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- ItemCoupling Novel Probes with Molecular Localization Microscopy Reveals Cell Wall Homeostatic Mechanisms in Staphylococcus aureus(ACS Chemical Biology, 2022-11-22) Lund, Victoria A.; Gangotra, Haneesh; Zhao, Zhen; Sutton, Joshua A. F.; Wacnik, Katarzyna; DeMeester, Kristen; Liang, Hai; Santiago, Cintia; Grimes, Catherine Leimkuhler; Jones, Simon; Foster, Simon J.Bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan is essential for viability, and its synthesis is targeted by antibiotics, including penicillin. To determine how peptidoglycan homeostasis controls cell architecture, growth, and division, we have developed novel labeling approaches. These are compatible with super-resolution fluorescence microscopy to examine peptidoglycan synthesis, hydrolysis, and the localization of the enzymes required for its biosynthesis (penicillin binding proteins (PBPs)). Synthesis of a cephalosporin-based fluorescent probe revealed a pattern of PBPs at the septum during division, supporting a model of dispersed peptidoglycan synthesis. Metabolic and hydroxylamine-based probes respectively enabled the synthesis of glycan strands and associated reducing termini of the peptidoglycan to be mapped. Foci and arcs of reducing termini appear as a result of both synthesis of glycan strands and glucosaminidase activity of the major peptidoglycan hydrolase, SagB. Our studies provide molecular level details of how essential peptidoglycan dynamics are controlled during growth and division.
- ItemErythroid differentiation in mouse erythroleukemia cells depends on Tmod3-mediated regulation of actin filament assembly into the erythroblast membrane skeleton(FASEB Journal, 2022-02-23) Ghosh, Arit; Coffin, Megan; West, Richard; Fowler, Velia M.Erythroid differentiation (ED) is a complex cellular process entailing morphologically distinct maturation stages of erythroblasts during terminal differentiation. Studies of actin filament (F-actin) assembly and organization during terminal ED have revealed essential roles for the F-actin pointed-end capping proteins, tropomodulins (Tmod1 and Tmod3). Tmods bind tropomyosins (Tpms), which enhance Tmod capping and F-actin stabilization. Tmods can also nucleate F-actin assembly, independent of Tpms. Tmod1 is present in the red blood cell (RBC) membrane skeleton, and deletion of Tmod1 in mice leads to a mild compensated anemia due to mis-regulated F-actin lengths and membrane instability. Tmod3 is not present in RBCs, and global deletion of Tmod3 leads to embryonic lethality in mice with impaired ED. To further decipher Tmod3’s function during ED, we generated a Tmod3 knockout in a mouse erythroleukemia cell line (Mel ds19). Tmod3 knockout cells appeared normal prior to ED, but showed defects during progression of ED, characterized by a marked failure to reduce cell and nuclear size, reduced viability, and increased apoptosis. Tmod3 does not assemble with Tmod1 and Tpms into the Triton X-100 insoluble membrane skeleton during ED, and loss of Tmod3 had no effect on α1,β1-spectrin and protein 4.1R assembly into the membrane skeleton. However, F-actin, Tmod1 and Tpms failed to assemble into the membrane skeleton during ED in absence of Tmod3. We propose that Tmod3 nucleation of F-actin assembly promotes incorporation of Tmod1 and Tpms into membrane skeleton F-actin, and that this is integral to morphological maturation and cell survival during erythroid terminal differentiation.
- ItemGenome-Wide Analysis of Differentially Expressed miRNAs and Their Associated Regulatory Networks in Lenses Deficient for the Congenital Cataract-Linked Tudor Domain Containing Protein TDRD7(Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, 2021-02-16) Anand, Deepti; Al Saai, Salma; Shrestha, Sanjaya K.; Barnum, Carrie E.; Chuma, Shinichiro; Lachke, Salil A.Mutations/deficiency of TDRD7, encoding a tudor domain protein involved in post-transcriptional gene expression control, causes early onset cataract in humans. While Tdrd7 is implicated in the control of key lens mRNAs, the impact of Tdrd7 deficiency on microRNAs (miRNAs) and how this contributes to transcriptome misexpression and to cataracts, is undefined. We address this critical knowledge-gap by investigating Tdrd7-targeted knockout (Tdrd7-/-) mice that exhibit fully penetrant juvenile cataracts. We performed Affymetrix miRNA 3.0 microarray analysis on Tdrd7-/- mouse lenses at postnatal day (P) 4, a stage preceding cataract formation. This analysis identifies 22 miRNAs [14 over-expressed (miR-15a, miR-19a, miR-138, miR-328, miR-339, miR-345, miR-378b, miR-384, miR-467a, miR-1224, miR-1935, miR-1946a, miR-3102, miR-3107), 8 reduced (let-7b, miR-34c, miR-298, miR-382, miR-409, miR-1198, miR-1947, miR-3092)] to be significantly misexpressed (fold-change ≥ ± 1.2, p-value < 0.05) in Tdrd7-/- lenses. To understand how these misexpressed miRNAs impact Tdrd7-/- cataract, we predicted their mRNA targets and examined their misexpression upon Tdrd7-deficiency by performing comparative transcriptomics analysis on P4 and P30 Tdrd7-/- lens. To prioritize these target mRNAs, we used various stringency filters (e.g., fold-change in Tdrd7-/- lens, iSyTE-based lens-enriched expression) and identified 98 reduced and 89 elevated mRNA targets for overexpressed and reduced miRNAs, respectively, which were classified as “top-priority” “high-priority,” and “promising” candidates. For Tdrd7-/- lens overexpressed miRNAs, this approach identified 18 top-priority reduced target mRNAs: Alad, Ankrd46, Ceacam10, Dgat2, Ednrb, H2-Eb1, Klhl22, Lin7a, Loxl1, Lpin1, Npc1, Olfm1, Ppm1e, Ppp1r1a, Rgs8, Shisa4, Snx22 and Wnk2. Majority of these targets were also altered in other gene-specific perturbation mouse models (e.g., Brg1, E2f1/E2f2/E2f3, Foxe3, Hsf4, Klf4, Mafg/Mafk, Notch) of lens defects/cataract, suggesting their importance to lens biology. Gene ontology (GO) provided further insight into their relevance to lens pathology. For example, the Tdrd7-deficient lens capsule defect may be explained by reduced mRNA targets (e.g., Col4a3, Loxl1, Timp2, Timp3) associated with “basement membrane”. GO analysis also identified new genes (e.g., Casz1, Rasgrp1) recently linked to lens biology/pathology. Together, these analyses define a new Tdrd7-downstream miRNA-mRNA network, in turn, uncovering several new mRNA targets and their associated pathways relevant to lens biology and offering molecular insights into the pathology of congenital cataract.
- ItemHarnessing the Power of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and Gene Editing Technology: Therapeutic Implications in Hematological Malignancies(Cells, 2021-10-09) Sidhu, Ishnoor; Barwe, Sonali P.; Pillai, Raju K.; Gopalakrishnapillai, AnilkumarIn vitro modeling of hematological malignancies not only provides insights into the influence of genetic aberrations on cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in disease progression but also aids development and evaluation of therapeutic agents. Owing to their self-renewal and differentiation capacity, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have emerged as a potential source of short in supply disease-specific human cells of the hematopoietic lineage. Patient-derived iPSCs can recapitulate the disease severity and spectrum of prognosis dictated by the genetic variation among patients and can be used for drug screening and studying clonal evolution. However, this approach lacks the ability to model the early phases of the disease leading to cancer. The advent of genetic editing technology has promoted the generation of precise isogenic iPSC disease models to address questions regarding the underlying genetic mechanism of disease initiation and progression. In this review, we discuss the use of iPSC disease modeling in hematological diseases, where there is lack of patient sample availability and/or difficulty of engraftment to generate animal models. Furthermore, we describe the power of combining iPSC and precise gene editing to elucidate the underlying mechanism of initiation and progression of various hematological malignancies. Finally, we discuss the power of iPSC disease modeling in developing and testing novel therapies in a high throughput setting.
- ItemIn vitro reconstitution reveals major differences between human and bacterial cytochrome c synthases(eLife, 2021-05-11) Sutherland, Molly C.; Mendez, Deanna L.; Babbitt, Shalon E.; Tillman, Dustin E.; Melnikov, Olga; Tran, Nathan L.; Prizant, Noah T.; Collier, Andrea L.; Kranz, Robert G.Cytochromes c are ubiquitous heme proteins in mitochondria and bacteria, all possessing a CXXCH (CysXxxXxxCysHis) motif with covalently attached heme. We describe the first in vitro reconstitution of cytochrome c biogenesis using purified mitochondrial (HCCS) and bacterial (CcsBA) cytochrome c synthases. We employ apocytochrome c and peptide analogs containing CXXCH as substrates, examining recognition determinants, thioether attachment, and subsequent release and folding of cytochrome c. Peptide analogs reveal very different recognition requirements between HCCS and CcsBA. For HCCS, a minimal 16-mer peptide is required, comprised of CXXCH and adjacent alpha helix 1, yet neither thiol is critical for recognition. For bacterial CcsBA, both thiols and histidine are required, but not alpha helix 1. Heme attached peptide analogs are not released from the HCCS active site; thus, folding is important in the release mechanism. Peptide analogs behave as inhibitors of cytochrome c biogenesis, paving the way for targeted control.
- ItemIron Oxidation by a Fused Cytochrome-Porin Common to Diverse Iron-Oxidizing Bacteria(mBio, 2021-07-27) Keffer, Jessica L.; McAllister, Sean M.; Garber, Arkadiy I.; Hallahan, Beverly J.; Sutherland, Molly C.; Rozovsky, Sharon; Chan, Clara S.Iron (Fe) oxidation is one of Earth’s major biogeochemical processes, key to weathering, soil formation, water quality, and corrosion. However, our understanding of microbial contribution is limited by incomplete knowledge of microbial iron oxidation mechanisms, particularly in neutrophilic iron oxidizers. The genomes of many diverse iron oxidizers encode a homolog to an outer membrane cytochrome (Cyc2) shown to oxidize iron in two acidophiles. Phylogenetic analyses show Cyc2 sequences from neutrophiles cluster together, suggesting a common function, though this function has not been verified in these organisms. Therefore, we investigated the iron oxidase function of heterologously expressed Cyc2 from a neutrophilic iron oxidizer Mariprofundus ferrooxydans PV-1. Cyc2PV-1 is capable of oxidizing iron, and its redox potential is 208 ± 20 mV, consistent with the ability to accept electrons from Fe2+ at neutral pH. These results support the hypothesis that Cyc2 functions as an iron oxidase in neutrophilic iron-oxidizing organisms. The results of sequence analysis and modeling reveal that the entire Cyc2 family shares a unique fused cytochrome-porin structure, with a defining consensus motif in the cytochrome region. On the basis of results from structural analyses, we predict that the monoheme cytochrome Cyc2 specifically oxidizes dissolved Fe2+, in contrast to multiheme iron oxidases, which may oxidize solid Fe(II). With our results, there is now functional validation for diverse representatives of Cyc2 sequences. We present a comprehensive Cyc2 phylogenetic tree and offer a roadmap for identifying cyc2/Cyc2 homologs and interpreting their function. The occurrence of cyc2 in many genomes beyond known iron oxidizers presents the possibility that microbial iron oxidation may be a widespread metabolism.
- ItemMegakaryocyte membrane-wrapped nanoparticles for targeted cargo delivery to hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells(Bioengineering and Translational Medicine, 2022-11-29) Das, Samik; Harris, Jenna C.; Winter, Erica J.; Kao, Chen-Yuan; Day, Emily S.; Papoutsakis, Eleftherios TerryHematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) are desirable targets for gene therapy but are notoriously difficult to target and transfect. Existing viral vector-based delivery methods are not effective in HSPCs due to their cytotoxicity, limited HSPC uptake and lack of target specificity (tropism). Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles (NPs) are attractive, nontoxic carriers that can encapsulate various cargo and enable its controlled release. To engineer PLGA NP tropism for HSPCs, megakaryocyte (Mk) membranes, which possess HSPC-targeting moieties, were extracted and wrapped around PLGA NPs, producing MkNPs. In vitro, fluorophore-labeled MkNPs are internalized by HSPCs within 24 h and were selectively taken up by HSPCs versus other physiologically related cell types. Using membranes from megakaryoblastic CHRF-288 cells containing the same HSPC-targeting moieties as Mks, CHRF-wrapped NPs (CHNPs) loaded with small interfering RNA facilitated efficient RNA interference upon delivery to HSPCs in vitro. HSPC targeting was conserved in vivo, as poly(ethylene glycol)–PLGA NPs wrapped in CHRF membranes specifically targeted and were taken up by murine bone marrow HSPCs following intravenous administration. These findings suggest that MkNPs and CHNPs are effective and promising vehicles for targeted cargo delivery to HSPCs.
- ItemmicroRNA-124 regulates Notch and NeuroD1 to mediate transition states of neuronal development(Developmental Neurobiology, 2022-11-23) Konrad, Kalin D.; Song, Jia L.MicroRNAs regulate gene expression by destabilizing target mRNA and/or inhibiting translation in animal cells. The ability to mechanistically dissect miR-124′s function during specification, differentiation, and maturation of neurons during development within a single system has not been accomplished. Using the sea urchin embryo, we take advantage of the manipulability of the embryo and its well-documented gene regulatory networks (GRNs). We incorporated NeuroD1 as part of the sea urchin neuronal GRN and determined that miR-124 inhibition resulted in aberrant gut contractions, swimming velocity, and neuronal development. Inhibition of miR-124 resulted in an increased number of cells expressing transcription factors (TFs) associated with progenitor neurons and a concurrent decrease of mature and functional neurons. Results revealed that in the early blastula/gastrula stages, miR-124 regulates undefined factors during neuronal specification and differentiation. In the late gastrula/larval stages, miR-124 regulates Notch and NeuroD1 during the transition between neuronal differentiation and maturation. Overall, we have improved the neuronal GRN and identified miR-124 to play a prolific role in regulating various transitions of neuronal development.
- ItemMucopolysaccharidoses: Cellular Consequences of Glycosaminoglycans Accumulation and Potential Targets(International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2022-12-28) Leal, Andrés Felipe; Benincore-Flórez, Eliana; Rintz, Estera; Herreño-Pachón, Angélica María; Celik, Betul; Ago, Yasuhiko; Alméciga-Díaz, Carlos Javier; Tomatsu, ShunjiMucopolysaccharidoses (MPSs) constitute a heterogeneous group of lysosomal storage disorders characterized by the lysosomal accumulation of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Although lysosomal dysfunction is mainly affected, several cellular organelles such as mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, and their related process are also impaired, leading to the activation of pathophysiological cascades. While supplying missing enzymes is the mainstream for the treatment of MPS, including enzyme replacement therapy (ERT), hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), or gene therapy (GT), the use of modulators available to restore affected organelles for recovering cell homeostasis may be a simultaneous approach. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the cellular consequences of the lysosomal GAGs accumulation and discusses the use of potential modulators that can reestablish normal cell function beyond ERT-, HSCT-, or GT-based alternatives.
- ItemNanoscale dynamics of actin filaments in the red blood cell membrane skeleton(Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2022-02-18) Nowak, Roberta B.; Alimohamadi, Haleh; Pestonjamasp, Kersi; Rangamani, Padmini; Fowler, Velia M.Red blood cell (RBC) shape and deformability are supported by a planar network of short actin filament (F-actin) nodes (∼37 nm length, 15–18 subunits) interconnected by long spectrin strands at the inner surface of the plasma membrane. Spectrin-F-actin network structure underlies quantitative modeling of forces controlling RBC shape, membrane curvature, and deformation, yet the nanoscale organization and dynamics of the F-actin nodes in situ are not well understood. We examined F-actin distribution and dynamics in RBCs using fluorescent-phalloidin labeling of F-actin imaged by multiple microscopy modalities. Total internal reflection fluorescence and Zeiss Airyscan confocal microscopy demonstrate that F-actin is concentrated in multiple brightly stained F-actin foci ∼200–300 nm apart interspersed with dimmer F-actin staining regions. Single molecule stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy imaging of Alexa 647-phalloidin-labeled F-actin and computational analysis also indicates an irregular, nonrandom distribution of F-actin nodes. Treatment of RBCs with latrunculin A and cytochalasin D indicates that F-actin foci distribution depends on actin polymerization, while live cell imaging reveals dynamic local motions of F-actin foci, with lateral movements, appearance and disappearance. Regulation of F-actin node distribution and dynamics via actin assembly/disassembly pathways and/or via local extension and retraction of spectrin strands may provide a new mechanism to control spectrin-F-actin network connectivity, RBC shape, and membrane deformability.
- ItemNeuroD1 localizes to the presumptive ganglia and gut of the sea urchin larvae(microPublication Biology, 2022-11-15) Konrad, Kalin D.; Song, Jia L.NeuroD1 is a transcription factor (TF) that plays a dual role in vertebrate neurogenesis and glucose homeostasis in the pancreas. We identified a NeuroD1 antibody developed against human that cross-reacts with the sea urchin NeuroD1. NeuroD1 protein localizes to the presumptive ganglia and neurofilament structures in the ciliary band of the sea urchin larvae. In addition, we also observed NeuroD1 in the perinuclear region in the sea urchin gut which is analogous to the mammalian pancreas. These results suggest that NeuroD1 may play an evolutionarily conserved role in the invertebrate sea urchin.
- ItemThe Potential of Gamma Secretase as a Therapeutic Target for Cardiac Diseases(Journal of Personalized Medicine, 2021-12-04) Sen, Sujoita; Hallee, Logan; Lam, Chi KeungHeart diseases are some of the most common and pressing threats to human health worldwide. The American Heart Association and the National Institute of Health jointly work to annually update data on cardiac diseases. In 2018, 126.9 million Americans were reported as having some form of cardiac disorder, with an estimated direct and indirect total cost of USD 363.4 billion. This necessitates developing therapeutic interventions for heart diseases to improve human life expectancy and economic relief. In this review, we look into gamma-secretase as a potential therapeutic target for cardiac diseases. Gamma-secretase, an aspartyl protease enzyme, is responsible for the cleavage and activation of a number of substrates that are relevant to normal cardiac development and function as found in mutation studies. Some of these substrates are involved in downstream signaling processes and crosstalk with pathways relevant to heart diseases. Most of the substrates and signaling events we explored were found to be potentially beneficial to maintain cardiac function in diseased conditions. This review presents an updated overview of the current knowledge on gamma-secretase processing of cardiac-relevant substrates and seeks to understand if the modulation of gamma-secretase activity would be beneficial to combat cardiac diseases.
- ItemThe Role of Protein Kinase CK2 in Development and Disease Progression: A Critical Review(Journal of Developmental Biology, 2022-07-27) Halloran, Daniel; Pandit, Venu; Nohe, AnjaProtein kinase CK2 (CK2) is a ubiquitous holoenzyme involved in a wide array of developmental processes. The involvement of CK2 in events such as neurogenesis, cardiogenesis, skeletogenesis, and spermatogenesis is essential for the viability of almost all organisms, and its role has been conserved throughout evolution. Further into adulthood, CK2 continues to function as a key regulator of pathways affecting crucial processes such as osteogenesis, adipogenesis, chondrogenesis, neuron differentiation, and the immune response. Due to its vast role in a multitude of pathways, aberrant functioning of this kinase leads to embryonic lethality and numerous diseases and disorders, including cancer and neurological disorders. As a result, CK2 is a popular target for interventions aiming to treat the aforementioned diseases. Specifically, two CK2 inhibitors, namely CX-4945 and CIBG-300, are in the early stages of clinical testing and exhibit promise for treating cancer and other disorders. Further, other researchers around the world are focusing on CK2 to treat bone disorders. This review summarizes the current understanding of CK2 in development, the structure of CK2, the targets and signaling pathways of CK2, the implication of CK2 in disease progression, and the recent therapeutics developed to inhibit the dysregulation of CK2 function in various diseases.
- ItemSelf-Assembly, Self-Folding, and Origami: Comparative Design Principles(Biomimetics, 2022-12-27) Jungck, John R.; Brittain, Stephen; Plante, Donald; Flynn, JamesSelf-assembly is usually considered a parallel process while self-folding and origami are usually considered to be serial processes. We believe that these distinctions do not hold in actual experiments. Based upon our experience with 4D printing, we have developed three additional hybrid classes: (1) templated-assisted (tethered) self-assembly: e.g., when RNA is bound to viral capsomeres, the subunits are constricted in their interactions to have aspects of self-folding as well; (2) self-folding can depend upon interactions with the environment; for example, a protein synthesized on a ribosome will fold as soon as peptides enter the intracellular environment in a serial process whereas if denatured complete proteins are put into solution, parallel folding can occur simultaneously; and, (3) in turbulent environments, chaotic conditions continuously alternate processes. We have examined the 43,380 Dürer nets of dodecahedra and 43,380 Dürer nets of icosahedra and their corresponding duals: Schlegel diagrams. In order to better understand models of self-assembly of viral capsids, we have used both geometric (radius of gyration, convex hulls, angles) and topological (vertex connections, leaves, spanning trees, cutting trees, and degree distributions) perspectives to develop design principles for 4D printing experiments. Which configurations fold most rapidly? Which configurations lead to complete polyhedra most of the time? By using Hamiltonian circuits of the vertices of Dürer nets and Eulerian paths of cutting trees of polyhedra unto Schlegel diagrams, we have been able to develop a systematic sampling procedure to explore the 86,760 configurations, models of a T1 viral capsid with 60 subunits and to test alternatives with 4D printing experiments, use of MagformsTM, and origami models to demonstrate via movies the five processes described above.
- ItemSex-related external factors influence pulmonary vascular angiogenesis in a sex-dependent manner(American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 2023-01-01) Hayward-Piatkovskyi, Brielle; Gonyea, Cailin R.; Pyle, Sienna C.; Lingappan, Krithika; Gleghorn, Jason P.Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a disease with a significant sexual dimorphism where males have a disadvantage compared with their female counterparts. Although mechanisms behind this sexual dimorphism are poorly understood, sex differences in angiogenesis have been identified as one possible source of the male disadvantage in BPD. Pulmonary angiogenesis was assessed in vitro using a bead sprouting assay with pooled male or female human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMECs, 18–19 wk gestation, canalicular stage of human lung development) in standard (sex-hormone containing) and hormone-stripped medium. We identified sex-specific phenotypes in angiogenesis where male HPMECs produce fewer but longer sprouts compared with female HPMECs. The presence of sex hormones from standard culture medium modifies the male HPMEC phenotype with shorter and fewer sprouts but does not influence the female phenotype. Using a conditioned medium model, we further characterized the influence of the sex-specific secretome. Male and female HPMECs secrete factors that increase the maximum length of sprouts in female, but not male HPMECs. The presence of sex hormones abolishes this response. The male HPMEC secretome inhibits angiogenic sprouting in male HPMECs in the absence of sex hormones. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the pulmonary endothelial cell phenotypes are influenced by sex hormones and sex-specific secreted factors in a sex-dependent manner. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We identified a sex-specific phenotype wherein male HPMECs produce fewer but longer sprouts than females. Surprisingly, the presence of sex hormones only modifies the male phenotype, resulting in shorter and even fewer sprouts. Furthermore, we found the sex-specific secretome has a sex-dependent influence on angiogenesis that is also sex-hormone sensitive. These new and surprising findings point to the unappreciated role of sex and sex-related exogenous factors in early developmental angiogenesis.
- ItemStress deprivation of tendon explants or Tpm3.1 inhibition in tendon cells reduces F-actin to promote a tendinosis-like phenotype(Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2022-12-01) Inguito, Kameron L.; Schofield, Mandy M.; Faghri, Arya D.; Bloom, Ellen T.; Heino, Marissa; West, Valerie C.; Ebron, Karl Matthew M.; Elliot, Dawn M.; Parreno, JustinActin is a central mediator between mechanical force and cellular phenotype. In tendons, it is speculated that mechanical stress deprivation regulates gene expression by reducing filamentous (F)-actin. However, the mechanisms regulating tenocyte F-actin remain unclear. Tropomyosins (Tpms) are master regulators of F-actin. There are more than 40 Tpm isoforms, each having the unique capability to stabilize F-actin subpopulations. We investigated F-actin polymerization in stress-deprived tendons and tested the hypothesis that stress fiber–associated Tpm(s) stabilize F-actin to regulate cellular phenotype. Stress deprivation of mouse tail tendon down-regulated tenogenic and up-regulated protease (matrix metalloproteinase-3) mRNA levels. Concomitant with mRNA modulation were increases in G/F-actin, confirming reduced F-actin by tendon stress deprivation. To investigate the molecular regulation of F-actin, we identified that tail, Achilles, and plantaris tendons express three isoforms in common: Tpm1.6, 3.1, and 4.2. Tpm3.1 associates with F-actin in native and primary tenocytes. Tpm3.1 inhibition reduces F-actin, leading to decreases in tenogenic expression, increases in chondrogenic expression, and enhancement of protease expression in mouse and human tenocytes. These expression changes by Tpm3.1 inhibition are consistent with tendinosis progression. A further understanding of F-actin regulation in musculoskeletal cells could lead to new therapeutic interventions to prevent alterations in cellular phenotype during disease progression.
- ItemTOP-2 is differentially required for the proper maintenance of the cohesin subunit REC-8 on meiotic chromosomes in Caenorhabditis elegans spermatogenesis and oogenesis(Genetics, 2022-08-11) Rourke, Christine; Jaramillo-Lambert, AimeeDuring meiotic prophase I, accurate segregation of homologous chromosomes requires the establishment of chromosomes with a meiosis-specific architecture. The sister chromatid cohesin complex and the enzyme Topoisomerase II (TOP-2) are important components of meiotic chromosome architecture, but the relationship of these proteins in the context of meiotic chromosome segregation is poorly defined. Here, we analyzed the role of TOP-2 in the timely release of the sister chromatid cohesin subunit REC-8 during spermatogenesis and oogenesis of Caenorhabditis elegans. We show that there is a different requirement for TOP-2 in meiosis of spermatogenesis and oogenesis. The loss-of-function mutation top-2(it7) results in premature REC-8 removal in spermatogenesis, but not oogenesis. This correlates with a failure to maintain the HORMA-domain proteins HTP-1 and HTP-2 (HTP-1/2) on chromosome axes at diakinesis and mislocalization of the downstream components that control REC-8 release including Aurora B kinase. In oogenesis, top-2(it7) causes a delay in the localization of Aurora B to oocyte chromosomes but can be rescued through premature activation of the maturation promoting factor via knockdown of the inhibitor kinase WEE-1.3. The delay in Aurora B localization is associated with an increase in the length of diakinesis bivalents and wee-1.3 RNAi mediated rescue of Aurora B localization in top-2(it7) is associated with a decrease in diakinesis bivalent length. Our results imply that the sex-specific effects of TOP-2 on REC-8 release are due to differences in the temporal regulation of meiosis and chromosome structure in late prophase I in spermatogenesis and oogenesis.
- ItemVitamin B12 impacts amyloid beta-induced proteotoxicity by regulating the methionine/S-adenosylmethionine cycle(Cell Reports, 2021-09-28) Lam, Andy B.; Kervin, Kirsten; Tanis, Jessica E.Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder with no effective treatment. Diet, as a modifiable risk factor for AD, could potentially be targeted to slow disease onset and progression. However, complexity of the human diet and indirect effects of the microbiome make it challenging to identify protective nutrients. Multiple factors contribute to AD pathogenesis, including amyloid beta (Aβ) deposition, energy crisis, and oxidative stress. Here, we use Caenorhabditis elegans to define the impact of diet on Aβ proteotoxicity. We discover that dietary vitamin B12 alleviates mitochondrial fragmentation, bioenergetic defects, and oxidative stress, delaying Aβ-induced paralysis without affecting Aβ accumulation. Vitamin B12 has this protective effect by acting as a cofactor for methionine synthase, impacting the methionine/S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) cycle. Vitamin B12 supplementation of B12-deficient adult Aβ animals is beneficial, demonstrating potential for vitamin B12 as a therapy to target pathogenic features of AD triggered by proteotoxic stress.
- ItemWhole-genome sequencing identifies I-SceI-mediated transgene integration sites in Xenopus tropicalis snai2: eGFP line(G3: Genes | Genomes | Genetics, 2022-02-16) Wang, Jian; Lu, Congyu; Wei, ShuoTransgenesis with the meganuclease I-SceI is a safe and efficient method, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear due to the lack of information on transgene localization. Using I-SceI, we previously developed a transgenic Xenopus tropicalis line expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein driven by the neural crest-specific snai2 promoter/enhancer, which is a powerful tool for studying neural crest development and craniofacial morphogenesis. Here we carried out whole-genome shotgun sequencing for the snai2: eGFP embryos to identify the transgene integration sites. With a 19x sequencing coverage, we estimated that 6 copies of the transgene were inserted into the X. tropicalis genome in the hemizygous transgenic embryos. Two transgene integration loci adjacent to each other were identified in a non-coding region on Chromosome 1, possibly as a result of duplication after a single transgene insertion. Interestingly, genomic DNA at the boundaries of the transgene integration loci contains short sequences homologous to the I-SceI recognition site, suggesting that the integration was not random but probably mediated by sequence homology. To our knowledge, our work represents the first genome-wide sequencing study on a transgenic organism generated with I-SceI, which is useful for evaluating the potential genetic effects of I-SceI-mediated transgenesis and further understanding the mechanisms underlying this transgenic method.
- ItemαVβ8 integrin targeting to prevent posterior capsular opacification(JCI Insight, 2021-09-23) Shihan, Mahbubul H.; Novo, Samuel G.; Wang, Yan; Sheppard, Dean; Atakilit, Amha; Arnold, Thomas D.; Rossi, Nicole M.; Faranda, Adam P.; Duncan, Melinda K.Fibrotic posterior capsular opacification (PCO), a major complication of cataract surgery, is driven by transforming growth factor–β (TGF-β). Previously, αV integrins were found to be critical for the onset of TGF-β–mediated PCO in vivo; however, the functional heterodimer was unknown. Here, β8 integrin–conditional knockout (β8ITG-cKO) lens epithelial cells (LCs) attenuated their fibrotic responses, while both β5 and β6 integrin–null LCs underwent fibrotic changes similar to WT at 5 days post cataract surgery (PCS). RNA-Seq revealed that β8ITG-cKO LCs attenuated their upregulation of integrins and their ligands, as well as known targets of TGF-β–induced signaling, at 24 hours PCS. Treatment of β8ITG-cKO eyes with active TGF-β1 at the time of surgery rescued the fibrotic response. Treatment of WT mice with an anti-αVβ8 integrin function blocking antibody at the time of surgery ameliorated both canonical TGF-β signaling and LC fibrotic response PCS, and treatment at 5 days PCS, after surgically induced fibrotic responses were established, largely reversed this fibrotic response. These data suggest that αVβ8 integrin is a major regulator of TGF-β activation by LCs PCS and that therapeutics targeting αVβ8 integrin could be effective for fibrotic PCO prevention and treatment.