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BACKGROUND - The discoidin domain receptor 1 (DDR1) is activated by collagens, upregulated in injured and fibrotic kidneys, and contributes to fibrosis by regulating extracellular matrix production, but how DDR1 controls fibrosis is poorly understood. DDR1 is a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK). RTKs can translocate to the nucleus a nuclear localization sequence (NLS) present on the receptor itself or a ligand it is bound to. In the nucleus, RTKs regulate gene expression by binding chromatin directly or by interacting with transcription factors.
METHODS - To determine whether DDR1 translocates to the nucleus and whether this event is mediated by collagen-induced DDR1 activation, we generated renal cells expressing wild-type or mutant forms of DDR1 no longer able to bind collagen. Then, we determined the location of the DDR1 upon collagen stimulation. Using both biochemical assays and immunofluorescence, we analyzed the steps involved in DDR1 nuclear translocation.
RESULTS - We show that although DDR1 and its natural ligand, collagen, lack an NLS, DDR1 is present in the nucleus of injured human and mouse kidney proximal tubules. We show that DDR1 nuclear translocation requires collagen-mediated receptor activation and interaction of DDR1 with SEC61B, a component of the Sec61 translocon, and nonmuscle myosin IIA and -actin. Once in the nucleus, DDR1 binds to chromatin to increase the transcription of collagen IV, a major collagen upregulated in fibrosis.
CONCLUSIONS - These findings reveal a novel mechanism whereby activated DDR1 translates to the nucleus to regulate synthesis of profibrotic molecules.
Copyright © 2019 by the American Society of Nephrology.
Tobacco smoking is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and hypertension. It is associated with the oxidative stress and induces metabolic reprogramming, altering mitochondrial function. We hypothesized that cigarette smoke induces cardiovascular mitochondrial oxidative stress, which contributes to endothelial dysfunction and hypertension. To test this hypothesis, we studied whether the scavenging of mitochondrial HO in transgenic mice expressing mitochondria-targeted catalase (mCAT) attenuates the development of cigarette smoke/angiotensin II-induced mitochondrial oxidative stress and hypertension compared with wild-type mice. Two weeks of exposure of wild-type mice with cigarette smoke increased systolic blood pressure by 17 mmHg, which was similar to the effect of a subpresssor dose of angiotensin II (0.2 mg·kg·day), leading to a moderate increase to the prehypertensive level. Cigarette smoke exposure and a low dose of angiotensin II cooperatively induced severe hypertension in wild-type mice, but the scavenging of mitochondrial HO in mCAT mice completely prevented the development of hypertension. Cigarette smoke and angiotensin II cooperatively induced oxidation of cardiolipin (a specific biomarker of mitochondrial oxidative stress) in wild-type mice, which was abolished in mCAT mice. Cigarette smoke and angiotensin II impaired endothelium-dependent relaxation and induced superoxide overproduction, which was diminished in mCAT mice. To mimic the tobacco smoke exposure, we used cigarette smoke condensate, which induced mitochondrial superoxide overproduction and reduced endothelial nitric oxide (a hallmark of endothelial dysfunction in hypertension). Western blot experiments indicated that tobacco smoke and angiotensin II reduce the mitochondrial deacetylase sirtuin-3 level and cause hyperacetylation of a key mitochondrial antioxidant, SOD2, which promotes mitochondrial oxidative stress. NEW & NOTEWORTHY This work demonstrates tobacco smoking-induced mitochondrial oxidative stress, which contributes to endothelial dysfunction and development of hypertension. We suggest that the targeting of mitochondrial oxidative stress can be beneficial for treatment of pathological conditions associated with tobacco smoking, such as endothelial dysfunction, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases.
The transient receptor potential ion channels support Ca permeation in many organs, including the heart, brain, and kidney. Genetic mutations in transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily C member 3 (TRPC3) are associated with neurodegenerative diseases, memory loss, and hypertension. To better understand the conformational changes that regulate TRPC3 function, we solved the cryo-EM structures for the full-length human TRPC3 and its cytoplasmic domain (CPD) in the apo state at 5.8- and 4.0-Å resolution, respectively. These structures revealed that the TRPC3 transmembrane domain resembles those of other TRP channels and that the CPD is a stable module involved in channel assembly and gating. We observed the presence of a C-terminal domain swap at the center of the CPD where horizontal helices (HHs) transition into a coiled-coil bundle. Comparison of TRPC3 structures revealed that the HHs can reside in two distinct positions. Electrophysiological analyses disclosed that shortening the length of the C-terminal loop connecting the HH with the TRP helices increases TRPC3 activity and that elongating the length of the loop has the opposite effect. Our findings indicate that the C-terminal loop affects channel gating by altering the allosteric coupling between the cytoplasmic and transmembrane domains. We propose that molecules that target the HH may represent a promising strategy for controlling TRPC3-associated neurological disorders and hypertension.
© 2018 Sierra-Valdez et al.
Cancer metastasis is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Despite its morbidity, metastasis is an inefficient process that few cells can survive. However, cancer cells can overcome these metastatic barriers via cellular responses to microenvironmental cues, such as through mechanotransduction. This review focuses on the mechanosensitive ion channels TRPV4 and P2X7, and their roles in metastasis, as both channels have been shown to significantly affect tumor cell dissemination. Upon activation, these channels help form tumor neovasculature, promote transendothelial migration, and increase cell motility. Conversely, they have also been linked to forms of cancer cell death dependent upon levels of activation, implying the complex functionality of mechanosensitive ion channels. Understanding the roles of TRPV4, P2X7 and other mechanosensitive ion channels in these processes may reveal new possible drug targets that modify channel function to reduce a tumor's metastatic potential.
The SMOOTHENED inhibitor vismodegib is FDA approved for advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC), and shows promise in clinical trials for SONIC HEDGEHOG (SHH)-subgroup medulloblastoma (MB) patients. Clinical experience with BCC patients shows that continuous exposure to vismodegib is necessary to prevent tumor recurrence, suggesting the existence of a vismodegib-resistant reservoir of tumor-propagating cells. We isolated such tumor-propagating cells from a mouse model of SHH-subgroup MB and grew them as sphere cultures. These cultures were enriched for the MB progenitor marker SOX2 and formed tumors in vivo. Moreover, while their ability to self-renew was resistant to SHH inhibitors, as has been previously suggested, this self-renewal was instead WNT-dependent. We show here that loss of Trp53 activates canonical WNT signaling in these SOX2-enriched cultures. Importantly, a small molecule WNT inhibitor was able to reduce the propagation and growth of SHH-subgroup MB in vivo, in an on-target manner, leading to increased survival. Our results imply that the tumor-propagating cells driving the growth of bulk SHH-dependent MB are themselves WNT dependent. Further, our data suggest combination therapy with WNT and SHH inhibitors as a therapeutic strategy in patients with SHH-subgroup MB, in order to decrease the tumor recurrence commonly observed in patients treated with vismodegib.
Calcium signaling in phagocytes is essential for cellular activation, migration, and the potential resolution of infection or inflammation. The generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) via activation of NADPH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate)-oxidase activity in macrophages has been linked to altered intracellular calcium concentrations. Because of its role as an oxidative stress sensor in phagocytes, we investigated the function of the cation channel transient receptor potential melastatin 2 (TRPM2) in macrophages during oxidative stress responses induced by Helicobacter pylori infection. We show that Trpm2/ mice, when chronically infected with H. pylori, exhibit increased gastric inflammation and decreased bacterial colonization compared with wild-type (WT) mice. The absence of TRPM2 triggers greater macrophage production of inflammatory mediators and promotes classically activated macrophage M1 polarization in response to H. pylori. TRPM2-deficient macrophages upon H. pylori stimulation are unable to control intracellular calcium levels, which results in calcium overloading. Furthermore, increased intracellular calcium in TRPM2/ macrophages enhanced mitogen-activated protein kinase and NADPH-oxidase activities, compared with WT macrophages. Our data suggest that augmented production of ROS and inflammatory cytokines with TRPM2 deletion regulates oxidative stress in macrophages and consequently decreases H. pylori gastric colonization while increasing inflammation in the gastric mucosa.
Genetic programming and neural activity drive synaptic remodeling in developing neural circuits, but the molecular components that link these pathways are poorly understood. Here we show that the C. elegans Degenerin/Epithelial Sodium Channel (DEG/ENaC) protein, UNC-8, is transcriptionally controlled to function as a trigger in an activity-dependent mechanism that removes synapses in remodeling GABAergic neurons. UNC-8 cation channel activity promotes disassembly of presynaptic domains in DD type GABA neurons, but not in VD class GABA neurons where unc-8 expression is blocked by the COUP/TF transcription factor, UNC-55. We propose that the depolarizing effect of UNC-8-dependent sodium import elevates intracellular calcium in a positive feedback loop involving the voltage-gated calcium channel UNC-2 and the calcium-activated phosphatase TAX-6/calcineurin to initiate a caspase-dependent mechanism that disassembles the presynaptic apparatus. Thus, UNC-8 serves as a link between genetic and activity-dependent pathways that function together to promote the elimination of GABA synapses in remodeling neurons.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a prevalent psychiatric condition with limited therapeutic options beyond monoaminergic therapies. Although effective in some individuals, many patients fail to respond adequately to existing treatments, and new pharmacologic targets are needed. Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels regulate excitability in neurons, and blocking HCN channel function has been proposed as a novel antidepressant strategy. However, systemic blockade of HCN channels produces cardiac effects that limit this approach. Knockout (KO) of the brain-specific HCN-channel auxiliary subunit tetratricopeptide repeat-containing Rab8b-interacting protein (TRIP8b) also produces antidepressant-like behavioral effects and suggests that inhibiting TRIP8b function could produce antidepressant-like effects without affecting the heart. We examined the structural basis of TRIP8b-mediated HCN-channel trafficking and its relationship with antidepressant-like behavior using a viral rescue approach in TRIP8b KO mice. We found that restoring TRIP8b to the hippocampus was sufficient to reverse the impaired HCN-channel trafficking and antidepressant-like behavioral effects caused by TRIP8b KO. Moreover, we found that hippocampal expression of a mutated version of TRIP8b further impaired HCN-channel trafficking and increased the antidepressant-like behavioral phenotype of TRIP8b KO mice. Thus, modulating the TRIP8b-HCN interaction bidirectionally influences channel trafficking and antidepressant-like behavior. Overall, our work suggests that small-molecule inhibitors of the interaction between TRIP8b and HCN should produce antidepressant-like behaviors and could represent a new paradigm for the treatment of MDD.