Authors: Jordan JJ, Menendez D, Sharav J, Beno I, Rosenthal K, Resnick MA, Haran TE
Journal: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Sep 4;109(36):14387-92
Transcriptional activation by the tumor suppressor p53 is considered to depend on cellular level, although there are few systems where this dependence on cellular level of p53 has been directly addressed. Previously, we reported that transactivation from p53 targets was sensitive to both p53 amount and DNA sequence, with some sequences being responsive to much lower p53 levels than others when examined in yeast model systems or human cells. Because p53 is normally present at low levels and perturbations might lead to small increases, we examined transactivation under limiting p53. Unlike the positive relationship between transactivation and binding affinity from target sequences at high cellular levels of human p53 in yeast, no such relationship was found at low levels. However, transactivation in the yeast system and the torsional flexibility of target sequences were highly correlated, revealing a unique structural relationship between transcriptional function and sequence. Surprisingly, a few sequences supported high transactivation at low p53 levels in yeast or when transfected into human cells. On the basis of kinetic and flexibility analyses the "supertransactivation" property was due to low binding off rates of flexible target sites. Interestingly, a supertransactivation response element can differentiate transcriptional capacities of many breast cancer-associated p53 mutants. Overall, these studies, which are relevant to other transcription factors, address the extent to which transactivation properties of p53 target sequences are determined by their intrinsic physical properties and reveal unique rules of engagement of target sequences at low p53 levels.
Authors: Iglesias-Bartolome R, Patel V, Cotrim A, Leelahavanichkul K, Molinolo AA, Mitchell JB, Gutkind JS
Journal: Cell Stem Cell. 2012 Sep 7;11(3):401-14
The integrity of the epidermis and mucosal epithelia is highly dependent on resident self-renewing stem cells, which makes them vulnerable to physical and chemical insults compromising the repopulating capacity of the epithelial stem cell compartment. This is frequently the case in cancer patients receiving radiation or chemotherapy, many of whom develop mucositis, a debilitating condition involving painful and deep mucosal ulcerations. Here, we show that inhibiting the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) with rapamycin increases the clonogenic capacity of primary human oral keratinocytes and their resident self-renewing cells by preventing stem cell senescence. This protective effect of rapamycin is mediated by the increase in expression of mitochondrial superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), and the consequent inhibition of ROS formation and oxidative stress. mTOR inhibition also protects from the loss of proliferative basal epithelial stem cells upon ionizing radiation in vivo, thereby preserving the integrity of the oral mucosa and protecting from radiation-induced mucositis.
Authors: Cheng KT, Alevizos I, Liu X, Swaim WD, Yin H, Feske S, Oh-Hora M, Ambudkar IS
Journal: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Sep 4;109(36):14544-9
Primary Sjögren's Syndrome (pSS) is an autoimmune disease involving salivary and other exocrine glands that leads to progressive lymphocytic infiltration into the gland, tissue damage, and secretory defects. The mechanism underlying this disease remains poorly understood. Here we report that mice with T-cell-targeted deletion of Stromal Interaction Molecule (STIM) 1 and STIM2 [double-knockout (DKO)] mice develop spontaneous and severe pSS-like autoimmune disease, displaying major hallmarks of the disease. In DKO mice, diffuse lymphocytic infiltration was seen in submandibular glands, a major target of pSS, by age 6 wk, progressing to severe inflammation by age 12 wk. Sjögren's syndrome-specific autoantibodies (SSA/Ro and SSB/La) were detected in the serum, and progressive salivary gland destruction and loss of fluid secretion were also seen. Importantly, we report that peripheral blood mononuclear cells as well as lymphocytic infiltrates in submandibular glands from patients with pSS demonstrated significant reductions in STIM1 and STIM2 proteins. Store-operated calcium entry was also reduced in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from pSS patients compared with those from healthy controls. Thus, deficiency of STIM1 and STIM2 proteins in T cells, and consequent defects in Ca(2+) signaling, are associated with salivary gland autoimmunopathy in DKO mice and pSS patients. These data reveal a previously unreported link between STIM1 and STIM2 proteins and pSS.
Authors: Lingwood D, McTamney PM, Yassine HM, Whittle JR, Guo X, Boyington JC, Wei CJ, Nabel GJ
Journal: Nature. 2012 Sep 27;489(7417):566-70. doi: 10.1038/nature11371
Influenza viruses take a yearly toll on human life despite efforts to contain them with seasonal vaccines. These viruses evade human immunity through the evolution of variants that resist neutralization. The identification of antibodies that recognize invariant structures on the influenza haemagglutinin (HA) protein have invigorated efforts to develop universal influenza vaccines. Specifically, antibodies to the highly conserved stem region of HA neutralize diverse viral subtypes. These antibodies largely derive from a specific antibody gene, heavy-chain variable region IGHV1-69, after limited affinity maturation from their germline ancestors, but how HA stimulates naive B cells to mature and induce protective immunity is unknown. To address this question, we analysed the structural and genetic basis for their engagement and maturation into broadly neutralizing antibodies. Here we show that the germline-encoded precursors of these antibodies act as functional B-cell antigen receptors (BCRs) that initiate subsequent affinity maturation. Neither the germline precursor of a prototypic antibody, CR6261 (ref. 3), nor those of two other natural human IGHV1-69 antibodies, bound HA as soluble immunoglobulin-G (IgG). However, all three IGHV1-69 precursors engaged HA when the antibody was expressed as cell surface IgM. HA triggered BCR-associated tyrosine kinase signalling by germline transmembrane IgM. Recognition and virus neutralization was dependent solely on the heavy chain, and affinity maturation of CR6261 required only seven amino acids in the complementarity-determining region (CDR) H1 and framework region 3 (FR3) to restore full activity. These findings provide insight into the initial events that lead to the generation of broadly neutralizing antibodies to influenza, informing the rational design of vaccines to elicit such antibodies and providing a model relevant to other infectious diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus/AIDS. The data further suggest that selected immunoglobulin genes recognize specific protein structural 'patterns' that provide a substrate for further affinity maturation.
Authors: Cannon RE, Peart JC, Hawkins BT, Campos CR, Miller DS
Journal: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Sep 4. [Epub ahead of print]
P-glycoprotein, an ATP-driven drug efflux pump, is a major obstacle to the delivery of small-molecule drugs across the blood-brain barrier and into the CNS. Here we test a unique signaling-based strategy to overcome this obstacle. We used a confocal microscopy-based assay with isolated rat brain capillaries to map a signaling pathway that within minutes abolishes P-glycoprotein transport activity without altering transporter protein expression or tight junction permeability. This pathway encompasses elements of proinflammatory- (TNF-α) and sphingolipid-based signaling. Critical to this pathway was signaling through sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1 (S1PR1). In brain capillaries, S1P acted through S1PR1 to rapidly and reversibly reduce P-glycoprotein transport activity. Sphingosine reduced transport by a sphingosine kinase-dependent mechanism. Importantly, fingolimod (FTY720), a S1P analog recently approved for treatment of multiple sclerosis, also rapidly reduced P-glycoprotein activity; similar effects were found with the active, phosphorylated metabolite (FTY720P). We validated these findings in vivo using in situ brain perfusion in rats. Administration of S1P, FTY720, or FTY729P increased brain uptake of three radiolabeled P-glycoprotein substrates, (3)H-verapamil (threefold increase), (3)H-loperamide (fivefold increase), and (3)H-paclitaxel (fivefold increase); blocking S1PR1 abolished this effect. Tight junctional permeability, measured as brain (14)C-sucrose accumulation, was not altered. Therefore, targeting signaling through S1PR1 at the blood-brain barrier with the sphingolipid-based drugs, FTY720 or FTY720P, can rapidly and reversibly reduce basal P-glycoprotein activity and thus improve delivery of small-molecule therapeutics to the brain.
Authors: Wang C, Lee JE, Cho YW, Xiao Y, Jin Q, Liu C, Ge K
Journal: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Sep 18;109(38):15324-9
To investigate the role of histone H3K27 demethylase UTX in embryonic stem (ES) cell differentiation, we have generated UTX knockout (KO) and enzyme-dead knock-in male ES cells. Deletion of the X-chromosome-encoded UTX gene in male ES cells markedly decreases expression of the paralogous UTY gene encoded by Y chromosome, but has no effect on global H3K27me3 level, Hox gene expression, or ES cell self-renewal. However, UTX KO cells show severe defects in mesoderm differentiation and induction of Brachyury, a transcription factor essential for mesoderm development. Surprisingly, UTX regulates mesoderm differentiation and Brachyury expression independent of its enzymatic activity. UTY, which lacks detectable demethylase activity, compensates for the loss of UTX in regulating Brachyury expression. UTX and UTY bind directly to Brachyury promoter and are required for Wnt/β-catenin signaling-induced Brachyury expression in ES cells. Interestingly, male UTX KO embryos express normal levels of UTY and survive until birth. In contrast, female UTX KO mice, which lack the UTY gene, show embryonic lethality before embryonic day 11.5. Female UTX KO embryos show severe defects in both Brachyury expression and embryonic development of mesoderm-derived posterior notochord, cardiac, and hematopoietic tissues. These results indicate that UTX controls mesoderm differentiation and Brachyury expression independent of H3K27 demethylase activity, and suggest that UTX and UTY are functionally redundant in ES cell differentiation and early embryonic development.
Authors: Avram AV, Ozarslan E, Sarlls JE, Basser PJ
Journal: Neuroimage. 2012 Aug 25. [Epub ahead of print]
We report our design and implementation of a quadruple pulsed-field gradient (qPFG) diffusion MRI pulse sequence on a whole-body clinical scanner and demonstrate its ability to non-invasively detect restriction-induced microscopic anisotropy in human brain tissue. The microstructural information measured using qPFG diffusion MRI in white matter complements that provided by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and exclusively characterizes diffusion of water trapped in microscopic compartments with unique measures of average cell geometry. We describe the effect of white matter fiber orientation on the expected MR signal and highlight the importance of incorporating such information in the axon diameter measurement using a suitable mathematical framework. Integration of qPFG diffusion-weighted images (DWI) with fiber orientations measured using high-resolution DTI allows the estimation of average axon diameters in the corpus callosum of healthy human volunteers. Maps of inter-hemispheric average axon diameters reveal an anterior-posterior variation in good topographical agreement with anatomical measurements reported in previous post-mortem studies. With further technical refinements and additional clinical validation, qPFG diffusion MRI could provide a quantitative whole-brain histological assessment of white and gray matter, enabling a wide range of neuroimaging applications for improved diagnosis of neurodegenerative pathologies, monitoring neurodevelopmental processes, and mapping brain connectivity.
Authors: Anastasiou D, Yu Y, Israelsen WJ, Jiang JK, Boxer MB, Hong BS, Tempel W, Dimov S, Shen M, Jha A, Yang H, Mattaini KR, Metallo CM, Fiske BP, Courtney KD, Malstrom S, Khan TM, Kung C, Skoumbourdis AP, Veith H, Southall N, Walsh MJ, Brimacombe KR, Leister W, Lunt SY, Johnson ZR, Yen KE, Kunii K, Davidson SM, Christofk HR, Austin CP, Inglese J, Harris MH, Asara JM, Stephanopoulos G, Salituro FG, Jin S, Dang L, Auld DS, Park HW, Cantley LC, Thomas CJ, Vander Heiden MG
Journal: Nat Chem Biol. 2012 Aug 26. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.1060. [Epub ahead of print]
Cancer cells engage in a metabolic program to enhance biosynthesis and support cell proliferation. The regulatory properties of pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) influence altered glucose metabolism in cancer. The interaction of PKM2 with phosphotyrosine-containing proteins inhibits enzyme activity and increases the availability of glycolytic metabolites to support cell proliferation. This suggests that high pyruvate kinase activity may suppress tumor growth. We show that expression of PKM1, the pyruvate kinase isoform with high constitutive activity, or exposure to published small-molecule PKM2 activators inhibits the growth of xenograft tumors. Structural studies reveal that small-molecule activators bind PKM2 at the subunit interaction interface, a site that is distinct from that of the endogenous activator fructose-1,6-bisphosphate (FBP). However, unlike FBP, binding of activators to PKM2 promotes a constitutively active enzyme state that is resistant to inhibition by tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins. These data support the notion that small-molecule activation of PKM2 can interfere with anabolic metabolism.
Authors: Chen Y, Wang Y, Zhang J, Deng Y, Jiang L, Song E, Wu XS, Hammer JA, Xu T, Lippincott-Schwartz J
Journal: J Cell Biol. 2012 Aug 20;198(4):545-60
Rab proteins are important regulators of insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation to the plasma membrane (PM), but the precise steps in GLUT4 trafficking modulated by particular Rab proteins remain unclear. Here, we systematically investigate the involvement of Rab proteins in GLUT4 trafficking, focusing on Rab proteins directly mediating GLUT4 storage vesicle (GSV) delivery to the PM. Using dual-color total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy and an insulin-responsive aminopeptidase (IRAP)-pHluorin fusion assay, we demonstrated that Rab10 directly facilitated GSV translocation to and docking at the PM. Rab14 mediated GLUT4 delivery to the PM via endosomal compartments containing transferrin receptor (TfR), whereas Rab4A, Rab4B, and Rab8A recycled GLUT4 through the endosomal system. Myosin-Va associated with GSVs by interacting with Rab10, positioning peripherally recruited GSVs for ultimate fusion. Thus, multiple Rab proteins regulate the trafficking of GLUT4, with Rab10 coordinating with myosin-Va to mediate the final steps of insulin-stimulated GSV translocation to the PM.
Authors: Jaramillo R, Cohn RD, Crockett PW, Gowdy KM, Zeldin DC, Fessler MB
Journal: J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Aug 23. [Epub ahead of print]
BACKGROUND: Although rodent studies indicate that atherosclerosis is a T(H)1-mediated disease and that atopic T(H)2 immunity is atheroprotective, findings in humans are conflicting. Total IgE (tIgE) is associated with atherosclerotic disease but has limited specificity for atopy.
OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to determine the relation between atopy, as indicated by a broad panel of serum allergen-specific IgE (sIgE), and past myocardial infarction (MI) in a sample representative of the US population.
METHODS: Data were analyzed from 4002 participants aged ≥20 years from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
RESULTS: Subjects reporting a history of MI had lower summed sIgE (5.51 vs 7.71 kU/L; P < .001) and were less likely to have ≥1 positive sIgE test (29.9% vs 44.6%; P = .02) or current hay fever (3.3% vs 7.6%; P = .002). After adjustment for age, sex, race/ethnicity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, family history of MI, smoking, total/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, body mass index, and C-reactive protein, the odds ratio (OR) for MI was 0.91 (95% CI, 0.85-0.97) per positive sIgE; 0.70 (95% CI, 0.57-0.85) per 2-fold increase in sum[sIgE]; and 0.82 (95% CI, 0.69-0.98) per 10% increase in the ratio of sum[sIgE] to tIgE. Analysis with 7 data-driven, prespecified allergen clusters found that house dust mite is the only allergen cluster for which sIgE is associated with reduced odds for MI (fully adjusted OR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.20-0.64).
CONCLUSION: Serum sIgE is inversely related to MI in the US population in a manner independent of multiple coronary risk factors.