Authors: Molina-Cruz A, Garver LS, Alabaster A, Bangiolo L, Haile A, Winikor J, Ortega C, van Schaijk BC, Sauerwein RW, Taylor-Salmon E, Barillas-Mury C
Journal: Science. 2013 May 24;340(6135):984-7. doi: 10.1126/science.1235264
Plasmodium falciparum transmission by Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes is remarkably efficient, resulting in a very high prevalence of human malaria infection in sub-Saharan Africa. A combination of genetic mapping, linkage group selection, and functional genomics was used to identify Pfs47 as a P. falciparum gene that allows the parasite to infect A. gambiae without activating the mosquito immune system. Disruption of Pfs47 greatly reduced parasite survival in the mosquito, and this phenotype could be reverted by genetic complementation of the parasite or by disruption of the mosquito complement-like system. Pfs47 suppresses midgut nitration responses that are critical to activate the complement-like system. We provide direct experimental evidence that immune evasion mediated by Pfs47 is critical for efficient human malaria transmission by A. gambiae.
Authors: Mukherjee P, Woods TA, Moore RA, Peterson KE
Journal: Immunity. 2013 Apr 18;38(4):705-16. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2013.02.013
La Crosse virus (LACV), a zoonotic Bunyavirus, is a major cause of pediatric viral encephalitis in the United States. A hallmark of neurological diseases caused by LACV and other encephalitic viruses is the induction of neuronal cell death. Innate immune responses have been implicated in neuronal damage, but no mechanism has been elucidated. By using in vitro studies in primary neurons and in vivo studies in mice, we have shown that LACV infection induced the RNA helicase, RIG-I, and mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein (MAVS) signaling pathway, resulting in upregulation of the sterile alpha and TIR-containing motif 1 (SARM1), an adaptor molecule that we found to be directly involved in neuronal damage. SARM1-mediated cell death was associated with induced oxidative stress response and mitochondrial damage. These studies provide an innate-immune signaling mechanism for virus-induced neuronal death and reveal potential targets for development of therapeutics to treat encephalitic viral infections.
Authors: Li H, Edin ML, Bradbury JA, Graves JP, Degraff LM, Gruzdev A, Cheng J, Dackor RT, Wang PM, Bortner CD, Garantziotis S, Jetten AM, Zeldin DC
Journal: Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2013 Apr 15;187(8):812-22. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201211-2073OC
Rationale: Helper CD4(+) T cell subsets, including IL-9- and IL-10-producing T helper cell type 9 (Th9) cells, exist under certain inflammatory conditions. Cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and COX-2 play important roles in allergic lung inflammation and asthma. It is unknown whether COX-derived eicosanoids regulate Th9 cells during allergic lung inflammation. Objectives: To determine the role of COX metabolites in regulating Th9 cell differentiation and function during allergic lung inflammation. Methods: COX-1(-/-), COX-2(-/-), and wild-type (WT) mice were studied in an in vivo model of ovalbumin-induced allergic inflammation and an in vitro model of Th9 differentiation using flow cytometry, cytokine assays, confocal microscopy, real-time PCR, and immunoblotting. In addition, the role of specific eicosanoids and their receptors was examined using synthetic prostaglandins (PGs), selective inhibitors, and siRNA knockdown. Measurements and Main Results: Experimental endpoints were not different between COX-1(-/-) and WT mice; however, the percentage of IL-9(+) CD4(+) T cells was increased in lung, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, lymph nodes, and blood of allergic COX-2(-/-) mice relative to WT. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid IL-9 and IL-10, serum IL-9, and lung IL-17RB levels were significantly increased in allergic COX-2(-/-) mice or in WT mice treated with COX-2 inhibitors. IL-9, IL-10, and IL-17RB expression in vivo was inhibited by PGD2 and PGE2, which also reduced Th9 cell differentiation of murine and human naive CD4(+) T cells in vitro. Inhibition of protein kinase A significantly increased Th9 cell differentiation of naive CD4(+) T cells isolated from WT mice in vitro. Conclusions: COX-2-derived PGD2 and PGE2 regulate Th9 cell differentiation by suppressing IL-17RB expression via a protein kinase A-dependent mechanism.
Authors: Weil EJ, Fufaa G, Jones LI, Lovato T, Lemley KV, Hanson RL, Knowler WC, Bennett PH, Yee B, Myers BD, Nelson RG
Journal: Diabetes. 2013 Apr 1. [Epub ahead of print]
Angiotensin receptor blockers are renoprotective in hypertensive azotemic patients with type 2 diabetes, but their efficacy in early diabetic kidney disease is uncertain. We performed a 6-year randomized clinical trial in 169 American Indians with type 2 diabetes and normoalbuminuria (albumin/creatinine ratio [ACR] <30 mg/g; n = 91) or microalbuminuria (ACR 30-299 mg/g; n = 78) at baseline. The primary outcome was decline in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) to ≤60 mL/min or to half the baseline value in subjects who entered with GFR <120 mL/min. Another outcome was differences in glomerular structure at end of treatment. Subjects received 100 mg losartan or placebo daily. GFR was measured annually; 111 subjects underwent kidney biopsies. Only nine subjects reached the GFR outcome, and the unadjusted hazard ratio (losartan vs. placebo) was 0.50 (95% CI 0.12-1.99). Differences in mesangial fractional volume were not estimated in the combined albuminuria groups because of an interaction with treatment assignment. In separate analyses, mesangial fractional volume was lower in subjects treated with losartan in the microalbuminuria group (18.8 vs. 25.6%; P = 0.02), but not in the normoalbuminuria group (19.6 vs. 17.8%; P = 0.86). Treatment with losartan may preserve some features of kidney structure in American Indians with type 2 diabetes and microalbuminuria.
Authors: Ebrahim S, Fujita T, Millis BA, Kozin E, Ma X, Kawamoto S, Baird MA, Davidson M, Yonemura S, Hisa Y, Conti MA, Adelstein RS, Sakaguchi H, Kachar B
Journal: Curr Biol. 2013 Apr 22;23(8):731-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.03.039
Fluorescent probes attached to proteins in the epithelial belt show the precisely structured network connecting individual epithelial cells.
Nonmuscle myosin II (NMII) is thought to be the master integrator of force within epithelial apical junctions, mediating epithelial tissue morphogenesis and tensional homeostasis. Mutations in NMII are associated with a number of diseases due to failures in cell-cell adhesion. However, the organization and the precise mechanism by which NMII generates and responds to tension along the intercellular junctional line are still not known. We discovered that periodic assemblies of bipolar NMII filaments interlace with perijunctional actin and α-actinin to form a continuous belt of muscle-like sarcomeric units (∼400-600 nm) around each epithelial cell. Remarkably, the sarcomeres of adjacent cells are precisely paired across the junctional line, forming an integrated, transcellular contractile network. The contraction/relaxation of paired sarcomeres concomitantly impacts changes in apical cell shape and tissue geometry. We show differential distribution of NMII isoforms across heterotypic junctions and evidence for compensation between isoforms. Our results provide a model for how NMII force generation is effected along the junctional perimeter of each cell and communicated across neighboring cells in the epithelial organization. The sarcomeric network also provides a well-defined target to investigate the multiple roles of NMII in junctional homeostasis as well as in development and disease.
Authors: Jain S, de Azua IR, Lu H, White MF, Guettier JM, Wess J
Journal: J Clin Invest. 2013 Mar 8. pii: 66432. doi: 10.1172/JCI66432. [Epub ahead of print]
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has emerged as a major threat to human health in most parts of the world. Therapeutic strategies aimed at improving pancreatic β cell function are predicted to prove beneficial for the treatment of T2D. In the present study, we demonstrate that drug-mediated, chronic, and selective activation of β cell Gq signaling greatly improve β cell function and glucose homeostasis in mice. These beneficial metabolic effects were accompanied by the enhanced expression of many genes critical for β cell function, maintenance, and differentiation. By employing a combination of in vivo and in vitro approaches, we identified a novel β cell pathway through which receptor-activated Gq leads to the sequential activation of ERK1/2 and IRS2 signaling, thus triggering a series of events that greatly improve β cell function. Importantly, we found that chronic stimulation of a designer Gq-coupled receptor selectively expressed in β cells prevented both streptozotocin-induced diabetes and the metabolic deficits associated with the consumption of a high-fat diet in mice. Since β cells are endowed with numerous receptors that mediate their cellular effects via activation of Gq-type G proteins, our findings provide a rational basis for the development of novel antidiabetic drugs targeting this class of receptors.
Authors: Williams JS, Smith DJ, Marjavaara L, Lujan SA, Chabes A, Kunkel TA
Journal: Mol Cell. 2013 Mar 7;49(5):1010-5. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2012.12.021
RNase H2-dependent ribonucleotide excision repair (RER) removes ribonucleotides incorporated during DNA replication. When RER is defective, ribonucleotides in the nascent leading strand of the yeast genome are associated with replication stress and genome instability. Here, we provide evidence that topoisomerase 1 (Top1) initiates an independent form of repair to remove ribonucleotides from genomic DNA. This Top1-dependent process activates the S phase checkpoint. Deleting TOP1 reverses this checkpoint activation and also relieves replication stress and genome instability in RER-defective cells. The results reveal an additional removal pathway for a very common lesion in DNA, and they imply that the "dirty" DNA ends created when Top1 incises ribonucleotides in DNA are responsible for the adverse consequences of ribonucleotides in RNase H2-defective cells.
Authors: Knox SM, Lombaert IM, Haddox CL, Abrams SR, Cotrim A, Wilson AJ, Hoffman MP
Journal: Nat Commun. 2013;4:1494. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2493
Parasympathetic nerves are a vital component of the progenitor cell niche during development, maintaining a pool of progenitors for organogenesis. Injured adult organs do not regenerate after parasympathectomy, and there are few treatments to improve organ regeneration, particularly after damage by therapeutic irradiation. Here we show that restoring parasympathetic function with the neurotrophic factor neurturin increases epithelial organ regeneration after damage. We use mouse salivary gland explant culture containing fluorescently labelled progenitors, and injure the tissue with irradiation. The progenitors survive, parasympathetic function is diminished and epithelial apoptosis reduces the expression of neurturin, which increases neuronal apoptosis. Treatment with neurturin reduces neuronal apoptosis, restores parasympathetic function and increases epithelial regeneration. Furthermore, adult human salivary glands damaged by irradiation also have reduced parasympathetic innervation. We propose that neurturin will protect the parasympathetic nerves from damage and improve organ regeneration. This concept may be applicable for other organs where parasympathetic innervation influences their function.
Authors: Kim KK, Nam J, Mukouyama YS, Kawamoto S
Journal: J Cell Biol. 2013 Feb 18;200(4):443-58. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201206146
Alternative premRNA splicing is a major mechanism to generate diversity of gene products. However, the biological roles of alternative splicing during development remain elusive. Here, we focus on a neuron-specific RNA-binding protein, Rbfox3, recently identified as the antigen of the widely used anti-NeuN antibody. siRNA-mediated loss-of-function studies using the developing chicken spinal cord revealed that Rbfox3 is required to promote neuronal differentiation of postmitotic neurons. Numb premRNA encoding a signaling adaptor protein was found to be a target of Rbfox3 action, and Rbfox3 repressed the inclusion of an alternative exon via binding to the conserved UGCAUG element in the upstream intron. Depleting a specific Numb splice isoform reproduced similar neuronal differentiation defects. Forced expression of the relevant Numb splice isoform was sufficient to rescue, in an isoform-specific manner, postmitotic neurons from defects in differentiation caused by Rbfox3 depletion. Thus, Rbfox3-dependent Numb alternative splicing plays an important role in the progression of neuronal differentiation during vertebrate development.
Authors: Kumkhaek C, Aerbajinai W, Liu W, Zhu J, Uchida N, Kurlander R, Hsieh MM, Tisdale JF, Rodgers GP
Journal: Blood. 2013 Jan 17. [Epub ahead of print]
Human erythropoiesis is a dynamic and complex multistep process involving differentiation of early erythroid progenitors into enucleated red blood cells. The mechanisms underlying erythropoiesis still remain incompletely understood. We previously demonstrated that erythropoietin-stimulated clone-1, which is selectively expressed in normal human erythroid-lineage cells, shares 99.5% identity with malignant fibrous histiocytoma-amplified sequences with leucine-rich tandem repeats 1 (MASL1). In this study, we hypothesized that the MASL1 gene plays a role in erythroid differentiation, and used a human erythroid cell culture system to explore this concept. MASL1 mRNA and protein expression levels were significantly increased during the erythroid differentiation of CD34(+) cells following erythropoietin (EPO) treatment. Conversely, MASL1 knockdown reduced erythroid differentiation in EPO-treated CD34(+) cells. In addition, MASL1 knockdown interrupted the Raf/MEK/ERK signaling pathway in CD34(+) cells. MASL1 mutant-transfected CD34(+) cells also showed decreased erythroid differentiation. Furthermore, inhibition of the SH3 domain of Son of Sevenless (SOS), which is an upstream adapter protein in EPO-induced erythroid differentiation, also reduced MASL1 expression and phosphorylation of Raf/MEK/ERK kinases that consequently reduced erythroid differentiation of EPO-induced CD34(+) cells. Importantly, we also demonstrated that MASL1 interacts physically with Raf1. Taken together, our data provide novel insights into MASL1 regulation of erythropoiesis through the Raf/MEK/ERK pathway.