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The mechanism of how organ shape emerges and specifies cell fate is not understood. Pancreatic duct and endocrine lineages arise in a spatially distinct domain from the acinar lineage. Whether these lineages are pre-determined or settle once these niches have been established remains unknown. Here, we reconcile these two apparently opposing models, demonstrating that pancreatic progenitors re-localize to establish the niche that will determine their ultimate fate. We identify a p120ctn-regulated mechanism for coordination of organ architecture and cellular fate mediated by differential E-cadherin based cell sorting. Reduced p120ctn expression is necessary and sufficient to re-localize a subset of progenitors to the peripheral tip domain, where they acquire an acinar fate. The same mechanism is used re-iteratively during endocrine specification, where it balances the choice between the alpha and beta cell fates. In conclusion, organ patterning is regulated by p120ctn-mediated cellular positioning, which precedes and determines pancreatic progenitor fate.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Cadherin-11 (CDH11) is upregulated in a variety of fibrotic diseases, including arthritis and calcific aortic valve disease. Our recent work has identified CDH11 as a potential therapeutic target and shown that treatment with a CDH11 functional blocking antibody can prevent hallmarks of calcific aortic valve disease in mice. The present study investigated the role of CDH11 in regulating the mechanobiological behavior of valvular interstitial cells believed to cause calcification. Aortic valve interstitial cells were harvested from Cdh11, Cdh11, and Cdh11 immortomice. Cells were subjected to inflammatory cytokines transforming growth factor (TGF)-β and IL-6 to characterize the molecular mechanisms by which CDH11 regulates their mechanobiological changes. Histology was performed on aortic valves from Cdh11, Cdh11, and Cdh11 mice to identify key responses to CDH11 deletion in vivo. We showed that CDH11 influences cell behavior through its regulation of contractility and its ability to bind substrates via focal adhesions. We also show that transforming growth factor-β overrides the normal relationship between CDH11 and smooth muscle α-actin to exacerbate the myofibroblast disease phenotype. This phenotypic switch is potentiated through the IL-6 signaling axis and could act as a paracrine mechanism of myofibroblast activation in neighboring aortic valve interstitial cells in a positive feedback loop. These data suggest CDH11 is an important mediator of the myofibroblast phenotype and identify several mechanisms by which it modulates cell behavior. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Cadherin-11 influences valvular interstitial cell contractility by regulating focal adhesions and inflammatory cytokine secretion. Transforming growth factor-β overrides the normal balance between cadherin-11 and smooth muscle α-actin expression to promote a myofibroblast phenotype. Cadherin-11 is necessary for IL-6 and chitinase-3-like protein 1 secretion, and IL-6 promotes contractility. Targeting cadherin-11 could therapeutically influence valvular interstitial cell phenotypes in a multifaceted manner.
Tumor vasculature is known to be more permeable than the vasculature found in healthy tissue, which in turn can lead to a more aggressive tumor phenotype and impair drug delivery into tumors. While the stiffening of the stroma surrounding solid tumors has been reported to increase vascular permeability, the mechanism of this process remains unclear. Here, we utilize an in vitro model of tumor stiffening, ex ovo culture, and a mouse model to investigate the molecular mechanism by which matrix stiffening alters endothelial barrier function. Our data indicate that the increased endothelial permeability caused by heightened matrix stiffness can be prevented by pharmaceutical inhibition of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) both in vitro and ex ovo. Matrix stiffness-mediated FAK activation determines Src localization to cell-cell junctions, which then induces increased vascular endothelial cadherin phosphorylation both in vitro and in vivo. Endothelial cells in stiff tumors have more activated Src and higher levels of phosphorylated vascular endothelial cadherin at adherens junctions compared to endothelial cells in more compliant tumors. Altogether, our data indicate that matrix stiffness regulates endothelial barrier integrity through FAK activity, providing one mechanism by which extracellular matrix stiffness regulates endothelial barrier function. Additionally, our work also provides further evidence that FAK is a promising potential target for cancer therapy because FAK plays a critical role in the regulation of endothelial barrier integrity.-Wang, W., Lollis, E. M., Bordeleau, F., Reinhart-King, C. A. Matrix stiffness regulates vascular integrity through focal adhesion kinase activity.
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).