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Individuals with neurofibromatosis type-1 (NF1) can manifest focal skeletal dysplasias that remain extremely difficult to treat. NF1 is caused by mutations in the NF1 gene, which encodes the RAS GTPase-activating protein neurofibromin. We report here that ablation of Nf1 in bone-forming cells leads to supraphysiologic accumulation of pyrophosphate (PPi), a strong inhibitor of hydroxyapatite formation, and that a chronic extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-dependent increase in expression of genes promoting PPi synthesis and extracellular transport, namely Enpp1 and Ank, causes this phenotype. Nf1 ablation also prevents bone morphogenic protein-2-induced osteoprogenitor differentiation and, consequently, expression of alkaline phosphatase and PPi breakdown, further contributing to PPi accumulation. The short stature and impaired bone mineralization and strength in mice lacking Nf1 in osteochondroprogenitors or osteoblasts can be corrected by asfotase-α enzyme therapy aimed at reducing PPi concentration. These results establish neurofibromin as an essential regulator of bone mineralization. They also suggest that altered PPi homeostasis contributes to the skeletal dysplasias associated with NF1 and that some of the NF1 skeletal conditions could be prevented pharmacologically.
Mesothelia, which cover all coelomic organs and body cavities in vertebrates, perform diverse functions in embryonic and adult life. Yet, mesothelia are traditionally viewed as simple, uniform epithelia. Here we demonstrate distinct differences between visceral and parietal mesothelia, the most basic subdivision of this tissue type, in terms of gene expression, adhesion, migration, and invasion. Gene profiling determined that autotaxin, a secreted lysophospholipase D originally discovered as a tumor cell-motility-stimulating factor, was expressed exclusively in the more motile and invasive visceral mesothelia and at abnormally high levels in mesotheliomas. Gain and loss of function studies demonstrate that autotaxin signaling is indeed a critical factor responsible for phenotypic differences within mesothelia. Furthermore, we demonstrate that known and novel small molecule inhibitors of the autotaxin signaling pathway dramatically blunt migratory and invasive behaviors of aggressive mesotheliomas. Taken together, this study reveals distinct phenotypes within the mesothelial cell lineage, demonstrates that differential autotaxin expression is the molecular underpinning for these differences, and provides a novel target and lead compounds to intervene in invasive mesotheliomas.
Efficient and productive virus infection often requires viral countermeasures that block innate immunity. The IFN-inducible 2',5'-oligoadenylate (2-5A) synthetases (OASs) and ribonuclease (RNase) L are components of a potent host antiviral pathway. We previously showed that murine coronavirus (MHV) accessory protein ns2, a 2H phosphoesterase superfamily member, is a phosphodiesterase (PDE) that cleaves 2-5A, thereby preventing activation of RNase L. The PDE activity of ns2 is required for MHV replication in macrophages and for hepatitis. Here, we show that group A rotavirus (RVA), an important cause of acute gastroenteritis in children worldwide, encodes a similar PDE. The RVA PDE forms the carboxy-terminal domain of the minor core protein VP3 (VP3-CTD) and shares sequence and predicted structural homology with ns2, including two catalytic HxT/S motifs. Bacterially expressed VP3-CTD exhibited 2',5'-PDE activity, which cleaved 2-5A in vitro. In addition, VP3-CTD expressed transiently in mammalian cells depleted 2-5A levels induced by OAS activation with poly(rI):poly(rC), preventing RNase L activation. In the context of recombinant chimeric MHV expressing inactive ns2, VP3-CTD restored the ability of the virus to replicate efficiently in macrophages or in the livers of infected mice, whereas mutant viruses expressing inactive VP3-CTD (H718A or H798R) were attenuated. In addition, chimeric viruses expressing either active ns2 or VP3-CTD, but not nonfunctional equivalents, were able to protect ribosomal RNA from RNase L-mediated degradation. Thus, VP3-CTD is a 2',5'-PDE able to functionally substitute for ns2 in MHV infection. Remarkably, therefore, two disparate RNA viruses encode proteins with homologous 2',5'-PDEs that antagonize activation of innate immunity.
Severe mental illnesses have been linked to white matter abnormalities, documented by postmortem studies. However, cause and effect have remained difficult to distinguish. CNP (2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase) is among the oligodendrocyte/myelin-associated genes most robustly reduced on mRNA and protein level in brains of schizophrenic, bipolar or major depressive patients. This suggests that CNP reduction might be critical for a more general disease process and not restricted to a single diagnostic category. We show here that reduced expression of CNP is the primary cause of a distinct behavioural phenotype, seen only upon aging as an additional 'pro-inflammatory hit'. This phenotype is strikingly similar in Cnp heterozygous mice and patients with mental disease carrying the AA genotype at CNP SNP rs2070106. The characteristic features in both species with their partial CNP 'loss-of-function' genotype are best described as 'catatonia-depression' syndrome. As a consequence of perturbed CNP expression, mice show secondary low-grade inflammation/neurodegeneration. Analogously, in man, diffusion tensor imaging points to axonal loss in the frontal corpus callosum. To conclude, subtle white matter abnormalities inducing neurodegenerative changes can cause/amplify psychiatric diseases.
Copyright © 2012 EMBO Molecular Medicine.
Despite wide margins and high dose irradiation, unresectable malignant glioma (MG) is less responsive to radiation and is uniformly fatal. We previously found that cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA(2)) is a molecular target for radiosensitizing cancer through the vascular endothelium. Autotaxin (ATX) and lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) receptors are downstream from cPLA(2) and highly expressed in MG. Using the ATX and LPA receptor inhibitor, α-bromomethylene phosphonate LPA (BrP-LPA), we studied ATX and LPA receptors as potential molecular targets for the radiosensitization of tumor vasculature in MG. Treatment of Human Umbilical Endothelial cells (HUVEC) and mouse brain microvascular cells bEND.3 with 5 µmol/L BrP-LPA and 3 Gy irradiation showed decreased clonogenic survival, tubule formation, and migration. Exogenous addition of LPA showed radioprotection that was abrogated in the presence of BrP-LPA. In co-culture experiments using bEND.3 and mouse GL-261 glioma cells, treatment with BrP-LPA reduced Akt phosphorylation in both irradiated cell lines and decreased survival and migration of irradiated GL-261 cells. Using siRNA to knock down LPA receptors LPA1, LPA2 or LPA3 in HUVEC, we demonstrated that knockdown of LPA2 but neither LPA1 nor LPA3 led to increased viability and proliferation. However, knockdown of LPA1 and LPA3 but not LPA2 resulted in complete abrogation of tubule formation implying that LPA1 and LPA3 on endothelial cells are likely targets of BrP-LPA radiosensitizing effect. Using heterotopic tumor models of GL-261, mice treated with BrP-LPA and irradiation showed a tumor growth delay of 6.8 days compared to mice treated with irradiation alone indicating that inhibition of ATX and LPA receptors may significantly improve malignant glioma response to radiation therapy. These findings identify ATX and LPA receptors as molecular targets for the development of radiosensitizers for MG.
BACKGROUND - The clinical significance of autotaxin (ATX), a key enzyme for the production of the bioactive lysophospholipid lysophosphatidic acid remains unknown. Serum ATX enzymatic activity reportedly increases in parallel with liver fibrosis and exhibits a gender difference.
METHODS - Serum ATX antigen level, measured easier than the activity, was evaluated as a marker of liver fibrosis in 2 cohorts of chronic liver disease caused by hepatitis C virus.
RESULTS - In the first cohort, serum ATX level correlated significantly with liver fibrosis stage and was the best parameter for prediction of cirrhosis with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) of 0.756 in male and 0.760 in female, when compared with serum hyaluronic acid and aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index, an established marker of liver fibrosis. In another cohort, serum ATX level correlated significantly with liver stiffness, a novel reliable marker of liver fibrosis, being the second-best parameter in male (AUROC, 0.799) and in female (AUROC, 0.876) for prediction of significant fibrosis, and the best parameter in male (AUROC, 0.863) and the third-best parameter in female (AUROC, 0.872) for prediction of cirrhosis, both of which were judged by liver stiffness.
CONCLUSIONS - Serum ATX level may be a novel marker of liver fibrosis.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Although the incidence of melanoma in the U.S. is rising faster than any other cancer, the FDA-approved chemotherapies lack efficacy for advanced disease, which results in poor overall survival. Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), autotaxin (ATX), the enzyme that produces LPA, and the LPA receptors represent an emerging group of therapeutic targets in cancer, although it is not known which of these is most effective.
RESULTS - Herein we demonstrate that thio-ccPA 18:1, a stabilized phosphonothionate analogue of carba cyclic phosphatidic acid, ATX inhibitor and LPA1/3 receptor antagonist, induced a marked reduction in the viability of B16F10 metastatic melanoma cells compared with PBS-treated control by 80-100%. Exogenous LPA 18:1 or D-sn-1-O-oleoyl-2-O-methylglyceryl-3-phosphothioate did not reverse the effect of thio-ccPA 18:1. The reduction in viability mediated by thio-ccPA 18:1 was also observed in A375 and MeWo melanoma cell lines, suggesting that the effects are generalizable. Interestingly, siRNA to LPA3 (siLPA3) but not other LPA receptors recapitulated the effects of thio-ccPA 18:1 on viability, suggesting that inhibition of the LPA3 receptor is an important dualistic function of the compound. In addition, siLPA3 reduced proliferation, plasma membrane integrity and altered morphology of A375 cells. Another experimental compound designed to antagonize the LPA1/3 receptors significantly reduced viability in MeWo cells, which predominantly express the LPA3 receptor.
CONCLUSIONS - Thus the ability of thio-ccPA 18:1 to inhibit the LPA3 receptor and ATX are key to its molecular mechanism, particularly in melanoma cells that predominantly express the LPA3 receptor. These observations necessitate further exploration and exploitation of these targets in melanoma.
The biosynthesis of the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) and related N-acyl ethanolamine (NAE) lipids is complex and appears to involve multiple pathways, including: (1) direct release of NAEs from N-acyl phosphatidyl ethanolamine (NAPE) precursors by the phosphodiesterase NAPE-PLD, and (2) double O-deacylation of NAPEs followed by phosphodiester bond hydrolysis of the resulting glycero-phospho (GP)-NAEs. We recently identified GDE1 as a GP-NAE phosphodiesterase that may be involved in the second pathway. Here, we report the generation and characterization of GDE1(-/-) mice, which are viable and overtly normal in their cage behavior. Brain homogenates from GDE1(-/-) mice exhibit a near-complete loss of detectable GP-NAE phosphodiesterase activity; however, bulk brain levels of AEA and other NAEs were unaltered in these animals. To address the possibility of compensatory pathways, we generated GDE1(-/-)/NAPE-PLD(-/-) mice. Conversion of NAPE to NAE was virtually undetectable in brain homogenates from these animals as measured under standard assay conditions, but again, bulk changes in brain NAEs were not observed. Interestingly, significant reductions in the accumulation of brain NAEs, including anandamide, were detected in GDE1(-/-)/NAPE-PLD(-/-) mice treated with a fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor that blocks NAE degradation. Finally, we determined that primary neurons from GDE1(-/-)/NAPE-PLD(-/-) mice can convert NAPEs to NAEs by a pathway that is not preserved following cell homogenization. In summary, combined inactivation of GDE1 and NAPE-PLD results in partial disruption of NAE biosynthesis, while also pointing to the existence of an additional enzymatic pathway(s) that converts NAPEs to NAEs. Characterization of this pathway should provide clarity on the multifaceted nature of NAE biosynthesis.
The ectoenzyme PC-1 is an insulin receptor inhibitor that is elevated in cells and tissues of humans with type 2 diabetes (T2D). We have recently shown that acute PC-1 overexpression in liver causes insulin resistance and glucose intolerance in mice (3), but the chronic effects of PC-1 overexpression on these functions are unknown. Herein we produced transgenic mice overexpressing the potent q allele of human PC-1 in muscle and liver. Compared with controls, these mice had 2- to 3-fold elevations of PC-1 content in liver and 5- to 10-fold elevations in muscle. In the fed state, the PC-1 animals had 100 mg/dl higher glucose levels and sixfold higher insulin levels compared with controls. During glucose tolerance tests, these PC-1 animals had peak glucose levels that were >150 mg/dl higher than controls. In vivo uptake of 2-deoxy-d-glucose in muscle during insulin infusion was decreased in the PC-1 animals. These in vivo data support the concept, therefore, that PC-1 plays a role in insulin resistance and hyperglycemia and suggest that animals with overexpression of human PC-1 in insulin-sensitive tissues may be important models to investigate insulin resistance.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE - The combination of dipyridamole and aspirin has been shown to be more effective than aspirin alone in the secondary prevention of stroke. Dipyridamole may act by inhibiting adenosine uptake, thus potentiating its actions. Dipyridamole also inhibits cGMP-specific phosphodiesterases (PDE) and, through this mechanism, could potentiate cGMP-mediated actions of nitric oxide.
METHODS - To define the mechanism of action of dipyridamole, we studied the local vascular effects of adenosine, acetylcholine (NO-mediated dilation), and nitroprusside (cGMP-mediated dilation) in a double-blind study after treatment with dipyridamole/aspirin (200 mg dipyridamole/25 mg aspirin twice a day) or aspirin control for 7 days in 6 normal volunteers. Vasodilators were administered into the brachial artery in the nondominant arm in random order and forearm blood flow (FBF) was measured by venous occlusion plethysmography.
RESULTS - Adenosine at a dosage of 125 mug/min increased FBF from 4.6+/-0.9 to 29.4+/-5.3 (539% increase) with dipyridamole/aspirin and from 3.9+/-0.8 to 12+/-2.5 mL/100 mL forearm/min (208% increase) with aspirin alone (P=0.007). In contrast, dipyridamole/aspirin did not alter the response to acetylcholine or to nitroprusside. The magnitude of adenosine-induced vasodilation correlated with plasma dipyridamole concentrations (r2=0.6); no correlation was observed with acetylcholine- or nitroprusside-induced vasodilation. Similar potentiation of adenosine, but not acetylcholine or nitroprusside, was observed in 7 additional subjects when adenosine, acetylcholine, and nitroprusside were given in random order before and 2 hours after a single dose of dipyridamole/aspirin.
CONCLUSIONS - The effects of dipyridamole on resistance vessels are preferentially explained by potentiation of adenosine mechanisms rather than potentiation of nitric oxide or other cGMP-mediated actions.