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During mouse pancreas organogenesis, endocrine cells are born from progenitors residing in an epithelial plexus niche. After a period in a lineage-primed state, progenitors become endocrine committed via upregulation of We find that the to transition is associated with distinct stages of an epithelial egression process: narrowing the apical surface of the cell, basalward cell movement and eventual cell-rear detachment from the apical lumen surface to allow clustering as nascent islets under the basement membrane. Apical narrowing, basalward movement and transcriptional upregulation still occur without Neurog3 protein, suggesting that morphogenetic cues deployed within the plexus initiate endocrine commitment upstream or independently of Neurog3. Neurog3 is required for cell-rear detachment and complete endocrine-cell birth. The ROCK-nmMyoII pathway coordinates epithelial-cell morphogenesis and the progression through -expressing states. NmMyoII is necessary for apical narrowing, basalward cell displacement and upregulation, but all three are limited by ROCK activity. We propose that ROCK-nmMyoII activity, gene-dose and Notch signaling integrate endocrine fate allocation with epithelial plexus growth and morphogenesis, representing a feedback control circuit that coordinates morphogenesis with lineage diversification in the endocrine-birth niche.
© 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Methylmercury is a toxic environmental contaminant that elicits significant toxicity in humans. The central nervous system is the primary target of toxicity, and is particularly vulnerable during development. Rho-associated protein kinase 1 (ROCK-1) is a major downstream effector of the small GTPase RhoA and a direct substrate of caspase-3. The activation of ROCK-1 is necessary for membrane blebbing during apoptosis. In this work, we examined whether MeHg could affect the RhoA/ROCK-1 signaling pathway in primary cultures of mouse astrocytes. Exposure of cells with 10 μM MeHg decreased cellular viability after 24 h of incubation. This reduction in viability was preceded by a significant increase in intracellular and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species levels, as well as a reduced NAD/NADH ratio. MeHg also induced an increase in mitochondrial-dependent caspase-9 and caspase-3, while the levels of RhoA protein expression were reduced or unchanged. We further found that MeHg induced ROCK-1 cleavage/activation and promoted LIMK1 and MYPT1 phosphorylation, both of which are the best characterized ROCK-1 downstream targets. Inhibiting ROCK-1 and caspases activation attenuated the MeHg-induced cell death. Collectively, these findings are the first to show that astrocytes exposed to MeHg showed increased cleavage/activation of ROCK-1, which was independent of the small GTPase RhoA.
Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
p120-Catenin (p120) functions as a tumor suppressor in intestinal cancer, but the mechanism is unclear. Here, using conditional p120 knockout in Apc-sensitized mouse models of intestinal cancer, we have identified p120 as an "obligatory" haploinsufficient tumor suppressor. Whereas monoallelic loss of p120 was associated with a significant increase in tumor multiplicity, loss of both alleles was never observed in tumors from these mice. Moreover, forced ablation of the second allele did not further enhance tumorigenesis, but instead induced synthetic lethality in combination with Apc loss of heterozygosity. In tumor-derived organoid cultures, elimination of both p120 alleles resulted in caspase-3-dependent apoptosis that was blocked by inhibition of Rho kinase (ROCK). With ROCK inhibition, however, p120-ablated organoids exhibited a branching phenotype and a substantial increase in cell proliferation. Access to data from Sleeping Beauty mutagenesis screens afforded an opportunity to directly assess the tumorigenic impact of p120 haploinsufficiency relative to other candidate drivers. Remarkably, p120 ranked third among the 919 drivers identified. Cofactors α-catenin and epithelial cadherin (E-cadherin) were also among the highest scoring candidates, indicating a mechanism at the level of the intact complex that may play an important role at very early stages of of intestinal tumorigenesis while simultaneously restricting outright loss via synthetic lethality.
The neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) regulates multiple behaviors across phylogeny, with disrupted DA signaling in humans associated with addiction, attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, and Parkinson's disease. The DA transporter (DAT) imposes spatial and temporal limits on DA action, and provides for presynaptic DA recycling to replenish neurotransmitter pools. Molecular mechanisms that regulate DAT expression, trafficking, and function, particularly , remain poorly understood, though recent studies have implicated rho-linked pathways in psychostimulant action. To identify genes that dictate the ability of DAT to sustain normal levels of DA clearance, we pursued a forward genetic screen in based on the phenotype swimming-induced paralysis (Swip), a paralytic behavior observed in hermaphrodite worms with loss-of-function mutations. Here, we report the identity of , which encodes a highly conserved ortholog of the human atypical MAP kinase ERK8. We present evidence that SWIP-13 acts presynaptically to insure adequate levels of surface DAT expression and DA clearance. Moreover, we provide and evidence supporting a conserved pathway involving SWIP-13/ERK8 activation of Rho GTPases that dictates DAT surface expression and function. Signaling by the neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) is tightly regulated by the DA transporter (DAT), insuring efficient DA clearance after release. Molecular networks that regulate DAT are poorly understood, particularly Using a forward genetic screen in the nematode , we implicate the atypical mitogen activated protein kinase, SWIP-13, in DAT regulation. Moreover, we provide and evidence that SWIP-13, as well as its human counterpart ERK8, regulate DAT surface availability via the activation of Rho proteins. Our findings implicate a novel pathway that regulates DA synaptic availability and that may contribute to risk for disorders linked to perturbed DA signaling. Targeting this pathway may be of value in the development of therapeutics in such disorders.
Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/379288-17$15.00/0.
Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a cyclooxygenase metabolite that generally acts as a systemic vasodepressor, has been shown to have vasopressor effects under certain physiologic conditions. Previous studies have demonstrated that PGE2 receptor signaling modulates angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced hypertension, but the interaction of these two systems in the regulation of vascular reactivity is incompletely characterized. We hypothesized that Ang II, a principal effector of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, potentiates PGE2-mediated vasoconstriction. Here we demonstrate that pre-treatment of arterial rings with 1nM Ang II potentiated PGE2-evoked constriction in a concentration dependent manner (AUC-Ang II 2.778±2.091, AUC+Ang II 22.830±8.560, ***P<0.001). Using genetic deletion models and pharmacological antagonists, we demonstrate that this potentiation effect is mediated via concurrent signaling between the angiotensin II receptor 1 (AT1) and the PGE2 E-prostanoid receptor 3 (EP3) in the mouse femoral artery. EP3 receptor-mediated vasoconstriction is shown to be dependent on extracellular calcium in combination with proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (Pyk2) and Rho-kinase. Thus, our findings reveal a novel mechanism through which Ang II and PGE2 regulate peripheral vascular reactivity.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
ROCK activity increases due to ECM rigidity in the tumor microenvironment and promotes a malignant phenotype via actomyosin contractility. Invasive migration is facilitated by actin-rich adhesive protrusions known as invadopodia that degrade the ECM. Invadopodia activity is dependent on matrix rigidity and contractile forces suggesting that mechanical factors may regulate these subcellular structures through ROCK-dependent actomyosin contractility. However, emerging evidence indicates that the ROCK1 and ROCK2 isoforms perform different functions in cells suggesting that alternative mechanisms may potentially regulate rigidity-dependent invadopodia activity. In this study, we found that matrix rigidity drives ROCK signaling in cancer cells but that ROCK1 and ROCK2 differentially regulate invadopodia activity through separate signaling pathways via contractile (NM II) and non-contractile (LIMK) mechanisms. These data suggest that the mechanical rigidity of the tumor microenvironment may drive ROCK signaling through distinct pathways to enhance the invasive migration required for cancer progression and metastasis.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
In vertebrate epithelia, p120-catenin (hereafter referred to as p120; also known as CTNND1) mediates E-cadherin stability and suppression of RhoA. Genetic ablation of p120 in various epithelial tissues typically causes striking alterations in tissue function and morphology. Although these effects could very well involve p120's activity towards Rho, ascertaining the impact of this relationship has been complicated by the fact that p120 is also required for cell-cell adhesion. Here, we have molecularly uncoupled p120's cadherin-stabilizing and RhoA-suppressing activites. Unexpectedly, removing p120's Rho-suppressing activity dramatically disrupted the integrity of the apical surface, irrespective of E-cadherin stability. The physical defect was tracked to excessive actomyosin contractility along the vertical axis of lateral membranes. Thus, we suggest that p120's distinct activities towards E-cadherin and Rho are molecularly and functionally coupled and this, in turn, enables the maintenance of cell shape in the larger context of an epithelial monolayer. Importantly, local suppression of contractility by cadherin-bound p120 appears to go beyond regulating cell shape, as loss of this activity also leads to major defects in epithelial lumenogenesis.
© 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Actomyosin contractility plays a key role in tissue morphogenesis. During mammalian development, PTK7 regulates epithelial morphogenesis and planar cell polarity (PCP) through modulation of actomyosin contractility, but the underlying mechanism is unknown. Here, we show that PTK7 interacts with the tyrosine kinase Src and stimulates Src signaling along cell-cell contacts. We further identify ROCK2 as a target of junctional PTK7-Src signaling. PTK7 knockdown in cultured epithelial cells reduced the level of active Src at cell-cell contacts, resulting in delocalization of ROCK2 from cell-cell contacts and decreased junctional contractility, with a concomitant increase in actomyosin on the basal surface. Moreover, we present in vivo evidence that Src family kinase (SFK) activity is critical for PCP regulation in the auditory sensory epithelium and that PTK7-SFK signaling regulates tyrosine phosphorylation of junctional ROCK2. Together, these results delineate a PTK7-Src signaling module for spatial regulation of ROCK activity, actomyosin contractility, and epithelial PCP.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The dynamic functional linkage of cadherins with the underlying actin cytoskeleton is tightly regulated to achieve proper cell-cell adhesion. p120-catenin (p120) regulates both cadherin stability and actin dynamics, but the relationship between these two functions remains unclear. Using a novel proteomic approach called reversible cross-link immunoprecipitation, or ReCLIP, we previously identified a physical interaction between p120 and Rho-associated protein kinase 1 (ROCK1), a major effector of RhoA. In this paper, we show that a discrete fraction of cellular ROCK1 coimmunoprecipitates with p120 and precisely colocalizes to adherens junctions (AJs). Manipulation of AJs using a calcium-switch assay and cadherin-blocking antibodies indicates direct recruitment of ROCK1 to newly forming junctions. Importantly, we find that p120 links ROCK1 to the cadherin complex, as ROCK1 coimmunoprecipitates with wild-type but not p120-uncoupled E-cadherin. Moreover, depletion of ROCK1 using short-hairpin RNA results in dramatic mislocalization of the cadherin complex and junctional actin. These data are consistent with a model in which p120 dynamically regulates Rho-GTPase activity at the cadherin complex through transient interaction with several of its up- and downstream effectors, including ROCK1.
Tumors such as breast, lung, and prostate frequently metastasize to bone, where they can cause intractable pain and increase the risk of fracture in patients. When tumor cells metastasize to bone, they interact with the microenvironment to promote bone destruction primarily through the secretion of osteolytic factors by the tumor cells and the subsequent release of growth factors from the bone. Our recent data suggest that the differential rigidity of the mineralized bone microenvironment relative to that of soft tissue regulates the expression of osteolytic factors by the tumor cells. The concept that matrix rigidity regulates tumor growth is well established in solid breast tumors, where increased rigidity stimulates tumor cell invasion and metastasis. Our studies have indicated that a transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and Rho-associated kinase (ROCK)-dependent mechanism is involved in the response of metastatic tumor cells to the rigid mineralized bone matrix. In this review, we will discuss the interactions between ROCK and TGF-β signaling, as well as potential new therapies that target these pathways.