3-M primordial dwarfism is an inherited disease characterized by severe pre- and postnatal growth retardation and by mutually exclusive mutations in 3 genes, CUL7, OBSL1, and CCDC8. The mechanism underlying 3-M dwarfism is not clear. We showed here that CCDC8, derived from a retrotransposon Gag protein in placental mammals, exclusively localized on the plasma membrane and was phosphorylated by CK2 and GSK3. Phosphorylation of CCDC8 resulted in its binding first with OBSL1, and then CUL7, leading to the membrane assembly of the 3-M E3 ubiquitin ligase complex. We identified LL5β, a plasma membrane protein that regulates cell migration, as a substrate of 3-M ligase. Wnt inhibition of CCDC8 phosphorylation or patient-derived mutations in 3-M genes disrupted membrane localization of the 3-M complex and accumulated LL5β. Deletion of Ccdc8 in mice impaired trophoblast migration and placental development, resulting in intrauterine growth restriction and perinatal lethality. These results identified a mechanism regulating cell migration and placental development that underlies the development of 3-M dwarfism.
Pu Wang, Feng Yan, Zhijun Li, Yanbao Yu, Scott E. Parnell, Yue Xiong
Genetic susceptibility to type 2 diabetes is primarily due to β cell dysfunction. However, a genetic study to directly interrogate β cell function ex vivo has never been previously performed. We isolated 233,447 islets from 483 Diversity Outbred (DO) mice maintained on a Western-style diet, and measured insulin secretion in response to a variety of secretagogues. Insulin secretion from DO islets ranged greater than 1000-fold even though none of the mice were diabetic. The insulin secretory response to each secretagogue had a unique genetic architecture; some of the loci were specific for one condition, whereas others overlapped. Human loci that are syntenic to many of the insulin secretion quantitative trait loci (QTL) from mice are associated with diabetes-related SNPs in human genome-wide association studies. We report on 3 genes, Ptpn18, Hunk, and Zfp148, where the phenotype predictions from the genetic screen were fulfilled in our studies of transgenic mouse models. These 3 genes encode a nonreceptor type protein tyrosine phosphatase, a serine/threonine protein kinase, and a Krϋppel-type zinc-finger transcription factor, respectively. Our results demonstrate that genetic variation in insulin secretion that can lead to type 2 diabetes is discoverable in nondiabetic individuals.
Mark P. Keller, Mary E. Rabaglia, Kathryn L. Schueler, Donnie S. Stapleton, Daniel M. Gatti, Matthew Vincent, Kelly A. Mitok, Ziyue Wang, Takanao Ishimura, Shane P. Simonett, Christopher H. Emfinger, Rahul Das, Tim Beck, Christina Kendziorski, Karl W. Broman, Brian S. Yandell, Gary A. Churchill, Alan D. Attie
Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a potent lipid mediator with various biological functions mediated through six G protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs), LPA1–LPA6. Previous studies have demonstrated that LPA–Gα12/Gα13 signaling plays an important role in embryonic vascular development. However, the responsible LPA receptors and underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we show a critical role of LPA4 and LPA6 in developmental angiogenesis. In mice, Lpa4;Lpa6 double-knockout (DKO) embryos were lethal due to global vascular deficiencies, and endothelial cell–specific (EC-specific) Lpa4;Lpa6-DKO retinas had impaired sprouting angiogenesis. Mechanistically, LPA activated the transcriptional regulators YAP and TAZ through LPA4/LPA6–mediated Gα12/Gα13–Rho–ROCK signaling in ECs. YAP/TAZ knockdown increased endothelial expression of the Notch ligand delta-like ligand 4 (DLL4) that was mediated by β-catenin and Notch intracellular domain (NICD). Fibrin gel sprouting assay revealed that LPA4/LPA6, Gα12/Gα13, or YAP/TAZ knockdown consistently blocked EC sprouting, which was rescued by a Notch inhibitor. Notably, the inhibition of Notch signaling also ameliorated impaired retinal angiogenesis in EC-specific Lpa4;Lpa6-DKO mice. Overall, these results suggest that the Gα12/Gα13–coupled receptors LPA4 and LPA6 synergistically regulate endothelial Dll4 expression through YAP/TAZ activation. This could in part account for the mechanism of YAP/TAZ–mediated developmental angiogenesis. Our findings provide insight into the biology of GPCR-activated YAP/TAZ.
Daisuke Yasuda, Daiki Kobayashi, Noriyuki Akahoshi, Takayo Ohto-Nakanishi, Kazuaki Yoshioka, Yoh Takuwa, Seiya Mizuno, Satoru Takahashi, Satoshi Ishii
The stimulator of IFN genes (STING) signaling pathway is a critical link between innate and adaptive immunity and induces antitumor immune responses. STING is expressed in vasculatures, but its role in tumor angiogenesis has not been elucidated. Here, we investigated STING-induced tumor vascular remodeling and the potential of STING-based combination immunotherapy. Endothelial STING expression was correlated with enhanced T cell infiltration and prolonged survival in human colon and breast cancer. Intratumoral STING activation with STING agonists (cGAMP or RR-CDA) normalized tumor vasculatures in implanted and spontaneous cancers, but not in STING-deficient mice. These were mediated by upregulation of type I/II IFN genes and vascular stabilizing genes (e.g., Angpt1, Pdgfrb, and Col4a). STING in nonhematopoietic cells is as important as STING in hematopoietic cells for inducing a maximal therapeutic efficacy of exogenous STING agonists. Vascular normalizing effects of STING agonists were dependent on type I IFN signaling and CD8+ T cells. Notably, STING-based immunotherapy was maximally effective when combined with VEGFR2 blockade and/or immune-checkpoint blockade (αPD-1 or αCTLA-4), leading to complete regression of immunotherapy-resistant tumors. Our data show that intratumoral STING activation can normalize tumor vasculature and the tumor microenvironment, providing a rationale for combining STING-based immunotherapy and antiangiogenic therapy.
Hannah Yang, Won Suk Lee, So Jung Kong, Chang Gon Kim, Joo Hoon Kim, Sei Kyung Chang, Sewha Kim, Gwangil Kim, Hong Jae Chon, Chan Kim
Inflammatory destruction of iron-rich myelin is characteristic of multiple sclerosis (MS). Although iron is needed for oligodendrocytes to produce myelin during development, its deposition has also been linked to neurodegeneration and inflammation, including in MS. We report perivascular iron deposition in multiple sclerosis lesions that was mirrored in 72 lesions from 13 marmosets with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Iron accumulated mainly inside microglia/macrophages from 6 weeks after demyelination. Consistently, expression of transferrin receptor, the brain’s main iron-influx protein, increased as lesions aged. Iron was uncorrelated with inflammation and postdated initial demyelination, suggesting that iron is not directly pathogenic. Iron homeostasis was at least partially restored in remyelinated, but not persistently demyelinated, lesions. Taken together, our results suggest that iron accumulation in the weeks after inflammatory demyelination may contribute to lesion repair rather than inflammatory demyelination per se.
Nathanael J. Lee, Seung-Kwon Ha, Pascal Sati, Martina Absinta, Govind Nair, Nicholas J. Luciano, Emily C. Leibovitch, Cecil C. Yen, Tracey A. Rouault, Afonso C. Silva, Steven Jacobson, Daniel S. Reich
Reactive astrocytes are associated with every form of neurological injury. Despite their ubiquity, the molecular mechanisms controlling their production and diverse functions remain poorly defined. Because many features of astrocyte development are recapitulated in reactive astrocytes, we investigated the role of nuclear factor I-A (NFIA), a key transcriptional regulator of astrocyte development whose contributions to reactive astrocytes remain undefined. Here, we show that NFIA is highly expressed in reactive astrocytes in human neurological injury and identify unique roles across distinct injury states and regions of the CNS. In the spinal cord, after white matter injury (WMI), NFIA-deficient astrocytes exhibit defects in blood-brain barrier remodeling, which are correlated with the suppression of timely remyelination. In the cortex, after ischemic stroke, NFIA is required for the production of reactive astrocytes from the subventricular zone (SVZ). Mechanistically, NFIA directly regulates the expression of thrombospondin 4 (Thbs4) in the SVZ, revealing a key transcriptional node regulating reactive astrogenesis. Together, these studies uncover critical roles for NFIA in reactive astrocytes and illustrate how region- and injury-specific factors dictate the spectrum of reactive astrocyte responses.
Dylan Laug, Teng-Wei Huang, Navish A. Bosquez Huerta, Anna Yu-Szu Huang, Debosmita Sardar, Joshua Ortiz-Guzman, Jeffrey C. Carlson, Benjamin R. Arenkiel, Chay T. Kuo, Carrie A. Mohila, Stacey M. Glasgow, Hyun Kyoung Lee, Benjamin Deneen
Despite progress in intensification of therapy, outcomes for patients with metastatic osteosarcoma (OS) have not improved in thirty years. We developed a system that enabled preclinical screening of compounds against metastatic OS cells in the context of the native lung microenvironment. Using this strategy to screen a library of epigenetically targeted compounds, we identified inhibitors of CDK12 to be most effective, reducing OS cell outgrowth in the lung by more than 90% at submicromolar doses. We found that knockout of CDK12 in an in vivo model of lung metastasis significantly decreased the ability of OS to colonize the lung. CDK12 inhibition led to defects in transcription elongation in a gene length– and expression-dependent manner. These effects were accompanied by defects in RNA processing and altered the expression of genes involved in transcription regulation and the DNA damage response. We further identified OS models that differ in their sensitivity to CDK12 inhibition in the lung and provided evidence that upregulated MYC levels may mediate these differences. Our studies provided a framework for rapid preclinical testing of compounds with antimetastatic activity and highlighted CDK12 as a potential therapeutic target in OS.
Ian Bayles, Malgorzata Krajewska, W. Dean Pontius, Alina Saiakhova, James J. Morrow, Cynthia Bartels, Jim Lu, Zachary J. Faber, Yuriy Fedorov, Ellen S. Hong, Jaret M. Karnuta, Brian Rubin, Drew J. Adams, Rani E. George, Peter C. Scacheri
Loss-of-function mutations in genes encoding TET DNA dioxygenase occur frequently in hematopoietic malignancy, but rarely in solid tumors, which instead commonly have reduced activity. The impact of decreased TET activity in solid tumors is not known. Here we show that TET2 mediates the IFN-γ/JAK/STAT signaling pathway to control chemokine and PD-L1 expression, lymphocyte infiltration, and cancer immunity. IFN-γ stimulated STAT1 to bind TET2 and recruit TET2 to hydroxymethylate chemokine and PD-L1 genes. Reduced TET activity was associated with decreased Th1-type chemokines and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and the progression of human colon cancer. Deletion of Tet2 in murine melanoma and colon tumor cells reduced chemokine expression and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, enabling tumors to evade antitumor immunity and to resist anti–PD-L1 therapy. Conversely, stimulating TET activity by systematic injection of its cofactor ascorbate/vitamin C increased chemokines and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, leading to enhanced antitumor immunity and anti–PD-L1 efficacy and extended lifespan of tumor-bearing mice. These results suggest an IFN-γ/JAK/STAT/TET signaling pathway that mediates tumor response to anti–PD-L1/PD-1 therapy and is frequently disrupted in solid tumors. Our findings also suggest TET activity as a biomarker for predicting the efficacy of and patient response to anti–PD-1/PD-L1 therapy, and stimulation of TET activity as an adjuvant immunotherapy of solid tumors.
Yan-ping Xu, Lei Lv, Ying Liu, Matthew D. Smith, Wen-Cai Li, Xian-ming Tan, Meng Cheng, Zhijun Li, Michael Bovino, Jeffrey Aubé, Yue Xiong
Prostate cancer (PC) initially depends on androgen receptor (AR) signaling for survival and growth. Therapeutics designed to suppress AR activity serve as the primary intervention for advanced disease. However, supraphysiological androgen (SPA) concentrations can produce paradoxical responses leading to PC growth inhibition. We sought to discern the mechanisms by which SPA inhibits PC and to determine if molecular context associates with antitumor activity. SPA produced an AR-mediated, dose-dependent induction of DNA double-strand breaks, G0/G1 cell-cycle arrest, and cellular senescence. SPA repressed genes involved in DNA repair and delayed the restoration of damaged DNA, which was augmented by poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 inhibition. SPA-induced double-strand breaks were accentuated in BRCA2-deficient patients with PC, and combining SPA with poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase or DNA-dependent protein kinase inhibition further repressed growth. Next-generation sequencing was performed on biospecimens from patients with PC receiving SPA as part of ongoing phase II clinical trials. Patients with mutations in genes mediating homology-directed DNA repair were more likely to exhibit clinical responses to SPA. These results provide a mechanistic rationale for directing SPA therapy to patients with PC who have AR amplification or DNA repair deficiency and for combining SPA therapy with poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibition.
Payel Chatterjee, Michael T. Schweizer, Jared M. Lucas, Ilsa Coleman, Michael D. Nyquist, Sander B. Frank, Robin Tharakan, Elahe Mostaghel, Jun Luo, Colin C. Pritchard, Hung-Ming Lam, Eva Corey, Emmanuel S. Antonarakis, Samuel R. Denmeade, Peter S. Nelson
Treatment of tumors with ionizing radiation stimulates an antitumor immune response partly dependent on induction of IFNs. These IFNs directly enhance dendritic cell and CD8+ T cell activity. Here we show that resistance to an effective antitumor immune response is also a result of IFN signaling in a different cellular compartment of the tumor, the cancer cells themselves. We abolished type I IFN signaling in cancer cells by genetic elimination of its receptor, IFNAR1. Pronounced immune responses were provoked after ionizing radiation of tumors from 4 mouse cancer cell lines with Ifnar1 knockout. This enhanced response depended on CD8+ T cells and was mediated by enhanced susceptibility to T cell–mediated killing. Induction of Serpinb9 proved to be the mechanism underlying control of susceptibility to T cell killing after radiation. Ifnar1-deficient tumors had an augmented response to anti–PD-L1 immunotherapy with or without radiation. We conclude that type I IFN can protect cancer cells from T cell–mediated cytotoxicity through regulation of Serpinb9. This result helps explain why radiation of tumors can stimulate antitumor immunity yet also result in resistance. It further suggests potential targets for intervention to improve therapy and to predict responses.
Jianzhou Chen, Yunhong Cao, Bostjan Markelc, Jakob Kaeppler, Jenny A.F. Vermeer, Ruth J. Muschel
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