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Transporting epithelial cells optimize their morphology for solute uptake by building an apical specialization: a dense array of microvilli that serves to increase membrane surface area. In the intestinal tract, individual cells build thousands of microvilli, which pack tightly to form the brush border. Recent studies implicate adhesion molecule CDHR2 in the regulation of microvillar packing via the formation of adhesion complexes between the tips of adjacent protrusions. To gain insight on how CDHR2 contributes to brush border morphogenesis and enterocyte function under native in vivo conditions, we generated mice lacking CDHR2 expression in the intestinal tract. Although CDHR2 knockout (KO) mice are viable, body weight trends lower and careful examination of tissue, cell, and brush border morphology revealed several perturbations that likely contribute to reduced functional capacity of KO intestine. In the absence of CDHR2, microvilli are significantly shorter, and exhibit disordered packing and a 30% decrease in packing density. These structural perturbations are linked to decreased levels of key solute processing and transporting factors in the brush border. Thus, CDHR2 functions to elongate microvilli and maximize their numbers on the apical surface, which together serve to increase the functional capacity of enterocyte.
Stem cells reside in a niche, a local environment whose cellular and molecular complexity is still being elucidated. In ovaries, germline stem cells depend on cap cells for self-renewing signals and physical attachment. Germline stem cells also contact the anterior escort cells, and here we report that anterior escort cells are absolutely required for germline stem cell maintenance. When escort cells die from impaired Wnt signaling or expression, the loss of anterior escort cells causes loss of germline stem cells. Anterior escort cells function as an integral niche component by promoting DE-cadherin anchorage and by transiently expressing the Dpp ligand to promote full-strength BMP signaling in germline stem cells. Anterior escort cells are maintained by Wnt6 ligands produced by cap cells; without Wnt6 signaling, anterior escort cells die leaving vacancies in the niche, leading to loss of germline stem cells. Our data identify anterior escort cells as constituents of the germline stem cell niche, maintained by a cap cell-produced Wnt6 survival signal.
© 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) is a process in which endothelial cells lose polarity and cell-to cell contacts, and undergo a dramatic remodeling of the cytoskeleton. It has been implicated in initiation and progression of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). However, the characteristics of cells which have undergone EndMT cells in vivo have not been reported and so remain unclear. To study this, sugen5416 and hypoxia (SuHx)-induced PAH was established in Cdh5-Cre/Gt(ROSA)26Sor/J double transgenic mice, in which GFP was stably expressed in pan-endothelial cells. After 3 wk of SuHx, flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry demonstrated CD144-negative and GFP-positive cells (complete EndMT cells) possessed higher proliferative and migratory activity compared with other mesenchymal cells. While CD144-positive and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA)-positive cells (partial EndMT cells) continued to express endothelial progenitor cell markers, complete EndMT cells were Sca-1-rich mesenchymal cells with high proliferative and migratory ability. When transferred in fibronectin-coated chamber slides containing smooth muscle media, α-SMA robustly expressed in these cells compared with cEndMT cells that were grown in maintenance media. Demonstrating additional paracrine effects, conditioned medium from isolated complete EndMT cells induced enhanced mesenchymal proliferation and migration and increased angiogenesis compared with conditioned medium from resident mesenchymal cells. Overall, these findings show that EndMT cells could contribute to the pathogenesis of PAH both directly, by transformation into smooth muscle-like cells with higher proliferative and migratory potency, and indirectly, through paracrine effects on vascular intimal and medial proliferation.
Ewing sarcomas are rare mesenchymal-derived bone and soft tissue tumors in children. Afflicted children with distant metastases have poor survival despite aggressive therapeutics. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in epithelial carcinomas is associated with loss of E-cadherin and resistance to apoptosis. ML327 is a novel small molecule that we have previously shown to reverse epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition features in both epithelial and neural crest-derived cancers. Herein, we sought to evaluate the effects of ML327 on mesenchymal-derived Ewing sarcoma cells, hypothesizing that ML327 initiates growth arrest and sensitizes to TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand. ML327 induced protein expression changes, increased E-cadherin and decreased vimentin, consistent with partial induction of mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition in multiple Ewing Sarcoma cell lines (SK-N-MC, TC71, and ES-5838). Induction of epithelial features was associated with apoptosis, as demonstrated by PARP and Caspase 3 cleavage by immunoblotting. Cell cycle analysis validated these findings by marked induction of the subG cell population. In vitro combination treatment with TRAIL demonstrated additive induction of apoptotic markers. Taken together, these findings establish a rationale for further in vivo trials of ML327 in cells of mesenchymal origin both alone and in combination with TRAIL.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Hypertension is a leading cause of global disease, mortality, and disability. While individuals of African descent suffer a disproportionate burden of hypertension and its complications, they have been underrepresented in genetic studies. To identify novel susceptibility loci for blood pressure and hypertension in people of African ancestry, we performed both single and multiple-trait genome-wide association analyses. We analyzed 21 genome-wide association studies comprised of 31,968 individuals of African ancestry, and validated our results with additional 54,395 individuals from multi-ethnic studies. These analyses identified nine loci with eleven independent variants which reached genome-wide significance (P < 1.25×10-8) for either systolic and diastolic blood pressure, hypertension, or for combined traits. Single-trait analyses identified two loci (TARID/TCF21 and LLPH/TMBIM4) and multiple-trait analyses identified one novel locus (FRMD3) for blood pressure. At these three loci, as well as at GRP20/CDH17, associated variants had alleles common only in African-ancestry populations. Functional annotation showed enrichment for genes expressed in immune and kidney cells, as well as in heart and vascular cells/tissues. Experiments driven by these findings and using angiotensin-II induced hypertension in mice showed altered kidney mRNA expression of six genes, suggesting their potential role in hypertension. Our study provides new evidence for genes related to hypertension susceptibility, and the need to study African-ancestry populations in order to identify biologic factors contributing to hypertension.
The exocyst is an essential component of the secretory pathway required for delivery of basolateral proteins to the plasma membranes of epithelial cells. Delivery occurs adjacent to tight junctions (TJ), suggesting that it recognizes a receptor at this location. However, no such receptor has been identified. The Par3 polarity protein associates with TJs but has no known function in membrane traffic. We now show that, unexpectedly, Par3 is essential for mammary cell survival. Par3 silencing causes apoptosis, triggered by phosphoinositide trisphosphate depletion and decreased Akt phosphorylation, resulting from failure of the exocyst to deliver basolateral proteins to the cortex. A small region of PAR3 binds directly to Exo70 and is sufficient for exocyst docking, membrane-protein delivery and cell survival. PAR3 lacking this domain can associate with the cortex but cannot support exocyst function. We conclude that Par3 is the long-sought exocyst receptor required for targeted membrane-protein delivery.
Apicobasolateral polarity is a fundamental property of epithelial cells, and its loss is a hallmark of cancer. Integrin-mediated contact with the extracellular matrix defines the basal surface, setting in motion E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell contact, which establishes apicobasolateral polarity. Role(s) for lateral integrins in this polarization process and the consequences of their disruption are incompletely understood. We show that addition of an integrin β1-activating monoclonal antibody, P4G11, to invasive colorectal cancer cells in three-dimensional type 1 collagen reverts the invasive phenotype and restores apicobasolateral polarity. P4G11 induces clustering of integrin α5β1 at lateral, intercellular surfaces. This leads to deposition and polymerization of fibronectin and recruitment of paxillin to sites of lateral integrin α5β1 clustering and is followed by tight junction formation, as determined by ZO-1 localization. Inducible elimination of integrin α5 abrogates the epithelial-organizing effects of P4G11. In addition, polymerization of fibronectin is required for the effects of P4G11, and addition of polymerized superfibronectin is sufficient to induce tight junction formation and apicobasolateral polarization. In the normal human colon, we show that integrin α5 localizes to the lateral membrane of terminally differentiated colonocytes and that integrin α5 staining may be reduced in colorectal cancer. Thus we propose a novel role for integrin α5β1 in regulating epithelial morphogenesis.
© 2017 Starchenko et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
MARK2 regulates the establishment of polarity in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells in part through phosphorylation of serine 227 of Rab11-FIP2. We identified Eps15 as an interacting partner of phospho-S227-Rab11-FIP2 (pS227-FIP2). During recovery from low calcium, Eps15 localized to the lateral membrane before pS227-FIP2 arrival. Later in recovery, Eps15 and pS227-FIP2 colocalized at the lateral membrane. In MDCK cells expressing the pseudophosphorylated FIP2 mutant FIP2(S227E), during recovery from low calcium, Eps15 was trapped and never localized to the lateral membrane. Mutation of any of the three NPF domains within GFP-FIP2(S227E) rescued Eps15 localization at the lateral membrane and reestablished single-lumen cyst formation in GFP-FIP2(S227E)-expressing cells in three-dimensional (3D) culture. Whereas expression of GFP-FIP2(S227E) induced the loss of E-cadherin and occludin, mutation of any of the NPF domains of GFP-FIP2(S227E) reestablished both proteins at the apical junctions. Knockdown of Eps15 altered the spatial and temporal localization of pS227-FIP2 and also elicited formation of multiple lumens in MDCK 3D cysts. Thus an interaction of Eps15 and pS227-FIP2 at the appropriate time and location in polarizing cells is necessary for proper establishment of epithelial polarity.
© 2017 Lapierre et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD) has a complex genetic etiology, involving locus heterogeneity, polygenic inheritance, and gene-gene interactions; however, the investigation of interactions in recent genome-wide association studies has been limited. We used a biological knowledge-driven approach to evaluate gene-gene interactions for consistency across 13 data sets from the Alzheimer Disease Genetics Consortium. Fifteen single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-SNP pairs within 3 gene-gene combinations were identified: SIRT1 × ABCB1, PSAP × PEBP4, and GRIN2B × ADRA1A. In addition, we extend a previously identified interaction from an endophenotype analysis between RYR3 × CACNA1C. Finally, post hoc gene expression analyses of the implicated SNPs further implicate SIRT1 and ABCB1, and implicate CDH23 which was most recently identified as an AD risk locus in an epigenetic analysis of AD. The observed interactions in this article highlight ways in which genotypic variation related to disease may depend on the genetic context in which it occurs. Further, our results highlight the utility of evaluating genetic interactions to explain additional variance in AD risk and identify novel molecular mechanisms of AD pathogenesis.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In vertebrate epithelia, p120-catenin (hereafter referred to as p120; also known as CTNND1) mediates E-cadherin stability and suppression of RhoA. Genetic ablation of p120 in various epithelial tissues typically causes striking alterations in tissue function and morphology. Although these effects could very well involve p120's activity towards Rho, ascertaining the impact of this relationship has been complicated by the fact that p120 is also required for cell-cell adhesion. Here, we have molecularly uncoupled p120's cadherin-stabilizing and RhoA-suppressing activites. Unexpectedly, removing p120's Rho-suppressing activity dramatically disrupted the integrity of the apical surface, irrespective of E-cadherin stability. The physical defect was tracked to excessive actomyosin contractility along the vertical axis of lateral membranes. Thus, we suggest that p120's distinct activities towards E-cadherin and Rho are molecularly and functionally coupled and this, in turn, enables the maintenance of cell shape in the larger context of an epithelial monolayer. Importantly, local suppression of contractility by cadherin-bound p120 appears to go beyond regulating cell shape, as loss of this activity also leads to major defects in epithelial lumenogenesis.
© 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.