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The emergence of the basement membrane (BM), a specialized form of extracellular matrix, was essential in the unicellular transition to multicellularity. However, the mechanism is unknown. Goodpasture antigen-binding protein (GPBP), a BM protein, was uniquely poised to play diverse roles in this transition owing to its multiple isoforms (GPBP-1, -2, and -3) with varied intracellular and extracellular functions (ceramide trafficker and protein kinase). We sought to determine the evolutionary origin of GPBP isoforms. Our findings reveal the presence of GPBP in unicellular protists, with GPBP-2 as the most ancient isoform. In vertebrates, GPBP-1 assumed extracellular function that is further enhanced by membrane-bound GPBP-3 in mammalians, whereas GPBP-2 retained intracellular function. Moreover, GPBP-2 possesses a dual intracellular/extracellular function in cnidarians, an early nonbilaterian group. We conclude that GPBP functioning both inside and outside the cell was of fundamental importance for the evolutionary transition to animal multicellularity and tissue evolution.
© 2019 Darris et al.
The optic neuroepithelial continuum of vertebrate eye develops into three differentially growing compartments: the retina, the ciliary margin (CM), and the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Neurofibromin 2 (Nf2) is strongly expressed in slowly expanding RPE and CM compartments, and the loss of mouse Nf2 causes hyperplasia in these compartments, replicating the ocular abnormalities seen in human NF2 patients. The hyperplastic ocular phenotypes were largely suppressed by heterozygous deletion of Yap and Taz, key targets of the Nf2-Hippo signaling pathway. We also found that, in addition to feedback transcriptional regulation of Nf2 by Yap/Taz in the CM, activation of Nf2 expression by Mitf in the RPE and suppression by Sox2 in retinal progenitor cells are necessary for the differential growth of the corresponding cell populations. Together, our findings reveal that Nf2 is a key player that orchestrates the differential growth of optic neuroepithelial compartments during vertebrate eye development.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
SPAK (STE20/SPS1-related proline/alanine-rich kinase) regulates Na and Cl reabsorption in the distal convoluted tubule, and possibly in the thick ascending limb of Henle. This kinase phosphorylates and activates the apical Na-Cl cotransporter in the DCT. Western blot analysis reveals that SPAK in kidney exists as a full-length protein as well as shorter fragments that might affect NKCC2 function in the TAL. Recently, we showed that kidney lysates exerts proteolytic activity towards SPAK, resulting in the formation of multiple SPAK fragments with possible inhibitory effects on the kinase. The proteolytic activity is mediated by a Zn metalloprotease inhibited by 1,10-phenanthroline, DTT, and EDTA. Size exclusion chromatography demonstrated that the protease was a high-molecular-weight protein. Protein identification by mass-spectrometry analysis after ion exchange and size exclusion chromatography identified multiple proteases as possible candidates and aspartyl aminopeptidase, DNPEP, shared all the properties of the kidney lysate activity. Furthermore, recombinant GST-DNPEP produced similar proteolytic pattern. No mouse knockout model was, however, available to be used as negative control. In this study, we used a DNPEP-mutant mouse generated by EUCOMM as well as a novel CRISPR/cas9 mouse knockout to assess the activity of their kidney lysates towards SPAK. Two mouse models had to be used because different anti-DNPEP antibodies provided conflicting data on whether the EUCOMM mouse resulted in a true knockout. We show that in the absence of DNPEP, the kidney lysates retain their ability to cleave SPAK, indicating that DNPEP might have been misidentified as the protease behind the kidney lysate activity, or that the aspartyl aminopeptidase might not be the only protease cleaving SPAK in kidney.
© 2017 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Physiological Society and the American Physiological Society.
Cerebellar growth and foliation require the Hedgehog-driven proliferation of granule cell precursors (GCPs) in the external granule layer (EGL). However, that increased or extended GCP proliferation generally does not elicit ectopic folds suggests that additional determinants control cortical expansion and foliation during cerebellar development. Here, we find that genetic loss of the serine-threonine kinase Liver Kinase B1 (Lkb1) in GCPs increased cerebellar cortical size and foliation independent of changes in proliferation or Hedgehog signaling. This finding is unexpected given that Lkb1 has previously shown to be critical for Hedgehog pathway activation in cultured cells. Consistent with unchanged proliferation rate of GCPs, the cortical expansion of Lkb1 mutants is accompanied by thinning of the EGL. The plane of cell division, which has been implicated in diverse processes from epithelial surface expansions to gyrification of the human cortex, remains unchanged in the mutants when compared to wild-type controls. However, we find that Lkb1 mutants display delayed radial migration of post-mitotic GCPs that coincides with increased cortical size, suggesting that aberrant cell migration may contribute to the cortical expansion and increase foliation. Taken together, our results reveal an important role for Lkb1 in regulating cerebellar cortical size and foliation in a Hedgehog-independent manner.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The TGF- and Wnt/-catenin pathways have important roles in modulating CKD, but how these growth factors affect the epithelial response to CKD is not well studied. TGF- has strong profibrotic effects, but this pleiotropic factor has many different cellular effects depending on the target cell type. To investigate how TGF- signaling in the proximal tubule, a key target and mediator of CKD, alters the response to CKD, we injured mice lacking the TGF- type 2 receptor specifically in this epithelial segment. Compared with littermate controls, mice lacking the proximal tubular TGF- receptor had significantly increased tubular injury and tubulointerstitial fibrosis in two different models of CKD. RNA sequencing indicated that deleting the TGF- receptor in proximal tubule cells modulated many growth factor pathways, but Wnt/-catenin signaling was the pathway most affected. We validated that deleting the proximal tubular TGF- receptor impaired -catenin activity and Genetically restoring -catenin activity in proximal tubules lacking the TGF- receptor dramatically improved the tubular response to CKD in mice. Deleting the TGF- receptor alters many growth factors, and therefore, this ameliorated response may be a direct effect of -catenin activity or an indirect effect of -catenin interacting with other growth factors. In conclusion, blocking TGF- and -catenin crosstalk in proximal tubules exacerbates tubular injury in two models of CKD.
Copyright © 2017 by the American Society of Nephrology.
The choroid plexus epithelium (CPE) secretes higher volumes of fluid (cerebrospinal fluid, CSF) than any other epithelium and simultaneously functions as the blood-CSF barrier to gate immune cell entry into the central nervous system. Posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH), an expansion of the cerebral ventricles due to CSF accumulation following intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), is a common disease usually treated by suboptimal CSF shunting techniques. PHH is classically attributed to primary impairments in CSF reabsorption, but little experimental evidence supports this concept. In contrast, the potential contribution of CSF secretion to PHH has received little attention. In a rat model of PHH, we demonstrate that IVH causes a Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)- and NF-κB-dependent inflammatory response in the CPE that is associated with a ∼3-fold increase in bumetanide-sensitive CSF secretion. IVH-induced hypersecretion of CSF is mediated by TLR4-dependent activation of the Ste20-type stress kinase SPAK, which binds, phosphorylates, and stimulates the NKCC1 co-transporter at the CPE apical membrane. Genetic depletion of TLR4 or SPAK normalizes hyperactive CSF secretion rates and reduces PHH symptoms, as does treatment with drugs that antagonize TLR4-NF-κB signaling or the SPAK-NKCC1 co-transporter complex. These data uncover a previously unrecognized contribution of CSF hypersecretion to the pathogenesis of PHH, demonstrate a new role for TLRs in regulation of the internal brain milieu, and identify a kinase-regulated mechanism of CSF secretion that could be targeted by repurposed US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs to treat hydrocephalus.
INTRODUCTION - The mammalian SPS1-related proline/alanine-rich serine-threonine kinase SPAK (STK39) modulates ion transport across and between epithelial cells in response to environmental stimuli such osmotic stress and inflammation. Research over the last decade has established a central role for SPAK in the regulation of ion and water transport in the distal nephron, colonic crypts, and pancreatic ducts, and has implicated deregulated SPAK signaling in NaCl-sensitive hypertension, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, and cystic fibrosis. Areas covered: We review recent advances in our understanding of the role of SPAK kinase in the regulation of epithelial transport. We highlight how SPAK signaling - including its upstream Cl sensitive activators, the WNK kinases, and its downstream ion transport targets, the cation- Cl cotransporters contribute to human disease. We discuss prospects for the pharmacotherapeutic targeting of SPAK kinase in specific human disorders that feature impaired epithelial homeostasis. Expert opinion: The development of novel drugs that antagonize the SPAK-WNK interaction, inhibit SPAK kinase activity, or disrupt SPAK kinase activation by interfering with its binding to MO25α/β could be useful adjuncts in essential hypertension, inflammatory colitis, and cystic fibrosis.
Aberrant activation of with no lysine (WNK) kinases causes familial hyperkalemic hypertension (FHHt). Thiazide diuretics treat the disease, fostering the view that hyperactivation of the thiazide-sensitive sodium-chloride cotransporter (NCC) in the distal convoluted tubule (DCT) is solely responsible. However, aberrant signaling in the aldosterone-sensitive distal nephron (ASDN) and inhibition of the potassium-excretory renal outer medullary potassium (ROMK) channel have also been implicated. To test these ideas, we introduced kinase-activating mutations after Lox-P sites in the mouse gene, which encodes the terminal kinase in the WNK signaling pathway, Ste20-related proline-alanine-rich kinase (SPAK). Renal expression of the constitutively active (CA)-SPAK mutant was specifically targeted to the early DCT using a DCT-driven Cre recombinase. CA-SPAK mice displayed thiazide-treatable hypertension and hyperkalemia, concurrent with NCC hyperphosphorylation. However, thiazide-mediated inhibition of NCC and consequent restoration of sodium excretion did not immediately restore urinary potassium excretion in CA-SPAK mice. Notably, CA-SPAK mice exhibited ASDN remodeling, involving a reduction in connecting tubule mass and attenuation of epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) and ROMK expression and apical localization. Blocking hyperactive NCC in the DCT gradually restored ASDN structure and ENaC and ROMK expression, concurrent with the restoration of urinary potassium excretion. These findings verify that NCC hyperactivity underlies FHHt but also reveal that NCC-dependent changes in the driving force for potassium secretion are not sufficient to explain hyperkalemia. Instead, a DCT-ASDN coupling process controls potassium balance in health and becomes aberrantly activated in FHHt.
Copyright © 2017 by the American Society of Nephrology.
Emerging evidence indicates that even subtle changes in the expression of key genes of signalling pathways can have profound effects. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are masters of subtlety and generally have only mild effects on their target genes. The microRNA miR-31 is one of the major microRNAs in many cutaneous conditions associated with activated keratinocytes, such as the hyperproliferative diseases psoriasis, non-melanoma skin cancer and hair follicle growth. miR-31 is a marker of the hair growth phase, and in our miR-31 transgenic mouse model it impairs the function of keratinocytes. This leads to aberrant proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation that results in altered hair growth, while the loss of miR-31 leads to increased hair growth. Through in vitro and in vivo studies, we have defined a set of conserved miR-31 target genes, including LATS2 and STK40, which serve as new players in the regulation of keratinocyte growth and hair follicle biology. LATS2 can regulate growth of keratinocytes and we have identified a function of STK40 that can promote the expression of key hair follicle programme regulators such as HR, DLX3 and HOXC13.
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.