Authors: Chattaraj P, Munjal T, Honda K, Rendtorff ND, Ratay JS, Muskett JA, Risso DS, Roux I, Gertz EM, Schäffer AA, Friedman TB, Morell RJ, Tranebjærg L, Griffith AJ
Journal: J Med Genet. 2017 Aug 5. pii: jmedgenet-2017-104721. doi: 10.1136/jmedgenet-2017-104721.
BACKGROUND: Enlargement of the vestibular aqueduct (EVA) is the most common radiological abnormality in children with sensorineural hearing loss. Mutations in coding regions and splice sites of the SLC26A4 gene are often detected in Caucasians with EVA. Approximately one-fourth of patients with EVA have two mutant alleles (M2), one-fourth have one mutant allele (M1) and one-half have no mutant alleles (M0). The M2 genotype is correlated with a more severe phenotype.
METHODS: We performed genotype-haplotype analysis and massively parallel sequencing of the SLC26A4 region in patients with M1 EVA and their families.
RESULTS: We identified a shared novel haplotype, termed CEVA (Caucasian EVA), composed of 12 uncommon variants upstream of SLC26A4. The presence of the CEVA haplotype on seven of ten 'mutation-negative' chromosomes in a National Institutes of Health M1 EVA discovery cohort and six of six mutation-negative chromosomes in a Danish M1 EVA replication cohort is higher than the observed prevalence of 28 of 1006 Caucasian control chromosomes (p<0.0001 for each EVA cohort). The corresponding heterozygous carrier rate is 28/503 (5.6%). The prevalence of CEVA (11 of 126) is also increased among M0 EVA chromosomes (p=0.0042).
CONCLUSIONS: The CEVA haplotype causally contributes to most cases of Caucasian M1 EVA and, possibly, some cases of M0 EVA. The CEVA haplotype of SLC26A4 defines the most common allele associated with hereditary hearing loss in Caucasians. The diagnostic yield and prognostic utility of sequence analysis of SLC26A4 exons and splice sites will be markedly increased by addition of testing for the CEVA haplotype.
Authors: Oh KS, Patel H, Gottschalk RA, Lee WS, Baek S, Fraser IDC, Hager GL, Sung MH
Journal: Immunity. 2017 Aug 15;47(2):298-309.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2017.07.012. Epub 2017 Aug 8.
Despite the widespread use of glucocorticoids (GCs), their anti-inflammatory effects are not understood mechanistically. Numerous investigations have examined the effects of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) activation prior to inflammatory challenges. However, clinical situations are emulated by a GC intervention initiated in the midst of rampant inflammatory responses. To characterize the effects of a late GC treatment, we profiled macrophage transcriptional and chromatinscapes with Dexamethasone (Dex) treatment before or after stimulation by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The late activation of GR had a similar gene-expression profile as from GR pre-activation, while ameliorating the disruption of metabolic genes. Chromatin occupancy of GR was not predictive of Dex-regulated gene expression, contradicting the "trans-repression by tethering" model. Rather, GR activation resulted in genome-wide blockade of NF-κB interaction with chromatin and directly induced inhibitors of NF-κB and AP-1. Our investigation using GC treatments with clinically relevant timing highlights mechanisms underlying GR actions for modulating the "inflamed epigenome."
Authors: Gomez JL, Bonaventura J, Lesniak W, Mathews WB, Sysa-Shah P, Rodriguez LA, Ellis RJ, Richie CT, Harvey BK, Dannals RF, Pomper MG, Bonci A, Michaelides M
Journal: Science. 2017 Aug 4;357(6350):503-507. doi: 10.1126/science.aan2475.
The chemogenetic technology DREADD (designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs) is widely used for remote manipulation of neuronal activity in freely moving animals. DREADD technology posits the use of "designer receptors," which are exclusively activated by the "designer drug" clozapine N-oxide (CNO). Nevertheless, the in vivo mechanism of action of CNO at DREADDs has never been confirmed. CNO does not enter the brain after systemic drug injections and shows low affinity for DREADDs. Clozapine, to which CNO rapidly converts in vivo, shows high DREADD affinity and potency. Upon systemic CNO injections, converted clozapine readily enters the brain and occupies central nervous system-expressed DREADDs, whereas systemic subthreshold clozapine injections induce preferential DREADD-mediated behaviors.
Authors: Khincha PP, Dagnall CL, Hicks B, Jones K, Aviv A, Kimura M, Katki H, Aubert G, Giri N, Alter BP, Savage SA, Gadalla SM
Journal: Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Aug 13;18(8). pii: E1765. doi: 10.3390/ijms18081765.
Several methods have been employed to measure telomere length (TL) in human studies. It has been difficult to directly compare the results from these studies because of differences in the laboratory techniques and output parameters. We compared TL measurements (TLMs) by the three most commonly used methods, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), flow cytometry with fluorescence in situ hybridization (flow FISH) and Southern blot, in a cohort of patients with the telomere biology disorder dyskeratosis congenita (DC) and in their unaffected relatives (controls). We observed a strong correlation between the Southern blot average TL and the flow FISH total lymphocyte TL in both the DC patients and their unaffected relatives (R² of 0.68 and 0.73, respectively). The correlation between the qPCR average TL and that of the Southern blot method was modest (R² of 0.54 in DC patients and of 0.43 in unaffected relatives). Similar results were noted when comparing the qPCR average TL and the flow FISH total lymphocyte TL (R² of 0.49 in DC patients and of 0.42 in unaffected relatives). In conclusion, the strengths of the correlations between the three widely used TL assays (qPCR, flow FISH, and Southern blot) were significantly different. Careful consideration is warranted when selecting the method of TL measurement for research and for clinical studies.
Authors: Gianferante DM, Mirabello L, Savage SA
Journal: Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2017 Aug;13(8):480-491. doi: 10.1038/nrendo.2017.16. Epub 2017 Mar 24.
Clinical outcomes and treatment modalities for osteosarcoma, the most common primary cancer of bone, have changed very little over the past 30 years. The peak incidence of osteosarcoma occurs during the adolescent growth spurt, which suggests that bone growth and pubertal hormones are important in the aetiology of the disease. Tall stature, high birth weight and certain inherited cancer predisposition syndromes are well-described risk factors for osteosarcoma. Common genetic variants are also associated with osteosarcoma. The somatic genome of osteosarcoma is highly aneuploid, exhibits extensive intratumoural heterogeneity and has a higher mutation rate than most other paediatric cancers. Complex pathways related to bone growth and development and tumorigenesis are also important in osteosarcoma biology. In this Review, we discuss the contributions of germline and somatic genetics, tumour biology and animal models in improving our understanding of osteosarcoma aetiology, and their potential to identify novel therapeutic targets and thus improve the lives of patients with osteosarcoma.
Authors: Zhang HY, Bi GH, Yang HJ, He Y, Xue G, Cao J, Tanda G, Gardner EL, Newman AH, Xi ZX
Journal: Neuropsychopharmacology. 2017 Aug;42(9):1871-1883. doi: 10.1038/npp.2017.41. Epub 2017 Mar 7.
(±)Modafinil ((±)MOD) and its R-enantiomer (R-modafinil; R-MOD) have been investigated for their potential as treatments for psychostimulant addiction. We recently reported a series of (±)MOD analogs, of which JJC8-016 (N-(2-((bis(4-fluorophenyl)methyl)thio)ethyl)-3-phenylpropan-1-amine) was selected for further development. JJC8-016 and R-MOD were evaluated for binding across ~70 receptors, transporters, and enzymes. Although at a concentration of 10 μM, there were many hits for JJC8-016, binding affinities in the range of its DAT affinity were only observed at the serotonin transporter (SERT), dopamine D2-like, and sigma1 receptors. R-MOD was more selective, but had much lower affinity at the DAT (Ki=3 μM) than JJC8-016 (Ki=116 nM). In rats, systemic administration of R-MOD alone (10-30 mg/kg i.p.) dose-dependently increased locomotor activity and electrical brain-stimulation reward, whereas JJC8-016 (10-30 mg/kg i.p.) did not produce these effects. Strikingly, pretreatment with JJC8-016 dose-dependently inhibited cocaine-enhanced locomotion, cocaine self-administration, and cocaine-induced reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior, whereas R-MOD inhibited cocaine-induced reinstatement only at the high dose of 100 mg/kg. Notably, JJC8-016 alone neither altered extracellular dopamine in the nucleus accumbens nor maintained self-administration. It also failed to induce reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior. These findings suggest that JJC8-016 is a unique DAT inhibitor that has no cocaine-like abuse potential by itself. Moreover, pretreatment with JJC8-016 significantly inhibits cocaine-taking and cocaine-seeking behavior likely by interfering with cocaine binding to DAT. In addition, off-target actions may also contribute to its potential therapeutic utility in the treatment of cocaine abuse.
Authors: St Leger AJ, Desai JV, Drummond RA, Kugadas A, Almaghrabi F, Silver P, Raychaudhuri K, Gadjeva M, Iwakura Y, Lionakis MS, Caspi RR
Journal: Immunity. 2017 Jul 18;47(1):148-158.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2017.06.014.
Mucosal sites such as the intestine, oral cavity, nasopharynx, and vagina all have associated commensal flora. The surface of the eye is also a mucosal site, but proof of a living, resident ocular microbiome remains elusive. Here, we used a mouse model of ocular surface disease to reveal that commensals were present in the ocular mucosa and had functional immunological consequences. We isolated one such candidate commensal, Corynebacterium mastitidis, and showed that this organism elicited a commensal-specific interleukin-17 response from γδ T cells in the ocular mucosa that was central to local immunity. The commensal-specific response drove neutrophil recruitment and the release of antimicrobials into the tears and protected the eye from pathogenic Candida albicans or Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection. Our findings provide direct evidence that a resident commensal microbiome exists on the ocular surface and identify the cellular mechanisms underlying its effects on ocular immune homeostasis and host defense.
Authors: Canela A, Maman Y, Jung S, Wong N, Callen E, Day A, Kieffer-Kwon KR, Pekowska A, Zhang H, Rao SSP, Huang SC, Mckinnon PJ, Aplan PD, Pommier Y, Aiden EL, Casellas R, Nussenzweig A
Journal: Cell. 2017 Jul 27;170(3):507-521.e18. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.06.034. Epub 2017 Jul 20.
In this study, we show that evolutionarily conserved chromosome loop anchors bound by CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) and cohesin are vulnerable to DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) mediated by topoisomerase 2B (TOP2B). Polymorphisms in the genome that redistribute CTCF/cohesin occupancy rewire DNA cleavage sites to novel loop anchors. While transcription- and replication-coupled genomic rearrangements have been well documented, we demonstrate that DSBs formed at loop anchors are largely transcription-, replication-, and cell-type-independent. DSBs are continuously formed throughout interphase, are enriched on both sides of strong topological domain borders, and frequently occur at breakpoint clusters commonly translocated in cancer. Thus, loop anchors serve as fragile sites that generate DSBs and chromosomal rearrangements.
Authors: Pillon MC, Sobhany M, Borgnia MJ, Williams JG, Stanley RE
Journal: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Jul 11;114(28):E5530-E5538. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1703133114.
Las1 is a recently discovered endoribonuclease that collaborates with Grc3-Rat1-Rai1 to process precursor ribosomal RNA (rRNA), yet its mechanism of action remains unknown. Disruption of the mammalian Las1 gene has been linked to congenital lethal motor neuron disease and X-linked intellectual disability disorders, thus highlighting the necessity to understand Las1 regulation and function. Here, we report that the essential Las1 endoribonuclease requires its binding partner, the polynucleotide kinase Grc3, for specific C2 cleavage. Our results establish that Grc3 drives Las1 endoribonuclease cleavage to its targeted C2 site both in vitro and in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Moreover, we observed Las1-dependent activation of the Grc3 kinase activity exclusively toward single-stranded RNA. Together, Las1 and Grc3 assemble into a tetrameric complex that is required for competent rRNA processing. The tetrameric Grc3/Las1 cross talk draws unexpected parallels to endoribonucleases RNaseL and Ire1, and establishes Grc3/Las1 as a unique member of the RNaseL/Ire1 RNA splicing family. Together, our work provides mechanistic insight for the regulation of the Las1 endoribonuclease and identifies the tetrameric Grc3/Las1 complex as a unique example of a protein-guided programmable endoribonuclease.
Authors: De Biase LM, Schuebel KE, Fusfeld ZH, Jair K, Hawes IA, Cimbro R, Zhang HY, Liu QR, Shen H, Xi ZX, Goldman D, Bonci A
Journal: Neuron. 2017 Jul 1. pii: S0896-6273(17)30518-4. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.06.020. [Epub ahead of print]
Microglia play critical roles in tissue homeostasis and can also modulate neuronal function and synaptic connectivity. In contrast to astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, which arise from multiple progenitor pools, microglia arise from yolk sac progenitors and are widely considered to be equivalent throughout the CNS. However, little is known about basic properties of deep brain microglia, such as those within the basal ganglia(BG). Here, we show that microglial anatomical features, lysosome content, membrane properties, and transcriptomes differ significantly across BG nuclei. Region-specific phenotypes of BG microglia emerged during the second postnatal week and were re-established following genetic or pharmacological microglial ablation and repopulation in the adult, indicating that local cues play an ongoing role in shaping microglial diversity. These findings demonstrate that microglia in the healthy brain exhibit a spectrum of distinct functional states and provide a critical foundation for defining microglial contributions to BG circuit function.