Tumors adapt to an unfavorable microenvironment by controlling the balance between cell proliferation and cell motility, but the regulators of this process are largely unknown. Here, we show that an alternatively spliced isoform of syntaphilin (SNPH), a cytoskeletal regulator of mitochondrial movements in neurons, is directed to mitochondria of tumor cells. Mitochondrial SNPH buffers oxidative stress and maintains complex II–dependent bioenergetics, sustaining local tumor growth while restricting mitochondrial redistribution to the cortical cytoskeleton and tumor cell motility. Conversely, introduction of stress stimuli to the microenvironment, including hypoxia, acutely lowered SNPH levels, resulting in bioenergetics defects and increased superoxide production. In turn, this suppressed tumor cell proliferation but increased tumor cell invasion via greater mitochondrial trafficking to the cortical cytoskeleton. Loss of SNPH or expression of an SNPH mutant lacking the mitochondrial localization sequence resulted in increased metastatic dissemination in xenograft or syngeneic tumor models in vivo. Accordingly, tumor cells that acquired the ability to metastasize in vivo constitutively downregulated SNPH and exhibited higher oxidative stress, reduced cell proliferation, and increased cell motility. Therefore, SNPH is a stress-regulated mitochondrial switch of the cell proliferation-motility balance in cancer, and its pathway may represent a therapeutic target.
M. Cecilia Caino, Jae Ho Seo, Yuan Wang, Dayana B. Rivadeneira, Dmitry I. Gabrilovich, Eui Tae Kim, Ashani T. Weeraratna, Lucia R. Languino, Dario C. Altieri
The master cytokine TGF-β mediates tissue fibrosis associated with inflammation and tissue injury. TGF-β induces fibroblast activation and differentiation into myofibroblasts that secrete extracellular matrix proteins. Canonical TGF-β signaling mobilizes Smad2 and Smad3 transcription factors that control fibrosis by promoting gene expression. However, the importance of TGF-β–Smad2/3 signaling in fibroblast-mediated cardiac fibrosis has not been directly evaluated in vivo. Here, we examined pressure overload–induced cardiac fibrosis in fibroblast- and myofibroblast-specific inducible Cre-expressing mouse lines with selective deletion of the TGF-β receptors Tgfbr1/2, Smad2, or Smad3. Fibroblast-specific deletion of Tgfbr1/2 or Smad3, but not Smad2, markedly reduced the pressure overload–induced fibrotic response as well as fibrosis mediated by a heart-specific, latency-resistant TGF-β mutant transgene. Interestingly, cardiac fibroblast–specific deletion of Tgfbr1/2, but not Smad2/3, attenuated the cardiac hypertrophic response to pressure overload stimulation. Mechanistically, loss of Smad2/3 from tissue-resident fibroblasts attenuated injury-induced cellular expansion within the heart and the expression of fibrosis-mediating genes. Deletion of Smad2/3 or Tgfbr1/2 from cardiac fibroblasts similarly inhibited the gene program for fibrosis and extracellular matrix remodeling, although deletion of Tgfbr1/2 uniquely altered expression of an array of regulatory genes involved in cardiomyocyte homeostasis and disease compensation. These findings implicate TGF-β–Smad2/3 signaling in activated tissue-resident cardiac fibroblasts as principal mediators of the fibrotic response.
Hadi Khalil, Onur Kanisicak, Vikram Prasad, Robert N. Correll, Xing Fu, Tobias Schips, Ronald J. Vagnozzi, Ruijie Liu, Thanh Huynh, Se-Jin Lee, Jason Karch, Jeffery D. Molkentin
TGF-β1 signaling is a critical driver of collagen accumulation and fibrotic disease but also a vital suppressor of inflammation and epithelial cell proliferation. The nature of this multifunctional cytokine has limited the development of global TGF-β1 signaling inhibitors as therapeutic agents. We conducted phenotypic screens for small molecules that inhibit TGF-β1–induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition without immediate TGF-β1 receptor (TβR) kinase inhibition. We identified trihydroxyphenolic compounds as potent blockers of TGF-β1 responses (IC50 ~50 nM), Snail1 expression, and collagen deposition in vivo in models of pulmonary fibrosis and collagen-dependent lung cancer metastasis. Remarkably, the functional effects of trihydroxyphenolics required the presence of active lysyl oxidase–like 2 (LOXL2), thereby limiting effects to fibroblasts or cancer cells, the major LOXL2 producers. Mechanistic studies revealed that trihydroxyphenolics induce auto-oxidation of a LOXL2/3–specific lysine (K731) in a time-dependent reaction that irreversibly inhibits LOXL2 and converts the trihydrophenolic to a previously undescribed metabolite that directly inhibits TβRI kinase. Combined inhibition of LOXL2 and TβRI activities by trihydrophenolics resulted in potent blockade of pathological collagen accumulation in vivo without the toxicities associated with global inhibitors. These findings elucidate a therapeutic approach to attenuate fibrosis and the disease-promoting effects of tissue stiffness by specifically targeting TβRI kinase in LOXL2-expressing cells.
Ying Wei, Thomas J. Kim, David H. Peng, Dana Duan, Don L. Gibbons, Mitsuo Yamauchi, Julia R. Jackson, Claude J. Le Saux, Cheresa Calhoun, Jay Peters, Rik Derynck, Bradley J. Backes, Harold A. Chapman
Sterol regulatory element–binding protein 1c (SREBP-1c) is a central regulator of lipogenesis whose activity is controlled by proteolytic cleavage. The metabolic factors that affect its processing are incompletely understood. Here, we show that dynamic changes in the acyl chain composition of ER phospholipids affect SREBP-1c maturation in physiology and disease. The abundance of polyunsaturated phosphatidylcholine in liver ER is selectively increased in response to feeding and in the setting of obesity-linked insulin resistance. Exogenous delivery of polyunsaturated phosphatidylcholine to ER accelerated SREBP-1c processing through a mechanism that required an intact SREBP cleavage–activating protein (SCAP) pathway. Furthermore, induction of the phospholipid-remodeling enzyme LPCAT3 in response to liver X receptor (LXR) activation promoted SREBP-1c processing by driving the incorporation of polyunsaturated fatty acids into ER. Conversely, LPCAT3 deficiency increased membrane saturation, reduced nuclear SREBP-1c abundance, and blunted the lipogenic response to feeding, LXR agonist treatment, or obesity-linked insulin resistance. Desaturation of the ER membrane may serve as an auxiliary signal of the fed state that promotes lipid synthesis in response to nutrient availability.
Xin Rong, Bo Wang, Elisa N.D. Palladino, Thomas Q. de Aguiar Vallim, David A. Ford, Peter Tontonoz
The pathophysiological function of the forkhead transcription factor FOXN3 remains to be explored. Here we report that FOXN3 is a transcriptional repressor that is physically associated with the SIN3A repressor complex in estrogen receptor–positive (ER+) cells. RNA immunoprecipitation–coupled high-throughput sequencing identified that NEAT1, an estrogen-inducible long noncoding RNA, is required for FOXN3 interactions with the SIN3A complex. ChIP-Seq and deep sequencing of RNA genomic targets revealed that the FOXN3-NEAT1-SIN3A complex represses genes including GATA3 that are critically involved in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). We demonstrated that the FOXN3-NEAT1-SIN3A complex promotes EMT and invasion of breast cancer cells in vitro as well as dissemination and metastasis of breast cancer in vivo. Interestingly, the FOXN3-NEAT1-SIN3A complex transrepresses ER itself, forming a negative-feedback loop in transcription regulation. Elevation of both FOXN3 and NEAT1 expression during breast cancer progression corresponded to diminished GATA3 expression, and high levels of FOXN3 and NEAT1 strongly correlated with higher histological grades and poor prognosis. Our experiments uncovered that NEAT1 is a facultative component of the SIN3A complex, shedding light on the mechanistic actions of NEAT1 and the SIN3A complex. Further, our study identified the ERα-NEAT1-FOXN3/NEAT1/SIN3A-GATA3 axis that is implicated in breast cancer metastasis, providing a mechanistic insight into the pathophysiological function of FOXN3.
Wanjin Li, Zihan Zhang, Xinhua Liu, Xiao Cheng, Yi Zhang, Xiao Han, Yu Zhang, Shumeng Liu, Jianguo Yang, Bosen Xu, Lin He, Luyang Sun, Jing Liang, Yongfeng Shang
Cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD) is an autosomal dominant human disorder characterized by abnormal bone development that is mainly due to defective intramembranous bone formation by osteoblasts. Here, we describe a mouse strain lacking the E3 ubiquitin ligase RNF146 that shows phenotypic similarities to CCD. Loss of RNF146 stabilized its substrate AXIN1, leading to impairment of WNT3a-induced β-catenin activation and reduced
Yoshinori Matsumoto, Jose La Rose, Melissa Lim, Hibret A. Adissu, Napoleon Law, Xiaohong Mao, Feng Cong, Paula Mera, Gerard Karsenty, David Goltzman, Adele Changoor, Lucia Zhang, Megan Stajkowski, Marc D. Grynpas, Carsten Bergmann, Robert Rottapel
TGF-β is considered a master switch in the pathogenesis of organ fibrosis. The primary mediators of this activity are the SMAD proteins, particularly SMAD3. In the current study, we have developed a cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) conjugate of the HIV TAT protein that is fused to an aminoterminal sequence of sorting nexin 9 (SNX9), which was previously shown to bind phosphorylated SMAD3 (pSMAD3). We determined that specifically preventing the nuclear import of pSMAD3 using the TAT-SNX9 peptide inhibited profibrotic TGF-β activity in murine cells and human lung fibroblasts as well as in vivo with no demonstrable toxicity. TGF-β signaling mediated by pSMAD2, bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4), EGF, or PDGF was unaffected by the TAT-SNX9 peptide. Furthermore, while the TAT-SNX9 peptide prevented TGF-β’s profibrotic activity in vitro as well as in 2 murine treatment models of pulmonary fibrosis, a 3–amino acid point mutant that was unable to bind pSMAD3 proved ineffective. These findings indicate that specifically targeting pSMAD3 can ameliorate both the direct and indirect fibroproliferative actions of TGF-β.
Jeong-Han Kang, Mi-Yeon Jung, Xueqian Yin, Mahefatiana Andrianifahanana, Danielle M. Hernandez, Edward B. Leof
Loss of first-phase insulin secretion is an early sign of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D). Ca2+ entry through voltage-gated L-type Ca2+ channels triggers exocytosis of insulin-containing granules in pancreatic β cells and is required for the postprandial spike in insulin secretion. Using high-resolution microscopy, we have identified a subset of docked insulin granules in human β cells and rat-derived clonal insulin 1 (INS1) cells for which localized Ca2+ influx triggers exocytosis with high probability and minimal latency. This immediately releasable pool (IRP) of granules, identified both structurally and functionally, was absent in β cells from human T2D donors and in INS1 cells cultured in fatty acids that mimic the diabetic state. Upon arrival at the plasma membrane, IRP granules slowly associated with 15 to 20 L-type channels. We determined that recruitment depended on a direct interaction with the synaptic protein Munc13, because expression of the II–III loop of the channel, the C2 domain of Munc13-1, or of Munc13-1 with a mutated C2 domain all disrupted L-type channel clustering at granules and ablated fast exocytosis. Thus, rapid insulin secretion requires Munc13-mediated recruitment of L-type Ca2+ channels in close proximity to insulin granules. Loss of this organization underlies disturbed insulin secretion kinetics in T2D.
Nikhil R. Gandasi, Peng Yin, Michela Riz, Margarita V. Chibalina, Giuliana Cortese, Per-Eric Lund, Victor Matveev, Patrik Rorsman, Arthur Sherman, Morten G. Pedersen, Sebastian Barg
Geminin expression is essential for embryonic development and the maintenance of chromosomal integrity. In spite of this protective role, geminin is also frequently overexpressed in human cancers and the molecular mechanisms underlying its role in tumor progression remain unclear. The histone deacetylase HDAC3 modulates transcription factors to activate or suppress transcription. Little is known about how HDAC3 specifies substrates for modulation among highly homologous transcription factor family members. Here, we have demonstrated that geminin selectively couples the transcription factor forkhead box O3 (FoxO3) to HDAC3, thereby specifically facilitating FoxO3 deacetylation. We determined that geminin–associated HDAC3 deacetylates FoxO3 to block its transcriptional activity, leading to downregulation of the downstream FoxO3 target Dicer, an RNase that suppresses metastasis. Breast cancer cells depleted of geminin or HDAC3 exhibited poor metastatic potential that was attributed to reduced suppression of the FoxO3-Dicer axis. Moreover, elevated levels of geminin, HDAC3, or both together with decreased FoxO3 acetylation and reduced Dicer expression were detected in aggressive human breast cancer specimens. These results underscore a prominent role for geminin in promoting breast cancer metastasis via the enzyme-substrate–coupling mechanism in HDAC3-FoxO3 complex formation.
Lei Zhang, Meizhen Cai, Zhicheng Gong, Bingchang Zhang, Yuanpei Li, Li Guan, Xiaonan Hou, Qing Li, Gang Liu, Zengfu Xue, Muh-hua Yang, Jing Ye, Y. Eugene Chin, Han You
Gain-of-function (GOF) p53 mutations are observed frequently in most intractable human cancers and establish dependency for tumor maintenance and progression. While some of the genes induced by GOF p53 have been implicated in more rapid cell proliferation compared with p53-null cancer cells, the mechanism for dependency of tumor growth on mutant p53 is unknown. This report reveals a therapeutically targetable mechanism for GOF p53 dependency. We have shown that GOF p53 increases DNA replication origin firing, stabilizes replication forks, and promotes micronuclei formation, thus facilitating the proliferation of cells with genomic abnormalities. In contrast, absence or depletion of GOF p53 leads to decreased origin firing and a higher frequency of fork collapse in isogenic cells, explaining their poorer proliferation rate. Following genome-wide analyses utilizing ChIP-Seq and RNA-Seq, GOF p53–induced origin firing, micronuclei formation, and fork protection were traced to the ability of GOF p53 to transactivate cyclin A and CHK1. Highlighting the therapeutic potential of CHK1’s role in GOF p53 dependency, experiments in cell culture and mouse xenografts demonstrated that inhibition of CHK1 selectively blocked proliferation of cells and tumors expressing GOF p53. Our data suggest the possibility that checkpoint inhibitors could efficiently and selectively target cancers expressing GOF p53 alleles.
Shilpa Singh, Catherine A. Vaughan, Rebecca A. Frum, Steven R. Grossman, Sumitra Deb, Swati Palit Deb
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