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Maintenance of cell type identity is crucial for health, yet little is known of the regulation that sustains the long-term stability of differentiated phenotypes. To investigate the roles that key transcriptional regulators play in adult differentiated cells, we examined the effects of depletion of the developmental master regulator PTF1A on the specialized phenotype of the adult pancreatic acinar cell in vivo Transcriptome sequencing and chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing results showed that PTF1A maintains the expression of genes for all cellular processes dedicated to the production of the secretory digestive enzymes, a highly attuned surveillance of unfolded proteins, and a heightened unfolded protein response (UPR). Control by PTF1A is direct on target genes and indirect through a ten-member transcription factor network. Depletion of PTF1A causes an imbalance that overwhelms the UPR, induces cellular injury, and provokes acinar metaplasia. Compromised cellular identity occurs by derepression of characteristic stomach genes, some of which are also associated with pancreatic ductal cells. The loss of acinar cell homeostasis, differentiation, and identity is directly relevant to the pathologies of pancreatitis and pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
Hypoxia-inducible factors 1 and 2 (HIF-1 and -2) control oxygen supply to tissues by regulating erythropoiesis, angiogenesis and vascular homeostasis. HIFs are regulated in response to oxygen availability by prolyl-4-hydroxylase domain (PHD) proteins, with PHD2 being the main oxygen sensor that controls HIF activity under normoxia. In this study, we used a genetic approach to investigate the endothelial PHD2/HIF axis in the regulation of vascular function. We found that inactivation of Phd2 in endothelial cells specifically resulted in severe pulmonary hypertension (∼118% increase in right ventricular systolic pressure) but not polycythemia and was associated with abnormal muscularization of peripheral pulmonary arteries and right ventricular hypertrophy. Concurrent inactivation of either Hif1a or Hif2a in endothelial cell-specific Phd2 mutants demonstrated that the development of pulmonary hypertension was dependent on HIF-2α but not HIF-1α. Furthermore, endothelial HIF-2α was required for the development of increased pulmonary artery pressures in a model of pulmonary hypertension induced by chronic hypoxia. We propose that these HIF-2-dependent effects are partially due to increased expression of vasoconstrictor molecule endothelin 1 and a concomitant decrease in vasodilatory apelin receptor signaling. Taken together, our data identify endothelial HIF-2 as a key transcription factor in the pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension.
LMO2 is a component of multisubunit DNA-binding transcription factor complexes that regulate gene expression in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell development. Enforced expression of LMO2 causes leukemia by inducing hematopoietic stem cell-like features in T-cell progenitor cells, but the biochemical mechanisms of LMO2 function have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we systematically dissected the LMO2/LDB1-binding interface to investigate the role of this interaction in T-cell leukemia. Alanine scanning mutagenesis of the LIM interaction domain of LDB1 revealed a discrete motif, R(320)LITR, required for LMO2 binding. Most strikingly, coexpression of full-length, wild-type LDB1 increased LMO2 steady-state abundance, whereas coexpression of mutant proteins deficient in LMO2 binding compromised LMO2 stability. These mutant LDB1 proteins also exerted dominant negative effects on growth and transcription in diverse leukemic cell lines. Mass spectrometric analysis of LDB1 binding partners in leukemic lines supports the notion that LMO2/LDB1 function in leukemia occurs in the context of multisubunit complexes, which also protect the LMO2 oncoprotein from degradation. Collectively, these data suggest that the assembly of LMO2 into complexes, via direct LDB1 interaction, is a potential molecular target that could be exploited in LMO2-driven leukemias resistant to existing chemotherapy regimens.
Neurite outgrowth is key to the formation of functional circuits during neuronal development. Neurotrophins, including nerve growth factor (NGF), increase neurite outgrowth in part by altering the function and expression of Ca(2+)-permeable cation channels. Here we report that transient receptor potential vanilloid 2 (TRPV2) is an intracellular Ca(2+)-permeable TRPV channel upregulated by NGF via the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway to augment neurite outgrowth. TRPV2 colocalized with Rab7, a late endosome protein, in addition to TrkA and activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) in neurites, indicating that the channel is closely associated with signaling endosomes. In line with these results, we showed that TRPV2 acts as an ERK substrate and identified the motifs necessary for phosphorylation of TRPV2 by ERK. Furthermore, neurite length, TRPV2 expression, and TRPV2-mediated Ca(2+) signals were reduced by mutagenesis of these key ERK phosphorylation sites. Based on these findings, we identified a previously uncharacterized mechanism by which ERK controls TRPV2-mediated Ca(2+) signals in developing neurons and further establish TRPV2 as a critical intracellular ion channel in neuronal function.
Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Hdac3 is a key target for Hdac inhibitors that are efficacious in cutaneous T cell lymphoma. Moreover, the regulation of chromatin structure is critical as thymocytes transition from an immature cell with open chromatin to a mature T cell with tightly condensed chromatin. To define the phenotypes controlled by Hdac3 during T cell development, we conditionally deleted Hdac3 using the Lck-Cre transgene. This strategy inactivated Hdac3 in the double-negative stages of thymocyte development and caused a significant impairment at the CD8 immature single-positive (ISP) stage and the CD4/CD8 double-positive stage, with few mature CD4(+) or CD8(+) single-positive cells being produced. When Hdac3(-/-) mice were crossed with Bcl-xL-, Bcl2-, or TCRβ-expressing transgenic mice, a modest level of complementation was found. However, when the null mice were crossed with mice expressing a fully rearranged T cell receptor αβ transgene, normal levels of CD4 single-positive cells were produced. Thus, Hdac3 is required for the efficient transit from double-negative stage 4 through positive selection.
Accurate replication of DNA is imperative for the maintenance of genomic integrity. We identified Enhancer of Rudimentary Homolog (ERH) using a whole-genome RNA interference (RNAi) screen to discover novel proteins that function in the replication stress response. Here we report that ERH is important for DNA replication and recovery from replication stress. ATR pathway activity is diminished in ERH-deficient cells. The reduction in ATR signaling corresponds to a decrease in the expression of multiple ATR pathway genes, including ATR itself. ERH interacts with multiple RNA processing complexes, including splicing regulators. Furthermore, splicing of ATR transcripts is deficient in ERH-depleted cells. Transcriptome-wide analysis indicates that ERH depletion affects the levels of ∼1,500 transcripts, with DNA replication and repair genes being highly enriched among those with reduced expression. Splicing defects were evident in ∼750 protein-coding genes, which again were enriched for DNA metabolism genes. Thus, ERH regulation of RNA processing is needed to ensure faithful DNA replication and repair.
Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a serine/threonine kinase that regulates a diverse array of cellular processes, including cell growth, survival, metabolism, and cytoskeleton dynamics. mTOR functions in two distinct complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2, whose activities and substrate specificities are regulated by complex specific cofactors, including Raptor and Rictor, respectively. Little is known regarding the relative contribution of mTORC1 versus mTORC2 in vascular endothelial cells. Using mouse models of Raptor or Rictor gene targeting, we discovered that Rictor ablation inhibited vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced endothelial cell proliferation and assembly in vitro and angiogenesis in vivo, whereas the loss of Raptor had only a modest effect on endothelial cells (ECs). Mechanistically, the loss of Rictor reduced the phosphorylation of AKT, protein kinase Cα (PKCα), and NDRG1 without affecting the mTORC1 pathway. In contrast, the loss of Raptor increased the phosphorylation of AKT despite inhibiting the phosphorylation of S6K1, a direct target of mTORC1. Reconstitution of Rictor-null cells with myristoylated AKT (Myr-AKT) rescued vascular assembly in Rictor-deficient endothelial cells, whereas PKCα rescued proliferation defects. Furthermore, tumor neovascularization in vivo was significantly decreased upon EC-specific Rictor deletion in mice. These data indicate that mTORC2 is a critical signaling node required for VEGF-mediated angiogenesis through the regulation of AKT and PKCα in vascular endothelial cells.
Epithelial cells require apical-basal plasma membrane polarity to carry out crucial vectorial transport functions and cytoplasmic polarity to generate different cell progenies for tissue morphogenesis. The establishment and maintenance of a polarized epithelial cell with apical, basolateral and ciliary surface domains is guided by an epithelial polarity programme (EPP) that is controlled by a network of protein and lipid regulators. The EPP is organized in response to extracellular cues and is executed through the establishment of an apical-basal axis, intercellular junctions, epithelial-specific cytoskeletal rearrangements and a polarized trafficking machinery. Recent studies have provided insight into the interactions of the EPP with the polarized trafficking machinery and how these regulate epithelial polarization and depolarization.
The gene gating hypothesis put forth by Blobel in 1985 was an alluring proposal outlining functions for the nuclear pore complex (NPC) in transcription and nuclear architecture. Over the past several decades, collective studies have unveiled a full catalog of nucleoporins (Nups) that comprise the NPC, structural arrangements of Nups in the nuclear pore, and mechanisms of nucleocytoplasmic transport. With this foundation, investigations of the gene gating hypothesis have now become possible. Studies of several model organisms provide credence for Nup functions in transcription, mRNA export, and genome organization. Surprisingly, Nups are not only involved in transcriptional events that occur at the nuclear periphery, but there are also novel roles for dynamic Nups within the nucleoplasmic compartment. Several tenants of the original gene gating hypothesis have yet to be addressed. Knowledge of whether the NPC impacts the organization of the genome to control subsets of genes is limited, and the cooperating molecular machinery or specific genomic anchoring sequences are not fully resolved. This minireview summarizes the current evidence for gene gating in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, and mammalian model systems. These examples highlight new and unpredicted mechanisms for Nup impacts on transcription and questions that are left to be explored.
The transcriptional cofactor ANKRD1 is sharply induced during wound repair, and its overexpression enhances healing. We recently found that global deletion of murine Ankrd1 impairs wound contraction and enhances necrosis of ischemic wounds. A quantitative PCR array of Ankrd1(-/-) (KO) fibroblasts indicated that ANKRD1 regulates MMP genes. Yeast two-hybrid and coimmunoprecipitation analyses associated ANKRD1 with nucleolin, which represses AP-1 activation of MMP13. Ankrd1 deletion enhanced both basal and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA)-induced MMP13 promoter activity; conversely, Ankrd1 overexpression in control cells decreased PMA-induced MMP13 promoter activity. Ankrd1 reconstitution in KO fibroblasts decreased MMP13 mRNA, while Ankrd1 knockdown increased these levels. MMP13 mRNA and protein were elevated in intact skin and wounds of KO versus Ankrd1(fl/fl) (FLOX) mice. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay gel shift patterns suggested that additional transcription factors bind to the MMP13 AP-1 site in the absence of Ankrd1, and this concept was reinforced by chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis as greater binding of c-Jun to the AP-1 site in extracts from FLOX versus KO fibroblasts. We propose that ANKRD1, in association with factors such as nucleolin, represses MMP13 transcription. Ankrd1 deletion additionally relieved MMP10 transcriptional repression. Nuclear ANKRD1 appears to modulate extracellular matrix remodeling by MMPs.