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The PI3K/Akt pathway plays a crucial role in the survival, proliferation, and migration of macrophages, which may impact the development of atherosclerosis. Changes in Akt isoforms or modulation of the Akt activity levels in macrophages significantly affect their polarization phenotype and consequently atherosclerosis in mice. Moreover, the activity levels of Akt signaling determine the viability of monocytes/macrophages and their resistance to pro-apoptotic stimuli in atherosclerotic lesions. Therefore, elimination of pro-apoptotic factors as well as factors that antagonize or suppress Akt signaling in macrophages increases cell viability, protecting them from apoptosis, and this markedly accelerates atherosclerosis in mice. In contrast, inhibition of Akt signaling by the ablation of Rictor in myeloid cells, which disrupts mTORC2 assembly, significantly decreases the viability and proliferation of blood monocytes and macrophages with the suppression of atherosclerosis. In addition, monocytes and macrophages exhibit a threshold effect for Akt protein levels in their ability to survive. Ablation of two Akt isoforms, preserving only a single Akt isoform in myeloid cells, markedly compromises monocyte and macrophage viability, inducing monocytopenia and diminishing early atherosclerosis. These recent advances in our understanding of Akt signaling in macrophages in atherosclerosis may have significant relevance in the burgeoning field of cardio-oncology, where PI3K/Akt inhibitors being tested in cancer patients can have significant cardiovascular and metabolic ramifications.
Objective- Macrophages express 3 Akt (protein kinase B) isoforms, Akt1, Akt2, and Akt3, which display isoform-specific functions but may be redundant in terms of Akt survival signaling. We hypothesize that loss of 2 Akt isoforms in macrophages will suppress their ability to survive and modulate the development of atherosclerosis. Approach and Results- To test this hypothesis, we reconstituted male Ldlr mice with double Akt2/Akt3 knockout hematopoietic cells expressing only the Akt1 isoform (Akt1). There were no differences in body weight and plasma lipid levels between the groups after 8 weeks of the Western diet; however, Akt1→ Ldlr mice developed smaller (57.6% reduction) atherosclerotic lesions with more apoptotic macrophages than control mice transplanted with WT (wild type) cells. Next, male and female Ldlr mice were reconstituted with double Akt1/Akt2 knockout hematopoietic cells expressing the Akt3 isoform (Akt3). Female and male Akt3→ Ldlr recipients had significantly smaller (61% and 41%, respectively) lesions than the control WT→ Ldlr mice. Loss of 2 Akt isoforms in hematopoietic cells resulted in markedly diminished levels of white blood cells, B cells, and monocytes and compromised viability of monocytes and peritoneal macrophages compared with WT cells. In response to lipopolysaccharides, macrophages with a single Akt isoform expressed low levels of inflammatory cytokines; however, Akt1 macrophages were distinct in expressing high levels of antiapoptotic Il10 compared with WT and Akt3 cells. Conclusions- Loss of 2 Akt isoforms in hematopoietic cells, preserving only a single Akt1 or Akt3 isoform, markedly compromises monocyte and macrophage viability and diminishes early atherosclerosis in Ldlr mice.
A scaffold hopping exercise from a monocyclic mGlu NAM with poor rodent PK led to two novel heterobicyclic series of mGlu NAMs based on either a functionalized pyrazolo[1,5- a]pyrimidine-5-carboxamide core or a thieno[3,2- b]pyridine-5-carboxamide core. These novel analogues possess enhanced rodent PK, while also maintaining good mGlu NAM potency, selectivity (versus mGlu and the remaining six mGlu receptors), and high CNS penetration. Interestingly, SAR was divergent between the new 5,6-heterobicyclic systems.
Aquaporins (AQPs), by playing essential roles in the maintenance of ocular lens homeostasis, contribute to the establishment and maintenance of the overall optical properties of the lens over many decades of life. Three aquaporins, AQP0, AQP1 and AQP5, each with distinctly different functional properties, are abundantly and differentially expressed in the different regions of the ocular lens. Furthermore, the diversity of AQP functionality is increased in the absence of protein turnover by age-related modifications to lens AQPs that are proposed to alter AQP function in the different regions of the lens. These regional differences in AQP functionality are proposed to contribute to the generation and directionality of the lens internal microcirculation; a system of circulating ionic and fluid fluxes that delivers nutrients to and removes wastes from the lens faster than could be achieved by passive diffusion alone. In this review, we present how regional differences in lens AQP isoforms potentially contribute to this microcirculation system by highlighting current areas of investigation and emphasizing areas where future work is required.
Contractile actomyosin bundles, stress fibers, are crucial for adhesion, morphogenesis, and mechanosensing in nonmuscle cells. However, the mechanisms by which nonmuscle myosin II (NM-II) is recruited to those structures and assembled into functional bipolar filaments have remained elusive. We report that UNC-45a is a dynamic component of actin stress fibers and functions as a myosin chaperone in vivo. UNC-45a knockout cells display severe defects in stress fiber assembly and consequent abnormalities in cell morphogenesis, polarity, and migration. Experiments combining structured-illumination microscopy, gradient centrifugation, and proteasome inhibition approaches revealed that a large fraction of NM-II and myosin-1c molecules fail to fold in the absence of UNC-45a. The remaining properly folded NM-II molecules display defects in forming functional bipolar filaments. The C-terminal UNC-45/Cro1/She4p domain of UNC-45a is critical for NM-II folding, whereas the N-terminal tetratricopeptide repeat domain contributes to the assembly of functional stress fibers. Thus, UNC-45a promotes generation of contractile actomyosin bundles through synchronized NM-II folding and filament-assembly activities.
© 2017 Lehtimäki et al.
The neuron-specific K-Cl cotransporter KCC2 maintains the low intracellular chloride concentration required for the fast hyperpolarizing responses of the inhibitory neurotransmitters γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glycine. The two KCC2 isoforms, KCC2a and KCC2b differ by their N-termini as a result of alternative promoter usage. Whereas the role of KCC2b in mediating the chloride transport is unequivocal, the physiological role of KCC2a in neurons has remained obscure. We show that KCC2a isoform can decrease the intracellular chloride concentration in cultured neurons and attenuate calcium responses evoked by application of the GABA receptor agonist muscimol. While the biotinylation assay detected both KCC2 isoforms at the cell surface of cultured neurons, KCC2a was not detected at the plasma membrane in immunostainings, suggesting that the N-terminal KCC2a epitope is masked. Confirming this hypothesis, KCC2a surface expression was detected by the C-terminal KCC2 pan antibody but not by the N-terminal KCC2a antibody in KCC2b-deficient neurons. One possible cause for the epitope masking is the binding site of Ste20-related proline-alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) in the KCC2a N-terminus. SPAK, a known regulator of K-Cl cotransporters, was co-immunoprecipitated in a complex with KCC2a but not KCC2b isoform. Moreover, SPAK overexpression decreased the transport activity of KCC2a but not that of KCC2b, as revealed by rubidium flux assay in HEK293 cells. Thus, our data indicate that both KCC2 isoforms perform as chloride cotransporters in neuronal cells, while their N-terminal heterogeneity could play an important role in fine-tuning of the K-Cl transport activity.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Context - Low 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] is associated with coronary heart disease (CHD) in people who are white and Chinese but not black or Hispanic. Vitamin D binding globulin (VDBG) avidly binds 25(OH)D, reducing its bioavailability, and differs in isoform and concentration by race.
Objective - Evaluate associations of VDBG with CHD and whether accounting for VDBG or estimating bioavailable 25(OH)D explains the heterogeneity of the association of 25(OH)D with CHD.
Design and Setting - We conducted a case-cohort study within the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Participants with an incident CHD event over 12 years of follow-up (n = 538) and a randomly assigned subcohort (n = 999) were included. We measured baseline 25(OH)D, VDBG, and isoforms using mass spectrometry and estimated bioavailable 25(OH)D from published equations.
Results - VDBG was associated with an increased risk of CHD [hazard ratio, 1.77 (95% confidence interval, 1.46 to 2.14) per standard deviation increment, P < 0.0001], without evidence of heterogeneity by race or isoform (each P for interaction > 0.1). Low total 25(OH)D was differentially associated with CHD events, by race, with or without adjustment for VDBG (P for interaction = 0.04 or 0.05, respectively). Associations of 25(OH)D with CHD were strengthened with adjustment for VDBG among participants who were white or Chinese, and bioavailable 25(OH)D was associated with CHD events only among white participants.
Conclusions - High VDBG concentration was associated with CHD events in all racial and ethnic groups. Incorporation of VDBG strengthened existing associations of 25(OH)D with CHD but did not explain racial heterogeneity in associations of 25(OH)D with CHD.
Copyright © 2017 Endocrine Society
Basement membranes are delicate, nanoscale and pliable sheets of extracellular matrices that often act as linings or partitions in organisms. Previously considered as passive scaffolds segregating polarized cells, such as epithelial or endothelial cells, from the underlying mesenchyme, basement membranes have now reached the center stage of biology. They play a multitude of roles from blood filtration to muscle homeostasis, from storing growth factors and cytokines to controlling angiogenesis and tumor growth, from maintaining skin integrity and neuromuscular structure to affecting adipogenesis and fibrosis. Here, we will address developmental, structural and biochemical aspects of basement membranes and discuss some of the pathogenetic mechanisms causing diseases linked to abnormal basement membranes.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Many years of studies have established that lipids can impact membrane protein structure and function through bulk membrane effects, by direct but transient annular interactions with the bilayer-exposed surface of protein transmembrane domains, and by specific binding to protein sites. Here, we focus on how phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) impact ion channel function and how the structural details of the interactions of these lipids with ion channels are beginning to emerge. We focus on the Kv7 (KCNQ) subfamily of voltage-gated K channels, which are regulated by both PIP and PUFAs and play a variety of important roles in human health and disease. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Lipid order/lipid defects and lipid-control of protein activity edited by Dirk Schneider.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Bromodomain and extra-terminal domain (BET) family inhibitors offer an approach to treating hematological malignancies. We used precision nuclear run-on transcription sequencing (PRO-seq) to create high-resolution maps of active RNA polymerases across the genome in t(8;21) acute myeloid leukemia (AML), as these polymerases are exceptionally sensitive to BET inhibitors. PRO-seq identified over 1,400 genes showing impaired release of promoter-proximal paused RNA polymerases, including the stem cell factor receptor tyrosine kinase KIT that is mutated in t(8;21) AML. PRO-seq also identified an enhancer 3' to KIT. Chromosome conformation capture confirmed contacts between this enhancer and the KIT promoter, while CRISPRi-mediated repression of this enhancer impaired cell growth. PRO-seq also identified microRNAs, including MIR29C and MIR29B2, that target the anti-apoptotic factor MCL1 and were repressed by BET inhibitors. MCL1 protein was upregulated, and inhibition of BET proteins sensitized t(8:21)-containing cells to MCL1 inhibition, suggesting a potential mechanism of resistance to BET-inhibitor-induced cell death.
Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.