Abstract : A primary cilium, a hair-like protrusion of the plasma membrane, is a pivotal organelle for sensing external environmental signals and transducing intracellular signaling. An interesting linkage between cilia and obesity has been revealed by studies of the human genetic ciliopathies Bardet-Biedl syndrome and Alström syndrome, in which obesity is a principal manifestation. Mouse models of cell type-specific cilia dysgenesis have subsequently demonstrated that ciliary defects restricted to specific hypothalamic neurons are sufficient to induce obesity and hyperphagia. A potential mechanism underlying hypothalamic neuron cilia-related obesity is impaired ciliary localization of G protein-coupled receptors involved in the regulation of appetite and energy metabolism. A well-studied example of this is melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R), mutations in which are the most common cause of human monogenic obesity. In the paraventricular hypothalamus neurons, a blockade of ciliary trafficking of MC4R as well as its downstream ciliary signaling leads to hyperphagia and weight gain. Another potential mechanism is reduced leptin signaling in hypothalamic neurons with defective cilia. Leptin receptors traffic to the periciliary area upon leptin stimulation. Moreover, defects in cilia formation hamper leptin signaling and actions in both developing and differentiated hypothalamic neurons. The list of obesity-linked ciliary proteins is expending and this supports a tight association between cilia and obesity. This article provides a brief review on the mechanism of how ciliary defects in hypothalamic neurons facilitate obesity.
Abstract : Nuclear receptor coactivator 6 (NCOA6) is a transcriptional coactivator of nuclear receptors and other transcription factors. A general Ncoa6 knockout mouse was previously shown to be embryonic lethal, but we here generated liver-specific Ncoa6 knockout (Ncoa6 LKO) mice to investigate the metabolic function of NCOA6 in the liver. These Ncoa6 LKO mice exhibited similar blood glucose and insulin levels to wild type but showed improvements in glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, and pyruvate tolerance. The decrease in glucose production from pyruvate in these LKO mice was consistent with the abrogation of the fasting-stimulated induction of gluconeogenic genes, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase 1 (Pck1) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6pc). The forskolin-stimulated inductions of Pck1 and G6pc were also dramatically reduced in primary hepatocytes isolated from Ncoa6 LKO mice, whereas the expression levels of other gluconeogenic gene regulators, including cAMP response element binding protein (Creb), forkhead box protein O1 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α, were unaltered in the LKO mouse livers. CREB phosphorylation via fasting or forskolin stimulation was normal in the livers and primary hepatocytes of the LKO mice. Notably, it was observed that CREB interacts with NCOA6. The transcriptional activity of CREB was found to be enhanced by NCOA6 in the context of Pck1 and G6pc promoters. NCOA6-dependent augmentation was abolished in cAMP response element (CRE) mutant promoters of the Pck1 and G6pc genes. Our present results suggest that NCOA6 regulates hepatic gluconeogenesis by modulating glucagon/cAMP-dependent gluconeogenic gene transcription through an interaction with CREB.
Abstract : Excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is a key phenomenon in tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α-induced cell death. However, the role of ROS in necroptosis remains mostly elusive. In this study, we show that TNF-α induces the mitochondrial accumulation of superoxide anions, not H2O2, in cancer cells undergoing necroptosis. TNF-α-induced mitochondrial superoxide anions production is strictly RIP3 expression-dependent. Unexpectedly, TNF-α stimulates NADPH oxidase (NOX), not mitochondrial energy metabolism, to activate superoxide production in the RIP3-positive cancer cells. In parallel, mitochondrial superoxide-metabolizing enzymes, such as manganese-superoxide dismutase (SOD2) and peroxiredoxin III, are not involved in the superoxide accumulation. Mitochondrial-targeted superoxide scavengers and a NOX inhibitor eliminate the accumulated superoxide without affecting TNF-α-induced necroptosis. Therefore, our study provides the first evidence that mitochondrial superoxide accumulation is a consequence of necroptosis.
Abstract : The androgen receptor (AR) is an important therapeutic target for treating prostate cancer (PCa). Moreover, there is an increasing need for understanding the AR-independent progression of tumor cells such as neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC). Menin, which is encoded by multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1), serves as a direct link between AR and the mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL) complex in PCa development by activating AR target genes through histone H3 lysine 4 methylation. Although menin is a critical component of AR signaling, its tumorigenic role in AR-independent PCa cells remains unknown. Here, we compared the role of menin in AR-positive and AR-negative PCa cells via RNAi-mediated or pharmacological inhibition of menin. We demonstrated that menin was involved in tumor cell growth and metastasis in PCa cells with low or deficient levels of AR. The inhibition of menin significantly diminished the growth of PCa cells and induced apoptosis, regardless of the presence of AR. Additionally, transcriptome analysis showed that the expression of many metastasis-associated genes was perturbed by menin inhibition in AR-negative DU145 cells. Furthermore, wound-healing assay results showed that menin promoted cell migration in AR-independent cellular contexts. Overall, these findings suggest a critical function of menin in tumorigenesis and provide a rationale for drug development against menin toward targeting high-risk metastatic PCa, especially those independent of AR.
Abstract : SERTA domain-containing protein 1 (Sertad1) is upregulated in the models of DNA damage and Alzheimer’s disease, contributing to neuronal death. However, the role and mechanism of Sertad1 in ischemic/hypoxic neurological injury remain unclear. In the present study, our results showed that the expression of Sertad1 was upregulated in a mouse middle cerebral artery occlusion and reperfusion model and in HT22 cells after oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation (OGD/R). Sertad1 knockdown significantly ameliorated ischemia-induced brain infarct volume, neurological deficits and neuronal apoptosis. In addition, it significantly ameliorated the OGD/R-induced inhibition of cell viability and apoptotic cell death in HT22 cells. Sertad1 knockdown significantly inhibited the ischemic/hypoxic-induced expression of p-Rb, B-Myb, and Bim in vivo and in vitro. However, Sertad1 overexpression significantly exacerbated the OGD/R-induced inhibition of cell viability and apoptotic cell death and p-Rb, B-Myb, and Bim expression in HT22 cells. In further studies, we demonstrated that Sertad1 directly binds to CDK4 and the CDK4 inhibitor ON123300 restores the effects of Sertad1 overexpression on OGD/R-induced apoptotic cell death and p-Rb, B-Myb, and Bim expression in HT22 cells. These results suggested that Sertad1 contributed to ischemic/hypoxic neurological injury by activating the CDK4/p-Rb pathway.
Abstract : The neuromuscular junction (NMJ), which is a synapse for signal transmission from motor neurons to muscle cells, has emerged as an important region because of its association with several peripheral neuropathies. In particular, mutations in GARS that affect the formation of NMJ result in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and distal hereditary motor neuropathy. These disorders are mainly considered to be caused by neuronal axon abnormalities; however, no treatment is currently available. Therefore, in order to determine whether the NMJ could be targeted to treat neurodegenerative disorders, we investigated the NMJ recovery effect of HDAC6 inhibitors, which have been used in the treatment of several peripheral neuropathies. In the present study, we demonstrated that HDAC6 inhibition was sufficient to enhance movement by restoring NMJ impairments observed in a zebrafish disease model. We found that CKD-504, a novel HDAC6 inhibitor, was effective in repairing NMJ defects, suggesting that treatment of neurodegenerative diseases via NMJ targeting is possible.
Abstract : Transcriptional regulation, a core component of gene regulatory networks, plays a key role in controlling individual organism’s growth and development. To understand how plants modulate cellular processes for growth and development, the identification and characterization of gene regulatory networks are of importance. The SHORT-ROOT (SHR) transcription factor is known for its role in cell divisions in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). However, whether SHR is involved in hypocotyl cell elongation remains unknown. Here, we reveal that SHR controls hypocotyl cell elongation via the transcriptional regulation of XTH18, XTH22, and XTH24, which encode cell wall remodeling enzymes called xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolases (XTHs). Interestingly, SHR activates transcription of the XTH genes, independently of its partner SCARECROW (SCR), which is different from the known mode of action. In addition, overexpression of the XTH genes can promote cell elongation in the etiolated hypocotyl. Moreover, confinement of SHR protein in the stele still induces cell elongation, despite the aberrant organization in the hypocotyl ground tissue. Therefore, it is likely that SHR-mediated growth is uncoupled from SHR-mediated radial patterning in the etiolated hypocotyl. Our findings also suggest that intertissue communication between stele and endodermis plays a role in coordinating hypocotyl cell elongation of the Arabidopsis seedling. Taken together, our study identifies SHR as a new crucial regulator that is necessary for cell elongation in the etiolated hypocotyl.
Abstract : In addition to inducing apoptosis, caspase inhibition contributes to necroptosis and/or autophagy depending on the cell type and cellular context. In macrophages, necroptosis can be induced by co-treatment with Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands (lipopolysaccharide [LPS] for TLR4 and polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid [poly I:C] for TLR3) and a cell-permeable pan-caspase inhibitor zVAD. Here, we elucidated the signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms of cell death. We showed that LPS/zVAD- and poly I:C/zVAD-induced cell death in bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) was inhibited by receptor-interacting protein kinase 1 (RIP1) inhibitor necrostatin-1 and autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine. Electron microscopic images displayed autophagosome/autolysosomes, and immunoblotting data revealed increased LC3II expression. Although zVAD did not affect LPS- or poly I:C-induced activation of IKK, JNK, and p38, it enhanced IRF3 and STAT1 activation as well as type I interferon (IFN) expression. In addition, zVAD inhibited ERK and Akt phosphorylation induced by LPS and poly I:C. Of note, zVAD-induced enhancement of the IRF3/IFN/STAT1 axis was abolished by necrostatin-1, while zVAD-induced inhibition of ERK and Akt was not. Our data further support the involvement of autocrine IFNs action in reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent necroptosis, LPS/zVAD-elicited ROS production was inhibited by necrostatin-1, neutralizing antibody of IFN receptor (IFNR) and JAK inhibitor AZD1480. Accordingly, both cell death and ROS production induced by TLR ligands plus zVAD were abrogated in STAT1 knockout macrophages. We conclude that enhanced TRIF-RIP1-dependent autocrine action of IFNβ, rather than inhibition of ERK or Akt, is involved in TLRs/zVAD-induced autophagic and necroptotic cell death via the JAK/STAT1/ROS pathway.