Abstract : Drosophila melanogaster lymph gland, the primary site of hematopoiesis, contains myeloid-like progenitor cells that differentiate into functional hemocytes in the circulation of pupae and adults. Fly hemocytes are dynamic and plastic, and they play diverse roles in the innate immune response and wound healing. Various hematopoietic regulators in the lymph gland ensure the developmental and functional balance between progenitors and mature blood cells. In addition, systemic factors, such as nutrient availability and sensory inputs, integrate environmental variabilities to synchronize the blood development in the lymph gland with larval growth, physiology, and immunity. This review examines the intrinsic and extrinsic factors determining the progenitor states during hemocyte development in the lymph gland and provides new insights for further studies that may extend the frontier of our collective knowledge on hematopoiesis and innate immunity.
Abstract : Calorie restriction (CR) and the activation of autophagy extend healthspan by delaying the onset of age-associated diseases in most living organisms. Because protein kinase CK2 (CK2) downregulation induces cellular senescence and nematode aging, we investigated CK2’s role in CR and autophagy. This study indicated that CR upregulated CK2’s expression, thereby causing SIRT1 and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation. CK2α overexpression, including antisense inhibitors of miR-186, miR-216b, miR-337-3p, and miR-760, stimulated autophagy initiation and nucleation markers (increase in ATG5, ATG7, LC3BII, beclin-1, and Ulk1, and decrease in SQSTM1/p62). The SIRT1 deacetylase, AKT, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), AMPK, and forkhead homeobox type O (FoxO) 3a were involved in CK2-mediated autophagy. The treatment with the AKT inhibitor triciribine, the AMPK activator AICAR, or the SIRT1 activator resveratrol rescued a reduction in the expression of lgg-1 (the Caenorhabditis elegans ortholog of LC3B), bec-1 (the C. elegans ortholog of beclin-1), and unc-51 (the C. elegans ortholog of Ulk1), mediated by kin-10 (the C. elegans ortholog of CK2β) knockdown in nematodes. Thus, this study indicated that CK2 acted as a positive regulator in CR and autophagy, thereby suggesting that these four miRs’ antisense inhibitors can be used as CR mimetics or autophagy inducers.
Abstract : The aim of this study was to investigating whether lncRNA H19 promotes myocardial fibrosis by suppressing the miR-29a-3p/miR-29b-3p-VEGFA/TGF-β axis. Patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and healthy volunteers were included in the study, and their biochemical parameters were collected. In addition, pcDNA3.1-H19, si-H19, and miR-29a/b-3p mimic/inhibitor were transfected into cardiac fibroblasts (CFs), and proliferation of CFs was detected by MTT assay. Expression of H19 and miR-29a/b-3p were detected using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and expression of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), collagen I, collagen II, matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), and elastin were measured by western blot analysis. The dual luciferase reporter gene assay was carried out to detect the sponging relationship between H19 and miR-29a/b-3p in CFs. Compared with healthy volunteers, the level of plasma H19 was significantly elevated in patients with AF, while miR-29a-3p and miR-29b-3p were markedly depressed (P < 0.05). Serum expression of lncRNA H19 was negatively correlated with the expression of miR-29a-3p and miR-29b-3p among patients with AF (rs = –0.337, rs = –0.236). Moreover, up-regulation of H19 expression and down-regulation of miR-29a/b-3p expression facilitated proliferation and synthesis of extracellular matrix (ECM)-related proteins. SB431542 and si-VEGFA are able to reverse the promotion of miR-29a/b-3p on proliferation of CFs and ECM-related protein synthesis. The findings of the present study suggest that H19 promoted CF proliferation and collagen synthesis by suppressing the miR-29a-3p/miR-29b-3p-VEGFA/TGF-β axis, and provide support for a potential new direction for the treatment of AF.
Abstract : The anti-oxidant enzyme heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is known to exert anti-inflammatory effects. From a library of pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidines, we identified a novel compound KKC080096 that upregulated HO-1 at the mRNA and protein levels in microglial BV-2 cells. KKC080096 exhibited anti-inflammatory effects via suppressing nitric oxide, interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and iNOS production in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-challenged cells. It inhibited the phosphorylation of IKK and MAP kinases (p38, JNK, ERK), which trigger inflammatory signaling, and whose activities are inhibited by HO-1. Further, KKC080096 upregulated anti-inflammatory marker (Arg1, YM1, CD206, IL-10, transforming growth factor-β [TGF-β]) expression. In 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-treated mice, KKC080096 lowered microglial activation, protected the nigral dopaminergic neurons, and nigral damage-associated motor deficits. Next, we elucidated the mechanisms by which KKC080096 upregulated HO-1. KKC080096 induced the phosphorylation of AMPK and its known upstream kinases LKB1 and CaMKKbeta, and pharmacological inhibition of AMPK activity reduced the effects of KKC080096 on HO-1 expression and LPS-induced NO generation, suggesting that KKC080096-induced HO-1 upregulation involves LKB1/AMPK and CaMKKbeta/AMPK pathway activation. Further, KKC080096 caused an increase in cellular Nrf2 level, bound to Keap1 (Nrf2 inhibitor protein) with high affinity, and blocked Keap1-Nrf2 interaction. This Nrf2 activation resulted in concurrent induction of HO-1 and other Nrf2-targeted antioxidant enzymes in BV-2 and in dopaminergic CATH.a cells. These results indicate that KKC080096 is a potential therapeutic for oxidative stress- and inflammation-related neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.
Abstract : Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of chronic liver disease and is highly dependent on cellular proteins for viral propagation. Using protein microarray analysis, we identified 90 cellular proteins as HCV nonstructural 5A (NS5A) interacting partners, and selected telomere length regulation protein (TEN1) for further study. TEN1 forms a heterotrimeric complex with CTC and STN1, which is essential for telomere protection and maintenance. Telomere length decreases in patients with active HCV, chronic liver disease, and hepatocellular carcinoma. However, the molecular mechanism of telomere length shortening in HCV-associated disease is largely unknown. In the present study, protein interactions between NS5A and TEN1 were confirmed by immunoprecipitation assays. Silencing of TEN1 reduced both viral RNA and protein expression levels of HCV, while ectopic expression of the siRNA-resistant TEN1 recovered the viral protein level, suggesting that TEN1 was specifically required for HCV propagation. Importantly, we found that TEN1 is re-localized from the nucleus to the cytoplasm in HCV-infected cells. These data suggest that HCV exploits TEN1 to promote viral propagation and that telomere protection is compromised in HCV-infected cells. Overall, our findings provide mechanistic insight into the telomere shortening in HCV-infected cells.
Abstract : Ubiquitin (Ub) is post-translationally modified by Ub itself or Ub-like proteins, phosphorylation, and acetylation, among others, which elicits a variety of Ub topologies and cellular functions. However, N-terminal (Nt) modifications of Ub remain unknown, except the linear head-to-tail ubiquitylation via Nt-Met. Here, using the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and an Nt-arginylated Ub-specific antibody, we found that the detectable level of Ub undergoes Nt-Met excision, Nt-deamination, and Nt-arginylation. The resulting Nt-arginylated Ub and its conjugated proteins are upregulated in the stationary-growth phase or by oxidative stress. We further proved the existence of Nt-arginylated Ub in vivo and identified Nt-arginylated Ub-protein conjugates using stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC)-based tandem mass spectrometry. In silico structural modeling of Nt-arginylated Ub predicted that Nt-Arg flexibly protrudes from the surface of the Ub, thereby most likely providing a docking site for the factors that recognize it. Collectively, these results reveal unprecedented Nt-arginylated Ub and the pathway by which it is produced, which greatly expands the known complexity of the Ub code.