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Porphyromonas gingivalis is a keystone bacterium in the oral microbial communities that elicits a dysbiosis between the microbiota and the host. Therefore, inhibition of this organism in dental plaques has been one of the strategies for preventing and treating chronic periodontitis. We previously identified a Streptococcal ArcA derived Anti-P gingivalils Peptide (SAPP) that in vitro, is capable of repressing the expression of several virulence genes in the organism. This leads to a significant reduction in P gingivalis virulence potential, including its ability to colonize on the surface of Streptococcus gordonii, to invade human oral epithelial cells, and to produce gingipains. In this study, we showed that SAPP had minimal cytotoxicity to human oral keratinocytes and gingival fibroblasts. We observed that SAPP directly bound to the cell surface of P gingivalis, and that alterations in the sequence at the N-terminus of SAPP diminished its abilities to interact with P gingivalis cells and repressed the expression of virulence genes. Most strikingly, we demonstrated using an ex-vivo assay that besides its inhibitory activity against P gingivalis colonization, SAPP could also reduce the levels of several other oral Gram-negative bacteria strongly associated with periodontitis in multispecies biofilms. Our results provide a platform for the development of SAPP-targeted therapeutics against chronic periodontitis.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Alveolar type II (AT2) epithelial cells are uniquely specialized to produce surfactant in the lung and act as progenitor cells in the process of repair after lung injury. AT2 cell injury has been implicated in several lung diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. The inability to maintain primary AT2 cells in culture has been a significant barrier in the investigation of pulmonary biology. We have addressed this knowledge gap by developing a three-dimensional (3D) organotypic coculture using primary human fetal AT2 cells and pulmonary fibroblasts. Grown on top of matrix-embedded fibroblasts, the primary human AT2 cells establish a monolayer and have direct contact with the underlying pulmonary fibroblasts. Unlike conventional two-dimensional (2D) culture, the structural and functional phenotype of the AT2 cells in our 3D organotypic culture was preserved over 7 days of culture, as evidenced by the presence of lamellar bodies and by production of surfactant proteins B and C. Importantly, the AT2 cells in 3D cocultures maintained the ability to replicate, with approximately 60% of AT2 cells staining positive for the proliferation marker Ki67, whereas no such proliferation is evident in 2D cultures of the same primary AT2 cells. This organotypic culture system enables interrogation of AT2 epithelial biology by providing a reductionist in vitro model in which to investigate the response of AT2 epithelial cells and AT2 cell-fibroblast interactions during lung injury and repair.
Inactivation of the retinoblastoma gene () product, pRB, is common in many human cancers. Targeting downstream effectors of pRB that are central to tumorigenesis is a promising strategy to block the growth of tumors harboring loss-of-function mutations. One such effector is retinoblastoma-binding protein 2 (RBP2, also called JARID1A or KDM5A), which encodes an H3K4 demethylase. Binding of pRB to RBP2 has been linked to the ability of pRB to promote senescence and differentiation. Importantly, genetic ablation of RBP2 is sufficient to phenocopy pRB's ability to induce these cellular changes in cell culture experiments. Moreover, germline deletion significantly impedes tumorigenesis in mice. The value of RBP2 as a therapeutic target in cancer, however, hinges on whether loss of RBP2 could block the growth of established tumors as opposed to simply delaying their onset. Here we show that conditional, systemic ablation of RBP2 in tumor-bearing mice is sufficient to slow tumor growth and significantly extend survival without causing obvious toxicity to the host. These findings show that established -null tumors require RBP2 for growth and further credential RBP2 as a therapeutic target in human cancers driven by inactivation.
Tubulointerstitial fibrosis (TIF) is the hallmark of chronic kidney disease and best predictor of renal survival. Many different cell types contribute to TIF progression including tubular epithelial cells, myofibroblasts, endothelia, and inflammatory cells. Previously, most of the attention has centered on myofibroblasts given their central importance in extracellular matrix production. However, emerging data focuses on how the response of the proximal tubule, a specialized epithelial segment vulnerable to injury, plays a central role in TIF progression. Several proximal tubular responses such as de-differentiation, cell cycle changes, autophagy, and metabolic changes may be adaptive initially, but can lead to maladaptive responses that promote TIF both through autocrine and paracrine effects. This review discusses the current paradigm of TIF progression and the increasingly important role of the proximal tubule in promoting TIF both in tubulointerstitial and glomerular injuries. A better understanding and appreciation of the role of the proximal tubule in TIF has important implications for therapeutic strategies to halt chronic kidney disease progression.
Copyright © 2018 International Society of Matrix Biology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive, irreversible, and typically fatal lung disease characterised by subpleural fibrosis, subepithelial fibroblast foci, and microscopic honeycombing. Although understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms continues to evolve, evidence indicates that distal airway and alveolar epithelial cells are central drivers of the disease. In this Viewpoint, we review the history of naming and classifications used to define the disease now referred to as IPF, in the context of understanding the clinical presentation, causes, and pathogenesis of the disease. We aim to generate discussion on whether, given the substantial progress made in understanding the clinical, genetic, cellular, and molecular mechanisms involved in the development of IPF, a change of name should be considered. To initiate this discussion, we offer new suggestions to update the name of this disease and new approaches to classify all forms of pulmonary fibrosis.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Direct reprogramming of fibroblasts into cardiomyocytes is a promising approach for cardiac regeneration but still faces challenges in efficiently generating mature cardiomyocytes. Systematic optimization of reprogramming protocols requires scalable, objective methods to assess cellular phenotype beyond what is captured by transcriptional signatures alone. To address this question, we automatically segmented reprogrammed cardiomyocytes from immunofluorescence images and analyzed cell morphology. We also introduce a method to quantify sarcomere structure using Haralick texture features, called SarcOmere Texture Analysis (SOTA). We show that induced cardiac-like myocytes (iCLMs) are highly variable in expression of cardiomyocyte markers, producing subtypes that are not typically seen in vivo. Compared to neonatal mouse cardiomyocytes, iCLMs have more variable cell size and shape, have less organized sarcomere structure, and demonstrate reduced sarcomere length. Taken together, these results indicate that traditional methods of assessing cardiomyocyte reprogramming by quantifying induction of cardiomyocyte marker proteins may not be sufficient to predict functionality. The automated image analysis methods described in this study may enable more systematic approaches for improving reprogramming techniques above and beyond existing algorithms that rely heavily on transcriptome profiling.
Tissues stiffen during aging and during the pathological progression of cancer, fibrosis, and cardiovascular disease. Extracellular matrix stiffness is emerging as a prominent mechanical cue that precedes disease and drives its progression by altering cellular behaviors. Targeting extracellular matrix mechanics, by preventing or reversing tissue stiffening or interrupting the cellular response, is a therapeutic approach with clinical potential. Major drivers of changes to the mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix include phenotypically converted myofibroblasts, transforming growth factor β (TGFβ), and matrix cross-linking. Potential pharmacological interventions to overcome extracellular matrix stiffening are emerging clinically. Aside from targeting stiffening directly, alternative approaches to mitigate the effects of increased matrix stiffness aim to identify and inhibit the downstream cellular response to matrix stiffness. Therapeutic interventions that target tissue stiffening are discussed in the context of their limitations, preclinical drug development efforts, and clinical trials.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.
Eukaryotic cells contain an elegant protein quality control system that is crucial in maintaining cellular homeostasis; however, dysfunction of this system results in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR). Severe or prolonged ER stress is associated with the development of degenerative and fibrotic disorders in multiple organs, as evidenced by the identification of disease-causing mutations in epithelial-restricted genes that lead to protein misfolding or mistrafficking in familial fibrotic diseases. Emerging evidence implicates ER stress and UPR signaling in a variety of profibrotic mechanisms in individual cell types. In epithelial cells, ER stress can induce apoptosis, inflammatory signaling, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. In other cell types, ER stress is linked to myofibroblast activation, macrophage polarization, and T cell differentiation. ER stress-targeted therapies have begun to emerge using approaches that range from global enhancement of chaperone function to selective targeting of activated ER stress sensors and other downstream mediators. As the complex regulatory mechanisms of this system are further clarified, there are opportunities to develop new disease-modifying therapeutic strategies in a wide range of chronic fibrotic diseases.
Arrestins recruit a variety of signaling proteins to active phosphorylated G protein-coupled receptors in the plasma membrane and to the cytoskeleton. Loss of arrestins leads to decreased cell migration, altered cell shape, and an increase in focal adhesions. Small GTPases of the Rho family are molecular switches that regulate actin cytoskeleton and affect a variety of dynamic cellular functions including cell migration and cell morphology. Here we show that non-visual arrestins differentially regulate RhoA and Rac1 activity to promote cell spreading via actin reorganization, and focal adhesion formation via two distinct mechanisms. Arrestins regulate these small GTPases independently of G-protein-coupled receptor activation.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are major components of the carcinoma microenvironment that promote tumor progression. However, the mechanisms by which CAFs regulate cancer cell migration are poorly understood. In this study, we show that fibronectin (Fn) assembled by CAFs mediates CAF-cancer cell association and directional migration. Compared with normal fibroblasts, CAFs produce an Fn-rich extracellular matrix with anisotropic fiber orientation, which guides the cancer cells to migrate directionally. CAFs align the Fn matrix by increasing nonmuscle myosin II- and platelet-derived growth factor receptor α-mediated contractility and traction forces, which are transduced to Fn through α5β1 integrin. We further show that prostate cancer cells use αv integrin to migrate efficiently and directionally on CAF-derived matrices. We demonstrate that aligned Fn is a prominent feature of invasion sites in human prostatic and pancreatic carcinoma samples. Collectively, we present a new mechanism by which CAFs organize the Fn matrix and promote directional cancer cell migration.
© 2017 Erdogan et al.