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Using a transgenic mouse model to express MafA, Pdx1, and Neurog3 (3TF) in a pancreatic acinar cell- and doxycycline-dependent manner, we discovered that the outcome of transcription factor-mediated acinar to β-like cellular reprogramming is dependent on both the magnitude of 3TF expression and on reprogramming-induced inflammation. Overly robust 3TF expression causes acinar cell necrosis, resulting in marked inflammation and acinar-to-ductal metaplasia. Generation of new β-like cells requires limiting reprogramming-induced inflammation, either by reducing 3TF expression or by eliminating macrophages. The new β-like cells were able to reverse streptozotocin-induced diabetes 6 days after inducing 3TF expression but failed to sustain their function after removal of the reprogramming factors.
Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
T and B lymphocytes undergo metabolic re-programming upon activation that is essential to allow bioenergetics, cell survival, and intermediates for cell proliferation and function. To support changes in the activity of signaling pathways and to provide sufficient and necessary intracellular metabolites, uptake of extracellular nutrients increases sharply with metabolic re-programming. One result of increased metabolic activity can be reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can be toxic when accumulated in excess. Uptake of cystine allows accumulation of cysteine that is necessary for glutathione synthesis and ROS detoxification. Cystine uptake is required for T cell activation and function but measurements based on radioactive labeling do not allow analysis on single cell level. Here we show the critical role for cystine uptake in T cells using a method for measurement of cystine uptake using a novel CystineFITC probe. T cell receptor stimulation lead to upregulation of the cystine transporter xCT (SLC7a11) and increased cystine uptake in CD4+ and CD8+ human T cells. Similarly, lipopolysaccharide stimulation increased cystine uptake in human B cells. The CystineFITC probe was not toxic and could be metabolized to prevent cystine starvation induced cell death. Furthermore, blockade of xCT or competition with natural cystine decreased uptake of CystineFITC. CystineFITC is thus a versatile tool that allows measurement of cystine uptake on single cell level and shows the critical role for cystine uptake for T cell ROS regulation and activation.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
During development, mammalian germ cells reprogram their epigenomes via a genome-wide erasure and de novo rewriting of DNA methylation marks. We know little of how methylation patterns are specifically determined. The piRNA pathway is thought to target the bulk of retrotransposon methylation. Here we show that most retrotransposon sequences are modified by default de novo methylation. However, potentially active retrotransposon copies evade this initial wave, likely mimicking features of protein-coding genes. These elements remain transcriptionally active and become targets of piRNA-mediated methylation. Thus, we posit that these two waves play essential roles in resetting germ cell epigenomes at each generation.
© 2014 Molaro et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
Treatment of type 1 diabetes with gene transfer-induced cellular reprogramming requires a pancreatic transcription factor such as Neurogenin-3 (Ngn3) and as of yet unknown component of the adenoviral particle. Despite intensive study, there are many unsolved processes related to the mechanisms and physiological parameters related to diabetes correction using this approach. While we confirm that systemic delivery of adenovirus (Ad)-Ngn3 provides long-lasting correction of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced hyperglycemia and restoration of growth curves, we found that insulin levels and glucose tolerance tests are not fully restored. By altering the innate and antigen-specific immune responses, we establish that the former likely plays some role in the reprogramming process. Interestingly, Ad-hNgn3 therapy in diabetic animals appeared to protect them from secondary STZ challenge. The resistance to secondary STZ response was more pronounced at later time points, indicating that a period of cell maturation and/or expansion may be required in order to promote lasting correction. More importantly, these results suggest that the long-term reprogrammed cells are not fully reprogrammed into β-cells, which in the case of autoimmune diabetes may be advantageous in a long-term treatment strategy. Finally, we show that the prophylactic administration of Ad-hNgn3 before diabetic induction protected mice from developing hyperglycemia, demonstrating the potential for reducing or eliminating disease progression should treatment be initiated early or before onset of symptoms.
Somatic cells can be inefficiently and stochastically reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells by exogenous expression of Oct4 (also called Pou5f1), Sox2, Klf4 and Myc (hereafter referred to as OSKM). The nature of the predominant rate-limiting barrier(s) preventing the majority of cells to successfully and synchronously reprogram remains to be defined. Here we show that depleting Mbd3, a core member of the Mbd3/NuRD (nucleosome remodelling and deacetylation) repressor complex, together with OSKM transduction and reprogramming in naive pluripotency promoting conditions, result in deterministic and synchronized iPS cell reprogramming (near 100% efficiency within seven days from mouse and human cells). Our findings uncover a dichotomous molecular function for the reprogramming factors, serving to reactivate endogenous pluripotency networks while simultaneously directly recruiting the Mbd3/NuRD repressor complex that potently restrains the reactivation of OSKM downstream target genes. Subsequently, the latter interactions, which are largely depleted during early pre-implantation development in vivo, lead to a stochastic and protracted reprogramming trajectory towards pluripotency in vitro. The deterministic reprogramming approach devised here offers a novel platform for the dissection of molecular dynamics leading to establishing pluripotency at unprecedented flexibility and resolution.
Pancreas homeostasis is based on replication of differentiated cells in order to maintain proper organ size and function under changing physiological demand. Recent studies suggest that acinar cells, the most abundant cell type in the pancreas, are facultative progenitors capable of reverting to embryonic-like multipotent progenitor cells under injury conditions associated with inflammation. In parallel, it is becoming apparent that within the endocrine pancreas, hormone-producing cells can lose or switch their identity under metabolic stress or in response to single gene mutations. This new view of pancreas dynamics suggests interesting links between pancreas regeneration and pathologies including diabetes and pancreatic cancer.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
It was recently demonstrated that embryonic glucagon-producing cells in the pancreas can regenerate and convert into insulin-producing β-like cells through the constitutive/ectopic expression of the Pax4 gene. However, whether α cells in adult mice display the same plasticity is unknown. Similarly, the mechanisms underlying such reprogramming remain unclear. We now demonstrate that the misexpression of Pax4 in glucagon(+) cells age-independently induces their conversion into β-like cells and their glucagon shortage-mediated replacement, resulting in islet hypertrophy and in an unexpected islet neogenesis. Combining several lineage-tracing approaches, we show that, upon Pax4-mediated α-to-β-like cell conversion, pancreatic duct-lining precursor cells are continuously mobilized, re-express the developmental gene Ngn3, and successively adopt a glucagon(+) and a β-like cell identity through a mechanism involving the reawakening of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Importantly, these processes can repeatedly regenerate the whole β cell mass and thereby reverse several rounds of toxin-induced diabetes, providing perspectives to design therapeutic regenerative strategies.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Non-mammalian vertebrates have a robust ability to regenerate injured retinal neurons from Müller glia (MG) that activate the gene encoding the proneural factor Achaete-scute homolog 1 (Ascl1; also known as Mash1 in mammals) and de-differentiate into progenitor cells. By contrast, mammalian MG have a limited regenerative response and fail to upregulate Ascl1 after injury. To test whether ASCL1 could restore neurogenic potential to mammalian MG, we overexpressed ASCL1 in dissociated mouse MG cultures and intact retinal explants. ASCL1-infected MG upregulated retinal progenitor-specific genes and downregulated glial genes. Furthermore, ASCL1 remodeled the chromatin at its targets from a repressive to an active configuration. MG-derived progenitors differentiated into cells that exhibited neuronal morphologies, expressed retinal subtype-specific neuronal markers and displayed neuron-like physiological responses. These results indicate that a single transcription factor, ASCL1, can induce a neurogenic state in mature MG.
BACKGROUND - Primary culture and animal and cell-line models of prostate and bladder development have limitations in describing human biology, and novel strategies that describe the full spectrum of differentiation from foetal through to ageing tissue are required. Recent advances in biology demonstrate that direct reprogramming of somatic cells into pluripotent embryonic stem cell (ESC)-like cells is possible. These cells, termed induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), could theoretically generate adult prostate and bladder tissue, providing an alternative strategy to study differentiation.
OBJECTIVE - To generate human iPSCs derived from normal, ageing, human prostate (Pro-iPSC), and urinary tract (UT-iPSC) tissue and to assess their capacity for lineage-directed differentiation.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS - Prostate and urinary tract stroma were transduced with POU class 5 homeobox 1 (POU5F1; formerly OCT4), SRY (sex determining region Y)-box 2 (SOX2), Kruppel-like factor 4 (gut) (KLF4), and v-myc myelocytomatosis viral oncogene homolog (avian) (MYC, formerly C-MYC) genes to generate iPSCs.
OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS - The potential for differentiation into prostate and bladder lineages was compared with classical skin-derived iPSCs. The student t test was used.
RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS - Successful reprogramming of prostate tissue into Pro-iPSCs and bladder and ureter into UT-iPSCs was demonstrated by characteristic ESC morphology, marker expression, and functional pluripotency in generating all three germ-layer lineages. In contrast to conventional skin-derived iPSCs, Pro-iPSCs showed a vastly increased ability to generate prostate epithelial-specific differentiation, as characterised by androgen receptor and prostate-specific antigen induction. Similarly, UT-iPSCs were shown to be more efficient than skin-derived iPSCs in undergoing bladder differentiation as demonstrated by expression of urothelial-specific markers: uroplakins, claudins, and cytokeratin; and stromal smooth muscle markers: α-smooth-muscle actin, calponin, and desmin. These disparities are likely to represent epigenetic differences between individual iPSC lines and highlight the importance of organ-specific iPSCs for tissue-specific studies.
CONCLUSIONS - IPSCs provide an exciting new model to characterise mechanisms regulating prostate and bladder differentiation and to develop novel approaches to disease modelling. Regeneration of bladder cells also provides an exceptional opportunity for translational tissue engineering.
Copyright © 2013 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.