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Abstract

Metaplasia can result when injury reactivates latent developmental signaling pathways that determine cell phenotype. Barrett’s esophagus is a squamous-to-columnar epithelial metaplasia caused by reflux esophagitis. Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is active in columnar-lined, embryonic esophagus and inactive in squamous-lined, adult esophagus. We showed previously that Hh signaling is reactivated in Barrett’s metaplasia and overexpression of Sonic hedgehog (SHH) in mouse esophageal squamous epithelium leads to a columnar phenotype. Here, our objective was to identify Hh target genes involved in Barrett’s pathogenesis. By microarray analysis, we found that the transcription factor Foxa2 is more highly expressed in murine embryonic esophagus compared with postnatal esophagus. Conditional activation of Shh in mouse esophageal epithelium induced FOXA2, while FOXA2 expression was reduced in Shh knockout embryos, establishing Foxa2 as an esophageal Hh target gene. Evaluation of patient samples revealed FOXA2 expression in Barrett’s metaplasia, dysplasia, and adenocarcinoma but not in esophageal squamous epithelium or squamous cell carcinoma. In esophageal squamous cell lines, Hh signaling upregulated FOXA2, which induced expression of MUC2, an intestinal mucin found in Barrett’s esophagus, and the MUC2-processing protein AGR2. Together, these data indicate that Hh signaling induces expression of genes that determine an intestinal phenotype in esophageal squamous epithelial cells and may contribute to the development of Barrett’s metaplasia.

Authors

David H. Wang, Anjana Tiwari, Monica E. Kim, Nicholas J. Clemons, Nanda L. Regmi, William A. Hodges, David M. Berman, Elizabeth A. Montgomery, D. Neil Watkins, Xi Zhang, Qiuyang Zhang, Chunfa Jie, Stuart J. Spechler, Rhonda F. Souza

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Abstract

Protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) regulates food intake (FI) and energy expenditure (EE) by inhibiting leptin signaling in the hypothalamus. In peripheral tissues, PTP1B regulates insulin signaling, but its effects on CNS insulin action are largely unknown. Mice harboring a whole-brain deletion of the gene encoding PTP1B (Ptpn1) are lean, leptin-hypersensitive, and resistant to high fat diet–induced (HFD-induced) obesity. Arcuate proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neuron–specific deletion of Ptpn1 causes a similar, but much milder, phenotype, suggesting that PTP1B also acts in other neurons to regulate metabolism. Steroidogenic factor-1–expressing (SF-1–expressing) neurons in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) play an important role in regulating body weight, FI, and EE. Surprisingly, Ptpn1 deletion in SF-1 neurons caused an age-dependent increase in adiposity in HFD-fed female mice. Although leptin sensitivity was increased and FI was reduced in these mice, they had impaired sympathetic output and decreased EE. Immunohistochemical analysis showed enhanced leptin and insulin signaling in VMH neurons from mice lacking PTP1B in SF-1 neurons. Thus, in the VMH, leptin negatively regulates FI, promoting weight loss, whereas insulin suppresses EE, leading to weight gain. Our results establish a novel role for PTP1B in regulating insulin action in the VMH and suggest that increased insulin responsiveness in SF-1 neurons can overcome leptin hypersensitivity and enhance adiposity.

Authors

Franck Chiappini, Karyn J. Catalano, Jennifer Lee, Odile D. Peroni, Jacqueline Lynch, Abha S. Dhaneshwar, Kerry Wellenstein, Alexandra Sontheimer, Benjamin G. Neel, Barbara B. Kahn

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Abstract

The prevalence of brain tumors in males is common but unexplained. While sex differences in disease are typically mediated through acute sex hormone actions, sex-specific differences in brain tumor rates are comparable at all ages, suggesting that factors other than sex hormones underlie this discrepancy. We found that mesenchymal glioblastoma (Mes-GBM) affects more males as the result of cell-intrinsic sexual dimorphism in astrocyte transformation. We used astrocytes from neurofibromin-deficient (Nf1–/–) mice expressing a dominant-negative form of the tumor suppressor p53 (DNp53) and treated them with EGF as a Mes-GBM model. Male Mes-GBM astrocytes exhibited greater growth and colony formation compared with female Mes-GBM astrocytes. Moreover, male Mes-GBM astrocytes underwent greater tumorigenesis in vivo, regardless of recipient mouse sex. Male Mes-GBM astrocytes exhibited greater inactivation of the tumor suppressor RB, higher proliferation rates, and greater induction of a clonogenic, stem-like cell population compared with female Mes-GBM astrocytes. Furthermore, complete inactivation of RB and p53 in Mes-GBM astrocytes resulted in equivalent male and female tumorigenic transformation, indicating that intrinsic differences in RB activation are responsible for the predominance of tumorigenic transformation in male astrocytes. Together, these results indicate that cell-intrinsic sex differences in RB regulation and stem-like cell function may underlie the predominance of GBM in males.

Authors

Tao Sun, Nicole M. Warrington, Jingqin Luo, Michael D. Brooks, Sonika Dahiya, Steven C. Snyder, Rajarshi Sengupta, Joshua B. Rubin

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Abstract

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are chronic, progressive diseases characterized by aberrant immune responses to environmental and gut microbial triggers in genetically susceptible hosts. Clinical, genetic, and experimental data support the role of gut microbes in causing and sustaining these diseases. Our understanding of IBD has changed dramatically as the result of advances in cultivation-independent approaches and computational platforms for the analysis of large data sets. However, investigations relevant to clinical observations and the natural history of the diseases will be essential for the development of microbial, genetic, and biological metrics that may be used to individualize assessment of risk and improve clinical outcomes in IBD.

Authors

Sushila R. Dalal, Eugene B. Chang

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Abstract

The intestinal epithelium has a high rate of turnover, and dysregulation of pathways that regulate regeneration can lead to tumor development; however, the negative regulators of oncogenic events in the intestinal epithelium are not fully understood. Here we identified a feedback loop between the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a known mediator of proliferation, and the transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily V, member 1 (TRPV1), in intestinal epithelial cells (IECs). We found that TRPV1 was expressed by IECs and was intrinsically activated upon EGFR stimulation. Subsequently, TRPV1 activation inhibited EGFR-induced epithelial cell proliferation via activation of Ca2+/calpain and resulting activation of protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B). In a murine model of multiple intestinal neoplasia (ApcMin/+ mice), TRPV1 deficiency increased adenoma formation, and treatment of these animals with an EGFR kinase inhibitor reversed protumorigenic phenotypes, supporting a functional association between TRPV1 and EGFR signaling in IECs. Administration of a TRPV1 agonist suppressed intestinal tumorigenesis in ApcMin/+ mice, similar to — as well as in conjunction with — a cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor, which suggests that targeting both TRPV1 and COX-2 has potential as a therapeutic approach for tumor prevention. Our findings implicate TRPV1 as a regulator of growth factor signaling in the intestinal epithelium through activation of PTP1B and subsequent suppression of intestinal tumorigenesis.

Authors

Petrus R. de Jong, Naoki Takahashi, Alexandra R. Harris, Jihyung Lee, Samuel Bertin, James Jeffries, Michael Jung, Jen Duong, Amy I. Triano, Jongdae Lee, Yaron Niv, David S. Herdman, Koji Taniguchi, Chang-Whan Kim, Hui Dong, Lars Eckmann, Stephanie M. Stanford, Nunzio Bottini, Maripat Corr, Eyal Raz

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Abstract

Despite advancement in breast cancer treatment, 30% of patients with early breast cancers experience relapse with distant metastasis. It is a challenge to identify patients at risk for relapse; therefore, the identification of markers and therapeutic targets for metastatic breast cancers is imperative. Here, we identified DP103 as a biomarker and metastasis-driving oncogene in human breast cancers and determined that DP103 elevates matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP9) levels, which are associated with metastasis and invasion through activation of NF-κB. In turn, NF-κB signaling positively activated DP103 expression. Furthermore, DP103 enhanced TGF-β–activated kinase-1 (TAK1) phosphorylation of NF-κB–activating IκB kinase 2 (IKK2), leading to increased NF-κB activity. Reduction of DP103 expression in invasive breast cancer cells reduced phosphorylation of IKK2, abrogated NF-κB–mediated MMP9 expression, and impeded metastasis in a murine xenograft model. In breast cancer patient tissues, elevated levels of DP103 correlated with enhanced MMP9, reduced overall survival, and reduced survival after relapse. Together, these data indicate that a positive DP103/NF-κB feedback loop promotes constitutive NF-κB activation in invasive breast cancers and activation of this pathway is linked to cancer progression and the acquisition of chemotherapy resistance. Furthermore, our results suggest that DP103 has potential as a therapeutic target for breast cancer treatment.

Authors

Eun Myoung Shin, Hui Sin Hay, Moon Hee Lee, Jen Nee Goh, Tuan Zea Tan, Yin Ping Sen, See Wee Lim, Einas M. Yousef, Hooi Tin Ong, Aye Aye Thike, Xiangjun Kong, Zhengsheng Wu, Earnest Mendoz, Wei Sun, Manuel Salto-Tellez, Chwee Teck Lim, Peter E. Lobie, Yoon Pin Lim, Celestial T. Yap, Qi Zeng, Gautam Sethi, Martin B. Lee, Patrick Tan, Boon Cher Goh, Lance D. Miller, Jean Paul Thiery, Tao Zhu, Louis Gaboury, Puay Hoon Tan, Kam Man Hui, George Wai-Cheong Yip, Shigeki Miyamoto, Alan Prem Kumar, Vinay Tergaonkar

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Abstract

The pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) remains unclear, but involves loss of alveolar surface area (emphysema) and airway inflammation (bronchitis) as the consequence of cigarette smoke (CS) exposure. Previously, we demonstrated that autophagy proteins promote lung epithelial cell death, airway dysfunction, and emphysema in response to CS; however, the underlying mechanisms have yet to be elucidated. Here, using cultured pulmonary epithelial cells and murine models, we demonstrated that CS causes mitochondrial dysfunction that is associated with a reduction of mitochondrial membrane potential. CS induced mitophagy, the autophagy-dependent elimination of mitochondria, through stabilization of the mitophagy regulator PINK1. CS caused cell death, which was reduced by administration of necrosis or necroptosis inhibitors. Genetic deficiency of PINK1 and the mitochondrial division/mitophagy inhibitor Mdivi-1 protected against CS-induced cell death and mitochondrial dysfunction in vitro and reduced the phosphorylation of MLKL, a substrate for RIP3 in the necroptosis pathway. Moreover, Pink1–/– mice were protected against mitochondrial dysfunction, airspace enlargement, and mucociliary clearance (MCC) disruption during CS exposure. Mdivi-1 treatment also ameliorated CS-induced MCC disruption in CS-exposed mice. In human COPD, lung epithelial cells displayed increased expression of PINK1 and RIP3. These findings implicate mitophagy-dependent necroptosis in lung emphysematous changes in response to CS exposure, suggesting that this pathway is a therapeutic target for COPD.

Authors

Kenji Mizumura, Suzanne M. Cloonan, Kiichi Nakahira, Abhiram R. Bhashyam, Morgan Cervo, Tohru Kitada, Kimberly Glass, Caroline A. Owen, Ashfaq Mahmood, George R. Washko, Shu Hashimoto, Stefan W. Ryter, Augustine M. K. Choi

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Abstract

T cell senescence is thought to contribute to immune function decline, but the pathways that mediate senescence in these cells are not clear. Here, we evaluated T cell populations from healthy volunteers and determined that human CD8+ effector memory T cells that reexpress the naive T cell marker CD45RA have many characteristics of cellular senescence, including decreased proliferation, defective mitochondrial function, and elevated levels of both ROS and p38 MAPK. Despite their apparent senescent state, we determined that these cells secreted high levels of both TNF-α and IFN-γ and showed potent cytotoxic activity. We found that the senescent CD45RA-expressing population engaged anaerobic glycolysis to generate energy for effector functions. Furthermore, inhibition of p38 MAPK signaling in senescent CD8+ T cells increased their proliferation, telomerase activity, mitochondrial biogenesis, and fitness; however, the extra energy required for these processes did not arise from increased glucose uptake or oxidative phosphorylation. Instead, p38 MAPK blockade in these senescent cells induced an increase in autophagy through enhanced interactions between p38 interacting protein (p38IP) and autophagy protein 9 (ATG9) in an mTOR-independent manner. Together, our findings describe fundamental metabolic requirements of senescent primary human CD8+ T cells and demonstrate that p38 MAPK blockade reverses senescence via an mTOR-independent pathway.

Authors

Sian M. Henson, Alessio Lanna, Natalie E. Riddell, Ornella Franzese, Richard Macaulay, Stephen J. Griffiths, Daniel J. Puleston, Alexander Scarth Watson, Anna Katharina Simon, Sharon A. Tooze, Arne N. Akbar

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Abstract

Activation of central PPARγ promotes food intake and body weight gain; however, the identity of the neurons that express PPARγ and mediate the effect of this nuclear receptor on energy homeostasis is unknown. Here, we determined that selective ablation of PPARγ in murine proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons decreases peroxisome density, elevates reactive oxygen species, and induces leptin sensitivity in these neurons. Furthermore, ablation of PPARγ in POMC neurons preserved the interaction between mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum, which is dysregulated by HFD. Compared with control animals, mice lacking PPARγ in POMC neurons had increased energy expenditure and locomotor activity; reduced body weight, fat mass, and food intake; and improved glucose metabolism when exposed to high-fat diet (HFD). Finally, peripheral administration of either a PPARγ activator or inhibitor failed to affect food intake of mice with POMC-specific PPARγ ablation. Taken together, our data indicate that PPARγ mediates cellular, biological, and functional adaptations of POMC neurons to HFD, thereby regulating whole-body energy balance.

Authors

Lihong Long, Chitoku Toda, Jing Kwon Jeong, Tamas L. Horvath, Sabrina Diano

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Abstract

Canonical WNT signaling is required for proper vascularization of the CNS during embryonic development. Here, we used mice with targeted mutations in genes encoding canonical WNT pathway members to evaluate the exact contribution of these components in CNS vascular development and in specification of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and blood-retina barrier (BRB). We determined that vasculature in various CNS regions is differentially sensitive to perturbations in canonical WNT signaling. The closely related WNT signaling coreceptors LDL receptor–related protein 5 (LRP5) and LRP6 had redundant functions in brain vascular development and barrier maintenance; however, loss of LRP5 alone dramatically altered development of the retinal vasculature. The BBB in the cerebellum and pons/interpeduncular nuclei was highly sensitive to decrements in canonical WNT signaling, and WNT signaling was required to maintain plasticity of barrier properties in mature CNS vasculature. Brain and retinal vascular defects resulting from ablation of Norrin/Frizzled4 signaling were ameliorated by stabilizing β-catenin, while inhibition of β-catenin–dependent transcription recapitulated the vascular development and barrier defects associated with loss of receptor, coreceptor, or ligand, indicating that Norrin/Frizzled4 signaling acts predominantly through β-catenin–dependent transcriptional regulation. Together, these data strongly support a model in which identical or nearly identical canonical WNT signaling mechanisms mediate neural tube and retinal vascularization and maintain the BBB and BRB.

Authors

Yulian Zhou, Yanshu Wang, Max Tischfield, John Williams, Philip M. Smallwood, Amir Rattner, Makoto M. Taketo, Jeremy Nathans

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Abstract

Authors

Francesco Niola, Xudong Zhao, Devendra Singh, Ryan Sullivan, Angelica Castano, Antonio Verrico, Pietro Zoppoli, Dinorah Friedmann-Morvinski, Erik Sulman, Lindy Barrett, Yuan Zhuang, Inder Verma, Robert Benezra, Ken Aldape, Antonio Iavarone, Anna Lasorella

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August 2014


124-8-cover

August 2014 Issue

On the cover:
Incorporating red blood cells in clots

The cover artwork depicts factor XIII, fibrinogen, and red blood cells (rbc) in a clot. On page 3590, Aleman et al. provide evidence that factor XIII plays an active role in recruiting rbc during clot formation. Their study reveals that fibrinogen residues near the factor XIII–binding site are critical for factor XIII activation and further demonstrates that blocking factor XIII activation reduces rbc content of clots. Their work suggests that targeting factor XIII could be an attractive strategy for modulating clot formation. Image credit: Ash Conrad.

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Jci_impact_2014_08

August 2014 Impact

JCI Impact is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published in each month's issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Review Series - More

Review_series_86
Nephrology
Series edited by John R. Sedor

Nephrology encompasses the study of normal kidney function, kidney disease, and kidney replacement therapy, including kidney transplantation and dialysis. Kidney diseases are a serious public health problem, with nearly 12% of American adults suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD). Importantly, kidney dysfunction is associated with the increasingly common conditions of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Recent technological advances, including genetic and epigenetic screens, metabolic profiling, new model systems, and the use of kidney biopsies for diagnosis and treatment, have created new avenues for the study of kidney pathology. Reviews in this series provide a survey of kidney pathogenesis, including hypertension, diabetic kidney disease, IgA nephropathy, idiopathic membranous nephropathy, acute kidney injury, fibrosis, and mechanisms mediating graft failure after transplantation.

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