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An increase in hepatic glucose production (HGP) is a key feature of type 2 diabetes. Excessive signaling through hepatic Gs-linked glucagon receptors critically contributes to pathologically elevated HGP. Here, we tested the hypothesis that this metabolic impairment can be counteracted by enhancing hepatic Gi signaling. Specifically, we used a chemogenetic approach to selectively activate Gi-type G proteins in mouse hepatocytes in vivo. Unexpectedly, activation of hepatic Gi signaling triggered a pronounced increase in HGP and severely impaired glucose homeostasis. Moreover, increased Gi signaling stimulated glucose release in human hepatocytes. A lack of functional Gi-type G proteins in hepatocytes reduced blood glucose levels and protected mice against the metabolic deficits caused by the consumption of a high-fat diet. Additionally, we delineated a signaling cascade that links hepatic Gi signaling to ROS production, JNK activation, and a subsequent increase in HGP. Taken together, our data support the concept that drugs able to block hepatic Gi-coupled GPCRs may prove beneficial as antidiabetic drugs.
The neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) regulates multiple behaviors across phylogeny, with disrupted DA signaling in humans associated with addiction, attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, and Parkinson's disease. The DA transporter (DAT) imposes spatial and temporal limits on DA action, and provides for presynaptic DA recycling to replenish neurotransmitter pools. Molecular mechanisms that regulate DAT expression, trafficking, and function, particularly , remain poorly understood, though recent studies have implicated rho-linked pathways in psychostimulant action. To identify genes that dictate the ability of DAT to sustain normal levels of DA clearance, we pursued a forward genetic screen in based on the phenotype swimming-induced paralysis (Swip), a paralytic behavior observed in hermaphrodite worms with loss-of-function mutations. Here, we report the identity of , which encodes a highly conserved ortholog of the human atypical MAP kinase ERK8. We present evidence that SWIP-13 acts presynaptically to insure adequate levels of surface DAT expression and DA clearance. Moreover, we provide and evidence supporting a conserved pathway involving SWIP-13/ERK8 activation of Rho GTPases that dictates DAT surface expression and function. Signaling by the neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) is tightly regulated by the DA transporter (DAT), insuring efficient DA clearance after release. Molecular networks that regulate DAT are poorly understood, particularly Using a forward genetic screen in the nematode , we implicate the atypical mitogen activated protein kinase, SWIP-13, in DAT regulation. Moreover, we provide and evidence that SWIP-13, as well as its human counterpart ERK8, regulate DAT surface availability via the activation of Rho proteins. Our findings implicate a novel pathway that regulates DA synaptic availability and that may contribute to risk for disorders linked to perturbed DA signaling. Targeting this pathway may be of value in the development of therapeutics in such disorders.
Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/379288-17$15.00/0.
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy and renal fibrosis; however, the causative role of sustained EGFR activation is unclear. Here, we generated a novel kidney fibrotic mouse model of persistent EGFR activation by selectively expressing the EGFR ligand, human heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor (hHB-EGF), in renal proximal tubule epithelium. hHB-EGF expression increased tyrosine kinase phosphorylation of EGFR and the subsequent activation of downstream signaling pathways, including ERK and AKT, as well as the profibrotic TGF-β1/SMAD pathway. Epithelial-specific activation of EGFR was sufficient to promote spontaneous and progressive renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis, as characterized by increased collagen deposition, immune cell infiltration, and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA)-positive myofibroblasts. Tubule-specific EGFR activation promoted epithelial dedifferentiation and cell-cycle arrest. Furthermore, EGFR activation in epithelial cells promoted the proliferation of α-SMA myofibroblasts in a paracrine manner. Genetic or pharmacologic inhibition of EGFR tyrosine kinase activity or downstream MEK activity attenuated the fibrotic phenotype. This study provides definitive evidence that sustained activation of EGFR in proximal epithelia is sufficient to cause spontaneous, progressive renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis, evident by epithelial dedifferentiation, increased myofibroblasts, immune cell infiltration, and increased matrix deposition.-Overstreet, J. M., Wang, Y., Wang, X., Niu, A., Gewin, L. S., Yao, B., Harris, R. C., Zhang, M.-Z. Selective activation of epidermal growth factor receptor in renal proximal tubule induces tubulointerstitial fibrosis.
Paneth cells (PCs), a secretory population located at the base of the intestinal crypt, support the intestinal stem cells (ISC) with growth factors and participate in innate immunity by releasing antimicrobial peptides, including lysozyme and defensins. PC dysfunction is associated with disorders such as Crohn's disease and necrotizing enterocolitis, but the specific pathways regulating PC development and function are not fully understood. Here we tested the role of the neuregulin receptor ErbB3 in control of PC differentiation and the ISC niche. Intestinal epithelial ErbB3 knockout caused precocious appearance of PCs as early as postnatal day 7, and substantially increased the number of mature PCs in adult mouse ileum. ErbB3 loss had no effect on other secretory lineages, but increased expression of the ISC marker Lgr5. ErbB3-null intestines had elevated levels of the Atoh1 transcription factor, which is required for secretory fate determination, while Atoh1 cells had reduced ErbB3, suggesting reciprocal negative regulation. ErbB3-null intestinal progenitor cells showed reduced activation of the PI3K-Akt and ERK MAPK pathways. Inhibiting these pathways in HT29 cells increased levels of ATOH1 and the PC marker LYZ. Conversely, ErbB3 activation suppressed LYZ and ATOH1 in a PI3K-dependent manner. Expansion of the PC compartment in ErbB3-null intestines was accompanied with elevated ER stress and inflammation markers, raising the possibility that negative regulation of PCs by ErbB3 is necessary to maintain homeostasis. Taken together, our data suggest that ErbB3 restricts PC numbers through PI3K-mediated suppression of Atoh1 levels leading to inhibition of PC differentiation, with important implications for regulation of the ISC niche.
Repeated challenge of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) alters the response to subsequent LPS exposures via modulation of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). Whether activation of other TLRs can modulate TLR4 responses, and vice versa, remains unclear. Specifically with regards to endothelial cells, a key component of innate immunity, the impact of TLR cross-modulation is unknown. We postulated that TLR2 priming (via Pam3Csk4) would inhibit TLR4-mediated responses while TLR3 priming (via Poly I:C) would enhance subsequent TLR4-inflammatory signaling. We studied human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and neonatal human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HMVECs). Cells were primed with a combination of Poly I:C (10 μg/ml), Pam3Csk4 (10 μg/ml), or LPS (100 ng/ml), then washed and allowed to rest. They were then rechallenged with either Poly I:C, Pam3Csk4 or LPS. Endothelial cells showed significant tolerance to repeated LPS challenge. Priming with Pam3Csk4 also reduced the response to secondary LPS challenge in both cell types, despite a reduced proinflammatory response to Pam3Csk4 in HMVECs compared to HUVECs. Poly I:C priming enhanced inflammatory and interferon producing signals upon Poly I:C or LPS rechallenge, respectively. Poly I:C priming induced interferon regulatory factor 7, leading to enhancement of interferon production. Finally, both Poly I:C and LPS priming induced significant changes in receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 1 activity. Pharmacological inhibition of receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 1 or interferon regulatory factor 7 reduced the potentiated phenotype of TLR3 priming on TLR4 rechallenge. These results demonstrate that in human endothelial cells, prior activation of TLRs can have a significant impact on subsequent exposures and may contribute to the severity of the host response.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Prior exposure to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) produces a reduced or "tolerant" inflammatory response to subsequent challenges with LPS, however the potent pro-inflammatory effects of LPS limit its clinical benefit. The adjuvant monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA) is a weak toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) agonist that induces negligible inflammation but retains potent immunomodulatory properties. We postulated that pre-treatment with MPLA would inhibit the inflammatory response of endothelial cells to secondary LPS challenge. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), were exposed to MPLA (10 μg/ml), LPS (100 ng/ml) or vehicle control. HUVECs were then washed and maintained in culture for 24 h before being challenged with LPS (100 ng/ml). Supernatants were collected and examined for cytokine production in the presence or absence of siRNA inhibitors of critical TLR4 signalling proteins. Pre-treatment with MPLA attenuated interleukin (IL)-6 production to secondary LPS challenge to a similar degree as LPS. The application of myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88) siRNA dramatically reduced MPLA-induced tolerance while TIR-domain-containing adapter-inducing interferon-β (TRIF) siRNA had no effect. The tolerant phenotype in endothelial cells was associated with reduced IκB kinase (IKK), p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) phosphorylation and enhanced IL-1 receptor associated kinase-M (IRAK-M) expression for LPS-primed HUVECs, but less so in MPLA primed cells. Instead, MPLA-primed HUVECs demonstrated enhanced p-extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation. In contrast with leucocytes in which tolerance is largely TRIF-dependent, MyD88 signalling mediated endotoxin tolerance in endothelial cells. Most importantly, MPLA, a vaccine adjuvant with a wide therapeutic window, induced tolerance to LPS in endothelial cells.
© 2016 Authors; published by Portland Press Limited.
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.
Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death. Early diagnosis and prevention remain the best approach to reduce the overall morbidity and mortality. Experimental and clinical evidence have shown that cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) derived prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) contributes to lung tumorigenesis. COX-2 inhibitors suppress the development and progression of lung cancer. However, increased cardiovascular risks of COX-2 inhibitors limit their use in chemoprevention of lung cancers. Glucocorticoids are endogenous and potent COX-2 inhibitors, and their local actions are down-regulated by 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type II (11ßHSD2)-mediated metabolism. We found that 11βHSD2 expression was increased in human lung cancers and experimental lung tumors. Inhibition of 11βHSD2 activity enhanced glucocorticoid-mediated COX-2 inhibition in human lung carcinoma cells. Furthermore, 11βHSD2 inhibition suppressed lung tumor growth and invasion in association with increased tissue active glucocorticoid levels, decreased COX-2 expression, inhibition of ERK and mTOR signaling pathways, increased tumor endoplasmic reticulum stress as well as increased lifespan. Therefore, 11βHSD2 inhibition represents a novel approach for lung cancer chemoprevention and therapy by increasing tumor glucocorticoid activity, which in turn selectively blocks local COX-2 activity and/or inhibits the ERK and mTOR signaling pathways.
Mutations in PIK3CA, the gene encoding the p110α catalytic subunit of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) have been shown to transform human mammary epithelial cells (MECs). These mutations are present in all breast cancer subtypes, including basal-like breast cancer (BLBC). Using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), we identified 72 protein expression changes in human basal-like MECs with knock-in E545K or H1047R PIK3CA mutations versus isogenic MECs with wild-type PIK3CA. Several of these were secreted proteins, cell surface receptors or ECM interacting molecules and were required for growth of PIK3CA mutant cells as well as adjacent cells with wild-type PIK3CA. The proteins identified by MS were enriched among human BLBC cell lines and pointed to a PI3K-dependent amphiregulin/EGFR/ERK signaling axis that is activated in BLBC. Proteins induced by PIK3CA mutations correlated with EGFR signaling and reduced relapse-free survival in BLBC. Treatment with EGFR inhibitors reduced growth of PIK3CA mutant BLBC cell lines and murine mammary tumors driven by a PIK3CA mutant transgene, all together suggesting that PIK3CA mutations promote tumor growth in part by inducing protein changes that activate EGFR.
© 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
PURPOSE - Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced retinal vascular permeability contributes to diabetic macular edema (DME), a serious vision-threatening condition. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor β/δ (PPARβ/δ) antagonist/reverse agonist, GSK0660, inhibits VEGF-induced human retinal microvascular endothelial cell (HRMEC) proliferation, tubulogenesis, and oxygen-induced retinal vasculopathy in newborn rats. These VEGF-induced HRMEC behaviors and VEGF-induced disruption of endothelial cell junctional complexes may well share molecular signaling events. Thus, we sought to examine the role of PPARβ/δ in VEGF-induced retinal hyperpermeability.
METHODS - Transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) measurements were performed on HRMEC monolayers to assess permeability. Claudin-1/Claudin-5 localization in HRMEC monolayers was determined by immunocytochemistry. Extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 (Erk 1/2) phosphorylation, VEGF receptor 1 (VEGFR1) and R2 were assayed by Western blot analysis. Expression of VEGFR1 and R2 was measured by quantitative RT-PCR. Last, retinal vascular permeability was assayed in vivo by Evans blue extravasation.
RESULTS - Human retinal microvascular endothelial cell monolayers treated with VEGF for 24 hours showed decreased TEER values that were completely reversed by the highest concentration of GSK0660 (10 μM) and PPARβ/δ-directed siRNA (20 μM). In HRMEC treated with VEGF, GSK0660 stabilized tight-junctions as evidenced by Claudin-1 staining, reduced phosphorylation of Erk1/2, and reduced VEGFR1/2 expression. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor β/δ siRNA had a similar effect on VEGFR expression and Claudin-1, supporting the specificity of GSK0660 in our experiments. Last, GSK0660 significantly inhibited VEGF-induced retinal vascular permeability and reduced retinal VEGFR1and R2 levels in C57BL/6 mice.
CONCLUSIONS - These data suggest a protective effect for PPARβ/δ antagonism against VEGF-induced vascular permeability, possibly through reduced VEGFR expression. Therefore, antagonism/reverse agonism of PPARβ/δ siRNA may represent a novel therapeutic methodology against retinal hyperpermeability and is worthy of future investigation.
Copyright 2014 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc.