Abstract : The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST)—a key part of the extended amygdala—has been implicated in the regulation of diverse behavioral states, ranging from anxiety and reward processing to feeding behavior. Among the host of distinct types of neurons within the BNST, recent investigations employing cell type- and projection-specific circuit dissection techniques (such as optogenetics, chemogenetics, deep-brain calcium imaging, and the genetic and viral methods for targeting specific types of cells) have highlighted the key roles of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons and their axonal projections. As anticipated from their primary roles in excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission, these studies established that the glutamatergic and GABAergic subpopulations of the BNST oppositely regulate diverse behavioral states. At the same time, these studies have also revealed unexpected functional specificity and heterogeneity within each subpopulation. In this Minireview, we introduce the body of studies that investigated the function of glutamatergic and GABAergic BNST neurons and their circuits. We also discuss unresolved questions and future directions for a more complete understanding of the cellular diversity and functional heterogeneity within the BNST.
Abstract : Secondary metabolites enable plants to protect themselves from herbivorous insects. Among these, cucurbitacin B (cuc-B) is a bitter-tasting compound with promising pharmacological potential. Dietary exposure to cuc-B lowered the hemolymph glucose levels of Drosophila melanogaster fed with a high carbohydrate diet, which is homologous to high blood glucose in humans, and its effect was comparable to that of metformin, a well-known glucose-lowering drug. Furthermore, cuc-B reduced tissue sugar levels and glycogen levels, as well as triacylglycerol levels. Our results thus highlight the potential applicability of this compound to treat chronic metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity. Additionally, we analyzed sleep quality and taste-associative memory enhancement after cuc-B and metformin treatment. Both supplements increased nighttime bout length and metformin increased memory consolidation. Therefore, discarded shell of Cucurbitaceae could be processed into health supplements.
Abstract : Chromatin dynamics is essential for maintaining genomic integrity and regulating gene expression. Conserved bromodomain-containing AAA+ ATPases play important roles in nucleosome organization as histone chaperones. Recently, the high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy structures of Schizosaccharomyces pombe Abo1 revealed that it forms a hexameric ring and undergoes a conformational change upon ATP hydrolysis. In addition, single-molecule imaging demonstrated that Abo1 loads H3-H4 histones onto DNA in an ATP hydrolysis-dependent manner. However, the molecular mechanism by which Abo1 loads histones remains unknown. Here, we investigated the details concerning Abo1-mediated histone loading onto DNA and the Abo1- DNA interaction using single-molecule imaging techniques and biochemical assays. We show that Abo1 does not load H2A-H2B histones. Interestingly, Abo1 deposits multiple copies of H3-H4 histones as the DNA length increases and requires at least 80 bp DNA. Unexpectedly, Abo1 weakly binds DNA regardless of ATP, and neither histone nor DNA stimulates the ATP hydrolysis activity of Abo1. Based on our results, we propose an allosteric communication model in which the ATP hydrolysis of Abo1 changes the configuration of histones to facilitate their deposition onto DNA.
Abstract : Anoctamin 6/TMEM16F (ANO6) is a dual-function protein with Ca2+-activated ion channel and Ca2+-activated phospholipid scramblase activities, requiring a high intracellular Ca2+ concentration (e.g., half-maximal effective Ca2+ concentration [EC50] of [Ca2+]i > 10 μM), and strong and sustained depolarization above 0 mV. Structural comparison with Anoctamin 1/TMEM16A (ANO1), a canonical Ca2+- activated chloride channel exhibiting higher Ca2+ sensitivity (EC50 of 1 μM) than ANO6, suggested that a homologous Ca2+-transferring site in the N-terminal domain (Nt) might be responsible for the differential Ca2+ sensitivity and kinetics of activation between ANO6 and ANO1. To elucidate the role of the putative Ca2+-transferring reservoir in the Nt (Nt-CaRes), we constructed an ANO6-1-6 chimera in which Nt-CaRes was replaced with the corresponding domain of ANO1. ANO6- 1-6 showed higher sensitivity to Ca2+ than ANO6. However, neither the speed of activation nor the voltage-dependence differed between ANO6 and ANO6-1-6. Molecular dynamics simulation revealed a reduced Ca2+ interaction with Nt- CaRes in ANO6 than ANO6-1-6. Moreover, mutations on potentially Ca2+-interacting acidic amino acids in ANO6 Nt- CaRes resulted in reduced Ca2+ sensitivity, implying direct interactions of Ca2+ with these residues. Based on these results, we cautiously suggest that the net charge of Nt- CaRes is responsible for the difference in Ca2+ sensitivity between ANO1 and ANO6.
Abstract : The INO80 chromatin remodeling complex has roles in many essential cellular processes, including DNA replication. However, the mechanisms that regulate INO80 in these processes remain largely unknown. We previously reported that the stability of Ino80, the catalytic ATPase subunit of INO80, is regulated by the ubiquitin proteasome system and that BRCA1-associated protein-1 (BAP1), a nuclear deubiquitinase with tumor suppressor activity, stabilizes Ino80 via deubiquitination and promotes replication fork progression. However, the E3 ubiquitin ligase that targets Ino80 for proteasomal degradation was unknown. Here, we identified the C-terminus of Hsp70-interacting protein (CHIP), the E3 ubiquitin ligase that functions in cooperation with Hsp70, as an Ino80-interacting protein. CHIP polyubiquitinates Ino80 in a manner dependent on Hsp70. Contrary to our expectation that CHIP degrades Ino80, CHIP instead stabilizes Ino80 by extending its halflife. The data suggest that CHIP stabilizes Ino80 by inhibiting degradative ubiquitination. We also show that CHIP works together with BAP1 to enhance the stabilization of Ino80, leading to its chromatin binding. Interestingly, both depletion and overexpression of CHIP compromise replication fork progression with little effect on fork stalling, as similarly observed for BAP1 and Ino80, indicating that an optimal cellular level of Ino80 is important for replication fork speed but not for replication stress suppression. This work therefore idenitifes CHIP as an E3 ubiquitin ligase that stabilizes Ino80 via nondegradative ubiquitination and suggests that CHIP and BAP1 act in concert to regulate Ino80 ubiquitination to fine-tune its stability for efficient DNA replication.
Abstract : Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the most common cause of death in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and dyslipidemia is considered at least partially responsible for the increased CVD risk in NAFLD patients. The aim of the present study is to understand how hepatic de novo lipogenesis influences hepatic cholesterol content as well as its effects on the plasma lipid levels. Hepatic lipogenesis was induced in mice by feeding a fat-free/high-sucrose (FF/HS) diet and the metabolic pathways associated with cholesterol were then analyzed. Both liver triglyceride and cholesterol contents were significantly increased in mice fed an FF/HS diet. Activation of fatty acid synthesis driven by the activation of sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP)-1c resulted in the increased liver triglycerides. The augmented cholesterol content in the liver could not be explained by an increased cholesterol synthesis, which was decreased by the FF/HS diet. HMGCoA reductase protein level was decreased in mice fed an FF/HS diet. We found that the liver retained more cholesterol through a reduced excretion of bile acids, a reduced fecal cholesterol excretion, and an increased cholesterol uptake from plasma lipoproteins. Very low-density lipoproteintriglyceride and -cholesterol secretion were increased in mice fed an FF/HS diet, which led to hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia in Ldlr-/- mice, a model that exhibits a more human like lipoprotein profile. These findings suggest that dietary cholesterol intake and cholesterol synthesis rates cannot only explain the hypercholesterolemia associated with NAFLD, and that the control of fatty acid synthesis should be considered for the management of dyslipidemia.