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Purpose - To identify the causes of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP) in a cohort of families without mutations in known adRP genes and consequently to characterize a novel dominant-acting missense mutation in SAG.
Methods - Patients underwent ophthalmologic testing and were screened for mutations using targeted-capture and whole-exome next-generation sequencing. Confirmation and additional screening were done by Sanger sequencing. Haplotypes segregating with the mutation were determined using short tandem repeat and single nucleotide variant polymorphisms. Genealogies were established by interviews of family members.
Results - Eight families in a cohort of 300 adRP families, and four additional families, were found to have a novel heterozygous mutation in the SAG gene, c.440G>T; p.Cys147Phe. Patients exhibited symptoms of retinitis pigmentosa and none showed symptoms characteristic of Oguchi disease. All families are of Hispanic descent and most were ascertained in Texas or California. A single haplotype including the SAG mutation was identified in all families. The mutation dramatically alters a conserved amino acid, is extremely rare in global databases, and was not found in 4000+ exomes from Hispanic controls. Molecular modeling based on the crystal structure of bovine arrestin-1 predicts protein misfolding/instability.
Conclusions - This is the first dominant-acting mutation identified in SAG, a founder mutation possibly originating in Mexico several centuries ago. The phenotype is clearly adRP and is distinct from the previously reported phenotypes of recessive null mutations, that is, Oguchi disease and recessive RP. The mutation accounts for 3% of the 300 families in the adRP Cohort and 36% of Hispanic families in this cohort.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have reproducibly associated variants within introns of FTO with increased risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Although the molecular mechanisms linking these noncoding variants with obesity are not immediately obvious, subsequent studies in mice demonstrated that FTO expression levels influence body mass and composition phenotypes. However, no direct connection between the obesity-associated variants and FTO expression or function has been made. Here we show that the obesity-associated noncoding sequences within FTO are functionally connected, at megabase distances, with the homeobox gene IRX3. The obesity-associated FTO region directly interacts with the promoters of IRX3 as well as FTO in the human, mouse and zebrafish genomes. Furthermore, long-range enhancers within this region recapitulate aspects of IRX3 expression, suggesting that the obesity-associated interval belongs to the regulatory landscape of IRX3. Consistent with this, obesity-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms are associated with expression of IRX3, but not FTO, in human brains. A direct link between IRX3 expression and regulation of body mass and composition is demonstrated by a reduction in body weight of 25 to 30% in Irx3-deficient mice, primarily through the loss of fat mass and increase in basal metabolic rate with browning of white adipose tissue. Finally, hypothalamic expression of a dominant-negative form of Irx3 reproduces the metabolic phenotypes of Irx3-deficient mice. Our data suggest that IRX3 is a functional long-range target of obesity-associated variants within FTO and represents a novel determinant of body mass and composition.
Ion channels of the DEG/ENaC family can induce neurodegeneration under conditions in which they become hyperactivated. The Caenorhabditis elegans DEG/ENaC channel MEC-4(d) encodes a mutant channel with a substitution in the pore domain that causes swelling and death of the six touch neurons in which it is expressed. Dominant mutations in the C. elegans DEG/ENaC channel subunit UNC-8 result in uncoordinated movement. Here we show that this unc-8 movement defect is correlated with the selective death of cholinergic motor neurons in the ventral nerve cord. Experiments in Xenopus laevis ooctyes confirm that these mutant proteins, UNC-8(G387E) and UNC-8(A586T), encode hyperactivated channels that are strongly inhibited by extracellular calcium and magnesium. Reduction of extracellular divalent cations exacerbates UNC-8(G387E) toxicity in oocytes. We suggest that inhibition by extracellular divalent cations limits UNC-8 toxicity and may contribute to the selective death of neurons that express UNC-8 in vivo.
Hypertension affects one billion people and is a principal reversible risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Pseudohypoaldosteronism type II (PHAII), a rare Mendelian syndrome featuring hypertension, hyperkalaemia and metabolic acidosis, has revealed previously unrecognized physiology orchestrating the balance between renal salt reabsorption and K(+) and H(+) excretion. Here we used exome sequencing to identify mutations in kelch-like 3 (KLHL3) or cullin 3 (CUL3) in PHAII patients from 41 unrelated families. KLHL3 mutations are either recessive or dominant, whereas CUL3 mutations are dominant and predominantly de novo. CUL3 and BTB-domain-containing kelch proteins such as KLHL3 are components of cullin-RING E3 ligase complexes that ubiquitinate substrates bound to kelch propeller domains. Dominant KLHL3 mutations are clustered in short segments within the kelch propeller and BTB domains implicated in substrate and cullin binding, respectively. Diverse CUL3 mutations all result in skipping of exon 9, producing an in-frame deletion. Because dominant KLHL3 and CUL3 mutations both phenocopy recessive loss-of-function KLHL3 mutations, they may abrogate ubiquitination of KLHL3 substrates. Disease features are reversed by thiazide diuretics, which inhibit the Na-Cl cotransporter in the distal nephron of the kidney; KLHL3 and CUL3 are expressed in this location, suggesting a mechanistic link between KLHL3 and CUL3 mutations, increased Na-Cl reabsorption, and disease pathogenesis. These findings demonstrate the utility of exome sequencing in disease gene identification despite the combined complexities of locus heterogeneity, mixed models of transmission and frequent de novo mutation, and establish a fundamental role for KLHL3 and CUL3 in blood pressure, K(+) and pH homeostasis.
Aberrant activation of the Wnt signaling pathway is causally involved in the formation of most colorectal cancers (CRCs). Although detailed knowledge exists regarding Wnt-regulated protein-coding genes, much less is known about the possible involvement of non-coding RNAs. Here we used TaqMan Array MicroRNA Cards, capable of detecting 664 unique human microRNAs (miRNAs), to describe changes of the miRNA transcriptome following disruption of beta-catenin/TCF4 activity in DLD1 CRC cells. Most miRNAs appeared to respond independent of host gene regulation and proximal TCF4 chromatin occupancy as inferred from expression microarray and ChIP-chip data. A module of miRNAs induced by abrogated Wnt signaling in vitro was downregulated in two independent series of human primary CRCs (n=76) relative to normal adjacent mucosa (n=34). Several of these miRNAs (miR-145, miR-126, miR-30e-3p and miR-139-5p) markedly inhibited CRC cell growth in vitro when ectopically expressed. By using an integrative approach of proteomics and expression microarrays, we found numerous mRNAs and proteins to be affected by ectopic miR-30e-3p levels. This included HELZ and PIK3C2A that were directly repressed by several miRNA binding sites as confirmed by luciferase reporter assays in combination with mutational analyses. Finally, small interfering RNA-mediated downregulation of PIK3C2A, but not HELZ, was sufficient on its own to restrict CRC cell growth. Collectively, our study demonstrates that multiple miRNAs are upregulated as a consequence of forced attenuation of Wnt signaling in CRC cells, and some of these miRNAs inhibit cell growth with concomitant suppression of several growth-stimulatory cancer-related genes.
PURPOSE - Dominant-negative growth hormone gene (GH1) mutations cause familial isolated growth hormone deficiency type II (IGHD II), which is characterized by GH deficiency, occasional multiple anterior pituitary hormone deficiencies, and anterior pituitary hypoplasia. We have previously shown that 17.5-/22-kDa GH1 transcript ratios correlate with the severity of the IGHD II phenotype. We hypothesized that different pharmaceutical agents could affect the GH1 transcript ratio by modulating alternative splicing.
METHODS - We exposed peripheral blood mononuclear cells from IGHD II patients and unaffected family members to different pharmacologic agents and then determined the 17.5-/22-kDa transcript ratios by real-time PCR.
RESULTS - Dexamethasone and digoxin significantly increased the 17.5-/22-kDa transcript ratio, while sodium butyrate and 5-iodotubericidin significantly decreased the ratio.
CONCLUSION - Since we have previously shown that the ratio of the 17.5-/22-kDa GH1 transcripts correlates with severity of the IGHD II phenotype, our findings here suggest that selected previously unconsidered agents could possibly reduce the severity of IGHD II, while other agents could possibly exacerbate the disease phenotype.
© 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Slit proteins induce cytoskeletal remodeling through interaction with roundabout (Robo) receptors, regulating migration of neurons and nonneuronal cells, including leukocytes, tumor cells, and endothelium. The role of Slit2 in vascular remodeling, however, remains controversial, with reports of both pro- and antiangiogenic activity. We report here that cooperation between Slit2 and ephrin-A1 regulates a balance between the pro- and antiangiogenic functions of Slit2. While Slit2 promotes angiogenesis in culture and in vivo as a single agent, Slit2 potently inhibits angiogenic remodeling in the presence of ephrin-A1. Slit2 stimulates angiogenesis through mTORC2-dependent activation of Akt and Rac GTPase, the activities of which are inhibited in the presence of ephrin-A1. Activated Rac or Akt partially rescues vascular assembly and motility in costimulated endothelium. Taken together, these data suggest that Slit2 differentially regulates angiogenesis in the context of ephrin-A1, providing a plausible mechanism for the pro- versus antiangiogenic functions of Slit2. Our results suggest that the complex roles of Slit-Robo signaling in angiogenesis involve context-dependent mechanisms.
Valvular heart disease due to congenital abnormalities or pathology is a major cause of mortality and morbidity. Understanding the cellular processes and molecules that regulate valve formation and remodeling is required to develop effective therapies. In the developing heart, epithelial-mesenchymal transformation (EMT) in a subpopulation of endocardial cells in the atrioventricular cushion (AVC) is an important step in valve formation. Transforming growth factor-beta (TGFbeta) has been shown to be an important regulator of AVC endocardial cell EMT in vitro and mesenchymal cell differentiation in vivo. Recently Par6c (Par6) has been shown to function downstream of TGFbeta to recruit Smurf1, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, which targets RhoA for degradation to control apical-basal polarity and tight junction dissolution. We tested the hypothesis that Par6 functions in a pathway that regulates endocardial cell EMT. Here we show that the Type I TGFbeta receptor ALK5 is required for endocardial cell EMT. Overexpression of dominant negative Par6 inhibits EMT in AVC endocardial cells, whereas overexpression of wild-type Par6 in normally non-transforming ventricular endocardial cells results in EMT. Overexpression of Smurf1 in ventricular endocardial cells induces EMT. Decreasing RhoA activity using dominant negative RhoA or small interfering RNA in ventricular endocardial cells also increases EMT, whereas overexpression of constitutively active RhoA in AVC endothelial cells blocks EMT. Manipulation of Rac1 or Cdc42 activity is without effect. These data demonstrate a functional role for Par6/Smurf1/RhoA in regulating EMT in endocardial cells.
The host cell protein cyclophilin A (CypA) binds to CA of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and promotes HIV-1 infection of target cells. Disruption of the CypA-CA interaction, either by mutation of the CA residue at G89 or P90 or with the immunosuppressive drug cyclosporine (CsA), reduces HIV-1 infection. Two CA mutants, A92E and G94D, previously were identified by selection for growth of wild-type HIV-1 in cultures of CD4(+) HeLa cell cultures containing CsA. Interestingly, infection of some cell lines by these mutants is enhanced in the presence of CsA, while in other cell lines these mutants are minimally affected by the drug. Little is known about this cell-dependent phenotype of the A92E and G94D mutants, except that it is not dependent on expression of the host factor TRIM5alpha. Here, we show that infection by the A92E and G94D mutants is restricted at an early post-entry stage of the HIV-1 life cycle. Analysis of heterokaryons between CsA-dependent HeLa-P4 cells and CsA-independent 293T cells indicated that the CsA-dependent infection by A92E and G94D mutants is due to a dominant cellular restriction. We also show that addition of CsA to target cells inhibits infection by wild-type HIV-1 prior to reverse transcription. Collectively, these results support the existence of a cell-specific human cellular factor capable of restricting HIV-1 at an early post-entry step by a CypA-dependent mechanism.
Transcytosis through the apical recycling system of polarized cells is regulated by Rab11a and a series of Rab11a-interacting proteins. We have identified a point mutant in Rab11 family interacting protein 2 (Rab11-FIP2) that alters the function of Rab11a-containing trafficking systems. Rab11-FIP2(S229A/R413G) or Rab11-FIP2(R413G) cause the formation of a tubular cisternal structure containing Rab11a and decrease the rate of polymeric IgA transcytosis. The R413G mutation does not alter Rab11-FIP interactions with any known binding partners. Overexpression of Rab11-FIP2(S229A/R413G) alters the localization of a subpopulation of the apical membrane protein GP135. In contrast, Rab11-FIP2(129-512) alters the localization of early endosome protein EEA1. The distributions of both Rab11-FIP2(S229A/R413G) and Rab11-FIP2(129-512) were not dependent on the integrity of the microtubule cytoskeleton. The results indicate that Rab11-FIP2 regulates trafficking at multiple points within the apical recycling system of polarized cells.