Abstract : Complex cell-to-cell communication underlies the basic processes essential for homeostasis in the given tissue architecture. Obtaining quantitative gene-expression of cells in their native context has significantly advanced through single-cell RNA sequencing technologies along with mechanical and enzymatic tissue manipulation. This approach, however, is largely reliant on the physical dissociation of individual cells from the tissue, thus, resulting in a library with unaccounted positional information. To overcome this, positional information can be obtained by integrating imaging and positional barcoding. Collectively, spatial transcriptomics strategies provide tissue architecture-dependent as well as position-dependent cellular functions. This review discusses the current technologies for spatial transcriptomics ranging from the methods combining mechanical dissociation and single-cell RNA sequencing to computational spatial re-mapping.
Abstract : Numerous physiological processes in nature have multiple oscillations within 24 h, that is, ultradian rhythms. Compared to the circadian rhythm, which has a period of approximately one day, these short oscillations range from seconds to hours, and the mechanisms underlying ultradian rhythms remain largely unknown. This review aims to explore and emphasize the implications of ultradian rhythms and their underlying regulations. Reproduction and developmental processes show ultradian rhythms, and these physiological systems can be regulated by short biological rhythms. Specifically, we recently uncovered synchronized calcium oscillations in the organotypic culture of hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARN) kisspeptin neurons that regulate reproduction. Synchronized calcium oscillations were dependent on voltage-gated ion channel-mediated action potentials and were repressed by chemogenetic inhibition, suggesting that the network within the ARN and between the kisspeptin population mediates the oscillation. This minireview describes that ultradian rhythms are a general theme that underlies biological features, with special reference to calcium oscillations in the hypothalamic ARN from a developmental perspective. We expect that more attention to these oscillations might provide insight into physiological or developmental mechanisms, since many oscillatory features in nature still remain to be explored.
Abstract : microRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding RNA molecules involved in the regulation of gene expression. miRNAs inhibit gene expression by binding to the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of their target gene. miRNAs can originate from transposable elements (TEs), which comprise approximately half of the eukaryotic genome and one type of TE, called the long terminal repeat (LTR) is found in class of retrotransposons. Amongst the miRNAs derived from LTR, hsa-miR-3681 was chosen and analyzed using bioinformatics tools and experimental analysis. Studies on hsa-miR-3681 have been scarce and this study provides the relative expression analysis of hsa-miR-3681-5p from humans, chimpanzees, crab-eating monkeys, and mice. Luciferase assay for hsa-miR-3681-5p and its target gene SHISA7 supports our hypothesis that the number of miRNA binding sites affects target gene expression. Especially, the variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) and hsa-miR-3681-5p share the binding sites in the 3’ UTR of SHISA7, which leads the enhancer function of hsa-miR-3681-5p to inhibit the activity of VNTR. In conclusion, hsa-miR-3681-5p acts as a super-enhancer and the enhancer function of hsa-miR-3681-5p acts as a repressor of VNTR activity in the 3′ UTR of SHISA7.
Abstract : In this study, we describe a novel function of TNNC1 (Troponin C1, Slow Skeletal and Cardiac Type), a component of actin-bound troponin, as a tumor suppressor of lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD). First, the expression of TNNC1 was strongly down-regulated in cancer tissues compared to matched normal lung tissues, and down-regulation of TNNC1 was shown to be strongly correlated with increased mortality among LUAD patients. Interestingly, TNNC1 expression was enhanced by suppression of KRAS, and ectopic expression of TNNC1 in turn inhibited KRASG12D-mediated anchorage independent growth of NIH3T3 cells. Consistently, activation of KRAS pathway in LUAD patients was shown to be strongly correlated with down-regulation of TNNC1. In addition, ectopic expression of TNNC1 inhibited colony formation of multiple LUAD cell lines and induced DNA damage, cell cycle arrest and ultimately apoptosis. We further examined potential correlations between expression levels of TNNC1 and various clinical parameters and found that low-level expression is significantly associated with invasiveness of the tumor. Indeed, RNA interference-mediated down-regulation of TNNC1 led to significant enhancement of invasiveness in vitro. Collectively, our data indicate that TNNC1 has a novel function as a tumor suppressor and is targeted for down-regulation by KRAS pathway during the carcinogenesis of LUAD.
Abstract : The molecular mechanism underlying autophagy impairment in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) in dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is not yet clear. Based on the causative role of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) in RPE necrosis, this study examined whether PARP1 is involved in the autophagy impairment observed during dry AMD pathogenesis. We found that autophagy was downregulated following H2O2-induced PARP1 activation in ARPE-19 cells and olaparib, PARP1 inhibitor, preserved the autophagy process upon H2O2 exposure in ARPE-19 cells. These findings imply that PARP1 participates in the autophagy impairment upon oxidative stress in ARPE-19 cells. Furthermore, PARP1 inhibited autolysosome formation but did not affect autophagosome formation in H2O2-exposed ARPE-19 cells, demonstrating that PARP1 is responsible for impairment of late-stage autophagy in particular. Because PARP1 consumes NAD+ while exerting its catalytic activity, we investigated whether PARP1 impedes autophagy mediated by sirtuin1 (SIRT1), which uses NAD+ as its cofactor. A NAD+ precursor restored autophagy and protected mitochondria in ARPE-19 cells by preserving SIRT1 activity upon H2O2. Moreover, olaparib failed to restore autophagy in SIRT1-depleted ARPE-19 cells, indicating that PARP1 inhibits autophagy through SIRT1 inhibition. Next, we further examined whether PARP1-induced autophagy impairment occurs in the retinas of dry AMD model mice. Histological analyses revealed that olaparib treatment protected mouse retinas against sodium iodate (SI) insult, but not in retinas cotreated with SI and wortmannin, an autophagy inhibitor. Collectively, our data demonstrate that PARP1-dependent inhibition of SIRT1 activity impedes autophagic survival of RPE cells, leading to retinal degeneration during dry AMD pathogenesis.
Abstract : Leaf senescence is a developmental process by which a plant actively remobilizes nutrients from aged and photosynthetically inefficient leaves to young growing ones by disassembling organelles and degrading macromolecules. Senescence is accelerated by age and environmental stresses such as prolonged darkness. Phytochrome B (phyB) inhibits leaf senescence by inhibiting phytochrome-interacting factor 4 (PIF4) and PIF5 in prolonged darkness. However, it remains unknown whether phyB mediates the temperature signal that regulates leaf senescence. We found the light-activated form of phyB (Pfr) remains active at least four days after a transfer to darkness at 20°C but is inactivated more rapidly at 28°C. This faster inactivation of Pfr further increases PIF4 protein levels at the higher ambient temperature. In addition, PIF4 mRNA levels rise faster after the transfer to darkness at high ambient temperature via a mechanism that depends on ELF3 but not phyB. Increased PIF4 protein then binds to the ORE1 promoter and activates its expression together with ABA and ethylene signaling, accelerating leaf senescence at high ambient temperature. Our results support a role for the phy-PIF signaling module in integrating not only light signaling but also temperature signaling in the regulation of leaf senescence.
Abstract : We have investigated the involvement of the pre-mRNA processing factor 4B (PRP4) kinase domain in mediating drug resistance. HCT116 cells were treated with curcumin, and apoptosis was assessed based on flow cytometry and the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Cells were then transfected with PRP4 or pre-mRNA-processing-splicing factor 8 (PRP8), and drug resistance was analyzed both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we deleted the kinase domain in PRP4 using GatewayTM technology. Curcumin induced cell death through the production of ROS and decreased the activation of survival signals, but PRP4 overexpression reversed the curcumin-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis. PRP8 failed to reverse the curcumin-induced apoptosis in the HCT116 colon cancer cell line. In xenograft mouse model experiments, curcumin effectively reduced tumour size whereas PRP4 conferred resistance to curcumin, which was evident from increasing tumour size, while PRP8 failed to regulate the curcumin action. PRP4 overexpression altered the morphology, rearranged the actin cytoskeleton, triggered epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and decreased the invasiveness of HCT116 cells. The loss of E-cadherin, a hallmark of EMT, was observed in HCT116 cells overexpressing PRP4. Moreover, we observed that the EMT-inducing potential of PRP4 was aborted after the deletion of its kinase domain. Collectively, our investigations suggest that the PRP4 kinase domain is responsible for promoting drug resistance to curcumin by inducing EMT. Further evaluation of PRP4-induced inhibition of cell death and PRP4 kinase domain interactions with various other proteins might lead to the development of novel approaches for overcoming drug resistance in patients with colon cancer.