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Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) have demonstrated utility in long-term single particle tracking of membrane proteins in live cells in culture. To extend the superior optical properties of QDs to more physiologically relevant cell platforms, such as acute brain slices, we examine the photophysics of compact ligand-conjugated CdSe/CdS QDs using both ensemble and single particle analysis in brain tissue media. We find that symmetric core passivation is critical for both photostability in oxygenated media and for prolonged single particle imaging in brain slices. We then demonstrate the utility of these QDs by imaging single dopamine transporters in acute brain slices, achieving 20 nm localization precision at 10 Hz frame rates. These findings detail design requirements needed for new QD probes in complex living environments, and open the door to physiologically relevant studies that capture the utility of QD probes in acute brain slices.
The intestines house a diverse microbiota that must compete for nutrients to survive, but the specific limiting nutrients that control pathogen colonization are not clearly defined. colonization typically requires prior disruption of the microbiota, suggesting that outcompeting commensals for resources is critical to establishing infection (CDI). The immune protein calprotectin (CP) is released into the gut lumen during CDI to chelate zinc (Zn) and other essential nutrient metals. Yet, the impact of Zn limitation on colonization is unknown. To define responses to Zn limitation, we performed RNA sequencing on exposed to CP. In medium containing CP, upregulated genes involved in metal homeostasis and amino acid metabolism. To identify CP-responsive genes important during infection, we measured the abundance of select transcripts in a mouse CDI model relative to expression Gene transcripts involved in selenium (Se)-dependent proline fermentation increased during infection and in response to CP. Increased proline fermentation gene transcription was dependent on CP Zn binding and proline availability, yet proline fermentation was only enhanced when Se was supplemented. CP-deficient mice could not restrain proline fermentation-dependent growth, suggesting that CP-mediated Zn sequestration along with limited Se restricts proline fermentation. Overall, these results highlight how colonization depends on the availability of multiple nutrients whose abundances are dynamically influenced by the host response. infection (CDI) is the leading cause of postantibiotic nosocomial infection. Antibiotic therapy can be successful, yet up to one-third of individuals suffer from recurrent infections. Understanding the mechanisms controlling colonization is paramount in designing novel treatments for primary and recurrent CDI. Here, we found that limiting nutrients control metabolism during CDI and influence overall pathogen fitness. Specifically, the immune protein CP limits Zn availability and increases transcription of genes necessary for proline fermentation. Paradoxically, this leads to reduced proline fermentation. This reduced fermentation is due to limited availability of another nutrient required for proline fermentation, Se. Therefore, CP-mediated Zn limitation combined with low Se levels overall reduce fitness in the intestines. These results emphasize the complexities of how nutrient availability influences colonization and provide insight into critical metabolic processes that drive the pathogen's growth.
Copyright © 2019 Lopez et al.
Solid tumors frequently metastasize to bone and induce bone destruction leading to severe pain, fractures, and other skeletal-related events (SREs). Osteoclast inhibitors such as bisphosphonates delay SREs but do not prevent skeletal complications or improve overall survival. Because bisphosphonates can cause adverse side effects and are contraindicated for some patients, we sought an alternative therapy to reduce tumor-associated bone destruction. Our previous studies identified the transcription factor Gli2 as a key regulator of parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), which is produced by bone metastatic tumor cells to promote osteoclast-mediated bone destruction. In this study, we tested the treatment effect of a Gli antagonist GANT58, which inhibits Gli2 nuclear translocation and PTHrP expression in tumor cells. In initial testing, GANT58 did not have efficacy in vivo due to its low water solubility and poor bioavailability. We therefore developed a micellar nanoparticle (NP) to encapsulate and colloidally stabilize GANT58, providing a fully aqueous, intravenously injectable formulation based on the polymer poly(propylene sulfide)-b-poly[(oligoethylene glycol) methyl ether acrylate] (PPS-b-POEGA). POEGA forms the hydrophilic NP surface while PPS forms the hydrophobic NP core that sequesters GANT58. In response to reactive oxygen species (ROS), PPS becomes hydrophilic and degrades to enable drug release. In an intratibial model of breast cancer bone metastasis, treatment with GANT58-NPs decreased bone lesion area by 49% (p<.01) and lesion number by 38% (p<.05) and resulted in a 2.5-fold increase in trabecular bone volume (p<.001). Similar results were observed in intracardiac and intratibial models of breast and lung cancer bone metastasis, respectively. Importantly, GANT58-NPs reduced tumor cell proliferation but did not alter mesenchymal stem cell proliferation or osteoblast mineralization in vitro, nor was there evidence of cytotoxicity after repeated in vivo treatment. Thus, inhibition of Gli2 using GANT58-NPs is a potential therapy to reduce bone destruction that should be considered for further testing and development toward clinical translation.
Published by Elsevier B.V.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae causes the sexually-transmitted infection gonorrhea, a global disease that is difficult to treat and for which there is no vaccine. This pathogen employs an arsenal of conserved outer membrane proteins called TonB-dependent transporters (TdTs) that allow the gonococcus to overcome nutritional immunity, the host strategy of sequestering essential nutrients away from invading bacteria to handicap infectious ability. N. gonorrhoeae produces eight known TdTs, of which four are utilized for acquisition of iron or iron chelates from host-derived proteins or xenosiderophores produced by other bacteria. Of the remaining TdTs, two of them, TdfH and TdfJ, facilitate zinc uptake. TdfH was recently shown to bind Calprotectin, a member of the S100 protein family, and subsequently extract its zinc, which is then internalized by N. gonorrhoeae. Like Calprotectin, other S100s are also capable of binding transition metals such as zinc and copper, and thus have demonstrated growth suppression of numerous other pathogens via metal sequestration. Considering the functional and structural similarities of the TdTs and of the S100s, as well as the upregulation in response to Zn limitation shown by TdfH and TdfJ, we sought to evaluate whether other S100s have the ability to support gonococcal growth by means of zinc acquisition and to frame this growth in the context of the TdTs. We found that both S100A7 and S10012 are utilized by N. gonorrhoeae as a zinc source in a mechanism that depends on the zinc transport system ZnuABC. Moreover, TdfJ binds directly to S100A7, from which it internalizes zinc. This interaction is restricted to the human version of S100A7, and zinc presence in S100A7 is required to fully support gonococcal growth. These studies highlight how gonococci co-opt human nutritional immunity, by presenting a novel interaction between TdfJ and human S100A7 for overcoming host zinc restriction.
Zinc (Zn) is an essential trace metal required for all forms of life, but is toxic at high concentrations. While the toxic effects of high levels of Zn are well documented, the mechanism of cell death appears to vary based on the study and concentration of Zn. Zn has been proposed as an anti-cancer treatment against non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The goal of this analysis was to determine the effects of Zn on metabolism and cell death in A549 cells. Here, high throughput multi-omics analysis identified the molecular effects of Zn intoxication on the proteome, metabolome, and transcriptome of A549 human NSCLC cells after 5 min to 24 h of Zn exposure. Multi-omics analysis combined with additional experimental evidence suggests Zn intoxication induces ferroptosis, an iron and lipid peroxidation-dependent programmed cell death, demonstrating the utility of multi-omics analysis to identify cellular response to intoxicants.
Calprotectin (CP) inhibits bacterial viability through extracellular chelation of transition metals. However, how CP influences general metabolism remains largely unexplored. We show here that CP restricts bioavailable Zn and Fe to the pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii, inducing an extensive multi-metal perturbation of cellular physiology. Proteomics reveals severe metal starvation, and a strain lacking the candidate Zn metallochaperone ZigA possesses altered cellular abundance of multiple essential Zn-dependent enzymes and enzymes in de novo flavin biosynthesis. The ΔzigA strain exhibits decreased cellular flavin levels during metal starvation. Flavin mononucleotide provides regulation of this biosynthesis pathway, via a 3,4-dihydroxy-2-butanone 4-phosphate synthase (RibB) fusion protein, RibBX, and authentic RibB. We propose that RibBX ensures flavin sufficiency under CP-induced Fe limitation, allowing flavodoxins to substitute for Fe-ferredoxins as cell reductants. These studies elucidate adaptation to nutritional immunity and define an intersection between metallostasis and cellular metabolism in A. baumannii.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Acinetobacter baumannii is an important nosocomial pathogen capable of causing wound infections, pneumonia, and bacteremia. During infection, A. baumannii must acquire Zn to survive and colonize the host. Vertebrates have evolved mechanisms to sequester Zn from invading pathogens by a process termed nutritional immunity. One of the most upregulated genes during Zn starvation encodes a putative cell wall-modifying enzyme which we named ZrlA. We found that inactivation of zrlA diminished growth of A. baumannii during Zn starvation. Additionally, this mutant strain displays increased cell envelope permeability, decreased membrane barrier function, and aberrant peptidoglycan muropeptide abundances. This altered envelope increases antibiotic efficacy both in vitro and in an animal model of A. baumannii pneumonia. These results establish ZrlA as a crucial link between nutrient metal uptake and cell envelope homeostasis during A. baumannii pathogenesis, which could be targeted for therapeutic development.
Copyright © 2019 Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Aberrant activation of the Hedgehog signaling pathway has been linked to the formation of numerous cancer types, including the myogenic soft tissue sarcoma, embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (eRMS). Here, we report , a novel mouse model in which human GLI2A, a constitutive activator of Hedgehog signaling, induced undifferentiated sarcomas that were phenotypically divergent from eRMS. Rather, sarcomas arising in mice featured some characteristics that were reminiscent of Ewing sarcoma. Even though it is widely understood that Ewing sarcoma formation is driven by gene fusions, a genetically defined mouse model is not well-established. While gene fusions were not present in sarcomas, precluding their designation as Ewing sarcoma, we did find that GLI2A induced expression of known gene targets essential to Ewing pathogenesis, most notably, . Moreover, we found that naïve mesenchymal progenitors originate tumors in mice. Altogether, our work provides a novel genetic mouse model, which directly connects oncogenic Hedgehog activity to the etiology of undifferentiated soft tissue sarcomas for the first time. IMPLICATIONS: The finding that activation of Gli2 transcription factor is sufficient to induce Ewing-like sarcomas provides a direct transformative role of the Hedgehog signaling pathway in undifferentiated soft tissue sarcoma.
©2019 American Association for Cancer Research.
Calprotectin is a potent antimicrobial that inhibits the growth of pathogens by tightly binding transition metals such as Mn and Zn, thereby preventing their uptake and utilization by invading microbes. At sites of infection, calprotectin is abundantly released from neutrophils, but calprotectin is also present in non-neutrophil cell types that may be relevant to infections. We show here that in patients infected with the Lyme disease pathogen Borreliella (Borrelia) burgdorferi, calprotectin is produced in neutrophil-free regions of the skin, in both epidermal keratinocytes and in immune cells infiltrating the dermis, including CD68 positive macrophages. In culture, B. burgdorferi's growth is inhibited by calprotectin, but surprisingly, the mechanism does not involve the classical withholding of metal nutrients. B. burgdorferi cells exposed to calprotectin cease growth with no reduction in intracellular Mn and no loss in activity of Mn enzymes including the SodA superoxide dismutase. Additionally, there is no obvious loss in intracellular Zn. Rather than metal depletion, we find that calprotectin inhibits B. burgdorferi growth through a mechanism that requires physical association of calprotectin with the bacteria. By comparison, calprotectin inhibited E. coli growth without physically interacting with the microbe, and calprotectin effectively depleted E. coli of intracellular Mn and Zn. Our studies with B. burgdorferi demonstrate that the antimicrobial capacity of calprotectin is complex and extends well beyond simple withholding of metal micronutrients.
Proteomics, metabolomics, and transcriptomics generate comprehensive data sets, and current biocomputational capabilities allow their efficient integration for systems biology analysis. Published multiomics studies cover methodological advances as well as applications to biological questions. However, few studies have focused on the development of a high-throughput, unified sample preparation approach to complement high-throughput omic analytics. This report details the automation, benchmarking, and application of a strategy for transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic analyses from a common sample. The approach, sample preparation for multi-omics technologies (SPOT), provides equivalent performance to typical individual omic preparation methods but greatly enhances throughput and minimizes the resources required for multiomic experiments. SPOT was applied to a multiomics time course experiment for zinc-treated HL-60 cells. The data reveal Zn effects on NRF2 antioxidant and NFkappaB signaling. High-throughput approaches such as these are critical for the acquisition of temporally resolved, multicondition, large multiomic data sets such as those necessary to assess complex clinical and biological concerns. Ultimately, this type of approach will provide an expanded understanding of challenging scientific questions across many fields.