to directly inhibit the Cdc55-protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A(Cdc55)). Inhibition of PP2A(Cdc55) preserves Gis1 in a phosphorylated state and consequently promotes its recruitment to and activation of transcription from promoters of specific nutrient-regulated genes. These results close a gap in our perception of and delineate a role for PP2A(Cdc55) in TORC1-/PKA-mediated regulation of quiescence and chronological life span.
The human immunoglobulin G (IgG) 2G12 recognizes high-mannose carbohydrates on the HIV type 1 (HIV-1) envelope glycoprotein gp120. Its two antigen-binding fragments (Fabs) are intramolecularly domain exchanged, resulting in a rigid (Fab)2 unit including a third antigen-binding interface not found in antibodies with flexible Fab arms. We determined crystal structures of dimeric 2G12 IgG created by intermolecular domain exchange, which exhibits increased breadth and >50-fold increased neutralization potency compared with monomeric 2G12. The four Fab and two fragment crystalline (Fc) regions of dimeric 2G12 were localized at low resolution in two independent structures, revealing IgG dimers with two (Fab)2 arms analogous to the Fabs of conventional monomeric IgGs. Structures revealed three conformationally distinct dimers, demonstrating flexibility of the (Fab)2-Fc connections that was confirmed by electron microscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering, and binding studies. We conclude that intermolecular domain exchange, flexibility, and bivalent binding to allow avidity effects are responsible for the increased potency and breadth of dimeric 2G12.
To study the CD8(+) T cell response against a mouse γ-herpes virus, we generated K(b)-MHV-68-ORF8(604-612)RAG(-/-) CD8(+) T cell receptor transnuclear (TN) mice as a source of virus-specific CD8(+) T cells. K(b)-ORF8-Tet(+) CD8(+) T cells, expanded in the course of a resolving MHV-68 infection, served as a source of nucleus donors. Various in vivo and ex vivo assay criteria demonstrated the fine specificity and functionality of TN cells. TN cells proliferated extensively in response to viral infection, helped control viral burden, and exhibited a phenotype similar to that of endogenous K(b)-ORF8-Tet(+) cells. When compared to OT-1 cells, TN cells displayed distinct properties in response to lymphopenia and cognate antigen stimulation, which may be attributable to the affinity of the TCR expressed by the TN cells. The availability of MHV-68-specific CD8(+) TCR TN mice provides a new tool for investigating aspects of host-pathogen interactions unique to γ-herpes viruses.
The miR-34 family was originally found to be a direct target of p53 and is a group of putative tumor suppressors. Surprisingly, mice lacking all mir-34 genes show no increase in cancer formation by 18 months of age, hence placing the physiological relevance of previous studies in doubt. Here, we report that mice with prostate epithelium-specific inactivation of mir-34 and p53 show expansion of the prostate stem cell compartment and develop early invasive adenocarcinomas and high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, whereas no such lesions are observed after inactivation of either the mir-34 or p53 genes alone by 15 months of age. Consistently, combined deficiency of p53 and miR-34 leads to acceleration of MET-dependent growth, self-renewal, and motility of prostate stem/progenitor cells. Our study provides direct genetic evidence that mir-34 genes are bona fide tumor suppressors and identifies joint control of MET expression by p53 and miR-34 as a key component of prostate stem cell compartment regulation, aberrations in which may lead to cancer.
miR-342-5p Regulated AnkG mRNA 3 0 UTR and Decreased AnkG Expression 
AnkG Was Downregulated in APP/PS1, PS1 D E9, and PS1-M146V Mouse Neurons (A) Left panel: at 7 DIV, AnkG distributed in the axon in WT mouse neurons, but only slightly in the axon in APP/PS1 mouse neurons. Scale bars, 50 m m (upper panels) and 10 m m (lower panels). Dashed line, AIS. Right panel: quantification of relative AnkG intensity in WT and APP/PS1 neurons. (B) AnkG decreased in PS1 D E9, PS1-M146V, and APP/PS1 neurons, but not in APPswe or hPS1 neurons. Lane 1: WT; lane 2: APPswe; lane 3: hPS1; lane 4: PS1 D E9; lane 5: PS1-M146V; lane 6: APP/PS1. (C–E) Western blots (with Invitrogen antibody) show that in neuronal culture at 2, 3, and 5 DIV of E14 embryos and in hippocampal tissues at 0, 2, 6, and 8 months of age, APP/PS1 mouse neurons and tissues had a smaller amount of AnkG as compared with WT. (F) The mRNA levels in APPswe, hPS1, PS1 D E9, PS1-M146V, and APP/PS1 neurons were not significantly different. Data represent mean ± SE (n = 10 for each group). **p < 0.01 compared with WT. 
PS1 Regulated miR-342-5p Levels through b -catenin, c-Myc, and IRF-9 (A) RT-PCR of miR-342 levels in hippocampal tissues from E14 mice of different lines. (B) Western blots of b -catenin, c-Myc, and IRF-9 in hippocampal tissues from E14 mice of different lines. Lane 1: WT; lane 2: APP/PS1; lane 3: APPswe; lane 4: hPS1; lane 5: PS1 D E9; lane 6: PS1-M146V. Data represent mean ± SE (n = 3 for each group). **p < 0.01 compared with controls. 
MicroRNA alterations and axonopathy have been reported in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and in AD mouse models. We now report that miR-342-5p is upregulated in APP/PS1, PS1ΔE9, and PS1-M146V transgenic AD mice, and that this upregulation is mechanistically linked to elevated β-catenin, c-Myc, and interferon regulatory factor-9. The increased miR-342-5p downregulates the expression of ankyrin G (AnkG), a protein that is known to play a critical role at the axon initial segment. Thus, a specific miRNA alteration may contribute to AD axonopathy by downregulating AnkG.
Genomic rearrangements are a major source of evolutionary divergence in eukaryotic genomes, a cause of genetic diseases and a hallmark of tumor cell progression, yet the mechanisms underlying their occurrence and evolutionary fixation are poorly understood. Statistical associations between breakpoints and specific genomic features suggest that genomes may contain elusive "fragile regions" with a higher propensity for breakage. Here, we use ancestral genome reconstructions to demonstrate a near-perfect correlation between gene density and evolutionary rearrangement breakpoints. Simulations based on functional features in the human genome show that this pattern is best explained as the outcome of DNA breaks that occur in open chromatin regions coming into 3D contact in the nucleus. Our model explains how rearrangements reorganize the order of genes in an evolutionary neutral fashion and provides a basis for understanding the susceptibility of "fragile regions" to breakage. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Expression of the mannose receptor (MRC1/CD206) identifies macrophage subtypes, such as alternatively activated macrophages (AAMs) and M2-polarized tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), which are endowed with tissue-remodeling, proangiogenic, and protumoral activity. However, the significance of MRC1 expression for TAM's protumoral activity is unclear. Here, we describe and characterize miR-511-3p, an intronic microRNA (miRNA) encoded by both mouse and human MRC1 genes. By using sensitive miRNA reporter vectors, we demonstrate robust expression and bioactivity of miR-511-3p in MRC1(+) AAMs and TAMs. Unexpectedly, enforced expression of miR-511-3p tuned down the protumoral gene signature of MRC1(+) TAMs and inhibited tumor growth. Our findings suggest that transcriptional activation of Mrc1 in TAMs evokes a genetic program orchestrated by miR-511-3p, which limits rather than enhances their protumoral functions. Besides uncovering a role for MRC1 as gatekeeper of TAM's protumoral genetic programs, these observations suggest that endogenous miRNAs may operate to establish thresholds for inflammatory cell activation in tumors.
TDP-43 proteinopathy is strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and related neurodegenerative disorders. Whether TDP-43 neurotoxicity is caused by a novel toxic gain-of-function mechanism of the aggregates or by a loss of its normal function is unknown. We increased and decreased expression of TDP-43 (dTDP-43) in Drosophila. Although upregulation of dTDP-43 induced neuronal ubiquitin and dTDP-43-positive inclusions, both up- and downregulated dTDP-43 resulted in selective apoptosis of bursicon neurons and highly similar transcriptome alterations at the pupal-adult transition. Gene network analysis and genetic validation showed that both up- and downregulated dTDP-43 directly and dramatically increased the expression of the neuronal microtubule-associated protein Map205, resulting in cytoplasmic accumulations of the ecdysteroid receptor (EcR) and a failure to switch EcR-dependent gene programs from a pupal to adult pattern. We propose that dTDP-43 neurotoxicity is caused by a loss of its normal function.
TDP-43 is the major component protein of ubiquitin-positive inclusions in brains of patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD-TDP) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Here, we report the characterization of prion-like properties of aggregated TDP-43 prepared from diseased brains. When insoluble TDP-43 from ALS or FTLD-TDP brains was introduced as seeds into SH-SY5Y cells expressing TDP-43, phosphorylated and ubiquitinated TDP-43 was aggregated in a self-templating manner. Immunoblot analyses revealed that the C-terminal fragments of insoluble TDP-43 characteristic of each disease type acted as seeds, inducing seed-dependent aggregation of TDP-43 in these cells. The seeding ability of insoluble TDP-43 was unaffected by proteinase treatment but was abrogated by formic acid. One subtype of TDP-43 aggregate was resistant to boiling treatment. The insoluble fraction from cells harboring TDP-43 aggregates could also trigger intracellular TDP-43 aggregation. These results indicate that insoluble TDP-43 has prion-like properties that may play a role in the progression of TDP-43 proteinopathy.
Glucose Regulates the Levels of pri-miR-451 (A) qRT-PCR analysis of pri-miR-451 expression after 18 hr in low glucose. See also Figures S1A and S1B. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01. Mean ± SD. (B) Glucose depletion by proliferating cells (left). qRT-PCR analysis of pri-miR-451 expression in glucose-depleted media (right panels). See also Figure S1C. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01. Mean ± SD. (C) Glucose regimens used in the experiment (left). qRT-PCR analysis of pri-miR-451 expression in different glucose regimens (right panels). See also Figure S1D. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01. Mean ± SD.
OCT1 Is a Positive Transcriptional Modulator of miR-451 (A) A schematic representation of OCT1 binding sites within the putative promoter of miR-451 and cloned fragments (C1–C5). Numbering is relative to the transcription start site. See also Figure S2A. 
OCT1 Plays Critical Roles in miR451 Expression (A and B) qRT-PCR analysis of pri-miR-451 expression upon OCT1 knockdown (A) and in Oct1-deficient cells (B). See also Figures S2C and S2D. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01. Mean ± SD. (C) qRT-PCR analysis of pri-miR-451 expression upon OCT1 overexpression. See also Figure S2E. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01. Mean ± SD. (D) qRT-PCR analysis of pri-miR-451 expression in 3T3 Oct1 À/À cells transfected with WT and mutant OCT1 vectors and cultured in high and low glucose. See also Figures S2F and S2G. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01. Mean ± SD. (E) The predominant nuclear localization of OCT1 in GBM cells is independent of glucose levels. Immunoblotting of cytoplasmic (c) and nuclear (n) cellular fractions of GBM cells cultured in high and low glucose. (F) OCT1 is phosphorylated at S335 in a glucosedependent manner in GBM cells. Immunoblotting of GBM cells cultured in high and low glucose. (G) OCT1 is phosphorylated at S335 in glucosedependent manner in mouse fibroblasts; phosphorylation of AMPK by low glucose conditions is not impaired in Oct1 À/À cells. Immunoblotting of 3T3 cells cultured in high and low glucose. (H) Knockdown of AMPK a1, a2, and a1/a2 increases the expression of miR-451 in low glucose environment. Immunoblotting of GBM cells cultured in low glucose (upper). qRT-PCR analysis of pri-miR-451 expression upon AMPK knockdown (lower). See also Figure S2I. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01. Mean ± SD.
Role of AMPK in Phosphorylation of OCT1 and Transcription of miR-451 (A) Phosphorylation of OCT1 at S335 is impaired in AMPKb1/2-deficient GBM cells. Immunoblotting of AMPKb1/2-deficient GBM cells cultured in high and low glucose. (B) qRT-PCR analysis of pri-miR-451 expression. See also Figure S3A. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01. Mean ± SD. (C and D) AMPK directly phosphorylates OCT1 at S335. Kinase assays were performed with AMPK complex immunoprecipitated from U251 cells expressing Flag-AMPK in low glucose conditions (C), or recombinant, active AMPK complex containing AMPKa1, b1, and g1 (D), and GST-OCT1 peptide fragment containing S335 or S335A. See also Figures S3D-S3F. (E) A proposed miR-451/AMPK regulatory loop in a fluctuating glucose microenvironment.
In aggressive, rapidly growing solid tumors such as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), cancer cells face frequent dynamic changes in their microenvironment, including the availability of glucose and other nutrients. These challenges require that tumor cells have the ability to adapt in order to survive periods of nutrient/energy starvation. We have identified a reciprocal negative feedback loop mechanism in which the levels of microRNA-451 (miR-451) are negatively regulated through the phosphorylation and inactivation of its direct transcriptional activator OCT1 by 5' AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which is activated by glucose depletion-induced metabolic stress. Conversely, in a glucose-rich environment, unrestrained expression of miR-451 suppresses AMPK pathway activity. These findings uncover miR-451 as a major effector of glucose-regulated AMPK signaling, allowing tumor cell adaptation to variations in nutrient availability in the tumor microenvironment. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL) protein is an important epigenetic regulator required for the maintenance of gene activation during development. MLL chromosomal translocations produce novel fusion proteins that cause aggressive leukemias in humans. Individual MLL fusion proteins have distinct leukemic phenotypes even when expressed in the same cell type, but how this distinction is delineated on a molecular level is poorly understood. Here, we highlight a unique molecular mechanism whereby the RUNX1 gene is directly activated by MLL-AF4 and the RUNX1 protein interacts with the product of the reciprocal AF4-MLL translocation. These results support a mechanism of transformation whereby two oncogenic fusion proteins cooperate by activating a target gene and then modulating the function of its downstream product.
The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) integrates signals important for cell growth, and its dysregulation in neural stem cells (NSCs) is implicated in several neurological disorders associated with abnormal neurogenesis and brain size. However, the function of mTORC1 on NSC self-renewal and the downstream regulatory mechanisms are ill defined. Here, we found that genetically decreasing mTORC1 activity in neonatal NSCs prevented their differentiation, resulting in reduced lineage expansion and aborted neuron production. Constitutive activation of the translational repressor 4E-BP1, which blocked cap-dependent translation, had similar effects and prevented hyperactive mTORC1 induction of NSC differentiation and promoted self-renewal. Although 4E-BP2 knockdown promoted NSC differentiation, p70 S6 kinase 1 and 2 (S6K1/S6K2) knockdown did not affect NSC differentiation but reduced NSC soma size and prevented hyperactive mTORC1-induced increase in soma size. These data demonstrate a crucial role of mTORC1 and 4E-BP for switching on and off cap-dependent translation in NSC differentiation.
Overnutrition activates a proinflammatory program in macrophages to induce insulin resistance (IR), but its molecular mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Here, we show that saturated fatty acid and lipopolysaccharide, two factors implicated in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced IR, suppress macrophage CGI-58 expression. Macrophage-specific CGI-58 knockout (MaKO) in mice aggravates HFD-induced glucose intolerance and IR, which is associated with augmented systemic/tissue inflammation and proinflammatory activation of adipose tissue macrophages. CGI-58-deficient macrophages exhibit mitochondrial dysfunction due to defective peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)γ signaling. Consequently, they overproduce reactive oxygen species (ROS) to potentiate secretion of proinflammatory cytokines by activating NLRP3 inflammasome. Anti-ROS treatment or NLRP3 silencing prevents CGI-58-deficient macrophages from oversecreting proinflammatory cytokines and from inducing proinflammatory signaling and IR in the cocultured fat slices. Anti-ROS treatment also prevents exacerbation of inflammation and IR in HFD-fed MaKO mice. Our data thus establish CGI-58 as a suppressor of overnutrition-induced NLRP3 inflammasome activation in macrophages.
2',5'-linked oligoadenylates (2-5As) serve as conserved messengers of pathogen presence in the mammalian innate immune system. 2-5As induce self-association and activation of RNase L, which cleaves cytosolic RNA and promotes the production of interferons (IFNs) and cytokines driven by the transcription factors IRF-3 and NF-κB. We report that human RNase L is activated by forming high-order complexes, reminiscent of the mode of activation of the phylogenetically related transmembrane kinase/RNase Ire1 in the unfolded protein response. We describe crystal structures determined at 2.4 Å and 2.8 Å resolution, which show that two molecules of 2-5A at a time tether RNase L monomers via the ankyrin-repeat (ANK) domain. Each ANK domain harbors two distinct sites for 2-5A recognition that reside 50 Å apart. These data reveal a function for the ANK domain as a 2-5A-sensing homo-oligomerization device and describe a nonlinear, ultrasensitive regulation in the 2-5A/RNase L system poised for amplification of the IFN response.
The 5S RNP Complex Is Required for p53 Induction through Direct Interaction with MDM2 in Response to Ribotoxic Stress (A) The level of newly synthesized 5S rRNA in cells transfected with control siRNAs or those targeting TFIIIA or the 5S rRNA itself was determined by pulse-labeling followed by gel electrophoresis. Quantification is based on three independent experiments. Error bars indicate SD. (B) U2OS cells were transfected with siRNAs against the core 5S RNP components and either untreated (À) or treated (+) with ActD for 10 hr. p53 levels were analyzed by western blotting. Quantification is based on three independent experiments. Error bars indicate SD. (C) Anti-FLAG immunoprecipitations of extracts from HEK293 cells expressing FLAG-MDM2,-MDM2 C305F , or the FLAG-tag. Coprecipitated 5S and 5.8S rRNAs were detected by northern blotting. IgG, immunoglobulin G. (D) Cells expressing FLAG-tagged proteins were UV crosslinked, and covalently linked RNA protein complexes were purified. Coprecipitated 5S and 5.8S rRNAs were detected by northern blotting. See also Tables S1, S2, and S3 and Figure S1.
A 5S RNP Complex Containing 5S rRNA, RPL5, and RPL11 Only Accumulates in the Nucleoplasm when Ribosome Production Is Inhibited (A) Extracts from HEK293 cells either treated (+) or untreated (À) with ActD were analyzed by glycerol gradient centrifugation followed by western and northern blotting. Antibodies or probes used are indicated to the left of each panel. (B) Levels of 5S and 5.8S rRNAs in free (pooled fractions 1-7) and ribosomal (pooled fractions 9-20) complexes in various cell lines were analyzed by northern blotting. Primary, primary dermal fibroblasts. (C) RNA from HeLa cell nuclear and cytoplasmic extracts was separated by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and detected using ethidium bromide staining. (D) The localization of newly synthesized FLAG-RPL5 or-RPL11 in HEK293 stable cell lines was determined by immunofluorescence. Cells were grown in the presence (ActD) or absence (control) of ActD, and antibodies against the FLAG-tag (red/greyscale) and fibrillarin (green; nucleolar marker) were used. Nuclear material was detected by DAPI staining (blue). The scale bar represents 1 mm. See also Tables S2 and S3 and Figure S2.
Putative 5S RNP Biogenesis Factors Are Required for Large Ribosomal Subunit Production and Their Depletion Activates p53 (A) Outline of the major pre-rRNA processing pathway in humans. (B and C) HEK293 cells depleted of 5S RNP components or putative 5S biogenesis factors by RNAi, or treated with chemotherapeutics (ActD and 5FU), were pulse-labeled using 32 P orthophosphate. Labeled RNA was analyzed by agarose/acrylamide gel electrophoresis followed by phosphorimager analysis. Total RNA was visualized using ethidium bromide staining. (D) Magnification of the pre-5S rRNA in cells depleted of RPL5 from (B). (E) p53 levels in U2OS cells depleted of ribosome biogenesis factors were determined by western blotting. The antibodies used are indicated to the left of the panels. See also Tables S1 and S3 and Figure S3.